Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/25/2013

The manager of a fast food restaurant in Germany took eleven people hostage and held them captive for fourteen hours inside the restaurant before releasing them and being arrested. The hostage-taker, an immigrant of Kurdish origin, was reportedly concerned about his legal troubles due to various narcotics violations. The hostages were all friends or family members.

In other news, Bulgaria is planning to build a wall along its border with Turkey to keep out illegal immigrants.

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

Thanks to Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Steen, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» 25 Stats That Prove That the American Dream is Being Systematically Destroyed
 
USA
» “Mr. President, I’m Leaving the Medical Field”: Hanging Up the White Coat: A Letter to President Obama
» 20 Urban Shield 2013 Scenarios Which Prove the Terrorists Are Us
» Andrew Napolitano: A Government of Secrecy and Fear
» Democrats Call for Elimination of Tea Party
» Dept. of Education Builds Up Massive Arsenal of Firearms
» Exclusive: Army Halts Training Program That Labeled Christians as Extremists
» Gov. Candidate McAuliffe Disowns Virginia Gun Owners, Flouts NRA’s ‘F’ Rating
» Healthcare.gov Now Deliberately Displaying False Pricing Information to Trick the Public
» Healthcare.gov Exposed as Data-Gathering Honey Pot to Shamelessly Harvest Private Consumer Data and Turn it Over to the NSA
» Henninger: Obama’s Credibility is Melting
» Meet Dinosaur Joe — the Rare Fossil Discovered by a High School Student
» Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters
» ObamaCare Seeks to Segregate Patients, Doctors by Race
» Obama Administration Orders Blue Cross to Keep ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Secret
» Prelude to Disaster: The Coming Instantaneous Collapse of ObamaCare Services
» Press Doesn’t Cover Gag Order on TSA Blogger
» Pro-ObamaCare Lobbyists Hired to Spread “Success” Stories
» Want to Know Who’s Spying on You Online? There’s an App for That
» ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ Blamed for Mysterious Symptoms in Cape Cod Town
 
Europe and the EU
» 11 Hostages Seized at German Fast-Food Restaurant
» Denmark: Historian Cleared of Libel for Branding Journalist a KGB Agent
» EU Says US Jeopardizes War on Terror by Bugging Allies
» Germany Wants a German Internet as Spying Scandal Rankles
» Greece: Kaminis Worried About Anti-Fascist Rally Near Golden Dawn Event
» High Prelates Trade Luxury Cars for Economy Vehicles
» Italy: Berlusconi Fiancée to File Lawsuit After Lesbian Claim on TV
» Italy Exports Record 2 Bn Kg of Pasta, Up 6% in 2013
» Italy: Shareholders Approve Merger of Fonsai, Unipol
» Jail Social Workers Who Take Children Without Telling Parents Why, Says Britain’s Top Family Judge
» King Saved Norway From Joining Nazis: Biography
» Mosque Opens Near the Tuscan City of Siena
» Op-Ed: Europe’s Supercessionism: Islam Replaces Christianity
» Senate Speaker Says Biden ‘Recognises’ Italy’s Spying Alarm
 
Mediterranean Union
» EU to Extend Measures to Facilitate Market Access
» UPM: First Economic Forum Western Mediterranean in Barcelona
 
North Africa
» Tunisia: Cops Kill Salafist in Gunfight Outside High School
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Israel’s European Challenge
 
Middle East
» Ettinger: High Anxiety in Riyadh, Jerusalem and Washington Over Iran’s Nuclear Breakout
» Saudi Parking Lot Harassment Video Goes Viral
» Saudi Women Plan to Hit Roads in New Push for Right to Drive
» Syria: Islamic Jihadists Burn Bibles and Christian Books Outside Christian Church
» UNFAO Expects 1 Mln Ton Food Shortage in Syria
» US Halts Aid to Syrian Rebels Due to ‘Logistical Concerns’
» Watching Islam Change
 
South Asia
» India Set to Launch Its Debut Mars Mission
 
Far East
» China Hears Alarm Bells Over US Debt
» Earthquake Hits Near Fukushima Nuclear Plant; Tsunami Expected to Hit Reactor
» Fuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenario
 
Immigration
» Brussels Wants Visa Negotiations With Morocco
» Bulgaria is Going to Build a Wall to Stop Refugees
» Germany Shows Little Sympathy for Italy on Migration
» ‘Islam-Leaning UK Politicians Openly Forecast Complete Takeover of British Politics’ — Ex-EDL Leader
» Italians Rescue 800+ People in Strait of Sicily
» London Protests Over Immigration Crackdown
» Nearly 700 Immigrants Rescued Off Italy: Official
» Only One Pupil in Three is White in Birmingham
 
Culture Wars
» Gay Friendly Greek Hotels Go to Wtm 2013 in London
» Obama Wants Marines to Wear ‘Girly’ Hats
 
General
» Earth’s Water Likely Came From Very Early Asteroid Strikes
» Has the Time Come to Abandon Online Anonymity?
» New UN Climate Report Ignores Reality
» The 25 Countries With the Most Brainpower
» The Growing Terror Threat From Radical Women Converts
 

25 Stats That Prove That the American Dream is Being Systematically Destroyed

The 25 statistics that you are about to read are solid proof that the middle class in America is being systematically wiped out. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world. It seemed like almost everyone owned a home, had a couple of nice vehicles and could provide a very comfortable lifestyle for their families. Sadly, that has all changed. In America today, prices are rising at a very brisk pace but incomes are not. There aren’t nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore, and most of the jobs that are being “created” are jobs that pay very little.

The largest employer in America is Wal-Mart, and the second largest employer is actually a temp agency (Kelly Services). In a desperate attempt to make ends meet, millions of American families endlessly pile up more debt, and millions of other American families find themselves forced to turn to the government for help. At this point, more than 49 percent of all Americans receive benefits from the federal government each month. The percentage of Americans that cannot financially take care of themselves is rising every single year, and our independence is being whittled away as we become increasingly dependent on the government. Unfortunately, our politicians continue to stand aside and do nothing as our jobs are shipped overseas, inflation steals our purchasing power and the middle class continues to shrink. The following are 25 stats that prove that the American Dream is being systematically destroyed…

1. According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.

2. The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

“Mr. President, I’m Leaving the Medical Field”: Hanging Up the White Coat: A Letter to President Obama

Mr. President,

I was born at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. My mother would later take a job delivering babies in that same operating room only a couple years later. My parents got a divorce when I was young. There were many times during the summer when she would be forced to take my sister and me to work with her. I vividly remember the child version of myself walking the halls of the same floor I was born on in fascination as the years passed. The anesthesiologists used to bring us candy and watch movies with us. When the holidays came, a nurse by the name of Patty Vaughn (we called her Granny), would have bags of presents for my sister and me. Donna Smith, a surgical first assistant who came to America from Canada to work in a free-market healthcare system, use to babysit us. I’m Hanging Up The White Coat Because Of Obamacare To Pursue My Doctorate In Economics And Head To Wall Street

Donna’s two-story town-home became a 3rd home (2nd was the hospital). We spent countless nights at her house.

Patty passed away when I was ten. I still remember the last box of moon pies she gave me for Halloween that year. To this day every time I see a moon pie I think of her. Donna helped me through my undergrad at Belmont University. With tuition at $30k/year money was tight. Donna never let me go without a meal.

You see Mr. President, the smell of sterile operating rooms, horrible coffee, crisp white coats, and cold metal was my destiny. The first time someone ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I responded, “Anesthesiologist”. I had no idea what they even did, but it was the first big word I learned to pronounce as a 6-year-old. The hospital is my family. It’s all I’ve ever known…

With student loans reaching $300k, incalculable opportunity costs and 8 years lost to school, students seeking medical degrees give their lives to the practice. Starting our careers at 30 while dictating to us how much money we can make is nothing short of destroying all incentive to enter the field.

[Comment: Recommended reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

20 Urban Shield 2013 Scenarios Which Prove the Terrorists Are Us

Out of 47 “scenarios” being practiced by first responders during Urban Shield 2013 this October 25 — 28 in the San Francisco Bay Area, at least 20 of them are “domestic” — either stated explicitly, or implied (see below in BOLD CAPS) — and possibly more.

Overall, the scenarios vary widely in scope — up to and including “odor investigation” — but the “domestic terrorists” are generally characterized as being anything from “anarchists” (Tea Partiers? Christians? Patriots?) to “homegrown” terrorists (recent American-Moslem converts duped into FBI-sting operations?)

Interesting to note that, as of this writing, the English “Urban Shield” Wikipedia entry has disappeared… but you can still get it in French. (Too bad for you if you don’t read French.)

However, there is still a brief mention of Urban Shield in the English Wikipedia entry for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ASCO).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Andrew Napolitano: A Government of Secrecy and Fear

Will we get our lost liberties back?

Every American who values the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, every American who enjoys the right to be different and the right to be left alone, and every American who believes that the government works for us and we don’t work for the government should thank Edward Snowden for his courageous and heroic revelations of the National Security Agency’s gargantuan spying operations. Without Snowden’s revelations, we would be ignorant children to a paternalistic government and completely in the dark about what the government sees of us and knows about us. And we would not know that it has stolen our freedoms.

When I saw Snowden’s initial revelation — a two-page order signed by a federal judge on the FISA court — I knew immediately that Snowden had a copy of a genuine top-secret document that even the judge who signed it did not have. The NSA reluctantly acknowledged that the document was genuine and claimed that all its snooping on the 113,000,000 Verizon customers covered by that order was lawful because it had been authorized by that federal judge. The NSA also claims that as a result of its spying, it has kept us safe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Democrats Call for Elimination of Tea Party

The powerful and influential Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is calling for the Tea Party to be eradicated:

The Tea Party shut down our government. The American people must now shut them down. Sign the one-click petition: https://t.co/ywOkg83B7F

— DSCC (@dscc) October 23, 2013

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCS) is the Democratic Party’s chief fundraising committee dedicated to electing Democratic candidates to the U.S. Senate. Its budget exceeds $50 million, according to Open Secrets.

Beyond a number of politicians in the House and Senate, the Tea Party does not have a significant presence within the federal government. It is not entirely clear if the DSCS is merely calling for the expulsion of the Tea Party Caucus chaired by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, or the movement as a whole.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Dept. of Education Builds Up Massive Arsenal of Firearms

Since at least 2001, the U.S. Department of Education has been building a massive arsenal of guns purchased through steep discounts orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Capitol Police…

Ironically, the Education Dept. is not the only federal agency expanding its firepower outside of the Dept. of Justice.

Back in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration bought 72,000 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson.

The year before, the National Weather Service made a solicitation for 46,000 rounds of .40 caliber jacketed hollow point ammunition.

Also in 2012, the Social Security Administration purchased 174,000 rounds of 125 grain .357 SIG hollow point ammunition to be delivered to 41 locations across America.

SIG Sauer developed the .357 SIG to be the equivalent of the powerful 125 grain .357 Magnum load in common use by lawmen throughout most of the Cold War.

The Department of Homeland Security bought so much ammo last year that it even began censoring the quantity of rounds the agency sought in its solicitations posted on the FedBizOpps web site.

It has been estimated that DHS stockpiled at least two billion rounds of ammunition, enough to sustain the war in Iraq for 24 years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Exclusive: Army Halts Training Program That Labeled Christians as Extremists

The Secretary of the Army has ordered military leaders to halt all briefings on extremist organizations that labeled Evangelical Christian groups as domestic hate groups. The shutdown comes just four days after I reported exclusively about a briefing at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby that labeled the American Family Association as a domestic hate group.

“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy,” Army Sec. John McHugh wrote to military leaders in a memorandum I obtained.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Gov. Candidate McAuliffe Disowns Virginia Gun Owners, Flouts NRA’s ‘F’ Rating

Virginia governor candidate Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chairman, has pledged to wage a full-scale assault against the Bill of Rights should he be elected to office in November.

McAuliffe made anti-gun remarks yesterday at Virginia Tech University during the final debate against Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli.

When Cuccinelli stated that increased gun restrictions would have done nothing to prevent the shooting that took place at the campus in 2007, in which a senior student launched a pre-meditated attack on unarmed and unsuspecting peers, killing 32 people, McAuliffe toed the party line that more gun control equals less gun crime.

“Some people should not own guns,” McAuliffe audaciously responded, adding “I don’t care what grade I got from the NRA. I never want to see another Newtown or Aurora or Virginia Tech again.” Of course, the fact that a single person with a gun could have stopped, or at the very least minimized, any of those shooters’ bloodshed didn’t phase his twisted logic.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Healthcare.gov Now Deliberately Displaying False Pricing Information to Trick the Public

(NaturalNews) In mid-October, Forbes’ Avik Roy, who has been writing regularly about the pitfalls and expected pitfalls of Obamacare, made a rather startling claim.

“A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing,” he wrote. “Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.”

In other words, he was saying that the Healthcare.gov website was designed to hide the true cost of insurance plans.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Healthcare.gov Exposed as Data-Gathering Honey Pot to Shamelessly Harvest Private Consumer Data and Turn it Over to the NSA

(NaturalNews) The pieces of the puzzle on Obamacare are finally coming together. Yesterday it was revealed during congressional testimony that the Healthcare.gov website contains a hidden disclaimer which reads, “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transmitting or stored on this information system.”

This is an open admission that the site intends to share your data with other government entities. It also means the entire website violates federal law because it does not comply with HIPAA regulations for medical privacy. Click here to watch the astonishing video testimony.

But this isn’t the only evidence now emerging.

It also turns out that an NSA-funded entity actually helped build Healthcare.gov! Kit Daniels has just published a groundbreaking story that links the CIA venture capital firm “In-Q-Tel” to the Healthcare.gov data collection technology provider known as Socrata.

“Socrata will work with the CIA and other intelligence agencies to transform raw data into a format easily utilized and accessible to the intelligence community,” writes Daniels. “Healthcare.gov captures the personal data provided during the Obamacare enrollment process for this spy grid database.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Henninger: Obama’s Credibility is Melting

Here and abroad, Obama’s partners are concluding they cannot trust him.

The collapse of ObamaCare is the tip of the iceberg for the magical Obama presidency.

– From the moment he emerged in the public eye with his 2004 speech at the Democratic Convention and through his astonishing defeat of the Clintons in 2008, Barack Obama’s calling card has been credibility. He speaks, and enough of the world believes to keep his presidency afloat. Or used to.

All of a sudden, from Washington to Riyadh, Barack Obama’s credibility is melting.

Amid the predictable collapse the past week of HealthCare.gov’s too-complex technology, not enough notice was given to Sen. Marco Rubio’s statement that the chances for success on immigration reform are about dead. Why? Because, said Sen. Rubio, there is “a lack of trust” in the president’s commitments.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Meet Dinosaur Joe — the Rare Fossil Discovered by a High School Student

The infant dinosaur could shed light on how the species got its distinct head gear

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters

The documents leaked to media outlets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this year have brought national intelligence gathering and surveillance operations under a level of scrutiny not seen in decades. Often left out of this conversation, though, is the massive private surveillance industry that provides services to law enforcement, defense agencies and corporations in the U.S. and abroad — a sprawling constellation of companies and municipalities. “It’s a circle where everyone [in these industries] is benefitting,” says Eric King, lead researcher of watchdog group Privacy International. “Everyone gets more powerful, and richer.”

Promotional materials for numerous private spy companies boast of how law enforcement organizations can use their products to monitor people at protests or other large crowds — including by keeping tabs on individual people’s social media presence. Kenneth Lipp, a journalist who attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia from October 19th to 23rd, tells Rolling Stone that monitoring Twitter and Facebook was a main theme of the week. “Social media was the buzzword,” says Lipp. He says much of the discussion seemed to be aimed at designing policies that wouldn’t trigger potentially limiting court cases: “They want to avoid a warrant standard.”

While the specifics of which police departments utilize what surveillance technologies is often unclear, there is evidence to suggest that use of mass surveillance against individuals not under direct investigation is common. “The default is mass surveillance, the same as NSA’s ‘collect it all’ mindset,” says King. “There’s not a single company that if you installed their product, [it] would comply with what anyone without a security clearance would think is appropriate, lawful use.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

ObamaCare Seeks to Segregate Patients, Doctors by Race

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor under Obamacare — if you both belong to the same race. Obamacare’s spectacular flop of a rollout distracts from its crude calculus that encourages the allocation of healthcare resources along racial lines and a doctor-patient system splintered into ethnicities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Administration Orders Blue Cross to Keep ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Secret

(NaturalNews) In the past week, there has been a smattering of reports that some Americans — finally — have managed to actually sign up for healthcare insurance using the government’s Obamacare exchange (Healthcare.gov). But what is equally clear by now is that the Obama administration, for some reason, has been very quiet about the actual number of people who have signed up.

The only explanation for that is this: the numbers must be pitifully low.

Already, most Americans know the roll-out of the Obamacare online exchange was a disaster. It was — and remains — prone to glitches, hang-ups and unacceptable delays, and that’s if you can make any progress on the site at all.

‘Don’t publicize the numbers’

Now comes a report that the White House has asked North Dakota’s largest health insurer “not to publicize the number of people who have enrolled for health insurance through a new online exchange,” according to the state’s principal news website, Inforum:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Prelude to Disaster: The Coming Instantaneous Collapse of ObamaCare Services

We know it’s essentially a wealth redistribution scheme that takes money from one group of people in the form of forced tax payments, only to shift that money into the pockets of those who didn’t earn it in the form of government subsidies to their health care premiums.

But like all universal programs, the promise of free anything only works so long as you don’t run out of other people’s money.

That being said, a basic analysis of how Obamacare premiums work across the spectrum of America’s wide ranging socio-economic population suggests that it’s dead on arrival.

Once the forced mandates take hold one of two outcomes become inevitable, as noted by The Market Ticker, whose Karl Denninger took a detailed look at the government’s county-by-county premium data.

The consequences of implementation will be disastrous.

Either the Obamacare system itself collapses under its own weight, or the U.S. economy falls apart because of the extreme burden being hoisted on those who are responsible for paying the bill.

Either way, we’re looking at an almost instantaneous collapse of one or the other.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Press Doesn’t Cover Gag Order on TSA Blogger

For the past four years, Corbett has been engaged in litigation against the TSA over their invasive security procedures, which he argues violate the Fourth Amendment protecting citizens from unwarranted searches.

According to a recent brief filed by Corbett, “the abstract risk[s] of terrorism without a credible, specific threat” does not warrant Constitution-infringing searches by x-ray machines — in which “Every crevice, fold, and bump is turned into a picture of the traveler’s nude body” — or invasive pat downs, in which TSA agents are frequently accused of touching traveler’s genitals.

In his brief, Corbett cited sensitive information obtained through the TSA’s own Administrative Record, a document only available to Corbett or his attorney through the legal process of discovery. In their own words, the TSA admits that “As of mid-2011, terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports; instead, their focus is on fundraising, recruiting, and propagandizing.” Essentially, this is an acknowledgement they are aware of the questionable justification for their privacy-breaching searches.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Pro-ObamaCare Lobbyists Hired to Spread “Success” Stories

With all the terrible (but entirely predictable) fallout stories emerging from the Obamacare launch, including higher premiums, outright cancellations of existing policies, and even hospitals having to cut jobs to meet lower costs, how is the Obama administration going to keep selling the US population on the “Affordable” Care Act?

Lobbyists.

That’s right, the administration has received a shot in the arm from the news that Families USA, a health care lobbyist group, has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest health philanthropy outfit in the country, to go around spreading Pro-Obamacare stories.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Want to Know Who’s Spying on You Online? There’s an App for That

Would you like to know who’s watching which websites you visit? Well there’s an app for that.

It’s standard practice for advertisers to keeps tabs on the sites you frequent using tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are small text files that are downloaded on to your computer that log the websites you browse and, in some case, how you interact with these sites. Advertisers and other companies use these logs to build a profile of your interests, allowing advertisers to sell you products and services you’re more likely to buy.

In an attempt to highlight just how many different firms are tracking our browsing habits online Mozilla has produced Lightbeam, an add-on that can be downloaded for the Firefox browser that captures who is watching you.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ Blamed for Mysterious Symptoms in Cape Cod Town

Sue Hobart, a bridal florist from Massachusetts, couldn’t understand why she suddenly developed headaches, ringing in her ears, insomnia and dizziness to the point of falling “flat on my face” in the driveway.

“I thought I was just getting older and tired,” said the 57-year-old from Falmouth.

Months earlier, in the summer of 2010, three wind turbines had been erected in her town, one of which runs around the clock, 1,600 feet from her home…

“It goes all day and night. My initial take was that she was being a hypochondriac, but I went to their house two years ago with a little skepticism and within 10 minutes of being in the house, I could feel it and hear it.” — Brian Mannal, lawyer for Sue Hobart

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

11 Hostages Seized at German Fast-Food Restaurant

Eleven people were held hostage for about 14 hours in a fast-food restaurant before the suspect, who is also the manager of the establishment, was captured early Friday, police said.

The 36-year-old man barricaded himself in an eatery in Freiburg, Germany, on Thursday night. He was armed and had cans of flammable liquids and threatened to blow himself up, police said.

The people holed-up inside with him were family members and acquaintances, according to police. They included children.

The standoff, which began around 7 p.m. Thursday (1 p.m. ET), ended around 9 a.m. local time Friday (3 a.m. ET).

The suspect’s motive remains unknown, police said, adding that during the night, the man had appeared emotional and even desperate at times.

A Freiburg police spokesman said the suspect, a father of five, was of Kurdish origin and had a criminal record. He first immigrated to Germany in 1996.

According to a news release, the man was well known to local police for previous violations, including possession of weapons and explosives, blackmail and physical brutality. He was arrested in 2011 and 2012, both times for possession of a sharp weapon, police said, adding that the man was currently wanted by authorities over narcotics violations.

Authorities said the man had missed a court date last week and likely feared the consequences. Around 7 p.m. that night, the man called the police emergency line asking to speak with the mayor or the police chief — and threatening a disaster would occur otherwise.

Shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, authorities managed to persuade the man to leave the building, along with the people he was holding. At that time, special forces apprehended him.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]
 

Denmark: Historian Cleared of Libel for Branding Journalist a KGB Agent

High court rules spying accusation was justified

The Eastern High Court has ruled that it was appropriate that a historian called former Information journalist George Dragsdahl an agent of the KGB. Historian Bent Jensen was found innocent of libel in the unique case, the first in Denmark in which a historian has been prosecuted on the basis of a story written using previously classified material.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

EU Says US Jeopardizes War on Terror by Bugging Allies

Leaders warn Americans that eavesdropping hurts relationships

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 25 — Angry European leaders warned the United States Friday that spying on them puts at risk the fight against terrorism because it alienates allies.

Reports of electronic surveillance dominated meetings of the European Union government leaders who agreed to take strong joint action against electronic surveillance by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) after reports it spied on 35 world leaders, including the Italian government as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

By jeopardizing the confidence of allies in the US now, future cooperation could be put at risk, the EU leaders said.

“A lack of confidence could affect the required cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering,” which is considered a vital element in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier, Premier Enrico Letta said EU leaders were united in their demands for more information in the coming weeks.

They also want a protocol with the US on surveillance in place by year-end.

Still, EU leaders failed to reach an agreement on moving quickly on Europe-wide data protection laws, which some consider to be the EU’s most effective tool in halting NSA eavesdropping.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Germany Wants a German Internet as Spying Scandal Rankles

(Reuters) — As a diplomatic row rages between the United States and Europe over spying accusations, state-backed Deutsche Telekom wants German communications companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services.

Yet the nascent effort, which took on new urgency after Germany said on Wednesday that it had evidence that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone had been monitored, faces an uphill battle if it is to be more than a marketing gimmick.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: Kaminis Worried About Anti-Fascist Rally Near Golden Dawn Event

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis expressed fear on Friday about the proximity of an anti-fascist rally and a Golden Dawn supporters’ gathering that are due to take place near the city center on Saturday, warning that he would not allow other such events to take place.

“If the square continues to be used in a battle of symbols, I will be obliged not to allow events to take place there in the future,” Kaminis said of the anti-fascist event, noting that Golden Dawn had asked for permission for its gathering earlier.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

High Prelates Trade Luxury Cars for Economy Vehicles

Following Pope Francis’ example of sobriety

(ANSA) — Vatican City, October 24 — Pope Francis’ call for the Church to be poor and for the poor is producing the first effects at the Vatican. After a number of bishops and high prelates replaced their golden crosses with more sober silver or metal ones — the pontiff himself wears a cross made of iron — the attention has turned to cars.

Some 20 prelates and monsigneurs have traded the luxury cars so far used to get around for more modest utility cars.

The pope declared war on luxury cars in July when he said that “it bothers me when I see a priest or a sister with a brand new car”.

The pontiff was the first to set the example, refusing the Mercedes used by his predecessor Benedict XVI and opting instead of a Volkswagen Phateon and more recently for an old Ford Focus.

He has also used a variety of economy cars during his travels including a Fiat Panda and an old Fiat Campagnola.

On Wednesday the pontiff, who has declined to live in the opulent papal residence, suspended German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst, dubbed by the international media as “the bishop of bling”, over his free spending. The bishop is accused of having spent 31 million euros to remodel his residence next to the cathedral.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Berlusconi Fiancée to File Lawsuit After Lesbian Claim on TV

Francesca Pascale to demand 10 million euros in damages

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s fiancée Francesca Pascale on Thursday said she is filing a lawsuit against a Bulgarian actress who claimed she is a lesbian on television and the host and a journalist of the talk show on which the claims were made. Pascale, 28, will not demand less than 10 million euros in damages for being “gravely defamed” by the allegations, her attorney Licia Polizio said.

Dragomira Boneva, known as Michelle Bonev, claimed in an interview aired last week by political talk show Servizio Pubblico of private network La7 that Pascale’s engagement to the 77-year-old Berlusconi, who is one of Italy’s richest men and a former three-time premier, is “just a facade” and that she and Pascale were “much more” than just friends.

Bonev also claimed that Berlusconi knew that Pascale was a lesbian.

“Silvio decided to announce the engagement with Francesca only to continue to have fun with her and her ‘friends’, and not be misjudged by the company,” said Bonev. Berlusconi is appealing after being sentenced to seven years in prison for paying for sex with an underage prostitute at sex parties at his home and abusing his power to cover up the affair.

Pascale’s lawyer on Thursday said her client was the “victim of a painful and preordained exploitation” by controversial TV host Michele Santoro, who “did not hesitate to use clearly false information, ‘non-news’ only to attract audience, and of Dragomira Boneva who invented a squalid story to attract an otherwise unattainable notoriety”.

Berlusconi’s criticism of Santoro in 2002 led to a five-year absence of the journalist from state broadcaster RAI, where he used to work.

The attorney said her client would donate proceeds from the lawsuit to rescue centres for women and children.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy Exports Record 2 Bn Kg of Pasta, Up 6% in 2013

Farmers’ group says on World Pasta Day

(ANSA) — Rome, October 25 — Italy exported a record 2 billion kilos of pasta in 2013, up 6% from last year, farmers’ group Coldiretti said on World Pasta Day Friday based on data from national statistics’ institute Istat. Coldiretti said the boom in exports was partly due to the industry’s strategy to offer high-quality pasta made from 100% Italian wheat. Nevertheless, the farmers’ group said Italian durum wheat was underpaid this year at 25 cents a kilo with farmers’ revenues from sales down 20% which often made them unable to cover production costs.

Europe is Italy’s top pasta market with 73% of exports , followed by the US covering 13% of exports and the rest of the world at 14%. China is a booming market with exports up 60% this year, according to Italian Farmers’ Confederation CIA.

Overall Italy is the world’s top pasta producer with an estimated 3.3 million tons worth 4.6 billion euros and the world’s top pasta consumer with 26 kilos per person and top exporter with 1.9 million tons, according to data released Friday by CIA.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Shareholders Approve Merger of Fonsai, Unipol

Fonsai among insurers in formalized grouping

(ANSA) — Bologna, October 25 — Shareholders on Friday gave final approval to a merger combining insurer Fonsai with other insurance giants including Unipol.

The four-way deal, approved at an extraordinary meeting by shareholders controlling 62% of capital, approved the deal involving Premafin Finanziaria, Unipol Assicurazioni and Milano Assicurazioni.

Fonsai, officially known as Fondiaria-Sai, has been in the public eye since the arrest of former majority owner Salvatore Ligresti, several members of his family and executives of the insurance firm on suspicious of false accounting and market manipulation practices. A trial date has been scheduled for December for Ligresti and several other suspects. The case has focused on accounting irregularities that enabled Ligresti, according to the indictment, to acquire illegal dividends of 200 million euros. The Ligresti family are the former majority owners of both the Fonsai and Milano Assicurazioni insurance companies. The two companies almost collapsed last year before the deal with Unipol was structured.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Jail Social Workers Who Take Children Without Telling Parents Why, Says Britain’s Top Family Judge

The country’s most senior family judge yesterday launched a furious attack on social workers who failed to tell parents why their children were being adopted — and suggested that in future the same offence could carry a jail term.

Local authority workers in Bristol ignored a court order requiring them to explain why the couple’s two children were being taken for adoption.

They only released the information to the parents 45 minutes before the decision was due to be finalised, giving the family no real hope of mounting a challenge in court.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

King Saved Norway From Joining Nazis: Biography

Norway’s King Haakon VII went against almost the whole of Norway’s business and political class when he rejected a Nazi demand that he appoint Vidkun Quisling, the country’s wartime fascist leader as Prime Minister and then abdicate, a new biography has revealed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Mosque Opens Near the Tuscan City of Siena

Controversy dogged new Muslim religious centre

(ANSA) — Colle Val D’Elsa (Siena), October 25 — After years of controversy, a new mosque was inaugurated Friday in a town near the Tuscan city of Siena.

A minaret rose up from the new mosque El-Radwan di Colle Val d’Elsa, which will serve as a religious centre as well as a place of prayer meetings and discussions, proponents say.

Construction of the mosque faced opposition from some residents and well-known personalities including Mario Borghezio, a member of the European Parliament representing the anti-immigrant Northern League, as well as internationally known writer Oriana Fallaci, who died in 2006.

The site was also vandalized.

“We invite everyone to come,” Feras Jabareen, president of the Islamic community of Siena, said Friday.

“This is a place and a sign of peace”.

The mosque was built on the outskirts of the town of Colle Val D’Elsa on land leased for 99 years to the Islamic association, which pays annual rent of 11,000 euros. Borghezio was in hot water earlier this year for racist remarks when he claimed that Italy’s first black member of cabinet, Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, wanted to “impose Congo tribal law” in Italy.

He was ejected from the European Parliament’s euroskeptics’ caucus for the remarks.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Op-Ed: Europe’s Supercessionism: Islam Replaces Christianity

A Catholic church in the UK has been sold to the Muslim community. St Peter’s Catholic church in Cobridge will become the Madina Mosque.

Islam is replacing Christianity as first religion everywhere in Europe.

In France, the country of famous Catholic intellectuals such as Emmanuel Mounier, Georges Bernanos, Francois Mauriac, Jacques Maritain and Teilhard de Chardin, dozens of churches have been razed to make way for mosques, showrooms and malls.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Senate Speaker Says Biden ‘Recognises’ Italy’s Spying Alarm

Grasso says US has not broken Italian laws

(see related) (ANSA) — Washington, October 25 — Italian Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso said Friday that United States Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Italy’s alarm about reports US intelligence agency NSA spied on foreign governments, including the administration in Rome.

“Joe Biden recognised our concerns and said he was willing to discuss in detail the terms of our cooperation on anti-terrorism issues,” Grasso said after a meeting with Biden in Washington.

Grasso said there was no evidence so far that the US had broken Italian law, adding that Biden had confirmed that Washington was willing to “review” its data-acquisition procedures.

He also said that he hoped the turmoil caused by the spying furore did not affect negotiations for a EU-US free-trade deal.

“I think it is necessary to continue the talks to be able to achieve a free-trade treaty between the EU and the USA,” Grasso told reporters. “It’s an important agreement for both sides of the Atlantic”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

EU to Extend Measures to Facilitate Market Access

Proposal of the Commission for six Southern partners

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 25 — EU Commission proposes to extend measures on rules of origin that facilitate EU market access for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestinian Territories and Tunisia until 31 December 2015. These measures continue to allow imports free of customs duty into the EU of products originating in these countries, without them having to levy full customs duty on imported materials used in the manufacture of these products. The measure puts production in these countries on the same footing with production in the EU.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

UPM: First Economic Forum Western Mediterranean in Barcelona

23 October, more than 300 participants from 10 countries

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 21 — The First Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean (Dialogue 5+5) takes place on Wednesday, 23 October 2013, at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona, bringing together more than 300 participants from the 10 countries of the 5+5 Dialogue.

According to the Enpi website (www.enpi-info.eu), the event will bring together the ten Foreign Ministers of Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia, and will be addressed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Tunisia: Cops Kill Salafist in Gunfight Outside High School

Angry mob torches Ennahda offices after funeral of slain cop

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCTOBER 25 — A group of Salafists and police early on Friday engaged in a firefight near a high school in the Tunisian capital, causing panic among students, sources said.

The Salafists had approached the police aboard a jeep outside Ennasr High School, trying to seize their weapons. When police reacted they fled, but their jeep was cut off by a broken-down bus.

Police killed one militant and captured the rest, whose identities have not yet been disclosed.

A Western man sporting a blonde beard dyed dark with henna was among the captured suspects, police sources said. There are no reported injuries so far.

Police also found a Molotov cocktail and explosives on the jeep.

The offices of ruling Islamic party Ennahda in the northwestern governorate of Beja were torched last night after the funeral of Mohamed Toujani, a police officer who was gunned down in an attack by a dozen Salafist militias in the northern town of Menzel Bourguiba on Wednesday. At least four Ennahda members reported burning injuries in the arson attack carried out by hundreds of shouting people after the funeral, according to local radio reports. Salafism is a Sunni Muslim sect espousing a literalist, strict and puritanical approach to Islam.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Israel’s European Challenge

by Caroline Glick

Last month, the European Union pushed European- Israeli relations to a new low.

In mid-September, the IDF enforced a High Court of Justice order to destroy 250 structures built illegally by Palestinian squatters in the Jordan Valley.

The High Court acted in accordance with the agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel. Those agreements gave Israel sole control over planning and zoning in the Jordan Valley and throughout the area of Judea and Samaria defined as Area C.

Five days after the IDF destroyed the illegal structures, Palestinian activists arrived at the site with tents. Their intention was to act in contempt of the law and of the agreements the PLO signed with Israel, and to resettle the site.

The Palestinians did not come alone. They were accompanied by European diplomats. The diplomats were there to provide diplomatic cover to the Palestinians as they broke the law and breached the agreements the PLO signed with the Israeli government.

This would have been bad enough, but in the event, one European diplomat, Marion Castaing, the cultural attaché at the French Consulate in Jerusalem, decided that her job didn’t end with providing diplomatic cover for lawbreakers. She joined them. She punched an Israeli border policeman in the face.

Rather than apologize to Israel for using European diplomats to support Palestinians engaged in criminal activity, and for Castaing’s shocking violence against an Israeli soldier lawfully performing his duties, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton attacked Israel…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]
 

Ettinger: High Anxiety in Riyadh, Jerusalem and Washington Over Iran’s Nuclear Breakout

When King Abdullah in Riyadh stopped the Saudi Kingdom from taking a UN Security Council seat after intensive lobbying, the message communicated by Intelligence chief and former Washington Ambassador Prince Bandar was high dudgeon over Obama Administration policy failures. Failures to protect their back over Syria and most ominously, looming nuclear breakout in Iran.

That pique and rupture in the long term relationship between Washington under Obama and Saudi Arabia and the cluster of Persian Gulf Sunni Emirates must have vaulted to a new level of paranoia- perhaps like the theme of the 1977 Mel Brooks film High Anxiety. That may have been triggered by a report from the Washington-based, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), headed by former Nuclear inspector Dr. David Albright. ISIS reported that Iran may be able to achieve nuclear breakout within the month with available fissile material in hand. Couple that with White House national security officials holding meetings on Capitol Hill in which they endeavored to convince key Senate proponents of tougher sanctions to postpone them for the moment. Then you had Israeli PM Netanyahu warn Kerry and the Obama White House at a press conference in Rome that not to tighten sanctions would be tragic as the Islamic Republic may be on the ropes economically. He contends that sanctions may have brought about the current round of P5+1 discussions with Iranian negotiators in Geneva in mid-October with more coming up on November 7-8, 2013. Given today’s ISIS report, Israel has to look towards its own capabilities to demonstrate a credible military option.

The Israelis are not taking any chances. They appear to be perfecting a likely military option given long range aerial exercises which convey the message that Israel has the means to attack key Iranian nuclear enrichment and heavy water reactor sites that could produce sufficient quantities of fissile materials to make nuclear weapons.

Against this background, former Israeli Ambassador, Yoram Ettinger has a column in today’s Israel Hayom. In it he provides evidence of the heightened level of Saudi and Emirate concerns over the Obama Administration’s failure to mount a credible military option. This would complement what Netanyahu argued for in Rome this week, tighter sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Saudi Parking Lot Harassment Video Goes Viral

Questions raised over video of young men harassing women outside mall in Eastern Saudi Arabia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Saudi Women Plan to Hit Roads in New Push for Right to Drive

A group of Saudi Arabian women plan a protest tomorrow defying the world’s only ban on female drivers.

Organizers are urging women across the country to take to the roads. The group, named the “26th October Women’s Driving Campaign,” called on the government to provide “a valid and legal justification” for maintaining the ban, and “not simply defer to social consensus,” according to its website. More than 16,000 people signed an online petition in support.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Syria: Islamic Jihadists Burn Bibles and Christian Books Outside Christian Church

The militia of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the faction that in several regions of Syria monopolized the armed insurrection against the regime in Damascus in recent days have organized a book burning of Bibles and Christian books in front of the Greek — Catholic church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Raqqa, the Syrian city which has been for months under the control of anti-Assad militias.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

UNFAO Expects 1 Mln Ton Food Shortage in Syria

Agricultural production has almost stopped

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — A one million ton food shortage is expected in Syria after the halting of agricultural production due to the displacement of more than 4 million people, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (UNFAO) Turkey representative, as Anadolu Agency reports. “More than 4 million people have left their houses in Syria. This means agricultural production has almost stopped.

So, in accordance with the data we have, there will be a one million ton food shortage in Syria, which should be covered by the U.N. and international organizations,” Mustafa Sinaceur, UNFAO representative and coordinator for the Central Asia Sub-Continent, said yesterday. According to U.N. figures, 870 million people in the world are chronically undernourished.

Approximately 24% of children under five are biologically underdeveloped due to malnutrition. Around 2 billion people cannot obtain sufficient minerals or vitamins to remain healthy.

At the same time, an estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide are overweight.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

US Halts Aid to Syrian Rebels Due to ‘Logistical Concerns’

The United States has halted non-lethal aid to rebels in northern Syria because of “logistical concerns,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Oct. 24. “No policy decision has been made to cut off or stop assistance to the opposition. There are logistical concerns. Obviously, this is an active war zone, and in that case, we have not been able since then to deliver assistance to that part,” Harf said.

Daily Hürriyet reported on Oct. 22 that the U.S. had cut moderate northern Syrian rebel groups off from non-lethal aid, laying out conditions to the moderates for the resumption of aid. An al-Qaeda advance in northern Syria had physically blocked the aid’s dispersal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Watching Islam Change

It does not help that President Obama so obviously favors Islam while, at the same time, is so inept that he clearly has no strategic foreign policy regarding the Middle East I find it difficult to believe that more than a billion Muslims approve of the constant attacks in the name of Islam that kill Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and, yes, Muslims. The attack in a popular Nairobi shopping mall is just one example, but we have grown so accustomed to reports of bombings in Iraq, Pakistan, and other nations that we barely take notice of them.

This may seem totally counter-intuitive at a time when militant Islam is bathing in the blood of its victims, but your grandchildren may watch as Muslims around the world retreat from current efforts to impose governments based on the Koran, preferring to separate church and state. Many will decide to embrace another religion.

It’s not widely discussed, but we could be watching the violent death throes of a religion in decline.

Indeed, it may be even sooner according to a friend who is a longtime observer of Islam and author of several books. “Maybe in the coming 20 years we will see Islam diminished to such an extent that it will become irrelevant. The events happening in the Middle East only will make Muslims realize Islam is a failed paradigm. Many of them are already coming to realize the root cause of their suffering is Islam.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

India Set to Launch Its Debut Mars Mission

It’s the Mount Everest of the solar system, conquered only by an elite group. Now India is set to join the US, Russia and Europe in the exclusive club by sending a probe to Mars, with the launch expected on 5 November.

Established in the 1960s, India’s space programme has so far focused on aiding the country’s development, building satellites to spot potential sources of groundwater and monitor deforestation. Then in 2008 it launched Chandrayaan-1, a lunar orbiter, and now has plans for further probes to study the moon and space weather.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

China Hears Alarm Bells Over US Debt

Stephen Roach says America’s recent fiscal debacle is just one of many signals to China that it’s time to end an unhealthy codependency once needed to make up for their saving imbalances.

Yes, the US dodged another bullet with a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling. But, with 90 days left to bridge the ideological and partisan divide before another crisis erupts, the fuse on America’s debt bomb is getting shorter and shorter. As a dysfunctional US government peers into the abyss, China — America’s largest foreign creditor — has much at stake.

China’s share of America’s publicly held debt overhang increased more than five-fold, to nearly 11 per cent (US$1.3 trillion) by July this year. Along with roughly US$700 billion in Chinese holdings of US agency debt (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), China’s total US$2 trillion exposure to US government and quasi-government securities is massive by any standard.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Earthquake Hits Near Fukushima Nuclear Plant; Tsunami Expected to Hit Reactor

– From Fox News:

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the Fukushima region of Japan Saturday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake hit Japan’s east coast at 2:10 a.m. Tokyo time, near the crippled Fukushima nuclear site. The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles away.

Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the area.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Fuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenario

An operation with potentially “apocalyptic” consequences is expected to begin in a little over two weeks from now — “as early as November 8” — at Fukushima’s damaged and sinking Reactor 4, when plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel storage tank perched on the reactor’s upper floor.

Fukushima Reactor 4

While the Reactor 4 building itself did not suffer a meltdown, it did suffer a hydrogen explosion, is now tipping and sinking and has zero ability to withstand another seismic event.

The Japan Times explained:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Brussels Wants Visa Negotiations With Morocco

To facilitate temporary stays for studentes, businessmen

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 04 — The EU Commission proposed to the Council to open negotiations between the EU and Morocco on an agreement to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas.

“This is a very concrete and important step in the cooperation between the EU and Morocco” said Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. “Easier access to visas will reinforce the social and economic development and mutual understanding between our countries and people” she added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Bulgaria is Going to Build a Wall to Stop Refugees

Bulgaria will build a 30 mile long wall along the border with Turkey to prevent refugees to illegally enter the country, said the country’s defense ministry. According to authorities, the purpose of the wall to stop the flow of refugees from civil war in Syria that takes into Bulgaria illegally along the 30 mile long border, but force them to come into the country, at the official border crossings,and thus the EU.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Germany Shows Little Sympathy for Italy on Migration

Germany voiced little sympathy for southern EU countries’ migrant problems at the summit on Friday (25 October) despite more high drama in the Mediterranean.

The Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said there is no question of changing the EU’s basic rule, the so-called Dublin regulation, under which countries through which asylum seekers first enter the Union have to take care of them.

She said there was a “long and thoughtful debate” on migration, in which Bulgaria, Italy and Malta spoke out.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

‘Islam-Leaning UK Politicians Openly Forecast Complete Takeover of British Politics’ — Ex-EDL Leader

Arab spring refugee tide has made the immigration issue yet more stretching for the European governments. In some towns the indigenous population is already in the minority. Can migrants overflow breed new fascism? Will Islam win politically? What has to happen to ensure peacefulness of the seemingly inevitable Europe ethnic makeover? Our guest today is Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) notoriously known for its anti-Islam stance.

RT: Our guest today is Tommy Robinson, who used to be the face and the leader of the English Defense League, street protest movement, known for its strong anti-Islam stance. Tony, it’s great to have you with us on this program today…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]
 

Italians Rescue 800+ People in Strait of Sicily

Italian navy, coast guard save lives in four different operation

(ANSAmed) — ROME — More than 800 refugees have been rescued in four different operations in the strait between Sicily and Tunisia earlier today, authorities told ANSAmed on Friday.

Two Italian Navy vessels patrolling the area as part of the new Mare Nostrum surveillance operation picked up 400 people, and two Coast Guard cutters sailed from the Italian island of Lampedusa to rescue 250 people on board a vessel in distress 25 miles off the coast.

Another coast guard patrol rescued 95 Eritrean refugees 103 miles south-east of Lampedusa. Meanwhile, Italian port authorities rerouted a Panamanian-registered merchant navy ship, directing it to rescue another 80 people from another vessel in distress 110 miles south of the island.

Some of the migrants were taken to Lampedusa, and others will be taken to other destinations, authorities said.

The administration of Italian Premier Enrico Letta set up Mare Nostrum to prevent further deaths at sea following two migrant ship disasters earlier this month in which at least 400 people died.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

London Protests Over Immigration Crackdown

Demonstrators in Chinatown and Southall speak out against UK immigration policy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Nearly 700 Immigrants Rescued Off Italy: Official

Nearly 700 refugees have been rescued off Sicily in five operations, Italy’s coast guard said Friday, as European leaders grapple with the issue of illegal immigration at a European Union summit.

The 318 migrants picked up by the navy were all packed on two boats and were later transferred onto the San March amphibious assault ship taking part in a massive search and rescue operation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Only One Pupil in Three is White in Birmingham

FEWER than one in three pupils in Birmingham schools is white, a community study has found.

The biggest ethnic group among students in the city is Asians, followed by whites and then blacks.

Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, also has the greatest number of schools, 22 in all, with no white pupils.

The second highest concentration is in Oldham, where eights chools have no white pupils.

At one school in Birmingham, students speak 31 languages. All the teachers at English Martyrs, in Sparkhill, specialise in English as a second language and the school employs translators.

The figures, gleaned from Government statistics, are in a report by West Midlands Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe for Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.

It shows that after a huge influx of migrants, nearly a quarter of the city’s residents come from abroad. Asians are the biggest ethnic group in schools, with 13,248 pupils, or 44 per cent. Just 31 per cent, 9,337 youngsters, were classed as white, while black students totalled 3,859 (13 per cent).

In total there were 31,737 pupils from 87 separate ethnic groups in Birmingham’s schools in 2011, but the report did not contain racial data for all.

The children spoke a total of 108 languages at home, with English being the most common, followed by the Asian tongues Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali, and then Somali.

Campaigners say the figures show the full impact of the former Labour government’s “open door” immigration policy…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]
 

Gay Friendly Greek Hotels Go to Wtm 2013 in London

LGBT travelers expenses exceed USD 165 billion globally

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 25 — Gay friendly Greek and Cypriot prestigious hotels will be represented and promoted to the International LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans Gender) travel market by destination development company Destsetters at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London (4-7 November).

The hotels that Destsetters will represent this year, as Greek Travel Pages (GTP) website reports today, include the Sensimar Royal Blue Resort & Spa in Rethymnon and the Thalassa Beach Resort in Chania on Crete, Aqua Vista hotels and the Canaves Oia on Santorini, the St Raphael Resort in Limassol, Cyprus, and the Mykonos Theoxenia located in Mykonos. The company will soon introduce new segments to the gay travel market that will focus on gastronomy, wellness & spa and luxury while a new trend in tourism will also be highlighted through the innovative concept of Destsetters-Travel by Interest. Destsetters runs the only complete marketing program globally for effectively developing, positioning and promoting hotels and tourism companies towards the LGBT travel market. At WTM 2013, Destsetters will represent hotels and destinations from 12 countries from its stand in the Global Village. The Global Village covers travel and tourism businesses with a global presence, such as major hotel chains, industry organizations, educational institutions and ground transport. Greece is included in the top 10 most desired gay destinations globally for 2013, according to a report released by Out Now Business Class, the world’s leading LGBT business networking membership association. Athens also made its appearance in the same report as a favored “gay city destination” in the top 10 cities of Europe. Out Now’s recent research showed that the total tourism spend by LGBT travelers globally would exceed USD 165 billion. The LGBT travel market accounts for some 15% of international arrivals worldwide.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Wants Marines to Wear ‘Girly’ Hats

Shown here are the old Marine hats, left, compared to the new ones, right.New York Post

A change to the Marine Corps’ uniform hats could leave hard-nosed Leathernecks looking a lot less macho.

According to the New York Post, President Obama’s plan to create a “unisex” look for the Corps has officials on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps with a new hat that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Earth’s Water Likely Came From Very Early Asteroid Strikes

Earth got most of its water from asteroid impacts nearly 4.6 billion years ago, shortly after the solar system first took shape, a new study suggests.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Has the Time Come to Abandon Online Anonymity?

Sometimes it seems as though the only people who benefit from online anonymity are trolls. Has the time come to ditch it?

ANONYMOUS trolls. The phrase has become commonplace in accounts of online abuse. It can seem as if anonymity protects only scoundrels. Has the time come to abandon it?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

New UN Climate Report Ignores Reality

There’s an old saying that when presenting a legal case, if the facts are on your side, “pound the facts,” but if the facts are against you, “pound the table.” The report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on September 27th is an obvious example of pounding the table.

The facts, which the IPCC’s report admits to, albeit with obvious reluctance and a good deal of obfuscation, show that humanity’s impact on global climate is too small to justify concern and is certainly no reason for the costly programs governments are imposing. Yet the IPCC persists in asserting the opposite. They state that they are more convinced than ever that global warming is caused mainly by our greenhouse gas emissions and that the world face catastrophe if we don’t radically change our ways. Even though the IPCC’s past forecasts have been spectacularly wrong, the UN panel claims even higher confidence today — 95% — that they’ve finally got it right.

They haven’t. The IPCC’s theatrics are clearly an attempt to misdirect public, media, and government attention away from the scientific fact that climate change is overwhelmingly due to natural forces. People are emitting more carbon dioxide (CO2) than ever, from power plants, automobiles, and industrial activity, but the earth has not warmed for at least the past 15 years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The 25 Countries With the Most Brainpower

Which country has the largest stock of brilliant people? The answer to this question depends in part on raw brainpower, but also on the size of a country.

Exclusively for Business Insider, Dr. Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program research scientist and psychologist, compiled a new ranking of countries based on scores on the 2009 PISA assessment , which tests reading, math, and science competency in 15-year-olds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The Growing Terror Threat From Radical Women Converts

by Abigail R. Esman

In a photograph, the girl looks back with casual curiosity, her face scrubbed, her hair pulled a bit untidily behind her ears, her collar crisp, her tie askew, a charming and timeless portrait of the young Catholic schoolgirl in her teens.

Barely more than a decade later, she is called the world’s most dangerous woman, the Muslim terrorist known as the “white widow,” thought to have helped mastermind last month’s terrorist attacks in Nairobi in which 72 people, including several children, were massacred in a popular shopping mall.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/25/2013

  1. Now that he is OFFICALLY a NUT CASE… having proved to be a nut rather than JUST a common drug dealer by holding his family “hostage” , does this mean he gets a stay in a lush and lovely hospital rather than a plush and lovely German jail ??? I mean he is a muslim and gets coddling anyway by the tip toeing Germans, so would he NOT get some KIND and tender care after his ORDEAL???

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