Thursday, August 25, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Vanuatu : 5.9 - 6.2; Japan 5.1 and Indonesia 5.1! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- The Travelling President - In 2010, he took 172 Air Force One trips, and numerous Vacations.(Canadafreepress).It is said that Nero played a fiddle (lyre) while Rome burned to the ground. President Obama has gone to Martha’s Vineyard to play with the rich and famous while the U.S. economy continues to burn with more and more people losing jobs.It does not affect him. Our President still has his job and an unlimited expense account.He particularly likes to travel at taxpayer expense. In 2010, he took 172 Air Force One trips. That is a jet trip almost every other day.The cost of the specially equipped Presidential jet is estimated at $181,757 per flight, excluding all the costs of the Secret Service, other staff, hotels, logistics, police overtime, etc. That comes out to over $31 million in 2010 just for the flights he took on Air Force One. That does not include the 196 helicopter flights.Fox News estimated the cost of each trip at $265,000 because a back up ‘dummy’ Boeing 747 and a C17 cargo plane also accompanies the President. That would be over $45 million that taxpayers paid for air fare for the President last year.Let’s keep in mind that many of these trips include fundraisers for the President’s reelection campaign. Obama always gives a little “official policy speech” when he takes these trips so he does not have to pay for the fundraising trips as required by law.President Obama also likes to take a lot of vacation time. In his first two and a half years in office, he has played three times as many golf rounds as President Bush did in his entire eight years in office. In President Bush’s eight years as President, he played 24 rounds of golf. As of June 18, 2011, President Obama had played 73 rounds of golf, three times as much in one third the timeCBS’s Mark Knoller reported from his detailed notes that the President took 65 domestic trips over a 104-day span and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. That does not count his six vacation trips over 32 days. He started this year with an 11 day vacation to Hawaii and is now on Martha’s Vineyard for another 10 days.President Obama has visited more than 30 foreign countries in the past 30 months, 10 of them twice and one three times. He certainly likes to visit new places and stay out of Washington.In the meantime, he has promised once again that his focus is on creating jobs. He has said that repeatedly over the past two-and-a-half years that he has been President.Finally, he says, he is going to present a plan right after Labor Day. His staff has leaked that he plans to create another bureaucratic agency for jobs. We already have one. It is called the Department of Labor.Perhaps he doesn’t realize that the near doubling of our country’s Federal national debt in his short time in office, along with massive government spending increases, has caused more unemployment and a stagnating economy, as it has virtually every time it has been tried in this country’s history. Presidents Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Carter all had similar results with their deficit-financing Keynesian economic plans. Where are the politicians who can articulate this?If President Obama would stop spending the taxpayers’ money on non-productive trips and vacations, huge non-productive government spending increases and new bureaucratic job killing regulations, our economy could recover and expand. We need politicians who can articulate this so that the press and voters understand what must be done to turn around our economy. We also need candidates who can explain and do it! Read the full story here.
- Syrian Website: Turkey Announces That Its Relations With Syria Have Been Severed.(Memri).The Syrian website Champress, which is close to the Syrian regime, claimed that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the political ties between the countries have been severed.Davutolgu said that this is due to the fact that Syria did not fulfill its promises to cease all security actions.Read the full story here.
- Outrage As Bloomberg Bans Clergy From 9/11 Ceremony.(AnneColetta)Religious leaders are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse course and offer clergy a role in the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.Rudy Washington, a deputy mayor in former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration, said he’s outraged. Mr. Washington organized an interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.“This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me,” said Mr. Washington, who has suffered severe medical problems connected to the time he spent at Ground Zero. ..
Did Bloomberg forget this?
Mychal F. Judge, OFM (born Robert Emmet Judge on May 11, 1933; died September 11, 2001) was a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York, and the first recorded victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Upon hearing the news that the World Trade Center had been hit, Father Judge rushed to the site. He was met by the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, who asked him to pray for the city and its victims. Judge administered the Last Rites to some lying on the streets, then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center North Tower, where an emergency command post was organized. There he continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers, the injured and dead.When the South Tower collapsed at 9:59 AM, debris went flying through the North Tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge. At the moment he was struck in the head and killed, Judge was repeatedly praying aloud, “Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!”, according to Judge’s biographer and New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly.
Shortly after his death, an NYPD lieutenant, who had also been buried in the collapse, found Judge’s body and assisted by two firemen and two civilian bystanders carried it out of the North Tower lobby to nearby St Peter’s Church. This event was captured in the documentary film 9/11, shot by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. Shannon Stapleton, photographer from Reuters, photographed Judge’s body being carried out of the rubble by five men. It became one of the most famous images related to 9/11. The Philadelphia Weekly reports the photograph is considered an American Pietà.Judge’s body was formally identified by NYPDDetectiveSteven McDonald, a long-time friend of the priest. The coroner found that Judge died of “blunt force trauma to the head.”Mychal Judge’s body bag was labeled “Victim 0001,” recognized as the first official victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Former President Bill Clinton was among the 3,000 people who attended his funeral, held on September 15 at St Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. It was presided over by Cardinal Edward Egan. President Clinton said that Judge’s death was “a special loss. We should live his life as an example of what has to prevail.”And has Bloomberg forgotten all the other clergy that ministered to the dying and the survivors?Hmmmm......."The War on Christianity"?Read the full story here.
- The Obama administration has repeatedly bypassed federal law by allowing nearly all the oil to move on foreign-owned vessels.(NYTimes).Washington — In its hurry to transport millions of barrels of oil from federal stockpiles to stabilize world oil prices earlier this summer, the Obama administration has repeatedly bypassed federal law by allowing nearly all the oil to move on foreign-owned vessels, drawing protests from domestic maritime operators.The domestic ship owners say that 46 times the administration has waived the Jones Act, a 90-year-old law requiring purely domestic cargo to move on United States-flagged ships except under extraordinary circumstances. Only once this summer has oil from the reserve moved on American barges. Even as unemployment hovered over 9 percent, the administration approved dozens of applications to transport nearly 30 million barrels of domestic crude oil within the borders of the United States on tankers employing foreign crews and flying the flags of the Marshall Islands, Panama and other countries. The move, which saved time and money for the oil companies that bought the oil, took potential work from more than 30 American cargo vessels and as many as 400 sailors, American ship owners said in recent days. “This has literally flabbergasted the American maritime industry,” said Christopher Coakley, vice president for legislative affairs at the American Waterways Operators, an association of domestic ship and barge operators. “The idea was to create American jobs and help the economy. But all the profit from the sale of the oil has gone to traders and oil companies and all the profit from movement of the oil has gone to foreign shippers and crewmen, and that’s galling.” In late June, the Obama administration, acting in concert with the 27 nations of the International Energy Agency, released the oil from the Department of Energy’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make up some of the shortfall caused by the conflict in Libya. The administration said it wanted to get the oil to market quickly to lower prices and ensure supplies for the summer travel season. To meet that goal, it set very short deadlines for transporting the crude. To waive the Jones Act, the president must find that there is a national security emergency and that domestic carriers are not available in a timely manner. The cutoff of oil from Libya and a lack of large-capacity American tankers provided the legal rationale for circumventing the law. Representative Peter T. King, the New York Republican who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that it appeared that the administration had met the formal requirements for waiving the Jones Act, but he questioned the political and economic wisdom of doing so. “The spirit of the law is when possible, use a U.S. vessel, especially in tough economic times,” Mr. King said. “I think it has to hurt the American economy, hurt the maritime industry and affect American jobs.Mr. King said, “I don’t see this as a partisan issue. But I would think a Democratic administration would be making some effort to help American workers.””Hmmmmm......If he really wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Buddies with the Unions then stab them in the back?Read the full story here.
- Is The Number Of Earthquakes Increasing? Why The 5.8 Virginia Earthquake Might Just Be A Preview Of Things To Come.(TheAmericanDream).Is the number of earthquakes increasing? Are major earthquakes becoming more frequent? In the aftermath of the magnitude-5.8 earthquake in Virginia, a whole lot of people are asking those questions. All over the mainstream media, "experts" are coming on and assuring the public that all of this is "normal" and that the number of earthquakes is not actually increasing. The USGS continues to insist that the frequency of major earthquakes has been "fairly constant" and that there is no reason for alarm. But is that really the truth? In this article, you will be presented with evidence that the number of earthquakes is definitely increasing. Please approach the evidence with an open mind. The truth is that this year we are on pace to have more than twice the number of major earthquakes than we did just 10 years ago. The mainstream media is much more interested in keeping people calm than it is in telling them the truth. Our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and the magnitude-5.8 Virginia earthquake that we just witnessed might just be a preview of things to come.The Virginia earthquake is already being called a "once a century" earthquake for the east coast. The earthquake was felt from Georgia all the way up to Ottawa, Canada. It was felt as far west as Cleveland, Ohio. It prompted the evacuation of congressional buildings and the Pentagon. The earthquake actually cracked the Washington Monument and now it is closed indefinitely for repairs.But that was not the only major seismic event in the U.S. that day. A magnitude-5.3 earthquake rattled the area along the Colorado/New Mexico border. That was the largest earthquake that region had seen in more than 40 years.If these were isolated incidents, that would be one thing. Unfortunately, major earthquakes are popping up all over the globe with alarming frequency. In fact, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake just struck northern Peru.But just because we have had some notable earthquakes this year does not mean that earthquakes are increasing in frequency.What do the hard numbers tell us?Well, when you take a look at the numbers it quickly becomes clear that the number of earthquakes is increasing.Back in 2001, the world had 1361 earthquakes of magnitude-5.0 or greater. This year, we are on pace to have over 2800. In fact, the number of major earthquakes this year is going to be the highest number we have seen during this past decade by far.So how do the "experts" explain this away?The reality is that we live in very unstable times. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of earthquakes appears to be part of a larger trend. So far in 2011, natural disasters of all types seem to be increasing in frequency.We all remember what happened earlier this year in Japan. That was an event that was absolutely unprecedented in modern Japanese history.But we have also seen a lot of other weird geological events around the globe so far this year.For example, a few weeks ago a series of earthquakes caused an entire river to disappear in Costa Rica.In addition, gigantic cracks and massive sinkholes have been appearing all over the earth. Nobody is quite sure why this is happening.There are all sorts of theories about why the planet seems to be becoming more unstable, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not a good trend and that we should all be preparing for the worst.In the United States, there is quite a bit of evidence that the New Madrid fault is starting to come to life. If you live in the middle part of the country, you should really get educated about the history of the New Madrid fault and about what a major earthquake in that area could mean for you.There is a whole lot to be concerned about on the west coast as well. More earthquakes occur along the "Ring of Fire" than anywhere else, and there is a lot of evidence that we are starting to see the "Ring of Fire" become a lot more active.So the next time an "expert" appears on television assuring you that earthquakes are not becoming more frequent and that you don't have anything to be concerned about, don't be so quick to believe that person.The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the number of earthquakes is increasing and our planet is becoming increasingly unstable.Yes, it is a bit frightening, but wouldn't you rather know the truth?Read the full story here.
- Deadly hotel bombing in northwest Pakistan At least 10 killed, 14 wounded.(Al-Yazeera).A bicycle bomb has exploded at a busy northwestern Pakistan hotel, killing at least 10 people, wounding 14 and destroying the building, police said.The device went off in on Thursday evening as dozens of people were gathered after breaking the day's fast. Like the rest of the Muslim world, Pakistan is observing the month of Ramadan, when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk.The bomb was planted on a child's bicycle parked in the front courtyard of the hotel in the town of Nowshera, police said.Mohammad Hussain, a senior police officer in Nowshera, told the AFP news agency that nine people were killed and more than 14 others were wounded.Police spokesman Turk Ali Shah said the death toll rose to 10 when one of the hurt died in hospital.An intelligence official in Peshawar, the main town in Pakistan's insurgent-infested and violent northwest, confirmed the incident and death toll of 10."The hotel was destroyed along with an adjacent hotel. Six nearby shops were badly damaged," police officer Hussain said.Nowshera is 50km northeast of Peshawar, the capital of troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.Last week, 51 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded mosque in northwestern Khyber tribal district, in Pakistan's deadliest attack for three months.Read the full story here.
- Canada - Canadian Author dragged into woods and beaten by Muslim extremists.(Wireservice).Author Paris Dipersico has been discharged from Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital after he was dragged into a forest and beaten unconscious by two male assailants Wednesday morning. Police said the victim’s hands were bound and Det. Sgt. Anthony Odoardi said they are confident the attack was targeted due to the controversial nature of his book Wake Up Call.Co-author Gabrielle Dipersico’s home was broken into just a day after the assault and they have received death threats by Muslim extremists for insulting Islam. The Police are currently conducting an investigation along with a safety plan for the authors.Wake Up Call has angered several religious groups, family members and it was rejected by over a dozen publishers for being "extremely controversial" and "inflammatory." Read the full story here.
- Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Threatens To Kill Israeli Ambassador Unless He Leaves The Country.(INN) — The Muslim Brotherhood has threatened to kill Israel’s ambassador to Cairo if he does not leave the country. The radical Muslim group has been leading daily protests at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, demanding the expulsion of the envoy and a break in relations between Egypt and Israel.Hundreds of demonstrators surrounded the embassy Monday as armored military and police officers prevented them from repeating Saturday night’s incident when rioters broke down the gate. One firebomb smashed through a front window of the embassy’s office.One anti-Zionist, now referred to as ”Spiderman,” became an instant hero throughout Egypt by scaling the multi-story wall and replacing the Israeli flag with one of Egypt. The Israeli flag was burned.“Revolution,” cried out Muslim Brotherhood activists. “Revolution is stronger than the Zionist attackers. The entire Egyptian people are Hamas.”One hostile placard threatened that the ambassador must “get out [of Egypt] or die here.”The demonstrators also proclaimed, “Oh Zionist traitor, blood and fire are between you and us.“ They charged that “Zionists mock us with calls for peace, and their principles offend Muslim.”The refusal to use the word “Israel” is similar to the policy of Iran, Hamas and other Muslim terrorist organizations.Hmmmm......The 'people' the Obama administration pledged 3.57 Billion Dollars and state of the art tanks to.Read the full story here.
- Fresh Mass Graves Found in Sudan by Satellite Project,Red Crescent Society involved.(The Atlanticwire).A satellite imagery project conceived and partially funded by George Clooney has identified what it says are mass civilian grave sites in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, and says the country's Red Crescent Society led the way in digging them. The region has seen fierce fighting over the last few months, as government forces battled rebel fighters, but the government insists it hasn't attacked civilians. The New York Times reports:
In a report scheduled to be published Wednesday, the Satellite Sentinel Project contends that as many as eight mass graves have been dug in the area since June, including two new sites discovered in the past week. It says the images show body bags, vehicles and machinery used to dispose of the dead.
The information and images provided by the project follow multiple allegations by residents and human rights advocates that the Sudanese government and its aligned forces have carried out widespread killings and other abuses against civilians in the region this summer. The Sudanese government rejects the assertion, saying it has taken aim solely at the rebels, not at civilians.The government has said the rebels are falsifying reports to get the international community on their side. But the Satellite Sentinel Project has released photos that it says prove the existence of mass graves, and points to reports from the Red Crescent that it says prove complicity. "The Sudanese Red Crescent Society has acknowledged collecting dead bodies for burial in the Nuba Mountains as part of its humanitarian mission, and that it was given machinery by the Sudanese government to help excavate land for this purpose," The Times reports. But it says the Red Crescent has denied digging mass graves.Hmmmm......."You Kill them,we'll bury them"?Read and see the full story here.
- US congressman Allen West: Israel owes Turkey no apology.(JPost).Israel owes no apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident, and should not have issued any type of apology to Egypt over the killing of three security officers there, outspoken US Congressman Allen West (RFlorida) said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.West, 50, a Tea Party-associated freshman congressman from South Florida already being touted as a possible presidential candidate in the future, is in the country with a delegation of 27 Republican congressmen. He spent 22 years in the US military, including fighting in the First Gulf War and in Iraq, and retired with the rank of lieutenant- colonel.“Not only does Israel not owe Turkey an apology, but I think the fact that [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak apologized for the [killing of] three Egyptian soldiers before we knew the circumstances of their deaths are the types of things that get played out in the international media that end up making you being castigated as the bad guy,” West said.“You have to be very careful with words, and how words are used in the international arena,” he said. Israel need not issue “any type of apology to Egypt. When these terrorists [who carried out Thursday’s attack] transferred through Egypt, they obviously felt safe and secure doing that. And then they launched a very well-coordinated ambush – this was not just a bunch of guys getting lucky in the middle of the night, this was a well-coordinated event – that meant the routes were wellplanned out as well,” West said.He said if you take that incident, coupled with Iranian war ships transiting the Suez Canal since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the repeated attacks on the natural gas pipeline to Israel, “I think Israel has every right to be concerned about what they are seeing in Egypt.”Regarding Turkey, West said Israel had the “right to uphold that blockade [of Gaza], which is very important, and you shouldn’t have to apologize when your military has been attacked.”Asked whether it might not be wise for Israel to swallow its “national pride” for the long-term strategic benefit of good ties with Turkey, West said, “It does come back to your national pride and your stature. Because if someone is going to look at you in a negative light anyhow, you don’t need to throw more dirt upon yourself. Turkey knows you had every right to do what you did, and I think you need to be able to express that to Turkey.”Regarding the Mavi Marmara incident, West said that the fact that the IDF commandos landed on the ship carrying paint guns showed that the country did everything necessary to try and have “less of a confrontation, but yet you were attacked. What I told people in America is that they should think about what if America was participating in a sanction-led blockade, and all of a sudden we boarded a ship, and our Navy SEALs were attacked. What would you expect our Navy SEALs to do? We should allow Israel to do the exact same thing.”West, who along with the rest of the congressional delegation will be meeting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Thursday, said his message to the PA was “not to try and back door” the Israeli- Palestinian diplomatic process.“I think they need to reject this reconciliation pact with Hamas, because Hamas’s Charter is definitely anti-Israel and talks about Israel’s elimination, and never its recognition. I think the PA has to present itself as a credible peace partner,” he added.The congressman also said that “for us to believe that there can be a return to pre-’67 lines is not a viable alternative for the security of Israel.”Hmmmm........Congressman West better watch his back when meeting the Palestinians.Read the full story here.
- Glenn Beck hosts rally in Jerusalem.(YNet).US radio personality Glenn Beck held a rally at the Davidson Center near the Western Wall in Jerusalem under the banner "Restoring Courage." More than 1,000 of his supporters, mostly Evangelical Christians from the US, participated in the event. Beck told the crowd there is nothing he could teach Israel, adding that he comes to Israel to see courage."In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe," he said. "In Israel, there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. "In Israel, you can find people who will stand against incredible odds… against the entire tide of global opinion, for what is right and good and true. Israel is not a perfect country. No country is perfect. But it tries… and it is courageous." In his speech Beck mentioned the horrific massacre in Itamar in which five members ofthe Fogel family were murdered by Palestinian terrorists: "When the Fogel family was killed in their sleep the world barely took note. The grand councils of earth condemn Israel. "Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent. It’s no wonder children light their streets on fire.In closing he asked Israelis not to "..lose hope. You must not lose confidence. You must have courage".Dozens of leftist activists gathered outside the center to protest against Beck, who they consider to be an extreme right-winger. They held banners saying "Glenn Beck, go home."The protestors confronted Knesset Member Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) who was on her way inside to attend the rally. The protestors followed her while calling out "racist" and "fascist". When she realized they would not stop, she walked up to them and tried to explain her opinions. At that point a heated debate ensued. The protestors claim that MK Michaeli also made harsh statements. Michaeli's spokesmen noted that the protestors spoke to her aggressively but did not get physical. In his speech, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat declared that Jerusalem will remain united forever. Beck added that the event concerns issues that affect the entire world.Knesset Member Danny Danon (Likud) addressed the controversy over Beck's visit to Israel and the the Jerusalem Municipality's involvement in the event. "We have too many enemies around the world, so even when true supports of the State of Israel come to visit – there are those among us who don't know how to honor and appreciate them. "Despite criticism from left wing organizations, we must say that Glenn Beck represents dozens of millions of people who support him and his opinions." "We are proud of this relationship and not embarrassed by it," he said. "Anyone who supports Israel is such a brave way must be supported."Read the full story here.
- Fighting Nazis with Fakes.Adolfo Kaminsky started forging documents after escaping deportation to a Nazi death camp.(Spiegel).Adolfo Kaminsky started forging documents after escaping deportation to a Nazi death camp. The Frenchman went on to become one of the world's best forgers, creating documents that saved the lives of Jews, spies and freedom fighters. But even his daughter knew nothing about the real man behind the fake documents.Life in the underground has left its mark on Adolfo Kaminsky. It's a summer day, and Kaminsky's daughter, Sarah, is wearing a light-pink flower in her hair as she leans out the kitchen window blowing cigarette smoke into the courtyard. Her father casts a skeptical, questioning look in her direction. Back in the 1960s, a girlfriend left him because he disappeared every evening without explaining that he forged papers in his studio all night long. But now he's supposed to speak openly about his life as a forger, something he has always steadfastly refused to do. "Silence was always of the utmost importance," Kaminsky says. "One doesn't have the right to put other people's lives in danger." Kaminsky forged his first passport at the tender age of 18. By the time he turned 20, he was working for secret agents; at 42, he was aiding revolutionaries. He has had too many aliases to remember. In fact, there were times when he'd change his name and address every three months. Though police around the world wanted to arrest him, they never tracked him down. Today, at 85, Kaminsky's curly black hair has turned white, his bright eyes have faded and he has become very frail. He sits on the sofa in his Paris apartment three blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Since turning the page on his underground existence 40 years ago, Kaminsky has lived what he calls a "bonus life." On Wednesdays, he reads the latest edition of Le Canard enchaîné, a weekly satirical newspaper that shares his droll sense of humor and left-wing views.Adolfo Kaminsky was a forger and counterfeiter for purely humanitarian reasons. During World War II, he produced amazingly authentic-looking blank passports that saved many Jews from certain death. Later, he provided left-wing underground organizations with stacks of fake identifications papers. His family was kept completely in the dark about these activities.Even Sarah, Kaminsky's 32-year-old scriptwriter daughter, only had a vague idea about his previous life until she decided to learn more about him before he "disappears with his secrets," as she puts it. She went on to research and explore his underground past, meeting with his former associates in Algiers, Paris and New York. "I discovered my father had risked his own life to save others from death," she says. She then wrote a pointed, sober biography on Kaminsky's life, which has been published in French and German. Read the full story here.
- Pakistan extends influence in gulf states.(UPI).Manama, Bahrain, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain has reported to have recruited 3,000 Pakistanis to serve in its security forces to quell protesters from the Shiite majority the government says are backed by Iran.Pakistan has also rushed to the defense of Saudi Arabia in the current political upheaval roiling the Arab world, underlining how the embattled Asian state, the only Muslim nuclear power, is becoming increasingly influential in the Middle East.Pakistan is now the eye of the storm in the conflict between the United States and al-Qaida, and day by day it's intruding into the political maelstrom of the Middle East.It has become a frontline state for Sunni Islam and is being positioned by its leaders, particularly in the powerful military and intelligence establishments, as a bulwark against Shiite Iran and its proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.Increasingly, Pakistan is supporting Saudi Arabia, with which it has a long had discreet security links.It is reported to have put two army divisions on standby for deployment to Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is threatened by Iran or the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Arab world.It's even reported to be prepared to provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons if threatened by Iran. In return, it has been promised Saudi Arabian oil and treasure.The reported military deployment followed a visit to Islamabad by Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, a former long-serving ambassador to the United States and since October 2005 secretary-general of the kingdom's National Security Council.Pakistani mercenaries have long bolstered the armed forces of the Persian Gulf Arab states, whose pampered young men have shown little inclination to join the military.Contract pilots from Pakistan have been the backbone of the Saudi air force and others in the gulf, for 30 years.So it's no surprise that the Arab Spring has brought a new surge in recruitment as the gulf monarchies scramble to keep the democratic virus at arm's length.Pakistanis have been recruited in sizeable numbers to stiffen Bahrain's armed services to bolster its security efforts to suppress protests by the tiny Sunni kingdom's Shiite majority.Pakistan's Fauji Foundation, a body closely linked to Pakistan's military establishment, recently announced the recruitment of more than 1,000 former army personnel to serve with Bahrain's National Guard.The recruits are reportedly paid 100,000 Pakistani rupees -- $1,174 -- per month and are provided with free healthcare and accommodation.Pakistan is thus looming large in Middle Eastern affairs to an unprecedented degree.Islamabad wants to counteract the growing relationship between India, its archrival, and Israel, especially in the military and intelligence fields.The Saudis, in particular, have portrayed the swelling rivalry with Iran as a new, menacing chapter of the 1,300-year-old struggle between Sunni and Shiite, a rallying cry to which the Sunni-dominated Persian Gulf states have responded.Where Pakistan, as the only nuclear-armed Muslim state, stands in this will be crucial.It is the epicenter of al-Qaida's war and with Islamabad's arsenal of nuclear weapons, poses a global and regional danger that Afghanistan's Taliban never did."The stakes are enormous," says Bruce Reidel, a former counter-terrorism specialist with the CIA."Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. It will soon surpass the United Kingdom as the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal. It is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of population."It will soon surpass Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population," the 30-year CIA veteran observed."Bin Laden understood all of that very well, which is why he focused so much on building alliances with other terrorist groups in Pakistan to undermine the country's stability.""Ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are long-standing, but for the most part have not stood in the turbulent affairs of the region," observed U.S. political and military analyst Brian M. Downing."However increased tensions with Iran, the Arab Spring, and growing disenchantment with the United States are making the relationship more expansive, more prominent, and more dangerous."The Saudis are supporting the Pakistani army's militant client-groups, hiring its soldiers, and seeking to benefit from the country's nuclear weaponry," Downing noted."This is bringing increased tensions with both Iran and the United States -- no mean feat today given their adversarial positions."Hmmmm......One minute it's a Sunni day ,next thing you know you're covered in Shiite ?Read the full story here.
- Intelligence Outfit: Foreign Special Forces Behind Tripoli Showdown.(LandDestroyer).Editor’s Update: Reports including the Guardian’s “SAS troopers help co-ordinate rebel attacks in Libya” and the UK’s Mirror’s “Britain’s Secret War in Libya: British Special Forces uncovered on the ground,” confirm the entire report below. NATO troops are indeed on the ground and fighting in Tripoli and across Libya leading efforts to topple Qaddafi’s government.Additionally, rebel leaders from Benghazi are rushing to Tripoli to claim the capital amid fierce street fighting while NATO, the Council on Foreign Relations, and other globalist outlets openly talk about an inevitable NATO occupation force that has been pieced together and prepared since the beginning of NATO operations earlier this year. This latest assault on Tripoli was never meant to fully take the capital, but merely prepare the rhetorical landscape for increasing the number of NATO “boots on the ground” until full occupation is incrementally achieved and circumvent the constraints placed on NATO via their own contrived UNSC r.1973.Read the full story here.
- "Erdogan "Muslims don't commit Genocide".Why Golda Meir was right.(HurriyetDaily).It has been more than two and a half years since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s face, “You (Jews) know well how to kill.” Prime Minister Erdoğan has also declared more than a few times that the main obstacle to peace in this part of the world is Israel, once calling the Jewish state “a festering boil in the Middle East that spreads hate and enmity.” In this holy month of Ramadan full of blood on Muslim territories, let’s try to identify who are the ones who know well how to kill.As the Syrian death count clicks every day to come close to 2,000, the Turkish-Kurdish death count does not stop, already over 40,000 since 1984, both adding to the big pool of blood called the Middle East. Only during this Ramadan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK’s, death toll has reached 50 in this Muslim Kurds vs. Muslim Turks war. This excludes the PKK casualties in Turkey and in northern Iraq due to Turkish military retaliation since they are seldom accurately reported.Let’s speak of facts.
Sudan is not in the conventional Middle East, so let’s ignore the genocide there. Let’s ignore, also, the West Pakistani massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) totaling 1.25 million in 1971. Or 200,000 deaths in Algeria in war between Islamists and the government in 1991-2006.But a simple, strictly Middle East research will give you one million deaths in the all-Muslim Iran-Iraq war; 300,000 Muslim minorities killed by Saddam Hussein; 80,000 Iranians killed during the Islamic revolution; 25,000 deaths in 1970-71, the days of Black September, by the Jordanian government in its fight against the Palestinians; and 20,000 Islamists killed in 1982 by the elder al-Assad in Hama. The World Health Organization’s estimate of Osama bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq was already 150,000 a few years earlier.
In a 2007 research, Gunnar Heinsohn from the University of Bremen and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, found out that some 11 million Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3 percent) died during the six years of Arab war against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.According to Mssrs. Heinsohn and Pipes, the grisly inventory finds the total number of deaths in conflicts all over the world since 1950 numbering around 85 million. Of that, the Muslim Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict were at 46,000 including 11,000 during Israel’s war of independence. That makes 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts, or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In another calculation ignoring “small” massacres like the one that goes on in Syria and other deaths during the Arab Spring, only Saddam’s Iraq, Jordan, the elder al-Assad’s Syria, Iran-Iraq war, the bin Laden campaign in Iraq, the Iranian Islamic revolution and the Turkish-Kurdish conflict caused 1.65 million Muslim deaths by Muslims compared to less than 50,000 deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950, including fatalities during and after Operation Cast Lead which came after the Heinsohn-Pipes study. For those who don’t have a calculator ready at their desks, allow me to tell: 50,000 is three percent of 1.65 million.Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, or rather the “Mother of Israel,” had a perfectly realistic point when she said that peace in the Middle East would only be possible “when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”Hmmmm.......“Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” Pope Benedict XVI .Read the full story here.
- Whose Brilliant Idea Was That UN Vote?(EliottAbrams).For years the Palestinian leadership has taken legal advice from a law professor at Oxford University, Guy Goodwin-Gill. But now it seems that they forgot to consult him before demanding a UN vote on Palestinian statehood. In a recent legal brief for the leadership, the good professor demolishes the arguments for UN recognition.As reported in the Palestinian media, the brief argues that a UN decision to recognize Palestinian statehood replaces the PLO with the Palestinian Authority, and this would have what the article calls “dramatic legal implications:”First of all, the prospect of substituting the PLO with the State of Palestine raises “constitutional” problems in that they engage the Palestinian National Charter and the organization and entities which make up the PLO, according to the brief. Second is “the question of the ‘capacity’ of the State of Palestine effectively to take on the role and responsibilities of the PLO in the UN; and thirdly, the question of popular representation,” the opinion says.Part of the problem is that the PA “has limited legislative and executive competence, limited territorial jurisdiction, and limited personal jurisdiction over Palestinians not present in the areas for which it has been accorded responsibility….” The thing is, the PA “is a subsidiary body, competent only to exercise those powers conferred on it by the Palestinian National Council. By definition, it does not have the capacity to assume greater powers.”Then there’s the impact on Palestinians not living in the West Bank or Gaza and whom the PA does not govern:“They constitute more than half of the people of Palestine, and if they are ‘disenfranchised’ and lose their representation in the UN, it will not only prejudice their entitlement to equal representation … but also their ability to vocalise their views, to participate in matters of national governance, including the formation and political identity of the State, and to exercise the right of return,” the brief is reported to say.The good professor does not add an issue that arises here in Washington. Right now the PLO has an office here, but why should it be permitted to remain open after the UN vote? Every six months a presidential waiver is required to allow it to remain here, due to the long involvement of the PLO under Arafat in terrorism. Would that waiver henceforth be permitted, or be exercised? But if the PLO office is closed, would the United States accredit an embassy for the State of Palestine? Obviously not, as it would be the American position that there is no State of Palestine, not yet anyway. So how about a Palestinian Authority office? Well, but if the PA is dissolved when “Palestine” is recognized by the UN……President Abbas, call your lawyer. Too late for that? Call your UN representative and ask him how to extract you from this mess.Hmmmm......One more thing there are three ‘minimal pre-conditions’ for statehood: (1) defined territory; (2) permanent population and (3) effective government.Read the full story here.
- Libyan Rebels Are Flying Their Own Canadian Minidrone.(Wired).The Libyan revolutionaries are more of a band of enthusiastic amateurs than experienced soldiers. But it turns out the rebels have the kind of weaponry usually possessed by advanced militaries: their very own drone.Aeryon Labs, a Canadian defense firm, revealed on Tuesday that it had quietly provided the rebel forces with a teeny, tiny surveillance drone, called the Aeryon Scout. Small enough to fit into a backpack, the 3-pound, four-rotor robot gave Libyan forces eyes in the sky independent of the Predators, Fire Scout surveillance copters and manned spy planes that NATO flew overhead. Don’t worry, it’s not armed.So far, the rebels have just one Scout among them, according to Marni McVicar, Aeryon’s vice president for business development. Working with a Canadian private security company called Zariba, Aeryon delivered the Scout “several weeks” ago to rebels in the Western port city of Misurata who used it, according to McVicar, to hasten their surprisingly rapid march to Tripoli.The rebels needed barely a day of training to use a technology that many national armies would love to acquire. “We like to joke that it’s designed for people who are not that bright, have fat fingers and break things,” McVicar told Danger Room in a phone interview.Listening to McVicar’s description, the Aeryon Scout sounds user-friendly enough to be operated by the car dealers, medical students and teachers who formed the impromptu Libyan rebel army in the west. Unlike many minidrones, the Scout isn’t controlled by a joystick. It’s run by a touchscreen tablet powered by Windows XP. The interface divides the screen among imagery (still or video) that the drone collects and displays in real time, a control dashboard and a programmable map of the area to fly over.“You simply press on the screen and that’s where the vehicle goes,” McVicar said. “Press where you want the camera to focus on, and you’re done.”It also gives the rebels another advantage that lots of armies desire: night vision. A thermal-imagery camera aboard the Scout provides an alternative to night-vision goggles, and from arguably a better vantage point. In the video above, released by Aeryon on Tuesday, nighttime images of Libyan artillery positions come into view from the Scout.McVicar wouldn’t say how much the Libyan rebels paid for the drone. But she noted when asked that the drone retails for $100,000.Hmmmm.....Not bad from these 'Canucks' Presidential busses and Arial drones.Read the full story here.
- Cyprus wants Israeli support in offshore drilling spat.(JPost).With her country locked in a nasty tiff with Turkey over maritime gas exploration rights, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis came to Israel Wednesday looking for signs of support on the matter from Jerusalem, and received it in the form of statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office.The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement following a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Kozakou-Marcoullis saying among the issues discussed was “expanding the possibilities of cooperating in the energy field, since both countries have been blessed with natural gas deposits in their exclusive economic zones.”Turkey has threatened Cyprus against going ahead with plans to begin drilling for offshore gas deposits, with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatening earlier this month that Ankara would show the “necessary response” if Cyprus went ahead with the plans.Turkey, which has occupied northern Cyprus since 1974, claims Cyprus does not have the right to exploit the island’s natural resources, and that it cannot ignore the Turkish- Cypriot rights to the resources.Both the US and Russia have in recent days released statements supporting the Cypriot position, and Kozakou-Marcoullis told The Jerusalem Post in an interview, before meeting Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, that she hoped for a “message going out from Israel regarding the principle regarding sovereign rights in the exclusive economic zone.”Lieberman, like Netanyahu, also put out a statement signaling support for Cyprus’s position, saying he and his Cypriot colleague praised the agreement reached by Israel and Cyprus in 2010 delineating their maritime boundaries and their respective exclusive economic zones, and saying that beginning work to extract the gas should be done quickly “for the benefit of both sides.”In the Post interview, Kozakou- Marcoullis said Cyprus was planning exploratory drilling within the next two weeks, regardless of Turkey’s threats.“We have international law on our side,” she said. “I think Turkey has to listen to the messages being sent by the international community regarding this issue.”She said while Cyprus has to be concerned about “any kind of threats coming from Turkey, at the same time we are proceeding as scheduled and doing whatever we have to do regarding raising the issue with other countries.”Hmmmm......Will Erdogan bomb them like the Kurds if they decide to drill?Read the full story here.
- Related - Turkish Navy and Air Force are planning military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean starting from September 15.(CyprusMail).FOREIGN MINISTER Erato Kozakou Markoullis yesterday expressed her “absolute satisfaction” with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s response to Turkey’s sabre-rattling ahead of drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).“The response of the Russian Federation to our representations was immediate and sends a strong message to Turkey and the international community in general,” she said.“We are truly grateful for this steadfast stance of Russia, which has always been and continues to be a shield and support against any threats by Turkey, a shield based on international law and UN resolutions,” added Marcoullis.In an official press release, the Russian Federation clearly expressed Cyprus’ sovereign right, based on international law, to carry out explorations and drill for hydrocarbons in its EEZ.The press release referred specifically to the Law of the Sea, which Russia and Cyprus have signed, though Turkey has not. Cyprus has also signed agreements delineating its EEZ between neighbouring states, namely Lebanon, Egypt and Israel. Some reports suggest Lebanon’s parliament has yet to ratify the treaty due to pressure from Turkey.The Russian statement also called on Turkey not to link the actions of the Cyprus Republic, which are based on its sovereign rights, with the process to solve the Cyprus issue.Cyprus has signed a production-sharing contract with Houston-based Noble Energy. The company has a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in an offshore field in its EEZ, southeast of Cyprus, known as Block 12. Noble also has a stake in exploratory drilling currently underway in nearby gas fields in Israel’s EEZ. Drilling in Cyprus’ Block 12 is expected to start by October 1.The Eastern Mediterranean basin is believed to contain massive amounts of natural gas reserves.In recent weeks, the Turkish leadership has warned Cyprus against making any moves that might ignore the rights of Turkish Cypriots, saying that if gas exploration goes ahead, it will take “appropriate measures”. The Turkish foreign ministry has also made representations to Washington, warning that drilling in Cyprus’ southeast waters could jeopardise the ongoing peace process when it’s at a crucial stage.Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu’s top aide Kudret Ozersay has also warned that the Turkish Cypriots will start taking unilateral steps to exploit resources in the island’s northern third if the Cypriot government goes ahead with plans to explore and extract its natural resources.Yesterday’s Phileleftheros reported that the Turkish Navy and Air Force are planning military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean starting from September 15.Last Wednesday, the US administration said it was aware of Turkey’s position on the issue, adding however, that it strongly supports all countries’ plans to secure energy supplies through better energy diversity.The Cypriot minister said she will raise the issue before the EU Council of Ministers at their next ad hoc meeting on September 2 and 3.The Turkish response to scheduled drilling will also be discussed during a meeting with her Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman in Israel this Wednesday, she added.Hmmmm......When not Bullying Israel and the Kurds , threatening Cyprus?I wonder if Obama will stab Cyprus also in the back?Read the full story here.
- HPG (People's Defence Forces) commander: Erdoğan wants war but war will end him.(Firat).HPG (People's Defence Forces) Main Headquarters Commander Nurettin Sofi remarked that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) has started to perform its games more openly while preparing for a Kurdish massacre. “This is the last battle of Erdogan and his government. Kurdistan will entomb Erdoğan in this war” said Sofi. Answering questions by Yeni Özgür Politika (New Free Politics) paper in Germany, HPG Main Headquarters Commander Nurettin Sofi stated that all the efforts given for peace for the last 18 years have been exploited by the Turkish state. Sofi added; “Erdoğan and his government haven’t hesitated in applying all kinds of sneaky plans in the face of the peace efforts given by our Leadership under the most difficult circumstances and with a great sensibility and attention". Sofi reminded that the guerrilla forces remained in a defensive position despite all the intentions of the Turkish state that has advanced its unrestrained attacks since the beginning of the year against the democratic victory of the people of Kurdistan. “Like everything else, the defense position had also a limit. “With the retaliation and deterrent acts we have developed after this phase against the attacks on the achievements of our people, we have revealed the massacre plans and games of the Turkish state and the AKP government. Erdogan's true face has been revealed.” underlined Sofi. "Kurdistan mountains - Sofi added - are the most natural strongholds of the dignified resistance and fight for freedom which will continue for many longer years. With this war, we will show Erdoğan and the powers he represents that Kurdistan mountains can’t be destroyed with these air attacks and many other weapons and bombs.”Read the full story here.
- Kurdish Administration warned villagers of possible Turkish army land operation.(Firat).The Kurdish Regional Administration has allegedly warned residents of the Sidekan region to leave their villages as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are ready to carry out a ground operation. Sidekan is a mountainous area in Northern Iraq.Local sources have said to ANF that officials of the Kurdish Regional Administration visited villages in Sidekan and warned them about a possible "ground operation". The officials encouraged the locals to leave their villages since the administration would not be able to protect them. It was said that the villagers did not follow their request.Massoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish Region, said last Tuesday that in case of a ground war in their region, they will resume the necessary attitude. Yet, he added, "right now diplomacy is important".The TSK started sending personnel to the border region on Tuesday. It was announced that 2,000 commandos were sent. The TSK has also done logistic transfers before.The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK) announced after the evaluation meeting of the DTK Organizing Committee that it will organize a mass walk to the border.The DTK declared that the south-eastern provinces of Şırnak, Siirt, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Elazığ, Dersim and other provinces will conduct a mass peace march to the borderline on 27 August. The provinces of Hakkari, Van, Iğdır, Kars, Ağrı, Erzurum, Muş, Bitlis and others will make a peace march to the Turkish-Iraqi border of the Hakkari province.Workers will march as well.The Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees (KESK) also announced to carry out a march on 27 August when the workers will walk to the border. Seyfettin Polat, current spokesman of the KESK Branches Platform, told bianet, "The workers want peace. Sources allocated to war are being wasted in a country were the hunger threshold has been significantly raised."Polat underlined that the march to the border was a move of peace. "We are against the killing of civilians, against shedding the blood of young people and destroying the nature", he said."We must not refrain from the axes of security for a peaceful and democratic solution. We want to draw attention to peace by walking to the border. We walk to the border so that the blood of our brothers and sisters will not be shed. A huge crowd of regional people walks to the borderline and the workers will walk with them".Read the full story here.
- Homophobic and transphobic violence must be stopped.(HurriyetDaily).During my mandate as Commissioner for Human Rights, I have repeatedly received information about violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, persons in Council of Europe member states. Many have suffered physical attacks and some have even been killed. Unfortunately, this is also a reality in Turkey.No less than 36 hate killings were recorded in Council of Europe member states in the period of January 2008 to November 2010. Of these cases 13 were reported from Turkey. This according to reports from a reliable non-governmental source (Transgender Europe). Harassment and violence by police toward LGBT persons has also been flagged as a major concern by several human rights organizations and activists in the country, including in a report published by the Istanbul Provincial Human Rights Board.In the past five years I have monitored the implementation of human rights for LGBT persons in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. The result was recently published in a report: “Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe.”The report (parts of it will be soon available in the Turkish language) lists a number of obstacles to the full enjoyment of their universal human rights. It shows, for example, that the official registration of LGBT organizations was obstructed or refused in five countries in Europe, including in Turkey. Attempts to criminalize “propaganda or promotion of homosexuality” were identified in three member states. Peaceful Pride demonstrations in a worrying number of European cities have been brutally attacked by hooligans and other counter-demonstrators. Homophobic and transphobic harassment in the workplace and bullying of LGBT persons in schools is common in practically all member states.There has been little response to national studies and reports that flag that a disproportionate number of young LGBT persons see no other way out than committing suicide due to the non acceptance of their sexual orientation or gender identity by their peers and families. Very few countries recognize homophobic or transphobic violence in their hate crime legislation.Read the full story here.
- Got Djini? Call 'Ghostbusters' - Islamic School Launches Course to Counter Black Magic.(Vinienco).The Islamic Foundation of the Maldives (IFM) has said that it will commence a certificate level course on incantations, teaching the participants “spiritual healing” and how to cure diseases using “incantation”.“Incantations consist of words said or written in the form of dud or Dhikr for the purpose of protection or cure. It is sometimes accompanied by other actions, such as blowing or wiping over the thing to which it is applied,’’ the Foundation explained on its website.President of the Islamic Foundation, Ibrahim Fauzee, told Minivan News that the main reason why the organisation had decided to conduct courses on spiritual healing was that many people in the islands had become victims of black magic performed by their enemies.“Sometimes people have lost their lives [to black magic], and sometimes people perform the black arts to ruin the life or family of others. Many do not know how to cure this,’’ Fauzee said.“Many people have requested that we teach them this, so we decided to open a course for the public and we are receiving huge support for it.’’The one month course, beginning September 15, costs Rf 350 (US$23). Fauzee said seats for the class had been limited to 30 students, and it had already sold out.During the course, students will learn incantations, ayahs, “extracted from the Quran which were taught by the Prophet (PBUH) during the old days, which people have always delivered to the next generation.”Practitioners of black arts, he explained, spoke with djinns and used them to harm others.“The Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah as well as the Quran reveals many things about the existence of djinns,” Fauzee said.“Djinns often cause trouble and disturbances to humans, so we know that they are there. The Quran and the Prophet (PBUH) has taught us ways to cure [these disturbances],’’ he said.Fauzee said the course would teach participants basic cures, and would involve both theoretical and practical work.The Islamic Foundation explained that the practical component would involve the students accompanying tutors to treat people victimised by djinns, during which they would be taught how to use incantations.Well-known scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed and other senior members of the Islamic Foundation are scheduled to lecture the students during the course.Sorcery, known locally as fandita, is widely practiced on many islands in the Maldives. In fact, the last person to be judicially executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi in 1953, who was executed by firing squad after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder using black magic.Didi’s daughter, Dhondidi, was also sentenced in 1993 for performing fandita on behalf of the former President’s brother-in-law Ilyas Ibrahim, in his bid to win the 1993 presidential election.Read the full story here.