World View: Anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Surges in Local Elections

This morning's key headlines from

  • Anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) surges in local elections
  • U.S. shows Israel new bunker buster bomb for use in Iran
  • Israeli warplanes strike targets inside Syria
  • California law will fund seizure of legally purchased guns

Anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) surges in local elections

Jubilant UKIP leader Nigel Farage
Jubilant UKIP leader Nigel Farage

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) won a stunning victory in local elections, winning over 26% of the vote in those districts in which a UKIP candidate ran. The party, which favors withdrawal of Britain from the European Union, took votes away from the ruling coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, as well as from the opposition Labor party. According to jubilant UKIP leader Nigel Farage:

"We have always done well in European elections [where UKIP has 11 seats in the EU Parliament]..., but people haven’t seen us as being relevant to local elections or in some ways general elections. So for us to be scoring, on average, 26 per cent of the vote where we stand is I think very significant indeed."

This is part of a trend that's dissolving Europe's traditional left-of-center / center / right-of-center parliamentary democracy, in favor of fringe parties and protest movements. In Greece and Italy, the dissolution has already occurred. In France, Marine Le Pen and the National Front party is campaigning against "Islamization" and the euro. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) has done well on a strongly anti-Islamist platform. Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, and Austria have also seen the rise of parties that are anti-immigration or anti-euro or both. The Sun (London) and BBC

U.S. shows Israel new bunker buster bomb for use in Iran

For several years, it's been reported that America's largest "bunker buster" bomber was not powerful enough to reach and destroy Iran's Fordo nuclear enrichment complex, which is buried under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom. But the Pentagon has shown Israeli leaders an Air Force video of a new version of the bunker buster capable of destroying Frodo. The 30,000-pound "Massive Ordnance Penetrator," or MOP, has adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy Fordo. The specific political purpose of the demonstration is to dissade the Israelis from conducting a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Ynet and Debka

Israeli warplanes strike targets inside Syria

Intelligence reports in Washington indicate that Israel has staged air strikes on targets within Syria. Lebanon's army web site is listing at least 16 flights by Israeli warplanes over Lebanon's air space. It's believed that the air strikes targets Syrian weapons that are being transferred to the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. It's believed that conventional weapons (as opposed to chemical weapons) were targeted. CNN and CBS News

California law will fund seizure of legally purchased guns

California's governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will allocate $24 million to hire special agents that will track down and seize guns from 20,000 Californians who has legally purchased guns, but who have been disqualified from owning them due to mental illness or a criminal conviction. According to one legislator, "We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them." Russia Today

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