Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/8/2014

Canadian authorities have thwarted a planned series of attacks by extremists, who intended to carry out extreme acts against American and Canadian targets in Canada. The intended extremism was fortunately only in the “aspirational” stage. In any case, it had nothing to do with Islam.

In other news, forces of the Islamic State were pushed back by Kurdish fighters from the Syrian town of Kobani, on the border with Turkey. Meanwhile, violent protests broke out across Turkey, with fighting between supporters and opponents of ISIS. At least eighteen people were killed in the clashes.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, 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
» Italy Has Worst Regional Job Market Disparities in OECD
» Slovenia: Corrective Budget, Likely to Break Deficit Threshold
» Critically Ill Ebola Patient in U. S. Could Face Charges
» Dallas Ebola Patient Dies, Hospital Says
» GOP Rep: ‘At Least Ten ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Coming Across the Mexican Border’
» In Ebola Response, U.S. To Screen for Fever at 5 Airports
» Muslim Mother Turned Away From Public Pool Because of Clothing
» Twisted Ivy: Harvard Students Say US Bigger Threat to World Peace Than ISIS
» Two Americans and a German Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry
» White House Monitored JPMorgan Breach With Alarm
» Canadian Police Investigating Extremists
» Canadian Authorities Overheard Plans for ‘Potential ISIS-Inspired Knife-and-Gun Attacks’: NBC
Europe and the EU
» “A Crime Against Peaceful Coexistence”: Muslims Burn Coptic Church in Germany
» Calls for Sweden to Increase Ebola Help
» Carlos the Jackal to Face New Murder Trial in France
» EU to Work With Internet Giants Against ISIS
» Greece: Jailed Neo-Nazi MPs Will Not Vote for Confidence
» Italy: Soccer: Coni Chief Laments ‘Damage’ of Tavecchio Suspension
» Italy: Elkann Says Agnelli Shares Could be Sold Only to Help FCA
» Italy: Abuse Uncovered at Southern ‘Nursing Home of Horror’
» Italy: Leftwing FIOM Union Ready to ‘Occupy Factories’
» Italy: Govt Departments Being Asked to Cut Up to 4.5 Bn Euros
» Netherlands: ‘Mixed Marriages Don’t Lead to Greater Integration’
» Spain: Second Nursing Assistant Admitted to Hospital With a Fever
» Spanish Government Under Pressure Following Ebola Diagnosis
» Three More in Quarantine for Ebola in Spain
» UK Rules Bahraini Prince Can be Prosecuted for Torture
Mediterranean Union
» Jordan Renews Southern Co-Presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean
North Africa
» ISIS: 3 Killed in Algeria, Maybe From Gourdel Killers’ Group
Israel and the Palestinians
» Islamic State Group Flier Claims Responsibility for Gaza Attack
» Palestine: EU Provides Almost €13 Million to Vulnerable Families
Middle East
» 40 ISIS Fighters Killed in Kobane Air Strikes
» Airstrikes Force ISIS to Regroup Outside Kobane, SOHR Says
» At Least 18 Killed in ISIL Protests Across Turkey as Curfew Declared in Six Provinces
» At Least Nine Dead, Several Injured in Kurdish Protests in Turkey
» Digital Jihad: Inside Islamic State’s Savvy PR War
» Heads We Lose
» ISIS Believed to Earn 1 Million Dollars a Day
» ISIS: Turkey in State of Chaos as 12 Die in Pro-Kobane Demos
» ISIS: ‘Airstrikes Alone Won’t Save Kobani’, Pentagon
» More Than 400 Killed in Syrian City of Kobane
» Syrian Rebels Advance Towards Qalamun
» ‘Turkey’s Priority is Kurdish Problem, Not is Group’
» US Increasingly Frustrated by Turkey’s Inaction Against Islamic State
» Who Does Turkey Support?
South Asia
» Five Rapists Hanged in Kabul
» India: Madhya Pradesh: The Government Cancels a Christian Gathering for Disturbing the Peace
» Kashmir Border Clashes Flare Up Again
Far East
» Hong Kong: For Bao Tong, Occupy’s Stalemate is Not an Issue for the Seeds of Democracy Have Been Sown
» Lego Lays the Blocks for Asian Dominance
Sub-Saharan Africa
» West African States Unite to Fight Boko Haram Islamists
Culture Wars
» Italian Interior Minister Defends Anti-Gay Marriage Order
» Italy: Alfano Blocks Gay Union Registration, Bologna Defiant
» Water on the Moon Came From Solar Wind

Italy Has Worst Regional Job Market Disparities in OECD

Campania in worst 1% of OECD labour markets, OECD says

(ANSA) Brussels, October 6 — Italy is the OECD country with the greatest regional disparities in labour market indicators with marked differences between north and south also in income, security and environment, the OECD said Monday.

According to a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the southern region of Campania is in the bottom 1% of the worst job markets among OECD countries while the northern German-speaking province of Bolzano is in the top 15%.

Regions in Italy that have the highest performance for quality of life scores above average on all indicators except the number of rooms per person, access to broadband and percentage of workers with university degrees.

Worst scoring regions have double the average OECD unemployment rates.

Campania places bottom in Italy for income while Trento is among the best in the OECD for security and Calabria has the worst score of Italy for security placing just above the bottom 20% of the OECD.

Sardina has the best score for the environment in Italy while Lombardy has the worst for Italy and also for the OECD.

Trento is at the top of both Italy and OECD scores for health service quality while Campania is at the bottom of the ratings.

For education Lazio places best in Italy but is only at the lowest OECD level.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Corrective Budget, Likely to Break Deficit Threshold

(ANSAmed) — LJUBLJANA, OCTOBER 8 — Slovenian Economy Minister Dusan Mramor has announced a new corrective budget this year.

Public deficit will increase by 200 million euros, from 1 billion to 1.2 billion euros, while the deficit will break the 3%-deficit-to-GDP ratio originally forecast at 3.2%. The deficit is expected to further increase to 3.4% in 2015.

The measure reportedly became necessary due to a drastic fall in revenues, leading Slovenia to exceed once more the 3% deficit threshold set by Maastricht. The deficit set for 2015 is 2.5% of GDP.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Critically Ill Ebola Patient in U. S. Could Face Charges

(AGI) Dallas, Oct 8 — Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian with Ebola, is critically ill in hospital in Dallas. He has been given experimental treatment, is connected to a ventilator and on kidney dialysis. The district attorney is also considering the possibility of charging him for having wilfully exposed the general public to the virus. Mr Duncan landed in the U.S. from Liberia on Sept. 20 to marry the mother of his child and start a new life. Before leaving Monrovia he filled in a form giving assurance that he had had no contact with any Ebola victim.

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

Dallas Ebola Patient Dies, Hospital Says

Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, the patient with the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States and the Liberian man at the center of a widening public health scare, died in isolation at a hospital in Dallas on Thursday, hospital authorities said.

Mr. Duncan died at 7:51 a.m. at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, more than a week after the virus was detected in him on Sept. 30. His condition had worsened in recent days to critical from serious as medical personnel worked to support his fluid and electrolyte levels, crucial to recovery in a disease that causes bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. Mr. Duncan was also treated with an experimental antiviral drug, brincidofovir, after the Food and Drug Administration approved its use on an emergency basis.

[Return to headlines]

GOP Rep: ‘At Least Ten ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Coming Across the Mexican Border’

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., says that at least ten fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have been apprehended while attempting to enter the southern U.S. border.

The California Republican claims that “at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas,” in a conversation with Fox News on Tuesday. Hunter says that the Islamic terrorists are slipping into the U.S. through the porous southern border as several have already been captured.

“There’s nobody talking about it,” Rep. Hunter told Fox. “If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border. It’s that simple…They caught them at the border, therefore we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

In Ebola Response, U.S. To Screen for Fever at 5 Airports

Federal officials said Wednesday that they would begin temperature screenings of passengers arriving from West Africa at five American airports, beginning with Kennedy International in New York as early as this weekend, as the United States races to respond to a deadly Ebola outbreak.

Travelers at the four other airports — Washington Dulles International, O’Hare International, Hartsfield-Jackson International and Newark Liberty International — will be screened starting next week, according to federal officials.

The screenings will be for passengers arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries hardest hit by the epidemic.

[Return to headlines]

Muslim Mother Turned Away From Public Pool Because of Clothing

Pool rules require ‘specified swim attire only’

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — When Sabah Ali took her family to the Commerce City Recreation Center to swim Sunday afternoon, her clothing conformed to her religious beliefs, but not pool rules.

“Why do I have to be half naked to swim? To enjoy my time with my kids?” Ali asked, sobbing. “I want to have the same rights as every citizen.”

Ali was wearing what she called an “Islamic dress” with a shirt and pants underneath.

But rec center employees pointed to pool rules stating “specified swimming attire only.”

“I told them I would take off the long dress, if that was their concern, and that I had clothes on underneath,” said Ali. “But they said if they let me, everyone would ask, ‘Why did you let them and not us?’“

Michelle Halsted, a Commerce City spokeswoman, said the rules not allowing street clothes are best practices for public health and safety, and they include options ranging from rash guards to full body swimsuits.

Halsted said the rules are not discriminatory, but are equally enforced…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Twisted Ivy: Harvard Students Say US Bigger Threat to World Peace Than ISIS

They got most of their SAT questions right, but students at Harvard blew this lay-up posed by the college blog Campus Reform: Who is the bigger threat to world peace, ISIS or the U.S.?

Various students at the hallowed Ivy League school said they believe that America, not the Muslim fanatics who behead innocent people, is the biggest threat to world peace.

The students were interviewed on the quad by Campus Reform on Saturday, and the shocking video was posted on Tuesday.

“As a Western civilization, we’re to blame for a lot of the problems that we’re facing now,” one student said during an interview. “I don’t think anyone would argue that we didn’t create the problem of ISIS, ourselves.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Two Americans and a German Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Two Americans and a German researcher on Wednesday were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work fine-tuning optical microscopy so that molecular processes could be viewed in real time.

The 2014 laureates in chemistry are Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia; Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany; and William E. Moerner of Stanford University in California.

In awarding the prizes at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, the Nobel Committee said in a news release: “For a long time optical microscopy was held back by a presumed limitation: that it would never obtain a better resolution than half the wavelength of light. Helped by fluorescent molecules the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2014 ingeniously circumvented this limitation. Their ground-breaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension.”

[Return to headlines]

White House Monitored JPMorgan Breach With Alarm

WASHINGTON — President Obama and his top national security advisers began receiving periodic briefings on the huge cyberattack at JPMorgan Chase and nine other financial institutions this summer, part of a new effort to keep top national security officials as updated on major cyberattacks as they are on Russian incursions into Ukraine or Islamic State attacks.

But in the JPMorgan case, according to officials familiar with the briefings, no one could tell the president what he most wanted to know: What was the motive of the attack? “The question kept coming back, ‘Is this plain old theft, or is Putin retaliating?’ one senior official said, referring to the American-led sanctions on Russia. “And the answer was: We don’t know for sure.”

More than three months after the first attacks were found, the source is still unclear and there is no evidence that any money was taken from any institution. But questions are being asked across Wall Street as other targets emerge. At least three companies — Citigroup, E*Trade Financial and HSBC — found that one of the same web addresses used to penetrate JPMorgan had tried to get into their systems, people briefed on the matter say.

[Return to headlines]

Canadian Police Investigating Extremists

The head of Canada’s national police force says there are about 63 active security investigations on 90 suspected extremists who intend to join fights abroad or who have returned to Canada.

Bob Paulson, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a Parliament public safety committee on Wednesday the pace and tempo of police operations is brisk but says it’s nothing that “Canadians need to be alarmed about.”

Michel Coulombe, the director of Canada’s intelligence agency, says they know of about 80 people who have returned to Canada who are suspected of supporting terror-related activities in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon and regions such as North Africa.

Coulombe says they know where they are and while “all of them potentially could be a threat,” some were involved in non-combat-related activities such as fundraising and propaganda.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Canadian Authorities Overheard Plans for ‘Potential ISIS-Inspired Knife-and-Gun Attacks’: NBC

OTTAWA — The RCMP is investigating 63 national security cases linked to terrorism and involving 90 suspects, Canada’s top security officials said Wednesday, even as a U.S. television network reported Islamist extremists are plotting violence in Canada.

As federal officials touted national agencies’ success in stopping terrorist acts at an Ottawa committee hearing, NBC News published a report saying that U.S. intelligence officials are tracking ISIS imitators in Canada targetting the U.S. embassy in Ottawa and an unspecified shopping mall.

NBC later amended its story, removing references to specific targets and methods, and describing the attacks as being in an “aspirational” stage.

“Intelligence officials tell NBC News that Canadian authorities have heard would-be terrorists discussing potential ISIS-inspired ‘knife and gun’ attacks against U.S. and Canadian targets inside Canada,” the network reported…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

“A Crime Against Peaceful Coexistence”: Muslims Burn Coptic Church in Germany

The mayor of Berlin condemned attacking and burning St. Athanasius and St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church in Berlin by extremists describing it as a crime against peaceful coexistence. On his part, Abba Demian, bishop of Germany, said that he didn’t expect such attack against a church in Germany.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Calls for Sweden to Increase Ebola Help

There are calls for Sweden to offer more support to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as Swedish doctors closely monitor the first confirmed Ebola case in neighbouring Norway.

International aid charity MSF is among the groups that has called on the Swedish government to step up its help with the outbreak.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Carlos the Jackal to Face New Murder Trial in France

Carlos the Jackal, once one of the world’s most-wanted militants, will face a fresh trial for a grenade attack in Paris in 1974 that killed two and injured 34, sources close to the investigation said Tuesday.

The 64-year-old Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has been held in French jails since 1994 after he was arrested in Sudan and transferred to France following a series of attacks and murders in the country.

In 1997, he received his first life sentence for the murder of a civilian and two policemen more than two decades earlier.

Then in 2011 he was found guilty of masterminding attacks on two French passenger trains in 1982 and 1983, a train station in Marseille and a Libyan magazine office in Paris.

Carlos was given another life sentence for his role in the attacks that left 11 people dead and nearly 150 injured.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU to Work With Internet Giants Against ISIS

Malmstrom, Italy dine with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 8 — The European Union is looking to work with Internet giants to fight online jihad recruitment by Islamic State (ISIS), officials said Wednesday.

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and the Italian duty presidency will talk to representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft at a working dinner in Luxembourg Wednesday night.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Jailed Neo-Nazi MPs Will Not Vote for Confidence

Prosecutor rejects their request to attend the proceedings

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 8 — A prosecutor on Wednesday rejected a request by six jailed Golden Dawn MPs to attend ongoing parliamentary proceedings for a vote of confidence, as Kathimerini online reports. The request was made by party chief Nikos Michaloliakos, as well as Christos Papas, Ilias Kasidiaris, Yiannis Lagos, Giorgos Germenis, and Nikos Kouzilos who remain in custody pending trial of belonging to a criminal organization.

The 3-day debate is set to conclude on Friday with a vote.

The conservative-led coalition government holds a narrow majority of four seats and is expected to win the vote in the 300-seat Parliament.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Soccer: Coni Chief Laments ‘Damage’ of Tavecchio Suspension

Malagò says Italian football figures ‘knew’ ban would come

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò on Wednesday lamented the “image damage” done by UEFA banning Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) Chief Carlo Tavecchio from its committees for six months for racist comments.

European soccer’s governing body handed down the punishment over Tavecchio’s reference to “banana-eating” non-EU players in July during his campaign to become FIGC head.

While stressing that Tavecchio’s election in August was “absolutely democratic”, Malagò said that “everyone” in Italian soccer knew than an embarrassing ban was in store for the new chief before the vote. “Even though they knew this would happen, they decided it was right to vote for Tavecchio,” Malagò said. “I think there’s an image problem but this was a price that everyone in the soccer world knew (would have to be paid)”.

Malagò, the head of Italian sport, added that he was powerless to do anything but acknowledge the situation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Elkann Says Agnelli Shares Could be Sold Only to Help FCA

Marchionne says further mergers possible in auto sector

(ANSA) — Turin, October 8 — The president of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said Wednesday that although he doesn’t intend to sell his family’s shares in the newly merged automaker, he would consider diluting its stake if it were good for the company.

“I am not a seller,” John Elkann, a member of the Agnelli family that founded Fiat, said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

Elkann manages Exor SpA, the holding company of the Agnelli family that still owns 30% of the company it founded in 1899.

However, some of the family shares could be sold if a deal were found that would “make the company stronger,” added Elkann.

Both Elkann and FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne suggested in the interview that they would keep watch for further merger opportunities — outside Europe as well as within — that could allow FCA to grow beyond its current spot as the world’s No. 7 automaker.

According to Marchionne, it is conceivable that further mergers are possible in the auto sector while an analyst quoted by Businessweek said that the need for lower auto prices will drive greater demand for economies of scale and thus, further mergers.

“There is room to create one guy which will be bigger,” than Toyoto, the world’s current No. 1 automaker, said Marchionne.

He also told Businessweek that he intends to retire in 2018, at the end of the company’s current five-year industrial plan integrating the newly merged FCA. “I’ll certainly do something else (after 2018),” Marchionne said in the interview. The 62-year-old Italian-Canadian was hired by Elkann in 2004 to run Fiat at time when the company was near bankruptcy.

Marchionne quickly managed to turn around affairs at Italy’s biggest private employer and get it back to profitability within two years. In 2009, he struck a deal with the US government that enabled Fiat to take over the then-ailing Chrysler and quickly revived the America company’s fortunes before the merger finalized earlier this month.

The new FCA will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange as a single company next week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Abuse Uncovered at Southern ‘Nursing Home of Horror’

Owner-doctor accused of mistreating elderly and mentally ill

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — Carabinieri police placed 13 people under house arrest on Wednesday for allegedly abusing psychiatric patients and the elderly in a nursing home in the Isernia province of southern Italy.

The suspects are accused of mistreating, injuring, tying up, beating and neglecting the patients. Among those arrested were the doctor who owns the facility — also the mayor of a local town — a nurse and a number of other health workers. Another 20 people are under investigation.

“They were detained in that structure like at a concentration camp,” said Isernia Prosecutor Paolo Albano.

“Their shouts (for help) went unheard”. Police gathered for the dawn round-up from the southern Italian cities of Naples, Bari, Salerno, Foggia and Campobasso. The nursing home, called a Residenza Sanitaria Assistenziale (RSA), is a type of facility introduced in Italy during the 1990s to house and treat people who are unable to care for themselves and need ongoing treatment by medical specialists.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Leftwing FIOM Union Ready to ‘Occupy Factories’

Landini makes threat in Milan protest on day of EU jobs summit

(ANSA) — Milan, October 8 — FIOM leader Maurizio Landini said Wednesday that his leftwing metalworkers union was “ready to occupy factories” during a protest against the EU jobs summit in Milan and the government’s labour reforms. “You don’t combat job insecurity by making it easier to fire people,” Landini said referring to the government’s Jobs Act, which includes changes to Article 18 of the 1970 Workers Statute protecting staff form unfair dismissal. “You do it with permanent (job contracts) and by guaranteeing rights to all.

“We are ready to occupy the factories because they are asking us to lower salaries”.

Landini also dismissed Premier Matteo Renzi’s 80-euro-a-month tax bonus for low earners.

“If Renzi thinks he is cool by giving us 80 euros and he thinks we are idiots because we’ll agree to sign salary reductions, he is very wrong,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt Departments Being Asked to Cut Up to 4.5 Bn Euros

Budget seeks billions in cuts from regional, municipal levels

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — Italian government ministries are being asked to cut as much as 4.5 billion euros from their budgets as part of the next Stability Law, according to reports on Wednesday.

As the law defining the national budget takes shape, reports say that regional governments will be asked for savings of about three billion euros in the coming year, while municipalities are also being asked to trim between 1.5 billion euros and 1.7 billion euros.

In exchange, lower levels of government may see a “loosening” of an internal stability pact with the national government, reports said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: ‘Mixed Marriages Don’t Lead to Greater Integration’

Mixed marriages between the native white Dutch and people with Turkish or Moroccan origins do not lead to ‘better integration of minority groups’, according to an Amsterdam university researcher.

People who marry someone from a different background often find themselves distanced from roots instead, researcher Leen Sterckx concludes in her doctoral thesis, as quoted in the Volkskrant.

‘It is a false hope to think mixed marriages bring different groups in the population closer together,’ she told the Volkskrant on Tuesday. ‘A mixed marriage rarely leads to emotional ties between the two partners’ families and friends.’

Sterckx bases her research on the experiences of 28 couples she has been following for 10 years plus their families and friends.

Some 8% of people with a Turkish or Moroccan background marry a native Dutch person.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spain: Second Nursing Assistant Admitted to Hospital With a Fever

A second nursing assistant was admitted to hospital in Madrid on Tuesday night showing symptoms that could correspond to infection with the ebola virus. The woman formed part of the medical team that treated two Spanish missionaries with ebola, who were repatriated from Africa and later died in care. Another nursing assistant from the same team, Teresa Romero, was confirmed to have contracted ebola on Monday and is being treated in Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, where this second woman has also been admitted.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spanish Government Under Pressure Following Ebola Diagnosis

The Spanish government is under pressure to guarantee the safety of its citizens after a nurse contracted the Ebola virus, the first positive diagnosis in Western Europe. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faced questions in the Spanish parliament.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Three More in Quarantine for Ebola in Spain

Doctors in Madrid have been testing three people for Ebola after a Spanish nurse became the first person known to have contracted the deadly virus outside West Africa, reports the BBC. Some 52 others are being monitored. The EU has asked Spain for more information on the cases.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK Rules Bahraini Prince Can be Prosecuted for Torture

The High Court in London lifts the diplomatic immunity of Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, 27. Accused of participating in the torture of prisoners during pro-democracy unrest in 2011, he is a horseracing aficionado who considers Britain a “second home.”

Manama (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The High Court in London ruled on Tuesday that Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa does not have legal immunity from prosecution following a review requested by a Bahraini torture survivor.

“It’s a victory for the people of Bahrain,” said Sayed Al-Wadaei, director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy campaign group.

Judges overturned a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which had established that the prince could not be prosecuted because he had immunity.

Prince Nasser, 27, will not be immediately arrested, but the court’s ruling will allow British police to launch an investigation against him.

Well-informed sources say that the prince considers the UK as his “second home” and spends considerable time in the country to satisfy his passion for horseracing.

The case began in 2012, when the CPS received a file accusing Prince Nasser of participating in the torture of prisoners during pro-democracy unrest in Bahrain in 2011.

At the time, the prince was in the British capital for the London Olympics. Human rights groups filed a case for his arrest, but the CPS’s ruling allowed Nasser to return to the kingdom.

The survivor’s identity was kept secret in the High Court proceedings for security reasons.

The International Federation for Human Rights hailed the ruling by the High Court in London as “a major breakthrough” and criticised French authorities for failing to respond to a similar complaint filed in France in August when the prince visited Paris.

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

Jordan Renews Southern Co-Presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean

Barcelona 15 September, 2014. The UfM Senior Officials endorsed the renewal of Jordan as the southern co-presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean during the fourth UfM Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held this year in Brussels.

The European Union assumed the permanent northern co-presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean after the decision of the Council of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs in February 2012. Jordan assumes the southern co-presidency since June, 2012.

The north-south co-presidency was introduced by the Paris Summit in July, 2008 as a measure to secure co-ownership and shared responsibility of the process between Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS: 3 Killed in Algeria, Maybe From Gourdel Killers’ Group

Jihadists wiretapped by army in Biska province

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 8 — Three militants suspected of being members of the Islamist group that beheaded French hostage Hervé Gourdel were killed by the army in Algeria in an operation in Biskra provice. The three are suspected members of the Djound Al Khilafa terror group, which claimed the abduction and beheading of the French national and says it is linked to ISIS.

The operation followed another one, a few days ago, at the border with Niger during which five terrorists were killed and 20 others arrested, according to a defense ministry statement quoted by online Algerian media. The militants were all reportedly foreigners.

The three terrorists in Ras El-Miaad, west of the city of Biskra, were killed by a special unit of the national popular army, which also seized three Kalashnikovs, a hunting rifle and munitions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Group Flier Claims Responsibility for Gaza Attack

Handbill says bombing French Cultural Center for its ‘immorality and heresy was radical Islamist organization debut operation in Strip.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a Tuesday night explosion at the French Cultural Center in Gaza City, according to an unverified proclamation published Wednesday morning in the Strip.

The announcement said this was “the debut operation for the Islamic State group in the Gaza Strip.”

Around midnight local time, several explosions rocked the French Cultural Center, causing damage but no casualties. The center resides in an upscale new building built two years ago…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Palestine: EU Provides Almost €13 Million to Vulnerable Families

The European Union has contributed €12.93 million to the Palestinian Authority’s third payment of social allowances this year for poor and vulnerable Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza. The aid will reach nearly 50,000 Palestinian families in need. More than half live in Gaza.

“This payment of social allowances has special significance as it comes just before the ‘Eid, permitting those in need to provide for their families at this festive time. Under this programme, 60% of the families receiving assistance come from Gaza. The people who receive this allowance were already facing significant economic and social hardship before the recent conflict; they have even more reason now to need this help,” said the EU Representative, Mr John Gatt-Rutter.

“The EU remains committed to supporting national efforts to develop a comprehensive social protection framework that ensures the dignity of all Palestinians by providing access to essential, services services and a minimum level of income security”, he added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

40 ISIS Fighters Killed in Kobane Air Strikes

Coalition hits 20 targets

(ANSA) — Beirut, October 8 — Air strikes around the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane killed at least 40 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters Wednesday, the National Observatory for Human Rights (ONDUS) said.

US-led coalition planes hit 20 targets and forced ISIS back, it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Airstrikes Force ISIS to Regroup Outside Kobane, SOHR Says

(AGI) Beirut, Oct 8 — Overnight U.S.-led airstrikes have forced ISIS militants to fall back on positions outside Syria’s border town of Kobane, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said on Wednesday. According to the Britain-based Syrian opposition information network, the attacks targeted ISIS strongholds in the town’s south-eastern quadrant. Jihadist militants broke through Kurdish militia defence lines and gained control of the quadrant on Monday.

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

At Least 18 Killed in ISIL Protests Across Turkey as Curfew Declared in Six Provinces

At least 18 people were killed and many more were injured as the advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants on the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria prompted fresh protests across Turkey on Oct. 7. A curfew was declared in six Turkish provinces.

Most clashes were between the suspected members of Hizbullah, a radical Islamist grouping whose members are mostly Kurdish and known for allegedly aiding the state in the torture and murder of Kurdish activists in the 1990, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The former group reportedly supports ISIL, while the latter supports the YPG, the Kurdish militia in Kobane, and has condemned the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

At Least Nine Dead, Several Injured in Kurdish Protests in Turkey

At least nine people were killed on Tuesday in pro-Kurdish protests across Turkey against the government’s refusal to intervene militarily against Islamic State jihadists attacking the Syrian town of Kobane, Turkish media reported.

Several people were also injured in the protests which took place in a number of towns, including those in the majority-Kurdish southeast of the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Digital Jihad: Inside Islamic State’s Savvy PR War

Islamic State’s methods may be medieval, but the group’s propaganda is second to none. The Islamists target their professionally produced videos at specific audiences — sometimes to spread a specific message, sometimes merely to terrify.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Heads We Lose

by Mark Steyn

As ISIS prepares to take the Turkish border city of Kobani, the new Caliphate’s use of social media as a promotional tool (which is rather more effective than, say, the Democrats’ or Justin Trudeau’s) has begun to inspire what Obama would presumably call the jihad’s junior “junior varsity” teams:

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS Believed to Earn 1 Million Dollars a Day

From oil smuggling, extortion, abductions, Gulf donations

(by Valeria Robecco) (ANSAmed) — NEW YORK — ISIS makes around one million dollars a day, according to the US Treasury Department, which does not have hard figures but believes the group takes in tens of millions of dollars a month.

ISIS is “the best-financed group we’ve ever seen”, Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington D.C. told CNN.

The group, Levitt says, is financed like no other terror organization before.

In an interview with CNN, the US expert on terrorism and its financing, stressed that the jihadists operate like a criminal organization. Their revenues come from oil smuggling operations involving millions of barrels from refineries in northern Iraq and Syria. The Caliphate is able to pay for munitions and for militants by selling oil on the black market.

In Deyr az Zor province, Syria’s richest in energy resources, ISIS controls four of its five main oil wells. In Iraq, wells under ISIS control, in the areas of Tikrit and Al Anbar province, are minor compared to those in the south and in Kirkuk, west of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

ISIS however has not ceased to threaten Iraq’s main oil structures, in particular the refinery complex of Baiji, 40 km north of Tikrit.

Levitt told CNN that ISIS revenues also come from looting banks, as occurred with the central bank in Mosul, Iraq, and other provincial institutions.

The expert said in the interview that citizens in Mosul who want to take money from their bank accounts reportedly have to make “donations” to the Islamic State.

ISIS also makes money by smuggling antiquities, with abductions and extortions perpetrated against all those living in areas under its control.

The group also benefits from hefty donations made by rich sympathizers from countries including Qatar and Kuwait. Lewitt said this is not surprising, considering that ISIS comes from the Islamic State of Iraq, Al Qaida in Iraq, the organization of Tawhid, the organization of Zarkawi. They are all the same thing, said Levitt, and they are mainly funded through criminal activities within the borders of Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Turkey in State of Chaos as 12 Die in Pro-Kobane Demos

Ankara wants more U.S. strikes, armed groups fire at protesters

(by Claudio Accogli) (ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Turkey is calling for fresh airstrikes on Kobane and troops on the ground in Syria but has to deal with protests back home that have left at least 12 dead and dozens wounded.

On Tuesday, pro-Kurdish parties called a national day of mobilization “for Kobane” with demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara as well as in other cities abroad including Paris and Milan.

The demonstrations were meant, on paper, to condemn Turkish inaction with tanks positioned at the border that have remained silent, watching the fall of Kobane without moving a finger. But it is also well-known that Kurds would be wary of potential Turkish military action. The clashes that ensued saw at least two demonstrators die, killed by police, according to State news agency Anadolu.

The rest of the country is in chaos: in the largest Turkish city with a Kurdish majority, Diyarbakir, at least five people were reported killed, the highest death toll so far. However, here as in the rest of the country, the dynamic of the deadly incidents is still unclear: some media outlets have accused armed groups linked with the government party, others have blamed pro-PKK groups, others groups “of the Islamic State”.

Overall, everybody agreed that security forces did not open fire. A ceasefire is in place across two provinces and 15 districts at the centre of clashes.

Tension has increased over the past few days with ISIS hoisting up its black flag in a number of areas of the city, worn out after a siege that has lasted weeks, while dozens of Turkish tanks are deployed at the border, just 800 metres from the city.

Calls on the US to bomb ISIS postings have gone viral on Twitter while bullets and mortar fire also hit Turkey.

Ankara has called on Washington to intensify raids, given that Kobane is about to fall in jihadist hands. President Recep Tayyp Erdogan is urging the US to change strategy and send boots on the ground because “raids are not enough”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS: ‘Airstrikes Alone Won’t Save Kobani’, Pentagon

US dismayed at Turkey’s inaction against jihadists

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK, OCTOBER 8 — Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby said Wednesday that the US was doing what it could to stop the advance of the Islamic State (ISIS), but that airstrikes alone would not save the city of Kobani, in northern Syria.

The Kurdish city, known as Ayn Al-Arab in Arabic, has been besieged for the past three weeks by the jihadist group. The admission confirms reports from on the ground, where Wednesday’s airstrikes hit ISIS positions on a hill near the city but failed to knock down the jihadists’ flag flying on it, and where fighting continues in the streets. Despite expectations that it would intervene, Turkey has still not taken any military action against the group trying to take the city along its southern border. The US has expressed frustration over Turkey’s lack of action against ISIS.

“Even as it stepped up airstrikes against the militants Tuesday, the Obama administration was frustrated by what it regards as Turkey’s excuses for not doing more militarily.

Officials note, for example, that the American-led coalition, with its heavy rotation of flights and airstrikes, has effectively imposed a no-fly zone over northern Syria already, so Mr. Erdogan’s demand for such a zone rings hollow,” writes the New York Times.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resisted pleas for military involvement by saying that a no-fly zone would be needed first.

The daily quotes an unnamed senior official as saying that “there’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border. After all the fulminating about Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe, they’re inventing reasons not to act to avoid another catastrophe.” At least 40 ISIS fighters were killed by US-led international coalition airstrikes Wednesday on 20 of the jihadists’ positions around Kobani.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reports that ISIS forces were thus forced to pull back but continue fighting.

Protests meanwhile continued across Turkey against Ankara’s lack of military support for fighters trying to prevent ISIS from taking Kobani. Tension rose especially in the southeastern provinces and a curfew was imposed in the city of Diyarbakir. Some 172,000 Kobani residents have been registered in Turkish refugee camps, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was quoted by the MENA news agency as saying. After speaking over the phone to his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday, French president Francois Hollande said he supported the creation of a buffer zone between Syria and Turkey to protect civilians fleeing ISIS. The proposal, initially put forward by Turkey, has met with a cool reception from the US. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the idea of creating a buffer zone in Syria along the border for refugees would have to undergo “thorough examination” before being taken into consideration.

French president Francois Hollande expressed his support for the idea on Wednesday, while a Pentagon spokesman said that it was not one of the options currently being weighed. The fighting meanwhile continues in Kobani.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

More Than 400 Killed in Syrian City of Kobane

(AGI) Cairo, Oct 8 — More than 400 people have been killed in the Syrian town of Kobane, in the fighting between Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces. According to Kurdish sources cited by TV channel Al Arabiya, the Kurds put up fierce resistance in the city centre on Tuesday, forcing IS to retreat east. The Kurds were helped by U.S. and allied air strikes on Islamist positions.

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

Syrian Rebels Advance Towards Qalamun

(AGI) Cairo, Oct 8 — Syrian rebels were advancing in the Qalamun area, along the border with Lebanon on Wednesday, Al Jazeera satellite TV reported. There were intense clashes between Sunni forces and Shiite Hezbollah militia in the area on Tuesday. However, regime troops were pushing forward in the Al Jobar area, on the outskirts of Damascus. There was also fighting in Quneitra near the border with Israel, where UN peacekeepers left their posts to avoid becoming caught up in the clashes.

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

‘Turkey’s Priority is Kurdish Problem, Not is Group’

The mounting frustration displayed by Kurds in violent clashes across Turkey and along its border with Syria illustrates the deep divisions within the international coalition assembled to fight the Islamic State group, analysts say.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

US Increasingly Frustrated by Turkey’s Inaction Against Islamic State

The Obama administration is becoming increasingly frustrated over Turkey’s inaction against Islamic State (Isis), in particular its failure to intervene to prevent the jihadis overrunning the Syrian border town of Kobani.

The US president is scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday of the national security council along with the secretary of state, John Kerry, to discuss Turkey’s reluctance so far to help in the battle against Isis.

The US is especially angry with Turkey because it is a Nato ally and yet it has refused to provide even basic logistical assistance to the US-led coalition, which is hitting Isis positions in Syria with air strikes. On a wider scale, the US, reluctant to commit ground troops itself, wants Turkey to send in soldiers to confront Isis.

Kerry has made repeated calls to the Turkish government pleading for intervention.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Who Does Turkey Support?

by Burak Bekdil

Erdogan has never hidden that he is ideologically a next of kin to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Hamas’s overseas command center happens to be based in Turkey. Erdogan has been Hamas’s staunchest (non-Hamas) cheerleader in the last decade, and the Brotherhood’s key regional ally. Press reports say that Turkey has recently welcomed in the Brotherhood’s top brass, who were expelled on Sept. 13 from their five-million-star hotels in Qatar. Ankara has not denied that it is offering a safe haven to the leaders of the Islamist organization.

In short, to finish off the jihadists who have captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, Washington will now work with the man who until recently funded and reinforced these same jihadists (and their various offspring) and is proud of his love affairs with Hamas and the Brotherhood. More ironically, a U.S.-led coalition of nations including Arab states recently killed one of Erdogan’s heroes when the coalition forces struck an ISIS camp in Syria.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Five Rapists Hanged in Kabul

Also Mafia-style criminal

(ANSA) — Kabul, October 8 — Five convicted rapists were hanged in Kabul Wednesday.

Also hanged was a Mafia-style criminal, Habib Istalif.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India: Madhya Pradesh: The Government Cancels a Christian Gathering for Disturbing the Peace

Decision comes after pressure from Hindu radicals, to protest marriage between a Christian boy and a Hindu girl. Although the couple was tracked down and separated, the event still canceled.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — “A travesty of justice that affects the Christian minority, under pressure from Hindu nationalists and with the tacit agreement of the administration”. This is how Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), reacts to the recent position taken by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in banning a Christian gathering for “disturbing the peace”. In fact, behind this choice there are several radical Hindu organizations, who are protesting the marriage of a Christian boy with a Hindu girl.

Organized by the All India Christian United Front (Aiuf) and Moksha Foundation (Mf), the “Massihi Atmik Jagruti Sabha” was supposed to start on October 1st, in an agricultural field two kilometers from Jorbat (Alirajpur district), the couple’s home town. On September 30, however, the authorities canceled the rally, after several nationalist groups threatened to start an “ indefinite protest” until the two were found and the girl “returned” to her family.

Joseph Pawar and Ayushi Wani were arrested in Gujarat — where they had gone to get married — on 1st October and brought back to Jorbat. The police declared the marriage “invalid”. However, Ayushi refused to return to her parents and was brought to the Nari Niketan Trust, an association that welcomes and supports women who are widowed, divorced and poor.

Although the groups were able to separate the two young people, the authorities did not allow the rally to take place as scheduled.

“Christians — Sajan George told AsiaNews — are not only law-abiding citizens, but also peace-loving and engaged in mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence”. According to the president of the GCIC, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP Hindu nationalist) in power “ justice is denied to the Christian community”.

The BJP is in power in the central government of India and those of several states, including Madhya Pradesh.

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

Kashmir Border Clashes Flare Up Again

At least 16 dead

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — At least 16 people have been killed in the last six days as border clashes flared up again in Kashmir in some of the worst violence in the region in a decade.

Nine Pakistanis and seven Indians lost their lives, local officials said.

Both sides have accused the other of starting the hostilities.

A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong: For Bao Tong, Occupy’s Stalemate is Not an Issue for the Seeds of Democracy Have Been Sown

The great dissident says he is “proud” of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations, but now calls on demonstrators to take a “rest”. In his view, “There’s no need to keep digging up the seeds to see if they’re still growing every day.” Set for Friday, student-government talks are still a source of dispute.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — Talks between the Government of Hong Kong and representatives of the students, on strike since 22 September, have been set for 4 pm this Friday.

Only one of two pro-democracy student groups will be present at the meeting. Occupy Central will also not be represented. Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will represent the government. The names of students’ representatives have not been released yet.

The meeting’s agenda remains a bone of contention. Students want to discuss genuine universal suffrage and public nomination of chief executive candidates, whilst the government wants the initial talks to centre on the constitutional basis for changes to the political system to be followed by talks on the legal requirements for reform.

Lester Shum, a leader of one of the main pro-democracy student groups, said he was “angry and disappointed” for the decision.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong streets seem to be back to normal. A few hundred young people and other protesters continue to picket the central district. Barricades are still there, but traffic is normal and shops have reopened.

Meanwhile, the battle to resolve the stalemate has spilled over to the legislature, with its first post-summer meeting postponed for a week amid safety concerns.

Pro-democracy legislators accuse the government of trying to avoid addressing the issue of police use of force against students.

China’s great dissident Bao Tong wades into the issue in a text cited yesterday by Card Zen. In it, Zhao Ziyang’s former personal secretary and friend, says he is proud of the protesters, who refuse “to be slaves.”

However, from house arrest in Beijing, he calls on the people of Hong Kong to take a rest from the protests. “The seeds have already been sown, and they need time to lie fallow.” The full text follows (courtesy of Radio Free Asia).

True patriots are those who say “no” to fake universal suffrage. They are “the ones who don’t wish to be slaves” [in China’s national anthem.]

So I am naturally proud of those who put the principles of “a high degree of autonomy,” and “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong,” into practice.

So, transportation and some businesses in Hong Kong appear to have been paralyzed. We should ask who is responsible for this, and what has caused this state of affairs?

Some say it was caused by the Occupy Central campaign.

That’s wrong. Occupy Central was forced into existence after the legitimate rights of citizens were denied them.

At the heart of the matter, the responsibility lies with bureaucrats acting on their own and not serving any master.

The same people say: “If the demonstrations continue, our political and economic system will be damaged. The thing we fear most of all is damage to, and loss of confidence in, Hong Kong’s market. This sort of damage will be permanent, and we can’t afford it.”

Consensus view of history

Actually, if the National People’s Congress refuses to rescind its [Aug. 31] announcement; if “one country, two systems,” becomes “one country, one system,” then Hong Kong’s political and economic system will certainly be damaged, and that thing we fear the most, that damage to and loss of confidence in Hong Kong’s markets will come about.

I have no doubt that one day, this view will have become the consensus view of history. But saying it out loud now, I don’t think it has much chance of being heard. This will take at least a little time.

If I were one of the protesters, I would probably want a rest from the debate for a while.

The seeds have already been sown, and they need time to lie fallow.

No great task can be achieved all at once; they all need some time to gestate. There’s no need to keep digging up the seeds to see if they’re still growing every day.

Take a break, for the sake of future room to grow. For tomorrow.

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

Lego Lays the Blocks for Asian Dominance

In today’s digital world, a Danish company that makes small plastic bricks has become the world’s largest toymaker. Lego is making global domination look like child’s play, as the world’s biggest toy-maker puts the building blocks in place to lead rivals in Asia and buck an industry-wide revenue dip.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

West African States Unite to Fight Boko Haram Islamists

(AGI) Niamey, Oct 8 — The leaders of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Benin announced plans on Wednesday to step up the fight against Boko Haram, the jihadist group that in recent years has killed thousands of people and whose aim to create an Islamic state in West and Central Africa is a threat to regional stability. At the end of a regional summit in Niger, which was also attended by the Cameroonian foreign minister, the leaders decided to accelerate the establishment of a headquarters, which should be ready by Nov. 20, and to deploy army battalions to their respective borders. The regional military force will begin operations by November.

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

Italian Interior Minister Defends Anti-Gay Marriage Order

Alfano says his directive upholds the law

(ANSA) — Rome, October 8 — The centre-right Italian interior minister on Wednesday fought an onslaught of criticism for taking action that prevents municipalities from recognizing marriages performed abroad for same-sex couples.

Angelino Alfano defended himself claiming he was upholding Italian law. Alfano distributed Tuesday a directive to interior ministry prefectures across Italy forbidding municipal governments from transcribing gay marriages performed abroad onto official registries. Alfano’s “circular” came the day after the Milan city council had passed a motion authorizing exactly that form of official recognition for gay marriages made outside the country.

“What really impressed me yesterday, was that in front of a directive to prefects inviting mayors to respect the law and not do things in Italy that are not foreseen by the laws, was the quantity of insults and adjectives of unprecedented violence that were thrown at me,” declared Angelino Alfano, leader of the New Centre Right (NCD) pro-government splinter party who spoke on the RAI 3 television talk programme Agora’. Alfano added that he personally was “secular” about same-sex civil unions, but that “the family cannot be touched.

Marriage is only between a man and a woman”. Roman Mayor Ignazio Marino called Alfano’s stance antiquated and obsolete.

“Anyone looking today for conflict over love probably lives in the wrong century. I believe that a discussion of this type in 2014 on any civil union reflects the feelings and visions of the 1900s, of the past century. I think that today, people who love each other should have the possibility of seeing their own love and feelings recognized,” said Marino on the margins of an event on Capitoline Hill in Rome.

Milanese Mayor Giuliano Pisapia said Tuesday the city would keep registering same-sex marriages performed abroad despite Alfano’s directive.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Alfano Blocks Gay Union Registration, Bologna Defiant

Introduce same-sex law, don’t scrap transcriptions says PD

(ANSA) — Rome, October 7 — Interior Minister Angelino Alfano lit a firestorm of protest by ordering the annulment of foreign gay-marriage registrations Tuesday, with Bologna among the cities saying they would defy the order.

Gay rights groups were indignant, even though the order will have no practical effect since gay marriage is not legal in Italy.

The centre-left Democratic Party (PD), senior partner in government to Alfano’s New Centre Right (NCD), said that far from scrapping any gay-marriage norms, Italy should work to introduce them.

Speaking on Italian radio, Alfano said all marriages between same-sex couples contracted abroad and registered by city authorities in Italy must be cancelled and removed from municipal registries.

In an interview with radio station RTL, Alfano said the foreign contracts are not compatible with Italian law.

“In Italy, same-sex marriage isn’t possible, so if people of the same sex get married, those marriages can’t be transcribed into the Italian State civil registries, for the simple fact that the law doesn’t allow it,” Alfano said.

If cities where mayors authorized registration of same-sex marriages don’t cancel the marriages from the registries, the Italian government will step in to annul the registrations, he added. Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola said he would not obey Alfano’s order. “If they want to annul the transcriptions of marriages contracted abroad, let them. I won’t take my signature off,” Merola said. “So let them do it but not in the name of Bologna, which I represent. I won’t obey,” Merola said.

Naples’ city government, meanwhile, said it would appeal against Alfano’s order.

“The circular annulling the transcriptions is contrary to the Constitutional principle of equal rights,” the city council claimed, saying it “will appeal to the competent judicial bodies”.

And Udine Mayor Furio Honsell told ANSA that “bureaucratic circulars” won’t resolve the issue.

“This is a question that has to be brought before parliament or the Constitutional Court,” Honsell said. “Everyone knows that these transcriptions don’t produce any effect in Italy, but nonetheless, they have a notable value in symbolic terms, because they highlight the right of LGBT people to equal opportunities, and show the inconsistency of the Italian system with respect to the rest of Europe,” Honsell said.

Grosseto Mayor Emilio Bonfazi said, too, that he would continue to follow the local landmark court order in April which imposes transcription of same-sex marriages contracted abroad.

“A court order has more weight than a ministerial circular,” Bonfazi said.

“If the minister wanted to do things right, given that he’s the minister and not there by chance, he should have worked to have parliament approve a law one way or the other. With a circular, he doesn’t do anything to us, and the prefect doesn’t do anything to us either,” Bonfazi said.

But an NCD mayor in Abruzzo bucked the trend and approved Alfano’s stance.

Chieti Mayor Umberto Di Primio said: “I respect the law, minister Alfano has made the right decision.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman,” the mayor explained, “as our Constitution envisages”.

However, PD Chairman Matteo Orfini told Alfano Rome should not be scrapping foreign gay-marriage registrations but rather making them possible in Italy.

“Dear Angelino Alfano, instead of annulling the registrations of gay marriages let’s try to make them possible in Italy too,” Orfini tweeted.

Opposition leftist SEL party leader Nichi Vendola accused Alfano of being like a caveman. “Come out of the cave,” said Puglia Governor Vendola, arguably Italy’s most prominent gay politician.

“Alfano’s slogan appears to mean fewer rights for all,” said Vendola.

Vendola, who has lived openly with his younger partner for many years, called Alfano “the sentry guarding the values of the traditional family”.

The leaders of three prominent Italian gay rights organizations denounced Alfano’s circular.

“We’re appealing to cities to disobey the minister’s decision, just like the Italy of the Resistance disobeyed the orders of the Fascist regime,” said Arcigay President Flavio Romani.

President and founder of the rightwing Gaylib, Enrico Oliari, said that there’s an Italian court ruling supporting couples and mayors who intend to register same-sex marriages contracted abroad.

“I’m personally waiting for the European Court of Human Rights to rule on my appeal, which came from a ruling in the Italian Constitutional Court and invited parliament to legislate on same-sex unions,” Oliari said. “Alfano should run for leader of the Standing Sentinels,” said Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesman for Gay Center.

Standing Sentinels (Sentinelle in Piedi) is a citizen group that organizes silent protests in Italian squares against “pro-gay” laws, by standing silently for one hour reading a book.

“We hope that those brave mayors who have decided to transcribe these marriages will keep going. The government, Renzi, and the majority leaders should take a stand against the interior minister’s decision,” Marrazzo said.

PD Senator Senator Sergio Lo Giudice said that if Alfano goes forward in annulling transcriptions of same-sex marriages contracted abroad, he’ll file a legal appeal.

Lo Giudice wed Michele Giarratano in Norway in 2011 and together they have a 5-month-old son, Luca.

“My partner is the legal father, I’m just a stranger.

That’s why our battle is also for our son, so that it can be recognized that he has two parents,” said Lo Giudice, whose marriage was registered in Bologna six months ago.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Water on the Moon Came From Solar Wind

Water trapped in rocks on the moon’s surface probably originated mostly from streams of energetic particles blasted from the sun and not from cosmic impacts from comets, researchers say.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

10 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/8/2014

  1. The twitter “cahit storm”, who was reporting close-up on Kobane, appears to have been arrested by Turkish troops. Continuing to report close-up on Kobane is, among others, Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa: Roving Reporter for Arabic Al Aan TV from Dubai. The latest from jenan Moussa here: ” Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa · 22m 22 minutes ago: ‘The huge smoke I saw 2day on West side #Kobane is result of ISIS burning tires presumably to block jets from viewing ISIS positions’ source”; and channeled through Jenan Moussa we also have the following: ” Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa · 9m 9 minutes ago: Premier of #Kobane: ‘we stopped ISIS advance. They control btwn 15 -25% of city. We control rest. We need RPG’s to destroy ISIS tanks\ APCs'”. Both “cahit storm” and Jenan Moussa, as well as others, are being verbally attacked on Twitter by ” Censored31 @Censored31: Theocrate (sic), Whistleblower, Analyst in global events; journalist, writer & author”, who has managed to “publish” under the moniker “Khalifah” a self-“book” on Scribd. that is titled “Al-Qaïda in Opmars: In het middelpunt van de Islamitische ideologie en de geostrategische problematiek” and is explicitly dedicated “Ter nagedachtenis van ‘Abu Abdullah Ousssams Ibn Muhammed Bin Laden (rahimullah) en origineel afkomstig van Qahtân in Jemen”. The work is unabashed terrorist propaganda inciting to extreme violence, and has not been blocked by Scribd. or taken off-line by Dutch security services. We do not know who exactly the self-acknowledged al-Qaida propagandist “Censored31” is. He is posting on Twitter, however, right at this moment.

  2. A good piece of background analysis here, a piece that makes it quite clear, using a bit of basic research and also statements from Mohammed al-Adnani, and ISIS/ISIL/DAESH sopkesman, why the ISIS assault on Kobane carries a huge symbolic value and is widely propagandized by ISIS as not an ethnic conflict against the Kurds but an explicit and targeted ““religious and ideological” assault aimed to eradicate “dangerous secularism”. The argument about Kobane being a hapless target of vicious “religious” extremist assault is therefore not any “invention” of “Islamophobes”: it is a fully voiced and officially stated position advertised by ISIS as such. Take notice, please.

  3. Thank you all! “cahit storm” has now apparently been released, after a brief questioning. The close-up tweets monitoring Kobane have resumed. Social media is one of the best guarantees of individual freedom and the freedom of expression, as well as of the balance and moderation of expression. Few dare to throw stones in a house with glass walls.

    • NOT!! This is not what Canadians think of or expect from their RCMP. Lately they have been acting like a bunch of insiped dolts. RCMP, put on your Big Boy hats, drop your politically correct crap and gain Canadian’s respect again. You are not doing well at the moment. In Canadian’s eyes.

  4. RCMP, I’ll give you a tip which you can pass on to CSIS. The problem is Islam, something you can’t even bear to say or write out loud. Islam is the problem. Confront it and say it out loud. Say it to your government masters and CSIS. Islam is the problem. Not so hard, is it? You guys have guns, see the problem and act. Is that too much to ask, that you RCMP, pretty much loved, could protect Canadian citizens? Without worrying about diversity and being politically correct? Is that really too much to ask?

  5. “The European Union has contributed €12.93 million to the Palestinian Authority’s third payment of social allowances this year for poor and vulnerable Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza. The aid will reach nearly 50,000 Palestinian families in need. More than half live in Gaza.”

    No it bloody well won’t! It will be misappropriated by Hamas and the PLO and will either end up in the Swiss bank accounts of the leadership or used to buy more weapons. When will these meat heads ever learn?

    • What makes you think they don’t? Maybe I’m cynical, but I think those devious so-and-sos know exactly what happens to their money.

Comments are closed.