Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/3/2014

The protest demonstrations in Hong Kong turned violent today as pro-Beijing counter-demonstrators attacked the students of the “Umbrella Revolution” while police looked on without intervening. According to reports from witnesses among the student demonstrators, their attackers were all Mandarin speakers, whereas the Hong Kong students speak Cantonese.

In other news, the Saudi government played down any worries about an Ebola outbreak during the hajj, saying that adequate precautions have been taken. Fortunately for everyone concerned, Ebola has nothing to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» France Joins Opposition to ECB Securities Plan, Reports
» Greece: Households Have Lost 170 Billion Euros Due to Crisis
» Italian House Prices Continue to Tumble
» U.S. Added 248,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Falls to 5.9%
Europe and the EU
» 43 Islamists on Trial for Euro-Terror Plot
» Italy: Two Arrested in 910m Euro Public Utility Fraud Probe
» Italy: Messi Indicted for Tax Evasion
» Lampedusa Soldier Interrupts Speech by EP President Schulz
» Netherlands: ISIS Fears Lead Brabant School to Cancel Paris Trip
» Netherlands: Amsterdam Jewish Schools Get Military Police Protection
» Norway: Terror Threat Hussain Released on Charge
» Switzerland: Land of Jihad
» Wilders Threatened by Dutch Jihadist in Syria
North Africa
» Libya: Government Forces: Benghazi Airport Under Our Control
» Tunisian Jets Strike Jihadists on Algerian Border
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Netanyahu’s Statements and Policies
» On the Eve of Sacrifice Feast Preparations Are Feverish in Ramallah
» Sweden to Recognize State of Palestine
Middle East
» Australia OKs Air Strikes Against ISIS
» Iraq: Air Strikes Not Enough, Says Peshmerga General
» ISIS Jihadists Enter Southern Outskirts of Kobane, CNN
» Israeli Dr. Aryeh Eldad and Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Discuss the War on Islam
» Saudi Arabia Plays Down Ebola Concern for Hajj Pilgrimage
» Shia Governments Decry Turkey’s Decision to Fight ISIS
» Turkish President Erdogan Increasingly Against Internet Every Day: CPJ
» World Bank Estimates Ukraine GDP Drop Worse Than Expected
South Asia
» Italian Soldiers Against Afghan Gender-Based Violence
Far East
» Hong Kong: As Violent Scuffles Break Out Between Pro-Democracy and Pro-Beijing Protesters Police Stand Idly by
» Tension Still High in Hong Kong
Australia — Pacific
» New Zealand Muslim Leaders: Don’t Send New Zealand Troops to Fight Against the Islamic State
Sub-Saharan Africa
» ‘Perfect Storm’ Turned HIV From Local to Global Killer
» Alfano Calls for End to Italy’s Mare Nostrum on Anniversary
» Alfano: Risks of Infiltration Among Migrants
» Italy: Immigration by Sea ‘Risk to Safety Security and Health’
» Italy: 20 Charged in Migrant Deaf Carers Work Permit Scam
» Protesters in Lampedusa Commemorate Death of 368 Migrants

France Joins Opposition to ECB Securities Plan, Reports

Sides with Germany, Austria but for different reasons

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — The central bank of France has joined its German and Austrian counterparts in their opposition to the European Central Bank’s plans to buy asset-backed securities (ABS), but for different reasons, Bloomberg news said Friday.

Sources quoted by the news agency said that Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer is concerned about the design of the ECB purchase plan because it excludes national central banks from its implementation.

In contrast, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and Austrian central bank Governor Ewald Nowotny perceive the plan by ECB President Mario Draghi to be too risky.

Draghi has said the purchase of ABS is part of a broader plan to boost growth in the eurozone economy and bring inflation back to the bank’s 2% target.

He announced the plan in September and on Thursday said the purchases of the securities would begin sometime during the fourth quarter.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Households Have Lost 170 Billion Euros Due to Crisis

But Germans grew richer according to a study by Julius Baer

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 3 — A new study conducted by the Julius Baer Group, a Swiss private bank, has found that the last seven years of devastating economic downfall have seen Greek households lose a net total of 170 billion euros, as GreekReporter website writes.

Julius Baer researchers first compiled the financial assets and properties of all European households. They subtracted their debts, producing a final estimate of their wealth.

The research shows that private wealth in Europe reached its highest level ever in 2013: 56 trillion euros. This figure was 17% higher than 2012 levels. Lurking beneath this general image of prosperity, however, are vast variations between different countries.

The Germans, for example, grew richer by two trillion euros in comparison to pre-crisis levels; total Swiss holdings increased by one trillion euros. Yet in countries in the Mediterranean region — Spain and Greece especially — private wealth deteriorated dramatically.

In total, Greek wealth has fallen by 23% since its 2007 levels. Greek households have lost a total of 170 billion euros since the beginning of the crisis. During that same period, Spanish households have lost a net 28% of their total wealth.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian House Prices Continue to Tumble

Market 11.2% down on 2010

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — The fall in housing prices in recession-hit Italy continued in the second quarter of this year, national statistics agency Istat said Friday. The agency said its house price index was down 0.6% in the second quarter with respect to the first three months of the year and 4.8% down on the same period in 2013. Istat added that Italian property prices were 11.2% lower than at the start of 2010.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

U.S. Added 248,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Falls to 5.9%

American companies are hiring again at a healthy pace, adding 248,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent.

The strong report was likely to buoy the outlook of economists who had worried the post-recession recovery was being sidetracked. Those fears were prompted by the government’s report on Sept. 5 that fewer jobs were added in August than in any month so far this year.

[Return to headlines]

43 Islamists on Trial for Euro-Terror Plot

Europeans fed up with rise of Islam in their own countries

Under the banner of multiculturalism, European countries have supported Muslims through immigration provisions, allowances for Islamic law and special advocacy for mosques and schools.

In the U.K., there are entire regions dominated by Muslims that have been labeled no-go zones.

The Gatestone Institute reported there are some 650,000 Muslims in Belgium and 925,000 in the Netherlands, about 6 percent of each nation’s population. According to the report, only France’s Muslim percentage is larger, at 7 percent.

But multiculturalism has worn thin in several nations. Officials have curbed some outreach efforts and clamped down on homegrown jihad, concluding now that the country is harmed when major segments of the populations don’t assimilate.

In Belgium, for example, prosecutors in the Antwerp criminal court have asked that accused terrorist ringleader Fouad Belkacem be sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly recruiting at least 30 Belgian Muslims to fight with ISIS in Syria.

Belkacem, also known as Abu Imran, is the reported leader of Shariah4Belgium. Forty-two other men are also standing trial with him.

WND’s efforts to contact Belkacem’s lawyers for comment have not been successful.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Italy: Two Arrested in 910m Euro Public Utility Fraud Probe

Palermo’s public water utility records allegedly falsified

(ANSA) — Palermo, October 2 — Finance police arrested two employees of Palermo’s public water utility AMAP on Thursday, following a fraud investigation totaling 910,000 euros.

AMAP office director Carlo Fasetti and AMAP employee Carmelo Di Bella are accused of entering the company’s database over a period of five years, to falsify water bill payments and pocket the money.

“Once again we’re reminded of the fragility of computerized systems for managing billing,” Palermo prosecutor Leonardo Agueci said in a press conference.

Finance police said that other employees may be involved in the fraud, and some who had cooperated with authorities received “folkloristic” threats, including hearses with caskets being sent to their homes to “pick up the body” and flower bouquets with severed goats’ heads.

“It leads us to believe that the level of criminal intention here might be so elevated as to involve possible criminal organizations capable of those acts, something which is disturbing and which we’re trying to shed light on,” said assistant prosecutor Dino Petralia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Messi Indicted for Tax Evasion

Judge rejects plea father responsible

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi is to face trial for alleged tax evasion, a Spanish judge ruled Friday.

The judge rejected a prosecution recommendation to drop the charges on the grounds the player’s father was responsible for his finances.

Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding the authorities of more than 4 million euros ($5m).

The pair, who deny wrongdoing, have five days to appeal against the ruling.

It is alleged that they withheld the money between 2007 and 2009.

The income related to Messi’s image rights, including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lampedusa Soldier Interrupts Speech by EP President Schulz

(AGI) Lampedusa, Oct 3 — A speech by European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Lampedusa was interrupted by a local soldier, who accused the EU of “financing Nazis in Ukraine”.

Schulz was on the Italian island to commemorate a shipwreck in which 366 migrants died one year ago. Schulz thanked the man for his contribution, and the situation calmed down without police intervention.

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

Netherlands: ISIS Fears Lead Brabant School to Cancel Paris Trip

The school trip that 400 graduating students from KSE Etten-Leur would have taken to Paris has been cancelled, due to the threat of attack by ISIS.

Although the chances of an attack is small, the school is not taking any chances. This is the result of consultations within the education institution after it became known last week that networks of Islamic State (ISIS) plans to attack the metro of Paris and New York.

“Then the ball started rolling. Some parents were worried.” the headmaster explains

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Amsterdam Jewish Schools Get Military Police Protection

Several Jewish schools in Amsterdam’s Buitenveldert district are being guarded by military police officers and have been for the past month, the Parool said on Thursday.

Four police officers in full uniform are on duty at the entrance of the orthodox Cheider school, while Maimonides and Rosj Pina have similar protection, the paper says. The street also has a mobile police post which has fitted with cameras.

The protection is at the instigation of the mayor, council officials and justice ministry, the paper says.

‘We do not want to sow panic and there have not been any concrete threats,’ one officer told the paper. ‘The guards are a consequence of developments in society. They are part of the policy of discouragement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway: Terror Threat Hussain Released on Charge

Terror suspect Ubaydullah Hussain was in Oslo district court on Friday to hear his charge of indirectly encouraging terrorism dropped by the judges.

Hussain had been charged for breaking Norwegian law, paragraph 147c, which refers to the encouragement of terror within society.

The 29-year-old Norwegian citizen smiled when the sentence was read aloud and, after the court was adjourned, Hussain said: “I’m not surprised. I’ve operated within the freedom of speech.”

Hussain added he doesn’t relate to Norway’s “political, secular laws” but only the laws of Allah.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Land of Jihad

by Soeren Kern

Swiss lawmakers have filed a motion calling on the Swiss Parliament formally to ban the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) from operating in Switzerland.

The measure—signed by more than 40 politicians from across the political spectrum—is in response to new revelations that the IS has established a network of cells inside Switzerland to raise money and recruit fighters for the jihad in Syria and Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Wilders Threatened by Dutch Jihadist in Syria

A famous Dutch jihadist in Syria, Muhajiri Shaam, has threatened PVV leader Geert Wilders on Twitter today.

Shaam calls for an end to the “nationalist folk wolf and criminal Wilders” and that he falls into the hands of the “mujahideen”.

Last week Shaam posted a video on Facebook where he calls upon his brothers, including those in the Netherlands, to a firm action against the Dutch government. This is because of the Dutch support for American air strike in Syria, in which three Dutch jihadists died…

[Return to headlines]

Libya: Government Forces: Benghazi Airport Under Our Control

After suicide attacks, violent clashes with Islamist militia

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, OCTOBER 3 — The Benina airport in Benghazi is “under the control of special forces” loyal to the Parliament elected in June, a high-ranking Libyan military official said Friday.

The official said 36 soldiers were reported killed and 60 others wounded on Thursday in suicide attacks and clashes.

Medical sources said at least 23 Ansar fighters were injured.

The military source confirmed that the airport was attacked with three vehicles loaded with explosives driven by suicide attackers. Soldiers responded with heavy artillery, tanks and fighter jets in the most violent battle over the past few weeks.

Libyan media listed the names of soldiers and volunteers reported killed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tunisian Jets Strike Jihadists on Algerian Border

(AGI) Tunis, Oct 3 — The Tunisian Air Force on Thursday carried out strikes on jihadist positions along the Algerian border, media reported. Mountain positions in the northwestern Kef province were targeted. The news was confirmed to the daily newspaper Al Hayat by local villagers, who mentioned air strikes, as well as the presence of combat helicopters and ground troops in the area.

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

Caroline Glick: Netanyahu’s Statements and Policies

Although media commentators overlooked it, the Obama administration did it again. They blindsided Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the eve of his trip to Washington.

The last time it happened was in May 2011 when US President Barack Obama set out his policy toward Israel and the Palestinians as Netanyahu was in flight, en route to Washington to meet with him.

In that speech Obama announced his support for an essentially full Israeli withdrawal to the entirely indefensible 1949 armistice lines in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Obama adopted this position despite the fact that Netanyahu and the Israeli public rejected it and viewed it as a threat to Israel’s survival.

This time the Obama administration didn’t blindside Israel on the eve of Netanyahu’s visit with another hostile pronouncement in relation to the Palestinians. This time they did so in relation to Iran…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

On the Eve of Sacrifice Feast Preparations Are Feverish in Ramallah

One of the most important celebrations of the Muslim calendar

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH — On the streets of Ramallah preparations are underway for the most important celebration of the Muslim calendar, Eid Al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. Celebrations — from Friday at sunset until Tuesday evening — overlapping Saturday with the Jewish Kippur, run deep in the biblical and coranic tradition. Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic) proved his submission to God by offering him the life of his son Ismail.

In the centre of Ramallah, close to the old town market, butchers display their meat in huge freezers around which busy Palestinians housewives fight to snatch the best cuts of mutton and the less pricy goat-meat. At the al Bireh cattle-market, usually open for just two-days a week, dozens of farmers have gathered with open pick-ups to sell their animals. Two cattle-market auctioneers make the rounds of the vans checking the animals’ teeth, muscles and weight to set the cattle’s worth. For Palestinian bedouin communities, mainly made up of cattle-breeders from the south of the Territories, the annual Eid animal-trade represents an income which will support families for months. For a farmer selling a couple more animals can determine the difference between a good and a bad winter. Prices vary between 800 and 1000 shekel (160/200 euros) for a mutton, whereas the value for goats is more or less half. However, many people because of logistic and financial constraints can’t afford to buy a living animal. “ We live in a building without a garden” says Roula, a young mother of four while haggling on the price of meat “ we don’t have enough space for traditional slaugthering, this year we’ll have to do with butchered meat, next year we’ll see”. Palestinian President, Abu Mazen, has recently asked the population to “tone down” celebrations in solidarity with the suffering of the people of Gaza. On the Feast of Sacrifice families gather together, share food and donate what remains to the community. Children anxiously await the beginning of celebrations dreaming of toys, new clothes, sweets, cakes and four days off from school.There is also great expectation for the traditional boy-scout parade of Ramallah’s Christian schools which actually boast a majority of muslim pupils. The happy few, who will secure a permit from Israeli authorities, shall travel to old Jerusalem to pray between the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque, the sacred land Muslims call Noble Sanctuary and Jews, Temple Mount. The juxtaposition with the Jewish Kippur celebration only takes place every 33 years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden to Recognize State of Palestine

Palestinians in Sweden have welcomed Stefan Löfven’s plan to formally recognize the state of Palestine. But there has been strong criticism from Jewish groups.

Sweden is set to become the first major European nation to officially recognize Palestine as a state.

Nael Touqan, Chairman of Palestinian Association of Stockholm told The Local: “We like this news so much. This is what we have been fighting for. Our religious festival Eid starts tomorrow and we consider this as a present for all Palestinians.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Australia OKs Air Strikes Against ISIS

Sending special forces to help Iraqis plan operations

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — The Australian government on Friday gave the green light to taking part in air strikes against Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “the terrorists of Islamic State have declared war on the world and must be stopped”.

Australia also decided to send special forces to help Iraqi forces plan operations.

Intense fighting continued Friday around the Kurdish town of Kobane in Syria, where the Kurdish militia are trying to beat back an ISIS offensive.

Fresh US-led air strikes were made in the provinces of Aleppo, Raqqa and Deyr az Zor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Air Strikes Not Enough, Says Peshmerga General

(AGI) Baghdad, Oct 3 — The international coalition’s air strikes will not be sufficient to free areas under Islamic State (IS) control, and larger forces will be needed on the ground in addition to the Peshmerga, according to the secretary-general of the Peshmerga Ministry of Iraq’s Kurdish region, General Jabbar Yawar. In an interview on Radio Free Iraq, he said that the air strikes helped the Peshmerga to stop the terrorist attacks and to support Peshmerga attacks on the terrorists’ positions, but they would not be enough for the future liberation of all the Mosul, Salahuddin, Anbar, and Diyala areas.

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

ISIS Jihadists Enter Southern Outskirts of Kobane, CNN

Shelling reported in eastern area

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, OCTOBER 3 — Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) on Friday entered the southwestern area of the Syrian city Kobane near the Turkish border, Arabic CNN quoted Kurdish sources as saying. A correspondent from the broadcaster reported exchange of fire and shelling in the eastern area.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israeli Dr. Aryeh Eldad and Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Discuss the War on Islam

Two friends we have interviewed, Dr. Aryeh Eldad, former National Union Knesset member, and Dutch Freedom Party leader (PVV) Geert Wilders, met during the latter’s 40th trip to Israel following the recent IDF Operation Protective Edge war against Hamas in Gaza. See our collection: The West Speaks. A recent edition of The International Jerusalem Post (IJP) had an English translation of the conversation between the two f by Dr. Eldad, “The Dutch War on Islam”. Eldad chronicled Wilders ‘love for the Jewish state and their agreement that a real Palestinian State already exists in Jordan. When Eldad and Wilders met at the former’s home in Kfar Adumim, Wilders’ remarked:

Whenever I land at Ben-Gurion Airport, I immediately feel at home. I have friends here and I love Israel. You Israelis are like a ray of light in the darkness of the Middle East.

Here were some salient exchanges between Eldad and Wilders regarding this Islamic war on the West including the Netherlands.

Eldad: Why do you believe Islam is a threat to Europe? Wilders: People who use politically correct terminology claim that there are two types of Islam: the moderate type, which some people call European Islam, and radical Islam. But the truth is, there is only one type of Islam and it is based on the Koran and its hadith, or teachings. Islam and freedom are mutually exclusive concepts. Islam is not really a religion, even though it has the characteristics of one: the Koran, mosques and imams. But, in fact, it’s a form of totalitarian ideology. They alter (or at least try to alter) every non-Muslim community they live in. Even if they are not the majority.The intolerant, totalitarian ideology of Islam professes that one cannot ever leave the religion. This is similar to communist or Nazi regimes. If you desire to cease being a Muslim, the penalty is death. Islam is dangerous and the Koran explicitly states that its goal is to eliminate all other faiths. Seventy-three percent of Muslims in Holland believe that Dutch Muslims who volunteer for jihad are heroes. Hundreds have already joined Islamic State and other such groups of their own free will. The situation is similar in many European countries.

A similar clarion call like the one exchanged between Eldad and Wilders should be made here in the US. Especially given the beheading and threats of beheading by Muslim extremists in our heartland, Oklahoma. We note the release by the of an Pentagon alert about such threats by ISIS sympathizers in our midst to both US military and their dependents. The latter warning is an eerie reflection of the 2007 attempt by Muslim extremists in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to attack the US Army facility at Fort Dix.

Both Eldad and Wilders are clear-eyed about the Wars against Islamic extremism, whether surrounding the Jewish nation or confronting the Netherlands and the West, especially the US.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Plays Down Ebola Concern for Hajj Pilgrimage

Two million Muslims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a five-day ritual central to Islam.

This year there have been concerns pilgrims may spread the contagious diseases Ebola and MERS.

Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj takes place, played down fears on Ebola, having banned pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Their decision has excluded 7,400 Muslims, though it is estimated that 1.4m of the pilgrims are international.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Shia Governments Decry Turkey’s Decision to Fight ISIS

Damascus and Baghdad would consider it ‘an attack’

(ANSAmed) — DAMASCUS/BAGHDAD/TEHRAN, OCTOBER 3 — Shia and Alawite governments on Friday protested Turkey’s decision the previous day to authorize military actions in Iraqi and Syrian territory against Islamic State (ISIS) fighters. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said that Turkish operations across its border would be considered “an attack”.

It would be “a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, which calls for the respect of national sovereignty of States and non-interference in their internal affairs”, reads a letter sent by the Syrian government to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed “concern” in a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. Tehran holds that the decision “complicates the situation in the region”.

Former Iraqi prime minister and current Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki also called on the Turkish parliament to reverse its decision.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish President Erdogan Increasingly Against Internet Every Day: CPJ

Senior Turkish government officials have “aggressively defended” their country’s press freedom record during meetings with a delegation of journalists, even as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted that he was “increasingly against the Internet every day,” according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

World Bank Estimates Ukraine GDP Drop Worse Than Expected

Projects an 8% fall instead of previous 5% estimate

(ANSA) — Kiev, October 2 — The World Bank on Thursday revised its estimate on the drop in Ukrainian GDP this year, saying it will fall by 8% and not 5% as forecast in June.

The plunge results from an ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, World Bank analysts said.

Also on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia does not intend to restrict the movement of foreign capital as foreign investors scramble to pull their money out of Russia in light of Western sanctions on the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Soldiers Against Afghan Gender-Based Violence

Awareness-raising seminar at Herat’s Camp Arena

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — Italian female soldiers stationed in Herat took part on Thursday in a seminar to raise awareness about gender-based violence. Representatives from the Afghan education, justice and women’s affairs ministries as well as ones from local women’s rights organizations, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and numerous TAAC-W female soldiers participated in the seminar at Camp Arena, the headquarters of Train Advise Assist Command West (TAAC-W) of the Italian-led Joint Multinational Command. The meeting is one of several initiatives underway to foster equal rights through support for female-led business and inclusiveness towards disabled individuals. The Italian contingent has opened Camp Arena to this disadvantaged group for the display and sale of their craft products.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong: As Violent Scuffles Break Out Between Pro-Democracy and Pro-Beijing Protesters Police Stand Idly by

Masked Mandarin-speaking counter-demonstrators wielding sticks attack protest camps in Mong Kok and the Admiralty. Police do not intervene. Occupy Central protesters and students chant “Go back to Beijing!” “If the government does not immediately prevent the organised attacks on supporters of the Occupy movement, the students will call off dialogue,” said the three main protest groups.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — After few hours of the detente between pro-democracy protesters and the local government, the streets of Hong Kong saw scuffles and clashes break out between peaceful demonstrators and anti-Occupy counter-demonstrators claiming to be “real citizens”, as the police stood idly by.

A group of masked young men speaking Mandarin and not Cantonese led the charge. As they resisted, pro-democracy activists responded by chanting, “Go back to Beijing!”

“The atmosphere here in Admiralty has changed a lot,” said Ian Mo, 28-year-old scientist who took part in the protest in the past few days.

“The people here were so peaceful over the past few nights,” he explained. Now they “feel angry because of tonight’s violence and are standing up again.”

Mo said he saw the violence in Mong Kok close up. “There were some police standing by in the crowd but they simply did nothing”.

Pro-democracy and student leaders blame the local government of Leung Chun-ying for the incidents.

Although many local residents have been angered by the disruption caused by the protests, activists say the opposition to them is being coordinated by the authorities.

“If the government does not immediately prevent the organised attacks on supporters of the Occupy movement, the students will call off dialogue on political reform with the government,” said a statement by the three main protest groups in response to the scuffles.

Leung had announced talks yesterday, which eased tensions today.

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

Tension Still High in Hong Kong

Protesters ‘destined for defeat’ says People’s Daily

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — Tensions remained high in Hong Kong Friday where students occupied the centre of the metropolis and kept their defences up pending promised talks with the government.

The young democracy demonstrators scuffled with police, who reappeared Thursday night shortly before Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung announced overtures towards dialogue while insisting he would not step down.

The People’s Daily, organ of the Chinese Communist Party, said the protests were not “legal nor reasonable” and their movement was “destined for defeat.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Zealand Muslim Leaders: Don’t Send New Zealand Troops to Fight Against the Islamic State

Muslim leaders here are worried a push to send the SAS to fight ISIS-linked terrorists could fuel a backlash among the Muslim community in New Zealand.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Wellington’s Kilbirnie mosque’s Secretary of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, Tahir Nawaz, says supporting the fight in Iraq would be a bad idea.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Perfect Storm’ Turned HIV From Local to Global Killer

Almost like detectives retracing the steps of a killer in a whodunnit, researchers have pieced together how the virus that later became known as HIV grew from infecting a few hunter-gatherers in Cameroon to affecting 76 million people across the globe.

Using historic blood samples to create a viral timeline, the team confirms that Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was the springboard for an explosion of infection that began around 1920 — and for the first time, comprehensively map out what happened next.

Once HIV had got a toehold in Kinshasa, migrant workers gradually carried the virus south to mining regions fed by new railways. Then, after the DRC became independent from Belgium in 1960, the virus spiralled out of control and spread to the rest of southern Africa, decades before the disease was first reported in 1981, and the virus was officially discovered in 1983.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Alfano Calls for End to Italy’s Mare Nostrum on Anniversary

Minister says Frontex Plus must take over Mediterranean rescues

(See related) (ANSA) — Tunis, October 3 — Italy’s Mare Nostrum sea search and rescue operation must be shut down and replaced by November with the European Frontex Plus, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Friday.

During a visit to Tunis on the first anniversary of one of two Lampedusa boat disasters that took the lives of some 400 migrants, triggering the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) program, Alfano said the responsibility for saving migrants heading for Europe must be assumed by European authorities. “(We need to see) European action to show that Europe takes charge of its own borders,” Alfano said.

“We will reach the objective of bringing Europe to patrol the Mediterranean border,” he added.

“We will do it by November and my idea is that Frontex Plus should start as soon as possible, already at the beginning of November (and) right afterwards, Mare Nostrum should be closed,” said Alfano.

Mare Nostrum has been effective, saving more than 90,000 lives, but it was not designed as a permanent program, he said.

Nor should Italy continue to shoulder the burden of sea rescues of migrants heading for all parts of Europe and only passing through the Italian peninsula, he said.

“The (Mediterranean) is a European border,” the minister said, adding that Mare Nostrum could not prevent some 500 people from dying and, according to survivors, 1,400 others from disappearing.

But it has succeeded in capturing more than 500 human smugglers during the past months.

“I have to say that these police operations have been the most concrete response to human traffickers,” said Alfano.

Outside of Mare Nostrum, Italy will continue to fight human trafficking, he said, and support migrants who have risked their lives to flee war and poverty.

“Today Italy remembers a dramatic day, a day in which on Italian coasts, on the coast of a splendid Mediterranean island like Lampedusa, migrants died,” Alfano concluded.

“We commemorate this with the emotion and pain we owe to the women, children and men who lost their lives on such a tragic day”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Alfano: Risks of Infiltration Among Migrants

Italian minister in Tunisia. Cooperation to be strengthen

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCTOBER 3 — Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Friday said that “it is not possible to draw a parallel between immigration and terrorism, also because many of these people are fleeing war and persecution”. However, the minister, who is currently visiting Tunis, added that “with the same element of responsibility we use to state this we must also say that nobody can rule out risks of infiltration”.

“We have no such reports, something confirmed by recent probes, and we have ruled out jihadist or terror cells, but our level of alert remains high”, Alfano also said.

Tunisian Premier Mehdi Jomaa assured Tunisia’s full engagement in continuing the intense cooperation with Italy both bilaterally and as far as Libya is concerned.

As far as the fight on terror, the need to boost the already effective coordination of police and intelligence work to fight radicalism and the phenomenon of “foreign fighters” was also stressed. The Tunisian government for its part expressed concern for the latest developments in Libya.

“It is clear that the Libyan front creates huge problems and damage as Libyan instability has an impact on Italy”, Alfano said. “The solution to the Libyan problem is the key to solve the majority of problems affecting migrants who arrive in Italy”.

Italy for its part, continued the minister, “is carefully monitoring all possible terror risks, including those that are apparently less significant. The alert level is high, we cooperate with exchanges of information with other countries of Europe and the West, which is very effective”.

Alfano also handed over two Italian patrol vessels that will enable the Tunisian government to boost its cooperation with Italy against illegal immigration and to welcome refugees in a better way.

“With the President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki, we spoke not just about this delicate Tunisian transition and the strengthening of democratic institutions, but mostly about the fight against illegal trafficking in the Mediterranean, starting with human smuggling rings and international terrorism”.

The cooperation between the two countries continues on the issue of Tunisians reported missing at sea, a problem also raised during the visit of President Giorgio Napolitano to Tunis on 2012. Cooperation in this field continues “very effectively”, confirmed the minister, stressing the engagement of the Italian ambassador to Tunis, who is “absolutely careful on every aspect that can make that tragedy more bearable for families by finding out the truth”. The joint working group, he concluded, “is based on the news and information in its possession and will continue to work until what really happened will be ascertained”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Immigration by Sea ‘Risk to Safety Security and Health’

Italian chief of staff cites foreign fighters

(ANSA) — Rome, October 1 — Immigration by sea represents a grave risk to safety, security and public health, Defence Chief of Staff Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli said Wednesday, also citing the possible infiltration of “foreign fighters”. Benelli, who was attending a conference called “Civil-military integration in the planning and management of EU operations”, noted that immigration by sea has radically changed in its size and dynamics with the conflicts and the political instability of the last few years. According to Benelli this complex array of circumstances and the ensuing risks cannot be solely addressed by the control of Italian borders and he invoked a joint effort to combat trafficking in international waters. Italy’s massive Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) operation is set to be superseded by an Italian-led EU programme, Frontex Plus.

Mare Nostrum has saved some 140,000 migrants since it was launched after 400 migrants died in two disasters a year ago.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 20 Charged in Migrant Deaf Carers Work Permit Scam

Illegal migrants paid 10,000 euros for permits

(ANSA) October 3 — The President of the National Federation of the Deaf, Pietro Giardini, is among 20 people charged with setting up a ring giving Egyptian immigrants fake work permits as carers for the deaf and dumb, paramilitary police said Friday.

Migrants paid as much as 10,000 for papers claiming they were carers for deaf people, meaning they could obtain permits to work in Italy, according to the Carabinieri.

Giardini, described as a leader of the organisation, allegedly told deaf people they would receive 1000 euros if they claimed they had hired Egyptians as carers or cleaners.

Foreigners paid between 7,500 and 10,000 euros for permits through the scam. Apart from the ‘gift’ of 1000 to the deaf person, the rest of the spoils were divided between the Federation president, a lawyer and two Egyptian pizza bakers whose task was recruiting the migrants. All four were charged with forming a criminal association aimed at aiding and abetting illegal immigration through false documentation and inducing public officials into error.

As many as 15 Egyptians were denounced for presenting falsified applications for permits, climaxing an investigation that lasted two years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Protesters in Lampedusa Commemorate Death of 368 Migrants

(AGI) Lampedusa, Oct 3 — Protesters peacefully gathered in Lampedusa airport on Friday where Laura Boldrini, the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz commemorated the death of 368 migrants on Oct. 3 last year. The event was attended by some 30 survivors and relatives of the victims of the shipwreck, who arrived on the island on Thursday evening.

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

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/3/2014


    “”Mohamed came to Australia from New Zealand in November, 2012. He worked as a customer services officer at Couriers Please in Port Melbourne and had told police he was a “Kiwi through and through” and had a degree in marketing and management from the Auckland University of Technology””.

    This poor man struggling from poverty, pulling himself by his boot straps, arrived in NZ as an 8 year old, then after his studies in NZ easily moved to Australia and continued working.

    “”During another intercept, he was recorded telling a friend that his family feared he would become a suicide bomber.
    “She thinks I’m going to end up blowing myself up down the line” “”.

    Read more:

  2. Testing their influence now.

    Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Wellington’s Kilbirnie mosque’s Secretary of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, Tahir Nawaz, says supporting the fight in Iraq would be a bad idea.
    “…..Once New Zealand troops are sent there, our public attitude could change….. “

    Obviously my earlier post show that one at least one jumped the gun, and earlier another “kiwi” was droned in Yemen. Another one burnt his New Zealand passport and now wants to go back to New Zealand. Undoubtedly there are others.

    • “To drone” as a verb referencing unmanned discriminate armed aggression? I like it. Let’s drone on-and-on over Islam.

  3. [] VENEZUELA :: Mysterious outbreak of hemorrhagic fever syndrome in Venezuela kills ten

    “An outbreak of a mysterious hemorrhagic fever syndrome in the Venezuelan state of Aragua and the country’s capital Caracas has left ten people dead in the last three weeks.”
    Similar to Ebola, this syndrome causes patients to experience high fever, skin rashes and bleeding. It has been described as an aggressive disease that leads to a fatal deterioration of health within 72 hours.
    Doctors have urged government authorities to declare a state of emergency in Aragua state; however they have received resistance from a surprising source.

    The state Governor, Tareck El Aissami, has not only denied medical reports of the disease, but has accused the president of the Aragua state Medical Association, Angel Sarmiento, of “creating anxiety.”


    Tarek Al-Aissami, the Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice, one of the key figures of the Chavez’s government, is accused by the media of having used this position to issue passports to members of Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Born in Lebanon of Syrian descent in 1980; his father, Carlos Al-Aissami, was the head of the Venezuelan branch of the Iraqi Baath political party. According to reports, before the invasion of Iraq his father held a press conference in which he described himself as a Taliban and called Osama Bin Laden, “the great Mujahedeen, Sheik Osama bin Laden.”[1] The Minister’s great-uncle Shibli Al-Aissami was a prominent ideologist and assistant to the secretary general of the Baath party in Baghdad during the Saddam Hussein regime.[2]

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