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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground off Italy at least 3 dead, 67 missing.

Police arrest Italian captain of cruise ship that ran aground, killing 3.Porto Santo Stefano, Italy (CNN) -- The captain of the colossal cruise ship that ran aground off a picturesque Italian island -- killing three people, injuring 20 and leaving dozens unaccounted for -- was arrested late Saturday and is being investigated for abandoning ship and manslaughter, a local prosecutor said.Abandoning ship is the more serious of the potential charges, authorities said.Two survivors on the Costa Concordia have been found inside the ship, Italy's ANSA news agency reported early Sunday. The man and woman have responded to the rescuers, but have not yet been reached, according to the news agency.With perhaps up to 50 people unaccounted for, divers suspended their efforts at dark, with plans to resume the search in the azure waters off the island of Giglio at dawn Sunday.Accounts of the chaos from many of the 3,200 passengers were reminiscent of a maritime disaster 100 years ago this April -- the loss of the RMS Titanic."For me, the worst part of the whole ordeal" was when a lifeboat crew member told those boarding that it was "women and children first," said passenger Benji Smith of Boston."All these families who were clinging to each other had to be separated," Smith told CNN.Questions abounded: Why was the ship so close to the shore? How fast was it moving? How well did the crew respond? According to many passengers, no one seemed in control.
The captain, Francesco Schettino, was interviewed here about what happened when the Costa Concordia struck rocks in shallow water off Italy's western coast, said officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno.Schettino said "that rock was not indicated on the chart," according to ANSA. "Me and the crew, we were the last to abandon ship," he said.The ship was 2.5 miles off route when it struck a rocky sandbar. Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor."There are rocks, they are on the maps," said Capt. Cosimo Nicastro of the Italian Coast Guard. "What we know is the ship went really close to these rocks. ... We don't yet why.""Captain Schettino, who was on the bridge at the time, immediately understood the severity of the situation and performed a maneuver intended to protect both guests and crew, and initiated security procedures to prepare for an eventual ship evacuation," he continued. "Unfortunately, that operation was complicated by a sudden tilting of the ship that made disembarkation difficult," Onorato said.The ship, which was lying on its side in shallow water Saturday evening, was carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members when it ran aground."I'm not surprised that it (the ship) would wind up tipping like this," said Neil Gallagher, professor of naval architecture at the Webb Institute on Long Island, New York. "Something had to go wrong with either the controls or the navigation to get it to this condition."Chris B. McKesson, adjunct professor of naval architecture at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of New Orleans, said, "from the size of the gash, she must have been steaming at a pretty good pace."Read the full story here.

Israel Ties Infuriates India Muslims.

Israel Ties Infuriates India Muslims.(OnIslam).BANGALORE – A recent cooperation between India’s ruling Congress government and Israel, including opening an Israeli embassy in Bangalore, is sending shockwaves across the country’s Muslim political and religious groups who denounced the growing ties as making “India’s stand on Palestine imbroglio a farce.” “It is pertinent to note that increasing cooperation between New Delhi and Tel Aviv makes India’s stand on Palestine imbroglio a farce,” Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI) said in a statement on Friday, January 13 cited by the Two Circles website. The fury erupted following a visit by India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to Israel recently where he described Israel and India as natural allies and said that both the countries were facing international terrorism. During such visit, the Congress-led UPA Government agreed to grant Israel permission to open a Consulate in Bangalore. Angered by the move, SDPI national president Mr. E. Aboobacker and general secretary Mr. A. Sayeed issued a joint statement condemning the Union Government’s move. “India seeking to forge a joint strategy with Israel to deal with the scourge of terrorism is a big joke as the latter over nine decades has been massacring unarmed Palestinians, including women and children, with impunity.” Aboobacker added that the decision contradicts with India’s position towards the Palestinian cause, recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s statement in 1946 when he denounced Jews decision to build their country on the rubbles of Palestine.
A founder of the Non-Alignment Movement, India had been a staunch supporter to Arab issues. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Indian-Israeli relations have seen a U-turn. In 1992, full diplomatic relations were set up between the two countries and since then bilateral relations have grown exceedingly. Not only political groups. The new India-Israel ties were condemned by Indian Union Muslim League as betraying Palestinians. “This is travesty of justice because what Israel was facing is an struggle of Palestinians to free their own country from the illegal occupation of Israel; this cannot be equated with terrorism,” League’s chief Prof. Basir Ahmed Khan said. Expressing concerns about recent visit to Israel, the timing of the visit has particularly condemned by the League leader who said that mosques are being burnt and Israeli forces are torturing the Palestinian youth. Other Muslim groups in India pointed fingers at Israel Mossad agents as being responsible for inciting troubles among the country’s Muslims and Hindus. They referred to press reports which blamed the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai on saffron forces with the help of Mossad. “It amounts to mere mockery because Israel is by itself a fountain head of terrorism globally. E. M. Abdul Rahiman, Chairman of Popular Front of India, said in a statement. Rahiman also condemned UPA Government for signing a pact with Israel to forge anti-terror activity.   “Unfortunately, our government is acting as a tool to implement the aggressive policies of USA and its close ally Israel. Also Popular Front views the India-Israel joint decision to open Israel’s consulate in Bangalore, as a threat to our national interests,” he said. “It will be a catalyst to the communal and terrorist agenda of the Hindutva fascist outfits, particularly in Karnataka state which is already in their grip.” There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.Read the full story here.

The Jews who paid for their own WWII prison

Westerbork, Holland, Lighting of Hanukkah candles in the camp.A Jewish inmate, Rudolf Werner Breslauer, who enjoyed good relations with camp commandant Gemmeker, prepared this album, probably in early 1943.Belongs to collection:Yad Vashem Photo Archive.

Radio Netherlands:The Jews who paid for their own WWII prison.(AD). What was daily life in Westerbork concentration camp like? To find this out archaeologists are excavating the rubbish dump of the WWII Nazi detention and transit camp for Jews in the north east of the Netherlands.
Micha Schliesser is one of the Jews who survived the camp. Seeing all the recovered personal belongings brings back memories. I can't imagine my mother without her perfume bottle. She would have taken that with her. At first I thought it was an insane and stupid idea, but now I think there should be a permanent collection. Micha Schliesser was a baby only one and a half years old when his parents were moved to Westerbork concentration camp. He was one of the first Jews to live there.Number 128. My father was number 127, so I must have been 128. Both he and his parents survived the holocaust.The excavation of the personal belongings of the people in the camp brings back many memories - especially the display case with round spectacles and combs.It almost makes me cry. The people who left these things behind were alive. Four days later they were most likely dead.


Schliesser visits schools to teach the new generation about the holocaust. The excavated personal possessions bring to life what it was like in Camp Westerbork. Not much has survived of the transit camp, where 107,000 Jews stayed before being transported to German extermination camps.
In 1939, before the Second World War broke out in the Netherlands, Micha Schliesser and his parents came to the country as refugees. They were on their way to the United States. Although their visa was almost complete, they were picked up at the Dutch border and sent to barracks in Amsterdam. Schliesser's father was asked whether he and his family would 'voluntarily' go to Westerbork to help build the Jewish refugee camp.

Queen Wilhelmina

The Dutch government built the Westerbork refugee camp in 1939 in the north east of the Netherlands. The original location on the Veluwe in the eastern province of Gelderland was too close to the home of the Dutch royal family. Queen Wilhelmina refused to have a camp 15 kilometres from Palace 't Loo.The government didn't want to put any money towards the refugee camp. Therefore the Jewish community was asked to pay. So we paid for our own prison, sighs Schliesser.
After 70 years we're back to where we started, according to Schliesser. He can get very angry about the current Dutch government deporting people who came here as a young child.I would like those politicians to experience being stateless and not having a passport for protection for a year. What would they feel like then? Following the German invasion in May 1940, an attempt was made to evacuate the Jewish refugees to England. They didn't get very far. After deliberation with the Jewish community, the Dutch government decided the refugees should return to Camp Westerbork. Schliesser's father didn't want to flee, go into hiding or remain in Amsterdam illegally. In that respect my father was typically German. So the family returned to Westerbork. They didn't have much choice, says Schliesser:If you asked a farmer in the neighbourhood for help, he would pretend to help, but then return you to the camp the next day. He would receive two and a half guilders for doing so.Hmmmm...........“For how would a man benefit to gain the whole world but destroy his soul or lose it?”~ Luke 9:25.Read the full story here.

Psychic's Predictions For 2012: From 30+ Years Ago!

This psychic predicted the attacks upon America, and Obama years in advance. What he has to say about 2012 is unbelievable. HT : Before it is news.

MFS - The Other News

                    Morning Posting.

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 5.2 !More info here.

  • Obama Proposes New Department of Corporate Welfare.(Cato).By Tad DeHaven. Contrary to what various news outlets are reporting, President Obama is NOT proposing to cut government. The administration is proposing to take four independent federal agencies that specialize in corporate welfare – along with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative – and combine them with corporate welfare programs at the Department of Commerce to form what would I would argue should be called the Department of Corporate Welfare.According to reports, this rearranging of the deck chairs would save $300 million a year. That’s peanuts. Worse, those alleged savings will be of no consequence to taxpayers as there is nothing to suggest that the president intends to cut overall spending for the agencies comprising the new bureaucracy. That portends bigger government, not smaller. The president is trying to sell the American taxpayer a false bill of goods.The president’s proposal is also an attempt to counter the perception – an accurate one – that the administration’s policies are detrimental to commerce. But corporate welfare is detrimental to commerce because the market distortions it creates hinder economic output. Making it easier for select businesses to help themselves to taxpayer-financed subsidies would only perpetrate the same sort of crony capitalist schemes that gave us Solyndra and the Chevy Volt.Of course, no transparent attempt to appear “business friendly” would be complete without a bone toss to the Small Business Administration. The “bone” this time is the president’s intention to elevate the head of the SBA to the Cabinet. As I discuss in a Cato essay on the SBA, rather than helping small businesses compete against big businesses, the SBA’s loan guarantees mainly help a tiny share of small businesses compete against other small businesses. In reality, the biggest beneficiary of the SBA is the banks, which reap the profits from the loans guaranteed by the agency.Finally, Republican policymakers talk a good game about cutting government, but they often hide behind calls for making the federal government “more efficient.” Now that the president has seized a political opportunity to sing from the GOP’s hymnal, it’ll be interesting – if not entertaining – to see how Republican policymakers respond. To avoid embarrassment, I recommend offering specific spending cuts.Hmmm.....What interest me is "Will there be Another Tsar at the head of it?Read the full story here.

  • India gov't agrees to prosecute Google, Facebook.(HurriyetDaily).India's government authorised on Friday the prosecution of 21 Internet firms including Facebook and Google in a case over obscene content posted online, two sources told AFP.The approval will lead to company directors being called to a trial court in New Delhi to answer serious charges such as fomenting religious hatred and spreading social discord, an official and a lawyer said.Internet giants including Google and Facebook were embroiled in a growing battle in India over offensive content with a judge warning websites may be blocked "like in China", stoking worries about freedom of speech in the world's largest democracy. The Delhi High Court had a hearing on Monday of an appeal by Google, Facebook and others against a lower court case by a private petitioner seeking to remove images considered offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians from websites. "The lower court gave a ruling asking the companies to take down some content, we appealed that ruling and it is in the higher court," said a Google spokesman in India on Friday. A law passed last year in India makes companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, requiring them to take it down within 36 hours in case of a complaint. The lower court affirmed the law last week. "If a contraband is found in your house, it (is) your liability to take action against it," Justice Suresh Kait told lawyers from Facebook India and Google India on Thursday, according to the Economic Times newspaper. "Like China, we can block all such websites (that don't comply). But let us not go to that situation." Less than 10 percent of India's 1.2 billion people have Internet access, though the connected population is rapidly growing through social media tools on mobile phones, bringing many into contact for the first time with images intended to offend. More than 880 million people have mobile phones in India, but more expensive Internet-capable 3G models are out of reach for many. Civil rights groups opposed the laws, but politicians say that posting offensive images in the socially conservative country with a history of violence between religious groups presents a danger to the public as Internet use grows. In December, Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal weighed into the debate, urging Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to remove offensive material. Despite rules to remove offensive content, India's Internet access is still largely free when compared with the tight controls in fellow Asian economic powerhouse China. The India units of Facebook, Yahoo! Inc and Microsoft Corp declined to comment. Lawyers for the companies appeared in the lower court on Friday, but the judge adjourned the proceedings until March, Vinay Rai, the petitioner, told Reuters by phone.Read the full story here.

  • Finding moderate Muslims.(DocsTalk).By SultanKnish.What were viewers willing to endure rather than experience the Shiite version of the Jersey Shore? They tuned in to National Geographic’s “Alaska State Troopers,” Tru TV’s “Lizard Lick Towing” and Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot,” but you couldn’t get them to watch “All-American Muslim.” Which just goes to show that we’re a nation of Islamophobes. Or that even people with bad taste in television have standards.The dirty little liberal secret is that progressives don’t watch “All-American Muslim” either. The show only exists as an Islamophobia talking point. Every time an advertiser drops it in favor of “Finding Bigfoot,” the progressives crow that once again they have proven that we are a nation that hates Muslims and loves Bigfoot.All-American Muslim’s hopeless ratings suggest that Americans are more confident of finding Bigfoot than of finding those even more imaginary creatures: moderate Muslims who reject terrorism of all kinds. They certainly aren’t to be found on “All-American Muslim” where the guest Imams have been far less peaceful than Bigfoot who in all his decades of appearing in grainy videos has not been known to curse infidels or support terrorist groups.Read the full story here.

  • Obama, US secretary of defense have warned Jerusalem of dangerous repercussions of strike.(JPost).The United States has begun taking measures to plan for an Israeli strike on Iran in order to protect US facilities in the region, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.The contingency planning came as a result of concern within the US defense establishment that Israel is planning to attack Iran over the Islamic Republic's reported nuclear armament program, according to the newspaper.US President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and other senior US officials have reportedly delivered messages through private channels to the Israeli government warning them about the dangerous repercussions of a military strike on Iran.Washington is concerned that Iraqi Shi'ite militias may attack the US embassy in Baghdad at Iran's behest. Some 15,000 US diplomats, federal employees and contractors will likely remain in Iraq, the newspaper reported. Tensions between the Jewish state and the Islamic republic spiked above normal this past week when an Iranian nuclear scientist was blown up in his car in Tehran in an attack that Iranian officials blamed on Israel.President Shimon Peres, speaking a number of days following the bombing, said that the attack was not carried out by Israel, to the best of his knowledge. US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had a phone conversation Thursday, discussing "recent Iran-related developments."Hmmmm......You have to wait for my reelection strategy?Read the full story here.

  • Obama czar proposed government should ‘infiltrate’ social network sites, chat rooms, message boards.(WND).By ArronKlein.Just prior to his appointment as President Obama’s so-called regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should “infiltrate” social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.Such “cognitive infiltration,” Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on “conspiracy theorizing.”Among the beliefs Sunstein classified as a “conspiracy theory” is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.The find comes as a government document reportedly relates the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report.Reuters reported that a “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November confirms that since at least June 2010, the department’s national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”While the DHS may be monitoring websites for security reasons, Sunstein advocated such actions with another goal in mind.Sunstein’s official title is Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.In a 2008 Harvard law paper, “Conspiracy Theories,” Sunstein and co-author Adrian Vermeule, a Harvard law professor, ask, “What can government do about conspiracy theories?”“We can readily imagine a series of possible responses.
  1. Government might ban conspiracy theorizing.
  2. Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”
In the 30-page paper – obtained and reviewed by KleinOnline – Sunstein argues the best government response to “conspiracy theories” is “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.”Sunstein’s paper is not the first time he has advocated banning the free flow of information.In his 2009 book, “On Rumors,” Sunstein argued websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors.”In the book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weatherman terrorist William Ayers.He also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”Ayers became a name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’ apartment.Hmmm........Why does the terms Beria and NKVD Camps suddenly come to mind?Read the full story here.

  • Senate Conservatives Warn Reid Against PROTECT IP Blitz.(Heritage).Six conservative U.S. senators voiced concerns Friday over the substance and procedural context of controversial legislation to block Internet piracy, noting potential economic damages and free speech restrictions the legislation might impose.Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Tom Coburn (R-OK), sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Friday expressing their concerns.The letter, whose signatories include the ranking Republicans on the Budget, Finance, and Judiciary Committees, warns of “breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights” could result from passage of the hotly-contested PROTECT IP Act.The legislation would empower the Justice Department to pursue legal action against any site that hosts content that violates intellectual property laws through measures that could include blocking access to such sites for all American Internet users. Given the concerns voiced by third parties opposed to the legislation, the letter states, Senate leaders “need to resolve as many outstanding concerns as possible prior to proceeding to floor consideration.”The senators also reaffirmed their request that “the bill be fully debated and amendments not limited” when it does comes to the Senate floor – on Jan. 24, according to the current Senate schedule. That tight time frame, the senators warned, may not permit the substantive changes to the legislation needed to secure their support.Read the full story and the letter in full here.

  • Children in New York contract mysterious illness, Fed Govt preventing disclosure of disease.(Libertyconfidential).Late last year, 12 girls in New York were hit with strange symptoms that included spasms, and tics. Some children were so bad, and for so long, that they had to be pulled out of school and tutored at home. One who couldn’t return to school had seizures. Parents have been demanding answers since late 2011. An investigation was launched into why these children — all girls who attend the same school, Le Roy, in New York — have come down with this mysterious illness. Visits to psychologists, medical doctors, MRIs, and more, have been conducted over the past months. Nothing has been revealed.The story took an unsettling turn this week when a government health official told parents not to worry, that they know what’s been making the children suffer these symptoms; but that the government will not permit the disclosure of details, not even to the parents. The official, from the state health department, called it a “federal issue.”At a recent meeting with almost 200 concerned parents and Le Roy School students, Gregory Young from the state health department said that all 12 girls had been diagnosed and are being treated. But Young also told the audience that the diagnosis and cause of the mysterious illness could not be shared because of the HIPPA Privacy Rule.Dupont told WHAM News: “Want to know something? If my daughter had a diagnosis and I knew about it, and I would, as her parent, I would tell you that!” According to WHAM, there was a heated exchange during the question and answer portion of the meeting. One angry parent even stood up and asked parents of girls with the tics to tell the rest of the parents whether there was a diagnosis or not. All the voices, about a half a dozen, yelled out “No!”.  A reporter from WHAM even spoke to a parent on a condition of anonymity, and asked if he was aware of any diagnosis. He said that he did not get a diagnosis from doctors. Hmmmm.......all young girls.Did these girls receive Gardasil vaccinations? A 'bad batch' in the lot?Read the full story here.

  • NATO radar system in Turkey up, running.(Hurriyet).An early warning radar system deployed in the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya began its surveillance activities Jan. 1, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned from reliable sources. A small number of U.S. troops were deployed to the military base at Kürecik in Malatya in the last week of 2011 since the Turkish military has no qualified personnel to run the U.S. AN/TPY-2 (X-band) early warning radar system. Despite the deployment, the installation is a Turkish base and will be commanded by a Turkish high-ranking officer, the source said. Turkey joined the NATO-led nuclear defense program only after its conditions were addressed by the alliance. It agreed to the deployment of the early warning radar system on its territory in mid-2011 while the alliance, in turn, agreed to the posting of a high-ranking Turkish general at NATO headquarters in Germany, where intelligence gathered through the radar system will be processed. Details of the radar system’s functions were discussed during a visit by Gen. Knud Bartels, NATO’s recently appointed military committee chairman, to Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel on Jan. 9. Iran, which is already in a spat with the United States over its controversial nuclear program, has strongly opposed Turkey’s move to deploy the radar.“The U.S. radar stationed in Turkey is no good for any Muslim country,” Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani told Turkey late Jan. 12 at a press conference while demanding further information on the matter. “But we have confidence in our Turkish friends.”Hmmmm.....Did Turkey give Iran guarantees it will never be used against them?Read the full story here.

  • The west's useful idiots.By MelaniePhilips.In its editorial (£) this morning, the Times still clings to the delusion that the ‘Arab Spring’ was the harbinger of democracy in the region. Although it coyly concedes that ‘the path of change is strewn with uncertainties’ such as the fact that ‘Sunni extremist parties have gained electoral support in Egypt, while Coptic Christians have suffered murderous attacks’, such, ah, ‘uncertainties' do not deter the Times from concluding nevertheless that ‘The Arab Spring is nonetheless a movement as inspiring as the fall of communism.’ If the Times was hoping to win this week’s Pangloss Award for the most asinine display of intellectual blindness and wishful thinking, it has surely been pipped at the post by the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague who has also written in the Times. After entering at the start his own coy caveat: ‘Violence and votes for Islamism are a setback but this was never a quick fix’ he nevertheless passes smoothly on from this setback to reason to the quick fix of fantasy: ‘...being realistic does not mean losing faith. Far from it: greater freedom and democracy in the Middle East is an idea whose time has come. It holds the greatest prospect for the enlargement of human freedom and dignity since the end of the Cold War. ‘On the positive side, Tunisia has its first democratically elected parliament since the 1950s, with 24 per cent of the seats held by women. Morocco has held free elections under a new constitution that, for the first time in its history, means a prime minister from the party that won most votes, rather than one picked by the King. Turnout in the first phase of Egypt’s elections was above 60 per cent, compared with 23 per cent in the 2005 elections under the Mubarak regime. Libya has a new government after more than 40 years of dictatorship. Positive reform is under way in Jordan, and Yemen has agreed a political transition negotiated by the increasingly influential Gulf Co-operation Council. Bahrain has begun to take steps to implement the conclusions of its commission of inquiry into the violence last year, although the need for full implementation remains.’ Rub your eyes indeed. The fact is that the principal outcome of this ‘Arab Winter’ is the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood -- the anti-Jew, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human rights body of jihadists that is currently making spectacular inroads into the western culture it intends to conquer, as well as mounting selective murderous attacks as through the Hamas in Gaza; and close behind them are Islamists who are yet more extreme. Those relatively moderate Arab countries which have not yet succumbed to the Islamists, such as Jordan, are desperately holding out; but the gains the extremists have made in Egypt and elsewhere mean that such resistance against them has been weakened. The British government’s partner in this crime against freedom, the Obama administration – acting in accordance with the Obama doctrine of embracing America’s mortal foes while dumping on its allies –has now openly reached out to the Brothers. While reports have been denied that Obama has used the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi as an intermediary in the American surrender talks with the Taleban, the overtures by the US to the Brotherhood are being openly acknowledged. The reason given is that since these guys have won power through elections, the US has no alternative but to talk to them. Neville Chamberlain said much the same thing at Munich. Read the full story here.

  • A Greek Default Would Hit the ECB Hard.(Spiegel).By Stefan Kaiser. Hopes that Greece can be saved are dwindling. Athens had hoped to reach a deal with its creditors on a 50 percent debt haircut, but banks have now made it clear that efforts to reach an agreement could fail. Should the country go bankrupt, the European Central Bank stands to lose the most.Read the full story here.

  • Erdoğan, Obama discuss latest developments in Middle East.(TZ).Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama spoke on phone on Friday to discuss regional developments.Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Erdoğan and Obama discussed issues related to the security and development of the Middle East and North Africa. The statement said the two leaders discussed ways to continue supporting a broad-based government in Baghdad that will bring stability, democracy and prosperity. Erdoğan’s discussion with Obama came two days after the Turkish prime minister talked to his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, warning him that arrest warrant he issued for one of his Sunni vice presidents, also a close friend of Turkey, will hurt democracy in the war-torn country. Erdoğan told Maliki to take steps to reduce tensions in Iraq following a series of bombings in the capital of Baghdad after Maliki issued an arrest warrant for Tariq Hashemi last month.Many attacks in recent days in Iraq have targeted the country's Shiite majority, increasing fears of a serious outbreak of sectarian violence following the withdrawal of US troops last month.Obama and Erdoğan also discussed recent developments in Syria and agreed that both countries will continue condemning Syrian regime’s brutal military crackdown on protesters and will support legitimate demands of Syrian people. The statement added that both leaders expressed that there is a need for Iran to continue its dialogue with international community with respect to its suspected nuclear program. Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, who is on a visit to Turkey, said on Thursday that he believes that the standoff over his country's nuclear program can be solved through serious talks.Larijani told a news conference after meeting Turkish leaders in Ankara that Tehran supports the idea of holding further talks in Turkey. Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, recently said he had called on six powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - to resume talks.Turkey, a US ally that relies on Iranian oil and gas imports, signaled Thursday that it will not comply with American sanctions against Iran regarding its nuclear program.Turkey indicated that it will only enforce sanctions that have been approved by the United Nations, and its announcement is a setback to US sanctions aimed at halting what Western governments say is Iran's effort to develop nuclear weapons.Turkey said it would evaluate the content of the US sanctions, but Turkey's biggest crude oil importer Tüpraş already has renewed a contract to continue to import crude oil from Iran in 2012. Hmmmm......Ahmadinejad......Erdogan......Obama...Sanctions....What sanctions?Read the full story here.

  • Blast hits home of Gaza terror chief.(Ynet).At least one person was killed in an explosion reported at the Rafah home of a senior terrorist in the Gaza Strip Saturday evening, Palestinian officials said. Adham Abu Salima, a Gaza Health Ministry official, said the house belonged to Popular Resistance Committees Secretary-General Zuheir Qeisi. Five or six Palestinians were wounded in the mysterious explosion, sources in Gaza said.Eyewitnesses said the huge Rafah blast could be heard far away and that the house was completely burned down. The initial explosion was reportedly followed by several smaller blasts. The IDF said it was unfamiliar with the incident. Witnesses said there was no sign of Israeli military activity in the area.The PRC later released a statement saying that Qeisi was not killed in the blast. The group said the explosion was caused by a malfunction and was not a result of an Israeli strike.The Popular Resistance Committees were involved, among other things, in Gilad Shalit's abduction to the Gaza Strip in June 2006. Qeisi himself was interviewed by the al-Hayat newspaper following the Israeli soldier's release and claimed that Shalit was held "in better, more humane conditions than the conditions accorded to prisoners held by Israel."In August of 2011, the IDF killed six PRC members, including the group's military commander, following the terror offensive near Eilat that claimed the lives of eight Israelis. Some of the terrorists killed in the Israeli airstrike were involved in the Shalit abduction. Tensions have been growing in Gaza in recent days, with terror groups sustained several casualties. Late Thursday, IDF tanks opened fire on a terror cell operating east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinian sources said. Medical officials in the Hamas-ruled territory said two people who sustained moderate wounds in the Israeli shelling were evacuated to a hospital in Deir el-Balah.Read the full story here.

  • Qatari emir says Arab troops should enter Syria ‘to stop the killing’.(AlArabiya).The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, said Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop the deadly violence that has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people since an uprising against the regime of President began about 10 months ago.Asked during CBS “60 Minutes” whether Qatar would be in favor of Arab nations intervening in Syria, The Qatari emir said, “For such a situation to stop the killing...some troops should go to stop the killing.”Sheikh Hamad’s statement came amid growing claims that a team of Arab observers dispatched to the country to curb the bloodshed has failed in its mission.Qatar, which once had close relations with Damascus, has been a harsh critic of the 10-month crackdown by President Bashar Assad’s regime. The wealthy and influential Gulf state withdrew its ambassador to Syria in the summer to protest the killings.Arab League observers began work in Syria on Dec. 27 to verify whether the government is abiding by its agreement to end the military crackdown on dissent.But far from bringing a halt to the violence, the mission has coincided with an apparent increase in killings. A U.N. official said Tuesday that about 400 people have been killed in the last three weeks alone, on top of an earlier estimate of more than 5,000 dead since March.Opposition and army defectors meanwhile have increasingly been taking up arms to fight back.On Friday, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby warned that Syria may be sliding toward civil war. Elaraby said Assad’s regime was either not complying or only partially complying with an Arab League peace plan.The plan calls for removing Syrian heavy weapons from city streets, starting talks with opposition leaders and allowing human rights workers and journalists into the country.On Saturday, Lebanese officials said a man was killed by a bullet coming from the Syrian side of the border. The officials said Lebanese citizen Hassan Obeid, 17, died in a clinic where he was rushed after being hit in the stomach in his northern hometown of Bkarha near the border with Syria.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to talk to the press. Several Lebanese and Syrian citizens have been killed in border areas in Lebanon since the uprising against Assad began.More than 5,000 Syrians have fled to Lebanon during the uprising.In the restive central city of Homs, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, troops at a checkpoint opened fire randomly on Saturday, killing two people.Read the full story here.

  • Iraq PM denounces Turkish ‘interventions’.(AlArabiya).Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki voiced criticism on Friday of Turkish “interventions” in Iraqi affairs, warning that Turkey itself would suffer if its actions sparked conflict in the Middle East.His remarks come amid a political row in Iraq, with authorities charging Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with running a death squad. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his concerns over the deadlock to Maliki in a telephone conversation this week.Hashemi, who is currently holed up in Iraq’s Kurdish region, has mooted the possibility of going to Turkey, even though officials have barred him from overseas travel.“We... did not expect the way they (Turkey) interfere in Iraq,” Maliki said in an interview with the al-Hurra satellite television channel on Friday.“Recently, we noticed their surprise interventions with statements, as if Iraq is controlled or run by them.”He continued: “Their latest statements interfered in domestic Iraqi affairs... and we do not allow that absolutely. If it is acceptable to talk about our judicial authority, then we can talk about theirs, and if they talk about our disputes, we can talk about theirs.”Maliki warned that “Turkey is playing a role that might bring disaster and civil war to the region, and Turkey itself will suffer because it has different sects and ethnicities.”Erdogan on Tuesday spoke to Maliki by telephone, voicing concern over Iraq's political stand-off.“Democracy will take a beating if the doubts being felt by partners in the coalition government transform into animosity,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying.The Turkish premier also called on political and religious leaders in Iraq to stem sectarian tensions stoked by the festering row.In addition to the charges against Hashemi, Maliki, a Shiite, has called for his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlak to be sacked. In response, Hashemi and Mutlak’s Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc has largely boycotted parliament and the cabinet.The U.S. and U.N. have urged calm and called for dialogue, but oft-mooted talks involving all of Iraq's main political leaders have yet to take place.Read the full story here.

  • Violence against pilgrims continues in Iraq as suicide bomber kills 50 in Basra.(AlArabiya).A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman killed at least 50 people in an attack that targeted Shiite Muslim pilgrims passing through a checkpoint in Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Saturday, police said. “A terrorist wearing a police uniform and carrying fake police I.D. managed to reach a police checkpoint and blew himself up among police and pilgrims,” said a police official at the scene of the bombing.Riyadh Abdulamir, head of the health department in Basra province, said 50 people were killed and 100 wounded in the 9:00 am (0600 GMT) attack just west of Basra city.Women and children were among the casualties, he said, but did not give further details.The attacker, who had been distributing food to pilgrims walking to the Khutwa Imam Ali, a site on the outskirts of Basra venerated by believers for its associations with one of the key figures of their faith, blew himself up near a police checkpoint.Arbaeen has been a frequent target of militants since the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.Scores of people have been killed in attacks on pilgrims in the last few weeks, including a suicide bombing which killed at least 70 people.Many of the attacks on pilgrims have used methods such as suicide bombings that are the signature of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate.Attacks targeting Shiites have also killed dozens of people since Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government issued an arrest warrant for a Sunni vice president, triggering a political crisis that risks scuttling a power-sharing agreement.Attacks had ebbed since the height of sectarian slaughter in 2006-2007 when thousands were killed in intercommunal violence among Shiite and Sunni. But the withdrawal of the last American troops in December has fanned worries of a spike in violence.Read and see (Video) the full story here.

  • Israel issues warning against travel to Bangkok.(JPost).The Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued Friday a "severe travel warning" to nationals, advising against travel to Bangkok "in the near future", and to "avoid congregating at known spots favored by Israelis, watch out for suspect items and not to accept packages from strangers in Bangkok."Thai authorities arrested a Lebanese suspect after being warned by Israel of a possible attack in Bangkok, Thailand's deputy prime minister said on Friday, adding that police had stepped up security and he was confident the situation was under control."A Lebanese suspect from the Hezbollah group has been taken into custody by Thai officials and police are investigating further," Chalerm Yoobamrung told Reuters."Following concern raised by the Israeli embassy about a possible attack by a group of Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok, Thai police officials had been coordinating with Israeli officials since before the New Year."Thailand's Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha said Thai and US intelligence officials were monitoring the movements of other individuals and were stepping up precautions in areas deemed to be at risk such as tourist sites and Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport.A defense ministry source said Israeli intelligence had contacted Thai officials on December 22 with information that two or three suspects could be planning an attack in Thailand. However, the individuals traveled to the south and left the country.The Israelis alerted Thai officials again on January 8 of the danger of an attack around January 13 to 15 in areas where there are often large concentrations of Western tourists, such as the Khao San Road, which is popular with young backpackers.The arrest was made after the second Israeli warning, the source said, adding that Thai security officials were working closely with the United States and Israel.Defense Minister Yuthasak said the Israeli embassy and synagogues could also be targeted and that the attacks could come in the form of car bombs."Thai officials had not intended to release the news at this time since it could have an impact on tourism and cause panic among citizens," he said, noting that the US embassy naturally was concerned about the safety of Americans.Earlier, the US embassy had warned of a possible attack by "foreign terrorists" and told its citizens to be careful in areas of the capital frequented by tourists."We're warning all US citizens to take caution when visiting public areas where Western tourists are known to gather in Bangkok," said Walter Braunohler, a spokesman at the embassy, declining to give further details.Bangkok, a magnet for tourists with its vibrant nightlife and a transit point for those heading for Thailand's beaches, has gone through periods of violent political turmoil in recent years but threats of foreign attacks are rare.Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Islamist group in Lebanon backed by Syria and Iran, is on the official US blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations.Read the full story here.

  • Islamist ‘Morality Police’ to train volunteers in using electric batons.(Ahram Online) — The self-proclaimed Islamist “Morality Police” announced on its new official Facebook page that it has acquired 1,000 tazers to be distributed to volunteers who will promote “virtue” and combat “vice” in the Egyptian street.The “Morality Police”, which models itself on a similar group in Saudi Arabia that monitors citizens social behaviour, added in its announcement that these electric shocks batons will help in self-defence against any possible attacks on volunteers, adding that volunteers would be instructed to use the tazers only in “extremely necessary” situations.The Facebook page announced that the first field training session for volunteers will be on Thursday evening in El-Mandara neighbourhood in Alexandria.Meanwhile, Suez Port authorities announced last week that they foiled an attempt to smuggle in 1,000 tazers while it was not clear who the shipment was intended to reach.Islamist and organised Salafist forces such as the Nour Party have distanced themselves from the “Morality Police” group, which has so far only operated in cyberspace.Hmmmm.....Shocking....really Shocking news.Read the full story here.

  • Antisemitic and Anti-Israel Articles on Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Website.(Memri).The website of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt,, contains articles with antisemitic motifs, including Holocaust denial and descriptions of the "Jewish character" as covetous, exploitative, and a source of evil in human society. While articles of this tenor have been posted on the site in the past, their posting has recently taken on greater importance in light of the group's increasing strength following the ouster of the Mubarak regime, as reflected by the results of the recent parliamentary elections.In addition to antisemitic content, articles on the site also include praise for jihad and martyrdom, and condemnation of negotiation as a means of regaining Islamic lands. Among these are articles calling to kill Zionists and praising the September 9, 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo – which one article called a landmark of the Egyptian revolution. Some senior officials in the MB's Freedom and Justice party published articles on the site expressing reservations regarding the peace agreement with Israel and insisting that Egypt was entitled to amend it. Such statements contradict assurances by Freedom and Justice party head Dr. Muhammad Mursi to senior U.S. officials that the MB would honor all international agreements signed by Egypt.This paper will present excerpts of articles posted on the MB site, dated both before and after the revolution.
  1. MB: The Jewish Character Is Still a Source of Evil in the World.
  2. Articles on MB Website Deny Holocaust, Accuse U.S. of Fabricating "Tale" of Jewish Extermination.
  3. In Praise of Jihad and Martyrdom, Against Negotiations.
  4.  Wishing for the Destruction of the State of Israel.Hmmmm.......Obama's administration their  'buddies'.Read the full story here.

    Liz Cheney: Obama Decimating Our Military's Fighting Capacity

    "I think, in fact, what President Obama is doing is something that America's enemies--the Taliban, al Qaeda--have been unable to do, which is to decimate the fighting capability of this nation," Cheney said. "And when you look at his rhetoric, he talks about the need now that hostilities are over to cut our spending, as though we're no longer at war. He's acting as though this is a time for a peace dividend when we're not, you know, truly at peace. And I think it's irresponsible, and I think it will be very, very difficult for him to convince the American people they ought to reelect a president who in fact is so decimating our military capacity."Cheney said that the real debt problem has to do with entitlement spending--"If you look at what's driving our massive debt, it's entitlements"-- but that Obama would rather cut the military than deal with Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. "And this is a president who, rather than deal with the very tough entitlement problem . . . he's cutting defense spending."Read the full story here.

    Jerusalem | Filmed in Imax 3D

    Jerusalem | Filmed in Imax 3D from JerusalemTheMovie on Vimeo.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Overnight Music video - Scatterlings of Africa Johnny Clegg

    Lawyers Join Forces to Create Formidable Organization - The American Freedom Law Center - AFLC

    Lawyers Join Forces to Create Formidable Organization.(AFLC).

    Having collaborated for over four years on many high-profile cases, attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert J. Muise have decided to formalize their working relationship by together launching the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC). Yerushalmi, an orthodox Jew, and Muise, an orthodox Catholic, describe AFLC as the Nation’s first truly authentic Judeo-Christian, public interest law firm.
    According to Yerushalmi and Muise, they formed AFLC because they share the firm conviction that the strength of our Nation lies in its commitment to a Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in God and His Providence. This intersection between our Judeo-Christian values and the preservation and security of our Nation has garnered the interest and support from several prominent leaders, including former CIA Director R. James Woolsey; former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan and current President of the Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney; Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice; former Inspector General for the Department of Defense Joseph Schmitz; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney and current contributing editor to National Review Andy McCarthy, all of whom will be serving on the AFLC advisory board.

    Through AFLC, Yerushalmi and Muise seek a return to what they describe as “America’s founding commitment to receive God’s continued blessing for America.” Yerushalmi commented, “AFLC will fight for faith and freedom by advancing and defending America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation through litigation, education, and public policy programs. Fighting for our Judeo-Christian values is more than simply defending religious liberty; it is fighting for the very survival of our Nation.” He added, “Throughout history, great nations have fallen from within. Make no mistake, America is a blessed Nation, but only so long as it remains faithful to the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded.”

    Yerushalmi and Muise have pledged to aggressively fight those who seek to undermine and destroy our Nation’s founding principles. They view secular progressives and organizations such as the ACLU and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as domestic enemies to the Judeo-Christian values reflected in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. They vow to fight the “civilization jihad” being waged by the Muslim Brotherhood and other sharia-driven Muslims operating within the United States, including CAIR.
    What is AFLC? It is first and foremost a public interest litigation firm. Muise explained the pressing need for an organization like AFLC: “To great effect, elite secular progressives are systematically assailing and destroying our Nation’s moral foundation. Driven by a transnational world view that is hostile to our Nation’s Judeo-Christian values, progressives are zealously sweeping religion from the public square, foisting sharia law and other harmful international precedents into our courts and Constitution, assaulting the traditional family, and weakening our national defense by — among other things — undermining the strength of our military through social engineering and political correctness. Our traditional liberties hang in balance. And for good or ill, this battle for America’s soul is being waged in the courtrooms across America.” Read the full story here.

    EU to PA Arabs: We'll Help You 'Grab Land' from Israel and violate the Oslo Accords

    EU to PA Arabs: We'll Help You 'Grab Land' from Israel.(INN).The EU plans a "land grab" in Judea and Samaria, seeking to gain PA control of Area C, in violation of the Oslo Accords.
    The battle for control of Judea and Samaria – and specifically Area C, which, according to the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli military and political control – may come down to a “horse race,” if the European Union decides to act on a policy paper that was published by Hebrew daily Yediot Achronot Thursday. According to the document, "Area C and Palestinian state building," the EU plans to encourage, and fund, Arab building and development in Area C, without bothering to seek Israeli approval for projects, and in violation of laws regarding zoning, security, and the environment.
    • Under the Oslo Accords, Judea and Samaria is divided into three areas:
    • Area A, which is fully administered by the PA, and which Israelis are banned from even entering – both by Israel and the PA;
    • Area B, which is formally under Israeli security control, but is under PA control for all other purposes; and
    • Area C, consisting for the most part of the “settlement blocs,” such as Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim, and the Jewish towns in Samaria in the vicinity of Ariel.
    Some 90% of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria live in Area C, while the PA Arab population of the area is barely 6%.Nevertheless, the EU document makes it clear the Europeans intends to ensure a future Arab state in Judea and Samaria does not “lose” Area C, in order to ensure territorial contiguity between PA-controlled areas. The best way to do that, the document says, is to create “facts on the ground” - projects by and for PA Arabs, building more homes and communities for them, expanding the territories occupied by Arab towns, and attracting more PA Arabs to live in these new neighborhoods. The document, in effect, would abrogate the Oslo Accords, forcing a new political reality on Israel, in which the entity that came into existence as a result of the accords simply abandons them. According to the accords, Israel is the legal administrator of Area C until a final status agreement is completed.
    However, the document makes no mention of cooperating with Israel or seeking permits for any of the proposed projects, and the report quoted a Western diplomat as saying that the EU has no intention of seeking such permission. “What Europe is essentially saying here is that because Area C is vital for sustaining a viable Palestinian state, we will support whatever needs to be done for the sale of Palestinian development in the area regardless of Israel's planning policy,” the paper quoted the diplomat as saying.Israeli law requires that all building in Israel proper or in Area C be conducted with permits, and while authorities are quite vigilant in enforcing the law against Israelis and Jews, they are far more lax when it comes to Arabs. But Jewish residents of Samaria said that the EU initiative would be too much even for Israel to ignore.“In the end we are going to have no choice but to declare sovereignty, at least on Area C, because if we do not it will end up with the same status as Area A. The EU is forcing on us a decision we should have made a long time ago. The only answer to this initiative is massive building by Israel and the settling of tens of thousands of more Jews in Area C, fulfilling the dictum of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to grab as much land as possible, before the other side does,” the residents said.Hmmm.......On that day, God made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river the Euphrates. The land of the Kenites, Kenizites, Kadmonites; the Chitties, Perizites, Refaim; the Emorites, Canaanites, Gigashites and Yevusites." (Genesis 15:18-21)
    "And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary residence, all the land of Canaan as an eternal possession and I will be a God to them." (Genesis 17:8)Read the full story here.

    Imperial President Obama : "with or without congress, I’m going to keep at it"

    Remarks of President Barack Obama – A 21st Century Government.(WP).
    Good morning, everyone. As small business owners, you know as well as anyone, that if we’re going to rebuild an economy that’s built to last – an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – we all have to up our game.
    The other day, I met with business leaders who are doing their part by insourcing – by bringing jobs back to the United States. And I told them, if you’re willing to keep asking yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back, I’ll make sure you’ve got a government that helps you succeed.
    That’s why we’re here today. I ran for this office pledging to make our government leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly. And from the moment I got here, I saw up close what many of you know to be true: the government we have is not the government we need.
    We live in a 21st century economy, but we’ve still got a government organized for the 20th century. Our economy has fundamentally changed – as has the world – but the government has not. The needs of our citizens have fundamentally changed but their government has not. Instead, it has often grown more complex.
    There are five different entities dealing with housing; more than a dozen agencies involved in food safety. And my favorite example, which I mentioned in last year’s State of the Union Address. As it turns out, the Interior Department is in charge of salmon in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in saltwater. Apparently, this all had something to do with President Nixon being unhappy with his Interior Secretary for criticizing the Vietnam War.
    No business or non-profit leader would allow this kind of duplication or unnecessary complexity in their operations. So why is it OK in our government? It’s not. It has to change.
    Today, I am calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had to streamline and reform the Executive Branch. This is the same sort of authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times. And let me be clear: I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government.
    Today, I’m outlining changes we could make if Congress gives the green light to allow us to modernize and streamline. These changes would help small business owners like all of you. Right now, there are six departments and agencies focused primarily on business and trade in the federal government – from the Commerce Department to the Small Business Administration to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Six. In this case, six isn’t better than one. It’s redundant and inefficient. With the authority I am requesting today, we could consolidate them all into one department with one website, one phone number and one mission – helping American businesses succeed.
    Congress needs to reinstate the authority it has given to Democratic and Republican presidents for decades. In the meantime, as long as folks are looking for work and small businesses are looking for customers, I will keep doing everything in my power to help.As of today, I’m elevating the Small Business Administration to a cabinet-level agency. Karen Mills, who’s been doing a terrific job leading that agency, will make sure that small business owners have their own seat at the table in my Cabinet meetings.In the coming weeks we’ll also unveil a new website – Business USA. This site will be a one-stop shop for small businesses and exporters, consolidating the information that’s right now spread across a number of government sites so that it’s all in one place that’s easy to search.
    So with or without Congress, I’m going to keep at it. I’m hopeful it’s with Congress because this is an area where we can receive bipartisan support, because making our government more responsive, strategic and leaner should not be a partisan issue.
    I’m going to keep fighting every day to rebuild this economy so that hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. I’m going to keep fighting to make sure middle class families regain the security they’ve lost over the past decade. This is a make or break moment for them. It should demand action from Washington.Thank you.Hmmmm........Who will oversee this......Another 'Czar'?Other 'fast move' to get rid of Congressional oversight?More power?When will it stop?In the 'Gulag Archipel'?Read the full story here.More here.

    Obama On Pace To Borrow $6.2 Trillion In One Term — More Than All Presidents From Washington Through Clinton Combined

    Obama On Pace To Borrow $6.2 Trillion In One Term — More Than All Presidents From Washington Through Clinton Combined. (CNSNews) — President Barack Obama has been increasing the national debt during his presidency by an average of $4.24 billion per day ($4,240,506,004.34) putting him on a pace to increase the national debt by $6.2 trillion ($6,195,379,272,340.74) by the end of his term on Jan. 20, 2013, according to the debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.

    That $6.2 trillion is more debt than was accumulated by all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined.

    In fact, the U.S. national debt did not eclipse the $6.195 trillion level — the amount Obama is an pace to increase it in one term — until August 19, 2002, during President George W. Bush’s second year of office.

    The national debt was $10.6 trillion ($10,626,877,048,913.08) on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was inaugurated.

    As of the close of business on Jan. 11, 2012, it was $15.2 trillion ($15,236,307,075,631.58.)

    In Obama’s first 1,087 days in office, the debt increased $4.6 trillion ($4,609,430,026,718.50) — or an increase of $4.24 billion ($4,240,506,004.34) per day.

    Read the full story here.

    MFS - The Other News

                        Morning Posting.

    • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Indonesia 5.2 !More info here.

    • Russia's Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin: "Iran is our neighbor,""And if Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security."(GR).BRUSSELS: Russia would regard any military intervention linked to Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its own security, Moscow's departing ambassador to NATO warned on Friday."Iran is our neighbor," Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels. "And if Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security."Rogozin was speaking two days after the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran by a hitman on a motorcycle.Kremlin Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, who is close to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said Israel was pushing the United States towards war with Iran, according to the Interfax news agency.Russia, however, opposes a boycott of Iranian oil."We are definitely interested in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Rogozin said on Friday. "But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran."Rogozin, often described as an anti-Western hawk, was appointed deputy prime minister in December, and will oversee Russia's defense sector when he returns to Moscow.Hmmm........The lines are drawn.Read the full story here.

    • Sen. Chuck Grassley Not Buying DOJ’s Non-Recess Appointment Apologia.(Heritage).Calling the president’s illegal non-recess appointments “an escalation in a pattern of contempt for the elected representatives of the American people,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, dismissed a Justice Department memo on Thursday that sought to lend retroactive constitutional weight to the president’s move.Grassley hinted at Senate “action to check and balance” the president’s power grab, though he declined to go into specifics.The DOJ Office of Legal Counsel’s memo, also debunked by Heritage’s Todd Gaziano, claims that pro forma Senate sessions do not preclude the president from unilaterally appointing federal officials. That legal opinion contradicts statements by former Obama Administration Solicitor General Elena Kagan – now a Supreme Court justice – and her deputy, Neal Katyal.The memo was released on January 6, two days after Obama non-recess-appointed Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, meaning the president did not wait for DOJ’s official legal opinion before moving forward with the appointments.Here’s what Grassley had to say in a news release:  The Justice Department opinion is unconvincing. Its conclusion is at odds with the text of the Constitution and the administration’s own previous statements. It fundamentally alters the careful separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches that the framers crafted in the Constitution. It relies on no Supreme Court decision and many conclusions are unsupported in law or the Constitution. It recognizes that the courts might well disagree. And it flies in the face of more than 90 years of historical practice. Taken together with a laundry list of other assertions of the power to act without Congress, this is clearly an escalation in a pattern of contempt for the elected representatives of the American people. The Senate will need to take action to check and balance President Obama’s blatant attempt to circumvent the Senate and the Constitution, a claim of presidential power that the Bush Administration refused to make.Check out Gaziano’s response for a more detailed look at DOJ’s legal argument. Here’s an excerpt:The not-too-deft argument in the OLC memo is that the President is free to take the Senate at its word that it would not conduct business during any period it sees fit except that the basis for that assumption also applied from Dec. 17 to Jan. 3. With unanimous consent, such business clearly can and was conducted during the period of time that OLC ignores. Moreover, those facts defeat the repeated finding in the opinion that the Senate is not available to receive messages from the President and act on them. The action on Dec. 23 proves beyond any doubt that they can receive such messages, loudly and clearly, and can act when they want to do so. Their desire not to act cannot be converted so easily into an inability to do so.Even more brazenly, the opinion states on page 21 that: “even absent a Senate pronouncement that it will not conduct business, there may be circumstances in which the President could properly conclude that the body is not available to provide advice and consent for a sufficient period to support the use of his recess appointment power.” There is no limit on this open-ended assertion of authority of the President to determine when the Senate could properly act on his nominees.Read the full story here.

    • France Downgraded by SandP, Losing Triple-A Status, cut credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches.(Cnbc).Standard and Poor's will cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches and downgrade France and Austria by one notch, a French newspaper said Friday, without citing its sources. The newspaper, Les Echos, said that S&P would spare Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg in its long-awaited adjustment of euro zone sovereign ratings. It said the announcement would come at around 4:30 pm ET, after the US stock market has closed. "Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close," one euro zone source told Reuters. US stocks slumped in reaction, though were well off their lows, while European shares closed lower. In December, S and P placed the ratings of 15 euro zone countries on credit watch negative— including those of top-rated Germany and France, the region's two biggest economies—and said "systemic stresses" were building up as credit conditions tighten in the 17-nation bloc.
      A downgrade could automatically require some investment funds to sell bonds of affected states, making those countries' borrowing costs rise still further.
      "It's been priced in for several weeks, but the market had been lulled into complacency over the holidays, and the new year began with a bounce in risk appetite, thanks partly to a good Spanish auction," said Samarjit Shankar, Director Of Global Fx Strategy at BNY Mellon in Boston.
      "But the Italian auction brought us back to earth and now we face the spectre of further downgrades." Italy's three-year debt costs fell below 5 percent on Friday but its first bond sale of the year failed to match the success of a Spanish auction the previous day, reflecting the heavy refinancing load Rome faces over the next three months. Read the full story here.

    • Ruh Roh: Email Shows ATF Director Knew of Gunwalking in December, 2010.(BN).On July 4th, 2011 Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson gave testimony to congressional investigators representing Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley. In that interview, Melson allegedly pleaded ignorance about Operation Fast and Furious, saying that when he'd learned about guns walking, he became sick to his stomach.However, now email evidence has been uncovered that shows Melson not only knew about gunwalking at least as early as a few days after Brian Terry's death but he seemed to be much more concerned about ATF agents leaking information about Fast and Furious to the public than in actually addressing the problem.Via Western Center for Journalism:  Discovery of a January 2011 e-mail exchange between then Acting ATF Director Ken Melson and the Bureau’s chief council Steve Rubenstein has put the kibosh on Obama administration elites’ latest “we didn’t know about it” defense concerning the regime’s involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.After reading a post from an alleged ATF agent on the website, Melson contacted ATF Chief Counsel Steve Rubenstein. It appeared that Melson got the answer he was looking for because he told Rubenstein thank you and that he would be forwarding the email to Internal Affairs, which has become known as the place to go to report ATF agents whose minds aren't right (wink, wink).Instead of expressing outrage or even a modicum of concern about the charges, Melson's reaction at least seems to imply he's in support of disciplining ATF agents who had a problem with letting guns walk.This one is another bombshell and an unwelcome development if you're a member of the Barack Obama administration.Here is the email exchange in question. Hmmmm......"These boots keep on walking, one day they'll walk all over you!"Read the full story here.

    • Obama Administration Airbrushes Britain out of Europe.(Heritage).By Nile Gardiner.Philip H Gordon, US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, has just delivered a speech in Berlin outlining “the state of transatlantic relations”. His remarks, given at the Korber Foundation on January 11, are a scene-setter for the Obama administration’s European policy in “its final year in office before elections this November.” Like most pronouncements on Europe coming from the Obama presidency, it is fixated on Washington’s dealings with the European Union, as well as with Hillary Clinton’s “reset” of relations with Moscow. This is hardly surprising coming from a government that is eurofederalist in outlook and obsessed with kowtowing to the Russians at every opportunity, in some cases at Britain’s expense.There is a good deal of boasting in Gordon’s address about the administration’s “accomplishments”, including the NATO-led operation in Libya (previously dubbed “leading from behind” by a White House aide), alliance efforts in Afghanistan (based on a coalition built by the Bush administration), and US and EU engagement with Iran “in serious discussions without preconditions regarding the international community’s concerns about its nuclear program” (which has merely bought more time for Tehran to advance its nuclear weapons programme.)But perhaps the most striking aspect of the speech is its complete omission of America’s most important ally Great Britain, which fits in well with the words of a senior State Department official back in 2009, who insultingly told The Sunday Telegraph:"There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment."And here is what Gordon has to say about the Libya mission, without of course mentioning the fact that it was heavily driven by Britain and France, and carried out overwhelmingly with British, French and US aircraft (the Germans, significantly, opposed it): In Libya, we cooperated closely with our European allies to pass UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, which levied sanctions against the Qadhafi regime, established a no-fly zone and maritime embargo for Libya, and provided the authority to protect Libyan civilians who were under attack by the regime. With this authorization, the U.S. used its unique assets to take down Libya’s integrated air defense system in a coalition with European Allies. Ten days later, we handed command and control of the mission over to NATO, while continuing to provide the bulk of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, in-air refueling, jamming and other critical capabilities.As I’ve noted previously, the Obama presidency has treated Britain with indifference and contempt in some instances – the Falklands issue being a prime examplepart of a broader strategy of downplaying traditional US alliances while kissing up to strategic competitors and hostile powers. It is a sad day when the most senior US official on Europe cannot even bring himself to acknowledge the vital role and huge sacrifices made by America’s closest partner on the battlefields of Afghanistan, while much of Europe barely lifts a finger in the war against the Taliban. Indeed, the Special Relationship has barely been a blip on President Obama’s teleprompter in the past three years, a damning indictment of a failed and confused foreign policy that has made America weaker and less feared on the world stage.Hmmmm........"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."Read the full story here.

    • Obama has sons?(Politico).The Washington Post's Al Kamen catches this nugget in President Obama's address to supporters yesterday in Chicago: “The first bill I signed — a bill that said that we’re going to have equal pay for equal work because I want my daughters treated the same way as my sons.”It's not the first time that a rhetorical hypothetical has tripped up the president, as when a "Muslim faith" reference was taken wildly out of context.Read the full story here.And According to a new book, Obama got sick of shaking the troops’ hands while on a trip to Baghdad. Via BuzzFeed:“He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,” a State Department official tells me. “Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take fucking pictures with them?Source.

    • The Stop Online Piracy Act Pits Hollywood Against Tech and the American People.(BigGovernment).The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a nightmarish piece of legislation moving the House Judiciary Committee currently which Hollywood is pushing hard for. The Tinsel Town lobbyists are in full press on Capitol Hill, doing all they can to get the legislation out of committee and up for a vote. The problem is, SOPA in no uncertain terms is a direct assault on a free internet.One of the reasons many of us get our news and entertainment from the Net these days is because we find the legacy media lacking. We have turned our backs on old media because it has failed to serve us. We no longer have to tolerate obvious and unceasing news bias, or watch only boxed and packaged melodrama. We are now free to pursue news and entertainment where we like with the click of a mouse or a swipe of the Ipad.Hollywood, and most of legacy media are unhappy about this and would prefer that we continue to listen to their propaganda and watch their terrible movies. I mean, how many sequels can these guys crank out? SOPA seeks to put we the media consumers back in line.SOPA is being sold as a way to stop the piracy of movies and music from overseas sites, and this is a problem, but the bill goes much further than just addressing this issue.For instance if you are the owner of a website and someone posts a bit of copyrighted material in a comments section or in a forum, the owner of the copyright can ask the government to take down your site. You may not even know that someone posted such content, yet you wake up one morning to find your site, and perhaps livelihood, gone from cyberspace with only digital tumble weeds left in its place.Imagine how this would affect some of your favorite sites, Facebook for instance.Facebook, Google, AOL, Twitter, and other online companies may go black in protest to raise awareness of SOPA, the so called “nuclear option.” The tech guys know that it’s DEFCON 5 for free speech and their business models and they are willing to forgo days of revenue to fight this bill.So SOPA has become a fight between Hollywood and Tech. Hollywood has outspent Tech lobbying for SOPA 5 to 1, and the current situation in the House Judiciary Committee reflects this. The Chair, Lamar Smith (R) Texas, and the ranking member John Conyers (D) Michigan, are fully on board along with much of the rest of the House Judiciary Committee. I am sad to say the even Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a guy I have a great deal of respect for is currently supporting this bill.However there is hope and it comes from northern California Republican congressman (they do exist) Darryl Issa.Issa said recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that, “SOPA was ill-conceived, written in Hollywood, and included all kinds of things that physically can’t be done, including the DNS blocking.”He also called SOPA “Unconstitutional.”Read the full story here.

    • US stations two aircraft carriers opposite Iran, 15,000 troops in Kuwait.(Debka).US President Barack Obama is busy aligning Middle East allies with the next US steps on Iran. Contributing to the mounting sense in Washington of an approaching US-Iranian confrontation, the Pentagon is substantially building up its combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait - two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers the region. The USS Carl Vinson, the USS John Stennis which was to have returned to home base and their strike groups will stay in the Arabian Sea.Iran is caught up in the same pre-war swirl of activity. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spent two days in Ankara this week. But Turkish leaders failed in their bid to sell their good offices as brokers for averting the expected collision between Tehran and the West. Before flying out of Ankara Friday, Jan. 13, Larijani commented: "We have different ways of doing things."debkafile's Iranian sources quote the Iranian official as telling his hosts that his country is prepared to take on any military aggressors. One of the responses weighed in Tehran to meet the rising military pressure might be an open declaration of Iran as a nuclear power. By accepting a visit by IAEA inspectors on Jan. 28 - to investigate charges that Iran is running a clandestine nuclear bomb program - Tehran may be moving toward that irreversible admission - or possibly its first nuclear test.Thursday night, Jan. 12, President Obama put in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss coordinating US and Israeli moves for a military operation against Iran, which many US media believe to be imminent.The New York Times wrote Friday under the caption: Dangerous Tension with Iran, "Many officials, experts and commentators increasingly expect some kind of military confrontation."Obama had similar conversations with other Middle East leaders this week. The and Saudi and Qatari foreign ministers, Prince Saud al-Faisal and Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, spent two days on Jan. 10-11 in Washington talking to the US president. The contents of their talks were kept under tight wraps. Friday, British premier David Cameron suddenly turned up in Riyadh for talks with Saudi King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayef.Discussions on military preparations centering on Iran inevitably concern the need for urgent action to halt the unending carnage in Syria, Iran's close ally.Thursday, the Russian National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev, one of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's closest advisers, said ominously: "We are receiving information that NATO members and some Persian Gulf States working under the 'Libyan scenario' intend to move from indirect intervention in Syria to direct military intervention."Moscow has consistently spoken out against any foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict – or even tough UN sanctions.Russia's NATO ambassador Dmitry Rogozin has suggested more than once that the West would use a military adventure in Syria as the jumping-off point for an attack on Iran.Another sign that Syria is under the military eye of the West came from an indiscreet comment Israel's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz made Tuesday, Jan. 10 in a briefing to a Knesset panel. Israel, he said, is preparing to absorb members of Bashar Assad's Alawite sect after his downfall.Hmmmm..........Food for thought: " the 3,000 centrifuges that the Fodow site can contain as a maximum will never produce enough to supply fuel for a nuclear reactor.However, their performance is perfect for making Nuclear bombs."Read the full story here.

    • Brotherhood's 'Lenin' Plotting Islamic Super-State.(CBN).By Erick Stakelbeck.WASHINGTON -- Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been called the most influential Islamic cleric in the world.During the past year, he's used his clout to promote the so-called Arab Spring. For al-Qaradawi, the rise of radical Islamic governments across the Middle East and North Africa means a giant step towards his vision of a united Islamic super-state -- or caliphate -- governed by Sharia law. The 86-year-old Egyptian native pushes this agenda through his website, IslamOnline, and his top-rated Al-Jazeera program, titled "Sharia and Life," which reaches tens of millions of Muslims each week."Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is more than just an ideologue. He is also a strategist," Middle East expert Walid Phares told CBN News. Phares, author of the book The Coming Revolution, said al-Qaradawi sets the tone for the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide."We're talking about a Lenin here -- a jihadi Lenin who controls the flow of the ideology but also gives the nod with regards to general strategic direction," Phares said.  "He's the mentor today for the Muslim Brotherhood," he added. "And the MB's today are about to take over in at least three to four countries in the Middle East. "Just one week after protests forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of power, al-Qaradawi returned to his homeland following a 30-year exile. He led Friday prayers for a crowd of more than 1 million in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where he called for Muslims to re-conquer Jerusalem.Phares compared it to the Ayatollah Khomenei's return to Iran in 1979."Qaradawi came to Egypt to change the Arab Spring into a Caliphate Spring," Phares told CBN News.Al-Qaradawi's fatwas, or religious rulings, have endorsed the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq and suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.He has shown a special animosity towards Jews, and not just those living in Israel.During a 2009 sermon he raged, "Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people...Do not spare a single one of them...Count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one." Egyptian dissident Cynthia Farahat of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., told CBN News that Westerners who call al-Qaradawi a moderate ignore his words."Genocide. That's the main message: genocide," Farahat said."He (Al-Qaradawi) went as far as saying he wants to kill Jews with his own hands, with his own bare hands while sitting on his wheelchair," she said.Yet according to a recent report in The Hindu, one of India's largest daily newspapers, the Obama administration is using al-Qaradawi as a mediator in secret negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban. An Obama administration official told CBN News the report is "not accurate."The administration has acknowledged, however, that it is engaged in dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties.Al-Qaradawi has ambitions beyond the Middle East. He said Muslims will one day conquer America and Europe as well -- not overnight, but gradually, through immigration and proselytizing.Hmmmmm.......“I will stand with the Muslims {Brotherhood]should the political winds shift in an ugly direction?”Read the full story here.

    • Afghan economy more dependent on opium, says UN.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: A new report from the Unites Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows a 133 percent increase in the value of opium in Afghanistan when compared to 2010. Opium production now accounts for 9 percent of the state’s GDP, UNODC reports.Analysts believe that the dramatic spike in prices could be due to a plant disease that destroyed much of the Afghani poppy crops in 2010, driving up prices. The problem intensified with a drop in the price of wheat that same year.According to the UNODC survey, opium income accounted for US $1.4 billion last year, accounting for 90 percent of the world’s overall opium production.“Opium is therefore a significant part of the Afghan economy and provides considerable funding to the insurgency and fuels corruption,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC.The UNODC reported that 60 percent of farmers surveyed in 2011 said they were attracted by the large gains of poppy cultivation.“The Afghan Opium Survey 2011 sends a strong message that we cannot afford to be lethargic in the face of this problem. We thank the Government of Afghanistan for the leadership and dedication already shown, but a stronger commitment from a broad range of national and international partners is needed to turn this worrying trend around” said Mr. Fedotov.Hmmmm.....Karzai's half brother an opium baron?Read the full story here.

    • 'Citizenship Law – declaration of war on Israeli Arabs'.(Ynet).The State has "declared war on Israeli-Arabs," an attorney from the village of Qara said Thursday in response to the High Court of Justice's decision to reject another petition against a law which aims to limit the reunification of Palestinian and Arab-Israeli families. Hatam Iyat and his Palestinian wife of 11 years, Yasmin, have four children. "The Citizenship Law will lead to the expulsion of thousands of families from the country. My wife's life in Israel has become temporary. The Right has triumphed in its racist campaign," he said. "But we will not remain silent; we will take action against the law." The law, which was passed by the Knesset in 2003, states that the interior minister is entitled to grant citizenship only if the West Bank applicant has made a strong enough case that he identifies with the State of Israel and that he or his family members have cooperated with Israel or made a contribution to its security.It appears that only a few will be able to meet these criteria. A mother of two from Tamra said the law will "ruin" her family. "My husband left Nablus seven years ago, and since then we've been living here, but he has not been granted citizenship. Essentially he lives here without any rights, and the law that was upheld by the court yesterday means that our family will be destroyed. We won’t be able to live without him," she said. "I wake up each morning fearing something will happen to him at work, because in case of an accident he is not entitled to adequate medical treatment. The law basically says 'you can all die,'" she said. Shahar Shoham, head of the Migrants and Persons with No Civil Status Department at Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said, "Apart from the fundamental violation of Arab Israelis' rights, the law will create a reality in which thousands of people who are married to Israeli citizens will continue to live without any civil status or social rights." Hmmmm......"For better and for worse".Read the full story here.

    • Syrians rally Friday to support ‘free army;’ Arab League chief warns of civil war.(AlArabiya).Syrian opposition groups called on Friday for mass protests across the country to rally support for the “Free Syrian Army” fighting the security forces of President Bashar al-Assad. “We will come out (to protest) day and night to honor Syria and its martyrs and its free people,” the Syrian Revolution against Bashar al-Assaad reported in its Facebook page,” in persistent challenge to the regime’s killing machine.Local Coordination Committees reported that 34 were killed on Monday, including two children, three defectors, and 8 unidentified dead bodies in Maret Noman National Hospital and 11 in Idlib.The group reported that a 13-year old girl, Asma Hajazi, also was shot dead by Assad’s security forces stationed near Rasatan. “They fired on her family’s vehicle that was traveling from Hamouya (Damascus Suburbs) to Manegh Village in Aleppo. Asma was shot by three bullets injuring the chest, hand, and groin,” the group reported on its Website.The head of the Arab League said in remarks broadcast on Friday he was worried about the prospect of a Syrian civil war with consequences for the country’s neighbors.“Yes I fear a civil war and the events that we see and hear about now could lead to a civil war,” said Nabil Elaraby, whose body currently has monitors in Syria checking its compliance with an agreement aimed at halting a crackdown on protesters.“Any problems in Syria will have consequences for the neighboring states,” he said in an interview with the Egyptian al-Hayat channel.The Arab League’s monitoring mission is struggling to salvage credibility as its members start to walk out, the opposition calls it a toothless failure and killings of anti-government protesters continue unabated.Elaraby described reports from the mission head as “worrying,” though he added that there was “no doubt that the pace of killing has fallen with the presence of the observers.” But an Arab League monitor, Anwar Malek, who had resigned, said the mission was powerless to prevent what he said were the “scenes of horror” he had seen in Homs.“The regime isn’t committing one war crime but a series of crimes against its people.”Malek’s resignation was the latest blow to a mission already criticized for inefficiency and whose members have come under attack this week from both Assad supporters and protesters.Under the Arab peace plan, Syrian authorities are supposed to stop attacking peaceful protests, withdraw troops and tanks from the streets, free detainees and open a political dialogue.Read the full story here.

    • Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter blames Mubarak Gov for partial suffering of Palestinians during Muslim Brotherhood meeting.(IW).Carter also discussed the Palestinian issue, noting that his organization monitored the elections in Palestine in 2006 – elections which were free and fair but the United States and the international community refused to recognize the results. Carter then pointed out that the peace agreement signed between Egypt and Israel had two sides: the first related to Israeli and international obligations towards the Palestinian cause, and the second to military matters; but what has been implemented of the agreement is the second part, while the first – regarding Palestinian rights – has not been dealt with adequately, adding that the former Egyptian regime played a major role in the marginalization of that side.Hmmmm........For a minute i thought i heard Obama speaking.Read the full story here.

    • N. Korea test-fires short-range missiles.(CNA).TOKYO: North Korea test-fired three short-range missiles into the sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula this week, a report said Friday.The hermit state lobbed the missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) on Wednesday, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper quoted anonymous Japanese government sources as saying.Outgoing Defence Minister Yasuo Ichikawa initially said he was "aware" the missile tests had taken place, leaving his bureaucrats scrambling when he later said only that he had intended to convey he was aware of reports of the test.The ministry said it was analysing intelligence and had put defence bodies on alert against provocative acts from the unpredictable regime, the Sankei reported.In Seoul, the South Korean defence ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to confirm the report.North Korea reportedly test-fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on December 19, the same day it announced the death of leader Kim Jong-Il.The Sankei said the latest launch was believed to have been delayed because of the former leader's death.The communist country has frequently conducted short-range missile tests in recent years. South Korean officials say they are part of routine exercises but the tests are sometimes timed to coincide with periods of tension.Since Kim's death, there has been speculation that his son and successor, Kim Jong-Un may try to burnish his military credentials by conducting missile tests.Read the full story here.

    • Member of Kuwaiti royal family embraces Christ!(MohabatNews).This Kuwaiti prince announced, "First of all, I totally agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of this audio file, then I'll go into the presence of Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity."Iranian Christian News Agency Mohabat News – Al-haqiqa, a Christian Arabic satellite T.V., which broadcasts Christian programs, played an audio file which it attributed to a Kuwaiti prince called "Abdollah Al-sabah".The T.V. channel claimed that Prince Abdollah Al-sabah comes from a Kuwaiti royal family which currently governs the country. The channel also said that the prince recently denounced his Islamic faith and became a Christian.The voice in the audio file introduced himself as Abdollah Al-sabah and stated, "First of all, I totally agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of this audio file, then I'll go into the presence of Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.""I'm satisfied with whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me to the right way".Regarding the Islamic groups who have recently gained power in Egypt, this Kuwaiti prince also stated, "Islamic communities have always wanted to attack in different parts of the world but God has preserved the world and still protects it. This is why we have recently seen disagreements appearing among Islamic groups who are now fighting with each other. They are about to divide further into different groups.This piece of news made headlines briefly on Arabic News wires and also in the Iranian government run news agency. Some independent Shiite websites contradicted this report and quoted another Kuwaiti prince, Azbi Al-sabah as saying, "there is no one in the Kuwaiti royal family by that name."Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country, neighboring Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran across the Persian Gulf. Its capital city is also called Kuwait.Islam is the official and dominant religion in Kuwait and almost the entire population is Muslim. Only 4% of the population is Christian and there is a tiny group of other religions. Article 2 of the Kuwaiti constitution reads, "Islam is the official religion in the country and Sharia is a main source for legislation."Hmmmm..........Jesus said " shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." ~ John 8:32.Read the full story here.
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