Passport

Qaddafi in Jersey? Fugheddaboudit!

City officials in Englewood, New Jersey, are not happy about the possiility that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's might pitch his tent there (literally) when he attends the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September:

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes said it would be offensive for Gaddafi even to be allowed a U.S. visa after Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was given a "hero's welcome" on his return to Libya last week.

Megrahi was freed from a life sentence in a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds because he is dying of cancer.

An official at the Libyan mission to the United Nations confirmed Gaddafi planned to attend the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City but said there was no information about where he would stay. Gaddafi is scheduled to address the assembly on September 23.

Wildes said the Libyan embassy owns a 4.5-acre (1.8-hectare) property in Englewood next door to a Jewish school and a rabbi.

"People are infuriated that a financier of terrorism, who in recent days gave a hero's welcome to a convicted terrorist, would be welcomed to our shores, let alone reside in our city," Wildes told Reuters.

Artyom Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images

Passport

Nazi Winnie the Pooh banned in Russia

The Moscow Times reports that Russia has issued new guidlelines to law enforcement officials about how to define extremism:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Winnie the Pooh share a dubious honor: Anyone who depicts either of them with a swastika can be punished under the law.

The Justice Ministry published the latest — and biggest — update to its list of extremist materials on its web site this week, and many of the 414 new entries are so vague or controversial that analysts say they threaten to discredit the list all together.

The list is important because police officers and other law enforcement officials use it in street checks, apartment searches and criminal cases.

Among the new entries, extremist material is identified as “a picture of Winnie the Pooh wearing a swastika,” “a self-made template for a future newspaper, comic or other print materials,” and “a flag with a cross.”

 And just when you thought that was all:

A closer look at the list brings other surprises. For example, item No. 402 is the LiveJournal blog Reinform.livejournal.com.

The blog has not been suspended by LiveJournal’s abuse team and is being updated almost daily. Its owner wrote on its front page that he had opened the blog after seeing prosecutors mistakenly name the then-nonexistent blog as extremist.

With 414 items already on the list, it goes well beyond swastikas and I'm starting to get worried. Is Passport's entirely serious interest in shirtless Putin pictures extremist or patriotic? 

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