Experts Warn: World is Being Driven Towards the ‘Unthinkable Scenario of Untreatable Infections’ as Resistant Infections Spread Throughout Europe
By JEREMY LAURANCE – “The world is being driven towards the ‘unthinkable scenario of untreatable infections’, experts are warning, because of the growth of superbugs resistant to all antibiotics and the dwindling interest in developing new drugs to combat them.
Reports are increasing across Europe of patients with infections that are nearly impossible to treat. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) said yesterday that in some countries up to 50 per cent of cases of blood poisoning caused by one bug – K. pneumoniae, a common cause of urinary and respiratory conditions – were resistant to carbapenems, the most powerful class of antibiotics.
Across Europe, the percentage of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae has doubled from 7 per cent to 15 per cent. The ECDC said it is ‘particularly worrying’ because carbapenems are the last-line antibiotics for treatment of multi-drug-resistant infections.
Marc Sprenger, the director, said: ‘The situation is critical. We need to declare a war against these bacteria.'” Read more.
“Sixty percent of people arrested for Islamic terrorist activities between January 2009 and April 2011 were American citizens, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The study of 104 people who were arrested included U.S. and non-U.S. citizens living in America or abroad.
The report, ‘Analyzing the Islamic Extremist Phenomenon in the United States: A Study of Recent Activity,’ was authored by Joan Neuhaus Schaan, fellow in homeland security at the Baker Institute. Jessica Phillips, an intern with the Baker Institute’s homeland security and terrorism program, provided research support for the study.
Using data from international and U.S. news reports, general Internet media, public records and official court documents, the researchers set out in November 2010 to analyze information on the status of Islamic extremism in the United States. They also looked at some of the unanswered questions raised by U.S. Rep. Peter King’s Committee on Homeland Security hearing, ‘The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response.’ King, R-N.Y., and chair of the committee, held the hearing March 10, 2011.
‘Providing policymakers this data can allow for a factual discussion and diminish rhetoric,’ Neuhaus Schaan said. ‘Consequently, policy can be crafted to address current and future needs in the face of change and adaptation by those determined to bring harm to the United States.’
Other key findings from the report include:
- Of the 104 people arrested for Islamic extremist activities between January 2009 and April 2011, half were born in the U.S., 22 percent were naturalized citizens and 7 percent were dual citizens.
- Of the 104, 5 percent entered the U.S. on a visa.
- Sixty-three percent of converts had a known prior criminal record.
- Of the 14 American converts with a prior criminal history, at least 55 percent had converted to Islam in prison.
- Ninety-two 92 percent were male.
- Sixty-four percent were 30 years old or younger.
- Sixty-six percent had traveled or were in the process of traveling to the Middle East, Somalia, South Asia or the Balkans.
- Of the 104, 70 percent had an association or were attempting an association with an internationally recognized terrorist organization; al-Qaida and its associated branches were cited most.
- Of the 29 persons with no known association to a group, 11 had been active on terrorist-related chat rooms and websites.
- Overall, 38 percent had been involved in this Internet activity.
- Only 10 of the 104 are what the authors would consider ‘lone wolves'; most in the cohort had ties to others in the group or to an organization.
Information on birthplaces and conversion to Islam was available for 77 of the 104 people arrested. The data revealed that 60 percent of the group was born outside the U.S. Of the 31 U.S.-born persons where religion of origin could be determined , 14 were born into Muslim families and 17 converted to Islam.
‘The Internet and prison conversion are the two biggest new trends that policymakers need to look at more closely,’ Neuhaus Schaan said. ‘We’ve seen a major change in how people become associated with extremist groups in the past 20 years, and we need to adapt.’
The report concludes that approximately two-thirds of those involved in extremist activity are men under the age of 34, and no single, all-encompassing profile can be made of the analysis group of 104. Neuhaus Schaan said that the Baker Institute will continue to compile data and issue an updated report annually.” Source – Eurekalert.org
Iran: Officials Using Beatings and Solitary Confinement to Pressure Christian Pastor to Convert to Islam and Renounce Christ
Dear Lord, give our brother the strength to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to stand firm in the faith …
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
By Michael Carl – “Beatings and solitary confinement are two of the tools being used by Iranian officials to pressure a Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani condemned for blasphemy to recant his faith, according to reports.
Iran has planned to execute Nadarkhani, but he remains alive because of the international furor created by the Islamic republic’s plan to destroy a man who says he never was a Muslim.
Compass Direct says the Church of Iran pastor who has been on death row since his blasphemy conviction in September 2010 “is in deteriorating health,” according to a member of Nadarkhani’s denomination, who requested anonymity.
Compass also reported this week that the information is sketchy because communication is very limited.
Aidan Clay, International Christian Concern’s Middle East specialist, says Nadarkhani is enduring harsh treatment.
‘Recent reports indicate that Pastor Youcef has been struck by authorities during frequent interrogations and has been placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time,’ Clay said.
Clay said Nadarkhani is also under continual pressure to recant his Christian faith.
‘He has also reportedly been given materials aimed at discrediting the Bible and affirming Islam. The renunciation of faith is the only ground by which the court hopes to release Pastor Youcef,’ Clay said.
Nadarkhani was sentenced to death after a Rasht, Iran, court declared him guilty of ‘leaving Islam,’ in spite of the fact that Nadarkhani says he was never a Muslim.
However, Colorado journalist Jack Minor reported last week that a high-ranking Muslim cleric says that Nadarkhani’s claims of never following Islam are not enough.
Minor points out that Islam teaches that everyone on earth is born a Muslim.
‘On page 28, in the introduction of a copy of the Quran, printed by Ansariyan Publications in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the translator, M.H. Shakir in the section ‘Islam and Muslims’ states, ‘In fact, every child that is born is a Muslim. It is the parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Hindu,” Minor said.
‘Based on this teaching, even if Nadarkhani had never visited a mosque a day in his life he is still considered a Muslim. Therefore, when he accepted Christ as his savior and became a Christian he left the Muslim faith whether he knew it or not,’ Minor also reported.
Clay said the pastor’s faith is holding firm.” Read more.
“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!!” Oh …
By Christopher Stephen – “Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) — Libyan gunmen broke into the Saif al-Nasr mosque in Tripoli early on Nov. 8, smashed open a wooden sarcophagus and removed the remains of Saif al-Nasr, a scholar who died 155 years ago, and a former imam, Hammad Zwai.
‘These bodies have been moved to a Muslim cemetery,’ announced graffiti on the walls, explaining the disapproval by some Islamists of the Sufi Muslim tradition of burying scholars and teachers in mosques to honor them.
Muslims pushing for a strict intepretation of Islamic law are jostling for power in the chaos that has gripped Libya since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi, the third North African leader after those in Egypt and Tunisia to fall in the Arab Spring.
Last month protesters holding signs proclaiming ‘We Are Here to Purify the Honor of Tripoli’ forced the early closure of the capital’s first fashion show since Qaddafi’s 42-year rule in Tripoli ended in August.
‘I was scared; I wiped off my makeup and went home,’ said Jasmin Abdul Aziz, a 22-year-old student who was one of five models at the event and once paraded a $5,000 dress studded with diamonds in a Qaddafi-era fashion show. ‘Before, we would wear shorts in the streets. Now, look around you, nobody does.'” Read more.
Flashback: Al-Qaeda Plants Its Flag in Libya, ‘Whomever Speaks Ill of This Flag, We Will Cut Off His Tongue’ – “It was here at the courthouse in Benghazi where the first spark of the Libyan revolution ignited. It’s the symbolic seat of the revolution; post-Gaddafi Libya’s equivalent of Egypt’s Tahrir Square. And it was here, in the tumultuous months of civil war, that the ragtag rebel forces established their provisional government and primitive, yet effective, media center from which to tell foreign journalists about their ‘fight for freedom.’ But according to multiple eyewitnesses—myself included—one can now see both the Libyan rebel flag and the flag of al Qaeda fluttering atop Benghazi’s courthouse.” Read more.
Flashback: US Intelligence Report Says Libyan Jihadists Planning to Subvert Post-Gadhafi Gov’t and Create an Islamist State – “Jihadists among the Libyan rebels revealed plans last week on the Internet to subvert the post-Moammar Gadhafi government and create an Islamist state, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed ‘strategizing’ on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.” Read more.
By Jonathan Mitchell – “The Islamist politician likely to become Tunisia’s first democratically elected prime minister has alarmed liberals and secularists by claiming the arrival of the ‘sixth caliphate’, a controversial term for a Muslim empire.
Hamadi Jebeli, secretary-general of Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party which romped to victory in last month’s elections, told a rally in the city of Sousse: ‘My brothers, you are at a historic moment in a new cycle of civilisation, God willing. We are in sixth caliphate, God willing.’
Party officials, who have spent months insisting they wanted to pursue secular democratic politics rather than an international Islamist agenda, were forced on the defensive after his comments were posted on the internet.
But they may have scuppered the party’s hopes of forging a broad-based coalition. The left-of-centre secular Ettakatol, which came third in the vote, suspended talks with Ennahda over forming a government.
‘We thought we were going to build a second republic with our partner – not a sixth caliphate,’ Khemais Ksila, a senior member, said.
Mr Jebeli was imprisoned under the dictatorship of Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali for his Islamist beliefs. But since the country’s revolution in January, the party has argued it wants to work within a democratic political system along western lines.
The stance was enough to see them win 40 per cent of seats in parliament, more even than their supporters expected. But opponents say their moderate public statements hide a more radical agenda …” Read more.
Tunisia’s Islamist party showing signs of radical shift – “Many Tunisians loathed Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship for its unchecked corruption and allergy to genuine democracy, but his toppled regime once stood out as an Arab state with a progressive approach to gender equality. Souad Abdelrahim, the sole female member of Ennahda not to wear a headscarf, last week sparked concern that the party might seek to curb women’s rights. She said single mothers were ‘inconceivable in an Arab Muslim state’ and added ‘they must marry’ in order to attain full rights… Ben Younes, who runs a Tunisian foreign policy journal, recalled Ennahda’s efforts to reassure moderates after the election, notably targeting potential investors and womens’ rights groups. ‘The more they reassure us, the more they worry us,’ he said.” Read more.
Flashback: Muslim Brotherhood Leader of Tunisia Calls for an End to Israel – “Arab media has reported an interview with Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi in which he calls for and predicts the end of Israel… Ghannouchi maintains that altogether the Arab revolutions are positive for the Palestinians, and threaten to bring Israel to an end. He says that the Palestinian problem lies at the heart of the Nation [umma], and that all the land between the mosque in Mecca and Jerusalem represents the heart of the Islamic Nation…” Read more.
Pakistan: Christian Pastor Previously Threatened by Muslim Fundamentalists is Ambushed and Killed After Coming Home From Prayer Service
By Jibran Khan – “Karachi (AsiaNews) – Rev Jameel Sawan, from Quetta, was gunned down in Karachi in what appears to be an ambush. The Protestant clergyman was a close aide to Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, president of the Sindh branch of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) as well as a Sindh provincial lawmaker who sat in the assembly’s standing committee for minorities.
Both men had received death threats because of their fight for minority rights and support for the policies undertaken by Shahbaz Bhatti. Pakistan’s late Minorities minister who was slain on 2 March.
Despite the threats, the authorities and law enforcement had failed to provide the two men with protection and a police escort. Now investigators have to determine whether the murder was motivated by religion or personal disputes.
Yesterday, Rev Sawan was coming home from a prayer service. He was stopped by three armed men in the town of Aziz. After talking to him, they opened fire killing him on the spot.” Read more.