Wednesday, August 31, 2011
HT : Tundra Tabloid.
David Swanson is the Washington Director of Democrats.com, co-founder of the After Downing Street Coalition and creator of Meet with Cindy.org. He serves on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice and on a working group of United for Peace and Justice. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as Press Secretary for the Dennis Kucinich 2004 campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN.
Swanson also serves on the Advisory Board of Progressive Democrats of America, which is essentially a front for Democratic Socialists of America and the Institute for Policy Studies, set up to pressure the Democratic Party even more to the left.
Swanson is organizing an occupation of Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Ave. near the White House, starting October 6. the occupation is openly modeled on that which brought down the Egyptian government. Swanson is quite openly threatening to “shut down’ the US government until his demands are met.Note also Swanson’s deliberate courting of Ron Paul supporters.HT: NewZeal.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Papua New guinea 5.6 , Indonesia 5.2 and : 5.1 Vanuatu! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- New 'documentary' to re-enforce the President's 'gutsy' call myth? New documentary reveals last-minute doubts on Bin Laden raid.(Al-Arabiya).A new documentary reveals that a last-minute double-check of intelligence before the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden last spring cast fresh doubt on whether the al-Qaeda leader was really in the Pakistani compound where he was found.The History network, in its “Targeting Bin Laden” special that airs next Tuesday, said President Barack Obama convened a special “red team” of terrorism experts to take a fresh look at the evidence. That team had greater doubt that bin Laden was in the Abbottabad, Pakistan home primarily because they didn't believe he would take the risk of having as many visitors as he did.Despite the new assessment, Obama ordered the mission to proceed. Four days later on May 2, a team of US Navy SEALs successfully located and killed the terrorist leader behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.Obama was interviewed two weeks ago for the special, which provides a tick-tock account of what went into the planning and execution of the raid. (Was he not touring the states in his bus?)Other people interviewed for the special include national security adviser Tom Donilon, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and former CIA officials.The special “red team” had not been involved in the intelligence operation that searched for bin Laden or planned the raid. It was reviewing the evidence for the first time, History says in the special. Their assessment initially deflated policy makers, and only half of those planning the raid advised Obama to proceed after hearing their report.“At the end of the day only the president can weigh those risks,” Donilon told interviewers. “Only the president can ask, ‘What’s in the nation’s interest? What are the risks worth running here? What will we accomplish if this works? How will I deal with it if it doesn’t work?’ It was a quintessential presidential decision.”“Targeting Bin Laden” was made for the cable network by the same production company that made “America The Story of Us.” It will air on Sept. 6. Hmmmm.....Anything go's to make 'dear leader' look mighty?Movies - Documentaries....What's next?Read the full story here.
- Revealed: Obama administration Warned U.S. Citizens in Jerusalem to Avoid Beck Event?(TheBlaze).In the aftermath of the Glenn Beck “Restoring Courage” rally, questions have emerged about a U.S. State Department message released the day of the event that warned Americans to stay away.The timing and specifics of the event warning have led some to claim that ideological opposition to the Beck event– not just concerns for American safety– could have influenced the decision.The “Emergency Message” addressed to U.S. Government Employees and visiting citizens in Jerusalem is available on the Consulate’s website. The message posted to the site on August 24th stated the following:
“The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem notes that, according to local security sources, Jerusalem is under a heightened Security Alert. The police have established roadblocks in various sections of the city and increased their personnel on the streets. Vehicle inspections are being conducted, and suspicious individuals and bags are receiving further scrutiny.
U.S. citizens in Jerusalem are advised to exercise extra vigilance and avoid large crowds during upcoming rallies and religious holidays, particularly in and around Jerusalem’s Old City.
On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, there will be a rally held near the south east corner of the Old City. The areas between Dung Gate and Lions Gate are off-limits to official U.S. Government personnel from 4:00pm until 10:00pm on that day due to recent clashes in that area.”
So Restoring Courage was off limits on August 24th. Before jumping to any conclusions, though, there are a variety of plausible explanations which should be explored to determine whether any possible bias against the Beck event existed.As has already been reported on the Blaze, there was indeed an elevated terrorist threat to Jerusalem in the wake of the Eilat attacks that killed 8 Israelis. The U.S. consulate would have had to take this information into account when advising Americans for their safety.However, The Blaze also reported two days before the Restoring Courage event that Israeli officials had modified the security alert. The entire country was held steady at a general Level 3 security watch with an “emphasis on Jerusalem and Southern Israel.” But the “specific alert” for the city of Jerusalem had been lifted.It is also worth noting that American casualties are rare in Israel, but have occurred. The U.S. Consulate has a grave responsibility to help ensure the safety of Americans in Israel. Emergency safety messages are a necessity, given the history of the region.In another scenario, however, some are alleging a degree of ideological bias in the decision to ban U.S. government employees and warn off U.S. citizens from attending Beck’s Restoring Courage. They claim it is part of a broader pattern of bias on the part of the Consulate.In one example, the Jerusalem Post opined earlier this year that the U.S. Consulate has ‘gone native,’ meaning its public activities show a pro-Palestinian bias. The Post argued that because the Consulate is in closer proximity to the Palestinian territories and deals with them more directly than the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, there is an inclination to favor Palestinian events and causes at the Consulate.Restoring Courage did not fall into that category.Hmmmmm........."Jews only?".Read the full story here.
- " THE KING'S SPEECH?"Obama Announces Primetime Address To Joint Session Of Congress, Schedules It During GOP Presidential Debate.(National Journal) — President Obama has asked for a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7 to present his plan for jobs.In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, Obama said it is his intention to “lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy.”The president said the proposals focus on “strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money back in the paychecks of the middle class.”Hmmmm......."L'État c'est Moi" (I am the State)?Read the full story here.
- Obama: Veterans benefits won’t be slashed.(Legion).While the United States is in a time of fiscal restraint, President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday that the restraint won't include cutting benefits of America's veterans.Addressing The American Legion's 93rd Annual National Convention in Minneapolis, Obama said veterans wouldn't bear the brunt of federal cutbacks."As a nation, we're facing tough choices as we put our fiscal house in order," the president said, getting a standing ovation from the crowd of thousands in the process. "But I want to be absolutely clear: We cannot, we must not, and we will not balance the budget on the backs of our veterans. And as commander-in-chief, I won't allow it.While pledging to protect veterans benefits, the president also offered a plan to help revive the economy: the hiring of veterans."We're going to offer more help with career development and job searches," he said. "I've directed DoD and the VA to create a reverse boot camp to help our newest veterans prepare for civilian jobs and translate their exceptional military skills into industry-accepted licenses and credentials. And today I'm calling on every state to pass legislation that makes it easier for our veterans to get the credentials and the jobs for which they are so clearly qualified. This needs to happen, and it needs to happen now."We're encouraging the private sector to do its part. I've challenged companies across America to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses. This builds on the commitments that many companies have already made as part of the Joining Forces campaign championed by (Michelle Obama) and the vice president's spouse, Dr. Jill Biden. I've proposed a Returning Heroes Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans with a disability. When Congress returns from recess, this needs to be at the top of the agenda. For the sake of our veterans, for the sake of our economy, we need these veterans working and contributing and creating the new jobs and industries that will keep America competitive in the 21st century."Obama said that those men and women who come home injured and file a claim with VA shouldn't have to wait for that claim to be adjudicated, and that the current backlog of VA claims remains a priority for his administration."Now, I know that over the past year, the backlog has actually grown, due to new claims from Agent Orange," he said. "But let me say this, and I know Secretary Shinseki agrees: When our veterans who fought for our country have to fight just to get the benefits you've earned - that's unacceptable. So this is going to remain a priority. We're going to keep hiring new claims processors, keep investing in new paperless systems and keep moving ahead with our innovation competition in which our dedicated VA employees are developing new ways to process your claims faster - not in months, but days. The bottom line is this: Your claims need to be processed quickly and accurately, the first time. And we're not going to rest until we get this done."Hmmmmm......Ok Big Government will grow and he 'will not rest'?Read the full story here.
- GAFFNEY: Roll back the Muslim Brotherhood.Americans can’t afford to simply watch Islamic law take hold.(WashingtonTimes).By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.In recent weeks, we have been put on notice repeatedly: Absent a fundamental course correction, America will go the way of Europe and others before it, succumbing to an insidious totalitarian doctrine known as Shariah whose purpose, in the words of its prime practitioners - the Muslim Brotherhood - is to “destroy Western civilization from within.”Hurricanes, earthquakes and fiscal crises are preoccupations of the moment. Unless we heed the warnings being issued by three of our most brilliant strategic thinkers, Mark Steyn, Bat Ye'or and Andrew C. McCarthy, however, we risk an irreversible national calamity.Each of these authors has published in the past month powerful alarums about the steady erosion of the West’s societies, governing institutions and freedoms at the hands of Shariah’s adherents and their enablers on the left.
Mr. Steyn released “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” a much-awaited sequel to his best-seller, “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.” Bat Ye'or, who popularized the terms “Eurabia” and “dhimmitude” to describe what is befalling the Europeans at the hands of those seeking to subjugate all nonbelievers as enslaved “dhimmis,” published “Europe, Globalization and the Coming Universal Caliphate.” And just last week, Mr. McCarthy, author of “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America,” wrote a brilliant column for National Review Online: “Losing Malmo, and Brussels and Rome and Amsterdam.”
A consistent theme of these three important works is that we run grave risks in taking for granted the permanence of a world order dominated by liberal democracies and led by the United States. Yet, we are doing so even as evidence accumulates that Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), are making steady strides toward their goal of establishing a new, transnational order. They would have it take the form of a global “caliphate,” in which the world will be ruled in accordance with Shariah.Sound crazy? It may be. But if history teaches us anything, it is that determined, disciplined and ruthless people can do incalculable harm to others in the pursuit of crazy, supremacist goals.What is truly crazy, though, is the role being played today by “progressive” intelligentsia doing today what they have done in the face of totalitarians of the past: facilitating the latter’s frightening ambitions. I have had the privilege of interviewing each of these three authors over the past few weeks on Secure Freedom Radio and the message could not be more clear: We persist in such behavior at our extreme peril.Of particular concern is the corrosive effect of the phenomenon known by such names as “transnationalism,” “multiculturalism” and “globalization.” For many in Europe, it has become effectively a new religion, contributing to the precipitous decline of Christianity. To paraphrase Karl Marx, this postmodern, post-national program provides a kind of opiate that numbs the masses to the dangers of acquiescing to the Muslim Brotherhood’s “civilization jihad.”European nations are now increasingly reaping the whirlwind thus sown. Of particular concern are what are known as “no-go zones” - areas where the authorities dare not enter. These are becoming increasingly common across the continent and in the United Kingdom as Muslim-populated enclaves apply Shariah law and drive out those who do not conform. These zones are the direct result of accommodations made in the name of “diversity” and “sensitivity” to Islamic religio-cultural norms, which comprise the supremacist doctrine of Shariah. European leaders are beginning publicly to renounce such practices, but their governments have yet to act accordingly.Make no mistake. If we fail to heed the warnings of Mark Steyn, Bat Ye'or and Andrew C. McCarthy, a similar fate awaits us. Already, the U.S. government has been engaged in serial acts of appeasement of Muslim Brotherhood fronts and other Shariah-adherents. These include: a director of national intelligence who admits to relying on such groups to provide “advice, counsel and wisdom” about “extremists” in their midst; White House direction that all government-funded counterterrorism training will be conducted in accordance with direction of a Department of Homeland Security deeply compromised by the Brotherhood; a new Obama “strategy” for local law enforcement that requires “partnering” with what amount to enemy front organizations; and a Hillary Rodham Clinton-engineered initiative with the OIC aimed at curbing expression that can have negative “consequences” for Muslims.In the face of such folly, members of Congress and private citizens are striving not merely to halt these and other examples of reckless official “engagement” with the Muslim Brotherhood, they are beginning to roll back the Muslim Brotherhood. With the leadership of two freshmen, Rep. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina Republican, and Rep. Paul A. Gosar, Arizona Republican, the House of Representatives has adopted amendments aimed at denying any taxpayer funding to the Brotherhood. These and similar initiatives by citizens across the nation are being profiled at a new website sponsored by the Center for Security Policy, TheRollback.org. Their stories serve as a powerful inspiration and impetus for similar efforts by others.It is past time for Americans to awaken to the danger posed by Shariah and its adherents. We can no longer ignore the inroads made by these forces into Western civilization’s European flank. And we certainly cannot delude ourselves into believing that our homeland will remain immune from their predations as long as we persist in the same sorts of appeasement that have brought our friends and allies across the Atlantic to their present, parlous state.Hmmmm.....Hear,hear!Read the full story here.
- "Not so fast!"Obama administration to Trucking Company: You Cannot Fire Alcoholic Drivers.(Heritage).The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem. Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit against the Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company on August 16, noted that while “an employer’s concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.”Read the full story here.
- Obama NLRB Eliminates Secret Ballot Elections-Making Card Check Forced Unionism a Reality.(BigGovernment).Outgoing NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman and the of the Obama Appointed NLRB Board members, Craig Becker & Mark Pearce, voted to eliminate secret ballot election protections. Now, when employers make secrets deals with a union bosses agreeing to recognize a union without allowing his employees a secret ballot vote; employees no longer have the right to force an NLRB secret ballot election and allow workers to decide if they want the union or not.Unable to pass EFCA, Card Check Forced Unionism, through a Democrat-controlled congress, Obama is paying off Big Labor through his handpicked NLRB Board. He is doing all this at the expense of worker freedoms and worker paychecks. And, the NLRB Decision is applied retroactively to bar even elections that have already been held but not counted.Employees can now be forced to pay for an undisclosed arrangement between employers and labor union bosses without having the right to put it to a secret ballot election.This is particular heinous in non-Right To Work states where employees are forced to pay union dues and fees regardless of the fact that they did not want the union. The NLRB’s actions again prove why the National Right To Work Act needs to be passed. Then, every American will have the freedom to withhold his paycheck from union bosses if they choose.Hmmmmm......More totalitarian by the day?Read the full story here.
- GOP Rep. Steve King Wants Amnesty Hearings After Arrest of “Uncle Omar Obama ”.(TheHill).Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) this week reiterated his calls for congressional hearings into the Obama administration's decision to review deportation proceedings for illegal aliens, and said this step is particularly needed in light of the Massachusetts arrest of an illegal alien who is a relative of President Obama.Omar Onyango Obama was arrested for drunk driving by a Framingham police officer. Onyango, a half-brother of President Obama's father, has been called "Uncle Omar" by King and others."On August 18, the Obama administration announced that it would be ignoring congressionally mandated deportations, and now it appears one of the first beneficiaries of this decision could be the President's recently arrested uncle, Omar Onyango Obama," King said. "With an existing deportation order, it is not surprising to learn that 'Uncle Omar' Obama told police officers that his first call would be to his nephew in the White House."King said the administration's decision to review all deportation cases means there is "little question" that those with political connections will try to take advantage of this change."This raises a troubling list of questions about the potential for preferential treatment, and is yet another reason Congress should hold hearings to expose Obama's executive amnesty program," he said.King also noted that Onyango's sister, Zeituni, was granted asylum in 2010, and said questions were raised at the time about whether her connection to Obama was the reason."Like Aunt Zeituni Onyango, Uncle Omar is referenced in President Obama's memoir, 'Dreams from My Father,' " King said.The Boston Herald is reporting today that Onyango is an illegal immigrant but has had a valid Massachusetts driver's license and Social Security number since 1992.Obama's Aunt Zeituni OnyangoSocial Security number was Issued between 2001 and 2002 in the state of Indiana. There is no evidence Zeituni Onyango ever stepped foot in Indiana.Hmmmm.....Please do Rep. King.Read the full story here.
- Louisiana state prisons should be allowed to ban inmates from receiving copies of a newspaper published by the Nation of Islam.(Chron).NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana state prisons should be allowed to ban inmates from receiving copies of a newspaper published by the Nation of Islam because its contents pose a security risk, a lawyer for the state argued Tuesday before a federal appeals court.The state wants the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a federal judge's ruling that the David Wade Correctional Center must deliver copies of The Final Call newspaper to Henry Leonard, a convicted murderer who claimed the Homer prison violated his right to free exercise of religion.Kyle Duncan, appellate chief for Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's office, said the newspaper contains racist rhetoric that could provoke an outbreak of violence.The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, which sued on Leonard's behalf in 2007, says banning The Final Call from prisons is unconstitutional and has no connection to preventing violence.Duncan couldn't point to any violence that could be linked to The Final Call, but he said prison officials have broad discretion to block access to material that may create a disruption."You have to anticipate problems before they occur," Duncan said.ACLU attorney Justin Harrison said the state hasn't produced a shred of evidence that The Fall Call poses a threat."Any deference to prison officials has to be justified with some sort of evidence," he said.Harrison said the Nation of Islam can be a positive force in the lives of inmates, promoting discipline and discouraging the use of alcohol, drugs or weapons."It encourages the sort of lifestyle that one would think inmates should adopt," Harrison said. "It's quite the opposite of something that would create the risk of prison violence."Prison officials implemented a statewide ban on The Final Call in 2005. The state claims the language of "The Muslim Program," a statement of beliefs that is reprinted on the back cover of each issue, is racially inflammatory.5th Circuit Judge James Graves Jr. pressed Duncan to explain how the material poses a risk."The words themselves," Duncan said. "This is an explicit demand for racial separation."In March 2010, U.S. District Judge Donald Walter in Shreveport ruled the prison can't censor or restrict Leonard's access to The Final Call. Walter expressed concern that completely banning the newspaper was an exaggerated response to security concerns.Leonard is a former Baton Rouge police officer who was convicted of murdering his estranged wife's boyfriend and is serving a life sentence.The ACLU filed a similar case in February 2009 on behalf of an inmate at the state prison in Angola, La., who also says he has been denied access to The Final Call. The case is pending in the federal court based in Baton Rouge."However this case is determined will dictate the fate of the other one," Harrison said after Tuesday's hearing.Read the full story here.
- New body 'liquefaction' unit unveiled in Florida funeral home.(BBC).A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial "alkaline hydrolysis" unit at a Florida funeral home.The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks. It is hoped other units will follow in the US, Canada and Europe.The makers claim the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal. Mercury from amalgam vaporised in crematoria is blamed for up to 16% of UK airborne mercury emissions, and many UK crematoria are currently fitting mercury filtration systems to meet reduced emission targets."Resomation was developed in response to the public's increasing environmental concerns," company founder Sandy Sullivan told BBC News. "It gives them that working third choice, which allows them to express those concerns in a very positive and I think personal way."The Resomator can dissolve the body tissue in under three hours, say its makers The installation was only made possible after the state legislature in Florida approved the use of the technology, one of seven US states in which the process has now been legalised. The system works by submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide which is pressurised to 10 atmospheres and heated to 180C for between two-and-a-half and three hours.Body tissue is dissolved and the liquid poured into the municipal water system. Mr Sullivan, a biochemist by training, says tests have proven the effluent is sterile and contains no DNA, and poses no environmental risk. The bones are then removed from the unit and processed in a "cremulator", the same machine that is used to crush bone fragments following cremation into ash. Metals including mercury and artificial joints and implants are safely recovered.The machine is patented in Europe with patents pending in other countries.Hmmmm........One more reason to drink bottled water?Read the full story here.
- The Rise of Islamic No-Go Zones.(Aina).Three and a half years ago, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops, Pakistani-born Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that Islamic extremists had created "no-go"areas across Britain too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. His politically incorrect concern sparked a firestorm of denial and criticism. The Muslim Council of Britain, for example, dismissed it as the Bishop's "frantic scaremongering" and "intolerance," and scoffed,We wouldn’t allow "no-go" areas to happen. I smell extreme intolerance when people criticise multiculturalism without proper evidence of what has gone wrong.Well, the evidence of how multiculturalism "has gone wrong" is in. This week Soeren Kern at the Hudson Institute documented the proliferation of such no-go zones throughout Europe -- autonomous Islamic "microstates" under Sharia rule (having rejected their host countries' legal systems), where non-Muslims must either conform to the cultural, legal, and religious norms of fundamentalist Islam or expect to be greeted with violence. As Daniel Pipes puts it, "a more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam" -- the House of Islam, or the place where Islam rules.England, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands -- in every European country with a large Muslim immigrant population, the story is the same: Islamic supremacists refuse to assimilate into the Western melting pot; instead they carve out a foothold in a neighborhood, and then, through intimidation or outright violence, push out the infidels whose failed secular values are no longer acceptable. Even public services such as police, firefighters and ambulances are often driven out of such neighborhoods with stones, bottles or bullets. Lacking the political and cultural will to assert control in areas that in some cases have become urban war zones, the authorities have simply retreated and abandoned them. As Germany's Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut confesses,In these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.In Britain, where there are already as many as eighty-five Sharia courts in operation, an Islamist group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched an ambitious campaign to turn twelve British cities into independent Islamic states, including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and what the group calls "Londonistan." In the Tower Hamlets in East London -- or as the Muslims there refer to it, "the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets" -- imams known as the "Tower Hamlets Taliban" issue death threats to unveiled women, and gays are attacked by gangs of young Muslim men. The neighborhood has been littered with leaflets announcing, "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone. Islamic rules enforced." It was in East London, remember, that the Islamist Abu Izzadeen challenged former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: “How dare you come to a Muslim area?” In France, there are an astonishing 751 so-called Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS). "Sensitive" indeed: the nature of the ZUS, and chaos like the nightly burning of cars in Paris, are topics that the French media largely downplay to avoid accusations of racism or Islamophobia -- hence, for example, their generic description of the immigrant gangs running wild in Paris Métro stations as "youth."An estimated (as of 2004) five million Muslims live in these ZUS, and there is barely a single French city that lacks at least one. In Paris and other French cities with a high percentage of Muslim populations, like Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims make their presence felt by blocking streets and sidewalks for Friday prayers. Some mosques have begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets. Local authorities sit on their hands rather than confront this "occupation without tanks or soldiers," because they are afraid of the situation escalating into violence in the streets.The Dutch government has released a list of forty “no-go” zones in the Netherlands. In Brussels, Belgium, which is twenty percent Muslim, police have to patrol with two police cars, to watch each other's back. And yet the multiculturalist mindset is so deeply entrenched in Europeans that it is the police who are expected to avoid offending cultural sensitivities: officers, for example, who frequently are targeted with rocks by Muslim youth, have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.In Sweden, which an imam there has labeled "the best Islamic state," whole patches of the city of Malmö -- which is more than twenty-five percent Muslim -- are no-go zones. There and in Gothenburg, Muslim teenagers have been burning cars, attacking emergency services, throwing.stones at patrolling officers and temporarily blinding them with green lasers.Hmmmmm......"We don't want to take over your country?"Read the full story here.
- Canada - B.C. just witnessed the taxpayer's Vimy Ridge.(Canoe)By Brian.lilley.A victory for the taxpayers, a victory for the people, that’s the topic of tonight’s Byline.We`ve been hearing plenty about the Tea Party in the United States for the last couple of years. They have pushed and struggled to take power back from the hands of those who run the system, those in it just for themselves and give it back to the people.While the Americans continue to struggle, a similar movement here in Canada had a major victory late last week, one that was understandably overshadowed by other events.The referendum to scrap the harmonized sales tax in British Columbia is a major victory for those who believe in the idea that you cannot tax without the consent of the governed.In the American Revolution they popularized the idea of no taxation without representation. Too many Canadians still think that is an American ideal that has nothing to do with Canada. That`s just not true.The idea that our rulers need to have the consent of the people to levy taxes is an ancient one.In 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta in which he agreed that “ No scutage nor aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom.“He agreed not to levy taxes without consulting the barons and nobles who paid the taxes.In 1689 the English Bill of Rights, a document cited in our own Parliament and considered a foundational document of Canada, said that there could be no taxation by royal prerogative.That meant Parliament had to decide, that the people`s representatives, would have a say in any matter of taxation.Gordon Campbell, the former Liberal premier of BC, campaigned on not increasing taxes and specifically on not bringing about the HST.Right after the election, he changed his mind. He attempted to raise taxes by royal prerogative he didn`t even seek a vote in the legislature.The experts do not like this of course, the fact that people rejected the HST.The Globe and Mail sniffed that “ HST’s defeat in BC shows danger of ruling by plebiscite.“Neils Veldhuis, an economist and VP at the Fraser Institute took to twitter to denounce the vote “ Defeat of #HST a crushing blow to BC’s competitiveness“Veldhuis may be right and economically the HST may have been a superior way to raise tax revenue. In fact, raising consumption taxes and lowering income taxes is generally considered good economic policy.But that`s not the point.The point is that the people were told one thing by their supposed betters, that there would be no HST, no tax increase, and then those same people decided they knew better and changed the rules.You can`t do that.We need to take that spirit of BC and spread it across the country.We need to make sure that when a politician says no to taxes and then changes their mind we show them the door.Jean Chretien campaigned on scrapping the GST, he broke that and many other promises and we rewarded him with two more majority governments.Dalton McGuinty promised no tax increases for Ontario and then brought in a health tax and illegal eco taxes, some of which are still being charged.Stephen Harper promises to keep spending under control and yet spending under watch has increased dramatically.We need to hold politicians to their word and when they fail to live up to their promises we should show them the door otherwise they will not fear you, only hold you in contempt.The voters of BC showed that the people can fight back and they can win. Let`s move that spirit across the country.And that`s the Byline.Hmmmmm.....OoooooH Canada?Read the full story here.
- UK - Muslims-Only Day at British Alton Towers Fun Park.(Sun).Up to 28,000 are expected at Alton Towers on September 17 when there will be no music, booze or gambling.Instead there will be prayer areas, Muslim stalls and all food served will be halal.Organisers Islamic Leisure have billed it the First National Muslim Fun Day and tickets can only be bought through their website.Non-Muslims phoning the Staffordshire park have been refused tickets.One, George Hughes, 19, who rang up for 15 tickets for a pal’s birthday, said: “I couldn’t believe it.“It’s the only day we can go, yet I can’t because I’m not Muslim. Can you imagine all the fuss if there was a Christians-only day?”George, of Crayford, Kent, added: “My Muslim friends think it’s outrageous.“What’s the world coming to when people are being banned from flying the St George’s flag yet this sort of day is allowed? If it must be held, then why not on a weekday rather than a busy weekend?”The event is widely promoted on the internet and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee declared it “exclusively for our brothers and sisters”.But some Muslims have condemned the idea. One university student on a Muslim website forum said: “It’s hardly encouraging integration.”Another said: “What next . . . an all Muslims shopping day out in the Trafford Centre in Manchester?”Abid Hussan of Islamic Leisure insisted the day was open to all faiths, although Islamic laws would apply.He added: “There will be no smoking, no alcohol and halal food only.“We’re trying to get Muslims to go to this day because they wouldn’t normally go somewhere like Alton Towers. We’re trying to integrate Muslims into the wider community. People can come down and see the way we live. It will be a peaceful family environment.”Alton Towers said any organization could hire the park for a day.A spokeswoman said “We make no distinction regarding sexuality, religious, ethnic or lifestyle choices.”She confirmed tickets for the day were now available only through Islamic Leisure. And Alton Towers would promote the fact that the day had been booked.She added: “As a general rule, there will be no admission on the day to guests who have not booked through the organization in advance.”Read the full story here.
- Police arrest 15 at Playland in dispute over Muslim headwear.(Lohud).RYE — A melee broke out Tuesday afternoon at Playland Amusement Park when Muslim visitors became angry that the park was enforcing its ban on headgear by prohibiting the women from wearing their traditional head coverings on some rides.Police from at least nine agencies converged on the park beginning at 3 p.m. after county police sought assistance in responding to the disturbance, which involved 30 to 40 people.Two rangers were injured while breaking up a fight between visitors, and two visitors were charged with felony assault, police said. Another 13 people were arrested, most charged with disorderly conduct. Names were not disclosed, and all those charged were released by Tuesday night.One of the rangers suffered an injured knee and the other an injured shoulder, said Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia.Parks officials “painstakingly” told the organizer about the headgear ban, said. Tartaglia. But he said that the rules might not have been communicated by the organizer to some attendees.Three accidents on Playland rides that killed two children and a park worker between 2004 and 2007 were unrelated to clothing the victims were wearing. But the headgear ban was among safety rules that went into effect after those deaths.“It’s a safety issue on rides. If it’s a scarf, you could choke,” Tartaglia said.Accounts of what happened varied, but everyone agreed the dispute began after parkgoers were told the headgear ban applied to women wearing traditional Muslim head coverings, known as hijabs.Tartaglia said once word of that got out there were “a lot of unhappy people.”Tartaglia said park officials were in the process of arranging refunds when members of the Muslim group got into a scuffle with each other.A park cashier told a Journal News reporter that a woman wearing a hijab either pushed or hit a ride operator who forbade her from going on the ride. She said a police officer tried to restrain the woman and the woman’s husband took offense, at which point a multiple-person fight broke out.At 4:30 p.m., more than an hour and a half after the incident started, nearly three dozen cruisers blocked Playland’s entrance and a helicopter was flying overhead. A reporter counted nearly 60 cruisers on the scene from various agencies.Tartaglia said the county believed a mass response was required “as a safety precaution.”The park was never closed to attendees but for a time new visitors were not being allowed in. Crowds were being turned away at Playland Parkway and Forest Avenue. Read the full story here.More here with video.
- Russia's Soyuz Program Crashes and Burns,now Astronauts May Have to Abandon Space Station.(NYTimes).Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed.Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit. Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station. “We’re going to do what’s the safest for the crew and for the space station, which is a very big investment of our governments,” said Michael T. Suffredini, manager of the space station program for NASA, during a news conference on Monday. “Our job is, as stewards of the government, to protect that investment, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.” The $100 billion station has been continuously occupied for over a decade. Last Wednesday, an unmanned Russian cargo ship known as the Progress, which was carrying three tons of supplies to the space station, crashed in Siberia. Telemetry from the rocket indicated that a drop of fuel pressure led its computer to shut down the third-stage engine prematurely five and a half minutes into flight. The Soyuz rocket that lifts the Progress is similar to the Soyuz rocket that takes astronauts to the station, and officials want to make sure they understand what failed on last week’s launching and are confident it will not occur again. Two unmanned launchings of Soyuz rockets are likely to occur before the next set of three crew members head to the space station. That launching had been scheduled for Sept. 21. The loss of the Progress is of little immediate impact. One of the Russian astronauts is running short of clothes and might have to borrow some from NASA, Mr. Suffredini said. The current crew has plenty of supplies and could remain in space longer. What expires, however, is their return trip. Two Soyuz capsules, each with seats for three passengers, are currently docked to the space station. But the capsules are certified to last only 200 days in orbit, because hydrogen peroxide for the spacecraft’s thrusters degrades over time. The return of the first capsule has been pushed back a week, to Sept. 15, giving NASA and the Russian space agency more time to study their options. Delaying much more than that would run into a safety rule, that the capsules land during the day. The next opportunity would be in late October, beyond the 200-day limit. The Russians could study whether the capsule’s condition could allow a longer stay, but Mr. Suffredini questioned whether that would be wise.“When you’ve already been handed one significant challenge, maybe you shouldn’t put another one on top of it until you sort that one out,” he said. The other three crew members would return in the second Soyuz capsule in mid-November. If the problem with the Soyuz rocket had not been resolved, the station would then be empty.Read the full story here.
- Israel and Egypt deploy troops opposite each other on border.(JPost).Islamic Jihad cell currently in Sinai consists of over 10 terrorists who on their way to carry out an attack against Israel.The IDF deployed large numbers of infantry soldiers along Israel’s border with Egypt, as fears mount regarding the possible infiltration of terrorists with plans to kidnap residents from borderline communities.According to intelligence collected by the defense establishment, the Islamic Jihad cell currently in Sinai consists of over 10 terrorists who are currently on their way to carry out an attack against Israel along the Egyptian border.The decision to publicize the terror alert was made as part of an effort to dissuade the terrorists from continuing with their plans.“Islamic Jihad is trying for a long time to perpetrate the attacks from the Sinai, and the holiday of Eid al-Fitr is a good time for attacks,” Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said on Tuesday during a visit to an Elbit Systems factory in Sderot in reference to the Muslim holiday.“The defense establishment has concrete intelligence regarding plans by a terror cell from the Sinai consisting of more than 10 people.”Vilnai said that the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) were working closely to thwart the attack and that Israel was also coordinating with Egypt.On Monday, the IDF went on high alert along Israel’s southern border with Egypt and significantly bolstered its forces there amid concrete intelligence that Islamic Jihad terrorists were planning to infiltrate into Israel and carry out a similar attack to the one near Eilat 10 days ago.Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz made the decision to beef up forces along the border late Sunday night and instructed OC Planning Directorate Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel to update the Egyptian military of the decision.IDF sources said that intelligence indicated that the Islamic Jihad cell had crossed into the Sinai Peninsula from the Gaza Strip and was planning to carry out an attack along one of the roads that runs alongside the border in the coming days. As a result, both Roads 12 and 10 remained closed on Tuesday.A senior defense official said on Tuesday that Israel was restraining itself and not taking action against the Islamic Jihad in order to not undermine the Egyptian regime.On Monday, the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported that some 1,500 soldiers and police officers – supported by tanks and armored vehicles – began combing the cities of El-Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah, near the Gaza border.Fearing a spike in violence on the Eid al-Fitr holiday, authorities reportedly called on Beduin tribal elders to urge would-be terrorists not to engage in violent acts.On Tuesday, the daily ran a feature on Egypt-Israel relations in the post-Hosni Mubarak era, with a focus on the four-day protest at the Israeli embassy last week.The article noted the growing consensus among Egyptians over scrapping, or at least amending, the treaty, including the clause stipulating the demilitarization of Sinai.Hmmmmm.......Read the full story here.
- Foreign Ministry preparing for release of Palmer Report,accuses IHH of pre-meditated violence and Turkish government of working with IHH.(JPost).Officials: Report expected to uphold Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza Strip, place Ankara in negative light; ‘Mavi Marmara’ suit shelved amid fears Israel could win legal challenge, says Kuwaiti daily.The Foreign Ministry is drawing up talking points and writing press releases in the run-up to Friday’s expected release of the Palmer Commission report on the Mavi Marmara incident.The preparations follow Turkey’s rejection of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s proposal that publication of the report be postponed for another six months. Release of the report has been delayed repeatedly since May 15, when it was first scheduled to be published.According to Israeli officials, the Turks – in addition to demanding an apology for the incident and compensation for the families of the nine Turks killed on the ship – are also interested in seeing the report buried because it upholds Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and places Ankara in a negative light.What Netanyahu hoped to do by postponing publication of the report, the officials said, was to give the Turks what they wanted regarding burying the report, as well as to postpone the apology issue.Israel has already said it would pay compensation through a fund set up by the Turkish government.According to Israeli officials, the 102-page report comes to the following conclusions:
• Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza was legal, as was the interception of vessels trying to break the blockade.
• The IHH activists behind the flotilla were looking for a violent provocation.
• Turkey had a role with the IHH in the flotilla setting sail.
• The IDF soldiers defended themselves after coming up against premeditated violence by those on the ship.
• The IDF soldiers used excessive force.
The publication of the report has been delayed for months in the hopes that Israel and Turkey could reach an amicable agreement that would obviate the need for its publication. The concern is that once the report is released – a report that calls on Israel to express “regret” for the incident, but not apologize – it will be more difficult for Israel and Turkey to reach any type of reconciliation.Israel has already expressed regret for the loss of life in the incident.Meanwhile, a Kuwait-based English website, Arab Times, cited on Tuesday the country’s Al-Dar daily as reporting that the Kuwaiti Justice Ministry will “shelve the case which has been filed by MP Dr. Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and others against the Israeli government for humiliating and assaulting them while they were aboard the Turkish flotilla.”According to the report, “The ministry was preparing to file a lawsuit in international courts, but was advised by lawyers not to go ahead with the suit because Israel could win the case and Kuwait would end up paying billions of dollars in compensation because the ship had violated international law by entering the Israeli territorial waters without permission.”Read the full story here.
- How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli.(AsiaTimes). By Pepe Escobar. His name is Abdelhakim Belhaj. Some in the Middle East might have, but few in the West and across the world would have heard of him. Time to catch up. Because the story of how an al-Qaeda asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter - once again - that wilderness of mirrors that is the "war on terror", as well as deeply compromising the carefully constructed propaganda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) "humanitarian" intervention in Libya. Already last Tuesday, Belhaj was gloating on how the battle was won, with Gaddafi forces escaping "like rats" (note that's the same metaphor used by Gaddafi himself to designate the rebels). Abdelhakim Belhaj, aka Abu Abdallah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi. Born in May 1966, he honed his skills with the mujahideen in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. He's the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and its de facto emir - with Khaled Chrif and Sami Saadi as his deputies. After the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan; one of them, 30 kilometers north of Kabul - run by Abu Yahya - was strictly for al-Qaeda-linked jihadis. After 9/11, Belhaj moved to Pakistan and also to Iraq, where he befriended none other than ultra-nasty Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - all this before al-Qaeda in Iraq pledged its allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and turbo-charged its gruesome practices. In Iraq, Libyans happened to be the largest foreign Sunni jihadi contingent, only losing to the Saudis. Moreover, Libyan jihadis have always been superstars in the top echelons of "historic" al-Qaeda - from Abu Faraj al-Libi (military commander until his arrest in 2005, now lingering as one of 16 high-value detainees in the US detention center at Guantanamo) to Abu al-Laith al-Libi (another military commander, killed in Pakistan in early 2008). The LIFG had been on the US Central Intelligence Agency's radars since 9/11. In 2003, Belhaj was finally arrested in Malaysia - and then transferred, extraordinary rendition-style, to a secret Bangkok prison, and duly tortured. In 2004, the Americans decided to send him as a gift to Libyan intelligence - until he was freed by the Gaddafi regime in March 2010, along with other 211 "terrorists", in a public relations coup advertised with great fanfare. The orchestrator was no less than Saif Islam al-Gaddafi - the modernizing/London School of Economics face of the regime. LIFG's leaders - Belhaj and his deputies Chrif and Saadi - issued a 417-page confession dubbed "corrective studies" in which they declared the jihad against Gaddafi over (and illegal), before they were finally set free. A fascinating account of the whole process can be seen in a report called "Combating Terrorism in Libya through Dialogue and Reintegration". Note that the authors, Singapore-based terrorism "experts" who were wined and dined by the regime, express the "deepest appreciation to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation for making this visit possible". Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same - and Belhaj was/is its emir. In 2007, LIFG was calling for a jihad against Gaddafi but also against the US and assorted Western "infidels". Fast forward to last February when, a free man, Belhaj decided to go back into jihad mode and align his forces with the engineered uprising in Cyrenaica. Every intelligence agency in the US, Europe and the Arab world knows where he's coming from. He's already made sure in Libya that himself and his militia will only settle for sharia law. There's nothing "pro-democracy" about it - by any stretch of the imagination. And yet such an asset could not be dropped from NATO's war just because he was not very fond of "infidels". The late July killing of rebel military commander General Abdel Fattah Younis - by the rebels themselves - seems to point to Belhaj or at least people very close to him. It's essential to know that Younis - before he defected from the regime - had been in charge of Libya's special forces fiercely fighting the LIFG in Cyrenaica from 1990 to 1995. The Transitional National Council (TNC), according to one of its members, Ali Tarhouni, has been spinning Younis was killed by a shady brigade known as Obaida ibn Jarrah (one of the Prophet Mohammed's companions). Yet the brigade now seems to have dissolved into thin air.From the beginning, Gaddafi said this was a foreign-backed/al-Qaeda operation; he was right (although he forgot to say this was above all neo-Napoleonic French President Nicolas Sarkozy's war, but that's another story). He also said this was a prelude for a foreign occupation whose target was to privatize and take over Libya's natural resources. He may - again – turn out to be right. The Singapore "experts" who praised the Gaddafi regime's decision to free the LIFG's jihadis qualified it as "a necessary strategy to mitigate the threat posed to Libya". Now, LIFG/AQIM is finally poised to exercise its options as an "indigenous political force". Ten years after 9/11, it's hard not to imagine a certain decomposed skull in the bottom of the Arabian Sea boldly grinning to kingdom come. Hmmmmm.....Meanwhile the Obama Administration guidelines for the 9/11 rememberance says not to mention Al-qaida.....makes you really wonder who's who?Thanks.......'Hussein'.Read the full story here.
- Two Clashing Scenarios for Afghanistan Following the U.S. and Coalition Withdrawal in 2014, and Beyond That to 2024.(Memri).By: Tufail Ahmad and Y. Carmon.U.S. and international troops are slated to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. However, there are two clashing scenarios emerging in the run-up to 2014, and well beyond that into 2024, a key year in U.S. strategy. Of these scenarios, one is being considered by the U.S. and Afghan government; and the other is being engineered by the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its surrogates: the Taliban, Hizb-e-Islami and other terrorist groups.Both sides have a vision of what a desired outcome should be in Afghanistan. The U.S. has a hopeful vision of an independent Afghan state capable of taking over its security responsibilities; the ISI's current strategy is to take control of Afghanistan and shape its domestic policymaking and strategic relations with neighboring nations. This analysis looks at the U.S.-led strategy to ensure a stable Afghanistan, and how the ISI is engineering a counter-strategy as evident in political and military spheres.Read the full story here.
- In Egypt, Holiday Dinner to be Held Outside U.S. Embassy in Solidarity with the Blind Sheikh.(Memri).The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya organization in Egypt has announced that it would hold its Eid Al-Fitr prayers outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo in solidarity with the leader of the organization, Sheikh Omar Abd Al-Rahman (the Blind Sheikh).Abd Al-Rahman has been imprisoned in the U.S. since 1996 due to his involvement with the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.Eid Al-Fitr is the holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan.Hmmmm......The 'people' the Obama administration is pledging 2.57 Billion Dollars and Abrams tanks to.Read the full story here.
- Zahar: Abbas visit in Gaza could become violent.(JPost).Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no intentions of visiting the Gaza Strip in the near future, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, hinting that there may be threats on Abbas's life should he choose to do so.Zahar stressed that Hamas was not interested in jeopardizing the internal security situation in the Gaza Strip should Abbas decide to visit and cause internal Fatah violence to occur as a result of "unsettled accounts."According to al-Quds al-Arabi, Zahar may have been referring to the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian Authority president and ex-Fatah official and strident Abbas critic Muhammad Dahlan.Most recently, Dahlan claimed that a $1 billion fund had gone missing since Abbas became president in 2005. He made those comments only a few days after PA security forces raided Dahlan's Ramallah home confiscating documents, weapons, and private luxury vehicles. Zahar also dismissed any attempts by Abbas to rekindle the stalled reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah's leadership as futile, saying of the failed process: "the [reconciliation] agreement was completed [in Cairo], but it's implementation is defunct."Zahar dismissed any sort of talks that have occurred between officials in Fatah and Hamas of being concerned simply with "peripheral matters."Hmmmmmm......According to the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which is now part of customary law and therefore binding on all countries," a state must possess a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and a capacity to enter into relationships with other states."Yup that doesn't sound like it.Read the full story here.
- Seven killed, 18 injured in Chechnya suicide bombings.(Rainovosti).Seven people were killed and 18 wounded in two explosions that occurred in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, on Tuesday evening, the Russian North Caucasus republic's head Ramzan Kadyrov said on Wednesday.He said five police officers, an Emergencies Ministry official and a civilian were killed. Those injured included both law enforcers and civilians.The first explosion occurred when police officers attempted to detain a suspected militant in the city's Leninsky district, and a second blast followed some 30 minutes later when police officers and passersby gathered on the site.Earlier it was reported that four people died and five were injured in the blasts apparently committed by suicide bombers.Chechnya, which witnessed two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s, has seen a relative calm in recent years, with neighboring Dagestan and Ingushetia bearing the brunt of North Caucasus militant violence.Read the full story here.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Indonesia 6.8 and : 5.1 Vanuatu! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Report: Israel sends 2 warships to Egyptian border,Iran set to send 15th fleet to area as well as 'to thwart pirate activity'.(Ynet).The Israeli Navy (INF) has decided to boost its presence and patrols near Israel's maritime border with Egypt due to a viable terror threat in the area, Ynet learned on Monday.Israeli security sources told the Associated Press that two additional warships have been dispatched to Israel's Red Sea border with Egypt.On Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz order to bolster the deployment across the entire southern sector, especially in the area near the Israel-Egypt border, following intelligence indicating am imminent threat.The area adjacent to the border has become the scene of military deployment once security source described as "unprecedented." The IDF has also deployed advanced technology in the area in order to thwart terror attacks. Still, No changes in security alignments were observed on the Egyptian side of the border. Military intelligence suggests that a terror cell has left the Gaza Strip and intends to infiltrate Israel through Sinai. According to a report in Egypt's al-Masri al-Youm newspaper, Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai said that the cell may number as many as 10 terrorists. The security situation in southern Israel has been particularly tense over the past few weeks, following a series of terror attacks that claimed the lives of eight Israelis in mid-August; as well as several days in which Israel's western Negev communities suffered heavy shelling by Gaza Strip-based terror groups. Following the terror attack, in which five Egyptian troops were also killed, Israel and Egypt agreed to increase the presence of Cairo troops in the Sinai Peninsula. As a result, some 1,500 Egyptian soldiers deployed across Sinai on Monday.Meanwhile, Iran's Press TV reported Monday that Tehran has decided to dispatch the 15th fleet to the Red Sea once more.Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told the state-run agency that the Islamic Republic is planning to send its 15th fleet to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, adding that the fleet's main operation objective will be to patrol the high seas and thwart pirate raids. The Islamic Republic's 15th fleet is comprised of a submarine and a several warships. Sayyari noted that Iran's Navy plans to have "an active presence in the high seas in line with the guidelines of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with the purpose of serving the country's interests.“The presence of Iran's army in the high seas will convey the message of peace and friendship to all countries,” he said.Hmmmmm......As i said September will be a very 'hot' month.Read the full story here.
- Algeria would hand over Qaddafi to ICC as Libya ‘final battle’ approaches.(AlArabiya).Algeria would hand over Muammar Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court if he entered the North African country, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday, a day after Algiers gave safe haven to members of his family, as the rebels' military chief said the final battle in Libya was imminent.Algeria announced on Monday that Qaddafi’s wife, two of his sons and his daughter had crossed into its territory, prompting Libya’s ruling interim council to demand that they be handed back to face trial.Quoting Algerian sources, the el-Shorouk newspaper said on its website that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had told government ministers during a cabinet meeting on Monday that Algeria would respect international law on all matters related to the Libyan conflict.“Should Qaddafi try to enter Algerian soil amid talk that the rebels are tightening their grip on the border with Tunisia, and Egyptian (border) restrictions, Algeria would arrest him and hand him over to the International Criminal Court in compliance with international agreements,” the newspaper said, according to Reuters.It said the decision was not a reaction to the toppling of the Qaddafi regime but was in accordance with the ICC’s arrest warrants for Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and his intelligence chief over accusations they committed crimes against humanity.No one was immediately available for comment from the government.In a separate report, Shorouk said Qaddafi’s family members, who had crossed into Algeria, were in the southeastern Illizi province, which borders Libya, and would not be allowed to go to the capital Algiers.Qaddafi’s location remains unknown a week after Tripoli fell to his foes.Hmmmm.....Who else was in the six armored Mercedes that crossed the Algerian border three days ago?Read the full story here.
- Qaddafi’s daughter gives birth in Algeria: authorities.(AlArabiya).Muammar Qaddafi daughter Aisha, who fled to Algeria with other family members, has given birth to a baby girl, Algerian authorities announced Tuesday. “Aisha gave birth very early this morning. She had a little girl. Mother and daughter are doing fine,” said a government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Libyan interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Tuesday said he believes Qaddafi’s family members will leave Algeria for another country, adding that Algeria would not keep “criminals” wanted by the international justice.But Algerian foreign ministry spokesman Amar Belani said his country authorized the entry of Qaddafi’s wife and three children for “strictly humanitarian reasons.”Asked by AFP about a request issued by Libya’s ruling Transitional National Council (NTC) for the return of the children, Aisha, Mohammed and Hannibal, and Safiya, Qaddafi’s second wife, as well as details of where they are, Belani simply replied: “These people have been admitted to Libya for strictly humanitarian reasons.”“We have informed the Secretary General of the United Nations, the president of the (UN) Security Council and the president of the executive council of the executive council of the NTC,” he said in an e-mail sent to AFP.When the Libyan foreign ministry on Monday announced the arrival of the Qaddafi family, the rebels’ justice minister Mohammed al-Allagya told AFP that the Algerian authorities would be asked to send them back to Libya.The spokesman of the rebel government, Mahmud Shammam, said on Monday evening that the NTC had been told by Algeria of the family’s arrival.Read the full story here.
- Rebel officer says Qaddafi’s son Khamis killed in clash near Tripoli.(AlArabiya).Fallen Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi’s son Khamis has been killed in a clash near Tripoli, a senior rebel officer said on Monday.Colonel Al-Mahdi Al-Haragi, in charge of the Tripoli Brigade of the rebel army, said he had confirmation that Khamis was badly wounded in the clash near Ben Walid and Tarhoni.He was taken to a hospital but died of his wounds and was buried in the area, Haragi said, without confirming the date of his death. No independent confirmation of the death was available.A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the United States could not yet independently confirm Khamis’ death but said similar information was being received in Washington from “reliable sources.”Earlier on Monday, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told Reuters he had intended to apply for an arrest warrant for Khamis Qaddafi.Human Rights Watch said members of the Khamis Brigade, a force commanded by him, appeared to have carried out summary executions of detainees whose bodies were found in a warehouse in Tripoli.The Hague-based ICC has already approved warrants for the arrest of Muammar Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam, and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.Khamis Qaddafi had already been reported to be killed twice during this year’s uprising against his father.Read the full story here.
- White House Aide Says Obama Upset Black Leaders Aren’t Giving Him Any Credit: “The Whole Thing Is bull-sh-t”.(Politico).If there’s anything close to a political certainty in 2012, it’s that Barack Obama will get more than 90 percent of the African-American vote.But that doesn’t mean every black Obama supporter will vote for him happily – nor does it guarantee that turnout will approach the stratospheric levels of 2008, even though Obama needs a huge showing from his base to offset the expected loss of swing voters in states like North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.With that in mind, prominent black leaders — fearing Obama is not only taking them for granted but avoiding them in public — have turned up the heat on the nation’s first African-American president, transforming all-in-the-family concerns into open criticism of the president at a time when they had hoped the completion of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. near the National Mall would bring a moment of unity.The leaders are tired, they say, of Obama dog-whistling his support for a broad black agenda rather than explicitly embracing the kind of war on racism, poverty and economic segregation embodied by King.“You can spend a lot of time trying to win over white independents, but if you don’t pay attention to your base, African Americans, if you have not locked up your base yet, you’ve got a serious problem,” said CNN contributor Roland Martin.In a striking turnabout for a president who has rewritten American racial history, Obama finds himself the target of criticism from the black cultural and political elite that has, for the most part, been leery of airing its disappointment.The president is reportedly angry that African-American leaders aren’t crediting him for his hard-bought achievements that will especially help communities of color, including health care reform, aid to cities, student aid and protecting Medicaid.“The whole thing is bull-sh-t… We have met with [black leaders] more than any other group and we are increasing our outreach,” said a person close to Obama.But Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), who represents several predominantly-black Los Angeles-area neighborhoods, brings up an issue that African-American leaders repeatedly raise when talking about Obama: They say he’s worried about being too closely identified with the community that gave him inspiration and bedrock support.“I understand that you’ve got to be president for all people, but this administration has gone just too far, they really don’t even say ‘African-American’ or talk about [our] specific issues,” Richardson told POLITICO.Read the full story here.
- Euro-Zone Rifts.Watchdog Worried About Europe's Banking Sector.(Spiegel).The head of Europe's banking watchdog has called for the euro rescue fund to provide direct aid to ailing banks to help calm markets. The head of the IMF made a similar demand, exposing an apparent rift with EU governments on how to handle the debt crisis. Berlin and the EU have rejected such changes.Read the full story here.
- Head of Euro-Zone Bailout Fund:'The Crisis Will Be Over in Two to Three Years'.(Spiegel).By Christian Reiermann.Klaus Regling, the German CEO of the euro zone's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, is confident that the monetary union can overcome the current crisis. He considers the euro zone to be in a better position than the US when it comes to public debt, and accuses his fellow Germans of "hysteria." Regling also views all the manic fear in Germany of a so-called transfer union as "nonsense." In the "only case of insolvency in the euro zone," namely Greece, only private-sector creditors -- and no public ones -- have been asked to contribute so far. "Only if Greece was expelled from the currency union, as some economists have demanded, would there be a high probability of transfer payments," he says. At that point, the country would no longer be able to pay back the loans it had taken out from its partner countries, which would continue being denominated in euros.Indeed, Regling's long-term faith in the euro remains unshaken. "The currency union is not going to break apart, because strong and weak countries have a common interest in its survival." The economic price of its failure would be too high, he says. "The chances that the euro will be abandoned by anyone, no matter who, are practically zero."The fact that things have already almost reached that point in the past doesn't change Regling's mind. A year ago, he predicted that "the most likely scenario" was that he and his EFSF would not actually have to intervene. The facility's very existence would be enough to calm the markets down, he argued at the time. However, things turned out differently. Sometimes an optimist is nothing but a person who refuses to let themselves be discouraged by their own mistakes. Indeed, Regling believes that there is "good reason to hope that the crisis will be over in two to three years' time." The precondition for this, he adds, is that the euro-zone countries continue their austerity and reform plans and that the global economy doesn't collapse.Read the full story here.
- Obama Seeks to Control Education Through Waivers.(HumanEvents).A new tale of presidential waiver abuse is brewing, and this time it has nothing to do with ObamaCare. The President is preparing to grant waivers from the decade-old “No Child Left Behind” program, a huge transfer of educational authority from states to the federal government, with a hefty $25 billion annual price tag. After chugging along for ten years, NCLB has not accumulated much of a fan base. Is the Obama waiver program a relatively well-intentioned attempt to legislate through executive fiat: unraveling a badly frayed law, returning control to the states, and encouraging innovation?Keep dreaming! Of course Obama would never do anything that reduced federal power. No, these waivers are an attempt to centralize control of education even more. Among other things, NCLB sets difficult educational performance goals for states to meet, and our current public education system is not very good at meeting difficult goals. Obama is offering the states a way to escape from NCLB’s demands… but in exchange, they have to adopt the Administration’s agenda in a number of key areas. The power of the Department of Education would increase tremendously. As the House Committee on Education and the Workforce puts it in a press release:
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration seems determined to override Congressional efforts to reform the law and enact a backdoor education agenda. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan continues to push forward an ill-conceived plan to offer states and school districts waivers in exchange for reforms rooted not in the law but in the secretary’s own education agenda. Despite Chairman Kline’s efforts to gain more details about what these conditional waivers may entail, the Secretary refuses to provide any information about the administration’s controversial proposal.
In other words, the states would go from being pushed around by Congress to being micro-managed by the Administration. Education policy would become the latest area of American life that our elected congressional representatives no longer get to vote on. As Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation notes:
While Obama is pushing his education agenda on states, he is doing so under the guise of flexibility. Yet, temporary relief bound by the strings of greater federal regulation is anything but flexible.For nearly five decades, Washington has attempted to improve schools with top-down policies. Rather than helping students achieve, this has only extended federal overreach. Pulling states more tightly into the grip of central government will do nothing to loosen the red tape ensnaring the nation’s education system.States need education reform that offers true flexibility—allowing states to meet the needs of students rather than toe the line set by Washington.
There aren’t too many examples of ruinous central planning more vivid than the collapse of American public education. The growth of the Department of Education, and the rising power of teachers’ unions, came at the expense of educational quality. There’s nothing particularly complicated about this, because centralization destroys accountability. The “suggestion box” for public schools has been moving further and further from individual parents and communities. Bad teachers became almost impossible to get rid of, and the educational establishment responded to every criticism with angry demands for more money. The money and power amassed by the educational establishment is almost comically inverse to their performance.The last thing Americans need is for the current President to grab more power by selling “Get Out Of Legislation Free” cards that turn out to be anything but “free.”Hmmmmm......The 'Totalitarian presidency'?Read the full story here.
- JOHNSON: Obama at a loss.(Washingtontimes).Applying business sense to government can get U.S. back on track.When stock prices were plunging earlier this month, President Obama strode to the teleprompter and utterly failed to calm the markets or the American people. Sadly, they saw what I saw - and have come to exactly the same conclusion: Mr. Obama does not know what to do. He never did.Since taking office in admittedly tough economic conditions, the president has taken America 180 degrees in the wrong direction. His failed $825-billion stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the explosion of his administration’s other job-killing regulations have combined to put a stranglehold on our economy. Until these policies are reversed, the lack of confidence that dampens consumption, business investment and job creation will be the order of the day. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is blinded by ideology and refuses to acknowledge the harm his agenda has wreaked on America and our economic future.Fortunately, some in Congress understand the harm his agenda is causing and are working hard to reverse course.As a thought experiment, imagine how much uncertainty would be removed and the level of confidence that would return if the entire Obama agenda were repealed tomorrow. A pretty pleasant thought, isn’t it?We can’t repeal the additional $4 trillion that has been added to our nation’s debt during his tenure, but we can repeal his agenda - the sooner the better. I can’t think of a more effective first step in any “jobs program,” and I challenge anyone to come up with a better one. I’m confident the president’s umpteenth attempt at a jobs program will be nothing more than a slight variation on already-tried-and-failed themes. Why would we expect anything different or think he has any personal knowledge on how to create jobs?Few on Mr. Obama’s team have ever built a company, manufactured or marketed a product or balanced the company books. They have no clue how to get our economy reignited and no clue how to create an atmosphere in which the private sector can create the jobs we need. To them, the private sector is little more than a cash cow to fund bigger, more expensive government in Washington.As the former chief executive officer of a midsized manufacturing business, I do understand the value of the real job producers in America. I also understand how Mr. Obama’s policies affect their ability to expand their businesses and create new jobs. What we need to do to get our economy moving again is pretty obvious. Here’s a short outline of the necessary components of a solution.Read the full story here.
- Kyl Says Obama Said No Border Security for Political Reasons.(NewZeal).On June 18, 2010, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl told the audience at a North Phoenix Tea Party town hall meeting that during a private, one-on-one meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, the President told him, regarding securing the southern border with Mexico, “The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” [Audible gasps were heard throughout the audience.] Sen. Kyl continued, “In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’”Read the full story here.
- Video - TSA officer admits to allowing drug dealers to bypass airport security.(RightScoop).Through the work of two buffalo women, a drug dealer was able to obtain a fake birth certificate and bypass security at a Buffalo airport:Today a drug dealer. Tomorrow a suicide bomber. This is going to be a problem.Hmmmm.....No todlers or Grannies passed unchecked?Read the full story here.
- Obama Snubs VFW: First Time In Group’s History White House Not Sending Senior Official To Veterans Convention.((Fox News) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars convention this week will not feature a top-tier official from the Obama administration, a breach in tradition that the group’s commander described as an “insult of the highest magnitude.”However, an administration official claimed Monday that the White House made “every effort” to provide a speaker for the event, offering up a range of top officials.“In all instances, the VFW declined those offers,” the official said.The veterans group is accustomed to playing host to the nation’s most powerful people at its national conference. Obama addressed the VFW in 2009, followed by Vice President Biden in 2010.But the 2-million strong VFW accused the administration of snubbing its members by not providing a “first-tier speaker” for the first time in VFW history.“The VFW has had a long-standing tradition of inviting the sitting president to address our convention,” Richard Eubank, national commander of the organization, said in a statement, adding that the White House typically chooses a “high-level administration official” to speak if the president cannot attend.“It is an insult of the highest magnitude that for the first time in the history of the VFW, the White House has apparently decided that this great and iconic organization of combat veterans and all of its members are not worthy of its notice by not at least offering a first-tier speaker from the administration.”Hmmmm......."Commander in Chief or Vacationer in chief?"By the way :Texas Governor Rick Perry to Attend VFW Convention .Read the full story here.
- The Uproar Over Voter-ID Laws.(Heritage).The left is in an uproar over new voter-ID laws passed by states including Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island. Their complaint? That requiring someone to authenticate his or her identity at the polling place amounts to racial discrimination.The Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky writes in this week’s National Review that, in truth, the vast majority of Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds support voter-ID laws. And he breaks apart liberals’ arguments against the requirements:
Once you get past the race-baiting, you will find that opponents of voter ID generally rely on two arguments, equally specious: 1) There is no need for photo ID, because there is no voter fraud in the United States; 2) This is a deliberate effort to suppress the turnout of minority voters, who often don’t have photo ID. Liberals keep repeating these false claims despite the fact that they have been disproved both in the courtroom and at the polling place.
The claim that there is no voter fraud in the U.S. is patently ridiculous, given our rich and unfortunate history of it. As the U.S. Supreme Court said when it upheld Indiana’s photo-ID law in 2008, “Flagrant examples of such fraud . . . have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists.” The liberal groups that fought Indiana’s law didn’t have much luck with liberal justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the 6–3 decision. Before being named to the Supreme Court, Justice Stevens practiced law in Chicago, a hotbed of electoral malfeasance . . .
Election data in Georgia demonstrate that concern about a negative effect on the Democratic or minority vote is baseless. Turnout there increased more dramatically in 2008 — the first presidential election held after the state’s photo-ID law went into effect — than it did in states without photo ID. Georgia had a record turnout in 2008, the largest in its history — nearly 4 million voters. And Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election, the fourth-largest increase of any state. The black share of the statewide vote increased from 25 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. According to Census Bureau surveys, 65 percent of the black voting-age population voted in the 2008 election, compared with only 54.4 percent in 2004, an increase of more than ten percentage points.Read the full story here.
- Timebomb in Euroland: The Eurozone is Heading for a Crash.(BlacklistedNews).By Mike Whitney.Bank funding costs are rising, liquidity is being choked off, and interbank lending has started to stall. A full-blown crisis can still be averted, but leaders will have to knuckle down and resolve the political issues fast. Otherwise the 17-member monetary union will fracture and the euro will be kaput. Here's a clip from the Wall Street Journal:"Commercial banks boosted their reliance on the European Central Bank, borrowing €2.82 billion ($4.07 billion) from an emergency lending facility on Tuesday ... While the amount of borrowing is tiny ... the increase from €555 million a day earlier, nonetheless suggest that some lenders are struggling to borrow from traditional funding sources."("Europe Banks Lean More on Emergency Funding", Wall Street Journal)Sure, it's a pittance compared to the trillions floating around in the EU banking system, but the pattern is the same as it was in 2007 when the troubles began at French bank PNB Paribas. Back then, the problems seemed small, too, but things got out of hand quick. Over the following year, trillions in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were downgraded forcing bigger and bigger losses on the bondholders, many of which were the nation's largest banks. The bloodletting dragged on until September 2008, when Lehman blew up and the whole financial system went into cardiac arrest. The Fed had to rush to Wall Street's rescue with $12 trillion in loans and other guarantees in hand just to keep the patient from croaking on the Emergency Room floor. Now it looks like history is repeating itself.As the collateral the banks hold (mainly foreign sovereign bonds) continues to lose value, the banks will come under greater pressure making funding more costly and harder to get. In fact, the mad-scramble for short-term funding has already begun. Banks are hoarding capital just as they did after the Crash of '08, depositing larger and larger amounts in overnight accounts with the ECB in order to avoid lending to the other banks. All of this is taking a toll on consumer and household lending which will inevitably push eurozone GDP further into the red. The negative feedback loop into the real economy will send unemployment higher while further crimping business investment. This is from Businessweek:
"Despite the ECB’s best efforts, some of Europe’s banks may be inching toward insolvency. The cost of insuring the bonds of 25 European banks and insurers set a record high on Aug. 24 of 257 basis points, higher than the 149 basis-point spike when Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall of 2008, according to the Markit iTraxx Financial Index of credit default swaps.The banks aren’t required to mark down most of their holdings of government debt to market prices. If they did, some would be forced to default or seek a bailout." ("How Long Can the ECB Prop Up Europe’s Sick Banks?", Businessweek)Are you kidding me? The banks are sitting on a mountain of garbage paper and EU regulators haven't even forced them to write down the losses. Is it any wonder why public confidence is at all-time lows?U.S. money funds have been gradually reducing their exposure to EU banks due to worries about their collateral, much of which is bonds from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Greece (PIIGS). Eventually, these bonds will be pounded by downgrades and the banks will have to pony-up for the losses. That'll be the swan song for some of Europe's big name banks that are gravely undercapitalized. Of course, there could be a multi-trillion dollar bailout like in the US, but it's hard to imagine how that would work. After all, Germany has already rejected eurobonds; so why would they support the more offensive idea of bank bailouts? It just doesn't add up.And, in case there's any doubt about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's contempt for eurobonds; here's what she said on Tuesday: “At this time — we’re in a dramatic crisis — euro bonds are precisely the wrong answer...They lead us into a debt union, not a stability union. Each country has to take its own steps to reduce its debt.”Then she added this corker: “We are in no rush whatsoever to solve the crisis in Europe. We will not be swayed by market crashes or panics.”Hmmm. That doesn't sound like someone who appreciates the urgency of the moment. It sounds like someone who wants to teach the market "who's boss".But Merkel's bravado doesn't change the fact that the EU bank funding system is on the fritz; liquidity is drying up, stress gauges are blinking red, and the banks are too scared to lend to each other. It just demonstrates the obtuseness of grandstanding politicians.And, keep in mind that--while QE2 helped many of the European banks stockpile "rainy day" reserves in the US--those piles are beginning to dwindle as investors wise-up and head for the exits. They've seen this movie before, and it doesn't end well. Better to be safe than sorry.Here's an excerpt from a report by Nomura that shows how liquidity is gradually being drained from the system:"The USD cash buffer has been falling according to FED data from 889 billions USD on July 20 to 758 billions USD on August 3....In fact, according to the same report, there was a notable decline of 131 billions USD in two weeks, clearly a trend to watch.... ("Credit Terminal Velocity", Macronomics, Pragmatic Capitalism)Read the full story here.
- 'Gaza militants have Libyan arms'(Ynet).Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday.While the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya's ageing chemical weapons stockpiles, Israel has no indication Hamas or other Palestinian factions have sought these, the officials said.Instead, Israeli officials have detected an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), said one official, describing an overland supply route that opened up between eastern Libya – after it fell to the rebels – and the Gaza Strip via Egypt. "We've been seeing more SA-7s and RPGs coming across," said the official. "It's not a major qualitative enhancement for them." The Soviet-designed SA-7 is a shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missile which Israel said Palestinians had previously smuggled into Gaza. Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), designed to penetrate armour, are plentiful in the territory. Another Israeli official said "thousands" of the weapons had reached Gaza in recent months, but did not provide figures on how many had originated in Libya. Egypt's Sinai peninsula, which borders both Israel and Gaza, has long seen traffic in arms bound for Palestinians. The weapons come up through Sudan or arrive by ship over the Mediterranean. State television reported in Cairo Monday that Egyptian border guards had discovered "a large quantity" of weapons at the border with Libya, giving no more details.Read the full story here.
- Gaza NGOs express 'horror' at new Hamas travel restrictions on Palestinians.(Haaretz).The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip recently imposed new travel restrictions on Palestinians active in non-governmental organizations in what the Palestinian NGO Network regards as another Hamas attempt to control and hamper them.The Hamas interior ministry announced on its website on August 10 that anyone leaving Gaza, in the framework of NGO activity, must provide details of the trip to the ministry’s NGO department. The details include: the purpose, duration and destination of the trip, a description of the project, and the names of the host and group involved, along with the names and personal details of other participants.The Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a statement expressing “horror” at the new development. Gaza sources say the NGO representatives are trying to get Hamas officials to revoke the regulations, which are the latest in a series of government measures affecting the financial affairs and staffing of local and foreign NGOs. Tharut al Bic, head of the interior ministry’s NGO department, is cited in the government-owned al-Rai newspaper as saying that the new instructions are intended to make it easier for travellers to better organize their trip and to preserve order. He did not say how the numerous details the NGOs are required to provide would make the trip easier.These are not the Hamas government’s only restrictions on the freedom of movement of Gaza residents. Those leaving via the Erez border crossing must first pass through a Palestinian police inspection. Fatah members, among the few to whom Israel grants exit permits, are occasionally stopped at the Hamas inspection facility and required to go to the interior ministry’s national security department, where they are questioned about the purpose of their departure. Hamas sometimes denies Fatah or PLO members’ departure at the Rafah terminal in similar ways. In the past, Hamas has forbidden doctors, who wanted to travel to the West Bank for the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry exams in Ramallah, to leave Gaza. About 10 days ago Hamas prohibited high school students, who received a scholarship for a year’s study in the United States, from leaving the Gaza Strip. The government also prohibited children from leaving Gaza to attend a West Bank summer camp financed by a Western body, after Israel had issued them exit permits. Palestinians leaving Gaza via the Rafah terminal are required to register in advance at the interior ministry, to enable coordination with the Egyptian authorities and to ensure that sick people and other emergency cases receive priority. The number of people permitted to leave is restricted, if only for technical reasons.Since June, Hamas authorities have instructed foreign nationals who stay in Gaza for over a week to obtain a special visitor’s card. Every foreign national is required to register with the interior ministry a week after his arrival. At first Hamas charged 5 Jordanian dinars for a visitor’s card, but the Quartet on the Middle East prohibits nationals from Western states (except for Switzerland and Norway) from maintaining official ties or engaging in financial transactions with Hamas authorities. As a result, Hamas agreed to exempt diplomats and UN officials from payment for the visitor’s card. Hmmmm.......Just cut all US aid to these terrorists.Read the full story here.
- Iran invites Libya rebel chief to Tehran.(Ynet).Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akabr Salehi has invited the head of the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Tehran, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday."In a phone conversation (Monday night) with the NTC head, Salehi congratulated the victory of the Muslim people of Libya and stressed (the desire) to deepen bilateral ties," said the statement, a copy of which was received by AFP.Following an invitation by the rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, "Salehi invited the NTC head for a visit at an opportune time," it added.On Sunday, Salehi said Iran had "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli on August 21.Abdel Jalil, for his part, "thanked the Iranian government for its humanitarian aid and assistance during tough times," and called for the return of Iran's ambassador to Libya, according to the Tuesday statement.The phone conversation marked the first official contact between Iran and the NTC since Muammar Gaddafi's capital was overrun by rebels and he went into hiding.Iran has still not officially recognized the NTC.The statement said the Iranian ambassador, who "left Tripoli after the protest movement of the Libyan people," would soon return there.Since the Libyan uprising erupted in mid-February, Iran has adopted a dual approach -- criticizing the Gaddafi regime for its violent assaults on the rebels while at the same time condemning NATO's military intervention.Relations between Shiite majority Iran and Gaddafi's regime were soured by the disappearance in Libya in 1978 of the Iranian-born Imam Moussa Sadr, who is considered a spiritual leader of Lebanon's Shiites.Read the full story here.
- The Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Their Plans for Egypt and the World.(Vinienco).
Q: “If you rise to power in Egypt, will you launch a campaign of Islamic conquest?”
Shehato: “Of course we will launch a campaign of Islamic conquest, throughout the world. As soon as the Muslims and Islam control Egypt and implement the shari’a [there], we will turn to the neighboring regions, [such as] Libya [to the west] and Sudan to the south. All the Muslims in the world who wish to see the shari’a implemented worldwide will join the Egyptian army in order to form Islamic battalions, whose task will be to bring about the victory of [our] faith. We hope that, with Allah’s help, Egypt will be the spark [that sets off this process]…”
Q: “You said that you endorse the ideology of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Does this mean that your way of implementing shari’a in Egypt will be through violence and war, like their [way]?”
Shehato: “No, we will implement the shari’a through da’wa [preaching], while violence will be directed only at the infidel Arab rulers. In their case, there is no choice but to use force, though the shari’a does not call it ‘violence’ but ‘jihad for the sake of Allah.’ There is no other way… because they have power and weapons…”
Q: “How will the foreign ministry [operate] in an Islamic state?”
Shehato: “There are Muslims and there are infidels. We will have ambassadors in every country. We want to call all other countries to join Islam, and that will be the task of the ambassadors. If [the countries] refuse, there will be war. We will not tolerate mutual trade and cultural ties with non-Muslims.”“In the [Islamic] State, There will Be Only Islamic Culture”
Q: “If you rise to power, what will be your approach to tourism?”
Shehato: “There will be tourism for purposes of [medical] treatment, but the tourism sites of the pyramids, the Sphinx, and Sharm Al-Sheikh will be shut down, because my task [as a ruler] is to get people to serve Allah rather than [other] people [i.e., tourists]. No proud Muslim will ever be willing to live off tourism profits, because the tourists come [to Egypt] to drink alcohol and fornicate. [If they] want to come, they must comply with the conditions and laws of Islam. We will explain to them that, according to the shari’a, the pyramids are [the remains of] a pagan and polytheistic age.”
Hmmmm........the 'people' the Obama administration is pledging 2.57 Billion and Abrams tanks to.Read the full story here.
- South Sudan to uphold ties with Israel, despite pressure.(JPost).MK Danon visits new African country to discuss helping Sudanese refugees return to their homeland.South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told Israeli MK Danny Danon on Monday that South Sudan will uphold its diplomatic relations with Israel, despite pressure from Abu Mazen and Ismail Haniyeh to break relations. Kiir said that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh told him that as an Arab state, his country should cut ties with Israel.“I told them that I see Israeli embassies in Jordan and Egypt, and South Sudan is not an Arab state,” Kiir explained to Danon, who flew to the world’s youngest country on a visit intended to strengthen diplomatic ties and discuss refugees.Kiir also agreed to Danon’s request that the future South Sudanese embassy in Israel be built in Jerusalem, and he said he would visit the country.The new African country’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Daniel Akot said that “Israel is like a big brother to South Sudan,” and recounted that Israeli flags were waved at the state’s declaration of independence, 59 days ago.In meetings with the Sudanese Industry and Trade Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister on Monday, Danon also discussed ways the new African state can work with Israel, pointing out that South Sudan has oil, gold, silver, lead, copper and other resources.“Israel’s technological wealth and South Sudan’s wealth of natural resources are a sure recipe for prosperity in both states,” he said.Hmmmm.....North Sudan declaring war....Countdown just started running.Read the full story here.