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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…].
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Now playing: Dolores O’Riordan – October
via FoxyTunes

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As I wrote some months ago:

Opium production in Afghanistan has soared to record levels, with an increase on last year of more than a third, the United Nations has said.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime report says the amount of opium produced there has doubled in the last two years. It says Helmand province is now the biggest single drug-producing area in the world, surpassing whole countries such as Colombia. Afghanistan now accounts for more than 93% of the world’s opiates.

Despite billions of dollars of aid and tens of thousands of international troops, the report says 193,000 hectares of opium poppies are being grown in Afghanistan.

[…] The report says growing opium poppies is now closely linked to the insurgency and the instability in the south. And what is to be done? The report recommends more determined efforts to bring that security. It urges the government to get tough on corruption, which it says is driving the drugs trade and it lists poor governance, a weak judiciary and failing eradication programmes for these new frightening record levels.

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World Organization for Human Rights has sued Yahoo! over its policy in China: Look at Yahoo!’s hypocrisy:

Yahoo is being sued by the World Organization for Human Rights for sharing information about its users with the Chinese government. The information has led to the arrests of writers and dissidents. One journalist cited in the case was tracked down and jailed for 10 years for subversion after Yahoo passed on his e-mail and IP address to officials.

In its 40-page response to the lawsuit, filed with a federal court in San Francisco, Yahoo acknowledged releasing information to the Chinese government. But it argued that there was little connection between the information the firm gave and the ensuing arrests and imprisonment of its users.

[…] But Morton Sklar of the World Organization for Human Rights said the company had failed to meet its ethical responsibilities. “Even if it was lawful in China, that does not take away from Yahoo’s obligation to follow not just Chinese law, but US law and international legal standards as well, when they do business abroad,” he said.

Barely, Yahoo! claims this is a merely political case. 😡

At the same time, Angela Merkel reminds China the West would like to see progress on freedom of the press and Human Rights’ matters (where it has not progressed really):

“The world will be looking at China to a greater extent than it has in past years,” Merkel said. “And people will also be looking at how China presents itself in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Chinese critics of Beijing welcomed Merkel’s remarks.

“Unlike her predecessor Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel does not run and hide from this topic,” former university professor and dissident Liu Xiaobo told Deutsche Welle. “She tells it like it is. The pressure she’s put on the Chinese government has already had significant effect.”

Well done, Merkel!

It’s logical, by the way, Merkel’s position. Looks like that the Chinese Government has hacked Merckel’s chancellery and three other Berlin ministries h/t Barcepundit.

Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, discovered the hacking operation in May, the magazine reported in its new edition, published Monday.

The Chinese government has vehemently denied the report, with the Chinese Embassy in Berlin describing the accusation of state-controlled hacking as “irresponsible speculation without a shred of evidence.”

But Prime Minister Wen Jiabao assured Merkel that measures would be taken to “rule out hacking attacks.” During a news conference in Beijing on Monday, Merkel didn’t comment on the specific allegation but said it was important that “common rules of the game” were observed in a globalised economy.

Well, there has been reports before about industrial spying on Canada, also vehemently denied by China. And on Australia, where they have targeted exiled dissidents.

So worried about foreign lands and yet China is searching for 8 kgs of “missing” uranium. Take a little more care about things which are really dangerous and stop targeting dissidents and foreign governments… 😡

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In Italy, a mother pregnant of two daughters, went to a clinic to see the state of both fetuses. In the clinic, she was informed that one of them has Down Syndrome so she asks for the abortion of that fetus. In the operation, the fetuses change places and the healthy one is finished. After that, she asked again for the abortion of the unhealthy one, which was done by injecting a solution of digoxine. This method which causes a cardiac stop, is used only in grown-up fetuses, while in this case, they were in the 30th week of pregnancy. The scandal in Italy is great. For a link in English, click here.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has already condemned the abortion of the twins:

L’Osservatore Romano reported: “Two girls have died, assassinated as a consequence of selective abortion. A radical decision has brought about another abortion, that of the little sister that still had life.” No one “has the right to eliminate another life. No person has the right to take the position of God. Not for any motive.”

But that’s not all. In Spain, as I wrote days before, there is a “problem“: doctors working in public health system are not practising abortions as they think it’s a matter of conscience and have objected. Some leftist MSM -specially world-known as very objective El País– began saying that people had a lot of problems to get themselves an abortion, with statements like: “They told me abortion was a crime“, “Leny and Fátima had succeeded in achieving their right (¿? Really didn’t know that was a right) to have an abortion in private clinics paid with public money” or “I had to go to have it to another Autonomous Community“.

There are three causes for legal abortion in Spain: rape, grave illnesses of the fetus or grave danger for the physical or psychological health of the mother. More than 98% of all the abortion held in Spain use this last cause.

So the Spanish Ombudsman, Enrique Múgica, has begun an investigation about the “great difficulties to have a free-willing interruption of pregnancy practised in the public health system“. He also asks to “adopt the pertinent measures to let the users have the guarantee the attention in the Community of residence and in the main hospitals of the National Health System“. So how are they going to do that? Are they going to hire pro-abortion doctors? Or are they going to make pro-life ones make abortions against their conscience and will? I really have a bad feeling about this…

Meanwhile, the Spanish Schools’ Council has passed a resolution by which the State can educate the children on affective-sexual matters without any consentment from parents ( 😯 ). But at the same time, “it rejected to include Cervantes in the minimum required to pass Literature, the Catholic Kings in History and the inversion of €1000 millions in the infants’ education from o-3 years-old (which was in the PSOE’s electoral program) and to liberalise the prices of the books (as stated in the Law passed in the terms requested in this respect from the Culture’s Ministry)”.

Regarding immigration, Zapatero denies it (hmm…) but French Prime Minister maintains that he is totally repented from the immigrants’ regularization.

Zapatero spoke yesterday about the statements of French PM, François Fillon, about the content of the summit between both of them last July in Madrid, to contradict his ally and ask for an immediate rectification which has not happened and most probably, won’t in the future. Fillon has stated that Zapatero admitted then that the regularization of more than 600.000 immigrants in 2005 was an error of which he repented “bitterly” and that he won’t make more in the future (repentance and modification of behaviour: we’re on the right track! Eehh, no, not quite). The President contradicted yesterday French PM, insisting on all the good things that his policy of open borders have brought and said that France was going to “make things clear because it was all probably a bad interpretation”. Sources near Fillon assured EL MUNDO that «there hasn’t been nor there is going to be any rectification in any way». The more similar to tinging his words, was some statements made by the entourage of the French PM, according to which Fillon understands that Zapatero supported the policy of “papers for all” because “he had no options… because of circumstances” (there is always another option, even if it’s very difficult or harder to follow. And in this case, there is). It is not clear if Zapatero has or hasn’t a communication problem or of interpreters when he has to speak about his analysis and compromises over immigration, as Zaplana (PP, center-right) laughed about yesterday, but it is clear that the President puts at risk again the diplomatic relations between France and Spain, because of the massive regularization which affected all Europe because of its awful “calling” effect.

Look here, I do not know who is responsible for this misunterstanding. But if he is not a total idiot -and I don’t think he is, he is just convinced he is going to save Spain from fascism (¡!), yeah I know…-, he knows he was stupid enough to let a lot of immigrants without any kind of control (not even medical, and there are illnesses which did not existed in Spain, which have appeared afterwards). Border control is not a characteristic of being a fascist, it’s just a consequence of common sense. Does Spain need immigrants? I really don’t know, but it’s possible. But what is certain is that we need some kind of immigrants, not every immigrant in the world. Ergo, select them according to the needs here and their qualifications -if we need truck drivers and the people who come are cookers, they are going to be jobless… with all the dangers that implies-. So, please, stop blaming others for your own bad policies’ results, move your ass and begin working on something more profitable than in denying what it’s clear as clean water: it was a HUGE ERROR.

[A friend of mine told me: With all my heart aching, I have to acknowledge that I trust more Fillon than Zapatero… Ejem].

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Christianity’s greatest menace:

Christians around the world suffer daily because of their faith, and it seems the persecution is intensifying.

CBN News looks at the top two offenders– North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Countries that persecute Christians usually fall into two camps: those with communist governments and those where Islam as the dominant religion.

That is: where there is no freedom, no respect for Human Rights…

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Looks like that Chávez has bought both the military and the Majors from… Evo’s paradise:

One of the accomplices of Hugo Chávez, the head of one ghost Ministry of all that Venezuela has nowadays, has stated to Venezuelan press that Hugo Chávez’s regime has given $6 millions to pay Bolivian military. Meanwhile, the sheepy Bolivian President, Evo Morales, has been photograpphed while giving money checks to Bolivian majors who are Venezuelan friends. The shameless says: “Chávez gave me the money to give it away“.

They do not refer to woodcutters. I wonder if this has something to do with it h/t Kate. 😈

But Chávez wants also to infiltrate himself in other weak South-American democracies, like Ecuador or Paraguay. In the latter, the so-called “Yearly operative Planning of the Foreign Relations Ministry of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” (wow, what a name 😯 ), reveals that he wants to give “Bolivarian indoctrination” to Armed Forces, energetic firms, students and peasants; even it speaks of the recruitment of young doctors from rural areas.

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USA and Europe: Another terrorist attack inevitable. h/t Extreme Centre: Newsweek interviews Redd, Head of the US National counterterrorism center. An excerpt:

Tell us about the threat that emerged earlier this year.
We’ve got this intelligence threat; we’re pretty certain we know what’s going on. We don’t have all the tactical details about it, [but] in some ways it’s not unlike the U.K. aviation threat last year. So we know there is a threat out there. The question is what do we do about it? And the response was, we stood up an interagency task force under NCTC leadership. So you have all the players you would expect: FBI, CIA, DHS, DIA, DoD, the operators—the military side comes into that—participating in an integrated plan, but integrated in a much more granular and tactical way than we’ve ever done before. This is my 40th year in government service, 36 in uniform and almost four as a civilian. This is revolutionary stuff, and it is affecting the way we do business.

Earlier this summer, there was talk that people were picking up chatter that reminded them of the summer before 9/11. The Germans basically said this is like pre-9/11. They said, “We are very worried.” What do you make of this?
We have very strong indicators that Al Qaeda is planning to attack the West and is likely to [try to] attack, and we are pretty sure about that. We know some of the precursors from—

Attack Europe?
Well, they would like to come West, and they would like to come as far West as they can
. What we don’t know is…if it’s going to be Mark Hosenball, and he’s coming in on Flight 727 out of Karachi, he’s stopping in Frankfurt, and he’s coming on through with his European Union passport, and he’s coming into New York, and he’s going to do something. I mean, we don’t have that kind of tactical detail. What we do have, though, is a couple of threads that indicate, you know, some very tactical stuff, and that’s what—you know, that’s what you’re seeing bits and pieces of, and I really can’t go much more into it.

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Yesterday I wrote about Abdulah Gül’s being named new Turkish President. Today I read dissapointing news from French PM Sarkozy:

If this essential inquiry on the future of our Union is undertaken by the 27 member nations, France will not oppose the negotiations between the EU and Turkey that are to take place in the months and years to come,” said the French president addressing the 15th Conference of Ambassadors.
These new discussions must, he stressed, “be compatible with the two visions of future relations between Europe and Turkey, i.e., membership in the EU, or as close an association as possible.”

French blogger Tiberge writes commenting this:

It isn’t clear what Nicolas Sarkozy means by a “close association”, but it is clear that he accepts Turkey as much more than a trading partner or a tourist attraction. A close association implies an alliance, with attendant loyalties and military implications.

With Islamist Gül in the Presidency? Uuuuuuuuuuuyyyyyyyyy, Sarko….

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More about Greek fires: from NYT:

“Up the hill, workers were preparing the grave for Athanasia Karta-Paraskevopoulou, a 35-year-old teacher, and the four children she shielded as the flames closed in on them: Angeliki, 15; Maria, 12; Anastassia, about 10; and Constantinos, 5. They had been on vacation from Athens”.

Requiescat in Pace. She was brave enough and she died to protect these children, while they were waiting for rescue. Unluckily, it ended in a very sad way.

And it is more worrying as:

The danger had by no means passed. In the village of Grillos, just over a ridge from here on the western peninsula, a couple who own a restaurant watched in tears as flames advanced from three directions while fire trucks spewed water in the flames’ path.

“All we need is one of those,” said one owner, Iannis Drakopoulos, 72, as a Russian plane carrying an industrial-sized water bucket passed. “If he dropped it here, it would all have been fine.”

In Artemida and here in Makistos, the flames were already out, and Monday was instead a day for tallying the damage and preparing to bury the dead.

[…] The descriptions from people who saw it were the same: flames moving at an unimaginable rate and no one apart from the police to help.

[…] The fire reportedly came over a ridge first to Makistos, a village of 60 homes. Antonios Kokkaliaris, 80, a farmer, said he had been reading his newspaper, underlining parts he liked, when he heard the bell in St. John’s church ring. “I went out and I saw the flames before me and people running,” he said. He could not leave, he said, because his wife, Koula, 82, is severely disabled. “I told her, ‘Stay put, we’re going to fight this out.’ I grabbed onto the hose and I started dousing left, right and center.”

The town emptied, with only him, a herdsman and Mr. Dimopoulos with his wine staying behind. Mr. Kokkaliaris managed to douse his home, and two next door, well enough that the fires howled past, leaving his house intact.

But when it was over, he did not feel relief.

“I was disappointed, honestly,” he said, “because not only was there no one to help me, there was no one in sight. ‘Am I just standing here alone? What happened to all my townspeople? What is the purpose of life if I am all alone?’ ”

I can only say: 😯 A brave old man.

But we continue:

The region normally produces 10,000 tons of oil, but nearly all the olive trees are now destroyed, along with countless livelihoods. Charred donkeys and chickens litter ruined farms.

This village is literally wiped out,” Ms. Bammi said. “It’s not just those who have been killed. Those who are left have no fields to work in, no olive trees. They have nothing to look forward to.”

It is already a tragedy. And if finally it’s proved they did that with mobile phones, well, the punishment for these bastards must be … great.

More from the Astute Bloggers:

DAY 4 of deadly fires: Fires rage in Greece as SEVEN PEOPLE CHARGED WITH ARSON.
They remain nameless. Why? Those depraved savages set a country on fire, the public deserves to know no matter who it is. I have searched all news sources. Any Atlas readers have a clue?

Well, can it be because they can be charged with terrorism? I really don’t know. Seems strange to me too.

(+) If you want to read a magnificent post about the political consequences of the Greek fires, just go over to Cassandra’s blog.

The other usual suspects in the EU are exploiting the crisis to call for more integrated emergency cooperation, in other words: continued deepening of federal structures. Strangely, among the first countries to send fire-fighters and airplanes were Israel and Switzerland; both countries aren’t EU members.

The press from hell continues: “‘The village of Artimeta in the Peloponnese has become known as the ‘crematorium’, says the BBC’s Malcolm Brabant who is in the village near the town of Olympia.” I have serious doubts about this piece of atheist cynicism! Considering the fact that Greece is 96% Orthodox, a Christian denomination prescribing interment, I ‘d be surpised if most Greeks even know what a crematorium is, as the first is still to be build; it’s highly unlikely that local Greeks would describe a much loved village in such terms!

😯

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Chaim writes that “More than 5000 Kassam rockets have been fired at Israeli targets from the Gaza Strip which Israel abandoned to the PLO two years ago, the Sharon government brutally throwing thousands of Jews out of their homes“. Very critical of Olmert as ever:

Israel’s government, as any other government, has an obligation to defend its people. As long as Ehud Allmerde and his cohorts are running at the top they are going to do little more than a few symbolic gestures to make it look like they are defending Israelis. Rather, they seem obsessed with appeasement. Obsessed with a policy that invariably has failed miserably time and again. They seem intent on giving everything up to the terrorists, little realizing that the more they give, the less they get and the more is demanded!

Olmert spoke on Tuesday 28th with Mahmoud Abbas to “agree on measures against terrorism“. As I linked yesterday, this policy is not going to bring them any good.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders are building themselves shelters to protect them in case of attack. Everyday’s tale…

Also, on related news, the Israeli government’s tourism ministry has reached an agreement to cooperate with the Vatican’s new charter-flight service for pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the Ynetnews agency has reported.

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And now for the thinking post of the day. Pastorius has written it -the scene of Patton is priceless-:

[…] you have to ask yourselves, do you want a world which is ruled by men, or by women?
Hmm???
Obviously, rationality is not arbitrated by force.

Read it all. It’s worth it. (Chauvinist males: this post is not very recommended for you 😈 ).

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Hmm, these are the kind of news that make me vomit. How on earth people can be sooooo brute???? I’m going to name this kind of news “World’s going nuts” 😡

A security video from an apartment hallway shows at least 10 witnesses ignored a woman’s cries for help for more than an hour as a man beat and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors in Minnesota said.

The surveillance video clearly showed men and women looking out their apartment doors or starting to walk down the hallway before retreating as the woman was assaulted for nearly 90 minutes, police spokesman Tom Walsh said.

Police said they responded to a call of drunken behavior and found Somali immigrant Rage Ibrahim, 25, and a woman lying unconscious in the hallway early Tuesday. The woman’s clothing had been pulled up and she had fresh scratches on her face and blood on her thigh, according to the criminal complaint.

Click here to visit FOXNews.com’s Crime Center.

Ibrahim says he is innocent and that the incident was a misunderstanding, according to Omar Jamal, the executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, who spoke on Ibrahim’s behalf.

FOXNews.com – Cops: Tape Shows at Least 10 Witnesses Ignoring Minnesota Woman’s Cries for Help During Sexual Assault – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

Ibrahim says he is innocent and that the incident was a misunderstanding“. Yeah, right. And I believe that.

More about this here: It should be noted that this Jamal slug was convicted of lying to immigration officials and should have already been deported. Law was not fulfilled and a woman was attacked. The every-day’s tale… 😡

And father of 7-Year-Old Boy accused of biting Son’s Toes. He bited his son “hard enough to cause deep bruising and crack his toenails“. My goodness, the world is going nuts… 😡

From Life Site.Net:

A peaceful pro-life witness was violently assaulted outside an abortion site on Tuesday. Police responded late to his 911 after he was beaten by an unknown visitor to the clinic.
Early on Tuesday morning August 21, three Rockford pro-lifers-Ken Plez, Pat Brady and Kevin Rilott-were praying quietly in front of the Northern Illinois Women’s Center (abortuary) for an end to abortion. A large white truck pulled into the clinic parking lot, and without setting foot on the clinic property, Rilott approached and tried to talk to the people inside.
In a detailed account of the event Rilott described how the pro-choice man got out of his truck and approached him, saying, “You shouldn’t be here, you’re upsetting my wife.” He then began to hit Rilott in the chest, ribs, and stomach. Rilott did not strike back at the man, but managed to call 911. As he was being beaten, he begged for immediate police assistance.
He told his pro-abortion attacker that the police were on the way, but the man said he didn’t care. The assaulter also said that “after he bonded out” he would come back and get him. After breaking Rilott’s sign, the man then went into the abortion clinic.

In India, sex-selective abortions are rocketing. The reason?

A large portion of the Indian population believes that male children enable families to survive and ensure that their parents will be taken care of. Female children are considered a burden for whom parents will have to shell out expensive dowries, which leads many to elect to abort them.

On the other hand, a 2001 census revealed that there were 927 girls for every 1000 boys among children younger than age 7, as opposed to 945 in 1991. Last month, police discovered thirty bags full of aborted and newborn babies in a well near a clinic in eastern India.

Meanwhile, a huge explosion in India has killed at least 44 people. According to CNN, “militants” were responsible for it:

“These are things that will not be openly discussed … we can comment when the investigation is complete,” Home Secretary Shivraj Patil said at a news conference in Hyderabad.

In earlier news conferences, local officials placed the blame squarely on Islamic militants.

Available information points to Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups being behind the blasts,” Y.S.R. Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state told reporters. The minister earlier said “this is definitely terrorist activity,” and urged everyone to stay calm.

_____________________________________________________

Moroccan Islamists support pragmatism (well they are going to present themselves to the elections, so it’s better for them to seem moderate. Link in Spanish):

The Party of Justice and Development (PJD), the main Islamist party in the oposition, is going to present a program in which the daily worries of the voters will be the first objective instead of religion in the campaign for the parliamentary elections of September 7th, according to its leader.

Experts consider it’s possible the party will obtain more MPs and could be the main group in an election where more than 30 parties will concur to.

Observers see the result as a measure of the level of disillusion with the liberal and laic elites who have been in charge in Morocco for the last 50 years.

The Parliament only has limited powers in the North African country, where the King Mohammed VIth, controlls all the main sectors from the Army to the religious affairs, and can name the Prime Minister and “veto” laws.

Some analysts say that in any case the elections will help to revitalise some aspects of the body of the governing elite.

“Our agenda is inspired without doubt in our Islamic surrounding, but in an Islamic surrounding linked to the voters’ needs”, told Reuters the PJD’s leader, Abdelilah Benkiran.

[…] “Frankly, the citizens won’t vote for us if we go to the elections to impose the veil on women, the bears on men and to all the people to make them go to the mosque”, he added.

Just let them take power. After four or five years, we speak about this.

About children abuse: Kids forced into domestic servitude in Haiti:

Evans Antoine wakes at 7 a.m. and dusts himself off from his night on the floor. While other children in his middle-class neighborhood overlooking the Haitian capital head to school, the 15-year-old puts on toeless sneakers and gets to work washing dishes, scrubbing floors and running errands at the market. He also works in the yard and sometimes wields a scythe in the family’s fields.

There is little reward for his toil, except for food and a roof over his head. And often, the quality of his work isn’t good enough; his caretakers sometimes hit him with a switch or slap him on the back of the scalp. Once they tied his hands and put a bag over his head before beating him with a stick.

This has been his life for the past three years.

Read it all. Specially interesting is this paragraph: “Haiti revolted against French colonial rule and became the first “black republic” in 1804. With newly emancipated slaves in power, it also became the first nation to outlaw slavery. Dependent on coffee and sugar, however, Haiti kept the plantation system after the revolution, requiring “mandatory labor” of many citizens. The masters were no longer white, but working conditions improved only marginally“.

The proof that changes sometimes don’t change anything really. Just another people step on charge.

More news from Iran: as ever not very promising:

Iran vowed Sunday to use a new 2,000-pound “smart” bomb against its enemies and unveiled mass production of the new weapon, state television reported.

The government first announced development of the long-range guided bomb Thursday, saying it could be deployed by the country’s aging U.S.-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets.

“We will use these (bombs) against our enemies when the time comes,” Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said on state television Sunday.

Iran often announces new weapons for its arsenal, but the United States maintains that while the Islamic Republic has made some strides, many of these statements are exaggerations.

In China they continue with their magnificent view of Human Rights:

A prominent bishop of the underground Catholic Church in China was arrested on August 23, apparently to prevent him from distributing the Pope’s message to the Church in China.

Bishop Jia Zhiguo of the Zheng Ding diocese was taken into custody on Thursday morning, the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation reports.

The bishop’s arrest came after several days of tight surveillance in his residence. The Cardinal Kung Foundation reports that visitors to the bishop’s home were held and interrogated by police before being released.

But religious persecution does not only exist in China. In Uzbekistan:

When seven police officers with a video camera raided his home on Sunday morning, 29 July, Nikolai Zulfikarov was away. But this did not stop prosecutors launching a criminal case to punish him for “illegally” organizing a religious community, with a possible sentence of five years’ imprisonment. The small Baptist congregation that meets in his home in the eastern Namangan Region refuses on principle to apply for state registration. One local Baptist told Forum 18 News Service that prosecutors wanted to sentence Zulfikarov immediately, but now there is “total silence”. He added that “it is not clear if this means they will abandon the attempt or if they are moving stealthily behind the scenes”.

More worrying news for Musharraf:

Another defeat for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan’s Supreme Court has narrowed the options for the U.S.-allied military leader as he seeks to extend his rule.

Thursday’s ruling that his arch rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf ousted in a 1999 coup, can return from exile leaves the general vulnerable at home and abroad ahead of crucial elections.

Talks with another ex-prime minister on a pact that would keep Musharraf in office are proving tough. And U.S. impatience with his failure to eliminate Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds near the Afghan border is growing.

Driven by a clamor for the restoration of democracy, the military-led government has responded with calls for national reconciliation.

But Musharraf “is hardly talking from a position of strength,” the Dawn newspaper said in a weekend editorial. Talks with his opponents “must have a one-point agenda: a truly free and fair general election.”

In Brussels they are forbidding Sept 11th’s demonstration against Islamic terrorism, and yet they are letting a Pro-Hizbullah group’s demonstration:

The Arab-European League (AEL), a pro-Hezbollah organization of Arab immigrants in Belgium and the Netherlands, is rallying its members to march in Brussels on 11 September “against Islamophobia and racism in Europe.” The AEL demonstration is a response to the request by the Danish-British-German organization Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) for permission to demonstrate on 9/11 in front of the European Union’s buildings in Brussels against the introduction of Sharia laws in Europe.

Two weeks ago the SIOE demonstration was banned by Freddy Thielemans, the mayor of Brussels. According to Mr Thielemans the SIOE demonstration is a criminal offence because it “incite[s] to discrimination and hatred, which we usually call racism and xenophobia. [This] is forbidden by a considerable number of international treaties and is punished by our penal laws and by the European legislation.”

Of course, Hizbullah’s members are peaceful, respectful of other people’s lifes and caring. As I said, the world’s going nuts…

Hillary Clinton’s remarks about terrorism are just very similar to the ones made by James Clayburn about Iraq:

“There are circumstances beyond our control, and I think I am better able to handle things I have no control over,” she said. “It’s a horrible prospect to ask yourself ‘What if? What if?’ But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world,” she said. “So I think I’m the best of the Democrats to deal with that as well.”

Nigeria: From Gateway Pundit: Angry Muslim Mob Storms Prison to Lynch Homosexuals. A prison guard has been injured. Will all the Gay Pride’s organisers say something about this? Eehh, no, that’s only said if they are Christian and preferably Catholics the ones who critisize the right to marry. That is an offense grade A. But if fundamentalist Muslims do it, ehh, welll, then it’s only an offense grade Z, at the most…

More about HuT and the Global Caliphate: Hyscience. And it’s not the only group claiming for it: specially in Internet, this kind of ideas are proliferating.

Ten people arrested in Russia over Politovskaya’s death.

70% of Iraqi suicide terrorists are Saudis. And Iraqis protest about this:

More photos on the link.

And now for some Catholic news:

Pope Benedict XVI explains last Sunday’s Gospel:

The way to eternal life is narrow because it is demanding, requires commitment and denial of one’s own selfishness, Pope Benedict XVI said today in his Sunday angelus address. He was referring to today’s Gospel in which Jesus calls on his followers to strive to enter the “‘narrow gate’ to eternal life, because many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able”.

“What does the ‘narrow gate’ mean?”, the Pope asked pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. “Why do many not succeed in entering through it? Is the way reserved for just a few elect?”

The Pope said it is often a trap and a temptation to interpret this passage as a reference to religious practice as a source of privilege or security. But in reality, “the message of Christ is actually quite the opposite”, the Pope explained. “All can enter eternal life, but for everyone, the door is narrow. They are not privileged. The path to the eternal life is open to all, but it is narrow because it’s demanding, asks for commitment, abnegation, and the mortification of selfishness”.

As a result of the stress and lack of tranquility of modern life:

More and more Italians, tired from the routine and noise of the city, are opting to spend their vacations in monasteries and convents that offer them a time of reflection and contact with nature.

Many religious communities—even cloistered convents–have opened their doors to young people and families to join in their daily life of prayer and activities, as well as to listen to their concerns and provide them spiritual guidance.

I think I’m going to book a holiday like that… when I have time for it! 😆

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A one-legged Emirati father of 78 is lining up his next two wives in a bid to reach his target of 100 children by 2015, Emirates Today reported on Monday. Daad Mohammed Murad Abdul Rahman, 60, has already had 15 brides although he has to divorce them as he goes along to remain within the legal limit of four wives at a time. “In 2015 I will be 68 years old and will have 100 children,” the local tabloid quoted Abdul Rahman as saying. “After that I will stop marrying. I have to have at least three more marriages to hit the century.

UAE father of 78 eyes new brides for century target | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com

Just take care: heart attacks at this age are normal! 😈

Remember the London and Glasgow plots? Well:

An Australian court has overturned a government decision to revoke the visa of an Indian doctor who was accused, but later cleared, of involvement in the failed car bomb attacks on London and Glasgow.

The court’s decision was a bitter blow for the federal government, which has been criticised by civil rights groups and lawyers for its bungled arrest and subsequent release of Dr Mohamed Haneef in July.

I wrote about Lina Joy some months ago and her conversion to Christianity in Muslim Malaysia. Well:

Malaysia’s highest civil court has dismissed a Muslim woman’s appeal to be officially recognized as having converted to Christianity. In a defining decision for the multi-religious society, the court ruled against Lina Joy’s appeal to have her new faith reflected on her identity card, a move rights groups called a “backward step” for Malaysia.

The UK Government has announced that he will monitor blogs (h/t EURSOC) and has blocked “almost one third of British military exports to Israel this year, citing possible threats to regional stability and fears the equipment might facilitate human rights violations”. “, because, as we all know, only Israel commits Human Rights violations . Some people has united to ask UK Government that the British Army protect the endangered species throughout the world (h/t Croydonian). The problem that they don’t solve is how they are going to do that.

From Semanal Digital:

According to a poll published by Financial Times, 32% of Spanish people are afraid of a new indiscriminated terrorist attack in the next months. A greater fear than in other countries such as USA, the most menaced country in the world, where the oercentage reduces to 30%. The most fearful are the British, with a 52% conisdering it as a real possibility.

[…] The poll, that the newspaper makes to obtain the perception Western societies have about Muslims, also reveals that a 23% of Spanish people sees as a menace for national security the presence of Muslims in their country.
A percentage that rises in the cases of United Kingdom, where 37% of the citizens agrees with that; Italy, 30% or Germany, with a 28%. But in France (20%) and, curiously, United States (21%) they don’t identify easily Muslim with terrorist.
But for nearly 35% of Spanish people Muslims are subject of unjustified prejudices, not as higher as in France (more than half of the population has prejudices against them); Italy (48%), USA (47%) and Uniter Kingdom (39%).

More about Islamic terrorism:

The last incident with Islamic terrorism – the kidnapping of an airplane in Turkey with a happy ending- shows again the turbulent hostility and warmongering of the Islamic fundamentalism upon the West. The presence, rising and penetration of Islam in Western countries has grown to be a real truth, as sustains Pedro Martínez Montávez in El reto del Islam (The challenge 0f Islam), but in a undesirable political and religious acting that pretends to be, at the same time, the coactive incrporation of a whole civilization

In El escándalo del Islam (The scandal of Islam), José María Gironella says that the Islam has reborn in the last third of the XXth century with a character that we can consider of defiance and insecurity. The Empire of Islam, instead of decreasing, “has reborn with a fervour that experts consider as worrying” [no, it is not worrying, it’s simply the result of not fulfilling the Law as it should be. And we only will take that into account when it will be too late and the solutions to adopt to cure the problem will be tood drastic and not very agreeable…].

Russian journalist Larisa Arap, that belongs also to the United Civil Front, whose leader is the ex-world chess champion Kasparov, and who had been committed to a psychiatric hospital because of denouncing a case of children sexual abuse, has been freed.

Carina Mejías, PP speaker in the Catalan Parliament:

Q: Will you speak Castillian (Spanish…) as speaker in Parliament?

A: I have always done it. I speak in Catalan or Castillian considering the person I speak to and I will never change that.

Q: About this subject, you sustain that there is no freedom in Catalonia. Why?
Q: In Catalonia there is no freedom because you can’t choose the language your sons are educated in and the language you use in the publicity of your shop. If there are sanctions, there is no freedom. There is an absolute interventionism in the subject of the language.

Paolo informs that there are going to be elections also in Greece with a very little margin between right and left.

Politique arabe de la France denounces that there have been 118 executions only in a month in Iran.

A massacre like this, that we have denounced in this columns, can’t but reinforce out idea of a fascist nature of the regime in particular and of the Islamist movement in general. The fool people of Libé and Nouvel Obs can’t be happy about this, but the truth is what it is: ignoring this nature, the Western progressives aren’t doing but reinforcing the alienation of the Arab and Muslim masses and the inhibition of all hope for democrats in these propulations. The result is before our eyes: the election does not exist but between nationalism and islamism. It does not exist any democratic  alternative which can be deemed as really democratic.

And if we continue like that, there are not going to be much more alternatives in Europe…

Good news from Iran:

A leading Iranian-American academic jailed in May during a visit to Tehran has told Iranian TV she is “very happy” after being freed on bail.

Haleh Esfandiari, 67, who is accused of spying, was released for a bail of 3bn rial ($320,000; £160,000), the official state news agency Isna reported.

Ms Esfandiari, who works for a research institute in Washington, was jailed while visiting her 93-year-old mother.

Iranian media accused her of spying for the US and Israel.

The BBC’s Pam O’Toole says the Iranian authorities appear highly suspicious of attempts by the Bush administration to promote democratic change in Iran.

From the country where the Olympic Games will be held:

 A Woman’s Breasts Disfigured and Infected from Severe Electric Shock Torture in Masanjia Labor Camp– shocked me, even though I knew how brutal the torture is happening in China labor camp, I can not imagine this kind of inhuman crime can happening in today’s modern world!

Warning: It is recommended that children and those with delicate sensitivities refrain from viewing these photos. Photo 1 , Photo 2

Here’s the excerpt of the story:

“At first, they kept Ms. Wang in isolation. Two collaborators monitored her. She was denied sleep and forced to stand still in the corner of the room. The next day, she had to sit on a chair with her hands tied behind her back to the back of the chair. At night, they had her wear a motorcycle helmet.

“The guards kept chopsticks and a basin of cold water ready to use, and whenever Ms. Wang closed her eyes, they poured water over her and hit the helmet hard with the chopsticks. “Two guards from Benxi, holding electric batons, shouted, “We will see who is tougher!” The two men tore Ms. Wang’s shirt open and shocked her breasts with two electric batons for 30 minutes.

“Afterwards, they made her stand still for the entire night. The next morning, guard Guo Tieying asked Ms. Wang nastily whom she would follow. Ms. Wang replied, “I will follow the teachings of Falun Gong.”

“Guo Tieying immediately brought in two guards and several collaborators to torture her. They tore a bed sheet into strips and tied her legs in a cross-legged position (with legs double-crossed, as in the ‘full lotus’ position). Next they handcuffed her arms behind her back and tied her upper body to her legs, making Ms. Wang look like a ball. Then they suspended her in the air by the handcuffs, with her hands still behind her back. “She suffered excruciating pain from this torture for seven hours.

It does not shock me that the Chinese peasants ask for more Human Rights instead of having the Olympic Games.

From Catholic World News: Pakistani Christians joined with Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religious groups in an August 11 demonstration in Lahore, demanding equal rights for minority groups, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports.

Two young Christian girls in Pakistan were recently kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married to strangers, the AsiaNews service report. Respecting women’s freedom… smile_baringteeth

Burma’s Junta continues to target opposition members.

Five North Koreans have entered the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam, apparently seeking asylum in South Korea, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

Comical news of the day:

There are rules of shari’a in everything. We have counted almost 70 rules about how to urinate and defecate. In contrast, how do those beasts in the West answer the call of nature? They stand in front of other people, in toilets at airports and other public places. They do not care about covering their private parts. Even their underwear is colored and not white, so it can conceal all that filth. We are a nation that has long known the meaning of cleanliness, what to do when nature calls, and what the rules of hygiene are. The others, to this day, live like beasts. To this day, many of them are not circumcised, even though the World Health Organization has advised to circumcise people as a treatment for AIDS, because it has been scientifically proven that circumcised people are less susceptible to AIDS, and are less likely to spread it than uncircumcised people.

Idiot news of the week (at least):

From France: French pedophile, given viagra in prison, rapes 5 year old boy upon release! The doctor who prescribed the viagra said he did not know why he was in prison, although A psychiatrist who examined him for the court hearing in 2004 said that he had a “homosexual paedophile perversion causing a danger of a crime”. The psychiatrist added that Evrard was “barely readaptable”. My comment: how on earth this man was released? AND how on earth a prison doctor prescribes something without considering the medical and delictive history of the imprisoned guy? So Sarkozy (even if he does not act trully well in other things) has announced that a new law will make recidivists choose between chemical castration or life imprisonment. I think it would be a good measure.

In Spain, the Spanish Director of Prisons, applying the Equality Law, has obliged female guards of prisons to serve in wings where there are men condemned for sexual crimes. In the Prison of Puerto III (Puerto de Santa María – Cádiz), a woman had to attend a wing alone with 90 of these “guys”, throughout a whole day, while a man guard was in wing where there are no imprisoned guys! The woman has presented a complaint because she was sexually harrased. [My comment: I am the first who asks for equality but this Law was an error since it was considered. It is a law that obliges Firms’ Board of Directors to have the same amount of woman that of men, so they are going to be changed on next two years. Results? Women on Boards of Directors are going to be considered as idiots with no personal quailifications to be there, but their own sex.

There is other thing though. In a country so chauvinistic in  a lot of respects as Spain is, this is the kind of law that will continue that topic. I mean, men -and some women 👿 – would think “if a woman must be helped to reach certain rates, isn’t it a proof of their inferiority or at least, of their real place is at home, cleaning and sweeping the floor?” Just let everyone, whatever their sex, religion, cultural and social origins, etc. develop by themselves, giving them the means to reach their top and things would be better, not perfect, but at least, better].

I update the post, because there something to say. US friend John Lyllea from This ain’t hell, has written an introduction to our new group Liberty Alliance. Mike and I were going to speak about how to introduce the group one of this days, but as he has done it, just go over and read it. This is not the official launching of the group, though. When we launch it, we will announce it, and the collaboration between all the blogs which have accepted the challenge will begin.

Thanks for the compliments, John, but I’m sure my readers will also learn a lot from you.

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Christian Science Monitor has run two very important reports on China and its relationship with Sudan, something I had written about in the past:

In Sudan, China focuses on oil wells, not local needs.

Sudan’s oil production averages 536,000 barrels a day, according to estimates by the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Other estimates say it is closer to 750,000 barrels a day. And there is an estimated 5 billion-barrel reservoir of oil beneath Sudan’s 1 million-square-mile surface, almost all of it in the south of the country, an area inhabited mainly by Christian and animist black Africans who fought a 21-year civil war against the Arab-dominated Muslim government of the north.

The vast majority of this oil, 64 percent, is sold to China, now the world’s second-largest consumer of oil. And while neither Khartoum, China, nor Petrodar release any statistics – this is generally believed to be an oil deal worth at least $2 billion a year.

China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is the majority shareholder in both Petrodar and the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, two of the biggest oil consortiums in Sudan.

CNPC has invested billions in oil-related infrastructure here in Paloich, including the 900-mile pipeline from the Paloich oil fields to the tanker terminal at Port Sudan on the Red Sea, a tarmac road leading to Khartoum, and a new airport with connecting flights to Beijing.

But they have not invested in much else here.

Locals live in meager huts, eating peanuts with perch fished out of the contaminated Nile. There is no electricity. A Swiss charity provides healthcare. An American aid group flies in food and mosquito nets. Most children do not go to school. There is no work to be found. Petrodar, for one, has its own workers – almost all of whom are foreigners (mostly Chinese, Malaysians, and Qataris) or Sudanese northerners. The consortium hires Paloich residents only rarely, for menial jobs.

h/t Desde el Exilio.

And remember the Sudanese genocide in Darfur? Well, err:

How China’s support of Sudan shields a regime called ‘genocidal’

Mercenaries are scooping up contracts here. Arms dealers are flying in and out on the daily flight from Nairobi, Kenya. And the rebels, theoretically out of work, are training full time on the dunes around Juba, South Sudan’s self-proclaimed capital.

Up north, in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, weapons arsenals are filling up, talk is tough, and clear signals are being sent out that the resource-rich south will never be allowed to be independent.

(Map)

More than two years after the north-south peace agreement, and four years before the expected southern referendum on secession – it’s a matter of time, say observers, before the fragile calm blows up, reigniting the 21-year civil war that left 1.5 million dead.

It’s a lull in which both sides are regrouping for the new war,” says a Canadian UN military observer stationed in South Sudan, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Darfur crisis that has killed more than 200,000 and displaced more than 2.5 million in western Sudan continues to rage unabated, helping Sudan earn the top spot on Foreign Policy magazine’s “Failed State Index” for the second year in a row.

The Chinese are as much to blame for this situation as anyone, say critics, and not so much because of their economic policies but because of political ones.

Beijing has “a vested interest in the continuation of a low level of insecurity. It keeps the other major investors out,” charges the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) in a report. The report argues that China welcomes the absence of real peace in Sudan as enhancing its business opportunities, whatever the cost to southern Sudanese civilians: “There is [on the part of the Chinese] an almost total disregard for the human rights implications of their investments.”

This is unacceptable to leaders of the semiautonomous south who say they won’t sit idly by while revenue from Chinese drilling in their oil fields goes mostly to the Arab-dominated government in the north.

“This peace is ugly,” says Daniel Deng Moyndit, a former rebel who now chairs the Government of South Sudan’s parliamentary security committee. “They [Khartoum government officials] are not serious … and any state is entitled to defense in anticipation of aggression.”

Despite this, China doesn’t want another government in charge,” adds a Khartoum-based humanitarian aid worker, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They’re used to dealing with this government.”

While pockets of South Sudan are seeing some economic benefits from the shaky peace, the region in general is shortchanged. The main sore point has to do with years of underdevelopment and a perception that oil revenues are not being shared fairly.

Under the peace deal between north and south, oil profits are to be shared: 50 percent to the south, 48 percent to the north, and 2 to the specific oil-producing areas. But many in South Sudan say this agreement is not being implemented fairly.

Read both. They are very important.

And while this happens, our King and Queen do not suspend their visit to China to pay respects to the fallen because they are “strenghening ties with the Asian giant“.smile_baringteeth

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estatua de BUDA tibetano demolida por China.jpg After destroying a Buda in Tibet (right), now Chinese authorities want to dynamite revered Catholic shrine

Government officials in China’s Henan province have called for the destruction of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Carmel, the AsiaNews service reports. A government decree has ruled that the Marian sanctuary, and the pilgrimages that have brought over 40,000 pilgrims there annually, are evidence of “illegal religious activity.”

The Henan government plans to raze the sanctuary, bar pilgrimages to the site, and destroy the celebrated statue of Our Lady of Carmel that is revered by Catholics there. To discourage faithful Catholics from organizing sit-ins on the site to protect the shrine, authorities have scheduled military exercises in the area.

The sanctuary was built in the first years the 20th century, has been revered by Chinese Catholics for 100 years. It was nearly destroyed during World War II, rebuilt, then ravaged again by the Red Guard movement of the 1960s. Nevertheless the shrine continues to draw Catholic pilgrims.

Catholic World News : Chinese authorities plan destruction of revered Marian shrine

Last news about China:

China’s changing nuclear posture.

Chinese villagers riot over stricter population-control.

China plans new rockets.

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Daimnation!: The root cause of the violence in Darfur

According to the new UN Secretary, it’s all about global warming [excerpts out of sequence]:Two decades ago, the rains in southern Sudan began to fail. According to U.N. statistics, average precipitation has declined some 40 percent since the early 1980s. Scientists at first considered this to be an unfortunate quirk of nature. But subsequent investigation found that it coincided with a rise in temperatures of the Indian Ocean, disrupting seasonal monsoons. This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming.

It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought. Until then, Arab nomadic herders had lived amicably with settled farmers. A recent Atlantic Monthly article by Stephan Faris describes how black farmers would welcome herders as they crisscrossed the land, grazing their camels and sharing wells. But once the rains stopped, farmers fenced their land for fear it would be ruined by the passing herds. For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out. By 2003, it evolved into the full-fledged tragedy we witness today…

At this point, nothing surprises me about this man at all. But Darfur conflict is mainly an ethnic and religious conflict in which the Government, arming and unleashing the Janjaweed militias, has caused an ethnic and religious cleasing of, firstly, the non-Muslims (Christians and Animists) and of the Black Muslims, afterwards, when the first ones were virtually exterminated. Of course, the huge sea of oil under Darfurian soil has also have something to do with it, specially for China, who is aggresively exploiting it. Hmm, no more blood for petrol!! Eeh, no, it’s China, all for the people…

But of course, for Ban Ki-Moon, the most important reason of all, is the climate change induced, to some extent, by man. Of course, the extent of this man’s influence is not even measured…

Alex de Waal is one of the most important experts on the Horn of Africa: Chasing Ghosts: Alex de Waal on the rise and fall of militant Islam in the Horn of Africa (2005):

Khartoum had been saved from certain military defeat when its adversaries fell out among themselves. In May 1998, Eritrea and Ethiopia went to war over their disputed border, and a couple of months later Ugandan and Rwandan troops fought each other in the occupied Congolese city of Kisangani. As the attempt to found an Islamic state was running into the sand, so was the rival left-wing project of revolutionary militarism. The guerrillas-turned-governments in the four ‘frontline states’ were, like the Sudanese leaders, concerned only with staying in power.

This parallel is more than a neat coincidence. The radical Islamists and their regional enemies shared ideological fervour and organisational discipline. Both believed that enduring problems of state and society could be overcome by revolutionary change; and, as this failed, both reverted to simple power politics. Like other political creeds, jihadist Islamism is shaped by the contours of local politics – and sometimes it vanishes into the landscape.

The demise of grand ideology in the Horn did not mean the end of violence or militancy. Various ideologies have emerged from the ruins of the Islamic state project. Most are regional or tribal. In Darfur and Chad, Arab supremacism took over. Leaders of the infamous Janjawiid militia adhere to the philosophy of Qoreish, according to which the lineal descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and his Qoreish tribe are entitled to rule Muslim lands. This supposedly gives the Arabic-speaking Saharan Bedouin of the Juhayna confederation the right to dominate all the land between the Nile and Lake Chad. While US Special Forces chase a handful of jihadists in the mountains of the central Sahara, they have overlooked this vicious and archaic ideology, which has spread far more havoc just a few miles to the south.

Jihad in Sudan? What Jihad in Sudan? by Robert Spencer – HUMAN EVENTS

For a decade Khartoum has waged what the regime itself calls a jihad against Christians and tribalists in the South. A 1992 fatwa issued by a group of pro-Khartoum Sudanese imams declared: “An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.” This allowed for the murder of Christians and animists in the south; now it has been turned against the Muslims of Darfur, whose Islam doesn’t measure up to Khartoum’s hardline standards. Yet Annan has never acknowledged that what is going on in Sudan is a jihad. And this is just one manifestation of the by-now inescapable fact that the United Nations is damaged beyond repair. The Islamic states maintain an unbreakable solidarity. The only exception to their unwillingness to condemn other Muslim states came when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked Kuwait.Meanwhile, the Europeans and Chinese have oil interests in Sudan that dovetail nicely at the UN with the Islamic bloc’s determination to repel any criticism. France, the most energetic opponent of UN sanctions against the Khartoum regime, is heavily invested in Sudan through its oil giant ElfTotal. 

The emperor has no clothes, but Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and
Oxfam are still paying enthusiastic obeisance. A perusal of each of their websites demonstrates that they criticize the UN only with extreme reluctance and in the most muted tones. In a startling recrudescence of the old “white man’s burden” mentality, they tend to focus more anger at the United States and Western Europe for failing to stop killings than at the murderers themselves. And above all, they won’t describe the conflict as what it really is: a jihad, another example of the crying need for large-scale reform within Islam.

Well, Sarkozy has apparently changed the French ideas in this respect, firstly, calling for a Chinese intervention in the crisis, something very dificult to achieve considering the Chinese practices in Sudan. And secondly, by making Darfur, one of his priorities.

[En español]

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