Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/14/2013

India’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to do something to regulate the sale of dangerous acid used in personal attacks. Every year at least a thousand victims, mostly women, are disfigured by having acid thrown over them. Strong acid can be bought cheaply at Indian grocery stores.

In other news, French President François Hollande had a bad Bastille Day today. Not only was his laundry list of government cost-saving measures and future plans ill-received, but during his speech he was loudly booed by opponents of gay marriage in the audience.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, DW, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Papa Whiskey, 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
» Banking Union Hard to Swallow in Berlin
» China’s Exports Drop Because of Global Crisis and a Strong Yuan
» America Under Tyrannical Rule: What We Must Now Do
» Crash Prank Reveals How Corporate Media Reads Mindlessly From Teleprompter Scripts (Video)
» Defense Lawyer: If Zimmerman Were Black, He Wouldn’t Have Been Charged
» Federal Government Plans to Persecute Zimmerman
» George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty of Murder in Trayvon Martin’s Death
» Is Today’s America the Founder’s America?
» Looking for Racism in America
» National Defense Authorization Act, HR 1540: Are Americans Living in a Police State?
» Rapper Lupe Fiasco Calls Out Race Baiting Media on Trayvon Martin Case
» The Moon’s Mystery: Scientists Debate How it Formed
» U.S. Senate Wants to Put an End to Filibustering
» U.S. Should be ‘On Its Knees Begging’ Fugitive Spy Edward Snowden Not to Release More Information, Says Reporter Who First Published Leaks
Europe and the EU
» Calderoli Should Go
» Dutch Government Gets Tough on Welfare Benefit Tourism
» Eight-Year Jail Term Introduced for Vatican Document Theft
» France: Bastille Day Festivities Fall Flat as Hollande Itemises Work Done
» French President Hollande Booed at Bastille Day Parade
» Italy: Almost 60% of PD Voters Want Renzi to Lead
» Italy: Ex-Head of Venice ‘Moses’ Dam Project Arrested
» Italy: Monti Slams Epifani Over Comment About His Government
» Italy: Presidency Denies Existence of Pro-Berlusconi Appeals
» Italy: Centre-Left Leader Denies Seeking to Save Berlusconi
» UK: Drug Scandal at the Houses of Parliament After Traces of Cocaine Are Found on Toilets Across Palace of Westminster
» UK: Libel Tourism Fiasco of Russian ‘Torturer’ Using Our Courts to Bring Claim Against British Businessman
» UK: Michael Gove Blocks Flagship Islamic Free School Following Links to Terrorism
» UK: New Human Rights Farce as Police Are Afraid to Release Crooks’ Mugshots Despite National Guidelines
» UK: The Real Tagging Scandal: G4s Whistleblower Paid £9 an Hour to Monitor Convicts Reveals How Criminals Are Roaming Free Because of Security Firm Blunders
» New Srebrenica Church Sows Discord
North Africa
» Egypt’s Morsi Gone, Military Brings Hope Not Coup
Israel and the Palestinians
» The Iconoclast: Israeli Cabinet Infighting Amidst Announcement of Major Changes in Strategic Military Doctrine
Middle East
» European Woman Held in Oman for Desecrating Quran
» Israel Struck Syrian Arms Depot in Latakia From Sea
» Missing British Schoolgirl, 16, Feared to be on the Run With Turkish Waiter She Met on Holiday
» Qatar’s New Emir Orders 118 German Tanks
South Asia
» India: Supreme Court to the Government: No More Victims Disfigured With Acid
» Children Born in Italy Are Italian, Says Chamber Speaker
» Israel: Dozens of Eritreans Deported by ‘Own Accord’
» Italy: Boldrini’s View of Nationality Law Wrong, Says Cicchitto
Culture Wars
» Pedophiles Want Same Rights as Homosexuals — Claim Unfair to be Stigmatized for Sexual Orientation
» “No Such Thing as Islamic Terrorism, “ Delegate Tells UN Confab on Religious Sensitivities

Banking Union Hard to Swallow in Berlin

La Tribune, 11 July 2013

“Banking union: Germany hits the brakes again”, leads French online daily La Tribune following the European Commission’s proposals for the second stage of the banking union project, which “consists of creating a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for bailing out or dismantling troubled banks”:

Composed of representatives from the [European Central Bank (ECB)], the European Commission and the relevant national authorities, it would prepare the resolution of a bank. This resolution board “would have broad powers to analyse and define the approach for resolving a bank”. Yet, the resolution board will have to be satisfied with just making recommendations. It will be up to the Commission to “push the button” approving the application of a resolution programme.

La Tribune highlights Germany’s hesitations, which “argues that the Commission proposal goes beyond its responsibilities and would imply a modification of treaties. […] [Germany also] fears that German banks will foot the bill for its ailing foreign competitors, whether to finance their bailout or their shutdown.”

In Berlin, daily Die Welt reports that “the EU is seeking a fight with Germany,” thus adopting the position of a German official who complains that Brussels “is exaggerating” by demanding to “have the last word”. On the other hand, in its leader article, the paper has “no objections, in principle” to the Commission’s plan, since “everybody knows […] that it is better for all those responsible to be sitting at the same table.” Die Welt nonetheless worries:

The bailout of the euro has already given birth to too many temporary solutions: the shifting of banking supervision to the [ECB], for example. On the one hand, it must design its monetary policies in an independent manner, and on the other, it must make decisions that require […] democratic monitoring […]. The Commission’s current proposal shows that it already had doubts about this conflict of interest. It would be logical to allow the ECB the right to dismantle banks after having given it the responsibility to supervise them. But the Commission understands this is a sin of intervention. That is why it has been attributed the power to dismantle banks. It would require an amendment to the European Union Treaty for the framework of stability to itself become stable.

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

China’s Exports Drop Because of Global Crisis and a Strong Yuan

After data on inflation and domestic sales, exports drop by 3.1 per cent compared to last year, the first decline since January 2012. For analysts, China is paying a price for a stable currency and higher labour costs.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) — For the first time in 17 months, China’s exports fell. The global economic crisis, rising labour costs and a stronger yuan cut exports by 3.1 per cent compared to last year, the first decline since January 2012. Economists had expected an increase of 4 per cent in exports and 8 per cent in imports.

In particular, exports to the United States fell by 5.4 per cent and those to the European Union by 8.3 per cent. Although the trade surplus increased, compared to May, from US$ 20.4 billion to US$ 27.13 billion, that was lower than expected by half a billion.

Negative export data come on top of negative reports released earlier this month about inflation and domestic demand.

For domestic and foreign analysts, although signals are “negative” compared to forecast, there is a silver lining in lower exports. The government can better fight speculative trading activities that, in the long run, produce economic bubbles that are much more harmful than a slowdown caused by lower sales.

“The surprisingly weak June exports show China’s economy is facing increasing downward pressure on lacklustre external demand,” said Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities in Shanghai. “Exports are facing challenges in the second half of this year. The appreciation of US dollar and the Chinese government’s recent crackdown on speculative trade activities also put pressure on exports.”

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

America Under Tyrannical Rule: What We Must Now Do

With every new Executive Order, the options that we, the people, have to seek redress for the crimes committed by the United States government are becoming more limited. Have you sent a fax or e-mail your elected representative lately about an issue of constitutional importance? How did that work out? Have you organized or attended a “rally” lately? Tell me, what has changed by your sincere efforts? Oh, and was the rally limited to a “First Amendment zone,” (or “Free Speech zone”) or a specified location where you were “allowed” to exercise your First Amendment rights granted by the U.S. Constitution? Did you even know such zones exited and if so, are they alright with you?

America has been conquered in a faceless coup, where the meteoric rise of a virtually unknown man of Arab, not African descent (if we are to believe his own tale of his origins) was selected to complete the job of destroying our national sovereignty and eradicating what remains of our civil rights. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has been made irrelevant by this unclothed emperor wearing only the headdress of a pharaoh, while the judiciary has been infiltrated and corrupted to the point of being useless as a method of resolution of our grievances.

The United States is effectively operating under martial law. No, not “the troops are in the streets all of the time” type of martial law, but a more subtle form. A type of martial law that exists under the veil of a false sense of normalcy, which can still be plausibly denied to the most gullible among us by both our leaders and the media. Like the proverbial frogs in the pot of water being brought to a boil, most people are being conditioned to accept actions forced upon us that our founders would have not only found objectionable, but absolutely intolerable. In fact, the Revolutionary War was started and fought for much less…

There is only one viable method remaining to bypass the people and groups inside of our government who refuse to enforce the United States Constitution. We must first recognize and acknowledge that certain people, departments and groups within the United States government are involved in, or leading others to be involved in criminal activity and behavior as part of a corrupt organization. Once we have compiled a complete and detailed list of such criminal conduct, we must then file a civil complaint against the government under the federal statutes of the RICO Act, or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Crash Prank Reveals How Corporate Media Reads Mindlessly From Teleprompter Scripts (Video)

It’s another example of how mindless and untrustworthy the corporate media is. Yesterday, a news anchor at a San Francisco Bay Fox affiliate, KTVU, read the supposed names of the flight crew of Asiana flight 214, which crashed last Saturday at San Francisco International Airport. The names — “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow” — are obviously fake, but the clueless anchor, reading straight from the screen of her teleprompter, didn’t pick up on the joke…

The real story here, however, has little to do with government ineptitude or racism. It has to do with the fact the corporate media and its groomed and coiffured talking heads read from scripts. Much of what passes for news is in fact propaganda read directly from corporate and governmental scripts. The Edward R. Murrow style reportage is a thing of the past.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Defense Lawyer: If Zimmerman Were Black, He Wouldn’t Have Been Charged

George Zimmerman’s defense lawyer Mark O’Mara wasn’t timid with the mainstream media during the live Q&A on Miami’s WSVN 7 News, calling out the media on injecting racial tensions into the case. In the Q&A, O’Mara told a reporter that Zimmerman would never have been charged if he were black.

The answer came during live Q&A session with George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys Don West and Mark O’Mara, who were surprisingly blunt with the media questioning. O’Mara even went on to call out the mainstream media for twisting the case and turning into a racial bout that may actually spawn riots and flash mobs that could result in the death of innocents — a nonsensically violent response to protest the verdict of the Trayvon case.

The fact of the matter is that the media has turned this case into a racial conflict of white verses black that isn’t even applicable. First of all, George Zimmerman is of clear Hispanic descent, yet somehow the media is spinning it as if he is a ‘rich, white male’. This is, of course, is a tactic performed by the mainstream media to make the case an issue of race and subsequently generate mass frenzy over this perceived racial divide.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Federal Government Plans to Persecute Zimmerman

It’s not over, said one of the most powerful men in America, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He said now that a jury of his peers has found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, it is time for the federal government to step in.

Appearing on Meet the Press this morning, Reid told host David Gregory the Justice Department will go after Zimmerman.

“And the president, does he have a role in speaking about it as he did after the shooting?” Gregory asked.

“Yeah, of course,” Reid responded. “And I think the Justice Department’s going to take a look at this. You know, this isn’t over with, and I think that’s good, that’s our system. It’s gotten better, not worse.”

In other words, if a jury reaches a verdict the federal government and the Obama administration think is not politically correct (or is contrary to their political agenda), they will move to “take a look” at it and take action to placate special interests and preferred minorities.

Soon after the verdict was reached on Saturday night, the NAACP called on the Justice Department to persecute George Zimmerman for the inexcusable crime of self-defense…

The characterization of self-defense as “vigilante homicide” when it contains “racial bias in its application,” in other words when a white person defends himself against violence perpetrated by a black person or other government designated preferred minority, underscores the globalist agenda to disarm all Americans.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty of Murder in Trayvon Martin’s Death

(CNN) — Nearly a year and a half after Trayvon Martin was shot dead in a central Florida neighborhood, a jury found the man who killed him — George Zimmerman, who argued that he fired in self defense — not guilty.

The fact that Zimmerman fired the bullet that killed Martin was never in question, but the verdict means the six-person jury had reasonable doubt that the shooting amounted to a criminal act.


To convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, the jurors would have had to believe that he “intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of Trayvon Martin.” That charge could have carried a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, though the jury was not told of that possible sentence.

For second-degree murder, the jurors would have had to believe that Martin’s unlawful killing was “done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent” and would be “of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.”

Ultimately, they believed neither. And that means Zimmerman can walk free.

[A great and unexpected victory. And now, it is time to prosecute every instigator of this hideous show trial, from the police-negating prosecutors to the race-hustling preachers to the propagandizing media to the loathsome race-baiter-in-chief in the Oval Office. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Is Today’s America the Founder’s America?

It is obvious that today’s America is miles from the America our Founders established. The size of America and because of the influence that it is capable of exerting in world affairs makes America exponentially different. Unfortunately what made America the unique nation of its day is absent from America today. Granted, America is still the greatest nation in the world. People are not risking their lives to go to Cuba or Venezuela or any Islamic nation. The only nation that people risk their lives to get to is America.

The reason for that is because America has always been known as a place where one could be free. Free to do whatever you wanted to do. The biggest reason was religious freedom. All religions are allowed in America but the Founders believed that only when there was an imposition by one religion on a people that that religion should be bridled. They were free to have enterprises of their choosing, live how and where they wanted and their benefits of their labor were tied to directly how hard they were willing to work…

This is not the nation the Founders envisioned. They also knew that it would take a diligent and responsible people to maintain what they established. Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman at the finish of the Continental Convention what kind of government had they given the people and his response was “A republic ma’am, if you can keep it.” There are inherent down falls to a republic. It was Franklin that also said “When we the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” This is exactly what we are seeing today. Government paid for healthcare with Medicare and Medicaid an all of the other entitlements that we now feel that we are entitled to. We are spending 62% of our national budget on entitlements: 22% on Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare; 21% on Social Security; and 19% on other welfare programs. Franklin also commented concerning people on the public dole: “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” The only one that isn’t fully government paid is Social Security. At one point it was funded by the working people. When it was started there were thirteen people working for every person drawing it. Now there is only two working for ever one drawing. I don’t have a problem with the idea, but the government should not have access to any of the funds — EVER! A few years back a journalist for the Wall Street Journal figured out that if a person had put the same amount into a simple passbook savings account from the time they started working until they retired they would be able to draw almost ten times what the government is paying AND if the person dies before drawing anything, all those funds would go to his/her family. Now the family gets nothing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Looking for Racism in America

Grievance theater isn’t about race, slavery, police brutality, it’s about power and money

If you live in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, you know that it’s only a matter of time until an incident between a law enforcement officer, or more rarely a civilian defending himself, and a member of a minority group flares up into citywide grievance theater complete with angry reverends on the steps of City Hall, women with stony faces holding up banners calling for justice and a media driven debate about police tactics and racism.

This sort of thing happens with depressing regularity in cities where even the most liberal residents have to choose between police overreach and being murdered. It never leads to meaningful debate or a resolution, instead it peters out with the best actors in the grievance theater picking up money and influence, the media selling a few more papers or ads for allergy relief on the drive time news and everything going back to the way it was.

The grievance theater is never really about the specific case, the specific shooting, it’s about the links between the social problems of the black community, the compromises of civil liberties necessary to keep entire cities from turning into Detroit and the inability of the media to address the sources of crime as anything but the phantoms of white racism. It’s about a black leadership that is more interested in posturing as angry activists and shaking loose some money than in healing the problems of their own communities.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

National Defense Authorization Act, HR 1540: Are Americans Living in a Police State?

The thing about a police state is that it tends to creep up on you. One day you think the Bill of Rights is intact and the freedoms you take for granted are intact, but the next day you find out that under the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540), signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011, you can be arrested and detained without recourse to an attorney or the courts.

HR 1540 kills the concept of Habeas Corpus by permitting the detention of U.S. citizens without trail. In 2009 the National Emergency Centers Act, HR 645, was introduced for the establishment of “internment camps.” I have not been able to determine if it was passed and signed into law, nor have I found any explanation why the Congress of the United States either passed or even considered these laws.

The 2001 Patriot Act was justified as a response to 9/11 and revised in 2012. It gives the government unprecedented powers of surveillance and enforcement in the name of deterring terrorism.

One of Obama’s many executive orders permits him to “commandeer” all domestic U.S. resources, including food and water supplies, energy productions, and transportation, even in times of peace, with no congressional oversight. On March 16, 2012, the National Defense Resources Preparedness EO expands on a law from the 1950s as the Cold War was heating up and there were fears of a conflict with the Soviet Union.

President Obama, obsessed with leaks to the press, has now turned the entire federal government into a workplace where employees are expected to report “suspicious activity” of their co-workers. Failure to do so could result in penalties including criminal charges.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rapper Lupe Fiasco Calls Out Race Baiting Media on Trayvon Martin Case

While many celebrities tossed their 140 characters of nonsense into the realm of Twitter, rapper Lupe Fiasco revealed the truth regarding how the media used the Trayvon Martin case to further ‘antagonize US race relations’.

Going on to talk about why the case should have never been televised and turned into a media sensation that is now causing so-called ‘protesters’ to go out and destroy private property, Lupe Fiasco is right on point with this one. As a major black artist, Lupe is obviously not ‘racist’ for calling out the mainstream media on their blatant race baiting and spin of the Trayvon Martin case, and neither am I when I point out this same fact. It simply comes down to looking at the way the media spun the entire case, let alone the ruling, in a way that has justifiably led to concerns that public backlash could result in riots or homicides.

And after seeing the slew of Twitter threats from users who said they’d hunt down and kill Zimmerman and others if he was not found guilty, it’s obvious the media has turned this case into a race-driven war.

As I’ve discussed earlier, there is a real level of corruption that threatens black individuals, Hispanic individuals, and white individuals. In fact, it’s the biggest threat we face today: corrupt government that has zero regard for our rights in any capacity. So why are we being tricked into fighting each other based on skin color under the guise of stopping the very same racism? It’s simple, and it comes down to political brainwashing 101.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Moon’s Mystery: Scientists Debate How it Formed

How was our planet’s satellite formed? Scientists are still searching for the answer.

It has taken centuries for scientists to settle on a creation story for our moon, the most popular of which is depicted on the July cover of National Geographic magazine. But as I learned at a recent lunch with Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, the debate is still far from finished.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

U.S. Senate Wants to Put an End to Filibustering

(AGI) Washington, July 14 — The U.S. Senate intends to to put an end to the increasing use of filibustering next week. The Senate is currently made up of 53 democrats, 45 republicans and two independents, which means that there is not a sufficient 60-vote majority to avoid the opposition’s filibustering.

However, a simple majority is sufficient to change the filibustering rules.

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

U.S. Should be ‘On Its Knees Begging’ Fugitive Spy Edward Snowden Not to Release More Information, Says Reporter Who First Published Leaks

Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has dangerous information that could become the U.S. government’s ‘worst nightmare’ if revealed, claims the journalist who first published documents leaked by the former NSA computer analyst.

In an interview with Argentinian newspaper La Nacion, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald said the U.S. government should be careful in its pursuit of Snowden.

‘Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had,’ Greenwald told the paper.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Calderoli Should Go

Hasn’t Roberto Calderoli done enough damage? In February 2006, in the midst of the crisis over the anti-Muslim cartoons published in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, Italy’s Minister for Institutional Reform announced that he would wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the cartoons. Later that evening, during a live interview on Italian state TV, he announced: “I am wearing one of those T-shirts right now”. He promptly unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a T-shirt bearing a cartoon (actually a different cartoon from France Soir’s front page — he couldn’t even get that right). He was forced to resign, but not until riots outside the Italian consulate in Benghazi in Libya had led to at least 10 deaths.

In 2006, the Northern League senator also explained Italy’s victory in the 2006 World Cup final by the fact that France fielded a team of “negroes, Muslims and communists”.

In 2007 the man behind Italy’s much-derided “Porcellum” electoral law was at it again…

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

Dutch Government Gets Tough on Welfare Benefit Tourism

Rotterdam city council is to begin experimenting with checking up on the residency status of EU citizens who claim welfare benefits (bijstand) in the Netherlands, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said on Wednesday.

Currently, if EU citizens request welfare benefits their claims are only investigated after they have been submitted and the money has already been paid out.

The experiment means if Rotterdam city officials have doubts about the residency status of a claimant, they will be able to check with the immigration service before considering the application.

European Commission

Asscher wants to take the scheme nationwide by January 2015, but first has to discuss with the European Commission how the legislation can be implemented without infringing the right to free movement.

EU citizens have no rights to welfare benefits within three months of arriving in the Netherlands. A request for welfare benefits within five years can also be a reason to have the right to residency terminated, the social affairs ministry documents state.

In March, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Britain wrote to the European Commission, calling on it to address their concerns about the abuse of the welfare benefit system by the members of other EU states.

According to junior justice minister Fred Teeven at the time, 4,260 non-Dutch EU citizens were claiming welfare benefits at the end of 2011. ‘We know a certain percentage are fraudulent but we do not know exactly how many,’ he said.

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

Eight-Year Jail Term Introduced for Vatican Document Theft

(AGI) Vatican, July 11 — With the introduction into Vatican law of Art. 116a, anyone stealing documents and revealing confidential information, now risks up to eight years in prison. If this law had been on the statute books before the Vatileaks scandal, papal butler Paolo Gabriele would not have served a mere 18 months in prison. “If the stolen document concerns interests of particular importance and privacy the penalty soars from four to eight years,” said Professor Giuseppe Dalla Torre, President of the Vatican Court.

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

France: Bastille Day Festivities Fall Flat as Hollande Itemises Work Done

President promises to fight French pessimism

France has known more auspicious Bastille Days.

The president was booed by opponents of same-sex marriage as he descended the Champs-Élysées. The annual projection of military might was whittled down to save money: 265 vehicles, 35 per cent fewer than last year; a 12 per cent reduction in the 35 helicopters and 58 aircraft trailing blue, white and red smoke.

François Mitterrand established the tradition of the Bastille Day television interview 32 years ago, and it’s considered the political rendez-vous of the year between the president and the French people.

François Hollande promised to break the tradition but, with his approval rating stuck at 30 per cent, it was important for him to embrace that symbol of power by submitting to questions on the lawn of the Élysée Palace.

Hollande’s predecessors threw a Bastille Day garden party for thousands — another tradition he’s curtailed. It’s the military’s day as much as the president’s, and the top brass aren’t happy. As Hollande noted in his interview, 54,000 military positions have already been cut. A recent defence white paper foresees 24,000 more military job losses by 2019.

The mood was further darkened by the train wreck that killed six people late Friday. The derailment of the Paris-Limoges train was caused by mechanical failure, Hollande said. He wasn’t sure if it was due to poor maintenance or ageing equipment, but vowed that henceforward, France will place priority on maintaining “classic” train lines, with less emphasis on the prestigious, high-speed TGV.

Hollande is coming under fire from his own camp. In his book French Emergencies, Jacques Attali, who was a top adviser to Mitterrand, writes that “France does not know how to reform. François Hollande’s programme lacked ambition from the beginning.”

In its weekend edition, Le Monde published a severe, front-page editorial about the “message breakdown” of the presidency, saying Hollande had the “obligation” to “at last outline a direction, carry a vision, speak to France”. By those criteria, the Bastille Day interview failed…

[Return to headlines]

French President Hollande Booed at Bastille Day Parade

(AGI) Paris — French President Francois Hollande got an angry welcome from the crowds attending the Bastille Day military parade .

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

Italy: Almost 60% of PD Voters Want Renzi to Lead

More than 50% ahead of Epifani in poll

(ANSA) — Rome, July 12 — Almost 60% of supporters of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) want Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi to be its next leader according to a poll out Friday.

Renzi, who is the bookie’s favourite to be elected in December primaries, was over 50% ahead of PD leader Guglielmo Epifani in the SWG poll.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex-Head of Venice ‘Moses’ Dam Project Arrested

Giovanni Mazzacurati among 14 detained

(ANSA) — Venice, July 12 — The former head of the consortium responsible for finishing and running the MOSE (‘Moses’) system of dams to protect Venice was arrested in a contract-rigging probe from northern to southern Italy Friday.

Giovanni Mazzacurati was among 14 people arrested in Veneto, Lombardy, Friuli, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio and Campania.

Some 100 people were placed under investigation. The first phase in the installation of the controversial MOSE water barrier system in the Venice lagoon to protect the city from floods was completed last week.

The Venezia Nuova Consortium carrying out the work said a fourth mobile gate had been lowered into the north canal in the Lido port waterway where the lagoon meets the Adriatic sea which is prone to flooding the city during high tide.

In the coming months, the floodgates will reportedly be raised in tests to verify the effectiveness of the barrier system, 75% of which has already been completed, the Consortium said.

The 5.4-billion-euro MOSE project has already been funded with 4.934 million euros.

The deadline for implementing the floodgates is 2016 but the consortium said Wednesday that two of the system’s four barriers will be in place by 2014.

Over 4,000 people are working in the project.

Conceived in 1984, MOSE, which in Italian is a play on the name Moses, has been controversial since its inception with environmentalists saying it will interrupt the natural ecosystem and some experts questioning its effectiveness in protecting the city.

Floods reached chest-high levels several times this fall and winter, flooding stores and apartments.

Weather experts say the high-water threat has been increasing in recent years due to heavier rains in northern Italy, possibly because of climate change.

Other potential causes for the ‘acqua alta’ phenomenon include the sea floor rising as a result of incoming silt and gas extraction in the sea off Venice.

A recent study also claimed that plate tectonics are responsible as the Adriatic plate is sliding beneath the Apennine Mountains, causing the whole area to drop in elevation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Slams Epifani Over Comment About His Government

(AGI) — Rome, July 13 — Former Italian premier Mario Monti said on Saturday that Democratic Party leader Gugliemi Epifani should reconsider his comment about the Monti government “having swept dust under the rug.” “There was a rug involved, but it was a red carpet leading us into Europe,” Mr Monti said during a convention of his centrist party, Civic Choice.

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

Italy: Presidency Denies Existence of Pro-Berlusconi Appeals

(AGI) Rome, July 12 — The Italian president’s office vehemently denied that any appeals for clemency for Silvio Berlusconi were on the table. The denial was issued as a result of newspaper reports to the contrary.

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

Italy: Centre-Left Leader Denies Seeking to Save Berlusconi

(AGI) Rome — Democratic Party leader Guglielmo Epifani denied Grillo’s accusation of wanting to change the law to save Berlusconi ..

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

UK: Drug Scandal at the Houses of Parliament After Traces of Cocaine Are Found on Toilets Across Palace of Westminster

Evidence of cocaine use has been found inside toilets at the Houses of Parliament, including some just yards from MPs’ offices.

Traces of the class A drug were found in nine toilets throughout the Palace Of Westminster, the meeting place of the UK’s political elite.

The powder was detected in toilets used by guests at Parliament’s bars, as well as cubicles a few yards away from MPs’ offices — areas where members of the public are restricted from going.

The drug use was uncovered using cocaine indicator swabs, which come up with blue blotches when rubbed on surfaces where the drug has been laid out in lines, such as toilet seats and hairdryers. The swabs are used by the police and customs officers.

As Parliament’s toilets are cleaned regularly, the white powder must have been snorted in the past few hours, according to reporters from The Sun, who did the testing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Libel Tourism Fiasco of Russian ‘Torturer’ Using Our Courts to Bring Claim Against British Businessman

A former Russian police officer banned from travelling to America after being accused of torture and murder has been allowed to bring an explosive libel claim against a British businessman in London’s High Court.

The case, which will cost the UK taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds, is likely to be one of the most expensive ever heard in Britain.

It is being brought by Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Karpov, one of the men accused of involvement in the arrest, torture and murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Moscow in 2009.

And it follows a high-profile campaign led by Mr Magnitsky’s former boss, William Browder, who wants more than 60 Russian suspects held to account for the lawyer’s death.

But Mr Karpov has hired top UK lawyers to sue Mr Browder for defamation in a trial that opens on July 24.

The case is cited as one of the worst examples of libel tourism — where foreign nationals with little or no connection to the UK use the High Court to settle their disputes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Michael Gove Blocks Flagship Islamic Free School Following Links to Terrorism

A flagship free school has been blocked by Michael Gove following claims that it is linked to Islamic extremism.

The Education Secretary pulled the plug on the Muslim-inspired Northern Lights primary school in Halifax, Yorkshire, following a three-month investigation.

Ministers ordered the inquiry after complaints that a local Islamic centre had circulated a leaflet suggesting that Muslim parents who failed to support the free school would be condemned…

The Sunniyy Centre, which also runs an Islamic school and is said to hold hard-line theological views, apologised for the leaflet, which went out in December, saying it was ‘in parts poorly expressed and indelicate’.

The Department for Education said: ‘We judged that the capacity and capability of the group was not sufficient for the project to proceed.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: New Human Rights Farce as Police Are Afraid to Release Crooks’ Mugshots Despite National Guidelines

A new secret justice row broke out last night after The Mail on Sunday discovered that hundreds of thousands of convicted criminals are having their identities protected by police.

More than half of forces in England and Wales refuse to publish mugshots of offenders unless they have been jailed — in defiance of national guidelines.

Some insist on sentences of more than three years before they release a custody photo to the press, citing concerns about data protection and the criminals’ human rights.

This means just a tiny handful of the 1.2 million people sentenced in criminal courts each year have their pictures published or put online, even though it is widely acknowledged that publicity can link offenders to other crimes and prevent more from being committed…

In one well-known case, Derbyshire Constabulary refused to release photographs of two murderers who had fled from an open prison, arguing that they had likely left the area and therefore posed no risk to residents.

[Commeter: I’m pretty sure the police will have no problem if the suspect is a member of the EDL. The mugshot will even appear in the newspapers. — – — W Smith , Perth, United Kingdom,]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: The Real Tagging Scandal: G4s Whistleblower Paid £9 an Hour to Monitor Convicts Reveals How Criminals Are Roaming Free Because of Security Firm Blunders

Thousands of tagged criminals are roaming free or being wrongly returned to prison because a security firm — funded by the taxpayer — is failing to monitor them, a whistleblower says today.

Nigel Mills, 45, claims that G4S is putting the safety of the public — and offenders — at risk by relying on faulty equipment that cannot keep track of convicts.

He also accuses the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, of failing to grasp the scale of the crisis at the company, which faces an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over claims it charged for tags that did not exist.

The Cabinet Office is to review all other G4S contracts after claims it was billing the taxpayer for tracking the movements of offenders who have moved abroad, returned to prison or even died.

G4S came under fire last year after failing to deliver enough security officers for the Olympics and last week faced fresh claims it and private firm Serco overcharged the taxpayer by up to £50 million.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Srebrenica Church Sows Discord

AFP — On a forest-covered hill near Srebrenica, a white bell tower rises into the sky, giving the first glimpse of a new church being built near the scarred Bosnian town, which this week marked the 18th anniversary of the worst massacre in post-war Europe.

But instead of bringing peace and calm, the Orthodox Christian church has sown fresh discord in the ethnically mixed town, which still bears the deep scars of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

For the local Bosnian Serb population, the church, built just a few hundred metres above a memorial centre for the victims of a genocide, is a necessity.

For the victims’ families and the international community, the new church is pure provocation.

According to Hatidza Mehmedovic, a Bosnian Muslim and head of an association grouping Srebrenica women who lost loved ones in the 1995 massacre, the “mere fact that the church is being built does not bother us”.

But the church “is at a spot where there are no believers and just near the site of a mass grave” where victims of the massacre were found, she said.

Mehmedovic’s husband and two sons, killed in the atrocity, are buried at the memorial cemetery at Potocari, just outside Srebrenica.

Aleksandar Mladjenovic, a local Orthodox priest who has been supervising the construction work, told AFP that the builders had reduced their work at the site ahead of the July 11 anniversary of the massacre “to avoid tension”.

On a warm July evening, only the chirping of birds and the fluttering of a Serbian flag on the bell tower break the silence around the church, in the small village of Budak.

Nearby is a flat, freshly mown field surrounded with a barbed-wire fence: this is the site where in 2007 forensic experts exhumed the remains of some 130 victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

“They are building (the church) at this spot as a provocation to the dead and the victims’ families,” said Mehmedovic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Morsi Gone, Military Brings Hope Not Coup

As the country rejoices, Egyptians fear jihad will turn into civil war. The military removed and jailed President Morsi on the demands of the people, and now Morsi’s angry remnant — defenders of the dishonored, ousted Muslim Brotherhood — roam the streets in bloodthirsty revenge.

Instigated by President Morsi’s June 26th and 28th speeches, the Muslim Brotherhood and their sympathizers terrorize Egyptian neighborhoods. All who are happy to have Morsi gone — ordinary citizens and Egyptian military — becomes their enemy. Where does the United States stand on this battleground?

Now, after Morsi, Egypt’s military plays the role of transitional authority and guardian without taking power. The army has not seized power from the government or sought violence. The military has not grabbed positions, control, or command as a consequence of the people’s rebellion. Instead, it continues to support Egypt’s revolutionary democratic movement and keep law and order after removing the President. The army is facilitating the appropriate legal course and changeover in the government according to guidelines provided in Egypt’s previous constitution — correctly “freezing” Morsi’s Sharia law constitution rejected by the majority.

Egypt’s military performed dutifully toward its countrymen resolving the June 30th issue with perfect timing as it rejected the bait of “dialogue.” This resulted in a miraculous turnover for Egypt. Unlike SCAF’s dirty compromises after the overthrow of Mubarak, this army is supervising the transference of power from Morsi’s regime to the president of the High Constitutional Court, Adly Monsour, who is now the interim President of Egypt. In siding responsibly with freedom fighters Egypt’s army has forgone political empowerment. This is the stunning part; the part that the media around the world seems to be missing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Iconoclast: Israeli Cabinet Infighting Amidst Announcement of Major Changes in Strategic Military Doctrine

Israel has announced a new military doctrine relying on high tech defense, quick reaction to counterterrorism and special operations forces. The IDF already has more Special Operations units for its military than compared to the US. Moreover , the US House of Representatives Armed Services recently increased funding for deployment of the remaining 16 batteries of the Israeli-developed Iron Dome short range anti-rocket/missile system with an enhanced range of 100 kilometers.

This change in Israeli strategic military doctrine will result in a major reduction in force for Army, Navy and Air force officers and units, perhaps a necessity to alleviate a current budget deficit. This announcement about a dramatic shift in IDF military doctrine comes amidst a tussle in control over the IDF inside the Netanyahu cabinet. There is great uncertainty about reliance on American military cooperation in possible military action against the overarching threat from a nuclear Iran. However, against the backdrop of this cabinet tussle over a significant change in IDF military doctrine, security fences are no substitute for strategic proactive attacks on existential threats to the Jewish nation, the only democracy in the Middle East and ally of the US.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

European Woman Held in Oman for Desecrating Quran

Residents reported her while she was tearing pages near a mosque in Sohar

Muscat: A European woman was arrested on Sunday in Sohar for desecrating the Quran, according to sources at the Royal Oman Police (ROP).

The accused tore pages from the holy book, the sources said. “She then rubbed these torn pages on her feet,” a witness said.

A resident near Al Hamadah Mosque in Sohar, about 231km north of Muscat, saw her desecrating the Quran. “The resident alerted police and officers from the Sohar police station who went to the spot and arrested the accused,” a source at the ROP confirmed.

The woman is detained pending further investigations.

A source said that this was the first time an expatriate had indulged in such a despicable act and to make it worse her act had come during Ramadan.

Neither her identity nor her nationality was made public.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Israel Struck Syrian Arms Depot in Latakia From Sea

(AGI) London, July 14 — The attack on an arms depot outside the Syrian port city of Latakia on July 5 was not carried out by a warplane but by an Israeli submarine, the British Sunday Times reported. Dolphin class submarine targeted the regime’s 50 Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles.

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

Missing British Schoolgirl, 16, Feared to be on the Run With Turkish Waiter She Met on Holiday

A schoolgirl who went missing while on holiday with her mother in Turkey is believed to be on the run with an older waiter.

Faye Jones, from Cramlington, Northumberland, has not been seen for three days since she fled with Murat Can Ertani, 22, in the popular coastal resort of Marmaris.

Her distraught mother Rhonda has been frantically searching for her ever since, but fears she may never see her again.

Turkish police say Ertani is a criminal and has spent time in jail.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Qatar’s New Emir Orders 118 German Tanks

(AGI) Berlin — Qatar’s new emir has ordered 118 German-built Leopard tanks and 16 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

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

India: Supreme Court to the Government: No More Victims Disfigured With Acid

The highest court in the country launches an ultimatum: new rules on the sale of the solvent and support to victims within a week, or “we will take hold of the situation.” Each year there are at least 1000 acid victims in India.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/agencies)- Regulate the sale of acid and initiate aid programmes for the victims of the attacks: these are the demands of the Supreme Court of India to the Central Government. If the Commission does not present a draft within the next week, said the judges, the Court will issue a ruling to force the Government to act.

The highest court of the country is accusing the Government of not taking adequate measures to stop further attacks with acid, despite repeated appeals by the same Court.

Every year in India there are at least 1000 acid attacks, mostly against women. This type of aggression is widespread in all of South Asia, especially in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In India, anyone can buy a bottle of 750 ml acid at any grocery store, at the low price of 30 rupees (0.39 euros).

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

Children Born in Italy Are Italian, Says Chamber Speaker

(AGI) Lamezia Terme, July 13 — Children born in Italy of migrant parents must be considered Italian, said Chamber of Deputies Speaker Laura Boldrini, calling for an end to opposition on the matter. She added that President Napolitano had reminded the parties more than once that such children were part of Italy’s social fabric and that the citizenship law needed to be brought up to date. Ms Boldrini was speaking at a ceremony in Lamezia Termi, awarding honorary citizenship to 400 children of immigrants born in the city.

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

Israel: Dozens of Eritreans Deported by ‘Own Accord’

Dozens of Eritrean nationals have been deported out of Israel over the past week, in what is the first implementation of the ‘willful emigration’ policy put forward recently by The Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration, Ynet has learned.

The new directive allows asylum seekers who are suspected of committing a crime and are prepared to leave of their own ‘free will’ to do so. However, the directive sparked the criticism of human rights activists who said that those incarcerated in the Saharonim detention center were forced to sign ‘willful emigration’ papers, and did not do so willingly.

On Sunday, a meeting was held in the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the issue of asylum seekers and infiltrators into Israel. Among those present were Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Internal Security Minister Itzhak Aharonovitch and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that “there are no longer any infiltrators penetrating Israel’s cities — not in Tel Aviv, not in Arad, not in Eilat, not anywhere.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch revealed new details regarding the implementation of the new directive which allows the State to imprison asylum seekers suspected of a crime without trial; the decision was taken in wake of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decision to allow the policy to apply to low level misdemeanors.

The procedure is meant to find out whether someone held in custody is interested in returning to his country of origin.

According to Aharonovitch, since the policy has been put in place, some 14 asylum seekers have been jailed. The minister further added that his ministry has prepared a list of around 1,000 additional foreign nationals who can now be jailed as part of the new directive.

Reut Michaeli, the Executive Director at Hotline for Migrant Workers, slammed the new directive, saying “Calling the deportations happening today ‘willful emigration’ is cynical and immoral. These deportations are not happening of the refugees’ own accord, but are rather being coerced and solicited from asylum seekers jailed in harsh conditions for months or years without even a sliver of hope, being forced to sign a document of ‘willful emigration’.”

“Their signing of the document was coerced under the threat that their request of refugee status would not be accepted and that they would be forced to spend a long time in the prison.”

O., an activist from Tel Aviv’s southern Tikva neighborhood said that the “the term infiltrators is misleading. It is an umbrella term meant to denote non-Jewish immigrant of African origin, despite the difference between migrant workers illegally entering the country and asylum seekers illegally entering the country pending legal recognition of their refugee status.”

           — Hat tip: DW [Return to headlines]

Italy: Boldrini’s View of Nationality Law Wrong, Says Cicchitto

(AGI) Rome — PDL’s Cicchitto said the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies was wrong in interpreting the jus soli nationality law .

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

Pedophiles Want Same Rights as Homosexuals — Claim Unfair to be Stigmatized for Sexual Orientation

[WARNING: * Disturbing Content. *]

Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.

Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. A group of psychiatrists with B4U-Act recently held a symposium proposing a new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“No Such Thing as Islamic Terrorism, “ Delegate Tells UN Confab on Religious Sensitivities

GENEVA — Nations attacked the West for wrongly associating Islam with terrorism at a June 19-21 international conference in Geneva organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, part of the U.S.-Turkish led “Istanbul Process,” an intended Western-Islamic framework for détente created by a 2011 UN Human Rights Council resolution to “combat intolerance, discrimination and incitement to hatred and/or violence on the basis of religion or belief.”

The 3rd International Expert Meeting on the Follow-Up and Implementation of HRC Resolution 16/18 was held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. The previous meeting of the Istanbul Proces was hosted by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., in December 2011.

[ . . . ]

US Ambassador Michael G. Kozak touched on America’s historical familiarity with blasphemy laws. He cited the 1798 “Alien and Sedition Acts” that facilitated deportation and prohibited public opposition to government. Mr. Kozak made the point that intolerance is often more likely to be stifled by protecting free speech rather than by banning it, and expressed his hope that focus would remain on how to better implement the prescriptions currently contained in Resolution 16/18, instead of adding new measures designed to further restrict free speech. When free speech is criminalized, violence becomes the only option. Freedom of expression and freedom of religion could strengthen one another.

[ . . . ]

In a debate on the implementation of Paragraph 5 (e) of Resolution 16/18, Ambassador Ömür Orhun, the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OSCE, regretted use of the term “Islamic terrorism” by the Western media following terrorist attacks like the 2005 London bombings. “There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism,” he said.

US Ambassador Kozak responded that terrorists are often labeled as such in Western countries precisely because this is what they term themselves. Most “Islamic terrorists” are self-proclaimed as such. To successfully disassociate Islam from terrorism, the OIC would need to address such issues.

[“To successfully disassociate Islam from terrorism,” Muslims are going to have stop committing it and justifying it with references to their scripture and traditions. That, of course, hasn’t happened in fourteen centuries — and to imagine that it ever will is extremely silly. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]