This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Bawdy Silvio Berlusconi may return as Italy's Prime Minister
- U.N. claims immunity in Haiti cholera compensation case
- U.S. deploys 100 troops to Niger to operate drone base
- Al-Qaeda 'tip sheet' for avoiding drones found in Mali
Bawdy Silvio Berlusconi may return as Italy's Prime Minister
Underage Karima el Mahroug, known by her stage name 'Ruby,' has been linked to Berlusconi (AP)
Italy's outgoing Premier Mario Monti, who took the helm of an
emergency government of unelected technocrats in November 2011 when
Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier with Italy's debt crisis
threatening to spiral out of control, is expected to lose his job
after Sunday's and Monday's general election.
The most likely outcome
is a stalemate, with no party having enough seats to control
parliament. Monti has help stabilize Italy's economy through a series
of austerity measures that have cost him a lot of political support.
Silvio Berlusconi's center-right alliance has been rapidly closing a
double-digit polling gap and may win, thanks to a media campaign
where Berlusconi has called Monti's austerity measures "cruel and
inhuman," and promised to reverse them, even promising to refund tax money
that Monti's government had collected.
Gazzetta Del Sud
The possibility that 76-year-old Berlusconi might return to office is appalling to politicians in other European countries, many of
whom consider him to be a clown. He's also notorious for his
involvement in multiple sex and corruption scandals that created pressure on him to step down as prime minister in November 2011.
Germany's Der Spiegel has been publishing numerous articles raising
alarms about a Berlusconi comeback. Friday's article provides a list
of "Berlusconi's most revealing gaffes," in an effort to dissuade
Italians from voting for him. Some of the gaffes are:
- One of Berlusconi's most legendary quips came in February
2006 when he said: "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient
victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."
- In the summer of 2011, Berlusconi reportedly said in a telephone
conversation with a journalist that German Chancellor Angela Merkel
was a "culona inscopabile," which was widely translated as "unfuckable
- After the deadly earthquake in the central Italian city of L'Aquila
left tens of thousands homeless in April 2009, Berlusconi described
their living conditions this way: "Of course, their current lodgings
are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of
- In 2006, Berlusconi reportedly said: "Only Napoleon did more. But I'm
- Berlusconi has been involved in multiple sex scandals for which
he is entirely unapologetic. In April 2011, he said, "When asked if
they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women answered,
'Yes', while the other 70 percent responded, 'What, again?'"
- When US President Barack Obama was elected, Berlusconi welcomed
him into office by praising him as "handsome, young and
- Berlusconi has rarely shown remorse for his sexcapades. In
November 2010 he said, "It's better to like beautiful girls than to be
- In July 2003, Berlusconi told Martin Schulz, a German member of
the European Parliament: "I know that in Italy there is a man
producing a film on Nazi concentration camps. I'll suggest you for the
role of Kapo. You're perfect."
U.N. claims immunity in Haiti cholera compensation case
United Nations officials, who usually express moral outrage and bring
a holier-than-thou tone to almost any issue, are now claiming immunity
for a catastrophe that United Nations peacekeepers inflicted upon the
Haitian people after the 2010 earthquake.
Haiti hadn't had a case of
cholera in over a century, but a cholera epidemic started spreading
rapidly in 2010 after the U.N. peacekeepers arrived. It turned out, via DNA tests, that the strain of cholera was identical to the strain
of cholera that's endemic in Nepal. So the Nepalese peacekeepers came
to Haiti and infected the water supply, causing the epidemic.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon never accepted the conclusion that
the U.N. was to blame, but promised to help Haiti's cholera victims.
But on Thursday, the United Nations rejected a claim for compensation
for thousands of Haitian victims of cholera, saying that the United
Nations is protected by immunity. Global Post
U.S. deploys 100 troops to Niger to operate drone base
The Pentagon has deployed about 100 troops to the West African nation
of Niger to conduct unmanned reconnaissance flights over Mali and
share intelligence with French forces fighting Islamist jihadists in
the neighboring country of Mali.
The United States already has drones
and surveillance aircraft stationed at several points around
Africa. Its only permanent military base is in the small country of
Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, more than 3,000 miles from Mali.
Al-Qaeda 'tip sheet' for avoiding drones found in Mali
Associated Press staff in Timbuktu, Mali, have stumbled on an al-Qaeda
"tip sheet" with a list of techniques for avoiding American drone
- Intercepting drone frequencies using the Russian-made “sky
- Jamming drone signals using a “Racal,” also made in Russia.
- Spreading glass or reflective material over vehicles or
- Deploying skilled snipers to shoot down low-flying drones.
- Using “general confusion methods,” and avoiding permanent
- Placing dolls or statues “outside false ditches.”
- Hiding, especially in trees or caves.
- All passengers run in different directions from a car pursued by
- Occupy buildings with multiple exits.
The tip sheet was created several years ago by al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Global Post and AP (PDF)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, Mario Monti,
United Nations, Haiti, Ban Ki-moon, cholera,
Niger, al-Qaeda, Timbuktu, Mali
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