Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2013

In a surprising move, the foreign ministers of the European Union agreed that Hezbollah should be added to the blacklist of terrorist organizations. However, the ministers only applied this designation to Hezbollah’s so-called “armed wing”.

In other news, a French politician caused controversy when, after seeing a gypsy camp, told a reporter that Hitler had perhaps not killed enough of them.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, ES, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, KGS, Steen, Takuan Seiyo, 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
» Detroit’s Present, America’s Future
» Italian Mortgage Applications Dropping Amid Economic Crisis
» Italy: 15.7 Billion Euros Ready for Part of Government Debt Payment
» Most Government Pensions to be Confiscated Within a Decade
» America No Longer Has a Functioning Judicial System
» ‘Bash Mobs’ Sweep Through Southern California
» David Rockefeller and America’s “Best Interests”
» Former Baseball M.V.P. Ryan Braun, Linked to Doping, Suspended for Rest of Season
» George Zimmerman Emerged From Hiding for Truck Crash Rescue
» HUD’s New Fair Housing Rule Establishes Diversity Data on Every Neighborhood in the US
» Informant: Islamic Compounds in America Are Training for Jihad
» NY Food Stamp Recipients Are Shipping Welfare-Funded Groceries to Relatives in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti
» Obamacare’s Branch of the NSA
» Obama’s Remarks Delay 2 Military Sex Assault Trials
» Police Establish Random Checkpoint on Road Outside Austin Airport
» Prepare for Zero Privacy: NSA Spying is Nothing Compared to Upcoming ObamaCare Data Collection Efforts
» Rev. Al Sharpton’s ‘Rent-a-Rabblerousers Inc.’ Fizzling Out?
» The IRS Scandal Beats a Path to the White House
Europe and the EU
» Denmark: DR to Air Controversial Breivik Play
» Dutch Islamic School’s Lies and Threats Offer Broader Lessons
» Facebook, Amazon Among Global Giants Paying Low Italian Taxes
» French Politician Claims Hitler Didn’t Kill Enough Roma
» Greece: Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s Youth Festival Barred
» Italy: PD Rep Slams PDL Call to ‘Rebalance’ Cabinet
» Italy: Former Abruzzo Governor Given Nine Years, Nine Months
» Italy: PDL Figures Call for ‘Moratorium’ On ‘Ethical’ Measures
» Muslim Colonists in Western Europe
» Netherlands: Bad News on the Fast Food Front; French Fries Are Getting Shorter
» Netherlands: Catholic Priests Urged to Confess Abuse Using Digital Confessional
» Norway: ‘Remember Breivik’s Ideological Context’
» UK Blocks Porn, ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Next?
» UK: Duchess of Cambridge Has Given Birth to a Baby Boy, Palace Says
North Africa
» Morocco: Talks to Form New Gov’t Coalition Underway
Israel and the Palestinians
» A Very Curious Website Has Posted a Tribute to Helen Thomas
Middle East
» EU Ministers Agree to Blacklist Hezbollah’s Armed Wing
» Israel’s Alleged Underwater Attack on Syria Should Serve as a Warning to Iran
» New Clashes Between Kurds and Islamists in Syria, A ‘War Within a War’
» ‘Syrian Army Uses Chemical Weapons Against Palestinians’
» Syria: New Weapons From Gulf to Daraa Rebel Chiefs
» US Raises Aid to Jordan by $300 Million
» Media Finally Begins Reporting on Russian ‘Combat Readiness’ After Alternative News
South Asia
» India Jails Six Men in Swiss Gang-Rape Case
» Israel to Trade Arms for Migrants With African Countries
Culture Wars
» Does the Bionic Woman Menstruate? (Or Monkey See; Monkey Do)
» Lauren’s Success and the Failure of Common Core
» Half a Billion SIM Cards Could be Bugged or Have Information Stolen From Them Because of ‘Serious Security Flaws’

Detroit’s Present, America’s Future

The impetus behind this devastation is all too familiar, namely, the unholy alliance of Democratic politicians buying the loyalty of Big Labor over the course of decades with unsustainable wage and benefit packages for their members. That alliance has left the city with $9 billion of its $11 billion in unsecured loans owed to pensions and health-benefit plans of municipal workers, and contributes mightily to the city’s current $380 million annual deficit. It has also left the city with a total number of pensioned retirees that is more than double the number of active workers.

The remaining workforce can’t cope. Two-thirds of the city’s ambulances are out of service, and police take an average of 58 minutes to respond to emergencies, five times the national average. Forty percent of the city’s streetlights don’t work, 210 of its 317 public parks are closed down, and the city’s public schools, also on the verge of bankruptcy, are some of the worst in the nation. The city’s mass-transit system is virtually non-functional.

Corruption was part of the mix as well. Corrupt city officials include former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his aide, Monica Conyers, the wife of House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI), several city council members and a police chief who, along with countless others, were indicted, arrested and/or imprisoned for criminal charges involving bribes, embezzlement and kickbacks. In 2009, corrupt Detroit Public School (DPS) officials perpetrated a scam where 257 “ghost” employees were receiving paychecks. That same year, seven more public officials were charged with multiple felonies for operating an embezzlement scheme, and 500 illegal healthcare dependents costing the city millions of dollars were discovered.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Mortgage Applications Dropping Amid Economic Crisis

Survey finds average value of homes sold falling in 2013

(ANSA) — Rome, July 22 — Amidst Italy’s lingering recession, applications for new home mortgages dropped by 10% in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to data released Monday.

The findings, released by business ratings agency CRIF, showed that consumers who do try to get a mortgage are looking for fixed interest rates, suggesting fears of rising borrowing costs as the economic situation in Italy worsens.

The survey found that fixed-rate mortgages rose from a market share of 12% in the second quarter of 2012 to 18% in Q2 of this year.

That is partly due to more aggressive pricing policies a number of banks, CRIF said.

Meanwhile, house prices are falling, with the average price in the first quarter of this year running about 115,712 euros compared with about 120,000 euros an average price in the same period last year, the survey found.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 15.7 Billion Euros Ready for Part of Government Debt Payment

Finance minister says ‘acceleration’ of payments possible

(ANSA) — Rome, July 22 — The Italian government has almost 15.7 billion euros available for paying off its part of its outstanding bills, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Monday.

And it hopes that by September it will outline a complete plan for reaching the committed amount of 20 billion for 2013, he added during a news conference.

Data will be updated every two weeks, the minister promised.

The government has pledged to pay 40 billion euros over this year and next for debts owed to businesses.

Payments of more debt may even be possible earlier than expected, added Saccomanni.

In fact, “a significant acceleration” is possible, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Most Government Pensions to be Confiscated Within a Decade

Realizing it flat-out doesn’t have the money to pay these pension obligations, Detroit had little choice but to declare bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying the pensions. In effect, this is a confiscation of all pension funds by the government, meaning that retired cops, firefighters, school teachers and so on will never see a dime of the pensions they thought they had earned.

Naturally, those who are owed the pensions are furious about all this. Imagine working 40 years on the job, building up a retirement only to have that retirement stolen from you by a local government that’s steeped in corruption and financial mismanagement. The word “incompetent” doesn’t even begin to describe Detroit’s political leadership. It’s more like “brain damaged” or “criminally insane.”

But it’s also commonplace. Across the country, city governments have all spent the pension funds instead of saving them. Almost no large city has the funds necessary to pay its obligations to retirees. Pension financial planning strategies are tragic nightmares of broken promises, dishonest politicians and delusional workers (who still somehow believe they’re going to get paid).

In Detroit, the pensioners are fighting back, claiming Michigan’s state constitution forbids cities like Detroit from wiping away pension obligations by declaring bankruptcy. It’s all headed to the courts now, where even if Detroit’s bankruptcy is nullified, the city still doesn’t have the money to pay its pension obligations.

So it’s a no-win situation regardless of the outcome. Where the money doesn’t exist, nobody gets paid regardless of the legal wrangling in the courts.


What this means in reality is that health care obligations will have to be abandoned. So at the same time cities confiscate pension funds, they will also abandon health care obligations.

For many retirees, this means they will lose their pensions and their health care benefits at the same time.

This is what will ultimately lead to widespread riots in the streets followed by the police state crackdown that the federal government has been planning with its purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition, thousands of armored assault vehicles, full-auto assault rifles and other equipment to be used on the streets of America. The IRS is now training with AR-15s in order to engage American taxpayers at gunpoint. Even the Wall Street Journal now admits that the militarization of American police is wildly out of control, saying:

Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

America No Longer Has a Functioning Judicial System

The Department of Justice told a federal court this week that the NSA’s spying “cannot be challenged in a court of law”.

(This is especially dramatic given that numerous federal judges and legal scholars — including a former FISA judge — say that the FISA spying “court” is nothing but a kangaroo court.)

Also this week, the Department of Justice told a federal court that the courts cannot review the legality of the government’s assassination by drone of Americans abroad:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Bash Mobs’ Sweep Through Southern California

Organized “bash mob” crime rampages of roving groups attacking innocent people and businesses have been striking cities around the United States. Law enforcement agencies in Southern California have reported few similar problems — until now.

In the last several days, there have been several reports of such group crime waves in South L.A., Hollywood, San Bernardino and Victorville. Long Beach police are bracing for another one Friday.

These so-called bash mobs of “flash mob” crime waves are organized through social media and have been a problem in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

David Rockefeller and America’s “Best Interests”

Most people who read my columns are familiar with the famous quote by David Rockefeller (DR) in his MEMOIRS: “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — -one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” The common understanding of this statement is that DR is admitting he and his “secret cabal” are “working against the best interests of the United States.” However, Ari Goldberg says DR is only admitting he is “guilty” of “conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure.” This is because later on the same page of his book, DR says he and his fellow conspirators have brought about “fundamental improvements in societies around the world, particularly in the United States.” So what’s going on?

The best way to answer that question is to explore DR’s worldview. DR is part of the modern version of what Philip Freneau in AMERICAN MUSEUM (July 1792) referred to as the “hereditary elite.” Not too long ago, DR told Congressman William Dannemeyer that “some men are born to rule, but most men are born to be ruled.” DR is a globalist, a world citizen who, with other elitists, believe they have a responsibility to manage (rule) the world. This is not just my impression, because in 1959 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Special Studies Project issued a report titled, “The Mid-Century Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy,” in which one reads: “We cannot escape, and indeed should welcome, the task which history has imposed on us. This is the task of helping to shape a new world order in all its dimensions — -spiritual, economic, political, social.”

In 1973, DR formed the Trilateral Commission (TC), about which Sen. Barry Goldwater in WITH NO APOLOGIES (1979) wrote: “In my view the Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power — -political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical.” The year after the TC was formed, Rhodes scholar Richard Gardner in the April 1974 edition of FOREIGN AFFAIRS (published by the Council on Foreign Relations, with David Rockefeller as chairman, 1970-1985) described how “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault,” and he went on to say how GATT would be part of that effort!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former Baseball M.V.P. Ryan Braun, Linked to Doping, Suspended for Rest of Season

The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, a former baseball most valuable player, has been suspended for the remainder of the season, becoming the latest star athlete to be sanctioned for doping. The punishment was announced on Monday afternoon by Major League Baseball, which has been conducting a sweeping doping investigation that could lead to suspensions of other players.

Braun said in a statement issued by baseball that he would not contest the suspension.

“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun’s statement said. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization.”

Braun was linked to an anti-aging clinic in South Florida, Biogenesis, which baseball officials believe distributed performance-enhancing drugs to major league players.

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George Zimmerman Emerged From Hiding for Truck Crash Rescue

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.

Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four — two parents and two children — trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route Route 46, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot Martin.

By the time police arrived, two people — including Zimmerman — had already helped the family get out of the overturned car, the sheriff’s office said. No one was reported to be injured.

Zimmerman was not a witness to the crash and left after speaking with the deputy, police said…

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

HUD’s New Fair Housing Rule Establishes Diversity Data on Every Neighborhood in the US

“For the first time ever,” Donovan added, “HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class.” –

Under the proposed rule, the neighborhood data provided by HUD will be used to evaluate patterns of integration and segregation, racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty, and access to “valuable community assets.” HUD wants to know if existing laws and policies — such as zoning, financing, infrastructure planning and transportation — create, perpetuate or alleviate segregation. The proposed rule explicitly incorporates fair-housing decision-making into existing planning processes and “other decision-making that influences how communities and regions grow and develop.”

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo [Return to headlines]

Informant: Islamic Compounds in America Are Training for Jihad

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

In Hancock, NY an Islamic community that sits on 80 acres of land has decided to form its own government. They call their community: The Town of Islamberg. They have their own mayor, deputy mayor and five town council members. None of them are elected, of course.

They even boast that their “town” provides departments of education, medical, finance and land development services.

This Islamic compound has truly become a city-state. Though not recognized as a legitimate township by the City of Hancock, this Islamic community nevertheless enforces its own laws on the “citizens” within its borders. They do so by using the iron fist of Sharia law.

I interviewed a member of this camp, which sits deep in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York. The Islamic group that has established this camp is part a network known as Muslims of the Americas (MOA), which has documented links to Al Qaeda.

MOA has established similar villages in nearly three-dozen locations nationwide, with other prominent camps found in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, California and Tennessee.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NY Food Stamp Recipients Are Shipping Welfare-Funded Groceries to Relatives in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti

Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obamacare’s Branch of the NSA

by John Fund

The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote in USA Today.

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Remarks Delay 2 Military Sex Assault Trials

Two sexual assault courts-martial for Navy men at Pearl Harbor are now postponed because of a comment made by President Barack Obama.

The trial issues — related to a statement by Obama, the commander in chief, that sexual assault perpetrators should be dishonorably discharged — potentially amount to “unlawful command influence” and are part of a spate of military cases nationwide in which the defense is being raised.

The fear is that court-martial boards, aware of such statements from superiors, would be swayed to give the defendant less than a fair trial and that the public would view any convictions and discharges as the boards merely following orders.


In one of the Hawaii cases, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ernest Johnson, a crew member on the destroyer USS Russell, was scheduled to go on trial June 17 on charges that he sexually assaulted another male sailor who was asleep or intoxicated, according to court records. The alleged assault happened Sept. 9.

Obama’s comment came May 7, the day the Pentagon reported that the estimated number of military personnel victimized by sexual assault had surged by about 35 percent over the past two years.

In answer to a reporter’s question, Obama said: “I have no tolerance for this. I expect consequences. So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training but folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

Three days later Johnson’s defense counsel sought to dismiss all charges due to “unlawful command influence.”

Cmdr. Marcus Fulton, a Navy judge at Pearl Harbor, refused to dismiss the case but concluded there was apparent unlawful command influence by the president. As a remedy, he removed from possible consideration bad-conduct and dishonorable discharges in the event of a conviction.


NOTE: they call him General Foot-in-Mouth-Walks-On-One-Leg

[Return to headlines]

Police Establish Random Checkpoint on Road Outside Austin Airport

We see the police along with the TSA are encroaching further on our Constitutional right to travel. Outside Austin-Bergstrom International Airport local Police have established a random checkpoint. Our reporter shot this footage as he was leaving the Austin airport on July 17th. Now we see the TSA all over America, at bus stations, train stations, sporting events, concerts, and even shopping malls. This will not stop unless we stand and speak out. Papers please…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Prepare for Zero Privacy: NSA Spying is Nothing Compared to Upcoming ObamaCare Data Collection Efforts

(NaturalNews) The one thing you need to know about Obamacare above anything else is that it was not passed to lower your costs or improve healthcare services and delivery. Obamacare is about cradle-to-grave control, a surveillance state horror that even one-time supporters of the law are beginning to realize (though much too late).

Consider the provisions of this massive law that require collection of your personal information, all in the name of “streamlining” care and “reducing inefficiency.” If you thought the NSA’s spying was invasive, understand that Obamacare will completely wipe out the last vestiges of privacy in America.

Earlier this year the Health and Human Services Department, headed up by former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, tipped us off to just how vast the federal government’s information collection efforts will be on millions of us, all via Obamacare. From Investors Business Daily:

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., asked HHS to provide “a complete list of agencies that will interact with the Federal Data Services Hub.” The Hub is a central feature of Obamacare, since it will be used by the new insurance exchanges to determine eligibility for benefits, exemptions from the federal mandate, and how much to grant in federal insurance subsidies.

In response, the HHS said the Obamacare data hub will “interact” with seven other federal agencies: The Social Security Administration, the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Defense and — believe it or not — the Peace Corps. Plus the Hub will plug into state Medicaid databases.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rev. Al Sharpton’s ‘Rent-a-Rabblerousers Inc.’ Fizzling Out?

Like the long ago Stella of movie fame, President Barack Obama seems to be losing his groove with his own dissident army of low information voters on the race riot march.

Proof of Obama’s gargantuan groove dive: At Friday’s White House press conference: “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” Obama-style one upmanship after saying: “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon”.

This should have been all that Rev. Al Sharpton needed to take millions of protesters to the streets in the beginning of what originally looked like an America lost to massive racial unrest.

Instead, Sharpton, like Obama, fizzled out.

The reason why Race Riots 101 failed before the horses were even let out of the gate?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The IRS Scandal Beats a Path to the White House

The time has come for Congress to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate each of the IRS employees and officers involved in directing and implementing Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, conservative candidates, and conservative donors and to determine the extent to which the White House is involved. The trail now clearly leads back to the IRS Chief Counsel and the IRS Commissioner, the only two presidential appointees at the service. The discriminatory treatment of conservatives at the behest of these presidential appointees thus raises the question what did Obama know and when did he know it? The circumstantial evidence strongly points back to the White House, because it is highly unlikely that either the IRS Commissioner or the IRS Chief Counsel would dare commence a systematic, department wide, illegal campaign of discrimination against conservatives without clear directives to do it from the White House.

There is every reason to suspect that the targeting occurred based on a political directive coming from the White House. The timing of the discriminatory treatment of conservatives (coming immediately before and during the 2010 mid-term congressional and 2012 presidential elections) immediately calls into question whether the President or others in the White House directed or were aware of and condoned the actions. Although it is possible that a political operative other than those in the immediate circle around the President could have communicated the desire for these unlawful actions, it is likely that neither the IRS Commissioner nor the IRS Chief Counsel would undertake such an extensive campaign of discrimination without direct and clear assurances that the President desired the actions be taken.

The present IRS scandal stands as the most extensive abuse of IRS power in American history, reaching not single taxpayer opponents of the President but hundreds of conservative non-profits seeking tax exempt status and several tea party candidates and donors to their campaigns. It cries out for the appointment of a special prosecutor by the Congress of the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark: DR to Air Controversial Breivik Play

On Monday, the day that marks two years since the killings in Oslo and Utøya, DR2 will show the widely-discussed ‘Manifest 2083’

A play based on Anders Breivik is set to premier on Danish television on Monday, two-years to the day from the Utøya and Oslo attacks (File photo: Scanpix)Monday marks two years since right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik detonated two bombs in downtown Oslo before heading out to a gathering by youth members of the Norwegian left-wing political party Arbeiderpartiet on the island of Utøya. There, disguised as a police officer, he proceeded to gun down 69 unarmed youths, some as young as 14. In a horrifying fashion, Breivik killed a total of 77 people and injured a further 319 on a day that will forever live in infamy.

On the two-year anniversary of Breivik’s actions, public broadcaster DR2 has decided to televise the controversial play ‘Manifest 2083’, which is based upon Breivik’s 1,518-page manifesto, ‘2083: A European Declaration of Independence’, a document that details his ideology and motives and at one point praises Denmark’s approach in the “ideological war” against Islam as “the only Scandinavian country with some spine left”.

The play premiered last October under heavy media scrutiny, attracting world-wide attention and criticism for placing more focus on the terrorist Breivik. The play received generally good reviews and took home the special jury award at the Reumert awards, Denmark’s most prestigious theatre honour.

Some relatives of Breivik’s victims were upset by the play receiving such a notable award and the timing of DR’s airing of ‘Manifest 2083’ may also raise some objections.

But the head of DR2, Christoffer Guldbrandsen, pointed out that the play is only one part of the network’s planned coverage of the horrors that occurred on 22 July 2011.

“We will have a special debate programme about the play, and documentaries about the attack,” he said. “It was our thought that it would be good to have an artistic take on what happened, alongside the more documentary elements.”

Guldbrandsen explained that the reason DR2 has decided to dedicate a day to commemorate the attacks is the fact that they are the worst example of extremism the Nordic countries have ever seen.

He claims that the feelings of survivors and relatives to the victims were taken into account in making the decision to air the play, but admits that none of them were contacted.

Guldbrandsen believes that it is important to discuss major events such as the Utøya massacre as it helps to work through the trauma. He added that he felt that the play in no way expresses sympathy for Breivik.

“I would be really surprised if anyone would come out of the play with increased feelings of sympathy for Breivik,” he said. “It is similar to arguing that every time we talk about the Second World War, we are giving Hitler a pat on the back.”

DR2 will air ‘Manifest 2083’ at 8:30pm on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Dutch Islamic School’s Lies and Threats Offer Broader Lessons

Students threatening teachers. Teachers threatening students. Corruption in the classrooms, the hallways, and, eventually, becoming a national scandal — all part of daily life at an Islamic high school in Rotterdam. There, according to a recent article in Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, non-Muslim teachers are pressured to pass failing Muslim students, while Muslim teachers hold secretive classes instructing their pupils on the evils of European culture.

And that’s only part of the story.

The Ibn Ghaldoun school has a long history of controversy, but returned recently to the spotlight after it was discovered that a group of its students had stolen copies of the national final exam, administered to all Dutch students, and were selling it over the Internet. Dozens were found to have cheated, including at least one young woman who, having researched the answers, spoke them into her smartphone and played the recording during test-taking, hiding the headphones under her hijab. The result: the tests had to be repeated, even by those who had not seen them in advance — and so students around the country whose families had planned to take their summer holidays were, in many cases, forced to forfeit flights and other travel arrangements (often at substantial cost).

Investigations into the theft have revealed deep-rooted corruption and revisited previous dirty dealings at the Islamic school, the only Islamic secondary school in the country. In 2007, for instance, Ibn Ghaldoun’s directors were found to have used over €200,000 in government subsidies earmarked for books and local educational school outings to take 200 students and their families not, say, to the Rijksmuseum or Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, but to Mecca. To make matters worse, school administrators then created false receipts and invoices to cover up the misallocation of funds.

Other money also appears to have been paid that same year to local imams not officially affiliated with the school, including the radical Khalil El Moumni, known, among other things, for regularly characterizing homosexuals as being “worse than pigs.”

In this latest scandal, the school has come under its most intense scrutiny yet. And the findings suggest that problems with Holland’s Muslim population are far more complex — and potentially serious — than has been recognized to date.

It isn’t only that several hundred of Rotterdam’s Muslim youth attend a school where lying and stealing is evidently the norm for the administration, creating an environment in which the basic values and principles of Western law and social values are dismissed and disregarded; and it isn’t only that the role model this establishes for these children is one that not only ignores Dutch law, but defies it. What is worse is that such lessons, according to the NRC Handelsblad, are actually taught directly: in a discussion with seven non-Muslim teachers from the school (all of whom claim to have taken jobs there in the hope of improving chances for underprivileged Muslim youth), reporter Andreas Kouwenhoven discovered that after-school “study groups” prove not to be study groups at all. Rather, one Ibn Ghaldoun teacher told him, “they were classes aimed at indoctrinating the children. The lessons were directed against Dutch culture: Girls should never marry a Dutch boy or a non-believer [non-Muslim].”

Others told theNRCthat parents frequently participated in the culture of lies prevalent at the school, regularly pressuring them to raise a child’s grade or even to pass a failing student. Equally distressing, however, is the fact that some teachers actually capitulated. Some cited threats (one claimed his car was vandalized when he refused to raise one student’s grade). Others who admitted inflating grades and secretly giving pupils second- and third chances felt that Dutch-Muslim children experience particular difficulty navigating Dutch society and so, deserve some latitude — this even when many Ibn Ghaldoun’s students were born and raised in the Netherlands. Not only have students who should have failed been allowed to pass, but even those who rightfully should have flunked out completely have received diplomas. (Ibn Ghaldoum’s director, Ayhan Tonca, did not respond to requests for comment for this column.)

The consequences of all this are significant. The unemployment rate among the Dutch Muslim population, particularly among Moroccans, is 15 percent, versus 8 percent of non-Muslims. Far more live in poverty. These facts are frequently cited as reasons for the high rate of criminality in the Muslim (and especially Moroccan) community, and as proof that Muslims are discriminated against by non-Muslim employers. But the situation at the school suggests that the problems lie deeper, in a systemic, cultural approach to maneuvering through life and handling an adverse situation: the lying, the cheating, the threats.

NOTE: See links in report at the original URL, above.

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Facebook, Amazon Among Global Giants Paying Low Italian Taxes

Social network paid just under 132,000 euros to Italy in 2012

(ANSA) Milan, July 22 — Profitable multinationals Facebook and Amazon together paid only about one million euro in combined Italian taxes last year, sources told ANSA.

The information comes after the Group of 20 raised the issue of major global corporations arranging their affairs to avoid paying taxes in jurisdictions where they earn millions in revenues.

Documents consulted by ANSA show that Internet retailer Amazon paid 950,000 euros in Italian taxes last year while has Facebook paid just under 132,000 euro.

Google has been cited as one of the largest companies to avoid paying taxes through a series of intricate holding companies.

Last year Google paid only 1.8 million euro in taxes in Italy.

Politicians are concerned that small and medium sized businesses wind up paying a far greater percentage of their revenues in taxes compared with the global giants that are in a position to shop for low-tax jurisdictions in which to declare profits.

It has also triggered anger as Italian and other European countries struggle with recession and economic hardship and austerity measures hitting ordinary taxpayers.

In a report to the G20 meeting in Moscow late last week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) called for international cooperation on a new tax plan.

“National tax laws have not kept pace with the globalization of corporations and the digital economy, leaving gaps that can be exploited by multinational corporations to artificially reduce their taxes,” the OECD said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French Politician Claims Hitler Didn’t Kill Enough Roma

Uproar in France over politician’s statements

(ANSA) Paris, July 22; Adolf Hitler did not kill enough Roma, according to a French politician who triggered a firestorm of outrage Monday with his reported remarks. “Maybe Hitler had not killed enough,” Gilles Bourdouleix, a member of the National Assembly for the centrist UDI, reportedly told media Sunday after seeing a camp of Roma, sometimes referred to as Gypsies.

Some in his party are now calling for his expulsion.

Bourdouleix is a former mayor of the city of Cholet, where he saw the Roma camped nearby.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s Youth Festival Barred

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JULY 22 — Permission given to neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party to hold a youth rally at the park of the Port Fund in Kalamata, Greece, on August 2-5 has been withdrawn by authorities, as GreekReporter website informs. The permission had initially been given Manolis Aggelakas, General Secretary of the Decentralized Administration of Peloponnese, who issued the revocation as well. The bureau said it changed its mind ‘‘after a series of interventions by the city council of Kalamata, the General Police Directorate of the Peloponnese Region, as well as by professional bodies of the region, concerning the unhindered city function, during the tourist season, and the non-disturbance of peace and order by events of political-party character, with negative consequences on the economic and social life of Kalamata.’’ The bureau said the party is prohibited from conducting any of the activities it had planned and that the space is off limits until August 30.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PD Rep Slams PDL Call to ‘Rebalance’ Cabinet

Center right whip wants more ministers in coalition govt

(ANSA) — Rome, July 22 — The Lower House whip for the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) slammed a demand by his centre-right counterpart to “rebalance” the cabinet with more ministers for Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party (PdL), in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

PD Chamber chief Roberto Speranza called Brunetta’s demand a “fantasy” in an interview with daily Il Corriere della Sera.

“The PdL must demonstrate the ability to put the interests of the country above those of their party and Silvio Berlusconi,” Speranza said.

Speranza said the PD was “giving its all for a government that solves the problems of Italians”.

“In this moment, we need less discussion about ministerial seats,” added Speranza. In particular, the economy minister — a seat the PdL has hankered for currently occupied by the PD’s choice, the economist Fabrizio Saccomanni — “can’t be touched,” said Speranza.

“He is managing (the national budget) prudently in a phase in which it is certainly not easy to make ends meet,” Speranza said.

Speranza also told the newspaper that Brunetta needs to remember that any cabinet changes are for the PD premier to choose.

“The premier’s name is Enrico Letta, not Renato Brunetta,” Speranza said.

In an interview with the newspaper L’Avvenire, Brunetta had called for “rebalancing” the cabinet to better reflect last February’s parliamentary vote. In the general elections, the centre-left “took only 0.3% more than we did, but they have twice as many ministers,” Brunetta complained.

The results of February’s general election were inconclusive, with the centre-left winning roughly 31% of the vote, the centre-right garnering a litte over 30%, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement winning about 25%. A left-right coalition was formed in April to break the stalemate.

The union has been volatile from the start, and tension has mounted as the supreme Cassation Court convenes July 30 to hear an appeal from Berlusconi over a fraud conviction over film rights at his Mediaset media empire. If the court does not overturn his five-year ban from public office, Berlusconi’s supporters have threatened to pull the plug on the government. (photo: Silvio Berlusconi)

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Former Abruzzo Governor Given Nine Years, Nine Months

Del Turco found guilty in health bribes cases

(ANSA) — Pescara, July 22 — An Italian court on Monday sentenced former Abruzzo governor Ottaviano Del Turco to nine years, nine months in prison for involvement in the exchange of health-sector bribes.

Del Turco, a former Socialist trade union leader and ex-finance minister, was arrested with nine others five years ago on charges of fraud, corruption, embezzlement and money laundering involving some 14 million euros.

Prosecutors said Del Turco took bribes of almost six million euros.

After a career in trade unions, Del Turco rose to the top of Bettino Craxi’s Socialist Party before it was swept away in the Bribesville scandals of 1992-94.

He stayed in the centre left and served as head of parliament’s anti-mafia commission between 1996 and 2000, when he was named finance minister. He stayed in the post for just over a year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PDL Figures Call for ‘Moratorium’ On ‘Ethical’ Measures

With gay rights in pipeline, demand for focus on economy

(ANSA) — Rome, July 22 — High-ranking members of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom Party (PdL) on Monday defended their call on the Italian executive for a moratorium on “ethical issues” to avoid shaking the right-left majority coalition on controversial themes, like gay rights, and to focus on pressing economic issues.

“Ethical issues and homophobia? I think today the priorities are economic issues,” the PdL’s House whip Renato Brunetta told Sky television. “My colleagues and I, who have requested the moratorium, wonder, well, in this climate in which economic problems prevail, is it useful to fight over so-called ethical themes?”.

On Sunday, a number of exponents of the PdL — including Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, ex-labour minister Maurizio Sacconi, former equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna, and ex-education minister Mariastella Gelmini — proposed suspending “ethical measures,” including a bill against homophobia.

“I continue to repeat — I am in favour of a law that recognizes the rights of homosexual couples, just as I consider it essential to give our country effective regulation that deals strict and certain blows against homophobic crimes,” Carafagna posted Monday on her blog,

Carafagna went on to explain her role in drumming up consensus within her party in support of the bill, and said it had a good chance of widespread support in parliament in the near future.

“I am worried, instead, whether the government will hold.

In fact, I wouldn’t want certain themes — for example, those of ethical nature — to serve a minority as a crowbar to pry apart the majority that maintains the executive, weakening it to the point where it could cause a crisis that, with his usual foresight, the (President has said) could have disastrous effects on our country,” Carfagna concluded.

The Italian government has taken up a number of social issues since the new executive under Premier Enrico Letta took office in late April, passing a law to combat violence against women and a measure that ends discrimination between children born in and out of wedlock. Debate has also raged over Congo-born Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge’s efforts to push more liberal immigration and citizenship rules, which has met a hail of criticism from the PdL’s anti-immigration ally, the Northern League party. Kyenge has also spoken about new hate speech laws to combat racism and xenophobia.

The minister herself has been the target of a number of racist comments and posts by Northern League politicians, some of whom have been thrown out of their own party or prosecuted for the extremity of their gestures.

But within the PdL, ex-culture minister Sandro Bondi and President of the Chamber Culture Commission Giancarlo Galan disagree with their colleagues’ call for a moratorium on ethical legal measures. “But what moratorium? We should accelerate on ethical themes. The move of my colleagues is dictated by desperation.

They know that in parliament they don’t have the numbers, and when you are sure to lose, you ask for a stop,” Galan told the newspaper La Repubblica.

Galan told the newspaper that PdL secretary and deputy premier Angelino Alfano supports the moratorium, whereas Berlusconi himself does not.

The three-time premier “is with me”, Galan told the paper.

Galan said of his colleague Mara Carfagna: “I don’t know what’s got into her. Probably weird logic that has nothing to do with rights. I know she was resentful because I was the first to present a proposal on homosexual couples”.

If the PdL stops puts the brakes on ethical themes, Galan said, it will commit “an extremely serious error” making a gift “to the left” of a political battle horse that isn’t historically theirs.

In the past, “Italy was divided into two churches — the communist and the Catholic. Both of them were closed on these themes,” Galan said. photo: Mara Carfagna.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Muslim Colonists in Western Europe

by Hugh Fitzgerald

What are the defining characteristics, what is the essence, of “colonialism”? It consists in the movement of one people,into the land of another, in order to economically exploit that land, either its natural resources, or the the wealth to be found among the indigenous inhabitants that might, in various ways, be appropriated.

Isn’t that what has happened in Western Europe? Muslims, having no historic claim on the lands of Western Europe,have managed to move in by the millions. And there they settle, and by aggressive, cunning, and often fraudulent exploitation of every possible benefit offered by the non-Muslim indigenes, in those welfare states where free education, free health care at the Western (not the Muslim) level, free or nearly free housing, along with all kinds of family subsidies and other benefits, offer those coming from wretched (made wretched, and permanently, by Islam) societies and states a fantastic cornucopia of expensive benefits.

That is colonialism, the largest and most successful colonialism in modern history. And it goes on, it doesn’t stop…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Bad News on the Fast Food Front; French Fries Are Getting Shorter

The French fries served in Dutch cafes and snack bars are getting shorter but prices are not going down, RTL news said at the weekend. The cold, wet spring means the main potato harvest has been delayed. This, in turn, means French fry makers are being forced to use the tail end of their stocks, and then move to this year’s early crop which are too small, RTL says. A good chip is six to seven centimetres long, but this is being reduced by around a centimeter. The thickness and the taste are not affected. As soon as bigger potatoes become available, French fries will be back up to their normal proportions, the broadcaster said.

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

Netherlands: Catholic Priests Urged to Confess Abuse Using Digital Confessional

Catholic priests and other church workers who have sexually abused someone can now ‘confess’ their sins online, Trouw reports on Friday.

Church abuse victims’ organisation Klokk has developed a ‘digital confession booth’ which priests can use to tell their stories.

However, there is no forgiveness for those who do, and the statements can be used to make complaints against the church, the paper points out.

The confessional, on the Klokk website, consists of a series of simple multiple choice questions and ends by asking if the events are real or imaginary.


Klokk spokesman Guido Klabbers told the paper the digital confessional is a ‘low threshold’ way for church workers to come clean.

Klabbers says he expects a few thousand abuse cases have still not been reported and hopes victims and witnesses will also be encouraged to come forward. The confessions will not have any legal status.

‘We do expect them to make it clear who they are because we will have to be able to check their stories and identities,’ he said. ‘Anonymity does not make us any the wiser.’

The church commission which looked into abuse claims said 18 months ago that between 1945 and 1981 some 10,000 to 20,000 children were abused in Catholic schools and other institutions.

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

Norway: ‘Remember Breivik’s Ideological Context’

On the two-year anniversary of the 22/7 terror attacks, the leader of the Labour Party youth wing has said that Norway must not forget the ideological roots of Anders Behring Breivik’s extremism by focusing only on the country’s capacity to tackle terror attacks.

Eskil Pedersen would like July 22nd to become an international day that marks the fight against racism and right-wing extremism, he told local media in the run-up to the anniversary of July 22nd, 2011, when 77 people lost their lives at the hands of homegrown terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.

“I am sure that the political aspect of July 22nd will become more prominent in the future,” he told the socialist Klassekampen newspaper.

While he said it was natural for Norwegians to demand that their government make sure the police and the military are well-equipped to handle any future terror attack, he expressed regret that the political debate in Norway had not taken the issue of the ideological climate that inspired Breivik seriously.

“July 22nd was a political attack. The terror act was an attack on a political party, and the reason fro that attack was the resistance to our politics which are for diversity and a multicultural society,” Pedersen said.

“That is why we must look at July 22nd in a political context.”

Pedersen added that none of Norway’s established political parties had done a good job tackling extremism or dealing with extreme opinions about immigrants and minorities.

“The gunman was a racist and an extremist, who spent years planning to stop the Labour Party youth wing’s recruitment because of what we stand for in terms of anti-racism and diversity,” he told Klassekampen.

“His views also exist in the wider world, they are shared by more people than just him. We can see it in comments fields, and we see it in Europe.”

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK Blocks Porn, ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Next?

David Cameron orders move towards Chinese-style Internet

The British government has set the precedent for establishing the state’s power to censor web content of its choosing by automatically blocking online porn via mandatory web filters set to be in place by the end of next year.


Other countries that have attempted to introduce similar filters, such as Australia, also justified their introduction by primarily targeting child pornography, but tried to use them to blacklist activist and political websites, leading to accusations of “totalitarianism”.

Given that major think tanks with direct ties to the UK government like Demos have claimed that “conspiracy theories,” which is a pejorative term for anything that challenges the official narrative, cause violence, how long before anti-establishment websites are also included on a government blacklist?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Duchess of Cambridge Has Given Birth to a Baby Boy, Palace Says

The Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace announced. The baby was delivered at 4:24 p.m. local time at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Following tradition, news of the birth was posted on an easel on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The announcement came more than 12 hours after it was announced early Monday morning that the 31-year-old duchess had gone to the hospital in London in the early stages of labor.

[Return to headlines]

Morocco: Talks to Form New Gov’t Coalition Underway

After Istiqlal’s exit, Islamist premier seeking new allies

(ANSAmed) — RABAT, JULY 22 — Negotiations are underway in Morocco to form a new government coalition after the Istiqlal party left the Islamist-majority administration. The Justice and Development Party (PJD) has given Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane the go ahead to seek out a new coalition ally, keeping its junior partners (the Party of Progress and Socialism and the People’s Movement) abreast of its meetings with the opposition.

And while the PJD secretariat says all opposition parties will be involved in the talks, the only workable possibilities appear to be the National Rally of Independents (RNI) and Constitutional Union (UC). Alliances with the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) or the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) are improbable.

Benkirane has already met with RNI leader Salaheddine Mezouar while staving off the hawks in his own party, who will push for early elections should a new alliance partner come into the picture. “RNI won’t be satisfied just with picking up portfolios left vacant by resigning Istiqlal ministers, nor can it approve a program it has voted against and opposed for the past 18 months”, University Mohammed V political science professor Ahmed Bouz explained.

Benkirane is faced with the task of changing the executive architecture, revisiting the government’s program, and changing its priorities: the very demands Istiqlal had made.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

A Very Curious Website Has Posted a Tribute to Helen Thomas

The website of Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, posted a prominent tribute to the late journalist Helen Thomas who died on Saturday. An image on the front page of the Al-Qassam website displayed a photo of “pioneer journalist Helen Thomas” next to the words, “Rest in peace, Helen Thomas. We respect you for taking a stand.”

Below the Thomas photo and eulogy, the website prominently displays obituaries praising its “martyrs” who were engaged in the “long bright path of jihad” against Israel.

The Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza posted an article from Al Jazeera which detailed the accomplishments of the “trailblazing journalist who reported on every US president from John Kennedy to Barack Obama.”

[Return to headlines]

EU Ministers Agree to Blacklist Hezbollah’s Armed Wing

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to list the military wing of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The move required the agreement of all 28 of the EU’s member states.

It makes it illegal for Hezbollah sympathisers in Europe to send the group money, and enables the freezing of the group’s assets there.

In a statement, Hezbollah said the EU decision “was written by American hands with Israeli ink”.

The group said the move “has no justification and is not based on any proof”.

Some EU member states had been wary of the measure, saying it could further destabilise the situation in Lebanon.

The BBC’s Chris Morris in Brussels says some states had also argued it would be difficult to distinguish fully between the group’s military and political wings…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Israel’s Alleged Underwater Attack on Syria Should Serve as a Warning to Iran

Was Israel’s Latest ‘Air’ Attack on Syria from a Submarine?

by Tom Gross

An attack two weeks ago that destroyed an advanced Russian missile shipment delivered to Syria’s Assad regime should also serve as a warning to Iran — and to those complacent Western diplomats who have (dangerously in my view) reconciled themselves to the idea of allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. For it seems that the July 5 attack on an arms depot near the Syrian naval base of Latakia, which has been attributed to Israel, came not from the air (as CNN and the New York Times reported last weekend) but from under the water.

Many Western officials who have apparently concluded that Israel could only destroy Iran’s nuclear program from the air — and that Israel does not have the capability to carry out such long-range air strikes in a decisive way — should take note. In recent years, Israel has greatly advanced its sea-based capabilities, and the geographical range of operations that Israel can mount from the sea, I am reliably told, now spans the entire globe. Israeli submarines are no longer confining themselves to the Mediterranean.

Last Saturday, the United States appeared to confirm that Israel was behind the July 5 attack on 50 Russian Yakhont anti-ship missiles in Latakia. Both the New York Times and CNN quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the strike was carried out by Israel from the air…

           — Hat tip: ES [Return to headlines]

New Clashes Between Kurds and Islamists in Syria, A ‘War Within a War’

The Kurdish minority does not want jihadist fighters on its territory, accusing them of ‘ethnic hatred’. Hostilities continue between the two groups continue along the Turkish border as the regime gains strength. The position of the Committee for the Protection of Kurdish people weakens anti-Assad forces.

Aleppo (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Clashes between Kurdish rebels and Islamist militants along the Turkish border, where the jihadist presence hinders the minority’s political interests, constitute a conflict within a conflict. “We think that the crisis in Syria will not end anytime soon, so we need to create democratic self-rule in western Kurdistan,” said Salih Muslim, head of Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The forces of the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, both affiliated to al-Qaeda and involved in the fight against Assad, are a growing concern for Syria’s Kurdish minority (about 15 per cent of the population).

In the last week, clashes between the two factions along the Turkish border have already left 50 people dead and are likely to weaken the rebel groups fighting a revitalised regime.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) released 300 Kurds who had been taken prisoner overnight and this morning, in exchange for captured (jihadist) commander Abu Musab,” local sources were quoted as saying on Sunday.

Nevertheless, tensions in Tal Abyad remain palpable even after the prisoners’ release, because, according to Nasser al-Hajj Mansour, a Kurdish official, the Kurds were imprisoned “on the basis of ethnicity”.

“We’ve lived through a small civil war over the past few hours,” said an anonymous activist. “Many families fled the violence. Tal Abyad is a ghost city. There is now an ethnic-based hatred against the Kurds, though the truth is Kurds and Arabs, Christians and Muslims have always lived here together,” he added.

In a region that is crucial for foreign insurgents entering the country, hostilities between Kurds and Islamists represent a critical variable for the conflict’s outcome.

Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, a Committee for the Protection of Kurdish people (YPG) has always operated on its own, defending its interests and those of its people.

In the past two years, the YPG stayed clear of both rebels and regime, taking a neutral or a hostile position vis-a-vis the other sides depending on local circumstances.

However, according to many analysts, although the Kurds have always kept a neutral position in the Syrian conflict, their traditional opposition to Turkey has brought them closer to the Assad regime.

The Kurdish minority in Syria is represented by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In Turkey, the PKK is regarded as a terrorist organisation, accused of trying to create an independent state on the border with Iraq.

Hence, the hostility expressed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards Assad might prevent Kurdish militias from undermining the regime.

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

‘Syrian Army Uses Chemical Weapons Against Palestinians’

Palestinian sources: 22 killed in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus from inhalation of poisonous gases.

Syrian opposition activists say that the military has used chemical weapons against the Al Yarmouk district of Damascus, an area of the city comprised predominantly of Palestinian refugees, Israel Radio reported.

Palestinian sources said that 22 people have been killed in the area, most from inhalation of poisonous gases…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Syria: New Weapons From Gulf to Daraa Rebel Chiefs

Insurgents claim they are controlling 60% of southern region

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JULY 22 — Syrian rebels in the Daraa region on the border with Jordan claim they have ‘moved forward’ in conquering the southern area just dozens of kilometres from the capital Damascus, mostly thanks ‘to the arrival of stashes of weapons from over the border’, meaning Gulf countries.

In interviews published Monday by pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Bashar Zoubi, self-proclaimed chief of the southern front of the Free Syrian Army and Yasser Abbud, self-proclaimed commander of military operations in the Daraa region, said rebels control about 60% of the southern territory and that by the end of Ramadan (around August 8) ‘the entire region of Daraa will be freed’.

The sources said that ‘instalments of weapons have recently arrived through Jordanian smugglers from two Gulf countries’.

Zoubi refused to be more specific on which countries sent the weapons but said ‘these weapons are not sufficient anyway’.

Zoubi said pro-regime fighters are present in the Busar al Harir area, with Shiite villages protected by Lebanese Hezbollah militants. The rebel commander also claimed that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad are located around Sanamein and Hara.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

US Raises Aid to Jordan by $300 Million

Annual aid is up to $1 billion

(ANSAmed) AMMAN — The US has raised its financial support to Jordan by $340 million, leading to an overall increase in annual aid to $1 billion, Petra news agency said today.

The increased funds is meant to support Jordan’s reforms as and help accommodate rising number of Syrian refugees. The funding would need approval of the US congress, which is expected to take place in September this year, said Petra.

The US provides Jordan, one of its main allies in the region, with $300 million in economic aid and additional $300 in military aid, thus helping the kingdom economy survive.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Media Finally Begins Reporting on Russian ‘Combat Readiness’ After Alternative News

The amassing of over 160,000 Russian troops, bombers, and naval ships under an emergency ‘combat readiness’ drill order is now making the rounds throughout mainstream media and talk radio after being blasted into the headlines.

Amazingly, just a bit over on week ago I covered the Russian ‘combat readiness’ order while in amazement that no one was discussing it despite admissions that it really was going on. It was breaking news for sure, especially when we get into what happened before this abrupt call to ‘combat readiness’ for the Russian military system (which I will detail shortly). Ultimately, and this is really quite disturbing, it was up to independent alternative news sites like Storyleak (with the help of Infowars and others syndicating the news to millions worldwide) to blast it into the mainstream media.

A reality that is actually quite concerning.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

India Jails Six Men in Swiss Gang-Rape Case

Six men accused in the gang-rape and robbery of a 39-year-old Swiss woman cyclist holidaying in India were sentenced to life terms Saturday by a fast-track Indian court.

“All the accused have been convicted and we are satisfied with the judgement,” said the public prosecutor in the case, Rajendra Tiwari, after the court ruling in central India, the semi-official Press Trust of India and other local media reported.

The rape of the Swiss woman came three months after the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in Delhi in December, which brought simmering anger about the treatment of women in India to the surface.

India’s legal system has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women in the world’s largest democracy following the Delhi gang rape in which the victim died of horrific internal injuries.

The six sentenced to life on Saturday were detained soon after the attack on the Swiss woman in mid-March in a remote, forested area of Datia district in central Madhya Pradesh state where the victim was camping with her husband.

Her 30-year-old husband was tied up as the woman was assaulted and the pair were also robbed, according to police.

The Swiss couple were reported to be on an adventure tourism trip in India and were cycling through the northern part of the country.

Only four of the six men were charged with gang-rape because testimony from the victim said two of them were “only present at the crime scene”, according to M.L. Dhody, a Datia police officer.

The other two accused were charged with assault and robbery but still received life-sentences at the court in Datia district.

Five of the men were farmers in their twenties while the sixth was 19 at the time of the attack, police said.

Weeks of massive demonstrations over the Delhi rape prompted India’s parliament to toughen sex offence laws including doubling the minimum prison sentence for gang-rape to 20 years.

Part of the legal shake-up involved the establishment of fast-track courts to try accused rapists in India’s clogged legal system where cases can often drag on for years.

The fast-track trial of four adult suspects in the Delhi rape — another died while in jail from a suspected suicide in March — is underway in the Indian capital.

A fifth accused is being tried as a juvenile.

One woman is raped every 20 minutes, the National Crime Records Bureau says. But the crime is vastly under-reported because of the social stigma associated with such attacks.

The publicity generated by the Delhi rape and the issue of violence against women in India led to a 35 percent fall in female visitors to India in the first three months of the year, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said recently.

Indian women are by far the main targets of rape. Earlier this month police arrested eight suspects over the gang-rape of four schoolgirls abducted from their convent boarding house in the country’s east.

But there have been also been a string of cases involving foreign women over the past months.

Indian police said in June they were investigating the gang-rape of a US tourist by a group of truckers while an Irish charity worker was reported to have been raped in the eastern city of Kolkata that same month.

Indian officials say there is no need for alarm, pointing out that foreigners are victims of crime the world over and the vast majority of visitors experience no safety problems.

But travel advice from a host of countries stresses the need for visitors to take care in India.

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

Israel to Trade Arms for Migrants With African Countries

Senior official says deal nearly sealed with African countries to take tens of thousands of migrants in exchange for arms, military training, knowledge

Israel is close to signing a deal with several African countries who will accept tens of thousands of African migrants currently residing in Israel in exchange for a benefits package including security, economic and agricultural aid.

According to a senior official, the security aid will include Israeli arms and military knowledge and training.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Does the Bionic Woman Menstruate? (Or Monkey See; Monkey Do)

People imitate what they see. The mass media is full of mutant female role models and young women have succumbed to this mind control.

“MTV has turned young women into 90-pound whores,” a male friend in his late twenties tells me. “Ten years ago, girls demanded you date them. Now at dances strangers are rubbing their breasts against you and acting like animals. They laugh if you mention dating and marriage.”

A Greek reader wrote: “Women here are either professional prostitutes or ‘amateur prostitutes.’ True feminine women are a rare gem. Most girls begin their sexual life at 14 or earlier, and have children only after 30. They complain about men but flee in terror from a decent man or make his life miserable.”

Phillip, a British man living in Denmark writes: “Something is very rotten in the State Of Denmark. They have one of the highest divorce rates in Europe. The lowest marriage count. It’s all a little like the film ‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’. As if some alien entity has removed all the people and replaced them.”

He describes Danish women as “scruffy men. They all have short ‘manly’ haircuts. Almost all wear small ‘goggly’ spectacles. They dress …’blue collar masculine’. From Top to Toe, almost without exception. And they have the attitudes to match, born out of years of social engineering in what must be the most comprehensive ‘programming’ module on earth, namely, the Danish Education System.”

A Black reader in Washington DC is amazed: “It looks like Denmark is the projects/ghetto for Europe (Chuck D’s lyric is perfect “What is a project but another word for experiment?”). Phillip is living through the same thing I see in the black communities that surround Washington DC. It is downright eerie. I swear all you have to do is replace the names of the people because the behavior is exactly the same. Androgyny and gender bending, violence, single parenthood and lonely women in their 30-40s.”

My Danish correspondent writes that on weekend nights: “One is immediately confronted by ‘manlike’ predatory ‘females’ mostly in their late 30’s or early 40’s, but some older. They occupy the clubs and bars. They are lonely, sad creatures; many with extreme psychological problems caused by the identity crisis that stalks this sad little land. Few are remotely feminine, almost none would be described as attractive. They have bad attitudes, they dress badly and they are an indictment on this society.”

These women got the religion of the New World Order: Feminism. They are the modern-day Communist cadre, man-hating mutants, the new face of tyranny: This phenomenon is widespread but particularly bad in Denmark:

“Not a business or public institution is free of them. It is all but impossible to deal with a man these days. And a pretty woman is ‘persona non grata’. The ‘Sisters’ are everywhere, and definitely doing it for themselves. Danish men have been relegated to the ‘minor leagues’ in most careers. Schools, Town halls, Hospitals, the Public Sector, Private Sector, you name it, the ‘women’ are everywhere.

Women are in command here. In politics, they are forcing through the NWO agenda without I fear knowing what it is they are doing. In education, androgyny is the name of the game as boys become more ‘girly’ and girls become less so.”

[Return to headlines]

Lauren’s Success and the Failure of Common Core

It is embarrassing when the MSM glorifies an obviously mal-educated young woman who speaks Ebonics and cannot read cursive writing, excusing her glaring lack of education as something hip. It is a sad example of the state of education today when social promotion has become the norm and semi-literate people receive degrees.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that “Beginning this fall, Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading, based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities.” Alabama’s Plan 2020, adopted in November 2010 and replacing the No Child Left Behind, has different standards for American Indians, Asian/Pacific Islanders, blacks, English language learners, Hispanics, multi-racial students, students below the poverty level, special education, and whites.

The problem is that the new educational Common Core mandates did not come from the states, they came from the federal government which strong-armed states into accepting grants via The Race to the Top competition, and allowing states to replace the hated No Child Left Behind with the federal Common Core and Universal Design for Learning, the brain child of two think-tanks in D.C. I wrote two articles (Here and Here) on this topic in 2012 and 2013.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Half a Billion SIM Cards Could be Bugged or Have Information Stolen From Them Because of ‘Serious Security Flaws’

An eighth of all SIM cards used around the world could be at risk of fraud, theft, or being bugged, a German security expert has claimed.

Karsten Nohl, a cryptographer, discovered the serious security flaw that could let hackers send hidden text messages to affected handsets and infect them with a virus — regardless of what operating system the phone runs on.

The findings have implications for almost half a billion people worldwide.

Once a handset is infected, hackers can remotely access the phone to send premium rate text messages, steal money and personal information, record calls and even bug owners to track their location.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2013

  1. “This Islamic compound has truly become a city-state. Though not recognized as a legitimate township by the City of Hancock, this Islamic community nevertheless enforces its own laws on the “citizens” within its borders. They do so by using the iron fist of Sharia law.”

    This is brilliant! They are following the process developed by the Zionists: create a parallel society with banks, schools, welfare offices, army, bureaucracies of various sorts, and then create a separate country of your co-racialists or co-religionists. As long as you take each step at a time and sooth ruffled feathers at each step, you can become independent. The Jews did this brilliantly and are the model for all other separationists. We should follow their example just as the Muslims are doing!

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