Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Salman Rushdie of music? Iran calls for killing of ‘apostate’ rap artist.(AA).Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a Shi’ite cleric based in the holy Iranian city of Qom, has issued a death sentence against rap artist Shahin Najafi for apostasy, the Persian-language Al Arabiya website reported on Wednesday. The sentence was issued after Najafi released a controversial song called “Naqi.” The song sparked a furor among protesters who believe it to be offensive to Imam Naqi, the tenth Imam in Shi’ite Islam. News website Asr Iran, which is closely tied to the regime in Tehran, launched an online campaign calling for the hanging of Najafi. The website stated that the aim of the campaign was to have Najafi condemned for apostasy, a crime that carries the death penalty in Iran. The campaign organizers have called on all Shi’ites and Muslims in general to find and kill Najafi and “send him to hell,” according to the website. Najafi, 31, was an underground artist during his time in Iran, and was banned by the authorities from performing in the country. He moved to Germany in recent years where he joined a group called “Tapesh 2012” which performs politically-motivated songs in Persian.Read the full story here.
Obama Admin Looks to Expand Permits for Killing Bald Eagles to Accommodate Wind Energy.(Heritage).The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, is considering loosening regulations on the killing of bald eagles, the national bird of the United States, to accommodate the development of wind energy sources.
A draft regulation first filed in April would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits allowing them to kill bald eagles in the course of other legal activities. The length of those permits would be a six-fold increase over the five-year window allowed under current law.
The USFWS explains at FederalRegister.gov:
We have reviewed applications from proponents of renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power facilities, for programmatic permits to authorize eagle take that may result from both the construction and ongoing operations of renewable energy projects. During our review, it became evident that the 5-year term limit imposed by the 2009 regulations (see 50 CFR 22.26(h)) needed to be extended to better correspond to the timeframe of renewable energy projects.Current law allows permitting for “programmatic” killing of bald eagles, which “is recurring, is not caused solely by indirect effects, and that occurs over the long term or in a location or locations that cannot be specifically identified.”
The USFWS notes that permits “may authorize lethal take that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity, such as mortalities caused by collisions with rotating wind turbines.”
According to the regulation, measures will be taken to attempt to minimize bald eagle mortalities, and additional actions may be authorized if mortalities exceed “anticipated” levels. USFWS began investigating numerous bald eagle deaths associated with wind turbines in early 2012.
Without the proper permit, the killing of a bald eagle is a federal crime.Read the full story here.
Volkswagen showcases zero-emission hover car.(NineMSN).Volkswagen has unveiled a prototype "Hover Car", developed with input from the Chinese public. The vehicle, which resembles a large glass yo-yo is currently on display at the Auto China 2012 show in Beijing. The German firm's People's Car Project invited ordinary Chinese citizens to submit their ideas and designs for innovative new vehicles last June. "The creative ideas from the "People's Car Project" give us a valuable insight into the wishes of Chinese drivers," Volkswagen China's head of design Simon Loasby said. "The trend is towards safe cars that can easily navigate overcrowded roads and have a personal, emotional and exciting design." With the help of Volkswagen's engineers three of the dream concepts have been realised with the "Hover Car" the standout for its space age design and environmental credentials. The two-seater vehicle uses an electro-magnetic field to levitate above the ground and employs distance sensors to prevent collisions with other cars. A joystick controls the vehicle's movement and it can even spin on its axis. Importantly, the "Hover Car" does not produce emissions as it does not burn fuel.Read and see the full story here.
President Obama completed his “evolution” today on gay marriage, announcing that he supports same-sex unions. Obama spoke to ABC News during an interview this afternoon that had been hastily arranged this week after Vice President Biden expressed support for gay marriage Sunday and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Monday received a shellacking from reporters who had finally become incredulous over Obama’s position that he opposed gay marriage but his views were “evolving.”Hmmmm......Anything for a vote.Read the full story here.
Nigel Farage - There Will Be an Attempt to Install a Dictatorship.(KWN). With escalating fears regarding the stability of the eurozone, today King World News interviewed former LBMA commodities broker and trader and current MEP Nigel Farage to get his take on the situation. Farage told KWN he believes there will be an attempt, within months, to install a dictatorship in Europe. Here is what Farage had to say about the deteriorating situation: “Frankly, the whole thing is falling apart. And in the middle of all of this, Mrs Merkel came out and said, The fiscal treaty cannot be renegotiated, and it must hold.’ So, I suppose, for once, we’ve got the Germans providing the humor, because this thing isn’t going to hold.” Nigel Farage continues: “I now believe the euro and the whole euro system are now in, by far, the deepest crisis that we’ve seen. We are in totally uncharted, chaotic territory. In some ways the ball is very much on the German side of the court. If they are unable to impose the discipline they thought this new Compact Treaty would give them, then maybe it’s the Germans that say, ‘Right, Greece you’ve got to leave.’ We know once Greece leaves, the dominos start to fall. To say that it’s a total mess is entirely accurate. You cannot have national democracy and this new form of economic and political government. We’ve seen these guys do some terrible things. I mean they’ve gotten rid of elected Prime Ministers in Greece and Italy. But they cannot at the moment, without imposing a total dictatorship, stop general elections from taking place in countries...
“If you put me up against a wall and ask, ‘What’s really going to happen?’ My guess is, with the whole thing being unmanageable, we face the prospects of the markets just overwhelming this. (We risk) bond spreads heading to completely crazy levels. And French and German bank shares could be in very real trouble. I am back in Brussels today, and yeah, you can really see the fear in their (politicians) faces. They know that this thing (the EU) has become an absolute monster.
We still don’t have many political voices that have the courage to say, ‘We’re headed for the rocks, and before we hit the rocks, let’s take a different course. Let’s try to break this thing up peaceably, before it ends in disaster.’ It’s always the case in history that the establishment always supports the status quo and says, ‘If what we have today breaks up, the sky will fall.’ But actually, I think the only way we can avoid a depression is to break this (the EU) up.”
Farage also added: “It’s astonishing. I mean the European Parliament meets tomorrow, and there is a debate about the emergency. Would you believe it, that Mr. Barroso, the President of the Commission, and my old mate Herman van Rumpuy, the European President, are both not going to be there because they have previous engagements? Even if they do have previous engagements, surely nothing could be more important than to come before the one representative assembly for half a billion people here in Europe. It looks as though these guys are hiding in their bunkers, pretending it’s not happening. What these guys in the EU are going to try to do is, as this crisis gets worse and descends, there will be an attempt at some point in the next few months for them to set up something that will be very like a dictatorship. I’m not sure now, with the public mood, that they will get away with it ... the similarities (to the 30s) are really rather chilling.” Farage had this to say about gold: “I think the short-term speculative market had gotten itself too long of gold, and I’ve been warning about that for some months on your program. Just too many of the weak longs were there and they need to be flushed out of this marketplace. That process is beginning to happen. But my goodness me, with everything else I’ve seen over the last 72 hours in Europe, buy gold on dips.” This is an incredibly powerful and timely interview with Farage. The KWN interview with Nigel Farage is available now and you can listen to it HERE.
"Your Tax Payer Dollars at Work" PA TV teaches children to make political map that turns all of Israel into "Palestine".
"Your Tax Payer Dollars at Work" PA TV teaches children to make political map that turns all of Israel into "Palestine".(PW).by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
A children's program teaching arts and crafts on official Palestinian Authority TV instructed children how to make models of "Palestine." The shape of the map of "Palestine," which was cut out of paper, included all of Israel. Adding a political message, PA TV taught the children to cover the entire model with the colors of the Palestinian flag, symbolizing Palestinian sovereignty over the whole area.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the official PA maps erase all of Israel defining it as "Palestine."
The international community has criticized the Palestinian Authority for this practice. Before he was elected to office, President Barack Obama said that he viewed the use of these maps that present a world without Israel as a security threat to Israel:
"I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security... Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don't even acknowledge Israel's existence." [AIPAC Conference, June 4, 2008]
Maps that "don't even acknowledge Israel's existence" are still the official maps in the Palestinian Authority.
Another example of a political map that erases Israel was recently broadcast during a PA TV report on an event for youth sponsored by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education. A map displayed at the event likewise showed the Palestinian flag covering and accordingly erasing Israel. Above the map is the word "Palestine" and to the right of the map is the date "Nov. 15, 1988," the date that Yasser Arafat declared Palestinian statehood.[PA TV (Fatah), April 29, 2012]
The following is the text from the PA TV program showing children how to make a model of "Palestine" erasing all of Israel:Child host: "Hello friends, today we will learn how to make a model of the map of Palestine so that we continue to remember our country, Palestine...Of course, all my friends know how to draw the map of Palestine. Here, the map of Palestine is ready, in its historic area."[PA TV (Fatah), March 30, 2012].
Hmmm........President Obama has decided to provide $192 million to the Palestinian Authority.White House spinmeister Tommy Vietor stated that President Obama made the decision to pour American taxpayer dollars into Palestinian coffers in order to ensure “the continued viability of the moderate PA government.” He added the claim that, as the report puts it, “the PA had fulfilled all its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the Road Map for Peace.”Read the full story here.
"Clash of the Little Monsters" - Indonesia Islamists threaten to stop Lady Gaga show, Gaga Fans "I would die for her,".
"Clash of the Little Monsters" - Indonesia Islamists threaten to stop Lady Gaga show, Gaga Fans "I would die for her,".(AFP).A hardline Islamic group warned Wednesday it would not let Lady Gaga set foot in Indonesia, challenging an army of fans awaiting a concert in the nation with the world's largest Muslim population. The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) vowed to mobilise 30,000 demonstrators to protest the US artist's June 3 performance in Jakarta and to intercept her at the airport. "We will stop her from setting foot on our land. She had better not dare spread her satanic faith in this country," FPI Jakarta chairman Salim Alatas told AFP. "Her style is vulgar, her sexual and indecent clothes will destroy our children's sense of morality. She's very dangerous," he said.
The US pop diva, famed for her outrageous outfits and provocative performances, has sparked opposition in other Asian countries with her "Born This Way Ball" global tour, which kicked off in Seoul last month amid protests. But the FPI, notorious for making threats and often failing to follow through, will face opposition from 40,000 fans planning to attend the sold-out show in Indonesia. Little Monsters -- as Lady Gaga fans are called -- tweeted their determination to see the pop idol perform in Indonesia, 90 percent of whose 240,000 million inhabitants identify themselves as Muslim. "Little Monsters Indonesia vs FPI. I'm ready to fight," Bentaniokevin tweeted to the LadyGagaIndo Twitter account. "What?!! The FPI want to cancel Lady Gaga's concert? They don't know art!! She is the lady of art!! GAGA I'm waitin for you.. See u soon," nataliahaman tweeted.One page on Facebook, which is wildly popular in Indonesia, was seeking dancers for a Lady Gaga flashmob, which sees people perform a choreographed dance in a public place. The flashmob is "to show our appreciation to Lady Gaga for planning to visit and to tell others who don't approve of her that there's nothing wrong with being her fans," said Anggiat Sihombing, an 18-year-old university student who set up the LadyGagaIndo account. "We like her because she is a famous musician who makes use of her popularity to do good deeds, like establishing a foundation to protect kids who have been bullied." The Lady Gaga Indonesia Facebook page has more than 42,000 "likes". "Lady Gaga is not an ordinary human being. She uses her popularity to defend minority groups, especially gays and lesbians," said Hartoyo, general secretary of gay rights group OurVoice, who goes by one name. "I would die for her," he said.Protests have already begun for her June 3 performance in Jakarta, Indonesia, because a Muslim group there believes that Gaga, 26, promotes devil worship. "Lady Gaga insults all religions," says a spokesman for the Islamic Defenders' Front. "Even Christians in Korea opposed her. She is promoting the worship of Satan." In the signs protesters have been carrying, there's a red line through a photo of the singer with the message, "LADY GAGA GO TO HELL." So far, no decision has been made whether or not to cancel the show, but last week IDF's chairman Rizieq Shihab warned that if it went on as scheduled, there would be "chaos in Jakarta.Hmmmmm......."Mother Monster meets her Little Monsters"?Sounds like Ripley in Alien 3.Read the full story here.
Israel - Death of Hunger Striking Prisoners Will Launch ‘Disaster’.(INN).By Chana Ya'ar.PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is warning of a “disaster” if any of the Arab prisoners dies while carrying out a hunger strike in an Israeli prison. Hundreds of Palestinian Authority Arab prisoners began a hunger strike more than a week ago in solidarity with six inmates who have been starving themselves for more than 45 days. Two prisoners – both active members of the Islamic Jihad terror organization -- have been fasting for 71 days. One received medical care in a hospital and was returned to prison. The Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal by both to be set free. A commander in the Islamic Jihad terror group warned Sunday that the death of any hunger striker in prison will touch off a third intifada. Abbas told international reporters the situation is “very dangerous” when the International Committee for the Red Cross urged Israel to immediately transfer six of the hunger strikers to hospital. At least two were reported to be close to death. "If anyone dies today or tomorrow or in a week, it will be a disaster and no one will be able to control the situation,” Abbas warned a Reuters reporter in an interview at his office in the PA capital of Ramallah. "I told the Israelis and the Americans that if they do not find a solution for this hunger strike immediately, they will be committing a crime.” Female Islamic Jihad terrorist Hana Shalbi, who fasted for 43 days, was released last month by Israeli Prison Authorities and deported to Gaza. On April 17, an estimated 1,600 PA Arab prisoners joined two prisoners who had begun a hunger strike weeks earlier.Hmmm........Since when do Islamic extremist need an excuse to attack Israel?Read the full story here.
Rain, Darkness Complicate Search of Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet-100, which went missing on Wednesday.(RN). The darkness, fog and rain complicate the search of Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet-100, which went missing on Wednesday on a demonstration flight near Jakarta, a spokesman of aeronautical airspace control in Indonesia said. The plane has failed to return to the airport after a demonstration flight. Shortly before radio contact was lost, 20 minutes after takeoff, the pilots had requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) to 6,000 feet (1,800 meters), air traffic controllers said. After it was cleared for descent the plane started turning right and descending but then disappeared from the radar screens at an altitude of 6,200 feet in a mountainous area 60 kilometers from Jakarta. The spokesman said that the plain disappeared in the area of Mount Salak, which is 7,254 feet (2,211 meters) high. There are 44 people on board, including eight Russians and 36 foreign nationals. The Russian Embassy in Jakarta said that in addition to the Russian crew, there were only citizens of Indonesia on board. Crisis Staff however reported that there were 50 people on board, including eight Russians, two Italians, one French and one American citizens and 38 citizens of Indonesia. Sukhoi Superjet-100 was fully functional, United Aircraft Corporation reported on Wednesday. Indonesian authorities suggested the airplane may have been hijacked or crashed into a mountain in poor visibility. By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel. Earlier in the day the SSJ-100 carried out two demonstration flights in the Indonesian capital as the manufacturer said Pakistan’s Air Indus has shown an interest in purchasing eight SSJ-100s. The SSJ-100 arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It has been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and after Indonesia was due to visit Laos and Vietnam. Read the full story here.
President Barack Obama's Irish Karney ancestry a 'cheap' fraud?(NoelOgara).
Does Barack Obama have Irish ancestry?
Did Barack Obama really have an ancestor in Moneygall county Offaly?
Obama and his Irish cousins? You be the judge of the records.
The Name Carney altered to Karney These two photos of the register of baptisms in the church at Moneygall County Offaly clearly show that Obama's alleged maternal ancestor was Carney and somebody overwrote it to read Karney.
The Obama handlers were desperately trying to suggest that an American man called Falmouth Kearney who was traced in the USA on a gravestone was originally from Moneygall Ireland and here was their proof. Its an obvious fraud. Its a deliberate forgery. You dont need to be a handwriting expert to see that it has been tampered with. The Irish people who first saw the alteration didnt want to question it and were happy to go along with it once the Obama election handlers latched on to it in order to pretend that he had Irish blood in him to get some wavering Irish votes in America.
It was what they wanted to believe. It would bring business to a deprived rural area.
The name Falmouth is unheard of in Ireland and was very likely the name of a young Englishman from the town of Falmouth in Cornwall, England, who joined the emigrant ship at Bristol bound for the new world of the Americas, never to return and was given the name by his father to assist him in a foreign land if he ever met up with another person from Falmouth. Kearney is a common surname in England which has many more Kearneys that Ireland. For those doubters who say Kearney is pronounced Carney or vice versa, yes and Obama is really Osama and O'Gara is O'Bama.
The facts are that the Moneygall parish register records the name Carney and not Kearney regardless of the similar sound of the names. To twist the spelling to suit the fiction that Barack Obama has Irish ancestry is fanciful and fictional.
Anybody who has experience of tracing old family or property records will know how tedious it is and how easy it would be if one could make such wild assumptions as has happened in this case. Trying to establish who was who five six seven or eight generations back is pure guesswork in this case and the amazing thing is that a section of the Irish people were taken in by it. The whole Obama Irish connection hinged on that altered record. It is clearly a fraud having being altered by persons unknown who wanted to make the link giving Obama an Irish heritage to capture the Irish votes in the US and pretending that his ancestor had been forced to leave his homeland because of the famine in Ireland.
Naturally President Obama was delighted that the Irish media had accepted that he was one of them and he joined the party to give credence to the lie that he was Irish. The Moneygall men were going to cash in on a piece of fiction that was born in their pub and developed into a self serving reality to put them on the map. Obama responded by pretending that he was indeed Irish and that Henry Healy was indeed his cousin eight times removed. Healy's conviction that he was related to Falmouth Kearney helped Obama to join in the pretense and he came to Ireland and to Moneygall and played out the part of a long lost cousin of the emigrant Falmouth Kearney. ITS ALL BUILT ON A FORGERY BUT WHICH OF THEM ALTERED THE PARISH RECORD BOOK? AND WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO CHANGE IT?Hmmm......Great way to obtain the "Irish Vote".Read and see the full story here.HT: @noelogara.
U.S. institute says sees new activities of 'scrubbing' at Iran site.(Yahoo).VIENNA (Reuters) - A U.S. security institute says commercial satellite imagery shows new activity at an Iranian military site which raises concern that the Islamic state may be "washing" a building the United Nations' nuclear agency wants to inspect. The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suspects nuclear weapons-related research may have taken place at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran. Iran has dismissed the allegations but has yet to allow the agency to visit the facility, despite repeated requests. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said last week that the agency had recently noticed some "activities" there. He gave no details but Western diplomats suspect Iran may be cleaning the site before any inspection. Tehran denies this. The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington-based think-tank specialising on nuclear proliferation, said it had acquired commercial satellite imagery from April 9 which back up the IAEA's concern. "The new activity seen in the satellite image occurred outside a building suspected to contain an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear weapons related experiments," it said on its website in a May 8 report including the satellite image.
Iran's mission to the IAEA was not immediately available for comment. It has previously dismissed allegations aired about Parchin as "childish" and "ridiculous". The images showed items lined up outside a building and what appeared to be a stream of water, ISIS said. "The items visible outside the building could be associated with the removal of equipment from the building or with cleansing it," it said. "The stream of water that appears to emanate from the building raises concerns that Iran may have been washing inside the building, or perhaps washing the items outside the building," ISIS said. Previous satellite images from recent months did not show any similar activity at the building, indicating it is not a regular occurrence, it added. The IAEA has said that gaining access to Parchin is a priority when it holds a new round of talks with Iran in Vienna next week after two previous meetings in Tehran failed to make any notable progress.Read the full story here.
Obama Threatens Media With Federal Investigation If They Persue Birth Certificate.(CQ).The lead investigator in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s review of the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate today unloaded a bombshell about the case: that he was told by sources members of the media were threatened with federal investigations should they continue to report on the birth certificate issue. Lead investigator Mike Zullo told WND that as he was preparing information to be presented to the public “it was clear that the mainstream media was not going to be in attendance” at the sheriff’s scheduled new conference, where he presented facts suggesting both fraud and forgery in the image of a Hawaiian birth certificate that the White House released last year as “proof positive” of Obama’s eligibility for office. “During our investigation, we actually were told [that media] had been threatened with FTC investigations. Commentators [had been] threatened with their jobs,” Zullo said. The threats were so intimidating that some individuals quit their positions over safety concerns for their families, he said.
So the problem became to get the information to the American public in spite of an intentional media blackout, since citizens still must make critical leadership decisions about their government through the election process. The solution was an ebook with details from the investigation, the evidence that was accumulated, and the issue that remain for Arpaio and his investigators to pursue. Zullo has been blasted in recent days for coordinating the book project with longtime political writer Jerome Corsi. Much of the online criticism stems from a single AP article that links Zullo to “well-known political conspiracy writer” Corsi and includes a statement that Corsi “denied using Sheriff Joe Arpaio … as a promotional tool to sell his books and theories.” It cites Zullo “as the co-author” of the ebook. But it fails to mention the evidence cited by the investigation indicating crimes of fraud and forgery. Zullo told WND that he had no interest in working on an ebook but was faced with the question of how to get the information to the American people absent national media coverage. There were interests outside of Arizona, he was convinced, making obvious efforts to censor the information and never allow it to move beyond the borders of Arizona. Corsi confirmed that Zullo was very reluctant to do the book. The prospect of being reimbursed financially from his investigation never was his intention. But Corsi pointed out that Zullo contributed six months of his time to the investigation. Corsi also said he was acutely aware of the financial sacrifice Zullo made over the last six months, having to devote much of his time to the investigation. The posse investigation was not subsidized by taxpayers. The bigger question, Zullo said, is how can an investigator or a law enforcement officer ignore findings that indicate deception at the highest levels of politics. Zullo said it’s a very serious and alarming concern that casts doubt on the integrity of the vetting of presidential candidates. “If the evidence took us the other way, and the sheriff proclaimed this thing to be authentic, the news would have traveled from Arizona to New Jersey to Hawaii in milliseconds,” he said.
“If I wrote a book about it, I would have been hailed a hero. “All we’re trying to do here is get this information out there and keep it out there. Had the mainstream media done their job, we wouldn’t have done [this book].” He said now media members have started calling him a “kook” and an “old geezer” for reporting on the facts that resulted from the investigation. “The media just wants to come destroy people’s credibility,” he said. “They’re trying to vet [investigators] when they should be vetting the next presidential candidate of the United States.”
He said that many people didn’t come forward with their knowledge about Obama “out of fear.” “The information that we got, which these people refused to step forward with out of fear, but shared afterward, came independently – they don’t even know each other – from distance parts of the country, that investigations of major media outlets [were planned] if they continued reporting,” he said. “Our system is broken because the vetting process used to rely on the free press. We don’t have a free press any more,” he said. Martin wrote that the sheriff also failed to mention that much of the evidence concerned questions about the digital scan “that was already investigated and proven to be false” by another investigative agency, National Review Online. There were signs, however, that the national media’s silence was creating concerns. Wrote Jeff Crouere at the St. Tammany Slidell Sentry: “Despite a mountain of evidence and new allegations of fraud, the national news media refuses to cover the Obama birth certificate scandal.” He cited the discoveries from the Arpaio investigation.
“Such a bombshell should have led the national news coverage throughout the country. Instead, it was completely ignored by a corrupt network of media elites who are decidedly liberal and wholeheartedly support Obama’s re-election,” he wrote. “The vast majority of the American people have been denied the truth by a media who want to shield Obama.” He called reporters nationally “liberal sycophants” and said, “If these allegations had been made about a Republican president there would have been a media firestorm greater than Watergate and Iran/Contra combined. “Not surprisingly, the media acted like partisan Democrats in the news conference after Arpaio’s team announced their findings. Instead of asking questions about the Obama documents, the reporters were more interested in asking Sheriff Arpaio about his political affiliation, his relationship with the tea party and his motives for the investigation. “What the media conveniently overlooked was the expert testimony and the evidence presented by Arpaio’s group of investigators. Potentially, a major crime has been committed at the highest levels of our government, and the media attacked the messengers.”Hmmmmm.......“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.
Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-TX) claims that he was assaulted by a TSA agent during a pat-down at the San Antonio International Airport.
"I went through the full-body scanner, they stopped me and they said 'we're going to have to pat you down,'" Canseco, a freshman representative, said. "I said OK; I lifted up my arms, they start patting my leg very, very aggressively. The guy goes up close to my groin and when you get pat there it hurts! And there's a very human reaction when it hurts there — you move the offensive thing out of the way and you step back."
He continued, "In doing so, I would expect the TSA agent to say hey, I'm sorry, which would have been OK. Instead he raises his hand, he says ,'I need a manager here, I've been assaulted!'"
UK seeks delay to EU's Iran ship insurance ban.(JPost).Britain is seeking to persuade fellow European Union members to postpone by up to six months a ban on providing insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil, arguing that it could lead to a damaging spike in oil prices, European diplomats said. A European Union ban on importing Iranian oil, which takes effect on July 1, will also prevent EU insurers and reinsurers from covering tankers carrying its crude anywhere in the world. `The impact of the measure is likely to be felt strongly in London's financial district, the center for marine insurance. Iran exports most of its 2.2 million barrels of oil per day to Asia. The four main buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - have yet to find a way to replace the predominantly Western insurance shipping cover provided by London insurers.
The sanctions seek to stem the flow of petrodollars to Tehran to force it to halt a nuclear program that the West suspects is intended to produce weapons. Some Indian and Chinese firms have already asked state insurers to step in and provide coverage by offering government guarantees. The situation is more complicated for Japan and South Korea, which have already cut imports of Iranian oil under pressure from Washington, but need Western protection and indemnity (PandI) ship insurance to continue importing the remaining volumes. "Britain will be pushing the EU to postpone the ban on P and I insurance by six months," said one diplomatic source."The main reason is pressure from Japan and South Korea as they would struggle to buy oil after July 1," the source said. He said Britain feared oil prices could rise sharply as a result of disruptions caused by the lack of insurance after July 1, as Japan and South Korea would be forced to bid aggressively for alternative supplies to meet their needs. A second European diplomatic source said he was aware of the British initiative. Both sources said Britain's proposal had yet to win support from other EU members, including France, which has been pushing for the toughest stance on Iran. But in Asia, some shippers welcomed the proposal. Against the background of these developments. another round of talks with Iran about its nuclear program is scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad, but Iran has said it wants a softening of sanctions first.Read the full story here.
Sculptor Sergio Redegalli to Unveil New Work, "Aisha from Behind the Veil".(AM).Fortunately for Redegalli, Muslims are quite fond of artwork, and the tremendous tolerance inherent in Islam leads Muhammad's followers to show great patience even when they don't like a particular work of art. So I'm sure he'll be perfectly safe. Robert Spencer writes:
The courageous Sergio Redegalli, a sculptor and artist in Sydney, Australia, is the originator of the famous "Say No to Burqas" mural, which one would think that women's rights activists in the West would love, but as it turns out, the Leftist alliance with Islamic supremacists has proved stronger than feminists' concern for Muslim women. Leftist and Muslim vandals have defaced Sergio's mural many, many times.
Above is a photo of one of his latest works that will be showing at his Glass Artist Gallery in Sydney this Thursday evening. The artwork is made from cast crystal, hand polished with some sandblasting detail and copper work. It is 30cm tall and is called “Aisha from behind the veil."
Congratulations and bravo to Sergio. Long may he exercise his artistic freedom in peace.Hmmm....."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'.Read the full story here.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Pakistani woman gets her nose back after 32 years.(Dawn).Islamabad - Allah Rakhi is getting used to breathing through her nose and wearing her new look. For 32 years, she has been breathing through her mouth. From the age of 19 when her husband cut her nose with a shaving razor, Allah Rakhi wore a two-by-two-inch bandage around it, just like a pirate who wears a patch around his damaged eye. “I never imagined something so heinous could ever happen to me. I never thought he would ever hurt me so badly,” said Allah Rakhi, who now looks everyone in the eyes as she passes by people in the streets and no longer covers her face with a shawl. Feeling her ribcage on the right, the 51-year old simpleton explained how her surgeon took a tiny piece of her rib and some skin from her forehead to make her a new nose – that is almost as good as if she had never lost it.
She does, however, need one or two more surgeries so that doctors can refine it. “It’s a miracle,” said Allah Rakhi, her eyes filling up with tears. Married off as young as 13 in 1974 and with a little boy and a girl six years later, her husband used to beat her black and blue, she said bowing to show a scar in the centre of her head where he had given her 18 stitches.
He needed a reason – it could be anything – and he would reach for whatever he could grab to hit me with,” said Allah Rakhi adding how he would also threaten to turn her out. “As I left him one afternoon in 1980 for my parents’ home, he stopped me in the street, held me down to the ground, cut my nose and slashed my right ankle that he almost severed. “For six years I could not walk without a stick,” she said explaining how in the beginning she used to hide her face from her own son who was then only knee high. Even then she wanted to return home because the thought of being away from her children hurt her more. Her husband was out of the jail after six months.
A year after when he knew he was off the hook, Allah Rakhi was divorced. A bus driver married her with whom she lived for many happy years and saw her two children married off. She lost him to a road accident eight years ago. Three years ago, Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) that usually helps burn victims took her in as special case. In charge of nursing care and rehabilitation unit, Balqees Shehzad has been by her side since then. But later some top plastic surgeons of the country declined to operate her because they were either unwilling to do charity work or feared contracting Hepatitis C that she had.
“But then she met Dr Hamid Hassan who is a Burn and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi. He put Allah Rakhi on top of his patients’ waiting list and went on with operating her. After two surgeries (one in March and the other in April this year), the second one lasting seven hours, Allah Rakhi could look in the mirror without feeling bad,” said Balqees Shehzad. “This was not the first time such a case had come to us. But she certainly was one of the worst victims with cut noses. There was nothing in place of her nose and she was also a Hepatitis C patient. “We will refine the nose further as soon as she is ready for the next operation,” said Dr Hamid Hassan who has been affiliated with the ASF since 2007 and has conducted (with his team) 340 surgeries on burn victims besides arranging camps for such patients every year – all without charging a single penny. Allah Rakhi is one of the innumerable victims of this centuries-old brutal practice against the women of lower socio-economic strata in the region.Readthe full story here.
Obama's 'Buddy' Turkey ups Iran oil imports in March before embargo, give much-needed oil revenues to Iran.
Obama's 'Buddy' Turkey ups Iran oil imports in March before embargo, give much-needed oil revenues to Iran.(HD).Turkey’s crude oil imports from Iran rose sharply in March, providing the Islamic republic with much-needed oil revenues as Tehran struggles to sell its crude in the face of tightening Western sanctions aimed at slowing its nuclear program. Turkey imported 1.174 million tonnes, about 270,000 barrels per day, of Iranian crude oil in March, according to official trade data on the Turkish Statistical Institute web site, obtained by Reuters following a request. A Turkish industry official said April imports fell back to a more normal 140,000 bpd and would remain at about the same level in May. The March figures represent the highest monthly purchase of Iranian crude by Turkey since July 2011 and are almost triple the 401,349 tonnes, 100,000 bpd, imported in February. The imports also reflect a 90 percent jump from March 2011. But Turkish analysts say Turkey’s sole refiner and biggest crude importer Tüpraş was likely to stand by its end-March pledge to cut Iranian imports by up to a fifth. “This looks like a last attempt to stockpile Iranian crude before cutting down,” analyst Cüneyt Kazokoğlu at FG Energy in London said. “Peak season for Turkish crude imports is traditionally May to September. Last July, Turkish imports from Iran were almost at an all-time high. With the oil ban coming into force on July 1, right in the middle of the peak season, Tüpraş might have wanted to take as much Iranian crude as possible before starting to reduce supplies,” he said. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said at the end of March that the country would diversify its oil supplies. The first shipment of crude under a Libyan term contract deal arrived in February, even though the amount is as little as 1 million barrels per month. “Turkey has also started buying from some of the African countries that they haven’t bought in years, like Libya and Nigeria. Iraq is also a natural alternative supplier,” he said. But quarterly trade figures highlight Iran’s strong dominance in Turkey’s crude imports, indicating the diversification of suppliers is still a work in progress. The data shows Iran accounted for 2.44 million tons, 193,000 bpd, or more than half of the 4.416 million tons, or 350,000 bpd, of crude Turkey imported in the first three months of this year. Its second biggest supplier, Iraq, trailed far behind with 568,326 tons, 45,000 bpd, in the same period. Last year, Iran provided more than half of Turkey’s total crude oil imports at just over 18 million tons. Trade between Turkey and Iran has risen sharply over the past decade, leading to Turkey being regarded as a possible weak link in the international sanctions against Iran. Having been omitted from a list of countries granted exemptions by Washington, Turkey remains hopeful of obtaining a waiver to avoid U.S. financial sanctions. Washington has already exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from measures it is threatening to impose on companies from countries that do not back its efforts to isolate Iran. It granted the exemptions because those countries have significantly cut purchases from Iran. European Union nations have agreed to embargo Iranian oil from July 1. That has left Iran’s top customers, China, India and Turkey, exposed to the possibility of such steps.Hmmmm.....When will NATO realize that Turkey will betray any non Islamic member?Read the full story here.
UN nuclear inspector from South Korea killed in Iran.(WSJ).TEHRAN, Iran— A United Nations nuclear inspector from South Korea was killed Tuesday and a colleague was injured in a car crash near a reactor site in central Iran, news reports said. There were no immediate indications of foul play. But the crash is likely to undergo intense scrutiny. The official Islamic Republic News Agency said the International Atomic Energy Agency inspector died when the car overturned around a heavy-water reactor being built in Khondab, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran. Iran says the reactor, part of the Arak complex, will be used to produce isotopes for peaceful medical and industrial uses. But the U.S. and others fear that spent fuel from the reactors could be reprocessed into plutonium for a warhead. Iran denies it seeks nuclear weapons. IRNA identified the fatally injured inspector as Seo Ok-Seok. Another news agency, ISNA, said an inspector from Slovakia was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital. The Vienna-based IAEA had no immediate comment on the reports. The incident comes ahead of a new round of technical discussions between Tehran and the IAEA to be held in Vienna beginning Sunday. Higher-level negotiations also are planned later this month in Baghdad between envoys from Iran and six world powers including the U.S. Inspectors from the U.N nuclear watchdog regularly visit Iran’s nuclear facilities, which include a Russian-built energy reactor and uranium-enrichment laboratories. The stops often receive far less attention than the high-level IAEA teams sent to Iran to discuss access to other sites, such as the Parchin military base near Tehran, where the U.N. suspects nuclear-related work has taken place. Iran says Parchin is a conventional military base.Hmmmmm.......Read the full story here.
Obama - "Here in America, we don't give up. We keep moving forward".(TheHill). Sarcastic President Obama tells Congress it's time to get to work.By Amie Parnes.An at-times sarcastic President Obama on Tuesday prodded Congress to take “bold action” to help the economy, arguing an election year is “no excuse for inaction.” Speaking at the University of Albany, Obama mapped out a what he called a “handy little ‘to-do' list” for Congress, while swiping Republicans on Capitol Hill for standing in the way of his agenda during a down economy. “The only way we can accelerate the job creation that’s needed is through Congress,” Obama said during a 20-minute speech. “There’s no excuse for inaction. There’s no excuse for dragging our feet. None.” “I know this is an election year but it’s not an excuse for inaction,” Obama said. Obama’s tone turned wry at one point in his presentation as he said he was keeping his plan short to ensure lawmakers had the time to focus on it. “I’m not trying to overload Congress here,” Obama said before adding that his five-point plan is “about the size of a Post-it note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it.” Republicans fired back that it is Obama who was recycling old ideas, while their party was taking action to help the economy. “While the president is recycling five old ideas, Republicans in the House have already sent the Senate a much lengthier ‘to-do’ list,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “We’ve passed nearly 30 jobs bills to increase American competitiveness, expand domestic energy production and rein in the red tape that is burdening small businesses. Democrats are blocking every one of them.” As Obama spoke, Buck slammed the president on Twitter for having “reduced his agenda to the size of a Post-it-note.”The president’s remarks come three days after Obama held his first “official” campaign rallies of the year in Ohio and Virginia. During that campaign kick-off over the weekend, he attempted to link congressional Republicans to his likely opponent Mitt Romney, saying that he would “rubber stamp” all of their legislation. Obama’s speech in Albany on Tuesday had some of the same themes — including the word “forward,” a prominent slogan in his reelection campaign. “Here in America, we don’t give up. We keep moving forward,” Obama said. “If we work together with common purpose, we can keep moving this country forward.”Read the full story here.
"Forked Tongue" - Cruel irony in Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee saga.(LI).Throughout her career and political campaign, Elizabeth Warren has found victims everywhere she looked, including when she looked in the mirror and saw an alleged descendant of one of the most historically victimized groups, Native Americans. In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony, not only is it unlikely that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, it turns out that Warren’s great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears.
The evidence resulted from a tip provided by a Legal Insurrection reader to a genealogical compilation of militia members who allegedly participated in the removal of the Cherokees from Georgia. The list included the name Jonathan Crawford, who was the husband of O.C. Sarah Smith, the person the Warren campaign has identified as Warren’s great-great-great grandmother and allegedly Cherokee. Since confirming this genealogical information was outside my comfort zone, I forwarded the information to author and genealogist Michael Patrick Leahy, who already had written about and investigated Warren’s genealogy. Leahy reaches the conclusion, based on a variety of sources, that Jonathan Crawford was indeed a member of the militia which rounded up Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears. Leahy lays out the evidence supporting his conclusion in a post at Breitbart.com, Elizabeth Warren Ancestor Rounded Up Cherokees for Trail of Tears: But the most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee—the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.
Why is this the ultimate and cruelest irony? Who Warren’s great-great-great grandparents were or what they did should be irrelevant, except that Warren has incorporated “lore” about those victimized ancestors into her own personal, professional and, now, political narratives.Where are we as of this writing? Warren’s Native American self-narrative has not held up to scrutiny, so far. Worse still, that narrative has revealed a cruel irony in the form of Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, who was a member of the militia which rounded up the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears.Hmmm......I hope the Indian Nation go's after her with every legal tool to their disposal.Read the full story here.
US Weapons-Grade Uranium Diverted to Israel: Secret NUMEC Investigation Files Now Online.(PR).Declassified files from long-running investigations of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation over alleged illegal diversions of US government-owned weapons-grade uranium to Israel are now available online at
The 733 pages of information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act for the new book Divert! NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the diversion of US weapons-grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program include:
A 1980 FBI interview of an eyewitness (PDF) of NUMEC executives stuffing U-235 canisters into sealed equipment shipped to Israel.
CIA Director of Operations Carl Duckett’s 1978 testimony about NUMEC (PDF) before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Atomic Energy Commissioner Glenn T. Seaborg’s reaction (PDF) to news that traces of Portsmouth U-235 of the type supplied to NUMEC had been picked up in Israel.
NUMEC corporate correspondence (PDF) with the AEC claiming that undercover Israeli intelligence agents Rafael Eitan and Ephraim Beigun visiting NUMEC in 1968 were merely energy scientists.
National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bresinski’s 1979 order (PDF) that Senator John Glenn not be given direct access to a top secret memorandum about “missing material from the NUMEC plant in Apollo, PA.”
Deputy Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti’s confidential letter (PDF) to President Jimmy Carter to “establish a plan for coordinated interagency action to detect and investigate the theft or diversion of nuclear material in the future.”
A 1978 congressional interview transcript (PDF) with NUMEC President Dr. Zalman Shapiro.
National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s 1969 strategy document (PDF) about how the US should respond to Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. “There is circumstantial evidence that some fissionable material available for Israel’s weapons development was illegally obtained from the United States by about 1965.”
FBI wiretap (PDF) of a 1969 toxic spill at NUMEC caused by improper storage.
According to a 2001 Department of Energy report, NUMEC lost 269 kilograms of highly enriched uranium between 1957 and 1968–the highest in the US and enough for dozens of atomic weapons. The newly published book Divert! (available in paperback and Kindle) presents additional evidence that NUMEC–unable to complete US government contracts or protect workers and the environment–was originally established as a nuclear smuggling front.Read the full story here.
U.S. Pilot refuses to fly with Muslim passengers on board.(Netglobers).By Edward Leeron.Two Muslim men were forced to disembark from their scheduled Delta Airlines flight in the U.S. after the pilot refused to fly with them onboard, reports AOL. The religious leaders, known as imams, were planning to travel from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charlotte, North Carolina, and were already onboard the aircraft when the pilot decided to ground the flight. The plane had left the terminal and was approaching the runway when the captain issued instructions that the imams were to be escorted off the aircraft for fear of making other passengers uncomfortable. "It's racism and bias because of our religion and appearance and because of misinformation about our religion," Masudur Rahman, who is an instructor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, told the news source. "If they understood Islam, they wouldn't do this." A spokesperson for Delta claimed the flight was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Initial attempts to resolve the situation were thwarted by the pilot, who allegedly refused to cooperate. According to Reuters, Rahman and his traveling companion Mohamed Zaghloul, an imam at the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis, were flying to the annual North American imams conference where they were scheduled to lead the gathering in prayer. Themes due to be discussed at the event included Islamophobia and discrimination against North American muslims.Hmmm....The pilot could use "The Djinn made me do it" defense?Read the full story here.Read the full story here.
"The War On Terror Is Over" - Pakistan militants vow holy war for Bin Laden.(AA).Militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan on Tuesday distributed pamphlets pledging holy war to mark the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, albeit a week late. Masked militants armed with assault rifles handed out copies of the pamphlet from pick-up vehicles in Miranshah, the main town of the tribal district that has become known as Pakistan’s premier al-Qaeda and Taliban hub. “Let us pledge today that we will continue our jihad (holy war) and sacrifice our lives and property in the way of Allah like Sheikh Osama did,” it said, unsigned and dated May 2, the anniversary of the al-Qaeda leader’s killing by U.S. troops. “Today, a year since Sheikh Osama bin Laden embraced martyrdom, the enemy America is repenting. It is facing defeat and Pakistan’s future is also bleak,” it said. The pamphlet distribution followed two days of rare fighting between troops and Islamist militants in Miranshah that killed 19 soldiers and civilians, officials said. Gunbattles in North Waziristan are relatively rare because of an agreement between insurgents and the military not to attack each other. Pakistan has resisted U.S. pressure to conduct a major offensive in the district, saying it is too overstretched fighting homegrown insurgents elsewhere in the tribal belt. Bin Laden was killed on May 2 2011 in a secret U.S. Navy SEAL operation in a walled-off compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad. Pakistan went on high alert last week over fears of revenge attacks, but the anniversary passed off peacefully.Hmmmm......Hamza Bin Laden....2012 Summer Olympics.....What's the odds?Any bets?Read the full story here.
Arabs may rethink their nuclear plan, warns Egypt.(E24/7).Hopes dimmed for staging major nuclear talks later this year between Muslim world and Israel, as Iran and Arab countries at a 189-nation conference accused Israel of being the greatest threat to peace in the region and Egypt warned that Arab states might rethink their opposition to atomic arms. Because Israel has not signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it was not present at Tuesday's gathering of treaty members. But the United States defended its ally, warning that singling out Israel for criticism diminished the prospect of a planned meeting between it and its Muslim neighbors to explore the prospect of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. The Mideast conference planned for later this year was a key plank of a month-long 2010 high-level gathering of treaty signatories that convenes every five years to review the objectives of the 42-year-old treaty. Muslim nations have warned that failure to stage the Mideast meeting would call into question the overall achievements of the 2010 conference. Egypt, speaking for nonaligned NPT signatory nations - the camp of developing countries - said Israel's nuclear capabilities constitute “a threat to international peace and security.” Later, in his separate capacity as Egypt's delegate, senior Foreign Ministry official Ahmed Fathalla warned that Arab nations might “revise their policies'' regarding their opposition to having nuclear weapons if the planned Mideast conference failed to materialize. Fathalla said he was citing a declaration from the March 29 Arab summit in Baghdad. But a senior US official, who demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to reporters, said it was the first time he had heard that threat. Reacting to a harsh series of attacks on Israel, US State Department envoy Thomas M. Countryman urged Muslim nations to ease their pressure at the Vienna meeting, convened to prepare for the next NPT summit in 2015, telling delegates: “Continued efforts to single out Israel ... will make a conference less likely.'' He also voiced “deep concern over Iran's persistent failure to comply with its nonproliferation obligations, including ... UN Security Council resolutions,'' and urged Tehran to reduce concerns about is nuclear program by coming to May 23 talks with six world powers in Baghdad “with the same serious and constructive attitude that the six partners bring.''Hmmmm......Report: Saudi Arabia Says Will Buy Nuclear Weapon if Iran Tests A-Bomb.Read the full story here.
"I'm A Big Boy Now" - New Underwear Bomb, New Threat Information.(Cato).By Jim Harper.It’s a good bet that news of a new thwarted underwear bomber will underlie more than one argument for the strip-search machines American travelers encounter even at the domestic terminals of our airports. According to the AP:
The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said. … The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said.Reading this, you’ve been reminded of the fact that, somewhere in a remote Middle Eastern backwater, someone would like to bomb an aircraft flying into the United States. For many, this will induce a bout of probability neglect, making it very hard to process the upshot of this news: This type of attack, which was already very unlikely to succeed, has been made even less likely to succeed.
How did it become less likely to succeed? Let’s use the Transportation Security Administration’s layered security concept to examine things.
In December 2009, the underwear bomber (well—he failed: the “underwear bomb plotter“), managed to get a deformed bomb onto a plane. It was so deformed that he could not cause it to explode. Instead, he burned himself while other passengers subdued him. In the TSA’s formulation, the plot was foiled by the last security layer (it’s hard to read in the graphic): passengers.
(This is not actually the last security layer. The design of planes to withstand shocks to the fuselage is a preventive against downings that small smuggled bombs will have a hard time overcoming.)
The latest news has it that an updated underwear bomb was seized in Yemen by the CIA. That’s the first layer of security in the TSA’s graphic. Intelligence—the first layer.
(This is not actually the first security layer. A benign, phlegmatic foreign policy would produce fewer people worldwide wishing to do the United States harm and more people intolerant of those who do.)
Now, it is not all 100%, unalloyed good security news. As the AP report says:
The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.There may be an innovation in underwear bombs that make them easier to smuggle on to planes. At its best, this innovation may render the body scanners useless against them. (Again, watch for arguments that, despite their impotence, this news makes body scanners all the more essential. A news report yesterday said that new vulnerabilities in the machines have been unearthed by government investigators.)
On balance, I think this news shows just how much the threat is diminished. Innovations in bomb-making, happening on the far outskirts of modern society, are being thwarted at their source, long before they begin the journey through the many other security layers that protect aviation and air travelers. You may continue to move about the country even more confident of your safety than you did before. I’m hopping on a plane again Friday morning, and I will be just as polite and cheerful as ever in declining to go through the strip-search machines.Hmmmm.......Bend "Forward".Read the full story here.
Turkish Factor In Leviathan and Aphrodite ‘Energy Wars’.(Stratrisks).Source: Noravank/Groong
Deputy Director of “Noravank” Foundation,
Head of the Center for Political Studies, Candidate of Science (Political Science)
Deputy Director of “Noravank” Foundation,
Head of the Center for Political Studies, Candidate of Science (Political Science)
Finding vast reserves of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean has turned this region into a stage of new energy and political contradictions. On the one hand Israel and Cyprus, in which waters the reserves were found, and on the other hand Turkey, which wants to consolidate its positions in the Mediterranean, tend to protect their claims on the gas sea reserves.
“Leviathan” gas field as a source of energy security of IsraelLeviathan gas field, which is located in the Mediterranean Sea in 135km from the Israeli Haifa, was discovered in 2010 by the American Noble Energy Company, which concluded contract with Israeli government back in 2008 on initiating joint gas and oil exploration in the Mediterranean. The gas reserves found in 2010 can be considered rather impressive as, according to Noble Energy the total natural gas reserves in this field are estimated up to 450 billion m3 which makes it one of the biggest gas fields in the world. The importance of Leviathan for Israel is conditioned by the fact that it will exempt the Jewish state from the energy dependence on Egypt, which imports exports gas to Israel. Taking into consideration that the political processes going on in Egypt since 2011 can bring to power “Muslim brothers”, who are of radical anti-Israeli orientation, discovering and processing of a gas field of its own has become for Israel an issue of paramount national importance.
On the other hand Israel is interested in reducing the level of energy cooperation with Turkey, which has not proved to be a realizable partner for Israel recently and tends to strengthen its positions in the Middle East and with this purpose it widely uses local Islamists. A gas field, which has reserves counting 450 billion m3, may provide Israel consuming maximum 3 billion m3 of gas annually with gas for the near 100 years. This will be a sound solution of Israel’s energy security issue and ensure the energy independence from Egypt and Turkey.
At the same time it should be mentioned that Leviathan also has rather big oil reserves, the volume of which is not cleat yet. According to preliminary research there are about 500 million tons, which turns this field into crucial oil factor. This can become important not only for Israel but for the whole region either as Israel will not be dependent on Azerbaijani oil and Turkish Ceyhan port any more. The latter, according to the Turkish plans, should become the biggest energy hub in the region, the importance of which is conditioned by the dependence of the Mediterranean region on the Caspian oil. This dependence may simply disappear thanks to the Leviathan.
“Leviathan” developmentFor Israel, which does not possess appropriate means for the development of the gas field and production of the gas, it is important from whom it will receive help for making necessary investments in the gas field. The consortium, which was established for the development of the oil field, consists of small companies, which cannot provide appropriate investments due to the scantiness of means.
“Leviathan” development consortiumDue to this reason it is eagerly discussed what real chances Noble Energy Company, which has $15 billion capitalization, has for the development of Leviathan. According to the opinion of the American analyst Jim Fink published by authoritative Investing Daily periodical1 this American company, with its headquarters in Texas, is obliged to cede its positions to a bigger company, which would be able to invest proper money for the development of the gas field and gas production.
It is obvious that Leviathan will attract new investors to the region and those investors may be the biggest oil and gas companies. The latter are closely connected with the western governments and in some of the companies the biggest shareholders are the members of the Jewish communities. Selling the share of Noble Energy to some big energy company, which would be able not only to provide technical backup of the project but also ensure necessary political support, taking into consideration aggressive policy of Turkey directed to obtaining the share of its own in Aphrodite and Leviathan, can become a natural continuation of the ongoing negotiations. But before referring to the Turkish interests let us turn to the CypriotAphrodite gas field, which is, according to the geologists, natural continuation of Leviathan and it has bound Israel and Cyprus politically.
“Aphrodite” gas field as a guarantee of economic security of CyprusAphrodite gas field, which is a continuation of the Israeli Leviathan but is situated in the Cypriot maritime zone, was discovered in 2011 by the same Noble Energy Company. The amount of gas there is considerable. According the geological exploration there are about 400-600 billion m3 of gas and about 300 million tons of oil. If we take into consideration that Aphrodite and Leviathan are two parts of the same gas field, we can state that this field is the biggest among those which have been discover over recent ten years.
After discovering Aphrodite Cyprus will, most probably, become a big energy carriers supplier, taking into consideration first of all the fact that the Republic of Cyprus does not have big consumer market, which is conditioned by an absence of industry in the country.
For Cyprus the discovered gas and oil supplies can become a guarantee of countries independence and sovereignty. After the economic crisis in Greece the financial and economic situation in Cyprus worsened as the Cypriot economy and financial system are directly dependant on Greece. The bankruptcy of the latter can result in the bankruptcy of Cyprus as well, because alongside with the immigration of the Greek population, the emigration of Muslim, mainly Arab migrants to the country has grown, especially after war in Iraq. A new wave of emigrants to Cyprus is also expected from Syria where the political crisis may even deepen ethnic and religious contradictions and cause new wave of migration to Cyprus.
In this aspect the Cypriot authorities may use big oil and gas supply for the economic development and curbing migration of Greeks from the country. It is clear that considering all this Cyprus is ready to wage struggle for protection of its rights on newly discovered fields even if the other party is big and influential Turkey.
Turkey and fields in the MediterraneanSince 2010 Turkey has been contesting rights of Cyprus and Israel on managing gas and oil fields discovered in the Mediterranean. As we can see from the map brought above, those fields are so far from the Turkish coast that one can state without any analysis that the Turkish claims are simply absurd. But Ankara is of other opinion and adopted policy which can complicate development of the gas and oil fields discovered by Israel and Cyprus and creation of an appropriate infrastructure.
Turkey contests the fact that these fields are situated in the waters which are not divided between the neighboring countries. Though in 2010-2011 Israel and Turkey adjusted the principles of delimitation of waters and signed a document on that delimitation, Turkey continues contesting Israeli and Cypriot rights.
In June 2011 the Minister of Energy of Turkey T. Yildiz stated that the Republic of Cyprus has no right to export gas without adjusting the issue of re-division of the reserves with Ankara. And the president of the Turkish part of Cyprus Dervis Eroglu stated that though the gas and oil fields were situated near the southern shore of the island they could not be developed only by the Greeks as they are of general importance for the whole island.
On September 8, 2011, after the conclusion of Israeli-Cypriot agreement on delimitation, the Turkish prime-minister Erdogan in his interview to Al-Jazeera while speaking about Leviathan stated: “Israel has begun to declare that it has the right to act in exclusive economic areas in the Mediterranean,” meanwhile Israel “will not be the owner of this right”. During the same interview Erdogan threatened that Turkish navy can set control over any part in the Mediterranean where Turkish interests are contested. The statement of the Turkish prime-minister evoked a wide response in Israel where it was taken as a hostile act and a threat. The Minister of Intelligence of Israel Dan Meridor called Erdogan’s statement“risky and serious”, adding that Israel was ready to face any challenge.
The former Israeli ambassador to Turkey Alon Liel who is today considered to be one of the most authoritative Israeli analysts, in his interview regarding Erdogan’s statement explained that in his opinion the main reason of such an approach of the Turkish side was rather stirring up of the Israeli-Cypriot cooperation (which is characterized not only by economic but also by military components) than the gas and oil fields. According to Liel after discovering huge reserves of oil and gas Israel will built a big port on the territory of Cyprus in cooperation with the local government and this port will serve for exporting oil and gas to the international markets. In his opinion this is the main reason of concern for Turkey as such a big port constitutes real threat to Ankara’s strategy, among the provisions of which the suppression of the Greek part of the Cyprus and turning Turkey into a main port hub are mentioned.
Against the background of Turkish threats Israel without any concern spent the end of 2011 deepening partnership with Cyprus and Greece which aimed to set cooperation in energy and other strategic areas. In November the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Dani Ayalon visited Athens; while speaking about the main goal of the negotiations he said: “We’re going to talk about making Greece and Cyprus distribution centers for Israeli gas in Europe, which needs to diversify its sources.”
Israel has been continuing the policy directed to the deepening of relations with Greece and Cyprus in recent months either, especially after Turkey’s military gamble in December 2011.Read the full story here.