I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.”
A grade two teacher at Stoney Creek Public School in London sent a letter to her students informing them that in addition to the school's allergy rules, no meat, eggs or fish were permitted in the classroom due to "religious reasons." Should students be prohibited from bringing certain lunches because of the religious beliefs of their classmates?
Brazil admits that none of its six World Cup stadiums under construction will be ready for FIFA's deadline
Left: A collapsed crane at the site of the Arena Sao Paulo stadium, which will host the opening soccer match of the 2014 World Cup, on Nov. 28, 2013. When Brazil was chosen to host the World Cup six years ago, organizers promised that the necessary stadiums would be built entirely with private funds. It has since become clear that most of the burden will fall on the taxpayers.
Brazil has admitted all six of its World Cup stadiums under construction will not be ready in time to meet FIFA’s December 31 deadline.
But the Brazilian government brushed aside the importance of more delays in completing 2014 World Cup stadiums, saying that missing the deadline will not affect the country's ability to successfully host next year's tournament.
Yesterday FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the December 31 deadline, but today Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date.
For a more detailed description of Brazil's soccer woes, see this piece in Der Spiegel ("its infrastructure for the sport is crumbling", tax-payers picking up the tab, mass protests, etc).
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died aged 95, the country's president Jacob Zuma said tonight.
In a televised address, Mr Zuma said: 'Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.
'What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.'
Mr Zuma said 'the nation has lost it's greatest son', adding 'he is now resting. He is now at peace.'
The Pakistani Express Tribune has run an op-ed piece advising people to be more careful on social media: "Think before you speak." All very unremarkable. But I noticed the example given:
Speaking on the role of the social media, Avinash Sharma [name sounds Hindu?] cited the example of actor Paul Walker’s recent death. “People on Facebook commented that it was a good thing the actor died since he was a Christian. As a member of another faith, I was deeply hurt and tried to remind them that he was a human first.”Better to let them say what they think: know your enemy. And it seems Pakistan is definitely in that category.
The roads are thick with traffic and pavements throng with hawkers selling phonecards, sunglasses and leather sandals. But the bustle of Kano, Nigeria’s second-biggest city and the commercial capital of the north, masks an uncomfortable reality: northern Nigeria is in steep decline.
An increasingly bloody insurgency waged by Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, has sharpened frustration over the disparity between the jobless north and the oil-rich south. In recent months Kano has been relatively stable, following a military offensive to contain the terrorists. But though the pause in violence has brought people back onto the streets, they have rediscovered other problems. “Stoves are gone, people selling beer have gone, there is no market, there are few customers and I haven’t been able to save any money in months,” says Chineu Abason, sitting in her wooden-shack restaurant in Sabon Gari, a mainly Christian district, where Boko Haram bombs have killed scores of people this year (photo).
Sigh. Life is so hard for Muslims. Memorizing in the Koran in Arabic just doesn't bring jobs. Then the unemployed young men drift off to Boko Haram and the illiteracy rate just gets worse. What do to, what to do...
The former justice minister, Brian Mikkelsen (K-Conservative), wants to divide immigrants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ groups, and let those deemed as good into the country while sending the bad packing.
“Even though it is politically incorrect to talk about, there are good and bad immigrants,” Mikkelsen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Not good and bad people, but some immigrants benefit the Danish society and some do not.”
Mikkelsen called it “ridiculous” that quality immigrants were not being allowed to come to Denmark – or are being forced out due to the nation's stringent, often counter-productive immigration laws – even though he was part of the V/K (Liberal/Conservative coalition) government, that, along with support party Dansk Folkeparti, helped craft the immigration laws that he now finds so restrictive.
“The rules were necessary at the time because we took over from a red government that had thrown open the barn doors,” he said. “But we need highly-educated immigrants who are good for society.”
Mikkelsen pointed to the Canadian system, in which immigrants who have high marks in language, education and job experience have an easier time getting permanent residence.
Venstre (Liberal) spokesperson Ellen Trane Nørby said that a sorting system was discussed for years during the V/K regime, but plans were dropped because the idea presumably violated human rights conventions.
“They do it in Canada and the Netherlands, and we should be allowed to do it in Denmark as well,” Nørby told Jyllands-Posten. “We investigated the idea while we were leading the government, but were told it violated the rules.”
Bishoy Armiya, Egypt's most famous Christian convert from Islam, has been arrested by national security forces.
Armiya, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, had fought publicly to change his religion on his identification card. He and his family had been running for their lives after Muslim leaders pronounced a death sentence against him.
(Reuters) - Undocumented immigrants in Illinois began taking road tests on Tuesday to qualify for driver's licenses, starting a process expected to be closely watched by other U.S. states that are preparing to implement similar laws.
Illinois is the largest U.S. state to implement legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to get licenses - following in the steps of New Mexico and Washington.
Ten states in 2013 including Illinois enacted laws allowing unauthorized immigrants to receive driver's licenses or permits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Implementation dates vary - California, the largest state by population, won't begin issuing licenses until 2015.
"They represent a growing trend toward inclusive state policies that recognize that immigrants are part of our community," said Melissa Keaney, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. "If someone's going to drive, we want them to be sure they know the rules off the road."
(Reuters) A man exits a McDonald's restaurant while members of 'MoveOn' shout slogans against the company in front of the restaurant in Times Square, New York, December 4, 2013.
MoveOn members will be protesting at McDonald's locations in five cities - Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and delivering a petition started by "Low Pay is Not Okay". The petition, which is addressed to McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, and Subway, and has the support of nearly 50,000 MoveOn members, demands a $15/hour living wage for all fast food workers.
Tell me: when will the leftists of MoveOn and other organizations realize that higher wages for unskilled labour and mass immigration of millions of unskilled workers from south of the US border are totally, utterly contradictory? Just how stupid are these workers?
I have been reading Peter Brimelow's book Alien Nation (written in 1995 but very informative) and I have learned that labour unions were active in promoting legislation to restrict immigration in the early 1920's in the US (and Canada also I would imagine).
(Reuters) - The United States has repatriated two Algerians held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than a decade, the Pentagon said on Thursday, in what the men's attorneys described as an involuntary transfer that ignored their pleas to go elsewhere.
Djamel Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem did not want to go back to Algeria because they fear being persecuted there, their attorneys said.
"Hopefully this won't be a case of 'out of the frying pan and into the fire,'" Zeke Johnson, director of Amnesty International USA's Security & Human Rights Program, said in a statement.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented Ameziane, said the repatriation to Algeria violated international law. Rob Kirsch, an attorney for Belkecem, described the transfer as involuntary.
"The U.S. has compounded one injustice against him with another. He deserved better from the United States," CCR attorney Wells Dixon in a statement.
Ronnie Smith from Texas posted this photo of himself and his family on his Twitter account earlier this year.
Gunmen shot and killed a young American teacher as he was jogging in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday, amid an upsurge of violence between radicals and security forces.
Ronnie Smith, a chemistry teacher at the city’s international school, was killed while on his regular afternoon running route in Dubai Street, an upmarket area of the city.
His death comes with Libya enduring some of the worst violence since the 2011 revolution, with nearly three weeks of clashes between militias and the army in both Benghazi and Tripoli, the capital. Three Libyan army soldiers were killed in the eastern port city earlier on Thursday.
Last week the army stormed four bases of Ansar al-Sharia, the Islamist militia blamed by some for the killing last year of American ambassador Chris Stevens at the US consulate. Bombings and assassinations have continued on a near-daily basis.
the Daily Mail:
Preachers of hate are to be ‘silenced’ with new anti-terror orders based on a dramatically tightened definition of extremism and attempts to block their bile on the internet.This is a bad development. Who is going to define ‘hate speech’? We already have seen how the UK is determined to wreck EDL, indeed may have succeeded. Now it is going after not just street demonstrations but all forms of speech.
The Government is to introduce new civil powers, similar to those used against anti-social behaviour, to target extremists who radicalise others.
They are expected to be used to bar people from preaching messages of terror and hate, associating with named individuals thought vulnerable to radicalisation, and from entering specific venues, such as mosques or community halls.
The move is part of a sweeping package of measures drawn up by an anti-extremism task force set up by David Cameron after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
‘I want to see an end to hate preaching in Britain,’ the Prime Minister said.
We all know it will not affect Muslim radicals at all: their well-financed online operations can simply be based in sympathetic countries like Saudi Arabia. Are they really going to go into U.K. mosques and listen to the sermons? (This has already been blocked in the U.S.) A very bad move.
The Islamist accused of hacking Lee Rigby to death told police it brought him “little joy to approach anybody and slay them”, a court heard on Wednesday.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, told officers that 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby was killed after being “struck in the neck” and “sawed” until his head “almost detached”.
In one police interview, he delivered a near-40-minute uninterrupted sermon and wore a blue blanket over his head throughout.
He said he was “ashamed to be British” and attacked senior politicians including David Cameron and Tony Blair as “wicked”.
Three interviews, conducted 10 days after Fusilier Rigby’s death, were shown to the Old Bailey jury on the fourth day of the murder trial.
At times, Adebolajo clashed with officers trying to ask him questions, saying they could not interrupt him. See also here (no reader restrictions).
Smoke billowed from Yemen's Defense Ministry after an assailant drove a car packed with explosives into the complex on Thursday.
SANA, Yemen — Assailants launched a two-pronged attack on Yemen’s heavily guarded Defense Ministry in the center of the capital on Thursday, ramming a car packed with explosives into one part of the complex as attackers on foot opened fire with automatic rifles on another, witnesses said.
News reports quoting Defense Ministry officials said that 20 people had been killed, including militants and Yemeni soldiers, and that dozens had been wounded. But other accounts put the death toll higher. Several foreign medical workers were also reported to be among the dead after the attackers stormed into a hospital within the complex.
The attack illustrated the frail state of security in Yemen, a troubled and impoverished country that is in the middle of a difficult political transition as the authorities struggle with militants, rebels and secessionists.
Yemen is known as the home of one of Al Qaeda’s most organized and threatening affiliates, whose operatives are the targets of an American drone campaign to kill militants suspected of involvement in kidnapping for ransom and a string of deadly attacks on military targets. The Qaeda affiliate in Yemen has also tried to plant bombs on United States-bound jetliners.
The attack was among the most brazen since May 2012, when a suicide bomber disguised as a soldier detonated explosives during a military parade rehearsal near the presidential palace, leaving hundreds dead and wounded. See also here (no reader restrictions).
h/t Martin for the vid, more in the comments
(Reuters) - Armed with machine guns, black-clad al Qaeda fighters drove their pick-ups calmly into the northern Syrian town and took over its imposing agriculture ministry building.
They beheaded a sniper from a rival rebel unit, displayed his head in the main square and put roadblocks on major routes.
Not a shot was fired in the takeover, in which informants, including a preacher from a local mosque, played key roles.
The scene in Termanin, recounted by an activist who witnessed it last week, is being repeated in towns along the border with Turkey and at road junctions further inside Syria that have fallen out of President Bashar al-Assad's control.
Whether through weakness or a desire to focus on Assad, rebel units are making way for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda affiliate led by foreigners hardened by guerrilla warfare in Iraq, Chechnya and Libya.
The landgrab has given radical jihadists a large territorial base in the heart of a Middle East convulsed by the civil war raging in Syria since 2011.
The lights are turned on for a giant menorah at the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv, on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah December 4, 2013. Israel's electric company said on Wednesday it had created the world's largest menorah consisting of nine aerial platforms reaching 28 meters and lit with nine white light beams reaching the height of ten kilometers. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and one of the most important Jewish holidays came to an end on Wednesday.
The real revelation in the latest release of reports of investigations and wiretaps surrounding the Rob Ford controversy is that there is no revelation. At least not about Rob Ford.
The "shocker" is supposed to be that some people talked on the phone about Ford having done heroin and that people discussed his attempting to buy the "crack video" which was at the centre of the media firestorm.
It’s obvious that civilization is seizing up, choking on its own fumes. First World governments will become more corrupt and dysfunctional as more and more useless mouths pile up in their territories, and that might well drive smart elites to secede with their robot factories and drone nukes.
That could take a while, though, and a lot of things could get in the way.
Around Obama there is an unprecedented silence, almost a media omertà. So much remains unknown about this man, although we do know, through the debate surrounding David Maraniss’s failed and tentative biography, that the president lied about his personal history on multiple occasions in his autobiography Dreams from My Father.
Of course, Bill Ayers — the semi-retired terrorist — has claimed on similarly multiple occasions that he was the true author of Dreams, which would make it a lie about a lie about a lie or something like that. The permutations of this are mindboggling. (...)
Which leads me back to Jerome Corsi. A few years ago, in Chicago for a conference, I was introduced to the author-presidential gadfly who had rented a limo for the day to tour Obama and Obama-related real estate properties in that city’s Hyde Park district. He asked me to come along and, never one to refuse a free invitation, I went, but although I found Corsi personally engaging, I kept thinking quietly that the man was cracked.
No longer. Years and a multiplicity of deceptions later, I think what Corsi said and says is mostly (as in more than fifty percent) true.
At last you can earn a degree focused on skills applicable to the Obama economy!
Which is why its catastrophic launch is sobering even for those of us who've been saying for five years it would be a disaster.
It's as if at the ribbon-cutting the Hoover Dam cracked open and washed away the dignitaries; as if the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to traffic with its central span missing; as if Apollo 11 had taken off for the moon but landed on Newfoundland.Obama didn't have to build a dam or a bridge or a spaceship, just a database and a website. This is his world, the guys he hangs with, the zeitgeist he surfs so dazzlingly, Apple and Google, apps and downloads. But his website's a sclerotic dump, and the database is a hacker's heaven, and all that's left is the remorseless snail mail of millions and millions of cancellation letters.
Russia dumps on Sweden in TV toilet rant
A Swedish TV show which teaches children bodily functions has been used as the latest tactic by Russia to ward off pro-EU Ukrainians branding the programme as "singing genitalia" and an example of western decadence.
Holy Crap! biss och kajs is a real kids program.
Swedish 'poop terrorist' no show at trial
'The touristy parts of Havana are lovely,” said a friend of mine who has been there many times and returned home with a Cuban wife a few years ago. “But if you get out of the bubble and look at the places the tourist busses don’t go, you will see a different Havana... “Notwithstanding the murders and assassinations and tortures and such,” Prieto said, “the indoctrination and exploitation of children is the worst thing the regime has done and continues to do to this day. A student’s file in Cuba doesn’t just have information on their attendance and education. It’s more like a dossier on that child’s family and their revolutionary ‘ardor.’ Kids are made to spy on their families. They’re questioned as to whether the family speaks ill of Fidel and the Revolution, on whether or not they attend meetings, or whether they have more than their allotted share of milk, etc. This is why the Cuban American community created such a ruckus over Elian Gonzalez. Kids don’t belong to their parents in Cuba, they belong to the state. Period.'
You should probably drop whatever you're doing and get drunk to celebrate.
UPDATE: h/t Reader, who's got more in the comments. Thanks Reader!
Police: Mom Of Victim A ‘Strong Suspect’ In Lunenburg Racist Graffiti Incident
LUNENBURG (CBS) – The investigation into who spray painted a home with racist graffiti last month has turned toward the woman who lives there.
Police said on Wednesday that Andrea Brazier is now considered a “strong suspect” in the case.
Officers say they executed a search warrant on Tuesday and seized two cans of spray paint and ammunition from the home.
Brazier, who is white, and her husband Anthony Phillips, who is African American live at the home with their 13-year-old son, Isaac. Brazier initially cast suspicion on her son’s Lunenburg High School football teammates, saying he had been bullied in the past.
The school’s superintendent cancelled the football team’s final game on Thanksgiving after no one came forward to take responsibility.
On Monday, Lunenburg police announced that there was no conclusive evidence that anyone on the high school football team is linked to the graffiti.
London Mayor Joe Fontana and his friends pocketed $8M of charity money, but the Media Party keeps obsessing over Rob Ford.
TORONTO - You would think if there is anybody who should have been shaken up with the latest court document bombshells, it should have been Mayor Rob Ford.
He wasn’t last night.
In fact, the release of the wire taps that suggest he tried to buy the infamous crack video, told a staffer where the video might be found and was involved with heroin had him in a jovial mood — and even laughing.
Meet Muhammad. He's Palestinian. He loves sleep, purple, and talking to inanimate objects. Like his knife. With which he'd like to stab an Israeli soldier
This would appear to be Muhammad Hammad, president of San Francisco State’s General Union of Palestine Students.
(ANSAmed) - ROME, DECEMBER 3 - The Muslim world appreciates Pope Francis's willingness to engage in dialogue but is concerned that he may be blocked by disagreement within the Church itself.
This was the view expressed by the Palestinian head of the Arab Communities in Italy (COMAI) and the 'Uniti per Unire' movement, Foad Aodi, at a conference Tuesday at the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
“I'm not speaking about physical risks, poisonings or other things of that type. I'm speaking about political risks,” said Aodi. “There have been many signs that Pope Francis's desire to welcome in a new phase of relations with other religions and the Arab and Muslim world is not shared by many powerful parts of the Curia and the ranks of the Catholic Church.”
The risk is that of “another Obama incident”, Aodi said, in reference to the US president's speech in Cairo on Islam at the beginning of his term in office, which was later forgotten.
The Palestinian Deputy Ambassador, Mohammed Abdellatif Rebhi, said that he hopes “Francis's courage, humanity, and commitment can help to find a negotiated solution to bring Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories to an end and to create a State of Palestine on the basis of 1967 borders.”
Outraged child advocates are blasting NORAD's new 3D Santa Tracker program because it includes a fighter jet escort for jolly old Saint Nick.
Some say the new online portrait could give kids the wrong impression about Santa Claus - associating him with the military and violence.
But Pentagon officials argue the North American Aerospace Defense Command is a military organization - its purpose is to track incursions of the airspace over the U.S. and Canada - and the inclusion of fighter jets into Santa's new digital flight across the world is a nod to NORAD's true mission.
The American Studies Association on Wednesday decided to boycott Israeli academic institutions, handing the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement another victory in its struggle against Israel.
Decrying “the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law” and “the systematic discrimination against Palestinians,” the organization resolved to “honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”
The “boycott is the best way to protect and expand academic freedom and access to education,” ASA president Curtis Marez said in a press release.
On Thursday, the Toronto Star reported that a 50-year-old paraplegic woman may have been barred from visiting the United States due to her history of mental health issues. Apparently, last week Ellen Richardson attempted to fly from Toronto to New York City en route to a Caribbean cruise. But before she could get on the plane, a Department of Homeland Security agent said she couldn’t enter the country because she was hospitalized in 2012 for clinical depression and attempted to commit suicide in 2001.
According to Richardson, the agent cited section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which details who may be barred from entering the US. These include aliens who have a “mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others.”
Legally, the US can bar anyone with the faintest hint of a skeleton in his or her closet from entry. But the morality of such rules is another story—who is the DHS to declare someone healthy or unhealthy and deny them the ability to cross borders based on that determination? Richardson wasn’t the first to get squeezed between the sides of bureaucratized medical care and border security hysteria, and unless the DHS makes some changes to its policies, she’s not going to be the last.
The intent might be OK, but they're doing a very good job judging by some of the doozies they have let in...
A handful of Turkish nationals were among hundreds of Muslim worshippers who stood up to an attempt by Jewish settlers to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (East Jerusalem) on Wednesday, according to a guard at the holy site.
"Turkish worshipers arrived at the mosque in the early morning where they joined other Palestinian and Arab worshippers," the guard, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
"They teamed up to foil a bid by Jewish settlers to place a menorah [a Jewish religious symbol] atop the Dome of the Rock," the guard said.
A jubilant mood prevailed at the Muslim holy site after worshippers managed to drive the settlers – and the Israeli forces that accompanied them – out of the compound.
"I felt that the Turks were supporting the Palestinians from the heart," said the guard. "They're Muslims, after all, who had been provoked by [Jewish] calls to storm the holy site and place a menorah in it."
Jews refer to Al-Aqsa as the "Temple Mount," claiming the area was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Cliff jump gone wrong...
Pilot attached some GoPro cameras to a Mig-31, and came up with some awesome footage. It was no simple task as you can see from his blog
Visitors to Mather Point at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA, look out over a rare total cloud inversion. The phenomenon, caused by cold and warm air masses interacting, left the Grand Canyon peaking above a sea of clouds.
Eurabia watch: Turkish "World Bulletin" enthuses about "Arab Street in the heart of Sofia, Bulgaria"
Halal butcher in Sofia
It is a very rare opportunity to see Arabic writings, Mediterranean cuisine and some other reflections of Middle Eastern culture in a mostly Christian populated Bulgarian city. However, in the heart of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, the Car Simeon neighborhood, which is also known as Arab Street, has become the new home for Arab asylum seekers.
One gets the sense of being in the Middle-East when going through Car Simeon. Butchers selling halal meat, hairdressers Arab style hairdressers as well as many other aspects of Middle Eastern culture are found in the stores along Car Simeon. With the increasing number of immigrants rushing to Bulgaria, the street has become a bustling new venue.
In the past, Balkan countries used to attract many Arab students who would come for educational purposes. However, today instability back home is once again pushing Arab migrants to settle in the region. In correlation with the increasing Arab population in the city, stores have opened in Car Simeon to meet their demands. Most of these stores are run by Arabs.
The UK Telegraph
A teenager who doesn’t know his name, age or country of origin, may as well have “fallen from sky”, a charity has said, after the boy was found wandering around Coventry…How convenient that this "boy" doesn't know his name or country of origin! Makes it hard to send him back, doesn't it?
All he had in his possession when he arrived in Coventry was a letter from a solicitor saying he was "stateless". He told staff he did not know his name, age, or country of origin. He said he had been trafficked into the country…
"He doesn't know his own name or his country of origin. We don't know how long he has been in the UK - all we know is that he tells us he got on a bus in London and arrived in Coventry."
The man could be in his late teens to early 20s. He speaks Urdu, Hindi and basic English.
Two women exposed to hazardous substance found inside envelope at Fraser Institute
While we on the Right have been enjoying some well deserved Schadenfreude at the expense of President Obama and the Democrats over the diasterous rollout of Obamacare, with some of our pundits going so far as to claim that the public’s awakening due to Obamacare will be the end of liberalism in America, the Left has been planning their counter attack.
Rather than concede that Obama’s program to provide health insurance to everyone, including those with preexisting conditions, was too big of a move to the Left, the left Left-wing of the Democratic Party is looking at Barack Obama and his potential replacement, Hilary Clinton, and finding them wanting. The left Left-wing is thinking that Barry and Hilary are not far enough to the Left. They are not planning on conceding anything to the Right. To the contrary, they are planning a big push further to the Left.
Because that's how they roll...
"In addition to being fined £3,600 for the “hurt and embarrassment” felt by the complainants, Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, the Bulls were ordered to pay the latter’s legal expenses... Mrs. Bull told the Christian Institute in September that they had no choice but to sell their business, having gone hungry and without heating last winter in their struggle to make mortgage payments."
I have noted here many times that Israel has no restrictions of diesel and petroleum into Gaza, outside of the physical amount that can be transferred via the pipeline at Kerem Shalom. (As far as I can tell, that pipeline has never reached capacity.)
The current Gaza fuel crisis started when Hamas decided in 2011 that it didn't want fuel from Israel and instead chose to run Gaza's power plant with Egyptian fuel, sold by smugglers at lower prices that reflected the subsidy that Egypt gives all its petroleum. When Hamas' Muslim Brotherhood patrons lost power, Hamas lost its source of fuel as the smuggling tunnels were closed.
Now, instead of paying market prices (and PA taxes), Hamas chose to let the Gaza power plant shut down, causing a cascading crisis as water treatment plants, water pumps and other essential infrastructure gets shut off. This was a cynical decision on Hamas' part, as they gambled that the resulting media coverage about the crisis they started would pressure Egypt, Qatar, the PA and perhaps Gulf countries to provide fuel at a discount again.
Amnesty International chooses to blame Israel, though.
UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking. They have also identified the mechanism underlying this phenomenon.
The study showed that normal mice show no interest in alcohol and drink little or no alcohol when offered a free choice between a bottle of water and a bottle of diluted alcohol.
However, mice with a genetic mutation to the gene Gabrb1 overwhelmingly preferred drinking alcohol over water, choosing to consume almost 85% of their daily fluid as drinks containing alcohol.
Dr Quentin Anstee, Consultant Hepatologist at Newcastle University, joint lead author said: “It’s amazing to think that a small change in the code for just one gene can have such profound effects on complex behaviours like alcohol consumption.
See also here for a discussion of the ALDH2*504Lys allele: "In East Asia, many people have a bunged-up version of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, the enzyme that converts acetaldehyde into acetate (after alcohol has been converted into acetaldehyde). This makes drinking so uncomfortable that carriers are highly resistant to alcoholism. They don’t need to buy Antabuse - the effect is built-in."
Distribution of ALDH2*504Lys allele
The White House confirmed late Tuesday that it is “prepared” to let Iran keep a “limited” uranium enrichment program under any final nuclear accord reached with Tehran in the next months.
Iran’s so-called right to enrich uranium has been a key sticking point in ongoing negotiations between the regime and Western nations.
The Iranians insist that they have an inherent “right” to keep enriching uranium, the main fuel for a nuclear weapon, for peaceful purposes. However, many in the West believe that Tehran would use this technology to clandestinely build a bomb.
The White House first told the Washington Free Beacon that it is currently exploring ways to preserve some of Tehran’s enrichment activities and confirmed that position late Tuesday after multiple media outlets requested clarification.
OK the documents are released, but I haven't had a chance to read much about this at all. Work has been extremely demanding of my time this week and I have a report to write up tonight, followed by a 4 am wake-up...the third one this week. Following are links to the MSM's reporting on the latest revelations.
PS. Please thank Frau Katze and Black Mamba for holding the Fort.
The Star - Rob Ford: Gang members targeted mayor in blackmail plot, police documents say
David Cameron’s plans for restrictions on EU immigrants are likely to be backed by the Netherlands at a Brussels meeting next week as Germany and France also embark on campaigns to curb immigration.
Dutch resolve to act over mass migration from eastern Europe was stiffened yesterday with a poll showing that 80% of Dutch citizens want the Netherlands’ borders to remain closed to Romanian and Bulgarian labour migrants after EU restrictions lapse on January 1.
Reacting to the poll, Lodewijk Asscher, the Employment Minister, said that he sympathised with his country’s impatience over the influx of workers from Eastern Europe. The Labour party minister aims to bring up the negative impact of the EU’s free movement of citizens at an EU Council of Social Affairs ministers on December 9.
The poll, commissioned by the Dutch Socialist Party and published in De Telegraaf newspaper, also found that 91% of supporters of the ruling Liberal party of Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister, wanted to keep Romanians and Bulgarians out of the labour market from January 1.
In Germany, there was a backlash against a court ruling in North Rhine-Westphalia that confirmed the entitlement of a jobless Romanian couple to unemployment benefits. Die Welt newspaper reported “fear of welfare tourism” in Germany, citing a senior MP in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party as saying: “We want to make it clear in our social security law that no EU citizen who has come to Germany to find work can receive unemployment benefits.”
Steve Sailer looks at the latest PISA test scores, gathered from 65 countries' 15-year olds: America does not score particularly well but the results are misleading.
On November 29, Marine Le Pen traveled to southern France to the town of Digne-les-Bains in the department of les Alpes-de-Haute-Provence to support the Front National candidate for mayor
in the upcoming municipal elections.
She was greeted by a crowd of three hundred anti-Front National protesters, some of whom became violent. According to the local paper Haute-Provence Info (with many photos) she is confident her party can win the mayoral election considering its relative success in the 2012 presidential election in which it garnered 20% of the votes:
(…) Marine Le Pen, booed by three hundred demonstrators declared that she wasn't "afraid to prove to the French people that we are capable of governing cities. We will demonstrate this next Spring, and we will keep our promises as much as possible. And we are completely capable of improving the daily life of the French through the management of municipalities. Marie-Anne Baudoui-Maurel, will prove this when she is mayor of Digne-les-Bains…"This illustrates the danger that awaits us if we cannot stop the immigrant flood in time. They, too, have votes and numbers and are not afraid to demonstrate. More photos and translations from French at the first link.
A container of cobalt-60, similar to this one, has gone missing in Mexico
A truck carrying radioactive material for medical treatment, which could be used in a dirty bomb, has been stolen in Mexico, the UN nuclear watchdog said.
Details of how much cobalt-60 - a radioactive source - was on the truck when it was stolen on Monday has not been released by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The material could potentially be used to make a dirty bomb, where traditional explosives are used to spread radiation.
Mexican authorities told the IAEA that the truck, which had been delivering the toxic substance from a Tijuana hospital to a radioactive storage facility, was taken in Tepojaco, near Mexico City.
Ottawa police are investigating 8 robberies in the Greenboro-Hunt Club area. While no one has been hurt, in 5 of the robberies the suspects threatened their victims with a handgun. “The level of violence is certainly higher than some of street level robberies or swarmings that we see,” say Staff Sgt. Mike Haarbosch of the Ottawa Police robbery unit.
Descriptions have been limited and have varied but suspects are generally described as being black males ranging in ages from 16-22 year old. In the October 31 incident at Uplands Drive/Hunt Club Road, one suspect was described as being a Caucasian male.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa Police Robbery Unit…
Sounds more like plain theft rather than knock-out games, but it does not sound very good. How many black people live in Ottawa anyway?
Muslims groups around the world are crying Islamophobia and playing the victim card as horrific Islamic-motivated crimes, such as grooming and rape-gangs, rage on with impunity throughout the Western world, especially in Europe. Rape or grooming gangs, which are almost entirely Muslim, are committing a crime that is religiously mandated in Islamic doctrine.
Why is this horrific global crime of child grooming a phenomenon that occurs mainly amongst Muslim immigrants from Islamic countries? As it turns out, this crime is religiously and politically motivated by Islamic doctrine, which calls for the capturing, raping, and prostituting of non-Muslim women and children after battle, as well as keeping or selling them as sex slaves. Mohammed himself was a slave-owner, and had sex slaves whom he captured in battle. He advised his male followers to imitate his example. In Islam, everything that Mohammed did must be emulated, as he is considered to be the exemplary leader, the perfect man.
Is it any wonder why many Muslims see nothing wrong with grooming or possessing sex slaves? Nor do they see anything immoral or illegal in committing other Islamic-motivated crimes, such as honour killing, female genital mutilation, mosque preachings that nourish homegrown terrorists, street prayer that blocks public streets, street killing of non-Muslims, suicide bombing or martyrdom, as well as homophobia and Jew-hatred.
The scene of a suicide bombing at the Cafe Hillel coffee shop in Jerusalem, September 9, 2003
Iranian money being held in the US will be paid out to victims of a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem, a San Diego federal court ruled Tuesday.
In his decision, Judge Barry Moskowitz ruled that the Iranian Defense Ministry must pay $9 million (NIS 31.6 million) in damages to nine plaintiffs, five of whom were victims of the double bombing in Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall, along with four family members of victims.
Five civilians were killed in the Hamas attack, including three 14-year-old girls, and many more were injured, including a number of US citizens. The United States has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization since 1997 and as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” since 2001.
For over a week now, astonished reaction has been building to the decision of Universities UK to recommend the segregation of men and women on campuses. The astonishment has been all the greater because, in a characteristic display of 21st century hypocrisy, the representatives of 132 universities and colleges clothed reactionary policies in the language of liberalism.
It could be a denial of the rights of a woman hater – or ‘representative of an ultra-orthodox religious group’, as our finest institute of higher learning put it – to allow men and women to sit where they please. The Muslim or Orthodox Jew could refuse to speak in such intolerable circumstances. The university would then have infringed his freedom of speech if it did not segregate.
Academics and scientists, responding on the University UK site, have rightly seen this as a significant and shameful moment in contemporary history; an instant when the liberal establishment became the open and avowed enemy of its best principles. Even the Guardian, whose editorial line to date has been that protests against minority religious beliefs are racist, has protested.
The extremism is visible in the uncompromising nature of the universities’ advice. It may not be enough to have segregated areas for men and women in a hall and a mixed space for people who find the whole notion of gender apartheid abhorrent, Universities UK says. The speaker’s wishes could be paramount, however unpleasant they are:
Ultimately, if imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.
(Reuters) Maria Antonia Navarro Vargas changes the diaper of her daughter Esmeralda, 17-months-old, as her son Juan Ramon, 5, plays in the shack where they live in Madrid December 3, 2013. Maria Antonia's family belongs to one of the 13 Spanish gypsy families who are at risk of having their homes demolished by orders of Madrid's Town Hall.
The families, whose members are mostly unemployed, have lived in shacks they built themselves in a small settlement in northern Madrid for more than ten years. They say they have not been offered any housing alternatives by Madrid's Town Hall and that the city's town planning board wants to evict them to make way for future plans to build a road on the land they occupy. The demolition of their homes has been held off so far due to the efforts of the Victims' Mortgage Platform (PAH).
opinion piece by UKIP councillor Henry Reilly (Northern Ireland): People here are right to be concerned about mass immigration into Northern Ireland but we are tied to the ECHR, open borders and migrant benefits while the UK remains a member of the European Union.
The fact is that Northern Ireland cannot handle more foreign nationals coming here as our health service, housing and other essential services are already at breaking point. Our country is full up and we don't want anymore people.
The European Commissioner made clear in recent weeks that new Romanian and Bulgarian migrants to the UK will have the same rights as those already here.
The EU is already taking the UK to the European Court of Justice to ensure that all EU citizens have the same right as residents here.
It is clear that the only way to stop mass immigration from EU states to the UK and prevent abuse of the British welfare system, as well as leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, is to leave the EU.
A strange howling sound from the building is even keeping local Tribeca residents up at night.
"I first heard this very eerie sound during Hurricane Sandy last year,” Kenny Cummings told the Tribeca Citizen.
The building's 104-storey Freedom Tower is 1776-feet high (541 metres), making it the tallest building in the US. On top of the tower is a spire, which appears to be the source of the disturbing sound as wind races through its lattice-like design.
1 World Trade Center Wailing in the Wind
Top of Freedom Tower generating eerie sound
Migrants from North Africa arrive, escorted by Italian customs officers at the southern Italian island of Lampedusa
European officials on Wednesday proposed allowing people to apply for asylum in Europe from abroad, part of a package of measures intended to discourage dangerous, illegal journeys like the one that cost the lives of hundreds of immigrants off the coast of Italy in October.
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, also suggested beefing up patrols in the Mediterranean, from Cyprus to Spain, under the mantle of Frontex, the EU's border agency.
The proposals are an effort by the Commission to unify the bloc's response to migration—from border management to the acceptance of refugees—and to minimize the number of migrants drowning at sea.
The commission said it was "ready to explore possibilities for protected entries into the EU," or allowing refugees to go through the asylum-application process from abroad.
This option, if implemented, could help thousands of people who would otherwise have to pay smugglers—and risk their lives on the journey—to seek asylum in advance in northern European countries that have a good track record of accepting such refugees.
The commission proposal said this measure would be "refined in the coming months."
Critics, however, say the proposals reinforce the idea of "Fortress Europe," meant to keep migrants out. Ska Keller, a German member of the European Parliament from the European Green Party, said in an interview that using military assets and Frontex in the Mediterranean was so the EU could "close off the borders."
See also here (no reader restrictions).
The Bosphorus Bridge that links the city's European and Asian sides, with the European side in the background, lights up with a fireworks display during the Republic Day celebrations in Istanbul October 29, 2013.
(Reuters) - The European Union took steps on Wednesday towards lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens, in a move underscoring a new thaw in relations between Ankara and the 28-member bloc.
The two sides agreed to sign an agreement allowing EU governments to send back illegal immigrants crossing into Europe from Turkey. In return, the EU agreed to enter into official discussions on how the current requirement for a visa when travelling to Europe could be dropped.
Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, lies on a major route for illegal migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East.
In another sign of improved relations, Turkey and the EU began a new round of membership talks last month. Talks had been delayed by the bloc in protests over a Turkish crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
Turkey began negotiations to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying. But a series of political obstacles, notably over the divided island of Cyprus, and resistance to Turkish membership in Germany and France, have slowed progress.
Statistics for the number of people killed by right-wing extremists in Germany since 1990 may have to be increased dramatically, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Officially, authorities currently say neo-Nazis have killed around 60 people, including the 10 mostly Turkish immigrants shot dead by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) terrorist group between 2000 and 2007.
Anti-racism groups and analysts have long put the figure much higher, at close to 200. But even that may grossly understate the true number of victims, the Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper reported.
It cited the German Interior Ministry as saying police had re-examined a total of 3,300 unsolved killings and attempted murders between 1990 and 2011 and had concluded that there could be far-right involvement in 746 open cases with 849 victims. The checks were ordered after the NSU case came to light in 2011. For years, police had ruled out right-wing extremism as the motive behind those killings.
There could be far-right involvement: well, let's not bother with police work, let's just say they are "far-right extremist" killings then. The police were wrong about those 10, so let's assume they're wrong about hundreds. Sounds logical to me.
Islam is on track to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation, according to new census data published by the British government.
The numbers show that although Christianity is still the main religion in Britain — over 50% of the population describe themselves as such — nearly half of all Christians in Britain are over the age of 50, and, for the first time ever, fewer than half under the age of 25 describe themselves as Christian.
My colleague Nick Cohen pointed out, when we debated freedom of expression at a recent Standpoint Salon, that some individuals in our media are prone to a fake courage and believe themselves to be taking huge risks in what they say and write.
I think the same is true of the creative sphere. Over the past decade people in the arts have caved in and censored themselves at the prospect of Islamist reaction, sometimes out of fear of violence, other times a politically correct desire not to give offence, or because in some skewed way they feel their job is to stand up for those their dogma tells them are "victims".
Mombasa police investigate beheading of 'traitor' by radicals
MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Tuesday launched investigation into murder of a middle aged man allegedly beheaded by radical Muslim youths in the coastal town of Mombasa.
According to police, Faiz Rufai was kidnapped from his home on Sunday by youths who brutally murdered him by chopping off his head using sharp knife and dumped his body in the Indian Ocean.
His body was discovered floating in the Indian with the head missing by resident on Monday who later informed security agencies.
He was allegedly killed for collaborating with the moderate Muslim group allied to the government.
Reliable sources indicate that Faiz was 'mujahedeen' accused of being 'a traitor and government sympathizer'.
A man who was jailed for 10 years for having sex with a female goat came face-to-face with his victim in a Kenyan court.
The goat watched quietly from the corner of the court room in Malindi while Katana Kitsao Gona, 28, was jailed for bestiality.
(Reuters) - Libya's General National Council assembly (GNC) voted on Wednesday to make Islamic Sharia law the base for all legislation and for all state institutions, a decision that may impact banking, criminal and financial law.
"Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya," the GNC said in a statement after the vote. "All state institutions need to comply with this."
The immediate scope of the decision was not clear, but a special committee would review all existing laws to guarantee they comply with Sharia.
Jewelyes Guitierrez, a biological male, got into a heated discussion with a female student on November 13 in the courtyard at Hercules High School in the city of Hercules, about 10 miles north of Berkeley.
That's a girl!?!
Muslims groups around the world are crying Islamophobia and playing the victim card as horrific Islamic-motivated crimes, such as grooming and rape-gangs, rage on with impunity throughout the Western world, especially in Europe. Rape or grooming gangs, which are almost entirely Muslim, are committing a crime that is religiously mandated in Islamic doctrine.
Hmmmm... But of course not in Canada.
To date, there are not definitive studies of the number of girls at risk of FGM in Canada, but immigration patterns and human rights groups in Canada indicate that the figures could be substantial.
‘The biggest Somali community in the diaspora is in North America, that’s a big alarm for me,’’ says Hussein.
‘’A lot of Canadian women contact us. They suffer in silence, they don’t know where to go.’’
Oh yes, more immigration please Mr. Government.
Premier Kathleen Wynne denies she was part of what opposition parties call a “cover-up” to keep the true $1.1 billion cost of scrapped power plants from the public.
Negotiating over Ontario gas-plant cancellations was cheaper than lawsuit, Wynne says
A cheaper way for the Liberal Party to win a couple of seats in the last election you mean.
Democracy doesn't seem to exist in Ontario anymore
Senior Hezbollah commander gunned down outside his home in Lebanon; Israel denies involvement, blamed anyway
BEIRUT - A senior commander for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was gunned down Wednesday outside his home in southern Beirut, security officials said. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the killing, something officials there quickly denied.
Hezbollah immediately announced the death of Hassan al-Laqis and described him as one of the founding members of the group, suggesting he was a high-level commander close to the Shiite party's leadership.
The administration's position is that the nuclear deal is separate from any other conversation with Iran including the fate of the Americans imprisoned there: retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is currently housed in a "violent offenders" prison.
We get, essentially, nothing. But it is worse than that. Whatever the P5+1 believes it achieved pales in comparison to what the deal cost.