Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Bin Laden tape indicates upcoming attack

The latest statement by Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden contains language considered a valid indicator of an upcoming attack, the IntelCenter US monitoring group said on Friday.

In an audio message posted on jihadist Internet forums on Friday, bin Laden called on European countries to end their alliance with the United States and withdraw their forces from Afghanistan, monitoring organisations said.

'This indicator when viewed in light of the five Abu Talha videos this year, three of which have been released in the last eight days and their focus on the upcoming elections in Germany, significantly raises the threat level even further,' IntelCenter said.

'There is currently a very high threat of an attack occurring in Germany or against German interests in the immediate period and extending for at least the next four weeks. A single or multiple-stage attack may occur before, during or after the elections against a German target or targets,' it said.

Israel's Final Warning to the World?

Here was the Israeli prime minister, standing before the very body that had condemned the Jewish state so many times, evoking Winston Churchill, offering documentary proof that the Holocaust really happened and warning the world of its blindness to the gathering storm.

“I believe...peace can be achieved,” said Netanyahu. “But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.”

IAF's Oct 8 flypast to include Israeli Phalcon AWACS

IAF again intends to dazzle people with its 'awesome air-power and fire-power'' during its traditional October 8 raising day flypast this year, which will also include the newly-inducted Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) aircraft or the 'eye in the sky'' force-multiplier.

The use of the AWACS in this years flypast may be a sly dig at Iran whose sole AWACS plane crashed as Iranian president declared Iran's armed forces would 'chop off the hands' of any power daring to attack his country (see this post)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Israel gets two more German submarines

JERUSALEM — Israel has taken delivery of two German submarines ordered four years ago, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. The subs were ordered in 2005 and delivery was initially expected in 2010. Including the two new ones, Israel has five German submarines -- the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal.

Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the mass murder of Jews in World War II, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third with the Jewish state.

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads

The Iran Attack Plan, in Wake of News on Qom

When the Israeli army's then-Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Halutz was asked in 2004 how far Israel would go to stop Iran's nuclear program, he replied: '2,000 kilometers,' roughly the distance been the two countries.

Israel's political and military leaders have long made it clear that they are considering taking decisive military action if Iran continues to develop its nuclear program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned at the United Nations this week that 'the most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.'

Iran has acquired North Korean and other nuclear weapons design data through sources like the sales network once led by the former head of Pakistan's nuclear program, A. Q. Khan. Iran has all of the technology and production and manufacturing capabilities needed for fission weapons. It has acquired the technology to make the explosives needed for a gun or implosion device, the triggering components, and the neutron initiator and reflectors. It has experimented with machine uranium and plutonium processing. It has put massive resources into a medium-range missile program that has the range payload to carry nuclear weapons and that makes no sense with conventional warheads. It has also worked on nuclear weapons designs for missile warheads. These capabilities are dispersed in many facilities in many cities and remote areas, and often into many buildings in each facility—each of which would have to be a target in an Israeli military strike.

Netanyahu: The UN's primary mission is to prevent Tehran acquiring nuclear weapons

In an impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly Thursday, Sept 24, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the United Nations' most important mission today is to prevent 'the tyrants of Tehran' from acquiring nuclear weapons, because the marriage of religious fanaticism and weapons of mass destruction would endanger the world. Holding up the minutes of the Nazi leaders' 1942, decision to annihilate the Jewish people, Netanyahu said the man who called the Holocaust a lie also pledges to wipe out the state of the Jewish people, making a mockery of the UN Charter.

Creation in the Making

"The tension between evolution and religion as it played out in the Darwin household is dramatized in a new film.2 With the provocative and arguably offensive title of Creation (originally called Origin), the movie not only presents how Darwin lost his remaining Christian beliefs, but also offers an account of his family life, particularly the death of his young daughter Annie. Her death was such a tragic event in Darwin’s life that he soon lost any vestige of his beliefs regarding Christianity. The tension of having a very religious wife (a Unitarian) only complicated matters, as Darwin wrestled over the question of why there is suffering and death in this world if there is a God. In fact, Annie’s death in 1851 became the bleak backdrop to the writing of his book On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859), which the film recreates." AiG

Judge OKs lunchtime prayer in school

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A lunch prayer given by an athletic director and requested by the school's principal didn't violate a federal court order against praying at school events, a judge has ruled.

The two men had faced up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines for violating a 2008 settlement agreement of a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County District. The agreement prohibited school officials from praying or promoting prayer at school events, and district officials admitted a long-standing culture of promoting Christianity at the rural northern Panhandle high school.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Israel shuts down for Day of Atonement amid fears

JERUSALEM — The start of the Jewish Day of Atonement at sundown Sunday marked the beginning of a day like no other in Israel, on which even Israelis with no connection to religion tend to put their normal lives on hold.

This year Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, comes at a particularly somber time following revelations of a previously hidden Iranian nuclear facility and more missile tests by the Revolutionary Guard.

'That proves to whoever was still in doubt that Iran is the most serious threat today on the peace of the world and its security,' said Israeli Deputy Foreign Ministry Danny Ayalon, speaking to Israeli Channel 10.

Friday, 25 September 2009

A vision exists for Middle East peace – it's 423 pages long

"U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the United Nations this week, refusing to give up on Middle East peace in spite of the failure of his emissary, George Mitchell, to find enough common ground between the two sides to justify a summit with Mr. Obama. If there ever is to be a two-state solution to the 61-year conflict, the final treaty will look a lot like a 423-page blueprint released last week.

The detailed plan is the work of a private joint project that began in 2001 with meetings between an Israeli group, led by former deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin, and a Palestinian group, led by Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the executive committee of the PLO.

Where will the borders be? For the most part, they would run on or near the Green Line that delineated Israeli territory from 1949 to 1967."


A warning to the signees. There is a good record of attempts resulting in political disaster, economic disaster and even death of the participants .....



Click the picture for a quick introductory video



From the back cover of Bill Koenig's book: Eye To Eye

What do these major-record setting events have in common?

  • The ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history
  • The twelve costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
  • Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history
  • The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history

All of these major catastrophes and many others occurred or began on the very same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of peace and security, sponsoring major land for peace meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel's covenant land and /or calling for a Palestinian state.

Are each one of these major record-setting events just a coincidence or awe-inspiring signs that God is actively involved in the affairs of Israel? In this book, Bill Koenig provides undeniable facts and conclusive evidence showing that indeed the leaders of the United States and the world are on a collision course with God over Israel's covenant land.


Get informed at watch.org or Amazon

US ships arrive ahead of joint missile defense drill

US Navy missile ships started arriving in Israel on Sunday ahead of next month's joint missile defense exercise between the IDF and the American military's European Command. Officials say US may leave some systems in Israel after planned drill

Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems - the THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 - that will all be deployed in Israel for the duration of the exercise. Defense officials said the exercise would not begin for a few weeks.

The Hal Lindsey Report

Gordon Brown set to cut Trident fleet

A UN BID to cut the world’s nuclear arsenals was in line for a boost from Britain’s Prime Minister today. Gordon Brown was today due to signal his readiness to scale back the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent as part of the UN initiative.

Expert Predicts 'World Relief' If Israel Bombs Iran Nukes

Professor Efraim Inbar, Head of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, said in response that it is clear that the Iranians are signaling to the entire world that they are continuing with their nuclear program. “We must not under any circumstances underestimate their technical ability,” he warned in an interview with Arutz Sheva in Hebrew.

The West continues to exhibit smugness, he observed. “The Iranians succeed in playing for time and meanwhile the western world does not give thought to the passing time, and it appears that some of the western states believe that it is possible to live in peace with a nuclear Iran. The economic sanctions that are being placed on Iran do not work: economic pressure will not stop them. The only way is military action and if Israel carries out the military operation the entire world will breathe a sigh of relief.”

US, UK and France tell Iran to open nuke site

PITTSBURGH — President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain and France are publicly demanding that Iran open up a secret nuclear fuel facility to international inspectors.

Led by Obama at the site of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE') and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined the United States Friday in chastising Tehran for operating the facility covertly.

Obama said the site 'deepens a growing concern' that Iran has failed to live up to its international obligations. He said that Iran 'is breaking rules that all nations must follow, endangering the world non-nuclear proliferation regime ... and the security of the world.'

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pressure grows on Iran as UN passes 'historic' nuclear resolution

Pressure mounted on Iran to halt its nuclear programme today as world leaders gathered at the United Nations warned that Tehran posed a threat to a new global consensus on disarmament.

President Obama hailed the unanimous passing of an “historic” UN Security Council resolution aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

But the spectre of the unsolved crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme loomed over the meeting, prompting President Sarkozy of France to warn against symbolic gestures at the expense of tough action.

U.S. ships anti-missile systems to Israel

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Navy warships have begun arriving in Israel for joint missile defense exercises next month, and the Jerusalem Post reports that officials believe some systems may remain in the Jewish state to strengthen its defense shield against feared Iranian missile attacks.

Meantime, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a former general who is the country's most decorated soldier, was scheduled to fly to Washington for discussions with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the Iranian threat.

This involves scrapping plans to deploy anti-ballistic interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic, and switching to naval-based defenses in the Mediterranean and the North Seas instead.

There has been speculation that some systems may be based in Israel, where advanced U.S. X-band radar was deployed in the southern Negev desert in 2008.

Al Qaeda Releases Video Predicting Obama's Fall

Al Qaeda released a 106-minute Arabic language video Tuesday titled 'The West... and The Dark Tunnel' featuring Al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri predicting the downfall of Barack Obama.

During the documentary-style video to mark the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, Al Qaeda leaders comment on events in the past year such as the U.S. presidential elections, the global financial meltdown, and the latest on jihadist movements around the world.

'America has come in a new, hypocritical face. Smiling at us, but stabbing us with the same dagger that Bush used,' said Zawahiri in the message.

'God willing, your end will be at the hands of the Muslim nation, so that the world and history will be free of your crimes and lies,' he said addressing Obama at the end of the two-part video.

DEBKAfile - Ahmadinejad's diatribe against US and Israel countered by Russian openness to sanctions

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjad's excessive oratory, matched by the shuffle of Western delegations led by the US leaving the UN General Assembly chamber, have been a typical feature of every new UN General Assembly session in the last three years. This time, the Iranian president preceded his speech with press interviews in which he tried to sound more reasonable while refusing to answer questions on his denial of the Holocaust and Iran's nuclear program.

But then, on the podium Wednesday, Sept. 23, he declared: “American power has reached the end of the road and is paralyzed. It is no longer possible to inject thousands of billions of dollars of unreal wealth into the world economy simply by printing worthless paper,” Ahmadinejad said, hinting at the ways in which the Obama administration is trying to solve the global economic crisis.

He went to say: “The engine of unbridled capitalism, with its unfair system of thought, has reached the end of the road and is unable to move,” he said, adding:

“The time has come for an end to those who define democracy and freedom and set standards while they themselves are the first who violate its fundamental principles. They can no longer be the judge and executioner.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

DEBKAfile - Iran loses its only AWACS as Ahmadinejad threatens the world

Up above a big military parade in Tehran on Tuesday, Sept. 22, as Iranian president declared Iran's armed forces would 'chop off the hands' of any power daring to attack his country, two air force jets collided in mid-air. One was Iran's only airborne warning and control system (AWACS) for coordinating long-distance aerial operations, DEBKAfile's military and Iranian sources disclose.

BBC programme features call for legal age of consent to be lowered to 13 - CCFON.org - Christian Concern For Our Nation

On 23 September, a Cambridge law professor has appeared on BBC Radio 4 programme Iconoclasts calling for the age of consent for sexual relationships to be lowered.

Professor John Spencer, a law fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge, argued that the current age of consent, established by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, makes criminals of half the population. He has previously called the current law ‘exceptionally heavy-handed’ and is now advocating reducing the age of consent from 16 to 13.

The professor was eagerly supported by Peter Tatchell, a homosexual rights activist, who is also campaigning to lower the age of sexual consent.

Ahmadinejad vows to 'cut the hand off' Iran's enemies ahead of UN summit

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned foreign powers against striking Iran, saying it would “cut the hand off” of any potential attackers before they had the chance to do so, as Tehran flaunted its hardware in a military parade.

His fiery address came just hours before he flew to New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, where world leaders hope to hammer out a consensus over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Federal Reserve rejects request for public review

The institution which creates and oversees America's currency wants to keep a 'low profile,' according to a published report on Monday, and may willing to dodge the U.S. Treasury in order to do so.

According to Bloomberg News, the Federal Reserve Bank will not submit to a voluntary public study of its internal structure and methods of governance, as it was requested to do so by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Geithner is the former New York Federal Reserve Bank chairman. The review he requested is part of President Barack Obama's financial regulatory reforms, which he proposed in mid-June. Part of those reforms would have studied the Fed's 'ability to accomplish its existing and proposed functions' -- a proposal the bank's board of governors appears to have flatly rejected.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

East Says / West Says - The Catholic Church The O.W.C?

Those who hold a Western Mindset state that the Catholic Church is the Mother of Harlots spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Some call it The One World Religion, and others The False Prophet, ect. But does the Catholic Church have the demographics to actually support these positions? Is there another that can? Those who hold an Eastern Mindset say yes and they have the demographics to stand upon. You be the judge... East or West?

Christian hotel owners charged with criminal offence for saying that hijab is oppressive

A Christian couple are awaiting trial accused of breaching public order by insulting a guest at their hotel in Aintree, Liverpool, about her religion. If convicted they face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record. They also face losing their livelihood as their business takings have badly suffered as a result of the case.

In March 2009, Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang had argued with a Muslim guest at the breakfast table in their hotel, the Bounty House Hotel in Aintree, about the history of Islam and Muslim traditions. The unnamed guest, who was staying at the hotel while being treated at a nearby hospital, came down to breakfast wearing a hijab, a traditional Muslim headdress covering the hair.

Dozens of Israeli warplanes fly low over Gaza in show of muscle for Iran

DEBKAfile's military sources report that dozens of low-flying Israeli Air Force warplanes coasted over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for two hours Monday, Sept. 21 in a show of strength unparalleled since 100 IAF jets practiced long-distance flights in June 2008 against Russian-made S-300 anti-missile systems based in Greece.

The show of air strength, over Gaza City and the southern towns of Deir el Balakh, Khan Younes and Rafah ,was timed for prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's departure for New York and defense minister Ehud Barak's arrival in Washington for talks with defense secretary Robert Gates.

DEBKAfile - Al Qaeda homes in on Germany as its next European target

Berlin is on notice to pull German troops out of Afghanistan or face a nationwide Al Qaeda campaign

Monday, 21 September 2009

H1N1 Martial Law 'conspiracy theory' becoming state law

“Terrorists need no help attacking freedom as long as Massachusetts is in the vaccine game, because this latest form of 'gunpoint medicine' destroys freedom for everyday Americans in a way that terrorists could have never hoped to accomplish with all the bombs in the world,” states Michael Adams, Natural New Editor.

In a Natural News report published today, Adams outlines the new Massachusetts Pandemic Response Bill 2028, that some responsible parents nationally are working in their respective states to avoid. The Massachusetts. State senate passed the Pandemic Response Bill 2028 that now awaits House approval.

“Under this bill, Massachusetts becomes a medical police state. There is no debating it. It's all written, clear as day, in this law: The citizens of Massachusetts will have no rights, period. The Constitution is ancient history. You are now the property of the State,” says Adams who selected the following text in the bill, adding captions of each in his report published today, Wake Up, America: Forced vaccinations, quarantine camps, health care interrogations and mandatory 'decontaminations. (Michael Adams, August 30, 2009)

Swine Flu: Path to Martial Law?

Could a form of martial law be imminent? Obama appears ready to cross the Rubicon, and all he needs is a killer virus.

Remember President Obama’s Executive Order basing 80,000 active troops at home for the first time in the history of the peacetime military establishment to “help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack….”

Now connect that information to the recent announcement that the military has established regional deployment locations all across the United States to “assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials.”

The National Guard is even practicing mock takeovers of public schools in the event of an “H1N1 riot,” a description that elicits mixed responses. What kind of riot could arise out of a flu that has only killed 1,000 worldwide? Washington certainly seems to be looking for some rationale for enhanced domestic military involvement, whether credible or not.

Logical Fallacies: Faulty Appeal to Authority

The faulty appeal to authority is, in a way, the opposite of the ad hominem fallacy. Whereas the ad hominem fallacy denies a claim based on the person making it, the faulty appeal to authority endorses a claim simply based on the person making it. Essentially, the faulty appeal to authority is the argument that a claim is true simply because someone else believes it.

Snake has leg? Or is it just another Chinese fake?

The Telegraph reports this week on a strange sighting in Suining, China: a snake, 16 inches (41 cm) long, that has a leg (complete with claws).

....

Finally, we should not prematurely discount the possibility that this snake isn’t the bona fide natural curiosity it appears to be. Although we are not aware of a profit motive in this case, fake organisms have come from China before (e.g., Archaeoraptor). Also, bloggers and online commentators have suggested the leg actually belongs to a lizard—the snake’s last meal. (Snakes are known to ingest their prey whole, with their midsections sometimes taking on the shape of their meal.) Whatever the case, we hope the researchers at West Normal University will discover the true origins of this snake leg.

Christian Nurse in 'Confirmation Cross Suspension' Forced to Accept Redeployment and will File Claim for Discrimination

A CHRISTIAN nurse from Exeter, facing disciplinary action for simply wearing a necklace on which hung her Confirmation Cross, has, under duress, today accepted an offer of redeployment and has instructed lawyers to file an action at the Employment Tribunal for discrimination.

Shirley Chaplin, 54, having served as a nurse for nearly 30 years, was threatened with disciplinary action after refusing to remove a necklace bearing a Cross – a symbol of her deeply felt Christian faith. NHS bosses had insisted that the Cross must be removed from sight. Despite wearing the cross ever since studying to be a nurse, bosses at The Royal Devon & Exeter Trust Hospital ordered her to remove the personal item, deeming it a breach of uniform policy and a health risk to her and to patients.

A Very important exercise: Juniper cobra

Ballistic missiles and anti-ballistic systems have become topics of the day nowadays. Especially so after the US announced that it was shelving the anti-missile defense system in Europe aimed against Iran and supposed to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

In fact, before this the topic was on the international agenda due to news about Russian anti-aircraft S-300 missile systems and Israeli reactions to it. In Turkey, the topic is also in the news because of Turkey's intentions to acquire American PAC-3 anti-missile systems.

All in all, the week has been dominated by these topics, and it is almost certain that it will continue to be so for quite some time because a very important military exercise might well lead to new discussions and to new developments next month.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Turkey to spearhead union in Middle East, nations laud move

Foreign ministers Hoshiyar Zebari (L) of Iraq and Walid al-Moualem of Syria (second from L) met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa (R) in İstanbul's Ottoman-era Çırağan Palace last week.

The Turkish government has sealed two contracts in the past year with Syria and Iraq to establish a greater economic zone similar to that of the European Union to tackle political and ethnic conflicts through economic development.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has had talks with respect to the EU, Armenia, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, Iran and the Balkans in the past 12 days. Developments in these regions directly concern Turkey, and Davutoğlu's sustained efforts both in Iraq and Syria have opened a new phase as Turkey will likely spearhead economic and political developments in the Middle East. Some say involvement in Middle Eastern affairs symbolizes Turkey's slow drift away from the West, but these policies in no way undermine the feasi-bility of Turkey's EU membership bid."

IDF, U.S. military to simulate Iran missile strike on Israel

The Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military will soon hold a training exercise in which they will simulate missile attacks on Israel from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

The exercise will be carried out as part of the ongoing maneuvers between Israel and the United States, the London-based paper said, which will reportedly be the broadest-ever this year.

According to the paper, the drill is also part of U.S. President Barack Obama's new missile defense plan, under which the Pentagon will initially deploy ships with missile interceptors instead of stationing missile defense systems in Eastern Europe.

Hezbollah Feels The Heat

September 20, 2009: Egyptian police located and destroyed ten smuggling tunnels into Gaza, when they caught a major smuggler and got him to talk. The Egyptians have new American sonar equipment installed, but it's not yet covering the entire 14 kilometer long border. Thus the best source of information still remains people in the smuggling gangs.

Military action on Iran not ruled out, says Israel

Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, denied on Monday that the Jewish state had ruled out a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mr Ayalon’s comments came a day after Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, said in an interview with CNN that he had been assured by his Israeli counterpart that Israel would not strike Iran.

Mr Medvedev said Shimon Peres, a former Israeli premier whose current role is largely ceremonial, made the pledge during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi last month. According to Mr Medvedev, a strike on Iran would result in “a humanitarian disaster” that may draw an Iranian retaliation against Israel and other countries.

Referring to Mr Medvedev, Mr Ayalon said in an interview: “He may have misunderstood or misinterpreted. But categorically, Israel is not taking any option off the table, as nobody should.”

Israel Calls UN Gaza Report ‘Disgraceful’, Grids for Diplomatic War

Israel called the Goldstone Commission Report “nauseating” and “biased” on Tuesday, saying it created an unjust equivalence of a “democratic state”-the Zionist entity- with a “terror organization”-the Palestinian resistance- and lacked the context of a decade of “terrorist attacks” by Hamas movement.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Associated Press: Early, smaller version of T. rex discovered

"WASHINGTON — About 125 million years ago a tiny version of Tyrannosaurus rex roamed what is now northeastern China. Tiny, that is, by T. rex standards — you still wouldn't want to meet it face to face. Described by paleontologist Paul Sereno as 'punk size,' this early predator would have weighed about 150 pounds. It just seems small compared to the giant T. rex that evolved millions of years later and was as much as 100 times more massive. 'It really is the blueprint for the later (T. rex) dinosaurs,' Sereno said, 'it was a blueprint that was scalable.'"

Or consider this ... maybe it was a young dinosaur?

IAEA report says Iran can now build the bomb

Experts at the IAEA are in agreement that Teheran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.

The document drafted by senior officials at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency is the clearest indication yet that the agency's leaders share Washington's views on Iran's weapon-making capabilities. It appears to be the so-called "secret annex" on Teheran's nuclear program that Washington says is being withheld by the IAEA's chief.

According to the document, the Islamic republic has 'sufficient information' to build a bomb. Iran is likely to 'overcome problems' on developing a delivery system, according to the report

More IAEA nations back non-nuclear Mideast in vote

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution urging all Middle East nations to foreswear atomic bombs in a symbolic vote showing increasing consensus for the measure.

Israel Assembles Advanced Missile Defense Systems

ASHKELON, Israel -- As Israel pushes for international action against Iran's nuclear program, it is steadily assembling one of the world's most advanced missile defense systems, a multilayered collection of weapons meant to guard against everything from the shorter-range Grads that have been used to strike Israeli towns such as this one to intercontinental rockets.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Ban any reference to God and Christianity to avoid 'offending religious sensibilities,' says Camden Council

A London borough is to reconsider a ban on posters by a church advertising a weekend of events on climate change, unless they remove words such as ‘God’ and ‘Christian’ from the text in order to avoid ‘offending religious sensibilities’.

Enforcement action threatened at Tablighi Jamaat mega-mosque site

Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), some of whose supporters in Walthamstow were convicted of planning airline terrorist atrocities last week (see note below), has been threatened with enforcement action by Newham Council over its continued unlawful use of the 'mega-mosque' site at West Ham, close to the London 2012 Olympic stadium.

TJ has erected a temporary structure on site and has been using it daily without planning permission since October 2006. In response to yet another challenge at Question Time by Cllr Alan Craig, leader of the Opposition on Newham Council, the borough's Cabinet Member for Regeneration Cllr Conor McAuley indicated that TJ have now been given until January 2010 to come up with a masterplan for the site or face enforcement action.

Tehran again snubs Obama, Bin Laden calls US president "powerless" to end war

In the last 24 hours, by rare coincidence, two Islamic extremist leaders have shown public contempt for US president Barack Obama: Iran stands by its opposition to nuclear dialogue, the central plank of Obama's foreign policy platform, and al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden in an apparently new audio tape says Obama is 'powerless' to end the Afghan war.

Sunday, Sept. 13, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, using the presentation of the new UK ambassador Simon Gass's credentials, threw out of court any discussion on the Iranian nuclear issue: 'From the Iranian nation's viewpoint, the nuclear case is closed,' said Ahmadinejad, two days after Washington accepted Tehran's offer to start talks with the Six Powers on global issues excluding its nuclear program.

Iran defiant against Israel, U.S.

Iran is prepared to defend against any military strike, and threats of aggression only reinforce that stance, the country's nuclear chief said Monday in Vienna.

Ali Akhbar Salehi spoke on the first day of the 150-nation general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.S. and some of its allies believe Iran is secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon, an accusation denied by Iran, which says it aims only to generate electricity. The United Nations has demanded Iran halt enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for a reactor or the material for a warhead.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Russia seeks Mideast arms sales boost

Russia's defense industry is in the throes of a major sales drive in the Middle East as it seeks to bolster its dwindling fortunes.

Saudi Arabia and Syria are the main targets, but swelling political tensions in the ever-volatile region, as well as a deep Arab distrust of Russian-built hardware that goes back to the Middle East's wars of the 1960s, could militate against Moscow's plans.

Libya, Algeria and Yemen, all Soviet customers during the Cold War, are also on Moscow's target list. But the real prize is Saudi Arabia, for decades a U.S. bulwark in the Gulf but now pursuing a more independent foreign policy.

There have been several reports in recent weeks, primarily out of Moscow, that negotiations with Saudi Arabia on a package of contracts worth some $2 billion was 'nearing completion.'

Obama to scrap US missile shield project in E. Europe

The Obama administration's decision to shelve the plan to install US missile interceptors and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic is to be announced at a news conference later Thursday, Sept. 17 by defense secretary Robert Gates. In the face of strong Russian objections, the shield was promoted by the Bush administration to shield Europe from long-range Iranian ballistic missile attack.

Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's 'struggle between faith and reason' as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie. The film has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, however, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as "a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder". His "half-baked theory" directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to "atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering", the site stated.

Obama Is Pushing Israel Toward War

Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?

At July's G-8 summit in Italy, Iran was given a September deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs. Last week, Iran gave its answer: No.

Instead, what Tehran offered was a five-page document that was the diplomatic equivalent of a giant kiss-off. It begins by lamenting the 'ungodly ways of thinking prevailing in global relations' and proceeds to offer comprehensive talks on a variety of subjects: democracy, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, 'respect for the rights of nations,' and other areas where Iran is a paragon. Conspicuously absent from the document is any mention of Iran's nuclear program, now at the so-called breakout point, which both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss Ali Khamenei insist is not up for discussion.

What's an American president to do in the face of this nonstarter of a document? What else, but pretend it isn't a nonstarter. Talks begin Oct. 1.

New audio message from Osama Bin Laden appears, hinting at end of war with US

An audio message purportedly from Osama Bin Laden has hinted at a possible end to the conflict between al-Qaida and the outside world. Several Islamist websites carried the al-Qaida leader's message on Sunday, days after the US marked the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

The audio message played against a backdrop of an undated photograph of Bin Laden overlaid over a picture of the intact World Trade Centre before it was destroyed. In it a voice claiming to be Bin Laden said al-Qaida could declare a ceasefire if the US pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

'If you stop the war, then fine,' the voice said. 'Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front... If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this.'

DPRK silent on reports of a 3rd nuclear test

North Korean officials refuse to corroborate claims that the country is preparing to launch its third nuclear test in the face of international objection.

The test is scheduled for late September or early October on the instruction of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the head of the Seoul-based Open Radio of North Korea claimed last Wednesday, according to an AFP report.

The radio, founded by North Korean defectors, originally reported on the possibility last week citing alleged August comments by Kim.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Obama gunning for Israel at U.N.

By now everyone has heard about Obama's unprecedented decision to serve as chairman of the U.N. Security Council Sept. 24.

Much could be said about this decision: It is a transparent effort by Obama to shore up his plummeting popularity at home in a forum where symbolism reigns over substance. But crass politics is Obama's stock in trade. It is a clearly unconstitutional move for a president as Article 1, Section 9, states: 'No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.' But the restrictions of the Constitution have never proved a barrier to Obama so far.

Sneh: We may have to attack Iran by end of 2009

Israel will be compelled to attack Iran's nuclear facilities if Western powers do not impose serious sanctions against Teheran by the end of 2009, former deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh said on Wednesday.

'We cannot live under the shadow of an Iran with nuclear weapons,' he was quoted as telling Reuters in an interview on a visit to the UK. 'By the end of the year, if there is no agreement on crippling sanctions aimed at this regime, we will have no choice.'

Sneh reportedly stressed that a military strike would be 'the very, very last resort. But ironically it is our best friends and allies who are pushing us into a corner where we would have no option but to do it.'

The Kremlin Wants A War in Iran

If his spokesman Dmitry Peskov is to be believed, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his Valdai club discussions with foreign experts came out against both military action and against imposing further sanctions on Iran.

The paradox here is that it was the Kremlin's decision not to support the UN Security Council proposal to impose new sanctions that pushed Washington, Israel, the Persian Gulf, and Europe closer to consensus on a military solution to Iran's nuclear crisis. By blocking sanctions, Moscow is trying to deprive the international community of any leverage against Tehran.

In the short term, Moscow's approach is anything but absurd. Sanctions would inevitably precipitate a catastrophe in the form of serious economic problems within Iran and Russia losing its influence in Europe, the Caucasus, and most Persian Gulf Arab states.

All of this is pointless because it looks as though the Kremlin really does want a war between the West and Iran. I can offer no other explanation for Moscow's behavior, especially taking into account the fact that statements that Russia is emerging from economic crisis have no grounding in reality.

Sarkozy accuses Iran of hiding nuclear weapons program which threatens Israel

The first Western leader to expressly admit knowledge of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said: 'It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear (weapons) program.' He added: 'We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear' weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel.' Sarkozy spoke during a meeting at the Elysee presidential palace with lawmakers from his UMP party Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Logical Fallacies: Ad Hominem

The phrase ad hominem is Latin and means “to the man.” The fallacy is so named because it directs an argument against the person making a claim rather than the claim itself. The critic hopes that people will believe the claim in question is false simply on the basis that there is something objectionable about the person making the claim. For example, “You cannot honestly accept John’s claims about politics because he can’t even find a job!” However, John’s inability to find employment is logically irrelevant to the political claim he is making.

The fallacy comes in two varieties: abusive ad hominem and circumstantial ad hominem. In the abusive ad hominem, the critic attacks his opponent’s character or insults him in an attempt to discredit him in the eyes of the audience. This tactic is common in politics, and it may psychologically sway people. However, it is logically fallacious because a person’s character (or lack thereof) is logically irrelevant to the validity of his argument. Even if the critic’s negative claims about his opponent are true (e.g., he really is a draft-dodger, or he really did spend time in jail), this has no bearing on the position he is advocating.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Pray today for Registrar demoted because of her faith - 2pm Islington Borough Council - CCFON.org - Christian Concern For Our Nation

At 2pm today, 16th September 2009, Theresa Davies, Deputy Registrar with Islington Borough Council, will be interviewed in an internal grievance procedure where her demotion because of her refusal to preside over same sex civil partnership ceremonies will be discussed. A fundamental issue is being raised in this case as to whether Christian faith presents a bar to Governmental and numerous private sector employments.

Broadcasting regulators delay publication of controversial code allowing abortion adverts following massive opposition

A controversial decision on whether to allow television adverts for abortion has been delayed by watchdogs following a massive public outcry. The Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) received about 4,000 letters and other communications with comments and petitions, with the great majority opposing the idea of watering down the rules not to allow the abortion adverts.

The usual response to changes to advertising rules comprises about 300 submissions. The contentious proposals also included further relaxation of the ban on condoms being advertised on TV before the 9pm watershed, a move supposedly designed to reduce teenage pregnancy rates in the UK.

NHS scheme helps patients with terminal illnesses end their lives prematurely, warn leading doctors

Official guidelines of the NHS used in UK hospitals are sentencing terminally ill patients to a premature death, leading medical experts have warned.

A group of experts who care for the terminally ill patients wrote a letter to The Daily Telegraph saying that some NHS patients are being wrongly judged as close to death. Under NHS guidance, introduced across England and designed to reduce patient suffering in their final hours, doctors and medical staff can withdraw fluid and drugs from terminally ill patients and put them on continuous sedation until they pass away.

Christian Preacher Wins Right to take Case to European Court of Justice

A Christian preacher has won the right to have his case referred to the European Court of Justice following an accusation that a state supported radio station aimed at the Asian community discriminated against him because of his Christian beliefs and views.

Church of Scotland minister, the Reverend Mahboob Masih, was a volunteer presenter on Awaz FM. Rev. Masih’s services were terminated after six years behind the microphone following a debate on air about the uniqueness of Christianity. This led to a phone in discussion that angered the Muslim management of AWAZ, a community radio station.

After being told he could no longer present the on the radio as a result of the debate, the 37-year-old complained to an employment tribunal that he lost this position for reasons related to religion or belief and was thus the victim of discrimination based on his faith as a Christian. The station denied discrimination, arguing the tribunal has no powers to hear the case as Mr Masih was not an employee.

Family Breakdown and the Devaluation of Marriage Damage Children, warn Tories

Family breakdown and the devaluation of marriage produce a generation of children with no concept of right and wrong, the Shadow Home Secretary has warned.

Chris Grayling, the Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell and the Shadow Home Secretary, said that the lack of a family-focused upbringing and the fact that young children have no-one to tell them right from wrong mean that they are growing up as the ‘antithesis of model citizens’.

‘Family breakdown has reached a scale where many young people grow up with no vestige of stability in their lives, and no concept of a family-focused upbringing.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Families could Kill Unwanted Relatives if Assisted Suicide becomes Legal, Warns Senior Police Chief

The relaxation of the current law on assisted suicide could be exploited by relatives to kill their burdensome elderly, warns Britain’s most senior chief constable.

Barbara Wilding, 59, the Chief Constable of South Wales Police and first woman to hold the post, says that changing the law could lead to abuse as the elderly population continues to grow and that the police would have to be ‘very careful’ to make sure the law ‘does not become a way of getting rid of a burden’. She says she would watch any change in the legislation ‘very carefully’.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph she said: ‘Elderly abuse is something that we have yet to really grasp. It is one of the things that I think will be the next social explosion.’

Creationist’ Zoo Causes Dismay

A zoo near Bristol, England, has been attacked for its promotion of “creationist ideas,” even though a zoo spokesperson called life “the product of both God and evolution.”

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall receives more than 100,000 visitors each year, including schoolchildren. That’s a problem, says the British Humanist Association, which accuses the zoo of undermining science education.

“We’re very concerned because it will undermine education and the teaching of science,” explained British Humanist Association education officer Paul Pettinger, who visited the zoo earlier this year. Pettinger cited as problematic such signs as one that describes how “three great people groups” could be the descendants of Noah’s sons.

Logical Fallacies: Bifurcation

A person commits the fallacy of bifurcation when he or she claims that there are only two mutually exclusive possibilities—when, in fact, there is a third option. For this reason the fallacy is also known as the either-or fallacy and the false dilemma.

A facetious example is this:

“Either the traffic light is red, or it is green.”

This is obviously fallacious, since the light could be yellow.

A more realistic example is this:

“Either you have faith or you are rational.”

This commits the fallacy of bifurcation, since there is a third possibility: we can have faith and be rational. In fact, faith is essential in order to have rationality (e.g., to make sense of laws of logic)."

- Answers in Genesis

Children as young as five should be taught about abortion, explicit sex acts and homosexuality, says United Nations new plan

The draft report on sex education, drawn up by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, says that children as young as five should be taught about explicit sex acts, abortion, homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Harvard Crimson says Holocaust denial ad published by accident

Harvard University, one of America's premiere academic institutions, is coming under fire for running an advertisement in its campus newspaper questioning the reality of the Holocaust.

Recently named for the second straight year as the No. 1 school in U.S. News & World Report rankings of American colleges, Harvard is known for its rigorous scholarly standards and prestigious reputation.

On Tuesday, however, The Harvard Crimson, in what it said was an error, ran the Holocaust-questioning advertisement, which had been rejected by the paper over the summer.

Netanyahu may be planning attack

Russian media on Thursday continued to cover Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mysterious visit to Moscow, that was leaked to the media from his office.

Kommersant newspaper quoted 'experts' as saying they believe a visit of this kind could have stemmed from urgent circumstances, 'for example, in the event that Israel plans to attack Iran'.

At first, Moscow denied a visit ever took place, but after Netanyahu's office was forced to admit to the PM's Military Secretary Meir Kalifi's lie, a senior Kremlin source also confirmed to Kommersant that the Israeli prime minister did indeed visit the city.

Russian media also directed questions on the visit to the Israeli embassy in Moscow, but embassy sources said that if there was such a visit, 'We know nothing about it.'

U.S. to Accept Iran’s Proposal to Hold Face-to-Face Talks

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that the United States would accept Iran’s offer to meet, fulfilling President Obama’s pledge to hold unconditional talks despite the Iranian government’s insistence that it would not negotiate over the future of its nuclear program.

The decision to engage directly with Iran would put a senior representative of the Obama administration at the bargaining table, along with emissaries from five other nations, for the first time since Mr. Obama took office.

The decision is bound to raise protests from conservatives who contend that unconditional talks are naïve, and from human rights groups that say the United States should not legitimize an Iranian government that appears to have manipulated its presidential election in June and crushed protests after the vote.

Clock ticking for Iran as Israel appears ready for strike

In the rare moments when it's not preoccupied with the decline of U.S. President Barack Obama in the polls and with the debate over its government's proposed health-care reforms, the American press continues to deal almost obsessively with another pressing issue: the deadlock in efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program and the growing likelihood that the endgame will be an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

In the past few weeks alone, an editorial in The Wall Street Journal warned the president that the United States must put a quick halt to the Iranian nuclear program, because otherwise Israel will bomb the facilities.

'An Israeli strike on Iran would be the most dangerous foreign policy issue President Obama could face,' the paper wrote.

Jerusalem concerned by Washington's mild rejection of Tehran's meaningless document

US State Department spokesman, Philip Crowley had only this to say to Iran's long-awaited 'proposals' package Thursday night, Sept. 10: It's not really responsive to our core concern, which is Iran's nuclear ambitions,' he said, adding: The measures do not address the status of Iran's nuclear program.

Northern Israel struck by two-three Katyusha rockets from Lebanon

Israeli forces hit back with artillery fire. The Lebanese 122mm rockets landed on empty ground near the north Israel resort town of Nahariya. Israeli forces directed several artillery rounds at the source of the fire pinpointed by Lebanese forces at Qlaileh south of the Lebanese port of Tyre. There were no immediate reports of Israeli casualties and no claims of responsibility for the rocket fire. Israel complained to UN peacekeepers.

Iran crosses nuclear red line

The Obama administration might conceivably decide to live with a nuclear-armed Iran. Israel does not enjoy that luxury. Now that Iran has got all the components for making a nuclear device at extremely short notice, as affirmed by US intelligence, Israel can no longer delay a decision on pre-emptive action.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Court orders Christian child into government education

A 10-year-old homeschool girl described as 'well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level' has been told by a New Hampshire court official to attend a government school because she was too 'vigorous' in defense of her Christian faith.

Full story at World Net Daily

China set to unveil new missiles: state media

China will unveil a range of previously unknown missiles during its October 1 National Day parade, including intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles, state media said Wednesday. The new hardware on display also will include conventional cruise missiles and both short- and medium-range missiles, the Global Times newspaper reported, citing an unnamed People's Liberation Army source.

'These missiles are domestically designed and manufactured and have never been officially reported before,' the source, who is with the PLA's strategic missile defence unit, was quoted as saying.

The weapons have already been distributed to the military and are ready for operation, the source said.

If they aren't bankrupt enough already ... Federal Government Will Borrow 40 Percent of the Money It Spends Next Year, Says White House Report

(CNSNews.com) – According to the Obama administration’s mid-session budget update, the federal government will have to borrow nearly 40 percent of its total expenditures in 2010.

New Threat: Hizbullah Chemical War on Israel

A Kuwaiti report Thursday said that a mysterious explosion in a Hizbullah weapons warehouse six weeks ago involved chemical weapons, adding to the mounting evidence that the terrorist organization is preparing for chemical warfare against Israel.

President Shimon Peres recently stated that Hizbullah has rearmed to the point where it has 80,000 missiles, nearly three times the number in its stockpile before the Second Lebanon War three years ago.

Hizballah deploys chemical and biological weapons near Israeli border - Arab, European sources

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa reported Thursday, Sept. 3, that chemical weapons were stored in the hidden Hizballah arms warehouse which blew up at Hirbet Salim near the Israeli border in mid-July. Of the 11 Hizballah operatives killed in the blast, 3 died of chemical poisoning. Hizballah denied any members had been killed or even that it maintains a weapons store in breach of UN resolutions. DEBKAfile disclosed at the time that the Lebanese terrorists had lost five men and more were missing.

European intelligence sources reported on Sept. 1, that Hizballah had recently boosted its military capabilities with a supply of chemical shells and short-range missiles with chemical warheads and was about to receive biological weapons as well. One source said that the Lebanese terrorist group is now one of the most sophisticated and best trained military forces in the Middle East, describing them as 'bad guys with good strategic vision.'

Chavez ready to shelter duplicate Iranian nuclear facilities in Venezuela

DEBKAfile's Iranian sources disclose that Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are working on a wide-raging plan to replicate Iran's key nuclear installations in Venezuela, possibly in the framework of a new program there on the Iranian and North Korean models.

Hamas crushes 'al-Qaeda uprising'

At least 16 people killed, scores wounded in battles between Hamas forces, al-Qaeda followers in Strip; unconfirmed report says suicide bomber blew up amidst Hamas men. Earlier, radical cleric pledges allegiance to Bin Laden

Mayhem in Gaza: After hours of fighting Friday, Hamas' security forces were able to crush an uprising by gunmen associated with al-Qaeda, in the wake of a provocative speech by a local imam critical of Gaza's current rulers.

At least 16 people were killed in the clashes and more than 80 were reportedly wounded. Earlier, the leader of the radical Salafi faction in Gaza, Abdul Latif Musa, slammed Hamas' conduct as not sufficiently Islamic, as he declared the Strip an "Islamic emirate" and pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Friday, 11 September 2009

US trebles MOP "bunker buster" bombs order, wants them fast

In view of new information about Iran and North Korea's underground nuclear facilities, the US Air Force has asked to speed up the delivery of 10 to 12 giant Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bunker buster bombs, according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford.

Call for enforcement action against terror plot-linked Islamic sect over Olympic mega-mosque site

A call has been made for Newham Council in east London to take enforcement action against Tablighi Jamaat, the neo-fundamentalist missionary Islamic sect closely linked to a number of the men convicted yesterday in the Atlantic airline terror plot.

Earlier reports also confirmed that at least two of the London 7/7 bombers – Mohammed Siddiqui Khan and Shehzad Tanweer – attended the Tablighi Jamaat’s mosque in Beeston while Tanweer dropped out of university to study at the huge madrassa attached to the group’s mosque in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

The Islamic group is now hoping to build Britain’s biggest mosque and Islamic centre on the site of a former chemicals factory in West Ham, east London, near the site of the London 2012 Olympic Park. The estimated cost of the project is £300 million. It has been reported that the mosque and centre are planned to accommodate 70,000 people, only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium itself.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Egypt Muslim Council: Building of Churches is 'Sin' Against God

Egyptian Muslim leaders are caught in a storm of controversy after a human rights group confronted them about a fatwa (Islamic edict) that stated the building of a church is “a sin against God.”

Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the highest official of religious law in Egypt, and the justice minister have issued an investigation of the jurists who issued the fatwa, according to Assyrian International News Agency.

The controversy began when the president of the Egyptian Union Human Rights Organization, Dr. Naguib Gabraeel, asked the Fatwa Council about a statement found in a textbook at Cairo University on inheritance and execution of wills.

Muslim film: Christian messiah is the Antichrist

A small Muslim production company has made a big splash with its 52-part documentary called 'The Arrivals'. Since being posted on YouTube in June, the documentary has gone viral with over a quarter million views to date. According to sources in the U.K., the documentary has become extremely popular among Britain's Muslim youth population. According to the documentary's self-description, its purpose is to: 'explore the revelations in world religions regarding the arrivals of the Antichrist Dajjal, Imam Al-Mahdi, and the Second Coming of The Christ.'

Full article at WND

Arab League: Shun Israel, or Else

(IsraelNN.com) Arab League head Amr Moussa issued a warning Sunday to Arab countries to avoid normalizing ties with Israel until Israel gives in to the League's demands, which include a complete building freeze in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and much of Jerusalem. Any country that warms its ties with Israel before Arab demands are met will face a “tough” response, Moussa said, speaking at a news conference in Egypt.

'If we discover that someone normalized ties with Israel, I believe the reaction across the Arab world would be very violent,” he clarified.

Colonel Gaddafi’s controversial Muslim clerics head for Midlands

A GROUP of controversial Muslim clerics funded by Colonel Gaddafi are set to make appearances at three Midland Mosques.

Eleven preachers sponsored by the World Islamic Call Society (Wics), which was founded, led and paid for by the Libyan leader, will be holding events in Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham during Ramadan.

The speeches come just a month after the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Ali Al Megrahi caused a storm between Britain and the US when he returned to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli. And in a recent speech, Colonel Gaddafi said that the aim of Wics was to convert the whole of Europe to Islam.

Hamas rips U.N. for teaching the Holocaust

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Hamas condemned the United Nations for switching to a new textbook for Gaza schoolchildren that includes a chapter on the Holocaust.

In an open letter sent Sunday to the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs schools for 200,000 Gazan children, Hamas called the systematic murder of Jews during the Holocaust 'a lie invented by the Zionists' and said it would 'refuse to let our children study' it.

Lesbians given equal birth rights

Women in same-sex relationships can now register both their names on the birth certificate of a child conceived as a result of fertility treatment. Female couples not in a civil partnership but receiving fertility treatment may also both be registered.

The law change applies to female couples in England and Wales who were having fertility treatment on or after 6 April 2009. However critics say the change would be detrimental to family values.

Iran is close to producing its first nuclear bomb - US diplomat

The US chief envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Glyn Davis, said Wednesday, Sept. 9 that ongoing enrichment activity is moving Iran 'closer to a dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity.' Davis spoke of 'serious concerns' in Washington that Iran is now either very near or already has enough low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon. This could happen if Iran made a decision to further enrich the material to weapons grade.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Cops jump on swine-flu power: Shots heard 'round the world

A 'pandemic response bill' currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance.

Chelsea Schilling blogs at WND

Obama Plan: Temple Mount Under Arab-Muslim Sovereignty

The Middle East peace plan that United States President Barack Obama will unveil soon involves the creation of a Palestinian Authority state by 2011 and the transfer of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem [presumably including the Temple Mount – ed.] to Arab-Muslim sovereignty, Saudi newspaper Al-Ukaz has learned.
(IsraelNN.com)

Hizbullah operatives moving into villages near Israeli border

TEL AVIV — Israel's military surveillance has detected Hizbullah movements that point to an expanded presence along Lebanon's border with the Jewish state.

Iran edges close to capacity for building first nuke, fitting a missile's nuclear warhead

Barack Obama has been in the White House for nine months and Binyamin Netanyahu in the Israeli prime minister's office six months. Both have spent precious time batting the numbers of settlement apartments to and fro instead of taking resolute steps to thwart Iran's spectacular advances on the road to a nuclear weapon. DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources note that Tehran has made good use of this time for the longest strides towards its objective than at any time since its program was surreptitiously launched.

Fast during Ramadan to understand Muslims and Islam, says Mayor of London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said non-Muslims should fast and even go to the mosque during Ramadan to enhance understanding of their ‘Muslim neighbour’ and ‘find out more about Islam.’

Speaking during a visit to the East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre last week, Mr Johnson said he is urging people to find out more about Islam, increase understanding and learning, fast with Muslims and even visit their local mosque.

Mr Johnson’s visit coincided with the period of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and other activities.

Persecution in Bangladesh

"On June 7, police raided an evangelism meeting, arrested and tortured a pastor and two others in Boalia, Bangladesh, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

Pastor Habibur Rahman from Boalia Spiritual Church was leading the meeting when suddenly the police came in and took him along with two others to the police station. That night the police blindfolded them for a few hours and beat them up."

Israel, Hezbollah threaten war – again | csmonitor.com

"Israel and its arch foe Hezbollah are waging an increasingly heated war of words, fanning concerns about another bruising encounter between the two enemies who fought a devastating but inconclusive conflict in 2006.

In a keynote speech Friday night marking the third anniversary of that war's end, Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah outlined his strategy for Lebanon to deter Israel from launching another offensive. Responding to Israeli threats to flatten southern Lebanese villages and infrastructure, he vowed to attack Tel Aviv if Israel targeted Beirut or its southern suburbs, where Hezbollah's headquarters are.

'We are now capable of attacking any city or village throughout Israel,' he said, dismissing recent Israeli threats against Hezbollah as psychological warfare. 'When Israelis talk a lot, it means that they will do nothing. However, when they are silent like a snake we have to be cautious.' Nasrallah's comments, delivered via a live video feed to a crowd of flag-waving supporters and invited politicians, were the latest in a month-long barrage of threats from both sides of the Lebanon-Israel border."

Taliban claim responsibility for bomb attack in Kabul

"A Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack outside the Nato military HQ in Kabul, Afghanistan"

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Hezbollah Readies for War as UN Can Only Observe

"Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- In a Lebanese village 10 miles west of the Israeli border, black-capped Hezbollah militiamen stand guard in front of a suspected weapons cache.

Even though they are unarmed, their presence deters United Nations peacekeepers from approaching the house in Khirbet Silim, preventing the UN troops from fulfilling their mission, which is to stop Hezbollah from rearming.

“The UN can’t just come around here and go into people’s houses,” said Rassan Salim, a municipal official in the village and a Hezbollah militia member. “Our weapons are to defend Lebanon.”

Hezbollah’s efforts to stockpile arms became obvious on July 14 when weapons hidden in a house in the village blew up, according to officials from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Four days later, peacekeepers looking for arms tried to raid the house the militiamen now guard, about a kilometer from the one that exploded. Villagers stoned the soldiers, injuring 14, and blocked the incursion."

The greatest change in the history of Europe

"This mild-mannered, mainstream journalist's predictions for Europe's future are devastating, says Ed West. You might not hear about this book much in the next month, nor even in the next year, but it will affect your life in some way, and that of our country and continent.

Christopher Caldwell is a mild-mannered Financial Times journalist who over the past decade has covered continental Europe (France especially) and its relationship with Islam in particular.

That Caldwell is so mainstream, well-respected and analytical makes his conclusion all the more devastating - that the mass migration of Africans and Asians into Europe since the Second World War was an unprecedented, economically unnecessary and ill-thought-out plan that has had a profoundly negative impact on our way of life.

Furthermore, he says, the mass importation of Muslims at a time when Europe has lost its own faith and Islam has developed a dangerous and powerful radicalism threatens the very freedom of Europe."

Plans drawn up for mass swine flu graves

"PLANS for mass graves have been drawn up to cope with a second wave of swine flu this Autumn. The chilling proposals are spelled out in a Home Office document discussed at a meeting of Whitehall officials and council leaders last month. It warns emergency plans may be needed in areas where there are not enough graves to cope.

The 59-page document talks about using 'a grave that is for a number of unrelated persons, excavated mechanically in advance and designed for efficient preparation and use'."

Obama Planning Israel Ambush at opening of UN Assembly

According to reports on One Jerusalem Obama is planning to place pressure on Israel:

"Several sources have informed One Jerusalem that the Obama Administration is planning to significantly step up the pressure on Israel by announcing a comprehensive plan for Israel and the Palestinians at the opening of the United Nations General in September.

Picture this: The anti-Israel nations of the world surrounding President Obama as he demands that Israel give up sovereignty over Jerusalem, abandon settlements, and recognize a terrorist state on the West Bank."

Persecution in Nigeria

"On July 26, 12 Christians were killed, including three pastors, in northern Nigeria after members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram launched attacks on police and government bases. The violence, which began in Bauchi state, spread to Borno, Kano and Yobe states. Churches were set ablaze and several people were abducted, including Christians. Many believers were threatened with death if they refused to convert to Islam."

Monday, 7 September 2009

Socialist Sweden Moves to Ban Homeschooling for Religious or Philosophical Reasons

"STOCKHOLM, August 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS) is asking for support from the international community to stop an attempt by the Swedish government to outlaw homeschooling. The new legislation argues that because a child's education should be 'comprehensive and objective' it must be 'designed so that all pupils can participate, regardless of what religious or philosophical' views of parents or children.

The government's explanation of the draft law says, 'there is no need for the law to offer the possibility of homeschooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family.'

On June 15 the Swedish government unveiled the draft legislation which, if passed, would impose severe restrictions on parents wishing to homeschool their children. Citing the European Convention on Human Rights, the law only allows parents to homeschool if 'extraordinary circumstances' exist. The programme being used must pass muster with state officials and authorities will inspect and monitor home schooling families. Permission to homeschool must be renewed each year."

School prayer charges stir protests

"Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

There have been yard signs, T-shirts and a mass student protest during graduation ceremonies this spring on behalf of Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and school athletic director Robert Freeman, who will go on trial Sept. 17 at a federal district court in Pensacola for breaching the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union.

'I have been defending religious freedom issues for 22 years, and I've never had to defend somebody who has been charged criminally for praying,' said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the Orlando-based legal group that is defending the two school officials."

China: The new Big Oil

"China is on an oil buying binge. Over the past few months, the Chinese government -- or its big government-controlled oil firms -- have closed or floated a slew of deals in countries all over the world. These deals have expanded the nation's oil reach and may one day position the nation to match the skills of western oil firms.

The deals include a $10 billion loan the Chinese government extended to Russia's Rosneft in exchange for a guaranteed cut of that company's production. The Chinese have also gotten in tight with Brazil's Petrobras, arranging a similar deal with the firm that is developing a huge new offshore field - one of the biggest new discoveries in decades."

Radiohalos in the Shap Granite, Lake District, England - Answers in Genesis

The Shap Granite in the Lake District of northern England intruded the surrounding host rocks as a magma that released hydrothermal fluids as it crystallized and cooled. These hot fluids in turn produced an atypically wide contact metamorphic and metasomatic aureole around the intrusion. There is no evidence at the boundary for tectonic emplacement of a primordial cold granite body. This study documents an abundance of Po radiohalos in the Shap Granite. These Po radiohalos had to have been produced in the granite after the hydrothermal fluids released in the granite had assisted in the formation of the granite’s distinctive orthoclase feldspar megacrysts, and after the crystallized granite had subsequently cooled below the 150°C annealing temperature of radiohalos. The abundance of Po radiohalos is consistent with the hydrothermal fluid transport model for Po radiohalo formation and with catastrophically rapid granite formation. These features imply that the Shap Granite formed in 6–10 days and its Po radiohalos within hours to days once the granite cooled below 150°C. Hydraulic fracturing of the host rocks overlying the pluton facilitated rapid unroofing of the granite. Continued rapid erosion then deposited granite pebbles in the basal conglomerate of the overlying limestone. It is, therefore, conceivable that the Shap Granite formed, was unroofed, and the basal conglomerate with granite pebbles was deposited, all within 2–3 weeks during the early-middle part of the Flood year. The Po radiohalos and other evidence associated with this granite thus remove objections to Flood geology and any need to place the Flood/post-Flood boundary in the lower Carboniferous.

Canadian Scientist Aims to Turn Chickens into Dinosaurs

It sounds like an April Fools’ Day joke that came months too late: a Canadian scientist declares he will “flip some levers” and develop a dinosaur out of a chicken embryo.

The scientist is Hans Larsson, an evolutionary researcher at McGill University. Though Larsson has previously focused on paleontology—finding dinosaur and other animal fossils—he was influenced by fellow paleontologist Jack Horner, author of the book How to Build A Dinosaur. In the book, Horner—a technical advisor on the Jurassic Park series of films—proposes the embryonic experiment as a way to make a “chickenosaurus.”

Larsson calls the project—which is funded by Canadian taxpayers and the National Geographic Society—“a demonstration of evolution.” Although the team does not currently have plans to actually hatch any “chickenosaurus” embryos, that could change."

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Israel to halt 'growth' in exchange for Iran sanctions?

As part of Israel's anti-Iran campaign, Tel Aviv has apparently agreed with a partial freeze on its illegal construction of settlements on Palestinian land in return for tougher sanctions against Tehran.

Ahead of a meeting with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that his government is making headway in its talks with the US.

According to the Israeli echelon, Tel Aviv may soon resume the long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu made the remarks following a promise by the United States to adopt a much tougher line with Iran over its nuclear program.

The US, along with Britain and France, is planning to push the United Nations Security Council to expand sanctions against Iran and include the country's oil and gas industry, The Guardian reported.

The reported plan to intensify pressure on Iran comes as US President Barack Obama hopes to broker an Israeli-Palestinian deal before the end of next month.

US may put missile shield in Israel, Turkey instead of E. Europe - Polish report

According to the Warsaw newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Washington plans to scrap its plans to deploy anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic for defense against attacks from Iran. In deference to adamant opposition from Moscow, the Obama administration is looking at alternatives including Israel and Turkey. No immediate comment was available from US, Polish of Czech officials on this disclosure, but the Polish paper cited unnamed US officials on Aug. 27 as affirming that Washington was now considering deploying anti-missile interceptors on naval vessels and at bases in Israel and Turkey, as well as potentially in the Balkans.

According to a Pentagon spokesman the missile shield plans were still being reviewed. No final decisions have been made regarding missile defense in Europe, he said. DEBKAfile's Washington sources do not view this statement as an out-and-out denial of the Polish news report.

British PM says Arab states must support peace process

In supportive remarks after his talks with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in London, the British premier Gordon Brown commended Israel for dismantling West Bank roadblocks, recommended reciprocal moves by Arab states to support the peace process and said Iran's actions do not make its claims of peaceful atomic development convincing. He deplored Iranian diatribes about Israel as having 'no place in a civilized world.'

Senior Saudi prince injured by al Qaeda suicide bomber

Muhammad bin Nayef, son and assistant of Interior Minister Prince Nayef who spearheads the kingdom's crackdown on al Qaeda, was injured Thursday night, Aug. 27, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at an open Ramadan gathering in Jeddah. He was officially termed lightly wounded. The king Abdullah rushed to visit him in hospital before he was reported discharged.

DEBKAfile's counter-terrorist sources: It was the first time in the eight-year anti-terror campaign launched by Saudi Arabia after the 9/11 attacks in the United States that a terrorist has got close enough to a Saudi royal for an attempted assassination.

Imam blames Christian Leaders for the Persecution of Christians

In an interview with Premier Christian Radio, Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, founder of Scripture Reasoning and Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Leo Beck Rabbinical College, has said that the ‘church hierarchy’ in the UK is to blame for Christian persecution around the world because it ‘simply doesn’t care’ and only offers a ‘whimper’ in response to incidents:

The one thing we Muslims can absolutely rely upon is that whereas the tiniest thing kicks off in Gaza or the West Bank and there are protests in Muslim cities all the way from Jakarta to Timbuktu, in the case of persecuted Christian minorities—horrendous machete attacks take place in Nigeria, Christians in Iraq are burned out of their houses, Christians in Pakistan are stoned or attacked on the slightest pretext, Christians in Palestine suffer under Israeli occupation—in all cases what we will hear is just a whimper.

British Columbia university introduces grade worse than F

"It used to be that the worst grade you could receive in school was an F, and that was bad enough.

But B.C.'s Simon Fraser University is taking punishment to a whole new level, introducing a grade of FD -- meaning failure with dishonesty -- the worst possible grade a student can receive.

Dr. Rob Gordon, director of criminology at SFU and acting chair of the senate committee on academic integrity, says the new grading is intended to curtail cheating using the internet.

'What used to be a lot of cheating in libraries has changed quite significantly,' he told ctvbc.ca."

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Israel has Iran in its sights

Unless Tehran responds to by late September to international proposals on its nuclear program, history strongly suggests the Israelis will act alone.

Iran has until late September to respond to the latest international proposal aimed at stopping the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Under the proposal, Iran would suspend its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a U.N. Security Council commitment to forgo a fourth round of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

But if diplomacy fails, the world should be prepared for an Israeli attack on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons facilities. As Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently acknowledged: 'The window between a strike on Iran and their getting nuclear weapons is a pretty narrow window.'

U.N. nuclear watchdog denies hiding Iran information

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Friday hit back at reports that it had hidden information about Iran's disputed atomic program, in a rare public comment on the agency's sensitive inspections work.

Some media reports, citing unnamed Western diplomats and Israeli officials, have said International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei withheld 'evidence' of an alleged Iranian drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu calls for 'crippling sanctions' against Iran

After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Netanyahu expressed hopes for a quick resumption of Middle East peace talks as he warned of a mortal threat to Israel's survival posed by Iran.

'There is not much time' to halt Tehran's nuclear ambitions, he told reporters.

'I think the most important thing that can be put in place is what the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called crippling sanctions. It is possible to put real pressure, real economic pressure, on this regime if the major powers of the world unite.'"

Friday, 4 September 2009

Police say mother smothered baby at Henderson home

Carmela Camero gave birth to a son Sunday afternoon while she was in a bathtub, waist-deep in water. The 19-year-old's mother was at the Henderson home but did not even know her daughter was pregnant.

Camero was afraid of what would happen if her mother learned her secret. That evening, the impending consequences of having a child out of wedlock weighed heavily on Camero. According to Henderson police, she smothered the newborn in a moment of desperation.

"It was at that time she made the decision to bring her baby close to her breast and force the breast onto his face," states a Henderson police report released Thursday. "She knew bringing him that close would block his ability to breathe and he would eventually die. She held him in that position for several minutes until she knew he was no longer alive."

Henderson police arrested Camero on Wednesday on one count of murder. She is being held without bail at the Henderson Detention Center.

According to the Clark County coroner's office, Camero's baby was named Jude, although it's unclear who named him. As of Thursday, the office had not issued an official cause and manner of the infant's death.

Nevada has a Safe Haven law that lets parents surrender babies up to 30 days old at locations such as fire stations, police departments and hospitals.

Afghanistan vote: 10 dead, 150 vote - was it worth it?

Just 150 people voted in a flashpoint area of Afghanistan where 10 British troops died in bloody fighting. Hundreds of UK soldiers fought to free up an area in Helmand so the 25,000-strong electorate would feel safe at the ballot box.

But only 0.6% of eligible voters in Babaji, where the fiercest fighting took place, exercised their democratic right. It follows the announcement of another British military life lost after a soldier injured in Sangin died in a UK hospital. The latest death brings to 207 the number of British soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Britain’s EU budget contributions to rise by 60 per cent

Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary, is turning his mind to the matter of how quite how much British taxpayers are handing over to Brussels (hat-tip, Open Europe). He draws out attention to the fact that our net contribution will rise by an eye-watering 60 per cent next year, from £4.1 billion to £6.4 billion. The increase is a consequence of Tony Blair’s decision to abolish the rebate (which I’ve always found deeply suspicious: see here) as well as of the devaluation of sterling.

Saudis Close To Russian Copter Buy

Saudi Arabia is reported to be in the 'final stage' of negotiating a deal with Russia to buy up to 30 assault helicopters, a major departure by a key U.S. ally that is slated to get advanced U.S. weaponry worth billions of dollars over the next decade.

Jane's Defense Weekly, published in London, says in this week's edition that the multibillion-dollar deal was first proposed in November 2007.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper, which has often broken stories about Russian arms sales, reported on July 15, 2008, that Riyadh had offered to award Moscow major arms contracts in return for Russia curbing its cooperation with Iran.

Six nations may reveal data concealed by ELBaradei on Iran's nuclear progress

US, Israel and four other governments are urgently discussing the release of intelligence that Iran is running covert military nuclear projects parallel to its civilian program after Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, withheld this data from his last report, DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources disclose.

The four governments are Britain, France, Netherlands and Japan. All six had provided ElBaradei with new and detailed information on the advances made by Iran in its race to develop a nuclear bomb for inclusion in his last report on Aug. 28 before he retires next month. But ElBaradei, true to his usual custom of blurring Iran's breaches, omitted the new evidence.

In Paragraphs 18 to 20 of his report, he admits to possessing substantial intelligence but regrets he is unable to use it to confront Iran without betraying his sources and so Iran was not able to fully answer IAEA queries.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

More children from Dove World Outreach Center sent home for wearing Islam is of the Devil shirts

More children from the Dove World Outreach Center arrived Tuesday at area public schools with shirts bearing the message 'Islam is of the Devil' and were sent home for violation of the school district's dress code when they declined to change clothes or cover the anti-Muslim statement on their clothing.

School district staff attorney Tom Wittmer said the shirts violated a district ban on clothing that may 'disrupt the learning process' or cause other students to be 'offended or distracted.'

'Students have a right of free speech, and we have allowed students to come to school wearing clothes with messages,' Wittmer said. 'But this message is a divisive message that is likely to offend students. Principals, I feel reasonably, have deemed that a violation of the dress code.'

In Mexico, Ambivalence on a Drug Law

TIJUANA, Mexico — Yolanda Espinosa’s eyes darted this way and that. Her hands trembled. For Ms. Espinosa, a cocaine and heroin addict in desperate need of a fix, a new Mexican law decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of drugs had a definite appeal. “That’s good,” she said in her mile-a-minute speaking style. “Real good.”

But as someone fed up with her life in Tijuana’s red light district, where she and hundreds of other addicts live in flophouses and traipse through the streets in search of their next dose, Ms. Espinosa also had her doubts about what Mexico’s politicians had done.

“No one should live like I live,” she said. “It’s an awful life. You do anything to satisfy your urge. You sell your body. It ruins you. I hope this won’t make more people live like this.”

Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine — A year after its war with Georgia, Russia is engaging in an increasingly hostile standoff with another pro-Western neighbor, Ukraine. Protesters in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, held posters this week that were critical of President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia.

Russian seamen marched during a military parade in late July in Sevastopol, a port city in Ukraine where Russia has long maintained a naval base and much of the population has Russian ties.

Relations between the two countries are more troubled than at any time since the Soviet collapse, as both sides resort to provocations and recriminations. And it is here on the Crimean Peninsula, home to a Russian naval base, where the tensions are perhaps most in danger of bursting into open conflict.

Late last month, the Ukrainian police briefly detained Russian military personnel who were driving truckloads of missiles through this port city, as if they were smugglers who had come ashore with a haul of contraband. Local officials, it seemed, were seeking to make clear that this was no longer friendly terrain.

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet | Politics and Law

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to 'declare a cybersecurity emergency' relating to 'non-governmental' computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for 'cybersecurity professionals,' and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Iran's nuclear program has military aspects, says IAEA

According to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are military aspects to Iran's nuclear program. The report was released in advance of the annual conference of IAEA member countries which will convene in Vienna on September 14. The report notes past activity by Iran that could indicate research and experiments of a military nature.

Among other details was an indication that a foreign scientific expert helped Iran in their efforts to develop a 'metallic hemisphere,' a reference to a nuclear bomb. Although the scientist was not identified in the report, Haaretz has learned that he is a Russian national. Other findings in the report include the existence of a computer containing blueprints suspected to pertain to calculations of the altitude from which a nuclear weapon should be dropped. After Iran had for years denied the existence of such a computer, and then argued that its contents were a fabrication, Tehran acknowledged its existence but claimed the drawings pertained to a two-stage missile.

New flu hit estimated 10 percent of New Yorkers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The new H1N1 swine flu is estimated to have infected about 800,000 people in New York City in the spring, a top U.S. health official said on Sunday, citing a study due to be released later this week.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, who heads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said surveys suggested the virus was widely spread around the city. Frieden was New York City's health commissioner before taking the top CDC job in June.

'In New York City where we had a lot of H1N1 this last spring the estimate is about 800,000 people, about 10 percent of New York City residents, got infected with the flu,' Frieden said in an interview with C-SPAN television aired on Sunday.

U.S. Says Pakistan Made Changes to Missiles Sold for Defense

WASHINGTON — The United States has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand its capability to strike land targets, a potential threat to India, according to senior administration and Congressional officials.

The charge, which set off a new outbreak of tensions between the United States and Pakistan, was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Targeted killings - OK for US but not for Israel

A recent front page of The New York Times featured an article entitled "Drug chieftains tied to Taliban are US targets - Shift in Afghan policy." It stated that:
Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed... and that major traffickers with proven links to the insurgency have been put on the 'joint integrated prioritized target list.' That means they have been given the same target status as insurgent leaders, and can be captured or killed at any time."

According to this newly announced policy, 50 alleged civilian drug dealers have now been made subject to targeted killing if they cannot be captured.

When Israel used targeted killings to eliminate Sheikh Salah Shehade, Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, who were admitted leaders of terrorist groups that were engaging in combat against Israeli civilians, it faced a tsunami of condemnation from the US, the EU, the UK, the French, the Italians, the Russians, the UN and The Vatican.

Yet there has been no comparable outcry from the international community, despite the fact that the US's policy is less defensible morally and legally for the following reasons:

1. Israel has used targeted killings to protect civilians against war crimes, from an enemy sworn to its destruction. The US is using a far broader form of targeted killing, thousands of miles away from its civilian population, against an enemy that poses no immediate threat to its civilian population.

2. Drug traffickers are not direct combatants, thereby making an attack on them far more questionable under international law.

3. International law requires that any attack must be intended and tend toward the military defeat of the enemy. Israel has targeted those known to be directing terrorist attacks, whereas here it is less than clear that killing a drug trafficker would tend towards a military defeat of the Taliban.

4. Compounding this, the ratio of terrorist to civilian deaths for the Israel Air Force is better than 1:30 (Amos Harel, "Pinpointed IAF Attacks in Gaza More Precise, Hurt Fewer Civilians," Haaretz, December 30, 2007.) - that is, 30 terrorists killed for every civilian, whereas that for the US is 1:14 (The UN Special Rapporteur on unlawful executions, Philip Alston, reported that as of 3 June 2009).

Rethinking Abortion -- Two Unexpected Witnesses

Looking across the moral landscape of the last half-century, one issue looms larger than all others -- abortion. Considered from a historical perspective, the intensity and duration of the abortion debate came as something of a surprise. Handing down its infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court declared the abortion question settled and closed. They were wrong.

Almost four decades after Roe v. Wade, Americans are still torn over the issue of abortion. Indeed, the intensity of the abortion debate in 2009 exceeds that of 1973. The controversy over abortion is not only unsettled and unresolved -- it is still developing before our eyes. To the great consternation of abortion-rights proponents, Americans have not accepted abortion on demand as a permanent reality. As a nation, we have debated any number of issues beyond abortion in recent years, but abortion remains the controversy that is most central, unavoidable, and deeply personal.

The personal dimension of the abortion controversy came to light this week from two unexpected witnesses. The first is Sarah Kliff, a reporter for Newsweek magazine. In a very personal column, Kliff describes her experience visiting Omaha, Nebraska and the abortion clinic of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, now perhaps the nation's sole specialist in late-trimester abortions. As Kliff writes, her experience covering abortion for the magazine over the past two years has led her into contact and conversation with a range of persons on both sides of the abortion debate. She recognizes that, "both sides feel abortion is an issue worth waging war over."

Given her journalistic experience, Kliff describes herself as "well-versed in abortion policy, the pro-choice and pro-life arguments, the latest legislation." Her next sentence delivers the surprise: "But I'd never actually seen an abortion; I'd never watched the procedure that activists vehemently defend or deplore."

But that is exactly what happened when Kliff went to Omaha to research her article on Dr. Carhart. Even as she anticipated observing the abortion,

NASA can't keep up with killer asteroids

WASHINGTON – NASA is charged with spotting most of the asteroids that pose a threat to Earth but doesn't have the money to complete the job, a federal report says.

That's because even though Congress assigned the space agency that mission four years ago, it never gave NASA the money to build the necessary telescopes, according to the report released Wednesday by the National Academy of Sciences.

Specifically, the mission calls for NASA, by the year 2020, to locate 90 percent of the potentially deadly rocks hurtling through space. The agency says it's been able to complete about one-third of its assignment with the current telescope system.

NASA estimates that there are about 20,000 asteroids and comets in our solar system that are potential threats. They are larger than 460 feet in diameter — slightly smaller than the Superdome in New Orleans. So far, scientists know where about 6,000 of these objects are.

New book reveals horror of Nazi camp brothels

BERLIN (Reuters) - In 1942, the Nazis decided that forced labourers in concentration camps would work harder if they were promised sex -- so they made female prisoners work in brothels for them.

The brothels form the subject of 'Das KZ Bordell' (The Concentration Camp Brothel) by Robert Sommer, a book that has been hailed as the first comprehensive account of a little known chapter of Nazi oppression in World War Two.

Sommer's 460-page work, due to be presented at the Berlin state parliament on Wednesday, explores the origins, structure and impact of the 'Sonderbauten' (special buildings) run by Heinrich Himmler's SS in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.

'In the collective memory and written history of World War Two, the camp brothels were for a long time taboo,' the 35-year-old Berliner told Reuters. 'The former prisoners didn't want to talk about it: it was a difficult subject to handle.

Obama to raise 10-year deficit to $9 trillion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.

The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama's opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.

Friction among Iran authorities heats up

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut - Rival camps within Iran's corridors of power intensified their threats against each other Friday, signaling potentially dangerous clashes within elite circles and the security establishment after the disputed June 12 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hard-line clerics close to Ahmadinejad called for prominent reformist Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament and a presidential candidate, to stand trial for making allegations of jailhouse rape and torture in the country's detention centers.

On the opposing side, a group of former reformist lawmakers issued a letter late Thursday demanding that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, be investigated by the Assembly of Experts, clerics who have the power to replace the supreme leader, in relation to the election's violent aftermath.