Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Bonne année ! Gutes Neues Jahr! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Felice Anno Nuovo! Felix sit annus novus! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! ! سنة سعيدة

Wishing all my visitors, followers, and Twitter followers a wonderful, healthy, happy, and prosperous 2014. Thanking you all for your continued support

Monday, December 30, 2013

Saudi Prince Facing Execution for Murder after Senior Royalty Insisted 'There Is No Difference between Rich and Poor'

Crown Prince Salman: no-one is immune from sharia law
MAIL ONLINE: So far, the identity of the prince and his victim has not been made public / Crown Prince Salman said Islamic law shall be applied 'without exception'

A Saudi prince who murdered a fellow Saudi may be executed, a newspaper reported on Sunday, in a rare example of a member of the kingdom's ruling family facing the death penalty.

The English-language Arab News did not name the prince or his victim, but said a senior member of the family and government, Crown Prince Salman, had ‘cleared the way for the possible execution of a prince convicted of murdering a Saudi citizen’.

In a message about the case to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Prince Salman said: ‘Sharia (Islamic law) shall be applied to all without exception’, the daily reported.

Prince Salman's message followed a statement from the victim's father that he was not ready to pardon the killer and he was not happy with the amount offered as blood money.

The families of murder victims are encouraged by authorities to accept blood money instead of insisting on execution.

The paper quoted Crown Prince Salman's message as saying: ‘There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor ... Nobody is allowed to interfere with the judiciary's decision. This is the tradition of this state. We are committed to following the sharia.’ » | Ted Thornhill | Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Turkey First of Fed Taper Victims as Political Crisis Scares Investors

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Lira tumbles as Turkey goes from star performer to 'sick man' of the emerging market block

The Turkish lira has tumbled to a record low amid a deepening political crisis in Ankara, the first emerging market domino to wobble as the US Federal Reserve starts to wind down global dollar stimulus.

The currency has weakened by 6pc against the euro over the last two days, culminating a 25pc fall this year. Foreign funds have cut holdings of Turkish debt by a quarter since the May.

Turkey has gone from star performer to 'sick man' of the emerging market block as the Fed begins to taper bond purchases, a move that threatens to set off a further rotation of funds back into US dollar assets. » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Friday, December 27, 2013

'Orwell's 1984 a Fairytale Compared to Reality': Snowden Delivers Christmas Message

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has delivered his 'Alternative Christmas Message' via a British TV channel. The whistleblower called for an end to mass spying by governments, stating that a child born today will have "no conception of privacy."

Related »

Islamophobia: Surge Revealed in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

THE INDEPENDENT: Many forces reported a particular rise in anti-Islam hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby

Islamophobic hate crimes across Britain have risen dramatically this year, new figures have revealed.

Hundreds of offences were perpetrated against the country's Muslim population in 2013, with the Metropolitan police alone - Britain's largest force - recording 500 Islamophobic crimes, compared with 336 incidents in 2012 and 318 in 2011.

A large number of forces across the country reported a particular surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists in Woolwich, south-east London.

In May, the month in which Fusilier Rigby was killed, Scotland Yard recorded 104 anti-Muslim hate crimes, followed by a further 108 in June.

The figures were obtained by the Press Association which sent Freedom of Information requests to every police force in England and Wales. » | Tomas Jivanda | Friday, December 27, 2013

Putin's Nightmare: 'Emir of the Caucasus' Vows to Stop Sochi Winter Olympics

THE INDEPENDENT: In truth, this guerrilla war is just the latest stage in a cycle of oppression and resistance lasting centuries as Islamist leader and self-styled Emir of the Caucasus promises to use 'maximum force' to stop these Games

Any day soon, a bomb may go off in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. And if it does, it will be the nightmare that Vladimir Putin has been spending billions of roubles trying to prevent. The Winter Games, which start in February, have long been his pet project, designed to show the world how complete is his control over the territories of which he is president. The sudden rush of amnesties is just his latest ploy to sanitise the image of the Games.

With its sub-tropical climate, palm-fringed beaches, and sulphur springs, Sochi has been Russia’s most sybaritic winter holiday spot since the days of the tsars: it’s the Riviera of the Caucasus whose high mountains stretch eastwards, with embattled Chechnya just two hundred miles away. As a narrow ribbon of land where sea and snow-capped peaks are in close proximity, it was the obvious venue for the winter Olympics, and it has now been transformed by Putin’s hi-tech new infrastructure.

But Doku Umarov, the Chechen Islamist leader and self-styled Emir of the Caucasus, has promised to use “maximum force” to stop these Games. In a video message released in July, he declared: “They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea. As mujahideen we are required not to permit that, using any methods that Allah allows us.” » | Michael Church | Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Queen's Christmas Day Message 2013 in Full

The Queen reflected on prominent events from the past year during her Christmas broadcast - from the service that marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation to the birth of Prince George

Read the Telegraph article here | Agency | Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël ! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Felix Nativitas! Nadolig Llawen!

'We Three Kings', an original by James C. Christensen. Image courtesy of Google Images

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – The Gospel According to John, 1, 14

Et la Parole a été faite chair, et elle a habité parmi nous, pleine de grâce et de verité; et nous avons contemplé sa gloire, une gloire du Fils unique venu du Père. – Evangile selon Jean, 1, 14

Und das Wort ward Fleisch und wohnte unter uns, und wir schauten seine Herrlichkeit, eine Herrlichkeit, wie sie der eingige [Sohn] von seinem Vater hat, voll Gnade und Wahrheit. – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1, 14

E la Parola è stata fatta carne ed ha abitato per un tempo fra noi, plena di grazia e di verità; e noi abbiam contemplata la sua gloria, gloria come quella dell’Unigenito venuto da presso al Padre. – Evangelo secondo Giovanni, 1, 14

Et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobus, et vidimus gloriam eius, gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Padre, plenum gratiae et veritatis. – Evangelium secundum Ioannem, 1, 14

Louis-Claude d'Aquin: Noël X

Pope Francis Makes Visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for Christmas

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Pope Francis visits his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, to exchange Christmas greetings at his Vatican home

Pope Francis wished his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a 'Merry Christmas' this week in a rare social visit to his home on Vatican grounds.

The Vatican released television footage of the exchange of Christmas greetings between the two popes late Monday -- marking just the fourth time Benedict has been filmed since resigning in February, becoming the first pope in 600 years to do so.

“It is a pleasure to see you looking so well,” Pope Francis told his 86-year-old predecessor, who met him at the door of the ex-convent where he has been living in isolation.

Pope Francis was accompanied by his person[al] secretaries and also greeted members of Pope Benedict’s “pontifical family,” which include Archbishop George Gaenswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household and Benedict's personal secretary, as well as the “Memores Domini,” a small group of consecrated women who help him.

The two walked to a nearby chapel to pray, Pope Benedict with the aid of an ivory-handled wooden cane. » | Andrea Vogt, Rome | December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Castro Calls on US to Establish Civilized Relations

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Weeks after shaking hands with Barack Obama at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the Cuban president says he is ready to talk, but will not give up on socialist ideals

Cuba is ready for a warming of ties with the United States, but will never give in to demands to change Cuba’s socialist government and economy, President Raul Castro has said.

Speaking weeks after exchanging an impromptu handshake with US President Barack Obama at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, Mr Castro again signaled that he was ready to talk, but would not capitulate to America.

“If we really want to move our bilateral relations forward, we’ll have to learn to respect differences,” he said in the speech to Cuba’s parliament over the weekend. “If not, we’re ready to take another 55 years in the same situation.”

However he added that Cuba would not ever become like the US, saying “we don’t demand that the US change its political or social system and we don’t accept negotiations over ours.” » | Peter Foster, Washington | Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vince Cable Compares David Cameron to Enoch Powell

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: No 10 hits back after minister accuses Tories of racist panic on immigration

David Cameron’s rhetoric on immigration was compared to Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech by one of his own Cabinet ministers on Sunday.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said the Prime Minister had made British voters “schizophrenic” about the issue.

Mr Cable accused Mr Cameron and members of the Conservative Party of “doing harm” with their “populist” immigration policies.

The Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister suggested that Conservative rhetoric over immigration was similar to anti-Semitic “panics over Jewish immigrants” in the early 20th century.

His comments, just over a week before Britain opens its borders to migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, will inflame tensions in the Coalition.

Conservative MPs on Sunday night described Mr Cable’s comments as “unacceptable” and “offensive”.

Government sources also questioned how a senior minister can remain a member of the Cabinet when he “compares people in it to Enoch Powell”. » | Peter Dominiczak, Assistant Political Editor | Sunday, Decemebr 22, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Barack Obama Takes to Sunny Hawaii as Rest of America Struggles through Ice and Floods

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: The decision to make an early break for his holidays looks to have paid dividends for Barack Obama as the US kicks of its holiday season with a host of weather woes

Barack Obama’s decision to waste no time in racing off for his annual Christmas getaway in Hawaii last week looked to be a prescient move yesterday as the rest of America struggled to their holiday destinations through a mixture of floods, tornadoes and ice-storms.

While Mr Obama clocked up the 150th round of golf of his presidency on the first day of his Hawaiian holiday, the US was battered by a strange mixture of storms that left people freezing in the north, basking in Spring-like temperatures in the east and mopping up floods down south.

Mr Obama avoided all the inconvenience, however, boarding Air Force One immediately after giving his final press conference of the year on Friday afternoon at which he confessed that he needed “a couple days of sleep and sun” to recharge after a year that was widely dubbed his "annus horribilis".

For the fifth year running, the president, accompanied by his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, is staying at a luxury rental property in the Kailua, a tranquil residential area on the windward coast of Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian islands. » | Peter Foster, Washington | Sunday, December 22, 2013

M&S Faces Furious Backlash from Customers over Muslim Policy

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Marks & Spencer's official Facebook page is deluged with messages from customers furious at bosses' decision to let Muslim staff refuse to serve pork and alcohol to customers, as campaign is launched to boycott store

Marks & Spencer was today facing a boycott from hundreds of customers furious at the store’s decision to allow Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products.

The policy was revealed after customers trying to buy goods pork or alcohol from a Muslim shop assistant in central London were told they’d have to use another till because of her religion.

The official M&S Facebook page was today deluged with vitriolic messages from previously loyal customers.

Meanwhile a Facebook campaign group calling on people to boycott the store attracted hundreds of ‘likes’ within just a couple of hours of being set up this afternoon.

Writing on the group's Facebook page, called Boycott Marks and Spencer, customer Matt Syson accused M&S of creating “division and hatred within our communities”.

He wrote: “M&S if you read this you have gone over the top. “If you have Christian workers who wish to refuse the sale of ladies garments to male homosexuals or men's trousers to lesbians, I do hope you will equally stand by those workers’ religious or personal beliefs…

“Or perhaps if an atheist worker notices a customer purchasing hot cross buns during Easter and wishes to refuse sale to that particular customer based on beliefs that conflict with their own, I do hope you will not punish such workers for their actions surrounding refusal of sale…

“If not then I would like you to know that my family and I shall no longer purchase any goods from your company due to the implementation of this 'one rule system' that creates further division and hatred within our communities.

“It's the customers who pay your wage and profits, it's the customers who wield the power and dictate success or failure within a company. Something you will soon realise when word spreads.” » | Nicola Fifield | Sunday, December 22, 2013

Madness Alert! Muslim Staff at Marks & Spencer Can Refuse to Sell Alcohol and Pork

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Marks & Spencer says its Muslim staff do not have to sell pork or alcohol to customers

Muslim staff working for Marks & Spencer have been given permission to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products[.]

Its policy decision has highlighted a split among the big food retailers over whether religious staff should be excused certain jobs.

In contrast to M&S, Sainsbury’s said it had issued official guidelines that stated there was no reason why staff who did not drink alcohol or eat pork for religious reasons could not handle the goods.

The advice followed consultations with religious groups, said a spokesman.

Tesco said it treated each case on its merits, but said it “made no sense” to employ staff on a till who refused to touch certain items for religious reasons.

Asda said it would not deploy Muslims on tills who objected to handling alcohol, while Morrisons, which is based in Bradford where there is a large Muslim community, said it had widespread experience of dealing with the issue and would “respect and work around anyone’s wishes not to handle specific products for religious or cultural reasons”.

At M&S, Muslim staff who do not wish to handle alcohol or pork have been told they can politely request that customers choose another till at which to pay. » | Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter | Saturday, December 21, 2013

We’ve Heard Enough from Anjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: In the wake of the Woolwich murder of soldier Lee Rigby, radical Islamists are given publicity because the media is attracted to extremists

The day after two young British converts to Islam, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were convicted of the horrific murder of the off-duty soldier Lee Rigby in a Woolwich street, Radio 4’s Today programme ran an extensive interview with the extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, a spokesman for the minority Islamist group Islam4UK. Mr Choudary has been around for a while, and never in a style conducive to happy community relations: previously, he was the spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun before that organisation was banned by the British government.

Choudary has a way of popping up in the wake of horrific events, and what followed came as little surprise. He has learnt to say unacceptable things in a reasonable tone of voice, which spins him out more airtime than his views merit. In this case, what emerged from the discussion was that Choudary does not believe in democracy since “sovereignty belongs to God”. He was not willing to condemn the murderers. And he calls, yet again, for the adoption of Sharia across the United Kingdom.

There is a nasty combination of victimhood, threat and doublespeak in his argument. He said he was “very proud” of Adebolajo as a Muslim, but insisted, “I can’t control what the youth do,” as though we were talking of wayward rascals who had broken a window instead of almost beheading a man in broad daylight. I don’t suppose he can fully control it, but he energetically provides the fuel of justification (both killers were former regulars at al-Muhijaroun [sic] meetings).

If I were a moderate British Muslim, my heart would plummet every time Choudary came on the television or radio. He speaks for a minority of British Muslims, yet likes to bandy the word “Muslim” around as though he owns it. He deliberately enrages non-Muslims, since he seeks the oxygen – not only of publicity – but of conflict. And after Choudary has been rattling on, someone else (in this case Lord Carlile) will inevitably appear to say that British Muslims really need to do and say more to condemn this kind of extremism. » | Jenny McCartney | Saturday, December 21, 2013

My comment:

I am so sick and tired of reading dross from our Muslim apologists. It is not only sickening and tiring, but it is totally dumb too. For Christ's sake – and I mean that more sincerely than you might imagine – stop making excuses for people who want to bring our civilisation down! Enough already! When are you stupid people going to wise up? There is only ONE goal of ALL Muslims, though they might tell you something different, and that is to take us over, that is to Islamise the West, that is to establish the caliphate. Isn't it about time that intelligent men and women everywhere started to recognise this fact? The truth is that Anjem Choudary and his ilk are spouting the true Islam. Understand that, and you're half way there! – © Mark

This comment appears here too.

Nigella Lawson Facing Scotland Yard Drugs Investigation

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Police are to carry out a review of evidence Nigella Lawson gave during the fraud trial of Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, her former personal assistants

Nigella Lawson is facing a police investigation into her admission that she used drugs after a dramatic about-turn by Scotland Yard on Saturday night.

Police are to carry out a review of evidence she gave during the fraud trial of Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, her former personal assistants.

In the witness box, she admitted taking cocaine several times, most recently in 2010, and smoking cannabis.

However, evidence was also given by the two women claiming she had repeatedly used the Class A drug.

When they were acquitted on Friday, Scotland Yard said it would not look at her admissions or the women’s claims. She would only be investigated if new evidence emerged.

But on Saturday night Commander Stephen Watson, of the Metropolitan Police, told The Telegraph that officers would examine the “implications” of what she had said under oath and seek advice on what to do next from the Crown Prosecution Service. » | David Barrett and Robert Mendick | Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why Dennis Rodman Should Not Be Friends with Kim Jong-un – By a Survivor of the North Korean Gulag

Kim Jong-un's comic book villain image belies the very real horrors of North Korea - and foreign celebrities should have nothing to with him, a says survivor of the North Korean gulag

Read the Telegraph article and comment here | Peter Foster, Washington | Saturday, December 21, 2013

Louis-Claude d’Aquin: Nouveau Livre de Noëls (Paris 1757)

WIKI: Louis-Claude d’Aquin »

Robert Spencer and Michael Coren on the Conviction of Jihad Murderers in the UK and More

Michael Coren & Robert Spencer discuss the conviction of Lee Rigby's murderers and the twisted denial of some that it was completely inspired by Islam, plus Prince Charles, a suspected revert to Islam, actually comes out and warns of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

HT: Robert Spencer @ Jihad Watch »

Father Christmas Granted a Walk-on Part in the Bible

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: One in 10 people aged 25 to 34 in modern Britain think that Father Christmas is mentioned in the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus

For centuries Christians have been taught that wise men from the east brought gifts for the baby Jesus.

But, according to polling, one in 10 young adults in Britain now believe that Father Christmas also makes an appearance in the Biblical account of the nativity.

Significant numbers also think that Mary and Joseph might have brightened up the stable with a Christmas tree.

Over a third of the public think that the Bible records December 25 as the date of the Jesus’s birth.

And a quarter appear to have confused the lyrics of “Away in a Manger” with the gospels by believing that the Bible states that Jesus did not cry when he was born. » | John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor | Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Law for the Rich, A Law for the Poor: Nigella Legacy: Drugs Amnesty for Middle Class?

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Britain's most senior police officer says Scotland Yard will not investigate Nigella Lawson's confession to taking cocaine, despite previous tough talk on drugs

Britain's most senior policeman risked accusations of giving his approval to middle-class cocaine use after Scotland Yard said it would not investigate Nigella Lawson’s confession to taking class A drugs.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, allowed his force to put out a bizarrely-worded statement describing Miss Lawson’s admission under oath as an “allegation” which would not be investigated “at this stage”.

Anti-drug campaigners were baffled by Scotland Yard’s lack of action, which came as two former aides to Miss Lawson were cleared of fraudulently spending £685,000 on company credit cards. Sir Bernard has previously condemned the use of drugs by the middle classes.

The trial of Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo was overshadowed by disclosures of the television cook’s cocaine and cannabis use. » | Gordon Raynor | Friday, Decemebr 20, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Britain's Ambitions in the Gulf Suffer Blow as UAE Rejects Typhoon Deal

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Doubts over Britain's resolve to project power in the Middle East mean that all the 'family silver' on offer fails to land the contract - with France the likely winner

David Cameron’s ambition to revive Britain’s ties with the Gulf, involving 230 ministerial visits to the region since 2010, was in disarray yesterday after the United Arab Emirates decided against a multi-billion pound deal to buy Typhoon fighters.

The blow came despite a sustained diplomatic effort, including two visits to the UAE by Mr Cameron, a State Visit from the Queen and an agreement to waive visas for any UAE citizens entering Britain from Jan 1.

In addition, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the president of the UAE, paid a State Visit to Britain in April.

“We put out the family silver for them and we still failed,” said Jonathan Eyal, the international director of the Royal United Services Institute.

Reviving Britain’s historic relationship with the Gulf has been a central priority for Mr Cameron. » | David Blair, Chief Foreign Correspondent | Friday, December 20, 2013

My comment:

Is this a case of BAE Systems getting its comeuppance for the sh***y way they have dealt with many of their employees over the years? They have ridden rough shod over many, I am sorry to say. – © Mark

Councillor to Have Diversity Training after Golliwog Remarks

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: A panel has ruled that a councillor who made comments about golliwogs not being racist should have diversity training, as they said her remarks brought the council into disrepute

A Conservative councillor is to undergo diversity training after she claimed that golliwogs are "nostalgic, not racist".

Dawn Barnett was found guilty of bringing Brighton and Hove City Council into disrepute with her remarks.

At a closed hearing, a panel of three councillors said the 72-year-old should have diversity training.

She was cleared of failing to treat others with respect and breaching the Equalities Act and the panel also recommended all councillors should have diversity training in future.

In August, Cllr Barnett said she thought golliwogs were "nostalgic, not racist".

She also dismissed complaints against a homestore in Brighton selling golliwog placemats as "political correctness gone too far".

Four complaints from three people were made to the council’s Black and Minority Ethnic Workers’ Forum in response to her comments. » | Claire Carter, and agencies | Friday, December 20, 2013

'If My Son Did What Michael Adebolajo Did, I Would Be Happy': Hate Preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad Says He Is Proud of Lee Rigby Killer

MAIL ONLINE: Omar Bakri Muhammad said e would be 'happy' if son killed a soldier / Adebolajo spoke at radical group Al-Muhajiroun's demonstrations / Muhammad said he did not feel sympathy for Lee Rigby

A hate preacher says he would be 'proud' if his son killed a man like Lee Rigby's murderer Michael Adebolajo.

Omar Bakri Muhammad said if his son, who was sitting on his father's knee during the interview, grew up and killed a soldier he would be 'happy'.

Adebolajo attended and spoke at the radical group Al-Muhajiroun's demonstrations after joining the group in 2003. He also changed his name to Mujahid, meaning ‘one who engages in jihad’.

Over the following years he cropped up again and again at Islamist events.

Channel 4 News reports Omar Bakri Muhammad, the former leader of Al-Muhajiroun, said he was proud of the killer.

He said: 'I've got a son, if he did what Michael did I would be happy.' » | Emma Thomas | Friday, December 20, 2013

New York City Puts e-Cigarettes under Smoking Ban

THE GUARDIAN: Measure means 'vaping' will be prohibited anywhere that smoking conventional tobacco products is banned

The New York City council has voted to add electronic cigarettes to the city's strict smoking ban, in what could be the latest of many anti-tobacco measures put in place by the outgoing mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Only weeks after New York became the first major city to raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 21, the city council voted 43-8 to add electronic cigarettes to the city's Smoke-Free Air Act.

Bloomberg's other initiatives have included bans on trans fats and attempting to limit the sale of large sugary drinks. If the mayor signs the bill as expected, smoking e-cigarettes - or "vaping" - would be prohibited at public and private venues such as beaches, parks, restaurants and office buildings after 120 days.

The council speaker, Christine Quinn, who sponsored the bill, said at a press conference that the public use of e-cigarettes threatened to undermine enforcement of anti-smoking laws because their appearance was similar to traditional cigarettes and could "renormalise smoking in public places." » | Reuters in New York | Friday, December 20, 2013

Apollo Theatre Roof in London's West End Collapses: Scores Injured

Seventy-six injured including seven people seriously hurt after the roof of the Apollo in the West End collapsed mid-way through a packed evening performance

Read the Telegraph article here | Alice Philipson, Andrew Marszal and Harry de Quetteville | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Documentary: The Evil Behind Adolf Hitler

Accountant Who Believes He Is Secret Illegitimate Son of Princess Margaret Wins Legal Victory in Bid to See Her Will

Princess Margaret
MAIL ONLINE: Robert Brown, 58, believes the Queen's sister hid her pregnancy in 1955 / Her will was sealed around her death in 2002 - and he wants it opened up / Mr Brown, of Jersey, today won chance for judicial review of access to will / Mr Justice Phillips said there were 'compelling' reasons for his challenge / Born in Kenya, Mr Brown was brought up by Cynthia and Douglas Brown / He says he always felt he was not their natural son, and now wants to know / He said: 'Hopefully I am not a nutcase - I am either right or I am wrong.'

A Jersey accountant who believes he is the illegitimate son of Princess Margaret has won a High Court ruling which could aid his quest to see the contents of her will and that of the Queen Mother.

Robert Brown, 58, is seeking to prove he is Princess Margaret’s secret child and that she hid a pregnancy in 1955.

The royal wills were drawn up around the time of Margaret’s death in 2002, and were sealed to keep their contents secret.

Today Mr Brown was granted permission to seek judicial review of a refusal to allow him access under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) to documents he says show there was a 'secret judicial process' for sealing Royal wills.

Giving him leave, Mr Justice Phillips said at London’s High Court that there were 'compelling' constitutional reasons to allow Mr Brown’s legal challenge to go ahead - and that was not altered by a past Court of Appeal observation that Mr Brown’s claim to be Princess Margaret’s son was 'scandalous and irrational'.

The judge said the case gave rise 'to important points of principle and practice' regarding open justice and the public interest. » | Harriet Arkell | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rigby Verdict: Killers 'Should Never Be Allowed to Walk Free'

Lee Rigby's parents
BBC: Two men have been convicted of murdering soldier Lee Rigby in May. His parents Ian and Lyn Rigby told BBC Panorama they do not think Michael Adebolajo or Michael Adebowale should ever be allowed to leave prison.

Drummer Lee Rigby had served in Afghanistan with his regiment, the Fusiliers, who he had joined in 2006 when he was just 19. His unit was based in Cyprus.

Talking to Panorama's Peter Taylor, Lee's mother Lyn Rigby said: "I wouldn't wish anybody to go through the same pain of what they put Lee through, what they put the family through."

"I don't think they should be able to come out and walk the streets again." Read on and watch BBC video » | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blow for Britain and BAE Systems as UAE Rules Out Eurofighter Deal

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Britain fails to seal multi-billion pound deal to sell 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters to the United Arab Emirates

Defence group BAE's hopes of exporting its Typhoon fighter have been dealt a blow after the United Arab Emirates ended negotiations about buying the jet.

The Gulf nation had been in talks over a multi-billion pound deal to buy 60 of the twin-engine supersonic fighters as it looks to upgrade its air force.

"The UAE have advised that they have elected not to proceed with these proposals at this time," Britain's biggest defence company said in a statement as the market closed on Thursday.

BAE and the British government had been in discussion with the UAE "regarding a range of defence and security capabilities including the potential supply of Typhoon aircraft".

"We put a world-class proposal on the table but the UAE has elected not to proceed at this time," a spokesman for the company said. » | Alan Tovey | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty Star Phil Robertson Likened Homosexuality to Bestiality

Phil Robertson
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty on "indefinite hiatus" after remarks on homosexuals magazine interview

A star of one of America's most popular television programmes has been dropped by its broadcaster after describing gay people as "homosexual offenders".

Phil Robertson, who appears on the reality show Duck Dynasty, was placed on "indefinite hiatus" by the A+E network, after his remarks were published in an interview with GQ magazine.

Describing "sin" as "not logical," he said: "Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

The lavishly-bearded 67-year-old has a leading role in the Louisiana-based programme, which is the most-watched reality show and second-most-watched show of any kind on US cable television. » | Jon Swaine, New York | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mikhail Khodorkovsky to Be Pardoned

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to be pardoned, according to announcement following Vladimir Putin's marathon press conference

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed oil tycoon, is to be pardoned by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, a surprise decision that will let a major rival who was formerly Russia's richest man out of prison after more than a decade.

The move, along with an amnesty for the two jailed members of the Pussy Riot punk band and the 30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship, appears designed to assuage international criticism of Russia's rights record ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Putin's pet project.

Mr Putin waited until just after his tightly choreographed annual news conference to make the announcement, dropping the biggest news of the day after journalists had already peppered him with questions, including one about Khodorkovsky's fate, in a four-hour marathon.

He said Khodorkovsky, who still has eight months left to serve of a 10-year jail sentence, would be pardoned soon. » | Roland Oliphant, Moscow and Chris Irvine | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lee Rigby Murder: Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale Found Guilty

Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale
THE GUARDIAN: Old Bailey jury finds pair guilty of fatally attacking soldier in street near Woolwich barracks in south London

Two men have been convicted of murdering a soldier in broad daylight near a military barracks in London, in the first al-Qaida-inspired attack to claim a life on British soil since 7 July 2005.

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, murdered Lee Rigby, 25, as he returned to the Woolwich barracks in south London, in May.

They were convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey in central London, which heard that the soldier was almost beheaded in the attack.

The jury took just over 90 minutes to reach its verdicts. Both men were found not guilty of the attempted murder of a police officer. Relatives of Rigby cried as the verdicts were given.

Rigby's stepfather, Ian, wiped away tears and put his arm around the soldier's mother, Lyn, who was sobbing.

Mr Justice Sweeney, who ordered that the decisions be heard in silence, said he would pass sentence after a key appeal court ruling on the use of whole life terms in January.

Adebolajo looked at the press and kissed his Qur'an as he was taken to the court cells.

Adebolajo, from Romford, Essex, and Adebowale, from Greenwich, south London, claimed they were soldiers of Allah and their violence was a reprisal against western foreign policy, which had led to the deaths of Muslims. » | Vikram Dodd and Josh Halliday | Thursday, December 19, 2013

Read the Telegraph article here | Tom Whitehead, Security Editor | Thursday, December 19, 2013

US Federal Judge: NSA Phone Surveillance Program Likely Unconstitutional

A judge in America has ruled that the National Security Agency may have violated the Constitution by collecting telephone data. It follows a lawsuit over privacy violations - the first such judgement in open court. The NSA's been ordered to stop collecting data and to destroy the data it's already gathered. But it can't come into force yet because the government has at least 6 months to appeal. Chris Kitze, who moved his secure online messaging service to avoid U.S. intelligence control, says people would comply with legal searches - but not mass secret surveillance. Josh Gerstain, a Senior White House Reporter, considers that Snowden's revelations made the courts take the side of the victims of surveillance

Obama Review Panel: Strip NSA of Power to Collect Phone Data Records

THE GUARDIAN: • Review proposes greater authority for spying on foreign leaders • Government 'should be banned from undermining encryption' • Forty-six recommendations in 300-page report released early

The National Security Agency should be banned from attempting to undermine the security of the internet and stripped of its power to collect telephone records in bulk, a White House review panel recommended on Wednesday.

In a 300-page report prepared for President Obama, the panel made 46 recommendations, including that the authority for spying on foreign leaders should be granted at a higher level than at present.

Though far less sweeping than campaigners have urged, and yet to be ratified by Obama, the report by his Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology comes as the White House faces growing pressure over its so-called “bulk collection” programs from US courts and business interests.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the bulk collection program, first revealed by the Guardian in June through a court order against Verizon, was likely to be in violation of the US constitution, describing it as “almost Orwellian” in scope.

The White House was stung into releasing the report weeks earlier than expected after meeting America’s largest internet companies on Tuesday. The firms warned that failure to rebuild public trust in communications privacy could damage the US economy. » | Dan Roberts in Washington and Spencer Ackerman in New York | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The SS: Death Head

Himmler’s Madness

The West Has Put Middle East At Risk by Failing to Intervene in Syria and Making Overtures to the New Iranian Regime, Says Senior Saudi Diplomat

THE INDEPENDENT: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain says his country is left with no choice but to act by itself and seek peace and stability in the region

The West’s failure to intervene in Syria, coupled with its attempts at forging a nuclear deal with Iran, “risk the security of the region,” a senior Saudi diplomat has warned, saying the Arab kingdom was willing to go it alone and had no choice but to “become more assertive in international affairs.”

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia turned down a coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council in protest at the way the West was dealing with Syria and the American overtures to the new Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani. Now, its ambassador to the UK has again expressed Riyadh’s anger at the lack of intervention in Syria, arguing that while efforts are being made to remove chemical weapons from President Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal, “surely the West must see that the regime itself remains the greatest weapon of mass destruction of all?”

“Chemical weapons are but a small cog in Mr Assad’s killing machine,” Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain, wrote in a pointed New York Times op-ed this week. » | Nikhil Kumar | New York | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merkel Speech: Chancellor Urges Reforms to Preserve Euro

Angela Merkel addresses the Bundestag on Wednesday
SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: In the first parliamentary speech of her third term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Europe needs to take more action to make its single currency crisis-proof and urged states to undertake binding economic reforms.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday called on European countries to agree to binding economic reforms to correct flaws in the makeup of the single currency.

In her first parliamentary speech since her re-election for a third term on Tuesday, she warned that Europe needed to take further action to make the euro zone crisis-proof.

"Clearly the euro-zone debt crisis is not yet overcome. One cannot emphasise this often enough. But we are seeing first successes and we are convinced it can be overcome permanently," she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

She said Ireland's successful exit from the bailout program last week and progress elsewhere showed that her approach of seeking reforms in return for aid had been the right one. » | cro -- with wire reports | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Former MI5 Officer: Easy to Persuade Fearful People to Give Up Hard-won Liberties

Tap of Fire: Fracking in Texas Risks Gas in Drinking Water

A cozy countryside getaway from the city hustle - an idea ruined for some Americans by the negative effects of a fracking boom. In places like Texas the ground drilling technology has become a proven way to boost corporate profits. But as Gayane Chichyakyan finds out, its the landowners who pay the price.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Half of Britain to be offered for shale gas drilling as fracking areas face 50 trucks passing each day: Ministers "stepping up the search for shale" with new exploration rights to be offered to fracking firms next summer » | Emily Gosden, Energy Editor | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Defector Calls On Dennis Rodman to Make Kim Jong-un 'Hear the Cries of His People'

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Open letter exhorts US basketball star Dennis Rodman to use his controversial visit to North Korea to highlight human rights concerns

The only person born in a North Korean labour camp to have escaped to the West has written an impassioned open letter to Dennis Rodman, the former US basketball star, asking him to use his influence with Kim Jong-un to make him "hear the cries of his people".

Shin Dong-hyuk's letter, published in the Washington Post, comes just days before Mr Rodman is scheduled to travel to North Korea to meet Mr Kim for a third time to prepare for a basketball match billed as "The Big Bang in Pyongyang."

Sponsored by Paddy Power, the Irish online gaming firm, the match is due to take place in January and will pit a group of former professional players from the US against a team of North Korean players that Mr Rodman has trained.

Addressing the letter to "Dear Mr Rodman," Mr Shin wrote that he was born in Camp 14 in the mountains of North Korea. » | Julian Ryall, Tokyo | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jesus Tops the List of Fame While David Cameron Trails Behind at 1,483rd

DAILY EXPRESS: JESUS is the most important person in history, just edging out Napoleon Bonaparte, researchers say.

Christ and the French leader top a list of the 2,000 most influential people to have lived, ranked according to their significance on the internet.

The Islamic prophet Mohammed is the third most important, say the researchers who used mathematical formulae to measure millions of opinions expressed online, including on encyclopedia Wikipedia.

William Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln take fourth and fifth spots respectively, according to the team at New York’s Stony Brook University.

But there is bad news for David Cameron, who has been deemed half as important as Britney Spears.

The Prime Minister is ranked a lowly 1,483rd, far behind the pop singer at 689th. » | Eleanore Robinson | Monday, December 16, 2013

Christianity Beginning 'To Disappear' in Its Birthplace, Warns Prince of Wales

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Prince of Wales delivers impassioned personal plea for Christians in the Middle East, warning ‘organised persecution’ by Islamist fundamentalists could sever 2,000-year link

Christianity is beginning “to disappear” in its own birthplace after 2,000 years because of a wave of “organised persecution” across the Middle East, the Prince of Wales has warned.

In an impassioned intervention, he said that the world is in danger of losing something “irreplaceably precious” with communities tracing their history back to the time of Jesus now under threat from fundamentalist Islamist militants.

Speaking openly of his own Christian faith, he said he had become “deeply troubled” by the plight of those he described as his “brothers and sisters in Christ”.

And the Prince, a long-standing advocate of dialogue between religions, voiced personal dismay at seeing his work over the last 20 years to “build bridges and dispel ignorance” being deliberately destroyed by those attempting to exploit the Arab Spring for their own ends.

He devoted a Christmas reception for religious leaders at Clarence House to draw attention to the threat Christians have come under in recent months across Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other parts of the region. » | John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merkel Compared NSA to Stasi in Heated Encounter with Obama

THE GUARDIAN: German chancellor furious after revelations US intelligence agency listened in on her personal mobile phone

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America's National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: "This is like the Stasi."

The newspaper also reported that Merkel was particularly angry that, based on the disclosures, "the NSA clearly couldn't be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out."

Snowden is to testify on the NSA scandal to a European parliament inquiry next month, to the anger of Washington which is pressuring the EU to stop the testimony. » | Ian Traynor in Brussels and Paul Lewis in Washington | Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Going Underground: "Blair Committed War Crimes" – Tony Benn

Afshin Rattansi gets the inside track on politics with veteran Labour minister and socialist, Tony Benn. Denouncing illegal wars, Britain's most famous activist gives his take on the current leadership, austerity and what the future holds. Plus, we go underground on the threat of home-grown terrorism in the UK. And how much can you trust those you hand over confidential data to?

Anjem Choudary Warns Muslim Restaurateurs They Face Being Flogged If They Sell Booze At Brick Lane Rally

Anjem Choudary
LONDON EVENING STANDARD: Firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary today defended leading dozens of Muslim protesters on a march through east London demanding businesses stop selling alcohol, warning: “This is just the beginning.”

The group circulated leaflets in the Brick Lane area warning restaurants and off licence owners selling alcohol they face 40 lashes under Sharia law.

Around 60 men and women dressed in burqas handed the letters to Muslim-owned businesses.

Choudary, who formerly led the banned Al-Muhajiroun Islamist group said: “What we did is we posted a notice to the shop owners saying that under Sharia and under the Koran the sale of alcohol is prohibited and if one were to also drink alcohol, that would be 40 lashes.

“We were there to teach them that just because they are living among non-Muslims is no excuse because Sharia law will be implemented in Britain, and so they should be aware that just because it is not Sharia today, they can’t just do whatever they like.

“There will be no more pubs, no more gambling houses, no more national lottery.

“All women would have to be covered up appropriately and wear the niqab or veil and so there will be no prostitution. By 2050, Britain will be a majority Muslim country. “It will be the end of freedom of democracy and submission to God. We don’t believe in democracy, as soon as they have authority, Muslims should implement Sharia. This is what we’re trying to teach people.” » | David Churchill | Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Programme 'Unconstitutional'

Jay Carney
BBC: A US judge has ruled the National Security Agency's mass collection of telephone data unconstitutional.

The agency's collection of "metadata" including telephone numbers and times and dates of calls was brought to light by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The White House dismissed the suggestion Mr Snowden receive amnesty if he stopped leaking documents.

In his ruling in a Washington DC federal court on Monday, Mr Leon called the NSA's surveillance programme "indiscriminate" and an "almost Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States". 'Irreparable harm' » | Monday, December 16, 2013

'They Shoved People In Baking Ovens': Syrian Rebels Execute Over 80 Civilians

Over 80 civilians in a town northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus have been executed by Islamist rebels, sources within the Syrian military told RT. Many others were kidnapped to be used as human shields.

Europe: Islamic Fundamentalism Is Widespread

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: A discussion paper published by the Germany-based Gustav Stresemann Foundation -- a think tank dedicated to the preservation and advancement of liberal democracy in Europe -- warns that national and international Islamic organizations are increasingly putting pressure on Western politicians gradually to criminalize any critique of Islam.

In a commentary on the study, the German newspaper Die Welt says the findings cast serious doubt on the unbridled optimism of European multiculturalists, who argue that Muslim citizens will eventually internalize the mindset of Western democracies.

The majority of Muslims in Europe believe Islamic Sharia law should take precedence over the secular constitutions and laws of their European host countries, according to a new study, which warns that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread and rising sharply in Western Europe.

The "Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey"—a five-year study of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and Sweden—was published on December 11 by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, one of the largest social science research institutes in Europe.

According to the study (German and English), which was funded by the German government, two thirds (65%) of the Muslims interviewed say Islamic Sharia law is more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live.

Three quarters (75%) of the respondents hold the opinion that there is only one legitimate interpretation of the Koran, which should apply to all Muslims, and nearly 60% of Muslims believe their community should return to "Islamic roots."

The survey shows that 44% of the Moroccans and Turks interviewed agree with all three of the above statements, which makes them "consistent fundamentalists," and fundamentalist attitudes are just as widespread among younger Muslims as they are among older Muslims.

According to the study, Islamic fundamentalism is most pronounced in Austria, where 73% of Muslims interviewed say Sharia law is more important than the secular laws of the state; 79% say there is only one correct interpretation of the Koran that should apply to all, and 65% believe Muslims should return to their Islamic roots. In Austria, 55% of the Muslims surveyed say they agree with all three of the above statements. » | Soeren Kern | Monday, December 16, 2013

Catholic Leader Brands Immigration Policies 'Inhumane'

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales criticised the Government for being "inhuman[e]" in their pursuit of immigration targets.

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales labelled the Government’s immigration policies which prevent families from living together in Britain “inhumane”.

Vincent Nicholas, the archbishop of Westminster, said rules which prevent foreign spouses of UK citizens moving here would blight the lives of thousands of British children.

He called on the Government to rethink the legislation which came into force in 2012 which prevents people from outside the European Union settling in the UK with their British husband or wife unless they can show an annual income of at least £18,600.

Writing in the Guardian, Nichols said: "Anyone truly concerned for the family as the building block of society, and realistic about the mobility of British people today, must see both the folly of this policy and how it is an affront to the status of British citizenship. » | Miranda Prynne, News Reporter | Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saudi Activist Sentenced to Lashes and Prison: Rights Group

REUTERS.COM: A Saudi judge sentenced a political activist to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia, his rights group said on Sunday.

Omar al-Saeed is the fourth member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) to be jailed this year after the group issued statements attacking the ruling family over its human rights record and calling for democracy.

Saeed did not have legal representation at the secret hearing when he was sentenced, ACPRA said in a statement on its website.

"It's just another troubling instance of Saudi authorities' absolute refusal to countenance any activism or criticism of Saudi policies or human rights abuses," said Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.

A spokesman for the Justice Ministry said he could not comment on the report or confirm its accuracy.

U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia is ruled by the al-Saud family together with powerful clerics from the country's ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam. » | Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall | Riyadh | Sunday, December 05, 2013

Germany Moves to Claim 'Under Threat' Father Christmas

Der Weihnachtsmann
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Germany museum director believes the Father Christmas spawned in Germany is under threat from the more modern Santa Claus associated with Coca-Cola

A German museum has applied for Father Christmas to be added to the UNESCO list of cultural heritage, arguing that he has German origins and is in danger of being sidelined by America's Santa Claus.

Germany lays claim to a number of Christmas traditions, including the tree, the nutcracker, glass baubles, the Advent calendar and the Christmas market.

But Felicitas Höptner, director of the German Christmas Museum in the Bavarian city of Rothenburg, thinks Father Christmas's German origins are "under threat".

She said Germans no longer understood the origins of Father Christmas or the differences between him and the ever-laughing Santa Claus who was spawned by a German immigrant to the United States in the 19th century.

Her museum has applied for Father Christmas and Saint Nicholas, the fourth century Greek bishop he is derived from, to be put on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. » | David Crossland, Berlin | Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kuwait: Sale of Christmas Items Makes 'Mockery' of Islam - MP

ARABIAN BUSINESS: A Kuwait MP has called for a crackdown on Christmas celebrations in the state amid claims that shops were making a “mockery” of Islamic culture by selling items related to the occasion.

Less than two months after slamming the sale of Halloween items as “signs of Satanism”, MP Hamdan Al Azmi has warned Deputy Premier Sheikh Mohammad Al Khalid Al Sabah and Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al Saleh of the consequences of failing to take action against Christmas celebrations.

He said celebrating such events was “inappropriate” in an Islamic culture and authorities should not allow anyone to profit from such activities, Kuwait media reported.

While Christmas is a Christian celebration, in parts of the Gulf shops sell Christmas decorations and embrace the holiday. In the UAE, some malls have lavish Christmas decorations in a nod to the large expat and tourist populations. » | Beatrice Thomas | Sunday, December 15, 2013

Iraq's Battle to Save Its Christian Souls: 'Christians Are Finished Here'

Ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Christians have dwindled from more than a million to as little as 200,000. Colin Freeman reports on attempts to stem the exodus from Iraq's churches

Read the Sunday Telegraph article here and comment. | Colin Greeman, Baghdad | Sunday, December 15, 2013

My comment:

The first disgrace is that the MSM have taken so long to bring this to the attention of the people in the West. The second disgrace is that the Christian West – yes, the Christian West – has done/is doing very little about the plight of the Christians in the ME.

We continue to give the 'Religion of Peace' a pass when in actual fact we shouldn't. We should be challenging the aggressive Muslims at every level and at every stage. – © Mark

This comment appears here too.

New Dark Age Alert! Shop Owners Told They Face 40 Lashes If They Continue Selling 'Evil' Alcohol

Anjem Choudary
DAILY EXPRESS: DOZENS of Muslim protesters walked with one of Britain's most controversial hate preachers to demand restaurants and shops in one of London's most popular areas stop selling alcohol.

Business owners in Brick Lane in Whitechapel, on the edge of the city, were told on Friday they face 40 lashes if they continue to sell their "evil" products.

Brick Lane is one of London's trendiest areas and a popular location for Christmas parties.

Anjem Choudary, who used to lead the Al-Muhajiroun group which has been banned under terrorism laws, told the crowd: "The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited.

"We cannot live among the non-Muslims and see this evil take place."

Around 60 men and women in burkhas distributed warning letters to Muslim-owned businesses.

They also held up banners with slogans including: "Save lives, don't drink or sell alcohol! Stand for Shariah!" » | Cyrus Engineer | Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Al Jazeera Correspondent: Scotland the Brave?

A very personal look at the arguments surrounding the referendum for Scottish independence.

Severe Snow Storm Hits Mideast

A severe winter storm pounded the Middle East for a third day on Friday bringing with it heavy snow and floods. In the West Bank city of Ramallah residents struggled to walk outside as mounds of snow blanketed the streets. In some parts of Israel and the West Bank government offices and schools were closed to wait out the winter weather. In Jerusalem on Thursday schools cancelled classes and buses in and out of the city were not operating. Snow blanketed palm and cypress trees. It also battered most parts of central and southern Jordan, shutting down government offices, causing power disruptions, blocking roads and stranding motorists.