Archive for July 4th, 2007

 Well, these are good news indeed!!

Catholic nun from Pennsylvania is the first non-Jew and non-Israeli to receive Yad Vashem’s Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education. Sister Gemma del Duca, a Sister of Charity and former chair of the history department at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., has been leading seminars for Holocaust education with the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial for two decades.

The seminars, started on her initiative, are intended for groups of Catholic educators and clergy, primarily from the United States. According to Yad Vashem, hundreds of educators have taken part in the seminars.

A native of Greensburg, Pa., Sister Gemma has been living in Israel since 1975, and she approached Yad Vashem with her idea in 1987 in response to Pope John Paul II’s call to recognize the significance of the Holocaust. “(Sister) Gemma is the person who opened the door here to bringing Catholic educators to Yad Vashem,” said Ephraim Kaye, who works with international educators at Yad Vashem. “They have been a real dedicated and determined group of people who take back what they have learned here. We have (Sister) Gemma to thank for that. It is really not to be taken for granted.

CNS STORY: U.S. nun who started Holocaust seminars gets award from Yad Vashem

Read Full Post »


Pakistan Extends Mosque Deadline; Students Surrender (Update3)

Bloomberg – 42 minutes ago
By Khaleeq Ahmed and Khalid Qayum July 4 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan extended a deadline at Islamabad’s Red Mosque after at least 16 people were killed in gun battles between police and students supporting the chief cleric’s call for Islamic law to be imposed in the city. About 650 students at the mosque surrendered, the government said.


Police charged chief cleric Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz and his deputy Abdul Rashid Ghazi with murder and terrorism, police spokesman Muhammad Amaar said by telephone. Other charges include damaging state property and interfering in state matters.

The government earlier set a deadline of 11 a.m. Islamabad time for the students to give themselves up and has extended it without setting a specific time, Tariq Azeem, the deputy information minister, said.

Ghazi told Aaj TV earlier the students won’t surrender, potentially deepening a standoff with the government that started after the chief cleric set up an Islamic court on the premises on April 6.

There may be more people dead inside the mosque following the two days of clashes between students and police, Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood said at a news conference in Islamabad.

The government has extended the deadline because “the response has been more than our expectation,” Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said at the news conference. “Our strategy is that we vacate the mosque with minimum losses.”

There is still time to surrender,” Azeem told a news conference in the Pakistani capital earlier today. “We are showing maximum restraint because we believe the issue can be resolved peacefully.”

The government is offering to pay 5,000 rupees ($82.82) to each student who surrenders, Azeem said. Action will be taken against those students who took up arms against the security forces yesterday, Azeem said.

Between 2,000 and 2,500 people were inside the mosque before the latest surrender, according to Azeem. Ten people, including four security officials, were killed in the clashes overnight and 94 were injured, he said.

Pakistani army seals off radical mosque after day of violence Guardian Unlimited

The talks appear to be heading nowhere,” Abdul Rashid Ghazi, one of two radical brothers who lead the mosque, told Reuters news agency by phone.

The dramatic siege is the culmination of months of simmering tension between authorities and the radical students, whose anti-vice campaign – including kidnapping alleged prostitutes and burning films – has embarrassed the president, General Pervez Musharraf.

The final straw may have been the abduction of seven Chinese employees of a massage parlour, which the militants termed a brothel, last week. The Chinese were released within hours but their government – a key ally of Pakistan – demanded greater security.

The showdown started yesterday after a clash at a security checkpost outside the mosque triggered a five-hour gun battle in the surrounding streets.

Defiant hardcore remain as hundreds surrender at Pakistani mosque Forbes

Women in black burqas and bearded young men streamed out of the compound and passed through metal detectors after the government set and then twice extended a deadline for them to give themselves up.

Around 700 have come out, more are coming. They were provided with transport facilities to go to their homes,’ senior Islamabad administration official Chaudhry Mohammad Ali said.

Musharraf earlier said each of them would receive 5,000 rupees (83 usd).

Security officials said an estimated 1,000 students were left in the building, about half of them female students, and added that it was possible the siege could go into a second night.

Houston Chronicle – Boston Herald – Channel 4 News – International Herald Tribune
all 1,247 news articles »

Global Security.org and Gateway Pundit have more.

Islamic religious students chant slogans in Mansehra July 3, 2007 in protest against clashes at the Red mosque in Islamabad.

Female religious students fleeing from the shooting. For months the students have been defying the authorities in the nation’s capital. (BBC)

Also A Blog for All: The rioting and mayhem has spread, including the torching of two nearby government buildings including the Ministry of Environment. Also see the videos inside the link.

Afghan ministry spokesman arrested for ‘links with Pakistani intelligence’.

Convert to Islam or else: Pakistan Talibanization:

Lawyers in Pakistan are investigating a report that up to 30 men tortured and gang-raped a young Christian man for refusing to convert to Islam. The victim is seriously injured and unable to move, Release International’s partner in Pakistan has reported. However, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) the police are keeping him locked up and have denied him medical treatment. The police are also refusing to register the rape following a counter-claim made by his principal attacker – “a man of influence”, Release International has told Christian Today.

More about this case in English Rose.

More about Pakistan’s Talibanization.

UPDATE: Pakistani cleric captured under burqa

Security forces besieging a radical mosque in the Pakistani capital captured its top cleric Wednesday as he tried to sneak out of the complex in a woman’s burqa, and more than 1,000 of his followers surrendered.

The peaceful arrest of the mosque’s prayer leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz, was a coup for the government. The firebrand Aziz has been a vociferous opponent of Musharraf and has threatened suicide attacks to defend the mosque. His thousands of male students have been at the forefront of anti-government and anti-U.S. rallies in Islamabad.

[…] A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said authorities captured the mosque’s top cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, after a female police officer tried to search his body, which was concealed by a full-length black burqa.

The officer began shouting “This is not a woman,” the official said, prompting male officers to seize him. “The suspect later turned out to be the mosque’s chief cleric,” the official said.


Must have been a scene… which could appear in any good comedy…

Read Full Post »

Last news about the Yemen attack:

Reuters.uk – 56 minutes ago

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni authorities have arrested dozens of suspects linked to al Qaeda since Monday’s deadly suicide bombing that killed seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis, security sources said on Wednesday.

A security official said they were still unsure whether al Qaeda was behind the attack at the Queen of Sheba Temple in the province or Marib.

“Tens of suspects who we believe have links to al Qaeda have been arrested in three regions, Sanaa, Abyan and Aden,” the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.


President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose country joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism after the September 11 attacks, offered a $75,500 (3,716 pound) reward for information leading to the capture of militants behind the attack.

So, what they are going to do about them? (ehem)…
Survivor tells of ‘nightmare’ suicide attack Times Online

The Spanish Prime Minister was urged to adopt a tougher line on terrorism yesterday as opponents used the death of seven tourists in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing to assail his foreign policy.

Coming just a week after the deaths of six Spanish troops on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, the latest ambush sparked an angry debate in Madrid.

José Luis RodrÍguez Zapatero, the Prime Minister, expressed his “deep sadness” at the deaths of the tourists in Yemen. But the Government said that it had been informed that al-Qaeda had not specifically targeted the tourists because they were Spanish.

Mr Zapatero has also come under heavy criticism for the attack in Lebanon. Opposition politicians say the roadside bombing could have been averted if the troops had been given electronic jamming equipment.

Mariano Rajoy, leader of the conservative Popular Party, accused the Prime Minister of spurning allies like the US to focus on ineffective pet projects, such as his “Alliance of Civili-sations” initiative, designed to foster dialogue between Europe and the Muslim world.

“Thirteen of our countrymen have been killed by jihadi attacks in the space of just a few days,” Mr Rajoy said. “Terrorism must be fought with our allies, not with other [initiatives] that are good for nothing.” smile_teeth

Sanaa ‘knew Al-Qaeda was planning an attack’ Daily Star – Lebanon
Gulf Daily NewsHinduInternational Herald TribuneBBC News
all 861 news articles »

Poor little thing, Zapatero, ehh? [*] Rajoy even told him “A President should govern and give explanations to the citizens, not cry in Parliament“. :mrgreen:

Well, the reality is that the suicide bomber asked first “who are those people at the Temple?” and was answered that they “were Western tourists“. Then he disappeared from the scene and appeared again to plough the Jeep he was driving into the convoy.

So, this is even worst, they were against any Western tourist, without considering nationality, creed, race, etc. Is anyone hearing out here??? Anyone remembers the “Coalition against the Crusaders and Zionists” (1998, no Iraqi war, no Afgan intervention, no Lebanon UNIFIL troops)?.

They are not against us by what we make, but because of what we are.

Anyway, far leftist propagandist (self-called journalist) Enric Sopena has said in his on-line newspaper that “the shadow of the Azores’ photo -you know, the one, in which Aznar, appeared with Bush and Blair before Iraqi intervention- is beginning to look terrific“. Yeah, surely, because Spain is still in Iraq, right?. smile_baringteeth He also considers that the tourists were careless when they went on tourism to Yemen, because the Foreign Affairs Ministry advised against trips to that country… but the alert, which appears on the Ministry website, is a generic one, not concrete. Meanwhile USA advised their tourists to go with guide and military escort.

Sent to Open Trackback at Dumb Ox.

[*]this was said in the Debate of the Nation’s state, that today goes on. I will write afterwards or tomorrow about it…

Read Full Post »

Continuing with the British terrorist plot:

The seven men are physicians, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, while the lone woman, the wife of one, is a laboratory technician. The police are now working to unravel links and prior contacts within this far-flung expatriate medical circle.

For the British public, the prospect of highly educated professionals as terror suspects is a chilling departure from the home-grown Muslim terrorists, many with family roots in Pakistan, who have been implicated in previous conspiracies here. It may also prompt a debate over whether Britains health system should have tightened its regulations for hiring foreign doctors before last year, when it was possible for doctors to move here and practice without a work permit, provided they established their medical credentials.

Clearly, it will be debated, said Soroosh Firoozan, an Iranian-born cardiologist who practices near Oxford.

There has already been a bit of a move to exclude foreign doctors from training in the U.K. Britain remained jittery on Tuesday, with the police evacuating parts of Londons Heathrow Airport after a security scare, stranding hundreds of passengers in a rainstorm. They also carried out controlled explosions near a subway station here and outside a mosque in Glasgow.

 The police arrested two more men on suspicion of terrorism after reports that canisters of gas were delivered to an industrial site in Blackburn, in northwest England. Officials would not say whether these arrests were linked to the incidents in London and Glasgow, in which gas canisters were also used.

7 Doctors Tied to British Plots – New York Times

More in Sugiero and in Freedom’s Cost:

A photo of Mohammed Asha,the “brilliant doctor,” provided
by his family during an interview on Monday in Amman
(Photo from: International Herald Tribune)

Terror inquiry officer flies out to quiz man held in Australia


Read Full Post »

Happy 4th of July!

For all American readers:

US Marines in Spain’s National Day Parade 2006 [you can see Zapatero at the back looking other way :mrgreen: ]


Read Full Post »