Daily Archives: January 6, 2008

Author claims Tom Cruise’s child conceived using sperm from the dead Scientology founder

Explosive allegations: Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes, with daughter Suri, are fighting claims their little girl was conceived using sperm from dead scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Picture: AFP

Explosive claims on Cruise baby

Herald Sun | Jan 7, 2008

by Paul Kent

TOM Cruise is the second-in-command of the Church of Scientology and his daughter, Suri, was conceived using sperm from the dead scientology founder, a new book says.

Biographer Andrew Morton also claims Cruise’s former wife, Nicole Kidman, fears the release of tapes made with Scientologists revealing intimate sexual details.

Cruise has strongly denied the claims and has already instructed lawyers to draw up a $110 million lawsuit against the book’s publisher, St Martin’s Press.

Andrew Morton’s wild claims include that Cruise’s 20-month-old daughter, Suri, was conceived “like Rosemary’s Baby” – with wife Katie Holmes impregnated with the sperm of dead Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The Secret Life of L. Ron Hubbard

The book, due out next Tuesday, may not be published in England because of defamation laws.

Australia’s strong defamation laws mean it will more than likely avoid publication in Australia too. Under the church’s teachings, followers can have life’s problems solved through a system of one-on-one counsellings called “audits”.

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography claims it was in these audits where Cruise and Kidman revealed intimate aspects of their sex life, which were recorded.

As support, Morton points to a Playboy interview of L. Ron Hubbard’s son Ronald De Wolf, who had fallen out with his father.

“You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record,” he said.

“In Scientology, the focus is on sex. Sex, sex, sex. The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations.”

The tapes may stop Kidman from speaking out about her distrust of the religion.

The Aussie actor was allegedly identified by followers as a “potential trouble source”, largely because her father was a psychologist and she had given an interview emphasising her Catholic roots.

Morton claims that after Cruise left Kidman in 2000 she was worried she might not be allowed to see their two adopted children, and received a warning not to speak out against Scientology.

Morton quotes a high-ranking Scientologist as saying they had received a phone call from Kidman’s lawyer, Bill Beslow.

“At this point Nicole hated Scientology but was concerned for the kids,” Morton quotes the source as saying.

“She did not want to ruin her relationship with them. I told the lawyer if she wants to stay with the children she will have to be quiet and not speak out about Scientology.”

Morton claims Kidman was concerned, in particular, about the audit tapes.

Cruise’s lawyer, Bert Fields, has said the star will not be reading the book.

“It’s a boring, poorly researched book by a man who never talked to anyone involved in Tom Cruise’s life or anyone close to him,” he said.

Morton portrays Cruise as a talented actor that became consumed by Scientology after tasting enormous success. He was identified as a big catch by the church and used as a figurehead.

Cruise has since risen to No. 2 in the church, according to Morton, and his next mission is to recruit David and Victoria Beckham.

Morton claims that Scientology leader David Miscavige catered to Cruise’s every whim.

One such incident was Cruise’s fantasy, revealed shortly after he married Kidman, that they run through a meadow of wildflowers together.

Miscavige immediately had a meadow sown near the bungalow Cruise and Kidman were staying at on the church’s Gold Base, 150km from Los Angeles.

“A team of 20 disciples was set to work digging, hoeing and planting wheat grass and wildflower seed near the Cruises’ bungalow,” Morton told the Mail on Sunday.

Followers have denied it happened, though Morton claims to have several affidavits supporting his claim.

Morton rose to fame when he wrote a controversial biography of Princess Diana that heavily criticised the royal family and was widely panned as fantasy.

However, Diana later revealed that she was the main source throughout the book.

The Herald Sun unsuccessfully sought comment from Kidman’s representatives last night.

. . .

Tom Cruise to be Worshipped Worldwide as the Christ of Scientology

Cruise is ‘Goebbels of Scientology’, says German church

Babalon Bunch – Jack Parsons, The Magickal Scientist and His Circle

Babalon Working

L. Ron Hubbard

U.S. Considers New Covert Push Within Pakistan

NY Times | January 6, 2008

by Steven Lee Myers, David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt.

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s senior national security advisers are debating whether to expand the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The debate is a response to intelligence reports that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are intensifying efforts there to destabilize the Pakistani government, several senior administration officials said.

Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a number of President Bush’s top national security advisers met Friday at the White House to discuss the proposal, which is part of a broad reassessment of American strategy after the assassination 10 days ago of the Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. There was also talk of how to handle the period from now to the Feb. 18 elections, and the aftermath of those elections.

Several of the participants in the meeting argued that the threat to the government of President Pervez Musharraf was now so grave that both Mr. Musharraf and Pakistan’s new military leadership were likely to give the United States more latitude, officials said. But no decisions were made, said the officials, who declined to speak for attribution because of the highly delicate nature of the discussions.

Many of the specific options under discussion are unclear and highly classified. Officials said that the options would probably involve the C.I.A. working with the military’s Special Operations forces.

The Bush administration has not formally presented any new proposals to Mr. Musharraf, who gave up his military role last month, or to his successor as the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who the White House thinks will be more sympathetic to the American position than Mr. Musharraf. Early in his career, General Kayani was an aide to Ms. Bhutto while she was prime minister and later led the Pakistani intelligence service.

But at the White House and the Pentagon, officials see an opportunity in the changing power structure for the Americans to advocate for the expanded authority in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country. “After years of focusing on Afghanistan, we think the extremists now see a chance for the big prize — creating chaos in Pakistan itself,” one senior official said.

The new options for expanded covert operations include loosening restrictions on the C.I.A. to strike selected targets in Pakistan, in some cases using intelligence provided by Pakistani sources, officials said. Most counterterrorism operations in Pakistan have been conducted by the C.I.A.; in Afghanistan, where military operations are under way, including some with NATO forces, the military can take the lead.

The legal status would not change if the administration decided to act more aggressively. However, if the C.I.A. were given broader authority, it could call for help from the military or deputize some forces of the Special Operations Command to act under the authority of the agency.

The United States now has about 50 soldiers in Pakistan. Any expanded operations using C.I.A. operatives or Special Operations forces, like the Navy Seals, would be small and tailored to specific missions, military officials said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who was on vacation last week and did not attend the White House meeting, said in late December that “Al Qaeda right now seems to have turned its face toward Pakistan and attacks on the Pakistani government and Pakistani people.”

In the past, the administration has largely stayed out of the tribal areas, in part for fear that exposure of any American-led operations there would so embarrass the Musharraf government that it could further empower his critics, who have declared he was too close to Washington.

Even now, officials say, some American diplomats and military officials, as well as outside experts, argue that American-led military operations on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan could result in a tremendous backlash and ultimately do more harm than good. That is particularly true, they say, if Americans were captured or killed in the territory.

In part, the White House discussions may be driven by a desire for another effort to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. Currently, C.I.A. operatives and Special Operations forces have limited authority to conduct counterterrorism missions in Pakistan based on specific intelligence about the whereabouts of those two men, who have eluded the Bush administration for more than six years, or of other members of their terrorist organization, Al Qaeda, hiding in or near the tribal areas.

The C.I.A. has launched missiles from Predator aircraft in the tribal areas several times, with varying degrees of success. Intelligence officials said they believed that in January 2006 an airstrike narrowly missed killing Mr. Zawahri, who had attended a dinner in Damadola, a Pakistani village. But that apparently was the last real evidence American officials had about the whereabouts of their chief targets.

Critics said more direct American military action would be ineffective, anger the Pakistani Army and increase support for the militants. “I’m not arguing that you leave Al Qaeda and the Taliban unmolested, but I’d be very, very cautious about approaches that could play into hands of enemies and be counterproductive,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. Some American diplomats and military officials have also issued strong warnings against expanded direct American action, officials said.

Hasan Askari Rizvi, a leading Pakistani military and political analyst, said raids by American troops would prompt a powerful popular backlash against Mr. Musharraf and the United States.

Full Story

Libya Shedding Pariah Tag, But Rights Abuses Continue

Col Gaddafi resembling a Jim Jones-like cult guru: Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday Libyan citizens continue to suffer serious abuses, including “the absence of a free press, the ban on independent organizations, the torture of detainees, and the continued incarceration of political prisoners.”

CNSNews.com | Jan 4, 2008

By Patrick Goodenough

(CNSNews.com) – Libya’s return from international outcast status edged forward Thursday with the first meeting in Washington between the top U.S. and Libyan diplomats in 36 years. For many critics, however, it is too soon to normalize ties with a regime with one of the world’s worst human rights records.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Mohammed Shalgam for about an hour, during which — State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said — she urged Muammar Gadaffi’s government to respect human rights.

Rice also said Libya should resolve outstanding claims by families of American victims of terrorists acts linked to the Libyan government.

“Secretary Rice also reiterated her intent to visit Libya at the appropriate time,” the department said in a statement, holding out the possibility of the first visit to Tripoli by a secretary of state since the 1950s.

After the meeting, the State Department said, the U.S. and the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” signed a science and technology cooperation deal — the first such bilateral agreement between the two governments since the re-establishment of diplomatic ties in 2004.

The department called the agreement “an important step in recognizing Libya’s historic renunciation of weapons of mass destruction and positive re-engagement with the international community.”

In December 2003, Libya announced that it would eliminate its nuclear and chemical weapons programs. Two months earlier, a German-owned ship carrying uranium centrifuge equipment destined for Libya was stopped and diverted to Italy, an incident which Rice said later played a “major role” in Libya’s decision to shut down its WMD programs, and in exposing a nuclear black market run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear program.

The move paved the way for a slow improvement in bilateral ties, and in 2006 the State Department removed Libya from its list of terror-sponsoring states and normalized diplomatic relations.

Although ties were restored to ambassadorial level, however, Congress is holding up funds to build a new U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, and some lawmakers have also pledged to block confirmation of a new American ambassador.

The reason: Libya’s failure to finalize the promised payment of compensation to the families of victims of the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing, which cost 270 lives; and to the victims of a 1986 bombing of a Berlin discotheque, which killed two American servicemen and wounded scores more.

“Congress has made it clear that the U.S. is not ready for full normalization of relations with Libya,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and seven other senators wrote in a letter to Rice last month.

They cited passage of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2008, “which would block the construction of a new U.S. embassy in Tripoli and prevent support for energy investment there until these settlements are fulfilled.” President Bush signed the bill into law on Dec. 26.

Lautenberg said in a statement Thursday, “t is time for the Libyans to address these issues with the seriousness they deserve and for Libya to provide justice for all American victims of these attacks.”

Detention without trial, torture, media restrictions

The Rice-Shalgam meeting came two as Libya took a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council — for the first time since 1977 — and on Thursday assumed the rotating presidency of the body.

Apart from the council’s five veto-wielding permanent members – the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia – the council has 10 other seats, filled by General Assembly vote for two-year terms by member states which do not enjoy veto powers.

Libya’s return to international respectability — Gadaffi visited France and Spain last month — has not been excessively hampered by its controversial human rights record.

Physicians for Human Rights said this week that the Libyan leader “has continued to violate fundamental human rights of his citizens while seeking to develop a public posture of respect for them.”

The Cambridge, Mass.-based group cited cases of torture and detention without trial, in particular the plight of democracy activist Fathi Eljahmi, imprisoned since 2002 — except for a two-week period in 2004.

PHR and another group in 2005 sent a physician to visit Eljahmi in detention, and “raised serious concern about his health.” On Wednesday it once again called for his immediate release.

In a column published in the Washington Post Wednesday, Eljahmi’s brother, Mohamed, recalled that on the day his brother was released in March 2004, Bush called the move “an encouraging step toward reform in Libya.”

“Two weeks later, Gadaffi rearrested Fathi. My brother has been in solitary confinement ever since,” said Mohamed Eljahmi, a Massachusetts-based Libyan-American activist.

“With Washington offering wholesale concessions to Tripoli, Gadaffi has little incentive to improve human rights. Absent pressure, Gadaffi understands that he has a free pass to rule Libya as a private fiefdom.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday Libyan citizens continue to suffer serious abuses, including “the absence of a free press, the ban on independent organizations, the torture of detainees, and the continued incarceration of political prisoners.”

The democracy watchdog Freedom House rates Libya as “not free.” Its annual assessment is based on scores for political rights and civil liberties, with “1” being the best rating and “7” the worst. In a rating that has not improved since 1972, Libya scores 7 for political rights and a 7 for civil liberties.

Rogue cops get stiff sentences for shaking down drug dealers

25 years for alleged ringleader of group that robbed dealers

ChicagoTribune | Jan 5, 2008

By Jeff Coen

Three rogue Chicago police officers who robbed drug dealers of cash and narcotics were sentenced to lengthy prison terms Thursday by a federal judge who said the misconduct left him “at a total loss.”

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman appeared most disturbed that the officers resold the stolen drugs, putting “lethal poison” back onto streets that they had sworn to serve and protect.

“You and your merry band essentially raped and plundered entire areas,” said the judge, noting the robberies by the plainclothes tactical officers in the Englewood District took place in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The ring damaged the reputations of good cops and sullied the entire legal system in neighborhoods where trust of the police already may have been at its thinnest, the judge said.

“People see and hear what goes on in these courtrooms, and the next time they look at a police officer, they see you,” Guzman said.

The judge sentenced Broderick Jones, 36, the alleged ringleader, to 25 years in prison; Darek Haynes, 37, to 19 years; and Eural Black, 44, the only officer to take his case to trial, to 40 years, the statutory minimum he could receive under the law.

Five officers in all were indicted in 2005 for robbing dealers while on-duty after being tipped to drug deals about to go down. The officers wore their stars and body armor and often tried to make the “rip-offs” appear to be legitimate traffic stops.

One drug dealer, Brent Terry, 36, was also sentenced Thursday to more than 20 years for helping target dealers for Jones.

Assistant U.S. Atty. John Lausch asked the court for stiff sentences to deter other officers from following the same corrupt path. Most street cops are good and do the job with dignity, he said, calling the case “a punch in the face” to every member of the department.

Two other members of the ring, Corey Flagg and Erik Johnson, testified against Black after pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate. Johnson was sentenced last fall to 6 years in prison, while Flagg is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Jones, Haynes and Black all appealed to the judge Thursday for leniency, calling family members and friends to the stand to testify about their character in the years leading up to the case. Jones testified about his time in the Navy when he worked as a jet mechanic on an aircraft carrier during Desert Storm. His attorney, Rick Halprin, asked the court to limit the sentence to 15 years in prison.

“My mother raised me to be a hard worker, honest,” said Jones, a tall, beefy man in an orange prison jumpsuit. “I learned responsibility at an early age.”

“Basically, I’m in a situation because of greed. I’m not a bad guy.”

Haynes called police work his passion. He apologized to the city and credited Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty for “passing on the baton of justice.”

“I have dropped that baton,” he said.

Black shook his head in disbelief at times as he received his 40-year sentence. A jury convicted him of two drug-related robberies while he was armed. The conviction on a second count mandated a minimum 25-year sentence to run consecutive to all the other time Black received.

Other officers pleaded guilty to a single drug-related robbery with a gun.

Black wiped an eye and rubbed his face as his 18-year-old daughter, Madison, a college student, testified.

“He’s the best person in the world to me,” she said. “He’s my best friend.”

Black’s attorney, Steven Hunter, argued that Black believed the traffic stops were legitimate.

Black apologized and said he was disgusted that his name would forever be synonymous with police corruption in the Englewood neighborhood.

“I hate hearing it,” said Black, throwing papers on the defense table. “I was not a dirty cop.”

But Guzman said the evidence at the trial was overwhelming. He recalled how on some of the undercover tapes Black asked repeatedly for Jones to give him a call to go out on the bogus stings.

Parents everywhere tell their children to contact police if they are ever in trouble, the judge noted. But that could change if parents heard the tapes of the officers in the case, he said.

“My guess is they would cease saying that,” Guzman said.

Black’s 40-year sentence seemed extreme to Hunter. The attorney’s voice quivered with emotion as he conceded his research showed no way for Black to avoid the 40-year minimum sentence required by statute. Hunter called the sentence shocking.

Guzman said his hands were tied, but he still was not looking to be unnecessarily cruel.

“You’ve done that to yourself,” he told Black.

British sailors were used as nuclear guinea pigs

John Gower was captain of the HMS Diana. He and his crew were exposed to the deadly effects of an atomic detonation

Telegraph | Jan 6, 2008

HMS Diana: the ship that went nuclear

By Sean Rayment

In 1956, HMS Diana sailed into the aftermath of an atomic explosion, testing the impact a war with the Soviets might have on British servicemen. The consequences were horrific, and yet those on board continue to be denied compensation. Sean Rayment reveals the full story

On a cold, clear morning in late March 1956, the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diana, quietly and without ceremony, slipped her moorings at the Devonport naval base and set a course for the Indian Ocean.

Her destination was Monte Bello, a group of beautiful tropical islands 200 miles off Australia’s western coast, where British scientists were secretly developing an atomic bomb.

The young close-knit crew of 300, who were a mixture of regular and National Service seamen, knew little about the mission, except that on arrival they would be ordered to observe a series of nuclear explosions.

But the sailors were to be more than mere spectators. Britain’s military chiefs in the early 1950s believed that a nuclear war with the Soviet Union was inevitable.

If British troops were to have any chance of survival, commanders needed to know how long they could fight with and without protective equipment in an environment contaminated by radioactive fallout.

HMS Diana’s crew would help to provide the answers by being deliberately exposed to the deadly effects of an atomic detonation.

In a unique but ultimately lethal experiment, the ship would be ordered to steam through a radioactive cloud. For protection, the crew were issued only with Polaroid sunglasses, overshoes and face masks.

The results were catastrophic. Within weeks of the nuclear trials, several of the ship’s company had fallen ill. Some lost teeth, while others lost hair – all classic signs of poisoning by radioactive material.

Today, there are just 60 members of the original crew left alive. Of the 240 who have died in the intervening years, more than 100 had cancer.

Between 1952 and 1967, more than 22,000 servicemen from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the US and other countries witnessed hundreds of nuclear explosions in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Many were contaminated by radioactive fallout and thousands of veterans have died prematurely, often in extreme agony.

For 25 years, servicemen involved in the tests have been campaigning for the British government to accept liability for their plight, arguing that they are due compensation. However, the Ministry of Defence refuses to accept that there is a link to the atomic tests.

This refusal continues even in the face of new scientific evidence showing that veterans who witnessed the nuclear tests were three times more likely to have damaged chromosomes than other members of the population.

Such damage is known to lead to cancer-related illnesses and hereditary genetic disorders.

Today The Sunday Telegraph can tell, for the first time, the full story of HMS Diana – which was captained by John Gower, the uncle of the former England cricket captain David Gower.

Based on the personal accounts of those who took part in the secret atomic experiments – codenamed Operation Mosaic – and from legal testimony, we reveal how the Diana’s crew were deceived and betrayed by the Ministry of Defence.

Full Story

. . .


Dying crew of atomic test ship battle MoD for compensation

British Prime Minister warns of ‘dangerous’ year for economy

Gordon Brown today urged voters to judge him on his performance during 2008 as he warned it was going to be a “very big year” with major economic problems looming.

Telegraph | Jan 6, 2008

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor

In his first television interview since returning from the Christmas break, the Prime Minister said that 2008 was going to be a “decisive year for the economy” and his political future rested on whether Britain was prepared for the challenges which lie ahead.

“I will be judged on whether we take the right long-term choices for the British economy,” Mr Brown said on BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

And in an interview with The Observer newspaper he conceded that “this is a difficult and dangerous situation for the world economy”.

However, he refused to admit that David Cameron was “resonating” with voters – as Justice Secretary Jack Straw recently conceded – saying, “let’s wait and see. It’s a long game.”

Mr Brown made the comments after returning from his first holiday since becoming Prime Minister which he used to plan his political fightback.

This week, he will make a series of high-profile appearances – including a major speech on the NHS – in an attempt to regain the political initiative following a devastating slump in the polls at the end of last year.

On Tuesday, the Government is set to announce plans to push ahead with a new generation of nuclear power stations and Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, will also outline proposals to tackle MRSA in hospitals.

However, it is the worsening economic situation which is troubling the Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown celebrates a “New World Order”


Today he told his ministers they would only be receiving a 1.9 per cent pay rise this year – despite the independent Senior Salaries Review Body recommending a 2.8 per cent rise.

He also urged MPs, who vote on their own pay increase, to show restraint and take the 1.9 per cent on offer to other public-sector workers.

“The big decision that we made in the past few months was on public sector pay, because it kept inflation down,” Mr Brown said.

“I want to pay the police more, I would like to pay the nurses more, I would like to pay all these major public sector groups more, but to get inflation down we had to stage the public sector pay awards.”

Mr Brown also revealed that investment bank Goldman Sachs will report “very soon” to the Government on the options for dealing with the Northern Rock crisis.

Ministers are bracing themselves to nationalise the beleaguered bank as the two main consortia interested in taking over Northern Rock are struggling to raise enough money amid the ongoing global credit crunch.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is due to appear before MPs later this week when he will come under pressure to reveal any Government plans for nationalisation.

“We don’t rule out any options, but the preferable options are the private sector bids that are in play at the moment,” Mr Brown said.

However, the Prime Minister repeatedly insisted that he would not be “diverted” by short-term issues.

“You have got ups and downs, things that go right and wrong. Events come and they go,” he said. “The question is: are you making the right long-term decisions for the country?

“We are part of a global economy where there is a great deal of turbulence, where if bad business decisions are made, they are affecting quite a lot of economies in the world, mainly in America.

“I’m confident that our record and our experience of doing that in the last 10 years will stand us in good stead and we have the right ideas about what we do for the future.”

New migration after EU relaxes border control

Telegraph | Jan 6, 2008

By Michael Leidig in Traiskirchen

Thousands of asylum seekers are on the move across Europe as a result of the relaxation of internal border controls.

A new system intended to make it easier for European Union citizens to move between member countries has led to a dramatic rise in illegal immigrants.

At the Traiskirchen refugee camp in Austria, numbers have more than doubled, from 300 to 770, since the rules were changed just before Christmas.

Many, travelling on foot, in vans and taxis, had started their journeys in the disputed Russian territory of Chechnya.

Elena Gairabeka and her five children walked across the border into Austria from the Czech Republic after initially leaving Russia and entering the EU through Poland.

The group, which included a six-month-old baby, faced night-time temperatures of minus 20C during the journey.

Mrs Gairabeka said they made the trip to join up with her husband Muslim, who had entered Austria illegally five years earlier.

Mrs Gairabeka said they arrived in Poland by train but had been unable to continue their journey until the border rules changed on December 21.

The new rules mean that staff at the internal borders can no longer check passports.

The rules do not apply to Britain and Ireland, which are not part of the so-called Schengen zone.

Last month, The Sunday Telegraph exposed lax controls on the new eastern frontier and fears that many more illegal migrants would be able to enter the EU.

“We were able to get to Poland without a visa, and we applied for asylum – that meant we could stay while the application was processed,” Mrs Gairabeka said.

“Now the borders have opened I have been able to cross to Austria. We hitched a lift in a lorry part of the way and walked the rest. But I am worried they will send us back to Poland.”

Most asylum seekers arriving in Traiskirchen had few possessions and little protections against the bitter cold.

But Mrs Gairabeka said it was worth the discomfort.

“To be honest, we don’t care if we live here or in Poland or Britain,” she said. “The main thing is that after five years we want to be a family again and my children want their father.

” Mr Gairabeka previously had to travel to Poland to meet up with his family.

Almost 2,000 soldiers still patrol Austria’s borders, but they are powerless to check the passports of new arrivals.

With a border that includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia, Austria has been the first to experience the wave of new arrivals.

Traiskirchen’s mayor, Franz Gartner, said: “The government held parties to celebrate Schengen but never bothered to evaluate the security situation properly. If it is not going to close these borders it needs more camps.”

Austria’s interior minister, Guenther Platter, pledged that the new arrivals would be sent back to Poland, warning: “Anyone who comes to us from another EU country has no right to asylum here.”

German police, who opposed the opening of the borders, have also reported a sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants entering the country.

Some politicians are demanding the borders once again be closed.

Harald Vilimsky, secretary-general of the Austrian Freedom Party, said there had been an “avalanche of asylum seekers”, mainly from Russian-speaking countries.

Gerald Grosz, of the Alliance for the Future of Austria party, said the government was turning Austria into “an El Dorado for fake asylum applicants and criminals”.

Libya Takes UN Security Council Helm

“We have four million Muslims in Albania. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades. Europe is in a predicament, and so is America. They should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims.”

– Col Muammar Gaddafi, interview on Al-Jazeera TV. Qatar, April 10, 2006.

Trained at the British Army Staff College, the brutal and psychopathic Islamic-socialist military dictator, murderer, terrorist and human-rights abuser over Lybia for nearly 40 years, Col Muammar Gaddafi, now playing a lead role in the UN Security Council?

VOA | Jan 3, 2008

By Margaret Besheer

Five countries have joined the U.N. Security Council as non-permanent members for two-year terms. Among them is Libya, which has also assumed the Security Council’s rotating presidency for the month of January. 

Libya moved deeper into the fold of the international community Thursday, taking up the helm of the very same body that had previously sanctioned it as a state-sponsor of terrorism.

Libya’s ambassador to the U.N., Giadalla Ettalhi, told reporters Thursday that this reversal has great significance for his country.

“For us, you know, for a country that was for a decade under the sanctions of the Security Council, it is very important and very significant, I think, that to be back in the Security Council,” he said.  “It means that we are back to normal, at least from the perspective of the others. We have considered ourselves always in the right way, but this is very, very important for us.”

Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia and Vietnam joined Libya as new members. Unlike the five permanent members of the Security Council, non-permanent members do not have veto power.

Several high priority issues will be on the Council’s agenda in January, including the deployment of a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force to Sudan’s Darfur region and the continuing issue of Kosovo’s future status.

Libya was elected to the Security Council in October, after the U.S. vetoed two previous bids. The United States did not block Libya’s most recent effort.

Relations between the two nations have warmed since 2003, when Libya accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. Earlier, Tripoli had turned over two suspects for trial in the case.

Relations further improved between the U.S. and Libya after Tripoli renounced weapons of mass destruction in late 2003.

The two countries resumed full diplomatic relations in 2006 after more than a two-decade break, and Libya’s foreign minister was in Washington Thursday, meeting with U.S. officials.

Ambassador Ettalhi says his government is pleased relations have normalized.

“We have good relations with the United States,” he added.  “At least they are back to normal and, I think, moving in the right direction. Perhaps, not at the desirable speed, but they are really going in the right direction. We are happy about that and I think that they are happy about that.”

The rotating presidency of the Security Council is designated in alphabetical order, and Libya enters the body as president for the month of January, taking over from Italy.
. . .


Libya Shedding Pariah Tag, But Rights Abuses Continue

Libya: Human Rights Not on Agenda in US

Human rights in Libya’s authoritarian regime continue to have a poor record 

5th cop in drug ring is sentenced to prison

Ringleader’s ‘go-to guy’ receives 9 years after aiding prosecution

Chicago Tribune | Jan 5, 2008

By Jeff Coen and David Heinzmann

Former Chicago police Officer Corey Flagg blamed anger and greed for his role in shakedowns of drug dealers, admitting Friday to a judge that he had become just as bad, if not worse, than common criminals.

Flagg, the last of five corrupt South Side cops to be sentenced in the case, was given a 9 1/2 -year prison term by U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman.

It represented the final chapter for a ring of rogue cops who did their illegal work in the Englewood neighborhood, in some instances putting the drugs they had stolen right back on the street for more cash.

Since the mid-1990s, at least three other groups of corrupt Chicago cops have been accused of similarly robbing drug dealers.

“It’s fair to say these offenses rip at the entire fabric of our city,” said Assistant U.S. Atty. John Lausch, who prosecuted Flagg and his co-defendants.

On Thursday, Guzman sentenced Broderick Jones, the ringleader, to 25 years in prison; Eural Black, the only officer to be convicted at trial, to 40 years; and Darek Haynes to 19 years. The fifth former officer, Erik Johnson, was sentenced in October to 6 years in prison.

In the courtroom this week, the former officers were portrayed as good guys — husbands and fathers and churchgoers who had wanted to be cops for as long as they could remember.

It was an “almost schizophrenic” turn from the personas that the officers took on the street, said Guzman, comparing their actions on undercover recordings to common thugs.

“I have no idea how that happens,” said Guzman, who agreed to the sentence for Flagg called for in his plea agreement with prosecutors. Flagg, 37, pleaded guilty early in the prosecution and cooperated against his fellow officers.

Authorities said Jones gathered information on drug deals that were about to go down from gang members and other players in the city’s narcotics trade.

He then used the intelligence to plot shakedowns, recruiting on-duty officers to carry out “rip-offs” that were supposed to appear to be legitimate traffic stops.

Flagg was Jones’ “go-to guy,” Lausch said Friday.

The undercover tapes suggest the officers had a virtually insatiable appetite for rip-offs.

Even after he had been shelved from street duty and assigned to the city’s 311 center, Jones continued to call tactical officers to run the scams, authorities said.

Authorities caught on when Jones pulled up to a drug meeting that a police surveillance team happened to be watching. The FBI soon began watching Jones and tapping his phone calls.

In recorded conversations in November 2004, Black said he was off work for several days but wanted to be involved in a new rip-off, saying, “Hook me up something for Christmas.”

Investigations of police corruption take months to put together and rely on officers willing to break the code of silence and cooperate, Lausch said.

Guzman said the prosecution showed that police corruption persists, but he agreed it can be dealt with if officers are willing to blow the whistle.

Musharraf blames Bhutto for her own death

Musharraf says Bhutto’s death was her own fault

MarketWatch | Jan 5, 2008

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is responsible for her own death for standing up in a security car.

“For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone. Nobody else. Responsibility is hers,” Musharraf said, according to a press release Saturday from CBS.

In the wake of the assassination of opposition leader Bhutto, the Pakistani government this week announced it would postpone the national election scheduled for Tuesday until February. Bhutto was a former prime minister who returned from exile to lead her Pakistan People’s Party in parliamentary elections.

The party has called on the United Nations to investigate the killing, which the government has attributed to al-Qaeda sympathizers. Some opposition figures have said that the government bears responsibility for the assassination.

It’s still unclear exactly what killed Bhutto. A bomb exploded near her car as she stood up inside the security vehicle with her head visible through a roof hatch. The government of Pakistan initially said Bhutto was killed when she hit her head as result of the concussion from the bomb explosion. Video images also show a gunman in the car’s vicinity, but it’s not certain if Bhutto was shot.
Asked by “60 Minutes” if he believes a gunshot could be the cause of Bhutto’s head injury, Musharraf replied it was a likely possibility.

Musharraf also said in the interview that the government did everything possible to provide Bhutto with the security she required.

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