Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/28/2014

In an address to Turkish authorities, Pope Francis said that basic sustenance must be guaranteed for all people, and the environment must be protected. He also called for freedom of religion, and denounced the violence committed by the Islamic State. However, he insisted that using force against ISIS was not the proper way of resolving the conflict. Instead, he stressed the importance of fighting poverty and hunger and working to provide sustainable growth as a way to reach an enduring peace.

In other news, Denmark is facing a potential budget shortfall due to the precipitous drop in the price of oil. The current state budget was calculated using a significantly higher market price for Denmark’s North Sea oil.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, 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
» Almost Three-Quarters of New Jobs in Italy Only Temporary
» Greece: Athens to Abolish Operating Permits for 897 Jobs
» Italian Unemployment Hits Record High of 13.2%
» Italy: Unions Take Freeze on Civil Service to Courts
» Edmonds Woman Shoots Intruder
» First Ever Nobel Prize Medal to be Sold
» Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton Increasingly Walking Away From Obama
» Man Dies After Shooting at Mexican Consulate, Other Sites in Texas Capital
» Protests Temporarily Close Malls, Shut Down Trains
Europe and the EU
» Falling Oil Prices Can Sink Denmark’s Budget
» France: Parliamentary Debate on Palestine Kicks Off
» Italy and Britain Together for ‘Simpler, Focused’ Europe
» Italy: Renegotiate 8×1000 Tax Devolution Says Audit Court
» Italy: Podestà (FI) Sentenced to Prison for Election Rigging
» Italy: Piedmont Claims 290 Mn Euros Damage From Rain, Flooding
» Political Landslides Shake Europe
» Rosetta Mission — Status Report
» Sunni Tried for Deadly Arson Attack on Belgian Shiite Mosque
» Swiss, French Call to Bring Home Gold Reserves as Dutch Move 122 Tons Out of US
North Africa
» Egypt Braces for Nationwide Anti-Government Protests
» Egypt’s ‘Islamic Revolution’ Protests Fail to Draw Crowd
» Libya Diner Bombed After Graphic Video on Social Media
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: The Storm Over the Teacup
» The Legacy of PA President Mahmoud Abbas: Holocaust Denial
Middle East
» Assad and Israel Engage in Terrorism as Well, Says Erdogan
» Erdogan to Host People’s Pope, In Plush New Palace
» Erdogan: West Doesn’t Like us, Islamic Countries Should Unite
» ISIS Must be Stopped: But Without Using Arms, Says Pope
» Moldova at Crossroads Between EU and Eurasia
» Tony Blair Urges West-Russia Cooperation Against Islamic Extremism
South Asia
» Bad-Mouthing: Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws Legitimise Intolerance
Australia — Pacific
» AC/DC Guitarist Opens Up About Brother’s Dementia
Sub-Saharan Africa
» At Least 64 Dead in Triple Bombing of Nigeria Mosque
» Bomb at Bus Station Kills at Least 40 in Nigeria
» Gunmen Bomb and Shoot at Mosque Worshippers in North Nigeria’s Kano
» Triple Blast at Nigeria Mosque During Friday Prayers
Latin America
» Mexico President Seeks to Dissolve Local Police Forces
» Europe and Africa Pledge New Approach on Migration Issue
» Greece: Authorities Arrest 21 People on Migrants’ Cargo
» Italy: Moroccan Sentenced to Five Years for Human Trafficking

Almost Three-Quarters of New Jobs in Italy Only Temporary

Labour ministry stats show employment more precarious

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Fully 70% of new jobs in Italy in the third quarter of this year were filled by temporary contracts, according to labour ministry statistics released Friday that highlighted the precariousness of the employment picture. That marked an increase of 1.8% compared with the same July through September period in 2013, the ministry said. Its report came at the same time as new data showing a jump in the national unemployment rate in October to 13.2% and an increase in youth joblessness to 43.3%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Athens to Abolish Operating Permits for 897 Jobs

(ANSA) — ATHENS — Greece’s government plans to abolish operating permits for almost 900 jobs and professions, GreekReporter website writes quoting minister of Development Kostas Skrekas as announcing on Monday. According to Skrekas, permits will not be needed anymore for 897 professions, which account for 14.3% of the Greek GDP. A ministry official said it will help entrepreneurs start their businesses faster, without the hassle of going through several state agencies. In the future, businesses will simply have to submit their papers to the General Commercial Registry (GEMI) and then follow set guidelines. Skrekas said this would save entrepreneurs two to three months in filling out paperwork and waiting for replies.

Food, paper, wood and clothing are some of the industries that will benefit from the new regulations. Electronics manufacturing, engineering, energy, repair services and retailers, as well as wholesalers are also included.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Unemployment Hits Record High of 13.2%

Highest level on record since 1977

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Unemployment in recession-battered Italy reached a record high of 13.2% in October, up 0.3 percentage points on September and 1% on the same time in 2013, according to the preliminary estimates Istat released Friday. This is the highest level since the national statistics agency started publishing monthly unemployment data in January 2004 and quarterly jobless figures in 1977, it said. The figure was all the more eye-catching because Italy has changed the way it calculates unemployment data, which also led to an upward revision of past figures.

So the unemployment figure for September, for example, was revised up from 2.6% to 2.9%. Istat said Friday that 3.41 million Italians were unemployed in October, 90,000 more (2.7%) than in September, and 286,000 more (9.2%) than in the same month in 2013. The agency added that the number of people in work in October was 55,000 down (0.2%) on September. The rest of the increase in the jobless figure was accounted for by an increase in the overall working population, due to a decline in the number of people considered “inactive” because they are not actively looking for work.

Premier Matteo Renzi said Friday that the latest unemployment data was a “worry” but he also argued that jobs have been created since he took office in February. Speaking in Catania, Renzi said more people are now working in Italy, although “much remains to be done” in creating employment. The premier also urged a positive attitude. “We must not deny the problems, but no one should see the glass as half empty,” said Renzi, whose controversial Jobs Act labour reform aims to combat unemployment. Istat’s data reaffirmed that unemployment is hitting young Italians particularly hard.

It said unemployment among 15-to-24-year-olds who are on the job market stood at 43.3% in October, an increase of 1.9% over the same month in 2013. More than 708,000 young Italians are in the job hunt, the agency said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Unions Take Freeze on Civil Service to Courts

Government ‘wrong’ to block pay hikes for public workers -unions

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Trade unions representing civil servants said Friday they have filed an appeal with the courts over the government’s freeze on contracts, including pay increases, for public-sector workers.

The CGIL, CISL and UIL unions said proceedings are beginning at the Court of Rome level but they expect the case will reach the Constitutional Court for a ruling on the unions’ challenge to the legitimacy of the government freeze.

More than one year ago, unions warned of social conflict over the freeze on contracts, that dates back to 2010.

They said that public employees are “the only category treated in this way — conflict will be inevitable”.

The three unions have planned two major demonstrations — the first on Monday when the CISL plan to protest, while the CGIL is leading a national general strike on December 12.

Salaries of Italy’s 3.3 million public employees have been frozen over the past five years and turnover blocked as part of measures to curb public spending as the country is grappling with years of economic stagnation and recession.

Huge public debt also hangs over the administration of Premier Matteo Renzi, who is under pressure from the European Union to cut debt and the deficit.

Even salary negotiations with public sector workers have been frozen.

“The discrimination and the humiliation that public workers are subjected to by the Renzi government demonstrates they are bad bosses,” said Rossana Dettori, secretary-general of the public-sector branch of the CGIL.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Edmonds Woman Shoots Intruder

EDMONDS, Wash. (AP) — A 33-year-old Edmonds woman shot an intruder who tried to get into her home while her family was asleep.

Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh says the woman called 911 and grabbed her gun when the unknown man started pounding on her front door at 3:15 a.m. Thursday. As the man tried to get into the house, the woman struggled with him. Marsh says when she realized she could not keep him out she shot him in the abdomen.

Marsh says the woman was protecting her husband, their children ages 5, 10 and 14 as well as a 14 year old friend of their oldest child.

When officers arrived, the suspect was in front of the house. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Marsh says detectives hoped to interview the suspect when he got out of surgery.

[Return to headlines]

First Ever Nobel Prize Medal to be Sold

A former Nobel Prize winner is set to sell his medal at auction for an estimated 25 million kroner, it was revealed on Friday.

James Watson, who in 1962 received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, is selling his winner’s medal. He wants to donate the money he makes to academic science research. The 86-year-old American biologist and geneticist is the first Nobel Prize winner still alive to sell the gold medal he received, together with a diploma and prize money.

The 52-year-old Nobel medal is going under the hammer at Christie’s auction house next Thursday. The estimated sales value is 25 million kroner ($3.5 million dollars).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton Increasingly Walking Away From Obama

Whether out of frustration or political necessity, some of President Obama’s closest lieutenants from his first term are distancing themselves from Mr. Obama as 2016 approaches. The latest is none other than Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who usually boasts about the lack of daylight between the president and himself.

The vice president let it be known last week that he was “ticked off” about the way the president forced out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a longtime Senate colleague of Mr. Biden’s. Mr. Hagel was pushed out in less than two years by a White House that is accused of micromanaging national security policy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Man Dies After Shooting at Mexican Consulate, Other Sites in Texas Capital

(Reuters) — A man apparently upset about U.S. immigration policy was fatally shot early on Friday after firing more than 100 rounds of ammunition at the Mexican consulate, a U.S. federal courthouse and police headquarters in the Texas capital, police said.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was an Austin man in his 50s who had a criminal history, police said.

Police said they were investigating whether he died of a self-inflicted wound or from a shot fired by a mounted officer who was bringing horses into a stable near police headquarters. No one else was injured in the incident, police said.

“The sergeant was right there getting ready to put the horses away for the night,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. “As he held two horses with one hand, he discharged at least one round with a single-handed shot.”

The suspect also tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate, police said. In a statement, the Mexican Foreign Ministry expressed its “deep concern and condemnation of the incident.”

Acevedo said the targets indicated the attack may have been over U.S. immigration policy.

“When you look at the national debate right now about immigration, that … comes to mind. Sometimes our political discourse becomes very heated and sometimes very angry,” Acevedo told reporters.

President Barack Obama this month imposed the most sweeping U.S. immigration changes in a generation, easing the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million illegal immigrants.

Police said they received a call at 2:22 a.m. about shots being fired in downtown Austin. The three buildings were hit in a shooting spree that lasted a few minutes.

No bombs were found on the suspect or in his vehicle, Acevedo told CNN. Police said they also were examining the man’s home in north Austin.

[Return to headlines]

Protests Temporarily Close Malls, Shut Down Trains

Demonstrators temporarily shut down three large malls in suburban St. Louis on one of the busiest shopping days of the year Friday, as other rallies were held nationwide to protest a grand jury’s recent decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Several stores lowered their security doors or locked entrances as at least 200 protesters sprawled onto the floor while chanting, “Stop shopping and join the movement,” at the Galleria mall in Richmond Heights a few miles south of Ferguson, Missouri, where Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown, who was unarmed, in August.

The action prompted authorities to close the mall for about an hour Friday afternoon, while a similar protest of about 50 people had the same effect at West County Mall in nearby Des Peres. It didn’t appear that any arrests were made. Later Friday, the appearance of several dozen demonstrators led to the early closing of the Chesterfield Mall.

The protests, along with demonstrations in Chicago, New York, Seattle and northern California ? where protesters chained themselves to trains ? were among the largest in the country on Black Friday.

“We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual,” Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, said at a rally at a Wal-Mart in Manchester, another St. Louis suburb.

[Return to headlines]

Falling Oil Prices Can Sink Denmark’s Budget

The Danish government’s 2015 budget calculations are built upon the ability to sell North Sea oil at $110 a barrel, but oil prices have fallen below $70 a barrel and economists warn of a massive budget deficit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Parliamentary Debate on Palestine Kicks Off

Non-binding vote on recognition scheduled on December 2

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, NOVEMBER 28 — Debate on a non-binding parliamentary motion for the recognition of Palestine opens Friday at the French National Assembly.

The draft text calls on the French cabinet to recognize the Palestinian State, turning the move into “a tool to obtain a final solution to the conflict”. The vote is scheduled on December 2 and an approval would have high symbolic value, though it would not be binding for the government.

Nine days later, on December 11, the French Senate will vote a similar motion presented by Communist lawmakers.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has already expressed support for the recognition of a Palestinian State, but noted that such a step must be taken at the right time in order for it to be useful for the peace process.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy and Britain Together for ‘Simpler, Focused’ Europe

Italian EU duty presidency has ‘clarified’ aims for growth, jobs

(ANSA) — Rome, November 27 — Italy and Britain are working together to create a Europe that is “simpler, more focused on its priorities and better able to meet citizens’ expectations”, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday.

London and Rome share a “common sentiment concerning current European trends and what can be done together for economic development, growth, employment and relaunching investment,” said Gentiloni after meeting with his British counterpart Philip Hammond.

“Italy’s excellent duty presidency of the EU has clarified the objectives for a Europe founded on growth and employment,” Hammond said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renegotiate 8×1000 Tax Devolution Says Audit Court

Scheme ‘disproportionate and unequal’ says court

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Italy’s 8×1,000 personal income tax devolution to organized religions “should be renegotiated”, the Audit Court said Friday.

The scheme, which went into effect in 1986 following an agreement between the Italian State and the Catholic Church, syphons at least one billion euros a year from the national tax take while disrespecting “principles of proportionality, freedom of choice and equality”, the court said.

Under the scheme, taxpayers can choose to devolve 0.8% (eight per thousand) from their annual income tax return to an organised religion recognised by Italy or, alternatively, to a social assistance scheme run by the State.

Taxpayers are not required to declare a recipient. In that case, the amount is distributed among the usual beneficiaries in proportion to what they have already received from explicit declarations.

In its resolution published Friday, the Audit Court argued that “the beneficiaries receive more from the undecided quota than the decided one”.

Taxpayers are not adequately informed as to where their taxes will end up if they don’t pick a recipient, in spite of the fact that the majority declines to do so — between 1990 and 2007, reportedly only 42.73% of taxpayers, on average, expressed a choice. The court also objected because , under the scheme, organized religions receive “enormous amounts that are unheard of in the rest of Europe”.

“The total is well over one billion euros a year, and at a time of severe public spending cuts, this is the only item that keeps increasing,” the court explained.

Not only that, but the State is not being transparent in its management of the 8×1000 funds because it fails to make public how they are distributed and to what purpose, the Audit Court added.

As well, the 8×1000 scheme fails to distribute equally because many faiths are excluded from the list of beneficiaries.

As of 2013, that list included the Catholic Church, various Protestant denominations, the Greek Orthodox Church, Buddhists, Hindus, and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons reportedly have also signed agreements with the State that are in various stages of parliamentary approval.

In addition, taxpayers can choose to devolve 0.5% or five per thousand of their annual personal income tax to a charity or NGO of their choice.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Podestà (FI) Sentenced to Prison for Election Rigging

Found guilty of gathering fake signatures for Formigoni (PdL)

(ANSA) — Milan, November 28 — Milan Province President Guido Podestà was sentenced Friday to two years and nine months in prison for rigging the 2010 regional elections in Lombardy in favor of the now-defunct People of Freedom (PdL) party of center-right ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Podestà and four provincial councilors who are co-defendants in the case were found guilty of padding a petition with 926 false signatures to put centre-right incumbent governor Roberto Formigoni and his PdL allies on the regional ballot. Formigoni, a PdL member from 2009-2013, was the governor of Lombardy from 1995 to 2013 and has now joined the New Center Right (NCD) party of Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. “This trial has been a paradigm for the superficiality of the prosecution’s search for truth,” said Podestà, who is now an executive member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party.

Prosecutors had requested a sentence of five years and eight months for Podestà and terms ranging from four years to four years and eight months for his co-defendants. Civil plaintiffs sought one million euros in damages for causing a “severe wound to democracy” by “secretly taking away freedom of choice” in political representation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Piedmont Claims 290 Mn Euros Damage From Rain, Flooding

Inclement weather continues to hit across Italy

(ANSA) — Turin, November 28 — Damage from widespread flooding in recent weeks has cost Italy’s northern Piedmont region 290 million euros, according to a report Friday.

The 90-page report accompanied the region’s request to the National Civil Protection Service for a declaration of a state of emergency due to natural disaster, following heavy rains and flooding between October 12-14 and again on November 14-15.

Those storms affected more than 250 towns in northwestern Italy.

Inclement weather came back this week to pummel regions across Italy.

In Liguria, the neighboring coastal region just south of Piedmont, torrential rains which began on Thursday ended on Friday morning without incident. Authorities there called a Level 2 weather alert that closed schools, public parks, and cemeteries in the region where torrential rainfall and mudslides two weeks ago caused an estimated 30 million euros in damages to agriculture alone.

Meanwhile, further south in the region of Lazio, firefighters on Thursday rescued 50 people in Santa Marinella, a seaside town outside of Rome, and train services on the FL5 rail line were suspended due to flooding on the tracks between Santa Marinella and the town of Santa Severa.

In Santa Marinella, people became trapped in their cars or took refuge on the roofs of their homes after torrential rainfall caused two creeks to burst their banks, flooding the streets with a meter of water.

Just north of Lazio in the region of Tuscany, firefighters rescued eight people who became trapped on farms on Thursday after the Alma torrent burst its banks near the village of Pian D’Alma.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Political Landslides Shake Europe

by Peter Martino

All along the Mediterranean and to the north, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly.

The rise of tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties) reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north.

In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV), of Geert Wilders, is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers’ money.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Rosetta Mission — Status Report

A few weeks ago, the Rosetta spacecraft deposited the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Instead of anchoring itself, however, the robot initially bounced a couple of times before settling in an awkward position, although it did manage to transmit a mass of data back to Earth via Rosetta.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sunni Tried for Deadly Arson Attack on Belgian Shiite Mosque

A Moroccan man admitted setting fire to a Shiite mosque in Brussels to protest the crackdown on fellow Sunnis in Syria when he went on trial Thursday for the attack that killed the imam.

But Rachid El-Boukhari, 35, denied intending to kill the preacher at the main Shiite mosque in the Belgian capital when he addressed the court here, according to news reports.

Boukhari, who describes himself as Sunni, risks a life sentence if found guilty of carrying out the attack on the Rida mosque just before evening prayers on March 12, 2012.

He is accused of “a terrorist offence” as well as “arson causing death” under the “aggravating circumstances” that the attack was “based on religion.”

“Yes, I knew that there was at least one or two people in the mosque when I set it on fire,” the defendant told the Brussels court, according to the Belga news agency.

“But I thought they would leave through the door. The problem is that one of these people shut the door and we all found ourselves shut inside the building,” he was quoted as saying.

“I didn’t think a man would die. I just wanted to wake up the Shiites,” he said denying he intended to kill.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Swiss, French Call to Bring Home Gold Reserves as Dutch Move 122 Tons Out of US

The financial crisis in Europe is prompting some nations to repatriate their gold reserves to national vaults. The Netherlands has moved $5 billion worth of gold from New York, and some are calling for similar action from France, Switzerland, and Germany.

An unmatched pace of money printing by major central banks has boosted concerns in European countries over the safety of their gold reserves abroad.

The Dutch central bank — De Nederlandsche Bank — was one of the latest to make the move. The bank announced last Friday that it moved a fifth of its total 612.5-metric-ton gold reserve from New York to Amsterdam earlier in November.

It was done in an effort to redistribute the gold stock in “a more balanced way,” and to boost public confidence, the bank explained.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt Braces for Nationwide Anti-Government Protests

Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of suspected Islamists ahead of the opposition’s call for nationwide rallies. Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead a senior army officer and wounded two soldiers in the capital Cairo.

The anti-government demonstrations were called by Salafi Front, a lesser-known outfit believed to be part of Islamist groups opposing the army’s rule and the overthrow of former President Mohammed Morsi last year. The Muslim Brotherhood endorsed the protests — the first major attempt by the supporters of the jailed president in recent months to hold large scale demonstrations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s ‘Islamic Revolution’ Protests Fail to Draw Crowd

Anti-government Islamists in Egypt saw their calls for a day of mass protests to defend the coutnry’s “Islamic identity” fall flat on Friday, with low turnouts at scattered protests around the country.

Despite widespread apprehension of possible violence that caused many Egyptians to stay home, institutions to shut, and churches to suspend their activities, there were relatively few violent incidents.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Libya Diner Bombed After Graphic Video on Social Media

A fast-food restaurant in Tripoli was bombed on Wednesday night after a video shared on social media showed a migrant worker defiling food in its kitchen.

In the video, a worker masturbated over food and said he was “putting HIV sperm” in the meals.

The graphic nature of the video has worried many in the migrant community who fear a backlash.

Illegal migrants in Libya frequently complain about abuse against them by bosses and at the hands of militias.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli says while it is unclear what motivated the act of defiling the food, the video has also triggered conspiracy theories including claims of the video being fabricated as a pretext to bomb the restaurant.

The official Facebook page of a known militia in Tripoli claimed it had arrested a group of illegal migrants and found a memory stick which contained the video file.

The posting said the migrant worker in question was shot several times in the legs when he tried to escape.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: The Storm Over the Teacup

Following last Tuesday’s jihadist massacre of four rabbis and a police officer at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered law enforcement bodies to act immediately to destroy the homes of the two terrorist murderers who carried out that attack. He also directed them to destroy the homes of the terrorists who carried out the three other recent attacks in Jerusalem.

The following day, police destroyed the home of one terrorist murderer. Two more homes were supposed to be destroyed in short order.

But then the EU-funded radical leftist NGO Hamoked — Center for the Defense of the Individual petitioned the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, opposing the orders.

Wednesday the court issued an injunction prohibiting state authorities from carrying out the house demolition orders…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

The Legacy of PA President Mahmoud Abbas: Holocaust Denial

During the 1330amWEBY Middle East Round Table discussion on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 we asked Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies a question about PA President Mahmoud Abbas. We questioned Abbas’ stand on the current wave of Arab Muslim violence in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel. Dr. Schanzer has written about Abbas, now serving in the 10th year of an initial four year term following the death of his predecessor, Yassir Arafat, in his book, State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State.

Schanzer noted that the current wave of attacks in Israel are the worst since 1929, when Arab nationalists, provoked by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Haj Amin Al Husseini , rose up. That led to the barbaric massacre of 200 Jews in Hebron. He suggested Abbas at nearly 80 years of age is conscious of perfecting his legacy…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Assad and Israel Engage in Terrorism as Well, Says Erdogan

‘Not only Islamic’. Concern over sharp growth of Islamophobia

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 28 — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday in meeting with Pope Francis in the Turkish capital that the international community fails to acknowledge the “state terrorism” perpetrated by Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and Israel. “In Syria there is state terrorism organized by one individual, and it is also present in Gaza,” he said.

Speaking to the Pope, Erdogan also expressed concern over “sharp growth in Islamophobia”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Erdogan to Host People’s Pope, In Plush New Palace

Pope Francis has arrived in Turkey, his first visit to the country. The austere Argentine will be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s guest of honor in Ankara’s controversial new, 1,000-room presidential palace.

Francis will become by far the highest profile guest ever to visit Turkey’s new presidential palace, only inaugurated this October to coincide with longstanding Prime Minister Erdogan’s transition from head of government to head of state. The building is by no means universally popular. The lavish, 1,000-room palace has cost just over 500 million euros (well over $600 million) so far, with a major mosque complex and other extensions still reportedly planned.

The presidential palace, tentatively called Ak Saray (“White Palace”) was built under controversial circumstances, in a wooded area within the Ataturk Forest Farm in Ankara. The construction went ahead despite environmental concerns and court orders, prompting its critics to instead call it Kacak Saray (“Illegal Palace”).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Erdogan: West Doesn’t Like us, Islamic Countries Should Unite

Muslim countries are able to solve their problems on their own, the Turkish president believes. He says far from offering help, the West is actually exploiting “conflicts in the Middle East” and only cares about the region’s riches.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Islamic countries to unite in order to solve “the biggest humanitarian and political crisis in their history,” according to AFP, citing the Turkish president’s speech in Istanbul on Thursday.

“The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.”

Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world.

“I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world,” he said. “They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East. Believe me, they don’t like us.”

“They look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die,” the president went on.

Turkey has recently had its relations with the US strained over the Washington-led military operation against the Islamic State extremist group.

The US has been pushing for Turkey’s more active participation in the conflict, which Ankara has largely resisted, in its turn demanding support from Washington in bringing down Syria’s president Assad.

Erdogan has called the US attempt to get Turkey more involved in the conflict “impertinent.”

“Why is somebody coming to this region from 12,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) away?” Erdogan said on Wednesday, according to AFP. “I want you to know that we are against impertinence, recklessness and endless demands,” he added.

The comment was made shortly after US Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey. Biden’s negotiations with Erdogan failed to resolve the differences between the two NATO allies.

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

ISIS Must be Stopped: But Without Using Arms, Says Pope

(AGI) Ankara, Nov 28 — The Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists should be stopped but without using weapons, Pope Francis said in an address to Turkish authorities. He called on them to “ban all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism, which seriously humiliates the dignity of all humans and exploits religion”.

The Pope continued: “It is necessary to counterpose fanaticism and fundamentalism, irrational phobias that encourage incomprehension and discrimination, with solidarity among all believers, resting on the pillars of respect for human life and of religious freedom, which means freedom of worship and freedom to live according to religious ethics, the effort to guarantee everybody with what is necessary for a decent life, and care for the natural environment.” A military response against ISIS cannot be the only option, he said. The Pope repeated that it is “legitimate to stop an unjust aggressor, but always to abide by international law”. He went on: “It is necessary to make a strong joint commitment, based on mutual trust, that might lead to enduring peace and finally allocate resources not to armaments but to the real struggles worthy of Man: against hunger and disease, in favour of sustainable growth and the safeguard of Creation, against the many forms of poverty and marginality which not even our modern world is free from.” He continued: “Turkey, by virtue of its history and geographical position and because of the role it plays in the region, has a great responsibility: its choices and its example can be of special value and of considerable help in favouring the coming together of civilisations and in finding a viable way to peace and real progress.” The Pope concluded: “May the Mightiest bless and protect Turkey and help it to be a valid and convinced promoter of peace!”

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

Moldova at Crossroads Between EU and Eurasia

Moldova is electing a new parliament on Sunday. The election will decide whether the tiny republic will continue on its pro-European course — or move closer to Russia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tony Blair Urges West-Russia Cooperation Against Islamic Extremism

The West should cooperate with Russia in confronting Islamic extremism, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

In an interview for the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Blair pointed to Islamic extremism as presenting the largest long-term threat to security.

Despite the strained relations over Ukraine, the West should be ready to seek cooperation with Russia, as well as other major players, such as China and India in combating terrorism.

Blair described Russia as a powerful player, which has to be taken into account when the West addresses challenges such as that in the Middle East.

According to him, most likely Russia will have to be involved in finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.

Since his resignation as Prime Minister in 2007 Tony Blair has acted as a Special Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, the four-party entity consisting of the UN, the EU, the USA and Russia, that mediates the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the interview, Blair said that he was worried more than ever about the Israel-Palestine situation.

He pointed that developments in Europe towards the recognition of a Palestinian state signified the frustration of people at the lack of progress and expressed their anxiety towards the treatment of Palestinians.

Last month Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood and similar moves are taking place in other countries of the EU.

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

Bad-Mouthing: Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws Legitimise Intolerance

THE killing and incarceration of people on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam has long shamed Pakistan. Hundreds, often members of religious minorities, have been ensnared by blasphemy laws that leave victims with little chance of defending themselves against malicious claims. Cowed judges are unwilling to examine evidence for fear of profanities being repeated in their courtrooms. Outside the courts, mobs can be quickly incited to acts of murder by fire-breathing mullahs.

Accusations of blasphemy soar: just one in 2011; over 100 in 2014. More than half of the 62 people murdered in the wake of blasphemy allegations since 1990 were killed in the past five years, according to figures collated by a Pakistani human-rights group that fears even to be identified. “Blasphemy” can now include spelling errors by children or throwing away a visiting-card bearing the name “Muhammad”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

AC/DC Guitarist Opens Up About Brother’s Dementia

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young has opened up about the experience of witnessing his older brother and fellow band member, Malcolm Young, battle dementia.

“Malcolm was always very organised,” Angus, 59, says during an interview with Australian channel ABC, which airs on Monday December 1. “And it was kind of strange for the first time to see him disorganised, being confused about a lot of things.

“That’s when it kind of hit me — there’s something not right with him.”

The Australian heavy metal band, who formed in 1973 and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, announced in April that Malcolm was unable to continue playing with the band.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

At Least 64 Dead in Triple Bombing of Nigeria Mosque

Some 120 wounded in attack on Kano’s Central Mosque

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — At least 64 people died and 126 were wounded after three bombs exploded during weekly Friday prayers at one of the biggest mosques in the Nigerian city of Kano, rescue workers and medical sources said Friday in what is the African country’s largest northern city.

Kano’s Central Mosque is located near the Emir of Kano’s palace and is where the influential Muslim leader, Lamido Sanusi, usually leads prayers. Sanusi has reportedly called on the faithful in the prevalently Sunni Muslim emirate to take up arms against the Boko Haram fundamentalist Islamist insurgency.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Bomb at Bus Station Kills at Least 40 in Nigeria

(AGI) Abuja, Nov 27 — At least 40 people, including five soldiers, were killed by a bomb at a bus station in Nigeria’s turbulent northeastern region, which is dominated by Boko Haram Islamist militants. The provisional victims tally was reported by witnesses and security forces. The explosives had been placed at the edge of the road at the Marabi-Mubi junction, where several vehicles parked at a depot caught fire.

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

Gunmen Bomb and Shoot at Mosque Worshippers in North Nigeria’s Kano

(Reuters) — Gunmen exploded bombs and opened fire on worshippers gathered at the central mosque of north Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano, for Friday prayers, witnesses said, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

“These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming,” said Chijjani Usman, a local reporter who had gone to the mosque in the old city for prayers himself.

The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in the country, although the emir himself, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present at the time.

A staff member at the palace who also witnessed the attack said: “After multiple explosions, they also opened fire. I cannot tell you the level of casualties because we all ran away.”

A police spokesman in Kano declined to make any immediate comment. There was also no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion is likely to fall on Boko Haram, which has for five years waged a campaign to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate governed by sharia law.

[Return to headlines]

Triple Blast at Nigeria Mosque During Friday Prayers

Many feared dead in attack on Kano’s Central Mosque

(ANSA) — Rome, November 28 — Many are feared dead after three bombs exploded during weekly Friday prayers at one of the largest mosques in the Nigerian city of Kano, the BBC reported.

Kano’s Central Mosque is located near the Emir of Kano’s palace and is where the influential Muslim leader, Lamido Sanusi, usually leads prayers, according to the BBC.

Sanusi has reportedly called on the faithful in the prevalently Sunni Muslim emirate to take up arms against the Boko Haram fundamentalist Islamist insurgency.

The exact death toll from the bombing is as yet unknown.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mexico President Seeks to Dissolve Local Police Forces

Mexico’s embattled president unveiled sweeping reforms to dissolve corruption-plagued municipal police forces nationwide amid an outcry over the role of gang-affiliated authorities in the presumed slaughter of 43 students.

More carnage hit Mexico hours before President Enrique Pena Nieto’s announcement, with the discovery of 11 beheaded bodies in the troubled southern state of Guerrero — the same region where the students were attacked in September.

“Society has raised its voice to say enough is enough,” Pena Nieto said, echoing the anger of Mexicans who have joined a wave of protests over a case that has highlighted the country’s struggle with police corruption.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Europe and Africa Pledge New Approach on Migration Issue

European and African ministers have agreed to adopt a coordinated approach to deal with the issue of migration. They are in Rome to discuss the humanitarian crisis caused by a surge in the number of migrants.

Italy, the host of the summit, has been particularly affected by a rise in the number of North African migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. At least 165,000 migrants — an increase of about 100,000 people compared to last year — have entered Europe via the Mediterranean this year, according to some estimates.

The meeting of the EU and African ministers comes as a ship carrying more than 700 men, women and children broke down in international waters about 30 nautical miles (56 kilometers) from the Mediterranean on Thursday. The ship was later towed to the Greek island of Crete. It is one of the largest refugee boats to make the crossing in recent months.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: Authorities Arrest 21 People on Migrants’ Cargo

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, NOVEMBER 28 — Greek port authorities conducting a preliminary investigation arrested 21 people who were aboard the Kiribati-flagged cargo ship ‘Baris’, including seven crew members, two immigrants suspected of being traffickers and 12 immigrants who caused tension on the ship as Ana-Mpa reported. In the meantime, authorities completed the safe transfer of all the undocumented immigrants ashore at the southern city of Ierapetra on the Aegean island of Crete. The immigrants are hosted temporarily at the city’s indoor sports hall, while authorities will wait until Friday to perform the official counting. According to the first estimations, the total number of immigrants aboard the freighter is 595. “In the past two days, I’ve been in direct communication with the EU’s Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, whom I’ve briefed on all the actions taken,” Shipping and Aegean Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told Ana-Mpa, adding that the aim now is to bring the traffickers to justice. Varvitsiotis also said the vast majority of the immigrants are from Syria.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Moroccan Sentenced to Five Years for Human Trafficking

Charged underage stowaway 7,000 euros

(ANSA) — Genoa, November 28 — A court on Friday convicted a Moroccan national of smuggling an underage compatriot into Italy, sentencing him to five years in prison and a 16,000-euro fine.

Prosecutors said the 50-year-old culprit charged the minor 7,000 euros to get him across the border, stuffing him into a compartment built between seats of his van and then taking it on a ferry from Tangiers to Genoa in April 2013.

The defendant admitted to the smuggling, but said he only charged him 3,500 euros, which he needed because of family problems.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/28/2014

  1. “Pope Francis said that basic sustenance must be guaranteed for all people”

    Obviously this papal personage has his very own unicorn. Or perhaps he stole Obama’s. This man’s apparent loopiness is beginning to seem more real by the day. I’ll bet he’d have loved Uncle Joe Stalin…

  2. From DunbSweden also known as Kretinostan:
    Retirees will get no jam for the pancakes when the municipality is investing heavily in increased immigration. Will build two new asylum accommodations. Will need every crown for this. Next step is the pesioners wll loose the pancaces. Asylumseekers are often dissatisfied with the Swedish food even if they get jam on their pancakes.

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