Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin
The King and Queen of Republican Fear Mongering and Racism
Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt
Did 9/11 make us all mad? Our memorial to the innocents who died nine years ago has been a holocaust of fire and blood . . .
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Did 9/11 make us all go mad? How fitting, in a weird, crazed way, that the apotheosis of that firestorm nine years ago should turn out to be a crackpot preacher threatening another firestorm with a Nazi-style book burning of the Koran. Or a would-be mosque two blocks from “ground zero” – as if 9/11 was an onslaught on Jesus-worshipping Christians, rather than on the atheist West.
But why should we be surprised? Just look at all the other crackpots spawned in the aftermath of those international crimes against humanity: the half-crazed Ahmadinejad, the smarmy post-nuclear Gaddafi, Blair with his crazed right eye and George W Bush with his black prisons and torture and lunatic “war on terror”.
Saturn’s moons team up
Alan Boyle writes
Saturn’s 62 moons range from overgrown rocks that are less than a half-mile wide to giant Titan, which is bigger than the planet Mercury. These pictures from the Cassini orbiter show off two “quartets” of moons against the backdrop of Saturn’s rings. But you have to look really, really close to see the smallest members of each group.
The first picture, taken on July 17 and released today, features Titan in the lower left corner and the icy moon Tethys toward the upper right. So where are the other moons in the foursome? Pandora, a 50-mile-wide “shepherd” moon that helps keep Saturn’s F-ring in line, is on the very left edge of the image.
US faces ‘Americanisation’ of terror threat
Nine years after the September 11 attacks, the United States faces a growing threat from home-grown insurgents and an “Americanisation” of al-Qaeda leadership, according to a report released on Friday
PHIL STEWART | WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES – Sep 11 2010
Former heads of the 9/11 Commission that studied the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington presented the 43-page study, describing it as a wake-up call about the radicalization of Muslims in the United States and the changing strategy of al-Qaeda and its allies.
“The threat that the US is facing is different than it was nine years ago,” said the report, released by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Centre.
Pastor Terry Jones’s Koran-burning threat started with a tweet
By Ann Gerhart and Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 10, 2010; 10:56 PM
On the afternoon of July 12, the Rev. Terry Jones fired off a series of messages on Twitter, decrying Islam as fascism and President Obama’s support for a new Kenyan constitution that could permit abortion and codify Islamic law. His final one for the day said this: 9/11/2010 Int Burn a Koran Day.
With that abbreviated declaration, the fringe pastor from Gainesville, Fla., began a crusade that two months later culminated in deadly riots in Afghanistan, threats from jihadists and pleas from world leaders that Jones call off his inflammatory stunt.
Medvedev defends Russian progress on path to democracy
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has defended Russia’s progress on the path to democracy after a history of authoritarian rule. He rejected calls for a new political system with reduced presidential powers.
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has hit out at criticism of democracy in Russia, and accused critics of failing to take account of Russia’s authoritarian history.
At an international policy forum on Friday, Medvedev also said that Russia’s system of government did not need a major overhaul.
Medvedev told the gathering in the city of Yaroslavl that rule by the tsars and the Soviet leadership meant that Russia was “a country with a thousand years of authoritarian history,” only starting out on the path to democracy.
“There has practically never been democracy in Russia,” said Medvedev in response to criticism that Russia was not making enough progress in establishing a fully democratic society.
Settlers vow to keep on building – at any cost
Talks to resume against background of resistance from hardliners
By Catrina Stewart in Kiryat Arba Saturday, 11 September 2010
As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare for key peace talks in Egypt, hardline Jewish settlers are vowing to sabotage a political process that they fear, if successful, could endanger the survival of the Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sit down for a second round of talks on Tuesday in a US-sponsored effort to end nearly two decades of deadlock, but opponents of the negotiations say they are quietly confident of their failure.
Obama has urged Netanyahu to extend partial construction freeze
At a news conference, Obama argues the freeze has been ‘significant’ in reducing Israeli construction, which the Palestinians oppose and consider a threat to what they could gain from a peace deal.
By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington – President Obama said Friday that he had urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend a partial freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank because peace talks with the Palestinians “are moving in a constructive way.”
In remarks at a White House news conference, Obama argued that the freeze has been “significant” in reducing Israeli construction, which the Palestinians oppose and consider a threat to what they could gain from a peace deal. Obama did not describe Netanyahu’s response.
The Karzai empire, villas in Dubai and fears over Afghan aid
The family of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has been linked to more than a dozen expensive homes in the Gulf, raising fears that Western aid money sent to Afghanistan is being misused.
By Richard Spencer in Dubai, James Kirkup and Damien McElroy
The Daily Telegraph today reveals a property empire in Dubai assembled at a cost of £90 million that is owned or occupied by close relatives and associates of Mr Karzai.
The property holdings emerged as Mr Karzai, who leads one of the world’s poorest and most deprived countries, has struggled to salvage Afghanistan’s biggest private bank, Kabul Bank, which bankrolled the purchases.
The centrepiece of the holdings is a portfolio of 14 villas on the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’s showpiece property development, registered in the name of Sher Khan Farnood, the former chairman of Kabul Bank. Kabul Bank also owns an apartment, two business plots and a loss-making airline, Pamir Airlines, in Dubai.
Malaysia’s forgotten, forgiven 9/11 history
By Derek Henry Flood
KUALA LUMPUR – It would have been nearly impossible for terrorists Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi not to have seen the twin towers as they arrived in this capital city. Soaring towards the heavens with their post-modern Islamic symmetry, Malaysia’s Petronas towers were completed in just over six years from 1993-1999.
The towers were commissioned by Malaysia’s state oil and gas company Petronas to symbolize the country’s aspirant transition from the post-colonial developing world to the pro-capitalist developed. The debut of the twin towers of the East achieved their intended effect of making Petronas’ mark as a serious player in world energy markets, as well as creating a lasting symbol aimed at accelerating the country’s tourism sector.
Mozambique govt suspends SMSes
Vodacom group subsidiary Vodacom Mozambique suspended its clients’ SMSing capabilities under orders of the Mozambican government, independent media reported on Friday.
MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE Sep 11 2010
The National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), which regulates telecommunications in the Southern African country, sent a letter to Vodacom Mozambique and state operator mCel on Monday ordering them to suspend SMSing, reported the Mediafax news sheet.
“The two carriers obeyed the instruction on the conviction that it had been given by the government as a decision framed in terms of national security,” Mediafax reported.
Guinea poll chief guilty of fraud
Head of electoral commission sentenced to one year in prison for electoral fraud, ten days ahead of presidential vote.
Guinea’s electoral commission chief has been sentenced to one year in prison for electoral fraud during June’s presidential vote, just ten days before the contest goes to a run-off on September 19.
Ben Sekou Sylla, the president of the National Independent Electoral Commission (Ceni), and another official were convicted of vote-tampering on Friday.
Boubacar Bah, a senior prosecutor, said the pair had been sentenced to “one year in prison and a fine of two million Guinea francs [$350] each for electoral fraud”.
Salvadoran leader speaks of criminal gangs’ links to drug cartels
In L.A. to meet community leaders on immigration issues, President Mauricio Funes tells The Times that boosting U.S.-led economic investment is best for defeating drug violence and illegal immigration.
times staff reports
September 11, 2010
El Salvador’s president, Mauricio Funes, the country’s first leftist leader since the end of its civil war in 1992, finds himself preoccupied with a deepening struggle against criminal gangs and international drug cartels.
Since winning office in 2009, Funes has deployed the army to back up police, who are trying to curb a drug-fueled homicide rate that claims about 12 victims a day.
On Thursday, he signed a controversial law criminalizing gang membership. The gangs responded by shutting down nationwide public transportation with the threat of violence.