Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/31/2014

The Libyan mujahideen of Ansar al-Sharia have declared an Islamic emirate in Benghazi, but forces loyal to the government deny that the jihad groups have control of the city. Meanwhile, intelligence services in the region are concerned that Islamic armed militias in Tripoli may have taken possession of ten civilian airplanes, and will use them for the purposes of jihad.

In other news, Israel and Hamas have agreed to observe a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Phyllis Chesler, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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

Financial Crisis
» Italy: July Inflation 0.1%: Lowest Since 2009, Says ISTAT
» Italy: Cottarelli Ready to Quit Over Spending Plans, Says Media
» C.I.A. Finds Its Officers Monitored Senate Staff Computers
» Complaints About Tesla Cars
» Our Foster Care System is Becoming a ‘Pipeline’ For Human Trafficking
» U.S. Attorney Warns Cuomo on Ethics Case
Europe and the EU
» French Hospital Opens Wine Bar for Patients
» Germany Tops Penis Enlargement Table
» Italy: Childless Households +10%, Families With Children -5%
» Italy: Tavecchio Still Running for FIGC President Despite Race Row
» Italy: ENI, Labor Unions Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Gela
» Italy: Bin Ladens Buy 50% Stake in Carrara Marble Company
» Italy: ENI Reports 4.8% Rise in Net Profits, Despite Libya Concerns
» Malmström Snags EU Commissioner Post Again
» Paris Set for Pro-Israel Demo Amid Tight Security
» Turks in Germany Vote for First Time
North Africa
» Benghazi Declared ‘Islamic Emirate’ By Militants
» Libya: Fear of Attacks by Plane on Neighboring Countries
» ‘Over 200 Killed in Tripoli and Benghazi in Recent Weeks’
» Tripoli Priest Calls for the Repatriation of Filipino Workers Whose Lives Are Risk
Israel and the Palestinians
» 72-Hour Ceasefire Announced in Gaza Conflict
» Gaza’s Next Disaster: No Cement for Rebuilding
» Israel Condemning Persists Even as UN Official Admits Hamas Uses Their Buildings
» Israel’s War With Hamas 2014: Part II — The Gaza Tunnel Threat
» Israel’s War With Hamas 2014: Part III — The Social Media Battle
Far East
» Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreading Fast in Southeast Asia
» Foreign Births in Italy Up 282% in Past 10 Years
» Italy: 22,000 More Immigrants Employed in 2013
» 101 Geysers Spotted on Saturn’s Icy Moon Enceladus

Italy: July Inflation 0.1%: Lowest Since 2009, Says ISTAT

Agency says lower regulated energy prices reduced price pressure

(ANSA) — Rome, July 31 — Italy’s annual inflation rate slowed to just 0.1% in July, lower than the 0.3% annual rate reported in June, the national statistical agency said Thursday in provisional estimates. Istat said the July rate is the lowest since August 2009.

Such weak inflation is generally seen as an alarming sign for the economy.

“The slowdown of inflation was mainly due to the extension of the decrease on annual basis of prices of regulated energy products,” the agency said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Cottarelli Ready to Quit Over Spending Plans, Says Media

Commissioner concerned savings won’t be used to cut labour taxes

(ANSA) — Rome, July 31 — Carlo Cottarelli, the commissioner in charge of the Italian government’s spending review, is ready to resign over plans to use savings he has found for future spending programs, according to newspaper reports Thursday.

Cottarelli “has one-foot-and-a-half out the door,” said newspaper La Repubblica which, along with the Corriere della Sera, described growing frustration by Cottarelli who for months has been pouring over budget items to find inefficiencies and savings for the government of Premier Matteo Renzi.

The newspapers reported that Cottarelli is prepared to return to his former post as director of fiscal affairs with the International Monetary Fund.

Cottarelli, whose original task included finding savings to fund cuts to labour taxes, said Wednesday in a post on his blog that the plan seemed to have changed in ways that did not make sense.

“If you use the resources from expenditure savings to increase spending itself, the savings cannot be used to reduce taxation on labor,” said Cottarelli.

Newspapers were reporting that if Cottarelli does resign, Renzi has already lined up a replacement.

Cottarelli was appointed last fall by Renzi’s predecessor, Enrico Letta, who asked the spending review commissioner to find savings to fund a reduction in labour taxes in the expectation that would ultimately boost employment and help the economy.

In his blog post, Cottarelli said that he suspected the government would instead be using his spending review “as a tool to fund…new expenses”.

La Repubblica reported that Renzi’s government may need to cut its spending by as much as 16 billion euros this year to meet its budget targets.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

C.I.A. Finds Its Officers Monitored Senate Staff Computers

An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has criticized the agency for penetrating a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.

In a statement issued Thursday morning, a C.I.A. spokesman said that agency’s Inspector General had concluded that C.I.A. officers acted inappropriately by accessing the computers.

The statement said that John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director, had apologized to the two senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and would set up an internal accountability board to review the matter. The board will be led by former Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana.

The statement gave almost no specifics about the findings of the report, written by David Buckley, the agency’s inspector general.

[Return to headlines]

Complaints About Tesla Cars

As Tesla (TSLA) prepared to swing by Wall Street for a financial update Thursday evening, the upstart automaker was badly dented on The California-based car critic just sold its Tesla sedan and published a lengthy list of maintenance issues it encountered in its 17 months of ownership.

Here’s the litany of complaints according to Edmunds: The touchscreen froze twice, the steering wheel starting creaking, the sunroof wouldn’t open at one point, the hinges on the vanity mirror cracked twice, the taillights fogged up, and the car simply died on the side of the road on two different occasions, requiring a drive unit and a main battery. Perhaps most ominously, the driver-side door spontaneously opened, which Tesla addressed by installing a new handle.

All the fixes were covered under warranty, but people spending six figures on a cutting-edge car don’t have much tolerance for these kind of glitches, no matter how beautiful and green and fast the vehicle is. The solace for Tesla drivers (and shareholders) is that Edmunds got one of the earlier sedans. Many of the problems it encountered have been ironed out in the months since.

STORY: Elon Musk’s Futuristic Spaceport Is Coming to Texas

Edmunds Executive Editor Ed Hellwig said about 25 of his review staff tossed the Tesla keys back and forth on a daily basis. “Obviously, it’s a brand-new car from a brand-new company, so it’s not that surprising it had some issues,” he said. “But the types of issues and the recurring frequency of some of them were odd.”

Edmunds reviewers had a lot of nice things to report about its Tesla, as well—most notably, its resale value. The company put 30,300 miles on the car and sold it for $83,000, recouping 80 percent of the original outlay. Hellwig said Edmunds typically gets only 75 percent of its purchase price back after a year of driving…

[Return to headlines]

Our Foster Care System is Becoming a ‘Pipeline’ For Human Trafficking

At any given time in the U.S., there are about half a million children in foster care. Many of these children are in crisis situations, and will be in foster care for only a short time, returning home or to live with a family member when the crisis has been resolved. Other children, however, remain in the system. The lucky ones will remain in one home, loved and nurtured, possibly even adopted (although for most that can take up to 4 years.) Unfortunately, most children in foster care will have to live in at least 3 different placements, and every year, 300,000 children “age out” of the system, meaning they turn 18 and no longer receive support services.

Most foster parents try their best to provide stable, loving environments for the children in their care. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. foster care system is becoming a “pipeline” for human trafficking. In an interview with NPR, Malika Saada Saar of Rights4Girls discusses this issue:

If we really look at this issue of child trafficking in America, it’s another lens through which to understand how broken our foster care system is. Many of these girls, especially, have been put into multiple placements, and many of these girls in those different placements have been abused. So one survivor leader whom we work with who was trafficked from the age of 10 to 17 — all through California, Nevada, Washington state — she talks about how, for her, foster care was the training ground to being trafficked. She understood that she was attached to a check. And what she points out is that at least the pimp told her that he loved her, and she never heard that in any of her foster care placements.

Further, Saada Saar cites 60 percent of the children rescued in a recent FBI sting had been in foster care at some point. One young woman, Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means, told her story of foster care and being trafficked. The experience of foster care, she said, gave her the mindset that she was tied to a paycheck, that her worth and value were not intrinsic; she was worth only the money she brought in. This set her up as easy prey for traffickers.

From my own experience and that of others, the money that is given by the state is supposed to be utilized to provide for the child’s basic needs — however the money is often used for other things, specifically for special luxuries for the caretaker and their biological children and families, unrelated to the financial support of the child it was intended for. These caregivers will make statements like “you’re not my child, I don’t care what’s going on with you, as long as you’re not dead, I’ll continue to get my paycheck.” This “nothing but a paycheck” theory objectifies the youth and the youth begin to normalize the perception that their presence is to be used for financial gain. This creates a mind frame for the youth that their purpose is to bring income into a household.

This mindset, she testified, sets many children in foster care up for the seduction and grooming of human traffickers. Craving attention and stability, a child who has been moved from one placement to another can easily find themselves lured into a world of promises made by the trafficker, only to find themselves used for financial gain. Many children in foster care have been previously abused, putting them at further at risk.

Another obstacle that must be overcome in order to prevent children from falling prey to traffickers is treating victims as criminals. Many states continue to prosecute children who have been picked up for solicitation or prostitution, rather than providing mental health and other services that would keep them out of the hands of traffickers…

[Return to headlines]

U.S. Attorney Warns Cuomo on Ethics Case

In an escalation of the confrontation between the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the governor’s cancellation of his own anticorruption commission, Mr. Bharara has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.

The warning, in a sharply worded letter from Mr. Bharara’s office, came after several members of the panel issued public statements defending the governor’s handling of the panel, known as the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo created last year with promises of cleaning up corruption in state politics but shut down abruptly in March.

Mr. Bharara’s office has been investigating the shutdown of the commission, and pursuing its unfinished corruption cases, since April.

In the letter, sent late Wednesday afternoon to a lawyer for the panel, Mr. Bharara alluded to a number of statements made by its members on Monday, which generally defended Mr. Cuomo’s handling of the commission. The statements were released on the same day Mr. Cuomo first publicly responded to a report in The New York Times that described how he and his aides had compromised the commission’s work.

At least some of those statements were prompted by calls from the governor or his emissaries, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation who were unwilling to be named for fear of retribution from the governor’s office.

[Return to headlines]

French Hospital Opens Wine Bar for Patients

A hospital in south-central France has come up with an unconventional (not to mention extremely French) idea to try to improve the lives of terminally ill patients. It has opened up a wine bar that will offer “medically supervised” wine tasting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Tops Penis Enlargement Table

Germany is the world’s leader in penis enlargements, with five times as many people in the country undergoing the procedure than anywhere else in the world. Globally, Germany carries out the fourth highest amount of cosmetic surgery operations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Childless Households +10%, Families With Children -5%

Report on Italian families over past decade

(ANSA) — Rome, July 30 — Italian families without children have increased by 10% over the last ten years, according to a report issued Wednesday by ISTAT national statistics bureau that compared census data from 2001 and 2011.

Families with children still represent the majority of Italian households, at 52.7% overall, down nearly 5% from 2001 to 2011.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Tavecchio Still Running for FIGC President Despite Race Row

Torino President drops support after ‘banana’ comments

(ANSA) Rome, July 31 — Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) presidential hopeful Carlo Tavecchio insisted Thursday his hat remains in the ring despite a furore over his comments on “banana-eating” players while calling for tighter restrictions on non-EU players.

“It is certainly not true that I am giving up, as I have read in one newspaper,” Tavecchio, 71, told ANSA, “I will go ahead with my candidature for the FIGC presidency as long as the leagues confirm their support for me.” Tavecchio, head of the National Amateur Leagues, was scheduled to have a meeting Thursday afternoon with Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò.

The other candidate for the FIGC presidency, Demetrio Albertini, the former AC Milan and Italian national team midfielder, who met with Malagò Thursday morning.

Albertini said he had not discussed with Malagò the possibility of the FIGC being placed under the leadership of a “commissioner” in the wake of the controversy.

“I repeated that this was not necessary since there are two candidates,” said Albertini. “I spoke to Carlo (Tavecchio) yesterday, it seems absolutely right that he should carry on”.

But the Torino Chairman Urbano Cairo joined the growing chorus of those who see Tavecchio as beyond the pale.

“Tavecchio can no longer be a candidate,” Cairo told la Repubblica newspaper. “We don’t support him any more because his candidature has become controversial.

“That doesn’t mean that we’ll go over to Albertini’s side, we need to review the whole governance of our football”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ENI, Labor Unions Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Gela

Agreement reached on petrochemical site

(ANSA) — Rome, July 31 — Italian oil and gas giant Eni and labor unions signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday on the future of the Gela refinery in Sicily, union sources said.

The two sides confirmed the validity of 2013 and 2014 agreements concerning the refinery in Gela and a petrochemical facility in Porto Marghera, an industrial area of Venice.

Eni agreed to act on a redevelopment program that management and labor agreed to a year ago.

Earlier this month, Gela refinery workers threatened “war on all fronts” in protest against company plans to revoke a promised 700-million-euro investment in the refinery.

The parties agreed to begin a policy review in order to reach a new agreement regarding Eni’s industrial prospects.

They are scheduled to meet again next month.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bin Ladens Buy 50% Stake in Carrara Marble Company

Marmi Carrara works one third of Tuscan white marble quarries

(ANSA) — Rome, July 31 — The Bin Laden family has invested 45 million euros to buy 50% of the company that controls Marmi Carrara, which has permits to one third of the white marble quarries in northern Tuscany, ANSA sources said Thursday.

The acquisition was made by Saudi Arabia’s Construction Products Holding Company (CPC) through its subsidiary Marble and Granite International (MGI). They are part of the Bin Laden family’s construction industry conglomerate, which has long held ties with marble producers in Carrara.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ENI Reports 4.8% Rise in Net Profits, Despite Libya Concerns

Italian energy giant reports stronger earnings

(ANSA) — Rome, July 31 — Italian oil and gas giant Eni reported an increase of 4.8% in adjusted net profits in the first half of this year, but acknowledged it was being affected by conflict in Libya.

State-controlled Eni said that its adjusted net profit was 2.06 billion euros for the first six months of 2014.

For the second quarter alone, adjusted net profit jumped by 50.7% to 0.87 billion euros.

In a statement, Eni said that “geopolitical” events in Libya were a concern for operations, including its exportation and production activities there.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Malmström Snags EU Commissioner Post Again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden’s prime minister announced on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Paris Set for Pro-Israel Demo Amid Tight Security

France’s main Jewish organization has appealed to all the “friends of Israel” to turn out for a rally outside the Israeli embassy in Paris on Thursday. High security is expected after weeks of pro-Palestinians marches that ended violently.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turks in Germany Vote for First Time

Germany’s large Turkish community headed to polling stations on Thursday to vote for the first time in a Turkish election. The Local visits Berlin’s Olympic Stadium which has been turned into a giant voting booth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Benghazi Declared ‘Islamic Emirate’ By Militants

Libya’s Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia has said that it seized complete control of Benghazi late on Wednesday, declaring the city an “Islamic emirate,” the group’s representative said.

Ansar al-Sharia is blacklisted by the United States over its alleged role in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, eastern Libya.

An official representative for the armed group told a local radio channel that Benghazi is now under its control.

“Benghazi has now become an Islamic emirate,” said Mohammed al-Zahawi, the spokesman, to Radio Tawhid.

However, Khalifa Haftar, a retired, renegade former army general who earlier this year launched a self-declared campaign to clear the city of Islamist militants, denied the group’s claims.

“The national Libyan army is in control of Benghazi and only withdrew from certain positions for tactical reasons,” Haftar told Al Arabiya News Channel…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Libya: Fear of Attacks by Plane on Neighboring Countries

Algerian daily “Al Khabhar”, ten planes held by Islamists

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS — The intelligence services of countries around Libya are carefully monitoring the situation at the airport in Tripoli after an unconfirmed report claiming that Islamic armed militia are in possession of ten civilian planes.

According to Algerian daily “Al Khabhar”, Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan security services have intensified consultations and checks over the possibility — reportedly considered unlikely though not impossible — of possible terror attacks with civilian planes like the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

The source quoted by the report said countries considered as enemies, like Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, could become targets. France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Greece and Egypt have allegedly alerted their air defense systems against the reported grave threat.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Over 200 Killed in Tripoli and Benghazi in Recent Weeks’

Italian FM; 241 Italians in country, oil output not a concern

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Over 200 people have been killed and 400 injured over the past few weeks in the fighting between militias in Tripoli and Benghazi, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini told the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday. The head of Italian diplomacy said that some 241 Italians were still in the country and that oil production was not of concern, for the time being. On the issue of fighting between Islamists and anti-Islamists, “there have been unconfirmed reports that Ansar Al-Sharia has taken Benghazi”, while in Tripoli there is a “fragile ceasefire”, that seems unlikely to last long, she said. “The airport has been destroyed,” but “the fire in two fuel depots have been extinguished” near the capital, she said.

Of the 241 Italians in Libya, 144 are in Tripolitania, 64 in Cyrenaica, 33 in Fezzan, and 45 are embassy and institutional staff. “Since yesterday,” the minister said, “ we have been contacting them on an individual basis to offer them the possibility to come back to Italy.

There are an additional 830 Italian residents in the country, “80% of whom with dual citizenship, who we assume will choose to stay.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tripoli Priest Calls for the Repatriation of Filipino Workers Whose Lives Are Risk

Filipinos, who number 13,000, are targeted by Islamic extremists. For the parish priest at Mary Immaculate Church, they should be considered “war refugees”, and be “evacuated by ship”. Two religious congregations recall nuns in Libya because it “is risky to stay here.”

Tripoli (AsiaNews/CBCP) — The Catholic Church in Libya “is doing everything possible” to help Filipino workers return home safe and sound, said Fr Amado Baranquel, parish priest at Tripoli’s Mary Immaculate Church. Hence, the Filipino government should “rescue them via the sea” since armed clashes between Libyan government forces and the rebel groups have made land travel “too unsafe”.

About 13,000 Filipinos live in Libya. Although they are welcome in the country, they have also been affected by the Islamist advance. A 50-year-old man who worked for a construction company was kidnapped and beheaded in Benghazi on 23 July because he was not Muslim.

“Violence and rapes against foreigners are happening every day,” Fr Baranquel explained.In fact, two orders of nuns have repatriated their members to Italy, he said. “It is too risky for them to stay here.”

Filipinos are “war refugees,” the priest added. “Depending on the number of evacuees, we might transport them by ship,” he said.”A trip by land is unthinkable at the moment. The militias and Al-Qaeda Islamists are after each other’s throats battling for supremacy here.”

Baranquel renewed his appeal to the faithful to continue praying for the well-being of their fellow Filipinos stranded in Libya.

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

72-Hour Ceasefire Announced in Gaza Conflict

Secretary of State John Kerry early Friday announced that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip conflict.

“The United Nations Representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, has received assurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza,” Mr. Kerry said in a joint statement with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General. Mr. Kerry was in New Delhi when he made the announcement.

This cease-fire is to begin at 8 a.m. local time on Friday. It will last for 72 hours unless it is extended.

“During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place,” said the announcement, meaning that Israeli troops who have entered Gaza can remain. As soon as it takes hold, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will head to Cairo for talks.

[Return to headlines]

Gaza’s Next Disaster: No Cement for Rebuilding

For years before the latest hostilities, Hamas, the Palestinian political organization, complained that Israeli restrictions on cement imports into Gaza were preventing the population from constructing homes, schools, and hospitals. As it turns out, a large share of the cement that did reach Gaza went into building underground lairs and attack tunnels for fighters from Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) estimate that each of the three dozen underground passages that troops have found so far required 350 truckloads of building supplies.

Here’s the dilemma: Gaza is going to need major reconstruction. In addition to countless homes and a hospital that Hamas commandeered, the Israeli bombardment has destroyed 50 factories that produced food products, soft drinks, and textiles, among other goods, according to Ali Al-Hayek, vice president of the Palestinian Federation of Industries. But if cement imports resume, what’s to stop Hamas, which runs the enclave, from again taking or smuggling it to rebuild its underground military infrastructure? That strategy would doubtless provoke Israeli retaliation—and a likely repeat of the current conflict…

[Return to headlines]

Israel Condemning Persists Even as UN Official Admits Hamas Uses Their Buildings

by Phyllis Chesler

A senior UN official, UN OCHA director, John Ging, confirmswhat the IDF and other informed experts have been saying all along, but to little avail. In a television interview yesterday, Ging said that Hamas terrorists “are firing their rockets into Israel from the vicinity of UN facilities and residential areas.”

This statement by so senior a UN official confirms what the IDF has said repeatedly since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, namely that Hamas uses Gaza’s civilian population as a human shield. This is a transcript of the key moments in this video. If you begin at 4:19, you will see and hear this:…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

Israel’s War With Hamas 2014: Part II — The Gaza Tunnel Threat

by Jerry Gordon and Ilana Freedman

Israel is famous for the speed and efficiency of its research and development programs. Their national R&D program has produced a long list of breakthrough technologies that have transformed the lives of people around the world. But with over four years to develop the technology needed to detect tunnel-building and trafficking activity, they failed to do so. Considering that some of the tunnels are 100 feet deep, the challenge has been great, but not insurmountable. If there is one thing that Israel has shown the world, Israeli scientists and engineers are brilliant at solving many of the problems that have defeated others. The problem of the tunnels should have been no exception, but somehow it seems to have fallen through the cracks.

Israel now faces an enormous challenge, and cannot afford to do in Gaza what it did in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, retreat only weeks before victory. Israel’s technological advantage and the determination of the Israeli fighting force will be the deciding factors in this current war. Despite the ongoing pressure from the West and lack of technology it needs to detect all of these tunnels before more terrorists emerge from them. Unfortunately, as IMRA reported “during Operation Defensive Edge six IDF soldiers have been killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from those tunnels into Israel, while 20 Hamas infiltrators have been killed in five such attacks.”

Israel needs to defeat Hamas, whose charter identifies the organization as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Hamas Charter mandates the total destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

Truce for Hamas is not an option. The only purpose of their massive network of tunnels is the infiltration and destruction of the Jewish state. That is Hamas’ fundamental statement of purpose outlined in their Charter. Given their highly developed tactic of waging an underground war, Operation Protective Edge may go down in history as the War of the Tunnels. Israel’s only option is to win it…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Israel’s War With Hamas 2014: Part III — The Social Media Battle

by Jerry Gordon

In the battle to win the hearts and minds of the world, the Israeli war against Hamas in Gaza has seen Psy-Ops raised to a new level of intense information overload. Through the use of operational blogs, websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts both antagonists have flooded the internet with graphic images, videos and propaganda endeavoring to convey messages about their war aims. They are cultivating positions that reflect real time actions on the battlefield. Israel, while punishing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza through aerial strikes, bombardments and a massive ground incursion has justified their actions because of the rocket war on its civilian population. IDF and independent Israeli hasbarah social media operations have taken great pains to illustrate the extent to which Israel goes to warn Palestinians in Gaza of intended targets via cell phone Text messages, Tweets and even non-explosives missiles. Israel is concerned about homes, schools, hospitals and other buildings, some of which harbor launching sites, command and control centers and armories of rockets and weapons. The discovery of a massive network of tunnels, many interlaced and excavated under the Israel- Gaza frontier, have become a prominent aspect conveyed in videos of captured facilities. Battles with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide terrorists have taken a toll of IDF fallen. Hamas has produced Tweets with graphic images of alleged women and children killed due to Israeli missile and artillery attacks. Many of these images have been photo-shopped, faked or purloined from the Syrian civil war and even Hollywood films. That has led to blocking of Hamas twitter accounts. The two sides frequently accost each other in social media in a number of different languages seeking to win over the world’s opinion…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreading Fast in Southeast Asia

Drug-resistant malaria parasites are now firmly established in border regions in four Southeast Asian countries, imperilling global efforts to control the disease, experts warned on Wednesday (July 30).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Foreign Births in Italy Up 282% in Past 10 Years

More than 1 mn families include at least one foreign member

(ANSA) — Rome, July 30 — Between the years 2001 and 2011 there were 608,623 foreign births in Italy, representing an increase of 282.6% for that ten-year span, national statistics bureau Istat said Wednesday. More than half of these births came from citizens of just four countries: Morocco, with 15.2% of the total, followed by Romania, Albania, and China. Families reporting at least one foreign member increased by 164% in the same ten-year period, comprising a total of 1,160,101 households.

“The significant influx of foreigners in the past ten years translates into families putting down stronger roots in Italy with the arrival of relatives,” Istat said.

In the same ten-year period, Italy granted citizenship to 607,000 people. Two thirds were female, 47.8% were from other European countries, and 23.7% were from Central and South America.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 22,000 More Immigrants Employed in 2013

As Italians lose their jobs

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 30 — Some 2,355,923 immigrants to Italy were employed in the country last year, a rise of approximately 22,000.

The increase has come amid a tougher labor market for Italians, 500,000 fewer of whom had jobs than in 2013, according to the report ‘Immigrants in the Labor Market in Italy’ published by the Italian labor ministry.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

101 Geysers Spotted on Saturn’s Icy Moon Enceladus

The icy Saturn moon Enceladus sports at least 101 geysers, which reach all the way down to the satellite’s subsurface ocean, new research suggests.

Scientists mapped out 101 geysers of water vapor and ice near Enceladus’ south pole after analyzing images captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft over a period of nearly seven years. This effort also helped astronomers trace the eruptions to their source, researchers said.

Cassini first spotted geysers erupting from four “tiger stripe” fractures on Enceladus — a 310-mile-wide (500 kilometers) moon covered by an icy shell — in 2005, but their origin remains the subject of some debate to this day.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/31/2014

  1. Re: “French hospital opens wine bar for patients”. Terminal ones, if you read the article.

    While we Brits can likely find as many reasons to dislike the French as anyone, I find it hard to dismiss a nation that has its priorities right. Who needs Oregon, or Dignitas in Switzerland? Give me a bottle of Cotes du Rhone!

Comments are closed.