Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pictured: The TV rabbit preaching hatred and telling young Muslims to 'kill and eat Jews'

By Daily Mail Reporter

An Islamic TV station using a Bugs Bunny lookalike to preach hatred to children has been slammed by religious leaders in the UK who fear it could brainwash vulnerable British children.

Assud the rabbit, who vows to 'kill and eat Jews' and glorifies the maiming of 'infidels' appears on Palestinian children's show, Tomorrow's Pioneers.

The rabbit is a number of characters who is punished by viewer's vote when he breaches Sharia law.

In one episode, Assud admits stealing money and is seen begging for mercy after young viewers and parents phone in demanding his hands are cut off as punishment.

Assud the rabbit is threatened with punishment for stealing on Palestinian children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers

At that point the 11-year-old presenter intervenes - and rules that the bunny should only have his ears severed because he has repented.

The rabbit is played by an actor in fancy dress and is one of the main characters on the show broadcast in Gaza by the al-Aqsa channel - known as Hamas TV.

Religious leaders across the UK have today spoken out against the controversial show which can be viewed via satellite.

The programme is also easily viewed on internet sites such as YouTube, sparking fears that British children could be subjected to the radical Islamic message.

The Association of Muslim Schools, which represents the UK's 143 Muslim schools, said it was opposed to any shows that incite violence.

Spokesman Dr Mohamed Mukadam said: 'It goes without saying that any programme which promotes the killing or injuring of human beings is wrong.

Assud encourages children to 'eat and kill Jews' and preaches hatred

'Regardless of religion, shows that incite or inspire others to inflict violence of any kind should be condemned.

'Such shows are against the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and we would urge people of all ages not to watch them.'

Set up as a regional station prior to the Palestinian elections in January 2006, al-Aqsa TV now airs on a satellite slot.

It broadcasts what many call a mixture of news of Islamic propaganda, but has picked up a substantial following across the Arabic-speaking world.

Tomorrow's Pioneers was first aired in April 2007, and features young host Saraa Barhoum and her co-host, a large costumed animal.

The show originally featured a Mickey Mouse-style character called Farfur who urged children to fight against the Jewish community and form a world Islamic state.

Farfur was later replaced by a bumble bee called Nahoul, who told viewers to 'follow the path of Islam, of martyrdom and of the Mujahideen'.

He was 'martyred' earlier this year and replaced by Assud, who tells children in his first episode: 'I, Assud, will get rid of the jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up.'

UK religious leaders fear young British children could be subjected to the rabbit's hate teachings

In a discussion with 11-year-old host Saraa Barhoum, the young viewers are referred to as 'soldiers'.

Assud asks Saraa: 'We are all martyrdom-seekers, are we not?'.

To which she replies: 'Yes, we are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland.'

The phone-in show accepts calls from children as young as nine on topics about life in Palestine.

During one show broadcast in February, Assud vows to kill and eat all Danish people over the cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad which appeared in a newspaper.

He also pledges to assassinate the illustrator and Saraa also agrees that she would martyr herself for the cause of Palestine.

Saraa, who has seven brothers and sisters, was invited to host the show after entering a singing competition.

But speaking last year, she defended the programme - and insisted it was not responsible for spreading extremism.

She said: 'We are not terrorists. We do not support terrorism. We are normal people, but we are defending our homeland.

'The Israelis hit next door to my house with a shell. I was wounded on my feet and my little brother Youssef was wounded in the legs.

'We, as Muslims, are against suicide bombers. We are against the death of civilians on all sides. We are only the enemy of those who took our land and kill us every day.'

The show is regularly translated and posted online by The Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent media monitoring group based in the United States.

Al-Aqsa was today was unavailable for comment.

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Merger of XM and Sirius Appears Close to Approval

The Federal Communications Commission was on the verge of approving a merger between XM and Sirius on Wednesday night, a move that would end a nearly 18-month government review of a deal that would essentially create a monopoly in satellite radio.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mel Karmazin, the chief executive of Sirius, was the force behind a deal with XM and would run the combined company.

Deborah Taylor Tate, a Republican member of the F.C.C., appeared ready on Wednesday to vote in favor of the deal, which would break a deadlock along party lines among the other four commissioners. She would join Kevin J. Martin, the chairman, in supporting the merger, with certain conditions. Mr. Martin, a Republican, had publicly said that he was in favor of it.

On Wednesday, Jonathan S. Adelstein, a Democratic F.C.C. commissioner, voted against the merger, arguing that it was not in the public interest to let the only two companies in a particular business combine. Both XM and Sirius operate satellites that beam radio signals to subscribers, who must pay for the service; each offers a menu of stations with a much broader geographic reach than terrestrial radio.

In March, the Justice Department, which reviews deals on antitrust grounds, approved the proposed $5 billion merger. Agency officials said they did not view the deal as creating a monopoly because of the many alternatives in audio programming, like iPods and HD Radio.

The combination of Sirius and XM would create one satellite radio company with about 17 million subscribers and programming that would run the gamut from Howard Stern to Oprah Winfrey, Major League Baseball to Martha Stewart.

Although the F.C.C. made no announcement on Wednesday, Mr. Adelstein’s public comments suggested that the commission was close to approval.

“I was hoping to forge a bipartisan solution that would offer consumers more diversity in programming, better price protection, greater choices among innovative devices and real competition with digital radio,” he said in a statement. “Instead, it appears they’re going to get a monopoly with window dressing.”

Patrick Reilly, a spokesman for Sirius, did not return a call seeking comment. Nathaniel Brown, the spokesman for XM, declined to comment. A spokesman at the F.C.C. declined to comment, and Ms. Tate did not immediately return a call for comment.

While no formal announcement was made, many saw the deal as a fait accompli.

“As expected, the Federal Communications vote on the XM-Sirius deal is going to be a 3-2 vote, with Republican Commissioner Deborah Tate casting the decisive vote, most probably, in our view, in favor of the transaction,” wrote Blair Levin, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus and a former chief of staff at the F.C.C., in a research note on Wednesday.

With the final go-ahead from the government, the deal could close within days, giving a significant victory to Mel Karmazin, the chief executive of Sirius and the person who would run the combined company. A longtime media and entertainment executive — he previously ran CBS and was president of Viacom — Mr. Karmazin was the chief architect of the merger with XM.

Among the conditions that both companies had already accepted were à la carte programming that would give consumers flexibility in which channels they pay for, the permission for any electronics company to develop devices that would receive the service and a price freeze for three years.

Shares in both companies rose on Wednesday in anticipation of approval. XM rose 94 cents, or 10.3 percent, to close at $10.04. Sirius closed at $2.68, up 30 cents, or 12.6 percent.

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Q&A: X-Files' Chris Carter Talks Paranoia, Secrecy and the Element of Surprise

Chris Carter knows how to keep a secret.

The X-Files creator and his writing partner, Frank Spotnize, finished the script for The X-Files: I Want to Believe last November and raced into production over the winter. Along the way, Carter -- who produced and directed the film, opening Friday -- took extraordinary measures to maintain secrecy about his storyline, which catches up with Fox Mulder and Dana Scully six years after the iconic TV series' finale. All we know for sure at this point is Mulder and Scully are together again, searching for answers to a mystery that unfolds amid snowy terrain. got on the phone with Carter to find out about the surveillance cameras he installed on the movie set, his five-year hiatus from show business and the key to bringing stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back together. He also discusses the real-life scene straight out of the X-Files when six Secret Service agents marched into his office on the 20th Century Fox lot. Paranoia lives! Keeping the story line for this movie under wraps is much harder now than it would have been eight or nine years ago when the X-Files TV series was on the air....

Chris Carter: Without a doubt. That's one reason we were determined to spoil the spoilers. It's a business now, not unlike the business paparazzi are involved [in]. They're cashing in on spilling plots, these websites that actually sell advertising. It capitalizes on and/or exploits something I consider to be of great value, and that's the element of surprise. If they are going to make book, as it were, on what I'm doing, then I'm going to take pleasure in trying to foil them every step of the way. You've been very successful at keeping a lid on the leakers.

Carter: There've been a few peeps, but, yeah, we've managed to keep the story a secret. I think it will probably be spilled in the next 48 hours just because, if people jump the gun now, what's the punishment? But I'll still consider it a victory. For a lot of fans, the plot is probably less important than the chance to see David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson together again as Mulder and Scully.

Carter: Yes, that's true. That kind of onscreen chemistry can be very fragile. Were you at all worried that on the first day of shooting, the vibe between Mulder and Scully we remember from the late '90s might not be there anymore?

Carter: No, I wasn't concerned about that at all. You could drive yourself crazy with all the things to worry about, but that was the least of my concerns. So you trusted your stars to deliver the goods once the cameras starting rolling.

Carter: And they told me as much. It was their enthusiasm to do the movie, particularly David's, that excited me to revisit the X-Files, and I'm so glad I did now. It gave me a chance to look at this relationship, which has now lasted 16 years, in a whole new way. Duchovny was basically nudging you to make a new X-Files movie?

Carter: When I gave him the script, he liked it very much but thankfully, he had very astute notes. How did you approach Gillian?

Carter: She read the script while I sat in the other room talking to her partner. Then I took it back from her. How did she react?

Andersona300Carter: She liked it, but Gillian is very smart about her character. She had questions, which were more feelings at that point, that helped me to dig back in and refine and polish and rethink some areas. Between the end of the TV series and the beginning of the movie project, you had a lot of time to decompress from show business. For one thing, you spent a year getting your pilot's license. What hooked you on flying?

Carter: New way of thinking. It's always good for me to force myself into a place where I'm uncomfortable, and I've never been comfortable flying. But I like the fact that, with flying, you have this methodical system with which you solve problems. I'd recommend it to anyone. It probably helped me be a better director and producer. You also did some mountain climbing, right?

Carter: In Canada, I climbed some mountains with the Alpine Club of Canada, which taught me a lot about stamina. And again, I was approaching something where I was uncomfortable. So you you weren't exactly chilling out during your hiatus.

Carter: Hardly. When you ran X-Files ...

Carter: I was pretty much at my computer for about 10 years straight. I finally had a chance to get out and do things that were more physical. You know what else I did? I took three years of drum lessons. I have a kit set up right now. I love jazz and funk, because it's hard. If it's not hard, it's not worth doing. Meanwhile, as you're doing the mountain climbing and flying and playing drums, you've got a lawsuit against Fox going on.

Carter: Yes. By the way, that's something of a misnomer. It was a lawsuit I had to file to preserve my right to continue to negotiate, but it never reached the pitch where everybody basically straps on their armor and each side is financing a war. It was a negotiation. Once you decided to move forward with a new X-Files movie, things came together pretty quickly. Was there a sense of urgency in getting this made?

Carter: Frank and I wrote the script between April and August, which for us, was so luxurious. Coming from TV ...

Carter: Yes. We continued to polish the script until November, literally minutes before the writers' strike happened Why'd you go back to Vancouver, where most of the X-Files series was filmed, to make the movie?

Duchovnyb300Carter: We needed snow, so we needed to head north. We considered Alberta but chose to shoot about two hours north of Vancouver, and I'm glad we did. I guess there's a certain atmosphere you can only get from that kind of fierce weather and rugged location, but I imagine it's also a huge hassle?

Carter: Snow can be unstable. If it starts to get warm, it melts. If it melts and you've got heavy equipment on it, it gets mired. Moving anything in the snow requires something other than wheels. You need snowmobiles to do the most simple thing like turn your cameras in the opposite direction. Communication is restricted. You often direct the actors by yelling at them across a distance -- not the way I prefer to direct. And you need to keep your wits about you when you're in the dead of night and it's the driving snow, the wind is blowing. How did you prepare for all that?

Carter: We started shooting before Christmas, and then broke for two weeks. My wife and I went to a ski resort, but I didn't ski once. During the day, I would dress up in my various cold-weather wardrobes and walk around and get the feel for what was going to work in different environments and figure out how I was going to change from one pair of shoes to another. I now own, literally, eight pairs of different grades of snow boots. My experience with the Alpine Club of Canada was all-important. Little did I know I was training for this movie during the five years off. X-Files, the series, captured a certain kind of paranoia floating around in the late '90s. Then everything changed, at least for a while, with 9/11. Does the shift in the national mood, post-9/11, inform the way you deal with paranoia in I Want to Believe?

Carter: No, we chose to not put this in a political context. The film doesn't depend on the current definition of paranoia, but we do stake the story to this place in time and make a passing, ambiguous reference to the zeitgeist. Speaking of paranoia, if we can get back to the security precautions: You actually set up surveillance cameras to make sure crew members didn't try to leak the scripts?

Carter: Yep. That's outrageous. We trust everyone we work with, mostly because we've worked with them before, but we did that as almost a theatrical ... I thought, wouldn't it be cool if we could do a making-of that was about how we kept the script a secret? So we started to produce that. My suspicion was that we wouldn't be able to keep it a secret, that someone would blab, and then you could actually create a whodunit, a movie within the movie. And you made sure everyone turned in their "sides" of the scripts at the end of the shooting day.

Carter: That was a huge hassle for everyone. All our assistants had to go through the collection and shredding process. Still, call sheets leaked. We had paparazzi the first night. Our cameraman one night is setting up a shot, he yells, "Photographer!" and everyone went tearing off after this guy. Did you hire security consultants to figure all this stuff out?

Carter: We hired no security consultants. We are now the security experts. People can hire us (laughs). It's not just you who worried about leaks. Fox is pretty aggressive too, right?

Carter: I learned how serious Fox was about security back in 2002. One day, six Secret Service agents came in to our offices and started interviewing us individually. Someone in our offices, at night,had called one of these spoiler sites and given out information on Minority Report, which was being made at Fox at the time. They were investigating the leak as a crime. I'm going to assume Mulder and Scully are both still alive at the end of this movie?

Carter: They are. So In the back of your mind, have you considered doing another sequel?

Carter: We wrote this movie imagining that it might be the last time we ever see Mulder and Scully, so we'd be happy if this were our swan song. We can't predict box office. If this movie does business, I'm sure that Fox would want to have a conversation with us. And you'd be willing to take part in that conversation?

Carter: Sure! If nobody spoils the plot twists and people go see The X Files: I Want to Believe this weekend having no idea what they're in for, what do you want the audience to experience?

Carter: I hope people feel we've deepened the relationship and that the mystery was satisfying ... and creepy.

Photos courtesy 20th Century Fox

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The Joker Heads Back To Theaters For DC Comics Prison Film ‘Super Max’

Heath Ledger as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight'The legend surrounding Heath Ledger’s Joker is already growing at a staggering rate, with some even calling it the best villain of all-time. But given Ledger’s untimely demise earlier this year, could it possibly be the last we’ll see of the Joker on the big-screen for a long, long time?

Absolutely not, insisted “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” scribe David Goyer, who already has plans to bring the Joker back to the big-screen, and soon. Just not in “Batman 3.”

“His name is a throwaway. He’s on a cell,” Goyer said of the Joker’s appearance in “Super Max,” the Green Arrow movie he’s written which takes place at a penitentiary for super villains in the DC Universe. “You don’t actually see him, just his name on a cell. It’s a real Easter Egg. That’s one cross-pollination we would stay away from [doing more with].”

In fact, a non-traditional superhero movie that centers on Green Arrow’s incarceration and eventual escape from prison, “Super Max” boasts a whole host of comic-crossovers, with everyone from “Superman villains, Green Lantern villains, and Wonder Woman villains,” making an appearance, Goyer said.

“I know Warner Brothers is having a big rethink about how they approach all their DC films and they’ve been taking a lot of meanings recently about it. And this is a script they like a lot because there are all sorts of characters in this prison. They like that idea,” Goyer said. “We’re fairly hopeful they’ll want to move forward in the next year or so.”

So given the opportunity for nearly unfettered play in the DC sandbox, which side character is Goyer’s favorite?

“The Tattoo Man is in there which seemed like a no brainer if you’re doing a movie about a super prison — having a character with super tattoos,” Goyer said. “Amanda Waller’s in there as well from the Suicide Squad. Those are probably the two I like the most, absent Green Arrow.”

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Max Payne Posters!

By Kellvin Chavez

20th Century Fox have provided Latino Review with a look at two cool ass onesheets for Max Payne starring Mark Wahlberg, Chris O'Donnell, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Mila Kunis, Donal Logue, and Amaury Nolasco.

The film is due out this October.

Based on the legendary, hard-hitting interactive video game, "Max Payne" tells the story of a maverick cop determined to track down those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner. Hell-bent on revenge, his obsessive investigation takes him on a nightmare journey into a dark underworld. As the mystery deepens, Max (Wahlberg) is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world and face an unthinkable betrayal.

Check out both posters below.

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