Thursday, October 20, 2011
I counted 31 vehicles — note the near complete absence of cheering.Fast forward to the 2:40 mark.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Iran 4.5 ; Tonga 4.8 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Breaking News » Muammar Qaddafi KILLED!Al Arabiya filmed his body and released images Video here. AlArabiya.Former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya’s interim rulers said.His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.“He [Qaddafi] was also hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.."Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Qaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an ambulance.There was no independent confirmation of his remarks.An anti-Qaddafi fighter said Qaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot” to the men who grabbed him.His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader.The capture of Sirte and the death of Qaddafi means Libya’s ruling NTC should now begin the task of forging a new democratic system which it had said it would get under way after the city, built as a showpiece for Qaddafi’s rule, had fallen.Qaddafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of ordering the killing of civilians, was toppled by rebel forces on August 23 after 42 years of one-man rule over the oil-producing North African state.NTC fighters hoisted the red, black and green national flag above a large utilities building in the center of a newly-captured Sirte neighborhood and celebratory gunfire broke out among their ecstatic and relieved comrades.Hundreds of NTC troops had surrounded the Mediterranean coastal town for weeks in a chaotic struggle that killed and wounded scores of the besieging forces and an unknown number of defenders.NTC fighters said there were a large number of corpses inside the last redoubts of the Qaddafi troops. It was not immediately possible to verify that information.Read and SEE the full story here.
- Forget about Ebenezer Scrooge!Obama Solicits Designers to Work - Unpaid - on ... Jobs Poster!(Rollingstone).The Obama campaign has more than $60 million cash on hand. In an economy this bad, you'd think a presidential campaign that flush would be happy to pay good money for a talented designer to create a campaign poster. But the folks at Obama campaign have taken a page from the Arianna Huffington book of economic exploitation and called on "artists across the country" to create a poster ... for free.And here's the kicker. It's a jobs poster.Yes, the Obama campaign is soliciting unpaid labor to create a poster "illustrating why we support President Obama's plan to create jobs now, and why we'll re-elect him to continue fighting for jobs for the next four years."If you win? You get: A framed copy of your own poster, signed by the president ("approximate retail value $195").And if you don't win? Well, that's too bad. You've not only lost the contest, you've also surrendered your intellectual property. "All submissions will become the property of Obama for America," according to the fine print.The campaign presents a "creative brief" that offers potential slogans for the poster, including: "Fighting for jobs," "Get America back to work," "Made in the USA," and "Support small business." To this list, let us helpfully suggest adding the tagline of San Francisco designer Mike Montiero: "Fuck You. Pay Me."Monteiro — better known to his Twitter followers as @Mike_FTW — is the design director at Mule Design. "I find it ironic that the campaign is kicking off this big jobs program by asking designers to do free work for them," he tells Rolling Stone. Monteiro says he's a supporter of the campaign as well as a donor ("some of that cash on hand is mine"), but he adds: "I get furious when people ask for free design work, and even more furious when designers do work for free.""The design industry has been hit as hard as a lot of other groups," Monteiro says. "We need jobs too."The Obama campaign did not return a call seeking comment. Beyond the not-so-delicious irony of a rich campaign asking starving artists for free work in the middle of the Great Recession, there's also a potential campaign-finance issue at play here. If the Obama campaign asked a printing shop to produce the winning poster for free, for example, it would run afoul of the Federal Elections Commission for accepting an illicit in-kind donation. Providing valuable design work may present the same trouble. While the Federal Election Commission would not comment on the specific poster campaign, spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger tells Rolling Stone that "services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution."
Monteiro estimates that the campaign would have to spend anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 to contract with a professional designer to create a poster for a national campaign. That sum is far in excess of the individual contribution limit of $2,500.
UPDATE: A lawyer in D.C. familiar with elections law writes in to make the case that such a donation of valuable design work could be kosher.Read the full story here.
- Who was behind (literally) Gilad Shalit's Egyptian interview?(MelaniePhilips).It appears that before Egypt passed Gilad Shalit over to the Israelis today, it subjected him to ten minutes of cruel and inhuman treatment of its own. Further details have emerged of the interview with Shalit carried out by Egyptian TV interviewer Shahira Amin. Many have commented on how ill at ease Shalit appeared during that interview. Now it turns out that standing behind Shalit’s chair as he answered the questions was a man in fatigues and wearing a black face mask and the green headband of the Qassam brigades – Hamas’s military wing – and with a video camera in his hand.As for the interview itself, it was clearly designed as a propaganda exercise for the Arab masses. To ask such exploitative questions of someone who had just been released from five years’ captivity, who was clearly in a fragile state (he said so, and he subsequently fainted in the helicopter on the way to the Israeli air force base) and thus to delay his transfer to the Israelis and the reunion with his family, was itself a kind of torture. But as this report in the Jerusalem Post reveals, some of Amin’s questions amounted in addition to bullying which in the circumstances was as cruel and inhuman as it was, quite simply, totally detached from the reality of Shalit’s hermetically sealed captivity.Read the full story here.
- Female terrorist Would-be bomber tells Gaza kids to be like her.(YNet).A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber freed by Israel in the prisoner swap for soldier Gilad Shalit told cheering schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip the day after her release on Wednesday she hoped they would follow her example. "I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs," Wafa al-Biss told dozens of children who came to her home in the northern Gaza Strip.Biss was travelling to Beersheba's Soroka hospital for medical treatment in 2005 when Israeli soldiers at the Erez border crossing noticed she was walking strangely. They found 10 kgs (22 lbs) of explosives had been sewn into her underwear. A member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, Biss was sentenced to a 12-year term for planning to blow herself up. After she spoke, the children cheered and waved Palestinian flags and chanted: "We will give souls and blood to redeem the prisoners. We will give souls and blood for you, Palestine."Biss said she had planned to blow herself up at the checkpoint but her detonator malfunctioned. "Unfortunately, the button did not work at the last minute before I was to be martyred," Biss told Reuters. She said she had not yet adjusted to her freedom and arose early on Wednesday for prison roll call."This morning I woke up in my room, wore my scarf and stood up awaiting the line-up time before I realized I was home and not in jail," she said.Once she settles back to her routine, Biss said she plans to complete university psychology studies but added that she remained defiant in the face of Israeli warnings to act against those who return to militancy. "We will pursue our struggle and (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) knows that. Arrests will not deter us from our strong battles and confrontation in the face of Zionist arrogance in the land of Palestine," she said. Biss was one of 477 Palestinians freed by Israel on Tuesday in the first stage of an exchange with Gaza's Hamas Islamist rulers that ended Shalit's five years of captivity. Another 550 Palestinians will be freed in the second stage later this year.Read the full story here.
- Obama's Department of Sharia.(DocsTalk).In "Obama's Department of Shariah" in World Net Daily this morning, Pamela Geller discusses the remarkable Islamization of the Obama Department of Justice. For more on this phenomenon, see her essential book, Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. In the continuing Islamization of the Department of Justice, Barack Obama's DOJ filed a lawsuit against a Chicago-area school district for not allowing Safoorah Khan, a Muslim teacher at MacArthur Middle School, to take time off to make the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, thereby abandoning her students for a month. The DOJ sued the school district and last week forced it to give Khan $75,000 in lost back pay, compensatory damages and attorneys' fees. The Berkeley School District didn't deny Khan's request because they hated Muslims. The school needed her. That's why they said no. She was the only math lab teacher and was a new hire on probation – she had only been on the job for nine months. Why take a job you can't do? Why take a job that you plan on leaving for a month? Islamic supremacism.Khan herself made that clear when she said: "I'm glad that we settled, and I hope this does set a precedent. I hope they realize that hajj means a lot to Muslims and there will be more and more people taking the trip. I hope this helps people and their employers to accommodate Muslims and their requests."In other words, employers better get used to changing the way they operate their businesses in order to accommodate Muslim demands, or else.Your taxpayer dollars at work: to sue on behalf of an Islamic supremacist and to force the school district to pay 75K in jizya, the tribute money Islamic law requires non-Muslims to pay to Muslims.Obama's Department of Shariah filed this outrageous lawsuit against the school district in December 2010, not to ensure the kids get a good education, mind you, but more importantly, to ensure that the Muslims get special rights and extraordinary accommodation. Obama's Department of Shariah sued to ensure the kids got the shaft but the teacher got the hajj.
This is the same DOJ's Eric Holder who spoke at the Muslim Advocates dinner a few months back and reassured Muslims of "DOJ's anti-bias focus."
This is the same DOJ that scuttled the prosecutions against Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups, i.e. CAIR et al.
This is the same DOJ that is creating Muslim majority legislative districts by converting a religious class into a racial one.
This is the same Eric Holder who sued a New Jersey county demanding that a correction facility change its rules to allow a Muslim prison guard to wear a khimar, an Islamic head covering, even though it's a choke hazard and she will be among prisoners.
The Department of Justice sponsored a booth at the Muslim Brotherhood front ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) convention underwritten by, among others, the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas-linked CAIR.Further, Obama's Department of Justice dropped the "charges" against the Muslims who blew up the USS Cole.We don't need the Justice Department on cases like those. We need the Justice Department investigating how taxpayer dollars are being used to fund Islamic finance (thereby funding jihad and prohibition on whole American business sectors). We need the Justice Department on the violation of the separation of mosque and state in the public schools, in the workplace, in the courtroom and in foreign policy. We need the Justice Department on the violation of the Constitution in regards to Muslims – no longer are equal rights sufficient; now it's special rights for a very extra special class, Muslims, as the Safoorah Khan case demonstrates.We need the Justice Department presenting a parade of reliable witnesses like the ex-Muslim human-rights activists Nonie Darwish; Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Ibn Warraq; the former Sudanese jihad slave and Christian activist Simon Deng; witnesses to the Fort Hood jihad murders; witnesses to the Christmas underwear bomber jihad attack on a plane in Detroit; witnesses to the failed jihad bombing in Times Square; compatriots of jihad plotter Najibullah Zazi; and hundreds of victims of jihad attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere.These would finally educate the American people about Islamic jihad. But instead, we see the Obama administration aiding and abetting Islam's ongoing war against the principle of the equality of rights of all people, and against the few brave people who speak candidly about Islamic jihad and the hundreds of thousands who have been slaughtered in jihadist wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements.Obama and Holder want to use your tax dollars to make sure that Safoorah Khan, Nihad Awad, Ibrahim Hooper, Sheik Qaradawi and the hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood individuals and groups achieve their goal unmolested, and that nothing stands in the way of that stated goal: "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house."The Safoorah Khan case is just the beginning of Islamic supremacist attempts to gain special privileges for Muslims. It is incumbent upon all free Americans to fight all the harder for equality and justice for all people.Read the full story here.
- Obama administration 'bailed out' GM salmon firm.(Guardian).The Obama administration awarded a coveted research grant to a financially strapped company working to put genetically modified (GM) salmon on American dinner tables, overlooking disclosures that the firm could run out of cash in early 2012, it has emerged.Campaigners say the $500,000 grant to AquaBounty amounts to a bail-out for the firm's main investor, the business tycoon and former economics minister of Georgia, Kakha Bendukidze. They are also comparing it to the Solyndra controversy, which saw a solar company go bankrupt after receiving government loan guarantees."Certainly this does have shades of Solyndra. We have seen this company's stock plummeting for months and months – years actually – and what does the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) do but give this company money?", said Colin O'Neil, a policy analyst at the Centre for Food Safety, which opposes GM salmon."This is research that any public university or independent institution could be doing, so why is the USDA funding this interested company to do it?" he said.The grant, awarded last month, comes at a critical juncture for AquaBounty.After $67m and 16 years' waiting, the Food and Drug Administration could pronounce GM salmon fit for human consumption within weeks, the company's chief executive, Ronald Stotish, said.Hmmmmm......"There She Blows!"?Read the full story here.
- Are The Conspiracy Theorists Right? Study shows that one 'super-corporation' pulls the strings of the global economy.(DailyMail).A University of Zurich study 'proves' that a small group of companies - mainly banks - wields huge power over the global economy.The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership between them - and created a 'map' of 1,318 companies at the heart of the global economy.The study found that 147 companies formed a 'super entity' within this, controlling 40 per cent of its wealth. All own part or all of one another. Most are banks - the top 20 includes Barclays and Goldman Sachs. But the close connections mean that the network could be vulnerable to collapse.The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the globalised economy - connections show partial ownership of one another, and the size of the circles corresponds to revenue. The companies 'own' through shares the majority of the 'real' economy. 'In effect, less than one per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,' says James Glattfelder, a complex systems theorist at the Swiss Federal Institute in Zurich, who co-wrote the research, to be published in the journal PLoS One.Some of the assumptions underlying the study have come in for criticism - such as the idea that ownership equates to control. But the Swiss researchers have no axe to grind: they simply applied mathematical models usually used to model natural systems to the world economy, using data from Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors. Economists such as John Driffil of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, told New Scientist that the value of its study wasn't to see WHO controlled the global economy, but the tight connections between the world's largest companies.The collapse of 2008 showed that such tightly-knit networks can be unstable.'If one company suffers distress,' Glattfelder says, 'This propagates.'Protest against global capitalism outside St Paul's cathedral, London: But it seems unlikely that the 147 corporations at the heart of the world economy could wield real political power - they represent too many interestsThe research requires more analysis, but it could be used to look for the weaknesses in the network of global wealth, and prevent future financial disaster.Looking at 'connectedness' also puts paid to conspiracy theories about the world's wealth - companies connect to highly connected companies for business reasons, rather than world domination.The 'core' of 147 companies also represents too many interests to wield real political power - but it could act 'as one' to defend common interests. Sadly for market reformers, resisting change may be one such common interest.Read the full story here.
- Major Security Firms Detect New Trojan Capable Of Disrupting Power Plants, Oil Refineries and Other Critical Infrastructure Networks.(SHTF).In our October 7, 2011 report There Have Been Intrusions, we noted that DHS Undersecretary Greg Shaffer warned that hackers and foreign governments are “knocking on the backdoor” of the networked systems which connect everything from infrastructure grid control systems to financial networks.It now appears that our interconnected smart grid is actively under attack, as evidenced by a new Stuxnet-style trojan that has been detected by major cyber security leaders Symantec and McAfee. Much like its predecessor, the trojan dubbed “Duqu” is designed to infilitrate the networks that control everything from power production facilities to oil refineries. It is not yet clear exactly how the trojan operates, what its intended purpose is, or who designed it (though it is believed that the code for Duqu and Stuxnet likely originated with U.S. intelligence agencies). Both Symantec and McAfee continue to investigate the threat:
Security researchers have detected a new Trojan, scarily similar to the infamous Stuxnet worm, which could disrupt computers controlling power plants, oil refineries and other critical infrastructure networks.The Trojan, dubbed “Duqu” by the security firm Symantec, appears, based on its code, to have been written by the same authors as the Stuxnet worm, which last July was used to cripple an Iranian nuclear-fuel processing plant.“Duqu shares a great deal of code with Stuxnet; however, the payload is completely different,” researchers for the security firm Symantec wrote on its Security Response blog.Instead of directly targeting the SCADA system, Duqu gathers “intelligence data and assets from entities, such as industrial control system manufacturers, in order to more easily conduct a future attack against another third party. The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.”“Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack,” the researchers added.You may recall that Stuxnet was so advanced that it crashed the physical centrifuges used to enrich uranium in Iran’s nuclear facilities. Stuxnet did this by exploiting software and hardware vulnerabilities, essentially reporting to Iranian research facility engineers that everything was functioning properly by controlling the software interface, while in the background it sent centrifuges spinning out of control to the point of hardware failure.Duqu, which is apparently a similar piece of advanced code with a slightly different modus operandi, is not yet completely understood, but like Stuxnet in Iran, it is now actively functioning inside of critical infrastructure systems gathering information. To what end? The answer to that question may remain elusive until it’s too late.In reportedly unrelated news, the Department of Homeland Security, in an unclassified National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Bulletin (pdf), has issued warnings about the hacking group Anonymous and the possibility that they are becoming increasingly capable of targeting advanced Industrial Control Systems (ICS).Curiously, the Duqu trojan doesn’t seem to have originated from individual hackers or hacking groups, or foreign intelligence services. Rather, like Stuxnet, the virus was likely written under control and/or guidance of U.S. intelligence, possibly in collaboration with Israeli intelligence.While DHS has issued warnings about Anonymous and other hacking groups potentially attacking the grid, someone – and it’s likely not a lone hacker or the Anonymous hacking group – is actively involved in probing for vulnerabilities in our infrastructure control systems. These are the systems that monitor and control our electricity, water supplies, gas pipelines, oil refineries, financial exchanges, and even certain military operations.There seems to be no immediate danger at this time, as the Duqu trojan is reportedly gathering intelligence, as opposed to actively attempting to bring down the systems via a hardware style attack like Stuxnet.But once it acquires all of the necessary information, such as personnel access codes, security certificates and a mapped layout of a particular grid infrastructure, it wouldn’t take much to take things to the next level.Imagine for a moment the effect of an attack on major refining operations, cascading electrical outages, urban water purification systems that added excessive chemicals to water supplies, or the massive flooding that might result if a dam were compromised.Or, consider that the U.S. drone fleet was recently attacked by an unknown trojan or malware, which was logging access commands and passwords for high security military systems. What would happen if an enemy of the people of the United States gained access to our entire drone fleet, weapons systems and all?The possibilities for damage via compromised infrastructure systems would be nothing short of a digital apocalypse, with the potential to adversely affect the lives of tens of millions of unsuspecting Americans virtually overnight.Read the full story here.
- US Senate thwarts Barack Obama by backing the 'French Fry'.(TheTelegraph).The US Senate has thrown its support behind the humble potato, voting to block a proposal by President Barack Obama to limit consumption of the starchy vegetable in schools. Aimed chiefly at chips – or French Fries – the plans angered the potato industry and members of Congress from potato-growing states, who made the case that it and other root crops are a good source of fibre and potassium. Senator Susan Collins from Maine said the vegetables were cheap and nutritious source of food. She declared the vote across party lines a "victory for common sense" and hoped it would send a message to the US Agriculture Department, which drew up the plans for meals subsidised by the federal government. "This proposed rule would have imposed significant and needless costs on our nation's school districts at a time when they can least afford it," she said. The debate fitted into an ongoing argument between Republicans and Democrats about the size and role of government. The former had singled out the potato proposal as unnecessary interference. Healthy eating advocates and government officials said children more diversity in their diets."USDA's proposal was about helping kids to eat a very wide variety of vegetables and I think that point has been lost in all this," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Centre for Science in the Public Interest. "Other vegetables have a hard time competing with potatoes." Other critics said the proposal ignored the fact that many schools have prepared chips or French fries with much less grease. Tackling child obesity has been a key goal for the Obama administration and First Lady Michelle Obama, who has heavily promoted her Let's Move exercise campaign. Last year's £3 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act expanded children's access to more nutritional school lunches.Read the full story here.
- Facebook Is Building Shadow Profiles of Non-Users.(Slashdot). "As noted previously, Max Schrems of Europe Versus Facebook has filed numerous complaints about Facebook's data collection practices. One complaint that has failed to draw much scrutiny regards Facebook's creation of Shadow Profiles. 'This is done by different functions that encourage users to hand personal data of other users and non-users to Facebook... (e.g. synchronizing mobile phones, importing personal data from e-mail providers, importing personal information from instant messaging services, sending invitations to friends or saving search queries when users search for other people on facebook.com). This means that even if you don't use it, you may already have a profile on Facebook.Hmmmmmm........Read the full story here.
- Doing Business with Terrorists.(DanielPipes).That Gilad Schalit has been released after five years of captivity by Hamas brings joy to anyone who watches the Israeli soldier's reunion with his parents and the ecstatic welcome he received by his countrymen. It also reminds one of the Israel Defense Forces' noble purpose in doing all it can to stand by its men.But joy is tempered by the bitter realities of statecraft. First, the trade of one Israeli soldier for 1,027 Arabs, 477 of them convicted terrorists, offers huge incentives for the capture of more Israeli soldiers. Second, the trade releases hundreds of terrorists to their freedom, where they can resume their evil ways, targeting not just Israelis but civilized peoples everywhere. This exchange points to the sentimentalization of strategy. Leaders who place the concerns of one individual over the interests of the country betray their mandate and poison its future. Israeli politicians have been making these lopsided swaps since 1982; over ten thousand Palestinians serving prison sentences for terrorist or other hostile actions. Each time they do, they forsake principle and common sense for short-term benefits. Shame on them.
Comment: As I wrote yesterday there are some unintended consequences to this release of prisoners. The message I delivered has already begun. What did I suggest? The International community and local political groups will use this trade and communication process to establish a new baseline for negotiation. The message will be something like this: "Now that you have crossed your own red lines never to negotiate with such a terrorist group and now that you have demonstrated the minimal price you are willing to pay, there is no longer any reason for you not to ..." Please note the wonderful "Quartet" of smart ones who yesterday gave us in Israel 3 months to come up with final border decisions. What Bibi needed to do , an hour after greeting Gilad, welcoming him home ,he should have gone back to Jerusalem and spoken to the international community. He should have said: This will not happen again. The terrorist group has extorted a high price from us and our duty to return our soldier drove my decision. The international community was complicit in this extortion and we shall not enable you to do this again to us. Where were the peace groups, the NGO's , human rights groups, where was the UN, Red Cross? In the 5 years of Gilad's captivity he was never allowed a visit to confirm his vialbility or quality of life-you raised not even one shout, a whimper only once or twice. This makes you complicit. Do not talk to us about humanity and human rights given your lack of human behavior. Hamas, Fatah, Hizzbollah and all other groups who have stated their goal is to send us away from our home land, you are hereby on notice. I could have but did not use other measures to bring our soldier home. Do not use the oft repeated "but you can not collectively punish...", this is but a ploy and tactic. You are not the victim so stop acting like one. Your actions are childish, start acting like grown ups. We have multiple possibilities if there is a next time, something within minutes of the exchange your leaders and freed terrorist shouted to the world you would begin again. Dont behave inhumanely, it will not bode well for you.This is what he should have said!! Read the full story here.
- Why Does Europe Receive so Many Asylum Claims from Turkey?(ST).The UNHCR published its Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries document yesterday. It makes interesting reading vis-a-vis our Turkish friends. As the table above demonstrates, on average Europe receives more than 1500 requests for asylum from Turkish citizens each quarter. Why is a country being seriously considered for EU membership when it generates so many requests for political asylum?Read and see the full story here.
- Hizballah Setting Up 90 Miles From U.S..(IPTNews).More than two dozen Hizballah operatives are setting up an operations base in Cuba, an Italian newspaper reports, with the objective of plotting revenge attacks for the 2008 assassination of former terrorist operations chief Imad Mughniyeh.The operatives will start with a $1.5 million budget, working to make "new contacts, obtain and produce travel documents for various South American countries, recruit informants, and develop relationships with smugglers that move merchandise and are involved in human trafficking," according to a translation of the Corriere della Serra article.Most of the operatives were handpicked by Talal Hamia, who reportedly runs Hizballah's clandestine operations.The Lebanese-based terrorist group already has established a vast network of operatives throughout Latin America, particularly along the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, engaging in drug trafficking and other criminal operations. In addition, Cuban ally Hugo Chavez of Venezuela reportedly held a secret summit last year in Caracas, hosting leaders of Hizballah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.Dozens of people have been arrested in the United States for providing support to the group. Law enforcement officials fear some of those supporters could be used to launch attacks against American interests ordered to do so by Hizballah leaders or the group's Iranian patrons.Now Hizballah appears to be planting seeds in this hemisphere for precisely that reason.Read the full story here.
- Opposition leaders liken Turkish PM Erdogan to Marie Antoinette.(HurriyetDaily).Turkey’s opposition leaders have slammed the government over a series of tax increases, comparing the prime minister’s defense of the hikes to the famous phrase attributed to French Queen Marie Antoinette: “If they have no bread, let them eat cake.”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turks could adjust to price hikes in tobacco, alcohol and automobiles if they quit smoking, drink less and avoid buying luxurious cars like Porsches.“Then let our people stop using also natural gas and electricity. Let them not drive cars and let them eat cake if they have no bread. Let the prime minister and his partisans stroll around the world, eat and drink while our people spend less, sit down and shut up,” Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday.Government ineptitude is responsible for the gaping current account deficit, he said, adding that it was an omen of a looming “economic disaster.”The chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, also lashed out at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).“Our people are paying the price for the government’s mismanagement. The prime minister and the ministers are mocking the people as they increase taxes,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his party’s group meeting in Parliament yesterday.“How are the citizens going to pay the bills? Will the prime minister tell them to eat cake if they have no bread?” he said, noting that natural gas and electricity prices had also increased.Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan’s talk about Porsches showed that the AKP had lost touch with ordinary people’s realities.In further comments, he lauded worldwide anti-capitalist demonstrations, inspired by protests on Wall Street, as a harbinger of the revival of social democracy.“The masses in developed countries are demanding social justice and resisting exploitation. We are at a very important stage. The doors to social democracy are opening universally. And the CHP will bring social democracy to Turkey,” he said.Kılıçdaroğlu maintained his onslaught on the AKP over the embezzlement probe into the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) charity, charging that factual inaccuracies in explanations offered by an AKP mayor implicated in the affair “exposed their lies.”The CHP has called on Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay to step down on the grounds that he allegedly leaked information of an impending police search to Lighthouse suspects back in 2009 when he was interior minister with the help of his bodyguard and Kırıkkale Mayor Veli Korkmaz.The CHP leader also urged Erdoğan to clarify his claims that CHP municipalities had funneled money to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by way of loan agreements with German foundations.“You have one week to speak. If Erdoğan fails to do that, we will submit a censure motion against him,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.Read the full story here.
- Chinese toddler on 'edge of death'.(TheTelegraph).The Chinese toddler who was ignored by 18 passers-by after she was the victim of a hit and run is now on the edge of death, her doctors said on Thursday.On Thursday, Su Lei, the director of the Guangzhou Military Hospital's Intensive Care Unit said the toddler could die "at any moment". He said: "I cannot tell how long she has left. We are still trying to save her, but the scenario is getting worse and worse."In a statement to the media, the hospital said there was "no sign of her brain functions recovering after 48 hours of continuous monitoring." It added that after consulting with specialists in Beijing, Yue's medical team had concluded that she is now nearly brain-dead."Other key organs are now deteriorating. Her heart is failing and on Thursday she suffered a swelling in her lungs and, at 11.43am, her heart stopped beating. We managed to save her after 40 minutes of resuscitation," the statement said.The girl's parents, Wang Chichang and Qu Feifei, have been standing vigil at a hotel next to the hospital. Mr Wang said they refused to give up hope and would continue to believe in Yue's medical team."We have the best experts here at this hospital caring for her. Neither the hospital or the parents will give up," said Dr Su.Meanwhile, newspapers in Guangdong reported that another young child had been hit by a car in a market in the same area. The accident happened in Shunde, a district of Foshan, at noon on Wednesday.The 20-month-old boy, named as Xiao Jie, was running with an empty basket near his grandfather's store and was hit by a reversing car near the entrance to the market. Xiao Jie suffered a broken leg but one of the market workers managed to stop the driver before the car rolled over him. Read the full story here.
- Turkey hosts 11 Palestinian exiles at MİT headquarter, next steps vague.(TodaysZaman).Eleven Palestinian exiles have arrived in Ankara as Israel freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as part of a historic swap deal it made with its deadly rival Hamas, following years of negotiations to see a single Israeli sergeant return safely back home.Turkey received 11 Palestinian ex-prisoners shortly after midnight on Tuesday, diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman, in line with an agreement the opposing sides managed to reach through the reconciliation efforts of Egypt, Turkey and Germany. Meanwhile, Turkish senior sources approached by Today's Zaman acknowledged that the 11 Palestinians had been taken to the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) following their arrival at Ankara Esenboğa Airport, and had a medical examination at the MİT building.It has also emerged that MİT officials will remain in constant touch with the Palestinian exiles in the following days and will receive counseling on their experiences of being held in Israeli prisons. The sources separately noted that there were no violations of the law regarding the deportation, since the Palestinians were given their Palestinian passports back in Egypt to enter Turkey, but although they are now inside the country, it would not be feasible for the exiles to travel freely due to concerns over their safety. Whether the deported Palestinians would like to remain in Turkey is another question the officials raised, as they noted that “it will not be possible to keep them using force if they want to leave,” in which case officials of the concerned parties will be contacted to review the conditions.In line with the condition, Turkey agreed to host a share of Palestinian ex-prisoners upon talks with both the Palestinian authority and the ruling Hamas administration in Gaza and received 10 Palestinian men and one woman, who came by plane from Cairo Airport. On the Turkish end, the Palestinian exiles were welcomed by Palestine’s Ambassador in Ankara Nabel Marouf and officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, but the identities of the exiled Palestinians were not disclosed to the public.The Palestinian ambassador expressed his gratitude to the Turkish government for its role in the historic swap, and welcomed the 11 Palestinians who he said would undergo a health check up and be transferred to their designated homes, which were arranged by Turkish officials after a long process of sorting out the technical details of the prisoner arrangement. Marouf also hoped that Turkey would continue to assist Palestine until it becomes totally independent.Despite the mystery surrounding the 11 Palestinian ex-prisoners, the Vatan daily also reported on Wednesday that the group Turkey received from Egypt included Walid Zakariya Abd al-Hadi Aqel, a Gaza born Hamas militant, also, reportedly, one of the founders and first commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade -- the hard-line military wing of Hamas. Aqel was sentenced to 16 life sentences in Israeli prison after his capture in 1992, and was considered a deadly threat to the country. It is planned that Aqel will be transferred to İstanbul, where he will live with his family, Vatan noted.Read the full story here.
- Somalia: Al-Shabaab Islamists Behead 17-Year-Old Christian, receive humanitarian aid from Turkish IHH.(CDN) — Militants from the Islamic extremist al Shabaab beheaded a 17-year-old Somali Christian near Mogadishu last month, a journalist in the Somali capital told Compass.The militants, who have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity, killed Guled Jama Muktar on Sept. 25 in his home near Deynile, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mogadishu. The Islamic extremist group had been monitoring his family since the Christians arrived in Somalia from Kenya in 2008, said the source in Mogadishu, who requested anonymity.The Islamic militants, who are fighting the transitional government for control of the country, knew from their observations of the family that they were Christians, the source said.“I personally know this family as Christians who used to have secret Bible meetings in their house,” he said.Based on talks with the boy’s parents and their neighbors, the source said al Shabaab members arrived at Muktar’s home at 6 a.m., when his parents, whose names are withheld for security reasons, were already at work at their retail space at the Hamarweyne market on the outskirts of Mogadishu.The extremists found Muktar as he was preparing to go to school, he said.Hmmmmmm......The 'people' the Turkish IHH was giving aid.Read the full story here.
- Related - Turkish IHH Aid Officials Meet with Al-Shabaab.(SomaliaReport).Somali officials welcomed a delegation from Turkey as a Turkish ship carrying 250 tons of food aid for drought affected Somalis arrived in Mogadishu’s sea port and Turkish relief officials met with al-Shabaab in Lower Shabelle.The head of the Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), Sardash Jam, his deputy, Mr. Murad, and the head of the Turkish Airways, Dr. Jampl Kutiki, along with 210 other Turkish delegates arrived at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport.“We have decided to help our brothers and sisters who have been crippled by prolonged drought and war in the recent years. We know that many internally displaced families were coming here to Mogadishu from the neighboring regions of Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle where famine has been reported,” said IHH Chairman Sardash Jam.Somalia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abdiwali Mohamed Ali welcomed the Turkish delegates at the airport and then traveled with some of them to witness the arrival of supplies, including food aid, medical equipment, tents, blankets at the sea port.“On behalf of Somali government, I would like to thank the Turkish government leaders, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has already visited Mogadishu while accompanied by a large delegation from his country,” said the prime minister at the sea port.He added that the Somalis are grateful to their 'unforgettable Turkish brothers and sister' for their committed support.Dr. Jampl Kutiki promised that Turkish planes, like Turkish Airways, will continue to travel into Mogadishu.Meanwhile reliable information obtained by Somalia Report confirmed late on Monday that the IHH Deputy Chairman, Mr. Murad, along with 2 other Turkish officials have reached al-Shabaab controlled N50 IDPs camp Aala-Yasir in the Lower Shabelle region.Source confirmed that the Turks met with al-Shabaab official, Sheekh Hassan Abu- Ayman, who is responsible for the Bay and Bakol regions. The Turkish members moved from government controlled areas of Mogadishu through Sarkuusta Checkpoint near the Ex-control Checkpoint in the southwest area of the capital. Somali government troops reportedly escorted the Turkish delegates until they reached Sarkuusta. From there the Turkish delegates managed to travel into the rebel held areas. According to the same source, the Turkish aid workers were escorted by a large, armed convoy believed to be carrying some al-Shabaab fighters.The IHH members are reportedly in the al-Shabaab camps to observe, but sources told Somalia Report that the members addressed hundreds of IDPs at the Aala-Yasir camp."Three Muslim Turkish brothers visited our controlled territories in Lower Shabelle region to help the internally displaced people at the Aala-Yasir Camp,” said senior al-Shabaab official Sheikh Hassan Abu Ayman. “They brought us aid and pledged more and we will be grateful for their assistance."Turkish aid workers who visited Aala-Yasir camp said a local NGO called Zam-zam, which often operates in the districts controlled by the Islamist militia, has also been collaborating with IHH. Hmmmm.....Aiding fellow Muslims who kill Christians!Read the full story here.
- Taliban lace bombs with deadly chemicals.(AsiaOnline).PESHAWAR – The majority of those wounded in Pakistani bombings and suicide attacks are doomed to suffer complications and physical deformities caused by chemicals terrorists add to the bombs, Prof. Muhammad Tahir, head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), told Central Asia Online.“The wounds inflicted on the bomb victims are not of a normal nature – they are septic to the extent that the affected persons develop severe deformities even if they recover,” he said. Terrorists receive training in adding potassium, nitrogen, sugar, urea and glycerine to their bombs, causing internal injuries that remain impervious to antibiotics and other drugs, Associate Professor Hakim Khan Afridi at the Forensic Science Department of the Khyber Medical College said. “The phosphorus-based explosives used by miscreants destroy human cells,” he said. “We have examined several burn victims from the blasts, who have received injuries caused by pale white or yellowish-coloured explosives.” “Normal burns ... are responsive to sulphur cream and antibiotics, but the injuries caused by home-based nitrogen- and potassium-riddled preparations are incurable and the victims often die even if they have only 10% injuries on their bodies,” Afridi said. In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), ”militants have been using manuals of bomb-making printed in Pashtu, Urdu, Persian and Arabic that explain how to find ingredients from everyday sources and how to mix explosives,” said Shafqat Malik, head of the Bomb Disposal Squad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Other easily available materials such as magnesium, potassium and sodium have become part of the militants’ effort to cause more casualties, he said. “Lately, they have started attacking mosques in their bid to kill as many people as possible,” he said. About 90% of burn victims from explosions die, while the 10% who survive suffer facial and other deformities that haunt them for the rest of their lives, a plastic surgeon, Tahir, said. Dr. Shiraz Afridi, head of the Accident and Emergency Department at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, is upset by the use of toxins in terrorist bombs. “The bombs produce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide ... that damage the oxygen-binding capacity of the victims’ bodies,” he said. “The smoke created by these explosives penetrates the bodies and halt the oxygen-carrying process in the body, due to which the patients go into a coma and die.” “Since 2005, we have received 1,319 wounded from terrorist attacks and 50% of them died from the use of highly inflammable explosives and foreign bodies,” he said. “Even deep wounds caused by gunpowder and shrapnel are curable, but the ones caused by the Taliban’s attacks are not so easy to treat.” Miscreants have obtained bomb-making manuals written by al-Qaeda strategists who encourage adherents to launch their own attacks without training, Malik said. One such manual lists the equipment needed to build a bomb factory and how to obtain the components. Read the full story here.
- World Muslim Leader Sends Warning to Dutch Politician Geert Wilders.(IslamVersusEurope).Note that these are the so-called "good Muslims", the Ahmadiyya Muslims. Condemned as heretics, they are persecuted throughout the world by other Muslims. But scratch a good Muslim and what do you find? A Muslim.During a recent visit to Holland, the world Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, issued a stark warning to Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician. He warned Wilders that if he continued to defame Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) then he and other like-minded individuals would be humiliated by God Almighty.Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that Wilders had exceeded all limits of falsehood and hatred in his opposition towards Islam. He said Wilders was motivated solely by a desire to further his own political ambitions and so the time had come to warn him about the consequences of his actions. He said that irrespective of whether Wilders gained further political capital in the short term, ultimately his antics would lead only towards abject failure and humiliation.Addressing Wilders directly, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Listen carefully – You, your party and every other person like you will ultimately be destroyed. But the religion of Islam and the message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will remain forever. No worldly power, no matter how powerful and no matter how much hatred they bear towards Islam, will ever succeed in erasing our religion.”
His Holiness explained that the destruction of such individuals would be achieved through prayer alone and not by any worldly means. He said:
“Always remember, that we can achieve nothing without prayer. We have no worldly power, nor will we ever use any worldly force. But the prayers of people whose hearts have been grieved are enough to shake the Heavens.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also spoke of the many decent people who continued to live in Holland and who rejected wholeheartedly the extremist views perpetuated by Wilders. His Holiness said that all such people who care for the feelings of one another and who believe in religious freedom should come together and launch a campaign for peace in the world. This is something that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has long advocated and has been involved with throughout the world.During his visit, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, also took the opportunity to praise the efforts of Queen Beatrix towards promoting inclusiveness and equality.Speaking about her efforts, His Holiness said:“All Ahmadi Muslims should pray for Queen Beatrix because certain sections of the local society have turned against her, due to the fact that she has openly condemned the anti-Islam movement in this country. They are also angry because she advocates the right of Muslims to be treated as full and equal citizens, whose rights and feelings should be respected. Thus we must pray that all plans and schemes against the Queen completely fail.”Read the full story here.
- Muslims Demand Suppression of Traditional Spanish Reconquista Festivals.(IslamversusEuropa).The leaders of Islamic associations in Spain have demanded that the festivals traditionally held there to celebrate the reconquest of the country from the Muslim invaders be suppressed because they are offensive to Muslims. These celebrations are known as the Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos (Festivals of Moors and Christians). More than a hundred are held in Spain in different localities. Some last for days and feature elaborate and colourful re-enactments of battles.The president of the Federación Española de Entidades Religiosas Islámicas (FEERI) [Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Assocations] and the imam of Malaga mosque said the festivals should be discontinued because of the image they give of Muslims, saying the celebrations "have no place in a democratic Spain".The imam asked what the reaction would be in some towns if celebrations of the arrival of Franco's troops were held and "the resulting punishment inflicted on the population". In the interests of "good convivencia, they need to disappear", he said.The president of FEERI said:“In a democratic Spain, where all religious faiths are represented, these celebrations of conquest must disappear. Like any other representation of islamophobia or racism, it must be eliminated." He claimed that some of the festivals included offensive acts against Mohammed. This refers to Valencia where some festivals dramatise the recapture of a castle by a band of Christians followed by the destruction of a 3-metre effigy of Mohammed using firecrackers. Some elements of these festivals have already been suppressed.The director of the Islamic Commission of Spain said: "We will never justify violent acts but there is a need to show restraint and take into account what the prophet Mohammed means to us. This cannot be taken lightly because it could result in elements of discord."Read the full story here.
- From the "You know you're in Deep $h*t when series"........Belarus central bank sells off its office furniture.(BlacklistedNews).As an exercise in monetary policy, it's probably not the sort of thing that would be advocated by John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman. Amid a disastrous economic crisis, the Belarus central bank has attempted to raise capital by selling off used office equipment and furniture.Five hundred items, including 30 paper bags, 10 safes, two suitcases, a sugar bowl and a used Japanese Dictaphone, were put up for sale in an auction that it was hoped would raise around £10,000.Prices were eminently reasonable – as might be expected in a country where the average wage is around $200 (£125) per month.The cheapest article was a single cardboard box, priced at 480 rubles (less than 1p), while a used television was offered for 417,958 rubles (£46). The most expensive item was a tapestry decorated with the medieval city of Pinsk, which was priced at a whopping 37.2m rubles (£4,100).Amid a crippling financial crisis, Belarus is seeking a $7bn (£4.4bn) emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The value of its currency has fallen sharply in recent months, while inflation has skyrocketed to over 40%, fuelling discontent with the regime of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.Europe and the US have imposed sanctions on the country's leadership, renewed after the state violently put down protests following elections late last year. The country has turned to loans from Russia and China instead.Bank officials insisted that the sale had nothing to do with dwindling funds."This has no relation to the economic situation in Belarus," said Aleksander Timoshenko, the bank's spokesman. "These are not sums that can affect anything. This is about the effective use of property. If property isn't used, we're not going to throw it in a rubbish dump," he said.Read the full 'story' here.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Iran 5.5 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Two British Muslim teenagers arrested by anti-terrorist police after father alerts authorities.(Telegraph).Two British Muslim teenagers were arrested by anti-terrorist police while trying to get into Somalia after one of their fathers chased them to Kenya and alerted the authorities.Mohamed Abdulrahman Mohamed and Iqbal Shahzad, both 18 and from Cardiff, were said to have been trying to get into the war-torn African state to “fight a holy war”.However, the pair were stopped just six miles from the Somali border after Mohamed’s father, fearing his son had been “brainwashed”, travelled to Kenya and gave pictures of his son to the police.Kenyan officials said they had not committed any offences and put the two friends on a plane back to Heathrow airport, where they are expected to be questioned by British police when they land early this morning.Security officials in Kenya questioned the teenagers over whether they intended to join the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, which a detonated a car-bomb near the foreign ministry in Mogadishu yesterday. It is not known what the teenagers told police.The attack was seen as a clear signal of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamists’ intent to fight back against Kenya since it invaded Somalia at the weekend to hunt down insurgent forces it blames for a series of abductions of Westerners. At least four people were killed in the midafternoon attack, including the bomber. Mohamed and Shahzad are understood to have flown to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London on October 9.The teenagers were stopped on Sunday just short of the Somali border after passing through the popular tourist resort of Lamu.The island is 30 miles from where a British man, David Tebbutt, was shot dead and his wife abducted last month, and immediately adjacent to Manda Island, from where a disabled Frenchwoman, Marie Dedieu, was kidnapped from a beach house.A police source said detectives believed the British teenagers had travelled from Nairobi to the northern town of Garissa before travelling up the coast to the Lamu archipelago.They were arrested after apparently reporting as required to the local police station in the border town of Kiunga, where they claimed to be tourists.As the teenagers travelled towards the border, Mohamed’s father, Abdirhman Haji Abdallah, flew to Kenya to raise the alarm.Mr Abdallah said he gave photographs the personal details of his son to police, which were then distributed to guards at the border crossings.Mr Abdallah told the BBC’s Somali Service: “He was brainwashed and taken away from us and he was told that he was going to fight a holy war in Somalia. So I travelled to Nairobi in an effort to save him.“I met a former Kenyan member of parliament on the plane to Nairobi. He linked me up with the Kenyan anti-terrorism police and I passed to them the pictures of my son as well as details including his date of birth.“With God’s help the authorities managed to arrest my son. “I was told he will be handed over to the British police.” Mohamed, whose mother is believed to be a care home cleaner, is of Somali origin and was born in August 1993. He is understood to have previously travelled to several other countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Norway and other European destinations. Shahzad, who was born in December 1992, is of Pakistani origin and is believed to have travelled to Saudi Arabia in 2008 to study, although the subject is not known.Read the full story here.
- Plane forced to make emergency landing as man, 29, Reza Shahsauri arrested amid fears he was 'trying to break into cockpit'.(DailyMail).A flight was forced to land today because of the unruly behaviour of one male passenger in mid-air. Southwest Airlines Flight 3683 made an unscheduled stop after the pilot made an emergency call to the nearest airport. The plane was en route from Los Angeles to Kansas City when it landed at Amarillo Airport, Texas at 3.30pm.Ali Reza Shahsauri, from Indialantic, Florida, was arrested at the airport on a charge of interference.An emergency call to the flight tower at the Texas airport initially reported that the 29-year-old passenger was trying to get into the flight deck.However Amarillo Aviation Director Patrick Rhodes later said he was 'not trying to break into the cockpit, but was unruly and had confronted the cabin crew'.The FBI said the incident did not appear to be terrorism related.A spokesman said: 'The FBI continues to investigate, but initial indications are that there was no terrorist intent. This guy is a U.S. citizen.'Another passenger Doug Oerding told the Amarillo Globe-News that Shahsavari started screaming obscenities at fellow travellers during the flight.Attendants attempted to calm Shahsavari but he went to a bathroom at the rear of the plane and started making a commotion.Mr Oerding said: 'All of us guys were looking at him like are we going to have to do something.'The suspect's father Mohammad Shahsavari confirmed the suspect was his son but that he had no idea what lead to the incident.Mr Shahsavari told the Associated Press: 'I don't know what to say.'Ashley Dillon, spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, said: 'Flight 3683 was en route from Los Angeles to Kansas City. 'It landed at Amarillo after a passenger became disruptive on board. 'The passenger was removed from the flight by authorities. We are working with them to establish what happened.'None of the 136 passengers and five crew members were injured in the incident and the plane completed its journey to LA.Hmmmm.....FBI:"Could not be terrorisme,This guy is a U.S. citizen"....Sigh.The guy the Predator just blew up in Yemen wasn't he a 'US Citizen?Read the full story here.More here: Muslim shouts "You're all going to die, Allahu akbar" on Southwest flight, plane makes emergency landing
- Chinese toddler ignored by 18 passers-by after she was the victim of a hit and run undergoes new emergency surgery as condition deteriorates.(Telegraph).The Chinese toddler who was ignored by 18 passers-by after she was the victim of a hit and run is now fighting for her life after undergoing fresh emergency surgery this morning, as doctors reported that her condition had begun to deteriorate.Two-year-old Wang Yue suffered serious head and abdominal injuries last Thursday after she was run over by two cars in a wholesale market in China's southern Guangdong Province in an incident that was captured on closed-circuit cameras and triggered worldwide outrage and disbelief."She had an emergency operation this morning at 9am and the doctors haven't told us anything since then," her grandfather, who gave his name only as Mr Wang, told The Telegraph.He added that the girl's parents – named only as Mr Wang and Ms Qu – had not to come down to the hospital on Wednesday. "The strain is too great for them. We're hoping they can arrange a private visit later," the elder Mr Wang said.Earlier in the day doctors made a brief statement to reporters who had gathered at the military hospital in Guangzhou city where the girl – known by her pet family name 'Yueyue' – is on life support in intensive care.Su Lei, the director of the Intensive Care Unit at the General Hospital of Guangzhou military region, gave scant reason for optimism."I can say only two things: one is that the Little Yueyue's condition has started to deteriorate since last night, and we are doing everything in our power to save her," she said at the hospital gates."Second, we will use every means and all available resources [to save her], but as to the end result, we can only inform you of that tomorrow." The downbeat assessment comes after the hospital's head of neurosurgery said on Tuesday that Yueyue was likely to remain in a persistent vegetative state even if she survived her massive physical injuries.Her mother and father, who owned a small stall in the wholesale market in the nearby town of Foshan, have refused to enter into the debate over how 18 people could ignore their daughter as she bled to death on the roadside."I won't judge them. Let them make their own judgment," Yueyue's mother told the China Daily newspaper. "If they are married and have children, they will know. But I bear no grudge and refuse to be disappointed by society. Many kind people have come to help." She added that despite the bleak outlook, she was still hoping for a miracle for her daughter who slipped out of the house when her seven-year-old brother went out to play."I didn't care for my child very well, and it's my fault," Mrs Qu said, "But Yue Yue can't leave her mother and her mom won't leave her."Read the full story here.
- Figures. COMMUNIST LEADER Cheered at Occupy Chicago is ALSO an OBAMA ORGANIZER.(GatewayPundit).On Saturday night thousands of Occupy Chicago protesters cheered the communists as they spoke at the rally and march in downtown Chicago.
Rebel Pundit has now identified the young communists leaders at the rally.
We have identified the three individuals in the march who we interviewed. In the photo below starting on the left is James Raines, a University of Memphis teacher (from reader tip), next to his right is Jordan Farrar (Young Communist League and Organizing for America), and next to him is Gabe Niechcial, another young communist
That’s right .The communist leader is also an organizer for Obama’s re-election campaign.
According to the P/oed Patriot, Farrar, seen in the white C.P. USA shirt, is not only a Young Communist League leader, but he is also a member of Barack Obama’s Organizing for America and he organized a rally in 2009 for OFA to support President Obama’s health care bill. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was featured guest at Farrar’s event as well.Hmmm.........""You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?"Read and see (Video) the full story here.
- Analysis: Schalit on Egypt TV: exploitative, abusive, cruel.(JPost).Israeli officials described Gilad Schalit’s first interview after his release as “exploitative.” They could have added amateurish, propagandistic, opportunistic and downright cruel.Tuesday’s travesty – carried live on state TV – was conducted by Shahira Amin, a leading Egyptian journalist who in February quit the channel because of its skewed coverage of the popular protests that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. That Amin now appears to be doing Cairo’s bidding bodes ill for hopes the “new Egypt” would usher in the first free media environment in the post-colonial Arab world.The notion that Schalit agreed to give Nile TV an interview of his own free will defies belief. Forcing him to do so immediately after his release from Gaza – before seeing medical staff, much less an Israeli representative or his family – is in itself an apparent breach of journalistic ethics.That issue aside, more than a few of Amin’s questions ran the gamut from fatuous to sadistic.“During all that time of captivity, you did just one video to tell the world and your family that you’re alive,” she tells the soldier. “Why just once? Why didn’t it happen again?” Rather than letting him answer, however, Schalit’s Hamas minder-cum-interpreter scolds Amin for asking the same question twice (a peculiar accusation, given the footage shows the question hadn’t been asked before).The resulting argument between interviewer and minder is one of the interview’s more regrettable scenes. Amin says Schalit appears unwell, and “that’s why I’m asking the question again” – as if drilling him repeatedly will have a salutary effect. The question is itself absurd, roughly tantamount to asking a hostage victim why he or she didn’t escape sooner.Amin’s subsequent question is little better: “It was the Egyptian national security that mediated for your release. There were previous failed mediation efforts, including one by the Germans. Why do you think that this time round, the mediation was a success, and what would you like to tell the Egyptian authorities?” The reporter is seated beside an Egyptian flag – as if she were not the interviewer but an Egyptian government interviewee. Schalit, by contrast, sits next to a houseplant. Throughout the 12-minute ordeal, the soldier breathes heavily, his eyes either downcast or darting sideways and his tone of voice anxious.Struggling to reply, Schalit mumbles, “I think the Egyptians succeeded because they’re on good relations both with Hamas and with Israel.”He could well have said, “Don’t use me as a prop for Egyptian propaganda. I haven’t a clue how the mediations were conducted, given I know nothing about anything that has happened over the past five years. Next question?” Amin proceeds to ask Schalit what “lessons” he learned in captivity. After asking for the question to be repeated, he says he believes a deal could have been reached sooner. Here the Hamas minder renders his response as praise for reaching a deal “in such short time” – a mistranslation repeated by the BBC’s own real-time interpreter.“Gilad, you know what it’s like to be in captivity,” Amin continues as the painful charade drags on. “There are more than 4,000 Palestinians still languishing in Israeli jails. Will you help campaign for their release?” Schalit’s answer, after a few seconds’ stunned silence, is superior: “I’d be very happy if they were released,” he says, then adds the caveat, “provided they don’t return to fighting Israel.”Again, the Egyptian interpreter fails to translate the sentence’s second clause, and again the omission is repeated by the BBC’s interpreter, though he too was apparently translating from Hebrew in real-time.“I will be very happy for the prisoners to go free, so that they can be able to go back to their families, loved ones and territory. It will give me great happiness if this happens,” the BBC’s interpreter relays.Yonit Levi is the Channel 2 News presenter who throughout Tuesday’s coverage waxed poetic over Schalit’s every step, shunting aside the sensitivities of bereaved families or the thought that the lopsided prisoner exchange could spawn further acts of terrorism. In reacting to the Egyptian interview, however, she was spot-on: The “bizarre” spectacle, she said, “was borderline abusive.”On his Twitter feed, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an Egyptian graduate student based in Australia, summed it up better still: “After five years in captivity, Schalit has to go through one last form of torture: an interview with Egyptian Public TV.”Read and see the full story here.
- Federal Reserve Now Backstopping $75 Trillion Of Bank Of America’s Derivatives Trades.(DailyBail).This story from Bloomberg just hit the wires this morning. Bank of America is shifting derivatives in its Merrill investment banking unit to its depository arm, which has access to the Fed discount window and is protected by the FDIC.This means that the investment bank's European derivatives exposure is now backstopped by U.S. taxpayers. Bank of America didn't get regulatory approval to do this, they just did it at the request of frightened counterparties. Now the Fed and the FDIC are fighting as to whether this was sound. The Fed wants to "give relief" to the bank holding company, which is under heavy pressure.This is a direct transfer of risk to the taxpayer done by the bank without approval by regulators and without public input. You will also read below that JP Morgan is apparently doing the same thing with $79 trillion of notional derivatives guaranteed by the FDIC and Federal Reserve.What this means for you is that when Europe finally implodes and banks fail, U.S. taxpayers will hold the bag for trillions in CDS insurance contracts sold by Bank of America and JP Morgan. Even worse, the total exposure is unknown because Wall Street successfully lobbied during Dodd-Frank passage so that no central exchange would exist keeping track of net derivative exposure.This is a recipe for Armageddon. Bernanke is absolutely insane. No wonder Geithner has been hopping all over Europe begging and cajoling leaders to put together a massive bailout of troubled banks. His worst nightmare is Eurozone bank defaults leading to the collapse of the large U.S. banks who have been happily selling default insurance on European banks since the crisis began.Hmmmm..........Read the full story here.
- Related - The Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer.(BlacklistedNews).Source: Washington's Blog.
Yves Smith notes:
If you have any doubt that Bank of America is going down, this development should settle it …. Both [professor of economics and law, and former head S&L prosecutor] Bill Black (who I interviewed just now) and I see this as a desperate move by Bank of America’s management, a de facto admission that they know the bank is in serious trouble.
The short form via Bloomberg:
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation…Now you would expect this move to be driven by adverse selection, that it, that BofA would move its WORST derivatives, that is, the ones that were riskiest or otherwise had high collateral posting requirements, to the sub. Bill Black confirmed that even though the details were sketchy, this is precisely what took place.
Bank of America’s holding company — the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit — held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June, according to data compiled by the OCC. About $53 trillion, or 71 percent, were within Bank of America NA, according to the data, which represent the notional values of the trades.
That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.
And remember, as we have indicated, there are some “derivatives” that should be eliminated, period. We’ve written repeatedly about credit default swaps, which have virtually no legitimate economic uses (no one was complaining about the illiquidity of corporate bonds prior to the introduction of CDS; this was not a perceived need among investors). They are an inherently defective product, since there is no way to margin adequately for “jump to default” risk and have the product be viable economically. CDS are systematically underpriced insurance, with insurers guaranteed to go bust periodically, as AIG and the monolines demonstrated. [Background.]
The reason that commentators like Chris Whalen were relatively sanguine about Bank of America likely becoming insolvent as a result of eventual mortgage and other litigation losses is that it would be a holding company bankruptcy. The operating units, most importantly, the banks, would not be affected and could be spun out to a new entity or sold. Shareholders would be wiped out and holding company creditors (most important, bondholders) would take a hit by having their debt haircut and partly converted to equity.
This changes the picture completely. This move reflects either criminal incompetence or abject corruption by the Fed. Even though I’ve expressed my doubts as to whether Dodd Frank resolutions will work, dumping derivatives into depositaries pretty much guarantees a Dodd Frank resolution will fail. Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. [Background.] So this move amounts to a direct transfer from derivatives counterparties of Merrill to the taxpayer, via the FDIC, which would have to make depositors whole after derivatives counterparties grabbed collateral. It’s well nigh impossible to have an orderly wind down in this scenario. You have a derivatives counterparty land grab and an abrupt insolvency. Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.
But it’s even worse than that. During the savings & loan crisis, the FDIC did not have enough in deposit insurance receipts to pay for the Resolution Trust Corporation wind-down vehicle. It had to get more funding from Congress. This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors. No Congressman would dare vote against that. This move is Machiavellian, and just plain evil.
Professor Black provided a “bottom line” summary in a separate email:
1.The bank holding company (BAC) is moving troubled assets held by an entity not insured by the public (Merrill Lynch) to the Bank of America, which is insured by the publicKarl Denninger writes:
2. The banking rules are designed to prevent that because they are designed to protect the FDIC insurance fund (which the Treasury guarantees)
3. Any marginally competent regulator would say “No, Hell NO!”
4. The Fed, reportedly, is saying “Sure, no worries” by allowing the sale of an affiliate’s troubled assets to B of A
5. This is a really good “natural experiment” that allows us to test whether the Fed is protects the public or the uninsured and systemically dangerous institutions (the bank holding companies (BHCs))
6. We are all shocked, shocked [sarcasm] that Bernanke responded to the experiment by choosing to protect the BHC at the expense of the public.
So let’s see what we have here.
Bank customer initiates a swap position with Bank. In doing so they intentionally accept the credit risk of the institution they trade with.
Later they get antsy about perhaps not getting paid. Bank then shifts that risk to a place where people who deposited their money and had no part of this transaction wind up backstopping it.
This effectively makes the depositor the “guarantor” of the swap ex-post-facto.
That the regulators are allowing this is an outrage.
If you’re a Bank of America customer and continue to be one you deserve whatever you get down the line, whether it comes in the form of higher fees and costs assessed upon you or something worse.
Stand Up to the Coup
Bank of America has repeatedly become insolvent due to fraud and risky bets, and repeatedly been bailed out by the government and American people. The government and banks are engineering an age of permanent bailouts for this insolvent, criminal bank (and the other too big to fails). Remember, this is the same bank that is refusing to let people close their accounts.This is yet another joint effort by Washington and Wall Street to screw the American people, and to trample on the rule of law.The American people will be stuck in nightmare of a never-ending depression (yes, we are currently in a depression) and fascism (or socialism, if you prefer that term) unless we stand up to the overly-powerful Fed and the too big to fail banks.Read the full scam story here.
- Obama Science Czar Led UN Effort to Hide Proceedings, Subvert FOIA, Records Indicate.(cei.org).By Christine Hall.Washington, D.C., October 17, 2011 - The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), run by controversial White House Science Adviser (and former Mitt Romney climate adviser) John Holdren. The FOIA request seeks records involving an apparently co-ordinated effort between OSTP and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to subvert and circumvent U.S. law. Specifically, CEI's FOIA request seeks details of the Obama Administration's involvement in a UN IPCC plan to hide official online correspondence in non-governmental accounts. The express purpose of creating a non-government web-site "cloud" communications system was to avoid national transparency laws, such as the U. S. FOIA. However, with OSTP having taken over the lead U.S. role in the IPCC in 2009, this also implicates the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA).The new IPCC system sought to shield U. S. government employees working on the Fifth Assessment Report from FOIA requests by hiding their correspondence, even though they are being tasked and paid by the federal government to work on the report. The scandal-plagued IPCC is funded with millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. CEI demonstrates in its FOIA request that the IPCC's motivation to avoid future FOIA requests was past embarrassment over releases of earlier communications between IPCC officials and participating bureaucrats, appointees and scientists working on the assessment reports.CEI's FOIA request notes that this practice was described by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), during oversight of Bush Administration dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as "creat[ing] non-governmental accounts for official business" and as "using the nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications." The methods employed by OSTP and the IPCC are similar to those involving Abramoff, if with vastly greater potential impact on the United States and its economy."The effort to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act has apparently been conducted with direct assistance by the Obama White House," said Christopher Horner, CEI Senior Fellow. "Shortly after taking office, the Obama administration moved the lead role on IPCC work from the Department of Commerce to OSTP, run by Dr. John Holdren. The plan to create a FOIA-free zone was then implemented."This scheme sought to free UN, European Union, and U.S. bureaucrats and political appointees from oversight and the threat of prying taxpayers which accompanies the use of official e-mail channels, for official work of high public interest, performed on official time and using government computers and facilities," Horner continued. "Running it out of the White House also triggers questions about subverting the Presidential Records Act."The similar practice, serving as the forerunner obstruction to transparency for IPCC-related work, was refusing to produce records that are held in federal government computers on the grounds that the information belongs to the IPCC and is therefore not subject to FOIA. This practice and that it is not lawful was affirmed in a report by the Department of Commerce's Office of Inspector General earlier this year."As negotiations resume next month on a successor agreement to the failed Kyoto Protocol, CEI looks forward to the White House ceasing this unlawful activity and providing prompt access to the requested records so that U. S. taxpayers can know what they and the IPCC are doing behind the scenes," Horner concluded.Hmmmm..........A Czar a day makes the truth fade away?The most 'transparant' administration EVAH!Read the full story here.
- Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing Secret Department of Justice Transparency Workshop.(JW).Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents detailing the Obama White House decision to close to reporters a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) training workshop conducted by the Office of Information Policy (OIP) in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Judicial Watch obtained the documents from the OIP in response to a FOIA request filed on December 7, 2009, the same day the workshop was held.The documents consist of a series of emails between White House staff and the Director of the OIP, and include the following statements:
- “I am going to touch base with my public affairs office re your suggestion to get their reaction. I, personally don’t object as my message is the same whether the event is open or not. Our concern had been solely with the inhibiting effect it would have on the gov’t ’ees [employees] who might not speak freely if press are there.” — Melanie Pustay, OIP Director, to Blake Roberts, Deputy Associate White House counsel, December 6, 2009.
- “Ok – please don’t have them reach out to any reporters before I clear w/ wh [White House] press.” — Blake Roberts to Melanie Pustay, December 6, 2009.
- “After talking with… ben labolt [then-Assistant White House Press Secretary], the decision is that the training will be closed to the press.” — Gina Talamona, Press Release Deputy Director for the DOJ to Melanie Pustay and Brian Hauck, Counsel to the Associate Attorney General, December 7, 2009.
- “I think you have the right to give closed training when you want it.” — Brian Hauck to Melanie Pustay and Gina Talamona.
The documents also include a statement by OIP Director Melanie Pustay regarding previous FOIA workshops: “So far I have always held parallel sessions, one for agency ‘ees [employees] and then one that is open.”The training conference, held on December 7, 2009, was jointly hosted by the OIP and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) as a private workshop to provide tips to FOIA public liaison staff members on communicating, negotiating, and resolving disputes with individuals and organizations submitting FOIA requests.The fact the Obama administration chose to close the transparency workshop to the public led to criticism that the president was reneging on his promises of openness and transparency. On his first full day in office Barack Obama promised to “usher in a new era of open government” and directed agencies to administer the FOIA “with a clear presumption: in the face of doubt, openness prevails.” President Obama further instructed agencies that information should not be withheld merely because “public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”“There is a scandalously wide gap between Barack Obama’s rhetoric on transparency and the secretive policies of his administration,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “These documents suggest that it is the Obama White House that is directly responsible for this unprecedented lack of transparency. Only in Washington would political appointees think it appropriate to keep secret a government workshop on transparency. And only in Washington would a politician promote his efforts on transparency while simultaneously taking steps to keep the American people in the dark about their government.”Hmmm.....The most transparant Administration EVAH!Read the full story here.
- Senators: V.A. has denied gun rights to more than 100,000 veterans.(DailyCaller).They pledged to support and defend the Constitution, but the office of North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr says more than 100,000 U.S. military veterans may be being improperly denied one of the most fundamental rights they swore to protect.Military veterans whose Veterans Affairs benefits are managed on their behalf by appointed fiduciary trustees are deemed “mentally defective” and reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a computerized database which prohibits them from purchasing firearms.Sen. Burr is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. His office told The Daily Caller that around 114,000 veterans have been reported to the NICS and are unable to purchase firearms.Under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, any person determined by a government authority to lack the mental capacity to manage his or her own affairs is subject to being prohibited from buying a gun.The VA’s review process for assigning a fiduciary, however, determines veterans’ ability to manage their finances — not whether they are a danger to themselves or others. the VA assigns fiduciaries to handle disability compensation, pensions, survivors’ compensation and other VA government payments veterans’ behalf.Sen. Burr, a Republican from North Carolina has joined with Democrat Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia to introduce the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which would require a judicial authority to determine whether VA beneficiaries pose a danger to themselves or others before they can be added to the FBI’s NICS database.“As a matter of fairness, a veteran should be permitted to purchase a firearm under the same conditions as every other American,” said Sen. Webb. “This bipartisan bill ensures consistent guidelines are used for reporting citizens to the FBI, and that no veteran is needlessly stripped of their Second Amendment rights.”In various forms, the bill has languished in Congress for several years now, but the House passed one version last Tuesday. The legislation has the support of the National Rifle Association.The VA currently has two options for a veteran to challenge an incompetency determination. He or she can reopen the issue based on new evidence and have the determination reversed. Veterans can also petition VA to have their firearms rights restored on the basis that they pose no threat to public safety.The VA also contends that the new legislation would create a double standard.“By exempting certain VA mental health determinations that would otherwise prohibit a person from possessing or obtaining firearms under Federal law, the legislation would create a different standard for veterans and their survivors than that applicable to the rest of the population and could raise public safety issues,” the VA spokesperson said.More than 7.6 million Social Security beneficiaries are assigned fiduciaries, but the Social Security Administration does not forward any of those names to the NICS.U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named military veterans as a potential threat in a 2009 memo describing the threat of homegrown terrorism.“The return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks,” the memo stated.Napolitano quickly apologized.Obama says "lone wolf terrorist" biggest U.S. threat.Hmmmm.........Armed veterans who might protect the Constitution a threath?Read the full story here.
- The President's Strange Bedfellows.(Investors).The Left: Barack Obama's promised agenda of "change" was supposed to be about ending Washington's petty differences. But he has now aligned himself with a radical fringe seeking to destabilize the U.S. financial system.'Dr. King would want us to challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing those who work there," President Obama said on Sunday during the dedication of the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington.Sorry Mr. President, but trying to play both sides of the street doesn't fly. You are either for or against the anti-capitalist revolutionaries of the Occupy Wall Street movement as they trample the public assembly laws, threaten to clog up the courts with their minions, and literally trample the American flag.Thanks to YouTube, tens of thousands have seen Occupy protesters in Portland, Ore., on Saturday singing "F*** the U.S.A." A Reuters photo documents flag desecration by Occupy Wall Street last Thursday.Other protest features range from pre-planned Woodstock-style nude/lewd activities to signs saying "capitalism doesn't work" carried by hard-left front groups like the Workers World party. To call these extremists, as some have, a counterpoint to the Tea Party movement is to insult those patriotic grass-roots activists.So why, then, is the president embracing them? What possible political good could it do to be associated with America haters, rather than condemn them outright?A question in the same vein is why the left's mega-tycoon George Soros has (indirectly, at least) financially supported these protests through groups such as the Canadian anti-capitalist agitation outfit Adbusters, as Reuters reported last week.The answer, as related demonstrations take place in foreign cities, is that it distracts from Obama's record.Along those lines, the president has launched a new rhetorical riff in which he and the Occupiers represent "99%" of the people, while whoever gets the Republican nomination represents the other 1% — the super rich who, we are told, are the Occupiers' targets.There's a big problem with that characterization, however. Why is it that the most despicable entities on the face of the planet are enthusiastically on the side of the Occupiers, along with the president?The American Nazi Party celebrates Occupy as part of "the attack on Judeo-Capitalism."And the Communist Party U.S.A. calls Occupy "the newest wrinkle in the all-people's upsurge against the banks and corporations" that "reflects a new level of class-consciousness."Meanwhile, both Russia's Vladimir Putin and Communist China's government have had favorable comments about the demonstrations.Strange bedfellows indeed for President Obama. Is it really worth stooping so low — and sullying the presidency — in a desperate attempt to get re-elected?Read the full story here.
- Virginia Democrats Fleeing Obama.(WhitehouseDossier).As the Obama Secret Service Bus Tour begins today to plow through conservative southern Virginia, Democrats are scurrying to get out of the way.The biggest no-show: Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine – handpicked for the position by President Obama – who is running for the Senate.Kaine’s campaign claims he has previously scheduled commitments and just can’t make it.OMG IF YOU ARE GOING TO INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE PLEASE AT LEAST BE ORIGINAL ABOUT IT.I mean, really.According to Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins, neither of the state’s Democratic senators – Jim Webb or Mark Warner, will be seen with Obama either.Democrats in Virginia, which holds statewide elections this year, are desperately seeking to fend off the 2011 wave of GOP’s 2010 tide, hoping to hold their slim majority in the Virginia Senate.White House officials reportedly changed Obama’s scheduled itinerary, and Mullins told the Associated Press they did it to avoid districts where Democrats are in tight races.
According to the AP, Democrats are keeping their rhetorical distance too:
Virginia’s House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong has distanced himself from Obama in a struggle to retain his seat against a Republican incumbent in southwest Virginia that he’s facing because of redistricting.
Last month, Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett renounced Obama after his Republican challenger began discrediting him as “Obama’s man in southwest Virginia” and tying him to Obama’s energy policies which are reviled in coal-mining regions like Puckett’s district. Puckett said in a television interview he would not support Obama in 2012.The president won in Virginia, my home state, in 2008 and is hoping to do so again in 2012. So he’s campaigning here and in North Carolina, another state he seized from Republicans and eagerly wants to keep. But the tea leaves I’m reading say Virginia, at least, is more likely to revert to form in 2012 and vote for the Republican presidential candidate.Obama was on track to cross the state line from North Carolina into Virginia early this afternoon. He’ll appear at a high school in Emporia today and Wednesday at a military base in Hampton and a firehouse in suburban Richmond, where he’s sure to accuse Republicans of opposing firemen.Then, with the bus perhaps out of gas, he’ll FLY back to Washington.Hmmmm.........Warning Toxic political promises?Read the full story here.
- Canada - PA Official Booted From Canada over Tweet.(IPT).Linda Sobeh Ali, charge d'affaires of the Palestinian General Delegation in Canada, has agreed to government request that she leave Ottawa after linking to a video calling for Israel's destruction on her Twitter feed.The Toronto Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that earlier this month, Sobeh Ali posted the link on Twitter, telling her followers to "check this video out." In the video, a Palestinian girl is shown crying, shouting and reciting in Arabic a poem entitled "I am Palestinian." English subtitles were said to include language calling millions of people "to a war that raze (sic) the injustice and oppression and destroy the Jews."Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird instructed his deputy to call Sobeh Ali in to complain. The Canadian government lodged a protest with President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority, which agreed to call her home Tuesday.In an interview with CTV, Sobeh Ali said she sent the tweet from her Blackberry and had not seen the video.Meanwhile, a University of Ottawa professor says the video's English subtitles are not accurate and the offending passage did not call for a war to "destroy the Jews." Rather, said Salah Basalamah, the poem cited by the girl included a call to "kill the soul of Zionism."Sobeh Ali is not the first PA representative in North American to run into trouble in recent weeks. Last month, Maen Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization's ambassador to Washington, said Jews would not be welcome in a Palestinian state.Areikat later said that his remarks had been taken out of context. The Huffington Post later published the full quote, making clear that the PLO envoy said the two peoples should be totally separated:"I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future. But after the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction I think it would be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated at first."Read the full story here.
- Schalit deal violation of int’l law.(JPost).By Louis Rene Beres.No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian.A core element of all civilized legal systems is the rule of Nullum crimen sine poena, “no crime without a punishment.” This principle, drawn originally from the law of ancient Israel and reaffirmed at the post-war Nuremberg Trials, is part of all international law. It applies here as well.Were the United States to undertake a Schalit-like deal to free terrorist prisoners, America would stand in violation not only of international law, but also of US law. This is because Article 6 of the Constitution (the “supreme law of the land”) makes all international law part of US law. Several landmark Supreme Court decisions have upheld that stance.For Israel, there is an additional point: The country also has a pertinent and portentous history of terrorist exchanges. In June 2003, Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center, in anticipation of a then-planned terrorist releases, condemned Israel’s freeing of 100 Palestinian prisoners. Later, almost five times that number were freed by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. In her letter to the prime minister and members of his cabinet, Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner wrote that releasing terrorists for any reason would reignite Arab terrorism against defenseless Jewish men, women and especially children.Nitsana was correct. Soon thereafter, at least two newly released Palestinian terrorists proceeded to launch suicide bomb attacks in Israel. In these attacks, one “military target” of the “heroic fighters” was a cafe filled with mothers and their babies.Every state has an indisputable core obligation under international law to prosecute and punish terrorists. This obligation derives in part from the “no crime without a punishment” principle and is codified directly in many authoritative sources. It can also be deduced from the binding Nuremberg Principles (1950). According to Principle 1: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”Terrorism is a serious crime under international law. The precise offenses that comprise this crime can be found at The European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. Some of the Palestinian terrorists previously released were also guilty of related crimes of war and crimes against humanity. These are Nuremberg-category crimes, so egregious that the perpetrators are known in law as Hostes humani generis, “Common enemies of humankind.”International law presumes solidarity between states in the fight against all crime, including terrorism. This presumption is mentioned as early as the seventeenth century in Hugo Grotius’ The Law of War and Peace.Although Israel has a clear jurisdiction to punish any crimes committed on its own territory, it also has the right to act under broader principles of “universal jurisdiction.” Its case for such universal jurisdiction, which derives from an expectation of inter-state solidarity, is found in the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949. These conventions impose upon the High Contracting Parties the obligation to punish “grave breaches.”No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian. Terrorism is a criminally sanctionable violation of international law that is not subject to manipulation by individual countries. In the United States, it is clear from the Constitution that the president’s power to pardon does not encompass violations of international law. Rather, this power is always limited precisely to “offenses against the United States.”In originally capturing and punishing Palestinian terrorists, Israel acted on behalf of all states. Moreover, because some of the terrorists had committed their crimes against other states, Israel cannot properly pardon these offenses against other sovereigns.Although Mr. Netanyahu’s impending prisoner exchange would not, strictly speaking, represent a “pardon,” it would have exactly the same effect.No state possesses the authority to pardon violations of international law. No matter what might be permissible under its own Basic Law, any impending political freeing of terrorists by Israel would be impermissible. The fundamental principle is also established in law that, by virtue of such releases, the releasing state itself must assume responsibility for past criminal acts, and for future ones.Under international law, Netanyahu’s impending exchange, effectively analogous to a mass pardoning of criminals, would implicate the Jewish state for a “denial of justice.” This could have practical consequences. Although it is arguable that punishment, which is central to justice, does not always deter future crimes, such an Israeli freeing of terrorists would undermine the Jewish state’s legal obligation to incapacitate violent criminals from committing new acts of mass murder. A tragic aspect of modern international law is the need to make hard and painful choices in order to safeguard larger populations from future harm. Mr. Netanyahu should now act accordingly.The writer is professor of international law at Purdue University and is author of many books and articles dealing with international criminal law.Read the full story here.
- Turkey's acceptance of terrorists reveals Hamas ties, Turkey Obama's 'favorite'.(JPost).Turkey’s apparent willingness to take in some of the terrorists Israel will deport in the Gilad Schalit deal is a friendly act, Israeli officials said Monday.The problem is that the friendliness is directed more toward Hamas, than toward Israel, they added.Israel has been careful since the cabinet approved the deal last week not to reveal where the 40 highest-risk prisoners to be exiled to other countries will be sent, but Musa Abu Marzuk, head of Hamas’s political bureau in Damascus, told the London-based pan Arab daily Al Hayat that they would go to Turkey, Qatar and Syria.Another 165 prisoners originally from the West Bank will be deported to Gaza. Some 477 prisoners are scheduled to be freed Tuesday for Schalit, and another 550 in some two months time.Last week, President Shimon Peres said he was “pleasantly surprised by the Turkish government’s stand” on the Schalit deal, without specifying what particularly he was referring to.Ankara’s decision to take in the prisoners shows the good connections Turkey has with Hamas, one government official said, saying it was clear that Hamas viewed Turkey as a “trustworthy, reliable ally.”Both Syria and Qatar have close ties with Hamas, and grouping Turkey with those two other countries says something about Turkish-Hamas relations, he said.In September, when the Shin Bet uncovered a Hamas-terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank that was planning a suicidebombing attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, the Shin Bet revealed that Hamas operated in Turkey, where it recruited operatives.According to assessments in Jerusalem, by taking in the prisoners, Turkey will again win points in the Arab world, even as it will underline a point it is trying to prove: Nothing happens in the Middle East – from Libya to Syria and including Israel – without its involvement.The official pointed out, however, that it was in Israel’s interest for countries to be found willing to take in the released terrorists, and that Israel preferred countries that would keep an eye on them. It was not clear to what degree Turkey fit into that category.Efraim Inbar, professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, who has written widely on Turkey, said the Turks were amenable to taking in the prisoners not only because this would be viewed positively among the Palestinians and in the Arab world, where Ankara is vying for a leadership role, but also because Ankara believed the deal weakens Israel.On Friday, Ismet Barkan, a veteran Turkish journalist and a columnist for Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper, wrote that Israel asked for Turkish help when negotiations over Schalit were deadlocked earlier this year, and that eventually the Turkish National Intelligence Organization became involved, and met with Mossad, Egyptian Intelligence and Hamas operatives.Barkan reported that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu after the deal was reached, saying, “If you do not have any objection, we will announce it in a few hours. I wanted you to know first,” he said.Davutoglu, according to the columnist, said: “This is a totally humanitarian matter. We thank you for being helpful in this issue. The deal is also appropriate from our point of view.”Barkan, playing loose with facts, also wrote in this column that for Schalit’s sake, Israel “turned Gaza upside down, killed thousands of people, including women and children, and turned Gaza into an open-air prison.”Hmmmmm......Makes you wonder what Obama and Erdogan talk about during their frequent phonecalls?Read the full story here.
- How to prevent released 'Palestinian' terrorist recidivism.(IsraelMatzav).Here's a great comment on how to prevent 'Palestinian' terrorist recidivism from BH in Iowa. Carl, here's a simple solution (I heard from a coworker today) to prevent repeat attacks from released terrorists. IDF spokesperson should sincerely thank the released terrorists for their cooperation during imprisonment, that they helped advance the cause of peace and saved the lives of numerous Israelis with the information they provided. Let Hamas/PLO waste the bullets.Hmmmmm......This has potential.Read the full story here.
- Shaykh of al-Azhar: "The Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us".(TranslatingJihad).The Shaykh of al-Azhar, the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayib, by many considered to be the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, issued a statement yesterday condemning attempts to bring Western notions of human rights and freedom to the Middle East. Dr. al-Tayib explained that "the Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us," and that "opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs."Of course, if one of us infidels says that Islam is incompatible with the Western understanding of human rights, we're quickly branded Islamophobes. But here you have the Grand Imam of al-Azhar saying essentially the same thing. So I guess either he's just a big Islamophobe himself, or Islam really does conflict with human rights. My bet's on the latter...
Translated from ikhwanonline.com, 17 October 2011:
Shaykh of al-Azhar: "The Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us"
By Usama 'Abd-al-Salam
The Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayib, the Shaykh of al-Azhar, stressed that opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs and with that which is sacred to us. He relates this to the maxim, "He built a palace and destroyed an Egypt," saying, "Not everything which is a right for the Western man is a right for the Arab or Muslim man."
He added during his reception of Dr. Butrous Butrous Ghali, president of the National Council for Human Rights, today at noon, that human rights should not clash with that which is sacred to us, because many of those who brag about defending human rights have taken them as part of a booming trade under the auspices of globalization.
The Shaykh of al-Azhar called for the encouragement of all efforts to resist globalization, because it is crystal clear that America is currently suffering in every place and in every realm. This confirms that the culture of New York should not direct us in the East. We have a culture, values, and history which protect us from dissipating and melting away.
[...] (Goes on to talk about situation in Yemen)
The Grand Imam called for the protection of Arab and Islamic civilization, which is based on morals and religious values. He added that the civilization of the Ummah is led by faith and values, contrary to Western civilization, which is led by the interests of personal freedom. We need to breathe new life into the East, in every meaning of the word--in culture, economics, society, and so on. This will not happen except through hard, continuous, and independent work.Read the full story here
- Fundamental human rights 'do not contradict' any religion.(NewsAZ).News.Az interviews Dr Ivan Nikoltchev, head of the Media Unit at the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs.Is it easy to implement Council of Europe standards in post-Soviet republics which have their own traditions and views on democracy?To summarize it, I hope that European standards will be implemented because most of these countries, if not all, are members of the Council of Europe, so they have taken on themselves the obligation to abide by these standards. That of course happens to a different extent in the different countries. Some are more cooperative and more willing to implement reforms, others are not. I will not go into individual cases, but there is a good tendency overall in the South Caucasus where I work, Moldova, Ukraine, to implement the European standards, again to a different degree.
What kind of assistance can the Council of Europe and other European institutions provide to the countries of the South Caucasus to avoid events similar to those in North Africa and the Middle East. Do you see any spheres where the Council of Europe can help to avoid this scenario?
Yes, the situation is of course rather different in Europe, as it was in 89 after the fall of the wall, and as it is now in North Africa, for example. But in any case the Council of Europe can offer a lot of assistance in its three main areas of interest: democracy, rule of law and human rights. We do have a set of standards, conventions, recommendations and a lot of experience in helping democracies to develop along that way. Let me speak from my field, freedom of expression, where I have big experience. In the course of the last 20 years or so, we have offered a lot of assistance to our member states, especially to the newly emerging democracies, in reforming their media laws; for example, to guarantee freedom of expression, to guarantee pluralism of the media. We have offered training for government officials, for journalists, for civil society in order to implement all these standards, the European Convention on Human Rights, our recommendations, in practice. In that sense the Council of Europe is the only organization that has a blueprint, that has a complete, almost complete, set of standards in the field of freedom of expression and we always stand ready to help implement these standards and practices, provided that we are asked of course; that is, the principle of voluntarily asking for assistance.
Azerbaijan is a Muslim country. Some of the considerations of human rights implemented by Europeans contradict some national traditions coming from Islam and so on. Do you think that really all these values can be shared fully by the Azerbaijani side?
For the fundamental part, yes, I do believe that they can be shared. The fact is that Azerbaijan, as a member of the Council of Europe, has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. It does not go into infringing deeply rooted cultural, religious traditions, etc., but there are still some fundamental human rights – the right to life, the right to dignity, the right to freedom of expression etc. – and all these things I think can be done without contradicting anyone’s religion.Read the full story here.
- Latest Update on Christian Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.(Vinienco).Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s defense lawyer has predicted that the supreme leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei will reveal his “opinion” concerning the pastor’s case within the next 20 days.The defense lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah argues that although Khamenei is not obligated to reveal his decision to the public, lawyers, or the defendant’s family, any future action by the courts will imply that Khamenei has made his decision.“The ayatollah can make any decision he wants. He controls the judiciary, who’s executed, who’s not executed, the military. The list goes on,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, told The Christian Post.“Next time [the court] takes real action we’ll know that the [Ayatollah] has made some kind of decision,” he added.Sekulow also contended that Khamenei does not need to openly state his opinion, but rather can control the court from behind the scenes, putting the decision in their hands.The courts, however, may find it difficult to stand up against the backlash caused by either the international community or the local Muslim community, depending on the verdict.Therefore, the highly regarded Khameini has been given the sole responsibility for reviewing the decision.While the international community pushes for freedom of religion in Iran, the local, radical Muslim community is on the other side of the spectrum, pushing for those not worshipping Islam to be punished to set an example to the rest of the public.“My personal read on the situation is that nobody wants to own the decision. There’s pressure on both sides,” Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development for the Voices of the Martyrs, told The Christian Post.Dadkhak has called on the United Nations and the Pope to apply pressure on Iran for the pastor’s release.“Eighty-nine Members of Congress just sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging her to engage the U.N. and pressure Iran to free Pastor Youcef,” explained Sekulow.“Our real goal is to keep his case in the spotlight,” Sekulow said.Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor, was originally arrested for protesting in October 2009. His charge then changed to apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims, for which he was found guilty in the local Gilan province court. He appealed his case in December 2010 to Iran’s Supreme Court. The case was then passed back down to the lower Gilan province court, which in turn passed it to Khamenei for review.Countries have argued that Iran is in violation of its International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which allows freedom of religion and freedom to change one’s religion.“The most unfortunate thing is that the U.N. is completely silent on this, which says a lot about where they are,” Sekulow told The Christian Post.“I wish the secretary of state would get a little tougher,” he added.Last week the ACLJ sent a letter directly to the U.N. requesting action in the pastor’s court case.The ACLJ delivered a petition signed by 156,000 Americans to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, hoping for her to support the pastor’s acquittal.Sekulow also assured The Christian Post that placing the case into the hands of Khamenei “is better for the pastor because the decision is not under the kind of pressure from clerics or military.”“There’s no authority higher,” Sekulow added.Sekulow contends that current events have also pushed Iran’s court to involve Khamenei, referencing the recent attempted bomb threat on the United States by the elite Iranian revolutionary group Quds.“In light of what has happened in the United States [on Oct. 11] with terror issues I think the Ayatollah is under even more pressure,” stated Sekulow.International pressure has pushed Iranian court to confirm that Nadarkhani is currently alive awaiting his verdict.Read the full story here.
- Child abuse claims at UK madrassas 'tip of iceberg'.(BBC).Britain's madrassas have faced more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in the past three years, a BBC investigation has discovered.But only a tiny number have led to successful prosecutions.The revelation has led to calls for formal regulation of the schools, attended by more than 250,000 Muslim children every day for Koran lessons.The chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board said he would treat the issue as a matter of urgency.Leading Muslim figures said families often faced pressure not to go to court or even to make a formal complaint.A senior prosecutor told the BBC its figures were likely to represent the tip of an iceberg..BBC Radio 4's File on 4 asked more than 200 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales how many allegations of physical and sexual abuse had come to light in the past three years.One hundred and ninety-one of them agreed to provide information, disclosing a total of 421 cases of physical abuse. But only 10 of those cases went to court, and the BBC was only able to identify two that led to convictions.The councils also disclosed 30 allegations of sexual abuse in the Islamic supplementary schools over the past three years, which led to four prosecutions but only one conviction.The offender in that case was Mohammed Hanif Khan, an imam from Stoke-on-Trent who was imprisoned for 16 years in March this year for raping a 12-year-old boy and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old.Some local authorities said community pressure had led families to withdraw complaints.In one physical abuse case in Lambeth, two members of staff at a mosque allegedly attacked children with pencils and a phone cable - but the victims later refused to take the case further.In Lancashire, police added that children as young as six had reported being punched in the back, slapped, kicked and having their hair pulled.In several cases, pupils said they were hit with sticks or other implements. The number of cases appeared to be rising - among those councils which broke down the figures by year, there were 89 allegations of physical abuse in 2009, 178 in 2010 and 146 in the first nine months of this year.With more than half of Britain's 2.5m-strong Muslim population aged 25 or under, the number of madrassas, where children spend about 10 hours each week learning to recite the Koran in Arabic, is also growing rapidly.Mohammad Shahid Raza, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, set up by Muslim organisations to improve standards in mosques, said he would now treat the issue as a matter of urgency."These figures are very, very alarming and shocking. There is no justification for such punishments within our mosque schools," he said."I'm not sure how wide this unacceptable practice is, but our responsibility is to make those who run the mosques realise we live in a civilised society and this is not acceptable at any cost."Mr Raza said he wanted the issue dealt with through self-regulation, but there are calls for the government to take action.Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, founder of the Muslim Institute think tank, said large numbers of unregulated organisations were opening madrassas across the country - most in mosques but some in garages, abandoned pubs or private homes.Abuse was far too common, he said."We are basically destroying the lives of young people," he said. "Some kind of system must be put in place to ensure that only teaching takes place there, not sexual or physical abuse."Nazir Afzal, the chief crown prosecutor for the North West of England, said he believed the BBC's figures represented "a significant underestimate"."We have a duty to ensure that people feel confident about coming forward," he said.Corporal punishment is legal in religious settings, so long as it does not exceed "reasonable chastisement".An official report published last year which called for a legal ban on the practice - and which was accepted by the Labour government just before the general election - has not yet led to any action.The report's author, Sir Roger Singleton, chair of the Independent Safeguard Authority, said the BBC's figures were worrying and should be investigated further:"That does lend weight to my view that we're not just dealing with isolated instances," he said. "So I would be quite concerned to understand why the allegations have not resulted in a greater number of prosecutions." Read and listen to the full story here.
- Hotel cancels Tea Party event after learning that anti-Islam activist was due to be a speaker.(DailyMail).A hotel in Texas cancelled a Tea Party event that was going to be held in their conference room because it didn't approve of the group's keynote speaker. Pamela Geller, a political activist and blogger, was schedule to headline the event and caused hotel representatives to deny the group use of their space. Officially, the Hyatt Place Houston Sugar Land hotel cancelled the event citing 'changing security needs' after they learned that Ms Geller would be speaking.This is not the first time that Ms Geller has ruffled feathers: the staunch conservative has written extensively against Islam and regularly attacks the religion because she deems it 'the radical most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth'.'I'm not bashing Muslims. I'm not bashing people. I love people, It's why I do what I do,' Ms Geller said. In spite of that, the event was forced to move to the Sugar Land Community Center, where it was held Tuesday night. 'I think it's reprehensible, the restriction of free speech, because that's what we're talking about,' Ms Geller said. While event attendees were boycotting the Hyatt, a few dozen residents of Sugar Land, Texas, which is right outside of Houston, boycotted the event, calling it 'hate speech'.Part of her speech at the event was intended to promote her new book, titled Stop The Islamization of America: A Practical Guide To The Resistance. Never known for timidity, Ms Geller likened Hyatt administrators to the Iranian president. 'Mind you, where does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stay and entertain his murdering comrades when he comes to New York? The Hyatt,' Ms Geller wrote. Read the full story here.
- Those who burn books................ (AlexanderMunch).Tel Adashim: A synagogue was set on fire and burned to the ground.Hundreds of holy books were burned.Hmmmm..........Reminds you of Something....Somewhere......Sometime?Read and see the full story here.
- Napoleon Bonaparte's declaration to the coptic nation on 07 december 1798 - A new social contract.(Copticliterature).Napoleon to the Coptic Nation: "(I am)returning to the Coptic nation its dignity and inalienable rights of man that had been taken away from it....from now on, it shall not be degraded."It was asocial contract based on equality and respect - very different from the Islamic Dhimmitude contract that was based on exploitation and Humiliation.On 30 July 1798, only a few days after the French Expedition landed in Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte appointed Mu’allem Jirjis al-Jawhari (d. 1810), the most prominent Coptic lay member then, General Steward of Egypt; and honoured him dearly. Al-Jawhari was very close to Napoleon. After the arrival of the French in Egypt, the much hated Turks and Mamlukes (in collaboration with the Arab nomads who inhabited the deserts of Egypt and caused havoc wherever they went) launched several attacks on the French and also massacred many innocent Christian Copts in several villages across Egypt.Mu’allem Jirjis al-Jawhari, as the community’s leader, drafted with other prominent Copts a letter in the name of the Coptic nation, and presented it to Bonaparte. We understand from the content of Napoleon’s response that the Copts, the “Coptic nation”, demanded protection of their members from the attacks by the Turks, Mamlukes and Arabs, and requested certain changes in their condition. Hitherto (before the arrival of the French), what governed the Coptic nation was Islamic law that had only one aim for the Copts – to exploit and humiliate them. The Copts demanded that any laws or practices that had been designed to humiliate and exploit them be abolished; that those who murdered the Copts in the villages be punished; that they enjoyed religious liberty; that they were permitted to carry arms and mount horses and mules, and abandon the restrictions imposed on their natural right to dress in whatever way they liked.Napoleon granted them all that – he decided to return to the Coptic nation, those descendants of the great Pharaohs, its “dignity and inalienable rights of man”, which had been taken away from it by its oppressors. In other words, Napoleon elevated the Copts’ legal status in the State from dhimis to citizens. He, in return, asked them to serve the French Republic. This was a new social contract whereby the Copts were considered equal members of the polity and enjoyed their essential freedoms and fundamental human rights that were due to them in their capacity as men and human beings, and which were inalienable. It was a social contract that puts protection first and demanded loyalty second.For the first time in their history, certainly since they had lost their independence c.1000 BC, the Copts came across this new political language and possibilities. That was a completely different contract from the dhimmittude contract which was based on the Pact of Umar I (634-644).This is not the place to discuss the difference between the two types of contracts – the French social contract of freedom and respect, and the Islamic dhimmittude contract of slavery and humiliation. I simply want to introduce my readers, Copts and non-Copts, to the French text of Napoleon Bonaparte’s letter to Mu’allem Jirjis al-Jawhari, the representative of the Coptic nation, which was dated 7 December 1798, and which forms part of the Napoleonic Collection, and has the serial no. 3717. It was published in 1858 by public order of the Emperor Napoleon III in Correspondance de Napoléon Ier (Vol. 5; pp. 184-5). I have translated Napoleon’s letter into both English and Arabic, which I believe has been done for the first time. I now leave you to read this important Letter, in three different languages, which I call Napoleon Bonaparte’s Declaration to the Coptic Nation:Read the full story here.
- Following the Shalit Deal - Hamas-Affiliated Columnists: There Will Be More Abductions; Fatah-Affiliated Website: Shalit a Monster Who Carried On the Legacy of His Ancestors, the Apes and Pigs; Al-Ahram: No to Further Abductions.(Memri).Following the signing of the deal in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was to be exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, many articles on Hamas-affiliated websites called the deal a victory and stated that it proved the effectiveness of the strategy of resistance. They urged to kidnap more Israeli soldiers in order to liberate the remaining Palestinian prisoners.An article published on a Fatah-affiliated website, by journalist Sami Foda, stated: “[Gilad Shalit is] a young man who spent his time in bars and brothels, playing games and pampering himself. He enjoyed the pleasures of a land not his own. He went around robbing, stealing, torching, raping, trampling, and desecrating the soil of this land that is not his own. He viciously strove to shed the blood of the martyrs, killed innocent people, shelled the homes of innocent people with tanks, destroying them without shame, mercy, or pangs of conscience, a stupid murderer who did not mind killing our elderly, our men, our youth, and our women, and even our poor children, [so] pure and innocent.“This soldier was a waif born in a shelter as a result of the deterioration and disintegration of Israeli society. A Zionist soldier, he became seeped with Zionism to the bone… [He is] a gullible [boy], the genetic grandson of the Zionist leaders by virtue of his affiliation with, and loyalty to, his Nazi leaders. This monster joined the army of Zionist gangs, to carry on the legacy of his fathers, the apes and pigs of the Haganah, Irgun, Stern, and Palmach organizations, in order to carry out the orders of his fascist masters. That was the Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit, 19 years-old when he was captured by the Palestinian resistance.Read the full story here.
- Kenya’s Army Prepares to Fight the ‘Mother Of All Battles’.(BigPeace).Faced with repeated kidnapping of French and Spanish aid workers by al-Shabaab terrorists from Somalia, as well as attacks on refugee camps on Keyna’s soil, Kenya’s army invaded Somalia on Sunday, backed by helicopters and tanks, and supported by bombers. Both Kenyan and Somali government forces are headed for the region near Qoqani, over 600 km south of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has mobilised hundreds of fighters and confiscated vehicles to transport them to the same region, with a major battle expected in the coming days in the nearby town of Afmadow. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage has threatened terror attacks on Kenyan cities. “Kenya has peace, its cities have tall buildings and business is booming there, while Somalia is in chaos. If your government ignores our calls to stop its aggression on Somali soil, we will strike at the heart of your interests,” he said in an address intended for the Kenyan population. Hassan Turki, a senior southern al Shabaab leader, said his men would force the Kenyan troops “to test the pain of the bullets.” Al Shabaab fighters were on Monday said to be boosting defences and sending “hundreds” of fighters towards Kenyan and TFG positions. “I saw around 50 trucks and pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns, with hundreds of fighters heading towards the Kenyan border,” Mr Abdi Jumale, a resident in the al Shabaab-held port of Kismayu told AFP by telephone.Al Shabaab commanders confiscated at least a 100 trucks late on Sunday from the Lower Shabelle region, outside the capital Mogadishu, to transport fighters to the battle zones, witnesses said.Read the full story here.