“SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — At least two tornadoes left at least four people dead, caused numerous injuries and damage Wednesday in this western Massachusetts city, scattering debris, toppling trees and frightening workers and residents before racing east.
Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and the National Guard called up about 1,000 troops, NBC News reported.
Scott MacLeod, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, confirmed the four deaths Wednesday night but said there were no details about the circumstances.
He said two people died in Westfield, one in West Springfield and one in the town of Brimfield.” Read more.
By Patrick Goodenough – “(CNSNews.com) – A group of radical clerics in Pakistan wants the country’s Supreme Court to declare certain passages in the Bible blasphemous – because they depict as flawed certain biblical characters whom Muslims regard as Islamic prophets.
If the court fails to do so, they said, then lawyers will submit an application for the Bible to be formally banned in Pakistan.
The campaign, announced by the clerics at a Lahore mosque and reported Tuesday in the Karachi daily The News and the Urdu-language Roznama Islam, is the latest attempt by radicals to use the country’s blasphemy laws to shield Islam from perceived insults.” Read more.
Dutch Prosecution Asks Court to Find Wilders Not Guilty of Inciting Hatred; Updated with Wilders’ Final Remarks at Amsterdam Trial
If Dutch prosecutors in the Geert Wilders trial can actually employ a bit of sound logic and reason, let’s hope that the judges sitting on the case also feel inspired to do the same. After all, who are the ones here that really need to be tried for inciting hatred? Brave souls like Geert Wilders who speak the truth about the global Jihadi nature of radical Islam (and who was subsequently banned from entering the UK for saying out loud what millions of people were already thinking), or those who spew hatred behind a cloak of ‘religion’ and call for Geert Wilder’s beheading (yet are still permitted entry)?
Update June 23, 2011: ‘A Victory for Freedom of Speech’: Dutch Populist Geert Wilders Acquitted of ‘Hate’ Speech – “Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders was acquitted of inciting hatred of Muslims in a court ruling on Thursday that may strengthen his political influence and exacerbate tensions over immigration policy. The case was seen by some as a test of free speech in a country which has a long tradition of tolerance and blunt talk, but where opposition to immigration, particularly from Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries, is on the rise.” Read more.
“The public prosecution department on Wednesday called for PVV leader Gert Wilders to be found not guilty of inciting hatred, as it tied up its case against the MP.
Prosecutors say Wilders’ remarks are critical of Islam which is not the same as inciting hatred against muslims themselves.
Earlier in the day the prosecutors said Wilders’ should be found not guilty of insulting a group because he has not stated any conclusions about muslims. Instead he has merely criticised their religion, the prosecutors said.
The decision to call on judges to find Wilders not guilty follows on from fact the department did not want to take the PVV leader to court in the first place.
However, it was forced to do so by the appeal court following protests from a number of ethnic minority groups.
The final charge against Wilders, incitement to discrimination, will be discussed later today.” Source – DutchNews.nl.
Update June 1, 2011: Geert Wilders Final Remarks at The Amsterdam Trial – English Subtitles
European Food Outbreak Soars, Mystery Deepens; 17 Now Dead and 1500+ Infected by Deadly Strain of E. Coli
By DAVID RISING and MARIA CHENG – “BERLIN (AP) — The number of people hit by a massive European outbreak of foodborne bacterial infections is one third higher than previously known and a stunningly high number of patients suffer from a potentially deadly complication than can shut down their kidneys, officials said Wednesday.
The death toll rose to 17, with German authorities reporting that an 84-year-old woman with the complication had died on Sunday.
Medical authorities appeared no closer to discovering either the source of the infection or the mystery at the heart of the outbreak: why the unusual strain of the E. coli bacteria appears to be causing so many cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, which attacks the kidneys and can cause seizures, strokes and comas.
‘This particular strain we’re dealing with now seems to be unique,’ said Dr. Hilde Kruse, program manager for food safety at WHO Europe:
Germany’s national health agency said 1,534 people in the country had been infected by EHEC, a particularly deadly strain of the common bacteria found in the digestive systems of cows, humans and other mammals. The Robert Koch Institute had reported 1,169 a day earlier.” Read more.
By Inti Landauro – “PARIS -(Dow Jones)- France’s worst drought on record is set to weigh heavily on its wheat harvest, French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday, and that could further increase global wheat prices.
According to a report released by French government weather agency Meteo France, this spring has been both the warmest and the driest on record, with a higher average temperature and less rain than in 1976, which had the most severe drought since the agency began compiling the data.
The impact of the damage will depend on the weather in the coming weeks. A hot summer would make things worse and lead to an even lower yield from the wheat crop, while rain could improve the situation. Overall, some damage to France’s wheat crop is already unavoidable, Le Maire said.
‘It is impossible to know the loss of yield now, but we already know there will be a loss,’ Le Maire told reporters.
France is Western’s Europe’s largest producer of soft wheat: a low-protein variety used to make pastries and snack foods. It also can be used as a feed for animals, and already prices have been rising as the drought in France and parts of Germany has left farmland parched. About half of France is under water rationing, facing restrictions on watering gardens, filling private swimming pools and washing cars.” Read more.
22-Page Criminal Complaint with the FBI Charges Obama Birth Record ‘Forged’; Kenyan National Intelligence Service Claims Obama Born in Kenya
By Jerome R. Corsi – “An international expert on scanners and document-imaging software filed a 22-page criminal complaint with the FBI, charging that the long-form birth certificate released by the White House is criminally fraudulent.
‘What the Obama administration released is a PDF image that they are trying to pass off as a Certificate of Live Birth Long Form printed on green security paper by the Hawaiian Health Department,’ Doug Vogt writes, ‘but this form is a created forgery.’
Vogt’s criminal complaint asserts: ‘I have irrefutably proven that the Certificate of Live Birth that President Obama presented to the world on April 27, 2011, is a fraudulently created document put together using the Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator programs, and the creation of this forgery of a public document constitutes a class B felony in Hawaii and multiple violations under U.S. Code section Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, Sec.1028, and therefore an impeachable offense.’
When the Obama birth certificate ‘forgery’ comes to the public’s attention, Vogt continues, ‘It will surpass the all previous scandals including the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration.’” Read more.
Expert: Obama doc is ‘proof’ – of fraud – “Paul Irey, a retired professional typographer with 50 years experience in his business, says an analysis of the typefaces used in the Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate that the White House released on April 27 reveals it absolutely to be a forgery. ‘My analysis proves beyond a doubt that it would be impossible for the different letters that appear in the Obama birth certificate to have been typed by one typewriter,’ Irey told WND. ‘Typewriters in 1961 could not change the size and shape of a letter on the fly like that,” he said. “This document is definitely a forgery.’” Read more.
Kenyan National Intelligence Service Claims Obama Born in Kenya:
50 Year Typography Expert Claims ‘Irrefutable’ proof of Obama forgery
A Nightmare On: Wall Street Baffled by Slowing Economy, Low Yields; ‘We Are on the Verge of a Great, Great Depression’
By: Margo D. Beller – “Wall Street is having a hard time figuring out what to do now that the U.S. economy appears to be sputtering and yields are so low, Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer, told CNBC.
‘What we’ve got right now is almost near panic going on with money managers and people who are responsible for money,’ he said. ‘They can not find a yield and you just don’t want to be putting your money into commodities or things that are punts that might work out or they might not depending on what happens with the economy.
‘We need to find real yield and real returns on these assets. You see bad data, you see Treasurys rally, you see all bonds and all fixed-income rally and then the people who are betting against the U.S. economy start getting bearish on stocks. That’s a huge mistake.’
Stocks extended losses after the manufacturing fell below expectations in May and the private sector added only 38,000 jobs during the month.
‘Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything,’ Yastrow said. ‘We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it.’” Read more.
Horror for US Economy as Data Falls off Cliff – “The last month has been a horror show for the U.S. economy, with economic data falling off a cliff, according to Mike Riddell, a fund manager at M&G Investments in London. ‘It seems that almost every bit of data about the health of the US economy has disappointed expectations recently,’ said Riddell, in a note sent to CNBC on Wednesday.” Read more.
The first eclipse will be an unusual ‘midnight’ partial solar eclipse that begins on June 2, but ends the previous day on June 1 after crossing the International Date Line. It will first be visible early morning in Siberia and northern China, then from Scandinavia and Russia around midnight, advancing across the Arctic and ending early evening in northeastern Canada on June 1.
Next, the midway total lunar eclipse will happen on June 15. It will appear when the moon rises in South America and Europe, and will be visible in Africa, the Middle East and southwestern Asia, as well as eastern Asia and Australia when its sets. It will not be visible in North America.” Read more.
“CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez mocked U.S. concerns about Venezuela’s ties with Iran on Tuesday, joking that while his adversaries worry about Iranian-made missiles lining his country’s coast his government is actually erecting windmills there.
The socialist leader at first said missiles could be launched at Washington and other U.S. cities, then held up a photograph of windmills along the South American country’s coast, saying ‘here they are.’
‘They are pointing directly at Washington,’ Chavez joked during a meeting with top government officials that was broadcast on state television.
Chavez — an outspoken critic of Washington’s foreign policy — has previously poked fun at fears over Venezuela’s increasingly close relationship with Iran, saying that in a joint bicycle factory the two countries are building the ‘atomic bicycle.’” Read more.