Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/11/2014

According to British authorities, the four violent extremists who were arrested last week in London had been planning to behead innocent civilians and engage in other extreme actions. The intended extreme acts of these extremists had nothing to do with Islam.

In other news, seven people suspected of practicing witchcraft were burned alive in Tanzania.

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

Thanks to Fjordman, Insubria, 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: Crisis Affects Archeological Digs in Santorini
Europe and the EU
» Italy: Comedian Luttazzi Says Tax-Evasion Accusations Are False
» Italy: Camorra Death Squad Leader Setola Asks to Turn State Witness
» Italy: Milan Chief Prosecutor Probed for Alleged Neglect of Duties
» Italy: Magistrates Can Write ‘Tits’, Supreme Court Rules
» Italy: Marine Detained in India ‘Had Stroke, ‘ Says Partner
» Italy: Cassation Court Rules Cuffaro to Stay in Jail
» Italy: Riace Bronzes ‘Can’t be Moved to Milan for Expo’
» Italy: Yachts Shaking Up Market, Ferretti Tells Genoa Boat Show
» London Arrests Disrupted Public Beheading Plot by Jihadis Returning From the Islamic State
» Mogherini Says EU Must Review Relations With Russia in 5 Yrs
» Revamped Large Hadron Collider Set to Restart
» Violins Evolved by Stradivarian Design
» ‘We Made a Big Mistake’: Teenage Austrian Poster Girls for ISIS Who Moved to Syria to Live With Jihadis Are Now Pregnant and Want to Come Home… But Officials Say That Will be ‘Impossible’
Mediterranean Union
» EU and Jordan Sign a New Partnership
Middle East
» Turkey: Bridge’s Toll Fee Jumps Before Construction Ended
» UK: Security Services Monitoring ‘Thousands’ of Terrorism Suspects in London, Says Boris Johnson
» Why Do Some Saudis Treat Expat Workers Like Slaves?
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Ebola Spread Shows Flaws in Protective Gear and Procedures
» Tanzania: Witchcraft Suspects Burned to Death
Culture Wars
» 15% Rise in Dutch Euthanasia Deaths
» Debate Over History of US Christian Bioethics
» Gene of the Week: Paedophilia
» Pell Says Jesus Was Not Soft on Divorce and Neither is He
» Research Shows Red Fox Evolved Differently in North America

Greece: Crisis Affects Archeological Digs in Santorini

After funding has been cut, residents arrange fundraiser event

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — While the world is being fascinated and captivated by the archeological discoveries in the enigmatic ancient tomb that has been discovered in the ancient place of Amphipolis, in northern Greece, other archeological sites are suffering from a lack of funding. As GreekReporter website writes, the financial crisis has unfortunately affected the archeological efforts in Santorini island, which begun about half a century ago in an effort to discover the lost ‘Atlantis’. The ‘Aegean Pompeii’ at Akrotiri had remained buried beneath the volcanic ash for about 3,500 years. The archeologists in Santorini uncovered the well-preserved ruins of a Bronze Age city, where they discovered facades of two-story buildings, murals and intricate ceramic decorations remaining intact. Perhaps the most impressive find was the Golden Ibex, which was stumble upon in 1999. With funding for the archeological efforts frozen after 47 years, local residents decided to organize a fund raiser event on the 12th of October in order to support the efforts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Comedian Luttazzi Says Tax-Evasion Accusations Are False

Actor claims he is being mistreated by the press

(ANSA) — Rome, October 6 — Comedian and actor Daniele Luttazzi on Monday said he was innocent after being put under investigation for tax evasion and said he hoped the authorities would soon recognize their blunder. Luttazzi wrote on his blog that he had great respect for the finance police but argued that the 2012 episode for which he is being accused is actually focusing on sums his company declared and duly accounted for in 2007. The comedian claims he has been under constant public scrutiny and mistreated by the press since an interview with journalist Marco Travaglio in 2001.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Camorra Death Squad Leader Setola Asks to Turn State Witness

Appeals for protection for family

(ANSA) — Caserta, October 8 — Giuseppe Setola, a jailed leader of the Camorra mafia syndicate in the Naples area, on Wednesday requested to turn State witness in exchange for protection for his family. “I’ve decided to cooperate,” Setola told a trial into the death of businessman Domenico Noviello via video link. “Save my family, otherwise the Bidognetti (rival clan) will kill them”. He requested to speak to prosecutors later on Wednesday.

Setola is serving multiple life terms for leading an Camorra execution team that between May 2 and December 12 2008 murdered 18 people, including six West African immigrants.

A member of the Casalesi clan whose death threats have forced anti-mafia writer Roberto Saviano into hiding, he was arrested after a manhunt on January 14, 2009 and is now under a tough prison regime usually reserved for mafia bosses.

The mobster, formerly one of Italy’s most wanted criminals, had previously eluded capture twice, on one occasion crawling through a long tunnel built under his house where police found sawn-off shotguns, pistols and medication for a fake eye condition.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Chief Prosecutor Probed for Alleged Neglect of Duties

Corriere della Sera reports trouble for Bruti Liberati after row

(ANSA) — Milan, October 8 — Milan chief prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati has been placed under investigation for alleged neglect to carry out duties regarding a corruption investigation, a report said Wednesday.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper wrote that the prosecutor’s office of the northern Italian city of Brescia was assessing whether to press charges against Bruti Liberati for the “deplorable oversight” of leaving a corruption dossier unattended for three months, locked in a vault.

The dossier in question is the SEA-Gamberale case, which concerns the alleged rigging of a sale of a 29.75% stake in the airport company SEA, made in 2011 by the City of Milan. The prosecutor who oversaw the investigation, completed in February, was Bruti Liberati’s long-standing rival Alfredo Robledo.

Bruti Liberati on Friday stripped Robledo of his brief for corruption cases after disputes between the pair reached the level of official complaints.

The long-running and angry clash within the Milan prosecutors’ office reached new heights with Liberati’s decision to shift Robledo to the office in charge of criminal probes and has triggered speculation about the investigation into Bruti Liberati’s conduct.

Bruti Liberati would not comment on the reported probe into himself, but a source said the prosecutor learned of it by reading the newspaper.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Magistrates Can Write ‘Tits’, Supreme Court Rules

Cassation rejects disciplinary action for ‘uncouth’ language

(ANSA) Rome, October 9 — An Italian magistrate who referred to a girl’s breasts as “tits” in official documents was “uncouth” but should not undergo disciplinary proceedings, the supreme Court of Cassation ruled Monday.

The supreme court made the unusual ruling following a complaint that a prosecuting magistrate from Torre Annunziata wrote in an indictment of two men that they had touched the “tits” of an underage girl.

“This is a term belonging to common and colloquial uncouth language but it does not carry a specific connotation of vulgarity,” the Cassation judges said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Marine Detained in India ‘Had Stroke, ‘ Says Partner

Latorre making slow recovery in Italy

(ANSA) Bari, October 7 — An Italian Marine who was held in India for over two years with another serviceman for allegedly killing two fishermen suffered a stroke during his time abroad and is only recovering slowly, his partner said Tuesday.

Massimiliano Latorre “is undergoing physiotherapy and goes to hospital every day,” Paola Moschetti told ANSA.

The fusilier from Taranto did not have just “an ischemia as was said, but a haemorrhage in a profound part of the brain,” she added.

Indian authorities who had insisted the marines remain in India pending trial allowed Latorre to return to Italy temporarily for health reasons.

“Massimiliano suffers here for the separation from his colleague (Salvatore Girone) and is sorely tried by this whole situation,” Moschetti said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Cassation Court Rules Cuffaro to Stay in Jail

Community service denied, application by ex-governor quashed

(ANSA) — Rome, October 6 — The Cassation Court, Italy’s highest appeal court, on Monday ruled that Salvatore Cuffaro, Sicily’s ex-governor serving a seven-year Mafia-related sentence, must remain in prison.

The court rejected an application from his lawyer seeking to commute his jail time into community-service. No reasons were given for the denial but last year the same application was rejected by Rome’s probation tribunal on the grounds that Cuffaro had not been cooperative during investigations.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Riace Bronzes ‘Can’t be Moved to Milan for Expo’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — The Italian culture ministry on Wednesday said the two world-famous ancient Greek warrior statues called the Riace Bronzes cannot be moved from Calabria to Milan for next year’s Expo world’s fair.

“They are not transportable,” the ministry said, adding “this outs an end to the debate”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Yachts Shaking Up Market, Ferretti Tells Genoa Boat Show

CEO says new models generating “positive mood”

(ANSA) — Genoa, October 6 — Ferretti Group’s yachts are certainly at home at the Genoa boat show. At this year’s Salone Nautico, from October 1-6, the Italian maker of floating dreams was present with a full range of top models from its brands, including Riva, Pershing, Mochi Craft and Ferretti, as well as with its recently launched Pershing 70 and Ferretti Custom Line Navetta 28. Together with the Riva Mythos and the Ferretti Yachts 650, which made their debut earlier this year, the new models are testament to the Italian company’s continuous dedication to innovation at the high end of the yacht business.

Ferretti offers a vast range of boats for almost all tastes (but not wallets), including fly bridges, runabouts, opens, coupe’s, lobster boats, fisherman boats and maxi and mega-yachts.

With the exception of US-based Bertram, all models are produced at the group’s Italian shipyards.

The new Custom Line Navetta 28 is a semi-dislocating ship, characterized by a sinuous and refined design, while the Pershing 70’s knockout looks and futuristic shape are the result of a focus on aerodynamics which turbocharge the boat’s performance.

“The new models are doing well and the mood is positive.

They have helped shake up the market, especially abroad,” according to Ferretti Group chief executive Alberto Galassi. Foreign markets are the main drivers of the industry’s sales growth. While Ferretti is mum on its sales figures, people close to the company point out that turnover at firms of its size is likely in the 400 million euro range.

In terms of markets, Asia in particular is growing for the firm, thanks to investments made by majority owner Weichai of China. Ferretti sold just over 75% of itself to the Chinese industrial group two years ago and since then the push into China and Asia — the company already has sales offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Qingdao — has accelerated. Among other initiatives to support Ferretti, this year Weichai has opened a new sales center in Zhuhai and is developing a marina resort where Ferretti will have a shipyard from where it will be able to service its local customers. In the future, the site may be used to roll out a new brand, produced locally for the Chinese market only.

In July Weichai carried out an 80 million euro capital increase in favor of Ferretti. Some 50 million euros will be invested as part of a new, three-year industrial plan focused on the rollout of new models. Meanwhile in the company’s home market of Italy, the firm is seeing a “timid reawakening” among buyers, Galassi said.

Innovation — constantly launching new models — is important not only for the top (and bottom) lines, but also as a way to communicate with the market and prospective buyers. The reasoning in top management circles at the company is that even if some market segments seem stagnant, if you don’t invest you risk losing out. But if, instead, you invest you send a strong signal and are in a better position when things pick up.

Another key part of communications is being present at boat shows, like the Cannes Yachting Festival and Salone Nautico in Genoa. While the company hadn’t placed any orders in Genoa as of October 3 (orders often are made after potential buyers have had several opportunities to see a boat), in early September, in Cannes, Ferretti took nine orders for yachts including the new Pershing 70 and Custom Line Navetta 28. At the end of last month, at the Monaco Yacht Show, in Montecarlo, the company sold another yacht, from its CRN line.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

London Arrests Disrupted Public Beheading Plot by Jihadis Returning From the Islamic State

London police arrested four men Tuesday in an ongoing terror investigation. On “The Real Story” today, we learned that the alleged plot involved beheading people on the streets of London.

Authorities said the men, who are in their early 20s, were arrested after warrants were executed at various addresses. One of the men was tasered, but did not require medical attention, reported.

Gretchen Carlson talked to UK Telegraph defense editor Con Coughlin, who confirmed that the plot was to behead innocent people in public, citing Scotland Yard and intelligence officials.

Coughlin said the plot involved jihadists who had come back from Syria. He likened the horrific plot to the brutal public murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Mogherini Says EU Must Review Relations With Russia in 5 Yrs

Policy response depends on ‘the bear’s attitude’

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 6 — Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who is set to become the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, said Monday that the bloc needed to review its relations with Russia over the next five years.

EU-Russian relations have been strained by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. “In the next five years we’ll have to review our relations with Russia,” Mogherini told her confirmation hearing at the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee. “At the moment Russia is not a partner (of the EU), but a strategic country and a neighbour, above all of Ukraine”. Before Mogherini’s nomination some Eastern European countries reportedly had doubts about whether she would be tough enough on Russia. When asked how she would deal with the Russian bear, Mogherini said that “it depends on the bear’s attitude”. “A mix of behaviours, both assertive and diplomatic, are needed,” she added. She said that press and religious freedom, gender equality and human rights would be priorities for the EU’s foreign police under her. She also said that, to be able to have the EU speaking with a single voice on foreign affairs, it is necessary to have a “sense of responsibility and belonging from the member states”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Revamped Large Hadron Collider Set to Restart

The Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world, is scheduled to be restarted early next year after an ambitious two-year upgrade project that will nearly double its power.

Located near Geneva, Switzerland, the 17-mile LHC was built between 1998 and 2008 to help scientists test some theories of particle and high-energy physics and advance understanding of physical laws. It shut down for maintenance and upgrade work in February 2013.

Prior to its hiatus, the Collider ran at a collision energy rate of 7 to 8 trillion electric volts (TeV). CERN’s goal is to run the machine at 13 TeV.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Violins Evolved by Stradivarian Design

Stradivarius violins enjoy an almost mythical status today — and perhaps they did from the moment they first left Antonio Stradivari’s workshop. An analysis of violin body shape confirms that many renowned 17th- and 18th-century violin makers, or luthiers, built instruments inspired by Stradivari’s design.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘We Made a Big Mistake’: Teenage Austrian Poster Girls for ISIS Who Moved to Syria to Live With Jihadis Are Now Pregnant and Want to Come Home… But Officials Say That Will be ‘Impossible’

The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15, who grew up in the Austrian capital Vienna, were persuaded to head to Syria and take part in the holy war in April.

Once they arrived it is believed they were married off to local fighters and both the girls are thought to be pregnant.

But security service insiders have told Austrian media that the girls have managed to contact their families to say they have had enough, and want to come home.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU and Jordan Sign a New Partnership

Negotiations to facilitate visas for Schengen to Jordanians

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 09 — The EU and Jordan have officially established a ‘Mobility Partnership’. Twelve EU Member States are participating in this partnership: Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden. Through this cooperation, according to the EU Commission, the EU and Jordan “agree to ensure that the movement of persons is managed as effectively as possible, allowing for concrete actions to further improve the situation in the way migration, asylum and borders are dealt with”. “The EU and Jordan will step up efforts to better prevent human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants while at the same time paving the way for the start of negotiations on an agreement to facilitate the procedures for the issuing of Schengen visas to citizens of Jordan” the EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said. “The Partnership will also support Jordan’s remarkable efforts in providing stability and refuge in the region”, she added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Bridge’s Toll Fee Jumps Before Construction Ended

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 9 — The toll for an under-construction bridge over the Izmit Gulf as part of the Istanbul-Izmir highway project has already increased, before it has even been opened. The increase, as daily Hurriyet online reported, is due to the Turkish Lira’s depreciation against the U.S. dollar since officials announced the fee four years ago at the bridge’s groundbreaking ceremony on October 29, 2010. The toll fee to cross the bridge had been set at 35 US dollars plus value added tax, but at that time 1 US dollar cost 1.43 Turkish Liras, way below the approximately 2.3 liras today. The three-kilometer bridge is projected to be the longest suspension bridge in the world. It will cut the 70-minute drive around the gulf to only six minutes and is part of a large highway project that will link industrial Istanbul to Izmir, another industrial hub, as well as many Aegean tourism destinations. Officials calculate that the project will cut the journey time between the two cities to three-and-a-half hours, from the nearly nine hours on today’s roads. There will be six lanes on the under-construction bridge, in addition to a pedestrian lane. The project is being built by six companies under the Otoyol A.S. consortium. As the construction continues, the height of the towers of the bridge already exceeds 120 meters. The highway project consists of 384 kilometers of highway and 43 kilometers of linking roads.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Security Services Monitoring ‘Thousands’ of Terrorism Suspects in London, Says Boris Johnson

The security services are monitoring “thousands” of terrorist suspects in London, Boris Johnson has disclosed, suggesting the threat from Islamist extremists may be far greater than has previously been admitted.

Until now, it was thought that the main danger came from around 500 jihadis who have travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK to join Isil or al-Qaeda fighters, around half of whom have returned to Britain.

But the Mayor of London suggested the threat from home-grown terrorist plots was far more widespread than the relatively small numbers of extremists who have gone abroad to fight.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why Do Some Saudis Treat Expat Workers Like Slaves?

by Saleh Zayad

What is the meaning of a work contract if the employer can keep an expat worker with him against his will for the rest of his life or for a large portion of it? Why do some Saudi employers not seem to care about the freedom of their expat workers or their wish to return home?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ebola Spread Shows Flaws in Protective Gear and Procedures

A Spanish nurse who contracted the virus is just one of hundreds infected while battling the deadly disease, often with substandard equipment and safety protocols

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tanzania: Witchcraft Suspects Burned to Death

Seven people accused of witchcraft have been burned alive in Tanzania, police said on Friday, adding they have arrested 23 people in connection with the crimes.

“They were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft,” the police chief for the western Kigoma region which borders Burundi, Jafari Mohamed, told AFP.

“Five of those killed were aged over 60, while the other two were aged over 40,” he added.

Among those arrested on suspicion of carrying out the killings was the local traditional healer, or witch doctor.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

15% Rise in Dutch Euthanasia Deaths

Euthanasia cases in the Netherlands increased 15% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the latest official statistics. There were 4,829 reported cases, although this almost certainly understates the number, as a significant proportion are not reported. The latest figures follow increases of 13% in 2012, 18% in 2011, 19% in 2010, and 13% in 2009. Most of the cases last year involved cancer, but there were 97 cases of dementia and 42 psychiatric cases. Euthanasia now represents over 3% of all Dutch deaths.

A persistent British critic of euthanasia, Dr Peter Saunders, claims the official statistics are somewhat misleading. “These deaths represent only a fraction of the total number of deaths resulting from Dutch doctors intentionally ending their patients’ lives through deliberate morphine overdose, withdrawal of hydration and sedation.”

[Return to headlines]

Debate Over History of US Christian Bioethics

One of the puzzling features of the history of bioethics — which is now nearly 50 years old — is that its “founders” were nearly all Christians, but Christian bioethics has become a marginal interest, at least in the US. How did this happen?

The conventional account is that initially Christian bioethicists like Joseph Fletcher and Paul Ramsey (both Protestants) or Richard McCormick (a Catholic) were quite influential in shaping bioethics debates in the 1960s, serving on national committees and helping to draft government reports. However, as society became more secular, they were shouldered aside and their contributions were ignored.

In a provocative article in the journal Christian Bioethics, Tristram Engelhardt, Jr offers a very different interpretation. Engelhardt is a heavyweight in American bioethics — one of the few Christians with clout. He originally delivered this article on the occasion of receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

Engelhardt, a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, attributes the marginalisation of “Christian bioethics” to the treason of Christian bioethicists. They capitulated to pressure from an increasingly non-religious environment and betrayed their Christian heritage.

“The result was that a view of Christian morality developed that eschewed a defining Christian content for Christian morality and Christian bioethics. Scholars rejected the position that there could be moral content in a Christian bioethics not accessible to a secular bioethics. This meant that there could not be a distinctly Christian bioethics.”

What about powerful messages from the Catholic world, particularly the recent Popes? Engelhardt claims that they too abandoned a distinctively Christian outlook and relied far too much on philosophy:

“Neither John Paul II nor Benedict XVI adequately appreciated that what had occurred was, at least in part, a function of post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism’s attempt to speak and think in a secular or philosophical idiom open to all. Among other things, this focus on philosophy raised the question as to why one should pay attention to the philosophical arguments of theologians, who wrote as want-to-be moral philosophers, when the same philosophical arguments were often (usually) made more clear and better by philosophers.”

Engelhardt insists that “Christian bioethics is radically different from secular bioethics”.

However, in the same issue of the journal a Catholic bioethicist, Daniel P. Sulmasy, rebuts Engelhardt’s bleak view. In his opinion Engelhardt is reviving an older debate between Protestants and Catholics about the relationship between grace and reason, or between faith and natural law. Protestants tend to be suspicious of reason as a means for reaching the truth while Catholics see faith and reason as the two wings of truth.

“A more reasonable reading of the history of bioethics is that proponents of natural law like McCormick and Ramsey were eventually rejected by a progressively secularizing bioethics that came to view the method they employed, natural law, as inherently religious (specifically, Christian) and therefore suspect in an officially secular bioethics …”


[Return to headlines]

Gene of the Week: Paedophilia

Add paedophilia to the growing list of genetically-determined attractions, preferences and predispositions. In a New York Times op-ed, a law professor from Rutgers University contends that paedophilia is not a matter of choice. Margo Kaplan writes that:

“Recent research, while often limited to sex offenders — because of the stigma of pedophilia — suggests that the disorder may have neurological origins. Pedophilia could result from a failure in the brain to identify which environmental stimuli should provoke a sexual response. MRIs of sex offenders with pedophilia show fewer of the neural pathways known as white matter in their brains. Men with pedophilia are three times more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous, a finding that strongly suggests a neurological cause. Some findings also suggest that disturbances in neurodevelopment in utero or early childhood increase the risk of pedophilia.”

Ms Kaplan admits that paedophiles do not have to succumb to their urges, so they are still responsible for their actions. However, they do have an unrecognised disability. She is campaigning to amend US legislation so that they will not be discriminated against in employment, education and medical care.

“The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with mental disabilities, in areas such as employment, education and medical care. Congress, however, explicitly excluded pedophilia from protection under these two crucial laws.”

“It’s time to revisit these categorical exclusions,” she concludes.

[Return to headlines]

Pell Says Jesus Was Not Soft on Divorce and Neither is He

Cardinal says he is concerned with problems facing families

(ANSA) — Vatican City, October 9 — Jesus was not soft on divorce and Catholics should follow that lead, Cardinal George Pell said Thursday as the extraordinary synod looking at family issues continued its work.

“Many might wish that Jesus would be softer on divorce but he was not,” said Pell, who is the Vatican’s prefect of the secretariat for the economy.

“And I am with him,” added Pell, who is Australian.

He was commenting on the first few days of meetings of the synod that includes some 200 bishops from around the world discussing issues related to the modern family, including divorce, contraception and homosexuality.

Earlier in the week, some cardinals expressed support for offering Communion to divorced Catholics in some circumstances.

Pell said he was concerned with the problems facing families but that did not mean the Church should “soften or dilute out teachings”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Research Shows Red Fox Evolved Differently in North America

Changes from original Eurasian carnivores after 400,000 years

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — New research into the red fox suggests a major difference in the evolution of the carnivore over the past 400,000 years in North America versus the Eurasian animal.

The study of the fox genomes by researchers at the University of California at Davis found that the first red foxes originated in the Middle East before spreading their relatives across Eurasia to Siberia, over the Bering Strait, and into North America.

Lead researcher Mark Statham, an assistant project scientist with the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, said the findings have implications for human ancestry and evolution.

The study said that the North American red fox evolved over 400,000 years into a new species distinct from its Old World ancestors. “That small group that got across the Bering Strait went on to colonize a whole continent and are on their own evolutionary path,” Statham said. According to previous studies on the red fox that had examined only the X chromosome, or the maternal line, the regional foxes were more closely interconnected.

The new research, however, includes an investigation of the Y chromosome or the paternal line and discovered the differences based on region.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/11/2014

  1. Re: “Red Fox evolved differently…” I hope the North American variety is less noisy, in city centres in the middle of the night, than the ones here in London!

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