Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Obama Cites “National Security” As Reason For Bypassing Congress To Give $147 Million To Palestinians
Obama Cites “National Security” As Reason For Bypassing Congress To Give $147 Million To Palestinians.(UPI).WASHINGTON -- President Obama, citing the United States' national security interests, Wednesday waived restrictions on funding for the Palestinian Authority. In a memorandum sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama cited his authority under section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2012 section 7040(a) of the Act, to provide appropriated funds to the Palestinian Authority. The president directed Clinton to inform Congress of his action. State Department officials last month expressed concern the department had been unable to provide full funding to the Palestinian Authority for institution-building projects as the United States seeks to rejuvenate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., had questioned the Obama administration's request for $147 million for the Palestinian Authority at a time when P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded preconditions for returning to the negotiations while also pushing a unilateral statehouse plan at the United Nations. She also expressed concern that $26.4 million had been requested for projects in Hamas-run Gaza. "The administration also says we need to help 'rebuild the Palestinian economy' -- this at a time when our economy is facing serious challenges and Americans are suffering," Ros-Lehtinen said.Hmmmm........Don't worry Israel 'he's got your back'.Read the full story here.
Chinese newspaper warns of ‘small-scale war’ with Philippines.(GI).One of China’s most popular newspapers has warned of a potential “small-scale war” between Beijing and Manila as a result of their standoff at Panatag Shoal, or Scarborough Shoal as the area is known internationally. The Global Times, in an editorial published in its Chinese and English editions, said over the weekend that “China should be prepared to engage in a small-scale war at sea with the Philippines.” “Once the war erupts, China must take resolute action to deliver a clear message to the outside world that it does not want a war, but definitely has no fear of it,” the tabloid said. Malacañang and Philippine military officials were unfazed by the toughly worded editorial.
In a speech at Xavier School in Greenhills, San Juan City, President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said his administration was raising international awareness on the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China to show the global community how Beijing was treating Manila. Mr. Aquino said the Philippines wanted to take the issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea but China’s cooperation was needed to resolve it. “Our weapon really here is for the world to know what we are doing,” the President said. “These nations could start thinking if this is how we are being treated—whether they are as big or as small as us—maybe there will come a time that they will get the same treatment [from China],” he said.
He maintained it was not his intention to escalate the problem with China. “We own the shoal,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to Panatag, which lies about 200 kilometers west of Zambales province. “For so long a time we own it and [we are] recognized by international law, especially under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). That’s the only thing that we’re asking.” Asked for comment on the Chinese paper’s editorial, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Raul Hernandez said that “such irresponsible comments do not merit a response from us.” The Global Times is owned by the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, The People’s Daily. It has a reputation for publishing nationalistic editorials that are often highly critical of foreign governments and even Chinese officials.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario urged Beijing to concur with Manila’s proposal to resolve the territorial disputes between the two countries in accordance with the Unclos. In a press briefing, Alcantara said at least seven Chinese vessels remained in the vicinity of Panatag, including two small fishing boats anchored on the lagoon and three other fishing vessels off a sandbar. Alcantara said two Chinese maritime ships—the gunboat FLEC 310 and the surveillance ship CMS 71—had been sighted in the Panatag waters as of 8 p.m. Monday. Two more surveillance ships, the CMS 84 and 75, are believed to be replenishing provisions and refueling somewhere in the Chinese mainland, he added.Read the full story here.
Obama camp becoming desperate potential Dem voters returning home to Mexico.(WT).A new study from the highly esteemed Pew Hispanic Center says the millions of Mexicans who risked their lives crossing the desert to get here to the promised land for a better life have given up on the U.S. This is no small feat. Have you ever been to Mexico? Not the ritzy beach towns with the gated resorts, but Nuevo Laredo? The dusty streets are filled with bony children selling gum and candy for just a few spare pennies. Desperate as that little trade may have once seemed to us, at least it has the vibe of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the ‘90s. Nothing like that is going on anywhere on this side of the border. Remember the axiom of big government bureaucrats: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. When, finally, under the crushing weight of taxes and regulation, it stops moving, subsidize it. So the Mexicans have quit coming to the hopeless part of North America. Canada is just too far to walk.Or, at least, the few final stragglers who have not kept up with America’s woes and are still sneaking into the U.S. are balanced out by all the illegal Mexicans already here who are now risking their lives to cross the desert to escape the American “dream.” Now we know why all the politicians in Washington have finally agreed to beef up security and build a fence along the southern border. They’re desperate to keep all the Mexicans from leaving. That’s right, who would raise their children and mow their lawns and do all of America’s dirty work if all the Mexicans left? Authors of the Pew report call the stunning shift in migration patterns historic. Not since the Great Depression, they say, has a shift of this magnitude occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border. Not since the Great Depression?Read the full story here.
Turkish Oil Company to Start Drilling in 'occupied' North Cyprus Site.(AM).Turkey's state-run oil company is set to start drilling for oil and gas in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus under an agreement signed last year in September. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO, will start drilling on Thursday at a field in Gazimagusa's Sinirustu village with a ceremony which will be participated by Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz as well as Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu and Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk. TPAO has said it planned to drill as deep as 3,000 meters at the well which has been named Turkyurdu-1. On September 21, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Dervis Eroglu of TRNC signed in New York an agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf between two countries in the East Mediterranean. Under the agreement, TPAO will be able to make three dimensional seismic research and drilling in TRNC land and sea more actively. The agreement follows a Greek Cypriot move to start offshore drilling for natural gas and oil in the southeast of the Eastern Mediterranean island. On September 22, TRNC Council of Ministers gave exploration license to TPAO, Turkish Petroleum Corp., to explore oil and natural gas around Cyprus island. TRNC President Eroglu met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on September 24, and proposed to suspend oil and natural gas exploration until a comprehensive solution was found to Cyprus question or if Greek Cypriot administration insisted on oil exploration, then a committee shall be set up by the two sides in the island, and it shall decide how to share the richness that could be found after the explorations. However, Greek Cypriot side did not give a positive response. Thus, TPAO, by Piri Reis vessel, began geophysical research and seismic data collecting studies on behalf of TRNC on September 26. In 2010, the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the East Mediterranean. The Greek Cypriot side had signed a deal with U.S.-based Noble Energy to start drilling in an 324,000-hectare economic zone adjacent to the Israeli waters.Read the full story here and more here.
Ground Zero Imam IMAM Rauf BOASTS: 'Obama's historic speech in Egypt came from my book'.(Vision4Freedom) - (Shoebat).In previous reports researched by the Walid Shoebat Foundation, it was revealed that Imam Rauf has made statements in the Arabic language - while appearing on Arabic media outlets - that completely contradict his moderate tone when speaking english, exposing him as a direct supporter of terrorism, both financially and verbally.
So who really was speaking on that historic day of June 4th 2009 in Egypt? President Obama or the Imam of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf?
The Shoebat Foundation has obtained a shocking audio recording of Rauf's own voice boasting in Arabic that Obama’s historic speech in Cairo was provided by the Imam's work with the Cordova Initiative in what the Imam called “The Blue Print” which, according to him, was the solution to the Islamic-American divide. Rauf claimed that Chapter 6 of the Imam’s work engineered by the Cordova Initiative was the construct for the entire speech: Audio Highlight (Listen Now)
“This is an example of the impact of our work in a positive way to be used by the president.”
"The blue print," Rauf elaborated, included everything from U.S. policy to Jewish and Christian relations with Muslims.
For an Imam in New York to be involved in the orchestrating U.S. foreign policy is quite the claim. In the recording dated February 5th, 2010 Rauf boasted that:
“We have to look at it [as] how to engineer solutions. At the Cordova Initiative we think of ourselves as an engineering shop. Yes. We have an analytical approach. Our work has been that. IN THE BOOK CHAPTER 6, I WROTE ABOUT THIS BLUE PRINT as to WHAT HAS TO BE DONE BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, what has to be done by the Jewish community, what has to be done by the Christian community, what has to be done by the Muslim community, what has to be done by educators, what has to be done by the media. For example, IN MY BOOK IN THE ARABIC VERSION page 293, what did I write? WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO DO. IF YOU EXAMINE THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL FIND THAT THE OBAMA SPEECH IN CAIRO WAS ALL TAKEN FROM THIS SECTION [Section 6]. When you do a job that is very complicated. You ask yourself, what have you accomplished. All these problems can be solved but requires the will to solve it. It requires political will, resources and the right focus. The signs of how to go to the moon was known 200 years ago, but the political will and financial will for it happened during 1960-1961. When John Kennedy said that we will send an American to the moon before the end of the 60’s, he established the financial resources and the political will.”
The story was even collaborated in a written article in an interview with Hani Al-Waziri of Egypt. The clue was revealed while Rauf was answering a question regarding President Barack Obama’s speech in which Rauf replied:
“the speech was wonderful and wise in his choice of words, the Prime Minister of Malaysia after the speech disclosed to me that it is now easy for any president of a Muslim country to establish good relations with America, and I AM NOT GOING TO HIDE FROM YOU THAT ONE OF THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN WRITING THE SPEECH, TRANSFERRED ENTIRE PARTS OF MY BOOK ‘A NEW VISION FOR MUSLIMS AND THE WEST’, which he referred to U.S. interests being compatible with top interests of the Muslim world”.
Rauf did not disclose the name of this speechwriter that included Rauf’s work in president Obama’s historic address to the Muslim world. It is crucial to note that the Arabic version of Feisal Abdul Rauf’s book was published in Malaysia titled “A CALL TO PRAYER, FROM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER RUBBLE: ISLAMIC DAWA (SUMMONS TO ISLAM) IN THE HEART OF AMERICA POST-9/11."The interview with Hani Alwaziri dated February 7th, 2010 intended to discuss Rauf’s plans for what he terms “American Style Islam” and the Cordova Initiative goals for the U.S. Rauf later stated that his goal was “To establish an American style Islam in the United States” in which he explains his aspiration of spreading Islam in America by using flexibility and molding Islam to become palatable to the American culture while preserving the integrity of Islamic ideology:“If we look how Islam was spread from Hijaz (Arabia) to Morocco then Turkey, we note that Islam was shaped by the culture and society, hence showing a Muslim version of the architecture and culture and the arts, but with preservation of the framework of belief and worship. We need to provide a GLOBAL ISLAM in accordance with the nature of each society.”Transcript of the audio by Shoebat.
Indonesia - Lady Gaga warned not to wear provocative outfits offending Muslims.(Telegraph). Lady Gagahas been warned about her provocative outfits ahead of her tour of Indonesia in June. The multi-million-selling artist, who is on a 110-date world tour to promote her album Born This Way Ball, is currently in South Korea. Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim nation and Islamic leaders have said her risque outfits will not be tolerated. "I call on Lady Gaga to respect our cultural and traditional values. Most people here are Muslims and we cannot tolerate her revealing outfits and sexy performances," the Indonesia Ulema Council leader Amidhan told AFP. "It's better for Lady Gaga to cancel her show in this country if she has no willingness to respect our demand. Please do not destroy our nation's morality and ruin our dignity.".
Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - has courted controversy for appearing clad in outfits made of raw meat or on high heels. Big Daddy, the promoters for the concert in Jakarta, said tickets began selling in early March and were sold out within two weeks. "We have informed Lady Gaga's management (about these concerns), and they said that they will respect the country where she will perform", said Hanny Marpaung, corporate secretary for Big Daddy. But he added "we still don't have any clue" about what she will wear. In the Philippines, a youth organisation urged people to stay away from Gaga's May 21 concert, saying it poses a threat to moral values in Asia's largest Catholic nation. Laurence Pintero, head of the Manila-based Youth for Christ, criticised the government for allowing the concert to take place. "If the government thinks she is a threat, first and foremost they should stop it," he said. "I think we should be bold. We discourage (people from) attending her concert." A member of Indonesia's highest Islamic authority has said Muslims should stay away from an upcoming concert by American pop star Lady Gaga, who he said aimed to undermine the values of the world's largest Muslim country. "(The concert is) intended to destroy the nation's morality," said Indonesian Council of Ulema chairman Cholil Ridwan. Cholil said Lady Gaga's sexy manner of dressing and dance should be considered "un-Islamic". "She's from the West, and she often shows her private parts while performing," he said. He, however, added that he had never watched the singer perform and only heard of her "reputation" second-hand.Hmmmm......Dress decently like Indonesian actrice Rahma Azhari.Read the full story here.
Obama vows to fight for climate action, make global warming a key 2012 issue.(TheHill).President Obama is vowing to make the case for action on global warming during the 2012 campaign.
“I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way,” Obama told Rolling Stone magazine in a newly published interview.Obama’s comments follow a first term that saw global warming legislation collapse in Congress but several administrative steps to address climate proceed, such as tougher auto mileage rules and first-time greenhouse gas standards for new power plants.
“Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people's No. 1 priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices. In that environment, it's been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science,” Obama said.Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has called for stripping the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gases and also opposes cap-and-trade proposals.On Capitol Hill, where Republicans are trying to thwart EPA’s rules, skepticism about climate science has become commonplace in the GOP, and cap-and-trade legislation is a nonstarter.
The vast majority of scientists say global warming is occurring and human activities are a key factor. A small minority call data on warming trends and the human contribution inconclusive or inaccurate.“Frankly, I'm deeply concerned that internationally, we have not made as much progress as we need to make. Within the constraints of this Congress, we've tried to do a whole range of things, administratively, that are making a difference — doubling fuel-efficiency standards on cars is going to take a whole lot of carbon out of our atmosphere. We're going to continue to push on energy efficiency, and renewable energy standards, and the promotion of green energy. But there is no doubt that we have a lot more work to do,” Obama said.
“James Hansen is a scientist who has done an enormous amount not only to understand climate change, but also to help publicize the issue. I have the utmost respect for scientists,” Obama said in the interview. “But it's important to understand that Canada is going to be moving forward with tar sands, regardless of what we do. That's their national policy, they're pursuing it.”
He later added: “The reason that Keystone got so much attention is not because that particular pipeline is a make-or-break issue for climate change, but because those who have looked at the science of climate change are scared and concerned about a general lack of sufficient movement to deal with the problem.”Capitol Hill Republicans have also alleged that regulation of greenhouse gases will hurt the economy and attacked federal spending on green energy programs.Hmmmm...........
And i can go on for a veryyyyyyyyyy long time.Read the full '
James Lovelock backs down on climate alarm
1995: Was this the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Climate
World may be entering period of global cooling
– you mean we aren’t controlling the climate?
unicorn' story here.
The Jihadist Roots of the Norway Massacre.(MEF).By Raymond Ibrahim. FrontPageMagazine.com.April 25, 2012.
Anders Breivik, who went on a shooting spree in Norway last year, killing some 70 people, recently confessed his inspiration: al-Qaeda, the jihadists par excellence of the modern world.
According to AFP, "The gunman behind the Norway massacres said he was inspired by al-Qaida as he took the stand Tuesday [4/17] at his trial…. he described himself as a 'militant nationalist' and, using the pronoun 'we' to suggest he was part of a larger group, added: 'We have drawn from al-Qaida and militant Islamists. You can see al-Qaida as the most successful militant group in the world.'"
Not only was he "inspired" by al-Qaeda, but his very tactics mirrored those of the jihadist organization. According to the AP, Breivik testified "that he had planned to capture and decapitate" the former Norwegian Prime Minister, with the plan "to film the beheading and post the video on the Internet," adding that "he was inspired by al-Qaida's use of decapitation," which he described "as a very powerful psychological weapon."
In a globalized world where Islam has the lion's share of acts of terrorism—where nonstop images of jihadists killing and beheading people have metastasized in the media, and thus in the mind of the average person—discovering that al-Qaeda is Breivik's source of inspiration is, of course, not surprising.
But there is a more profound point here: Breivik is not the first non-Muslim to be "inspired" by Muslim notions; the Crusaders, for example, lived in an atmosphere thoroughly permeated and influenced by Islamic jihad, so much so that the very idea of Christian "holy war"—the use of violence and conquest in the name of Christianity—finds its ideological origins in jihad.
Emmet Scott, for instance, author of the new book Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited writes:
[I]n addition to some commentaries upon Aristotle, and a few scientific and technological concepts (which were not "Arab" inventions at all) Islam was to communicate to Europe a whole host of ideas and attitudes that were far from being enlightened. Most obviously, the concept of "holy war" [or jihad], which Europe adopted (admittedly somewhat reluctantly) in the eleventh century, was entirely an Islamic innovation (p. xx).Earlier, historian Bernard Lewis wrote,
Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation…. [F]orgiveness for sins to those who fought in defence of the holy Church of God and the Christian religion and polity, and eternal life for those fighting the infidel: these ideas … clearly reflect the Muslim notion of jihad, and are precursors of the Western Christian Crusade.For all that, Islamic ideologies did not pervert the foundations of Christianity. Lewis continues:
But unlike the jihad, it [the Crusade] was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory.… The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule.… The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.The point here is that the earliest manifestations of the sort of terrorism initiated by Breivik are Islamic in origin. For instance, the medieval Hashashin—the archetypal terrorists who gave us the word "assassin"—were a Muslim sect that pioneered the use of fear, murder, and terror for political gain as early as the 11th century.
Even so, the media has inclined to focus on Breivik's fascination with Christian historical groups like the Knights Templar—without bothering to explain exactly how a military order devoted to protecting Christian pilgrims inspired Breivik to murder innocent Norwegian children. As one historian put it, the original Knights Templar, a "very devout people," would be "horrified" to be associated with Breivik.
Even more ironic, the Knights and Crusaders in general were frequently on the receiving end of the aforementioned Hashashin's terror campaign; that is, far from being inspirations for terrorism, the Knights Templar bore the brunt of one of the earliest manifestations of Islamic terrorism. Even CNN's Fareed Zakaria correctly opined that in Breivik's distorted worldview, "the Knights Templar resembles nothing so much as al Qaeda."
In short, whereas Breivik's goals may have been anti-Islamic in nature, his actions, those things which we are rightly judged by—in this case, from ruthless terrorism to planned beheadings—were jihadist in essence.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.
Obama's Admin policy of repatriating American jobs from overseas, while spending millions of dollars Training Asian Call Center Workers.
Obama's Admin policy of repatriating American jobs from overseas, while spending millions of dollars Training Asian Call Center Workers.(JW).While President Obama calls on companies to insource overseas jobs back to the U.S., the federal government is spending millions of dollars to help foreigners learn enough English to work in offshore call centers for American businesses.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is blowing $10 million to train Filipinos to work in Asian call centers that serve the very U.S. businesses the president threatened to strip of tax deductions for moving jobs and profits abroad. In fact, in hisState of the Union address earlier this year, Obama said “it is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship job overseas.”
Ironically, his administration is contributing to the problem. A news magazine that covers information technology broke the story last week and it has ignited bipartisan outrage among federal lawmakers. So far two congressmen—one Democrat, one Republican—have demanded that the federally-funded call-center training program be immediately suspended. They cite a similar USAID project in Sri Lanka that was abandoned in 2010 at their behest.
This latest project is training 3,000 Philippine students to man the phones in areas ranging from healthcare to travel, for domestic call centers from Asia. It’s called Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) and graduates get placed with outsourcing vendors that provide U.S. companies with profitable offshore perks, including Asia’s cheap labor costs. The U.S. program includes 400 hours of training over two years and 23,000 students are currently enrolled in the Philippines.One of the congressmen demanding that the Philippine JEEP be nixed, New York Democrat Tim Bishop, notes that over 4.5 million Americans work in call centers but more than half a million jobs have been outsourced from the U.S. to foreign nations. “I support the international development mission of USAID but my top priority is protecting American jobs and American taxpayers,” Bishop said. “I anticipate working closely with USAID in a bipartisan manner to ensure that none of its programs overseas will hurt workers here at home.”
Bishop and North Carolina Republican Walter Jones co-authored a letter to Obama’s handpicked USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah, calling for JEEP’s end. “We cannot support the use of federal taxpayer dollars for outsourcing training programs that conflict directly with the Administration’s stated policy of repatriating American jobs from overseas and we demand that this ill-advised project be discontinued immediately.”Read the full story here.
Moscow Wants to Make anti-gay law Law Federal.(MN).Deputies of the Moscow City Duma discussing the creation of an anti-gay law similar to the one in St. Petersburg have decided to broaden its scope to ban all kinds of "sexual propaganda," and they said they plan to push the initiative on the federal level. City Duma Speaker Vladimir Platonov proposed the idea and stressed its importance during a round table meeting attended by representatives of regions where laws restricting homosexual propaganda among minors have already been enacted. But the legislation would also ban the spread of materials of a heterosexual nature. Representatives of parental organizations said the law was not aimed at people of non-traditional sexual orientation, but a necessary step to protect children from information that would produce psychological harm, a news release about the discussion on the City Duma website said. Platonov was adamant about the need to protect children's rights. "If we talk about the simple writing of the law, it would be possible to limit distribution of the material and harvest already-existing experience," he said, adding that it would be possible to just "take up a pen and write the same law accepted by four subjects of the Federation," the news release said. Platonov also said it was necessary to "address to the Federation Council in order to prepare a good federal legislative initiative that would protect minors from all the negative information." One demonstrator stood outside the City Duma in a one-man picket to protest the discussion, holding a sign reading "Stop homophobic crooks! Moscow is behind us," Moskovksy Komsomolets reported. Gay rights activists said Tuesday they are planning a parade for May 27 to protest the advance of anti-homosexual legislation in Russia. "Notification of the event will be filed and submitted to the capital's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, in mid-May,” founder of the Moscow Gay Pride movement Nikolai Alekseyev told Interfax. “The main theme will be the legislative bans on gay propaganda in Russia," he said. The parade is also timed to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the abolition of criminal prosecution for engaging in homosexual relations, Alekseev said.Hmmm......In 2007 Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II called homosexuality an “illness” and attacked what he called “homosexual propaganda” influencing young people during an address to the council’s parliamentary assembly.He said homosexuality was “an illness and a distortion of the human personality” comparable to kleptomania.Read the full story here.
If you’re wondering what the Senate’s thinking, the country’s best interests aren’t what they have in mind.
If you’re wondering what the Senate’s thinking, the country’s best interests aren’t what they have in mind.(Heritage).April 29 marks the third year in which the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget — a staggering dereliction of duty, particularly given the country’s near-$16 trillion debt. But that’s not the Senate’s only blockbuster failure under the leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). From spending to jobs to energy policy, the Senate has totally dropped the ball, leaving one to wonder, “What’s the Senate thinking?”
But it’s not just a matter of a simple failure or benign neglect, like forgetting to take out the trash. The way some in the Senate are behaving is equivalent to buying a dog but then deliberately choosing not to feed it. These men and women sought elective office, won a seat in the Senate and now have the power to take action to confront America’s problems. But under the leadership of Majority Leader Reid, they’re making the choice not to do so.
When it comes to the Senate’s failure to pass a budget, the facts are bleak. From 2012 to 2022, federal spending per household is projected to rise to $34,602 — a 15 percent increase. Without entitlement reform, that spending is swelling to a crippling level, exceeding 40 percent of the economy by 2050. Despite all this, the Senate is sitting on its hands and not pursuing the significant reforms that are necessary — and opting not to pass a budget for three years is emblematic of their reckless inaction.
Last week, in fact, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), whose primary responsibility is to marshal bipartisan support of a budget resolution, declined to take on the task, remarking that it would be too difficult in an election year. Last year was not an election year, and they didn’t bother to do it then, either.
Meanwhile, as America continues to wrestle with staggering unemployment and weak job creation, Senate Democrats yesterday blocked an effort to help workers, employers and the U.S. economy.Perhaps the ultimate example of what the Senate is all about emerged yesterday when Majority Leader Reid said he would not help in the House Republicans’ effort to force President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which could bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the United States (as well as jobs, economic growth and tax revenue). “Personally I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going — that I am not going to help in any way I can,” Reid said. “The president feels that way. I do, too.”
Under Reid’s leadership, that’s the name of the game in the U.S. Senate. Regardless of the country’s exploding debt, soaring energy prices or 12.7 million unemployed workers, Reid and his like-minded colleagues are flat out refusing to do the job they were hired to do, all in accord with the president’s agenda. So if you’re wondering what the Senate’s thinking, now you know. Unfortunately, the country’s best interests aren’t what they have in mind.Hmmm.........Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".Read the full story here.
Russia - Prominent Muslim figure pledges to "cover Russia in blood".(RN).Moscow police said on Wednesday they will examine video footage in which a prominent Muslim figure pledges to "cover Russia in blood" if the authorities refuse to establish courts to implement Islamic law. "Maybe you are foreigners here, and this is our home. We will set our rules, whether you want this or not," Dagir Khasavov, a lawyer and aide to an upper house committee chairman, said in an interview with the REN TV channel on Tuesday. "Any attempts to stop this will result in blood, we will turn the city into a second dead sea." Russian Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin condemned Khasavov's statement, but Geidar Dzhemal, the head of the influential group Islamic Committee, said there might have been a "misunderstanding." Liberal Yabloko party co-head Sergei Mitrokhin said on his Twitter microblog he would ask prosecutors to bring extremist charges against Khasavov. Khasavov recently announced plans to establish an international Muslim union to be governed by a system of Shariat courts. Orthodox Church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin warned against "restricting the Islamic community in living by their own rules" but said it was unacceptable to "impose these rules on others outside your community."Hmmmm......"The war on terror is over".......in Unicorn country.Read the full story here.
'Property belongs to Allah,' the headline reads, followed by the Biblical verse 'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.' (Matthew 6:19).
Turkey's 'Revolutionary Islamists' to hit streets on May 1.(HD).Islamist youth in Turkey are organizing via social media to make an unprecedented appearance at this year's May 1 rally in Istanbul to protest capitalism. A group calling themselves the "Revolutionary Islamists" has been making calls on social media and elsewhere with banners and videos containing verses and hadiths from the Quran that can be interpreted as anti-capitalist, İlker Akgüngör of daily Vatan reported today. The group has rallied around the slogan "Fekku Ragabe" (Freedom to Slaves) which is mentioned in the 13th verse of the Balad Surah of the Quran. They called on people to join them on May 1 with verses and hadiths on hunger, toil, poverty and freedom.
The group plans to join May 1 demonstrations with a cortege called the "Fight Against Capitalism." A video published by a group called "Muslim Youth" featured the "May 1 Hymn" coupled with quotes from Caliph Imam Ali, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, who was considered to be the first Muslim Socialist by some, and modern Islamic thinker Ali Shariati. Verses from the Torah and the Bible were also used in banners and videos.
An announcement made by the Revolutionary Islamists read, "We will be at Taksim Square on May 1 to be the screams of workers burned to death at mall construction sites, drowned in dam lakes and children raped in prisons; to ask why Hrant [Dink], the villagers in Uludere/Roboski, Ceylan [Önkol] and many others were killed." İhsan Eliaçık, a pious author known for his critiques of capitalism, said he would participate in the Fight Against Capitalism cortege. "[It is] time for May 1 to see the revolutionary face of Islam and for Islam to gain May 1 consciousness." "We as Muslims have remained silent in the wake of many events in the past,” said Zeynep Duygu of the Fight Against Capitalism Platform. “We aim to break this silence and bring forth the [revolutionary] aspect of Islam in order to face ourselves.” Hmmmm......"Arab Spring" in Erdogan's garden?Read the full story here.
As usual Canadian PM Harper outshines President Obama.(IP).by Jerry Gordon, Iconoclast.Monday, was Canada’s National Holocaust Remembrance Day in Ottawa. According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen, Canada’s PM Stephen Harper gave a speech to an audience composed of the country’s Parliament MPs of all parties, Shoah survivors and Israel’s Ambassador to Canada and leaders of Canada’s Jewish community. A close friend, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman was in Canada for Israel Truth Week (ITW) and invited to attend yesterday’s ceremony in Ottawa. The venue for National Holocaust Remembrance Day was Canada’s National War Museum filled with WWII military equipment and memorabilia. Harper spoke and lit a memorial candle at the Yad VA Shem candelabra.
In his speech, Harper noted the anti-Semitic threats to Jewish citizens on Canada’s college campuses, annihilationist threats the Jewish state of Israel faces from nuclear Iran and Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood groups both domestically and in the Middle East:
- It is an undertaking of a solemn responsibility to fight those threats.
We see it in the manifestos of organizations which deny the right of Israel as a Jewish state to exist.
We see it most profoundly and clearly in the ravings of a ruthless leader who threatens to wipe Israel off the map, while violating his country’s international obligations and pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.
We see it in the slaughter of Jewish children and other innocents, just last month, by a man born and raised in a tolerant, Western country.
And we see it here at home, every year on some university campuses, in the unconscionable slur that is the so-called Israeli Apartheid Week.
Ladies and gentlemen, while the Holocaust stands alone, it does not stand isolated.
It is but the most hellish chapter in the long and continuing history of anti-Semitism.
We must face this history unflinching.
Anti-Semitism is a sickness, a deadly moral sickness.
Anti-Semitism kills the lives and security of its victims, the consciences of its perpetrators, and the integrity of those who fail to speak out, of those who counsel a false peace, of those who seek refuge in moral equivalence.
As history and present controversies tell us all too well, anti-Semitism is a threat not only to the Jewish people.
It is a threat to us all – a sickness that quickly morphs into a hatred and a desire to destroy anyone – anyone who is different than its perpetrator.
Rabbi Hausman noted this about Canadian PM Harper’s performance and delivery of his speech:PM Stephen Harper’s Canadian Friends of Yad VaShem address was infused with emotion, historical particularity and lessons for the Jewish world, as well as Canadian-Israeli relations.He spoke about the existential threats that Israel faces from her enemies, however inspired. He did not dismiss Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and what that would portend for Israel and the free world…as Iran is motivated the theology of Jew-hatred.
In contradistinction to Bob Simon’s report on 60 Minutes on Christians in the Holy Land delegitimizing Israel, Harper praised Israel as a beacon of freedom and tolerance in the Middle East, a country in which everyone’s rights are protected, a country with growing and thriving minority communities, be they Arab, Muslim or Christian.
Harper did not read a teleprompted speech. He spoke from some notes in English and French with passion, conviction, friendship and empathy. Miriam Ziv, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada expressed her sincere appreciation.
The President’s speech was criticized by Washington Post blogger, Jennifer Rubin as “disingenuous”. The President was accompanied by Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel as he lit a memorial candle at a Buchenwald niche, a reference to an American uncle on his mother’s side whose US Army unit participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp.Read the full story here.
Video - Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, Grandson of Malcolm X, Accuses the US of Carrying Out 9/11 and States: Hundreds of Black Men Are Murdered Every Year in the US with Impunity.
Malcolm Shabazz : I don't believe in the presidency. I believe that the presidency post in the United States is nothing more than a puppet post. When we see movements like the Occupy movement where you have the 99% fighting against that 1% - it's not about color. It's about that minority, which keeps control of the majority. When Bill Clinton became president, many black people considered Bill Clinton to be the first black president. Why? Because he smoked a little weed, he played the saxophone, he had an oral sex situation in the White House with Monica Lewinsky – many things that they feel appeal to black people. […]
Interviewer : Mr. Shabazz, you are a Muslim yourself, and you speak about minorities. Religious minorities, especially Muslims in America, are bearing the brunt of the post-9/11 policies, at home at least. Muslims in particular are depicted as foreigners and home-grown terrorists, and they are being spied upon solely on the basis of their religion. How difficult is it to be a Muslim in America?
Malcolm Shabazz : The thing is that when many people started burning the Koran, people from all over the country said: "Wow, they are burning the Koran. Why are they burning the Koran? What's in the Koran?" So many people who didn't know too much about the Koran… When they started this Koran-burning day, it compelled a lot of people to open it up and see what was within it. All praise to God, because of this, many people became Muslims. Just like 9/11 – Muslims didn't do 9/11, Muslims had nothing to do with 9/11. If you even research it, you see that everything that was utilized in order for 9/11 to take place pointed right back at the United States. Even the flight training – they received it here in the United States. The visas – from the United States. Everything – the airplanes they used – came from the United States. We Muslims don't take actions like this. Anybody to take such an action against civilians, as we already know, is not a Muslim. Many of the people who were involved in 9/11 itself were actually agents for the United States, whether it be CIA or whatever three-letter organization that exists within this country.
There are hundreds of black men who are being murdered all over the United States of America every year with impunity. It's a continuation of institutionalized racism. What happens is that they didn't have so many prisons here, in the United States, during slavery. When they so-called abolished slavery, that's when they came up with this prison industrial complex. The United States has more people incarcerated than anywhere else in the world. It has more people incarcerated than China, and China has the most people in the world. As a matter of fact, if you were to take the prison population of all the other countries of the world, and you were to combine them together, I don't think it would equal the amount of people who are incarcerated here in the USA. That's correct. The so-called African Americans make up less than 12% of the population of the US, yet no matter what state you go to, you see that the majority of the prisoners within the prison population are black and Hispanic. In these institutions, people are forced to work for pennies on a dollar. If you look at the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, it says that slavery is abolished, except for those who serve within these penal institutions. So technically, by the book, those who are in prison are considered to be slaves. This is why they can be forced to work for a minimal minimum wage, which is less than the minimum wage here in the United States.Source: Memri.
Unicef report reveals Indian men, women think wife beating is justified.(AA).A report by Unicef says that 57 percent of young Indian men in the 15-19 age bracket think that wife beating is justified, according to a report in The Times of India on Wednesday. Unicef's “Global Report Card on Adolescents 2012” also showed that 53 percent of adolescent girls in India also believed that a husband is justified in beating his wife. The attitudes were similar in Sri Lanka where 54 percent of women agreed and in Bangladesh where 41 percent of women justified beatings. However, the report found that in Nepal attitudes towards the justification of domestic violence were shockingly high with 88 percent of men and 80 percent of women saying it was fine for husbands to beat their wives. Such attitudes were responsible for girls and women becoming more vulnerable to abuse the U.N. agency wrote. “Available data for developing countries show that nearly 50 percent of girls and women aged 15-49 believe that wife beating is justified ... girls aged between 15 and 19 years hold the same views as women in the 45-49 age group,” the report said. Unicef goes on to say that it believes that because the issue is under-reported, the figures could be larger. Many factors contribute to domestic violence, it said, citing child marriage, gender inequality in relationships, finances as well as traditional attitudes on what is considered acceptable or not. “When girls are brought up with the message that a woman’s status in a family is inferior, she starts to accept whatever behavior is meted out by her husband or in-laws,” said Mission director for India’s National Rural Health Mission Anuradha Gupta. “When a boy grows up seeing his father assault his mother, he starts to accept such a behavior and repeats it,” Gupta was quoted by the Times of India as saying.Hmmmm........"So easy......a caveman can do it".Read the full story here.
Syria refusing observers by nationality claims U.S.Situation ‘bleak’ says Annan.(AA).Syria has refused at least one U.N. military observer because of his nationality and has made clear it will not allow in U.N. staff from any country in the “Friends of the Syrian People” group, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday, as international envoy Kofi Annan called for the rapid deployment of 300 ceasefire monitors in the country. As many as 11 people have been killed by the gunfire of Syrian forces on Wednesday, Al Arabiya reported citing Syrian activists. At least 32 people were killed across the country on Tuesday, Al Arabiya reported.
Speaking after U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous briefed the Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Ladsous told the 15-nation panel that Damascus was putting restrictions on the deployment of truce monitors. “Mr. Ladsous reported that the Syrian government has refused at least one observer based on his nationality, and that Syrian authorities have stated they will not accept UNSMIS staff members from any nations that are members of the ‘Friends of Democratic Syria’,” Rice told reporters, according to Reuters.
“He underscored that from the U.N.’s point of view, this is entirely unacceptable,” she said. The 14-nation “Friends” group includes the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, all of which have said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy because of his 13-month assault on pro-democracy protesters that has brought Syria to the brink of civil war. Rice also confirmed that Ladsous had told the council it would be another month before 100 of the maximum of 300 unarmed military observers who will comprise the U.N. monitoring mission reach Syria to help supervise the country's fragile 12-day-old ceasefire. She said council members considered the speed of the deployment too slow. UNSMIS -- the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria -- is to be deployed for an initial period of three months. Meanwhile, U.N.-Arab League envoy Annan called for the rapid deployment of 300 ceasefire monitors in Syria, in a briefing to the Security Council, a copy of which was obtained by Al Arabiya. Annan said Assad has still not fulfilled a promise to end violence and said the situation was “bleak” and “unacceptable.” The special envoy said he was “particularly alarmed” at reports that government forces had entered the city of Hama after a visit by U.N. monitors and killed “a significant” number of people. “If confirmed this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he told the council. The Syrian League for Human Rights said nine activists were “summarily executed” by government forces in Hama on Monday, a day after they met U.N. observers in the city, according to AFP. Video footage posted online by activists showed a street in Hama’s Arbaeen neighborhood with large pools of blood and women weeping.Read the full story here.
Obama 'buddy' Turkish president Gul: "Israel wrong in adopting war rhetoric against Iran".(Ptv).Turkish President Abdullah Gul says only diplomacy can resolve the Western dispute over Iran's nuclear energy program and Tel Aviv’s belligerent language against Tehran is “wrong.” “I'm one of those that believe this has to be resolved diplomatically. All these statements that Israel makes about making war - I think this is wrong,” Gul said during a recent interview with the Foreign Policy magazine. Last November, the Turkish leader had also stressed the importance of developing empathy to understand the reasons behind Iran's determination to proceed with its peaceful nuclear work. “It is important to put oneself in their shoes and see how they perceive threats,” Gul pointed out. Turkey has already hosted two rounds of multifaceted talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), one in January 2011 and the other on April 14 this year in Istanbul. Both Iran and the P5+1 - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - hailed the latest negotiations as constructive and agreed to hold the next round of the talks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on May 23, 2012. The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 had also held another round of comprehensive talks in Geneva in December 2010. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran refutes such allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Unlike Iran, Israel is a non-signatory to the NPT and continues to defy international calls to join the treaty. Israel, which is widely believed to possess between 200 to 400 nuclear warheads, maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear work. Meanwhile in Iran Head of parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi in a meeting with Turkey's Ambassador to Iran Umit Yardim here in Tehran on Tuesday. "The common interests of Iran and Turkey in the region require us to bolster and strengthen regional peace and stability through bilateral and multilateral talks and negotiations," Boroujerdi said. As regards NATO missile shield in Turkey, the Iranian lawmaker said, "(Both sides) should avoid the measures that will damage the process of (strengthening) bilateral relations between the two countries." The Turkish ambassador, for his part, said Iran-Turkey relations are of strategic importance to the region. He added that Turkey's political and parliamentary officials stress the necessity of expanding cordial cooperation with Iran in all fields. Yardim said bilateral dialogue and negotiation will strengthen the understanding between the two countries and build mutual trust.Hmmmm.......The Turks with whom Obama has a 'relation of trust'........what else did they agree on with Iran?Read the full story here.
IRGC Commander Stresses IRGC's Full Control over US Navy in Persian Gulf.(Fars).Tehran - Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi stressed his forces domination and control over the US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, and said that the American naval forces need IRGC's permission for any move in the regional waters."Today, Americans admit and acknowledge that the Persian Gulf is under the tight control of the IRGC Navy," Fadavi said on Tuesday. "This doesn't mean inspection (of their ships), but controlling (them). That is to say, they should receive our permission and account to us for any move they want to make," he explained. Last week, another commander of the IRGC said that all vessels, including the US warships, enter the Persian Gulf waters through the Strait of Hormuz only after they are checked by the IRGC naval forces. "The alien vessels which enter the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz always provide the needed answers and information to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) units," Lieutenant Commander of the IRGC Navy Alireza Tangsiri said on Wednesday. He further noted the deployment of a US aircraft carrier in the region, and said, "This vessel, similar to the other warships, answered all the questions asked by the IRGC Navy without any problem or making any particular move and then continued the path to its specified destination." The remarks by the Iranian commanders came as the US launched a propaganda campaign through a number of western media outlets about the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along with the Abraham Lincoln carrier in waters near the Persian Gulf, implying that their deployment means a fortification of the US military presence in the region against Iran. The US says that the deployment is "routine" and the two carriers will support the American military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off Somalia's coast and in the Gulf of Aden.Read the full story here.
Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warns Al-Qaeda switching tactics.(Yahoo).As many as 60 Canadians have journeyed abroad to train as al-Qaeda terrorists, this country’s spy chief revealed as he sounded a warning over the group’s shift to a much harder to detect “lone-wolf” style of attack. Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, also acknowledged Monday that al-Qaeda’s switch to a sole-actor approach to inflicting damage is presenting a problem for Western anti-terrorist agencies. “This really makes things very complicated for us,” he told a Senate committee.
He said this lone-wolf approach tends to attract individuals driven by ideology as well as “serious personal problems,” a combination that makes them more unpredictable. Mr. Fadden was speaking in favour of a new Harper government bill that aims to thwart budding Canadian terrorists who wish to visit foreign training camps. The legislation, S-7, would make it a federal crime to leave, or try to leave, Canada for the purpose of committing terrorism. “There has … been an alarming number of Canadians who have travelled, are planning, or have expressed a desire to engage in terrorist activities,” the CSIS director told senators.
He said he’s worried about the consequences for Canada if these would-be terrorists return home after acquiring the skills needed to cause havoc. Mr. Fadden predicted al-Qaeda’s recent embrace of smaller, leaderless acts of terror is a sign of things to come. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has as recently as last fall published an online magazine called Inspire that called for “open source jihad” and instructed readers to how to carry out their own attacks, he noted. “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” was the title of article in the Summer, 2010, issue. “My colleagues in Britain, Australia and the United States are of the same opinion: We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are acting on their own,” he said. “When there are a certain number of people involved, there is a possibility of intercepting communications; the chances of errors are far greater. But when there’s one person who’s not talking to anybody, [counterterrorism agencies] have to be really lucky.” The CSIS director served notice his agency is also paying close attention to another emerging trend: the increasing potential for women in Canada to become radicalized as jihadists. He said injunctions against female participation in violent jihad have begun to disappear from extremist websites.Hmmm......Yup the "War on terror" is over ..........in Unicorn country.Read the full story here.
EGYPT: Rising tide of child abductions for Organ trade and ransom.(Irin).CAIRO - A coalition of 100 Egyptian child rights advocacy groups is intensifying its pressure on the government to take measures to counter rising child abductions across the country, threatening to resort to the UN if the government does not take action. “The government does not attach enough importance to the problems suffered by children,” Hani Helal, secretary-general of the Egyptian Coalition on Children’s Rights, told IRIN. “This leads to increasing violations against the children. But if the government does not act now, we will have to take the matter to the UN.”
A noticeable rise in child abductions has swept through the country, with the media reporting a new child abduction case every day - either in the capital Cairo or in the other governorates, putting parents on alert and challenging the police service. The Interior Ministry has not given exact figures about the rise in child abductions, but independent security experts say it has increased as much as threefold since a popular uprising ousted former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
The political transition has been accompanied by an almost total collapse of Egypt’s security system, with police absent from the streets for extended periods of time. “The kidnapping of children has become a very worrying phenomenon,” ex-policeman and security expert Maher Zakhry told IRIN. “Our country’s deteriorating security conditions make this crime more possible.” Egypt’s National Motherhood and Childhood Council called on the government to take action against what it described as a “rising crescendo of child abductions”, warning against the serious consequences of turning a blind eye to the problem.
The council has launched a new hotline service through which it can receive complaints by parents, refer them to police and better lobby the government. The Coalition on Children’s Rights says the number of calls about abductions it receives from parents has increased 300 percent - from one or two a day before the revolution, to six or seven on some days now.
Helal says most of the people who call his coalition are poor and have no connections. They come from all governorates, but more often from Cairo and the coastal city of Alexandria. Most of the kidnappers know the families of the children they abduct, he added. “We have major difficulties dealing with the government, which does not view children as first-rate citizens like everybody else,” Helal said. “But what I want to say to the government is that its silence will encourage criminals to kidnap even more children in the future.”
Advocates are calling for tougher action by the government against criminals; a larger police presence on the streets; and laws that would increase punishments for those who violate children’s rights. Many Egyptians, especially activists involved in the revolution, believe the government is intentionally neglecting safety and security to increase a desire for “the good old days” under Mubarak and to justify the continued rule of the military council that took over after Mubarak left.
Anecdotal evidence appears to indicate two main motives for the abductions - body organs and ransom money. When Hayam Rabie left her one-year-old daughter, Alia, with neighbours in a vegetable shop while doing some shopping, it did not cross her mind that she would never see her again. But when Rabie, a mother of two from the poor village of Damleeg in the agricultural governorate of Sharqia in the Nile Delta, came back one hour later, she could not find her daughter. That was one year ago. “Until four months ago, I had hopes that I could find my daughter,” Rabie said. “But this hope turned to be a mere illusion.” Rabie discovered that one of her neighbours had kidnapped the girl, hid her inside her home for few days, and then killed her before she put her body in a sack and threw it in a village canal.
Mahmud Al Badawi, head of local NGO Egyptian Society for the Assistance of Juveniles and Human Rights, says child abductions and organ trafficking are strongly interconnected in Egypt. When Rabie’s relatives and neighbours broke into the house of her daughter’s kidnapper, they found empty blood bags, syringes and tubes. “Nobody understood why an uneducated woman would need these tools,” Abdel Aleem Al Guindy, the girl’s father, said. The mother of a child kidnapped in Alexandria told private Al Nahar TV in February that her son heard children screaming and calling for help while held by his kidnappers. His parents paid a ransom to get him back. “One of the kidnappers told my son that the children would be sold to body organ traders,” the mother said.
Security experts say most kidnappers demand a ransom from the parents of abducted children - starting at 5,000 Egyptian pounds (US$833) and going up to six million pounds (US$1 million), if kidnapped children’s parents are wealthy enough.
A famous construction mogul had to pay two million Egyptian pounds (US$333,000) in February to secure the release of his two grandchildren.
“As a sign of Egypt’s deteriorating security conditions, child abductions have become an easy way for criminals to make money,” ex-policeman Zakhary said.
He advises parents not pay ransoms, and instead to report the kidnappings to police. But child rights activists say the police do not have a very good track record of arresting or prosecuting kidnappers, and have only succeeded in rescuing children in a few cases.
In April 2011, police arrested five suspects in relation to the kidnapping of the daughter of Effat Sadat, a businessman and the nephew of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, but only after Sadat paid the kidnappers five million pounds (US$833,000).
“Poorer parents, however, cannot find the money necessary for the return of their children,” said Al Badawi of the juveniles’ society. “This is why many of the abductions go unreported because the parents are simply not connected.”Hmmmm........."Arab Spring" came to Egypt thanks to Pres Obama...aren't you glad evil dictator Mubarak is gone?Read the full story here.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Russia's military leadership Concedes Iran, N. Korea Nuclear Threat.(RN).Moscow - Russia's military leadership has for the first time acknowledged a nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea. “The threat is always there, so we closely monitor the nuclear program developments of many countries," Army General Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the General Staff, told RT television. "The analysis that we conducted together with the Americans confirms that, yes, there is a probability that the threat exists. And we agreed that it is necessary to create a missile defense system,” Makarov said. The Russian Defense Ministry has previously held that there is no nuclear threat to Europe and Russia from Iran and North Korea, because they do not have the capacity to build nuclear weapons or deliver them. “Many countries that claim not to possess nuclear weapons do in fact have them,” Makarov said. “Certainly, if it gets into the hands of extremists, it represents a threat to international security,” Makarov said. He added that in order to counter these threats, Russia is ready to work together with other countries. “Let's solve this problem. Let us work together to get rid of the threats that may arise, not only for Europe but for Russia because we too are part of Europe,” the general said. North Korea has conducted two underground nuclear weapon tests, in 2006 and 2009. Earlier in April South Korean media reported that intelligence indicated North Korea was preparing a third in a row underground nuclear test. The information was based on satellite photographs of North Korean test site, where underground nuclear test had been previously conducted. U.S. and other Western countries suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, saying its nuclear program is aimed at meeting the country's electricity needs.Read the full story here.
The unprecedented move would give the Department of Justice (DOJ), an extension of the executive branch, scary authority to determine if and how public records are disseminated throughout government. It would also strip those duties from the agency— Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)—that was created by Congress as a neutral party to mediate FOIA disputes and assure compliance among all federal agencies.
This is not the sort of story you’ll see in the mainstream media since, not surprisingly, the Obama Administration is keeping it under the radar. However, Judicial Watch has obtained an inside congressional document outlining the DOJ’s unscrupulous plot to become FOIA ombudsman. It comes from one of the most influential and powerful chambers in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, the California congressman who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Darrell Issa) says the proposed modification will have a negative impact on government transparency. The letter also requests documents involving efforts to modify OGIS’s statutorily established FOIA dispute resolution authority by shifting the duties to the DOJ. Holder has until this week to comply with the committee’s request.
The House investigative committee also reminds Holder that the DOJ’s proposal to become the referee for public records disputes clearly contradicts Congress’s intent and is an apparent contravention of FOIA law. “DOJ has important but limited statutory responsibilities concerning the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),” the letter says.
“These responsibilities include making information about agency FOIA programs publicly available; issuing recommendations and guidelines to agency FOIA offices, and encouraging agency FOIA compliance. DOJ’s responsibilities under FOIA, however, do not include offering dispute resolution services between agencies and FOIA requesters.”
Congress created the OGIS more than four years ago as a crucial neutral party that offers a range of mediation services to resolve public records disputes and to assure government-wide compliance. The agency, which is headquartered at the U.S. National Archives, has had tremendous success, directly helping resolve more than 1,200 FOIA disputes from virtually every state. No wonder Issa asks Holder to “reconsider the proposed modification and comply with current law.”Hmmmm..........“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” ~ Bruce Coville.Read the full story here.