Empty Seat at the Christmas Table

December 23, 2010

Empty Seat at the Christmas Table

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — With the upcoming holidays, as we hurriedly decorate our homes and finish last minute shopping in preparation for our arriving family, 3,000 families will have an empty seat at the holiday table because of the 9/11 murders. Not a day goes by when those 3000 families do not mourn the loss of their loved ones. As we all come together with our loved ones for traditional festivities, we must remember these families, specifically three families who lost their brother, sons, daughter, granddaughter.

Michael Burke is the brother of slain firefighter, Captain Billy Burke, who was a NYC hero firefighter for more than 20 years. Michael will tell about his best friend and brother Billy. Billy safely made it out on 9/11. He was one of the lucky ones. He could have returned home to his family. He could have, but he chose to go back in and save civilians who were trapped. Billy did not make it out a second time. Billy was one of the 3,000 people murdered on 9/11.

Al and Maureen Santora are the parents of Christopher Santora the youngest firefighter slain on 9/11. They were still attempting to cope with this horrible loss when they were informed that the remains that they had received as their beloved son were indeed misidentified and were those of another victim. Is there no end to the suffering for these parents?

Eunice and Lee Hanson lost their son Peter Hanson, daughter-in-law the lovely Sue Hanson and two-year old granddaughter, the precious Christine Hanson. Christine is the youngest person murdered in the 9/11 attacks. All three of the Hansons were on United Airlines flight 175. How much suffering can one family endure? Lee Hanson spoke with his son Peter just moments before Flight 175 crashed. Lee still treasures those final brave words from his wonderful son. Lee will tell you how his son actually took the time to reassure his dad that he knew the end would be quick.

These are just three of the poignant stories of Christian Action Network’s new film, Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Stories of the Ground Zero Mosque. On September 11, 2001 the world changed forever for those who survived the attacks and for the 3,000 families of the murder victims. Sacrificed Survivors tells their story. You’ll weep with the families as they recount their last horrifying minutes on the phone with loved ones. You’ll hear of acts of heroism and escape. As one family member states: “The pain will never go away.”

Sacrificed Survivors uncovers secret undercover footage of the radical leader of the mosque, Imam Rauf, leading services inside the mosque building.

Your audience, readers, and listeners need to hear their stories and be reminded of the blessings that they have as they sit down to a full table this Christmas. If any of us wonders about the true meaning of Christmas or the true Gift of Christmas hearing the inspirational stories of these amazing people will leave no doubt in one’s mind. Your audience will leave knowing that Family is all that matters.

To schedule an interview with:

Michael Burke, Al and Maureen Santora, or Eunice and Lee Hanson, or Sacrificed Survivors- The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque, Producer Martin Mawyer and to request a copy of the DVD, please call: 718-288-7997 or email: Dalymj@msn.com


Imprisoned Iranian Women Refuse to Deny Their Faith

December 23, 2010

Imprisoned Iranian Women Refuse to Deny Their Faith

Open Doors Launches Campaign Urging Iran to Release Christians Now

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 5 /Christian Newswire/ — On August 9 two Christian women appeared before an Iranian judge who asked them to deny their faith and return to Islam. Maryam Rostampour, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad, 30, have been held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran since March 5. They were originally accused of “acting against state security” and “taking part in illegal gatherings,” according to Compass Direct News. When both women refused to recant their faith, the judge sent them back to their prison cells “to think about it,” according to a source who spoke with family members.

“When they said, ‘Think about it,’ it means you are going back to jail,” said the source, according to Compass. “This is something we say in Iran. It means: ‘Since you’re not sorry, you’ll stay in jail for a long time, and maybe you’ll change your mind.'”

The source said the first goal of judges in such cases is usually to make “apostates” deny their faith through threats or by sending them back to prison for a longer time.

The women re-appeared in court on Oct. 7. The anti- state charge was dropped but they still face “apostasy” and “propagation of the Christian faith” charges.

Also, the women have undergone intense interrogations which have reportedly included sleep deprivation and other psychological pressure. They share a cell with over 20 other women and both have deteriorating health. Marzieh suffers from spinal pain, an infected tooth and intense headaches and is especially in need of medical attention, which has not been provided. Evin prison has received criticism for its human rights violations and executions in recent years.

On Oct. 26, the U.S. State Department designated Iran, along with seven other countries, as “Countries of Particular Concern” for their religious repression. The Islamic Republic reportedly imprisoned, harassed and intimidated people based on their religious beliefs, while government-controlled broadcast and print media intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities, the report said. Iran is ranked No. 3 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most severe persecution.

The Open Doors USA advocacy department is launching a campaign asking people to send a respectful message to Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, who is Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York City. The email messages will be sent to the government in Iran as well. The letters will ask for the immediate release of Maryam and Marzieh.

A sample email letter to send is located at the Open Doors USA website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org

. Please do not refer to Open Doors in your email.

“Maryam and Marzieh are suffering in an Iranian prison simply for refusing to recant their belief in Jesus Christ…they truly are modern heroes of the faith,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “We must speak out against this injustice. Join our campaign urging the Iranian government to release these women.”

Pray for Maryam and Marzieh Sunday, Nov. 8, during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.


Odyssey Networks Joins Nobel Peace Prize Winners in Global Charter for Compassion Campaign

December 23, 2010

Odyssey Networks Joins Nobel Peace Prize Winners in Global Charter for Compassion Campaign

Historic Interfaith Effort Is Based on The Golden Rule

NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /Christian Newswire/ — Odyssey Networks, the nation’s largest coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups dedicated to promoting tolerance, peace and social justice through the production of media has launched a web-based campaign in support of the Charter for Compassion. The Charter is a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community by bringing together the voices of people from all religions around the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. After a year in development, its official unveiling has been slated for November 12 in Washington, DC.

Odyssey Networks, along with several of its coalition members (Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, American Society for Muslim Advancement, Interfaith Youth Core, National Council of Churches USA, and Intersections International) have joined the 100-plus partner organizations of the Charter for Compassion.

The Charter is the result of the work of Karen Armstrong, a leading proponent of ecumenism and the author of more than 20 books. She was awarded the $100,000 TED prize in February 2008 for her “wish” to create a “Charter for Compassion” which would apply shared moral principles to advance global understanding. Following the award, Armstrong, launched a worldwide online outreach in November 2008 asking people to submit their own words to the Charter. Within a month, approximately 150,000 people from 180 countries contributed. The final version was crafted by the 18-member Council of Conscience, whose members include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sister Joan Chittister, Tariq Ramadan, and Rabbi David Saperstein.

The Odyssey website will support the Charter with a powerful collection of stories of compassion and forgiveness from around the globe. They include a trailer of “One Last Shot: A Story of Redemption,” a documentary filmed at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana plus commentary from some of the prison’s inmate hospice workers. Nick Stuart, veteran journalist and CEO of Odyssey provides exclusive interviews with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and Tzvika Shahak, member of Parents Circle-Families Forum, both of whom lost children to the violence in the Mideast. In addition there is a collection of video blogs on compassion experiences; and audio downloads from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s radio program “Grace Matters” with Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza.

“Its simple – compassion makes us human. It unites, it builds, it brings out the best in mankind, and each one of us has a story of compassion in our lives that is inspirational,” said Nick Stuart, President and CEO of Odyssey Networks. “Without it we are nothing. With it, we can move mountains, and religion inspires us to be compassionate in all we do. This initiative is inspired , and Odyssey Networks and its 51 faith group partners are delighted to bring their media expertise and collective drive to this vital world-wide project.”

Visit http://www.odysseynetworks.org

and http://www.facebook.org/odysseynetworks

to learn more.

About Odyssey Networks
Odyssey Networks is the nation’s largest coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups dedicated to producing and distributing media that promotes peace and tolerance and addresses issues of social justice. Established in 1987, Odyssey Networks is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc. For more information visit http://www.odysseynetworks.org.

About the Charter for Compassion

Karen Armstrong had a desire to impact the violence attributed to religion around the world and wanted to remind people of the core similarity that lies at the heart of all religions — the Golden Rule. Karen won the TED Prize in 2008 and the Charter for Compassion was her wish. Global participation in an open writing process was the critical starting point for the creation of the Charter for Compassion. charterforcompassion.org was launched in Fall 2008 to allow people of all nations, all backgrounds, and all faiths to contribute to the Charter. The submissions shared began a conversation that will continue as the Charter is finalized and launched: http://www.charterforcompassion.org.

People from all over the world have contributed to this Charter; it transcends religious, ideological and national difference; it has been composed by leading thinkers from many traditions with passion, insight, intellectual conviction and hope.


Audio Bible Ministry Releases ‘The Christmas Story’

December 23, 2010

Audio Bible Ministry Releases ‘The Christmas Story’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 22, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — A recent LifeWay Research survey reports that 91% of Americans celebrate Christmas. However, the results showed that only 28% of the country reads or tells the Christmas story from the Bible. Faith Comes By Hearing, the world’s foremost Audio Bible ministry, hopes to have a positive impact on those findings as they announce their annual release of “The Christmas Story,” a free Audio Bible program about the birth of Jesus Christ.

For the last four years, Faith Comes By Hearing has produced this family-friendly program — which runs about 11 minutes — to help people engage in the Bible during the holiday season and hear the Christmas story in a dramatic, audio format.

“The Christmas Story” is a word-for-word Audio Bible special taken from the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Luke. This audio recording was produced using multiple character voices, musical backgrounds and sound effects.

Here’s how you can get this free holiday program:

* Download or listen online at http://www.FaithComesByHearing.com
* Via podcast through the iTunes store
* By texting “CHRISTMAS” to BIBLE (24253)

The program has also been made available, free-of-charge, for radio stations to air.

Founded in 1972 as a non-profit organization, Faith Comes By Hearing records and uses Audio Bibles to reach and disciple the world’s poor and illiterate people. Currently, the ministry has Scripture recordings in 500 languages.


BibleRhymes’ Christmas Story — 2010

December 23, 2010

BibleRhymes’ Christmas Story — 2010

SHELBY TWP., Mich., Dec. 22, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — BibleRhymes has produced several printed and online animated children’s books of Bible stories told in rhyme over the last couple years. But this year, there’s a special twist to their new animated Christmas story. In 2007, BibleRhymes celebrated Poetry Month by releasing the first in its series of colorful, rhyming Bible stories for children with Creation, followed by Noah and the Ark and the Christmas Story. These were all printed books.

Since then, Noah and the Christmas Story have been turned into digital and interactive animated books complete with narration, music, and dictionaries. In January 2011, their digital version of Zacchaeus will be released followed by Creation in February.

But a common theme among all of these was owner Ken McCardell’s work as the author alongside the illustrations of different artists. Now McCardell has brought a second version of the Christmas story to life with his own art and animations.

“This is an exciting change for BibleRhymes,” says McCardell. “I’ve got the poetry prepared for the next handful of books in the series, and after working with Don Cassity [an illustrator for Rugrats® and Marvel Comics®] on BibleRhymes’ Zacchaeus, I decided it was my turn to illustrate. While I’ll continue to work with different artists on various projects, creating artwork and animations myself allows me to make these stories more rapidly available. And I love doing it!”

BibleRhymes also offers games and plenty of Sunday school resources, such as printable pictures to color, word searches, and crosswords. And it offers several of these for free on its membership website at http://www.BibleRhymes.com.

“Bible stories are important for children to learn, and we’re making them fun with the pictures, rhymes, and games,” says McCardell. “We’re going to continue turning this into the strongest possible Bible resource for teaching children, and following our new Christmas Story, there’s plenty coming in 2011.”

Annual memberships to BibleRhymes are just $14.95 for a family, and give access to all animated books and all games in addition to hardcover discounts. School and library memberships are also available to accommodate multiple users.


HLI Lauds Decision by Bishop Olmsted to Defend both Life and Catholic Identity

December 23, 2010

HLI Lauds Decision by Bishop Olmsted to Defend both Life and Catholic Identity

FRONT ROYAL, Va., Dec. 22, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula, interim president of Human Life International (HLI), today praised the decision of Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to decree that Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) and its affiliate St. Joseph’s Hospital cannot be considered Catholic.

“The situation is indeed regrettable, and it is clear how difficult it has been for Bishop Olmsted,” said Monsignor Barreiro. “But this is what heroic, faithful leadership looks like. It does not take its cues from prevailing mores, but from the unchangeable teaching of the Church, which holds that every human person possesses not only life, but a dignity that demands our respect and defense, especially when he or she is most vulnerable.”

“As Bishop Olmsted said in his statement, CHW has long been in violation of the clear and unchanging teaching of the Church which it supposedly represents. But CHW is obviously not practicing truly Catholic health care. Untold numbers of persons have been misled and harmed by CHW’s shameful ignorance of the Church’s teaching, and since we know that they have been on notice for several years about their errors, they can no longer claim ignorance,” said Monsignor Barreiro. “Bishop Olmsted’s decision, as difficult as it was, is just and is in harmony with truth. Every human being must be defended from unjust aggression, whether the aggressor is a powerful person, the state, or a physician.”

“We hope that faithful Catholics around the nation will take the time to send Bishop Olmsted a note of support and appreciation, and will pray for him and his staff, for CHW, and for all involved in this sad affair,” said Monsignor Barreiro.

Human Life International: Pro-Life Missionaries to the World

Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international pro-life organization and has affiliates and associates in over 100 countries on six continents. http://www.hli.org


‘It’s A Wonderful, Wonderful Christmas After All’ — Dr. John Howard Shares the Spirit of Christmas

December 23, 2010

‘It’s A Wonderful, Wonderful Christmas After All’ — Dr. John Howard Shares the Spirit of Christmas

ROCKFORD, Ill., Dec. 22, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society is pleased to share a Christmas story from its founder, senior fellow, and spiritual mentor, Dr. John A. Howard. At 89 years of age still keeps full-time hours at the Center, defending the traditional values of family and Western Christian Civilization. The words below come from a brief excerpt of a speech that John gave earlier this year about his experience in World War II.

“In December, Hitler’s troops mounted a large and very powerful attack in an effort to try to break through the allied front and capture the ammunition dumps and supply depots of the harbor cities north of us from which came all our food, gasoline, replacement vehicles and ammunition to carry on the war. That attack became known as the Battle of the Bulge. If it had been successful, Hitler might have won the war. A heavy fog for some days had prevented any American airplane support. The Americans had no idea of the very large build-up in preparation for this breakthrough. The Germans spearheaded their attack with two divisions of the huge, heavily armored Tiger tanks and Panther tanks with bigger and with more powerful cannons than ours and they overwhelmed the Americans on the front line. During the five weeks of that fiercely fought struggle, there were 77,000 American casualties, killed, wounded or captured.

On Christmas day, our outfit was in position on the north flank of the German advance. Up in the turret of our tank, the gunner and I were standing trying to see through the fog when the gunner jabbed me in the ribs with his elbow and said, ‘Look at that.’ I whirled around. A girl, nine or ten years old was walking toward our tank. She told us that when the fighting came back toward her town, all the people left. But her grandfather was an invalid and couldn’t travel. She had stayed behind to take care of him. She said they had no food left and wondered if we had any to spare. We immediately gave her all the rations we had in the tank. She made sort of a basket out of her apron to put them in. She looked up at us, as she turned to leave, and said, ‘Oh! It’s a wonderful, wonderful Christmas after all!’ The marvelous thing is that all of us in the tank agreed with her. It had become a wonderful Christmas for us, too.”

To read more of John Howard’s speeches go to: http://www.profam.org/people/xthc_jah.htm#Other

Dr. John A. Howard

, Founder and Senior Fellow of The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society has been on the frontlines of the fight for traditional American values and religious ideals all of his adult life. He attended Princeton University from 1939 to 1942. From 1942-1945, he served in the Second World War with the 745th Tank Battalion, First Infantry Division. He received a battlefield commission, two Purple Hearts, and two Silver Stars.

After his much-decorated service, John Howard came home with a commitment to explaining and defending the religious ideals on which America was founded. After the war, he received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in French literature from Northwestern University. His public life included service in the Eisenhower Administration. He was also a member of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. The President of Rockford College (Rockford, Illinois) for 17 years, John Howard also served as National President of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities for three years. He holds many honorary degrees and was the founder of The Rockford College Institute, serving ten years as its president. Over 40 of his speeches have been published in Vital Speeches, including his award-winning 2007 address “Liberty Revisited.” His most recent book is “Christianity: Lifeblood of America’s Free Society

.”

The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society defends the natural family as the fundamental unit of society and operates the World Congress of Families. Visit http://www.profam.org

for more information.

Go to http://www.profam.org/THC/thc_member.htm

for more information on becoming a member of The Howard Center or to receive a subscription to The Family in America. To schedule an interview with John Howard or purchase a specially signed book, contact Larry Jacobs at 815-222-2490 or larry@profam.org.

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (www.profam.org) located in Rockford, Illinois is an independent, non-profit research and education center that strives to be the leading source of fresh ideas and new strategies for affirmation and defense of the natural family, both nationally and globally. The Howard Center is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families project which unites people of goodwill who recognize that the family is the fundamental unit of society and coordinates the efforts of pro-family groups from more than 60 countries worldwide.


Gysi: Hartz-IV Parteien setzen demokratische Gepflogenheiten außer Kraft

December 23, 2010

Gysi: Hartz-IV-Parteien setzen demokratische Gepflogenheiten außer Kraft

Für bedürftige Menschen bleibt kaum eine Chance die Feiertage zu feiern – Die Not in Deutschland schränkt viele Menschen ein – Viele Menschen in Not in Deutschland fühlen sich ihrer menschlichen Würde durch die Politik beraubt – Streit um 5 Euro im Monat – Steigerung der Lebenshaltungskosten wird nicht berücksichtigt

Von Andreas Klamm – Sabaot

Berlin. 23. Dezember 2010. Die politischen Auseinandersetzungen über eine Erhöhung von nur fünf Euro im Monat für die Bezieher des Arbeitslosengeldes II, bekannt auch als Hartz 4, werden in Berlin fortgeführt. Die Unions-liberale Koalition und die Opposition konnten sich nicht auf eine angemessene Erhöhung von Sozialleistungen für bedürftige Menschen in Deutschland einigen. Die Menschen in Not müssen jetzt möglicherweise warten, um auf eine Mini-Erhöhung im kommenden Jahr 2011 hoffen zu dürfen, die noch nicht einmal im Ansatz die Erhöhung der Lebenshaltungs-Kosten in Deutschland berücksichtigt. Sozial-Aktivisten aus Freiburg sind unterdessen weiterhin bemüht, die Einhaltung der elementarsten Menschenrechte im Landkreis Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald auch für behinderte Menschen in Deutschland einzufordern. Bislang führten die Initiativen und Beschwerden der Sozialaktivisten zu keinem Erfolg. Viele Menschen in Deutschland würden gerne die Feiertage feiern. Doch dazu bleibt für Menschen in schwerster Not in Deutschland kaum Zeit, denn sie sind damit beschäftigt, Wege zu finden um im winterlichen Deutschland wenigstens elementare Grundbedürfnisse befriedigen zu können. Zusätzliche Gelder, um Geschenke zu kaufen fehlen und so werden oft auch die Menschen geschädigt, die für politische Fehlentscheidungen in Deutschland normalerweise in keinster Weise in die Verantwortung genommen werden sollten: Kinder. So mancher Gaben-Tisch bleibt leer oder kann nur mittels der freundlichen Gaben edler Spender mit einem kleinen Geschenk für die Hoffnung gedeckt werden. Der Die Linke-Politiker Gregor Gysi beklagt unterdessen, die “Ausserkraftsetzung der demokratischen Gepflogenheiten in Deutschland.”.

“Es ist eine schwere Demokratieverletzung, dass die Hartz IV-Parteien CDU/CSU, FDP, SPD und Grüne gemeinsam eine Vertretung der LINKEN in der Hartz IV-Arbeitsgruppe des Vermittlungsausschusses von Bundestag und Bundesrat verhindert haben. Das ist nicht hinnehmbar”, kritisierte der Vorsitzende der Fraktion DIE LINKE, Gregor Gysi, nach den ersten Verhandlungen der Arbeitsgruppe. “Während sonst von den Parteien auf Stärkeverhältnisse in allen Gremien peinlich genau geachtet wird, werden bei den Hartz IV-Verhandlungen die demokratischen Gepflogenheiten außer Kraft gesetzt. Das spricht Bände. CDU/CSU, FDP, SPD und Grüne wollen offenbar die Hartz IV-Reform genauso unter sich und hinter verschlossenen Türen auskungeln, wie sie das Gesetz vor sieben Jahren in die Welt gebracht haben.”

Gysi sagte weiter: “Es ist völlig klar, dass bei 18 Mitgliedern in der Arbeitsgruppe mit allen gängigen Zählverfahren der LINKEN in jedem Fall zwei Plätze zustehen. Union und SPD scheinen den Vermittlungsausschuss aber immer noch als Erbhof einstiger Volksparteienherrlichkeit zu betrachten, was nun wirklich nicht mehr in die Zeit des Fünf-Parteien-Systems passt. Es ist ein Unding, dass selbst bei den acht für den Bundestag in die Arbeitsgruppe entsandten Vertreterinnen und Vertretern das Wählervotum ignoriert wird. Es gibt im Bundestag keine A- und B-Seite, sondern Koalition und Opposition in ihrem von den Wählerinnen und Wählern bestimmten Stärkeverhältnis.

Dass dadurch die Grünen mit der kleinsten Bundestagsfraktion und drei Regierungsbeteiligungen in den Ländern zwei Mitglieder am Verhandlungstisch haben, DIE LINKE mit einer größeren Bundestagsfraktion und zwei Regierungsbeteiligungen hingegen gar keinen Vertreter in der Arbeitsgruppe hat, verbiegt die Stärkeverhältnisse extrem. Da kein Verlass darauf ist, dass sich CDU/CSU, FDP, SPD und Grüne an ein Mindestmaß von demokratischer Kultur halten, muss umgehend eine Verfahrensvorschrift in Kraft gesetzt werden, die die Besetzung von durch den Vermittlungsausschuss eingesetzten Gremien nach demokratischen Prinzipien regelt. Die jetzige Vorgehensweise widerspricht dem Wählerwillen und delegitimiert die Verhandlungen von vornherein, weil die einzige parteipolitische Gegnerin von Hartz IV ausgeschlossen wird.”

Über eine mögliche Erhöhung von fünf Euro im Monat der Sozialleistungen für Hartz 4 – das meint für Bezieher von Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II) wird voraussichtlich erst im kommenden Jahr 2011 in Deutschland entschieden werden. Als sicher gilt bereits heute, dass eine monatliche Erhöhung von nur fünf Euro den Bedürfnissen von mehreren Millionen Menschen in Deutschland, die durch unverschuldete Umstände, wie politische Fehlentscheidungen, Weltwirtschaftskrise, Automatisierung in Unternehmen, Technisierung, Stellenabbau oder durch Insolvenzen von Unternehmen, einen Erwerbs-Arbeitsplatz mit Menschen-würdigem Einkommen verloren haben, in keinster Weise gerecht werden kann. Viele betroffene Menschen, die unter schwerster Not in Deutschland leiden, empfinden die Diskussion um eine geplante Erhöhung von nur fünf Euro im Monat als diskriminierend und Menschen-verachtend. Vor allem auch deshalb weil sich in den kommenden Wochen im Beispiel Politiker und Bürokraten der Europäischen Union die stolze Nachzahlung von mehr als 6800 Euro gönnen. Bedürftige Menschen in Deutschland fällt es schwer zu verstehen, weshalb eine kleine Gruppe bereits wohlhabender Menschen materiell und wirtschaftlich begünstigt werden, während Millionen von Menschen in Deutschland sozial und finanziell benachteiligt werden und um “jeden Cent” kämpfen sollen. Nicht wenige Menschen fühlen sich in Deutschland ihrer menschenlichen Würde beraubt. Möglicherweise bleibt erneut wieder nur der Gang zum Bundesverfassungsgericht nach Karlsruhe, um politische Fehlentscheidungen zu korrigieren und zum im Ansatz noch etwas soziale Gerechtigkeit in Deutschland erwirken zu können.


Journalist Lumturie Blakaj physically assaulted in Kosovo

December 23, 2010

Journalist Lumturie Blakaj physically assaulted in Kosovo

Vienna. December23, 2010/Seemo/ – The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South, East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the physical assault on Lumturie Blakaj, journalist working for the daily newspaper Zeri, in Kosovo. According to Blakaj, she was attacked on 20 December 2010 by an unknown perpetrator in front of the UNMIK building in Pristina. The attacker started punching Blakaj furiously in the back and proceeded by dragging her seven meters along the ground. The moment the perpetrator started punching Blakaj, three young men who witnessed the assault helped her and the perpetrator ran away.

Blakaj immediately reported the assault to the police, claiming that she did not recognize the perpetrator and has no information as to why he attacked her so viciously.

The next day, police spokesman Baki Kelani said the police have launched investigations.

“SEEMO strongly condemns all physical attacks on journalists, which have no place in a democratic society. Physical attacks such as this must be stopped from occurring in the future,” said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.

“SEEMO welcomes the police investigation and calls for a full investigation into finding out not only who attacked the journalist, but also the reason behind the attack,” added Vujovic.

SEEMO also notes with unease this increasing tendency of assaults against journalists in Kosovo. It calls on the Pristina authorities to state their dedication to the protection of journalists, and press freedom in general, by taking active steps to counteract these alarming developments.