Flags of the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are hung to replace crosses on The Martyrs Church in Raqqa
The eastern city of Raqqa was swept by celebrations after residents woke up one morning in March to see the last batch of forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad leaving.
Believing a new era of freedom had arrived, they promised to make Raqqa, the first and only city to have fallen completely under rebel control, an example of a post-Assad era.
"At the time we were all happy with the liberation, it was not important who was there. Raqqa was for all Syrians and all those who helped liberate it," said one of several residents and activists contacted by Reuters via Skype.
The euphoria did not last.
In the weeks that followed, prisons appeared in public buildings, electricity was cut off and shops were banned from selling tobacco, considered anti-Islamic by the ultra-puritan, masked Islamist fighters who began patrolling the city.
"They also closed the universities saying that because women are also taking lessons there it should be shut," said a resident whose son is a media activist and is now wanted by the Islamists.
Following a pattern seen across northern Syria, ISIL slowly tightened its grip.
The fighters took over government buildings, turning them into headquarters and prisons. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an Armenian church in Raqqa was converted into an office and another into an administrative building.
The jihadi fighters carried out public executions in a main square, instilling fear among residents and stifling any possibility of protest.
During the day, only a few shops are open, selling basic foodstuffs. By nightfall streets are emptied, residents say.
"Electricity is cut off from the whole city; only their buildings have power. The whole city lives in the dark and they have the light," said an activist who fled weeks ago.
Because freedom isn’t free. It has to be taken away. And then redistributed to persecuted groups like two bored gay men whose idea of love involves suing people.
If a social explosion is coming it might begin in the historic city of Carcassonne, department of l'Aude, that has seen so much violence in recent years.
The night of December 5-6 was exceptionally violent. Hooded individuals cut through the fence of the riot police barracks at 2:00 a.m. and in the hours that followed, eighteen cars were burned and seven arson fires were reported throughout the city.
It happens that large forces of gendarmes were already in the city on Wednesday night with the goal of carrying out a major operation on a camp of gypsies early Thursday morning, but the new incidents resulted in a visit from Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a declaration of crisis and significant police reinforcements.
More details, including translations, at Gallia Watch.
(CNN) -- A young man in his 20s -- let's call him George -- sits across from me in the exam room.
"Dr. Youn," he says, "I have man boobs."
I notice a not-so-unfamiliar smell wafting from his body. It's the same odor that floated my way during a rock concert I recently attended.
"How long have you had a problem with this, George?"
"Hard to say. But it seems to have gotten worse over the past year or so."
"George, the first thing you need to do is stop smoking pot. Marijuana could be causing your man boobs."
This is a job for:
Despite the sequester, the Department of Homeland Security has just completed a hiring blitz of attorneys to oversee and manage immigration litigation. Almost all of these new civil service attorney hires hail from an activist pro-amnesty and pro-asylum background. Sources within the Department of Homeland Security report that the process for hiring these new career civil service lawyers was unconventional and was conducted by an Obama political appointee within DHS.
The new attorneys have activist backgrounds with a variety of pro-amnesty groups such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Advancement Project, and open borders groups funded by the Tides Foundation.
PJ Media previously reported on attorney hires within the Justice Department Civil Rights Division in the Every Single One series.
That series demonstrated that every single attorney hire had a leftist or Democrat activist pedigree. The Department of Justice Inspector General criticized those DOJ hiring procedures as producing ideological outcomes. PJ Media only obtained the resumes of DOJ hires after this publication was forced to sue Eric Holder in federal court under the Freedom of Information Act.
The name and CVs of the 26 new lawyers (24 women, 2 men) must be read to be believed. The first example:
Kristy Blumeyer-Martinez is a new attorney in the DHS Office of the Chief Counsel. Prior to joining OCC, Kristy served as law clerk to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in San Antonio, Texas, and RAICES in San Antonio, Texas. In law school, she also clerked with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic and Sacramento Child Advocates/Children’s Law Center. She also worked at American Gateways, Refugee Services of Texas, and Caritas of Austin.
They are all like this!
Sorry I got a little behind in starting this up, work has been, well work. Put your faves in the comments and we'll run em.
From Igeubank - "A Carol For Children"
From Clausewitz - Johnny Cash - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
From Martin B - Blackmore's Night - I Saw Three Ships
We noted the other day that the UK plans
to crack down on "extremism" of all types." and we noted that it was a radical move away from free speech and unlikely to silence Muslim extremists anyway.
It is also, predictably, infuriating UK Muslims:
The long-awaited report from the UK Government's Extremism Taskforce was published yesterday. It contains key recommendations regarding online extremism and countering institutions whereby people can become vulnerable to radicalisation. The recommendations include new ASBO-like Terror and Extremist Behaviour Orders: methods that aim to cause shock, rather than help eradicate the real causes of extremism. And with the report referencing previous discredited strategies, it risks further stigmatising Muslim communities.
What is the “war on terror”? And how do we define “terrorism”? There is no universal definition. This has left a vacuum of ambiguity in which many Muslim communities feel they are targeted by the overtly intrusive nature of surveillance, police stop and search powers and pre-charge detention. According to the UK Government, “terrorism” must include the use or threat of action which is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public, for purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause. Yet this leaves us with more questions than answers: a grey area between “terrorists” and freedom fighters.
Blah blah blah…
Several hundred upset people rallied outside Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli's Carling Ave. office Saturday to protest rising hydro rates while being urged to rise and "take back" Queen's Park.
Waving placards with slogans including "help! I can't pay my hydro bill" -- which had Carling Ave. motorists honking in apparent agreement -- they angrily took aim at bills expected to rise 42% over five years for the average family.
An initial IDF investigation into Friday's blast that damaged a military vehicle in the northern Golan Heights found that an explosive device had been planted on the Syrian side of the border and detonated by unknown attackers.
The device targeted an IDF patrol as it passed on the Israeli side of the border, damaging the rear window of the vehicle. There were no injuries in the incident.
No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Sunday, a cross-border shooting from Syria on an IDF patrol was described by an army source as a deliberate attack launched by a lone Syrian soldier, and not stay fire.
After identifying the source of the fire and seeing that they were being targeted on purpose, an IDF infantry unit returned fire, striking the attacker's position. It remains unclear if the Syrian shooter was killed or injured in the return fire.
Tina Petersen, a former MP for Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and current member of the Svendborg City Council, has has been acquitted of racism after posting a photo on her Facebook page in April that
compared Muslims to rubbish.
“Hehe ... Remember to take out the big trash tomorrow ;-)))…” Petersen wrote next to a manipulated photo of a burka-clad Muslim woman and child who were made to resemble the two rubbish bags they are standing next to.
The public prosecutor’s office on Funen filed the indictment. Petersen was acquitted by a unanimous decision.
“This is a good decision showing that there is considerable scope for debate and freedom of expression in Denmark,” said Petersen’s defence lawyer, Jens Bertel Rasmussen.
Maybe she was commenting on Islamic dress, not comparing Muslims to rubbish.
Letter to the Editor of The Financial Times (relentless immigration boosters, like all the financial press):
Sir, Gideon Rachman and Janan Ganesh ( “Is Cameron right about immigration?”, Comment, November 30) manage to discuss both sides of this issue in emotive terms, but without mentioning the root of the problem: namely that Britain is already struggling to cope with a massive increase in population.
It is often claimed that immigration is good for growth and is necessary for an ageing population. Indeed immigration has been very favourable for the middle classes as it has kept down wage inflation. It has, however, had a very bad effect on unskilled labour just at a time when technology has made so many unskilled jobs redundant. Moreover, by lowering relative wage rates, many of the unskilled have preferred to live on benefits and leave jobs such as cleaning our hospitals to the immigrants. This has contributed to the widening disparity of rich and poor.
Although immigration necessarily flatters a country’s “growth rate” – the criterion by which chancellors measure success – this is not the same thing as growth in “GNP per head”, nor does it reflect the fact that the extra growth is insufficient to pay for the additional infrastructure required to maintain our current standards.
Immigration has created an acute housing shortage, the greenbelt is being eroded, roads and rail are near capacity, schools and hospitals are overcrowded. Importing other countries’ problems imposes huge stresses in the UK – and even in developed countries with a much less dense population, such as France, Germany and the US. Moreover, the effect on the countries from which our immigrants and asylum seekers come is devastating. They not only lose the unskilled. They also lose their professional classes, the very people who should be striving to develop their own economies and sorting out their own political and social problems.
David Cameron has clearly not gone far enough, partly for fear of being accused of racism and partly because he does not know how to get a radical revision of EU immigration policy.
Graham Moore, Bramley, Surrey, UK
The Liberal Party of Canada has come out with a disturbing new English-language video titled “Our Priorities for 2014.”
Consider the following sequence of events, as described in
this piece WSJ by James Taranto:
May 2011: Joshua Strange, student at Alabama's Auburn University meets an unamed girl. Call her X. They soon become close.
June 29, 2011: X alleges that Joshua physically forced himself on her. She calls the police but does not press charges. Joshua denies the accusation but continues to see her.
August 2011: The couple break up.
September 2011: X alleges that she met Joshua in a public place and that he struck her. He denies it, saying he was 15 miles away at the time. She calls the police and press charges for this incident and for the June 29 incident.
February 3 2012: A grand jury dismisses the June 29 charge, saying "the evidence was insufficient to establish probable cause for prosecution."
May 24 2012: X does not show up for the September 2011 event trial. Case dismissed.
End of story? Not at all! By now Joshua has been expelled permanently from Auburn University:
Joshua Strange, now 23, is a civilian casualty in the Obama administration's war on men. In an April 2011 directive, Russlyn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure "that all students feel safe in their school."It seems that a parallel investigation was taking place at the university, in total secrecy, but Taranto somehow obtained an audio recording of the hearing.
The result was to leave accused students more vulnerable to false charges and unfair procedures. The prospect of losing federal funds has left university administrators "crippled by panic," Robert Shibley of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education told me. "The incentives are pointing toward findings of guilt, not accurate findings."
Ms. Ali's directive had an effect even before Mr. Strange's hearing began. At the time, Auburn's bylaws stipulated that accusers in campus disciplinary cases had to show "clear and convincing evidence" to establish guilt. Less than three weeks before the Nov. 8, 2011, hearing, Brandon Frye, then director of the Office of Student Conduct, informed Mr. Strange that the rules had changed. As per Ms. Ali, the standard was reduced to "preponderance of the evidence."Taranto concludes:
Mr. Strange still should not have been convicted. The grand jury found there wasn't even probable cause, a looser standard than preponderance of the evidence. But the university hearing that yielded his expulsion was a travesty of a legal process.
The most striking quality of the 99-minute proceeding is its abject lack of professionalism. Imagine a courtroom with a jury and witnesses, but no judge or lawyers. Mr. Strange and his accuser had lawyers present—the only people in the room with legal training—but they were forbidden to speak except to identify themselves at the outset.
Presiding was an Auburn librarian, Tim Dodge, the committee's chairman. The other members were two students, a staffer from the College of Liberal Arts and a fisheries professor from the Agriculture College. Mr. Dodge was confused and hesitant throughout. At one point he got lost and admitted: "I can't find the script here." On multiple occasions an unidentified voice—Mr. Strange believes it is Mr. Frye—can be heard on the recording whispering stage directions to Mr. Dodge.
He now lives with his parents in Spartanburg, S.C., and is a senior at the University of South Carolina Upstate. He graduates next May.
The day after I interviewed him, I received a grateful email from his mother, Allison. "Thank you for allowing Josh to tell his story last night," she wrote. "I could tell that it made him feel better to finally be able to get it out in his own words to someone other than his family and attorney."
I'm a newspaperman, not a therapist. But there are no safe-harbor advocates for survivors of wrongful accusation.
Tonight we have titled our show five to fear. Five Canadians who we believe are to be watched, observed and feared. Not because they are bad people and with the exception of one of them - Benjamin Levin - we make no comment on their character or their morality as such. This is about the political and economic consequences for Canada of the actions and beliefs, the influential actions and beliefs, of these five people.
Welcome to five to fear. Be afraid? Of course. But more importantly, be aware.
PART ONE - TAREK FATAH ON SHEIKH SAID RAGEAH
PART TWO - EZRA LEVANT ON GERALD BUTTS
PART THREE - FAITH GOLDY ON BENJAMIN LEVIN
PART FOUR - MICHAEL KYDD ON JERRY DIAS
PART FIVE - COLIN CRAIG ON PAM PALMATER
Bad Touch Benny
Italian authorities said on Saturday that despite strong winds, they were able to get ailing boat's passengers, including 25 children, into their own vessels and then safely to Sicily.
The 12-meter boat was more than 480 kilometers (300 miles) south of Sicily when it launched distress signals in stormy weather. Those on board were from Syria, news agency AFP reports.
It follows the rescue of another group of more than 100 refugees, again said to be mainly from conflict-ridden Syria, off the coast of Calabria on Italy's southern mainland on December 2.
Gay weddings made up 17 per cent of marriages in Washington this past year, the first year gay marriages were legal in the state, state officials reported Wednesday.
About 7,071 same-sex couples got married in Washington between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013.
There were 42,408 total marriages in the state during that time, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
But note: About a quarter of the gay couples who got married this past year in Washington were from another state. The biggest number, 524, came from Oregon.
Must be the Presbyterians!
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says authorities will determine how a group of asylum seekers went undetected on Christmas Island for up to three days after their boat sank.
A total of 27 people were found living on Greta Beach on the island's southeast on Thursday after their boat likely sank on Monday night.
All have been accounted for by immigration officials and Australian Federal Police. One man has since been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
He also defended the inability of Australian authorities to intercept the vessel. "This is a very big ocean," he said.
Red marker shows location of Christmas Island
The European Union regrets the attendance of an anti-Zionist rabbi accused of Holocaust denial at an event it sponsored.
Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Friedman attended a conference on Arab-European dialogue held last month at the seat of the European Parliament in Brussels. Friedman, who lives in Antwerp, is perhaps best known for attending a conference in Tehran in 2006 organized by then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad featuring Holocaust deniers.
According to The Guardian, Friedman said there that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust. The Bloomberg news agency reported that he had said the Holocaust was “successful fiction.”
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Iraq’s top diplomat warned Saturday that the “toxic” proliferation of extremist groups among Syria’s rebels raises the prospect of a jihadist-ruled territory at the heart of the region.
The comments by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari reflect Iraq’s fears that the Syrian conflict is imperiling its fragile domestic security, as well as growing international alarm about the risk posed by waves of foreign fighters bolstering the ranks of armed groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Zebari told attendees at a security conference in the small Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain that the increase in radical fighters among the Syrian rebels is leading toward the creation of an ungovernable “Islamic emirate” that the world will have to deal with down the road.
Before you dismiss him as just another complaining Shiite, note that other news sources are reporting gains for the Islamists:
(Reuters) - Syrian rebels from an Islamist alliance formed last month have occupied bases and warehouses belonging to a Western-backed rebel group on the Turkish border, rebels and activists said on Saturday.
Fighters from the Islamic Front, a union of six major rebel groups, took control of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) bases at the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the northwestern border with Turkey late on Friday night, the opposition sources said.
Louay Meqdad, an FSA spokesman, said the Islamic Front fighters had entered the bases after saying they wanted to help to secure them. They then asked officers and employees to leave and replaced an FSA flag with one of their own, he said.
AFP also reports "Islamists seize Free Syrian Army arms depots," while The Times of Israel reports "Jihadis in Syria use Turkish safe house network."
Maybe I am willing to ignore ‘liberal Muslims’ and ex-Muslims, but if that’s the case it’s because the ex-Muslims in the West are, for all intents and purposes, part of our community, and the liberal Muslims in the West have, for all intents and purposes, lost. The Muslim community in the West is not like Weimar Germany, with right and left battling in the street for control of the future. It is like Germany in 1938. The street battles are long over, the winner has been decided. We see crowds of Muslims in the West protesting against Western values, calling for Sharia, and attacking the State of Israel. We scarcely see crowds of Muslims protesting against genital mutilation, forced marriage, and terrorism. At best we get a supposedly “moderate” Muslim paraded in front of us, making excuses for the worst elements of his community.
Iran publicly refused to recognize “the Israeli regime” during a full meeting on Thursday of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The move appeared to stun not a single onlooker at the United Nations, but prompted a sharp response from Israel’s ambassador to the UN.
During the opening moments of the 68th UNGA’s 60th plenary meeting, Iran’s representative took the floor to reiterate her country’s distaste for the Jewish state.
The UNGA meeting was held to mark a procedural—and typically uneventful—vote in which nations meet to approve the credentials of various UN member states.
While Iran, like every other nation, voted in favor of the measure, its representative sought to explain that its support should not be interpreted as recognition of Israel.
“We would like to reiterate my government’s position that our support for this document should be in no way be considered as the recognition of the Israeli regime,” Iran’s representative said. “I wish my statement in this regard to be recorded and registered in the final recording of this meeting.”
h/t Jihad Watch.
A women dressed in all pink is suspected of robbing a bank in Prince George’s County (Maryland) on Monday.
Police say the woman robbed the Capital One Bank in the 6200 block of Annapolis Road in Landover just after 5 p.m. She passed a note to the bank teller demanding cash and made away with an undisclosed amount of money.
The suspect is a black female in her late 20s, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall. She was wearing a pink head wrap and pink coat while carrying a pink cell phone with her at the time of the robbery.
BBC's leading current affairs program, Newsnight recently broadcast an eight-minute film in which a BBC reporter accompanied a British "aid convoy" headed to the most dangerous parts of Syria.
The Aid for Syria convoy, comprised of half a dozen ambulances, travelled over three thousand miles through Europe and Turkey before finally crossing the border into Syria, purportedly to deliver food, shelter and medical supplies. The journalist Catrin Nye markedly noted the diverse background of their convoy's participants, introducing a "a doctor from Manchester, a pharmacist from Halifax and a restaurant owner from West Yorkshire."
One of the convoy drivers, Kas Jameel. In his Facebooks posts, Jameel has quoted Osama Bin Laden and promoted excerpts from religious commentary on the Quran that justify violence against Jews who he describes them as "dishonest" and the "enemies of Allah." Jameel also claims that Shia Muslims have "defamed the mother of believers."
During the broadcast, the BBC did not, however, reveal the names of the charities involved with the convoy. The Aid for Syria Convoy is, in fact, managed by charities that many might justifiably regard as "extremist": One Nation, Al Fatiha Global and Aid4Syria.
These charities regularly organize fundraising events with Islamist themes, and invite radical preachers as guests. In mid-November, for instance, the Aid for Syria convoy ran an event named "O'Ummah [Community of Muslims], Wake Up and Rise", starring as its key speakers, Zahir Mahmood and Moazzam Begg.
Zahir Mahmood just so happens to be a supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the charter of which calls for genocide against the Jewish people. Mahmood claims that, "Hamas are not terrorists. They're freedom fighters."
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that the enrollment records for roughly a quarter of all the people who signed up for health insurance on its website in October and November could contain errors, raising questions about whether those consumers would get coverage in time to pay for their medical care next month.
Even now, the administration said, it may be sending incomplete or erroneous information to insurers for one in every 10 people who enroll.
The disclosure added yet another complication to a long list of technical troubles that have hampered the rollout of President Obama’s health care law. A federal website, HealthCare.gov, is the main marketplace that consumers can use to compare policies and sign up for plans.
Yup, It's Ford All The Way In 2014: Toronto council is being urged to issue "municipal ID cards" to illegal immigrants
So they can get their hands on your money...
Toronto council is being urged to issue "municipal ID cards" to undocumented migrants, after an audit finds that 62 per cent of city service providers require identification.
At age 16, she was arrested by the Islamic regime and put in Iran's most deadliest prison for three and one half years of intense torture because she spoke out against the evil atrocities of her government.
When Shiva was finally released she vowed to never forget the cruel treatment of fellow prisoners. She has dedicated her life to being a voice of hope for Iranian political prisoners.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with chiropractors and massage therapists,” McConnell said. “The next day (I realized) he had clearly hurt my shoulder and neck, and certainly I’ve been battling with headaches. But, in general, I’m lucky to be alive, and I’m very thankful I haven’t stopped my work.”
It is wise to doubt Mother Mariam... given her association with Iran's most ardent Canadian 5th Columnists.
Mother Mariam a Catholic Nun has been refereed to as Assad's Nun
"...she claims not to support the Assad regime. “I am not with the regime,” Mother Agnes said in a Skype interview with the Guardian this week. “I am with the civilian population who is suffering purely at the hands of foreign agents.” She listed Qatar and Saudi Arabia as the chief instigators of sectarian fighting – countries which support the Sunni rebels and the radical Salafi opposition fighters.
Asked whether she considers Hezbollah and Iran – Shia entities which support the Assad regime – to be complicit in the fabric of foreign sectarian forces inside Syria, she said no, as “Hezbollah isn’t coming in as a religious force, and is not committing crimes of a religious nature.”
Mother Mariam spoke at Zafar Bangash's Bunker in York region, she's introduced by Zafar and Ali Mallah.
Either way, Ford is dead right when he asks, "Where are you guys going to find the money to pay for all this?"
The press Ford gets may be debatable, but not his authenticity. We wonder why, for a guy not implicated with receiving any form of graft, he got caught up in such a vicious media-based attack. Or perhaps that's the point ... he just isn't dirty enough to be bought and was thus stepping on the wrong toes, as strange as that may sound to some.
See also - Shorter Toronto Star: Why Do Stupid Poor People Still Support Rob Ford?
Conrad Black interviews Rob Ford, says he might endorse him
One consequence of the botched launch of Obamacare is that it has, judging from his plummeting numbers with “millennials,” diminished Barack Obama’s cool. It’s not merely that the website isn’t state-of-the-art, but that the art it’s flailing to be state of is that of the mid-20th century social program.
The emperor has hipster garb, but underneath he’s just another Commissar Squaresville. So, health care being an irredeemable downer for the foreseeable future, this week the president pivoted (as they say) to “economic inequality,” which will be, he assures us, his principal focus for the rest of his term. And what’s his big idea for this new priority? Stand well back: He wants to increase the minimum wage!
Future Liberal Candidate Or Star Columnist: Judge Rules Bin Laden Associate Mohamed Mahjoub A Terror Threat
A judge upheld the federal government’s branding of an Egyptian man as a threat to Canada after finding the evidence —including being “trusted” by Osama bin Laden — supported Ottawa’s assertion he was involved with terrorist groups.
Federal Court Judge Edmond Blanchard determined the evidence constituted “reasonable grounds to believe” Mohamed Mahjoub was a member of two groups engaged in terrorism.
Last night a huge wave of support was swelling for the first British serviceman to be convicted of murder on active service abroad since the Second World War.
One Facebook group has nearly 30,000 supporters and is calling for Blackman to be released. Another group has more than 10,000 followers.
Facebook support page.
Three members of a so-called 'Muslim Patrol' were today jailed at the Old Bailey for repeatedly trying to enforce Sharia law in East London.
"Mayor Rob Ford’s support among low-income people is a paradox to critics who say he has consistently voted against programs that would help the poor. But his supporters in Rexdale social housing complexes say they support him because he’s active in the community."
More than 100 asylum seekers have been ordered to live for nine weeks in a luxury hotel favoured by Manchester United stars - at a cost to the taxpayer of up to £400,000.
Officials acting for the Home Office sent the migrants to book in at the suburban 50 bedroom Amblehurst Hotel while their claims to stay in the UK are dealt with.
The Conservative-run Trafford council in Greater Manchester was given just 48 hours notice of the arrival of the 104 asylum seekers, comprising 31 families of various nationalities.
The hotel in Sale where rooms cost up to £125 pounds a night has in the past hosted parties for Manchester United players and various corporate firms. It is thought the hotel will close to regular paying guests whilst the asylum seekers are in residence.
The harrowing story of an Afghan woman attacked with acid by a man she refused to marry after he killed her husband.
Omar Khadr's bigoted lawyer defends the terrorist while putting down Sun News Reporter Ada Slivinski
Radio-Canada’s news department should “change its attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” says the Ombudsman of the CBC’s French-language service in his annual report released today, adding that there were “this year again, very real problems with the coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict with regards
to the Palestinian question.”
More details at Elder of Ziyon.
OTTAWA - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is ready to play hardball with environmental groups that abuse their charitable status.
Critics of groups like the Sierra Club and Tides Canada have complained these outfits are heavily financed political arms of their American cousins and are actively engaging in partisan political activities that contravene federal laws.
Umno has declared war on Shia Muslims, gays, lesbians, trans-sexuals, liberals and those who have insulted Islam, saying the government should set up a commission to protect the country's official religion.
The country's largest party of Muslims today tabled a resolution in its assembly to introduce a bill in the Dewan Rakyat to amend Article 3 of the Federal Constitution to only acknowledge Sunni Islam as the official religion of Malaysia.
Did you know there was "far-right" music? And now a smartphone app in Germany to fight back against it
A CD of far-right music in Germany
They have names like "On the attack" or "Enemy," and they are dangerous – especially for children and young people. In Germany songs from the far-right often end up on a black list, called the Index, for material seen as inciting racial hatred, discriminating against minority groups or playing down Nazism.
Such tracks are not allowed to be openly displayed for sale because they could fall into the hands of minors. The titles are also prohibited at concerts with young audiences, and police can break-up parties if one of the indexed songs is played.
It can be particularly hard to keep track at Nazi concerts where "heavy" music – so-called "rechtsrock" – is the norm, according to Rainer Wendt, the Chairman of the German Police Union. "It makes a huge racket, because the music is deafeningly loud," he said. "You can't immediately identify the indexed music, which would justify an intervention."
Help for the police may be on its way from the federal state of Saxony. There, the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) has developed software that could make it easier for the black-listed music to be identified. The program uses audio fingerprint, a tool popular with smartphone applications. With help from an algorithm, a song's characteristic frequencies can be pinned down, and it is given a unique identification mark – like a human fingerprint.
I guess I don't get out enough: I have never this music, and frankly, it sounds awful.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau states that Canada shouldn’t claim the North Pole as our own.
h/t Minicapt, via Grouchy
Lately, Quebecers wanting to make a fashionable, yet political, statement are wearing kippot covered in the Fleur-de-lis.
The kippot are the brainchild of a young Montreal rabbi who felt it was time for Jewish Quebecers to wear their opposition to Bill 60 not only on their sleeves, but also on their heads.
The province’s ruling nationalist Parti Quebecois, led by Premier Pauline Marois, tabled Bill 60 in the National Assembly in early November. The proposed legislation, also known as the Charter of Quebec Values, would ban the display of religious symbols and the wearing of religious garb by public employees.
Sorry, unable to figure out what this means politically regarding Muslims. Do these Jews support Muslims or are they simply unconcerned with anything but the restriction as it concerns them?
Jailed for life: Psychopath who repeatedly raped teenage girl just four months after being freed from prison for identical attack
David Brierley, who has a severe personality disorder, has since converted to Islam
Libya risks becoming a failed state like Somalia, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou (pictured) said on Friday, a day after gunmen shot dead an American teacher in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Niger, which adjoins Libya to the south and has fought Islamists at home, wants to reinforce military ties with Western partners and neighboring states as al Qaeda-linked militants regroup in southern Libya after French-led forces ousted them from Mali this year.
"Our fear is that Libya falls into the hands of Salafist terrorists and that the state becomes like Somalia," Issoufou told reporters ahead of a Franco-African summit in Paris.
"Sadly, we're seeing that the terrorists are there and that armed Salafist militia are in Benghazi, with people being killed almost every day. We must stabilize Libya."
Meanwhile, in Yemen: It was a raw demonstration of power, an attack meticulously planned and brutally executed. The Defense Ministry in Sana'a is one of the most secure buildings in the country. The office of the president, the minister of defense and the head of the armed forces are all located there.
Still, terrorists managed to force their way into the building. First, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in the Defense Ministry's entry. Men wearing army uniforms then stormed the complex, engaging in combat with soldiers. Among the dead: doctors, nurses and patients at an infirmary on the ministry's grounds. More than 50 died and nearly 200 were injured.
Yemen is already tearing at the seams. The country's south dreams of independence. In the north, Shiite Houthi rebels have raised up against the central government. Radical Salafists have also taken hold there. Influential tribes also want their share of the power.
Whether Houthi rebels, Salafists or al Qaeda - all are leveraging the chaos. "The weaknesses of the central state has worsened the situation," said political scientist Elham Manea from the University of Zurich. Al Qaeda has temporarily taken control of numerous cities in the south of the country.
"Yemen is a failed state," Manea said, adding that the government is not in a position to meet the needs of local citizens. "Al Qaeda uses that to recruit new members."
Woman charged with biting husband's testicles
A firefighter takes photographs of the radiation head that was part of a radiation therapy machine, on the patio of the family who found the abandoned radiation head in a nearby field
Federal police blocked access Friday to a central Mexico hospital where six people were reported to have been admitted with radiation exposure.
An official familiar with the case confirmed Mexican media reports that the six have been admitted to the general hospital in the city of Pachuca and may have been exposed to a stolen source of cobalt-60.
The official, who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to be quoted by the media, said only one person was dizzy and vomiting, which are symptoms of severe radiation poisoning. She said two people were admitted on Thursday and four more Friday. She did not provide any other details.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said the cobalt has an activity of 3,000 curries [sic], or Category 1, meaning "it would probably be fatal to be close to this amount of unshielded radioactive material for a period in the range of a few minutes to an hour."
More photos at The Daily Mail.
The gay rainbow-flag theme for the Christmas lights on Rome's main shopping street that were switched on Friday have sparked an unholy row in the Eternal City.
A demonstration was held in front of Karachi Press Club against the rape and murder of a Hindu girl which took place in Shadi Palli in Umerkot district.
The protesters criticised the police, who they claimed are unwilling to file a report or take any action against the influential culprits. They also shouted slogans against the local administration and political parties for not helping to provide justice to the girl’s family.
The girl was raped alongside her sister by influential residents of Umarkot. She was allegedly killed by the rapists after she spoke out against them when authorities failed to take any action against the culprits.
Human rights activists spoke at the protest and condemned the actions of the culprits.
The activists said that the Dalit community, to which the girl belonged, are demeaned and treated unfairly due to their religious beliefs.
Multiculturalism is a total failure in Pakistan. But do not expect to see this story in any Western paper--it conflicts with The Narrative.
And there are others. Horrible horrible others. I blame Mel Gibson.
A group of Syrian nuns reportedly abducted by rebels from a convent in a Christian village near Damascus appeared in a video broadcast on Al-Jazeera Friday, denying they have been kidnapped and saying they were in a safe location away from the shelling.
The nuns appeared healthy in the video shown on the satellite channel. They sat on sofas in a house at an undisclosed location, and took turns speaking.
“The brothers are treating us well and have brought us from the convent here and we are very happy,” one of them says to the camera. The video appeared authentic, but it was impossible to independently verify it or to know if the nuns were speaking under duress.
interviews Alain Finkielkraut, who has a new book, “L'Identité Malheureuse” (“The Unhappy Identity”) out. The questions of the interviewer tell us as much as Finkielkraut does. For example:
SPIEGEL: Mr. Finkielkraut, are you unhappy with today's France?It continues in this vein, with Finkielkraut speaking of reality while the interviewer dredges up every cliché that exists on immigration, at all times assuming that Muslim immigrants will be just like immigrants from other Christian European countries and will integrate just fine. Although this is clearly not the case, as even the most casual observer of Europe can see, the interviewer does not give up:
Finkielkraut: I am pained to see that the French mode of European civilization is threatened. France is in the process of transforming into a post-national and multicultural society. It seems to me that this enormous transformation does not bring anything good.
SPIEGEL: Why is that? Post-national and multicultural sounds rather promising.
Finkielkraut: It is presented to us as the model for the future. But multiculturalism does not mean that cultures blend. Mistrust prevails, communitarianism is rampant -- parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.
SPIEGEL: Aren't you giving in here to the right-wingers' fears of demise?
Finkielkraut: The left wanted to resolve the problem of immigration as a social issue, and proclaimed that the riots in the suburbs were a kind of class struggle. We were told that these youths were protesting against unemployment, inequality and the impossibility of social advancement. In reality we saw an eruption of hostility toward French society. Social inequality does not explain the anti-Semitism, nor the misogyny in the suburbs, nor the insult “filthy French.” The left does not want to accept that there is a clash of civilizations.At one point the interviewer suggests that the Americans really have it figured out (after fifty years of affirmative action), apparently unaware of wastelands like Detroit, sky-high crime rates for blacks and new developments like the “knock-out game.” Finkielkraut is also unaware that the situation in the US is far from tranquil, saying “American society is a homeland for everyone. I don't think that many children of immigrants here see it that way.”
SPIEGEL: The anger of these young people is also stirred up by high unemployment. They are turning their backs on society because they feel excluded.
So the MSM, by failing to report the bad news in their own countries, has truly succeeded here. In fact, a careful investigation is much more bleak: multiculturalism is not working anywhere in the world.
Discouragingly, Finkielkraut says he would never vote for Marine Le Pen--despite her strenuous effort to excise the anti-Semitism--because “this party appeals to people's base instincts and hatred.” That a Jewish Frenchman is saying this will add ammunition to a disturbing trend: growing numbers of right-wing anti-Semites.
Consider these excerpts from
an NYT article:
When Andile Mngxitama, a black-consciousness advocate and frequent critic of Mr. Mandela, fired yet another broadside at the former leader before he died — comparing him unfavorably to neighboring Zimbabwe’s authoritarian president, Robert Mugabe — it certainly caught the attention of South Africa’s political class.He just wasn't harsh enough. Mugabe is your man. I am not optimistic about South Africa.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say Mandela’s leadership style, characterized by accommodation with the oppressors, will be forgotten, if not rejected within a generation,” he wrote in June.
Some criticized him for what they saw as an overeagerness to placate the country’s white power elite in the transition to nonracial democracy in the early 1990s and, thereafter, with being more interested in keeping economic power brokers happy, albeit with a few new black faces in the group, than in delivering economic equality to the vast majority of those still living in poverty.
The driver of this HGV died after it was blown over in gale-force winds on the A801 near Bathgate, West Lothian, crushing several cars beneath it
Hamburg's historic fish auction hall Fischmarkt is flooded by the water of the Elbe river today after the storm Xaver reached the northern German city during the nigh
More photos and stories here, here and here.
Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in
the wiring of male and female brains. Be sure to check the comments (this is at The Guardian). Some commenters simply cannot accept it.
Related: Read a full transcript of the talk that cost Larry Summers his job at Harvard.
Last Sunday, the Jerusalem District Police was forced to close the Temple Mount when a group of Jews visited the site during the hours designated for non-Muslim visitors and began to sing Hanukkah songs.
Dozens of Muslims, including Islamic extremists (not necessarily the Salafis) who are permanent fixtures on the mount, attacked the Jewish group as dozens of police officers tried to disperse the violent confrontation. Four worshipers — Jewish and Muslim — were arrested.
On Wednesday, the compound was closed to visitors and worshipers once again after fireworks were shot at police from the Al-Aqsa Mosque. There was more, minor, trouble after prayers on Friday.
Combined with other incidents on the Temple Mount over recent weeks, this seems to be just the beginning.
Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, director of the Waqf in East Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa, charges that Israeli “radicalism” is “ruining everything.”
In an interview this week, he described a recent Sunday when, he said, a group of 26 Orthodox Jews visited the Temple Mount and “even attacked your own soldiers,” and he warned: “If a fire erupts here, it will ignite the entire world.”
Left: Hamas activists burn a coffin draped in an Israeli flag, during a rally marking the 13th anniversary of the so-called Al-Aqsa uprising or Second Intifada, in the refugee camp of Nusairat, central Gaza Strip, Sept. 2013
“We dream of Jerusalem being a source of peace between religions,” he added, “each with its own holy site: Al-Aqsa to the Muslims; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to the Christians; and Al-Buraq Wall (the Muslim name for the Western Wall, named for the horse that carried the Prophet Muhammad to the heavens), which belongs to the Muslims as well but the Jews may pray there.”
He offered these terms straight-faced, either unaware or unperturbed by the radical revisionism. Throughout the conversation, Al-Khatib cautioned that every Jewish attempt to pray at “Haram a-Sharif” will draw a response and objections from the Muslims. “This site represents 1 billion, 700 million Muslims. We do not want a religious war to break out in the region. It will put us all in danger.”
Note that many, likely most, Muslims do not believe the Temple Mount is actually the location of the old Jewish temples. Indeed, many convince themselves that Jews have never in history lived in the area at all.
The Karnataka Forum for Dignity thought he was getting infidel cooties on her I guess.
Contrary to what some self-interested parties would have you believe, Britain is a tolerant place where hate crimes are, thankfully, uncommon.
Liddle wrote - Nelson Mandela dies, aged 95
"Look; I’m sorry Nelson Mandela is dead. It happens quite often to people in their 90s who have been very ill, even famous people, but I’m sure that doesn’t lessen the sadness for many of us. I never met the man but, on balance, I came to the conclusion that he was a force for good rather than ill. I think I came to that rather banal and broad brush conclusion twenty years ago, or maybe fifteen. So, I’m sorry he’s dead, I wish it were otherwise.
But for Christ’s sake BBC, give it a bloody break for five minutes, will you? It’s as if the poor bugger now has to bear your entire self-flagellating white post-colonial bien pensant guilt; look! Famous nice black man dies! Let’s re-run the entire history of South Africa. That’s better than watching the country we’re in being flattened by a storm."
Limbaugh says the president has a lot of nerve lecturing Americans about “income inequality”: “You got Barack Obama, who is a multimillionaire because of books and whatever else he’s been able to do, sitting in the White House. He’s in the lap of luxury, his own Boeing 747, and in Kenya his brother is living in a hut. You want to talk about income inequality? Barack Obama has family members living on less than a dollar a day, one of them in a six-by-nine-foot hut. … That’s income inequality, wealth inequality”
'Maybe fifteen years ago I went into a middle school in mostly white, moderately upscale Arlington, Virginia...'
Fred Reed writes:
...and found on the wall a student’s project celebrating the contributions of Italians to science—specifically those of Enrico Fermi to, so help me, “nucler physicts.” On the wall. Without correction. I have seen other examples.
The president’s problem right now is that people think he’s smart. They think he’s in command, aware of pitfalls and complexities. That’s his reputation: He’s risen far on his brains. They think he is sophisticated.
That is his problem in the health insurance debacle.
Kathy Shaidle writes:
If Altamont has anything to do with the demonic, then Meredith’s murder is actually the last place to look for it.
And if the Stones made some kind of “deal with the devil,” they should have asked for a refund; despite their fame and wealth, the group is reduced to trying to perform on a stage only one foot off the ground. They’re glared at by genuine toughs as they pretend to be “street fighting men.”
Powerless to control their fans, the “greatest band in the world” suddenly looks puny, impotent and very human.
You can almost hear Satan laughing at them, and at the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of life’s lottery winners voluntarily frying their brain cells, shoving their way to the front of the stage in the name of “peace” and “love.” It’s all very Screwtape.
In their own twisted way, the Hell’s Angels are the most honest, authentic people there — the only ones not pretending to be something they aren’t.
TORONTO, December 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto Council may double its funding — to the tune of $280,000 at taxpayer’s expense — to Pride Toronto, organizer of the 2014 WorldPride event.
Councillor Shelley Carroll told homosexual news service Xtra that the funding boost is included in the upcoming January budget under the city’s Major Cultural Organizations program.
I hope they'll have a Jack Layton memorial bathhouse float.
Articles in the Israeli media based on analysis of security in 2014 present a surprisingly optimistic assessment, though not from a U.S. perspective and still with some warnings.
Most of the work is by Ron Ben Yishai, and it poses a very different, and, I think, more accurate view than in the rest of the world.
Direct conventional threats to Israel decreased dramatically due to internal conflicts and conflict among hostile states.
Yet another phenomenon with a long paper trail in Islamic history has just taken place, even as the Western "mainstream" -- little acquainted with true history or reality -- dismisses it as an aberration. Asia News has the details...
(Reuters) - A Syrian rebel group calling itself "Free Qalamoun" has claimed the kidnapping of 12 nuns and said it wants to trade them for a thousand female detainees held by the government, a pan-Arab newspaper reported on Friday.
Rebel spokesman Mohannad Abu al-Fidaa told Asharq al-Awsat that the nuns were safe but "will not be released until several demands have been implemented, most importantly, the release of 1,000 Syrian women held in regime prisons".
Reuters could not independently confirm the report.
An official at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus said the nuns were safe but would not comment on which group had taken them.
Survey on Islam in Austria: 18% of Muslims support death sentence for apostasy, 21.9% oppose democracy
See! Multiculturalism is great!
During an interview on “The Sports Junkies” show with a Washington, D.C. radio station, Ford denied the allegation he offered $5,000 and a car for the notorious crack video.
“Number one, that’s an outright lie and number two you can talk to my lawyers about it,” Ford told the hosts before insisting they talk about football.