Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/9/2013

Several people in Egypt were killed as mobs rioted on the streets of Cairo and Port Said over the acquittal of a policemen for the deaths of people killed in last year’s soccer riots. The chief of the riot police was fired from his job for failing to maintain public order.

Police also protested on the streets of Cairo over the politicization of the police force, which they say is being used to protect Muslim Brotherhood politicians rather than the general public.

In other news, the fiscal crisis has forced a courthouse in Rome to stop supplying toilet paper for its restrooms. Attendants have posted signs on the doors saying, “Bring your own supply”.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Lurker from Tulsa, 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
» From Portugal to Mozambique
» German Finance Minister Schäuble Warns EU of UK Exit
» Hard Times Oblige Most Greeks to Holiday at Home
» Italy: ‘Cutbacks’ Spark Toilet-Paper Shortage at Rome Courthouse
» Slovenia: Alenka Bratušek Has Her Work Cut Out
» Spain: Museums Paint Grim Picture as Crisis Bites
» Al Gore’s Al Jazeera Deal Now a Major Scandal
» Boy Stops Murder Plot With Gun; National Media Ignores Story
» Cops: Perp Had Loaded Revolver in Her Vagina
» Court Curbs Homeland Security Laptop Searches at U.S. Border
» Federal Workers Owe $3.5 Billion in Back Taxes
» Judy Chu Exposed, Part 4: Judy Chu and Communist Worker, China Shill, Kent Wong
» Special Interview With Former WWE Star: Liberty Movement Under Attack
» Sustainability Marxism
» Ted Cruz Nails Eric Holder (Video)
» The Hegelian Dialectic
Europe and the EU
» 166 ‘Fake Poor’ Cited in Sicily
» Eco Madness and How Our Future is Going Up in Smoke as We Pay Billions to Switch From Burning Coal to Wood Chips at Britain’s Biggest Power Station
» For Sale: Blood of Beheaded French King
» France: Suspected Terrorists Were ‘Ready to Take Action’
» Germany: ‘End of Reduced Electricity Prices for Industry’
» Greece: Photovoltaics Power Up Energy Sector Deficit
» Italy: Cardinal Pressured to Skip Conclave for ‘Pedophilia Coverup’
» Italy: Court Refuses to Release Camorra-Linked Politician From Jail
» Italy: Seven Doctors Cited in Trento for Financial Fraud
» Italy: Two More Arrested in De Tomaso Public Funds Scam
» Italy: Carabinieri Seize Solar Power Plant Near Brindisi
» Italy: Graft Probe Targets Two ‘Turncoat’ Senators
» Italy: Protesters Throw Rocks at High-Speed Train Site Guards
» Italy: Centre-Left Leader Urged to Add No Party Financing to Plan
» Italy: Berlusconi Visited by “Nazi Doctors”, Says PDL Whip
» Muslim Discrimination ‘Too Common’ In Sweden
» Pilgrims Speak Out at the Home of St.Peter’s, The First Pope
» Spain: Almodovar’s Los Amante Pasajeros to be Released
» Spain: Is the Grillo Bug Catching?
» Sweden: Octogenarian Narrowly Escapes Wax and Polish
Mediterranean Union
» Riccardi: ‘Italy Must Increase Presence’
North Africa
» Egypt: Riot Police Chief Fired as Protests Death-Toll Rises
» Egypt: Police Take to Streets Against the Muslim Brotherhood
» Egypt Riots Turn Deadly Following Court Verdict
Middle East
» Turkey’s Small Hotels to be Closed Down, Official
» US-British Al Qaeda Airlift: 3,000 Tons of Weapons Fuel Syria’s Destruction
South Asia
» India: Karnataka: Dozens of Hindu Fundamentalists Attack a Christian Community
» Pakistan: Lahore: More Than 100 Christian Homes Burned Over Blasphemy Charge
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigerian Army Kills 52 Boko Haram Militants
» My Warning to Britain: Why the Left-Wing Mayor of German Town Wants You to See What Happened When Romanian Migrants Moved in
» ‘Poland Dependent on Immigrants’
» Sweden: Stockholm Police End ‘Racial Profiling’ Push
Culture Wars
» Sweden on Top in Gay Friendly Travel Rating
» Apple Attempts to Patent Digital Marketplace for Second-Hand iTunes Downloads Which Would Enable Artists to Take a Cut

From Portugal to Mozambique

Thousands of Portugese nationals have fled the financial crisis and unemployment in their home country to start a better life in a former Portuguese colony, whose economy is booming.

Goncalo Fernandes inspects the construction site on the Avenida Aramdo Tivane in the center of Maputo every morning. The 31 year-old Portuguese engineer ensures that the 16 storey apartment block, which will contain 45 luxury flats and a swimming pool, is being built as it should be.

Fernandes has lived in the Mozambican capital since 2012 and says he has settled in well. He is employed by the Portuguese architectural firm Pitagoras.

Whereas there is little demand for new property back in Portugal, in Mozambique there is no shortage of work for a construction engineer. “There is a lot to be done, apartments, offices and other commercial property are shooting up. There is a lot of scope for growth,” he said.

Fernandes is convinced that Pitagoras’ future lies in Africa. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the Mozambican economy grew by 7.5 percent in 2012. Portugal’s GDP shrank by 3 percent during the same period.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Finance Minister Schäuble Warns EU of UK Exit

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has warned against the idea of Britain leaving the EU, claiming it would be “catastrophic.” The comments came after the UK failed to stop an EU agreement on new banking rules.

Schäuble spoke in remarks published on Saturday, after Britain was left isolated at a meeting in Brussels, having failed to water down new regulations that will cap bankers’ bonuses.

Finance ministers on Tuesday backed proposals to limit bankers’ pay to twice their annual salary — despite strong objection from Britain on the grounds it would harm competitiveness and affect London’s position as a financial hub.

The following day, British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared to suggest the UK might invoke its national interests to delay or amend the EU draft directive.

However, in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, Schäuble said that Europe should use as much flexibility as it could so that Britain — home to some 40 percent of the EU’s financial service industry — could be included in the regulations.

“We would not be happy as a majority to decide against a member state that is affected by a regulation in a very particular way,” Schäuble said. “You cannot argue that Britain, with such a strong banking center as London, would not be hit harder than others.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hard Times Oblige Most Greeks to Holiday at Home

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 7 — Nearly nine in 10 Greeks are choosing to spend their vacations in their homeland, significantly above an average of 58% in other European Union countries, according to the findings of a new Eurobarometer survey on tourism for 2012 and 2013 published by Kathimerini. A total of 87% of Greeks said they spent their holidays in Greece in 2012. Italians and Bulgarians were close behind with 80% and 79% respectively planning their holidays in their homeland.

Croatians and Spaniards came next, with 74% and 73% holidaying within the borders of their respective countries. According to the survey, 37% of Greeks did not go on vacation last year, compared to an EU average of 27%. Financial constraints were the reason given by 72% of Greeks who did not go on holiday in 2012, compared to an average rate of 46% in the EU.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Cutbacks’ Spark Toilet-Paper Shortage at Rome Courthouse

‘Bring your own supplies’ say signs on bathrooms

(ANSA) — Rome, March 6 — Bathrooms inside Rome’s major courthouse began donning signs on their doors warning those who entered to “bring their own supplies” due to an austerity-driven toilet-paper shortage on Wednesday. In response, the justice ministry issued a statement saying that the court had received 80,904.43 euros in funding one month ago that should have covered all sanitary needs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Alenka Bratušek Has Her Work Cut Out

Dnevnik Ljubljana

In taking over from the minority government of Janez Janša, who was booed in the street and ultimately ousted by the coalition, the new leader of the centre-left has a chance to tame the political crisis facing Slovenia. Unfortunately, a catastrophic economic situation awaits her.

Primož Cirman

He’s gone. In December, when the Constitutional Court removed the obstacles to creating a “bad bank” and a “Slovenian Sovereign Holding” [responsible for managing the sale of state-owned enterprises], Janez Janša seemed to hold all the cards in the final phase of Slovenia’s transition to a neoliberal economy.

Barely two months later, he has been ousted. Just like that, he’s history. A prime minister of Slovenia and politician who came in for the most blistering criticism in the street protests and became a symbol of the elite that has ruled Slovenia since independence in 1991.

The new parliamentary majority, though, has no reason to crack open the champagne. The problems facing the Slovenian state are much bigger than merely Janša. Slovenia is peering into yet another year of alarming statistics without any certainly that the crisis has bottomed out.

Forecasts suggest growth will be negative (-2 per cent), the budget deficit will widen to reach 5 per cent of GDP at the end of the year, and unemployment will beat the record of 125,000. Businesses are stifled by debt, big exporters are recording a slump in orders, and the banking system has joined the walking dead.

It is no exaggeration to say that, five years into the crisis, Slovenia is almost “clinically dead”. Economic stagnation, accompanied by political excesses and moral deficits by the political and economic elites, have provoked widespread disenchantment and hopelessness.

Symbols of creeping poverty

In a state where once upon a time one could get a loan signed in five minutes, gold-buying agencies are sprouting up like mushrooms after a rain shower, and have become the symbol of creeping poverty. Major regional employers are closing their doors one after the other, while hospitals have run out of money for medicine. The young are leaving the country, the elderly are having more problems making ends meet at the end of the month, and the middle class is falling apart…

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

Spain: Museums Paint Grim Picture as Crisis Bites

Spain’s top museums are bumping up entry prices, staying open for longer and sending artworks abroad as they scramble for new revenue to offset the effects of government cuts to their budgets.

The Prado will receive 30 percent less in state funding this year, the Reina Sofia has seen its budget slashed by 25 percent, and funds for the Thyssen-Bornemisza are a full third lower.

Spain’s conservative government has slashed spending on culture by nearly 20 percent this year to €722 million euros ($940 million) as part of the steepest budget cuts in 40 years.

The cuts have frustrated Spain´s museum bosses.

“I think the cuts to museums are a strategic error,” said Miguel Zugaza, director of the Prado, which raised its general admission price from €12 to €14 on February 8th.

“These institutions have shown a rare vitality and breaking this dynamic is a mistake,” Zugaza told El Confidencial.

He added: “Beyond our educational role, we also have a huge economic responsibility. I don’t know how we will come out of all this, but I think in terms of managing cultural assets, Spain has to play the leading role in Europe.”

The man at the helm of the Prado said temporary exhibits would bear the brunt of the cuts as these ate up a large part of the budget.

But Zugaza dismissed the idea of “renting out” collections and talked instead about exchanges between museums.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Al Gore’s Al Jazeera Deal Now a Major Scandal

While the lawsuit over the sale of Al Gore’s Current TV to Al Jazeera is making headlines, a close reading of the legal complaint provides additional evidence that a congressional investigation into the curious transaction is urgently needed and necessary.

The media executive who claims to have arranged the sale says the idea was to make the Terror TV channel “palatable to U.S. lawmakers,” a formulation that suggests foreign lobbying on Capitol Hill in order to protect the $500 million payoff to Gore and other owners and investors in Current TV.

The suit says that media executive John Terenzio also proposed smoothing things over with “pro-Israel factions, cable operators and, most importantly, the American public.”

The other controversial aspect of the deal, as noted by Fox News contributor Lisa Daftari, is that “Al Jazeera America” has announced plans for bureaus in eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan, and that “Detroit, Michigan is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans where [Jihadist] sleeper cells have been detected.”

Detroit has been called the Arab capital of North America.

Because of the danger of inciting Arabs and Muslims into anti-American violence, Accuracy in Media has called on the House Homeland Security Committee, under the chairmanship of Texas Republican Michael McCaul, to investigate the sale and look at the evidence that the channel is a foreign terrorist entity that can be outlawed on U.S. soil. He has refused to do so.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boy Stops Murder Plot With Gun; National Media Ignores Story

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

Here’s another pro-second amendment story that you will never see on the major news networks — a Texas boy who watched his sister and mother being raped during a home invasion by two men who later abandoned a plan to murder the three victims was able to grab a handgun and send the two individuals fleeing.

“The incident began about 4:30 a.m. when two men entered the home and held three residents hostage. During the home invasion, police accused one man, described only as white, of sexually assaulting two women,” reports the Galveston County Daily News.

The suspects, subsequently named as 33-year-old Charles Allen Jacobson III and 56-year-old James Ellis Barnett, then bound the three victims and drove them to a nearby field. According to police, Jacobson gave Barnett a handgun and told him to kill the three hostages but Barnett refused.

The two suspects then drove the family back to their home on Anne Drive, Webster, in order to dispose of evidence. It was at this point that “the male juvenile victim was able to get free and arm himself with a handgun which the family had,” said Chief Ray Smiley.

“He then confronted the suspects, who fled the scene”.

Barnett drove away in Jacobson’s pickup truck while Jacobson attempted to hide in tall grass near a house under construction, but was soon apprehended by neighbors and police who chased him down. Barnett was later stopped and arrested after the vehicle was spotted outside a convenience store.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cops: Perp Had Loaded Revolver in Her Vagina

Handgun found inside Oklahoman during strip search

MARCH 6—An Oklahoma woman arrested Monday on drug charges had a loaded handgun hidden in her vagina, according to police.

The weapon was discovered during a search of Christie Dawn Harris, 28, by a female officer with the Ada Police Department. According to a police report, the cop spotted the handle of the five-shot revolver “sticking out from” inside Harris, who is seen at right.

In a less shocking find, investigators also discovered plastic baggies containing methamphetamine lodged in the crack of Harris’s buttocks.

The Freedom Arms .22-caliber handgun was loaded with three live rounds and one spent shell, cops reported. As to where the weapon was recovered, the police report noted, “gun located in suspect vagina.”

At around 3:45 AM Monday, cops spotted Harris and another woman, Jennifer Delancy, inside a vehicle parked outside a closed restaurant. The women were in the front of the vehicle and “both seats were laid all the way back.” Asked by a cop if the car contained weapons or drugs, Harris, who was behind the wheel, answered that “she did not think there was anything.”

But when a drug dog alerted to both the driver and passenger sides of the Toyota Yaris, cops searched the vehicle and found meth, drug paraphernalia, a pistol, and a loaded magazine. Harris and Delancy were then arrested.

While being transported to jail, Harris “stated several times that she needed to go to the bathroom.”

At the lockup, Harris was directed to change out of her clothes into “jail clothing.” When directed to lower her underwear so that a female cop could check for contraband, Harris “advised that she was on her period and did not want to.”

Harris eventually complied with the cop’s order. “I observed at that time a wooden and metal item sticking out from her vagina area,” reported Officer Kathy Unbewust, who added that she “pulled the item from her vagina, and found it to be a 5 shot revolver with rounds in the chamber.”

As seen above, the police report includes a photo of the handgun seized from Harris, who is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on felony weapons and narcotics charges. (4 pages)

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

Court Curbs Homeland Security Laptop Searches at U.S. Border

A federal appeals court on Friday said Customs and Border Protection officers cannot confiscate or download every laptop or electronic device brought into the U.S., ruling that people have an expectation their data are private and that the government must have “reasonable suspicion” before it starts to do any intensive snooping.

In a broad ruling, the court also said merely putting password protection on information is not enough to trigger the government’s “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a more intrusive search — but can be taken into account along with other factors.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges said it was a “watershed care” that gets at what kinds of limits the government must observe when it comes to technology and privacy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Federal Workers Owe $3.5 Billion in Back Taxes

WASHINGTON — The number of federal workers and retirees who owed delinquent income taxes jumped by nearly 12 percent in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.

Nearly 312,000 federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.5 billion in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2011, the agency said. The year before, about 279,000 workers and retirees owed $3.4 billion.

Overall, the 9.8 million workers included in the data had a delinquency rate of 3.2 percent. That’s better than the general public. The IRS says the delinquency rate for the general public was 8.2 percent…

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

Judy Chu Exposed, Part 4: Judy Chu and Communist Worker, China Shill, Kent Wong

The purpose of this series is to prove that Congressional representative for California’s 32nd District, Judy Chu, has a close relationship to a network of former members of a violent, pro-Chinese Marxist-Leninist group, the Communist Workers Party.

More importantly, I want to demonstrate that this network has made conscious efforts to infiltrate the US labor movement and the Democratic Party to the highest levels, and to use its influence to the advantage of China and allied communist powers.

Judy Chu’s position and influence may well be one of this network’s greatest achievements.

One of Judy Chu’s closest allies is Kent Wong — Director of UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education. In the early 1980s, Wong was a leading member of the Communist Workers Party and later almost certainly an executive committee member of the New Democratic Movement, the CWP’s vehicle for infiltrating the Democratic Party.

Wong is one of the country’s most influential labor movement figures and has been a driving force in building ties between the US labor movement and the communist controlled labor unions of China and Vietnam…

In late 2010, the Labor Center would participate in a “binational US-China conference, hosted by the ACFTU, to explore ways research findings can improve labor standards.”

In other words, the American unions agreed to pass on information on American business to their Chinese counterparts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Special Interview With Former WWE Star: Liberty Movement Under Attack

World Wrestling Entertainment has jumped on the bandwagon of demonizing Tea Party Americans as racists by creating a xenophobic character who espouses anti-immigrant rhetoric, as WWE commentators quip that he receives “fan mail” from Alex Jones, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Infowars reporter Dan Bidondi speaks with former WWE wrestler ‘Val Venis’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sustainability Marxism

We’ve been saying it for years — sustainable development is really just a disguised Marxism, with its top down control of economic decisions, violation of private property rights and emphasis on Social Justice, a term, incidentally, coined by non- other than Karl Marx (so what was your first clue?). Well, as Agenda 21 has been enforced in more and more policy, the perpetrators have grown more and more bold in openly revealing the truth — it really is a not-so disguised Marxism after all. But, of course, I’m just the lunatic fringe. So, let them tell you in their own words.

“We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects.”

Dave Foreman (Co-founder of Earth First)

“If we don’t overthrown capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecology sound society under socialism. I don’t think it’s possible under capitalism.” Judi Bari (Earth First)

“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have In the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.” Michael Oppenheimer (Environmental Defense Fund)


So, Marxism is all the rage in the international circles, but local proponents, planning groups, planning departments and elected officials deny any such connections to their planning programs. Is there one? Let’s let an avowed Marxist author Ted Trainer explain how and why to impose the local process as he described it in his book, “Transition to a Sustainable and Just World.” See if you don’t recognize some of your community’s local planning programs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ted Cruz Nails Eric Holder (Video)

Ted Cruz is the toughest guy in the US Senate. Definitely presidential material IMHO.

Here he nails a very evasive Eric Holder over the constitutional permissibility of using drones to kill US citizens on American soil.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Hegelian Dialectic

Like may Americans, you are scratching your head as the country you grew up to love, spirals in to a social and moral abyss under the influence of Barak Obama. You wonder how is Barak, and his liberal cabal able to exert mass manipulation over half of our citizens? Through the Hegelian Dialectic. This is how the Neo-Commies steal ever more power from us. I have broken it down to make the conversion process simple, and easy to understand. As you become aware of the use of the “HD” in everyday life and in the media, you are able to “unmask” the Neo-Commies in everything they do, and act as an “obstacle” to their progress instead of enabling your own downfall…

The Application of It has only three steps:

Step one: INVENT A “PROBLEM”: Make an outrageous accusation, propose an absurd theory as if it were truth, (Global Warming) or focus on an issue that already exists and distort it out of all rational proportion.

Step Two: PROMOTE AND POLARIZE THE “PROBLEM”: Use the news media newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Elevate the issue to a fever pitch so that soon even people who don’t usually care about politics become drawn in to the conflict and then demand a “solution” to the problem.

Step Three: OFFER A “SOLUTION”: Through the dialectic any answer always involves either compromise or complete capitulation to a solution that takes away one or more of our rights and further undermines the constitutional protections we all are guaranteed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

166 ‘Fake Poor’ Cited in Sicily

Two town councillors also accused

(ANSA) — Siracusa, March 7 — Italian police on Thursday cited 166 people in a town near Siracusa in Sicily for falsely claiming municipal benefits meant for the poor.

Two employees of the town council at Priolo Gargallo were cited for fraud.

The 166 are accused of falsely declaring very low incomes in order to get poverty subsidies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Eco Madness and How Our Future is Going Up in Smoke as We Pay Billions to Switch From Burning Coal to Wood Chips at Britain’s Biggest Power Station

There could be no better symbol of the madness of Britain’s energy policy than what is happening at the giant Drax power station in Yorkshire, easily the largest in Britain.

Indeed, it is one of the biggest and most efficiently run coal-fired power stations in the world. Its almost 1,000ft-tall flue chimney is the highest in the country, and its 12 monster cooling towers (each taller than St Paul’s Cathedral) dominate the flat countryside of eastern Yorkshire for miles around.

Every day, Drax burns 36,000 tons of coal, brought to its vast site by 140 coal trains every week — and it supplies seven per cent of all the electricity used in Britain. That’s enough to light up a good many of our major cities.

But as a result of a change in Government policy, triggered by EU rules, Drax is about to undergo a major change that would have astonished those who built it in the Seventies and Eighties right next to Selby coalfield, which was then highly productive but has since closed.

As from next month, Drax will embark on a £700 million switch away from burning coal for which it was designed, in order to convert its six colossal boilers to burn millions of tons a year of wood chips instead.

Most of these chips will come from trees felled in forests covering a staggering 4,600 square miles in the USA, from where they will be shipped 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to Britain.

The reason for this hugely costly decision is that Drax has become a key component in the so-called ‘green revolution’ which is now at the heart of the Government’s energy policy.

Because it burns so much coal, Drax is the biggest single emitter in Britain of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas supposedly responsible for global warming.

The theory is that, by gradually switching to wood — or ‘biomass’ as it is officially known — Drax will eventually save millions of tons of CO2 from going every year into the atmosphere, thereby helping to prevent climate change and save the planet.

Unlike coal, which is now demonised as a filthy, planet-threatening pollutant, biomass is considered ‘sustainable’, because it supposedly only returns back to the atmosphere the amount of CO2 it drew out of the air while the original tree it came from was growing.

[Comment: “…massive subsidy, which will eventually be worth over £1 billion a year.”…read the whole thing and weep. The inmates are running the asylum.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

For Sale: Blood of Beheaded French King

A piece of cloth smeared with the blood of Louis XVI, the French king who was beheaded after the 1789 revolution, will go on sale next month in Paris, an auction house said on Friday.

The cloth, measuring 9 cm by 13 cm (3.5 by 4.7 inches), comes in a miniature coffin.

It is accompanied by a handwritten piece of paper that says: “The precious blood of Louis XVI, 21 January 1793” — the day he was guillotined in the heart of Paris.

The sale will take place on April 3 at Hotel Drouot, said Coutau Begarie, another auction house which is putting a range of historic items under the hammer.

Parisians had jostled to take souvenirs after the execution including snippets of the monarch’s hair. They also dipped their garments or cloth in the pool of blood left near the guillotine.

But expert Cyrille Boulay told AFP that only a DNA test on the sample up for sale could prove if the cloth really contained Louis XVI’s blood.

Another item up on sale is a silver buckle from the king’s shoe, Coutau Begarie said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Suspected Terrorists Were ‘Ready to Take Action’

Two men arrested in France this week on suspicion of wanting to carry out terrorist acts had bought explosives and were “ready to take action”, police sources revealed on Friday.

A 20-year-old and 18-year-old were arrested by anti-terrorist police in the town of Marignane, near Marseille, in the Bouches-du-Rhone region on Thursday .

The pair were “ready for action” and bought matierials to make explosives”, sources close to the investigation told French daily Libération.

The arrests of two “suspected terrorists” comes one year after self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda inspired gunman Mohammed Merah killed seven people, including three Jewish children in Toulouse and Montauban.

In December last year, Interior Minister Manuel Valls warned that there may be “dozens of other potential Merahs” in France.

“We face an enemy within France, as a result of radicalization,” Valls said in the past.

The two suspects came to police attention when they sent a “threatening email” to US President Barack Obama in November last year.

On their Facebook pages the pair had described themselves as “Jihadists” and had posted around 20 extremist videos on their accounts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: ‘End of Reduced Electricity Prices for Industry’

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 7 March 2013

The European Commission has announced the opening of an investigation to establish if German industry benefits from state aid that distorts fair competition.

Since 2011, German firms, which consume large amounts of power, have not been obliged to pay for electricity network licences — an advantage that has enabled them to save €805m.

The Commission launched the procedure in the wake of complaints from consumer and energy supply associations.

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

Greece: Photovoltaics Power Up Energy Sector Deficit

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 6 — Hellenic Electricity market operator LAGIE said in its latest report on Tuesday than the faster-than-expected induction of new photovoltaics to the grid will create a bigger-than-expected deficit in the power market by the end of 2014. Daily Kathimerin reportes that LAGIE said that, by February 15, total photovoltaic capacity had reached 1,836 MW, which was even higher than the projected target for 2014, and 296 MW of which was installed since the start of the year. LAGIE said that this will create an extra shortfall of 400 million euros, taking its total deficit by the end of next year to 1.3 billion euros. The Environment and Energy Ministry is understood to be watching the situation closely, especially given the forthcoming privatization of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and concerns that the new owners might seek to immediately collect the 400 million it is owed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Cardinal Pressured to Skip Conclave for ‘Pedophilia Coverup’

Italy’s Domenico Calcagno ‘hid sex-abuse cases’ says L’Abuso

(ANSA) — Genoa, March 7 — An Italian group campaigning against priest sex abuse on Thursday called for Cardinal Domenico Calcagno to be banned from electing a new pope. Francesco Zanardi, the head of L’Abuso, said he he will be in Rome Friday to “personally hand (Vatican Spokesman Federico) Lombardi and the Vatican administrative office” a petition signed by numerous people demanding that “Cardinal Calcagno stays out of the conclave”. Zanardi accuses Calcagno, a former bishop of the northern city of Savona, and two other recent bishops there of systematically covering up cases of pedophilia in the diocese. On Sunday, pedophilia victims appeared on Italian television with accusations that Benedict XVI knew of several cases of priest sex abuse in Savona but never did anything about it.

The accusers, who made their statements on Italian television program Le Iene, said that the Vatican failed to press charges against several priests in the city of Savona who victimized minors 10 years ago when then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was cardinal-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose role required investigating the sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Presented as evidence on the program was a letter dated September 8, 2003 and addressed to Ratzinger in which Calcagno, informed him of a priest who had been accused of pedophilia.

The priest, who was later transferred to another parish, was sentenced to one year in jail last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Court Refuses to Release Camorra-Linked Politician From Jail

Nicola Cosentino charged with helping mafia invest in mall

(ANSA) — Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Caserta), March 4 — An application revoking arrest warrants for Camorra-linked politician Nicola Cosentino was rejected by the local courts Monday.

Cosentino, a former industry undersecretary in a government of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, will remain in jail, accused of collusion with the Mafia for alleged links with the Casalesi clan.

The court said it would release its reasons later in the week.

Cosentino has been indicted for allegedly helping the Casalesi clan of the Camorra invest in a shopping mall near Caserta.

Cosentino, who has been a PdL heavyweight in the Campania region around Naples and former party leader there, did not run in last week’s general election, succumbing to pressure from the PdL.

Prosecutors have alleged that Cosentino was the “national reference point” of the Casalesi, who come from the Campania town he was born in, Casal di Principe.

Cosentino denies wrongdoing and Berlusconi has described the case against him as an example of alleged judicial persecution.

The Casalesi is the Camorra clan whose death threats have forced anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano into round-the-clock police protection.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Seven Doctors Cited in Trento for Financial Fraud

Audit court now investigating

(ANSA) — Trento, March 6 — Finance police in the northern city of Trento cited six doctors and one orthodontist for fraud on Wednesday.

The state-employed physicians are suspected of illegally carrying out parallel private practices and not claiming 63% of their income on their tax returns.

Investigators have reported six of the seven to the state audit court.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Two More Arrested in De Tomaso Public Funds Scam

Total of nine warrants issued so far in failed carmaker probe

(ANSA) — Turin, 6 MAR — Italian finance police on Wednesday issued arrest warrants against brokers Biagi Di Capizzi and Ivano Perinelli for allegedly providing carmaker De Tomaso with a false bank guaranty that allowed it to obtain public backing from the labor ministry.

The two are in jail as of October on similar charges.

This brings to nine the warrants issued in the fraud probe into the failed carmaker. Its veteran chairman, Gian Mario Rossignolo, was arrested in July for alleged misuse of public funds in a failed project to use an ex-Pininfarina factory to make SUVs.

De Tomaso filed for bankruptcy early in 2012 after Rossignolo, a former Fiat and briefly Telecom Italia executive, failed to muster financial backing for a plan to relaunch the firm, which used to make the famed Pantera sports car. (Photo: Ex-De Tomaso workers demonstrate in 2012)

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Carabinieri Seize Solar Power Plant Near Brindisi

Eleven people under investigation in alleged permit scam

(ANSA) — Brindisi, March 7 — Carabinieri environmental police on Thursday seized a 50,000-square-meter photovoltaic park worth 25 million euros near the town of San Pietro Vernotico.

The action came as part of a probe into eleven lawyers, company officials, engineers and operations managers for allegedly trying to scam regional authorities by altering paperwork related to the power plant.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Graft Probe Targets Two ‘Turncoat’ Senators

Rome, 5 March (AKI) — Prosecutors on Tuesday said they were investigating two former centre-left senators who switched to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition in December 2010, backing his government in a key confidence vote.

Domenico Scilipoti and Antonio Razzi, former members of the centre-left Italy of Values (IdV) party, are suspected of corruption, prosecutors said.

Both politican deny wrondoing in the case, opened after complaints filed by IdV founder and former graftbusting magistrate Antonio di Pietro.

“I have always acted in the public interest,” Scilipoti told Adnkronos, while Razzi dismissed the allegations against him as “laughable”.

“I have never sold myself and I never will,” Razzi told Adnkronos, adding he was happy to cooperate with Italian magistrates.

In a separate case, Berlusconi is being investigated on suspicion of paying former IdV senator Sergio De Gregorio three million euros to switch to his centre-right People of Freeom party in 2006, a move allegedly aimed at bringing down the centre-left government of Romano Prodi

The Prodi government, which had a wafer-thin majority in the Senate, fell in 2008.

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

Italy: Protesters Throw Rocks at High-Speed Train Site Guards

(AGI) Turin, Mar 9 — Dozens of people threw rocks at guards at the high-speed train (TAV) building site in Chiomonte, in Italy’s Piedmont region, on Friday night. The protesters broke away from the peaceful main demonstration. Sources said rocks were hurled at the guards on the building site who then turned water hoses on the protesters. One policeman was reported injured.

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

Italy: Centre-Left Leader Urged to Add No Party Financing to Plan

(AGI) — Milan, March 9 — Florence mayor Matteo Renzi has urged centre-left Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani to add no state funding for parties to his eight-point plan. Renzi said it would be ‘not an act of demagogy but one of seriousness’.

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

Italy: Berlusconi Visited by “Nazi Doctors”, Says PDL Whip

(AGI) — Rome, Mar 9 — “A Stalinist court sent Nazi doctors to check on Berlusconi. They have issued a disgusting verdict,” said PDL party whip Fabrizio Cicchitto. Doctors earlier declared Berlusconi fit to stand trial, while the former premier said he was not fit due to an eye problem. Cicchitto added: “At this point we are facing persecution by fanatics who have lost all sense of limits. We believe the situation is unsustainable from any point of view, both legal and institutional.” .

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

Muslim Discrimination ‘Too Common’ In Sweden

Swedish Muslims have slammed the government for failing to combat discrimination, submitting a report to the UN with a list of proposed measures, such as setting up an inquiry into the abuse of Somali migrants in the tiny town of Forserum.

“Forserum really showed what proportions Islamophobia as well as Afrophobia can take when an entire town looks on as people have their human rights violated,” Kitimbwa Sabuni told The Local on Friday.

Sabuni edited the report submitted to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) by the Network of Swedish Muslims (Nätverket Svenska Muslimer i Samarbete), a cooperation of several different associations, in which representatives said Sweden was failing to tackle discrimination against Muslims.

The report estimated there are 350,000 Muslim Swedes, making it one of Sweden’s biggest minorities.

It asked the government to order an inquiry into how local authorities failed to help Somali migrants, some of whom were too afraid to let their children go to school after suffering verbal and physical abuse.

“Not everyone partook in the abuse, but many silently witnessed it and the authorities were passive,” Sabuni said.

The report also urged research into prejudices that ethnic Swedes who convert to Islam face, in many cases from their own families.

“We’re talking not only about excommunication, but also threats and violence that many converts tell us about,” Sabuni said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pilgrims Speak Out at the Home of St.Peter’s, The First Pope

‘Next pontiff should focus more on soul, allow priests to marry’

(ANSAmed) — Lake Tiberias (Israel), March 7 — The multinational pilgrims visiting what the Christian Gospels say was the home of Saint Peter, history’s first pope, at the Capernaum archeological site on the northern shore of Lake Tiberias, have a range of opinions about what the next pontiff should focus on.

Lake Tiberias, otherwise known as the Sea of Galilee, is where Jesus allegedly recruited several of his apostles, and where he performed his walking on the water miracle.

“It’s time we had an African pope. Someone who can speak to the black continent and understand its massive problems”, commented a married South African couple. While they did not name their preferred candidate, they called on the next pontiff to allow priests to marry “so they can have someone to support them: a woman at their side, who can sustain them in their ministry”.

An Orthodox French-speaking Romanian said he is in favor of a European pope, but went on to add that “any one of them is fine with me, as long as he can face up to the problems and protect the Christian faith. The church must answer to a lot of questions: it’s a tough job”. A New York couple said they wanted an American pope who “would focus on North and South America”. They did not hesitate to name New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is president of the US Episcopal conference, as their favorite candidate. “I would like him to be Italian, or at least European”, said one Italian pilgrim. “Also, the new pope must push the church to focus on souls more than politics. Less structure, and more presence on the ground, here with the people”. She was diplomatic on Benedict’s resignation: “A pope is not supposed to quit, but with all the difficulties ahead and at his age, he did the right thing”.

Father Francisco from southern Spain approved of Ratzinger’s decision: “I saw humility and humanity in him. The next pope should focus on the authenticity of the church, the humanity of Christ and the salvation of all men”.

“The Holy Spirit will choose the new pope”, commented Sister Maria Colomba, an Iraqi from Mosul.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Almodovar’s Los Amante Pasajeros to be Released

In cinemas on Friday, director’s return to comedy

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MARCH 7 — The film marking director Pedro Almodovar’s return to comedy and homage to Madrid’s 1980s movida will hit Spanish cinemas on Friday. Los Amantes Pasajeros, which will run as I’m So Excited in English-speaking countries, kicks off with a scene in which a plane about to crash flies over a Spain on the verge of a catastrophe. In business class are a group of raving-mad characters: a swindling banker of a savings and loans institute, a woman specialized in blackmailing those in showbiz, a virgin witch, newly-weds, three gay flight attendants addicted to psychopharmacos. After forays into making thrillers, such as with his film Live Flesh, and two Oscars (one for All About My Mother and the other for Talk to Her), the icon of Spanish cinema has come home to the refreshing and irreverent style he used for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. But the film is not only for laughs. “It is a metaphor for Spain: a plane about to crash, with commanders hiding information, an anesthetized economy class to prevent panic from breaking out and a business class retaining its privileges,” the director has told the media. Almodar’s ‘tribe’ all make an appearance in the wild comedy, with only a few more “gray hairs” here and there. A special sort of chemistry has been wrought by bringing together again such actors as Javier Camara, Lola Dueas, Cecilia Roth, Carmen Machi and Paz Vega, alongside such new stars of television as Blanca Suarez and Miguel Angel Silvestre, Hugo Silva and Willy Toledo. There are also the actors for whom Almodovar has become known: Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, who are seen in the early scenes in cameo performances. What Almodovar seemed unprepared for was the bitter laughter sparked by the inevitable reflection on the political world. “An entire class has been forcibly put on sleeping pills, drugged so that it does not react,” he said. “The film shows this relationship with power through the pilots, who try to keep their silence and flee. The order the commander gives to the crew is to make anything up, any technical detail they can think of to distract the passengers. This is also very similar to what our leaders do.” The film is strongly metaphorical, with references to the ever-higher levels of corruption, banks and the 17 ‘ghost’ airports built in Spain during the economic boom, all of which were abandoned during the recession. The film was shot in one of them, the Ciudad Real airport. “I hope that the smiles freeze on those governing us, which is what is happening as of late,” the director said on Thursday to the radio station Cadena Ser. On Friday Los Amantes Pasejeros will premier also at Calzata de Calatrava, where the director was born, after previews in Madrid and Barcelona where it met with a mixed response from critics.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Is the Grillo Bug Catching?

El País Madrid

Economic crisis, youth exclusion, discredited political parties: The situation which triggered the success of the Italian Five Star Movement could produce the same effect in southern Europe’s other countries, warns a Spanish sociologist.

Enrique Gil Calvo

The victory of Jiminy Cricket (as Beppe Grillo has always been translated in Spain, after the character in the Pinocchio story) in the recent Italian elections has once again brought to the fore the resurgence of populism, triggered by the contradictions between capitalism and democracy, that have launched a political crisis caused by financial speculation.

The situation in Greece, where its party system collapsed under pressure from the markets, has led to big gains at the polls for two populist parties at opposite ends of the political spectrum (the far-right Golden Dawn](2608201) and Syriza on the radical left, following a period of emergency technocratic government that laid out a strict financial plan for reform.

The immediate question that springs to mind is whether something similar could happen in Spain during the next elections either in 2015 or even earlier, if the current ruling party collapses? There are signs that our current democratic model is going through a profound political crisis, greatly aggravated by the serious social effects of the inequitable fiscal adjustment. Catalonia is de facto becoming independent, while its electoral majority party, Convergencia i Unió, is collapsing at the polls.

Discredited ruling party

The Socialist Party also risks a looming schism, while its leadership is being shown as incapable of reorganising themselves, or exercising any sound opposition, or recouping the slightest electoral credibility. The discredited ruling party is teetering between distrust and helplessness at the inability of its leadership to come clean on the many cases of corruption ensnaring it. And, meanwhile, civil society is turning its back on both the institutional elite and the political class, as revealed by the waves of mass demonstrations by the middle classes. That is why it would be no surprise if the next elections in Spain are won by a populist candidate in the style of the Five Star Movement (M5S)…

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

Sweden: Octogenarian Narrowly Escapes Wax and Polish

An 82-year-old man got a proper scrub after getting stuck in an automatic car wash at his son’s petrol station in Växjö, south Sweden — but he managed to escape before the wax and polish programme kicked in.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Riccardi: ‘Italy Must Increase Presence’

‘Islamic world is complex, can’t be simplified’

(ANSAmed) — ROMA, 5 MARCH — “Italy’s presence in the Mediterranean is multi-faceted and includes the State, the Catholic world, businesses and culture. We need to relaunch this presence because the Mediterranean is in movement and now contains lots of individuals, not just a bunch of dictators”, said Andrea Riccardi, minister for International Cooperation and Integration.

Riccardi was speaking at a convention entitled “Religion and Democracy in the Arab World and Europe”, organized in Rome by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Opening the conference, in which various religious figures and Islamic parties from North Africa and the Middle East are participating, Riccardi highlighted the importance of avoiding any type of simplifications in the interpretation of a “complex and diverse world, despite homogenizing impulses”, such as those from the Arab world. Such simplifications, explained the minister, cause “estrangement” between Islam and the west, “which is impossible in the globalized world.” Riccardi suggests that the approach to the post-Arab spring world needs to start from one point: “there’s no turning back”.

“The hope is that the Mediterranean can reach a moment of prosperity and calm in a new framework and that its complexity can find expression in democracy”, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Riot Police Chief Fired as Protests Death-Toll Rises

Cairo, 8 March (AKI) — Egypt’s interior minister Mohammed Ibrahim has dismissed the head of the country’s riot police Maged Nouh as deadly clashes continued in the northern city of Port Said, local media reported on Friday.

Two people died in clashes between police and protesters in the embattled canal city from gunshot wounds to the head and over 140 were injured according to state television.

Two people were killed in clashes in the restive canal city and over 50 wounded earlier this week.

Five people were killed there on on Sunday and 500 were injured and on Friday the army stepped in to maintain security after police withdrew following days of sporadic clashes.

Police officers went on strike this week in several cities, calling for Ibrahim to resign. They accuse him of using the police to commit violence on behalf of Egypt’s ruling Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement which is linked to president Mohammed Morsi.

The protests erupted in Port Said after a decision by authorities to transfer from 39 defendants who are due to be sentenced over the deaths of 74 football fans at a stadium in February 2012.

A verdict in the trial is expected on Saturday.

More than 70 people have been killed in Egypt in violence between security forces and protesters since February, the second anniversary of the revolt that ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

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

Egypt: Police Take to Streets Against the Muslim Brotherhood

Thousands of police officers across the country are protesting against the politicization of the security forces. The President Morsi accused of using the police to protect members of the Muslim Brotherhood and attack his opponents.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — Thousands of police across Egypt are protesting against the policies of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the protest spokesman the Islamists are politicizing the security forces by replacing high level officers with people loyal to them. Beginning on March 4 in Cairo, the strike, especially low-grade officers, has spread throughout the country and has collected thousands of supporters in a few days. Today, clashes in are feared Port Said, where due to the police strike violence over the verdict against the perpetrators of the local stadium massacre that killed 79 people may explode.

Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, argues that “the police need to defend the people, not a political party, as the Muslim Brotherhood want.” For the priest, the police do not want to go against the people or be seen as servants of power. “More and more people are growing to dislike the Islamists — adds Greiche — in recent months they have shown their ineptitude and inexperience in governing the country.”

For decades, the Mubarak government controlled the police forces responsible for many arrests of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. After coming to power in 2012 the extremists in turn are using the agents for their own purposes. On more than one occasion, officials affiliated with the Brotherhood have given orders to charge unarmed demonstrators, causing bloodshed, only to intimidate the population and avoid an increase in dissent.

In Cairo, dozens of police blocked the entrance to one of the last major police stations in the city, shouting slogans against President Morsi. Others have organized a sit-in in front of the residence of the Muslim leader in his home town of Zagazig, north-east of the capital.

Protests and sit-ins have also taken place in Assiut and Luxor, south of Cairo, where agents are contesting the new Minister of the Interior Ahmed Gamal, accused of using the police to protect members of his party. His predecessor, Mohammad Ebrahim was forced to resign in August because he refused to use force against protesters during anti-Islamist protests that erupted in late August and continued through September. Local sources claim that the officials of the Islamist movement are angry with the police in recent months for not sufficiently protecting the headquarters of the Justice and Freedom Party repeatedly attacked and set on fire during the protests. Abdel Maged, leader of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya announced yesterday that they will move to ensure safety to the citizens of Assiut, providing their own militias. However, a government official responded that no one but the police can enforce security. (S.C.)

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

Egypt Riots Turn Deadly Following Court Verdict

Protestors across Cairo have clashed with police, torched buildings and tried to disrupt shipping on the Suez Canal, leaving at least two people dead, following Saturday’s court verdict on a deadly 2012 soccer riot.

Violent rioting erupted in Eqypt’s capital, Cairo, on Saturday after a court acquitted the policemen charged over a deadly soccer riot in Port Said in 2012.

At least two people were killed when fighting broke out between local police and protestors in Qassr al-Nil near Cairo’s Tahrir Square, health authorities told news agency dpa. Forty-six people were injured in the clashes.

Security sources said a man in his 30s and a young boy died from the effects of tear gas and rubber bullets.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey’s Small Hotels to be Closed Down, Official

Affected by the decrease in the number of British tourists

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, MARCH 4 — Small apartment hotels in the Aegean province of Mugla’s Marmaris are to be closed down as they are unable to maintain the ‘all-inclusive’ system that has become widespread in the hospitality industry. According to the information provided to Anatolia news agency by the Marmaris Tourism Union (MARTAB), apartment hotels constitute 20% of the 50,000-bed capacity in the town. Tourism officials said that apartment hotels could not offer the all-inclusive system because of their insufficient physical capacity. Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB) Marmaris Regional Executive Committee (BYK) President Ismail Ozbozdag said that the recent decrease in the number of British tourists in the region affected small hotels and apartment hotels the most. He said that measures should be taken to save the apartment hotels.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

US-British Al Qaeda Airlift: 3,000 Tons of Weapons Fuel Syria’s Destruction

The primary reason, we are told, that the West must immediately begin wider operations to support the so-called Syrian rebels is to head off extremists — namely Al Qaeda, from overrunning Syria. This narrative has been sold for nearly a year now as it has become evidently clear that all major offensives in Syria against the Syrian people and their government have been led by Al Qaeda terrorist fronts, including most notoriously, Jabhat al-Nusra.

It turns out, however, according the London Telegraph, that the US and Britain have already been arming terrorists operating in Syria for some time, including a massive airlift of 3,000 tons of weapons, sent across Syria’s borders with Jordan and NATO-member Turkey. In the Telegraph’s article titled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” it is reported:

“It claimed 3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November

“The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected…

With so much admitted involvement in the violence aimed at overthrowing Syria’s government by the West, it is inconceivable that Al Qaeda could be “overrunning moderate forces” in Syria, unless of course, no such moderate forces exist, and the West had planned from the beginning to use Al Qaeda as a mercenary force. And indeed, that is precisely what is happening. It has been established with documented evidence since at least 2007, and reaffirmed with this latest report.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

India: Karnataka: Dozens of Hindu Fundamentalists Attack a Christian Community

Eight people seriously injured. The Pentecostal Christians were holding a night vigil of prayer, when at least 30 Hindu nationalists attacked accusing them of forced conversions. It is the sixth attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Dozens of Hindu fundamentalists have violently attacked a Pentecostal community of Karnataka as they prepared for a night vigil of prayer. Eight people, including a pastor, were injured and hospitalized. Thanks to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the police arrived on the spot quickly and arrested 16 attackers.

The incident occurred in the village of Moodubelle, near Udupi. Thirty activists from the Hindu nationalist movement Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal raided the house of Rev. Robert Lobo, pastor of World of Victory Ministries, where the vigil was being held. The fundamentalists accused them of practicing of forced conversions and beat the faithful present. Another pastor, Fr. Ramesh Poojari, suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Manipal Hospital in Udupi. Another seven people, five men — Ramesh, Prem, Suraj, Shantharam and Janardhan — and two women — Sujatha and Shakisala — have been admitted to the Ajarakadu State hospital.

GCIC contacted the police in Shirva who have assured justice to the Christian community. “This — Sajan George, president of the GCIC tells AsiaNews — is the sixth anti-Christian attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013 and does not bode well for freedom of worship in India. Hostility and religious intolerance continue to grow and are a cause of serious concern for the vulnerable Christian minority. These believers had gathered for a night vigil, an absolutely legal act. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right, but these extremists have political protection in Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, ultra-nationalist Hindu party) and are encouraged to persecute the Christian community, particularly the Pentecostals. “

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

Pakistan: Lahore: More Than 100 Christian Homes Burned Over Blasphemy Charge

The attack followed altercation between a young Christian and a Islamic barber: the Muslim insulted Christianity and then reported the boy for blasphemy. The mob looted, stoned, doused in acid and then burned the Christian settlement. Local imam: “We’ll find the Christian and kill him.”

Lahore (AsiaNews) — This morning, an angry mob set fire to over 100 homes in the Joseph Colony Christian settlement, near Badami Bah (Lahore). Residents were forced to flee and at least 35 people were injured. The attack resulted from an accusation of blasphemy registered against one of the settlement residents, Sawan Masih, who yesterday afternoon had an altercation with a Muslim.

According to initial reports, the 26 year old Christian went to the Islamic barber for a haircut, but the store owner, Imran Shahid, refused to serve him. A heated discussion arose between the two, and the Muslim reportedly used offensive words about Christianity.

Together with other people, Shahid then went to the nearby police station, the group recorded a charge of blasphemy against Masih (art.295C), arguing that the young man was drunk and had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Shortly after, the police arrested the Christian. The maximum penalty under that law is life imprisonment.

The anger of the Islamic community did not subside however, and this morning a large group of people ransacked Joseph Colony, then set fire to the homes. “We were working like every day — Salamat Masih, a resident of the settlement told AsiaNews — when we started to hear a noise, and suddenly a wall of people fell upon the colony. They threw acid and stoned our houses, then set them on fire. The authorities intervened only when everything was destroyed”. The local imam said Sawan will be killed when found.

Human rights associations, such as Masihi Foundation and Life for All rushed to the scene to help the victims. For Msgr. Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, “it is very sad to see that minorities in Pakistan are not safe and are targeted for their religion. It is vital that we work for national harmony.

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

Nigerian Army Kills 52 Boko Haram Militants

(AGI) — Abuja, March 9 — The Nigerian army has carried out a vast operation against Boko Haram jihadists in Borno, the state in north-eastern Nigeria in which the terrorist group has its main strongholds. Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist organisation responsible for the deaths of at least 3,000 people over the past three years. ‘Fifty-two terrorists were killed and 70 others arrested in a number of clashes,” said Sagir Musa, the spokesman for the Borno Joint Task Force, a Nigerian army grouping of the best divisions of all the Nigerian armed forces.

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

My Warning to Britain: Why the Left-Wing Mayor of German Town Wants You to See What Happened When Romanian Migrants Moved in

Softly-spoken pensioner Marlene Bothge seems an unlikely owner of a 200,000-volt stun gun, but after her neighbours stole the light bulbs from the corridor of the seven-storey tower block in which she used to live, she no longer felt safe without it.

‘I am sad it has come to this’, she says. ‘This is a weapon young people carry, not 65-year-old women. I should not feel threatened in my own home.’

As we talk outside the crumbling tower block, now surrounded by rubbish, discarded furniture and human excrement, Mrs Bothge fidgets nervously with her long grey plait. This was her home for 18 years until she and her husband moved out of their fifth-floor flat in November when the filth, noise and crime became unbearable.

In the past 12 months, 400 Romanians and Bulgarians have moved into the block of 46 flats in Rheinhausen, a once-respectable suburb of the German city of Duisburg. Local officials claim they have migrated here en masse in anticipation of the social welfare they will be entitled to next year.

From January 2014, all 29?million citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will gain full rights to live, work and claim benefits here under EU ‘freedom of movement’ rules.

Many of the German city’s new residents are Roma gypsies who have travelled here together from the villages of Fântânele, in Romania, in search of a better life. Those villages are now deserted, while in Duisburg, flats designed for families of three or four have up to 15 people squeezed into them. For this, they pay £350-a-month — seemingly biding their time for the next ten months.

Unable to work or speak German, and with the schools already full, the Romanians and Bulgarians congregate in their dozens outside the tower block each day. The neighbourhood is now a hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour.

The block — known by its address, 3-5 In Den Peschen — had never been one of Duisburg’s more luxurious dwellings, but for years it was kept in good order by its houseproud German residents. Gradually they have nearly all moved out as the new arrivals have moved in. There are now only three German families left. Housewife Mrs Bothge quietly explains why.

‘They defecate and urinate in the corridors and the stairwells — the adults and the children,’ she says of the Bulgarians and Romanians. ‘The men play card games outside the flats and, if they need the toilet, they just pull their trousers down and do their business right there. They have working toilets so I cannot understand it.

‘The stairwell became so dirty that I didn’t want my children to visit anymore. There were rats everywhere and the noise was so bad at night. They stripped the corridors of everything. The paintings and plants I had bought to make it look nice, even my mop when I left it outside for 15 minutes.’

As she speaks, children run around the grounds beneath the tower block playing and screaming, while groups of men — one man carries a crowbar — sit on the walls drinking red wine from the bottle. The women shout to one another from their balconies, occasionally throwing bottles and packaging on to the ground below. The children are so used to being hit by debris that they shield their heads as they run beneath the balconies.

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

‘Poland Dependent on Immigrants’

Rzeczpospolita, 4 March 2013

A record 244,000 immigrants from the East, mainly the Ukraine, came to Poland to work legally in 2012. But that is not enough, writes the daily, stressing that according to a report by the Energy-Europe Foundation, “in order to avoid depopulation, 5.2m people must come to live in Poland by year 2050.”

“We need them but we don’t know how to keep them for good,” laments Rzeczpospolita quoting Prof. Krystyna Iglicka, a demographer and author of the report. In her view, Poland is not an immigrant-friendly country as immigrants find it difficult to obtain permanent residency rights and work permits.

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

Sweden: Stockholm Police End ‘Racial Profiling’ Push

Swedish police announced on Friday that officers would no longer be asking public transport users for identification, after their past efforts to deport undocumented migrants were branded as racial profiling.

Centre Party MP Johan Hedin said last month that the push was “not only a crime against good taste, but also against the law and should stop immediately”.

Even though the police push was later found to be legal, officers decided to put a stop to the project on Friday.

They said that what was essentially a small part of the police’s work was being subjected to too much public scrutiny to be considered worthwhile.

The project entitled Reva, which stands for Rättssäkert och effektivt verkställighetsarbete (‘Legal and effective execution of policy’), saw officers allegedly targeting “foreign-looking” commuters on Stockholm’s underground railway lines.

Reva was blasted by politicians and immigrants’ rights activists alike who claimed officers were racially profiling.

Furthermore, nine out of ten people that police questioned turned out to have the right to live in Sweden.

Reacting to the presence of police in the Stockholm metro system, activists took to social media sites Twitter and Facebook to warn other commuters and map out where the officers were performing checks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden on Top in Gay Friendly Travel Rating

Sweden came first in a rating of the gay-friendliest countries in the world, published on Thursday by the Spartacus International Gay Guide.

The guide ranked 128 countries according to their respective laws and local customs, with each nation scored across a board of 14 categories.

“In the new Gay Travel Index we include factors other than the current legal position for homosexuals”, explained editor-in-chief Briand Bedford in a statement.

“These factors are for example the state of gay marriage and adoption or the entry restrictions for HIV-positive people as well as religious influence on governments, the ban of Pride parades and specific marketing activities for gay and lesbian tourists.”

Sweden scored highest of all in the anti-discrimination legislation category — the only nation to be awarded a maximum three points.

Other categories ranked included the legalization of gay marriage, adoption, and the level of marketing aimed specifically towards the LGBT community.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Apple Attempts to Patent Digital Marketplace for Second-Hand iTunes Downloads Which Would Enable Artists to Take a Cut

Apple could set up a system that allows people to sell previously downloaded music, movies and e-books.

The digital marketplace, detailed in a patent application, could prove controversial with copyright holders potentially objecting to their goods being resold in such a way.

Amazon has also patented a similar system, whereby the original owners can give up the right to access a product, passing it to another person online.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/9/2013

  1. “Whereas there is little demand for new property back in Portugal, in Mozambique there is no shortage of work for a construction engineer. “There is a lot to be done, apartments, offices and other commercial property are shooting up. There is a lot of scope for growth,” he said”

    It is happening again, but now in a different country. The economic madness which made Portugal plunge into ruin and crisis is unfolding again, but now in another country. A renewed construction fever which will drive Moçambique into the same financial crisis which ravaged Europe. And people allow it to happen again.

    Yet again apartments, offices and commercial properties which will turn into ghost cities just like in portugal or Spain. Yet again a real state boom which will end in crisis and economic downfall.

    But who will then rescue Moçambique?

    There are no words for this madness. No words can describe this.

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