Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/14/2014

The Turkish government is increasing the pressure on Cyprus to give up its drilling project in offshore gas fields. The Turks say that continued drilling threatens negotiations for a permanent political settlement. The island has been divided ever since Turkey invaded back in 1974. The Turkish navy recently sent warships to the offshore drilling area. The Italian energy company ENI, which has been hired by the Cypriots to drill for natural gas, has refused to comply with Turkish demands, and says it will continue drilling.

In other news, within the last few days two Iraqi journalists were killed by ISIS mujahideen in territory controlled by the Islamic State. One was shot and the other was beheaded.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, RR, 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
» Germany Slashes Growth Forecasts
» Italy: CGIL Announces General Strike Against Renzi’s Jobs Act
» Italy: Over 43% of Pensioners on Less Than 1,000 Euros
» Cheney: Next Attack on US Will be ‘Something Far More Deadlier’ Than 9/11
» EPA Cleans up Radioactive Material
» Forensic Evidence Shows Teen Shot at St. Louis Officer, Police Say
» Internet Caretaker ICANN to Escape US Control
» Perk Up: Facebook and Apple Now Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs
Europe and the EU
» Cyprus: Turkey Asks ENI Gas Company to Halt Work, Reports
» Cyprus: ENI’s Drilling Going on Despite Turkey’s Provocation
» EU: Media: Brussels Wants Spain to Recover Aid to Firms
» Greece Secured 37.6 Bln Euros in Last 2 Years
» High Hitler: Nazi Leader Was a Meth Addict, Says New Documentary
» Italy: Acerbo Among Three Arrested in Milan Expo Probe
» Italy: Some 30,000 Prized Parma Prosciutti Destroyed in Flooding
» Police: Most Violent Election Year Ever
» Was the Westminster Parliament Vote on the Palestine State Resolution a “Hollow Victory”?
» Serbia ‘Open Arms’ For Putin, Large Scale Parade
North Africa
» Libya: Fighting South-West of Tripoli and Benghazi Continues
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Benny Gantz’s Troubling Assessments
Middle East
» 5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS
» Black Masks and Violent Clashes: Signs of Sympathy for Islamic State Group Rattle Istanbul
» Iran Hits Back at Saudi Claims of ‘Occupying’ Syria
» ISIS: Sexual Enslavement of Yazidi Women Helps Muslims Avoid Sin
» Islamic State Militants Kill Two Iraq Journalists
» Istanbul University Students Concerned About Campus Attacks by ISIL Supporters
» Kurds Make Grisly Discoveries After Retaking ISIS-Held Territory
» Kuwait: Airport or Salet Afrah?
» Saudi Arabia: American Killed in Ambush in Riyadh
» Saudi Arabia: 334 ‘Reformed’ Militants Return to Terror
» The “Cancer” of the Kurdish Question Corners Ankara
» The Secret U.S. And Iraqi Casualties of Hussein’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons
» Turkey: Men Shaving to Avoid Jihadist Stigma in Southeast
» Turkey: Jihad-Lite
» Turkish Jets Bomb Kurdish PKK Rebels Near Iraq
South Asia
» Bangladesh: Proposed Law on “Child Brides” Bows to Conservative Islam
» Indonesia: Jakarta Police Chief: The Islamic Defence Front Must be Eliminated
Far East
» ‘I Had a Three-Inch Leech Up My Nose for a Month’: Backpacker Saw Something Poking Out of Her Nose During Trip Round South-East Asia — But Dismissed it as Congealed Blood From Motorbike Crash
» Pregnant Policewoman Killed in China’s Xinjiang
Sub-Saharan Africa
» ‘Biggest Risk’ In Ebola Protection is Gear Removal
» Ebola Outbreak: Why it’s So Important to Find Patient Zero
» Number of New Ebola Cases Per Week Could Reach 10,000
» Where Does Ebola Hide?
» 100,000 Undocumented Migrants Into France From Italy
» Frontex Appeals for More Countries to Join Triton
» U.S. General Warns of Potential Ebola-Driven ‘Mass Migration’ From South of Border
Culture Wars
» Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics to Stay Open
» Synod Bishops Warn Against Expecting Change Towards Gays

Germany Slashes Growth Forecasts

1.2% this year, 1.3% next

(ANSA) — Rome, October 14 — Germany on Tuesday slashed its GDP growth forecasts from 1.8% to 1.2% for 2014 and from 2% to 1.3% for 2015.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CGIL Announces General Strike Against Renzi’s Jobs Act

‘Renzi has no idea where to take the country’ says Camusso

(ANSA) — Rome, October 13 — CGIL leader Susanna Camusso said Monday that Italy’s biggest trade union confederation will call a general strike to protest against the government’s Jobs Act labour reform after a big demonstration on October 25. “We have to continue mobilizing (after the rally),” Camusso said. “A general strike is one of the things we’ll use, but no one should think that’s all”. The leftwing CGIL has so far not been able to agree on a unified plan of action in response to the reforms with the two other big union confederations, the more moderate UIL and CISL.

“We did not wait for CISL and UIL (to call the October 25 rally) but our strength will truly be when they also take to the streets,” Camusso said.

CGIL is staunchly opposed to the Jobs Act over changes for newly hired staff to Article 18 of the 1970 Workers’ Statute, which protects from unfair dismissal. Camusso went on to berate the government of Premier Matteo Renzi for “taking its platform from Confindustria,” which represents Italy’s largest industrial employers.

She added that Renzi “has no idea where to take the country”.

Italy, said Camusso, is the only European Union country without a patrimony tax on its wealthiest citizens, and it also has the lowest inheritance tax. The government’s budget bill to be unveiled this week “is merely the repetition of those that preceded it”, Camusso said.

The CGIL will rally against the government and not only in defense of Article 18, she explained. “Yes there is a need to change the (1970 Workers) Statute, but only in order to expand the rights and protections now reserved to those with permanent full-time contracts to all other forms of labor,” she said.

The Jobs Act, which passed its first reading in the Senate last week thanks to a confidence vote, progressively raises safeguards for new hires, slashes the plethora of temp contracts currently plaguing entry-level workers, establishes a minimum wage, and extends unemployment benefits.

But is also scales back Article 18 job protections for new hires in a move that Renzi hopes will encourage business to resume hiring and begin to expand to lift Italy out of its third recession in since 2008.

The premier won the confidence vote despite opposition by a minority within his Democratic Party (PD) to changes to Article 18 as it applies to new hires.

Renzi argues Article 18 discourages firms from hiring staff because the law makes it harder to fire workers, and therefore has contributed to high levels of unemployment and the overuse of temporary and freelance contracts, especially for young people.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Over 43% of Pensioners on Less Than 1,000 Euros

Over 2.1 million retired Italians earn less than 500 euros

(ANSA) — Rome, October 14 — Around 6.8 million retired Italians, 43.5% of the total, had monthly pensions of less than 1,000 euros in 2013, national social security agency INPS said Tuesday. It added that over 2.1 million pensioners had a monthly income of less than 500 euros a month, while almost 70% were on less than 1,500 euros a month. The figures were contained in Istat’s annual “social balance sheet” report.

The report also revealed that the number of public sector workers fell by 64,491, or 2.1%, in 2013 with respect to 2012.

It said the number of private-sector employees fell by 140,195, 1.1%, in the same period. INPS said spending on benefits increased by 1.982 billion euros (15.8%) in 2013 to climb to 14.514 billion. The agency added that it registered a deficit of 8.7 billion euros in 2013 between contributions and spending, an improvement of around one billion euros on 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cheney: Next Attack on US Will be ‘Something Far More Deadlier’ Than 9/11

Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that the next terrorist attack on the US will be far worse than 9/11 during a nearly two-hour interview. He also took pride in the use of waterboarding and in giving the National Security Agency free reign.

He believes that if the Iranians get nuclear weapons, it won’t be long before others in the region also have nuclear weapons, hinting that the deadly weapons could fall into the heads of the Islamic State or Syria.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EPA Cleans up Radioactive Material

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality worked Monday to clean up a Boise apartment Monday that was contaminated with hazardous and radioactive material.The apartment is in the Renaissance apartment complex at Hobble Creek, off Chinden Boulevard. The material, including powdered uranium ore, was discovered Oct. 8 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission while interviewing a tenant suspected of buying and selling radioactive material on eBay.”We don’t believe there was any kind of exposure risk to neighbors,” said Greg Weigel, EPA on-scene coordinator.No charges have been filed, and the tenant’s name was not released.NRC investigators saw powdered uranium and feared that while the level of radiation was relatively low, it could become airborne and be breathed in. A Boise Fire Department hazardous materials response team was mobilized to assess conditions in the apartment and determined it was not a threat to others.DEQ found containers with powders, residues and/or liquids throughout the apartment, some in unlabeled and/or open containers. It also documented equipment that could be used for chemical processing such as glassware and mixing containers.NRC said the tenant had in his possession a variety of radioactive materials that included suspected uranium, uranium salts and equipment associated with handling radioactive materials. Radiation levels in the apartment were low — reported to range from 0.5 millirem, the level in an airplane, to 1.5 millirem, the level outside of the Three Mile Island Reactor after its 1979 accident.Weigel said the two apartment occupants were. for unknown reasons, trying to separate radioactive material from store-bought goods such as smoke detectors. Boise police reported there wasn’t enough material for a criminal violation and it was not deemed to pose an immediate public health or safety threat.When police and Boise Fire Haz Mat arrived, they found the substance isolated and contained to a single upstairs apartment, police said. For several hours, residents of adjacent apartments that shared a stairwell with the apartment were asked to remain outside while the substance was investigated. The residents of the apartment were on scene and cooperative, police said.Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Lara Uselding said an inspector went to the apartment last Wednesday after the agency received a tip.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Forensic Evidence Shows Teen Shot at St. Louis Officer, Police Say

ST. LOUIS — Gunshot residue tests and ballistics evidence indicate that Vonderitt D. Myers Jr. fired a gun at a police officer before being fatally shot, police and union officials said Tuesday.

The information’s release was sparked, in part, by the protests and “silly” claims that followed Myers’ death, St. Louis Police Officers’ Association business manager Jeff Roorda said during a union news conference. Roorda said that after the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, “Protesters demanded immediate answers and demanded officers not shoot unarmed suspects. Everything they asked for in Ferguson they got in Shaw, and it still wasn’t enough.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Internet Caretaker ICANN to Escape US Control

The head of the agency entrusted to essentially run the Internet said Monday that the group is on course to break free of US oversight late next year.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) chief Fadi Chehade expressed his confidence in the move during a press briefing at the opening of the nonprofit organization’s meeting this week in Los Angeles.

“ICANN is in a very solid, confident place today,” Chehade said of its readiness for a ‘post US-government role’ in charge of the Internet addressing system.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Perk Up: Facebook and Apple Now Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs

By Danielle Friedman

Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs.

Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News. The firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.

“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cyprus: Turkey Asks ENI Gas Company to Halt Work, Reports

Ship of the Turkish Naval Forces observing SAIPEM 10000

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 14 — Turkish daily Aksam newspaper reports that Ankara has asked from Italy to stop the activities of the Italian ENI firm in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the paper, as Famagusta Gazette online writes, Turkey told Italy that it should prevent ENI’s activities if it wants to contribute to the Cyprus negotiations. Citing information, the paper writes that Italy as the EU term president country, took an initiative for the re-launching of Cyprus negotiations. However, Ankara insists on the position that the natural sources of the island, and the sources around the island, belongs to all Cypriots and unilateral actions on the issue are not acceptable. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen reports that the TCG Gelibolu vessel of the Turkish Naval Forces is closely observing SAIPEM 10000 drilling platform, which is holding drilling activities for oil and natural gas in the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ.

According to a statement issued by the Turkish Armed Forces, the Turkish warship has observed platform from a distance of five nautical miles (nine kilometers). The Turkish warship has reportedly executed her duties within the framework of the so-called Mediterranean Shield Operation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cyprus: ENI’s Drilling Going on Despite Turkey’s Provocation

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 13 — ENI’s scheduled drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will continue despite Turkey’s provocations, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said, calling at the same time on the political parties “to collectively and in a spirit of unity tackle the current serious Turkish provocation.” The Minister, as Cyprus News Agency reported, said that the conclusion drawn from the public reactions on behalf of the Permanent Members of the Security Council and the EU is that everyone recognizes the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit mineral reserves in its EEZ and calls for avoiding provocations.

“The international disapproval has been recorded. Diplomatic efforts will continue. Is this enough to stop Turkey? Maybe yes, maybe not,” he said, adding that “even the President of the United States had to apologize to Turkey for the truths he told in Harvard because of the present circumstances.” Kasoulides made it clear that ENI’s planned drilling will continue despite the challenges. He reiterated that the revenues from natural gas, which are not expected before the end of the decade, belong proportionately to all Cypriots. He also noted that current provocative actions by Turkey send the message that it does not want or does not believe that the Cyprus problem will be resolved by then.” On Monday the minister will be travelling to Athens where he will have consultations with the Greek vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Evangelos Venizelos “to coordinate actions and activities to counter the Turkish threat.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU: Media: Brussels Wants Spain to Recover Aid to Firms

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, OCTOBER 14 — Spain will need to recover aid granted as tax cuts by the government of Mariano Rajoy to top companies including Telefonica, Banco Santander and Iberdrola. The EU Commission on Wednesday will close an infraction procedure for aid considered “illegal” to facilitate the buyout by top Spanish multinationals of foreign companies, Commission sources were quoted as saying by El Pais on Tuesday.

Deputy President and Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, wants the finance ministry to recover all fiscal aid granted to Telefonica, Santander, Iberdrola, Albertis and the Spanish branch of AXA. The aid is worth “several thousands of millions of euros” of cuts, according to the paper, though the sum has not been quantified by Brussels or the Spanish government.

In the case of Telefonica alone, tax cuts for the acquisition of Brazilian company Vivo were estimated to total four billion euros by sources quoted by the daily, although other sources close to the company said the sum is much lower.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece Secured 37.6 Bln Euros in Last 2 Years

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 13 — Greece attracted a total of 37.6 billion euros in investments in the period from June 2012 to June 2014, Greek daily Eleftheros Typos reported quoting a study of the Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE).

The study, which is still ongoing, was discussed by the body’s President, Nikolaos Filippas, in an interview with the newspaper. Filippas noted that the 37.6 billion figure doesn’t even accurately reflect the amount that has been invested into Greek markets in the last two years.

“We have many examples, like those of (former) Hellenikon (airport) and Oxia (island) properties, which have been postponed due to court proceedings,” he said. “On privatizations, there were definitely significant delays while the interest was limited, mainly because of the increased risk and low credit rating of the country,” he said.

Regarding the growth rate of the economy, Filippas says that KEPE’s estimates are similar to those presented in the government’s draft budget for 2015 (according to the draft, the economy is forecast to grow 2.9%). Specifically for the first two quarters of 2015, growth rates of 1.85% and 2.07% respectively are expected. The GDP growth rate will have substantial and psychological effects on the markets and also on society, as people will feel their sacrifices were not in vain, the president of KEPE said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

High Hitler: Nazi Leader Was a Meth Addict, Says New Documentary

Adolf Hitler is remembered as many things: a genocidal warmonger, a hateful ideologue, a failed art student. But the phrase “drug addict” is usually not high among the list of epithets.

A new documentary, to be aired this weekend by Britain’s Channel 4, digs into the Führer’s “hidden drug habit.” Based on details in a 47-page American military dossier compiled during the war, Hitler was taking a cocktail of 74 different drugs, including a form of what is now commonly known as crystal meth. He also took “barbiturate tranquilizers, morphine, bulls’ semen,” according to reports.

The revelations aren’t exactly new. Methamphetamines, which were pioneered in Germany at the end of the 19th century, were used by various armies during World War II as stimulants to aid fatigued soldiers. The drug was popularly consumed in Germany as Pervitin, a pill Hitler took among his various medications.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Acerbo Among Three Arrested in Milan Expo Probe

Ex manager ‘steered tender in exchange for contract for son’

(ANSA) — Milan, October 14 — Former Milan Expo 2015 manager Antonio Acerbo is suspected of steering a 100-million-euro contract for the World Fair’s Waterways project to a consortium led by construction magnate Enrico Maltauro in exchange for consultancy contracts for his son Livio, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Acerbo, 65, was put under house arrest together with two others earlier in the day as part of a broader investigation into corruption related to next year’s Universal Exhibition in the Lombardy capital. Prosecutors are investigating two contracts in particular: one, for 36,000 euros paid by Maltauro in 2012; and the other promised by consortium member company Tagliabue but which never materialised. Andrea Castellotti, a manager working for the Tagliabue company who was also put under house arrest on Tuesday, is believed to have acted as middleman. The Waterways project is now likely to be put under compulsory administration as a result of the probe, president of Italy’s anti-corruption authority Raffaele Cantone said Tuesday.

Acerbo suspended himself from all Expo-related posts this month after it emerged in September he was under investigation.

Acerbo had initially stepped down as Expo executive officer, while remaining in charge of procedures for the Italian pavilion.

Maltauro was placed under house arrest in May in a larger probe that rocked preparations for next year’s event and led to the arrests of former Expo procurement and planning manager Angelo Paris and several others, including a former Christian Democrat MP.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Some 30,000 Prized Parma Prosciutti Destroyed in Flooding

Farm group warns that crops threatened in severe weather

(ANSA) — Parma, October 14 — As many as 30,000 internationally prized Italian prosciutti from the Parma region have been swept away in the dirty flood water that is also threatening crops as it washes through the Emilia-Romagna region, farm group Coldiretti said Tuesday.

Stables have been flooded and planting of maize has been threatened by the flood waters that have hit the provinces of Parma and Piacenza, where as much rain fell in a few hours as is normal for three months, the group added.

The flooding around Parma came at the same time as torrents have spewed mud throughout the medieval port city of Genoa in nearby Liguria, killing one man and destroying millions of euros in property.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Police: Most Violent Election Year Ever

The 2014 elections saw the most threats and violence reported, say Swedish police in their summary of this year’s EU and general election.

A total of 2,300 crimes with some connection to the elections were reported. Before the election the police had warned they expected trouble.

“We think what happened during the election year fit well with our expectations and the way we framed the problem”, says the assistant head of criminal investigation, Johan Grenfors, to Swedish Radio News.

The most common crime reported was vandalism. But there were also 280 incidents of violence and more than 300 threats reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Was the Westminster Parliament Vote on the Palestine State Resolution a “Hollow Victory”?

Lord Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, now a lecturer at New York and Yeshiva Universities and King’s College London ,published an essay on Yom Kippur weekend in the Wall Street Journal, “Europe’s Alarming New Anti-Semitism.” In light of the non-bindng back bencher’s amendment recognizing a Palestinian State that passed yesterday in the Westminster Parliament by a vote of 274 to 12, Sack’s WSJ essay may have been prescient: “More than once during the summer, I heard well-established British Jews saying, “For the first time in my life, I feel afraid.” Twenty years ago, launching a program to strengthen Jewish continuity across the generations, I published a book titled, “Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren?” Today, Jews are beginning to ask, “Will we have English grandchildren?” After yesterday’s vote in which a majority of the 650 Westminster Parliament members abstained, one wonders whether it was indeed a “hollow victory” without any real value, as discussed in an Arutz Sheva article, UK’s ‘Palestine’ Vote: ‘Hasbara’ Failure or Hollow Victory? Watch this Hansard video of the debate on the backbencher’s motion.Overall, the source said, there is fear and concern about the conduct of London’s parliamentarians regarding the Palestinian and Muslim communities in general. “Today Muslims are taking over large areas in London, as well as large areas in Europe,” the source reflected. “ISIS is also starting to bud in the UK. Whether Britain will not be determined enough to face terrorism will be revealed, once again, in a few years in London.” “Anyone who lives in London and has a big heart feels concern for his children and grandchildren who will suffer the London Muslim takeover, as well as of all Europe as a whole,” he continued. “It’s a shame world leaders lend a hand, passively or actively, to Muslim organizations whose goals are clear.” Was Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself against terror warfare by Hamas in Gaza sacrificed by its own foreign ministry? The non-binding Palestinian State resolution vote was emboldened by Muslim constituents of UK parliamentarians.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Serbia ‘Open Arms’ For Putin, Large Scale Parade

Belgrade is Moscow’s historic ally- yes to EU, but no sanctions

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, OCTOBER 14 — Belgrade is preparing for a red carpet reception for Russian President Vladimir Putin during his brief stop-over on the way to the EU-Asia summit in Milan on Thursday.

In the midst of a relations crisis between the European Union, United States and Russia due to the Ukrainian conflict, the Kremlin leader has accepted Belgrade’s invitation to attend the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the October 20 liberation from Nazi occupation. Putin will be at the country’s first military parade since 1985, which include fours day of celebrations.

Putin will meet with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and premier Aleksandar Vucic to sign a series of bilateral agreements, and will land for a military parade military, for which practice tests, traffic closures and fighter jet maneuvers have been ongoing for days. The Serbian population has not exhibited any excessive protest and in fact, a survey released several days ago showed 71% of Serbs in favor of Putin’s visit, an approval rate that would prove more difficult to find other European countries.

For quite some time, Serbia has been struggling a bold and not easy ‘diplomatic balancing act’. Since January, the Serbian government has engaged in negotiations for acceptance into the EU, a goal that present Serb leadership emphasizes as a priority for the country, while Belgrade has taken a clear stance against sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU and USA for the Ukrainian crisis.

“When we decided to begin the negotiations to the Union we did not speak in any way about sanctions to Russia”, President Nikolic said in a recent interview with Russian media. “Our country intends to maintain good relations with Russia and the EU.” Nikolic noted that five EU countries (Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia) have not recognized Kosovo independence as Serbia and Russia have.

In 2015, Serbia will hold the presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe OSCE, which some observers feel could encourage a dialogue between Russia and the West, starting with the Ukrainian crisis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: Fighting South-West of Tripoli and Benghazi Continues

Death toll is 35, with 115 wounded since Sunday

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, OCTOBER 14 — Fighting continued Tuesday in Kikla, south-west of Tripoli, between militias from operation Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) and pro-government troops, Libyan military sources said Tuesday.

A reported 35 people have died and 115 have been wounded since Sunday, when fighting began.

Fighting is also ongoing in Benghazi, near Benina airport, where Ansar al Sharia militias are trying to conquer the airport and a nearby military base, Mena reported Tuesday. At least four soldiers have been killed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Benny Gantz’s Troubling Assessments

The outcome of the donor conference for Gaza reconstruction that was held in Cairo on Sunday was not surprising.

Representatives of 50 countries convened to pledge funds to Hamas and the PLO. The Palestinians had hoped to receive $4 billion in pledges. They raised $5.4b.

Most of the money will be transferred to the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas. But at least $1b. will go directly to Hamas, from its primary financier, Qatar.

With its $1b. Hamas will be able to pay its terrorist operatives and rebuild its terrorist forces.

The air force revealed last week that Hamas is rebuilding its rocket arsenal already.

As for the money that will be transferred to Abbas, the billions in funding will give the PLO the money it needs to finance Abbas’s rapidly escalating political war against Israel in the international arena. At least some of the money will also go to Hamas, Abbas’s partner in the unity government.

The entire nature of the conference was surreal, but again predictable…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS

Patrick Poole

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, and falling to ISIS would allow them to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk is seen as one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, nor pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Black Masks and Violent Clashes: Signs of Sympathy for Islamic State Group Rattle Istanbul

Istanbul University student Aysegul Korkut is outraged by the images coming out of Syria. But these days the Islamic State group’s horrors seem closer to home: She recently faced off against masked supporters of the brutal militants on her own campus.

The fights are one of many signs of support for the Islamic State which have popped up across Istanbul, a cosmopolitan metropolis better known to tourists for its vibrant nightlife and Ottoman-era glories.

Pins bearing the militants’ black-and-white flag are on sale at a jihad-themed bookstore just a few blocks from the Istanbul University campus. Inside, magazines bear the face of Osama bin Laden and the memoirs of the Chechen jihadist Ibn Khattab. Global Books’ owner, Osman Akyildiz, says students and alumni are his biggest customers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iran Hits Back at Saudi Claims of ‘Occupying’ Syria

Iran hit back Tuesday at demands from Saudi Arabia that Tehran withdraw its “occupying” forces from Syria and insisted no country was more committed to confronting jihadists in the region.

The two regional powers have been at odds over Syria since unrest broke out in 2011, but the unusually high-profile exchange threatens to undermine a recent diplomatic push to patch up their differences.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Sexual Enslavement of Yazidi Women Helps Muslims Avoid Sin

( — The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria says that shari’a law allows the enslavement of women from Iraq’s Yazidi minority because they are pagans, a religious class deemed even worse than “apostates” like Christians and Jews who may be given the convert-or-die option.

An article in the latest edition of the terrorist group’s propaganda publication, Dabiq, also attempts to justify its widespread enslavement of Yazidi women by saying it was needed to prevent Muslim men from being tempted into sinful sexual conduct.

Keeping a slave woman is “the shari’a alternative to marriage,” and when slavery is not available, then “a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin,” it says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Militants Kill Two Iraq Journalists

Two Iraqi journalists have been killed by Islamic State (IS) in the past four days, Reporters Without Borders says.

Mohanad al-Akidi, the correspondent for the Sada news agency in the IS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul, was shot dead at the Ghazlani base on Monday.

Mr Akidi was abducted in July while he travelled to Dohuk province.

On Friday Raad Mohamed al-Azzawi, a cameraman for Sama Salah Aldeen TV, was beheaded by IS militants in the city of Samarra. He had been held for a month…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Istanbul University Students Concerned About Campus Attacks by ISIL Supporters

Istanbul University student Aysegül Korkut is outraged by the images coming out of Syria. But these days the horrors of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seem closer to home: She recently faced off against masked supporters of the brutal militants on her own campus.

“I couldn’t understand what was happening at first,” the 21-year-old said of the moment she first spotted baton-wielding youths striding across the Department of Literature, shouting: “Allahu Akbar! Within minutes, she and other leftist students had been sucked into a fight, with both sides hurling glass bottles at each other and trashing a science fair set up in the main hall.

“I was shocked,” she said.

The Sept. 26 clash, described to The Associated Press by Korkut and a half a dozen other university students, was the first in a series of fights at Istanbul University’s Beyazit campus. There has been repeated violence since, and Turkish media have reported scores of arrests.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kurds Make Grisly Discoveries After Retaking ISIS-Held Territory

As ISIS retreated from the front near the Syrian-Turkish border, Kurdish forces made a series of gruesome discoveries.

“Refugees in Suruc, Turkey, have told how relatives and neighbors were beheaded by (ISIS) militants, while another spoke of how he had seen ‘hundreds’ of decapitated corpses in the besieged town,” The Independent reported on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kuwait: Airport or Salet Afrah?

By Badrya Darwish

People are people in every country. They have attitudes. They can break the law or abide by it. They can be good. They can be bad. They can be considerate or inconsiderate. But governments are the control in the system. If the country is lawless, people will take advantage and act lawlessly.

It’s not that we in Kuwait are any different from any other people on earth. It is the system that is ineffective. Since when have we had fights in the malls, in the airports and in the streets on such a regular basis? Lately, for a small society like ours in Kuwait, this is a bit too much.

Airports especially are a red line. Why in the first place is there no system to stop people using the airport as a salet afrah (multipurpose hall for celebrations)? Every now and then you see the whole family coming to the airport to receive somebody and they bring flowers and spray confetti on him and shoot fireworks. Add to this the ululations — the Arab way of making sounds of joy. It is as if they own the airport or have rented it for their celebrations. But our airport unfortunately cannot accommodate celebrations, as it is limited. We’re not talking about JFK or Heathrow or Dubai International Airport. A few people is all it takes to block the entire entrance to Kuwait’s airport. And when we ask why are these people celebrating, the answer is: Someone was treated abroad and is returning home or someone graduated and is coming back to Kuwait or someone got married and is back from his honeymoon.

To my surprise, I went to collect my son returning from a trip a few months ago and when I entered the airport, I saw a large number of people celebrating. I asked one guy near me, and he said a jihadist was returning from Syria. Excuse me! Where’s the Ministry of Interior? At this point, no comment.

Let’s go back to other cases. Like the malls and what’s happening. How many people have been stabbed or beaten at the malls lately? This is a place where you take your family and your children for a relaxing weekend visit. But now it’s become a boxing ring. It’s a mixed martial arts training ground for the youth of Kuwait and neighboring countries.

Guys, I know many people who have families who refuse to take their kids to the mall on the weekends. And sometimes they take their daughters and families out on weekdays if they can because they want to avoid harassment and abuse and being forced into a fight.

We need a strong statement from the minister of interior. Do something please. Show us the punishment for all those who cause this chaos. We want to feel safe like Kuwait used to be before.

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: American Killed in Ambush in Riyadh

Assasin already arrested, say Saudi authorities

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 14 — A United States citizen was killed and another injured in a car ambush in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Arab media reported on Tuesday. According to reports, armed gunmen opened fired on the Americans who were in a car at a service station. Saudi authorities reportedly arrested a suspect shortly after the ambush, following gunfire exchange in which the suspect was injured.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: 334 ‘Reformed’ Militants Return to Terror

A total of 334 Saudi militants have rejoined terrorist groups after they were released from prisons or passed out from Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling Center in Jeddah, an official source told Makkah newspaper.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The “Cancer” of the Kurdish Question Corners Ankara

Fifteen million Kurds in Turkey’s big cities want Ankara to intervene decisively to save the city of Kobane. Erdogan fears the disintegration of the country and stokes nationalism.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) — In the streets of Turkey’s big cities there is a strange atmosphere filled with tensions. This is due to the uncertain situation that has developed on the country’s southeastern border, close to the border between Iraq and Syria. As a result, in cities like Istanbul, Kurds are getting the upper hand.

Ankara’s decision not to meet the Kurdish demands over the city of Kobane, which has been for weeks under siege by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIS), has provoked an immediate reaction among Turkey’s ethnic Kurds.

The latter have taken to the streets to protest against the government’s decision, which is virtually delivering their fellow Kurds into the hands of a Taliban-style Islamic caliphate.

Erdogan’s statement that Assad’s regime and the PKK are more dangerous than ISIS is making the situation even more explosive.

This crisis has reignited the latent but ever-present conflict between Turks and Kurds, which is now turning into a national conflict, especially in Turkey’s southeast border region. Turkish media are also subject to censorship, aggravated by controls on the Internet, which is not widely available in the area.

At the same time, anti-Kurdish feelings are growing among ethnic Turks with many complaining that the country’s already high taxes are going to “ungrateful Kurds”.

The “cancer” of the Kurdish question

Turkey’s Kurds number more than 15 million. In the past, they used to be concentrated in the southeast of the country, but as a result of campaigns of military cleansing and economic depression many moved the country’s largest cities.

For Turkish and international analysts, the Kurdish Question is a cancer for the Republic of Turkey. It lays bare the country’s inherent flaws since 1923, the year when the republic was founded out of the ashes of the Treaty of Lausanne.

The treaty defined the current borders of Turkey, in the wake of the collapse and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, a fact Turkish leaders never really accepted.

It former also defined the rights of non-Muslim minorities; however, this part of the treaty was never substantially implemented with the result that Christian communities have virtually disappeared. As part of this, Turkish authorities also relied on Kurds to do carry out their policy of ethnic cleansing.

Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne on behalf of Kurds, as their representative. After that, it refused to acknowledge the existence of a Kurdish ethnic group on its own territory — calling Kurds “mountain Turks” or “mountain people” — and forbade the use of their language. This was followed by a series of Kurdish uprisings to obtain their rights.

Meanwhile, since its founding, the Turkish republic styled itself as a parliamentary democracy with oriental features, but never fostered the development of an autonomous civil society.

Instead, it has always taken steps to boost hyper-nationalism under a veneer of oriental-styled parliamentary democracy, fearing its own disintegration. Intellectual and historian Murat Belge has condemned this position, saying that Turkey “has never been able to accept the other.”

In 1984, the founding of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (Partî Karkeranî Kurdistan or PKK) led to an armed insurrection to obtain Kurdish rights. At the time, the party and its supporters were treated as terrorists bent on destroying the great Turkish nation.

The Kurdish Question reared its head again 1990s, however feebly. So did Turkey’s anti-Kurdish policy, with the result that Turkish prisons filled up again with Kurds and any party defending Kurdish rights was outlawed. For its part, Turkey’s military beefed up its fight against the PKK with the tacit big power support.

Turks and Kurds, two nations

Until the late 1990s, the conflict between the Kurds and Ankara centred on the issue of civil rights; after the Iraq war of 2003, nationalist opposition between Turks and Kurds prevailed.

The creation of autonomous Kurdish region in energy-rich northern Iraq has caused Ankara nightmares. The latter has never accepted the creation of a US-backed statelet for fear that it might breathe new life into the movement for a greater Kurdistan and lead to Turkey’s national disintegration.

In 2007, then Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed to Kurds as fellow Sunnis to bring them back into the fold, announcing several concessions on civil rights.

This allowed him to win the 2007 elections in the southeast Kurdish part of the country. Later though, he resumed bombing PKK locations close to the border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ankara has backed jihadists in the ongoing Syrian crisis with the sole purpose of eliminating the Kurdish threat and the Assad regime.

Now, Turkey’s participation in the elimination of ISIS Taliban with the aim of sharing the spoils highlights the cynicism of Turkish policy and Ankara’s ambiguous role in the region’s geopolitical chessboard, which will certainly not leave Turkey’s Kurds indifferent.

Ankara is taking advantage of the fact that the United States does not want to become entangled in another war, but still wants to keep control of energy resources, with Turkey acting as its proxy.

In its modern history, Turkey has always displayed such odd and ambiguous neutrality (playing both fields), and this will not leave powers like Iran indifferent to its projection of power in the region.

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

The Secret U.S. And Iraqi Casualties of Hussein’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

The American government withheld word about the chemical weapons from both the troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors.

The United States had gone to war with Iraq declaring that it had to destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program, but instead, American troops found the remnants of long-abandoned programs built in close collaboration with the West — often in territory that is now controlled by the Islamic State.

[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Men Shaving to Avoid Jihadist Stigma in Southeast

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Barbers in a southeastern Turkish city are doing a roaring trade shaving off the beards of men worried about being labelled jihadists, the Ihlas News Agency (IHA) reported. Last week’s violent protests against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) left 37 people dead and many wounded throughout the country. The highest death toll was in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, where supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) clashed with Hizbullah members, who allegedly sympathize with ISIL.

After several people were reportedly targeted by a mob that accused them of being ISIL sympathizers due to their beards, hundreds started rushing to barbers in Diyarbakir as the protests died down. Barbers who spoke to IHA, as Hurriyet online reported, said on some days up to 15 customers were coming to get rid of their potentially trouble-making beards.

“Some citizens who have nothing to do with ISIL or Hizbullah were victimized during the protests because of their beards. We saw a similar trend in the 1990s,” said Ismail Kazak, a barber in the city’s Sur neighborhood. “Citizens now come to us either to shave their beards off or redesign its shape.” Yakup Bahadir, another barber from the Yenisehir neighborhood, said the average number of beard shavings had been just three or four per day. “I’ve been doing this job for 15 years and I’ve never before shaved so many beards,” Bahadir said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Jihad-Lite

by Burak Bekdil

If Turkey had not funded and armed ISIS in the hope that it would bring Assad’s downfall, none of this would have happened.

In November 2013, Iran’s ambassador to Ankara, Alireza Bigdeli, said: “Just as Imam Khomeini did it in Iran, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have paved the way for the advancement of Islam in Turkey.”

Nearly a year later, the AKP’s new leader (and Turkey’s Prime Minister) Ahmet Davutoglu rephrased the Iranian diplomat’s “praise” for Turkey’s Islamists: “We have made the conservative, pious (Muslim) masses not a just a part, but the main actor, in the political system.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkish Jets Bomb Kurdish PKK Rebels Near Iraq

Turkish F-16 and F-4 warplanes have bombed Kurdish PKK rebel targets near the Iraqi border, as their ceasefire comes under increasing strain.

The air strikes on Daglica were in response to PKK shelling of a military outpost, the armed forces said.

Both sides have been observing a truce and it is the first major air raid on the PKK since March 2013.

Kurds are furious at Turkey’s inaction as Islamic State (IS) militants attack the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) have been aiding Kurdish YPG militia in Kobane and Turkey has refused to help supply its long-standing enemy with weapons or allow Kurdish fighters to enter Syria.

Two PKK commanders wounded in fighting were arrested by Turkish authorities when they arrived for treatment in hospital in south-eastern Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh: Proposed Law on “Child Brides” Bows to Conservative Islam

The government wants to lower the minimum age for marriage: from 18 to 16 years for women, from 21 to 18 for men. Even today, 80% of girls are married before reaching the adulthood.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — The Bangladeshi government is “considering” lowering the minimum age for marriage (16 years for women, 18 for men), to please conservative Islam. In a country where 80% of girls are already married long before they reach adulthood, according to human rights activists and social scientists, this decision would be “dangerous” because it seems to “let go the idea that phenomena such as child brides is acceptable” because “acknowledged” by the state.

The current law sets the minimum age at 18 years for women and 21 for men and has always been considered a tool to change the prevailing mentality. Under shari’a, Islam — which in Bangladesh is the state religion, practiced by 89.9% of the population — a girl can get married as soon as reaches puberty.

The proposed change has caused a sensation among the more “independent” newspapers, particularly because it is being out forward by the government, led by the Awami League : historically this was a secular party, whose founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, led the nation to independence from Pakistan (1971). Some newspapers have also conducted a “campaign” against this proposal, bringing the testimonies of students and young people who had defended their classmates when they were in danger of being given too soon in marriage.

The AL could be attempting to “appease” the more “conservative” Islamic component for the population, which — in the last year and a half — the radical Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami has repeatedly appealed to, labeling the government “atheistic” and contrary to the true principles of Islam. This is also why, according to some commentators note, the government recently decided to declare Ramadan a public holiday.

The Catholic activist Rosaline Costa, told AsiaNews that in addition to further victimizing young girls “the reduction of the minimum age for marriage will increase the rate of maternal mortality across the country.”

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

Indonesia: Jakarta Police Chief: The Islamic Defence Front Must be Eliminated

General Sutarman says FPI must be stopped (also) over violence and abuses against minorities. Civil society supports the campaign, “discontent” among law enforcement officers. In recent days, one of the leaders of the FPI in the capital arrested. In the 10 years under Yudhoyono Islamists have been able to act due to political protection.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Indonesian police chiefs in Jakarta have launched an all-out war against the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), who have been behind several episodes of sectarian violence and intolerance. Leading the fight against the extremist group, is Police Chief, General Sutarman, who claims “the FPI should be dissolved once and for all” for the raids and abuses it has carried out, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. However, the campaign launched by the general — and supported by broad sectors of civil society — has caused “resentment” and opposition even within the police, with officers opposed the Front’s dissolution.

The members of the notorious FDI have been protagonists of campaigns and targeted attacks against Christians — Catholic and Protestant — in their wave of protests against the “illegal” services and celebrations held in buildings without the so-called building permit (IMB ).

Last week, the chief inspector of police Unggung Cahyono led a maxi-operation against Islamist front, arresting of the leaders of the protest campaign against the vice-governor of Jakarta Tjahaja Basuki Purnama, better known as Ahok. The extremist movement is targeting the politicianbecause he is an ethnic Chinese Christian taking over government of the capital frome Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. This October 20th, Jokowi will begin his term as President of Indonesia.

In blitz the police arrested one of the FPI coordinators in Jakarta. A blow to the movement, which in the 10 years of administration of the outgoing Head of State Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been able to do (almost always) act undisturbed, thanks to the “political and institutional complicity”. The controversial support of Minister of Interior Gamawan Fauzi was highly criticized. However now there has been a decided change in tone, with the warning issued by General Sutarman who wants the group dissolved.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation in the world (86% profess Islam) and, while ensuring the constitutional principles of basic personal freedoms (including religious), it has long been the scene of violence and abuse against minorities. Christians are almost 6% of the population, Catholics just over 3%, 1.8% are Hindu and 3.4% profess another religion. In the province of Aceh — the only in the Archipelago to apply Islamic law ( Sharia ) — the application of a radical form of Islam among citizens is becoming more extreme.

Leading this attempt at the “Islamization” of the country are members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which lay down the law in different areas by imposing rules and regulations inspired by sharia, such as the prohibition of alcoholic beverages and other regulations in the field of moral and sexual norms. The group — opposed by a large part of the civilian population — is also accused of blocking the construction of churches and of using violence to achieve their objectives: since 2000, it has launched a series of attacks targeting the United States embassy, bars, nightclubs and private circles, especially on the occasion of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer.

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

‘I Had a Three-Inch Leech Up My Nose for a Month’: Backpacker Saw Something Poking Out of Her Nose During Trip Round South-East Asia — But Dismissed it as Congealed Blood From Motorbike Crash

A backpacker who suffered from persistent nosebleeds was horrified to discover they were caused by a three-inch-long leech which had been living up her nose for a month.

Daniela Liverani had been travelling around south-east Asia when she was involved in a motorbike crash.

She had thought that a lump poking from the bottom of her nose was congealed blood from a burst blood vessel after the accident.

But just days after returning home to Edinburgh she was disgusted to find that it was the head of a huge leech which had set up camp in her nostril.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pregnant Policewoman Killed in China’s Xinjiang

(People’s Daily Online —

(People’s Daily Online) — Beijing, October 14 — According to the news release by an official Microblog of China’s Ministry of Public Security, a policewoman was brutally killed by two thugs on October 10, 2014. She was stabbed by the motorcycle-mounted attackers with sharp weapons near a market in Pishan county, Hotan prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

A colleague said that she was two months pregnant.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Biggest Risk’ In Ebola Protection is Gear Removal

A “breach in protocol” is what led a nurse in Dallas to become the first person infected with Ebola in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nurse was involved in treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, and her case has researchers trying to figure out exactly what went wrong with the safety protocols.

Ebola spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. Guidelines for health care workers recommend using personal protective equipment, including gloves, a fluid-resistant gown, goggles or a face shield and a face mask. They also recommend certain techniques — such as turning gloves inside out when removing them — that allow workers to safely remove the equipment after contact with an Ebola patient.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ebola Outbreak: Why it’s So Important to Find Patient Zero

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 4,000 people, but it started with one person: a 2-year-old child who died on Dec. 6, 2013.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Number of New Ebola Cases Per Week Could Reach 10,000

The World Health Organisation has warned there could be up to 10,000 new cases of Ebola emerging every week in West Africa by December, unless the international community does more to help.

The WHO also confirmed the death rate is now at 70 percent, not 50 percent as previously estimated.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) says despite promises of help they have received very little assistance on the ground. Nine of the aid agency’s health workers have already died and more are infected.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Where Does Ebola Hide?

Fruit bats are the most likely carriers of Ebola but it is human-to-human transmission that matters most now

Why bats? Because three kinds of bats from the region are believed to harbor the deadly filovirus. That’s based on a survey of small animals in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Ebola virus seems to be endemic. The DRC even hosts the Ebola River that gave the virus its name. (It is a tributary of the Congo River that gives the country its name.)

Although Ebola does not kill the bats as far as scientists know, it does kill more than humans—the virus has devastated chimpanzee and gorilla populations as well.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

100,000 Undocumented Migrants Into France From Italy

In a single year; EU police operation to identify traffickers

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — More than 100,000 undocumented migrants have breached the border-crossing between Ventimiglia and Menton in a year, sneaking from Italy to France, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Monday, citing a classified police report. The paper said the figure regarding the coastal route represents a “dossier that has become particularly sensitive for the interior ministry, in the absence of sufficient means(…)to manage the explosion of migrant flows”. Meanwhile, a protest was held on Monday to demand more police forces in Calais, a city in northern France suffering from immigration-related issues and dubbed the ‘Lampedusa of the North’. One of the organizers said that there was nothing racist about the protest and noted that there are about 2,000-2,500 migrants in the city, while “thousands are waiting at the gates of Italy to head towards the British ‘Eldorado’ “.

Italian lower house speaker Laura Boldrini spoke on the matter further. “Italy is doing its part through the (search-and-rescue, Ed.) operation Mare Nostrum,” she said at an inter-parliamentary conference on fundamental rights. “But search and rescue operations must be an obligation of Europe as a whole. The issue of sea rescues should therefore be addressed at the European level, since the Mediterranean border is the EU border.”

In the meantime a massive Italian-coordinated police operation Mos Maiorum (‘Ways of the Elders’) launched across all of Europe on Monday and set to continue through October 26 — seeking to detect, detain and possibly deport undocumented migrants as well as find traffickers — has raised heated debate. The Italian Refugee Council (CIR) has criticized the operation, saying that its aims will be “difficult to reach for the 18,000 police of EU member states, since they do not know the distinction between refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants”. The group notes that it will also be difficult to “identify, pursue and stop organized crime groups” since human trafficking rings are controlled by groups operating in North Africa and the Middle East, which do not fall into the areas of operation of Mos Maiorum.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Frontex Appeals for More Countries to Join Triton

Eight countries’ contributions not enough says Arias

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 14 — European border protection agency Frontex on Tuesday appealed for more countries to join the eight who have supplied resources to the new Triton Mediterranean rescue programme.

Frontex chief Gil Arias said he hoped for “greater participation” in the operation, which Italy hopes will supersede the Italian Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) scheme which has rescued about 150,000 desperate migrants in a year.

Arias said the resources received for Triton from Finland, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Netherlands, Latvia, Malta and France were not enough to enable it to carry out its duties.

The EU has said Triton will act alongside Mare Nostrum while Italy says it will replace it.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

U.S. General Warns of Potential Ebola-Driven ‘Mass Migration’ From South of Border

( — Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, predicted last week that the Ebola virus will not be contained in West Africa, and if infected people flee those countries and spread the disease to Central and South America, it could cause “mass migration into the United States” of those seeking treatment.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said in remarks to the National Defense University on Tuesday. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.

“The potential spread of Ebola into Central and Southern America is a real possibility,” the article written about the general’s speech and posted on the Department of Defense website on Wednesday stated.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics to Stay Open

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a federal appeals court ruling that was forcing many abortion clinics in Texas to close.

The Supreme Court’s order, which was five sentences long, will allow the clinics to remain open while appeals proceed.

[Return to headlines]

Synod Bishops Warn Against Expecting Change Towards Gays

Reaction to report bemoans lack of word ‘sin’, comments on women

(ANSA) — Vatican City, October 14 — Some Catholic bishops lamented the lack of the word “sin” in a mid-term report from their two-week synod meetings and warned against reading too much into its call for a change in tone towards gays and divorced followers, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the Vatican.

One day earlier, the report released midway through the synod on the family, involving some 190 bishops from around the world, said the Catholic Church and its leadership must learn to listen with compassion and greater respect for faithful who are divorced, co-habitating outside marriage, or gay.

It put forward a shift in tone, especially on divorced people taking Communion and calling for a “serious reflection” on homosexuality, noting that Pope Francis has said that “homosexual persons have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community…often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home”. However, the report also warned that gay unions are not the equivalent of marriage between a man and woman.

Still, the comments were quickly cheered by some outside the synod as a possible opening by the Church leadership towards homosexuals and divorced Catholics.

But don’t expect too much, suggested the transcript of reactions by bishops to the document.

“In general, the (report) was appreciated for…capturing the spirit of the assembly and highlighting acceptance and welcome as the principle theme of the works,” said the summary released by the Vatican. “The document, it was said, reveals the Church’s love for the family faithful to Christ, but also her capacity to be close to humanity in every moment of life, to understand that, behind the pastoral challenges, there are many people who suffer,” the summary added.

“In relation to homosexuals, moreover, the need for a welcome was highlighted, but with the right care, in order not to create the impression of a positive evaluation of this approach on the part of the Church. The same attention had been called for in respect of cohabitation,” it said.

The mid-term report, read aloud to the synod on Monday by Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo, is not binding and is just part of a longer process that continues next year.

But the language and call for greater openness in the synod report suggests that bishops are seeking new ways to deal with the issues concerning many Catholic families.

It was also said to show the influence of Pope Francis, who has emphasized great compassion and less harsh judgment of individuals.

Faced with divorced and remarried Catholics, bishops called for “courageous pastoral choices” and “new pastoral paths,” according to the report, formally known as the ‘relatio post disceptationem’. Meanwhile, the reaction summary released by the Vatican also suggested some bishops felt the report should have also included the “theme of women, their protection and their importance for the transmission of life and faith”.

Concerns were also raised that the report did not place enough emphasis on happy families, but instead focused attention too greatly on families in distress.

“From the synod it emerged more clearly that indissoluble, happy marriage, faithful forever, is beautiful, possible and present in society, therefore avoiding a near-exclusive focus on imperfect family situations,” said the reaction. Outside the synod, Bishop Domenicao Mogavero of Mazara del Vallo in Sicily told Italian newspaper La Stampa that society is moving towards greater acceptance of gay marriage, with the State respecting such unions.

“And the Church must accept them and accompany them pastorally without marginalizing them with the label of people living in sin,” he said.

The second phase of the synod process will involve another major meeting in October 2015 with its theme being the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/14/2014

  1. Maybe the EU and the UN should tell Turkey to get the flock out of Cyprus in the first place.

    No, wait, that won’t happen, they aren’t Israelis and arabs there.

  2. @U.S. General Warns of Potential Ebola-Driven ‘Mass Migration’ From South of Border

    “The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly continued. “They met up with the network in Trinidad, and now they were on their way to the United States — illegally, of course.”

    EBOLA seems a long ways for a shortcut, why not Economy Class from any major European airport?

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