Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/15/2014

The ESA’s comet probe Philae was forced to shut down, but not before it had transmitted valuable data about the comet 67P to controllers on Earth. The probe landed in the permanent shadow of a cliff on the comet’s core, and was unable to obtain enough sunlight to keep its batteries charged.

In other news, Fuad Nahdi, a British Muslim with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, has been invited to address the Church of England’s General Synod. The topic for the occasion will be the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries.

The synod will discuss the “unspeakable evil” of the recent persecution of Christians an

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, LS, 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.

» Obama Pledges 3 Billion Dollars to Fight Climate Change
» Online Video Game Pro Gets Million-Dollar Star Treatment
» U.S. Agencies Using Many More Undercover Investigations
» West Virginia University Student Dies After Found Unresponsive at Frat; Tweet Investigated
Europe and the EU
» Comet Probe Philae Shuts Down, But Not Before Transmitting Valuable Secrets
» Della Valle Calls for General Election “Or Italy Will Die”
» Germany: Restrictions on Hooligan Demonstration in Hanover
» Italian Marriages Decrease, Prenups on the Rise
» Italy: Clashes, Colosseum Scaled in Nationwide ‘Social Strike’
» Italy: Former Milan Gangster Gets 10 Months for Underwear Theft
» Italy: ‘Drug-Pusher’ Priest to Face Fast-Track Trial
» Italy: Ex President of CPA Social Security Fund Arrested
» Italy: MPS Posts 1.150-Bn-Euro Losses for First Nine Months of 2014
» Italy: Probe Into Defence Minister’s Use of State Flight
» Italy: Soccer: FIFA Applies UEFA’s Racism Ban on Tavecchio
» Italy and Slovenia Closer, Thanks to New Air Connections
» Italy: Milan’s Seveso River Bursts Banks
» Italy Reforming But EU Must Change Too, Says Renzi
» Italy Doing All it Can for Marines Held in India, Says PM
» Netherlands: Sixty Arrested in Anti-Piet Protests as Sinterklaas Arrives in Gouda
» NHS Doctor Flees UK to Join Taliban
» Philae Comet Lander Sends More Data Before Losing Power
» Radical Muslim to Address Church of England General Synod
» Serbian and Albanian PMs Clash Over Kosovo
Mediterranean Union
» Italy: CNR: Growth of North-South Exchange, Gap Remains
North Africa
» Egypt to Open Sphinx to Public After Years of Restoration
Israel and the Palestinians
» Alitalia to Increase Flights to Israel From March
Middle East
» A Syrian Exodus
» Emirates Brands Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists
» Iran: Rising Fuel Prices ‘Prompt Donkey Trade Boom’
» Iraq Forces Break Siege of Main Oil Refinery
» ISIS Beheading, Stoning and Crucifying Syrian Residents, UN Report Says
» Some 2,000 Moderate Syrian Rebels to be Trained in Turkey
» Syrian ‘Hero Boy’ Video Faked by Norwegian Director
» Turkey Denounces EU Resolution on Cyprus EEZ
» Russian Aggression ‘A Threat to the World’, Says Obama
South Asia
» A New “Cold War” Between Moscow and Washington Over Afghan Opium
» India’s Hindu Radicals Go on the Offensive, Calling for a Stop to Conversions to Christianity and Islam
Far East
» Laos: Scores of Hmong Christians Arrested and Evicted for Refusing to Give Up Their Religion
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Democratic Republic of Congo Declared Ebola-Free
Latin America
» Erdogan Says Muslims, Not Columbus, Discovered Americas
» Italy: Refugee Kids Return to Violence-Hit Rome Center
» Over Half the Dutch Think There Are Too Many Immigrants in the Netherlands
Culture Wars
» Italy: New Guidelines Set for Use of ‘Lolitas’ In Ads
» Oil Prices Likely to Fall Further, Says IEA

Obama Pledges 3 Billion Dollars to Fight Climate Change

(AGI) Brisbane (Queensland, Australia), Nov 15 — On his arrival at the G20 summit in Brisbane, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged a three billion dollar U.S. contribution to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change. “Every nation has a responsibility to do its part,”Obama pointed out.

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

Online Video Game Pro Gets Million-Dollar Star Treatment

While most professional online video gamers have to settle for modest sponsorships, Matt Haag, “Nadeshot” to his legions of fans, has attracted the energy drink Red Bull. One of six people on its roster of e-sports players, he is showered with the same attention and training lavished on Red Bull athletes who compete in the real world. Among the perks: a dietician, housing and a yoga coach.

[Return to headlines]

U.S. Agencies Using Many More Undercover Investigations

The federal government is using many more undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters, doctors and ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.

The practice provides a powerful new evidence-gathering tool, leading to more prosecutions. But it also raises concerns about civil liberties abuses and entrapment of unwitting targets.

And it has led to hidden problems, with money gone missing, investigations compromised and agents sometimes left largely on their own for months or even years.

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West Virginia University Student Dies After Found Unresponsive at Frat; Tweet Investigated

West Virginia authorities Saturday are investigating the death of a college student found unresponsive earlier this week at a campus frat house after he sent out a haunting tweet.

“It’s about to be a very eventful night to say the least,” Nolan Michael Burch,18, a freshman at West Virginia University, tweeted. Burch died Friday two day after he was found unconscious and not breathing at a fraternity house. On Thursday the school ordered a halt to all activities at fraternities and sororities.

Police arrived at the Kappa Sigma house in Morgantown and found someone performing CPR on him. His death was confirmed by Amy Johns, a spokeswoman for WVU Healthcare. Burch was being treated at the system’s Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston confirmed that Wednesday night’s call to police was alcohol-related, but he could not comment on whether alcohol caused Burch’s death. No charges have been filed.

Burch sent out a paragraph of text in a tweet on Tuesday that ended, “If you’re reading this, congratulations, you made it today. You made it.”

The Buffalo News reported Friday that others at the frat house party “challenged” Burch into drinking large amount of liquor.

The newspaper cited as its source a “family friend” who had conversations with Burch’s family.

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Comet Probe Philae Shuts Down, But Not Before Transmitting Valuable Secrets

The comet probe Philae appears to have reached the end of its historic mission after its batteries ran out of power, but only after it managed to transmit a treasure-trove of scientific data back to Earth.

Mission controllers put the European Space Agency (ESA) lander to sleep after the power in its solar-powered batteries fell to dangerously low levels following its landing at a spot in the shadow of a crater wall, shrouded in darkness.

An ESA blog post said: “Philae has fallen into ‘idle mode’ — a possibly long silence. In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board are shut down.”

Before being shut down Philae has successfully operated its drill to obtain surface samples for analysis and sent back data from most of its suite of 10 instruments.

The information includes results from sophisticated devices designed to analyse the comet’s chemical make-up.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Della Valle Calls for General Election “Or Italy Will Die”

(AGI) Milan, Nov. 13 — Diego Della Valle has expressed the hope that a general election will be held as soon as possible, because, “Another two years in this situation means killing the country.” The owner of Tod’s said, “This is a polite request and I am aware that it will be a shock for some MPs, but in that chaos those who are brilliant are suffocated by those who have understood that this is their last chance to sit in parliament.” .

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

Germany: Restrictions on Hooligan Demonstration in Hanover

Following a violent demonstration in Cologne, the “Hooligans vs. Salafists” alliance is gathering again. This time, Hanover police have announced restrictions to prevent a recurrence of the chaos three weeks ago.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Marriages Decrease, Prenups on the Rise

Five-year decline in first and second marriages, says ISTAT

(ANSA) Rome, November 12 — Less people are getting married in Italy and more of those who do are signing prenups, national statistics agency Istat reported on Wednesday.

Marriages fell below the 200,000 count for the first time in 2013, with 194,057 marriages were registered, a decrease of more than 13,000 on 2012.

Since 2008, Istat reported a decrease in marriages of more than 53,000. Also noted was a decrease in second marriages, though they have had an increase in the overall share from 13.8% in 2008 to 15.8% in 2013.

Religious rite ceremonies accounted for 111,545 marriages, down 29% since 2008 Civil ceremonies accounted for 82,512 marriages, a 9% decrease since 2008. However civil ceremonies accounted for 42.5% of all 2013 marriages, an increase from 2008’s 36.8%.

Istat noted that civil ceremonies are more prevalent in Italy’s north (55%) and center (51%).

Istat’s report also confirmed that two out of three marriages include a prenuptial agreement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Clashes, Colosseum Scaled in Nationwide ‘Social Strike’

Marches, rallies and sit-ins, from north to south

(ANSA) — Rome, November 14 — There was violence in Milan and Padua on Friday and a group of demonstrators scaled the Colosseum in Rome, as thousands of people took to the streets of Italian cities as part of the so-called social strike protests. The social strike demonstrations included smaller, more radical left-wing union federations, students, teachers, workers calling for job security, and migrants.

Some three thousand students marched in Naples, while in Milan, a big rally was staged by Italy’s biggest trade union confederation CGIL and its metalworkers’ arm FIOM, which is staging a strike in northern Italy. Transport strikes in many parts of the country added to the disruption for the public. The Rome protest featured members of COBAS and USB union federations demonstrating against the government’s Jobs Act labour reform and budget measures, people demanding more social housing, students, migrants and refugees.

At the Colosseum a group of around 10 workers from a private firm climbed up restoration scaffolding and hung banners reading “No Jobs Act” and “No privatization of public services”. A march in the capital started with eggs and fireworks being throw at the economy ministry, while at the education ministry, students and teachers organized a sit-in to demand a meeting with Education Minister Stefania Giannini.

“Better work conditions and work for all,” read their banner.

A number of police officers were injured in Padua during clashes outside the northern city’s university. The violence took place when members of the march tried to make towards the local offices of Premier Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD). In Milan, police fired tear gas and charged at students who had tried to break a police cordon. The students responded by throwing bottles, flares and other objects. In Naples, protestors blocked traffic on the southern city’s ring road.

In Bologna, students, workers, and Cobas union members staged two marches through the city, disrupting traffic as residents grappled with a transportation strike.

In the southern city of Bari, approximately 1,000 people took part in a march organized by COBAS and USB union federations as well as the USD student union and firefighters.

Puglia has 400 firefighters on short-term contracts, which expire December 31 and may not be renewed.

“They fooled us by assuring us we would all get hired on permanent contracts, but how will we support our families?” said one firefighter at the head of the march. “This social strike is a grassroots action by students and workers against (the government’s) Unblock Italy decree, which institutionalizes job insecurity,” organizers explained.

In Venice, a small social strike march took place to denounce the exploitation of workers on short-term contracts in the fashion industry.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Former Milan Gangster Gets 10 Months for Underwear Theft

Notorious bandit Vallanzasca already serving four life sentences

(ANSA) — Milan, November 14 — Former Milanese underworld kingpin Renato Vallanzasca was sentenced on Friday to 10 months in jail for the petty theft of two pairs of boxer shorts and other small items totaling 66 euros in a supermarket last June.

At the time, Vallanzasca was on a work release program that allowed him to leave prison for work each day and return in the evening, a privilege which was revoked following his arrest for the supermarket theft.

The 63-year-old Vallanzasca is one of Italy’s most notorious gangsters, making headlines in the 1970s for his multiple jail breaks, prison riots, and life as a fugitive.

At the time of the supermarket theft, Vallanzasca was already serving four life prison terms consecutively for racketeering and murder.

In recent days, Vallanzasca said he believes he was framed for the theft because of statements he gave to prosecutors in an investigation taking place in the town of Forlì. The Forlì prosecutor refutes this charge, citing that the investigation Vallanzasca is referring to “began two months after this [theft]”.

The former gangster had also previously claimed that he had been “stitched up” by authorities, because at the time of the theft he was coming up on the possibility of release for good behavior.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Drug-Pusher’ Priest to Face Fast-Track Trial

45-year-old cleric detained over ‘cocaine party’ in Milan

(ANSA) — Milan, November 11 — A priest arrested on suspicion of drug possession for dealing after being discovered at a ‘cocaine party’ in Milan in July is to be judged in a fast-track trial, judicial sources said Tuesday.

Don Stefano Maria Cavalletti, 45, is set to appear before a preliminary hearings judge on January 29.

He was detained in July after police were called out to investigate noise and shouting during a party in Piazza Anghilberto in Milan.

There police found traces of white powder throughout the apartment, with the majority in the lavatory together with the priest’s shredded passport.

Don Stefano, who served in the Piedmont town of Stresa, told police he had started to use cocaine as a form of ‘self-treatment’ for depression after first running into trouble with the law.

In September 2013 he was convicted by a court of first instance of fraud against an elderly woman whom he allegedly convinced to pay 22,000 euros into his bank account.

Under the fast-track process — in which the case is examined by the preliminary hearings judge only on the basis of evidence gathered during the preliminary investigation — should Don Stefano be found guilty he would be automatically entitled to a reduction in sentence of one-third.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex President of CPA Social Security Fund Arrested

Paolo Saltarelli suspected of taking 1 mn euro kickback

(ANSA) — Milan, November 11 — The former president of the national social security-pensions fund for certified public accountants and business consultants was arrested Tuesday on corruption charges.

Prosecutors claim Paolo Saltarelli took a kickback of just under one million euros in relation to a 660,000 euro payment made by the social security fund to the company Adenium for investment.

Adenium is linked to the company Sopaf controlled by a family of top Italian financiers who were detained in May this year on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraudulent bankruptcy, fraud, embezzlement and tax fraud before subsequently being acquitted.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: MPS Posts 1.150-Bn-Euro Losses for First Nine Months of 2014

Losses for 797 millions in three months

(ANSA) — Milan, November 12 — Troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (Mps) on Wednesday reported losses amounting to 1.150 billion euros for the first nine months of 2014. In the last three months of the period MPS incurred losses equal to 797 million euros, it said.

The bank stressed that the plunge was linked to it failing the European Central Bank (ECB)’s recent stress tests. The ECB said MPS had a capital shortfall of around 1.2 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Probe Into Defence Minister’s Use of State Flight

Pinotti accused over taking Air Force jet ‘for flights home’

(ANSA) Rome, November 14 — The Rome Prosecutor’s office opened an investigation Friday into allegations that Defence Minister Roberta Pinotta used an Air Force to have herself flown home at the taxpayer’s expense, judicial sources said.

The inquiry follows a formal complaint by MPs from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) opposition party who claim Pinotta used an Italian Air Force Falcon 50 jet for a personal journey to her home city of Genoa on September 5, taking advantage of a training flight that was scheduled for that day.

The defence ministry said Thursday that the flight the minister took “was a totally legitimate flight, as will be promptly explained in every office, including Parliament.

Pinotta hitched a flight on the Falcon because it was “a training flight that involved no extra expense but, on the contrary, meant a saving for the treasury”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Soccer: FIFA Applies UEFA’s Racism Ban on Tavecchio

Suspension on eligibility for posts extended to world body

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — FIFA’s disciplinary committee on Wednesday decided to extend UEFA’s six month ban on Italian Soccer Federation President Carlo Tavecchio for using racist language to international football’s governing body. The decision means Tavecchio will not be eligible to hold FIFA positions in the six months from October 6, as well as UEFA ones. The punishment is for Tavecchio’s comments on “banana-eating” non-EU players before he was elected FIGC president in August. UEFA has also banned Tavecchio from its commissions in the six-month period, meaning he will not be able to attend the UEFA congress in March.

Tavecchio has, however, been allowed to keep representing the FIGC at international matches.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy and Slovenia Closer, Thanks to New Air Connections

From Dec. 4, flights from Rome & Salerno to Portoroz

(ANSA) — ROME — Italy and Slovenia are closer. From December 4, two new air connections to Portoroz will be available. The flights will depart from the airports of Rome and Salerno twice a week and will be operated by Air Vallée. This announcement was made yesterday in Rome by Slovenia’s authorities in the tourism sector, that arrived in the Italian capital city in order to present the potential of the country in the context of the “Rome to Expo 2015” initiative in the Vittoriano.

“Italy remains our most important foreign market”, stressed Gorazd Skrt, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in Milan.

“ In the first nine months of 2014, Italy was in the first place in the rankings, reaching a market share of 17% in terms of arrivals and of 14% in terms of overnight stays”. Even in August, despite the bad weather, “we recorded a 6% increase in arrivals over the previous year and a 2% increase in overnight stays”. By the end of 2014, he said, “we expect that the number of Italian visitors reaches the figure of 440.000 people, that is around 1 million in terms of overnight stays”. The opening of these two new air connections is a new attempt to bring into the country “the public in central and southern Italy, who is less familiar with Slovenia than the inhabitants of the neighbouring North-East”, remarked Jadran Furlanic, director of Tourism Portoro and Piran. This initiative is part of the Action Plan launched by the Slovenian town to promote the growth of the Italian market.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan’s Seveso River Bursts Banks

(AGI) Milan, Nov 15 — The Seveso river has burst its banks in Milan’s Via Valfurva. A statement from the city council said local police and civil protection units were at the scene. All manholes in the vicinity have been opened to help drain the water and market stall holders have been asked to clear Piazza Minniti, Via Garigliano and Via Sebenico.

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

Italy Reforming But EU Must Change Too, Says Renzi

(AGI) Brisbane, Nov 15 — Italy is changing but Europe must change as well, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said from the G20 summit in Brisbane. “We are carrying out reforms in the fields of labour, taxes, the judiciary, the Public Administration and the Constitution and are taking measures against corruption and tax evasion. But the most important reform is to our schools,” Renzi said on Saturday, adding: “But the eurozone must change strategy as well, as David Cameron and Barack Obama suggested this morning: Europe must change its game and focus more on growth and job creation.” ..

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

Italy Doing All it Can for Marines Held in India, Says PM

(AGI) Brisbane (Australia), Nov 15 — Italy is doing all it can for two marines held in India on charges of killing two fishermen in 2012, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Saturday. After meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in progress in Brisbane, Renzi commented: “Clearly these summits are of great value because they create opportunities to re-establish direct relationships between leaders. We are closely following the case of the two marines. We will do everything possible for them but we must avoid reigniting controversy and respect earlier provisions.”

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

Netherlands: Sixty Arrested in Anti-Piet Protests as Sinterklaas Arrives in Gouda

Sixty people were arrested in Gouda on Saturday after clashes between pro and anti Zwarte Piet demonstrators at the welcoming ceremony for Sinterklaas, news agency ANP reported.

City mayor Milo Schoenmaker told a news conference on Saturday afternoon he was disappointed about the incidents but was unable to say if those arrested were for or against Zwarte Piet.

Anti-campaigners had said they would demonstrate against the presence of white people in black face make-up at the parade. They had been told to confine their activities to two locations, but according to Nos television, some insisted on forcing their way to the city centre square.

One father with young children was caught up in the trouble, Schoenmaker said. He declined to say how many police had been deployed in the city.

Sinterklaas’s arrival passed off peacefully from the point of view of the young audience, Schoenmaker said.

Although Sinterklaas was accompanied by mostly Piets in blackface make up, several Piets in different make up, including a clown and a white Piet were spotted by reporters.

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

NHS Doctor Flees UK to Join Taliban

Anger over how surgeon skipped bail to work with terrorists

A British surgeon who was due to stand trial for assault has fled the country and become a senior leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.

Mirza Tariq Ali, 39, who practised in the NHS, evaded the UK authorities despite having his passport taken from him while awaiting trial at the Old Bailey.

He resurfaced last week in a recruitment video for a Taliban splinter group, urging foreign jihadists to join him.

The doctor has become a mouthpiece for the terrorist organisation and under a new name — Dr Abu Obaidah Al-Islamabadi — has begun publishing an English-language jihadist magazine online, aimed at recruiting Muslim youths from the West.

Ali, who lived in Walthamstow, east London, arrived in Britain in 2004, having previously been a doctor in the Pakistan army. He worked shifts as a locum surgeon in London and Cambridge, having trained at a London teaching hospital.

Police and security services are now facing embarrassing questions over how he was able to flee…

           — Hat tip: LS [Return to headlines]

Philae Comet Lander Sends More Data Before Losing Power

The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P has sent another stream of data back to Earth before losing power.

The little probe delivered everything expected from it, just as its failing battery dropped it into standby mode.

Philae is pressed up against a cliff. Deep shadows mean it cannot now get enough light on to its solar panels to recharge its systems.

The European Space Agency (Esa) fears this contact may have been the robot’s last — certainly for a while.

A tweet from the official Philae lander account said: “I’ll tell you more about my new home, comet 67P soon… zzzzz.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Radical Muslim to Address Church of England General Synod

A non-Christian is set to address the Church of England’s General Synod for the very first time on the 18 November, but the man chosen is none other than Fuad Nahdi, a British Muslim with ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood. (h/t, the Gatestone Institute)

The synod will discuss the “unspeakable evil” of the recent persecution of Christians and other minority faiths in Syria and Iraq. The discussion will led by a panel which includes Nahdi, Bishop Angaelos, who is the leader of the Coptic Christian Church in the UK, and also the Bishops of Coventry and Leeds, the BBC has reported.

Synod general secretary William Fittall told the BBC: “We have certainly had people from other faiths in the gallery who have been greeted by the synod, who have been welcomed,” but he believed that it was the first time that a non-Christian was addressing the assembly of church leaders.

Nahdi, described by the BBC as an “activist and journalist” is actually the founding editor of the Muslim magazine Q News. He is also executive director of the Radical Middle Way (RMW) faith group, which he founded in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings. The group receiving over £1.2 million from the Labour government between 2006 and 2009 as part of their PREVENT strategy, which was subsequently deemed a disaster and scrapped by the Coalition.

Almost immediately the links between RMW and the Muslim Brotherhood became clear, with Martin Bright reporting in the New Statesman in 2006 that a scholars roadshow organised by RMW, funded by the Foreign Office, featured speakers from three groups: Q-News, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies and the Young Muslim Organisation, the latter two of which are “heavily influenced by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group, well established across the Middle East, which is committed to establishing Islamic rule under sharia law.” The Foreign Office shortlisted the three organisations based on perfunctory internet research and direct contact.

Two years later, in 2008, whilst still claiming government funding, RMW featured speakers including Kemal el-Helbawy, the outspoken supporter of Osama Bin Laden who said “[The Palestinian cause] is an absolute clash of civilizations: a satanic program led by the Jews and those who support them, and a divine program carried by Hamas and the Islamic Movement in particular and the Islamic peoples in general.” He has founded a number of Muslim Brotherhood organisations in the UK.

Other speakers include Jamal Badawi, who advocates for the right for men to beat their wives. He has also described suicide bombers as “martyrs” and “freedom fighters”; and Suhaib Webb, an Islamic scholar who, alongside notorious al Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki, spoke at a fundraising dinner to raise funds for the legal defence of an Islamic fundamentalist who murdered two American police officers.

RMW has also in the past supported a campaign run by Hizb ut-Tahrir, a British-banned global organisation dedicated to imposing sharia law through jihad, and the killing of all Jews and Muslim apostates.

Even before founding RMW, Nahdi’s fundamentalist leanings were there for all to see. In 1997 he wrote an obituary for the Guardian of an Islamic scholar, Sayed Mutawalli ad-Darsh, who Nahdi described as “respectable, approachable and sensitive — he was the peoples’ Imam.” However, the Gatestone Institute points out that ad-Darsh advocated capital punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and denied that rape can occur with marriage as women may not refuse their husbands advances.

Sam Westrop of the Gatestone Institute said “That a Christian institution has invited a speaker with extremist connections is not particularly surprising. Britain’s “non-violent” extremists realized long ago that by conducting perfunctory charity events and attending interfaith meetings, they could distract the public from their radicalism while burrowing ever deeper into the British establishment.

“What is most troubling is that the first non-Christian to address the Church of England synod can be linked to extreme Islamist networks. By inviting Fuad Nahdi, the Church is lending credence to the notion that only radical Islamism can represent British Islam.

“The Church is deliberately legitimizing extremist ideology. What hope, then, is there for those lonely, genuine moderates within Britain’s Muslim community?”…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Serbian and Albanian PMs Clash Over Kosovo

Rama calls it ‘independent’ on historic visit, Vucic angered

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE — The first visit in 68 years by an Albanian head of government in Serbia turned thorny on Monday when Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic and his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, got into a public argument over the independence of Kosovo at a televised press conference. “Independent Kosovo is an undeniable regional and European reality, and it must be respected,” said Rama, leading to an angered reaction from Vucic, who said he had not expected such “provocation”. “I regret that Rama has used this opportunity to discuss issues not agree upon. I cannot allow him to do so, and it is my duty not to allow anyone to humiliate Serbia in Belgrade,” he said, visibly annoyed. “I do not know what connection Rama has with Kosovo.

Kosovo is part of Serbia according to the constitution, and it has never had and will never have any relationship with Albania.” Despite the row, Vucic said that he intended to continue talks with Rama, whose visit marks “a new beginning in relations between Serbia and Albania”. Vucic noted that talks with his Albanian counterpart had not been easy. “But I am convinced that our shared problems can be resolved, and that the solution can only be found through negotiations,” he said. “This visit marks a new beginning, and I hope that pragmatic talks between Serbia and Albanian will concentrate on progress not only of our political and economic relations but also on relations in the entire region,” said the Serbian prime minister.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CNR: Growth of North-South Exchange, Gap Remains

Europe main partner, “now it must become political actor”

(ANSAmed) — ROME — In the last decades the economic relations between the two flanks of the Mediterranean have intensified but Europe was not able to manage the existing chasm. This is the main point of the tenth “Report on the Mediterranean economies”, curated by the Institute for the study of Mediterranean societies of the National research council of Naples (Issm-Cnr), published by Il Mulino and presented Friday in Rome. “The exchange between the European Union and the countries of North Africa and the Middle East has doubled, goinf from 50 billion dollars in 1995 to 227 in 2012” explained Issm-Cnr researcher Eugenia Ferragina. “Eu exports have increased at greater speed with regard to Turkey and Algeria, where growth developed respectively at 413 and 321%, Egypt and Morocco. Eu export is now concentrated in Turkey 42%, Algeria (12%), Israel (10%) and Morocco (10%). The positive signals also concern the growth of exchange between Italy and these states which has trebled in the space of eighteen years”. However the region’s south remains remarkably underdevelopend. “One-third of almost 500 million people who live in northern countries have access to two-thirds of the energy gdp — carries on Ferragina who curated the publication with Paolo Malanima of Catanzaro Magna Grecia University. “ Migratory waves which have intesified from sub-Saharan Africa towards the Maghreb, which represents an intermediate stop on route for Europe, are symptoms of a chasm worsened by environmental ills and conflicts and exacerbated by droughts like in the emblematic case of Darfur”.

Europe is still the main partner for these countries. “From the Eu comes over 50% of total imports and approximately 60% of exports for countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean (Psem), countries that still fare very low among the Union’s most relevant market-partners. On the whole, in 2012 countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean contributed less than 2% to the exchange total (import and export) between the Eu and the rest of the world”. Therefore, this is an uncertain landscape made even more uncertain by the vulnerability of “Arab spring” countries. “Macro-economic and socio-political instability risk to deter investement and growth also in the years to come, unless significant economic reforms and growth policies are embraced” added the researcher. “Europe should present itself as a political actor and not only and economic one. As far as Italy is concerned, the challenge is to to manage complex phenomena such as migration, the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a wealth of asylum requests coming from the populations of countries at war”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt to Open Sphinx to Public After Years of Restoration

Prime minister pays visit to site

(by Laurence Figà-Talamanca) (ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 10 — Wrapped in mystery and legend, the Great Sphinx in Giza will soon be opened to tourists again after years of restoration. The public will thus soon be able to walk between the paws of the statue depicting a lion’s body and a human head and to physically touch it. “We have many challenges ahead of us. The government, through its tourism and antiquities ministries, has a plan to safeguard Egypt’s heritage. And this is what happened today in Giza,” said Egyptian prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab on a visit Sunday to the area filled with local and international journalists. Tourists were not allowed in the area due to the tight security required by the visit, which the ministers Hishaam Zazou and Mamdouh Eldamaty also took part in. No date has been set yet for the opening. “We are ready,” said the supervisor of the area in which the Sphinx is located, Mohamed El-Saidey, who kept a close eye on the restoration as it was being carried out. An enigmatic response was given to the question of how many years the restoration had taken: “the restoration has been ongoing since the initial excavations. It is ongoing.” Saidey said that the recent works — lasting about 4 years — were mostly on the left side of the statue, where erosion from time, sand storms and the calcareous material of the monument had led to cracks. Other restoration work was done on the neck and the chest of the statue.

The temple of Amenhotep II in front of the Sphinx has also been restored and the Pyramid of Menkaure was reopened on Sunday. The Pyramid of Khefre was instead closed for restoration as part of a rotation system.

Egypt, which is suffering from a severe economic crisis, is focusing on its archaeological heritage to bolster its weakened tourism sector after the uprising against Hosni Mubarak’s regime and street protests.

After the reopening of the Hanging Church in Cairo’s Coptic neighborhood and of other museums in the country, the prime minister has announced that works will soon be initiated on the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Alitalia to Increase Flights to Israel From March

From 26 to 29 every week; 4% rise in passengers Jan-Oct 2014

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, NOVEMBER 11 — Beginning on March 29, 2015, Alitalia will increase its Rome-Tel Aviv flights from 26 every week to 29. The company said that it would be offering five return flights on Thursday and Saturday, four ones on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and three on Wednesday. Between January and October of this year there were over 267,000 passengers on Alitalia’s Rome-Tel Aviv flights, a 4% growth on the same period in 2013. The trend is also seen for the months of November and December, with 7% more passengers planning on leaving from Israel on the company’s flights in the two last months of the year compared with the previous one.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

A Syrian Exodus

Refugees Cross a Narrow Sea Passage With Europe on Horizon

They were among many who try to cross from the Turkish coast to this Greek island, most of them refugees from the war in Syria and the fight against Islamic State extremists. The short, but sometimes perilous, sea crossing is a crucial leg in a long journey that many hope will lead them to asylum in Northern Europe.

Some 165,000 Syrians have sought safety in the European Union since the start of the war more than three years ago, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics service. In warm-weather months when the water is calm, those attempting the crossing into Greece have numbered in the hundreds, in a daily drama that has left rescuers scrambling to respond.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Emirates Brands Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates designated the Muslim Brotherhood and dozens of other Islamist groups as terrorist organizations on Saturday, ratcheting up the pressure on the group by lumping it together with extremists such as the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria.


Also on the list are a number of Western Islamic organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the United States’ largest Muslim civil liberties group.

           — Hat tip: LS [Return to headlines]

Iran: Rising Fuel Prices ‘Prompt Donkey Trade Boom’

The rising cost of fuel in Iran is benefitting the country’s donkey population, it’s reported.

In April, Iran cut state fuel subsidies in an effort to strengthen its economy. But the move hit consumers hard, with petrol prices rising by up to 75% overnight. Iranians have also had to deal with rising water and electricity bills this year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq Forces Break Siege of Main Oil Refinery

Iraqi pro-government forces on Saturday broke the siege of the country’s main oil refinery, where security forces had held out for months against the Islamic State jihadist group, officials said.

“Iraqi forces… reached the gate of the refinery,” the governor of Salaheddin province, Raad al-Juburi, told AFP.

Three officers confirmed that Iraqi forces had reached Baiji refinery in the country’s north, which once handled some 300,000 barrels of oil per day, filling some 50 percent of national demand.

Militants from the Islamic State organization (IS) who had besieged the refinery for months without managing to penetrate it, withdrew on Saturday from the perimeter of the strategic complex, an army officer told Reuters news agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS Beheading, Stoning and Crucifying Syrian Residents, UN Report Says

ISIS is beheading and stoning men, women and children in Syria, leaving crucified bodies in public squares for days and engaging in rape and torture, according to a new U.N. report released Friday.

The report, entitled the “Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria”, gathers information from 300 interviews with men, women and children who fled or who are living in ISIS-controlled areas.

“ISIS has beheaded, shot and stoned men, women and children in public spaces in towns and villages across northeastern Syria,” states the report, written by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Some 2,000 Moderate Syrian Rebels to be Trained in Turkey

(AGI) Ankara, Nov 15 — U.S. and Turkish army officials have agreed that the training of around 2,000 moderate Syrian rebels, including Free Syrian Army (FSA) members and Syrian Turkmen, will take place at the military training centre in Hirfanli, Turkey. Officials from both countries met for the third time at the general headquarters in Ankara to discuss Turkey’s proposal to equip and train the rebels.

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

Syrian ‘Hero Boy’ Video Faked by Norwegian Director

Millions of YouTube viewers have been captivated by the ‘Syrian hero boy’ who manages to rescue a little girl while under gunfire. Now a group of Norwegian filmmakers have told BBC Trending they are behind it. They say it was filmed on location in Malta this summer with the intention of being presented as real.

Lars Klevberg, a 34-year-old film director based in Oslo, wrote a script after watching news coverage of the conflict in Syria. He says he deliberately presented the film as reality in order to generate a discussion about children in conflict zones.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey Denounces EU Resolution on Cyprus EEZ

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 14 — Turkish government will not accept the European Parliament decision on a resolution on a dispute between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey’s EU chief said on Thursday as World Bulletin website reports.

The European Parliament voted yesterday on a resolution on current tensions between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus over oil and gas exploration in the island’s waters. The resolution, which says Turkish vessel exploration in the island is “illegal” and “provocative,” demands that Turkish vessels operating in waters in and around what the Cyprus Republic and the EU deem to be an “exclusive economic zone” (Eez) be withdrawn immediately. “It has no validity for us,” said Turkey’s Minister of EU affairs and chief negotiator Volkan Bozkir, in reference to the resolution, during a meeting with Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade in Ankara. “Although Turkey is respectful towards the European Parliament’s decision, this resolution is likely to end up like many other resolutions,” said Bozkir, implying that it will have little or no consequences.

“Turkish vessels should be retrieved from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone,” the resolution says.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russian Aggression ‘A Threat to the World’, Says Obama

(AGI) Brisbane (Australia), Nov 15 — The United States, as the world’s only superpower, is leading the global community in opposing Russian aggression against Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday. Addressing the G20 summit in Brisbane, also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama said: “We’re leading in opposing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a threat to the world, as we saw in the appalling shoot-down of MH17.” MH17 was the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in July over eastern Ukraine with 298 people aboard.

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

A New “Cold War” Between Moscow and Washington Over Afghan Opium

Each year, some 7,000 people die in Russia from heroin made with Afghan opium. Despite spending US$ 7.6 billion, the United States has failed to stop drug production in Afghanistan. In Moscow, this is evidence that “U.S. foreign policy has been intentionally destructive,” some experts say.

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Russia and the United States are on the verge of another cold war because of Afghan opium because of Washington’s failed war on drugs, and a drug epidemic in Russia, where more than 7,000 Russians die annually from heroin overdoses, experts say.

Thanks to its poppy crop, Afghanistan already supplies 90 per cent of the world’s heroin. In Russia, the world’s biggest market for illicit opiates, this has led to a public health crisis and a rise in crime stoked by the drug trade.

“For Russia this is a very serious issue and the discontent about what is and isn’t being done is long standing,” said Robert Legvold, who led the effort by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to reformulate America’s relationship with Russia.

In 13 years, the United States has spent US$ 7.6 billion on a failed attempt to curb narcotics production. With US troops gone, “many jobs will be lost, so that could be one incentive to increase cultivation of opium,” said Yuri Fedotov, executive secretary of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

In Russia, this has led to “the notion that there’s more to this failure than they might have thought,” Legvold said. “It supports the views expressed by Putin and his circle that US foreign policy has been intentionally destructive.”

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

India’s Hindu Radicals Go on the Offensive, Calling for a Stop to Conversions to Christianity and Islam

On the 50th anniversary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an extremist leader calls for Christians and Muslims to return to Hinduism. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), such statements are “absolutely illegal” and “feed suspicion and mistrust” towards minorities. By contrast, the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Hindus should not convert to Christianity and Islam, and minorities should embrace Hinduism, said officials with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a radical Hindu paramilitary group on the 50th anniversary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), another extremist organisation.

Such statements are “absolutely illegal” because freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution in India, said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) who spoke to AsiaNews.

VHP leaders, activists and supporters met on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tumkur, Karnataka, to mark the anniversary of the founding of the extremist association.

“We need to bring back to Hinduism converts to other religions, like Christianity and Islam,” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said. “Foreign forces are trying to destroy India’s unity through conversions and other activities,” he added.

Radical Hindu groups like RSS and VHP, which are part of the broader Sangh Parivar, persecute religious minorities, even violently.

Christianity is often accused of being a “foreign” religion that “buying” converts with cash or charitable activities.

“I appeal to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to protect the vulnerable Christian community in Karnataka on the basis of existing constitutional guarantees,” Sajan George told AsiaNews.

Not only what Hindu radicals do is illegal, “but their statements reflect a clear and deep-seated prejudice against minorities, which can only feed suspicion and mistrust within communities.”

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

Laos: Scores of Hmong Christians Arrested and Evicted for Refusing to Give Up Their Religion

Six families in the District of Khamkeut were forced to leave their homes, driven out by village leaders because they refused to return to their old animist religion. One of the elders of the family died from grief shortly after the forced eviction. Two young Hmong Christians remain in prison of their faith.

Vientiane (AsiaNews) — Six Hmong Christian families have been forced to leave their village in central Laos after refusing to renounce their faith, this according to family friends and other members of their ethnic group.

The six families, consisting of 25 people, were driven out of their homes in Ko Hai village, in Khamkeut district, Borikhamxay province, because they would not revert to their ancestral faith. Most residents in the village and neighbouring towns practice traditional religion.

Local sources state that local authorities never accepted the decision of the six families to embrace Christianity and sought every way to have “them revert back to animism”.

Witnesses report that village leaders had two men from Hmong families arrested in July and held for at least a month, because they refused to renounce their Christian faith.

Once the men were released, the authorities tried to force them to return to animism, but the Christians refused and were forced to leave their homes.

Between late August and mid-September, local authorities evicted the Christians and seized their homes; however, the story only emerged recently as a result of anonymous complaints by locals.

The six families in question were moved to the village of Hoi Keo, also in Khamkeut District, near the town of Lak Sao.

The situation was made that much worse by the death of one of the elders, the 62-year-old patriarch of one of the families, shortly after he was forced out of his ancestral home and village.

Because of forced relocation, the Christians lost their old homes, land and the few assets at their disposal.

In a second incident, which dates back to early November, seven other members of the Hmong minority — among them a 14-years-old — were arrested in Luang Namtha, northwestern Laos.

In this case as well, people were arrested for converting from animism to Christianity, an act that displeased local authorities. Two who refused to abjure their religion were sent to a provincial prison.

Since the Communists came to power in 1975, and the resulting expulsion of foreign missionaries, the Christian minority in Laos has been under strict controls, its right to worship limited.

In a country of six million people, most people (67 per cent) are Buddhist. Christians make up about 2 per cent of the total, 0.7 per cent Catholic.

Protestant communities have suffered the most from religious persecution, a situation that AsiaNews has documented in the past. Cases include peasants deprived of food for their faith and clergymen arrested by the authorities.

Since April 2011, tighter controls have been imposed, following a violent crackdown against protests led by some groups within the country’s Hmong ethnic minority.

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

Democratic Republic of Congo Declared Ebola-Free

(AGI) Kinshasa, Nov 15 — The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been declared an Ebola-free zone. Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said, however, that the fact that the epidemic was over did not mean the country was completely out of danger and that there was still a risk that the virus could be imported from other parts of West Africa. The death toll from the virus in the DRC has reached 49.

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

Erdogan Says Muslims, Not Columbus, Discovered Americas

Istanbul (AFP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that the Americas were discovered by Muslims in the 12th century, nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot there.

“Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus,” the conservative president said in a televised speech during an Istanbul summit of Muslim leaders from Latin America.

“Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan said that Ankara was even prepared to build a mosque at the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer.

“I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go perfectly on the hill today,” the Turkish leader said…

           — Hat tip: LS [Return to headlines]

Italy: Refugee Kids Return to Violence-Hit Rome Center

Residents continue shouting ‘we want you all gone’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 14 — Fourteen of the 36 underage refugees who were transferred Thursday out of a migrant reception center in an outlying Rome neighborhood after repeated violent attacks by anti-immigrant local residents have returned to the very place authorities had deemed to be unsafe for them, sources said Friday.

“You are our mothers and fathers,” the kids told operators at Il Sorriso (The Smile) refugee center in the low-income neighborhood of Tor Sapienza, where where lack of services, non-existent street lighting, and a spiking crime rate including a number of attacks on women after dark have inflamed public sentiment against the local Albanian, Romanian, and Roma populations.

But the refugees — who fled war and poverty in North Africa and the Midlle East, were scooped off unseaworthy boats by Italy’s now-defunct Mare Nostrum migrant search-and-rescue mission, and were placed at Il Sorriso — have borne the brunt of popular hatred and xenophobia, with violent attacks by gangs of masked residents wielding sticks, breaking windows, lobbing stones and bottles, setting dumpsters on fire, and injuring police officers.

Authorities transferred the youngest ones out on Thursday, but some of the kids apparently had their own ideas about where they want to be — even at the risk of injury.

“We want to come back here and keep taking your classes,” the teenagers told those who had cared for them, and sat down on the sidewalk outside the refugee center.

“We want you all gone,” local residents shouted at them from the other side of the street.

A local woman had a slightly different take on the situation, however.

“The kids said they ran away and came back on foot,” a lady who lives opposite the refugee center told ANSA.

“I think the operators made them come back, because refugees are their livelihood. They take advantage of these kids. The immigrants can stay, because they are victims of indifferent authorities just like we are. We want the operators gone”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Over Half the Dutch Think There Are Too Many Immigrants in the Netherlands

Some 55% of the Dutch think the number of people of foreign origin in the Netherlands is ‘too high’ but overestimate how many immigrants live in the country, according to a new Ipsos poll.

The poll of 1,136 people aged 18 and over showed 25% think there are just the right number of immigrants and 2% think there are too few, website reports.

But when asked about the number of people of foreign origin in their own area, 24% said there were too many and 59% said there was a good balance.

There was a similar picture when asked about the mixing of cultures in the Netherlands. 47% of those polled thought this was a problem in the country in general but only 27% in their own district.

The results also showed various misunderstandings about immigrants. Almost half consider there are more Moroccans in the Netherlands than any other immigrant group.

In fact, figures from the national statistics office CBS show there are similar numbers of Moroccans, Germans, Turks, Surinamese and Indonesians in the Netherlands.

And 57% thought there were far more members of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands than there actually are, reports, without giving figures.

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

Italy: New Guidelines Set for Use of ‘Lolitas’ In Ads

Protect minors in advertising, and as consumers

(ANSA) — Rome, November 11 — Italy’s ombudsman for kids and teens said Tuesday the advertising industry has agreed to new guidelines on children in advertising that will stymie what he called a “pervasive Lolita culture” and protect youngsters from harmful messages.

“No to messages of bodily perfection at any cost…no to images that transform kids and teens into adults,” said guarantor Vincenzo Spadafora, pointing out that images of overly skinny models can nudge insecure teens over the edge of body-consciousness and into outright anorexia.

The Italian advertising industry’s self-regulatory code bans messages that may “harm minors physically or psychologically” or “take advantage of their lack of experience, loyalty or naivety”. The new protocol, said Spadafora, is a much-needed addition to current regulations because it will make advertisers aware of the need to protect children and adolescents both when they are the recipients of ads and when they feature in them. The latest protocol of understanding between the advertising industry’s self-regulating body (IAP) and the government follows on a 2011 agreement with the ministry for equal opportunities to prevent offensive or stereotyped representations of women.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Oil Prices Likely to Fall Further, Says IEA

Oil prices are likely to continue falling well into 2015, the International Energy Agency has said.

The IEA, a consultancy to 29 countries, said weak demand and the US shale gas boom meant crude’s recent fall below $80 a barrel was not over.

On Friday, Brent crude, one of the major price benchmarks, traded at $78.13 a barrel, near a four-year low.

“It is increasingly clear that we have begun a new chapter in the history of the oil markets,” the IEA said.

“Barring any new supply problems, downward price pressures could build further in the first half of 2015.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/15/2014

  1. Raiding churches
    to finance jihad

    Salafists in Germany are financing jihad in Syria by raiding churches – and schools – and then selling the objects. Last Wednesday a razzia against salafists in Nordrhein-Westfalen, as well as in Niedersachsen and Bayern, lead to catching nine males, eight “Germans” and one Pakistani.

    “Mehr als 240 Beamte vor allem in Nordrhein-Westfalen, aber auch in Niedersachsen und Bayern begannen mit einer spektakulären Razzia.”

    “..acht Deutschen Mustapha A., 25 Jahre, Kais B. O., 31, Lazhar B. O., 22, Sofien B. O., 35, Omar B. O., 25, Anoaur J., 25, Ali Ö., 23, und Usman A., 29, sowie den pakistanischen Staatsangehörigen Mirza Tamoor B., 58.”

    Who are buying these stolen objects?
    Do they know they are financing jihad and sharia?

    Why not have Bob Geldof change his old project “?”…
    Do they know it’s Christmas making people give money to secure the churches so we can keep Christmas forever!


    From the German PI Digital Cheerleaders
    “Maria instead of sharia”
    “Islamophobe but sexy”

  2. Inverted totalitarianism is a term coined by political philosopher Sheldon Wolin in 2003 to describe the emerging form of government of the United States. Wolin believes that the United States is increasingly turning into an illiberal democracy, and uses the term “inverted totalitarianism” to illustrate similarities and differences between the United States governmental system and totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union.

    In Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, inverted totalitarianism is described as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics trumps politics. In inverted totalitarianism, every natural resource and every living being is commodified and exploited to collapse as the citizenry are lulled and manipulated into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government through excess consumerism and sensationalism.

    Wolin holds that the United States has been increasingly adopting totalitarian tendencies as a result of transformations undergone during the military mobilization required to fight the Axis powers in the 1940s, and the subsequent campaign to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War:. He refers to the U.S. using the proper noun “Superpower”, to emphasize the current position of the United States as the only global superpower.

    While the versions of totalitarianism represented by Nazism and Fascism consolidated power by suppressing liberal political practices that had sunk only shallow cultural roots, Superpower represents a drive towards totality that draws from the setting where liberalism and democracy have been established for more than two centuries. It is Nazism turned upside-down, “inverted totalitarianism.” While it is a system that aspires to totality, it is driven by an ideology of the cost-effective rather than of a “master race” (Herrenvolk), by the material rather than the “ideal.”

  3. “On the 50th anniversary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an extremist leader calls for Christians and Muslims to return to Hinduism.”

    I have seen statements like this before. They are erroneous. Most non-hindus in india are born into their faith. They did not convert so that there can be no “return” to hinduism.
    However, this error is a deliberate one designed to emphasise that hinduism is older than either Christianity or islam and therefore, for reasons that are beyond me, has greater worth.

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