Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/21/2013

EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has called for a tightening of gun control laws in the European Union. She says laxness and inconsistency in existing laws have made it harder to deal with rampant gun crime in the EU.

In other news, a female suicide bomber who recently converted to Islam blew herself up on a bus in Volgograd, killing at least six people.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Nilk, 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.

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
» 12 Shocking Clues About What America Will Look Like When the Next Great Economic Crisis Strikes
» 505 Greeks Have Fortune of Nearly 60 Billion
» Cyprus: Banks’ Losses to Widen in 2014, CB Chief Says
» Get Ready for the Death of the Petrodollar
» Privatizations: Greece Sells State Properties for 145.8 Mln
» Tension Between Greece and Troika Hits All-Time High
 
USA
» Despite Media Fear Mongering, No Injuries at Open Carry Gun Rally
» Homeland Security Spends $80 Million on Armed Guards for “Civil Disturbances”
» How Stores Use Your Phone’s WiFi to Track Your Shopping Habits
» Is the Obama Administration the Cause of Gun Ammunition Shortages?
» Obama Expresses Frustration With Problems on Health Exchange Web Site
» Radical Jewish Leftist to Head CAIR Chapter in Philadelphia
» Report: Massive Vulnerability Detected in National Power Grids: “There is No Way to Stop This”
» ‘Sustainable Development’ The Evil Facing America
» The Message Was Delivered, But Was it Received?
» Was Fainting Woman at ObamaCare Speech Staged?
 
Europe and the EU
» Councillor Resigns After Mussolini Facebook Post
» EU to Restart Turkey Membership Talks in Move to Encourage Reforms
» EU: Italy’s Language Appeal Admitted, Court Annuls Exam
» Former Anti-Semitic Hungarian Leader Now Keeps Shabbat
» France: Paris Communist Suggests Tearing Down Sacré-Coeur
» France Calls in U.S. Ambassador Over Spying Report
» France’s EDF to Build New UK Nuclear Reactors
» Germany: ‘Non-Negotiable’ Demands: Social Democrats OK Coalition Talks
» Germany: Pick-Pocketing on the Rise on Berlin Trains
» Germany’s ‘Green Energy Revolution’ Costing Billions
» Greece: ‘Erotic Video’ Displayed in Ex Mosque Angers Muslims
» Greece: Roma Couple Charged With Abduction of Mystery Child
» How Earth’s ‘Extremophiles’ Could Aid Alien Life Search
» Italian Social Security Asks 1 Cent From 84-Year-Old Retiree
» Italy: Lombardy Town Council Dissolved for ‘Ndrangheta Infiltration
» Italy: Woman Cleans Ponte Vecchio After Writing With Nail Polish
» Italy: Probe Opened Into Alleged 1.5-Mn-Euro Doctors’ Scam
» Lech Walesa, Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Winner, Calls for ‘Secular Ten Commandments’
» Malmström Calls for Tougher Gun Control in EU
» Maradona Says He’s Been Persecuted by Italian Tax Man
» NSA Spied on Millions in France; U.S. Ambassador Summoned: Report
» Paper on Scottish Independence to be Published in November
» Race Row: Far-Right Sues Black French Minister
» Report: Germany to Back EU-Turkey Talks
» Sweden: Four Men Shot in North Stockholm Suburb
» Switzerland: Second Swiss Bank Closes After US Tax Probe
» The 100 EU Diktats That Cost Britain £27bn a Year Revealed as Cameron Prepares to Demand Return of Powers From Brussels
» UK: ‘Police Gunman Told Me to Ignore Paedophiles’, Says Ex-Child Protection Officer
» UK: Scientists Issue Safety Warning Over GM Food as Government Pushes for Public Acceptance of Controversial Crop
» US Secretary of State Kerry Seeks to Ease Tension in France Over NSA Spying Claims
» You Should Let This Nice Swedish Lady Freeze-Dry Your Corpse
 
Balkans
» Serbia: Frattini Arrives in Belgrade as a Consultant
 
North Africa
» Egypt: ‘Gunmen Kill at Least Three in Church Wedding Attack’
» Egypt: Coptic Church Attacked in Cairo, 8-Year-Old Girl Among the Dead
» Egypt Gunmen Open Fire on Coptic Christian Wedding in Cairo
» More Libyan Fallout: Intel Finds Advanced US Weapons Were Stolen, Sold Abroad
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Jerusalem Mayoral Vote Could Split Ruling Coalition
» West Bank Public Employees to Go on Strike
» Youth Mag Associated With Palestinian Authority Publishes “Hitler’s Sayings”
 
Middle East
» “Halal” Sex Shop Launched in Turkey
» British Press Shills for Syria War With ‘Baby Snipers’ Story
» Norwegian Sisters, 16 and 19, ‘Travel to Syria to Help Muslims in Any Way They Can’
» Police Hunt Norway Teens Who Went to Fight in Syria
» Saudi: Couple Arrested on Black Magic Charges
» Saudi Man Kills Daughter for Converting to Christianity
» Syria: 10 Soldiers ‘Executed’ By Jihadists in East
» The ‘German Camp’: Jihadists From Germany Set Up Base in Syria
» Threatwatch: Polio Re-Awakens in Syria
» Three Divorces Every Hour in Saudi Arabia
» Turkey: First ‘Helal’ Virtual Sex Shop Went Live Today
» Turkish Entrepreneur Opens First Online ‘Halal’ Sex Shop
 
Russia
» Daniel Pipes: Muslim Russia?
» European Court Set to Rule on Katyn Massacre Investigation
» Female Suicide Bomber Kills 5 in Russia
» How Satellites Watched Russian Meteor Explosion From Space
» Jihad-Martyrdom Suicide Bomber Murders Six on Volgograd Bus
 
Caucasus
» Skull Suggests Three Early Human Species Were One
 
South Asia
» Families Suspect Seal Team 6 Crash Was Inside Job
» US Quietly Releasing $1.6b in Pakistan Assistance
 
Far East
» Is Breathing in China as Bad as Smoking?
 
Australia — Pacific
» Australia Wildfires Could Merge Into ‘Mega Fire’
» Ramadan Under Microscope
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» South African Radio Station Fined for Unflattering Mention of Islam
 
Immigration
» Amnesty’s Second Wind
» Exodus: Migration of Jews Out of France Begins
» Greek PM in Malta Urges EU to Unite on Immigration Policy
» Italy: Migrants Shout ‘Murderer’ At Alfano at Ceremony
» Letta Calls on Libyan Authorities to Patrol Coasts
» Sweden: Long Wait Times Prompt Migration Board Probe
 
Culture Wars
» California: Embrace Gay Agenda or Lose Tax Exempt Status
» Gov. Chris Christie Drops Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling in New Jersey
 
General
» Advice to Non-Muslim Women Against Marrying Muslim Men by Daniel Pipes
» World Governments Hijacking Information Highway With Spy Networks
 

12 Shocking Clues About What America Will Look Like When the Next Great Economic Crisis Strikes

The collapse of American society is accelerating. For the moment, much of our social decay is being masked by the tremendous level of affluence that we are experiencing. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States “struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”, but in general Americans still enjoy a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what most of the rest of the world enjoys.

When that debt-fueled standard of living permanently disappears, it is going to unleash chaos unlike anything that America has ever seen before. Right now, economic conditions in this country are not anywhere close to where they were before 2008, but this is just the beginning. We are in the midst of an ongoing economic collapse which is going to get much, much worse in the years ahead. When the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes, millions of people are going to become extremely desperate. And desperate people do desperate things. We are already starting to see this play out all over the nation, but this is only a preview of coming attractions. What we are going to witness in future years is going to be almost too horrible for words.

So how can I be so sure that this is going to happen? After all, the United States didn’t descend into complete and utter chaos during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Wouldn’t an economic depression unfold in a similar manner today?

Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then. A lot more Americans were self-sufficient back in those days, and the truth is that the character of our nation has been rotting and decaying for decades. In a previous article, I described it this way…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

505 Greeks Have Fortune of Nearly 60 Billion

An increase of 20% compared with last year

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 21 — In Greece there are 505 millionaires whose fortune increased by 20% compared to last year and today their fortune reached 60 billion euros in total, according to data from Wealth-X, considered “the definitive source of intelligence on the ultra wealthy people”. This data, as GreekReporter website notes, shows that the economic crisis not only has not affected the wealth, but is also an ideal environment for its growth. In Greece, according to the survey, the millionaires are expected to increase. In this country the millionaires with a fortune of more than 1 million are estimated to be 8,000 by the Private Banking departments, and only 2,678 people in the Athens Stock Exchange have stocks that exceed 1 million euros. The millionaires and billionaires of the world are investing 22% in properties, 15% in shares, 15% in corporate bonds, while maintaining 13% cash. Their investments in state bonds reach 8%, in currencies 7% and in gold 6%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Cyprus: Banks’ Losses to Widen in 2014, CB Chief Says

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 21 — Cyprus’ banking sector is expected to show further losses in 2014 as the economy worsens and banks book rising non-performing loans, but the sector is adequately capitalised, the head of its Central Bank said on Monday as Cyprus Mail online reports. Panicos Demetriades also told lawmakers the island state would see an economic contraction of less than the 8.7% forecast by international lenders this year, but that risks were on the downside for 2014.

Cyprus was thrown into financial turmoil in March when it was forced to close a major bank and seize savings in a second to be eligible for 10 billion euros in aid from international lenders.

That recapitalisation, Demetriades said, made capital buffers in the banks adequate to absorb any further oscillations to the sector in 2013 and possibly next year. “Any anticipated losses are expected to be sufficiently covered and the sector will gradually stabilise and recover,” Demetriades said. The Cypriot banker is embroiled in a bitter dispute with the island’s president Nicos Anastasiades, who has accused Demetriades of mismanaging the bailout and saddling Cypriot banks with billions in emergency liquidity assistance.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Get Ready for the Death of the Petrodollar

Bank bailouts, mortgage company bailouts, Treasury bond bailouts, stock market bailouts, bailouts of foreign institutions: None of this seems to faze the gibbering bobbleheaded followers of the Federal Reserve cult. Logic and reason and wisdom bounce like whiffle balls off their thick skulls. They simply parrot one of two painfully predictable arguments:

  • Argument No. 1: There is no way foreign countries will ever dump the U.S. dollar because they are so dependent on American consumers to buy their export goods.
  • Argument No. 2: There is no way the dollar’s value will ever collapse because it is the dominant petro-currency, and the entire world needs dollars to purchase oil.

I have written literally hundreds of articles over the years dismantling the first argument, pointing out undeniable signals that include:

  • China’s subtle dumping of the dollar — using bilateral trade agreements with other developing nations and, more recently, major economic powers like Germany and Japan
  • The massive gold-buying spree undertaken by China and Russia — even in the face of extreme market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and Co. and CME Group Inc.
  • The dumping of long-term U.S. Treasuries by foreign creditors in exchange for short-term Treasuries that can be liquidated at a moment’s notice.
  • The fact that bonds now are supported almost entirely by Fed stimulus. When the stimulus ends, America’s ability to honor foreign debts will end and faith in the dollar will crumble.
  • Blatant statements by the International Monetary Fund calling for the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the institution of special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement.

The second argument held weight for a short time, only because the political trends in the Mideast had not yet caught up to the financial reality already underway. Today, this is quickly changing. The petrodollar’s status is dependent on a great number of factors remaining in perfect alignment, socially, politically and economically. If a single element were to fall out of place, oil markets would explode with inflation in prices, influencing the rest of the world to abandon the greenback. Here are just a few of the primary catalysts and why they are an early warning of the inevitable death of the petrodollar…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Privatizations: Greece Sells State Properties for 145.8 Mln

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 21 — Greece’s privatization fund announced on Monday that it had sold 14 state buildings to Eurobank Properties for 145.8 million euros under the sale and lease back scheme, Kathimerini online reports. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund’s said that the total surface area of the 14 properties is 189,000 square meters. The buildings include those that house the Education Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Justice Minister and police headquarters in Athens. The government will lease back the buildings for more than 14 millions per year for the next 20 years under the terms of the agreement, which is due to be finalized at the end of the year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Tension Between Greece and Troika Hits All-Time High

Over lack of flexibility shown by international creditors

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — Tensions have escalated between the Greek government and troika officials — Germany’s Matthias Mors (EU) and Clauss Masuch (ECB) and Denmark’s Paul Tomsen (IMF) — charged with checking the implementation of austerity policies to jump-start the Greek economy over an “unexplainable” lack of flexibility towards Greece, sources close to the government have said.

The constant change of attitude of the three officials regarding issues already discussed and their persistent call on Greek authorities to pass new austerity measures, considered “inappropriate” by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, risk hindering everything that has been done so far with huge sacrifices made by the Greek population.

This situation moreover occurs just two months before Greece is scheduled to take on the rotating presidency of the EU.

Premier Antonis Samaras on Monday is scheduled to meet his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta in Rome to discuss immigration as well as the difficult negotiations with the troika.

He also intends to discuss the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other colleagues during an upcoming European summit scheduled on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

According to local political observers, Samaras will remind his European counterparts that Greece, though with a few delays, has so far respected its engagements and will also stress that the aggressiveness shown on a number of occasions by some creditors is not helping the government’s difficult action at home.

Government sources noted that the director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, and not just the Greek government, stressed several times that new austerity measures are not necessary for Greece.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Despite Media Fear Mongering, No Injuries at Open Carry Gun Rally

Despite the mainstream media’s attempts to condition the public into believing that guns are responsible for crimes, absolutely no injuries were reported at an open carry gun rally outside the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Homeland Security Spends $80 Million on Armed Guards for “Civil Disturbances”

IRS buildings to be protected; What is the federal government preparing for?

The Department of Homeland Security is set to spend $80 million dollars on hiring a raft of armed guards to protect IRS and other government buildings in upstate New York during “public demonstrations” and “civil disturbances,” once again prompting concerns that the federal agency is preparing for food stamp riots, anti-tax demonstrations or some other form of domestic unrest.

According to a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Federal Protective Service (a unit of the DHS), is looking for a contractor to supply armed Protective Security Officers (PSOs) to guard a variety of government buildings in the region, including “IRS buildings(s) during tax season.”

“PSOs will be required to be armed and some posts may require screening of visitors using x-rays/magnetometers,” states the solicitation.

The armed guards will be used during “public demonstration(s),” as well as “civil disturbances, or other unanticipated events on an as-needed basis.”

“This acquisition is for approximately 380,000 hours of Basic Service, 20,000 hours of Temporary Additional Services and 3,500 hours of Emergency Security Services per year. Currently, there are an estimated 205 guards protecting approximately 95 posts at over 55 buildings. The estimated value of this Contract is between $75M and $80M,” states the solicitation.

Why does the DHS feel the need to blow $80 million dollars at a time of cutbacks on yet more armed guards to protect government buildings during “public demonstrations”? What is the federal agency preparing for? Food stamp riots? Anti-IRS demonstrations? Or some other form of civil disorder?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

How Stores Use Your Phone’s WiFi to Track Your Shopping Habits

Here are some of the things the owner of a brick-and-mortar store is in a position to learn about his business these days, as Jules Polonetsky, the director of a Washington think tank, told me recently:

“The average wait time at the back register is two minutes. Half of your customers have been in your store twice in a week. Ten percent of the people who come in your store never come near a register, meaning they don’t buy anything. There are a lot of people not finding what they want. The big promotion on the east side entrance of your store was more successful at bringing people to purchase than the promotion on the west side of your store. Here’s the hotspot in your store that draws the most users. The typical user comes in and purchases one thing. Ten percent of your users have been at more than one of your stores.”

The list of insights is staggeringly specific, made possible by combining commercial ingenuity with an everyday technology that was never intended to be used this way.

Every smartphone these days comes equipped with a WiFi card. When the card is on and looking for networks to join, it’s detectable by local routers. In your home, the router connects to your device, and then voila — you have the Internet on your phone. But in a retail environment, other in-store equipment can pick up your WiFi card, learn your device’s unique ID number and use it to keep tabs on that device over time as you move through the store.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Is the Obama Administration the Cause of Gun Ammunition Shortages?

The reason for the ammunition shortage should be obvious. After all, with gun sales continuing to break records all those people buying semiautomatic rifles and handguns need a lot of ammunition. Anyone who has used a semiautomatic rifle or handgun to shoot self-resetting steel targets knows that ammo always seems to be in short supply.

Nevertheless, finding bare shelves that have always been stacked with boxes of ammo has made some wonder if the government has been up to something.

It’s easy to understand this worry. As gun sales break records — partly because of fear of coming gun control from the Obama administration — supplies of ammo ran so low that gun stores and ranges have to ration ammunition. Meanwhile, rumors of mass purchases of ammunition made by government entities began to fly around the Internet. Making all this even worse is that fact that it hasn’t been a short-term supply problem. Now well over a year since the shortages of popular types of ammo began there are still empty shelves and rationing here and there around the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Expresses Frustration With Problems on Health Exchange Web Site

President Obama declared Monday that “nobody is madder than me” about the failures of the government’s health care Web site, but said the technical problems do not indicate a broader failure of the Affordable Care Act.

“We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a Web site. That’s not what this was about,” Mr. Obama told supporters during 25-minute remarks in the Rose Garden.

The president acknowledged that HealthCare.gov has not provided the easy opportunity to sign up for health insurance that White House officials promised for months. But he said that some people have managed to get insurance, and he urged critics of the law to support it.

[Return to headlines]
 

Radical Jewish Leftist to Head CAIR Chapter in Philadelphia

Bare Naked Islam (BNI) has a fascinating story, courtesy of Nathan Guttman at The Forward , about the first Jew to head a CAIR chapter in the US, Jacob Bender. My colleague in Israeli, Adina Kudnicki in her blog post rightfully calls Bender out as a leftist member of the Muslim Brotherhood judenrate. Bender was a former interfaith speechwriter for the Rev. Jesse Jackson of “hymietown” fame during his 1984 Presidential run who became a documentarian. Bender was an early devotee of Muslim Jewish interfaith dialogue. He leaped from that into creating videos documentaries supporting the return to re-occupy the former Muslim lands in Al Andaluz in Spain retaken in the Re-Conquista by their most Catholic Majesties of Spain who made the Iberian country Judenrein for more than five centuries with the expulsion of Span’s Jews on August 3, 1492. Now Bender heads one of the 20 CAIR US chapters in Philadelphia. Like the leaders of the Judenrate (Jewish Councils) of Ghettos in Nazi occupied Poland who sold their co-religionists the line that sacrificing a few to the ovens and crematoria of the SS-run death camps, would spare the remainder., Bender is myopic and a traitor to his own people. Exposing fellow Jews like Bender engaged in furthering the destruction of Israel is what pre-occupies Kudnicki, when she says on her blog post:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Report: Massive Vulnerability Detected in National Power Grids: “There is No Way to Stop This”

If you think that our multi-billion dollar electrical power grids are secure and capable of withstanding a coordinated attack, think again.

According to one group of engineers, the grid is so vulnerable that it wouldn’t even require a skilled hacker to compromise. In fact, when Adam Crain and Chris Sistrunk decided to test some new software they were developing they identified a vulnerability so serious that it could literally blind operational controllers to such an extent that they would be locked out of monitoring systems and unable to maintain grid integrity.

The consequences, according to the engineers who note they are in no way security specialists, could be a total downing of the national power grid with nodes across the nation being taken over all at once. Moreover, the same systems used to maintain the U.S. power grid are also being used in other industries, like water treatment facilities.

You’d think that such a vulnerability would be a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, considering they are spending millions of dollars and promoting their coming Grid Ex exercise in November.

But you’d be wrong. The kicker is that when Crain and Sistrunk advised the DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, they got what essentially amounts to no response. It took Homeland Security a full four months before they even acknowledged the problem.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Sustainable Development’ The Evil Facing America

I have one thing to tell you. You are not going to win in the manner we are fighting now. Because the other side has cut us up into little pieces. They’ve divided us and conquered us.

They’ve succeeded because you think your fight is against gun control. Because you think your fight is against bad schools. Because you think your fight is against the Endangered Species Act and roadless programs, and wetlands regulations, and water rights and Heritage Areas. Because you think your fight is against Democrats and not Republicans. Because you think it’s a fight between evil liberals and good guy conservatives.

You’re wrong. Your fight is against a well-planned, well orchestrated agenda for the complete transformation of America. And unless you learn that fact now, today… and unless you fully educate yourselves to every aspect of that agenda and fight it on the proper terms… then you cannot win!

I’m here to tell you that every one of these issues you are facing is interrelated. There is an agenda being implemented before your very eyes. It’s called Sustainable Development.

And I will tell you now, if you want to keep your guns, your property, your children and your God… if you love liberty… then Sustainable Development is your enemy!

So what is Sustainable Development? Imagine an America in which a specific “ruling principle” is created to decide proper societal conduct for every citizen.

That principle would be used to consider everything you eat, what you wear, the kind of homes you live in, the method of transportation used to get to work, the way you dispose of waste, perhaps the number of children you may have, even your education and employment decisions.

Sustainable Development is that “ruling principle” for the implementation of what former Vice President Al Gore said we must all suffer through in order to purify our nation from the horrors of the Twentieth Century’s industrial revolution.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Message Was Delivered, But Was it Received?

Following the vote to suspend the debt ceiling last Wednesday night, 48 year-old Dianne Reidy, a floor stenographer for the U.S. House of Representatives for the last 8 years, surprised everyone when she briefly but unexpectedly took over the microphone on the House floor at about 10:00 pm.

C-Span footage shows her calmly walking to the dais where she began making statements about God, the founding of the United States, our Constitution, and the influence that Freemasonry played in the founding of our country. She warned House members that they could not serve two masters and that God will not be mocked. Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Reidy was whisked from the dais and ultimately taken to George Washington University Hospital for “mental evaluation.” She was released after about two hours of evaluation.

The media, including nearly all conservative and even Christian reporters, columnists and pundits who even bothered to cover the story, portrayed Diane Reidy as someone who suffered a humiliating and very public mental breakdown. They used patronizing language and empathetic inflection usually reserved for the most fragile mental patients, attributing her actions to long hours and stress. They have not only dismissed the actions of Diane Reidy, but dismissed her message as well, even as they continue to decry the state of our nation.

Obviously they did not pay attention to her message, nor did they listen to the interview of her husband by Rick Wiles of TruNews the next day. Mr. Reidy revealed critical details about events that led to her actions on the House floor, providing important context not just to her actions, but to the content of her message.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Was Fainting Woman at ObamaCare Speech Staged?

President has used the fainting woman spiel many times before to play to crowds

It seemed too good to be true. As the president was rounding off a speech on how Obamacare is “really good” and people should just sign up using the telephone and snail mail, a pregnant woman directly behind him began to sway and faint.

Super Obama to the rescue! The president caught the woman and ensured she didn’t fall over. Ahhh, hundreds of headlines. So, Obamacare works then I guess.

First of all, who in their right mind asked a pregnant woman to stand up in front of hundreds of photographers for a significant amount of time?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Councillor Resigns After Mussolini Facebook Post

A councillor for the Democratic Party was forced to resign after praising the way former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who cooperated with Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, led the country.

Antonella Sglavo, a social services councillor for the Civitanova local authority in the central Italian region of Marche, also insulted the people of the region by saying they were the “worst kind of human beings”.

Sglavo, from Naples, was chatting with an old school friend on Facebook when she made the comments.

“I live here in Marche, which has defects of both the north and south. I will never vote for the left…Benito had lots of enemies, and lots of honour, he was right.”

Sglavo later resigned and apologized in a letter to mayor Tommaso Corvatta.

She said the comments were made during a “question and answer” session with a school friend who is known for his sympathies to the right.

“The friend is also familiar with my political orientation, and that of my family, which is diametrically opposite.”

Benito Mussolini was Italy’s dictator and longest-serving prime minister, ruling between 1922 and 1943. He once said, “democracy is beautiful in theory, in practice it is a fallacy”.

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

EU to Restart Turkey Membership Talks in Move to Encourage Reforms

Exclusive: The European Union will resume stalled talks, hoping to encourage progress on human rights

The European Union is to reopen membership talks with Turkey, more than three years after freezing negotiations, in an attempt to boost the prospects for democratic reforms amid fears that the country is taking an authoritarian lurch under its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

EU foreign ministers will formally decide on Tuesday to resume negotiations in two weeks’ time, senior diplomats said, following a U-turn by Germany, which, until last month’s election, favoured shelving the talks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

EU: Italy’s Language Appeal Admitted, Court Annuls Exam

French, English or German mandatory to access tests

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 16 — The EU court of justice on Wednesday annulled a public notice of the EU Commission for reserve lists for administrators in the sectors of European public administration, law, economy, audit and technologies of information and communication, admitting Italy’s appeal to annul the exam because it violated language requirements. In order to access tests, candidates needed to know an EU language along with French, English or German.

Potential candidates, the tribunal explained, needed to know one of the (then) official 23 EU languages plus a satisfying knowledge of French, English or German as second language, which had to be different from the main language. This rule applied for admission, an access test and another exam.

Italy asked for the exam to be cancelled for violating regulation number 1/1958 on languages from the charter of fundamental rights of the statute of European Union officials.

The court looked into whether knowledge of one of the three languages was required for the job and ruled that the exam’s notice did not enable a verification. The court said the job’s requirement was a legitimate objective to demand knowledge of the languages but had to be objectively justified and the level of linguistic knowledge required had to be measured according to the effective requirements of the job.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Former Anti-Semitic Hungarian Leader Now Keeps Shabbat

Last year Csanad Szegedi, formerly number two in the far-right Jobbik party, called on Hungary to protect itself from Jews. Then he learned he had Jewish roots and became enamored of Judaism, writes Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

France: Paris Communist Suggests Tearing Down Sacré-Coeur

A top Parisian Communist has said that if he were mayor, he would close down the Sacré-Coeur and replace it with a “solidarity space”. The remark comes after Paris’s Communists vowed to back the Socialist candidate in the next mayoral election.

Brossat sees the basilica as representing a conservative moral and religious order. In its place, the 33-year-old, openly gay Communist said he would build “a space dedicated to solidarity”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

France Calls in U.S. Ambassador Over Spying Report

(Reuters) — France called in the U.S. ambassador on Monday to protest at allegations in Le Monde newspaper about large-scale spying on French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

France’s EDF to Build New UK Nuclear Reactors

A consortium led by French energy giant EDF has signed a deal to build at least one next-generation nuclear reactor in the UK, which will supply at least seven percent of the UK’s electricity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Germany: ‘Non-Negotiable’ Demands: Social Democrats OK Coalition Talks

Formal talks on a grand coalition between Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democratic Party are due to start Wednesday after an SPD conference on Sunday gave its blessing. But the talks could prove difficult, and the outcome will be put to an SPD membership ballot.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Germany: Pick-Pocketing on the Rise on Berlin Trains

More passengers are falling victim to crime on Berlin’s public transport. The number of pick-pocketing cases has increased by 20 percent in a year, the police said on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Germany’s ‘Green Energy Revolution’ Costing Billions

In the next 27 years, Germany will spend 550 billion euro on renewable technologies like wind and solar, in the hope of attaining 80 percent renewable energy by 2050.

According to the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, Germany’s energy costs are 40 percent higher than in neighboring France and the Netherlands.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: ‘Erotic Video’ Displayed in Ex Mosque Angers Muslims

Depicting the naked shoulders of French actress Laetitia Casta

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — A video work that was put on display at a former mosque at the Thessaloniki Biennial has caused controversy among Muslims due to allegations of eroticism, resulting in its removal from the exhibition as Greek media report. Although the Alaca Imaret Mosque is now closed to worship, local Muslims from the Eastern Macedonia-Thracian Muslims Education and Culture Association complained after the video from French artist Ange Leccia, titled “Nimfea,” was projected on the wall of the mosque, depicting the naked shoulders of a young woman, nymph or mermaid, gliding peacefully and quietly in an aquatic environnement. The undine is played by French actress and model Laetitia Casta.

The Muslim group complained about the video to Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Butaris, prompting authorities to move the installation to another site, especially after Turkish tourists visiting Greece during last week’s Eid al-Adha holiday saw the video and similarly expressed their anger. In their complaint, the group said Greek authorities should respect religious sensitivities, even if Alaca Imaret is no longer used as a mosque. Turkish Ambassador to Athens Kerim Uras had also called on Greek officials to remove “Nimfea” from the space.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: Roma Couple Charged With Abduction of Mystery Child

A Roma couple was charged with abduction in a Greek court on Monday over an unidentified blonde girl found in their custody, according to the lawyer for the accused. The court ordered the couple to be placed in pre-trial detention.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

How Earth’s ‘Extremophiles’ Could Aid Alien Life Search

Extremophiles have been found in volcanic vents with temperatures reaching far above boiling. And in 2007, the European Space Agency deliberately launched microorganisms on a Foton-M3 spacecraft and exposed them to the harsh vacuum of space. The lifeforms survived.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italian Social Security Asks 1 Cent From 84-Year-Old Retiree

Son quips, ‘I’ll ask for the installment plan’

(ANSA) — Rimini, October 21 — Italian social-security agency INPS demanded that an 84-year-old retiree return one euro cent, local press reported on Monday in Rimini, a coastal city on the Adriatic. INPS claims the pensioner received a cent in excess of what was owed her for the period beginning January 1, 1996 and ending December 31, 2000.

The registered letter also indicated “the possibility to pay reimbursement in installments”.

The son of the retiree, a man named Claudio, criticized the money spent on the official notice, and added, “I won’t pay — or I’ll ask for the installment plan”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Lombardy Town Council Dissolved for ‘Ndrangheta Infiltration

Sedriano first town in region around Milan to get this penalty

(ANSA) — Milan, October 16 — Sedriano near Milan on Wednesday became the first town council in Lombardy to be dissolved for mafia infiltration.

Police said the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia had “profoundly polluted” municipal governance.

Former Sedriano mayor Alfredo Celeste, from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, is accused of ‘Ndrangheta links along with former Lombardy regional councillor Domenico Zambetti, arrested a year ago. ‘Ndrangheta, which has overtaken Cosa Nostra of Sicily as Italy’s richest and most powerful mafia, controls the European cocaine trade and invests its profits in Italy and abroad.

Until this decade councils were only dissolved for mafia infiltration in southern Italy.

There have been recent cases in other parts of Italy, most notably in Liguria, the coastal region that borders France.

The local governments of the towns of Ventimiglia and Bordighera were dissolved in February 2012 and March 2011 respectively after probes unveiled evidence that municipal bodies had been taken over by ‘Ndrangheta.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Woman Cleans Ponte Vecchio After Writing With Nail Polish

Turkish tourist finne 160 euros for defacing Florence bridge

(ANSA) — Florence, October 16 — A tourist was forced to clean nail polish off Florence’s Ponte Vecchio Wednesday after she was spotted by municipal police writing names on the historic bridge.

The woman, 27, from Turkey, was fined 160 euros for vandalism.

The incident came two weeks after a German tourist was forced to clean an area of the Ponte Vecchio where his daughter drew stars on the bridge with an orange felt-tip pen.

The German tourist was also fined 160 euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Probe Opened Into Alleged 1.5-Mn-Euro Doctors’ Scam

Some 400 doctors may made money from non-existent patients

(ANSA) — Caserta, October 21 — Italian police in the southern Italian city of Caserta are investigating an alleged 1.5-million-euro scam involving national health service funds that some 400 doctors may have claimed for non-existent patients.

It is suspected that the 6,000 patients in question were dead, or had emigrated abroad or transferred to another part of Italy and were therefore no longer under the doctor’s care.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Lech Walesa, Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Winner, Calls for ‘Secular Ten Commandments’

Lech Walesa, a past winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former president of Poland, said on Monday that what the world needs is a new Ten Commandments that’s heavy on the worldly and light on the Judeo-Christian spirituality — a “secular Ten Commandments.”

Mr. Walesa, who won the Nobel prize 30 years ago for his leadership of Poland’s Solidarity trade union and the group’s peaceful end to communism in 1989, said the new Ten Commandments is needed to bring together the world under one basic set of principles, Newsmax reported.

“We need to agree on common values for all religions as soon as possible, a kind of secular Ten Commandments on which we will build the world of tomorrow,” he said, during the summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners in Warsaw.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Malmström Calls for Tougher Gun Control in EU

Cecilia Malmström, Sweden’s Commissioner for the European Union, has called for tougher and more uniform gun-control laws in the EU, which, she said, lacks the overarching legislation to reduce gun violence in Europe.

In a op-ed published in Monday’s Svenska Dagbladet, Malmström said the gun control debate is often forgotten in Europe though it remains a pressing issue. She said the differences between national regulations are causing problems among law enforcement and not stemming gun violence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Maradona Says He’s Been Persecuted by Italian Tax Man

Soccer great outraged by 39 million euro bill on earnings

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, October 18 — Former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona said Friday that he is being persecuted by Italian tax authorities, which have slapped him with an outstanding tax bill of 39 million euros.

“I am now being persecuted in the land of taxes,” Maradona told ANSA after he was contacted about the Equitalia tax-agency bill.

“I gave only love to people, and sports performances without ever hurting anyone, but now I must endure malice,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

NSA Spied on Millions in France; U.S. Ambassador Summoned: Report

France has summoned U.S. Ambassador Charles Rivkin to address claims that the National Security Agency has spied on millions of French citizens, authorities said on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Paper on Scottish Independence to be Published in November

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, over the weekend told members of the Scottish National Party a White Paper outlining the consequences of independence will be published on 26 November. “We are Scotland’s independence generation and our time is now,” he told delegates. An independence referendum will be held next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Race Row: Far-Right Sues Black French Minister

France’s far-right National Front is suing the country’s justice minister for defamation, after she condemned the party’s views as “deadly and murderous,” in response to a former National Front candidate who compared the minister, who is black, to a monkey.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Report: Germany to Back EU-Turkey Talks

Reuters reports Germany is ready to drop its opposition to opening a chapter of talks with Turkey on EU membership. Member states are due to discuss the issue this Tuesday and could decide to open talks in November. Germany and others had been concerned about Ankara’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden: Four Men Shot in North Stockholm Suburb

Four young men were shot at a sausage stand in the northwest Stockholm suburb of Tensta on Sunday night with ambulances being so slow to respond that some victims were taken to hospital by car.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Switzerland: Second Swiss Bank Closes After US Tax Probe

A second Swiss bank has decided to close its doors as the United States cranks up pressure on financial institutions for abetting tax evasion. Zurich-based Bank Frey & Co., which manages about 2.0 billion Swiss francs (1.6 billion euros, $2.2 billion), said late on Thursday its shareholders had decided to halt operations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The 100 EU Diktats That Cost Britain £27bn a Year Revealed as Cameron Prepares to Demand Return of Powers From Brussels

A report published today by the Open Europe think-tank claims that the top 100 EU regulations are costing the UK more than £27billion a year, outweighing benefits in a quarter of cases.

The Prime Minister is preparing to take proposals for reform to a European summit in what is seen as the first stage of attempts to renegotiate the relationship with Brussels ahead of a referendum.

EU leaders are meeting to discuss ways to improve growth and competitiveness.

Open Europe is publishing a list of the 100 most costly EU regulations to the UK economy using Government data.

It concludes they cost the economy £27.4billion a year — more than the expected revenue from council tax. In at least 24 cases, the Government’s own impact assessment finds estimated costs outweigh the estimated benefits.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: ‘Police Gunman Told Me to Ignore Paedophiles’, Says Ex-Child Protection Officer

Chris Fay said he was pinned to a wall and throttled before being given a chilling warning to “back away” from allegations surrounding the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London.

Young boys in care were allegedly taken there in the Eighties to be abused by high-profile MPs and other powerful establishment figures.

Mr Fay, who worked for the now-defunct National Association of Young People In Care, accused the Metropolitan Police of acting like “gangsters” when news of the scandal broke in 1990. He revealed how some Special Branch members routinely threatened him and his colleagues and even victims over a three-month period of intimidation.

His shocking claims come as West Yorkshire Police faces accusations that the force protected paedophile Jimmy Savile.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Scientists Issue Safety Warning Over GM Food as Government Pushes for Public Acceptance of Controversial Crop

Eighty-five scientists have joined forces to challenge the claims of biotech giants and the UK government that genetically modified food is safe for humans.

GM supporters also insist crops are safe for the environment and to be used as animal feed.

However, these assurances have been questioned by the scientists, who warn there is a serious lack of independent research into the health effects of GM food.

Studies involving feeding trials with animals suggest eating GM food could cause real harm, such as allergies, inflammation of internal organs and even breast cancer.

The group has signed a joint statement which concludes: ‘The claimed consensus on GM organism safety does not exist.’

They warn that most of the positive research has been run and paid for by biotech companies such as Monsanto, which have invested millions in trying to get the world to eat their crops.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

US Secretary of State Kerry Seeks to Ease Tension in France Over NSA Spying Claims

US Secretary of State John Kerry has sought to pacify French anger over reports of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. Several US allies have demanded answers from Washington over the widespread spying.

Visiting Paris on a previously scheduled trip for talks on the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that Washington would discuss the situation privately with French officials and other concerned countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

You Should Let This Nice Swedish Lady Freeze-Dry Your Corpse

Promession is a recently coined Swedish word for freeze-drying a dead body, making it into a benign-looking kibble and interring it at approximately pet hamster burial depth. It sounds like another hairbrained funerals of tomorrow story, but despite some unintentionally hilarious promotional material and strangely fierce opposition, promession seems mostly plausible, and preferable to existing burial methods.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Serbia: Frattini Arrives in Belgrade as a Consultant

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, 21 OCTOBER — Franco Frattini, former Italian foreign minister and vice-president of the European Commission, arrived in Belgrade on Monday after accepting the Serbian government’s offer to assist Serbia in the EU integration process as a consultant.

I have just arrived in Belgrade, he wrote on Twitter, and announced that he will meet with Serbian ministers and the team that will negotiate for Serbia’s EU membership.

Frattin, on October 7, accepted the government’s offer to assist Serbia in the EU integration process.

Frattini and other foreign officials will attend Monday’s celebration of the fifth anniversary since the establishment of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the leading party in the ruling coalition.

Frattini will perform his duties without any remuneration and through personal contacts with Serbia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Vucic’s office released earlier.

“Thanks to his outstanding, years-long, top-level experience in European and world institutions and credibility he enjoys in the international community, Frattini will help the Serbian government in the EU integration process, primarily in relation to Chapters 23 and 24 of membership negotiations,” the release reads.

Frattini is of the opinion that the European integration process will not be complete until all Western Balkan countries achieve full-fledged membership.

I see no other alternative. Serbia will one day have to become a full-fledged member of the EU, he said.

At the moment, Frattini chairs the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI), he is one of the most influential European politicians, and he is often referred to as a potential successor to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt: ‘Gunmen Kill at Least Three in Church Wedding Attack’

Cairo, 21 Oct. (AKI) — At least three people died and nine were injured after gunmen opened fire on a wedding ceremony held at a church in a Cairo subu suburb late Sunday, Al-Ahram daily reported on its website.

A 13-year-old girl, the groom’s mother and a man died in the attack in Cairo’s of Al-Warraq district, Al-Ahram said, quoting a spokesman from Egypt’s interior ministry.

Security forces surrounded the church shortly after the attack, where dozens of residents gathered, the daily said.

An eyewitness told Al-Ahram that a man had randomly shot 15 bullets at the wedding before fleeing the scene.

There has been a spike in attacks on Coptic churches, monasteries, homes and businesses in Upper Egypt since the army ousted on Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July after mass protests against his rule.

Egypt’s Coptic minority form around 10 percent of population in the Muslim country and have long complained of attacks against them and discrimination.

In August, at the height of the recent wave of anti-Christian violence, over 30 churches, 122 shops, and 51 houses belonging to Coptic Christians were destroyed, the worst in Egypt’s modern history,€‚Al-Ahram daily reported, citing the Egyptian Centre for Public Policy Studies.

Two Copts were killed in Dalga, one of whom was decapitated and reportedly left on the street for ten days after he attempted to defend his home against an attack with a firearm, the report said. Scores of families fled their homes.

Egyptian security forces were almost “non-existent” during the attacks against Copts, the ECPPS said.

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

Egypt: Coptic Church Attacked in Cairo, 8-Year-Old Girl Among the Dead

So far, four people are known to have died and 18 wounded when, yesterday afternoon, two men on a motorcycle fired on a crowd in front of the Virgin Mary Coptic Church in Warraq, a Christian neighbourhood in the Egyptian capital. For a spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, “Christians are the main target of religious hatred.”

Cairo (AsiaNews) — Four people are dead and 18 wounded following an attack against the Virgin Mary Coptic Church yesterday afternoon during wedding celebrations in the Cairo neighbourhood of Warraq. An 8-year-old girl is among the killed. This is the first deliberate attack on a church in the capital since 3 July, the day when Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

“Two men on a motorcycle approached the building entrance and one of them opened fire with a machine gun aiming at the crowd standing in front of the churchyard waiting to welcome the two newly-wed,” Fr Rafik Greiche, a spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, told AsiaNews.

The clergyman stressed that the death toll could rise in the coming hours. “The attackers, he said, “fired from a few metres away. All the people who were injured are in serious condition.”

At present, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicions run towards terrorist groups close to the more violent wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

A few minutes before the shooting, some Islamist leaders, jailed a few months ago for incitement to violence, posted messages on Twitter threating such attacks.

Since July, Islamists have organised demonstrations and protests every week, in Cairo and other cities, that often turned violent, Fr Greiche said. “Christians,” he added,” have been the main target of such religious hatred-filled actions.”

After President Morsi’s ouster and the establishment of a transitional government by General al-Sisi, the Christian minority has been continuously attacked by Islamist groups and other groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The worst cases occurred between on 14-17 August, when thousands of Islamic extremists carried out simultaneous attacks across the country, storming 58 churches and more than 200 buildings owned by Christians.

In the following months, groups of Salafists and members of the Jamaa al-Islamiya were holed up in a number of villages in Upper Egypt, where they imposed Sharia.

Delga is one example. The town, which is Minya province (Upper Egypt), remained the hands of Islamic extremists for over two weeks.

During that time, Islamists seized dozens of homes from local Copts, forcing 5,000 of them to flee. Only when the army moved in were they were able to return. (S.C.)

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

Egypt Gunmen Open Fire on Coptic Christian Wedding in Cairo

Three people, including a girl aged eight, died when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a wedding party outside a Coptic Christian church in Cairo. At least nine others were wounded in the attack in Giza, officials said.

Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army’s overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in July. The unidentified attackers fired indiscriminately as people left the church.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

More Libyan Fallout: Intel Finds Advanced US Weapons Were Stolen, Sold Abroad

WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that a huge amount of weapons from Libya was transferred to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida-aligned militias.

Officials said the Brotherhood has acquired U.S. weapons and military equipment stolen from Libyan Army bases.

The officials said the equipment could include night-vision and even armored vehicles.

“All of the U.S. equipment brought in over the last few months has been stolen, and most of it was sold abroad,” an official said. “There is evidence that the Brotherhood has bought some of it.”

[Return to headlines]
 

Jerusalem Mayoral Vote Could Split Ruling Coalition

Secular, Orthodox contenders vie for Tel Aviv

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — Tomorrow’s municipal elections look set to rock the boat for the governing coalition of conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli pundits opined on Monday.

A case in point is Jerusalem, pop. 800,000, where Netanyahu tacitly supports secular incumbent Mayor Nir Barkat, while Likud-Beitenu’s second-in-command, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, publicly supports his rival, Moshe Leon from the ultra-Orthodox religious Shas party.

Leon hopes to replicate the success of liberal centrist politician Ehud Olmert, who was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993-2003 and from there became prime minister. If its candidate succeeds, Shas expects Lieberman in return to engineer a government reshuffle, with the centrist secular Yesh Atid party getting expelled and replaced by two Orthodox religious parties. The stakes are also high in Jerusalem, a city in which 38% of elementary school students are Orthodox Jews, 38% are Palestinian Arabs, and secular Jews look set to become a minority, according to Haaretz newspaper. Barkat has nevertheless managed to “uphold the city’s torch” of openness to high-tech, culture and entertainment, and maintains a definite lead over his rival in opinion polls, Haaretz wrote.

Sixty kilometers away in prosperous, secular and progressive Tel Aviv (pop. 400,000), efficient incumbent Mayor Ron Hulday, from the Labor party, is up against leftist-Zionist challenger Niztan Horovitz, an effervescent MP who is also a leader in the gay community.

Horovitz calls for investing in working class neighborhoods, integrating African immigrants, and building more schools and low-income housing. Hulday, who is pro-business and has a 40-50% approval rating, has run almost without campaigning.

“I will let the facts speak for me”, he reportedly said, meaning a city that is constantly expanding, where everything works, and that is a magnet to young Israelis as well as foreigners.

Meanwhile in Nazareth, in the Arab sector of Galilee, seasoned incumbent Mayor Ramez Jeraysi, a Christian, is being challenged by Arab-Israeli MP Hanin Zuabi, a radical leftist who wants to become the first Arab woman mayor in the history of Israel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

West Bank Public Employees to Go on Strike

Growing social unease, low salaries, high cost of living

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH, OCTOBER 21 — Public employees in the West Bank have called a strike beginning on Wednesday, union organizers made known today.

Palestinian National Authority (ONA) employees will protest the lack of salary increases while the cost of living keeps rising, union leader Bassam Zakarneh told MAAN news agency.

“The government must recognize the rights of Palestinian workers”, Zakarneh said, adding workers recognize PNA President Abu Mazen as mediator. The PNA is the biggest employer in the West Bank, with an estimated 160,000 employees, according to the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC). It depends almost entirely on EU and US donations in order to survive.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Youth Mag Associated With Palestinian Authority Publishes “Hitler’s Sayings”

The PA-associated educational youth magazine Zayzafuna, whose Advisory Board include PA Deputy Minister of Education Jihad Zakarneh and the Head of the Media Department of the PA Ministry of Education, Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, published a list of ten short wisdom sayings that it claimed were said by Hitler. The youth magazine gave no introduction or comment on the list other than the title “Among Hitler’s sayings.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

“Halal” Sex Shop Launched in Turkey

An online Islamic sex shop selling condoms, massage oils and perfumes has been launched in Turkey, becoming the first of its kind in the predominantly Muslim country.

Internet users who enter the site find two different links directing them to separate sections for male and female products. Other sections of the website are designed to discuss sex in the context of Islam under various headings: “Oral sex according to Islam,” “Sex manners in Islam” and “Sexual life in Islam.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

British Press Shills for Syria War With ‘Baby Snipers’ Story

The Times of London yesterday published a sensational Syria story based on an interview with British doctor David Nott, who had volunteered his medical expertise in Syria over the past several weeks. Dr. Nott said that he had seen several pregnant women come in with abdominal wounds. He speculated that snipers must have been playing some sort of game where they would target the fetuses of pregnant women — a grisly business to be sure.

Nott “heard local rumors” that these snipers, who seemed were playing a game, were Chinese or Azeri mercenaries fighting with Assad’s government forces.

None of this was confirmed in any way. Speculation.

But how did Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London report this very imprecise bit of speculation on the part of Dr. Nott — in a huge dramatic spread?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Norwegian Sisters, 16 and 19, ‘Travel to Syria to Help Muslims in Any Way They Can’

Norwegian police have issued international alerts for two teenage sisters believed to have travelled to Syria to join the civil war. Police in suburban Oslo on Monday said the sisters, aged 16 and 19, are Norwegian citizens of Somali origin and were last spotted on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Police spokeswoman Nina Karstensen Bjoerlo said a wanted notice was issued through Interpol for the older sister and a missing notice for the younger teen because she’s a minor. The identities of the two girls has not been made public.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Police Hunt Norway Teens Who Went to Fight in Syria

Oslo has launched a global hunt for two Norwegian teenage girls of Somali origin who have allegedly travelled to Syria to support the rebels in the war-torn country, police said Monday.

Police said in a statement the teenagers, aged 16 and 19, had been reported missing on Friday and had reportedly been spotted near the Syrian border.

“The family that reported the missing girls is deeply concerned by the purpose of the journey and fears they might have gone to Syria,” the statement read “The police have launched an international search of the girls through Interpol.”

The girls sent an email to their family, who have lived in Norway since 2000, to explain the reasons behind their departure.

“Muslims are currently under attack from all fronts and something needs to be done. We want to help the Muslims, and the only way to do so is to be with

them in their pains and their joy,” they wrote, according to Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang.

“It is not enough to stay at home and send money. With this in mind, we have decided to go to Syria to help by any means,” they said.

The identity of the girls has not been revealed.

According to the tabloid, their family is not particularly religious, but the older girl recently became radicalised and started wearing a full-face veil, or niqab.

According to estimates from Norwegian intelligence, between 30 and 40 people have left Norway to take part in the Syrian conflict.

“Norwegian media have already reported on female cases, but a 16-year-old, that is a special case,” Norwegian Police Security Service spokesman Trond Hugubakken said.

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

Saudi: Couple Arrested on Black Magic Charges

Indian couple’s children aged 18 months to 12 years left alone after arrest

Kendrapara, Odisha, India: An Indian couple has been arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of practising black magic, official sources said here on Monday.

Saikh Nizam and Noor Jehan, originally from the east Indian state Odisha’s Kendrapara township, had moved to the town of Turba a few years ago where it is claimed that they were healers and mystics.

The couple was arrested last month after authorities reportedly found a variety of occult items in their possession, including herbs, the Indian consulate in Jeddah said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Saudi Man Kills Daughter for Converting to Christianity

A Saudi man working with the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recently killed his daughter for converting to Christianity.

According to sources close to the victim, the religious police member had cut the tongue of the girl and burned her to death following a heated debate on religion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Syria: 10 Soldiers ‘Executed’ By Jihadists in East

Regime bombing continues in area taken by Al-Nusra

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, OCTOBER 18 — The conflict is heating up once more in the eastern part of Syria, where on Friday an unspecified number of civilians were killed by regime bombing and where jihadist rebels ‘executed’ about ten regime soldiers.

The information could not be verified independently. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the ten soldiers were taken prisoner by Jabhat Al-Nusra, a jihadist group of mostly Syrian fighters, in the eastern city of Deir Az-Zour. The regime soldiers were shot and killed at close range, reports SOHR. Regime bombing continued throughout the day in the Rashidiye area, which until two days ago was held by regime militias and is now in the hands of Al-Nusra. The day before yesterday general Jamaa Jamaa was also killed in Rashidiya, an important regime figure and head of Syrian military intelligence services.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

The ‘German Camp’: Jihadists From Germany Set Up Base in Syria

A growing number of German jihadists are heading to Syria to join the rebels in their fight against President Bashar Assad. According to German intelligence, some 200 Islamists from across the country have gathered in northern Syria in what’s been dubbed the “German Camp.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Threatwatch: Polio Re-Awakens in Syria

It is the news disease-watchers feared: 22 suspected cases of polio have been reported in north-east Syria, and many more may be infected, spreading the virus. This is bad news for Syrians, and for the world. Polio is on the brink of eradication, and if the ongoing war in Syria frustrates efforts to smother this outbreak, the disease could make a wider comeback.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Three Divorces Every Hour in Saudi Arabia

Religious scholars call for imposing mandatory training courses before marriage

Saudi Arabia has an average of three cases of divorce every hour, official figures indicate. The total divorce cases recorded in 2012 were more than 30,000, an average of 82 a day and 3.4 an hour, according to a study published in local daily Al Eqtisadiya on Monday.

The report, based on data released by the justice ministry, said that 90 per cent of the divorces occurred between Saudi husbands and Saudi wives.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Turkey: First ‘Helal’ Virtual Sex Shop Went Live Today

‘Islam is not against sex, if certain conditions are met’

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 21 — Turkey under Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom the opposition has long accused of seeking to replace the secular republic with an Islamic one, now has an online helal sex shop, meaning in line with Muslim law. It went live on Monday, local media reported.

Against a background of wide purple and white stripes, its unerotic cover page features a silhouette of a man in traditional garb, seated on the ground in a meditative stance.

Underneath him, a veiled woman in profile bends her head.

Between the two, black and pink text informs visitors that this sex shop is halal, or permissible under Islamic religious law — as can be surmised from its URL: www.helalsexshop.com. In the men’s section, the site offers condoms, pills, perfumes, sprays, and “delaying” vaporizers. Women can browse through orgasm-facilitating creams and aphrodisiac massage oils.

Each product can be purchased in Turkish liras, euros, or US dollars, and comes with a brief text on sexuality according to Islam.

Unlike what “prejudice” would have us believe, “Islam encourages sexuality under certain conditions”, the site says. The site is a purely commercial venture and does not purport to have moral or religious weight. “It’s not about educating Turks about sexuality”, said left-liberal Turkish daily Radikal. Therefore, it presumably won’t rock the boat as much as American Orthodox rabbi Shmuel Boteach did with his book ‘Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy’. Published in 1999, it caused an uproar in Israel, and reportedly was one of the reasons he was removed from his north London synagogue.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Turkish Entrepreneur Opens First Online ‘Halal’ Sex Shop

(Reuters) — A Turkish entrepreneur has opened what he says is the country’s first online sex shop for Muslims, selling everything from lubricants to herbal aphrodisiacs and offering advice on how to have “halal” sex.

Demirel said the website — which offers advice on which sexual practices are banned by Islam and which are not — had proved unexpectedly popular since launching last Tuesday, with 33,000 visitors on Sunday alone.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Daniel Pipes: Muslim Russia?

Not only do ethnic Muslims account for 21-23 million of Russia’s total population of 144 million, or 15 percent, but their proportion is fast growing. Alcoholism-plagued ethnic Russians are said to have European birth rates and African death rates, with the former just 1.4 per woman and the latter 60 years for men. In Moscow, ethnic Christian women have 1.1 child.

In contrast, Muslim women bear 2.3 children on average and have fewer abortions than their Russian counterparts. In Moscow, Tatar women have 6 children and Chechen and Ingush women have 10. In addition, some 3-4 million Muslims have moved to Russia from ex-republics of the U.S.S.R., mainly from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan; and some ethnic Russians are converting to Islam.

These trends point to Christians declining in numbers by 0.6 percent a year and Muslims increasing by that same amount, which will have dramatic effects over time.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

European Court Set to Rule on Katyn Massacre Investigation

The European Court of Human Rights is expected to issue a ruling Monday in response to a complaint made by relatives of victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre that Russia has failed to conduct an effective investigation into the killings.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 5 in Russia

(AGI) Moscow, Oct 21 — The attack on a bus in Volgograd in southern Russia was carried out by a female suicide bomber married to an Islamic extremist. Sources speaking to the Russian Interfex news agency have informed that the women’s ID card was found not far from the site, also revealing that the woman had recently converted to Islam.

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

How Satellites Watched Russian Meteor Explosion From Space

The meteor that exploded over the skies of Russia in February had key details of its fiery doom captured by satellites monitoring Earth, researchers now reveal, hinting that satellites could help uncover whether dangerous meteor swarms recur over time, scientists say.

“The Chelyabinsk event is the first eyewitnessed large meteor known to cause significant property damage and injuries,” said Steven Miller, a satellite meteorologist at Colorado State University who led the satellite study of the meteor.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Jihad-Martyrdom Suicide Bomber Murders Six on Volgograd Bus

An explosion that killed at least six people on a bus in the southern Russian city of Volgograd was caused by a bomb, Russian officials say. They suspect a woman from Dagestan in the North Caucasus, thought to be the partner of an Islamist militant, carried out a suicide attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Skull Suggests Three Early Human Species Were One

Controversial analysis of long-faced fossil proposes that Homo erectus should subsume two other hominin species.

One of the most complete early human skulls yet found suggests that what scientists thought were three hominin species may in fact be one.

This controversial claim comes from a comparison between the anatomical features of a 1.8-million-year-old fossil skull with those of four other skulls from the same excavation site at Dmanisi, Georgia. The wide variability in their features suggests that Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, the species so far identified as existing worldwide in that era, might represent a single species.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Families Suspect Seal Team 6 Crash Was Inside Job

Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.

Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.

“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

US Quietly Releasing $1.6b in Pakistan Assistance

The U.S. has quietly decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries disintegrated over the covert raid that killed Usama bin Laden and deadly U.S. airstrikes against Pakistani soldiers.

Officials and congressional aides said ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again.

American and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan are open. Controversial U.S. drone strikes are down. The U.S. and Pakistan recently announced the restart of their “strategic dialogue” after a long pause. Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is traveling to Washington for talks this coming week with President Barack Obama.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Is Breathing in China as Bad as Smoking?

In Beijing, cancer is the leading cause of death. Lung cancer is apparently the country’s leading, fast-growing variety of the disease: In 2008, an official with China’s Ministry of Health claimed that Chinese lung-cancer rates had risen 465 percent over the previous three decades — a period that corresponds with both China’s economic revival and the transformation of its cities into some of the world’s most polluted places.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Australia Wildfires Could Merge Into ‘Mega Fire’

Wildfires in southeastern Australia could converge into one “mega fire” if weather conditions worsen, authorities have warned. Firefighters are battling to contain the worst bushfires to hit New South Wales in decades.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Ramadan Under Microscope

A CLOSER eye will be cast on Canterbury city’s 2014 Ramadan activities after the creation of a formal working group to manage Islamic holy month festivities.

Complaints surrounding excessive noise levels before 7am and after 6pm, breaches of shop and restaurant opening hours, illegal parking as well as unauthorised food stalls and barbecues have prompted an attempt by Canterbury Council to regulate celebrations.

Mayor Brian Robson said Ramadan had enormous spiritual significance to many in the community.

“But some actions during this period have created issues relating to public health and safety, resulting in a number of complaints from residents,” he said. He said a working group that included all local stakeholders would begin to sort through these issues, which were particularly of concern to Lakemba and Punchbowl residents.

The group would also consider the introduction of regulated activities, such as the creation of night markets along Haldon St at Lakemba through the holy month.

Up to 10 individuals will be appointed to the group from across the community, including representatives from NSW Police. “In working with the community we hope future celebrations can take place in a safe and responsible manner,” Cr Robson said.

           — Hat tip: Nilk [Return to headlines]
 

South African Radio Station Fined for Unflattering Mention of Islam

by Andrew Harrod

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa(BCCSA) fined in an August 29, 2013 judgment a South African radio broadcaster for making an “unjustifiable connection with Islam” during news reports.

This punitive second-guessing of journalistic conduct with respect to referencing background material such as a religion entails the most negative of consequences for a crucially important unhindered discussion of Islam.

BCCSA fined the public broadcaster SAfm R10,000 each for two violations of South Africa’sBroadcasting Code on May 24, 2013. The complainant, SAMNET (South African Muslim Network), charged in the first instance that a SAfm noon bulletin discussed “immigrants protesting in Switzerland about employment and other issues.” The clip stated that the “protesters were not linked to any religion even though some Muslims were present.” “By inference…members of other religious groups” unnamed were present. This “blatant prejudicial reporting…casts Muslims in a negative light.”

The second SAMNET accusation involved an afternoon news report of two men arrested for endangering a Pakistan-United Kingdom flight. Various news reports described “British nationals” involved in a “criminal offense” with no “terrorism angle.” Yet SAfm linked the flight with the May 22 London murder of British soldier Lee Rigby described by SAfm’s announcer as “perpetrated by two Islamic extremists.” SAMNET objected that no information tied the episode to terrorism or Islam, and thereby “adding to the already anger [sic] against Muslims…after the Boston and Woolwich incidents, SAFM news is perpetuating misconceptions and prejudice.”

SAfm responded to the first charge that the Switzerland clip came from the BBC already referencing Muslim protesters. Although SAfm has a policy “of not identifying anyone by race or religion unless it is critical to the story,” here this was “unfortunately…beyond our control.” SAfm, though, will “henceforth be carefully vetting any inputs from foreign news sources.”

With respect to the plane story also sourced from the BBC, SAfm observed that this “big scare…came shortly after” Rigby’s murder. SAfm cited “widespread reports on the two British nationals involved” in the killing referring “to their Muslim faith,” along with official British views of the “incident as an act of terrorism.” Yet SAfm conceded that a reference to “Islamic terrorists…might have been an unfair inference” and was an “unfortunate deviation” from a “policy of not making such references unless authoritatively confirmed.”

“It is of the utmost importance,” BCCSA concluded, “that the identification of a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, to name but four prominent instances, should not take place unless absolutely necessary.” SAfm allegedly violated this journalistic policy as there was “no evidence that religion had anything to do with the news items.”

People “have the Constitutional right to be informed truthfully” and not to “be discriminated against unfairly.” The assumption that “members of the Islamic faith are more readily identifiable with crime or, at least certain crimes, is, clearly, blatantly unfair.” BCCSA, though, refrained from condemning SAfm for “Islamophobia,” a form of “persistent fear…not justified” on the basis of these two incidents.

The BCCSA sanction with respect to the Switzerland story is puzzling. A journalist might have noted the presence of Muslim demonstrators merely to dispel erroneous associations with Islam. Identifiable Muslims, for example, might have formed the majority of demonstrators protesting for reasons unrelated to faith.

More troubling is BCCSA’s assessment of the plane report…

[Return to headlines]
 

Amnesty’s Second Wind

Why conservatives may be more vulnerable than ever to persuasion

America remains mired in the weakest recovery since WWII. The unemployment rate of 7.4 percent obscures the reality that we have the lowest workforce participation rate since 1978, 75 percent of the jobs created in 2013 are part-time with lower wage levels, and American incomes have declined 4.4 percent since the recovery began in 2009. In short, Americans need jobs.

Despite that reality, President Obama is aiming to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, even though it is utterly anathema to the interests of American job-seekers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Exodus: Migration of Jews Out of France Begins

Will they head to Israel, or North America?

by Michel Gurfinkiel

Today Jews are migrating out of France, and this is occurring in increasingly larger numbers.

This migration starts within France, as a mere change of locations. In Greater Paris, middle-class Jewish families are deserting neighborhoods that have been engulfed by more recent immigrants from Africa and the Near East. These new immigrant populations have proven prone to violence, and as radical Muslims, many entertain negative views about Jews and Judaism. Harassment, arson, and assault are frequent. There have been several murders. Even the liberal-minded Imam Hassan Chalghoumi of Drancy, who advocates friendly relations with Christians and Jews, was threatened and assaulted.

“I did not leave Morocco for France to be confronted by Morocco again in France,” a Casablanca-born Jewish physician confided to me. He is selling his apartment in an increasingly Muslim-populated area of southeastern Paris to move to the local “Promised Land,” the West End of Paris.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Greek PM in Malta Urges EU to Unite on Immigration Policy

(ANSAmed) — VALLETTA, OCTOBER 21 — Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called for a united European front against irregular immigration during a visit to Malta as Kathimerini online reports. Samaras met with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to discuss the issue in the wake of the recent disasters involving migrants trying to reach southern Europe. “There can be no magic solution but this is not an issue that can left to fate,” he said. “Nor can we simply hope that winter is coming and there won’t be more arrivals.” Samaras also spoke of Greece’s effort to achieve its fiscal consolidation and, at one point, linked this to the issue of immigration. “Greece has a big problem with unemployment,” he said. “We have as many unemployed people as we have illegal immigrants. This can’t continue.” Greece and Malta will be pushing for “sharing of responsibilities”, rather than burden sharing, Samaras and Muscat said. “This meeting will not be about victories but about wordings and conclusions,” said the Maltese prime minister. “I will not be happy with a change of word here and there which may not mean anything. We will gauge the actual political willingness to change the status quo.” The two leaders spoke of a “coherent returns policy.” According to Malta Today, Muscat explained that as from the next multiannual financial framework, it would be up to Frontex to coordinate flights for those migrants whose asylum request would be rejected and would therefore be repatriated. Samaras was due to travel to Rome after Malta to meet Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta to discuss immigration and other issues.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Migrants Shout ‘Murderer’ At Alfano at Ceremony

Interior minister target of protests against immigration law

(ANSA) — Agrigento, October 21 — Angry crowds chanting “murderer, murderer” interrupted Interior Minister Angelino Alfano after a ceremony Monday to commemorate the more than 400 migrants who drowned earlier this month attempting to reach safety in Italy.

Security guards quickly surrounded Alfano, who was speaking with reporters, as angry migrants shouted against the Bossi-Fini immigration law, which makes illegal immigration a crime.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Letta Calls on Libyan Authorities to Patrol Coasts

Italian premier meets with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

(ANSA) — Rome, October 21 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta on Monday called on Libyan authorities to assume responsibility for patrolling their coasts and preventing the embarkation of precarious boats dangerously crammed with migrants seeking European shores. “We will work until the Libyan coast is patrolled. But we will never again accept insufficient or half-responses from Libyan authorities. For us the patrol of the seas means going there and make it so that the Libyan authorities assume their responsibilities,” said Letta after meeting in Rome with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden: Long Wait Times Prompt Migration Board Probe

Long processing times have led to an investigation into the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), which has struggled to keep up with an increase in the number of asylum seekers.

More than 35,000 people have applied for asylum in Sweden so far this year, an increase of 20 percent compared to last year, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

California: Embrace Gay Agenda or Lose Tax Exempt Status

The California legislature is considering punishing youth groups who don’t embrace the gay agenda. Earlier this week, the Committee on Revenue and Taxation voted 6 to 3 to move the bill to the full judiciary committee.

The openly gay State Sen. Ricardo Larahas proposed the bill that would strip non-profit youth organizations of their sales tax exemption for food and other items if they discriminate “on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation.”

The bill literally names 25 organizations that must embrace the gay agenda or suffer the consequences including the Boy Scouts, Young Men’s Christian Association and Little League.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Gov. Chris Christie Drops Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling in New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced on Monday that his administration would drop its legal challenge to allowing gay marriage in the state, hours after same-sex couples started exchanging vows.

Mr. Christie’s decision to withdraw his appeal before the state’s Supreme Court, a reversal from his long-held position that the question of gay marriage should be decided by voters, effectively removes the last hurdle from making same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey.

“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” Mr. Christie’s administration said in a statement. “The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

[Return to headlines]
 

Advice to Non-Muslim Women Against Marrying Muslim Men by Daniel Pipes

(May 16, 2004 — updated Aug 7, 2013)

The consular bureau at the U.S. Department of State from the mid-1990s until 2000 distributed a document titled “Marriage to Saudis,” offering straight-talking advice to American women contemplating tying the knot with Saudi men. As Martin Kramer describes what he calls “a minor classic by an anonymous diplomat”:

“It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department’s standard bureaucratic style. For prospective spouses, “Marriage to Saudis” constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks.”

Here is a choice excerpt:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

World Governments Hijacking Information Highway With Spy Networks

CGI — the IT system gleaning personal information from people signing up at healthcare.gov is the same company providing the computer software for world governments to spy on their own people and in some cases, on the friendly governments of others.

Billion dollar spy networks are floated by taxpayers. In other words, civilians being spied on by government are paying to be spied on.

None of these billion dollar spy networks were able to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. Nor did they save any lives in the massacre of innocents that shocked the world at Westgate Mall in Kenya, one month ago today.

Reasonable people the world over expect government-sponsored spy systems to spy on the enemy and not average people in their own countries.

While so many waited for One World Government, aka Big Brother to come walking through the front door, it sneaked through the back door as Big Brother Digital.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/21/2013

  1. @British Press Shills for Syria War With ‘Baby Snipers’ Story.

    Syria appeal – behind the scenes

    “I was amazed at the amount of things the staff were able to send, everything from blood transfusion kits, needles, BP monitors and dressings. The list was endless, …”

    Reads like the wholesale internal looting of the NHS, so across the NHS exactly how much medicines and medical equipment is being shipped out the back doors of NHS hospitals to Syria?

    Has the British Government authorised “the staff” requisitioning of NHS medical supplies?

Comments are closed.