October 31, 2014

Classic Cartoon The Groovie Goolies Show! This Is One Of My All-Time Favorite Childhood Cartoons Enjoy! HAPPY HALLOWEEN HAVE FUN, BE SAFE!


Written by Dolores Faye Thorn

T'was Halloween night and all through the house
Creatures were stirring, bugs, cats, and a mouse
The pumpkins were carved into faces with care
In hopes that a candle would soon be placed there
With ma in her apron fixing platters of sweets
We'd settled our brains for a long night of treats
When out on the lawn there arose such a roar
I sprang to my feet and ran to the door
And what to my wandering eyes should appear
But a red deviled monster with a big yellow spear
Like a bat from a cave I ran - still he came
I thought I'd escaped but he called out my name
Mr. Thorn - Mr. Thorn - please don't be afraid
It's me, little Jimmy in this masquerade
The moon on the lawn glowed a bright orange cast
And I thought I saw witches on brooms flying past
White sheet like things floated, they looked just like ghosts
But the skeleton with bones clacking, it scared me the most
Someone looked like a vampire his face a ghastly pale hue
I finally realized it was Harry all covered with glue
That kid like a spider so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it was my neighbor's son Nick
One sweet little princess, so lovely was she -
Whatever was she doing in this strange company?
When all of the goblins pulled mask from there head
I knew that this night there was nothing to dread
Then this strange purple monster greeted me
and I said, "Who are you?"
He gave me no answer just hollered Boooooooooo….
And putting a finger aside one large eye
He got in his space ship and flew to the sky
I knew I had never seen anything like that before
I watched him in wonder quickly shutting my door
But I heard him exclaim ere he flew out of sight
Happy Halloween to all - and have a real spooky night!

Cute Halloween Jokes ;)

Ghost Ghosts Haunted House smiley smilie smileys smilies icon icons emoticon emoticons animated animation animations gif gifs Happy Halloween Pictures, Images and Photos

Q. What do you call a witch who lives at the beach?
A. A sand-witch.

Q. Where does a ghost go on Saturday night?
A. Anywhere where he can boo-gie.

Q. What did the skeleton say to the vampire?
A. You suck.

Q. Why did the ghost go into the bar?
A. For the Boos.

Q. What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?
A. He is mist.

Q. Why did the Vampire read the Wall Street Journal?
A. He heard it had great circulation.

Q. What are ghosts' favorite kind of streets?
A. Dead ends.

Q. What kind of makeup do ghosts wear?
A. Mas-scare-a.

Q. What happens when two vampires meet?
A. It was love at first bite!

Q. Why did the skeleton go disco dancing?
A. To see the boogy man.

Q: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
A: He had no guts.

Q. How did the ghost say goodbye to the vampire?
A. So long sucker!

Q. Where do vampires keep their money?
A: The blood bank!!!

Q. Why does a cemetery have to keep a fence around it?
A. Because people are dying to get in.

Happy Halloween Everyone! I Hope You Have A SPOOKTACULAR Fun Halloween Night And Please Be Safe... What's Really Scary Is These Cartoons I've Used For The Past 5 Years, Still Apply TODAY!


October 30, 2014

INDONESIA: Jakarta International School: Teachers, Staff At Posh Private School Allegedly Raped Children As Young As Five

Inquistr News
written by Staff
Sunday October 26, 2014

For decades, wealthy expatriates in Indonesia have been sending their children to Jakarta International School, a tony prep school catering to English-speaking kids from preschool age through high school.

In March of this year, the parents of one of those kids made a shocking allegation. Their child had been having nightmares, according to The Independent, screaming “Please don’t hurt me, please let me go!” while he slept. A medical examination revealed wounds on his stomach and anus. He finally admitted to his parents that the school’s janitor had repeatedly raped him in the school’s bathroom.

What happened next shocked the parents. School officials asked the parents to keep their allegations quiet and to not tell other parents or the police.

The young victim’s parents did not keep quiet, however. Instead, they conferred with other parents, who eventually came forward with allegations that their children had been physically and sexually abused by school staff as well.
“They were anal rapes, plus physical abuse and hurting until he can’t scream any more, then raping him.”
Eventually, six Indonesian janitors would be arrested and charged with sexual abuse. One of the men died in prison, which authorities claimed was a suicide. Four of the men confessed, but later recanted their confessions, saying they were tortured into confessing.

But the allegations of sexual abuse at Jakarta International School did not stop with the cleaning crew. An investigation by The Independent revealed that teachers were in on the sexual abuse, as well, and the kindergarten principal allegedly videotaped some of the sexual assaults.

Caught up in the sexual assault allegations is Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman, who has been held without charges in an Indonesian jail since July 10, according to the Calgary Herald. Bantleman has vehemently denied the sexual assault allegations, and his brother, Guy Bantleman, has been trying to convince the Canadian government to intervene on Neil’s behalf.
“By no means do I expect the Canadian government to interfere with the legal process of an independent country, but I would request the Canadian Government issue a statement simply stating that a Canadian citizen has been held for 100 days and the Canadian government urges Indonesian officials to produce the evidence that justifies his continued detention, or release him.”
The Jakarta International School’s current headmaster, Mr. Tim Carr, has repeatedly denied that the allegations of sexual assault at his school extend beyond the jailed cleaning staff.

Sydney Morning Herald
written by Michael Bachelard
Wednesday October 29, 2014

Two teachers from the prestigious Jakarta International School, who have spent 108 days without charge in police detention over child sex allegations, were told on Wednesday that they would face trial in an Indonesian court.

Canadian school administrator Neil Bantleman and Indonesian teachers' aide Ferdinant Tjiong are likely to now be moved to the high security Cipinang detention centre in central Jakarta to await a trial over allegations of rape against three pre-school boys at the school.

The school and the men's supporters had hoped the case would not move to this stage because they believe the evidence against them is thin and unconvincing.

However, on Wednesday, the head of Jakarta prosecutor's office, Adi Toegarisman, said the dossier had been completed by police and handed up, so "now the suspects are the responsibility of the prosecutors' office".

The mother of one of the alleged victims said on hearing the news: "Good, good, good; of course I'm happy".

"Based on the evidence, of course I will win. But I cannot say that because I'm not the judge," the mother said.

But the school's head, Timothy Carr, said the decision was a "profound disappointment as we are unaware of any viable evidence and we therefore believe these charges to be baseless".

The school would "vigorously defend the innocence of these fine educators," he said.

Mr Bantleman's wife, Tracy, said she was "utterly shocked, frustrated, extremely angry".

"We have a justice system that is exhibiting extreme carelessness with these two men … It's an absolute disgrace to justice and human rights," Mrs Bantleman said.

She said her husband had not been interviewed by police since he underwent a lie detector test on July 23, and no details of the allegations have ever been put to him.

She feared for the safety of her husband and Mr Ferdy in Cipinang prison, in which 2156 mainly Indonesian prisoners, from alleged murderers to drug addicts and gangsters, are held as they are tried.

The Canadian embassy has told Mrs Bantleman the men's safety is its highest priority.

The school's three founding embassies, including the Australian embassy, weighed in on July 14 when the men were first taken into custody to say they were "deeply concerned" at the detention of the teachers.

The evidence in the case includes four medical examinations of one of the boys and testimony of the alleged victims. Two of the medical reports found no abnormalities and the third, which included an anal examination, found some internal inflammation, pus and lesions, but did not identify a cause.

The fourth report was conducted at the police hospital and has not been released. The boy's mother claims it backs the rape allegation.

Three of the same medical reports have also been used in the case of five contract cleaners currently on trial for allegedly raping the same boy. However, after initially confessing, the cleaners have now recanted and are denying any wrongdoing, saying they confessed under police torture. Another cleaner died during questioning, which police explained as a suicide.

The other evidence — the boys' testimony — includes allegations from one that he was raped multiple times during the school day in an open, heavily populated administration block with glass walls which teachers call "the aquarium".

Among his allegations are that there was a secret underground dungeon somewhere at the school, and that Mr Bantleman, who was known as "the boss" clicked his fingers during one attack and reached up to pluck a "magic stone" out of the sky to insert in the boy's rectum to anaesthetise him before the rape.

Other allegations include a female principal videotaping the attack and supplying a light blue drink to drug the boy.

The boys had never been taught by the teachers, and had identified them by pointing out their photographs in the school yearbook.

The family of the first alleged victim has filed a $US125 million lawsuit against the school, one of the most highly regarded in Asia.

Disclosure: The author has two children attending the Jakarta International School.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia-Thai Kidney Trafficking Sparks Fears Of New Organ Market

France24 News
written by AFP staff
Monday October 27, 2014

PHNOM PENH - The seven-inch scar runs diagonally across the left flank of his skinny torso, a glaring reminder of an operation he hoped would save his family from debt but instead plunged him into shame.

Chhay, 18, sold his kidney for $3,000 in an illicit deal that saw him whisked from a rickety one-room house on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to a gleaming hospital in the medical tourism hub of neighbouring Thailand.

His shadowy journey, which went unnoticed by authorities two years ago, has instigated Cambodia's first-ever cases of organ trafficking and the arrests of two alleged brokers.

It has also raised fears that other victims hide beneath the radar.

At the corrugated iron shack he shares with nine relatives, Chhay says a neighbour persuaded him and a pair of brothers -- all from the marginalised Cham Muslim minority -- to sell their kidneys to rich Cambodians on dialysis.

"She said you are poor, you don't have money, if you sell your kidney you will be able to pay off your debts," the teenager told AFP, requesting his real name be withheld.

Identical stories have long been common in the slums of India and Nepal, better-known hotspots for traffickers. Up to 10,000, or 10 percent, of the organs transplanted globally each year are trafficked, according to the latest World Health Organization estimate.

But on discovering the broker earned $10,000 for each kidney they sacrificed, the donors filed complaints, alerting police in June to a potential new organ trade route.

"Kidney trafficking is not like other crimes? If the victims don't speak up, we will never know," said Phnom Penh's deputy police chief Prum Sonthor.

In July his force charged Yem Azisah, 29 -- believed to be a cousin of the sibling donors -- and her step-father, known as Phalla, 40, with human trafficking.

The pair are being detained and await trial.

- First case -

Trafficking is a widespread problem in impoverished Cambodia and police routinely investigate cases linked to the sex trade, forced marriage or slavery -- but this was the first related to organs.

?This is easy money that earns a lot of income, so we are worried," said Prum, adding there were at least two other Cambodian donors taken to Thailand who had not filed complaints.

The complicity of donors, whether compelled by poverty or coerced by unscrupulous brokers, makes it an under-reported crime which is difficult to expose.

In August media reports emerged about new alleged organ trafficking cases at a military hospital in Phnom Penh.

Prum, who investigated the case, said it was a training exercise between Chinese and Cambodian doctors, using voluntary Vietnamese donors and patients.

But he was unable to rule out whether money changed hands.

- 'I regret it' -

Chhay watches from the sidelines as boys his age play football, two years on from an operation that has left him feeling weak, ashamed and still in debt.

"I want to tell others not to have their kidney removed like me... I regret it. I cannot work hard any more, even walking I feel exhausted," he said. In July he started work at a garment factory.

Little research has been done on the impact of transplants on paid donors like Chhay but the WHO has reported an association with depression and perceived deterioration in health, highlighting the lack of follow-up care.

Chhay remembers few details of a transaction that still haunts him, claiming no knowledge of the Thai city where he was taken or the woman he sold his kidney to.

In Thailand health authorities are trying to shed more light on the murky trade, with several Bangkok hospitals under investigation.

Focus has fallen on the documents traffickers forge to prove donors and recipients are related -- a requirement in many countries where it is illegal to sell an organ.

"We've asked hospitals to be more careful" when checking documents, Thai medical council president Somsak Lolekha told AFP, adding his organisation was reviewing its transplant regulations.

- Tip of iceberg? -

Driving the demand for a black market in organs is the globally soaring number of sick patients waiting for transplants, especially kidneys.

In Thailand alone there were 4,321 people on the organ waiting list up until August with deceased donors' organs forming around half of the 581 kidneys transplanted last year, according to the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre (ODC).

World over this increasing reliance on living donors has left desperate patients scouring for volunteers in their families, or, in some cases, recruiting underground.

Prompted by concerns over trafficking the ODC, which oversees organ donations, launched a pilot project in April making it compulsory for hospitals to provide them with details of living donors.

"Before they could come to Thailand without our knowledge... We are concerned about hospitals where they are not following rules, that's why we asked for a register of living donors," said ODC director Visist Dhitavat.

While regulations are being tightened experts fear the booming medical tourism industry in Thailand, reputed for high-quality but low-cost care, could give rise to more criminal networks cashing-in on the vulnerable.

"It could be the tip of the iceberg," said Jeremy Douglas, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, on the recent Cambodian arrests.

"There could be a lot of others (cases) that aren't just simply coming to trial."

Good Morning Everybody! Sending Some Inspiration Your Way. :) ♥

ENGLAND: UK Axes Support For Mediterranean Migrant Rescue Operation

The Guardian, UK
written by Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Monday October 27, 2014

Britain will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, claiming they simply encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing, Foreign Office ministers have quietly announced.

Refugee and human rights organisations reacted with anger to the official British refusal to support a sustained European search and rescue operation to prevent further mass migrant drownings, saying it would contribute to more people dying needlessly on Europe’s doorstep.

The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.

The Italian operation will now end without a similar European search and rescue operation to replace it. The Italian authorities have said their operation, which involves a significant part of the Italian navy, is unsustainable. Despite its best efforts, more than 2,500 people are known to have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the start of the year.

Instead of the Italian operation, a limited joint EU “border protection” operation, codenamed Triton and managed by Frontex, the European border agency, is to be launched on 1 November. Crucially, it will not include search and rescue operations across the Mediterranean, just patrols within 30 miles of the Italian coast.

Human rights organisations have raised fears that more migrants and refugees will die in their attempt to reach Europe from the north African coast. The hard-pressed Italian navy will be left to mount what search and rescue operations it can. The new European operation will have only a third of the resources of the Italian operation that is being phased out.

British policy was quietly spelled out in a recent House of Lords written answer by the new Foreign Office minister, Lady Anelay: “We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean,” she said, adding that the government believed there was “an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths”.

Anelay said: “The government believes the most effective way to prevent refugees and migrants attempting this dangerous crossing is to focus our attention on countries of origin and transit, as well as taking steps to fight the people smugglers who wilfully put lives at risk by packing migrants into unseaworthy boats.”

The Home Office told the Guardian the government was not taking part in Operation Triton at present beyond providing one “debriefer” – a single immigration officer – to gather intelligence about the migrants who continue to make the dangerous journey to Italy.

Other EU countries have responded to the call for help with two fixed-wing aircraft and three patrol vessels.

It is understood that Britain does not rule out providing further support later for an operation it says will be limited to “border management”. As it does not involve search and rescue missions it will not be covered by British government policy which regards the rescue of desperate migrants as only encouraging others to make the hazardous journey.

The home secretary, Theresa May, was among justice and home affairs ministers who agreed earlier this month to the ending of the Italian search and rescue operation and to deploying Operation Triton without delay in order to “reinforce border surveillance in the waters close to the Italian shores”.

European interior ministers acknowledged that the situation in the Mediterranean was of the greatest concern “as there are indications that the current trend will continue and the situation even risks deteriorating further”.

As well as deploying “Task Force Mediterranean”, which includes two fixed-wing surveillance aircraft and three patrol vessels in Operation Triton, ministers agreed a series of North African measures including finding ways of curtailing the supply of vessels from Tunisia and Egypt used by people smugglers.

May told the Commons the meeting had agreed “the prompt withdrawal of the Mare Nostrum operation … and for all member states to comply fully with their obligations under EU migration and asylum [policies].”

Admiral Filippo Maria Foffi, the commander in charge of the Italian naval squadron involved in Mare Nostrum, is expected to spell out on Tuesday the impact of its cancellation.

The British Refugee Council chief executive, Maurice Wren, responding to the Foreign Office refusal to take part in future search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean said: “The British government seems oblivious to the fact that the world is in the grip of the greatest refugee crisis since the second world war.

“People fleeing atrocities will not stop coming if we stop throwing them life-rings; boarding a rickety boat in Libya will remain a seemingly rational decision if you’re running for your life and your country is in flames. The only outcome of withdrawing help will be to witness more people needlessly and shamefully dying on Europe’s doorstep.

“The answer isn’t to build the walls of fortress Europe higher, it’s to provide more safe and legal channels for people to access protection.”

Tony Bunyan, director of Statewatch, which documents European justice and home affairs policies, added: “The government’s justification for not participating in Triton is cynical and an abdication of responsibility by saying that not helping to rescue people fleeing from war, persecution and poverty who are likely to perish is an acceptable way to discourage immigration.”

Amnesty International wrote to the home secretary last month criticising the woeful response from European countries to the unacceptable scale of the loss of life from the influx of refugees and migrants on boats across the Mediterranean.

ITALY: Italy Could Close Down Its Rescue Program For Migrants Crossing The Mediterranean.

Business Insider
written by Ljubomir Milasin and Ella Ide, AFP
Tuesday October 28, 2014

Rome (AFP) - The EU will launch a patrol mission in the Mediterranean on Saturday amid warnings the number of boat migrant deaths could rise with Italy mulling pulling the plug on its own rescue mission.

To complicate matters further, Britain said Tuesday it won't support the planned EU search and rescue operation, arguing it will create an unintended "pull factor" for more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossings,

The combined efforts of the Italian navy and coast guard have saved over 150,000 men, women and children attempting the perilous crossing from the coasts of North Africa this year so far.

But with the introduction of EU border agency Frontex's "Triton" mission, it is not clear whether Italy's "Mare Nostrum" rescue mission -- a large-scale deployment launched a year ago after two deadly shipwrecks -- will be scaled back or closed down entirely.

"Mare Nostrum is being wound up. There will be a formal decision during one of the next cabinet meetings," Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said recently.

But Alfano has also insisted the two operations are "totally distinct", as Triton will remain within European territorial waters, while Mare Nostrum rescues people in floundering boats and overcrowded dinghies from the Strait of Sicily to the coast of Libya.

Interior Ministry Undersecretary Domenico Manzione this month said Mare Nostrum "will continue until further notice. For now, nothing changes."

Aid agencies have warned the number of deaths in the Mediterranean -- which have topped 3,300 so far this year -- may rise if Italy cuts the chord.

A total of 32 boats have taken part in the Mare Nostrum mission, supported by two submarines as well as planes and helicopters, according to navy figures.

On average, a total of 900 men and women are manning the decks daily and pick up an average of 400 people every 24 hours -- tripling the number of arrivals in 2013. Their work has also led to the arrest of 351 human traffickers since the mission began.

Half of those rescued are asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea, the rest come from Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, the Palestinian territories or Somalia.

Shifting the burden

Despite winning high praise from the UN's refugee agency, Mare Nostrum has drawn criticism both at home and in Europe from those who say it is ferrying in immigrants rather than dissuading them from coming.

The planned EU operation will do the same thing, creating "an unintended pull factor, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths," according to British foreign office minister Joyce Anelay.

London's position is to focus on "countries of origin and transit" and tackle people smugglers instead, she added.

Policing the coast also comes at a monetary cost and the Italian government, struggling to stave off a third recession in six years, is increasingly unwilling to shell out the 9.0 million euros ($11.4 million) a month needed.

Triton's budget is more modest, coming in at 3.0 million euros a month, with eight European Union countries pledging planes and boats for the operation.

Other countries will send teams to help Italy with the new arrivals -- in particular with registering fingerprints, amid concerns Italy is letting too many migrants slip through the net and make it to other countries, shifting the burden to other national asylum seeker systems.

The majority of would-be refugees do not want to stay in Italy. The country registered 26,620 requests for asylum in 2013 -- just 6.0 percent of the number of requests made across the European Union.

In the same period, 125,000 requests were made in Germany, 65,000 in France and 55,000 in Sweden.

Catholic charity Caritas, Save the Children and the UNHCR have all insisted that, with a lack of commitment in Europe to finding legal ways for asylum seekers to escape their homelands, Italy cannot simply stop saving boat migrants.

In a bid to reassure critics, on October 16 Alfano said that "even after Mare Nostrum winds up, Italy will continue search and rescue missions at sea."

IRAN: UN Concerned By 'Surge of Executions' In The Islamic State of Iran Ruled By Sharia Law.

Yahoo News
written by Carole Landry
Monday October 27, 2014

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - At least 850 people have been executed in Iran in the past 15 months as part of a worsening human rights situation under reformist President Hassan Rouhani, a UN official said Monday.

Ahmed Shaheed, the rights rapporteur for Iran, described a "surge in executions," giving Iran the world's the highest death penalty rate per capita.

"The range of capital crimes is shocking," Shaheed told journalists. "We have seen a person executed for making a donation to a foreign organization."

The rapporteur said he was "shocked" by the hanging over the weekend of 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari who was convicted of murdering a former intelligence officer she claimed had tried to sexually assault her.

Shaheed said he had repeatedly raised with Tehran questions about the fairness of her trial.

Iran has executed 852 people since June of last year, including eight juveniles, said the envoy, who is to present his report to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

The surge in executions shows that Rouhani has failed to deliver on campaign promises to improve the human rights situation in his country, a year after taking office, he said.

"He is unable to address the issues, unable to arrest this trend, to convert his promises which spoke to arresting this trend into action," said Shaheed.

The rapporteur suggested that Rouhani lacked political backing, in particular from parliament, to advance his rights agenda.

Since his appointment in 2011, Shaheed has never been allowed to visit Iran, but he has spoken to some 400 Iranians, making use of Skype and at times even receiving calls from prison.

Shaheed conveyed the concern from many Iranians that ongoing negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program had allowed human rights to be placed on the back burner.

But the envoy said he had not seen a shift in emphasis from the United States and the West on human rights and that southern countries like Brazil and South Africa were also raising these issues with Tehran.

In his report to the 193-nation Assembly, Shaheed also raised concerns over freedom of the press, noting that 35 journalists are currently behind bars in Iran.

At least 300 people are in prison for their religious practices including 120 Bahais and 49 Christians.

The report also touched on a drop in the number of women enrolled at universities, from 62 percent in 2008 to 48 percent last year.

A UN General Assembly is expected next month to vote on a draft resolution put forward by Canada and other nations condemning rights abuses in Iran.

book, chapter 8
[source: Ziba Mir-Hosseini]

In the nineteenth century, the last in a series of tribal dynasties ruled Iran, and the Shia religious establishment had a monopoly of law, which was based on their interpretations of sharia. The twentieth century opened with the first of two successful revolutions. In the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911, democratic nationalists sought an end to absolute monarchy, a constitution and the rule of law. They succeeded in laying the foundations of an independent judiciary and a parliament with legislative powers. The despotic, but modernising Pahlavi shahs (1925-1979) maintained (though largely ignored) both the constitution and parliament, curtailed the power of the Shia clergy, and put aside sharia in all areas of law apart from family law, in favour of a secular legal system inspired by European codes.

The secularisation of society and legal reforms in the absence of democracy were major factors in the convergence of popular, nationalist, leftist, and Islamist opposition to Pahlavi rule, which led to the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution under Ayatollah Khomeini. Islamist elements gained the upper hand in the new Islamic Republic. Determined to reestablish sharia as the source of law and the clergy as its official interpreters, they set about undoing the secularisation of the legal system. The new constitution attempted an unusual and contradictory combination of democracy and theocracy; for three decades Iran has experienced fluctuations, sometimes violent, between emerging democratic and pluralistic popular movements and the dominance of theocratic despotism. The legal system is often the arena for confrontation between more conservative and patriarchal interpretations of the sharia and the more liberal and pragmatic interpretations that see no contradictions between sharia and democracy and human rights.

IRAN: Iranian Government Executes 967th Person Under Hassan Rouhani. And It’s A Woman. Her Crime Punishable Under Sharia Law, Acted In Self Defense Against Her Rapist.

Iran: Tragic remarks of Reyhaneh Jabbari’s mother subsequent to her execution. English Subtitle.
Hot Air
written by Jazz Shaw
Saturday October 25, 2014

Not that the rest of the world doesn’t have its share of bad news, but this is just a reminder of who it is we are dealing with in Iran. (Or, more correctly, who the President may be dealing with.) Since becoming president last year, Hassan Rouhani has overseen Iran’s execution of 967 people. The latest one was Reyhaneh Jabbari. Her crime was stabbing – and probably not even killing – the man who was trying to rape her.
Amnesty International denounced “another bloody stain” on Iran’s human rights record on Saturday when a 26-year-old woman was executed for allegedly killing a man who she said was intent on rape.

Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn in Rajaie Shahr prison outside Tehran after spending seven years behind bars. She was the 967th person to be executed since Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran’s president on 4 Aug 2013, according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.

The state media announced that Miss Jabbari had been put to death after the family of the man she was accused of killing declined to grant a reprieve. Her mother, Shole Pakravan, confirmed the execution and said she was going to a cemetery to identify her daughter’s corpse.
I really don’t care to turn this into yet another debate over the death penalty. We certainly execute our fair share of people in the United States – at least in some of the states – but they tend to be maniacal, murdering monsters. In America, I don’t think this woman would have done a single night in jail for this. And now she’s dead, hanged before a crowd in a prison courtyard.

Rouhani may be only a puppet for the real power in Iran (read: the Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians), but he is a willing puppet. Iran’s government is not yet part of the 20th century, say nothing of the 21st, with the exception their aspirations toward tactical weapons capability. And that’s kind of a shame, because it seems as if at least some of their young people in the more urban areas have adopted something of a westernized lifestyle. Whether that translates into any sort of desire for a less medieval, theocratic oppression of their lives among some sort of “moderate” segment of the population remains to be seen. But for the time being, embracing Iran as any sort of partner in international relations is a pipe dream.
UN Watch.org
Tuesday October 28, 2014

Victims, activists, experts to expose violations on eve of Iran's UN review.

GENEVA - One day before Iran goes before a United Nations examination of its human rights record, the non-governmental organization UN Watch will convene an international forum of Iranian victims, activists and experts this Thursday, October 30th, to expose gross and systematic violations that are covered up in the regime's written submission to the UN review session. (See excerpts below.)

The UN Watch parallel event, to take place inside the UN's European headquarters at the Palais de Nations in Geneva, will feature leading figures on the subject of human rights in Iran:
Mohammad Mostafaei - Iranian human rights lawyer who was forced to flee the country after being persecuted by the authorities for his defense of individuals facing the death penalty. Mr. Mostafei was the first lawyer of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman who was just executed by Iran on Saturday for allegedly killing the man who was trying to rape her. Mr. Mostafaei is the founder and director of Norway's Universal Tolerance Organization. In 2011, he was awarded PEN's Ossietzky Prize.

Sepideh Pooraghaiee - Iranian journalist and human rights activist who was jailed for 110 days in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. Ms. Pooraghaiee recently fled Iran, finding asylum in France, after she was threatened by the government for reporting on its crackdown against peaceful protesters. "I was in danger because I know the truth," she says. "And it was bad for them."

Marina Nemat - Iranian dissident, former prisoner of conscience and best-selling author, now living in Canada, who was jailed as a political prisoner in Tehran when she was only 16 years old. During her incarceration for two years in the infamous Evin Prison, she was interrogated, tortured, faced execution, and was raped by a prison guard who she was coerced to marry. Ms. Nemat was the recipient of the European Parliament’s inaugural Human Dignity Prize in 2007, and in 2014 was awarded UN Watch's Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award.

Sohrab Ahmari - London-based editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal. Born in Tehran, Mr. Ahmari was interrogated by Iranian security officials as a child when he accidentally brought a Star Wars video cassette to school. He holds a law degree from Northeastern University and previously served as a nonresident fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. An alumnus of Teach for America, Mr. Ahmari is co-editor of "Arab Spring Dreams," an anthology of essays by young dissidents in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Excerpts from Iran's Report to this Friday's UN Review Session

● “The laws of Iran repudiate all forms of torture.”

● “Iran has tirelessly worked to advance women’s rights.”

● "In order to protect the rights of the people, the Supreme Leader has communicated the following general policies in 2014: [...] the need to fulfill the legal and religious rights of women... the protection of legitimate freedoms and the protection of the nation’s fundamental rights."

● “In all stages of prosecution, including detection, investigation and implementation of sentence – irrespective of race, religion, gender or ethnicity – fairness is of paramount importance.”

● “Consistent with article 14 of the Constitution, the Government is required to treat non-Muslims with respect and Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their human rights.

● “Alongside the recognized religious minorities, the rights of all citizens – including the followers of the Baha’i sect – are respected.”

IRAN: Sharia Enforcing Paramilitary Motorcycle Acid Gangs 'Terrorising Women' Who Break Islamic Dress Code

Published on Oct 23, 2014 The Iranian regime’s State Security Forces (police) attacked the residents of Isfahan protesting against the recent wave of acid attacks by gangs affiliated to the clerical regime in Iran.

The protester shouted saying “the police splashes acid on our faces and as we protest they attack us.”

The State Security Forces were unable to stop the protester who were chanting: “Security, freedom, are the rights of the Iranian women.”

On Wednesday, October 22, the enraged people of Isfahan and Tehran staged an extensive demonstration in protest against the barbarity of the regime-organized criminal gangs who splashacid on women and girls.

International Business Times
written by Thomas Wyke
Wednesday October 22, 2014

Demonstrators have gathered outside government buildings in Isfahan and Tehran, in protest at the recent spate of acid attacks on women in Iran.

Security forces reportedly tried to disperse the demonstration at the Iranian parliament building in Isfahan, calling it a "political" gathering.

In the past two weeks, a number of women have had sulphuric acid thrown on their face and bodies by a group of motorcyclists. It is believed the motive of the attacks was to target women who were not wearing the Islamic dress code in public places.

At least a dozen women have been attacked with acid in the city of Isfahan while at least four women were victims of similar attacks in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

One of the women was reportedly warned by an anonymous text message that she would be have acid thrown at her if she did not cover up properly. The woman was identified only by the name Haniyeh.

Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Mir-Bagheri, tried to calm the situation on Monday 20 October. He told Mehr news agency: "The acid attacks are not a chain crime. There should be no worries about acid attacks across the province of Isfahan."

However it was later confirmed that no arrests had been made.

The attacks have been condemned by religious authorities with Hojatoleslam Rahbar, a leader of Friday prayers, saying: "Such an act under any pretext is reprehensible."

Some Iranian political officials rejected the supposed incorrect wearing of Islamic dress code as being the motive of the attack.

MP Ahmad Salek specifically accused BBC Persian Service of peddling a rumour. He said: "The sources of these talks was BBC Persian then the Voice of America and other media outlets picked it up."

Salek also insisted one of the victims had been wearing a full chador and must have been targeted for other reasons.

It is suspected the attacks could be connected to the threat issued by Ansar e-Hezbollah, a paramilitary fundamentalist group that had remained in near dormant state since the 1990s.

The group, meaning "Supporters of the Party of God" promised in September that it was planning on restarting its moral policing campaign, targeting women, academics and civilian demonstrators.

The Iranian justice department has confirmed it is now treating the acid attacks as being part of a chain operation and labelled the offenders "terrorists".

IRAN: Young Iranians Stay Home in Fear of Acid Attacks By Islamic Sharia Paramilitary.

Published on Oct 23, 2014 The Iranian regime’s State Security Forces (police) attacked the residents of Isfahan protesting against the recent wave of acid attacks by gangs affiliated to the clerical regime in Iran.

The protester shouted saying “the police splashes acid on our faces and as we protest they attack us.”

The State Security Forces were unable to stop the protester who were chanting: “Security, freedom, are the rights of the Iranian women.”

On Wednesday, October 22, the enraged people of Isfahan and Tehran staged an extensive demonstration in protest against the barbarity of the regime-organized criminal gangs who splashacid on women and girls.

Time Magazine
written by Kay Armin Serjoie / Tehran
Thursday October 23, 2014

Police promise to capture men who recently burnt eight women.

Nazar Street is one of the most liberal streets in Isfahan, a historic city 340 kilometers south of Tehran. Young men and women mix more freely than elsewhere and women wear their hijabs more loosely, revealing more hair than the law allows.

But this week, the street was quiet and its restaurants empty as people avoided public places in the wake of a series of acid attacks on young women. Eight women have been badly injured after having acid thrown in their faces by unidentified men in recent weeks causing fear and anger in the city.

Thousands protested Wednesday in Isfahan to demand security for women, according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency. Demonstrators, including many mothers, worried for the safety of their daughters. “Security and freedom are our indisputable rights!” they shouted. “Down with Iran’s Daesh,” refererring to the Arabic acronym for the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

Soheila Joerkesh, 26, was driving back from an afternoon out swimming with her friends on Oct. 13 when she pulled over to speak with her mother on the phone. Just as she had started to speak, a motorcycle stopped beside her car and a passenger got off with a glass canister in his hand. “Suddenly Soheila started screaming, I could hear her scream for more than 5 minutes before the call got cut,” her mother told local media. “By the time we found her at a hospital she was blind. Her cellphone had been melted by the acid that the motorcyclist had thrown onto her face.”

All of the victims have been young women who were attacked on busy main streets by male motorcyclists or passengers throwing acid on their faces. The women have suffered third-degree burns on their faces, necks, chests and hands, and will require cosmetic surgery.

Many women in Isfahan now fear going out. “One of my colleagues has her husband drive her to and back from work. Another says she nearly dies from fear whenever a motorcycle passes her car. I myself take the bus now as it seems safer,” Fatemeh, a female resident of Isfahan said on Wednesday, asking for her surname not to be published. “We are all worried, we only leave home when it is absolutely necessary.”

Women in Iran have been required by law, since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, to dress modestly and not wear cosmetics. The enforcement of morals is one of the duties of the Basij militia. Many women, however, have resisted and flaunt the rules by leaving parts of their hair exposed. Members of hardline religious groups have staged demonstrations protesting what they call the decadent clothing of women. This has led to rumors that some members of these groups are behind these attacks.

“People are saying it’s a group called Ansar trying to force women to have proper hijab. I don’t know if that’s true, but many are now using masks to cover their faces to escape possible attacks, which is ironic, as the attacker didn’t even feel the need to cover his face,” Fatemeh said, pointing to reports that the culprits had not gone to any trouble to hide their identities.

Most of Iranian society has reacted angrily to the attacks.

“Throwing acid is an ugly, heinous and disgusting act, maybe murder is more acceptable, this crime is despicable,” General Esmaeel Ahmadi-Moghadam, head of the Iranian police, told the Fars News Agency on Wednesday. And the deputy head of the Judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, told state television two days earlier that those responsible would receive “such a punishment for the culprits when they are arrested that no one would ever dare commit such crimes again.”

Others said the attacks were carried out by people linked to Western intelligence agencies in a bid to damage Iran. “Today we are seeing the foreign media network trying to link this crime to promotion of virtue and prevention of vice,” said General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of the Basij paramilitary force, according to news website Mashreghnews.ir.

With none of the assailants arrested yet, many Iranians are posting comments on websites and social media that criticize the police force. Some compared the swift arrests of the makers of the Pharrell Williams’ Happy video in Tehran, “within hours” in May, to the fact that weeks have passed since the first acid attack.

Soheila’s mother struck a similar chord. “We asked them can we look at footage from surveillance cameras in Soheila’s route, but they refused,” she said. “Why are they not showing us the footage?”

IRAN: Acid Attacks on Women in Iran Raise Concerns Over Veil Vigilantes aka Islamic Regime Sharia Paramilitary.

Published on Oct 23, 2014 The Iranian regime’s State Security Forces (police) attacked the residents of Isfahan protesting against the recent wave of acid attacks by gangs affiliated to the clerical regime in Iran.

The protester shouted saying “the police splashes acid on our faces and as we protest they attack us.”

The State Security Forces were unable to stop the protester who were chanting: “Security, freedom, are the rights of the Iranian women.”

On Wednesday, October 22, the enraged people of Isfahan and Tehran staged an extensive demonstration in protest against the barbarity of the regime-organized criminal gangs who splashacid on women and girls.

Bloomberg News
written by Golnar Motevalli
Monday October 20, 2014

A series of acid attacks on women in the Iranian city of Esfahan have raised concerns the victims are being targeted for not adhering to Islamic (sharia law) dress codes.

Four women in the central city have been splashed with acid in recent weeks, police official Hossein Ashtari told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Suspects have been arrested, he said without giving details.

One of the women, identified only as Haniyeh, was warned in an anonymous text message that she’d have acid thrown at her if she appeared in public improperly veiled, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

Women in Iran have been required to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes since the 1979 revolution that ushered in the Islamic Republic. Some, especially in the country’s bigger cities, defy the rules with clothing that authorities consider unacceptable. Men aren’t allowed to wear shorts or vests.

A spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, rejected reports linking the acid attacks to failure to adhere to dress rules, and said those found guilty would be given harsh punishments.

The assaults come amid a tug-of-war over women’s dress between the government of President Hassan Rouhani and hardline opponents. Soon after being elected last year, Rouhani said that wearing the veil, or the chador cloak, didn’t guarantee chastity. Last month, he raised doubts over the effectiveness of crackdowns on “bad hijab” by so-called “guidance patrols.”

Verbal Warnings

Some of the most strident criticism of Rouhani’s comments has come from the paramilitary group, Ansar-e-Hezbollah, which recently backed down from plans to deploy 4,000 female and male volunteers on the streets of Tehran to issue verbal warnings to women perceived to be flouting dress rules.

The group receives its funding from conservative sources outside the government.

The victims in Esfahan include a 27-year-old woman who ISNA referred to only as Neda. “She had pulled over in her car so that she could take a call from her mother on her mobile phone,” Neda’s father told the news agency in an interview. “Two people on a motorcycle threw acid at Neda and then fled.”

She faces four rounds of surgery and has lost the sight in one eye, he said. “She’s always lived honorably. She wasn’t someone who was against hijab. Neighbors, family and acquaintances can attest to this.”

Another victim -- “Maryam D” -- was attacked while out shopping. “I was raised in a religious household and I’ve never allowed myself to leave the house dressed inappropriately,” she told Iranian media.

The attacks have been condemned by senior clerics.

“These acts are not permitted by any law or by Sharia,” Hojatoleslam Mohamad Taghi Rahbar, the leader of Esfahan’s Friday prayers, told ISNA. “Carrying out such things on any pretext is condemnable.”

ISLAM: Under Sharia Law The Penalty For Resisting Rape Is Torture And Death For Women.

Breitbart News
written by Dr. Phyllis Chesler
Tuesday October 28, 2014

ISIS has just be-headed a woman in Baquba because she dared to resist being raped. In the process of struggling to defend herself, she actually killed her would-be rapist, an ISIS warrior. The woman was at home recovering from a medical illness.

This is precisely the crime that led to Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution in Iran at dawn this past Saturday—except that the Iranian regime first jailed and tortured her for five years. Her life might have been spared if her victim’s family had forgiven her, but that did not happen. Her would-be rapist was a former member of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.

And thus we learn that under Sharia law the penalty for resisting rape is torture and death for women.

What happens when a woman does not or cannot resist being raped?

In 2008, in Somalia, 13-year old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was accused of adultery (“zina”—in her case, sex outside of marriage). She had reported being gang-raped to the controlling jihadist group there, al-Shabab. The very act of accusing her rapists condemned her-- but not her rapists-- to a brutal death-by-stoning at the hands of fifty men. She begged for mercy, crying out up until the moment of her death.

Sharia courts in Pakistan have punished thousands of raped women who dared accuse their attacker of the crime with long term imprisonment. Bangladesh has flogged, beaten, and imprisoned raped women.

Families of rape victims in Afghanistan have honor-murdered their daughters for the shame of having been raped. Most recently, in 2014, one ten-year-old victim who was raped by a mullah in a mosque was saved, temporarily, by an Afghan and international woman’s group which has, so far, successfully persuaded her family not to kill her.

We have all heard about Aisha Bibi or Muhktar Mai, who reported her more powerful Pakistani gang-rapists and managed to get some convicted. She lives with permanent death threats—she also shelters other such rape victims and their families. A very powerful opera has been written and performed about her bravery.

We have witnessed the en-masse male sexual assault of veiled and unveiled women in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Human Rights Watch refers to this Square as “Rape Central.” Journalist Judy Bachrach, who lived in Cairo, documented the extraordinary level of normalized street harassment of infidel girls and women in Cairo.

I studied and wrote about an atrocious three day “pogrom” perpetrated by three hundred men against thirty nine impoverished women in 2001. Their crime? They had dared to work as cleaning women and secretaries for an infidel company. This took place in a province in Algeria known as Hassi Messaoud. The rapist-killers had been stirred to action by a Friday sermon against “evil” infidel influence and they tore out of the mosque.
Yelling “Allahu Akhbar,” they gang-raped, tortured, stabbed, mutilated, buried alive and murdered these women as well as other “evil” women who owned hairdressing salons. The police had to lock up ninety-five women to protect them from the rampaging men. Hundreds more begged to be incarcerated, but there was no more room. Incredibly, some survivors brought charges. Twenty-six men (out of three hundred) were sentenced to jail terms. This is nothing short of a miracle.

In many Muslim countries-- and Hindu India-- women have been viewed as tempting men, overcoming them, victimizing them, and the men are not viewed as licentious, promiscuous, lusty scoundrels but as helpless victims. This used to be true in the West as well and to a small extent, it still is. Rape is now understood as a crime and is prosecuted, not normalized, in the West.

However, if the rape is known to a Muslim woman’s family in a Muslim country, it may mean her death sentence. If she and her family report the rape to the authorities, the rape victim (and sometimes her family as well) may be further victimized. Death threats are common. The rape victim is usually jailed and once in custody will be routinely raped and sometimes impregnated by police officers and interrogators.

What must we understand about such surreal and barbaric misogyny?

First, that to be born a woman in certain parts of the world is to be born guilty; being female is a capital offense. Girls and women must keep proving that they will not shame their families by a level of obedience and subordination that Westerners cannot truly comprehend. Memoirs by women-- Somali Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Punjabi Aruna Papp, Iranian Marina Nemat, to name only a few-- share details of daily, sometimes hourly terrorization and punishment within the family and at the hands of the state and religious authorities.

There are also memoirs written by men that are haunting and incredibly informative about Muslim-on-Muslim cruelty, such as the one written by M.H. Anwar about his life growing up in Kabul as a poor boy between 1914-1943.

Second, that when men from these countries, cultures, and ethnicities immigrate to the West, these attitudes and customs do not necessarily change. By now, we know that pre-adolescent and adolescent Caucasian girls were kidnapped, gang-raped and forced into prostitution by Muslim gangs in Britain; the authorities looked the other way. Why? Because they did not want to accuse Muslim men of perpetrating crimes lest they, the authorities, be accused of Islamophobia or racism.

Third, as Islamic fundamentalism gains territory and followers, life will become unbearably harsher for women.

For example, in October of 2014, acid attacks by men on motorcycles against “improperly veiled” Iranian women have increased on the streets in 25 cities, including Isfahan, Kermanshah, and Teheran.

The Women’s Freedom Forum of Iran has informed me that “demonstrators compared these attackers with the terrorists of ISIS” and described the Iranian “regime as Godfather to ISIS when it comes to such crimes.” Laws have been passed to protect the acid throwers, and the Iranian regime has “been “intimidating the families of the victims and hospital nurses and staff. Reporters are also prevented from going to hospitals to see the victims.” The Freedom Forum finds this “ominous,” and a sign that the regime “will allow these attacks to continue.”

On one hand, there is really little Westerners can do about this short of making common cause with the brave demonstrators. President Obama has showed no signs of doing so. In fact, he is seeking common ground with the regime, not with its victims, and not with anti-Regime demonstrators in Iran.

On the other hand, Westerners have already made a huge difference in terms of supporting shelters for battered women, rape victims, and intended honor-killing victims in parts of the Muslim world, including Afghanistan. Recently, albeit in a fairly lawless way, a group of Afghan men were executed for the crime of gang-raping a group of married women.

Finally, it is crucial to understand that Western capitalism, colonialism, or imperialism has not caused such barbarism. These customs are indigenous to these regions, ethnicities, religions, and tribes. It remains an open question as to whether Western-style education and Enlightenment values can successfully influence such barbaric misogyny.

CHINA: Chinese Communist Government Punishes Hong Kong Lawmaker For Criticising Leader

France24 News
written by Dennis Chong, AFP
Wednesday October 29, 2014

HONG KONG - A senior Hong Kong lawmaker was expelled from a prestigious Chinese government body Wednesday, in a sign that Beijing will not tolerate dissent from loyalists over pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city.

James Tien had his "qualifications revoked" as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the state-run China News Service said.

The prominent businessman and politician had criticised Hong Kong's embattled leader Leung Chun-ying for failing to put an end to more than a month of pro-democracy protests -- an unusual move for a pro-Beijing lawmaker.

The CPPCC voted to pass the "decision on revoking Tian Beijun's membership in the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference", the government body said, using Tien's name in Mandarin and without providing further details.

Hong Kong demonstrators have staged street rallies for more than a month, calling for free leadership elections for the former British colony in 2017.

The demonstrations present the most concerted challenge to Beijing's authority since the bloody 1989 Tiananmen protests.

Tien's younger brother Michael, another Hong Kong lawmaker, told AFP ahead of the announcement that his brother was being punished for perceived disloyalty to Leung.

"The decision is definitely based on my brother's comments about CY (Leung Chun-ying)," Michael Tien said.

James Tien is a senior member of the city's pro-business Liberal Party. He said last week that Leung should consider resigning for failing to clear the protesters from the streets.

"Residents are ignoring court injunctions (to disperse) and pan-democrats are being uncooperative. How is he going to govern?" Tien said on Friday, according to the South China Morning Post.

Despite hailing from Hong Kong's pro-Beijing camp, the 67-year-old politician is no stranger to ruffling political feathers.

In 2003 he withdrew his party's support for a government-backed national security bill amid large street protests, leading to the legislation's collapse and the eventual resignation of Hong Kong's then-leader Tung Chee-hwa.

He backed Leung's opponent Henry Tang in the 2012 race to be the city's chief executive.

- Leung increasingly unpopular -

Leung's popularity has taken a nosedive since the protests began last month.

A poll this week by the Chinese University of Hong Kong showed he now scores 38.6 on an approval scale among voters running from 0 to 100 -- his lowest since taking office in July 2012, when his score was 53.9.

A hate figure among protesters, who are calling for him to resign, Leung stirred fresh anger last week when he said that open elections were not feasible because they would result in the city's poor dominating politics.

It is rare for establishment politicians like Tien to voice anything other than unflinching support for Leung.

Beijing has refused to back down on its recent decision that all candidates running for the top Hong Kong post in 2017 must be vetted by a loyalist committee, a decision the protesters say will result in the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.

The Communist Party has thrown its full support behind the local Hong Kong administration, branding the protests as influenced by hostile foreign forces.

Tien's brother said the central government had little tolerance for any dissent at such a crucial time.

"President Xi (Jinping) himself has openly announced and had asked for all the support. The timing is crucial," said Michael Tien, adding that Beijing leaders expect the city's establishment politicians to support the city top leader "whole-heartedly".

"If there is any change at this moment (within the city's leadership), the Occupy movement is going to turn into a severe, ugly crisis... They need CY Leung to stay here and resolve the crisis," he said.

The CPPCC is a discussion body that is part of the Communist party-controlled governmental structure.