WWIII is close
By JW Insider
Most posts from a previous topic that dealt with organ transplants/harvesting have been moved here. The previous topic is linked below:
Another new topic about Socialism and Communism will be posted elsewhere, in case anyone wishes to discuss those political ideas, too.
By JW Insider
By now, most people have heard about the "Weeger" issues in China. There are supposedly concentration camps, torture camps, medical experiments, thousands imprisoned, etc. When someone changed thousands to "for all we know, there might even be millions" the new number changed to "millions" without Western media even batting an eyelash.
So here's an opinion about it, which focuses on Xinjiang Province (also known as the “Uyghur Autonomous Region”)...
There’s a lot of background to this, but the basic problem is geopolitical: The US wants to sabotage the growth of China as a world power in favor of the Western model of capitalism and imperialism.
What imperialist Western elites see as China’s weakest links are its new Belt & Road Initiative (BRI: an infrastructure project to expand high-speed rail, telecommunications, and both dirty and renewable energy worldwide) and its relations with other Asian and Muslim countries (which are increasingly friendly). There has been a “New Cold War” against China since Obama’s/Hillary’s “Pivot to Asia” strategy (of which the TPP and the deployment of THAAD in Korea were a part), but especially renewed now since Trump’s propaganda and trade war. China is threatened by HUNDREDS of US military bases and nukes surrounding it (and Russia, Iran, etc.)!
The basis for the propaganda has always existed, of course: “Tiananmen Square was a heartless massacre proving the unpopularity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” “Hong Kong is being brutalized by Beijing,” “China is genociding Tibet,” and so on. I think most of these issues are lies — completely fabricated — or distortions of reality not presenting the whole story. The CCP, for example, is one of the most (perhaps THE most) popular political parties in the world, which hilariously perplexes international polling agencies and Harvard researchers time and time again.
[See “Understanding CCP Resilience” by Harvard University. The writing is biased, but the researchers are forced to admit the fact that the Chinese people — and particularly underprivileged minorities — are in love with the Party.]
This claim — “China is genociding Muslims” — is no different. The “1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps” and “forced to eat pork” are complete fabrications. They were alleged by one US official, and then some Western diplomats went along with it. Most of the recent “reports” and “statistics” (which extrapolated numbers to ALL of Xinjiang from a localized study!) originate from US-funded think-tanks, usually involving a man named Adrian Zenz. Zenz is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who believes that he has been “led by God” against the unspeakable evil of China. In Western media, when they write “reports show” such and such, find their source; it’s typically Adrian Zenz.
[See: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/21/china-detaining-millions-uyghurs-problems-claims-us-ngo-researcher/ ]
It has not merited an official statement by the UN. In fact, nearly every Muslim-majority country has praised China’s response to the rise of Islamic extremism and terrorism in Xinjiang Province.
Speaking of which, how did this extremism arise in the first place? One answer is poverty and lack of adequate education. The other is the promotion and funding of Jihadist terrorist groups by the US and the West since the 1980s, first against the Soviet Union, and then again recently in Afghanistan, Pakistan, former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and China — all of which have sizable Muslim populations. This includes some fundamentalist propaganda and especially weapons from U.S. allies in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (but which are now beginning to move closer to China).
Everybody knows the history, how Obama expanded the wars into Syria and Libya by arming Jihadists, how Hillary admitted we aided Al-Qaeda, and how, going back even further, the New York Times praised Osama bin Laden himself on the cover as our “freedom fighter.” We also don’t need to review the aftermath. We all know how devastating it was, how many millions lost their lives due to the civil wars and US bombs. We also know how many lies we were told, about “weapons of mass destruction” and “chemical warfare.”
China responded to Islamic extremism in Xinjiang Province — which shares borders with Pakistan, India, etc. — through poverty alleviation, education centers, and arrest/punishment for crimes (such as stabbing) or possessing incriminating materials (propaganda, knives, etc.). Most Muslim countries believed this response to be unprecedentedly good. Pakistan went so far as to say that this should be the “model for antiterrorism.”
[See also: https://medium.com/@leohezhao/xinjiang-facts-vs-fiction-bdc2aa403c91 ]
Another thing to research (with a skeptical eye of course) is the 2009 Urumqi Riots in China. These incidents, in which many ethnically Han Chinese people were arrested for retaliating against Muslim violence in Xinjiang, were ugly and brutal, and scarred the CCP and all the peoples of China, especially Muslims. Many Uyghurs also fled China to fight alongside ISIS and Al-Nusra “rebels” (Al-Qaeda) in Syria. This is well-documented! And these are typically the Uyghurs quoted in explosive “news reports” crying “My husband was murdered!!!”
Some more facts: China has built thousands of mosques, both within China and throughout the Middle East and Africa. How can this be explained? The Uyghur population has nearly DOUBLED since 1990, as minority ethnic groups (like them) are guaranteed certain privileges and exemptions by the Chinese Constitution in order to (as the party states) “combat Han chauvinism.” How is this possible if they are being “genocided”? Road signs and schools use Arabic and Uyghur scripts along with Chinese. Many Chinese and Uyghurs intermarry! Do those sound like “genocide”?
In short, there’s a real propaganda campaign ramping up. It’s very possible (and very stupid) that a war with China is brewing. The illegal actions against Huawei (the world leader in 5G technology) are yet another example. Unfortunately, our entire social media experience from the top-down is manipulated by elites, the ones who own it and all the other media we consume.
It is extremely tempting to fall into peer pressure these days and deny real research about this issue because it makes one look like a "genocide denier." Revealing what the research shows makes one seem "evil" for not following what others think. And that is exactly how propaganda works in the modern age, all while the details and research required to become informed are increasingly in the hands of mega-monopolies like Google and CNN.
Sometimes, one can learn from the mistakes of these same media companies, too. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube can quickly ban someone who get complaints against them for showing evidence that goes against Western propaganda. SkyNews just ran a story about claimed Uyghur torture, and they used footage of prisoners in blindfolds. Embarrassingly, it turned out to be SkyNews' own footage from a few years earlier of a prisoner transfer of Han Chinese, not Uyghurs. It had nothing to do with torture, or Muslims. (Blindfolding prisoners during transfers is common practice in many countries.) The original report knew this, but the footage was re-used to fit Western propaganda. There have been many such examples. Another time it was footage of the U.S. capturing Muslims that had nothing to do with China or Uyghurs. Another time it was footage from Thailand or Indonesia repurposed to supposedly show Muslim Uyghurs in China. People have pointed out mistakes in claiming certain persons were Uyghurs just because they looked like they were wearing Muslim garb, which turned out to be a style from Muslims unique to other countries.
The new flu strain is similar to the swine flu that spread globally in 2009
A new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.
It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.
The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.
While it is not an immediate problem, they say, it has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans and needs close monitoring.
As it's new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus.
The scientists write in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that measures to control the virus in pigs, and the close monitoring of swine industry workers, should be swiftly implemented.
As a person in China... your social credit "score" will go down if you interact with too many others who are in debt.
This is a radar device for every citizen to avoid being around others or interacting with other citizens who are in debt.
Scary Big Brother stuff going on in china
President Trump and China President Xi Jinping were one belly-bump shy of a bromance during last month’s trade talks. But now, U.S. and China are back at each other’s throats.
U.S. hits first
The Trump administration voted against recognizing China as a “market economy” in the WTO—a status that would allow China to export goods around the world at cheaper prices than competing countries.
What allows China to sell at cheaper prices? For one, government-backed subsidies that enable Chinese companies to trim expenses from their operations.
But China’s up in arms about the U.S.’ opposition. That’s because after joining the WTO in 2001, it was guaranteed market economy status 15 years later.
So naturally, Xi kicked back
As the world’s steelmakers gathered Thursday to discuss a global oversupply, China crossed its arms and refused to slow down production (or at least, to be the only one slowing down production).
And that’s an issue, considering the country controls~50% of the world’s supply.
Tesla is close to securing a deal with the city of Shanghai that would allow the Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker to produce vehicles in China, according to a newly published report by
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Chinese regulations require Tesla to enter into a joint venture with a local company to manufacture vehicles in the country. Having a presence in the world’s largest electric vehicle market is a critical next step for Tesla as it seeks to scale production globally. Tesla has previously shared that it is looking to build vehicles and batteries in China which would allow the company to avoid a 25% tariff on vehicles it sold in the country. Last year, Tesla’s sales in China tripled to over $1 billion, or roughly 1/7th of its total sales.
[Photo credit: Tesla]
With China serving as a hotbed for plug-in vehicles and manufacturing, it would be an ideal location for Tesla to lay down the framework for its customers in Asia. China is also home to 1/6th of the world population, and with its ever growing middle class represents a large market for its upcoming affordable Model 3 sedan.
The Chinese plug-in vehicle market is on the rise, as the country seeks to pivot away from smog producing internal combustion vehicles in favor of clean energy vehicles like Tesla’s Model S and Model X. To support these clean energy vehicles, China has exempted buyers from paying sales tax which can reach upwards of 115% of the purchase price of the vehicle.
The report by Bloomberg comes on the heels of the announcement that more than 6% of Tesla’s global sales were in Hong Kong, of which 7% of all vehicles sold were Teslas. That will likely change if proposed changes to the EV incentives are put into effect which would nearly double the price of a new Tesla.
Tesla currently builds all of its vehicles in its Fremont factory in northern California and ships them to customers across the globe, though the other half of its supply chain is firmly rooted in batteries. Production of its newest 2170 lithium ion battery cells – the same cells being used in Tesla’s Model 3 – is taking place exclusively at Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada. Contrary to early beliefs that Tesla would migrate the 2170 cell to its flagship vehicles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. form factor. Building a Gigafactory in close proximity to Panasonic’s existing Chinese factories like its recently opened factory in Dalian, China would drastically cut the length of the supply chain and minimize potential disruptions.
We have reached out to Tesla for comment and will update this story accordingly as we learn more.
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Tesla has confirmed that it is now in talks with the Shanghai municipal government to build a Gigafactory and manufacture cars in the city’s tech sector, according to
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . “While we expect most of our production to remain in the U.S., we need to establish local factories to ensure affordability for the markets they serve,” Tesla said in a statement.
[Photo credit: Tesla]
Chinese regulations require Tesla to enter into a joint venture with a local company to manufacture vehicles in the country. While Tesla hasn’t announced a partner yet, all eyes are on Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet company that holds a 5% stake in Musk’s company.
The EV company has not said which vehicles it plans to produce in China if and when the deal goes through, but the Reuters report cites a supplier source who says the company is considering Model 3 and Model Y production there.
The company plans to release more finalized plans by the end of 2017.
Tesla has previously shared that it is looking to build vehicles and batteries in China which would allow the company to avoid a 25% tariff on vehicles it sold in the country. Last year, Tesla’s sales in China tripled to over $1 billion, or roughly 1/7th of its total sales.
The company currently builds all of its vehicles in its Fremont factory in northern California and ships them worldwide, though the other half of its supply chain is firmly rooted in batteries. Tesla produces its newest 2170 lithium ion battery cells – the same cells being used in Tesla’s Model 3 – exclusively at Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada.
Tesla shares popped 1.5% at the news of the talks, leading to $382 in midday trading.
By Guest Nicole
You can already hail an autonomous taxi in Singapore. And Tokyo. And Moscow. China doesn't want to be left behind in this AI party, so Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it's working on a slate of self-driving passenger vehicles, including robo-taxis, that will go into testing as soon as next year in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.
The news came as part of a series of AI vehicles announcements in Beijing at Baidu World, the company's annual technology conference, where Baidu also announced an AI deal with Ford.
"The era for autonomous passenger vehicles is upon us, but having only smart cars is not enough," Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li said. "We also need smart roads. By leveraging our capabilities in autonomous driving and AI technologies, we can develop comprehensive solutions that will greatly improve the efficiency of urban cities."
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Macron to UN: "Our fight against terrorism is also a political, cultural, moral fight"
By Guest Nicole
That's what friends are forÂ
Stray dog kicked by driver for being in his parking bay returns with a pack of friendsÂ… and trashes his carÂ
via .ORGWorld News
By Guest Nicole
(EFE).- China inaugura hoy el mayor parque de hielo y nieve del mundo en la ciudad de Harbin, al noreste del país, con 2000 esculturas talladas en hielo y diversas atracciones interactivas de temÃ¡tica invernal.
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By The Librarian
The heated language of Trump’s presidential campaign is affecting American Muslims, who find themselves increasingly on the receiving end of hate crimes. A year into TrumpÂ’s presidency, how will his words and decisions affect the countryÂ’s Islamic minority? We ask Trita Parsi, former informal Obama administrationÂ’s adviser and head of the National American Iranian Council.
China is calling in the dogs on North Korea. Kim Jong-un has 120 days to close all North Korean businesses within Chinese borders.
That means 100,000 workers that help fund the North Korean regime to the tune of ~$230 million a year would be sent home packing.
The U.N. turned up the heat on China to crack down on North Korea in light of its nuclear missiles program—two warning shots over Japan and a handful of threats will do that. And China might be the only one with the key to Kim’s heart: trade.
China controls 80% of all trade (~$6.3 billion) that enters and exits North Korea. It has already cut off North Korea’s biggest exports (coal and textiles), and is capping the country’s biggest import (oil).
If Rogen and Franco couldn’t get Kim to negotiate, maybe China can.
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
WHAT DOES TRUMP THINK ABOUT PUTIN’S WAR ON RELIGION?
BYÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â ON 8/12/17 AT 12:20 AM
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Just ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that the crackdown on civic activism in Russia would target religious communities, not just NGOs. And yet it is happening.
The Russian state persecutes Baptists, Pentecostals, and Adventists and closes down Orthodox parishes that are not part of the Moscow Patriarchate.
For the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed, preachers are now being fined for proclaiming GodÂ’s word outside church buildings.
And a recent Supreme Court decision has opened the door to liquidating JehovahÂ’s Witnesses communities in Russia.
Â“TraditionalÂ” versus Â“NontraditionalÂ” Religions
Russia divides all faiths into Â“traditionalÂ” and Â“nontraditional.Â” This concept, while absent from the Russian Law on Religious Freedom (although mentioned in the lawÂ’s preamble), has been introduced under pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Patriarch Kirill personally.
Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are deemed Â“traditional,Â” while Old Believers, Catholics, various Protestant denominations, and many others are not.
A member of the 'Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers' takes part in a demonstration against the movie 'Matilda' in front of the Church of the Resurrection in Moscow on August 1, 2017. 'Matilda', a Russian movie about a love story between the last Russian Tsar Nikolay II and the ballerina Mathilda-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya set for theater release in October, is believed by many Russians to insult the monarchy and offend religious sentiment.MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/GETTY
The concept of traditional religions not only pits worshippers against each other, it also ignores the religious diversity of Russia. Today there are some 15 million practicing Orthodox believers in Russia, 10 million Muslims, 3 million Protestants, 500,000 Buddhists, 200,000 Jews, 175,000 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, 100,000 Hindus, and 100,000 followers of other religious faiths (e.g., there are an estimated 10,000 Mormons in Russia).
The ROC has usurped the right to a close relationship with the government and accuses Catholics and Protestants of proselytizing in the territory that it considers its own. As for Muslims, the ROC accepts as Â“traditionalÂ” only those who are loyal to the government.
The ROCÂ’s concern is understandable. According to the Russian Ministry of Justice, ROC organizations are the most numerous in the country (around 16,000 communities), while Protestants and Muslims are second and third (5,000Â–6,000 communities each).
However, polls show that Protestants and Muslims may be twice as numerous as official figures suggest. For example, evangelicals are now the second largest Christian denomination in Russia after Orthodox Christians in terms of numbers and presence throughout the country.
In fact, in many regions of Siberia and the Far East, the number of Protestant communities and active parishioners is higher than the number of practicing Orthodox believers. In light of this, Patriarch Kirill has repeatedly urged the authorities in the Far East to Â“fight against sectsÂ” and support the Orthodox projects.
Tightening the Screws
The path toward tightening the screws on various non-traditional religions began in 2012, with the Â“foreign agentÂ” law limiting the activity of foreign-funded noncommercial organizations. Furthermore, the law on meetings and demonstrations was also tightened. And in 2015 a new directive was introduced specifying that all religious groups must inform authorities of their existence.
Then, in June 2016, the State Duma adopted a series of laws known collectively as theÂ
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â Named after Duma Deputy Irina Yarovaya, who initiated it, the law amends Russian public safety and anti-extremism legislation. The part of the law that has already come into force and has received the broadest coverage consists of the statutes regulating liability for failure to report Â“extremist activityÂ”Â—a very broadly defined set of activities under Russian law, ranging from calls for violence to the vague Â“incitement of racial, nationalist and religious hatredÂ” and Â“propaganda of exceptionalismÂ” based on religion or nationality.
The part of the Yarovaya Law that has received much less attention is the provision imposing new restrictions on missionary work. The law now imposes a fine of 50,000 rubles on a private citizen for illegal preaching and up to 1 million rubles on a religious organization.
Illegal preaching may mean preaching in a building that is not designated for such purposes and lacks proper signage. As a result, the police and the prosecutorÂ’s office now consider the activity of religious groups lacking official registration as illegalÂ—a change from the recent past.
Targeting JehovahÂ’s Witnesses
The recent court proceedings against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses are a case in point. The campaign against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses began in 2009, during the still relatively liberal Dmitry MedvedevÂ’s premiership.
In a number of cases the courts, relying on poorly and unprofessionally conducted evaluations, concluded that JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ literature could be defined as Â“extremist,Â” referring as it did to the faith as the only true faith.
The adoption of the Yarovaya Law, therefore, opened the door to liquidating JehovahÂ’s Witnesses communities on the basis of their possessing Â“extremistÂ” literature.
On April 20, 2017, on the basis of the totality of these cases, the Russian Supreme Court ruled to liquidate the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Management Center and all of the regional organizations. On July 17, 2017, a Supreme Court panel declined the JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ appeal, and the decision entered into force.
The decision means prohibition of activity for over 400 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses organizations all over Russia and criminal prosecutions of more than 170,000 believers if they continue to gather and read faith publications and the Bible in their specific translation. (There are more than 2,000 groups engaged in this activity in Russia.)
On top of that, because JehovahÂ’s Witnesses organizations are now judged Â“extremist,Â” the state is confiscating the professionÂ’s assets: 118 buildings in fifty-seven regions whose total value is 1.9 billion rubles.
For the West, it was specifically the prohibition against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses that came to symbolize pointless religious discrimination in Russia and a drastic reduction of religious freedoms in the country. The EUÂ’s Office of Foreign Policy, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Helsinki Committee have all broadly criticized the move and called on Russia to rescind it.
On top of that, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. It is clear in advance that the judgment wonÂ’t be in RussiaÂ’s favor. Taking into account the losses sustained by the faithful, the fine that the Strasbourg court will impose on Russia for the benefit of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses may reach astronomical heights.
The fact is, authoritiesÂ’ fight against nontraditional religions and religious denominations, which they peg as weird and scary sects, takes ugly, almost caricature forms.
Journalists, politicians, and Orthodox activists accuse those of other faiths of activities that constitute the core religious activities of all faiths, including the ROC itself: collecting donations, engaging in prayers with emotional overtones, and instructing followers, including children, in the tenets of the faith. In the context of the massive anti-West hysteria, xenophobia, and search for spies, all of these generally normal activities become a crime.
Most politicians and public figures, both conservative and liberal, readily jump on the bandwagon, portraying unfamiliar Â“sectsÂ” as threatening to the secular state and even citizensÂ’ psychological health. And the media ignore the persecution of those targeted under the Yarovaya Law.
There are now more than 100 court cases challenging the imposition of fines against religious communities and individual faithful, yet they are proceeding unnoticed by the general public.
Many assume that the suppression of religious dissent automatically benefits the ROC. But that is not necessarily the case. Representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are torn by irreconcilable contradictions.
On the one hand, there are those who would like to prohibit all sects legislatively and in that way eliminate all competitors. (They are particularly troubled by the evangelicals in the Far East, who at this point exceed the number of the Orthodox.)
On the other hand, many experts note that as soon as the word Â“sectÂ” is introduced into the law, half the Orthodox communities could be prohibited. Rank-and-file priests and believers have stated that the anti-missionary statutes of the Yarovaya Law could also be used to prevent Orthodox sermons and missions among youth.
In Russia, the gap is growing between the discriminated-against non-Orthodox Christians and the Orthodox, between the ROC bureaucracy and Orthodox activists of different persuasions, between the ROCÂ’s leadership and the pro-democracy-minded part of society, between the desires of law enforcement organs and the aims of the missionaries of different churches, including the ROC.
These conflicts are getting sharper because Russian society betrays more civility than the Russian state. Ordinary Russians are much more tolerant of those professing different beliefs than are the police and the prosecutorÂ’s office.
And the trend toward aligning the governmentÂ’s policy with the interests of the ROC produces a boomerang effect: civil society criticizes priests and bishops from the Orthodox standpoint, not from an atheistic one.
This is why the state has decided to safeguard itself against independent religious authority by heavily regulating it.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â is Senior Researcher at Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Center for Religious Studies in the Institute of Europe (Russian Academy of Sciences), a member of Russian team of Keston Institute (Oxford, UK) project Â“Encyclopedia of religious life in Russia TodayÂ”, editor-in-chief of the web-portal Â“Religion and LawÂ” (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ), a public policy scholar in theÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â and theÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â (2011) and The Galina Starovoitova Fellowship scholar of the Kennan Institute (2017).
Chinese scientists aim to launch more quantum satellites to build hack-proof global quantum global communications networkBy TheWorldNewsOrg
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By The Librarian
Our Brother Bill Underwood wrote an interesting article in the newspaper:
If you had to choose between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, which would you choose?Now, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have to choose, I already have both.’ Are you sure?Last August, the central district court of Tver – the oblast or ‘state’ in which Moscow resides, banned a religious website, jw.org. They did this secretly, not notifying the owners of the website until the day before the ban was to go into effect – January 22, 2014. Had they prevailed, their rationale would have been to claim, as they have in the past, that the ‘free speech’ on jw.org defames other religions. Jw.org won that battle in the court of appeals, but the foundation on which the attack was based still exists.In 1999, Pakistan brought a resolution to the UN calling for a ban on “Defamation of Islam.” Cooler heads prevailed and, after much discussion, the Commission on Human Rights passed instead a resolution banning “Defamation of Religion.”Over the years from 2000 to 2009 the resolution was added to, revised, strengthened, and re-worded, but it was consistently approved. Aside from the lack of elections, U.N. politicians are no different from any other type. It would have been politically incorrect to be seen as anti-Muslim, especially after 9/11, so passing a bill to protect them from defamation seemed like a good idea. Typical was the vote of the UN General Assembly in December, 2007: 108 for, 51 against, and 25 abstaining.In 2009, however, Pakistan pushed again. Their resolution that year stated that they were concerned that defamation of religion led to “the creation of a kind of Islamophobia in which Muslims were typecast as terrorists." They weren't opposed to freedom of expression, oh no. They merely wanted to ban "expression that led to incitement.”They said the hatred of Muslims was just like the hatred of Jews that Hitler had whipped up in pre-WWII Germany, and look what that led to. Has there been a Muslim “krystallnacht” that I didn’t hear about...the night of August 9, 1938 when Germans destroyed over 7,000 Jewish businesses and over 1,000 synagogues? Even in the days after 9/11 when there was enormous outrage against Muslims, the level of hatred never approached that.Pakistan’s proposed resolution said basically that freedom of speech sometimes has to yield in order to maintain peace. Governments such as Russia, Pakistan, and most of the middle east are quick to use this argument: some opinion or expression of yours is causing distress to others; therefore, instead of telling the ‘others’ to grow up and get over it, they tell you to stop expressing your opinion.In any case, this was a step too far, and the pendulum began to swing back. Pakistan’s argument was recognized for what it was, and over 200 civic groups, some Muslim, some Christian, some atheist, demanded that the UN push back.Over the preceding 10 years, the UN had assigned a “special rapporteur” to analyze the subject of defamation of religion and report back. The rapporteur’s report in 2009 included this telling statement:
“[We] encourage a shift away from the sociological concept of the defamation of religions towards the legal norm of non-incitement to national, racial or religious hatred." Three months later when the United States and Egypt introduced a resolution which condemned "racial and religious stereotyping," EU representative Jean-Baptiste Mattei said the European Union "rejected and would continue to reject the concept of defamation of religions." Significantly, he said:
"Human rights laws did not and should not protect belief systems." And the representative from Chile pointed out that,
"The concept of the defamation of religion took them in an area that could lead to the actual prohibition of opinions." A month later, at a human rights meeting in Geneva, the United States representative admitted that defamation of religion is “a fundamentally flawed concept.” The rep from Sweden repeated what the Frenchman had said earlier: international human rights law protects individuals, not institutions or religions.By 2011 the backlash was complete. The UNHRC declared that "Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with” the charter of the Human Rights Committee.In the years since then, any proposal in the UN attempting to ban ‘defamation of religion’ has been shot down. Freedom of speech has trumped freedom of religion.Last week, far from worrying about ‘defamation,’ the UN came out loudly and publicly chastising the Vatican.
This has never happened before. Their purported justification for doing so went like this: The Vatican is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 34 of which reads in part:
“Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.” The UN accused the Vatican not merely of failing to protect children, but of actively endangering children by their policy of moving pederasts to new parishes where they could continue their predations, and of obfuscating all attempts by law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute the offenders.Now, here’s where it gets really interesting: The UN went further. They also condemned the Church’s doctrines regarding homosexuality, abortion, and ‘reproductive rights.’Chastising a signatory of a contract for failing to abide by the contract is one thing; Attempting to dictate to a church what their doctrines should be is something else. Where is the UN’s authority to do that? Yet they did it anyway.If, as the UN says, religions and belief systems are not protected by human rights - and I agree, they clearly are not – what prevents them from taking the next step: deciding that religions and belief systems are nothing more than ancient superstitions that are doing more harm than good, and that it’s time to ban them?It’s too bad the UN doesn’t have any teeth. Do they? We'll Investigate that next.
By The Librarian
The US leader's comments marked a change in tone after his sometimes anti-Islamic rhetoric during the presidential race.
Trump urges Muslim leaders to 'drive out' terror
Donald Trump has likened the fight against Islamic extremism to a battle between "good and evil" and not different faiths.
Speaking to leaders from around 50 Muslim-majority countries in Saudi Arabia, the President attacked militants as "barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life".
The US leader urge the nations to "confront Islamic terror of all kinds", deny sanctuary to extremists and stand together against the murder of innocent Muslims by groups like Islamic State.
According to Mr Trump, "95% of the victims of terrorist attacks are themselves Muslims".
He said America was seeking a "coalition of nations" in the Middle East with the aim of "stamping out extremism".
Trump in Saudi: 'Tremendous progress tackling IS' He said the countries "cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them".
Striking a conciliatory line, his comments marked a change in tone for Mr Trump after his remarks during the presidential campaign where he told the US: "Islam hates us."
Addressing the Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, he said: "We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading."
Saudi King: 'Islam is the religion of peace' Mr Trump told leaders at the meeting that he brought "a message of friendship and hope and love", and urged Muslim countries to ensure "terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil".
He announced a deal with Gulf countries to crackdown on the funding of extremists.
The President also hit out at Iran, accusing Tehran of "fuelling the fires of sectarian conflict".
He said among Iran's destabilising interventions was in Syria, where President Bashar al Assad has "committed unspeakable crimes".
"From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region," Mr Trump said.
Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley said the President's comments "will be very much welcomed by the predominantly Sunni attendees from some 50 nations.
"And it will strike a degree of horror into (Shia-dominated) Iran.
"Terrorism is sponsored through groups like Hizbollah, by Iran, but there are also Sunni Islamic terrorist groups that the Iranians are fighting, not least Islamic State in Syria."
Mr Trump also called upon countries around the world to work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
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By Raquel Segovia
BEIJING (AP) — El primer avión de pasajeros de gran tamaño fabricado en China completó el viernes su vuelo inaugural, un hito hacia el objetivo chino a largo plazo de penetrar en el mercado del transporte aéreo dominado por las potencias occidentales.
El C919 despegó entre vítores y aplausos de cientos de invitados en el Aeropuerto Internacional Pudong de Shanghai y fue transmitido en directo por la televisión estatal. El avión desapareció rápidamente en una jornada de viento y contaminación agravada por la proximidad de tormentas de arena desde el norte.
Tras el vuelo de 90 minutos, los pilotos de prueba bajaron sonrientes en sus uniformes naranja decorados con la bandera china.
La agencia noticiosa oficial Xinhua dijo que China ha pasado a ser “uno de los principales fabricantes de aviones jumbo del mundo”, el cuarto después de Estados Unidos, Europa y Rusia.
China presenta el C919 como competido del Airbus A320 y el Boeing 737. El vuelo inaugural estaba previsto para 2014 y la entrega a los compradores para 2016, pero sufrió demoras atribuidas a problemas de fabricación. Difícilmente podrá transportar pasajeros antes de 2019.
El analista de aviación Mohshin Aziz, de Maybank Kim Eng Securities, dijo que pasarán entre siete y nueve años antes de que se sepa si podría afectar el duopolio de Airbus y Boeing.
“Este es apenas el vuelo de ensayo”, dijo. “Con el tiempo necesitará algunos clientes fieles, que los tendrá porque hay aerolíneas de propiedad estatal que estarán obligadas a usarlo”.
Otros clientes potenciales esperarán a conocer la experiencia de los primeros, dijo Mohshin. “Uno no va a gastar mucho dinero en algo que no conocer”.
El fabricante del C919, la empresa estatal Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., conocida como Comac, pedirá las certificaciones de la autoridad de la aviación civil china y de reguladores extranjeros antes de efectuar entregas.
Bao Pengli, subdirector del departamento de desarrollo de proyectos de Comac, dijo el jueves que se planea fabricar dos aviones por año hasta 2019 para tener pruebas de vuelo seguro antes de iniciar la producción en serie.
Veintitrés clientes internos y extranjeros han solicitado pedidos para un total de 570 aeronaves. Entre las extranjeras están GE Capital Aviation Services y la tailandesa City Airways.
Se puede configurar el avión para entre 155 y 175 asientos y su autonomía estándar es de 4.075 kilómetros.