Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/9/2014

The condition of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola has worsened, and she now requires assistance to be able to breathe. The protective measures taken when she was admitted to the hospital were reportedly inadequate, so that several other people may have been infected with the virus, and are now isolated and being monitored. Meanwhile, some members of the hospital’s nursing are refusing to enter the room where the infected nurse is being treated, because they are skeptical of the protection measures taken. Some have even canceled their contracts to avoid it.

In other news, the Shiite Houthi rebels who have been occupying Sanaa since last month have forced the resignation of the Yemeni prime minister. Also in Sanaa, a suicide bomber detonated himself amongst Shiites on the street, killing ten people, four of them children. The incident had nothing to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Diana West, DS, Fjordman, Green Infidel, 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
» Bank of Italy Says 20% Jump in Bad Loans
» Draghi Policies Blunted in Berlin as German Protests Grow
» IMF Cuts MENA Growth Outlook to 2.6% in 2014,3.8% in 2015
» Italian Tourist Industry to End 2014 in the Red
» Airport Ebola Screens Hampered by Dormant Virus, Tylenol
» Four Islamic State Jihad Terrorists Arrested in Texas in the Last 36 Hours
» NASA is Studying How to Mine the Moon for Water
» Tories Criticize Trudeau for Visiting Mosque Whose Imam Supports Stoning
Europe and the EU
» Around the World With American Betrayal
» Belgium Islamist ‘No Different to Pussy Riot’, Trial Hears
» Denmark: Aarhus Exit Program for Radicalised Youth Inspiring Other Countries
» Ebola: Spanish Doctor Reports Failure in Security Protocols
» Ebola: Spanish Nurse Teresa Romero ‘Worsens’
» ECB Reiterates Commitment to Beating Low Inflation
» EU Enlists Internet Giants in Fight Against Online Extremism
» Greece: Numbers of Unvaccinated Children Increased, Report
» Internet Giants Discuss Jihad Over Dinner With EU Ministers
» Italy: Ex-Veneto Governor Asks 34-Mth Plea Bargain
» Italy: Ex Finmeccanica Chief ‘Expected’ Corruption Acquittal
» Italy Tops List for Pending Criminal Cases
» Italy: Renzi ‘Concerned’ After Ast Terni Talks Collapse
» Netherlands: Anti-Islam Lawmaker Investigated for Hate Speech
» Netherlands: Geert Wilders is a Formal ‘Suspect’ For Anti-Moroccan Chants
» Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature
» Spain: Nursing Staff Resign From Their Posts to Avoid Treating Ebola Cases
» Third Ebola Patient Arrives in Germany From Africa
» UK: Banned London School of Economics Rugby Players Dressed as Guantanamo Bay Detainees in Front of Muslim Students
North Africa
» 600 ‘Terrorists’ To Face Trial Soon in Tunisia: Minister
Middle East
» Erdogan Exchanged Jihadists With ISIS for Release of Turkish Diplomats
» Film: Iran Producing Love Story on ISIS
» Parish Priest Liberated in Syria. Seized With 20 Others
» Saudi Arabia: Redefining Religious Experiences: King Abdullah Approves $13bn Pilgrim Megacity in Madinah
» Syria: Fr Hanna Released, Fate of Co-Religionists Unknown
» Turkey: Refugees Number in the Country Nearing 2 Million
» Turkey: New NATO Chief Stoltenberg to Visit Ankara Tomorrow
» Washington-Based Nuclear Watchdog Confirms Blast at Parchin Nuclear Trigger Test Site in Iran
» Washington Asking a Reluctant Turkey to Do “More” Against the Islamic State
» Yemen’s Prime Minister Steps Down After Houthi Opposition
» Putin to Attend Asem Summit in Milan, May Meet Poroshenko
» How Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin
South Asia
» Afghanistan: Paktika Mullah Imam Kills Himself and His Mother by Own Explosives
» In Dry Pakistan, Deaths From Toxic Liquor Continue
» India: Madhya Pradesh: Anti-Christian Violence “Unacceptable”
» India, Pakistan Trade Kashmir Warnings
» India Warns Pakistan as Kashmir Battles Continue
» Obama’s Watch: 90% of 20k Total U.S. Warriors Wounded in Afghanistan War
Far East
» China Bans Actors Linked to Drugs, Prostitution
» China: The Party Warns: Copying Western Democracy Only Leads to Disaster
» China: Orange Pollution Alert Raised as Beijing Smog Reaches ‘Hazardous’ Levels
» China Angered After FBI Head Says Chinese Hacking Costs Billions
» Hong Kong Scrubs Talks With Students
» North Korea’s Kim Jong-UN’s Absence Fuels Speculation About Health, Coup
» Philippines: North Cotabato: Grenade Attack on Protestant Church, Two Dead and Three Wounded
» Storm Hits Hong Kong’s Leung Over Unregistered Millions From Australian Firm
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Ebola: Learn From the Past
» Found: Closest Link to Eve, Our Universal Ancestor
Culture Wars
» The Battle to Make Tommy the Chimp a Person

Bank of Italy Says 20% Jump in Bad Loans

Demand for credit from consumers, business continues to fall

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — Bad loans held by Italian banks jumped by 20% in August compared with the same time last year, the Bank of Italy reported Thursday.

That was slightly better than the annual figures for July, which showed a growth of 20.5% in bad loans compared with the same period in 2013, the central bank said.

It also reported that lending to the private sector had declined in August, with loans to households down by 0.8% compared with the same time last year and non-bank commercial lending down by 3.8% on an annual basis.

In July, household lending had fallen by 0.7% compared with last year and commercial loans were down by 3.9% compared with July 2013.

Italy is mired in its third recession since 2008, leading to rising bankruptcies, unemployment, and threats of lingering deflation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Draghi Policies Blunted in Berlin as German Protests Grow

Mario Draghi’s policy tools are being blunted in Berlin. The European Central Bank president has stopped short of large-scale sovereign-bond purchases as efforts to mollify Germany’s political elite do little to silence criticism of his ever-more expansionary measures.

That won’t be easy in the face of a German aversion to quantitative easing that is rooted in the 1920s, when money-printing laid the foundation for a society that still fears rising prices more than deflation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

IMF Cuts MENA Growth Outlook to 2.6% in 2014,3.8% in 2015

Slowdown result of security issues.Gulf expected to grow by 4.5%

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, OCTOBER 8 — Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to slow down in line with the rest of the world due to instability in the region, reports the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The only exception will be oil-exporting Gulf monarchies.

The latest IMF semi-annual World Economic Outlook forecasts 2.6% growth for the area, compared with the April outlook of 3.2%. Next year’s outlook for the region dropped to 3.8% from a previous 4.5%. The region’s economic trends are closely tied to security factors. The worst-hit nation is Iraq, where clashes between the US-led international coalition and the Islamic State (ISIS) will cause the economy to contract by 2.7% this year, whereas it been previously been expected to grow by 5.9%. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are expected to grow by an average 4.5% in 2014 and 2015. The IMF raised its economic forecasts for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but lowered them for Kuwait, whose economy contracted by 0.4% last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Tourist Industry to End 2014 in the Red

‘Pure stagnation’ over summer says Federalberghi

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — The Italian domestic tourist industry has struggled this year and will end 2014 in the red, the association of hotel proprietors Federalberghi said Thursday.

“The results have been strongly below expectations in the first nine months of 2014,” said Federalberghi chief Bernabò Bocca. A sharp drop in stays and a fall in prices means 2014 “will close badly in the red,” he said.

Even the four summer months, which usually buoy figures, “resulted in pure stagnation,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Airport Ebola Screens Hampered by Dormant Virus, Tylenol

There’s no foolproof way to screen airline passengers for a disease like Ebola that lies dormant and undetectable for days.

While enhanced screening announced yesterday for New York’s John F. Kennedy and four other U.S. airports will help stem the disease’s spread and assuage public fears, it’s an imperfect defense against a complex public health emergency, said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University in Washington.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Four Islamic State Jihad Terrorists Arrested in Texas in the Last 36 Hours

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

NASA is Studying How to Mine the Moon for Water

There’s a lot of water on the moon, and NASA wants to learn how to mine it.

Space agency scientists are developing two separate mission concepts to assess, and learn how to exploit, stores of water ice on the moon and other lunar resources. The projects — called Lunar Flashlight and the Resource Prospector Mission — are notionally targeted to blast off in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and aim to help humanity extend its footprint out into the solar system.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tories Criticize Trudeau for Visiting Mosque Whose Imam Supports Stoning

The imam of a Montreal-area mosque that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau visited in early September spoke favourably in 2011 about severing the hands of thieves and stoning women.

Imam Foudil Selmoune told a Radio-Canada journalist that under Sharia law, those harsh punishments are part of God’s rules for Muslims to live in a “peaceful and just society.”

“We don’t cut hands off just anyone,” he said. “We cut the hands of people who have money and who steal.”

He also said “stoning exists in Sharia.”

“But we have to ask why did God make these laws? It’s to create a society that is healthy, pure and balanced.”

Selmoune is still listed on the mosque’s website as its imam.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Around the World With American Betrayal

Yesterday, American Betrayal, a.k.a. Wielkie Klamstwa Ameryki, came out in Poland. Here are a couple of snapshots that Andrjez Findeisen, my Polish publisher, kindly sent in from bookstores in Warsaw…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Belgium Islamist ‘No Different to Pussy Riot’, Trial Hears

A hardline Islamist accused of inspiring dozens of young Belgians to fight jihad in Syria is no different from feminist activists Femen and Pussy Riot, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Fouad Belkacem is on trial in the Belgian city of Antwerp with 45 others, most still at large, for suspected membership of a group believed to be sending jihadist fighters to Syria.

A Salafist ideologue known for his virulent street sermons and online videos, Belkacem is accused of leading Sharia4Belgium, the radical group that was officially dissolved two years ago, but is accused of still actively recruiting fighters.

“His only goal was to provoke, just like Femen and Pussy Riot,” Belkacem’s lawyer John Maes was quoted as saying by Belga news agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Aarhus Exit Program for Radicalised Youth Inspiring Other Countries

The Aarhus exit program for radicalised young Danes is drawing a lot of attention, Metroexpress report

Many other countries face similar challenges and European politicians and international journalists are increasingly visiting Aarhus to learn how the city helps radicalised youths leave the extremist environment.

The program provides guidance and counselling to people who want to fight in a holy war in Syria or who have already been there and returned.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ebola: Spanish Doctor Reports Failure in Security Protocols

‘My coverall’s sleeves were short’. Seven hospitalised

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, OCTOBER 9 — The ER doctor of Alcorcon Hospital, the first medic who assisted ebola-infected nurse Teresa Romero denounced “grave shortcomings in the security protocol” as well as in the tools and apparel provided to confront the emergency in a statement cited by the media Thursday. Juan Manuel Parra Ramirez, who remained in contact with the nurse for 16 hours, criticized the lack of information and the delay with which the patient was transferred and quarantined in hospital Carlo III — La Paz. Parra Ramirez claims he found out about the patient testing positive to ebola through the press and adds that despite Romero’s worsening conditions her transfer, requested Monday at noon, did not take place before midnight. As a result the doctor had to “wear the protective overall at least 12 times” although “the sleeves immediately appeared to be way too short”. Yesterday the doctor was admitted to hospital Carlo III without symptoms and quarantined after he pleaded for more tests and greater vigilance. For two days he led a normal life treating patients in Alcorcon’s ER. In addition to Parra Ramirez other two people have been hospitalised in Carlo III’s special ebola ward: Teresa Romero’s family doctor, the first person who examined her, and another nurse who cared for the two Spanish missionaries who contracted ebola in Africa and died on August 12 and September 25. Meanwhile, another hospital worker and an engineer have tested negative and have been discharged from hospital. Seven people have currently been admitted to hospital: the three new suspected ebola patients, the infected nurse, her husband and other two nurses. It is estimated that at least 50 people came into contact with Teresa Romero and the missionary who died on September 25.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ebola: Spanish Nurse Teresa Romero ‘Worsens’

The health of a Spanish nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside of West Africa has worsened, a hospital official said on Thursday.

Teresa Romero’s brother said her health had deteriorated and she was now being helped with her breathing in hospital.

Meanwhile, two doctors who treated her have been admitted for observation.

The admissions bring to six the total number of people under quarantine at the hospital in Madrid.

A spokesman for the Carlos III hospital said that so far neither of the two doctors recently admitted had shown Ebola symptoms…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

ECB Reiterates Commitment to Beating Low Inflation

Frankfurt slams ‘insufficient progress’ in structural reforms

(ANSA) — Frankfurt, October 9 — The European Central Bank (ECB) remains committed to using “additional unconventional instruments within its mandate” to combat ongoing low inflation across the eurozone, according to its October monthly bulletin published Thursday.

The unspecified measures would help return rates to levels closer to the stated aim of below, but close to, 2%, the ECB said. Survey data updated to September showed a weakening in growth momentum in the eurozone, while remaining consistent with a modest economic expansion in the second half of the year, according to the bulletin. The bank added that the outlook for a moderate recovery in 2015 remained “in place” provided governments took the necessary monetary policy measures and continued to pursue improvements in financial conditions, fiscal consolidation and structural reforms. “The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area remained on the downside,” the bulletin read. “In particular, the recent weakening in the euro area’s growth momentum, alongside heightened geopolitical risks, could dampen confidence and, in particular, private investment,” it continued.

“In addition, insufficient progress in structural reforms in euro area countries constitutes a key downward risk to the economic outlook,” the report said.

Economic confidence fell across the eurozone between May and September, with Italy, Germany and France showing the biggest drop according to the ECB’s Economic Sentiment Indicator.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Enlists Internet Giants in Fight Against Online Extremism

The European Union and US Internet giants including Facebook and Twitter have agreed to work together to combat online extremism, and discussed steps that the firms are taking to block beheading videos, officials said Thursday.

EU Interior ministers and officials met representatives from the technology firms at a dinner in Luxembourg on Wednesday amid growing alarm that Islamist material is encouraging young Muslims to fight in Syria and Iraq.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the US firms had told the Europeans “how they already work to not show these videos, which according to their internal policies are totally against their principles”.

The officials from search giant Google, social media leaders Facebook and Twitter, and software titan Microsoft explained how they have a “very large corporate responsibility not to show beheading videos,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: Numbers of Unvaccinated Children Increased, Report

According to the Greek Medecins du Monde chapter

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 8 — A survey conducted by the Greek Medecins du Monde (MdM) chapter shows that the numbers of unvaccinated children in Greece has increased in recent times as local dailies report today. The increase is attributed to inoculation centers shutting down, uninsured parents being unable to cover the cost of vaccination, as well as a surge in the anti-vaccination movement. According to a report in Ta Nea, this trend could result in formerly eclipsed diseases making a comeback. The MdM clinics in Greece offer free vaccinations to children, with doctors noting that about 50% of children are poorly or not vaccinated at all against pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, diphtheria and meningitis. A Health Ministry official claimed that there have been no delays in the supply of vaccinations; however the relevant department received the orders later than expected, resulting in many inoculation centers shutting down. The surge in the anti-vaccination movement is also a source of major concern. Pediatrics professor at the University of Athens Giorgos Chrousos argued that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vaccinations cause autism, as anti-vaccination proponents often suggest, since a child with autism has the condition from the embryonic stage.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Internet Giants Discuss Jihad Over Dinner With EU Ministers

High ranking officials from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft met with EU interior ministers and the European Commission at a private dinner in Luxembourg to discuss ways to counter online jihadist propaganda.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex-Veneto Governor Asks 34-Mth Plea Bargain

Expected to get house arrest Wednesday

(ANSA) — Venice, October 8 — Lawyers representing jailed former Veneto governor Giancarlo Galan presented a plea bargain request to prosecutors in Venice for his alleged role in corruption linked to the MOSE flood-protection system, officials said Wednesday.

The ex-Veneto governor’s lawyers asked for a plea bargain for a 34-month sentence and 2.6 million euros fine. Lawyers also requested house arrest, which is expected to be granted later Wednesday.

The center-right Forza Italia (FI) MP and former two-time Berlusconi government minister was arrested in July on suspicion of corruption in the multi-billion-euro MOSE flood-prevention system in Venice.

He is currently being held in Opera prison outside Milan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex Finmeccanica Chief ‘Expected’ Corruption Acquittal

Orsi, AgustaWestland chief handed 2 years for false invoicing

(see previous) (ANSA) — Milan, October 9 — Giuseppe Orsi, the former CEO and president of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, on Thursday said his acquittal from international corruption charges was ‘expected’.

“I didn’t expect anything different as I didn’t commit the act,” said Orsi in reference to the not-guilty verdict handed down for charges of international corruption in relation to alleged bribes paid to land a contract to sell 12 helicopters to the Indian government.

Bruno Spagnolini, the former head of helicopter division AgustaWestland, was also acquitted of the same charges.

However both men were sentenced by the same court to two years in prison for false invoicing and ordered to pay 1.5 million euros in compensation to the Italian tax authorities, a plaintiff in the criminal case.

The sentences weer suspended, as are all up to and including two years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Tops List for Pending Criminal Cases

Council of Europe report confirms snail-paced Italian justice

(ANSA) — Strasbourg, October 9 — Italy came first among Council of Europe member states for the number of criminal cases and second for the number of civil cases pending at the end of 2012, according to a report published by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) on Thursday. Italy had 1,454,452 criminal cases and 4,650,566 civil cases pending on 31 December 2012, the report said. Italy also came top for the length of time taken to reach a first-instance verdict for bankruptcy (2,648 days) and for divorce (770 days), it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi ‘Concerned’ After Ast Terni Talks Collapse

550 steelworkers face redundancy under restructuring plan

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — Premier Matteo Renzi said Thursday he was “extremely concerned” about the situation at ThyssenKrupp’s Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) stainless steel plant in Terni, Umbria, after talks between the company and labour unions over proposed job cuts broke down.

“The government’s proposal for mediation was not accepted, the sides remain too far apart,” said Renzi in reference to efforts to reach a compromise over plans by the German steel giant to lay off 550 workers as part of a restructuring programme. Debora Serracchiani, Friuli-Venezia Giulia governor and deputy secretary of Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), reiterated the government’s commitment to resolving the dispute, which saw intervention from Pope Francis on behalf of the threatened AST workers in September.

“The site has all the conditions for continuing production — the government will not give up, it will continue negotiations to bring home a result,” Serracchiani said.

On Thursday Umbria Governor Catiuscia Marini urged “all sides, and particularly the company, to keep talking during this extremely delicate phase in the discussions and to avoid taking unilateral action that might risk undermining efforts made so far, in addition to needlessly raising the level of social tension”. In July steelmaker ThyssenKrupp announced a new industrial plan for its wholly owned subsidiary AST including cost reductions of over 100 million euros a year and job cuts.

Under the plan the second furnace was also to be shut down by 2015-2016, ThyssenKrupp said at the time.

However in August the company accepted a government appeal to put the plan on hold so talks could take place following industrial action.

AST is one of three troubled industrial plants at the centre of government attention.

The others are the ILVA steel plant in the southern port city of Taranto and the former Fiat auto assembly plant at Termini Imerese in Sicily.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Anti-Islam Lawmaker Investigated for Hate Speech

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch prosecutors say they are investigating anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders on suspicion of inciting hatred and discrimination against Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Among comments under investigation is an election speech in March this year in which he asked supporters if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans. In response, they chanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”

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It is not the first time the controversial legislator has tested the limits of liberal Dutch free speech laws. In 2011, Wilders was tried and acquitted of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Prosecutors announced Thursday that they have called Wilders in for questioning, but have not charged him with any crime.

Wilders calls the decision scandalous and says prosecutors should concentrate on investigating Dutch citizens, including Moroccans, who travel to Syria to fight.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Geert Wilders is a Formal ‘Suspect’ For Anti-Moroccan Chants

Public prosecutors have ‘invited’ PVV leader Geert Wilders for questioning in connection with remarks he made about Moroccans last year and consider him to be a formal suspect, the department said on Thursday.

The department said in a statement Wilders is ‘suspected of having insulted a population group with respect to their race and of incitement to discrimination and hatred’.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Patrick Modiano, the French writer whose novels center on topics like memory, identity and guilt, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

In an announcement in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy cited Mr. Modiano’s ability to evoke “the most ungraspable human destinies in his work.” Recent winners for the prize in literature have included the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro in 2013; the Chinese novelist Mo Yan in 2012; the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer in 2011; and the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa in 2010.

The last American writer to win the Nobel for literature was Toni Morrison, in 1993. The Nobel, one of the most prestigious and financially generous awards in the world, comes with a $1.1 million prize. The literature prize is given out for an entire lifetime of writing rather than a single work.

[Return to headlines]

Spain: Nursing Staff Resign From Their Posts to Avoid Treating Ebola Cases

Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, the health center where Ebola victim Teresa Romero is being treated, is having to draft in extra staff given that nurses are refusing to work with cases — or suspected cases — of the virus, claiming that safety conditions are not adequate.

A number of other patients are currently being monitored in the hospital after having come into contact with Romero, although none so far has been confirmed as having contracted the virus.

“There are members of staff who are canceling their contracts so that they don’t have to enter (rooms with Ebola cases),” explains Elvira González, provincial vice-secretary of the SAE nurses’ union.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Third Ebola Patient Arrives in Germany From Africa

A man infected with the deadly Ebola virus has been admitted to a hospital in the eastern city of Leipzig. His is the third case to be treated in Germany.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Banned London School of Economics Rugby Players Dressed as Guantanamo Bay Detainees in Front of Muslim Students

The banned London School of Economics men’s rugby players were today accused of having dressed like Guantanamo Bay detainees in front of Muslim students and breaking a Jewish students’ nose during a Nazi-themed drinking game.

The club was disbanded by the students union after leaflets labelling women ‘slags’, ‘trollops’ and ‘mingers’ were dished out at the freshers’ fair for the historically liberal university, where past students include John F Kennedy and David Attenborough.

Today, passages from an email, sent by the student general secretary to all students, detailed further alleged debauchery from the club including offensive drinking games and ‘evidence of strippers at end of year club dinners’.

           — Hat tip: Green Infidel [Return to headlines]

600 ‘Terrorists’ To Face Trial Soon in Tunisia: Minister

The first trials of prisoners accused of “terrorism” in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution could open later this month, with 600 defendants facing prosecution, its justice minister said Thursday.

Hafedh Ben Salah told AFP in an interview that the defendants included Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists who have been battling the Tunisian army near the Algerian border for nearly two years.

Since the uprising that ousted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Tunisia has seen a proliferation of jihadist militias suppressed under the former dictator.

These groups have been blamed for a wave of attacks, including the assassination last year of two opposition lawmakers whose murders plunged the country into a protracted political crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Exchanged Jihadists With ISIS for Release of Turkish Diplomats

The veil was lifted on how Turkish President Recep Erdogan was able to get 49 Turkish diplomats captured in Mosul when ISIS conquered Iraq’s second largest city in June. He exchanged more than 180 Jihadists, including two British citizens to obtain the release of Turkish diplomats and their families. Those jihadists had been caught on the so-called Turkish Jihadist highway that Erdogan had provided emboldening the foreign fighter contingents for Al Qaeda affiliate al Nusra and ISIS. Yesterday, I listened with interest to an NPR interview with a Syrian ‘guide’ who had run a profitable business infiltrating those foreign jihadists into Syria to join up with the Al Nusra and ISIS, until Erdogan’s security forces were commanded to shut it down. Perhaps, the ability of ISIS to smuggle oil from captured fields in Syria may also have played a role in providing baksheesh to keep the jihadist highway in operation bringing in both recruits and the cash to pay them.

The world’s media provided a rostrum for President Erdogan, an elected Islamist autocrat, to exercise ultimate chutzpah at the border town of Suruc teeming with 180,000 Kurdish and other Syrian refugees. Reported by the UK The Independent, Erdogan predicted the imminent fall of Kobani to ISIS. Further, that he would only put troops on the ground, if he could secure a corridor inside Syria fighting to overthrow the Assad regime. All while US supplied tanks of the Turkish army, the largest land force member of NATO, were poised on the border capable of firing rounds at US tanks and mobile artillery captured by ISIS battering the lightly armed Kurdish YPG forces..

This is eerily akin to Stalin’s orders for Russian forces in August of 1944 to remain on the east bank of the Vistula River when the Polish Resistance Uprising in Warsaw against Nazi forces, only to be decimated virtually destroying what remained of the city. As we know from the history of that valiant episode by Polish resistance, allied air drops to supply Polish contingents landed in the possession of German forces. Moreover, Stalin denied use by US air force units based in Poltava in the western Ukraine to make those air drops. Consider the limited air attacks by the US-led coalition air forces on ISIS in the outer precincts of Kobani to be the contemporary equivalent.

In Erdogan’s case, his appearance at the Syrian border backfired, as Kurds rose up in anger inside Turkey and throughout emigre communities in Europe. Many in the West were troubled by Erdogan’s stance. Interviews with Former Pentagon and CIA chef under Obama, Leon Panetta, based on his new book , Worthy Fights, suggested ineffective leadership by President Obama .Obama who took advice from what a Wall Street Journal called the “Mettenich Munchkins” in the West Wing in an editorial,” Who Really Lost Iraq?”

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Film: Iran Producing Love Story on ISIS

‘Songs of My Country’ to be shot in Lebanon

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Iran is making a film on life and love in the time of the Islamic State (ISIS) “from its point of view”, reports Al-Arabiya. The film, produced by the Iranian government’s Radio and Television Commission, shows a romance between a Muslim and a Christian against a backdrop of ISIS violence. The film, to be entitled ‘Songs of My Country’, will target an Arabic public and is being shot in Arabic, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-linked new agency Tasneem. The actors are Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians and the director is Abbas Rafii. The film will be shot in Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon, along with a few scenes in Iran. Legendary Algerian independence leader Jamila Bouherd will be present at the shooting of some of the scenes, “to give a revolutionary touch” to the film.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Parish Priest Liberated in Syria. Seized With 20 Others

Other 4 women freed, kidnappers belong to Al Nusra

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 9 — The Custody of the Holy Land said that after the liberation of a group of women belonging to the parish of Knayeh (a Christian village in the Orontes Valley) seized by Al Nusra jihadi militants the night between October 5 and October 6, parish-priest Hanna Jallouf also returned home. The friar confirmed by phone that he was able to go back to Saint Joseph’s convent were he was put “under house arrest”.

The priest may move around the village but has been forbidden exit out of Knayeh. The four women who had been kidnapped among a group of some 20 hostages together with father Hanna Jallouf were freed Wednesday. According to Bishop Georges Abou Khazen who spoke to Vatican press agency Fides: “The kidnappers didn’t say a word to the women who were freed, they weren’t even interrogated”. Local sources confirm that the jihadi fighters were armed.

The captives’ families and friends have not received any requests or demands from the kidnappers so far, and the latter have refrained from qualifying themselves. The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land attributed the kidnapping to a Jabhat al Nusra brigade, the jihadi factions who controls the area. The location where the hostages are held captive is a few kilometers away from the village of Knayeh.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Redefining Religious Experiences: King Abdullah Approves $13bn Pilgrim Megacity in Madinah

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has instructed the finance ministry to implement the massive SR50-billion ($13.32 billion) pilgrim city project in Madinah to further improve services provided to pilgrims.

Work on the first phase of the King Abdullah Pilgrim City has already begun, said an Arab News report.

The city, located 3 km to the west of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, will cover an area of over 1.6 million sq m and accommodate 200,000 people.

The project will be financed by state-owned Public Investment Fund.

The first phase of the project will cost SR3.3 billion ($880 million), while the second phase will be worth SR2.7 billion ($719 million), the report said quoting a finance ministry source.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria: Fr Hanna Released, Fate of Co-Religionists Unknown

The Custody of the Holy Land announced the clergyman’s release. The friar is now in the convent of Knayeh, the village where he was kidnapped by al Nusra militants.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The Custody of the Holy Land announced that Fr Hanna Jallouf was released this morning. The Franciscan clergyman was abducted overnight on Sunday.

The friar was released this morning and is now under “house arrest” in Knayeh convent, according to the Custody’s website. However, there is no news about the fate of the other 20 Christians who were taken with him.

Fr Hanna and his followers were taken by al Nusra Jihadist fighters from the village of Knayeh, on the border with Turkey.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, Jihadi militias abducted several prominent Christian clerics, most notably two bishops, Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi (Orthodox Church of Antioch) and Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim (Syrian Orthodox Church) in April 2013.

An Italian-born Jesuit priest, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, was also kidnapped in Syria 29 July 2013.

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

Turkey: Refugees Number in the Country Nearing 2 Million

Syrians in Turkey to be currently around 1.4 million

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 9 — The number of refugees from Syria and Iraq pouring into Turkey is larger than the population of many cities in the country, with their number nearing two million, as Anadolu Agency reports quoting Ayhan Sefer Ustun, head of Turkish Parliament’s Committee of Human Rights, as saying. He pointed out that 130,000 people have been admitted to European countries from conflict-ridden countries in the Middle East in the past four years, adding that this was lower than the number Turkey received in one week in the wake of ISIS attacks on Kobani, Syria. Ustun said that Turkey hosted the displaced foreigners in modern facilities that were above world standards despite the high number of refugees. Although the ISIS threat in both Iraq and Syria has added to Turkey’s woes in terms of a rise in the number of the refugees coming to its border, the Turkish government has vowed to pursue an embracing policy for Syrians and Iraqis, he added. Piril Ercoban, an official from the Turkish nongovernmental organization Association of Solidarity with Refugees (Multeci-Der) praised Turkey’s approach to refugees, particularly those from Syria, as well as backing efforts for the implementation of new laws to address the plight of refugees. Ercoban said that official figures in August show the number of Syrians in Turkey to be currently around 1.4 million with 808,000 of them registered. Unofficial figures claim the number has exceeded 2 million. “Even though this is an unofficial figure, it must be around that point after nearly 150,000 people (fleeing Syria’s Kobani) took shelter in Turkey over the past few weeks,” she said. Turkey has one of the world’s largest refugee populations.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: New NATO Chief Stoltenberg to Visit Ankara Tomorrow

As part of his first group of visits to allied capitals

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 8 — NATO’s newly appointed Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will pay a two-day visit to Turkey on October 9 as part of his first group of visits to allied capitals as Anadolu Agency reports.

Stoltenberg, who took charge on October 1st, is expected to meet President Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Chief of General Staff General Necdet Ozel, a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

A detailed exchange of views on growing instability in the Middle East, primarily Iraq and Syria, and the current situation in Ukraine are expected to take place in the meetings, the statement added.

During his two-day stay in Turkey, Stoltenberg will also visit the U.S. Patriot missile units deployed in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep to thwart potential attacks from Syria.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Washington-Based Nuclear Watchdog Confirms Blast at Parchin Nuclear Trigger Test Site in Iran

When we posted Monday, October 6th on the mysterious blast at the Parchin military explosives test site in Iran , we said our first act was to contact the Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) headed by former nuclear inspector, David Albright. ISIS, a highly regarded nuclear watchdog group, maintains watching briefs on both the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs. The young man who answered our call said they would have an evaluation of imagery of the Parchin test site, alleged to be engaged in development of explosive nuclear triggers for possible weapons development. The Parchin military test facility is located 28 kilometers southeast of Tehran. The blast there occurred on Sunday night local time. It produced a glare that could be seen 13 kilometers (approximately 10 miles) distant, as well as blew out windows. The Iranian regime’s IRNA and opposition Samha news agencies reported on the blast at Parchin that killed two workers. ISIS released evidence yesterday of damage at the Parchin test site based on satellite imagery, “Finding the Site of the Alleged Explosion at the Parchin Military Complex”. Their analysis foundISIS believes that one site located in the southern section of the complex could be the possible location of the explosion. This site is close to a series of bunkers, indicating that it could serve as a support area for the activities taking place there. Several signatures that coincide with those expected from an explosion site are visible here. Two buildings that were present in August 2014 are no longer there, while a third building appears to be severely damaged. In total at least six buildings appear damaged or destroyed.However, it is important to note that there is no evidence of either an attack or nuclear weapon-related activities at this specific site. There may be confusion over alleged high explosive nuclear weapon-related activities at another site at Parchin that occurred prior to 2004. With questions raised about the pending final agreement proposals under discussion in Vienna between representatives of the P5+1 and Iran, the Parchin military test site blast begs disclosures on what triggered it. Why Iran has denied access to the facility to the IAEA since 2005? It is time for the Senate and House Select Intelligence Committees to hold closed door hearings on Iran’s nuclear activities during the year long interim agreement. An agreement that gave the green light for lifting some US and International sanctions. Perhaps, Israel has information on both the incident at Parchin and Iran’s nuclear program. Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of Intelligence , revealed before President Rouhani’s speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2014 that he had such information from “reliable sources”.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Washington Asking a Reluctant Turkey to Do “More” Against the Islamic State

A statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry confirms that the US is putting pressure on Ankara, which however is more concerned about the possibility that Syrian Kurds autonomy alongside the largely autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan might boost a push for autonomy by Turkish Kurds. Turkey also wants the coalition to get rid of Assad.

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) — US Secretary of State John Kerry said he expected Turkey to decide “over the next hours, days” what more it may do to confront the Islamic State (IS).

The statement confirms that Washington is putting pressures on Ankara to act as war rages in and near Kobane between Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces.

The Turks “are using excuses not to do more,” said a US official, speaking about talks between Washington and Ankara. “It’s a larger objective with them than Kobane . . . a larger discussion,” he added, suggesting that Washington was playing a longer game with Ankara about “the role they can play overall here.”

Meanwhile, Turkey’s military has deployed tanks on the border, not far from the city. For now, they are just sitting on the sidelines, as IS militants fight to gain control of Kobane. At the same time, Turkish authorities are preventing Turkish Kurds from helping their compatriots in Syria.

In Turkey itself, the death toll from protests over the government’s inaction has hit 22.

Turkey is ambivalent about the fight across its border because of its distrust of Kurdish fighters protecting Kobane. It views them as an extension of the Kurdish PKK, the rebel group that has waged a long and bloody insurgency against Ankara.

In recent days, Turkish officials have in fact gone out of their way to suggest that they view IS and the PKK as terrorist groups.

Underlying everything is Turkey’s fear that if Syrian Kurds achieve autonomy next to an autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkish Kurds would be next.

In addition, Ankara wants the anti-IS coalition to aim at removing the Assad regime. Responding to critics, “ Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, “The ones who were silent in the face of the death of 300,000 people in the past 3.5 years, ignoring the use of chemical weapons, SCUD missiles and barrel bombs [in Syria], are suddenly putting an effort to create an international perception as if Turkey must immediately solve the problem in Kobane itself”.

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

Yemen’s Prime Minister Steps Down After Houthi Opposition

Attack in Sanaa kills 43 Shia including many children

(ANSAmed) — SANAA — Yemen’s new prime minister appointed on Tuesday has given up the post after strong opposition from powerful Zaidi Shia Houthi rebels that have controlled the capital since September 21, reports state news agency SABA.

A few hours after the announcement, a suicide attack in Sanaa against the Shia rebels killed at least ten including four children and injured many more. The attack occurred when supporters of the Houthis were preparing to hold a protest in Tahrir Square, where the explosion occurred. Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has accepted Ahmed Awad ben Mubarak’s request “to be relieved of his mission to form a new government”.

The task of forming a new government had been assigned to Ahmed Awad Mubarak on the basis of a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, reports SABA. After being accused of acting on behalf of the Saudi and US governments by the Houthis, he made the decision to “preserve national unity”, the agency quoted a letter send by the outgoing prime minister to President Hadi as stating.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Putin to Attend Asem Summit in Milan, May Meet Poroshenko

Russia president may also see Renzi, Merkel, Hollande

(ANSA) — Moscow, October 9 — Russia President Vladimir Putin will attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan October 16-17 and may meet Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko at the event, Kremlin diplomatic advisor Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by Tass on Thursday. Ushakov added that Putin may also meet Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Milan. There will be hopes that a possible meeting between Putin and Poroshenko could help ease the crisis in Ukraine and soothe international tensions.

Moscow’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year and its support for pro-Russia separatists in the east of Ukraine prompted the United States and the European Union to adopt sanctions and drove relations between the West and Russia to their lowest levels since the Cold War.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

How Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin

When the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next.

“He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’“ Temur Batirashvili said from his home in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, on the border with the Russian region of Chechnya. “I have many thousands following me now and I’ll get more. We’ll have our revenge against Russia.”

As the U.S. and European countries assess the risk of home-grown jihadists returning to stage attacks on their native countries, the turmoil in the Middle East also reverberates in the Caucasus. The region wedged between Russia, Iran and Turkey is an intricate web of tensions that’s erupted into violence in the past three decades in hot spots from Chechnya to Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Paktika Mullah Imam Kills Himself and His Mother by Own Explosives

A Mullah Imam of a mosque was blown up by own explosives in southeastern Paktika province of Afghanistan, local officials said.

The mother of the prayer leader who was accompanying him was also killed following the explosion.

According to the local government officials, the prayer leader, identified as Mawlavi Shurhratullah had planted the explosives in his motorcycle and was on his way towards the house of one his relatives when the blast took place.

The officials further added that the Imam had links with the Taliban group and was involved in major roadside bombings.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

In Dry Pakistan, Deaths From Toxic Liquor Continue

In a dry country such as Pakistan, it can be hard to find a drink. And those who can often turn to bootleggers for concocted brews of who knows what.

This week, that search for a buzz during Eid celebrations led to deadly consequences.

In a span of 24 hours this week, at least 21 people died in Karachi from drinking toxic liquor, health officials said Wednesday. The victims represented a cross section of residents in Pakistan’s largest city, and officials are worried that the death toll will mount, said Seemi Jamali, head of emergency services at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

India: Madhya Pradesh: Anti-Christian Violence “Unacceptable”

The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act. According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), the State’s authorities and Police bend to mob rule by local Hindu radicals.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — “This cycle of violence planned against Christians in Madhya Pradesh is not acceptable. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi must control the government of this State and order them to enforce the guarantees in the constitution of India,” said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) who spoke to AsiaNews about a recent spate of attacks and acts of persecution against Christians in the Indian State.

The latest incidents are just a few days old. In one case, the authorities stepped in to stop a Christian gathering following tensions caused by radical Hindu groups.

The Moksha Foundation, which organised the event, had the required police permit. Request for such a document requires a statement that the applicant is not involved in terrorist activities.

In another incident, some Hindu radicals got unhinged in Madhya Pradesh when news that a Christian man was going to marry a Hindu woman.

Despite being adult and consenting, the superintendent of police of Alirajpur forced the two to go home and annulled their union.

“I did what I thought was best,” the officer said, “after nearly 400 militants stormed my office and threatened to set it on fire.”

The statement by the police superintendent was “very serious, because it shows that mob rule by Hindu radicals dictate what police do in this part of Madhya Pradesh,” this according to the Religious Liberties Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), the

EFI sent a petition to the state’s chief minister asking for his urgent intervention to stop the hate campaigns against Christians. (NC/SD)

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

India, Pakistan Trade Kashmir Warnings

Violence some of worst in decade

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — India and Pakistan on Thursday traded warnings over a surge in violence in Kashmir which has killed at least 19 people.

Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said his country would “respond befittingly to Indian aggression” but it did not want an open clash with another nuclear-armed country. His Indian counterpart, Arun Jaitley, had earlier said Pakistan would be made to pay an “unaffordable” price if it persisted with “adventurism”. Each side accuses the other of starting hostilities which broke out a week ago.

Exchanges in the disputed area are not uncommon but rarely result in fatalities.

So the violence is some of the worst in a decade.

Of the 19 civilians killed since fighting began last Friday, 11 are on the Pakistani side while eight are on the Indian side.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India Warns Pakistan as Kashmir Battles Continue

India has warned Pakistan against further shelling in Kashmir. The defense minister says the country could make such attacks “unaffordable” as the death toll from this week’s cross-border violence rose to 17.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Watch: 90% of 20k Total U.S. Warriors Wounded in Afghanistan War

by Edwin Mora

At least 17,316 American soldiers have been wounded in the Afghanistan war theater since Obama was inaugurated for his first term, according to a count maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Overall, according to the Pentagon, 20,017 United State troops have been wounded in action (WIA) since Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) began 13 years ago today.

OEF is the official name of the Afghanistan war theater, which also involves military operations in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

Most, just about all, OEF-related activity has taken place in Afghanistan.

An estimated 90 percent of all the soldiers who have been wounded in the Afghanistan theater received their injuries after Obama was sworn into office for his first term on January 20, 2009.

Restrictive Rules of Engagement (ROA) in combination with other aspects of Obama’s military strategy have been accused of fueling a rise in fatalities and injuries in Afghanistan since the president took office.

The number of troops wounded in action has increased dramatically in the time that Obama has been president — from 2,701 during the eight years of the previous administration to 20,017 now…

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]

China Bans Actors Linked to Drugs, Prostitution

‘Their actions have hurt the entire industry’, watchdog says

(ANSA) — Beijing, October 9 — Actors who have used drugs or visited prostitutes are to be banned from making screen appearances in a bid to clean up the industry, China’s media watchdog said Thursday.

The move by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television will affect popular actors such as Jaycee Chan, son of Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan, Taiwanese actor Kai Ko and Gao Hum.

All three were detained in August after testing positive for or being found in possession of marijuana and/or methamphetamines.

The ban also concerns Huang Haibo, an actor arrested on suspicion of hiring prostitutes.

“Their actions have hurt the entire industry and have brought extremely bad and adverse consequences to the whole society, therefore we strongly condemn their actions,” a spokesman from the China Radio and Television Association said. The move can be seen as part of a broader crackdown by government on excesses within China’s elite, observers say.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

China: The Party Warns: Copying Western Democracy Only Leads to Disaster

This thesis appeared in the influential Communist magazine Qiushi. The “examples” are those of the Arab countries, who “tried to adopt this form of government and are now in chaos. The West believes its democracy is a universal value, but it has some inherent defects.”

Beijing (AsiaNews) — Copying Western-style democracy “only leads to disaster. Just look at Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq … They tried to adopt this form of government and are now in chaos”. This is the summary of a lengthy article published in the latest edition of Qiushi, the influential magazine published by the Communist Party of China, which carefully avoids any reference to Hong Kong.

According to the author, “the West always brags that its own democracy is a ‘universal value’ and denies there is any other form of democracy. But Western democracy has innate internal flaws and certainly is not a ‘universal value’; its blind copying can only lead to disaster”.

Without any mention of the riots fomented by Islamic extremists or neo-colonization of many countries — including China — the article argues that this assumption “is shown by Arab countries, which are now in chaos” after trying to establish a Western-style democracy.

Even without making any reference, it is a clear nod to the protests that are shaking Hong Kong. The population of the Territory has long called for Beijing to grant — as required by the agreements made prior to the return to the motherland — of a true universal suffrage. China has rejected these demands, fearing that such concessions could foment similar requests in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces which have been seeking more autonomy from the central government.

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

China: Orange Pollution Alert Raised as Beijing Smog Reaches ‘Hazardous’ Levels

The capital’s second day of thick smog has prompted an orange alert — the second highest — for heavy pollution and resulted in almost 20 highways in the city and neighbouring provinces being partially closed in an attempt to cut down on fumes.

The Beijing pollution level remained at the highest — “hazardous” — level on Thursday morning, meaning air quality is a health threat to the entire population.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China Angered After FBI Head Says Chinese Hacking Costs Billions

(Reuters) — China accused the United States on Thursday of faking facts, after the head of the FBI said that Chinese hacking likely cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars every year.

Charges over hacking and internet spying have increased tension between the two countries. In May, the United States charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies, prompting China to suspend a Sino-U.S. working group on cyber issues. China has denied wrongdoing.

Speaking on CBS’ 60 Minutes program on Sunday, FBI Director James Comey said Chinese hackers were targeting big U.S. companies, and that some of them probably did not even know they had been hacked.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong Scrubs Talks With Students

Scheduled for Friday

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — Hong Kong authorities on Thursday scrapped talks with student pro-democracy protesters scheduled for Friday.

While some streets in Hong Kong remained closed, the protest movement called a new rally Friday and threatened to block more streets and buildings.

The pro-democracy parliamentary group on the Hong Kong legislative council was readying an impeachment request for government chief executive Chun-ying Leung.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

North Korea’s Kim Jong-UN’s Absence Fuels Speculation About Health, Coup

North Korea’s mysterious leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public for 34 days, sparking a wide range of speculation — including that the head of one of the world’s most secretive countries is ailing or has been removed in a secret coup.

Kim, who was last seen in public attending a concert on Sept. 3., had been seen earlier walking with a limp.

Maybe it’s gout, unidentified sources tell South Korean reporters, or diabetes, or high blood pressure. A thinly sourced British report says the Swiss-educated dictator has been laid low by a massive cheese addiction. A headline in Seoul offers up the possibility of a common South Korean obsession: fried chicken and beer.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Philippines: North Cotabato: Grenade Attack on Protestant Church, Two Dead and Three Wounded

The attack took place in the late afternoon yesterday, during a prayer service. Two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the place of worship. So far no official claims, the assailants managed to escape. Pastor Jerry Sanchez condemns violence.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Two Christians have been killed and three others wounded in an grenade attack late yesterday afternoon in the southern Philippines. Police sources report that two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the main entrance of the United Church of Christ in the town of Pikit, in the province of North Cotabato, on the southern island of Mindanao.

Local witnesses say that the community in the small southern town was gathered in prayer, when suddenly a loud explosion was heard. At the moment there are no claims or official news about the attack; the assailants managed to make a clean get away.

The victims are a nurse of 54 and a teacher of 39, who were hit by shrapnel and died due to the severity of their injuries. Pikit police chief Mautin Pangandigan, reports that a M203 grenade launcher was used. Another teacher and two businessmen are injured and hospitalized, but there are no further details about their conditions.

Pastor Jerry Sanchez explained that at the time of the attack, there were at least 40 worshipers inside the church. “We have no idea why it happened — adds the local leader of the Protestant community — but we condemn this act of brutal force.” He reports that the community has been active in promoting peace in the region.

In recent years, the province of Cotabato has been the subject of numerous attacks carried out by criminal gangs linked to local political leaders or Islamic extremist Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Often, however, these acts go unpunished because of the climate of impunity that characterizes the Muslim majority region of Mindanao, which suffered more than 40 years of war between Muslim rebels and the army.

Pikit, in particular, is a well-known base for criminals and fighters linked to extremist Islamic movements.

The peace agreement between the Milf and Manilashould put an end to the violence, but extremist groups — such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (Biff) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) — have tried several times to hinder it.

In recent days, the police and government forces have been on alert for possible attacks from groups opposed to the peace agreements, but they do not rule out the involvement of clans and families engaged in bloody feuds for control of the territory.

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

Storm Hits Hong Kong’s Leung Over Unregistered Millions From Australian Firm

The chief executive was Asia Pacific director for DTZ Holdings, which was later acquired by UGL, a publicly listed firm, which paid US$ $ 6.4 million to the former manager, after his resignation, so that he could act as “a referee and advisor from time to time”. The agreement went through because managers thought he would not be elected. Now the Territory is waiting for talks between the government and students.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — Hong Kong’s chief executive, CY Leung, received millions from an Australian publicly listed firm whilst in office.

The money — about US$ 6.4 million — was paid to the pro-Beijing leader in 2012 and 2013 and was not declared on his register of personal interests.

The payment was an outstanding “agreed bonus” and for future occasional advice, Mr Leung’s office said.

Given Leung’s position with respect to pro-democracy protests, his standing in public opinion has hit rock bottom, with renewed calls for his resignation.

UGL paid money to him, according to Fairfax media, for acquiring a property services firm, DTZ Holdings, where Mr Leung was Asia Pacific director.

This agreement was made separately between UGL and Mr Leung to ensure he did not compete with UGL and to act as “a referee and advisor from time to time”.

However, Mr Leung’s office said that he did not provide any services after his resignation, which took effect on 4 December 2011.

The news has however fuelled further protests against Leung, already unpopular for his intransigent positions and “contemptuous” attitude toward the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement and students, in the streets for democracy.

In addition, having been elected in 2012 with just over half of the votes from a committee of 1,200 members who were largely loyal to the Chinese government, Mr Leung already lacks legitimacy in the minds of a significant portion of the public.

UGL said no clause had been put in place to make the payment null and void if Mr Leung was elected to public office, because managers thought he would not win.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong continues to wait for talks between students and the government.

Scheduled for tomorrow, 10 October, the talks have been described as “useless” because they do not address the main issues of the protest, namely universal suffrage, real democracy and the resignation of the chief executive.

While the situation in the streets of the Territory is back to normal, some students and demonstrators continue their picket in the central sections of the former British colony.

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

Ebola: Learn From the Past

Drawing on his experiences in previous outbreaks, David L. Heymann calls for rapid diagnosis, patient isolation, community engagement and clinical trials.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Found: Closest Link to Eve, Our Universal Ancestor

A man who died in 315 BC in southern Africa is the closest relative yet known to humanity’s common female ancestor — mitochondrial Eve

HE DIED later than Socrates and Aristotle, but a man who fished along the coast of southern Africa is the closest genetic match for our common female ancestor yet found.

The man was 50 years old when he died, and is the first ancient human from sub-Saharan Africa — the cradle of humanity — to have had its DNA sequenced.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Battle to Make Tommy the Chimp a Person

Tommy is 26. He lives alone behind a trailer sales park in upstate New York. His hobbies include watching cartoons.

He is also a chimpanzee. And now Tommy is at the centre of one of America’s more curious legal battles.

A lawsuit submitted by a group called the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) seeks to have Tommy recognised as a person under law.

It’s a case with potentially radical implications, challenging as it does human society’s very understanding of rights.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

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

  1. The Left have been after this for decades. A fool called “Dr” Goodall advocated the death penalty for those who shot chimps. The idea is to legitimate their atheism by denying the uniqueness of the human being as a link between the Divine and the animal Kingdom over which Man ruled, created in God’s Image. By making man just another animal, they get to replace God as gods and arbiter of human society they seek to reform in their own selfish image. Guardian readers please note.

    Hey what’s a couple of million deaths of non-compliant ideologically impure redefined “humapes”? Communism shares much with loonies massacring across the Levant. For them all that does not bend to their will is vermin and treated so…..

    The war-cries of “Up the Revolution!” or “Allah el snackbar!” or whatever it is they gibber all mean the same- Death and mayhem. 500,000.000 “humapes” slaughtered between Stalin and ISIL. They even call the Jews “Apes”. Hitler called them “Untermesch”- What is the difference? None!…Just another name for the killing machine.

    I’ve just been reported by my Archbishop for Islamophobia and “waycism” because of my warning over the Islamic threat. So looks as though even”Bishops” like me are not safe from being declared “humape”.

    • Shooting any animal- particularly the more intelligent ones- other than for food, or because it endangers us, or our food supply, would strike many of our fellow-humans as gratuitously cruel, including, I daresay, some of your fellow-believers. Can you be sure that none of the Greenpeace activists who put themselves at risk to save whales is a Christian?

      I agree that the legal campaign is ridiculous, but unless you have evidence of people’s motives, this seems a conspiracy theory too far.

  2. I am posting today only a scattering of immediately relevant situation leads relating to Kobane. None of it of course has “anything to do with Islam”, and some of the leads come from no less than the UN, openly and officially, as well as from Haaretz, making them hopefully immune against any portrayal as being “inflammatory”. I would wish to be able to say more and express my moral outrage fully, but I refrain, given that according to various very prominent personalities we all (workers and entrepreneurs across all walks of life and career, singers, musicians, artists, lawyers, archaeologists, human heritage conservators, writers, journalists, analysts, students, protesters, academics, researchers, retirees, and all those other millions who are generally no longer enjoying the “show”) are no more than ill informed and ignorant “hypocrites” hardly aware of what really matters strategically and of what is “really” going on. I in fact do not need to say anything at all. The commonly accessible data is damning enough:

    – @haaretzcom · 1h 1 hour ago: UN envoy evokes Rwanda, Srebrenica genocides as he warns of #IslamicState massacre in Kobani and
    Thousands ‘will most likely be massacred’ if Kobani falls to jihadists, U.N. warns; also at

    – Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms · 59m 59 minutes ago: UN: There are roughly 700 Kurdish fighters defending 12K people in #Kobane. #TwitterKurds

    – Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms · 6h 6 hours ago: Islamic State Takes Over Main Prison in Kobane:

    – Dr Widad Akrawi @DrWidadAkrawi ( Dr Widad Akrawi
    @DrWidadAkrawi) PhD in #GlobalHealth | NGO-Diplomat | #Author | Speaker | #Peace Advocate |Art-Supporter| AwardWinner | · 28m 28 minutes ago: WONDER WHY TURKEY DOESN’T TELL ISIS RECRUITS: NO CROSSING TO SYRIA! INSTEAD THEY ENCOURAGE THEM!

    – Dr Widad Akrawi @DrWidadAkrawi · 1h 1 hour ago: 3 INJURED FROM #KOBANE DEAD @ BORDER: TURKEY SAID NO CROSSING IF PROTESTS CONTINUE ☛ #DrWidad

    – Türkan Hasdemir @HasdemirTrkan · 1h 1 hour ago: ISIS – 13-year-old girl raped next to her brother! Hiding brother was found by YPG! #Kobane

    – ilhan tanir @WashingtonPoint · 2h 2 hours ago: Abu Hanzala, claimed to be spiritual leader of ISIS in Turkey released from prison today: v @SOL_SES: @ilerihaber

    – Conflict News @rConflictNews · 14m 14 minutes ago: Today #Turkey released #HalisBayancuk, aka Abu Hanzala – a prominent #ISIS figure arrested in April v @DanieleRaineri

    – Harald Doornbos @HaraldDoornbos · 1h 1 hour ago: I’m not going 2 retweet it, but ISIS-accounts posting now images of what they claim are dead Kurdish fighters in #Kobane calling them “pigs” [my only comment: these accounts are not being suspended by Twitter, and are not considered “inflammatory”, whereas accounts of protesters are being suspended, just like Twitter banned the entire #kobane hashtag in Turkey at the request of Turkish authorities]

    – Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa · 3h 3 hours ago: I’ve been calling Mr. Answar Moslem for a week now for updates from inside #Kobane. His tone is down today. Says “we’ll fight till death”

    – Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa · 4h 4 hours ago: Acc to #Kobane Chief: “there are btwn 1000 to 3000 civilians in #Kobane. Many more on border. Corridor needed to get them out” @akhbar

    – Jenan Moussa @jenanmoussa · 4h 4 hours ago: #break Kobane Chief Anwar Moslem, tells me over phone from #Kobane: “Security zone (police bldg +court) has fallen into ISIS hands.” @akhbar

    – KURDISTAN ARMY @KURDISTAN_ARMY · 2h 2 hours ago: Man swims across the Tigris to join his fellow #YPG supporters. To defend #Kobani _ #twitterkurds #SaveKobani #Kobane

    – Jenan Moussa ‏@jenanmoussa 4h4 hours ago: In security zone inside #Kobane, there is also HQ for Kurdish PYD party. ISIS is believed to be controlling now that building too. @akhbar

    – “Does Turkey Want Kobane to Fall?” Baris Karaagac explains Turkey’s position towards the Islamic State – October 10, 14:

    The official reaction?

    “As horrific as it is to watch in real time what is happening in Kobani … you have to step back and understand the strategic objective.” “I think we all should be steeling ourselves for that eventuality, yes.” “IT’S GOING TO BE EMBARRASSING.” Not a word more. Just “embarrassing”. Only embarrassing. Ooops. Ever so sorry. But don’t you dare criticize or raise even a peep against. You are “ignorant”, you just do not “understand” what the “real world” is all about. And remember: above all “no ‘mean’ tweets”. “Mean” tweets are banned.

  3. Sorry, obviously forgot to add an informative and obligatory codicil: mean “tweets” are banned, unless you have an ISIS-account and thus represent a legitimate “state player”, the Caliphate.

  4. Just one more item of news, and then that’s it. This from contacts in touch with the FSA helping out now in Kobane. FSA is one of the groups in the Syrian “moderate opposition” to Assad that the Coalition is expected to support:

    “Turkey needs to open the border for us to get ammunition, because now we are trapped between Turkey and IS. … If things stay the same way, frankly we’ll have no other option but to fight with knives. There’s no way to bring in weapons … we would rather die than leave our land. … We have RPGs, machine guns, light weapons like Kalishnikovs … and that’s what we’re using against IS who have tanks, canons, heavy weapons. … I could see IS positions clearly, they had their flags raised, they weren’t hiding. But the (Coalition) jets would hit a kilometre or two away from the target,” he told us, throwing his hands up in disbelief. Data mediated through

  5. >> help humanity extend its footprint out into the solar system <<

    Somehow that seems like another, but more ridiculous, iteration of our folly in stationing U.S. troops thousands of miles away for ill-defined, if not concealed, purposes and none on our southern border. Mark Twain implored Christian missionaries in China to come home to convert the heathen here. And Dickens had Mrs. Jelleby's number but good.

    I'm sure it will all be fixed by the next election.

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