Sweden Surrenders to Saudi Arabia

The Swedish Prime Minister added that Sweden has no intention of ever criticizing Islam. As is customary, Expressen refrained from asking the PM if his comments should be taken as an indication that Sweden would stop criticizing such Islamic practices as torturing bloggers, executing infidels and oppressing women.

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Turkey’s “Muslim God”

Turkey is probably one of the best social laboratories in the world to prove why Islamist ideology cannot be compatible with a culture of humor, dissent and protest. It also offers a unique experience that shows how Islamists can even violate one of their religion’s most fundamental teachings for the sake of worshipping a leader’s cult personality.

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

The Scottish Nationalist Party has marked the launch of its manifesto today by warning Ed Miliband that it would block defence spending and paralyse Britain’s armed forces if he attempts to renew the Trident nuclear defence system, in a scary message we have splashed on today: “SNP’s ransom note to Miliband”. “We will hold UK defence to ransom, SNP warns,” the Times goes for.

This comes after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said that the SNP would be in a “very, very strong position” with Ed Miliband in power. The Conservatives have piled in, with David Cameron confessing he is “frightened” by the prospect of a Labour government propped up by the SNP. Writing in today’s Telegraph, Boris Johnson warns that Miliband will elevate the SNP to “a position of effective dominance”, adding: “You wouldn’t get Herod to run a baby farm”. Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister, will also speak about the threat posed by the SNP on Tuesday. Tony Blair garnered lots of attention for his recent speech about the EU, so the Tories hope deploying their own elder statesman should be as effective.

As manifesto launches go, the SNP could be about to throw petrol onto a fire the Tories want to keep burning. Ed Miliband has so far ruled out a coalition with the SNP, leaving the door open to looser deals to get their support on key issues. Other Labour figures have made this clear. Angela Eagle said that Labour will speak to “any party” to “try and build a majority”, while Andy Burnham told Good Morning Britain today that the party “would talk to people”.

The Scottish Nationalists are set to win more than 50 seats. The biggest risk to their success is voters fearing what they would do if they got anywhere near power, as rival parties paint Sturgeon as someone who – like Heath Ledger’s Joker – “wants to watch the world burn”. Nicola Sturgeon has already tried to reassure voters, saying that her MPs would back a Labour Queen’s Speech, and then seek to “change the direction” of his government on an issue-by-issue basis, “without bringing that government down”.

Tory HQ believes talk of post-election deals is an effective message, with “Labour-SNP stitch up” threatening to replace “long-term-economic-plan” as their catchphrase. Labour is trying desperately to move the conversation onto something they prefer, like the NHS, as they prepare to kick off a campaign “health week”. Ed Miliband’s party feel this is fertile territory, but they will need to take health professionals with them, as a recent survey by GP magazine found that 28% of GPs are planning to vote Conservative, compared to 13% for Labour. Post-election deals or the NHS, both parties will claim success depending on what you think about more.

MAKING YOUR MIND UP

Not sure who to vote for yet? Some 7.5 million eligible citizens have until midnight tonight to register to vote in May’s election, Matthew Holehouse reports. As the Daily Mirror’s front page says: “Your country needs you… to vote”. Once you’ve done that – you can use the quick and easy Vote Match app to help you find the party that best matches your views. The results may surprise you…

ED MAKES 25 WOMEN VERY HAPPY

The Labour leader was surrounded by 25 screaming hens after his entourage parked outside their hotel in Knutsford, Matthew Holehouse reports. He was spotted after one of the group stepped outside for a cigarette. Within minutes, the party had left the hotel demanding a glimpse of the leader.  Also, Mary Riddell has been looking at what Ed Miliband is really like.

THE BLAME GAME BEGINS

Nigel Farage has blamed “fanatical” David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy for the drowning of hundreds of migrants off Italy, saying the exodus was “directly caused” by western intervention in the civil war in Libya. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said he will raise the question of how the European Union responds to the recent spate of drownings in the Mediterranean when foreign ministers meet today. Read more here. Meanwhile, Dan Hodges argues that Farage and Ukip are “fading away without a fight”.

BEYOND THE (HADRIAN’S) WALL

David Cameron will vow to prevent England, Wales and Northern Ireland from losing out unfairly as a result of Scottish devolution by introducing an annual report detailing the impact of Scottish government decisions on the rest of the UK. In a move that is likely to be seen as an attempt to be the champion of English interests, the Tory leader will say the review will set out “what action is needed to make sure there is no detriment to the rest of the UK”. The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour has more.

THANKS, BUT NO BANKS

Two of Britain’s major banks have rejected overtures from the Conservative party to back Tory policies ahead of the election, as lenders try to stay out of the limelight in the run up to next month’s vote, James Titcomb reports. Sources at the banks, two of the biggest lenders in the country, said they had been approached with a view to endorsing the Conservatives’ policy on allowing paid leave for volunteering, but declined to back the proposal.

NICK’LL TEACH THEM A LESSON

Nick Clegg has hit out at his coalition partner sfor “wilfully taking an axe to our vital public services” and warned that their plans “will hit teachers and schools hard”. The Liberal Democrat leade will make this attack as he unveils a new five-point plan for parents and teachers about his own party’s education policies. Politics Home’s Josh May has more.

TAXING TROUBLES

Ed Miliband’s mansion tax will force more than 120,000 homeowners will have to get their properties revalued at a cost of up to £4,800 each, a new analysis has found. New research by Savills, the estate agents, homeowners will have to spend a total of £110 million valuing their properties or face fines of thousands of pounds. Steven Swinford has more. Meanwhile, Ed Balls has left the door open to increasing corporation tax if Labour wins the election, Matthew Holehouse reports.

TELL LLOYD

Millions of people will be able to buy shares in Lloyds Bank, under a dramatic Conservative plan to launch a “Tell Sid”-style mass privatisation of the bailed-out banking firm, Tim Ross reports. David Cameron is promising to order the sale of billions of pounds of Lloyds shares to the public within a year, at a discount of at least 5 per cent, if the Tories win the election on May 7.

ONLY TIME WILL TELL…

Lord Archer, the former Conservative deputy chairman and novelist, has been speaking to Peter Stanford about David Cameron’s campaign blunders, where the party’s election strategy is coming unstuck – and how to fix it. “What I am still waiting for,” he muses, “is one of those moments that change the whole election campaign.”

ED DOES DO GOD

Ed Miliband set out to woo Christian voters signalling he would consider new measures to protect their right to express their beliefs in the workplace after a series of controversial cases, John Bingham reports. The Labour leader also pledged to work closely with faith schools and said religious groups running community projects should not face suspicion from councils and government bodies over their motives.

Iran marks Army Day with cries of ‘Death to Israel, US’

Iran on Saturday marked Army Day with a military parade featuring new weapons systems, as well as a truck carrying a massive banner reading “Death to Israel.”

A televised broadcast of the parade was punctuated by repeated cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

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Why Palestinians in Yarmouk Are Unlucky

For Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders, the desire to punish Israel is stronger than the will to save the lives of thousands of Palestinians being killed in Syria by the Islamic State and starved by the Syrian army, which has been besieging Yarmouk for 700 days.

Instead of devoting their energies and efforts to stop the massacres in Yarmouk, PA officials were busy preparing a new draft resolution to be submitted to the UN Security Council, establishing a timeline for ending Israeli “occupation.”

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UK: Sharia Courts Abusing Muslim Women

Muslim women across Britain are being systematically oppressed, abused and discriminated against by Sharia law courts that treat women as second-class citizens, according to a new report, which warns against the spiraling proliferation of Islamic tribunals in the United Kingdom.

The 40-page report, “A Parallel World: Confronting the Abuse of Many Muslim Women in Britain Today,” was authored by Baroness Caroline Cox, a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords and one of the leading defenders of women’s rights in the UK.

“I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this and the situation is worse here than in the country I escaped from.” — Muslim woman interviewed for the report.

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Bizarre Green bigotry against Israel

Britain’s Green Party, led by the hapless Natalie Bennett, is pretty much a stereotypical ragbag of tree-huggers at the nice and squishy end of the spectrum and hard-line Lefist ideologues at the other end who never really recovered from the fall of the Berlin Wall and departed from traditional Left-wing politics on the grounds that it had sold out to capitalism.

With the latter strand of Green thinking in mind — and it is there that one finds the most influential voices in the party — no surprise then that the Greens have emerged as the party with the most bigoted approach to Israel among all those vying for representation at the general election in two and a half weeks time.

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