Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.This survey seems so flawed to me I don't even know where to start. For example, 44% of the respondents favoured limitations on civil liberties for American Muslims yet only 22% supported racial profiling to detect terrorists. Logically, if you're in favour of limiting civil liberties, racial profiling shouldn't bother you. Read on.
Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt soured last week after Coptic Christians around the country held demonstrations against what they said was the government's failure to stop forced conversions to Islam.
Yet the wife of a Coptic priest, who is at the center of the storm, told the Middle East Times that she willingly embraced Islam.
In what was publicly billed as a vote of support, the U.N. General Assembly gave embattled Secretary-General Kofi Annan a "standing ovation" on Wednesday.Let's keep this in mind next time Kofi lectures us about the validity of Iraq's elections or Fallujah or something.
This followed the "vote" of support by U.N. staff employees last week.
The problem is, both acts of "confidence" are so hollow as to have little more than symbolic significance.
The vote by the U.N. staff was conducted in a way reminiscent of voting in the old Supreme Soviet during the Cold War.
A copy of the staff ballots e-mailed worldwide, and obtained by NewsMax, showed the employees could only vote "yes" to support Annan.
No negative option was on the ballot.
Even worse, according to several U.N. staffers, just running the cursor over the ballot's yes box registered as a yes vote without clicking the mouse.
As a result, numerous yes votes were erroneously registered, and the U.N. refused to cancel them.
When the U.N. staff union challenged the veracity of the vote, its complaint was not circulated worldwide, like the ballot, but limited to NYC staff.
The U.N. trumpeted 3,000 yes votes, but unofficial guesstimates say more than 30,000 ballots went out.
"What I don't like is that those European countries with a barbaric background are now trying to teach us how to live," Koran said, looking out the car window at the farmers. "Snobbish people come from Europe and say, you can't have women working and kids working. They forget about the days when 12-year-olds worked in the coal mines of England and women and children worked all day in Germany for a cup of soup."Among Turks, some hope and some fear
Koran wore a tailored suit and tie befitting his standing. An unlikely farmer, he spends most of his time in Ankara where he is a member of the Nationalist Movement party, a small but vocal group that opposes Turkish concessions to the EU.
In his view, the goal of membership is a trap that would lead to the country being nibbled away by its old enemies.
Greece will claim Turkey's Black Sea coast, as it did nearly a century ago when the Ottoman Empire lay dying, Koran predicted.
Kurdish separatism will be encouraged, he added, and Turkey will be forced to withdraw its military garrison on the Turkish side of the divided island of Cyprus.
"Soon we will see their real faces and they'll start one by one on those issues," he said. "That's why it's nonsense for Turkey to join the EU."
While Koran's views represent the more extreme range of Turkish public opinion, even moderate Turks have bridled at the tone set by some EU representatives.
She pleaded guilty on Sept. 27 to illegal entry, lying to a federal agent and using an altered passport and faced a maximum sentence of 15 years, six months in prison and $750,000 in fines.Sounds like a good punishment, right? Fifteen an' a half years in pokey, and a cool three-quarter mill in fines. Deter this kind of thing pretty good, right? Wrong. The judge sentenced her to time served and deportation. What is this, a terrorist catch and release program?
A South African woman whose arrest heightened fears terrorists were slipping across the U.S.-Mexico border has been sentenced to time previously served and will be deported.Maybe we flipped her? What's with the random leniency all of a sudden?
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced 48-year-old Farida Goolam Mahomed Ahmed on Tuesday.
Ahmed, 48, had been in federal custody since July 19, when Border Patrol officers at the McAllen-Miller International Airport stopped her as she tried to board a plane for New York and detained her for not having a visa to travel in the United States. The officers later discovered her passport had three pages ripped out of it.
Ahmed also was carrying about $7,300 in various currencies as well as flight itineraries indicating she traveled from Johannesburg on July 8, via Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to London, then to Mexico City on or about July 14.
South Africans don't need visas to travel in those countries, so Ahmed passed easily across their borders. She admitted to sneaking into the United States illegally by wading across the Rio Grande.
Art Moreno, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Ahmed would remain in custody until being deported.
Officials have repeatedly declined to respond to questions about why Ahmed sneaked into the country and whether she had any ties to terrorist organizations.
In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of news reports about suicides by self-immolation among Afghan women. Although nationwide statistics are hard to come by, hospitals and aid agencies in cities like Kabul and Herat in western Afghanistan have recorded a number of female burn cases.Preferring Suicide Over Forced Marriage
Forced into marriages — often with older, richer men — and faced with a life of endless exploitation and drudgery, an untold number of Afghan females are dousing themselves with kerosene used in cooking stoves and setting themselves on fire.
"There is an absolute level of despair, that you will never be able to make a choice about your life and that really there is no way out, and knowing that you will have to live with a man you have not chosen, who is probably older than you are, who is not going to allow you to work, to go out of the house," explained Rachel Wareham of L'Association Médicale Mondiale, or World Medical Association, an international physicians group.
Self-immolation is a horrific act that often results in a slow, torturous death in hospital burn wards even as medical officials desperately struggle to save lives.
As we toured Tripoli's medina, a brief walk from the hotel, I was struck by how refreshingly tranquil it was. This was not your typical Middle Eastern souk, a riotous, rattling, sputtering engine of commerce and emotion. A few children set off firecrackers in the street. Cascades of sparks poured from a metalworking shop, where men smoked silently from hookahs. But there were no hordes to elbow, no hard sell, no streams of beggars, as there are in Cairo.Read the whole thing for his further adventures in the Sahara desert (Warning for zorkie: Contains goat). I'd like to see Libya, I think.
At night, along Omar al-Mukhtar Street, named for the Libyan colonial-resistance hero, ear-splitting American pop, including hip-hop, issued from almost every one of the tiny stalls, which sold well, not much. Toiletries, copies of The Green Book, Colonel Qaddafi's ubiquitous manifesto, and various yard sale variety items. In the market for a live baby gazelle? Prices are flexible.
Crossing the streets, which are free of lane markers and stop signs, proved a more interesting adventure. The Libyan custom is to simply wade into traffic, index finger of one hand raised above shoulder height. Miraculously, cars lurch to a halt.
White robes swaddling his stick-thin frame, a new guide, Bilal Aghali, appeared the morning after our arrival, to take us to Leptis Magna. The archaeological sites at Sabratha and Leptis Magna, west and east of Tripoli, are among the best-preserved Roman cities in the world.
At Leptis, built by the Phoenicians in the seventh century B.C. as a trading port, the dust from the chariots, the cackle of clowns and the screams of gladiators still seem to hang in the salty sea air. Grand limestone buildings with intricately decorated marble facades still stand; one is not left merely to imagine them, based on the careful placement of a few crumbling rocks. A gray stone penis, carved into one ancient wall, marked the entrance to the street where Roman prostitutes strolled.
Thrilled at a chance to show Americans what Libyan history has to offer, our guide expertly fielded every question. Scrums of schoolgirls wearing headscarves hurried up, to stare at us, as curious about the Westerners in their midst as we were about them. Mutual photography, which I feared might bring the wrath of officialdom, ensued enthusiastically.
When I handed one of the children my camera, so that she and her friends could see themselves, it was clear they were fully familiar with digital technology, and more. One girl giggled, ''Good shot!'' -- in English.
Back at the hotel, I bought some of the most amusing stamps I have seen anywhere, a set titled ''American Aggression.'' At 200 dirhams apiece -- about 15 cents, at the rate of 1.3 dinars to the dollar (a dirham is 1,000th of a dinar) -- they featured not only the requisite defiant images of the Colonel but also a series, in blazing comic book colors, of enormous Libyan surface-to-air missiles annihilating fully armed American fighter jets.
As with so many things Libyan, however, even the sale of such a potentially inflammatory item came with a bright smile and a shrug. Despite American air strikes designed to kill its leaders, and a Bush administration that has enflamed Muslims around the world, I found the Libyans to be warm and self-deprecating. And despite being branded a rogue terrorist state by the international community, Libya felt perfectly safe in both urban and rural areas.