Friday, March 31, 2006

The threat of terrorism in the Netherlands increasingly comes from home-grown Islamist militants who could strike at any time

Wendel Broere:

The Netherlands, shaken by the violent murder of a filmmaker in 2004 seen as critical of Islam, still faces a substantial threat despite the sentencing of nine young men to jail terms earlier this month for belonging to a group that threatened terrorist crimes, the service's chief said.

The Netherlands' security alert level has been at "substantial" since the bombing attacks in London on July 7 last year, the second highest in a four-stage warning system.

"The Dutch situation is different from the rest of Europe. The threat of home-grown Jihad (Holy War) is greater than in any other European country," secret service chief Sybrand van Hulst said at a news conference.

Another difference was that political leaders and opinion makers were the main targets, said Van Hulst, whose organisation is monitoring more than 150 people.

In a report sent to parliament on Thursday entitled "The Violent Jihad in The Netherlands - Current Trends of Islamist Terrorist Threat" the AIVD secret service said that the war in Iraq and the Dutch presence in Afghanistan acted as motivation for possible attacks and for recruitment.

The Dutch government will send up to 1,400 additional troops to Afghanistan for expanded NATO peacekeeping in June.

Van Hulst said the networks had a "a dynamic structure whose composition and size changes constantly and do not have fixed leaders." The AIVD doubted that al-Qaeda provided constant direction. "Al-Qaeda is more of a brand name and form of inspiration," the report said.

Their members -- mainly Dutch youngsters of Moroccan origin -- could be drawn from the street, neighbourhood, region or through the Internet instead of being recruited by veterans from Afghanistan, Bosnia or Chechnya, Van Hulst said.

Not all of the 10 to 20 networks investigated by the AIVD in the Netherlands were dangerous, but it warned that some of them would seek to approach possible leaders who had experience in Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan.

"It is alarming that part of the younger generation of Muslims in our country do not only appear to be susceptible to radicalisation, but inside certain youth groups violent jihad is seen as positive and as cool," the report said.

Women were also taking an increasingly important role and the AIVD expected this development to spread to other countries.

The AIVD said that the Internet acted as a "virtual training camp" giving access to weapons knowledge, inspiration and leading to virtual networks.

"People are creating their personal Koran based on dubious interpretations of historical texts they take out of context to glorify violence," Van Hulst said.

Several Dutch politicians have been under heavy guard since the November 2004 murder of outspoken filmmaker Theo van Gogh due to death threats for their criticism of radical Islam.

The Netherlands has also toughened laws to enable militants to be convicted for planning attacks.

Terrorism - Dutch intelligence service reports

End of the multicultural myth

Europe's angry young Muslims 2

Muslim neighbors force censorship on Paris cafe


A gang of young Muslims wielding iron rods has forced a Paris cafe to censor an exhibition of cartoons ridiculing religion, the owners of the establishment said Friday.

Some 50 drawings by well-known French cartoonists were installed in the Mer à Boire cafe in the working-class Belleville neighbourhood of northeast Paris, as part of an avowedly atheist show entitled 'Neither god nor god'.

The collection targeted all religions — including Islam — but there were no representations of the prophet Mohammed such as sparked the recent crisis between the West and the Islamic world, according to Marianne who is one of the cafe's three owners.

"We used to give glasses of water to a group of local boys aged between 10 and 12 who played football across the street. On Tuesday a few came in, flung the water on the ground and accused us of being racists," said Marianne, who did not wish to give her family name.

"Later more of them came back with sticks and iron rods and tried to smash the pictures. They managed it with a few of them. With the customers we chased them away, but they kept coming back," she said.

Later the cafe-owners were approached by a group of older youths.

"They said they did not approve of what the youngsters had done. But what we were doing was unacceptable too. They warned us that if we didn't take down the cartoons they would call in the Muslim Brothers who would burn the cafe down," said Marianne.

"They kept saying: 'This is our home. You cannot act like this here,'" she said.

Refusing to dismantle the exhibition, the owners have placed white sheets of paper inscribed with the word 'censored' over the cartoons that were targeted by the gang.

"To take down the cartoons would have been a surrender. But on the other hand we cannot expose ourselves to this kind of violence. This way you can still see the pictures if you lift the paper," said Marianne.

One of the cartoons that aroused the wrath of the youths was a bar scene, in which the barman offers a drink to an obviously inebriated man who says "God is great." The caption is: "The sixth pillar of Islam. The bar pillar." In France a "bar pillar" is a barfly or drunk.

The aim of the exhibition was to poke fun at all religions, according to cartoonists who took part.

"Putting on this type of show in this place was not in the least a provocation. Unless you think that freedom of expression in itself is a provocation," the cartoonist Charb told Le Parisien newspaper.

The Belleville neighbourhood of Paris's 20th arrondissement is racially mixed, with a large population of north African origin, but Marianne said there were few outward signs of religious extremism.

"There are areas near here which do have a reputation for Islamists. But here it's different. These are street gangs for whom religion has become a kind of mark of identity," she said.

The owners of the Mer à Boire, which means "the sea you can drink" and opened in September, have filed suit with the police.

Europe or Eurabia 2050?

Europe or Eurabia 2050 (Part Two)

Will we become 'Canarabia?'

95% of the world's children living with HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa

Radhika Panjwani:

The number of African people who have died from AIDS is staggering and statistics show average life expectancy in Malawi is 36 years.

Furthermore, 95 per cent of the world's children living with AIDS live in the Sub-Sahara region. Currently, more than 6,000 AIDS children are crammed inside orphanages, hungry and alone.

The scream of South Africa's pain reverberates

Exposé on Jewish role in US policy is disowned by Harvard University

Richard Beeston:

HARVARD UNIVERSITY is distancing itself from a report by one of its senior academics that accuses the Jewish lobby in America of subverting US foreign policy in Israel’s interest.

After a furious outcry from prominent American Jews, Harvard has removed its logo from the study and disowned any responsibility for the views put forward in the working paper, released two weeks ago.

Yesterday it confirmed that Stephen Walt, the co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, will be stepping down in June as academic dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government to become an ordinary professor.

Professor Walt and John Mearsheimer, of the University of Chicago, caused a storm of protest when they published their report, which argued that America’s interests were being manipulated by the pro-Israel lobby, using a network of politicians, journalists and academics. It said that the Jewish lobby was a key factor behind President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and cautioned that the US could be drawn into conflicts against Israel’s other enemies in the region.

No one disputes that the Jewish lobby is an influential force in US politics and that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) is one of the most powerful organisations in Washington. Aipac is described in the report as “a de facto agent of a foreign government (that) has a stranglehold on the US Congress”. It also challenges the need for America to give Israel $3 billon (£1.73 billion) in aid every year, worth about $500 for every Israeli citizen. It argues that Israel’s critics are routinely branded anti-Semites.

Professor Walt said yesterday that he and his co-author stood by their paper and welcomed “serious scholarly discussion of its arguments and evidence”. Instead, they have provoked an emotional and angry response, including criticism from other scholars at Harvard.

Marvin Kalb, a member of the Kennedy School, said that the report contained factual errors and failed to meet basic academic standards.

Alan Dershowitz, the famous Harvard criminal lawyer, denounced the report as ignorant propaganda, and said that he was writing a paper to refute its claims.

Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat congressman from New York, accused the authors of finding “Jewish conspirators under every bed and controlling every major American institution”.

The report states: “Pressure from Israel and the [Jewish] lobby was not only a factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical... the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure.

Equally worrying, the lobby’s campaign for regime change in Iran and Syria could lead the US to attack those countries, with potentially disastrous effects.”

Mission Improbable

Global Divide on Israel Lobby Study

US professors accused of being liars and bigots over essay on pro-Israeli lobby

The Lobby Strikes Back

Stephen Walt to step down as head oh Harvard's Kennedy School of Government?

A mother who claimed her son was racially abused at a fee-paying school has heard a judge brand every allegation she had made as false in court

The Comet:

Aliya Smethurst with her son Mikhail

But despite her claim being thrown out she has vowed to continue her fight for damages.

Aliya Smethurst, 37, who lives with her husband Patrick and three children in Chancellors, Arlesey, had claimed her son Mikhail was called mud face as a six-year-old at St Christopher's School in Burnham, Somerset, where he was a pupil between 2000 and 2001 and also where the couple worked.

She also claimed she suffered ill-treatment while working at the school as a boarding house matron, had been discriminated against by school staff and been assaulted by a cook.

But Judge Charles Wade dismissed the case at Swindon County Court last week, branding every allegation as false and said there was no evidence Mrs Smethurst's son had been treated less favourably than any of the other children.

Judge Wade told Mrs Smethurst the allegations were "completely without merit".

Mrs Smethurst also alleged her son had been punched, kicked and spat on by fellow pupils and forced to dress as a black cloud while other children wore white at a school play. She also claimed mud and stones had been thrown at her son and he became scared to go to school.

Following the judge's damning verdict why he had dismissed the long-running legal battle for damages against the trust that ran the school, which is now closed, and its former head Diane Symes for alleged racial discrimination, victimisation, harassment and battery, the Arlesey mother said she would appeal.

Speaking from her home Mrs Smethurst said: "I am appealing against the decision. Everything is in the hands of my lawyers and I don't want to discuss the case."

When Mrs Smethurst and her husband moved to the area she worked for a while at St Christopher School in Letchworth GC which has no connection with the West Country school.

Jefferson Horsley, the former chairman of governors for St Christopher's School in Somerset, said: "I am very sad it ever had to take place. But I'm obviously delighted from the point of view of the school on the outcome.

"We always felt it was a caring, loving school and any incidents that were alleged to have taken place were at worst accidents and certainly not with any other motive.

"I don't believe the school was ever discriminatory and we were proud of our commitment, under Di Symes, to equal rights, fairness and all the other things that are vital."

Mrs Smethurst was ordered by the court to pay the school's legal costs.

Mum loses racial abuse claims against school

Court rejects racial abuse claim against Burnham-On-Sea school

Court rejects racial abuse claim

School racism claims "completely without merit"

Union Minister of State for Home Shree Prakash Jaiswal has expressed serious concern over crime in India's most populous state – Uttar Pradesh

Sharat Pradhan:

Talking to media persons in Lucknow on Friday evening, Jaiswal blamed the unabated criminalization of politics as the main reason behind the deteriorating crime situation. However, on whether UP was a fit case for imposition of President's rule, he said, "It is best that a duly elected government is removed by the mandate of the people only."

He agreed that the recent bomb blasts in Varanasi and the murder of Mehar Bhargava blatantly reflected the 'deplorable' law and order situation in the state.

"The sensational killing of Mehar Bhargava and the failure of the police to nail the real culprits even after a month of the incident speaks volumes of how things were in Uttar Pradesh," he said.

The minister also lamented that the state administration's failure in cracking the twin bomb blasts in Varanasi, which claimed the lives of 18 persons and left over a 100 injured.

"It was a sad commentary that the police were yet to nab the culprits," Jaiswal observed, adding, "Well, since law and order was a state subject, there is little that the Centre can do about it, unless the state authorities wish to hand over the investigations to a central agency."

Sunny Rawat confesses to shooting Mehar Bhargava

Uttar Pradesh reports more rapes, murders than Bihar

The increasingly popular leader of Norway's most conservative party has had enough of refugees who commit murder and other serious crimes in Norway

Nina Berglund:

Siv Jensen wants much better control over people seeking asylum.

"Enough's enough," Jensen told newspaper VG. People whom she called "ticking time bombs" shouldn't be allowed to wander around freely in Norway.

Jensen, whose party now ranks as Norway's largest, according to public opinion polls, wants asylum seekers to be detained in asylum centers until their applications are processed. She also wants the processing time dramatically reduced.

Asylum seekers have committed eight murders and a hijacking since 2000. Most of the crimes have been linked to the offenders' psychiatric problems.

"The list speaks for itself, and is terribly sad," Jensen told VG. "This can't continue. The government has to show that it's taking action against this."

The government minister in charge of health issues, Sylvia Brustad of the Labour Party, wouldn't comment, claiming that it wasn't appropriate just days after a doctor in Oslo was stabbed to death by a man from Algeria whose application for asylum had been turned down.

The minister in charge of immigration and integration, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, however, agreed that new laws should be evaluated that would ensure extra surveillance of asylum seekers who were turned down.

Hanssen, also from the Labour Party, noted, however, that it's difficult to determine a person's psychiatric condition. He also stressed that four asylum centers in Norway already have facilities with round-the-clock surveillance of refugees who have social and psychiatric problems.

Progress Party tops poll

Populist party tops poll after cartoon row

Norway: The Rapes Continue

Norwegian Dhimmitude

Homeless illegal immigrant faces new charges in rape case


A homeless man charged with raping a 4-year-old girl faces new charges after Collier County investigators learned he gave them a fake name.

Carlos Eduardo Alfaro was arrested March 22 under the alias Tito Zavala. He was working for an area day labor company, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators charged him with raping a girl whose family let him sleep under their trailer porch on Bayshore Road just east of Naples.

Alfaro is a convicted sex offender in Virginia, where he was sentenced to five years in prison, the sheriff’s office reported. He served one year and was then deported back to El Salvador.

In December 2003, he reappeared in Virginia and was deported a second time as an Aggravated Felon.

Collier deputies have now charged Alfaro under his real name, and they’ve also charged him with failing to register as a sex offender and providing false information to authorities.

He faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, sexual battery on a child under age 12.

Suspect in sex case charged for not registering

Zavala charged with sexual battery

Construction worker catches criminal

Racial separation common in Atlanta gay groups

Andrew Keegan:

Nothing is supposed to bring local gay men and lesbians together like the Atlanta Pride celebration in June. But does it?

The city’s large black gay population isn’t clearly visible among the tens of thousands of predominantly white revelers enjoying the festivities each year.

But those vast ranks of gay African Americans also don’t turn out for the annual Black Gay Pride held each Labor Day. The culmination of the event, the "Stand Up and Represent" march, typically draws only a few hundred participants.

"The events are different yet they complement each other," said Donna Narducci, executive director of the Atlanta Pride Committee. "Both organizations offer an event for the LGBT community that empowers and both organizations provide a weekend that is structured to meet the needs or desires of the attendees."

Michael Slaughter, co-chair of ITLA’s board of directors, said not all racial separation should be viewed as racist.

"People tend to group around each other based on cultural preferences," he said. "Atlanta Pride is a parade while ITLA organizes a march. The goal of both is to provide equal opportunity and access, allowing individuals to make their own choice."

Still, the co-founder of My Brothaz Keeper, Inc., an organization that specifically targets young men of color, argues that Atlanta Pride misrepresents the event.

"June Pride professes to be a Pride for the entire city," said Lawrence Warren. "They should spend more resources to ensure diversity because their event doesn’t reflect that."

Despite gay organizations advocating an "everyone welcome" atmosphere, racial segregation remains fairly common among local organizations, according to Dante McCommon, co-founder of Affair With Flair, a gay professional social group with a 90 percent African-American membership.

"It must be a Southern thing because in Atlanta there is separation — period," McCommon said. "It’s not like we haven’t reached out to all people. It’s a puzzle to me."

But McCommon said that gay blacks tend to have very different issues than whites, which could explain the division.

"White groups are more political while we have our own battles," she said. "For us it’s more about economics and religion."

The leader of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest gay political group, said the group doesn’t track the ethnicity of its members, but acknowledged that racial inequality is a problem.

"Sadly, racial segregation in our community remains an issue," said Chuck Bowen, Georgia Equality executive director. "We continue to reach out to people of color, but I’m afraid it will take a long time to overcome the divisiveness of the past that is inherent in our culture."

Gay Atlanta in black and white

Blacks need a culture war

Errol Louis:

The 2006 edition of "The State of Black America," published every year by the National Urban League, arrived this week to little fanfare, and has been duly ignored by most mainstream press outlets. The actual news contained in the 250-page parade of charts, tables, essays and factoids amounts to the six words that most people already knew would capture the state of Black America this year: Not so great, could be better.

The Urban League chief Marc Morial and other reporters on the "State of Black America" - including Prof. Ronald Mincy of Columbia University and Tavis Smiley, whose "Covenant With Black America" recently hit The New York Times best-seller list - should consider an alternative to the annual recital of statistics and essays on inequality and other social ills afflicting black folk.

What we need is a culture war.

Specifically, we need aggressive, concerted action by members and institutions of the respectable black middle class to do open combat against the rise of an ancient enemy: a bold, seductive street culture that exalts lawlessness, addiction and anti-family behavior like pimping, sexual promiscuity, ignorance and personal selfishness.

Smiley and civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson tend to gloss over a split that has run through black culture for more than a century: the need to choose between the narcissistic pursuit of short-term pleasure and the plodding but rewarding business of building strong families and communities, where learning is sacred and the needs of the next generation trump the cravings of the moment.

In other words, black Americans need to talk more about culture. We need to fight over it.

My former professor, Orlando Patterson of Harvard, recently weighed in on the topic in The New York Times, scolding black leaders for "the rejection of any explanation that invokes a group's cultural attributes - its distinctive attitudes, values and predispositions, and the resulting behavior of its members - and the relentless preference for relying on structural factors like low incomes, joblessness, poor schools and bad housing."

Patterson, citing the fieldwork of one of his students, found structural inequality aggravated by an implicit acceptance within black communities of a lot of the joblessness, criminality and other negatives that lie behind the statistics.

"What sociologists call the 'cool-pose culture' of young black men was simply too gratifying to give up," Patterson wrote. "For these young men, it was almost like a drug, hanging out on the street after school, shopping and dressing sharply, sexual conquests, party drugs, hip-hop music and culture."

That mirage of street life tempts countless kids to discard the virtues of education, hard work and personal decency.

More teachers, preachers, politicians, journalists and other black Americans with a pulpit need to enlist in the battle against the self-defeating lure of street culture. That means putting off the usual run of statistics and studies that analyze social inequality in minute detail, and doing upfront combat against The Big Lie pumped out hour after hour by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, radio stations, the recording industry and other purveyors of vulgarity and irresponsibility.

A few leaders, like the Rev. Eugene Rivers in Boston and my colleague Stanley Crouch, have already taken up the fight in earnest. But they can't do it alone.

All we are saying is give war a chance.

State of black Rochester: Disproportionate problems

Forum focuses on aid to black male students

Dellums Commission Cites 'Crisis' Among Young Black Males; Calls for New Policy Direction

Apologists Hurt the Black Man

Female liberation is a myth, delegates are told at the British Psychological Society conference

Alexandra Frean:

WOMEN may well have come a long way since the sexual revolution of the Sixties and Seventies, but research suggests that the enormous strides that they have made in the workplace have not been matched in the bedroom.

The portrayal of complete female sexual liberation in television shows such as Sex and the City could be a myth, according to research suggesting that many women regard one-night stands and casual sex as wrong.

The idea that women might seek to have a one-off sexual encounter purely in the pursuit of pleasure is simply not believed by most women, who regard others who have one-night stands as desperate, pitiful or extremely needy.

Sharron Hinchliff, of the University of Sheffield, said that the findings suggested that women’s sexual behaviour was still “problematised” by society, even though similar behaviour by men was accepted.

Dr Hinchliff conducted interviews with 46 women to explore their ideas on sexuality as part of a wider research programme on women’s sexual health. Participants, chosen from the electoral roll in Sheffield, were aged between 23 and 83, with an average age of 48.

The findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Cardiff, show that while women did not condemn others who had casual sex, 90 per cent believed them to be wrong. Many believed that women couldn’t have sex for their own pleasure outside of a committed relationship.

“They argued that women who have casual sex or one-night stands do it not because they are sexually liberalised, but because they have ‘lost control’ on alcohol or drugs or because there is ‘something lacking’ in their lives. They pitied these women and they saw it as deviant behaviour,” Dr Hinchliff said.

The findings show a degree of double standards. The 10 per cent of women who admitted to having had one-night stands said that in their case it had been different — they had simply been finding out about relationships. Overall, older women were more accepting than younger women, although they still shared these views.

Since it is women, not men, who get pregnant it makes sense that women would have a more negative attitude towards casual sex.

Women say 'casual sex is immoral'

One-night stands immoral, say 9 in 10 women

An Illegal immigrant from Mexico is being held in rape attacks

Deanna Boyd:

Jose Carrillo

An illegal immigrant in federal custody since his arrest early this month on traffic warrants was arrested Thursday in connection with a string of rapes and other sexual attacks dating back to December 2004, police said.

His hands and legs shackled, Jose Carrillo, 30, was transported from federal custody Thursday afternoon and arrested by Fort Worth police on warrants in two of the Fort Worth rapes.

Police say DNA evidence linked Carrillo to the two attacks, in addition to a rape in Arlington. When asked by reporters if he committed the offenses, Carrillo said no, adding that he has a wife and a baby on the way.

“This is not fair what you guys are doing. This is not fair,” Carrillo said, shielding his face from the cameras with his green shirt as he was led down a police hallway to begin being booked into jail, with bail set at $300,000. “These guys have killed my life.”

Carrillo, who police say has numerous aliases, surfaced as a suspect in the case after an apartment manager told police that the man had sexually assaulted one of her tenants, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

He was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants March 10 as he drove away from his place of employment. A Mexican national, Carrillo was then placed into federal custody on an immigration hold.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, police obtained a warrant for a DNA sample from Carrillo. On Wednesday, Detectives C.B. Smith and S.L. Schloeman were notified that his DNA matched biological evidence recovered from the June 17 rape of a woman at the Meridian apartments on Marine Creek and the Jan. 24 rape of a woman in the 1000 block of N.W. 28th Street.

In addition, police said, Carrillo’s DNA matched evidence from the Dec. 19 rape of a woman at the Windcastle Apartments in southeast Arlington.

During a Thursday afternoon news conference, Sgt. Don Hanlon, supervisor of the sex-crimes unit, said Carrillo is also a suspect in about a dozen other offenses, including indecent exposures and robberies that investigators believe might have been unsuccessful sexual assault attempts.

Hanlon said investigators have learned that Carrillo lived in the Marine Creek area when the first series of attacks happened there between December 2004 and October 2005.

In those attacks, police say a masked man armed with a kitchen knife attacked women in their homes or as they were arriving or leaving.

Later, Hanlon said, Carrillo moved to north Fort Worth, where two attacks were reported between November and January. Police say a man, usually wearing a ski mask, confronted his victims as they walked down the road or were getting into their cars. He displayed a rope or placed one around the victim’s neck.

“There was enough variance in the description that we weren’t sure that it was the same person so we started analyzing evidence obtained from the crime scenes,” Hanlon said. “... We were eventually able to relate these two series of offenses together.”

Hanlon said investigators searching Carrillo’s home found items that may be related to the attacks, including clothing that matches the description of what the attacker wore in some of the offenses.

“We recovered articles that are similar in nature to what the victims described was used to restrain them around their neck,” Hanlon added.

Because of time gaps in the attacks and the attacker’s pattern, Hanlon said, investigators believe other sexual assaults may not have been reported to police. He urged any other victims to come forward.

“He didn’t know boundaries, obviously, because he was in two different cities in Tarrant County, so we’re concerned that there are other offenses that haven’t been reported to us and we want to prosecute this person for all the crimes he’s committed, not just the three that we have him on now,” Hanlon said.

Police Arrest Serial Rape Suspect

Muslims in Albania's northern city of Shkoder are opposing plans to erect a statue to Mother Teresa

Benet Koleka:

The dispute is unusual for Albania, where religion was banned for 27 years under the regime of dictator Enver Hoxha and where religious harmony and mixed marriages are the norm.

Seventy percent of the population are liberal Muslims, the rest are Christian Orthodox and Catholic.

But Muslim groups in Shkoder rejected the local council plan for a Teresa statue, saying it "would offend the feelings of Muslims."

"We do not want this statue to be erected in a public place because we see her as a religious figure," said Bashkim Bajraktari, Shkoder's mufti or Muslim religious leader.

"If there must be a statue, let it be in a Catholic space."

Several residents told Reuters they felt there was an underground effort to treat Shkoder as a Catholic town, ignoring its majority Muslim community.

Shkoder's Muslims recently protested against crosses being erected on prominent hilltops.

Afghan convert 'would be killed'

Hopes and fears of Afghan Christians

Call for tough laws on dowry fraud in India

BBC News:

Lawyers in India have called for tougher laws to tackle the problem of non-resident Indians (NRIs) marrying women in the country and then abandoning them when the traditional dowry is paid to him.

Many thousands of young women and their families have become victims of dowry fraud, with estimates that up to 15,000 women have been conned in the state of Punjab alone.

The fraudsters come from countries such as the UK, Canada and the US, and travel to India or Pakistan, where they get married, and then disappear once they've received the dowry traditionally provided by the bride's family.

They often leave the bride and her family not only financially out of pocket, but also emotionally scarred.

"There should be some justice," Daljit Kaur, a Punjab-based lawyer told the BBC World Service's Outlook programme.

"There should be extradition treaties, and there should be a strong law so that people can get justice."

Ms Kaur says there is no direct legal action that can be taken for the women duped in this way.

"Some of the NRIs feel this is the easiest way to get money," she said.

"They are coming every year from different countries, coming to Punjab and getting married here, and are getting the dowry in cash or jewellery, or other valuable things.

"Then they fly back, without giving the right number or address, and we are unable to trace them.

"In some cases we don't know which country they are in right now. They are ruining girls financially, socially, and emotionally."

She added that the fraudsters are "spoiling three generations - the girl, her parents, and the children out of wedlock."

"The girl is ruined in all dimensions. Financially, she has been spoiled; socially, she can't get remarried; and emotionally, she is ruined.

"I have many cases in which the boy or girl is five, seven, 10 years old, and they have never seen their father."

Dowry killing charge in couple's suicide

Murdered woman's father alleges dowry harassment

Dowry death or murder?

Why dowry will not die

Dowry deaths on the rise in Orissa

The death of eurosocialism

Pat Buchanan:

Successive stories in the Washington Post on March 29 point to an inescapable reality for the Old Continent.

The halcyon days of cradle-to-grave security are coming to an end. Eurosocialism is dead. What Europeans detested and snottily disparaged as Anglo-Saxon "savage capitalism" is their future. It is entering Europe in the belly of a Trojan Horse called Globalization.

"Workers in Britain Stage Mass Strike: Public Sector Disputes Pensions Rollback," ran the headline out of London.

That strike, England's largest in decades, spread to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Schools were shut, and libraries closed. Commuters were left stranded, and trash went uncollected. London's city hall was shut down, burials were postponed, ferries were brought to a standstill. The workers who raise and lower the spans on Tower Bridge walked off. The nation was partially paralyzed. But why?

"At issue," said the Post, "is a system in which many government workers can retire with full benefits at age 60 if they have completed 25 years of service. This fall, the government says, rising costs will force it to scrap the 'rule of 85' – for teaching assistants, police community support officers, school-meal workers, garbage collectors and other local government employees, forcing them to work longer before they retire."

The story out of Paris was more dramatic, even if the cause, to Americans, was more trivial.

"Huge Protests Put France to the Test: Fissures in Government Appear Over Job Law," ran the headline over a story reporting that 2.7 million had marched in Paris and other French cities to denounce a law that would let employers fire workers under 26 with less than two years on the job, should they fail to perform.

Angry and violent protests against the proposed law have gone on for a week and brought the French government to crisis.

Like the U.S. campus riots of the 1960s, the French protests appear to some of us as the Revolt of the Over-Privileged. For what these pampered young people are demanding seems to be some kind of student deferment from the Global Economy.

The striking public employees in Britain and the young in Paris are protesting something unavoidable, like middle age. For what they see slipping away is something they are never going to see again.

What is happening in Britain and France is happening across Europe: the unwinding of the social welfare state. "Are the good times really over for good?" wailed Merle Haggard, decades ago. In Europe, the answer to Merle's question is, "Yes, they are."

Since World War II, every country in Western Europe has been ruled for a time by socialists. These regimes put in place laws that ensured job security, a living wage, a shorter workweek than in the United States, generous unemployment benefits, early retirement, magnanimous pensions and state-subsidized health benefits.

To finance these maternal welfare states, European regimes take 40 percent or even 50 percent of the economy in taxes, as compared with a U.S. federal, state and local tax bite of 33 percent.

But with globalization, European companies and workers who fund these munificent benefits are finding themselves in neo-Darwinian competition for survival, not only with American, Japanese and East Europeans who work longer and harder, but Asians who work longer and harder for a fraction of their pay and few of their benefits.

European companies are being stretched and stressed, and some are breaking. The capitalist goose that laid the golden eggs for the Eurosocialists is aging, tiring and becoming ever more barren.

Having cut defense spending and consigned their security to the Americans, the European regimes, one after the other, are finding they no longer have the tax revenues rolling in to sustain the benefits they have promised right up unto death.

Moreover, thanks to Europe's abandonment of faith and family and embrace of La Dolce Vita and the culture of death, not a single European nation save Muslim Albania has a birth rate that will provide it with the children to sustain the welfare state. Arabs and Africans must come to work and take care of Europe in her dotage. The politicians of Europe promised more than the now-aging European populations can deliver.

Fjordman’s Dismal Forecast

The rise of the 'childfree'

Los Angeles County or Mexico North?

Diana West:

As one of those American rarities — a Los Angeles native — I looked at recent, mainly Mexican protests against proposed restrictions on illegal immigration with more than just outrage over lost U.S. sovereignty. I was also reflexively examining aerial photos to pinpoint where in L.A. those hundreds of thousands of Mexican-flag-waving demonstrators were marching.

It was downtown Los Angeles, of course, a section of the sprawling city I rarely visited growing up. Then it hit me: As a little kid in the 1960s, my mother had taken me on an outing to Olvera Street, an old section of downtown ("old" for Los Angeles being mid-to-late-19th century) where visitors went to enjoy folkloric Mexican food and crafts as — it sounds unbelievable now — a colorful tourist attraction. And visitors still go there. But then it really hit me: There weren't that many Mexicans in Los Angeles back then.

Or, to put it another way, citing the online encyclopedia Encarta: "In 1960, non-Hispanic whites made up 82 percent of the population of Los Angeles County." Forty years later, the 2000 census showed that the white population had dwindled to 31 percent, while Hispanics — 79 percent of whom hail from Mexico — accounted for 44.6 percent of population. This colossal surge has made the Mexican population of Los Angeles second only to that of Mexico City. Little wonder LA voters in 2005 elected Antonio Villaraigosa, the city's first Hispanic mayor since 1872 when, Encarta notes, L.A. was "a small frontier town of about 6,000 people."

"Reconquista" plans to "return" the American Southwest to Mexico aside, Mexicans by the millions are a relatively new demographic phenomenon in the USA. So, how did Los Angeles become a Mexican metropolis? Encarta harkens back to the 1965 Immigration Act, which, it explains, officially ended "bias in favor of Northern European immigrants ...opening the doors to massive immigration from Latin America and Asia."

I found this explanation almost refreshing in that this landmark bill is often overlooked in considering American demographic shifts. As Peter Brimelow brilliantly argued in his book "Alien Nation," the 1965 Act remains central to the immigration debate that American political elites have so assiduously and irresponsibly avoided for decades. Still, while mentioning the 1965 Act, Encarta also not-so-subtly implies that European "bias" was bad, while "opening the doors" to the Third World was good. This adheres to the infantilizing orthodoxy of good (nice) and bad (mean) that has stunted debate on immigration, forcing it into a political fetal position moved by the odd emotional spasm. (Courageous Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, is the leading grownup exception to this rule.)

But now the debate — at least one side of it — has spilled onto the streets, where alien activists, having festooned themselves in Mexican flags, demand amnesty and rights. This outpouring may be the tangible fusion of every liberal orthodoxy, from multiculturalism to "inclusiveness" to "self-esteem"; it's also in-your-face symbolism of the abysmal failure to assimilate, to Americanize, even on the most superficial level, an ever-growing influx of foreign-born millions.

All of which needs to be openly discussed before the Senate actually votes on immigration reform. This would be a first. In 1965, when Congress passed the immigration act that "opened the door" to "massive" immigration from the Third World, there wasn't, as Mr. Brimelow has noted, much in the way of a national debate. In the two decades that followed, along with millions of legal immigrants, the U.S. attracted a huge, mainly Hispanic, illegal population — roughly 3 million of whom received amnesty from Ronald Reagan in 1986. Twenty years later, in 2006, we see a fourfold increase in that illegal population, now estimated at 12 million. Rather than break the pattern, President Bush wants to grant de facto amnesty again.

But then what — another fourfold increase over the next 20 years? That would equal 48 million illegal, mainly Hispanic, aliens by 2026. It's not impossible — particularly if we continue to shroud the issue in the irrational silence of taboo, never asking the most basic questions. Such as: Should America plan to become a Hispanic nation? The question is neither "racist" nor "xenophobic," but central to any coherent policy. If the answer is yes, we all might as well salute the red, white and green. If not, we better call our senators.

Diana West on Brimelow on 1965 Immigration Act

Hill conservatives warn Bush of amnesty anger

Bush reassures Mexico on migrants

We are the world

How to play the old statistical shell game on the NYT op-ed page, Part CCXXVII

NYT: Illegal immigrants making American culture less "vibrant," more lowbrow

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brussels prosecutes Aramaic priest for Islamophobia

Paul Belien:

One of the rare Belgian churches that is packed every weekend is the church of Saint Anthony of Padova in Montignies-sur-Sambre, one of the poorest suburbs of Charleroi, a derelict rust belt area to the south of Brussels. Holy Mass in Montignies is conducted in Latin and lasts up to four hours. Yesterday over 2,000 people attended the service by Father Samuel (Père Samuel). The priest’s sermon dealt with his persecution. The Belgian authorities are bringing the popular priest to court on charges of racism.

Father Samuel has been prosecuted for “incitement to racist hatred” by the Belgian government’s inquisition agency, the so-called Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR), because of a remark he made in a 2002 television interview when he said:

“Every thoroughly islamized Muslim child that is born in Europe is a time bomb for Western children in the future. The latter will be persecuted when they have become a minority.”

Last Thursday the Belgian judiciary decided that the priest will have to stand trial before the penal court in Charleroi. He reacted by repeating his time bomb statement and added that he would be honoured if he had to go to jail for speaking his mind. He added that Jesus, too, had been convicted. During yesterday’s sermon he called upon the faithful to accompany him to court. “We will turn this into an excursion, driving there in full buses.”

Father Samuel’s passport gives his name as Charles-Clément Boniface. That is not entirely correct. He was born in 1942 in Midyat, Turkey, as Samuel Ozdemir. The latter is a surname the priest dislikes because, he explains, it was imposed on his family by the Turks. Samuel was a Christian: “At home we spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus.” The Aramaics are a Catholic minority in Syria and Turkey. They speak an old Semitic language, which Jesus and the apostles used and which Mel Gibson had his actors use in his movie The Passion of the Christ.

Young Samuel became a Catholic priest. In the mid-1970s he fled to Belgium, claiming that the Aramaic Christians were being persecuted in Turkey. He became a Belgian and adopted the surname of Boniface – “he who does good things.” He was appointed to the diocese of Tournai, but soon became caught up in the culture war between Christians and secularists. Tournai is a thoroughly secularised, modernist diocese. Father Samuel clashed with the bishop, who suspended him in 2001. He then bought the St-Antoine-de-Padoue church in Montignies-sur-Sambre. There he conducts the Mass according to the traditional rites of the Catholic Church.

Hundreds of faithful from all over the country and even from the north of France attend Sunday Mass in Montignies-sur-Sambre. The congregation includes African immigrants, a large number of young people and many young families with small children. In his sermons and on his website Father Samuel speaks out against secularism, but also fights on another front of the three-way culture war, warning against “the islamic invasion” of the West. He says he has witnessed in Turkey what the future has in store for Europe. He claims Muslims are invading Europe and warns for an impending civil war. According to Father Samuel “so-called moderate Muslims do not exist.”

French government eyes 'le baby boom'

A Quiz for Would-Be Citizens Tests Germans' Attitudes

California prisons uneasily prepare to desegregate cells

Miriam Jordan:

It's exercise time at the California Institution for Men, and dozens of inmates walk around the track in pairs or small groups -- blacks with blacks, whites with whites, Hispanics with Hispanics.

Prison culture dictates that inmates stick with their own kind, associating almost exclusively with other inmates from their race or ethnic group, defending them to the death if necessary. And that is why prison officials, inmates and scholars are uneasy as California's prison system prepares to introduce a formal policy desegregating its double cells, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that prisoners may not be routinely segregated in cells by race. The ruling has ramifications for state correctional systems nationwide.

In 2004, an African-American inmate challenged the California Department of Corrections' unwritten policy of assigning new prisoners and transfers to double cells only with a cellmate of the same race or ethnic group. The corrections department claimed segregated prison cells were necessary to avoid racial violence. Unswayed, the high court last year refused to strike down the inmate's challenge. California's new policy, which officials expect to implement over the next 2½ years, is the result of a settlement of that case.

California's prison population is combustible, divided roughly evenly among three groups: 38% of inmates are Hispanic, 29% are black and 27% white. Recent race-related prison violence in Southern California has focused concerns about thrusting inmates together in biracial cells. For more than a month now, clashes of black and Latino prisoners have gripped Los Angeles county jails, resulting in two deaths and more than 100 injuries. In October, a Hispanic inmate at Chino died from head injuries inflicted in a riot last summer.

Critics of the new policy say the purpose of segregated cells is to keep prisons peaceful and safe, not to discriminate. "You must give broad latitude to the prison administrator," says Joseph McNamara, former police chief of San Jose, Calif., and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. "If not, you let slaughtering happen."

California's prison system, at present still operating largely under the old policy, uses ethnicity as the main criteria when assigning higher-threat inmates to double cells. Racial segregation doesn't apply at mealtimes, in classes or in dormitories where low-risk felons are housed. Prisoners, however, say they live along self-imposed racial divides all day. "It's an unwritten rule," says Reginald Scott, a black inmate in Chino since 1998, who was at his job typing up inmate infractions in a small administrative room. "You don't have coffee with a white or Hispanic guy. You don't trade food, property or anything with someone of a different race."

Criminal-justice scholars say it is impossible to get a clear picture of prison-cell integration across the U.S. because practices vary widely from facility to facility. One national survey of prison wardens in 2000, led by Martha Henderson, now an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, found only 30% of multiple-occupant cells were integrated. Federal prisons are forbidden under regulations to segregate based on race; California is one of the few state systems to acknowledge the practice.

Under the new California policy, new prisoners will be assigned to "the next available and appropriate cell," without regard for ethnicity. "We are not preparing [offenders] for their return to society if we continue to allow them to be segregated in our housing," said John Dovey, the corrections department's director of adult institutions who is overseeing the new policy.

Academic researchers say racial tension is usually engineered by a small group of inmates. Prisoners say when tensions explode it is almost impossible to stay neutral. "If you run away, your own people deal with you later," says Joe Rodriguez, a Hispanic inmate at the Chino prison. "Once you're in jail, everything becomes racial."

Gangs defined by race -- the Mexican Mafia, the Black Guerilla Family, the Nazi Low Riders and others -- permeate inmate life in California prisons. At Chino, a low- and medium-security facility, inmates working as gardeners and handymen sport gang acronyms tattooed to the backs of their heads.

Lt. Tim Shirlock, an official at the Chino facility who has worked in the state correctional system for 27 years, says the prison staff is "apprehensive" about the desegregation policy. Noting recent instances of racial violence on streets, schools and workplaces in Los Angeles, he says, "If they can't get along in society, you have to wonder whether they will get along here."

SCOTUS: Segregation Worse Than Interracial Homosexual Rape!

Drug violence afflicts Caribbean countries

Linda Hutchinson-Jafar:

More than a dozen gunmen attacked a gas station in Guyana late last month, fired on passing cars, torched a house and machine-gunned the occupants of another. Eight people died in the rampage.

Somehow, say police in the jungle-clad Caribbean country, the attack was linked to a high-speed chase between the Guyanese coast guard and a trawler escorted by two speedboats as it carried suspected drugs down the Demerara River.

Such tales of blood and violence are increasing in the Caribbean as the infiltration of Colombian cocaine and heroin, the spread of regionally grown marijuana and the growing corruptive power of hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money threaten the foundations of small democracies, U.S. and Caribbean officials say.

Drug-fueled violence, for example, drove Jamaica's murder rate to a new record high in 2005, making it one of the most murderous countries in the world.

"...It is not far fetched to conceive of the insidious influence of drug lords spreading more easily throughout the society and eventually reaching the highest levels of our political, security and legal systems," Patrick Manning, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, warned recently.

In the State Department's 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Washington said drugs, gun-running and corruption were so rife in parts of the Caribbean that some countries could even be "ripe for exploitation by terrorist organizations."

South American traffickers had reportedly taken up residence on the tiny islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, which lie about a third of the way from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago, the report said.

"The police drug unit on St. Kitts has been largely ineffective," it added.

In Guyana, the estimated $150 million earned every year by cocaine traffickers was equivalent to 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product -- giving them enormous economic and political clout -- according to a calculation by the U.S. Embassy there.

"Drug trafficking and money laundering appear to be propping up the Guyanese economy. Known drug traffickers have acquired substantial landholdings and timber concessions, are building large hotel and housing developments, and own retail businesses that sell imported goods at impossibly low prices," the U.S. report said.

"The drug trade generates violent armed groups who act as if they are above the law and who threaten Guyana's fragile democracy, and drug traffickers may use their ill-gotten gains to acquire political influence."

In Jamaica, long the biggest producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean, violence spawned to a large extent by the drug trade killed 1,669 people in 2005, compared with the previous annual record of 1,471 murders the year before.

A crackdown by police -- aided by British constables -- reduced the number of murders in January.

Lawless and impoverished Haiti, which has not had an effective government since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was deposed in an armed revolt in February 2004, continues to be a significant transit route for Colombian cocaine smuggled to the United States.

Haiti has 1,125 miles (1,810 km) of unpatrolled shoreline, no security in its ports and its police force is notoriously corrupt, the U.S. report said. Cocaine airdrops and sea shipments from Colombia, Venezuela and Panama are believed to be on the increase.

Haiti's neighbor on the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, is also tainted by corruption and weak government and has become a major transit route not just for cocaine and heroin, but also for MDMA, or ecstasy, which is imported from Europe.

Trinidad's national security minister, Martin Joseph, said around 66 known gangs with an estimated 500 hardcore members were believed to be fighting over the lucrative drug trade in the twin-island nation near Venezuela, which borders Colombia and which U.S. law enforcement agencies say has become an important transit route for Colombian cocaine.

"It is the cocaine trade that is fueling a lot of criminal activities in Trinidad and Tobago and a new development is that the drugs are coming with guns and the guns stay, while the cocaine goes," said Joseph.

Jamaica awaits first woman leader

Jamaican woman held with $2m in cocaine

Drug accused Jamaican denied bail

Jamaica's first female prime minister to be sworn in

Firearms top Crime Stop report

Schoolboy stabbed to death

Trinidad turns to Scotland Yard to fight crime

Bas calls for end to spiralling crime

Muslim group sues over Muhammed cartoons in Denmark

Associated Press:

A group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations have filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper that first published the contentious Prophet Muhammed cartoons, their lawyer said Thursday.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, two weeks after Denmark's top prosecutor declined to press criminal charges, saying the drawings that sparked a firestorm in the Muslim world did not violate laws against racism or blasphemy.

Michael Christiani Havemann, a lawyer representing the Muslim groups, said lawsuit sought 100,000 kroner ($16,100) in damages from Jyllands-Posten Editor in Chief Carsten Juste and Culture Editor Flemming Rose, who supervised the cartoon project.

"We're seeking judgment for both the text and the drawings which were gratuitously defamatory and injurious," Havemann said.

The lawsuit was filed in the western city of Aarhus, where Jyllands-Posten is based.

The newspaper published the 12 cartoons on September 30 with an accompanying tests saying it was challenging a perceived self-censorship among artists afraid to offend Islam.

The newspaper apologized for offending Muslims after violent protests against Denmark erupted in the Middle East, but stood by its decision to print the drawings, citing the freedom of speech.

NYU Muslim Groups: "Cartoons Have Led to Riots"

US - Caving in to Muslims


The image of hypocrisy

Norway - Burning Bibles: Where's the riots?

Fighting Violets or Shrinking Violets?

Girl gangs on the rise in Washington, D.C.

Gary Emerling:

Tiffany, 17, who has been involved in gang activity

Princess Galloway's days as a D.C. gang member began innocently enough: She and her childhood friends had birthday parties, talked about clothes and held sleepovers at one another's houses.

"It was, like, a normal thing females do," says Princess, 16.

As the girls grew older, the parties became nighttime outings to go-go clubs. Belts and bags were replaced by blades and bats as accessories. A girl gang was born.

"We started fighting when a different female gang from uptown jumped one of our friends," says Princess, an honor roll student at Spingarn High School in Northeast who quit her gang after spending several stints in the Oak Hill Youth Facility for assault. "It just escalated. ... It was a back-and-forth beef."

Princess' story is becoming common in the District, where officials say girl gangs wielding everything from baseball bats to ice picks are on the rise.

Female cliques increasingly are turning schoolyard spats into beatings and turf battles for respect, recognition and attention the girls don't receive at home.

"In the last three years, female activity -- as far as crews and gangs -- has risen," says Bridget T. Miller, coordinator of the District's Youth Gang Task Force. "Nobody wanted to acknowledge it because they thought it was just a short trend, but they failed to realize how dangerous a female can be."

Miss Miller says more than 270 girl gangs and crews operate in the District. The cliques often form in middle schools and center around neighborhoods, clashing over anything from fashion styles to being snubbed at clubs.

"People just hate," says Coco, a 17-year-old who is trying to quit a gang centered in Rosedale in Northeast. "One person will bump you, mug you, put their middle fingers up to you, then we'll start fighting. Fistfights, brick fights, bats -- whatever they feel like they can whoop you with, they'll get."

Members -- who include homosexual boys in some cases -- sometimes color their hair a specific color. Although girl gangs usually don't resort to guns, officials note clashes involving blades, bats and even stun guns.

"Girls are getting beat with crowbars, they've got knives, [they] get stabbed and cut," says Ronald Moten, founder of the nonprofit Peacoholics, which is sponsoring a forum, "Saving Our Sisters," in May at Howard University. "One girl got killed leaving a club in Southeast, a female got shot by another female.

"It's changing; that's why we got to nip it in the bud."

Sharell Kyle, a former Anacostia High School student who now attends Trinity College, says her school basketball team brawled with rivals from Theodore Roosevelt High School and at least half of her friends have participated in girl gangs.

"A lot of it deals with following, fitting in," says Miss Kyle, 20, who now works for Peacoholics. "Some youths don't have nobody else to look at in their lives, so they turn to the streets."

According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of female state and federal inmates grew 5 percent a year from 1995 to mid-2004. The number of male inmates grew by an average of 3.3 percent during the same period.

In the District, the number of Superior Court cases involving female juveniles increased from 445 in 2003 to 571 in 2004. The number of girls brought before the court for violent offenses jumped from 225 in 2003 to 322 in 2004, a 43 percent increase.

Officials say preliminary court numbers show a slight decrease last year, but the trend is disturbing.

"Women have become more involved in the system for at least a decade," says Anita Josey-Herring, the presiding judge of D.C. Family Court. "We're trying to get ahead of that before the problem becomes insurmountable."

The court in January began its Leaders of Today in Solidarity (LOTS) program, which is staffed only by women and offers girls in the court system community supervision, guidance and support services. Juveniles in the LOTS program will be supervised by Judge Zoe Bush, who will be assigned to monitor their cases.

"A lot of girls get involved with gangs because they're looking to be accepted by their peers," Judge Josey-Herring says. "We're trying to create a community ... so these girls can understand they have a whole lot more to look forward to in life than being a member of a gang."

Tiffany, a 17-year-old mother, says she quit her gang when her priorities changed.

"My baby's father started saying, 'You don't need to be in that to prove yourself,'?" she says. "[Now] when I'm gonna fight, I'm gonna fight for my son. It's gonna be a good reason."

Gangsta girls

Panhandle law enforcmenet officials are looking for a convicted sex offender who has not registered his whereabouts as required by Florida law


Larry D. Thomas

Larry D. Thomas, black male, 32 years of age, 5'-7" tall, 182 pounds, with black hair, and brown eyes. His last known address was 1356 W. Edney Street in Crestview, Florida.

Crime Stoppers in Walton County will pay up to $1,000 for information that puts Thomas behind bars.

For any information call 866-622-2075.

Unregistered Sex Offender Near School

Unregistered Sex Offender Caught

An Algerian refugee is being held in a doctor's fatal stabbing in Norway

Nina Berglund:

A 37-year-old man from Algeria, who was appealing the denial of his application for asylum in Norway, was in police custody Thursday. He's charged with stabbing a doctor to death in downtown Oslo on Wednesday.

The fatal stabbing set off a dramatic mid-day manhunt that ended Wednesday night with the arrest of Kamel Mellah, who reportedly has a record of psychiatric problems.

Police had been able to identify the murder suspect fairly quickly, because he'd had an appointment with Dr Stein Sjaastad in Sjaastad's doctor's office earlier in the day.

Mellah, who initially wasn't identified in Aftenposten because of editorial policy, is charged with threatening the doctor's receptionist, pulling a knife on Sjaastad and stabbing him repeatedly in the neck and chest area. The doctor died at the scene.

The would-be refugee then fled the building, which also houses the well-known theater and conference facility called Sentrum Scene. Police evacuated hundreds of persons from the building while launching a massive manhunt for the killer.

He was later arrested about 8:30pm in an apartment next door to the one he rented at Bjerke, on Oslo's northeast side.

Police spokesman Finn Abrahamsen said Mellah had been in Norway for a few years but hadn't been granted permanent resident status. Abrahamsen said he was known for being aggressive towards healthcare workers, and police had warned healthcare personnel in Oslo Wednesday afternoon not to deal with him in case he sought them out while on the run.

Mellah had lived at an asylum center in Mosjøen, northern Norway, until last year, when he moved to Oslo. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that he had a history of psychiatric problems and once had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in northern Norway.

Asylum seeker threatens minister

Norway: Terror suspect returns for the 8th time

Black students and those learning English had the lowest pass rate on the California high school graduation exam

Steve Lawrence:

All but roughly 10 percent of California high school seniors who are required to take the state's graduation exam have passed it, but failure rates are higher among blacks, Latinos, the poor and those who are learning English, state officials said Tuesday.

About 89 percent of the 430,894 members of the Class of 2006 who must pass the exam to receive a diploma had done so as of November, said Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction. That left nearly 48,000 seniors who hadn't passed both sections of the test, which measure students' skills in math and English.

Those figures don't take into consideration seniors who might have passed the test in February or March and the 22,327 special education students who don't have to pass the test to graduate this year, O'Connell said.

Results from the February and March exams will be available in six or seven weeks, officials said. The test also will be given in May, but those results won't be known in time for students to receive a diploma in June.

This year's seniors are the first who must pass the test to graduate.

After the November results were calculated, 96 percent of white students and 94 percent of Asians had passed the test. The figure was 82 percent for Latinos and students classified as "economically disadvantaged," O'Connell said.

The pass rate was lowest for black students — 80 percent — and those learning English — 69 percent.

O'Connell, a former state senator who is the sponsor of the bill that set up the test, said the pass rate was steadily improving and that the exam was ensuring high school graduates have minimum proficiency.

"The skills measured by the exam are the least we must expect by our students if we expect them to survive in the competitive world beyond high school," he said.

9 of 10 students pass state exit exam

Most Seniors Pass H.S. Exit Test

Editorial: 48,000 to go

Exit exam estimates: 31 percent of English learners don't pass

Young black males and anti-Hispanic crime

Tami K. Phillips:

Recent attacks in the Hispanic community have police searching for suspects and many Latinos scared for their lives.

Police in both Forest and Morton have reported armed robberies and other attacks targeting Hispanics in past weeks. In some of the incidents, suspects used scare tactics like throwing a snake into a Hispanic family's home.

Most of the victims have reported that young black males committed the crimes against them.

Capt. Willie Anderson with the Morton Police Department said his department was recently alerted to the crimes when an individual reported that two black males entered his home on Oak Street where they struck his father in the head and robbed him.

Anderson visited the neighborhood and interviewed several Hispanic families with the help of a translator.

"Every one of them over there has had some kind of encounter with black males robbing them," Anderson said. "They're not reporting it. Some of them are illegal and they're afraid. There's also a language barrier there."

A total of 16 Hispanic individuals reported that they had been victims of crime, Anderson said. Some even reported that suspects stole food from their homes during the robberies.

"This is becoming very prominent," Anderson said. "They say it usually happens on pay day because most Hispanics carry large sums of money."

Anderson said his department has leads on one case and continues to investigate others.

Attacks are also on the rise in Forest where a Hispanic male was beaten badly over the weekend and transferred to the University Medical Center in Jackson for treatment.

Forest Police Chief Mike Lee said it was unclear if the man was the victim of a crime or a participant in a fight. No other information was available on the case.

Ga. town defiant in wake of immigrant killings

Color Of Crime, Sound Of (Big Media) Silence

Mapping The Unmentionable: Race And Crime

Jail Riots Illustrate Racial Divide in California

Two teen runaways were raped and prostituted, drugged to keep them compliant and pistol-whipped

Joshua Freed:

Lameia Ball, 34, Alphonso Mitchell, 33

A mother and two of her teenage sons have been charged. Police arrested other adults who lived in the home, though they have not been charged.

Police began investigating after one of the girls escaped and wound up at a home for runaways. Court documents identify the girls only by their initials.

One of the girls said a man she met on the streets lured her to a St. Paul home by saying he wanted her to baby-sit for a friend. At the home, a woman told the girl "she had been brought there to 'ho' for her," according to the complaint charging Lamiea Shellike Ball, 34, with kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Attorneys for Ball and her 16-year-old son declined to comment Friday on the charges filed this week. An attorney for the accused 15-year-old son did not return a phone message from The Associated Press.

The girl told police she wanted to leave, but said Ball pistol-whipped her and forced her into a closet for several hours. The girl said that was the beginning of several weeks of captivity, where she was forced to wear little or no clothing, was ordered to work as a prostitute, and was beaten with a pistol or belt whenever she refused. Newspaper ads brought prostitution customers to the house, and she was kept in a closet when she wasn't working, according to the charges.

Another 16-year-old was also kept at the house, according to the charges, and was sometimes taken to hotels to work as a prostitute, while the first girl was locked in a closet at the house. Both girls said they were given crack cocaine and sleeping pills.

The first girl said the gun was never out of Ball's reach.

She escaped once, after being beaten by Ball and the man who had brought her to the house. A police affidavit for a search warrant said the girl was punched, choked, kicked and hit with a cane. The girl met with two other homeless friends, who later told police that the girl appeared to have been beaten when they saw her.

But soon after, as she walked along a sidewalk, the girl saw Ball's green minivan pull up, and Ball allegedly pointed a gun at her and forced her back to the house. The girl escaped again about two weeks later and made her way to the runaway shelter, according to the charges.

Other witnesses also verified seeing injuries to the girl, police said.

Once police heard the first girl's story, their focus quickly turned toward finding the house so they could help the other girl. They found her in a search of the house on March 17. That girl said she had been held at the home for about three months, and that Ball had threatened to kill her or members of her family if she ran away, according to the affidavit.

That girl also said Ball had claimed to be a powerful voodoo priestess, and had threatened to use voodoo on her.

One witness told police of visiting the home recently and seeing the second girl go into a small closet under a stairway. When this person asked Ball why the girl was in the closet, Ball said the girl was shy.

Police said they believe there may be other girls who were held similarly at the house, although they have not yet verified any.

The girls are safe now, said police Sgt. Paul Schnell, who led the investigation. They "are doing OK. But there's no doubt in my mind that there's going to be long-term effect and impact" from what they went through, he said.

Woman and her sons charged in sex-slave case

More St. Paul kidnapping victims likely

Woman's son, husband may be charged in sex slavery case

U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) punched a Capitol police officer

Michael King:

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-4th Ga)

According to sources on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) punched a Capitol police officer on Wednesday afternoon after he mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.

Members of Congress are not required to pass through metal detectors.

Sources say that the officer was at a position in the Longworth House Office Building, and neither recognized McKinney, nor saw her credentials as she went around the metal detector.

The officer called out, “Ma’am, Ma’am,” and walked after her in an attempt to stop her. When he caught McKinney, he grabbed her by the arm.

Witnesses say McKinney pulled her arm away, and with her cell phone in hand, punched the officer in the chest.

McKinney’s office has not responded to requests for comment.

According to the Drudge Report, the entire incident is on tape.

Drudge continues, "The cop is pressing charges, and the USCP (United States Capitol Police) are waiting until Congress adjourns to arrest her, a source claims."

No charges have been filed. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider says that senior officials have been made aware of the incident and are investigating.

Representative Awful

Cynthia McKinney, Rep. for the Loony Left

Cynthia McKinney: The rep who cries racism

Lessons from Rep. Cynthia McKinney's defeat

Cynthia McKinney (D-Conspiracy)

Father of Ousted McKinney Spells Defeat 'J-E-W-S'

Rep. McKinney has 5th run-in with security

Scans suggest IQ scores reflect brain structure

Jim Giles:

Researchers say that a remarkable data set on the developing brain adds to the idea that IQ is a meaningful concept in neuroscience. The study, which is published on page 676 of this issue, suggests that performance in IQ tests is associated with changes in the brain during adolescence.

Claims that IQ is a valid measure of intelligence tend to attract angry responses, in part because of studies that have attempted to link group differences in IQ with race. In their 1994 book The Bell Curve, political scientist Charles Murray and psychologist Richard Herrnstein argued that the lower-income status of some US ethnic minorities was linked to below-average IQ scores among those groups. These were in turn attributed to mainly genetic factors.

Before that, Harvard University entomologist Edward Wilson provoked outrage with work that proposed evolutionary explanations for human behaviour and individual differences in intelligence; critics called the work racist. And this month, the journal Intelligence printed an editorial note defending its policy regarding the publication of controversial papers. The note comes after a study linking IQ and skin colour (D. I. Templer and H. Arikawa Intelligence 34, 121–139; 2006), published online last November, prompted a string of complaints from scientists.

Yet researchers studying IQ say the social climate is becoming more receptive to such studies, in part because it is now widely agreed that cognitive abilities are shaped by environmental factors as well as genetic ones.

The latest result, from a team led by Philip Shaw at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, adds to the debate by linking IQ with changes in the brain over time, rather than fixed attributes such as brain size. "It's not that brainy children have more grey matter," says Shaw. "The story of intelligence is in the trajectory of brain development."

Shaw's team tracked a group of more than 300 children as they aged from 6 to 19, running them through a series of cognitive tests — IQ is determined by combining scores from tests of a range of verbal and non-verbal abilities. The team also measured the size of brain structures using magnetic resonance imaging at roughly two-year intervals: more than half the children had at least two scans, and around a third were scanned three or more times.

When the researchers split the children into three groups according to their initial IQ scores, they noticed a characteristic pattern of changes in the brains of the group with the highest scores. The thickness of the cortex — the outer layer of the brain that controls high-level functions such as memory — started off thinner than that of the other groups, but rapidly gained depth until it was thicker than normal during the early teens. All three groups converged, with the children having cortexes of roughly equal thickness by age 19. The strongest effect was seen in the prefrontal cortex, which controls planning and reasoning.

"My first impression was 'wow, this is amazing," says Jeremy Gray, a psychologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He notes that it is difficult to persuade children and parents to return for scans over a long period of time, so imaging studies are usually limited to tens, rather than hundreds, of subjects.

Shaw's study raises questions that could prompt further research. His team did not look at what could be causing the changes in cortical thickness, for example; the group points out that several mechanisms — including the formation and elimination of connections between brain cells — could be responsible. Also unknown is how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the change.

The study is likely to prompt discussion of the possible social applications of such results, but these are limited. The trend identified by Shaw was significant when results from all the subjects were combined, but would probably be too small to predict how an individual child is likely to fare in school, for example.

There are also likely to be queries about whether the research should have been conducted in the first place. IQ is a good predictor of performance at school and in the workplace. For some neuroscientists, this makes the physiological factors that contribute to IQ worth studying, in order to probe how intelligence works. "There's good evidence from functional imaging studies that very demanding tasks activate the prefrontal cortex, and that activity correlates with IQ," says Shaw. "We're getting at some common processing resource."

Gray also points out that metrics related to IQ can help predict speed of recovery from stroke, so studying them could lead to new therapies.

Brains develop differently in smartest kids

Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development

Scans Show Different Growth for Intelligent Brains

Brain Development and Intelligence Linked, Study Says

Cortex matures faster in youth with highest IQ

Temperature, skin color, per capita income, and IQ: An international perspective

The Bell Curve: An Assessment After Ten Years

Immigrants are waging a war against the Swedes


The number of rape charges in Sweden has quadrupled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six times as common today as they were a generation ago. Most other kinds of violent crime have rapidly increased, too. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or from foreign parents. The phenomenon is not restricted to Sweden. The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations is so extremely high that it is difficult to view these rapes as merely random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. This is happening in most Western European countries, as well as in other non muslim countries such as India. European jails are filling up with Muslims imprisoned for robberies and all kinds of violent crimes, and Muslims bomb European civilians. One can see the mainstream media are struggling to make sense of all of this. That is because they cannot, or do not want to, see the obvious: this is exactly how an invading army would behave: rape, pillage and bombing. If many of the Muslim immigrants see themselves as conquerors in a war, it all makes perfect sense.

Malmö in Sweden, set to become the first Scandinavian city with a Muslim majority within a decade or two, has nine times as many reported robberies per capita as Copenhagen, Denmark. Yet the number one priority for the political class in Sweden during this year’s national election campaign seems to be demonizing neighboring Denmark for “xenophobia” and a “brutal” debate about Muslim immigration. During last years Jihad riots in France, Sweden’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Göran Persson criticised the way the French government handled the unrest in the country. “It feels like a very hard and confrontational approach.” Persson also rejected the idea of more local police as a “first step” in Sweden. “I don’t believe that’s the way we would choose in Sweden. To start sending out signals about strengthening the police is to break with the political line we have chosen to follow,” he said. Meanwhile, as their authorities have largely abandoned their third largest city to creeping anarchy, there is open talk among the native Swedes still remaining in Malmö of forming vigilante groups armed with baseball bats out of concern for their children’s safety.

A Swedish Dilemma

No Longer Just Nordic

Swedes Reach Muslim Breaking Point

Goodbye Europe, Hello Eurabia

Ethnic and economic segregation worsens in Sweden

Marchers say whites, not illegal immigrants, have to go


While debates about guest-worker programs for illegal aliens take place in the corridors of power, in the streets of America's big cities no amnesty is being offered by activists calling for the expulsion of most U.S. citizens from their own country.

While politicians debate the fate of some 12 million people residing in the U.S. illegally, the Mexica Movement, one of the organizers of the mass protest in Los Angeles this week, has already decided it is the "non-indigenous," white, English-speaking U.S. citizens of European descent who have to leave what they call "our continent."

The pictures and captions tell the story.

"This is our continent, not yours!" exclaimed one banner.

"We are indigenous! The only owners of this continent!" said another.

"If you think I'm illegal because I'm a Mexican, learn the true history, because I'm in my homeland," read another sign.

"One of the more negative parts of the march was when American flags were passed out to make sure the marchers were looked on as part of 'America,'" said the group's commentary on the L.A. rally.

Both Rep. James Sensebrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a proponent of tougher border security, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were caricatured as Nazis by the group on its posters and banners.

The group insists the indigenous people of the continent were the victims of genocide – a campaign of extermination that killed, according to one citation, 95 percent of their population, or 33 million people. Another citation on the same website claims the toll was 70 million to 100 million.

The only solution, says the Mexica Movement, is to expel the invaders of the last 500 years, force them to pay reparations and return the continent to its rightful heirs.

The platform of the group illustrates the diverse – and sometimes extreme – agendas of those participating in the mass mobilizations that have been seen largely as protests against efforts to curb illegal immigration.

Some of those involved, including the Mexica Movement, have much bigger goals than stopping a piece of legislation before Congress.

The Mexica Movement has big issues with many other equally radical groups participating in the massive, united-front rallies. The group makes a point of distinguishing its goals and objectives from others, such as the separatist Aztlan Movement.

Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs, is regarded in Chicano folklore as an area that includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas. The movement seeks to create a sovereign, Spanish-speaking state, "Republica del Norte," or the Republic of the North, that would combine the American Southwest with the northern Mexican states and eventually merge with Mexico.

A group called "La Voz de Aztlan," the Voice of Aztlan, identifies Mexicans in the U.S. as "America's Palestinians." Many Mexicans see themselves as part of a transnational ethnic group known as "La Raza," the race. A May editorial on the website, with a dateline of Los Angeles, Alta California, declares that "both La Raza and the Palestinians have been displaced by invaders that have utilized military means to conquer and occupy our territories."

Others in the coalition hope to see a "reconquest" of the American southwest by Mexico. This would not likely take place through military action, they say, but rather through a slow process of migration – both legal and illegal.

Mexica Movement Says It Owns Continent


Racism Gets A Whitewash

Halfway Pregnant

A Professor Lashes Out


Vicente Fox Needs a Lesson in Civility

Mexican illegals vs. American voters


The "Prop. 187 Destroyed the California GOP" Myth

More Hispanic hype hogwash from Fabian Nunez

American Dhimmitude

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