Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/2/2013

The federal government was shut down for a second day today. As a result, the sun grew dim, birds fell out of the air, the Mississippi River stopped flowing, and the sky rolled up like a scroll.

Seriously, though — the federal government closed up shop, and nobody noticed. Except for the 200 million or so government employees, of course, who had to stay home and watch daytime TV.

In other news, an MP in Kuwait has called for a ban on the sale of blasphemous statues from the Jahiliyyah, the time of ignorance before Islam. The forbidden statues include tourist favorites, such as the winged bull of Mesopotamia.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, RR, 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
» Italy: Unemployment Hits High Again Amid Political Crisis
» Lack of Privacy Destroys the Economy
» Sweden: Budget Will Force Units to Disband: Military
» 8-Year-Old Suspended From School for Forming Gun Shape With His Hand
» An Obstinate Senate
» Antibacterial Soap Pollutes Rivers, Adds to Bacterial Resistance
» Budget Stalemate Threatens Bona Fide Shutdown for District of Columbia
» Don’t Sign Up for Obama’s Health Care Nightmare
» Drone Crash Lands in Manhattan
» Glenn Beck Irate Over Leaked Boehner Office Emails: ‘Defund the GOP’
» Harry Reid: Forget Constituents, We Serve the Government (Video)
» Harry Reid’s Office Leaks Boehner Office Emails — And it Could Ruin Any Faith You Have in Washington
» Here is Every Previous Government Shutdown, Why They Happened and How They Ended
» ‘Less Tweets Due to Shutdown, ‘ First Lady Tells Legion of Fake Followers
» Microsoft Investors Push for Chairman Gates to Step Down
» New York’s Governor Cuomo Sued by National Gun Rights Group
» Obama to Meet With Congressional Leaders to Urge End to Shutdown
» Obamacare’s Latino Push May Give Democrats Political Edge
» Obama Protects WW2 Memorial From Vets More Than He Protected Americans From Benghazi Attack
» ObamaCare Fines to be Seized From Bank Accounts?
» ObamaCare Claims Another Victim as Company Forced to Close Down
» ObamaCare is Another Private Sector Rip-Off of Americans
» Obama’s Plan to Islamicize America
» Proven: Statin Drugs Significantly Increase Risk of Cataracts
» Shutdown Overreach: More Guards at WWII Memorial Than Benghazi; Park Service Closes Park it Doesn’t Run
» The 12 House Republicans Who Are Ready to Give Up ObamaCare Fight in Order to End Government Shutdown
» The DNC Goes Broke
» The Emperor Has No Clothes: WWII Vets Expose Obama’s Contempt Towards the American People
» The Map That Shows Where America Came From: Fascinating Illustration Shows the Ancestry of Every County in the US
» Tom Clancy, Author of Military Thrillers, Dies at 66
» Tom Clancy Dead at 66: Sources
» UC Researchers Find Link Between Freshman Algebra, Murder Rate
» Vaccines in Shock Failure: Whooping Cough Vaccine Stops Working Very Quickly, Warn Scientists
» VB Councilman Criticized for Mosque Claims
» Video: Kimmel Asks, ‘Do You Support “ObamaCare” Over the Affordable Care Act?’
» Woody Allen’s Son Ronan May be Frank Sinatra’s, Says Mia Farrow
Europe and the EU
» Astrometry: Europe’s Star Power
» Dark Matter Tops Physicists’ Wish List, Post-Higgs
» Denmark: Cable Thieves and Lacking Phone Service Cause Chaotic Morning
» Filmaker Wins Norway’s Second Ever Emmy
» France Mulls Pardon for World War I ‘Cowards’
» French Court Rules Against Ryanair Over Labour Code Breaches
» Germany: Wolves Kill Flock of Sheep Near Berlin
» Greece: Survey: Golden Dawn Down But Still Third Party
» Greece: Slew of Reforms Target Ultra-Right Golden Dawn
» Greece: Interrogation Continues of Golden Dawn MPs Arrested
» Greek Court Frees Far-Right MPs Pending Trial
» Italy: Red Brigades Tell TAV Protestors to ‘Step Forward’
» Italy: Calabrian Mayor Resigns After ‘Mafia Pressure’
» Italy: Dissidents in PDL Meet to Discuss New Party
» Netherlands: Court Bans Scientific Publications on Viruses
» Norway: The Deer Who Thinks He’s a Sheep
» Parole for Man Who Killed Dutch Politician
» Population of France to Pass 70 Million by 2050
» Sweden: Nuke Plant Back Online After Jellyfish Foul-Up
» Sweden: Bomb Scare Prompts Malmö School Evacuation
» Swiss Cities Among Top Ten Finance Centres
» Switzerland: Zurich Plans Billion-Franc Road Tunnel and Tram Line
» UK: Islamic School That Told Female Teachers to Wear Hijab Regardless of Their Religion is Closed on First Day of Ofsted Inspection
» UK: Lord Heseltine Warns Conservatives Off ‘Racist’ UKIP
» UK: Muslim School Closes Temporarily
» UK: Whether He Hated Britain or Not, Ralph Miliband Was One of the Cold War’s Bad Guys
» UK: Why Are Marxists and Soviet Apologists Regarded as Harmless Jokers?
» US Closes War Cemetaries in France Amid Shutdown
» Why Do So Many Italians Still Love Berlusconi?
North Africa
» Egypt: Muslims Expel Six Christian Brothers From Village in Egypt
» Egypt’s Defense Minister Warns of Religious Conflict
» Libya: Tripoli Schoolgirl Abductions Raise Questions
» Tunisia: Ennahdha Accused of Links With Salafi Terrorists
Israel and the Palestinians
» Amnesty Urges Hamas to Stop Juvenile Offender’s Hanging
Middle East
» Amnesty Accuses Turkey of Abuse on ‘Massive Scale’
» EU: New Money to Help Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
» Kuwait: MP Wants Statues Banned, Removed
» Mother Agnes Mariam Attacked…by Human Rights Watch!
» ‘Open Prison’: Worker Deaths Cast Shadow Over Qatar World Cup
» ‘Persian Gulf’ On FIFA Website, Oil Monarchies Protest
» Turkey, S.Arabia Ratify Industry Cooperation Deal
» Gunmen Attack Russia’s Libyan Embassy in Tripoli — Russian FM
» Georgia Opens Case of Jihad Video Suspect
South Asia
» Afghan Soldier Accused of Killing Three Australian Comrades Captured in Pakistan
» Energy-Short Bangladesh Starts Construction of First Nuclear Power Plant
» First Bangladesh MP Sentenced to Hang for War Crimes
» India, Pakistan Armies Exchange Fire in Kashmir
» Pakistan Taliban Say US Drones Must Stop Before Peace Talks
Far East
» South Korea Shows Off New Missiles Designed to Hit North
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Kenya: Fundamentally Freund: Islamic Terror, Murder and Mayhem
» Nigeria: Yobe Attack — How We Escaped Through the Window — Survivors
» Sierra Leone: As Perceived Al-Shabab Threat Grips City
» Somaliland Arrests Cleric for Supporting Terrorism
Latin America
» Netherlands to Help Bolivia With Lithium Batteries
» Council of Europe Denounces Italy on Migration
» Denmark: Integration No Longer a Criteria for Accepting Refugees
» House Republicans Work Immigration Behind Scenes
» Norway: New Gov Will Increase Use of ‘Asylum Prisons’
Culture Wars
» 11-Year-Old Rejects Public School Conditioning
» Colorful Statement? Germany’s Olympic Uniform Seen as ‘Pro-Gay’
» Ethics: Taboo Genetics
» Germany: Affirmative Action: SPD Women Want Gender Quota From Merkel
» ObamaCare Day One: Many Americans Will Fund Abortions Without Their Consent
» 7 Insects You’ll be Eating in the Future
» Strange Super-Earth Planet Has ‘Plasma’ Water Atmosphere
» Study Shows Radical Islamist Dominance in Terror Plots
» UN: Italian FM Speaks Out Against Child Brides
» World’s Population to Hit 9.7 Billion by 2050

Italy: Unemployment Hits High Again Amid Political Crisis

As the Italian government teeters on the edge, statistics released on Tuesday revealed that the unemployment rate had reverted to its highest ever level of 12.2 percent in August, with youth unemployment surpassing the 40 percent mark.

The figures come as Italy is yet again mired in political controversy, with prime minister Enrico Letta now battling to save his coalition from collapse after Silvio Berlusconi said he was pulling his party’s ministers out of the cabinet in a bid to topple the government.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Lack of Privacy Destroys the Economy

…Put another way, lack of privacy kills the ability to creatively criticize bad government policy … and to demand enforcement of the rule of law.

Free speech and checks and balances on the power of government officials are two of the main elements of justice in any society. And a strong rule of law is — in turn — the main determinant of GDP growth.

Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge points out (edited slightly for readability):

Though often maligned (typically by those frustrated by an inability to engage in ad hominem attacks), anonymous speech has a long and storied history in the United States. Used by the likes of Mark Twain (aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens) to criticize common ignorance, and perhaps most famously by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (aka publius) to write the Federalist Papers, we think ourselves in good company in using one or another nom de plume.

Particularly in light of an emerging trend against vocalizing public dissent in the United States, we believe in the critical importance of anonymity and its role in dissident speech.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Budget Will Force Units to Disband: Military

Sweden must decide whether to make its military high-tech or enable it to defend an attack on the country, the commander-in-chief has warned as the Armed Forces submitted a new report about the future of the country’s defence to the government.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

8-Year-Old Suspended From School for Forming Gun Shape With His Hand

An eight-year-old child has been suspended from a Florida elementary school for forming his hand into a gun shape in yet another case of knee jerk overreaction by education officials.

WKMG-TV news reports that Jordan Bennett was handed a one-day suspension for playing a pretend game of ‘cops and robbers’ in the school yard at Harmony Community School in St. Cloud.

The boy’s mother is livid, and says that the punishment will tarnish her son’s record.

“There was nothing in his hand. He used his thumb and index finger,” Bonnie Bennett said. “It was a game. He made no threatening advances or threats to harm anyone. No words were said.”

“They took a child that has never been in trouble before and went to the extreme,” the mother added. “A child that has no history of violence is now classified as a violent offender.”

Without providing any specifics, the Osceola County School District told reporters that they did not see the incident as a harmless game, and that the boy’s actions “violated the code of student conduct”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

An Obstinate Senate

Gould is the Centennial Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Texas. “Political oratory has been in steady decline over the course of the past century, if the Senate is any indication. Most Senators read speeches that staff has written for them. In hearings members often rely on questions that staff has prepared…Few modern Senators can think on their feet or make a sustained argument without supporting information or props. ‘We’re just no longer a debating forum,’ said Robert C. Byrd in October 2004.”

“It is hard to overstate this loss to American political life,” said Gould. “The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a Senate that would function as a wise and judicious check on both executive power and the House of Representatives. They did not imagine a body that would act as a rubber stamp for an incumbent president.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Antibacterial Soap Pollutes Rivers, Adds to Bacterial Resistance

(NaturalNews) New highly resistant strains of bacteria are showing up in urban water sources and regional streams and rivers. These new bacteria strains are rendering new antibiotics practically useless.

New environmental studies from the Chicago metro-area are now reporting disturbing levels of powerful bacteria strains coming from specific urban areas that rely on single sewage pipes connected to combined sewer overflows.

A paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, unveils the causes behind the new strains of bacteria.

The culprit: triclosan resistance in a natural environment.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Budget Stalemate Threatens Bona Fide Shutdown for District of Columbia

Thousands of workers sent home, vital government services suspended, and elderly veterans hassled for paying a visit to the technically shuttered WWII memorial — they’re all troubling symptoms of the partial government suspension.

But in the District of Columbia, local officials are preparing for what would be a full-blown shutdown. D.C. residents who witnessed the last budget impasse 17 years ago fear widespread problems — including broken traffic signals and smelly, piled-up trash on city streets — if Congress fails to agree soon on a spending bill.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Don’t Sign Up for Obama’s Health Care Nightmare

You were told that Obama Care would bring down prices. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and insurance premiums are rising by in some cases, several factors of magnitude. In the last two years our family’s supplemental health insurance has risen 410%. No we are not exaggerating

Doctors and health care facilities by the hundreds are beginning to refuse Medicare and Medicaid patients because the government pays the health care provider so little. The law adds pre-existing conditions to the mix and in the process, throws actuarial health tables out the window. That is like asking for a fire insurance policy while your house is on fire.

Your private medical records are no longer private. They are sent to a monster super computer where they are stored and can be accessed by just about anyone, especially anyone in government, like the IRS. There won’t be enough doctors, nurses and hospitals to handle the increase in patients, which will lead to long wait times in the doctor’s or hospital’s office, or even longer wait times for needed surgery, just like the socialized medicine of Canada and England. Some of those wait times can and will end up in patients dying.

All that we have described here was predictable by any normal, reasonable and prudent person, well before Obama Care was passed into law.

The President’s powers do not include a line item veto and yet President Obama has unconstitutionally delayed, changed, or temporarily cancelled portions of a legally passed law by the Congress (Affordable Care Act) and granted waivers to large corporations and his union friends. Why has the Congress let him get away with it? For these acts alone, he should be impeached.


Ladies and gentlemen, Obama Care can be killed by the people of this once-great country. All they have to do is refuse to participate by the tens of millions and Obama Care will collapse. All you young people, show some courage and tell the FEDS to go to Hell! Refuse to sign up for health care by the millions. Pay the damn penalty. It is cheaper than health care premiums.

If you want to see the IRS collapse and go away, all the American people have to do is to refuse to participate, and refuse by the tens of millions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Drone Crash Lands in Manhattan

A small helicopter drone flying high above buildings on the East side of Manhattan crash landed just feet away from a businessman during the Monday evening rush hour.

Video he recovered from a memory card in the crash debris shows the drone twenty to thirty stories above the busy streets and crowded sidewalks near Grand Central Station.

The businessman reached out to Eyewitness News saying he thinks the 3-pound drone could have seriously injured him had he taken a direct hit.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Glenn Beck Irate Over Leaked Boehner Office Emails: ‘Defund the GOP’

Glenn Beck was incensed Wednesday over reports of leaked emails that indicated House Speaker John Boehner coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to exempt Congress from Obamacare.

“This is John Boehner. This is your speaker of the House … this is exactly what we’ve been saying they are doing,” Beck said with disgust on radio. “They are making special deals behind closed doors. They are one part and parcel with the Democratic Party. They are in bed with them and they are lying to you.”

Beck urged his audience to call the Republican Party and say they won’t contribute “another cent” to the party at large.

“Individual politicians, you bet,” he added. “But here’s how you do it. You go find people like (Texas Congressman) Louie Gohmert. There’s no reason why we have somebody like (Texas Sen.) John Cornyn. No reason why we have him in Texas. None…This next election needs to be the last election for these kind of people. They all need to be kicked out.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Harry Reid: Forget Constituents, We Serve the Government (Video)

Somehow, I’m thinking many of Harry Reid’s constituents may have a different impression as to what his responsibility is actually supposed to be.

Some may even have thought he’s in Washington to serve and support them, not his political party and the federal government. They’d be wrong.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Harry Reid’s Office Leaks Boehner Office Emails — And it Could Ruin Any Faith You Have in Washington

A series of leaked emails authored by House Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff Mike Sommers show that the Speaker may have coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to exempt Congress from Obamacare.

The emails were leaked Tuesday by Reid chief of staff David Krone, who actually has a history of this sort of thing.

The leaks, which are a major taboo in Washington, show Boehner (R-Ohio) worked behind the scenes earlier this year to address confusion over a provision in the Affordable Care Act that would force members of Congress and their aides into the exchanges. In fact, if one were to go by the leaks, which were first published by Politico, it appears that the offices of Boehner and Reid regularly coordinated to exempt Congress from the health care law.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Here is Every Previous Government Shutdown, Why They Happened and How They Ended

Since the modern congressional budgeting process took effect in 1976, there have been a total of seventeen separate government shutdowns (or “spending gaps” in Hill jargon). Given that we appear to be headed for another one imminently, let’s look back at those experiences, the political circumstances around them and what happened as a consequence. Most of the specifics were drawn from The Washington Post print archives, which you can access for a modest sum here.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Less Tweets Due to Shutdown, ‘ First Lady Tells Legion of Fake Followers

Today, the First Lady relayed via Twitter that her feed might go sans updates due to the current political stalemate in Congress over the de-funding of Obamacare, a message that came as a shock to her legion of followers, many of whom were revealed last week to be fake.

Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown

— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) October 1, 2013

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Microsoft Investors Push for Chairman Gates to Step Down

(Reuters) — Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New York’s Governor Cuomo Sued by National Gun Rights Group

One of the nation’s oldest and largest civil-rights groups filed a lawsuit this week against the State of New York, its governor and its police commander over a recently passed bill, signed into law, known as the SAFE Act by its supporters, according of the group’s attorneys.

Rather than fighting the New York government through the state court system, the Second Amendment Foundation filed its lawsuit in federal court seeking to prevent the New York government from enforcing provisions of the SAFE Act that prohibit the use of gun magazines containing more than seven rounds, according to the lawsuit.

SAF is joined in the federal lawsuit by the Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE) and Long Island Firearms LLC. The groups are all represented by New York attorneys David Jensen and Robert P. Firriolo.

The two attorneys possess experience in firearms cases in which government officials and judges have made arbitrary decisions that they say violate the Second Amendment.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Joseph D’Amico, superintendent of the State Police.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama to Meet With Congressional Leaders to Urge End to Shutdown

President Obama on Wednesday, the second day of the government shutdown, summoned the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress to the White House for an afternoon meeting to urge the passage of measures financing the government and increasing the nation’s borrowing limit — without add-ons like a limitation on his health-insurance law.

It was to be the first such meeting since large portions of the government were forced to close at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, when the new fiscal year began without agreement on a stopgap spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, or C.R., that would finance the government until spending levels are set for the new year.

“The president will urge the House to pass the clean C.R. to reopen the government, and call on Congress to act to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills we have already incurred and avoid devastating consequences on our economy,” an administration official said.

[Return to headlines]

Obamacare’s Latino Push May Give Democrats Political Edge

The battle over Obamacare is taking on political importance as Democrats hope a successful roll-out among Hispanics will further bind those voters to the Democratic Party and undermine Republican efforts to build more support before the 2016 presidential election.

About 61 percent of Hispanics approve of the health-care law, compared with 29 percent of whites and 91 percent of blacks, according to a Pew Research Center and USA Today survey conducted Sept. 4-8.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Protects WW2 Memorial From Vets More Than He Protected Americans From Benghazi Attack

In what is seemingly the worst PR move ever for Obama and his administration, the president has still persisted in attempting to keep vets from visiting their memorial by threatening them with arrest.

Social media posts have accused Obama of ‘protecting’ the vets from the WWII memorial more than he protected Americans from Benghazi. The Benghazi attack left four dead, including US Ambassador Christoper Stevens. Infowars has since exposed the attack as a coverup by a “State Department hired jihadist security outfit in connection with an arms transfer to al-Qaeda mercenaries in Syria.”

One of the most clever comparisons was made in the tweet below:

It seems the Obama Administration is doing more to “protect” the WWII memorial from Vets than it did to protect Americans in #Benghazi

— Randy (@ERE1968) October 2, 2013


The veterans cheered once inside, many emotional and breaking down into tears. The majority of the veterans are in their 90s, and it may very well be their last chance to see the memorial that they fought so desperately to win.

The attack on the veterans via the threat of arrest was reportedly ordered directly by Obama and supported by the Democrats. Outraged Americans took to social media to vent their anger.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare Fines to be Seized From Bank Accounts?

A man who attempted to sign up for Obamacare online was told that a fine of over $4,000 dollars a year for refusing to take out mandatory health insurance could be taken directly from his bank account, and that his drivers license would be suspended and a federal tax lien placed against his home, according to an entry on the Facebook page.

Image: Obama signs the Affordable Care Act.

If true, the implementation of Obamacare is going to be a whole lot more draconian than Americans have been led to believe…

Sheehan went on to point out that the site makes you input all your personal information before giving you an indication of the costs, meaning a database of the “uninsured” is being built. He added that he could not afford to pay the premium so would have to break the law and pay the fine, leaving him with no health care coverage.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare Claims Another Victim as Company Forced to Close Down

A chiropractic clinic in Pennsylvania has become the latest victim of Obamacare, being forced to close down as a result of receiving reduced payments from insurance companies.

The Restored Balance chiropractic clinic in York, Pennsylvania closed its doors on September 27, four days before the launch of nationwide online Obamacare exchanges.

The reason given for the closure of the business was outlined in an email that a patient forwarded to Infowars:

“The most recent changes in ObamaCare impacted how Restored Balance got paid by insurance companies for the services we rendered. The reduced payments were not substantial enough to cover the cost of the labor, overhead expenses, and other liabilities incurred by the business. We sought to combat this insurance impact my shifting to a cash-only practice but too many of our clients relied solely on their insurance to cover our services and ceased coming. Restored Balance DID NOT close due for any other reasons than those stated above,” the email states.

Restored Balance served around 1400 patients before it was forced to close down…

As we highlighted yesterday, the only entities that seem to be benefiting from Obamacare are giant insurance companies, who all saw their stock prices saw yesterday. That’s unsurprising given that it was the insurance companies who wrote the foundational document for Obamacare in the first place.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare is Another Private Sector Rip-Off of Americans

When Republicans for ideological reasons blocked a single-payer health system like the rest of the developed world has and, indeed, even some developing countries have, the Obama regime, needing a victory, went to the insurance companies and told them to come up with a health care plan that the insurance lobby could get passed by Congress. Obamacare was written by the private insurance industry with the goal of raising its profits with 50 million mandated new customers.


In 2013 payroll employment is below where it was six years ago. During 2013 most of the new jobs, barely sufficient to stay even with population growth and insufficient to recover the job loss from the recession, have been part-time jobs that do not provide any discretionary income with which to drive a consumer economy.

Obamacare has resulted in the health insurance companies, who thought that they would be living in high profits from the mandated health coverage, being outsmarted by employers, who have reduced their full-time workers to part-time in order to avoid Omamacare’s requirement to provide health coverage to those employees who work 30 hours a week or more.

Employers can get away with this, because jobs are hard to find. The lack of employment opportunities results in Americans with engineering degrees working as retail sales clerks and as shelf stockers in Walmart and Home Depot. Despite the abundance of unemployed and under-employed American technical and engineering workers, the large corporations lobby Congress for more H-1B visas to bring in lowly paid foreigners with the argument that there is a shortage of qualified Americans for technical work.

As I have pointed out so many times, if there were a shortage of engineering and technical workers, salaries would be rising, not falling.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Plan to Islamicize America

At a meeting of the David Allen Lewis “Eschatology Club” a year ago in Springfield, Missouri, where I was the featured speaker, I was told by the organizers that in the previous monthly meeting, Pastor Don Jones made a disturbing statement about President Barack Obama’s plan to Islamicize America.

Jones went to one of his orphanages in Haiti after the massive earthquake there and met with a senior UN official, who said Obama had told him that the US would be a Muslim country by 2016, or by the end of his second term in office.

While that may seem far-fetched, it is not beyond the realm of possibility. First, Obama’s biological father was a Muslim — which makes the President a Muslim. His stepfather was an Indonesian Muslim who raised Obama as a Muslim in a mosque and madrassa (Islamic religious school) in Indonesia until age 11. His halfbrothers in Kenya are Muslims…

I was just convicted and given a three-year jail sentence in Switzerland for helping defeat a plan to build minarets at the nation’s mosques by a 57 percent majority.

But the Muslims in Switzerland are already returning with a new minaret initiative. They are tenacious in their plans to Islamicize Switzerland and Europe. Why not the US?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Proven: Statin Drugs Significantly Increase Risk of Cataracts

If you regularly pop statins, you could eventually go blind. These are the candid findings of a new study recently published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, in which researchers from the VA North Texas Health System at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas found that people who regularly take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels may also be increasing their risk of developing cataracts, a degenerative eye condition that can eventually lead to partial or full vision loss.

Based on a primary analysis involving 6,972 matched pairs of both statin users and nonusers, the team observed a roughly nine percent increased risk, on average, of developing cataracts in the statin group compared to the non-statin group. However, in a secondary analysis involving 33,513 patients, 6,113 of which were taking statins, the risk was found to be even higher at about 27 percent, on average.

In the first analysis, the average age of each participant was 56, and 54 percent of the group were men. In the second analysis, the mean age for statin users was also 56, but for non-statin users, it was 46. There were also significantly more statin-using men in the second analysis, 60 percent, compared to just 48 percent men in the non-statin group. This variance implies that older, statin-using men may have the highest risk overall of developing cataracts as a result of taking statin drugs.

Previous studies have been inconsistent in their findings about the effects of statins on eyesight. Some have found that the drugs cause major harm, for instance, while others have actually claimed to have observed benefits. But this new study, according to Dr. Anurag Shrivastava, M.D., an attending cataract and glaucoma surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., provides some of the most solid evidence to date that statins are, indeed, damaging to eyesight when taken long-term.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Shutdown Overreach: More Guards at WWII Memorial Than Benghazi; Park Service Closes Park it Doesn’t Run

At the World War II Memorial on The Mall in Washington, where veterans have been staging protests to keep it open, Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering reports that at least seven officials were dispatched Wednesday morning to set up a ring of barricades to block tourists from the memorial. That is two more security officials than the State Department had in Benghazi a year ago on the night of the terrorist attack that killed four, including the U.S. ambassador.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The 12 House Republicans Who Are Ready to Give Up ObamaCare Fight in Order to End Government Shutdown

While some Republican members of the U.S. House are standing firm in the spending negotiations (or lack thereof) with Democrats, there are reportedly at least 12 GOP House members who are ready to fully fund Obamacare to end the partial government shutdown.

In order for Senate Democrats to get their way and get a “clean” continuing resolution passed by the House, only five other Republicans would have to defect, or a total of 17. A clean CR would leave Obamacare in tact and fund the rest of the government in full.

The Huffington Post is keeping count and provides a current list of GOP congressmen ready to fully fund Obamacare and give up the spending fight that resulted in the first partial government shutdown in 17 years [emphasis added]:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The DNC Goes Broke

While Americans are focused on a government shutdown precipitated in large part by America’s debt crisis, the fundraising arm of the party that advocates spending trillions of dollars in borrowed money has a debt crisis of its own. As a result of spending during the 2012 election campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is nearly broke, even as it struggles to pay its own vendors.

The numbers paint a bleak picture. At the end of May, the DNC had $6 million in cash and $19.8 million in debt, and was paying off its bills at a rate of less than $1 million per month. Through August, the DNC owed $18.1 million to its various creditors. Several of those creditors, speaking anonymously to avoid any blowback from the DNC, described the organization as one falling further and further behind in its ability to pay past due bills. Moreover, senior strategists with close ties to the money-raising arm of the Democrat party have expressed concerns that the DNC has no apparent strategy for returning to solvency. “They really thought they could get this money raised by the summer,” said one of those strategists. “But the fact is, from talking to people over there, they have no real plan for how to solve this.”…

Yet while Wasserman Schultz is incompetent, the DNC’s woes are not completely her fault. Organizing for Action (OFA), Barack Obama’s former campaign apparatus reincarnated as a nonprofit advocacy group, has emerged as a fierce competitor for donor dollars. Last March, Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21, a campaign finance reform group, aptly described what OFA is all about. “It is operating as an arm of the presidency and it’s funded by private money including large contributions and bundlers raising large amounts,” he explained.

OFA also has a technological infrastructure with access to Obama’s 2 million volunteers, 17 million email subscribers, 37.2 million Twitter followers, and virtually every registered voter in the country. All of it is used to drive the president’s message — and raise money.

It is that money raising ability that has hurt the DNC. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, all of the top-tier OFA donors have also raised substantial sums of money for the DNC in the past. And while 13 of those donors contributed six-figure sums to the OFA over the first half of 2013, only three of them gave money to the DNC over the same time period.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Emperor Has No Clothes: WWII Vets Expose Obama’s Contempt Towards the American People

The World War II veteran showdown is the pinnacle of Obama’s disdain towards the American public during the government shutdown and perhaps even his entire term in office.

Here’s a short rundown of Obama’s superiority complex, elitism and total disregard of Americans:

– The White House rejected a request to allow WWII veterans, our greatest generation, to visit their memorial in Washington D.C. during the government shutdown. With over 800 WWII veterans dying every day, some of these vets may never have another opportunity to visit the memorial to honor their fellow Americans who never made it back home.

– National Park Service workers are erecting a barricade around the World War II memorial to keep veterans out of the memorial, which was predominantly funded by private donations.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Map That Shows Where America Came From: Fascinating Illustration Shows the Ancestry of Every County in the US

Almost 20 million people claim to have ‘American’ ancestry for political reasons and because they are unsure of their family’s genealogy

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tom Clancy, Author of Military Thrillers, Dies at 66

Tom Clancy, whose complex, adrenaline-fueled military novels made him one of the world’s best-selling and best-known authors, died on Tuesday in a hospital in Baltimore. He was 66.

Ivan Held, the president of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, his publisher, did not provide a cause of death.

Mr. Clancy’s books were successfully transformed into blockbuster Hollywood films, including “Patriot Games,” “The Hunt for Red October” and “Clear and Present Danger.”

His next book, “Command Authority,” is planned for publication on December 3.

[Return to headlines]

Tom Clancy Dead at 66: Sources

Author Tom Clancy, whose novel, “The Hunt for Red October” propelled him to fame, fortune and status as a favorite storyteller of the American military, has died, according to sources with his publisher and family. He was 66.

The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

A Baltimore-born former insurance agent, Clancy was known for writing meticulous thrillers focusing on political intrigue and military tactics and technology. He published 28 books — including a new novel yet to be released.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UC Researchers Find Link Between Freshman Algebra, Murder Rate

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) — Could there be a link between 9th grade algebra and Chicago’s murder rate? Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab believe so. They say an intensive tutoring program for young black men could help many more graduate from high school and reduce the bloodshed.

When UC researchers looked at why a scandalous 56% of young African-American males drop out of Chicago’s Public Schools, they made a startling discovery. 9th grade algebra was the crucible.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Vaccines in Shock Failure: Whooping Cough Vaccine Stops Working Very Quickly, Warn Scientists

James Cherry, of the University of California-Los Angeles, said of the pertussis outbreak that there simply needed to be a better vaccine. But Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported in April on research stating that incidences of pertussis were actually higher among vaccinated children.

Besides, the truth is, there is only one kind of immunization, and that is natural immunization. Natural health experts will tell you that they should never be called “immunizations” because that’s a misnomer.

In reality, vaccines are merely used to trigger an artificial response to man-made pathogens; they are both dangerous and harmful and have left generations of humans without any natural defenses to disease.

“Vaccines do not provide long-term immunity; only temporary at best,” writes Craig Stellpflug for Natural News. “In vaccines, an antigen is injected into the body to produce a reaction and the immune system responds in the form of antibodies, but antibody presence does not confer immunity. People still catch the diseases that they are vaccinated against.”

He goes on to say that the medical community loves to tout the effectiveness of vaccines in tamping out illness, “but they have no real proof.”

“In fact, all the epidemical evidence shows that disease rates rise after vaccines — in the vaccinated population,” he wrote.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

VB Councilman Criticized for Mosque Claims

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Last week, the Virginia Beach City Council voted 9-1 in approval of the city’s first mosque. But that lone “no” vote by Councilman Bill DeSteph has created controversy. He claims building the mosque would be a threat to national security. The Council’s approval gave local Muslim nonprofit Crescent Community Center the green light to build the mosque at the intersection of Landstown Road and Salem Road. The group says the site will hold up to 225 people in its prayer hall. DeSteph told media outlets last week he voted in opposition to the plan because he had information linking Crescent Community Center to the Mosque and Islamic Center of Hampton Roads, which he said has ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Video: Kimmel Asks, ‘Do You Support “ObamaCare” Over the Affordable Care Act?’

Believe it or not, many people don’t know they’re interchangeable names of the same piece of health legislation.

But leave it to late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel to highlight the dumb-downed public’s utter ignorance with anything remotely political, even when it involves a major overhaul of their healthcare.

The fact is many are still blissfully unaware that the unconstitutional Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a thinly-veiled extortion tactic forcing every American to pay a penalty to the IRS if they don’t obtain healthcare.

The fines for being uninsured start at $95 for an individual in 2014, or 1 percent of household income if that’s higher. Those figures are expected to quickly escalate to $695 annually by 2016, or 2.5 percent of household income.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Woody Allen’s Son Ronan May be Frank Sinatra’s, Says Mia Farrow

Ronan Farrow, who had been thought to be the only biological child of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, may actually have been fathered by Frank Sinatra, his mother suggests

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Astrometry: Europe’s Star Power

The Gaia spacecraft will soon launch on a mission to chart the heavens in unprecedented detail.

In November, a proposal by Lindegren and like-minded scientists will bear fruit when the European Space Agency (ESA) launches Gaia: an astrometric mission that required many compromises and 13 years to complete, and will cost about €1 billion (US$1.4 billion). Gaia will make observations for the next 5 years; the results will extend the reach of high-precision maps from the roughly 2.5 million stars near Earth to at least 1 billion stretching to the edge of the Milky Way or beyond. For an estimated 10 million of those objects, Gaia’s map will be fully three-dimensional.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dark Matter Tops Physicists’ Wish List, Post-Higgs

Higgs is so yesterday — dark matter is the new black. A new survey of about 50 particle theorists reveals mixed feelings about whether the long-sought Higgs boson will ever point the way to new theories, but renewed optimism that the mysterious stuff that makes up most of the universe’s matter will show us the way.

Physicists had high hopes for the Higgs boson. Its discovery last year at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, filled in the missing piece of the standard model, physicists’ current best explanation of all the particles and forces in the known universe.

However, the standard model is still incomplete — it does not account for gravity, for example — so physicists hoped the Higgs would turn out to be weird enough to point the way to new theories.

But further results from the LHC suggest the Higgs looks exactly as expected. “The LHC has not found any trace of new physics,” says Luis Ibanez of the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Cable Thieves and Lacking Phone Service Cause Chaotic Morning

The trains are late, your phone probably doesn’t work, but otherwise all is well in the Danish business sector

For the third time in less than a week, S-train commuters arrived at their local platforms to find that trains were running on a reduced schedule due to thieves stealing cables at local stations. This time, Karlslunde Station was the victim and cops quickly nabbed two suspected copper thieves.

“We caught them driving in a van with 15 pieces of copper wire and a saw in the back, so we assume that they are behind the stolen copper cables near the track in Karlslunde,” police spokesperson Martin Bjerregaard told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We presume that they are Romanian, but will examine their identities more closely as the investigation progresses,” said Bjerregaard.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Filmaker Wins Norway’s Second Ever Emmy

Film-maker Deeyah Khan won Norway’s second ever Emmy on Tuesday night for Banaz, her documentary about the honour killing of a Kurdish-British girl.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France Mulls Pardon for World War I ‘Cowards’

France’s minister for veterans’ affairs has said he would consider pardoning French First World War soldiers executed for “insubordination,” after a group of historians appealed on Tuesday to restore the names of “good soldiers who did their duty.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Court Rules Against Ryanair Over Labour Code Breaches

Must pay EUR 10 mln in damages and interest and EUR 200,000 fine

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, OCTOBER 2 — The low-cost airline Ryanair was fined 200,000 euros Wednesday and ordered to pay 10 million euros in damages and interest over French labour code breaches at the Marseilles-Marignane airport. The Irish company has said it will appeal the decision by the Aix-en-Provence court. However, the “assets used to commit the infraction”, including four Boeing 737s stationed in Marignane between 2007 and 2011, will not be confiscated. The company announced in a press release that it would be lodging an appeal the decision and “any attempt by the French authorities to demand reimbursement for taxes already paid in Ireland”. The leading company in the European low-cost airline sector was accused by former employees and URSSAF, the French union which collects and organises labour contributions in France, of breaching the French labour code and not paying the amount due.

According to French authorities, from 2007 until 2011 Ryanair used the Marseilles-Marignane hub without declaring its activities to the business registry or URSSAF. The 127 employees of the Marseilles airport were employed on an Irish labour contract, while a 2006 decree requires that foreign companies operating in France be subject to local labour laws. The 10 million euros in damages and interests are to be paid to the litigants, including URSSAF and the French employment center Pole Emploi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: Wolves Kill Flock of Sheep Near Berlin

Wolves killed five sheep at a farm south west of Berlin after sneaking through an electric fence, it was confirmed Wednesday, in a sign that the animals are becoming more active in the countryside around the capital.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: Survey: Golden Dawn Down But Still Third Party

After the murder of anti-Fascist rapper by a neo-nazi militant

Supporters of far-right wing party Golden Dawn gathered in front of the Athens Police headquarters holding Greek flags to protest over the arrest of their party’s leader

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — Greece’s neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party still ranks third among Greek would-be voters though it has lost significant popularity after the murder of young anti-Fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas on September 17 in Athens by a neo-Nazi militant, according to a survey released on Monday.

The survey carried out by the Mrb polling institute on behalf of Realnews weekly found that the neo-Nazi party is currently backed by 6,8% from 9,1% in June. The party is followed by Pasok at 5,5%, the conservative Independent Greeks at 5,3%, the Communist party (KKE) at 5% and the Democratic Left at 3,3%. Nea Dimokratia, led by Premier Antonis Samaras, currently ranks first at 22,2% ahead of radical left-wing party Syriza at 21%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Slew of Reforms Target Ultra-Right Golden Dawn

PM looks to ‘eradicate’ the party curbing its financing

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 1 — Greek government leaders on Monday heralded a slew of legislative reforms aimed at reining in ultra-right Golden Dawn following the arrest on criminal charges of the party’s leader and another five lawmakers, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras saying his coalition was focused on “eradicating” the party. Meanwhile, as daily Kathimerini reports, government officials were to submit legislation in Parliament which would suspend state funding to political parties whose leaders or MPs are charged with crimes. An anti-racism bill foreseeing stricter penalties for racially motivated crimes is to be submitted in the coming days. A discussion is also under way about whether and how to suspend the salaries and benefits of MPs who are awaiting trial on crime charges. The left-wing main opposition SYRIZA party expressed skepticism about the government’s bid to prevent the possible resignation of Golden Dawn deputies from undermining political stability.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Interrogation Continues of Golden Dawn MPs Arrested

Charges for belonging to a ‘criminal organisation’

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 2 — After a 14-hour interrogation lasting from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning, the two investigative judges interrogating members of parliament and activists from the Greek neo-Nazi party Chrysi Avgì (Golden Dawn) have charged four with setting up and belonging to a criminal organisation, but have ordered the release on bail of three of them. Some observers say the decision seems a defeat for the Greek government and judiciary, which for several days have been conducting a crackdown on the neo-Nazi group held to be behind dozens of attacks on immigrants as well as extortion, blackmail and at least two murders. The judges’ decision also raises the question as to how water-tight the case for prosecution drawn up against those arrested is. The three members of parliament released on bail with the obligation to remain in the country are Ilias Kasidiaris (party spokesperson and believed to be head of the paramilitary training camps for members), Ilias Panayotaros and Nikos Michos.

The fourth, Yannis Lagos, has not been released as judges believe he is connected with the killing of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas on September 17 in Athens — a killing carried out by Georgios Roupakias, a Golden Dawn member who has confessed to the crime which led to the investigation and the over 20 arrests made within the party, as well as about ten still sought by police. All four of those arrested have denied the charges against them, saying that it is a “set-up” to get rid of their party ahead of the local elections scheduled for May, in which Kasidiaris plans to stand for Athens mayor. Kasidiaris, whose bail was set at 50,000 euros, has denied that Golden Dawn has its own Nazi-type assault team. The party’s leader and founder, Nikos Michaloliakos, accused of being the main culprit behind Golden Dawn’s illegal activities, arrived at the court at 7:30 PM Tuesday evening and was interrogated the entire night. The sixth member of parliament arrested, Christos Pappas — believed to be the deputy leader of the organisation — will undergo interrogation on Thursday. In commenting on the release of the three MPs, Interior Minister Yannis Michelakis said that “their release does not mean anything. The elements (against them) are there, the charges of engaging in illegal activities stand. We need to keep in mind that the interrogation was simply the first step.” (ANSAmed).

Investigations meanwhile continue to ascertain potential links between the police and the neo-Nazis, which many have long contended exist. The former police chief of Agios Panteleimonas — an area in central Athens with a large immigrant community — was arrested on Wednesday on charges of collaborating with Golden Dawn, bringing the number of police arrested in for involvement in the party’s illegal activities to nine. The former police chief is thought to have told area residents who complained of the presence of immigrants to go to the local Golden Dawn office for “better service”. Immigrants who went to the police station to report attacks by neo-Nazis were instead threatened with arrest and told to get out.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greek Court Frees Far-Right MPs Pending Trial

Three senior Greek lawmakers, members of the far-right Golden Dawn party, were freed on Wednesday following their court appearance on charges of belonging to a criminal group. A fourth member was kept in detention.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Red Brigades Tell TAV Protestors to ‘Step Forward’

Jailed terrorists see ‘consonance’ with rail-link movement

(ANSA) — Turin, September 20 — Jailed members of the so-called new Red Brigades terrorist group have called on activists trying to stop the TAV high-speed rail link to “take a step forward”.

On Friday the interior ministry decided to deploy 200 more soldiers to the the area of the construction site of the TAV, which will connect Turin and Lyon, following a long series of violent protests, and incidents of arson and criminal damage.

“The TAV movement must take a step forward in political and organizational terms and assume the responsibilities, or go backwards,” read a statement written by jailed terrorists Alfredo Davanzo and Vincenzo Sisi that was published on the Internet. The Red Brigades were responsible for numerous acts of terror during Italy’s ‘years of lead’ of political violence in the 1970s and 1980s.

They kidnapped and then murdered former Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1978.

Various groups have tried to resurrect the Red Brigades, including the new Red Brigades, who killed government advisors Massimo D’Antona in 1999 and Marco Biagi in 2002.

Davanzo and Sisi said there was a “nice consonance” between the new Red Brigades and a group of anti-TAV activitist who have been indicted for violent clashes with the police in 2011. The Lyon-Turin high-speed link in the Susa Valley, a joint Italy-France project, has triggered protests throughout Italy for several years, some involving violent clashes with police, vandalism, threats and disruption of highway traffic.

Opponents say the project threatens sensitive environmental areas and will cost too much public money, while supporters argue it will cut down on vehicle traffic and pollution.

“The State will act as the State and the TAV will happen,” Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Friday.

“Criminals and terrorist bombers should resign themselves to accepting it”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Calabrian Mayor Resigns After ‘Mafia Pressure’

A Calabrian mayor has resigned after claiming his car was destroyed by local mafia in a campaign of intimidation against him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Dissidents in PDL Meet to Discuss New Party

Widening cracks threaten Berlusconi’s sway after confidence vote

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — Having helped to save Italy’s fragile coalition government Wednesday afternoon, dissidents from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party turned their attention to their own futures and whether to form their own breakaway organization in the Italian parliament.

A meeting called for Wednesday night among the PdL dissidents was expected to debate creating new groups in the Senate and House — the subject of much discussion in recent days as it became clear PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano had shifted from his ultra-loyalty to Berlusconi and disapproved of moves to bring down Premier Enrico Letta’s government.

Alfano, who has been serving as deputy premier and interior minister in the coalition cabinet, has been rumoured to be a potential leader of the dissident group after he encouraged the resounding confidence vote that saved Letta’s coalition.

However, Alfano was quiet Wednesday after the vote, leaving other PdL senior officials to comment on planning for a new political group.

“The group will be independent,” said Roberto Formigoni, a PdL Senator and supporter of a new movement.

But others were playing down the prospect.

Gaetano Quagliariello, another PdL senator and Letta’s constitutional affairs minister, said he knew nothing about such a plan.

“It’s an initiative of parliamentarians I do not know,” he said flatly.

And Nunzia De Girolamo, agriculture minister, was even less enthusiastic.

“I remain in the PdL,” she told reporters, stating she had no intention of joining any splinter group.

PdL Senate Whip Renato Schifani told reporters that he is “firmly opposed to a diaspora” in his party.

And similar Berlusconi loyalists were moving quickly Wednesday to sign a document confirming their support for the PdL and a revamped Forza Italia party, the media tycoon’s first party which he relaunched for the next elections last week.

This increased speculation the PdL could break in two, with a bigger and more hardline force, Forza Italia, led by Berlusconi, and a smaller and more moderate one, headed by Alfano under the PdL banner, seen as more in touch with the European People’s Party (EPP), the centre-right bloc the PdL belongs to in the European Parliament.

There has been talk that about 30 PdL senators could break away and form a group with tighter links to the EPP, some of whose members have fretted about Berlusconi’s presence. The dissidents within the PdL have been unhappy with Berlusconi’s order that they should vote no-confidence in Letta’s fragile government, which was cobbled together in April to end two months of deadlock after February’s general election failed to produce a clear winner.

Another senior PdL figure, the party’s former Lower House whip Fabrizio Cicchitto, said Tuesday that the decision to withdraw the party’s ministers from government was a mistake.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Court Bans Scientific Publications on Viruses

THE HAGUE, 28/09/13 — Scientists that carry out research into disease-carrying viruses and bacteria must in future apply for an export licence if they want to publish this in an international journal, according to a ruling by a Haarlem district court in a case about a much-discussed study of a deadly variant of bird flu.

The ruling can have far-reaching international consequences for virologists and microbiologists in Europe who research dangerous disease-causers like ebola and dandy (breakbone) fever. The court based itself on a European regulation on bio-terrorism.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway: The Deer Who Thinks He’s a Sheep

A ewe in Norway’s Årdal mountains has adopted a baby deer so that it now behaves as a member of the flock.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Parole for Man Who Killed Dutch Politician

A Dutch criminal justice agency has ruled that the animal rights activist who assassinated populist politician Pim Fortuyn days before the country’s 2002 national elections is eligible for early parole.

Volkert van der Graaf was sentenced to 18 years for shooting Fortuyn dead. Fortuyn founded his own party and skyrocketed to popularity on an anti-immigration platform that broke radically with establishment views. His killing, arguably the first assassination the country has seen since 1672, deeply shocked the Dutch.

At trial, Van der Graaf claimed he saw Fortuyn as a “danger to society.” At the time of his conviction, 20 years was widely regarded as the harshest possible sentence for a criminal who is not insane. The justice ministry has resisted early release for the 44-year-old Van der Graaf.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Population of France to Pass 70 Million by 2050

The population of mainland France will reach 72 million by 2050, according to a French study published on Wednesday. The report (see below) also found that the total global population will shoot up from 7.1 billion today, to 10 or 11 billion by the end of the century.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Nuke Plant Back Online After Jellyfish Foul-Up

A Swedish nuclear reactor was restarted on Wednesday following a three-day closure caused by a build-up of jellyfish in a cooling system, according to the operators.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Bomb Scare Prompts Malmö School Evacuation

Police evacuated a two preschools in Malmö on Wednesday morning as the bomb squad moved in to examine a suspicious package, setting up a no-go zone with a 200 metre radius.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swiss Cities Among Top Ten Finance Centres

Zurich and Geneva remain among the world’s top 10 financial centres, according to the results of an index released on Monday.

London is ranked first in the index, unchanged from six months ago, ahead of New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

The Swiss cities remained the top financial centres in continental Europe, ahead of ninth-ranked Frankfurt, which moved up from 10th.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Zurich Plans Billion-Franc Road Tunnel and Tram Line

Zurich’s cantonal government and Zurich city council have agreed to build a new road tunnel close to the heart of Switzerland’s largest metropolis at a cost that could rise to one billion francs ($1.1 billion).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Islamic School That Told Female Teachers to Wear Hijab Regardless of Their Religion is Closed on First Day of Ofsted Inspection

A Muslim faith school accused of imposing strict Islamic practices has closed on the first day of an investigation by Ofsted over a ‘health and safety’ issue. The schools regulator today began a two-day visit to Al-Madinah, in Derby, which has been accused of ordering women to wear the hijab scarf regardless of their religion. The news came on the day the Daily Mail has published the account of a teacher who revealed she quit the school because she was told her business suit was indecent…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Lord Heseltine Warns Conservatives Off ‘Racist’ UKIP

The former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine warns the Conservatives about doing deals with Ukip, saying the party are “very attractive to a racist agenda”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme Lord Heseltine compared Ukip to far right European parties such as France’s Front National, which he termed “racist operations pandering to the lowest common denominators in politics.” When pressed by the programme’s presenter Andrew Neil as to whether he was calling Ukip racist Lord Heseltine replied: “Of course it is racist, who doubts that? The language, the rhetoric, the membership, who doubts it?” Lord Heseltine warned off the Conservatives from doing deals with Ukip on “pivotal votes”.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim School Closes Temporarily

A Muslim faith school has closed on the first day of an investigation by Ofsted over a “health and safety” issue.

The schools regulator began a two-day visit to Al-Madinah in Derby yesterday. Acting head teacher Stuart Wilson said the school would close temporarily. Writing on the school website, he said: “Owing to a health and safety issue, I have taken the decision to close the school to primary and secondary pupils until I am confident that all children are safe on site. As parents, you will be informed directly, and on the website, when you are able to send your children back to school. I expect this to be in the very near future. Assuring you that we have your children’s best interests at heart.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We were already investigating this school before allegations became public. We discussed the problems with Ofsted and it launched an immediate inspection. We are waiting for Ofsted’s final report and considering all legal options.”

The free school was opened in September 2012. On its website, it describes “a strong Muslim ethos” with shorter holidays and longer school days “to maximise opportunities for pupil achievement and success”. It adds: “At the centre of our school is a community of pupils, able to enjoy learning in a caring Islamic environment which promotes a culture of high expectations and outstanding performance.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Whether He Hated Britain or Not, Ralph Miliband Was One of the Cold War’s Bad Guys

by Benedict Brogan

The reaction to the Daily Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband tells us how remote the Cold War has become in British politics. Nearly 25 years have passed since Mikhail Gorbachev threw in the towel and gave up on the USSR’s dreams of Soviet world domination. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of superpower confrontation and the threat of nuclear conflagration. It also marked the beginning of what has become a form of social and political amnesia. Until that point the struggle between freedom and communism defined the world my generation grew up in. Our view was shaped by a deadly struggle to see off the threat of red tyranny. It was a world far removed from the more consensual politics we enjoy now. Before 1989 the divide between the good guys and bad guys was clear, because the bad guys were out to do us in. At its most extreme, the Cold War was about fear, about nuclear brinkmanship, fallout shelters, cruise missiles, five minutes to midnight and The Day After. And the Cold War filtered through to everyday politics. Labour wanted unilateral disarmament, and some of its members were all too willing to excuse communism and play the role of useful idiot for the tyrants of Moscow. By the time Labour came to power in 1997, the Cold War was already fading from memory and no one was interested in whether a Cabinet minister had thought it acceptable years before to take Communist money for a jolly to Cuba, or had dabbled with political groups whose directing strands could be followed to the other side of the Iron Curtain. Now it has all but disappeared from common memory: while the Second World War still dominates the collective consciousness, the Cold War, which posed the same existential threat to Britain as a nation, is all but forgotten.

That explains, I think, the strength of reaction to the Daily Mail’s hammering of Ralph Miliband. In the terms of the 2013 debate, to those racing to his defence on Twitter, he is the Labour leader’s inspirational late father, a gentle academic frequently cited by his son in his speeches. But back then, he was one of the bad guys. To say that is not the same as to say, as the Mail does, that he hated Britain. But in a world of more anaemic politics, when the debates are no longer about matters of life or death, freedom or tyranny, we should not lose the ability to recognise that whatever his merits as a father or Royal Navy veteran, the professor of Marxism was on the wrong side of the only argument that mattered. His son has commendably risen to his father’s defence. He is better placed than the rest of us to judge whether Ralph Miliband hated Britain. But the key point surely is that Marxism hated — hates — Britain. It hates our institutions, our economic model, our democracy, our independent media and our freedoms. And before the Marxists and their chums lost the argument, it wasn’t just some academic debate played out around the dining tables in well-heeled north London neighbourhoods: it was deadly serious. Yes, there is something distasteful about trashing a dead man’s reputation, and by the same token something noble about the way Mr Miliband and other politicians have risen to his defence. But Ralph Miliband, however well intentioned, was on the side of those who wanted to turn Britain into something dreadful. It is a testament to how comprehensive the defeat of Marxism has proved to be that the Cold War is all but forgotten, and our politics are repulsed by its harsh truths.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Why Are Marxists and Soviet Apologists Regarded as Harmless Jokers?

by Douglas Murray

I rather like Ed Miliband, and for what it’s worth I don’t think he has inherited much, if any, of his father’s rancid political views. Nevertheless the fact that Ed Miliband has often referred to his father’s thought makes Miliband Snr fair game in a way that other politicians’ parents might not be. But in the row over the Daily Mail / Ralph Miliband affair two things remain to be pointed out.

The first relates to war service. Contra Emily Maitlis (among others) on last night’s Newsnight, it is perfectly possible to fight for a country in a world war and still hold values (then or subsequently) inimical to the country you fought for. After all, Sir Oswald Mosley fought for Britain, and was injured, in the First World War. But I strongly doubt whether, were Max Mosley currently running a political party and regularly citing his father as inspiration, that fact would wholly silence the fascist leaders’ critics.

Secondly (and speaking of Mosley) there is something very interesting in the constant dredging up (by Alastair Campbell last night, the Guardian etc ad nauseum) of the matter of the Daily Mail and the Blackshirts in the 1930s. Whenever a certain type of person lambasts the Daily Mail they always reach for the example of that temporary (and subsequently retracted) opinion expressed by the current Mail proprietor’s great-grandfather eighty years ago. Just yesterday the Guardian wheeled out a bunch of old socialists, including Tariq Ali, to repeat the claim.

I always find this discussion fascinating. Because as we were reminded last year when the lifelong communist and Miliband family friend Eric Hobsbawm died, when it comes to considering the two great totalitarianisms of the twentieth century the scales of opprobrium remain radically unbalanced.

There is no better demonstration of this than the disparity between continuous references to that article in the Mail in the 1930s and the utterly unremembered fact that far more recently the Guardian employed as an editor — and continues to employ as a contributor — someone who was alleged to be a paid agent of the KGB.

Richard Gott was a senior editor of the Guardian when, in December 1994 the Spectator published a piece by Alasdair Palmer centred on the information of Soviet dissident Oleg Gordievsky. The piece alleged that the senior Guardian journalist was an ‘agent of influence’ of the Soviet security service. Gott denied the allegation.

The Guardian’s then editor-in-chief, Peter Preston, tried to ignore the affair. But Gott resigned and the resignation was accepted by Preston, who continued to complain that the Spectator story was in fact the work of MI5 and/or MI6. Anyhow, Gott said: ‘I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke.’ Gott has certainly had the last laugh because his career has not suffered much. He has continued to contribute to the Guardian where he can often be found lambasting the Western democracies. He also enjoys an uninterrupted career in academia and is currently ensconced as an honorary fellow at the University of London.

It is undeniable that the crimes of Marxism outweighed those of fascism. Together these evil twin totalitarianisms created more human misery than any others in history. Yet how to explain the fact that while vast popular opprobrium rightly attaches to the remnants of one, the other side in that foul conflict continue to be indulged as heroes, harmless old jokers or parents whose views must not be critiqued.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

US Closes War Cemetaries in France Amid Shutdown

US war cemetaries in France have been forced to close to visitors due to the US government shutdown. The US embassy in Paris, however, said its mission and consulates in the country will remain open.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why Do So Many Italians Still Love Berlusconi?

He’s a convicted tax evader and sex criminal, much of the world sees him as a laughing stock and he’s even been linked to the mafia — yet Silvio Berlusconi is still wildly popular. We talk to three supporters to find out why.

It’s been a busy couple of decades for Silvio Berlusconi. Apart from winning three elections, he has been handed more than 17 years of prison time for crimes including embezzlement, tax evasion and buying judges.

The so-called ‘Il Cavaliere’ (‘the Knight’) is also appealing convictions for having sex with an underage prostitute at a ‘bunga bunga’ party, for abusing the powers of the prime minister’s office and for leaking a police wiretap to damage a rival.

More recently, a court in Sicily said the former prime minister was linked to the mafia through Marcello Dell’Utri, an ex-People of Freedom party politician who was convicted of “making a pact” with the notorious crime group to protect Berlusconi.

Yet none of this seems to bother the scandal-tainted politician’s loyal — and growing — army of supporters.

A poll last month by Swg institute gave Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party 27.9 percent, making it more popular than either Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) or the eccentric 5-Star Movement of Beppe Grillo.

Many of his supporters treat him more like a rock star than a politician. On Facebook, a page for “all those who love/admire/think is hot/would like to be Berlusconi” has attracted more than 11,000 members while his official page has 538,900 ‘likes’, compared to just 24,747 for Enrico Letta.


Entrepreneur Simone Furlan, who owns Hotel Glamour in Vicenze, was 19 when the former cruise-ship singer was first voted into power in 1994 and has been a loyal fan ever since.

But years of observing the legal travails of his favourite politician — many supporters call it a witch hunt — finally prompted him to set up an online fan club called ‘L’Esercito della Liberta’ (‘Army of Liberty’).

In Furlan’s point of view, simply the fact that Berlusconi has fought his way to power three times shows he’s an “extraordinary man, a great leader and a patriot who loves Italy”.

Since launching the site in May, a time when the nation was gripped by the ‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’ trial, Furlan says it has attracted more than 150,000 like-minded individuals.

“I thought to myself, ‘where are his supporters? where are the people who voted for him? And so I set up the club,” he told The Local.

Included on the site is a video about Berlusconi’s life and a biography entitled “The extraordinary life of Silvio Berlusconi”, a selective history of his life which includes his star sign and an account of his school days.

“His former classmates remember how Berlusconi would do his homework in a flash before helping those sitting next to him and how he would share toys, sweets and snacks. His entrepreneurial spirit was innate,” it reads.

Furlan says the same traits have helped Berlusconi win elections. At the age of 76, he also believes he is still “capable of saving the country”.

“I believe Berlusconi is a key figure for a modern Italy,” he adds.

While non-supporters blame Berlusconi for ruining the economy, Furlan believes the opposite.

“He has done so much for business people like me, he also did a lot for tourism in Italy, which has helped my business.”

As for the various court cases and allegations, Furlan says Berlusconi has been a “victim of the judicial system”.

“There are fundamental problems in Italy, but that’s not the fault of Berlusconi.”

Andrea Bianchi, a 66-year-old businessman from Milan, hasn’t always been Berlusconi voter, but he agrees with Furlan, especially when it comes to helping business people.

“He’s an innovator,” says Bianchi, who has worked in the Italian diplomatic service as well as in shipping and finance.

Bianchi admires Berlusconi for “coming from virtually nothing” to being “a success in business”.

“He’s a man who works hard, around-the-clock. He never stops working. Most of the projects he set out to do were completed,” he says.

He believes Berlusconi was wrong to be convicted in the Mediaset tax-evasion case and that any financial wrongdoing within the company should be the responsibility of its managing director.

“You can’t convict someone just because they might have been aware of what was going on, which is what I believe has happened.”

Bianchi also says you can’t condemn someone just because of their party lifestyle.

“He’s simply a guy,” he adds.

“He’s always played, even when he was young, and likes to party. But that doesn’t mean you can accuse him of prostitution.”

A young engineer from Rome, who asked not to be named, says that left-wing parties do their best to blame Berlusconi for all that is wrong with Italy, when much of the problems lies with Europe, the banks and Italy’s judicial system.

He told The Local that Berlusconi arrived on the scene in 1993 with a “liberal view that was well married with the economic and monetary policy of the era”, with Italy at the time needing to be “dragged out of a dark period.”

He added that the left was “envious of Berlusconi’s personality and skill as a man of business”, and so sought to bring him down…

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

Egypt: Muslims Expel Six Christian Brothers From Village in Egypt

Violence against Egyptian Christians erupted yesterday in the village of Zakaria, located in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya. According to a story by Mary Abdelmassih for the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the violence began after a Muslim family accused Kirollos Sabet, 22, of having an inappropriate relationship with a Muslim woman, also 22. Zakaria has a population of 4,000, divided evenly between Christians and Muslims.

AINA said a statement by Anba Makarios, Bishop of Minya, read that Muslim villagers gathered where Sabet’s family lives. They broke into their furniture and household appliances stores, stole the contents and then destroyed the stores. They also looted an adjacent electrical appliances warehouse and a family-owned taxi. Security forces arrived in the village to restore order. However, AINA reported, loudspeakers were inciting chaos, and hard-line Muslims prowled the streets of the village throwing stones at Coptic homes and calling for revenge…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Defense Minister Warns of Religious Conflict

CAIRO, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — Egyptian Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned on Tuesday of the attempt of some forces to turn the political conflict into a religious one. Al-Sisi asked the army to pay attention to the misleading attempts to mix politics with religion to provoke a war against Islam at a seminar held on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary for the Egyptian military’s victory over Israel on Oct. 6 1973, according to the military spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali. The defense minister who led the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi in July denounced those attempts and calls that aim to discredit the army and break the security institutions…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Libya: Tripoli Schoolgirl Abductions Raise Questions

Tripoli — Tripoli teachers staged a sit-in outside Tahrir School last Thursday (September 26th) to protest the reported kidnapping of a colleague’s daughter. A 14-year-old was snatched Wednesday while waiting for her mother in front of an all-girls school in the capital. According to witnesses, two armed young men grabbed the girl and forced her into an unregistered car with tinted windows. More demonstrations to call attention to the crisis were held after Friday prayers in several Tripoli neighbourhoods. Some 47 young women have recently been abducted throughout the country, a teacher told Libya Al Ahrar TV.

Government officials, however, denied any kidnapping problem in Libya. “Biased and weak people are disseminating stories on social networking pages about the abduction of a number of girls and students from schools within the city,” the National Security Directorate in Tripoli said on Friday. The directorate added that police stations had not received any abduction claims. Kidnapping is “an alien phenomenon to Libyan society”, Colonel Salaheddine Essamoui said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Ennahdha Accused of Links With Salafi Terrorists

By defence committee for opposition leaders’ murders

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCTOBER 2 — Governing Islamic party Ennahdha was accused Wednesday of being connected to the Salafi movement Ansar Al-Sharia, considered an illegal terrorist group by the Tunisian government. During a tense press conference, Taieb Aguili — a member of the defence committee for Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, the two opposition leaders assassinated in recent months — presented documentation as evidence (footage and photographs) and said that Ansar Al-Sharia was behind both murders and many other acts of violence in the country. Ennahdha was accused of having solid links with the organisation, including during the organisational phase of other political assassinations. Aguili went on to say that the Tunisian Salafis are linked to a Libyan armed group under the command of Abdel Hakim Belhadj — considered to be “close” to Ennahdha — adding that three Ansar Al-Sharia members (Abou Iyadh, the head of the group; Kamel Kadhkadhi, who is accused of being the one to actually kill Belaid; and Mohamed Aouadi) had traveled to Libya several times to train in jihadist military camps. One of the highest-ranking members of Ennahdha, Samir Dilou, had vehemently denied being in contact with the Libyan Belhadj but a photograph has emerged in which he is seen alongside the alleged jihadist commander. There have been unconfirmed reports that Ennahdha called an emergency meeting of its political bureau after Aguili’s press conference.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Amnesty Urges Hamas to Stop Juvenile Offender’s Hanging

London and Gaza City, 2 Oct. (AKI) — Hamas must stop the execution scheduled for Wednesday in Gaza of Hani Abu Alian, who was a minor at the time of one of his alleged crimes, Amnesty International said.

“The authorities in Gaza must urgently stop the execution,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther.

“Sentencing a juvenile offender to death is a breach of Palestinian and international law.”

Amnesty said it had received “credible information” that the hanging was due to take place “within hours” on Wednesday.

“It is shocking that Hani Abu Alian is facing execution, particularly as it was a crime committed when he was under 18, and imposed by a court which according to his lawyer relied upon a forced confession,” said Philip Luther

Amnesty called for a fresh trial of Alian that adhered to international standards.

The group said it had “serious concerns” regarding Alian’s trial, including allegations he was tortured or otherwise ill-treated during his interrogation to extract a confession.

Alian was convicted by a lower court in May 2010 in two separate cases. In the first, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the “unintentional homicide” of a friend in 2009, a crime increased to murder on appeal.

In the second case he was given life imprisonment plus 14 years for the killing and rape of a six-year-old child in 2000 when he was under 18 years of age.

The sentences were increased to the death penalty in September 2012 following an appeal by the prosecution, a decision upheld by the Court of Cassation on 14 July.

Amnesty urged the Islamist Hamas to immediately overturn or commute the sentences of around 40 people currently facing the death penalty in Gaza.

At least 16 people have been executed there since 2009, according to Amnesty.

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

Amnesty Accuses Turkey of Abuse on ‘Massive Scale’

Human rights widely violated in Gezi Park crackdown

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Amnesty International released a report Wednesday accusing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of turning a blind eye to killings, torture, sexual abuse and persecution during the ‘brutal’ crackdown on Gezi Park protestors. The London-based organisation said human rights abuses had occurred “on a massive scale”. Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s head expert on Turkey, spoke out against “the wholesale denial of the right to peaceful assembly and violations of the rights to life, liberty and the freedom from torture and ill-treatment”. Hundreds of thousands of youths took part in the large anti-Erdogan protests held in June, demanding more democracy and speaking out against the re-Islamicisation of the country underway. Erdogan’s merciless crackdown had a heavy toll: six dead and 8,000 injured, ten of whom lost their sight after being hit to the head by tear gas canisters or to the face by rubber bullets shot point-blank. One 14-year-old boy is still in a coma, and some 5,000 were arrested. About 1,000 will be charged, according to press reports, some of whom for “terrorism”. The Islamic prime minister has often lashed out at the peaceful demonstrators, calling them “vandals” and “terrorists”. Amnesty noted that little had been done to bring the perpetrators of abuse to justice, while thousands of protestors had instead been arrested and hundreds might have to stand trial simply for organising or taking part in a protest. Moreover, it said, journalists, doctors and lawyers who documented what happened, helped the protestors or stood up for their rights have been arrested, beaten, threatened or harassed. And despite the “systematic abuse”, the authorities continue to praise the police, with Erdogan even calling the police efforts “legendary”.

One of the stories Amnesty cited was that of Ethem Sarisuluk, a 22-year-old Alevi worker who was shot in the head on June 1 and died on June 14. The policeman who shot him was charged a month later only for “manslaughter due to excessive self-defence”. Ethem’s family have said they have been subject to police pressure and intimidation to withdraw the report. Two witnesses have been arrested and Ethem’s father reported to the police for writing a protest slogan on a wall when the boy was dying. Amnesty International said that it had received reports of harassment and sexual assault by the police against those arrested, with several accounts of women threatened with rape.

It cited the cases of two girls who publicly denounced the incidents, but said that it was likely that the number of actual incidents of physical, sexual and verbal abuse was much higher than that reported.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU: New Money to Help Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

8 mln are going to Unrwa, agreement signed in New York

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 25 — The European Union has announced an additional contribution of 8 million euros (6 million euro for emergency education and 2 million euro for shelter assistance) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which will help the Agency provide emergency education and shelter assistance to Palestine refugee children from Syria in Lebanon. The agreements were signed by UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in New York at the margins of the UN General Assembly.

The conflict in Syria continues to affect the Palestine refugee community. According to the latest headcount carried out by UNRWA in mid-August 2013, approximately 45,000 Palestine refugees fled from Syria to Lebanon as a result of the conflict and are currently residing in the country. Palestine refugees from Syria arriving in Lebanon are highly dependent on the host community and UNRWA and are in need of humanitarian aid in a large range of areas, including protection, emergency cash for food, housing and winter clothing, non-food items, health care, emergency education, psycho-social support, and environmental health. The arrival of additional refugees from Syria increases the burden on both the Palestine refugee community and UNRWA’s already stretched services.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kuwait: MP Wants Statues Banned, Removed

A Kuwaiti lawmaker has urged the government to remove statues sold in local markets, especially those representing idols worshiped during the pre-Islamic era in the Arabian Peninsula and civilizations surrounding it during that period.

“An increase in the number of models and statues representing idols worshipped during the Jahiliyya (Age of Ignorance; a general term referring to pre-Islamic Arabia) is found in malls and shops around Kuwait where they are sold as accessories while sellers are unaware of what they truly represent”, MP Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran said in a statement published by Al-Rai daily yesterday.

The Islamist lawmaker announced that he has already submitted a proposal to ban selling statues idolized by Pagans throughout human history, mentioning the human-headed winged bull of Mesopotamian mythology, the eagle-headed deity of the Assyrian civilization and multiple-armed deities worshipped by some civilizations.

Al-Jeeran argued that selling the statues “violates Sharia law and the Constitution’, and added that a ban is necessary to “protect younger generations”. “The statues could sometimes be sold without knowing what they represent. Entire nations in the past were destroyed because these idols were worshipped,” he added.

Meanwhile, Al-Jeeran insisted that his stand on the issue should not be misinterpreted as “urging people to convert to one religion” though he reiterated simultaneously that “while human beings have freedom of belief from a technical standpoint, the Sharia states that Allah has chosen Islam as the religion that humanity should follow”, he said.

Al-Jeeran explained in his proposal that it was “in line with Article 2 of the Kuwait Constitution” which identifies Sharia law as the main source of legislation, and quoted verses from the Holy Quran and Hadith which bans trading alcohol, pork, and idols. In order to come into effect, the proposal needs to be approved by the relevant parliamentary committee first before it will be up for voting during a parliament session. The government has the authority to reject a bill passed by a parliamentary majority after which a draft law is up for a second vote but in that case, it would require a two-third majority to pass. — Agencies

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Mother Agnes Mariam Attacked…by Human Rights Watch!

Since when does a human rights organization take to arguing the case for a military attack that will kill scores of innocent civilians? If you are Human Rights Watch, it’s all in a day’s work. The US regime’s favorite “human rights “ organization, which once praised the Obama Administration’s continuation of its predecessor’s torturous CIA “extraordinary rendition” program, pulled out all stops to bolster Obama’s claims that the Syrian government was responsible for the August 21st chemical attack near Damascus.

As Obama was ready to teach Syria a lesson via Tomahawk cruise missiles, Human Rights Watch stood virtually alone in the world on the president’s side. The human rights group was not busy trying to help the victims or promote international diplomatic efforts to end the crisis. They were instead feverishly engaged in a convoluted effort to prove that the missiles that purportedly carried the poison gas could only have come from Syrian government positions. hey had no investigators on the ground, yet they determined independent of facts that the Syrian government must have been responsible. This is the job for a human rights group? To help a president make the case for war?


…A recent report by Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross and her Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights painstakingly refutes much of the photographic evidence presented of the attack. Being on the ground in Syria, she has also interviewed scores of victims of the insurgents’ attacks. Her organization’s report raises serious questions about whether the YouTube videos presented by the US government as the main US evidence of Syria government responsibility for the attack was manipulated or even entirely faked. Mother Agnes Mariam, dubbed by the BBC as “Syria’s Detective Nun,” finds her work attacked in a recent BBC article by…you guessed it, Human Rights Watch!

Peter Bouckaert, “emergencies director” of Human Rights Watch, who is not on the ground in Syria, brushes off Mother Agnes Mariam’s work, stating flatly that “there’s just no basis for the claims.” He continues that, “she is not a professional video forensic analyst.” Of course she never claimed to be. What she claimed is to have working eyes, which noticed — among other anomalies — that several of the purported victims of the attack were seen at several different locations at supposedly the same time and that it does not take a “professional video forensic analyst” to recognize that is impossible.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Open Prison’: Worker Deaths Cast Shadow Over Qatar World Cup

Workers from Nepal and India are helping turn Qatar’s dreams for the 2022 football World Cup into reality. But they allegedly face conditions akin to modern slavery, and many are paying for the job with their lives.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Persian Gulf’ On FIFA Website, Oil Monarchies Protest

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI — International football federation FIFA has started referring to the Arabian Gulf as Persian Gulf on its website and official statements, sparking an international row.

“Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have contacted members of the Asian Football Federation’s executive bureau to assess a situation which they see as a nonsensical move by FIFA”, Gulf News reported an unidentified source as telling Saudi paper Okaz.

The six football federations of GCC countries — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Oman — have also initiated coordinated action towards Fifa.

The issue of the name given to the gulf where oil monarchies on one side and Iran on the other are located and through which 40% of the world’s crude oil travels is controversial.

In 2009 the Islamic Solidarity Games Federation based in Saudi Arabia suspended the games which were scheduled to take place in Tehran because Iran insisted on publicizing the event as taking place in the ‘Persian Gulf’.

The following year Iran closed the Egyptian stand at the international book fair in Tehran because it had on one of its shelves a book with ‘Arabian Gulf’ in its title.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey, S.Arabia Ratify Industry Cooperation Deal

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 19 — Despite their differences over the July events in Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have ratified a defense industry cooperation agreement, DefenseNews website reports. According to the agreement, which took effect September 11, Turkey and Saudi Arabia “aim to increase cooperation in the defense industry by improving the industry capabilities of both countries through more effective collaboration on the development, production and procurement of goods and services in the defense industry and the related technical and logistical support fields.” The agreement had been signed in May and was pending parliamentary approval. The agreement will remain in force for five years and it should be extended automatically for successive one-year periods. Last year, the Turkish parliament also approved a deal with Saudi Arabia regarding cooperation in the training of military personnel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gunmen Attack Russia’s Libyan Embassy in Tripoli — Russian FM

The Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, has come under fire and there were attempts to get into Russia’s diplomatic compound, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian Embassy in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told RT.

According to preliminary information, there are no reports of injuries among the staff.

According to the ITAR-TASS news agency, attackers tore down a Russian flag. The situation was soon brought under control and there are currently no intruders on Russia’s embassy territory. A similar attack on Russia’s Tripoli embassy took place in February 2012 when protesters stormed the compound, condemning Russian and Chinese decisions to block the UN resolution against Syria. No one was injured in that attack.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Georgia Opens Case of Jihad Video Suspect

TBILISI, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — Georgia’s Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Tuesday told a government meeting that the person accused of releasing a terror video on behalf of Jihad in June has been detained and sent to pre-trial detention center. The official said further details about the case would be released on Thursday at a special briefing. The terror video entitled “Taliban Jihad Against Georgian Troops in Afghanistan” was released on June 6, shortly after the most deadly attack against Georgian troops in Afghanistan happened. A truck bomb killed seven Georgian soldiers in the incident.

The video threatened the lives of these troops by calling for a Jihad against the “crusaders” from the Caucasian state…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Afghan Soldier Accused of Killing Three Australian Comrades Captured in Pakistan

A former Afghan soldier accused of shooting dead three Australian comrades in a patrol base in Uruzgan province last year has been captured in Pakistan by security agents, Australia’s defence chief said on Wednesday.

Former Afghan National Army sergeant Hekmatullah was captured by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence in February and recently deported to Afghanistan, Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. David Hurley said. “Overnight, he was deported to Afghanistan where he is expected to face trial” charged with three murders, Hurley said in a statement. “We have been relentless and determined in our efforts to pursue those who have murdered and wounded our people,” he added.

Hekmatullah allegedly fired 10 to 15 shots within a patrol base north of the Australian military headquarters at Tarin Kowt on Aug. 29. He is accused of killing three Australian soldiers and wounding another two as they were playing cards, then fleeing. An Australian Defense Department inquiry said last week that security before the attack was too weak given the Afghan army’s open access to the administration area where the shooting occurred and the Australian soldiers’ relaxed disposition. Many Australians were not wearing body armour.

Three Australian soldiers are expected to be disciplined over the security gaps. No motive for the shooting has been revealed. Attacks carried out by uniformed Afghans were alarmingly common in 2012 but have happened far less often since a series of preventive measures were adopted by U.S. and coalition troops late last summer. The killings eroded confidence between the sides at a crucial turning point in the conflict. So-called insider attacks killed 62 personnel in 47 incidents last year, according to Nato.

Australia was notified of Hekmatullah’s capture in February. The Pakistani government had been working since then to arrange a proper transfer of Hekmatullah to Afghanistan, Hurley said. Two Australian spy agencies — Australian Secret Intelligence Service and the Defense Intelligence Organization — had worked with Pakistan’s ISI and the Afghan National Directorate of Security for six months to facilitate Hekmatullah’s detention and deportation, he said.

Hekmatullah’s arrest means that the suspects in all four so-called green-on-blue attacks on Australian soldiers have been captured or killed.

These insider attacks have killed seven Australians and left another 10 wounded. Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan and makes the largest military contribution of any country outside Nato. Australia has suffered 40 fatalities during more than a decade of fighting in Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Energy-Short Bangladesh Starts Construction of First Nuclear Power Plant

Bangladesh has begun building its first nuclear power plant, which eventually is to have two Russian-designed reactors and cost $4 billion. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone Wednesday for the nuclear plant in Rooppur in the country’s northwest.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

First Bangladesh MP Sentenced to Hang for War Crimes

A Bangladesh court on Tuesday sentenced to death a top opposition MP for genocide, the first lawmaker to be convicted of war crimes during the 1971 war of independence.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was found guilty by the International Crimes Tribunal of nine charges including murder and religious persecution. The ruling is likely to trigger fresh unrest in the already tense country. The 64-year-old Chowdhury would be “hanged by the neck”, presiding judge A.T.M Fazle Kabir told a packed court in the capital Dhaka. “We are happy with the verdict,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said. After the sentence was read out, a defiant Chowdhury accused the government of influencing the judge’s decision…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India, Pakistan Armies Exchange Fire in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) — India and Pakistan troops fired at each other’s positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said Wednesday. The fresh confrontation between the armies of two nuclear neighbors came two days after the prime ministers of both countries agreed to reduce tension along the LoC in Kashmir as the first step towards a comprehensive peace in the region…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Pakistan Taliban Say US Drones Must Stop Before Peace Talks

The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday insisted US drone strikes in the country’s northwest must stop before they will consider peace talks with the government. The main Pakistani political parties last month backed a government proposal to seek negotiations with the militants, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the state since 2007.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

South Korea Shows Off New Missiles Designed to Hit North

(Reuters) — South Korea showed off on Tuesday new missiles designed to target North Korea’s artillery and long-range missiles and vowed to boost deterrence against its unpredictable neighbor.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kenya: Fundamentally Freund: Islamic Terror, Murder and Mayhem

Clearly, Cameron and others like him prefer to repeat the mantra that terrorism has nothing to do with religion in order not to offend Muslims. But what they fail to realize is that by doing so, they insult and obfuscate the truth.

For several days last week, the world watched in horror as Somali fanatics slaughtered shoppers in a Nairobi mall. The chilling video footage from security cameras, along with the terrifying witness accounts of the carnage perpetrated by the terrorists, captured the attention of the world. The revelations that the perpetrators quizzed their captives about Islam in order to identify and single out non- Muslims for death provided yet another stark and indisputable reminder of the danger posed by Islamic extremism.

Nonetheless, despite this latest act of unprovoked savagery, there are still many world leaders who just don’t get it. Take, for example, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has shown a knack for sticking his head in the sand even though the beach at Southend-on-Sea is more than an hour’s drive from London. In a tweet he sent out in response to the Kenya attack, Cameron wrote, “I am sickened by the attack on the #Westgate shopping centre killing 3 British nationals,” adding that, “It’s been done in the name of terror, not religion.”

Even in a medium dominated by the likes of intellectual heavyweights such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, Cameron’s tweet stands out for its sheer foolishness…

Clearly, Cameron and others like him prefer to repeat the mantra that terrorism has nothing to do with religion in order not to offend Muslims. But what they fail to realize is that by doing so, they insult and obfuscate the truth. That might make for good electoral politics, but in the struggle to save Western civilization, it is a foolish and dangerous act of self-deception.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Yobe Attack — How We Escaped Through the Window — Survivors

Some of the survivors of last Saturday’s midnight attack on the students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Yobe State, which about 70 students were killed, have narrated how they escaped death by the whiskers, jumping through the window when the gunmen stormed the hostel. The survivors, who are now receiving medical treatment at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, following injuries received during the attack told LEADERSHIP yesterday that the gunmen, who were cladded in military camouflage stormed the school in a commando style and opened fire on them.

According to Adamu Mohammed, a final year student of Animal Husbandry department when it dawned on the students that the school was surrounded by the gunmen, all the students were confused and began to seek escape routes. He said, “We were all sleeping in the hostel when one of our students came into their room in a confused state, saying they will kill us, they will kill us. When we heard this, everybody in the hostel became confused.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Sierra Leone: As Perceived Al-Shabab Threat Grips City

The Sierra Leone Police and other ancillary security outfits on Monday commenced strict and rigorous security checks at various public offices and institutions in Freetown, in response to threats by Al-Shabab militants to attack the country. An Operational Support Division (OSD) officer at the main Law Court building, Fatmata Kamara, told Concord Times that they have clear instructions and mandate from the InspectorGeneral of Police to beef-up security at key government offices and in the central business district…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Somaliland Arrests Cleric for Supporting Terrorism

Somaliland police arrested prominent cleric Sheikh Mohamud Abdullahi Gelle Sunday (September 29th) for allegedly supporting a “terrorist cell”, Somalia’s RBC Radio reported. Counter-terrorism police stormed Gelle’s house in Hargeisa and took him to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters for interrogation, according to Somaliland regional Police Chief Brigadier General Abdullahi Fadal Iman. “Sheikh Gelle was arrested by the security forces and he is being questioned for linkages with a terrorist cell in Somalia,” he said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Netherlands to Help Bolivia With Lithium Batteries

THE HAGUE, 28/09/13 — The University of Delft and three Dutch companies are to help in Bolivia with the establishment of a company that makes lithium batteries, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen has announced.

Expectations are that demand for lithium batteries will grow rapidly in the coming years, among other uses for use in the batteries of electric cars, according to the ministry. The partnership is aimed at earning more money from the “enormous quantity” of the metal in the Bolivian earth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Council of Europe Denounces Italy on Migration

Italian measures ‘wrong or counterproductive’

(ANSA) — Strasbourg, October 2 — Every measure taken by Italy in recent years to manage migration flows has been “wrong or counterproductive,” a Council of Europe committee said Wednesday.

In a scathing report, the committee on migration for the Parliamentary Assembly of the council rejected Italian policies, saying Italy has not demonstrated an ability to properly manage ongoing migration flows.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Integration No Longer a Criteria for Accepting Refugees

Denmark will no longer choose its 500 annual “quota refugees” from the UN based on their chances at integration

Refugees coming to Denmark through the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, will no longer be selected according to their ability to integrate into the Danish society.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

House Republicans Work Immigration Behind Scenes

Immigration overhaul legislation has been dormant in the House for months, but a few Republicans are working behind the scenes to advance it at a time the Capitol is immersed in a partisan brawl over government spending and President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, has been discussing possible legal status for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He’s also been working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a fellow Virginia Republican, on a bill offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway: New Gov Will Increase Use of ‘Asylum Prisons’

One of the Norway’s leading immigrant-rights campaigners has warned that Norway’s incoming two-party coalition could sharply increase the use of “asylum prisons”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

11-Year-Old Rejects Public School Conditioning

An Infowars reader has shared how her daughter’s homeschool education vastly differs from the Common Core curriculum being taught in public schools across America.

Today, she sent us a phenomenal journal page out of her 11-year-old daughter’s workbook illustrating how the message of freedom, truth and liberty is resonating and being positively received…

Of special note is the child’s use of cursive handwriting, which is being phased out by new Common Commie Core standards.

Lesson plans like the one mentioned above are far more positive, educational and appropriate than those being implemented through the national Common Core State standards, and the Texas pro-Communist CSCOPE curriculum, which asks students to pretend they’re creating a new communist country and to design a flag for it. [url]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Colorful Statement? Germany’s Olympic Uniform Seen as ‘Pro-Gay’

Germany’s new outfits for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi have been interpreted by many as a silent protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws, but the German Olympic Sports Confederation disputes it.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ethics: Taboo Genetics

Probing the biological basis of certain traits ignites controversy. But some scientists choose to cross the red line anyway.

Here, Nature looks at four controversial areas of behavioural genetics to find out why each field has been a flashpoint, and whether there are sound scientific reasons for pursuing such studies.


Taboo level: HIGH


Taboo level: VERY HIGH

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: Affirmative Action: SPD Women Want Gender Quota From Merkel

Female members of Germany’s Social Democrats want a coalition government with Merkel’s conservatives to be contingent on a gender quota for company boards. Battered in the election, the SPD’s men may now take these calls seriously.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare Day One: Many Americans Will Fund Abortions Without Their Consent

“Buried in the pages of Obamacare is the ‘Covert Abortion Premium Mandate’ that forces people and their money into the business of abortion,” said Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life. “In light of the dangers of abortion to women and their unborn children, this policy is a disaster.”

Abortion is woven into the healthcare law at multiple levels, making repeal of the law a pro-life necessity, Yoest said, including a failure to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices; pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions; and permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges.

Yoest said Obamcare fails to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion, includes a “preventive care” mandate that is being used to force coverage of drugs and devices known to end life, and fails to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

7 Insects You’ll be Eating in the Future

As the human population continues to inch closer to 8 billion people, feeding all those hungry mouths will become increasingly difficult. A growing number of experts claim that people will soon have no choice but to consume insects.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Strange Super-Earth Planet Has ‘Plasma’ Water Atmosphere

A nearby alien planet six times the size of the Earth is covered with a water-rich atmosphere that includes a strange “plasma form” of water, scientists say. Astronomers have determined that the atmosphere of super-Earth Gliese 1214 b is likely water-rich. However, this exoplanet is no Earth twin. The high temperature and density of the planet give it an atmosphere that differs dramatically from Earth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Study Shows Radical Islamist Dominance in Terror Plots

The CI Centre identified 148 domestic terror plots since 2001. Of those, 114 were motivated by the radical Islamist “Salafist doctrine.” That’s the CI Centre’s terminology for those “motivated by Caliphate doctrine.” So among the nearly 150 domestic terrorist plots, 77 percent were motivated by radical Islam.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UN: Italian FM Speaks Out Against Child Brides

Violation of human rights, requires urgent attention

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26 — The right to choose one’s own spouse was recognised in 1946 in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, but “even today, too many women and girls are denied this right”, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told the UN Core Group of countries leading the campaign against forced marriage. “The time has come for us to raise our voices and act with courage to underscore the seriousness of this human rights violation,” she said in her speech. The meeting was held in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and was organised by Core Group members Canada, the Netherlands, and Ghana. Italy joined the group recently. “Up until now, the United Nations has deal with the issue as part of the Omnibus Resolutions, considering it within a large context” that includes the struggle against violence against women and child abuse. “But the issue is too important to be only one of many on a list,” the minister said. It is also an issue that Bonino cares strongly about and which fits into a series of wide-ranging campaigns for women and their dignity, the minister told ANSA. “It is a campaign that I have been following for years, alongside that against female genital mutilation, since these two horrible practices are linked and present in the same countries,” she said, underscoring that “forced marriages are a form of slavery.” The practice is also widespread. In the 2000-2011 period, 34% of women in 41 developing countries between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before their 18th birthday. In 2010 some 67 million women found themselves in this situation, including 12% of whom were married before reaching age 15. “We must raise our voices together with those of the victims of early and forced marriages and provide a political and legal framework to protect them,” Minister Bonino said at the meeting in New York. She also said that Italy would continue to contribute to these efforts, as it does to other campaigns for the protection and promotion of human rights.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

World’s Population to Hit 9.7 Billion by 2050

(AGI) Paris, Oct 2 — The world’s population will hit 9.7 billion by 2050, up from the current 7.141 billion, and India will overtake China as the most populous country on the planet.

The number of people in the world will also rise further to between 10 and 11 billion people by the end of the century, reported the biennial study of the French research organisation, INED (Institut Francais d’Etudes Demographiques), whose predictions are in line with those of the UN, the World Bank and other major national demographic institutes.

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

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/2/2013

  1. As someone from the Washington DC area, I sure noticed the shutdown. Driving to work over the past two days has been much, much easier, with far fewer cars on the road (my commute is about 26 miles in either direction).

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