Few of us were alive when the Persians disappeared and instead became Iranians all in a single day. In 1935, Reza Shah asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the historical name of the country before the Greek conquest where the name Persia was born. Surprisingly, the word chosen to represent the master race was chosen carefully by the Nazis and they found their new name from a nation of great age and lineage but not in use by that nation from where it originated. This master race predecessor had all the necessary requirements, it was the name of one of the oldest and most stable of empires and apparently they disappeared from history so the Nazis grabbed their name and used it as their term of the master race, the Aryan race. The former owners of this name when they fell before Alexander the Great, were renamed by…
View original post 2,397 more words
It seems that pretty much everything is going wrong for Sweden’s Foreign Minister these days.
Margot Wallström, of the Social Democratic Party, ascended with much fanfare to the post of Foreign Minister in the fall of 2014. She had introduced a completely new concept: a feminist foreign policy. In the Statement of Foreign Policy of 2015, she asserted that “A feminist foreign policy is now being formulated, the purpose of which is to combat discrimination against women, improve conditions for women and contribute to peace and development.”
One year later, we now know the outcome: “Feminist foreign policy” is not so much about protecting women’s interests, as it is about fawning over the Arab states and the Palestinians — and constantly attacking Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
Zvi Mazel, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden from 2002-2004, wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on December 14, that,
“The Swedish Social Democratic Party is not known for its sympathy toward Israel. Its current duo of leaders, however, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, have gone overboard and are waging a systematic campaign against Israel… Although the recognition of a Palestinian state was a continuation of the Swedish left’s hostile policy toward Israel, it was also aimed at the country’s large Muslim minority — comprising about 700,000 people — with the aim of attracting Muslim voters to the party in the next elections. During my diplomatic tenure in Sweden in the early 2000s, all my efforts to conduct a dialogue with that party fell on deaf ears. … the two countries’ relations have turned into a cycle of altercations.”
The Better Stay in Europe campaign only wants to paint gloomy and false pictures of the complexities of Brexit. They have nothing positive to say about belonging to the EU. Out of the EU we will be free to make our own laws and spend our own tax revenues as we see fit.
The Leave campaign does not want the UK to seek a Norway style deal, as we see no need to pay any money into the EU once we have left. Canada, Australia, Mexico trade well with the EU without having to pay for the privilege.
Once the voters have chosen to leave, there are two options. The UK could invoke Article 50 under the Treaties and enter a negotiation lasting up to two years — or more — to decide which agreements we wish to keep and what we wish to change. That would be playing the EU’s game and may take longer than is desirable.
The UK could simply amend the 1972 European Communities Act to make clear that as from the Exit vote all EU laws and rules in the UK depended on the authority of Parliament and no longer derive from the Treaties or the European Court. All present laws and rules would continue for the time being.
Armed with that change the UK would then be able to negotiate which agreements and rules need to remain to facilitate our trade and economic relations with the EU, and which can be amended or repealed if the UK wishes.
A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
I’ve been an actress since age 13. You might be familiar with me from the TV show Neighbours, or from my current role on the CW’s Reign. But after a recent run-in with a crooked magazine editor, you might be familiar with me instead as an attention-seeking, hysterical lady human who endlessly cheapens feminism by having the lunatic opinions that our bodies are beautiful and worth celebrating—and also, simultaneously, believing that my body is my own.
Earlier this year, I launched a website called Herself.com. Herself is a safe space for women of varying backgrounds, body types and belief systems to amplify their concerns, wishes, dreams, complaints and woes—a platform dedicated to expanding the scope of visible female experience and of visible female bodies. The courageous, luminescent women you will find there are nude, shot by female photographers. In showing us their bodies on mutually-agreed-upon terms, they have given all of us an immense gift; as they appear there, they are both impossibly vulnerable and utterly indestructible. Even, I, myself, appear on the website too, completely naked. (Burn her!
)Given these facts, it may or may not surprise you to hear that, when an Australian magazine called The Good Weekend asked me to appear in lingerie to accompany a piece on me, I declined.
David Cameron had European Council president Donald Tusk around for dinner at Downing Street last night as part of his renegotiation charm offensive. Did it work? Downing Street is quietly delighted with Tusk for conceding that migration levels in the UK were enough to be considered an “emergency”, we report this morning, with a source declaring it “very significant” as it means a brake “will definitely happen”. This would pave the way for Cameron to get the power to ban migrants from claiming benefits for four years as part of a deal he could put to voters in a June referendum, but he told Tusk the deal was “not good enough”, so a further 24 hours of talks will now be held before the EU’s final offer to the UK is agreed. Oddly enough, No. 10 spinners may be happiest with the focus on this apparent stalemate, with the Times splashing on the PM’s “24 hours to reach a deal with Europe”. A diplomatic deadlock heightens the drama, the logic goes, helping any eventual Cameron victory look far more significant.
This eleventh-hour row may well seem like it could scupper the Prime Minister’s chances of a swift deal and referendum, but it currently conforms to the model Eurosceptics have been predicting – with a deal snatched from the jaws of defeat. Any “choreographed” row (as Andrew Lansley once suggested) would make any eventual compromise look all the greater. However, good stagecraft won’t ensure Britons vote to Remain, as the last time the government trumpeted an EU victory – claiming to have halved a £1.7bn Brussels charge – it was savaged by the Treasury Select Committee. Each twist and turn of the Prime Minister’s referendum gambit has gripped the Westminster village, but most voters aren’t paying attention yet. The Office for Budget Responsibility has already dismissed the idea of a migrant benefits ban, saying it will do “not much” to curb EU migration flows, so what will matter is how successful voters believe the Prime Minister has been with any deal he inevitably gets. Remainers want voters to see the current renegotiation row as an epic struggle, while Leavers hope it will be seen as mere playfighting.
David Cameron is counting on Conservative MPs to help him present as much of a united front as possible, hoping as many Eurosceptics (like Mark Pritchard in the Sunday Times or Nick Herbert) will publicly back him and urge Britons to vote to Remain. The newer generation is being civil, with nearly all of the 74 Tory MPs elected last year signing a letter pledging not to attack the Prime Minister’s renegotiation. There may be as few as two 2015 MPs who haven’t signed the letter, I’m told, not because they want to cause trouble, but they resent the idea of being “gagged”. A new survey of Tory backbenchers by Ipsos Mori for the UK in a Changing Europe initiative gives us further insight into how supportive the party is feeling of Cameron’s renegotiation, suggesting that nearly 70 MPs have already decided to vote to leave, and 200 more could back Brexit if his deal is lacklustre. “But while Mr Cameron may end up taking many of his parliamentary colleagues with him in the referendum, any victory will be far from permanent,” Philip Cowley and Tim Bale write in today’s paper. “Judging by our results at least, Planet Tory will always be emotionally, as well as ideologically, deeply Eurosceptic.”
“There is now a proposal on the table. It is not good enough, it needs more work but we are making progress”
Boris Savages RMT Dinosaurs
Boris Johnson has written in today’s paper after the RMT union cancelled one bout of strike action, but is pressing ahead with two further days this month. “Everyone sensible” has condemned it, he writes, except for Labour candidate Sadiq Khan. “There is a huge risk that London is about to lurch backwards to the Jurassic age, ruled by saurian socialists such as Livingstone and Corbyn,” he warns. “Don’t let it happen. Back Zac and crack on with modernising the greatest city on earth.”
Trump Tops The Poll
Donald Trump will be the winner of Monday’s Iowa caucus, validating his months long dominance of the US presidential election, according to an authoritative poll. Mr Trump has 28 per cent of the vote according to the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll – considered the most authoritative poll of the Iowa election – giving him a five point edge over Ted Cruz, his nearest rival. Meanwhile, Cruz seemed to be struggling to impress his own daughter, with the cameras catching him shouting “Ow, ow, ow!” as he tries to embrace her.
Farewell Sir Terry
Britain and Ireland are in mourning at the death of “national treasure” Sir Terry Wogan, who has lost a short battle with cancer aged 77. Leading figures in showbusiness and politics joined forces to pay tribute to the much-loved star, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying he was “someone millions came to feel was their own special friend”.
Don’t Forget The Vow
Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron have been urged not to abandon Scotland’s new powers “at the eleventh hour” ahead of talks between their governments today aimed at rescuing the package from the brink of collapse. Scottish Labour said neither side should leave the negotiating table in London until a deal is done because the powers in the Scotland Bill, including control over income tax and a wide range of benefits, are “too important”
Britain and other European countries should have no border controls, John McDonnell has suggested as he predicted there will be total free movement across the world one day. This forced Yvette Cooper, the former shadow home secretary, to publicly voice her opposition to the comments, saying that border checks were necessary. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s call to reconsider the Falkland Islands’ sovereignty was rubbished by shadow business secretary Angela Eagle, who said that it had been “settled” a generation ago.
Cherie Takes On George
Cherie Blair QC has launched a legal battle against the Government’s flagship policy to increase taxes on buy-to-let investments, claiming it breaches landlords’ human rights. In a letter sent to HMRC and seen by The Daily Telegraph, Mrs Blair’s law firm Omnia Strategy sets out the legal grounds on which it hopes to quash the controversial tax in court. A successful challenge to the tax would be hugely embarrassing to George Osborne – even if it were not being spearheaded by Mrs Blair.
Universities Defend Record
Elite universities defended their record on equality and said poor schooling was partly to blame for a lack of black students after David Cameron vowed new laws to “shame” them into admitting more ethnic minorities. The Prime Minister warned educational institutions, the police, the military and the courts they were all the focus of a new effort to tackle social inequality, suggesting it might be fuelled by “ingrained, institutional and insidious” racism.
Google’s £130 million tax deal was not a “glorious moment”, Sajid Javid has said as he claimed people were right to feel a “sense of unfairness” about how big companies behave. In a marked difference in tone from George Osborne, the Business Secretary repeatedly refused to match the Chancellor’s claim that the deal was a “major success” during a television appearance.
Yentob Blasted By MPs
BBC executives will today be condemned for failing to stop Alan Yentob “deliberately intimidating” the Corporation over the collapse of Kids Company by a cross-party committee of MPs. Mr Yentob’s behaviour when allegations surfaced about the charity, where he was chair of trustees, raises questions about conflict of interest at the BBC, a report says.