Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/28/2013

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced that she will abdicate the throne in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, on April 30. The queen says she is relinquishing the throne due to her age. The decision had been long expected.

In other news, a professor at Australian National University is proposing that his country adopt a new flag, one that is more culturally and politically inclusive.

In other news, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that it launched a monkey into Earth orbit. There’s no word on whether the simian astronaut is of Jewish heritage.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, CSP, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.


Financial Crisis
» From Welfare to Freedom
» Greek Airports Saw 1 Mln Fewer Arrivals
» House of Rothschild Hoarding Gold in Face of Coming Collapse?
» Italy’s Recession May be at an End, Confindustria Says
» Monti Says of Crisis ‘Italy Did it Alone’ Without EU Aid
» Senior Obama Official: “We Are Going to Kill the Dollar”
» The Single Chart That Should Force the Fed Out of Business
» Video: How Iceland Overthrew the Banks: The Only 3 Minutes of Any Worth From Davos
 
USA
» A Tsunami of Governmental Global Warming Lies
» Anonymous Hacks US Sentencing Website in Retaliation for Aaron Swartz’ Death
» ‘Argo’ Expected to Triumph at Oscars
» Can Terrorists Compel Voters?
» DHS Buys 7000 Full-Auto Assault Rifles, Calls Them ‘Personal Defense Weapons’
» Don’t Smoke (Or Urinate) In Public: An Italian Lawyer’s Tips for Visitors to the U.S.
» Drug-Induced Murder: What Caused the Connecticut School Shootings?
» Frank Gaffney: Chuck Hagel’s Contempt for the Senate
» Gun Owners Go ‘Gandhi’ In New York With Plans for Mass Civil Disobedience Over Cuomo’s Tyrannical Gun Grab
» Homeland Security Training TSA Workers to Save Themselves in Shooting
» How Television News Creates the Illusion of Knowledge
» Just a Drill: Helicopters Train in Miami With Machine Gun Fire
» Militarized Police State Over Miami: “It’s Only a Drill…”
» Police Chief Vows to Stop “Tyrannical Thugs” From Disarming Americans
» Sheriffs Bushwhacked
» ‘Vaccine Court’ Awards Millions to Two Autistic Children Damaged by Vaccines
» Video: Law Professor on CBS Says ‘Let’s Give Up on the Constitution’
» Yes, Fellow Bubbas, They’re Coming for Your Guns
 
Europe and the EU
» Austria Refuses to Return Salieri’s Body to Italy
» Dutch Queen Beatrix Abdicating, Son Will be King
» EU Commissioner Deplores Berlusconi’s Defence of Mussolini
» Germany: Hitler Spoils Found in Storerooms
» Germany: Absenteeism Among Berlin’s Public Sector Workers Rise
» Italian Navy Carried Out 125 Anti-Piracy Missions in 2012
» Italy: M5S Leader Lambasts Tighter Cross-Checks on Taxpayers
» Italy: Calabria’s Commissioner for Waste Heralds New Initiatives
» Italy: Waiter Says Priapus Statue at Berlusconi Dinner ‘A Joke’
» Italy: Missing USAF F-16 Thought to Have Crashed in the Adriatic
» Swedish Man to Stand Trial for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sado-Masochistic Sex Game Death of His Girlfriend
» UK: 37 Jailed Killers Walk Out and Flee: Alarm Over Security at Open Prisons as Figures Reveal 175 Inmates Absconded Last Year
» UK: Algeria Terror Attack Extremists Quizzed
» UK: Broadside Fired at BBC Over Its Militant Mess
» UK: Cries of Teen, 16, Begging for His Life Before Being Stabbed to Death in Posh London Street by Gang Armed With Knives and Swords
» UK: Family to be Charged £650 a Year by Council for Keeping Seven-Year-Old Daughter’s Bedroom as a Shrine After She Died of Cancer
» UK: Labour and Lib Dems Accused of ‘Not Trusting the People’ To Decide the Future of Britain’s Place in Europe
» UK: One in Four Violent Criminals Escapes With Just a Caution as Police Wrongly Let Off Sex Offenders and Burglars
» UK: Office Worker, 24, Fined £400 for Dropping Small Sachet of Salt in Front of Litter Warden
» UK: Pictured on Their Wedding Day, The Husband and Wife Killed When Their Tandem Bicycle Was Struck by Hit and Run Driver Being Chased by Police
 
North Africa
» Egypt Gives Military the Power to Arrest Civilians
» Egypt: Al-Masry Supporters Rally Tonight at 8pm
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Berlusconi Reiterates His Friendship With Israel
 
Middle East
» Christians in Syria, Targeted by Islamic Extremists and Bombs
» Hacked Emails Reveal ‘Washington-Approved’ Plan to Stage Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria
» Iran Successfully Sends Monkey Into Orbit
» Syria: Russia Evacuates Nationals, Remains Close to Assad
» Tehran Denies Explosion Occurred at Fordo While Israeli Sources Confirm the Event
» Turkey Adds Water-Pipes to Prior Cigarette Ban
 
Russia
» Patriarch Kirill “Silences” Critical Voices Within the Russian Church
 
South Asia
» Eye-Watering Indian Well With 3,500 Steps That Looks Like a Real-Life Escher Drawing Maze of Symmetrical Steps Appear to Form a Never Ending Path Deep Underground.
» Malaysia: As Bible-Burning Threat Ebbs, Penang Bishop Meets Muslim Spiritual Leader
» Roadside Bomb Kills 10 People in Afghanistan
 
Australia — Pacific
» ANU Academic Proposes New Australian Flag
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Gunmen Kill Eight in Northeastern Nigeria
» Italian Govt ‘Lacks Backing’ To Support France in Mali
 
Immigration
» Romanians and Bulgarians to be Told: “UK’s Too Cold for You” In Advertising Campaign to Try and Deter Them From Coming to Britain
» Social Decay + Illegal Immigration + Poverty = Open War on the Streets of America
 
Culture Wars
» Psychiatry to Label Entire Families With a Mental Disorder
» Thousands Demonstrate in Paris in Support of Gay Marriage

From Welfare to Freedom

The issue of welfare and entitlement reform has simmered on the back burner for decades. As the political leadership of the federal government remains dysfunctional in the midst of a crisis in which Social Security and Medicare near financial insolvency and welfare payments mushroom, it may be difficult to appreciate that, indeed, there is a way out of this mess.

There is a practical way to reduce dependency on entitlements and increase employment but it involves dramatically reducing the size and scope of the federal government while simultaneously reengineering tax policy to serve as a catalyst for the growth of free markets in health care and retirement. In my book Restore the Republic I provide a road map. Here I supply a synopsis.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greek Airports Saw 1 Mln Fewer Arrivals

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JANUARY 28 — Domestic and international tourism arrivals at the Greek airports declined by about 1 million last year, reflecting the crisis that Greek tourism suffered in 2012, according to Civil Aviation Authority data that daily Kathimerini revealed. Arrivals from abroad fell by 4.1%, amounting to 13.2 million, while arrivals from within Greece contracted 7% year-on-year to 5.2 million. An increase was recorded in arrivals from Great Britain, Russia and Turkey, while the number of those coming from Germany, France and Italy posted a drop. Travel receipts in the first 11 months of 2012 went down by 474 million euros from the same period in 2011, according to figures released on Friday by the Bank of Greece.

Receipts from tourism in general in the January-November 2012 period added up to 9.9 billion euros, recording a 4.6% annual drop. Most forecasts for 2013 predict a record number of arrivals from abroad. As far as domestic tourism is concerned, however, the declining course is expected to continue owing to the ongoing financial crisis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

House of Rothschild Hoarding Gold in Face of Coming Collapse?

A recent appointment of Rothschild as “financial advisor” by the Board of Directors of gold exploration company Spanish Mountain Gold is yet another unmistakable indication that the ancient family is moving the world’s gold supply to both “emerging markets” and Central Banks worldwide, strengthening the family’s monopoly position when the fiat-based house of cards comes crashing down in the West.

The Board of Directors of the British Columbia based gold exploration companyappointed Rothschild to “review strategic options with the objective of maximizing shareholder value.” In July of 2012, Spanish Mountain Gold’s CEO Brian Groves boasted already that the excavation in British Colombia is a project worth “several million ounces in gold” and is backed by “an enormous network of connections globally”, Groves told Resource Clips.

Indeed, this recent appointment of Rothschild’s financial expertise (from centuries worth of experience) has increased the value of this company somewhat, propelling the gold-producing company into newer heights (or depths), depending on what end of the gold bar you find yourself. It also is a sure sign that the family is tightening its grip on gold, in both the excavation, the producing and the trading phase.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Recession May be at an End, Confindustria Says

Industrialists’ group sees conditions for recovery

(ANSA) — Rome, January 28 — The powerful Italian industrial group Confindustria said on Monday that Italy’s recession may finally be reaching an end. Confindustria’s ‘Situation Flash’ stated that the Italian economy “is touching the bottom of a hard recession, the second in five years. Conditions for bouncing back have been reached which could initiate recovery”.

The Confindustria also found that lost consumer confidence had compressed domestic consumption of durable goods more than would be justified by real disposable income alone.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Monti Says of Crisis ‘Italy Did it Alone’ Without EU Aid

(AGI) Mirandola — Mario Monti said: Italy did it alone thanks to great collective sacrifice, and is now an ‘A category’ country.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Senior Obama Official: “We Are Going to Kill the Dollar”

Kyle Bass, who knows a thing or two about economics and finance, recently spoke to a senior member of the Obama administration about their planned solutions for fixing the U.S. economy and trade deficit.

The answer shouldn’t surprise you.

When I asked a senior member of the Obama administration last week, ‘How are we going to grow exports if we won’t allow nominal wage deflation?’

He says, ‘we’re just going to kill the dollar.’

That worried me.

So, that the only answer.

It’s a dead answer.

But, that’s where we’re headed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Single Chart That Should Force the Fed Out of Business

Inflation is the Fed’s 100 year legacy.

Behold the chart that, in a more just and sane world, would force Bernanke and Krugman to retire and drive the Fed out of business. Consumer prices are now 30 times higher than when the Fed was created in 1913.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: How Iceland Overthrew the Banks: The Only 3 Minutes of Any Worth From Davos

“Why do we consider banks to be like holy churches?” is the rhetorical question that Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimson asks (and answers) in this truly epic three minutes of truthiness from the farce that is the World Economic Forum in Davos. Amid a week of back-slapping and self-congratulatory party-outdoing, as John Aziz notes, the Icelandic President explains why his nation is growing strongly, why unemployment is negligible, and how they moved from the world’s poster-child for banking crisis 5 years ago to a thriving nation once again. Simply put, he says, “we didn’t follow the prevailing orthodoxies of the last 30 years in the Western world.

There are lessons here for everyone — as Grimson explains the process of creative destruction that remains much needed in Western economies — though we suspect his holographic pass for next year’s Swiss fun will be reneged…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A Tsunami of Governmental Global Warming Lies

Cannot trust anything the government, nor its lackeys in the mainstream media, regarding anything about global warming or climate change. It is a tsunami of lies.

It’s bad enough when major environmental organizations continue to lie about a “global warming” that does not exist in lieu of a planetary cooling cycle now entering its 17th year, but when those allied with the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are also in charge of producing a government report on it, the public is being lied to in ways that obscure their bias and agenda.

This is the case of the recently released draft report of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) titled “Climate Change and the American People.” The majority of the thirteen senior scientists responsible for it are closely allied with the IPCC. No doubt, the final report will be cited by the IPCC as further “proof” that global warming is real.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Anonymous Hacks US Sentencing Website in Retaliation for Aaron Swartz’ Death

Hacked data could reveal government secrets, including the identities of informants and targets of surveillance.

The hacker collective ‘Anonymous’ took down a government website for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, USSC.gov, late Friday night, citing that a ‘line was crossed’ with the death of Reddit founder and prominent SOPA opponent Aaron Swartz.

ZD Net covers the details of the site attack:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Argo’ Expected to Triumph at Oscars

(AGI) Los Angeles, Jan 27 — “Argo”, the thriller about the hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seems increasingly likely to triumph at the Oscars. Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in the film, “Argo” has won the coveted top honour at the Producers Guild Awards.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Can Terrorists Compel Voters?

Michael Moore created a movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” to sway the election by using propaganda techniques the Nazis, the Chinese and the Soviets used upon their own people.

In 1962, Frank Sinatra did just the opposite, He starred in a film called “The Manchurian Candidate.” It showed Americans how through brainwashing, it is possible to subvert the electoral process. It was John F. Kennedy’s favorite film. (By the way, I recommend that you not bother with the 2004 remake of the movie, starring Denzel Washington, Liv Schreiber and Meryl Streep. The remake is not, repeat not, in any way faithful, in its essentials, to the book or to the crucial realities. It tends to hide and draw attention away from the crucial facts about manipulation, which—though not the fault of any of actors in the excellent cast—may have been exactly what it was designed and released in order to do.)

The Madrid train bombing a few years ago, just before a crucial election, is a dramatic example of mass-mind manipulation through psycho-political subversion. Capitalizing on a climate of anxiety and shock, the Socialist opposition party literally hypnotized the Spanish people to turn against their government in the elections that occurred a few days later.

Exploiting the heightened anxiety of the masses, the political opposition seized the moment to blame the government. Terrified into a state of high suggestibility, the traumatized Spanish people bought the lie and elected a “Manchurian Candidate.” They may never know what hit them.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Buys 7000 Full-Auto Assault Rifles, Calls Them ‘Personal Defense Weapons’

In yet another huge blow to the rhetoric and narrative of the Obama administration and its desire to disarm the American public, a DHS bid has been uncovered (see documents below) showing that the Department of Homeland Security recently put out an offer to purchase 7,000 full-auto “assault weapons” to be used domestically, inside the USA.

Keep in mind that President Obama is on the record saying, “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals; that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

But it seems he really means they don’t belong on the streets of our cities unless they are in the hands of homeland security enforcers, in which case they can be FULL-AUTO assault weapons.

The DHS bid for 7,000 full-auto assault weapons is found by clicking here. The original credit for discovering this goes, to my best knowledge, to Awr Hawkins at Breitbart.com.

In the hands of the government, they’re called “Personal Defense Weapons”

The juiciest part of this bid is the use of the phrase “Personal Defense Weapons” to describe the full-auto AR-15s being purchased by DHS.

Apparently, when YOU hold an AR-15, it’s an “assault rifle.” But magically, if you hand that same rifle to an armed government homeland security enforcer, it instantly transforms itself into a “personal defense weapon.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Don’t Smoke (Or Urinate) In Public: An Italian Lawyer’s Tips for Visitors to the U.S.

Too many travelers ignore some pretty basic American laws that can seem foreign to them. Here’s how it looks to the Italian go-to lawyer in New York for just such cases

She was born in Bari and now lives in Harlem, argues before legal tribunals in New York and is a yoga fanatic. Her husband is an African American and she met her favourite actor, Denzel Washington, in a club. She’s not even 40 years old, but studied in the University of Bari and identifies with both American and Italian cultures. Meet Germana Giordano, the woman who has dedicated her daily mission to aid her Italian compatriots in the legal system of New York.

Her Park Avenue office is where the majority of Italian tourists who infringe on the laws of the Big Apple come to seek help. Giordano, who usually works on homicide and other serious crime cases, spends her spare time aiding Italians who get caught in the web of the American justice system, which has become something of a mission for her.

The attorney’s decision to speak with La Stampa stems from her belief that the root of the problems lie in a lack of knowledge of U.S. law. So, here’s a quick guide to the most common crimes committed by Italians (and other foreign visitors?) in New York — and how to avoid them.

Giordano is a trained criminal lawyer, and perhaps the only one among all of the Italian lawyers who offers support to the Italian Consulate in helping compatriots in distress. “There are four most common crimes” she says, “urinating in public, shoplifting, drinking and smoking in public places where it is forbidden.”

Statistically, urinating in public has the highest number of cases: between 20 and 30 each year. All are men, not only young ones but the more mature as well, who behave in New York as it were any typical Italian city- they go off into a corner and take care of their needs. But in New York, if a police officer sees them doing it, he will arrest them to their utter disbelief. Fierce protests often pursue.

Sometimes in New York a criminal offense can lead to a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail. Giordano typically manages to get her clients acquitted or strike a plea bargain, hoping at least to get the legal battles in the archives of immigration rather than criminal departments…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Drug-Induced Murder: What Caused the Connecticut School Shootings?

The Internet is rife with details about the firearms Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and 6 adults before turning a handgun on himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. But information about Lanza’s medical history is scarce, breeding speculation that he may fit the profile of school shooters under the influence of psychotherapeutic medication.

“In virtually every mass school shooting during the past 15 years, the shooter has been on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs,” writes Lawrence Hunter of the Social Security Institute. “Yet, federal and state governments continue to ignore the connection between psychiatric drugs and murderous violence, preferring instead to exploit these tragedies in an oppressive and unconstitutional power grab to snatch guns away from innocent, law-abiding people.”

School shooters on psychotropic drugs include:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: Chuck Hagel’s Contempt for the Senate

In the run-up to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing this Thursday on Chuck Hagel’s fitness to become the next Secretary of Defense, its members have been treated to the spectacle of the nominee spinning at the RPM of a prima ballerina.

Evidently, the former Nebraska senator has very low regard for those now serving in the Senate. He seems confident that they will either not see through — or at least not object to — his concerted efforts to: disavow his well-documented public record; obscure his serial, faulty judgments; and ignore the harm both suggest he is prepared to do, if confirmed, to the national security.

The question is: Will Mr. Hagel’s cynical and contemptuous gambit be rewarded by the Senate? Or will it be properly repudiated? …

           — Hat tip: CSP [Return to headlines]

Gun Owners Go ‘Gandhi’ In New York With Plans for Mass Civil Disobedience Over Cuomo’s Tyrannical Gun Grab

(NaturalNews) On the face of it, there is absolutely no sense to the idea that one million New York gun owners should be declared “guilty” because one crazy man went nuts in Connecticut and committed mass murder. Yet that’s the argument Gov. Cuomo used to rush through gun registration and confiscation legislation that’s now law in the state of New York.

The law was forced through the state legislature with such speed that it instantly turned all of New York’s police officers into felony criminals because they were carrying more than the allowed seven rounds of ammo per magazine. Retroactive changes to the law had to be hurriedly made to exclude law enforcement from imminent arrest and prosecution by the “mafia” Cuomo administration. Cuomo meant for his unconstitutional attack to target so-called “civilians,” not law enforcement!

But now, those citizens are increasingly saying “F&%# YOU, CUOMO” (literally, see below) and announcing they are not going to register their guns under Cuomo’s tyrannical, illegitimate and blatantly illegal regime.

[…]

“I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence,” Gandhi wrote in his famous work, Doctrine of the Sword.

He goes on to say:

“I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.”

Never heard these quotes from Gandhi? That’s because you’ve been taught a false history on Gandhi and most other topics

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Homeland Security Training TSA Workers to Save Themselves in Shooting

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint screeners are receiving training to prepare them for the possibility of a mass shooting at one of the agency’s airport checkpoints, and those TSA personnel are being instructed to “save themselves” should a shooting occur.

It is unclear whether the TSA is conducting the reported mass shooting scenario training at airports around the nation or only at the airport where our source, a veteran of the TSA, is assigned. The TSA source claims with obvious concern that his own life, along with the lives of other unarmed TSA personnel, would be in grave danger were an airport checkpoint shooting to unfold.

The TSA screener, who claims to have recently undergone agency training during which TSA personnel were confronted with a chilling checkpoint shooting scenario, now tries to remain aware of how to get out alive were such a shooting to unfold.

“Every day when I arrive for work, I look for an escape route in case someone opens fire,” said the TSA worker. “We have been told to save ourselves.”

Does the TSA already have intelligence about a possible future checkpoint shooting?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Television News Creates the Illusion of Knowledge

In analyzing network coverage of the Sandy Hook murders, I had no intention of doing a series of articles on television news, but the opportunity to deconstruct the overall grand illusion was compelling.

A number of articles later, I want to discuss yet another sleight-of-hand trick. The myth of “coverage.”

It’s familiar to every viewer. Scott Pelley, in seamless fashion, might say, “Our top story tonight, the widening conflict in Syria. For the latest on the Assad government crackdown, our coverage begins with Clarissa Ward in Damascus…”

Clarissa Ward has entered the country secretly, posing as a tourist. She carries a small camera. In interviews with rebels, she discovers that a) there is a conflict, b) people are being arrested c) there is a funeral for a person who was killed by government soldiers, d) defiance among the citizenry is growing.

In other words, she tells us almost nothing.

But CBS is imparting the impression that her report is important. After all, it’s not just anchor Scott Pelley in the studio. It’s a journalist in the field, up close and personal. It’s coverage.

Here are a few of the many things we don’t learn from either Pelley or Ward. Who is behind the rebellion in Syria? What is their real goal? What covert role is the US playing? Why are there al Qaeda personnel there?

But who cares? We have coverage. A key hole view. It’s wonderful. It’s exciting for two minutes. If we’re already brainwashed.

Coverage in television means you have the money, crew, resources, and stand-up reporters you can send out into the field. That’s all it means. It has nothing to do with information.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Just a Drill: Helicopters Train in Miami With Machine Gun Fire

Don’t be alarmed! It’s only a training scenario to practice the occupation of urban America.

That’s what the media has told the public in the Miami-Dade area regarding yet another joint military-police training drill (large scale exercises were conducted in Miami as recently as April 2011), this time, with helicopters simulating live fire over the night sky.

Watch the video. Gun fire can be heard at 1:30:

Is the public being acclimated to a perpetual police state? A decade ago, “black helicopters” were fantasy according to the official account, and a favorite among conspiracy theorists. Today, it’s just an everyday occurrence, while the plans to ‘resettle’ the American people, or at least its dissidents, in concentration camps is officially on the books[url]. But just remain calm.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Militarized Police State Over Miami: “It’s Only a Drill…”

Diving Blackhawks, blank rounds of machine gun fire, strafing runs, troops rappelling from choppers, and road blockades. Local police + military. All over the skies of Miami at night, just a few days ago. According to this local TV clown in the video, this event was for the purposes of “meeting requirements,” preparing for overseas military drills, and making sure the equipment is in check. Can you say schmuck?

The paramilitary personnel chose to conduct this just as a Miami Heat game was coming to a conclusion and traffic and people were clogging in the streets. And of course, no one knew this was only a show, and not the real thing. Again, here’s the official story…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Police Chief Vows to Stop “Tyrannical Thugs” From Disarming Americans

Gilberton, Pennsylvania Police Chief Mark Kessler promises not to enforce unconstitutional laws that eviscerate second amendment rights.

“I will take my uniform off and I will stand with freedom before I stand with tyrannical thugs.”

Speaking about disarmament after Hurricane Katrina: “The oath that these thugs took, they violated their oath, they’re thugs, nothing more than thugs and they disgust me.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sheriffs Bushwhacked

Nationwide effort by elitists to abolish office of sheriff

Sheriff Jeff Christopher of Sussex County, Delaware, when he was elected to the office in 2010, thought he was handpicked by the people to represent them as the highest-ranking law officer in the county. Instead, he has found himself in the middle of a fight for the future of American law enforcement as a result of a nationwide effort to abolish the sheriff’s office altogether.

It is one more example of federal and state governments ignoring the will of the people as well state laws. In the case of Delaware, the state’s own constitution stipulates that the office of the sheriff is a constitutionally created position just like the secretary of state and the attorney general. Delaware’s Constitution states: “The sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties . . . in which they reside.”

This time it is Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, sending out mandates to commissioners informing them that their sheriffs no longer have arrest powers. In an opinion released February 24, State Solicitor L.W. Lewis said that neither the state nor the common law grants arrest powers to the county sheriffs.

It would appear that Lewis is a little confused. The office of sheriff was created more than a century before the official founding of the United States. Delaware’s first sheriff took office in 1669.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Vaccine Court’ Awards Millions to Two Autistic Children Damaged by Vaccines

(NaturalNews) Quietly and without much fanfare, the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), or more accurately the congressionally-sanctioned kangaroo court whose sole purpose is to shield the vaccine industry from liability for vaccine injuries, has essentially admitted that vaccines cause autism. As reported by the Huffington Post, two more children who developed autism following routine vaccinations have been awarded millions of dollars to help pay for the lifetime of specialized care they will need to address their injuries.

The first case involves a 10-year-old boy named Ryan from California who quickly regressed into an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) following routine vaccinations he received between 2003 and 2005, and specifically the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Prior to getting vaccinated, Ryan was a perfectly healthy young boy who was actually quite advanced for his age, according to reports. But after getting the MMR vaccine on December 19, 2003, he rather quickly developed an encephalopathy, or serious inflammation, in his brain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Law Professor on CBS Says ‘Let’s Give Up on the Constitution’

The following op-ed run on CBS’s 60 Minutes takes a backwards interpretation of the Constitution, perverting the document that enshrines and protects our civil rights by arguing that it allows people to control their own lives.

Breitbart.com has posted yet another scholar who advocates destroying a centuries-long battle to uphold protections for the individual and discourage despots. Louis Michael Seidman, a law professor from Georgetown University, shamelessly calls for tearing off the chains on government, joining a chorus of individuals ready to undo the country’s foundations in the wake of tragedy.

Shockingly, he advocates throwing the baby out with the bathwater all while trying to pacify the audience into believing that “giving up on the Constitution” is NOT a radical thing. Seidman argues that if President Obama wasn’t born in the country, it shouldn’t matter, and further claims that if people want to debate, or adopt, gun control, it should be within their rights to do so.

And yet Seidman has shown his disdain for individual rights by advocating the removal of those protections over our nation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Yes, Fellow Bubbas, They’re Coming for Your Guns

In the ongoing fevered debate over gun control legislation, registration of firearms is a key flashpoint. “Progressives” insist that nothing could be more reasonable and benign than simply requiring every firearm and firearm owner to be registered with some government entity. Thus, they argue, bad guys could be screened out and guns used in crimes could be traced to help catch the criminals. They denounce as paranoid, delusional nonsense the concerns of gun owners that registration would lead to eventual confiscation.

In a “Fact Check” at Time.com intended to dismiss “The Gun Registry Red Herring,” Michael Scherer notes that President Obama’s “Now Is The Time” gun plan issued on January 16 does not call for a federal gun registry. However, the Time piece does acknowledge that in a 2001 interview Obama, then a state senator, stated: “I’ll continue to be in favor of handgun law registration requirements and licensing requirements for training.”

It is reasonable to believe that President Obama still holds to those views and is, at this point, taking a slower, more pragmatic, step-by-step approach to get momentum going in the direction of more expansive firearms restrictions.

Leaving that reasonable speculation aside, however, it is clear that gun rights advocates are far from delusional in suspecting that gun registration might be used to actually confiscate firearms that had previously been deemed legal. First of all, there is the historical record in one country after another. In the past century alone, fascist and communist regimes have used gun registration (oftentimes enacted by previous democratic governments) to identify gun owners and implement confiscation. In Canada, Australia, and many countries of Europe, gun registration has led to confiscation in recent years. It is happening here in the United States with state laws, as the recently passed legislation in New York State amply demonstrates.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Austria Refuses to Return Salieri’s Body to Italy

(AGI) — Vienna, Jan 27 — Austrian authorities have no intention of returning to Italy the remains of Antonio Salieri, the great Venetian musician and composer. “Salieri belongs to the music history of Vienna”, a spokesperson of the city’s Culture Agency declared to the newspaper ‘Oesterreich’: returning the body of Salieri, who’s buried in Vienna’s central cemetery ‘Zentralfriedhof’, is “rather unlikely”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Dutch Queen Beatrix Abdicating, Son Will be King

The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix announced Monday that she is ending her reign after 33 years and passing the crown to her eldest son, who has long been groomed to be king but who will have to work hard to match his mother’s popularity.

The widely expected abdication comes at a time of debate over the future of the largely ceremonial Dutch monarchy, but also as calm has descended upon the Netherlands after a decade of turmoil that saw Beatrix act as the glue that held together an increasingly divided society.

“Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation,” Beatrix, one of Europe’s longest-serving monarchs, said in the simple, televised speech announcing her abdication.

The queen, who turns 75 in just a few days, said she will step down from the throne on April 30. That same day, her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, will be appointed king at an inauguration in Amsterdam. He will be the Netherlands’ first king since Willem III died in 1890.

Willem-Alexander is a 45-year-old father of three young daughters, an International Olympic Committee member, a pilot and a water management expert.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Commissioner Deplores Berlusconi’s Defence of Mussolini

‘Such voices nurture hate, leaders must stand against them’

(see previous) (ANSA) — Brussels, January 28 — European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom on Monday said Silvio Berlusconi’s defence of Benito Mussolini “nurtured hate” and called on political leaders to oppose his comments. “In European politics, in parliaments across Europe and even in some governments there are parties and voices that nurture this kind of hate,” she said when asked about his comments Sunday at a ceremony in Milan for Holocaust Memorial Day.

“For this reason it is necessary that all political leaders take a stance against it”. Berlusconi, who is leading the centre right’s campaign for next month’s Italian election, said the 1938 anti-Jewish racial laws were the “worst fault” of the Fascist dictator, adding that in many other ways he “did well”.

The three-time Italian premier also said Mussolini had no alternative but to enter the Second World War because otherwise Germany would have dominated Europe, an assertion many historians dispute. Berlusconi also dozed during Sunday’s ceremony.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: Hitler Spoils Found in Storerooms

(AGI) Berlin, Jan 27 — Treasure looted by Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Nazis, including a great many works of art, have come to light in museum stores as well as in some of the offices of top German institutions. The Spiegel newspaper has published a sensational cover-story, chiming with the 80th anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power on 31st January 1933, detailing the results of lengthy endeavours to find the looted goods, much to the embarrassment of Germans who have to come to terms with their “dirty heritage.” .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Germany: Absenteeism Among Berlin’s Public Sector Workers Rise

(AGI) — Berlin, Jan 26 — Public sector workers in Berlin were absent from work for 37.6 workdays per year on average in 2011, almost two months per year. The newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reported that 10.3 percent of employees working for Berlin’s public administration were absent due to illness at some point in 2011. The average number of sick days increased by two, compared with the previous year.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italian Navy Carried Out 125 Anti-Piracy Missions in 2012

(AGI) — Rome, Jan 25 — The Italian navy executed 125 anti-piracy missions in 2012 preventing numerous kidnap attempts. It was an effective deterrent function and a valuable contribution to the security of Italian commerce, the 2012 naval activity report reveals. “Two marines,” says the report, “Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were on board and protecting the merchant ship ‘Enrica Lexie’. This is a complex legal case that seriously jeopardizes the role and protection of our military personnel while on overseas.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italy: M5S Leader Lambasts Tighter Cross-Checks on Taxpayers

(AGI) Pesaro — Criticising tighter cross-checks on taxpayers, on Sunday M5S movement leader Beppe Grillo said “I am under no obligation to tell anyone how I spend my money; if anything, it’s people in public office who should be telling me how they spend our money.” .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italy: Calabria’s Commissioner for Waste Heralds New Initiatives

(AGI) Catanzaro — Calabria’s state-appointed commissioner for waste management pointed to a new round of contingency measures to clear up the region’s waste management issues .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italy: Waiter Says Priapus Statue at Berlusconi Dinner ‘A Joke’

Ex-premier had him remove phallic representation after 20 mins

(ANSA) — Milan, January 25 — A waiter working for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi told a Milan court on Friday that the much-discussed statue of the fertility god Priapus that was reportedly passed around at an August 2010 dinner party held by Berlusconi was just a “rude joke” that he had given his employer in 2010.

Lorenzo Brunamonti told the court at the so-called Ruby prostitution procurement trial on Friday that he was responsible for bringing the statue to the table during dinner parties and that he was sorry “for all of the trouble created by a silly sophomoric prank”.

“I thought it would be funny. After about 20 minutes, Berlusconi asked me to take it away,” Brunamonti said.

The trial, dubbed Ruby-2, involving retired TV anchorman and close Berlusconi friend Emilio Fede, bankrupt ex-talent scout Lele Mora and ex-Lombardy regional councillor and the ex-premier’s former dental hygienist Nicole Minetti, is being held in Milan for the alleged procurement of prostitutes, including underage ones, in connection with alleged sex parties hosted by Berlusconi.

Witnesses at previous trials have testified that girls passed round a statuette of the ancient god marked by his absurdly oversized, permanent erection and mimed oral sex with it at the former premier’s so-called ‘bunga bunga’ parties.

“I got it on a trip to Angola because it was a metaphor for the bunga-bunga joke about cannibals in Africa,” Brunamonti said.

“It has been spoken of so much as a sex object, but I got it just as a gag,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Missing USAF F-16 Thought to Have Crashed in the Adriatic

(AGI) — Rome, Jan 28 — A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter flying in formation off Cervia has disappeared. The aircraft took off from Aviano air base in Italy, at 7.57 p.m. Search operations are underway.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Swedish Man to Stand Trial for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sado-Masochistic Sex Game Death of His Girlfriend

A Swedish man is to stand trial for the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ killing of his girlfriend in a brutal sado-masochistic sex game which ended in her death.

A 28-year-old German woman was hit 123 times with a wooden blackboard pointer as she was bound up with nylon tights and condoms.

Her 31-year-old ‘master’ said she was a willing ‘sex slave’ in their games.

But after her death police discovered her diary in which she wrote: ‘You once said you did not want to see me in real pain. I am subservient but no masochist.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: 37 Jailed Killers Walk Out and Flee: Alarm Over Security at Open Prisons as Figures Reveal 175 Inmates Absconded Last Year

Dozens of dangerous criminals including murderers, rapists and paedophiles are simply walking out of prison.

Last year 175 inmates left open prisons or disappeared while on day release, the equivalent of one every other day. The list of violent offenders who have absconded over the last three years includes 37 murderers and five rapists.

Among them is rapist Ivan Leach, a predatory paedophile and ruthless robber whose criminal record stretches back three decades. The tattooed thug is suspected of breaking into a woman’s home and raping her while on the run.

Others include a man who stabbed a teacher to death while high on lighter fuel and a teenager who killed a ‘Good Samaritan’ who tried to stop a robbery.

Last night the MP who uncovered the figures asked how criminals guilty of such serious offences could be allowed to roam free.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Algeria Terror Attack Extremists Quizzed

Counter-Terrorism detectives have been questioning alleged Algerian Islamic extremists in the Midlands after fears that the hostage crisis may have been planned and directed from abroad.

Special Branch officers from Scotland Yard’s elite SO13 unit are in Birmingham and Leicester in an effort to track down alleged militants with links to an Al Qaida-affiliated group which attacked the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, killing four British hostages.

Detectives have already questioned a number of men in the region who have previously been under surveillance.

The secret raids centred on addresses in Birmingham and Leicester as the security services executed a shakedown of known extremists.

Detectives are particularly keen to trace an Algerian suspect, who was believed to be living in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, and is alleged to be a high ranking member of Tafkir-Wal-Hijra, which is associated with Al Qaida.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

UK: Broadside Fired at BBC Over Its Militant Mess

Famously, after the 7/7 bomb attacks on London commuters in 2005, the BBC’s head of news, Helen Boaden, sent a memo to staff saying that ‘the word “terrorist” can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding’.

True to form, the Corporation’s reports of the recent bloodbath in Algeria, in which at least 48 innocent lives were lost, have described the killers as ‘militants’ rather than ‘terrorists’. In one report, the word was used 12 times!

Not surprisingly, this has outraged many MPs. One, Andrew Bridgen, has written an angry letter to the beleaguered Ms Boaden (who has just resumed overall command of BBC news despite being criticised twice in a review over her mishandling of the Jimmy Savile scandal).

The Tory MP for North West Leicestershire also raised the issue with David Cameron in the Commons last week. In reply, the PM said: ‘They are terrorists and should be described as such.’

Bridgen, in his letter to Ms Boaden, wrote: ‘I am horrified the BBC has consistently described the perpetrators of these heinous crimes as “militants” rather than the “terrorists” they are.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Cries of Teen, 16, Begging for His Life Before Being Stabbed to Death in Posh London Street by Gang Armed With Knives and Swords

A 16-year-old boy was heard screaming for his life before he was fatally stabbed by a gang armed with knives and swords, residents of a well-heeled area of London said today.

The teenager, named locally as Hani Abou El-Kheir, is said to have cried ‘don’t do it’ as he was attacked after tripping while fleeing the gang.

He was stabbed in Pimlico, central London, shortly before 7pm yesterday evening and taken to a nearby hospital, but he died from his injuries two hours later.

Shocked residents living close to the scene on Lupus Street, claimed today that a gang of black and white teenagers were seen carrying out the attack.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Family to be Charged £650 a Year by Council for Keeping Seven-Year-Old Daughter’s Bedroom as a Shrine After She Died of Cancer

The parents of a young cancer victim have been told they will have to pay more than £650 a year to keep her untouched bedroom when charges for under-occupied homes come into force.

The ashes of seven-year-old Becky Bell have been kept in her bedroom, which has been left exactly as it was when she lost her battle with brain cancer in January 2012.

But Becky’s parents, Julie and Mark, were told the room at their home in Hartlepool was now classed as a ‘spare’ and that they must pay £56 a month from April.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Labour and Lib Dems Accused of ‘Not Trusting the People’ To Decide the Future of Britain’s Place in Europe

Labour and the Liberal Democrats ‘do not trust’ the British people with having a say on Europe, George Osborne claimed today as he set the battlelines for the next general election.

The Chancellor took aim at the rival parties’ who have criticised Tory plans to renegotiate membership of the European Union before staging a referendum on the ‘fresh settlement’ by 2017. It is warned the move will create five years on uncertainty and harm growth.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: One in Four Violent Criminals Escapes With Just a Caution as Police Wrongly Let Off Sex Offenders and Burglars

One in four violent criminals is cheating justice by escaping with a caution, magistrates warned yesterday.

They are among tens of thousands of crooks, including sex offenders and burglars, wrongly let off with a ‘slap on the wrist’ by police.

New figures showed one in five sex offenders are also cautioned as well as an astonishing one in 20 of offenders with more than 10 previous convictions.

Experts fear officers are widely misusing cautions because they cut down on paperwork and improve crime detection figures.

The criminal justice sanction was originally aimed at first-time offenders caught committing relatively low level offences.

But there are concerns that police under pressure to deal with offences quickly are handing out cautions in the wrong circumstances.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Office Worker, 24, Fined £400 for Dropping Small Sachet of Salt in Front of Litter Warden

A young woman has been fined £400 for dropping a packet of salt on the ground in a car park.

Office worker Laura Howells, 24, dropped the tiny sachet — measuring just 2.5cm by 5cm — as she ate her lunch from a KFC takeaway.

But she was spotted eating in her car by a litter enforcement officer from the local council who handed her a £75-on-the-spot fine.

Miss Howells said she picked up the salt packet — claiming it was just an accident.

She said: ‘I couldn’t believe it — it was only a salt sachet.

‘I had been to KFC with friends and we were sitting in the car having food and I must have dropped it by accident.’

But when she failed to pay the fine, she was hauled up in front of Carmarthen Magistrates Court.

Jim Jones, the council’s executive board member for environmental and public protection, said: ‘I hope this acts as a warning to others.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Pictured on Their Wedding Day, The Husband and Wife Killed When Their Tandem Bicycle Was Struck by Hit and Run Driver Being Chased by Police

A couple who were killed in an alleged hit and run while riding a tandem were today described as ‘two peas in a pod’ who were never apart and would do anything for anyone.

Pictured on their wedding day 18-months-ago, Ross Simons, 34, and his wife Clare, 30, were mowed down by a car which was being followed by police.

The pair, described by friends as lovely and caring, were said to be trying for a baby and had ‘everything to live for’.

They had just been given the go-ahead to start fertility treatment and celebrated the happy news on Saturday night with friends at a meal.

Police said a car struck another vehicle then crashed into the two cyclists before the driver fled the scene of the crash in Bristol yesterday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt Gives Military the Power to Arrest Civilians

(AGI) — Cairo, Jan 28 — The Egyptian government has reportedly approved a decree granting the military the power to arrest civilians and help police restore order. The army will be able to act as a police force, which implies that those arrested will go before a civilian court and not a military one, said a government source. It is not know whether these powers will apply throughout the country or only in the three cities by the Suez Canal where a state of emergency has been called.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Al-Masry Supporters Rally Tonight at 8pm

In defiance of Morsi’s curfew. Opposition will protest on Friday

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JANUARY 28 — Port Said’s Al-Masry football club supporters called for a rally Monday night at 8pm (7pm Italian time) in defiance of President Mohamed Morsi’s curfew, set to begin at 9pm local time. “Port Said is a free and brave city, which won’t bow down and which refuses to lose its citizens unjustly,” the fans wrote on their Facebook page. Al-Masry fans were involved in the riot that led to the deaths of more than 70 supporters of rival Al-Ahly team in February last year.

More than 40 people have died in clashes between Saturday and Sunday. Also on Monday, the opposition National Salvation Front called for peaceful mass rallies on Friday February 1. In a document issued today, the Front blamed Morsi for imposing a state of emergency on three “daring” cities without using “the necessary dialogue and political means.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Berlusconi Reiterates His Friendship With Israel

(AGI) Rome, Jan 27 — Silvio Berlusconi has clarified earlier statements saying, “All my historical analyses have been based on the condemnation of dictatorships. I am therefore sorry I did not express this fundamental premise in the many answers quickly given to the dozens of questions posed by the press as I entered the Holocaust Museum today. There can be no misunderstanding concerning disapproval of the Fascist dictatorship and although I thought this to be clear throughout my past and present political experience, I am obliged to clarify this once again” .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Christians in Syria, Targeted by Islamic Extremists and Bombs

Issam Bishara, head of the Syrian branch of the Papal agency that aids Catholic churches and the people of the Middle East (CNEWA) speaks: “The Christian way of life is at risk, and refugees in Lebanon are not entitled to help from the International community “. CNEWA and the local Church help over 4 thousand families who are victims of bombings, kidnappings and harassment by Islamic extremists.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) — “Christians in Syria suffer like the rest of the population, Muslim, Alawite, Sunni. They, however, have one more problem: the spread of Islamic extremism, which threatens to turn the country into a new Iraq”, says Issam Bishara, regional director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) for Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, speaking to AsiaNews. The official cited the cases of Homs and Qusayr, where the Islamists having taken control of the city, are driving Christian families from their homes.

He said that in the early months of the war, many families found refuge in the coastal cities of Syria, in what was once called the “Christian strip.” However, the spread of war and the descent into the field of Islamic extremist brigades — particularly the al-Nousra militias — “these cities are now almost deserted, but there are thousands of families who have chosen or been forced to stay because of risks involved travelling to Lebanon. “

According to Bishara embargos means getting aid to the displaced is impossible. To face the emergency, CNEWA works in collaboration with the local Church. In addition to members of international organizations, religious orders and priests of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate are the only ones who can operate on the territory. Priests and religious people often face the drama of summary killings, abuses and kidnappings by foreign jihadists for funds, which mainly affect the Christian minority.

At present, the association helps about 3 thousand families: 300 in Tartous (coastal town west of the country) through the convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, 1000 in the valley of Wadi al Nasara, located to the west of the country and known as the Valley of Christians . They are under the protection of the greek-orthodox Patriarchate and the Catholic Church. In Homs, a stronghold of Sunni Muslims among the most ravaged by civil war, as many as 800 Orthodox and Catholic families remained in the city. To help these people, there are the Jesuits and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. The number of Christian families still in the capital is about 600. they are felpe by the mission of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the Greek-Catholic Patriarchate. Finally, in Hassake (northern Syria), the Society of St. Vincent de Paul takes care of about 1200 displaced Christians.

To 3 thousand families in Syria are added thousands of refugees, who, since the beginning of 2012 have chosen to flee the country, trying to cross the border with Lebanon. “In the beginning — says Bishara — they found refuge among relatives and friends, hoping for a quick return home.” However, in recent months the situation has worsened. The hope of seeing their villages and their loved ones in Syria is increasingly small. “They — he says — are not eligible for aid because they reside outside of the refugee camps and their hosts can not keep them. What will become of these people in the coming months?”.

The official said that so far CNEWA supports about 1,000 Christian famiglie who have fled to Lebanon, distributing clothes, hot meals and basic necessities. “Unfortunately — he explains — the demands are increasing day by day and we are the only ones to provide this type of service. Our fear is not being able to help all those who request it. Which is why we need the support of Western countries and all Catholics who want to help these people, behind which is the face of the suffering Christ. “

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Hacked Emails Reveal ‘Washington-Approved’ Plan to Stage Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Obama administration complicit in war crime?

Alleged hacked emails from defense contractor Britam reveal a plan “approved by Washington” and funded by Qatar to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria and blame it on the Assad regime, fulfilling what the Obama administration has made clear is a “red line” that would mandate US military intervention.

[…]

The fact that the plan involves delivering a CW (chemical weapon) that is “similar to those Assad should have,” clearly suggests that the idea is to stage a false flag chemical weapons attack that could be blamed on Assad by Gulf states like Qatar and NATO powers.

If the claim that such as plot was “approved by Washington” can be verified, then the Obama administration is complicit in a war crime.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Iran Successfully Sends Monkey Into Orbit

(AGI) Tehran, Jan 28 — Iran announced that it had sent a monkey into orbit aboard a spacecraft, as a first step toward sending astronauts into space in 2020. The Pishgam (Pioneer) capsule reached an altitude of 120 kilometres for a sub-orbital flight and then returned intact to Earth, reported Iranian media, stressing that the monkey had survived. In 2011, a similar Iranian mission failed, but the Islamic republic kept silent as to why. In the past it had already tried to send a rat, turtles and worms into orbit. The West is suspicious of Tehran’s space programme, which like its nuclear one could have hidden military purposes.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Syria: Russia Evacuates Nationals, Remains Close to Assad

In spite of Moscow’s signs of detente towards opposition

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JANUARY 25 — Two airplanes were sent from Moscow to Beirut in the past few days to evacuate from Syria a few dozens of Russian nationals in a move which could indicate that Russia is preparing for the fall of the regime in Damascus. However, a number of signs also show that Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to abandon Bashar al-Assad to his fate, though he is engaged in finding a political solution to the conflict.

Moscow’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov has stressed that for the moment there will be no large-scale evacuations.

Moscow, which has in Syria an important air base in Palmyra and its only navy base in the Mediterranean in Tartus, is preparing for a long conflict with an uncertain outcome. ‘I think the conflict can last for long’, said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

Putin has blamed the West for the situation in an attack bringing to mind the Cold War. The revolts in Syria and Libya, said the president, are due to the political ambitions of NATO countries in North Africa and the Middle East and have destabilized the geo-political situation in the region contributing to the ‘tragic toll’ of the terror attack on the gas plant of In Amenas in Algeria. These statements reveal Moscow’s fear for interests in the area after a decade which saw its influence dramatically reduced first with the Anglo-American intervention in Iraq and then with the toppling of Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.

This however has not prevented Moscow from launching signs of detente in the Syrian crisis. At the end of December, Russian diplomats proposed negotiations to the Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Muaz al Khatib who, however, rejected the invitation. ‘We have clearly said that we will not go to Moscow’ stressed Al Khatib. ‘We could meet in an Arab country but only if there will be a clear agenda’.

Moreover, between the end of November and beginning of December, according to the New York Times, Russia had a key role in dissuading Assad from using chemical weapons against rebels.

In exchange, according to Israeli daily Haaretz, the US vowed not to intervene militarily in Syria.

However Moscow is not showing signs that it intends to bow to the opposition’s key condition to start a peace process which is that Assad step down. Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov has slammed the proposal as ‘an obsession’ of the anti-regime front. And Assad publicly ‘thanked’ Russia as well as China and Iran for their support during a televised speech on January 6.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tehran Denies Explosion Occurred at Fordo While Israeli Sources Confirm the Event

When we posted on Reza Kahlili’s stunning World Net Daily (WND) story about an alleged massive explosion at the Fordo enrichment facility deep inside a mountain near Qom, we treated it as unconfirmed. We also raised the question of whether Israel might have been involved in a covert action. Meanwhile, the London Times cites Israeli sources confirming something happened there, either an accident or sabotage. Kahlili, who we have interviewed about the Islamic Regime’s nuclear program, is an ex-CIA spy who infiltrated the Revolutionary Guards. Notwithstanding the Islamic Regime’s denials to the contrary, even if US, German and Israeli intelligence can obtain independent verifiable reports, we may never the outcome of the Fordo mysterious explosion. The proof that explosion took place can only be confirmed by the rescue or removal of victims or a recording of the event. As in the case of Israel’s dramatic IAF attack that destroyed the Syrian nuclear bomb factory on the banks of the Euphrates River in September 2007, Israel will remain mum. If the mysterious Fordo blast is confirmed it would be a possible setback to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons poised to provide a nuclear umbrella to threaten Israel, US and Sunni antagonists in the Gulf region. Until then the report of the Fordo uranium enrichment destruction remains a case of either an accident or covert sabotage. That awaits corroboration of comments from Israeli sources in the London Times that something significant happened at the Fordo enrichment facility on January 20, 2013 at 11:30AM, Tehran Time.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Turkey Adds Water-Pipes to Prior Cigarette Ban

(AGI) Istanbul — On Monday, the Turkish government banned water-pipe smoking in public following its recent cigarette smoking ban.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Patriarch Kirill “Silences” Critical Voices Within the Russian Church

Ban on talking to the press and blogs for priests who “are unable to serve the interests of the Church.” Kirill asks one of the priests who were in favor of forgiveness to Pussy Riot to “avoid giving interviews”.

Moscow (AsiaNews) — A campaign of “targeted silencing” is underway in the Russian Orthodox Church against priests who publicly criticize positions taken by the Patriarchate. The news has been reported by Russian media, such as Novaya Izvestia newspaper and the Interfax-Religia newsagency, who have spoken to the priest Georgi Mitrofanov (see photo), professor at the Ecclesiastical Academy of St. Petersburg. Last year, the priest had taken a dirfferent stance, compared with Church leaders, to the Pussy Riot case. In February, the feminist punk band had staged an anti-Putin performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, attracting the ire of Patriarch Kirill who has never been in favor of their release, even though they are both mothers of young children. Thanks to that exhibition, two of the five girls are serving two years in a labor camp.

As reported by Mitrofanov, the church hierarchy did not like his comments to the press, and in November he was asked not to speak with reporters. “Maybe the situation will change after Easter,” he said. Last spring, the priest had termed the Church’s reaction to the performance of Pussy Riot “political” and had called for their release on bail. At the time the girls were in custody pending trial, which in August led to charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Mitrofanov had suggested, talking to a radio station in St. Petersburg, it the Patriarchate set up bail “so that these feminists who have forgotten how to be mothers, can return to their children.” The priest went further, denouncing a widespread “Soviet-style” behavior among the representatives of the Russian clergy and had questioned whether, with such uncompromising positions towards society, it could raise the authority of the Church in the country.

The press service of the Moscow Patriarchate said that there was no official provision against Mitrofanov and that it was only a “ private recommendation made to him by the Patriarch.”

As Archpriest Vladimir Vigilianskii, pastor of St. Basil the Great in the village of Zaitsevo, Moscow region, told Novaya Izvestia in a recent diocesan meeting the Patriarch repeatedly stressed that some priests “are incapable” of making statements to the press, so it is better to abstain in order to avoid misunderstandings and damage to the Church.

Even father Vigilianskii confirmed that an official ban has not been issued, but that there are “individual cases”. “Priests who blogged too openly about Church issues — he said — were asked to close them down.”

In mid-January, also, the Diocese of Moscow suspended Father Dmitry Sverdlov, who had defended Pussy Riot asking for forgiveness for them. According to the Ria Novosti newsagency, the Church has stated that the decision according to which Fr. Dmitry can not celebrate mass for at least five years, is not related to his position in the case, but an “absence” without permission from his church.

The Patriarchate’s concerns about its image in the media and public opinion are mainly related to the thesis of an alleged press campaign underway against the Russian Church. On January 20 the controversial documentary “No way” aired, broadcast on NTV network, already known for several documentary films made on purpose to discredit the political opposition in Russia. The film attempts to prove, with hidden cameras and suspect editing, that the attacks on the Patriarch — who was the target of press last year over scandals that denounced a lavish lifestyle — are the work of forces hostile to the Church, which are concentrated in Ukraine.

The documentary, of dubious quality, has attracted critical comments, even from many of the faithful. But it is also critical to the reactions of the Patriarchate. The journalist Konstantin von Eggert, of radio Kommersant, said responses such as these to alleged attacks on the Patriarchate are counterproductive.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Eye-Watering Indian Well With 3,500 Steps That Looks Like a Real-Life Escher Drawing Maze of Symmetrical Steps Appear to Form a Never Ending Path Deep Underground.

The incredible sight is in fact a man-made step well in Abhaneri, India, made up of 3,500 narrow steps that allow people to fetch water all year round.

It descends around 100ft into the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest of its kind in the world.

So deep is the well — known as Chand Baori to locals — temperatures at the bottom can be as much as five to six degrees cooler than on the surface.

And during the monsoon season the well rapidly fills up, although no longer to the top.

Classic Hindu architecture dominates the 1200-year-old well, which is a class one monument in India, the same as the famous Taj Mahal.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Malaysia: As Bible-Burning Threat Ebbs, Penang Bishop Meets Muslim Spiritual Leader

Ibrahim Ali, head of a Malay Muslim supremacist group, wanted to burn the Christian holy text because it contained the word Allah in its Malay edition. Various Muslim leaders denounce him for “sowing hatred against Christians”.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) — Members of an Islamic group that had announced that it would burn Bibles did not show up for the event. Recently, anonymous flyers had begun circulating, in which Muslims were urged to participate in a festival where copies of a Malay edition of the Bible would be burnt because they contained the word ‘Allah’, which in their view was a strictly Islamic term.

The flyers began appearing after Ibrahim Ali, head of Perkasa, a Muslim Malay supremacist group, urged its members to burn copies of a Malay-language edition of the Bible. Ali made the explosive statement after he heard that Christians were handing out Malay Bibles to young Muslim students in Jelutong.

Tensions rose further when the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) was quoted as saying during Friday sermons that the “enemies of Islam” were trying to confuse Muslims by making them believe that all religions were equal.

The controversy concerns the word Allah or God, which both Muslims and Christians use. For Muslim extremists, Christians are not entitled to use the name because it is exclusive to Islam. In reality, the word is Arabic for God and Christians have used long before Islam was founded.

In Malaysia, the matter sparked an intense debate that ended in 2009 when the High Court ruled that Muslims did not have the exclusive use of the word. Yet, it regularly resurfaces, especially before elections, which is now the case since Malaysia is set to go to the polls next June.

However, various leaders of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) have come out against Ibrahim Ali and JAKIM, accusing them of sowing hatred between Muslims and Christians.

Mgr Sebastian Francis, Catholic bishop of Penang, met Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, PAS’s spiritual leader, bringing a cake for his 82nd birthday.

Quoted on the PAS website, Mgr Francis said that Malaysia needed people to follow Nik Abdul Aziz’s example, not Ibrahim Ali’s and his provocative views.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Roadside Bomb Kills 10 People in Afghanistan

(AGI) Kabul, Jan 27 — A roadside blast killed 10 people, eight police and two militants, near Kandahar on Saturday. The police had arrested two suspected militants as they were planting a roadside bomb in the area of Piru Qalacha. While they were heading to a nearby police station their vehicle was hit by an explosion, Afghan online newspaper Khaama Press reported.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

ANU Academic Proposes New Australian Flag

Dr John Blaxland from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific designed a new national flag and says that ANZAC Day 2015 would be the perfect time to see it flying from masts across the country.

Speaking to ABC television’s News Breakfast program this morning, Dr Blaxland said that he wanted the design to be as evocative as the maple leaf design on the Canadian national flag.

“I’m a sixth-generation Australian of British descent, I’m an ex-Serviceman. I get the significance of the current flag. I get the significance of the Union Jack.

“But, I also get that a lot of people don’t like it. So I think we need to find a compromise, something that is going to be inclusive and appeals to all Australians.

“So that’s why I tried to come up with a new design, a design that spoke to more than one group, more than one political orientation.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Gunmen Kill Eight in Northeastern Nigeria

(AGI) — Abuja, Jan 28 — Gunmen killed eight people in the northeastern part of Nigeria, the main stronghold of Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalists. The bodies were found in the state of Borno on Sunday. A local police officer said the reason for the killings is unclear, and that Boko Haram is the main suspect.

The Islamist group, also called the African Taliban, is responsible for the death of at least 3,000 people in the past three years.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Italian Govt ‘Lacks Backing’ To Support France in Mali

Foreign minister says issue will be raised again after election

(ANSA) — Rome, January 28 — Outgoing Premier Mario Monti said Monday that the Italian government’s plan to provide France with logistical support for its military intervention in Mali had been dropped for the moment because the measure does not have the necessary backing from political parties.

Monti said the three main parties that backed his emergency technocrat administration before one, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, withdrew its support last month, had either said no to supporting the French or “had an attitude of great caution”.

“We don’t have the support of the three (main) parties that would be necessary in parliament for a legislative measure to authorise the government to do this,” Monti told La7 television.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said, however, that the issue would probably be raised again after next month’s general election.

“It is definitely a priority for the next parliament. We are confident the issue can be addressed,” Terzi said. “But at the moment the political conditions are not there with a government that is leaving office”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Romanians and Bulgarians to be Told: “UK’s Too Cold for You” In Advertising Campaign to Try and Deter Them From Coming to Britain

Plans have been drawn up for an advertising campaign denouncing Britain as cold and wet to deter Romanians and Bulgarians from coming to the UK.

Ministers are working on ideas to prevent an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe when restrictions are lifted on citizens from the two countries moving to the EU next New Year’s Day.

A public information campaign would warn those considering a move that they won’t be able to cash in on state largesse — and that the weather is bad.

Under proposals being examined in Downing Street, the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions, the new migrants — who are expected to number at least 70,000 over the next five years — would face tough restrictions on the benefits they could claim.

One option would see new arrivals deported after three months if they don’t have a job. Another plan would require those arriving from Romania and Bulgaria to show they have the means to support themselves for six months.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Social Decay + Illegal Immigration + Poverty = Open War on the Streets of America

What did you think was going to happen? Moral standards have been falling for decades, we have allowed massive hordes of criminals, gang members and drug dealers to enter this country illegally, and thanks to ourdeclining economy our inner cities are being absolutely ravaged by poverty. Was such a combination really going to produce peace and prosperity? Should we be so shocked that we now have open war on the streets of America? In the United States today, there are millions upon millions of young people that can’t find jobs, that are living in poverty, that have no hope for a better future, and that have been raised without any moral standards. These young people are becoming increasingly desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

As I wrote about the other day, for those under the age of 18 living in the city of Detroit the poverty rate is 60 percent. Should we be surprised that Detroit police are now telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk”. At this point, the FBI says that there are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in our cities. That number has risen by an astounding 40 percent just since 2009. Did we somehow delude ourselves into thinking that there would not be severe consequences for allowing that to happen? Today, Mexican drug cartels are active in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.

Are they selling drugs and committing crimes in the area where you live? Well, don’t be so shocked. The federal government has left our border with Mexico wide open for decades even though the most violent drug war on the planet has been raging just across that border. Stupid decisions produce stupid results. Sadly, this is just the beginning. When our economy fully crashes the open warfare on the streets of America is going to get much, much worse.

Let’s take a closer look at what is currently happening in a few of our largest cities…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Psychiatry to Label Entire Families With a Mental Disorder

In a stunning display of ignorance, researchers attempt to create a mental diagnosis that can be applied to entire families at once.

“Parental alienation disorder” was denied acceptance into the psychiatric bible, the DSM-5 in spite of “intense lobbying” by supporters. This unofficial yet bold new disorder occurs to more than one person at a time. I guess if you are trying to label as many people mentally ill as possible, you may as well begin slapping diagnoses on groups.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Thousands Demonstrate in Paris in Support of Gay Marriage

(AGI) Paris — Thousands of gay rights activists demonstrated in Paris to support the legalisation of gay marriage .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/28/2013

  1. Thank you for the referral to Gandhi’s Doctrine of the Sword. When I tried to order it from our local (world-class) Public Library, however, it was not to be found either in a title search or in a search (eight pages) under Author: Gandhi. I wound up ordering it from InterLibrary Loan.

    If the book lives up to the billing given here today, it would be worth much wider dissemination.

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