Sunday, November 6, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation updated: America Sanak 5.4 ; Sparks 5.2 ; Arlington 5.2 ; Indonesia 5.3!More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- US would be ‘satisfied’ with Brotherhood win in Egypt.(JPost).The United States would be "satisfied" should free elections in Egypt produce a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood, AFP reported Friday according to the US's special coordinator for transitions in the Middle East, William Taylor.Taylor said the US would judge elected parties in the Middle East based "on what they do, and not what they're called," AFP quoted him as saying. He added that he did not meet with Brotherhood officials in his latest visit to Cairo, but would have had he been given the chance. The point man on Middle East transitions said that so-called Arab Spring revolutions and a desire for democratic elections create an environment in which groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are able to shed associations with terror.Taylor's comments came the week after Tunisia - widely seen as the birthplace of Arab Spring revolutions - elected its own Islamist Ennahda party to form a governing coalition.Ennahda emerged the victor in the nation's first ever free elections.The party, banned before the revolution that ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, won 90 of the 217 seats in the new assembly. It was not, however, an outright win.The party is expected to form a coalition with two of the secularist runners-up.Ennahda's leader is pledging a new dawn for Tunisians.Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, said, "We give our promise to them to continue to realize the aims of the revolution in a Tunisia that is free, independent, developing and prosperous, and where the rights of God, the Prophet, women, men, the religious and non-religious, are assured because Tunisia is for everybody."Hmmmm.......“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”Anyone still doubting of his 'love' for Israel?Read the full story here.
- Extreme Poverty Is Now At Record Levels: 19 Statistics About The Poor That Will Absolutely Astound You.(BlacklistedNews).By MichaelSnyder.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty than they have ever measured before. In 2010, we were told that the economy was recovering, but the truth is that the number of the “very poor” soared to heights never seen previously. Back in 1993 and back in 2009, the rate of extreme poverty was just over 6 percent, and that represented the worst numbers on record. But in 2010, the rate of extreme poverty hit a whopping 6.7 percent. That means that one out of every 15 Americans is now considered to be “very poor”. For many people, this is all very confusing because their guts are telling them that things are getting worse and yet the mainstream media keeps telling them that everything is just fine. Hopefully this article will help people realize that the plight of the poorest of the poor continues to deteriorate all across the United States. In addition, hopefully this article will inspire many of you to lend a hand to those that are truly in need.Tonight, there are more than 20 million Americans that are living in extreme poverty. This number increases a little bit more every single day. The following statistics that were mentioned in an article in The Daily Mail should be very sobering for all of us….So just how bad are things right now?
The following are 19 statistics about the poor that will absolutely astound you….
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of “very poor” rose in 300 out of the 360 largest metropolitan areas during 2010.
- Last year, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
- It isn’t just the ranks of the “very poor” that are rising. The number of those just considered to be “poor” is rapidly increasing as well. Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.
- The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.
- There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.
- In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.
- More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
- One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
- Today, there are over 45 million Americans on food stamps.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 15 percent of all Americans are now on food stamps.
- In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
- The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.
- We are told that the economy is recovering, but the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by another 8 percent over the past year.
- Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
- It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.
- More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
- One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least onegovernment anti-poverty program.
- The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.
- It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.
Sadly, we don’t hear much about this on the nightly news, do we?This is because the mainstream media is very tightly controlled.Hmmmm........."CHANGE" the average American feels.Read the full story here.
- Time to call Obama's bluff on Israel.(IsraelMatzav).This past week, the Obama administration was forced to cut off funding to UNESCO because of a clear US statute, which was passed during the administration of George H.W. Bush (not exactly a friend of Israel) and amended during the Clinton administration, which requires the United States to cut off funding to any United Nations agency that recognizes a state of 'Palestine' except as a result of negotiations. Obama wanted to get out of it. He wanted to continue funding UNESCO. But under American law, he can't, and with the Republicans in control of the House, there is no way he can get that law changed. The UN law has no out for 'national security.'On the other hand, every six months, Obama uses the national security excuse to avoid moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Clinton and George W. Bush both did the same thing, but Obama removed from the statement issued every six months the phrase that says that the administration remains committed to moving the embassy to Jerusalem.Yet, Obama, as he stands for reelection, tries to convince us all that he is committed to Israel. It is time to call him on his 'commitment.'It is time to introduce a bill in Congress to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Simple and straightforward. NO NATIONAL SECURITY OUT. You have one year to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Period. The House, which is dominated by Republicans, will vote in favor. The Senate, which has a whole bunch of Democrats who are up for reelection, will fear for its political life and vote in favor. Will Obama veto the bill? In 2012 when he is up for reelection?This is an issue on which nearly all Israelis and most American Jews agree. And lots of American Christians agree too.I'm serious about this. I know there are some people on Capitol Hill who follow me, and I'd love to hear your reactions. But this strikes me as a golden opportunity to either get the US to take a stand on Jerusalem, and/or to expose the fraud named Barack Hussein Obama.Hmmm.....Hear!Hear!Read the full story here.
- Europe’s veil of fear.(YNet).The office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was badly damaged by a firebomb on Wednesday, after it published a spoof issue "guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of the Islamist party in Tunisia’s elections. The magazine had announced a special issue for publication, renamed "Charia Hebdo," a play on the French word for Islamic law. The magazine’s website has also been hacked with a message in English and Turkish. The fatwa said: "You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be Allah’s curse upon you!"Charlie Hebdo is the latest in a series of "blasphemous pencils" – European cartoonists, writers and journalists threatened with death for their criticism about Islam. They are people who need a level of personal protection unconceivable even in Israel, a country well-known for its attention to security. And it happens all over Europe. Kurt Westergaard is the most famous of them. I spoke with him immediately after the attack in Paris. Westergaard is the Danish artist who created the controversial cartoon of the Prophet wearing a bomb in his turban: "Few days ago the police discovered another terrorist plan to attack my newspaper, the Jyllands Posten," Westergaard said. "My house is protected as a bunker with cameras. I am always guarded by the policemen. Few months ago I had to attend a book presentation in Oslo. But the day before the Norwegian police asked me to cancel the event due to the terrorist threats."Five years after the publication of the cartoons, Westergaard still needs the same level of security of a Danish prime minister. "I am not a brave man, but I am 76-years-old and have less fear of dying", the cartoonist said. "The terrorists won’t silence me in the battle for the freedom of expression."Visiting the Jyllands Posten’s office is like entering a US embassy in an Arab country. The newspaper had erected a 2.5-metre high, one-kilometer long barbed-wire fence, complete with electronic surveillance, around its headquarters in Visby. Mail is scanned and newspaper staff members need ID cards to enter the buildings and the various floors.Flemming Rose is the cultural editor who took the initiative of publishing the cartoons. When he attended a conference in Oxford, the British police had to set up "the same protection as for Michael Jackson." In Sweden the target is Lars Vilks, who was even named in a threat message sent prior to a suicide bombing in Stockholm last year. In the Netherlands, where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by a fundamentalist for his criticism of Islam, cartoonist Gregorious Nekshot uses a pseudonym to protect his own identity. The office of Geert Wilders, the Dutch MP famous for his critics of Islam, lies in the most isolated corner of Parliament. It was chosen because potential terrorists can get through only one corridor, making it easier to protect him. Even the pencils of visitors are searched by the police. Wilders’ entourage is anonymous. He even slept for a while in a military barrack for security reasons. When the alert level is high, Wilders doesn’t know where he will spend the night. "I could go to a restaurant, but the police should empty it before my arrival," Wilders once told me. At the University of Leiden, Rembrandt’s famous city, the office of Professor Afshin Ellian is protected by bulletproof walls and policemen. "In Holland Rousseau, Locke, Sade and Spinoza were able to publish their books," Ellian said during our meeting in Leiden. "Holland was the hope of Europe. But it’s no more. Now there is an atmosphere of fear if you criticize Islam." I just recently spoke with Robert Redeker, the professor of philosophy condemned to death for an article in Le Figaro newspaper. His piece, a response to the controversy over remarks about Islam made a week earlier by Pope Benedict XVI, was titled "What should the free world do in the face of Islamist intimidation?" It was a fierce critique of what Redeker called Islam’s attempt "to place its leaden cloak over the world." On an Islamist website, he was sentenced to death in a posting that, in order to facilitate a potential assassin’s task, also provided his address, telephone and a photograph of his home. "I just went to Austria for a conference and even there the bodyguards were always with me," Redeker said. The police did not even allow him to announce his father’s death, because someone could have noted the surname. "I had to bury my father like a criminal," he said. The marriage of his daughter was also attended by the police. Redeker had to sell his house and buy another one in a secret location. "I cannot go out to buy bread or newspapers or for a glass of wine. I cannot walk in the streets. I am a refugee in my own country. I cannot take the train, bus or subway. I cannot answer the question of what I can expect from the future. This new situation has changed my perception of time…It’s as there is no future for me."Europe is also becoming a no-go area also for Israelis. Last July, Israeli historian Benny Morris was walking towards the London School of Economics. He was accosted by a group of keffiyah-clad Muslims who, recognizing him, started hurling abuse, shouting and screaming in his face that he was a "fascist", "murderer", "racist" and that the UK shouldn’t have let him speak. The police were called, but when they arrived, the Muslims disappeared. When Morris finished his lesson on Israel’s war of 1948, he was unceremoniously bundled away through the back exit of the faculty, past the garbage cans, out of fear for his safety if he left the building in the normal manner. "I felt like a Jew in Berlin in the 1920s," Morris told me. Kurt Westergaard’s last cartoon captured the atmosphere in Europe well. It depicts Westergaard as Don Quixote, leaving a donkey carrying a bomb with the word "ytringsfrihed" (freedom of speech.) Under the cartoon it says: "The Don Quixote of idealism says goodbye and thank you. The Sancho Panza of reality remains - for now."Hmmmm..........What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books. ~Sigmund Freud.Read and see the full story here.
- 'Israeli attack will unleash Iran's wrath'.(YNet).Hossein Ebrahimi, a senior member of the Tehran's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, warned Saturday that Iran's response to a possible attack by Israel will be "crushing.""Before (being able to take) any action against Iran, the Israelis will feel our wrath in Tel Aviv," he told the State-run IRNA news agency.Ebrahimi noted that "since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, the US, UK and Israel have frequently threatened Iran… This is not a new development." Iran, he added, assessed Israel's military capabilities during the Second Lebanon War, "and found it to be weak.""The Israelis entered the (Lebanon) war with the capabilities they had but earned nothing but humiliation," Ebrahimi said. "I do not think that Israelis along with the Americans and Britons will commit such a folly." "If the threat is carried out they will see the political might of the (Islamic) establishment, the solidarity of the Iranian nation, and the strength of the country," he added."The Iranian regime is insane," a Tehran-based blogger told Ynet on Saturday. Hamid (alias) said that Israel should, nevertheless, take the threats uttered by the Islamic Republic's leaders seriously: "We are used to such threats... The Iranian people are not afraid – they have no reason to be. We know that if the Revolutionary Guards sense any real threat, they will launch world war three. Israel knows better than to want that." Hamid said that in the event of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Tehran's army will immediately launch rockets at Israel, while its navy will attack US navy ships in the Persian Gulf.The regime, he added, may also choose to fire rockets at Iraq, Afghanistan and even Europe. "The regime is insane – tell Mr. Netanyahu not to attack." Hamid ventured that any attack would only boost the Iranian people's support of the ayatollah's regime – which already enjoys a 70% approval rate. Iran, he concluded, "should pursue nuclear technology only in order to be perceived as a (nuclear) power in the eyes of the West."Hmmm.....Prepare for $400 A barrel for gas?Read the full story here.
- Iranian threat to U.S. surpasses al-Qaeda, military official says.(AlArabiya).Iran is the biggest threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East, surpassing al-Qaeda, which is down but not out, a senior U.S. military official said on Friday.“The biggest threat to the United States and to our interests and to our friends, I might add, has come into focus and it’s Iran,” said the official, addressing a forum in Washington.Next week, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, is expected to release a report that includes evidence of Iranian nuclear research which makes little sense if not weapons related, Western diplomats said.However, the official said he did not believe Iran wanted to provoke a conflict and added he did not know if the Islamic state had decided to build a nuclear weapon.Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is enriching uranium to power reactors for electricity generation.“I don’t know that the Iranians have made the decision to make a nuclear weapon,” the official said.Reporters were allowed to cover the event on condition that the senior military official not be identified.“Al-Qaeda is not out, but it's down,” the official said. He added that al Qaeda had also been largely marginalized by Arab Spring uprisings that have shown change is possible without resorting to the group’s “medieval practices.”The United States, the European Union and others have imposed numerous rounds of economic sanctions on Tehran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program.U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said he agreed on the need to keep “unprecedented pressure” on Iran. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday stricter sanctions were the key to reining in Iran's nuclear program.But it is far from clear whether China and Russia, members of the U.N. Security Council, would agree to significantly tighten trade and financial sanctions on Tehran.At the Pentagon, spokesman George Little said the United States remained focused on leveraging diplomatic and economic pressure against Iran.“We remain very concerned about their intentions with respect to their nuclear program,” Little told reporters.“But in terms of the instruments of national power that we’re currently employing, the focus is on diplomatic and economic,” Little said.Read the full story here.
- ‘Orientalism’ For Dummies.(DocsTalk).By Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi.Editor’s note: Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi holds the Edward Said-Noam Chomsky Linguistics Chair at Abdul Abulbul Amir University in Cairo.Being a renowned and brilliant linguist such as I am, on October 26, I innocently, and full of optimism and good-will, had published in Front Page Magazine — a war-mongering, racist site if ever there was one, judging from its unsavory readership and ignorant authors! — a glossary of useful terms and expressions meant to help delineate and define what speakers and writers mean when they use certain, shall we say, “explosive” words and phrases when describing so complex a circumstance as, as I wrote, “today’s (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) Mid- east.” Inasmuch as it seems that your culture and mine are teetering on the edge of conflict, I believe that persons of good-will, such as myself, need to do what what we must to make certain that misunderstanding and miscommunication do not precipitate a disastrous war in which we will doubtlessly defeat you, not least since we, and in particular our youth, care so much and you and yours seem to care so little.Perhaps the fact that we have raised a generation of very, very angry young men has something to do with the fact that that our young men are not allowed to have interaction with girls. (We tell them that attraction to young women is a Zionist plot hatched by evil Jews intent on capturing them in the snare of Shaytan. Talk about impressionable!)Whatever you think of us, you have to admit that prohibition has been a sensational strategy for recruiting plenty of extremely devoted young men who actually volunteer to strap on explosives in hopes of finding unmutilated maidens waiting for them elsewhere. Pretty cool, huh?! Faith is a powerful incentivizer! And a culture that prohibits deduction certainly needs faith!So, my only purpose was a peaceful one — to make certain that the reader would not be misled by ignorance or prejudice, or as my wise teacher and predecessor, Dr. Edward Said, coined it, “Orientalism,” the psychological disease or intellectual offense that imagines that the Western cultures are in some way “better than,” or “superior to,” as opposed to simply “different from,” Arabic or Eastern cultures.In a nutshell, Dr. Said posited that Westerners, because they are not Orientals, can never know how Eastern people think or why they do what they do. They — Westerners — therefore must never interpret or judge the words, intentions or actions of Middle-Easterners, especially the leaders, all of whom are “Men of the People,” serving from the depths of the goodness of their hearts, what is called the Arab Street, which is nothing more than the communal roar for Divine Justice, or for the random murder of Jews or Christians or Hindus or Bahai or Sikhs or Sunnis or Shia or pigs or dogs depending on what’s cooking that day.When Westerners do so – that is, when Westerners think they know what they’re talking about –, they are not merely mistaken, but also racist. And “racist” is the grand bugaboo of our era. We have learned that if we can persuade that you are racist, we can get you to do anything! Why, you people give money to Hamas and weapons to Hezbollah! What a world!Dr. Said’s reasoning is that a person making a judgment is inherently arrogant because, by virtue of making any judgment, that person a priori believes that his judgment must be right. And since our judgments are different than yours, we must be wrong.The Grand Flaw is that the Westerner does not realize that he does not and can know the workings of the Oriental mind, and he does not know that he does not know. In imagining that he is right, he is arrogant, which implies that he believes he is better than an Oriental (although how Arabs or Persians, rather than, say Chinese or Japanese, came to be called “Oriental” is beyond me, even if I am a brilliant linguist), and therefore racist. This is Dr. Said’s great insight with which he was able to bamboozle … oops…I mean persuade… Western academia!For one example, when we hijack an airplane, Western right-wing hard-liners insist this is an aggressive, hostile act. We, the keepers of Oriental consciousness, know this is an act of love. We are just trying to get passengers to their ultimate — and I do mean ultimate! — destinations sooner rather than later!!! (Note: The more exclamations points, the better the argument.)As you must surely realize by now, we Arabs know that we are never right, or more to the point, we Arabs are right because we know that we are wrong. So, Arabs can never be thought of as “Occidentalist” or racist. We get to be the “Victims of Racism!,” which means we win!For yet another example of such small-minded, wrongful Orientalist thinking, when Mr. Ahmadinejad says that “The Zionist entity must be wiped off the map,” Westerners and Israelis, in their sad ignorance, imagine that he is advancing the idea of a nuclear holocaust being brought down upon the heads of Israel. This is purely ignorant Orientalist hogwash. (You should excuse the expression!)What he is really saying is that “We (‘Humanity’) are one divine entity united by the divine spark which we all share in common. Therefore, let us light a large flame — a really LARGE flame — that represents the inherent brotherhood of man.” “Wiped off the map,” in this instance, merely refers to the day when peoples will no longer be divided into nations. And since there will be no nations, we will no longer have need of boundaries and borders, and we therefore will no longer need maps. We will all be one. (Or is that, “We will have won?”)But the point is that even though it is sad that such an idea is so difficult for the robber barons of Wall Street and their CEO cronies, and the imperialistic power mongers of the US political machine to grasp, it is not surprising. After all, what do they have to gain from peace, mutual well-being, free flow of goods, friendship, and all that stuff?But that Dr. Said’s central tenet has been accepted so readily among the great minds of Western academia is one of the astonishing successes in the history of East – West relations. And now these professors are busy inculcating Orientalism — the concoction of such a word is sheer(ia) genius, is it not?! – into the minds of their students so that pretty soon, they’ll have to wear a kefiya on campus if they want a passing grade!Now we are at work at getting Israeli academics to buy into this doctrine. And thus far, we are having far greater success than we ever dreamed possible. Now we are planning an Anti-Israel Apartheid Week on campuses in Israel! Imagine Jewish and Muslim and Christian students, White, Brown and Black, gay and straight, men and women, all marching hand-in-hand protesting Apartheid! How heart-warming! How inspiring!Mysterious indeed are the ways of Allah!Read the full extended version here.
- Belgium - heavy ethnic rioting of Turks and Kurds in Antwerp.(Vrt).The northern port city of Antwerp was the scene of rioting between Kurds and Turks on Saturday night. The incidents were focused around the Van Kerckhovenstraat where members of the city’s Kurdish and Turkish communities clashed.Saturday's riot was the third incident between Kurds and Turks in only a week's time. It was around 10 PM that Antwerp police received the first reports of a brawl out on the street. Within minutes the belligerents were joined by several hundred members of the two communities. It was especially young people who joined in the fracas.A massive police presence attended the scene. Police officers did their best to separate the two groups and prevent further fighting. At one point the rioters hurled street paving stones at the police that responded with tear gas. Calm returned around 1:30 AM.The rioting has caused considerable material damage. Shop windows were shattered, cars were trashed and bus shelters damaged. A number of people had to be taken to hospital for treatment, but all have now been discharged. The police also report one stabbing in which one person was injured, but the exact circumstances have not yet been established.At the beginning of the week petrol bombs were thrown at a Turkish Cultural Centre in the same street. Who is responsible remains unclear, but Turkish people in Antwerp blamed the Kurds. Later in the week a group of Kurds wanted to hand in a petition at city hall, but there was nobody there to meet them. A score of petitioners was detained for a while.Read and see the full story here.
- Egypt Randomly Arresting Copts for Maspero Massacre.(Aina).By By Mary Abdelmassih. -- Egypt's Military Prosecutor decided on November 3 to continue the detention of 34 Coptic Christians for another 15 days, pending investigations on charges of inciting violence, carrying arms and insulting the armed forces during the October 9 Maspero Massacre, which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329. The court session was attended by more than twenty defense lawyers. The case was adjourned to November 18.According to defense lawyers, most of the detainees were arrested after October 9, and some were not even at the Maspero protest and were just collected from the streets for "being a Christian." Three of them were teens under 16 years old and another had an operation to extract a bullet from his jaw and was chained to his bed in hospital, according to defense lawyer Ibrahim Edward. "After the operation he was sent straight to prison where he cannot eat without feeding tubes, so he lives on juices."Prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fatah, who criticized the army for the Maspero Massacre, was arrested on October 30, charged with inciting violence, seizing military equipment, and vandalizing military property. He refused to answer questions from the military prosecutors "in a case where the military is accused of committing a massacre when their APCs ran over peaceful protesters in front of Maspero on Oct. 9," said his lawyer Ahmed Seif Al-Islam, former director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.Abdel-Fatah also played a big role in convincing the families of the Maspero Coptic victims to agree to have the bodies of their relatives autopsied in order to have proof that the military caused their death.Two days ago, Mikhail Naguib, a Copt, was arrested at his home by the military and accused of stealing a machine gun and using it to kill Copts in Maspero on October 9.The military prosecutors claimed that the gun, a type used by the army, was stolen from one of the APCs at Maspero. The army said that a taxi driver who brought Naguib on that night from Maspero to his home in the run-down area of Sharabia witnessed that he had a gun bundled in a plastic bag with him.In an interview aired on the "The Way" Christian TV, Michael's father said the army and police found nothing at home and that they beat his son and took him away in his underwear.Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, said that this latest arrest and these extremely serious accusations raises questions about the intentions of the army. He wondered about the evidence the military has regarding these charges, and whether with this arrest the real culprits will not be brought to justice.Families of detainees appeared in an interview with Coptic Channel CTV and told how their sons and husbands were arrested.Ms. Magda, mother of Mina Talaat, said that her son did not attend the Maspero protest but was arrested after the violence at 20:30 in one of the roads leading to Maspero. "Mina was stopped by a soldier, who called a group of 20 people to come quickly, as he had found a Christian. The group beat Mina with short leather batons until his jaw was broken and he had to hold it back with his hand. He also had wounds in the head requiring 12 stitches."Mina told his mother on her first visit that he hid under an armoured personnel carrier but was dragged out and taken to a room on the third floor of the TV building, together with other Copts, and they were beaten until 8 AM. He was then taken to el-Kobah Military Hospital where he was chained to his bed. She said that Mina had a large tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his arm and "the soldier was so angry about that he wanted to shoot him."Ms. Mariam, wife of Mr. Amin Mouneer Ayad, who was at work and was dropped off by his company's bus near Maspero after 22:00, said that a soldier asked her husband if he was a Christian and saw the tattooed cross on his wrist, then took him away to a room all covered in blood. After taking his money and cell phone, the soldiers beat him until he lost consciousness. "I did not recognize him at hospital," said his wife. "His eyes were so swollen that when he cried no tears were flowing."The Al-Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture said on its Facebook page that Mr. Amthal Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah, a Muslim arrested at Maspero by the military, was said by his mother to be mentally handicapped. Military prosecutors transferred him to Abbassiya mental hospital, which decided to keep him "until he comes back to his senses," as per the hospital report."To arrest the victims and not the assailants shows the extent of persecution and humiliation the Copts are experiencing," said Medhat Kelada, head of the Union of Coptic Organizations in Europe. "If there is any justice, the military prosecution should instead investigate the crimes committed by the military police."A list of suspects to be questioned by the military prosecutors with regards to the Maspero violence was published by the media, which included clergy, in addition to political movements like the Maspero Coptic Youth Union, Copts Without Borders and April 6. It also included the deceased Coptic protester Mina Danial, known from the January 25 Tahrir protests, who died in the Maspero Massacre from gun shots.Father Filopateer was interrogated by the prosecution on October 26 and he completely refused to cooperate with the military investigation because he is a civilian and because it is biased and is part of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), with whom "…we are direct opponents in this case. I accused the SCAF, Field Marshal Tantawi and Brigadier Badeen, head of military police of being directly responsible for the Maspero Massacre." He said that the SCAF was fishing for incriminating evidence.Father Mattias Nasr went to the military prosecutor on October 20. He said that he did not expect to be accused, wondering how can a victim become a culprit? He described the investigations as a sort counterbalance to what was unveiled in the conference held on October 20 by the Maspero Coptic Youth Union. The conference accused the military of murdering the demonstrators through video footage and witnesses.Right groups have criticized the ongoing arrests, denounced military trials for civilians and called for the transfer of the investigation of the case from military to civilian prosecutors.Joe Stork, Deputy Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, said "The military cannot investigate itself with any credibility. This had been an essentially peaceful protest until the military used excessive force and military vehicles ran over protesters. The only hope for justice for the victims is an independent civilian-led investigation that the army fully cooperates with and cannot control and that leads to the prosecution of those responsible.""They are arresting Christians and levying accusation at them, most of which are really absurd, in an attempt to implicate them in the killings," says activist Mark Ebeid, who attended the Maspero protest. "The Junta is trying to justify the impossible, which is putting the blame on someone else. We all witnessed the killings with our own eyes on that bloody Sunday."Read the full story here.
- Muslim Brotherhood buying support in Egypt.(Giyus).The Egyptian revolution is in gridlock. As election loom ahead, the military council is concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood will easily win majority of parliament seats. This weekend Islamic holiday, which centers on sacrifice and feeding the poor, offered the Muslim Brotherhood a golden opportunity. Putting to use its vast charity network, the Brotherhood sold discounted vegetables and meat to the poor that were unable to celebrate the holiday otherwise.Understanding that the road to democracy may turn Egypt into an Islamic state, the secular Military Council tried to propose a new constitution which would have given the ruling military council exclusive authority to approve any legislation on the army’s internal affairs.While public outcry led to the dismissal of this proposal, the problem remains how to ensure the Muslim Brotherhood which are likely to dominate the new government, will not be able to dismantle the secular body of the army.Meanwhile, in a poor district of eastern Cairo on Friday, families crowded outside the neighborhood mosque as volunteers for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party yelled out prices on discounted potatoes, lemons, green beans and other vegetables. Many which bought the discounted goods said they will vote for the Brotherhood as they "help with the expensive items".Tunisia's elections in which the Islamic party won 41% of the votes highlighted the Egyptian upcoming elections. As we saw in Tunisia, in such founding elections with new parties, organization and network is crucial for high approval rates. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood excels on both counts, while the secular candidates and parties are starting from scratch.In the western world, democracy is sacred. But history tells us that democracy was used to bring about terrible dictators which led the world to a global war. In a more recent event, we saw Hamas rise to power in Democratic elections leading Gaza to years of misery. We are now witnessing the same process in Egypt.As the Muslim Brotherhood is putting their network to use it's not a question of who will win these elections but rather how much votes they'll get.Read the full story here.
- Turkey - Heavier penalty for rape with EU reforms.(HurriyetDaily).In parallel to a number of big issues like the earthquake in the eastern province of Van and violence related to Kurdish nationalism, Turkish public opinion has been debating a court ruling about a rape case for almost two weeks now.The case involves the rape of 13-year-old N.Ç. in the southeastern province of Mardin in 2002 by 26 adult men, including civil servants, soldiers and school teachers.The First Mardin Criminal court found that the young girl had not resisted the acts of the 26 men and accepted money from them, so it could be interpreted that she had consented to the act. The court then sentenced each of the men to a minimum of five years in prison.The lawyers for the girl took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Ankara, which upheld the Mardin court’s ruling.That caused outrage throughout society, from individuals to associations and politicians, including the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ministers. On Nov. 3 President Abdullah Gül said he did not want to interfere in judicial affairs, but added that the case had disturbed him greatly and that he hoped that the case would ultimately result in a way that would relieve the upset felt by people.Gül was implying the last resort regarding the case, namely, the possibility that the chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Appeals could take the case to the uppermost General Board of Crime, which has the authority to ask for a retrial.But there is still a problem here.The Turkish Penal Code was changed in 2004 as part of EU harmonization reforms. In the new penal code, article number 103, there is no reduction suggested in the penalty because of consent or any other reason if the victim is under the age of 15. On the contrary, the law calls for an increase if the crime was committed by more than one person.But the former penal code’s article 414/1 said that if the judges decided that the act was consensual, the penalty is five years. But legal experts agree that the judges could interpret the law otherwise and give the penalty according to article 414/2, which calls for at least 10 years imprisonment. So, if the prosecutor takes the public and also political outcry into consideration, changes his former decision and takes the case to the upper board, the maximum that the 26 offenders could again get would be determined by the former article 414/2.Under the new Turkish Penal Code’s article 103, however, the defilers should be sentenced to at least 22.5 years each.This is what the difference would have been if the poor girl had been raped after the EU reforms – another dimension of the change in the living standards of Turkish people’s lives brought by the EU harmonization.Read the full story here.
- Pakistan - Four female teachers of a private school were attacked with acid by unidentified culprits in Quetta.(SriLankaGuardian).Pakistani fanatic intelligence agencies ISI and MI third time acid attack on Baloch women in order to spread panic among the Baloch female teachers and women who are playing a vital role in Balochistan’s independence movement.Four female Baloch teachers of a private school were attacked with acid by unknown culprits in Killi Alam area of Saryab here on Saturday. According to local police officer Malik Arshad, the female teachers were sitting in a van outside their school in Killi Alam on Saryab Road when two men on motorbikes hurled acid and fled from the scene.Three teachers, in early 20s, received burn injuries on their face, hands and legs while clothes of another teacher were burnt. The victims were identified as Robina Mushwani, 21, Fazila Bangulzai, 23, Sajida Bibi, 24 and 21-year-old Surriya Langhov. Sajida Bibi was discharged after being provided first aid. “We were sitting inside the van outside of our school when two persons on motorbike appeared and the hurled acid. They attackers were wearing masks and disappeared from the scene,” one of the injured Fazila told the doctors at Bolan Medical College Hospital. The victims were admitted at Plastic Surgery and Burns Wounds Department at BMC that was crowded with their relatives. One of the eye witnesses claimed that the culprits had hurled a bottle containing deadly acid on the four female teachers. Dr said that the victim Rubina received 8 per cent burn injuries in her face and hands, Surriya 3.4 per cent while Fazila sustained 2 per cent wounds.According to relatives, they had not received any threat. “The van was parked outside the skillful Grammar School as usually and ready to drop the teachers to their respective areas,” said,relative of one of the victims.It was the third incident in Balochistan during the past 15 months as earlier three women were attacked with acid in Kalat while two sisters sustained burn injuries in Dalbandin. Later, ISI /MI creadted new dummy organizations claimed the responsibility and warned the female not to move out in Bazaars and do not work outside.ISI religious fanatics are involved in the acid attack in order to spread panic among the Baloch female teachers and Baloch women who are playing a vital role in Balochistan’s independence movement.Hmmmm......For some "Knowledge is treathening".Read the full story here.
- Five reasons for being [a] Russian [nationalist].(RussiaWatchers).By Yoera Mulders.In a country that twice disintegrated along ethnic borders, the National Question, is like the rope, about which one does not speak in the house of the hanged man. We however do have to talk about it. If not in election time, than perhaps at high brow conferences, one of such which took place in Yaroslav last week.At these conferences however we really hear but just one idea: the cultivation of an All-Russian civic nation as a counterbalance to ethnic radicalism. According to this idea ‘our task is to build an all inclusive Rossian nation, while preserving the identity of all peoples living in our country’. The president spoke these words at a meeting of the State Council in Ufa, thereby echoing the Soviet idea of ‘a new historical community’. ‘If we fail’ – I quote the president at a different meeting – ‘our nation awaits a sad fate’.This new civic nation has been under construction since the days of Yeltsin, but 20 years after its appearance, ‘the new Rossia’ as before exists as a state without a nation and concerns about its fate continue to linger.What we have here is a paradox. On the one hand, by assigning itself the task of building a nation the state admits that our nation-state does not yet exist in the full sense. On the other hand the state assumes the role of the demiurge [God like creature, JM], capable of creating a new nation-state from top down.[Translators note: If by now you are being confused by the use of the terms 'Rossian' and 'Rossia', you may want to read the introduction above. JM]It is difficult to reconcile these two points, ‘but other countries have succeeded’, the president said at the aforementioned State Council in Ufa. ‘And we should too.’France is the textbook model of a nation, which was build from top down. The French crown did mold the French people out of a fairly diverse population. Can and should we follow their example? The French state was able to complete this task because it had a foothold outside the nation – in the divine right of kings. Does the Rossian presidential dynasty have a similar reserve of strength? The other question is: Did we not already experience something similar? The Russian ethnos emerged as a nation with state power as its starting point and this process didn’t require 20 years, but several centuries. After our turbulent history, the decision to start a new nation building project from scratch can only be considered audacious. So before we redouble our energies to build a ‘new historic community’, why don’t we compare it with its predecessor?Optimists say that we do not necessarily need to choose between ‘Russians’ and ‘Rossians’. After all the promise is given that ‘the identity of all peoples, living in our country’ will be preserved in the process of nation building. The problem however consists in the fact that for [ethnic] Russians their identity is also an attribute of state power. Without the state, the Russian people can possibly preserve itself as an ethnos, but we can never realize ourselves as a contemporary nation.What is the difference between the one and the other?According to British researcher Benedict Anderson contemporary nations were created by the printing press. This is a pretty accurate metaphor for the formation of an ‘industrial’ identity. An ethnic community reaches the stage of a nation, when it acquires developed mechanisms to multiply and spread carriers of its identity and the national identity itself is enshrined in the form of a literary culture (including a developed literary language, traditions in art, a collection of fundamental texts shaping self-consciousness, and so forth. )A tribe or a people may reproduce itself in a primitive way – with the help of oral tradition and direct contact between family and neighbors. For a nation that is not enough. To continue itself in generations, a nation needs cumbersome (and costly) social machines, acting primarily under the aegis of the state.Applied to our question, this means, that when [Russian] schools, media, the army, the state apparatus and ‘mass art’ are all [re-]branded into Rossian, it does not necessarily follow that the state is building a truly new nation. It does follow that the state may very well destroy the country, because we do risk to loose our Russian nation in the process of building ‘a nation of Rossians’.From this paradox follows that it is clear who the authorities want us to be, but we have not determined yet, who we want to be ourselves. In this piece I will pose five choices with regard to our identity. Do we want to be Russians or Rossians?
- Do we want to be citizens or serfs?
- Do we want to be the children of a long history or a brief moment of inertia?
- Us versus them.
- Do we want Pushkin or Gel’man?
- Do we want to be a union of peoples or a conglomerate of minorities?
A society, from which the cultural backbone is removed, has not even zero, but a negative assimilative potential. It does not inspire immigrants to integrate. On the contrary, it evokes among minorities the desire to fill the opening emptiness with their own ethnic and religious myths. And for the majority there is nothing else to do than to escape into subcultures or apathy.So, a strong national culture, even one that is alien to minorities, is much better equipped to ensure their integration, than the emptiness left after its removal. In our case this is times times true. For the larger part of the peoples of Rossia the Russian culture is not alien at all.Rossia indeed evolved as a union of peoples, but for this union to be possible, the recognition of its prime subject was needed: the Russians as the state-forming nation.From the point of view of the minorities there are no valid reasons to oppose that recognition. Their rights after all are maximally realised in their own states, their own influential lobbies and cultural autonomies. The only thing that remains is to complete that colourful complexity with the national self-determination of the majority.Sooner or later this will happen. The question is only if the territory of self-determination will be the Russian Federation or some other yet unknown country in our future.The author Mikhail Remizov is the president of the Institute of National Strategy.Read the full story here.