Hong Kong firms on edge as democracy rally blockade looms

Rain clouds hang over central Hong Kong as activists vow to shut down its financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city.

HONG KONG (AP) — As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong's financial district in protest at China's attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst.

Chan's investment company has added backup phone lines, bought extra laptops and stockpiled instant noodles in case its headquarters downtown is caught in the middle of the protest.

Activists have threatened for more than a year to rally 10,000 protesters to freeze the Asian financial center's central business district to press their demands for full democracy. Chan drew up contingency plans after the chances of such a showdown escalated in recent months.

The former British colony came back under China's control in 1997 but retains its own legal and financial systems and a high degree of control over its affairs. Beijing has promised to let voters, rather than an elite committee, elect the city's leader starting in 2017 but democracy groups and authorities are edging closer to confrontation over who can select candidates.

The protest plan has set Hong Kong's business community on edge. Companies operating in the financial district, where skyscrapers line narrow, winding streets, have scrambled to make sure they've got adequate backups in place while trade groups have taken out newspaper ads voicing their objections. Financial analysts have issued reports fretting about possible disruption...

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Video allegedly shows Hamas enforcers beating Gazans trying to heed IDF warnings to flee their homes.

Link.

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GOP Has Midterm Engagement Advantage

The Republican Party holds a clear advantage in voter engagement in this fall’s midterm elections, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center.

Yet GOP voters are not as enthused and engaged as they were at this point in the midterm campaign four years ago, prior to the Republican Party winning control of the House of Representatives, or as Democratic voters were in 2006, before Democrats gained control of Congress.

The latest survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted July 8-14 among 1,805 adults, including 1,420 registered voters, finds neither party has an advantage in voter preferences.

Currently, 45% say if the election were held today they would support the Republican in their district or lean toward the Republican, while 47% favor the Democrat or lean Democratic...

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Hillary claimed Bill was addicted to sex because of childhood abuse from his mother

All around super family.

She does have a Mommy Dearest thing going on

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Wrastlin

Havin fun...

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2 said killed in widespread rioting outside Jerusalem

Masked Palestinian protesters throw stones towards Israeli police (unseen) during clashes in East Jerusalem, on July 3, 2014. (photo credit: Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

Thousands of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and riots broke out at several flashpoints near and inside East Jerusalem, on Thursday night.

Palestinian sources said two demonstrators were killed at Qalandiya and over 100 were wounded.

Protesters there were marching in the direction of the capital from Ramallah in the West Bank.

Police used crowd dispersal munitions including rubber bullets and tear gas as they came under a hail of rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown by the protesters near the checkpoint, a major passage between Israel and the West Bank...

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Attack on Iraq prisoner convoy kills at least 60

The remains of the prison bus

Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, officials said, setting off a gun battle with Iraqi troops in which 52 prisoners and eight soldiers were killed. The attack came hours before parliament elected Kurdish politician Fouad Masoum to the largely ceremonial post of president.

This appointment was part of country's troubled political transition that has seen repeated delays despite Iraq's struggle against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had also touched down in Baghdad on Thursday, on a trip to encourage politicians to form a more inclusive government and thus soothe sectarian tensions.

Some of the explosions could reportedly be heard in Baghdad, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) to the south. The circumstances surrounding the dawn attack were not immediately clear, but one security source said the convoy had set off at short notice after mortar rounds were fired at the army bases in Taji where the prisoners were being held. The interior ministry said the convoy then encountered an ambush.

“At least 60 people, prisoners and policeman, were killed in a suicide attack followed by several IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and shooting,” an interior ministry official told the AFP news agency...

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Evening photo: Summer storm, Glacier National Park, Montana

Clouds moved moved fast over the Flathead River in Glacier National Park last night.

Photo: US National Park Service.

Found on their Tumblr site.

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Daniel Henninger: Obama to World: Drop Dead

People pay their respects as a convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, drive past in Hilversum, Netherlands, July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asked on “Meet the Press” Sunday whether this was the lowest moment in U.S.-Russia relations since the Cold War, America’s robo-Secretary of State John Kerry replied: “We live in an extremely complicated world right now, where everybody is working on 10 different things simultaneously.” Well, not everyone.

As the world burns, the president spent this week fiddling at fundraisers in the living rooms of five Democratic Party fat cats in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri famously explained, changing the president’s fundraising schedule "can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis."

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Israeli Islamist Leader: Gaza Will Rub Israel's Nose in the Mud



h/t Marvin

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Unrally around Hamas flag

It was an alarming visual. We can't believe it's come to this.

A Hamas flag waved on the streets of Canada.

Yesterday at an Ottawa pro-Palestinian march, at least one flag from the terrorist organization was carried.

I am a little surprised at the alarm of the editorial. Terrorist flags at venues such as Queen's Park are a common occurrence. Our police call it multiculturalism.

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Egypt Went Out of its Way to Humiliate John Kerry

Egypt made it clear that they didn’t want John Kerry to come. Kerry came anyway. And so Egypt, formerly a US client state, decided to humiliate him.

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Yemen’s al Qaeda wing seeks to set up ‘emirate’ in east

Hadramout area, Yemen

(Reuters) - Yemen’s al Qaeda wing has ordered men and women in the east to obey its strict interpretation of Islamic law, saying it aimed to set up an emirate in the remote area, local media and a resident said.

The announcement by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) will stoke concerns about the territorial ambitions of militant groups weeks after al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State declared its own caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq.

AQAP - one of the most active branches of the global militant network - has been shifting its operations to Yemen’s eastern Hadramout province after the army, backed by U.S. drones, helped drive it out of southern strongholds this year.

The impoverished country neighboring the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is also facing southern separatists, northern rebels and political turmoil that surged after 2011 protests unseated president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Leaflets in AQAP's name have been distributed in shops, streets and villages in rural Hadramout over the past two days, Saleh Barzeeq, a shop owner in Seiyoun, told Reuters, confirming media reports.

“These leaflets warned women from going to shops or going out without being accompanied by a mahram (male guardian,)” he said by telephone.

According to local media, one statement read: “AQAP warns male and female Muslims in Wadi Hadramout that they must adhere to the laws of Islamic Sharia after the debauchery that we have seen in the souks”...

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Thomas Sowell: Immigration Policy Is Not Racism

Pro-immigration protesters at Murrieta, California

In a recent confrontation between protesters against the illegal flood of unaccompanied children into the United States and counter-protests by some Hispanic group, one man from the latter group said angrily, “We are as good as you are!”

One of the things that make the history of clashes over race or ethnicity such a history of tragedies around the world is that — regardless of whatever particular issue sets off these clashes — many people see the ultimate stakes as their worth as human beings. On that, there is no room for compromise, but only polarization.

That is why playing the race card is such an irresponsible and dangerous political game.

The real issue when it comes to immigration is not simply what particular immigration policy America should have, but whether America can have any immigration policy at all.

A country that does not control its own borders does not have any immigration policy...

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Doctor leading fight to control Ebola in Sierra Leone has become infected; Liberian man in Lagos being tested for Ebola

Sheik Umar Khan

The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the president's office said.

Thirty-nine-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a “national hero” by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola which can kill up to 90% of those infected, although the mortality rate of the current outbreak is lower at around 60%...

Liberian man in Lagos being tested for Ebola:

(Reuters) - A Liberian man in his 40s is being tested for the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, a mega-city of 21 million people, the Lagos State Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Ebola has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak in February, straining their flimsy healthcare systems despite international help.

A spokesman for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva confirmed Nigeria had "one suspect case" and said samples had been sent to a WHO lab for testing.

“The Nigerian Ministry of Health has implemented control measures in the meantime,” he told Reuters.

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Who says they're not guarding the border?

U.S. border guard 'pointed loaded gun at Boy Scout's head' on camping trip after child took a picture of him at crossing.
Were trying to cross from Canada to Alaska when one boy took a picture.
According to Scout leader guards threatened boy with ten years in jail.
I have to wonder: is everyone in law-enforcement mainlining steroids?

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US Jewish group demands PM Erdoğan return award

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses members of parliament from his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara on July 22, 2014 AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

A prominent Jewish organization in the United States has asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to return a courage award he received in 2004, following his response to the recent Gaza operations.

“In 2004, the American Jewish Congress presented its prestigious Profile of Courage award to you as an individual and as a global leader for your stances on fighting terrorism, working to secure a peaceful solution for Israelis and Palestinians, rejecting fundamentalism and being steadfast in your commitment to protect the Jewish citizens of Turkey,” American Jewish Committee (AJC) President Jack Rosen said in a July 23 letter sent to Erdoğan.

“And now, we want it back,” Rosen added.

The letter listed a number of recent remarks by Erdoğan concerning the latest Gaza crisis, as well as the recent protests against Israeli diplomatic missions in Turkey.

“A decade after we gave you our award, you have become arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world—spewing dangerous rhetoric for political gain and inciting the Turkish population to violence against the Jewish people,” Rosen added in the letter. “Your current positions, as reported in the media, are abhorrent and your attacks on Jews call into question everything we honored you for”...

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#DiversityIsOurStrength Ramadan a ding-dong: Residents call for tougher response to anti-social behaviour during Ramadan in Easton

Poster put by the police

RESIDENTS in Easton have called for a tougher response to anti-social behaviour during Ramadan. Groups of up to 100 men have been congregating on residential streets near Stapleton Road late into the evenings following the breaking of the dawn-to-dusk fast.

Police have stepped up patrols and put up posters asking people to respect their neighbours. But residents said the posters have been torn down and the problem has persisted.

They have called on authorities and cultural groups to work together to solve the problem.

One Easton resident, of Milsom Street, told the Bristol Post: “We are all being kept awake and today I spoke to a new neighbour who is also calling the police most nights now.”

She said police had been “skirting around” the problem. She added: “It’s so odd that it's still going on when we are all feeling the impact of these men standing about talking in loud voices.”

A photo of Stapleton Street in Bristol

This year Ramadan takes place between June 29 and July 27. Rizwan Ahmed, spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, said the timing of Ramadan this year had pushed back social hours into the night.

But he added that the behaviour was not “in the spirit of Ramadan” and called for further outreach work to curb the problem.

A large portion of the groups socialising on the streets are from the Somali community...

h/t Politically Incorrect  (They have translated parts of this and other related articles to German).

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Woman finds frog in Costco chicken

I wonder if frog tastes like chicken?


Quiet, lady. Now everyone will want one.

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Israel sends message through Hamas leader's mouth as psychological battle deepens

Gazans hear Khaled Mashaal speak of his luxury hotel that cost more than "a hospital and three tunnels," as Hamas news channel hacked.

h/t MP

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Sick ‘trade mark trolls’ aim to profit from MH17 disaster

A shadowy Malaysia based company has applied to trade mark the word “MH17” in what could be a sick attempt to profit from the tragic Malaysia Airlines disaster.

A business called Remit Now International Limited lodged an application with the Australian Trade Mark Office on July 18, just hours after 298 people were killed when their plane was shot out of the sky by a missile above eastern Ukraine.

Amongst the passengers on the doomed flight were 37 Australian citizens and residents.

The application on the Australian Trade Mark Office website, seen by Daily Mail Australia, shows that it is currently being examined by officials...

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The Media’s Selective Reporting on Gaza Deaths Incites More Violence, Anti-Semitism

The media has obsessively counted every dead body in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. 

They rarely explain why so many more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed: Hamas does not allow Palestinian civilians into their shelters, while using civilian areas from which to fire their rockets; Israel, on the other hand, devotes its resources to building shelters and Iron Dome protection.

Put another way, while Israel uses shelters and Iron Dome to protect its civilians, Hamas uses its civilians to protect its rockets and its terrorists. A widely circulated cartoon, posted above, makes this point effectively.

Recently, supporters of Hamas have argued that to say that Hamas uses civilians as human shields is a manifestation of racism and an attempt to dehumanize Palestinians. But it is Hamas’ own leaders who have long boasted of this tragic reality...

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MSM photographers contribute to this too by showing endless photos of weeping women at funerals. They just love them.

There may be odd photo of an Israeli funeral of a fallen soldier, but most photos from Israel are of tanks, weapons and the endlessly popular photos of explosions.

I don’t doubt that weeping women are genuine, but why did Hamas start this? They must have known that Israel would fight back.

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Football fans banned for life for putting Koran to good use

Football fans banned for life after Koran ripped and used as confetti at Blues match

h/t ZD

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2 Finnish female aid workers shot dead in western Afghanistan: Officials

HERAT, Afghanistan: Two Finnish female aid workers were shot dead by unknown gunmen while travelling in a taxi in western Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said, the latest killings in a recent spate of attacks on foreigners.

It came as Afghanistan undertakes a massive audit of its recently concluded presidential vote to avert an impasse threatening to plunge the country into an ethnic conflict as foreign troops prepare to depart after more than a decade of war.

Via Religion Of Peace

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U.N. report: More than 2.2 billion people ‘poor or near-poor’

More than 2.2 billion people are "poor or near-poor", with financial crises, natural disasters, soaring food prices and violent conflicts threatening to exacerbate the problem, a United Nations report said Thursday.

While poverty is in decline worldwide, growing inequality and “structural vulnerabilities” remain a serious threat, said the report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), released in Tokyo...

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This is obviously complex but I cannot but think as long I continue to see stories like this there is zero hope of fixing the problem.

Niger Is Hurt by Runaway Birthrates

DAKAR, Senegal — Nearly every year, the West African desert nation of Niger faces a food crisis, and nearly every year the international aid agencies, including the United Nations, send out urgent appeals for funds to feed the country’s starving millions. This year is no different. Niger, where women pick bitter green berries off scrubby trees to stave off starvation, cannot feed itself.

That unchanging reality is buttressed by another one, equally stubborn and deeply frustrating to demographers. With an average of nearly eight children per woman, Niger, by some measures the poorest country in the world, also has its highest birthrate. At current rates, the population will double in the next 15 years, to 35 million from over 17 million.

Does that make sense for a country that is perennially on the brink of mass hunger — one that is far from having the resources to feed its current population, let alone one twice as big? Obviously not, say the demographers. And yet precious little is being done about it, they say.
[...]
Niger, with its exploding population and its vast unfertile territory, has one of the world’s lowest rates of contraceptive use, Mr. Guengant noted. The country’s women, held back by their husbands and by imams who inveigh against “Western” notions like birth control, don’t demand it...

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Social media fuelling surge in 'back to the dark ages' religious persecution – Lord Sacks

An upsurge in religious persecution which threatens to drag humanity “back to the dark ages” is being made worse by the impact of social media sites such as Twitter, the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has insisted.

In an emotional address in the House of Lords, he said attempts to wipe out Christianity in parts of the Middle East and the murder of followers across much of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia amount to the “religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing”.

But he said the purges of Christians were echoed by recent mob attacks on Jews in France and other parts of Europe, Islamist violence against other Muslims and the persecution of the Bahá'í in Iran as part of a “new tribalism” which had taken hold in the wake of the Cold War.

H/T Dr. J

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Interview with Christina Sommers: Author of ‘Who Stole Feminism?’

Interviewer: What’s next on the horizon?

CS: The Millennials have been cheated out of a serious education by their Baby Boomer teachers. Call it a generational swindle. Even the best and brightest among the 20-somethings have been shortchanged.

Instead of great books, they wasted a lot of time with third-rate political tracts and courses with titles like “Women Writers of the Oklahoma Panhandle.”

Instead of spending their college years debating and challenging received ideas, they had to cope with speech codes and identity politics.

College educated young women in the U.S. are arguably the most fortunate people in history; yet many of them have drunk deeply from the gender feminist Kool-Aid. Girls at Yale, Haverford and Swarthmore see themselves as oppressed.

That is madness. And madness can only last so long. So, I plan to continue writing books and articles, making my Factual Feminist videos and lecturing at as many campuses and laws schools as I can.

American colleges have been described as islands of repression in a sea of freedom. I want to encourage rebellion among the islanders...

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‘I smoke a lot of weed because my friend was the Boston bomber,’ Steven Silva says

Steven Silva

A man linked to a gun used to kill a university police officer days after the Boston Marathon bombings told police he smoked marijuana every day because, in his words, “my best friend was the bomber,” according to court documents.

Stephen Silva was arrested on Monday on charges of heroin trafficking and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number. The same gun was used to kill MIT police Officer Sean Collier during a manhunt for the bombing suspects.

Silva, 21, was a high school classmate and a close friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260. Collier, 26, was ambushed several days later and shot multiple times in his car...

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‘We shot down MH17 thinking it was Ukrainian cargo plane’: says pro-Russian

The rebel who reportedly admitted to Corriere della Sera that pro-Russian forces shot down MH17 is pictured patrolling the morgue train containing victims’ bodies earlier this week

A pro-Russian separatist fighting in eastern Ukraine has admitted rebel forces shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, it has been claimed.

The militant, who has not been identified, reportedly said fighters blasted the Boeing 777 out of the sky - killing all 298 people on board - after mistaking it for a Ukrainian government cargo plane.

He said the rebels only realised their mistake when they began searching the crash site for the parachutes of military crew who may have bailed out the aircraft, only to find the bodies of children.

The rebel - who worked locally as a miner before joining pro-Russian separatists - told a reporter for Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that officers initially told him MH17 was a government plane.

“We shot down a Kiev plane, our superiors told us. We thought we were looking for baled-out Ukrainian pilots but instead we found dead civilians,” he was quoted as saying...

Note: The Corriere Della Sera article is in English.

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11 out of 12 fake Obamacare applications were accepted in official sting

In 11 out of 12 instances secret shoppers employed by the federal government were able to obtain health care coverage and subsidies through Obamacare's federal exchange using fake information, a government agency revealed yesterday.

Federal investigators from the Government Accountability Office posing as prospective Obamacare applicants were able to successfully enroll in the federal marketplace over the phone and online by providing fictitious Social Security Numbers and proof of income, GAO reports.

What’s more, fake enrollees were able to qualify for a combined total of $2,500 a month in tax subsidies to pay for their newly acquired health plans, the agency says, or $30,000 a year.

“Ironically, the GAO has found Obamacare is working really well – for those who don’t exist,” Sen. Orrin Hatch said in a statement upon reading the agency’s report...

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Londonistan: Muslims Desecrate Diversity Mural Claiming "It's The Devil"

A leading human rights film-maker today vowed to stand up to Muslim youths who vandalised his east London studio because they claim street art on its shutters depicts “the devil”.

Shafiur Rahman said the gang had threatened further attacks on the office, off Brick Lane, unless the mural of two eyes, a nose and a mouth is removed.

The building is the base for Mr Rahman’s Six Oranges company, which makes social and political documentaries. The mural was commissioned to celebrate the area’s diversity.

h/t ZD


Yes Mr. Government, just keep those floodgates open, that way we can be be world class just like London!

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Noted convert in Egypt, released in appeal, quickly imprisoned again

Bishoy Armia Boulous, previousy known as Mohammed Hegazy. (Morning Star News)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – A noted convert in Egypt released on bail this week for the appeal of his disputed conviction for “inciting sectarian violence” was quickly imprisoned again on equally controversial charges from 2009 of “defaming Islam,” his attorney said.

Local security officials on Monday (July 21) turned Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, over to the Ministry of Interior to face the blasphemy charges filed five years ago...

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Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Bill To Be Introduced

A bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives, this afternoon, to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.


The bill introduced by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, also known as the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2014, will “impose sanctions against persons who knowingly provide material support or resources to the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliates, associated groups, or agents, and for other purposes.

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Guardian: ‘Thomas the Tank Engine had to shut the hell up to save children everywhere’

A (former) menace to children eveywhere, fortunately now no more

Thomas and those friends are trains that toil away endlessly on the Isle of Sodor – which seems to be forever caught in British colonial times – and, on its surface, the show seems to impart good moral lessons about hard work and friendship.

But if you look through the steam rising up from the coal-powered train stacks, you realize that the pretty puffs of smoke are concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages.

For one, these trains perform tasks dictated by their imperious, little white boss, Sir Topham Hatt (also known as The Fat Controller), whose attire of a top hat, tuxedo and big round belly is just a little too obvious... Yeah, because I want to teach my kid to admire a controlling autocrat...

But there was one particular episode that caused me to put the brakes on Thomas for good... In the episode “Tickled Pink,” poor vain James, is ordered by Topham Hat to get a new coat of [pink] paint... James is mortified that he has to travel while pink and proceeds to hide from all the other trains along the way. When he's caught, the other trains – including Thomas – viciously laugh and mock him.

“What are you doing James? You’re a big pink steamie,” says Diesel, the bad-boy engine. For the record, all the “villains” on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines.

I’d like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke – and they are all pumping out smoke – it's not hard to make the leap into the race territory...

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No, it is not a parody. One commenter said, “Peak Guardian. It has been reached.”

But another commenter disagreed, saying it had been reached with another article entitled “Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?”

Another thought that “Beware of cupcake fascism” was a better a candidate.

A hilarious discussion ensues over various absurd Guardian articles. Comment link is here.

The left grows ever more ridiculous, but unfortunately they take themselves extremely seriously.

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Israeli planes (and everyone else’s planes) are vulnerable to missiles that downed MH17

Wreckage of a Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine, July 17, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/DOMINIQUE FAGET)

Planes landing at and taking off from Ben Gurion Airport have nothing to worry about from Hamas rockets, according to one of the world’s foremost experts on missile defense, but the antiaircraft missiles thought to have brought down the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine are another matter altogether.

No one is safe from them.

“The rockets Hamas fires, even the big ones that can reach Tel Aviv, are like big firecrackers and are not capable of hitting or bringing down a commercial airliner,” according to the expert, Uzi Rubin. “With Iron Dome, the chances of such a hit are next to nothing.”

If travelers to and from Israel should be worried about anything, said Rubin, it’s the military-grade missiles in the hands of Hezbollah, which could target and take down a plane flying over the Mediterranean. “Iran has these Russian-made systems, which means that Syria and Hezbollah have them as well.” Hamas, he said, apparently does not have them — at least not yet...

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150 Palestinians surrender to IDF in Gaza, plus details on Wednesday’s operations

Dozens of Palestinian terror operatives, most of whom were said to be members of Hamas, surrendered Wednesday to IDF soldiers during raids in the southern Gaza Strip cities of Rafah and Khan Yunis.

The operatives, who came out of hiding spots with their hands raised above their heads, were taken into Israeli custody for further questioning.

In total, 150 Palestinians were arrested, but only 70 of them who were suspected of carrying out terror attacks were transferred under tight security to IDF Intelligence and Shin Bet facilities for interrogation, an IDF spokeswoman told The Times of Israel, adding to 28 operatives already captured. The remaining detainees were later released, Army Radio reported...



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Al shabaab kill 13 year old girl suspected of spying

Al Shabaab militant group has executed a teenager they said was tyring to spy for Somali armed forces and AMISOM Ethiopian military.

The group executed the 13 years old which they named as Fatuma in front of hundreds of Dinsor town residents in southern Somalia however the father of the victim has denied that his daughter was called Fatuma.

“She was trained to assassinate senior members of the group and pass sensitive information to our enemies,” said Al Shabaab judge.

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Astronaut’s tweet on ‘Gaza bombing’ just a dud, says professor

Professor Michael Harper's corrected image (Photo credit: Courtesy)

A photo taken from space that purports to show Israel’s bombing in Gaza went viral Thursday, posted on dozens of Facebook pages and blogs, including the official blog of NASA, the US space agency. Just one problem – it’s not Gaza.

At first glance, the image appears to be nighttime explosions over the coastal strip. At second glance – one taken by Professor Michael Harper of Utah Valley University – the photo turns out to be not of Gaza being bombed, but of the lights of Tel Aviv. “I’ve been to Israel personally and know the geography — even when looking at the nighttime image,” Harper told The Times of Israel. “The story makes the statement that bombs and missile attacks can be seen. I refute that with the images I posted”...

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Today's Mad Mullah Moment - Iran: Man to be executed by Stoning and Hanging

not sure if his 15 years sentence is to follow or precede...

NCRI - The mullahs’ regime hanged 10 prisoners, including four women, in the central prison of city of Birjand on July 20 and 21. Eight of them were executed in a collective hanging on Sunday night, July 20.

Meanwhile, regime’s chief justice of city of Qaemshahr reported of a sentence against a 32-year-old that is to be executed twice, once by hanging and once by stoning,in addition to 15 years imprisonment.

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Death row Christian woman Mariam Yahya Ibrahim flies out of Sudan

(Reuters) - A Sudanese woman who was spared a death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity and then barred from leaving Sudan flew into Rome on Thursday in an Italian government plane. Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, walked off the aircraft cradling her baby and was greeted by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

There were no details on what led up to the 27-year-old's departure after a month in limbo in Khartoum, but a senior Sudanese official said it had been cleared by the government.

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Iraqi Christians Expelled from Mosul by ISIL Share their Stories



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Turkey and the personality cult: PM Erdoğan’s ‘final group speech’ moves deputies to tears

Weeping members of his AKP party

“I want you to know that I’m not distressed while I’m speaking here, perhaps for the last time on this lectern. If my nation elects me [as president], another friend will address you from this desk in the new legislative session.”

After Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uttered these words at the end of his speech during the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting on July 22, the joyful mood in the large room suddenly soured.

Even previous bombastic chants such as “One flag, one homeland, one Erdoğan” were replaced by somber murmuring.

The watching deputies seemed like they did not expect such a farewell, despite the fact that they had earlier “unanimously” nominated Erdoğan as the AKP’s candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for Aug. 10, thus paving the way for his departure from the Prime Ministry.

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Turkey under Erdoğan reminds of fascism in 1930s Europe. Anyone else see a similarity?

We need not get carried away - after all, Erdoğan does not command a powerful, industrialized country with a large armed forces like Hitler did. The country simply cannot create another Hitler outcome, owing to these limitations.

And yet the similarities are there.  I am also reminded of fascist Italy.

Perhaps it has been there all along.  Think of the 1915 Armenian genocide.  I can well see how that could have occurred by looking at Erdoğan and his diehard fans.

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Greenpeace in Chaos as Staff Revolt Against Management

Greenpeace is in turmoil after more than 40 staff signed a letter calling two of the group’s most senior officials to resign. The group faced ridicule last month after it emerged that Husting chose to regularly fly between his home in Luxembourg and work in Amsterdam, leaving a massive carbon footprint.

h/t EG

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Boycott calls against Turkish-Jewish writer prompt anti-Semitism row

The 57-year-old Levi has published more than 10 novels so far.

Calls for a boycott of Israeli products circulating on social media have been extended to novels penned by Mario Levi, an acclaimed Turkish writer of Jewish descent, drawing criticism of overt anti-Semitism.

The author of many awarded books, including “Istanbul was a Fairy Tale,” expressed his sorrow over the Israeli assault on Gaza and regret about the campaign.

“Words are not enough to tell how much the tragic war in Gaza and the death of innocent children is afflicting me with pain. I was meant to experience this too in the country that I love to my bones,” Levi said.

Levi also criticized the one-sided coverage of the events by the Turkish media, arguing that such reports could lead people to such reaction...

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Hamas arsenal suggests 'apocalyptic' scenario: Israeli official

The Western world "cannot tolerate" the strategic threat posed by a Hamas with newly uncovered "state-like" capabilities in rocketry and tunnelling, a senior Israeli defence official told reporters in Ottawa today.

The senior official, who cannot be identified under the ground rules of the briefing, said the Israeli military had considerable prior knowledge of Hamas weaponry and tunnels, but was still "surprised" by the extent of both when the current ground operation began last Thursday.

He said the Hamas arsenal has now been revealed to include R-160 Iranian missiles with a range of 250 kilometres that were smuggled into Gaza in pieces and assembled there.

h/t Waffle

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The Maximum for joining a Muslim terror group is only 10 years?

That ain't enough.

Mohamed Hersi was sentenced the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison Thursday for attempting to join the ranks of a terrorist organization abroad.

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#DiversityIsOurStrength Israeli football players attacked by pro-Palestinians during friendly match in Austria

Protestors storm the pitch and appear to attack the Maccabi Haifa players

Israeli football team Maccabi Haifa’s game against French side Lille had to be stopped after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the pitch.

Supporters of reportedly Turkish origin ran onto the field in the Austrian stadium where the game was played and headed for the Maccabi players, sparking ugly scenes.

One of the players is seen to trip a fan before punches were thrown. The Maccabi players - some of whom retaliated - managed to leave the field unhurt...

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U.N. chief alarmed as rockets found in Gaza school go missing

Is the U.N. good for anything at all?

(Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm on Wednesday that 20 rockets found hidden in a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip had gone missing and directed the world body to deploy experts to deal with the situation.

The main U.N. agency in Gaza, UNRWA, found the rockets in one of its vacant schools a week ago. It found a second batch in a vacant school on Tuesday, but said in a statement that because staff were withdrawn quickly, they were “unable to confirm the precise number.”

In both cases UNRWA said it “informed the relevant parties,” but did not identify who had been contacted. Islamist militant group Hamas is the dominant group in the coastal enclave and has been fighting with Israeli troops for the past two weeks.

Ban “expresses his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a U.N.-administered school,” a United Nations statement said. UNRWA is sheltering 102,000 people in 69 of its schools amid the renewed violence.

“By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities and anyone using the UN schools as shelter,” the statement said...

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Nunavut's first Mosque under construction

In case you were wondering, they set the Ramadan fasts to Mecca time. So don't get all excited.

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#DiversityIsOurStrength Why people apparently don't care about Muslim surveillance or dead Palestinian kids

When news recently broke of NSA spying on prominent Muslim Americans, most people were far from shocked. If anything, it was expected. After all, these individuals have Muslim names, either advocate on behalf of the Muslim community or speak on Islamic-related issues, and have some sort of connection to “that part of the world.”

Unlike previous NSA spying revelations that generated extreme outrage across the board, this latest development appeared to impact only, you know, “those people” (though the larger implications are much greater).

Similarly, when continuous images of dead Palestinian children have emerged following Israel’s current military assault on Gaza, a large and troubling sentiment appears to be that these innocents were simply collateral damage, or -- even worse still -- that they somehow deserved it because of the actions of their own family members.

Make no mistake about it: the dehumanization of Muslims didn’t just happen overnight. On the contrary, it’s part of a long process of failed imaging, stereotyping, misrepresentation and flat out bias in the press, entertainment industry and society in general.

And unlike many other challenges, this isn’t a right vs. left issue; apparently, disparaging Muslims is universally acceptable...

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HuffPo: Breathtaking photos of witch doctors and healers reveal the spiritual diversity of Bolivia

One of the “artists’ ” photos

Artists Thomas Rousset and Raphaël Verona traveled across the Altiplano region of Bolivia for a very specific reason.

They wanted to photograph the astounding spiritual diversity of the landlocked South American expanses, capturing portraits of the healers, witch doctors and medicine men who keep traditional mystic culture alive.

Living in a beautiful space between the country’s storied religious past and its rapidly advancing present, these figures represent magical realism in the 21st century...

* * *
Sorry if I am unimpressed.  Anyone can dress up in elaborate costumes, but can the witch doctors and healers actually cure any diseases?

Boring Western medicine seems to have a much better track record, at least to go by boring statistics on boring topics like life expectancy at birth.

CIA World Fact Book puts Bolivia at #159 out of 223 countries for life expectancy at birth.

And remember, Bolivia also is home to people of purely Spanish descent (the witch doctors are native Amerindians or mixed). If one had statistics on the life expectancy of the Amerindians alone, I am sure it would be even worse.

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Air Algérie Flight crashes in Mali with 116 on board

Map of dangerous air spaces

An Air Algérie jetliner with 116 people on board traveling from Burkina Faso to Algeria has crashed in Mali, the airline said Thursday.

Air Algérie lost contact with Flight 5017 after takeoff from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as the jetliner headed to Algiers, Algeria's state news agency and the plane's operator said Thursday.

The airline said the plane crashed In Tilemsi, Mali, which is about 70 miles from the city of Gao.

An Algerian civil aviation official, in an interview with Algerian TV station Ennahar, said the flight passing through Niger airspace before it crashed.

French Secretary of Transport Frédéric Cuvillier told reporters the plane disappeared over Northern Mali, where Islamist militants are fighting the Malian government and French forces.

Click on post title to read more...

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News Flash: Half of those killed in Gaza are terrorists

A screenshot of a Hamas diagram, filmed as part of an IDF video from 2009's Operation Cast Lead, showing how weapons are hidden by mosques. Photo: IDF / Screenshot.

Despite everything that is claimed by anti-Israel NGOs, the IDF has maintained a ratio of about 1:1 civilians to terrorists killed.

We can calculate this from adding together two sources and a little extrapolation...

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#DiversityIsOurStrength No people will be punchlines in ‘Racist Jokes 101’ (OK, maybe white people)

Rebecca O'Neal, Tim Barnes, and Suey Park

“So often it seems to me that jokes we hear about race are designed to make white people feel better about their own racism, or prove that they aren’t racist to other white people,” says Fred Sasaki, who along with Seth Vanek curated “Racist Jokes 101: #OwnYourWords”...

To create a space to talk about race and racism in a constructive way, Sasaki and Vanek decenter whiteness...

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Socialist Worker (UK): Israel - choking on the racist poison it rests on

The response in Israel to the attacks on Gaza has exposed a society consumed by the violence implicit in the Zionist enterprise.
[...]
Is Israel’s genocidal behaviour today in Western interests? Or has the watchdog escaped its owners’ control?

Certainly the US is weaker in the Middle East than ever. The US wants a tiny, pliant Palestinian state.
[...]
The need to fight for a single state of Palestine is urgent. Without it, the barbarism we are witnessing will intensify.

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FiveFeetOfFury is now in its 14th year

Kathy started blogging back in 2000...

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Where Did the "Gay" in "Gay Pride" Go?

I'm not the only one to have noticed...


And LRC on Twitchy...

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'Nanoaggressions: Science reveals structural oppression too small for human eyes'

PLUS!!

Ten signs your cat might be racist

(Link fixed)

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'Sorry, Ladies: The Great Chain of CultMarx'

John Derbyshire writes:

Given the state of our culture, two things can be said with perfect certainty.

First: If Anna had been black and the males involved white, this would have been a colossal news story, as the Duke lacrosse team pseudo-rape pseudo-story was. There would have been marches, demonstrations, candlelight vigils, and angry manifestos mass-signed by the college faculty.

As a black and a female, Anna would have been a twofer victim. If she’d also been a lesbian, the entire editorial staff of the New York Times would have been raptured up into heaven before they could do any reporting.

Second: If any of the accused males were black, the authorities would have done their utmost to minimize the case, if they couldn’t bury it completely.

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Breaking News: ‘Socialists Are Cheaters, Says New Study’

Shocking!

“The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task,” according to a new study, “The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems,” from Duke University and the University of Munich. The team of researchers concluded this after working with 259 participants from Berlin who grew up on opposite sides of the infamous wall.

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No doubt Olivia Chow is excited by this... Venezuela's Breathtaking Air Tax

For Venezuelans fed up with life under 21st-century socialism, checking in at Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas is a breath of fresh air. That's exactly what the gatekeepers of the Bolivarian Republic had in mind when they dreamed up the latest levy on the wallets of companeros on the wing.

No doubt Olivia Chow is excited by this...

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'It's jihad, innit, bruv': meet the British Muslims going to fight in Syria

Turkey, Syria, Iraq: ‘It’s jihad, innit, bruv.’ The young British Muslim cut an absurd figure in ski mask, dark glasses and hoodie. He had not used that exact phrase but it would have summed up our faintly comical encounter. I remembered a security analyst’s remark that British Islamists in the Middle East are best explained by Four Lions, the mock documentary about some Yorkshire jihadis on an incompetent quest for martyrdom.

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Gaza Massacre Scam Exposed – 78% of Casualties are Male

The data finds that the vast majority of dead are male. These results are statically impossible if Israel were bombing a civilian population randomly or with the intent of inflicting civilian casualties.

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Two Women Living in U.S. Charged with Terrorism

Three women, two of them living in the United States, were arrested in their homes Wednesday and charged with raising money for the terrorist group al Shabaab.

Muna Osman Jama, 34, from Reston, Virginia and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 44, of Kent, Washington, are accused of coordinating a network of women who sent monthly payments to terrorists in Kenya and Somalia.

h/t Marvin

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Airline Branch Manager Says FAA Cancellation ‘Smacks of Politics’

The manager of the Israeli branch of a foreign airline said on Wednesday morning that the FAA’s decision on Tuesday to cancel flights to the Jewish state “smacks of politics.”

According to Israeli daily Israel Hayom, the manager said, “The information we received from the Civil Aviation Authority takes into account all safety measures for Ben Gurion Airport and in this case there is no security justification for stopping flights. This is probably just another way to pressure Israel to reach a ceasefire.”

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ISIS enforces female circumcision

The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) group is asking all families in Mosul to circumcise their daughters or face severe punishment.

The Spokesman of Mosul Police Ahmed Obaydi told BasNews: “Baghdadi’s decision to have all women circumcised is, as he claims, to prevent immorality and promote Islamic attitudes among Muslims. The decision was made by Baghdadi as a ‘gift’ for people in Mosul.”

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Australia’s scrapping of the despised, ineffective carbon tax sends a clear lesson to Canadian politicians.

Order is restored down under

After nine long months of confrontational debate, heated rhetoric, and some serious parliamentary haggling, Australia's young Coalition government achieved a major legislative victory by killing the hated carbon tax in the nation's Senate.

An alliance of Conservative and Crossbench Senators enthusiastically clapped the carbon tax out of existence by 39 votes to 32.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott lauded the repeal: "The useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families' cost of living, which didn't actually help the environment, is finally gone."

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Gun law overhaul

The feds have proposed a new 'common sense' firearms act, and it's a step in the right direction.

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Turks pour evil Jewish Coca Cola into street

"Evil Jewish coca cola got what it deserves - Buy it and then Spill it on the street lol"




Mumbai Muslims Protest Gaza by Boycotting Pepsi, Nescafe

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Palestinian Supporters Continue to Call Terrorists ‘Innocent Civilians’

It’s everywhere: the Palestinian propaganda the mainstream world media picks up on a daily basis.

The poor Palestinians, the innocent casualties, ignoring the human shield method that Hamas employs and demonizing Israel for having less casualties, a fact easily explained by the IDF’s mission to protect Israelis, rather than purposely putting them in the line of fire.

And still, there are too many Israeli casualties...

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