Sunday, August 02, 2015

Friday Prayers in the Islamic Republic of Iran – But Where Are the Worshippers?

THE TELEGRAPH: A tide of religious fervour is swamping the Middle East, but there was an eery silence at Tehran University

The official outside Tehran University motioned towards me. “If he goes in, what is he going to report?” asked the elderly man in a stage whisper. “Hardly anybody is there: it’s almost empty.”

Friday Prayers at Tehran University is supposed to be one of Iran’s great set piece occasions. Every week, the authorities clear the city centre of traffic and lay on free buses to encourage the faithful to gather in a vast prayer hall beside the main campus.

As an added attraction, an A-list Ayatollah usually delivers a fire-breathing sermon. The previous week, the man on the dais had been Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader himself, who commended the faithful for their enthusiastic cries of “Marg bar Amrica”, or “Death to America”. Read on and comment » | David Blair | Saturday, July 1, 2015

'This Is a Global Migration Crisis'

Bernard Cazeneuve and Theresa May
THE TELEGRAPH: Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, call on countries across Europe and Africa to help solve the emergency caused by thousands of migrants congregating at their border

The British and French governments have warned that the world is facing a “global migration crisis”.

In a dramatic joint intervention, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, call on countries across Europe and Africa to help solve the emergency caused by thousands of migrants congregating at their border.

Writing in the Telegraph, they warn would-be immigrants planning to make the “desperate” journey in search of a better life that Britain’s streets “are not paved with gold”.

As a first step to make Britain less attractive, the Home Office announced plans to cut the weekly cash allowances that support thousands of failed asylum seekers with families.

The announcement came as figures showed the number of suspected illegal migrants detained in Britain has soared by almost a fifth since the Calais crisis erupted. » | Tim Ross, David Barrett, Colin Freeman in Calais and Robert Mendick | Saturday, July 1, 2015

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Scorching 'Heat Dome' over Middle East Sees Temperatures Soar to 165F in Iran

THE TELEGRAPH: Iran is enduring a "heat index" of nearly 72C while Iraq has called a public holiday due to the sweltering temperatures

Iran is buckling under the pressure of a massive heatwave passing across the Middle East, with temperatures soaring to nearly 70C.

Scorching heat levels of 50C have already paralysed nearby Iraq, where officials were forced to call a four day public holiday because it was too hot to work.

But the word "hot" has taken on an entirely new meaning in Iran's city of Bandar Mahshahr, where it was claimed that the city's heat index, or "feels-like temperature", was among the highest ever recorded.

The heat index was recorded by a group of astonished weather experts who predict the country could be enduring some of the hottest urban temperatures ever endured by mankind. » | James Rothwell | Saturday, August 1, 2015

Kos Becoming Main Migrant Entry Point to Europe

The Obesity Epidemic Sweeping across the Middle East

Friday, July 31, 2015

Margaret Thatcher – Death of a Revolutionary – CH4

A documentary about the late former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which could be criticised for being an uncritical hommage rather than a balanced view of her premiership. Most of the negative impacts caused by the fundamental changes she brought to Britain have been "elegantly" omitted, but her motives, her basic believes, her encouraging message and everything positive she stood for are beautifully summarised and one understands why despite her errors and some misjudgement she could be praised as a great and visionary politician who not only changed Britain for the better (on balance) but had an influence on the world like few other politicians can claim.

A Channel 4 documentary by Martin Durkin with contributions by Kenneth Baker, Cecil Parkinson, Neil Kinnock, Kelvin MacKenzie, Norman Tebbit, Bernard Ingham, Charles Powell, Nigel Lawson and David Cameron.

MARGARET THATCHER: December 9, 2002 – Penultimate Public Speech

MARGARET THATCHER's acceptance speech for the Clare Boothe Luce Award by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, given on 9 December 2002. This was a particularly memorable and moving occasion since (as far as I know) it marked the penultimate speech the former Prime Minister ever gave in public, almost a year after being forced to retire from public speaking officially due to a series of strokes and her progressing dementia.

Iran Nuclear Deal a 'Farce' Says Naftali Bennett - BBC News

The Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, has condemned the nuclear deal with Iran as a "farce"

Deutschlands Karte des Schreckens

TAGES ANZEIGER: Brandanschläge, tätliche Angriffe, Anti-Asyl-Demos: In Deutschland hat die Gewalt gegen Flüchtlinge stark zugenommen. Die Karte zeigt, was wo geschah.

«Es ist nicht nur tragisch, sondern auch beschämend, wenn Menschen, die bei uns Schutz suchen, um ihr Leben fürchten müssen.» Dies sagt der deutsche Aussenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in einem heute veröffentlichten Interview.

Die deutschen Medien sind derzeit voll mit Berichten zum Thema Flüchtlinge. Im ersten Halbjahr 2015 sind in Deutschland doppelt so viele Asylanträge gestellt worden wie in der gleichen Periode im Vorjahr. Insgesamt werden im laufenden Jahr bis zu 400'000 Asylbewerber erwartet. Bundesländer und Gemeinden, die für deren Betreuung zuständig sind, haben Alarm geschlagen. Die Unterkünfte sind voll. Längst wird auf temporäre Lösungen wie Zeltstädte ausgewichen. » | Von Luca De Carli, Redaktor Ausland | Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2015

Greece Crisis Escalates as IMF Witholds Support for a New Bail-out Deal

THE TELEGRAPH: Talks over new rescue package are derailed after less than a week as IMF seeks explicit assurances over debt relief from the Europeans

Talks over an €86bn bail-out for Greece have been thrown into turmoil after just four days as the International Monetary Fund said it would have no involvement in the country until it receives explicit assurances over debt sustainability.

An IMF official said the fund would withhold financial support unless it has guarantees Greece can carry out a "comprehensive" set of reforms and will be the beneficiary of debt relief from its European creditors.

The comments came after the IMF's executive board was told that the institution could no longer continue pumping more money into the debtor nation, according to a leaked document seen by the Financial Times.

The Washington-based Fund has been torn over its involvement in Greece - its largest ever recipient country. The world's "lender of last resort' said it would continue talks with its creditor partners and the Leftist government of Athens, but made it clear the onus of keeping Greece in the eurozone now fell on Europe's reluctant member states.

"There is a need for difficult decisions on both sides... difficult decisions in Greece regarding reforms, and difficult decisions among Greece's European partners about debt relief," said the official.

"One should not be under the illusion that one side of it can fix the problem." » | Mehreen Khan | Thursday, July 30, 2015

Six People Stabbed at Gay Pride in Jerusalem by 'Attacker Who Targeted Event a Decade Ago'

EXPRESS: SIX people were stabbed during a Gay Pride march in Jerusalem today with the suspect named as someone jailed ten years ago for attacking homosexuals.

A woman was reportedly left in a critical condition and a man is believed to have been left in a serious condition after the stabbing in Israel.

A police spokesperson identified the arrested suspect as Yishai Schlissel who had stabbed three people at the parade in 2005.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was sentenced to 12 years for the attack and released from prison three weeks ago.

About 5,000 people were celebrating the event and marching along an avenue when a man jumped into the crowd, apparently from a supermarket, and plunged a knife into some of the participants. » | Jake Burman | Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two Israelis Charged in Arson Attack on Church of Loaves and Fishes

Ynon Reuveni (R) and Yehuda Assraf are seen at Nazareth
Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem
THE TELEGRAPH: Described by authorities as Jewish extremists, the two men are accused of torching part of a church at the site where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes

Two Israeli men, described by authorities as Jewish extremists, were charged on Wednesday with torching part of a church at the site where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

The June 18 arson attack followed more than 40 suspected hate crimes committed against churches, mosques and monasteries in Israel and the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2009, with only a handful of indictments handed down.

In a statement, Israel's internal security agency, Shin Bet, identified the two suspects, aged 19 and 20 and wearing Jewish skullcaps in court, as followers of an "extremist ideology" that believes that "only someone who fights Christianity ... can call himself a Jew". » | Reuters | Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Nature of Islam: The Glazov Gang

Read the WND article here

What Does Islam Say About Being Gay?

THE NEW YORK TIMES: ISTANBUL — On June 29, Turkey’s 12th Gay Pride Parade was held on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue. Thousands marched joyfully carrying rainbow flags until the police began dispersing them with water cannons. The authorities, as has become their custom since the Gezi Park protests of June 2013, once again decided not to allow a demonstration by secular Turks who don’t fit into their vision of the ideal citizen.

More worrying news came a week later when posters were put up in Ankara with a chilling instruction: “If you see those carrying out the People of Lot’s dirty work, kill the doer and the done!” The “People of Lot” was a religious reference to gays, and the instruction to kill them on sight was attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. The group that put the posters up, the so-called Islamic Defense Youth, defended its message by asserting: “What? Are you offended by the words of our prophet?!”

All of this suggests that both Turkey and the Muslim world need to engage in some soul-searching when it comes to tolerance for their gay compatriots. » | Mustafa Akyol | Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mustafa Akyol is the author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.”

Céline Dion with Josh Groban: The Prayer

MARGARET THATCHER : The Making of Margaret (Telegraph Documentary)

Thatcher Defending Thatcherism

Gaddafi's Son Trial Run by Militia

Related »

US Man Plotted to Use Backpack Bomb on Florida Beach - FBI

BBC AMERICA: A 23-year-old man has been charged with planning to detonate a backpack bomb on a Florida beach, US officials say.

The US justice department said Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

He allegedly planned to bury a bomb containing nails at a beach in Key West and detonate it with a mobile phone.

Prosecutors claim he was inspired by the Islamic State militant group, which has called for attacks on the West.

According to the FBI, Suarez recorded a video in May in which he said: "We will destroy America and divide it into two. We will raise our black flag on top of your White House and any president on duty." » | Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Austria ‘Investigates’ Geert Wilders for Incitement During Speech

DUTCH NEWS: The public prosecution department in Austria has launched an investigation into a speech made by Dutch anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders in Vienna, according to a report by local newspaper Kurier.

Wilders made the speech in March to members of the Austrian far-right party FPÖ. In the speech, he compared the Koran to Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and said Europe is at war with Islam.

The department is investigating Wilders for incitement following complaints from a local Muslim organisation, ut broke the law banning the propagation of nazi ideology. » | Tuesday, July 28, 2015

KURIER: Der Islamgegner mit der kugelsicheren Weste: Niederländischer Rechtspopulist Wilders spricht heute auf Einladung der FPÖ in Wien. Ein Porträt. »

Obama: If I Ran Again, I Could Win Third Term | Ethiopia | African Union Speech

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Sentenced to Death in Libya

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in a courtroom in Zintan, Libya
THE TELEGRAPH: Son of former dictator Col Gaddafi and security chief Abdullah Senussi found guilty of war crimes

The British-educated son of Col Muammar Gaddafi has been sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in war-torn Libya.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the debonair friend of Lord Mandelson and other European notables who returned to his father's side during the 2011 revolution, was found guilty of war crimes by a court in the capital Tripoli.

He had appeared at hearings by video-link, as he was captured - in late 2011 - by a militia from the town of Zintan, which is fighting Tripoli-based brigades in the country's civil war.

Also sentenced to death were Col Gaddafi's notorious security chief and brother-in-law, Abdullah Senussi, accused by some of masterminding the Lockerbie bombing, and his prime minister, Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi. They appeared in person, having been extradited before security collapsed in Libya from neighbouring countries. » | Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor | Tuesday, July 28, 2015