Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Denmark: Attack against Israelis (UPDATES)

SKJØT ISRAELERE: Dansk politi leter nyttårsaften etter en arabisk gjerningsmann som skal ha skutt ned to israelske butikkinnehavere i Rosengårdscentret i Odense. Foto: Scanpix.

Odense: Attack against Israelis (BREAKING) (Source)

Details will be added as they come in. According to first reports, a man, apparently a Palestinian, shot two Israelis working at a stand selling Israeli products in a shopping mall in the center of Odense. One was shot in the arms and the other in the legs. Both were transferred to a hospital. The situation of one is apparently not serious. Police are currently chasing the perpetrator.

Two Israelis were lightly wounded when they were shot by a group of men in a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark on Wednesday afternoon.
The Israelis were selling Dead Sea cosmetics at a stand in the mall - a job many young Israelis pursue, usually following military service, in order to save money for their future, and to continue their travels.
A group of men with Middle Eastern-looking features approached them and an altercation developed. A man in the group then brandished a weapon and fired at the Israelis.
The public's assistance was requested in capturing the shooter, who was probably a Palestinian, police said. His getaway car was already found but he had fled on foot.
The Foreign Ministry said Israeli security services abroad were already put on high alert several days ago.
It was assumed that the incident was related to the IDF offensive against Hamas terrorists in Gaza
Source: Jpost (English)

Update 2: The attacker yelled something in a Middle Eastern language, after which he began to shoot. One of the Israelis tried to flee but was then hit. The other threw a stool at him, but it didn't help much.A witness heard three shots, but already shortly after the shooting 5-6 casings were found. Source: BT (Danish)

Update 3: According to the Odense police, security cameras caught the moment when the attacker, about 25 years old, suddenly pulled out a pistol and shot the two Israelis.The Israeli stand had been in the shopping center for about a month. Police are currently trying to find out who the owner is. A group of 7-9 youth allegedly harassed the sales personnel. The two Israelis had only come to Denmark a week ago. Source: DR (Danish)

Update 4: Asked if there's a connection between the attack and what's happening in Gaza, Ashraf al-Khadra, the Norwegian-Palestinian journalist of Norwegian newssite Nettavisen answered that he wants to be careful with something he doesn't know much about, but he does know that there are many Palestinians who live in the area of the Rosengårdscentret shopping center.Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Latvia is for sale

Well, according to the petitioner it is.

(KP-Елена ЧИНКОВА 29.12.2008 21:51)

The financial crisis that adversely affects the economy of this small country, pushed one of the local residents to an unprecedented step: in an anonymous letter, he asks Roman Abramovich to buy his own country. Such a purchase for a Russian oligarch, according to the author, is not only prestigious, but also profitable.

«Dear Arkadievich Roman Abramovich. As you probably already know, my home country of Latvia went bankrupt and is currently negotiating with the IMF the sale of our state for 7.5 billion euros. Given all the previous achievements of my Government, I can confidently state that the money will be spent in utopistic projects (type: Castle of Light... etc.) and the standard of living of the population will fall below the plinths. I ask you to consider buying Latvia: hard-working people will make sure there will be a lot of places to park your yacht », - said in a letter posted on the site .

Can you believe there are already 583 signatures?!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nasrallah calls on Egyptians to revolt against Mubarak

AFP 28/12/2008
In his speech, Hassan Nasallah directly and plainly calls on the Egyptian public to revolt against the Mubarak regime saying:
"Go demonstrate in the streets in millions, Egyptian police can not kill millions of you".
Nasrallah also directly attacked Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit accusing him of participation in the Israeli attack calling him “the Egyptian-one” who once wanted to break the legs of the Palestinians who crosses Rafah-Cross. (Source)

Read it also in french:
Gaza : l'appel de Nasrallah aux Egyptiens (Le Figaro)

Egypt ambulances waiting empty on Gaza border

Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

RAFAH, Egypt, Dec 28, 2008 (AFP) - Dozens of empty ambulances waited on the Egyptian border with Gaza on Sunday to evacuate those wounded by Israeli air strikes, but found no one to take for treatment despite a deal with Hamas.

More than 270 Palestinians have been killed and 600 wounded since Israel began hammering the Gaza Strip with air strikes on Saturday, but no wounded have yet left via Rafah, the Hamas-ruled territory's only Arab border crossing.

"No one has come in, we don't know why they're closed on the other side," a senior border security official told AFP. Several plane and truck loads of aid are also waiting to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, a security official said.

The road leading to the border crossing in the divided town of Rafah was lined with 20 vans of riot police, an AFP correspondent reported, with 40 ambulances and several pick-ups full of medicine waiting to cross into Gaza.

Egyptian state media reported on Saturday that several dozen wounded had crossed into Egypt for treatment.

But state news agency MENA later reported that despite an agreement with Hamas for 70 critical cases to come to Egypt for treatment, no one has crossed "just yet."

"We're still waiting," a medic told AFP on Sunday morning.

"Sometimes they (Hamas) say they're going to bring people, sometimes they say they're not going to bring people," said another medic, requesting anonymity. "Now they say they want medical supplies for the wounded."

Gaza has been crippled by an Israeli blockade of all but the most essential supplies, with even basic medicines lacking in the impoverished territory. But no emergency medical aid entered on Sunday.

A security official said that an Egyptian plane with 50 doctors on board as well as medical supplies had arrived in nearby El-Arish. Two Qatari planes carrying 50 tonnes of medical supplies were waiting at the same airport.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has also ordered three planes of medical aid to the Gaza Strip via Egypt, MENA said, and offered to air lift the wounded.

"The Rafah border crossing was opened by the Egyptians yesterday, but no Hamas people showed up" on the other side, an Israeli military spokesman said. Source

Hamas not allowing wounded Palestinians access to Egyptian medical treatment

Khaled Desouki

Egyptian paramedics wait by their empty ambulances standing by to collect Palestinian wounded by Israeli air strikes at the Egyptian side of the closed Rafah crossing point between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian police fired in the air near the Gaza border town of Rafah on Sunday to prevent Palestinians entering Egypt after Israel launched air strikes to destroy tunnels along the tense frontier.
"Dozens of civilians tried to break through the Barahma crossing after Israel launched air strikes along the Gaza-Egypt border. They were repelled by Egyptian police firing in the air," the official said.
Some Palestinians managed to climb over the border wall into Egypt, with riot police reinforcements being sent to the frontier on the second day of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 280 people.
Tensions on the border crossing, Gaza's only one to bypass Israel, had risen during the day, with Egypt blaming Hamas for not letting wounded Palestinians through and Hamas asking for medical aid to be handed over. (France24)

Explosion at Iranian Defense factory: many dead

В Иране вновь погибли люди

28.12.2008 16:54

Eight people were killed and several more were seriously wounded in an explosion at a defense factory in Zarin Shahr in the central Iranian province of Isfahan. As reported by RIA Novosti with reference to the AFP, this happened on the night between Saturday and Sunday. The reasons for the explosion have not yet been disclosed. KP

Friday, December 26, 2008

Russia delivers anti-aircraft missile batteries to Libya, Syria and Venezuela

Модернизированный зенитный ракетный комплекс "Печора-2М" (Rusarmy)

The Russian government started to deliver streamlined anti-aircraft missile batteries Pechora 2-M to seven countries, including Egypt, Libya, Syria and Venezuela, under an agreement for USD 250 million, reported on Friday Russian daily newspaper Vedomosti. The agreement "entered into force last week and the industry started to execute it," said the business daily, quoting a source of arms seller Rossiiskié Technologuii, AFP reported.

Pope bans phone confessions

CAIRO (AFP) 26-12-08– Egypt's Coptic pope has banned the faithful from confessing their sins to priests over the telephone because intelligence agents might be listening in, a newspaper reported on Friday.

"Confessions over the telephone are forbidden, because there is a chance the telephones are monitored and the confessions will reach state security," the independent Al-Masri Al-Yom quoted Pope Shenuda III as saying.
The leader of the Coptic minority also said confessions over the Internet were invalid because they might be read by websurfers.

"A confession over the Internet does not count as a confession, because everybody can look at it and it won't be secret," he said.
The sacrament of confession, also practiced by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, is normally a very private conversation between penitent and priest.
Priests are strictly bound to respect the privacy of confession, even in the face of threatened punishment, and many countries' legal systems specifically protect the "seal of the confessional."

Unlike Roman Catholic confessions, Coptic confessions are done face to face.
Coptic Patriarch Anba Morcos told AFP that people have begun to phone in their confessions.
"It's a new thing; it's been happening for the past four or five years," he said.
Morcos added that Pope Shenuda has also banned monks in Coptic monasteries from using cell phones.

"The monk is supposed to be secluded from the world. But the mobile phone brings the world to him," he said, adding that monastery administrators were allowed to keep their cell phones.

The Vatican does not recognise confessions by telephone or over the Internet.

Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, has said "confession requires the physical presence of the priest and the penitent.
"Privacy is absolutely not guaranteed on Internet, and there is no certainty as to the identity of the two parties to the communication. You can't have confession by e-mail, any more than you can have it by telephone or letter." (Source)

CIA's newest weapon in Afghanistan: Viagra

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post
Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 2008

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift. Four blue pills. Viagra. "Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam. The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills. For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations. (Washington Post)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Israel-bashing crib

It's that time of the year again and a zealous italian priest, Don Prospero Bonzani of Oregina, proudly introduces Islam, Mosques, Palestinians and the Wall into his crib.
Shame I can't find anywhere the Palestinian kamikaze...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mahmud Abbas begins visit to Egypt


The Chairman of the Palestinian National Administration Mahmud Abbas is beginning his visit to Egypt amid growing tension in the Gaza Strip where Palestinian fighters and Israel are exchanging blows. According to the Palestinian Administration’s spokesman Nabil Amru, the Palestinian leader is due to meet President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo later in the day to take up a likely return to the intra-Palestinian talks and a settlement with Israel. The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev underscored the importance of a Palestinian-Israeli peace dialogue during his talks with Mahmud Abbas in Moscow on Monday. (Source)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Medvedev, Abbas meet in Moscow

Mahmud Abbas (2nd R) is greeted by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (2nd L) upon his arrival in Grozny

MOSCOW, Dec 22 (KUNA) -- Russian president Dmitry Medvedev met on Monday with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is here wishing to seek support to keep the wobbling Middle East peace process on track. The two leaders discussed means of advancing bilateral relations and Medvedev described Abbas's visit to Moscow as useful and timely. Medvedev moreover expressed satisfaction at Abbas's visit to the republic of Chechneya and stressed the necessity for both Russia and the Palestine Authority to continue bilateral contacts, said Interfax news agency. Abbas on the other hand extoled in his meeting with prime minister Vladmir Putin the Russian stance vis-a-vis the Palestinian conflict and the plight of the Palestinian people. He thanked his Russian hosts for their continued economic, political, and security support of the Palestinian people, especially at the critical juncture they are currently at. Putin informed Abbas of Russia's concern for the Palestinian people and its commiseration with them during difficult times.

Read also: Russia's Medvedev, Putin host Abbas (Xinhua)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lviv City Councilmen Want Jewish Group Investigated

(December 19, 2008)
Members of the far-right "Freedom" party on the Lviv, Ukraine city council sent an official request to the prosecutor's office demanding criminal charges against leaders of a local Jewish community organization, according to a December 18, 2008 report posted on the local news web site

The document, replete with antisemitic pejoratives, focuses on a November 3 screening of a film about the Holocaust that focused on what happened to the Jews of Lviv, the majority of whom were massacred by the Nazis with some help from Ukrainian collaborators. It is the latter point that the far-right city councilmen focused on, claiming that it inaccurately depicted Ukrainians as playing an integral role in the extermination of the Lviv Jewish community. Since the Chesed Arye organization distributed the film to a Polish language school and other schools in the city, the councilmen demanded criminal charges against that organization based on laws prohibiting ethnic discrimination. UCSJ

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Before Syria and Israel, Beirut's problems were Italy's fault

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On Wednesday the eminent historian Nina Jidejian was invited to speak on the theme of her book, "Beirut: A City of Contrast", by the Society of the Friends of the Museum of the American University of Beirut, the university from which Jidejian graduated in the early 1960s. In the museum's lecture hall, surrounded by glass-fronted cases of antiquities, Jidejian took her audience on a whistle-stop tour of Beirut's history...

Renowned among her readers for her ability to re-animate the dusty bones of history, Jidejian used revealing nuggets of information to give immediacy to the concerns of past figures. Her old professor's maxim, "Do not forget the footnotes of history," is a principle to which Jidejian has remained true throughout her career.

An anecdote that particularly tickled the audience on Wednesday concerned the origin of the phrase "All this is the fault of the Italians," still commonly used by Beirutis today. In February 1912, as part of their war against the Ottomans, the Italians bombarded Beirut. Then, at the beginning of World War I, there was a famine in Beirut, mostly due to the corrupt practices of the wali or governor. His response to his challengers on this issue was always the same: "All this is the fault of the Italians."

In 1952, when President Bechara al-Khoury resigned, an adviser to the British Embassy paid a visit to insist that his problems were nothing to do with the British. According to Jidejian, al-Khoury's sardonic response was, "I know, I know, it was the fault of the Italians."

Jidejian's message, however, was largely optimistic. She suggested that Beirut's regular status as a battleground is due to its geographical position as "the crossroads of the Middle East." Yet, despite being a victim of this geographical accident, Jidejian emphasized how Beirut has risen above the endless conflicts to become a multi-denominational capital city.
"Despite all its disasters and obstacles, Beirut is a city in which 18 religious communities live side-by-side," Jidejian said. "This is no small achievement." (Daily

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saudi businessman offers $10 million for shoe thrown at Bush

BAGHDAD, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - A Saudi businessman has offered $10 million for one of the shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist at U.S. President George Bush in Baghdad, Saudi television reported on Tuesday.
During a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nour Maliki on Sunday, Muntazer al-Zaidi, a correspondent for the Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV channel, hurled his shoes at the U.S. president, shouting in Arabic, "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, dog." He was then overpowered by security personnel and taken away.
In Arabic culture showing the soles of shoes is considered a serious insult. Neither of the shoes, which Bush later told journalists were "a size 10" hit their target.
What happened to the footwear is unclear, although they are thought to have been seized as evidence by the Iraqi security service, or perhaps taken as a souvenir by a member of the Bush administration.
The Iraqi prime minister's press secretary, Yassin Majid, said on Tuesday that al-Zaidi could face up to 7 1/2 years in prison for assaulting the leader of a foreign country.

Russia 'to give' Lebanon war jets

Moscow is to give 10 MiG-29 fighter jets to Lebanon free of charge, says Russia's state news agency Interfax.

The head of the Russia's defence cooperation body, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said the consignment was "a form of military and technical assistance".
"We view the Lebanese army as the main guarantor of this nation's stability, therefore the armed forces of this country must be strengthened," he said.
Delivery of the jets to Lebanon will also be paid for by the Russians.
Mr Dmitriyev said the jets would be fully repaired and upgraded before being delivered.
He added that the two countries were also discussing a possible sale of Russian armour to Beirut, reported Reuters. Hr said this was possible because of Lebanon's recent stability.
Lebanon's military capability is greatly outweighed by Arab neighbour Syria, with which is has a history of sometimes strained relations, and the Jewish state Israel which lies to the south.
Lebanon and Israel have never signed a peace treaty and Israeli fighter jets continually violate Lebanese airspace in what the Israeli military describes as reconnaissance missions, but which are condemned by the United Nations. BBC

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iran accuses Sarkozy of pharaonic arrogance

16 December 2008

TEHRAN - Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy was imitating the “arrogant” style of the pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt, state television reported.
Sarkozy, an outspoken critic of Iran since coming to office in 2007, said on Monday he could not shake hands with Ahmadinejad because he had said Israel should be “wiped off the map”. He also said Ahmadinejad did not represent Iran.
Ahmadinejad, who outraged the West in 2005 by calling Israel a “tumour” to be wiped off the map, accused Sarkozy in a speech at a rally in southern Iran of adopting “an arrogant pharaonic style” towards the Tehran government.
“Sir, no one in Iran has demanded to negotiate or shake hands with you,” Ahmadinejad said. “Then why do you set conditions?” he asked in the speech in Khuzestan province, broadcast live on state television.
In Islamic tradition and the Koran, pharaohs are a symbol of arrogance and oppression.
Opposition to Israel is one of the fundamental policies of predominantly Shi’ite Iran, which backs Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic militant groups opposed to peace with the Jewish state.
Ahmadinejad insisted Iran had no intention of recognising Israel. “Whoever wants to negotiate with Iran should know that Iran will never recognise the Zionist regime (Israel),” he said to chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”.
“Those who want to negotiate with Iran, should know that Iran is calling for obliteration of crime, aggression, occupation and the genesis of Zionist thinking from the world.”
The United States and Israel believe Iran’s nuclear programme conceals a military programme.
Iran has been hit by three rounds of U.N. sanctions since 2006 for refusing to suspend its sensitive uranium enrichment work. France, like Washington, wants further international pressure on Iran to persuade it to stop the enrichment.
Tehran rejects Western allegations that it has secret plans to build atomic weapons and refuses to suspend what it says is a civilian nuclear energy programme.
Ahmadinejad said Iran would never yield to international pressure to abandon its nuclear activities. “Iran will not give up its obvious right (to nuclear technology) even one iota,” he said.