Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Declares Presidential Election Win As Ruling Military Council Issues New Rules Limiting Presidential Powers
We’ve seen a couple of seismic events this week in Egypt. The military dissolved the Islamist parliament just two days before Egypt’s historic presidential election, and now that an Islamist has apparently been “elected” they’ve decided to limit presidential powers. It’s quite obvious that the ruling military council is seeking to somehow curtail the rise of Sharia Law and the call for an Israeli confrontation at the last minute, but considering the freight train of Islamism that, up until now, has plowed ahead virtually unfettered, it may already be too late to put this genie back in its proverbial bottle. If there is chaos in Cairo, listen for the echoes of Isaiah 19 in the distance …
Isaiah 19:2-3a, “‘I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian–brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing …’”
Morsi ‘is the first civilian, popularly elected Egyptian president,’ the group says on its website.
The declaration was based on returns the Brotherhood reported from 95 percent of the more than 13,000 polling stations nationwide. The returns showed Morsi with 52 percent of the vote, his opponent former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq with 48 percent. A million votes separated the two, which a Brotherhood spokesman said the remaining votes could not overcome the difference for Shafiq.
The figures were from results announced by election officials at individual counting centers, where each campaign has representatives who compile the numbers and make them public before the formal announcement. The Brotherhood’s early, partial counts proved generally accurate in last month’s first round vote.
The final official result is to be announced by Thursday.” Source – Seattlepi.com.
Egypt: Military Generals Issue New Rules Limiting Presidential Powers – “(Reuters) – Egypt’s Islamists claimed a narrow lead on Monday in vote-counting for the presidential election but the generals who have run the country since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak issued new rules that made clear real power remains with the army. A decree from the ruling military council, published as the count got under way on Sunday, spelled out only limited powers for the new head of state and reclaimed for itself the lawmaking prerogatives held by the Islamist-led parliament which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved last week. Liberal and Islamist opponents denounced a ‘military coup’.” Read more.
By Associated Press – “HOUSTON — The deaths of more than 120 dolphins off the Texas coast has prompted a federal agency to declare the event ‘unusual’ and launch an investigation into whether they were related to a drought-related algae bloom or a more widespread mortality event that has plagued the northern Gulf of Mexico for two years.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has called the stranding of 123 dolphins on Texas shores from November through March an ‘unusual mortality event,’ an official federal listing that allows the agency to access additional funds and set up a team of researchers.
All but four of the dolphins that washed up in Texas were dead, and the few that turned up alive died a short time later, said Blair Mase, the southeast marine mammal stranding network coordinator for NOAA Fisheries. What alarmed scientists though, was the age of the bottle-nosed dolphins that washed up — juveniles rather than the very young or elderly that normally would be found — and the fact that Texas had a years-worth of dead dolphins turn up in a five-month period.
The cause, however, may not be known for months, if at all, Mase said.
‘That’s what’s a little frustrating about this. It’s not like you see on TV, on CSI, you don’t get the answers quickly,’ she said. ‘It can take months and sometimes years.’” Read more.
Flashback: Gulf of Mexico: Thousands of Dolphins Dying in Massive Die-Off, Symptoms Consistent With Those Seen in Animals Exposed to Oil – “The dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico are in the midst of a massive die-off. The reasons why remain a complicated and mysterious mix of oil, bacteria and the unknown. Normally an average of 74 dolphins are stranded on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico each year, especially during the spring birthing season. But between February 2010 and April 1, 2012, 714 dolphins and other cetaceans have been reported as washed up on the coast from the Louisiana/Texas border through Franklin County, Fla., reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Ninety-five percent of the mammals were dead. Since many of the dead dolphins sink, decompose or are eaten by scavengers before washing up, NOAA believes that 714 may represent only a fraction of the actual death count.” Read more.
Japan: Extremely High Levels Of Radiation Found Inside Reactor 2 Housing, TEPCO Can’t Find Source Of Leak
NHK – “Workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant seem to come across new problems and new challenges every day at the damaged nuclear facility. Their latest find: extremely high levels of radiation inside the building that houses reactor 2. Tokyo Electric Power Company engineers sent a robot into the building Wednesday to take video and measure radiation. TEPCO’s spokespersons say instruments detected a reading of 880 mSv/hr on the fifth floor. The area is 4.5 meters above the reactor containment vessel. TEPCO analysts suspect radioactive substances that leaked from reactor 2 moved through the location. But the images and data taken by the robot haven’t helped them find the exact route the contaminants travelled…”
Tokyo Professor: Deformities in cedar trees may be from Fukushima radiation — Sex abnormalities, malformed branches – “Mori explains that some branches bear only male flowers while others bear only female flowers. But what he found in the cedar tree in Hitachinaka City was asymmetrical, malformed branches with both male and female flowers… Professor Mori suspects that the growing point of the cedar tree was irradiated, and that resulted in the developmental anomalies you see in these photos. He says more samples are needed to definitely conclude the anomalies are the result of irradiation.” Read more.
Fukushima Diary – “Following up this article..A few tens of tones sardines washed up on fishing port in Chiba
10 thousand sardines were found dead on the beach in Minami shitaura machi Miura city Kanagawa as well.
Public Interest Incorporated Foundation staff reported it to the city government around at 15:00 6/14/2012.
Probably it’s been a few days since they were washed up.
From the result of simple water quality testing, nothing abnormal was found. Prefectural government is going to investigate more.
Staff talks there is a possibility that the sardines were chased after large predators from offshore, but a farmer near this area talks he hasn’t seen such a thing before.” Source – Fukushima Diary.
By Avi Issacharoff and Gili Cohen – “Israeli security officials say that the rockets that landed on Friday in the area near Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to these officials, the rockets were launched from the Sinai Peninsula by a Bedouin unit, according to Hamas orders, even though Hamas itself wasn’t the initiator of the launching, but responded to the request of the Brotherhood, who wanted such an event on the eve of the second round of presidential elections in Egypt. It is yet unclear why the Brotherhood requested such an unusual action, a first military strike against Israel, or whether the strike was aimed at specific sites in the area.
So far, the Muslim Brotherhood leaders have presented a moderate stance towards Israel in their talks with the international community, stressing that they had to intention of annulling the peace accords, a position reiterated by presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi. Still, in the buildup to the elections, Brotherhood speakers have been known to speak fiercely against Israel. In one gathering, in the beginning of May at El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Brotherhood leaders promised, in the presence of Morsi, that the object of the Brotherhood is to liberate Jerusalem. The main speaker at that gathering, Sifwat Hijazi, said that Morsi would liberate Jerusalem and that the Brotherhood’s dream was the creation of the ‘united Arab nations,’ with Jerusalem as its capital. ‘Our capital won’t be Mecca or Medina, but Jerusalem, millions of shahids will march on the city’ shouted Hijazi, ‘the whole world should know – and we say it clearly – our goal is Jerusalem, we shall pray in Jerusalem, and if not – we shall die as martyrs on its ruins.’” Read more.
At least two rockets fired into southern Israel on Saturday – “Remnants of a grad rocket were found Saturday morning in Ovda, north of Eilat in the southern Negev. No one was wounded by the rocket, nor was any damage caused. Security forces began scanning the area after an explosion was heard on Friday night. Initial investigations indicate that the rocket had a diameter of 122 millimeters. The incident was particularly unordinary, for this was the first time a rocket had ever been fired toward this area. The source of the rocket is unknown thus far, but investigations are taking place to inspect whether it was launched from the direction of Jordan or from the Sinai Peninsula.” Read more.
Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Holds Venomous Anti-Israel Rally, Vows to ‘One Day Kill All Jews’ – “Arab hate: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to ‘one day kill all Jews.’ Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the ‘battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization.’ The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations’ partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state… Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the ‘Zionist occupiers’ and the ‘treacherous Jews.’” Read more.
Flashback: ‘Egypt will never be the friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity which we consider as the first enemy of Egypt’ – “It’s amazing what ‘freedom’ has brought to Egypt. Rejecting $1 billion in US aid would almost be laughable, if the possible implications were not so serious. Last month the Muslim Brotherhood had apparently come to the conclusion that it was Halal to extort the United States by threatening, for all intents and purposes, to wage war against Israel if America cut off aid to Egypt. Now they’re threatening to reject it all together, and all this while making it loud and clear that Egypt will ‘never be the friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity’, even moving to halt all gas exports to ‘the first enemy of Egypt’. It almost seems to me like the Islamists are itching for that war after all.” Read more.
“Allah” — the alleged creator of all things in Islam — creating food with crosses, not to mention “Zionist” snowflakes? Oh, the humanity! I wonder how they feel about the fact that the universe itself exists as a “Trinity” of time, space and matter, which are themselves comprised of past-present-future, length-width-depth, and solid-liquid-gas? Will they begin forbidding any discussion about the nature of the universe due to the fact that it was created as “Trinities within a Trinity”? …
A Salafist group called the Popular Egyptian Islamic Association has come under fire after sending out a warning on Facebook urging its followers not to eat tomatoes because the vegetable (or fruit) is a Christian food.
The group posted a photo on its page of a tomato – which appears to reveal the shape of a cross after being cut in half – along with the message: ‘Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).
[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.” Read more.
Maybe someone should remind these Islamists that Facebook was a Jewish creation. Perhaps they’ll then ban Facebook, eliminating another way of spreading this nonsensical drivel …
Flashback: Egyptian Sheikh: Chevrolet’s Logo Resembles Christian Cross, Issues Fatwa Forbidding Muslims from Buying or Driving Chevys – “A Salafi sheikh in Egypt has reportedly issued a fatwa that buying [or driving] a Chevrolet vehicle is haram because the American brand’s logo looks like the Christian cross. In the video below, prominent Egyptian TV presenter Amr Adeeb takes the sheikh’s joke-of-a-fatwa to task, saying, ‘We’ve reached a really strange place with this.’ ‘The car’s been around [for a century] and only now did you notice there’s a cross on the car?’” Read more.
Flashback: Islamist Group Bans Samosas After Deciding They’re Too ‘Christian’ – “Apparently triangles are not halal in Somalia. These exceptionally deep-thinking Islamists would rather see children starve to death than see them eat a three-sided snack food. It might remind somebody of the Trinity. Finally, I understand my addiction to Doritos. And thank goodness it never snows in Somalia, otherwise Jack Handey bin Laden would have to issue a fatwa against Jack Frost bin Chillin, and we’d never enjoy a White Christmas ever again …” Read more.
Flashback: Saudi Arabia May Ban Letter ‘X’ Because of Similarity to a Christian Cross – “A group of Islamic clergy in Saudi Arabia has condemned the letter ‘X’ because of its similarity to a hated banned symbol – the cross. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which has the ultimate say in all legal, civil and governance matters in the kingdom, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the ‘X.’ It came in response to a Ministry of Trade query about whether a Saudi businessman could be granted trademark protection for a new service with the English name ‘Explorer.’” Read more.
Nigeria: At Least 21 Killed After Islamists Bomb Three Churches In Zaria And Kaduna, ‘Christians Are Our Enemy’
By GODWIN ATTAH, Associated Press – “Three suicide bomb attacks on churches rocked a northern Nigerian state Sunday, killing at least 21 people and wounding about 100, officials said, prompting protests in a state that has previously been strained by religious tensions.
The first two blasts occurred within minutes of each other and targeted two churches in the city of Zaria, said Kaduna State police chief Mohammed Abubakar Jinjiri. A third blast hit a church in the city of Kaduna about half an hour later, Jinjiri said.
An official working for a relief agency involved in rescue efforts said Sunday evening that 21 people had been killed and that at least 100 people were wounded in Sunday’s blasts. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he said he wasn’t authorized to speak to journalists.
Earlier in the day, Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo said the Zaria attacks killed the bomber and at least one other person and left 51 wounded. The Kaduna attack claimed 10 more lives, he said, and wounded 29 people.
Jinjiri said security at the three churches prevented the suicide bombers from ramming explosive-laden cars into the buildings filled with worshippers.
‘If not for security, there would have been (many) more casualties,’ Jinjiri said.
Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria. The situation has led churches in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north to boost their security in a nation of more than 160 million people almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians.” Read more.
Boko Haram: Our Goal is to Eliminate Followers of Christ – “Terrorist organisation Boko Haram has issued a statement making clear that its goal is to eliminate followers of Christ from Nigeria and establish an Islamic state. ‘The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state,’ Boko Haram stated in no uncertain terms in the statement published by the Osun Defender on Thursday. ‘We are responsible for the suicide attack on a church in Jos and also another attack on another church in Biu,’ a spokesman for the group, Abul Qaqa, is said to have told reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri over the phone.” Read more.
RT – “Israeli authorities are prepared to completely evacuate Tel Aviv in the event of a missile attack, especially one deploying ‘unconventional’ warheads, a commander heading the country’s central region has said.
Fears within Israel of a military backlash amid threats of a unilateral strike against Iran over the country’s uranium enrichment program seem to be coming to a head.
Today, ‘every civilian is threatened in Israel,’ Colonel Adam Zusman, chief of the Home Front Command in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area, told AFP.
‘In case of a missile attack on the center of Israel, especially unconventional, the population from Tel Aviv and other cities will be evacuated and relocated in other areas of the country,’ he warned.
‘Massive evacuations will take place in case of unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed by a missile,’ Zusman continued.
The colonel echoed past claims that the country is under continual regional threats from Iran and its allies, specifically the Lebanese-based Hezbollah and a Gaza Strip under Hamas control.
However, Zusman made no mention of the fact that any Iranian attack against Israel would likely be retaliatory, as the country’s Prime Minister Netanyahu warned ‘the threat of a nuclear Iran must be turned aside.’
Netanyahu further intonated that such a strike ‘is not days or weeks away, but neither is it years away.’
Zusman said that despite the fact that Israel touts the Iron Dome rocket shield – the ‘most sophisticated’ anti-aircraft system in the world – no system could provide total protection.” Read more. Tip of the hat to Kurt J. for the link …
Missile attacks could force mass evacuation of Tel Aviv to the desert of southern Israel – “The officer did not say to where the roughly two million inhabitants of the Dan region’s core towns of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Petakh Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bein Brak, Herzliya, Or Yehuda, Givat Shmuel and Kiryat Ono, would be evacuated. debkafile’s military sources estimate they will be relocated in the southern mostly desert Negev region. The outer Gush Dan ring includes some 3 million people… ‘In the next war, nobody will be able to drink a coffee in Dizengoff,’ he said, referring to a popular street in downtown Tel Aviv. ‘Israeli civilians will have to face the threat. Today, every civilian is threatened in Israel.’” Read more.
Contagion: How Shock Waves Will Hit US If Greece Drops Euro, ‘The Unthinkable Suddenly Looks Possible’
Bankers, governments and investors are preparing for Greece to stop using the euro as its currency, a move that could spread turmoil throughout the global financial system.
The worst case envisions governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.
A Greek election on Sunday will determine whether it happens. Syriza, a party opposed to the restrictions placed on Greece in exchange for a bailout from European neighbors, could do well.
If Syriza gains power and rejects the terms of the bailout, Greece could lose its lifeline, default on its debt and decide that it must print its own currency, the drachma, to stay afloat.
No one is sure how that would work because there is no mechanism in the European Union charter for a country leaving the euro. In the meantime, banks and investors have sketched out the ripple effects.
They think the path of a full-blown crisis would start in Greece, quickly move to the rest of Europe and then hit the U.S. Stocks and oil would plunge, the euro would sink against the U.S. dollar, and big banks would suffer losses on complex trades…
Here’s where things get scary.
The European Central Bank and European Union would have to persuade investors in government bonds that they will keep Portugal, Spain and Italy from following Greece out the door. Otherwise, borrowing costs for those countries would shoot higher.
The main way European leaders have tried to calm bond markets is by lending to weaker governments from two bailout funds. Experts say these two funds, designed as a financial firewall to stop the crisis from spreading, need more firepower.
Much of the (EURO)248 billion ($310 billion) left in one of them, the European Financial Stability Facility, was pledged by the same countries that may wind up needing it, Vamvakidis says.
There’s also a (EURO)500 billion European Stability Mechanism that’s supposed to be up and running next month, but Germany has yet to sign off on it.
‘If they fail to reassure bond investors, all of the nightmare scenarios come into play,’ says Robert Shapiro, a former U.S. undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration.
The biggest danger is a fast-spreading crisis known in financial circles as contagion – a term borrowed from medicine and familiar to anyone who has watched a disaster movie about killer viruses on the loose.
‘It’s like a disease that spreads on contact,’ says Mark Blythe, professor of international political economy at Brown University.” Read more.