Thursday, October 6, 2011
TIP Video Shows Uyghur Jihad Fighters Shopping for Guns in Pakistani Town.(Memri).
On October 4, 2011, Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Fajr released a video produced by the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), titled "The Believers on the Road." The 43-minute shows the Uyghur TIP fighters' training activities and everyday routines. Among other scenes, it shows fighters visiting a market in an unidentified Pakistani town. Strolling openly around the market with their rifles slung across their backs, the fighters buy livestock and vegetables, and also shop for guns in the gun-stores that operate in the market.Source.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Argentina 6.1 ; Micronesia 5.6 and greenland 5.4 - 5.3 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obama, Dems Plan To Align Themselves With Occupiers And Tie GOP To Evil Capitalists On Wall Street.(US News) — The burgeoning of populist protests in New York and other cities shows that resentment over the economy is growing, and Democratic strategists are moving aggressively to show that President Obama and his party are taking steps to solve the problem while Republicans are standing in the way.The Democratic National Committee is starting what a spokesman called a coordinated attack with the Obama re-election campaign and state parties designed to link Republican presidential candidates to Wall Street. As part of that effort, the DNC this morning released a new 105-second web video called “Republicans: On the Side of Wall Street, Not Consumers”. . .The DNC also will attack Senate Republicans who have blocked Richard Cordray, the president’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.The news media have been paying increasing attention this week to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests that started in New York and have spread to other cities including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington. Democratic strategists make the point that Obama is sympathetic to the protesters’ underlying concerns. These strategists note that Obama and the Democrats are calling for legal protection for consumers and higher taxes on the wealthy and on big corporations so they pay their “fair share” while the GOP generally opposes those ideas.Hmmmm......"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Wake up America there's a Dictatorship rising.Read the full story here.
- Obama Tax Plan Hides 2nd GM Bailout As ‘Responsibility Fee’.(BigGovernment).The White House has denied pressuring Ford to pull its ad that criticizes competitors that took and have yet to repay taxpayer dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. However, the Obama administration can’t deny a new gift it showers on General Motors and Chrysler in its package of tax hikes to pay for its so-called American Jobs Act.
For all the talk about fairness and equity with the so-called Buffett Rule, there is one sneaky loophole in the Obama revenue proposal that has largely escaped notice. In doublespeak that would make even George Orwell do a doubletake, President Obama’s “financial crisis responsibility fee” would tax banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses that have paid back their bailout money — and even some firms that never took a bailout — to pay the tab of irresponsible firms, namely the auto companies that still owe the government billions.
“We also ask the largest financial firms — companies saved by tax dollars during the financial crisis — to repay the American people for every dime that we spent,” President Obama proclaimed in the Rose Garden two weeks ago. But the details of this “responsibility fee” in the 80-page plan the president submitted to the Joint Committee on Taxation makes it clear that this fee will only be on firms that have already repaid the TARP funds and likely on some firms who never took a dime of taxpayer money.
“Although many of the largest financial firms have repaid the Treasury for their TARP assistance, they continue to implicitly benefit from the TARP funds that bolstered their balance sheets during a period of great economic upheaval,” the administration states. A fee of an unspecified amount “will be restricted to financial firms with assets over $50 billion and will be imposed until all TARP costs have been recouped.”
But let’s look at the “fine print,” which Obama always talks about when making the case for his big new consumer agency, an agency created by the same “pro-consumer” Dodd-Frank law that is responsible for new monthly debit card fees due to price controls on debit card transactions that serve as corporate welfare for big retailers. (I had alerted BigGovernment readers about the dangers of the Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin’s destructive Dodd-Frank provisions last December.)Careful readers of the tax plan can see that or all Obama’s talk of “repayment,” his proposed “responsibility fee” would not be levied on recipients of TARP per se, but “financial firms” with assets of more than $50 billion.Let’s first examine the term “financial firm.” The Obama plan never exactly defines it, but appears narrow enough to exclude auto companies. Fannie and Freddie would also almost certainly be excluded, since they are now officially part of the government, and hence not private “financial firms.”Yet the term “financial firm” is also broad enough to go beyond banks and rope in broker-dealers and insurance companies, most of which have never taken a dime from TARP. Fidelity Investments, for instance, has weathered the storm relatively well and has not taken any TARP money. But since it has assets of more than $1 trillion under management, Fidelity would still likely be hit by the Obama tax.Other probable targets of this tax are well-managed insurance companies such as State Farm and USAA, which also never received taxpayer bailouts. It should also be remembered some of the TARP recipients, like BB&T Corp., hadn’t engaged in the foolish mortgage and credit practices, yet were pressured by the government to take the bailout money so that the truly insolvent banks wouldn’t be stigmatized by taking TARP money.The Obama plan argues disingenuously that “shared responsibility requires that the largest financial firms pay back the taxpayer for the extraordinary support they received.” Yet there is no responsibility, “shared” or otherwise, for the auto companies General Motors and Chrysler that still owe the taxpayer billions. In fact it gives GM and Chrysler a free ride to cave to the United Auto Workers’ demands for thousands more unionized workers, as GM recently did in sham “negotiations” with the union bosses.The White House “wants to make the nation’s largest banks pay for the losses incurred in the $85 billion auto bailout,” reports the Detroit News. And “last month, the Treasury Department raised the government’s estimate of taxpayer losses due to the auto bailout by more than $400 million to $14.33 billion,” the paper adds.What this really means is that ordinary Americans — “working-class folks” as politicians like to call them — will pay for the auto bailouts twice. Once through their tax dollars, and again when their banks and insurance companies pass on the cost of the “responsibility fee” through higher borrowing costs, higher policy premiums, and lower returns on savings and investment. For we know from the experience of the Dodd-Frank debit card price controls that when government imposes costs on business, those costs are inevitably passed on to consumers.So tell us, Mr. President and allies like MoveOn, how does Warren Buffett’s secretary benefit from that?!Read the full story here.
- Video: At National Press Club, Pigford Attorney Publicly Reveals Conspiracy to Defraud Federal Government.(BigGovernment).One of the key attorneys in the Pigford “black farmers” lawsuit has confirmed, on camera, what we at Big Government have argued for months: that the $2.7 billion Pigford settlement has been corrupted by fraud on a massive scale.On September 23, 2011, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., attorney Faya Rose Toure (a.k.a. Rose Sanders) described a conspiracy to defraud the federal government, involving claimants, attorneys, and members of the clergy.The original Pigford plaintiffs were black farmers who sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture for racial discrimination.Sanders related how class-action lawyers later recruited claimants by sending representatives to black churches, where they allegedly told congregants that they were eligible for “reparations,” even if they had never farmed.Sanders’s claims were at least partially corroborated at the press conference by Gary Grant, President of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, who indicated that he knew of the involvement of preachers in Pigford-related fraud.What Sanders reveals in the clip below ought to be enough to cause the supervising judge, Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to suspend the settlement process.It ought to be enough to prompt the FBI to re-open investigations into the lawyers and organizations involved.It ought to be enough to encourage Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to fire up his magic investigation machine, and start issuing subpoenas–not just regarding the Pigford settlement, but also the Obama-created settlements for women, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino famers who are alleging discrimination.Watch the clip, then I’ll take you through some of the points that Pigford attorney Sanders is making.
And so after all of that, they are now accusing the farmers of fraud. There is a problem. There are people who are out there hustling, and taking advantage of black farmers. And some of them are our people. They are the ones that are misleading the people, making them believe they are in the lawsuit, making them believe they are eligible. I actually went to a meeting in Alabama, where these white lawyers from Texas had hired–you were there [“Yes, maʼam. And they're still calling me and trying to get me to fraud.”]–hired black people, hired black people to go into all these black churches and they literally told black people: “Oh, you didn’t have to farm. It doesn’t matter if your grandfather never farmed. If you ever thought about farming, youʼre eligible for this lawsuit.” So these people are thinking this is more of a like reparations-type lawsuit. They donʼt know any better. So when they sign up, they just donʼt know. But the government is determined to prosecute [them], and to limit this process, and that is something I think we need to be outraged about. I think we need to somehow get to the NAACP, and I have talked to the NAACP–we’ve got to have a coalition. We–frankly speaking, we’ve got to get away from some of our differences, because our needs are greater than our differences…It is no longer possible to deny the urgent need for a federal investigation of fraud in the Pigford settlement. Those who stand in the way of that investigation should know that they are helping to cover up crime on a potentially massive scale.
$2.7 billion is worth more than five Solyndras. That’s not counting the potential billions in the pending copycat lawsuits in Pigford’s wake.Hmmmmm....What or Whom do both cases have in common?.....Exactly: Barack Hussein Obama.Read and see the full story here.
- Offshore Energy Leases Fall from $10 Billion to Zero Under Team Obama.(BigGovernment).Even as the Obama administration postures on behalf of deficit reduction and job creation, it continues to advance policies that undermine energy production in the Gulf region and lower federal revenue, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has pointed out in his correspondence with top officials in Washington D.C.Most recently, in a letter addressed to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael Bromwich, warned of a severe revenue fall off attached to declining energy lease sales.“Under the Obama administration’s management, revenue from our offshore lease sale program has gone from $10 billion to nothing in just three years,” Vitter said. “Revenue cannot be generated from sales that do not happen, and jobs cannot be created on leases that private industry cannot acquire. We’re in a severe fiscal crisis and we’re facing significant economic challenges related to job creation, yet the administration continues to neglect our offshore resources.”In fiscal year (FY) 2008 revenue from bonus bids on offshore leases was approximately $10 billion, but for FY 2011 that amount is down to $0, according to Vitter’s letter. “Revenue cannot be generated from lease sales that do not occur, and jobs cannot be created on leases that private industry cannot acquire,” he continued.Without a higher volume of additional permits, the number of active oil rigs will continue to decline in the Gulf, Vitter warned in one of his earlier letters. The 2011 permitting rate is well below the historical average, Vitter observed.As of early September, “there were 19 floating units operating in the Gulf, up from four in the third quarter of 2010, but down from the average of 28 recorded in the 2007-2009 period,” he wrote.Up to 20 oil rigs could leave the Gulf, in addition to 11 that have already left, since the administration’s moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling went into effect in May 2010, according to a new report.The future could still be there for the Gulf coast with the right mix of policies, the American Petroleum Institute (AEP) has concluded in a new study.If U.S. companies were permitted to drill with fewer regulatory hurdles, they could boost government revenues by $800 billion and generate over a million new jobs by 2030, according to API.But even with a change in administration heading into 2013, the Gulf region is not likely to experience a robust recovery in the short term, Kish, the IER policy expert, warns.“It will take time to correct these policies,” Kish said. “The Obama administration has shifted the entire ground on which the Gulf of Mexico operates.”Unless, the administration reverses course, Vitter anticipates “long-term economic impacts that include lose jobs, lost royalties and lost rental fees.” Companies will be reticent to own a lease if they cannot be reasonably certain that exploration plans or permits will be approved, he added.Daniel Kish, senior vice-president of policy with the Institute for Energy Research (IER), sees an “opportunity cost” for the Gulf region that may not be recaptured anytime soon.“The Obama administration has virtually put a stop to energy development in federal waters,” Kish said. “This is like planting seeds, if the government won’t allow to the seeds to be planted now, they are preventing future production. We are talking about a lost generation of economic activity.”Hmmm....If he really wanted to destroy America would he have done anything different???Read the full story here.
- Inspector General: Green Jobs Training Program a Failure, Money Should Be Returned.(BigGovernment).From The New York Times: greenjobs_gw_03
A $500 million green jobs program at the Department of Labor has so far provided only 15 percent of current participants with jobs, leading the agency’s inspector general to recommend that the bulk of the money be returned to the Treasury.
The program, which was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aims to find employment for almost 80,000 people by providing grants for labor exchange and job training projects. With those grants expiring over the next 15 months, IG officials concluded that the program would fail to come close to that target.
More than $300 million remains unspent, according to the report (pdf). Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the Labor audit when he was ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the findings show that Congress should focus on creating jobs in all sectors of the economy.“This report paints a pretty bleak picture of the program’s effectiveness in job creation,” he said in a statement. “It’s hard to see how leaving $300 million in unused funding for the program in the hands of the Labor Department benefits either the taxpayers or the unemployed.”The report comes as the bankrupty of solar manufacturer Solyndra has reinvigorated GOP criticism of the Obama administration’s green jobs initiative. Congress is now investigating the Department of Energy’s half-million-dollar loan guarantee to the company, and the controversy has become a political issue (E&E Daily, Oct. 3, 2010).Read the full story here .
- ACORN Behind Occupy Wall Street Protest.(JW).A famously corrupt leftist community organization with deep ties to President Barack Obama is largely behind the national movement to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the United States.Best known as Occupy Wall Street, the rowdy protests have received quite a bit of mainstream media coverage around the world. Besides New York, disruptive marches have been held in other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and Boston and more are scheduled in the coming days.Among the goals is to get major banks to stop preying on the poor and people of color, according to the organizer of a Boston offshoot of an Occupy Wall Street rally. The event, promoted as Take Back Boston, was organized by dozens of local community groups that claim big banks have a pattern of pushing “bad loans on people of color and the poor.” As a result of the “predatory lending,” foreclosures have skyrocketed in urban communities, the organizers say.Among the Take Back Boston organizers is a spinoff of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name. In fact, Judicial Watch recently published a special report (“The Rebranding of ACORN”) about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups.In this particular case, ACORN’s Boston office simply rebranded into New England United 4 Justice. Same crooked group with the same general mission and president, but a different name. Headed by Maude Hurd, the former president of ACORN and ACORN Housing, New England United 4 Justice promotes “social justice” for “low and moderate income families.” The group also seeks to educate the general public about social justice issues and the needs of poor and middle class families. This sort of rebranding has allowed ACORN to skirt a 2009 congressional ban on federal funding, consequence of its many transgressions. A few months ago a Judicial Watch investigation found the Obama Administration gave an ACORN reincarnation called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) a $79,819 grant to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”Read the full story here.
- Swastikas spray-painted at Joseph's Tomb.(YNet).Unknown assailants have scrawled graffiti, including swastikas, on the walks of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Soldiers and worshippers arriving at the holy site on Wednesday night, exactly one year after the completion of its renovation, rushed to erase the graffiti. Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika placed responsibility on the "Palestinian police terrorists." Some 1,500 people visited Joseph's Tomb in a special prayer organized by the Shomron Regional Council and the Shechem Echad organization in coordination with the security forces, ahead of Yom Kippur. When the first soldiers and worshippers arrived at the site, they immediately painted the graffiti in white and the prayer began.Selichot were said throughout the night in different Jewish versions, and the sounds of the shofar were heard across the West Bank city. Participants included Samaria Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and Rabbi David Dudkevitch of Yitzhar, who hosted the Rebbe of Volbroz, visiting from the United States. Council head Mesika responded to the vandalism at the site, saying that "only barbarians could do such a horrible thing. People capable of desecrating such a holy site in a pathological manner do not deserve to be called humans."Mesika added, "The Palestinian police terrorists, who tell the media that they are allegedly guarding the gravesite when IDF forces are not around, have lost all humanity a long time ago."These are the same terrorists in uniform who murdered Ben Yosef Livnat, may God avenge his blood, and have now allowed the decoration of the Joseph's Tomb compound with graffiti of Nazi symbols." Mesika called on the IDF to return to Joseph's Tomb and resume the yeshiva activity there, in accordance with the "awful Oslo Accords". According to Mesika, "A nation must not allow the repeated desecration of its symbols and most holy sites." Rabbi Elyakim Levanon said, "About a month ago, they tried to intimidate the people of Israel with shocking accounts of an alleged 'black September', but we clearly saw that when the Israeli government demonstrates its sovereignty, all these threats disappear. "I call on the Israeli government to draw strength from the image of Joseph the Righteous and show Jewish respect and heroism toward those rising up against the people of Israel." Israel's Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar expressed their shock and disgust over the damage caused to the holy tomb. "It's unthinkable that the holiest sites serve as a target of revenge between religions," they said in a statement. The two called on all religious clerics to strongly condemn the incident and "instill in their followers feelings of respect for the values sacred to members of other religions." Hmmmm......Palestinians.....Members of UNESCO?That's like admitting Attila the Hun as chairman.Read the full story here.
- Miss Universe Cancels Trip to Indonesia Under Pressure from Muslim Group.(Vinienco).Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, who is visiting to crown the new Miss Indonesia on Friday evening, was expected to be a VIP guest at a charity night held by the West Java branch of Bhayangkari, the Association of the Wives of Policemen, next Tuesday.But after drawing the ire of the West Java branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), Lopes, from Angola, told TV One on Thursday that she was canceling the trip.A spokesman for the MUI said on Thursday that beauty pageants’ process of judging women by their physical attributes was deeply offensive and damaging to women’s dignity.“But if she only wants to shop at the factory outlets, please,” he said. “Even it will be better if she brings lots of money to shop here.”He added that the council would have gladly seen the city welcome a Nobel Prize winner or world-class athlete, rather than a Miss Universe.“There are selection sessions in which the contestants were only wearing bikinis. Even their height and breast size are measured. It is banned in Islam, while it is highly adored in the process as if they have a high degree of value,” said Rafani Akhyar, general secretary of the council. ““This is the difference between Islamic and secular states,” Rafani said.Masruchah, deputy chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, said the MUI had more substantial issues it could address.“This is just man’s way to politicize the issue using the name of religion,” she said. “Even with women wearing fully covered outfits and veils, if the man has a nasty mind, it won’t make a difference. Fix the mind, not the women.”Lopes planned visit had earlier stirred controversy when it was reported that the Bhayangkari had offered Lopes Rp 750 million ($84,000) to appear at the charity function.Hmmm....Obama :"Indonesia is an example of religious tolerance'.Read the full story here.
- Turkey - Photo of shame!(Firat).ANF Turkish page has published a very disturbing picture and distributed to many media outlets. The photo was sent to ANF. It is not clear where and when the photo was taken but the content is unmistakably an intimidation to Kurdish people. It shows the lifeless bodies of two guerrillas, tied with a rope, in front of a monument dedicated to the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The bust of Atatürk bears the slogan of the Republic, "Happy is he who can say I am a Turk". Behind there is another slogan, "A country cannot be divided".The photo is a strike and disturbing reminding that nothing has changed as far as the approach towards the legitimate demands of the Kurds is concerned.Indeed prime minister Erdoğan said: “It is impossible to have freedom and democracy if people are killed in such an atrocious way”. And he was obviously referring to the soldiers who died fighting a war which only is for the benefit of few.It is about time everyone takes a closer look to images like this and rise their voice against the brutality of war and the ongoing repression of Kurds. The photo is quite disturbing and one wonders whether to publish it or not. We have decided to publish it because we believe it deserves an answer by the highest authorities. Democracy begins with justice. Hmmmm......Erdogan "Muslims Don't Commit Genocide", as i said before the Kurds seem to go the 'Armenian way'.Read the full story here.
- Firat News Agency banned in Turkey.(Firat).Ankara 11th Heavy Penal Court banned access to the "org" extension-website of Firat News Agency (ANF). The website of the agency with “org” extension has been banned for "security" reason. When you go to the page, a note appears saying “The ruling for this web site (firatnews.org) is applied by the Presidency of Telecommunications."Since its establishment in 2005, ANF has been subjected to constant attacks while on the other side being openly targeted by Turkish government officials, including the Prime Minister. Besides Turkey-based virtual attacks, the agency is also exposed to frequent prohibitions.While applying these prohibitions on one side, the censorious mentality may also take scandal decisions from time to time. While the address www.firatnews.ws was banned in June on grounds of "pornographic content", ANF’s websites with the extensions of “.com”, “.nu”, “.eu” were also banned earlier without showing any reason. With a statement on the subject, ANF condemned the prohibition and noted that this was an open attack made on the freedom of the press and expression. ANF stated that “truths are intended to be silenced” in a process when attacks against Kurdish and all opponent circles have increased ever before and added; “The Turkish government now needs to understand that it can not prevent free thought through prohibitions. The AKP government is wrong if it hopes to suppress free media workers by means of arrests, intimidation and bans or to make them its own instruments to propaganda. Despite all prohibitions and threats, ANF is determined to not to leave this information, which belongs to the people, to dictator powers.” The statement also pointed out to the senselessness of the bans in the present communication technology through which internet users can easily reach banned websites by using a variety of programs or just by doing simple settings. The website of ANF can also be reached from the websites www.firatnews.ws and www.firatnews.tv. Turkey is today among the countries with highest levels of censorship on internet. According to OSCE, more than five thousand websites were blocked in two years, 2009-2010, while some other sources say that this number is seven thousand. In respect of internet censorship, Turkey is among the Reporters Without Borders Organization’s list of "countries under surveillance".Hmmmm....."There is nothing more 'revolting' than the naked truth?Read the full story here.
- Iran arrests more journalists, threatens families.(BikyaMasr).Two journalists, Mehdi Afsharnik of the newspaper Etemad Melli and Ali Akrami, who works for several newspapers, were arrested at their home yesterday by police who carried out a search and confiscated personal effects. A third journalist, Mohammad Hidari, was arrested at his work place. The reasons for their arrests and where they are being held are not yet known.At the same time, several other journalists have been summoned and interrogated by intelligence ministry officials in recent days.Amid allegations of corruption and hit by the international economic downturn, the Islamic Republic has been resorting to all possible means to silence its critics – censoring newspapers, controlling online content, arresting journalists and in some cases threatening their relatives.Peter Horrocks, the head of global news at the BBC, reported yesterday that relatives and friends of around 10 Iranians who work in London for BBC Persian Television had been harassed by the Iranian authorities following the broadcast of a documentary about the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Horrocks said they were summoned for questioning, passports were confiscated and some were banned from leaving the country.This is not the first time that the regime has threatened the families of exile journalists or used this kind of intimidation as a form of blackmail in an attempt to manipulate media.Reporters Without Borders knows of more than 50 cases of threats, arrests and harassment of families of journalists in Iran. In an unprecedented exodus, more than 250 journalists and bloggers have fled the country since the disputed presidential election of June 2009. The families of most of the journalists working for independent media abroad have been threatened by the regime’s various intelligence services.Read the full story here.
- Sarkozy: It is silly to talk about a Jewish state.(Ynet).Paris – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has always described himself as a true friend of Israel. However, according to unusual statements attributed to him in the French magazine Le Canard Enchaîne, he unequivocally sides with the Palestinians. The paper quotes comments made by the French leader during a cabinet meeting held upon his return from last month's UN General Assembly, Yedioth Aharonoth reported. "It is silly to talk about a Jewish state," Sarkozy said while referring to the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state. "It would be like saying that this table is Catholic. There are two million Arabs in Israel."Sarkozy is also quoted as saying that "the US has been asking (Mahmoud) Abbas for years to come to the negotiating table. He is willing to do it because he is a statesman. Netanyahu, on the other hand, never fails to disappoint us," Sarkozy said in what appears to be a cynical tone. "Only now, he announced the construction of 1,100 housing units in the Arab part of Jerusalem," Sarkozy added. According to the report, the French president told the ministers that he fully supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. "The Palestinians have been waiting for a state they deserve for 60 years now," he said. "Is it not fair that Palestine is recognized by the UN even in an observer status?" Le Canard Enchaîne is well-known for its satirical tone and exposes many controversies. However, some in Paris were surprised by the report claiming that different voices have been coming out of Sarkozy's circle as of late. The Élysée Palace did not issue a response the report.Read the full story here.
- Vatican attacks 'foolish' BBC for ditching BC and AD to be PC.(DailyMail).The Vatican has accused the BBC of an ‘act of enormous foolishness’ for dumping the terms BC and AD in case they cause offence to non-Christians.The Roman Catholic Church also severely criticised the ‘senseless hypocrisy’ of Britain’s public service broadcaster for using a false respect for other religions to purge Christianity from Western culture.‘It is by now very clear that respect for other religions is only an excuse, because those who wish to erase every trace of Christianity from Western culture are only a few secular westerners,’ said a front page editorial in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper.‘The BBC has limited itself to changing only the description, rather than the computation of time, but in doing so, it cannot be denied that it has made a hypocritical gesture - the hypocrisy of those who pretend not to know why years began to be counted precisely from that moment,’ the paper said.‘To deny the historically revolutionary importance of the coming of Christ on the earth, which is accepted even by those who do not recognise him as Son of God, is an act of enormous foolishness.‘Why not recognise that from that moment the world changed?,’ the paper added. ‘There is nothing more anti-historical and senseless.’The new guidance from the BBC asserts that the abbreviations for Before Christ and Anno Domini (the Year of the Lord) infringed its protocols on impartiality.It instructs employees to instead replace them with the non-religious phrases BCE and BC – Before Common Era and Common Era.The new phrases are numerically equivalent to BC and AD but they explicitly exclude any reference to Jesus Christ.‘As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians,’ said the instruction from the BBC’s religion and ethics department.‘In line with modern practice, BCE/CE are used as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD.’BBC programmes which are already regularly using the new politically-correct phrases include University Challenge, presented by Jeremy Paxman, who was recently criticised for a fawning interview with the campaigning atheist Richard Dawkins on BBC2’s Newsnight. They also include include BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, which is hosted by Melvyn Bragg.But some senior BBC employees are publicly dissenting from the edict – including Andrew Marr, one of its most high-profile presenters – in what has become a backlash.When asked on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 if he was now using the new terms, he replied: ‘No I am not.’Mr Marr said: ‘I say AD and BC because that’s what I understand. I don’t know what the Common Era is. Why is it the Common Era in 20AD and it wasn’t the Common Era in 20 BC?’John Humphrys, the presenter of Mastermind and Radio 4’s Today programme, also refused to adopt the new phrases.‘I will continue to use AD and BC because I don’t see a problem,’ he said. ‘They are terms which most people use and understand.’Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who presented a BBC television documentary on the Roman Empire, also described the guidance as ‘puerile, spineless and absurd’.He said that licence-fee payers should complain to senior executives and ‘fight this Beeb drivel now’.Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, said he thought that the policy ‘amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture language and history’BC and AD emerged in the sixth century and are used in the Gregorian Calendar, which is recognised around the world.BC denotes the years before the birth of Jesus Christ and AD the years from Our Lord’s conception and birth.Read the full story here.
- Attacks Against Coptic Churches Part of a Plan to Expel Egypt's Christians.(Ania).Cairo -- Recent attacks against Coptic churches in Merinab (Aswan) and Elmadmar (Sohag) are part of a strategy promoted by Saudi Arabia to use its petrodollars to bring the country under a radical Islamic regime, sources in Cairo told AsiaNews. The latter are fearful of a mass exodus by Egypt's minority Christians.On Sunday in Merinab (Aswan, Upper Egypt), more than 3,000 Muslims, incited by their local imam, set fire to the local Coptic church after they accused Christians of building it without a permit.On Monday, a group of Muslims in Elmadmar, (Sohag province, Upper Egypt) tried to tear down Saint Mary Church, but were repulsed by police sent to rescue the Christian community. However, none of the attackers were arrested.Today, about 500 Christians demonstrated in front of the Governaorate building in Bani Suef (Aswan) demanding the reconstruction of the church of Merinab and the governor's resignation.Sources say Egypt's military is powerless against attacks by Salafis who use money and promises to turn people in the poorest regions of the country against Christians.The extremist group is spreading across the Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Lebanon.Salafis are taking advantage of the region's instability to get caretaker governments to impose their ideology based on Sharia and Islam's supremacy on other religions.According to a recent report cited by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), about 100,000 Christians have already left the country since Mubarak's fall."The figure is an exaggeration," sources told AsiaNews, "but many Copts are indeed leaving the country. In Upper Egypt, but also Cairo and Alexandria, many parish churches lay empty. People are afraid and believe that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, there will be no place for Christians in the country."Read the full story here.