Monday, February 6, 2012
Indonesia: Muslims Warned Against Observing Valentine’s Day in Sharia Controlled region.(TheJakartaGlobe).Ulema in Aceh have warned Muslims, the younger generation in particular, that observing Valentine’s Day is not allowed in Islam and against Shariah law that is in force in all of Aceh province.“It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Shariah” Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), said on Monday.In Islam, he said, love should not be expressed or shown on a certain day only but every day. “Therefore, Islam’s younger generation should not participate in the celebration of a foreign festivity,” he said.Faisal Ali who is also chairman of the Aceh branch of Nahdlatul Ulama called on Muslim parents, especially those in Aceh, to instruct and supervise their children in the matter.
“We must prevent the Muslim younger generation in Aceh from being poisoned by a culture that contradicts our Muslim values. Therefore, everybody, parents in particular, should give our youth the proper guidance,” he said.
“Islamic Shariah cannot prevail in Aceh as expected if it is not supported fully by the government and other parties in authority,” he said. The government must also watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh, he said.Hmmm.....Obama:"Indonesia is an example of religious tolerance". Read the full story here.
Sunni Scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Calls to Boycott Russian and Chinese Products, States: They Are the Enemies of the Islamic Nation
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Allah will punish [the Syrian regime] for what it did by means of the people. He will send it His wrath, which is never withheld from criminals. The people will soon take revenge upon it, Allah willing.
They were, unfortunately, supported in the Security Council by the Russians and Chinese, who saw Truth with their own eyes, but insisted on supporting Falsehood. They insisted upon supporting injustice over justice, Falsehood over Truth, and darkness over light. The Arab people in its entirety will oppose them.
I call upon the entire Arab people and the entire Islamic people, and upon all the honorable and free people of the world, to oppose those evil [Syrian] rulers and those who supported them.
Interviewer: In what way?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: ... The Russians and Chinese acted unjustly towards the Syrian people. The [Arabs and Muslims] must not buy their products. They must not give them a single penny, because this penny turns into a weapon that kills the Syrians. We should not give them a single penny, which they'd use against the people of Truth.
I call upon the Syrian people, the Arab peoples, and the Islamic peoples to boycott them, to refrain from cooperating with them or helping them in any way. May Allah bring disgrace upon them.
Our nation should oppose these people and know that they are its enemies and rivals. We must know who our rivals are and who our supporters are. Source: Memri.
UK: MPs consult Abu Hamza on causes of radicalisation.(IIE).Via the Guardian:
The MPs do conclude that there may be growing support for nonviolent extremism within the Muslim community, fed by feelings of alienation and a sense of grievance, and this is a challenge for society and the police.
They recommend that tackling Islamophobia and demonstrating that the British state is not antithetical to Islam should constitute a big part of the official Prevent strategy designed to counter the ideology that feeds violent radicalisation.The MPs talked to the radical preacher Abu Hamza in the maximum security unit at Belmarsh prison in London, who told them the main drivers of radicalisation were grievances, especially concerning Palestine and Afghanistan, a sense that the prophet was being mocked, guilt and capability.He said unemployment was not a source of grievance.Read the full story here.
Hmmm...... Abu Hamza quotes:
Abu Hamza claimed that Aids had been sent as a curse on homosexuals. They have a common punishment amongst them and they have the virus to run after them wherever they go
Every place of iniquity, every brothel, every video shop which is selling naked, for the victorious party is a target.
We do not hate Jews because they hurt each other we hate them for their corruption on earth.
A Jew cannot look a Muslim in the eye or pass him knowing they have oppressed a Muslim or some other Jew had oppressed a Muslim elsewhere.So nation of Mohammed must regain their dignity and this dignity would not be regained unless with blood
ON WINE SHOPS
Don't go to the man who is selling a wine shop and tell him please why you selling the wine shop, come to the mosque?Make sure that the man who gave him the licence for that wine shop does not exist anymore on the Earth. Finish him up
You must know the cause of Allah and you must help that cause in fighting, by fighting and when you fight you kill, you don't fight just to negotiate or to show off or to make videos or to make audios, fight to kill not fight to tape
ON NON-MUSLIMS (KAFIRS)
Killing a Kafir who is fighting you is OK. Killing a Kafir for any reason, you can say it, it is OK - even if there is no reason for it
ON SUICIDE BOMBERS
It is not called suicide... this is called martyring, because if the only way to hurt the enemies of Islam except by taking your life for that then it is allowed
ON THE ROYAL FAMILY
There are people now who worship Diana. After a while she will have her own Qu'ran, have mosques and churches in her name
They don't want to be ruled by religion... they don't want women to cover up... they don't want the king to rule.For that they either cancel the monarchy or make the Queen like a monkey that sits in a gold cage that people look at, like a cow - and go around her and she cannot rule or say anything
Bring up your daughters to that manners [not to answer back] otherwise they going to be divorced in the first week of their marriage or slapped in the face.
Hmmm....Real 'peacefull' guy why in Gods name would people become Islamophobe?Source: BBC.
Baghad Battery - oldest known battery in the world.
Belgian battery can power 1,400 homes.(Yahoo).Chemicals giant Solvay hailed Monday the successful entry into service in Flanders of what it said was the largest fuel cell of its type in the world.
A super-battery that produces enough electricity to power nearly 1,400 homes, the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been producing clean electricity at a "steady rate" for weeks at a SolVin plant part-owned by Germany's BASF in Antwerp, northern Dutch-speaking Belgium.
SolVin is a market leader in vinyl, or PVC production.
The fuel cell converts the chemical energy from hydrogen into clean electricity through an electrochemical reaction with oxygen, and "has generated over 500 MWh in about 800 hours of operation," Solvay said in a news release.
The company said this equates to the electricity consumption of 1,370 families over the same period.Fuel-cell technology is tipped by developers as a future power solution for everything from cars to ships.Hmmmm.....GM Volt developers seen crying in the Hallways?Read the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Philipines 6.9 - 6.8 - 6.2 - 6.0 - 5.7 - 5.6 - 5.2!More info here.
- Obama’s bogus jobs data - Congress should investigate cooked employment books.(WT).The White House hyped the news Friday that January payrolls had risen by 243,000. The hitch is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also dropped 1.2 million from the calculated workforce. Somehow this net loss of a million workers in a single month was transformed into an improvement in the unemployment rate. As the old saying goes, figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.“Job growth was widespread,” the BLS reported, but most Americans sense that something isn’t quite right with the numbers. The most important change was the deep decline in the workforce. While the overall population jumped an 1.6 million in January, the workforce declined a record-setting 1.2 million. This figure represents those who out of sheer frustration or for other reasons have dropped out of what the government defines as the active labor pool. They are worse than simply unemployed; they are both jobless and hopeless.The participation rate is a subjective measure and highly subject to manipulation. The lower it goes and the more people are dropped from the unemployment equation, the better the numbers will look for the White House. This figure has been dropping sharply since Mr. Obama took office. Last month, an analysis at the Zero Hedge financial website noted that by extending the logic of reporting progressively fewer labor-force participants, “America will officially have no unemployed when the Labor Force Participation rate hits 58.5 percent, which should be just before the presidential election.” Maybe that’s the plan.A year ago, there were 99 million people either officially unemployed or otherwise not working, and the official unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. Now, unemployment reported by the government is down to 8.3 percent, but the number without jobs has topped 100 million. The disconnect between increasing joblessness in America and the rosy White House official statistics should be the subject of a congressional investigation. Something does not add up.Read the full story here.
- Obama extends sanctions to Central Bank of Iran.(JTA).President Obama expanded Iran sanctions to include parties dealing with Iran's Central Bank.The executive order made public Monday and issued by the White House on Sunday cuts Iran's economy off from the United States' entirely by expanding existing sanctions to include those who deal with Iran's Central Bank, forcing interlocutors to choose between the two countries.The intended effect is to isolate Iran from much of the world's developed economy.A letter to Congress accompanying the order notes that it comports with the enhanced sanctions law passed by Congress in December and underscores its expansive intent, targeting entities determined "to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order." The Obama administration had issued a warning in November that such sanctions were forthcoming. A key factor in timing the sanctions was the effort to coordinate with other nations to avoid a spike in oil prices.Hmmmm....Now lets see if Iran will keep it's promise of closing the strait of Hormuz if America sanctioned their Central Bank?Read the full story here.
- Iran Unveils Several Military, Technological Achievements.(Fars).Iran on Monday unveiled 21 new home-made achievements and projects in defensive and technological fields.The projects were unveiled on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn, celebrating the victor of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that nine production lines have been inaugurated, which include those for advanced laser-guided systems of a cannon type, guiding systems of an anti-armor missile, a warning apparatus of a laser defense system meant to protect sensitive and important areas in the country, three advanced radars and a powerful microwave lamp. He added that eight other products including thermal cameras, laser systems, air-defense, and electronic communications for submarines were delivered to Iran's Armed Forces. Vahidi also noted that four research projects in the field of electronic warfare have been completed, which will enter the phase of industrial production in the near future.The minister reiterated that the achievements would considerably increase Iran's defense powers.Hmmm.....That powerfull microwave lamp will help to throw popcorn at the great Satan.Read the full story here.
- How Israel Keeps Us Safe.(AT).By Karin McQuillan.We have a president who has a problem with Israel. According to a New York Times column, "Don't Do It, Bibi," Obama called Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in mid-January to demand a promise that Israel would not bomb Iran in the next few months. Obama doesn't want a spike in oil prices before our presidential election. The threat of unhappy voters is more important to Obama than a nuclear Iran. He is more concerned about his re-election than he is about a dirty bomb in the hands of a terrorist that could waste one of our cities, a destabilized Middle East, or a nuclear attack on Israel.Obama's indifference to Israel's safety is a moral problem, but it is more than that. It poses a grave threat to our national security.Israel's blessings don't stop with the gifts of individual Jews advancing high tech and medical care. Israeli inventiveness in those fields is of the greatest military importance to us. As a country, Israel does more than any other country in the world to keep the U.S. safe -- literally. This would be part of the foreign policy equation of our White House and State Department, if they didn't suffer from Arabism.Read the full story here.
- The Military Is Now Telling Catholic Chaplains What They Can And Can't Say About The Obama Administration.(BI).The emerging conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration may have a new front: in the U.S. military itself.The Catholic Church is fighting mad about an HHS ruling that would have them buy insurance for things they consider sinful–contraception, sterilization and abortion. All the bishops in the country sent out a letter to be read in their parishes promising that the Church "cannot-and will not-comply with this unjust law."Even Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who is in charge of Catholic military chaplains sent out the same letter. But after he did, the Army's Office of the Chief of Chaplains sent out another communication forbidding Catholic priests to read the letter, in part because it seemed to encourage civil disobedience, and could be read as seditious against the Commander-in-Chief. More than one Catholic chaplain who spoke to us off the record confirmed that many chaplains disobeyed this instruction and read the letter anyway. Others sought further instructions from their Archbishop. Now after much behind-the-scenes bureaucratic wrangling, a new version of the letter will be read, one that was edited of the language about "unjust laws."The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict". ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Read the full story here.
- Turkey rules out military intervention in Syria.(BM).Istanbul (dpa) – Turkey on Monday ruled out the possibility that it might consider military intervention in neighboring Syria if the situation in the country does not improve.“We will do whatever is necessary, but military intervention is not an option for Turkey,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc was quoted as saying by the state news agency Anatolian.Pointing out that Turkey was bound by decisions made by the United Nations and the Arab League, Arinc was deeply critical of the rejection by China and Russia of a UN resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.“This was wrong,” he said adding that he was also deeply critical of both Iran and Lebanon for failing to criticize the actions of the al-Assad government.Anatolian also quoted Arinc as pointing out that is almost 30 years to the day since al-Assad’s father and predecessor as president, Hafez al-Assad ordered the military to bombard the central city of Hama, killing an estimated 20,000 people.Hmmmm....Turkey doesn't want military intervention At first in Libya then Egypt...Iran and Syria.But will be the first to call for Military action against Israel.Read the full story here.
- The Perversion of the Words of Our Lord Jesus Christ by the Sinner Barack H. Obama.(RedState).Posted by Erick Erickson. I’m afraid we need a little Sunday morning theology. Hopefully someone at the White House will read this and realize just how ill advised the President was to do what he did this week and we should be praying hard for him to see the error of his ways on this.Unfortunately for the nation, we have a President who claims to be a Christian who is willing to take God’s Holy Word repeatedly out of context, subsume God’s commands for individuals in their conduct with each other and with Him, and try to make the case for the government’s fiscal policy with that perversion.The President, through the Department of Health and Human Services, has ordered religious organizations — targeting more specifically the Catholic Church — to offer health plans that cover the costs of contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. I started this post with, unlike the President’s use of Luke and Proverbs, un-perverted scripture Christians use to show their objections to abortion. But moreso, these are non exhaustive passages of scripture Catholics rely on as foundations both to their opposition to abortion and to contraception. God himself said, “Be fruitful and multiply.”The President this week chose to pervert God’s Word to make the case for a tax increase, but he also chose to ignore God’s word on life and is ordering Christians, while he claims to be one, to violate their Christian conscience on abortion — requiring Christian organizations to provide health insurance that will cover the cost of drugs that induce abortions.He is trying to have it both ways. He is trying to use God’s Word to defend a tax policy that dissuades individuals from giving gladly and charitably to the poor as God instructs and is ignoring God’s Word in order to force fellow Christians into violating their Christian conscience — something about which God cares a great deal.This cannot end well for him, particularly doing this claiming to be a Christian. And it might not end well for the rest of us either. Barack Obama has gone to war with Christians’ consciences and he is perverting God’s word in the process to get his way on public policy.Read the full story here.
- Video - Scores killed and injured as Syrian army shells Homs; shelling seen as ‘real war’.(AlArabiya).As many as 22 people have been killed and scores of others have been injured in intensive shelling of the Baba Amro neighborhood in Homs, Al Arabiya reported on Monday citing Syrian activists. “It is the most intensive shelling on Baba Amro since the start of the protests,” one witness told Al Arabiya by phone. Military helicopters are taking part in the shelling of Baba Amro, which caused a number of residential buildings to collapse, Syrian activists said.“Seven residential buildings collapsed as a result of the Syrian intensive shelling of Homs,” an activist at the Local Coordination Committees told Al Arabiya. “Homs is witnessing a real war,” he said.“The tally that we have received from various activists in Homs since the shelling started at six this morning is 50, mostly civilians,” the Syrian National Council opposition group’s Catherine al-Talli told Reuters.“The regime is acting as if it were immune to international intervention and has a free hand to use violence against the people,” she said.Assad’s troops shelled Homs overnight Friday, killing at least 260 civilians, the SNC said, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 100 women and children were among its toll of 237 dead.The tolls could not be independently confirmed. Damascus denied responsibility, blaming the deaths on rebels seeking to swing the U.N. vote.Read the full story here.
- French official: J'lem to be capital of ‘Palestine’.(JPost).BERLIN – The head of the French Consulate in Jerusalem told French and Palestinian municipal officials late last month that Jerusalem will be the capital of an independent Palestinian state.“Welcome to Jerusalem, capital of the future State of Palestine,” Frédéric Desagneaux said at a conference in the city, the French-language online news outlet JSS wrote.A participant who contacted JSS was “shocked and surprised at the anti-Israel craze” of the attendees.When asked by The Jerusalem Post during a telephone interview on Thursday about Desagneaux’s comment, Damien Cristofari, the French vice consul, stated that Desagneaux said “Jerusalem would be the capital of two states.”Cristofari added that the consul- general’s position conforms to international and EU policy calling for Jerusalem to be a divided capital of Israel and a Palestinian state. The vice consul said that JSS “misquoted” Desagneaux.Jonathan-Simon Sellem, the author of the JSS report, confirmed to the Post on Thursday the accuracy of his source, and said that Desagneaux called for Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine. The JSS source has an audio recording of the comment from Desagneaux.Cristofari said the consulate was checking on a video recording of the January 23 conference to verify Desagneaux’s remarks. The top French diplomat in Jerusalem made his comments at a meeting on French-Palestinian cooperation in the fields of municipal construction, culture, democratic governance and water.JSS wrote that there was a total of 200 representatives from the Palestinian and French sides present. The Palestinian Authority mayors of Hebron and Bethlehem attended the event.JSS wrote that its source, who attended the event, said, “And after exchanging a few words with the assistant consul, I learned with astonishment that the consul also bears the title of ambassador of France in Palestine.An ambassador of France in Palestine whose offices are located in west Jerusalem...”Hmmm......Read the full story here.
- Iranian Parliament's Website: Attack Israel this Year.(INN).The Iranian parliament's official website has published an article calling on the government to attack Israel before the end of the year.According to Israeli TV Channel 2's veteran Middle East expert, Ehud Yaari, the article cites three reasons for the call.First – a religious fatwa allowing such a strike. Second – threats from Israel regarding a planned strike on Iran. And third – Iran's alleged military capability to carry out such an attack.The article specifies that the area between Lod and Jerusalem should be targeted, as well as Tel Nof Air Force Base.The article seems to be part of a recent trend in Iran to step up the rhetoric regarding a possible attack on Israel. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Friday that Israel is a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut.”“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hizbullah against Israel in 2006, and in the 22-day war” between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, Khamenei was quoted as saying.He added, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.”On Saturday, press outlets in Iran also widely quoted a blog post by Alireza Forghani, a computer engineer, who called upon Tehran to "wipe out Israel" by 2014.Forghani called on his leaders to target Israeli sites using land-to-land missiles. Ballistic Sijil missiles should be launched at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, he suggested, as well as power stations and other vital infrastructure. Then, Shahab 3 and Ghader missiles should target the rest of Israel's population centers. Nine minutes would suffice for "total annihilation," he predicted.Read the full story here.
- Fool me twice.(JPost).By Caroline Glick.Former US congressman Robert Wexler is a man worth listening to. Wexler served as then-senator Barack Obama’s chief booster in the American Jewish community during the 2008 presidential campaign. He appeared everywhere and said anything to convince the American Jewish community that the same man who sat in the church pews listening to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Semitic vitriol for two decades, and listed among his closest friends and associates a host of Israel-haters as well as former terrorists, was the greatest friend Israel could ever have.Once Obama was elected, Wexler continued to serve as his Jewish shill. Wexler traveled to Israel multiple times in the early months of Obama’s presidency, to pressure Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to submit to Obama’s demand and embrace the cause of Palestinian statehood. After Netanyahu finally announced his support for Palestinian statehood at his speech at Bar-Ilan University in September 2009, Wexler returned with a new demand – that Netanyahu enact a moratorium on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.Given Wexler’s close ties to Obama, it is reasonable to assume that his suggestion that Israel cease exerting its national sovereignty over its sovereign territory in the interests of the peace process is not simply his personal view.There is much to criticize about Wexler’s suggestion. But more important than its arrogant, insulting absurdity, and more disconcerting than Wexler’s own hypocrisy, is what his suggestion tells us about the dangers inherent in Netanyahu’s current negotiations with the Palestinians.Netanyahu is obviously under great pressure to continue with these talks. A day doesn’t go by without some US official or European leader talking about the need for talks, or a leftist politician or political activist at home blaming Netanyahu for the absence of peace. But none of this pressure can justify the damage that is done to Israel’s position by continuing to engage in these negotiations. As Netanyahu’s own experience with Obama (and Wexler) shows, concessions never bring a respite from the US leader’s pressure. They only form the baseline for demands for further concessions.Beyond the narrow confines of Obama’s personal hostility towards Israel, Netanyahu’s current engagement in negotiations with the Palestinians is devastating to Israel’s position in two ways.American “friends” like Wexler and Obama play Israel for a fool again and again.In truth, we should thank Wexler for coming here this week and reminding us of his bad faith, and the bad faith of the president he serves. But it is up to Netanyahu to draw the appropriate lessons.Read the full story here.
- From potentate to puppet?Is embracing the Islamists the only way Abdullah can preserve his rule? Is preserving Abdullah the only way Islamists can prevent ‘Jordan’ becoming ‘Palestine?’(MartinSherman).The eternal potential for perfidy – or at least the impermanence of loyalties – in pursuit of interests, personal or national, is being illustrated by the events unfolding in Jordan today.Crumbling of conventional wisdom?It has long been a pillar of conventional wisdom in the Middle East that the Hashemite kingdom is a bastion of moderate pro-Western stability. Accordingly, it has been held that the relationship between the monarchy and radical elements in the Arab world in general, and among the Palestinian in particular, will inevitably be adversarial. Consequently, the assumption has been that, by their very nature and the nature of their goals, these elements necessarily are an existential threat to the regime in Amman.Furthermore, with the eruption of the Arab Spring, the dominant view has been that the popular waves of support for resurgent Islam are a grave menace to the rule of incumbent autocrats, monarchical or military.After all, Islamic regimes have risen in the wake of deposed dictatorships in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, while other are under siege in Syria and Yemen. The same scenario was presumed valid in Jordan.However, here it seems the Palestinian question might be disrupting – even reversing – this pattern, at least for the time being.For as the recent visit by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to Amman (his first official one since his 1999 expulsion) shows, a surprising, even counter-intuitive, truth seems to be emerging.Rather than radical Palestinian Islamic elements threatening to overthrow the monarchy, they appear to be articulating a rationale for sustaining it. At least in the medium term and at least as far as appearances are concerned. This may have dangerously deceptive consequences for Israel.As some analysts have noted, the public protests in Jordan have been subtly but qualitatively different from those in, say, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria.Rather than being focused on revolution, they have centered on reform; rather than clamoring for forced removal of the autocrat and his regime, they have centered more on consensual transformation of the regime and the transfer of some powers of royalty to other institutions of government.This anomalous moderation in the tenor of public protest is intriguing and significant, particularly in light of Mashaal’s statement made during the meeting with the king, in which he affirmed Hamas’s concern “for Jordan’s security and stability.”As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh observes, the message was clearly “aimed at reassuring King Abdullah that Hamas does not challenge his monarchy.Hmmmm.....”Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same– Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849.Read the full story here.
- Latest from Iran: "The Regime Will Demolish Ahmadinejad".(EAW).Mohammad Reza Khatami, the prominent reformist and brother of the former President, was careful not to say "boycott", even as he said true reformists would not participate in March's Parliamentary elections. This, however, was almost the only caution he displayed.Khatami said the result of the vote would be fixed before people went to the polls, and then he turned on the pretence within the system by savaging Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: We do not say that we want to be President, but we are saying that a wise man should be the president. Today in our country, Ahmadinejad has no authority; those who made Ahmadinejad “Ahmadinejad” must be held responsible towards people. Khatami said the "deviant current" --- a label placed on Ahmadinejad's advisors by his critics --- was made by the very same people who made Ahmadinejad "Ahmadinejad", so they can control the President. Khatami claimed that the regime will bear and tolerate Ahmadinejad for two years, until the end of his second term, and "after that they will demolish him".Khatami's was not the only troublesome voice on Sunday. Former Minister of Interior Mostafa Tajzadeh, in his most recent message from Evin Prison, has criticised the Supreme Leader for Friday Prayer and asked him to apologise to the people. Tajzadeh said Ayatollah Khamenei had continued his policy of "threat against threat" and thus endangered Iran's security.And reformist MP Masoud Pezeshkian, commenting on the Friday Prayer, said, "An atmosphere has been created in the country which does not allow reformists to be active, let alone for the reformists to be able to compete with others in the election."Amidst the criticisms, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani's four conditions for a successful Majlis seem rather tame: 1) maximum participation in the election; 2) care and accuracy by officials in holding a healthy election; 3) a lenient approach by the Guardian Council in approving candidates; 4) healthy competition among the candidates in which they do not insult and accuse each other.MP Mostafa Reza Hosseini has said the plan to interrogate the President has been submitted to Speaker of Parliament Larijani. The MP said Ahmadinejad has one month to appear before the Majlis.Read the full story here.
- China orders airlines not to pay EU carbon tax.(BM).By Bill Smith.Beijing (dpa) – The Chinese government on Monday ordered its airlines not to pay a carbon tax imposed by the European Union, saying the EU’s move had breached international civil aviation rules.Chinese airlines must not pay the carbon tax to the EU and were banned from raising prices or adding fees without government permission, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.The EU’s announcement of charges for carbon emissions for flights using EU airports was “contrary to relevant principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the international civil aviation regulations,” the CAAC said.“China objects to the EU’s decision to impose the scheme on non-EU airlines,” it said, adding that the government would “consider adopting necessary measures to protect the interests of Chinese individuals and companies.”It said China wanted to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the charges, which the EU introduced from January 1 under an emissions trading scheme.Read the full story here.More here .
- Jewish American Paul Auster and Erdoğan controversy grows.(HurriyetDaily).A row between U.S. author Paul Auster and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that began after the writer said he would not visit Turkey due to the number of imprisoned journalists is continuing to grow. According to daily Radikal, lawyer Turgut Kazan has contacted Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk to invite Auster to Turkey. Kazan and Pamuk were among the team who invited authors Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter to come to Turkey in 1985. The dust-up began when Auster gave an interview to daily Hürriyet last month in New York after his most recent book, “Winter Journal,” was published in Turkey. Auster said he refused to come to Turkey because of the number of imprisoned writers and journalists.In response, Erdoğan criticized Auster for having previously visited Israel. “Israel is supposedly a democratic, secular country, a country where freedom of expression and individual rights and freedoms are limitless. What an ignorant man you are. Aren’t these the ones that rained bombs down on Gaza? The ones that launched phosphorus bombs and used chemical weapons. How can you not see this?” he said.Hmmmmm.......There are even people who don't see the Armenian Genocide.Read the full story here.
- Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Hossein Salami Vows to Hit Source of Threats against Iran.(Fars)."The point of origin of an enemy offensive against the Islamic Republic will be attacked by IRGC military units," Salami said on Sunday. Salami made the remarks during the ongoing IRGC military drills in Iran's Southern province of Fars. The drills, codenamed as Hamiyan-e Vellayat (Supporters of Religious Leadership) are underway in Jahrom general zone. Iran has warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway. Iranian officials have recently warned enemies that Iran is entitled to the right to close the strategic oil lifeline as a defensive option against foreign invasion or sanctions on its oil exports. The United States said it would not allow Iran to block the Strait, calling it a "red line" for the US military. In reply, Salami dismissed the US warning over the closure of the strategic strait, and stressed that powerful Iran acts on its own and never asks for anyone's permission to carry out what it desires. "The US is not in a position" to affect Iran's decisions, Salami told FNA late in December. "Iran does not ask permission to implement its own defensive strategies." Read the full story here.
- Analysis: Pilot over Auschwitz - maybe Iran too?(JPost).On September 4, 2003, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel served as the lead pilot in one of the Israel Air Force’s most memorable missions – a flight over the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.Under the agreement with the Polish government, the IAF F-15s were supposed to fly high above Auschwitz, and way out of sight.The day of the flight though, Eshel convened the other pilots and announced that they were going to fly below the clouds so they could be seen by the IDF officers who would be holding a ceremony along the train tracks below.“We listened to the Polish for 800 years,” Eshel was quoted as telling the other pilots at the time. “Today, we don’t have to listen anymore.”The picture of the three F- 15s over Auschwitz – a demonstration of Israel’s might and independence – can be found in hundreds of IDF offices these days.Most of the pictures were given out personally by Maj.- Gen. (res.) Elazar Shkedy, the former IAF commander who stepped down in 2008. Shkedy wrote on all of them: “To remember. Not to forget. To rely only on ourselves.”That message resonates even louder today as Israel faces a daunting dilemma – to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, or to embark on possibly one of the most difficult military operations in its history and try to bomb its nuclear facilities.Contrary to some media reports over the past month, the opinions of Eshel and his main contender Maj.-Gen. Yohanan Locker on Iran were irrelevant in the debate over who should be appointed the next IAF commander. Whether they view Iran as an existential threat or not is not something that played a role in deciding who would be tapped for the job.What is important, though, is what Eshel thinks about the viability of such a strike and whether it can succeed. One former IAF commander recently recalled the internal military and political debates ahead of Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.Eshel’s term as IAF commander will be marked by the way Israel deals with Iran, but his challenges will not end in Tehran.The Middle East is in the throes of a historic upheaval and from April, Eshel will, once again, be Israel’s lead pilot.Read the full story here.
- Former German president to honor anti-Semitic pastor.(JPost).BERLIN – Roman Herzog, the president of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1994 to 1999, is slated to deliver a speech next week in honor of Reverend Mitri Raheb, a fiercely anti-Israel Palestinian Lutheran leader in Bethlehem who has argued that Jews have no right to be present in Israel.The decision by Herzog and Media Control, a German NGO, to praise Raheb has sparked criticism from US and Israeli NGOs. In a statement on Sunday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Herzog to cancel his keynote address at the event.According to a letter sent to Herzog from the center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, “Pastor Raheb consistently has used theological garb to cover an extremist political agenda to demonize the Jewish people.”Media Control, the German group, justified the award to Raheb because his “acts are a symbol of humanity.”The Wiesenthal Center, however, wrote, “In speeches given to various religious symposia and church summits (including the infamous 2004 US Presbyterian assembly that approved a boycott and divestment campaign against Israel), Raheb promoted a ‘Palestinian Theology’ that purports that Jews are not the Chosen People and therefore have no right to the Holy Land.”According to the Wiesenthal Center, Raheb said in a March 2010 address that “actually, the Palestinian Christians are the only ones in the world that, when they speak about their forefathers, they mean their actual forefathers, and also the forefathers in the faith… So, that is the reality of the peoples of the land. Again, they aren’t Israel. This experience I’m talking about, it’s only the Palestinians who understand this, because Israel represents Rome… It was our forefathers to whom the revelation was given.”According to NGO Monitor, “The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb represents the antithesis of building peace and mutual understanding in the Middle East. He is a board member of Kairos Palestine, whose guiding document calls for BDS [boycotts, divestment and sanctions] against Israel, advances the Christian theological doctrine of supercessionism and denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel. The document also ignores the extreme harassment and violence committed against Palestinian Christians by Palestinian Muslims.”The organization added that “Raheb is a board member of ICCO, an intermediary funding channel for the Dutch government. As part of its support of radical projects related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, ICCO funds the anti-Semitic Electronic Intifada, which supports BDS and repeatedly uses anti-Semitic rhetoric that demonizes Israel. ICCO also funds Badil, an NGO also involved with anti-Semitic incidents, as well as demonizing language such as: ‘Israel’s colonial apartheid regime,’ ‘state-sponsored racism’ and ‘systematic ethnic cleansing.’” Both Badil and ICCO had their funds slashed because of their opposition to the Jewish state.“It is an outrage that the organizers of the German Media Prize would bestow their highest honor on a religious bigot who is re-introducing Replacement Theology to delegitimize the Jewish people and its right to pursue its spiritual and national destiny,” said Rabbi Cooper.Read the full story here.
- Iran warns neighbors not to facilitate strike.(JPost).TEHRAN - Iran will attack any country whose territory is used by "enemies" of the Islamic state to launch a military strike against its soil, the deputy head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday."Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran, will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces," Hossein Salami said, during military maneuvers.The Revolutionary Guards began the two-day ground exercises on Saturday as a show of military might as tension rises between Tehran and the West over Iran's disputed nuclear program.Iranian media said it was a small-scale exercise in southern Iran.The United States and Israel have not ruled out a military strike against the country if diplomacy fails to resolve the standoff. Iran says its nuclear program is purely peaceful, rather than aimed at developing weapons.Iran has warned that its response to any such strike will be "painful," threatening to target Israel, and US bases in the Gulf, along with closing the vital oil shipping route of the Strait of Hormuz.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia blocks Iranian leader’s website.(E24/7).Saudi Arabia has blocked the website of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei for security reasons, a newspaper in the Gulf kingdom said on Monday.The Telecommunications and Information Technology Authority (TITA), the country’s telecom regulatory body, blocked access to the website, which is titled “The office of the supreme leader.”“TITA moved to block access to this website as part of its ongoing efforts to protect internet users against sites that promote vice or seek to destabilize national security,” the Arabic language daily Sabq said.Saudi Arabia and Iran have been at political and ideological loggerheads for several years.Hmmm...."Promoting vice"?Read the full story here.
- Swiss investigate Turkish minister for denying 'Armenian genocide'.(HD).A Swiss prosecutor has launched a probe into Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış for saying "the Armenian genocide doesn't exist," Hürriyet reported."There is no Armenian genocide. Let them arrest me," Bağış said last week following a question from a French reporter on the 1915 killings.Zurich public prosecutor Christine Braunschweig confirmed the probe and told Doğan news agency that they were looking into whether or not Bağış had said the words."We will look into Minister Egemen Bağış' immunity," Braunschweig further said. "If there is anything illegal and if he does not have the diplomatic immunity, then we will file the lawsuit."Bağış has refused to speak on the matter until the initial probe ends, daily Hürriyet reported.Hmmm....Erdogan"I will not go to Switzerland Anymore in 3..2...1?Read the full story here.
- Iranians bemoan sanctions hardship as vote approaches.(AlArabiya).Each day that he struggles to buy food for his family, vegetable seller Hasan Sharafi shoulders part of the burden of Iran’s defiance of the West over its nuclear program. He can hardly bear it.“Prices are going up every day, life is expensive. I buy chicken or meat once per month. I used to buy it twice per week,” the father of four said in Iran’s central city of Isfahan.“Sometimes I want to kill myself. I feel desperate. I do not earn enough to feed my children.”With just a month to go before a parliamentary election, Iran has been hit hard in recent months by new U.S. and European economic sanctions over its nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West says is aimed at making a bomb.In conversations in towns and cities across Iran, people complained of rapidly deteriorating economic conditions, likely to be the main issue in an election that exposes divisions between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and hardline opponents.“My father lost his job because the factory he used to work for 30 years was closed last month. I am so pessimistic. Why is this happening to us?” lamented mathematics student Behnaz in the northern city of Rasht.“I don’t know whether the prices are rising because of sanctions. The only thing that I know is that our lives are ruined. I have no hope for the future.”Such rhetoric resonates with some Iranians, who say they are willing to endure pain to defend a nuclear program that has become a symbol of national pride.“America uses the nuclear issue as an excuse to replace our regime with a puppet regime to control our energy resources. But we will not let them. Nuclear technology is our right and I fully support our leaders’ view. Death to America,” said student Mohammad Reza Khorrami in the northern town of Chalous.But the West is hoping sanctions will turn ordinary Iranians against their leaders, and there are clear signs of discontent. When you ask Iranians about the nuclear issue, many seem to see it as a distraction from the real question of economic hardship.“I am not a politician. I don’t care about the nuclear dispute. Soon, I might not be able to afford food and other basic needs of my children,” said Mitra Zarrabi, a schoolteacher and mother of three.Read the full story here.
- “Lady Bitch Ray” writes doctor thesis about headrag.(CriticalAnalist).(SheikYerMami) The mullahs would have fun with this one: She wears bright red dresses that sport graffiti-like writing with “F*kc Sarazzin” and “C*nt Power” and she gets attention: (Thanks to Politically Incorrect) An Alevite Turkish female who calls herself ‘Lady Ray Bitch’ aka Reyhan Sahin claims she is being misunderstood. She wrote, supported by the deeply red Rosa-Luxemburg foundation, a dissertation titled ”The Meaning of the Islamic Headscarf – a dress-emotive inquiry into Muslim headscarf wearers in Germany”. Next month she wants to attain a doctorate at the deeply red university of Bremen. She already established a publishing firm called “Vagina-Style-Pussyjuice” to publish her ‘work’. Dr Bitch then plans to move on to become ‘professor’ Bitch. So much for successful integration….. Back in the US of A: Hezbo-b*tch in the dock for drunk driving: Ex-Miss USA, Rima Fakih, Meets the Judge For Driving Under Influence. Good thing she’s in the United States and just facing an irate judge rather than a public lashing…Read the full story HERE.
Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn auctioned off an evening for dinner in their home in Chicago and Tucker Carlson of "The Daily Caller" took advantage of the opportunity. For $2,500 Tucker and a few of his friends secured an evening with the radical couple. Tucker invited along Andrew Breitbart who called into Stephen K. Bannon's "The Victory Sessions" and gave a play-by-play of the meal. HT:HAPBlog.
Egyptian TV Debate on the "Invasion" of Israeli Products into Sinai: Jeans from Israel Contained Secret Magnets Causing Infertility
Muhammad Al-Mane'i, Sinai Bedouin: There was a time when they would bring us jeans. These pants used to have belts. If you looked at these belts from the front, you'd find a secret compartment, and when you opened it, you would find a magnet inside. When we asked what these magnets were, we were told that they cause sterility.
Interviewer: In other words, it causes infertility.
Muhammad Al-Mane'i: Exactly.
Interviewer: There was a time when these jeans with belts would invade us from Israel, and we used to take the magnets out and chuck them away.
Interviewer: Israeli products contain lethal poison. You might not feel this poison now, but you will in the future. Israel will remain an enemy lying in wait for Egypt, no matter what happens and regardless of the agreements, because Israel has its eye set on Egypt.Source Memri.
Hmmmm.......Why bother buying contraceptives just buy Israeli made Jeans!
Turkish Political Analyst Ibrahim Aqaqba: Turks Sympathize with Holocaust Victims because the Latter Were Turks who Immigrated to Germany from Iran Centuries Ago
Interviewer: Under the title of the Holocaust myth – or the so-called Holocaust – the Israeli entity occupied Arab and Islamic countries, and plundered the lands of other countries as well. It has tormented many nations, and is almost ruling the world by evoking the sentiment of the West, claiming that a certain injustice was done to it. I'd like to ask about the response of the Turkish public to the official distribution of this production.
Ibrahim Aqbab: I don't think there is any support among the public for this film. But as I've said, there are documents that show that the Jews who were annihilated in Germany were Turkish Jews who immigrated from Iran to Germany centuries ago. There was a Turkish race that was annihilated among them. That's why Turks sympathize with [the victims of] this annihilation in Germany. This I cannot deny.Source Memri.
N.Korea 'Developing Kamikaze Drones'?(Chosun).The North Korean military is developing unmanned "suicide" attack aircraft to target South Korean troops on the northwesternmost islands, a South Korean Army source claimed Sunday. The South Korean military in turn plans to procure all-weather unmanned tactical dirigibles capable of carrying out reconnaissance missions even in bad weather to deploy on the islands. The source claimed the North is developing unmanned attack aircraft "using high-speed U.S. target drones imported from a Middle Eastern country." This is presumed to be Syria.A high-speed target drone is used as a target for testing surface-to-air missiles. The target drones the North imported are believed to be MQM-107D Streakers. The jet-powered Streakers can fly at up to 925 km/h with a fuselage 5.5 m long and a wingspan of 3 m. They are used by Egypt, Iran and Jordan, as well as Sweden, Turkey, Australia, and Taiwan. South Korea has also used them to test anti-aircraft missiles and conduct missile target training.The drones the North is trying to develop would be equipped with a small bomb that can carry out a suicide attack on a target up to 250 km away. Intelligence agencies speculated the development is not complete.They "are less sophisticated than up-to-date unmanned attack aircraft that the U.S. used in the Afghan and Iraq War," a military expert said. "But our military could suffer damage if development succeeds and the North launches kamikaze-style attacks."Read the full story here.
Tell Congress: No Backroom Deals to Regulate the Internet.(Deeplinks).
Right now, representatives from nine countries including the United States are secretly meeting in a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a trade agreement with the potential to contain intellectual property provisions that go beyond ACTA. These secret meetings could create over-reaching new rules and standards that will choke off the online speech of individuals, websites, and platforms accused of copyright infringement.
But because the meetings are held behind closed doors and the text has not been released to the public, the citizens who will be affected do not know the details and don’t have a voice.
Click here to join EFF in demanding a Congressional hearing so lawmakers can learn what’s in the TPP and hear from all affected stakeholders, not just the content industry.
Yesterday, EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rogriguez checked in with protestors outside ongoing TPP meetings in Los Angeles. Katitza reported:
The energy at the rally was intoxicating. And the people were right to protest: TPP is one more in a long line of global copyright initiatives that are putting Internet users last. All over the world, people are saying enough is enough.This week of negotiations in Los Angeles is a crucial moment for the TPP. Please contact your lawmakers today and let them know that we will not be left in the dark. Demand to know what's in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.Hmmmm......MPAA head Chris Dodd would welcome a summit meeting between Internet companies and content companies, maybe convened by the White House, to look for a compromise on the much-discussed anti-piracy bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.“The perfect place to do it is a block away from here,” Dodd told the New York Times, pointing from his office in Washington to the nearby White House, the paper said.Read the full story here.
Update: The Obama Administration subverted the legal necessity of allowing to US Senate to ratify the treaty by unconstitutionally declaring it an “executive agreement” before the President promptly signed it on October 1st, 2011. As a touted constitutional lawyer, Barack Obama is fully aware that Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, mandates Congress in dealing with issues of intellectual property, thus voiding the capacity for the President to issue an executive agreement. The White House refused to even disclose details about the legislation to elected officials and civil libertarians over concern that doing so may incur “damage to the national security.” While some may hang off every word of his sorely insincere speeches and still be fixated by the promises of hope offered by brand-Obama, his administration has trampled the constitution and introduced the most comprehensive authoritarian legislation in America’s history.
China Rejects Genetically Modified Rice in Opposition to GMO Crops.(AcP).
By Andre Evans.As awareness of genetically modified food and the dangers associated increase, actions are being taken to eliminate the issue entirely.
With countries destroying their GMO crops, scientists showing the facts, and individuals voicing their discontent on the matter, there is a large and growing contingent across countries that are taking action to preserve the integrity of our food supply. China is the latest nation to take a stand against GMO crops.China recently suspended the distribution of genetically modified rice within its commercial food supplies.
Rice, being perhaps the most common and prominently used food within Chinese diet makes its safety and reliability very significant. Acting as a staple food for over 1.3 billion Chinese people, any compromise to the integrity of their food supply should be accordingly assessed and acted against based upon the interests of the population.This action helps to preserve the sovereignty and safety of their food supply, something that largely must still be addressed in our own country.
The United States GMO foods are not only accepted by loose regulation standards, but are not even labeled appropriately.
The dangers of GMO foods are so great that they are still not — and may never be — fully assessable. With a large number of documented negative effects on its consumers, GMO foods are a highly dangerous threat to individual health alone.If this weren’t enough, genetically engineered crops actually threaten the integrity of the food supply altogether by devastating the environment with powerful superweeds and mutant bugs. The nature of genetic engineering is so volatile that unless properly handled, the integrity of the entire world food supply could be ruined.
As such, any form of action that a government takes to prevent or eliminate GMOs from the equation is significant. Reassessing the nature and scale of the threat in light of new evidence should compel even more action in even more locations around the world.Read the full story here.
Obama-appointed US trade adviser linked to illegal deal in Congolese gold.(Guardian).A US trade adviser appointed by Barack Obama orchestrated a deal to buy gold worth millions of dollars from a wanted Congolese warlord, according to a UN report.Kase Lawal, a Nigerian-born US oil tycoon, transferred millions of dollars to the notorious rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda between December 2010 and February 2011 as part of the deal, the report by the UN’s Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) states.If true, this would be a contravention of UN resolutions banning individuals or organisations from financing illegal armed groups in the wartorn eastern DRC.The UN report says Lawal, the chairman and chief executive of the Houston-based oil firm Camac, was aware he was paying Ntaganda.Obama put Lawal on the US advisory committee for trade and policy negotiations in September 2010, just months before the deal with Ntaganda.
According to the report, while Lawal was initially under the impression that he was buying gold from an owner in Kenya, he did not abort the deal when he learned Ntaganda was the true owner.
Instead, the UN report says Lawal merely “appeared relieved to finally be engaging directly with the true owner of the gold”.Read the full story here.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Obama : there was no evidence that Iran has the "intentions or capabilities" to wage attacks on US soil, Flashback: Nov 2011- US ties Iran to plot to kill Saudi ambassador!
'Israel has not made decision on Iran attack'.(JPost).WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Sunday that Israel has not yet decided how to respond to concerns about Iran's nuclear program and said there was no evidence that Iran has the "intentions or capabilities" to wage attacks on US soil.Asked in an NBC interview whether Israel was set to attack Iran, Obama said: "I don't think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do. I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program," adding Israel and the United States would work "in lockstep" on Iran.Obama, who is up for re-election in November, has ended the US war in Iraq and is seeking to wind down combat in Afghanistan amid growing public discontent about American war spending at a time when the economy remains weak.The Democrat made clear on Sunday that he would not like to see more fighting in the oil-producing Persian Gulf region."Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us. It could have a big effect on oil prices, we've still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran, and so our preferred solution here is diplomatic," he said.Hmmmm....."there was no evidence that Iran has the "intentions or capabilities" to wage attacks on US soil" is this for real? A while back they where claiming Iran was about to murder the Saudi ambassador in the US...!More concerned with his own reelection than the lives of 7,6 Million Jews.Read the full story here.
PA to submit Israeli sites to World Heritage List.(YNet).Failure to make progress during the latest round of talks between the Palestinians and Israel led the Palestinian leadership to examine new ways in which to gain recognition in the international arena.
One such effort is focused on submitting nominations of heritage sites – both on Palestinian and Israeli territory – for inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The Palestinian Authority was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in October 2011, which enables it to make bids for historic monuments and locations to be classified as World Heritage Sites. The list of sites submitted to the organization includes the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Old City of Nablus, Sebastiya, the ancient port of Gaza, Hisham's Palace and Tel al Sultan in Jericho, Mount Grizim, the monasteries in Judea Dessert and Rehan Forest.
In addition, the Palestinians considered adding Jerusalem to the list, but Jordan beat them to the punch, and east Jerusalem has already been declared as a World Heritage Site.
Along with the list of sites under the PA's control, the Palestinians are also considering submitting heritage sites that are under Israeli control such as Qumran Caves and the Dead Sea.
Officials in Ramallah told Ynet they see nothing wrong with the PA proposing to recognize these sites on behalf of Palestine "It's very simple – according to the international law, the entire West Bank is occupied territory and therefore all of the countries who recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders will support this." Read the full story here.
Europe Rises Up Against ACTA.Widespread Protests Are Starting to Turn the Tide Against Anti-Democratic Bill
The number of ACTA protests in Europe is overwhelming
Europe Rises Up Against ACTA(WB).Widespread Protests Are Starting to Turn the Tide Against Anti-Democratic Bill
The widespread protests against the anti-democracy bill ACTA by the Polish people have forced Poland’s prime minister to stall – or perhaps even back out – of the treaty. As TechDirt notes:
Following the growing protests about ACTA in Europe, as well as signs of US meddling, Poland’s prime minister is making it clear that Poland will not ratify ACTA for the time being, leading to speculation that the EU may not actually join ACTA.The Slovenian ambassador to Japan has apologized to her country and her children for signing ACTA, saying she signed it because her government told her to, and “out of civic carelessness” in not bothering to understand what ACTA meant before signing it.Bulgarian and Polish MPs wore Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA. Again, from TechDirt.
Tusk’s backtracking could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union. If Poland or any other EU member state, or the European Parliament itself, fails to ratify the document, it becomes null and void across the union. As it stands, there are already five member countries that have not even signed ACTA.
“I share the opinions of those who from the beginning said that consultations were not complete,” Tusk said, according to a report in Wirtualna Polska. The 54-year-old prime minister added that a Polish rejection of ACTA is now on the table, and admitted that he had previously approached the agreement from a “20th century” perspective, due to his age.
European Parliamentarian Marietje Schaake writes:
As a Member of the European Parliament, I very much welcome the increased attention the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received in the past weeks. It has taken a while for massive outcry to emerge, but we are seeing protest voices getting louder and louder.As Pirate Party found Rick Falvinge reports:
Just look at this map. I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of people all across Europe demanding their freedom of speech and being angry against backroom corporativist deals that steals their most basic civil liberties.
This is not Hollywood versus Silicon Valley, as oldmedia likes to frame it. This is Hollywood versus The People. For decades, they have trained us to think in black and white, in good versus evil fighting for domination of the free world. And now, they’ve gone and put themselves in the role of evil villain.
The copyright cartel thought they were battling Google.
They’re waging war against the people, with the help of the politicians.
And we’re not standing for it. We can’t change the copyright cartel, but we can send a clear message to the politicians that 250 million Europeans sharing and preserving contemporary culture is not a problem. It is a power base of 250 million voters that will kick you out of office if you dare so much as touch the net.
And there are visible cracks in the façade, especially seeing Poland falter and the copyright cartels visibly shaken from the SOPA defeat in the US, with the politicians having started to pay attention to what the Internet wants. We can win this.Read the full story here.
NGO workers, including 19 Americans, sent to criminal court in Egypt.(BM).By Joseph Mayton.Cairo: At least 40 NGO workers in Egypt have been referred to a Cairo criminal court and have been charged with “illegal funding of a civil society organization,” judicial sources told Bikyamasr.com on Sunday afternoon.Among those sent are 19 Americans, 5 Serbians, two Germans, three Arabs and the remaining Egyptians. Sam LaHood, the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has made headlines recently after being barred from leaving Egypt, was among those charged.The spat over American citizens being barred from leaving Egypt has left a diplomatic row between the military junta here in Egypt and the American government.A senior State Department official said Sunday that a “handful of US citizens have opted to stay in the embassy compound in Cairo while awaiting permission to depart Egypt.”The official, who was not allowed to discuss the matter on the record, would not say whether Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, was among those at the embassy.LaHood said last week that he fears he could be jailed for up to five years after being barred from leaving the country earlier this month.LaHood and a number of other Americans were banned from leaving Egypt little over a week ago.The younger LaHood told Fox News via telephone last Friday that an Egyptian judge claims he, along with the other Americans stopped, worked for an unregistered non-governmental organization and took a salary.“We’re kind of expecting the worst,” LaHood said.Read the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Kyrgyzstan 5.3 - 5.2!More info here.
- Newt Gingrich Suggests Obama Is A Muslim-Appeasing Traitor.(NH).By Ellen.Newt Gingrich visited the Hannity show last night where he predictably spewed venom against President Obama. But Gingrich outdid himself when he repeatedly suggested that Obama is a traitor who “appeases” our enemies - such as Iran and the Taliban - and double-crosses our allies and troops.Both Hannity and Gingrich have been lusting for war against Iran for years – though neither has ever suited up in a military uniform. Hannity cited Leon Panetta’s recently-stated concern that Israel may attack Iran – almost certainly knowing that Gingrich would launch his own chickenhawk attack on Obama.“It tells you a lot about what’s wrong with this administration. Instead of worrying about the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon, they’re worried about our ally. It strikes me that we ought to be helping our ally and making sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.”Gingrich accused the Obama administration of “living in a fantasyland” at that point.“The great threat in the Middle East is not Israel, it’s Iran. The great problem in Afghanistan is the Taliban and yet you have an administration which is apparently gonna release a number of Taliban terrorists… as a faith-building measure. These guys must be breaking up laughing… If I were a young American serving in Afghanistan, and I thought that I had a Commander in Chief who was currying favor with the people trying to kill me, I would find that very, very upsetting.Read the full story here.
- Obama Thinks Veterans Are Only Good For Menial Jobs.(RWN).By William Teach.We’re finally going to get, after, what, a year? of talking about jobs for military veterans, his plan to get them work. And it’s as pitiful as you’d expect. (Fox News) In an effort to cut the unemployment rate among veterans, the Obama administration is calling for a new conservation program that would put veterans to work rebuilding trails, roads and levees on public lands.Of course, much like with his Stimulus, the jobs probably do not exist. Furthermore, the idea, like most of his ideas, isn’t particularly original. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the Civilian Conservation Corps that operated during the 1930s could be viewed as a model for what the administration will try to accomplish through its “Veterans Jobs Corps.” He said that the administration will propose spending $1 billion that would be used to put an estimated 20,000 veterans to work restoring habitat and eradicating invasive species, among other activities. So now the Obama admin. is looking towards Depression era make-work programs that failed to stimulate the economy, and helped keep the USA mired in depression for a decade.Hmmmm......The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments.The CCC operated separate programs for veterans and Native Americans.Read the full story here.
- Europe's cold snap claims more victims, travel hit.(Yahoo).Transport networks were also badly hit as the chilling weather moved west, prompting severe weather warnings to be issued across much of France and Britain.London's Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, said it had cancelled about half of its normal services as more than 15cm (6 inches) of snow fell in parts of England overnight and temperatures dropped to almost -10 Celsius.Many of Britain's other airports were forced to shut runways overnight and warned of further disruption, while rail services were affected and motorways near London were brought to a standstill, forcing some divers to abandon their vehicles.In Paris, the Eiffel Tower received a coating of snow and more downfalls were expected to bring problems to the French capital's main airports.Meanwhile in Belgium, police found that overnight temperatures of about -10 Celsius were so low that machines to test motorists' alcohol levels did not work.Read the full story here.
- Former DEA Chief: Hezbollah Eyeing Southwest Border, ‘Hell to Pay in the Not Too Distant Future’.(CNSNews).By Penny Starr.The Iranian-supported Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah has spread its influence all the way to the U.S. border with Mexico, a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere heard on Thursday.Michael Braun, a former chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Agency, said Hezbollah had developed relationships with the powerful Mexican drug cartels to “move their agenda forward.” He cited a plot, recently uncovered by the DEA, involving an Iranian operative in Mexico allegedly planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.“Hezbollah are absolute masters at forming close relationships with existing organized crime groups around the world that helps them facilitate what they need to do to move their agendas forward,” Braun told CNSNews.com following the hearing. “And if anyone thinks for a moment that they don’t have their eye on the southwest border and all of our country, then they couldn’t be more wrong.”Read the full story here.
- 'World’s ability to limit Iran missile program fading'.(JPost).By Hillary Leila Krieger.WASHINGTON – Iran’s missile program is becoming increasingly self-reliant, lessening the ability of the international community to limit its capabilities, the architect of Israel’s missile defense system warned on Friday.As Iran’s technological know-how and its skill at constructing its own components grows, Western countries have fewer opportunities to delay its program by refusing to sell Tehran equipment or by supplying faulty parts, said Uzi Rubin, who founded the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Association.“It is less and less dependent on outside skill,” Rubin told the Foundation for Defense of Democracies before heading to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers later in the day.“Today Iran can avoid all those export controls quite easily,” he continued, adding that currently, despite the economic sanctions, the country’s access to money is sufficient to “buy all they want.”Rubin wouldn’t offer a timetable for how long it would take Iran to not only develop a nuclear weapon, but produce it in a form suitable for putting on a warhead, and then constructing the warhead itself. But he did say the time is “very short.”Producing an intercontinental ballistic missile might take longer, but Rubin assessed that the Islamic Republics’s interest would be satisfied simply by posing a credible threat to the US homeland rather than in actually deploying an ICBM.“Iran would love to be in a deterrent situation with the United States. That makes it a superpower,” said Rubin, who now heads a defense consulting firm.He urged US political leaders to work to secure missile stocks in Middle East countries roiled by the Arab Spring.He described missiles held in countries such as Syria as “really capable” and ones that could pose a grave challenge to the West.“If you don’t take care of them, those missiles will end up in places that are bad for Israel and bad for the US,” Rubin said.Read the full story here.
- Video - U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms.Read and see the full story here.
- FM Lavrov Explains Russia’s Veto on Syria Resolution in UN.(RN).Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday explained why Russia had vetoed a resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council, saying that without Russia's latest amendments, the draft would be unilateral and would harm Syria if adopted.Lavrov said he had on Friday sent Russian amendments to the draft resolution to U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin so that all partners could get familiarized with them.“The rationality and objectivity of these amendments should not cause anyone’s doubt,” Lavrov said.Some Western countries have been trying to persuade Moscow to support a resolution effectively authorizing a military operation, but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.”In Libya, rebels ousted and killed long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after a months-long military standoff in which they received assistance from NATO forces.Although UN Security Council diplomats had toned down the latest draft in an apparent move to overcome Russia’s opposition, Lavrov said the Morocco-submitted plan was “unilateral.”The Russian foreign minister said extremist groups that provoke violence in Syria should be assessed in a proper way, which has not been done. He said the resolution did not set enough demands on anti-government armed groups, and that Russia was concerned it could jeopardize Syria’s national political dialogue.Besides, he said, the draft resolution contained a demand that all Assad’s forces should withdraw from cities and towns.“This phrase, without being linked to a simultaneous termination of violence on the part of armed extremist groups, is absolutely provocative, as no president with self-respect, no matter how treated, will agree to surrender inhabited localities to armed extremists without resistance,” he said.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Saturday she was "disgusted" by the Russian and Chinese veto on the draft, and that “all further bloodshed” that could follow will be on the two countries’ conscience."For months this council has been held hostage by a couple of members. These members stand behind empty arguments and individual interests while delaying and seeking to strip bare any text that would pressure Assad to change his actions,” Rice said.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the veto, and his statement distributed through his spokesperson called it “a great disappointment to the people of Syria and the Middle East, and to all supporters of democracy and human rights.”“It undermines the role of the United Nations and the international community in this period when the Syrian authorities must hear a unified voice calling for an immediate end to its violence against the Syrian people,” Ban said.Read the full story here.
- Israeli minister says Assad's end may be "long and bloody".(TZ).Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing an 11-month-old uprising, will fall from power eventually but the process could be "long and bloody" as he has outside support from Iran, Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said on Friday. In remarks to Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Germany, Ayalon said that support in the UN Security Council could also prolong Assad's rule. He did not name any country but appeared to refer to longtime Syria ally Russia. "Assad has no real challenge unfortunately from the international community as his case is being barred from discussion in the Security Council because of some members of the Security Council, and because he continues to get material financial and military help from the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hezbollah." "So with having these two political assets in the Security Council and military assets in Iran, unfortunately he can stay for a long time, although he lost his legitimacy and sometimes at the end he will fall, but it may be a long and bloody process." Ayalon said Russia should avoid supplying arms to Syria as this could destabilise the situation further.Assad has used troops and tanks to try to crush a popular revolt and thousands of people have been killed. Ayalon said the bulk of the Syrian military was still intact "notwithstanding a few defections". Read the full story here.
- IMF wants to blow up Greek economy.(Capital).(Via: KTG).The members of the technical IMF team, which the government had asked in October to provide technical assistance in view of the tax reforms, suggest irrelevant proposals that could blow up the Greek economy. According to protothema.gr, in a mammoth report of over 100 pages, they suggest among other things, a doubling of VAT and tax on deposits, bonds and rents. Specifically, the IMF recommends: transfer of all goods and services from 6.5% to 13%. The IMF report proposes "abolition of the minimum rate of 6.5% which includes only hotels, medicines, books, magazines and theater tickets. This measure could generate about 360 million euros. Imposition of single VAT rate 19% -21% on all goods and services (other than hotels and tour packages that may be subject to a reduced 9% or 11%). This represents an increase from 13% to 19% or 21% VAT burdening food, medicines, electricity, water and gas bills, public transport tickets, taxi fares, medical visits and examinations, medical care etc.Elimination of the 30% reduced VAT rates applicable to the Aegean islands. This means an increase in tax for residents of the islands by 5% or 9% to 13% and from 16% to 19% or 21% for all other goods and services.The long list of new taxes just go's on.Read the full story here.
- Maan News Agency: Haniyeh meets renowned Egypt Muslim Brotherhood sheikh al-Qaradawi in Qatar.(CA).(Maan) GAZA CITY – Influential Egyptian Muslim theologian Yususf al-Qaradawi on Friday stressed the necessity that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip should be open completely.During a meeting with the premier of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar, al-Qaradawi said, “It is unusual that closure of the Rafah crossing continues barring movement of people and goods.” He added that the Gaza Strip expected support from the Arab and Islamic nations. Al-Qaradaqwi applauded the emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, for his support to Palestine and to Gaza.“In light of what the triumphant revolutions in the Arab world achieved, I can assert that Palestine will achieve victory because Palestine is rightness and rightness always wins, while occupation is falseness and falseness will eventually vanish.”For his part, Haniyeh applauded Qatar and Sheikh Al Thani for the support to Palestine and the Palestinian cause. He highlighted that the emir of Qatar responded positively to calls for reconstructing the war-torn Gaza Strip. Hmmmm......Hamas...who's your daddy?Read the full story here.
- Muslim Brotherhood will determine future of Hamas.(TZ).Hamas, which has left its mark on Palestine’s political life, embarked on a quest for both a new leader and a new policy.The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt is expected to be the driving force of change in Hamas, which will affect the region as well as Palestine.Samir Ghattas, director of Maqdis Center for Political Studies in Gaza, says Hamas is definitely attached to the Muslim Brotherhood, and so the role the Muslim Brotherhood will have in the political life of Egypt in the same way will deeply affect Hamas.The wind of change within Hamas started after the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal, which took place in Cairo last May and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu also attended. Hamas leader Khalid Mishal, just like Palestine’s leader Mahmud Abbas, supports the establishment of a Palestine state within 1967 borders.However, at the time of this reconciliation, many inner conflicts within Hamas were revealed. Mahmoud Zahar, one of Hamas’ big guns, caused deep cracks within the organization to be unearthed when he severely criticized Mishal.Stressing that the most important reason behind change in Hamas is the developments in Syria, Ghattas points out the existence of Hamas in Syria leads to heavy oppression of the organization, as tens of people are dying there everyday.Saying that, on the other hand, Hamas getting out of Syria may cause serious problems, Ghattas adds: “First of all, the country where Mishal and the organization will deploy is vague. Qatar and Jordan are the countries that are discussed most. Secondly, Hamas has a serious asset in Syria, and there is a great amount of money in their banks. Therefore, if the organization retreats from this country, it will leave all its wealth behind.”According to Ahmed Mousa, head of the political section at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo, whether or not Hamas will get out of Syria isn’t known. Pointing out that there are no concrete developments that indicate whether or not there will be a serious change within Hamas, Mousa states that the organization establishing itself in Egypt is beside the point.Ghattas also says Hamas’s settling in Egypt seriously distresses the Muslim Brotherhood, which is expected to establish the government in Egypt, and therefore it isn’t very possible.Read the full story here.
- How Europe Has Evolved From A Democracy To A Bankocracy And Why Austerity Will Lead To Chaos.(ZeroHedge).In one of the clearest (and most optically pleasing) discussions of recent months, David McWiliams (of Punk Economics) succinctly explains how Europe has evolved from a democracy to a bankocracy, the implications of which lead to austerity for the people and a Franco-German imposition (the 'fiscal compact') that can only lead to social unrest and chaos. In this brief (and expertly illustrated) video, the Irish economist clarifies Europe's 'dirty little secret' where economic policy is being run almost exclusively for the banks which, as we see in Greece and Ireland, means the political elite are becoming more and more detached from the people. The terror of the r-word (referendum) looms large as McWilliams analogizes the two ways out of a debt crisis (squeeze the debtor or forgive the debtor) with the catholic and protestant perspectives on sin and forgiveness. While falling short of calling for governments to go full-Keynesian (everyone knows you never go full-Keynesian), he (focusing on the problems of the current hopeful solution) summarizes the fiscal union as envisaged by France and Germany (which actually penalizes countries that are in trouble, rather than help them) as not a friendly-union but a vindictive strait-jacket put in place to help banks, not countries. It comes as no surprise to him that the price of Gold (and Bunds) is firm as the 'example' that Greece is likely to set (or face extreme social upheaval) will domino-like stumble across the other troubled nations and as he points "we have been warned". Our view remains that austerity works if countries manage to cut expenses while keeping a balance. Alas, the balance is out of skew due to 30 years of runaway full-Keynesianism, which leads indeed to the problems that McWilliams so well espouses.Read and see (Video) the full story here.
- Russia vetoes anti-Assad UN motion after preparing Special Forces for Syria.(Debka).The West and Russia had a major showdown Saturday Feb. 5 over the Arab League resolution calling on Bashar Assad to step down and allow the formation of a national unity government. US President Barack Obama demanded a UN stand against the Syrian president's "relentless brutality" and a vote before the end of the day. It was put to the vote and defeated by Russian and China vetoes.Moscow sources charged that the motion had been intended to pave the way for war in Iran and a bid to overthrow the Tehran regime.debkafile's military sources report that the Russians backed their hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units in Black Sea bases on the ready to set out for Syria and defend Damascus. A Cold War dimension has been injected into the Syrian crisis, which is fast descending into a sectarian war between Syria's ruling Alawites (Shiites) and the majority Sunnis. The regional dimension is provided by pitting Iran and Syria against Turkey and the Gulf Arabs.The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's earlier announcement that he would visit Damascus next Tuesday, Feb 7, with Russian Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov was meant to buy Bashar Assad another three days' grace to polish off the opposition before a possible UN-ordered ceasefire.However, the US and Western powers refused to wait for further Syrian excesses to take place after various sources reported earlier Saturday that Syrian troops had shelled the Homs district of Khaldiyeh, killing an estimated 350 people there and injuring some 1,500, in the worst military bombardment of nearly 11-month-old uprising,.Syrian government officials denied the charge accusing "gunmen" of killing civilians.Aside from a few Turkish brigades strung out along the Syrian border, the West maintains no troops on in the vicinity of Syria since the American military withdrew from Iraq last December.The United States presented a tough front at the UN Security Council Saturday, with President Obama insisting that the council vote on a Arab League text without further delay or changes to accommodate Moscow and that its president step down over his "unspeakable assault" on Homs.Read the full story here.
- Saudi Lawyer wants Genie to Testify in Court.(Emirates24/7).A Saudi defence lawyer has asked court to summon a jinn (genie) claimed to have possessed a judge who has been arrested on corruption charges, the Saudi Arabic language daily Okaz reported on Saturday.The lawyer, Salim bin Atteyya, told court that the jinn must be present in court to testify in the case of the corrupt judge in Madina, Islam’s second holiest shrine after Makkah, the newspaper said.“The case of the corrupt judge in Madina has taken a new turn and witnessed new developments as the lawyer of an absent defendant has asked court to summon the jinn to testify,” the paper said.“If what the accused judge said about the jinn, then this jinn could be bad and blasphemous…this jinn could have been sent by a bad sorcerer because witchcraft is bad and non-Islamic.”Okaz quoted the lawyer as saying he had made that demand on the grounds any sentence must not be based on “jinn’s allegations”, presented by an exorcist.“This Raqi (Koran reciter and exorcist) has not presented any real evidence that the accused judge has been possessed by jinn,” the lawyer said.In a report on the case early this week, Okaz said the accused judge told court he was under a magic spell by jinn when he was involved in such practices.The paper said the court summoned Fayez Al-Kathami, a well-known cleric and Raqi who is believed to have the powers of speaking to jinn.It said the court summoned Kathami after the arrested judge said he was possessed by jinn through another defendant, who is a sorcerer.Kathami told the judge later that he managed to “question” the jinn that had possessed the judge and would present a report to the court.“The judge also asked me to question the jinn about all the offences committed by the accused judge and other defendant who is at large,” Kathami said.“The jinn told me all I want through the accused judge…I have written all what the jinn said about the judge’s life and the other defendant….I will write a full report and present it to the court, proving this judge has been under a spell.”According to Okaz, the corrupt judge had told investigators that the other defendant had “taken control of his thoughts and made him rule on cases without being conscious of committing any illegal act.Read the full story here.