Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/28/2013

Help for Heroes, the British veterans’ aid charity with which the late Lee Rigby was associated, says that it will no longer accept any donations from the English Defence League. From now on all new donations will be vetted, and any coming from EDL members will be returned.

In other news, an Italian engineer hanged himself, leaving behind a wife and a five-year-old daughter. In a suicide note he asked former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to look after his family.

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

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

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

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
» ‘Brussels Asks Spain to Speed Up Tax and Pension Reforms’
» Italy Civil Service Under Pay and Hiring Freeze Until 2015
» Italy: Saccomanni Hints VAT Rise Unavoidable
» Poll Shows Most Portuguese Want Troika Terms Renegotiated
» The Japanese Financial System is Beginning to Spin Wildly Out of Control
» Agenda 21 and Thomas Jefferson
» Berkeley Profs: ‘Islamophobia’ Greater Threat Than Islamic Terrorism
» Fort Hood Jihad Mass Murderer Requests to Represent Himself, May Cross-Examine Those He Shot
» Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ Will Make Protest Illegal
» Left Tries to Redefine IRS Scandal
» Media Coverage Blackout Over Anti-Monsanto Protests
» Question Over Missing Time Deepens
» Rep. Schiff’s Bill Would Repeal Authorization for Use of Military Force
» Send John McCain to Guantanamo Bay
» Seventy-Five Percent of Honey Bought at the Supermarket Isn’t Real Honey
Europe and the EU
» 40% Think Syria Fighters Should be Stripped of Their Dutch Nationality
» Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Problem of Muslim Leadership
» Britain Wants Its Guns Back
» EU-Turkey: Brussels: New Start for Adhesion Process
» Greece: Almost 68% Fear Rise of Golden Dawn, Poll Shows
» Italy Forced to Fix Prison Overcrowding in Final Ruling
» Italy: Grillo Blasts Italians Who Didn’t Vote for M5S
» Italy: PdL Proposes Stopping ‘Politicised’ Prosecutors
» Italy: Centre-Left Takes Clear Lead in Local Elections
» Italy: Man Hangs Self: ‘Bequeaths’ Family to Silvio Berlusconi
» Jeroen Dijsselbloem: ‘Mr Euro’ Under Fire
» More Older Moms Having Babies in Italy, Among Highest in EU
» Netherlands: Court Again Delays Extradition of Terror Suspect Sabir K to the US
» Over 100,000 Christians Killed Each Year, Vatican Says
» Sweden: Husby Police Suspected of Manslaughter
» They’ll Take Sweden
» UK: ‘I Warned Council Over Crazed Dogs an Hour Before They Mauled Pensioner to Death’: Grandmother Claims Animal Wardens Were ‘Too Busy’ To Help
» UK: Archbishop Lauds British Muslims’ Response to Terrorism
» UK: Dale Farm Travellers Finally Leave the Site After Ten Years Because the Land is Contaminated With Sewage
» UK: Fanatics Stab Jail Hostage Warder
» UK: Help for Heroes Charity Rejects EDL Donations for Murdered Soldier Lee Rigby
» UK: Houses ‘Better Than Green Fields’: Minister’s Explosive Claim as He Unveils New Plans to Concrete the Countryside
» UK: If MI5 Made Mistakes, We Need to Know
» UK: Ministers Warn of Radicalisation on Campus. But What’s Their Position on FOSIS?
» UK: Machete Attack Horror at Accrington Barber’s Shop
» UK: Prison Warden Stabbed in Attack ‘Inspired by Woolwich Murder’
» UK: Prison Governors’ Apparent Fear of Muslims Thwarts Anti-Terror Scheme [Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph]
» UK: Terror Police Investigate Prison Warder Attack After Jailed Muslim Extremists Were ‘Asked to Pray for Murdered Lee Rigby’
» UK: War Memorials Vandalised
» UK: What We Can Learn From Woolwich
» UK: Woolwich: Help for Heroes Rejects EDL Cash
» United Kingdom: ‘The Good European’
» Why Was He Free? Predatory Paedophile From Portugal Groomed and Raped British Girl, 12, Before Going on the Run After Police Gave Him Bail and Let Him Keep His Passport
North Africa
» Business: Sace: In 2013 Risks Grow in Mideast North Africa
» Egypt Slides to 107th Place in WEF Competitiveness Index
» Tunisia: Gov’t Says Veils to be Worn at University
Israel and the Palestinians
» Kerry Promotes Marshall Plan for Palestinian Economy
» Leibler: A Global Tsunami of Antisemitism
Middle East
» Britain Warns it Will Go Its Own Way on Arming Syrian Rebels
» EU Ends Arms Embargo on Syrian Rebels for the “Protection of Civilians”
» Lebanon: PM Vows to Defend Sovereignty in Face of Attack
» More Syrian Rockets Hit Eastern Lebanon
» Raymond Ibrahim and Erick Stakelbeck Expose Christian Persecution in Muslim Lands (Video)
» Syria: Italian FM Opposes Arms From Italy
» Syria: Christians Greatest Victims of Bloodshed, Chacour
» Syria: 20,000 Iraqi Soldiers Battling Al Qaeda on Border
» The Benghazi Cover-up is the Proxy Battle With the War With Iran
» U.S. Senator Sneaks Into Syria to Meet Rebels
» UAE Starts Work on Second Nuclear Reactor
South Asia
» 2 Soldiers Shot Dead in Restive S. Thailand
» 2 Women Killed as Gunmen Attack Polio Team in NW Pakistan
» Islam’s War of Annihilation Against Hindus
Far East
» Mongolia Marks Int’l Day of UN Peacekeepers
» Outrage in China Over Young Boy’s Graffiti on Ancient Egyptian Monument
» Big Media Lobby for Immigration Bill
» Italy Encouraged Migrants to Move on to Germany, Says DPA
Culture Wars
» Another Confession From an Abortion Nurse
» Boy Scouts of America Are Finished
» Social Engineering for Global Change
» The Attempt to Destroy the Individual
» The First Word in BSA Now Stands for Betrayal
» Urban Dictionary: Michael Scott Racist
» From London to Ramallah: The Bloody Hands of Islam
» Islam: Root Cause of Grooming and Rape Wave

‘Brussels Asks Spain to Speed Up Tax and Pension Reforms’

El País, 28 May 2013

“Tired of half-hearted reforms and unmet deadlines” the European Commission has decided to put Spain “under strict monitoring”, the Spanish daily says. The Commission will present its recommendations on May 29 in Brussels.

European authorities will refrain from using the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) against Spain, but in exchange, the Economic Affairs Commissioner, Ollie Rehn will demand additional reforms on pensions, the labour market and employment policies.

The Commission’s recommendations will also focus on budget reform, modernisation of public administrations, speeding up energy sector reforms and de-regulation of services.

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

Italy Civil Service Under Pay and Hiring Freeze Until 2015

Minister says resources lacking, unemployment bigger priority

(ANSA) — Rome, May 28 — Italian civil servants are unlikely to see changes to their monthly pay until at least 2015, according to Civil Service Minister Gianpiero D’Alia.

On Tuesday D’Alia said: “I hope the renewal of contracts can be unblocked starting in 2015, but it depends on how the country’s economy is going”.

The freeze in civil service hiring until at least the end of 2014 is due to “lack of resources” because the government has other priorities, like tackling unemployment, D’Alia said.

He added that he was aware of the fact that this situation was “a great sacrifice for civil servants, but it is part of the sacrifices that all Italians are making”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Saccomanni Hints VAT Rise Unavoidable

Country must concentrate on investments, says minister

(ANSA) — Rome, May 28 — Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Tuesday following meetings in Brussels with the European Commission that resources freed up by the end to the excessive-deficit procedure against Italy need to be funnelled into investments.

When asked if a proposed 1% increase in the country’s value added tax (VAT) would be avoided by elimination of the excessive-deficit procedure, Saccomanni said that the country “needs to concentrate on investments”.

Some eight billion euros of public money is expected to be freed up in Italy with the elimination of the procedure — funds which would otherwise have been applied to reducing the debt as a percentage of GDP.

Premier Enrico Letta has said his left-right government will try to avert the rise, which was announced as part of efforts to restore health to Italy’s public finances by his predecessor Mario Monti.

But Letta may have decided that the rise in the top band of VAT from 21% to 22% cannot be avoided, according to media reports last week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Poll Shows Most Portuguese Want Troika Terms Renegotiated

Austerity measures imposed ‘have damaged economy’

(ANSAmed) — LISBON, MAY 27 — Most Portuguese citizens feel the agreement between their government and the troika has harmed the country’s economy and want it to be terminated or renegotiated. According to a survey conducted by the Eurosondagens institute on a representative sample of 1,025 Portuguese citizens, 82% feel that the agreement signed two years ago in exchange for 78 billion euros in aid should be renegotiated. The terms called for Portugal to implement a series of austerity measures for debt recovery and to get the economy back on its feet. The poll also found that 47.8% of respondents believe that the centre-right government under Pedro Passos Coelho should never have signed the agreement in the first place, and 27% hold that the agreement does not take the country’s specific characteristics into account. Moreover, 55.1% believe that the economic situation has worsened — as evinced by the soaring level of unemployment, currently at the record high 17.7% — and that it will worsen further. The bailout plan is set to end in 2014.

In the first quarter of 2013, Portugal’s economy shrunk by 3.9% on the previous year. The measures taken by the government — some of which were rejected by the Constitutional Court a month ago — sparked harsh criticism from unions, associations and opposition parties, as well as disagreement within the coalition government itself.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Japanese Financial System is Beginning to Spin Wildly Out of Control

The financial system of the third largest economy on the planet is starting to come apart at the seams, and the ripple effects are going to be felt all over the globe. Nobody knew exactly when the Japanese financial system was going to begin to implode, but pretty much everyone knew that a day of reckoning for Japan was coming eventually. After all, the Japanese economy has been in a slump for over a decade, Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of well over 200 percent and they are spending about 50 percent of all tax revenue on debt service. In a desperate attempt to revitalize the economy and reduce the debt burden, the Bank of Japan decided a few months ago to start pumping massive amounts of money into the economy.

At first, it seemed to be working. Economic activity perked up and the Japanese stock market went on a tremendous run. Unfortunately, there is also a very significant downside to pumping your economy full of money. Investors start demanding higher returns on their money and interest rates go up. But the Japanese government cannot afford higher interest rates. Without super low interest rates, Japanese government finances would totally collapse. In addition, higher interest rates in the private sector would make it much more difficult for the Japanese economy to expand. In essence, pretty much the last thing that Japan needs right now is significantly higher interest rates, but that is exactly what the policies of the Bank of Japan are going to produce.

There is a lot of fear in Japan right now. On Thursday, the Nikkei plunged 7.3 percent. That was the largest single day decline in more than two years. Then on Monday the index fell by another 3.2 percent.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Agenda 21 and Thomas Jefferson

Humanity is a danger to the environment, actions must be taken to reduce humanity’s impact on nature in order to save the planet

Agenda 21 is a United Nations resolution and treaty that remains unratified by the United States Senate, and therefore is not a treaty we are required by the law of the land to conform to. The members of the liberal left ideology will claim, if they are familiar with it, that Agenda 21 is a mandate, or should be.

The sinister realities of the program has been oozing out, however, so the name is currently being changed to “Future Earth” because the truth getting out has given the term “Agenda 21” a negative connotation. What it is, according to its proponents, is a “voluntary” United Nations inspired plan of action to save the planet. The key characteristics, according to its supporters, is to work through organizations and governments around the globe to ensure the environmental sustainability of our planet.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Berkeley Profs: ‘Islamophobia’ Greater Threat Than Islamic Terrorism

The false narrative that “Islamophobia” is a growing threat received a boost at the “Fourth Annual International Conference on the Study of Islamophobia: — From Theorizing to Systematic Documentation,” which took place at the University of California, Berkeley on April 19 and 20, 2013 under the chairmanship of its foremost conceptual proponent, Hatem Bazian. A senior lecturer in UC Berkeley’s department of Near Eastern studies, Bazian directs the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), a program of the school’s Center for Race & Gender, and sits on the editorial board for the Islamophobia Studies Journal. The IRDP is heavily invested in promoting the belief that “Islamophobia” is on the rise globally and its annual conferences (click here and here to read about previous years) never fail to ratchet up the hysteria.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fort Hood Jihad Mass Murderer Requests to Represent Himself, May Cross-Examine Those He Shot

More insanity — allowing Hasan to represent himself will just give him a platform for his Islamic dawah. “Political ploy or crazy?,” by Philip Jankowski for the Killeen Daily Herald, May 26 (thanks to Kevin):

“The impending court-martial for Maj. Nidal Hasan was already shaping up to be a historic trial, but now many in the legal community are shrugging at what could happen with Hasan wishing to represent himself.

“The wide consensus from lawyers interviewed for this article is that military judge Col. Tara Osborn will have to grant the man accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009, his request to act as his own attorney.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ Will Make Protest Illegal

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Left Tries to Redefine IRS Scandal

The liberal media, liberal non-profits, and Congressional Democrats are urging the public to look the other way from the IRS targeting scandal. The problem, they argue, is the presence of 501(c)(4)s that engage in political activity — instead of being “exclusively” social welfare organizations. What, exactly, do they mean by social welfare? These liberals assert that a regulation by the IRS, active since 1959, which contradicts a U.S. statute, is to blame.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Media Coverage Blackout Over Anti-Monsanto Protests

The decision by the mainstream media to ignore the thousands of individuals marching down the busiest streets of major cities worldwide may be appalling, but in reality it matters very little at this point. Not only is the movement against Monsanto adding to its number each day thanks to the real alternative media and intelligent activism, but the movement as a whole is driven by an inexorable desire to push the GMO ‘food bully’ out of our food supply.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Question Over Missing Time Deepens

I first brought it up with specificity in my article titled The Benghazi Deception on May 16, comparing Obama’s missing “18 1/2 hours” during the time four Americans were being murdered to the 18 1/2 minute erasure of the Watergate tapes of the Nixon era. Exactly one week later, I clearly illustrated that Chris Wallace repeatedly asked David Pfeiffer, a top Obama official, “where was Obama” during the night when four American’s were murdered in Benghazi. Mr. Wallace actually did what a good newsman should do, and repeated the question no fewer than eight-(8) times, but never received an answer or explanation. Nothing, nada, zilch. Crickets.

Despite the professional tenacity and persistence of Mr. Wallace, Pfeiffer continually dodged the question, called his whereabouts irrelevant, and basically told the American people that where “the one” was, and what he was doing was none of our business…

On May 26, we saw the stakes being raised in an article by Kevin DuJan in HillBuzz under the title “Barack Obama Was High on Cocaine During ‘The Missing Hours’ of the Benghazi Attack Last September.” Mr. DuJan wrote: “If you’ve ever known anyone who is a drug addict, you’d see it’s obvious that Barack Obama was high on cocaine the night of Benghazi; it is the only logical explanation for his disappearance and the White House’s refusal to comment on what he was doing at the time. Since this was a night of great crisis for our country, the only logical reason that the White House won’t explain where the president was is if this man was high as a kite on illegal narcotics at the time.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rep. Schiff’s Bill Would Repeal Authorization for Use of Military Force

A California congressman is preparing legislation to repeal the post-9/11 legislation that two presidents have relied on as justification for waging war in several countries simultaneously against persons or organizations believed to be involved in terrorist attacks or the planning of them. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.; pictured) told Spencer Ackerman of Wired that he plans to introduce a bill to “sunset” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by nearly unanimous votes in Congress on September 18, 2001, just one week after terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

“The current AUMF is outdated and straining at the edges to justify the use of force outside the war theater,” Schiff told Wiredmagazine, an online journal on trends in technology.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Send John McCain to Guantanamo Bay

Senator meets with America-hating, Al-Qaeda terrorists

Given the fact that numerous individuals have been sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for “associating with terrorists,” Senator John McCain has now opened himself up to the same fate after he met with FSA rebels in Syria who are admittedly led by and who have pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda terrorists.

“Republican Senator John McCain, a staunch advocate of US military aid to the Syrian opposition, has made a surprise visit to war-torn Syria and met with rebels. The controversial move comes as Russia and the US are trying to set up a peace conference,” reports RT.

McCain’s visit coincided with an EU decision to scrap the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, clearing the way for Britain and France to send heavy weaponry to the rebels at a time when Syrian Army troops are scoring key victories.

  • FSA rebels have vowed to “fight the U.S.” once they finish with Bashar Al-Assad.
  • FSA rebels have been filmed burning US and Israeli flags on more than one occasion.
  • FSA rebels have been filmed singing songs that glorify Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.
  • One FSA group even calls its fighting unit the “Osama Bin Laden” brigade.
  • Another video shows FSA rebels chanting, “We are all with Osama bin Laden!”
  • FSA rebels have voiced their desire to see the Al-Qaeda flag fly over the White House once the rebels are victorious across the region.

[Comments: Rest of the list of atrocities by FSA at link.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Seventy-Five Percent of Honey Bought at the Supermarket Isn’t Real Honey

Most honey packers are worried about what is being imported and what they are pumping into their plastic bears. Much of the honey sold in the US is imported from Asian countries. Two hundred and eight million pounds of honey have been imported over the past 18 months; 60 percent of that comes from Asian countries that typically launder honey illegally for China.

By using in-house private testing, some US manufacturers have found out that their Asian imported honey is watered down with high fructose corn syrup and a myriad of illegal sweeteners and antibiotics.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

40% Think Syria Fighters Should be Stripped of Their Dutch Nationality

Muslim youngsters who travel to fight with rebels in Syria against president Assad’s regime are seen as heroes by almost 75% of Dutch Muslims, according to a Motivaction poll for television show Altijd Wat.

‘In general, Dutch Muslims consider the Syria fighters to be doing what the UN is failing to do, which is battling president Assad’s regime,’ the show’s pre-publicity said.

By contrast, 70% of the native Dutch population say they are not heroes. Almost 40% say they will be potential terrorists when they return home and 43% think they should be stripped of their Dutch nationality, news agency ANP reports.

The show will be broadcast on Tuesday evening.

The Dutch counter terrorism office claims around 100 Dutch youngsters have gone to Syria to fight with the rebels and there are reports three have been killed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Problem of Muslim Leadership

Ayaan Hirsi i Ali writes in The Wall Street Journal: “Another Islamist terror attack, another round of assurances that it had nothing to do with the religion of peace.” I’ve seen this before. A Muslim terrorist slays a non-Muslim citizen in the West, and representatives of the Muslim community rush to dissociate themselves and their faith from the horror. After British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death last week in Woolwich in south London, Julie Siddiqi, representing the Islamic Society of Britain, quickly stepped before the microphones to attest that all good Muslims were “sickened” by the attack, “just like everyone else.” This happens every time. Muslim men wearing suits and ties, or women wearing stylish headscarves, are sent out to reassure the world that these attacks have no place in real Islam, that they are aberrations and corruptions of the true faith. But then what to make of Omar Bakri? He too claims to speak for the true faith, though he was unavailable for cameras in England last week because the Islamist group he founded, Al-Muhajiroun, was banned in Britain in 2010. Instead, he talked to the media from Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where he now lives.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Britain Wants Its Guns Back

A Daily Telegraph online poll has revealed that over 80 percent of Brits would rather a repeal on the hand gun ban over various other “new law” choices

Last Friday the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s most widely read broadsheet newspaper, issued an online poll asking members of the public which proposal they would like to see introduced as a Private Members’ Bill in the UK’s Parliament.

Private Members’ Bills are introduced by Members of Parliament or Peers who are not government ministers.

The choices include term limits for Prime Ministers, a flat tax, a law to encourage the ‘greening’ of public spaces and the repealing of Britain’s hand gun ban. Following the Dunblane massacre in 1996, in which 16 schoolchildren were killed, Parliament passed The Firearms Act of 1997, which essentially banned handguns for the atrocity.

But Britons seem unconvinced by the law. The proposer, known as “Colliemum” asked, “…why should only criminals be ‘allowed’ to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenceless citizens and police officers?”

While the poll continues, so far over 80 percent of the 11,000+ respondents have told the Telegraph that they want to see the handgun ban repealed. The news comes as America contemplates its own new laws on gun ownership, with British talk show host Piers Morgan claiming to back a UK-style ban for the United States.

While gun crime soared after the British ban in 1997, rates of gun violence have fallen, especially in British cities, following more spending by police forces into tackling gun crime. Police in England and Wales recorded 5,911 firearms offences in 2011/12, a reduction of 42 percent compared with nine years earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But statistics from the United States show that guns are used by citizens to defend themselves around eighty times more often than they are used to take a life. A recent study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy concluded that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime in countries internationally, that is, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest.”

British versus American statistics perhaps displays nothing more than one country investing more in the government response to criminality, while the other maintains a citizen-based response.

Two other options were presented in the Telegraph poll, which were the closing of the child maintenance loophole and a banning of spitting in public. The full results as of 01:36am on Wednesday 29th May, can be seen on the right.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

EU-Turkey: Brussels: New Start for Adhesion Process

Davutoglu, strategic for us, visas also liberalized

(by Chiara Spegni) (ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, MAY 27 — After a three-year-long freeze, relations between Ankara and Brussels are improving and negotiations on the adhesion process and the acceleration of a road map for the liberalization of visas should resume in June.

‘We hope the chapter on regional policies will be opened next week in a sign of reciprocal engagement to take a step forward’ Irish Deputy Premier Eamon Gilmore, for the EU rotating presidency after the 51st meeting of the EU-Turkey association council in Brussels. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that ‘in the past 50 years the process to become EU members has been our main objective and we now strongly believe to have a new strategic perspective on relations’. Davutoglu said progress was not being made on the adhesion process ‘because 17 negotiating chapters (over a total of 35) are blocked for political reasons’.

France’s opening to Turkey at the beginning of the year was a turning point for the EU Council to re-open negotiations.

But another key issue for relations between Brussels and Ankara is the free circulation of citizens which sees the liberalization of visas for Turkish nationals as a matter connected to Turkey’s ratification of an accord on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, 80% of whom arrive in the EU by crossing Turkey’s border with Greece. ‘We hope to accelerate the process and reach an agreement on the liberalization of visas’, said the Turkish foreign minister who spoke about ‘two parallel processes’.

Gilmore said Turkey was being encouraged to sign the readmission accord and that this step would not only ease progress on the liberalization of visas but on the adhesion process as well. The European commissioner in charge of enlargement, Stefan Fule, said he agrees the time has come to launch a dialogue on visas and the European Commission has engaged to do so. Nobody in Brussels on Monday however mentioned the issue of the ‘elephant in the room’ — Cyprus. Once the EU rotating presidency ends along with the boycott on Ankara, a new chapter will begin.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Almost 68% Fear Rise of Golden Dawn, Poll Shows

As New Democracy takes 1.8% lead over SYRIZA

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 28 — A new opinion poll shows that almost 68% (67.6%) of respondents said they felt the rise of far right Golden Dawn, which increased its support by 1.1% over the last month, was a threat to democracy, as daily Kathimerini reports. Of those, 53% said the best way to confront Golden Dawn was through a political or ideological confrontation. Just over 41% said that legislative changes were a better way to tackle the neo-Nazi party. Opinion was split on whether the country needs a new anti-racism law, with 50.2% saying it does and 44.4% saying it does not. The poll shows also a rise in support for New Democracy, which has a 1.8% lead over main rival SYRIZA, which saw its backing drop over the last month. The GPO poll, made public on Mega TV on Monday night, puts New Democracy on 21.3%, up 1% from last month. SYRIZA is in second on 19.5%, which is almost 1% lower than last month. Golden Dawn is third with 10.1%, followed by PASOK on 6.7%, Independent Greeks with 6.4%, the Communist Party (KKE) with 5.8% and Democratic Left on 5%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Forced to Fix Prison Overcrowding in Final Ruling

European Court of Human Rights finds jails ‘inhumane, degrading’

(By Christopher Livesay) (ANSA) — Strasbourg, May 27 — The European Court of Human Rights has rejected Italy’s appeal against a sentence condemning Rome for the state of Italian jails, ANSA sources said Monday. In April, Italy formally challenged the Strasbourg-based court when it ordered Rome to correct the “degrading and inhumane conditions” in its prisons and to pay 100,000 euros in damages to seven inmates.

In January the court, which is part of the Council of Europe, harshly criticized authorities for holding prisoners in crammed cells, specifically seven men held in fewer than three square meters of space at prisons in Busto Arsizio and Piacenza, both located in northern Italy.

The definitive ruling Monday means Italy now has one year to find a solution to its prison overcrowding and to implement a procedure for paying damages to victims. The country’s prison conditions have long been the source of criticism from human rights groups.

In December, the Permanent Observatory on Prison Deaths reported that inmate suicides in Italy are 20 times that of the general population, caused mostly by “environmental factors” and “illegal” detention conditions.

The Council of Europe reported earlier this month that Italy’s jails are the third most overcrowded in Europe behind Serbia and Greece. There are 147 inmates for every 100 beds in Italy, the 47-nation human rights organisation said, compared with a European average of 105.

Italy is also third for the number of inmates awaiting trial, after Ukraine and Turkey.

As many as one third of prison inmates are at high risk of developing a mental illness, Italian psychiatrists told a conference in Rome last month.

About 20,000 of the 70,000 inmates in Italian prisons have developed diseases such as psychosis, depression, severe anxiety, and bipolar disorder, they said.

Some were mentally unwell before prison; others developed disorders once inside what some have described as “hell,” according to the psychiatrists.

Prison inmates are nine times more likely to attempt suicide than in the general Italian population — and that rate is quickly climbing.

Since 1960, a 300% increase in prison suicides has been reported.

Guards dealing with prisoners are also becoming less mentally healthy, the experts say: between 2000 and 2011, 68 suicides were reported among Italian prison workers.

Hours before the European Court of Human Rights ruling Monday, roughly 50 guards at the Naples Poggioreale prison formed a human chain in protest of a personnel shortage and overcrowding. Overcrowding has been tackled by successive Italian governments but little has improved.

Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri said last week that Italy’s prisons were “unworthy of a civilized country”.

“In order to solve the problem, it’s not enough to build new prisons, but instead to rethink the sentencing process, and evaluate whether there is room for alternatives,” she added. The ruling Monday is the latest in a long string of fines and penalties issued against Italy over the past year for a variety of offences.

Italy picked up a record haul of fines in 2012 at the European Court of Human Rights, which ordered it to pay a total of 120 million euros last year to citizens whose rights had not been respected, according to a report released Wednesday.

The figure is the highest annual fines total ever collected by any of the 47 states that are members of the Council of Europe.

Italy is regularly fined by the court for the slowness of its legal system, which means Italians’ right to have justice in a reasonable time frame is frequently infringed upon.

Second to Italy for human rights fines in 2012 was Turkey with 23 million euros — over five times less than Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Blasts Italians Who Didn’t Vote for M5S

Anti-establishment movement suffers setback in local elections

(ANSA) — Rome, May 28 — Beppe Grillo on Tuesday blasted Italians who did not vote for his anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) after it performed badly in local elections.

The M5S, which captured around a quarter of the vote in February’s general election, failed to make the run-off votes in any of the mayor cities among over 500 municipalities that voted in their new councils on Sunday and Monday.

Its only success was in the Sardinian town of Assemini, where the M5S candidate came second to qualify for a run-off ballot. The centre-left Democratic Party, which was badly hit by internal rifts during the long post-election deadlock that culminated with it reluctantly joining forces with Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party so Premier Enrico Letta’s government could be formed last month, did best in the local elections.

The PD captured five provincial capitals outright in the first round of voting and came first in almost all the others, including the capital Rome, ahead of run-offs in two weeks’ time. Grillo said on his popular blog, which gave life to the Internet-based M5S in 2009, that the election results were determined by people who “vote for themselves first and then for the country”.

The comedian-turned-politician said these people — local politicians, civil servants and pensioners who he said made up “Italy A” — may be forced to rethink in the autumn, when he expects major economic problems and social unrest.

“The cold autumn is near and perhaps, by then, Italy A will realise that by voting for those who give reassurances, but in reality have destroyed the country, they are condemning us to taking a road of no return,” said Grillo.

The results of Sunday and Monday’s vote represented the first major defeat in the short life of the M5S, which is against the established party system that Grillo says has produced corruption and recession.

Some say the outcome was in part down to the intransigent line Grillo adopted after February’s election ended in a virtual tie between the PD, the PdL and the M5S.

Grillo refused to consider forming a government with the PD, which he considers a tainted part of a discredited system.

But some M5S voters said this meant an opportunity was missed to pass reforms to make Italy’s public life more transparent and to consign Berlusconi to the margins of Italy’s political arena.

Grillo admitted that the M5S has “made mistakes, who knows how many” but stressed that his movement was unique as it has returned 42 million euros in election funding to the State. Voter turnout in the capital was down more than 20%, with only 52.78% of Romans cast ballots over a two-day voting period, down from 73.52% at the last mayoral elections in 2008.

In elections in 564 towns and cities across Italy Sunday and Monday, voter turnout was 62.38% of the eligible population, down almost 15 points.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PdL Proposes Stopping ‘Politicised’ Prosecutors

‘Save Berlusconi’ bill would suspend trials in such cases

(ANSA) — Rome, May 28 — A member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party on Tuesday presented a bill in the Senate that would punish prosecutors found guilty of being moved by political motives, suspend the trials they are working on and have them transferred. The measure, presented to the Senate Justice Commission by the committee’s president, former justice minister Nitto Palma, has been nicknamed the “Save Berlusconi” bill.

Berlusconi in on trial in Milan for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute and for allegedly abusing his office to try to hush up the affair.

He is also appealing against a four-year conviction for fraud at his media empire and a one-year sentence for involvement in the publication of an illegally obtained wiretap.

He faces indictment for allegedly buying a Senator to help topple a centre-left government too.

In the current and previous trials, Berlusconi has always denied wrongdoing, claiming he is the victim of a minority group of allegedly left-wing prosecutors and judges who he says are persecuting him for political reasons.

Berlusconi recently failed in a bid to have the sex trial and his first appeal against the fraud conviction moved from Milan to Brescia because of alleged bias by magistrates.

The supreme Court of Cassation said it turned down the petition because it considered the accusations of bias “defamatory”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Centre-Left Takes Clear Lead in Local Elections

Rome, 28 May (AKI) — The centre-left was by far the strongest performer in the first round of voting in mayoral races across Italy that saw a collapse in support for the grassroots Five Star movement and the federalist Northern League party.

In the capital, Rome, the centre-left candidate for mayor, Ignazio Marino, took 42.6 percent of votes, with conservative incumbent Gianni Alemanno trailing behind with 30.3 percent and the anti-establishment Five Star candidate Marcello De Vito at 12.5 percent.

The centre-left gained a similar lead in mayoral contests across Italy, scoring outright wins for its candidates in the northeastern city of Vicenza, the northern city of Sondrio, the central cities of Pisa and Massa and the southern city of Isernia.

Run-offs will be held on 9-10 June in Rome and other cities where no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of votes in Sunday and Monday’s polls.

In Rome, just one in two electors cast their ballots. The nationwide turnout was 62.3 percent, high by European standards, but continuing a decline in Italy’s turnout in recent years.

The Five Star Movement failed to make the run-off in any of the 16 major towns and cities holding elections among more than 500 local councils.

After voting on Sunday and Monday, Italian newspaper headlines on Tuesday derided the “flop” and “collapse” of the protest movement of former comic Beppe Grillo, which took a stunning 25 percent of vote in February’s national election.

Observers said many voters punished Grillo for staying opposition and rejecting the overtures made by the centre-left following February’s inconclusive elections amid a months-long political stalemate.

Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta of the centre-left Democrat Party hailed the local election results as “a victory for the left-right coalition government and a defeat for the opposition.”

“We are not stoking support for Grillo. On the contrary, after this government there will be a return to a bi-polar system free of populism,” Letta stated.

The opposition Northern League failed to gain more than 10 percent of votes in any town or city after a series of embezzlement scandals engulfed senior party officials.

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

Italy: Man Hangs Self: ‘Bequeaths’ Family to Silvio Berlusconi

Leaves pregnant wife, daughter to billionaire ex-premier

(ANSA) — Castro, May 28 — An engineer hanged himself and asked ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to look after his family in a suicide note, police said Tuesday. The man, a 44-year-old engineer from the southern Puglia region, left behind a five-year-old daughter and a pregnant wife he said he hoped Berlusconi, a billionaire media magnate, would look after. In his note, he asked his family to forgive him for not being a good engineer and for not properly planning their new home the family was preparing to move into.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Jeroen Dijsselbloem: ‘Mr Euro’ Under Fire

NRC Handelsblad Amsterdam

The Eurogroup president is coming in for increasing criticism. After a few political gaffes, the Dutchman stands accused of listening too closely to his team of cocky Finance Ministry officials.

Caroline de Gruyter

As early as 7.30 pm on May 13, the story broke that the 17 Euro finance ministers had finished their meeting. “The Eurogroup at last has an efficient manager,” was the response of one Euro-country diplomat. That he likes to keep a tight rein when leading meetings is one of the few compliments the Dutch Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has received since he took over as President of the Eurogroup in January.

Enquiries among high-ranking European and national government officials and other parties involved has produced one long litany of complaints.

One issue that irritates several of the parties involved is that Dutch government officials from the Ministry of Finance are slowly taking over the coordination of the Eurogroup. As a result, the collective viewpoint has much more of a Dutch bias than used to be the case.

In contrast to his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Dijsselbloem has assigned a large number of government officials to the Eurogroup who appear to be confirming the age-old cliché that Dutch people “talk too much and like telling others how to do things.”

No full-time president

Dijsselbloem’s appointment was orchestrated by the Germans. When Juncker announced his departure last year, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wanted to be his successor. However, almost everyone was against the idea because a dominant Germany would then be lord and master of the Eurozone….

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

More Older Moms Having Babies in Italy, Among Highest in EU

Caesarian sections on the rise

(ANSA) — Rome, May 27 — The number of Italian women choosing to have children at a later age is one of the highest in Europe, as is the number of women giving birth via caesarean section, according to a report released Monday.

Fully 34.7% of births in Italy in 2010 were to mothers over age 35, one of the largest figures in Europe, according to the Report on Perinatal Health in Europe (Euro-Peristat), which analyzes data from 29 European countries, measuring 30 indicators of maternal and child health.

Spain was second highest, with 29.5% of births to women over 35, followed by Ireland at 27.9%.

Considered another way, Italy had one of the lowest rates of birth to mothers under age 20, according to the report.

In terms of the number of caesarean sections, Italy reported the second most, at 38% of births in 2010, well behind Cyprus with 52%. The report also found that the number of these procedures is increasing across Europe, except in Sweden and Finland, where instead there has been a reduction.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Court Again Delays Extradition of Terror Suspect Sabir K to the US

The Hague district court on Tuesday again delayed the extradition of terror suspect Sabir K to the US, this time calling for more information about his original arrest.

The court said it first wanted to know if K was arrested in Pakistan at the request of the US authorities. If this proves to be the case, then the US may have been indirectly responsible for K’s torture and he should not be deported, the NRC quoted the court as saying.

The Netherlands and the US have signed an extradition treaty but the US and Pakistan have not. In addition, the US asked the Netherlands to extradite K well before he was deported home, news agency ANP said.

After a lengthy legal battle, justice minister Ivo Opstelten said in February the extradition could go ahead if America guaranteed K would receive proper treatment. Medical experts say the 26-year-old is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

K is wanted in the US in connection with a conspiracy to attack US military personnel in Afghanistan. The 26-year-old was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and sent back to the Netherlands, where he was arrested on his arrival.

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

Over 100,000 Christians Killed Each Year, Vatican Says

(AGI) Vatican — Over 100,000 Christians are killed each year, said Archbishop Tomasi, Vatican representative to the UN in Geneva .

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

Sweden: Husby Police Suspected of Manslaughter

The Swedish police officer who shot a 69-year-old to death, an incident cited as the spark that ignited last week’s widespread unrest in Stockholm, is suspected of manslaughter and has been assigned a public defence lawyer.

“A public defence lawyer was appointed on May 23rd and the police officer is suspected of manslaughter (vållande till annans död),” police spokesman Håkan Roswall told Sveriges Television (SVT) on Tuesday.

Stockholm police spokesperson Kjell Lindgren said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation.

“We don’t like when people do other investigations in the media — because then we can’t do it ourselves,” he said.

Police were called to an address in Husby on May 13th after residents in the neighbourhood reportedly said they felt threatened by the man who was holding what appeared to be a machete.

On Tuesday, however, the Finnish Swedish-language newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) reported that the victim, reportedly a Portuguese man married to a Finnish woman, may have been wielding a puukko knife, a traditional hunting knife.

The wife’s Finland-based brother Risto Kajanto told the newspaper he was shocked to hear his brother-in-law had been shot by the police in the Stockholm suburb.

“I didn’t believe that it could be true, I only believed it once I’d read about it in the paper,” he told HBL.

He described his brother-in-law as a slight man who was not aggressive.

He further said that his sister and brother-in-law had been threatened by a gang on their way home from a restaurant on the knight in question.

“Her husband went to get a knife to scare them off. He collected puukko knives, it wasn’t a machete like the newspaper have reported,” Kajanto told HBL.

“He stepped out on the balcony with the knife in his hand and hope the gang would disappear.”

He said that once the police were called to the scene, his Husby-based relatives were not sure that it was actual police officers by the door, or the gang pretending to be law enforcers.

Kajanto added he had no information about how his brother-in-law acted once he came into contact with the police, who shot the 69-year-old to death. The Swedish police have later said he acted in a threatening manner.

“They shot him in the head. My sister saw it with her own eyes.”

The police later filed a report saying the man was taken to hospital where he died, a piece of information hotly contested by residents who said a hearse came to pick up the already dead man at 2am.

The police has since amended its official version of accounts.

“It was a misunderstanding and we have apologized,” Stockholm police officer Kjell Lindgren told SVT.

“But due to these speculations, it is very important that there is an investigation.”

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

They’ll Take Sweden

Night after night last week, as the tumult in Stockholm not only continued but kept spreading to more and more neighborhoods and then to other Swedish cities, the media in that country, by and large, kept pretending that it was all about things like unemployment and social marginality, all of which were supposedly aggravated by Swedish racism (and, especially, by the insufficiently respectful attitude of police officers toward immigrant “youths”); meanwhile, the foreign media, which, as the disorder persisted, found it increasingly difficult to pretend that all this wasn’t happening (the New York Times finally ran a four-sentence Reuters item about the bedlam on Thursday), largely echoed the domestic disinformation.

Of all the reports I looked at, the one that most effectively epitomized the asinine, mendacious approach of the Western media to this latest nightmare was a piece from Reuters that had no fewer than eight names attached to it. I would strongly recommend that you read the whole thing; in fact, I would suggest that it be taught in future history courses as a prime example of the high level of duplicity of which the early twenty-first-century Western media were capable when confronted with raw displays of Islamic power on their own turf. Credited to Niklas Pollard and Philip O’Connor, with “additional reporting” by Johan Ahlander, Mia Shanley, Patrick Lannin, and Simon Johnson, writing by Alistair Scrutton, and editing by Janet McBride, the Reuters piece was headlined “Sweden riots expose ugly side of” — no, not of “European immigration policies” or “Islam,” of course, but of the “Nordic model.”

Yes, it’s all the fault of the “Nordic model”: the roots of the Stockholm unrest, Reuters (and virtually every other major Western news organization that deigned to report on the disturbances) would have us believe, lay “in segregation, neglect and poverty,” in years of “fruitless job hunts, police harassment, racial taunts and a feeling of living at the margins.” And so on. Which means, I suppose, that 9/11 revealed the flaws of the American model, and the car-burnings in French suburbs reflect the weaknesses of the Gallic model, and the explosions in Madrid were all about the failings of the Spanish model, and the savage murder of Lee Rigby in London last week…well, you get the idea.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘I Warned Council Over Crazed Dogs an Hour Before They Mauled Pensioner to Death’: Grandmother Claims Animal Wardens Were ‘Too Busy’ To Help

A grandmother claims she called dog wardens to deal with two crazed dogs just an hour before one mauled a pensioner to death but was told they were ‘too busy’ to help.

Worried Selina Hagan said she called Liverpool City council after the snarling animals tried to get into her conservatory where she was looking after her 18-month-old grandchild.

But she was told they were too busy and she would have to wait four hours before they could come out.

Tragically around an hour later one of the dogs got into the garden of 79-year-old Clifford Clarke where it savaged the pensioner to death.

Mr Clarke had slightly burnt the lamb shank he was cooking for his evening meal so he opened his back door. The smell of the food is believed to have attracted the two large dogs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Archbishop Lauds British Muslims’ Response to Terrorism

The archbishop of Canterbury has lauded British Muslim bodies for their response to the recent murder of a soldier in a London street by two assailants.

Justin Welby referred to various religious communities in the UK, saying that they are in a good position of co-operation and mutual support. “We have all been appalled by the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich,” he said during a joint appearance in Leicester with Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain…

[JP note: Stereotypical establishment-babbleduck, doublegood nonspeak.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Dale Farm Travellers Finally Leave the Site After Ten Years Because the Land is Contaminated With Sewage

Travellers are finally fleeing the infamous Dale Farm site they fought for more than a decade to defend as they say the former greenbelt site is contaminated with raw sewage.

Dale Farm residents had fought a 10-year legal battle with Basildon Council in Essex to defend their right to live illegally on the six-acre site in Crays Hill, Essex.

Hundreds of police and bailiffs were mobilised in October 2011 as part of a £7.1million eviction but despite the costly action a large number of touring caravans continued to line the road leading into the site.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Fanatics Stab Jail Hostage Warder

Attack ‘inspired by Lee murder’

THREE fanatical Muslim convicts stabbed and battered a prison officer after taking him hostage.

The terrified warder was freed after a four-hour ordeal at Full Sutton Prison, East Yorks — said to have been inspired by the murder and attempted beheading of soldier Lee Rigby by two extremists in Woolwich on Wednesday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Help for Heroes Charity Rejects EDL Donations for Murdered Soldier Lee Rigby

Forces charity Help for Heroes has announced it will not accept any donations raised by the leader of far-right political group the English Defence League.

Tommy Robinson’s Just Giving page appears to have been shut down tonight after the charity said it was rejecting the money because it does not allow ‘political fundraising’.

Help for Heroes said it will check for any further donations from EDL members and said they would not accept any money from the group.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Houses ‘Better Than Green Fields’: Minister’s Explosive Claim as He Unveils New Plans to Concrete the Countryside

Building houses will create more ‘human happiness’ than preserving fields, the Planning Minister has claimed.

Nick Boles says the Government is determined to speed up the rate of house building, despite opposition from countryside groups.

And he said communities who refused to support the initiative risked losing their hospitals and high street shops as their populations shrank.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Boles acknowledged that rural rights campaigners and Conservative supporters were ‘very worried’ when greenfield land was replaced by ‘the sheer ugliness and soullessness of housing estates’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: If MI5 Made Mistakes, We Need to Know

Two images emerged yesterday that could not have been more different. One was of the street in Woolwich where people have laid a “wall of flowers” in memory of the murdered soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby. The second was a photo of David and Samantha Cameron on holiday in Ibiza, many miles removed from the tragedy at home. We have always stated that prime ministers have a need and a right to take holidays. But the photos of Mr Cameron’s vacation were sorely misjudged. They call into question, once more, his political sensitivity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Ministers Warn of Radicalisation on Campus. But What’s Their Position on FOSIS?

by Paul Goodman

Theresa May has criticised universities for complacency in tackling radicalisation towards extremism on campus. Mustafa Field of the Mosques and Imams Advisory Board has said: “We are…having hate preachers walking into university campuses and there’s not enough work being done around that.” Boris Johnson wrote in his Daily Telegraph column this morning that “universities need to be much, much tougher in their monitoring of Islamic societies. It is utterly wrong to have segregated meetings in a state-funded centre of learning. If visiting speakers start some Islamist schtick — and seek either to call for or justify violence — then the authorities need to summon the police.”

I am not so cynical as to write that much is said about extremism but nothing is done. Theresa May has keep a lot of hate preachers out of the country, starting as she meant to go on with Zakir Naik. The Times suggested behind its paywall on Saturday that counter-terror co-ordinators are already gathering information on radicalisation towards extremism on campus. There is progress. But I am concerned about David Cameron’s measured reaction last week degenerating into a “crackdown” (with the attendant risk of the return of the “Snoopers’ Charter”). Let me be clear: I’m all for extremist preachers being kept off campus, websites being shut down, extremism being tackled in prisons, Anjem Choudary’s benefits being stopped (why is he still getting any?) and so — a real crackdown.

But when one reads of the Prime Minister’s new Ministerial task force — TERFOR — producing initiatives on “disrupting extremist activity” and “challenging poisonous activities”, it’s worth remembering that John Reid set up the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU) in to do precisely that under Labour — as long ago as 2007. In short and despite advances, there is a pattern. An outrage happens. Ministers promise action. Memories start fading. Newspapers lose interest. Officials resist action, as in the case of Cameron’s Munich speech. So do politicians (in some instances). It’s two steps forward and one step back, and that’s if we’re lucky. If we’re unlucky, we have what Andrew Gilligan has called the Government being tough where it should be liberal, and liberal where it should be tough. In other words, questionable groups get favours from Ministers while innocent citizens have their freedoms compromised.

I have a simple test. On the one hand, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) has been condemmed by Theresa May and Nick Clegg, two of the most senior Ministers in government, for failing to “fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology”. (May ordered civil servants to withdraw from a FOSIS graduate recruitment fair.) On the other, Sayeeda Warsi attended a FOSIS event in the House of Lords and, according to Gilligan, “supported claims by FOSIS that extremism was “no more prevalent” in universities than in any other parts of society”. Can Ministers please get their ducks in a row? “You say I am repeating/ Something I have said before. I shall say it again./ Shall I say it again?…”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Machete Attack Horror at Accrington Barber’s Shop

MACHETE wielding thugs have left two men with ‘serious injuries’ after attacking them in an Accrington barber’s shop.

The two victims had been inside the shop in Ormerod Street when four masked men carrying machetes and knives forced their way inside.

Detectives investigating the incident said the gang attacked the pair before forcing them into the street.

The thugs also attacked a parked car during the incident at midnight on Saturday.

Police said they were alerted to the incident after witnesses called an ambulance.

The victims both suffered deep wounds and had to be taken to hospital by paramedics.

One of the men, a 23-year-old man from Accrington sustained a serious head injury while, the other a 24-year-old man also from Accrington suffered a serious cut to his arm, police said.

Both men are being treated at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and their condition was yesterday described as ‘serious but not life threatening’.

Detectives investigating the incident are now urging anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

UK: Prison Warden Stabbed in Attack ‘Inspired by Woolwich Murder’

A prison warden has been held hostage and stabbed in an attack by inmates believed to have been inspired by the Woolwich murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Three prisoners were reported to have held the warden hostage before stabbing him during a four-hour stand-off with guards on Sunday afternoon.

The attack at Full Sutton prison in East Yorkshire was said to have left the officer “badly shaken”, while a female prison guard was also understood to have been injured as she tried to intervene.

The incident reportedly took place after a prison imam called for inmates to pray for Drummer Rigby.

A source told The Sun: “This had all the hallmarks of a pre-planned attack inspired by the Woolwich atrocity.

“It’s something officials have been fearing could happen for years and now it finally has.

“The officer was frankly lucky to survive. The attack was brutal.”

The warden, said to be in his 30s, was reportedly set upon near the kitchens of the jail’s E Wing.

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesman said: “An incident involving three prisoners took place at HMP Full Sutton on 26 May from 4.25pm and was successfully resolved at 8.40pm after staff intervened.

“A police investigation is ongoing.”

The MoJ would not comment on reports that the attackers were Islamic extremists.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

UK: Prison Governors’ Apparent Fear of Muslims Thwarts Anti-Terror Scheme [Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph]

Project to reduce Muslim radicalisation in prisons

SIR — Recently working in the Prison Service, I found it overwhelmingly politically correct in its obsession with gender, race and sexual orientation.

Governors appeared frightened of Muslims and the potential for allegation of racism from them. Officers were fearful lest they appear “anti” something. This undermined cohesiveness and pride in the job. In prisons, the Government’s “Prevent” initiative (which seeks to divert Muslims from terrorism) was hopeless.

This toxic ethos — which the Coalition is too ideologically compromised to address — has connived against the constructive, reformative discipline that prisoners need. There is a disgraceful unofficial policy of opposing ex-Forces personnel helping in prisons, on the grounds that they are “harsh”, whereas they are precisely the people required.

Fr Marcus Stewart

Broadstairs, Kent

[Reader comment by ros_power on 27 May 2013 at 6:13 pm.]

Theodore Dalrymple Quotes

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is … in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” ¯ Theodore Dalrymple

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Terror Police Investigate Prison Warder Attack After Jailed Muslim Extremists Were ‘Asked to Pray for Murdered Lee Rigby’

Counter-terrorism police are investigating a brutal attack by three jailed Islamic extremists on a prison warder after an imam reportedly called on them to pray for murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

The trio snatched the warder from E-wing at Full Sutton prison, near York, and held him hostage during a four-hour stand-off with guards.

The terrified victim, who is in his 30s, was locked in a cleaning room where he was apparently beaten with mop handles and told he was going to die.

The three prisoners, two aged 25 and the other 26, were thought to have become enraged following a prison imam’s call for Muslim inmates to pray for soldier Lee Rigby, who was stabbed to death by extremists last week.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: War Memorials Vandalised

Vandals have attacked two of Britain’s most celebrated war memorials, apparently daubing them with the word “Islam” and covering over inscriptions.

The RAF Bomber Command War Memorial and the Animals in War Memorial, both in central London, were covered in red paint. The Metropolitan Police have not yet made any arrests, so the motivation behind the damage remains unclear. The words written on the memorials have been covered up with plastic sheets after being discovered in the early hours of the morning, but it is believed that “Islam” has been written on each of them…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: What We Can Learn From Woolwich

Philip Johnston weighs up the official reaction to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby and the threats posed to a free society

A familiar pattern has taken shape in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Familiar because it replicates to a large extent what we saw following the July 7 bombings in London eight years ago. First, there is the shock that such a horrific attack could take place on the streets of our capital. Then there is the awful realisation that it was carried out not by people coming from abroad, but by British residents.

The killers are denounced by most mainstream Muslims, who say they were not acting on their behalf. Imams insist that nothing in the teachings of Islam would ever condone such barbarism, though some more radical Islamists are less condemnatory than they should be. At Westminster, there are demands for tougher counter-terror laws, for “preachers of hate” to be silenced, jailed or deported, for Muslim groups to be proscribed, for extremist websites to be shut down and even for broadcasting bans to be imposed…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Woolwich: Help for Heroes Rejects EDL Cash

EDL leader Tommy Robinson says he is shocked at the “political correctness” and will still complete a sponsored walk to Woolwich.

The Help for Heroes charity has said it will not accept money raised by English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson. A Just Giving website page which Mr Robinson, who also uses the name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, set up after last week’s murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich was shut down after talks between administrators and the forces charity.

Before it was closed down more than £3,300 had been pledged to the EDL leader, who said he was planning a 17-mile sponsored walk from Westminster to the scene of the killing “to lay a wreath in support of our troops”. More than 1,000 far-right EDL supporters had earlier gathered outside Downing Street chanting “Muslim killers off our streets” and “There’s only one Lee Rigby”. Mr Robinson addressed the crowd on Monday, saying: “This is a day of respect for our Armed Forces.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

United Kingdom: ‘The Good European’

Time, 28 May 2013

In a profile of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Time reports that the leader of the UK’s coalition government is facing a mutiny on the issue of Europe, now that —

… more than a third of Conservative MPs have just refused to back his legislative program because it doesn’t enshrine in law his promise of a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union.

Under pressure from UK Independence Party (UKIP), which is increasingly winning votes from their party, Eurosceptic Conservatives have been increasingly vocal in their calls for a referendum, which Cameron has attempted to defuse by pledging to hold a vote in 2017.

As it stands, he has reiterated his commitment to this policy and to the current coalition, which is slated to remain in office until 2015. However, commentators have warned that a poor performance by the Conservatives in next year’s European elections, which has already been predicted by the polls, could make his position untenable.

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

Why Was He Free? Predatory Paedophile From Portugal Groomed and Raped British Girl, 12, Before Going on the Run After Police Gave Him Bail and Let Him Keep His Passport

A predatory Portuguese child rapist has gone on the run after he was granted bail and allowed to keep his passport while awaiting trial.

Antonio Pedro De Alves attacked a 12-year-old girl in a supermarket car park after grooming her for six months on the internet while posing as a 15-year-old boy.

De Alves, 41, skipped bail before he was due to stand trial in Stafford last week.

He was tried and convicted of rape in his absence with the help of harrowing evidence from his young victim.

But it is feared that De Alves has escaped abroad — meaning the victim and her family could face a tortuous wait until he is brought to justice and jailed.

An international arrest warrant is being prepared to track him down.

Yesterday a close friend of the victim’s family said: ‘It beggars belief that a foreign national accused of raping a child was ever allowed out on bail.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Business: Sace: In 2013 Risks Grow in Mideast North Africa

Country Risk Map, political violence up 5%

(ANSAmed) — ROME, MAY 27 — Risks of missed payments, legislative instability and political violence globally, and in particular in the Middle East and North Africa — Mena area — are on the rise, according to Sace, an insurance and financial group which operates in the field of credit. Sace, which regularly updates the risk profiles of 189 markets, said the upcoming year will be difficult for Italian companies in foreign markets.

According to the Country Risk Map 2013 presented by the group, risks of missed payments have increased almost everywhere. However the situation has worsened mostly in advanced markets: though the level here is still significantly lower than average, the report noted that insolvency risks have increased on average by 22%.

The risk index for the Mena region has increased to 63, with a 3% variation from 2012. Persisting instability across the south-east Mediterranean area, wrote Sace, has counter-balanced the positive performance of Gulf countries, so far immune to political and social tensions and supported by a good performance of hydrocarbon prices.

Legislative risks — transfer, expropriation and contract violation — have increased almost everywhere due to the deteriorating conditions of the main governance indicators. The trend is particularly evident in the most fragile areas like sub-Saharan Africa, up 6%, the Mena area, up 2%. If singular performances were considered, the study said that Egypt was among countries with very significant risks, up 16%.

In a change of trends from the 2007-2011 period, concluded Sace, risks of political violence in 2012 started once again to grow everywhere. Regions registering the highest risks of political violence remain sub-Saharan Africa, up 7%, and the Mena area, up 5%, accentuated by conflicts in Mali (81) and the Central African Republic (91), by instability in Egypt (77) and Libya(83) and escalating violence in Syria (92).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt Slides to 107th Place in WEF Competitiveness Index

Less security, political uncertainty and need for reforms

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Egypt has fallen by 13 places to 107th in the world competitiveness rankings of 144 countries drawn up by the World Economic Forum. The WEF report on the Arab world shows that the uncertainty of the political scene in the post-revolution transition strongly influenced the downgrade, as did the decline in government efficiency, which dropped 22 positions to 106th place, as well as the lack of security, which plunged 40 places to 128. The report did also indicate some positive signs, however, such as an improvement in favoritism by civil servants, which improved by 31 positions, and stronger company ethics, by 17. The Egyptian government faces many challenges to achieve sustainable and equitable growth, reports the WEF. The major issues concern the need for reforms to ensure the country’s macro-economic stability and to deal with its rising deficit, public debt and inflationary pressures. This may be difficult in a phase of high energy prices, since subsidies in this sector constitute a large share of public spending. In any case, more targeted subsidy policies could lead to a consolidation of public finances while at the same time protecting the weakest sections of the population, according to the report, which also noted that domestic competition needs to be improved and the labour market should be made more flexible. Egypt is still in the process of negotiating a 4.8-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Gov’t Says Veils to be Worn at University

After violent Salafite campaign for niqab

(ANSAmed) — Tunis, 28 May — The Tunisian government, with the support of president Moncef Marzouki, has called for women to wear the full veil or niqab when sitting for university exams, something which today is expressly banned by university rules.

According to the site Tunisie Numerique, the decision is certain to provoke a debate between secular Tunisians and Muslims, above all the Salafites who have been conducting a violent campaign to lift the ban on nijabs at universities which consider it a woman’s choice.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kerry Promotes Marshall Plan for Palestinian Economy

4 billion dollars against crisis and for peace

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Although Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are still at a standstill, the United States are trying to make progress at least on the economic front. US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday announced a plan worth ‘four billion dollars’ to give the Territories’ economy a boost and indirectly favour the birth of a Palestinian state ‘beside Israel and in peace’ with the Jewish state.

The Obama administration is not expected to fork out the entire amount though Washington is certain it can gather the sum from investors together with its international partners.

Speaking at the end of the World Economic Forum in the Jordanian city of Al-Shunah on the Dead Sea, Kerry said the hope was to ‘mobilize 4 billion dollars of investment’ in particular in real estate in the tourism sector. Kerry said a team of experts is working on the project, adding that preliminary results on the drafted plan ‘are stunning’ encouraging to confide in a re-launch of the economy in the Territories administered by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) of President Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas) that has been dealing with a growing crisis in the past two years. Kerry said experts working on the plan estimated the GDB of the West Bank could be increased by 50% in three years, adding that the most optimistic forecasts said unemployment could be cut by two-thirds and average salaries increased by 40%. The strategy is entrusted to Quartet (US, Russia, EU, UN) representative for the Middle East, Tony Blair, who has been on a tour of the West Bank with the CEO of Coca Cola in a mission aimed at identifying the best measures to attract private investments in the Territories, starting with the tourism sector. Kerry said Blair is working on an innovative plan that could turn around the future of the Palestinian state. The ‘groundbreaking plan for the Palestinian economy’, he said, is ‘bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything since Oslo 20 years ago’ signed in 1993 by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

The ambitious stance followed the words of hope at the World Economic Forum, the Swiss-based organization that regularly gathers political and business leaders, by Palestinian President Abu Mazen and his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres.

Abu Mazen said he was still convinced an accord with Israel was possible on ‘two states living one beside the other according to international resolutions, the Road Map and the peace initiative by the Arab League’. Peres said differences between the two sides could be solved without ‘missing the opportunity’ provided by the peace initiative promoted by the US administration.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Leibler: A Global Tsunami of Antisemitism

Isi Liebler in his Jerusalem Post column, “Candidly Speaking” addressing the ironic phenomenon of “A Global Tsunami of Antisemtism”. His comments comes on the occasion of the fourth conference of the Global Forum on Combating anti-Semitism in Jerusalem sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. We have posted on the irony of Antisemitic incidents here in the US directed at Christian Evangelical churches supporting Israel. Our colleague Dexter Van Zile, Christian Media Analyst for the Middle East media monitoring group, CAMERA, has written extensively about mainline Protestant churches engaged in anti-Israelism, a form of Antisemitism. We have taken to task the Anti-Defemation league of attacking Evangelical church supporters of Israel by placing a priority on the alleged threat of ‘Christianizing America’ while supporting expansion of Mosques engaged in Islamic antisemitism. The only international Jewish group that has been in the forefront of recognizing the conjuncton of Islamic Antisemitism and European Xenophobia has been the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Britain Warns it Will Go Its Own Way on Arming Syrian Rebels

Britain has clashed with several major European Union countries after William Hague threatened to let member states “go their own way” on arming Syrian rebels.

With common European policy-making in jeopardy, the Foreign Secretary said the EU was denying the right to defend themselves to rebels who were “having every weapon that’s ever been devised dropped on them”. A number of states led by Austria continued to oppose lifting an arms embargo, which expires on Friday, that would allow weapons to be supplied direct to rebels who are struggling to contain a resurgence by regime forces. As negotiations dragged on, Mr Hague threatened to stop its renewal altogether, a move that would allow Britain, France and others to arm the rebels directly if they wish…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

EU Ends Arms Embargo on Syrian Rebels for the “Protection of Civilians”

Apparently the only way to protect civilians is to give weapons to terrorists. And apparently the only civilians the European Union is interested in protecting are Sunni Muslim civilians, rather than the Christian civilians they are kidnapping and murdering. And once they actually get their hands on EU weapons, the “Brave Syrian People” (TM) can begin kidnapping and killing Christian civilians with weapons from Christian countries.

The UK pushed heavily for not maintaining the arms embargo, just as it pushed heavily for the Libyan War. The UK’s Foreign Secretary sold the measure as a way of sending a message to Assad rather than a plan to send arms to the Syrian Jihadists, but that is an obvious ploy. This isn’t about sending a message, it’s about sending weapons. And anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: PM Vows to Defend Sovereignty in Face of Attack

BEIRUT, May 28 (Xinhua) — Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed Tuesday that a deadly attack on three soldiers in the northeastern town of Arsal would not deter the authorities in defending Lebanon’s sovereignty.

According to the state-run National News Agency, Mikati condoled during a telephone conversation with army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji on the death of the soldiers, saying “any attack on the army will not deter us from going ahead with preserving security and defending Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

More Syrian Rockets Hit Eastern Lebanon

Area under Hezbollah control

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, MAY 28 — Three rockets fired from Syrian territory have hit the Lebanese city of Hermel and the surrounding area, injuring several people. Reports were from the Lebanese news agency NNA. The attack occurred in an area under the control of the Hezbollah Shiite militants, who are fighting across the border alongside Syrian regime troops in the city of Qusair, a day after a similar incident in which a 17-year-old girl was killed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Raymond Ibrahim and Erick Stakelbeck Expose Christian Persecution in Muslim Lands (Video)

Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim recently appeared on “Stakelbeck on Terror” to discuss the topic of his new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians with Erick Stakelbeck.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Italian FM Opposes Arms From Italy

EU compromise ‘not glorious moment’ for Europe, says Bonino

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS — Despite the European Union’s decision to lift the arms embargo on Syria, Italy’s foreign minister, Emma Bonino, is proposing Italy does not send arms.

She said she would refer the EU decision to the prime minister Enrico Letta and the defence minister for consideration.

“But my proposal is ‘no’,” Bonino said.

For Bonino the compromise reached by EU foreign ministers in Brussels at midnight, “was not a glorious moment for Europe” not only with regard to the details of the accord but for the “attempt to again nationalise certain jurisdictions”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Christians Greatest Victims of Bloodshed, Chacour

Arab Spring betrayed, danger of Sharia, says bishop

(ANSAmed) — Haifa — Archbishop Elias Chacour, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Israel, said Christians had suffered the greatest bloodshed since the Arab Spring which in his view had failed.

“Arab Spring is a mistaken definition. In Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and now in Syria we are witnessing a wave of bloodshed, and we will not see a garden grow from this socalled spring,” he warned.

Across the Arab world and in the Middle East, he said “many are dying, but those who are losing the most are Christians”.

He told journalists the hopes of the people who rose up against the regimes have been betrayed by the “danger” imposed by Sharia, Islamic law.

Head of the largest Christian community in Israel — 80,000 faithful out of a total 150,000 Christians — expressed his concern particularly for Christians being forced to flee the civil war in Syria.

Chacour compared the situation to Iraq after the US “invasion”.

“We do not have precise estimates on how many have been forced to flee Syria for Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey but once there were two million Christians in the country and 160 small Christian villages that are now completely empty”.

“I wonder what the west is doing by failing to intervene.

The socalled Arab Spring is the biggest change in the history of Islam because first it was about the struggle for power in authoritarian regimes and now the people are taking action”.

Expectations have been betrayed he said.

“We were not happy with the totalitarian regimes, but we are even less so today because of the risk of Sharia,” he said.

If imposed he said it would be extremely bad and “we don’t know what would happen in the long term”.

Chacour said he had seen the bishop of Damascus “crying lika a baby” over the departure of Christians who were forced to flee the country in “miserable conditions” without food or water.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: 20,000 Iraqi Soldiers Battling Al Qaeda on Border

Wave of car bombs on Monday possibly a recation

(ANSAmed) — BAGHDAD, MAY 28 — Twenty-thousand soldiers from the Iraqi army have been engaged for days in an offensive against Al Qaeda militants along the Syrian border, cutting off connections between insurgents in Iraq and their jihadist allies in Syria.

Reports were from Iraqi military sources, while several observers say that the wave of car bombs that shook Baghdad on Monday — killing 64 and injuring 251 — was a tactic aiming to draw troops and pressure away from the western part of the country. The helicopter-backed government offensive is taking place in the Al Anbar province, a stronghold of Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda cells since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. “The military operations in the western desert,” said General Ali Ghaidan, commander of Iraqi ground troops, “has achieved noteworthy results thus far, with the killing or capture of a large number of Al Qaeda militants, the seizure of a large quantity of weapons and the discovery of hidden weapons depots where bombs and explosive vests were kept.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Benghazi Cover-up is the Proxy Battle With the War With Iran

Obama administration has picked a fight with Iran and Russia in Syria which could trigger World War III

The immediate concern for the Obama-Clinton regime after the attack in Benghazi was to cover up the connection with Iran and Syria to Ansar al Sharia and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), according to my Benghazi whistleblower source. The attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was not a terrorist attack; it was a nation-state attack, an escalation of war, and an opening of a new front in the tit for tat conflict with Iran and by extension their proxy partner Russia that is now being fought in Syria.

For anyone who thinks Americans will be told that Benghazi was a nation-state attack by ex-CIA chief David Petraeus in the near future they are in for a disappointment. He is part of the problem and has been for years. He sold his soul for shiny medals and financial perks and circuses long ago — and as his record shows, he will roll over again and again. Recall how Petraeus fell into lock-step rank-and-file with President Obama and Hillary Clinton when he joined them in falsely misleading America before the 2012 elections by blaming an “out-of-control demonstration prompted by a Youtube video” for the Benghazi attack to the House Intelligence Committee three days after the attack. He’s as dirty as they are…

What is happening is America is the final stages of the run up to the next major military conflict coming up in the Middle East. But unlike Iraq and Afghanistan or the smaller operations in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, Syria won’t implode it will explode and spread throughout the region in an epic bloody, deadly Sunni-Shiite conflict. Christians, people of all faiths, non-believers will be persecuted if not outright slaughtered. Think Islamic Caliphate time.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Senator Sneaks Into Syria to Meet Rebels

DAMASCUS, May 27 (Xinhua) — U.S. Senator John McCain has snuck into Syria from Turkey and met with Western-backed rebels’ leaders in northern Syria, media reports said Monday. McCain’s visit was reportedly confirmed by one of his spokesmen in Washington who declined to give further details. The head of the rebels Free Syrian Army (FSA), Salem Idris, reportedly said that they asked the official for U.S. strikes against the Syrian troops and the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group whose fighters are alleged to be fighting alongside the Syrian army in the central city of al-Qussair…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UAE Starts Work on Second Nuclear Reactor

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI — The first nuclear plant in the Arab world and in the UAE continues to grow as works commence on its second reactor. Located in the Al Gharbia desert region 75 km from the border with Saudi Arabia, the plant will meet a fourth of Abu Dhabi’s energy requirements within the next ten years. The UAE’s nuclear ambitions began to take shape in 2009 after a bilateral cooperation agreement was signed with the United States for nuclear energy production for civilian uses.

Construction on the Baraka site began in 2012. According to the timeline for the works, the first reactor will be up and running in 2017. The 20-billion-dollar plant will include four reactors built by a consortium of South Korean companies led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation, or KEPCO. The project was temporarily put on hold after the 2011 tsunami which hit Japan and the Fukushima nuclear power plant. After research on the basis of new data made available on the Japanese tragedy, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation authorised the project to proceed with the updating of it in certain sections.

The rise in nuclear energy resources was initiated in the Gulf region by Iran, amid the international community’s suspicions that the country’s programme did not have mere civilian uses as its end but that it was concealing military ambitions. Among the oil-rich monarchies on the other side of the Gulf — which despite being among the world’s leading producers and exporters of crude oil and seeking alternative energy sources to meet growing demand and the limited nature of all fossil fuels — the UAE has proved itself a pioneer.

Following its lead was Saudi Arabia, which with investment of over 100 billion dollars intends to build 16 reactors by 2030, aiming to meet 20% of the kingdom’s energy needs. Kuwait, which had set 2022 as the deadline for the construction of four nuclear reactors, suspended the project in 2012 after the Fukushima disaster. UAE authorities have yet to resolve one of the issues, however: what to do with the waste. Underground storage facilities in UAE territory are under consideration, as is a shared repository for all the oil-rich Gulf nations.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

2 Soldiers Shot Dead in Restive S. Thailand

BANGKOK, May 28 (Xinhua) — Two soldiers were shot dead in a roadside ambush in restive southern province of Pattani early Tuesday. Six paramilitary rangers were ambushed by an unknown number of gunmen when they were patrolling on motorcycles on the Pattani- Yala Road in Patani’s Mae Lan district. Cpl Ronnawit Singsai and army ranger volunteer Kriengsak Phutcha were killed while the others were unscathed. The gunmen retreated into the forest as government security teams were searching for them. The police suspect the separatist militants.

More than 5,000 people have been killed and over 9,000 hurt in over 11,000 incidents, about 3.5 incidents a day, in Thailand’s Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated three southern border provinces — Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla — since violence erupted in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the regional violence.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2 Women Killed as Gunmen Attack Polio Team in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (Xinhua) — Two female polio workers were killed when some unknown gunmen attacked a polio-eradication team in Pakistan’s northwest Peshawar city on Tuesday morning, local media reported. Urdu TV channel Samaa said the incident happened at about 11:20 a.m. (local time) when the unidentified assailants sprayed bullets at the anti-polio team when it was on its routine vaccination campaign in the suburban Badbher area of Peshawar, capital of the country’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Islam’s War of Annihilation Against Hindus

A thought-provoking essay written by Narain Kataria, president of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum, sounds a familiar alarm. “Hinduism Faces Eclipse” reveals that “the anti-Hindu forces within and without India are working in tandem on an insidious mission to destroy our civilization and culture, and obliterate Hinduism from the Indian soil.” Kataria further contends that Indians are not facing terrorism, but worldwide jihad, which he calls a “fully globalized franchise…working overtime to destroy all non-Muslim nations.”

Muslims currently comprise 20 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population, the rest of which is overwhelmingly Hindu. But as Narain points out, Indian Muslims have engaged in a series of attacks on Hindu citizens, temples, religious festivals and unarmed pilgrims. He reminds us that a month after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, a proclamation was issued on Al Jazeera television promising that “Hindu India” would also be targeted for jihad. Two months after that, a suicide squad assaulted India’s Parliament House in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, killing 9 and wounding 18.

Since then thousands of terror attacks have besieged India. The city of Mumbai alone has been terrorized on four separate occasions…

Kataria told FrontPage that the Indian government “doesn’t understand Sharia,” and that the “politicians are afraid of Muslims” because they have organized highly effective political blocs, capable of removing anyone who would even suggest India is under Islamic siege.

The blocs’ ultimate purpose? “Muslims want to finish India as soon as possible,” contends Kataria.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mongolia Marks Int’l Day of UN Peacekeepers

ULAN BATOR, May 28 (Xinhua) — Mongolia began to hold activities to celebrate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, which is commemorated each year on May 29. Mongolia, which set the day of May 29 as Mongolian Peacekeepers Day last year, launched activities Monday to mark its 11th anniversary of participating in UN peacekeeping operations.

Mongolia sent 150 soldiers for the first time to the UN peacekeeping mission in Iraq 10 years ago. More than 5,000 soldiers have participated in 15 international peacekeeping missions over the past 11 years, and currently there are more than 800 soldiers in South Sudan.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Outrage in China Over Young Boy’s Graffiti on Ancient Egyptian Monument

Social media users in China are expressing outrage at a young Chinese tourist who was reported to have been identified after having scribbled his name into an ancient Egyptian monument. Chinese state media say an Internet user last week tracked down the 15-year-old boy, who wrote “Ding Jinhao was here” in Mandarin on a 3,500 hundred-year-old tablet at Egypt’s Temple of Luxor. Egyptian authorities this week removed the graffiti from the monument…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Big Media Lobby for Immigration Bill

Big media corporations are lobbying for passage of the Gang of Eight’s 844-page immigration bill, S. 744. Critics call it amnesty.

In addition to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (the parent of Fox News), the companies include:

  • Walt Disney Co. (owns ABC News)
  • Hearst Corp. (owns 15 daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union and San Antonio Express-News. Also, Hearst Television Inc., which comprises 29 television and two radio stations)
  • Time Warner Inc. (owns Time magazine and CNN)
  • Viacom Inc. (owns Comedy Central and MTV)
  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (one of the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States)
  • Thomson Reuters (owns Reuters, the world’s largest international news agency)

The heads of these corporations are members of the Partnership for a New American Economy, and are counting on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to push the bill through the Senate in June. It has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with a group of illegal aliens in the White House on May 21. “As the meeting was wrapping up, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year,” the White House said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy Encouraged Migrants to Move on to Germany, Says DPA

News agency says Africans given ‘money and visas’ to leave

(ANSA) — Rome, May 28 — Some 300 African migrants seeking entry into Italy were reportedly granted “visas and money” then sent on their way to Germany, in violation of EU agreements, the German DPA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The agency, citing German immigration officials, said that several hundred migrants arrived in the city of Hamburg as a result.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Another Confession From an Abortion Nurse

The AP headline after Philadelphia’s abortionist butcher Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s conviction said, “Doctor’s case rekindles fiery abortion debate” and the “grotesque wake-up call” for a fruitful discussion. If the jury had any doubts about the second- or third-trimester abortions Gosnell performed at his west Philadelphia clinic, it was a character witness for a co-defendant that cinched it. So, too, did the cell phone photographs staff took of a nearly 30-week baby so large that Gosnell callously joked it could “walk to the bus.”

Media Bias and Cover-Up

To say we didn’t know about partial birth abortions is because the biased media made sure to keep the atrocity covered up all these years. It was noted that the first few weeks of Gosnell’s trial, the pews in the jury room reserved for reporters was vacant.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boy Scouts of America Are Finished

The Boy Scouts of America threw open its ranks Thursday to gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders — a fiercely contested compromise that some warned could fracture the organization and lead to mass defections of members and donors.

Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.”…

BSA youth membership has fallen from it’s peak membership of a little over 4 million to the current roughly 2 and-a-half million. According to the article cited above — “Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Social Engineering for Global Change

Without question, one of the greatest tools for social engineering is in the realm of public education. This is not a blanket statement downplaying the role of education per se, but a judgment call recognizing the tremendous influence that the educational system can play in creating “social change.”

Consider this statement from Naresh Singh, a program director at the International Institute for Sustainable Development,

“Education has been advanced as significant in bringing about changes in attitudes, behaviour, beliefs and values… In order to redirect behaviour and values towards institutional change for sustainable development there is a need to investigate strategic options in relation to educational philosophies, scope for propagation and adoption, and groups most likely to be susceptible to change.” [3]

All of this points to a radical shift now taking place — a shift which emphasizes “global thinking” and “planetary norms.” According to the IISD literature, “the task of education for the immediate future is to assist in activating an ethic of planetary sensitivity… We must pass from a human-centred to an earth-centred sense of reality and value.” [4]

This “global-shift role” for general education is a foundational platform for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Attempt to Destroy the Individual

The individual is enshrined in various political documents, but his rights don’t originate there. Neither does courage nor imagination.

I’ve laid out the enormous psyop designed to submerge the individual in unconscious goo. This psyop depends on the repetition of words like: unity, love, caring, community, family. And phrases like “we’re all in this together.”

The individual is characterized as: lone, outsider, selfish,greedy, inhumane, petty. Turn him into an exile, excommunicated from the great body of humanity.

Here, in the usual prose, is a familiar formulation of the grand psyop: “We can no longer afford the luxury of thinking of ourselves as individuals. The stakes are too high. Finally, we must all come together and realize our presence on this planet is a shared experience. The decimation of our resources, through hatred and divisive behavior, the denial of love and community, the cold greed and excessive profit-making, the whole range of social and political injustices — all this can ultimately be laid at the door of the individual who refuses to join the rest of humanity…”

Is this manifesto valid? It’s a deception, BECAUSE it’s aimed at making the individual extinct.

And once that happens, the collective, managed by Globalist princes, will have a clear path to the control of Earth, at the expense of the rest of us. And the cruelties we now witness will pale in comparison to what is in store for us.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The First Word in BSA Now Stands for Betrayal

Yesterday was a dark day for America. Delegates to a national Boy Scouts of America (BSA) meeting in Texas apparently voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to validate homosexuality among boys. We are outraged.

This is a betrayal of the highest magnitude. It’s a betrayal of the boys in the Scouts’ care. It’s a betrayal of trusting parents. It’s a betrayal of a 103-year-old institution that has molded millions of boys into men. It’s a betrayal of truth and honor…

Unless a mighty outpouring across America forces the Scouts to rescind this action, it’s the end for the Boy Scouts. This will achieve a long-sought goal of leftists who hate America and have wanted to eliminate one of the last groups devoted to traditional values. The Boy Scouts of America will dwindle and fold as they have in Canada, where a similar surrender 10 years ago has largely destroyed a formerly robust program. Why any parents would want their 10-year-old boy tenting with another boy who has openly expressed sexual desire for males is beyond comprehension.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Urban Dictionary: Michael Scott Racist

A Michael Scott Racist is a generally well-intentioned person who tries so hard to be politically correct and to demonstrate that they are not racist that they show themselves to actually be racist. Named for Steve Carell’s character on The Office who made a habit of being this.

Oscar: Both my parents were born in Mexico. And they moved to the United States a year before I was born. So I grew up in the United States. My parents were Mexican.

Michael Scott: Wow. Wow. That is… That is a great story. That’s the American dream right there, right? Um, let me ask you, is there a term besides “Mexican” that you prefer? Something less offensive?

Kate: I’m not racist. I love all races, but especially Asians because although they’re not great drivers, they really know how to run a buffet.

John: You’re a Michael Scott Racist.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

From London to Ramallah: The Bloody Hands of Islam

On May 21, in an act of sheer barbarism, obscene even by Islamist standards, two Muslims armed with knives and machetes brazenly hacked to death and nearly beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street in Woolwich in broad daylight. The attackers yelled Allahu akbar — God is Great — a common Islamist war chant, while engaging in their orgy of depravity. A passerby videotaped the culprits, one of whom seemed pleased by his deed and offered a host of Islamist-inspired explanations justifying his actions. His hands were visibly stained with the blood of the slain trooper.

The recoiling sight reminded me of a chilling incident that occurred on October 12, 2000 when two Israeli reservists lost their way and inadvertently stumbled into Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s putative capital. The normal human response to one who is or appears to be lost is to offer assistance and direction. But Ramallah, a once pleasant city now teeming with Islamists after being handed over to arch-terror chieftain Yasser Arafat, is anything but a normal city. The pair, after being taken to a Palestinian holding facility, was immediately set upon by an Arab mob armed with knives and hatchets and suffered a particularly agonizing and gruesome death.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islam: Root Cause of Grooming and Rape Wave

Packs of rapists and groomers seems to be epidemic in the UK. Their common denominator is their religious and cultural background. As a psychologist, I am not surprised that this horrific phenomenon emerges among immigrants from Islamic countries. Just as any other religion and culture, Islam and Muslim culture nurture certain psychological traits that influence values and behaviour.

Abuse in Muslim culture

The Quran’s description of women as inferior to and the property of men not only removes womens’ basic human rights; it also influence men’s view of them. As a result, Muslim cultural traditions have for centuries treated women as second class citizens, forced to marry and have sex with men against their will, and living under a constant death threat should they dishonor their family by violating the misanthropic Sharia laws.

The brutal treatment of innocent young girls may be shocking to those who do not know how women are treated in Muslim countries, but it would be naive to think that people change their habits and views and raise their children to integrate into what in their eyes are blasphemous customs just because they cross a national border.

The statistics speak for themselves. Research suggests that 91 percent of the between 7,000 and 20,000 honor killings each year are committed by Muslims.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/28/2013

  1. ****Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ Will Make Protest Illegal****

    Does that include groups like “Occupy Wall Street” protestors?

    Probably not, because nancy Pelosi has given those Anarcist thugs her blessings.

    Watch out Tea Party Folks!

    • Marten —

      I don’t know precisely. There are numerous MSM articles about it; it’s in all the major outlets.

      You might find something at the EDL website.

  2. Off topic: I had watched Paul Westons interesting speech in one of the threads before. When this speech with much new infos was over You tube offered others … and I watched one of a teacher who gets some stress because he told his students to be aware of the 5 th amendment. School Gov had handed out a survey also with a question concering drug use. On this the teacher came up with the 5 th amendment.

    So here is which is my view and this without having gone detailed into all aspects of the existing 5 th amendment I will suggest this:

    “5 th amendment should be. You have the right not to speak in the case if you are the only one who is physically or mentally or emotionally coming into dangers about what you are knowing … you have no right to be silent if others are endangered by holding your knowledge.”

    Human resource in bonding to ……………. !

    Not the sort of “statesmanship” which caused so much troubles……

  3. There should be an addition to Nr 5.

    2) HE OR SHE LIED UNAWARE OF TELLING A LIE (and can show later when accused that he or she took a information for true which was not)

    In any other case not excuseable by one or both of this points the person should be charged and carried to responsibility for any harm, emotionally, physically or finacially, the lie/ lies have caused …….. and even he or she is President of the USA, in which case the Person also looses his or her Position.

    End of 5th Amendment


  4. Here is the present version: I just read it before and it caused me utter anger.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  5. Insane, but it is obviously correct. That means that the board of Help for heroes indirectly supports the murderer. I wonder what the heroes mean about that, but they have probably not been questioned. Can it be so evil that the board has been set under pressure by different other donators?
    To EDL: You don’t need Help for heroes – you can organize the help better yourselves.

    I am notoriously disbelieving big help organisations. The only thing they did in Haiti was not cooperating. And hadn’t they heard about the modern construction “helicopter”? In 2010 in Sweden, it was revealed that the chairman of the Swedish Red Cross, former party leader of the liberal party Bengt Westerberg, received 68500 SEK/month for a very moderat peice of work. That is nothing but slapping the hard working grass roots (BW was ministre of Social Affaires 1991-94 when the Swedish economy totally collapsed.). And we must remember that most of the scandales never see the light.
    I’ve taken a closer look at Help for heroes website. My first target was the annual report. It wasn’t that easy to find. I had to click on “Contact us” to find it in a little corner to the left. When an organization deliberately hide their reports, I get suspicious. The fancy reports are very “glad”, and they are bragging about how good they are. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look on how they are using the donators money?

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