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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Michael's Morning 7 - 4 June

North Korea is launching missiles, Iran is building nukes, Saudi Arabia is sponsoring hate that translates into worldwide terrorism, Sudan is still massacring and raping, China is busy ethnic cleansing Tibet into a Chinese province… but the Obama Administration is furious, yes “furious” at only one country, Israel. What did Israel do? Well it’s building a hotel in Jerusalem. Washington is furious over the Interior Ministry’s anticipated approval of a plan to build a new hotel in East Jerusalem, just 100 meters from the Old City’s walls. In conversations with Israeli officials, senior American officials have made it clear that they want Israel to freeze all plans for expanding the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, and especially in the Holy Basin - the area adjacent to the Old City. The Muslim world can build nukes (Iran), commit genocide (Sudan), occupy anyplace they want including the territory of a NATO ally (Turkey), and Obama will come hat in hand to them, bearing apologies and huge aid packages. In only six months, the Obama Administration has already become the most Anti-Israel administration since the reign of “Apartheid” Jimmy Carter. In an NPR interview Obama described his administration’s Anti-Israel trajectory as “Being Honest”, which apparently makes Israel-Bashing, the New Honesty. “Palestine” is nothing more than an instrument for destroying Israel. It’s what the PLO was created for. It’s what Iran keeps funding Hamas for. The mythical Palestinian nationalism has as much to do with it, as Afghani nationalism has to do with the Taliban. They are both projections of a much larger Islamist agenda.

A couple of days ago, President Barack Obama conducted a few interviews in anticipation of his upcoming speech to Muslims. In one of the interviews, he made a statement about the religious make-up of the United States of America. Here’s how the New York Times wrote it up: Mr. Obama noted that the United States also could be considered as “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” There are all sorts of interesting things about his statement, none of which seem to be explored by the mainstream media. Let’s go to the numbers. You can see the results from the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey to the right. Muslims account for 0.6% of the U.S. population. While some groups say there are millions more, Pew’s results would mean there are fewer than 2 million Muslims in the country. How does Obama make such an outrageous comment and not get called on it? The mainstream media is busy covering other important Obama angles, but this is seriously getting out of hand.

With just days to go before Lebanon's general election, mudslinging is at a peak as candidates trade insults touching on religion, corruption and even each other's personal lives. One candidate calling an opponent "a thief" on national television and another accusing a contender of spying for Israel, all is fair game in the battle pitting a Western-backed faction against a Hezbollah-led alliance supported by Iran and Syria. One audio-recording broadcast on television has an official badmouthing the country's Armenian community, whose main political bloc has decided to support Hezbollah's faction during the election. "F--- the Armenians," the official is overheard saying in the recording. "What do they have to do with us?" Candidate Nayla Tueni, 26, was in the hot seat this week after a rumour that she had converted to Islam spread like wildfire. Tueni, a Greek Orthodox who is seeking to fill the seat left by her slain father Gebran Tueni, was forced to go on air to refute the allegation, even displaying a document showing she had not renounced her faith. Religion plays a key role on all levels in Lebanon and the country's top government positions and the 128 seats in parliament are allocated along confessional lines.

The foreign ministers of NATO countries and Russia will meet in Corfu, Greece, on June 27, the first high-level talks since last August's war between Russia and Georgia, after which NATO froze contacts with Moscow. Russia and NATO had planned to hold the meeting in May, but Moscow delayed it after the bloc expelled two Russian diplomats over a spying scandal. Moscow also criticized the NATO-led military exercises in Georgia last month as a sign of support for the Caucasus state's warmongering policies. The meeting will take place ahead of a session of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the Greek island. NATO and Russia have recently taken measures to step up cooperation on international security, including cargo supplies to Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden.

A well-preserved skeleton of a mammoth that is believed to be about one million years old has been unearthed in eastern Serbia, archaeologists said Thursday. The discovery was made during excavation two days ago at an open-pit coal mine near Kostolac power plant. The skeleton was found 27 meters (89 feet) below ground, he said. The mammoth was more than 4 meters (13 feet) high, 5 meters (16 feet) long and weighed more than 10 tons. Experts will continue research to find out more about the environment it lived in. Another mammoth skeleton, from a much later period, was discovered at a factory in Serbia in 1996 and was named Kika.

Time spent on Facebook has increased 700% in the last year from 1.7 billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009 in the US. According to research recently conducted by Nielsen Online, this makes Facebook the number one social networking site in the US for May.
It marks an 84% percent year on year rise in the popularity of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Social media is undoubtedly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the online world. Today it seems that the question is no longer will it survive but rather which websites will be the preferred medium to navigate different types of content. The top ten social networking websites in the US for the month of April were Facebook (12 872 640 minutes), MySpace (4 974 919 000 minutes), Google’s Blogger (582 683 000 minutes), (327 871 000 minutes), (299 836 000 minutes), My YearBook (268 565 000 minutes), Live Journal (204 121 000 minutes), LinkedIn (202 407 000 minutes, SlashKey (187 687 000 minutes) and Gaia Online (143 909 000 minutes).

The Hallmark Channel will air "The Other Holy Land" on June 7, at 7:00 A.M. ET/PT. Filmed on location in Turkey, "The Other Holy Land" integrates art and history in its exploration of the roots of both Christianity and the Greek Orthodox Church. Interviews from notable historians and theologians are featured. The program was funded by the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, The Aegean Free Trade Zone and Odyssey Networks. "The Other Holy Land" will be available for viewing online Monday, June 8 at Odyssey Networks is the nation's largest coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups dedicated to producing and distributing media that promotes tolerance and addresses issues of social justice.