Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/20/2014

A 25-year-old Quebec man named Martin Rouleau deliberately ran over two Canadian soldiers today in a parking lot in a suburb of Montreal. Mr. Rouleau was said to be a recent convert to something that has nothing to do with Islam. The police gave chase, and he lost control of his car and wrecked it. When he got out, he drew a big knife, and the cops shot him dead. Two soldiers had been injured by Mr. Rouleau when he ran them down, one of them seriously.

In other Canadian news, a man in Vancouver sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries when a homemade pipe bomb blew up in his face. The police have been unable to determine why he was handling the bomb, but it is certain the incident had no connection with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Phyllis Chesler, 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
» France Calls on Germany to Invest 50 Billion Euros in Eurozone
» Italian Industrial Orders, Turnover Increase
» Italy: Regional Governors Speak Out Against Budget
» Netherlands: Two More Rabobank Staffers Face US Charges Over Interest Rate Fixing
» Russia Rating Cut by Moody’s on Sluggish Economic Growth
» Are Obama’s Approval Ratings Plummeting Due to His Questionable Leadership?
» Betrayal in the Metropolitan Opera Production of the Death of Klinghoffer
» Opera v. Truth: The Fetid Fouls of ‘Death of Klinghoffer’
» Driver Who Ran Over Two Canadian Soldiers Shot After High-Speed Chase Near Montreal, Police Say
» Martin Rouleau, Quebec Driver Shot by Police, ‘Radicalized’: RCMP
» VPD Investigating After Man Blew Homemade Pipe Bomb up in His Own Face in Olympic Village
Europe and the EU
» Belgium: ‘Electricity Prices to Increase Substantially’
» Cost of Electricity for Offices in Italy Hits New Record
» Denmark Puzzled by Turkey’s Release of Shooting Suspect
» Euroskeptics Reborn With Polish Arrival
» Italy Risks EU Infraction Process Over Unblock Italy
» Italy: Prosecutors Seek Three Indictments for Terrorism, Explosive
» Italy: CGIL Study Says Up to 1 Million to Show for Rome Protest
» Italy: Judge Asks Piedmont ‘Crazy Expenses’ Indictments
» Pork-Free Ham on the Way, Says Italian Farmers’ Group
» Croatian Police Arrest Zagreb Mayor on Corruption Charges: Media
Israel and the Palestinians
» 74.3% Jewish Israelis Against Palestine With 1967 Borders
» Germany Gives Israel $382 Million Discount Over Missile Boats Deal
» Qatar Funds Spark Controversy Over Arab Soccer Team
Middle East
» Ebola and the Prayers
» Iraq: Karbala Car Bombs Kill at Least 13
» ISIS: Turkey to Help Peshmerga Get to Kobane
» Turkey Confirms Release of Islam Critic’s Assailant
» UAE Takes First Steps in Building Mars Probe
» UN Must Act to Avert Fresh ISIS ‘Genocide’, Vatican
» US Airdrops Weapons to Kurds Defending Kobani From ‘IS’
» Putin: South Stream Cannot be Realized Unilaterally
Far East
» China’s Central Committee to Reinterpret the ‘Rule of Law’
» Two Japanese Ministers Step Down
Latin America
» Haiti Installs Anti-Ebola Border Controls
» Number of Illegal Immigrants in Bulgaria Grew Significantly in September
Culture Wars
» Italy: Gay Marriage is Next Topic After Electoral Law, Says Renzi
» Italy: Renzi to Free Up Migrant Kids’ Citizenship, Gay Unions
» Mars Missions Report in After Comet Close Encounter

France Calls on Germany to Invest 50 Billion Euros in Eurozone

Ahead of a visit to Berlin, two French ministers have called on Germany to invest 50 billion euros. It is the same amount by which Paris is to reduce public spending.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron are due in Berlin on Monday to discuss investments and growth in the eurozone.

Ahead of the visit, Macron was quoted in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as saying: “Fifty billion euros ($64 billion) savings for us and 50 billion of additional investment by you — that would be a good balance.”

France has pledged to reduce its public spending by 50 billion euros to meet the EU budget deficit ceiling by 2017.

With high unemployment and low growth, France does not expect to comply with European Union budget deficit rules until 2017. It sees a deficit rising to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and 4.3 percent next year. The shortfall will not come down to the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP before 2017.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Industrial Orders, Turnover Increase

But year-on-year data negative

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — Italian industrial turnover and orders increased in August with respect to July, Istat said on Monday. The national statistics agency said turnover was up 0.4% while orders increased 1.5% — the latter figure ending three consecutive month-on-month falls. But the year-on-year data was negative. Turnover was down 2.3% with respect to August 2013, while orders dropped 3.2%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Regional Governors Speak Out Against Budget

Lombardy chief Maroni calls government ‘brick wall’

(ANSA) — Rome — October 20 — Lombardy Governor Umberto Maroni joined other regional chiefs on Monday in speaking out against the 2015 budget ‘stability law’ that calls for four billion euros in spending cuts in regional administrations.

“This shouldn’t be a stupidity law. There’s room for negotiation but the government is acting like a brick wall,” said Maroni.

Piedmont Governor Sergio Chiamparino, the head of the regions’ conference, said Piedmont wasn’t refusing cuts but wants to make sure the cuts are compatible with services the region needs to offer.

Catiuscia Marini, Umbrian governor, said the cuts shouldn’t touch the most efficient elements of government, referring to the regional governments.

As many as one million people may show up in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome on October 25 to protest the recently passed labour reforms, according to a survey by the Tecne’ research firm for the CGIL trade union confederation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Two More Rabobank Staffers Face US Charges Over Interest Rate Fixing

The American authorities have charged two more former Rabobank workers for the role in the Libor interest rate manipulation scandal.

The new charges mean six former Rabobank staffers have now faced charges in connection with the case. The two latest suspects are British men who worked as derivatives traders for Rabobank in London. One was the head of the Liquidity & Finance division, the US justice department statement said…

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

Russia Rating Cut by Moody’s on Sluggish Economic Growth

Russia’s ruble dropped along with sovereign bonds after the country’s credit rating was cut to the second-lowest investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service amid sanctions over Ukraine.

Russia has spent $13 billion from its foreign reserves this month to slow the ruble’s weakening as tumbling oil prices add to the woes of an economy that’s teetering toward recession amid U.S. and European Union sanctions. President Vladimir Putin and European negotiators are struggling to hold together a six-week truce in eastern Ukraine, inching forward in talks to prevent the fighting from escalating.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Are Obama’s Approval Ratings Plummeting Due to His Questionable Leadership?

President Obama is beginning to look like the Rodney Dangerfield of politics deep into his sixth year in office. The comedic catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect” reflects the demise of his credibility and leadership on both domestic and foreign policy issues. Whether it is his famous line about “ you can keep your health plans and , the Ebola panic, and the failure to have an effective strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State, formerly ISIS.Obama’s lack of experience from his Illinois Senate days through his brief term as a US Senator to his two terms in the White House has demonstrated ineffective and questiionable leadership. It has also demonstrated something else, his all too frequent resort to fobbing off the public with statements that don’t pass basic fact checking. Someone who has researched that is Dr. Jack Cashill. He is a conservative journalist and author of You Lie! The Evasions, Omissions , Fabrications, Frauds, and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama published on October 8th by Broadside Books, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Cashill is a veteran journalist who has written for Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and This is his ninth and perhaps most controversial work. The title, You Lie! comes from the outburst by South Carolina US. Rep. Joe Wilson during a November 2009 speech by President Obama before a joint session of Congress. When President Obama said in his speech that his health care reforms would not apply to immigrants who were here illegally, Wilson exclaimed, “You Lie”. Wilson became an instant pariah from both sides of the aisle, but not among his constituents in South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. He apologized to both the President and Republican Party leaders. Cashill was a guest recently on the Sunday Lisa Benson show. Benson asked him how many examples where there in his book.. Cashill replied that in preparation for a New York Post article, he counted them it was 75. There may be more to come as the President has over two years in office left.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Betrayal in the Metropolitan Opera Production of the Death of Klinghoffer

The Metropolitan Opera’s production of the controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, has stirred passionate debates about the limits of free speech and artistic freedom. It has launched protests at the Lincoln Center home of America’s premier opera company by both Jewish and Christian activists and supporters of Israel. Tonight is Met’s inaugural production of Klinghoffer. The Zionist Organization of America, Americans for a Safe Israel and JCC Watch have launched protests. The JCCWatch will roll out a 100 wheelchairs to protest this evening, sending a message that “we are all Klinghoffers”. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and US Rep. Peter King will be speaking at the JCC Watch .org protest at Lincoln Center at 5PM this evening. Those protesters are concerned about the ill-famed messages of the opera’s libretto by Alice Goodman set to the music by 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning American composer John Adams. The librettist Alice Goodman, a former American Jew is an Anglican convert and rector living in the UK. Dr. Phyllis Chesler in a New York Post op-ed said, “The Death of Klinghoffer demonizes Israel … [and] beatifies terrorism, both musically and in the libretto.”This ill-timed production of Klinghoffer comes when Israel is being condemned for defending itself during the recent 50 day rocket and terror tunnel war by Hamas in Gaza. Then there is also the spike in Anti-Semitism in the West and the rise of the Jihadist Salafist Islamic State, beheading an , Israeli American Jew , the late Steven Sotloff. Tonight’s protesters in Manhattan will be condemning the opera’s libretto they claim it lionizes the four Palestinian terrorists who boarded the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro in Egypt. After terrorizing the passengers and crew , they shot and killed the wheel chair bound Leon Klinghoffer, a stroke victim, on October 8, 1985 forcing the crew to dump his body overboard. His remains were retrieved a few days later off the coast of Syria.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Opera v. Truth: The Fetid Fouls of ‘Death of Klinghoffer’

by Phyllis Chesler

I love opera. For almost three years, I regularly contributed to NPR’s “At the Opera.” I attend the Metropolitan Opera House as often as I can. But the decision to stage “The Death of Klinghoffer” represents an abdication of moral responsibility, political sensitivity and gravitas.

Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has a constitutional and artistic right to produce whatever he wants. Yet showcasing this opera is equivalent to a college president’s inviting a member of ISIS, Hamas, or the Taliban to speak on campus because “all sides must be heard” and “all points of view are equally valid.”

As a feminist, I wouldn’t boycott an opera because the female heroes are betrayed, go mad or are murdered. As in life, our great operas are tragedies in which the heroes die.

But, where there are heroes there are also villains.

The villain in Puccini’s “Tosca” is unmistakable: He is Scarpia, the police chief of Rome who tortures political prisoners and attempts to rape the great singer, Floria Tosca. We don’t get a backstory about Scarpia’s dysfunctional childhood, nor do we sympathize or identify with him.

He is a heartless villain and the opera doesn’t allow (let alone ask) us to pity or sympathize with him. We are meant to fear and despise him, perhaps even hate him.

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

Driver Who Ran Over Two Canadian Soldiers Shot After High-Speed Chase Near Montreal, Police Say

Conservatives raised the possibility Monday that a hit-and-run near Montreal that injured two Canadian Forces members was a terrorist attack.

Police shot a driver after he ran over two Canadian soldiers in a mall parking lot, Quebec provincial police said. One of the two soldiers was seriously injured.

“We fear for his life,” said Sgt. Joyce Kemp with Sûreté du Québec. The other soldier sustained minor injuries, she said.

Police spokesman Lt. Michel Brunet told a news conference late afternoon that the driver died a few hours after being shot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

Brunet said the 25-year-old was known to authorities.

During question period in the House of Commons on Monday, Conservative MP Randy Hoback referenced what he called “unconfirmed reports” of a “possible terror attack,” and asked Prime Minister Harper for an update on the situation.

“We are aware of these reports,” Harper replied. “They’re obviously extremely troubling … We’re closely monitoring the situation and obviously we will make available all of the resources of the federal government.”

Asked about Mr. Hoback’s assertion, the Sûrété du Québec said it could not confirm whether the attack on the soldiers was targeted. Sgt. Kemp could not confirm whether the soldiers were in uniform when they were struck…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Martin Rouleau, Quebec Driver Shot by Police, ‘Radicalized’: RCMP

Hit and run that injured 2 soldiers raised in House of Commons as ‘possible terror attack’

A driver who was fatally shot by police after striking two Canadian Forces members in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., earlier today was known to federal authorities as someone who may have been “radicalized,” according to the RCMP and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Martin Rouleau, 25, was a resident of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and was known to provincial and federal police.

“This individual was known to federal authorities including our Integrated National Security Investigations team in Montreal who along with other authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized,” the RCMP said in a statement issued late Monday evening.

Martin Rouleau called himself “Ahmad LeConverti” on Facebook. (Facebook)

According to Radio-Canada, Rouleau’s Facebook page identifies him as Ahmad LeConverti (Ahmad the Converted). Neighbours told Radio-Canada that he converted to the religion of Islam about a year ago.

Quebec provincial police confirmed Rouleau’s death Monday evening, several hours after he was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries from the police shooting…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

VPD Investigating After Man Blew Homemade Pipe Bomb up in His Own Face in Olympic Village

VANCOUVER — A man who blew up a homemade pipe bomb in his own face in Vancouver’s Olympic Village early Monday morning won’t tell police why or how he made the explosive device.

Around 1 a.m. Monday morning, paramedics called police after they tended to the man at Columbia Street and West 1st Avenue and he admitted that the massive cut to his face was from a bomb, according to VPD spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham.

The man, who is “well known to police,” was sent to hospital for his “significant, non —life threatening” injuries, Fincham said.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Belgium: ‘Electricity Prices to Increase Substantially’

Electricity will become a lot more expensive in the coming decades, the Planning Office warns. Prices are expected to double by 2030. The price hike is due to the investments that are needed to cope with an increased demand and to keep infrastructure up to date.

The Planning Office estimates that 51 gigawatt extra will be needed by 2050. This equals the power production of one big nuclear plant, and implies extra investments in new infrastructure and updates of the present installations. These investments could cost up to 62 billion euros.

As Belgium plans to close all its nuclear sites by 2025, alternative energy sources will have to be found, some working on natural gas while others should be sustainable energy sources. The aim is to get 50 per cent of the power supplies from renewable energy sources by 2050. Natural gas installations will play a major role in the meantime. The Panning Office estimates that 3 new plants will have to be built each year.

All this implies major investments. These will lead to substantial price hikes for electricity. The cost to produce 1 megawatt could climb with as much as 60 per cent by 2020, the Planning Office warns. Power prices could double in the longer term, by 2030, as natural gas will also become more expensive. The price hike is expected to stop after 2030, when more sustainable energy sources become available.

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

Cost of Electricity for Offices in Italy Hits New Record

53.6% of electrical utility bill goes to tariffs

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — The cost of electricity for offices in Italy hit a new record in the fourth quarter, Confcommercio said Monday.

The small-business association said its Service Electricity Cost Index (ICET) increased 3.9% over the third quarter and rose 2.5% on an annual basis. The higher power prices were caused in part by a 6.7% hike in wholesale energy prices in the third quarter, year on year, Confcommercio reported. The wholesale price was affected by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the group said. Another reason was a tariff increase on utility bills, up 2.7% from the previous quarter and 11.9% higher than the same period in 2013. Tariffs currently make up 53.6% of the electrical utility bill, 30.6% of which are system costs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Denmark Puzzled by Turkey’s Release of Shooting Suspect

Turkey has admitted it released a suspect wanted in connection with the attempted murder of a right-wing writer and critic of Islam in Copenhagen in 2013, but has failed to explain why, Danish Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen has said.

“I find the release of this person incomprehensible,” Frederiksen said, adding the results of the visit to the Turkish capital would be discussed by the Danish Parliament’s Commission of Foreign Affairs on Oct. 16.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Euroskeptics Reborn With Polish Arrival

Group including M5S members had collapsed after Latvian quit

(ANSA) — Strasbourg, October 20 — The Euroskeptic group in the European Union Parliament was reborn Monday after Poland’s Robert Iwaszkiewicz joined the body that includes members of Italy’s 5-star Movement (M5S) and Britain’s UKIP. The Euroskeptics had collapsed last Thursday with the resignation of Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule, reducing its numbers to below the minimum need to maintain status. Euroskeptics include MEPS opposed to the EU in general and greater European integration.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Risks EU Infraction Process Over Unblock Italy

Some 17 projects approved worth 1.7 bn euros

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — Italy could be slapped with an infraction procedure by the European Union over highway construction plans contained in its ‘Unblock Italy’ infrastructure program. Last Friday, Brussels initiated its investigations by asking Italy for information before it rules on whether to began infraction proceedings. In recent days, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi approved 17 projects worth a total of 1.7 billion euros including numerous transportation improvements as the first tranche of Unblock Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors Seek Three Indictments for Terrorism, Explosive

Earth Liberation Front (ELF) allegedly planning IBM bombing

(ANSA) — Turin, October 20 — Prosecutors on Monday requested the indictments of three alleged members of the radical Earth Liberation Front (ELF) on charges of terrorisim, explosives possession, and receiving stolen goods.

Prosecutors have been working with Swiss authorities since the three suspects, two Italians and one Swiss-Italian, were arrested in Switzerland in 2010, when they were allegedly planning to attack IBM offices in Zurich.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CGIL Study Says Up to 1 Million to Show for Rome Protest

Actual seats reserved on buses number 120,000

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — As many as one million people may show up in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome on October 25 to protest recently passed labour reforms, according to a survey by the Tecne’ research firm for the CGIL trade union confederation.

Actual bus seat reservations number about 120,000, excluding the region of Lazio, where the demonstration will be held. CGIL, Italy’s biggest and most left-wing union, said the reservations also did not count participants coming from other nations for the event.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Judge Asks Piedmont ‘Crazy Expenses’ Indictments

Prosecutors had requested cases be dropped against 10

(ANSA) — Turin, October 20 — A Turin judge on Monday ordered prosecutors to formulate indictment charges against 10 people accused of abusing expense claims while acting as Piedmont regional councillors.

Among the 10 are two members of the current Piedmont regional council executive led by Governor Sergio Chiamparino, who belongs to Premier Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), a PD Senator, Stefano Lepri, and the PD’s chief in the region, Davide Gariglio.

Prosecutors had requested that the cases over so-called ‘crazy expenses’ against the 10, four centre-right politicians and six from the centre left, be dropped.

The judge, however, upheld the prosecutors’ request to shelve the cases against six others, including former Piedmont governor Mercedes Bresso, currently a PD MEP. Prosecutors now have 10 days to formulate the charges against the 10 after which a different judge will decide whether the defendants will actually be sent to trial.

A separate corruption trial will open on Turin on Tuesday for former governor Roberto Cota and 24 former councillors, most from the centre right.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pork-Free Ham on the Way, Says Italian Farmers’ Group

(AGI) Rome, Oct 19 — Cooked ham containing no pork but more water and hitherto banned chemical additives could soon go on sale in Italy, according to the President of the Coldiretti farmers’ association. Commenting on the draft bill on the preparation of cold meats, Roberto Moncalvo said meat from other animals might be used, causing consumer confusion over the real content of products.

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

Croatian Police Arrest Zagreb Mayor on Corruption Charges: Media

Zagreb’s long-serving mayor Milan Bandic has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Various unnamed high-ranking officials were detained over activities relating to a municipal services company.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

74.3% Jewish Israelis Against Palestine With 1967 Borders

Survey, over 76% against divided Jerusalem

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — About 74.3% of Jewish Israelis are against the creation of a Palestinian State with the borders of 1967, according to a survey published Monday by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The poll was conducted on a sample of 500 people. Most said they were right-wing.

The percentage rose to 74.9% if the birth of Palestine implied Israel’s withdrawal from the Jordan valley and 76.2% if it led to the division of Jerusalem.

Among left-wing interviewees, 51.5% expressed support for a Palestinian State with a divided Jerusalem.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany Gives Israel $382 Million Discount Over Missile Boats Deal

Germany has reversed an earlier decision to hold back a discount on missile boats to Israel over its settlement projects, agreeing to give Tel Aviv a USD 382 million (€300 million) discount.

Israeli media reported on Sunday that the crisis between Israel and Germany over a missile boats deal worth USD1.1 billion, that had been stalled because Germany refused to give Israel a 30-percent discount, has ended.

German and Israeli officials are expected to sign an agreement over the issue within weeks.

Germany was withholding the price cut over Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is not immediately clear what prompted German officials to change their mind.

But an Israeli Foreign Ministry official said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal commitment to “securing” Israel was a key to swinging the deal.

In May, Christoph Heusgen, German’s national security adviser, said Tel Aviv should pay full price of the missile boats.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

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

Qatar Funds Spark Controversy Over Arab Soccer Team

Cabinet angry, “out of championship”

(by Aldo Baquis) (ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, OCTOBER 20 — Arab soccer team Bney Sakhnin on Saturday enraged the Israeli government when, shortly after the start of a championship match, it publicly paid homage to the man who saved it at the last moment from financial ruin thanks to hefty funding from Qatar. The man — the loudspeakers at the ‘Doha’ stadium in Sakhnin, northern Israel, announced — is former MP Azmi Bishara. Bishara is a figure that often sparks Pavlovian reactions of hostility among the Israeli ruling class.

After the war in Lebanon in 2006, when he was a member of the Knesset (parliament) and the leader of nationalist party Balad, the secret services suspected Bishara was colluding with Hezbollah. In 2007, he suddenly left Israel, without ever coming back.

A graduate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bishara is deeply acquainted with Israeli society.

Now living in Qatar, he is often invited by Arab broadcasters and he usually maintains a very critical position towards the Jewish States in his interviews.

The gratitude expressed by the management of Bney Sakhnin enraged the sports ministry. Minister Limor Livnat, a leading member of Likud, accused the team of “crossing a red line” and said she was considering disciplinary action. Such a measure would be particularly painful as Bney Sakhnin in the past was cited as an example of sportsmanship, given that the team includes Muslim and Jewish players.

Subsequently Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also highlighted Bishara’s past and called on Bney Sakhnin to choose another championship, rather than Israel’s: “They should go play in the Palestinian league or in Qatar”, he said.

In Gaza, Hamas also took a stance on the matter, praising Bney Sakhnin for “keeping up with the criminal Lieberman”.

The team’s managers expressed bitterness and surprise. After no funding was found in Israel, Bishara opened a few doors in Doha so the team could find aid, they said. Management added that funding from Qatar was not deemed suspect by Israeli authorities and the whole operation was aimed at supporting sport in the Arab Israeli sector where resources are notoriously scarce.

Now everyone is waiting to see whether disciplinary action will ensue.

Several episodes of intolerance between Jews and Muslims have been reported in Israel over the past few weeks. As a consequence, many have called on the Israeli football federation not to further heighten tensions over a situation which, according to well-known commentator Zuheir Ba’alul, “can be summed up, at the most, in a small mistake” made by the management of Bney Sakhnin.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ebola and the Prayers

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

The Ebola virus that is widespread in West Africa is considered very dangerous, bearing in mind that the world has known it since 1976, but it became more rampant lately and took thousands of lives in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. All these nations lack the most basic of medical requirements in villages and remote areas, making the control of the spread of this virus something extremely hard. The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva announced that Ebola has become “a global health hazard”, and even America was not immune from it after a person infected with it arrived there.

Despite what is being said about the tough war between the world and this disease, the truth is that Western countries alone are concerned with eradicating it, as the number of its victims reached 4,000 lately, in addition to tens of thousands of infected people.

WHO said the number of victims of this epidemic will reach more than 20,000 if it is not brought under control before the end of next month, while the world does not have any cure or vaccine against this disease.

The strange (or normal) thing is that the only areas that are trying to do something to find a cure for this disease, or those who donated to affected countries where this epidemic paralyzed economies, or those who volunteered to work in their hospitals as medical teams or nurses are all from Western countries, European in particular, and Israel! For the rest of the countries, this may be expected from almost all of them, because they have their own calculations, interests, tremendous problems and views towards matters.

But what is the excuse of most Muslim and rich Arab countries in particular, that spend hundreds of millions of dinars on religious satellite channels of various sects that corrupt minds and attitudes. The answer is nothing, of course. Rather these countries were the only ones who prayed against these countries that participated and contributed and its citizens took risks to eradicate this contagious epidemic or at least contain it.

They continue to pray against them from mosques pulpits, religious channels and school curricula, hoping that Allah burns the Westerners’ trees, orphans Israeli children, widows Danish women, dries up the wells of the Australians and eradicates the children of New Zealand! This is what we have got used to hear during the past few decades! But what will be the stand of those speakers and propagandists if this disease or suchlike reaches their countries.

Then who will come to our rescue? Is it not the West with its labs, doctors, nurses and volunteers? Do not be shameless and stop making such prayers while we are is this medical, scientific and industrial ineptness. Don’t most our governments feel ashamed for allowing those ignorants making such prayers as the answer. No, of course!

—Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Qabas

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Karbala Car Bombs Kill at Least 13

Shiite holy city south of Baghdad

(ANSA) — Baghdad, October 20 — Three car bombs in the Shiite holy city of Karbala south of Baghdad killed at least 13 poeple Monday, local sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Turkey to Help Peshmerga Get to Kobane

Fighters in Syrian city call for humanitarian corridors

(ANSA-AFP) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 20 — Turkey said Monday it was assisting Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga to cross its border and join the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists for the Syrian town of Kobane.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added that discussions on the matter were continuing. “We have no wish at all to see Kobane fall” to the jihadists , he said. “Turkey is conducting several initiatives to prevent it.” Despite pressure from the US, Turkey has so far refused to intervene militarily to help the Kurds fight ISIS jihadists in Syria. Ankara has been involved in a low-intensity conflict against PKK Kurdish separatists for decades. The Kurdish militants being besieged by ISIS fighters in Kobane/Ayn Al-Arab in northern Syria have asked for the opening of “security corridors” inside Syria to connect Kobane with other Kurdish-majority areas in the northern part of the country. In an interview published on Monday by Al-Hayat, Kobane military commander Ocalan Isso called for two corridors to connect Kobane with Afrin, west of Aleppo, and with the Hasakah region. “We have tens of thousands of men and heavy weaponry in Hasakah and Afrin. We only need to get them here,” Isso told Al-Hayat in a telephone conversation from the operations in Kobane. “We have asked Turkey to intervene to get these two corridors open,” added Isso, reiterating that anti-regime rebels were also taking part in the defense of Kobane against ISIS jihadists.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Confirms Release of Islam Critic’s Assailant

Turkish officials told a Danish delegation that the 27-year-old man accused of trying to execute Lars Hedegaard has been released from prison, but both the Hedegaard and the justice minister are demanding more answers.

A Danish delegation that travelled to Turkey has returned home with a confirmation that the man who attempted to assassinate Islam critic Lars Hedegaard has indeed been released from prison as suspected. What the delegation did not find out, however, was exactly why he was released.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UAE Takes First Steps in Building Mars Probe

Dubai: The UAE took the first step in building the an unmanned Mars probe on Monday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced on his twitter account.

Earlier this year, the UAE announced that it will be sending an unmanned spacecraft to Mars by 2021, coinciding with the country’s 50th anniversary. It was also announced that a UAE space agency will be created to supervise the mission and coordinate the country’s growing space technology.

“I witnessed today with all pride, the first steps towards building the first Arab, Islamic probe to reach Mars,” Shaikh Mohammad tweeted.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UN Must Act to Avert Fresh ISIS ‘Genocide’, Vatican

Parolin appeals to international community

(ANSA) — Vatican City, October 20 — The United Nations must act to prevent possible new acts of genocide by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria and Iraq, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Monday. “In the case of the violations and abuse committed by the so-called Islamic State, the international community, via the United Nations and the structures set up for such emergencies, will have to act to prevent possible new genocide and assist the numerous refugees,” he said.

“Attention must be paid,” Parolin added, “to the sources that sustain (ISIS’) terrorist activities through more-or-less clear political support, as well as through illegal commerce in oil and the supply of weapons and technology”. Cardinal Parolin then repeated Pope Francis’ denunciation of the arms trade, saying: “In a moment of particular gravity, given the growing number of victims caused by the conflicts raging in the Middle East, the international community cannot close its eyes before this question, which has profound ethical relevance”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

US Airdrops Weapons to Kurds Defending Kobani From ‘IS’

The US has airdropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish forces defending the city of Kobani from the “Islamic State.” The move could anger NATO ally Turkey, which opposes arming Kurdish militias.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Putin: South Stream Cannot be Realized Unilaterally

BELGRADE — Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the South Stream gas pipeline cannot be realized unilaterally, but that he truly believes that it is useful for European consumers.

South Stream cannot be realized unilaterally, if our partners are still in two minds about it. This is like love, it can be happy only if there are two participants of this wonderful process, who both want to develop relations, Putin said at a press conference, which he held together with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, answering Tanjug’s question about the perspectives of the project’s realization.

Putin said that similar debates about whether the pipeline is needed were held before the beginning of construction of Nord Stream, and now that it has been built everyone is happy, adding that he is confident that it will be similar with South Stream.

I am deeply convinced that the project is beneficial for European consumers, said the Russian president, stressing that in this case policy harms economy and to some extent lowers the competitiveness of the European economy.

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

China’s Central Committee to Reinterpret the ‘Rule of Law’

China’s ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee meets this week to discuss how to rule the country in accordance with the law. But experts don’t expect a substantial reform of China’s judiciary.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Two Japanese Ministers Step Down

Two women ministers resign after being hit by separate scandals

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — Two of five female ministers in the Japanese cabinet stepped down Monday after each was hit by a separate scandal.

The resignations of Economy Minister Yuko Obuchi and Justice Minister Midori Matsushima dealt a hard blow to the government of Premier Shinzo Abe, who apologized to the public. “I was the one who called them,” said Abe in a press conference. “I take responsibility and deeply apologize”. Obuchi is suspected of having spent the equivalent of roughly 74,000 euros from 2007 to 2012 on beauty products rather than political activities. Masushima is accused of violating electoral law by distributing flyers with her picture and name to voters in her constituency. Abe said replacement ministers would be announced Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Haiti Installs Anti-Ebola Border Controls

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian authorities announced sanitary border controls on Thursday, October 16, to prevent Ebola cases from entering and spreading in the desperately poor country already in the grips of a deadly cholera epidemic.

The Ministry of Health stressed, however, that “no case of the virus has been detected or revealed so far” in Haiti.

But with more than 9,000 Haitians lives lost to cholera in three years, authorities are working hard to prevent another epidemic from hitting the country.

[Return to headlines]

Number of Illegal Immigrants in Bulgaria Grew Significantly in September

The number of illegal immigrants, seeking shelter in Bulgaria grew exponentially in September, shows data of the State Refugee Agency, quoted by

Only in September 6776 people sought refugee status in Bulgaria. For comparison, the total number for the entire 2013 was 7100.

“The trend started sometime in mid-August and has been picking up speed since,” Vasil Danov of the State Refugee Agency told “The numbers increased significantly in September and October. The most obvious reason is the civil war in Syria, the Islamic State terror and the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan.”

According to Danov, the most significant number of illegal immigrants are Syrians, but the Afghans’ numbers grow significantly. The refugee centres, in Danov’s words, are already packed to capacity and the agency can organise the housing of additional 800 people.

Meanwhile, the agency expects that the numbers of illegal immigrants in Bulgaria will continue rising.

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

Italy: Gay Marriage is Next Topic After Electoral Law, Says Renzi

(AGI) Rome, Oct 19 — The Italian executive plans to bring the topic of gay marriage to the parliamentary table, as well as the citizenship of children born in Italy from foreign parents and facilitating “third sector” entities such as NGOs, after the electoral law is finalised, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday.

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

Italy: Renzi to Free Up Migrant Kids’ Citizenship, Gay Unions

Plans to lower kids’ age requirement, use gay ‘German model’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — Premier Matteo Renzi has vowed to make it easier for immigrant children to become Italian citizens and for gay couples to be recognised by the State.

Speaking on a Sunday talk show, the premier said the children of immigrants would no longer have to wait until they are 18 to apply for citizenship.

“Just one school cycle will be enough,” he said on Mediaset TV.

This could mean lowering the age to qualify for citizenship to as low as 11.

There have long been demands for Italy to change its ‘ius sanguinis’ (blood right) law where only children of Italians get automatic citizenship to a ‘ius soli’ (law of the soil) where being born in Italy grants the right.

Campaigners have pointed to cause celebres such as soccer star Mario Balotelli who was playing for top clubs before he was a citizen and had to wait till 18 to don an Italy shirt.

“We mean to introduce a modified ius soli,” Renzi said.

As for gay unions — a hot-button issue as mayors defy Interior Minister Angelino Alfano’s order not to transcribe foreign partnerships — Renzi reiterated that he is looking at a “German-style solution”.

This would mean the State would recognise gay unions and they would have similar rights to married heterosexuals except they would not be allowed to adopt kids who are not the biological offspring of one of the partners.

Renzi said he would table legislation on the two issues of migrants’ kids and gay unions when the current budget session is over at the end of the year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mars Missions Report in After Comet Close Encounter

As comet Siding Spring speeds away after its Martian encounter on Sunday, our armada of satellites have reported in to signal that they are OK.

NASA’s Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and MAVEN missions, plus the European Mars Express have all reported in. At time of writing, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has not reported the status of their Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), although it was positioned out of harm’s way during the cometary encounter.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]