Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/3/2013

After refusing to comply with the military’s ultimatum, Mohamed Morsi has been ousted as president of Egypt. He has been taken into custody, and an interim government has been appointed to oversee the holding of new elections. Jubilant demonstrators shot off fireworks in Tahrir Square to celebrate the occasion.

In other news, the Portuguese government is close to collapse, after the resignation of the foreign minister and the finance minister over increasing popular dissatisfaction with Brussels-imposed austerity measures. Meanwhile, Albanian immigrants are returning home from Greece by the tens of thousands as the debt crisis in their adopted country eliminates most job opportunities.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, McR, Steen, 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
» Greece: Salaries Drop by Over 10.1% Within a Year
» Netherlands: House Prices Continue to Fall
» Portuguese Government at Risk of Collapse Over Austerity
» Portugal on Brink of Collapse Sparking Fears the Country Will Not be Able to Meet Terms of Its £64 Billion Bailout
» A Not So Happy Fourth of July
» Al-Qaeda Leader Anwar Al-Awlaki ‘Spent Thousands on Prostitutes as He Traveled the U.S. Spreading His Message of Radical Islam’
» America in Hormonal Decline: One in Four Men Now Have Low Testosterone
» Foreign Troops Are Already Operating Inside America
» High-Level US Govt. Officials Have Warned for 40 Years That Mass Surveillance Would Lead to Tyranny in America
» If George Zimmerman is Found Not Guilty, Can the American People Handle it?
» Is Homeland Security Set to Arm TSA Agents?
» Man Defends Home and Family Against Three Burglars, Fatally Shoots Two
» Mother Defeats Child Welfare Services After Abducting Baby Over Bagel
» Nuisance Laws Make Criminals of us All
» Obamacare to Punish Healthy Eaters as Insurance Rates Double or Triple for Those Who Choose to Take Care of Their Health
» Some Americans Abandon July 4 Celebrations Over “Outrageous” Security Measures
» The World’s Fastest Amphibious Vehicle Can Go From Car to Boat in Just 15 Seconds
» We Should Declare a Second Independence on This 237th Independence Day
» Zimmerman’s Fate and Looming Race Riots
» Over 30 Million Bees Found Dead in Elmwood Canada
Europe and the EU
» Barroso Keen to Start US Trade Talks Despite Spy Affair
» Boris Johnson Open to Fracking Beneath London to Keep Lights on
» French Far-Right Leader Stripped of Immunity — May Face Charges for Criticizing Muslims
» Geert Wilders Spreads His European Wings, Talks to Lega Nord
» Italy: Prosecutors Summon 53 Campania Councilors for ‘Embezzlement’
» Italy: Heritage Minister Prioritises Pompeii
» Netherlands: ‘Rabobank Turns Against Shale Gas’
» Norway: Oslo Mosque Invites Anti-Islamists to Coffee
» Vatican Bank Director and Deputy Step Down
North Africa
» Almost 100 Sex Assaults at Egypt Protests, HRW Says
» Egypt: Morsi Defiant: 16 Dead at Cairo University
» Egypt Braces for Post-Morsi Scenarios
» Egyptian Protesters Blame Obama for Morsi Dictatorship
» ‘Morsi is No Longer President’: Millions Explode With Joy on Streets as Egyptian Army Seizes Power in People’s Coup Following Protests
» Morsi is Out as President, Egyptian State Media Says
» Tammarrod (Rebels) Tunisie Issues Manifesto
Middle East
» Qatar: Foreign Workers Banned From Driving, Holding Licenses
» Wary of Mursi, Gulf Arabs Keen to Appear Neutral in Egypt Crisis
» Chechen Islamist Militant Leader Doku Umarov Has Urged His Followers to Prevent the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia — According to a Video Posted Online, Which Cannot be Independently Verified.
South Asia
» Bangladesh: Hundreds of Garment Workers Poisoned by Factory Water
» Indonesia: Hundreds of Muslim Extremists Against the Construction of a Catholic Church in Bekasi
» Greece: Albanian Immigrants Giving Up Too
» I Got 30 Milllion Reasons
» Migrants Rescued Ahead of Pope’s Island Visit
Culture Wars
» Death Threats for Lesbian Somali-Norwegian
» Worse Than Meth: Facebook is Altering Your Mind and Turning You Into a Slave

Greece: Salaries Drop by Over 10.1% Within a Year

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — Salaries in Greece have declined by a remarkable 10.1% within just one year, from the first quarter of 2012 to the same period this year, returning to levels last recorded in 2006 as daily Kathimerini reports. Since the austerity program came into effect in the first quarter of 2010, salaries have dropped 22.3%, according to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Tuesday. The first quarter to show an annual decline in salaries was the January-March 2009 period, with a rebound in the next four quarters up to the second quarter of 2010, when salaries began their steady slide, as was expected due to the continuing contraction of the Greek economy. The data do not concern salaries in the primary sector, in health, education and the public sector in general. On a quarterly basis, the drop in salaries in Q1 of 2013 amounted to 24.3% compared with the last quarter of 2012, although it should be noted that the last quarter of every year includes the Christmas bonus (usually as high as a full month’s salary), which makes salary figures appear considerably higher over that period.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: House Prices Continue to Fall

House prices are continuing to fall, recording a drop of 8.2% in May compared with a year ago, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

The drop is slightly higher than the 7.6% decline recorded in April.

House prices are now back at the same level they were at the end of 2002, the CBS said. Prices have gone down 20.5% compared with August 2008, when the market reached a peak.

Figures from the land registry office Kadaster show almost 38,000 homes changed hands in the first five months of this year. This is down over 10% on a year ago.

Despite the continuing decline in property prices, both Rabobank and ING have indicated recently that the housing market may be stabilising.

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

Portuguese Government at Risk of Collapse Over Austerity

The Portuguese government is on the brink of collapse after foreign minister Paulo Portas handed in his resignation, just 24 hours after finance minister Vitor Gaspar gave in his notice.

Gaspar, whose replacement, Maria Luis Albuquerque starts work on Wednesday (3 July), identified increasing public disaffection with the government’s austerity drive as the reason for his resignation.

But Albuquerque, who has been promoted from treasury secretary, is widely expected to continue the country’s austerity drive.

In a letter to Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coehlo, Portas wrote that it is “not politically sustainable” for him to remain in government.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Portugal on Brink of Collapse Sparking Fears the Country Will Not be Able to Meet Terms of Its £64 Billion Bailout

Portugal’s financial markets nosedived today amid fears that repayments on its £64billion bailout could soon become unsustainable as the government looked set to collapse following a spat over the country’s austerity programme.

Share prices dropped by around six per cent in early trading alarming investors and reigniting concerns that the eurozone’s strategy for dealing with the financial crisis is flawed.

The market dip came as Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho defied calls to resign last night after the resignations of key ministers in a spat over austerity.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, the leader of the junior party in the center-right coalition government, quit on Tuesday in protest against plans to continue with tax hikes and pay and pension cuts.

The previous day, Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar walked out, saying he lacked political and public support for his austerity strategy.

Portugal is locked into a program of tough budget cuts demanded by its fellow euro countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in return for a 78 billion euro (£66 billion) bailout two years ago.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A Not So Happy Fourth of July

The government the Founding Fathers feared would happen is the government we now have

Normally Americans celebrate the Fourth of July as the happy anniversary of the birth of the nation with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 2013, our happiness is muted by fears of eroding freedoms; corrupt and incompetent governance.

The men who signed the document had struggled to reach some accommodation with England for many years until the arrogance and continuing taxation of the colonies left them no alternative than to “dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another.”

When that effort failed they fought our Revolution over the course of eight years until the king and parliament concluded they could not retain the American colonies. Rarely mentioned in the history books was the large portion of colonists, known as Tories, who did not want to sever the connection. It is worth noting that the Revolution began when British troops moved to seize American arms in Concord, Massachusetts, and were met by militias there and in Lexington.

We celebrate the holiday in 2013 in a nation sharply divided between those who wish to retain and maintain the traditional and political values of America — conservatives — and the liberals who want to adopt the failed socialist systems of Europe and elsewhere. Even the former Soviet Union collapsed under the dead weight of communism. Even China, though politically communist, has adopted the capitalist system.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Al-Qaeda Leader Anwar Al-Awlaki ‘Spent Thousands on Prostitutes as He Traveled the U.S. Spreading His Message of Radical Islam’

The radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki spent thousands of dollars on prostitutes while he traveled the country preaching fundamentalist Islam, it had been revealed.

The FBI, which was tracking al-Awlaki’s movements, watched as he met at least seven times with prostitutes in the Washington D.C. area between November 2001 and February 2002, according to newly leaked documents.

The agency estimated he spent $2,300 on hookers in Washington alone. He is also believed to have purchased the services of prostitutes when he traveled to Florida.

Fox News reports that FBI documents obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch show agents tracked al-Awlaki’s history with escorts after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Al-Awlaki was killed in a drone airstrike in Yemen in September 2011 after he was added to a CIA ‘kill list.’…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

America in Hormonal Decline: One in Four Men Now Have Low Testosterone

(NaturalNews) There is a war being waged against men, and the weapons of this foray are hitting us below the belt where it truly counts: our hormones. According to the latest data, as many as one in four men now suffers from low testosterone, also known as Low T, a condition that robs men of their drive, their vitality, their manly characteristics, and ultimately their health — and the problem is worsening.

Both men and women require testosterone in order to function and thrive as humans, but men in particular are hit the hardest by a lack of this vital hormone. Testosterone is basically what gives men their masculine characteristics, including their deep voices, their sex drive, their confidence, and their overall health. Muscles, bones, and sperm all require testosterone in order to develop and grow, and mood, ambition, and energy levels are all regulated by testosterone as well.

According to one prominent expert in the field, some common causes of Low T include mineral deficiencies, and especially a lack of zinc; excess stress, which is often associated with raised cortisol production and lowered DHEA levels; too much exercise and weight training without enough rest; head or gonadal trauma; exposure to estrogens in the environment and from bad food; and accumulation of visceral, or belly, fat, and corresponding insulin resistance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Foreign Troops Are Already Operating Inside America

FEMA denies report of Russian forces providing security at US events

FEMA’s denial of a report that suggested Russian forces would be operating inside the United States at “mass events” ignores the manifestly provable fact that Russian and other foreign troops are already active inside the US and have been for at least two decades…

Last year we reported on how Russian troops were invited to the US as part of a Fort Carson, Colorado drill focused around anti-terror training. Aside from learning how to target terrorists in America, the Russian soldiers were also told to go out and mingle with the local community by attending a baseball game in Colorado Springs.

The Department of Defense subsequently confirmed that 20 Russian Spetsnaz troops were set to train on US soil for a period of three weeks as part of a “formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia.” Images of Russian troops working with US soldiers at Fort Carson can be seen above.

The process of acclimatizing Americans to accept the presence of foreign troops on US soil has been ongoing since the release of State Department Publication 7277, which is a blueprint for the harmonization of US and Russian forces under a United Nations framework.

There are numerous other instances where foreign troops have been active on U.S. soil as part of security exchange programs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

High-Level US Govt. Officials Have Warned for 40 Years That Mass Surveillance Would Lead to Tyranny in America

Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser — a key American foreign policy architect (Zbigniew Brzezinski) — wrote in 1970:

The [future] era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.

In 1975, the head of the Senate committee investigating illegal spying and harassment by the U.S. government — Senator Frank Church — said about the NSA:

I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

The NSA has operated outside the law and without supervision by either Congress or the courts. And seethis and this.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

If George Zimmerman is Found Not Guilty, Can the American People Handle it?

Should we take the thousands of people that are threatening to riot if George Zimmerman is found not guilty seriously? After all, people make idle threats online all the time. Sometimes people say things on Twitter or on Facebook that they don’t actually mean and would never actually do in real life. And of course not everyone that is threatening to commit violence if George Zimmerman gets off will actually go out into the streets and start smashing things. But without a doubt, it is quite alarming to have thousands upon thousands of supporters of Trayvon Martin publicly declaring that they are going to violently lash out if the verdict does not go their way. In fact, things are so tense that police in Sanford, Florida are actually going door-to-door right now in an attempt to cool things down. They remember what happened more than 20 years ago when a jury acquitted LAPD cops in the Rodney King case. Nobody should want to ever see a repeat of that.

But our justice system has got to be able to function without having to be concerned about threats of violence if the “wrong result” is reached. George Zimmerman deserves a fair trial just like everyone else does. If he is actually guilty of a crime, then let him be found guilty. If he is not guilty of a crime, then let him be found not guilty.

This notion that he must be found guilty “for the good of society” is complete and utter nonsense. If we start allowing public opinion and threats of violence to determine the outcome of court cases, our legal system will lose all remaining credibility.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Homeland Security Set to Arm TSA Agents?

DHS wants firing range within 20 miles of LaGuardia Airport

The Transportation Security Administration’s plan to hire the use of a firing range within a 20 mile radius of LaGuardia Airport in order to train TSA workers has prompted concerns that the federal agency is planning to arm its agents as part of a massive expansion…

A Government Security News report confirms that the fring range will be used by the TSA to train “its employees and DHS personnel”.

Why would the TSA want to train its employees to use firearms at a facility close to a major airport when currently TSA agents working inside US airports are not armed?

Federal air marshals acting under the jurisdiction of the TSA are currently armed, but the scope of the firearms range the TSA is seeking to acquire clearly suggests it will be used on a much more widespread basis than simply for training air marshals…

Some people may question the sanity of arming TSA agents given that a significant number of them have proven to be prone to criminal behaviorand ego-driven outbursts. The TSA has also repeatedly hired people with criminal records to work in security.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Man Defends Home and Family Against Three Burglars, Fatally Shoots Two

A father in Texas was well prepared to defend his home this past weekend and demonstrated it when he fought back against three home invaders, sending two of them to thief heaven after they made the fatal mistake of breaking into the wrong home.

This past Sunday afternoon, three burglars broke into an Oak Leaf Village apartment in North Houston brandishing a gun and demanding cash.

“They said ‘the money, the money,’“ said resident Lila Pena.

That’s when her husband Javier Ortiz grabbed his own gun and shot two of them dead, sending the third suspect fleeing in terror.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mother Defeats Child Welfare Services After Abducting Baby Over Bagel

A Pennsylvania mother won a generous settlement yesterday following an incident that took place in April 2010 in which her newborn baby was wrongly abducted from her home by the state’s child welfare services.

At the time, Elizabeth Mort and her husband Alex Rodriguez were confused as to why their three-day-old child was being taken.

Only days later did they learn it was because Mort had failed a hospital drug screen administered either immediately before or after labor, which tested positive for opiates, a narcotic listed federally as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Contrary to the test’s findings, Mort was not a drug addict.

Hours before delivering her baby at the Jameson Hospital in New Castle, PA, however, she did make the unfortunate mistake of chowing down an “everything” bagel from Dunkin Donuts topped with poppy seeds, causing the drug screen to register a false positive…

This story also illustrates the collectivist mindset being promulgated and embraced by the left, the most recent instance of which had MSNBC host and Associate Professor of Politics Melissa Harris-Perry declaring all children belong to the “community,” in other words, to the state. “We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families,” Harris-Perry recently stated in an awkward 30-second indoctrination piece aired during breaks on MSNBC.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nuisance Laws Make Criminals of us All

Just as it is getting harder and harder to keep criminals in jail, a new booklet “USA vs. YOU: The flood of criminal laws threatening your liberty” by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation demonstrates it is becoming more difficult for regular Americans to stay out of jail.

One symptom of the trend is how lawmakers stopped using the word “willingly” in legislation and regularly ignore the concept of “criminal intent” from state and federal laws.

The result is that regular folks accidentally violate statues and pay for it with fines and jail.

* One of the examples in the booklet is the 2000 case of 12-year-old Ansche Hedgepath, caught eating a fry on a Washington Metro subway platform on her way home from school.

The Metro has a strict no-eat, no-drink policy. How strict? Well, a Metro police officer saw the girl eat the fry and immediately arrested her, taking her out of the subway station to the juvenile station in cuffs.

The girl’s mother Tracey Hedgepath was so incensed, she challenged the arrest and fought the case in the courts, where the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld both the small fry’s arrest and citation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obamacare to Punish Healthy Eaters as Insurance Rates Double or Triple for Those Who Choose to Take Care of Their Health

(NaturalNews) According to an analysis just published by the Wall Street Journal, healthy people will pay double or triple their current health insurance rates under Obamacare. Rates for those with chronic disease, however, will be reduced as all the healthy people subsidize their disease lifestyles.

The net effect is that people who choose to follow a healthy lifestyle — eating well, taking nutritional supplements, exercising and avoiding junk foods — will be financially punished by the federal government while those who choose to follow a disease and sickness lifestyle — eating junk foods, taking meds, refusing to exercise, etc. — will be rewarded by government.

This is the essence of socialized medicine: punish responsible citizens while rewarding those who refuse to take care of their health.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Some Americans Abandon July 4 Celebrations Over “Outrageous” Security Measures

Checkpoints, bag searches, snitch hotline, all personal items banned: Happy Independence Day!

Bostonians will face airport security-style measures if they wish to attend the city’s major annual July 4 event, with virtually all personal items being banned along with mandatory checkpoints, snitch hotlines and bag searches, begging the question — what “freedoms” are they supposed to be celebrating?

After 4PM, revelers attending the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the Charles River Esplanade will be banned from bringing in any personal items whatsoever besides chairs, tarps, and blankets. Before that time mandatory bag searches at several checkpoints will take place and items including coolers with wheels, pre-mixed beverages, glass containers, any sharp objects and liquid containers over two liters will be confiscated. Attendees will also be forced to pass through metal detectors.

“They will not be allowed to grill, and all blankets, tents, and other items must be carried in see-through bags. Boaters on the Charles will have to stay 100 feet from shore and 1,000 feet from the fireworks barge; docks between the Massachusetts Avenue and Longfellow bridges will be closed; and any vessel in the waters off the Esplanade will not be allowed to move after 7 p.m., including kayaks, dinghies, and other small craft,”reports the Boston Globe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The World’s Fastest Amphibious Vehicle Can Go From Car to Boat in Just 15 Seconds

You no longer need to be a spy like James Bond to get your hands on an amphibious car.

California-based WaterCar has designed the world’s fastest Jeep-style vehicle that can be driven straight from the land into the water and goes from a car to a boat in just 15 seconds.

Called the Panther, the vehicle can reach water speeds of up to 45mph — almost as fast as an average speedboat — and is fitted with a custom-made 3.7 litre V6 engine, fibreglass hull and lightweight chromoly steel chassis.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

We Should Declare a Second Independence on This 237th Independence Day

How much longer do you think we will have to wait to hear the tin-horn puppet of billionaire Communist George Soros, usurper president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama give his ultimate order for Christians to cease and desist any and all mention or reference to their (bogus to him) religion in a public venue?

This traitorous and treacherous liar, who finagled his way into the White House on a series of lies and cheating maneuvers is getting closer with each passing day to the issuance of an Executive Order to put into effect the termination of all Christian practices, proving he was telling us a gigantic lie when he said that Rev. Wright was his Christian mentor at the beginning of his first term in OUR Oval Office, a now thoroughly besmirched part of OUR sacred and historically significant American culture.

It is flabbergastingly questionable why our supposed remaining governmental entity not under the spell and command of this emboldened self made dictator, the House of Representatives, will not or CAN NOT take remedial and country saving action to at least issue a declaration of independence from his tyranny. The formal and current Speaker of the House is a Republican and in control of that single body remaining that can and SHOULD declare actions to impeach this very obvious American traitor.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Zimmerman’s Fate and Looming Race Riots

The murder case against George Zimmerman is rapidly unraveling, due in large part to the compelling testimony of key witnesses. Ordinarily, there is nothing unusual about compelling testimony changing the course of a trial, but in this case it is witnesses presented by the prosecution that are bolstering the case for the defendant. Thus, with each passing day it is becoming more apparent that the real reason for bringing this case to trial was to assuage the media-driven concerns of the racial grievance industry, led by chief arsonists Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. Shamefully aiding and abetting them is the racially polarized Justice Department led by Attorney General Eric Holder.

We begin with the witnesses. Billed as the state’s “star witness,” 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin before his death, proved to be a major embarrassment. If there is a racial element to this case, other than the prosecution’s unsubstantiated accusation that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin, Jeantel introduced it during her testimony. She revealed that Trayvon Martin had referred to Zimmerman as a “creepy-# cracker,” even as she subsequently denied it was a racial term. Another compelling part of her testimony was in regard to a letter she had supposedly written to Martin’s mother describing the chain of events that led to Trayvon’s death. During questioning by defense attorney Don West, Jeantel was forced to admit that, despite signing it, she was incapable of reading the cursive script in which it was written.

West further grilled Jeantel about her inconsistent statements to police, and the discrepancies in her testimony. Jeantel blamed them on questions posed by law enforcement officials, and the lengths of the interviews. As to the omission of details, she claimed she was trying to spare the Martin family from enduring additional grief. In the end, Jeantel admitted she didn’t know who threw the first punch, and that she lied under oath…

So why did the state pursue that charge? Because Trayvon Martin became a cause celebre for race-hatred promoters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who called for marches and boycotts against the city of Sanford. Their efforts were aided and abetted by corrupt media, which bent over backwards to insert race into the equation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Over 30 Million Bees Found Dead in Elmwood Canada

Shortly after 50,000 bees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot (read more here), a staggering 37 million bees have been found dead in Elmwood, Ontario, Canada. Dave Schuit, who runs a honey operation in Elmwood has lost 600 hives.

The loss comes after the planting of corn. Neonicotinoid pesticides are used to coat corn seed with air seeders, which result in blowing the pesticide dust into the air when planted. The death of millions of pollinators was studied by Purdue University. They discovered that Bees exhibited neurotoxic symptoms. They analyzed dead bees and found that traces of thiamethoxam/clothiandin were present in each case. The only major source of these compounds are seed treatments of field crops. You can view that study here.

Bee deaths are increasing exponentially. An international team of scientists led by Holland’s Utrecht University has concluded that, “large scale prophylaxic use in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers, neonicotinoids put pollinators at risk. This is some of the research that led to the European Unions ban of the pesticides, as mentioned and referenced earlier.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Barroso Keen to Start US Trade Talks Despite Spy Affair

BRUSSELS — The European Commission has said EU-US free trade talks should start next week despite American snooping on EU institutions.

It said in a memo on Tuesday (2 July) that: “Whilst the beginning of EU-US trade negotiation should not be affected, the EU side will make it clear that for such a comprehensive and ambitious negotiation to succeed, there needs to be confidence, transparency and clarity among the negotiating partners.”

EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht is to lead the European delegation in the first round of talks, due in Washington next Thursday.

His trip could still be disrupted if EU countries say No at a meeting of EU ambassadors on the spy scandal in Brussels this Thursday.

French President Francois Hollande said last week the negotiations cannot start until “trust is restored.”

But an EU official told EUobserver on Wednesday that “based on the contacts we’ve had (with EU capitals), I don’t think the French position will be followed.”

He noted that commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso gave a verbal “assessment” of the situation to his commissioners on Tuesday.

All of them, including France’s Michel Barnier, endorsed De Gucht’s trip.

Britain’s Catherine Ashton was not there because she was at an event in Brunei. But both she and the UK are firm advocates of the trade pact.

Chechen jihad leader vows to commit jihad mass murder at 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boris Johnson Open to Fracking Beneath London to Keep Lights on

London Mayor Boris Johnson said he’s open to fracking for gas under the U.K. capital to meet the city’s demand for energy.

The headroom between energy supply and demand will drop to just 2 percent in two years, which will force some industries not to operate at peak times, Johnson said in a letter published in the Times newspaper today.

“If reserves of shale can be exploited in London we should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked, in the cause of keeping the lights on,” Johnson wrote. “It’s time for maximum boldness in energy supply.”

The U.K. government said June 27 that shale-gas fields in northern England are potentially big enough to meet demand for 47 years. The countryside south of Britain’s biggest city may hold 700 million barrels of recoverable shale oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground, is nonetheless a controversial drilling technique because of concerns that it will damage the landscape and contaminate groundwater.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Far-Right Leader Stripped of Immunity — May Face Charges for Criticizing Muslims

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been stripped of her European Parliament immunity and may now face charges of racism over comments she made comparing Muslims praying on streets to Nazi occupation during World War II.

Parliamentarians voted on Tuesday to ratify the decision, as recommended by a judicial committee, so that Le Pen, who leads the French National Front party, could defend herself against a charge of inciting racial hatred brought by French prosecutors in 2011.

Le Pen, who was present for the vote, said she stood behind her comments and looked forward to defending them in front of a judge.

“I’m going to defend myself … and I’m absolutely convinced that the court will rule in my favour and protect my right to say to the French the truth about the situation, notably prayers in the streets but not only that,” Le Pen said in an interview on French television.

If found guilty of inciting racial hatred, she would face a maximum penalty of one year in prison and $60,000 in fines.

In her speech, made in 2010 in Lyon and broadcast in France, Le Pen said that “more and more burkas” were being seen in France. “After that came prayers in the streets… I’m sorry, but some people are very fond of talking about the Second World War and about the occupation, so let’s talk about occupation, because that is what is happening here… There are no tanks, no soldiers, but it is still an occupation, and it weighs on people.”

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Geert Wilders Spreads His European Wings, Talks to Lega Nord

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, is hoping to work together with Swedish and Italian nationalist parties as well as Belgium’s Vlaams Belang and the Front National in France, Nos television reports.

Wilders, who has made no secret of his contacts with the Belgian and French nationalists, told Nos he has now had contact with the Eurosceptic Sweden Democrats and will also meet officials from the Lega Nord in Italy.

These are parties which share a lot of similar attitudes to Europe as the PVV and now is a good time to work together, the PVV leader said. Elections for the European parliament take place next spring.

‘I think we should talk to other parties which are critical of Europe to see if we can work together,’ Wilders said.

Criticism by other PVV supporters of some of the parties’ opposition to gay rights and gay marriage are ‘understandable’ but not relevant to the campaign against European control and mass immigration, he said.

‘These are not reasons not to work together,’ Wilders told the Nos.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors Summon 53 Campania Councilors for ‘Embezzlement’

Suspicion of misappropriating State-financed party funds

(ANSA) — Naples, July 3 — Some 53 former and sitting Campania councillors were invited to appear before prosecutors in an apparent embezzlement case on Wednesday. Investigators suspect some of the politicians from the region around Naples misappropriated tens of thousands of euros, while others are suspected of much less. Prosecutors are looking at State-financed party funds that passed hands from 2010-2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Heritage Minister Prioritises Pompeii

Bray calls for private donations and criticises cuts. Funds slashed by 58% in five years

“Pompeii strikes a deep chord with me. A few hours after being appointed minister, which I certainly wasn’t expecting, I headed for Pompeii. I decided to put it at the centre of my immediate attention. Pompeii is one of the iconic monuments of Italy, of an entire civilisation, our calling card around the world. When the Circumvesuviana train I was on ground to a halt, I realised what deep down I already knew. Pompeii’s problems go way beyond Pompeii itself”.

Obviously, heritage minister Massimo Bray. But now there’s that UNESCO warning. You have to act by 31 December this year.

“Let’s look at the numbers. From 6 to 9 January, the UNESCO inspectors noted that work was getting under way at some of the most critical sites. Point one. Lack of personnel. It was only thanks to a special exemption that in 2012 the ministry was able to hire twenty-three officers: fourteen archaeologists, eight architects and one administrator. Lack of staff at our heritage sites is highlighted in the annex that I submitted before the hearing of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies heritage committees. Another figure. Resources for Pompeii’s emergencies, such as subsidence, have been cut back by more than 58% in the past five years. And the ministry as a whole has had its resources trimmed by a third in comparison with 2008”.

The ministry has in fact just €90 million available in 2013 when it could, and should, be spending €500 million on protecting heritage sites…

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

Netherlands: ‘Rabobank Turns Against Shale Gas’

Trouw, 1 July 2013

The country’s largest bank is refusing to lend to companies that wish to invest in shale gas. The Amsterdam daily reports that Rabobank “does not want to contribute to energy which it believes to be polluting,” and has said as much in a recent position paper on its business and sustainable development.

For the moment, this decision will mainly have an impact on the bank’s operations in the US, where Rabobank is the leading lender to farmers, and where the drive to develop shale gas is such that it has been called “a second gold rush”.

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

Norway: Oslo Mosque Invites Anti-Islamists to Coffee

Norwegian convert Yousef Assidiq has invited the anti-Islamist organization SIAN to come and drink coffee with congregation members at an Oslo mosque, tweeting “Dialogue, baby!” when the RSVPs began tumbling in. He tells The Local why it is time for a coffee break.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Vatican Bank Director and Deputy Step Down

Cipriani and Tulli say resignation is in Church’s best interest

(ANSA) — Vatican City, July 2 — Vatican bank head Paolo Cipriani and deputy director Massimo Tulli resigned on Tuesday following the arrest of a top Catholic prelate last Friday.

Recently appointed president, Ernst von Freyberg, will fill in for Cipriani as Vatican Bank head, known as the Istituto per le Opere Religiose (Institute for Religious Works, IOR).

“After many years of service, the two decided it would be in the best interest of the institute and of the Holy See,” said a Vatican release.

The resignations of Cipriani and Tulli follow the arrest of Msgr Nunzio Scarano, who was suspended a month ago from his job as head of analytic accounts at the Holy See’s asset-management agency APSA when police started sifting through his assets because of his suspiciously large financial holdings and artistic trove.

Scarano was arrested on suspicion of planning to elude customs controls along with Giovanni Maria Zito, a recently transferred agent in the AISI domestic intelligence agency, and financial broker Giovanni Carenzio.

Cipriani was investigated in 2010 together with former IOR President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on suspicion of failing to observe Italian money-laundering laws. IOR, to which APSA is indirectly linked, said it would launch an internal inquiry “in line with the zero-tolerance policy promoted by (new) president Ernst von Freyberg”.

German aristocrat and industrialist von Freyberg, appointed in February by Pope Benedict XVI in one of his last official acts as pontiff, last month vowed to bring greater transparency to IOR’s dealings.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Almost 100 Sex Assaults at Egypt Protests, HRW Says

Almost 100 women have been sexually assaulted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in just four days of protests against President Mohammed Morsi, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, citing figures from an Egyptian hotline for victims of assault.

Close to 100 women have fallen victim to “rampant” sexual attacks in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during four days of protests against Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

“Mobs sexually assaulted and in some cases raped at least 91 women in Tahrir Square … amid a climate of impunity,” HRW, which is based in New York, said in a statement.

It cited figures from the Egyptian Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, which runs a hotline for victims of sexual assault, showing that there were 46 such attacks against women on Sunday, 17 on Monday and 23 on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Morsi Defiant: 16 Dead at Cairo University

‘The price of legitimacy is my life’, says president

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — As the hour approached on Wednesday that will trigger a military takeover prompted by mass anti-government demonstrations, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi called on the army to back off, saying he will not bow to external or internal interference. In a defiant televised address to the nation, Morsi defended the last elections, which he said were “free and representative of the popular will”. “I am the first democratically elected Egyptian leader. The price of preserving legitimacy is my life”, said Morsi, increasingly isolated following the defections of several ministers and aides. “Don’t let them steal your revolution”.

Speaking from the presidential palace, the embattled Islamist president admitted to making “some mistakes”, called on the army to “resume its normal functions”, and exhorted Egyptians to refrain from violence.

While masses of protesters on Cairo’s Tahrir Square celebrated the army’s intervention, Morsi supporters clashed with security forces at Cairo University, where 16 people died and hundreds were injured, some critically.

A senior Brotherhood leader called for martyrdom in defense of Morsi while Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el Haddad tweeted: “The Egyptian people won’t allow anyone to trample on their democratic choices. We will stand firm before any threat to legitimacy”. Morsi supporters plan to turn out in greater numbers ahead of the army’s deadline, which expires on Wednesday 5pm local time.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt Braces for Post-Morsi Scenarios

Informed sources tell Ahram Online that President Morsi must bow to opposition demands for snap presidential polls or face a military tasked with ‘saving country’

While President Mohamed Morsi, with the help of two Muslim Brotherhood aides, was holding tough negotiations with representatives of the armed forces’ general command regarding nationwide opposition demands for early presidential elections, news was delivered to the defence minister’s office about increased violence on the ground.

Informed sources told Ahram Online that there were two options before President Morsi and his group: the first was to agree to bow to opposition demands for early presidential elections and thus be granted safe exit for himself and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership — who might otherwise face charges ranging from the illicit acquisition of weapons to incitement of violence against innocent civilians and espionage — or resist opposition demands and live with a second scenario, by which the army would bow to opposition demands to “rescue the country” by holding a joint meeting between political figures and the armed forces leadership to draft a plan for political transition.

According to one source, the president “was getting very close to agreeing, but declined following consultations with the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Another source told Ahram Online that there were a few hours left for the president to change his mind. “At any event, he is under house arrest and in the next few hours many of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood could well be under house arrest as well if a deal is not struck and if the incitement to violence continues.”

Foreign diplomats told Ahram Online that key Western capitals called on Morsi to bow to opposition demands and on the army to refrain from playing a role in the management of the state. One said: “Serious assurances were offered that the army are not to rule.”

The key point that the West was making sure to pass on to Cairo’s effective rulers today is that things should not look like a military coup. The Muslim Brotherhood leadership, including President Morsi himself and his two foreign affairs aides Essam El-Hadad and Pakinam El-Sharkawy, were tweeting messages to suggest that the president was being subject to a coup.

For their part, opposition leaders called on the West to “stop defending” Morsi who is faced with “unprecedented contempt.”

One opposition leader told Ahram Online that he had told Washington that the US was being “disliked in an unprecedented way in Egyptian liberal quarters, which see US support for Morsi as an attempt to keep a president who does not have the support of his people but who is serving the interests of the US.”

In the words of a highly informed source, “It is a matter of a few days, three days at the most, before the dust settles.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Egyptian Protesters Blame Obama for Morsi Dictatorship

US media ignores anti-Obama fervor

Images seldom broadcast on mainstream media networks reveal a wave of anti-Obama fervor has gripped Egypt as demonstrators blame the White House for helping to install Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who could be toppled later today.

The protests in Egypt have largely been characterized by the media as representing an even split between pro-government Muslim Brotherhood advocates and the anti-Morsi opposition movement, despite the fact that the anti-Morsi demonstrations have been far larger.

However, one aspect of the demonstrations that has been almost completely ignored is the fact that Egyptians firmly lay the blame for Morsi’s calamitous year in office at the feet of the White House.

As the photos below illustrate, Egyptians are fully cognizant of the fact that the Obama administration played a key role in contriving the revolution that toppled former President Mubarak. Signs held by protesters include, “Wake up America, Obama backs a fascist regime in Egypt,” “Obama Supports Terrorism,” and “Obama Your Bitch is Our Dictator.” The signs also condemn the role of Anne Patterson, the US Ambassador to Egypt.

As we previously highlighted, the 2011 revolution in Egypt was far from a grass roots uprising given that its organization was aided by establishment NGOs like Freedom House (linked to the CIA) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Despite supporting Mubarak for decades, the US abandoned him and threw its support behind the Muslim Brotherhood when Mubarak rejected US attempts to establish military bases inside the country and seize control of Egypt’s communications networks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Morsi is No Longer President’: Millions Explode With Joy on Streets as Egyptian Army Seizes Power in People’s Coup Following Protests

Celebrations were taking place across Egypt this evening after the military chief said President Mohammed Morsi had been forced out.

The head of Egypt’s armed forces issued a declaration suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state.

In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

The president’s aide has said the Egyptian leader Morsi has been moved to an undisclosed location.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements.

He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.

‘The people and the army are one hand,’ protestors cheered in the square, amid the roar of horns and chanting.

Two U.S. officials have said Egyptian defence leaders, who ousted the president, have assured the U.S. that they are not interested in a long-term rule.

The official says the leaders, in calls with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pledged to put a civilian government in place quickly.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Morsi is Out as President, Egyptian State Media Says

Egypt’s military moved forcefully to seize power from President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, deploying tanks and troops in Cairo and other cities, restricting his travel and convening an emergency meeting of top civilian and religious leaders to devise an interim government and lay the groundwork for new elections.

Ahramonline, the government’s official English-language Web site, said the military had informed Mr. Morsi that he was no longer head of state. There was no word on Mr. Morsi’s whereabouts.

The military’s actions came as enormous crowds of the president’s supporters and opponents filled the streets of the capital and soldiers were deployed in significant numbers to keep the spiraling political crisis from going out of complete control.

[Return to headlines]

Tammarrod (Rebels) Tunisie Issues Manifesto

Calls for non-violent change, new Charter and new elections

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS- Egypt’s Tamarrod (Rebels) movement has spread to Tunisia, where Tamarrod-Tunisie was launched officially on Sunday . The new, non-violent movement wants the Constituent Assembly dissolved and a committee of non-partisan experts to come up with a new Charter “representing all Tunisians”, to be followed by political elections, spokesman Mohamed Bennour said on TV.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Qatar: Foreign Workers Banned From Driving, Holding Licenses

Human rights organizations condemn measure as discriminatory

(ANSAmed) — DOHA, JULY 3 — In a move the Doha Traffic Department said will alleviate congestion on the streets and human rights organizations condemned as discriminatory, Qatar has banned all foreign workers except those hired as chauffeurs from driving or holding drivers’ licenses.

“Should this measure be enacted it would be yet another example of the discrimination against foreign citizens that is operative in Qatar”, Amnesty International Italy spokesman Riccardo Noury told ANSAmed.

“Qatar is more and more a key player on the international scene, and will host the World Cup in a few years. It is essential that the country radically change course and begin fully respecting migrant workers’ economic and social rights”, Noury added. It is unclear whether the new measure will actually reduce Doha traffic congestion, because few foreign workers, who make up 90% of the population, actually apply for driver’s licenses.

The foreign population is expected to increase in coming years during infrastructure construction work ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Wary of Mursi, Gulf Arabs Keen to Appear Neutral in Egypt Crisis

DUBAI/RIYADH, July 3 (Reuters) — Gulf Arab rulers are resisting the temptation to gloat in public about the political woes of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a group most of them mistrust, for fear of deepening unrest in a country that remains a potential ally in their standoff with Iran.

Officials and analysts said official Gulf Arab silence reflected a longstanding belief among the mainly small, U.S.-allied Sunni Muslim-ruled oil producers that their security is closely linked to that of Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab World, which is also Sunni.

For most of the past 30 years Egypt has been a strategic ally for Gulf Arab states worried about being dominated by the much bigger, Shi’ite Muslim Islamic Republic across the Gulf.

Now, with the stakes so high and Egypt’s situation so volatile, the official thinking seems to be that public meddling might only make things worse, analysts say.

Qatar has been a major financier of the Islamist groups around the Arab World, including Egypt’s Brotherhood.

“Qatar must be viewing the situation in Egypt with alarm. It has been a backer of the Egyptian government and I see no reason that it will fall back from that,” Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Centre, said.

But a change in Qatari leadership last week that saw the emir succeeded by his 33-year-old son Sheikh Tamim has raised questions about a possible shift away from the Brotherhood.

Influential Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi had denied reports that Qatar’s young emir had asked him to leave the country, but the denial has failed to quell rumours of a rift beginning to emerge with the Muslim Brotherhood.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chechen Islamist Militant Leader Doku Umarov Has Urged His Followers to Prevent the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia — According to a Video Posted Online, Which Cannot be Independently Verified.

The footage appeared to show Umarov saying: “They (Russia) plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims — buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea, and we as mujahideen are obliged not to permit that, using any methods allowed us by the almighty Allah.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised high security for the games, scheduled for next February in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Umarov’s group, Caucasus Emirate, aims to carve out an autonomous Islamist state in Southern Russia. It claimed responsibility for a bombing at a Moscow airport in 2010 that killed 37 people.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh: Hundreds of Garment Workers Poisoned by Factory Water

Just today, 200 employees of the Rose Dresses Ltd were hospitalised after drinking contaminated water. In early June, more than 600 people experienced bouts of vomiting, cramps and fainting.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — More than 200 garment workers at Ashulia, an industrial area near Dhaka, were hospitalised this morning for poisoning. All of them worked for the same company, Rose Dresses Ltd, which has more than 6,000 employees. Apparently, the workers got sick from drinking the factory’s tap water an hour after they reported for work. The police temporarily shut down the plant.

Today’s case is the third of its kind at this the plant since early June. On 5 June, 600 people suffered bouts of vomiting, cramps and fainting shortly after drinking the water. On June 28, another 250 employees fell ill.

At first, the government thought the workers were victims of mass psychogenic illness. However, doctors who visited them confirmed that it was poisoning.

After China, Bangladesh is the largest garment exporter in the world. As a whole, the industry accounts for over 10 per cent of the country’s GDP.

At the same time, garment workers are treated like slaves, with little or no workplace safety, poor hygienic conditions and salaries of just US$ 40 per month for 12 hours of work.

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

Indonesia: Hundreds of Muslim Extremists Against the Construction of a Catholic Church in Bekasi

Protesters took to the streets, demanding a stop to construction because the building would only fuel sectarian anger. Catholic sources note that all the right paperwork was done over a ten-year period; they also reject accusations of proselytising. President Yudhoyono is criticised for failing to guarantee complete religious freedom.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Hundreds of Muslim extremists staged a two-day protest against the construction of the Saint Stanislaus Kotska Catholic Church in Kranggan, a sub-district in Bekasi Regency, West Java province.

In what looks like a repeat of events in Bogor, where members of the Yasmin Church are up against local authorities, Catholics in Kranggan might see their efforts come to naught, including their application for a building permit.

They had first applied for the latter began in 2003 and met every bureaucratic request. However, protesters object that a Christian building in a Muslim area would only fuel sectarian conflict and undermine peaceful coexistence among religious groups.

During demonstrations earlier this week, extremists appealed to the authorities in Bekasi to “freeze” the application for a building permit (Izin Mendirikan Bangunan or IMB).

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation (mostly Sunni), church construction is complicated and can take between five and 10 years before authorisation is granted by local authorities.

In this case, applicants must obtained a number of signatures from local area residents as well as the green light from the Group for Interfaith Dialogue. Oftentimes, Islamist pressures or threats are brought to bear to stop applications.

Catholic sources told AsiaNews that everything was done by the book to get IMB, which the authorities granted on 17 December 2012.

Agung Dewabrata, secretary of the Catholic organising committee, insisted that his group carried out “scrupulous work” since 2003, “without ever proselytising” among non-Catholics.

However, Muslim extremists have used accusations of proselytising and conversion over the past 30 years to target minorities and get the authorities to revoke building permits relating to places of worship, especially in the province of West Java.

According to Catholic sources, “people from other villages who have nothing to do with the church” are behind the protest in Kranggan, “not locals”. Paradoxically, the same outsiders claim that there are only “two Catholics” in the whole area, something that is totally “devoid of any foundation” because there are many more Catholics.

For activists and representatives of civil society organisations, this latest episode of religious intolerance is further demonstration of the failure of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s attempt to create a truly multicultural and pluralistic society.

The recent decision by a US foundation to award him a prize for defending religious freedom has caused a sensation and dismay.

On receiving his prize, the president listed his administration’s alleged successes in the areas of pluralism and civil rights, claims quickly undone by events in Bekasi.

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

Greece: Albanian Immigrants Giving Up Too

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JULY 2 — With Greece already undergoing an exodus of professionals and its young to escape a crushing economic crisis that has shut out their future, prospects are so bleak that even Albanian immigrants who used to get into the country by any means possible are trying to get out. As GreekReporter writes, according to the latest report by the Albanian Center for Competitiveness and International Trade (ACIT), 18 to 22% of Albanian migrants who lived and worked in Greece have returned in Albania, about some 180,000 people. Ta Nea newspaper, noting the phenomenon, reported that high taxes and a soaring cost of living, along with limited opportunities and Greece’s record 27.4% unemployment rate were the main reasons.

“The financial crisis forces Albanians of our country to repatriate in a country they have never seen. After a multi-annual stay in Greece, adjustment in the paternal homes is not easy for all Albanians,” the report said. “Some years ago, the Albanian authorities tried to make the integration process easier for young that were returning after a long stay in Greece,” the article added. “Migration offices have been set in every county and the provision of monthly financial allowances of 8,000 Lek (about 60 euros) per family has been established. Just 5% of the repatriated asked for and were delivered this amount,” as explained in the newspaper. ACIT stressed out that this return migration wave is expected to put strong pressure to the country’s public services and mostly to the educational and health system. “Most people seek jobs in arts they learned in Greece” and chiefly in agricultural production, where the biggest part (25%) activates. Given the crisis that hits the neighboring country on other domains, as the constructional (building work and other), most of Albanians — almost Hellenized after so many years of stay in Greece — have to face the extremely big difficulties concerning the healthy settlement and adjustment to the new data, while the cost of ‘failure’ that accompanies and emotionally burdens many of them has to be added in this situation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

I Got 30 Milllion Reasons

If Hispanics voted 50.1 percent for Democrats, amnesty would be a bad deal for Republicans. But, in fact, they vote 70 percent to 80 percent for Democrats. How did it become an urgent priority for Republicans to bring in 30 million new voters, 80 percent of whom will vote Democratic?

Democrats want 30 million new voters and they will say anything to get there:

— It’s a crisis! Illegal immigrants are “living in the shadows”!

That’s not a “crisis.” At most — and this is highly dubious — it’s a crisis for the illegal immigrants. But evidently, “living in the shadows” is at least better than living in Guadalajara. Otherwise, there’s an easy solution.

We’re told, “You don’t know what it’s like to live in the shadows!” Yes, you’re right, and that proves it’s not a crisis.

Sorry to sound legalistic, illegal aliens, but you broke the law and — look me in the eye — you know you broke the law. You hid in the backs of trucks, traveled across remote desert locations, ran from U.S. agents and stole American IDs.

It’s supposed to be uncomfortable to break the law. We aren’t required to grant amnesty to people just because they’ve put themselves in the awkward position of being here illegally. (Or because the Democrats need 30 million new voters.)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Migrants Rescued Ahead of Pope’s Island Visit

Italian coast guards on Wednesday intercepted a boat carrying more than 200 migrants and two French journalists off the coast of Lampedusa, a tiny island due to be visited by Pope Francis.

Lampedusa is a transit point for thousands of undocumented migrants into the European Union, who often make perilous journeys on rickety fishing boats or rubber dinghies across the Mediterranean.

An outcrop covering just 20 square kilometres, Lampedusa is closer to North Africa than to the Italian mainland and tens of thousands of migrants have landed there since the beginning of the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011.

Sixty-five migrants were also rescued off the coast of the Calabria region on mainland Italy on a boat that was taking on water and risked sinking.

Pope Francis has said he wants to visit Lampedusa on Monday to pray for people who have lost their lives in the crossings and offer support to the local population, which has hosted the migrants.

Nearly 8,000 migrants have landed in Italy since the start of the year — double the number from last year over the same period. The highest number of migrants arrived in Lampedusa — 3,648 people, or three times more than last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Death Threats for Lesbian Somali-Norwegian

Somali-Norwegian author Amal Aden has received more than 146 threatening messages after taking part in the Oslo Pride Parade this weekend. Recounting her ordeal, the lesbian activist said many Norwegians could not imagine the perceived tension of being Muslim and gay.

“On Sunday morning, I woke up to find 146 threats on my phone, either phone messages or SMS,” Aden wrote on Wednesday in a column in the Aftenposten newspaper. “I’m lesbian, Muslim and Somali — it is not a simple combination,” she added.

“It can be difficult for ethnic Norwegians to understand how difficult and painful it can be to be both Muslim and for gay rights.”

Many of the messages left of Aden’s phone accused her of being a bad role model for Norwegian Muslim children. Aden does not, however, regret taking part in Saturday’s Oslo Pride Parade and said she was already used to the threats.

“The threats started coming as soon as I came out as a lesbian. People have spit at me, thrown things at me, and threatened to kill me,” she said.

“I’ve spent many nights awake in despair over how my sexual orientation could create so much hatred.”

Some 12,000 people partook in the parade, led by Culture Minister Hadia Tajik alongside Development Minister Heiki Holmås and Mayor Stian Berger Røsland.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Worse Than Meth: Facebook is Altering Your Mind and Turning You Into a Slave

(NaturalNews) Are online social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and others as addictive as some drugs like meth? Yes, say an increasing number of social observers and experts. Their advice? Step away from the computer and do it now, while you still can.

Don’t get us wrong; we here at NaturalNews understand very well and appreciate the fact that we are an Internet-based publication. And while we appreciate the hundreds of thousands of daily readers we get, in no way do we believe we are feeding an addiction; rather, we see ourselves as filling a niche.

But interactive social media sites are a different Internet animal altogether, and many are beginning to see them as intrinsically harmful to society as a whole.

“It’s been called FaceCrack,” writes philosopher, author and lecturer David Rainoshek in a recent blog post. He continues:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/3/2013

  1. This raises a number of questions … most of them uncomfortable ones …

    1. Will there be “free and fair” elections soon, to replace the “interim leadership”?
    2. If so, will the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic-based groups be allowed to run? If not, why not?
    3. If an Islamic-based group DOES run, and DOES win the “free and fair” elections (or at least a majority), thus bringing the whole affair back to square one, will the military intervene again? If not, why not?
    4. Will any other religious (or non-religious) groups be banned from running, and if so, why? If not, why not?
    5. When will the elections be held, and what happens if they are not held by that deadline?
    6. If elections are not held in a reasonable time span, what will be the consequences?
    7. What is to keep the military from staying in power, either directly (by running their own candidates, or putting off elections indefinitely / refusing to hold elections & becoming a military dictatorship) or indirectly (giving unfair advantages to candidates they favor, and handicapping those they oppose)?
    8. Who will write the next Constitution? Will Islamic-based groups or individuals be allowed to participate? Why, or why not?
    9. If Islamic-based groups or individuals enshrine sharia principles again, in the new Constitution, will the military intervene again? Why, or why not?

    There are SO many more, but you get the idea. Once obtained, political power in the Middle East is rarely given up without a life-or-death struggle. Free and fair elections, as we have them in the West, are the exception and NOT the norm. Military coups turning into military-controlled governments IS the norm, with one military-backed pseudo-dictator stepping into the shoes of the last. What hard evidence is there this coup is NOT “progress” at all, but just another spin around the circle, bringing Egypt back to square one, where there were with the ouster of Mubarack? (or, more aptly, another spin around the spiral, with Egypt a little closer to the drain this time?

  2. William Hague has said the UK “will work with the people in authority in Egypt” but condemned the ousting of its president as “a dangerous thing”.

    Shariah-compliant British foreign policy – get a grip Hague.

Comments are closed.