Friday, July 1, 2011
HT :IsraelMatzav .
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity today.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 138.138
On 30.06.2011 at 11:23 GMT+2
A small amount of radioactive substances was found from urine samples of all of 10 children in Fukushima surveyed by a Japanese civic association and a French nongovernmental organization, the groups said Thursday. David Boilley, president of the Acro radioactivity measuring body, told a news conference in Tokyo that the survey on 10 boys and girls aged between 6 and 16 in Fukushima city suggested there was a high possibility that children in and near the city had been exposed to radiation internally. The highest levels found by the survey were 1.13 becquerels of radioactive cesium-134 per 1 litre of urine from an 8-year-old girl, and 1.30 becquerels of cesium-137 in a 7-year-old boy. The city is located 60 kilometres north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, which has been leaking radiaoactive material into the environment since it was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The radiation levels detected did not represent an immediate risk to health, but those two isotopes of cesium have half-lives of two and 30 years respectively, raising concerns about the long-term contamination of the environment and locally grown foodstuffs.
The Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, consisting of local parents, said the group would urge the central and local governments to have all citizens in the prefecture undergo detailed tests soon. Acro previously investigated radiation exposure of children who lived near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which runs the plant, started its work Thursday to transfer low-level radiation-tainted water to a large floating container, which has a capacity to collect about 10,000 tons of water. TEPCO said some 8,000 tons of water that the operator has stored at a temporary tank would be moved to the container, which is berthed along the quay near the plant, Kyodo reported. The water came from the turbine buildings of reactors 5 and 6, and most of the water was believed to be seawater left after devastating tsunami waves hit the plant on March 11. TEPCO has struggled to deal with 110,000 tons of contaminated water at the plant while a newly-installed water-treatment system has halted several times due to water leaks and other technical problems.
Situation Update No. 137 - On 29.06.2011 at 03:40 GMT+2
Tonnes of radioactive water was discovered to have leaked into the ground from the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan's nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday. About 15 tonnes of water with a low level of radiation leaked from a storage tank at the plant, on the Pacific coast 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said it was still investigating the cause of the leak, which was repaired after being discovered around noon on Tuesday. Vast amounts of water contaminated with varying levels of radiation have accumulated in storage tanks at the plant after being used by the utility to cool reactors damaged when their original cooling systems were knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Tepco is trying to use a decontamination system that cleans radioactive water so it can be recycled to cool the reactors, but has encountered technical glitches.
Situation Update No. 136 - On 28.06.2011 at 10:53 GMT+2
Radioactive strontium has been found on the seabed near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Kyodo reported on Tuesday. Tokyo Electric Power Company said strontium-89 and -90 was discovered in the seabed soil about 3 kilometers off the coast, some 20 kilometers north and south of the nuclear complex. Between 10 and 44 becquerels per kilogram of strontium-90 were detected, which has a half-life of 29 years. Shigeharu Kato, a member of the Nuclear Safety Commission, said further examination was needed to determine if or how the substances can accumulate in marine life, the NHK news agency reported. A 9.0-magnitude quake struck off Japan's northeast coast on March 11, triggering a tsunami and explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, which caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. According to Japanese scientists, the tsunami triggered by the quake washed over 561 square kilometers in 23 prefectures. Huge waves reached 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland destroying everything on their way. The disaster destroyed over 151,000 buildings and killed at least 15,000 people, while 9,893 people still remain unaccounted for. The government has previously said the damage from the disaster could total $184 billion.Source : Here .
- UPDATED ! Radioactive cesium was detected in processed tea that was made from leaves that elementary school children picked in Tokyo as part of their school curriculum, it has been learned. The Itabashi Ward Office announced on June 30 that 2,700 becquerels of radioactive cesium -- in excess of the government's provisional limit -- was detected in processed tea that used leaves picked at a plantation in the ward by some 300 students of local elementary schools. The processed tea is set to be disposed of, while none of the children have suffered any health problems. The tea plantation is dedicated to providing visitors with opportunities to pick leaves and does not ship its harvest to the market. According to the ward office, the tea-picking class took place on May 9, and fourth- and fifth-grade students from three public elementary schools in the ward participated in the event. When the approximately 20 kilograms of processed tea -- made of some 80 kilograms of first-harvest leaves that the students had picked -- was screened, 1,300 becquerels of cesium 134 per kilogram and 1,400 becquerels of cesium 137 per kilogram were detected. Following the revelation, ward officials picked second-harvest tea leaves at the plantation on June 22 and detected 350 becquerels of cesium from raw tea leaves. The ward office will conduct screenings of locally-grown agricultural products but will not regulate the shipment of tea leaves as there is no other tea plantation in the ward. It is the first time that radioactive cesium has been detected in tea leaves grown in Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's survey had previously detected no radioactive substances exceeding the government limit in agricultural products grown in the capital.Source.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez treated for cancer.(Al-Jazeera)Video - Hugo Chavez makes his first televised speech after surgery in Cuba and says he will "overcome" health battle.The Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, has admitted in a television address that he had a tumour but had undergone a successful operation in Cuba to extract the cancerous cells and was on the road to full recovery.Chavez, 56, made his first televised speech to the nation on Thursday, weeks after he was hospitalised in the Cuban capital, Havana, sparking widespread speculation he might be seriously ill."They confirmed the existence of a tumourous abscess, with the presence of cancerous cells, which required another operation to extract the tumour completely," he said, standing at a lectern by a Venezuelan flag and a painting of his hero, South American independence leader Simon Bolivar."I deeply appreciate the demonstrations of solidarity by Venezuelans and other brotherly people."Chavez said the medical process was "slow and careful" and that he was determined to "overcome" the health battle.Comparing his health problem to a previous dark moment - a short-lived 2002 coup against him - Chavez promised he would be back in typically grandiose language."I want to talk to you about the rising sun, I think that we have emerged," he said.The Venezuelan government had earlier said he was recovering from an abcess in the pelvis in Cuba, from where Thursday's speech was broadcast.Shortly after the speech, Venezuela's vice-president, Elias Jaua, flanked by government ministers, said on state television that the wide-reaching socialist reforms would be "deepened" despite Chavez's ill health.Nevertheless, there is huge uncertainty about who could replace Chavez, given the fact that Venezuela's political structures are so closely tied to his persona."Chavez is really the man of Venezuela," Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez said. "There's really not a figure in the ruling party, or even in the opposition, that will match the charisma that Hugo Chavez has."Analysts said Chavez's prolonged absence could prompt infighting among his allies ahead of the 2012 elections."From the president's speech, it is impossible to deduce if he will or will not be in a physical state and the right mood to go into the 2012 campaign," Luis-Vicente Leon, a local analyst, said.Eva Golinger, a lawyer and writer in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, told Al Jazeera there was "no sign" Chavez would not be able to continue as president."He gave his speech ... from a very energetic and strong and charismatic position and so it seems as though he's recovering well," she said."He is someone who has faced all kinds of difficulties and obstacles, particularly during his presidency, and so it seems as though he is going to pull through this one just fine."Until Thursday, the official line had been that he was recovering well from an operation to remove a pelvic abscess and would return soon.Hmmmmm.......Prostate cancer?Average lifespan after surgery 5 years.Read the full story here.
- Obama: Still Getting the Hang of Answering Questions.(NationalReview).Has Obama ever given a bravura performance at a press conference? No wonder he goes three months or so without doing them.Today he mentioned a tax break for corporate jets six times. He didn’t mention that he signed legislation preserving the tax code provision into law, or that the grand total of the savings of ending that tax break would be about $3 billion over ten years.The man who flies anywhere he wants, anytime, cost-free, complained at great length that other people’s private jets are insufficiently taxed. yesterday, Obama flew on Air Force One to Philadelphia, Pa., to attend two DNC fundraisers,denouncing the current tax rates on corporate jets, without anyone remarking on the irony.
What I think this reveals is that Barack Obama is not used to being challenged. Most of us have scoffed at his predictable straw men, his off-the-cuff references to tonsil-stealing doctors, his exhausted, “some on the right say we should take this extreme path, some on the left take this extreme path, but I choose this sensible path in the middle” framing of every issue.
As we recall from his attacks upon Paul Ryan at GWU, the Supreme Court justices at the State of the Union, and his jabs at Pete Hoekstra, Obama loves to go after his opponents in national addresses, with his targets in the audience, unable to respond. In the setting of the grandiose national address, there is rarely a rebuttal. Any interruption to dispute the facts — like, say, Rep. Joe Wilson yelling out, “You LIE!” during an address to Congress — comes across as rude to the office of the presidency. The Supreme Court is completely unused to being criticized to their faces; members of Congress are used to the back-and-forth of debates on the floor in which every accusation and assertion can be rebutted and cross-examined.
So even ten questions from the White House press corps can take Obama off his game. Among the highlights of today:
• Asked about whether the War Powers Act was constitutional, he responded, “I’m not going to put my constitutional law professor hat on here.” Er, wait, wasn’t that a reason folks were supposed to vote for you?
• Asked whether marriage was a civil right – a yes or no question that obviously put him on the spot about gay marriage – he began talking about separate issues, like hospital visitations.
• Occasionally Obama’s gaffes would seem strangely honest, like when he said, “I’ll keep on giving you the same answer until I give you a different one,” on gay marriage, or “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” rather bluntly acknowledging he was ignoring Chuck Todd’s actual question on the War Powers Act.
• The President constantly infuriated by the perception that he hates the private sector responded to a question, “The business community always complains about regulations.” Unlike unions, trial lawyers, public sector employees, apparently.
• Asked about the ATF “Fast and Furious” operation, Obama said that Attorney General Eric Holder made very clear that he would have opposed the operation… you know, the one that occurred on his watch.
• Discussing the DREAM Act, Obama said, “Kids who grow up here and think of themselves as Americans… let’s make sure those kids can stay.” There’s no dispute that many of these children and teens often have heartbreaking stories, and no real emotional or physical connection to their country of legal citizenship. But thinking of yourself as an American is not the same as being an American. Citizenship is not a state of mind.
•“It’s time to stop playing games,” he concluded, and then ended the press conference for the next event on his schedule: welcoming the WNBA Champion Seattle Storm to the White House Rose Garden.
Obama survives difficult questions by avoiding them and waiting for the world to move on. His Republican opponents must challenge him, early and often, and consistently.Hmmmmm........"The Truth Shall Set You Free".Read the full story here.
- Alaska to EPA: Suck It.(ChamberPost).Big energy news was broken at today's press conference at the Chamber. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (via teleconference) and Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan announced the state would allow drilling off a strip of state-owned land, expanding energy production: It would allow the state to start allowing drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, up to three miles off the federally protected regions of ANWR and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, bypassing the need for federal permission.
While the state has no control over drilling in ANWR, it does own the three miles of Arctic Ocean just off the coast—after those three miles, the federal government owns the waters. Officials say it stands to reason that that three-mile ribbon likely cuts through the vast oil deposits believed to lie beneath ANWR and the Arctic Ocean. Alaskan officials and oil companies hope that by drilling in that strip, they can tap into up to a dozen giant oil pools that would otherwise be off-limits.Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, who was also at the press conference, was happy with the news:
America is in serious need of more domestic energy production, but the federal government has thrown up nothing but roadblocks. According to government estimates, U.S. oil production will be down 90 million barrels in 2012—a direct result of the Obama Administration’s approach. With the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Administration has finally acknowledged that there is a need to increase supply. However, the Five Year Plan for oil and natural gas exploration they have proposed takes new areas off the table—which could make us even more reliant on foreign oil in the future.Today, Governor Parnell and Commissioner Sullivan have announced a plan for Alaska that will start to change that equation.Hmmmmm......Reaction from Emperor "WTF"?Read the full story here.
- Congressman Asks IRS to Investigate CAIR.(TIP).Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., asked the IRS Monday to investigate whether the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has illegally received or solicited funds from foreign governments.The letter, sent to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, was written in response to news that CAIR has lost its IRS tax exempt status for failing to properly file annual tax reports, known as form 990s, for three years in a row.The fact that CAIR's donations are no longer tax deductible was exposed last week by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. CAIR's national entities, CAIR-National and the CAIR Foundation, were both included on a list of hundreds of thousands of organizations that had lost their status for failing to file the paperwork.But Rep. Wolf indicated that CAIR differs from those thousands of other organizations because it was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator (UCC) in the case of a U.S. Muslim charity found guilty of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. When CAIR tried to have its named removed from the UCC list, a U.S. district court judge declined to strike CAIR's name."Given CAIR's status…this failure to comply with federal disclosure laws is all the more troubling," Rep. Wolf wrote.Rep. Wolf expressed concern over CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad's letter to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which solicited money and praised Gaddafi. Wolf also asked the IRS if it is aware that Awad tried to solicit funds from Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir, who has been indicted internationally as a war criminal.CAIR told Fox News that it hopes to appeal to the IRS and gain retroactive tax-exempt status. That would mean that any donations accepted during the interim would be tax deductible upon CAIR's reinstatement."We'll be doing whatever's necessary…to rectify the situation," CAIR Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said. CAIR has 15 months to turn in papers explaining why the organization failed to file, and to submit the missing or corrected annual forms and a new application for tax exempt status.Hooper said that CAIR filed properly in the past few years, but that the problems come from "questions" over tax filings dating back to 2006 or 2007.State Department records obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism show CAIR sent delegations in 2006 to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seeking millions of dollars in support. CAIR-National's most recent available tax records are from 2005. A required attachment of donations over $5,000 to that year's filing showed a $600,000 donation from Saudi businessman Adnan Bogary. According to the list, it was the single largest donation to CAIR for that tax year.Hmmmmm.....Any donations to Obama?Read the full story here.
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wants to Take Away Your Guns Before Al Qaeda Gets Them.(BigGovernment).Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his little outfit “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” are at it again. Hoping to gain traction for what has heretofore been an absolutely pathetic gun control campaign, Bloomberg is rolling out all the stops by trying to scare us into thinking Al Qaeda agents are buying their guns at U.S. gun shows.I’m not kidding: Bloomberg’s latest television ad contains clips of an American-turned-Islamist advising his comrades to buy their weapons at U.S. gun shows.The ad is very, very sloppy, and full of factual errors. Like when the Islamist says, “You can go down to a gun show and come away with a fully-automatic assault rifle.” I’m sorry, but that’s just not true. Fully automatic weapons are subject to strict federal regulations above and beyond the normal, all too stringent, regulations on semi-automatic firearms in this country. To purchase a fully automatic weapon you have to live in a state that allows them, go through a 3 to 6 month process of federal background checks, pay a significant federal firearms tax, and receive approval by local law enforcement authorities, among other things.To be honest, it’s sick that Bloomberg is so desperate to take away our guns that he’d actually present such an out-and-out lie by an Islamist as justification for limiting our access to firearms.Other problems with Bloomberg’s latest ad campaign deal more with issues the ad raises than the ad itself. For instance, instead of contending that U.S. gun shows are a “national security threat” because members of Al Qaeda can supposedly buy guns there, Bloomberg should be lambasting a Homeland Security Department that’s so inept it allows terrorists to enter the country to buy guns.Moreover, I don’t think Bloomberg realizes it, but he’s made a great case for profiling gun buyers the way we should be profiling airline and train passengers throughout the country. Laws should allow gun sellers to refuse sales to Islamists who dress the way the gentleman in Bloomberg’s ad is dressed. (I mean, seriously folks, it’s not like he’d be hard to spot in a crowd.)The refusal to profile forces our government to treat everyone the same: which means, that in order to keep “terrorists” from buying guns at gun shows Bloomberg is pushing for a law that keeps us all from buying guns at gun shows.What Bloomberg is trying to do to law abiding citizens under the guise of saving us from terrorism is absolutely shameful. The good news is that he has exaggerated the situation considerably. The bad news is that he is not in the least embarrassed to attack our 2nd Amendment rights again and again.Hmmmmm..........“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine.Read the full story here.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry urges US attorney general Holder to act against pro-Palestinian protesters.(IsraelMatzav).Governor Rick Perry (R-Tx) has urged Attorney General Eric Holder to take legal action against Americans participating in the flotilla of fools. Perry wrote that he had information that American citizens were aboard two U.S.-flagged ships that plan to challenge the blockade on the Gaza Strip. He urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to take legal steps to stop them from taking part, or to prosecute them if they make the attempt.“The state of Israel is a friend and critical ally of the United States, and the only stable democracy in an increasingly unstable and hostile region,” wrote Perry, a vocal supporter of Israel who is considering a run for president in 2012. “These initiatives to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip is an unacceptable provocation.”Under federal law, anyone who “prepares a means for, or furnishes the money for, or takes part in, any military or naval expedition” against a friendly country can be fined or jailed for three years. Perry also suggested that Holder prosecute the protesters for providing materials or assistance to a terrorist organization.Hmmmm.....Don't expect anything happening soon.Read the full story here.
- Obama administration puts Israel on list of countries that support terrorism, removes North Korea.(BarracudaBrigade).It is only fair that deluded and self-loathing Jews who continue to support the despot in the White House despite his relentless campaign against the Jews should be the first on the Obama trains. And they are coming.Obama's relentless pounding on the Jews mimics previous dictatorial leaders in recent history who promoted alienation of the Jews in concert with national socialism (another Obama favorite).
Obama's anti-semitism is meticulously documented in my book, The Post American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America.
Obama Administration Puts Israel On List Of Countries That Support Terrorism Yid with Lid
Only in the twisted world of the Obama Administration, where allies are trashed, and enemies are embraced, could the tiny nation of Israel, on the front lines of the war on terror for decades, be on a list of 36 nations which “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”
As reported by CNS News
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General published the list of "specially designated countries" as an appendix to an unclassified May 11 report--"Supervision of Aliens Commensurate With Risk"--that was publicly posted on the Internet. (The appendix is on page 18 of the document.)
As a matter of policy, according to the inspector general’s report, citizens of Israel and other “specially designated countries” are subjected to a special security screening called a “Third Agency Check” (TAC) when they are actually detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the division of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for enforcing the immigration laws.The five countries on the list that do not have majority Muslim populations--Kazakhstan (47 percent Muslim), Eritrea (36.5 percent Muslim), Israel (16.9 percent Muslim), the Philippines (5 percent Muslim) and Thailand (4.6 percent)--have had internal problems with radical Muslim terrorists, as reported by the State Department.
Isn't that kind of blaming the victim?OK lets get this straight. Based on new Department of Homeland Security procedures, illegal immigrants who are caughtbreaking the law will not be deported, but the Inspector General is now recommending that every Israeli that visits the US should be subject to special screening procedures.Wait! It gets crazier:
Even though the adminisration includes Israel among “specially designated countries” that it believes "have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members,” ICE Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told CNSNews.com that the U.S. also considers Israel, as well as some other countries on the “specially designated countries” list, as partners in the struggle against terrorism.
“The U.S. does not and never has considered Israel to have links to terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global terrorism,” Christensen said in a written statement. “Countries may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself.”
OH Israelis will now be subject to extra screening because the country arrests terrorists.
That makes sense?ICE declined to say who put Israel on the list or when Israel was put there. However, in her written statement, ICE spokeswoman Christensen said the “specially designated country” list had been created "at least" seven years ago--which would have been during the presidency of George W. Bush--and that ICE was not responsible for creating it. True but when this final list was proposed in March 2008 Israel was not on the list but North Korea was, today that is reversed.“So many federal agencies have created different lists that U.S. officials contemplated adopting a single one to streamline the process, Stark wrote,” said the McClatchey report. “The proposed list, which officials said had yet to be adopted, includes 35 countries, most with significant Muslim or Arab populations.”“The group of agencies--which included ICE, the National Security Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection--not only recommended one list but also suggested an interagency definition of ‘special interest alien,’” said the McClatchey report. “Under the proposal, a special interest alien would be an immigrant with terrorist ties or an immigrant who by nationality, ‘ethnicity or other factors may have ties or sympathies’ with the listed country.”
The 35 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza that were on the proposed list discussed in the ICE memo uncovered by McClatchey in March 2008 almost exactly matches the “specially designated countries” on the list published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General on May 11, 2011. There are only two differences: North Korea was on the list proposed in 2008; it is not on the May 2011 list. Israel was not on the listproposed in 2008; it is on the May 2011 list.
See how this administration cares about Israel? Even though the list was already set, they made a change to put our ally on this special list. Boy oh boy, just like he is with Great Britain, whose Queen he gave an Ipod full of his speeches and Broadway Show tunes, Barack Obama is a real friend of Israel.Obama always says that despite his constant criticism of Israel, America will always have a special partnership with the Jewish State. Now we understand he means putting Israel on a "special" terrorism watch list.Hmmmmm......As i said before Israel has nothing to fear but Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Read the full story here.
- Israel - Obama regime has no problem with illegal Mosque building in Jerusalem.(ArutzSheva).Construction of a mosque near the grave of late prime minister Menachem Begin and Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook has been under way since October despite court orders to stop. Attendees at the recent President's Conference in Jerusalem were shown pictures of the construction.On Thursday, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (National Unity-NRP), David Hadari, arrived at the illegal building site in person to serve a court order to cease and desist, accompanied by Council Member Elisha Peleg.The action, undertaken to publicize the lax enforcement of the law against massive Arab illegal construction in East Jerusalem, was an object lesson that proved just how unequal enforcement of the law is against those building without permits in the city.According to Hadari, “The last straw was this massive illegal construction on the extension of the Mount of Olives, with a mosque located only a few meters from the gravesites of Eliezer ben Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, head of Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva and of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.”Hadari arrived holding the administrative cease and desist order which he handed to the construction workers.The workers ignored the order. Councilmen who arrived at the mosque said that the police and the government are responsible for not enforcing the order, and that the police are afraid to enforce the law in eastern Jerusalem, particularly against the contruction of a mosque.Elisha Peleg said that the government and law enforcement system should act against Imams and illegal mosques, as they seem to have the courage to do against rabbis.Hadari said that unless work is stopped immediately, there are measures the municipality could employ, including the confiscation of equipment such as tractors and trucks.Hadari ruefully expressed hopes that the government will instruct the police to enforce the law against the illegal mosque as it does elsewhere in Jerusalem.The High Court recently decided to seal the synagogue which was being built by a private donor during the period of the building freeze at the El Matan North Samaria community, ignoring another illegal mosque being built nearby. Hmmmmm..........Answer to building permit problems?Read the full story here.
- Two Ivory Coast Brothers Crucified on “the example of Christ” by Muslim Loyalists.(VinIenco).Two peasant brothers were brutally crucified on “the example of Christ” as forces loyal to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara continue to target perceived supporters of his ousted Christian predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo.Raphael Aka Kouame died of his injuries; incredibly his younger brother, Kouassi Privat Kacou, survived the ordeal. The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes on 29 May.The brothers were falsely accused of hiding weapons in their home village of Binkro, which has been targeted by Ouattara supporters as the birthplace of a key enemy. They are looking for Prefect Koko Djei, President of the General Council of Oumé and an official in Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front party, who is accused of distributing weapons to young Oumé men. The brothers repeatedly denied any involvement in a weapons cache, but their pleas were ignored.After crucifying the brothers, Ouattara’s men took them on an extensive search of Binkro, but they found only a store of medical equipment and supplies, which they looted. The seriously wounded pair were then taken to prison in Oumé, where Raphael died in the night.This is just one of the many atrocities that have been committed as fighting between Ouattara and Gbagbo supporters has continued in the wake of the disputed presidential election last November. Christians have been caught up in the conflict as perceived supporters of Gbagbo. Support for the two men is split broadly along geographical and religious lines, with the predominantly Muslim north largely backing Ouattara, a Muslim from that region, while support for Gbagbo, a Christian, comes from the mainly Christian south.Hmmmm......"Interfaith Dialog" in it's natural habitat.Read the full story here.
- Libya: War and rape.(Video).(Al-Jazeera). Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif and his intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, were indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the Libyan uprising. The ICC said there were "reasonable grounds" to believe that the three men were responsible for the murder and persecution of civilians.The charges are based on an investigation by the court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, launched in February at the behest of the UN Security Council. So far the indictment relates only to the first weeks of the conflict, but it is likely to expand to cover subsequent events. If so, then the court may also be asked to rule on allegations that Gaddafi's regime has used rape as a weapon against its opponents. These claims first surfaced in March when a Libyan woman, Eman al-Obeidi, burst into a Tripoli hotel and told journalists she had been raped by security forces. Though she was quickly bundled away, other similar accusations have since emerged. As Al Jazeera's Sue Turton has been finding out, getting evidence to substantiate the claims is far from easy. Some of the content of this film is disturbing.Read and see the full story here.
Iranian TV Report on Underground Missile Silos: We Have Countless Numbers of Silos, Ready for Launching
Reporter: This is definitely very surprising. This is a Shehab III, right? Is this the launching pad?
IRG officer: This is the launching pad and silo for long-range rockets.
Reporter: These are beautiful and powerful images of the launching of these smart long-range rockets, belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran, from underground rocket-launching silos. These silos and launching pads are ready 24 hours a day for the firing of rockets.
IRG officer: This is a manifestation of two things: Wanting something and achieving it. Only a few countries in the world are capable of building such a launching silo. Building the silo is no less complex than planning and building a missile.
Reporter: Upstairs, I asked you where this place was, and you said we could be anywhere in Iran. Does this mean we have such silos all over Iran?
IRG officer: We have countless numbers of them. These silos prevent detection by satellite. We have programmed targets for every silo, and they are ready for launching whenever the order is given.
Reporter: Just an order and then the launching?
IRG officer: Yes. Hmmmm........The country Obama doesn't want to interfere with.
Hizbullah TV Report on Iranian Military Might: Iran May Respond to an Attack by Closing the Strait of Hormuz.
Our response will not merely be the liberation of Jerualem
It is Iran's undeclared military capabilities that are of concern to its enemies. Any attack – whether limited or large-scaled – will generate a response that will light a fire that will be difficult to extinguish. The Iranian response to the source of fire will be on land, air, and sea, especially in the Gulf region, where the oil supply will be halted, in the event that Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
- Syria Live Blog - June 30 Here .(Al-Jazeera).
- Libya Live Blog - June 30 Here (Al-Jazeera).
- Yemen Live Blog - June 30 Here. (Al-Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity today.More info here.
- Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 134.Source : Here .
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: four senior Hezbullah members indicted in Hariri murder.(DailyStar).BEIRUT: A U.N.-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri handed over Thursday the Lebanon-portion of the indictment, which accused four Hezbollah members, State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza said.“I will now examine the indictment and the warrants to take the appropriate measures,” Mirza told reporters following a meeting with a three-member delegation from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).A judicial source told The Daily Star that the indictment identified the suspects as Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh and Asad Sabra.The STL delegation handed over to Mirza the sealed indictment and arrest warrants for the four suspects during a meeting held at Mirza's office at the Justice Palace in Beirut before midday Thursday.Hezbollah has denied involvement in the Hariri assassination and has described accusations as an “Israeli-American project.”Speaking to a local radio station during a break from talks at Baabda Palace, Minister of State of Administrative Affairs and Hezbollah member Mohammad Fneish said: “When we see the [STL] indictment, we will comment on it.”Badreddine is a cousin and a brother-in-law of Hezbollah’s slain commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in Syria in 2008. Badreddine eventually replaced Mughniyeh as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer.According to the indictment, Badreddine masterminded and supervised the plot to assassinate the Lebanese statesman while, Ayyash, 48, is alleged to have headed the cell that carried out the assassination of Hariri.Lebanon, according to experts, now has 30 days to serve out the arrest warrants. If the suspects are not arrested within that period, the STL will then make public the indictment and summon the suspects to appear before the court.The findings of the tribunal have been the subject of wide speculation in Lebanon and there is fear that an indictment of members of Hezbollah, which dominates the new government, could spark sectarian unrest.Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Thursday the indictment to implicate Hezbollah members was not a verdict and therefore was not of great importance.“Why the big deal? It’s just an indictment and not a final verdict. So why all this fuss?” he asked.Hmmmmm..........Read the full story here.
- "The War On Christianity".God Bless Our Military? Not At The Houston National Cemetery.(BigGovernment).Yes, you read that right.
As I sat today and listened to the Michael Berry Show today, I overheard a story that has left me disgusted. Seems the Houston National Cemetery Director has ruled that grieving families cannot use the words “God” or “Jesus” at any funeral ceremony without her approval.Nik Rajokovic at Houston’s Channel 13 KTRH broke the story here.This PISSES. ME. OFF.
I can barely get my thoughts together to type this post, but I’m not going to sit by and not speak up for those families who have lost a loved one and are having to now worry about submitting a written request for prayer to someone for approval. Last time I checked, this was the Home of the Brave and Land of the Free. Heads up, Director of the Houston National Cemetery. It still is.
Thanks to the Berry Brigade, here is how YOU can help STOP this disrespectful and unacceptable “requirement” put forth by the Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio. How dare she require families to submit their prayers to her in writing for approval?! Oh. And there’s more. And no bibles. And no chapel. Oh wait. The chapel was closed. Read on.
Let your voice be heard! Please call and write and stand for our military and their families in their greatest time of need! Their service and sacrifice is what allows us to do this and all things in freedom today.
Now. Call President Obama’s appointee, Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio at 281-447-8686 (extension 206) and tell her this will not be tolerated! The lines are busy, but keep trying.
THANK YOU to Congressman Ted Poe for already calling into the Michael Berry Show personally to support stopping this unacceptable action against religious freedom. He’s confirmed that this Director is in violation of the law and should be fired. AGREED.**UPDATED** Congressman Poe has written a letter to the Secretary of Veteran Affairs demanding answers. God Bless You Sir!Hmmm.......The war on Christianity is happening NOW and we are loosing ground every second.Read the full story here.
- Time Editor Calls Obama a Dick on National Television.(JWF).Mark Halperin, editor-at-large for Time, called President Obama “a dick” on Thursday on a popular MSNBC morning show and then quickly apologized.“I thought he was a dick yesterday,” Halperin, who also is a senior political analyst for MSNBC, said on Morning Joe, referring to the President’s conduct during his press conference.Host Joe Scarborough hoped to prevent the comment from being broadcast, saying, “Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing? I can’t believe… don’t do that. Did we delay that?”Just minutes later, Halperin quickly apologized to the president and viewers for his choice of words. “Joking aside, this is an absolute apology. I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize to the president and the viewers who heard me say that,” Halperin said.“We’re going to have a meeting after the show,” Scarborough said.Hmmmm.....And me who thought TIME did not have it in them.Read the full story here.
- Emperor Obama's White House: Smart Cars and Leafs for Thee.(Biggovernment).Over the weekend, news broke that the White House intends to push for fuel efficiency standards that would require cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. to average 56.2 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2025.The latest effort at establishing highly green regulation would add about $2,400 to the cost of each new vehicle sold in the U.S., a cost that could have an effect on the overall auto market, and therefore employment numbers.Environmentalists seem to be greeting the news positively. However, consumers might have a different view. Setting aside that few new car buyers are likely to want to have to pay an extra $2,400 for their car or light truck, they may find their vehicle choice rather limited by virtue of the White House’s preferred number.According to the federal government’s own fueleconomy.gov website, a grand total of three cars currently on the market in the U.S. get 56.2 miles to the gallon or better. They are the Nissan Leaf, and two varieties of Smart car. The famed green Toyota Prius is a dirty polluter by this standard. So would be 2009 and 2010’s green cars of the year.Is the White House really serious about this number, or is this a negotiating stance assumed at the outset, aimed at enabling the White House to push automakers to accept the highest efficiency standard that they are apparently willing to concede (46.7 mpg)?Time will tell, though it’s unlikely that Clark Stevens, the White House spokesperson tasked with defending this, is rolling around Washington, D.C. in a two-seater electric drive Smart car cabriolet– or that many people working in the administration would care to do so.Hmmmm......The 'Messiah' is resurrecting Dinky toys .Read the full story here.
- American families and businesses across the country are hurting because of the energy polices set forth by the Obama Administration.(NaturalResources).The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) released a report today outlining the wide-ranging affect restricted energy development and high energy costs are having on several sectors of the U.S. Economy. The report also cites energy proposals and policies that would result in more American energy production and increased job creation.Every industry, from agriculture to manufacturing to transportation, depends on affordable and abundant energy to continue operating and providing services to their customers. Without a reliable and stable source of domestic energy, American companies will continue to have higher operating costs which kill American jobs, hamper economic development, and increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy. Below are just a few highlights from the report:
•High fuel costs will force the trucking industry to spend $37 billion more on fuel this year than in 2010.
•A 1 cent increase in the price of a gallon of jet fuel costs U.S. Airlines $175 million. From late 2010 – April 2011, the prices of jet fuel rose 84 cents per gallon.
•The American Public Power Association cites a study that predicts four proposed EPA regulations could result in the closure of 40 to 76 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2018.
•Increased domestic shale gas production could generate 17,000 new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. chemical industry.
•Removing barriers to offshore energy exploration could reduce our energy imports by more than one-third.
These are just a few of the many examples cited in the report. American families and businesses across the country are hurting because of the energy polices set forth by the Obama Administration. Under the American Energy Initiative, House Republicans will continue to pursue an all-of-the-above energy approach in order to increase American energy production, lower prices, create jobs, and decrease our dependence on foreign energy.Hmmmmm.....If he wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- "Keynesian"President might resort to......OMG........The Constitution in order not to default on debt.(Reuters).By Reynolds Holding.A federal default is no option under the U.S. Constitution. Rating-agency warnings and budget-talk walkouts aside, America’s founding document probably won’t let the government stiff its creditors. That’s no reason to derail a deal on the debt ceiling. But if push comes to shove, the White House may have the greater legal leverage.
Politics drive the conceit that the debt cap is inviolate. So long as it isn’t breached, the Treasury Department, rather than Congress, can keep the power to issue debt. That’s why the Obama administration predicts economic “catastrophe” if the ceiling isn’t raised. Republicans, on the other hand, can hold an increase hostage to deep cuts in spending, healthcare and retirement obligations.But a mere statute created the ceiling. The Constitution trumps statutes. And a clause in the Fourteenth Amendment essentially says that the feds cannot renege on debts, meaning the cap could, if it came down to a court decision, be declared unconstitutional.There’s some doubt, because the clause has rarely been tested. It was enacted in 1868 to ensure payment of Civil War obligations, but the Supreme Court has twice confirmed that it also covers current debts backed by the United States. Government bonds qualify, and Social Security may as well, because the clause includes “debts incurred for payment of pensions.”The language is so sweeping — public debt “shall not be questioned” — it seems to require on-time payment in full. That could be a problem if money trouble forces the Treasury Secretary to choose which obligations to cover first. During a spat over the cap in 1985, the Government Accountability Office said prioritizing payments would be OK, but it didn’t mention the Constitution.It’s hard to believe the debt clause will come into play. Congress has raised the ceiling 10 times since 2001. But if Congress insists on forcing Uncle Sam into acting like a deadbeat, the president has a clear — if unprecedented — response. He can declare default unconstitutional and arrange to pay the nation’s debts unilaterally. That would certainly demonstrate that the United States is a better credit risk than anyone thought.Hmmmm......A 'President' who schreds the Constitution at every chance now would use it for his spending addiction?Read the full story here.
- Freedom Collapses in Europe – So We’re Taking It to the Seas.(Biggovernment).By PamelaGeller.In a capitulation to Islamic supremacists and violent radical Leftists, French and European Union authorities have canceled a free speech rally that we had planned with a coalition of American and European human rights organizations in Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament.Our human rights organizations Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and its sister group, Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) were planning to hold their first-ever transatlantic summit in Strasbourg, France, on July 2.
The SIOA/SIOE summit was dedicated to the defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law – all principles denied by Islamic law.But the Strasbourg police could not guarantee our safety. When the thugs of the Antifa group and Islamic supremacist organizations announced plans to hold a violent counter-demonstration and to do everything they could to disrupt our activities, the authorities canceled permission for our demonstration and conference, instead of standing up to these violent neo-fascists and their Islamic supremacist allies.Strasbourg authorities told us that they could not guarantee our safety at the conference and demonstration location, the Place de la Republique. Efforts were made to hold the demonstration nearby, but the authorities still considered security to be too much of an issue.
Muslims and Leftist fascists previously burned down a hotel in Strasbourg during a NATO summit, and burned a large number of cars in a car park during riots in the same city.We are not intimidated, and will demonstrate in the future, just as we did in Harrow, Copenhagen and Aalborg. This planned Strasbourg demonstration and conference will be rescheduled.
This incident shows yet again that freedom and democracy are being denied in Europe. But we are not giving in. On the contrary: when our governing authorities are refusing to protect freedom, we have to do it ourselves. That’s the impetus for our Freedom From Jihad Flotilla.The SIOA/SIOE Freedom From Jihad aid flotilla is intended to be a direct response to the capitulation of French, European, and American authorities to Leftist and Islamic supremacist forces of oppression and injustice. It is set to launch after our national Rally for Freedom at Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of the Islamic jihad attacks that murdered three thousand Americans.The Audacity of the Infidel will launch on September 11 from the New York harbor closest to the World Trade Center site. On board will be freedom fighters from all over the world, united in defense of human rights and human dignity against Islamic supremacist oppression.
The mission is the first attempt by free citizens anywhere in the world to come to the aid of non-Muslims persecuted for their faith in Muslim countries. It is a direct response to the heavily-armed Leftist/jihadist flotilla that attempted to violate Israel’s legal maritime blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza on May 31, 2010. In that incident, Turkish jihadists onboard one ship attacked Israeli soldiers without provocation; nine jihadists were killed in the battle. The Freedom From Jihad Flotilla is also a response to the Audacity of Hope flotilla that is soon to set sail to continue the jihad against Israel, with plans to use chemical weapons against Israeli forces.
The Freedom From Jihad Flotilla will offer aid to persecuted Christians, Hindus, and other non-Muslims, and call upon the international community to recognize Muslim persecution of non-Muslims as a violation of international law, to be punished with strict economic sanctions and other appropriate action.The first stop will be Greece, in recognition of the Greek victims of jihad in Anatolia for well over a thousand years. The Freedom From Jihad Flotilla will then sail along the Turkish coast, where speakers will pay homage to the millions of victims of the Armenian and Greek genocides in Turkey.
The next stop will be Egypt. All Coptic Christians seeking to escape Islamic oppression will be saved. Subsequent stops will include Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and other areas where Christians are facing persecution from Muslims. The freedom flotilla will also include stops in Bangladesh, for Hindus facing Muslim persecution, and Thailand, for Buddhists facing the same persecution.
The SIOA Freedom From Jihad Flotilla will call upon the international community to act in defense of these basic human rights:
The freedom of speech – as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of “blasphemy” and “slander,” which are used effectively to quash honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism;
The freedom of conscience – as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy;
The equality of rights of all people before the law – as opposed to Sharia’s institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims.
The Flotilla will call upon all free people of all races and creeds to stand with us to defend our freedoms against the radically intolerant ideology codified in Islamic law.We are determined to defend human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the West – even if our governing authorities are too afraid to do the job themselves.Co-authored with Robert Spencer.Source.
- United Nutcases upside down world - North Korea named head of UN nuclear disarmament body.(VancouverSun).UNITED NATIONS — Nuclear-armed North Korea has assumed the presidency of a key United Nations disarmament body — despite facing UN Security Council sanctions over its weapons programs.The development comes in the same week the UN defended its decision to support Iran's holding of an international "anti-terrorism" conference — which saw participants declaring that Western powers were the international terrorists.UN officials point out that North Korean ambassador So Se Pyong takes on the presidency of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament under rules that say the chair will rotate among all 65 member states in alphabetical order.But critics said Wednesday the rules should be changed when they allow the body — whose mandate is in part to push for world nuclear disarmament — to be led by a country that the West considers to be an international nuclear renegade.
"No system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which also led protests against the UN's input at the Iranian "anti-terrorism" conference."It's common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world's arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe."Hmmmm.......Carter visiting N.Korea.....My guess N.Korea might demand for Israel to renounce Nuclear weapons.Read the full story here.
- More Evidence of Johann Hari Lifting Quotations.(IslamversusEurope).I visited Brian Whelan's page where he has more evidence of Hari having engaged in deceitful practices, including lifting quotes from other people's interviews.On this page, Whelan asks people to help him crowd-check Hari's interview quotes, other than the ones that have already been exposed. One of Hari's interviews was with Malalai Joya, the Afghan women's rights activist and author of the book "Raising My Voice." Whelan had already exposed a "borrowed" quotation in this interview, borrowed in this case from the book's blurb. Presumably Whelan doesn't have the book itself, so can't check the quotes against the main text. I happen to have an Amazon Kindle version of this book. There is a Counterjihad-themed story behind this. On a forum once, I came across someone who seemed partially steeped in the usual multi-cult philosophy, but also showed some signs of intelligence and an ability to think for himself and lift himself out of it. So I tried to persuade him to read the book "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe" by Christopher Caldwell, to help him on his journey. He eventually agreed to do this on condition that I would read a book he nominated: Raising My Voice by Malalai Joya. I hadn't heard of this person before and didn't particularly want to read it, but thought it might be worth making the sacrifice in the hope of "saving one soul". So I bought a Kindle version of the book and am about half way through it now. It's somewhat interesting in its way, even from a Counterjihad perspective. It shows the extraordinary struggle a rational person has to go through to bring about even a slight improvement in the condition of a country dominated by Islamic evil.Anyway, since I had an electronic copy of the book, it was quite easy for me to check the quotes. Just copy and paste the quotes from the interview into the Kindle search field. Copy and paste: the same technique Hari apparently uses to put his interviews together. Haha! Here's what the check turned up.Regardless of how worthy these messages may or may not be, there can be no excuse for the kind of gross deceit Hari has displayed. The man is a fraud. He ought to be drummed out of the journalism business for good.Hmmmm............ "The truth will be known, even if the crows have to tell". Read the full story here.
- United Nutcases Chief Actually Applauds Iranian Counterterrorism Conference Bashing US, UK and ‘Israeli Regime’.(TheBlaze).A spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed today that the secretary general sent a message in support of an Iranian government “counter-terrorism conference” in Tehran.Representative and experts from 60 countries attended the Tehran CT summit. As you can see from this video, there was much discussion of US, British, and Israeli atrocities and terrorist activities.Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, made no attempt to distance the Secretary General from the message, or deflect criticism by portraying it as media hype on the part of the West or Iran. On the contrary, Haq said:
“The secretary-general believes that all nations, all peoples are affected by terrorism; and that it is imperative that we involved as many states, as many peoples as possible in the fight against terrorism”
Iran has been at the top of the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsoring states for years. Moreover, it is known to support terrorist regimes across the mid-east region and beyond, including Hamas and Hezbollah.This Brookings policy paper by noted mid-east security expert Daniel Byman, sums it up well in the first line- “Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has been one of the world’s most active sponsors of terrorism.”For good measure, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was also in attendance. There is currently an outstanding International Criminal Court warrant for Bashir’s arrest for his (alleged) war crimes.Hmmmm......Is it mentally 'normal' to fund an organisation that applauds your enemies?Read the full story here.
- Report: Saudi will seek nuclear arms if Iran gets them.(TodaysZaman).Saudi Arabia has warned NATO that it would pursue policies that could lead to "untold and possibly dramatic consequences" if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, a British newspaper reported on Wednesday.The Guardian newspaper quoted Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington and Britain, speaking to senior NATO officials earlier this month at an unpublicised meeting at a British air base.Faisal did not outline what the policies would be, but the Guardian quoted an unnamed Saudi official in Riyadh it said was close to the prince as saying that Iranian nuclear weapons would compel the Gulf state do develop its own nuclear arms."We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't ... If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit," the Guardian quoted the official as saying.Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Israel and the West fear the Islamic republic is developing nuclear weapons.Earlier on Wednesday, Britain accused Iran of carrying out covert tests of a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, in violation of a U.N. resolution, an accusation which Tehran immediately denied. Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Gulf neighbours view Shi'ite Iran with suspicion, and accuse it of meddling in the region to increase its influence, charges Tehran denies.Hmmmm........Might be a tempting idea both Sunni and Shiites Having Nuclear weapons,we're in Deeeeeep Shiit.Read the full story here.
- US Obama regime to resume formal Muslim Brotherhood contacts.(TodaysZaman).The United States has decided to resume formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a senior US official said on Wednesday, in a step that reflects the Islamist group's growing political weight but that is almost certain to upset Israel and its US backers."The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing," said the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency."The official sought to portray the shift as a subtle evolution rather than a dramatic change in Washington's stance toward the Brotherhood, a group founded in 1928 that seeks to promote its conservative vision of Islam in society.Under the previous policy, US diplomats were allowed to deal with Brotherhood members of parliament who had won seats as independents -- a diplomatic fiction that allowed them to keep lines of communication open.Where US diplomats previously dealt only with group members in their role as parliamentarians, a policy the official said had been in place since 2006, they will now deal directly with low-level Brotherhood party officials.There is no US legal prohibition against dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood itself, which long ago renounced violence as a means to achieve political change in Egypt and which is not regarded by Washington as a foreign terrorist organization.But other sympathetic groups, such as Hamas, which identifies the Brotherhood as its spiritual guide, have not disavowed violence against the state of Israel.The result has been a dilemma for the Obama administration. Former officials and analysts said it has little choice but to engage the Brotherhood directly, given its political prominence after the Feb. 11 downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak.US President Barack Obama will surely face criticism for engaging with the Brotherhood, even tentatively.Abrams said positions espoused by some Brotherhood members -- such as favoring religious tests for public office, questioning the rights of women and limiting freedom of religion or speech -- were "anathema" to the United States.The group says it wants a civil state based on Islamic principles, but talk by some members of an "Islamic state" or "Islamic government" have raised concerns that their goal is a state where full Islamic sharia law is implemented. The group says such comments have been taken out of context."It's critical ... that we make it very, very clear to Egyptians, if we are going to do a meeting, that we are no less opposed to the ideas they represent," Abrams said, noting that there are splits among Brotherhood members."We have to think about whether we can use meetings to deepen those splits and to help, quietly, those who are trying to moderate the positions of the Brotherhood," he added, saying the United States should choose its interlocutors with care and that the talks need not be conducted by the US ambassador.The US official who declined to be identified said US diplomats "will continue to emphasize the importance of support for democratic principles and a commitment to nonviolence, and respect for minority and women's rights in conversations with all groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood."Hmmmmm........Flashback - May 2011 "Muslim Brotherhood to Obama : "Go to Hell".Egyptian Government Rejects US Conditional Aid"Read the full story here.
- Indonesian servant abuse Case Could Challenge Saudi Arabian Diplomatic Immunity.(Spiegel).Diplomatic immunity was originally meant to protect embassy personnel from arbitrary harrassment. But a new case in Berlin, involving the alleged abuse of a Indonesian servant, makes it clear that human rights sometimes get lost in the shuffle. The case could go to Germany's highest court.Where else could Devi Ratnasari have gone? Should she have gone down to the nearby river and jumped in? Or perhaps to the junkyard lying across the bridge behind the house? Or to the four-lane street where the No. 139 bus stopped? And what then? She doesn't speak a word of German, and she also didn't have any money for a ticket.
Instead, the petite Asian woman opted to stay in her employer's apartment on Boca Raton Street, in northwestern Berlin. For more than a year and a half, laboring seven days a week, usually until late into the night. She was humiliated, kicked and beaten with a stick -- like a serf. That, at least, is what she told the police.
Devi Ratnasari, not her real name, is from Indonesia. The 30-year-old had been working as a household employee for a Saudi Arabian diplomat until eight months ago. And if it hadn't been for Nevedita Prasad at Ban Ying, a center focused on combating human trafficking, she would likely still be slaving away in the diplomatic residence -- just like so many other women in Berlin from Indonesia and the Philippines.
The world of Berlin's diplomats isn't just one of pompous receptions, luxury vehicles and royal status. It's also a world in which many domestic employees are apparently treated horrifically.
Of course, there are plenty of statutes on the books in German that aim to protect employees from mistreatment and employer high-handedness. But they are toothless when it comes to shielding those working for diplomats. Diplomatic immunity, set out in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, makes embassy employees untouchable. They are immune from criminal prosecution, and civil suits against them are usually unwinnable. At worst, the Foreign Ministry can declare a diplomat persona non grata and force them to leave the country.
The intention behind such immunity was to safeguard diplomats from the arbitrary, state heavy-handedness or foreign laws. It allows a German attaché working in Saudi Arabia, for example, to consume alcohol without having to fear summary imprisonment. Diplomatic immunity was never meant as a license to break the law with impunity, even if many embassy employees see it that way. Indeed, among the favorite habits of diplomatic passport holders the world over is that of ignoring tickets for traffic violations.Such minor offences are mere annoyances, say Nivedita Prasad. But "when it comes to inhumane working conditions, it is insupportable."
Prasad, a social worker, is the head of the Ban Ying, located in the heart of Berlin. The organization -- its name means "house of women" in Thai -- is financed by Berlin's city-state government and provides support to prostitutes, mainly from Asia. For the past decade, it has also been assisting foreign household employees of diplomats. Prasad has heard a lot of stories about what happens behind the polished facades of embassies, official residences and diplomats' apartments. The stories include exploitation and harassment -- and sometimes even physical abuse.
Ratnasari first told her story last November, in the offices of Ban Ying. She says that an agency in Jakarta first sent her to work as a household employee in the United Arab Emirates before transferring her to Saudi Arabia. Then, in April 2009, she accompanied her Saudi employer to Germany. He was to serve as an attaché at the embassy, she as a servant in his apartment.
But it wasn't just him she served; it was everybody, she claimed. She recounted having to serve the diplomat, having to take complete care of the diplomat's wheelchair-confined wife and of having to do everything for their four daughters -- ranging in age between 12 and 17 -- including putting on their shoes.She says that her workday would begin at 7 a.m. and often only end long past midnight. She says she was forced to sleep on the carpeted floor of the daughters' room, and that she was only given a pillow and a thin sheet. In 19 months, she didn't get a single day off, she says, and was only paid a single time, when she was given €150 ($213) for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
When she spoke to the police, Ratnasari also described systematic abuse and humiliation. She said that the diplomat's wife once threw a perfume bottle at her head, that she was regularly beaten on the hands and forearms with a stick, and that she was occasionally punched on her head and brow. She said that the diplomat expressly allowed everyone in the house to beat her, including the wife, the older daughters and the 5-year-old son.
Phillip von Berg, a lawyer from Stuttgart whose firm has represented the Saudi Embassy for years, rejects the accusations as baseless. But, baseless or not, they are all included in a 25-page complaint that Bertelsmann, the plaintiff's lawyer, filed at the Berlin Labor Court in the spring. The complaint demands €32,000 in back pay and at least €40,000 in compensation for pain and suffering.
The case hinges upon a number of things, including a 2003 legal agreement between Germany's Foreign Ministry and embassies in the country. The agreement obliges diplomats to pay their household employees a minimum monthly salary of €750 in addition to providing them with free room and board. What's more, the employees cannot be forced to work longer than 40 hours per week, and they have to be paid at least €4.50 for each hour of overtime.
During a hearing held two weeks ago, Judge Ulrich Kirsch didn't even want to handle the complaint. Defense attorney von Berg pointed out his client's immunity and advised the plaintiff's attorney to consider submitting a claim for allegedly owed back-pay and damages to a Saudi Arabian court. The judge swept the case from his docket in less than an hour. He said he had no jurisdiction due to the diplomat's legal immunity and declared the complaint as "inadmissible."
Bertelsmann had expected such a start. "The judge retreated into the comfortable position," he says. In response, Bertelsmann, an expert in employment law, has drafted an appeal with the help of a former justice from Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, which he will submit to the state labor court this week. If he has to, he plans to pursue the matter to the highest court.The fact that a case of modern slavery was brought before a court is already extraordinary in its own right. No one checks to see if members of the diplomatic corps obey the regulations regarding working hours and wages that have been in force for the past eight years. It would, after all, violate the principle of immunity.
Indeed, the Foreign Ministry is only forced to act once exploited and mistreated domestic servants run away. Even then, though, discretion is highly valued, with the ministry preferring amicable resolutions with the embassy in question. A couple times a year, settlements in similar cases are reached, usually involving a payment of a few thousand euros to the household employee, who then must quickly leave Germany. Staying, after all, is not an option: Their visas are contingent upon their employment in diplomatic households. Furthermore, the parties involved sign non-disclosure agreements.
As such, it is rare that such cases reach the public's attention. In January 2008, the plight of an Indonesian servant working for the cultural attaché at the Yemeni Embassy in Berlin came to light. For two years, the woman was effectively imprisoned in the attaché's apartment on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Her passport had been taken away, and she claimed she was beaten regularly. She said that her daily rations consisted of a slice of bread and a bowl of rice with a tomato and two chilies. When the woman was admitted into a hospital in May 2007, she weighed only 35 kilograms (77 pounds). She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and it took her an entire year to recover.Despite the rarity of such cases, a controversial verdict in a similar complaint was recently reached in France. On Feb. 11, the Conseil d'Etat, the country's highest administrative court, awarded €33,380 in unpaid salary to a woman from Oman who had worked in the residence of a UNESCO diplomat. However, the justices decided that since the diplomat in question enjoyed immunity, the French government would have to pay the award.
The fight regarding outstanding salary payments to Devi Ratnasari, the Indonesian domestic servant of the Saudi diplomat in Berlin, could follow a similar path. Indeed, the judge at the Berlin Labor Court who refused to hear Ratnasari's complaint nonetheless suggested the possibility of suing the German state as the responsible party.
For her part, Ratnasari doesn't care who pays her what she's owed. Nor is she interested in fact that her case might set a new legal precedent. She has since returned to the Indonesian village where she grew up.Read the full story here.
- Book Description - Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide.(FaithFreedom).The fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the 2005 Danish cartoon fracas awakened many people to the potency of blasphemy accusations in the Muslim world. Accusations and charges such as “blasphemy,” “apostasy,” “insulting Islam,” or “hurting Muslims’ religious feelings” pose a far greater danger than censorship of irreverent caricatures of Mohammad: they are increasingly used as key tools by authoritarian governments and extremist forces in the Muslim world to acquire and consolidate power. These charges, which draw on disputed interpretations of Islamic law and carry a traditional punishment of death, have proved effective in crushing or intimidating not only converts and heterodox groups, but also political and religious reformers.In fact, one reason for the recent growth of more repressive forms of Islam is their use of accusations of blasphemy, apostasy, and related charges to intimidate and silence their religious opponents and make any criticism of their own actions and ideas religiously suspect.The effect of such laws thus goes far beyond what might narrowly be called religious matters. This volume provides the first world survey of the range and effects of apostasy and blasphemy accusations in the contemporary Muslim world, in international organizations, and in the West. The authors argue that we need to understand the context, history, impact, and mechanics of the blasphemy phenomenon in modern Muslim societies and guidance on how to effectively respond. The book covers the persecution of Muslims who convert to another religion or decide that they have become agnostic or atheists, as well as ‘heretics:’ those who are accused of claiming a prophet after Mohammed, such as Baha’is and Ahmadis. It also documents the political effects in Muslim societies of blasphemy and apostasy laws, as well as non-governmental fatwas and vigilante violence. It describes the cases of hundreds of victims, including political dissidents, religious reformers, journalists, writers, artists, movie makers, and religious minorities throughout the Muslim world. Finally, it addresses the legal evolution toward new blasphemy laws in the West; the increasing use of laws on “toleration” in the West, which may become surrogate blasphemy laws; increasing pressure by Muslim governments to make Western countries and international organizations enforce laws to restrict speech; and the increasing use of violence to stifle expression in the West even in the absence of law. Its foreword is by Indonesia’s late President Abdurrahman Wahid.Source.
- Saudi Arabia - Video Woman beheaded in front of the Kaaba.(TundraTabloids).Hmmmmm........The religion of peace.Warning very graphic images here.
- Saudi Airline steward held for molesting Australian female passenger in toilet.(Emirates247).Saudi authorities arrested a national airlines steward after an Australian passenger accused him of molesting her in the toilet during a domestic flight in the oil-rich Gulf country, a newspaper reported on Thursday.The unnamed cabin crew member was arrested in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah for investigation and could be sacked from his job at Saudi Arabian Airlines if he is convicted, Sabq Arabic language daily said.The passenger of Lebanese origin said she was with her husband aboard a Saudi airlines flight from the eastern port of Dammam to the central province of Qaseem last week when the incident took place.“The woman complained that the steward physically molested her when she went into the toilet….Saudi airlines is probing her claims and has summoned the steward to hear what he says,” the paper said.It said the company was also trying to reach some passengers who were seated near the toilets so they will testify in the case.Hmmmmm........Read the full story here.