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Americans need to discover how the world sees them

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© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty
‘If the US goes on like this, then one day – one year, one decade – the copper bottom of investors' confidence will fall out.'
There's little awareness of how the budget crisis has eroded US credibility. It's time for a reverse Christopher Columbus

On Monday, government offices were closed in Washington DC, to mark Columbus Day. Except that most of them had been closed anyway, because of the US government shutdown. As everyone knows, Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator who, in the service of the Spanish crown, supposedly "discovered" America and reported its potential to a wondering world. I have spent the summer in the United States watching, with growing alarm, a country engaged in a degree of self-harming which, if observed in a teenager, would lead any friend to cry "call the doctor at once". As I set course back to Europe, my conclusion is this: America should do a reverse Columbus. The world no longer needs to discover America; but America urgently needs to discover the world's view of America.

Ordinary Americans, and especially the small minority active in Democrat and Republican primaries, must learn more of what people across the globe are thinking and saying about the US. For if you follow that, you realise that the erosion of American power is happening faster than most of us predicted - while the politicians in Washington behave like rutting stags with locked antlers.

Pistol

Police shoot gun-wielding wanted man inside Wisconsin children's hospital

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Police in Milwaukee, WI were trying to serve a warrant at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin when the individual named in the warrant pulled a gun. According to Milwaukee's Fox 6 News, police gunned the suspect down, but did not kill him.

UPDATE (2:32 p.m.): Police reportedly entered the hospital with knowledge that the man sought in the warrant they were trying to serve could be armed.

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke told reporters that the man was visiting an infant in the Neonatal Progressive Care Unit on the hospital's seventh floor. When officers entered the ward, the man laid down a baby that he was holding and tried to run away.

Star of David

Idiocracy: French soldiers disciplined for 'anti-Semitic photo'

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Two French soldiers who posed in front of a Paris synagogue while making an anti-Semitic gesture will be sanctioned by the French army.

The soldiers of the Alpine Hunters elite unit currently are the subject of an investigation, the French military's spokesperson, Bruno Louisfert, told radio station RTL France Tuesday. He said they will be punished for the act.

In an unrelated incident, unidentified vandals caused serious damage to a Jewish school in Marseille in southern France on Tuesday. The same Chabad-affiliated elementary school, Haya Moushka, was targeted in a similar incident three years ago, according to the French Jewish news site alyaexpress-news.com. Tuesday's attack left many shattered windows. The school's toilets also were smashed, along with heating radiators.

Commenting on the actions of the French soldiers who were photographed in front of the synagogue a few weeks ago, Louisfert said Tuesday that they had been identified after being redeployed elsewhere as part of France's Vigipirate anti-terrorist detachments stationed in urban areas. They posed for the photograph in front of the entrance door to the Beth David synagogue in the 16th arrondissement, or municipal district, of the French capital with their left hand placed on their right shoulder and their right hand extended over their right thigh.

Comment: Check it out for yourselves on Google Images (search for 'quenelle'). Thousands of people from all walks of life across France have been photographed doing 'la quenelle' in honour and in solidarity with the French comedian Dieudonne, whose salute has nothing whatsoever to do with the 'Nazi salute' and everything to do with using humor to communicate disgust with France's Wall Street-worshipping, Zionist-loving elites!

Is a new revolution quietly brewing in France?


Handcuffs

Kuwait tweeter gets 5 year prison sentence for 'insulting Prophet'

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© Reuters / Kacper Pempel
A Kuwaiti activist has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Musaab Shamsah was charged after posting a message on Twitter deemed offensive to relatives of the Prophet.

Monday's court decision is the Gulf States' crackdown on internet activism, freedom of speech and government criticism across a broad range of social media. Shamsah plans to appeal the ruling.

Shamsah wrote on Twitter that Hassan and Hussein, who were the sons of Mohammad's cousin, Ali, were more honest than the Prophet Mohammed himself, comparing him unfavorably to the two.

No Entry

27 Killed, 32 Injured In train collision in Egypt

Train crash in Cairo
© Unknown
Officials say the train was travelling from the city of Beni Suef when the collision took place at a crossing
At least 27 people were killed and 32 others injured when a freight train crashed into a mini-bus and a truck near the Egyptian capital of Cairo in the early hours of Monday, Xinhua news agency reported the head of the Ambulance Authority a saying.

"All the victims had been cleared from the scene," Ahmed el- Ansari told Xinhua, adding that the rescue teams remained at the scene for more search, but the death toll may increase as some cases are in serious conditions.

Previous report quoted a security source as saying that at least 29 people were killed in the accident.

The train was en route to Giza governorate from the southern city of Beni Suef when it hit a mini-bus, carrying passengers home from a wedding near the town of Dahshur, some 40 km south of Cairo.

"Initial reports said the drivers of the vehicles ignored warning lights and chains blocking entry to the crossing, and tried to cross the tracks," Hussein Zakaria, the head of the Egyptian Railway Authority, told state-run Nile TV.

The train continued for almost 1 km before it stopped, he said.

Sixteen ambulances had rushed to the scene to transfer the victims to hospitals, he said, adding that the train driver and his assistants who survived the accident were detained.

However, state-run Ahram newspaper website quoted the crossing workers as saying "The warning and the red signals were broken," adding that they attempted to use the chains for closing the track, but they failed as the train was coming with high speed.

Better Earth

Former Soviet leader Gorbachev: 'JFK had great plans for the entire world'

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What would the world be like today if JFK had lived?

It's a question Mikhail Gorbachev, former Secretary-General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, pondered in this long-forgotten TV interview...


Cult

Ex-Chief rabbi Yona Metzger arrested for million-dollar bribes

Ex-Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger
© Getty Images
Former Israeli chief rabbi Yona Metzger was arrested on suspicion that he received bribes, as well as committed money laundering and fraud, during his time as Ashkenazi chief rabbi.

Metzger was arrested Monday, following a several-month-long investigation. A Petah Tikvah court remanded to police custody for nine days.

The Israel Police National Fraud squad believes Metzger accepted monetary and material bribes in exchange for advancing the interests of several non-profit organizations. The amount of the bribes equals several million shekels, according to reports. Metzger also is accused of trying to silence witnesses and interfere in the investigation, according to reports.

Metzger was questioned about the case in June, at the end of his stint as chief rabbi. He was placed under house arrest at the time.

Metzger served as chief rabbi from 2003 until earlier this year.

Yoda

French writer and activist Alain Soral: There is only the illusion of choice in politics

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Soral is currently being dragged trough the courts by the French state, which is trying to ban his books!
The right-wing ideology ruling France and elsewhere dictates that 'men are idiots, sheep that can be led against their will'
French writer and activist Alain Soral interviewed by RT in 2012. He hits the nail on the head across the board, especially regarding France: French people have little clue about what's going on in the wider world - and that is by design. The fascists in charge talk about 'open borders', and yet they keep the French mind firmly shut.


Wreath

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize-winning author, dies aged 94


British Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing has died aged 94. A statement from her publisher, Harper Collins, said she "passed away peacefully at her London home in the early hours of this morning".

Her best-known works include The Golden Notebook, Memoirs of a Survivor and The Summer Before the Dark.

She became the oldest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature when in 2007 she won the award for her life's work aged 88.

Jonathan Clowes, her long-time friend and agent, said she was "a wonderful writer with a fascinating and original mind".

"It was a privilege to work for her and we shall miss her immensely."

"Doris Lessing was a one of the great writers of our age," said Charlie Redmayne, CEO of Harper Collins UK.

She was only the 11th woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature

"She was a compelling storyteller with a fierce intellect and a warm heart who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in."

Better Earth

Stranger replaces autistic boy's stolen bike

Nathan Antone
© CBC
12-year-old Nathan Antone rides his new bicycle.
A complete stranger has donated a new bicycle to a 12-year-old boy with autism in Maple Ridge, after the boy's bike was stolen outside a local library.

Nathan Antone parked his old bicycle in front of a Maple Ridge library on Tuesday afternoon. Thirty minutes later, it was gone.

"We saw that the bike wasn't at the bike lock thing and we assumed it was stolen," Nathan told CBC News. "I felt very upset."

Nathan's family is on a fixed income and said they weren't able to replace the bike.