Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

So, after 8 Islamist terrorists were arrested in Denmark (in 11 raided locations), now the target were US nationals in Germany:

THREE men arrested in Germany had formed a terror cell to carry out “massive” bomb attacks, among the biggest on German soil, authorities say. “They were planning massive attacks,” federal prosecutor Monika Harms told reporters today. She said the suspects had amassed vast amounts of the chemical needed to make the bombs used in the suicide attacks in London in 2005 which killed 56 people.

They planned to attack Frankfurt’s international airport along with the Ramstein Air Base, a key US military hub, Harms said. They also planned to hit and nightspots popular with Americans. “As possible targets for the attacks, the suspects named discotheques and pubs and airports frequented by Americans,” she said.

The trio had trained at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the group, officials said. They had procured some 700kg of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives. Officials said the 35-per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide, stored in a hideout, could have been mixed with other additives to produce a bomb with the explosive power of 550kg of TNT. “This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid bombings,” Joerg Ziercke, the head of Germany’s Federal Crime Office, told reporters.

Frankfurt airport terror plan ‘massive’ | Herald Sun

More about the plot in Yahoo.com:

The men — two German converts to Islam and a Turkish citizen who prosecutors said shared a “profound hatred of U.S. citizens” — allegedly obtained military-style detonators and enough chemicals to make bombs more powerful than those that killed 191 commuters in Madrid in 2004 and 52 in London in 2005.

[…] Security experts said the two purported plots are a reminder that Muslim extremists are not driven just by anger at the United States and its policies.

Islamic radicals “treat the whole Western world as their enemy,” said Tadeusz Wrobel, an analyst of military and security issues in Warsaw.

Bob Ayres, a former U.S. intelligence officer who is an analyst at Chatham House, a London think tank, said the radical ideology embraced by Islamic militants outweighs national loyalty, noting that many of those arrested in alleged European terror plots in recent years grew up here

A fourth man has been arrested in Lebanon in connection with the German plot to bomb trains and the Lebanese authorities have filed preliminary charges against another five Lebanese and a Syrian.

One of the three suspects (of this September’s plot) was arrested for spying on a U.S. military base in December but was released soon afterwards, federal police Chief Joerg Ziercke said. 😡

[…] German federal prosecutors in June charged a suspected mastermind behind a failed plot to bomb two passenger trains using bombs packed in suitcases last year which failed to explode because of faulty detonators.

Six Lebanese men are currently standing trial in Lebanon over the plot, which  targeted trains in western Germany.

[…] Germany’s elite GSG-9 anti-terrorist unit arrested two of the suspects at a vacation home in Oberschledorn, a town of some 900 people in central Germany, officials said. The third suspect fled out a bathroom window but was caught about 300 yards away, they said.

The suspects were taken before a judge in closed sessions Wednesday at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe and ordered held pending trial.

Prosecutors said the three — identified only as Fritz Martin G., 28; Adem Y., 28; and Daniel Martin S., 21 — first came to the attention of police when one or more of them carried out surveillance of U.S. military facilities in Hanau, near Frankfurt, in late 2006.

Officials said that during the first part of this year, the men acquired 12 containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which can be combined with other material to make explosives — as did the four London suicide bombers who blew up three subway cars and a bus on July 7, 2005.

In diluted form hydrogen peroxide is commonly used in hair coloring and as a disinfectant, but the more than 1,500 pounds obtained by the suspects could have made a bomb with the explosive power of some 1,200 pounds of dynamite, officials said.

😯 /irony on/ But no, you’re thinking very wrongly of these bastards peaceful and loving and caring guys. They perhaps wanted to begin a hairdresser’s business, so they needed a lot of hair coloring… /irony off/ 😈

But that is not the only news coming from Germany today:

German technology has made it into an Iranian nuclear power plant despite an export ban. Prosecutors are investigating the case and the German Foreign Ministry is concerned about the damage to Germany’s credibility.

Dmitry S. is one of those Russian businessmen with a knack for quick deals. A native Uzbek and Russian citizen, he has just completed a major deal in Moscow for beef shipments from Brazil. In his last deal, he supplied half of Siberia with CD players and TVs from Berlin.

But Dmitry S.’s deals are not always so trouble-free. A deal involving industrial equipment attracted the attention of prosecutors and customs investigators to S., who has been doing business in German for more than a decade. The electromagnetic brakes, switchgear, spring elements and special cables that the 46-year-old businessman bought up in Germany between 2001 and 2004 were bound for the Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr — a central project in the nuclear program of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Dmitry S. case has since evolved into more than just an ordinary criminal case. Indeed, it touches on highly sensitive international political issues. Proliferation experts working for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have shown a keen interest in the investigations by prosecutors in Potsdam, near Berlin. And this is not just because, once again, a number of German companies, working hand-in-hand with foreign dealmakers, are suspected of circumventing export bans.

This is marvellous, hein? And the control on weapons, on materials of double use (military and non-military) or their components, where it is???

And by the way, is there any liaison with Putin?

The case’s true political explosiveness lies in the structure of the business relationships it involved. The Potsdam prosecutors now believe that they can prove that Dmitry S. and his now-liquidated Berlin company, Vero Handels GmbH, were involved in the acquisition of illegal material from Germany on behalf of the partially state-controlled Russian nuclear company Atomstroiexport (ASE) — material intended for export to Iran. “It looks as if Putin’s nuclear firm deliberately violated German law,” says one investigator.

Hmm, this does not look any good. Chinese Army hacking computers AND Russian public corporations lying to the same hacked Government about deals with Iran… It puzzles me extremelly… 

Anyway, read this post by Debbie about the link between China, Russia and Iran.

________________________________

The Jihad’s objectives: Jihad demands the killings of infidels or their subjugation under Islamic law. Read it all.

________________________________

Anyway, in China they are very worried about the bath houses and massage parlours, because of the “growing sex trade“. But, well, they should be happy about it, because the abortions focused mainly on female fetuses (and infanticide on girls) have saved the Chinese environment. [Well, no, not really, China has one of the most poluted atmospheres in the world h/t China Digital Times…].

_________________________________

And, at last, ex-Law and Order Fred Thompson is running. 😆 I would like to see the expression in Zapatero’s face if he wins… Dumb OX has written a very funny post about this. 😆

________________________________

The Hillary Clinton’s fundraiser, Mr. Hsu, has failed to appear in court after the Judge set him for bail reduction hearing. An extraordinary judicial decision, as Fausta notes, considering that he has been a fugitive from the law these last fifteen years:

Hsu turned himself in to authorities last week after more than 15 years on the run from a felony conviction of grand theft. He admitted to defrauding investors of $1 million in a bogus investment scam.

He failed to appear in court for sentencing on that 1991 conviction, a revelation that prompted high profile Democrats — including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — to return thousands of dollars donated by Hsu.

Hmmm,  I would like to see what would have happened if this would have been made by any republican. You know, I haven’t seen this very underlined on Spanish press, but the Craig’s scandal… oh, yeah…

_________________________________

Yemen: You could be punished by a slogan:

Demonstrations that began in May are continuing in Yemen as the regime takes increasingly repressive and violent measure to quell dissent.

Security forces made mass arrests of demonstrators, prompting more demonstrations. A new law criminalizes slogans. A newspaper is facing terrorism charges for reporting war news in the Sa’ada War. A top member of the Yemeni Socialist Party has been “seized” by security forces.

Interesting development. Normal people in Yemen -don’t think at first it’s the most developed society..- are demonstrating

demanding the release of more than 200 veterans and their sympathizers detained for protesting earlier this month, a police official said.

The protesters are mostly southern Yemeni veterans who lost their jobs after a defeat by northern forces in a civil war 13 years ago.

So, basically they have been jobless for 13 years because they lost a civil war. And now they are detained for demonstrating!! And when others protest that, they are also imprisoned!! 😯

Don’t know what happens today with the demonstrations:

Prominent Saudi reformist Abdullah Al Hamed and his brother brother have been ordered to appear in court on charges including inciting protests by women.

Wow, what a danger, eh? Women demonstrating… by themselves. Oops…

But the best is why they were demonstrating -well, trying to…-: because they want a man to be tried or released from prison. Charges? After the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, he was imprisoned for calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia!

Yes, that’s right. Saudi bombers spreading everywhere, but people calling for democracy are imprisoned on terrorist charges. Pfrrrrrrrrrrrtttttt! smile_thinking

____________________________________

Chávez is a danger for democracy“, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa says. Link in Spanish.

He stated that [Chávez] has a “messianic vocation” and blamed his attitude on the petrodollars, which he uses in an irresponsible manner to spread his bolivarian phylosophy, de-stabilising a Hispanic-American democratic Governments“.

He also distinguished between the nearly-dictatorial (or fully-dictatorial as @€#€@# Castro’s brothers) and the democratic left in the area.

But Chávez maybe also a danger for another freedom (yeah, one more, looks impossible… but ): the freedom to name your children as you wish. Now they are going to obliged to choose between 100 names if a new law passes through Parliament. Yeah, I know some of the names are a little bit critizable:

Software searches of the voter registry find more than 60 people of voting age with the first name Hitler, including Hitler Adonys Rodríguez Crespo; eight Hochiminhs, among them Hochiminh Jesús Delgado Sierra; and six Eisenhowers, including Dwight Eisenhower Rojas Barboza.

Who can name Hitler to his son? I would be horrified…

But this measure is a little idiot. I mean, you can forbid that people name their children after famous people. But you cannot impose a list to choose from there.

Another thing is the discrimination this future law makes: the Indians and the foreigners are excluded from the measure. I understand about foreigners -they normally are ruled by the laws of their own country-. But Indians? What happens?? Are they different from the rest?

Then they would say that they have been discriminated and bla, bla, bla…. So, now they are discriminating the non-Indians. 😯

__________________________________

A little bit of motor sport:  (in Spanish here)

It began innocuously enough with what looked like a patch of soap powder sprinkled across the floor below the two Ferraris awaiting Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa for this year’s Monaco grand prix. From this unlikely starting point it accelerated into arguably the biggest scandal in recent formula one history, possibly blighting Lewis Hamilton’s efforts to win his first British grand prix at Silverstone on Sunday [poor guy who has to ask for help to his daddy against Fernando Alonso… :twisted:, well, if you’re English, err, well, I’m Spanish, 😆], potentially jeopardising the careers of two respected engineers and forcing the McLaren-Mercedes team into such a humiliating corner that they offered up their world championship-leading MP4-22 to a detailed examination by the FIA ruling body in an effort to prove that no element stolen from Ferrari had been incorporated into its design.

The crisis reached its peak on Tuesday morning when Ferrari sacked their British engineer Nigel Stepney on suspicion of industrial espionage and a few hours later McLaren suspended their chief designer, Mike Coughlan, after hundreds of drawings and other technical data relating to this year’s Ferrari F2007 were allegedly found at his home in Surrey. It is understood that Coughlan acquiesced in the search and no legal compulsion had to be sought.

😯

(By the way, in Iran the racing Queen Sedigh has been banned from entering the stadium for the national competitons. What happens, ayatollahs? Do you think she was going to win again? Well, yes… 😡 ).

_______________________________

Pavarotti has died.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As I have posted before, Chinese influence in the world is spreading, something that, with its present state about Human Rights, is far from good. From Yahoo:

For years, China’s booming economy touched daily life in the West most visibly through the “made-in-China” label on everything from clothes to computers. But now, economic growth is giving rise to something more that can’t be measured just by widgets and gadgets — a shift in China’s balance of power with the rest of the world.

China’s reach now extends from the Australian desert through the Sahara to the Amazonian jungle — and it’s those regions supplying goods for China, not just the other way around. China has stepped up its political and diplomatic presence, most notably in Africa, where it is funneling billions of dollars in aid. And it is increasingly shaping the lifestyle of people around the world, as the United States did before it, right down to the Mandarin-language courses being taught in schools from Argentina to Virginia.

China, like the United States, is also learning that global power cuts both ways. The backlash over tainted toothpaste and toxic pet food has been severe, as has the criticism over China’s support for regimes such Sudan’s.

To understand why China’s influence is increasingly pushing past its borders, just do the math.

When 1.3 billion people want something, the world feels it. And when those people in ever increasing numbers are joining a swelling middle class eager for a richer lifestyle, the world feels it even more.

If China’s growth continues, its consumer market will be the world’s second largest by 2015. The Chinese already eat 32 percent of the world’s rice, build with 47 percent of its cement and smoke one out of every three cigarettes.

Continue reading…

Related news.

China farmer Activist Arrested for Advocating “No Olympics, But Human Rights”.

China passes law censoring Disaster and Accidents Coverage.

Related posts:

Ban Ki-Moon: The main cause of Darfur problems is….

China launches Nigerian satellite.

Sudan, the UN ambassador, the rebels: why it is necessary a general denounce of the silence of the MSM on the Darfur crisis?

Chinese PM launches Africa tour

China’s oil policy

Chinese new arsenal

_________________________________

More about Nebraska’s University affair:

Officials of the Omaha, Nebraska archdiocese are expressing a growing impatience with the Jesuit-run Creighton University, the Associated Press reports.
Although university officials this week cancelled plans for a campus lecture by Anne Lamott, a novelist who is an advocate of legal abortion and euthanasia, archdiocesan leaders remained unhappy with the direction of the university, the news service revealed in an August 31 report.
[…]In announcing a mutual agreement to cancel the lecture, Creighton had said that Lamott’s views on suicide and euthanasia had only recently come to the attention of school officials. But the novelist’s agent told Associated Press a quite different story, saying that the school had deliberately asked Lamott to avoid those issues during her lecture.

The lecture was cancelled thanks to blogpower! Je. 😆

There is another important initiative for the pro-life movement: a Mexican church has presented the Declaration of Human Rights of the Unborn:

The declaration, which contains ten principles that state that the unborn have the right to be recognized as individuals of the human race, will be delivered to the Mexican Congress in support of an amendment to the constitution.

Congresswoman Beatriz Garcia Reyes, who was present at the signing, said the initiative could bear “much fruit,” and she rejected the idea that such proposals to defend life should only occur when politically expedient. The unborn and their rights should always be defended, she added. She also called for legislative reform in order to define the unborn as an individual and a person under the law.

I like the idea, even if our establishment doesn’t.

_________________________________

Even if looks like the Nahr El Bared’s crisis in Lebanon has ended, it is far from it. Last post from Blacksmiths of Lebanon shows us the hard reality:

They left booby-trapped TVs and radios on, so that when soldiers went to turn them off, they would explode… They also played recordings of crying babies, which lured soldiers into buildings and rooms which would then be detonated.

😯 😯 Yeah, I know than in love and in war nothing is forbidden (or something like that), but this… this is treacherous…

And:

Naharnet has just reported that

Prosecutor General Saeed Mirza on Thursday ordered police to launch an investigation into a video game about the storming of Premier Fouad Saniora’s government compound and the killing of all the ministers.

Sympathetic and peaceful the video game, eh???

Just read the entire post.

Last news are that the “Militant held camp has fallen to Lebanese Army“:

Hours after the army killed 32 militants and captured at least 15 others as they tried to break out of the Nahr el-Bared camp, only occasional gunfire could be heard inside.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the last stronghold of Fatah Islam militants fell later in the day to the army, which captured five wounded militants in their hideout.

Celebratory gunfire erupted in nearby villages as soon as the news spread. Dozens of residents took to the streets of Mohammara, waving Lebanese flags and honking their horns as troop convoys poured into the area with soldiers flashing victory signs.

The army, which said it lost five soldiers in the recent violence, was not ready to formally declare an end to fighting in the camp, large parts of which have been destroyed by army bombardments in the months long siege. The military said three soldiers were killed in Sunday’s fighting and two on Saturday, raising to 158 the total number of troops killed in the conflict.

A military statement early Sunday said troops were attacking the remaining militant strongholds inside Nahr el-Bared and “chasing the fugitives outside the camp” who had staged “a desperate attempt to flee.” It called on Lebanese citizens to inform the nearest army patrol of any suspected militants in their area, but gave no specifics on casualties except saying “a large number” had been killed or captured.

We will see what happens next here.

You can read more in Tears for Lebanon.

__________________________________

Futures’ markets are following the same evolution than they had before 9-11. Is this a sign of something? h/t Barcepundit. Pastorius has written a very clear post at IBA about the matter.

The blogosphere and options trading desks have been rife with speculation about these trades, which are unusually large bets that the market will make a huge move in the next month. Some entity, or entities, has taken a large position on extremely deep in the money S&P 500 options, both puts and calls, that won’t pay off unless the market undergoes an extremely large price move between now and the options’ expiration on Sept. 21.

Fast forward to the present day, and we have the same type of trading that took place in the days that preceded the 9/11 attacks – but on a larger scale. Nearly $1 billion of “put options” have been purchased, basically betting that Standard and Poor’s 500 index will fall significantly by the third Friday in September. A large number of these options have also been purchased calling for 50% decline by September 21, 2007. For example, a 5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be the current equivalent of about 670 points. A decline of 11% would equal about 1,470 points in today’s market. Obviously, larger drops, such as a 50% decline, would cause an unprecedented market collapse. Money would be made for the purchaser(s) of the put options – but the same purchaser(s) stand to lose over $1 BILLION in the investment if the market remains relatively static through September 21, 2007.

And let’s see: we have the real state lending problems…

_______________________________________

Lastly, you can read about the new film of Brian de Palma by Roger L. Simon:

Meanwhile, what used to take a lot of my time has a way of encroaching on my present reality. Apparently, someone I used to know…Brian DePalma… may have resurrected his career, seemingly scoring a hit at the Venice Film Festival with his new film “Redacted.” The subject is a particularly gruesome real-life rape case, concerning a 14-year old Iraqi girl raped by US servicemen who also murdered her family.

Now I don’t know the details of this case. (Some of the servicemen involved have been given long sentences and it sounds truly hideous.) Yet, according to Reuters, the film is halfway between documentary and fiction. This to me is a highly suspect form, especially when based on recent events (2006), which are more verifiable than most. You would think the truth would be enough.

But what interests me more is Brian’s selection of material and his intention, as he states it, to stop the war. “The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war,” he said.

That is why I am sick of generalizations. We cannot make one lonely incident as if it were what has been happening every day. And that is why I can’t stand people who are not balanced enough in their judgement, not seeing both what is good and what is bad, and then trying to make others think like them. You know, Brian de Palma, it’s very sad for me :mrgreen: but I only have seen two of your films (The untouchables of Elliot Ness, a very good film, very different from this one , and Mission: Impossible, -though better than the two sequels: in the second, they totally messed up the Sevilla’s Easter processions and the Valencia’s Fallas, which have nothing to do- [I had mistaken the second for the first 😳 😀 ]). And really, with this kind of marvellous introduction of good judgement and balanced statements, I’m also not going to see this. Cause as lawhawk writes, you cannot make us going to the cinema:

Director Brian DePalma has unveiled his latest movie, which is nothing less than a character assassination of all US troops based on a heinous criminal acts by a unit of US soldiers. Those soldiers have been tried and convicted for their crimes by the US military, but DePalma sees no problem with using the incident to further his anti-war, anti-military, and anti-US views. [and anti-common sense… that is the worst of all…].

That’s completely within his perogative. He can produce any movie he wants – he just can’t make you go see it.

I have no interest in seeing the movie. I only wonder why he didn’t bother to make a movie showing what al Qaeda was doing to Iraqis on a daily basis – the kidnappings, mass murders, and the beheadings. Are those not sufficient to churn stomachs, or was the international audience going to salivate more over an anti-war/anti-US movie than one that shows the true evil of al Qaeda and might actually justify a continued US presence in Iraq to eradicate the al Qaeda operating there?

Showing what al Qaeda was doing to Iraqis? And then some people call me “innocent”… Well, lawhawk, with all due respect, that is to be candid. Hollywood’s doing a good film blaming the real people who are to blame? No, of course not: they could be a terrorist target! Just imagine George Clooney or similar feeling himself really hunted by those militants, freedom fighters and men of peace. Huh! Of course not.

By the way, that thing about the international audience: the 16 Spanish films who have raised more money, have raised less than Spiderman in Spain. But the Spanish Government is going to make Spanish taxpayers pay € 85 millions to produce the usual garbage: pro-communism, against the Catholic Church and the right-wingers and about the Spanish Civil War (of course, all the right-wingers were warmongers, genocidal types and sadistic killers, while the commumists-socialists were peaceful, art-loving types, who could not kill a fly… 👿 ). But they are not considering the 10 million people who voted PP on 2004, some of then did not agree (and do not agree) with Iraqi war but certainly do not agree either with the MSM about the coverage there.

So, when the film-makers are going to consider that there are other people to see international films? Without considering that this is not something new of this year, but has been the normal situation for a lot of years. And of course, if you have to choose between Lord of the Rings saga and some crap with the subject considered above, the decision is simple. Specially with the prices the cinema halls have these days… 😈

[Oh, and the Spanish film which raised more money was a film of animation “Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños” –Pérez, the mouse of your dreams-. There is a legend told to children in Spain: each time a little boy loses one of his first teeth, he/she must put it under his pillow. And the little mouse Pérez will come and give him a coin. So, you see, nothing political, just a pleasure to see…].
—————-
Now playing: Dolores O’Riordan – October
via FoxyTunes

Read Full Post »

Saturday’s post

This is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard: Memories from Within Temptation:

Have fun, it’s Saturday! 😆

Read Full Post »

Some weeks ago, I blogged about Oliver Stone’s new film project about Ahmadinejad’s life. At first, he was rejected considering him a part of the Great Satan. Well, Ahmadenijad has thought about it and has finally given his approval to make the film:

Fars News just reported that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has given Oliver Stone approval to film his biography:

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed his approval of acclaimed director Oliver Stone’s plans to make a film about him.

“I have no objection, generally speaking, but they have to let me know what are the frameworks. They should talk to my colleagues. Principally speaking, I have no objection,” President Ahmadinejad told reporters during a press conference here in Tehran on Tuesday.

This was probably the kicker that pushed Mahmoud over the top:

“Stone’s publicist referred to the bad image that the U.S. media has given to Islam and Islamic countries and said that the documentary could assist in countering such negative propaganda.

😯

____________________________________________________

Some news about peaceful and respectful Muslims:

  1. English speaking Muslims living in America stomp on the American flag, state that they are taking advantage of the “loophole” in American law that gives them free speech, and proclaim that Islam will take over America and the world, and dribble out a multitude of Allah akbars ….
  2. Editor-in-chief Of UK-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi: ‘I’ll Dance in Trafalgar Square When Iran Nukes Israel’.

____________________________________________________

The EU, just wasting money in useful things:

Officials of the European Union are investigating the special tax treatment accorded to the Catholic Church in Italy, asking whether the policies give unfair competitive advantages to Catholic institutions that engage in commercial activity.
The ANSA news service reports that the European Commission is considering a full inquiry into a 2006 law that exempts Church property for real-estate taxes, and allows a substantial discount for corporate taxes owed by Church-owned businesses.
Bishop Giuseppe Betori, the vice-president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has argued that the tax exemptions are amply justified, since they apply only to Church organizations that engage in charitable, cultural, or educational work. Bishop Betori observed, in an interview with the daily Avvenire, that similar tax breaks are given to other Italian institutions that “serve the common good.”

Later they will raise the VAT tax and say “Ohh, we don’t have enough”.

I do not want the Church to have special treatment -in fact, I support the Church should be treated the same way as the rest of the religious institutions-. But that means the same way, equally to the rest of similar organizations.

_________________________________________________

One of the best islamologues the Catholic Church has is Father Samir Khalil Samir, sj (here in Spanish some interviews; in the latter he says: Europe is stupid if it does not take into account that Islam is using its tolerance to “Islamize” it). He is an Egyptian Jesuit and teacher of History of Arab Culture and of Islamology both in Beirut and Rome. He has written recently two very interesting articles for AsiaNews.it about an extraordinary case which is happening just now:

The case of Mohammad Hegazi, young Egyptian converted to Christianity, who wishes to be legally recognized as such, has opened a new debate in the Islamic world on conversions, which are often seen as acts of apostasy that merit death. What has emerged is a veritable obsession in Islam for personal conversions, this religion having been reduced more to an ethnic and sociological submission. There is even talk of a plan to convert Europe and the world to Islam, to which European governments are giving a hand.
Beirut (AsiaNews) – The case has received a lot of public attention: a young Egyptian, Mohammad Ahmad Hegazi, age 25, converted to Christianity some years ago (some say 9, others 6 years ago; according to the Islamic version, it was just a few months ago!). He then married a woman named Zeinab, who also became Christian, taking the name Cristina. In recent months, he asked that his documents show his new religious affiliation. In Egypt, identity cards must indicate the holder’s religion and, so far, Hegazi’s is officially Islam. This means that he is considered to be Muslim for various legal questions pertaining to inheritance rights, family law etc.

His request was effectively been turned down by administrative authorities, who did not see his request through. So, Hegazi went to the government direct.Why did he ask for this change to be made only now, years after his conversion? Perhaps because the couple is expecting a baby. And if they are registered as Muslims, the child will have to be as well, regardless of the parents’ wishes.

When administrative authorities balked at his request, Hegazi went to the courts to claim his rights, with the help of a lawyer from an NGO.The case is extremely important, more than it may appear, also because it has been reported by media around the world and now the press in Egypt is also discussing it.Initially, reactions came from imams, then from the general public. The vast majority is saying that Mohammad Hegazi must be killed as an apostate. Only a small part dares to quote the Koran – which states that “there is no compulsion in religion” – and states its support for his freedom.

[…] The Islamic world is truly obsessed with conversions. At least 7 Islamic countries apply the death penalty to those who convert from Islam: Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mauritania. But in other states, like Egypt, converts are condemned to prison, not as apostates but for contempt of Islam, as Hossam Bahgat, a member of the Egyptian Initiative for personal rights, explains.

According to government daily Al-Massa’, all imams are unanimous on the need to kill the apostate Hegazi. They say that sharia (not the Koran) must be enforced and it calls for the death penalty.The more moderate say: if the apostate hides his conversion, does not broadcast his decision, then it is not necessary to kill him; he can live. If he lets it be known, then he causes scandal (fitna) and must die.

I happened to be looking through the web-site of the “Forum of Arab Aviation.” This case – Hegazi’s conversion — is the sole topic of the site’s “Islamic” section. There are 8 reactions registered on the page and they all say that he must be killed. Some are subtle, saying for example: “The government must take the harshest decision to eliminate this problem,” but all the others quote the Koran: “Fitna is worse than killing” (2,191 and 2,217); others say that “Islam is the better religion”; others still “Kill him to avoid fitna” (8,39); others: “He who wants a religion other than Islam, his worship will not be accepted and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” (3,85). No one quotes the Koranic phrase that affirms freedom of conscience, the one quoted by the Pope at Regensburg last September 12: “there is no compulsion in religion (2, 186); nor the other that says: “Truth comes from your Lord. Let him who will believe and let him who will not believe” (18,29).

[…] In any case, 3 famous imam have pronounced themselves against Hegazi. The first is Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a big expert in his field, who cites dozens of references from the first centuries and concludes that Hegazi has to be killed because the group is in danger and the group takes priority over the individual. The idea is: if this person begins to speak and says that he is happy to be Christian, and smilingly appears in photos with a Gospel in his hands, this is intolerable and is non-Muslim propaganda, which is officially allowed neither in Egypt, nor in other Islamic countries. And since Hegazi is spreading Christian propaganda, he must be killed.

Suad Saleh, Muslim judge and dean of the Faculty of Islamic Science at Al-Azhar University, has stated: yes, in matters of faith there is no compulsion, but Hegazi is spreading propaganda and thus the law must be applied. The judge advises that the apostate be given 3 days to repent and reconvert to Islam (istitâbah), then “apply the law” (i.e. execution).

The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s highest religious authority, stated to the Washington Post last June that apostasy “should not” be punished by death, eliciting numerous reactions from Al-Azhar. After many people expressed their approval for a death sentence, he retracted in a confused matter and his stance is still today unclear. On the surface, he wanted to reassure the West by using ambiguous wording, like the one that goes: “Apostasy is to be punished when it represents fitna or when it threatens the foundations of society.”

[…] Islam protects itself against conversions by putting apostates in prison or by killing them. But its obsession with conversion includes a series of privileges it claims for itself. So much so that in many Muslim countries, even those that are supposedly secular, the right to promote the Islamic faith is taken for granted and is not enshrined in law. Conversely, the right to promote any other religion is considered de facto and de jure unacceptable.

Islamic propaganda is part of the state’s mandate. In Egypt for example public institutions disseminate songs, prayers, movies and written material that praise Islam and denigrate Christianity. Inevitably this favours conversions to Islam. By contrast, Christian propaganda (tabshīr) is banned by law.

Recently in Algeria, a new law was approved that condemns anyone promoting the Christian faith and anyone who converts to Christianity. Of course, some might say that this kind of law is directed only at Protestant proselytising. True! But Muslims proselytise as well? Should the law not be the same for everyone?

Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly the country where double standards in matter of religion are the most glaring. One example: Saudi Arab Airlines’ website explicitly warns its passengers that Bibles, crucifixes, and any other non-Muslim religious symbol are prohibited on board. If any are found they are confiscated. Another example is when two pieces of wood happen to end up across one another. However inadvertently that may have come about, the resulting cross becomes ipso facto a religious symbol and police are known to have ordered people who happened to be nearby to step on them.

Anti-Christian propaganda is also found in how words are used. In Arabic Christians are called Massihi. In Arabia they are also called Salībi, crusaders, and Nasrami, Nazarenes. Interestingly, at the time of the Crusades Christians were by and large referred to as Faranj or Franks. But the most commonly used word today is kuffar, unbelievers who must be killed. For the past 30 or so years, its use has increasingly spread around the Muslim world.

Read both of them. They are truly interesting.

_____________________________________________________

Also some months ago I blogged about the Government Regulation related to Electronic Communications, by which there was “introduced an administrative procedure to intercept electronic communications without Judicial control“, regulation which was declared illegal by the Supreme Tribunal. Well, afterwards, it came the SGAE (General Society of Authors and Writers) with another foolish proposition:

If a web page is reproducing intellectual works which could go against author’s rights, the SGAE or any other similar association will be able to tell the server where the blog/page is located to inform that the blog’s author is breaking the law. The client will be obliged to defend him before the SGAE of the illegality in the next 6 days if he does not want to see his blog’s content down or closed. Even if the communication is absolutely ridiculous or unmaintainable, it obliges the normal blogger/website’s author to defend himself to regain access to the presumably illicit content”.

Well, it results that the same article that was introduced in the Government Regulation related to electronic Communications, has been introduced in the new project of the Law of the Internet’s Society:

According to the present project, the “competent authority” can shut down webpages without any kind of judicial authorization. The “competent authority” would be those associations who “guard” the rights of intellectual property (SGAE and similars) and, of course, every authority. It is true that after the shutdown, there would be a judicial process. But letting the power to control and possible webs’ shutdown to a “competent authority” is just the same that letting the police not to report to the Tribunals. That is, the kick-to-knock-down-the-door, but this time, digitally way.

The time to present modifications to the law ends on Sept, 4th. It is widely hoped that Popular Party presents some modifications that guarantee the effective right to information.But that is not very clear, because the Popular Party first succeeded in passing a resolution on Senate against the digital canon, but later it voted favorable the Law of Intellectual Property that regulated it (not very coherent, no 😡 ). “There are unanimities which are fearful”, the Web-surfers’ Association’s speaker states. They have already presented a proposal to modify the law.

So, if no one does anything, we could see how the digital kick-to-knock-down-the-door could be consolidated again. A new step in the strategy of reducing (that is, really, of eliminating) the freedom of information.


____________________________________________________________
China, the environment and birth control:

China says its one-child policy has helped the fight against global warming by avoiding 300 million births, the equivalent of the population of the United States.

But delegates at U.N. climate change talks in Vienna said on Thursday birth control is unlikely to find favor as a major policy theme, partly because of opposition by the Catholic Church and some developing nations trying to increase their population.

Some scientists say that birth control measures far less draconian than China’s are wrongly overlooked in the fight against climate change, when the world population is projected to soar to about 9 billion by 2050 from 6.6 billion now.

So, why don’t we all just commit suicide to prevent any harrassment on the environment? 😯

___________________________________________________________

A quick note on Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto announced some days ago that Pervez Mussharraf was going to step down as head of his country’s military. But today Mussharraf has already denied that. The situation has complicated even more as his rival, Sharif, has been allowed to return to Pakistan. Musharraf has stated already that he seeks reconciliation. Let’s hope that, but I’m not very optimistic in the matter, after all we have witnessed in Pakistan these last months.

Related news: Pakistan has successfully test-fired a new cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons, its military said.

___________________________________________________________

Beth has posted about the Florida Masochist going to be operated of melanoma (after 12 years of being clean) and about Kat from Madhouse Cat,who has lost in a single day, one cousin and her daughters as a result of a car crash.

Also a friend of mine has lost his wife rather unexpectedly of cancer. On the first week of August, when they had already begun their vacations, she felt bad and went to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a sudden and fast growing cancer, a week ago she died. He works at my University’s library. I remember him when I began University: he was all smiles, a really helpful guy with all of us who were back then so overwhelmed if we did not find the required book. He was always a patient guy. These days, when I go to find some books there, he is just older but the same. I know the bad times he is going to have now, as they really loved each other. They have an only daughter, aged 19. 😥

Read Full Post »

Another move similar to Zapatero’s withdrawal from Spain:

The Taliban agreed Tuesday to release 19 South Korean church volunteers held captive in Afghanistan since mid-July, the South Korean government announced, signaling an end to a wrenching hostage crisis that had gripped the country for almost six weeks.

“Together with the families of the hostages and with all South Korean people, we welcome the agreement to release 19 South Koreans,” said Cheon Ho-seon, a spokesman for President Roh Moo-hyun. Mr. Roh, who steps down in February, has been under intense domestic pressure to win the safe return of the hostages, most of them women in their 20s and 30s.

In Afghanistan, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said all 19 hostages would be released over the next several days. “We will release them in groups,” he said Tuesday.

Mr. Cheon said that in return for their release, South Korea had agreed to keep to its earlier plan to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and to stop all evangelical activities by Christian groups from South Korea in Afghanistan.

Just look at the Taliban’s faces of the photo in the link above: a smile on those faces is a blow to all people who sustain and support democracy, freedom and Human Rights for Afghanistan.

Related to the Taliban read this (there is a video also inside) h/t ExtremeCentre.org:

Never mind that they don’t even allow street signs with the little symbolic walk or don’t walk figures with heads on them, here’s a video/photo show of the pretty boys of the Taliban. Black eye-liner and hand-holding and pretty long hair are evident in the photos, although homosexual behavior is strictly banned. The Taliban actually turn young boys into sex slaves. Here’s an excerpt from an article on that from Jamie Glazov from FrontPageMagazine.com:

But there is a curious rule that the Western media has typically ignored. Rule No. 19 instructs that Taliban fighters must not take young boys without facial hair into their private quarters.

[…] Rule No. 19 obviously indicates that the sexual abuse of young boys is a prevalent and institutionalized phenomenon among the Taliban and that, for one reason or another, its widespread practice has become a problem.

The fact that Taliban militants’ spare time involves sodomizing young boys should by no means be any kind of surprise or eyebrow raiser. That a mass pathology such as this occurs in a culture which demonizes the female and her sexuality — and puts her out of mind and sight — is only to be expected. To be sure, it is a simple given that the religious male fanatic who flies into a violent rage even at the thought of an exposed woman’s ankle will also be, in some other dysfunctional and dark secret compartment of his fractured life, the person who leads some poor helpless young boy into his private chambers.It is no surprise that John Racy, a psychiatrist with much experience in Arab societies, has noted that homosexuality is “extremely common” in many parts of the Arab world. [1] Indeed, even though homosexuality is officially despised in this culture and strictly prohibited and punishable by imprisonment, incarceration and/or death, having sex with boys or effeminate men is actually a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. The key is this: the male who does the penetrating is not considered to be homosexual or emasculated any more than if he were to have sex with his wife, while the male who is penetrated is emasculated. The boy, however, is not considered to be emasculated since he is not yet considered to be a man. A man who has sex with boys is simply doing what many men (especially unmarried ones) do. [2] And this reality is connected to the fact that, as scholar Bruce Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic-Arab societies is not about mutuality between partners, but about the adult male’s achievement of pleasure through violent domination. [3]

😯 Hypocrisy… hmm, a word these men have not known about…, eh???

Related news: Talibans release a video of a 16-year-old boy beheading one of the kidnapped Pakistani soldiers. h/t NMJ. When they are not useful for having sex with them, let’s teach them how to behead, isn’t it? 😡

___________________________________________________

Officially, frankly, I don’t know where we stand now, about the supposed “peace process” with ETA. Apparently, the Government just broke it off, but there are reports that confirm that the conversations never ended, only were just called officially off:

According to sources reached by Hispanidad, the Government would agree to offer a referendum of autodetermination in two years, in the next political term after 2008 elections. Before, that should be preceded by a process of negotiation (another one or just the same?). To go where? (important question: before beginning a walk you must know your destination…). To the Ibarreche planning (uff, the same one which was rejected by Spanish Parliament two years ago…). On the other hand, the pro-ETA supporters are clinging to their project of autodetermination which would include 4 provinces, as it was pointed by Otegi last February. That is, an extended autonomy (more autonomy? You’re kidding… Just make a comparison of the competences that NOW has the Basque Country with any other Autonomous Region and then tell me about…), but including Navarra.

But as Navarra has not agreed with it, ETA terrorists are worried. But the Government has continued with the negotiations, although they have not obtained the desired result. So ETA has decided to stop and give a great punch: the terrorist attack against the house-police station of the Civil Guard. Fortunately without any victims, even when its directors underlines that “they wanted to kill us“. A thesis also named by Vice-President De la Vega. Anyway, what really puzzles about this statement, is that the car was situated at a very great distance from the building.

Something absolutely amazing but true here, is that the Minister of Justice considers that the Spanish citizens don’t have any kind of right to know about the contents of negotiations. As the Spanish MSM are as good and accurate as in every other part of the world, there is not a lot of real information except to say how well the Government is doing everything. There are always exceptions, though, as we have seen.

Another car-bomb exploded in Les Coves de Vinromá (Autonomous Community of Valencia). :

ETA terrorists who exploded the van bomb -with 150 kgs of explosive- in Les Coves de Vinromá could have caused the lack of electricity to Castellón and Valencia, because the high-tension tower that gives electricity to these two provinces from the nuclear power plant in Vandellós is situated just 30 meters away from the place where the two ETA terrorists exploded the charges which they pretended to use in Valencia. More or less, three million people could have been affected by the lack of electricity. Yesterday, the experts from the Civil Guard finished to collect all the proofs, elements which could be used to discover what was the kind of explosive which they were transporting in a new operative phase, which aims at a new long-term and bloody offensive.
Experts in anti-terrorism fight, while pointing out that ETA has a full capacity to kill -it has now a hundred “activists” in its “ranks”-, also advise to be cautious because these “activists” do not receive a lot of training courses. They consider that if they would have been trained, they would have exploded the Mercedes Vito in the high tension tower.

So the question is: if they were so tracked down, how could they possibly cross all Spain without no one stopping them?

And the next question is: in both attacks, the car-bomb was placed very far from the supposedly correct target. Ergo, why are they not targeting people? Is there any profound reason for that? Are they just frightening every citizen to get what they want? And what is the Government’s position in all of this?

I feel like if someone is permanently laughing at us… 😡

The Mercedes Vito had been stoled from a married couple, who were kidnapped with their 4-year-old boy by 5 ETA terrorists. They were released after the explosion after being held for 72 hours. Magnificent, eh???

___________________________________________________

Jim Carrey speaks in support of Aung Sang Suu Kyi:

Whatever you think of his acting, I really believe that raising awareness about what is going on in Burma, is a real good movement.

[Yeah, I know, the set is a little New Age or flower power but as the message is good, I really do not care about the set 😈 ].

___________________________________________________

Idiot news of the century (I really believe it and consider that every day news give us a lot of possibilities):

French author Corinne Maier has written a book called No Kid: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children

“The child has become so vested with importance, such a huge burden requiring so many changes to one’s way of life that having one has become inhumane, so my advice to people is don’t have any,” says Maier.

I really believe there is little comment needed. After reading this, I just doubt that the human beings can be considered as “rational” anymore.

You also introduce changes to yourself along your life. Just commit suicide and save us of your stupidity. My goodness!

When I was a little girl, I asked why the people died. Of course, no one answered me in a very logical and understandable way, so I begun to think about it. I reached a conclusion: the cause of death was that your brains had got totally tired of hearing and reading stupid things.

Conclusion: I am going to stop reading the news, just in case… 😈

___________________________________________________

Russian police is worried – and it is reasonable to be worried-:

There is no suggestion that any of the organizations are directly involved in violent crime, but they do promote ideas that feed violence, Kozhevnikova says.

Some of the groups espouse anti-Semitism; many are overtly racist and xenophobic. There are also hundreds of so-called skinhead gangs. Police investigations have found skinheads to be behind the frequent attacks on people with dark skin on the streets of Russian cities.

They may be at the extreme end of the spectrum, but the mainstream shares some of their views. A recent survey carried out by the Levada Center, which monitors public opinion, found that 55 percent of Russians agreed with the statement “Russia should be for Russians,” while 20 percent of young people did not consider the activities of skinhead or neo-Nazi groups to be dangerous.

Kozhevnikova cites a number of reasons for the growing nationalist mood among Russians. “The peak of this xenophobic mood on a domestic level was fixed by sociologists in 2005; [this] domestic xenophobia was first blamed on poor social conditions and then on conflicts,” she says.

There’s no doubt that the war in Chechnya played a role – the second Chechen war. It was taken as being a war of Russians against Chechens, Orthodox against Muslims. Of course, that played a very big role,” Kozhevnikova adds.

Part of the problem, Kozhevnikova says, is that many nationalist organizations are starting to promote themselves as civil movements, whose aim is to improve social conditions.

Aleksandr Belov, the spokesman for the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, says the group’s goals are “to put a stop to the number of illegal immigrants moving to Russia and to repatriate people with Russian roots living outside the country.”

“We’re a democratic movement made up of people who have their own opinions and who want to live freely in their own country. They want laws to be obeyed. You could call ussocial democrats,” Belov says.

It is worth underlining that Putin has been a supporter of Iranian regime, with which has agreed about nuclear plants as we already know. Then the Orthodox Church’s Patriarch, Alexei II, said (link in Spanish) that Orthodox Christians and Muslims should unite to prevent the existence of a one-polar world, to the Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel when the latter visited Moscow.

And Putin has also stated: “Russia has always been the most faithful, reliable and consistent defender of the interests of the Islamic world,” he told Chechen lawmakers, to applause. “Russia has always been the best and most reliable partner and ally.”

This is a proof of what I have been saying: if the Governments are silly and do not act within the law to stop a sector’s radicalization, the rest of the society will also create (and follow and obey) their own radicals. We are going to a polarization of the societies which is very dangerous, because that only implies that the law of the strongest is going to be imposed on the weak. If Governments do not respect the law, and the citizens do not compel and oblige them to be compelled by it (that is what democracy is about), the results will be a return to darker times.

I remember when I began blogging nearly two years back, as a result of Paris Nov 2005’s riots. Pastorius was then very worried about the consequences that a lack of action against Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism could have in and for Europe. I was also but for different reasons: Pastorius thought back then that European future was Islamic or Fascist; mine was just that this kind of news did not have any publicity, they were just buried. I have been seeing a progression here in two directions. The first is that most people now know about the danger and understand the nature of it. The second is that, while politicians do not act against it, the public is divided: while some don’t really how to act, others are beginning to get nervous and to demand courses of action which are a little surprising, desperate and possibly, at his moment, totally unnecessary.

But, just let time elapses with the present situation. We can be in the dawn of a new (and not very pleasant) era. Hope I’m not right, though.

___________________________________________________

More about Greek fires:

Arson has been widely blamed. Six people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. Arson suspects are rarely convicted. Where cases are proven, the motives are typically profit, revenge against neighbors, or the clearing of pastures by shepherds.

As much as 469,000 acres were laid waste between Friday and Tuesday alone — 10 times the annual average for the past 50 years, according to the European Commission’s European Forest Fire Information System, or EFFIS. A total of679,000 acres — an area almost the size of Rhode Island — has gone up in smoke since the start of the year.

“There are still some fires burning, but definitely the speed of increase of the fire front in the areas burnt is much, much smaller than in the first three days, which was very, very fast mainly due to the strong winds,” EFFIS researcher Paulo Barbosa said.

“The conditions are better and I think in the next few days the situation will be under control,” he told The Associated Press.

Some say it was the worst catastrophe since a Turkish army ravaged the Peloponnese in 1825, during the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Apart from the blow to the Peloponnese’s fragile ecosystems, Greenpeace Greece director Nikos Haralambidis warned that mountain populations could end up as internally displaced “environmental refugees.”

“There will be several thousand people faced with the choice of staying in a burnt land or moving to the cities,” he said. “Their main source of income was olive oil production … and new olive saplings need at least 15 years to produce a decent crop.”

[…] The fires are dominating political debate before the elections. Criticism that the government failed to respond quickly enough — and its suggestions the fires resulted from an organized attack — could hurt Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Hmmm…

By the way, the Pope has condemned both the Greek and the Italian arsonists. In Italy four people have been killed last week when a wildfire consumed a hotel where they were staying, near Messina. Two shepherds have been detained as the culprits.

___________________________________________________

From Venezuela:

Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo warned Venezuelans this week that the constitutional reforms proposed by President Hugo Chavez are leading the country towards a dictatorship similar to the Castro regime in Cuba or the Pinochet regime in Chile.

The archbishop recalled that democracy is based on the balance of powers and that many of the reforms proposed by Chavez are inspired by Communism. What is even more dangerous, he said, is that the proposals would make Chavez another Pinochet or Castro, “who are not the models of democratic virtues.”

If you want to laugh and understand Spanish, you should read this. An excerpt:

My admired Chávez: Bolívar was of an Spanish Imperialistic origin. He had no aboriginal blood. He does not merit to give his name to an emancipated native people. He only created a new criollo regime (NOTE -thanks Kate-: criollo is the Spanish word for the people whose parents were born on the Iberian Peninsula but who were born in South America, while mestizo were the descendants from both Indians and Spanish in South America 😳 ). The country shouldn’t also be called Venezuela, which comes from Little Venice, as Américo Vespuccio named it following Spanish orders.
Venezuela was a prosperous conventional democracy, but it had a lot of corruption. Now there is more corruption, true, but there is also another thing which compensates it: an Anti-system Revolution.
Fortunately, you are the most important thing, you, who, full of revolutionary spirit, gave a coup d’état in 1992. It went wrong, but afterwards you were victorious in the elections. Just the same as another exemplary nationalist and socialist: Adolf Hitler.

Paolo writes: Ahmadinejad is centered in achieving a force, specially in Ortega’s Nicaragua, to counter-measure all the US force, in the case of an air attack against nuclear laboratories and Iranian missiles’ positions. Considering that Sarkozy has menaced Iran with action, this is necessary to prevent any change in the Iranian surroundings (which are mainly, and besides South America, Moscow and Pekin).

___________________________________________________

In Africa, there is still the belief that, if a grown-up man who has been infected by AIDS, maintains sexual relationships with a girl under 15, he is going to be cured. If he is not cured, the treatment is repeated. This is how most girls are becoming infected with AIDS. Psycologists also say that these girls normally adopt promiscuous sexual behaviour or end working as prostitutes.

In spite of the brutality of the practice and of the negative consequences, it’s complicated to measure the importance of this practice, as “men do not want to be identified (the cowards…) and the victims fear the shame, they prefer to be silent on the matter. Anyway, African newspapers often report about this practice“. “The consequences of them are normally the stigma and the discrimination“, according to Félix Fuentenebro, director of Medicus Mundi, underlining that the poverty is the culprit of a lot of insane habits.

Poverty also means the survival of several negative cultural practices, as the one that obliges to inherite the dead brother’s wife. 😯 In a lot of places, when a man dies, the older brother inherites his wife. If the dead was infected by AIDS or died as a result, it’s probable that his wife is also infected with the virus, and so, her new husband and his other wife or wifes, could also be infected“.

We get the picture…

__________________________________________________

BETHLEHEM Mayor Victor Batarseh yesterday attacked Israel and angered members of Australia’s Jewish community within hours of arriving in Sydney – just as Australian immigration officials in the Middle East warned would occur if he was granted a visa.

Dr Batarseh told The Australian Israel’s construction of a security wall was about grabbing Palestinian land, not stopping suicide bombers. “If you want peace, you build bridges of love and understanding between people, you don’t build walls of hatred,” he said.

Just see the photo in the link above. And then read this, from Chiesa OnLine:

The mayor of Bethlehem is still a Christian, as always. Eight out of the fifteen seats on the city council are still reserved for Christians. But in the latest municipal elections, which took place in May of 2005, a coalition with crucial support from the Muslims of Hamas emerged victorious.

The leader of the Hamas contingent in the municipal council of Bethlehem, Hassam El-Masalmeh, exalts the suicide attacks against the Jews, and asserts that these will continue until all of Palestine, including the territory of Israel, is under Palestinian control.

But mayor Victor Batarseh, a practicing Catholic, condemns the terrorist attacks and wants Hamas to stop carrying them out. He says that he is ready for a territorial compromise with Israel in order to bring about a true Palestinian state. But even before the latest municipal elections, he chose Hamas as his main ally, together with another extremist group called Islamic Jihad.

A magnificent and very coherent Catholic. Uaghhhh!

___________________________________________________

Tiberge writes about a marvellous French Christ from the XVIth century which has been mutilated (most possibly, deliberately) to portrait the image making an obscene gesture. 😯

But there is another affair (no pun intended) which has really reached the French headlines:

A French gossip magazine has been ordered to pay €15,000 damages to the lover of France’s Socialist Party leader François Hollande.

A court ruled that the images Closer published of M. Hollande frolicking on a Moroccan beach with journalist Valérie Trierweiler were a breach of her privacy. Mme Trierweiler hit the headlines in June when Hollande’s long-term partner Ségolène Royal booted him out of their family home for his affair with the reporter.

The photos of the alleged “intimacy violated” are here. I really do not see any intimacy as they were in the beach and both of them are public figures… if you don’t want to be pictured, stay inside. And if not, you are risking that they take your pictures…

___________________________________________________

From Angel:

Stand-up Sean Meo has been prevented from performing in Du-bai after upsetting Mus-lims.
Protest forces comic from Du-bai gig

Police had been alerted to jokes he cracked about the Kor-an and the Ar-ab language in an attempt to stop him entering the country for a show tomorrow night.

Fearing the local press would whip up a frenzy of protest against Meo, his agent and the organisers of the gig decided it would be safer if he didn’t perform.

Meo’s agent said: ‘It was a mutual decision between us. There was a small but still unacceptable risk to his safety.’

She comments:

We, here in the West..well ya see..We don’t get our panties into a bunch so quickly and um…….we actually believe in laughter.

Especially our ability to laugh at ourselves at times.
Needless to say, this takes self esteem and inner strength. (hint hint)

😆

About laughter in Islam, you can also read this post by Debbie.

_______________________________________________

Yesterday, I wrote about illegal immigration in Spain and the misunderstanding between Spanish PM Zapatero and French PM Fillon about the massive regularization. Well, it looks like that Fillon has phoned Zapatero to calm him down and to tell him that he understands truly well why he had to do it.

Read Full Post »

 Wow, what a pity for humanity.

His thirst for the limelight has driven him to launch a multilingual blog and issue a string of headline-grabbing statements. But Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was surprisingly camera-shy when his extrovert persona drew the attention of Hollywood, turning down a request by Oliver Stone, the director of JFK, Nixon and Platoon, to make a documentary film about him. He dismissed the American film-maker as “part of the Great Satan”, the Iranian regime’s standard term of abuse for the US.

Ahmadinejad turns down chance to star in Oliver Stone film | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited

smile_teeth 

Stone is going to be so dull and unhappy after he is called “part of the great Satan“.

Read Full Post »

Saturday night

This one is not only marvellous because of what you can see, but because the one who sings is my favorite singer, Josh Groban:

And, for me, the best of all of the videos from Cirque du Soleil:

Enjoy them!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »