Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/10/2013

More than 10,000 people are feared dead in the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Rescue efforts are being hampered by looters, who are reportedly going so far as to attack convoys carrying relief supplies.

In other news, the Greek coastguard intercepted a ship in the eastern Aegean carrying 20,000 Kalashnikov rifles. The destination of the ship, which carried a Sierra Leone flag, is unknown. The captain and some of the crew members were Turkish.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Kitman, 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
» Agents of the Coming Dis-Order
» 52 Million Losing Health Care and ObamaCare Toll Still Counting…
» Bill Moyers on Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement is Death for Democracy — Video
» Conservative, Christian, & Independent News Services Days Numbered: Learn the Truth While You Can
» Facebook Director Andreessen’s Firm Sells Third of Shares
» For the First Time Ever, A Prosecutor Will Go to Jail for Wrongfully Convicting an Innocent Man
» Hide Yourselves: The Terminator is Here!
» JFK Was Killed ‘By a Mystery Bullet’: Nurse Who Tried to Save President
» Lawmakers Push to Impeach Disgraced Attorney General Holder
» Massachusetts Moves to Inspect Gun Owners’ Homes
» Maybe We’re Making it Too Easy for the Machines to Take Over
» Obama Threatens GOP With Executive Orders on ‘Drawer Full’ Of Ideas
» Police State: Cops Use Physicians to Probe a Suspect’s Rectum
» Third Tesla S Model Catches Fire After Crash
» Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: The Most Dangerous Volcano in America is Roaring to Life
Europe and the EU
» Costa Concordia: British Man Arrested on Board Stricken Cruise Liner While ‘Hunting for Souvenirs’
» France ‘Still Feeling’ The Legacy of WWI 100 Years on
» Greece Intercepts Mystery Ship With 20,000 Kalashnikovs Onboard
» Italy: Judiciary Body Moves to Drop Case Against Berlusconi Judge
» Italy: Berlusconi Regional Councilor Arrested in Campania
» Italy: Centre-Right PDL Dove Says Party Could Split in Two
» Italy: Parmalat Net Profit Gains 13% in First Nine Months of 2013
» Italy: BPM Chairman: Three Directors Resign From Bank
» Italy: 400 Probed in Car-Accident Insurance Scam
» Italy: Generali 3rd Quarter Net Profits Rise 40.4% to 1.6 Bn Euros
» Italy: Florence Mayor Leads Polls to Head Center Left
» Italy: ‘Mecca’ Disco Changes Name Amid Muslim Protests
» Italy: Charges Pressed Against Senator for Racist Orangutan Remarks
» Italy: Viewer Tries to Embarass Foreign Minister Bonino on TV
» Italy: Grillo Lambasts Attack on M5S by ‘Mummified’ Politicians
» Man Shot in Swedish Cemetery Attack
» Nurses Warn: Swedes Put iPads Ahead of Newborns
» Riot Police Use Tear Gas on French Tax Demo
» Spanish Police Arrest 25, Free 5 Women, While Breaking Up Nigerian Sex Slave Ring
» Sweden: Injuries at ‘Disgusting’ Neo-Nazi Rally
» Sweden: Small Scuffles at Stockholm Neo-Nazi March
» Three Christian Warriors Who Battled Heresy Whilst Waging War
» UK: How 3,500 Hospital Patients Lost Their Lives Due to Surgical Errors or Staff Who Were Too Busy to Treat Them… in Just Twelve Months
» UK: Muslim Convert Tasered by Police Was Heard Chanting That He Wanted to Kill Non-Muslims Before Trying to Kill Policemen and Firefighters in Knife Rampage
» UK: Theresa May Targets Radical Mosques in New Terror Clampdown After Seven Suspects Go on Run Despite Strict Control Laws
» Vive French Foreign Minister M. Laurent Fabius!
» Croatia: Vukovar Bans Serbian Language, Belgrade Protests
North Africa
» Libya: Support Expressed by Italy, France, UN and UK
» Libyan PM Warns of Foreign Intervention if Chaos Persists
» Libyans Take to Streets to Protest Against Congress
» Salafists Take to Tunis Streets for Islamic Caliphate
Israel and the Palestinians
» Arab Spring in Gaza: Ready to March Against the Hamas Terror Government
» Frustrated Kerry’s Peace Critique a Heavy Slap in Netanyahu’s Face
» Hamas Hires First Spokeswoman to Promote Softer Image
» Palestine Gets Ambassador in Brussels
Middle East
» ‘Crisis of Faith’ Between Israel and US Over Possible Iran Deal
» Foreign Workers, Police Clash in Saudi Capital
» Iran MPs Accuse Fabius of Backing Israel in Talks
» Netanyahu: Iran Deal is Bad and Dangerous
» Obama’s Iranian Deal is a New Disaster
» Qatar: Young Emir to Partake in Islamic Prayer for Rainfall
» ‘Rojava’ — Western Kurdistan Rising in Syria
» Syrian Conflict Has Led to ‘New Palestinian Diaspora’
» Talks on Iran’s Nuclear Programme Collapse at the Eleventh Hour After France Says it Will Not be Forced Into a ‘Sucker’s Deal’
» Turkey: Erdogan for Single-Sex Dorms, To Further Islamicize Country
» Turkey ‘Conservative’ On Women’s Role, Survey
» Turkey: Italian Archeologists Dig Under the Eye of Al-Qaeda
» Turkish Defense Industry’s Export Reaches USD 1.1 Bln
South Asia
» Sri Lanka Inaugurates Second Highway, ‘Made in China ‘
Far East
» At Least 10,000 Feared Dead After Philippine Typhoon
» From India to the Philippines, Coconut Yields Drop
» Philippine Typhoon Deaths Climb Into Thousands
» Philippine Red Cross Says Typhoon Relief Efforts Being Hampered by Looters
Sub-Saharan Africa
» South Africa: ‘Birthday Rapist’ Gets 39 Life Terms
» Ethnic Minority Students Still Trail Native Dutch
» Italy: ‘All Lampedusa Disaster Boat Women Raped’
» Italy: Ukranian Immigrant Wins €4mln With Lottery Ticket
Culture Wars
» Dad Branded Unfit Parent for Refusing to Take Son to McDonald’s, Lawsuit Says
» Homosexual Activists’ Next Stop: Your Church & Ministry
» Modern Culture is Rejecting Biblical Morality
» The American Psychiatric Association Wants Pedophilia (Sex With Children) Normalized
» The Fastest Growing Religion in America is Witchcraft

Agents of the Coming Dis-Order

Now consider the Federal Reserve, an entity closely tied to the policies and policymakers of the CFR [Council of Foreign Relations].

We all are familiar with the term “prime rate.” That is the lowest interest rate set by the Fed (the rate paid by large banks that borrow from them and then increase the interest rate as they lend the money to you, i.e., “prime-plus”). The prime rate fluctuates frequently and regularly, with interest rates determined by the Fed in an attempt to manipulate inflation and recession, followed by immediate reaction by the stock market in response to whichever direction the variable interest takes. In a brochure by Thomas D. Schauf, a certified public accountant, the Fed is exposed totally. He encourages reprinting his brochure freely, so I have quoted some of his information below:

“The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) can write a check for an unlimited amount of money to buy government bonds and the US Treasury prints the money to back up the check. UNBELIEVABLE… IT’S TRUE. Read National Geographic, January 1993, pg. 84. Go to the library and read the books exposing this SCAM. The Fed is a private bank for profit…just like any business. Check the Encyclopaedia Britannica or, easier yet, look in the 1992 Yellow Pages. The Fed is listed under COMMERCIAL BANKS, not GOVERNMENT. The Fed is no more a Federal agency than Federal Express.”

Schauf goes on to explain some of the intricacies of how the Fed prints currency, then sells it to the government in exchange for government bonds, on which we pay interest, and that become part of the national debt that we, the taxpayers, are obligated to repay. Then the Fed sells these instruments to others, including foreign agencies, spreading around, as it were, our debtors. It seems the Fed doesn’t want to keep all its eggs in one basket, or, to put it another way, if it spreads around the debt, it also spreads around the risks. Just remember, as it sells off this debt and receives funds or obligations for funds in exchange, it hasn’t yet done anything to earn this money but authorize the printing of the currency. A pretty good scam, isn’t it? For a more detailed account of how all this works, I recommend reading Wright Patman’s A Primer on Money.

This system can be bypassed; we can print our own money, as the Constitution requires. “On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy (JFK) [issued] Executive Order 11110 [one of the rare instances when this executive power was used for something worthwhile] [and] printed real US dollars with no debt or interest attached, because he bypassed the Federal Reserve Bank. Upon his death the printing ceased and the currency was withdrawn. Want proof? Ask any coin-dealer for a 1963 Kennedy dollar… It says ‘United States Note,’ NOT ‘Federal Reserve Note’“ (Thomas D. Schauf, CPA, FED-UPTM, in a tax petition letter to concerned citizens, viewable here: last accessed September 25, 2013)…

By 1979, just six years after the TLC was founded, its activities were already known well enough to be addressed by retiring Arizona senator Barry Goldwater in his autobiography, With No Apologies. Goldwater writes:

“In my view the Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate four centers of power — political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical. All this is to be done in the interest of creating a more peaceful, more productive world community. What the Trilateralists truly intend is the creation of a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved. They believe the abundant materialism they propose to create will overwhelm existing differences. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

52 Million Losing Health Care and ObamaCare Toll Still Counting…

Even as President Barack Obama sold a new health care law in part by assuring Americans they would be able to keep their insurance plans, his administration knew that tens of millions of people actually could lose those their policies. “If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period,” Obama said as he pitched the plan, the unqualified promise he made repeatedly. Yet advisers did say in 2010 that there were large caveats and that anyone whose insurance plan changed would lose the promised protection of being able to keep existing plans. And a report in 2010 said that as many as 69 percent of certain employer-based insurance plans would lose that protection, meaning as many as 41 million people could lose their plans even if they wanted to keep them and would be forced into other plans.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bill Moyers on Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement is Death for Democracy — Video

– — From the video’s introduction at Vimeo:

The pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is deliberately shrouded in secrecy, a trade deal powerful people, including President Obama, don’t want you to know about. Over 130 Members of Congress have asked the White House for more transparency about the negotiations and were essentially told to go fly a kite. While most of us are in the dark about the contents of the deal, which Obama aims to seal by year end, corporate lobbyists are in the know about what it contains.

And some vigilant independent watchdogs are tracking the negotiations with sources they trust, including Dean Baker and Yves Smith, who join Moyers & Company this week. Both have written extensively about the TPP and tell Bill the pact actually has very little to do with free trade.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Conservative, Christian, & Independent News Services Days Numbered: Learn the Truth While You Can

The Federal Communications Commission is planning a broad probe of political speech across media platforms, an unprecedented move that raises serious First Amendment concerns. The FCC’s proposed “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” which is set to begin a field test in a single market with an eye toward a comprehensive study in 2014, would collect a remarkably wide range of information on demographics, point of view, news topic selection, management style and other factors in news organizations both in and out of the FCC’s traditional purview. The airwaves regulator would also subject news producers in all media to invasive questioning about their work and content.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Facebook Director Andreessen’s Firm Sells Third of Shares

Facebook Inc. (FB) Director Marc Andreessen’s venture-capital firm sold a third of its holdings in the world’s biggest social-networking service after the stock price reached a record last month.

Andreessen Horowitz sold 2.28 million shares on Nov. 6, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The shares were sold at about $49 to $50 apiece, making the divestment worth more than $111 million, the data show. The firm still holds 4.57 million shares.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

For the First Time Ever, A Prosecutor Will Go to Jail for Wrongfully Convicting an Innocent Man

Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. When trying the case as a prosecutor, Anderson possessed evidence that may have cleared Morton, including statements from the crime’s only eyewitness that Morton wasn’t the culprit. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the next 25 years, Anderson’s career flourished, and he eventually became a judge.

In today’s deal, Anderson pled to criminal contempt, and will have to give up his law license, perform 500 hours of community service, and spend 10 days in jail. Anderson had already resigned in September from his position on the Texas bench.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hide Yourselves: The Terminator is Here!

Did movies like The Matrix and Terminator creep the living daylights out of you and left you wondering, what if, all this is a glimpse of the Armageddon that is all set to hit us in the future? Worry no more, for we, as humanity, are all set to serve our doom on a silver platter, and with a two million dollar grand prize! DARPA is all set to conduct the first ever “Cyber Grand Challenge” that will allow competitors to create unmanned computer systems that will wage cyber war against one another to win the grand prize of $2 million! What more goes into this? Let’s take a look.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

JFK Was Killed ‘By a Mystery Bullet’: Nurse Who Tried to Save President

A nurse who was part of desperate attempts to save the life of President John F Kennedy after he was assassinated has claimed he was shot by a ‘mystery bullet’.

Phyllis Hall, who was 28 at the time, says she was dragged into the operating room by a secret service agent as medics scrambled to help the president, who was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963.

While cradling his head, which had been torn apart by gunshots fired from the famous ‘grassy knoll’, Mrs Hall says she spotted an unusual bullet, which was promptly removed and never seen again.

She described the bullet in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, which she said looked completely undamaged, and bore no resemblance whatsoever to bullets later shown as evidence in investigations into the President’s murder.

She said: ‘I could see a bullet lodged between his ear and his shoulder. It was pointed at its tip and showed no signs of damage. There was no blunting of the bullet or scarring around the shell from where it had been fired.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lawmakers Push to Impeach Disgraced Attorney General Holder

After having already been held in criminal contempt of Congress for an ongoing cover-up of the Obama administration’s deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running program, disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder is facing a fresh challenge: an effort by some GOP lawmakers to impeach him before the end of the year. According to media reports, the bid to force Holder out of power, if successful, would represent the second impeachment of a cabinet member in American history. Meanwhile, the movement to impeach Obama himself is growing stronger by the day as well — both in Congress and among everyday Americans.

News that a group of Republicans was finally planning to do something about Holder’s lawlessness and defiance was first unveiled during a town-hall meeting by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), a liberty-minded freshman in Congress who worked as a veterinarian before taking office. “It’s to get him out of office — impeachment,” Yoho was quoted as saying about the plan in local newspapers, which reported that the audience also applauded the lawmaker’s positions on a number of other issues such as opposition to ObamaCare and the wild federal deficit…

Holder “should be immediately impeached,” noted the Capitalism Institute, citing Fast and Furious, the targeting of journalists who challenge Obama, and the fact that the attorney general has “constantly trampled” on the Constitution. One of the biggest challenges, though, will be getting it past Speaker Boehner. “We’ve constantly said that John Boehner has to go, and this is a good example of why that’s still the case,” continued the popular market-oriented group. “Boehner is in a position where he can pretend to fight Obama most of the time — but defend him whenever it actually counts.”…

Led mostly by Republican congressmen, the effort to hold Obama’s attorney general accountable has been building up for years. Even before he took office, scandal had long been swirling around Holder, who was caught on video proposing a tax-funded propaganda program to “brainwash,” in his words, the American public against gun rights. He also played a key role in securing presidential pardons for billionaire fugitive Marc Rich and Marxist terrorists with the Obama-linked Weather Underground. Immediately upon his assuming control of the Justice Department, new controversies began blowing up, and a seemingly never-ending series of increasingly serious scandals have plagued his controversial tenure ever since.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Massachusetts Moves to Inspect Gun Owners’ Homes

In Massachusetts, a bureaucrat wants police to enter private residences and “safeguard” guns under the pretense that violating the Constitution will be good for the children.

Barry Greenfield, a Swampscott, Massachusetts selectman, cited a state law requiring citizens to keep their firearms locked up and rendered inoperable.

“We need the ability to enforce the state law,” Greenfield said.

In an email to a constituent concerned about the proposal, Greenfield cited school shootings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Maybe We’re Making it Too Easy for the Machines to Take Over

We have seen the future, and it’s starting to look a lot like Skynet. That self-aware computer system — yes, the one that tries to exterminate the human race in the Terminator movies (and one TV show) — is a potent symbol of Frankensteinian hubris. It is mirrored in the Singularity, the idea that technological progress will soon hit exponential growth, leading to self-aware robots and artificial intelligence that seize control of their own destiny, rendering humans irrelevant if not extinct. Scientists are already researching computer chips and networks that act like the human brain. These chips could allow computers to learn and act on their own in ways that we never thought possible. I saw researchers demonstrate a simple robot with one of these chips that was given an order to stand up. It squirmed, it stumbled … and it stood, having learned that behavior on its own. We may look back one day and see this as the first step towards our doom.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Threatens GOP With Executive Orders on ‘Drawer Full’ Of Ideas

President Obama on Friday night continued throwing his entire second-term agenda against the wall to see what sticks, challenging Republicans to join him and support more federal spending, pass immigration reform and tackle other challenges.

But should the GOP stand in the way, the president indicated he’s willing to use executive orders to accomplish his aims.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Police State: Cops Use Physicians to Probe a Suspect’s Rectum

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

In arguably the most bizarre and disturbing case in U.S. history involving a routine traffic stop by a police officer, a New Mexico man was subjected to an illegal search that would make the President of the United States wince if it had occurred at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military detention center to a terrorist who killed innocent Americans.

“This case is the strangest example of police abuse to come down the pike in my lifetime as a police officer,” said former NYPD detective Iris Aquino. “What I see in this horror story is an out-of-control police department run by an out-of-control police chief [Brandon Gigante] who was helped by an out-of-control judge.”

“Besides police state tactics, this case of a Fourth Amendment would make Hitler’s favorite medical doctor, Dr. Josef Mengele, the ‘Angel of Death,’ proud of the New Mexico physicians who violated an innocent man and violated the Hippocratic oath…

Just imagine if this entire episode had occurred involving an illegal alien or a suspected Muslim terrorist. I’m willing to bet a month’s salary that the case would have been the top news story throughout the country and the victim of this police use of excessive force would probably have received a telephone call from President Barack Obama,” said Mike Baker, a political strategist and attorney.

But this case involved a white male and white males are considered the enemy by the radicals in the U.S. government. The madness of the federal bureaucracy appears to be ‘dripping’ onto local authorities including some police agencies,” Baker added.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Third Tesla S Model Catches Fire After Crash

All three fires involved some sort of accident. None of the fires occurred in undamaged vehicles, Tesla Motors pointed out.

The latest fire happened in Tennessee on Wednesday. The first fire happened in Washington State in October and the second was reported to have occurred in Mexico later that same month. A Tesla spokeswoman said the automaker is unaware of any other fires in Tesla cars. There are currently 19,000 Model S cars in use globally, according to Tesla.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: The Most Dangerous Volcano in America is Roaring to Life

Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate. In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year. The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano — the largest volcano in North America. Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable.

A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable. When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up.

The Yellowstone supervolcano is so vast that it is hard to put it into words. According to the Daily Mail, the magma “hotspot” underneath Yellowstone is approximately 300 miles wide…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Costa Concordia: British Man Arrested on Board Stricken Cruise Liner While ‘Hunting for Souvenirs’

The Brit was one of four divers detained after being found with a Costa Concordia rucksack

A British diver is being held by police after he was allegedly caught red handed on the wreck of the Costa Concordia hunting for souvenirs.

The 42-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested along with an Irish man and two South Africans who all worked for salvage group Titan, which has been working to raise the Concordia from the seabed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France ‘Still Feeling’ The Legacy of WWI 100 Years on

As France prepares to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War, historian Nicolas Offenstadt, one of the leaders of the country’s official Commemoration Mission, explains why the conflict is still significant.

France on Monday November 11 remembers the Armistice that marked the end of the First World War in 1918 after four years of bloody conflict that cost millions of lives. France’s staggering casualty list included around 1.4 million killed in a war that has left an indelible imprint on the national consciousness.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece Intercepts Mystery Ship With 20,000 Kalashnikovs Onboard

The Greek Coastguard has intercepted a Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship with around 20,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles on board. The intended destination of the vessel, halted near the Imia islets in the eastern Aegean, remains unknown.

The cargo ship Nour M, intercepted on Thursday night, was taken to the island of Symi the following morning under the escort of Coastguard vessels, where it was soon thereafter led to the island of Rhodes.

The vessel’s Turkish captain and seven crew members, two of whom were Turkish and five of whom were Indian, were placed under arrest, coastguard sources told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Judiciary Body Moves to Drop Case Against Berlusconi Judge

Esposito may still be disciplined over unusual interview

(ANSA) — Rome, November 7 — A committee from the Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, on Thursday moved to drop a case against a supreme court judge over a controversial interview he gave after leading the panel that upheld a tax-fraud conviction against ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi in August.

However, Antonio Esposito may still face proceedings as a prosecutor at the supreme Court of Cassation is looking into whether there is a disciplinary case to answer.

The interview with Naples-based daily Il Mattino days after Berlusconi received his first definitive conviction following two decades of legal battles caused a massive furore.

It was a highly unusual move as a court usually only comments on its sentences in a written explanation generally published over a month after the verdict is announced.

Esposito said he was talking only in general terms and the newspaper had misconstrued his comments to make it seem like he was referring specifically to Berlusconi’s case.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Regional Councilor Arrested in Campania

Suspected of illegal hospital contracts

(ANSA) — Naples, November 7 — A regional councilor from the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi was arrested Thursday amid an investigation into illegal cleaning contracts at a hospital. Angelo Polverino, a PdL councilor from Campania, is suspected of facilitating unlawful contracts at the hospital of St. Anne and St. Sebastian in the city of Caserta, near Naples. Police said doctors and officials from the State health program were also involved.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Centre-Right PDL Dove Says Party Could Split in Two

Italian reform minister says Berlusconi will lose seat anyway

(ANSA) — Rome, November 8 — Italian Reform Minister Gaetano Quagliariello said in interviews on Friday that Silvio Berlusconi is poised to lose his Senate seat for reasons other than the one his fractious centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) has been fighting, and that the party will split into two bodies with a single head — one supporting the government and the other becoming opposition — if agreement can’t be found at a national party council on November 16.

Quagliariello is one of the PdL’s “doves”, who split with Berlusconi’s line on the government to support Premier Enrico Letta in a confidence vote last month.

PdL “hawks” are trying to scupper the government if the Senate strips Berlusconi of his seat in the Upper House, which is expected to happen later this month due to the three-time premier’s definitive conviction for tax fraud, according to a 2012 anti-corruption law named after then justice minister Paola Severino and backed at the time by the PdL and its uneasy ruling partner, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

If agreement on a political line and whether to support the government is not found at the PdL national council, the party will split with Berlusconi remaining “the point of reference for the two centre-right forces that make different choices regarding the government,” Quagliariello told the newspaper La Repubblica.

“If this is the outcome” then there will be “a Berlusconismo of the government and a Berlusconismo of the opposition. And both of them should have legitimacy,” Quagliariello told the newspaper Il Messaggero in a separate interview.

“We are looking for unity. And we are looking to defeat prejudicial attitudes,” Quagliariello said, siding with his party’s line that Berlusconi has been the victim of a long judicial witch-hunt.

On stripping Berlusconi of his Senate seat, Quagliariello said the real problem is not the Severino law, which his party has claimed is being applied retroactively against Berlusconi.

The Severino law says anyone convicted of corruption can’t sit in parliament. “The true problem is another: we must tell the truth.

Berlusconi would lose his seat in any case” due to a two-year ban from office connected to his tax-fraud sentence.

On October 19, a Milan appeals court cut Berlusconi’s original five-year ban from public office to two. Berlusconi is also to serve a one-year term — cut from four by an intervening amnesty — doing community service. “Given the dark current political and institutional situation, a crisis could cause the definitive collapse of the system,” Quagliariello told La Repubblica.

“For this reason, I think…it is better to go forward, catch the (economic) recovery and do the reforms that Italy has awaited for 30 years”. The PdL’s Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has said there is a risk of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party becoming extremist.

He also believed a question mark raised over Berlusconi’s continued position as undisputed leader amid legal tangles could be solved by holding primaries.

Alfano, until recently touted as Berlusconi’s dauphin, is the leader of the pro-government doves within the party who have clashed with Berlusconi and his loyalists over whether to bring down PD Premier Enrico Letta’s grand-coalition government.

Alfano was recently stripped of his role as secretary of the PdL after Berlusconi announced he was launching a new party under the PdL’s former name, Forza Italia — and after Alfano led an unprecedented rebellion against the centre right’s charismatic leader to keep Letta in the saddle.

Pro-government members of the PdL who sided with Alfano are “contemplating” a boycott of the upcoming national party council, House whip Fabrizio Cicchitto said Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Parmalat Net Profit Gains 13% in First Nine Months of 2013

Sales in period jump 4.9% to 3.87 billion euros

(ANSA) — Milan, November 8 — Parmalat, Italy’s largest dairy company, posted a 13% increase in net profit in the first nine months of the year to 159 million euros, compared with 140 million euros in the year-earlier period. Sales in the period jumped 4.9%, to 3.87 billion euros. The company said it expected 2013 sales to gain 3% and gross operating profit to gain 5%, stripping out the effects of exchange-rate fluctuations and a changing activities perimeter, and excluding the effects of hyperinflation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: BPM Chairman: Three Directors Resign From Bank

Bank’s management committee urges for end to uncertain situation

(ANSA) — Milan, November 8 — The chairman and three board members resigned Friday from Banca Popolare di Milano.

Chairman Andrea Bonomi and was joined by Davide Croff, Alessandro Foti and Dante Razzano in submitting their resignations which will take effect next month when shareholders meet to elect a new board of directors.

That meeting is scheduled for December 21.

The bank said the resignations were given to enable its supervisory board to work more effectively “in the interests of the institution (and) a stable and sustainable management”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 400 Probed in Car-Accident Insurance Scam

Fake claims in Campania ‘reaped 1.5 mn euros’

(ANSA) — Naples, November 8 — Italian police on Friday placed more than 400 people in Campania under investigation for a suspected car-accident insurance scam which they said reaped claims totalling 1.5 million euros.

Police said many doctors and lawyers were involved and had already been stripped of their professional licenses. The allegedly corrupt professionals had assets worth over four million euros seized including their studios, villas and luxury cars.

Their bank accounts were frozen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Generali 3rd Quarter Net Profits Rise 40.4% to 1.6 Bn Euros

Clemente Rebecchini appointed vice chairman

(ANSA) — Milan, November 7 — Italian insurance giant Generali Group on Thursday reported net profits of 1.59 billion euros for the first three quarters of the year, a 40.4% increase over the same period in 2012.

Premiums remained stable due to a difficult macroeconomic environment, rising just 0.6% to 49 billion euros.

Generali’s operating result rose 6.2% to 3.36 billion euros, with property-damage insurance soaring 20.3%. “With the actions we have taken over the past months I am pleased to report a significant improvement to our capital position, with a Solvency I ratio currently above 150%,” said Chief Executive Mario Greco. “We are making good progress with the transformation of our group and today’s results demonstrate that we are on track to reach our targets,” he added.

Generali also announced the appointment of Clemente Rebecchini as new vice chairman.

Rebecchini has been on the company’s board of directors since 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Florence Mayor Leads Polls to Head Center Left

Democratic Party secretary elections December 8

(ANSA) — Rome, November 8 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi is squarely leading the race to become the head of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), poll results showed Friday. Conducted for Italian weekly l’Espresso by the Demopolis Institute, the survey showed the telegenic moderate with 66% of his party’s support, well ahead of MP Gianni Cuperlo with 21% and MP Giuseppe ‘Pippo’ Civati with 10%, exactly one month before elections. The polling institute projected voter turnout to be very low, with only 16% of the PD electorate expected to cast a ballot, while 73% of those polled said they had already decided not to vote. Some 11% said they remained undecided.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Mecca’ Disco Changes Name Amid Muslim Protests

Owners re-brand to ‘Oriental Disco Club’ after mayor pressured

(ANSA) — Isernia, November 8 — The Muslim community in the southern Italian city of Isernia has pressured owners of “The Mecca” nightclub to rename itself out of religious respect. Since critics took their complaints to the city council and the mayor, the club has changed its name to “Oriental Disco Club”.

The club owners said they never meant to offend anyone.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Charges Pressed Against Senator for Racist Orangutan Remarks

Bergamo prosecutor asks immediate trial for Roberto Calderoli

(ANSA) — Bergamo, November 7 — A prosecutor late Wednesday asked an immediate trial for the anti-immigrant Northern League Senator who compared Italy’s first black minister to an orangutan in July.

The remarks insulted Italy’s Congo-born integration minister, Cecile Kyenge. The prosecutor’s office in the northern Italian city of Bergamo is charging Senator Roberto Calderoli with defamation aggravated by racial discrimination. The senior member of the Northern League told fellow party members at a political rally in July, “Whenever I see Minister Kyenge, I cannot help but think of an orangutan”.

Calderoli’s comments sparked calls for his resignation and triggered a probe in Bergamo, the capital of the province in which the political fest was held.

When asked to comment on the launch of the probe, Kyenge said, “It is a duty”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Viewer Tries to Embarass Foreign Minister Bonino on TV

(AGI) Rome, Nov 7 — Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told a viewer on Repubblica TV that she knew the names of the two Italian marines being held in India in the deaths of two Indian fishermen, but refused to name them. The viewer had asked her the names of the two men, as a way of understanding the priority the ministry was giving to their fate. “We have 3,120 Italians in prisons around the world and I find it a little excessive to just talk about the ones who feature in the news,” said Bonino. “I can’t not know their names, but many mothers write to me and tell me that I only concern myself with the marines or Greenpeace,” said Bonino.

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

Italy: Grillo Lambasts Attack on M5S by ‘Mummified’ Politicians

(AGI) Rome, Nov 8 — Anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Beppe Grillo used his blog to attack the “dinosaurs” Giorgio Napolitano, Giovanni Sartori, and Eugenio Scalfari, who he dubbed, “NaSaSca”. “There is something symbolic, cathartic, a sign of the end times in the attack on the M5S by the dinosaurs of Power. The taking to the field of the attacking trio of nonagenarians, Napolitano, Sartori, Scalfari, ‘NaSaSca’, a mummified remake of Milan’s famous ‘GreNoLi’ in the 1950s, has in itself something poignant, echoes of distant worlds that refuse to give way, of people who believe themselves immortal in their eternal beliefs”, writes Grillo.

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

Man Shot in Swedish Cemetery Attack

Police in southern Sweden are appealing for witnesses after a 24-year old man was shot in a local cemetery in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The shooting took place in a graveyard in Helsingborg when the man was struck by a bullet in his back. Despite the attack he was able to bring himself to the local hospital were his injuries were described as serious but not life threatening.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Nurses Warn: Swedes Put iPads Ahead of Newborns

A hospital in central Sweden has warned that too many new parents are more concerned with selfies and status updates than the well-being of their newborn babies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Riot Police Use Tear Gas on French Tax Demo

French riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of anti-tax demonstrators in northwest France on Saturday after protesters pelted them and tried to drive a tractor through a barricade, an AFP photographer said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spanish Police Arrest 25, Free 5 Women, While Breaking Up Nigerian Sex Slave Ring

Spanish police have arrested 25 Nigerians while breaking up a gang suspected of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, Internet fraud and money laundering. Police said five women victims of sex slavery also were released.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Injuries at ‘Disgusting’ Neo-Nazi Rally

Two people were injured as protesters clashed with members of the neo-Nazi Swedish resistance movement in Stockholm with the far right rally labelled as “absolutely disgusting” by Sweden’s EU Minister.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Small Scuffles at Stockholm Neo-Nazi March

The neo-nazi group the Swedish Resistance Movement was met Saturday evening by a counter demonstration and a heavy police presence, Swedish media reports, as the extreme-right group marched through central Stockholm.

The march was held to protest against Greek authorities cracking down on the neo-fascist political party Golden Dawn after people with connections to the party were arrested for the murder of an anti-racist artist.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Three Christian Warriors Who Battled Heresy Whilst Waging War

Veterans Day: Saluting Soldiers of Faith

Veteran’s Day is an occasion of auspicious recognition of our heroes in uniform. While Americans have always mixed their Christian religion with the armed services, beginning with the Revolutionary War, today we are told that only pacifism is enlightened. Or we are informed that any religious person owes a duty to other citizens to keep his or her mouth shut in public. Finally, we are informed that religion in world history is only a negative and all the world’s problems are caused by people of belief.

In fact, the central theme of the development of the West has been a Christian culture which has been applied across society and has informed and shaped every aspect of life, including warfare. So, for example, theologian Augustine’s Just War theory becomes the resident explanation of why and how wars should be fought. Charlemagne, who is considered the Father of Europe, savagely forced his opponents to reject pagan gods, or die. Yet, he also created the first public schools so Frank children could be educated. He was also a very generous king, who became famous by always seeming to put his people first. Along with Lord Horatio Nelson, and General George Patton, we examine the superb warfare arts, and Christian piety, of a trifecta of the world’s great battlefield leaders…

To understand Charlemagne we must first study his remarkable Grandfather, Charles “The Hammer” Martel. Charles was the most powerful man in the Frankish empire when the kingdom was threatened by Saracen hordes, or as we know them — invading Muslim horsemen. These had already conquered Spain and Italy and were readying the conquest of Europe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: How 3,500 Hospital Patients Lost Their Lives Due to Surgical Errors or Staff Who Were Too Busy to Treat Them… in Just Twelve Months

More than 3,500 people died unnecessarily in NHS hospitals last year because of mistakes and blunders, shocking new figures reveal.

The number of ‘avoidable’ deaths admitted by NHS trusts in England rose by 25 per cent in a year, while experts warned ‘toxic overcrowding’ could contribute to even more fatalities in overstretched hospitals this winter.

The figures include cases where patients have died after being given the wrong medicines, have suffered fatal surgical mistakes or simply died because staff failed to spot they were deteriorating fast.

Hundreds more vulnerable patients under mental health care have taken their own lives.

The new figures, from the National Reporting and Learning System, show the number of patients who died due to safety incidents rose from 2,864 in 2011/12 to 3,588 in 2012/13.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Convert Tasered by Police Was Heard Chanting That He Wanted to Kill Non-Muslims Before Trying to Kill Policemen and Firefighters in Knife Rampage

A Muslim convert was heard chanting that he wanted to kill non-Muslims hours before going on a knife rampage and trying to kill a police officer and firefighters.

The man was tasered multiple times and arrested on suspicion of trying to kill a police officer after launching his attack in broad daylight on a busy London street.

Police were called around midday when the knifeman armed with four blades attempted to smash his way into a neighbours’ property with an iron bar.

Hours earlier the man had been seen reciting verses from the Koran and making threats ‘to kill Kuffars’.

Firefighters based at the nearby fire station in Battersea, South London confronted the 26-year-old on seeing him throw bottles at neighbours and threatening passers-by with kitchen knives.

But the suspect went berserk chasing the fire officers back to the fire station, where he attempted to batter down the doors.

Within minutes, more than 20 police officers had arrived at the scene blocking off the road as the suspect sprinted up and down smashing police car windows and screaming abuse.

Terrified onlookers cowered in local shops as police tried to contain the armed suspect using a Taser.

Servet Kaplan, 22, a store manager at Battersea Food & Wine, said ‘People were trying to get into my store.

‘There were so many they wouldn’t fit through the door.

‘I saw the police Taser the man and it didn’t affect him at all, he just carried on running.’

After 20 minutes, officers managed to overpower the man who continued to lash out injuring one officer who received minor cuts to his hands.

The suspect was later taken to a south London hospital with minor injuries caused by the Taser device.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

UK: Theresa May Targets Radical Mosques in New Terror Clampdown After Seven Suspects Go on Run Despite Strict Control Laws

The Home Secretary is to draw up a list of radical mosques where terror suspects being monitored under controversial control measures will be banned from worshipping.

The crackdown follows the escape of a suspect who went on the run after attending a mosque in London and leaving disguised in a burka.

Terror suspects on Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs), which replaced control orders in 2012, also face restrictions on the amount of time they spend in mosques.

And police and Home Office officials will be told to move suspects away from their communities to other parts of their home cities.

Where there is greater risk of absconding, suspects will be given longer curfews and made to report to police stations more frequently.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Vive French Foreign Minister M. Laurent Fabius!

A hat tip to Fjordman.

Late Saturday night, we posted on the key role played by France’s Foreign Minister M. Laurent Fabius in forcing the termination of negotiations on an interim nuclear freeze agreement between the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva, “Did Iran’s Charm Offensive End in Geneva? “ The Local in France reported on Iranian Parliamentary members objecting to Fabius allegedly representing Israel’s PM Netanyahu emphatic position that the deal on the table was a bad one, “a very bad one”. Fabius is to be commended for having the strength of both intelligence and character in scuttling the defective “first steps’ agreement. For his actions, he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, that is, if the notorious left leaning Norwegian committee would even permit it. Now, at least Israel’s friends on Capitol Hill in Washington can start in earnest to ratchet up stronger sanctions, a step vigorously advocated by Israel’s PM Netanyahu. So much for the Obama’s expectations that the White House back channel discussions with Iran might end a decade long stalemate in thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Vive M. Fabius!!…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Croatia: Vukovar Bans Serbian Language, Belgrade Protests

City scraps Cyrillic alphabet but decision is illegal

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE — The Croatian martyr city of Vukovar on the border with Serbia has chosen Croatian as its official language along with the Latin alphabet. The decision to ban the Serbian language and Cyrillic alphabet angered Belgrade which slammed the move as ‘discriminatory’ against the city’s significant Serbian minority.

Slavka Draskovic, head of the government office for the diaspora, called on Zagreb to intervene so Croatian law will be respected. Croatian legislation states that areas where minorities make up at least one-third of the population must be bilingual.

‘Denying its language to the Serbian community is not a solution to escalating tension in Vukovar’, said Draskovic.

‘On the contrary, the measure increases the sense of insecurity among Serbians in the city’.

The measure to ban Serbian was voted by 13 members of the municipal council with Croatian parties ‘Hdz’ and ‘Hsp As’ and an independent, three Serbian councillors with the ‘Sdss’ party voted against while eight Social Democratic councillors with the ‘Sds’ party abstained.

For months Vukovar has been at the centre of a strong-arm with Zagreb’s central government over legislation concerning minorities and bilingualism which provides for bilingual signs in areas where minorities make up at least one-third of the population.

But war veterans and the majority of Vukovar’s residents say the city — which was destroyed by Serbians in the 1990s war — cannot be considered like others. Serbian and Cyrillic letters are a reminder of the conflict’s killings and tragedies and therefore the city should be exempted from the law, they say.

Cyrillic signs and inscriptions on the city’s streets and public buildings have repeatedly been destroyed.

The government however has persisted in saying that, though it understands Vukovar’s special status, the law must be respected.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: Support Expressed by Italy, France, UN and UK

After Thursday’s clashes

(ANSAmed) — TRIPOLI — Italy, France, the US and the UK have expressed their continuing support for Libyans, reiterating their concerns over the country’s instability after Thursday’s clashes and expressing hope for the consolidation of democracy. The joint statement was published by the US embassy in Tripoli.

“We reiterate our support to the elected political institutions and call on Libyans to reject any use of force against them,” the statement reads. In the eyes of the four countries, the adoption of a Constitution would help to ensure a safer future, while inclusive national dialogue is a key element to ensure a democratic transition.

“We call on all Libyans to set aside their individual differences, work together in the national interest and help strengthen the democratic institutions with a view to fully realising the aspirations of the revolution, thus paying tribute to its martyrs and their sacrifice.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libyan PM Warns of Foreign Intervention if Chaos Persists

(AGI) Tripoli, Nov 10 — Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan has warned that foreign intervention might take place should chaos persist in Libya. “The international community can not longer tolerate that a Mediterranean state is a source of violence and terrorism”, he said. Mentioning Iraq as an example, the Prime Minister said that foreign forces might intervene, pointing out that Libya is still subject to a U.N. Security Council resolution that allows the international community to resort to force in order to protect civilians.

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

Libyans Take to Streets to Protest Against Congress

(AGI) Tripoli, Nov 9 — Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Tripoli and other Libyan cities to protest against the renewal of the term of the General People’s Congress, the country’s top political body. The term was initially meant to last 18 months, during which Congress was supposed to draft the new constitution and guide the country to a general election, which should have been held by February 2013.

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

Salafists Take to Tunis Streets for Islamic Caliphate

Slogans against national dialogue, for sharia in Constitution

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, NOVEMBER 8 — Hundreds of Salafist supporters from the Hizb Ettahrir party, the only authorised one from the fundamentalist movement, staged a protest in central Tunis Friday afternoon to demand an Islamic caliphate be set up and sharia be included in the Constitution being drawn up. The march was conducted peacefully under the watch of a massive security presence. It left after the Friday prayer from the El-Fath mosque, a fundamentalist stronghold that has been the scene of violent disturbances in the past.

“The Ummah demands an Islamic caliphate” and “our Constitution is our Koran” were the most common slogans yelled out, along with ones against national dialogue between the majority and opposition groups, which they call “a farce”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Arab Spring in Gaza: Ready to March Against the Hamas Terror Government

Young people from the Gaza Tamarud told AsiaNews about the difficulties and objectives their movement face. Inspired by the Egyptian example, dozens of its members have been arrested in recent months, many tortured by Islamist militias who fear an uprising in the Gaza Strip. Next Monday, thousands of people are expected take to the streets to demand an end to the Hamas government and new elections.

Gaza (AsiaNews) — Thousands of young people in the Gaza Strip are preparing to march in the streets of its cities to protest against the “dictatorship of terror” imposed by Hamas. The rally is set for next Monday, 11 November, the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death.

Gaza’s Tamarud movement was born in the wake of that of Egypt that backed the mass demonstration of 30 June that brought down Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. However, the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip is not Egypt.

AsiaNews interviewed the leader of the Palestinian movement who, on condition of anonymity, spoke about the goals of Tamarud Gaza.

Despite threats, abductions and torture carried out by the Islamist government, they are determined to take to the streets to show the world “that the people of Gaza are tired of Hamas oppression and want a new life.”

How did your movement start and who joined it?

We began about six months ago, gaining support especially among young people living in Gaza. In a short period of time, Palestinian writers, journalists and intellectuals joined the movement as well. With them, we decided that the time had come to rebel against the acts of injustice perpetrated by members of Hamas, calling for their resignations and new presidential and legislative elections.

What is the situation in the Gaza Strip?

Gaza is a narrow place that over the years has become the home to about 1.5 million people in dire economic straits. The Gaza Strip lacks electricity, drinking water and epidemics are very frequent.

However, what affects the people the most are the policies of the Hamas government. The 2007 coup was followed by a reign of terror in the Gaza Strip. In a few years, cases of rape, murder, and corruption have increased. People live in the total absence of the rule of law.

Fatwas issued by Hamas have replaced the laws of the Legislative Council. This has encouraged the emergence of armed gangs that do not respect any law and carry out acts of terrorism against the population.

Islamists kill or arrest anyone who opposes their policies. People now detest any action taken by the men of Hamas and call for the end of their government.

How many followers does the movement have?

According to the latest statistics, at least 500,000 people support our cause in Gaza and in other countries. In the Gaza Strip, the number is constantly growing due to the constant acts of injustice perpetrated by the Hamas government. Most of our activity takes place on Facebook and other social networks. This way, we have been able to get into contact with Western media.

In recent months, have you received threats or experienced other forms of repression?

Since we began, gangs hired by Hamas seized and tortured dozens of people, accusing them of working for our movement. But these people only exercised their rights.

[Hamas] militiamen have used the most brutal methods of torture against their opponents, ordering them not to participate in our work. Hamas issued death threats against us through the al-Qassam Brigades spokesman.

In order to prevent people from knowing and participating in the demonstration of 11 November, the government and its affiliated militias have unleashed a wave of terror among the people of Gaza.

What future do you want for Gaza?

For now, we are determined to carry out our campaign leading up to the demonstration set for 11 November. The protest must succeed to push the Hamas government to give up power and hold democratic elections under the supervision of international organisations.

We hope that Hamas will listen to the demands of the oppressed people. We want to be citizens of the Gaza Strip, we want to live with dignity and enjoy rights and freedoms in order to improve our living conditions and offer young people employment opportunities, as in the rest of the world.

God willing, we will reach our goals and stop the acts of injustice committed against our people by Hamas terrorists from the al-Qassam Brigades and the military gangs. (S.C.)

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

Frustrated Kerry’s Peace Critique a Heavy Slap in Netanyahu’s Face

A patently bitter secretary of state asks why Israel keeps taking Palestinian land, and why the Israeli public doesn’t seem to care about it

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his old friend John Kerry in Jerusalem that he was concerned about the peace process, and asked the visiting US secretary of state to “steer (the Palestinians) back to a place where we could achieve the historical peace that we seek.” John Kerry quickly responded by lauding both sides’ “good faith,” and said he was “very confident” the negotiations would succeed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hamas Hires First Spokeswoman to Promote Softer Image

The Islamist Hamas government of the Gaza Strip has appointed, for the first time, a woman to represent it, in hopes of presenting a softer image to its own citizens and the world.

Isra Almodallal, a 23-year-old who speaks fluent English, will be the new face of Hamas, responsible for the Gaza government’s communications with the international media, The Associated Press reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Palestine Gets Ambassador in Brussels

The Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has met with the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. He also proposed an upgrade of the Palestinian delegation to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU. The delegation will in future become the Mission of Palestina.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Crisis of Faith’ Between Israel and US Over Possible Iran Deal

Netanyahu ‘in a state of shock’ over terms, believes agreement would enable Iran to become ‘nuclear breakout state,’ TV reports say; deal seen as putting an end to any Israeli military option

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “in a state of shocked disbelief” at the deal apparently taking shape in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli television news reports said Friday night.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Foreign Workers, Police Clash in Saudi Capital

Security forces clashed with rioting foreign workers in the Saudi capital Riyadh Saturday, resulting in at least two deaths, according to a police statement. It follows the launch of a crackdown on foreign nationals working in the kingdom illegally.

Most of the foreign workers involved in the clashes appeared to be Africans.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iran MPs Accuse Fabius of Backing Israel in Talks

Two senior Iranian MPs accused French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Saturday of defending Israel, which objects to world powers reaching a deal with Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Netanyahu: Iran Deal is Bad and Dangerous

“I hope they reach a good agreement, and we will do all we can to convince world powers to avoid a bad deal.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel would do all it could to keep world powers from striking a “bad and dangerous” deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Iranian Deal is a New Disaster

The headline of the lead, page one article in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, November 8 was “U.S., Iran Close In on Nuclear Deal” with a sub-headline “West Set to Ease Some Financial Sanctions in Exchange for Tehran Freezing Most Advance Work.’ Secretary of State John Kerry cut short a visit to Middle East states, including Israel, returning to Geneva where the deal was reportedly close to being signed.

We now know that Obama began to ease financial sanctions before the latest negotiations began. He did so secretly.

Shades of “Munich” and the infamous 1938 deal with the Nazi regime that a British Prime Minister promised would bring “peace in our time.” That level of naiveté resulted in World War Two which began a year later when Germany invaded Poland after negotiating a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union that was itself later invaded.

You don’t make deals with rogue nations. They never keep their word. One example is North Korea, a nuclear nation. Another is Iran that intends to be a nuclear nation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Qatar: Young Emir to Partake in Islamic Prayer for Rainfall

National prayer to take place Sunday at 6am

(ANSAmed) — DOHA8 — The emir of Qatar will join worshipers across the country in the istisqa, a special Islamic prayer for rainfall called by the nation’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, 33, will partake at the Al Wajbah prayer ground at 6am on Sunday.

The Qatar Meteorology Department does not expect to see any precipitation in the coming 10 days, with maximum temperatures steady at just over 30 degrees Celsius.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Rojava’ — Western Kurdistan Rising in Syria

We have posted on the successful routing of Al Qaeda affiliates by Kurdish YPG forces in what they call, Rojava, Western Kurdistan in Syria. See our recent Iconoclast post, “Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rout AQ affiliates from Homeland Province” , It has been the one bright spot in the dismal 33 month civil war in Syria beating back Sunni Supremacist AQ groups, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islami State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS. Jonathan Speyer has more on this encouraging development of Kurdish regional autonomy in a Jerusalem Post article, “Behind The Lines: Kurds defending autonomous ‘Rojava’ enclave in Syria”.

Speyer writes:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Syrian Conflict Has Led to ‘New Palestinian Diaspora’

Says pro-Assad PFLP-GC chief; Hamas ‘the enemy’, UNIFIL welcome

(ANSAmed) — DAMASCUS, NOVEMBER 8 — The national coordinator for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), Anwar Raja, has spoken out against what he called “a new diaspora, with tens of thousands of Palestinians forced to flee, some of whom towards Europe via sea”. The PFLP-GC is a radical Palestinian group whose loyalties lie with Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. Some 600,000 Palestinians were living in Syria at the beginning of the conflict. Rendering the situation even more dire is the conflict between different factions of the Palestinians themselves, with the Marxist-leaning PFLP-GC criticised for its unconditional support to the Syrian regime, while it in turn accuses other groups — especially Hamas — of being involved in a Western-backed Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy. Armed clashes result between the two sides, especially in the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus, one of the locations holding symbolic importance for the diaspora. The PFLP-GC, founded by Ahmad Jibril, became known in the 1970s for plane hijackings and attacks against Israelis (including civilians) and was placed on the US and EU lists of terrorist organisations. The Front is part of the Syrian-Iranian axis, holds control over the political life of Palestinians in Syria and has a strong presence in neighbouring Lebanon as well, where it is allied with the Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Hamas, however, was also a guest of President Assad for many years. The leader of its political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, lived in Damascus until 2012, when he left for Qatar due to support the Syrian rebel forces. “We gave hospitality to Hamas militiamen in our training camps and military bases for years in Syria and we protected them, but then Hamas committed strategic errors that led to many doubts over its political plans for Palestine and the region,” Raja told ANSA in his maximum-security office located in the basement of a building in northern Damascus. Hamas, that is, sided with the uprising against President Assad. “Their aim,” he said, “is not the liberation of Palestine, it’s a Muslim Brotherhood government from Turkey to Egypt that also includes Syria.” “I am afraid that Hamas may announce a fatwa to justify peace with Israel in the name of religion, since these religious figures influence the population much more than they did in the Middle East,” said ‘comrade’ Raja, as PFLP-GC members still call each other. The Marxist movement continues to reject any possible agreement with Israel that would include its existence alongside a Palestinian state. However, as concerns Lebanon, where it has military bases and works closely with Hezbollah, Raja underscored that the UNIFIL mission (which includes Italian UN troops) deployed along the Israeli border should not feel threatened. “The UN soldiers are guests, they came on a peace mission,” he said, “and Italy especially has a place in all of our hearts.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Talks on Iran’s Nuclear Programme Collapse at the Eleventh Hour After France Says it Will Not be Forced Into a ‘Sucker’s Deal’

Marathon talks on a deal to temporarily curb Iran’s nuclear program have broken down after a negotiations between foreign ministers ran into trouble late last night.

France raised objections to a draft agreement, complaining it did not go far enough to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of six other delegations conferred with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a late-night session which broke up after midnight. No agreement: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second left, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton, centre, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second right, attend the third day of closed-door nuclear talks in Geneva

The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told France Inter radio yesterday that Paris would not accept a ‘sucker’s deal’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Erdogan for Single-Sex Dorms, To Further Islamicize Country

During a week finding Turkey relaunching its EU accession bid

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — During a week finding Turkey relaunching its EU accession bid after years of a virtual halt to it, the country is racked by polemics after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest move to Islamicise the country. This past weekend, Erdogan spoke out against co-ed dorms, leading to an outcry by the more secular and European-leaning portions of the country. After the lifting of a ban on headscarves in public offices set down 90 years ago by the founder of the secular Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the entrance of female MPs covering their hair into Parliament, after the latest in a long string of crackdowns on alcohol and attacks on abortions and Caesarian sections, Erdogan has called for men and women to be separated in student residences. “Female and male students cannot live in the same house,” the head of the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) was quoted as saying by the Turkish press on Monday. The prime minister urged “neighbours” to report suspicious situations and ordered governors to intervene. Adana governor Avni Cos said that he would obey the PM’s “order”, since “the state must protect the young from bad habits”. Social media networks have risen up in protest. The leader of the largest opposition group Kemal Kilicadaroglu called Erdogan a “dictator” who wants to re-Islamicise the country and is now aiming to dismantle the public co-ed education system. The press reports that after 11 years of Erdogan’s government, three-quarters of state dorms are already single-sex and in 2014 they will all be so. However, the prime minister also warned against young men and women living together in private apartments and homes, though is not clear how he plans to move forward to counter it. Milliyet asked whether there would be police investigations and whether “governors will use force to expel unmarried couples”. According to Taraf, the prime minister has “gone beyond constitutional limits”, since the State has no right to tell adults students how to live their lives. Erdogan has said he is prepared to change the law if necessary — despite the fact that any new regulations to this end would clash with European standards.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey ‘Conservative’ On Women’s Role, Survey

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 6 — A majority of Turkish society sees women’s role at home as being predominantly to raise children and most Turks believe the ideal number of children is two or three, according to a survey made public yesterday as daily Hurriyet reports. The International Social Survey Program’s field study, conducted in 48 countries, was performed by Professor Ersin Kalaycioglu from Sabanci University and Professor Ali Carkoglu from Koc University. Some 1,555 respondents in 59 cities participated in the survey. One of the significant findings of the survey was that the concept of family maintains its importance in Turkey, with women mainly seen as homemakers. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they believed that a pre-school child is likely to be negatively affected if they have a working mother. Some 48% of respondents also disagreed with the proposition that, “a working woman can establish an equally close and confident relationship with her child as a non-working mother.” Sixty-one percent agreed with the suggestion that, “it might be good to have a job, but most women actually primarily want a home and a child.” Most respondents said that having a job was less satisfactory than being a housewife, while only one fifth of respondents disagreed. These findings, according to Kalaycioglu and Carkoglu, point to the fact that the mental culture in Turkey sees women’s primary role as a housewife. However, when it comes to answering the economic needs of the family, expectations from women increase. Two out of three respondents said both men and women should contribute to the household income, while those against this were 14%. This contradiction, that on the one hand women should stay at home and raise children but on the other hand contribute to the household income, points to the transitional phase Turkey finds itself in, the researchers say.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Italian Archeologists Dig Under the Eye of Al-Qaeda

On Syria border, Marchetti discovers King Nebuchadnezzar carving

(by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) — KARKEMISH, NOVEMBER 5 — The New York Times called him “a tanned, scrawny Indiana Jones”, and Nicolo’ Marchetti is surely the only archeologist in the world today digging for the treasures of the past under the watchful eye of al-Qaeda machine guns.

Marchetti leads the Turkish-Italian team that is unearthing the mythical Hittite capital of Karkemish, which has been named in the Bible, under far from optimal conditions. On the banks of the Euphrates River, the excavation site straddles the border between Turkey and war-torn Syria. First discovered and briefly explored in the early 20th century by T. H. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia, Karkemish now lies within a mine-infested military zone, 65% of it in Turkey and 35% in Syria.

Marchetti obtained Turkey’s permission to excavate three years ago.

“The Japanese offered a million dollars for the concession.

But they gave it to Marchetti instead. The Turks have a lot of respect for him”, Italian Ambassador Giampaolo Scarante explained. Until this year, everything was more or less calm in Karkemish, which was mostly frequented by refugees and smugglers crossing the border. But in September, the Syrian side of the border fell under al-Qaeda control.

“Every day we see pick-up trucks with the black al-Qaeda flag packed with armed militias, passing just 50 meters away from us on the other side of the border”, says Marchetti. Jihadists one side, Italian archeologists on the other: “We do everything we can to ignore each other”.

While it’s an almost peaceful cohabitation, it is also true that the dig is within a Turkish military base. This offers the Italians a relative sense of safety — except on September 3, when al-Qaeda attacked the Syrian town of Jarabulus, eventually wresting it from the “official” anti-Assad Free Syrian Army (FSA) insurgents. “It was hell on earth. Bullets were flying everywhere”, says Marchetti, who teaches Near Eastern archeology at Bologna University.

“Luckily, archeologists dig holes. We dove in. We kept digging inside the deeper ones. The Turkish military kept telling us, stay down”. Calm was restored once the FSA fighters gave themselves up to the Turks in order to flee al-Qaeda. An armed truce has held since, allowing the Italian team to unearth new treasures.

Marchetti is proudest of a stele, or commemorative slab, carved with the face of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, the conqueror of Karkemish. He destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Salomon in 587 BC, and built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were the seventh wonder of the ancient world.

“It’s a beautiful, compact piece of limestone”, Marchetti enthuses of this unique, historic find. Working with his Turkish colleagues from Istanbul and Gaziantep universities, Marchetti this year has also delved into the past of T. H. Lawrence, who built a home here while overseeing the dig.

Interrupted in 1914 by World War I, the site was then abandoned for more than a century. In the ruins of his house, the Italians discovered a marvelous 2,000-year-old mosaic, which Lawrence had used to pave his living room floor. They also found more than 300 precious fragments of sculpture and hieroglyphics.

They are perfectly preserved — not because Lawrence was a particularly tidy man, but because the Turks, who occupied the site in 1920, mixed them with cement to build walls and floors, and so inadvertently protected the fragments for posterity.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish Defense Industry’s Export Reaches USD 1.1 Bln

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 8 — Turkish defense and aviation companies’ exports increased by 11.5% in the first ten months of 2013, when compared to the same period in the previous year as Anadolu Agency reports. Exports of Turkish defense and aviation industry reached USD 1.117 billion in the first ten month of this year, Exporters Assembly’s figures showed.

The United States topped the list of buyers by purchasing USD 405 million worth of defense products from Turkey over the first ten month this year. Italy followed the US at USD 64 million, while Ukraine came third with USD 56 million in purchases.

Ankara, Turkey’s capital, came first among other cities by exporting USD 466 million of defense and aviation goods. Turkish defense and aviation companies’ export sees 68% increase in October, which reached USD 130 million

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sri Lanka Inaugurates Second Highway, ‘Made in China ‘

Costing 291 million US dollars , the Colombo- Katunayake Expressway will improve traffic flow and will lead directly to the nation’s international airport. Since the end of the civil war (2009 ), Beijing has emerged as Sri Lanka’s primary financer, with investments of billions of dollars in major projects. Among these, a coal fired power plant and a port.

Colombo ( AsiaNews ) — The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the country’s second highway, built thanks to a China’s massive investment. The ceremony was attended by ministers and officials of the Chinese embassy in Colombo. Costing $ 291 million , the Colombo- Katunayake Expressway will improve traffic flow between the two cities , reducing transit times by 20 minutes. The highway also leads to the international airport of Bandaranayaike and has four interchanges: at Peliyagoda , Kerawalapitiya , Jael and Katunayake . As of 6pm yesterday — the official opening — the government has already earned 2.3 million rupees (about 12,700 Euros ), thanks to the motorway tolls .

Sri Lanka organized a number of initiatives to celebrate the opening of the highway, including bicycle races and concerts. For the first time the country also hosted an elephant race.

Beijing funded the highway with a loan from the China Export Import Bank ( Exim ) . Construction began in August 2009 (a few months after the end of the Civil War , ed) and the opening was scheduled for last July. However , Colombo decided to postpone the opening to October 27 , closer to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting ( CHOGM) , which will be held in Sri Lanka in November.

As soon as the thirty-year ethnic conflict ended, China emerged as a major donor and investor in the island, with loans of $ 1.2 billion in 2009 and 821 million dollars in 2010 . In 2011, the “contribution” fell to 784.7 million dollars, but the Asian giant remains Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner, with investments in almost all major projects currently in progress according to the data of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Finance.

These project include the construction of a coal fired power station in the north- west ($ 1.3 billion) and more infrastructure in the south of the country for a total value of $ 4 billion . Among them, a port (1.2 billion dollars).

China is also one of the financiers of the Southern Expressway, Sri Lanka’s first highway opened in 2011.

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

At Least 10,000 Feared Dead After Philippine Typhoon

Typhoon Haiyan has left at least 10,000 dead in the central Philippines, a senior police official said Sunday, with the country left battered by winds of up to 275 kph and surging sea water that has swept away entire villages.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

From India to the Philippines, Coconut Yields Drop

Coconut production remains crucial for the Asia-Pacific region, but yields are dropping with aging as a top factor. Vietnam is the exception with 100 nuts per tree per year against a regional average of 40. Worldwide, 12.3 million hectares are devoted to coconut production with a total yield of 64.3 billion of nuts.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Asia’s coconut groves, a key component in South and Southeast Asian economies from the Philippines to India, face a crisis as rapidly aging trees become less productive, curbing harvests. In fact, yields decline as trees grow older. This can negatively impact food supplies and incomes for millions.

For experts with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Asia’s coconut palms face a crisis as rapidly aging groves become less productive. With many of the trees planted up to 60 years ago after World War II, they no longer yield enough to meet rising global demand. Therefore, there is an urgent need for replanting and rejuvenation to maintain high output.

The Asia-Pacific regime accounts for about 85 percent of the global supply of the commodity that goes into food, fuel, soaps and cosmetics. In the Philippines, one in five people depends on the crop to some extent, this according to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community.

The issue is vital. According to FAO, harvests in the Asia-Pacific yield about 40 nuts per tree a year compared with a potential yield of 75 to 150. Replanting is advisable after 60 years.

India, Asia’s third-largest economy, is the top producer, harvesting 17 billion nuts last year, followed by Indonesia, which gathered 15.4 billion, and the Philippines, with 15.2 billion. The global coconut area covers about 12.3 million hectares, yielding 64.3 billion nuts.

It is worth noting that in aforementioned countries, notwithstanding rapid industrialisation, agriculture accounted for 17 per cent of GDP last year in India, 15 per cent in Indonesia (2011 figures), and 13 per cent in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, an estimated 340 million trees cover 26 per cent of farmland, yielding 43 nuts per tree a year, accounting for as much as 5 per cent of the Filipino GDP

Kerala is the top producer in India, followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Whilst a trial programme to replace aged palms has boosted productivity in Kerala, yields are still dropping in the three other states, sometimes by as much as third.

By contrast, output is stable in Vietnam at about 100 nuts per tree a year in most areas, up from about 60 a few years ago.

Scientists explain that replanting would increase output by 50 to 100 per cent within a few years with a mature palm producing as many as 400 nuts a year. However, governments are more interested in rice and palm oil than in coconut, FAO experts noted.

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

Philippine Typhoon Deaths Climb Into Thousands

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

Even in the disaster-prone Philippines, which regularly contends with earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Philippine Red Cross Says Typhoon Relief Efforts Being Hampered by Looters

The Philippine National Red Cross says its search and rescue efforts in the wake of a deadly typhoon — feared to have caused a “very high number of fatalities” — is being hampered by looters, including some who attacked trucks of food and other relief supplies the agency was shipping from a port city.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

South Africa: ‘Birthday Rapist’ Gets 39 Life Terms

Johannesburg — So-called “birthday rapist” Mlungisa Mtshali was sentenced to 39 life terms for 39 rapes by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, SABC radio news reported.

He was sentenced to another 212 years on more than 70 additional charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and theft. The life sentences will run concurrently.

Mtshali was dubbed the “birthday rapist” because he reportedly told his victims it was his birthday and invited them to celebrate with him at a nearby restaurant or bar.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Ethnic Minority Students Still Trail Native Dutch

Despite an increase in government funding, the gap in the performance between native Dutch and ethnic minority students has increased, the NRC said on Friday.

While the number of students from a minority background has doubled over the past 15 years, they are still less likely to complete their course than the native Dutch, research by the Diversiteit Echo centre and quoted by the paper shows.

In 2008, the education ministry put over €43m into initiatives to try to boost the performance of minority students. Of that, €40m went to hbo colleges, the rest to universities. The extra cash stopped in 2011.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘All Lampedusa Disaster Boat Women Raped’

Somali, Palestinian held in trafficking probe

(ANSA) — Palermo, November 8 — All the women aboard a boat that sank off Lampedusa killing 366 migrants last month were raped during the trip from Africa, Italian police said after two suspected traffickers were arrested Friday.

The 155 survivors of the trek from the Horn of Africa through the Sahara and across the Mediterranean from Libya said all the female asylum seekers from Syria, Eritrea and Somalia on the voyage were raped by the traffickers, Corrado Empoli, head of the flying squad in the Sicilian city of Afrigento, told a press conference.

“It has emerged from the tales of the survivors of the October 3 wreck that all the women were raped by the members of the criminal organisation that ran the migrant trafficking,” he said. A Palestinian and a Somali, who was rescued by migrants who wanted to lynch him, were arrested for alleged migrant smuggling and suspected rape.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ukranian Immigrant Wins €4mln With Lottery Ticket

Sulmona, 8 Nov. (AKI) — A 31-year-old Ukrainian home help in central Italy has won four million euros after she purchased a five-euro lottery ticket, reports on Friday said.

A resident of the city of Sulmona in Italy’s Abruzzo region, she will receive 200,000 euros immediately and will be paid 15,000 euros a year for the next 20 years before receiving a final payment of 100,000 euros.

Like many people in Italy, the woman had regularly bought the ‘Scratch and Win’ lottery tickets in the hope of getting rich.

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

Dad Branded Unfit Parent for Refusing to Take Son to McDonald’s, Lawsuit Says

Saying no to a toddler’s demands for a McDonald’s meal got a father branded an inept parent, he says in a lawsuit claiming a psychologist urged a judge to curtail his parental visits over the dinner debacle.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Homosexual Activists’ Next Stop: Your Church & Ministry

No longer content just to be tolerated, homosexual activists sought to have their lifestyle regarded as equal to heterosexual relationships by pushing for homosexual marriage. The movement that began out of a desire to be tolerated morphed into a crusade to be celebrated as natural, normal and healthy. One segment of society that stands in the way of the homosexual activists’ ultimate goal is conservative Christians. In order to have complete cultural confirmation, conservative churches will have to be dealt with. With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act this summer, expect homosexual activists to take the issue of homosexual matrimony directly to conservative churches.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Modern Culture is Rejecting Biblical Morality

The first challenge to biblical morality entails attacking the Bible. This assault assumes various forms and comes from liberal Christianity as well as from secularists. The most dangerous is the former because it often persuades new believers and confuses less knowledgeable conservatives. Challenges from scholars like Bart Ehrman focus on the text and argue that we cannot trust it to be accurate. If we do not have God’s words, we do not have his morals. Others argue that the Bible is culturally bound and not applicable to modern culture. This spans the gap from the egalitarians who seek to usurp biblical gender roles in order to promote female clergy to radical homosexual revisionists indulging in the most incredible eisegesis to assert that the Bible is silent concerning homosexuality.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The American Psychiatric Association Wants Pedophilia (Sex With Children) Normalized

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) decision to once again reclassify pedophilia has led to further concerns that the professional organization is attempting to legitimize the disorder, paving the way for its defense and the recommendation of removal of age-of-consent laws. In a press release Friday, Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit organization that promotes the causes of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, and the family observed that in its newly published Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), APA “changed the classification of pedophilia from a ‘disorder’ to a ‘sexual orientation,’ but, following the public outcry, APA released a statement that it was a mistake.” APA, Liberty Counsel noted, now states “sexual orientation” is an error and should read instead, “sexual interest.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Fastest Growing Religion in America is Witchcraft

In the young-adult section of bookshops, shelves that recently groaned under the weight of tales of tormented vampires and lovelorn werewolves, are now stuffed with stories of witchcraft and magic, from Ruth Warburton’s much-praised Winter Trilogyto Jessica Spotswood’s Cahill Witch Chronicles. Lower down the age range, last month the most recent in Jill Murphy’s long-running Worst Witch series was published, while among the predictions for this Christmas’s bestselling toys are theBratz spinoff, House of Witchez. For adults, next year will mark the climax of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, centring on the relationship between a vampire and a feisty American witch. And right now is one…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]