Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

UK Foreign Office tackles Iranian government over woman imprisoned for watching volleyball

Telegraph

Following Telegraph Wonder Women’s coverage of the upsetting case, Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, who today spent her 80th day in prison without any formal charges, the UK Foreign Office are now meeting with her brother, who is based in London, for the first time tomorrow.

Ghoncheh Ghavami has been held in Tehran’s notoriously tough Evin Prison since June 30 with no idea when she will be released. She was detained after attending the sports match on June 20, which women had been previously banned from doing.

However, Miss Ghavami thought she was allowed to go because of a recent newspaper article which appeared to condone the attendance of women at volleyball games.

Miss Ghavami’s brother Iman, 28, speaking to Telegraph Wonder Women earlier today, said: “The Foreign Office called me this morning at 11am for a few minutes. The person I spoke to said they had read The Telegraph story and were going to arrange a meeting for me and a few officials at the Foreign Office to talk about my sister.

A ban on women attending football matches in Iran has been in place since 1979 – but this was extended to volleyball games in 2012.

Miss Ghavami was arrested immediately after the volleyball match but was then released. It was when she went to collect her belongings from the police station a few days later that she began being questioned about her dual nationality and was then detained without charge or notice.

Saudi Woman Fined for Driving Herself to Emergency Room

Let’s do the time warp again…

Under the unofficial rules governing Saudi Arabia’s strict fundamentalist society, women are forbidden from driving automobiles. Although the Quran, which is the basis for Saudi laws, could not possibly address such a subject, as it was written well over one thousand years ago, most Saudi clerics have determined that women driving automobiles is haram (forbidden). Saudi Arabia’s unofficial religious policemen (Haia) have taken it upon themselves to enforce this primitive custom.

This week, Aliyah Al Farid was pulled over by police and fined after driving herself to the hospital for a medical emergency. Well aware of Saudi Arabia’s mandates against women driving, she said that there was no one around the house to drive her to the ER, so she took it upon herself to get behind the wheel.

Al Farid is a human rights activist who has in the past tried to expose Saudi Arabia for its barbaric treatment against women.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, a well-respected cleric in the Islamic world, women should not be allowed to drive for the following reasons:

1. Driving the car necessitates that women remove the niqab, which covers the face. Women must wear the niqab in Saudi Arabia, mostly for fear of punishment should the religious police see them without full cover. The niqab is a black full-body cloth with a thin slot for the eyes.

2. Driving requires women to leave the house, “but their homes are better for them.”

3. They lose their modesty, so it protects them from “fitnah” (temptations).

4. Divorced women will be able to go wherever they want.

5. It is a means of “rebellion.”

6. She may cause an “immoral man” to “take advantage of her in return for helping her” if her car breaks down.

7. It will lead to “overcrowding in the streets.”

8. Women won’t be able to stop buying new fashion items because women“by their nature–like to make themselves look good with clothing etc,” and they will keep buying new cars “whenever a new model appears.”

ISIS Calls For Radicalized Americans To Go To Homes Of U.S. Soldiers, ‘Slaughter Them’

Bretibart

ISIS is calling for radicalized “lone wolves” in the United States to go to the homes of U.S. soldiers and “slaughter” military personnel.

This is part of what is expected to be “a continued call” for American military personnel to be targeted within the United States.

According to Fox News, one British jihadist “encouraged radicals still living in the West to use Facebook and Linkedln to find and target soldiers.” The jihadist tweeted: “You could literally search for soldiers, find their town, photos of them, look for addresses in Yellowbook or something. Then show up and slaughter them.”

Militants in Syria have also been using Twitter to “[encourage] Muslims in the West to target soldiers with spontaneous attacks using [knives and guns],” the report continued.

On September 16, NBC News reported on a Rochester, New York man, Mafid A. Elfgeeh, who was charged for “trying to recruit people to join…ISIS…and shoot people in the United States.” Elfgeeh is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen. The targets Elfgeeh allegedly had in mind were “American military personnel returning from the Middle East.”

The Obama administration continues to claim the Islamic State poses no immediate threat to the homeland, but the threats against our soldiers on our soil, not just serving abroad, appear quite immediate.

Holder running out the clock on Fast & Furious?

Ya think?

One of the first major scandals of the Obama administration may not get resolved until after Barack Obama leaves office — at least, if Eric Holder has anything to say about it. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reported last night on an effort by the Attorney General to keep the issue of executive privilege and Congressional subpoenas from resolution, even after a federal judge ordered Holder and the Department of Justice to submit documents to the House Oversight Committee. If successful, it might push the appeals process so far out that Obama will leave office before Congress can exercise its oversight responsibilities properly:

Attorney General Eric Holder is again asking a federal court to delay the transfer of disputed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious to a House committee.

In a new court filing Monday night, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to require Holder to turn over any of the roughly 64,000 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until after her rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“The Department respectfully submits that it would be preferable for the parties, this Court, and the D.C. Circuit — if an appeal were taken — to have any injunctive order await the conclusion of the district court litigation to allow for orderly and complete appellate proceedings,” DOJ lawyers wrote.

Jackson has previously denied DOJ permission to file an immediate appeal, although lawyers for Holder indicated in the new filing (posted here) that they may do so anyway. Any appeal is likely to take months and perhaps more than a year to resolve. If that process does not begin until Jackson rules definitively on the the executive privilege claim President Barack Obama has made for many of the documents, the timeline for the case being resolved could begin to approach the end of the Obama administration.

I’m certain that this outcome would break no hearts at the White House, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless. They have dragged out this process for more than three years — which is more than half of Barack Obama’s time in office.

Four Terrorists Captured on US Border on September 10 – Day Before 9-11

GatewayPundit

Congressman Jason Chaffetz broke this shocking news Wednesday that four known terrorists were apprehended at the US border in Texas on September 10 – the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

Chaffetz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists.”
Johnson dodged the question.

Tonight, Rep. Chaffetz told Megyn Kelly there were four terrorists arrested crossing the US border in Texas on September 10.

There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Congressman Jason Chaffetz broke this shocking news Wednesday that four known terrorists were apprehended at the US border in Texas on September 10 – the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

Chaffetz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists.”
Johnson dodged the question.

Tonight, Rep. Chaffetz told Megyn Kelly there were four terrorists arrested crossing the US border in Texas on September 10.

There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Via The Kelly File:

Breitbart has more on today’s exchange at the Homeland Security hearing:

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today focused on worldwide threats to America, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists” who have attempted to enter the U.S. illegally during his tenure as homeland security chief. Johnson was sworn in as the fourth DHS secretary on December 23, 2013.

Rep. Chaffetz, who serves on the homeland security panel’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, clarified that he was referring to whether known terrorists, suspected terrorists, or individuals with ties to terrorist organizations have been arrested trying to come into the country illegally.

“Sitting here right now, no specific case comes to mind,” responded Johnson. “That doesn’t mean there is none.”

For the record… Jeh Johnson was a top Obama campaign donor before he was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security.

And we just saw what happened in Australia…

Immigration Agent Union: Obama Admin ‘Widened the Loopholes’ for ISIS to Enter U.S.

In a statement obtained by National Review Online, the U.S. National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, a union representing 12,000 federal immigration agents, sounded the alarm that not only could jihadists “slip across our porous southern border,” but that fighters could also “exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States.”

USCIS cites two main issues: a dearth of resources for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for enforcement and tracking and the administration’s decision to increase the number of immigrants allowed in for asylum purposes.

“Our caseworkers cannot even do in-person interviews for people seeking citizenship, they cannot enforce restrictions on welfare use, and they even lack even the basic office space to properly function,” union president Kenneth Palinkas said in the statement. “Applications for entry are rubber-stamped, the result of grading agents by speed rather than discretion. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.”

President Obama’s potential executive action to grant legal status to certain illegal immigrants, including those who have overstayed their visas, is another opportunity for people “who are being targeted for radicalization or who already subscribe to radicalized views” to stay in the country, the union said.

Australia Raids Thwarted ISIS Beheading Plot

At least the Aussies aren’t afraid of doing something…

Police on Thursday said they thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by supporters of the radical Islamic State group. They raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney and were holding six people and have identified the suspected ringleader, officials said.

Nine other people were detained but were freed before the day was over.

The raids involving 800 federal and state police officers — the largest in the country’s history — came in response to intelligence that an Islamic State group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

Abbott was asked about reports that the detainees were planning to behead a random person in Sydney.

“That’s the intelligence we received,” he told reporters. “The exhortations — quite direct exhortations — were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”

ISIL refers to the al-Qaida splinter group leading Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which now calls itself simply Islamic State.

“This is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have,” Abbott said.

New South Wales police did not say why nine of the detained people were released, or whether they would face charges later.

The raids came just days after the country raised its terrorism threat to the second-highest level in response to the domestic threat posed by supporters of the Islamic State group. At the time, Abbott stressed that there was no information suggesting a terror attack was imminent.

Women’s rights activist speaks out at Yale against Muslim ‘indoctrination’

NewHavenRegister

Hirsi Ali told the Yale audience that what happened to her at Brandeis illustrated the Islam practice of “resisting criticism.”

Those who do so, like her, are branded “infidels” and “heretics,” she said.

Alluding to the stance against her by Yale’s Muslim Students Association, Hirsi Ali said they had sought to “silence” her because of “what they call my lack of credentials. That is a fallacy.”

“My question to the Muslim students at Yale is: why do you try to silence a dissident?” Hirsi Ali asked.

And then she asked, in the wake of beheadings of other “dissidents” and suppression of women, “Why are Muslims silent? Where is the Muslim outrage?”

She added, “For Muslim women, their place is at home. They are to sacrifice everything, practice strict obedience to their fathers, grandfathers and husbands.” She said it comes down to complete control and “indoctrination.”

Hirsi Ali concluded her speech by asking: “Will you submit — or will you finally stand up to Allah?”

During the question-and-answer session, Hirsi Ali was asked if violence against women is worse in Muslim regions than elsewhere. She replied it’s a worldwide problem. “But if it happens in the U.S., at least you can count on your relatives and the state. For Muslim women (in those regions), if you complain about it, it’s your fault. They’re subjected not just to more violence but to a system that keeps things the way they are.”

Obama Must Get Congress’s Backing for the Fight Against ISIS

NYTimes

When we engage in military action, we ask service members to risk their lives and their health, physical and mental. Even those who come home physically safe may see or do things in war that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Asking Congress to debate and vote on this issue is a small sacrifice in comparison.

Mr. Obama began airstrikes against ISIS (also known as ISIL) in August — during a congressional recess — to protect American lives in Iraq and avoid humanitarian catastrophe. But when the president decided last week to “go on offense” against the group, the need for congressional approval was plain. I and other senators have repeatedly called for Mr. Obama to submit this important mission to Congress, and for Congress to grapple with it in the manner required by Article I of the Constitution. The announcement last week by the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, that the committee would craft authorizing language is a positive step.

We in Congress must also heed the painful lessons from the language of the authorization of the use of military force that was enacted days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the request of President George W. Bush. In just 60 words, Congress authorized the president to take action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, but imposed no temporal or geographic limitations on the effort. Subsequent interpretations expanded the scope of action to include the broadly defined universe of “associated forces.” At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in May 2013, representatives of the Obama administration blithely opined that the 2001 authorization could allow for war to be carried out for another 25 years, an astonishing claim that surely went beyond what Congress intended 13 years ago.

We should not be stretching the open-ended 9/11 authorization even further to cover action against ISIS, an organization that didn’t even exist until years after the 9/11 attacks and is in open conflict with Al Qaeda. Instead, we should be drafting a specific, narrow authorization for limited military action as described by Mr. Obama last week: airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the training and equipping of forces in the region to fight ISIS, and counterterrorism operations to eliminate the organization’s leadership. And we should put an appropriate expiration date on this authority, so that the president and Congress can assess progress and decide whether to continue the mission.

Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?

NYTimes

The debate, however, is moot. It’s a done deal. Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.

Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter. This amount is less than a thousandth of the minimum daily dose given for bipolar disorders and for depression that doesn’t respond to antidepressants. Although it seems strange that the microscopic amounts of lithium found in groundwater could have any substantial medical impact, the more scientists look for such effects, the more they seem to discover. Evidence is slowly accumulating that relatively tiny doses of lithium can have beneficial effects. They appear to decrease suicide rates significantly and may even promote brain health and improve mood.

Yet despite the studies demonstrating the benefits of relatively high natural lithium levels present in the drinking water of certain communities, few seem to be aware of its potential. Intermittently, stories appear in the scientific journals and media, but they seem to have little traction in the medical community or with the general public.

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