Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/24/2014

The government of Cyprus says that it will block the accession of Turkey to the EU after Turkish ships, including warships, were sent to survey natural gas resources within Cyprus’ offshore Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The EU in turn says that it supports Cyprus’ rights concerning its EEZ.

In other news, Boko Haram activists in northeastern Nigeria abducted at least sixty more girls, despite having allegedly reached a peace agreement with the government. The parents of the kidnapped girls will be relieved to learn that the incident had no connection with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, Phyllis Chesler, 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
» 25 Banks May ‘Fail’ ECB Tests, Two From Italy ‘In Trouble’
» EC Warns Italy Planning ‘Deviation From Adjustment’
» Italy: Bank Mergers ‘Possible’ After ECB Review, Says Intesa
» Bratton: Hatchet Attack on Cops Was a Lone Wolf “Act of Terror”
» Buzz Aldrin Says One-Way Trips to Mars Could Actually Work
» Caroline Glick: It’s Time to Beat the Jew-Haters
» ISGAP Fellow Phyllis Chesler on the Hijacking of History by Opera: The Death of Klinghoffer
» New York and New Jersey to Quarantine Some Travelers Who Have Had Contact With Ebola Patients
» NIH Allocates $31-Million to Tackle Racial Gaps in Training
Europe and the EU
» Cameron Cites Renzi on EU ‘Lethal Weapon’ Numbers
» CGIL Rally: 1 Million, Plus 1,000 Police, And PD MPs
» Cyprus to Block Turkey’s EU Talks After EEZ Violation
» Cyprus: EU Leaders to Support Nicosia Over EEZ Rights
» EU Braces for Battle to Set Energy Goals for Next Decade
» EU Leaders Seal Landmark 2030 Climate Deal
» EU Leaders Reach 2030 Deal on Climate and Energy
» EU Says Turkey’s Energy Hunt Off Cyprus is a A ‘Serious Concern’
» Finland Looking to Develop Re-Integration Programme for Syria War Returnees
» Grave Robbers Plunder Ancient Danish Burial Sites
» Italy: Second Suspect in Milan Student Rape in Custody
» Italy: Berlusconi Hoping for Cut in Community Service
» Italy: Trial Opens in Case of Girl Sold Into Marriage for 30,000
» Nordic Somali Communities Join Forces to Fight Extremist Recruitment
» Norway’s Terror Alert Bill to Get More Government Aid
» Over 1 Million Workers Snarl Italy in Transport Strike
» Sweden Calls Off Suspect Submarine Search
» Sweden Halts Search for Mystery Submarine
» The Real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler
» UK: Cameron Vows to Reject €2 Billion EU Bill
North Africa
» Egypt’s Police Says Brotherhood Torched Saudi Consulate Cars
» Egypt: North Sinai Car Bomb Kills 28 Soldiers, 3 Die in Second Attack
» Few Women on Tunisian Parliamentary Poll Lists
» Suicide Bomber Targets Egyptian Army Post, Kills 5
» Tunisia at the Ballot Box Between Hope and Uncertainty
» Tunisa Closes Borders With Libya for the Next Three Days
Israel and the Palestinians
» Stones Thrown at Jewish Kindergarten in Jerusalem
Middle East
» Attempted Kidnapping in Turkey Shows Reach of the Islamic State
» Bodies Strewn in the Streets as Islamic State Captures Another Village
» David Ignatius: Iraq and the U.S. Are Losing Ground to the Islamic State
» ISIS ‘Used Chlorine Gas Against Iraqi Forces’ — WaPo
» Islamic State Sex Slave Reveals Horrific Plight in Captivity and Begs West to Bomb Brothel
» Kurds in Kobane Deny Agreement for 1,000 FSA Fighters
» Report: ISIS Used Chemical Weapons Against Iraqi Forces
» Saudi Arabia Sentences 32 for Terrorism Including 5 Women
» Syria: Turkey Takes Step to Offer Work Permit to Refugees
» Turkey to End Exploitation of Syrian Refugee Workers
» Ancient City Ruled by Genghis Khan’s Heirs Revealed
» Russia Seizes Banned EU Meat Disguised as Chewing Gum
South Asia
» Ghulam Azam, “Spiritual” Leader of Bangladesh’s Islamic Fundamentalists, Is Dead
» Lost Innocence in Pakistan as Sexual Abuse and Violence Against Children Grows
» Three Afghan Children Die in Fire During Taliban Attack
Australia — Pacific
» Rapa Nui Genes Suggest Pre-Columbian Voyage
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Boko Haram ‘Abducts Another 60 Girls’ — Misna
» EU Increases West Africa Ebola Aid to One Bn Euros
» Dutch Battle Surge of Desperate, Violent Muslim Refugees
» Military Immigrant Program Halted

25 Banks May ‘Fail’ ECB Tests, Two From Italy ‘In Trouble’

Reports say MPS, Carige will be told to boost capital

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Some 25 banks may be “failed” when the European Central Bank reports Sunday on a major review of the stability of 130 of the region’s biggest banks, Bloomberg reported Friday. Two of the 15 Italian lenders included in the ECB review, Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banca Carige, will be told to shore up their capital levels, Bloomberg said. They are among a dozen that will be ordered to increase capital, the news agency added. The ECB has been scrutinizing banks before it takes over banking supervisory responsibilities next month.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EC Warns Italy Planning ‘Deviation From Adjustment’

Katainen highlights small reduction in structural deficit

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 23 — The European Commission said Italy risks deviating significantly from the medium term budget goals agreed with the EU in a letter sent to the Italian government asking for clarification on the 2015 budget law. “From the preliminary analysis, on the basis of the calculations of the European Commission’s technical offices, Italy has planned a significant deviation from the adjustments requested to his medium-term goal (on balancing the budget in structural terms) in 2015,” the letter by European Economic Affairs Commissioner Jyrki Katainen read. Premier Matteo Renzi’s government has said the planned reduction in the structural deficit for next year will be 0.1% of GDP.

According to some reports, the EC wants a much bigger reduction in the structural deficit — which, unlike the nominal budget deficit figure, is adjusted for the business cycle — of around 0.5% of GDP in order to make inroads into Italy’s massive public debt.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bank Mergers ‘Possible’ After ECB Review, Says Intesa

Study of financial institutions’ stability due Sunday

(ANSA) — Verona, October 23 — Bank mergers will “possibly” follow the European Central Bank’s stability review of financial institutions, the supervisory head of Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo said Thursday. Giovanni Bazoli said he was confident his bank would do well in the review but others found to be lacking will possibly choose to link up.

The ECB’s review is due to be released on Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Bratton: Hatchet Attack on Cops Was a Lone Wolf “Act of Terror”

A man who assaulted a group of NYPD officers with a hatchet before they shot him dead committed “an act of terror,” the city’s top cop said Friday.

“We at this time believe that he acted alone,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday. “We would describe him as self-radicalized. We would describe him as self-directed in his activities.”

Asked directly if Zale Thompson could be considered a homegrown terrorist or a “lone wolf,” investigators said “it appears at this point” that terror was the suspect’s “intent,” though police stressed the investigation was in its preliminary stages.

Police obtained a warrant to search Thompson’s computer for clues about Thursday’s daytime assault in Queens, which left Officer Kenneth Healy with a critical but stable head injury and Officer Joseph Meeker with a wounded arm.

Thompson’s activity on social media indicated he was a convert to Islam and included rants about injustices in American society and oppression abroad but offered no clear evidence of any direct affiliation with terror groups, police said.

“The common thread going through those conversations are anti-western, anti-government, and in some cases anti-white,” said John Miller, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counter-terrorism…

[Return to headlines]

Buzz Aldrin Says One-Way Trips to Mars Could Actually Work

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin wants to send people on a trip to Mars, and he doesn’t want them to come home — at least not at first.

The time and resources that will be used to get humans to the Red Planet only make sense if the astronauts stay there and help to jump-start an outpost on the new world, Aldrin said during a panel here at MIT’s AeroAstro 100 conference Wednesday (Oct. 22).

“It (will) cost the world — and the U.S. — billions and billions of dollars to put these people there, and you’re going to bring them back?” Aldrin said. “What are you going to do when you bring them back here that can possibly compare (to) the value that they would be if they stayed there and Mars wasn’t empty? And then, they helped to work with the next group and it builds up a cadre of people. When we’ve got 100 — or whatever it is — then we start bringing people back.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: It’s Time to Beat the Jew-Haters

The decision by the most prestigious opera house in America to produce an opera that mainstreams Jew-hatred and anti-Jewish terrorism is a great victory for elitist anti-Semitism. In the world of elite anti-Semitism, Jews are told that truth is but a narrative. Jewish history and rights have no more merit — indeed less merit — than the lies of Jew-haters. And if Jews dare to object to the propagation of lies against them, they open themselves to the easy accusation that they seek to stifle free speech.

The goal of elitist anti-Semitism is to erode the right of Jews to have and promote Jewish rights and interests. This is done by demonizing those who defend Jewish rights and advance Jewish interests, while elevating and romanticizing the lives and largely false narratives of those who seek to destroy Israel.

The Met’s singular contribution to the cause of elitist anti-Semitism is the prestige its production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” confers on the cause.

Another dam has been breached. Another safe zone has become a no-go zone…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

ISGAP Fellow Phyllis Chesler on the Hijacking of History by Opera: The Death of Klinghoffer

by Phyllis Chesler

I love opera. I was once a regular contributor to NPR’s “At the Opera,” and that privilege lasted for almost three years. I attend the Metropolitan opera as often as I can—I also attend the Chelsea Opera, the NY City Opera (when it existed), and the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown almost every summer.

The Metropolitan Opera’s General Manager, Peter Gelb, has a constitutional as well as an artistic right to produce whatever he wants. However, his choice of The Death of Klinghofferis an abdication of moral responsibility, political sensitivity, and gravitas. Gelb’s showcasing of this opera is equivalent to a college president’s decision to allow ISIS, Hamas, al-Qaeda, or the Taliban to speak on campus because “all sides must be heard and understood” because “all points of view are equally valid.”

Blood libels against Israel and the Jews, mythic pseudo-histories—genocidal narratives—have permeated the Western campuses. These dangerous falsehoods claim the privilege of free speech and academic freedom and they have been welcomed by the intelligentsia. Now, these same ideas are making their debut amidst the trappings of high culture.

As a long-time feminist fan of opera, I would not boycott an opera because the female heroes are betrayed, go mad, kill themselves, or are murdered.

Gilda, Norma, Mimì, Cio-Cio-San, Carmen, Lucia, Tosca, Lulu, Isolde, Marie (Berg’s Wozzeck), Brünnhilde, Leonora, Azucena, Massenet’s Manon, and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, all the Russians—die singing. As in life, our great operas are tragedies in which the heroes die…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

New York and New Jersey to Quarantine Some Travelers Who Have Had Contact With Ebola Patients

The governors of New York and New Jersey announced Friday afternoon that they were ordering the quarantine of all people entering the United States through airports in the New York City area who had contact with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea.

The announcement came a day after a doctor who had worked in Guinea and returned to New York last week tested positive for Ebola.

“A voluntary Ebola quarantine is not enough,” said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. “This is too serious a public health situation.”

[Return to headlines]

NIH Allocates $31-Million to Tackle Racial Gaps in Training

The National Institutes of Health on Wednesday awarded more than $31-million to a dozen university groups that will develop and test strategies for improving the racial diversity of the nation’s medical work force.

The lead universities receiving grants include some of the nation’s top institutions for training minority scientists. Their projects involve modifying enrollment processes, revamping undergraduate courses, and improving mentoring, among other efforts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cameron Cites Renzi on EU ‘Lethal Weapon’ Numbers

‘He’s a reasonable person, and I agree with him’ says British PM

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 24 — British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday he agrees with Premier Matteo Renzi on questioning European Commission-requested budget adjustments. “I quote the Italian premier’s reaction when these numbers were released. He said this is not a number, it’s a lethal weapon,” Cameron said. “He’s a reasonable person, and I agree with him”.

Cameron, whose country has been hit with a 2.1-billion euro bill from the European Union due to new economic calculations that now include proceeds from criminal activities such as drugs and prostitution, said Friday that his country won’t pay. “If the European Union goes on behaving like this, they should not wonder why there are those who call for an exit,” the British leader said.

Italy will likely be hit with a 340-million euro bill under the same re-calculations to include criminal proceeds, the Financial Times reported. Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands have also been asked to pony up more money, while Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Poland all got rebates, according to the BBC.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

CGIL Rally: 1 Million, Plus 1,000 Police, And PD MPs

Labour union to announce general strike against Renzi govt

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — As many as one million people, one thousand police officers, and a small number of dissident members of the governing Democratic Party (PD) are expected Saturday at a major rally called by Italy’s largest trade-union federation CGIL against Premier Matteo Renzi’s Jobs Act.

The rally has been planned for several weeks as the country’s most left-wing union takes aim at provisions in the Jobs Act, which is moving through Parliament and would reduce job protections for new employees.

The CGIL will also use the rally to announce the date for the country’s first general strike in 26 years against the government’s labour-market reform plans, said the leader of the leftist SEL party, Nichi Vendola.

Meanwhile, some members Renzi’s PD, who have also voiced displeasure with the premier’s labour reforms, have said they will join the rally including PD MP Pippo Civati who on Friday urged other PD dissidents to join in.

On his blog, Civati said that he expected to see there another PD MP Gianni Cuperlo and urged the former secretary of the PD, Pier Luigi Bersani, to join them.

“If, in addition to Cuperlo and to me, there was also Bersani, it would good,” said Civati.

But Bersani has said he won’t join the rally.

Cuperlo, who ran unsuccessfully against Renzi in the primary to become party secretary almost one year ago, said he would join the rally — not as a form of protest “but to listen to the workers and to always urge my government to do more and better reforms”.

Cuperlo has organized a group of left-leaning PD minority members, dubbed Sinistradem, who are opposed to the Jobs Act changes affecting Article 18 of the existing labour legislation that protects against unfair dismissal.

In a post Friday on its website, Sinistradem said that a number of PD MPs have signed an appeal to uphold Article 18 and will reinforce that message Saturday. “We’ll be there to push the government and Parliament to fix and enhance Jobs Act and Law stability,” read the post.

Meanwhile, the head of the youth branch of major employers group Confindustria said the union rally was of no value and that workers would do well to collaborate with the government.

“We bet on our future,” and on a government taking urgent action, said Marco Gay, head of the group representing employers younger than 40.

“We are convinced that, instead of taking to the streets (Saturday) it defend ideologies, they could cooperate with us to defend employment,” he said.

Gay added that unions should consider a new phase of discussions with business.

Rome citizens had a preview of the traffic chaos that may result from the CGIL rally when a national transport workers’ strike on Friday disrupted commuters as protesters wound through the city’s historic centre.

Rallies were also held in other major Italian cities by transportation workers belonging to the USB and Unicobas trade unions protesting budget cuts announced earlier in the week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cyprus to Block Turkey’s EU Talks After EEZ Violation

After Turkish gas research vessel entered Cypriot waters

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA — Cyprus has said it will block any progress in Turkey’s EU membership talks in response to a violation of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by a Turkish survey vessel, as daily Kathimerini online reports.

“We cannot consent to the opening of any new chapters under the current circumstances,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told journalists on Tuesday after a session of the National Council, which is made up of parliamentary party leaders and advises President Nicos Anastasiades. Christodoulides said that the National Council had decided to promote a total of eight measures in response to Ankara’s assertiveness, including lodging a formal complaint against Turkey at an EU leader’s meeting later this week.

The Turkish research vessel Barbaros, escorted by one warship and two support vessels, entered Block 3 inside Nicosia’s EEZ on Monday morning. According to a so-called Navigational Telex (NavTex) note issued by Ankara in early October — and which at the time caused Nicosia to suspend UN-brokered peace negotiations — the vessel plans to carry out seismic surveys for natural gas exploration until December 30.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cyprus: EU Leaders to Support Nicosia Over EEZ Rights

Concern over third Turkish warship sailing in island’s waters

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA — European Union leaders are expected to express “serious concern” on Friday at Turkey’s breach of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as it emerged on Thursday that a third Turkish warship is now sailing in the waters south of the island, as Kathimerini reports.

Draft conclusions of the EU summit in Brussels made available to the media on Thursday indicated that even though the issue of Cyprus had not been on the meeting’s original agenda, the leaders would refer to Turkey’s decision to send the seismic research vessel Barbaros into the Cypriot EEZ.

“The European Council expressed serious concern about the renewed tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the draft statement read. It called on Turkey to respect Cyprus’s sovereign rights. The document also stated that it is “now more important than ever to reach a comprehensive Cyprus settlement which would benefit all Cypriots.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for the quick resumption of peace talks on the island.

He also expressed “concern over the tensions that have arisen in relation to hydrocarbons.” Turkey revealed on Thursday that a third navy ship is in the Cyprus EEZ to escort the Barbaros. Two frigates, the Giresun and the Gelibolu, and a corvette, the Bartin, are in the area. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was unable to attend Thursday’s talks in Brussels due health problems. He nominated Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to replace him at the meetings.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Braces for Battle to Set Energy Goals for Next Decade

Countries including Poland, Portugal, Spain, France and the U.K. have signaled that the outstanding issues that leaders will need to resolve at the gathering include sharing the burden of carbon cuts, the nature of energy targets and plans for power and gas interconnectors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Leaders Seal Landmark 2030 Climate Deal

(BRUSSELS) — European Union leaders agreed Friday what they hailed as the world’s most ambitious climate change targets for 2030, paving the way for a new UN-backed global treaty next year.

The 28 leaders overcame deep divisions at a summit in Brussels to reach a deal including a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels.

They also agreed on 27 percent targets for renewable energy supply and efficiency gains, in spite of reservations from some member states about the cost of the measures.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Leaders Reach 2030 Deal on Climate and Energy

Brussels — EU leaders agreed a new climate and energy deal for the next decade and a half in Brussels at around 1am local time on Friday (24 October).

The accord includes four targets for 2030: on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; on the share of renewables in the EU’s “energy mix”; on energy savings; and on the EU’s energy infrastructure.

Greenhouse gas emissions are to go down by “at least 40 percent” by 2030, EU Council head Herman Van Rompuy told press.

“About half” of the reduction will be achieved via the current Emissions Trading System (ETS), which puts a price on polluting by auctioning emissions allowances.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Says Turkey’s Energy Hunt Off Cyprus is a A ‘Serious Concern’

European Union leaders accused Turkey of stoking tensions in the eastern Mediterranean after Cyprus said Turkish vessels, including warships, entered its waters to explore for energy.

The show of EU solidarity at a summit on Friday in Brussels marks a diplomatic victory for the Cypriot government, which had pressed the 28-nation bloc for a “resolute reaction” to Turkey’s hunt for oil and natural gas off the coast of Cyprus. Turkey has occupied the northern third of Cyprus since 1974.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finland Looking to Develop Re-Integration Programme for Syria War Returnees

Finland’s Interior Ministry is pondering the best options for re-integrating Finns returning from war zones in Syria. Ministry officials say that while a prototype already exists in Helsinki, they want to select the best possible team to lead a so-called exit programme for war returnees.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Grave Robbers Plunder Ancient Danish Burial Sites

Grave robbers have dug up and plundered four ancient burial sites in ‘Mangehøje’ north of Grindsted near Billund in Jutland. It is believed the sites date back to the Stone Age some 4,000 years ago.

Lars Bjarke Christensen, an archaeologist from the Culture Ministry, is gutted over the theft and the loss of Danish history.

“It’s a disaster. The grave robbers have ruined part of Denmark’s history,” Christensen told DR Nyheder.

“The things we could have learned from the burial mounds have now been erased from history. We can no longer investigate how ancient life was in this area of Jutland.”

According to Christensen, the last time graves were plundered in Denmark was back at the end of the 1890s.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Second Suspect in Milan Student Rape in Custody

Two nabbed in battery, rape, robbery of Polish student

(ANSA) — Milan, October 23 — Carabinieri paramilitary police on Thursday took into custody a man after he was extradited from his native Romania to face rape charges in Milan.

Omer Taner, 21, is accused in the June 8 battery, rape and robbery of a 23-year-old Polish student who was in Milan on an Erasmus scholarship.

His Romanian accomplice, 20-year-old Suliman Ohran, was arrested in Milan on June 28.

The two culprits, both homeless with criminal records for robbery, allegedly attacked the victim while she was on her way home from a restaurant where she had dined with friends, beat her almost unconscious and dragged behind a hedge in a public garden where they allegedly raped and robbed her of her purse and her cell phone.

The suspects were identified thanks to CC TV and DNA evidence, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Hoping for Cut in Community Service

‘Should end on February 15,’ says ex-premier

(ANSA) Rome, October 24 — Silvio Berlusconi said Friday he is hoping for a reduction in the time he will have to spend doing community service after a tax-fraud conviction.

“The end of the (community) service should be brought forward to February 15 because of the (exemplary) way I have conducted it,” said the three-time premier and media magnate.

Since May Berlusconi has been helping out with Alzheimer’s patients at a care home near Milan, serving a one-year sentence after his August 2013 conviction for tax fraud on trading film rights at his Mediaset empire.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Trial Opens in Case of Girl Sold Into Marriage for 30,000

Father, stepmother and ex-husband on trial for child sex abuse

(ANSA) — Ravenna, October 24 — The parents and ex-husband of a Bangladeshi woman went on trial Friday for child abuse and aggravated sexual abuse of a minor for selling their daughter into marriage for 30,000 euros.

The forcible marriage to a 36-year-old man took place in the spring of 2006, when the victim was 12 years old. She eventually managed to escape her violent, abusive and alcoholic husband, finally reporting him and her parents to police in 2011. The parents face charges of child abuse while the ex-husband, who consummated the marriage with the child on their wedding night, is on trial for aggravated sexual abuse and sexual acts with a minor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Nordic Somali Communities Join Forces to Fight Extremist Recruitment

Somali organisations from across the region gathered in Finland Tuesday to establish a cooperative aimed at heading off recruitment of their youngsters to join extremist groups. The community leaders expressed concerns about the growing radicalisation of Somali youth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway’s Terror Alert Bill to Get More Government Aid

The government on Friday said it wants to earmark an extra 74.6 million kroner ($11 million) to cover the costs from handling the terror threat against Norway this summer.

The bill is for the huge scale of additional police and defense resources that were deployed after PST (Norwegian Police Security Service) reacted to messages about a specific terror threat against Norway.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Over 1 Million Workers Snarl Italy in Transport Strike

Nearly 60% of workers brought travel to a halt

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Business and transport across Italy was hobbled on Friday due to a national 24-hour labor strike organized by the Base Union of Italy (USB) against Italian Premier Matteo Renzi’s labor reforms.

Public transport suffered the most, with first estimates putting strike participation at around 60% across the country, with a full 100% in Naples.

Public offices such as city halls, schools, and health offices also closed around the country due to the strike.

“When called to fight and strike, workers respond,” said national USB executive member Pierpaolo Leonardi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden Calls Off Suspect Submarine Search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder.

Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad said at a press conference on Friday morning that Sweden’s armed forces had probably been tracking a “small vessel” in recent days and definitely not “a larger, conventional submarine”, in the waters off Stockholm.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden Halts Search for Mystery Submarine

Moscow denies any involvement

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Sweden said Friday that its military has ended a week-long search for mystery submarine in the Stockholm archipelago.

The search was launched following suspicions a Russian submarine was in trouble in the area.

Moscow has denied any involvement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler

Though Dracula may seem like a singular creation, Stoker in fact drew inspiration from a real-life man with an even more grotesque taste for blood: Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia or — as he is better known — Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), a name he earned for his favorite way of dispensing with his enemies. Vlad III was born in 1431 in Transylvania, a mountainous region in modern-day Romania.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Cameron Vows to Reject €2 Billion EU Bill

BRUSSELS — UK prime minister David Cameron vowed to oppose “in every way possible” the extra €2.1 billion EU budget bill, which he said was ‘completely unjustified and unacceptable’, as the row dominated the second day of the leaders’ summit in Brussels.

Speaking at a post-summit press conference on Friday (24 October), Cameron laid the blame for the bill’s “sudden production” squarely at the door of the European Commission who, he said, had not given “precise” or “satisfactory answers” on how the new budget calculations had been arrived at.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Police Says Brotherhood Torched Saudi Consulate Cars

Egyptian police say Muslim Brotherhood members burned cars belonging to the Saudi Arabian consulate in the city of Suez early on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: North Sinai Car Bomb Kills 28 Soldiers, 3 Die in Second Attack

At least 31 members of the security forces were killed in two separate attacks in North Sinai on Friday.

Twenty-eight soldiers were killed — according to the lastest figures reported by local satellite channel CBC — and another 30 injured when a car bomb exploded at the Karm Alkwadis security checkpoint in Sheikh Zuweid.

Just hours later three security personal died when militants opened fire at a checkpoint in nearby Al-Arish.

The death toll in Sheikh Zuweid was the largest number of soldiers to die in a single attack in region.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Few Women on Tunisian Parliamentary Poll Lists

Party leaders call for greater female presence

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCTOBER 23 — Tunisia, despite being the most advanced Arab nation in terms of women’s rights, is still fare from adhering fully to the principles enshrined in the January 2014 Constitution and from abiding by the ratification of international treaties in daily life. Though 47% of candidates for Tunisia’s parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday are women, only 12% of them are on top of the electoral lists of candidates. This is a slight improvement on the previous elections, when the figure was 7%, but still shows a lack of equal opportunities for women. A conference was held on Thursday by top female candidates to support greater participation by women in Tunisia’s political life. Hajer Habchi, coordinator of a project to foster women’s roles in political parties and unions, noted an awareness campaign was launched in September with the cooperation of the European Union that provides for a 7-million-euro aid program.

One of the program’s objectives is women’s inclusion in politics. EU Ambassador to Tunisia Laura Baeza called on all Tunisian women to thoroughly examine electoral programs to make the right choice of MPs, stressing that a parliament with greater female participation would be able to better protect and foster women’s rights.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Suicide Bomber Targets Egyptian Army Post, Kills 5

Egyptian security officials say a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into an army checkpoint in restive Sinai, close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and Israel, killing five soldiers and wounding 16.

The officials say the attack took place Friday in the border area of Karm al-Qawadees in the Sinai Peninsula. They say the death toll is expected to rise because the wounded were in serious condition.

Egypt has seen a surge in attacks and suicide bombings by Islamic militants, especially in the northern Sinai region where they have their strongholds. An Al-Qaeda-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the major attacks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tunisia at the Ballot Box Between Hope and Uncertainty

Blood on vote’s eve, police attacks terrorists, 6 dead

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCT 24 — Tunisians will go to the ballot box, on Sunday, to elect 217 members of parliament under the proportional representation system enshrined in the 2014 Constitution. Over 5 million people will choose their representatives among thousands of candidates belonging to 1327 lists, disseminated in 33 districts, 6 of which are abroad. This is the verifiable data, what remains uncertain is the outcome of the ballot, harder to predict because of an election-poll ban. A vote whose eve has been marked by blood and violence.

Tunisian security forces on Friday stormed a home on the outskirts of Tunis where a group of armed gunmen had been hiding since Thursday after escaping an anti-terror operation in the Kebili region. Six people were reported dead as a consequence of the operation, including five women. Two children were injured.

Sunday’s vote takes place three years after the last elections in a mood of disenchantment, markedly different from the enthusiasm of 2011.

To better understand the reasons behind Tunisia’s current predicament, one needs to recap the country’s post-revolutionary history. The elections of 2011 determined the victory of the coalition led by islamic party Ennhadha together with liberal parties Ettakatol and Congress for the Republic which governed the country in the in the interim period with the name of Troika.

Al-Massar, the Republican Party and the Popular Front represented the opposition supposed to stand for the concerns of the “secular” sectors of Tunisian society. This balancing arrangement soon proved to be weak and in June 2012 veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi created the centrist force Nidaa Tounes to fill the vacuum. This way, the Tunisian political landscape, which at the beginning appeared to be made up of hundreds of new parties, settled around two major poles: the Troika, representing traditional islamic values, and Nidaa together with its allies, which stood for traditional Tunisian nationalism and the reformism of the father of the nation Habib Bourghiba.

However, economic failures coupled with the rise of the terrorist threat and the killing of two leftist members of parliament (Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi) by Salafi groups, brought the government to a standstill and in September 2013 a new technical government led by Mehdi Jomaa took the reins of power. Despite the hiccup, Tunisia was still able to move on with its democratic transition ratifying a new Constitution on January 27 2014. For the Tunisian voter, this fall’s political landscape is similar to the one of 2011, with a hundred-something parties, high risk of vote break-up and low turnout, but the political landscape has polarised around the two main parties Ennhadha and Nidaa Tounes and the ballot will choose which of the two shall lead Tunisia for the next five years. Essebsi, leader of the Nidaa, assured, while campaigning, that he was ruling out any alliance with Ennhadha, stressing that his party ‘s vision of society was much more modern than the one espoused by the islamic party. Ghannouchi has often stated that his party needs no lessons on democracy, Islam or freedom and based his election campaign on “consensus” the fundamental element to lead a country. With the new Constitution coming out in first place at the ballot box is of the utmost importance because the new provisions grants the majority party the right to nominate the next government leader. According to pundits, Essebsi is the frontrunner for the top job and Ennhadha has chosen to put all its eggs in the legislative election basket filing no candidates in the presidential elections. Female presence remains low at the ballot box with only 12% of women heading candidate-lists. Little attention has been dedicated to themes dear to the weakest sections of society as well as unemployment, torture, disability rights and environmental protection The major concerns of the political heavy-weights seem to be the post election political alliances necessary to govern the country after the ballot. With Sunday’s vote and the formation of the next parliament the last phase of the Tunisian transition to democracy will be completed by the election of the first President of the Republic on November 23. The greatest hurdle on the Tunisian political landscape remains the looming terrorist threat, casting an even more menacing shadow after the recent episodes confronted by the Tunisian security forces.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tunisa Closes Borders With Libya for the Next Three Days

Fear of terrorist attacks on the eve of Sunday elections

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCT 24 — Fearing terrorist attacks in the days leading up to Sunday’s elections, Tunisia decided to close its two border-crossings with Lybia, Ras Jedir and Dehiba, for the next three days. The measure does not apply to humanitarian cases, diplomatic missions and people wishing to travel to Libya from Tunisia. The decision was taken by a security committee chaired by Tunisian Premier, Mehdi Jomaa, which reviewed election preparations as well as the counter-terrorism operations undertaken by special forces in Oued Ellil, 12 km from Tunis, where a police officer was killed and others injured yesterday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Stones Thrown at Jewish Kindergarten in Jerusalem

Hundreds at funeral of infant killed in attack

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, OCTOBER 23 — Israeli media reported that “masked Palestinians” threw stones at a Jewish kindergarten on Thursday morning near East Jerusalem. On Wednesday evening, a funeral was held for a three-month-old girl, Haya Zissel Braun, who was killed in an attack earlier in the day when a man Israeli police say is linked to Hamas ran his car into a group of people waiting at a light rail stop.

Hundreds attended the funeral, including Israeli president Reuven Rivlin and Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

“We are seeing,” Rivlin said, “growing incitement (to violence, Ed.) in Arab streets and Jerusalem, incitement that unfortunately is supported by Arab leaders.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Attempted Kidnapping in Turkey Shows Reach of the Islamic State

The men who snatched Abu Issa from the streets of this southeastern city were Turkish gangsters, but their client was the Islamic State, and they had been promised good money to spirit the Syrian rebel commander across the Turkish border into Syria.

The effort ultimately failed, but the story of the brazen daylight kidnapping and its chaotic conclusion has raised troubling questions about the militant group’s growing reach into Turkey, as well as the capacity of the Turkish authorities to contain it.

Yet as the abduction attempt in recent days illustrated, the Islamic State has already established deep roots within Turkey and among the more than 1 million Syrians who have taken refuge there. One indication of that was this month’s discovery in the southeastern city of Gaziantep of a vast quantity of explosives and more than 20 suicide vests that police said were thought to have been stockpiled by the Islamic State.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bodies Strewn in the Streets as Islamic State Captures Another Village

Islamic State wrested a Sunni Muslim village in western Iraq on Thursday from tribal defenders who put up weeks of fierce resistance, and the insurgents tightened a siege of the Yazidi minority on a mountain in the north.

The attacks showed Islamic State’s continued operating resilience despite air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces aimed at defeating the ultra-radical Sunni jihadist group, which has captured large expanses of Iraq and neighboring Syria, beheaded prisoners and massacred people from other religious communities, and declared a medieval-style caliphate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

David Ignatius: Iraq and the U.S. Are Losing Ground to the Islamic State

Jalal al-Gaood, one of the tribal leaders the United States has been cultivating in hopes of rolling back extremists in Iraq, grimly describes how his home town in Anbar province was forced this week to surrender to fighters from the Islamic State.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS ‘Used Chlorine Gas Against Iraqi Forces’ — WaPo

First reported use of chemical weapons by jihadis

(ANSA) — Washington, October 24 — Islamic State (ISIS) has used chlorine gas against Iraqi security forces, the Washington Post said Friday. It said 11 policemen were taken to hospital last month with vomiting, dizziness and respiratory difficulties. It is the first reported case in which the jihadi militants have used chemical weapons.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Sex Slave Reveals Horrific Plight in Captivity and Begs West to Bomb Brothel

“If you know where we are please bomb us… There is no life after this. I’m going to kill myself anyway — others have killed themselves this morning,” she was quoted as saying. “I’ve been raped 30 times and it’s not even lunchtime. I can’t go to the toilet. Please bomb us.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kurds in Kobane Deny Agreement for 1,000 FSA Fighters

Reject Erdogan’s claim they would replace peshmerga militia

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, OCTOBER 24 — Kurdish militia who have been fighting jihadists from the Islamic State (ISIS) in Kobane/Ayn Arab on the Turkish-Syrian border have not forged an agreement enabling over 1,000 anti-regime fighters to reach the besieged city of Kobane, high militia officials said Friday, denying such a claim made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Speaking from Tallin, Erdogan had alleged that Syria’s Kurdish fighters had accepted the help of 1,300 soldiers from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) coming from the nearby region of Aleppo, and thus the number of peshmerga fighters who needed to cross the Turkish border to reach Kobane had gone down to 150.

The leader of the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG), Saleh Muslim was quoted by pan Arab broadcaster al Arabiya as saying that no such agreement had so far been reached with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the platform of non-Islamist rebel fighters.

Muslim however recalled that Kurdish fighters in Kobane and FSA militia have already cooperated and that contacts between the two groups are ongoing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Report: ISIS Used Chemical Weapons Against Iraqi Forces

The US is investigating reports that terror group Islamic State (ISIS) used chemical weapons against the Iraqi military, after separate accounts from both an unnamed Iraqi Defense official and hospital workers treating the victims told authorities that chlorine gas had been used.

Eleven Iraqi policemen were rushed to hospital last month complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath, the Washington Post reported Friday — all symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning. Yellow gas was also seen emanating from the site near where the policemen fell ill.

This is not the first time ISIS has been linked with chemical weapons attacks, officials said — two other reports making similar accusations were raised last month — but it is the strongest corroboration of facts surrounding an ISIS gas attack thus far.

In June, ISIS seized a weapons complex thought to have held hundreds of tons of lethal sarin and mustard gasses: the al-Muthanna complex, located 60 miles north of Baghdad, which was a central base of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program.

While the US State Department waved off rumors that the plant still held chemical weapons, experts stated to the British Telegraph that the chemical residue left at the site could be weaponized regardless — and that ISIS does, in fact, have chemical weapons experience.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Sentences 32 for Terrorism Including 5 Women

Plans for attacks in Qatar and Kuwait; up to 30 years in jail

(by Alessandra Antonelli) (ANSAmed) — DUBAI, OCTOBER 23 — Over thirty people have been sentenced on terrorism charges by a special Saudi court this week, including five women.

The court, set up in 2011 specifically to deal with cases related to terrorist activities, on Wednesday found 14 people guilty of belonging to a terror cell targeting US forces in Qatar, reports Saudi news agency SPA. The cell, which had at least 40 members, had also tried to join a group fighting in Syria that coordinated the movement of men towards Iraq where they were to have taken part in fighting, and of having received military training at Al-Qaeda camps. On Tuesday the court handed down sentences to 13 others of between 18 months an 23 years in jail to 11 Saudis, a Qatari and an Afghan on the same charges. This group, led by a Qatari national, was planning attacks against US targets in Kuwait. Five women — four Saudis and one Yemeni — were instead sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison for joining Al-Qaeda and aiding the terrorist group’s activities, including through financial transfers. The women, sentenced for their “deviant ideas”, had also encouraged their sons to join the fighting in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia has cracked down more heavily on alleged terrorists since a number of attacks were carried out in the country against international and Saudi objectives between 2003 and 2006. In addition to the crackdown, the oil-rich monarchy has initiated prevention and rehabilitation policies, with consultancy and recovery centers for those found guilty of terrorism and those deemed close to “fundamentalist” and “extremist” fringe groups.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Turkey Takes Step to Offer Work Permit to Refugees

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 23 — Turkey will be able to give temporary identification cards to Syrians through a temporary protection decree, according to a new measure published in the Official Gazette yesterday, as daily Hurriyet online reports.

With the move, the government has taken the first step to granting work permission to more than 1.6 million Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey since the civil war broke out over three years ago. The Labor Ministry is now expected to determine in which provinces and sectors Syrians can work across Turkey, according to the 29th article of the decree, which defines access to the labor market. The ministry will then submit its proposal about the scope of refugees under temporary protection to the Cabinet, which will decide whether work permits will be offered or not. These work permits will not be able to be used as a residence permit, according to the decree, and sources say the permits will probably only be effective in large cities across Turkey. Before the Labor Ministry begins to work on its proposal, how many temporary IDs will be given will be determined, sources said, adding that this process is expected to take around six months. Syrian refugee workers in Turkey have limited rights and protection by law. Since most are unable to speak Turkish, many are informally employed as manual laborers in industries such as construction and textiles.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey to End Exploitation of Syrian Refugee Workers

New laws aimed at bringing people out from the black-market

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — As Turkey eyes new laws to bring thousands of Syrian refugees out of the shadowy world of black-market labor, analysts say that these policies need to stamp out exploitation and curb fears among Turkish society as World Bulletin website reports.

Earlier this month Labor Minister Faruk Celik said the country would revise its system of work permits and introduce ID cards for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, bringing them into its employment and welfare system. However, a new survey released this week by Hacettepe University in Ankara has revealed that almost 48% of Turkish respondents totally oppose work permits for refugees.

Almost 30% backed temporary work permits for fixed-term jobs and well over half of respondents — 56% — believe that Syrians have taken away their jobs. This number jumps to almost 70% in Turkey’s southeast, where most refugees reside.

According to the Hacettepe University report, by October 2014 Turkey was hosting over 1.5 million Syrian people — with 1.4 million of these living outside of official camps. Based on data from the country’s Interior Ministry, 72 of 81 Turkish provinces are currently home to Syrians who have fled their country. This leaves huge numbers of vulnerable refugees working in a parallel world of undocumented labor. Syrians in Turkey are currently under temporary protection, but as their stay is turning out to be more than temporary, such legislation is aimed at making their legal status clear.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ancient City Ruled by Genghis Khan’s Heirs Revealed

Remains of a 750-year-old city, founded by the descendents of Genghis Khan, have been unearthed along the Volga River in Russia.

Among the discoveries are two Christian temples one of which has stone carvings and fine ceramics.

The city’s name was Ukek and it was founded just a few decades after Genghis Khan died in 1227. After the great conqueror’s death his empire split apart and his grandson Batu Khan, who lived from 1205 to 1255, founded the Golden Horde (also called the Kipchak Khanate).The Golden Horde kingdom stretched from Eastern Europe to Central Asia and controlled many of the Silk Road trade routes that connected China to Medieval Europe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Russia Seizes Banned EU Meat Disguised as Chewing Gum

Russian customs officers are struggling to digest a new smuggling scam after some 600 tonnes of banned meat from Europe were discovered disguised as other items such as chewing gum.

Officials in northwestern Russia made the finds in refrigerated containers shipped from Antwerp, Hamburg and Rotterdam, the country’s agricultural safety agency said Friday.

“While searching 26 refrigerated containers whose accompanying documents said they contained frozen mushrooms, juice, fruit jellies and chewing gum, they discovered meat and fatback pork produced in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland,” the agency said in a statement.

Russia this summer imposed sweeping bans on food products from the European Union in retaliation for tough sanctions imposed on Moscow over its meddling in Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ghulam Azam, “Spiritual” Leader of Bangladesh’s Islamic Fundamentalists, Is Dead

The politician died at the age of 92. He was in prison serving a 90-year sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the War of Liberation from Pakistan (1971). After the war, he launched a campaign to prevent the recognition of Bangladesh by Muslim countries.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — Ghulam Azam, the controversial leader of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islam fundamentalist party, died last night at 8 pm after being rushed to Banabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). He was 92.

In prison since 2013, he was serving a 90-year sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the War of Liberation from Pakistan (1971).

Azam’s family, which was given the body, criticised the government for not announcing his death sooner.

Praised as Jamaat’s spiritual leader”, Ghulam Azam was convicted on 15 July 2013 by an international war crimes tribunal in Dhaka for murder, torture of civilians, conspiracy, incitement and complicity in genocide.

Because of his advanced age, he was spared the death penalty in accordance with the law. Instead, he was given a sentence to 90 years in prison, which triggered strong reactions right away. His party called for a general strike (hartal). Its militants went on a rampage across the country, calling for his acquittal.

By contrast, lay activists from the Gonojagoron Mancha deemed the sentence too light, and called for the death penalty.

Considered “the greatest traitor” in the history of Bangladesh, Ghulam Azam planned all the activities of groups like the Peace Committee, Razakar, al-Badr and al-Shams.

During the War of Independence, he backed the Pakistan Army against the forces of liberation.

After the war, he went abroad looking for support from other Muslim countries to prevent them from not recognising the newly formed People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

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

Lost Innocence in Pakistan as Sexual Abuse and Violence Against Children Grows

In 2013, more than 3,000 cases of sexual abuse were reported, but the extent of the problem is even greater. Among the more than 1.5 million children living on the streets, 90 per cent are victims of violence. Although Pakistan has ratified the UN convention, there are still no laws or programmes to protect children. Criminal organisations are also behind abuse and exploitation.

Lahore (AsiaNews) — Despite having signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan has never adopted laws or policies to protect and shield children from exploitation, abuse and sexual violence, this according to activist groups and human rights organisations who have called on the authorities and civil society groups to work more closely together to protect minors.

One thing stands out in a recent survey, which gives an idea of the severity of the problem. Four million children are forced to work — often hard work — from an early age. A million of them have to live rough on the streets where they are easy prey to violence.

Pakistan, a nation of more than 170 million inhabitants, is characterised by widespread poverty, limited education opportunities and far-reaching backwardness in many segments of the population and in large parts of the country.

A high level of poverty, lack of parental supervision, a high rate birth rate and inadequate policies are among the leading causes of sexual offenses,

The data confirm the seriousness of the problem. In 2013, more than 3,000 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded. In more than 1,400 cases, the perpetrator was an acquaintance, followed by strangers (1,067 cases), family members (85), neighbours (74) or immediate blood relatives (70).

However, the numbers could be much higher since many cases go unreported — in the workplace or at home — because of shame and fear.

The problem of the widespread poverty of some families, which leads to hardship and neglect, is compounded by the presence of criminal gangs that exploit children, including in the sex trade, for financial gain.

The group most at risk are street kids, with 90 per cent of the 1.5 million experiencing some form of abuse. What is more, the trend is getting worse.

In terms of gender, females suffer sexual violence and abuse the most (71 per cent), especially women and girls working as maids and baby-sitters, aged 11 to 15.

In addition to laws and rules that protect children and punish the guilty, human rights organisations want the government to adopt programmes to help young victims and treat, above all, their “psychological wounds”, which last well into adulthood.

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

Three Afghan Children Die in Fire During Taliban Attack

House blaze during firefight

(ANSA) — Kabul, October 23 — Three Afghan children died when their house burned down Wednesday night in Helmand province, the Pajhwok news agency said Thursday.

The house reportedly caught fire during a firefight between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rapa Nui Genes Suggest Pre-Columbian Voyage

Evidence for contact between Polynesians from Easter Island and South Americans sometime before 1500 A.D. has been found in the genomes of 27 living Rapa Nui islanders, according to a report in Science. European and Native American DNA patterns were found in the modern Rapa Nui genomes. The Native American DNA patterns accounted for about eight percent of the Rapa Nui genomes, and they were broken up and scattered, suggesting that genetic recombination had been at work on the material for some time.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boko Haram ‘Abducts Another 60 Girls’ — Misna

Despite last week’s reported peace deal

(ANSA) — Rome, October 23 — Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has abducted “at least” another 60 schoolgirls in the northeastern area it controls despite a peace deal announced last week, Catholic missionary news agency MISNA said Thursday.

According to a reported October 17 ceasefire deal with the Lagos government, the scores of schoolgirls already held by the militants were to be freed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Increases West Africa Ebola Aid to One Bn Euros

Experimental vaccines for West Africa by December says WHO

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 24 — The European Union will increase financial aid for the fight against Ebola in West Africa to one billion euros, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy tweeted Friday.

Meanwhile in Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) Adjunct Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny said experimental Ebola vaccines may be ready for testing in West Africa by December.

The Ebola outbreak has been reportedly contained in Nigeria and Senegal, which were declared Ebola-free by WHO on October 20 and 17, respectively.

The epidemic continues in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the virus had killed 4,868 people and infected 9,911 as of October 22, according to the United States-based Centers for Disease Control

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Dutch Battle Surge of Desperate, Violent Muslim Refugees

Nasir Galid fled Somalia hoping for a better, safer life. Instead, he died in an Amsterdam hospital five days after being attacked in a garage where he was living with other homeless immigrants.

Galid, 26, was one of about 100 refugees who have been roaming the Dutch capital for more than two years, occupying empty offices, abandoned garages and a disused church. All of them were supposed to have left the country after Dutch authorities rejected their asylum claims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Military Immigrant Program Halted

A popular military enlistment program for immigrants with specialized skills is now stuck in bureaucratic limbo — after the Pentagon announced last month it would begin allowing some young immigrants without legal status into the program.

Army officials confirmed Thursday that the program, called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, has been suspended while the service tries to finalize screening procedures for the immigrants who want to enlist.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/24/2014

  1. Re: “Islamic State sex slave… begs West to bomb Brothel.” This is reminiscent of similar pleas from Jewish organisations in WW2, for the Allies to bomb concentration camps. They failed to do so, reasoning that the priority was to defeat the Nazis so that the genocide would be stopped overall. Now as then, I’m grateful I don’t have to decide.

  2. 25/10/14

    BBC online front page News Headline – 2nd top headline strap, reads more like memorial verses in praise of the Jihadist.
    Hyperlinks to –

    Fourth Portsmouth man Mehdi Hassan killed in Syria

    Mehdi Hassan said he would never return to the UK (First broadcast on October 20 2014)

    A fourth man from Portsmouth who went to fight in Syria for Islamic State (IS) is believed to have been killed.

    Mehdi Hassan, 19, travelled to the country with a group of four other men in October 2013.

    A photo of his body emerged on Twitter on Friday and his family confirmed earlier to their local mosque they had received news of his death.

    Iftekar Jaman, Mamunur Roshid and Hamidur Rahman have previously been killed in the fighting.

    In a statement, the Foreign Office said it had not received any reports about Mr Hassan’s death but was “aware of reports about the death of a British national in Syria”.

    ‘Well mannered boy’

    Chairman of the Portsmouth Jami Mosque, Abdul Jalil, said: “It has been confirmed with the family that he has died. Right now they are very upset.

    “I am saddened and again shocked for the community about this news.”

    It is thought he died in Kobane.

    A family friend, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: “Mehdi Hassan was a polite well mannered boy and always spoke to elders with respect.

    “He had a good family upbringing. It’s a shame, he would have been a valuable member to Portsmouth society.”

    On 17 October, a tweet from an account believed to be linked to Mr Hassan said: “Between 20-40 us strikes daily in ayn al arab [the Syrian town of of Kobane]. Alhamdulillah they are spending $10’s of billions…against themselves.

    Group travelling to Syria Mehdi Hassan travelled with four other friends from Portsmouth in October last year.

    Emma Vardy, Home Affairs correspondent, BBC South:

    “Earlier this year Mehdi’s mother had herself travelled to the Turkish border to try to find out more about what led her son to leave his home behind.

    His family said he used to phone home when he could, sometimes every couple of months or so.

    Mr Hassan’s death will not only be felt within his community, but also on social media.

    He accumulated a considerable online following during his time in Syria and often posted tweets about his time in the conflict.

    At one time, he hosted a question and answers session on Facebook for friends back home.

    He discussed everything from what the Syrian food was like, to the prospect of facing his own death.

    Amongst extremist fighters online, news of a death is not mourned, but celebrated. They are said to have achieved their aim of ‘martyrdom’.

    But here in Portsmouth it will be felt very differently.

    The Bangladeshi community now has four families who have lost their sons in Syria.

    Many here simply feel great sadness, that this group of young, once well-liked men, conspired together to chose this path.”

    On Tuesday, the mosque confirmed Mr Roshid, 24, had died. He left the UK with Mr Hassan, Mr Rahman, Assad Uzzaman, and Mashudur Choudhury.

    Choudhury returned to the UK after a few weeks and was arrested at Gatwick Airport.

    In May, he became the first person in the UK to be convicted of terrorist offences in connection with the conflict in Syria.

    Mr Uzzaman is still believed to be in Syria.

    Britain’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, has said at least five Britons are travelling to Iraq and Syria to join IS every week.

    An estimated 500 are already fighting with the group.

  3. Best of luck dealing only with the symptoms and not the disease. One day the EU may have to feed the taqiyah artists another former reliable allie’s limb as with Serbian Kosovo.

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