Sunday, April 1, 2012
"The Chickens come home to roost".Gasoline and diesel oil prices in Turkey,become the highest in the world.
"The Chickens come home to roost".Gasoline and diesel oil prices in Turkey,become the highest in the world.(HD).Gasoline and diesel oil prices in Turkey, the highest in the world, have hit another record high. As of Thursday, the price had hit 2.68 US dollars per liter. (Almost $10/Gallon).The gasoline itself costs only 1 US dollar per liter, but taxes make up 60% of the cost at the pump.Turkish consumers have woken up to a costlier life in April, with the Minister of Energy announcing that natural gas prices have been raised by a staggering 18.7 percent, while electricity prices also increased about 9.3 percent over the weekend. The natural gas and electricity price hikes come just after gasoline prices rose for the third time late last month, putting the cost of one liter of gas at nearly 5 Turkish Liras.
“There is a cost increase of about 17 percent in natural gas due only to changes in the exchange rate. In the last 19 months oil and natural gas prices have risen 29 percent, excluding the exchange rate. The reason for the latest price increase is the difference in the exchange rate and rising oil prices,” Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız said, speaking in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri March 31, according to Doğan news agency. “The government used to purchase [one barrel of] oil for $22 ten years ago, now it cannot purchase one even for $122. Energy costs are up six-fold versus a gross domestic product growth of three-fold,” he said.Turkey produces nearly half of its electricity from natural gas power plants. The energy sector pays the price for political instability caused by tensions in North Africa, Syria, and between Israel and Iran, Yıldız said yesterday. Turkey is in talks with the Libyan government to arrange a goods-for-oil barter, Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying. “We will construct buildings in exchange for petroleum coke,” he said. Citizens pay the price while the government manages the economy with price hikes, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said yesterday, speaking in the northwestern province of Eskişehir. “They used to say ‘Turkey sets an example to the whole world,’ and ‘there is no problem with the economy.’ What kind of an example is this?Hmmmm.......Anyone has an idea why Turkey is eyeing the Nobel Gas field near Cyprus?Would it be worthwhile to go to War?Read the full story here.
Apparently The U.S. has accepted an Nuclear Iran, Clinton proposes missile shield to protect Gulf nations.
Apparently The U.S. has accepted an Nuclear Iran, Clinton proposes missile shield to protect Gulf nations.(BM).CAIRO: Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, met with the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) yesterday, proposed a strong missile shield to protect Gulf Arab states from Tehran and sought to work with them to help end the violence in Iran’s ally Syria. Clinton said: “It is a US priority to help the GCC build a regional missile defense architecture” against what that country sees as a looming ballistic missile threat from Iran. Clinton said that she looked forward to discussing the wide range of common strategic concerns, including preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and curbing its interference in the affairs of its neighbors.
In her remarks at the opening session of the first high-profile ministerial meeting of the GCC-US Strategic Cooperation Forum, she intimated that Washington sought improved ties and strategies with Gulf states in different fields including maritime security and missile defense to counter the threat of Iran. Later, addressing newsmen at the GCC General Secretariat with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Clinton said that Iran and six world powers had agreed to meet in Istanbul on April 13 for the latest round of talks about Tehran’s nuclear program. She pointed out that Iran and the six nations — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — also met in Istanbul some 14 months ago. The talks at that time ended without any conclusion, said Clinton while expressing fears and concerns. “It will be clear soon whether Iran’s leaders are prepared to have a serious, credible discussion about their nuclear program, whether they are ready to start building the basis of a resolution to this very serious problem,” Clinton told reporters. “It is up to Iran whether they are ready to make the right choice. … What is certain is that Iran’s window of opportunity to seek and obtain a peaceful resolution will not remain open forever.”
She also expressed doubt about whether Iran had any intention of negotiating a solution that satisfies the US, Israel and other countries that believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. In her speech at the GCC-US forum, Clinton also highlighted US concerns about Iran and Syria ahead of a broader international meeting in Istanbul aimed at ending President Bashar Assad’s crackdown in Syria, which has killed more than 10,000 innocent civilians in that country. The forum also discussed overall relations and prospective cooperation between the GCC as a bloc and the US in political, economic, commercial and cultural fields. The participants took stock both of the political situations in the region, and regional and international issues of common interest. The forum’s meeting comes as the Obama administration is moving to strengthen its ties with Gulf nations whose geography and oil resources already have made them key players in US defense and energy security. Clinton also discussed with the Saudi officials international efforts to send more humanitarian aid into Syria, and support opposition efforts to present a united and inclusive political vision for the future. She also discussed tightening the array of US, European, Canadian, Arab and Turkish sanctions on Syria, US.Hmmmm..........Don't worry Israel we got your back, for the rest we have a missile shield?Read the full story here.
Poll: Egyptians don't want aid from US, we want aid from Iran, Turkey.(JPost).An overwhelming majority of Egyptians support replacing US economic aid with funds from Iran or Turkey, according to new poll results, while the proportion of those viewing the treaty with Israel as positive has remained steady at just under half. Eighty-two percent of Egyptians questioned opposed US economic aid to Egypt - according to figures released this weekend by the US-based Gallup polling organization - up from 71% in December 2011 and 52% in April of that year.
The latest figures, released in 2010, show US assistance to Egypt standing at $1.7 billion - the fifth-highest foreign-aid package after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and Iraq. Still, $1.3 billion of that sum is earmarked for military purposes, and Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has given no indication it intends to cut its portion of Washington's package. Egyptians' attitudes toward US aid appeared to have soured at the same time as American and European NGO employees faced charges of illegally accepting foreign funds and stirring unrest. The military council closed the NGOs in December, but a month ago dropped the charges against the six US workers and lifted the travel ban against them.
Still, the NGO saga continues to stir strong emotions among ordinary citizens in Egypt, and the country's parliamentary speaker - representing the Muslim Brotherhood - has called for an investigation into how the decision to remove the travel ban was issued. A Gallup poll released last month found 56% of Egyptians view closer relations with the US as bad for their country, up from 40% in December of last year. Just over a quarter say closer relations with Washington are a positive thing, compared with 41% who favor closer ties with Iran and 60% with Turkey.
US President Barack Obama has made rapprochement with the Muslim world one of his signature foreign-policy objectives, making a well-publicized address in Cairo in June 2009 and calling for the ouster of then-president Hosni Mubarak - a key US ally for three decades - just days into the popular uprising against him in February 2011. Still, the latest results indicate only 19% of Egyptians express approval of US government policy, while 65% disapprove and the rest are undecided. The number of Egyptians who view the peace treaty with Israel as a good thing remained largely steady since 10 months ago at just under half, while 42% said it was bad and the rest were undecided.Hmmm.....Trust the Obama Admin to ignore Congress and keep giving Billions of taxpayer money to a government that hates the U.S.Read the full story here.
Shihab a-Din mosque in Nazareth. Nazareth imam of the Shihab a-Din mosque in Nazareth convicted of inciting terror.(JPost).The Nazareth Magistrate's Court on Sunday convicted the imam of a mosque in the city on charges of incitement to violence and terrorism and supporting a terror organization. 47-year-old Nazem Abu Salim, imam of the Shihab a-Din mosque in Nazareth since 1997, delivered Friday sermons to a congregation of around 2,000 people and also gave sermons in other mosques, including the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.The state attorney's office filed an indictment against Abu Salim in 2010, charging that the imam founded a Salafist-Jihadist group, Ansar Allah Bayit al-Maqdas al-Nasira (Supporters of God - Jerusalem - Nazareth'), whose ideology was identical to that of al-Qaida and its global Jihad movement, and that he preached and distributed literature about it to his congregants. The prosecution alleged that Ansar Allah calls on its followers to wage Jihad to lead Islam to victory and free Jerusalem from what it says is a "Zionist Crusader plot."
Abu Salim, who was held under house arrest since the commencement of legal proceedings against him in 2010, also established a website, MUSLIM 48, designed to spread Ansar Allah's teachings to a worldwide audience, the indictment said. Abu Salim expressed solidarity with the al-Qaida terror group and on several occasions encouraged violence, the prosecution argued. The prosecution charged that Ansar Allah has as its symbol a globe in the shape of the Dome of the Rock topped by a black flag, a mark also identified with the Taliban as well as with the radical Islamist ideologies of the Salafist movement.
The prosecution argued that a group of worshipers at Abu Salim's mosque were influenced by the extreme Islamist ideologies expounded in his publications. The group went on to commit violent acts against Christians and Jews - including murdering a Jewish taxi driver and attacking Christians, the prosecution alleged.Judge Lili Jung-Goffer said that the evidence shows that Ansar Allah belongs to the Salafist Islam movement, and that the group has about 100 activists and thousands of worshipers and participants. According to the Shabak, the Salafist-Jihadist movement is a radical group within Salafism, a Sunni movement that strives to restore the glory days of early Islam by establishing an Islamic society under Sharia law.
In Israel, Ansar Allah is headed by its founder and spiritual leader - Abu Salim, the judge said. "Various materials seized, including the flag and the symbol, indicate that the organization also had the symbolic trappings of a real group, with an ideology, a purpose and a leadership," Judge Jung-Goffer said. Ansar Allah was also declared an illegal organization by the Defense Minister in July 2011, the judge added. The judge also referred to an expert opinion given by Dr Sagi Polka of Ben Gurion University, who said that the Ansar Allah's ideology is to lead Jihad to establish a global Caliphate.
Polka said that Scapa's website had published materials typical of al-Qaida. Judge Jung-Goffer also said that the court did not accept Scapa's arguments that his statements praising al-Qaida leaders, the Taliban and Islamic Jihad were made innocently, and not out of solidarity with those terror groups. Scapa had also confirmed to the Shin Bet that he viewed former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as a hero and that he supports Islam's struggle against the West, the judge said. According to the Shabak, Salafist and Salafist-Jihadist ideologies are being disseminated mostly in the Palestinian Authority controlled territories and in Gaza, but on a smaller scale have also begun to spread among Israeli Arabs, and that Abu Salim is the ideological leader of the movement in Israel.Read the full story here.
'We can bring the government down': Truckers vow to 'bring UK to a halt' in support of striking tanker drivers.
'We can bring the government down': Truckers vow to 'bring UK to a halt' in support of striking tanker drivers.(DM).Thousands of truckers are preparing to go head to head with the army in support of striking tanker drivers - and have warned they will 'bring Britain to a halt'. They plan to blockade refineries and cause gridlock on motorways to stop soldiers moving fuel around the UK in the event of a strike. Fuel Lobby leaders who are concerned at rocketing prices have formed an alliance with the tanker drivers, whose union bosses will begin talks this week to try to prevent strike action. It follows a disastrous week for the Government after ministers faced intense criticism for urging motorists to keep their petrol tanks topped up - prompting a wave of panic-buying at filling stations across the country.
The truckers are led by farmer and haulier Andrew Spence, who was instrumental in the blockades in 2000 which led to 3,000 petrol stations running out of fuel. The father-of three, who runs a mixed farm and plant hire company in Consett, County Durham, said he would 'bring Britain to a halt' unless his organisation's concerns were addressed.
He said: 'We have been in negotiations with the tanker drivers since 2000 and have been aware of their grievances for some time. 'We have said to them we may have to stand beside them in any protest. We are better organised than we were in 2000. This time we will bring the Government down.' He said the action was a 'last resort' because hauliers and farmers were going bust. 'People are going to the wall. The pressure we are under is ridiculous,' he added. 'The price of fuel is rising by the day and 63 per cent of the price is tax. It is costing me £200 a day just to run an average sized tractor. 'I filled up the five wagons I run yesterday and it cost me £7,500. That fuel will last till Tuesday and then I'll have to fill them up all over again.Gas price stands now at $ 8.485 a Gallon.'There is no way you can make a living.
We are supposed to be coming out of a recession but it feels like we are getting deeper into it.' The Fuel Lobby blockades in 2000 were driven by the cost of petrol and diesel for road vehicle use. They were led primarily by lorry drivers and farmers. The protests forced the government to announce a freezing of fuel duties and promised changes would be made to the way that goods vehicles on British road were taxed. Mr Spence said: 'There is no meat left on the bone. 'It just cannot go on. If it does, we'll be back to the days of Steptoe and Son and I'll be delivering to Tesco and Asda in a horse and cart, which right now does not seem such a poor option. 'When you are put in a corner, what can you do? We are in that corner and we are going to come out and fight.' His warning came as Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain is better prepared to withstand a strike by tanker drivers because of the actions taken by the Government over the past week. Ministers faced criticism for urging motorists to keep their petrol tanks topped up, which led to panic-buying at filling stations across the country.The union representing fuel tanker drivers is preparing to enter peace talks amid a plea to the Government not to scupper the prospect of a deal to avert strikes. With talks set to begin at the conciliation service Acas this week, Unite - which represents fuel tanker drivers - urged the Government to distance itself from speculation that the message to stockpile fuel was part of a deliberate strategy to give the coalition its 'miners moment'. Queues have now shortened on petrol forecourts after drivers were urged not to panic-buy fuel. The Government issued new advice, telling motorists there was 'no urgency' to top up tanks, after Unite ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter.Read the full story here
The Ottoman Empires 'Life or Death Race', the staggering violence it meted out to the highest and mightiest members of society.
The Ottoman Empires 'Life or Death Race', the staggering violence it meted out to the highest and mightiest members of society.(AD).The executioners of the Ottoman Empire were never noted for their mercy: just ask the teenage Sultan Osman II, who in May 1622 suffered an excruciating death by compression of the testicles as contemporary chronicles put it at the hands of an assassin known as Pehlivan the Oil Wrestler. There was reason for this ruthlessness, however; for much of its history (the most successful bit, in fact), the Ottoman dynasty flourished- ruling over modern Turkey, the Balkans and most of North Africa and the Middle East- thanks in part to the staggering violence it meted out to the highest and mightiest members of society.
Seen from this perspective, it might be argued that the Ottomans' decline set in early in the 17th century, precisely at the point when they abandoned the policy of ritually murdering a significant proportion of the royal family whenever a sultan died, and substituted the Western notion of simply giving the job to the first-born son instead. Before then, Ottoman succession had been governed by the law of fratricide drawn up by Mehmed II in the middle of the 15th century. Under the terms of this remarkable piece of legislation, whichever member of the ruling dynasty succeeded in seizing the throne on the death of the old sultan was not merely permitted, but enjoined, to murder all his brothers (together with any inconvenient uncles and cousins) in order to reduce the risk of subsequent rebellion and civil war. Although it was not invariably applied, Mehmed's law resulted in the deaths of at least 80 members of the House of Osman over a period of 150 years. These victims included all 19 siblings of Sultan Mehmed III- some of whom were still infants at the breast, but all of whom were strangled with silk handkerchiefs immediately after their brother's accession in 1595. For all its deficiencies, the law of fratricide ensured that the most ruthless of the available princes generally ascended to the throne.
That was more than could be said of its replacement, the policy of locking up unwanted siblings in the kafes ( cage ), a suite of rooms deep within the Topkapi palace in Istanbul. From around 1600, generations of Ottoman royals were kept imprisoned there until they were needed, sometimes several decades later, consoled in the meantime by barren concubines and permitted only a strictly limited range of recreations, the chief of which was macramé. This, the later history of the empire amply demonstrated, was not ideal preparation for the pressures of ruling one of the greatest states the world has ever known. For many years, the Topkapi itself paid mute testimony to the grand extent of Ottoman ruthlessness. In order to enter the palace, visitors had first to pass through the Imperial Gate, on either side of which were two niches where the heads of recently executed criminals were always on display. Inside the gate stood the First Court, through which all visitors to the inner portions of the palace had to pass. This court was open to all the sultan's subjects, and it seethed with an indescribable mass of humanity. Any Turk had the right to petition for redress of his grievances, and several hundred agitated citizens usually surrounded the kiosks at which harassed scribes took down their complaints. Elsewhere within the same court stood numerous armories and magazines, the buildings of the imperial mint and stables for 3,000 horses.
The focal point, however, was a pair of example stones positioned directly outside the Central Gate, which led to the Second Court. These stones were actually marble pillars on which were placed the severed heads of notables who had somehow offended the sultan, stuffed with cotton if they had once been viziers or with straw if they had been lesser men. Reminders of the sporadic mass executions ordered by the sultan were occasionally piled up by the Central Gate as additional warnings: severed noses, ears and tongues. Capital punishment was so common in the Ottoman Empire that there was a Fountain of Execution in the First Court, where the chief executioner and his assistant went to wash their hands after decapitating their victims- ritual strangulation being reserved for members of the royal family and their most senior officials. This fountain was the most feared symbol of the arbitrary power of life and death of the sultans over their subjects, and was hated and feared accordingly, the historian Barnette Miller wrote.
It was used with particular frequency during the reign of Sultan Selim I- Selim the Grim (1512-20)- who, in a reign of eight short years, went through seven grand viziers (the Ottoman title for a chief minister) and ordered 30,000 lesser executions. So perilous was the position of vizier in those dark days that holders of the office were said not to leave their homes in the morning without tucking their wills inside their robes; for centuries afterward, Miller points out, one of the most common curses uttered in the Ottoman Empire was Mays't thou be vizier to Sultan Selim!
Given the escalating demands of the executioner's job, it seems remarkable that the Turks employed no specialist headsman to tackle the endless round of loppings, but they did not. The job of executioner was held instead by the Sultan's bostanc1 basha, or head gardener- the Ottoman corps of gardeners being a sort of 5,000-strong bodyguard that, aside from cultivating the Sultan's paradise gardens, doubled up as customs inspectors and police officers. It was the royal gardeners who sewed condemned women into weighted sacks and dropped them into the Bosphorus- another Sultan, Ibrahim the Mad (1640-48), once had all 280 of the women in his harem executed this way simply so he could have the pleasure of selecting their successors- and the tread of an approaching group of bostanc1 s, wearing their traditional uniform of red skull caps, muslin breeches and shirts cut low to expose muscular chests and arms, heralded death by strangulation or decapitation for many thousands of Ottoman subjects down the years. When very senior officials were sentenced to death, they would be dealt with by the bostanc1 basha in person, but- at least toward the end of the sultans' rule- execution was not the inevitable result of a death sentence. Instead, the condemned man and the bostanc1 basha took part in what was surely one of the most peculiar customs known to history: a race held between the head gardener and his anticipated victim, the result of which was, quite literally, a matter of life or death for the trembling grand vizier or chief eunuch required to undertake it. How this custom came about remains unknown. From the end of the eighteenth century, however, accounts of the bizarre race began to emerge from the seraglio, and these seem reasonably consistent in their details. Death sentences passed within the walls of the Topkapi were generally delivered to the head gardener at the Central Gate; and Godfrey Goodwin describes the next part of the ritual thus: It was the bostanciba_ i's duty to summon any notable.& When the vezir or other unfortunate miscreant arrived, he well knew why he had been summoned, but he had to bite his lip through the courtesies of hospitality before, at long last, being handed a cup of sherbet. If it were white, he sighed with relief, but if it were red he was in despair, because red was the color of death. For most of the bostanc1 s' victims, the sentence was carried out immediately after the serving of the fatal sherbet by a group of five muscular young janissaries, members of the sultan's elite infantry. For a grand vizier, however, there was still a chance: as soon as the death sentence was passed, the condemned man would be allowed to run as fast as he was able the 300 yards or so from the palace, through the gardens, and down to the Fish Market Gate on the southern side of the palace complex, overlooking the Bosphorus, which was the appointed place of execution. If the deposed vizier reached the Fish Market Gate before the head gardener, his sentence was commuted to mere banishment. But if the condemned man found the bostanci basha waiting for him at the gate, he was summarily executed and his body hurled into the sea. Ottoman records show that the strange custom of the fatal race lasted into the early years of the nineteenth century. The last man to save his neck by winning the life-or-death sprint was the Grand Vizier Hac1 Salih Pasha, in November 1822. Hac1 - whose predecessor had lasted a mere nine days in office before his own execution- not only survived his death sentence, but was so widely esteemed for winning his race that he went on to be appointed governor general of the province of Damascus.Hmmmm.......Turkey's foreign minister Davutoglu his dream is to re-create a Neo-Ottoman empire.Read the full story here.
Norwegian Media - Breivik Plotted to Assassinate Obama.(RN).Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for the bloody massacre in Norway last year, considered an attempt at the life of U.S. President Barack Obama, Norwegian media reported. Obama visited Oslo to accept his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Breivik, a self-proclaimed “European anti-Marxist,” wanted to kill him in protest of the prize, which he said is traditionally awarded to people of leftist views, Dagbladet newspaper said on Sunday. Breivik considered disguising himself as a policeman and killing Obama by blowing up a car laden with explosives, he said during police questioning, Dagbladet reported. He said he eventually dropped the plan as unfeasible. Breivik, 33, is currently on trial for killing 77 people in a dual attack in Norway last July. The majority were participants of an island-based youth camp that he attacked in police uniform and shooting firearms, while eight were killed in a car blast in downtown Oslo staged as a diversion. Breivik admitted to the killings, but did not plead guilty, saying his actions were a justified protest against globalization and advance of Islam in Europe. He faces 21 year in prison, the maximum possible punishment in Norway. Breivik raised the money for the attacks through selling false education diplomas online, Verdens Gang tabloid reported on Sunday.Read the full story here.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei weapons of mass destruction violate Islamic law, did anyone inform Pakistan?
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei weapons of mass destruction violate Islamic law, did anyone inform Pakistan?(SS).Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton conferred with Turkey's prime minister about his nuclear discussions with Iran as the United States began intensively preparing for a round of negotiations between Tehran and world powers to take place within two weeks. The meeting came a day after Clinton announced that Istanbul would host the Apr. 13 talks on Iran's uranium enrichment program, which have taken on added urgency amid speculation that Israel or the U.S. could take military action later this year. Clinton made clear Saturday that time is running out for diplomacy. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently went to Iran on a two-day state visit and held a series of discussions with leaders of the Islamic republic on its disputed nuclear program. Washington and its allies see Iran trying to develop an atomic bomb. Tehran says its program is for peaceful energy and research purposes.Erdogan will give Clinton his take on where Iran stands, U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting. But Washington and its NATO ally haven't seen eye-to-eye on the Iranian threat. Erdogan has built close economic ties with Iran and has tried to act as a go-between on the disputed nuclear program, breaking ranks with world powers in 2010 by attempting to find a separate settlement with Tehran. And Erdogan's comments upon returning from Tehran suggested further distancing from U.S. and European positions, repeating the verdict of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that weapons of mass destruction violate Islamic law. "After such a statement from such a person, I cannot claim that Iran is building a nuclear weapon," the Turkish leader said. "Does it not have the right to implement a nuclear program for peaceful means?"Hmmmm......Why don't they stop the charade?How many nuclear weapons has 'Islamic' Pakistan?Read the full story here.
You're Planning a trip to Canada or the Caribbean? US Immigration may have other ideas.(Independent). One million British travellers planning to fly to Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico this year face the risk of being turned away at the airport – at the insistence of the US Department of Homeland Security. New rules require British Airways and other airlines flying to certain airports outside America to submit passengers' personal data to US authorities. The information is checked against a "No Fly" list containing tens of thousands of names. Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travellers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding. Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, told The Independent: "The concern by the US for its own security is entirely understandable, but it seems to me it's a whole different issue that American wishes should determine the rights and choices of people travelling between two countries neither of which is the US." For several years, every US-bound passenger has had to provide Advance Passenger Information (API) before departure. Washington has extended the obligation to air routes that over-fly US airspace, such as Heathrow to Mexico City or Gatwick to Havana. Now the US is demanding passengers' full names, dates of birth and gender from airlines, at least 72 hour before departure from the UK to Canada. The initial requirement is for flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and the Nova Scotia capital, Halifax – 150 miles from the nearest US territory. A similar stipulation is expected soon for the main airports in western Canada, Vancouver and Calgary. Any passenger who refuses to comply will be denied boarding. Those who do supply details may find their trip could be abruptly cancelled by the Department of Homeland Security, which says it will "take boarding pass determinations up until the time a flight leaves the gate ... If a passenger successfully obtains a boarding pass, his/her name is not on the No Fly list." In other words, travellers cannot find out whether they will be accepted on board until they reach the airport.Read the full story here.
Christians mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.(YNet).Hundreds of Christian pilgrims marked Palm Sunday in the Holy Land on Sunday, holding masses and processions retracing Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem. Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by cheering crowds bearing palm fronds, according to the Bible.The day's events began with a mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher - revered as the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. Several hundred worshippers and clergy lit candles and waved palm fronds in the dark, cavernous church. "It's the holiest place in the world for Christians and it's important for me to come here at least once in my lifetime," said Etienne Chevremont, 49, a visitor from Paris who attended the Jerusalem Mass.Visitors walked down the cobblestone alleyways of the walled Old City carrying olive branches, palm fronds and crosses. A service was also held in Bethlehem's Nativity Church, built atop Jesus' traditional birthplace. Later Sunday, the faithful were expected to march from the neighboring Mount of Olives into the Old City behind a white donkey, following Jesus' traditional route from 2,000 years ago. The day marks the start of Holy Week, which ends next Sunday with Easter. Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday next week. Israel's Tourism Ministry said it expects 125,000 visitors during Holy Week and 300,000 throughout April, when Jews celebrate Passover - a 5% increase from last year.Read the full story here.
The New Black Panthers and Hezbollah connection.(Founderscode). Two separate investigations into the New Black Panthers have been conducted this month, one in response to charges of homegrown terrorism and the other in response to the group’s placing a bounty on the head of George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
The results of the twofold probe, one of which was released yesterday, reveals New Black Panther ties to the Middle East terrorist group Hezbollah.
Congress Pete King held a hearing this month, (March 2012) on the domestic and international threat of Hezbollah and that summary is here. The objective of this hearing was to publically place sunlight on Hezbollah and its operatives within the United States and to reassert their status as a terror network. The springboard of Hezbollah has bearing with regard to the deep ties to people within the Black Panthers Party and the New Black Panther Party and their later affiliation with terror organizations such as Hezbollah.
On the heels of King’s report came another significant development yesterday as a researcher who works with retired General Paul Vallely, a former Fox News analyst, issued a separate report, which exposes significant collaboration between Hezbollah and the New Black Panthers.
The report states,
The springboard of Hezbollah has bearing with regard to the deep ties to people within the Black Panthers Party and the New Black Panther Party and their later affiliation with terror organizations such as Hezbollah. It is important to understand that while there are two distinct names, the doctrine, and the mission and in many cases the same people have been carried over by name and relationships over the years. The Black Panthers, like the New Black Panthers Party, have a Marxist doctrine and have merged much of the common objectives and like minded attitudes to Islam.
David Horowitz of Front Page Magazine and Discover the Networks has provided further in depth information on Hezbollah, the Black Panthers, and the New Black Panthers.
The central issue that can be gleaned from the various probes into the connections between the New Black Panthers and Hezbollah is the failure on the part of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to hold these groups accountable for their actions, the latest of which is the bounty placed on the head of George Zimmerman.
Holder had previously dropped the charges of felony voter intimidation against the New Black Panthers in a case that drew national scrutiny in 2008 when members of the group were videotaped swinging clubs and billy sticks at voters outside a polling place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
When the history of the New Black Panthers, the Black Panthers, Hezbollah, the Nation of Islam, and high profile members of the Obama Administration are considered within the broad spectrum of long standing connections, advocacy, and legal maneuvering, many observers contend that it is not difficult to understand why Holder would be quick to drop the charges against the New Black Panthers in the voter intimidation case.
It would also explain, say critics, why Holder has failed to launch an investigation into the group’s statements and activities in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.
Holder, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others within this exclusive circle such as Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates all share a common long standing history of close associations with dubious figures in the underground movement involving Black Muslims, the New Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
The names of major figures within this underground movement invariably come to the surface when delving into the background of Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Professor Gates, and others involved in the darker side of left wing politics–Eldridge Cleaver, H. Rap Brown, Malik Shabazz, Abdul Alim Musa, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Carlos Torres, and Marilyn Buck.
The latter two, Torres and Buck, were recently released from federal prison after Holder quietly implemented a policy of granting freedom to terrorists. More here and here.Buck had been a member of the Weathermen along with Obama associates Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and had participated in homegrown terror during the 1960s and 70s. She had also maintained membership in the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panthers.Holder additionally gave a pass to the CAIR and Holyland conspirators by offering an explanation that has even confounded members of Congress.In closing, to confirm any doubts you may have with the historical connections between the Black Panthers and radical Islam to current terrorists, please view this video where Zawahiri quotes Malcolm X and is actually speaking to Black Americans that have been recruited via music, mosques and the American prison system.Read the full story here.
‘Friends of Syria’ recognize Syrian National Council as legitimate representative of all Syrians.(AlArabiya).“Friends of Syria” member countries recognized the opposition Syrian National Council Sunday as the “legitimate representative” of all Syrians, as Western and Arab countries met in Istanbul on Sunday to try to agree on how to support armed rebels fighting to unseat President Bashar al-Assad. In the final statement of the second “Friends of Syria” conference, “the Syrian National Council has been recognized as the legitimate representative of all Syrians,” said the Anatolia news agency said. A diplomat, who was involved in drafting the final communiqué, said the “Friends of Syria”, grouping more than 70 countries, would work on additional measures to protect the Syrian people, while the U.N. Security Council should play an important role in ending the conflict. “The wording is constructively ambiguous,” the diplomat said. Conference The communiqué will also recognize the legitimacy of steps taken by the Syrian people to defend themselves.
The representatives also agreed to support the legitimate measures that protesters have taken to protect themselves and urged a halt to arms shipments to the government. The head of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi called on participants of the conference to “simultaneously call on the Security Council to take a binding decision ... to stop the violence in Syria.”“If United Nations Security Council refrains from taking on the responsibility, the international community will have no chance but to accept Syrians' right to self-defiance,” Erdogan said as he opened the conference. The statement came after the leader of the SNC called on the international community to recognize the group as the sole representative of the Syrian people. “We want the recognition of the SNC as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” Burhan Ghalioun said at the conference. Ghalioun also announced that the group would pay for the salaries of all rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. “The SNC will take charge of the payment of fixed salaries of all officers, soldiers, and others who are members of the Free Syrian Army,” said Ghalioun.
Clinton told participants in Istanbul that Assad had promised to implement U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan but instead was launching new attacks on Syrian cities and denying delivery of aid. “Our message must be clear to those who give the orders and those who carry them out: Stop killing your fellow citizens or you will face serious consequences,” Clinton said. Asked about comments by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's spokesman, Ali Mussawi, that Iraq might not attend to preserve its role as mediator, Zebari said: “I think this was ... premature.” Mussawi had said that “we want to maintain our mediation role, and the role of mediator sometimes requires not participating in this conference or that.”“We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the regime, because this ... will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said.Read the full story here.
Iranian ambassador to the IAEA says We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,”
Iranian ambassador to the IAEA says We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,”.(PressTV).Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is not after acquiring military atomic technology but resolute to continue with its nuclear energy program. The Islamic Republic “has not been pursuing a nuclear weapon” Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in a recent interview with Fox News television channel. We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” he added. Pointing to the “politicized” debate on the Parchin site, Soltanieh stressed that while Tehran is willing to cooperate with the IAEA on its nuclear energy program, it will not accede to any demand to visit its military facilities. “We cannot permit each time any country wants to knock at the door and wants to go to our military sites,” he said. The Iranian envoy to the UN nuclear body went on to say that Western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities have been ineffective. “Sanctions have had no effect,” he pointed out, adding, “We are more determined to pursue our nuclear activities.” Soltanieh also downplayed threats of a military attack against Iranian nuclear sites and reiterated that Tehran would give “a strong response with an iron fist” to any such venture. “Nobody would dare attack Iran,” he said. The US and the EU say Iran is seeking military objectives in its nuclear energy program and have used the allegation as a pretext to impose sanctions against Tehran, while the Israeli regime has publicly engaged in making threats of military strikes against Iran. The US government has also made repeated threats of keeping its military “options on the table” against Tehran.Read the full story here.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Obama: “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.” - US woman told to remove mezuzah – or get fined.
Obama: “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.”- US woman told to remove mezuzah – or get fined.(Ynet).A Jewish woman from Connecticut was told by her condominium complex' management company that she must remove a mezuzah (a small parchment scroll rolled up in a case that is attached to Jewish homes' doors) from her doorframe or face a $50 fine per day, a local newspaper reported on Friday. Barbara Cadranel, 60, said she feels violated by incident. "I'm bullied and I'm saddened," she told the Hartford Courant. "It's changed my whole existence here." Following the incident, Cadranel, an internationally-acclaimed harpsichordist, contacted the Connecticut Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League, telling them that she had been approached by the California Condo Association and asked to remove the mezuzah. Cadranel was told that if she fails to comply she could face fines of $50 per day. ADL's Connecticut Regional Director Gary Jones told Fox News on Friday that disputes between condo owners and condominium associations over the mezuzah "are pretty rare." "The obligation to place a mezuzah on the doorframe or doorpost is a right in the Bible. Jewish people everywhere, including those in condominiums, post a mezuzah as a reminder of their religious obligations," he said.Cadranel, who travels often as part of her job, "doesn't have a real home," Jones said. "For the first time in a while, she's had a place to call home," he added, "So it's very disconcerting to her that this would be an issue. "It's not a decorative choice, or a choice at all when a condo association or anyone says that a mezuzah can’t be put on a doorpost or doorframe. Basically, they are telling the Jewish person that he or she cannot live there," he said. Jones noted that the condominium association's act was in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. Some states, he noted, even legislated special laws protecting Jewish residents who affix mezuzahs on their doors. The contract signed by Cadranel, on the other hand, allows condo owners to place Christian symbols such as crosses or Christmas decorations on doors, but forbids the display of other symbols such as mezuzahs. Hmmmmm.............. “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.”.Read the full story here.
In U-turn, Egypt’s Brotherhood names presidential candidate.(VOC).Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, in a policy U-turn, on Saturday named its deputy leader and businessman Khairat al-Shater as its presidential candidate for a vote in May after initially pledging it would not run for the nation’s top job. The Brotherhood said it changed tack after reviewing other candidates in the race and after parliament, where its Freedom and Justice Party controls the biggest bloc, was unable to meet “the demands of the revolution”, a reference to its mounting criticism of the ruling army’s handling of the transition.
Given the Brotherhood’s strong showing in the parliamentary election and its broad grass-roots network, the group’s backing for a candidate could prove a decisive factor. Although analysts say name recognition may also play a role in this race that could help others such as former Arab League chief Amr Moussa. Analysts said the move suggested the Brotherhood, on the brink of power for the first time in its 84-year history, was worried it could have that power snatched away after decades of repression at the hands Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted last year. “We have witnessed obstacles standing in the way of parliament to take decisions to achieve the demands of the revolution,” said Mohamed Morsy, head of the Freedom and Justice Party. “We have therefore chosen the path of the presidency not because we are greedy for power but because we have a majority in parliament which is unable to fulfil its duties in parliament,” he said announcing the decision to put forward Shater. The move will worry liberals and others who are alredy fretting about the rising influence of Islamists after they swept parliament and now dominate an assembly writing the new constitution.
Shater, 61, submitted his resignation as one of three deputy leaders of the Brotherhood when he was picked as candidate, the group said. Like many members of the group that was banned under Mubarak, Shater spent years in jail. He is was freed shortly after Mubarak was toppled. A Brotherhood member told Reuters that 56 of 108 members of the Brotherhood’s shura, or advisory, council voted to pick Shater as the Brotherhood’s candidate and 52 voted against it. “Those who went against the candidacy of Shater at first changed their minds and supported him afterwards,” said Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s leader. But the decision to field Shater could draw criticism, particularly after the group expelled another member, Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, when he said he would run in spite of the Brotherhood’s pledge not to seek the presidency.
“This is not only a breach of their promise, but deliberate defiance of the (ruling) Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” said a Western diplomat, adding the U-turn suggested the group was worried others could disrupt its rise to power. “The Brotherhood are so close to power they can smell it, but they are so scared that someone else will snatch it from them,” the diplomat said. “The truth is that they are proving each day that power is their only goal,” Ahmed Said, head of the liberal Free Egyptians Party told CBC TV, saying the Brotherhood appeared to have taken the decision when it found “that they can’t control the government”. Shater was arrested in 2006, along with other senior members of the group, and jailed in 2007 by a military court on charges includings supplying students with weapons and military training. Jail terms can bar access to elected office for a period but the Brotherhood said this would not derail his candidacy. “When Shater’s name was considered, our lawyers said there is no legal obstacles facing his candidacy,” the group’s leader, Badie, said. At age 16, Khairat El-Shater joined the youth wing of the Nasserist Arab Socialist Union. He studied engineering at the Alexandria University. There he participated in the 1968 student protests against the government. After serving in the military for two years, El-Shater studied for a Master's degree and worked as a lecturer at the Mansoura University. Having become an Islamist dissident, he went into English exile in 1981. After returning in the mid-1980s, he became an active member of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1995, he became head of the Brotherhood's Greater Cairo branch. El-Shater has led a successful furniture and textile business with branches in Cairo's luxurious shopping malls, which earned him a fortune of several millions. He is considered a main financier and chief strategist of the Brotherhood. Under the Mubarak regime, he was imprisoned from 2007 until his release by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011. Hmmmm.......Follow the money?Read the full story here.
Pakistani Christian playwright to present play on inhuman blasphemy law.(PCP).Islamabad: March 30, 2012. (PCP) A prominent Pakistani Christian playwright Adeel Salman will present a stage drama “295 C - A play about the inhuman 'Blasphemy Law' in Pakistan” 295 C is a play about the inhuman 'Blasphemy Law' in Pakistan. This law mainly targets minorities and so far Christians have been its prime victims.
The law itself states that "295-C, Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death..."
The play aims to create awareness about this inhuman law whose practice is constantly targeting the minorities. Adeel Salman is a playwright writer from Pakistan. He is the first Pakistani playwrighter who has written original plays in English for the Pakistani audience. His previous works include Ashbeel, The Unforgiven, Identity, Millie and Mo, Hope, One Blood etc. He is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. He is the first Pakistani and first Pakistani Christian to have graduated with an MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence. 295-C is a work of fiction built around actual historical events. It focuses on the ‘Blasphemy Law’ in Pakistan. The law stands in clear violation of human rights as secured by the UN.
In 1927, the British colonial rulers of the sub-continent made it a criminal offence to commit “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religious belief”. The law then did not discriminate between religions. The law was retained when Pakistan gained independence in 1947 under the rule of the country’s moderate founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Ten blasphemy cases were reportedly heard in court in the 58 years between 1927 and 1985. The death penalty for anyone found guilty of defaming Islam was introduced in 1986 and since then more than 4,000 cases have been handled. More than fifty percent of these were non-Muslims, who represent only 3% of the national population. No judicial execution for blasphemy has ever occurred in Pakistan, but more than eighty percent of those charged were murdered by the fundamentalist muslim majority.The most recent victim of this law’s brutality being Aasia bibi who was accused blasphemy in 2009. She has not been released despite international pressure and is in police custody where she is reported to be tortured and humiliated constantly. Her family lives in constant fear of their lives and has been attacked many times People supporting a victim of blasphemy law are also met with similar fate.At present the situation in Pakistan is extremely volatile. Anyone found guilty of blasphemy or supporting the decision to amend this law is met with dire threats to their life including the playwright himself.Read the full story here.
Venezuelan President Chavez returning to Cuba for 'prostate' cancer treatment.(Yahoo).CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez says he's returning to Cuba for another round of cancer treatment. Chavez said Saturday during a televised speech to his supporters that he was travelling to Havana in the afternoon for a second round of radiation after recent surgery to extract a second cancerous tumour in his pelvic area. Chavez had another tumour removed from the same general area in June. The 57-year-old leftist president, in office since 1999, has vowed to overcome cancer to win another six-year term in the Oct. 7 election. Chavez has not identified the type of cancer, nor the precise location where the tumors were located. Symptoms when prostate cancer has spread are Bone pain or tenderness, most often in the lower back and pelvic bones.Read the full story here.
Obama checkmate in one move - By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks.
Obama checkmate in one move by Khamenei - By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks.(Debka).Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s talks with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Thursday, March 29 were closed to the press, but a statement published on Khamenei's official website said he told Erdoğan that Iran strongly opposes any foreign intervention in Syria's conflict and will defend Damascus so that it can continue to be a center of “resistance” against Israel. Twelve hours later, Iran’s Lebanese stooge, Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah, interrupted his Friday night sermon to declare triumphantly: “The die in Syria is cast. Talk of military intervention is over. There is no more talk about arming the opposition or about toppling the regime!”
Saturday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi announced, “The battle to topple the state is over, and the battle to solidify stability and move towards a renewed Syria has begun.” One observer, describing their situation as “undergunned and overwhelmed,” reported that Syria's rebels have to negotiate for hours for every box of bullets they haul across the border for their war against Assad. “And their frustration is starting to show.” Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are crowing over their success in derailing the Obama administration’s two-pronged policy for halting a nuclear Iran. It hinged on Tehran’s isolation by unraveling its alliance with Damascus and Hizballah and economic pressure through tough financial sanctions and an oil embargo. Iran has come out of the woods firmly in position at the head of its bloc, now cemented by Assad’s defeat of his foes. Tehran’s hand is much strengthened for the coming nuclear talks between Iran and the Six Powers due to start in two weeks. Washington will have to pay for any Iranian concessions by starting the process of unwinding sanctions. Responding to this situation during his visit to Tehran, March 28-29, Erdogan played both ends against the middle: He made the gesture to Obama whom he had just met in Seoul of cutting down Turkey’s purchases of Iranian oil by one fifth. At the same time, he signed lucrative deals with Iran for expanding the volume of their trade to $35 billion over the coming years.
Certain that sooner or later, Washington would slot Turkey onto the list of nations exempted from implementing the oil embargo against Iran, the Turkish prime minister could afford to defy US financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic. And Tehran could afford to ignore as harmless the White House announcement Friday that the US would “go forward with sanctions on foreign banks continue to buy oil from Iran and further isolate Iran’s central bank.” Khamenei listened carefully to the message Erdogan presented him from the US president. But he did not send back an answer. He evidently meant to leave Obama on tenterhooks until the nuclear talks begin next month.
The failure of Obama’s linked strategies for Iran and Syria resounded in the background of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Persian Gulf mission Friday and Saturday, described officially as aiming to bring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states aboard a US-led front against Iran and Syria. In Riyadh, Friday, she heard King Abdullah place responsibility for the Syrian debacle squarely at the door of the Obama administration for spurning the Saudi intervention plan to establis opposition sanctuaries in Syria under air force and ground forces' protection. By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks On Saturday, more recriminations echoed between the lines of the announcement of Clinton’s meeting with the foreign ministers of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council). G GCC Secretary Ahmed Al-Kaabi said: The meeting at the GCC secretariat will focus on the Gulf’s position on Syria and the role of the US and other allies. He added, “In fact, Saudi Arabia, along with fellow Gulf nation Qatar, has called for a timely approach, including arming the rebels and carving out a safe haven inside Syria from where the opposition can operate.” Iran’s supreme leader gave the United States, Saudi Arabia and the GCC them his answer Thursday, when he pledged on his website strong opposition to any foreign intervention in Syria's conflict and the defense of Damascus, so that it can continue to be the center of “resistance” against Israel. It is clearly too late to reverse the tide in Damascus: Should the US have a sudden change of heart and accept the Saudi plan to intervene in Syria and arm the anti-Assad rebellion, that route would be cut off by Tehran calling off the nuclear talks and so robbing Obama’s Iran policy of its ultimate goal. Washington’s management of the Syrian crisis and its non-military approach to a nuclear Iran has left Assad in the saddle and enhanced Iran’s prospects of hanging onto its nuclear weapons capacity, while escalating anti-Israel “resistance” from Damascus. Assad and Khamenei felt no urgency to go through with the large-scale pro-Palestinian spectacle they had planned for the Israeli-Arab Earth Day Friday. They now have bigger fish to fry.Hmmmmm........Obama: " "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".Read the full story here.
Erdoğan: "Israeli strike on Iran would be 'disastrous',".(HD).The outcomes of an Israeli air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would be "disastrous," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said. Erdoğan talked to journalists on board an airplane on his way from a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hürriyet reported today. "The entire region would be devastated if Israel strikes Iran," Erdoğan said and added that he shared his views with U.S. President Barack Obama. A regional conflict triggered by a possible Israeli strike "would not end up like the war between U.S. and Iraq. Israel should not attack Iran," Erdoğan said and added that Israel was taking part in "disaster-mongering" with its constant threats of a possible strike on Iran.Hmmmm.........Ahmadinejad.........Erdogan...........Barack Hussein Obama.Israel......'we have your back'.Read the full story here.
Afghanistan - A 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been killed in an acid attack because they were friends.
Afghanistan - A 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been killed in an acid attack because they were friends.(DailyMail).Warning story contains graphic pictures!A 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been killed in an acid attack because they were friends, it has been claimed. A shocking photograph shows their fully clothed bodies lying on stretchers - the extent of the damage to their faces clearly visible.
The bodies of the youngsters were discovered on Friday in wasteland in the Ghazni province in southern Afghanistan.Acid attacks are used as a form of religious and social persecution in the country. Their bodies are now lying in a hospital and no families have come forward to claim them, AFP said. People who discovered the bodies say the pair were probably killed for being friends with each other. Despite the fall of the Taliban, the country still has a very conservative attitude towards women and relationships and anyone who opposes the traditional order often fear for their lives. Up until 2001, women were not allowed to work and could not leave their homes without a male escort. Last year, Afghan gunmen burst into a family home and poured acid over a father, wife and three daughters because they stopped their eldest from marrying an ageing warlord. The attack was carried out in the belief that no-one would then want to marry them. Officials said the oldest daughter Mumtaz, 18, had been pursued by a local gunman who the family considered a 'troublemaker.' With her parents support, she turned him down and instead got engaged to a relative. In November 2008 extremists subjected schoolgirls to acid attacks for attending school. Meanwhile, just a few days ago a Pakistani former dancing girl who was left heavily facially disfigured by an acid attack 10 years ago committed suicide. Fakhra Younus, 33, leapt to her death from a sixth floor building in Rome 12 years after the acid attack which she said left her looking 'not human'.Hmmm.......The 'people' the Obama Administration negotiates with and was preparing to release from Gitmo."A man is known by the company he keeps".Read the full story here.
Ahmed Haroun Sudan’s Southern Kordofan governor:" Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them."
Ahmed Haroun Sudan’s Southern Kordofan governor:" Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them.".(AlYazeera).The governor of Sudan’s Southern Kordofan has been filmed addressing troops before a battle with rebel fighters urging them to "take no prisoners". In footage obtained by Al Jazeera, Ahmed Harun, the state governor who has already been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in Darfur, is captured on camera telling his soldiers to take strong action against anyone who comes in their way. Southern Kordofan holds most of Sudan's remaining known oil reserves, after South Sudan seceded in July 2011, taking its oilfields with it. Southern Kordofan has become a strategic asset for Khartoum, but rebels there want to follow Juba and be granted independence from Khartoum.
The footage shows Sudanese troops stationed in a captured base involved in a gun battle with rebel forces. Harun is addressing his soldiers before they enter rebel territory by saying: "You must hand over the place clean. Swept, rubbed, crushed. Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them." An army commander standing near Harun then says: "Don’t bring them back, eat them raw." General Jogot Mekwar, who is from the Southern Kordofan rebel forces after watching the video told Al Jazeera: "What Ahmed Haroun says is inhumane. He wants to enslave people, and he has a hatred against humanity." "From our perspective, the things he says are the reason the court has issued an arrest warrant." According to the UN, tens of thousands have fled the violence, since July 2011. The UN has called for an investigation into reports of human rights abuses in the territory. Sudan's government has dismissed those accusations, and in turn has accused rebel groups, many of whom fought alongside South Sudan during decades of civil war with the Khartoum government, of launching a rebellion to try and control the territory.In 2007 the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Harun for his alleged role targeting rebel groups in Darfur by funding and arming the Janjaweed armed group to incite attacks against civilian forces.Read and see (Video) the full story here.
The State Department's Jerusalem syndrome.By Caroline Glick.I went to the US Consulate this week to take care of certain family business. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. I think it is ironic that two days after my extremely unpleasant experience at the consulate, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to say what the capital of Israel is. It was ironic because anyone who visits the consulate knows that the US's position on Jerusalem is in perfect alignment with that of Israel's worst enemies. Last time I went to the consulate was in 2007. At that time the building was located in the middle of an Arab neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. It was unpleasant. In fact it was fairly frightening.
Once inside the building I couldn't shake the feeling that the Americans had gone out of their way to make Israeli-American Jews feel uncomfortable and vaguely threatened. But then, I was able to console myself with the thought that the US has been upfront about its rejection of Israel's right to assert its sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem. By treating Jews as foreigners in their capital city and behaving as though it belongs to the Arabs by among other things hiring only Arabs as local employees, the US officials on site were simply implementing a known US policy. True, I deeply oppose the policy, but no one was asking me, and no one was hiding anything from me.
The new consulate is much different, and much worse. The State Department opened its new consulate in Jerusalem in October 2010. It is located in the Jewish neighborhood of Arnona. It was built on the plot that Israel allocated for the US Embassy after Congress passed Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 requiring the US government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. I read that construction began in 2004. I haven't been able to find out whether when construction began it was to build the embassy or a new consulate so I don't know yet whether the Bush administration thought it was building an embassy that the Obama administration turned into a consulate or if the Bush administration thought it was building a consulate that the Obama administration completed. Whatever the case, the fact that the building that was supposed to be an expression of US recognition of Israel's capital in Jerusalem is being used as the consulate is an unvarnished act of aggression against Israel and Congress. Read the full story here.
Message to Turkey - Greece Joins Israel-USA Military Exercise in Southern Mediterranean.(GR).At the same time the tripartite energy agreement will be signed between Greece, Israel and Cyprus on Thursday at Kavouri of Vouliagmeni, Athens, in the presence of Richard Morningstar, the special envoy of the US Foreign Affairs Ministry, a large-scale aeronautical military exercise will be taking place in the Southern Mediterranean. According to defencenet.gr, Greece, Israel and USA will launch their joint military exercise from Crete to Haifa against “virtual enemy forces” that bear great resemblance to the Turkish aeronautical forces in this particular military operation scenario.
“Noble Dina” was initially planned to take place in April just like in 2011. However, it was decided that the military exercise should coincide with the date of the energy agreement signing between the three countries of the Southeastern Mediterranean. Thus, it would underline that the cooperation between Israel, Greece and the US does not only concern energy but military affairs as well. Defencenet.gr reported that the implied “message” goes to Ankara, which for the time is a barrier to the common interests of Israel and USA in the broader region.
The exercise is taking place only a few days after Turkey had claimed that the same thing that happened in Imia would also happen to the Eastern Mediterranean.The military exercise will start from the US Air base in Souda, pass south through Megisti and the shores of Cyprus and will reach the shores of Israel. Last year, “Noble Dina” was conducted between April 3rd and 14th and included eight vessels, two submarines, helicopters and aircraft and four Greek F-16 Block 52 combat jets. Until 2012, the exercise was strictly conducted by the Israeli and American forces. The new military operation scenarios include exercises of repelling enemy attacks against offshore natural gas and oil rigs, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and prohibition of military aircraft operations.Hmmmm......Isn't it great to have such an NATO ally as Turkey?Good thing Obama has a 'trusted relation' with him.Read the full story here.
Steven Seagal returns to television with 'True Justice,' talks race and border wars.(Fox).Steven Seagal is back with a gun in-hand for Reelz Channel’s new show “True Justice.” And although the scripted series about undercover cops is classed as fictional, Seagal has more reality to draw from than almost any other Hollywood actor. Last year, he was sworn-in as the Hudspeth County Sheriff department’s newest deputy in West Texas – and his continuing work in border patrol is keeping him on his toes. “It ain’t what it used to be, it is a lot harder now to be a police officer than what it used to be, but I enjoy it,” Seagal told Fox411’s Pop Tarts column while promoting “True Justice,” which debuts on Friday. “I work in Texas on the border, and Arizona on the border, and there is a lot of crazy stuff going on with the border wars these days.”
And when it comes to the borders debate, the actor and martial arts master maintains that the ongoing controversy over “illegal aliens” has nothing to do with race. “It's an issue that is based on narcotics and money and business, it is really narcoterrorism now. When people talk about it being an immigration or racial issue, those people are dumb. They are stupid,” he continued. “In my opinion, it has to do with crime. I'm not aware of anyone that walks up to somebody on the street and says, ‘what's your nationality? Let me see your proof of citizenship.’ I have never seen that happen in my life and I don't believe it has ever happened.” Seagal claims that he obtains the highest arrest warrants possible – for murder, rape, child molestation, and armed robbery – and the sole intent is to go after and arrest criminals, regardless of their nationality and ethnic background. “If someone breaks the law in America, we don't care if they are Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Mongolian, we arrest them. It really has nothing to do with what nationality they are,” he stressed. “Now if we find people that have committed a crime and they are in the United States of America illegally, it is possible or even probable that they would be deported. But I would say that is the same as almost any country on earth… Probably more than 50,000 people have been killed in the border wars over the last few years, which is way more than Iraq and Afghanistan to-date. Don't you think this should be declared a war too?”Read the full story here.
True Justice: Season 1 Trailer .
Erdoğan,says in Iran, NATO radar could be dismantled if needed.(TZ).Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave assurances to neighboring Iran that a US radar deployed in Turkey as part of a NATO missile defense system is not a threat to Tehran. Erdoğan, speaking to Iran's state television during a visit to Tehran on Thursday, said the radar could be dismantled if conditions Turkey had put forward to host the radar are not respected. Turkey agreed to host the radar after lengthy negotiations with the US during which it insisted that no country be named as a source of threat and that data to be collected by radar not be shared with Israel, Iran's enemy. “If NATO does not comply with Turkey's conditions, we can ask them to dismantle the system,” Erdoğan said, according to Iran's Fars News Agency. NATO does not mention any country as a threat to be countered by its nascent missile defense system but US officials did name Iran as a threat on numerous occasions. The Turkish decision to host the radar has strained Ankara's ties with Iran, prompting angry statements from some Iranian officials threatening to hit the radar if Iran is targeted. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who accompanied Erdoğan during his visit to Tehran, said Iranians are not disturbed by Turkey but there were concerns about the radar. He echoed Erdoğan, saying no non-NATO country will have access to its data -- a reference to Israel -- and that Turkish generals will be involved in the command and control of the system to ensure it operates according to agreed conditions. “Technically it is possible for us to leave the system in six months if we notice different practices,” Davutoğlu said in televised remarks on Thursday evening.Erdoğan's two-day visit to Iran also focused on Tehran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is intended for producing weapons. The Turkish prime minister, who met Ahmadinejad after talks with US President Barack Obama in South Korea, voiced support for Iran, saying it has the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He said he had told Obama that Khamenei rejects claims that Iran aspires to produce nuclear weapons, citing Islamic norms that would never condone weapons of mass destruction. “Once I am told this, I cannot make a claim that Iran is producing nuclear weapons,” he said. “Don't they have the right to have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes?”Hmmmm.......Who needs enemies with such allies?Still thinking your radarshield will be 'operational' against Iran?Get Turkey out of NATO!Read the full story here.
Turkey passes school reform law viewed by critics as Islamic, turns back Attaturk's reforms.(Alarabiya).Turkey’s ruling party pushed through a school reform act on Friday that provoked brawls among parliamentarians and mass protests by secular Turks and teachers, who said the law was pushing an Islamic agenda and would lower education standards. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent shudders through the secular opposition earlier this year when he said his goal was to raise a “religious youth.” Earlier this month, his AK Party sprang the surprise proposal to overhaul the education system. Education has been one of the main battlegrounds between religious conservatives -- who form the bedrock of AKP support -- and secularists since soldier statesman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Turkish republic in 1923. Believing that religion was holding back Turkey, one of Ataturk’s first acts was to close madrasas, religious schools. Admirers of Ataturk say the AK Party is rolling back policies hurtful to pious Muslims. The changes approved on Friday included measures that will allow schools specializing in religious education combined with a modern curriculum, known as imam hatip schools, to take boys and girls from the age of 11 instead of 15, and to provide optional classes in Quranic studies and the life of the Prophet Mohammed in other schools. The law stipulates that children should complete 12 years schooling, though critics say the overall quality of education will suffer as parents have the option of putting their children into technical colleges grooming them for low-paid blue-collar and service industry jobs, like hairdressing for girls, from an early age. Opposition anger over the bill boiled over when the AK Party steamrollered it through the committee stage, provoking brawls in parliament earlier this month. Passage of the bill through the assembly was never in doubt, and it was carried by a vote of 295 to 91. Critics have long accused the AKP of promoting religious conservatism by stealth, though Erdogan denies having an Islamist agenda. Opponents fear he has become bolder since a commanding election victory last June secured him a third consecutive term. Erdogan says the new law gives people what they want, unlike the previous education regime which alienated many conservative families who want their children to have more access to religious schooling.Erdogan says secular-minded families will not have to send their children to classes on religion. “Nobody is forced (to attend),” Erdogan said on his return to Ankara from an overseas trip on Thursday as police unleashed tear gas and water cannon on protesters from a teaching union. “Are people going to drag members of the labor union to those classes, punching and kicking? No. Are people going to drag kids into those classes? No.” Some teachers say that regardless of the debate over the place of religion in the classroom, education desperately needs massive investment in more classrooms and more teachers, as half the country’s 74 million people are under the age of 28. The quality of Turkey’s education compares poorly with OECD averages, according to a World Bank study.Read the full story here.