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Mon, 12 Apr 2021
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Toll in Egypt church attack rises to 10

© The Associated Press
Firemen fight a fire at a church surrounded by angry Muslims in the Imbaba neighborhood in Cairo late Saturday, May 7, 2011. Christians and Muslims fought in the streets of western Cairo in violence triggered by word of a mixed romance, Egypt's official news agency reported.
Mobs set two churches on fire in western Cairo during clashes between Muslims and Christians triggered by rumors of an interfaith romance that left 10 dead in some of the worst sectarian violence since the ouster of the president in a popular uprising.

Egypt's prime minister canceled his visit to the Gulf on Sunday, and called for an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the violence, according to the state news agency.

Saturday night's clashes were sparked by rumors in the low-income neighborhood of Imbaba that a Christian woman married to a Muslim had been abducted and was being held in one of the churches against her will.

The report, which was never confirmed, spurred a mob from the ultraconservative Salafi trend of Islam to march on the Saint Menas Church. Christians barricaded themselves inside and around the church and the demonstrations turned violent. Gunfire sounded across the neighborhood, and witnesses said people on rooftops fired into the crowd.

Muslims accused Christians of starting the shooting, and large crowds instigated by the local Salafi religious leaders converged on the area. They lobbed fire bombs at homes, shops and the church, setting its facade on fire.


Videos released by US show bin Laden in his hideout, watching news coverage of himself on TV

Newly released videos show Osama bin Laden inside his hideout, watching himself on television and rehearsing for terrorist propaganda videos.

The videos, released by U.S. intelligence officials Saturday, were offered as further proof that Navy SEALs killed the world's most wanted terrorist this week. But they also served to show bin Laden as vain, someone obsessed with his portrayal by the world's media.

One of the movies shows bin Laden, wrapped in a brown blanket and holding a remote control, flipping back and forth between clips of himself. The small television was perched on top of a desk with wires running to a nearby cable or control box.

In another, he has apparently dyed and neatly trimmed his beard for the filming of a propaganda video.


A Volcano of Lies

© Peter Souza
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House
Barack Obama, who pledged to restore ethical honor to the White House after the Bush years, is now burying himself under an active volcano of lies, mostly but not exclusively concerning the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

There was scarcely a sentence in the President's Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.

- The White House photograph of Obama, Clinton and top security advisors supposedly watching real-time footage of the Navy Seals' onslaught on the Abbottabad compound, their killing of two men and a woman (excuse for the latter killing: the standard "caught in crossfire") and liquidation of OBL himself turns out to have been a phony. BO and friends could have been watching basketball replays. Panetta has admitted the real-time video link stopped working before the Seals got into the compound.


'Trusted travellers': TSA Looks at Quicker Security Checks for Regular Flyers... Who Won't Have to Take off Their Shoes Anymore

Regular flyers: TSA
© AP
Regular flyers: TSA officials are looking at letting 'trusted travellers' keep on their shoes, leave laptops in bags and avoid body scanners when they fly
It's news that regular travellers fed up with removing their shoes and passing through body scanners when going through airport security have been waiting years to hear.

Officials are looking at letting 'trusted travellers' keep on their shoes, leave laptops in bags and avoid body scanners when they fly from airports in the U.S.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concept would be one of the biggest airport changes since stricter rules were brought in after 9/11

It plans to take data from airline frequent-flyer programmes and give 'trusted travellers' a special status on their boarding pass bar-codes, reported the Wall Street Journal.

But exceptions would include if someone on the plane is on the government's watch-list of suspect terrorists or if the flight is seen as high-risk.


Changing bin Laden stories 'bizarre': Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan
© unknown
Tariq Ramadan
Professor Ramadan of Oxford University says the US killing of Osama bin Laden is being perceived in the Muslim world as a PR exercise.

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Joining us now from Berlin is Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University.

Tariq Ramadan, thanks for being there.


TONY JONES: What was your first reaction to the news that Osama bin Laden had finally been tracked down and killed?

TARIQ RAMADAN: You know, once again, just a week after what happened, I was in New York, and I condemn what happened. I think that this is completely against the Islamic value - and I said it: it's anti-Islamic.

But I wasn't happy. I wouldn't - I will never be happy that we are killing someone. And my first reaction was just simply to think about being - him being arrested and brought to justice. And this is - afterward I heard what the president, Barack Obama, was saying, that they wanted to bring him to justice. And then all these different versions and just very bizarre and weird that we don't get a straightforward version of what happened.

And look at what is happening now in the Muslim majority countries, is that all the people are asking questions. It's very strange and that we drop his body in the sea, against all the Islamic rituals and we are told the Islamic rituals and principles are respected.

At the end of the day, the way it has been done and all these versions and all this political statements that we have gives the impression that it's very much used as a PR exercise, putting the president Barack Obama in a situation where he is strong and he is showing how much he is protecting the country, because he has been criticised on that side by the neo-con and the Tea Party, saying that he's not good for the job in Iraq, in Afghanistan and even for security reason.

On the other side, is not at all helping a clear dialogue with the Muslim majority countries and the perception that the Muslims - it's not really an event in the Muslim majority countries, it's just a random event, it's - you know, the great, great, great majority of the Muslims were not at all following and supporting Osama bin Laden's rhetoric. But the way it's perceived is: it's much more a Western issue.


US: Democrats Blast Brown Over Fake bin Laden Photo

The head of the Bay State's Democratic party is demanding U.S. Sen. Scott Brown reveal who showed him the fake photograph of Osama bin Laden's corpse after the Wrentham Republican went on television bragging that he'd seen the image - and later confessed he'd been duped.

"He needs - right away, today - to provide answers to the following questions: who showed him the fake photo, who told him it was genuine when it wasn't, and what are the procedures he uses to make sure he has reliable information before he gives voters that information," said Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman John Walsh in a statement today.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Brown, said today: "With the Sal DiMasi corruption trial going on, I'm surprised that John Walsh has the time to criticize Republicans."

Brown went on New England Cable News and FOX 25 yesterday and said he'd seen a photo of a dead bin Laden. He later said the photo he had seen wasn't authentic and a staffer said the senator had obtained the photo from a reliable source.


FDA Claims Power to Seize Food Without Evidence of Contamination

© freedomist.com
A few hours ago, the Food and Drug Administration declared it no longer needs credible evidence to seize food that may be contaminated. Ignoring the Fourth Amendment entirely, the FDA claims that based on mere suspicion that a food product has been contaminated or mislabeled, and that serious illness or death will result, it can hold the food for 30 days while it then looks for evidence. It claims this power under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Monsanto, I mean, Obama, signed in January.

On May 4th, the FDA stated:
"Previously, the FDA's ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence that a food product presented was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

"Beginning July, the FDA will be able to detain food products that it has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace. The products will be kept out of the marketplace while the agency determines whether an enforcement action such as seizure or federal injunction against distribution of the product in commerce, is necessary."


Google joins California Do-Not-Track opposition lobby

Opt-in, opt-out bait and switch

Google has become the only browser marker to explicitly join lobbyists opposing a proposed law giving consumers the legal right to keep companies from tracking them online.

The giant has put its name to an alarmist letter signed by 30 other organizations, trade groups and individual companies, objecting to the passage of a Do-Not-Track bill that was debated for this first time by politicians in Google's home state of California this week.

Other signatories on the letter include the CTIA and TechNet, organizations that Google belongs to with fellow private sector browser makers Microsoft and Apple. But Google is the only one to have actually added its name to that letter as a standalone signatory.

The letter is also signed by a host of marketing and advertising groups, California business associations, AOL, and Yahoo!.

The letter was addressed to politicians on the California Senate Judiciary Committee who voted 3-2 to approve the Do-Not-Track bill (SB 761) for further debate.


Harper Majority: End of Canada as we know it

If Harper wins a majority, Quebec will separate

Although this should be obvious to everyone, our moronic mainsteam media are not discussing it and therefore it is worth detailing how it will unfold.

Quebec is the most anti-Harper province in Canada. Take away the bulwark of the Bloc Quebecois seats in Parliament and rump Canada is overwhelmingly Barry Goldwater-like Harper Land. Quebec society at every level overwhelmingly opposes Harper's cultural, social and economic conservatism. Quebecers are in fact repulsed by Harper's retrograde conservatism and antidemocratic authoritarianism.

If Harper were to win a majority in Parliament, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe will likely not want to spend five years as a front row spectator to Harper's unfettered destruction of Canadian democracy. To salvage democracy for Quebecers, Duceppe would quit federal politics to take over as leader of the provincial Parti Quebecois. Duceppe is the most popular political figure in Quebec, second only to Rene Levesque in historic popularity amongst current Quebecers.

Bizarro Earth

Canada: Contemplating the Unthinkable Harper Majority

© Greg Perry
A vote for the Tories this time could mean the end of Canada as we know it.

It's been a long five years for Stephen Harper, his gaggle of ex-Reformers and the gang of three from Harris-era Ontario -- Jim Flaherty, John Baird and Tony Clement. Long and infuriating, I am sure, because for all that time they had to pretend that they were a government. They had to masquerade as people who believed that government could be a force for good. They even "stimulated" the economy. They were a minority government and the big ticket items they really wanted to get their teeth into were out of reach.

They couldn't slash Medicare or gut the Canada Health Act. They couldn't cut transfers to the provinces, or further weaken EI. They left the public services unions with their rights intact. They had to leave education alone (more or less). And they didn't risk slashing the civil service they hate so much. Even the CBC has been spared (though they raised millions from their loyalists attacking it in fundraising letters).

The frustration level, especially for Harper, must have been almost unbearable. Remember, this is a man who got so frustrated being in Opposition as right-hand man to Preston Manning that he bolted from politics altogether. The place he chose to cleanse himself after all those years having to play the democrat was the National Citizens Coalition, by a big margin the most right-wing organization on the national scene. He said he was glad to be out of politics so he could say what he really thought.

Harper was hoping for revenge in the last election and blew it by attacking culture. He's eager for another try, making Jack Layton an offer he had to refuse. And if you want to see what real revenge looks like, give this crowd a majority and they will unleash the most destructive, nation-changing blitzkrieg in living memory. I can still remember the night that Brian Mulroney won the historic free trade election 1988. It was devastating. But Mulroney was a kindergarten teacher compared to Stephen Harper. Free trade started us down the road to Americanization. Harper will take us to the end of that road and beyond.