Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/26/2014

According to German intelligence, the Islamic State now possesses shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The anti-aircraft missiles are of Russian origin, and at some point belonged to the Syrian army. They are capable of shooting down passenger airliners at low altitudes.

In other news, the Parliament Hill jihadi Michael Zehaf Bibeau reportedly prepared a video prior to his deadly attacks last week. The RCMP say they are in the process of analyzing the footage, and are not ready to release it yet. However, we can rest assured that the video has nothing to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, 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
» 25 European Banks Fail Stress Test
» Gulf States Risk Deficit as Oil Price Falls: IMF Head
» Italy: EC Tells Renzi Govt to Explain Budget ‘Deviation’
» Italy: Napolitano Says EU Chiefs May Have Austerity Guilt
» Merkel Says She Appreciates ‘Very Much’ Mario Draghi’s Work
» Geert Wilders: ‘Nothing is Being Done to Make Our Own Countries Safe’
» ‘Lone Wolf, ‘ or ‘Known Wolf’? the Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure
» Man Who Attacked NYPD Cops With Hatchet Wanted to Kill White People, Dad Says
» Under Pressure: Cuomo Loosens Policy for Ebola Quarantines
» White House Presses States to Reverse Ebola Quarantine
» Canadian Hockey Fans Pay Tribute to Soldiers Killed in Attacks
» Ottowa Gunman Prepared Video
Europe and the EU
» Adding Crime to Economy May Cost Italy 340 Mn Euros
» Councillor From French Far-Right Party Front National Converts to Islam — And Urges Others to Follow
» Defiant Renzi Says Italy ‘Not in EU to be Lectured’
» EU Leaders Reach Deal on Combatting Climate Change
» Finnish Defence Minister Criticizes Swedish “Sub Hunt”
» France: Hollande Popularity Falls Significantly
» Germany Struggles to Counter ISIS Appeal, as More Than 450 Leave for Syria
» Italy: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Helps Prevent Bowel Cancer, Study
» Italy: Soccer: No to Racism, Campaign in Champions, Europa League
» Italy: Democratic Party is Arid, Says Lazio’s Regional President
» Italy: Two Health Workers Quarantined in Lombardy Due to Ebola Risk
» Italy: Riina’s Lawyer to Question Napolitano, If President Agrees
» Italy: 26% of Hospitals Fail Childbirth Limit
» Madonna Likes Suor Cristina’s Like a Virgin
» Radical Islamic Cleric Declares British Law is Invalid… In Britain
» Rome a Leading European City for Sorting Garbage
» Soccer: Blatter to Forward Italian Tech Proposal
» UK Man Charged Under Terrorism Laws
Middle East
» David Cameron Urged to Press Emir of Qatar on Terror Funds
» Family Disowns Lecturer Who Joined ‘Islamic State’
» Iraq: Kurdish Video Mocks ISIS, “We Are Beaded, Dirty and Filthy. We Are Brainless”
» ISIS Has Anti-Aircraft Missiles, German Intelligence Says
» Kurdistan Will Send Armaments Not Peshmerga to Kobane
» Kuwait: Better Late Than Never
» Men Who Disfigured Women With Acid in Iran Released
» Now ISIS Threatens to Kill British Jihadis Who Want to Return Home: At Least 30 Britons Planning to Flee Syria After Young Muslim From Portsmouth is Killed Fighting for Terror Group
» The Islamic State “Is the World’s Richest Terrorist Group”
» The Kurds in Turkey and the Fight for Kobani
» Ukraine Votes Without Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk
South Asia
» Afghan Cleric Jailed for Raping 11-Year-Old Girl
» Afghan Cleric Sentenced to 20 Years for Raping Young Girl
» Afghanistan: U. S. And UK Forces Cede Control of Southwest
» India: Delhi Chokes on Toxic Smog After Festival of Lights
Far East
» Hong Kong: Opposition Divided, Referendum Cancelled
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Cameroonian Troops Kill 39 Nigerian Boko Haram Islamists
» Nigeria: 30 Teenagers Abducted in Northeast
Latin America
» President Rousseff Favourite to Win Re-Election in Brazil
» The Bishop Deposed in Paraguay. The Defense Speaks
» Uruguay Goes to Polls to Choose Successor to Pepe Mujica
Culture Wars
» Italy: Gay Dance Teacher Quits Due to Allegedly Homophobic Parents
» Climate Change Proved to be ‘Nothing But a Lie’, Claims Top Meteorologist
» Implicit Aptitude Tests Show Whites Have Faith in “Magic Negroes”

25 European Banks Fail Stress Test

Banks in Europe are 25 billion euros, or $31.7 billion, short of the money they would need to survive a financial or economic crisis, the European Central Bank said on Sunday. That conclusion was a result of a yearlong audit of eurozone lenders that is potentially a turning point for the region’s battered economy.

The E.C.B. said that 25 banks in the eurozone showed shortfalls in their own money, or capital, after a review devised to uncover hidden problems and test their ability to withstand a sharp recession or other crisis. Of the 25, 12 have already raised enough capital to make up the shortfall, the central bank said. It did not immediately name the banks.

The highly anticipated assessment of European banks was intended to remove a cloud of mistrust that has impeded lending in countries like Italy and Greece and left the entire eurozone struggling to avoid lapsing back into recession. By exposing the relatively small number of sick banks — of the 130 under review — the central bank aims to make it easier for the healthier ones to raise money that they can lend to customers.

[Return to headlines]

Gulf States Risk Deficit as Oil Price Falls: IMF Head

Oil-dependent Gulf states will face budget shortfalls if the recent decline in oil prices persists, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned. A sustained decline of $25 a barrel in the oil price would reduce the revenues of most Gulf countries by eight percent of gross domestic product, “and put many of them into a fiscal deficit situation,” Lagarde said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: EC Tells Renzi Govt to Explain Budget ‘Deviation’

Renzi defiant in Brussels, tells Barroso ‘no more secrets’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 23 — The Italian government has received a letter from the European Commission asking for clarifications about its 2015 budget bill, the economy ministry said Thursday. In the letter, the EC said Italy risks deviating significantly from medium-term budget targets agreed to with the European Union.

“Preliminary analysis…shows Italy has planned a significant deviation from the adjustments requested to reach the 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 recently put off the target year for structurally balancing the budget from 2015 to 2017.

The government 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 of over two trillion euros.

The 2015 budget features a 36-billion-euro adjustment, with 18 billion euros in tax cuts and 15 billion euros in cuts generated from a review of public spending and four billion raised from the fight against tax evasion.

Renzi said that around 11 billion euros of financial coverage for the cuts will come from allowing Italy’s deficit-to-GDP ratio to drift up towards the 3% threshold allowed by the EU.

But there is speculation that the European Commission may not see the budget plan as compatible with the EU’s Growth and Stability Pact and ask for corrections.

“The Italian government will respond to the request for clarification by tomorrow,” the ministry said as the central bank also weighed in on the issue amid fears of sanctions from the EC.

The Italian government made “a reasoned choice” in postponing balancing the budget in structural terms until 2017 to avoid “a downward spiral” in the national economy “given the exceptional duration and depth of the recession,” the Bank of Italy said.

Also on Thursday, outgoing European Commission President José Manuel Barroso berated the release of the letter in Italy.

“The Commission was not in favour because we are in a phase of negotiations and consultations with several governments,” he said, adding that “most” Italian media outlets have published “lies” and “inventions” about work by him and by the EC. Later in Brussels, Renzi belittled Barroso’s comments.

“The time of secret letters is over,” Renzi said. “This is the time of clarity and transparency. I’m astonished Barroso was surprised we published the letter”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Napolitano Says EU Chiefs May Have Austerity Guilt

President points out word not mentioned in summit document

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Friday that some senior European Union figures may have a guilt complex about the austerity policies the bloc has pursued. “I read the draft of the document of the European Council (summit) and I noticed that the term austerity does not appear this time,” Napolitano said. “To avoid controversy, someone has agreed not to mention it. Maybe they were motivated by some guilt complex”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Says She Appreciates ‘Very Much’ Mario Draghi’s Work

German chancellor says ECB chief ‘does a great job’

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 24 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that she “appreciates very much the work of Mario Draghi,” the president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

She added that Draghi “does a great job for the eurozone”.

Merkel spoke at a press conference at the conclusion of a meeting of eurozone leaders where Draghi urged member States to work collectively to keep the region’s economy out of recession.

Merkel said she also appreciated “the independence of the ECB”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Geert Wilders: ‘Nothing is Being Done to Make Our Own Countries Safe’

I am sitting with Geert Wilders, leader of the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, and the news has just flashed that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Canadian convert to Islam who terrorized Ottawa on Wednesday, had previously had his passport lifted by the Canadian government as an officially designated “high-risk traveller.”

That means that before Zehaf-Bibeau put a bullet through the heart of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a young reservist standing guard with an unloaded rifle at the Canadian war memorial, and before Zehaf-Bibeau rushed into parliament where, thankfully, he was gunned down by security before he could murder again, Canadian authorities had already identified him as someone likely to join the jihad in the Middle East. In fact, so likely was Zehaf-Bibeau to join a jihadist group such as ISIS that Canada did what many Western governments are now doing in the name of counter-terrorism: they took Zehaf-Bibeau’s passport away.

“That’s the same as the other one!” Wilders notes energetically, referring to Martin Couture-Rouleau, also an Islamic convert and “high-risk traveller,” who drove his car into two Canadian soldiers in Quebec earlier in the week, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Couture-Rouleau, who was shot dead at the scene of his crime, had had his passport taken from him in July when he was arrested at the airport before he could travel to Turkey.

In other words, but for good Canadian police work, it looks as if both of these Islam-inspired murderers would have left Canada and disappeared into the bloody maw of the Islamic State. Phew — that was close?

No, that was insane. Such a policy, which the Dutch government also follows, frustrates Geert Wilders to no end.

“Let them leave,” says Wilders. “Let them leave, or detain them. I find it incomprehensible that Western governments stop people who want to leave to fight for jihad in Syria or Iraq.” Let them go and never let them return, Wilders says, or, with sufficient evidence, detain them. While the West combats the Islamic State, he points out, “nothing is being done to make our own countries safe.”

Wilders supports the US-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State, and is proud of the Dutch F-16s that are flying combat missions. He points out, however, that such action in the Middle East is “not an excuse not to do anything domestically.”

But not doing anything domestically — anything, that is, that protects our liberties at home from the encroachments of Islam and its body of repressive, supremacist, and misogynistic laws known as “sharia” — perfectly describes the Western response in the post-9/11 era. It is such policies of appeasement that Geert Wilders has been combating for more than a decade as a Dutch MP and also leader of the Party for Freedom.

It is these same policies of appeasement that have made the Netherlands and other Western nations into havens for supporters of even the most bloodthirsty factions in Islam, including the Islamic State, whose supporters now boldly wave their black flags of jihad in the middle of Amsterdam, menacing Jews and Christians alike.

In a recent speech to parliament, Wilders cited a study showing that nearly three-quarters of ethnic Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands consider that those who leave to fight in Syria are “heroes.” This isn’t much different from 13 years ago, when, Wilders pointed out, roughly the same percentage of Dutch Muslims condoned the 9/11 attacks. These are shocking figures. They provide more evidence of the failure of Muslims immigrants to assimilate into Dutch culture — a failure repeated throughout Europe where de facto Islamic sharia colonies obliterate indigenous local culture. Little wonder a large percentage of Dutch — two-thirds, according to a June poll Wilders cites — now believe Islamic culture does not belong in the Netherlands…

[Return to headlines]

‘Lone Wolf, ‘ or ‘Known Wolf’? the Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Patrick Poole

An extensive report shows how U.S. law enforcement missteps and dangerous policies keep getting people killed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Man Who Attacked NYPD Cops With Hatchet Wanted to Kill White People, Dad Says

The father of the Navy veteran who attacked four New York City police officers with a hatchet earlier this week wanted to kill white people, his father told reporters Saturday.

Ralph Thompson told the New York Post that his son Zale “committed suicide” when he attacked the officers in Jamaica, Queens Thursday evening, striking two of them before he was fatally shot.

“And he was taking one of y’all with him,” the elder Thompson added, later clarifying that the “y’all” was a reference to white people.

“He just said, ‘They have to pay for all their unfairness,’“ Ralph Thompson added. “Unfairness for the way they treat black people.”

The Post reported that three of the four officers Thompson attacked are white, while the fourth is Hispanic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Under Pressure: Cuomo Loosens Policy for Ebola Quarantines

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday night outlined New York State’s mandatory quarantine policy for health care workers returning from West African nations with Ebola outbreaks, bringing the state closer into line with federal protocols and marking a significant break with the way the policy has been carried out in New Jersey.

The announcement comes after the Obama administration pressed New York to rescind its order, issued only two days ago in a joint press conference with New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie. New Jersey officials, who stood by their decision on Sunday, have yet to explain many details of their quarantine policy. The state has come under scathing criticism for the treatment of a nurse returning from Sierra Leone, who was forced into quarantine in a hastily erected tent at a New Jersey hospital even though she had not displayed any signs of illness and tested negative for Ebola.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the treatment of the nurse, Kaci Hickox, had been shameful and vowed that New York City would do all it could to honor the work of the health care workers here and those who go to help fight the epidemic in West Africa.

[Return to headlines]

White House Presses States to Reverse Ebola Quarantine

The Obama administration has been pushing the governors of New York and New Jersey to reverse their decision ordering all medical workers returning from West Africa who had contact with Ebola patients to be quarantined, an administration official said.

But on Sunday both governors, Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey, stood by their decision saying that the federal guidelines did not go far enough.

At the same time, the first person to be forced into isolation under the new protocols, Kaci Hickox, a nurse returning from Sierra Leone, planned to mount a legal challenge to the quarantine order. Despite having no symptoms, she has been kept under quarantine at a hospital in New Jersey. On Sunday, she spoke to CNN about the way she has been treated, describing it as “inhumane.”

[Return to headlines]

Canadian Hockey Fans Pay Tribute to Soldiers Killed in Attacks

Players on opposing teams formed a circle at center ice as hockey made a stirring return to Ottawa on Saturday night.

Fans, many wearing red and waving Canadian flags, paid their respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent as part of a poignant ceremony prior to the Senators’ game against the New Jersey Devils.

Glow sticks were handed out to fans as they entered the arena, and they stood in place of candles while the home of the Senators hosted a public, national vigil.

It was the first hockey game in Ottawa since Wednesday’s attack on Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial, where Cirillo was shot and killed. Vincent died in a hit-and-run attack Monday near Montreal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ottowa Gunman Prepared Video

Canadian police say a gunman who shot and killed a soldier at the national war memorial and then stormed Parliament before he was gunned down had prepared a video recording of himself prior to the attack.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said in a statement on Sunday that the video is “persuasive evidence that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack was driven by ideological and political motives”.

A detailed analysis of the video is being conducted. Paulson says they cannot release the video at this time…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Adding Crime to Economy May Cost Italy 340 Mn Euros

Newspaper says changes to GDP measures means 9 countries owe EU

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 24 — Italy may be hit with a 340-million euro bill by the European Union, likely because its new rules on calculating economic growth to include earnings from crimes like prostitution have increased the size of the Italian economy, a British newspaper suggested Friday.

The Financial Times, citing leaked EU documents, said that the new methodology means several countries that were given a break on remittances to the EU because of their initially lower GDP figures must now pay back some of those savings.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country has been hit with the largest bill in the EU at 2.1 billion euros, is outraged and is organizing an emergency summit of European leaders to push back, the newspaper said.

Cameron has already met with his counterpart from the Netherlands Mark Rutte, whose country faces a bill of almost 643 million euros. But with only nine countries reportedly facing higher bills and 19 receiving rebates, achieving unity may be difficult, said the newspaper.

The EU response has been mixed, it added.

While some EU officials say the new bills related to routine reconciliations of national accounts, others connected the bills with the new methods of including crimes in measuring the total size of the economy. Earlier in the year, countries including Italy changed their accounting methods in calculating the total output of the economy, or gross domestic product, in accordance with new EU measures that called for inclusion of proceeds from crimes.

By the new calculations, the Italian economy was flat in the first quarter rather than negative which, combined with losses in the second quarter, would have meant the country was in recession.

And in Britain, September GDP figures doubled to 5% from earlier calculations of 2.5% GDP growth, explaining its high bill.

At the same time in Italy, figures for the national sales tax were also adjusted, dating back to 1995, raising the new bill for Italy.

According to newspaper, the precise bills have not yet been worked out but Germany and France appear to have overpaid in the past and may get EU rebates of 779 million euros and 1.02 billion euros respectively.

Belgium, Denmark and Spain are also likely to receive rebates, the newspaper said.

Bills are to be settled on the first working day of December under the EU’s calculations, which are reportedly very complex and opaque.

The story broke as European Union leaders, including Italy’s Matteo Renzi, were meeting in Brussels and has created some controversy there.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Councillor From French Far-Right Party Front National Converts to Islam — And Urges Others to Follow

A local councillor representing Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the Front National, has announced he has converted to Islam — and has urged fellow party members to do the same.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Defiant Renzi Says Italy ‘Not in EU to be Lectured’

Italy-EU may agree to 0.3% not 0.1% structural deficit cut

(ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — Premier Matteo Renzi said Friday in Brussels that debate at the European Union summit that just ended was “tough and intense, as always”. There are “no particular worries or concerns” over Italy’s 2015 budget, the premier added. “We will close what needs to be closed in the next few hours,” Renzi told reporters after the meeting of EU leaders.

An agreement with the EU may see the Italian budget’s structural deficit reduced by 0.3% instead of the 0.1% in the original budget document, sources told ANSA. Renzi would not comment directly on the report, but said only: “We will be close, you’ll see”.

Italians should know his government’s structural and economic reforms “are right for the country” and are not being implemented on demand by the European Union.

“This is a government that respects everyone but won’t stop for anyone,” he went on, adding that Italy must stand tall in Europe.

“We need a stronger, prouder, more determined Italian presence,” Renzi said after an EU summit. “Italy gives Europe 20 billion euros a year and gets 10 billion back. Our strength and authority is out of the question and we are not here to be lectured or reprimanded”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Leaders Reach Deal on Combatting Climate Change

Summit agrees to reduce greenhouse gases by 40%

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 24 — European Union leaders have reached a deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change after tough negotiations at a summit in Brussels.

The deal will see the EU cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

The binding agreement also forces the union to increase the use of renewable energy to 27% of the total and increase energy efficiency.

The agreement was a compromise between nations in favour of bigger greenhouse cuts and several countries, especially those reliant on coal such as Poland, that fear cuts will harm their economies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Finnish Defence Minister Criticizes Swedish “Sub Hunt”

The Finnish defence minister has criticised the way the Swedish armed forces dealt with the hunt for the suspected “foreign underwater activity” in the Stockholm archipelago last week.

Carl Haglund says that the Finnish military would not have gone public with the information about the search if they were not completely sure about the observations which triggered the hunt. “If the observations can’t be turned into proof, then we wouldn’t start a farce”, he said, according to Swedish Radio News.

But Haglund’s Swedish colleague, defence minister Peter Hultqvist has defended the Swedish military, saying it is understandable that the armed forces would inform the public about a large-scale operation taking place in the archipelago.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Hollande Popularity Falls Significantly

(AGI) Paris, Oct 25 — Some 84 percent of French people are against President Francois Hollande running in the 2017 elections, with only 4 percent believing that he was the best Socialist party candidate, a survey published in the French daily newspaper Le Parisien shows. The survey, carried out by the Odoxa Institute illustrates the huge decline in the president’s popularity, amid economic decline and a private life dogged by scandal. Two weeks before the end of his five-year mandate, Mr Hollande has become the lowest-rated French President; only 63 percent of people were opposed to his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy running again. The disaffection of the Left is particularly noticeable, with 71 percent of party sympathisers and 65 percent of party members opposed to him standing for re-election. Only seven percent of French Socialist Party (PSF) sympathisers would be prepared to vote for Mr Hollande were the presidential primaries to be held now.

In contrast, 47 percent would support Martine Aubry and 36 percent would support the current prime minister, Manuel Valls.

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

Germany Struggles to Counter ISIS Appeal, as More Than 450 Leave for Syria

At Berlin’s inner-city Carl von Ossietzky high school, Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is on everyone’s lips, says history and politics teacher Nalan Kilic.

The pupils, the overwhelming majority of whom have a Turkish background and are Muslim, are anxious to talk about Islamic State’s advance, the Syria crisis, the videos they have all seen on Facebook and WhatsApp, and the radical Islam that has convinced hundreds of youths of the same age to leave Germany for the Middle East.

“Everybody is asking about it, it is all over the television,” said Kilic.

Authorities estimate at least 450 people have travelled from Germany to Syria to join jihadist forces, part of a European contingent of around 3,000.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Helps Prevent Bowel Cancer, Study

110,000 Italians diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year

(ANSA) — Rome, October 23 — The consumption of adequate amounts of extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent bowel cancer, new research has shown.

The study, conducted by researchers at Rome’s Biomedical University and the University of Teramo in conjunction with the University of Camerino and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, shows how extra-virgin oilve oil increases the expression of the tumor-suppressor gene CNR1. This in turn expresses a receptor that regulates the mechanisms underpinning the alteration of genes sensitive to environmental factors such as diet. The study “reinforces the fact that an appropriate diet can help prevent cancer but also other common pathologies such as neurological disorders, obesity and diabetes,” said Mauro Maccarrone, a lecturer in biochemistry at Rome’s Biomedical University. The results also show that “changes (…) deriving from environmental factors, and therefore from diet, are potentially reversible” he added.

Bowel cancer is the second form of cancer after breast cancer to affect women and the third form of cancer after lung and prostate cancer to affect men.

In Italy around 40,000 women and 70,000 men are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Soccer: No to Racism, Campaign in Champions, Europa League

Platini, soccer inclusive towards ethnic groups, culture, faith

(by Francesco Tedesco) (ANSAmed) — NAPLES, OCTOBER 21 — There is no place for racism, discrimination and intolerance in soccer. This is the message to be sent out this week across soccer fields where European club championships — the Champions League and Europa League — will be played, as part of the awareness campaign promoted by the European network Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

Starting on Tuesday night through Thursday, the video “No to racism” will be screened across stadiums hosting 40 Champions League and Europa League matches, as well as by broadcasters, and special announcements will be made in stadiums. The campaign’s symbols will also be printed on the games’ schedules.

The teams will be accompanied on the field by children wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “No to racism” and captains will wear the same slogan on their armbands.

“UEFA, association members and the FARE network share the unshakable desire to confront all forms of discrimination in soccer and give this message to all of Europe. Led by this determination, we have adopted a resolution at the UEFA congress last May 13 aimed at sending a strong message on our fight against racism and we will continue to use the ‘No to racism’ campaign to show our dedication and make sure soccer is tolerant and inclusive towards people of every color, culture and faith”.

“We are proud that our week of action has become the biggest social message in European sport with the involvement of small associations as well as big soccer clubs and national teams”, said the executive director of the FARE network, Piara Powar.

The anti-racism resolution adopted by UEFA in May provides for all national federations to boost efforts to eliminate racism in soccer and harshen sanctions against discriminations.

The resolution encourages referees to suspend or hold matches behind closed doors in case of racist incidents, and provides for players or club officials to be disqualified for ten days in case of racist conduct.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Democratic Party is Arid, Says Lazio’s Regional President

(AGI) Viterbo, Oct 25 — In an interview with news magazine Panorama D’Italia, Lazio’s regional president, Nicola Zingaretti, said the Democratic Party (PD) convention in Florence and the union rally in Piazza San Giovanni are two events that emphasise the great vitality within the centre-left PD, even if they are on different sides. “As a member of the PD I feel that the party’s life is rather arid. The word ‘guest’ affected me, since those issuing invitations admit they are inviting someone to a place they consider their home, rather than everyone’s home,” said Zingaretti.

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

Italy: Two Health Workers Quarantined in Lombardy Due to Ebola Risk

Asymptomatic, possibly exposed to deadly virus in Sierra Leone

(ANSA) — Milan, October 24 — Two Italian health workers were placed under quarantine in Lombardy after being repatriated from Sierra Leone last week, a report said Friday.

The 60-year-old doctor and 30-year-old midwife were flown home after suspicion they had been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus during a humanitarian mission to Africa, according to newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. Neither doctor presents symptoms. Quarantine is precautionary. The doctor and obstetrician worked from June through last week with the association Medici con l’Africa Cuamm in Pujehun, Sierra Leone — one of the three African countries worst hit by the devastating Ebola outbreak. The pair were exposed to the risk of contagion during their work due to a breach in health protocol not of their own doing. Both must remain isolated in their homes until early November.

Cuamm called the quarantine “standard procedure that one follows in these cases”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Riina’s Lawyer to Question Napolitano, If President Agrees

Head of State set to give evidence on October 28

(ANSA) — Palermo, October 24 — The lawyer of jailed Cosa Nostra boss Totò Riina will be able to question President Giorgio Napolitano when the head of State gives evidence on October 28 to a trial into alleged negotiations between the Mafia and the State, a Palermo court ruled Friday. However, the court stressed that Napolitano’s consent was “essential” for Riina’s lawyer to question him, due to his Constitutional prerogatives as president. It upheld a request from Riina’s defence lawyer, Luca Cianferoni, to ask Napolitano about events in 1993 and 1994, and therefore issues different to those originally stipulated by the judges. Napolitano will give evidence to the trial from the presidential palace in Rome. The trial is into alleged negotiations to stop a series of Cosa Nostra bomb attacks in the early 1990s that claimed the lives of anti-Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992, and continued with fatal bombings of art sites in 1993.

Riina, who is known as the ‘beast’ as he is the bloodiest Cosa Nostra boss in history, is among the defendants, along with fellow top mobster Leoluca Bagarella.

Nicola Mancino, a former interior minister and Senate Speaker, is also on trial for alleged perjury, which he denies.

Napolitano was originally called to give evidence about a letter he received in June 2012 from a legal advisor, Loris D’Ambrosio.

In that letter D’Ambrosio, who died shortly after writing it in July 2012, said he had always acted correctly, while expressing fears that there may have been negotiations between the State and Cosa Nostra two decades ago.

The president said he had had no communication from D’Ambrosio that was relevant to the case, but the court said in September that he had to give evidence anyway.

Earlier this month, the court rejected a petition for Riina and Bagarella to participate via a video link from jail when Napolitano gives evidence. In addition to Napolitano, the Palermo court has also accepted prosecution requests to call up a host of other witnesses, including Senate Speaker and former national anti-Mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 26% of Hospitals Fail Childbirth Limit

Safety threshold of 500-birth minimum not met by 133 hospitals

(ANSA) — Rome, October 20 — A quarter of hospitals performing births in Italy fall below the minimum safety threshold of 500 births per year, a health ministry report said Monday. A total of 133 out of 521 hospitals examined in the Esiti 2014 (2014 results) report did not meet a 2010 regulation that called for terminating obstetrics in facilities that did not assist more than 500 births annually. The regulation was put in place after it was demonstrated that higher volumes of births led to better health outcomes for women and their children.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Madonna Likes Suor Cristina’s Like a Virgin

Singing nun covers legend’s first smash for debut album

(ANSA) — Rome, October 23 — Madonna has ‘liked’ on Facebook Italian singing nun Suor Cristina’s cover of her first smash hit, Like A Virgin.

“Like A Virgin? #bitinghard”, said the pop legend on her FB profile, adding Sisters for Life! #Touchedfortheveryfirsttime and posting two montage pictures of herself with the winner of Italy’s The Voice competition.

Suor Cristina — or Sister Cristina Scuccia — chose the Madonna classic to help launch her debut album.

She said the sexy song, famously deconstructed in Quentin Tarabntino’s Reservoir Dogs, was “more of a secular prayer than a pop song”.

But the choice has not gone down well with Italian bishops. An editorial by the Italian Bishops’ News Agency SIR called it a “reckless and calculated commercial operation”.

“The public is always intrigued by the devil versus holy water theme, but not even the American nuns in Sister Act would have thought of something like this,” the editorial said.

It said the singing nun’s claim it was a sort of prayer was a “blessedly naive” comment.

Suor Cristina signed a contract with Universal for an album due out in November.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Radical Islamic Cleric Declares British Law is Invalid… In Britain

RADICAL cleric Anjem Choudary sparked fury today by declaring he ‘doesn’t accept’ that British law is valid in the UK.

The 46-year-old hate preacher made the extraordinary statement when asked if jihadist fighters returning from Syria should have their passports confiscated and be charged under anti-terror laws.

Choudary blasted: “I don’t accept British law. If you have a law, you need to apply it universally. These laws are only being applied against Muslims.

“This [anti-terror legislation] is purely being hyped-up to support the bombing campaign that is taking place against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”

He also spoke of his support for Islamic State (ISIS) and claimed a ban on jihadists returning to Britain would ‘alienate’ the Muslim community.

He added: If these guys have actually not committed any crime in England, then why are we stopping them returning?

“I think it’s a very ill thought-out policy, I don’t think it will work.

“I think it will disenfranchise the Muslim community here, I think it would be a cause of further radicalisation in this country and really you’re pushing people into the arms of the Islamic State.”…

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

Rome a Leading European City for Sorting Garbage

Rome’s sorted trash is 38% of total, 27% recycled, Ama says

(ANSA) — Roma, October 24 — Rome is one of Europe’s leading cities for sorting and recycling garbage, according to an Italian trade association and Roman waste management company Ama SpA.

Out of Rome’s rubbish, 38% is sorted, 11% is organic, and 27% is used for the recovery of materials for recycling, such as glass, paper, cardboard, plastic and metal, according to findings revealed by the Italian Environmental Technicians Association (ATIA-Italia) and AMA SpA.

A Roman catchment area of three million people served by Ama produces 1.78 million tons of garbage annually, or 610 kg per person. ATIA-Italia and AMA also examined waste management figures for Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Madrid. Berlin led the pack with sorted garbage reaching 42% of the total, and 33% burned for energy. Berliners produce 442 kg of garbage per person.

Paris and Madrid were at the bottom of the group, with differentiated garbage making up just 13% and 17% of the total, respectively.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Soccer: Blatter to Forward Italian Tech Proposal

FIFA chief says Tavecchio’s ideas are interesting

(By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) — Rome, October 24 — FIFA President Sepp Blatter has written to Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) President Carlo Tavecchio saying he will present his proposals for soccer to accelerate the introduction of technology to help referees to the International Board, ANSA sources said Friday. Tavecchio made the proposal and offered to have the technologies tested in Italian club football after several controversial decisions in champions Juventus’s 3-2 win over title rivals AS Roma this month. At the time Tavecchio said he would be the “promoter of a request to FIFA” to accelerate the introduction of technology “for cases of doubt about the position (of a player)”. That was interpreted as a sign he was pushing for the use of TV replays for tough calls, such as offside and penalty decisions on the edge of the area. Unlike many other sports, soccer does not give referees the opportunity to use video replays to make tough decisions.

Opponents to technology say it would destroy the simplicity and fluidity of soccer that distinguishes it from other sports. Italian football is frequently hit by high-voltage furores about refereeing decisions and support for technology is strong here. “Thank you for your proposal on the use of technology,” Blatter wrote to Tavecchio, according to the sources. “It is interesting. I’ll bring it to the attention of the International Board”. The International Board is the body that determines the rules of soccer. FIFA has 50% of the voting power on the board, while the rest goes to the football associations of the United Kingdom, a legacy of the sport’s origins. If the proposal makes progress, it will be a shot in the arm for Tavecchio, whose image has been tarnished by comments he made on “banana-eating” foreign players before his election in August.

He is currently serving a six-month ban from UEFA commissions imposed by European soccer’s governing body for the comments, made as he was calling for tighter restrictions on non-EU players in Italian soccer.

“Carlo Tavecchio’s election to the helm of the federation was a defeat for Italian soccer,” Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli told a club shareholder meeting on Friday.

“It gave the image of a stale movement with no inclination to reform”. The Turin giants voted against Tavecchio’s election.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK Man Charged Under Terrorism Laws

The brother of a Muslim fanatic who died in Syria after bragging about his ‘5-star jihad’ has been charged with preparing to carry out terrorist acts.

Mustakim Jaman, 23, was arrested, along with his parents after police raided their Portsmouth home last week.

His brother, Ifthekar Jaman, 23, died last year in a battlefield clash 2,000 miles from his Hampshire home last December after declaring he was ready to die a martyr.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

David Cameron Urged to Press Emir of Qatar on Terror Funds

The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, will arrive in Britain amid a growing furore over his country’s alleged links to the financing of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Family Disowns Lecturer Who Joined ‘Islamic State’

The parents of a Dammam University lecturer who said she had left her job to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State has publicly disowned their daughter.

Dr. Eman Mustapha, a Syrian national, was a faculty member at the university before she resigned for “personal reasons”, only to announce later on social media that she had joined IS.

Her father, Dr. Mustapha Al-Bugha, is a well-known scholar in Syria, and has always adopted a centrist view and opinions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Kurdish Video Mocks ISIS, “We Are Beaded, Dirty and Filthy. We Are Brainless”

Clip shows bearded men, dancing, with guns as musical instruments. “We are ISIS, we milk the goat even if it’s male”. The parody however carries a tough political attack: “We are Isis” and “Our pockets are full of Qatari money”.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) — Black-dressed, with guns and sticks as musical instruments, a group of bearded men is seen dancing. They also sing, “We are beaded, dirty and filthy. We are brainless with nothing in our heads”.

The video carrying the parody was posted online by KurdSat TV, a Kurdish-Iraqi television channel, in response to the Islamic State’s videos showing the decapitation of men and the stoning of women.

Reported by Al-Arabiya, the tape shows a group of men with obviously fake beards, the black flag of the “Caliphate” in the background, wearing military jackets over black clothing, challenging each other with swords.

In it, ISIS is mocked. The men sing, “Our language is bullets and cutting, [. . .] we have no knowledge in our brains, [. . .] We scare women and children”.

“We are ISIS, we milk the goat even if it’s male,” and “We strive for jihad and sex, we are comfortable and happy to see blood”. [. . .] “We kill the dove in the sky and bring history to the present”.

The sketch also includes a tough political attack: “We are ISIS” and “Our pockets are full of Qatari money”.

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

ISIS Has Anti-Aircraft Missiles, German Intelligence Says

(AGI) Berlin, Oct 26 — ISIS possesses Syrian army shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems, Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday. Last week the BND, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, informed parliament that jihadist militants now possess Soviet-era SA-7s as well as Russian army SA-18s, the Sunday newspaper said. At low altitudes, both systems pose a credible threat to civilian aircraft.

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

Kurdistan Will Send Armaments Not Peshmerga to Kobane

(AGI) Erbil, Oct 26 — Contrary to the announcement made under the pressure of the humanitarian emergency, Kurdish Peshmerga will not for the moment be sent to repel the advance of IS fighters alongside their Syrian cousins, who have been engaging with them since Sept. 16. However, Safeen Dizayee, the spokesman of the government of Iraqi Kurdistan said on Sunday that they do intend to send heavy weaponry.

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

Kuwait: Better Late Than Never

By Dr Shamlan Y Al-Essa

We thank the parents of the tricked youth who told the Interior Ministry about their children joining religious and intellectual extremist groups. A statement by the Interior Ministry said eight parents voluntarily came to the ministry and provided security authorities with information and fears that their children joined extremist groups through trickery.

The parents said that they became afraid because of the emergence of strange behavior and ideas by their children and asked authorities to take the necessary action to prevent their children from getting involved in terror and violence abroad. The parents’ information about the behavior of their children is a progressive move that is in the interest of the youth, society and state, as it protects our youth from getting involved in jihadist action. This pioneering move by parents, even if it is late, it will protect children, the state and society from the evils of terror in this secure country.

We have written many times over many years to warn against the growing extremism and exaggerations in religion in our society, and we stressed the role of the education ministry and mosque, and most importantly the family. The issue of extremism and exaggeration in religion is caused by education, mosque and the family, which is the most important because it is responsible for educating children ethically and patriotically, away from extremist principles. Yet the regretful matter is that the parents are no longer raising their children and have left this to domestic helpers or political Islam groups.

Parents are keen to take them to religious societies to teach them religion, thinking that those groups teach the correct religion that Kuwait people are used to, which is the religion of centrism, forgiveness, love of good deeds and not discriminating between citizens on basis of sect or religion. With the absence of the state, and its overlooking of many things, cooperative societies resorted to offering extra lessons to children, where religious groups become active in brainwashing our children with the principles of extremism and hatred of others.

The question: Why did the families act now? And why didn’t they do so tens of years ago, when our children got involved in jihadist action all over the globe starting with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and now in Iraq and Syria? We have lost a group of tricked children in useless wars that we have nothing to do with.

The families moved out of fear for their children and country after the governments of the region including Kuwait announced their participation with the Western alliance to fight jihadist groups such as Daesh, Nusra and Hezbollah. The chasing down of terrorists by allied air forces and killing many including Gulf nationals and citizens, forced families to act and tell concerned authorities.

Finally, what is required from us as citizens and expatriates is to protect our country and keep them away from terrorist operations. We must inform concerned authorities about every suspicious move and keep our eyes and ears open to all mosque sermons that spread division and hatred, contrary to the loving and forgiving principles of Islam, so that every citizen and expat becomes a watchman to protect this secure small country.

—Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Watan

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Men Who Disfigured Women With Acid in Iran Released

(AGI) Tehran, Oct 25 — Several men accused of disfiguring several women with acid recently in Isfahan, have been released because of lack of evidence, the Iranian Interior Ministry informed. The incident, which occurred in one of Iran’s most popular tourism locations, shocked people and jarred public opinion in Iran. On Wednesday, the people of Isfahan took to the streets demanding greater security and a harsh punishment for the perpetrators of crimes such as this one. The victims, attacked by several men — some on motorbikes — apparently had their faces disfigured because they were wearing inappropriate veils, some social networks reported.

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

Now ISIS Threatens to Kill British Jihadis Who Want to Return Home: At Least 30 Britons Planning to Flee Syria After Young Muslim From Portsmouth is Killed Fighting for Terror Group

British jihadi fighters who want to come home from Syria and Iraq are being given death threats by senior ISIS members, it has emerged.

A source with contacts among Syrian rebel groups claimed that he knew of more than 30 Britons who had become linked to the terrorists but now wanted to return to the UK.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg said that any jihadis who wanted to quit the terror group ‘could be subject to disciplinary measures which could include threats of death or death’.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Islamic State “Is the World’s Richest Terrorist Group”

According to the United States government, the Islamic fundamentalists “earn about a million dollars a day just by selling oil”. Added to this the ransoms they receive from abductions — especially of Westerners — and the racket set up in the cities under their control. The United States “wants more cooperation” from Kuwait and Qatar, but forget that it is an American company selling arms in the region.

Washington (AsiaNews) — The Islamic State “ the world’s wealthiest terror group, generating tens of millions of dollars a month from black market oil sales, ransoms and extortion”. This was revealed by David Cohen, the US Treasury Under Secretary in charge of financial intelligence and terrorism. According to the American accounts fundamentalist leaders earn about a million dollars a day just from the sale of oil, which they now control after the military clashes that have rocked Syria and Iraq.

The problem, Cohen says, is that the group “ has “amassed wealth at an unprecedented pace from different sources than most terror groups. This poses a particular problem to the United States and its allies: We have no silver bullet, no secret weapon to empty ISIL’s coffers overnight. This will be a sustained fight, and we are in the early stages”.

The politician adds that the Islamic State, “is different from al Qaeda does not attract most of its funds from deep-pocketed rich donors, often in Gulf countries, or from state sponsors. With the important exception of some state-sponsored terrorist organizations, ISIL is probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted”.

The energy market remains the largest source of income: “ Oil sales alone from captured refineries are allowing the militants to produce some 50,000 barrels a day sold “at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middle men, including some from Turkey, who then transport the oil to be resold”. Even the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling militants, “has made an arrangement to purchase oil from fields and refineries once under Syrian control”.

The income generated by abductions is also notable. In 2014 alone, the Islamic terrorists through kidnappings, particularly of journalists and European hostages. Then there is the market for extortion at the expense of small business owners in the cities under the control of the Islamic State, forced to pay what is termed “a sophisticated extortion racket.”

One of the most sensitive aspects is the Arab Gulf States’ support of the Islamic militants. According to Cohen, “Gulf countries are “enormously important in the anti-ISIL coalition for a whole variety of reasons, including the counter-financing aspect.” Significant progress has been made in countries like Saudi and the United Arab Emirates, Cohen said, both nations he has visited in the push against IS. But in Qatar and Kuwait, seen in the past as “permissive jurisdictions for terrorist financing… there is more work to be done”.

In fact, the Gulf countries have been the driving force in the arms race in recent years, and many believe this market hides the weapons supply and money laundering of various terrorist groups. These, which originally targeted the regimes in the area, have been transformed over time into open threats to civil society and minorities. Among the biggest arms dealers in the area is the American company Lockheed Martin, which signed a billion dollar contract in February 2013 with Saudi Arabia.

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

The Kurds in Turkey and the Fight for Kobani

by Veli Sirin

A historical process is now threatened with failure: the reconciliation of the Turkish State with the Kurds living in Turkey.

Turkish guns point in every direction but that of Kobani, and the Turkish air force continues bombing the Kurdish PKK, not ISIS. Many Kurds believe that the Turkish state considers it acceptable for the “Islamic State” to murder Kurds, and would rather bomb the Kurds than help them against ISIS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ukraine Votes Without Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk

(AGI) Kiev, Oct 26 — Eight months after the exit of Ukrainian pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, 31.5 million Ukrainian voters are going to the polls in snap elections for a new parliament. However, 5.6 million people in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in the Crimea won’t be taking part. The Crimea was annexed by Russia in March and the eastern self-claimed republics plan to run parliamentary and presidential elections on Nov 2 in the regions under their control. Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time (7 a.m.CET) and will close 12 hours later.

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

Afghan Cleric Jailed for Raping 11-Year-Old Girl

(AGI) Kabul, Oct 26 — An Afghan cleric has been jailed for 20 years for raping an 11-year old girl in May. The girl first tried to hide what had happened to her, but was later admitted to hospital with bleeding, where doctors discovered the rape.

The cleric, Mullah Mohammad Aminullah Barez, was arrested by police later. The sentence, passed by a court in Kabul on Saturday, came just weeks after five men were hanged for the gang rape of a woman.

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

Afghan Cleric Sentenced to 20 Years for Raping Young Girl

A court in Kabul has sentenced a religious teacher to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl. The judgment was welcomed by women’s groups.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: U. S. And UK Forces Cede Control of Southwest

(AGI) Camp Leatherneck (Afghanistan), Oct 26 — British and American forces in the NATO coalition handed over the task of protecting the turbulent Helmand province to Afghan forces on Sunday. The southwestern region of Afghanistan has been targeted regularly by the Taliban in the 13 year of conflict. The transfer marks the end of the formal mission for U.S. Marines (2,349 killed) and British troops (453 killed).

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

India: Delhi Chokes on Toxic Smog After Festival of Lights

Thick smoke hung over New Delhi this week as millions of Indians lit firecrackers to mark the Diwali festival, but calls for a boycott highlighted growing concerns over air quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities.

Pollution in the Indian capital reached “severe” levels on Friday, the day after Diwali, according to a new air quality index launched earlier this month as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Clean India” mission.

That means the concentration of airborne particles known as PM2.5, which are considered the most harmful, was more than 250 — 10 times the upper limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong: Opposition Divided, Referendum Cancelled

(AGI) Hong Kong, Oct 26 — The opposition that has paralysed Hong Kong for more than a month seemed to dissolve over the weekend due to disagreements on how to continue the protests, resulting in the online referendum on the next steps, scheduled for Sunday and Monday, being cancelled. “We decided to adjourn the vote (…) but it doesn’t mean the movement has stopped”, said the leader of Occupy Central, Benny Tai. Student leaders such as Alex Chow also confirmed that there had been a lot of conflicts and differences of opinions.

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

Cameroonian Troops Kill 39 Nigerian Boko Haram Islamists

(AGI) Yaounde, Oct 26 — Cameroonian troops killed 39 Nigerian Boko Haram Islamists after three raids carried out in Cameroon, the Cameroonian Ministry of Defence reported. They emphasised that the clashes happened in northern Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria. There were four civilians among the victims.

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

Nigeria: 30 Teenagers Abducted in Northeast

(AGI) Maiduguri, Oct 26 — A large group of teenagers, as well as numerous 11-year-old girls, were kidnapped in Nigeria on Sunday, with Boko Haram the most likely culprit. “The insurgents grabbed young people, boys and girls, from our region”, said Alhaji Shettima Maina, the village elder of Mafa.

“They took all boys aged 13 plus, and all girls aged 11 or more. According to our information, 30 young people were abducted in the last two days”, he said.

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

President Rousseff Favourite to Win Re-Election in Brazil

(AGI) Sao Paolo (Brazil), Oct 26 — Polling stations opened in Brazil on Sunday for the second run-off round of presidential elections. A total of 142.8 million voters can choose between outgoing president Dilma Rousseff and her challenger, Aecio Neves. Ms Roussef is ahead in the polls by four to six percentage points. Voting started at 8 a.m. local time (11.00 CET) and will close at 5 p.m. (20.00 CET). The massive country has three time zones and so polling stations will close first in the state of Acre and three hours later at the border with Bolivia and Peru. Around 15,000 soldiers have been deployed to ensure the smooth running of the elections in 15 states considered at risk out of a total of 27 states. About 30,000 soldiers were deployed in the first round.

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

The Bishop Deposed in Paraguay. The Defense Speaks

He has been removed without being able to read the charges against him. He has knocked at the pope’s door without being received. Here is his reconstruction of events, against the dramatic backdrop of the Church in his country

ROME, October 2, 2014 — It is rare for a pope to depose a bishop. It is even more outlandish for a Jesuit pope to kick out a bishop of Opus Dei.

And yet this is what has happened in Ciudad del Este, the diocese of Paraguay overlooking Iguazù Falls on the border with Brazil and Argentina, in the territory that from three to four centuries ago was civilized and Christianized by the Jesuit missionaries of the “Reductions.”

Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, the bishop whom pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio has deposed, had been in Rome for a few days when on September 25 he received the news that he had been removed.

He was told over the telephone by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the congregation for bishops, at the very same time as the nuncio was making it public in Paraguay, shortly before the official Vatican statement.

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

Uruguay Goes to Polls to Choose Successor to Pepe Mujica

(AGI) Montevideo, Oct 26 — Uruguay goes to the polls on Sunday to choose a successor to the outgoing president, the charismatic Pepe Mujica, 79, a former guerrilla, prevented by the Constitution from standing for a second term. The leftist government of the Frente Ampio de Izquierda is facing a challenge from a “young” opponent, Luis Lacalle Pou, 41, son of former President Alberto Lacalle, who among other things plans to recriminalise marijuana, legalised by President Mujica. The latter would rather leave his post to his friend and predecessor Tabare Vazquez, 74 years old. Uruguay has enjoyed a decade of strong economic growth under Mujica and Vazquez, with President Mujica, who is keen on civil rights, also legalising abortion, gay marriage and his piece de resistance, the growth and sale of marijuana. The polls make Mr Vazquez favourite with 43 to 46 percent of the vote against 31 to 33 percent for his rival, but this would mean Vazquez facing a second round in November. Uruguay’s economy is worth 55 billion dollars and has grown by an average of 5.7 percent a year since 2005. The number of poor has dropped to 11 percent from 33 percent in 2006.

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

Italy: Gay Dance Teacher Quits Due to Allegedly Homophobic Parents

Parents wrote to principal saying he ‘wasn’t qualified’

(ANSA) — Perugia, October 23 — A gay dance teacher in the Umbrian town of Passignano sul Trasimeno quit his job after parents wrote to the principal in a veiled act of homophobia, the Mario Mieli gay rights organization said Thursday.

The parents allegedly wrote the school principal a letter saying the teacher “wasn’t qualified for the job”, even though he has 12 years’ dance experience and five years’ teaching experience. The teacher was certain homophobia was the motive behind the letter. “It is unthinkable that in 2014 parents can veto a teacher based on his or her sexual orientation,” said Mario Mieli President Andrea Maccarrone.

“The story of this teacher…who was driven from his job by sordid and discriminatory mutterings, points to the need for reflection on the issue of rights,” said Democratic Party (PD) Umbria secretary, Giacomo Leonelli.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Climate Change Proved to be ‘Nothing But a Lie’, Claims Top Meteorologist

THE debate about climate change is finished — because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world’s leading meteorologists has claimed.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what ‘little evidence’ there is for rising global temperatures points to a ‘natural phenomenon’ within a developing eco-system.

In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: “The ocean is not rising significantly.

“The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.

“Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).

“I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.”…

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

Implicit Aptitude Tests Show Whites Have Faith in “Magic Negroes”

In a series of experiments, psychologists show that white people were quicker to associate superhuman words (ghost, paranormal, spirit, wizard, supernatural, magic, and mystical) with black faces relative to white faces. Also, when explicitly asked, white people indicated that a black person was more capable of possessing superhuman qualities—and would need less medication to alleviate pain—than a white person.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

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