Islamic Dictator in Egypt?

Protests rock Egypt after Morsi seizes new powers

from: Reuters

with comments provided by: the Common Constitutionalist [  ]

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Alexandria on Friday, throwing chairs and books into the street and setting them alight, after the Egyptian president granted himself sweeping new powers. [Really, who would have seen this coming. Certainly not Bill Kristol ]

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opponents also threw stones at each other near a mosque in the city, Egypt’s second largest, a witness said. [ Have you noticed, they never seem to run out of stones in these middle-east cities. Do they have them trucked in or something for these special occasions? ]

Two cars had glass smashed as the clashes moved away from the area.

In Port Said, another port on the Mediterranean, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party headquarters and pelted it with rocks. Some tried to storm it but did not enter, another witness said. There’s the rocks again. Maybe I’ll develop a vending machine that dispenses rocks. Maybe a nickel a rock or 25 for a dollar. ]

In Cairo, thousands demonstrated against the decree issued on Wednesday night, calling Morsi “pharaoh” for seizing new powers.

Morsi’s decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution. [ Didn’t they vote this guy in? Could the Egyptians have been that stupid not to know who Morsi is? On the hand, I should talk; look who we just reelected. ]

Morsi’s aides said the decree was to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Morsi’s rivals were quick to condemn him as a new autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt. [ Wow! That sounds eerily familiar; kind of like an Executive Order from a president who just can’t wait around for Congress to act. ]

“Morsi a ‘temporary’ dictator,” was the headline in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm and hundreds of protesters in Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, demanded Morsi quit, accusing him of launching a “coup”.

Buoyed by accolades from around the world for mediating a truce between Hamas and Israel, Morsi on Thursday ordered that an Islamist-dominated assembly writing the new constitution could not be dissolved by legal challenges. [ Did anyone else notice that an hour after the treaty was announced, Hamas lobbed a rocket into Israel? Heck of a job, eh? ]

Morsi, an Islamist whose roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood party, also gave himself sweeping powers that allowed him to sack the unpopular general prosecutor and opened the door for a retrial for Mubarak and his aides.

The president’s decree aimed to end the logjam and push Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, more quickly on its democratic path, the presidential spokesman said. [ I think that may be a typo. I think they meant to write theocratic, not democratic, but maybe I’m just splitting hairs. Tomato, Tomahto. ]

“President Morsi said we must go out of the bottleneck without breaking the bottle,” Yasser Ali told Reuters.

The president said any decrees he issued while no parliament sat, could not be challenged; moves that consolidated his powers but look set to polarize Egypt further, threatening more turbulence in a nation at the heart of the Arab Spring.

“The people want to bring down the regime,” shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing one of the chants that was used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down.

The decree is bound to worry Western allies, particularly the United States, a generous benefactor to Egypt’s army, which effusively praised Egypt for its part in bringing Israelis and Palestinians to a ceasefire on Wednesday. [ I can guarntee the Obama administration isn’t the slightest bit worried. I’d lay odds they are supporting Morsi and the Brotherhood government. ]

The West may become concerned about measures that, for example, undermine judicial independence. But one Western diplomat said it was too early to judge and his nation would watch how the decree was exercised in the coming days. [ As long as he is a benevolent dictator, like our beloved leader. ]

“We are very concerned about the possible huge ramifications of this declaration on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, said at the United Nations in Geneva. [ Really! Human Rights? The UN is only ever concerned with human rights abuses when they can claim America is at fault. ]

“The decree is basically a coup on state institutions and the rule of law that is likely to undermine the revolution and the transition to democracy,” Mervat Ahmed, an independent activist in Tahrir protesting against the decree, said. “I worry Morsi will be another dictator like the one before him.” [ No need to worry. It’s too late for that. He will be, and like us here in the U.S., you’re stuck with him. ]

Leading liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, who joined other politicians on Thursday night to demand the decree was withdrawn, wrote on his Twitter account that Morsi had “usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh”.

Jackpot!

By Paul Milligan

The 300-year-old Chinese vase sold for £2.6m at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire
The 300-year-old Chinese vase sold for £2.6m at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, England

A Chinese porcelain vase once knocked over by the family cat fetched just over £3 million at auction – One hundred and twenty three times times more than expected.

The 300-year-old blue and white vase, not dissimilar to the one which famously sold for £53 million two years ago, was bought by an unnamed Chinese telephone bidder based in Hong Kong.

The price escalated after a fierce eight-way, ten-minute bidding battle at the North Yorkshire salerooms of Tennants Auctioneers.

The owner of the antique Chinese vase had no idea of its value, and it was only discovered by Tennants, during a routine  house call to value the contents.

The 40cm high bottle-shaped vase, bearing the mark of 18th century Emperor Yongzheng, was conservatively estimated at £20,000-£30,000.

But word quickly spread around the antiques world and collectors and dealers from China were prominent in the crowded saleroom as the bidding quickly soared.

It was knocked down for £2.6 million, which with buyer’s premium pushed the final price to just over £3 million.

Tennants spokesman Max Sobolevski said afterwards: ‘Having spent over 40 years in one house the vase had survived being knocked over by the family cat and had even escaped all damage when the children played football around it.’

The vase, featuring two five-clawed dragon,  is painted in the ‘heap and pile’ technique characteristic of earlier Ming Dynasty period pieces.

The 40 cm high bottle-shaped vase was sold by Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire
The 40 cm high bottle-shaped vase was sold by Tennants  Auctioneers in North Yorkshire

In 2010 a Chinese vase found in the UK was  sold for £53 million.

Tony Johnson, 54, from the Isle of Wight, sold the artifact from the 1740 Qing dynasty to billionaire Chinese property developer Wang Jianlin.

It was said to have been brought back from China by an ‘adventurous uncle’ after being stolen from an imperial palace by British troops during the 19th Century Opium Wars.

The vase was then at the centre of a legal  row between the auction house and Wang  Jianlin, and 18 months after the sale Johnson has still not received a penny  from the sale.

Attribution: Mail Online

Waterspout

It may have looked like something out of a disaster movie – but the driver passing through was probably under no illusions to the very real threat posed by this gigantic  waterspout.

The amazing natural phenomenon, which is created when tornadoes form above the sea, was spotted earlier today along the  shoreline near Batemans Bay, which is 140 miles (225km) south of  Sydney.

Also known as ‘water twisters’, they form when layers of cool air blowing over the water cause warm, moist air to sweep up from underneath, which then creates a swirling column of condensation.

Scroll down for video

In deep water: A car races on ahead as this waterspout appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney A car races on ahead as this waterspout  appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney

They can move as fast as 80 miles an hour and inside winds can spiral from 60 to 120 miles an hour.

Out on the water, they can cause considerable damage to coral reefs and marine life and pose a very real threat to boats, aircraft and swimmers.

Although rare in Australia, four colossal waterspouts swirled off the coast of Sydney at Avoca Beach in May  2011.

Meanwhile, the weather conditions in the Florida Keys are just right for the formation of at least 500 waterspouts each  year.

In June, a waterspout formed off America’s  east coast and swept through Hampton, Virginia, damaging boats and causing debris to fly through the air.

Too close for comfort: People look at the waterspout near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay People look at the waterspout  near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay

Even the British Isles are not immune to this natural phenomena, where around 15 water twisters are sighted each year around the coastline.

The Batemans Bay waterspout appeared as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a gale warning and forecast rough seas  for the coastal region.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Iran / Hamas Connection

What Will U.S. Do as Iran Admits It Is Behind Rocket Attacks on Israel?

by: Tad Cronn

Israel is under siege again, being pummeled by rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip  and now from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

The assault, which has seen almost 40 rockets launched into Israel in the past few days, has even targeted Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

[Common Constitutionalist adds: In fact, since 2009, Hamas and others have fired over 8,000 rockets into Israel. That’s more ordinance than Nazis threw at England during the entire Second World War.]

On Friday, Iranian officials announced that its rockets are being used in the  attacks. On the same day, it was announced that Iran is stepping up its uranium  enrichment.

According to a source in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, cited by World Net  Daily, Iran has large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and it has  provided those weapons to Hamas. Also, Iran has military advisers in Gaza to  teach the Palestinians how to set up and operate the missile systems.

The same source said the attacks were meant as a message to Israel that any  attack on Iran would be countered by Iran’s puppets.

The U.S. so far has not responded to the attacks on Israel, being too wrapped  up in evading questions about what really happened in Benghazi, Libya, on  September 11.

The U.S. response will be crucial because the current attacks are not  occurring in a vacuum. They are just the latest move in the game President Obama  has been  playing in the Middle East during his first term in office.

With one hand, the Obama Administration has been dealing with the United  Nations to try to pressure Iran into giving up its nuclear weapons program. It  has also reportedly been involved in secret face-to-face talks with Iran.

With the other hand, though, Obama has been toppling governments in the  Mideast and North Africa by funding and arming “resistance” groups that more  often than not turn out to be linked to al Qaida, our supposed enemy.

In Benghazi, information leaked by Administration sources  suggests the  CIA was involved with funneling heavy arms and personnel to the Syrian “rebels,” who are fighting the Syrian government, which is backed by Iran. Making the  situation more complex, Syria and Iran are both supported by Russia, for whom Obama has vowed to be more “flexible” after the election.

The attack in Benghazi was led by Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaida-linked group  that has its strings pulled by Iran. Many of the Ansar al Sharia members in  Libya were in fact armed by the U.S. during its effort to overthrow Moammar Gadhaffi.

U.S.-Israeli relations have been strained almost since the day Obama came  into office. It’s entirely possible that he will wash his hands of Israel’s  problems. If he does, this will likely be seen by the Iranians and Russians as  further signs of weakness.

Mitt Romney said during the debates that he would support the rebels in Syria  and Israel, so perhaps his policy wouldn’t have been all that different on the  surface. But support for Israel, the only functioning democracy in the region,  is crucial to the region’s politics.

Now that the U.S. has foolishly re-elected the Man Who Would Be King, the  U.S. is poised to have the rug pulled out from under its feet and being forced  to watch the ascendancy of a new Muslim Caliphate allied with Russia and  Iran.

Attribution: Godfather Politics

Bond Car

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was put through a series of huge explosions and stunts during the filming of Skyfall, including one scene which saw the priceless vehicle explode in flames.

However, producers have revealed the secret behind the stunts – if they lost a car, they could simply print another. Yes, that’s right, print another one.

Three replica cars, a third of the size of  the real thing, were created using a large scale 3D printer.

18 individual parts were printed to create the Aston Martin seen on screen18 individual parts were printed to create the Aston  Martin seen on screen

The models double for the priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film’s action scenes.

They were made by British firm Propshop Modelmakers Ltd, which specialize in the production of film props, and used Voxeljet to print the cars.

‘Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5,’ voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.

‘We could have easily printed the legendary sports car in one piece at a scale of 1:3 using our high-end VX4000 printer, which can build moulds and models in dimensions of up to eight cubic metres.

‘But the British model builders were pursuing a different approach.

Once assembled, the models were finished by hand, and were indistinguishable from the full sized versions, according the their makersOnce assembled, the models were finished by hand, and were indistinguishable from the full sized versions, according the their makers

‘To ensure that the Aston Martin was as true to detail as possible, and for the purpose of integrating numerous functions into the film models, they decided on an assembly consisting of a total of 18 individual components.

‘The entire body is based on a steel frame, almost identical to how vehicles were assembled in the past,’ said  Ederer.

‘In addition to the automotive industry, foundries, designers and artists, the film industry represents an entirely new customer base for voxeljet.

‘3D printing is on the cusp of a great future in the film industry.

‘The technology offers fantastic opportunities, since it is usually much faster, more precise and more  economical than classic model construction,’ says Ederer.

HOW TO PRINT BOND’S ASTON  MARTIN DB 5

voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer with one of the 3D printers used
voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer with one of the 3D printers  used

Voxeljet started the printing process once the computer files with the design data for all components were available.

The models are produced with the layer-by-layer application of particle material that is glued together with a binding agent.

As each layer is finished, another is printed on top to build up a 3D model.

The parts are then individually cleaned.

A total of 54 individual parts for the three vehicle models, including mudguards, doors, bonnets, roofs and more, were then packaged and transported to Pinewood Studios near  London.

The model builders at Propshop then meticulously assembled and finished the components, painted them in the original colour and added chrome applications along with realistic-looking bullet holes.

The finished model, which was seen in several key scenes of the filmThe finished model, which was seen in several key scenes  of the film

After the finishing process, it is impossible to distinguish the Aston Martin models made with the voxeljet printer from the original, even in the close-up shots, the firm says.

‘The priceless Aston Martin DB5, which was used in the first James Bond film exactly 50 years ago, remains unscathed, while one of the elaborately and meticulously constructed models explodes in flames in the film,’ it said.

‘An expensive crash, since one of the three models was auctioned off by Christie’s for almost $170,000.

Daniel Craig with the real Aston Martin DB 5Daniel Craig with the real Aston Martin DB 5
Real or model? A close up of one of the model car's bumper and bonnetReal or model? A close up of one of the model car’s  bumper and bonnet

Not So Honorable?

Generals and Geographic Bachelors

By: G. Murphy Donovan

General David Petraeus illuminates two grand military issues at just the right moment: officer corps character and flag officer performance. Petraeus could be the poster child for a clueless Gilbert and Sullivan character too — “The very model of a modern major-general.” Major-general was the highest rank to which an officer might aspire to in the last century. Grade inflation has created the contemporary glut of four stars, including Petraeus.

David Petraeus gloried in wearing every token of service on his chest, including presumably the good conduct ribbon. Or maybe not! The good conduct medal only goes to grunts, not officers. Clearly, the good conduct award should hereafter be a badge of misplaced military expectations.

Nonetheless; the US Army, West Point, and officers like Petraeus continue to pay lip service to traditional military values and ethics like “duty, honor, and country.” The second imperative seems to have been honored in breach by the former ISAF commander. It’s hard to believe, as it was with Bill Clinton, that Paula Broadwell was a “one off.”

Or maybe the West Point honor oath is more relevant: “a cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal; or tolerate those who do.” Ironically, cheating on your wife seems to be a moral misdemeanor in the Army; while cheating on your trigonometry quiz could lead to dismissal. Alas, Cadet David gets the hat trick here. On the larceny count, Petraeus stole reputation from both sides of his family. His wife Holly is the daughter of a former West Point commandant.

And be not distracted by any “honey trap” nonsense; cheating on wives is a military tradition, not a scandal. Officially, a remote tour is designated “unaccompanied,” but overseas orders seldom require celibacy. Alas, unaccompanied officers are known in the trade as “geographic” bachelors. A senior officer is not busted for cheating; he gets drummed out of the corps for getting caught — too visibly.

And morality only becomes an issue when it embarrasses the Service. In this respect, contemporary military culture is no different than American political culture. If and when, Holly Petraeus, sings a few choruses of “Stand by Your Man,” as did Hilary Clinton; the triumph of the bimbo ethics will be confirmed. Men behave like swine because the women in their lives, mothers and wives, have low or no expectations.

Petraeus not only gives new meaning to terms like “embedded” and “all in” but he and Mrs. Broadwell give a whole new dimension to “ring knockers,” a military euphemism for arrogant military academy graduates. Indeed, if the general was making booty calls with GI Jane in Kabul, the angst in the ranks should be unique. Unlike Europe, Korea, and Vietnam; ordinary soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are discouraged, if not prohibited, from fraternizing with Muslim women. Like Saigon back in the day, however, apparently the brass gets first run on the imported camp followers. Rank still has perks.

For those who might argue that the military ethos is different, consider who comes to defend Petraeus and the nature of the arguments. Members of both political parties, (e.g. Nancy Pelosi and Lindsey Graham ) and the Media lament the loss of a “great leader” to personal, as opposed to professional, failings.

This is the same limp mantra cooked up for Bill Clinton. Neither defense holds water. Perjury is a crime in any court; and adultery, as Petraeus should know, is a court martial offence under the UCMJ. Note that it is the Republican House who excuses Petraeus from testifying, as scheduled, in the Benghazi fiasco. Republicans can’t seem to court enough ill will these days.

So much for the general’s character.

Defending Petraeus on performance grounds may be an even a shakier argument. The general belongs to the “kiss up, kick down” school of military management, again an import from the political world. Like politicians, political generals insist on deprivations from which they usually exempt themselves.

Recall, that during the hot war in Iraq, serving under a Republican, Petraeus was vilified as General “Betrayus.” Now, under a Democrat administration, as the retreat from Afghanistan unfolds, the former ISAF commander is held up as a national hero. Where are the victories? Is the Arab or Muslim world more pacific or stable today, because Petraeus marched through?

Even insipid goals like “transition” are a shell game. We still have troops in Iraq; and after 2014, a similar contingent will remain in Kabul. The true accomplishments of all those small wars in the Muslim world to date are twofold; NATO has simplified the Islamist target set and enabled the triumph of radical religious politics. Indeed, American troops are now killed by our so-called “moderate” Muslim allies; surely a comfort to Islamists.

The great failure of senior officers like Petraeus is candor, or more bluntly, integrity. America cannot do for Muslims what Islam is unwilling to do for itself. That fundamental ground truth is ignored or spun by senior military officers and politicians alike.

And are we to believe that Petraeus reinvented the Army with a novel counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine? The test of any doctrine is achievement; or to use a word absent from flag officer vocabulary these days, the test of military theory is victory. There are only two routes to change in the Ummah; reform or defeat. Neither is evident after 50 years of futile American sacrifice.

Politics and yearly troop rotations are at odds with the Petraeus doctrine. The force ratios required by the Army Manual (FM 3-24) will never be achieved with the current force structure; and brief, but repeated, deployments are at odds with consolidating any annual gains or winning any “hearts or minds.”

Problems with academic theory begin with flawed assumptions; nearly all conflicts in the Muslim world are civil wars, not insurgencies.The Army doesn’t have a foreign civil war mandate. Unfortunately, the Marine Corps has bought into the COIN nonsense too. The elimination of the draft makes it easier for politicians and generals to play fast and loose with national treasure and volunteer lives, another ground truth ignored by Petraeus doctrine.

Before leaving the performance report, we might look at some of the small steps that allowed Pataeus to advance from Kabul to Langley. First was that borderline anti-Semitic CENTCOM study commissioned by Petraeus that suggests that resolving the Israel question is key to abating Muslim rage. Nonsense!

Israel/Palestine is a regional problem; Islamism is a global conflict. Secular governments worldwide are the real Islamic targets. Israel is a convenient distraction, a political stalking horse. And Tel Aviv has made a host of territorial concessions since defeating the Arab armies, all to no avail. Elimination of Israel is the oft-stated goal of Palestinians and Islamists alike.  Appeasement in the Levant could only hasten another Holocaust. Petraeus is no friend of Israel, and that alone made him a poor choice for CIA.

Israeli Palestinians are better off than any similar group living in any Arab country, including Jordan and Lebanon. Indeed, at one time or other, Jordanians, Egyptians, and Lebanese have successfully exterminated militant Palestinians. Israel’s tolerance of Arabs and Islam, by any measure, is enlightened.

The CENTCOM study and Petraeus clearly catered to existing bias, a kind of closet anti-Semitism, among the American academic Left and Obama acolytes. Petraeus subsequently consolidated his politically correct posture on Islam by taking a knee in Afghanistan. American women in uniform were encouraged to wear the hijab while on patrol. Pandering now trumps American troop safety as America slinks out of South Asia.

By such baby steps does an officer, with little or no Intelligence experience, advance from Princeton to the CIA. Petraeus garnered an Agency sinecure with a wet finger in the political winds. He was politically correct on all things Islamic. He was reliable — until Paula came along.

So we are left to ponder the merits of several hagiographic Petraeus biographies. In retrospect, Paula Broadwell’s powder puff pastiche, All In (sic): the Education of David Petraeus  is at once an inside joke and reminiscent of Doris Kerns Goodwin’s methodology and subsequent biography of Lyndon Johnson — another politician who quit in the middle of a tedious war. The literary world needs to stop calling tomes about the living, “valentines.” A more appropriate classification would be toilette biography.

G. Murphy Donovan is a Vietnam veteran and former Intelligence officer who writes frequently about national security, military affairs, and politics.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/generals_and_geographic_bachelors.html#ixzz2CJxp9fS8

Lunch Up a Tree

Some people would pay thousands to eat lunch with a spectacular view, but this crafty leopard takes her meals to another level.

These incredible pictures show the big cat having a snack while up a tree in south-western Kenya and were taken by New York-based photographer Cindy Corcoran.

Ms Corcoran had to patiently wait nearly two hours before the female leopard revealed herself and led her safari group to the secret lunch spot.

Feat: With incredible agility and strength, this leopard dragged its kill up a tree to eat With incredible agility and strength, this leopard dragged its kill up a tree to eat

Tasty: The animal made the most of its peaceful vantage point in the tree to have a relaxed bite to eat The animal made the most of its peaceful vantage  point in the tree to have a relaxed bite to eat
Wild and free: The savannah in south-west Kenya is famous for its diverse population The savannah in south-west Kenya is  famous for its diverse populationMs Corcoran said:  ‘We were driving around the Maasai Mara early one morning when we saw about 25  vehicles around some thick scrub.

‘We knew it had to be something exciting so we drove over to find out that there was a leopard in the area.

‘After about 90 minutes, one by one each vehicle left because this leopard was nowhere in sight anymore.’

‘As they were each pulling away my guide spotted this female leopard well hidden in this thick brush.’

‘It finally got down to about three vehicles,  when she finally decided to come out in the open.’

‘She proceeded to walk out into the wide open savannah plains, taking her time, and obviously knew where she wanted to go.’

The leopard and its catch in the tree
The leopard dragging its dinner up the tree
The leopard had left its prey high up the tree earlier in the day to keep it safe
Hungry mouths: Experts believe the leopard was planning to take the gazelle home to share with the family Experts believe the leopard was planning to take the gazelle home to share with the family
Teeth
Neck
 Ms Corcoran said the experience in the Maasai Mara would stay with her for life
Guarded: The female leopard made those following her wait for two hours before leading them to her mealThe female leopard made those following her wait for two hours before leading them to her meal

‘We followed close behind her and she seemed relaxed and disinterested in us driving along with her.’

Ms Corcoran followed the predator for a while before seeing the leopard stop suddenly and look around a lone tree before climbing up at impressive speed.

She said: ‘We were so focused on looking at  her that we did not notice that there was a Thomson’s gazelle body hanging near  the top of this tree.’

‘This was a kill that she must have put up there the night before. She sat with it a few minutes, then came back down the tree.’

‘It was funny because she just kind of  lounged around the tree, sitting in the sun, then the shade, and then taking a  little nap on the ground near the tree.’

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large reserve named after the Maasai people, the traditional inhabitants of the area.

Fascinating sight: Ms Corcoran noticed the leopard because roughly 25 tourist vehicles were gathered around it Ms Corcoran noticed the leopard  because roughly 25 tourist vehicles were gathered around it
Patience rewarded: One by one, the safari groups departed, until only the few remaining got to see the creature run its intriguing errand One by one, the safari groups  departed, until only the few remaining got to see the creature run its  intriguing errand
Peckish: The female ate some of the gazelle herself before apparently taking it back to her two cubsThe female ate some of the gazelle herself  before apparently taking it back to her two cubs

It is famous for an exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, game, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.

Leopards live mainly in grasslands, woodlands, and river forests. They are usually associated with savannah and rainforest, but are exceptionally adaptable – in the Russian far east, they inhabit temperate forests where winter temperatures reach a low of  -25C.

Ms Corcoran believes that the leopard was saving most of the kill  for her cubs.

She said: ‘My guide said he believed that she  had two small cubs in that area and was bringing her kill to share with  them.’

‘This was a morning I will never forget, and  once again proving that you need to sit and be patient, especially when it comes  to seeing a leopard in the wild.’

‘We spent about four hours waiting for her to  come out and watching her on this journey. I could not think of a better way to  spend a morning in the Maasai Mara.’

Attribution: Daily Mail

Survivor Tribute

A Holocaust survivor returned an American flag to the family of a soldier who had given him the gift, the sole memento from his war-torn childhood that he kept for 67 years.

Stephan Ross, now 81, was ten years old when U.S. serviceman Steve Sattler came across him, emaciated and terrified at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

After handing over his rations to the boy during the 1945 liberation, Sattler then gave the ten-year-old his handkerchief decorated with the Stars and Stripes.

Never forgotten: Stephan Ross (pictured in striped jacket) hugs family of soldier Steven Sattler who liberated him from Dachau concentration camp, 67 years ago. Left, a picture of the late Mr SattlerStephan Ross (pictured in striped jacket) hugs family of soldier Steven Sattler who liberated him from Dachau  concentration camp, 67 years ago. Left, a picture of the late Mr Sattler
Poignant memento: Stephan Ross, dressed in a uniform like one he was forced to wear in the Nazi camps, kisses the handkerchief-flag that was given to him by an American soldier in 1945Stephan Ross, dressed in a uniform like one he was forced to wear in the Nazi camps, kisses the handkerchief-flag that was given to him by an American soldier in 1945

On Veteran’s Day this Sunday, Mr Ross had the opportunity for the first time to thank the family of the man who rescued him.

He hugged the children and grandchildren of Mr Sattler during the emotional meeting at the State House in Boston. Mr Ross wore a striped jacket and hat, like the camp uniform, along with his identification number.

The 81-year-old gave Mr Sattler’s family a boxed flag, saying: ‘God Bless, America’.

After the War, Steve Sattler had returned to live quietly on his farm in Unionville, Michigan, according to the Boston  Globe. The father-of-six and Purple Heart recipient passed away in 1986 at the age of 70.

Mr Ross, who now lives in Newton, Massachusetts, had spent the War in ten different concentration camps.

Loving tribute: The children of soldier Steve Sattler (l-r) Gwen Allanson, Stephanie Sattler and James Sattler meet Stephan Ross to show him a picture of their late father after he gave them an American flagThe children of soldier Steve Sattler  (l-r) Gwen Allanson, Stephanie Sattler and James Sattler meet Stephan Ross to  show him a picture of their late father after he gave them an American flag
Symbolic gesture: Mr Ross's son and Boston City Councillor Michael Ross holds up the flag his father received from an American soldier at Dachau concentration camp in Germany almost seven decades ago Mr Ross’s son and Boston City Councilor Michael Ross holds up the flag his father received from an American  soldier at Dachau concentration camp in Germany almost seven decades ago

Ever since being liberated by the Allies on  April 29, 1945, Mr Ross had always  wondered what had happened to the soldier  who had shown him kindness.

GATEWAY TO EVIL: THE ATROCITY OF  DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP

The concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich  in Germany, was founded in 1933 by Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler.

The first prisoners were mainly political opponents of the Nazi regime along with Gypsies and homosexuals.

The camp was expanded under horrific working conditions by prisoners – and operated until the fall of the fascist regime in 1945. Thousands of prisoners were worked to death.

With the increased persecution of the Jews,  the number of prisoners at the camp increased in the late Thirties.

It was the original model for all concentration camps – divided into barracks, workshops and areas where medical experiments took place and the crematorium. However it is believed that rather than gas chambers, the Nazis used this area as a firing range and gallows for most prisoners.

Those who were deemed too sick or old to work were sent to Hartheim in Austria where they faced the gas chambers. Thousands of prisoners from Dachau died in this way.

Hundreds of prisoners died or were left disabled during horrific medical experiments at Dachau which included malaria, hypothermia and tuberculosis trials, new medications and methods to stop excessive bleeding.

More than 188,000 prisoners passed through the heavy gates of Dachau in its 12-year history. Although 28,000 were known to have died, there were many, many more victims who have never been accounted for.

The octogenarian, who came to the U.S. as an orphan in 1948, even went on TV show Unsolved Mysteries in the hope of finding the man.

In August this year, he received a phone call  from a woman named Brenda Clark – Mr Sattler’s grand-daughter – who said Mr  Ross’s story resembled one she had been told.

Mr Sattler had spoken little about his time during the liberation of Dachau.

However he did once tell his daughter Gwen Allanson that he had given food and ‘something else’ to a young boy at the German concentration camp.

Mr Sattler did not say what he had given the boy, only that he ‘hoped it helped him’.

After the families compared details of Mr Sattler’s service with Mr Ross’s memories, the personal histories matched up.

Mr Ross, a retired psychologist, told the Globe: ‘I recalled thinking: ”If this is true, there is some God in this world.”’

He shared his stories of being held in a Nazi prison camp which left him starved and beaten within an inch of his life.

Mr Ross lost his entire family in the Holocaust apart from one brother.

Sattler was a member of the 191st Tank Battalion who were part of the troops who liberated Dachau, about ten miles northwest of Munich in southern Germany.

The U.S. forces who breached the gates of Dachau in April, 1945 were faced with thousands of starving prisoners, many near death. The soldiers also came across the gruesome discovery of 30 railroad cars piled high with bodies.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Idols Must be Destroyed

The Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza are now the  target of a radical Salafist jihadist leader.

Murgan Salem al-Gohary, 50, an Islamist  leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, told Egyptian media that the  historical landmarks are ‘idolatrous’ and must be destroyed.

The threats are being taken seriously as ten years ago Gohary helped smash a pair of giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan.

Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm said Gohary is a jihadist leader with  links to the Taliban, reported the Jerusalem Post.

‘The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must  be destroyed. Muslims are  tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and  removing these idols,  just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the  Buddha statues,’  Gohary said in a Saturday night television interview,  according to  al-Masry al-Youm.

His comments came a day after thousands of Islamists gathered in Tahrir Square to call for the strict application of Sharia law in the new constitution.

He is issuing the same call as supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar did in 2001 when he issued an edict against un-Islamic graven images, which means all idolatrous images of  humans and animals.

Marked: The Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza are now the target of a radical Salafist jihadist leader. The Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza are now the target of a radical Salafist jihadist leader

As a result, the Taliban destroyed all ancient sculptures, using explosives, tanks, and anti-aircraft weapons blew apart a pair of giant Buddhas in Bamiyan Province, 230 kilometers (150 miles) from the capital of Kabul.

‘He was sentenced twice, one of the two sentences being life imprisonment. He subsequently fled Egypt to Afghanistan, where he was badly injured in the American  invasion.

‘In 2007, he traveled from Pakistan to  Syria, which then handed him over to Egypt. After Mubarak’s fall in early 2011, he was released from prison by a judicial ruling,’ the  newspaper added.

Destruction: His threats are being taken seriously as ten years ago Gohary helped smash a pair of giant Buddha statues in AfghanistanDestruction: His threats are being taken seriously as  ten years ago Gohary helped smash a pair of giant Buddha statues in  Afghanistan
Missing: A general view of the alcoves where giant Buddha statues once stood in Bamiyan in 2001Missing: A general view of the alcoves where giant  Buddha statues once stood in Bamiyan in 2001
Sue: The tourism board Ihab el-Badry told Egyptian daily al-Ahram that the group planned to sue President Mohamed Morsi for ¿lack of response¿ to Gohary¿s threats 
The tourism board Ihab el-Badry told Egyptian daily  al-Ahram that the group planned to sue President Mohamed Morsi for ‘lack of  response’ to Gohary’s threats

The Great Sphinx outside Cairo, which has the  head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion, was built soon after the first pyramid – around 4,500 years ago.

Close to the Sphinx are the three  pyramids of Giza, the largest of which is known as the Great Pyramid and is one of the  Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The pyramids are a source of national income and they bring tourists to Egypt so the Egyptian Interior Ministry source said officials are taking the threats seriously.

According to al-Masry al-Youm, authorities have taken the ‘taken the necessary  precautions to prevent violations of the law or any abuses of  anything in the public domain or archaeological treasures including the  pyramids.’

Egypt’s Coalition to Support Tourism are now worried that his threats will deter tourists from visiting the landmarks.

CST leader Ihab el-Badry told Egyptian  daily  al-Ahram that the group planned to sue President Mohamed Morsi and other government leaders for their ‘lack of response’ to Gohary’s threats.

The country has already suffered a decrease in tourism – last year sombre pictures  showed rows of empty seats at the Light and Sound Show, below the  historic pyramids in Cairo.

Only a year earlier the show had been fully-booked every night.

Dozens of tourists cooed as they watched the landmarks change to shades of purple, green, red and blue among others. Vast beams of light were shot into the air by high-tech  lasers.

Egypt had been on the verge of its own economic revolution, with booming tourism and impressive developments of apartments, offices and flats around the country.

But this revolution went no further. In its place were the scenes of violence and mass protest in Tahrir Square in February which became known as the  ‘Arab Spring’.

Affect: Egypt¿s Coalition to Support Tourism are now worried that his threats will deter tourists from visiting the landmarks - since the Arab Spring tourism has fallen Affect: Egypts Coalition to Support Tourism are now  worried that his threats will deter tourists from visiting the landmarks – since  the Arab Spring tourism has fallen

In Saudi Arabia the ancient Islamic holy landmarks of Mecca and Medina are under threat.

According to media reports, £690million worth of construction work is beginning on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Madinah, where the Prophet Mohammed is buried.

Under the proposed plans the site will be developed to include a mosque with a capacity for 1.6 million worshippers.

The house of one of Mohammed’s wives has already been destroyed to make space for public toilets.

The city of Medina, Islam’s second holiest place is under threat as there is now a plan to pull down three 7th-century mosques.

The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates  that 95 per cent of Mecca’s millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone.

Attribution: Jill Reilly

Muslims / Jews Go for Obama

CAIR survey shows similar political preference to American Jews, 69% of whom voted to reelect the president.

More than 85 percent of Muslim voters in the United States voted for US President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, according to a poll by the  Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The number  represents a small drop-off from 2008, in which Obama won 89% of the Muslim vote. Of the 650 American Muslim voters in CAIR’s informal survey, only 4% said that they voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Similarly, Jewish support for Obama slipped somewhat in the 2012 presidential race but still far surpassed that earned by Romney.

According to exit polls, 69% of Jews cast their ballot for the Democratic candidate as compared to 78% in 2008. Some 30% went for Republican Mitt Romney, up from 22% for the party’s candidate in the last presidential race.

The exit polls were conducted by a national consortium and generally include samples of 400-500 Jewish voters in their national survey.

Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein said the drop in the Jewish vote – of about 5% – is consistent with the drop in support for Obama overall among other key constituencies such as Catholics and white voters. Nationally, Obama’s popular support dropped from 53% of the vote to 50%.

I understand why 85% of American Muslims voted for Obama. How in the world could almost 70% of Jews?

This country is more confusing every year. The people of Pennsylvania and Ohio, coal producing states, vote to reelect the man that had vowed to destroy their industry and now this.

How could any Jew that has even a passing kinship with Israel vote for a man with such close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that vows the destruction of Israel?

I guess that’s a retorical question because, as I’ve been saying for years, a liberal is a liberal first and whatever else they claim to be, a distant second.

Attribution: Jerusalem Post, Hilary Leila Krieger