(TheDC) In the wake of news that Israel will send a delegation to Washington, D.C. to influence the Obama administration’s international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, the Islamic Republic is stepping up its attacks on the Jewish state.
“This vicious temperament of dogs and pigs is you (Israel),” said Ayatollah Mohammad Imami Kashani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that appoints the supreme leader, at Tehran’s interim Friday prayer. “The Quran has marked on your foreheads that you will be humiliated. The Zionist officials are like animals, and truly as rogue thugs they do whatever they want, killing people, creating bloodshed and destroying whatever they want.”
Kashani said at this week’s Friday prayers sermon in Tehran that whenever Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears on television, “all of the world hates you. You are hated, humiliated and despicable and,” the ayatollah added in a putrid insult to make to a Jew, “have been immersed in the flesh of rabid dogs and pigs.”
Kashani also had harsh words for the Obama administration: “Nations of the world are the enemies of the Zionists and (America’s support of Israel) will have you share the misery of the Zionists.”
“What is visible is that Obama has agreed to include the fake Zionist regime [Israel] in future negotiations,” said Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts. “However, we firmly believe [Israel] must be wiped off the face of the earth and we don’t recognize [its existence].”
Saturday, November 30, 2013
(Yahoo News) The time has come to end presidential term limits, because continuing the restrictions on how long one can serve in the country's highest office is bad for the United States, a university professor argued this week.
In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position. [...]
With President Obama's job-approval numbers down sharply, Zimmerman indicates that the nation's chief executive is perhaps being hampered by the fact that he's in his final term, giving GOP opponents and even Democrats little incentive to support him on issues that might hurt their own re-election chances.
Allah made them do it.
Tikrit (NINA) – Police in Salaheddin province found 7 beheaded bodies in Tikrit.
Police source told NINA that the bodies found in various parts of Qadisiya neighborhood, northern Tikrit; they are bearing bullet shots.
He added that earlier in the day, the bodies' heads were found, and been identified; they belonged to workers of an Italian firm the the Tirkit Stadium; 5 of them are residents of Tikrit while the remaining 2 are from Baghdad.
Earlier in the day, police found 5 heads filled with explosives in Qadisiya neighborhood in Tikrit, the explosive been deactivated and taken to the city morgue.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
BAGHDAD (AP) — Three car bombs exploded at outdoor markets and on a street full of shops near Iraq's capital, the deadliest of a series of attacks across the country that killed at least 29 people Thursday, officials said.
The deadliest attack took place Thursday afternoon in the city of Hillah when three separate car bombing struck two outdoor markets and a line of shops, killing nine people and wounding 21, police said. Authorities said that all the blasts happened in a five-minute period.
Hillah is about 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Baghdad.
That night, police said a car bombing killed seven people and wounded 12 in the southern city of Najaf, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad.
In the town of Suwayrah, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Baghdad, a car bomb ripped through a commercial area, killing five civilians and wounding 14, a police officer said.
A suicide bomber attacked a police checkpoint in the town of Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of the capital, killing three officers, authorities said. The blast wounded four officers and five civilians.
A roadside bomb struck a patrol of a pro-government, anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia, killing three and wounding seven in Tarmiyah, a Sunni town and former insurgent stronghold about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Militants consider members of the group, known as the Awakening Council, as traitors since they were formed by U.S. forces during the height of Iraq's insurgency.
A bomb also went off in Baghdad's Palestine Street, killing two civilians and wounding eight, police said.
(INN) A 5.7 magnitude earthquake on the Gulf coast near Iran's sole nuclear power plant at Bushehr has killed seven people and injured 30, according to a preliminary tally given by emergency response chief Hassan Qadami.
Al Jazeera reported that the quake's epicenter was near Borazjan, about 60 kilometres northeast from Bushehr, where Iran has its Russian-built reactor.
"So far, there are seven dead and 30 injured receiving hospital treatment," the official IRNA news agency quoted Qadami as saying on Thursday.
Iran stands on several seismic fault lines. A massive quake in December 2003 struck the southern city of Bam, killing 26,000 people and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.
(National Post) Economic equality will never be possible because some people are too stupid to get ahead in the modern world, said Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, in a speech that is igniting a wave of criticism.That is some inconvenient truth there.
Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister, accused Mr. Johnson of “unpleasant elitism.”
In the speech honouring the work of former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Mr. Johnson said natural differences between humans will always mean some will succeed and others fail.
(Fox News) The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee accused the Obama administration Wednesday of using "fear-mongering" rhetoric in urging Congress to delay new sanctions against Iran as world powers try to secure nuclear concessions from Tehran.
Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said he would continue to push for fresh sanctions in the wake of a nuclear deal brokered in Geneva, in which Iran agrees to a six-month pause in its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions worth $7 billion.
Menendez, speaking on the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered," cited White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's remarks at a recent press briefing about Americans not wanting a "march to war" with Iran as over-the-top rhetoric.
"What I don't appreciate is when I hear remarks out of the White House spokesman that ... if we're pursuing sanctions we're marching the country off to war. I think that's way over the top, I think that's fear-mongering," Menendez said, according to Reuters.
Many in Congress are skeptical, if not outright hostile, to the deal reached in Geneva. Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., are working on on legislation to reinstate the full force of sanctions and impose new ones if Iran doesn't make good on its pledge to roll back its nuclear program.
"We have to worry about the hardliners in Iran," Menendez said Wednesday. "And it seems that the Iranians get to play good cop-bad cop, (Iranian President Hassan) Rouhani as the good cop, the hardliners as the bad cop."
Menendez and Kirk hope to have their bill ready for other lawmakers to consider when the Senate returns Dec. 9 from its two-week recess, according to legislative aides.
(WJD) Apparently unable to either take the heat or get out of the kitchen, U.S. President Barack Obama has personally asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop criticizing him on his deal with Iran.
YNet and the Washington Post reported on Thursday that Obama complained about Netanyahu's 'clamorous criticism' of the deal, which allows Iran to retain its nuclear infrastructure and continue enriching uranium. Netanyahu opposes any deal that does not completely end Iran's nuclear program.
Obama apparently continued the administration's official line - already rejected by Iran itself - that the deal is much better than initially reported, and asked Netanyahu to send a diplomatic team to Washington in order to clarify the issue.
Netanyahu's reaction to Obama's request has not been reported, but it is widely expected that the prime minister will send at least one personal envoy to the White House.
CAIRO (AP) — Nearly two dozen Islamist women and girls, some as young as 15, were handed heavy prison sentences Wednesday for protesting in a court ruling that came a day after police beat and terrorized prominent female activists in a crackdown on secular demonstrators under a tough new anti-protest law.
The harshness of the sentences and the scenes a day earlier were new signs that the military-backed government is becoming bolder in silencing dissent, turning to abuses reminiscent of the Hosni Mubarak era. Authorities have been justifying tougher measures as needed to fight terrorism and bring stability — while they also appear to be exploiting divisions among secular democracy activists.
The crackdown is rearranging Egypt's political map after months when authorities were focused on crippling the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
This week, security forces have moved against secular youth activists opposed to the military and police. Some government supporters warn that its actions are widening the base of the opposition and could bring together Morsi supporters and the secular activists, though they bitterly oppose the Islamists and Morsi as equally authoritarian. The crisis is fragmenting the loose coalition of liberal and secular groups that supported the military in its July 3 removal of Morsi.
In a Mediterranean city of Alexandria courtroom, the 21 young female defendants flashed defiant smiles to the media, standing handcuffed in white head scarves and white prison uniforms in the defendants cage. They were convicted on charges related to holding an Oct. 31 protest in the city demanding Morsi's reinstatement.
Among them were seven teenagers aged 15 and 16, who were sentenced to prison terms until they turn 18. The rest — most aged 18 to 22 — were sentenced to 11 years in prison. Six other Brotherhood members were sentenced to 15 years in prison for inciting the demonstrations.
"We thought they will get a month or something but we were shocked with the 11 years," defense lawyer al-Shimaa Ibrahim Saad said.
PARIS (Reuters) - A French appeals court, ruling in a hotly debated religious rights case, on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a Muslim daycare worker for wearing a headscarf at a crèche that demanded strict neutrality from its employees.As opposed to Islam being tolerant and all inclusive?
The Paris court's decision was announced at the same time as French lawyers defended the country's ban on full-face veils in public before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The two cases have divided French public opinion for years, with the bans enjoying wide support in public opinion but being denounced by many Muslims as discriminatory.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
(JPost) The US and Hezbollah are in secret indirect talks managed by London dealing with the fight against Al-Qaida, regional stability and other Lebanese political issues.
Senior British diplomatic sources, quoted in a report in Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai on Wednesday, said British diplomats are holding discussions with leaders of the Lebanese organization and transferring the information to the Americans.
The discussions “are aimed at keeping tabs on the changes in the region and the world, and prepare for the upcoming return of Iran to the international community,” according to diplomatic sources in Washington.
Because the US, unlike the UK, recognizes both the political and military wings of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and refuses to distinguish between them, US officials cannot legally meet with any member of the party. But according to the sources, the US is willing to hear the views of the party and “warm up to a direct relationship in the future.”
(Yahoo News) Central African Republic is a resource-rich but impoverished country, located where its name implies. To the northwest lies Chad, to the northeast Sudan. Rebel groups from these countries crossed the borders of CAR and formed an alliance called Seleka and ousted the president. However, Seleka’s rebel-turned-president, Michel Djotodia, has lost control of the country. The primarily Muslim Seleka attacked the CAR’s Christian majority, which in turn sought revenge. France and other countries are seeking to prevent more insurgents from crossing over into CAR from Cameroon.
France's U.N. ambassador called the situation in Central African Republic "horrendous." Other human rights observers, diplomats and government officials use similar terms to describe the African country, where armed Seleka rebels from neighboring countries have engineered a near-civil war between the country's dominant Christian population and minority Muslims. "The state has collapsed, and this country is now simply plundered, looted, the women are raped, people are killed by thugs," French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said earlier this month. U.S. State Department officials have used similar language. France and Rwanda, which has had its own history of genocide, are trying to organize intervention, but the situation is considered so volatile no one is sure how to make a definitive move. More than 400,000 people have been displaced, and reports of child murders and grotesque violence are prompting fears that genocide may be inevitable. Yahoo News examines the resource-wealthy but broken country and the complicated political situation that has led to deadly chaos.
BEIRUT (AFP) — Women who have fled Syria's civil war for Lebanon face sexual harassment by employers, landlords and even faith-based aid workers, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.
"Human Rights Watch interviewed a dozen women who described being groped, harassed, and pressured to have sex," the New York-based group said in a statement.
While some of the women described repeated assaults, they said they did not report the incidents to the authorities "due to lack of confidence that (they) would take action and fear of reprisals by the abusers or arrest for not having a valid residency permit."
Syria's nearly three-year civil war has generated the worst refugee crisis in two decades, with more than two million people having fled the country and millions more internally displaced.
Lebanon, with a population of just over four million, is hosting more than 800,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
According to the United Nations, 75 percent of refugees fleeing Syria are women and children, and face heightened vulnerability in neighbouring countries where services are scant and overstretched.
HRW tells the story of Hala, a 53-year-old from Damascus, whose husband is detained by the Syrian government and who cleans homes in a Beirut suburb to support herself and her four children.
"She told Human Rights Watch that she suffered sexual harassment or attempted exploitation in nine of the 10 households in which she had worked," said the group.
"Male employers tried to touch her breasts, coerce her into sex, or procure her 16-year-old daughter's hand in marriage," it said.
Zahra, a 25-year-old from Homs, said her employer in northern Lebanon "grabbed her from behind, touched her breasts and pressured her to have sex. She left the job but said she was sexually harassed by two other shopkeepers for whom she worked."
She stopped working after the repeated assaults, though her family had relied on her income to pay the rent, the group said.
The human rights monitor urged the Lebanese government and the United Nations to "improve mechanisms for submitting sexual abuse complaints and ensure that refugees are not punished for filing complaints."
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
(WFB) Iranian missile technicians secretly visited North Korea as part of joint development of a new rocket booster for long-range missiles or space launchers at the same time nuclear talks took place in Geneva, according to U.S. officials.
Several groups of technicians from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), a unit in charge of building Iran’s liquid-fueled missiles, traveled to Pyongyang during the past several months, including as recently as late October, to work on the new, 80-ton rocket booster being developed by the North Koreans, according to officials familiar with intelligence reports.
The booster is believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be intended for a new long-range missile or space launch vehicle that could be used to carry nuclear warheads, and could be exported to Iran in the future.
Recent U.S. intelligence assessments have said that both North Korea and Iran are expected to have missiles capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear warhead in the next two years.
The Iranian cooperation reveals that the nuclear framework agreement concluded Sunday in Geneva has not slowed Tehran’s drive for missiles that can deliver a nuclear warhead to intercontinental range.
One official described the new booster as a thruster for a “super ICBM” or a heavy-lift space launcher.
“It is completely new from what they have done so far,” the official said.
The official said the missile cooperation was disseminated in multiple intelligence reports over the past several months. The official suggested the reports were suppressed within the government by the Obama administration to avoid upsetting the talks in Geneva.
(WT) The president who promised us that his health care legislation would allow us to keep our insurance plans and doctors now insists that his agreement with Iran will not allow it to keep a nuclear-weapons program. What the two pledges have in common is that they are both lies. No matter how many times such statements are repeated and seconded by President Obama’s partisans and the press, they amount to fraud — serial, intentional and potentially fatal fraud.
Here’s the difference: Thousands of Americans may die as a result of Team Obama’s domestic policy misrepresentations concerning Obamacare, which former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has correctly described as “criminal fraud.” However, many times that number are at risk as a result of the Obamabomb deal with Iran that amounts to national security fraud.
For starters, there is no reason to disbelieve the Iranian mullahs when they whip crowds into a frenzy with the phrase “Death to America.” To the contrary, there is plenty of evidence that they are intent on achieving their stated goal of “a world without America.”
Among the most alarming such evidence can be found in the series of steps the Iranian regime has taken to operationalize its capability to deliver without warning a devastating, strategic electromagnetic-pulse attack upon this country. Tests involving the launching of missiles off barges in the Caspian Sea confer an ability to fire them from vessels off America’s coasts. Other experiments included the simulated delivery of a warhead to the missile’s apogee — precisely the scenario a congressional commission warned could be used to unleash an electromagnetic pulse from high above the United States, inflicting catastrophic damage on the highly vulnerable electric grid and society below.
We are told that all that is missing is a nuclear warhead to place atop such missiles. Far from pushing that ominous day into the future, let alone foreclosing it altogether, Mr. Obama’s deal with Iran can only make its arrival more certain, and probably more near-term.
(JPost) The Egyptian army killed a jihadist leader and his son in Sinai on Tuesday.
The killing of Mohamed Hussein Muhareb, also known as Abu Mounir, took place in his Nissan truck during an exchange of fire, according to a statement on Facebook by military spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali.
Mounir was a prominent member of the jihadists and is believed to have been behind the killing of Egyptian security personnel.
The army killed three other jihadists and arrested four, Ali said.
Mounir came from Sinai’s Beduin Sawarka tribe and was a preacher favored by jihadists, according to a local resident quoted by Mada Masr, an Egyptian news website.
“Since the ouster of [president] Mohamed Morsi in early July, there have been more than 250 reported attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, most of which were carried out against Egyptian security forces and assets,” said David Barnett, a research associate at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to the Long War Journal website, told The Jerusalem Post.
Monday, November 25, 2013
He should claim victory. Iran played the West for idiots and was proved correct. UN Resolutions were issued demanding Iran cease its enrichment program, and Obama went more lenient than the UN and legitimized their enrichment.
(TheDC) Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed victory over the United States Sunday shortly after a historic nuclear agreement was reached in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 world powers.
Fars News Agency, the media outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, reported that Khamenei in a statement thanked President Hassan Rouhani and his negotiating team for their achievement in Geneva.
“I thank God that… the new government… was able to legitimize the Iranian nation’s nuclear program on the international stage and take the initial step in a way that the nuclear rights and the enrichment rights of the Iranian nation are acknowledged by world powers where before they had tried to deny them, and (the agreement will) open the way for future big strides in technical and economic progress,” Khamenei said.
Rouhani, speaking at an event for families of “martyred” Iranian nuclear scientists, said Iran will continue its nuclear progress. “No matter whether the world wants it or not, this path (to nuclear capability) will, God willing, continue to the peak,” he said.
(The Telegraph) A senior advisor to the Saudi royal family has accused its Western allies of deceiving the oil rich kingdom in striking the nuclear accord with Iran and said Riyadh would follow an independent foreign policy.
Nawaf Obaid told a think tank meeting in London that Saudi Arabia was determined to pursue its own foreign and policy goals. Having in the past been reactive to events, the leading Sunni Muslim nation was determined to be pro-active in future.
Mr Obaid said that while Saudi Arabia knew that the US was talking directly to Iran through a channel in the Gulf state of Oman, Washington had not directly briefed its ally.
"We were lied to, things were hidden from us," he said. "The problem is not with the deal struck in Geneva but how it was done."
Washington (CNN) - Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.
According to the survey, conducted last Monday through Wednesday, 40% say the President can manage the government effectively. That 40% figure is down 12 percentage points from June and is the worst score Obama received among the nine personal characteristics tested in the new poll.
"A lot of attention has focused on the President's numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama's approval rating this fall," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
Does being an effective manager count more than honesty?
"Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest," Holland added.
Obama's woes are not limited to honesty and his managerial skills. Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don't view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.
There is a silver lining in the poll for the President: He's still seen as someone who cares about ordinary Americans, six in 10 say he has a vision for the country's future, and seven in 10 say he is likable–his best attribute of the nine items tested in this poll. But the numbers are down for both admiration and likeability.
"It's clear that views of Obama as a person - once his strong suit - have taken a hit in October and throughout 2013," said Holland.
The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Officals: Israelis in secret trip to inspect Saudi bases that could be used as staging ground for strikes against Iran
TEL AVIV — Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials.
The officials said Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and other Arab and Persian Gulf countries have been discussing the next steps toward possible strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.
The officials said the U.S. passed strong messages to Israel and the Saudis that the Americans control radar capabilities over the skies near Iran and that no strike should be launched without permission from the Obama administration.
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Heavy fighting continued Monday in Benghazi between Libyan army forces and an Islamist militant group the United States blames for the attack last year on its diplomatic mission that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
LANA, Libya's state news agency, reported that at least six soldiers and one civilian were killed and 39 people were injured, most of them soldiers, in the clashes Sunday between the military and the group Ansar al-Sharia. On Monday, the Libyan government said that at least nine people were killed and 49 injured.
A senior Libyan military official in the city, speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said heavy fighting continued Monday morning as troops engaged members of the group in different parts of Benghazi.
(TPM) President Barack Obama landed on GQ's "Least Influential People" list for what the magazine describes as his inability to work with Congress.
Obama ranked No. 17 on the magazine's third annual list of "people who've overstayed their turns in the spotlight and used their fame for not a good goddamn thing."
"He can blame Republicans in Congress all he likes and get away with it because congressional Republicans are the worst," GQ explained. "But the fact remains that I have spent the majority of this man's presidency watching bad things happen, then hearing a thoughtful speech about how we gotta make sure the bad things never happen again, and then watching as nothing gets done."
Obama was recently beaten by Russian President Vladimir Putin for the top spot on Forbes' annual "World's Most Powerful People" list.
(WJD) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu minced no words on Sunday, telling his cabinet that the just-concluded deal with Iran is 'not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake.'
"Today," Netanyahu said, "the world has become much more dangerous because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step to getting the most dangerous weapon in the world."
He described Iran's "concessions" to the international community as "cosmetic" and noted that their effect could undone extremely quickly, leaving the international helpless in the face of an Iranian bomb.
But his most significant statement came in a blunt challenge to the U.S. and President Obama. Without mentioning Obama's name, he stated unequivocally that Israel does not consider itself a party to the deal and will take military action to prevent the Iranians from gaining nuclear capability.
"Iran is committed to Israel's destruction," he said,
and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself by itself against any threat. I want to make clear as the prime minister of Israel, Israel will not allow Iran develop a military nuclear capability.Despite reports otherwise, this is a direct statement of Israel's willingness to take unilateral military action. If necessary, in defiance of the United States.
(INN) The African nation of Angola has reportedly become the first country to ban Islam and Muslims, reports On Islam. Concerning the ban, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Sunday "this is the final end of Islamic influence in our country."
Angola's ban was first announced last Friday, when Angolan Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva said "the process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice."
India Today reports Silva's statement was made at the 6th Commission of the Angolan National Assembly, and that the ban includes orders to demolish mosques in the country.
Silva reportedly said the ban was necessary since Islam is "contradictory to the customs of Angola culture."
Angola's population of 16 million is predominantly Christian, with only 80,000-90,000 Muslims, the majority of whom are migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin, according to the US State Department.
The crackdown on Islam comes as Christians in the Middle East are being forced from Muslim countries.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren noted in 2012 that the Christian population in the Middle East dropped from 20% a century ago to 5% currently amid ongoing persecution of Christians by Muslims.
Oren noted in Egypt 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes in 2011 amid anti-Christian violence during the "Arab spring" uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.
In 2012 Saudi Arabia's top Muslim leader, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh, issued a fatwa (religious decree) to demolish all churches on the Arabian peninsula.
Particularly in Africa, analysts have commented that Islamist forces have been killing and expelling Christians largely with negligible international criticism.
Aside from Islam, other religions that have not been legalized will face similar measures in Angola. The non-legalized religions on the list "published by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the Angolan newspaper 'Jornal de Angola' are prohibited to conduct worship, so they should keep their doors closed," said Silva.
The Minister of Culture added that there is a legalization process through which over a thousand religious sects are currently applying.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
CAIRO (AP) - Egypt downgraded diplomatic relations Saturday with Turkey and expelled its ambassador from Cairo, a sharp escalation in tensions between the two countries that mounted after a military coup ousted the country's Islamist president this summer.
In a quick reaction, Turkey reciprocated by declaring the Egyptian ambassador "persona non grata" and downgrading relations with Egypt to the same level. Egypt's ambassador hadn't been in the country since August over the turmoil.
Saturday's decisions, which fall short of closing diplomatic missions in the two countries, are a dramatic reversal of the warming relations between the two countries over the past year.
Egypt's interim government vehemently has protested remarks by Turkish leaders criticizing the popularly backed military coup that toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The decision Saturday followed another critical comment by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.
(NYP) Forget Ray Kelly, Bill de Blasio is getting his policing advice from the real experts — hardened criminals.
A group of 50 ex-cons, junkies and chronic vagrants gathered at a Manhattan “Think Tank” Thursday to describe what they thought the NYPD should be doing to make their lives easier.
The felonious forum outlined a clear “get-soft-on-crime” vision.
“I like the idea of ending stop and frisk. That was the first thing that was totally there for me,” opined Mikell Green-Grand, a 49-year-old former jailbird who has convictions for grand larceny and identity theft.
Arthur Castillo, 38 — who has been convicted for possessing stolen property and assault — said he would be much obliged if the cops just left him alone to do his thing.
“Cops won’t leave us alone!” he said. “Newly released prisoners are watched by the police and a lot of us don’t feel we have an opportunity to readapt to normal life because we are treated as criminals even though we are free.”
The event, which was held in Morningside Heights, was hosted by an advisory group called Talking Transitions, run by liberal billionaire investment magnate George Soros.
The goal was to offer de Blasio tips on “policing, corrections, parole policies and more.”
Since Talking Transitions is actually advising de Blasio during his preparations for assuming office, the opinions posited by the panel of crooks and deadbeats will be relayed to him and could have real policy effects.
“Bloomberg forgot about all of us. I’m hoping DeBlasio remembers us,” said Gregorio “Koko” Cruz, 63, who was convicted of first degree manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon.
“After 12 years of Bloomberg, it’s time for a change,” the thief Green-Grand added.
Castillo, of Bayside, Queens, called for de Blasio to both “redistribute” the wealth and pay what is, in effect, protection money.
Friday, November 22, 2013
(CNSNews.com) – A senior Obama administration official reacted mildly to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s vitriolic speech this week, comparing the harsh rhetoric coming from Iran’s supreme leader to anti-Iranian views expressed by some Americans.The failure of the Obamacare rollout - along with all the other failures - has unhinged this administration. They are so bent and determined to find a "legacy achievement" for the Anointed One that they'll throw every ally under the bus if that's what it takes.
(Israel Hayom) Azerbaijani security forces arrested an Iranian national earlier in the month on suspicion he was planning to carry out a terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy in the capital, Baku.
According to the reports, Hassan Faraji, 31, moved into the neighborhood near the Israeli embassy last October and prompted the suspicions of local security forces. When local police approached him and tried to arrest him, Faraji resisted and an altercation ensued.
Faraji was subdued and taken to police custody and to court, where his remand was extended by 30 days. A search of his apartment revealed numerous notes and photographs, leading investigators to believe he was planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.
Iranian media outlets reported that Faraji was tortured and that Azerbaijani security forces "put cigarettes out on him to extract a confession that would be favorable to the Zionist regime."
An Iranian official said that the Iranian Embassy in Azerbaijan demanded to see the Faraji, but that their request was denied in violation of international law.
The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry released a statement denying the Iranian claims of torture. "The Interior Ministry has learned that Hassan Faraji is pleased with his conditions of detention. He has no complaints about the workers of the facility. Faraji confirmed that he was not subject to torture and no one has insulted his honor and dignity."
Azerbaijan Interior Ministry spokesperson Sadiq Gozalov said.
Gozalov added that Faraji will be allowed to see his family and meet with his lawyer, but that such a request has yet to be made.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The six largest Islamist rebel factions in Syria declared a new Islamic Front on Thursday, forming the largest alliance of opposition fighters yet in the 2-1/2-year conflict.
Syria's fractious rebel forces have tried many times to unify their ranks and failed. Islamist rebel commanders, in a video aired on al Jazeera, said their new union would not only seek to oust President Bashar al-Assad but establish an Islamic state.
"This independent political, military and social formation aims to topple the Assad regime completely and build an Islamic state where the sovereignty of God almighty alone will be our reference and ruler," said Ahmed Eissa, who heads the Suqour al-Sham brigades.
The merger undermines the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA) leadership, once seen as a symbolic umbrella leadership for all the rebels but weakened by infighting and defections.
It could also challenge the ascendance of al Qaeda-linked factions who have grown increasingly powerful as other rebel groups are weakened.
Among the main groups that joined the front are powerful, countrywide forces such as Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham and Islamic Army. The Tawhid Brigade, which spearheaded the August 2012 offensive that saw rebels take large swathes of the city of Aleppo and other parts northern Syria, was another leading member. The groups are not seen as being as hardline as the Qaeda-linked rebels.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
RIYADH (AP) - Saudi Arabia is urging its citizens to leave Lebanon and exercise caution following this week’s deadly bombing at the Iranian Embassy and deepening tensions with Lebanon’s Hizbollah militants.
Shiite-led Hizbollah has indirectly blamed Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for Tuesday’s twin suicide blasts, which killed 23 people. A Sunni radical group linked to Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
Saudi Arabia and Hizbollah are longstanding foes, but are now rivals in Syria’s civil war. Saudi rulers are key backers of Syrian rebels, while Hizbollah is fighting alongside the forces of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.
A statement on Thursday from the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon urged its citizens to “return to the kingdom and be cautious”.
Lebanon has been a popular holiday spot for Saudis, but numbers have dropped off sharply since Hizbollah joined the battles in Syria.
(Algemeiner) On a state visit to Moscow Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to assert himself over U.S. President Barack Obama as the main peacekeeper in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, just as Putin did over the chemical weapons in Syria, according to a report on Thursday in Russia’s Kommersant that cited unnamed diplomatic sources.
Kommersant said the deal on the table today from the world powers in Geneva stipulates a six-month suspension of work on Iran’s nuclear facilities, in exchange for releasing $3 billion of frozen assets in international banks and a reduction in sanctions that would provide Tehran with an another $10 billion.
The newspaper cited a source close to the Israeli government as saying, “Netanyahu understands that the deal, insisted on by the United States, will be concluded,” and he sees no way to influence Washington any further in the matter.
The Norwegian news portal VG Nett is reporting that a Muslim terrorist group, Ansar al-Sunna’, is threatening that if a section of the nation's capitol isn't transformed into a sharia-complaint Muslim nation, an attack rivaling 9/11 will be launched upon the Scandinavian nation.
VG Nett has stated that the Norwegian Police Security Service (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste - PST) is already familiar with many members of this particular terror group.
As translated by Michael Laudahn,
"If norwegian soldiers can take planes to Afghanistan, then Osama and Mohammed can also take planes to Norway, inshaAllah.
Now, the government must wake up and assume responsibility, before this war spreads to Norway. Before the counterpart reacts. Before moslems take the step necessary.
Do not confuse the moslems’ silence with weakness. Do not profit from the moslems’ patience. Do not force us to do something that can be avoided. This is not a threat, only the words of truth. The words of justice.
A warning that the consequences can be fatal. A warning about a 9/11 on norwegian ground, or larger attacks than the one carried out on 22 july. This is for your own good and in your own best interest.’
We do not want to be a part of norwegian society. And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here. And Allah’s earth belongs to everybody.
But let Grønland become ours. Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it. This is the best for both parts.
We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you."
In other words, "Palestinians" are frolicking in their natural habitat.
(INN) Raw sewage has flooded streets in a southern neighborhood of Gaza City in recent days, threatening a health disaster, writes the New York Times. The reason: cheap diesel fuel can no longer be smuggled in from Egypt, because Egypt's army has shut down the smuggling tunnels that connected Gaza with Sinai.
The Hamas government shut down Gaza’s lone power plant on November 1, causing a pump station to flood. Three more sewage stations in Gaza City and 10 others elsewhere in Gaza are close to overflowing, sanitation officials said, and 3.5 million cubic feet of raw sewage is seeping into the Mediterranean Sea daily. "The sanitation department may soon no longer be able to pump drinking water to Gaza homes," writes the Times.
Hamas has refused to import Israeli diesel because of taxes imposed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, which is led by rival terror organization Fatah.
Gaza's residents now face daily power failures of 12 or even 18 hours. "Businesses have cut back production, hospitals are rationing electricity to keep dialysis and cardiac support systems running…" all because of Egypt's cutting off smuggling, and Hamas' refusal to pay Ramallah taxes.
The number of trucks bringing goods, including fuel, into Gaza from Israel has actually increased 18 percent since the ouster in July of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, while the number of Gazans allowed to leave through Israel’s Erez crossing is up nearly 30 percent since July. Exits through Egypt’s Rafah crossing in October, however, were a third of what they had been in January.
And yet, in reporting on the situation in Gaza, Iran's PressTV succeeded in blaming Israel anyway (see video below).
During Morsi's yearlong presidency, Gaza received 30 megawatts directly from Egypt and enough diesel via the tunnels to provide 85 megawatts through its power plant. Gaza is run by Hamas, which is connected to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. Besides cracking down on the smuggling tunnels, Egypt has been fighting Islamist terrorists in the Sinai, some of whom came from Gaza.
(ABC) Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hedetniemi couldn't believe what he was hearing: Two al Qaeda terrorists had been arrested in a small town in Kentucky, right in America's heartland.
But it wasn't the 2011 arrests that caught the combat veteran's attention, but the offhand mention in a press report of a town in Iraq called Bayji, where the terrorists had operated before slipping into the States.
"It's an extremely small town and not very well-known," Hedetniemi told ABC News. But Hedetniemi knew it all too well.
He was just south of the town in 2005 when another group in his Pennsylvania National Guard platoon was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) and attacked by small arms fire. The Americans managed to fend off the attack, but four soldiers died.
"So once I actually read the bulletin [about the Kentucky arrests]… the more research I did on it, I realized that these guys were operating in the same area that we were at the time we were attacked," Hedetniemi said. "It was more than a coincidence, I think it was fate that the news broke."
Hedetniemi called the FBI to alert the Bureau to the possible connection, as did several other soldiers, according to a March 2012 report from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He later learned, as ABC News reported in an exclusive investigation Wednesday, that FBI technicians had lifted fingerprints from parts of an IED recovered near Bayji at the time of the attack that belonged to one of the men who had resettled as a war refugee in Bowling Green, Ky. – some 750 miles from the Pennsylvania National Guard headquarters.
Though investigators could not conclusively prove that the terrorists had killed the Guardsmen in Iraq so many years ago, the U.S. attorney's office in Louisville eventually placed the surviving soldiers in its victim notification system for the case– officially linking the specific attack to the terrorists, who later pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges and are now behind bars.
"It's impossible to put a face to the enemy in that kind of situation, especially on a night ambush… [and] you kind of want closure for yourself and the guys, and especially for the families who lost their loved ones," Hedetniemi said. "[Now] you're actually putting… a face to the enemy who was attacking you. That makes it more personal and much more real."
"It's still amazing. I think it's incredible that they were able to do that," Dan South, the only soldier in the Humvee struck by the IED to survive the 2005 attack, said of the FBI's sleuthing. "I kind of wish that we could have smoked him when it happened, but we didn't have that opportunity. So I guess this is second best."
Pfc. Nathaniel Detample, Spc. John Kulick, Spc. Gennaro Pellegrini and Sgt. Francis Straub were killed in the 2005 attack near Bayji. South remembers each of them, quirks and all – the fast eater, the practical joker, the bad driver (South claimed 19-year-old Detample, reportedly an Eagle Scout and wrestler, crashed the Humvee more than once "not even outside the wire, but just going to get something").
"It's hard not to be close," South said. "It gets to the point where you could look through night vision goggles and look at someone's shadow and just tell by their mannerisms and the way they walked who they were. There are probably a lot of people who could say that about their spouse, so that just kind of shows you how close everyone is."
"Just remember, these guys were somebody's sons, and somebody's brothers and somebody's father and these guys murdered them," South said. "There's definitely some sense of justice. They [the men arrested in Kentucky] went from being free men to now they live in a federal penitentiary."
Baquba (AFP) — A market bombing north of Baghdad was the deadliest in violence that killed 48 people on Thursday, as the year's death toll topped 5,800 amid a surge in unrest.
The flare-up has prompted Baghdad to appeal for international help to counter the worst bloodshed since 2008, just months before its first general election in four years.
Officials have voiced concern over a resurgent Al-Qaeda emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria which has provided the jihadist network's front groups with increased room to plan operations in Iraq.
Thursday's attacks came a day after a spate of violence, mostly car bombs targeting Shiite districts of Baghdad, killed 59 people and wounded more than 100 in the highest death toll of the month.
Shootings and bombings struck in and around Baghdad and in north Iraq on Thursday.
In the deadliest incident, a car bomb exploded at around noon (0900 GMT) in a fruit and vegetable market in the town of Saadiyah, part of the restive ethnically mixed province of Diyala which has seen some of the worst bloodshed.
At least 32 people were killed and 40 wounded in the blast, officials said.
Saadiyah is populated mostly by Faylis, or Shiite Kurds, and is in territory Kurdish leaders want to incorporate in their autonomous region in the north over the objections of the central government.
Militants frequently exploit poor communication between Kurdish and central government security forces to launch their attacks.
On November 14, a suicide bomber targeted a group of Shiite pilgrims in the town on the anniversary of the death of a venerated figure in Shiite Islam, killing 32 people.
Shootings and bombings elsewhere in Diyala, as well as in and around Baghdad and the main northern city of Mosul, left 14 others dead while security forces killed two militants.
Bodies thrown in river
Authorities in Diyala also found the bodies of a dozen residents snatched by kidnappers purporting to be in the security forces.
The 12 were executed and their bodies thrown into a river, reminiscent of targeted killings that were rampant during the worst of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007.
No group has claimed responsibility for the violence, but Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda often carry out such attacks, ostensibly to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government and security forces.
In an effort to bring peace to the Middle East, President Barack Obama has proposed that Israel should return to its 1967 borders in exchange for being annihilated by its enemies. PJTV's Andrew Klavan has a better idea.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Beirut (AFP) - Four suicide car bombs struck Syrian regime targets Wednesday in the Qalamoun region near Lebanon, killing at least seven soldiers, a monitor and state news agency SANA said.
The attacks come a day after troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad made gains in the Qalamoun area north of Damascus.
The attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, two Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, came after rebels were driven out of nearby Qara village on Tuesday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Political terrorism in Wisconsin: The American Police state begins.
WASHINGTON, November 19, 2013 – Cops are bursting into homes, seizing computers and other “evidence” while groups are being hit with subpoenas that require them to turn over voluminous and sensitive information - including the names of political donors.
The crime of being conservative is being prosecuted with vengance.
In Wisconsin, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz is going after conservative groups that were involved in the fight over the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Walker’s union reforms. Subpoenas are requesting “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.” They are seeking lists of conservative donors.
These “John Doe” subpoenas are alarming as, under Wisconsin law, when someone receives one of these subpoenas, the only person they are allowed to discuss the subpoena with is their attorney. Not only does this inhibit First Amendment rights, it stops groups from being able to create a unified defense to allegations.
Among the groups that have been targeted are Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, The Republican Governors’ Association, The friends of Scott Walker, American Crossroads and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
The subpoenas, which have been leaked to the media, demand all kinds of internal records, including donation information and the identity of individual donors.
This is political terrorism at work and the special prosecutor in this case is a political terrorist.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Isn't that a shame...
(INN) 'Palestinian refugee' aid organization will not pay wages next month due to $36 million deficit, criticizes lack of Gaza building materials.
On Tuesday the UN announced it will not pay wages next month to thousands of workers in the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) due to a growing financial crisis.
The cancellation of wages comes as UNRWA is in a $36 million deficit according to AFP.
UNRWA was founded in 1950 to aid "Palestinian refugees" that left Israel during the 1948 War of Independence. All other refugees in the world are handled by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNRWA currently serves roughly 5 million people as Palestinian refugee status is passed down from generation to generation under the organization's framework.
Under secretary general Jeffrey Feltman said "UNRWA will be unable to adequately fund its core services...and will be unable to pay December salaries of its 30,000 teachers, medical personnel and social workers."
While announcing its financial woes UNRWA criticized Israel's stance towards Hamas controlled Gaza.
Since Israel suspended building materials to Gaza in October after discovering the materials were used in building terror tunnels, 19 out of 20 UNRWA construction projects in Gaza have been halted, putting "thousands of people out of work" according to Feltman.
On Tuesday UNRWA chief Filippo Grandi said "the Israeli blockade -- which is illegal -- must be lifted." The same day Hamas spokeswoman Israa al-Mudallal said the situation in Gaza is "on the verge of explosion," calling on the international community to send materials, presumably building materials.
However Gaza's shortage of supplies has been proven to be because of Egypt's blockade, not Israel's.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said that no peace deal would be reached unless the 5 million "Palestinian refugees" are allowed to repatriate into Israel, effectively erasing Israel.
Some analysts have previously suggested that the US should place conditions on its financial aid to UNRWA given that its schools use the PA curriculum which rejects Israel's existence and encourages the "Palestinian right of return" along with "armed struggle."
The organization has shown strong bias against Israel in the past, such as in May when UNRWA director in Lebanon, Ann Dismorr, was photographed holding a map showing all of Israel as "Palestine."
Meanwhile in August the Foreign Ministry condemned the UNRWA for misrepresenting facts in an incident at Kalandia, north of Jerusalem.
Beirut: Suicide bombing followed by car bomb kill at least 25 in embassy that also serves as a Hezbollah headquarters
BEIRUT: Iran’s foreign minister voiced concern over the two deadly suicide bombings that targeted Tehran’s embassy in Beirut Tuesday, saying the attack should be an “alarm for all of us.”
"The tragedy today ... should be an alarm for all of us that we need to deal with and unless we deal with it seriously, it will engulf all of us," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Rome after talks with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino.
Earlier Tuesday, the spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Israel of being behind the attack outside Tehran’s embassy in Lebanon.
“[The bombings are] an inhumane crime and spiteful act done by Zionists [Israelis] and their mercenaries," Marzieh Afkham told IRNA news agency.
The morning attack, carried out by two suicide bombers in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Bir Hasan, killed at least 25 people including an Iranian diplomat, security sources told The Daily Star.
The Syrian government, one of Iran’s main allies in the region, also deplored the attack.
"The Syrian government firmly condemns the terrorist attacks carried out near the Iranian embassy in Beirut," according to Syria’s state television.
“The odor of petrodollars is rising from the attacks in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq,” the agency added. Syria accuses Gulf states including oil-rich Saudi Arabia of funding and arming rebels seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Speaking to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television, Syria's Information Minister Omran Zoubi also accused Saudi and Israeli intelligence of being behind the attack.
(WJD) Jewish Home party chief Naftali Bennett broadsided anti-Israel journalist Christiane Amanpour in a CNN interview Monday night, warning that an inadequate agreement with Iran will lead to war.
Hitting Amanpour, who has long despised Israel, right where it hurts, Bennett was defiant and unapologetic about Israel's policies.
"There’s no one who wants a war less than us," he said. "However, it’s one of those cases where a bad deal will lead to a war, and a good deal with actually prevent war."
While Bennett did not specifically mention Israeli military action, Prime Minister Netanyahu has pledged that Israel will not be bound by any deal that does not completely end and dismantle Iran's nuclear infrastructure.
In addition, Netanyahu has said that Israel will never allow Iran to have nuclear capability, even if these military action will have to be taken.
Monday, November 18, 2013
|Sunni Muslims carry the casket of a fellow Sunni who was killed in Friday's sectarian clashes|
during a Muharram procession, at Laiquat Bagh in Rawalpindi November 17, 2013.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Sectarian violence spread in Pakistan on Monday after clashes between minority Shi'ite and majority Sunni Muslims near the capital Islamabad prompted the government to impose a curfew and block mobile phone services over the weekend.
Clashes confined to areas in and around the capital at the weekend spilled over on Monday into two towns in the volatile northwest.
Tensions are high this month as Shi'ites mark Muharram, an annual period of mourning which has often sparked bouts of violence.
Rawalpindi, a garrison city near Islamabad, remained under curfew and tight security for three days after a Shi'ite procession on Friday degenerated into sectarian clashes which killed at least eight people.
On Monday, a mob set shops on fire in a predominantly Shi'ite district in the northwestern town of Kohat in clashes that killed a policeman and a civilian, police said.
Tensions were high in the northwestern city of Hangu, also subject to a curfew, local media reported.
It's always reassuring to see a US President act as a lobbyist for the mullahs.
(Fox News) While millions of Americans are watching their individual polices get canceled due to ObamaCare regulations, the new health care rules are also having a major impact on college campuses.
For decades, universities and colleges have offered students bare-bones policies. But because of the Affordable Care Act, those policies no longer cut it – and universities are forced to decide whether to offer significantly higher-cost plans or cancel coverage altogether.
The new rules affect a broad swath of American schools, especially the small ones.
At Bowie State University in Maryland, the cost of student health insurance policies went from roughly $100 a year to $1,800 a year.
The cancelled plan offered $5,000 worth of medical coverage to students for just $54 per semester. University administrators said an acceptable replacement under the Affordable Care Act would have cost $900 per semester, a 1,500 percent increase. [...]
"Bowie State University has suspended offering health insurance for domestic students for the 2013-2014 academic year," according to the school's official website. "Due to new requirements of the Affordable Care Act which will go into effect on January 1, 2014, the cost of insurance for domestic students will increase to approximately $1800 per year."
No need for Al Jazeera here. When Americans are in the mood for propaganda, they choose MSNBC.
(NYP) After just two months on the air, Al Jazeera America is losing ground in the US.
The US offshoot of the Mideast news outfit managed fewer than half of the viewers who tuned in to its predecessor, Al Gore’s Current TV.
Al Jazeera America has averaged just 13,000 viewers a day since its Aug. 20 launch — on par with a public access channel. In the 25- to 54-year-old audience sought by advertisers, it drew 5,000 viewers.
The ratings are so low, they are considered a “scratch” and aren’t reported by Nielsen.
“We are making large investments in programming and marketing,” an Al Jazeera America spokesperson said Sunday.
By comparison, 31,000 viewers tuned into Current TV a year ago.
(Chicago Tribune) As Friday dawns, here's what a health insurance crisis looks like to many millions of Americans: Barely six weeks shy of 2014, they do not know whether they will have medical coverage Jan. 1. Or which hospitals and doctors they might patronize. Or what they may pay to protect themselves and their families against the chance of medical and financial catastrophe. How much, that is, they may pay in order to satisfy the Democratic politicians and federal bureaucrats who are worsening a metastasizing health coverage fiasco.
For perhaps 5 million of those Americans thus far — estimates vary — the Washington-ordered cancellation of their policies is especially maddening. In the past these people took responsibility for their coverage and bought policies that balanced their needs, finances and personal choices. Congress and President Barack Obama, by enacting the Affordable Care Act, in effect ordered insurers to dismantle many of those individual plans — and cancel those policies.
The Americans manhandled by this exercise in government arrogance now find themselves divided into warring tribes: Those with chronic ailments who have found new plans on Obamacare exchanges and are pleased. Those who don't want or can't afford the replacement policies Obamacare offers them. Those whose new policies block them from using the health providers who have treated them for many years. The estimated 23 million to 41 million people whose employer-sponsored plans are the next to be imperiled. And on and on.
Most of these tribespeople only wish their big problem was a slipshod Obamacare website. On Thursday, their plight grew more frightful. With even Democratic members of Congress storming the White House over the cancellations, Obama declared — by what legal authority is unclear — that he would overrule the law he signed in 2010 and allow insurers to extend those canceled policies for a year.
If, that is, insurance regulators of the 50 states permit this potential distortion to risk pools inside and outside of Obamacare. The regulators, including those in Illinois, had better put protection ahead of politics: Within two hours of Obama's announcement, Mike Kreidler, insurance commissioner of Washington, a Democrat-leaning state, rejected the president's notion, citing "its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market. ... We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies."
Note that these are the same insurance companies that have done what Obamacare demanded of them, while they often were being vilified by politicians and bureaucrats who haven't done what Obamacare demanded of them: Create workable, economically sustainable, insurance markets. A spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry group, said Thursday that Obama's decree could further drive up prices: "Premiums were set based on assumptions about people transitioning to the (Obamacare) marketplaces," Robert Zirkelbach told The Washington Post. "Changing the rules in the middle of the game could dramatically change who actually signs up. If the exchanges become nothing more than a high-risk pool, that's going to result in massive premium increases for consumers."
So, what Obama presented Thursday as a favor looks like one more mess for state governments, insurers and ... American citizens. Under the policy Obama articulated, the states and insurers aren't required to do anything. The American citizens? Under Obamacare, they're still required to have health insurance. Or pay a government fine.
Note that the president's intent to enable the extension of policies his administration deems inferior also contradicts a key tenet of Obamacare: the guarantee that (almost) every private health plan in the nation must offer a lengthy list of mandated benefits.
On some level, then, the president plainly agrees with critics of Obamacare, this page included, that the law needs to be rewritten: He and his administration keep rewriting its major components — remember the mandate that sizable employers offer coverage in 2014? — as practicalities and politics demand.
But in this country we don't change bad laws by presidential fiat. We change them by having Congress rewrite them or by starting from scratch. Obama doesn't want to reopen this law for fear that Republicans and some Democrats will substantially rewrite it. But that's what has to happen.
We understand why the president and leaders of his party want to rescue whatever they can of Obamacare. On their watch, official Washington has blown the launch of a new entitlement program ... under the schedule they alone set in early 2010.
What we don't understand is their reluctance to give that failure more than lip service. Many of the Americans who heard their president say Thursday that "we fumbled the rollout of this health care law" would have been pleased to hear him add: So we're admitting it. This law is a bust. We're starting over.
(Armstrong Economics) In France, an internal secret report of the French government warns of nationwide civil unrest as the economy simply implodes with rising taxes and higher unemployment. The French people are reported are simply “full of tension, frustration and anger” all because their purchasing power decreases (deflation) in the face of ever increasing tax burdens reported the Deutsche-Wirtschafts-Nachrichten.
Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum is also warning of a major “social explosion” throughout Europe. The crime rate is jumping off the charts, the economy is spiraling into a deflationary and stagnate trend as unemployment exceeds the US Great Depression high of 25% overall (60%+ for youth) causing the social fabric to tear apart at the seams all because of socialism that failed in China and Russia.The more government thinks it can control society, the worse it is becoming. This scenario described at the World Economic Forum has acknowledged that if the European countries fail to curb youth unemployment, there will be a “social explosion” of civil unrest reports the Deutsche-Wirtschafts-Nachrichten.
A mind-bending video produced to promote ObamaCar, described as "the transportation breakthrough America needs."
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Iranian Resistance to Reveal a new Secret Nuclear Site in Iran in a Press Conference in Paris on November 18
(PRNewswire) The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced it will expose a new secret nuclear site of the clerical regime in a press conference in Paris on Monday, November 18.
According to the NCRI, specific details of this site-including exact location, its latest status, organs, and companies involved in construction of the site-that have been compiled by the resistance sources inside of Iran in the past few months, will be revealed in Monday's press conference.
Mehdi Abrichamtchi, chairman of the Peace and Security Committee of the NCRI, who will conduct the press conference, will also provide the latest information on the mullahs' nuclear dossier and its attempts to conceal its nuclear activities prior to new round of negotiations in Geneva.
Throughout the last decade, the NCRI has revealed scores of sites and centers involved in the Iranian regime's clandestine nuclear project. These include Natanz and Arak (August 2002), Kala-Electric (February 2003), Fordow (December 2005), the Center for Command and Control of nuclear weaponization in an area known as Mojdeh (February 2008), and subsequently the new center known as SPND (July 2011). In July 2013, it revealed a new site near city of Damavand.
The revelations at this press conference will take place at a time when Iranian regime claims to permit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but not of all the sites related to its nuclear program.
31 Syrian soldiers killed by rebel bomb blast.
(AFP) At least 31 Syrian soldiers have been killed by a rebel bomb attack yesterday [SUN] on an army base near Damascus.
The blast comes amid a major regime offensive against rebel positions all around the capital and on second city Aleppo in the north.
Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three generals and a brigadier-general were among the 31 killed after a building in the army transport base in Harasta was completely levelled by the explosion.
The explosives appeared to have been placed "either inside or beneath the building in a tunnel", Mr Abdel Rahman added, suggesting rebels may have infiltrated the base.
A rebel group, the Direh al-Aasmeh (Shield of Damascus) brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack. [...]
More than 120,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal war, and millions more forced to flee their homes.
(WJD) An extraordinary turnaround in international relations will be solidified on Sunday with the arrival of French President Francois Hollande in Israel for a three-day visit.
Hollande is expected to receive a hero's welcome in Jerusalem, due to France's sudden realignment with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue. Defying the U.S. and explicitly citing Israel's concerns, France scuttled a capitulatory deal with Iran pushed by the Obama administration.
Sensing Obama's hostility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly leaned toward France on the issue, as well toward France's Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia, which also being intensely discontented with its U.S. alliance.
The rapprochement between Israel and France is especially stunning as it comes after decades of mutual hostility and an intensely pro-Arab policy on the part of numerous French administrations.
At the same time, however, Israel once shared a strong alliance with France during the late 1950s and early '60s. It is widely believed that Israel acquired nuclear technology from France that led to its still undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal.