Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/5/2014

According to the latest reports from Iraq, fourteen ISIS activists were killed by a drone strike north of Tikrit. In Western Iraq, however, the Islamic State continues to advance. A provincial council member in Anbar Province says that Iraqi forces pulled back from the town of Mohammadi and allowed ISIS to take it without a fight.

In other news, a couple in northern Australia were told to take down the Australian flag from in front of their property because of the “current political climate”.

None of the above news stories has anything to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Steen, 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
» Egyptian Mission to Meet IMF and World Bank
» Garbage Taxes in Italy Up 22% in Four Years
» Italy: Govt Borrowed 68.6 Bn in First Nine Months
» Italy: Advance Redundancy Pay ‘Counter-Productive’: Confindustria
» Oklahoma Muslims Receive Special Praise From White House Officials
» U.S. Says it Needs Nukes to Defend Against Asteroids
Europe and the EU
» Conservatives Leading in Bulgaria’s Early Elections
» France Not ‘Wrong’ Over 3pct Benchmark, Say Premier Renzi
» Influx of Refugees Blamed for Sweden Recognizing Palestinian State
» Italian Police Get First Green Light to Test Stun Guns
» Italy: Meridiana Fly Staff Stage Sit-Ins Against 1,600 Job Cuts
» Italy: Bruti Liberati ‘Took Action’ Against Rival After Complaints
» Italy ‘Sick Democracy’ Says De Magistris
» Italy: Renzi’s Government Reopened Social Conflict, Says Union
» Milan to Become First Large Italian City With LED Lighting
» Sweden: Green MP Likens Jihadists to WWII Freedom Fighters
» Swedish Politician of Turkish Descent Becomes Energy Minister
» Serbia: Israel Company Opens Jet Engine Parts Plant in Ada
Mediterranean Union
» Italy: Too Few Exchanges Between Med Region Universities
» Trade Between Italy and Southern Med Has Tripled Since 1995
North Africa
» Libya: 40 Insurgents Killed by General Haftar’s Forces
Israel and the Palestinians
» Israel Summons Swedish Ambassador Over Palestine
» Israeli Intelligence Failures During Yom Kippur War Revisted
» The Days of Awe in 2014 Were Filled With Anything But Redemption
Middle East
» Drone Air Strike Kills 14 Islamic State Militants in Iraq
» Female Suicide Bomber Kills Jihadists in Kobane
» IS Continues to Gain Ground in Iraq
» Kassig Family Pleads for is to Let Their Son Go
» US Air Strikes in Syria Target French MI Defector
» Five Dead in Chechnya Suicide Bombing
» Man Who Blew Himself Up in Grozny Identified
South Asia
» Alliance Between Radical Burmese and Sri Lankan Monks Will “Destroy True Buddhism”
» India: Karnataka: Hindu Radicals Attack Two Men Transporting Cows
» Misereor, German Catholics Mark 50 Years of Aid to Christians and Muslims in Indonesia
» Pakistan Steps up Security as Taliban Vows to Support IS
» Twitter Gaffe Reveals Afghan Taliban Spokesman’s Pakistan Location
Far East
» Hong Kong, Beijing “Using Triads to Oust Occupy Central”
» Hong Kong Governor Tells Demonstrators: Evacuate by Oct 6
Australia — Pacific
» Couple Told to Take Down Australian Flag Because of “Current Political Climate
» Melbourne Airport Terror Swoops
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Somali Army Retakes Port of Barawe
Latin America
» Haiti Mourns Former President “Baby Doc” Duvalier
» Ragusa Authorities Begin Airlift to Transfer Migrants
» UK: Shakespeare at Age 4 Helps Immigrant Kids Learn in London

Egyptian Mission to Meet IMF and World Bank

(AGI) Cairo, Oct 5 — Three members of the Egyptian government and the governor of the Egyptian central bank, Hisham Ravez, will travel to Washington on Monday for meetings at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The news was released on Sunday by the Egyptian daily ‘al Ahram’, which wrote that the delegation will include the Minister for Investments, Ashraf Salman, the International Cooperation Minister, Ashraf al Araby and Hani Qadri Dimian, the Finance Minister. The three ministers have also scheduled meetings with U.S. entrepreneurial associations.

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

Garbage Taxes in Italy Up 22% in Four Years

Rises well above inflation rate of 7% in same period

(ANSA) — Rome, October 3 — Garbage taxes in Italy have increased an average of 21.96% in four years, well above the general inflation rate of 7% seen over the same period, the consumer group Federconsumatori said Friday.

The study examined rubbish taxes across 91 Italian cities assuming apartments of 100mq with families of three. Researchers concluded that households of that size spent an average of 284 euros on waste tariffs or 51 euros more than in 2010. The highest rate was paid by residents in Cagliari, Sardinia, at 532 euros. Southern Italian cities of Siracusa, Reggio Calabria, Salerno and Naples came next. People living in the northern cities of Cremone, Udine and Brescia paid the least, with tariffs of 136, 161 and 175 euros, respectively.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt Borrowed 68.6 Bn in First Nine Months

Economy ministry says almost 8 bn less needed in 2014

(ANSA) — Rome, October 1 — The Italian government borrowed about 68.6 billion euros in the first nine months of the year — roughly 7.7 billion euros less than was needed in the same period last year, the Economy ministry said Wednesday.

Italy has enjoyed reduced borrowing costs this year, issuing bonds at lower interest rates than seen in recent years.

As well, the spread between Italy’s benchmark 10-year bond and its German counterpart, generally seen as ultra-safe, has been narrowing, suggesting investor confidence has risen.

Wednesday, that spread closed at 138.5 basis points with the yield on 10-year Italian bonds at 2.28%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Advance Redundancy Pay ‘Counter-Productive’: Confindustria

Scheme would worsen credit crunch for small firms, employers say

(ANSA) — Naples, October 3 — A plan to increase workers’ pay packets by giving them the option of receiving severence pay in advance would be “counter-productive” for small firms already facing a credit crunch, Confindustria small business president Alberto Baban said Friday.

“Weakening or in whatever way, aggravating a system that at the moment still has not stabilised at a critical time for small and medium firms, is counter-productive,” Baban told a Naples conference on small and mid-sized business.

Baban said it was too early to say whether the scheme would be a drain on firms’ liquidity, but “at the moment small and medium firms are still in a period of difficulty, credit crunch and difficulty in access to liquidity”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Oklahoma Muslims Receive Special Praise From White House Officials

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Muslims marked the end of the yearly pilgrimage to mecca with communal prayer and celebration called Eid Ul-Adha on Saturday.

Leaders of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City say it’s been a tough month for Muslims here in Oklahoma after being associated with the beheading at Vaughan foods in Moore.

Leaders of the faith here in the state say vicious messages are being left for Oklahoma Muslims, telling them to get out of Oklahoma and threatening to behead them all because the man behind the beheading claimed to be Muslim…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

U.S. Says it Needs Nukes to Defend Against Asteroids

The U.S. government delayed the dismantling of some nuclear warhead components to protect against a foreign threat: asteroids. The nuclear component, called the canned subassembly (CSA), contains highly enriched uranium. Several of them were scheduled to be dismantled in 2015, but are now being kept until senior government officials can evaluate their usefulness in “planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,” according to a Government Accountability Office document reported on first by the Wall Street Journal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Conservatives Leading in Bulgaria’s Early Elections

(AGI) Sofia, Oct 5 — The conservative GERB party of former Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissonv won most of the votes in the early elections held on Sunday. According to the first exit polls the party garnered 33.9 percent of the 6.8 million votes, followed by the socialist BSP party with 16.5 percent and the Turkish minority party with 14.1 percent. Early elections were called after Prime Minister Plamen Oresarski announced his resignation and the dissolution of the government on July 23 due to the political crisis that followed the European Parliament elections in May.

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

France Not ‘Wrong’ Over 3pct Benchmark, Say Premier Renzi

(AGI) — Rome, Oct 3 — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, interviewed by CNN on Friday refused to condemn France for departing from the 3 percent deficit benchmark. “I am absolutely convinced that 3 percent is a past benchmark. Italy is a country that has lost credibility because it did not comply with past benchmarks. The Italian stance is, therefore, clear. We are complying with the 3 percent parameter.” Referring to France, Mr Renzi added, “If the French President decides to detach from benchmarks, no one can say he is doing wrong, as if Europe were a school, with a teacher and students.

Europe is a community of destinies.” ..

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

Influx of Refugees Blamed for Sweden Recognizing Palestinian State

Israel’s ambassador to Stockholm says Muslims fleeing Middle East have an outsized influence on leftist parties

Stockholm’s announcement over the weekend that it would recognize the independent state of Palestine was influenced by the vocal and growing Muslim minority in Sweden, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden charged Sunday morning.

New Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said during his inaugural address Friday that Sweden would recognize Palestine, a move that would make it the first member of the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state.

Loftven’s party, the Social Democrats, are “anti-Israeli,” ambassador Issac Bachman told Israel Radio, but another reason for the statement “is the large Arab minority, which has grown unbelievably this year,”

Bachman charged that Sweden has taken in some 80,000 Arab refugees in 2014, mostly from Iraq and Syria, and claimed there were 700,000 Muslims living in the country.

“All this against a social-democratic background, which is pro-Arabic, pro-Islam and anti-Israeli,” Bachman said.

In July, the Swedish Migration Board said it estimated 62,000 Syrians would apply for asylum in the country in 2014, among 80,000 expected refugees seeking asylum in Sweden this year.

“We have seen how the number of applicants has increased week by week and since midsummer we have had over 2,000 applicants each week, levels we have not seen since the horrors of the Yugoslav Wars”, Migration Board head Anders Danielsson said at the time.

A US State Department report in 2009 estimated some 500,000 of Sweden’s population was Muslim, making up 5 percent of its population of about 9 million. That numbers has likely jumped in past years with the influx of Syrian refugees.

Bachmann said the Islamic minority in Sweden has an outsized influence on the new leftist Swedish government, which itself is a minority government which did not receive more than 42 percent percent of the vote in total and is formed of parties which “hate Israel.”

Even though Sweden is an important European country, in announcing the recognition of Palestine, it has left the general European consensus, which still is behind the procedures laid down in the original Oslo agreement, which called for bilateral negotiations to determine the contours of the future Palestinian state, not unilateral declarations, Bachman said.

Jerusalem reacted angrily to Stockholm’s announcement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it will summon Sweden’s ambassador to Israel to protest Lofven’s move.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi said that actions such as the planned Swedish recognition would hurt peacemaking efforts rather than strengthen them..

“The more international support the Palestinians receive without being required to negotiate and without paying their due in mutual concessions, the less likely an accord becomes,” he told Israel Radio.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement Saturday that “If the situation in the Middle East is what concerns the Swedish prime minister in his inaugural speech, he would be better off focusing on more pressing matters in the region such as the daily mass killings taking place in Syria, Iraq and other places..”

In his speech Lofven said that “the conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.”

“The two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to co-exist peacefully. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” he added. He didn’t say when or how that would happen.

Several European countries including Hungary, Slovakia and Romania have given their recognition of Palestine as a state but did so before they became members of the EU.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to ask the UN Security Council to vote on a resolution that would seek an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines in a timeframe of two years.

In November 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to “non-member observer state.”

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed Lofven’s announcement and called on other European Union countries to follow suit.

“In the name of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership, we thank and salute the Swedish position,” Malki said in a statement.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat praised the announcement on Sunday and said that “we hope that all countries of the European Union will take the same courageous and remarkable decision … as there is no reason not to recognize the Palestinian state.”

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psakia said the US looks forward to working with the new government of Sweden — a close partner — but called international recognition of a Palestinian state “premature.”

“We believe that the process is one that has to be worked out through the parties to agree on the terms of how they’ll live in the future of two states living side-by-side,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Italian Police Get First Green Light to Test Stun Guns

After increase in assaults including soccer violence

(ANSA) — Rome, September 30 — Italian police on Tuesday got an initial green light to try using Taser stun guns after an increase in violent assaults on officers including soccer violence.

The news was welcomed by police unions but met with dismay by opposition parties.

The police force received a first OK to use Tasers on a trial basis thanks to a motion by Gregorio Fontana of the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, which has always been strong on law-and-order issues.

The motion must still be approved by the Lower House before the trial use of the electroshock weapon, used by police services in many countries, can begin.

Proponents say the weapons have allowed police to subdue dangerous suspects with fewer injuries than when guns are used.

However, critics have complained the use of Tasers can result in serious injury and even death.

The motion was approved after Italian Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico reworded the motion to say experimentation must take place “with necessary precautions for the health and safety of the public and in accordance with the principles of precaution, and after consultation with the health minister”.

Fontana said his motion’s approval constituted “a first real step toward the introduction of the Taser as a tool supplied to police”.

“It is hoped that the condition laid down by the rewording of the motion” does not impede “technological modernization of extreme usefulness for security operators and all citizens,” Fontana went on. The head of one of Italy’s police unions, ANFP, Lorena La Spina, hailed the news.

“We express satisfaction for the amendment aimed at adopting Tasers with the nessary caution for public safety,” she said in a statement.

She recommended that Tasers with an automatic video recording facility should be used “from the outset as they are in France and North America, so as to allay possible public concerns on their use”.

But the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) criticised the plans, saying the money should be used to raise officers’ salaries instead. “It has not been said how much these toy guns will cost us, while our amendments to lift the cap on police officers’ wages have been declared inadmissible,” MPs for the opposition movement led by gadfly ex-comedian Beppe Grillo said. “This is the priority of the government and majority: electric guns instead of unblocking wages and protecting the health of the police force,” they said. Another opposition party, Left, Ecology and Freedom (SEL) said “Tasers have been proven dangerous on so many occasions in the past and we are afraid they will be used indiscriminately once they are approved”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Meridiana Fly Staff Stage Sit-Ins Against 1,600 Job Cuts

‘Airline will replace us with cheaper Air Italy workers’

(ANSA) — Milan, October 2 — Staff at privately owned Meridiana Fly airline on Thursday staged sit-ins at Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports to protest management plans to lay off more than 1,600 employees in a restructuring that has included the acquisition of Air Italy low cost carrier. The airline operating domestic, European and intercontinental flights and headquartered in Sardinia is owned by British business magnate Aga Khan Prince Karim al-Hussayni, who founded it in 1963 to promote tourism in Sardinia.

The sit-ins will last through October 20 and will be followed by a strike October 24, while meetings with the labour and transport ministries are set for October 3, 7, 9, 14, and 21, organizers said.

The workers took action after management “reiterated its plans to cut 570 jobs in the Milan airports, 250 in Verona and 780 in Olbia,” said USB labor federation organizer Aldo Pignataro.

They will be replaced with staff and aircraft from Air Italy, Pignataro said.

In Olbia, some 100 Meridiana workers staged a mock funeral for Meridiana Fly with a coffin, a priest and a crown of flowers parading through the streets to city hall.

Mayor Gianni Giovannelli, who joined them, has called on Sardinia Governor Francesco Pigliaru to set up a meeting with the Aga Khan.

Meridiana workers decried what they said was a recent meeting between airline CEO Roberto Scaramella and staff at Air Italy, in which the executive allegedly gave his assurances that the two airlines will be merged as soon as 1,600 Meridiana employees are sacked.

“If true, this would set an extremely dangerous precedent,” said CISL union organizer Mirko Idili.

“Other companies would follow suit, and in times of crisis would simply buy a similar company with cheaper work contracts, fire their more expensive staff and replace it with the cheaper one”.

Meridiana pilots in September berated management’s plan to lay off 1,634 employees after what they said has been “a decade of deranged executive decisions” and mismanagement by Scaramella, who “gave himself a 700,000-euro salary while the company lost an estimated 200 million euros in 2014”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bruti Liberati ‘Took Action’ Against Rival After Complaints

Robledo complained to judiciary’s governing body over cases

(ANSA) — Milan, October 3 — Milan chief prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati said Friday that he stripped rival Alfredo Robledo of his brief for corruption cases after disputes between the pair reached the level of official complaints.

“I am the chief prosecutor and having regard to the disputes that were there, I decided to take this action to resolve the situation,” Liberati said.

The long-running and angry clash within the Milan prosecutors’ office reached new heights with Liberati’s decision to shift Robledo to the office in charge of criminal probes.

Liberati added that his actions were an attempt to resolve “problems in the general management of the office” of anti-corruption cases under Robledo’s leadership.

The pair have been at odds for months after Robledo filed a formal complaint to Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, against Bruti Liberati over several high-profile cases.

These include the case against Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his office to cover up the affair — charges that the ex-premier was cleared of after an appeals court overturned a conviction at the first-instance trial.

Robledo argued that Bruti Liberati’s decision to hand the Berlusconi sex case to anti-Mafia prosecutor Ilda Boccassini was illegitimate.

Bruti Liberati has hit back at Robledo, saying he interfered in a case regarding alleged corruption in Milan Expo 2015 contracts and put the investigation in peril.

Supreme court prosecutors are looking into the clash between the two. On Friday sources close to Robledo said he was “serene” and would respond to the transfer by reporting to the CSM.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy ‘Sick Democracy’ Says De Magistris

‘Must stop it becoming regime’ says suspended mayor

(ANSA) — Naples, October 2 — Italy is a “sick democracy” and there is “a long way to go to stop it becoming a regime,” suspended Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris told a press conference after being served notice he was being suspended because of an abuse-of-office conviction in his former career as a prosecutor. De Magistris, whose 15-month sentence triggered a ban under an anti-corruption law, voiced the hope he would serve a suspension of “just 3-4 months”, until his appeal verdict comes out, instead of the longest term possible, 18 months. He reiterated he had no intention of resigning.

The former prosecutor, convicted of ordering unauthorised wiretaps of politicians including former premier Romano Prodi, claimed justice had been hasty in his casee.

“They served the order to (Raimondo) Pasquino, (president of the Naples city council assembly), when he was in his pyjamas last night.

“What did they think, that I was going to try to escape?”.

De Magistris says the sentence was part of a plot to wrestle control of Naples from him and that he will now be the city’s mayor “on the streets”.

But after receiving the suspension notification he cancelled his attendance at a ceremony in Naples’s troubled Scampia district.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi’s Government Reopened Social Conflict, Says Union

(AGI) Rome, Oct 4 — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government has reopened a social conflict, said extreme-left FIOM trade union leader Maurizio Landini from the stage set up in Rome’s piazza Santissimi Apostoli, where a group of protesters have gathered together with representatives of the leftist party SEL, Left, Ecology and Freedom. “The one responsible for reopening the conflict in this Country is precisely Renzi’s government”, Landini said and added: “He has decided to start with Art. 18 [of the Statute of Workers]. I think that, on the contrary, it is our duty to unite this Country”.

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

Milan to Become First Large Italian City With LED Lighting

Energy-saving lights to put consumption below European average

(ANSA) — Milan, September 29 — Milan is set to be the first large Italian city to be illuminated entirely by LED lights, the City of Milan and energy utility A2A announced on Monday.

All 141,000 city-managed lights are scheduled to be outfitted with LEDs by August 2015, with 80% completed by the start of the Milan Expo in May. Pro-capita kilowatt consumption is expected to drop from 87 to 42 kilowatt hours, even lower than the European average of 51 kilowatt hours, outpacing France, Germany and Spain.

Milan’s city hall stands to save 10 million euros on energy in the first year alone.

A2A will invest 38 million euros in the project over a period of two years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Green MP Likens Jihadists to WWII Freedom Fighters

A Green Party MP has caused a stir after likening Swedish jihadists in Syria to Swedish freedom fighters in Finland during World War Two.

The comments came on Tuesday during a seminar in Almedalen about Islamophobia. On hand were Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag and Green Party MP Mehmet Kaplan, who is the former spokesman for the Muslim Council of Sweden.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Politician of Turkish Descent Becomes Energy Minister

Ibrahim Baylan, who was born in Turkey and moved to Sweden when he was eight, becomes new energy minister in new Social Democrat, Green coalition.

Another Swedish politician of Turkish descent, Mehmet Kaplan becomes the minister of housing and town planning. Kaplan was also former spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Sweden.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Serbia: Israel Company Opens Jet Engine Parts Plant in Ada

(ANSAmed) — ADA, 30 SEPTEMBER — Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Yossef Levy on Tuesday opened a new plant at the Precision Casting Foundry in Ada (Northern Serbia) that will manufacture jet engine parts.

Vucic said expressed hope that the plant’s workforce will become bigger than the current 63 or the planned 100 employees, and that it will hire 200 people from the Ada area.

Reflecting on the friendship and the ties between the two nations and countries, the Israeli ambassador said that the people, their education and commitment to work are the engine of joint development.

Israel’s Bet Shemesh Engines Ltd. bought the old Ada plant and decided to build a completely new plant to manufacture jet engine parts for foreign markets — for companies such as Airbus and Bombardier, as well as for Falcon aircraft.

One hundred percent of the plant’s output will be exported, in particular, to Germany, the United States and the Netherlands.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Too Few Exchanges Between Med Region Universities

‘Europe needs them’, but Arabs prefer France, UK and US to Italy

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 30 — The two-day meeting ‘Neighbourhood Policy and the Mediterranean Youth’ got underway in Rome on Tuesday.

It will focus on the importance of securing greater resources for professional training and university education in the Mediterranean area and how this could serve as a sort of ‘informal diplomacy’ to alleviate the ongoing conflicts in the area. The meeting will stress that too few students from the southern Mediterranean come to the northern part for educational purposes, and even fewer Europeans opt to study in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. The meeting is being held at the La Sapienza University in Rome with the collaboration of the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED), the French Embassy in Italy and the French Institute in Italy. Assessments of the situation show that too few students from the southern Mediterranean are able to move easily enough in Europe to begin or continue their education and even fewer EU students choose to study in the Arab world. An extremely low number of Italian students are in the MENA region. “Only six Italian students are studying in Jordan, for example,” noted Marcello Scalisi, UNIMED executive director. The main cause — in addition to economic difficulties — is difficulty with the language. Too few students from the Arab world make their way to Italy, as well.

“Some 30% of students from MENA go to France,” Scalisi said, “followed by a large share that go to the US or the UK.” “This is true of most of Europe,” said Sultan Abu Orabi, secretary general of Association of Arab Universities (AUA).

“Many Arab students prefer to go to the US instead of studying in Europe.” This is a strategic and economic mistake by the EU, he said. “Europe,” he warned, “needs workers of Arab origins, now and especially in the future.” There is also the issue of the revenue generated by Arab students, who spend money on their education and living costs in the country they study in. This can be seen in the US, he noted, “where the flow from MENA nations has brought in billions of dollars”. Abu Orabi said that the main obstacles are linguistic ones — since few universities are able to offer entire degree programs in English — and ones related to the difficulty of securing visas. “Too little mobility and too many barriers” stand in the way, he said. Many say that where diplomacy and politics have failed, universities can instead play an important role by “bringing in an informal sort of diplomacy in the form of scholars, who do not have political affiliations and are not tied to a religious creed”. Italy is “ready to do its part” and “is committed to not closing the door on the Mediterranean”, said Federico Cinquepalmi, from the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, in his speech at the meeting on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Trade Between Italy and Southern Med Has Tripled Since 1995

Exchange with Europe doubled. Report on risks and opportunities

(ANSAmed) — ROME- Despite regional turmoil, economic exchange between the European Union, North-African and Middle-Eastern countries has doubled in the last 18 years, going from 70 billion dollars in 1995 to 227 billion in 2012. With regard to Italy in particular trade has even tripled: from 21 billion dollars in 1995 to almost 79 billion in 2013. This data, published by Il Mulino’s “Report on the economies of the Mediterranean 2014 edition” proves the significance for countries of the northern Mediterranean flank, and for Italy in particular, of employing risk-analysis and assessment tools to gauge political and financial dynamics in the region.

For the breadth of topics covered and its multidisciplinary approach, Il Mulino’s report, edited in 2014 by Eugenia Ferragina and Paolo Malanima, is a unique compass among the central themes of euro-mediterranean integration.

Trade exchange between the two flanks of the Mediterranean has intensified but , according to the report, Europe has done too little to redress the social and economic gap between the two. Five-hundred million people live in the Mediterranean region but just one third of this population, the one living in the advanced north, can access two-thirds of energy and GDP. Il Mulino analysts say the stakes are high. Managing complex phenomena like the presence of unresolved conflicts on the southern flank of the basin (the Arab-Israeli conflict),confronting asylum pleas from the citizens of countries at war and the pressures of migration are staggering challenges but good news is on the way too.

According to Imf estimates, the growth of economies in the eastern and southern Mediterranean will accelerate in the near future and reach 4% in countries like Tunisia, Marocco and Turkey.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: 40 Insurgents Killed by General Haftar’s Forces

(AGI) Tunis, Oct 5 — At least 40 Islamist militants from the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries were killed on Saturday night during clashes with Libyan armed forces loyal to discharged General Khalifa Haftar. The news was reported on Sunday by the al-Wasat website citing medical sources. Many of the insurgents were foreigners, the sources said. Haftar’s troops have carried out multiple attacks against the militant group over the last few days.

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

Israel Summons Swedish Ambassador Over Palestine

(AGI) Cairo, Oct 5 — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has summoned the Swedish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Carl Magnus Nesser. This follows an announcement by Sweden’s new Prime Minister Stefan Loven that his would be the first European country to formally recognise the state of Palestine. The news was reported on Sunday morning by Israeli foreign office media, which said that Sweden’s decision was testament to the fact that Mr Loven had not yet understood that Sweden itself had constituted an obstacle between the Israelis and the Palestinians over the last 20 years.

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

Israeli Intelligence Failures During Yom Kippur War Revisted

Yesterday in my small synagogue in Pensacola, Rabbi Israel Vana, prior to the Yizkor or Memorial service during the day long worship, spoke about his fallen comrades during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was the 41st Anniversary of the War. Rabbi Vana referred to miracles that spared the fate of Israel and bolstered the commitment to never let it happen again. He also asked the question, why did it happen? This weekend, more was revealed in declassified files from the Agranat Commission that portrayed the failure of intelligence and IDF leaders to grasp the significance of information indicating an imminent attack. It was due to ‘ha concepion’ — the delusional strategic doctrine adopted by the IDF following the victorious Six Days of War in June 1967 that Arab Armies could not mount another war.. This weekend, declassified documents from the Agranat Commission, that investigated the failed intelligence lapses of the Yom Kippur War, were released. The Jerusalem Post report provided telling evidence of IDF military intelligence missteps, “Declassified Yom Kippur War papers reveal new insights into ‘73 intel units”.The releases reveal the stubborn refusal of military intelligence officials to heed warning signals, deficiencies and call up of requisite analytical resources. An annual national Yom Kippur War memorial service was held in Jerusalem October 5, 2014. Israeli Minister of Defense (MoD), Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Israeli President Rivlin and other IDF and ministry officials attended as is customary. MoD Ya’alon, participated in the Yom Kippur War as a reservist in the initial crossing of the Suez canal that encircled the Egyptian Third Army. Ya’alom noted the intelligence debacle in his remarks, in a Jerusalem On-line article,’ “We will not be deluded regarding our enemies’ intentions”.Witness the Israeli intelligence and military bureaucracy bungling the development of systems to detect and destroy the terror tunnels of Hamas. Tunnels built beneath the Gaza Israel frontier used to launch murderous attacks against both Israeli civilians and valiant IDF service personnel.. As in the instances of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 2006 Second War in Lebanon there already have been questions in the Knesset raised about the intelligence lapses in the 50 day Operation Protecttive Edge. Doubtless a new Knesset Commission may be formed to investigate similar intelligence and operatonal lapses during Israel’s latest war against Hamas in Gaza.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

The Days of Awe in 2014 Were Filled With Anything But Redemption

The ten days from the start of the Month of Tishrei in the Jewish Calendar are referred to as the Days of Awe. The First of Tishrei is the holy day of Rosh Hashanah while the tenth Day culminates in Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), perhaps one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. During the Days of Awe in the first Ten Days of Tishrei 2014 there was a surfeit of opprobrium heaped on Israel from its enemies, allies and fellow Jews

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas went to the podium before the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Rosh Hashanah, September 25th. He accused Israel of ‘genocide’ in the recent Gaza war, calling an end to Peace negotiations with Israel. Instead he promoted a UN Security Council Resolution declaring a Palestinian State “under occupation” based on the pre-1967 War armistice line and claiming East Jerusalem as its capital…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Drone Air Strike Kills 14 Islamic State Militants in Iraq

(AGI) Baghdad, Oct 5 — A drone air strike killed 14 Islamic State (IS) militants on Sunday in the Iraqi town of Baiji, north of Tikrit. According to reports by the Nova local security force, Iraqi troops have suffered heavy losses during the past few days in the attempt to free the centre of Tikrit, which was taken by the Al Qaeda-linked IS last June. Baghdad’s army has repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to organise an effective offensive against the birth town of Saddam Hussein over the last few weeks.

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

Female Suicide Bomber Kills Jihadists in Kobane

(AGI) Beirut, Oct 5 — In an apparent first for the Syrian conflict, a Kurdish female suicide bomber targeted an ISIS position east of Kobane, the besieged Syrian Kurdish city on the border with Turkey. The blast killed several ISIS fighters.

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

IS Continues to Gain Ground in Iraq

(AGI) Baghdad, Oct 5 — Islamic State (IS) militants have seized control of Mohammadi, in the western part of Iraq’s Al Anbar Governorate, deputy head of Anbar provincial council Faleh al-Issawi said. Earlier the militants had taken the nearby city of Hayt. Security forces have withdrawn from Mohammadi without opposing the IS fighters, allowing them to build up strength near the Syrian border.

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

Kassig Family Pleads for is to Let Their Son Go

(AGI) Washington, Oct 4 — The parents of Peter Kassig, the designated victim of the Islamic State’s (IS) next act of brutality in the form of filmed execution, recorded a video message in which they plead for IS to show pity and release their son. Ed and Paula Kassig expressed pride of their son and his humanitarian efforts in Syria, where he was captured.

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

US Air Strikes in Syria Target French MI Defector

IRBIL, Iraq — A former French intelligence officer who defected to al Qaida was among the targets of the first wave of U.S. air strikes in Syria last month, according to people familiar with the defector’s movements and identity.

Two European intelligence officials described the former French officer as the highest ranking defector ever to go over to the terrorist group and called his defection one of the most dangerous developments in the West’s long confrontation with al Qaida.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Five Dead in Chechnya Suicide Bombing

(AGI) Moscow, Oct 5 — At least five Chechen policemen were killed and 12 wounded as a suicide bomber’s attack was foiled inside a crowded theatre in Grozny. The bomber was identified by police who managed to disperse the crowd before he detonated his explosives.

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

Man Who Blew Himself Up in Grozny Identified

The explosion killed four police officers and injured four more

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. A man who blew himself up in the Chechen capital city of Grozny on Sunday has been identified, a spokesman for the Russian interior ministry told TASS.

“The man has been identified as a resident of the Staropromyslovsky district who has been missing since he left home two months ago,” the spokesman said.

An investigation is underway.

Earlier on Sunday, the press centre of the Russian interior ministry said that that a major terrorist attack had been prevented by the police in Grozny.

“A concert on the occasion of the City Day was planned for Sunday evening in Grozny,” the press centre said. “Police officers who were on duty at walk-through metal detectors near the concert hall saw a suspicious-looking young man. When the police officers moved towards him, the man blew himself up.”

The explosion killed four police officers and injured four more, the press centre said, adding that there was no information about casualties among civilians.

[Return to headlines]

Alliance Between Radical Burmese and Sri Lankan Monks Will “Destroy True Buddhism”

Some moderate religious criticise pact between Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Myanmar’s 969 movement to “fight” Islamic fundamentalism. “For us, they are a disgrace, not real Buddhists,” critics say. Both groups are responsible for violence against minority communities in their respective countries.

Colombo (AsiaNews) — “A process of destruction of true Buddhism” is underway, some Buddhist monks told AsiaNews as they spoke about the close alliance struck by the radical Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the Burmese 969 movement.

On Tuesday, leaders from the two groups signed a pact to “extirpate Islamic fundamentalism” and “preserve Buddhism”. Both are infamous in their respective countries for carrying out violent actions against the Muslims.

According to Ven Bendiwewa Diyasena Thero, president of the moderate Buddhist Aaryange Ekamuthuwa movement, “these people want to create a society full of violence. They have the freedom and strength to do it because the government is on their side. However, Buddhism teaches us to treat others as equals, to tolerate others. Accordingly, Buddhist monks should be holy, not representatives of evil. “

“No violent group can protect religion. It is really a disgrace that the 969 movement and Bodu Bala Sena call themselves Buddhists. For us, they are not,” said another Sri Lankan monk, who requested his name be withheld for security reasons, told AsiaNews:

In Myanmar, Ashin Wirathu and his movement have been accused of inciting violence against the country’s Muslim minority. In particular, clashes between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in 2012 left at least 250 dead in Rakhine State, with tens of thousands of Muslim refugees.

For its part, the BBS has promoted a hate campaign for more than a year against Sri Lanka’s minorities, especially Christians and Muslims.

The lowpoint came last June when groups of radical Buddhists sparked violent unrest in the Muslim areas of Aluthgama and Beruwala, killing four people.

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

India: Karnataka: Hindu Radicals Attack Two Men Transporting Cows

The victims were working with the cattle, perhaps illegally. The attackers, some twenty in all, beat the men with knives and sticks. So far police have arrested only one person.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — A group of Hindu radicals have attacked and severely beaten by two men in Bantwal, in Karnataka, who are now hospitalized in critical condition. The attack took place yesterday morning. The victims, identified as Basheer and Siddiq, were transporting livestock — perhaps illegally — when they were assailed by seven men in a car and on motorcycles.

Soon after, five more people blocked the road. Panicking, the driver lost control of the truck. The man managed to escape, but not Basheer and Siddiq. The attackers — about 20, belonging to the Sangh Parivar — dragged them out of the vehicle and beat the two, armed with sticks and knives. After beating them unconscious the mob abandoned them on the roadside to die.

The victims were admitted to a private hospital in Mangalore. Alerted, the police confiscated a motorcycle and arrested one person, but is still on the trail of the other attackers. A complaint has been lodged against the group.

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

Misereor, German Catholics Mark 50 Years of Aid to Christians and Muslims in Indonesia

The German Bishops’ Conference Organization for cooperative development supports projects to foster “democratic” development. It supports ideas and initiatives regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation. The purpose is to strengthen the ideal of “unity in diversity” that is the foundation of the state.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — With little fanfare but with concrete results the German Bishops’ Conference Organization for cooperative development is marking 50 years of support to the people of Indonesia. Better known in the Asian country with the nickname of Misereor, the association has contributed to numerous initiatives that foster “democratic” development, collaborating with various NGOs and supporting their ideas, without discrimination or favoritism.

At a two day conference held last week on the island of Bali Misereor Indonesia director Ulirch Dornberg, outlined this commitment to r 49 local partners. The support provided, he explains to AsiaNews, is in favor of all human beings in need “without distinction of race, sex, religion or nationality.”

Joining the many priests and lay Catholics in Indonesia attending the two-day meeting, there were also different personalities of the Muslim, including women wearing the traditional hijab, and representatives of pro human rights associations based in Jakarta.

The purpose is to strengthen “unity in diversity” in Indonesia, in a troubled time in its history. The election of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as president — who will take office at the end of the month — could open “a new chapter” for the country, giving rise to a “better” and more developed reality.

The goals of the German organization is the need to ensure a better future for farmers in remote areas of the archipelago. This has led to environmental awareness programs, educational projects and campaigns against mining in protected or sensitive areas.

“This is just the beginning — concludes Ulirch Dornberg — for a further strengthening of the network.” Among the various realities that have long collaborated with the German Misereor there is Caritas in the forefront in the fight against human trafficking and aid to victims of natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, floods and landslides.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3.6 per cent. Catholics are an active component in society. Over the years, they have contributed to the nation’s development and played a major role in emergency operations, as was the case during the devastating floods of January 2013.

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

Pakistan Steps up Security as Taliban Vows to Support IS

(AGI) Karachi, Oct 5 — Pakistani security forces have tightened security around the country following Saturday’s announcement that the Pakistani Taliban had vowed to support Islamic State (IS) fighters. Another militant group, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban and led by Omar Khorasani, posted a 10 minute video on the internet on Sunday, offering to help the militants in Syria and Iraq. The government in Islamabad has begun to step up security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province bordering Afghanistan, by sending in 2,000 soldiers.

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

Twitter Gaffe Reveals Afghan Taliban Spokesman’s Pakistan Location

An apparently errant tweet by the Taliban’s spokesman in Afghanistan gave his location as being in neighboring Pakistan.

On Friday, a tweet by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claiming an attack included geolocation information that suggested he sent the message from Sindh, Pakistan.

Mujahid later sent a tweet Saturday describing the location leak as an “enemy plot.” He also offered his Afghan telephone number to confirm his identity and wrote: “With full confidence, I can say that I am in my own country.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong, Beijing “Using Triads to Oust Occupy Central”

Students who have taken to the streets for democracy warn: last night’s riots were orchestrated by China, which is using members of the triads to unleash violence. Talks with government canceled (for now). Martin Lee: “They are using an old communist trick to avoid getting their hands dirty while taking out unwelcome people”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — Yesterday’s “targeted attacks” against democratic protesters “are nothing more than an old and well known communist tactic. They set people against other people: in this way they can remove uncomfortable people without getting their hands dirty in front of reporters”. This is according to Martin Lee, 76, founder of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong. According to Lee, who has been active for decades in defending democracy in the Territory, the presence of the violent members of the triads “does nothing but confirm our worst suspicions. They want to eliminate us at all costs”.

The violent clashes took place in Mong Kon, the commercial district of Kowloon Peninsula, and around the corridors of power in Central. Here, a week ago, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated peacefully to ask Beijing to “keep its promises” and allow democracy in Hong Kong. The police assault against a group of unarmed students, which took place on September 29, only served to garner further popular support for the demonstrations.

Perhaps to avoid another boomerang effect, yesterday it wasn’t police who took to the streets, but organized groups of “civilians” — who do speak Mandarin and not Cantonese — who tried to break up pickets and raise the tension. The authorities did not intervene, allowing the violence to unfold but today 19 people were arrested, of which “some” had mafia links.

Faced with this situation, the Students Federation has decided to cancel meetings scheduled with the Secretary General of the Territory, Carrie Lam. In a statement, the federation said they “have no choice but to cancel the meetings, given that the police have turned a blind eye to the attacks against demonstrators conducted in different areas of the city and in particular against the students in Mong Kok “. Benny Lai, a law professor and one of the three founders of Occupy Central, has supported the students version stating that the attackers, who wounded a dozen young people were members of the triads.

These mafias, particularly in the south of China, have traditionally support the government in Beijing. Eyewitnesses reported that some of the so-called “anti-Occupy” seemed to really be a citizens of Hong Kong, but added that the majority was made up of men between 30 and 40 years old in shorts and T-shirt with garish tattoos, a fact confirmed by dozens of photos posted on Twitter and other social media sites.

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

Hong Kong Governor Tells Demonstrators: Evacuate by Oct 6

(AGI) Beijing, Oct 4 — Hong Kong governor, C Y Leung, told the Occupy Central movement to evacuate government offices and schools by next Monday, or the situation will “probably get out of hand”. The Occupy Central movement has been demonstrating for the past severn days, focusing on some of the main areas of the former British colony. Mr Leung, in a speech aired on television, warned that “the most urgent thing is that entrances and exits of government offices be reopened on Monday, in order to allow the 3,000 members of staff to work normally and serve the citizens”.

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

Couple Told to Take Down Australian Flag Because of “Current Political Climate

A DARWIN couple say they have been ordered to take down the Australian flag from their front yard because of the “current political climate.”

But homeowners Paul and Julie Lucas have refused to do so, instead choosing keeping their flag flying.

The pair finished renovations at their Stuart Park property complete with flag pole earlier this week.

Body corporate Castle Real Estate Managing Director Daniel Ferguson has denied he said it was because of the political climate.

“Until you can show me a written law that says it is illegal to fly the Australian flag on your property that flag will remain.” Picture: Michael Franchi Source: News Limited

“It doesn’t matter what the structure is,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Paul and Julie failed to apply to the body corporate for permission to erect a structure, no application has been made.”

Mr Lucas did not believe had to apply for permission…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Melbourne Airport Terror Swoops

COUNTER-terrorism officers intercepted 11 suspected terrorists at Melbourne and Sydney airports in less than a month in a multi-agency security crackdown.

Officers who searched the grounded suspects found images of beheadings and other violent Islamist propaganda on electronic devices and seized tens of thousands of dollars in ­undeclared cash allegedly being smuggled out of the country.

A twelfth man, 19-year-old Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, of NSW, allegedly flew out of Sydney on his brother’s passport before Australian officers raised the alarm and had United Arab Emirates authorities deport him back.

The revelations came as Australia’s Super Hornet fighter jets were last night in the skies above Iraq waiting for the final go-ahead to launch air strikes against Islamic State, and 200 special ­forces personnel were also poised to join the Iraqi security forces in a training and advisory role.

The Herald Sun can reveal:

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Somali Army Retakes Port of Barawe

(AGI) Mogadishu, Oct 5 — The Somali army has retaken the country’s last port from Shebaab militants. The port of Barawe, 200 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, is now under the full control of regular troops, which had backup from African Union peacekeepers during the operation. The situation was calm, said provincial governor Abdukadir Mohamed Nur, and the militants had taken flight.

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

Haiti Mourns Former President “Baby Doc” Duvalier

(AGI) Port-au-Prince, Oct 4 — Haiti’s former president Jean-Claude Duvalier, 63, known as “Baby Doc” Duvalier and the son of “Papa Doc” Francois Duvalier, died on Saturday. Papa Doc Duvalier was a physician and the dictator of Haiti from 1964 till his death in 1971. Jean-Claude Duvalier was president of Haiti from the death of his father in April 1971 until 1986, when he fled to France and settled in Paris. On Jan. 17, 2011 he returned to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010.

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

Ragusa Authorities Begin Airlift to Transfer Migrants

(AGI) Ragusa, Oct 5 — Authorities in Ragusa have started airlifting some of the 700 plus migrants in a temporary reception centre from the Sicilian city’s Comiso airport. Over 200 more migrants, rescued at sea on Sunday, are expected to arrive at the centre in the afternoon.

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

UK: Shakespeare at Age 4 Helps Immigrant Kids Learn in London

The 450 children enrolled in Britannia Village Primary School in east London, one of the poorest places in the U.K., speak 56 different languages at home. At their school, ranked among the best in Britain, they study Shakespeare beginning at age 4. Many show up on their first day of school barely able to speak a word of English.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

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

  1. Just been reading the Daily Mail on that Darwin couple who have been told to not fly the Aussie flag. It appears from the article that the couple live in a condominium type arrangement, that in Darwin would undoubtedly be a home to many different nationalities. The bone of contention appears to be the flag being set up on or near the community swimming pool fence, which is in place as a safety barrier around the pool, and without written permission from the body corporate.

    It’s great to be patriotic, but when one lives within a diverse community one should also respect the rules and requirements that are in place for the benefit of all residents and not just the patriotic ones.

    If this was their own private property there would be no issue!

    • This issue hsd nothing to do with the nationalities of the residents. It has to do with the rule and regulations of the condo complex. Im sure a compromise can be reached between the couple and the condo board.

      • Contentions among and between condo owners are a mare’s nest of unspoken resentments which the rules and regulations – so seemingly rational when set down on paper – don’t address. In fact, they can’t address them given the silent drivers of diversity.

        Anyone who buys a condo can only hope that as ownerships change, the new people moving in are amenable to a variety of differences. In principle, diversity “ought” to increase tolerance but in real life it only increases our allergic response.

        I don’t know the details here, but Flag Fights in such places are so common as to be akin to kabuki theatre. Condo living is not for flag wavers unless the whole condo is founded on some such basis ahead of time. For example: a complex called, say, “Bars and Stars Valley View” is advertising upfront the kinds of people they want to attract. That’s not a bad thing; in fact it’s good to know ahead of time that you’d be sharing your external living space with folks whose family will never ever forget what Sherman did to Georgia. And at least you’d have the basis for some kind of community.

        Of course, the endless demonstrations and vandalism directed against such a place would probably get old real quick. Besides, such a name is probably illegal by now…

      • Eric, the other aspect to this ‘issue’ is the problem a nation makes for itself when it begins to lose its own identity under MC/PC rules, that problem being, that if the host culture abandons its own right to be assertive in assimilating immigrants into the nation state, then how is it possible to maintain the rule of one law, one people mantra while permitting a culturally diverse population to transplant their own ideals in the land they have generally escaped to and actively seek to transform to their own liking?

  2. Also note: @ Jeff Gauvin ‏@JeffersonObama 2m2 minutes ago. The Allies now finally bombing the living hell out of Daesh positions on northern sphere of #Kobane with everything they got! #ISIS

  3. Please, please, note the following: Matte ‏@_gwymplaine 1m1 minute ago. URGENT CALL FROM KNK: Thousands of civilian in #Kobane are under threat of massacre!! Chi tace è complice … Yes, “Chi tace è complice” — “Who remains silent is complicit”!
    and the vanir ‏@thevanir 3m3 minutes ago. Do you remmember Bosnia? Then learn where #Kobane is cos ur child ll ask one day what u did while these ppl dying as they waited 4 help

  4. Situation at Kobane, as per

    Gilgamesh✌ ‏@gilgameshh 19m19 minutes ago. Reports of 5 airstrikes on Kobane eastern front.

    Middle East 24 ‏@middleeast_24 17m17 minutes ago. United Nations calls to protect civilians in #Kobanê

    A brief report blipped also, c. 17 mins ago, of US veterans fighting alongside Kurds in Kobane, and then immediately vanished, presumed take off line at If they are there, let’s hope they are safe.

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