Friday, September 30, 2005

Rodney King has been arrested and accused of threatening to kill his 23-year-old daughter and her mother


King, 40, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of making criminal threats.

He was being held on $25 000 bail.

He was accused of threatening to kill his 23-year-old daughter, Candace, and her mother, Carmen Simpson, after the two got in a fight with King's current girlfriend, Dawn Jean.

All three women live in King's home.

The daughter, who called police, said King was armed with a handgun, but it turned out to be a toy, according to authorities.

This clown just can't stay out of trouble.

Rodney King slams SUV into house, breaks pelvis

The new Muslim chaplain of the New York city fire department (FDNY) has resigned because of some controversial views on 9/11


The chaplain was supposed to be officially sworn in today. Instead, he quit.

Today's Newsday quoted him as saying he's skeptical of the official version of the Nine-Eleven attacks. He says a building that would take two or three weeks to demolish came down in a couple of hours, and he wonders whether there was a conspiracy beyond the 19 hijackers.

New York's fire commissioner told reporters it's became clear to the cleric that he would have difficulty functioning as a fire department chaplain.

A spokesman for the Islamic Society of Fire Department Personnel says, "We had no idea those were his views." He says, "It's sad."

Conspiracy theories are deeply rooted in the Islamic community


Norway can expel mullah Krekar


Controversial mullah Krekar suffered a legal setback when an appeals court ruled Thursday that the decision to expel him as a threat to national security could not be overturned, but the former Ansar al-Islam leader is still not likely to leave Norway soon.

Krekar's legal counsel Brynjar Meling has advised taking appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, to test the ramifications of the case to the limit.

Krekar's battle to avoid expulsion has now gone on for three years, and Meling said his client was tired.

"But I hope that he is ready for a new round in court. The way I see it he has no choice. Traveling back is impossible," Meling said.

Meling argued that the latest ruling does not provide a basis for contending that Krekar is a threat to national security.

"What the court has said is that they cannot rehear the established ruling and they must rely on the assessment made by the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development (Erna Solberg)," Meling told TV 2 Nettavisen. The court felt unable to test the background of the expulsion since it did not have access to necessary, confidential, documents.

Solberg and government attorney Tolle Stabell argue that Krekar can be expelled while his case is appealed given that conditions in Iraq are acceptable, though he cannot be sent to a country where he may face torture or inhuman treatment.

The court also did not rule on whether Krekar, who was granted asylum in Norway in 1992, could be expelled on the grounds of his violations of the Immigration Act - the latest decision only means that the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development is cleared of improperly ordering his expulsion.

Solberg said she was pleased with the ruling but that guarantees were needed that Krekar would not risk a death sentence or ill treatment if he was returned to Iraq.

Mullah Krekar lost in court

Albany Mosque Leaders Face Court Today

Who are the insurgents in Iraq?

Three Turku men arrested in Iraq on suspicion of terrorist contacts

Al-Qaida group in Norway


The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), linked to terrorist attacks in Madrid and Casablanca, has active members in Norway according to Italian intelligence sources.

Sources at the Italian defense intelligence organization SISMI have warned that volunteers fighting against American-led forces in Iraq are returning to Italy to carry out attacks, and that investigation indicates active links with comrade cells throughout Europe.

"Europe is no longer just a site for support and logistical aid for al-Qaida, it has become a type of battlefield," SISMI wrote in a report this spring.

According to newspaper Corriere della Sera, Italian CIGM members have had contact with cells om France, Bosnia, Morocco, Sweden, Britain and Norway.

Brynjar Lia at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) could not confirm or disprove the claim that the CIGM was active in Norway, but pointed out that a Danish-Moroccan was linked to the May 2003 terrorist attack in Casablanca that killed 45.

"The group (CIGM) formed in Europe in 1993 and established itself in Morocco the year after. It has branches in most places in Europe, also Scandinavia," Lia said.

In the Spotlight: Moroccan Combatant Group (GICM)

French Busts In Morocco Bombing

Moroccan Extremists Eyed in Madrid Probe

Madrid bombing suspects

Spain names 'bomb suspect' group

A mayoral candidate in Copenhagen has been accused of racism

Copenhagen Post:

The Danish People's Party's (DF) mayoral candidate in Copenhagen, Louise Frevert, has been reported to the police for posting derogatory comments on Muslims on her website.

Frevert removed the article from her website and apologised after criticism hailed down over her from media, her own political party, and other politicians, one of whom reported her to the police for breaching the anti-racism law.

Frevert wrote about young Muslim men that, even if they were born in Denmark and spoke Danish, their fundamental attitudes were incompatible with Danish society.

'Whatever happens, they feel it's their right to rape Danish girls and stamp out Danish citizens,' she wrote. 'Our laws forbid us to kill our enemies in public, so our only remedy is to fill our prisons with these criminals.'

Frevert went on to say that it was an expensive solution, and that the most efficient method would probably be to send Muslims to Russian prisons for a fee of DKK 25 per day.

'Even that solution is short-sighted, since when they return home, they would be even more determined to kill Danes,' she said.

In another article, Frevert compared Muslims with cancer cells, which could only be treated with chemotherapy or surgically removed.

The comments prompted Social Democratic councillor candidate Lars Rasmussen to report Frevert to the police for violating the country's anti-racism law.

'Her comments sound like something she heard from the Nazi Party,' Rasmussen said. 'But they are running for office too, so the People's Party might be on its way to form an election coalition with Jonni Hansen and the Nazis.'

The Danish People's Party's leadership did not seem to like the connotation.

'This is not the party's policy, and it never will be,' DF vice chairman Peter Skaarup said. 'We have told Louise Frevert that this isn't the party's policy, and to eliminate any doubt, we think she should confirm that. She understands that.'

Frevert seemed to have gotten the message.

'I can understand that these articles have caused a stir. It was not my intention, and I apologise,' she said in a press release on DF's website. 'I will make sure that the comments will be removed from the website.'

Apparently, free speech is against the law in Denmark.

Danish Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen retracts his statements on war against Muslims, after causing a stir in his cultural canon committee

Copenhagen Post:

Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen has apologised for his statements that a canon of the country's cultural heritage would serve as a tool to fight the influence of Muslim culture.

The statement upset the work of the canon committee and several members threatened to resign, national broadcaster DR reported.

Mikkelsen wrote on his ministry's website, that the cultural canon had no ties to any political party.

'I would also like to reject any attempt to link the cultural canon together with the right-of-centre cultural struggle, which deals with fundamentalism versus democracy. I see the non-political element as one of the cultural canon's finest qualities and have no intention of placing it inside a fixed political frame,' Mikkelsen said.

Despite a crisis meeting on Thursday to resolve differences, tensions remained high between Mikkelsen and the canon committee, appointed to create a canon of 84 Danish cultural works in areas such as architecture, film, and literature.

Several members of the committee threatened to abandon the project after Mikkelsen's statements at the Conservative Party's national congress.

'In the middle of our country a parallel society is developing in which minorities practice their Middle Age norms and undemocratic mindset. We cannot and will not accept this,' Mikkelsen said in his speech over the weekend, adding that the canon should be used to promote Danish values, 'because not all values are equally good'.

One of the committee members who threatened to leave, professor Erik A. Nielsen, said he had decided to stay on after learning of the minister's statement.

'I have put down my gun,' he said. 'Brian Mikkelsen's statement is something as rare as a retraction from a minister. I think this is as far as a minister can be expected to retreat.'

Minister's Muslim culture comments upset canon work

Baptist church leaders face federal fraud charges

Timothy Pratt:


A federal grand jury has charged a pastor, his wife and an associate minister at what may be Nevada's oldest black Baptist church with using $330,000 with bank fraud, use of federal grant money to enrich themselves and other offenses. The U.S. attorney announced Tuesday the indictment of the Rev. Willie Davis, pastor at Second Baptist Church -- which is known as the "mother church of Las Vegas," according to its Web site -- his wife, Emma, and the Rev. McTheron Jones.

The Justice Department gave a federal grant to a nonprofit organization Davis heads called the Alliance Collegiums Association of Nevada in late 2002. With the $423,000 grant the organization was supposed to open and operate halfway houses for former convicts.

The indictment says the defendants never opened a halfway house but they did spend about $330,000 of the grant, among the first for Southern Nevada from President Bush's faith-based initiative program.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7.

Calls to the church and to Jones' home seeking comment were not returned Tuesday or this morning.

Cecil Davis, who is no relation to the minister and his wife, was hired along with Victoria Coleman to work at the program the grant was to support. When the two didn't get paid, they approached the Justice Department, Cecil Davis said this morning.

"That was the beginning of the end of this corrupt regime," he said.

He said this morning that was supposed to be paid about $11,000, which he never received.

When the Sun reported in September 2002 on the flap over the lack of payment Willie Davis said the two were disgruntled former employees.

But federal investigators launched an investigation and froze the group's funds in June 2003.

The indictment alleges that Jones and the Davises, who filed for personal bankruptcy in 2002, drew pay for work they did not do and paid themselves fees and raises the grant did not allow.

Additionally the indictment alleges that the three gave false documents to investigators such as time sheets for work not done and minutes for board minutes that didn't occur. It alleges Emma Davis used a Social Security number that was not hers in the organization's bank account and in applying for a $90,000 loan from the Community Bank of Nevada.

Money connected to Reid


HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy

Brian DeBose:

A Bush Cabinet officer predicted this week that New Orleans likely will never again be a majority black city, and several black officials are outraged.

Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, during a visit with hurricane victims in Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of "500,000 people for a long time," and "it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, quickly took issue.

"Anybody who can make that kind of projection with some degree of certainty or accuracy must have a crystal ball that I can't see or maybe they are more prophetic than any of us can imagine," he said.

Other members of the caucus said the comments by Mr. Jackson, who is black, could be misconstrued as a goal, particularly considering his position of responsibility in the administration.

"I would beg and hope that the secretary, if that is what he is saying, would re-evaluate the situation," said Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat.

Mr. Jackson, whose remarks were reported by the Houston Chronicle, said New Orleans might reach a population of 375,000 people sometime late next year with a black population of about 40 percent at the highest, down from 67 percent before Hurricane Katrina sent a storm surge that overwhelmed New Orleans levees and flooded 80 percent of the city.

The population of New Orleans before Katrina was a little less than 500,000, surrounded by large, predominantly white suburbs. The largely black Ninth Ward and the predominantly white middle-class Lakeview section near Lake Pontchartrain were overwhelmed by floodwaters.

Mr. Jackson, a former developer and longtime government housing official, said the history of urban reconstruction projects shows that most blacks will not return and others who want to might not have the means or opportunity. His agency will play a critical role in the city's redevelopment through various grant programs, including those for damaged or destroyed properties.

New Orleans' racial makeup up in air

William Bennett, abortions and black crime

Associated Press:

Bennett, on his radio show, "Morning in America," was answering a caller's question when he took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up.

"But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," said Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues."

He went on to call that "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."

Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was "morally reprehensible."

William Bennett blasted for citing Steven D. Levitt's Freakonomics theory

Shameful Attacks

The manic-depressive conventional wisdom on New Orleans

Religion and Crime, Cont

Two new articles by Charles Murray

The Hallmark of the Underclass

Taylor vs. Sailer—Survival v. "Citizenism"

Charles Murray On Growing Underclass Criminality

Hundreds of women have demonstrated in Pakistan demanding the country's president apologise for controversial remarks about female rape victims

BBC News:

Many abused women live in conservative rural areas

Protesters carried banners and placards and heard speeches denouncing Pervez Musharraf's comments, made in the US.

Gen Musharraf said that rape had become an opportunity to make money and emigrate, but also insisted his government supported women's rights.

He denied making the remarks, but the comments are available on the internet.

In Islamabad, human rights activist Hina Jillani told the crowds that the president's remarks were an insult to women, and called for an "unqualified apology" from Mr Musharraf.

The rally, held close to the presidential palace and Pakistan's parliament, was organised by the Joint Action Committee, a grouping of womens' groups and human rights activists.

Gen Musharraf was interviewed by the Washington Post while in the US on 13 September.

He was quoted as saying: "You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern.

"A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped."

The remarks prompted an official protest by the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Gen Musharraf quickly denied making the comments, but the Washington Post has since made an audio recording of the interview available on its website.

Many Pakistani women routinely face abuse and rape in a male-dominated society.

Incidents of violent rape have caused outrage in recent years, with victims like Mukhtaran Mai and Dr Shazia Khalid highlighting the issue.

Ms Mai, an illiterate 33-year-old woman, was gang-raped in 2002, apparently on the orders of a village council.

Pakistan women in soccer punch-up

Rape remarks stain Musharraf's reputation

A Colombian right-wing paramilitary leader wanted on drug trafficking charges by the US will not be extradited, the government has said

BBC News:

It said Diego Fernando Murillo, known as Don Berna, could stay in Colombia provided he honoured the terms of a peace process with the government.

The US said it would continue to seek Don Berna's extradition.

He is alleged to have worked for the drug-trafficker Pablo Escobar before emerging as an AUC commander.

Don Berna's extradition had been authorised by Colombia's Supreme Court earlier this month.

But on Thursday, President Alvaro Uribe said the paramilitary would not be handed over to the US if he co-operated with the demobilisation process set out in the Justice and Peace law.

The law passed recently by congress limits the time for investigations into any atrocities, as well as the jail sentences that can be served for them.

It has proved very controversial, with human rights groups arguing that it will provide an amnesty for paramilitaries and allow them to act with impunity.

And Uribe is supposed to be an ally of the United States. I wonder how many drug-traffickers would he be trying to protect from the US justice system if he were our enemy?

Canada Gets Haitian Governor General

Associated Press:

Queen Elizabeth II's new representative in Canada is a refugee from Haiti — the first black and only the third woman to hold the title of governor general.

Michaelle Jean, 48, is also one of the youngest to hold the office, the highest in Canada's constitutional order. It is a sensitive if largely ceremonial post, dedicated to promoting a national identity for a vast country with deep political and linguistic fault lines.

"I have come a long way," she said ahead of her swearing-in Tuesday. "My ancestors were slaves, they fought for freedom. I was born in Haiti, the poorest country in our hemisphere. I am a daughter of exiles driven from their home by a dictatorial regime."

Her critics claim she is a token and a pawn, picked by Prime Minister Paul Martin to boost slipping support for federalism and his Liberal Party in Quebec. Some say she should have been disqualified from the position because of her alleged ties to Quebec's separatist movement.

Martin has stood by her, calling her a talented woman who will bring fresh perspective to Rideau Hall, the governor general's residence in Ottawa.

"Born in Haiti, she knows what it is to come to a new country with little more than hope," Martin said when he announced her appointment in August. Jean's family fled the brutal regime of dictator Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier in Haiti when she was 11.

"She is a reflection of that great quality of Canada, a country which focuses on equality of opportunity," he said. "She reflects what we are and what we want to be."

Haitian immigrants have been rejoicing in Quebec — the French-speaking province that is now home to 100,000 immigrants or descendants of the Caribbean nation. Other immigrants see Jean, the 27th governor general, as a symbol of what they or their children can hope to achieve in this multicultural nation.

Though once a British subject, the governor general — who is also commander in chief of the Canadian Forces — has been Canadian since 1952.

Bills passed in Parliament do not become law until the governor general gives them so-called royal assent, but this is done on the advice of the prime minister and his Cabinet and rarely does the governor general dissent.

Jean will also hold special powers to promote stability in times of emergency.

Outgoing Governor General Adrienne Clarkson was asked to extend her term as the country grappled with the uncertainty of Martin's minority government earlier this year.

The divisive issue of Quebec separation could plague Jean throughout her tenure, which is typically five years. A Quebec nationalist publication has asserted she and her French-born husband were once known in Quebec cultural circles as separatists.

Though Quebecois narrowly defeated the last independence referendum in 1995, recent polls have indicated that if another vote were held today, Quebecers might favor of some sort of autonomy within Canada.

Jean remained quiet about the issue until the furor grew so loud she was forced to issue a short statement confirming her commitment to Canadian federalism and denying that she belonged to any political party or the separatist movement.

Jean also announced Sunday that she would give up her dual French citizenship, which she acquired when she married French-born Quebec filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond.

The road to Rideau Hall has been full of roadblocks and challenges for Jean.

The daughter of an abusive father, she also survived cancer. Devastated by her inability to conceive a child, she and her husband adopted one of their own.

Jean became one of the first black reporters at Radio-Canada, the CBC's French-language television service, and went on to become a popular anchor and narrator for documentaries.

Most Canadians believe Jean will proudly represent their nation, which was built by immigrants and is today one of the most diverse in the world. Still, as she rises to the highest office on Tuesday, demonstrators plan to protest and demand an end to what they see as one of the last vestiges of their British colonial past.

Jean's claim of end to two solitudes is wishful thinking: Quebec politicians

Jean and unity (Insert dose of reality here)

Australian birthrate rises after official urges citizens to have ‘one for your country’


Treasurer Peter Costello urged Australians to “do their patriotic duty” and have more children but it seems they were doing it anyway, just for fun. A new study shows the birthrate hitting its highest level in seven years.

A study by Australian National University demographer Peter McDonald showed the country’s birthrate at 1.77 per woman in 2004, its highest level since 1997. McDonald believes the rate will stay around 1.8 for the next 5-10 years.

“We’ve been calling for policies to support work and family for several years, and also there’s been a great deal of discussion about, ‘if you wait too long, there’s a chance that you won’t have the baby’,” McDonald said.

“That kind of public discussion has been pretty prominent and I think that has had its effect,” he said. During a budget speech in May last year, Costello urged Australians to have more children, telling couples to “have one for your husband, one for your wife and one for your country.”

Costello’s comments came as this country of 20.3 million people struggles to deal with an aging population. The government’s Productivity Commission has forecast that one in four Australians will be aged over 65 by 2045.

Australia's population up to 20.3m

Costello's baby boom on the way

Fifty women suing gynaecologist twin over 'impersonation'

Catherine Elsworth:

Up to 50 women are suing a Seattle gynaecologist who allegedly allowed his identical twin to impersonate him in his clinic and sexually abuse his patients.

The women, patients of Charles Momah, claim that both he and his twin Dennis, a doctor not qualified to work as a gynaecologist, molested them over a number of years as they secretly swapped places, harming them with unnecessary and often botched invasive procedures.

Some claim to have been raped on the examination table by both of the 49-year-old Nigerian-born brothers. One woman blames them for the death of her baby. The allegations have echoes of the film Dead Ringers in which Jeremy Irons plays identical twin gynaecologists who share sexual partners without their knowledge.

Charles Momah, who had medical practices in two suburbs south of Seattle, is also facing criminal charges of rape, indecent assault and insurance fraud in a trial due to begin next month. He has pleaded not guilty.

The women suing the twins hope that if he is convicted, charges will also be brought against his brother, who has not been charged with any crime.

Dr Momah's patients allege that they were assaulted by him and deceived into being examined, operated on and sexually abused by his twin. Their suspicions were aroused by changes in the doctor's weight and demeanour, they claim, and that he would allegedly forget their names or when their last appointment was.

Jeannine Lapoint, 27, attended Dr Momah's clinic between 1998 and 2002, during which she said she had 50 cervical smear tests.

She claims that her pregnancy was mismanaged, leading to the stillbirth of one of her twins and brain damage of the other boy, now four.

"At first I did not want to believe the reports," Miss Lapoint said. "But then it started to make sense. I put my faith and trust in him [Charles Momah]. I am so angry."

Her sister, Shannea Day, 29, alleges that Charles Momah repeatedly examined her vagina and never in the presence of a nurse.

Daleena Rollins, a former patient of Charles Momah, has accused the doctor of sexually assaulting her during an examination in 1995.

Her case is not among the criminal charges being brought against the doctor but she is suing him. She is not, however, suing his brother.

In October 2003, she told the King County Journal: "It only took once for me to know what he [Charles Momah] was doing." She said he assaulted her during breast and pelvic examinations.

Doctor sues over sex charges involving his twin

Dead Ringers Redux

A federal judge has certified a class action lawsuit alleging that FedEx Corp. discriminated against minority workers

Associated Press:

The suit contends the delivery service paid thousands of current and former minority employees less than their white counterparts, passed over them for promotions and gave minorities poor work evaluations.

James Finberg, an attorney representing the class, said FedEx normally promotes from within, yet three times the number of package handlers and loaders are minorities compared to drivers, who earn more. Twice the number of minorities fail promotional tests than do whites, Finberg added.

"FedEx knows that black and Hispanics fail at a much higher rate, but yet has not changed the test," Finberg said.

In other words, Finberg wants FedEx to change its tests so that they become useless in separating the competent from the incompetent.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Israel urges ultra-Orthodox Jews to work

Steven Silber:

Dudi Zilbershlag is an ultra-Orthodox Jew who wears the beard, black coat and skullcap of a community steeped in centuries of tradition.

A key difference between him and most of the hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews -- or haredim -- in Israel is that Zilbershlag, a consultant and newspaper publisher, works.

More than 60 percent of ultra-Orthodox adults in the country do not work, says the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and 55 percent of the community of up to 800,000 lives below the poverty line.

Government subsidies, especially for child care, and a fear army service will erode their way of life have kept many haredim studying Judaism's holy books full time, even though their cousins outside the Jewish state work.

Their absence from the army can isolate them and prevent them from integrating fully into the workforce.

"When we didn't have our own country almost all the haredim had to have an occupation. The rabbis in the Talmud were shoemakers and farmers and blacksmiths, because they needed to have a livelihood," said Shlomo Maital, academic director of the Technion School of Management in Tel Aviv.

"Now that we have our own country and a welfare state, the welfare state is regarded by them as something that should support all haredim rather than just a tiny select few."

Maital said if groups such as the haredim, handicapped people and students worked, Israel could add another $12 billion to its 2004 gross domestic product of $122 billion.

Jerusalem tour bus stoned by haredim

The Struggle For Israel`s Soul

The new haredim

The holy revolution

Spain: Islamic guide on how to beat your wife

Isambard Wilkinson:

An imam who wrote a book on how to beat your wife without leaving marks on her body has been ordered by a judge in Spain to study the country's constitution.

The judge told Mohamed Kamal Mustafa, imam of a mosque in the southern resort of Fuengirola, to spend six months studying three articles of the constitution and the universal declaration of human rights.

Mr. Mustafa was sentenced to 15 months in jail and fined about $2,600 last year after being found guilty of inciting violence against women.

A judge released him after 22 days in jail on the condition that he undertake a re-education course.

The Spanish government has set up a commission to find ways for the Muslim community to regulate itself. A central recommendation is that imams speak Spanish and have a basic knowledge of human rights and Spanish law.

In his book "Women in Islam," published four years ago, Mr. Mustafa wrote that verbal warnings followed by a period of sexual inactivity could be used to discipline a disobedient wife.

If that failed, he argued that, according to Islamic law, beatings could be judiciously administered.

"The blows should be concentrated on the hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body," he wrote.

Mr. Mustafa's lessons, which he must pay for, will be taught by teachers from Malaga University.

According to La Vanguardia newspaper, he will have to study articles 10, 14 and 15 of the constitution. The first two address "the dignity of a person and inviolable rights" and states "all Spaniards are equal before the law."

The third one states "the moral and physical integrity of a person in no case can be submitted to torture nor inhuman or degrading punishments or treatment."

Preacher jailed for 'wife-beating manual'

Imam rapped for wife-beating book

Anti-dhimmitude in Spain: Muslim author of book advocating wife-beating jailed

Europe Resisting Islam's Dark Ages

New chance for "hidden" asylum families in Sweden

The Local:

So-called 'hidden' asylum seekers, who have gone into hiding in Sweden after having their application turned down, will have to wait another month before coming forward without risking being thrown out of the country.

The government and its coalition partners, the Left Party and the Greens, agreed on Thursday to put forward a joint proposal on changes to immigration laws.

The changes, which are expected to come into force at the beginning of November, will give the Swedish Board of Migration the option to re-examine cases of asylum seekers who are facing deportation - especially when such a move would affect children who have spent a significant portion of their lives in Sweden.

"The best way is for us to make a change to the legislation which would allow us to bring forward the possibility for the Board of Migration to test these cases," said Migration Minister Barbro Holmberg.

She told Swedish Radio that the board would also have the power to stop deportations.

The precise contents of the proposal are not yet clear and negotiations between the parties will continue on Friday.

But one of the most important questions under debate is the criteria which will be used for determining whether or not an asylum seeker has the right to residency in Sweden. One factor could be the length of time they have been in the country, but Barbro Holmberg emphasised the role that children will play in the decision.

"I believe that the majority will be able to stay," she said.

"There are a great many families with children who have been in Sweden for a long time - this is about children who maybe don't know their homeland, or rather have experienced Sweden as their homeland."

Asylum protestors stop debate

Police slam "hidden refugee" school plan

Danish immigration minister in retreat

Copenhagen Post:

Pressure from the Danish People's Party has prompted Liberal Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj to put her plans to ease immigration rules for certain students on hold

Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj is halting her plans to ease Denmark's strict family reunification policy for certain groups, after fierce criticism from the Danish People's Party (DF), the minority government's support party.

Hvilshøj announced on Tuesday that young people studying in fields where Denmark lacks workers would be exempt from the strictest of the country's immigration barriers.

Hvilshøj said medical, IT, nursing, and other students in the natural sciences would no longer be forced to comply with the rule requiring that spouses be over 24-years old to immigrate to Denmark. Neither would they need to prove that they have stronger ties to Denmark than any other country.

Both rules were implemented by the Liberal-Conservative government as a way to stop arranged and pro-forma marriages amongst ethnic minorities and have been the subject of heated debate in Denmark and abroad.

DF's integration spokesman Jesper Langballe called her proposal 'stark raving mad' and asked for an urgent meeting.

'Nobody knows if you're really a student just because you've signed up for an academic program for one year,' he told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

Hvilshøj agreed to hold the meeting on Monday.

Family reunification rules slackened

Foreign language newscasts might be saved

Hispanics and poverty rates in the United States

Mortimer B. Zuckerman:

So why haven't overall poverty rates declined further? In a word, immigration. Many of those who come to the United States are not only poor but unskilled. Hispanics account for much of the increase in poverty--no surprise, since 25 percent of poor people are Hispanic. Since 1989, Hispanics represent nearly three quarters of the increase in the overall poverty population. Immigration has also helped keep the median income for the country basically flat for five straight years, the longest stretch of income stagnation on record.

Zuckerman Zaps Immigration, Again

1965 Immigration Reform Cost Blacks Minority Primacy

Sexual comment led L.A. store owner to shoot customers, police say

Associated Press:

A discount store owner shot and killed two of his frequent customers after one of the men made a sexual comment to a female clerk, police said.

"It started with an insult," said Los Angeles Police Detective Frank Weber, who was investigating the Sunday night shooting at the Super Discount Store.

The store owner, Rovidio Espana, 31, was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder in the killings of William Armistead, 23, and Courtney Whaley, 17.

The shootings shocked neighbors of Espana's South Los Angeles business, who said the store was a place of racial harmony in an area teeming with antagonism between Hispanics and blacks. They recalled how the Guatemalan immigrant forgave minor debts and gave children quarters to play the store's video machine.

"We got along with blacks as well as Mexicans. Race didn't matter to us," said Espana's wife, Lorena, who was not present when the shooting occurred. "For him to do what he did, he must have felt pressured in some way by the victims."

Police said the shootings were not the result of a racial conflict. Espana is Latino and the victims were black.

"Someone just got angry and it went from a verbal dispute to, 'I'm going to kill you,'" said Detective Rich Arciniega.

Police said Espana and the men argued after Armistead made a comment to the clerk shortly after arriving at the store around 9 p.m. Officers wouldn't say what was said.

The victims, who were friends, left the store but returned. At that point, Espana shot the men, neither of whom was armed, police said.

"I can see a lot of people placed in that situation and saying, 'Oh my God, what have I done?'" Weber said of Espana. "I think it's tragic on both sides."

Attorney Claims Shooting At Discount Store Was Self-Defense

Colombian police have found the bodies of three human fetuses hidden in statues destined for the United States

BBC News:

The discovery was made by officers searching for contraband at Bogota Airport on Tuesday.

The corpses were wrapped in plastic and concealed inside statues of Christian icons, which were smashed open.

Colombian police chief Gen Jord Alirio Varon said the four- to five-month-old foetuses could have been intended for use in Satanic rituals.

Gen Varon said the foetuses were found alongside crucifixes and medals.

He said officials are trying to find out who sent the packages, which came from Barranquilla in Colombia and were destined for Miami in the US.

Human foetuses inside statues of Christian Saints at Bogota airport

Reports That Conditions in NOLA Were Exaggerated are Exaggerated


The article then attempts to ridicule one of the demonstrably true reports that a guardsman was shot in the leg - it turns out the wound was self-inflicted. Why did the soldier shoot himself? "In the darkness, as he walked through about six inches of water, Watt was attacked with a metal rod..." - so he shot himself while trying to fight off a thug beating him with a metal rod! Silly soldier, shooting himself in the leg; silly media, exaggerating again!

The Convention Center is where all the controversy was, because this ended up being an impromptu shelter - thus there were no weapons searches, no authorities in place. The article makes a half-hearted effort to whitewash the situation: Inside the Convention Center, the rumors of widespread violence have proved hard to substantiate, as well, though the masses of evacuees endured terrifying and inhumane conditions. Yeah, sounds like a lovely time. Probably the best that can be said about conditionas at the Convention Center is that there is only one substantiated murder, that there was likely only a handful of rapes, and that gunfire in the center may have been only intermittent, not continuous. There is no doubt about the voracious and destructive looting that occurred and the general lawlessness that prevailed.

Who Ya Gonna Believe?

NOLA '05 & Detroit '67

Bush losing support on Iraq

Pat Buchanan:

According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, 67 percent disapprove of how Bush is prosecuting the war. Only 32 percent approve. Three in five think America made a mistake going in. Close to two-thirds of the American people think we should start withdrawing troops now.

By a CBS/New York Times poll, only 7 percent of the nation is willing to cut domestic spending to pay for this war, only 20 percent, one in five, is willing to raise taxes. A majority of Americans wish this war had never happened and would just go away.

How, then, does President Bush, for the three and a half years left to him, persuade the American people to keep spending the blood of their soldiers and the treasure of the nation to fight it?

Undeniably, there is progress. The enemy is suffering losses. U.S.-trained Iraqi troops are more often taking the initiative. But the British army's jailbreak of two commandos locked up in Basra has ignited an explosion in the Shia south and revealed that militia tied to the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr, perhaps aided by Iran, is embedded in, if it does not control, the Basra police

As for the victory in Tal Afar, a Turkmen city, the Iraqi troops we assisted were apparently Kurds, which has further inflamed our estranged NATO ally Turkey.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, here last week, put no gloss on Riyadh's alarm. Iraq is hurtling toward a civil war that may become a regional war, he said, with Iran intervening to aid the Shia, Turkey attacking the Kurds and Sunni Arab nations aiding their dispossessed and embattled Sunni brethren. "All the dynamics are pulling the country apart," said Prince Saud.

The White House sees the constitution holding Iraq together until elections are held, but Prince Saud is dismissive: "[E]lections won't do it. A constitution alone won't do it."

David Frum in the WSJ

Is the United States worse than other countries because of religion?

Steve Sailer:

Paul's basic gimmick is an old chestnut, one I've seen dozens of times before: to make America look bad by comparing crime and other statistics for the entire American population, which is 27% black or Hispanic, to Europeans countries that are at least 90% white. That way you can prove that secularism or socialism or soccer or whatever you like about Europe is better for people than whatever you don't like about America.

This sleight of hand can be highly effective in duping readers into making apples to oranges comparisons between the U.S. and European countries. Why. Because we aren't allowed -- in polite society -- to write about how much higher the crime rates, abortion rates, STD rates and the like are for blacks and Hispanics than they are for whites or Asians,

But let's just put that key point about the racial make-up of the populations aside for the moment and look at some recent crime statistics for the overall American population, all races, versus various European populations. And America still comes out looking pretty good. Europe (not just Britain) has been undergoing a moral decline, at least as reflected in crime statistics, whereas the U.S. seems to have been on the moral upswing since a recent low point in the early 1990s.

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies

How Much Ruin In A Nation? UK vs US White Working Class

More bad analysis

Diversity, universities and America's future

Victor Davis Hanson:

In the end, why should we care about a few high-flying administrators who feel that diversity is the engine that runs the university? Because the U.S. is struggling in an increasingly competitive world in which Europe, China, Japan and India vie for global talent and national advantage through merit-based higher education. They don't care about the racial make-up of the teams that create breakthrough gene therapies or software programs, but only whether such innovations are valuable and superior to the competition.

As our own industrial, agricultural and manufacturing sectors decline, and as we suffer from increasing national debt, trade deficits, energy dilemmas and weak currency, Americans have maintained relative parity largely through information-based technology and superior research--all predicated on a superb system of higher education. At some point, Mr. Summers, Ms. Denton, Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Birgeneau might have wondered what precisely was the system that produced their lavish salaries and great campuses--and what protocols of merit, transparency, intellectual honesty and scholarly rigor were necessary to maintain them.

More importantly, we have lost sight of what university presidents are supposed to be. Their first allegiance ought to be to honesty and truth, not campus orthodoxy masquerading as intellectual bravery amid a supposedly reactionary society. In a world of intellectual integrity, Robert Birgeneau would ask, "Why are Asians excelling, and what can Berkeley do to encourage emulation of their success by other ethnic groups?" Denice Denton might wonder whether open hiring, monitored by affirmative action officers, applies to university staff or only those who are not associates of the president. President Hoffman would decry Ward Churchill's crass behavior and order a complete review of affirmative action and the politicized nature of hiring, retention, and tenure practices at Colorado. And Larry Summers? In the old world of the campus, he would defend free inquiry and expression, and remind faculty that all questions are up for discussion at Harvard. And if self-appointed censors wished to fire him for that, then he would dare them to go ahead and try.

The signs of erosion on our campuses are undeniable, whether we examine declining test scores, spiraling costs, or college graduates' ignorance of basic facts and ideas. In response, our academic leadership is not talking about a more competitive curriculum, higher standards of academic accomplishment, or the critical need freely to debate important issues. Instead, it remains obsessed with a racial, ideological, and sexual spoils system called "diversity." Even as the airline industry was deregulated in the 1970s, and Wall Street now has come under long-overdue scrutiny, it is time for Americans, if we are to ensure our privileged future, to re-examine our era's politicized university.

UW deans press for changes in admission rule

Reclaiming Higher Education from the Left

The Cost of Free Speech

The Left University

Banned In Oz, Posted On VDARE.COM: Fraser’s “Rethinking the White Australia Policy” (With Comment By Peter Brimelow)

Another Oz Outrage: Andrew Fraser Furor Continues

Guatemalan man, 27, poses as a high school student to learn English

Associated Press:

A 27-year-old Guatemalan man arrested for posing as an 18-year-old Pasco County high school student told authorities he enrolled because he wanted to learn English and get a good education.

Josue Oswaldo Ramirez-Mejia was arrested Tuesday and charged with uttering a forged instrument. He was being held on $5,000 bail.

Ramirez-Mejia used forged documents, including a Guatemalan birth certificate stating his birthday as Jan. 3, 1987, to enroll last month at J.W. Mitchell High School, officials said.

Someone also posed as his guardian, according to the sheriff's office.

"Everything seemed to be in place," said Jim Davis, an assistant superintendent with the school district.

Ramirez-Mejia was a good student and hadn't caused any problems, Davis said.

Officials learned Ramirez-Mejia's real age Tuesday after he lost his wallet during a physical education class.

Another student recovered the wallet, and a school resource officer looking through it found identification cards that revealed his true birthday was Jan. 3, 1978, Davis said.

Ramirez-Mejia told officials he wanted to learn English and get a good education, Davis said.

Maximo Ramirez-Mejia of Holiday said his brother planned to finish high school, learn English and work in the United States for a few years before returning to Guatemala.

He said his brother came to the United States three years ago, and would work after classes at their Lake Worth tiling business.

The FBI told sheriff's investigators that Ramirez-Mejia entered the United States illegally after being denied entry.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun deportment proceedings, Tampa-based spokeswoman Pam McCullough said.

Officials said Ramirez-Mejia would have been eligible for county adult education courses.

Illegal Immigrant, 27, Caught Posing As High Schooler

A man who used his mobile phone to replay footage of a beheading in Iraq to a hotel shop worker has been jailed for 60 days

BBC News:

Subhaan Younis, 23, played the images to shocked Charlotte McClay last September at a hotel in Glasgow.

Sentencing him at the city's district court, the stipendiary magistrate said he could not understand why Younis had the images on his phone.

Euan Edment said jail was a fitting penalty for the breach of the peace.

The magistrate told Younis: "I struggle to understand why you had images on your phone entailing the death and degradation of another human being, regardless of their religion or race.

"Miss McClay was shocked, upset and distressed by the images. This is a serious offence and something she will remember for a long time, perhaps for the rest of her life."

The magistrate said he did not accept Younis's claim that he had told Miss McClay he was going to show her the beheading and he believed she was interested in seeing it.

The court had heard how Younis, of Baliol Street, Glasgow, had been speaking to Miss McClay in the shop at the Moathouse Hotel in the city's Congress Road on 27 September 2004.

The part-time shop worker said he had downloaded the images onto his mobile phone from the internet.

Defence lawyer Dominic Sillar said: "This was a colossal mistake on Mr Younis's part.

"The incident arose out of a series of misunderstandings. Both had been engaged in a conversation about the Iraq War and he said he would show her something which would cause her sleepless nights and her reply was 'Aye right'.

"He didn't believe he was acting maliciously when he showed her the image. He misunderstood that she might want to view this and she misunderstood what might be shown to her.

"He fully accepts he was responsible for causing her upset. That was not his intention and he apologises for it."

However, the magistrate said he did not consider Younis's evidence to be reliable.

Man jailed for showing video of Iraq hostage beheading

‘He told me it would give me nightmares’

At least five people have been killed during a mass attempt by migrants to get into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa

BBC News:

A group of would-be African immigrants sit detained after scaling over a barrier which separates Spain's North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco on Tuesday

"Three died on the Moroccan side of the border and two on the Spanish side," said Spanish deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.

Officials in Ceuta said the migrants were crushed to death as hundreds tried to cross the border fence from Morocco.

Spanish officials have denied reports that police opened fire on the crowd.

Earlier this week hundreds of migrants crossed into nearby Melilla - another Spanish enclave seen as a way into Europe by the mostly African migrants.

More than 40 people, including policemen, have been injured in recent mass attempts to break through. Three would-be immigrants have died since August.

Many migrants are caught and many drown while attempting to make the sea crossing to enter Spain illegally.

At least 28 would-be immigrants were being treated in hospital for injuries, the regional government said.

News of the deaths came as the Spanish and Moroccan prime ministers held a summit in Seville on the issue of illegal immigration.

Morocco and Spain are geographically so close that Africans pour into Morocco from all over the continent in an attempt to enter the European Union.

EU justice and home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini said on Thursday: "This tragedy, once again, bears witness to the urgent need for a genuine and effective management of migration issues."

The two countries have engaged in joint efforts to stem the flow of immigrants, with Spain deciding to raise the height of fences in Ceuta and Melilla and post more soldiers there, and Morocco putting a tighter watch on its coastline.

Over the last few weeks would-be immigrants have been using ladders and what Spanish officials have described as "military tactics" in their increasingly desperate attempts to get over border barriers, says a BBC correspondent.

Moroccan authorities are resentful at having to patrol the borders of Ceuta and Melilla - over which they claim sovereignty - and there are suspicions in Spain that the timing of this recent rush of illegal immigrants is no coincidence, the BBC's Katya Adler in Madrid says.

Spain to Deploy Troops in Morocco Enclaves

Hundreds of migrants swarm Spanish outpost

Storming Europe: the migrants in search of a better life

Terrorist charges for jailed woman

Seeking Europe's 'promised land'

Muslim family killer must serve 20 years

BBC News:

Zaidi was on a contact visit when he killed his family Shazia was killed in front of her children before he slit their throats

A jealous husband jailed for life for killing his former wife and two children will have to serve at least 20 years, a High Court judge has ruled.

Zainulabedin Zaidi, 39, stabbed to death Shazia, 27, and then Saba, seven, and son Zeeshan, six, at home in Bracknell, Berkshire, in 2000.

He was convicted of three counts of murder at Reading Crown Court in 2000.

At the High Court on Thursday, Mr Justice Moses told him he must serve 20 years before parole is considered.

After the 20 years are up, Zaidi will be released if the parole board considers him no danger to the public.

During Zaidi's trial in Autumn 2000, the jury heard a recording of a 999 call in which one of the children pleads "Don't kill me Daddy".

The child also told the operator: "My Dad is getting my Mum and stabbing and killing me."

Zaidi was on a contact visit when he murdered his family in a jealous rage, the court heard.

His arranged Muslim marriage to Shazia had irretrievably broken down and she had remarried in secret.

Following the brutal murders, Zaidi bought himself a takeaway curry and then sought refuge with an acquaintance in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

He was arrested the following day after nationwide appeal by police.

Forensic evidence linked Zaidi to the crime with his former wife's blood being found splattered on his shoes and watch.

Zaidi had refused to give evidence during the trial. He was found guilty of all three murders.

Sentencing Zaidi to three life sentences, Mr Justice Moises said the former banker had shown little remorse and had persisted in denying responsibility for the attack.

Former partner denies murder of mother and two children

Court hears children’s last moments during 999 call

Jury hears boy's 999 murder call

Mexican Mafia prison gang 'Godfather' breaks ranks

BBC News:

As part of the "I Challenge" series looking at individuals who have challenged authority around the world, Rene Enriquez - a former leading member of the Mexican Mafia, a notorious US prison gang - tells the BBC about his experiences as a mafioso and his decision to quit the organisation.

In an old arrest photograph, Rene Enriquez stands defiantly, his criminal history boldly stamped across his torso.

One tattoo on his chest shouts for attention. It's a black hand, symbol of one of America's most violent gangs, the Mexican Mafia.

Rene, 43, formerly known as Boxer and once ranked as a Mexican Mafia "Godfather", is serving several life sentences for killings committed in the name of the gang.

For nearly 20 years, nothing stopped Rene in his climb from street thug to top leader in the Mexican Mafia.

He killed men and ordered hits, ran elaborate drug rings, laundered money, and mobilised thousands of Latino street gang members for battle.

Remarkably, Rene committed many of these crimes while serving a life sentence in one of America's most fearsome "Supermax" prisons using complex systems of communication and subterfuge.

But after years of this way of life, he began to question what he was doing.

"I was a leading member of the Mexican Mafia until one day, I decided that I'd had enough," he explains. "I decided to defect."

The Mexican Mafia is one of the "big five" prison gangs that turned California's criminal justice system on its head, operating with near-impunity behind bars.

California runs America's largest prison system, with more than 160,000 inmates. For years gangs controlled drug sales, extortion and other criminal networks in prisons.

"You were immediately elevated in your position in your neighbourhood once you got out of prison," says Rene, who joined the gang in his late teens.

"The girls loved you, the guys respected you and you learned a lot in the joint. It's crazy, but that's the way it is."

He says he became addicted to the violence.

"The more notches you have on your belt, the more ferocity people see you as possessing, and the greater you become."

As tough sentencing laws packed the prisons, the gangs grew larger. So they looked to the streets to increase power and profits.

California responded by confining gang leaders like Rene in harsh isolation. For 13 years he was locked down, alone, in a windowless cell with only an hour of solitary exercise in a concrete pen.

But instead of being "broken", Rene deepened his commitment to the gang. He learned complex secret codes to communicate with other members and on the streets.

He adopted the gang's punishing exercise routine and plunged into study, reading hundreds of books on philosophy, leadership, modern corporations and military history.

He learned how to harness the power of fear under the most extreme conditions. But life in solitary took its toll. The gang descended into internal strife.

Exhausted, Rene says the final straw came when some members proposed widening the war against rivals by targeting their families.

"That's when I knew it was time to leave," he says. But killing "Boxer" off was the hardest part. That's all I ever knew. That's who I was".

"I was ashamed of leaving the organisation, something that I've killed for, dedicated my life to. Twenty years of my adult life, and I'm walking away from it."

In gang culture, defection is the ultimate disloyalty and anyone who leaves risks being killed by other members of the gang.

To get out of the Supermax, Rene was forced to betray his comrades and reveal the gang's innermost secrets to authorities in a thorough de-briefing process.

Rene's information proved vital in prosecutions of top Mexican Mafia members, in understanding how the gang infiltrated other organisations, and manipulated the prison system's rules.

But it also put him on the gang's hit list.

"He has become their number one priority," says gang investigator Robert Marquez, of the California Department of Corrections. "If ever they get a chance, they want him dead for what he's done."

He now lives in Lancaster State Prison, a special unit north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert designed to protect gang defectors from retaliation.

He runs a prisoner outreach group to educate children about the realities of gang membership and helps the authorities increase their knowledge of the Mexican Mafia.

Rene's hopes are focused on making parole. But redemption is a daunting task, given his bloody history.

"The reality is that I believe that I will die here," he says. "I believe that I will never get out."

Accused Mexican mafia member sentenced to 60 years

Officials: Mexican Mafia behind dug-up body

Nations accused of ignoring organised crime

Gang Activity In Austin

Man charged in slayings at Southcenter mall

3 arrested on hate-crime charges

Mark Bowes:

Three people charged with a hate crime are accused of beating and robbing a 16-year-old boy because he was a "white person in a black neighborhood and appeared to be an easy target," a Henrico County police spokesman said.

Lamont Joseph Fountain, 21, of the 1700 block of Watts Lane, and two 16-year-old companions, all of whom are black, were arrested Friday in the Sept. 15 attack, said Henrico police spokesman Lt. Doug Perry. The teens were not identified because of their ages.

Police said the incident occurred about 4:35 p.m. as the teenager was walking in the 900 block of Rural Drive near Richmond International Raceway. He was on his way to his girlfriend's house, Perry said.

Three attackers began walking behind the teen and chased him after he began running, Perry said. They caught him and assaulted him "numerous times" before he got away. The attackers caught the teen again and "hit him several more times" before letting him go, taking his wallet and a small amount of cash.

"They beat the boy pretty bad," Perry said, although the teen did not require hospitalization.

Based on statements obtained through an investigation, it was "revealed that this young man was [accosted because he was] a white person in a black neighborhood and appeared to be an easy target," Perry said.

Fountain and the two 16-year-olds were each charged with assault by mob, robbery and hate crime-assault, Perry said.

Man shot in possible bias attack

Race and the achievement gap in elite schools

Samuel G. Freedman:

AN uneasy amalgam of pride and discontent, Caroline Mitchell sat amid the balloons and beach chairs on the front lawn of Princeton High School, watching the Class of 2004 graduate. Her pride was for the seniors' average SAT score of 1237, third-highest in the state, and their admission to elite universities like Harvard, Yale and Duke. As president of the high school alumni association and community liaison for the school district, Ms. Mitchell deserved to bask in the tradition of public-education excellence.

Discontent, though, was what she felt about Blake, her own son. He was receiving his diploma on this June afternoon only after years of struggle - the failed English class in ninth grade, the science teacher who said he was capable only of C's, the assignment to a remedial "basic skills" class. Even at that, Ms. Mitchell realized, Blake had fared better than several friends who were nowhere to be seen in the procession of gowns and mortarboards. They were headed instead for summer school.

"I said to myself: 'Oh, no. Please, no,' " Ms. Mitchell recalled. "I was so hurt. These were bright kids. This shouldn't have been happening."

It did not escape Ms. Mitchell's perception that her son and most of those faltering classmates were black. They were the evidence of a prosperous, accomplished school district's dirty little secret, a racial achievement gap that has been observed, acknowledged and left uncorrected for decades. Now that pattern just may have to change under the pressure of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Several months after Blake graduated, Princeton High School (and thus the district as a whole) ran afoul of the statute for the first time, based on the lagging scores of African-American students on a standardized English test given to 11th graders. Last month, the school was cited for the second year in a row, this time because 37 percent of black students failed to meet standards in English, and 55 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics failed in math.

Appeals court upholds class-action status of achievment gap suit

Committee’s quest: Fix black-white gap

Judges bolster students' lawsuit

District's scores concern NAACP

Report: ‘Achievement gap’ still wide

Achievement gap for blacks, Latinos blamed on culture

Student Achievement Emerges as Civil Rights Issue in Maryland

New Politics of Race at Berkeley

The latest installment in American journalism's longest running "Dog Bites Man" series

Toronto board considering school for black youth


A published report says the Toronto District School Board's new equity expert is looking at establishing a black-only school in the city, as a way of combating a high dropout rate and problems with suspensions.

Lloyd McKell, the new executive officer of student and community equity for the board, told the Toronto Star that city schools don't do enough to make students of all backgrounds feel valued.

McKell told the Star a black-focused pilot school would be helpful for at-risk pupils, offering more black teachers, an Afro-centric curriculum and a more nurturing environment.

The school board confirmed that it is looking at the idea.

"I think we're talking about the possibility of a school that would have black-focussed programs -- but they'd be available to any student who wanted to attend them," board chair Sheila Ward told CTV News Toronto.

Ward insists the board needs to do more to prevent at-risk students from dropping out. And since the Safe Schools Act was introduced five years ago, more than 1,000 kids under the age of seven have been suspended. The majority of those suspensions are African-Canadian youth.

Ward says that of the suspension hearings she has attended, 98 per cent involved students of colour. "That says to me -- there's some kind of a problem."

McKell told CTV News he didn't want to comment directly on the proposal.

"I'm not going to speculate on what kind of a model we develop," he said Wednesday. "We do know that we are looking at the particular needs of students who have come forth to us and tell us that they need some adjustments in the way we deliver education."

Ward says a model for the school has been developed over the past summer. "Black students have told us they have had particular needs to be engaged in our schools that makes them feel a true part of our system."

Here's one that's working

The 4th ‘R’ is race

Is Tony Blair anti-Welsh?

Daily Post:

PRIME minister Tony Blair could become the latest VIP to be investigated by chief constable Richard Brunstrom.

Yesterday North Wales police confirmed it was probing a complaint Mr Blair shouted "f***ing Welsh".

Diaries by former No 10 spin doctor Lance Price alleged the comments were made after Labour's bad performance in the 1999 Welsh Assembly elections.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for North Wales police said: "A complaint has been received and is now being reviewed.

"We will be seeking the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the content of the statement of complaint."

Asked who made the complaint she replied: "We don't disclose the names of complainants."

There were no details of how an inquiry will be carried out, if the force goes ahead with an investigation.

It was not clear if North Wales officers will travel to Downing Street to quiz Mr Blair or his former aide over the allegations.

Last week Mr Brunstrom came under fire from some critics when it was revealed the force spent nearly £4,000 probing "anti-Welsh" comments by acid-tongued Anne Robinson on TV.

No action was taken, although officers went to London to see the BBC's then-director general Greg Dyke.

Four senior officers were involved in the inquiry.

However the force insisted: "Once a complaint is received North Wales police are duty bound to carry out an investigation."

Mr Brunstrom's force made race-hate crime a top priority. In the latest effort to make the public more aware, special leaflets are being placed in takeaway food bags.

Last week Plaid Cymru reported Mr Blair to the parliamentary watchdog Standards Commissioner because of his alleged remarks.

'Truth' about Blair and Rhodri

Complaint over PM Welsh 'insult'

PM silent over anti-Welsh claims

Blair told to apologise for Welsh jibe

Blair could be investigated by police

Tory MP Ann Winterton has been blasted by a race equality group after she said Britain is "thankfully a predominantly white, Christian country"

David Ottewell:

Lady Winterton also questioned the benefits of multi-culturalism and referred to the UK as a "banana republic".

Her comments were criticised by the Cheshire Racial Equality Council, which said she had "failed to recognise the contribution black and minority ethnic people have made to this country".

Lady Winterton was writing a column in a weekly newspaper in her Congleton constituency. She wrote: "We live in times of tremendous change but the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country.

"Some might say we are paying the price for the so-called benefits of the multi-cultural society we keep hearing about, the product of almost uncontrolled immigration and the abuse of asylum."

A Conservative spokeswoman today said there had been no official complaint and declined to comment further.

The forthright MP was sacked as shadow rural affairs minister three years ago after making an allegedly racist joke during an after-dinner speech.

And in 2004 she briefly had the party whip withdrawn by Tory bosses after making another joke about Chinese cockle pickers shortly after the tragedy at Morecambe Bay.

Lady Winterton was elected as the first-ever MP for Congleton when the new constituency was created in 1983. Her husband, Sir Nick Winterton, has been MP for neighbouring Macclesfield for 34 years.

In her column she added: "In his banana republic called Britain, we have been as weak on terrorism and terrorists as he (Tony Blair) is on crime and criminals.

"Understandable outrage has been expressed about the reluctance of the authorities to combat the blatant agitation by Muslim extremists in this country. We have now paid a high price for this inactivity."

MP's article 'highly offensive'

Race group complains about Tory MP's remarks

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Forced marriage deals blamed for Asian ghettos in Britain

David Leppard:

THE number of British Asians bringing in spouses from the Indian subcontinent has doubled over five years, prompting warnings that the practice is helping to perpetuate ghettos.

Instead of integrating over successive generations by marrying in the UK, some Asian communities are fuelling segregation through arranged marriages to overseas partners, according to a report by Migration Watch UK, an independent think tank.

The report reveals that the number of spouses and fiancés from the Indian subcontinent doubled between 1996 and 2001, when 22,000 were granted entry into Britain.

It is estimated that 60% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi marriages in Bradford in 2001 involved a spouse from the subcontinent. Almost a third of all children born in Bradford now have foreign mothers. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets the figure is 68%.

Last week Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, warned of “walls going up” around some Asian and black communities living in ghettos, which he defined as districts where two-thirds of residents belong to a single ethnic minority.

Phillips said the number of people of Pakistani origin living in ghettos had trebled between 1991 and 2001.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, said: “If Mr Phillips’s warning that we are ‘sleepwalking into racial segregation’ is not to be realised, we must face up to an issue that is one of the root causes of this problem.”

Green said the experience of east African Asians — who Phillips believes have successfully integrated into British life — proves his point: “Not only were they well educated, but there was no subsequent in-flow of uneducated spouses.”

The Migration Watch report calls for an immigration policy that discourages international arranged marriages. It suggests the introduction of a “family connection test”, similar to the system in Denmark.

The test would apply where a British resident wished to marry a person from the country in which he or she (or either parent) was born. Permission to enter the UK would not be granted until the bride and groom were 24 years old, rather than the present 18.

Migration Watch argues that this measure would not affect EU citizens or those from countries whose primary official language is English.

Such ideas were rejected by Abdul Kayum, 27, from West Hampstead, who said his family had brought spouses to the UK from the subcontinent for three generations. “It’s based on personal taste and the way you’re brought up,” he said.

Jusna Begum, 22, from Wapping, east London, was forced by her parents to marry a man from Bangladesh 20 years her senior. “I realise now that he only married me for a UK visa,” she said. “But he couldn’t get a job because he didn’t speak English.”

Green said he did not advocate a total ban on arranged marriages: “I don’t think you can ban someone’s culture.”

U.K.: Asian Muslim Ghettos Keep Growing, Hindering Integration

Asians becoming more isolated as urban ghettoes grow

New police unit to confront "crime ridden ghettos" facing Britain's South Asian communities

In Britain, growing objections to multicultural society

Germany Begins Repatriating Afghan Refugees

Daniela Gerson:

Afghanistan is still far from a hospitable place, but that hasn't stopped German authorities from beginning the process of sending Afghan refugees back home. The first have already been deported, and tens of thousands are now fearing for their future.

It was the letter he had been dreading for months. Just over a week ago, the German government wrote Wahid Solleimanie, 24, telling him he was no longer welcome. On September 25, the letter said, the Afghan refugee would be forced to leave the country he has called home for the last six years. Since then, Solleimanie has been afraid to sleep in his own room in the northern port city of Hamburg; he is terrified the authorities will surprise him in the middle of the night.

"I have no future in Afghanistan," says Solleimanie, dressed sharply in a blazer, but with dark lines under his eyes. "There's no work for me there, I have no family, and the war is still going on."

The German state, though, disagrees; officially, at least, the war is over. Even if warlords continue to rule over drug-infested fiefdoms throughout much of the country, Afghanistan held its first parliamentary election in 35 years last Sunday and parts of the country have been stable for years now. At a conference last November, German state interior ministers determined that Afghanistan was sufficiently stable for refugees to be sent home. Of the 58,000 Afghans currently living in Germany, up to a third suddenly faced expulsion.

Now, 10 months later, that decision is finally being acted upon and Hamburg is taking the lead. Home to 15,000 Afghan refugees -- the largest such population in Germany -- the city state plans to deport 5,000 of them over the next two years. Already, hundreds of letters have been sent out urging refugees to voluntarily repatriate themselves and by the middle of September, six Afghans had been sent back. Other German states, including Bavaria and Baden Württemberg to the south, should soon follow Hamburg's lead.

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Oakland pastor among those arrested during prostitution sting

Associated Press:

A local pastor was among 68 people arrested in a prostitution sting by Oakland police this week.

The Rev. Craig Ward, 40, of the Brookins African Methodist Episcopal Church, flagged over a female undercover officer to his church-issued BMW just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday and tried negotiating a $20 oral sex act, police said.

"It was blatant," said Officer Mark Turpin, of the Oakland police vice squad. "He wasn't there trying to save anybody."

It was Ward's third arrest for soliciting a prostitute. He was convicted of the crime in 2002 and again last year in Oakland, according to police. Ward also served four years in prison for a 1997 burglary and returned later for carrying a weapon in his car, police said.

Church leaders could not be reached for comment.

Brookins African Methodist Episcipal Church

Police looking for rape suspect who impregnated 12-year-old

Associated Press:

Clackamas County Sheriff's detectives are seeking public assistance in identifying a suspect who raped and impregnated a 12-year-old Milwaukie girl.

The girl told investigators that in November 2004, she was walking home in the area of McLoughlin Boulevard in Milwaukie.

The suspect grabbed her, dragged her into an alley and forcibly raped her. The girl ran home after the attack and the suspect left on a Ten-speed bicycle.

The suspect is described as an Hispanic male, possibly in his thirties, with wavy brown hair, brown eyes and a thick mustache. The victim described the suspect's eyes as "saggy."

The girl did not tell her family about the attack and she hid her pregnancy until she was in her seventh month. The girl delivered a healthy baby in August.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tip Line at (503) 723-4949.

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New Orleans Police Superintendent Announces His Resignation


New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned Tuesday after four turbulent weeks in which the police force came under fire for its conduct in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

"I served this department for 26 years and have taken it through some of the toughest times of its history. Every man in a leadership position must know when it's time to hand over the reins," Compass said at a news conference. "I'll be going on in another direction that God has for me."

Neither Compass nor Mayor Ray Nagin would say whether Compass was pressured to resign.

"It's a sad day in the city of new orleans when a hero makes a decision like this," Nagin said. "He leaves the apartment in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership."

Earlier in the day, the department said that about 250 police officers -- roughly 15 percent of the force -- could face face discipline for leaving their posts without permission during Katrina and its aftermath.

Each case will be investigated to determine whether the officer was truly a deserter or had legitimate reasons to be absent, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said.

249 New Orleans Police Officers Left Posts

New Orleans police under pressure

Tensions running high at asylum center in Norway over Islamic law

Nina Berglund:

Police in the southeastern county of Østfold have been spending lots of time at an asylum center in Våler, where a group of refugees from Chechnya have demanded that strict Muslim laws be followed. Police worry that center administrators have lost control.

Both residents at the center at Nordbybråten in Våler and employees working there have been frightened by the group of around a dozen Chechen refugees, reports local newspaper Moss Avis. The Chechens allegedly are demanding that everyone must pray to Allah, that no one can wear shorts and that they must be allowed to be the first to take their meals.

Employees filed a police report about conditions at the center, which is prompting emergency meetings with the national immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) and management at the Våler.

"We have conditions at Nordbybråten that can raise questions about whether the management at the asylum center has lost control," Våler sheriff Per Tore Fremstad told Moss Avis.

Police were called to the center yet again over the weekend, when an employee asked a resident refugee to show identification. The employee ended up being physically assaulted.

Fremstad said police have been summoned to the center eight times in the past two months. Police officers responding have described conditions there as "scandalous" and "lawless." Most of the calls require at least 10 police officers to restore order at the center.

Ole Morten Lyng, leader of the center, admitted to Moss Avis that conditions "aren't acceptable" and that he's been trying to beef up staffing. He said the Chechen refugees now say they'll cooperate, and admit they've been "impulsive."

He allowed that some of them demand to eat first, but repeated "that's not acceptable." He said center staff will also get more training in dealing with traumatized refugees.

Fremstad said UDI needs to take a stronger role at the center, and that residents who cause trouble should be moved to other centers quickly. Many of the refugees can be deported, he said, "but it can take weeks before they can be sent back where they came from," because of bureaucracy in other countries.

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Prison threat for Swedish hate email policeman

The Local:

Prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem has demanded that Malmö district court send to prison and fine a policeman who sent a racist e-mail to the Social Democrat council leader Ilmar Reepalu.

The 43 year old senior officer is on trial for persecution of a minority group after referring to "criminals called Mohammed from Rosengård" in an e-mail message to Reepalu and a female civil servant.

"For me, racism is when you go from criticising individual people to sweeping judgements about everyone in the same category," said Reepalu, who delivered his witness statement by telephone.

Sven-Erik Alhem said in his summing up on Tuesday that the crime was not insignificant and that the defendant had a "special platform" since he had made clear in the message that he was a policeman.

The policeman himself said that the email was written in a state of emotion and that he now distanced himself from the formulation. His lawyer, Per-Håkan Skoog emphasised that his client had no idea that the correspondence would be recorded publicly and made accessible to the press and public.

There was no intent in his actions, argued Skoog, and he should therefore be found not guilty.

Senior Malmö policeman charged over racist e-mails

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The Danish PM writes that the fate of the EU's constitutional treaty is unknown and further expansion of the union to include Turkey is unlikely

Copenhagen Post:

The EU is in a state of crisis, according to PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The chances for accepting Turkey into the union are also slim, stated Rasmussen in a written response to daily newspaper Politiken.

Denmark was scheduled to go to the polls today to vote on the EU treaty. After the Netherlands and France rejected the treaty over the summer, however, the process for ratifying the treaty remains unknown, stated Rasmussen.

'I think we have to accept that the constitutional treaty will not go into effect in the coming years,' said Rasmussen. 'I won't say that the treaty is completely dead. But we have to acknowledge that two countries have rejected the treaty in their referenda. That's why we should concentrate on the EU's true purpose.'

At the same time, Rasmussen hedged on giving a clear timeline for Turkey's acceptance into the EU, even though Turkey begins negotiations for membership next week. The country's ability to live up to EU's requirements was no longer sufficient; it was also necessary to ask whether the EU could absorb Turkey, according to Rasmussen.

'It is absolutely crucial that the expansion does not dilute EU co-operation. That's why I say that if we want a cohesive EU, we have to discuss how far the expansion can continue,' wrote Rasmussen.

The leader of the opposition's Social Liberals, Marianne Jelved, considered Rasmussen's position problematic, because it changed the criteria for Turkey's membership, undermining the EU's credibility.

'And a strike against the EU's credibility rubs off on the prime minister,' she said.

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