Anti-Islamic parties do well in European elections
The Dutch politician Geert Wilders' Freedom Party won 17 percent of the vote European Union parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. Wilders, who has compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, campaigned on an anti-EU and anti-immigrant platform. The Freedom Party finished second to the governing Christian Democratic Alliance, which garnered 19.9% of the vote. Naftaniel, a Dutch Jew whose organization monitors anti-Semitism and racism, said "Wilders is bringing to attention things that are important for Dutch society," citing the "the situation of extreme Islam." In Britain, The British National Party won its first seats in the European Parliament, in a major breakthrough for a party reviled by mainstream politicians for its anti-immigration stance. Party chairman Nick Griffin was elected an MEP in the northwest of England region with eight percent of the vote, hours after Andrew Brons won the BNP's first ever European seat in the nearby Yorkshire and the Humber region. Griffin told Sky News television: "This is a Christian country and Islam is not welcome, because Islam and Christianity, Islam and democracy, Islam and women's rights do not mix." The election result means that Muslims in Europe will find it difficult to practice their faith. It also diminishes Turkey's chances of joining the EU.
Oil reaches a new high of $71
The price of oil burst through the $71 a barrel mark and some predict that the price could eventually hit $250. The latest high - from lows of $30 only four months ago - came on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the cost of July deliveries rose by $1.35 to $71.36. This comes on top of a $2 rise the day before as investors rushed into the market on the back of lower stockpile figures, higher demand estimates and speculation against further falls in the dollar. "I wouldn't be surprised if we're testing $80 in a week or two," said one analyst, while BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, questioned whether $90 could be the "right" value. Alexei Miller, chairman of the Russian energy group Gazprom, raised the stakes further when he reiterated last year's estimates of $250 a barrel. But there is no apparent demand for oil in the world right now. Global oil consumption fell 0.6% to 81.8m barrels a day in 2008, the first decline since 1993 and the largest drop for 27 years. The rise in the price oil is once again being manipulated by American speculators to prevent further erosion in the value of the dollar.
Deluded Mubarak praises Obama's pledge not to fight Islam
In an interview broadcasted on Wednesday in Cairo President Hosni Mubarak said that Barack Obama has presented a fresh understanding of Islam not shown by predecessors. Obama called for a "new beginning" in ties between the United States and Muslims, many of whom felt targeted by the "war against terror" launched by former President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Under the past administration, there was a feeling that the Islamic world was a group of terrorists, Islam was hated and Muslims should be watched, and that the previous administration was scared of any Muslim. But Obama came and said we will not fight Muslims and Islam. He is a sympathetic man, and says the United States will not fight Islam because Islam is a heavenly religion," he said.
Malaysian government to launch Islamic TV channel in line with eastern culture
The Islamic television channel is in the final stage of preparation and will be launched soon, said a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. He was confident that the TV channel would provide a new dimension in educating the public on bringing up the family based on Islamic teachings and in line with eastern culture and etiquette."The Islamic TV channel will give the people an alternative. I had discussed the matter with Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim. "Local TV stations do carry Islamic programmes but they only made up 10-18 percent of the overall content. The Islamic TV channel will appeal to Muslims and also non-Muslims," he said. The Islamic TV channel is fully owned by the government. Clearly the launch of a state funded Islamic TV channel is intended to counter the growing Islamic revival in Malaysia, especially the move towards political Islam.
CIA Chief stresses that bin Laden is in Pakistan
CIA Director Leon Panetta said on Thursday the U.S. intelligence agency believes al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan and hopes joint operations with Pakistani forces will find him. Asked whether he was sure that bin Laden was in Pakistan, Panetta told reporters: "The last information we had, that's still the case." Finding bin Laden is "one of our major priorities," Panetta said. "One of our hopes is that the Pakistanis move in militarily, combined with our operations, we may be able to have a better chance" to find the al Qaeda leader, he said. Panetta said al Qaeda "remains the most serious security threat" to the United States and its leaders, particularly in Pakistan, continue to plot against America. There are "a number of people" on the ground in Pakistan providing intelligence on al Qaeda targets to the United States, he said.