Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2013

Even as I write these words, the ball is dropping in Times Square.

For tonight is New Year’s Eve
Uncork your spirits and welcome it in
Who knows what it’s got up its sleeve
Can’t wait for it all to begin

(Al Stewart, from “Laughing into 1939”)

Happy New Year, everybody!

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

Thanks to Caroline Glick, Diana West, Fjordman, Green Infidel, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, JP, 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
» Greece: “Unemployment is Sky High”, Traders
» Italy: Watchdogs Eye MPS After Capital Hike Put Off
» Latvia to Become 18th Euro Member Amid Public Resentment
» Latvia Reluctantly Joins Euro After Shock Therapy, But Controversy Rages on
» New Year:68% of Italians Celebrate at Home on 66-Euro Budget
» Hawaii Sinkhole Swallows Truck — With Driver in it
» New York Gun Law is Largely Upheld by a Federal Judge
» U.S. Releases Last 3 Uighurs From Guantanamo Bay
Europe and the EU
» Former Centre-Left Treasurer Ordered to Repay Embezzled Cash
» Greece: Poll: Syriza Takes the Lead Over New Democracy
» Islam Will be the Second Largest Religion in Ireland by 2043 — Data
» Italy: Man Electrocuted During Copper Theft
» Italy: Romans Spend More on New Year Celebrations Than Anyone Else
» Italy: ‘80 Mn Spumante Corks Will Pop for New Year’
» Italy: Some 20,000 Toys, Decorations Seized for Possible Danger
» Norway: Sheep ‘Fishing’ Worries Farmers
» Norway to Digitize All Books and Offer Them as Free Downloads
» One-Way Mars Trip: 1,058 Private Martian Colony Volunteers Pass 1st Cut
» Portugal: Trash Collectors’ Strike, Capital Awash in Refuse
» Running in European Circles
» UK: Church of England Still Holds Wonga Stake
» UK: Lunacy of M&S Muslim Staff Policy
» UK: Muslim Lawyers on Trial Granted Anonymity for ‘Cultural Reasons’
» UK: Police in South Yorkshire Unable to Monitor Number of Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
North Africa
» Ancient Roman Sundial Secrets Revealed With Help From NASA Data
» Egypt: Brotherhood “Terrorist”, Arab League Informs Members
» Egypt Freezes Assets of 572 Brotherhood Leaders
» Libya: Strikers Threaten to Cut Off Tripoli Gas Supplies
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Dumping Irrationality as a National Strategy
» Hamas Rejects Terror Label of Egypt Islamists
» Jewish Settlers Set Fire to Palestinian Cars in West Bank
Middle East
» About 100 Australians Fighting With Extremists in Syria Join Terrorist Group: Newspaper
» Could the Crisis in Turkey Impact US Policy in the Middle East?
» Saudi Arabia: OIC Head Ihsanoglu Hands Over Presidency
» The Iranian Stars Who Were Purged From History
» Vladimir Putin Vows ‘Total Annihilation’ of Terrorists After Volgograd Bombings
South Asia
» Girls Kidnapped for Forced Marriage Suffer Rising Crime in India
Far East
» Jihad in China: Nine Knife-Wielding Muslims Throw Explosives at Police Station and Set Police Cars on Fire
» Russian Expert: China to Defeat Broke America by 2020
Australia — Pacific
» Son Who Was Knocked Unconscious in ‘Random Attack’ In Australia Woke Up and Rang His Parents in Ireland… Only to Die From Brain Haemorrhage
» 2014 Will be Record Refugee Year — Norwegian Charity
» 2013 Marked a Comeback for Al-Qaida

Greece: “Unemployment is Sky High”, Traders

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DECEMBER 30 — Greek unemployment is one of the most pressing issues that the coalition government must deal with according to the annual survey of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (NCHC) as GreekReporter website writes. Young people between the ages of 15-24 are most at risk of finding themselves out of work. According to the Hellenic Statistic Authority (EL.STAT), 57.2% of young people are without a job. The majority of the unemployed (71%) have had no work for 12 months or more, while 23.3% of the total have never worked. There were 3,635,905 people employed and 1,345,387 unemployed. The percentage of those who live in Greece but have foreign citizenship and are currently unemployed is large (36.6%) compared to Greeks (26.1%). Unsurprisingly, those with a University degree or a PhD have more chances of finding a job.

The high rate of unemployment is affecting commerce in Greece as the numbers of those who are self-employed is constantly declining.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Watchdogs Eye MPS After Capital Hike Put Off

Bank future may hinge on planned 3-bn-euro rights issue

(ANSA) — Rome, December 30 — Italian regulators on Monday launched what they termed “coordinated monitoring” of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) following weekend developments which saw the troubled Italian bank delay a crucial three-billion-euro share sale until May.

The bank’s shares plunged almost 6% as the bourse opened the week Monday amid the news the oversight authorities from the Bank of Italy and stock market watchdog Consob are to carefully monitor developments, just a percentage point shy of the limit before trading is frozen. The stock later rebounded, gaining over 1% in the day’s trading. The bank has suffered a series of losses related to derivatives and has seen earnings eroded by years of economic recession. The planned rights issue was tied to paying back part of the 4.1 billion euros in state aid it has been awarded by the Italian government as part of a plan to turn the lender around. Investors are taking stock of the uncertainty surrounding the turnaround plan for MPS, Italy’s third-largest and the world’s oldest, after management’s desire to complete the cash call in January was stalled by shareholders until mid-May. Analysts say the bank may risk nationalization if it fails to generate enough capital to repay State aid.

Chairman Alessandro Profumo, who together with Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Viola had been pushing for the cash call launch next month in January 2014 and had been asking shareholders to approve the plan has been reported by local media to be mulling a resignation if the rights issue is prevented from taking place. Even so, MPS’s largest shareholder, a not-for-profit local Tuscan foundation, is reported to be attempted to stall the cash call until mid-2014 amid plans to sell its 33.5% stake in the bank.

The value of shares in the scandal-ridden bank hit a record low of just over 15 euro cents on December 18, a day after Profumo warned it must recapitalize or face nationalization.

The recapitalization plan was recently approved by the European Union.

MPS already had to recapitalize in 2012, when it lost over two billion euros in the first half of the year in the wake of rising yields and declining valuations on Italian government debt.

It did so again in January 2013, when news went public that top management had entered into secret derivatives contracts with Deutsche Bank and Nomura to cover estimated losses of 500 million euros to 750 million euros in two of its divisions.

The firm sparked fresh controversy this year when it was accused of misleading Italy’s market regulator in October 2012, shortly before it received a 4.1-billion-euro State bailout.

MPS is already at the center of a judicial investigation into its acquisition of smaller rival Antonveneta in 2008, allegedly at a suspiciously low price, as well as the derivatives trades the bank allegedly used to conceal losses.

Former Chairman Giuseppe Mussari and former director general Antonio Vigni, who left in early 2012, are both under investigation for market manipulation, making false statements to the market and regulatory obstruction in relation to the Antonveneta deal and the derivatives trades.

Both deny any wrongdoing.

MPS was founded in 1472 by the magistrate of the city state of Siena, then one of the richest financial centres in Europe along with other Tuscan and Lombard hubs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Latvia to Become 18th Euro Member Amid Public Resentment

Latvia’s euro adoption, dangled as the ultimate reward while the country endured the world’s deepest recession, is being met with resentment.

In the country of 2 million, which will become the 18th member of the euro area tomorrow, opponents of the currency switch outnumber proponents two-to-one as public expectations for accelerating inflation mount, opinion polls show. Residents are also bracing for taking on new responsibilities in the currency union.

“I’m convinced” prices will rise with the euro, said Andris Liepins, 51, a shop owner in Riga, the capital. “It’s a fact” that Latvia will have to help pay for other countries’ debt after adopting the euro. “Why does a country have to pay other countries’ debts?”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Latvia Reluctantly Joins Euro After Shock Therapy, But Controversy Rages on

Baltic nation to join the euro on New Year’s Day against the wishes of its own people, five years after its economy crashed in flames

The tiny Baltic nation of Latvia is to join the euro on New Year’s Day against the wishes of its own people, becoming the eighteenth and poorest member of monetary union five years after its economy crashed in flames. The country has endured a 1930s-style depression and a drastic experiment in EU shock therapy with stoicism, abiding strictly to the terms of an EU-IMF bail-out.

It has exported its way back to balance and defied critics by defending its euro-peg through thick and thin, yet the feat comes at a high social cost.

Euro accession has been greeted glumly by most of Latvia’s 2m people, worn down by lay-offs and 28pc pay cuts for teachers, nurses, and police. A mass exodus of youth has served as an escape valve, leaving an older society behind. Latvia’s population has shrunk by 7pc since 2007.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New Year:68% of Italians Celebrate at Home on 66-Euro Budget

Consumers prefer traditional foods over exotic imports

(ANSAmed) — ROME, DECEMBER 30 — Italians will spend an average of 66 euros on New Year’s dinner, a survey by Coldiretti farmers’ association showed Monday.

At least 47% of respondents have budgeted less than 50 euros, 26% plan to spend 50-100 euros, and 14% will spend 100-200 euros.

At least 68% said they will bring 2014 in behind closed doors: 28% at home and 40% at the homes of relatives or friends.

More families are choosing traditional, cheaper Italian products over exotic foods: 81% of Italians will be eating lentils and 73% will consume pork sausage, up 9% over last year, while 5% will splurge on oysters and 4% on caviar (-2% ad -1% respectively).

Spending on local, seasonal fruit is set to rise by 11% while estimated sales of out-of-season cherries and peaches will shed 1%.

Almost nine in 10 Italians, or 86%, will imbibe Italian sparkling wine, while 11% said they prefer champagne. A vast majority of Italians also said they won’t give up their traditional holiday cakes such as panettone (81%) and pandoro (78%). Coldiretti December 2013 projections show made in Italy exports doing well this holiday season, with sales of wine, sparking wine, grappa, liqueur, panettone, cheese, cold cuts and pasta topping a record 2.7 billion euros.

The farmers’ association sees sales increasing in various product categories, including Italian sparkling wine (+16%), panettone (+14%), wine (+8%), cold cuts (+5%), pasta (+4%) and cheese (+3%).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Hawaii Sinkhole Swallows Truck — With Driver in it

A Hawaii woman was thankful to be alive Tuesday after an enormous sinkhole opened up and swallowed her pickup truck — with her still inside.

Velma Deluz of Paauilo was driving to work on the Big Island after a weekend of major rainstorms when Pohakea Mauka Road shifted and gave way Monday morning, the state’s civil defense office said.

“When I made the turn, the road just sucked me right in, and then I just fell in,” Deluz told NBC station KHNL of Honolulu. “I tried to climb out through the window because it fell on its side.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New York Gun Law is Largely Upheld by a Federal Judge

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that New York’s expanded ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines was constitutional, but struck down a provision forbidding gun owners from loading their firearms with more than seven rounds.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers passed the new legislation, among the most restrictive in the country, in January in response to the mass shooting last December at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The judge, William M. Skretny of Federal District Court in Buffalo, called the seven-round limit “an arbitrary restriction” that violated the Second Amendment.

[Return to headlines]

U.S. Releases Last 3 Uighurs From Guantanamo Bay

Slovakia has accepted three prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who had posed a difficult resettlement challenge, helping the U.S. government move closer to its goal of closing the prison on its base in Cuba, officials said Tuesday.

The three men who left for the Central European country in recent days were Uighurs, members of an ethnic Muslim minority from western China who had been detained in Afghanistan as suspected allies of the Taliban and sent to Guantanamo Bay for interrogation.

Authorities eventually determined that the 22 Uighurs in its custody had no involvement in terrorism, but the U.S. struggled to resettle them. China requested their return, but they couldn’t be sent there because of fears they would face persecution and torture. Many countries refused to accept them out of reluctance to anger the Chinese government. Congress blocked a U.S. judge’s order to release them inside the United States.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former Centre-Left Treasurer Ordered to Repay Embezzled Cash

Lusi on trial in Rome

(ANSA)- Rome, December 30 — The former treasurer of the now-defunct centre-left Daisy Party, Luigi Lusi, has been ordered to reimburse 22.8 million euros of allegedly embezzled party funds.

Lusi, on trial in Rome for allegedly siphoning off electoral funding, was released from house arrest in May.

Most Italian parties have been hit by funding scandals in recent years, increasing public disaffection with politics.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Poll: Syriza Takes the Lead Over New Democracy

The neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn stable in third position

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DECEMBER 30 — A Kapa Research opinion poll carried out on behalf of the newspaper To Vima, gives Greek Radical-Left party Syriza a 0.8% lead over New Democracy (center-Right). In particular, as GreekReporter website writes, the opinion poll places the major opposition party first with 22.5% and second comes New Democracy with 21.7%. The Greek neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, seems to be stable in third position with 7.5%. In fourth stands the Greek Communist Party (Kke) with 5.8%. Right behind the Communist Party is the coalition party Pasok (Socialist) with 5.6%. The Independent Greeks Party (Anel) is sixth with 4%. Democratic Left (Dimar) has just 2.8% and would be therefore out of Parliament as the threshold needed to be in the Parliament is 3%. On the matter which of the two parties — Syriza or New Democracy — will be most likely to win the elections, 44.6% answered Syriza while the 38.5% New Democracy. On the issue of who would be most suitable for the position of prime minister, coalition leader and current Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras received 42.8% of votes from those who participated in the poll, followed by Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras with 34.5%. The respondents of the poll were also asked which party they are going to vote for in the forthcoming elections of the European Parliament. First comes Syriza with 19.7% and follows New Democracy with 18.6%.

Third is Golden Dawn with 7.1% and fourth is Pasok with 5%. Kke stands fifth with 4.9% and sixth Anel with 3.8%. Dimar stands at 2.5%. Last but not least, the polled sample answered the question of which coalition government would be most suitable to govern Greece and face the difficulties of the ongoing economic recession. The respondents claiming that a coalition government based mainly on New Democracy and under Samaras leadership would be suitable to help Greece get back on track, amounted to 40.4%, while 36.7% claimed that a coalition government based on Syriza and under Tsipras leadership has what it takes to help Greece’s efforts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Islam Will be the Second Largest Religion in Ireland by 2043 — Data

As the nation biggest mosque is being built in Dublin, figures point out that Islam will take second place after Catholicism by 2043. The Muslim population is expected to soar from a mere 49,000 adherents to 100,000 by 2020 just from the current birth rate and amount of immigrants flocking to Ireland.

Islam is the quickest growing religion in Ireland, according to the Central Statistics Office. There has been a 10-fold increase during the time period of 1991 and 2011—when the numbers of Muslims rose from 0.1 percent to 1.1 percent, out of the entire population…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italy: Man Electrocuted During Copper Theft

Latest in string of deaths

(ANSA) — Taranto, December 30 — A 29-year-old man from Bari was found electrocuted outside a power-station transformer near the southern Italian city of Taranto Monday, the latest in a string of deaths during the attempted robbery of copper wire at electrical installations across Italy.

Copper thefts and related fatalities have risen during Italy’s longest postwar recession, now coming to an end.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Romans Spend More on New Year Celebrations Than Anyone Else

Milanese to party with family, Romans, Neapolitans with friends

(ANSA) — Milan, December 30 — Rome residents top the New Year’s spending rankings with an average of 93 euros per person spent on celebrations, presents, dinners, clothes and decorations, according to a Milan Chamber of Commerce survey.

People in Milan spend an average of 80 euros, while those in Naples 63 euros.

The Italian average is 79 euros, according to the survey which involved interviews with 267 residents in Milan, 267 in Rome, and 267 in Naples. Most of those interviewed planned to celebrate at home, with over 70% of Romans and Neapolitans spending the evening indoors compared with almost 69% of those in Milan. However, while 36% of Neapolitans and 29.2% of Romans prefer the company of friends and acquaintances for the evening, 28.1% of Milanese plan to spend the night with family.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘80 Mn Spumante Corks Will Pop for New Year’

Only 11% of Italians choosing champagne

(ANSA) — Rome, December 31 — More than 80 million spumante corks will pop at midnight as Italians prefer the national bubbly over champagne to salute 2014, farmers’ association Coldiretti said Tuesday.

Some 86% of Italians have chosen spumante for their New Year’s Eve toast with just 11% going for champagne, it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Some 20,000 Toys, Decorations Seized for Possible Danger

Tax police operation takes place between Imola, Ozzano Emilia

(ANSA) — Bologna, December 31 — Some 20,000 toys, seasonal decorations, telephone accessories, and stationery products considered to be unlawful or potentially dangerous have been seized between the northern Italian towns of Imola and Ozzano Emilia by the Italian finance police of Bologna.

Some eight shopkeepers have been reported to the Chamber of Commerce for breaking administrative norms, including one Italian, four Chinese, and three Pakistanis.

They received a 25,000-euro fine.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway: Sheep ‘Fishing’ Worries Farmers

Brutal sheep thieves are believed to be trying to catch animals in western Norway with fishing hooks, in a practice that has been dubbed ‘sheep fishing’ and which is causing concern in farming communities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway to Digitize All Books and Offer Them as Free Downloads

Making digitized books available for free online is a controversial issue, with Google’s colossal digitization project only declared legal in the US at the beginning of this month. However, in Norway it seems there are fewer qualms about the issue.

The country’s National Library is planning to digitize all the books it holds and make them available to Norwegians for free.

Because the library is a ‘legal deposit library’ (this means it must hold a copy of all books published in the country — the British Library is one of the UK’s five legal deposits) this project will make the entirety of Norwegian literature into a digital archive, searchable by its citizens.

The library has estimated that it will take 20 to 30 years to complete this process.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One-Way Mars Trip: 1,058 Private Martian Colony Volunteers Pass 1st Cut

Mars One announced Monday (Dec. 30) that it has picked 1,058 aspiring spaceflyers to move on to the next round in its search for the first humans to live and die on the Red Planet.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit wants to start launching groups of four on one-way trips to Mars by 2023, with the long-term goal of creating the first permanent settlement on Mars. More than 200,000 people applied for a spot on Mars One’s list of future colonists by the time the initial application window closed on Aug. 31. The only requirement to apply was to be over age 18. Those who get to move on to the next, more rigorous selection phase were notified by email.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Portugal: Trash Collectors’ Strike, Capital Awash in Refuse

On seventh day of strike set to end January 5

(ANSAmed) — LISBON, DECEMBER 30 — Authorities on Monday called on citizens in the Portuguese capital to minimize their trash output and not to leave it outdoors as a trash collectors’ strike entered its seventh day.

The strike was called against the privatization of essential public services, which are being contracted out to the private sector. It should end January 5, union sources said.

Mayor Antonio Costa said the situation should be back to normal within the first 10 days of the new year. The uncollected trash is not so far a threat to public health, authorities said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Running in European Circles

by Diana West

Another “politically incorrect” book by another enervated member of the Western intelligentsia about that winning strategy for civilizational destruction known as “muticulturalism” — Trojan horse for Islamization, among other Western nation-killers — has again prompted a “heated” response in the media. The book is L’Identité Malheureuse, the writer is Alain Finkielkraut, and it is a pair of journalists from the German publication Spiegel who are hot and bothered.

The questions alone suffice to convey the “interview.”

SPIEGEL: Mr. Finkielkraut, are you unhappy with today’s France?

SPIEGEL: Why is that? Post-national and multicultural sounds rather promising.

SPIEGEL: Aren’t you giving in here to the right-wingers’ fears of demise? …

Note: Even with the post-nation upon them, citizens who lament the evident loss are “right-wingers” harboring “fears” — as though they wear jackboots for fun and their concerns are imaginary.

SPIEGEL: The anger of these young people is also stirred up by high unemployment. They are turning their backs on society because they feel excluded.

SPIEGEL: These neighborhoods that you speak of, have you even seen them firsthand? …

SPIEGEL: You yourself are the child of immigrants, the progeny of a persecuted family. Does your personal will to integrate explain your radical commitment to the values of the Republic?

SPIEGEL: And made you into its apologist?

To call these journalists merely predictable undercuts their skills as propaganda artists.

SPIEGEL: How do you define this French civilization that you speak of?

SPIEGEL: Those are idealized cliche’s that nations create for themselves.

Why didn’t they just interview each other?

They continue:…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

UK: Church of England Still Holds Wonga Stake

The Archbishop of Canterbury admits that the Church of England has not yet disposed of its stake in Wonga

The Church of England still holds a stake in Wonga, the payday loans company that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he wanted to “compete out of existence”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Lunacy of M&S Muslim Staff Policy

Marks and Spencer’s policy promotes discrimination

Sir — Is Marks and Spencer intent on retail suicide? It has empowered its Muslim staff to discriminate, in the exercise of their basic function of serving customers, between those who have alcohol and/or pork in their baskets and those who do not, and to refuse to check out the purchases of the former. Where, exactly, does this leave the retail giant’s magnanimous declaration that “M&S promotes an environment free from discrimination”?

Howard Buchanan, Kettering, Northamptonshire


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Lawyers on Trial Granted Anonymity for ‘Cultural Reasons’

Judge bans reporters from identifying Muslim solicitors but lifts restriction after challenge

Two Muslim lawyers accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice were handed anonymity by a judge for “cultural reasons”. A ban on reporting the cases of Asha Khan, 30, and her brother Kashif, 35, was only lifted after journalists appealed the restruction. The decision can now be revealed after the trial of the pair ended, after more than a year of court proceedings. Asha Khan was convicted of the charge while her brother was acquitted. Defence lawyers had initially argued that the Khans should be granted anonymity because members of their family, who are of Pakistani origin, would pass judgement if the case was reported.Mr Khan is a criminal defence lawyer, and his sister had been a trainee solicitor at the family firm in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Both faced charges after their father Mohammed Khan was caught speeding when he did not have a driving licence. Asha Khan lied on his behalf, saying the driver was a man who worked for the family business. At the Khans’ original trial at Carlisle Crown Court, Asha Khan’s barrister Glenn Gatland argued for the reporting restrictions. He said: “Miss Khan is quite upset that if matters are reported she doesn’t feel she would be able to give her evidence as freely as she would have done otherwise. That’s her concern. Culturally, it’s very difficult for them to say things in public. The evidence would be impacted on by the cultural background of Miss Khan.”

The ban on reporting the case was imposed by Judge Peter Hughes at Carlisle because of the “cultural sensitivities”. But two days later he overturned the order following a challenge by journalists. The judge said: “People of all faiths or no faiths should be treated in precisely the same way.” However, the initial joint trial of brother and sister was discontinued and the case was relisted at York. It was agreed there would be two separate hearings with reporting restrictions to remain until the outcomes to ensure the proceedings were not prejudiced.

York Crown Court heard Mohammed Khan was caught by a speed camera on Jesmond Road, Newcastle, on August 14 2010 while driving Asha’s silver BMW. The jury heard the corner shop owner had been “merrily driving around” for years without a licence including passing a police station on his way to work for 18 years. He was convicted of driving without a licence three times between 1998 and 2007 but never told his family.

Asha Khan, who had been given the BMW as a graduation present, arrived back from Paris to find the notice of intended prosecution. She told the fixed penalty unit the driver was David Moat, who worked in a shop which was part of the family business. She claimed she was told by her family that Moat had borrowed the car. But the prosecution said she must have known this was not true. She had even been sent a picture of the driver — who looked nothing like David Moat — by the fixed penalty unit, the court heard. After Moat failed to respond to letters for months, he was summoned to appear before South East Northumberland Magistrates for the speeding offence. The day before, Kashif Khan had his office fax the court in Bedlington a letter on Moat’s behalf, indicating he wanted to plead guilty by post and offering mitigation. Moat was subsequently fined £100 with £30 costs and six penalty points for the speeding offence.

Prosecutor Jacob Dyer told the jury at York there was “no dispute in this case” that the man actually driving the car was Mohammed Khan. “It was hoped by supplying the false details that the trail would be lost and the fixed penalty unit would eventually take no further action,” he said. “But the suspicions of the unit were aroused.”

The Khans, who worked for KK Solicitors in Newcastle and live at the family home in Grainger Park Road, denied trying to pervert the course of justice. Asha Khan was convicted by a jury last month and will be sentenced in the New Year, along with her father and Moat, who both admitted their part in the plot. Kashif Khan collapsed weeping in the dock after being cleared earlier this month by a jury which accepted he had only been trying to help Moat by filling in the form. He argued he did not know what was going on and was “stunned” to be arrested by police.

Sobbing in the dock, he told the jury: “It was horrible. All my life I have worked so hard and told the truth. I felt like I was being fitted up.” After the verdict, journalists applied for all reporting restrictions to be lifted and Judge Stephen Ashurst agreed, saying: “It seems to me all these orders were designed to ensure that a fair trial was not prejudiced in Asha Khan and Kashif Khan’s case. Now proceedings have concluded I can’t see there’s any justification for continuing these orders.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Police in South Yorkshire Unable to Monitor Number of Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

Police forces across the country have revealed a surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes this year — but police chiefs in South Yorkshire claim they do not record offences in the same way as other forces.

Britain’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, recorded 500 offences from January to mid-November this year, compared with 336 in 2012 and 318 in 2011. In May, the month when two Islamic extremists murdered soldier Lee Rigby in south-east London, Scotland Yard recorded 104 anti-Muslim hate crimes, followed by another 108 in June. Greater Manchester Police recorded nearly double the number of Islamophobic crimes this year — 130 in 2013 compared with 75 in 2012. But South Yorkshire Police said it was unable to provide like-for-like figures…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ancient Roman Sundial Secrets Revealed With Help From NASA Data

There is nothing I love more than a great astronomical history mystery story and today our sister site LiveScience has this great one to share: Using NASA data and computer simulations, scientists have managed to finally reveal exactly how the sun lined up with an Egyptian obelisk at the heart of an ancient Roman sundial.

The new study apparently settles a long-standing mystery of the Ara Pacis (“Altar of Peace”), which dates back to the year 9 B.C. and was built to honor an era of peace ushered in by Rome’s first emperor Augustus, according to LiveScience. That era was known as the Pax Romana.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Brotherhood “Terrorist”, Arab League Informs Members

But Libya,Tunisia,Kuwait,Jordan,Qatar say it is internal matter

(ANSAmed) — ROME, DECEMBER 23 — The Arab League said on Monday it has officially informed member nations of Egypt’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist group”. Al Ahram Online reports. “Egyptian authorities will take necessary measures in accordance with the Arab anti-terrorism agreement and the Arab money-laundering and terrorism-funding agreement in cooperation and liaison with the sisterly Arab nations,” a statement submitted by Egypt saids. The 21-member bloc’s General Secretariat has advised all of its member countries of the decision, but Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar have said the decision was an internal political matter for Egypt.

The government declared Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group last week following a car bombing that targeted a police headquarters in Mansoura, killing 16. The Brotherhood had condemned the attack, which was claimed by the Sinai-based militant Islamist group Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis.

The move will allow authorities to toughen its five-month crackdown on the 85-year-old Islamist group, which propelled Morsi to power 18 months ago.

Hundreds of its supporters have been killed and thousands others, including its top leaders, have been arrested.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt Freezes Assets of 572 Brotherhood Leaders

Committee takes the decision to freeze assets of Brotherhood figures

Egypt’s government announced on Tuesday that the assets of 572 Muslim Brotherhood leaders had been frozen, according to the decisions of the newly formed committee tasked with examining the issue. The committee has also decided putting to put 87 schools owned by Brotherhood under the state’s supervision.

Last week, Ezzat Khamis, assistant to Egypt’s Minister of Justice, announced in a press conference that a total of 132 Brotherhood leaders had had their assets frozen in execution of a court ruling in September.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Libya: Strikers Threaten to Cut Off Tripoli Gas Supplies

Unless three months’ back wages paid within 48 hours

(ANSAmed) — TRIPOLI — Striking oil terminal security guards on Sunday threatened to cut off gas supplies to the capital unless three months’ back wages are paid within 48 hours, local media reported Monday.

Libyan oil production has dropped to 230,000 barrels a day since workers shut down eastern terminals and sites at the end of July, the oil and gas ministry said.

The strikes have caused output to drop from an average of 1.6 million barrels a day before the 2011 revolution to a historic low of 110,000 b/d in 2013.

Workers are demanding pay raises, better working conditions and a bigger cut of export profits in a country whose economy depends primarily on oil, which makes up 95% of its exports.

The strikes are led by Petroleum Facilities Guard chief Ibrahim Jadran, whom federalists in August named head of a new political office responsible for the eastern coastal province of Cyrenaica, where most of Libya’s oil is found.

Jadran and his fellow federalists have declared Cyrenaica’s semi-independence from Tripoli, accused the National Oil Company of corruption and the central government of withholding profits, and claimed the right to control natural resources in the eastern province.

The central government’s repeated attempts to negotiate a solution, including several visits to Cyrenaica by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and an offer of a 67% pay hike for oil workers, have so far been unsuccessful.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Dumping Irrationality as a National Strategy

US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Israel for his 14th visit this week. And to assure that his stay will be a happy one, Saturday night the government approved the release of 26 more Palestinian mass murderers from prison. This will please Kerry because today a core goal of US Middle East policy is to secure the release of Palestinian mass murderers from Israeli prisons.

That’s right. The same America that until a few years ago led the free world in the global war against terror, now conditions its support for Israel, its chief regional ally in that war, on the Jewish state’s willingness to release unrepentant, mass murdering terrorists back into Palestinian society.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it ought to go without saying that this policy hinders, rather than advances the cause of peace.

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

Hamas Rejects Terror Label of Egypt Islamists

The Palestinian group Hamas condemned on Tuesday Egypt’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group last week, reaffirming its solidarity with the ousted movement despite a crippling blockade imposed by Cairo.

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas Gaza government, also snubbed calls by some rival Palestinian factions to sever its connections with the Brotherhood.

“We reject such a classification for the Muslim Brotherhood group. No one, regardless of its influence, can push Hamas or any of the Palestinian resistance factions to abandon their ideology, abandon their history,” Haniyeh told reporters.

Egyptian prosecutors and officials say the Muslim Brotherhood has links with domestic Islamist militants who have stepped up attacks on security forces across the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Jewish Settlers Set Fire to Palestinian Cars in West Bank

RAMALLAH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — Israeli settlers set ablaze three Palestinian-owned vehicles in the West Bank city of Ramallah early Tuesday, protesting against their government’s release of some long-serving Palestinian prisoners. Witnesses said that the settlers came from the nearby Beit El settlement to the east of Ramallah. They also sprayed hatred slogans against Arabs on the outside walls of some Palestinian houses in the scene of the torching…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

About 100 Australians Fighting With Extremists in Syria Join Terrorist Group: Newspaper

CANBERRA, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — There are about 100 Australians who are fighting with extremists in Syria have joined one of the world’s deadliest terrorist group, The Australian newspaper reported Tuesday in its exclusive report. The newspaper said during the past two months, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) has received intelligence of Australian fighters in Syria joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group responsible for summary executions and suicide bombings against civilians…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Could the Crisis in Turkey Impact US Policy in the Middle East?

by Jerry Gordon

Since December 17, 2013, police in Ankara, Istanbul and other cities in Turkey have arrested more than 52 persons in a wide-ranging corruption probe. Those arrested include some prominent persons and sons of AKP cabinet ministers on charges of bribery, illicit gold trading and payoffs on tenders for construction deals…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: OIC Head Ihsanoglu Hands Over Presidency

Turkish secretary-general to be substituted by Saudi Iyad Madani

(ANSAmed) — JEDDAH, DECEMBER 30 — The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held a farewell ceremony yesterday in honor of the outgoing Secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu whose tenure ended today, as Anadolu Agency reports. The Turkish Ihsanoglu has been holding the post since 2005. The ceremony which was held in Jeddah also welcomed the Secretary-general-elect Iyad Ameen Madani, a former Saudi minister who whould assume office tomorrow…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Iranian Stars Who Were Purged From History

History is written by the victors. This adage is glaringly true in Iran, where press and TV archives were shut down after the revolution in 1979, as the country’s new leaders sought to suppress anyone who didn’t fit in with their ideal of an Islamic state. Actors, models, or athletes who were big stars just a few decades ago have been all but forgotten — except by a few people, like our Observer, who painstakingly track down the little information they can find.

Today, the Internet has made it nearly impossible to remove people from the pages of history. But those who rose to fame half a century ago and whose names only remain on faded pages of Iranian newspapers may be out of luck. After the revolution, newspapers and TV broadcasters were taken over by the state, and their archives were either destroyed or closed. Today, they remain inaccessible to the public at large.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Vladimir Putin Vows ‘Total Annihilation’ of Terrorists After Volgograd Bombings

Russian president vows relentless pursuit of those behind suicide attacks as city begins to bury its dead

Vladimir Putin has vowed to pursue terrorists to their “total annihilation”, in his first public comments since the Volgograd suicide bombings. In his traditional New Year’s Eve address, which was broadcast at midnight from the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, (5pm in Moscow), he praised Russia’s unity in the face of both terrorism and natural disasters and promised to continue an unrelenting fight against the bombers. “In the past year we have faced problems and serious challenges including the inhuman terror attacks in Volgograd and unprecedented disasters in the Far East,” he said. “Dear friends, we bow our heads in memory of the victims of these terrible attacks. We will strongly and decisively continue the battle against terrorists until their total annihilation,” he said. Mr Putin earlier provoked a storm of condemnation on the Russian internet on Sunday after the message broadcast an hour earlier in Kamchatka, Russia’s most easterly timezone, made no mention of the attacks…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Girls Kidnapped for Forced Marriage Suffer Rising Crime in India

Rupsona’s abduction, verified by police documents, springs from decades of neglect of female infants and the growth of sex-selective abortions. That has produced the lowest ratio of women to men in India’s history and the lowest in the world among major countries, after China.

In an economy that’s grown almost fourfold in the last two decades, young women are abducted mainly from the poorest states, where the sex ratio is more balanced, and transferred to richer regions. About 100,000 Indian women were trafficked for marriage last year. That’s an increase of about 20 percent since 2006, according to New Delhi-based Empower People, a group that fights bride kidnappings.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Jihad in China: Nine Knife-Wielding Muslims Throw Explosives at Police Station and Set Police Cars on Fire

(CNN) — Police shot and killed eight people who attacked a police station in Xinjiang, a restive region in northwestern China, authorities said Monday.

Nine people armed with knives threw explosives at the building and set police cars on fire, the Xinjiang government said on its official news website. One of the people was taken into custody, the statement said, describing the attackers as “thugs.” The violence took place around 6:30 a.m. in Yarkant County in western Xinjiang and is under investigation, authorities said.

It’s the latest outbreak of deadly unrest in Xinjiang, a large, resource-rich region that is home to the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Russian Expert: China to Defeat Broke America by 2020

Beijing to emerge victorious from East Pacific conflict

Paul Joseph Watson

Russian expert Vassily Kashin foresees a war between the United States and China in the East Pacific within the next six years out of which Beijing will emerge victorious due to America’s inability to fund its expanding empire.

“It’s highly probable that China, after the completion of the current cycle of reforming and rearming its armed forces through 2020, will be capable of defeating US forces and its allies in the course of some local conflict in the east part of the Pacific Ocean,” writes Kashin in an editorial for the Voice of

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Son Who Was Knocked Unconscious in ‘Random Attack’ In Australia Woke Up and Rang His Parents in Ireland… Only to Die From Brain Haemorrhage

Thomas, who was born in America before moving to Balleyconneely, Co Galway, was on a night out with friends, when he suffered the random punch.

The force of the blow knocked him out and he hit his head on the pavement.

Police have arrested 22-year-old Abbas Al Jrood in connection with the assault…

           — Hat tip: Green Infidel [Return to headlines]

2014 Will be Record Refugee Year — Norwegian Charity

A Norwegian charity has predicted that the number of refugees in the world will continue to rise in 2014, after a record year in 2013. Norway needs to be ready to help, the charity’s boss says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

2013 Marked a Comeback for Al-Qaida

As controversy continues to swirl around the New York Times’ report claiming al-Qaida was not behind the Benghazi attacks, there is plenty of evidence to suggest the terrorist organization and its affiliates were responsible for some of the deadliest violence of 2013.

The resurgence of the group founded by Osama bin Laden was so pronounced that the Obama administration stepped back from its assertions that his death spelled the end of it, saying instead that only the core leadership in Pakistan had been contained, reports Politico Magazine.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2013

  1. Al Stewart is one of the few real geniuses in the music biz, and that song is one of his best. I implore everyone to get their hands on a copy of that disc, “Between The Wars.” It’s a fantastic example of brilliant acoustic guitar playing, 1930s’ razzmatazz style, and the best lyric writing you will ever find in this lifetime. (All the songs are ABOUT something! Imagine that!)

  2. RE the Spiegel’s questions in “Running in European circles” – questions such as “Aren’t you giving in here to the right-wingers’ fears of demise?” are all too typical – and ones we are likely to confront, if we talk to any liberal about the Religion of Peace. Hence, an “optimal” way to confront such questions would be useful…. perhaps now we have a collection of such “cliche” questions, we can make a general “FAQ”, explaining the Counterjihadis’ approach to answering such questions?

    For example, an “FAQ” answer for “Aren’t you giving in here to the right-wingers’ fears of demise?” could be something along the lines of:

    “We have seen, and heard from reliable sources about first-hand experiences of multi-kulti. For example, X…. These sources are hardly “right-wing fearmongers”. Such events did NOT happen (or not nearly as often), when there was no multi-kulti. Hence, if there is MORE multi-kulti, we can expect more such incidents to take place. Besides, we see what’s happening in Syria, Egypt or Pakistan. Do we want our country to become the next Syria? The doctrines which inspire incidents such as I described anyone can read, in Koran verses X, Y and Z. And have been put into practice for centuries, for example in X. Is warning about such a danger also repeating itself in our society “right-wing fearmongering”? ”

    * note – All Xs, Ys and Zs should be filled out, and best – memorised.

    Happy New Year, everybody!

  3. One point of order. Why dont you Americans start the proper way of counting time? Day,month, year? 🙂 This is silly..

    • My problem is saying it. Am I supposed to say “Twelfth of December” if it’s written “12 December”? Seems odd to say “Twelve December,” But I’m not going to say “Twelfth of December” unless there’s a “th” after the 12 and a definite “of” written in there as well.

      • Well RKae,

        That’s gramma. I am talking common sense. Any sane person would go: 1,2,3. There is no point in writing: 1,3,2 and expect the rest of the world to understand you mean 1,2,3,

        Just like the rest of the world doesn’t understand if you drive on the left side. Only Brits, Japanese and Jamacains do that. For god’s sake!

Comments are closed.