Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/1/2013

A Metro-Rail train derailed in the Bronx early this morning, killing four people and injuring dozens more. Five cars left the track, with some almost landing in the Hudson River. The train is thought to have been traveling too fast coming into a curve.

In other news, a new investigative report reveals that there is a thriving black market in China in which people pay large sums to have their names listed as co-authors of scientific research papers.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, Kitman, LS, 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
» Canadians Should Not be Too Smug
» Is Italy Facing the Stability of the Graveyard?
» Italy: Inflation Hits 0.6% in Third Straight Drop
» Italy: EU’s Reliance on Fiscal Rigor is Wrong, Says PD Candidate
» The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches
» A Bang-Up Week
» An Outbreak of Lawlessness
» Black Friday and Gun Control
» Fast & Furious Star Paul Walker Dead in Fiery Car Wreck: Actor Killed After Porsche Gt Driven by His Friend Crashed Into Pole
» Genetically Modified Politicians
» Health Site is Improving But Likely to Miss Saturday Deadline
» L.A. Sheriff’s Department Hired Officers With Histories of Misconduct
» Metro-North Train Derails in the Bronx
» Montana Appeals Former Teacher’s One-Month Sentence for Rape of Teen
» New York Train Crash: Metro-North Derailment in Bronx
» NYPD to Businesses: Turn Security Cameras Toward Streets
» Obama ‘Proud’ of Healthcare Legacy
» ObamaCare: New Lawsuits Should be Equal Protection Under the Law
» Obamacare’s Insurance Cancellations: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
» Roosevelt, Ibn Saud, and American Jews
» Terrorists Are Gaining Ground, Intelligence Committee Heads Say
» The Bad-Faith Presidency
» The Unhealthy Whole Grain (Book Excerpt: Wheat Belly)
» Unprecedented Concentration of Sea Creatures Near Shore in California Leave Experts Baffled
Europe and the EU
» Achtung! EU Plan to Replace British Roadsigns With Ones That ‘Talk’ In Euro-Speak
» Britain Targets Guardian Newspaper Over Intelligence Leaks Related to Edward Snowden
» Femen Activists Urinate on Photo of Ukrainian President
» Italy Ranks Low in Number of Millionaire Bankers
» Italy: 15 Billion Euros in Assets Seized From Mafia Since 1992
» Italy: Prosecutors Drop Case Against Northern League Politician
» Italy: Minister Kyenge’s Visit Protested With ‘Bloody’ Mannequins
» Italy’s Largest Union Resists Latest Central Bank Reform
» Italy: Reinstate IMU Property Tax, Says Camusso
» Italy: The Burdensome Legacy of Il Cavaliere
» Italy: M5S Leader Grillo Calls for Napolitano’s Impeachment
» Petrus Romanus: Pope Advocates Global Wealth Redistribution, Renounces Free Market Economics as “Crude and Naive”
» Pope Francis I: Your Exhortation is Marxist, Part 1
» Remove Corpses From Italian Parliament, Says Grillo
» Shock Four-Country Poll Reveals Widening Gulf Between Britain and EU
» Swedish Archbishop Abused for Her Tolerance to Islam
» The Al Qaeda Fanatic From Britain Who Funded Jihad Trip to Syria by Mugging Londoners With a Taser
» UK: Brutal Hate Crime Mob Beating on a London Bus
» UK: Pregnant Woman Has Unborn Baby Girl Forcibly Removed by Caesarean After Social Workers Obtain Court Order Because She Had Suffered a Mental Breakdown
» UK: Tesco Opens Up on Store Strategy for London
» UK: Tesco Targeting London Neighbourhoods With Products Suited to Their Demographic
» Ukraine Riot Police Break Up Pro-Europe Protests
» Undercover Film Exposes ‘Fagin School’ Teaching Bulgarians to Pick YOUR Pocket
North Africa
» Police Clash With Morsi Supporters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square
Israel and the Palestinians
» Olmert: We’ve Declared War on Obama Gov’t
Middle East
» Forced Islamisation of Armenians Raises Questions About Today’s Turkey
» Iraq: Gunmen Kill Sunni Protest Leader in Iraq’s Fallujah
» Iraqis Win £800,000 After ‘SAS Beat Them’ In Hunt for Red Caps’ Killers
» North Yemen Fighting Kills More Than 120
» Now the Twelfth Imam Can Come
» Pope Francis’ Meeting With Putin Zeroes in on Middle East
» Starving Rebels Eat Lion From a Damascus Zoo
» Suicide Bomber Targets Iraq Funeral
» Turkey: ‘Marmaray and Metro Excavations Yielded Major Discoveries About Istanbul’s Past’
» Clashes Amid Huge Ukraine Protest Against U-Turn on EU
» Why is Putin Always Late?
South Asia
» Bangladesh Burns as Blockade Continues Amid Wide Spread Violence
» India Marines Death-Penalty Threat Denied
» Life Sentence for Noida Muslim Couple Who Killed Their Daughter and Nepalese Servant
» Thailand Police Fend Off Mass Protests in Bangkok
Far East
» China: ‘Baby Box’ Plan for Unwanted Newborns Causes Stir
» Investigation Reveals Black Market in China for Research Paper Authoring
» Is it Safe? Radioactive Japanese Wave Nears US
Australia — Pacific
» New Zealand: MWL Chief Lays Stone Oakland Islamic Center
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 17, Sets Houses Ablaze
Latin America
» Keyana Cumberbatch, 6, Raped and Murdered in Case Which Sparked Outrage in Trinidad
» Amnesty Supporters Plot Revenge After Boehner Says No to Conference
Culture Wars
» Croatia: A Neoconservative Revolution
» Radical Feminists: “Where Are the Priests? We Want to Burn Them at the Stake”
» 7 Volcanoes Erupt in 6 Countries Hours Apart
» Once We Start Geohacking, We Won’t be Able to Stop: The ‘Fix’ Could be Worse Than Problem

Canadians Should Not be Too Smug

It is ironic that Canada ranks among the PIIGS as the most vulnerable, and ahead of Italy that has a weight of 7. Canada’s greatest vulnerabilities, unit labour costs and house prices should be viewed in the context of the move to increase Ontario’s minimum wage by 37% (Raise minimum wage in Ontario to $14 per hour: New union says) and a housing market that has been linear up (Tracking Canadian House Prices).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Italy Facing the Stability of the Graveyard?

Many Italian business people consider the prospect of another 18 months of the Letta government seriously alarming.

by Simon Nixon

It is seven months since Enrico Letta was installed as Italian Prime Minister by the country’s power brokers in a bid to bring political stability following February’s inconclusive election. When he took office in April, few expected him to last until the end of the year, given the animosity between Mr. Letta’s Socialist party and his coalition partners, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party.

But last it has—and on the surface, Mr. Letta’s position now looks stronger than ever. Next week, the Senate looks certain to vote to expel Mr. Berlusconi following his conviction for tax fraud—a move that has split the PdL, with Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano leading a breakaway faction that pledges to continue supporting the coalition.

Senior ministers now talk confidently of the government holding together until Rome has completed its rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2014. That would mean no new elections until early 2015 at the earliest.

This stability has had the desired effect on markets: Yields on the country’s 10-year bonds have fallen to just 4.08%, levels last seen in 2010, while the spread over German government bonds—obsessively watched by Italians as a gauge of the country’s standing in the markets—has fallen to just 2.3 percentage points, down from 3.4 after the election.

Yet many leading Italian business people consider the prospect of another 18 months of the Letta government seriously alarming. They believe that the government has only been able to remain in office by attempting little and achieving even less.

Even ministers privately acknowledge that the 2014 budget was disappointing: Thanks to coalition wrangling, it contained just €2.5 billion ($3.38 billion) of spending cuts next year out of total government expenditure of €800 billion, which will fund a €2.5 billion tax cut. A new privatization plan announced last week included just €12 billion of assets.

Although Italy has made more progress than other countries toward balancing its budget, public spending is equivalent to just over 50% of gross domestic product and personal taxes are among the highest in the euro zone.

Nor has the coalition shown any serious appetite for reform. Like its predecessor, the technocratic government led by former Prime Minister Mario Monti, which started out with apparent reforming zeal but soon ran into the sand, Mr. Letta’s administration appears paralyzed by political opposition both inside and outside Parliament.

This is worrying because Italy is unique among Southern European countries in having seen no significant improvement in its competitive position since the beginning of the global financial crisis, notes Gilles Moec, an economist at Deutsche Bank. “Total factor productivity has declined since 2008 after stagnating in the prerecession decade. Unit labor costs have not fallen, business profitability has deteriorated and the Italian export performance has not picked up.”…

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

Italy: Inflation Hits 0.6% in Third Straight Drop

Lowest since October 2009

(ANSA) — Rome, November 29 — Italian inflation fell to an annual 0.6% in November from 0.8% in October, Istat said Friday.

It was the lowest since October 2009, the statistics agency said.

The consumer-price index posted its third straight monthly drop, 0.4%, the sharpest since November 2008.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EU’s Reliance on Fiscal Rigor is Wrong, Says PD Candidate

(AGI) Rome, Nov 30 — A candidate for the Italian Democratic Party (PD) elections, Gianni Cuperlo, criticised the EU’s policy of relying on fiscal rigor. “If I am elected party secretary, I will ask the government to make its voice heard and tell Europe that the strategy of recent years has failed.

“The idea that you start with fiscal rigor from which to launch growth and create jobs is wrong”, Cuperlo insisted.

“Expansionary fiscal policies are needed. Accounting must be orderly and clear, but applying rigor alone to countries that are already struggling only aggravates the situation”. (AGI) .

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

The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a protege of Treasury Secretaries Rubin and Summers, has received his reward for continuing the Rubin-Summers-Paulson policy of supporting the “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the economy and American people. For his service to the handful of gigantic banks, whose existence attests to the fact that the Anti-Trust Act is a dead-letter law, Geithner has been appointed president and managing director of the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus and is on his way to his fortune.

A Warburg in-law financed Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign. Part of the reward was Wilson’s appointment of Paul Warburg to the first Federal Reserve Board. The symbiotic relationship between presidents and bankers has continued ever since. The same small clique continues to wield financial power.

Geithner’s career is illustrative. In the 1980s, Geithner worked for Kissinger Associates. In the mid to late 1990s, Geithner served as a deputy assistant Treasury secretary. Under Rubin and Summers he moved up to undersecretary of the Treasury…

The Federal Reserve describes its policy of Quantitative Easing — the creation of new money with which the Fed purchases Treasury debt and mortgage backed securities — as a low interest rate policy in order to stimulate employment and economic growth. Economists and the financial media have parroted this cover story.

In contrast, I have exposed QE as a scheme for pumping profits into the banks and boosting their balance sheets. The real purpose of QE is to drive up the prices of the debt-related derivatives on the banks’ books, thus keeping the banks with solvent balance sheets.


This vast con game remains unrecognized by Congress and the public. At the IMF Research Conference on November 8, 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers presented a plan to expand the con game.

Summers says that it is not enough merely to give the banks interest free money. More should be done for the banks. Instead of being paid interest on their bank deposits, people should be penalized for keeping their money in banks instead of spending it.

To sell this new rip-off scheme, Summers has conjured up an explanation based on the crude and discredited Keynesianism of the 1940s that explained the Great Depression as a problem caused by too much savings. Instead of spending their money, people hoarded it, thus causing aggregate demand and employment to fall.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A Bang-Up Week

Last week was a killer for America, but a bang-up one for Barack Hussein Obama in furthering his Mission from Marx to destroy free, constitutional, capitalist America. It started out with Harry Reid (D-NV), the neo-fascist Senate Majority Leader doing a complete 180 degree switch on the Senate’s prerogative of advise and consent on presidential nominations. The minority party’s option to filibuster nominations they deem unworthy, for whatever reason, an option that had existed in the Senate for over 200 years, is gone. One party rule is the “new normal”.

Disaster 2 for America was pretty much overshadowed by Disasters 1 and 3. It happened at the UN man-made global warming confab in Warsaw. Also, it was pulled off in the wee hours of the morning on a weekend (intentional?), so it garnered minimal coverage in the “mainstream” media. However, Craig Rucker, Director of CFACT (Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow), was there:

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions-reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble together a consensus. The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss-and-damage mechanism (

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

An Outbreak of Lawlessness

The problem is not the change itself. It’s fine that a president staffing his administration should need 51 votes rather than 60. Doing so for judicial appointments, which are for life, is a bit dicier. Nonetheless, for about 200 years the filibuster was nearly unknown in blocking judicial nominees. So we are really just returning to an earlier norm.

The violence to political norms here consisted in how that change was executed. By brute force — a near party-line vote of 52 to 48 . This was a disgraceful violation of more than two centuries of precedent. If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules. Senate rules today are whatever the majority decides they are that morning.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Black Friday and Gun Control

As long as Americans continue being suckered by the savings spectacle that is Black Friday, the country will continue down the road towards full-on technocratic enslavement.

Meanwhile, the federal government busily readies the next attacks on the Second Amendment, free speech, the freedom of the press and liberty.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fast & Furious Star Paul Walker Dead in Fiery Car Wreck: Actor Killed After Porsche Gt Driven by His Friend Crashed Into Pole

Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast & Furious action movies, has died in a car crash after his friend lost control of a Porsche GT which smashed into a pole and a tree.

The high-powered super-car burst into flames after it crashed in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, at 3:30pm, yesterday.

Walker, 40, who was in five of the six films about illegal street racing and heists, had been at an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide before deciding to take the car out for a drive with his friend.

The fundraiser, to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan, was taking place in a race car shop near to the scene of the crash.

Guests rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car…

Walker, who leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, was an investor in the Always Evolving car shop in Valencia, California.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Genetically Modified Politicians

Their Battle to Persuade the Public to Accept GM Food

The official UK government policy on genetically modified (GM) crops is “precautionary, evidence-based and sensitive to public concerns”. Who are they kidding?

My heart always sinks when, listening to the BBC’s Today programme, someone from the Department for International Development starts talking about the “international food crisis”, and the starving people in all those poor undeveloped countries (the ones we helped to pauper with our empire building). I know for sure that in the next day or two, in the top political slot on Today, I’ll be listening to Environment Minister Owen Paterson telling us that we must embrace GM technology if we want to feed the world. It normally coincides with his giving a speech or two about the wonders of GM crops and food, full of outrageous and unscientific statements. Prime Minister David Cameron chips in with a comment to the media about how Britain is losing the scientific race to feed the world.

It happens with depressing regularity, and it never goes as smoothly as they hope. Although Monsanto has, for now, withdrawn from Europe, the lobbying of politicians is relentless. Last year the GM companies, having met with British ministers at a little-publicised ‘ Growing for Growth’ conference, started another push to promote GM. They were immediately backed up by Owen Paterson insisting that GM food will sort our problems — no worries. He was followed in July by David Cameron saying Europe was “being left behind” even though the previous month it had been disclosed that GM food is banned from all the restaurants and cafes in the Palace of Westminster, and he himself was refusing to say whether he’d feed GM food to his family.

Chivvied by the biotech people, Paterson made a further push later last year but the campaign was spoilt in January by a report stating that almost 50% of the world’s food is wasted. The hunger is a result of how we manage the world, not the earth’s inability to feed us.

Perhaps the biotech companies were encouraged by a survey published in March last year, showing that more people were now “unconcerned” about GM crops and food. The trouble with surveys like this is that you can point to the bit that supports your opinion and, if you are the Environment Secretary, Prime Minister or perhaps a biotech CEO, happily ignore the rest. So while both ministers and media trumpeted the news that more people (25%) were now unconcerned about GM food (up from 17% in 2003), they ignored the other 75%, especially the 46% that remain concerned about the technology and its risks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Health Site is Improving But Likely to Miss Saturday Deadline

Despite recent progress at, a raft of problems will remain beyond the Obama administration’s Saturday deadline to make the troubled federal insurance website work.

The news isn’t all bad: Users say the site looks better, pages load faster, and more people are getting through to sign up for health plans.

But technical problems still affect’s ability to verify users’ identities and transmit accurate enrollment data to insurers, officials say. The data center that supports the site faces continuing challenges, and tools for processing payments to insurers haven’t been built.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

L.A. Sheriff’s Department Hired Officers With Histories of Misconduct

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department hired dozens of officers even though background investigators found they had committed serious misconduct on or off duty, sheriff’s files show.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Metro-North Train Derails in the Bronx

A Metro-North Railroad train derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx along the Hudson River, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

Five of the seven cars on the southbound train from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., left the tracks about 7:20 a.m. near the Spuyten Duyvil station under the Henry Hudson Bridge on Metro-North’s Hudson Line, the spokesman, Aaron Donovan, told NY1.

The number of injuries was not known, Mr. Donovan said.

[Return to headlines]

Montana Appeals Former Teacher’s One-Month Sentence for Rape of Teen

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Montana is fighting to get a former teacher back behind bars after he served only a month for raping a 14-year-old girl.

Prosecutors filed an appeal Friday questioning the controversial 31-day sentence imposed on Stacey Dean Rambold, whose victim took her own life.

Rambold, a former high school teacher, pleaded guilty to the rape. He was sentenced in August and released from a Montana prison on probation the next month.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New York Train Crash: Metro-North Derailment in Bronx

Four people have been killed and 63 injured in a passenger train crash in the Bronx area of New York City. Eleven of the injured are believed to be in a critical condition in hospital. The Metro-North train’s locomotive and carriages derailed as the train went into a bend in the railway line near Spuyten Duyvil station.

At least one eyewitness said the train — the 05:54 from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station — was travelling much faster than normal at the time.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

NYPD to Businesses: Turn Security Cameras Toward Streets

The NYPD wants business owners to help solve crime in one Harlem precinct by turning their security cameras to the street.

As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported Saturday, police believe crime has spun out of control in the 32nd Precinct, which is bounded by St. Nicholas and Bradhurst avenues on the west, 127th Street on the south, and the Harlem River on the north and east.

“You’ve got a lot of these gang members out here attacking people for no reason,” said one neighbor, Dwayne. “They need to just put a lot of cameras up in storefronts to lower the crime rate.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama ‘Proud’ of Healthcare Legacy

President Obama said Friday he’s confident that the troubled healthcare rollout won’t be the final word on how his signature legislative achievement is remembered.

“I continue to believe and [I’m] absolutely convinced that at the end of the day, people are going to look back at the work we’ve done to make sure that in this country, you don’t go bankrupt when you get sick, that families have that security,” the president said in an interview on ABC’s 20/20. “That is going to be a legacy I am extraordinarily proud of.”

The HealthCare.Gov website went live on Oct. 1, but has been plagued by a myriad of technical issues.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare: New Lawsuits Should be Equal Protection Under the Law

Tax legislation has to originate in the House; the health-care law didn’t.

“Of all the fraud perpetrated in the passage of Obamacare — and the fraud has been epic — the lowest is President Obama’s latest talking point that the Supreme Court has endorsed socialized medicine as constitutional. To the contrary, the justices held the “Affordable” Care Act unconstitutional as Obama presented it to the American people: namely, as a legitimate exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

“To sustain this monstrosity, Chief Justice John Roberts had to shed his robes and put on his legislator cap. He rewrote Obamacare as a tax/ — the thing the president most indignantly promised Americans that Obamacare was not. And it is here that our recent debate over the Constitution’s Origination Clause — the debate in which Matt Franck, Ramesh Ponnuru, Mark Steyn, and yours truly have probed the historical boundaries of the “power of the purse” reposed by the Framers in the House of Representatives — descends from the airy realm of abstraction and homes in on a concrete violation of law.

“It is not just that the intensely unpopular Obamacare was unconstitutional as fraudulently portrayed by the president and congressional Democrats who strong-armed and pot-sweetened its way to passage. It is that Obamacare is unconstitutional as rewritten by Roberts. It is a violation of the Origination Clause — not only as I have expansively construed it, but even under Matt’s narrow interpretation of the Clause.”

Rightly so, it may now drop back into Roberts’ lap: Lawsuit over health care tax could kill ‘Obamacare’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obamacare’s Insurance Cancellations: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

If President Barack Obama thinks weathering the storm of health-insurance cancellations is tough right now, he’d better get himself an ark by this time next year. By then, according to Fox News, there will be a flood of cancellations, affecting as many as 80 million Americans, followed by recriminations from Obama’s fellow Democrats if these and other ObamaCare negatives cost them dearly in the midterm elections.

At present, individual insurance policies are the primary ones being canceled, with approximately 3.5 million Americans affected thus far. Next year, however, group policies, which are typically purchased by employers, will be subjected to ObamaCare — and that’s when the impact of the healthcare law will really be felt.

The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Stan Veuger told Fox News that “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans.” About 157 million Americans are covered under such plans.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Roosevelt, Ibn Saud, and American Jews

by Andrew Bostom

The President [Roosevelt] replied that there was only one concession he thought he might offer and that was to give him [Ibn Saud] the six million Jews in the United States. [February 10, 1945]

This morning at AT, Professor Emeritus Edward Bernard Glick described his frank 1958 discussion with Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s decision not to bomb the railway tracks connecting to the Nazi extermination camps for European Jews. Professor Glick also alludes to prevalent antisemitic attitudes in the State Department, and perhaps President Roosevelt, himself, whom he quotes as having stated to a prominent Jewish Congressman, “The Jews in America should know that they are tolerated here, but not more than that.”

Roosevelt’s statement was in fact a crude retrogression from the attitudes expressed by America’s first President, George Washington. Following a visit to Newport, RI in August, 1790, and his warm reception by the local Jewish community, represented in a letter by Moses Seixas, George Washington wrote a moving reply to Touro’s congregation. Our first President rejected the idea of mere “tolerance” of Jews, embracing them as full, equal citizens of the nascent American nation, with complete freedom of conscience, and the guarantee of their personal security. Washington stated,…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Terrorists Are Gaining Ground, Intelligence Committee Heads Say

Washington (CNN) — The leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees said Sunday that terrorists have gained ground in the past two years and that the United States is not any safer than it was at the outset of 2011.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, agreed that despite the death of Osama bin Laden and drone strikes aimed at decimating al Qaeda’s leadership, President Barack Obama’s administration has lost ground in the ongoing battle with global terrorism.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Bad-Faith Presidency

Forthrightness is Barack Obama’s greatest enemy.

At the end of the day, the root of President Barack Obama’s mendacity on Obamacare was simple: He didn’t dare tell people how the law would work. He couldn’t tell people how the law would work.

Forthrightness was the enemy. It served no useful purpose and could only bring peril, and potentially defeat. It had to be banished. Instead, President Obama made the sale on the basis of dubious blandishments and outright deceptions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Unhealthy Whole Grain (Book Excerpt: Wheat Belly)

Flip through your parents’ or grandparents’ family albums and you’re likely to be struck by how thin everyone looks. The women probably wore size-four dresses and the men sported 32-inch waists. Overweight was something measured only by a few pounds; obesity rare. Overweight children? Almost never. Any 42-inch waists? Not here. Two-hundred-pound teenagers? Certainly not.

The women of that world didn’t exercise much at all. How many times did you see your mom put on her jogging shoes to go out for a three-mile run? Nowadays I go outdoors on any nice day and see dozens of women jogging, riding their bicycles, power walking — things we’d virtually never see 40 or 50 years ago. And yet, we’re getting fatter and fatter every year.

I am going to argue that the problem with the diet and health of most Americans is wheat — or what we are being sold that is called “wheat.”

Documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans include appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins (the counterpart of internally derived endorphins), exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses. A complex range of diseases results from consumption of wheat, from celiac disease — the devastating intestinal disease that develops from exposure to wheat gluten — to an assortment of neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and the paralyzing delusions of schizophrenia.

The sad truth is that the proliferation of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists. Advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women. Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year.

So why has this seemingly benign plant that sustained generations of humans suddenly turned on us? For one thing, it is not the same grain our forebears ground into their daily bread. Wheat has changed dramatically in the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientists. Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre. Such enormous strides in yield have required drastic changes in genetic code. Such fundamental genetic changes have come at a price.

[Comment: Highly Recommended Reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unprecedented Concentration of Sea Creatures Near Shore in California Leave Experts Baffled

It began with the anchovies, miles and miles of them […] in the waters of Monterey Bay. Then the sea lions came, by the thousands […] the pelicans […] bottlenose dolphins [in groups of 100 or more have been spotted] […] But it was the whales that astounded even longtime residents — more than 200 humpbacks […] and, on a recent weekend, a pod of 19 rowdy orcas […] the water in every direction roiled with mammals […] For almost three months, Monterey and nearby coastal areas have played host to a mammoth convocation of sea life that scientists here say is unprecedented in their memories […] never that anyone remembers have there been this many or have they stayed so long […] Last month, so many anchovies crowded into Santa Cruz harbor that the oxygen ran out, leading to a major die-off. Marine researchers are baffled about the reason for the anchovy explosion. […]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Achtung! EU Plan to Replace British Roadsigns With Ones That ‘Talk’ In Euro-Speak

Britain could be covered in foreign road signs if a controversial new scheme to standardise their design across Europe is brought in.

The UK’s distinctive red-circle speed signs and the ‘no-entry’ symbol as we know it could vanish.

Instead we could be made to adopt German and French-style signs, such as a number on a solid red circle.

The changes for A-roads proposed to the European Commission last week are said to be needed to pave the way for ‘intelligent’ cars with cameras able to read road signs and talk to drivers. Some new Volvos and Fords already have the technology…

But last night politicians called it ‘madness’ which would confuse motorists and waste millions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Britain Targets Guardian Newspaper Over Intelligence Leaks Related to Edward Snowden

Living in self-imposed exile in Russia, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may be safely beyond the reach of Western powers. But dismayed by the continued airing of trans-atlantic intelligence, British authorities are taking full aim at a messenger shedding light on his secret files here — the small but mighty Guardian newspaper.

The pressures coming to bear on the Guardian, observers say, are testing the limits of press freedoms in one of the world’s most open societies. Although Britain is famously home to a fierce pack of news media outlets — including the tabloid hounds of old Fleet Street — it also has no enshrined constitutional right to free speech.

The Guardian, in fact, has slipped into the single largest crack in the free speech laws that are on the books here — the dissemination of state secrets protecting queen and country in the British homeland.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Femen Activists Urinate on Photo of Ukrainian President

(AGI) Kiev, Dec 1 — Five topless members of the Femen feminist group urinated on a photograph of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich during a protest in Paris against Kiev’s U-turn on joining the EU. The demonstration took place outside the Ukrainian Embassy, where the women — four Ukrainians and one French — took off their knickers before defiling the photograph, which was on the pavement. The protestors left their skirts on. The protest slogan was “Yanukovich piss off”.

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

Italy Ranks Low in Number of Millionaire Bankers

Only 109 compared to Britain’s 2,714

(ANSA) — Rome, November 29 — Italy ranks low among Europe’s big economies when it comes to how much money its bankers make, according to a report released Friday by the European Banking Authority. In 2012 there were 109 bank managers who made over one million euros annually in Italy, compared to 2,714 in Britain, 212 in Germany, and 177 in France. Spain had only 100 bankers in the million-plus pay range.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 15 Billion Euros in Assets Seized From Mafia Since 1992

Over 5,000 suspicious businesses put under surveillance

(ANSA) — Palermo, November 26 — Italian police have seized nearly 15 billion euros in assets from mafia groups since 1992, government figures released Tuesday showed. Some seven billion of those 14.475 billion euros in assets were seized definitively, while the rest was returned or is still being reviewed. Also in that time, 5,223 business were put under surveillance.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors Drop Case Against Northern League Politician

(AGI) Milan, Nov 29 — The Milan prosecutor’s office has requested the dropping of the investigation into Senator Roberto Calderoli. The investigation had been part of the wider inquiry into the finances of the right-wing regionalist Northern League. The former treasurer of the Northern League, Francesco Belsito, had called Calderoli into question, telling prosecutors that his Rome apartment was paid for with party money. “Paying the costs of a house in Rome — explain the judges — the place where political and parliamentary activities mainly take place, for a leading member of the party, can ultimately, in our opinion constitute a legitimate financial engagement (quite apart from the duty to account for it, not respected in this case, but not decisive for the crime of embezzlement)”.

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

Italy: Minister Kyenge’s Visit Protested With ‘Bloody’ Mannequins

(AGI) Agrigento, Nov 30 — Three mannequins daubed in red paint were found near the entrance to the San Nicola museum in the Sicilian city of Agrigento, where Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge received a peace prize on Saturday. The mannequins were covered in fliers from the far-right Forza Nuova party. Police were at the scene.

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

Italy’s Largest Union Resists Latest Central Bank Reform

(AGI) Venice, Nov 30 — Italy’s largest labour union, CGIL, criticised the Letta government’s new law which would alter the Bank of Italy’s share ownership. The union’s secretary, Susanna Camusso, stated: “It is worrying during this period, when the financialisation of the economy ought to be abandoned, that they are in favour of financialising the Bank of Italy. I think this too is a sign of serious difficulty and also a danger for our institutional framework”.

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

Italy: Reinstate IMU Property Tax, Says Camusso

(AGI) Venice, Nov 30 — Susanna Camusso, General Secretary of the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) mocked governmental inconsistency on the IMU property tax bill, saying that the only sensible thing to do was to reinstate IMU. During her speech at the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) conference, she went on to say: “How can a country that removes and reinstates IMU six times in just a few years be taken seriously?” She also said that the unions would lobby for changes to the budget law on Dec. 14 because, in its present form, it gave the country no answers. Decisions had to be made, she added, and it was wrong to trumpet a non-existent recovery.

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

Italy: The Burdensome Legacy of Il Cavaliere

La Repubblica Rome

Silvio Berlusconi has been expelled by his peers from the Senate and stripped of his immunity in a long-awaited vote on November 27. Despite no longer being in Parliament, Il Cavaliere has indelibly left his mark on this era and society, writes Barbara Spinelli.

Barbara Spinelli

Following the vote to expel Berlusconi from the Senate there is a great temptation to consign to history the 20 years that Berlusconi, four times president of the Council since 1994, has been in power. It’s a temptation we know well: once the anomaly has been neutralised, one gets back to normality. As if the anomaly — a momentary digression — had never really existed.

In 1944, it was not an Italian but an American journalist, Herbert Matthews, who declared in the columns of the literary magazine Mercurio of Alba de Céspedes: “You have not killed it! Far from being dead, fascism continues to live on in the minds of Italians. Of course, not in the same terms as yesterday, but in the way of thinking, of acting.”

The infection, our “disease of the century”, has lasted a long time. This also applies to the alleged fall of Berlusconi. It is a relief to know that he will no longer be a critical factor for the parliament and the government. But Berlusconism is still here. And it will be not easy to wean ourselves off this drug that has fascinated not only politicians and parties, but the entire society.

I say “the alleged fall” because even after his removal, Berlusconism will continue. This means the battle will also go on for those who aspire to rebuild democracy and not just to stabilise it. The two decades of Berlusconi should finally be assessed: how was Berlusconism born? How could it have taken root?

No toothless tiger

Once stripped of his office, sentenced to community service, the leader of Forza Italia will still have two formidable weapons: an intact media apparatus and “monstruous” financial resources — even more monstrous in lean times. Barred from the Senate, he will communicate with the Italians by interposed video messages….

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

Italy: M5S Leader Grillo Calls for Napolitano’s Impeachment

(AGI) Genoa, Dec 1 — M5S leader Grillo called for Napolitano’s impeachment while speaking at a Five Star Movement rally in Genoa on Sunday. “We have prepared the petition to impeach Napolitano”, Grillo told a cheering crowd. “He must step down; he has doubled his term in office and destroyed the wiretapping recordings of his conversations with (former Interior Minister Nicola) Mancino”, he continued. “You will be left alone, Napolitano, to betray Italy on your own”.

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

Petrus Romanus: Pope Advocates Global Wealth Redistribution, Renounces Free Market Economics as “Crude and Naive”

Since his coronation, Pope Francis has made waves throughout the Catholic community, often shunning generally accepted Papal tradition for a more modern and progressive world. He is, for lack of a better term, a reformer. — From refusing the luxurious living quarters traditionally reserved for the head of the Church in the Vatican, to turning Catholic dogma on its head by suggesting it’s OK to be gay when he addressed the issue by asking, “Who am I to judge?” Francis is unlike any popes who have come before him.

By some accounts, he has been a positive influence, as evidenced by a growing interest in Catholicism since he took the reigns of the Church. For others, especially those who have followed the centuries old prophecies of Saint Malachy, his message is being approached with caution and skepticism.

Now, in his first encyclical, a Papal letter sent to Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis has once again caused an uproar by claiming free market capitalism and trickle-down economics are unproven theories not backed with facts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis I: Your Exhortation is Marxist, Part 1

On November 26, 2013, two days before America’s celebratory day of Thanksgiving for the freedoms our Founding Fathers gave this Great Nation, Pope Francis I issued from the Vatican a 50,000 word “apostolic exhortation” (an 84 page Papal opinion). His opposition to capitalism and support for liberation theology was made quite clear. You can download the Pope’s commentary here.

Liberation theology was called a “Marxist myth” by the new Pope’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Conspiracy theorists can have a good night’s entertainment putting together a case for a forced retirement for Pope Benedict so a new Pope, Francis I who is more friendly to communist philosophies, could take control of the Catholic Church to help the communist-based New World Order move into high gear.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the comments of Pope Francis certainly raised the hair on the back of my neck. I realize he is from South America where Liberation theology has a strong foothold, and I realize that His Holiness is far more qualified than I in the Catechism of the Holy Mother Church. But based on Pope Francis I’s comments about capitalism, I also realize that I am more qualified than he to define the values and downfalls of the system of economics known as capitalism.

Before providing comments of Pope Francis I, some definitional clarity of specific terms Pope Francis used is required. Anyone who reads my articles knows that I strongly believe that defining one’s words is the only means by which truth can be identified. According to an ancient Chinese philosopher, wisdom begins with the understanding of the meaning of the words we use. I agree with that thought.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Remove Corpses From Italian Parliament, Says Grillo

(AGI) Rome, Dec 1 — Beppe Grillo said he wanted to remove the corpses that still occupy seats in the Italian parliament. In an interview with the Sky TG24 news ahead of a demonstration of his Five Star Movement in Genoa, Grillo said: “We can stop smashing up things because there is nothing more to smash.

Let’s give the last rites to the corpses that are still roaming. We have entered parliament and have removed its fake sacredness. And we have let the people in again.” .

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

Shock Four-Country Poll Reveals Widening Gulf Between Britain and EU

Poll of France, Germany, Poland and the UK shows British hostile to EU, and other nations hostile to Britain

A powerful cross-party alliance including former Tory foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is calling for an urgent fightback against spiralling anti-European sentiment as a new four-nation poll suggests the UK could be heading out of the EU.

The landmark survey of more than 5,000 voters in the UK, Germany, France and Poland finds British people far more hostile to the EU and its policies than those in the other EU states, and strikingly low support for British membership among people on the continent.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Archbishop Abused for Her Tolerance to Islam

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) Sweden’s first elected female archbishop has come under a shower of online abuse from anti-Islam xenophobes, over her views of religious tolerance in favor of a multi-faith Sweden, The Local reported on Saturday, November 30. “I was not prepared for this spite and hatred,” Archbishop Antje Jackelén told Sveriges Radio P4 Kristianstad…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Al Qaeda Fanatic From Britain Who Funded Jihad Trip to Syria by Mugging Londoners With a Taser

Choukei Ellekhliki, 22, was killed on August 11 fighting for Al Qaeda in Syria but previously lived in Paddington and used a stun gun to rob people in Belgravia.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Brutal Hate Crime Mob Beating on a London Bus

A security camera captured a vicious unprovoked racial mob attack on a beautiful 22 year old redheaded British woman. The perpetrators are five young black males.

The woman was sitting in the back of a public bus. A group of five young black males sitting down near her and immediately begin to verbally harass the woman. Within minutes they viciously attack her. The victim had to be taken to the hospital.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Pregnant Woman Has Unborn Baby Girl Forcibly Removed by Caesarean After Social Workers Obtain Court Order Because She Had Suffered a Mental Breakdown

Social services forcibly removed a pregnant woman’s unborn baby by caesarean section and put it up for adoption after obtaining a high court order on the grounds the mother had suffered a mental breakdown.

Essex council obtained an order allowing them to sedate the woman against her will before taking her daughter and placing it into care.

The Italian woman, who was in Britain on a work training course, claims she had not even been warned that she would be given a caesarean. It is not believed a natural birth would have posed a risk to her or the child’s health.

Social workers argue they were acting in the best interests of the baby, who is now 15 months old, and are refusing to hand her back to the mother despite claims that she has made a complete recovery, The Sunday Telegraph reports.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Tesco Opens Up on Store Strategy for London

Tesco has revealed more about its strategy in London, where it is closely tailoring its stores to the needs of different communities. The retail giant has refreshed 100 of its nearly 500 stores in the capital, as it looks to build on demographic and Clubcard data to better understand what Londoners want. “A key part of our strategy in London is tailoring the customer offer to the local tastes, traditions, affluence and ethnicity, and so on,” said Tesco London managing director Andrew Yaxley in a blog post today. “With people moving around so much, the customer profile of a single store can significantly change from morning to midday to night. This presents Tesco with a challenge, but also a significant opportunity.”

In an accompanying video (above), Yaxley explained that the company views its London stores in terms of “on-the-move” outlets and “neighbourhood” shops. “By segmenting our business between ‘on-the-move’ and ‘neighbourhood’, it’s allowed us to really crystallise the ranges and space we give the customer propositions in store,” Yaxley said. Taking into account ethnic variations in each London neighbourhood, Yaxley pointed to the example of a Tesco Metro that had recently installed a halal counter: “We did it because that’s what customers said they wanted. You walk down the local high street and it’s full of halal butchers.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Tesco Targeting London Neighbourhoods With Products Suited to Their Demographic

Neighbourhoods within London are being targeted by Tesco with products specifically suited to their demographic. The supermarket giant has revamped a fifth of its 500 stores within the M25 to tailor “localised” ranges suited to the typical customers in each area. In Upton Park, where 90 per cent of the customer base is black or Asian, the local Tesco Metro has introduced a halal meat counter and hot halal chicken…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ukraine Riot Police Break Up Pro-Europe Protests

Ukrainian riot police used batons and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of pro-Europe protesters early on Saturday after President Viktor Yanukovich opted not to sign a pact with the European Union.

Helmeted police bearing white shields, stormed an encampment of protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square, as they sang songs and warmed themselves by campfires, the opposition said.

Tension had been building since Friday, when Yanukovich declined to sign the pact with EU leaders at a summit in Lithuania, going back on a pledge to work toward integrating his ex-Soviet republic into the European mainstream.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Undercover Film Exposes ‘Fagin School’ Teaching Bulgarians to Pick YOUR Pocket

Criminal svengali shows young proteges how to ‘dip’… before they come to Britain

The astonishing footage reveals how a pickpocketing svengali shows young proteges how to ‘dip’ and says some of them are on their way to Britain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Police Clash With Morsi Supporters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

Police swiftly swung into action on Sunday to drive hundreds of supporters of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president from Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square, firing heavy tear gas to clear them from the central plaza barely minutes after they took it over.

It was the first time in more than a year that Islamists entered the central square in significant numbers. The location has been the near exclusive domain of liberal and secular protesters since shortly after Morsi took office in June 2012 as Egypt’s first freely elected president.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Olmert: We’ve Declared War on Obama Gov’t

Former prime minister says ‘attempts to sic Congress against the American administration’ are a serious mistake.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s handling of current disagreements with the United States, regarding the deal the US negotiated with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

“We’ve declared war on the United States administration,” Olmert said at a special debate at the Institute for National Security Studies on Sunday.

“First and foremost,” said Olmert, “we must steer clear of anything that might give the impression that we want to lock horns with our biggest ally.”

Disagreements with the US must never be handled in a way “that might give the impression, G-d forbid… of a provocative tone of personal confrontation with the man whose goodwill and support for the state of Israel are perhaps the most important basis for the state of Israel’s strategic interest.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Forced Islamisation of Armenians Raises Questions About Today’s Turkey

Ethnic and religious cleansing accompanied the genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks and the construction of Ataturk’s new Turkey. Millions of Turks are related to Armenians. Crypto-Armenians and Crypto-Christians are now breaking their silence.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) — Turks are getting ready for a hot election in March when they will cast their ballot to elect a new parliament and, for the first time, a new president. Almost certainly, Sunni ethics will certainly inform the debate. Not much coverage has gone to a conference held in early November on the forced islamisation of Armenians before and after the 1915 genocide.

Organised by Istanbul’s Bogaziçi University and the Hrant Dink Foundation, which is named after Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the editor of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. He was assassinated in 2007 by Turkish nationalists with the tolerance of elements within the Turkish state.

Although some 600 people from around the world attended the conference, the Turkish media failed to give the event the attention it deserved.

In their presentations, various speakers noted that forced Islamisation was not visited only on individual children and women survivors but on entire families forced to convert in order to survive in the new Turkey born out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.

The founding of the new Turkish Republic was premised on the policies of Islamisation and genocide pursued by the Young Turks and the Committee of Union and Progress. This occurred after Armenian members of the Young Turks and the Committee split from ethnic Turks in 1913.

Based on various reports, the goal of the Committee of Union and Progress in 1915 was to reduce the Armenian population (5 to 10 per cent of the empire’s population) where it had its strongest and oldest roots — the central, southern and eastern regions of the Ottoman Empire — since its aim was to establish a new Turkey that would be Sunni Muslim. Even Kemal Ataturk, founder of Turkey’s so-called secular republic, appealed to Muslim solidarity to consolidate his power. In short, a real Turk was a Muslim Turk.

Not surprisingly, after the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians known as Karamanlis were uprooted from Anatolia and sent to Greece.

Turkish historian Taner Akçam, who teaches at Clark University in the United States, is one of the foremost specialist on the Armenian Genocide. In his address, he spoke of 200,000 Islamised Armenians, noting that the assets of the genocide victims went to the Turks.

Overall, historians focused on a very important issue. Because of forced islamisation, millions of Turks have ties to the Armenian and/or Christian communities. Some call them ‘crypto-Armenians’ or ‘crypto-Christians;.

In her lecture, French sociologist Laurence Ritter presented research showing that 100 years after the Armenian Genocide, the descendants of Islamised Armenian survivors, the so-called crypto-Armenians of Anatolia, are beginning to break their silence.

Ayse Gül Altinay, who teaches at Sabanci University, a private college in Istanbul, said that Hrant Dink, the murdered editor of the Istanbul-based Turkish-Armenian newspaper Armenian Agos, back in 2004 called for the Armenian Genocide to be revisited in light of the descendants of Islamised Armenians.

Ayse Gül Altinay and Fethiye Çetin edited a book, The Grandchildren, released in 2007, in which they note that the Turkish state knew about the ethnic make-up of the population. Contrary to the official ideology, Turks were not as homogenous as the government wanted them to be.

In light of these steps, Turkey is beginning to question its true character and the multi-ethnic nature of its population.

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

Iraq: Gunmen Kill Sunni Protest Leader in Iraq’s Fallujah

RAMADI, Iraq, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Gunmen on Sunday killed a leader of a Sunni anti-government protest in the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial police source told Xinhua…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraqis Win £800,000 After ‘SAS Beat Them’ In Hunt for Red Caps’ Killers

Nine Iraqi police officers who said they were tortured by the SAS have been awarded a total of about £800,000 in compensation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Yemen Fighting Kills More Than 120

SANAA (Reuters) — Fighting between Shi’ite Houthi rebels and Sunni Salafis in northern Yemen has killed more than 120 and a government official in charge of enforcing a ceasefire accused the Houthis of breaking the truce, a newspaper said on Sunday.

The latest round of fighting between the Houthis and Salafis has added to the challenges facing U.S. allied Yemen, already grappling with a southern separatist movement and an insurgency by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda.

Amin al-Hemyari, head of government observers monitoring a ceasefire reached last month, said the death toll among Salafis in the town of Damaj had risen to more than 120, with dozens wounded, the government-run al-Thawra newspaper said.

He said no casualty figures were available for the Houthis.

Clashes started after Houthi rebels, who control most of Saada province, accused the Salafis of massing thousands of fighters, including foreigners, in a religious school in Damaj with the aim of attacking them.

The Salafis say the foreigners are religious students who have traveled to study Islamic theology at the Dar al-Hadith academy, established in the 1980s…

           — Hat tip: LS [Return to headlines]

Now the Twelfth Imam Can Come

Among the many who decried the Obama Administration’s catastrophic capitulation to the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, none spelled out its potential consequences as trenchantly as Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett: “We awoke this morning to a new reality,” he said Sunday. “A reality in which a bad deal was signed with Iran. A very bad deal. If a nuclear suitcase blows up five years from now in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning.”

If that happens, it will also be because of the Shi’ite belief in the return of the Twelfth Imam. According to Islamic tradition, the dispute between the majority Sunnis and the Shiat Ali (Party of Ali) began upon the death of Muhammad in 632. The Sunnis contended that the prophet of Islam had made no provision for a successor as political, military, and spiritual leader of the Muslim community, and that therefore the Muslims should choose the best man among them as their leader. The nascent Party of Ali, on the contrary, claimed that Muhammad had designated his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor, and that the successor of Muhammad had to be a member of the prophet’s household.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis’ Meeting With Putin Zeroes in on Middle East

Pope Francis and Russian president Vladimir Putin’s first-ever meeting this week mostly focused on the Middle East, particularly on the ongoing Syrian conflict.

The president met with the pontiff Nov. 25 amid Putin’s short visit to Italy — along with 11 ministers of his cabinet — to sign commercial agreements and have institutional meetings with government officials.

According to a Vatican press office statement, Putin “expressed thanks for the letter addressed to him by the Holy Father on the occasion of the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg,” in which the Pope urged global leaders during the September event to pay attention to the situation in Syria.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Starving Rebels Eat Lion From a Damascus Zoo

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

STARVING Syrian rebels besieged in the suburbs of the capital Damascus signalled their desperation yesterday by killing and eating a zoo’s lion.

Pictures of men butchering the visibly emaciated animal, said to have been taken from the Al-Qarya al-Shama Zoo, were widely disseminated on websites sympathetic to the rebels, although their authenticity could not be verified.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Suicide Bomber Targets Iraq Funeral

At least 10 people have been killed in northern Iraq after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral. The violence follows one of the deadliest months in Iraq this year.

More than 6,000 people have been killed across the country this year, making it one of the most violent since 2006-07, when Shiite and Sunni militiamen engaged in sectarian reprisal raids.

The violence — mainly in Baghdad and Sunni areas of northern and western Iraq — worsened in April after security forces stormed a Sunni protest camp.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey: ‘Marmaray and Metro Excavations Yielded Major Discoveries About Istanbul’s Past’

The excavations prompted by projects in Istanbul’s historic peninsula led to a discoveries that take the city’s known history back 6,500 years. ‘Istanbul’s history was known to date back 2,600 years. But we found foot prints from 8,000 years ago’ says Zeynep Kiziltan, the director of Istanbul Archaeological Museums

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Clashes Amid Huge Ukraine Protest Against U-Turn on EU

A huge rally has been taking place in the Ukrainian capital to oppose a government decision not to sign a deal on closer EU ties, despite a ban.

Casualties were reported after clashes between protesters and police on the fringes of the rally. Police used tear gas and stun grenades to push back protesters near the presidential office.

Elsewhere in the city centre, protesters stormed the city council building and took it over. News agencies said about 100,000 people rallied on Kiev’s Independence Square, defying a ban imposed a day earlier.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why is Putin Always Late?

Vladimir Putin’s legendary lateness is back in the spotlight after he kept Pope Francis waiting during a recent visit to the Vatican. What lies behind his chronic tardiness?

The Russian president was 50 minutes late to meet the Pope on Monday. And papal courtiers were left “shivering” outside as they waited to welcome the Russian president, who was held up by women protesting outside his hotel in support of punk band Pussy Riot, says independent daily Moskovskiy Komsomolets.

The Pope and the Italian press appear to have taken it in their stride. Given his reputation, they probably expected nothing else.

Not so the South Korean media after he kept President Park Geun-hye waiting for 30 minutes during a visit to Seoul earlier in November — particularly as the already late Putin stopped en route to chat with martial arts enthusiasts.

“Mr Putin, be on time next time,” fumed a Korea Times headline.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh Burns as Blockade Continues Amid Wide Spread Violence

DHAKA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Bangladesh has been burning as the main opposition alliance continued blockade which triggered wide spread violence in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. Dozens of vehicles were smashed or set on fire during the hours of blockade in the country since Thursday when dozens of people sustained serious burn injuries. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday visited Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the city to see burn victims and said the opposition leader resorted to “genocide” in the country, killing mass people in arson attacks…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India Marines Death-Penalty Threat Denied

‘Inconceivable’ says special envoy de Mistura

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Both Italy and India on Thursday rejected Indian media reports that two Italian marines may face capital punishment there for the deaths of two Indian fishermen. “The death penalty is not even conceivable as a risk,” said Italy’s special envoy on the case, Staffan de Mistura. “The Indian government itself has pledged that that will not happen.

“But above all, this case does not fall among those very rare ones in which the death penalty is a statutory punishment,” said de Mistura, a long-serving top diplomat who has been shuttling between Italy and India to try to resolve the 21-month-long case of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, which has grabbed headlines around the world.

“This is just media speculation,” de Mistura added. “Such speculations in the past have been refuted by the facts”. Mistura told ANSA Italy is ready “for any eventuality, with actions and counteractions”.

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino stressed that the risk of the pair facing the death penalty “has already been denied and excluded” by the Indian government.

The government also ruled out the death penalty for the marines. “The case does not meet the criteria for crimes punishable by death,” government spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told ANSA at a press conference. The Hindustan Times had reported that investigators from India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) have asked to judge Latorre and Girone on the basis of the ‘Sua Act’, which punishes piracy by death. The two are charged with opening fire on a fishing trawler and killing Ajesh Binki and Valentine aka Gelastine on February 15, 2012. The shooting occurred while the marines were aboard a private vessel on an anti-piracy mission in international waters off the coast of Kerala in southern India, sparking a diplomatic row between the governments of India and Italy over conflicting opinions on jurisdiction and immunity. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid had previously assured Italy the marines would not face the death penalty. That assurance was part of a deal to extradite the two from Italy in March.

Bonino recently repeated the government’s determination to bring home the two marines.

The government’s objective, she said, is to “bring them home”.

“With radical obstinacy and sound realism,” she added, “we can do it”.

She said Latorre and Girone would most likely return home by Christmas, but Defence Minister Mario Mauro said that forecast might be optimistic.

“I think early 2014 is more likely,” he said.

Kurshid has said India is working “as quickly as possible” to resolve the case.

“We are trying to solve obstacles in the context of our laws,” and how they relate to Italian laws, he said.

He added that he hoped for “a better understanding” between the two countries: “I hope all these our efforts will lead to a quick decision”.

However, Khurshid refused to set a time frame for finalizing the investigation and trial of the marines.

He added that Indian law recognizes a mitigating factor that offers hope that the pair may not be held criminally accountable.

Kurshid spoke of “a crucial mitigating factor, that of good faith”.

“If someone acts in good faith, there is no criminal culpability,” he said.

There have been conflicting reports on the penalties faced by the men since they were returned to India after coming back home to vote in the February 22 general election and a diplomatic row over Italy’s initial refusal to hand them back.

After a drawn-out wrangle which rattled the government then led by technocrat Mario Monti, Italy agreed to hand the men back to Indian authorities in March despite still contesting India’s right to jurisdiction.

India briefly had stopped the Italian ambassador from leaving the country as the row escalated before Italy embarrassingly climbed down on its refusal to honour a pledge to send the men back after their trip home to vote.

They had previously returned, and Italy won praise for keeping its promise, after a Christmas break.

Bonino, who replaced Giulio Terzi who resigned in a government flap over the case, has said she is certain an agreement will be found because of India’s great legal tradition and respect for human rights.

“India is a great country, and one of rights. Our countries need to listen to each other,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Life Sentence for Noida Muslim Couple Who Killed Their Daughter and Nepalese Servant

Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar committed murder to punish an alleged affair between their 14 year old daughter and the Nepalese domestic worker, Yam Prasad Banjade . Dating to 2008 , the crime sparked strong debate among Muslim , Hindu and secular Indians. Interviewed by AsiaNews, Banjade’s wife welcomes the judgment. Impoverished, the woman hopes to be compensated for her husband’s murder.

Kathmandu ( AsiaNews) — A special court in Uttar Pradesh ( northern India ) yesterday sentenced Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar to life imprisonment. The wealthy Muslim couple, both dentists, are guilty of the murder of their 14 year old daughter and Yam Prasad Banjade, a Nepalese domestic worker killed in Noida in May 2008.

Originally the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI ) had asked for the death penalty, but the judges have opted instead for life imprisonment . The couple acted in anger after discovering an alleged affair between their only child and employee. The Talwar’s lawyers say they will appeal. Yesterday, hundreds of Nepali women and human rights activists launched a campaign in New Delhi for 16 days against violence against women and against honor killings , very common in Muslim communities ..

Interviewed by AsiaNews Khumkala Banjade , wife of Hemraj Banjade , said she was satisfied by the sentence : “ I had asked for the death penalty for the murderers of my husband, but I accept the court’s verdict against the Talwars”. Since her husbands death the woman has been living in abject poverty with a sick child and her mother-in-law of 80. “It was our poverty — she says — that led my innocent husband to his death at the hands of this couple. I ask for compensation for his murder and I hope the Indian court will be able to give justice to me and to my family. “

In these five years, the case of the pair of Noida has been followed by millions of people and has raised many criticisms against the local police accused on several occasions of serious shortcomings. A few hours after the crime, dozens of people, including journalists and television crews and strangers arrived at the house without any police control, compromising the scene. The trial also raised a number of cultural debates among Muslims, Hindus and civil society. Some experts say that the case showed a “clash of cultures “ in India, pitting police and conservative sectors of society against the excesses of the upper middle class . Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar were both observant Muslims and according to Islamic community had the right to punish the serious affront committed by the domestic worker and daughter, both adulterers . In order to justify the decision, Judge Shyam Lal also used the passages from the Koran that punish murder.

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

Thailand Police Fend Off Mass Protests in Bangkok

Police in Thailand have fended off protesters who descended on key sites in Bangkok trying to unseat the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. Protesters entered TV stations and Ms Yingluck was forced to evacuate a police complex. However, tear gas and water cannon halted protesters at Government House.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China: ‘Baby Box’ Plan for Unwanted Newborns Causes Stir

A Chinese city’s plan for a “baby box” where parents can anonymously leave their unwanted infants is proving controversial, it’s reported.

Shenzhen has apparently applied to the Guangdong provincial authorities to pilot such a facility next year. Some social media users have warned that the box will encourage “irresponsible parents” to give away their unwanted children, the People’s Daily newspaper says.

But the head of Shenzhen’s social welfare centre, Tang Rongsheng, points out that nearly 100 abandoned infants have been handed over to his centre this year. “The shelter embodies the idea of prioritising the interest of the child,” he says.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Investigation Reveals Black Market in China for Research Paper Authoring

( —The journal Science has uncovered, via investigation, a thriving black market in science paper authoring—people are paying to have their names added to papers that have been written to describe research efforts. Mara Hvistendahl was the lead investigator and author of a paper published by Science, describing the operation and what was found.

There have been reports of unscrupulous journals printing research papers without proper vetting, and other reports suggesting that there exists a black market in paper authorship. This new investigation by Science, is the first to publish direct evidence of such a black market operating in China.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Is it Safe? Radioactive Japanese Wave Nears US

In the wake of the deadly tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 and severely damaged a nuclear reactor, Japanese officials say the levels of radiation are safe for everyone outside the reactor area itself. But as radioactive water from the plant nears the West Coast of North America — the water is expected to hit in 2014 — can we be sure it’s safe?

The nuclear reactor continues to leak radioactive water due to poor management, while Japanese subcontractors at the plant have admitted they intentionally under-reported radiation and that dozens of farms around Fukushima that were initially deemed safe by the government actually had unsafe levels of radioactive cesium.

Fukushima locals also claim they’re seeing cancer at higher rates and the Japanese government is covering up the scale of the problem.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Zealand: MWL Chief Lays Stone Oakland Islamic Center

Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League, laid the foundation stone for the Islamic Center in Oakland in New Zealand on Saturday, and urged Muslims in the country to preserve their culture and heritage. Al-Turki, who is currently on a visit to New Zealand, emphasized the importance of such a center for the cultural development of Muslims in the country. Ahmed bin Nasser Al-Johani, Saudi consul general in New Zealand, attended the event…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 17, Sets Houses Ablaze

Insurgents suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect on Friday evening invaded Sabon Gari village of Damboa local government area of Borno State and killed 17 residents and burnt down over 100 houses, shops, motorcycles and vehicles. The Sabon Gari Main Market was also burnt down and property worth millions of naira destroyed. A report claims that the villagers killed two of the attackers with the assistance of some vigilante groups, while three others who fled to Damboa town were arrested…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Keyana Cumberbatch, 6, Raped and Murdered in Case Which Sparked Outrage in Trinidad

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Keyana Cumberbatch, a pupil of St Barbara’ s Shouter Baptist Primary School, Trinidad and Tobago, pictured, went missing around 5.20pm on Monday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Amnesty Supporters Plot Revenge After Boehner Says No to Conference

After House Speaker John Boehner promised the American people there would be no conference committee on the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, The Atlantic’s Molly Ball is out with a new report detailing how amnesty supporters are cooking up a scheme for revenge.

“For the broad, well-organized coalition of immigration-reform activists, [Boehner’s] statement was a stunning blow,” Ball wrote. “If Boehner keeps that pledge, he will have rendered moot the months of wheeling and dealing it took to get a massive, bipartisan bill through the Senate in June, forcing the upper chamber to start from scratch even if the House manages to get its act together and pass its own bill or group of bills — a prospect that appears increasingly unlikely.”

Ball noted that just hours before Boehner made the promise he would not resurrect the Gang of Eight bill via conference, he had been ambushed by immigration activists pushing him to grant amnesty.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Croatia: A Neoconservative Revolution

Tportal Zagreb

Croats are being called to vote in a referendum on December 1 on whether the Constitution should allow only heterosexual marriage. For writer Slavenka Drakulic, it is yet another sign of a backwards step just as the country has is returning to the heart of Europe.

Slavenka Drakulic

Can a society that sees itself as pro-European, more importantly as “at Europe’s forefront” and that is considering its accession to the European Union as a return to Europe’s heart, living once again with its peers, take a cultural and political step backwards?

Alas, it can! We are now witnessing just such a phenomenon in Croatia. During the last commemoration of the fall of Vukovar [conquered by Serb forces on November 18, 1991], a “Committee for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar” [made up of veterans of the 1991-1995 war] challenged the government, a centre-left coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), preventing it from joining the march in memory of the victims of this city.

For a year now we have also been witnessing the birth of a movement gathered around the “On Behalf of the Family” initiative, which advocates the heterosexual family. Inspired by the Tea Party in the US, close to conservative circles, the Croatian initiative and its supporters are demanding that marriage be set out in the Constitution as the exclusive union of a man and a woman. With this in mind, they have collected 700,000 signatures for a referendum on marriage. Given the small number of openly gay people in Croatia, it is clear that gay marriage is merely a symbol of the distrust of the “other” and the “different”, as well as a pretext for challenging the government and authority.

The referendum will be held on December 1, despite the objections of associations for the protection of human rights and rights of minorities, and despite the arguments of the Croatian People’s Party [HNS, liberal, in the government coalition], which has pointed out that the referendum question endangers the fundamental rights of citizens. However, the Constitutional Court has come out in favour of the “On Behalf of the Family” initiative and given a green light to the question that will be asked in the referendum: “Do you support marriage being defined by the Constitution as the union for life between a man and a woman?”.

Traditional values

It is clear that Croatia is increasingly turning to traditional and moral values, such as the family, the religion and the nation. We merely have to remember the controversy over the introduction of sex education in school curricula, which revealed a huge gap between the conservative and liberal visions of the world; but we must also recall the differences in the perception of power, ideology and policy. The Academy of Culture and the Croatian Language, Matica Hrvatska, recently proposed fining all those who do not use the Croatian language properly. Although these are all legal initiatives coming from civil institutions and civil society, it’s an unmistakable sign of the times….

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

Radical Feminists: “Where Are the Priests? We Want to Burn Them at the Stake”

In many countries expect no protection from police if your Christianity finds you under intense attack.

No police were there when 7,000 radical feminists came on in a screaming run to storm the Cathredal of San Juan Bautista in San Juan de Cuyo, Argentina, Nov. 23-25, 2013.

No police were there when 500 radical feminists tried to force their way into the Cathedral after first having poured through the streets damaging schools, private homes, autos and memorials, on October 6-8., 2012.

[Comment: Warning: Article contains disturbing details of these attacks.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

7 Volcanoes Erupt in 6 Countries Hours Apart

This last week was an explosive period on earth as seven volcanoes erupted hours apart from each other on the same day. In Japan, a volcano on Nishino-Shima Island erupted for the first time in 40 years. The eruption resulted in a new island in the Pacific. The Japanese Navy reported that the eruption caused boiling lava to meet sea water that gave rise to plumes of steam and ash. Some 7,000 miles from Japan. Mexico’s Colima Volcano created a steam and ash cloud that reached two miles into the sky. In Guatemala, Fire Mountain lived up to its name and created a moderate ash could that blanketed the nearby towns with ash fall. But the eruption and shock waves caused by the eruption was felt by Guatemalans as far as 6 miles away from the volcano…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Once We Start Geohacking, We Won’t be Able to Stop: The ‘Fix’ Could be Worse Than Problem

Desperate times call for desperate measures, which is why some believe geoengineering could save the world from the catastrophic effects of climate change. But a new study suggests that once we get started we won’t be able to stop — and that a sudden halt to our geoengineering efforts could be worse than never doing it in the first place. In a recent experiment, an international team of researchers used 12 models to figure out what would happen if we used solar management (SRM) or atmospheric shading by injecting water vapor or sulfates into the atmosphere. The model offset the 1% annual increase of CO2 concentrations over a period of 50 years. But then the researchers abruptly stopped the experiment to see what would happen — and it wasn’t good.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/1/2013

  1. Does H. Numen still write for GoV? I would like to get his take on the current situation in Thailand (my wife is Thai). It appears from my end (viewed through the foggy lens of the MSM) that Thailand is headed for civil war.

    • I’ve sent your request to H. Numan. Since he is running on Bangkok time, I’m not sure when I’ll hear from him — it’s late at night there.

Comments are closed.