Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/22/2013

Ten people have been arrested in Saudi Arabia on suspicion of spying for Iran. The suspects included eight Saudis, one Lebanese, and one Turk.

In financial news, a substantial majority of Portuguese citizens want to see the austerity agreement with the Troika renegotiated. Meanwhile, about 25% of Italians face financial hardship, with about the same percentage of Italian young people remaining unemployed.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Kitman, McR, Steen, TV, 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
» America’s Bubble Economy is Going to Become an Economic Black Hole
» ‘Europe Tightens Up Spanish Economy’
» Eurozone: ‘Bundesbank Offensive Against Stimulus for Southern Europe’
» Greece: Just 5% of Tax Fines Reached State Coffers
» Is America’s Economy Being Sovietized?
» Italy: Man Dies After Setting Himself on Fire to Halt Home Eviction
» Letta Chastens EU for Not Enacting Banking Union
» ‘Most Portuguese Want to Renegotiate or End the Troika Deal’
» Quarter of Italians Face Hardship, Many Young Idle
» Ron Paul: Bernanke Grossly Misleading American People
» The Kiss A$$ Ladder to Success (KALS)
» US Fed to Stick With Monetary Policy
» 3D Printer Shows Surgeons Secrets of Strange Hearts
» Armed DHS Guards Protect IRS From Tea Party Protesters
» Global Warming Debunked: NASA Report Verifies Carbon Dioxide Actually Cools Atmosphere
» Government is Infected With the Pus of Tyrannical Socialism
» Hilarious! Top Official to Plead Fifth Amendment Protections After Targeting Constitutional Groups That Taught the Bill of Rights
» Justice Dept. Acknowledges Deaths of 4 Americans in Drone Strikes
» Man’s Murder Plot Recorded on Phone Call After He Butt-Dials 911
» New Psychiatric Guidelines Target Hoarding, Child Temper Tantrums
» Obama’s ‘Iron Curtain’ Descends on America
» Obama Administration Now Favors Muslim Clerics for Christian American Military Burial Services
» The Smoking Gun in the IRS Scandal, Part One
» U.S. Administration Wrongly Advocates the Islamist Interpretation of Islamophobia
» Weiner Announces Candidacy for New York City Mayor in Video
» Prehistoric Dogs Were More Than Hunting Companions
Europe and the EU
» Apple Paid €5m to Dutch Tax Authorities Last Year: Volkskrant
» Belgian Party Leader Stepping Down ‘Temporarily’ Over Slur
» Iceland to Halt EU Bid Pending Referendum
» Ireland: Yes: We Have Sweet International Tax Incentives, Sorry We’re Not Sorry
» Italy: Center Left Calls on PdL to Withdraw Mafia Sentencing Slash
» Italy: PD Bigwig Opposes Making Berlusconi ‘Ineligible’
» Italy: Fiat Industrial Denies Tax Reports on Headquarters Move
» Letta Says Italy Will Stand Up for Itself at EU Talks
» Masked English Defence League Supporters Flood Woolwich: Far-Right Clash With Police Near Scene of Killing
» Minorities: For George Soros, Roma Are Victims of the Crisis
» Netherlands: Politicians Head for ‘Sharia Triangle’ To Find Out for Themselves
» One in Four Italians Over 40 Get Allowance, Survey Says
» Sweden: Fires Spread in Third Day of Stockholm Riots
» Sweden: Unrest in Stockholm
» Sweden: Stockholm Burns as Rioters Battle Police After Three Days of Violence in Immigrant ‘Ghetto’
» UK: Monster’s Bid to be Moved to Open Prison Can be Revealed: Judge Overturns Anonymity Order on Man Who Killed Three Children and Impaled Their Bodies on Railings
» UK: Two Men ‘Shot by Armed Police After Hacking Soldier in Help for Heroes T-Shirt to Death With Machetes in Busy London Street’
» Vatican Bank Involved in Suspicious Transaction
North Africa
» Egypt: Seven Officers Abducted in Sinai Released
» EU to Send 110 Experts to Libyan Border
Middle East
» Qatar-Bosnia-Herzegovina Joint Committee Meets
» Syria: Thousands of Hezbollah Fighting With Loyalists, Kerry
» Ten People Arrested in Saudi Arabia for Spying
» Turkey: Writer Jailed for 13 Months for Blasphemy
South Asia
» Indonesia: Govt Officially Rejects Rome Statute on International Criminal Court
Far East
» ‘Europe-China: Trade War is Declared’
» Rich Chinese Look Abroad to Preserve Wealth
» Coulter: When Did We Vote to Become Mexico?
» Switzerland: Multicultural Paradise?
Culture Wars
» Nigel Farage Refuses to Kick Out ‘Old-Fashioned’ UKIP Members Who Say Gay Sex is ‘Disgusting’
» Spain: New Law Bans ‘Christmas’ For Asturias Kids

America’s Bubble Economy is Going to Become an Economic Black Hole

What is going to happen when the greatest economic bubble in the history of the world pops? The mainstream media never talks about that. They are much too busy covering the latest dogfights in Washington and what Justin Bieber has been up to. And most Americans seem to think that if the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs that everything must be okay. Sadly, that is not the case at all. Right now, the U.S. economy is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a bubble economy. You can see this when you step back and take a longer-term view of things.

Over the past decade, we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt. But most Americans have shown very little concern as the balance on our national credit card has soared from 6 trillion dollars to nearly 17 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino on the planet, and much of the new money that the Federal Reserve has been recklessly printing up has gone into stocks. But the Dow does not keep setting new records because the underlying economic fundamentals are good.

Rather, the reckless euphoria that we are seeing in the financial markets right now reminds me very much of 1929. Margin debt is absolutely soaring, and every time that happens a crash rapidly follows. But this time when a crash happens it could very well be unlike anything that we have ever seen before. The top 25 U.S. banks have more than 212 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives combined, and when that house of cards comes crashing down there is no way that anyone will be able to prop it back up. After all, U.S. GDP for an entire year is only a bit more than 15 trillion dollars.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Europe Tightens Up Spanish Economy’

El Periódico de Catalunya, 16 May 2013

“Spain is under the European Union’s magnifying glass” states the Catalan daily, as the Spanish government tries to avoid being forced to take part in a new European Commission regulation system, as it struggles to implement economic reforms.

The “macroeconomic imbalances procedure” is designed to deal with the lagging competitiveness and overstretched banking systems that fuelled the debt crisis.

The procedure for Spain would include a host of new reforms that will be monitored periodically by inspection visits by EC experts. A decision on whether Spain will have to comply with the new procedure regulations will be announced on May 29.

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

Eurozone: ‘Bundesbank Offensive Against Stimulus for Southern Europe’

La Vanguardia, 20 May 2013

In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has “poured cold water on the European Central Bank’s timid economic stimulus policy,” notes La Vanguardia.

Weidmann argues that the ECB and France “are slacking in the fight against the causes of the crisis.” He is particularly critical of the reduction in interest rates decided by the ECB and the decision to allow France more time to meet its deficit targets.

The daily reports that, for his part, Mariano Rajoy has decided “to go on the offensive.” The Spanish Prime Minister is preparing for a June 5 meeting in Brussels in which he is hoping to convince the European Commission of the validity of his reforms.

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

Greece: Just 5% of Tax Fines Reached State Coffers

Out of 14 billion euros due, less than 700 million cashed in

(ANSAmed) ATHENS, MAY 21; Less than 5% of fines imposed on Greek taxpayers by administrative courts in recent years have reached public coffers despite efforts being conducted through changes in tax legislation, as daily Khatimerini reports.

Finance Ministry data show that the fines imposed for tax cases add up to 14 billion euros, or 7.2% of gross domestic product (GDP). This concerns fines imposed by the ministry’s Taxis Net monitoring mechanism but which were disputed by taxpayers and ended up in court. The tax collection mechanism, however, has only managed to collect 688.5 million euros, or 4.91% of the total. Notably, the 14 billion figure includes a 4.8-billion-euro fine on the Acropolis stockbrokerage firm. Not even the 10% that should be paid ahead of referring the case to courts has been collected to date. According to the detailed data published by the General Secretariat for Information Systems on its website, outstanding tax cases amount to 117,382.

This is certainly a major improvement on the 180,935 cases that were pending a year ago. Out of these 117,382 cases, 106,672 are at the court of first instance, 9,410 are in the appeals phase and 1,300 are at the Council of State, the country’s top administrative court. The ministry’s aim was to meet the country’s obligations as outlined in the memorandum with its creditors by reducing the number of outstanding cases by 80% by the end of the year. It is, however, becoming increasingly clear that this target cannot be met, the newsaper notes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Is America’s Economy Being Sovietized?

The foundation of the Soviet model of trade and investment was centralization under the guise of “universal public ownership”. The entire goal of communism in general was not to give more social and political power to the people, but to extinguish alternative options and focus power into the hands of a select few. The process used to reach this end result can vary, but the goal always remains the same. In most cases, such centralization begins with economic hegemony, and it is in our fiscal structure that we have the means to see the future. Sovietization in our financial life will inevitably lead to sovietization in our political life.

Does the U.S. economy’s path resemble the Soviet template exactly? No. And I’m sure the very suggestion will make the average unaware free market evangelical froth at the mouth. However, as I plan to show, the parallels in our fundamentals are disturbing; the reality is that true free markets in America died a long time ago.

[Comment: A MUST READ for ALL Americans.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Man Dies After Setting Himself on Fire to Halt Home Eviction

Wife, daughter, police officer injured in blaze in Sicilian town

(ANSA) — Vittoria, May 21 — A 64-year-old man who set himself ablaze to prevent eviction from his home has died from his injuries, authorities said Tuesday.

Giovanni Guarascio doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on May 14 after his home was put up for auction for 26,000 euros.

The flames reached his wife and daughter, as well as a police officer who arrived at the scene in the Sicilian town of Vittoria, near Ragusa.

Guarascio died in the burns unit of Catania’s Cannizzaro hospital, where his wife is still being treated. “In the face of such a tragedy, there is no more time to lose. The national government needs to understand that credit collection agencies striking at thousands of families in Italy need to be suspended,” Vittoria Mayor Giuseppe Nicosia said.

“The city of Vittoria has opened a help desk with free legal and financial assistance and consultants to help families like Guariscio’s,” Nicosia said.

The city’s mayor said that the council intends to buy the Guariscio home to help support the family.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Letta Chastens EU for Not Enacting Banking Union

‘A year has passed and still nothing definitive’ says premier

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta on Tuesday chastened the European Union for not making decisive moves towards forging a banking union a year since countries agreed to do so.

“It is unacceptable that the banking union decided upon one year ago today lacks any precise definition. Such behavior diminishes the credibility of the EU itself, which uses resounding statements but fails to make decisions a year on,” Letta told the Senate the day before an extraordinary EU summit, with energy and tax evasion among the key agenda items.

A single eurozone regulator of banks is seen as a way of staving off the banking difficulties that have affected several countries including Cyprus, Iceland, Ireland and Spain, and to a lesser degree Italy. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has said that entrusting the ECB with supervision of European banks is the “only pragmatic solution” to the problem of setting a cornerstone of a future firewall against credit crunches and ensuing monetary disarray.

Some countries including Germany have stalled efforts to implement such banking supervision.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Most Portuguese Want to Renegotiate or End the Troika Deal’

i, 20 May 2013

The Portuguese are not happy with the intervention of the troika in Portugal, according to a survey carried out by Eurosondagem for the European Institute, part of the Law Faculty at Lisbon University, and which will be released on May 20.

Almost half of Portuguese people feel the agreement between the government and the troika should not have been signed, compared to only 12 per cent who back the deal. A total of 82.5 per cent want to renegotiate or terminate the troika agreement.

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva will receive the members of the Council of State — the political body that advises the president — on May 20, for talks about the country’s likely condition once the troika has left Portugal, and for preparations ahead of the European Council meeting due to take place in June.

The movement Que se lixe a troika (the troika) called a protest today in front of the Presidential palace, to call for Cavaco Silva to “finally assume his position, respect the constitution and dismiss the government, which is ravaging Portuguese life.”

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

Quarter of Italians Face Hardship, Many Young Idle

Italy has highest proportion on NEETs in Europe, says Istat

(By Emily Backus) (ANSA) — Rome, May 22 — Around quarter of Italians are facing economic hardship as the country endures its longest recession in over 20 years and almost one in four of the nation’s young people are reluctantly idle, Istat said on Wednesday.

Italy has the highest proportion of young people doing “nothing” in Europe, with almost a quarter of 15-to-29-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET), the national statistics agency said in its annual report.

It said that 2.25 million 15-to-29-year-olds were NEETs in 2012, 23.9% of the total, an increase of 100,000 on 2011.

The percentage of people in this age group actively seeking a job was 25.2% in 2012, compared to 20.5% in 2011.

The number of 15-to-29-year-olds studying in 2012 was stable at around four million or 41.5%.

Almost 15 million people — a quarter of the population — were living in some form of economic hardship at the end of 2012, Istat said in its report.

Serious economic hardship afflicted 8.6 million, 14.3% — more than twice as many as the 6.9% who faced this situation in 2010.

Istat said it took many factors into account when determining whether a person is in hardship — whether they have savings to meet unexpected outlays; whether they can afford a week on holiday away from home; whether they are behind on payments for their mortgage or rent; whether they can afford an adequate protein-rich meal every two days; whether they can afford to adequately heat their homes, and whether they have money to buy items such as a car and a washing machine. Istat said 16.6% could not afford an adequate meal every two days, three times as many as two years ago.

Over half, 50.4%, could not afford a week on holiday away from home, compared to 46.7% in 2011.

The agency added that the tax burden climbed 16.1% to its highest level since 1990 last year, following a series of hikes and new taxes introduced in 2012 by former premier Mario Monti’s technocrat government to steer Italy out of the centre of the eurozone crisis.

It said this pushed the percentage of the average family’s disposable income that went to taxes and social security up to 30.3% in 2012, compared to 29.4% in 2011, while disposable income itself fell 2.2%.

The purchasing power of Italian families fell with “with exceptional intensity” by 4.8% in 2012, a rate not seen since the early 1990s.

From 2008 to 2012, a net total of 506,000 jobs were lost while the stability of the jobs created or remaining was undermined, the report said.

Since the beginning of the crisis five years ago, 950,000 “regular” jobs have been lost, meaning full-time, permanent jobs.

Part-time jobs grew by 425,000.

In 2012 alone, 410,000 full-time jobs were lost and 253,000 part-time jobs added, and 89,000 “atypical” arrangements created — a category that includes outside collaborators and temporary contracts.

Since the end of 2011, when interest rates on Italian sovereign debt went through the roof, credit to businesses has been squeezed.

Small businesses have felt the brunt of the crunch, and are twice as likely to see loans turned down as medium-sized businesses.

Despite Italy’s severe economic and employment woes, over half of Italians polled did not feel that migrants living in the country were biting into the slim job market.

Some 61.4% of those surveyed in Istat’s annual report said that “immigrants are necessary to do work that Italians do not want to do,” while 62.9% do not believe that foreigners living in the country are “taking work away”.

While 86.7% of those polled believe that everyone should have the right to live in “any country they choose”, half of them did maintain that Italians should be chosen first over foreigners for employment openings.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano commented on the Istat report in a message on Wednesday, saying Italy must “create the conditions for economic recovery that offers — especially to the youngest generations — concrete prospects of work in the context of sustainable and fair growth”. Napolitano added that the Istat report “constitutes an opportunity to examine deeply the evolution of our country” and “can furnish policy decision makers important (information) support, helping (them) understand the crisis’s effects on businesses and families and to identify possible lines of action”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: Bernanke Grossly Misleading American People

“Today Chairman Bernanke testified that our nation’s long term economic outlook has improved and that consumer inflation is a modest one percent. Chairman Bernanke is grossly misleading the American people when he calls inflation ‘subdued.’

“The real measure of inflation is the increase in the monetary supply, and the Federal Reserve has increased the Federal Reserve credit by 17.4 percent in the last year alone. The reality is, the Federal Reserve’s policy of monetary expansion through the buying of up to $100 billion of securities each month may help the big-spenders in Congress and their cronies in the banking sector, but it is harming the rest of America.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

The Kiss A$$ Ladder to Success (KALS)

The purpose of this article is to explain how the greatest country in the world could be brought to the brink of bankruptcy and where the Rule of Law has disappeared.

How could we so quickly become a nation where courts support unlawful foreclosures in favor of banksters who wear as badges and with pride in their unlawful activities, knowing they will receive no punishment? How could America’s government become so perverted that it didn’t inspect for many years an abortion clinic that was slicing the necks of newborns that hadn’t died in abortion attempts so the spine could be clipped in two and the living infant would die a very painful death?

How did we become a nation whose government apparently doesn’t know how to tell the truth and which still hasn’t learned that making a mistake is bad (especially when perpetrating an unlawful act), but that covering up a Benghazi-sized mistake is disastrous? When did the Department of Justice become corrupted to the point it was okay to deliver guns to drug cartels across the American/Mexican border that would result in the deaths of thousands of people from both nations? When did the Constitution of the United States become so insignificant to the Department of Justice that the Attorney General felt safe gathering telephone records of 100 Associated Press reporters?

These things are connected — and they are not just happening in this country. There is a moral crisis worldwide. No one, no nation, it seems, has a moral compass any longer. Having a moral compass, you see, doesn’t just involve becoming informed. It means doing something to right the wrongs. Have you seen any wrongs being righted lately? A few… and thank God for them. They keep us all sane…

The article that follows is about the World Bank and an exceptional woman who, because of her love for the law, has not lost her moral compass. What has happened at the World Bank is a living example of what happens to organizations that worship at the altar of KALS.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Fed to Stick With Monetary Policy

The United States Federal Reserve Bank is likely to maintain its monetary stimulus for the country’s economy. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has said the US job market is still too weak to end the stimulus efforts.

Reducing efforts to keep borrowing rates low in the United States would carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the US congress Wednesday.

Even though the US economy was growing moderately this year and unemployment has fallen to 7.5 percent, the US jobless rate remained well above levels consistent with a healthy economy, Bernanke said.

In addition, higher taxes and spending cuts planned by the US administration were expected to slow growth.

Under efforts to overcome the economic crisis in the United States, the Federal Reserve Bank has initiated a bond and mortgage-buying program worth $85 million (65.7 billion euros) a month, stressing it would be upheld until the jobs market improved substantially.

As the US economy has shown signs of renewed vigor in recent months, analysts have wondered when the US Fed would decrease the pace of stimulus.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

3D Printer Shows Surgeons Secrets of Strange Hearts

We’ve had 3D-printed aeroplanes, guns and fossil skulls — but these are the first copies of real human hearts. Constructed from plastic, they are exact anatomical replicas of the hearts of patients with unusual complications.

This one is being held by Laura Olivieri, a paediatric cardiologist at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, which spent $250,000 on the printer. She says that the replica hearts are ideal for dry runs of complex operations, allowing the surgeon to see beforehand the exact anatomical landscape they will have to navigate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Armed DHS Guards Protect IRS From Tea Party Protesters

The DHS appears to have finally found a use for all those bullets it’s been buying. At a Tea Party protest outside an IRS building in St. Louis yesterday there were no regular police — only armed Homeland Security guards.

Video footage from the demonstration at which protesters, including Infowars,com readers, chanted “no more harassment,” shows numerous DHS Federal Protective Service vehicles along with several armed DHS guards. There is not a regular police officer in sight.

The St. Louis demonstration was just one of numerous similar protests against the IRS’s punitive targeting of conservative groups that took place across the country yesterday. Homeland Security agents also kept a watchful eye on a Tea Party rally in Florida.

The DHS was supposedly founded to protect against and respond to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. It was not created to protect the IRS from peaceful protesters, but in the decade since its inception, Big Sis has morphed into an entity that polices and monitors political free speech as one of its primary functions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Global Warming Debunked: NASA Report Verifies Carbon Dioxide Actually Cools Atmosphere

(NaturalNews) Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about the alleged detriments of greenhouse gases, and particularly carbon dioxide, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA’s Langley Research Center. As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed are overheating and destroying our planet are actually cooling it, based on the latest evidence.

As reported by Principia Scientific International (PSI), Martin Mlynczak and his colleagues over at NASA tracked infrared emissions from the earth’s upper atmosphere during and following a recent solar storm that took place between March 8-10. What they found was that the vast majority of energy released from the sun during this immense coronal mass ejection (CME) was reflected back up into space rather than deposited into earth’s lower atmosphere.

The result was an overall cooling effect that completely contradicts claims made by NASA’s own climatology division that greenhouse gases are a cause of global warming. As illustrated by data collected using Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER), both carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), which are abundant in the earth’s upper atmosphere, greenhouse gases reflect heating energy rather than absorb it.

“Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” says James Russell from Hampton University, who was one of the lead investigators for the groundbreaking SABER study. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”

Almost all ‘heating’ radiation generated by sun is blocked from entering lower atmosphere by CO2

According to the data, up to 95 percent of solar radiation is literally bounced back into space by both CO2 and NO in the upper atmosphere. Without these necessary elements, in other words, the earth would be capable of absorbing potentially devastating amounts of solar energy that would truly melt the polar ice caps and destroy the planet.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Government is Infected With the Pus of Tyrannical Socialism

For the most part, we try to keep our focus on the plight of rural America, but the disease that eats away at rural America has also infected every other part of America. What has infected every other part of America is the puss of tyrannical socialism and the scourge of radical environmentalism.

So why are you acting so surprised and shocked at the scandals that permeate the culture in America’s government, at every level, but more particularly at the federal level? After all, government scandals aren’t new. But then what did you expect after 100 plus years of Progressive indoctrination that has infected every one of America’s institutions with the fetid disease of socialism, a disease that always kills the political body it inhabits. Almost every politician, bureaucrat, or government employee living today is the product of this indoctrination. Virtually every kid that went to school in our public propaganda system for the last 70 years has received a large dose of collectivism, multi-culturalism, socialism, social justice, radical environmentalism, political correctness, the unimportance of American freedom and sovereignty, a social bill of rights and the virtues of being a good world citizen.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hilarious! Top Official to Plead Fifth Amendment Protections After Targeting Constitutional Groups That Taught the Bill of Rights

(NaturalNews) IRS official Lois Lerner who heads the tax exempt division of the IRS will be invoking Fifth Amendment protections under the Bill of Rights to avoid incriminating herself in federal testimony, reports the LA Times. What makes this such a hilarious example of hypocrisy, of course, is the fact that her office specifically targeted non-profits that were teaching the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

As has now emerged across mainstream news, the IRS targeted these groups for “extra scrutiny” by demanding answers to questions like: What are the contents of your prayers? What books do you read? What are the names of the students you’ve instructed? Applications for tax exempt status were also denied tax exempt status for three years even while pro-Obama non-profits were quickly approved, no questions asked.

Suddenly the enemies of America want Constitutional protections…

By invoking the Fifth Amendment, Lois Lerner is flat out admitting that her campaign of targeting pro-Constitution groups was a traitorous, criminal betrayal of America. She also apparently believes that Bill of Rights protections only apply to her, not the People of America. This elitist attitude runs like a festering case of cancer throughout the Obama administration, where a culture of intimidation persists.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Justice Dept. Acknowledges Deaths of 4 Americans in Drone Strikes

One day before President Obama is due to deliver a major speech on national security, his administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged that the United States had killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

In a letter to Congressional leaders obtained by The New York Times, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. disclosed that the administration had deliberately killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric who was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen.

The American responsibility for Mr. Awlaki’s death has been widely reported, but the administration had until now refused to confirm or deny it.

[Return to headlines]

Man’s Murder Plot Recorded on Phone Call After He Butt-Dials 911

A man who ordered a murder on Interstate 95 “pocket dialed’’ 911 just before the fatal shooting, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

On a recorded line, Scott Simon can be heard telling someone else that he’s going to follow the victim home and kill him. Minutes later, 33-year-old Nicholas Walker was shot and killed while driving his car onto the highway in Oakland Park.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

New Psychiatric Guidelines Target Hoarding, Child Temper Tantrums

It’s not a stretch to suggest that Americans are over medicated. In 2011 doctors across the nation wrote an astounding four billion medical prescriptions, amounting to an average of 13 prescriptions for every man, woman and child in the United States.

In the next few weeks the American Psychiatric Associations is releasing their updated fifth version their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the so-called ‘bible’ of psychiatric diagnoses. The new manual promises to take mental illness and the use of prescription drugs to a whole new level.

You may not be considered “crazy” or “mentally ill” today, but under the new guidelines experts say half of us will be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition in the future.

The odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that you’ll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.

The increasing number of disorders comes about because some “problems” that were not previously considered to be mental illness were reclassified as such by their inclusion in the DSM — and it is the DSM that functionally defines mental illness in the United States.

You see, in the DSM-5 the definitions for mental illness have been expanded to include a whole host of new symptoms and conditions.

For example, under the new guidelines if your 6 to 18 year-old child throws a temper tantrum from time to time or has a mood swing, a psychiatrist could diagnose the condition as a “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” requiring professional treatment. Keep in mind that in psychiatry “professional treatment” almost always means prescription drugs…

Under the new regulations set forth by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, certain groups of Americans like school children, seniors, those on government health plans, active-duty military personnel, and veterans will be required to submit to mental health screenings.


The DSM-5, coupled with Obama Care legislation, will allow the government unprecedented control over lives.

One such example is the targeting of America’s gun owners. Legislation is in the works in many states, as well as the U.S. Congress, that would require mental health screenings for firearms ownership. Should these bills pass, then about half of America’s gun owners would immediately lose their right to bear arms for any manner of “disorders” that could include stress, anxiety, depressed mood or even poor eating habits!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s ‘Iron Curtain’ Descends on America

Canada Free Press (CFP) reader Alan Beckler sends interesting but chilling thoughts about the walls going up around American citizens today.

“While doing some Cold War research today, I ran across a most interesting article on the Berlin Wall history[url]. Attached is an excerpt. What is so chilling is that one could change the German names to present administration names and with our current IRS and DOJ ‘scandals’, it is really chilling.

Dire warnings from this excerpt from ‘The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall’ will be lost on low information voters dependent on government handouts but will send chills down the spines of the millions who see that the IRS and Justice Department scandals mark the beginning of the ultimate capture of the U.S. citizenry.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Administration Now Favors Muslim Clerics for Christian American Military Burial Services

Just a couple of weeks ago my column spoke of how Christianity is in serious decline in our White House to Obama’s preferred — and publicly acknowledged favored Islam. More evidence: In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, on February 27, 2007, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent.”

The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

“Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that Muhammad is his prophet… “

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam.

Need more proof of Obama’s distaste for Christianity? Just do a computer search on the decline of Christianity in favor of Islam, which calls itself the “religion of peace” a fabrication of truth in the face of facts of terrorist actions and deeds. I believe Islamists are pledged to destroy Christianity, a truly peaceful religion with a forgiving and compassionate God.

The difference can be readily seen in the fact that Christianity accepts co-existence with Islam without challenge but Islam will never accept Christianity in any capacity. As my recent column points out, Obama is seeking to remove Christianity from our military and is using Islam as its replacement. In American military posts everywhere Christian chaplains are being subjected to punishment by Obama’s accomplices and rejected in favor of the terrorism of Islam.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Smoking Gun in the IRS Scandal, Part One

Lord is a fine columnist, but Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel had previously pointed out that the smoking gun evidence of presidential wrongdoing has been right in front of us all along, in the form of various statements by the President and other administration officials attacking and demonizing the Tea Party, as well as demands from Democrats and their allies that conservative groups be scrutinized by the IRS. This was pressure from above that had its intended effect — to disable the Tea Party movement during the 2012 elections.

“The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies,” Strassel commented. “But that’s not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Administration Wrongly Advocates the Islamist Interpretation of Islamophobia

If Washington espouses the agenda of Islamists, it becomes part of the industry of Islamophobia — create fear about religious persecution in order to support the political agenda of authoritarian Islamist factions.

The State Department issued a report denouncing what it called “a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe and Asia.” It said that “Muslims also faced new restrictions in 2012 in countries ranging from Belgium, which banned face-covering religious attire in classrooms, to India[,] where schools in Mangalore restricted headscarves.”

The State Department report confuses religious persecution, which is to be condemned, with politicization of religions, which is a matter of debate and includes strategies of which the U.S. government should not be a part. If countries ban the right to pray, broadcast, and write about theology — any theology — this would be against human rights. But Belgium and India do not ban religions per se. In fact, they are more tolerant regarding diverse religious practice than most of the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Obama administration is not criticizing secular European and Asian governments for deciding to ban prayer or theologically philosophical dissertations, but rather criticizing these countries for banning the hijab or niqab in public places.

The administration understands the wearing of the hijab as a religious injunction for all Muslims. This is not the case, as senior theologians have decreed, including al Azhar, and the niqab is not a universal Muslim obligation, as one can see in 53 Muslim-majority countries. It is a matter of choice. The organized groups calling for a systematic imposition of the niqab are Islamist forces. This translates politically into an official endorsement on the Obama administration’s part of the Islamist political agenda under the camouflage of religious rights.

The Obama administration, by using the charge of Islamophobia against countries that oppose the political agenda of an ideological and political faction comprising those known as Salafists and Khomeinists, has become a partner with these factions against secular, liberal, reformist movements who do not abide by the niqab rule.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Weiner Announces Candidacy for New York City Mayor in Video

Anthony D. Weiner, once a rising star of New York politics whose career cratered over revelations of his sexually explicit life online, announced an improbable bid on Wednesday for the job he has long coveted: mayor.

After a rocky re-emergence into public life over the last few weeks, marked by circuslike scenes of tabloid photographers chasing him onto the subway, Mr. Weiner opted to declare his candidacy from the safe remove of a video.

His candidacy, fueled by a $5 million war chest and a determination to resurrect his public standing, promises to immediately disrupt a wide open Democratic primary race populated by several lesser-known candidates.

But it is beset by heavy baggage, starting with the deep ambivalence of voters to whom Mr. Weiner lied two years ago, when he indignantly denied that he had sent an image of himself in his underwear to a college student in Seattle.

[Return to headlines]

Prehistoric Dogs Were More Than Hunting Companions

EDMONTON, CANADA—Robert Losey of the University of Alberta studied prehistoric burials of dogs from around the world. He found that dog burials were more common in regions where the human population was dense, the dead were buried in cemeteries, and people ate a lot of aquatic foods, even though it had been thought the dogs were kept by humans primarily for hunting terrestrial game.

In Eastern Siberia, where dog domestication is estimated to have occurred 33,000 ago, dogs were only buried for the past 10,000 years, and then only when a human was also being buried. “I think the hunter-gatherers here saw some of the dogs as being nearly the same as themselves, even at a spiritual level. At this time, dogs were the only animals living closely with humans,” Losey said. For example, one dog had been buried wearing a necklace made of four red deer tooth pendants, a human fashion at the time.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Apple Paid €5m to Dutch Tax Authorities Last Year: Volkskrant

Computer giant Apple, under fire at home in the US for avoiding tax, paid an estimated €5m to the Dutch tax office last year, according to calculations by the Volkskrant.

The Volkskrant says the company booked estimated turnover of €2bn in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg last year. Of this, just 0.2% went on Dutch taxes, the paper claims.

The paper bases its claims on an analysis of the financial dealings of Apple Benelux BV, which is based above the company’s store on Amsterdam’s Leidseplein.

On paper, Apple Benelux turned over €42m last year but in practice the sum is far higher, the paper says. The company does not give individual country breakdowns, but a recent advert for a new Benelux financial controller indicated turnover in the three countries is some $2.5bn — or €1.95bn.

It is unclear how much profit Apple makes on its Benelux activities, the paper states. Chamber of commerce documents indicate profit is transferred to Ireland because Apple Benelux BV is a subsidiary of Apple Sales Ireland.

The Apple store in Amsterdam, however, is run by Apple Retail Netherlands BV, based in Zuidoost. This is run by a trust office and is part of Apple Retail Europe Holding, also based in Ireland.

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

Belgian Party Leader Stepping Down ‘Temporarily’ Over Slur

Wrote ‘a few Jewish families that monopolize the banking world’ caused Europe’s financial crisis

THE HAGUE (JTA) — The leader of a small Belgian party said she would “temporarily step down” after stating that “a few Jewish families that monopolize the banking world” caused the financial crisis in Europe. “I distance myself from the text … which can be offensive,” Agnes Jonckheere, chairwoman of the Free Christian Democrats, or VCD, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday following a public outcry over the statement. The statement was in a letter she sent recently to Joods Actueel, a Flemish-Jewish monthly based in Antwerp, in reaction to an Op-Ed titled “Jew-hatred is back” by Joods Actueel editor in chief Michael Freilich on the website of the VRT broadcaster. Jonckheere wrote, “A small minority, a few Jewish families, monopolize the world banks, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and are the cause of the financial crisis in Europe.” Following a volley of condemnations from Christian circles, Jonckheere wrote on Tuesday, “I will also step down temporarily as speaker and leader of the Free Christian Democrats,” a Flemish party that is represented in one municipality. The party has failed to enter the parliament of the Flemish Region — one of three autonomous entities that make up the Federal Belgian state — since its establishment five years ago.

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

Iceland to Halt EU Bid Pending Referendum

Iceland’s new ruling coalition has put its EU accession bid on ice pending a referendum. Its incoming PM Daviv Gunnlaugsson told press on Wednesday: “The government intends to halt negotiations between Iceland and the European Union. We will not hold further negotiations with the European Union without prior referendum.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ireland: Yes: We Have Sweet International Tax Incentives, Sorry We’re Not Sorry

In a Senate hearing earlier today, Rand Paul rightly went on the rhetorical rampage in defense of Apple and their completely rational and legal attempts to minimize the amount of money that they pay in taxes. Why, for instance, is it incumbent upon Apple to willingly pay more in taxes than they have to? If it is worthwhile for any business to invest the resources into finding ways to save money, you should always assume that they are going to do so — and that is a good thing, since in the end it benefits consumers and the economy just as much as it does their business model.

The fault doesn’t lie with Apple and the completely misbegotten sense of patriotism that they are ostensibly supposed to display by pouring as much money as they possibly can into the federal government’s coffers; rather, it lies with our wildly burdensome and uncompetitive tax code that gives companies a clear incentive to do otherwise. We are living in an increasingly global economy, and we better man up and deal with it — and I do not mean by persecuting the individual companies looking to streamline their taxes, because watch them close up shop and move aborad your own peril.

Ireland is one of the supposed culprits that Apple used to their tax-strategy advantage, and while the small country certainly has a heck of a lot of economic and fiscal problems on their hands, there is nothing illicit going on with low rates that make it appealing for multinational companies to do business there. An Irish official today paid the obligatory lip service to the trumped-up need for ‘robust international agreements’ to prevent tax-dodging to appease the Euro-bureaucrats, but they are not apologizing for having a tax code that attracts people and companies to their shores — nor should they. Via the NYT:

Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore of Ireland told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that his government supported efforts to close “loopholes” in corporate taxation, but said these did not stem from Irish taxation policy. …

Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent, less than half the level in many larger European countries. American companies with their European headquarters in Ireland often pay considerably less than this on their European earnings because of accounting techniques that permit them to shift revenue to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens — as Apple has been accused of doing in a report prepared by Congressional investigators. …

While Ireland misses out on some tax revenue, analysts say its economy more than makes up for this in other ways, including the tens of thousands of jobs that American technology companies have created there — and the income taxes that well-paid programmers and executives contribute to the Irish treasury. Apple alone employs more than 4,000 workers in Ireland, while Google employs more than 2,500 there. …

Discrepancies like this have given rise to growing frustration among European policy makers at a time when governments are cutting budgets and struggling to make ends meet.

Of course, august European financiers and political leaders are saying that we all need a “global solution” to prevent multinational companies from exploiting loopholes, blah blah blah — but they are too often going about this “globalization” thing in precisely the wrong way (more central planning imposed upon an ever-wider swath of people? No. A free and open global economy across all fronts? Yes.). I’ve got your solution right here, and it’s called competition, which works just as well among individuals and private companies as it does countries and currencies. All of this talk about punishing companies that dare to seek legal means to decrease their tax burden and the countries that shelter them is nothing but antithetical to economic growth and a global free market.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Italy: Center Left Calls on PdL to Withdraw Mafia Sentencing Slash

‘It’s a question of decency’

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — The center left was quick to rebuff a proposal from a Senator in Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party on Tuesday to slash the penalty for mafia collusion. Democratic Party (PD) MP Laura Garavini called on the former premier’s center-right PdL to withdraw Senator Giacomo Caliendo’s proposal that that would reduce the maximum possible jail sentence for the crime of “external involvement in mafia association” from a maximum 12 years to to five.

The bill would also remove the possibility of prison sentences being handed to people found guilty of aiding people involved in a mafia association if no financial advantage was gained from this assistance.

The draft legislation would furthermore prevent prosecutors from wiretapping the conversations of people suspected of doing this.

“It’s a question of decency,” she said. “The proposal simply aims to remove any possibility of uncovering who’s helping the mafia from the outside”. The bill comes as Marcello Dell’Utri, a former close aide of Berlusconi’s and a former PdL Senator, is appealing to the supreme Court of Cassation against a seven-year conviction for the crime in question.

PD Senator Nicola Latorre accused the PdL of using the bill to create discord in the fledgling left-right coalition of Premier Enrico Letta, a moderate from the PD. “The sense is that the PdL is issuing proposals that they know will profoundly divide the two parties,” he said. “I hope this isn’t the case”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PD Bigwig Opposes Making Berlusconi ‘Ineligible’

Issue is a ‘non-starter’, Violante says

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — A senior politician in the center-left Democratic Party (PD) on Tuesday said he was opposed to enforcing a law which would make Silvio Berlusconi, head of the centre-right Party of Freedom (PdL) party — the other main group in the current left-right alliance backing Premier Enrico Letta’s government — ineligible for public office.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, Luciano Violante — a former House speaker — said: “Three or four times in past parliamentary terms, the centre left voted in a certain way (against ineligibility). If there are no new developments, I don’t see why we should change this stance”.

The ineligibility issue hit Letta fledgling administration on May 16, when PD Senate whip Luigi Zanda was he was personally in favour of the application of a 1957 law barring the holder of government licenses, like the ones Berlusconi has for his TV networks, from holding public office.

An interim spokeswoman for the PdL, Anna Maria Bernini, responded to Zanda with a veiled threat, calling his words “mines planted under the political ground the Letta government is acting on”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Fiat Industrial Denies Tax Reports on Headquarters Move

Fiat industrial headquarters move could cost 500 million euros

(ANSA) — Torino, May 22 — Fiat Industrial on Wednesday denied reports that the possible move of its headquarters to Britain would cost Italy a half a billion euros in tax revenues.

“The statement that Italy could lose more than 500 million of taxes is absolutely false,” said a Fiat spokesman.

That statement came amid reports that the Italian government is concerned about the farm vehicles and truck producer’s plan to move its legal headquarters to the United Kingdom for tax reasons after completing a merger with tractor unit CNH Global NV. Britain is lowering its corporate tax rates, making it a more appealing head office location for firms such as Fiat Industrial, which paid 564 million euros in taxes to Italian authorities last year.

Fiat in 2010 spun off Fiat Industrial to hold its non-automotive activities, which include the production of trucks, commercial vehicles and buses, under the Iveco marque, as well as the non-automotive sector of its Powertrain subsidiary that develops engines and transmissions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Letta Says Italy Will Stand Up for Itself at EU Talks

Premier briefs parliament ahead of debut European summit

(see related stories) (ANSA) — Rome, May 22 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Tuesday that Italy will stand up for itself when it comes to negotiations at the EU level on the eve of his first summit of European leaders.

“The Italian parliament counts in Europe and the decisions it takes are binding,” Letta told the Senate the day before an extraordinary EU summit, with tax evasion and energy among the issues on the agenda. “We can tell our partners that our positions cannot change because our country asks for that. Italy will go with its back straight and negotiate in the name of our country”. Another EU summit focusing on promoting growth and tackling unemployment will be held in June.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Masked English Defence League Supporters Flood Woolwich: Far-Right Clash With Police Near Scene of Killing

More than 100 supporters of the English Defence League tonight gathered near the scene of where a soldier was hacked to death by Islamic fanatics and threw bottles at police.

Officers formed a cordon and the men left the immediate area after the brief incident. Some of the EDL supporters gathered at The Queen’s Arms pub locally, where they sang nationalistic songs.

One local Muslim said that a brick had been thrown through a mosque during the march.

Giving his name only as Abdul, he said: ‘I’m not happy about it. It’s a place of worship — a place of God. They have got Islam all wrong. The people who did this are nothing to do with the real Islam.’

Elsewhere, two men were arrested after separate attacks on mosques following today’s killing.

A 43-year-old man was in custody on suspicion of attempted arson after reportedly walking into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex.

Local MP Brooks Newmark tweeted tonight: ‘Local mosque in Braintree attacked by man with knives and incendiary device. Man arrested. No one injured.’

Mr Newmark added: ‘Just met with leaders of local mosque in Braintree which was attacked this evening. Thanked local police for their swift response.’

Essex Police confirmed a 43-year-old from Braintree had been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and attempted arson after the incident on Silks Way at 7:15pm.

Meanwhile police in Kent were called to reports of criminal damage at a mosque in Gillingham at 8.40pm. A man was taken in custody on suspicion of racially-aggravated criminal damage.

The EDL men had first gathered at Woolwich Arsenal station in Woolwich, south-east London. Riot police with shields stood guard outside for a short time, before moving back into their vans.

The EDL group waved a flag of St George and chanted ‘no surrender to the Muslim scum’. Around 20 of the men wore black balaclavas with an EDL logo on the front.

Leader Tommy Robinson addressed the crowd, saying: ‘We have got weak leadership. They have allowed this to happen. People are scared to say the word Muslim. They are scared to offend them.

‘You know what? We are offended. People in this country are angry. They have had enough.’

The crowd, chanting ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘EDL’, as well as ‘England’, marched to the cordon where the killing took place. Others chanted ‘No surrender to Al Qaeda’.

A statement by the EDL said: ‘The terrible events in Woolwich today were a reminder of something very few are willing to accept. We are at war.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said he was not aware of any arrests following the protest tonight. The march had been dispersed by 11pm.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Minorities: For George Soros, Roma Are Victims of the Crisis

Dilema Veche

“The situation of the Roma [in Europe] amounts to the most serious case of ethnic discrimination and exclusion,” claims George Soros, in an interview with Romanian weekly Dilema Veche. The American billionaire, who has created a number of support organisations for Romania’s Roma, believes that the community —

… which was already the victim of human rights violations and social exclusion, is one of the worst affected by the economic crisis and the poverty it has engendered. This has been compounded by the growing hostility to the Roma among the majority of the population, which also has to contend with economic difficulties. Worse still, the situation is being exploited by populist politicians.

For Soros, the Roma’s situation has been aggravated by the EU’s solutions to the crisis. The impact of these solutions has been —

… to transform the EU into something that is radically different to what it should be: a voluntary association among equals. In contrast, today’s Union amounts to a forced relationship between creditors and debtors, in which the creditors dictate the terms. […] We should go back to what the EU was in the beginning, and a euro that is an appropriate tool for this purpose.

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

Netherlands: Politicians Head for ‘Sharia Triangle’ To Find Out for Themselves

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher and MP and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders both paid visits to a district in The Hague dubbed the ‘Sharia triangle’ on Tuesday.

Asscher made a fact-finding visit to part of the city’s Schilderswijk neighbourhood early on Tuesday morning. It was an ‘individual visit, aimed at having a look around part of town which is being written about’, a spokesman for the minister said.

On Saturday, newspaper Trouw published an article saying the area is so dominated by orthodox Muslims they are dictating what people should wear and how they should behave.

The claim was denied by local politicians and the police. Local police chief Michel de Roos told broadcaster Omroep West claims by Trouw that the police allow locals to solve their own problems is not true. The police presence in the area has been strengthened and local beat officers have a strong local network, he said.

Geert Wilders spent 15 minutes walking through the area and did not speak to any locals, RTL news reported. ‘This is a part of the Netherlands where our norms and standards apply,’ Wilders told reporters during his stroll.

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

One in Four Italians Over 40 Get Allowance, Survey Says

Economic aid from parents doesn’t always stop with employment

(see previous) (ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — More than one out of four Italians over 40 years old continue to need an allowance from their parents, a survey by farmer’s association Coldiretti said Tuesday.

For those between 35 and 40 years old, some 28% survive with money from mom and dad, 43% of those between 25 and 34 years old still lean on their families’ income and 89% of those between 18 and 24 years old need their allowance to get by, the survey ‘Youth in Crisis’, compiled together with the Trieste-based SWG polling agency, said. Economic aid from parents does not stop with employment, Coldiretti said.

More than one in four (27%) Italians under 40 said that they are unable to make ends meet without financial assistance from their parents.

“Family has become a social safety net that serves to protect its members in need,” Coldiretti President Sergio Marini said.

Over half, 51%, of Italians under 40 years old live with their parents, 13% by their own choice and 38% because they cannot afford to live on their own, the survey said.

Specifically, 26% of Italians between 35 and 40 years old are still at their parents home, 48% between 25 and 34 years old and 89% of those between 18 and 24 years old.

In the agricultural sector, 32% of young farmers living with their parents are there for economic reasons, while 31% live with their families by choice.

Of Italians over 40 years old, 61% believe that their future will be worse than what their parents experienced.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Fires Spread in Third Day of Stockholm Riots

Police arrested eight people on Tuesday night as more cars were torched in several areas around Stockholm, with rioters terrorizing the streets for the third night in a row.

Rioters lit fires in cars in western and southern Stockholm, and threw stones at police officers and fire fighters. Cars were torched in Rinkeby, Skarpnäck, Norsborg, Kista, Fittja, Bredäng, Flemingsberg, Edsberg, and Tensta.

“These are places that have not been affected by this before and this is sad to hear. It feels like people are taking the opportunity in other areas because of the attention given to Husby,” Kjell Lindgren of the Stockholm police told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The Jakobsberg police station was also vandalized, with rioters smashing the windows, and also damaging a nearby shopping centre.

“I’m scared that it will get worse. It’s going to become like France,” one Kista resident told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Eight people were arrested, and calm was restored across the city by around 3am.

Tuesday night’s activities mark the third consecutive night of unrest around Stockholm, where over one hundred cars were burned out on Sunday night, and more than one hundred people rioted on Monday.

A community-based organization in Husby, where the riots began, said the troubles stemmed from frustration over the fatal police shooting of a 69-year-old man in Husby last Monday.

“You have to see what happened from a wider point of view. It’s not the first time something like this has happened, and it’s not the last. This is the kind of reaction when there isn’t equality between people, which is the case in Sweden,” Rami al-Khamisi, a law student and founder of local youth organization Megafonen, told The Local.

On Monday, local newspaper editor Rouzbeh Djalaie said the shooting probably provided the spark.

“There’s frustration in Husby and it risks spiralling out of control. People want long-term solutions to social problems instead of an increased police presence,” Djalaie told The Local.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt commented on the matter in a press conference at the Riksdag on Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue,” he said.

“We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let’s be clear: This is not OK. We cannot be ruled by violence.”

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

Sweden: Unrest in Stockholm

Stockholm riots: a view from the street in Husby

Following three nights of violence that left cars smouldering in several Stockholm suburbs, The Local travelled to the northwest district of Husby where the disturbances began to see how the riots have affected local residents.

Stockholm’s Husby by day proved a different story from the past few nights. While the damage was still visible — broken windows, burnt walls, and scorched car parks — the people were calm as locals carried on with business as usual.

Police officers were on hand in the central square to provide information and support for residents.

“The people who live here don’t deserve this, the police don’t deserve it,” officer Ann-Christine Kleist told The Local.

“Many people are unhappy with the situation they’re living in. I understand it, of course, but it’s no excuse, you can’t destroy your neighbours’ property.”

She added that some officers have been afraid during the attacks, which have erupted every night for the last three days, fearing they might not return home.

“We do our best, but we are people too. But when people get injured because others are throwing rocks, I don’t think it’s acceptable,” she said, adding that many Husby residents were happy to have a constant police presence.

A pizza shop owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, had kept the stones that had been hurled through his restaurant’s front windows, all of which were still damaged.

“No customers have come since the windows were smashed,” he said, gesturing to the empty tables.

“I mean, I wouldn’t come here either, you know? But what’s happened has happened, I can’t be angry about it, what’s the point?”

Others residents were more angered by the rioters, including 26-year-old Husby resident Marianne Farede.

“It’s idiotic. They’re ruining things for the people that live here,” she told The Local.

“We’re the ones that suffer. It’s our cars that are getting burned, it’s our money.”

Farede, who grew up in Södertälje south of Stockholm and moved to Husby five years ago, agreed that this week’s disturbances likely erupted as a result of the fatal shooting of a 69-year-old man by police last week.

However, she believes the young people involved are using the incident as an excuse to cause trouble.

“They’ve just waiting for the smallest reason to take their frustration out on the police,” she said.

“I don’t know why they think police are their enemies? They aren’t their enemies. They’re doing their best to protect us.”

IN PICTURES: See what people in Husby told The Local about the riots

She feared the unrest of recent days would further damage the area’s reputation.

“It’s a real shame that this has happened. We already have a bad reputation. People think, ‘Husby, ooohhh, scary!’ This just makes things worse.”

While Farede agreed that high youth unemployment was part of the problem, she put more blame on parents rather than a lack of support programmes from the Swedish state.

“It’s how they’ve been raised. Everything comes back to their parents,” she explained. “It’s not the state’s fault. You have to take control of your life, you can’t just go out and ruin things for everyone else. That’s doesn’t help anything.”

She also thought the young people of Husby and surrounding districts seem to have failed to realize how good they have it.

“If I lived in my homeland, I wouldn’t have it as good as I have them now. That’s something I really appreciate,” the Lebanon-born Farede explained.

“There aren’t enough who do appreciate what they have. They want even more. You don’t have to feel like a Swede to adjust to Swedish society.”

Shahnaz Darabi, who runs a flower shop on Husby’s main square, also attributed the recent violence to a group of disgruntled youth with too much time on their hands.

“It’s just a bunch of young people who have no jobs and nothing to do. They think it’s fun,” she said.

Darabi, a native of Iran who has lived in Sweden for 19 years, also cited a lack of involvement by parents as a contributing factor to the riots.

“Parents are ultimately responsible. They need to set boundaries. They need to have more of a check on their children’s lives,” she said.

However, a disconnect between families and schools, as well as different views of how to raise children, complicates matters, according to Darabi.

“There is a something of a culture clash,” she said.

If parents try to discipline their children, the kids complain in school, and say their parents have done this or that, and then [social services] steps in and tries to take the children away. Parents are scared they’ll have their children taken from them.”

The transition to life in Sweden is hardest for those who come to Sweden as young children, she added.

“They don’t know what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to act. They were raised differently in their home countries, where things are tougher. Here things are more lax. Too lax,” the mother of two explained.

“Parents need to be extra strong and get support from public authorities. They need to help each other. Parents. Schools. Authorities. They need to be on the same page. Kids need to be taught what’s right and wrong.”

Darabi believes that too many immigrant parents fail to integrate into Swedish society, thus making it harder for their children.

“Many sit at home and watch television from their home countries, don’t learn the Swedish language, they are out of work and living on benefits and can’t move forward. They are stuck,” she said.

“It’s the individual and parents who need to take responsibility. But many don’t; they only think about money and how to get benefits this month and next month. That affects their children. There has to be a limit. The state has given them too much, frankly.”

Olav Kvitastein, meanwhile, a Norwegian who lives just 200 metres from where the riots took place, claimed the area is usually pleasant.

“It’s usually a quiet neighbourhood, the problems are more hidden, drugs or unemployment for example. Kids are usually playing outside after dark, alone. There’s really no kind of trouble or violence,” he told The Local.

“Most of the people here are Muslims, and very quiet, there are no parties, no alcohol.”

Malin Önsten, a Swede from near Malmö, believed the attacks were a reaction to police officials’ attitude.

“The police have a particular attitude to people here and the residents react to it. But I don’t think the kids really understand the problems, or reflect on what they’re doing. They just want to make trouble, they don’t understand the politics,” she said.

A 49-year-old Bosnian immigrant who lives near Husby was also unimpressed by some of the police work, but more-so by the actions of the rioters.

“I try to understand this, but I can’t. It’s hard to fathom. Sweden is far from being a racist country, in fact it’s an incredible country to live in, but on the other hand I have white skin and blue eyes,” he told The Local.

“I’m not saying I’m lucky — I am who I am — but there are a lot of people who get annoyed that they’re not getting the same chances, or that the same resources aren’t being put into areas such as this.”

Many residents feared the rioting showed no signs of stopping, but police on hand explained that authorities were ready for the worst.

Throughout the day on Wednesday, police officers conducted outreach with parents and community organizations to encourage them to mobilize in a show of solidarity to show that local residents don’t condone the violence which has plagued the area in recent days.

“This is the best we can do, to have civil society stand up and show that this is unacceptable,” police spokesman Jörgen Karlsson told the TT news agency.

“That is much more powerful than having police or politicians talk about how things should be.”

But as dusk began to fall over Stockholm on Wednesday night, it remained far from clear whether or not the residents of Husby and other areas affected by unrest in recent days could expect a peaceful night.

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

Sweden: Stockholm Burns as Rioters Battle Police After Three Days of Violence in Immigrant ‘Ghetto’

  • Two schools and a cultural centre were set on fire in Stockholm
  • Gangs of up to 60 youths hurled rocks at police and firefighters
  • Yesterday’s violence is the worst the country has seen in years
  • Provoked debate on youth unemployment and immigration in Sweden

Sweden is reeling after a third night of rioting in largely run-down immigrant areas of the capital Stockholm.

In the last 48 hours violence has spread to at least ten suburbs with mobs of youths torching hundreds of cars and clashing with police.

It is Sweden’s worst disorder in years and has shocked the country and provoked a debate on how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Monster’s Bid to be Moved to Open Prison Can be Revealed: Judge Overturns Anonymity Order on Man Who Killed Three Children and Impaled Their Bodies on Railings

[WARNING: *** Disturbing Content ***]

A triple-child killer dubbed the Monster of Worcester has today lost his High Court battle to remain anonymous.

Murderer David McGreavy used the Human Rights Act to secure a gagging order that would prevent him being named by the media.

The 62-year-old is considered to be one of the UK’s most notorious and longest-serving prisoners after killing the children of Dorothy Urry.

He was lodging with the family in 1973 and was babysitting them when nine-month-old Samantha Ralph began crying for her bottle.

He strangled her then cut the throat of her sister, Dawn, two, before also strangling her four-year-old brother, Paul.

The children were then mutilated before being impaled on railings outside the house.

The verdict is a huge victory for the Daily Mail and Press freedom.

The Mail led the legal challenge against the anonymity order — which would have kept the public entirely in the dark about the monster’s bid for freedom.

But in a victory for the Daily Mail and Press freedom we can now reveal details of McGreavy’s request to be moved to an open prison — one step from being free on our streets.

Mrs’s Urry’s former sister-in-law, Dorothy Fields-Urry, said today that the killer should stay in jail.

‘He is the scum of the earth for what he did and he should never be let out.

‘It was unbelievable what he did to those children — I think it was the worst thing I have ever heard.’

Mrs Fields-Urry, from near Andover, Hampshire, added: ‘I don’t think he has shown any remorse for what he has done and he should stay in prison until he dies.’

[Comment: Did the left want it kept quiet after not long doing away with the death penalty? — Stuart , Edinburgh Scotland, United Kingdom, 22/5/2013 12:45]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Two Men ‘Shot by Armed Police After Hacking Soldier in Help for Heroes T-Shirt to Death With Machetes in Busy London Street’

Two people were today believed to have been shot by armed police after hacking a man to death with a machete in front of dozens of eyewitnesses.

Police were called this afternoon to reports of an assault in Woolwich, south London where witnesses claimed a man wearing a Help For Heroes t-shirt was attacked with knives.

The pair were then confronted by armed police and apparently shot by a female officer as they brandished weapons including a revolver.

This afternoon the area’s MP, Nick Raynsford, told BBC Radio 5 Live he believed the victim of the attack was a serving soldier.

Theresa May tonight called a meeting of the government’s emergency cabinet committee Cobra, showing that authorities were treating the incident as a possible terror attack.

The man is believed to have been hacked to death after a car crash. The scene of the attack is just 200 yards from Woolwich Barracks.

Mr Raynsford told the BBC: Mr Raynsford said: ‘The circumstances causing the incident are not yet clear. It’s been suggested it was the product of a road traffic accident, but that’s pure speculation.

‘We think a serving soldier was the victim. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding the incident.

‘We do know a number of weapons have been seized. They include a gun, various knives, and a machete, apparently.

‘The police clearly had to take action in order to try and arrest these individuals.’

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is called in whenever firearms officers shoot people, said it is investigating.

The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently looking at the reports that the incident involved a soldier but had no further comment.

Footage from a television news helicopter showed a large collection of weapons lying in the street in Woolwich following the incident.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said one man had died at the scene.

He said: ‘Our staff treated two others. Both men were taken to hospital, one of them is in a serious condition, the other is not.’

One witness, identified as James, said he and his partner saw two black men attack the young victim with knives, including a meat cleaver.

‘They were hacking at this poor guy, literally,’ he told LBC. ‘They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him.’

Fighting back tears, James said the men treated their victim as a ‘piece of meat’ after he was dead.

‘These two guys were crazed,’ he told the radio station. ‘They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there.’

The incident occurred near the Royal Artillery Barracks, adjacent to Woolwich Common, the historical home of the Royal Artillery.

The barracks, also known as the Woolwich station, now houses a number of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.

Woolwich Common remains a designated military training area. The shooting events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were held at a temporary venue at the Barracks.

Luke Huseyin, 32, who lives in a block of flats on John Wilson Street, Woolwich, close to where the incident happened said he watched two men murder a man before being shot.

He said: ‘I was at home and heard a big bang. I looked out of the window and saw a car had crashed.

‘It was a blue Vauxhall. Then two black guys got out of the car dragging a white guy across the road towards the wall. One of the guys had a knife that looked about a foot long and a machete and the other bloke had a gun.

‘They started slashing him up with the knife and hitting him in the stomach with the machete. I don’t think it took long before he was dead. There were people passing by who were screaming and running away. I’ve never seen anything like it.

‘I’m still really shaken up. When he was dead, they dragged him out into the road and left him there.

‘It was strange, they didn’t run off, they just stood there as if they were waiting for the police.

‘It must’ve taken about 20 minutes for the police to arrive, I think it must’ve been because they were waiting for armed police.

‘The police officers got out of the car and the two black men ran towards them with the gun.

‘The police shot them. They fell to the ground. Then a helicopter landed. Think it must’ve been an air ambulance.

‘The paramedics got out and I think they were working on the two men to try and keep them alive.

‘I don’t know if they died, they were taken away in the helicopter. A blanket was put over the white guy lying in the road. ‘I just can’t believe what I saw.’

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Vatican Bank Involved in Suspicious Transaction

One of six under review at Holy See

(see related) (ANSA) — Vatican City, May 22 — The Vatican Bank was involved in one of the six transactions flagged by the Holy See’s financial watchdog last year, the director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF) said Wednesday .

Commenting on an annual report, Rene’ Bruelhart did not specify on the contents of the transaction, beyond that it was not tied to terrorism. The Holy See has been trying without success to join the ‘white list’ of states that meet international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In a report last July, the Council of Europe’s Moneyval department said that the Holy See had made progress on financial transparency, but added that more reforms were needed.

Established by Benedict XVI in 2010, the AIF is charged with monitoring the commercial and monetary activities of Vatican agencies, such as the Governorate of Vatican City State and the Vatican Bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

Over the years the Vatican Bank has acquired a murky image on transparency. Bruelhart said a “deep screening process” was “in the works” to identify all of its clients. “In the coming months we will have the results,” he said.

Other efforts to make IOR more transparent include a move to publish its balance sheets online by the end of the year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Seven Officers Abducted in Sinai Released

Kidnappers wanted Islamists freed, Rafah crossing re-opened

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Seven Egyptian security officials abducted in northern Sinai by a group of militants were freed on Wednesday. Their kidnappers were demanding the release of detained fellow Islamists who were serving a jail sentence over the assault of a police precinct in the same area two years ago in which six security officials died. The Rafah crossing connecting Egypt with the Gaza Strip was re-opened. The crossing had been closed on Friday by Egyptian security officials to protest against the unprecedented abduction.

An army spokesman said the officers were released thanks to military intelligence and the cooperation of Bedouin tribe chiefs and the local population. This perhaps explains the duration of the abduction which started on Thursday and represented another difficult test for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, pressured by hardliners who did not want to negotiate with the kidnappers as well as by military leaders who wanted to carry out a blitz and free the hostages. The president’s office said two days ago that all options were open but the priority was to bring the seven men back home safe and sound. Last night, Premier Hisham Qandil said ‘intense efforts’ were underway to free the hostages. The abduction, the last of a number of serious incidents including the killing last summer of 16 army recruits at a border post with Israel, has led to a build-up of the Egyptian military presence in northern Sinai with a greater number of army officers and interior ministry officials deployed in the area.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU to Send 110 Experts to Libyan Border

EU countries are to send up to 110 civilian experts to help post-war Libya to manage its land and sea borders. The mission, agreed on Wednesday, is to last two years with a budget of €30mn in its first year and will be led by Finnish customs chief Antti Hartikainen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Qatar-Bosnia-Herzegovina Joint Committee Meets

DOHA, May 22 (Bernama) — The Qatar-Bosnia-Herzegovina joint committee on economic, trading and technical cooperation held its third session over the past two days within the context of enhancing ties of cooperation between the two countries, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

The session was also held according to provisions of the agreement on economic, trading and technical cooperation which was signed between the two countries in 1998.

Qatar was led by its Minister of Business and Trade, Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, while Bosnia-Herzegovina was headed by its Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Mirko Sarovic.

The two sides reviewed cooperation in the field of economy, trade, investment and other related areas during the meeting and highly praised the positive development in the economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Both countries have agreed to take the necessary steps for further development in economic relations and increase the volume of trade exchange, including facilitating the flow of goods, services and investment between the two countries.

Meanwhile, they also reiterated their desire to intensify and boost cooperation based on agreements and memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria: Thousands of Hezbollah Fighting With Loyalists, Kerry

Secretary of State, If Assad refuses talks, support opposition

(ANSAmed) — Amman — US Secretary of State John Kerry says thousands of Lebanese Shia militants from Hezbollah are supporting Syrian troops loyal to the Assad regime.

He was speaking today at a media conference in Amman before taking part in talks between countries known as “Friends of Syria”.

Kerry said the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah and Iran were helping to support president Bashar al-Assad’s “campaign of terror” in Syria.

Dozens of Hezbollah militants were reported to have been killed fighting beside Syrian troops in Qusair since Sunday.

Kerry admitted that Damascus loyalists had “gained ground” recently but added that it was a “temporary” phenomenon that would not lead to military victory. That’s why political negotiations were necessary, Kerry said.

“If President Assad is not ready, we are ready to support the opposition in its fight,” he said.

Kerry did not speak specifically about supplying arms which is something that Washington currently opposes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ten People Arrested in Saudi Arabia for Spying

(AGI) Riad, May 21 — Saudi authorities have arrested 10 people charged with being involved in a espionage case linked to Iran, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Eight are Saudi citizens, one is a Lebanese national and another is from Turkey. Since the investigation began, the authorities have detained 28 people.

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

Turkey: Writer Jailed for 13 Months for Blasphemy

(ANSAmed) — Ankara, 22 May — An Istanbul court today sentenced Turkish Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 13 months in prison for blasphemy for using a phrase considered offensive to the Prophet Mohammed, Turkish media said.

Last month the Turkish pianist Fazil Say was also handed a suspended 10-month prison sentence for “offending religious values” in a case that generated national and international attention.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Govt Officially Rejects Rome Statute on International Criminal Court

Jakarta, 21 May (AKI/Jakarta Post) — It is now official that Indonesia will not ratify the Rome Statute for the accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the near future.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro issued a statement that effectively blocks the ratification of the statute, dashing the hope of rights activists, at home and abroad, who had called for its rapid ratification.

Indonesia declared its support for the adoption of the Rome Statute 14 years ago. Supporters of the ratification cited the lack of political will as the core problem in the years of discussion.

“There are many countries, including major democratic countries [such as the US] that have yet to ratify the Rome Statute, although there are equally a large number of countries that have adopted it. Each of them has their own interest in the decision. Therefore, we need more time to carefully and thoroughly review the pros and cons of the ratification,” said Purnomo on the sidelines of a hearing with the House Commission I overseeing information, defense and foreign affairs on Monday.

Purnomo said that he personally believed that the ratification was not urgent because Indonesia already had national legal instruments, such as the 1945 Constitution, the 1999 law on human rights and the 2000 law on rights tribunals, which according to him, were enough to serve as a foundation for human rights protection in the country.

“However, the decision [to ratify] should not be made by the Defense Ministry alone. It also involves the Law and Human Rights Ministry as well as the Foreign Ministry,” he said.

Earlier, government officials and politicians said that although adopting the Rome Statute would further uphold human rights protection, they believed that it was not urgent to accede to the statute.

After arguing that the ratification of the statute could be used to block the presidential bids of Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chief patron Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto and People’s Conscience (Hanura) Party chairman Gen. (ret) Wiranto, who have been deemed responsible for the 1998 May riots by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), politicians alleged that there had been pressure on Indonesia to ratify the convention.

The Cabinet of then president Megawati Soekarnoputri adopted a National Plan of Action on Human Rights in 2004, which stated that Indonesia would ratify the Rome Statute in 2008. Former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda confirmed this intention later in 2007.

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

‘Europe-China: Trade War is Declared’

Le Figaro, 21 May 2013

Beijing has threatened to contest the European Commission’s decision to impose taxes on Chinese solar panels and telecommunications equipment before the World Trade Organisation.

Germany, which accounts for more than half of the EU’s exports to China, has voiced its concern over the power struggle and called for an amicable settlement.

“It is high time that Europe gave up its fascination with the size of the Chinese market and demanded, like the United States, a minimum of fair exchange”, argues Le Figaro, which adds —

The interdependence of global economies will add to pressure for an amicable settlement, as desired by Berlin. But for that, it is time for Europe to put its foot down and to set aside any naivety. Given China’s rapid rise to power, soon it will be too late.

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

Rich Chinese Look Abroad to Preserve Wealth

BEIJING (AP) — China’s richest people are stepping up investment in U.S. real estate and other foreign assets as they try to preserve their fortunes in the face of a fast-changing economy, a report said Tuesday.

The report by China Merchants Bank and the consulting firm Bain & Co. in China reflects uncertainties about abrupt shifts in an economy in which growth slowed last year to 7.8 percent from the past decade’s double-digit rates.

Beijing is trying to shift the basis of growth to domestic consumption and services, reducing reliance on exports and construction that made fortunes for earlier entrepreneurs. Communist leaders have pledged to use taxes and social spending to narrow the huge and politically sensitive gulf between China’s small elite and its poor majority.

Investor attitudes are being influenced by “the political environment and possible changes in tax policy,” said Chen Kunde, director of China Merchants’ wealth management business. They are “switching their focus from deriving more profits to protecting their existing wealth.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Coulter: When Did We Vote to Become Mexico?

We have been taking in more immigrants from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, individually, than from England, our mother country. There are nearly twice as many immigrants from El Salvador as from Canada, and 10 times as many as from Australia.

Why can’t the country be more or less the ethnic composition that it always was? The 50-1 Latin American-to-European ratio isn’t a natural phenomenon that might result from, say, Europeans losing interest in coming here and poor Latin Americans providing some unique skill desperately needed in our modern, technology-based economy.

To the contrary, it’s result of an insane government policy. Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act was designed to artificially inflate the number of immigrants from the Third World, while making it virtually impossible for anyone from the nations that historically provided our immigrants to come here.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Multicultural Paradise?

by Soeren Kern

In March, the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service announced that a growing number of jihadists are being recruited in Switzerland. The number of robberies and assaults on Swiss trains has skyrocketed to such an extent that the Swiss government recently opted to equip transport police with firearms, and at least 1,400 women in Switzerland have been victims of forced marriages.

A controversial new report by the Swiss government claims that Muslim immigrants are so well integrated into Swiss society that no further federal policies or programs are needed to promote Muslim integration or to counter Islamic extremism.

Published by the Swiss Federal Council (Bundesrat) on May 8, the 102-page study — known by the short title, “The Situation of Muslims in Switzerland” — so completely downplays the countless problems associated with Muslim immigration in Switzerland that the report has been ridiculed as being worthy of a “case study in political correctness.”

The report was first commissioned by proponents of multiculturalism within the Swiss Cabinet shortly after Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum in November 2009 to ban the construction of minarets, the tower-like structures on mosques that are often used to call Muslims to prayer.

The surprise outcome of the referendum, which passed with a clear majority of 57.5% of the voters, represented a turning point in the debate about Muslim immigration in Switzerland.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Nigel Farage Refuses to Kick Out ‘Old-Fashioned’ UKIP Members Who Say Gay Sex is ‘Disgusting’

Mr Farage was challenged over reports of that a UKIP online forum was used by a party candidates to allegedly brand gay sex ‘disgusting’ and said that homosexuals were not ‘normal’.

The UKIP leader conceded that racist comments allegedly made were ‘over the top’ and would be discussed by the party’s national executive in two weeks’ time.

But he held back from criticising remarks allegedly made by another council candidate, who was reported by the Sunday Mirror to have used an online forum to say that gay sex was ‘disgusting’.

The candidate added that ‘what irritates me is the way they and their leftie, neo-Commie followers seem to want to force the rest of us to consider them as normal’.

Mr Farage told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show: ‘That is an old-fashioned view that you would hear in private bridge clubs and golf clubs and probably British Legion clubs up and down the length and breadth of the country.

‘If you are suggesting that we should become so politically correct that we should kick out anyone who holds a slightly old-fashioned view, frankly that would be the death of debate in politics in Britain.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain: New Law Bans ‘Christmas’ For Asturias Kids

Schoolchildren in the northern Spanish region of Asturias will no longer be able to call Christmas by its name now that a new law passed by the local education ministry prohibits the use of “religious” terms in the classroom when referring to the December and spring holidays. Teachers and pupils in Asturias classrooms will now have to refer to Christmas as “winter holidays” and Easter as “second term holidays”. The region’s socialist-led government has decided to introduce the new terminology in a bid to restrict religious references in the next school year. Asturias’s education ministry has offered little explanation for the secular legislation, Spanish daily El Mundo reported on Saturday. Local religious teachers and institutions like the Catholic Confederation of Fathers (CONCAPA) have shrugged off the new law, branding it as a “stupidity” but also an “attack”. “This could be a huge reason for ridicule for Asturian society,” conservative association Hazte Oír (Make Yourself Heard) told the national newspaper. But Spain’s Workers’ Commissions CC00 and Asturias Teachers’ Association SUATEA have backed the move, suggesting that the school calendar should take every student’s religious beliefs, whatever they might be, into account.

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/22/2013

  1. Quote:
    “We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let’s be clear: This is not OK. We cannot be ruled by violence.”

    Oh yes you can! If you’re afraid and do not respond appropriately and protect your own, you will be ruled by violence and the terror of it.
    Not ok?
    I suppose you use those terms because you are afraid of the objective categories of good and evil, self and other!

  2. Quote:
    Shahnaz Darabi, who runs a flower shop on Husby’s main square, also attributed the recent violence to a group of disgruntled youth with too much time on their hands.

    “It’s just a bunch of young people who have no jobs and nothing to do. They think it’s fun,” she said.

    It’s called Jihad against the West.
    Otherwise known as Muslim conquest. A continuation of their conduct in Africa and the east.
    The two pincers have finally moved inward and are crushing Europe.
    The sword was always hanging over our heads.

  3. Quote:
    Local religious teachers and institutions like the Catholic Confederation of Fathers (CONCAPA) have shrugged off the new law, branding it as a “stupidity” but also an “attack”.

    So which is it?
    Stupidity, or an attack?
    You can’t have both.

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