Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/7/2013

According to a new report released by a Turkish NGO, there are more than 100,000 women or girls held as sex slaves in Turkey. Half of those enslaved are thought to be children.

In other news, former Czech President Vaclav Klaus says that his country must withdraw from the European Union. He believes that EU membership is destroying the Czech economy and society.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, Mary Abdelmassih, 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
» How Big Banks Can Steal Your Home From You Even if Your Mortgage is Totally Paid Off
» Obama Meets With Goldman Sachs for New Line of Credit — In Violation of US Law
» Unemployment in Jordan Reached 14% in August
» Asked if He’s Read 10,535 Pages of ObamaCare Regs, Sen. Warner Walks Away
» ATF Tries to Block Whistleblowing Agent’s Fast and Furious Book
» Coming Soon Obama’s Way: Grassroots’ ‘Drawing a Red Line 101’
» Death Panels 2016 (Video)
» Doctors: Time to File Lawsuits Against ObamaCare
» Epic Fail: 99% of ObamaCare Applications Can’t be Processed, ‘Nightmare Scenario’ Coming in January
» National Park Rangers Ordered to Keep Visitors Out of Privately Run Businesses
» Obama, Lincoln and the U.S. Will History Repeat Itself?
» ObamaCare Premiums Shock Consumers
» Santa Cruz County Residents With Health Insurance Find Rate Prices Stunning
» Survey — 83 Percent of US Doctors Have Considered Abandoning Their Practices Over ObamaCare
» The Face of Tyranny
» The Inhumanity of Harry Reid
» Twitter Shuts Down ‘Truckers for the Constitution’
» Two D.C. Attacks and a Series of Unfortunate “Coincidences”
» Use 25th Amendment to Remove Obama From Office!
» Was Self-Immolation at National Mall Protest Against Government Corruption?
Europe and the EU
» France: First Muslim Campus to be Built in Strasbourg
» Greece: Former Minister Found Guilty of Money Laundering
» Italy Leads Europe in Food Quality
» Italy: Wine Producers Angry at Swedish Label
» Lifestyles and Recession Delay Pregnancies in Italy
» London Conference Featuring Anti-Gay Islamic Preachers Cancelled
» Mosque in Bulgarian Town Attacked Yet Again
» Norwegian Government Shelves CO2 Capture Programme
» UK: Baby P’s Mother to Get Lessons on Hiding Her True Identity Ahead of Her Release From Prison in Wake of Vigilante Fears
» UK: Clerics at 18 Mosques Are Caught Agreeing to Marry Off Girls of 14: Four Imams Investigated After Undercover Operation
» UK: I Was Told I’d Have to Wear a Hijab, I Said ‘I Don’t Think So’: Today Programme’s First Muslim Presenter on Why She Won’t Wear the Veil
» UK: Shocking Dossier of Pilot Fatigue Released as EU Aims to Force Through ‘Insane’ New Flying Hours Rules That ‘Could Put Passengers’ Lives at Risk’
» UK: The LSE and the Notorious T-Shirt of Hate
» Václav Klaus Wants Czech Republic Out of the EU
North Africa
» Egypt: Dozens Killed and Hundreds Injured in Clashes Between Pro-Morsi Islamists and Police
» Egypt: ‘50 Dead’ In Clashes Amid Rival Demonstrations
» Militants Kill Six Egyptian Soldiers as Unrest Escalates
» Village Council Upholds Expulsion of Christian Family in Egypt
Middle East
» 35 Killed, 163 Wounded in Violent Attacks in Iraq
» Caretaker Foils School Bombing Attempt in Iraq
» Kuwait: Syrian Held at Airport With 500,000 Euros
» Syria: Jesuit Priest ‘Alive and Well’ In Hands of Al-Qaeda-Linked Captors
» Turkey: NGO: Over 100,000 Sex Slaves, Half Are Children
» Turkey: Halki Reopens if Greece Returns Favor, Says Erdogan
» Armenian Church to Canonize Martyrs of Genocide. Ankara Unhappy
South Asia
» 6 Killed, 12 Injured in Bomb Blast in Pakistan’s Peshawar
» Pakistan: Peshawar Car Bomb Kills Six People Engaged in Anti-Polio Vaccination
Far East
» Beijing to Buy Grain From the Ukraine
» Chinese Leaders’ Most Widely Read Books Reflect Their Fears
» Novartis Caught Red-Handed Fabricating Clinical Trial Data in Japan
Australia — Pacific
» Criminal Bikie Gangs Boost Numbers With Young Muslim and Eastern European Recruits
Latin America
» Brazil: Police Occupy Rio Slums
» Angolan Press Compares EU Ports to Concentration Camps
» EU Free Movement Under Threat From the North
» Former Lampedusa Migrant: ‘Nobody Helped’
» Greece: More Than 900 Attacks Against Immigrants in 3 Years
» Italy: Group of 155 Syrian Immigrants Land in Sicily
» Lampedusa Tragedy: Deaths Prompt Calls to Amend Asylum Rules
» One in Four Serious Criminals is a Foreigner, Says May as British FBI Gets to Work
Culture Wars
» Is “LGBT History Month” Bringing Porn to a School?

How Big Banks Can Steal Your Home From You Even if Your Mortgage is Totally Paid Off

Did you know that the big banks have a way to legally steal your house from you even if you don’t owe a single penny on your mortgage? Big banks and hedge funds are buying billions of dollars worth of tax liens from local governments all over the nation, and they are ruthlessly foreclosing on homeowners when they can’t pay the absolutely ridiculous penalties and legal fees that are tacked on to the original tax bill.

As you will see below, one 76-year-old man lost his $197,000 home that he fully owned over a $134 tax bill. A 95-year-old woman lost her $300,000 home over a $44.79 tax bill. This is a very, very dirty way to make money, and the predatory financial institutions that are involved in this business definitely do not want to talk about it.

Of course much of the blame should also be shouldered by the local governments that are coldly selling these tax liens to these ruthless predators. If local governments want to collect their tax bills, they should do it themselves. They should not be auctioning off their tax liens to cold-hearted financial institutions that are very eager to commit a legal version of highway robbery.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Meets With Goldman Sachs for New Line of Credit — In Violation of US Law

URGENT MEMO: The current U.S. President has chosen to meet outside of government law, possibly selling off additional parts of the nation’s sovereignty — to men in suits who are more than ready to capitalize on the current US budget crisis.

US Treasury head Jack Lew described the situation as follows: “If we have insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of America to meet all of its obligations for the first time in our history.”

Reuters wire reports today that US President Barack Obama has met with top bank chief executives to discuss ‘the government shutdown’, and the looming deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit.

The bank chiefs he met with included such upstanding money lenders as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Michael Corbat of Citigroup, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America — and it’s worth noting here that each and every one of these men have presided over one financial fraud or scandal of some kind over the last 5 years.

As it happens, JPMorgan just offered the Feds $3 Billion to end probes into its dodgy mortgage business.

Yes, Obama has met with Goldman Sachs and Co, in order to arrange for a new ‘debt ceiling’, or more accurately — a new line of credit. Only problem: he cannot do this during a shutdown. Such an act is in direct violation of the Antideficiency Act of 1870. It was a real law in fact, passed by Congress and also amended several times. This US law clearly prohibits a government office holders from incurring any monetary obligation — for which the Congress has not appropriated funds.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unemployment in Jordan Reached 14% in August

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, OCTOBER 7 — Unemployment in Jordan reached 14 percent this year, the highest rate in the past four years, official figures showed today.

The survey, conducted for the period until end of August this year, showed an increase by one percent from last year’s rate, according to department of statistics.

It also showed that joblessness among women was almost double compared to their male counterparts.

A significant finding revealed that unemployment among less qualified job seekers reached 36.5 percent.

Jordanian job seekers have been facing strong completion from expatriates and refugees seeking jobs.

The government this week said at least 800,000 Egyptians are working illegally and additional 160,000 work with work permits.

An army of Syrian refugees, whose number is officially put at more than one million are also competing in the local market amid declining foreign investment due to regional turmoil.

Unofficial figures have placed unemployment in the poor kingdom to 26 percent.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Asked if He’s Read 10,535 Pages of ObamaCare Regs, Sen. Warner Walks Away

( — When Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) was asked on Wednesday whether he has read all 10,535 pages of final Obamacare that the administration has so for published in the Federal Register, he first gave a response that did not address the question.

When Warner was asked the question a second time, he walked away without answering.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ATF Tries to Block Whistleblowing Agent’s Fast and Furious Book

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book for pay, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.

ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.

The ACLU is slated to become involved in the case Monday, informing ATF it is representing Mr. Dodson and filing a formal protest to the decision to reject his request to publish the already written book, sources told The Times, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Coming Soon Obama’s Way: Grassroots’ ‘Drawing a Red Line 101’

A bully boy president, who will be remembered long after he’s gone as the despicable ‘Poster Boy of Petty and Mean’

The main motive behind Barack Obama’s closing off open-air war memorials and Mount Rushmore from public view is to force attention back to him and his Mrs. as indisputable natural rulers of the world.

Hitler had it, Napoleon had it, radical Islam still practices it, and the Obamas got it in spades — an unquenchable thirst to be obeyed as unquestioned world leaders.

In Obama’s narcissistic thinking, he and only he is Mount Rushmore, the World War II War Memorial, and the only loyal lure that continues to bring people to cemeteries in Europe and around the world to honor the American war dead.

Obama resents all adulation of others, including the war dead.

“All bow down to Obama” is the mantra that lives full-time in his head, and when he gets his way about starting sex education in kindergarten, little kids will be taught the words to that song.

A quick skim through history proves that when leaders go mad in office real people suffer real pain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Death Panels 2016 (Video)

What will medical care be like when Obama is finished? I have some thoughts…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Doctors: Time to File Lawsuits Against ObamaCare

Obama’s health takeover ‘not a law because it’s unconstitutional’

Now that the unconstitutional Obamacare nightmare has kicked in, cable network anchors and guests are burning up the boob tube as well as talk radio. While it’s good the gigantic flaws of that monster are exposed, the one discussion that seems to be absent is why Obamacare is unconstitutional and details about the lawsuits making their way through the courts.

We know U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts hallucinated that Obamacare is a tax. Constitutional scholars and attorneys across this country, as well as informed citizens, were shocked. Had I been in the U.S. House at the time, I would have written the articles of impeachment and fought my best to see him removed from the bench. Likely, it wouldn’t have gone far, but putting the myth that federal judges and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for their lifetime without being held accountable in front of the American people would be a good thing. I highly recommend “How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary” by Dr. Edwin Vieira Jr., Ph.D., J.D.

I am very hopeful the lawsuit challenging the origination clause forcing employers to purchase health insurance for their employees or pay government fines will and should be successful because the U.S. Supreme Court has already spoken on that single issue:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Epic Fail: 99% of ObamaCare Applications Can’t be Processed, ‘Nightmare Scenario’ Coming in January

(NaturalNews) Obamacare is going to crash and burn from technical issues more than political concerns, it seems. You’ve probably already heard that virtually no one can sign up using the online Obamacare exchanges. The web forms are broken. The code is buggy. The data integration is a jaw-dropping failure.

This is why, all over the country and across the media, no one can seem to locate anyone who has successfully signed up through Even the one person the Obama administration rolled out as a “success case” turns out to be completely staged and fabricated.

But there’s even more shocking news about Obamacare that could utterly destroy any credibility the system might have remaining: Of those applications who somehow make it through the broken online sign-up system, 99% can’t be processed and will fail.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

National Park Rangers Ordered to Keep Visitors Out of Privately Run Businesses

The National Park Service has closed privately run marinas, restaurants and inns throughout the country and in some cases even posted guards to keep people from using them during the government shutdown, arguing that it doesn’t have the money, manpower or authority to let them operate.

But the moves, which likely have thrown thousands of people out of work, are drawing scrutiny from Congress and don’t rest well with many voters who believe the administration is making the effects of the shutdown worse than necessary.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama, Lincoln and the U.S. Will History Repeat Itself?

Since arriving on the national stage, many educated people have compared Barack Hussein Obama to Abraham Lincoln in glowing terms. Obama himself has an interesting, if not peculiar, love affair with the nation’s 16th president. From quoting Lincoln to emulating his historic activities, such as his 2007 speech on the steps of the Springfield Capitol and his 2009 train ride to history, Obama seems to have embraced and even assumed the persona of Lincoln.

There is one problem, however, by those who continue to elevate Obama to ‘Lincoln status,’ and for Obama himself. They are correct, but not for the reasons they promote. Meanwhile, Americans might be watching history preparing to be repeated, which does not bode well for the United States — the Union, or Obama — the man.

Despite the fact that there have been more books written about the life of Lincoln than any other U.S. President, the average person would be hard-pressed to learn the real truth about Lincoln from these works. The truth about Lincoln seems to be well protected from modern discovery by self-appointed ‘Lincoln scholars,’ as they have busily revised history to fit their official narrative. After all, Lincoln is considered to be the most important political figure in U.S. history because the Civil War “so fundamentally transformed the nature of American government.”(i) Accordingly, they cannot permit the truth to get in the way of an acceptable legend, as doing so might cause Americans to realize the extent of the lies we’ve been living under.

Students of non-revisionist history understand that the Civil War under Lincoln did indeed fundamentally transform the United States in a manner few will discuss, for it is this transformation that Obama is also emulating and refining.

As detailed in his book The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo states the following:

“Before the war, government in America was the highly decentralized, limited government established by the founding fathers. The war created the highly centralized state that Americans labor under today.” [emphasis mine].

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare Premiums Shock Consumers

Across North Carolina, thousands of people have been shocked in recent weeks to find out their health insurance plans will be canceled at the end of the year — and premiums for comparable coverage could increase sharply.

One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month — $980 more than he now pays.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Santa Cruz County Residents With Health Insurance Find Rate Prices Stunning

SANTA CRUZ — Chuck Griffen, a commercial real estate agent in Aptos, said he was stunned to hear how much his health insurance would cost next year.

He is looking at paying $1,150 a month, $13,800 a year, for a no-frills “bronze” plan with out-of-pocket expenses of $12,000 covering himself, his wife and his son, a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

“Half my income could go toward health care,” he said. “Anyone making over $60,000 is screwed. You’re penalizing middle-class people. I think there will be a huge outrage.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Survey — 83 Percent of US Doctors Have Considered Abandoning Their Practices Over ObamaCare

(NaturalNews) The implications of the so-called Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, are apparently so drastic that as many as 83 percent of private physicians have considered calling it quits. This is according to a new survey recently released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA), a nationwide physicians group dedicated to maintaining and protecting individualized care for all patients.

The survey, which included nearly 700 doctors from at least 45 U.S. states, revealed that most doctors and care providers are incensed by the nationalization of medicine, and believe that the transition from privatized care to government-run care will further erode the quality of healthcare in America. Not only will demand for patient care increase dramatically as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but pay for doctors will also decrease, which will drive many practices out of business.

“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the low-ball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” said DPMA co-founder Kathryn Serkes to The Daily Caller about the survey results.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Face of Tyranny

Barack Obama is the face of tryanny, a man for whom the Constitution, the democratic process and its need for compromise, exist only to be spurned

The history of civilization dating back some five millennia is one of unrelenting tyranny, rapaciousness, arrogance, and stupidity. The players and the places changed, but the slaughter was unremitting, the suffering broken only by occasional brief periods of peace, good weather and crops. For most of the past, war, famine, and disease killed most people.

During the famous soliloquy of Hamlet, he contemplates taking his own life, saying “There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long life — for who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office…”

This list of woes neatly sums up the times in which we live as Americans endure many of these same abuses from a President who seems to enjoy displaying his contempt for them. He has plunged the nation into the highest debt in its history, is using the government shutdown as a crisis to divert attention from recent failures, and is flirting with a national default that would create domestic and international havoc…all while blaming the Republicans, the real end game…

Any President who is happy to preside over closing the White House to public tours, who authorizes placing barricades around Washington War Memorial that is normally open 24 hours a day as well as the Normandy, France D-Day cemetery where our soldiers are buried, is more than merely heartless, but represents a level of evil intent never before seen in anyone who has held that office.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Inhumanity of Harry Reid

There are certain defining moments in life when circumstances reveal our true characters. On Wednesday of last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid experienced one of those defining moments. He revealed to the world a very dark and ugly core, a center that is crass even to the point of sacrificing life for his own selfish political agenda.

Reid had an exchange with CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that is one of the most remarkable events of his career. So obsessed with blaming Republicans for the partial government shut down, Reid is even willing to sacrifice children dying of cancer to score political points.


The House passed a measure to restore funding for children undergoing clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. Six new NIH studies are on hold. Some 20 children need access to NIH clinical trials but are being denied because of the shut down. Ten of those children are dying from cancer and are in critical need.

When put on the spot this past Wednesday about an emergency House bill that would ensure that these children were given the treatments they need, Harry Reid became incredulous, criticizing CNN’s Dana Bash for even asking him the question. Reid blasted Bash: “To have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing means you’re . . . irresponsible and reckless.”

In other words, Senator Reid thought the question impertinent and inconvenient, even though it directly concerned the fate of 30 children, including 10 with cancer. Indeed, Reid refuses to sign the bill or even bring it up for a vote. Of all people, the Senate Majority Leader, the one directly responsible for inaction on this critical bill, Harry Reid owes it to the American people to explain in detail why he is willing to sacrifice the lives of these children. This is no trifling matter. Reid will be partly to blame if any of these kids dies because they were not given access to the treatments.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Twitter Shuts Down ‘Truckers for the Constitution’

The group’s main gripe is the Obama administration’s policy of using taxpayer dollars to fund Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.

Twitter reacted to the news by almost immediately terminating the group’s account.

Attempting to access the organization’s page brings up the following message:

Although the group’s Facebook page currently has nearly 50,000 likes, its previous incarnation was also permanently deleted.

Facebook and Twitter’s targeting of ‘Truckers for the Constitution’ is yet another reminder that the social media giants have total contempt for the First Amendment and any form of political activism that is anti-Obama.

Despite the fact that Twitter routinely fails to shut down accounts that directly threaten violence, and is even slow in removing accounts belonging to terrorist groups (it took 5 days for them to shut down an Al-Qaeda account), its targeting of Truckers for the Constitution is ruthless in comparison.

Within hours of the group’s planned protest appearing in U.S. News & World Report and being linked up on the Drudge Report, the account was terminated.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Two D.C. Attacks and a Series of Unfortunate “Coincidences”

Miriam Carey, Aaron Alexis, hearing voices

So where do I get off considering connections between Carey and Alexis where none are apparent? Because, as I advised my listening audience this week, I’ve been connecting the dots long enough to see existing connections where none are apparent. In an environment in which an American president who openly commits treason (in the form of supplying military aid to al-Qaeda fighters in Syria) is not prosecuted with all due speed, journalists investigating the administration die in mysterious, fiery car wrecks; in which SEAL teams inexplicably perish within weeks after historic, sensitive operations, practically any scenario should be considered a viable possibility.

The rapid, pat assessments that were made with regard to Ms. Carey’s condition, history, and possible motivation for the attack were too… well, rapid and pat. These assessments, reported as having come from “sources,” also give rise to questions about the narrative with regard to the condition, history, and possible motivation of Aaron Alexis. Were these accounts of mental incapacity mere cover stories, crafted over time in advance, in order to validate the antisocial behavior that was to occur later, by design?

It would not be the first time it was suggested that our government or this administration engaged in PsyOps, sophisticated psychological manipulation techniques calculated to impel an individual toward a predetermined action…

No one would have ever believed beforehand that the President might conspire with his Department of Justice and other agencies to funnel weapons to Mexican drug lords in order to precipitate a panic over America’s rampant “gun culture” — but indeed, this occurred. Nor would Americans have thought that the President would clandestinely provide arms to the same Muslim fanatics who attacked us in 2001, then order an attack on the compound facilitating such action when it became a liability. No one would have believed that Obama would allow American personnel to perish at that compound in order to preserve his power.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Use 25th Amendment to Remove Obama From Office!

Much of Barack Obama’s flawed governance is attributed to his exceptional ability to distort the truth: That is, he is a damned liar!

However, Obama’s public pronouncements of late are so far removed from reality that one wonders if other forces are at work.

For instance, The One recently made headlines by declaring that increasing the debt ceiling will NOT increase the debt.

Before that, he emphatically stated that he did NOT draw a red line in the Syrian crisis.

And even as labor unions demand that Obamacare be changed or repealed, and as more and more employers take actions to avoid the stings of Obamacare, he insists that the ACA is not harming the economy and is good for the American middle class.

These examples should send a red flag to all members of Congress, namely: Is Barack Obama suffering from “diminished capacity,” and does that condition pose a threat to the national interests and security of the United States?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Was Self-Immolation at National Mall Protest Against Government Corruption?


The man who died last week after dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself on fire at the National Mall in Washington D.C. may have been staging a political protest against any number of the Obama administration’s corrupt activities, from the recent implementation of Obamacare to the barricading of national monuments in response to the government shutdown.

According to The Washington Post, a cameraman named Javier Soto reportedly snapped photos of the man as he began to set himself ablaze. Soto claims the man “gave the Capitol a crisp military salute,” before starting the fire with a lighter.

The fact the man was witnessed giving a military salute lends credence to the notion he was engaged in some form of civil disobedience or political protest; however, don’t expect the compliant lapdog national media to call it what it is.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

France: First Muslim Campus to be Built in Strasbourg

Funded by Turkey to train future imams

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, OCTOBER 7 — The first French-Turkish Muslim campus in France will be built in Strasbourg’s outskirts.

The project, fully funded by Turkey, will train France’s future imams with courses and exams exclusively in Arabic. There are currently only two private institutes in France for the training of imams: one school created by Paris’s Grand Mosque and one set up by the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF). In addition to the theology faculty and its five-year course of studies, there will also be a Muslim secondary school based on the Turkish imam hatip, as well as internships. “The secondary school will be a nursery ground for recruiting future students of theology. It will become the standard for Islam in France and Europe,” Libération was told by Saban Kiper, socialist councilor in the Strasbourg municipality. There will be at least six hours per week of courses on religion. Though the campus is still under construction, several different structures were purchased in 2010 and are currently undergoing renovation. One room will be set aside for prayer.

Libération cites data showing that Turkey is investing 15 million euros in “the most ambitious project ever for France’s Muslim community of Turkish origins’. The aim is to train the younger generation of French Muslims — born and raised in France — in the work of an imam, under the supervision of Diyanet, the Turkish religious affairs service. The newspaper states that this is a way for the Turkish government to “preserve its influence over its diaspora”. The training of imams has been under discussion in France — where the largest Muslim community in Europe lives, and where the deepest divides between different generations of Muslims exist — for the past twenty years. Only a third of imams receive a salary, while the other rely on donations from mosque-goers and are volunteers. “While the private institutes in existence do accept a certain quantity of students, few of them want to become imams.

Most sign up to learn Arabic or the basics of theology,” sociologist Romain Sèze told Libération. France’s young Muslims are generally not attracted to this work since it “is badly paid, there are few social protections in place and there is no work contract. Imams depend on mosques, mosque-goers and public authorities.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Former Minister Found Guilty of Money Laundering

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 7 — Judges at the criminal appeals court in Athens have found former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos guilty of money laundering. His sentence is due to be announced on Tuesday, as Kathimerini online reports. The charges relate to bribes that Tsochatzopoulos accepted in return for agreeing defense contracts in the late 1990s and early part of the next decade. According to reports, the court handed down guilty verdicts for 17 of the 19 suspects on trial after deeming they had cooperated with Tsochatzopoulos to launder the bribes through a network of offshore companies and property purchases.

Tsochatzopoulos’s trial lasted for five months, during which he denied the charges against him.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Leads Europe in Food Quality

Most geographic, traditional distinctions in EU, says Istat

(ANSA) — Rome, September 18 — Italy leads Europe when it comes to special recognition for the quality of its food, the national statistics agency said Wednesday. According to Istat, Italy boasts 248 products — from wine and cheese to deli meats and produce — that bear EU-recognized quality certifications, such as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG). The number, which reflects data as of December 2012, was 9 higher than the same time a year earlier.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Wine Producers Angry at Swedish Label

Farm group says reputation tarnished by counterfeit

(ANSA) — Rome, September 25 — Italian producers are outraged by a Swedish wine company they say is exploiting and mocking Italy simultaneously.

The company has tried to link its products with the high reputation of Salento wine, even though its products are not produced here, claims the Italian Farmers Confederation (Cia).

As well, it makes fun of Italy’s history as the home of the mafia and such infamous characters as Lucky Luciano, adds the Cia.

The Swedish product is marketed in northern Europe, but the producers group says it may be cutting into Italy’s export markets as counterfeit products are a serious problem.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lifestyles and Recession Delay Pregnancies in Italy

(AGI) Naples, Oct 6 — Changing lifestyles and the recession have resulted in Italian women having their first baby at an average age of 32.6 from 31.8 in 2004, Italian gynaecologists said on Sunday. Rounding up on Italian statistics at a four-day conference in Naples, the Italian gynaecologists’ association pointed to delayed pregnancies, lower infant mortality, fewer abortions and consistently high levels of teenage pregnancies.

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

London Conference Featuring Anti-Gay Islamic Preachers Cancelled

A north London conference featuring several anti-gay Islamic preachers, including one cleric who called for gay men to be “thrown off mountains,” has been cancelled. The Beloved to Allah event, due to take place at the Edmonton Islamic Centre today, drew controversy earlier this week after the gay rights campaign group ‘Hope Not Hate’ revealed the anti-gay preacher Abu Usamah at-Thahabi would be speaking…

[Reader comment by Cal on 7 October 2013.]

Worth keeping a close eye on this Edmonton Islamic Centre. There is so much talk about how ordinary Muslims are being tarred with the same brush as the extremists but this is entirely in their hands of Muslims. Was it respectable Muslims who complained about the presence of Abu Usamah at-Thahabi? No. British Muslims, clean up your act!

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mosque in Bulgarian Town Attacked Yet Again

Young men broke three of the windows of the mosque in Bulgarian town of Kazanlak on Saturday night, witnesses have said. Two young men broke the mosque’s windows by pelting them with stone and ran away from the place of the incident…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Norwegian Government Shelves CO2 Capture Programme

(AGI) Oslo — The Norwegian government has abandoned its plans to capture carbon dioxide and store it underground ..

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

UK: Baby P’s Mother to Get Lessons on Hiding Her True Identity Ahead of Her Release From Prison in Wake of Vigilante Fears


The mother of Baby P will be given detailed advice on how to hide who she is when she leaves jail in the coming days to avoid being tracked down and attacked by vigilantes.

Tracey Connelly, who allowed her son Peter to be tortured to death by her boyfriend, will be told to change her name and appearance after she was refused a new identity funded by the taxpayer.

The 32-year-old is expected to be freed by a parole board this week and will leave Low Newton jail near Durham for a parole hostel ‘within days’ where she will start her reintegration back into society…

Connelly was jailed indefinitely in 2009 after she admitted doing nothing while her little boy was tortured to death by her boyfriend Steven Barker and his paedophile brother Jason Owen.

Peter was just 17 months old when he was found dead in his blood-spattered cot at his mother’s flat in Tottenham, north London, after suffering 50 separate injuries, including a broken back.

The case provoked a national scandal after it emerged that social workers, police and doctors missed a series of warning signs that could have saved the child’s life.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Clerics at 18 Mosques Are Caught Agreeing to Marry Off Girls of 14: Four Imams Investigated After Undercover Operation

More than a dozen Muslim clerics have been caught agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14. Four imams are now under investigation, after they offered to arrange the illegal ceremonies. Undercover reporters, posing as the mother and brother of a 14-year-old, visited 56 mosques across the country and asked clerics to perform an Islamic marriage ceremony, known as a nika. Imams at 18 mosques agreed — including one who has advised the police. The preacher was prepared to arrange the nika despite being told that the ‘bride’ was being forced to move in with a man against her wishes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: I Was Told I’d Have to Wear a Hijab, I Said ‘I Don’t Think So’: Today Programme’s First Muslim Presenter on Why She Won’t Wear the Veil

The first Muslim journalist to present Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme has vowed never to wear a veil.

Mishal Husain — who joined the Today programme this morning — recalled the moment she was accosted by a fellow Muslim while boarding a train who told her she will soon have to adopt the face covering hijab.

She said: ‘He complimented me on my work and then said, “But you’ll have to wear a hijab one day.” “I don’t think so,” I replied.’

The Cambridge-educated journalist, 40, is the latest high-profile public figure to intervene in the debate about whether the veil is an acceptable item of clothing in Britain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Shocking Dossier of Pilot Fatigue Released as EU Aims to Force Through ‘Insane’ New Flying Hours Rules That ‘Could Put Passengers’ Lives at Risk’

Three airline pilots were asleep at the same time in the cockpit of a packed Heathrow-bound transatlantic passenger plane, shocking new testimony from flight crews reveals today.

A dossier of shocking cases of pilot fatigue have been released by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) in a bid to urge the Government to block changes to working hours imposed by Brussels.

The alarming dossier of fatigue cases is published today as the pilots’ leaders accuse ‘unelected’ EU Commissioners of trying to force through ‘insane’ new flying hours rules which they say will put passengers’ lives at risk by leaving more fatigued pilots asleep in their cockpits.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: The LSE and the Notorious T-Shirt of Hate

The London School of Economics (LSE) has been in the news recently thanks to a certain ex-lecturer who was a Marxist. But while Marxism retains some grip at faculty level in the LSE, it is — like many other universities — another variety of extremism that increasingly dictates events at student level…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Václav Klaus Wants Czech Republic Out of the EU

The former Czech President Václav Klaus said that Czech Republic must abandon the European Union. Klaus stepped down from the Czech Presidency in March.

On 3 October, Klaus has made perhaps his strongest statement and in a new book, he said the EU is contributing towards everything bad in Czech politics, society and the economy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Dozens Killed and Hundreds Injured in Clashes Between Pro-Morsi Islamists and Police

Hundreds arrested. The Alliance for the return of former President Morsi wants to mobilize schools and universities. Civillian population come to Army’s aid in clashes with Muslim Brotherhood accused of terrorism ..

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies ) — At least 50 people were killed in clashes between Islamists and police , while tens of thousands of other Egyptians participated in ceremonies marking the anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 ( the “ Yom Kippur “ ).

Supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, deposed in July, tried to enter the famous Tahrir Square with pro-Morsi placards and criticism of general Al Sisi , but clashed with the police who prevented their passage . According to witnesses, many civilians helped the police against the Islamists, who are accused of terrorism.

The Ministry of Health says that 45 people were killed in downtown Cairo, 5 south of the capital ; 268 were injured . The Ministry states the victims were killed by bullets and slingshots . Police arrested 423 pro — Morsi demonstrators, accusing them of having fired guns and throwing stones with slingshots .

Yesterday’s budget is the heaviest since August 14, when the army broke-up two Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins, in which a thousand people are believed to have died, including many soldiers , struck by the weapons held by the demonstrators .

Since the fall of Morsi, after impressive protests involving tens of millions of Egyptians , the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed , their leaders and many followers imprisoned. But the group is trying to polarize the situation, demanding Morsi’s return. For this they have vowed to continue protests , mobilizing schools and universities.

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

Egypt: ‘50 Dead’ In Clashes Amid Rival Demonstrations

At least 50 people have been killed and scores hurt in Egypt in clashes between police and supporters of the deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

More than 200 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested in Cairo, where most of the deaths were reported. Supporters of Mr Morsi marched in several cities, as the military-backed government marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Morsi supporters say he was deposed in a military coup in July…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Militants Kill Six Egyptian Soldiers as Unrest Escalates

Attack comes after supporters of Muslim Brotherhood were killed in clashes with security forces

Suspected militants killed six Egyptian soldiers near the Suez Canal and fired rocket-propelled grenades at a state satellite station in Cairo today, suggesting an Islamist insurgency was gathering pace three months after an army takeover…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Village Council Upholds Expulsion of Christian Family in Egypt

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — The family of a 22-year-old Coptic man, Kirollos Sabet, from Zakaria village, Minia province, said today their son is innocent of all accusations of having had an illicit affair with a Muslim woman. They also rejected the ruling to expel six family members from the village.

“We will leave only over our dead bodies,” said Mr. Sabet, Kirollos’s father.

According to the father, the parents of the Muslim woman in question had nothing to do with the Muslim attacks nor did they report any incident to the police, and affirmed that Kirollos had no relationship with their daughter. “They actually had their daughter undergo a gynecological exam, Said Mr. Sabet, “which proved the woman is ‘untouched’ [a virgin].”

The father said that Kirollos, who was arrested and imprisoned, was innocent of all allegations and “the whole story was fabricated by Muslim hard-liners from neighboring village to cause sectarian strife. It started when Kirillos was walking on the country lane, coincidently behind that Muslim woman, and he was followed by over ten young Muslim men who took him to an unknown location, beat him and warned him against having relationships with Muslim females. We kept quiet and did not want to make an issue out of it or report it to the police.”

Violence in Zakaria village erupted when a rumor circulated in the village of an illicit relationship between Kirollos and a 22-year-old Muslim woman, when a mob of Muslims called for revenge, demonstrated against Copts and started attacking Coptic homes and businesses (AINA 9-29-2013).

Under the supervision of Major General Osama Metwally, director of Minya security, a customary “reconciliation” meeting was held on September 29. The meeting decided that Kirollos was to pay the amount of 300,000 Egyptian pounds and the Muslim woman 150,000 pounds, because she allegedly willingly met the man. But because the woman is poor and cannot pay the amount, it was decided to add her fine to the fine of Kirollos. When Kirollos and his family protested this decision the arbitrators decided to expel him and his five brothers from the village.

Mr. Sabet said that security had arrested five of Kirollos’s young cousins without any reason and without charges. He said the family will not sit or talk with anyone before they are released.

After the failure of the first “reconciliation” meeting because of the refusal of the Coptic family to be expelled and the insistence of the village Muslims on their expulsion, a second “reconciliation” meeting was hold on October 2nd at Zakaria village. The meeting was again chaired by Major General Osama Metwally and was attended by senior Christian and Muslim families and some Muslim and Christian clerics, not including the Coptic church.

Rev. Khalil Ibrahim, pastor of Grace Apostolic Church, said the parties accepted the reconciliation terms, which upheld the expulsion of Kirollos and his father Sabet, as well as the Muslim woman, her mother and brother. The second “reconciliation” meeting decided that no compensation at all is to be paid to the Copts for the loss of their properties.

Questions are now being raised about whether there was an affair between the Muslim woman Kirollos. Muslims claim the woman was “psychologically unstable” and was exploited while the Copts say they can see again the “hands” of the security authorities in the matter, who want to expel the Copts, and the Muslim woman, who attended both meetings and who continued her denial of the affair, and her family were under pressured or given “financial incentives” to leave the village to give an excuse to expel the Copts as well. Copts also believe that the village Muslims want to get rid of affluent families like the Sabet family.

It is common in Egypt that after sectarian strife, the police arrest some of the Muslim perpetrators and innocent Copts as well, in order to use their release as a bargaining tool for the benefit of the Muslims.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih [Return to headlines]

35 Killed, 163 Wounded in Violent Attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — At least 35 people were killed and 163 others wounded in a wave of violent attacks across Iraq on Sunday, police said. At least seven people were killed and 13 others wounded Sunday evening when two car bombs went off near a Shiite mosque in New Baghdad area in eastern Baghdad, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Caretaker Foils School Bombing Attempt in Iraq

(AGI) Baghdad, Oct 7 — A woman attempting to plant a bomb at a primary school in Madain, south of Baghdad, was stopped by a caretaker and turned over to the military, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said on Monday. On Sunday a suicide bomber attacked a primary school outside northern Iraq’s Mosul, killing 14 pupils and a headmaster. Also on Monday, two bombs are reported to have killed four members of Al-Qaeda arch-rivals, Sahwa.

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

Kuwait: Syrian Held at Airport With 500,000 Euros

KUWAIT: A Syrian man was arrested at the Kuwait International Airport Friday with 500,000 euros in cash which he claimed were donations to be handed over to Syrian refugees. The man, who is in his forties, was preparing to board a plane heading to Turkey but was arrested after an inspection revealed the cash in his luggage. Head of the Search and Investigation Office at the Customs General Department, Rashid Al- Barakah, said in a statement to Al-Rai daily that the suspect was monitored from the moment he entered the airport with the money, and was searched after he failed to disclose the cash in his possession in accordance with the law. The man was referred to the proper authorities for further questioning because he failed to produce a license to transfer his alleged donation. The news was reported yesterday after Al-Rai revealed that local authorities are pursuing citizens, residents and companies suspected of having relations with money laundering and terrorism-funding operations.

[Return to headlines]

Syria: Jesuit Priest ‘Alive and Well’ In Hands of Al-Qaeda-Linked Captors

Beirut, 7 Oct. (AKI) — An Italian Jesuit priest who vanished in northern Syria last month is alive and is being well treated by the Al-Qaeda linked jihadist group holding him prisoner, an opposition activist told Adnkronos International (AKI).

“Paolo Dall’Oglio was seen on Saturday in an area of northern Syria where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is active, Khalaf Ali Khalaf told AKI.

He declined to name the sources of his information to protect them from reprisals.

Khalaf was referring to a jihadist group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which continues to be active in Iraq as well as in Syria.

Conflicting reports have emerged on Dall’Oglio fate since he vanished in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa on 28 July.

The Vatican and the Italian government said in August they could not confirm a report by a pro-Syrian-government website that the priest had been executed by his captors.

Syrian authorities deported the priest last year after he helped victims of authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad’s military crackdown from a monastery in mountains north of Damascus.

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

Turkey: NGO: Over 100,000 Sex Slaves, Half Are Children

NGO reveals in an extensive report on prostitution

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed in an extensive report on prostitution in the country quoted Saturday by daily Hurriyet. Up to 3,000 prostitutes work in brothels located in 55 of the 81 provinces of Turkey and 15,000 other registered prostitutes work with an official document, according to the report prepared by Sefkat-Der, a civil association founded to help marginalized segments of society. The most shocking aspect of the report, however, is that the number of women selling sex on the streets has climbed to over 100,000, half of whom are children. It stated that many underage girls from impoverished families, especially in eastern and southeastern provinces, had become victims of the “prostitution mafia.” Vulnerable children who have been the victim of abuse inside their own family, orphans, and mentally challenged children are also often prey for organized crime rings. The report added that women up to the age of 60 are working in brothels. Sefkat-Der attracted media attention last spring when it filed a petition to Parliament to ask for permission to open a brothel employing males, in protest at brothels where women are employed. For Sefkat-Der and women’s associations, the fact that there are more brothels in Turkey than women’s shelters has long been a cause of criticism of both the state and local government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Halki Reopens if Greece Returns Favor, Says Erdogan

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 7 — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated on Saturday that he expects Greece to offer a concession for Ankara approving the reopening of the Halki Seminary near Istanbul, as daily Kathimrini reported.

Erdogan suggested that in return for the seminary being allowed to function again, Greece should agree to the Muslim community in Thrace being allowed to appoint its own religious leader, or mufti, rather than the government in Athens doing so. “The Turkish government does not appoint the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios in Istanbul,” said Erdogan.

“The Greek community chooses its leader. Why, then, should the Greek government decide who should lead the Muslim community in western Thrace?” Erdogan also suggested that Ankara would be willing to reopen Halki “within a minute” if Athens allowed two Ottoman mosques in Athens to be rebuilt.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Armenian Church to Canonize Martyrs of Genocide. Ankara Unhappy

The ceremony should take place in 2015 , the centenary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. Armenian bishops from around the world at the synod which decided the canonization. The tensions between Armenia and Turkey take on “religious” character.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) — In a move that has surprised Turkey , the Armenian Church is going to proceed with the canonization of the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish State in 1915, using Kurdish laborers for the massacres. The scientifically perpetrated genocide by, is described by the Turkish historian Taner Akcam as “A shameful act “ (the title of his book ) . But the Ankara government has never recognized it and rejects the definition of “ genocide.”

Sources quoted by Turkish newspapers say the canonization will take place in 2015, the centenary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians killed in Asia Minor.

The main source of this news is ASAM, The research center of Turkey’s Eurasian strategy , according to which the great synod of the Armenian Church was summoned to Yerevan the capital of ‘ Armenia. There is one important fact: for the first time after 400 years — that is, after 1651 — bishops who came from all over the world attended this synod: a real novelty in the history of the Armenian Church.

The synod — held at the end of September — was attended by the Archbishop of Etsmiatzin , (considered the most sacred city for Armenians ), the Armenian Archbishop of Lebanon, where there is also a large community, which escaped the genocide ; the bishops of the United States, Jerusalem , South America, France and the places where there are Armenian communities of the Diaspora.

During the gathering the decision was made to canonize all the victims of ‘ horrific genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans first and then the Turks of Kemal Ataturk . The canonization will follow the formula of the tradition of the Eastern Churches, which is the proclaiming of the saints , stating the name of the place of martyrdom and not the names of the individuals.

The decision of the Armenian synod has shaken Turkey. The President of ASAM , Ömer Özkaya , says the decision has political motivations and he points out that all the bishops of the Armenian Church gathered for the first time after 400 years in order to give maximum visibility to the “alleged” (according to the Turkish ) Armenian Genocide , proceeding to the canonization of victims of genocide. Ömer Özkaya noted, however, that in this way , the Armenians , give another religious , dimension to the dispute between Diaspora communities and Turkey.

Another fact that has not escaped notice is that the synod was convened in religious heart of Armenia, Etsimiatzin , which is the great religious reference point for Armenians .

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

6 Killed, 12 Injured in Bomb Blast in Pakistan’s Peshawar

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — At least six people including four policemen were killed and 12 others injured on Monday morning when a bomb blast hit Pakistan’s northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar, local media and officials said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Peshawar Car Bomb Kills Six People Engaged in Anti-Polio Vaccination

The dead are two healthcare operators and four police officers in charge of peace and security . The bomb exploded in the early hours of this morning and targeted the entire convoy. The volunteers were preparing to distribute the vaccine in a group of houses. Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio is still “endemic “ ..

Islamabad ( AsiaNews / Agencies) — Six people are dead and at least 12 injured after a car bomb exploded targeting a convoy near a hospital in Budh bher district of Peshawar , Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province , in north- west Pakistan . According to preliminary reports, the target was a group of activists engaged in an anti -polio campaign in the past subjected to threats by the Taliban . The long wave of violence and Islamic extremism continues after marking the city of Peshawar. The string of bloody attacks dates back to September with the massacre at the All Saints church, which caused at least 200 deaths and hundreds of injuries, while authorities and security officers remain impotent, unable to stem the escalation of terror.

The bomb exploded at dawn this morning in Peshawar killing six people , including four policemen and two activists from a local peace committee , engaged in the distribution of anti -polio vaccines in the most critical areas of the country. The bomb was activated as the operators were reaching a group of houses . Previously, the Taliban had attacked and killed some health professionals also active in the campaign of prevention against the disease.

Pakistan is one of only three countries left in the world where polio is endemic. In 2011, it had 198 confirmed cases, the highest number of any nation in the world, but in 2012, this was brought down to 58 through a vaccination programme backed by the United Nations. Islamic extremists could however reverse this progress. So far this year, there have been 27 confirmed polio cases in Pakistan-the third highest total in the world after Somalia and Nigeria.

Two powerful Pakistani Taliban militants have banned vaccinations in North and South Waziristan over roughly the past year because of their opposition to US drone strikes. Gunmen have also killed over a dozen vaccination workers and police guards in different parts of the country. Many suspect the Taliban of carrying out these murders, although the group has denied the allegation.

Militants claim that the vaccine is meant to sterilise Muslim children and have accused health workers of being US spies.The allegation gained traction after the CIA used a Pakistani doctor to try to confirm the presence of Osama bin Laden in 2011 in Abbottabad, not far from the capital Islamabad, under the guise of an immunisation programme. Children are the big losers in this war between the Taliban and the government.

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

Beijing to Buy Grain From the Ukraine

Under a 50-year plan, Ukraine will eventually provide China with 3 million hectares, starting with 100,000. Although exact figures are unavailable, Ukrainian sources say that the price tag is at least US$ 2.6 billion. After acquiring land in Argentina and Brazil, Beijing is now looking to the fields of the former Soviet Union to meet its domestic demand.

Kiev (AsiaNews/Agencies) — With a massive investment of over US$ 2.6 billion, the Chinese government will plough up to three million hectares in Ukraine over the next 50 years.

The initiative, which is part of the China ‘s food security program , is to encourage more Chinese companies to farm abroad to create jobs and meet a growing demand for corn at home.

Ding Li, a senior researcher in agriculture at Anbound Consulting in Beijing, said that the process of urbanisation has increased demand. China had slightly over two million hectares of farmland abroad, he said. “So three million hectares would mean a very big project.”

If the agreement signed in June between the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and KSG Agro, Ukraine’s leading agricultural company, goes ahead, Ukraine should initially provide China with at least 100,000 hectares in farmland in the eastern Dnipropetrovs’k region.

XPCC, also known as Bingtuan, is a quasi-military organisation established in Xinjiang in the 1950s to reclaim farmland and consolidate defences against the Soviet Union, whose “granary” at that time was, ironically, the Ukraine, now among the top ten farm producing nations in the world.

Although China’s domestic grain output had grown for 10 straight years, demand for imported grain has also grown. Last year, it imported nearly 14 million tonnes of cereal and cereal flours, an increase of more than 150 per cent from 2011.

The trend goes against Beijing’s ambition for the country to remain 90 per cent self-sufficient in food production. Hence, the Chinese government in recent years has tried to encourage Chinese companies to invest in foreign agriculture.

The Beidahuang Group, China’s largest agribusiness, has already purchased 234,000 hectares to grow soya bean and corn in Argentina, whilst Chongqing Grain paid US$ 375 million for soya bean plantations in Brazil and US$ 1.2 billion for land in Argentina to grow soya beans, corn and cotton.

Last month, the Ukrainian daily Kyiv Post described the deal with China as an “unprecedented foreign investment” in Ukraine’s agriculture sector by the People’s Republic, made possible thanks to a loan from US$ 3 billion provided by the Export-Import Bank of China.

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

Chinese Leaders’ Most Widely Read Books Reflect Their Fears

CPC Central Committee’s Top Ten list is released. Only one foreign author, Thomas Friedman, is included with his ‘The World is Flat’, a look at rise and fall of the Soviet superpower.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — China’s fifth generation of Communist leaders mainly read books that highlight the achievements of China and those of the Communist Party, and are afraid that these successes could end soon, this according to the top ten most read books by Xi Jinping and his colleagues.

The only two titles that are not national bestsellers are The Rise and Fall of a Superpower, which looks at the collapse of the Soviet Union, and “The World is Flat”, a smash take by US author Thomas Friedman on globalisation. Both texts reflect the concerns of the new Chinese leadership over the possible collapse of the Party and the effects of the international economic world.

The list of the Top Ten was released by the CPC Central Committee. The books voted to the top ten list were chosen from among 103 titles.

The top 10 list is dominated by domestic authors discussing Chinese history, economics and politics. Pain and Glory by Jin Yinan, on how the Party came to power, ranked first. The Historic 30 years by Wu Xiaobo, about Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms, came in second and Zeng Guofan by Tang Haoming on the life of an eminent mandarin from the late Qing Dynasty

What to read has always been very important in the history of the Communist Party. In his early years in power, Mao Zedong published a list of books useful for revolutionaries.

For his part, former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is said to have read Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations over 100 times. His successor and current Premier Li Keqiang is said to recommend The Third Industrial Revolution by American economist Jeremy Rifkin.

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

Novartis Caught Red-Handed Fabricating Clinical Trial Data in Japan

(NaturalNews) Switzerland-based pharmaceutical kingpin Novartis is under investigation in Japan after two universities there recently caught the company engaging in scientific fraud. According to new reports, a former Novartis employee fabricated clinical trial data to exaggerate the benefits of the blood pressure drug Diovan (valsartan), which is currently licensed for use in more than 100 countries, and Japan’s Ministry of Health is now trying to determine whether or not Novartis in any way violated Japanese law with its actions.

Earlier this year, five papers authored by the once prominent Japanese cardiologist Hiroaki Matsubara were retracted by the American Heart Association (AHA), including the main publication of the well-known 2009 Kyoto Heart Study. Not long after, the legitimacy of the Jikei Heart Trial, which was first published in The Lancet journal back in 2007, was also called into question. As it turns out, both clinical trials were worked on by former Novartis employee Nobuo Shirahashi, who failed to disclose his affiliation with Novartis while serving as a member of the statistical analysis organizations for both studies, and both studies were riddled with serious errors.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Criminal Bikie Gangs Boost Numbers With Young Muslim and Eastern European Recruits

SUBURBAN Sydney has become the breeding ground for a new generation of bikies, as Gold Coast gangs target young Muslim and eastern European men.

Police sources said gangs such as the Bandidos were embracing multiculturalism, signing up Lebanese, Turkish and Balkan members from across Sydney as they seek to beef up their ranks…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Brazil: Police Occupy Rio Slums

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Police moved into 13 slums in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro Sunday, as part of the government’s policy of clamping down on crime in the lead-up to next year’s FIFA World Cup football games. Police moved into the 13 slums, or “favelas,” collectively known as Lins located near the Joao Havelange Stadium, one of the World Cup venues, in what is officially known as a “pacification” campaign of the city’s poor crime-ridden neighborhoods. According to Rio’s Security Secretariat, city slums have for decades been under the control of drug traffickers.

The operation, backed by the military in 14 tanks, saw more than 1,000 police pour into the slum neighborhoods, home to about 15,000 residents, in less than an hour…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Angolan Press Compares EU Ports to Concentration Camps

(AGI) Luanda, Oct 7 — The cruelty of European politicians “is unlimited, […] not even the Nazi concentration camps were as guarded and sinister as the ports and airports of Europe today”, accused the newspaper Jornal de Angola, in an editorial entitled “Europe of shame” which pointed the finger at the EU after the deaths of hundreds of refugees off Lampedusa last week. “Europe has a new Berlin Wall and it has been transformed into a fortress insensitive to suffering,” thundered the newspaper. “No one can be insensitive to the carnage at Lampedusa and the tragedies occurring on European territory as a result of mistaken and inhuman migration policies”, it continued.

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

EU Free Movement Under Threat From the North

A proposal by Members of the European Parliament for legislation that would limit immigration from the EU’s troubled southern economies to its more affluent ones has made it for discussion all the way into the College of Commissioners according to a number of reports in Greek newspapers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former Lampedusa Migrant: ‘Nobody Helped’

Abu Kurke of Ethiopia is all too familiar with the dangers of trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa by boat from Africa. He told DW his tale of survival — and of the images he hopes to forget.

News of the drowning of more than 300 migrants seeking refuge in Lampedusa, Italy from Africa brought back painful memories to Abu Kurke of Ethiopia. He was one a handful of survivors in a traumatic tale of sea-crossing endurance that ultimately brought him to the Netherlands.

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Greece: More Than 900 Attacks Against Immigrants in 3 Years

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, SEPTEMBER 26 — The head of the Pakistani Community in Greece, Javed Aslam, was on Thursday expected to provide evidence to the authorities concerning more than 900 racially-motivated attacks against immigrants over the past three years. In comments made to Skai on Thursday, as Kathimerini online reports, Aslam alleged that many of the attacks were committed inside police stations. Alsam said that police officials have repeatedly refused to record incidents reported by the victims of racist attacks. A report presented to Parliament by Ombudsman Calliope Spanou on Wednesday warned that the “rise in racist violence, the impunity of the assailants and the lack of action from state authorities are undermining social cohesion and the state’s foundations.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Group of 155 Syrian Immigrants Land in Sicily

(AGI) Palermo, Oct 7 — Most of 155 Syrian refugees that landed in Syracuse late on Sunday night are women and children. The immigrants reached the port on a patrol boat of the Coast Guard who rescued them off the Sicilian coast. They are all in good health.

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

Lampedusa Tragedy: Deaths Prompt Calls to Amend Asylum Rules

After over 180 African refugees died when their boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa last week, Europe is debating its asylum policy with renewed vigor. Politicians are calling for the EU to distribute the burden more fairly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One in Four Serious Criminals is a Foreigner, Says May as British FBI Gets to Work

Up to one in four organised criminals targeting Britain is from overseas, according to a damning Government assessment.

Ministers believe they include at least 7,400 so-called ‘high-harm’ foreign offenders linked to violence, drug-dealing and fraud.

They want to redouble efforts to throw foreign criminals out of the country under measures that will see immigration officers at every police station.

Home Secretary Theresa May will today announce plans to expand a London scheme nationwide to eject thousands more crooks from Britain.

Officials will identify and process foreign suspects as soon as they are arrested, checking whether they are wanted abroad or are here illegally.

Where there is evidence, foreign criminals will be prosecuted, deported and banned from returning for a decade.

Computer records of suspected serious offenders will be marked with a ‘red flag’ to prevent them applying for British nationality while they go through the courts.

New powers will also be used to force criminals to conduct appeals from abroad to prevent them using human rights laws to remain in the UK.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is “LGBT History Month” Bringing Porn to a School?

The Equality Forum is pushing the move. And a pro-family group in California is screaming a warning that children will be exposed to homoerotic pornographic materials and erotic art images. There is no way that this movement could produce anything short of dangerous sexual eroticism. And one specific “homosexual” will be celebrated for each day.

“It is deeply disturbing that the organizers of LGBT History Month think our kids should be celebrating homoerotic authors and porn producers,” Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said.

It is more than disturbing when looking at the list of those the Equality Forum deems worthy of a celebration for “LGBT history month.”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/7/2013

  1. Quote:
    The tensions between Armenia and Turkey take on “religious” character.

    There is always tension between the Prince of the World and God; darkness has nothing to do with light.

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