Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/11/2014

After receiving a complaint from a customer, Hallmark withdrew a line of wrapping paper that the offended customer said contained “swastikas”. The design was in fact a classical meander, one of a number of similar motifs that began in prehistory and were made into formal designs by the ancient Greeks.

In other news, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the recent fall in oil prices is a conspiracy against Islam.

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

Thanks to AL, C. Cantoni, DS, Fjordman, ICLA, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, K, LI, Phyllis Chesler, 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
» ECB ‘Unanimous’ About Acting to Combat Low Inflation
» Italy: Intesa SanPaolo Takes Up 8.59 Bn Loan in ECB Programme
» Weak Eurozone: Ukraine Weighing on Global Growth: UN
» Benghazi Select Committee Hearing: “Why Were We There?”
» Biden Tried to Lecture Hirsi Ali About Islam
» Bill Cosby Sued for Defamation by Sexual Assault Accuser
» Feminist Blisters Reza Aslan for Claiming Women Have Equality in Many Muslim Countries
» Have Democrats Failed the White Working Class?
» Illinois General Assembly Revives Recording Ban
» Pentagon Considering Deployment of Nuclear Missiles in Europe
» Survey: Support for Gun Rights at Two-Decade High
» ‘Swastika’ Wrapping Paper Withdrawn After Complaint
» UK: Arrests as Protestors Stage Mass ‘Die in’ At Westfield Shopping Centre
Europe and the EU
» Comet Water is Not Like Earth’s
» Frenchwoman Guilty of Sex Attacks on Plumbers
» Google News Shuts Spanish Service Over Copyright Law
» Italy: Grillo Says Democracy Lacking, He’s No Dictator
» Italy: Napolitano Calls for Criminals to be Rooted Out of Politics
» Italy: Alleged Gambino Member Among 8 Arrested in Mafia Sweep
» ‘It’s Pork or Nothing’, French Mayor Tells Pupils
» Juncker Says Italy ‘Can’t Complain’
» Kaiser Wilhelm II Faces Pan-European War
» Two Italian Parties Calls for Exit From Eurozone
» Italy-Serbia: Vucic in Rome to Boost Partnership
North Africa
» ICC Refers Libya to Security Council Over Gaddafi’s Son
» Libyan Troops ‘Heading for Tripoli to Liberate it’, PM Al-Thinni
Middle East
» Iran Claims ‘Conspiracy Against Muslim People’ Drags Down Oil Prices
» Jihadist Violence ‘Killed 5,000 in November’
» Majority of Educated Women Victim of Violence in Turkey, Survey Reveals
» More Than 700 Iraqi Kurd Fighters Killed Since June ISIL Offensive
» Saudi Arabia: ISIS ‘Supporters’ Arrested for Shooting Dane
» Secularism Damages Religious Life in Turkey, Says Top Religious Body Official
» Ruble Fall, Sanctions Hurt Russia’s Economy, Says Medvedev
» Russia Charms Uzbekistan With Massive Debt Writeoff
South Asia
» India to Get 10 Nuclear Reactors in Russian Cooperation Deal
» Indonesia: East Java: Three Students Caught Drunk Caned at (Moderate) Muslim School
» Malaysian Christians Furious Over Hundreds of Desecrated Bibles
» Malaysia: Islamic Scholars Say Playing Guitar and Piano Against Islamic Law
» Pakistan: Malala Sees Herself as Premier in 20 Years
» Suicide Bomber Attacks French School in Afghanistan
Far East
» Hong Kong Police Arrest Protesters After Clearing Camp
Sub-Saharan Africa
» New Study Showing Half of Liberian Girls, Women Undergo FGM Not a Surprise
Latin America
» Fidel Castro Wins China’s ‘Confucius Peace Prize’
» Greece: Deadlock With Syrian Refugees on Syntagma Square Closer to Resolution
» Italy: Two More Arrests in Rome Mafia Case ‘Ndrangheta Link
Culture Wars
» Sweden Slammed for ‘Sexist’ Street Signs
» Here Are the Reasons Oil is Plunging Toward $60

ECB ‘Unanimous’ About Acting to Combat Low Inflation

Bank ready to use unconventional measures

(ANSA) — Rome, December 11 — The European Central Bank said Thursday that its governing council was “unanimous” about the need to combat low inflation in the eurozone as it is a threat to recovery prospects. “Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council remains unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate,” the ECB said in its monthly bulletin. “This would imply altering early next year the size, pace and composition of the measures. “In response to the request of the Governing Council, ECB staff and the relevant Eurosystem committees have stepped up the technical preparations for further measures, which could, if needed, be implemented in a timely manner. “All of the monetary policy measures are geared towards underpinning the firm anchoring of medium to long-term inflation expectations, in line with the Governing Council’s aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2%, and contribute to a return of inflation rates towards that level”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Intesa SanPaolo Takes Up 8.59 Bn Loan in ECB Programme

Second round of TLTRO borrowing nets 129.84 bn

(ANSA) — Milan, December 11 — Intesa Sanpaolo borrowed 8.59 billion euros from the European Central Bank (ECB) in the second round of its targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO), the Italian credit institution said Thursday. The credit borrowed under the ECB’s low-rate loan programme for eurozone banks came on top of the four billion euros taken up in the first round of borrowing.

In total the second TLTRO allotment came in at 129.84 billion euros, according to the ECB.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Weak Eurozone: Ukraine Weighing on Global Growth: UN

The global economy will improve over the next two years but eurozone weakness combined with the Ebola crisis and the Ukraine conflict are weighing on growth, a UN report said Wednesday.

The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015 report put global economic growth at 3.1 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent in 2016, up from 2.6 percent in 2014.

“Many risks and uncertainties could dash efforts to get the global economy on track and moving forward,” said Pingfan Hong, director at the UN economic and social affairs department.

The report said western Europe was headed for “only a slight improvement in growth”, held back by ongoing sluggishness in the eurozone where some members teetered on the brink of recession this year…

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

Benghazi Select Committee Hearing: “Why Were We There?”

by Jerry Gordon

The Second Benghazi Select Committee Hearing on “Reviewing Efforts to Secure U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel” endeavored to see whether the Accountability Review Board’s (ARB) 29 recommendations had been implemented to secure High Threat Posts following the 9/11-12/14 Benghazi terrorist attacks. The short answer to those who viewed the proceedings was major gaps and many unanswered questions remain. Suggesting that the Department of State hasn’t remedied the situation that led to the terrorist attacks that took the lives of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Aide Sean Smith and CIA security contractors, Tyrone Power and Glen Doherty.

Gowdy and Republican Members of the Select Benghazi Committee made a point of asking why were we there at all. This brought no answers from the panel of State Department representatives, Gregory B. Starr, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and Steve A. Linick, Inspector General. It raises the question of what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others in the Administration knew. Ken Timmerman, author of author of Dark Forces: The Truth Behind what Happened in Benghazi in a Daily Caller op-ed on this question noted Chairman Trey Gowdy’s request and response by Ranking Committee Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD):

“She [Hillary Clinton] is a witness we would like to talk to. I cannot tell you when,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy.

But Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings poured cold water on that idea, saying “Mr. Schiff said today he could not see why she would be called, and I would agree with that,” referring to fellow Democrat, Adam Schiff.

The AP reported that the State Department has failed to release Hillary Clinton’s official papers:The State Department has failed to turn over government documents covering Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State that The Associated Press and others requested under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act ahead of her presumptive presidential campaign. They include one request AP made four years ago and others pending for more than one year.The agency already has missed deadlines it set for itself to turn over the material.The State Department denied the AP’s requests, and rejected the AP’s subsequent appeals, to release the records sought quickly under a provision in the law reserved for journalists requesting federal records about especially newsworthy topicsIn mid-September, former CBS 60 Minutes journalist, Sharyl Atkisson reported in a Daily Signal article that aides had allegedly been vetting emails and documents related to Benghazi under the direction of former Near East Bureau aide, Ray Maxwell in a basement office in the State Department. Thus could the AP report and the Attkisson report be connected?

The opaque testimony of Gregory B. Starr, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security doesn’t indicate that the culture at State has changed regarding shared responsibility for the more than 285 embassies, consulates, legations and the remaining 10 special facilities like Benghazi. Ken Timmerman tweeted: “Greg Starr throws Chris Stevens under the bus, ‘we had a little too much confidence in the chief of mission’ to determine security.” Further, Timmerman noted the response of Starr to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the trend since the Al Qaeda Attacks on the Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that triggered an earlier ARB report, “More posts today categorized as high risk than ever” in past 35 yrs.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Biden Tried to Lecture Hirsi Ali About Islam

Even though Ayaan Hirsi Ali was raised a Muslim in a Muslim country, and Joe Biden has almost certainly never opened a Qur’an, Biden believed he knew more about Islam than she did. Why? Because her opinion of the religion was negative, and the possibility that such a view could have any merit whatsoever is inconceivable in Washington circles. Those who hold it must be ignorant.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bill Cosby Sued for Defamation by Sexual Assault Accuser

Comedian Bill Cosby was sued for defamation on Wednesday in Massachusetts by a sexual assault accuser who said he branded her a liar in public statements made through his representatives denying her allegations of abuse.

The eight-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, is at least the third lawsuit arising from a wave of sexual misconduct allegations leveled against Cosby by more than a dozen women during the past several years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Feminist Blisters Reza Aslan for Claiming Women Have Equality in Many Muslim Countries

By Robert Spencer

Reza Aslan recently claimed that women enjoy complete equality in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Turkey. I responded here. Feminists, however, remained silent, as is generally the case whenever they have an opportunity to stand against the oppression of women in Muslim countries.

But now Aki Muthali, a feminist writer, has taken this barely literate charlatan who routinely makes astonishingly clumsy errors of fact brilliantly to task in, of all places, The Nation.

The Nation standing up for women’s rights against an Islamic supremacist? This is extremely strange, as generally the Left surrenders all of its stated principles for the sake of its alliance with jihadis and jihad enablers — as Bill Maher is discovering. Could this herald cracks in the edifice? Probably not, but it still heartening to see.

“A unicorn’s legacy,” by Aki Muthali, The Nation, December 7, 2014 (all bracketed material is Muthali’s):

Reza Aslan has taken over the West like a storm. Media brass quiver in their boots and advise TV hosts to “really know” their topic before debating with this unicorn. Having thoroughly studied religious text and having had education and/or residency in any religious nation [to have firsthand knowledge of the laws and culture] isn’t adequate for Western [pseudo] liberals. They want someone who can cleverly seduce the audience in a smoke of cognitive dissonance while simultaneously suggesting any criticism of the depth of irrational drivel being presented as “evidence” and “fact” is an act of oppression and racism [to completely blackout criticism which are deemed offensive in almost all context].

Many people use denialism [of actual facts] as a sensible defense mechanism against criticism and accountability. Aslan isn’t alone in this. They inevitably contribute to a hostile society.

Aslan decided that his status as a religious scholar gives him the platform to manipulate the audience—hoping the audience will take his word like divine truth and fail to screen for authenticity of facts supporting his statements…

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

Have Democrats Failed the White Working Class?

By Thomas B. Edsall

Why don’t white working-class voters recognize where their economic interests lie? Somewhat self-righteously, Democrats keep asking themselves that question.

A better question would be: What has the Democratic Party done for these voters lately?

At work and at home, their lives are worse than they were a generation ago. Their real incomes have fallen, their employment opportunities have diminished, their families have crumbled and their ties to society are fraying.

[Return to headlines]

Illinois General Assembly Revives Recording Ban

The Illinois General Assembly just passed a bill that would prevent citizens from recording the police.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a state eavesdropping law that made it a crime for citizens to record conversations with police or anyone else without the other person’s permission. The court held that the old law “criminalize[d] a wide range of innocent conduct” and violated free-speech rights. In particular, the court noted the state could not criminalize recording activities where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, including citizens’ “public” encounters with police.

Now the old law is back, with just a few changes, in a new bill sent to the governor’s desk by the Illinois Senate on Dec. 4. The bill not only passed, but did so overwhelmingly with votes of 106-7 in the House on and 46-4-1 in the Senate.

The new version is nearly as bad as the old one.

Under the new bill, a citizen could rarely be sure whether recording any given conversation without permission is legal. The bill would make it a felony to surreptitiously record any “private conversation,” which it defines as any “oral communication between 2 or more persons,” where at least one person involved had a “reasonable expectation” of privacy.

When does the person you’re talking to have a reasonable expectation of privacy? The bill doesn’t say. And that’s not something an ordinary person can be expected to figure out.

A law must be clear enough for citizens to know in advance whether a particular action is a crime. This bill doesn’t meet that standard, which should be reason enough for a court to strike it down if it becomes law.

But lack of clarity isn’t the only problem with this bill…

           — Hat tip: LI [Return to headlines]

Pentagon Considering Deployment of Nuclear Missiles in Europe

Option considered in response to Russian INF treaty breach

By Bill Gertz

The Pentagon is considering the re-deployment of nuclear cruise missiles in Europe in response to a new Russian cruise missile that the United States has charged violates a 1987 nuclear treaty, a senior Pentagon official told Congress on Wednesday.

Brian P. McKeon, deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said U.S. cruise missile deployments are among a range of options being considered if Russian fails to return to compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

McKeon did not provide details of the military options being studied but said they ranged from “reactive defense, to counterforce, to counter value defense measures.”

“We don’t have ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe now obviously because they’re prohibited by the treaty,” McKeon said. “But that would obviously be one option to explore.”

The testimony came during a joint hearing on Russian treaty violations. The hearing brought together members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, and the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade…

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]

Survey: Support for Gun Rights at Two-Decade High

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza opened fire at his home and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, leaving 28, including his own mother and 20 children, dead. In the aftermath, gun control advocates pushed local, state, and federal lawmakers to restrict access to guns.

But nearly two years after the Newtown shooting, support for gun rights appears to be at a two-decade high.

[Return to headlines]

‘Swastika’ Wrapping Paper Withdrawn After Complaint

Wrapping paper featuring a blue and silver design has been withdrawn from shops after a complaint that the gift wrap featured swastikas.

A shopper noticed the paper in a Hanukkah display at a branch of Walgreens in California, US, and complained.

Hallmark Cards has since apologised and said that any similarity to a swastika was unintentional, adding that the pattern has been in the company’s reference archives for several years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Arrests as Protestors Stage Mass ‘Die in’ At Westfield Shopping Centre

Demonstrators chanted the last words of Eric Garner, a black man who died in New York in July when police put him in a chokehold

Hundreds of protesters have held a mass “die-in” at a London shopping centre to support civil rights activists in the US.

Police said they were in the process of arresting a number of people at the Westfield Shopping Centre at Shepherds Bush, where crowds gathered in solidarity with US demonstrators.

Demonstrators chanted the last words of Eric Garner, a black man who died in New York in July as he was arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Mr Garner repeatedly gasped “I can’t breathe!” in an arrest that was captured on video.

Thousands have protested in New York and elsewhere since the announcement last week that a grand jury would not indict a white police officer over Mr Garner’s death…

           — Hat tip: ICLA [Return to headlines]

Comet Water is Not Like Earth’s

IF EARTH got its water from space, it probably wasn’t delivered by comet. That’s according to the latest data from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, which has been analysing the water content of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and found it doesn’t match the water on Earth.

The question of where Earth got its water — whether from asteroids, comets or in some other way — is a subject of ongoing debate. So analysing comet 67P’s water was one of Rosetta’s main goals. The spacecraft’s ROSINA instrument has been sniffing the vapour around the comet ever since reaching it in August.

Kathrin Altwegg of the University of Bern in Switzerland and her colleagues have now analysed 67P’s water, by looking at the amount of deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen, and comparing it with the amount of regular hydrogen.

“As soon as we got water from the comet, the pattern changed immediately,” says Altwegg. The comet’s water has around three times as much deuterium as water on Earth, the researchers found. The ratio found on some other comets is much closer to that on Earth, suggesting a link between the icy space rocks and terrestrial water. The different composition of 67P’s water suggests a more complex picture.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Frenchwoman Guilty of Sex Attacks on Plumbers

A court in France this week handed out a 12-month suspended prison sentence to a woman who sexually assaulted two plumbers, who came to repair the central heating in her house.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Google News Shuts Spanish Service Over Copyright Law

In unprecedented decision, shutdown on December 16

(ANSAmed) — SPAIN, DECEMBER 11 — As of December 16 Mountain View is closing its Google News service in Spain. The unprecedented decision was taken ahead of a new Spanish law on international property, which will become effective on January 1. The new legislation would have forced the giant to pay publishing companies for the use of content through Goggle News.

Richard Gingras, head of Google News, said the new law allows Spanish publications to charge services like Goggle News if their content, even the smallest snippets, are shown on the site, regardless of whether they want to be paid or not.

Since Goggle News does not make a profit — there are no ads on the site — this approach is “not sustainable”, said Gingras, announcing the company would be removing Spanish publishers from Google News and shut down Google News in Spain.

Google News — available in over 70 international editions in 35 languages — is a free service and includes sources ranging from the main newspapers worldwide to small local publications and blogs. Editors can decide whether they want their articles to appear or not.

Gingras added that for centuries, publishers have had to deal with the limitations imposed by the distribution of printed copy. Internet changed everything, creating incredible opportunities as well as concrete challenges for editors who have faced increasing competition in attracting readers and advertisement investments.

The executive concluded saying that his company will continue to work to help the industry confront these challenges and is happy to continue to cooperate with the thousands of partners it has worldwide, as in Spain, to increase readers and revenues online.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Says Democracy Lacking, He’s No Dictator

M5S leader says Rome council should be ‘dismantled’

(ANSA) — Rome, December 10 — Beppe Grillo said Wednesday that he did not run his anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) like a dictator and argued that there was a lack of democracy in Italy.

Grillo’s handling of the Internet-based movement has come under fire after the recent expulsion of several lawmakers and some disappointing electoral performances. “I’m not a dictator. I come here three or four times a year and I’m amazed by the climate,” Grillo told a press conference at the Senate to present the M5S’s drive for a referendum on whether Italy should keep the euro as its currency.

“Here the concept of democracy and freedom doesn’t exist any more. Do you know what (Premier Matteo) Renzi is? “Even you journalists know and you whisper it in my ear”. Grillo also commented on the probe into alleged links between mafiosi and politicians at the Rome city council.

“We should go further than dissolving the city council, we should disintegrate it,” Grillo said.

“Then a person voted by us should take over on an interim basis as we are the only ones who have nothing to do with the affair”. When commenting about reports regional elections in Lazio may have been rigged, Grillo said “who’s to say that (May’s) European elections were not rigged too?”. Grillo added that Rome’s so-called ‘Mafia Capitale’ syndicate was afraid of his movement, not Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD). “I just read the wiretaps of (alleged group leaders Massimo) Carminati and (Salvatore) Buzzi that talk about me: Mafia Capitale is afraid of us. Not the PD,” Grillo tweeted.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Napolitano Calls for Criminals to be Rooted Out of Politics

As finance police search AMA offices in ongoing mafia probe

(ANSA) — Rome, December 10 — As a massive mafia probe in the nation’s capital continued to shake the city’s political and business hierarchies, President Giorgio Napolitano said Wednesday that the State must be uncompromising in its handling of corruption.

“The will to prevent and strike at criminal infiltrations and corrupt practices in politics and administration must never be put in doubt,” he said in comments on a massive ongoing mafia probe in the capital. Also on Wednesday, finance police searched the offices of Rome waste-management company AMA in an operation linked to the probe.

The aim of the operation was to identify contracts to monitor, in view of the possibility of putting them in the hands of a special State-appointed commissioner, the sources said.

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino met Wednesday with chief city prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone and delivered a set of documents which sources said may be useful in the ongoing probe. Marino, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) of Premier Matteo Renzi, has so far not been implicated in the investigation of over 100 suspects, including former Rome center-right mayor Gianni Alemanno.

The organisation allegedly run by ex rightwing terrorist and gangster Massimo Carminati, allegedly rigged Rome city contracts worth many millions of euros in sectors ranging from waste disposal to transportation to the management of migrant reception centres and Roma camps. Wiretaps show Carminati did not look forward to Pignatone’s appointment as Rome chief prosecutor, sources said Wednesday. “He won’t play,” the jailed suspect said in a January 2012 wiretap.

“He’ll turn Rome on its head…he did it Calabria…he won’t let politics swallow him up”. Also on Wednesday, sources at city hall said rotation of civil service managers could begin within the next 36 hours. Marino last weekend announced the measure designed to keep city agencies running and corruption-free while the mafia probe runs its course. As well, prosecutors are investigating the December 5 theft of a computer after a late-night break-in into Rome’s parks services and civil protection offices. Police sources said the theft could be linked to the ongoing mafia probe. The security cameras on both buildings had been down for several days, investigative sources told ANSA.

On Tuesday, Renzi vowed that the culprits will be punished to the fullest extent. Renzi also announced that his government will raise the minimum jail term for corruption to six years, and that the statute of limitations for graft felonies will be lengthened. “The corrupt will pay for everything,” Renzi said via his Twitter account, @matteorenzi, as the Italian political world continued to feel the aftershocks of the probe prosecutors revealed last week. He added the changes will be proposed formally later this week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Alleged Gambino Member Among 8 Arrested in Mafia Sweep

Palmieri allegedly came to Italy to demand credit

(ANSA) — Rome, December 11 — Police on Thursday arrested eight people in Italy and the United States on suspicion of mafia crimes, including an alleged member of the Gambino American mafia clan.

Francesco Palmieri was arrested in an apartment in New York after allegedly travelling to Italy under a false identity a few months ago to demand payment of credit dating back 30 years from a businessman in the southern Basilicata region on behalf of the Gambino family, one of New York’s five Cosa Nostra families. Other suspects arrested in Tuesday’s sweep include Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Grillo, who was apprehended at Milan’s Malpensa airport as he was boarding a plane to the US. The suspects all face charges of criminal association for extortion purposes with mafia-style methods and transnationality as aggravating circumstances. The investigation shows “once again the existence of a traditional and consolidated criminal axis between mafia clans operating in the US and organisations based in Italy,” investigators said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘It’s Pork or Nothing’, French Mayor Tells Pupils

A mayor in France has stirred up a hornet’s nest by deciding Muslim pupils at the local school will not be given an alternative meal to pork. The mayor has justified his stance by claiming it’s in the name of secularism.

Another week in France and another row has broken out surrounding secularism or laïcité as it’s is called.

After town halls were told to remove nativity scenes because they were against the principle of “laicïté” one mayor in the south of France has used the same argument to justify “a pork or nothing” policy in his school.

From January 1st pupils in the little town of Sargé-le’s-Le Mans in the Sarthe department of north-western France will not be offered a substitute meal if they don’t eat pork.

This will affect the 15 Muslim pupils in the school who cannot eat pork because it against the dietary rules of their religion. Eating pork is also against the rules of the Jewish religion but it is not believed there are any Jewish pupils at the school…

           — Hat tip: AL [Return to headlines]

Juncker Says Italy ‘Can’t Complain’

EU Pact ‘never been applied in more flexible way’

(ANSA) — Brussels, December 11 — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday Italy “can’t complain” about recent remarks he made in an interview with Avvenire newspaper about possible “unpleasant consequences” for France and Italy. “If there is someone who can’t complain it’s Italy,” Juncker said. The Commission dealt with France and Italy in a “political and non-bureaucratic way”, he added. The EU Stability and Growth Pact “has never been applied in a more flexible way,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kaiser Wilhelm II Faces Pan-European War

On December 8th 1912, Kaiser Wilhelm II summoned his senior officers to his palace in Potsdam to discuss how to deal with a war on two fronts against France, Britain and Russia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Two Italian Parties Calls for Exit From Eurozone

A pair of eurosceptic parties announced Wednesday they have plans to get Italy out of the eurozone, echoing popular anger against the 28-nation bloc.

Northern League head Matteo Salvini — the rising star of an Italian right in disarray — told reporters: “We want to exit the euro.”

He said he misses the days when Italy used the Lira as well as its galloping inflation rate which showed “people were working and consuming.”

At the same time, the populist Five Star Movement announced plans to launch a petition Saturday calling for a referendum on whether Italy should drop the euro, which it described as a currency developed for “Germany and financial oligarchies.”…

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

Italy-Serbia: Vucic in Rome to Boost Partnership

Premier tells ANSA Italian support for EU integration is key

(by Franco Quintano) (ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, DECEMBER 9 — Italy remains one of Serbia’s top partners, both in political and economic terms, and Belgrade believes the constant support of the Italian government is key in its path towards integration in the European Union. This is the message Premier Aleksandar Vucic means to bring to Italian leaders during his trip to Rome, which begins this afternoon through tomorrow.

In an interview with ANSA shortly before his departure for Rome, Vucic stressed the great importance that Italian investors have for Serbia’s economy and employment and praised the growth-oriented economic policy started by the government of Premier Matteo Renzi.

“I am going to Rome to say that Serbia is counting on Italy, that our country means to implement reforms and that it will do its best to guarantee recovery already starting next year, but mostly in 2016-2017. We are counting on further support from Italy along our European path”, said Vucic, who will meet in Rome with Premier Renzi, President Giorgio Napolitano and Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso.

Describing Italy as “one of the most important countries for Serbia”, and “its main commercial partner”, Vucic expressed satisfaction for the arrival of “many Italian investors” whose activity is fundamental for the economy of the Balkan country, which has also been affected by the global crisis and is suffering the consequences of disastrous floods in May. “Italy is carrying out important reforms and supports growth as a new model of economic policy. We share that policy”, he said. “And I believe that Italy, like Serbia, is very interested in regional stability”.

Vucic expressed particular gratitude for the firm and convinced support provided by Italy to Serbia’s European integration process. Serbia officially started EU adhesion talks in January but is still waiting for the opening of the first negotiating chapter.

“Italy, which is wrapping up at the end of the year its semester of EU presidency, is asking for the opening of the first chapters, and we are very grateful for this. But we know that it doesn’t only depend on Italy, there are other countries”, said Vucic.

In the interview with ANSA, the Serbian premier spoke about Russia’s halt to the gas pipeline South Stream project, a decision which he described as “bad news for Serbia”, both in terms of the country’s energy stability and for construction companies involved in the plan.

“There is no doubt I will also discuss this with Renzi to hear what he thinks about it”, he said.

Asked what role Serbia will be able to have with the presidency of OSCE in 2015 for a mediation in the Ukraine crisis (given its good relationship with Moscow) the premier showed he harbored no illusions. “We will do everything possible to stabilize the situation but I don’t expect clamorous results.

The situation is extremely complex and we are a small country”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ICC Refers Libya to Security Council Over Gaddafi’s Son

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday said Libya was in violation of an obligation to hand over murder suspect Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and referred the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

“It is appropriate to make a finding of non-compliance by Libya with the court’s requests for cooperation at issue and refer the matter to the Security Council,” the court said in a statement.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is accused of ordering atrocities in a failed attempt to put down the uprising that led to the toppling and killing of his father, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011…

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

Libyan Troops ‘Heading for Tripoli to Liberate it’, PM Al-Thinni

World abandoned us after Gaddafi, int’l commuty to blame

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has said that a military campaign to liberate Tripoli is continuing. “Our troops are moving towards Tripoli to liberate it,” Thinni told Al Arabiya News Channel, adding that his forces were advancing from the west and would also seize the main border crossing to Tunis. Tripoli is under the control of Islamist Libya Dawn militias that have set up a ‘parallel’ government. Thinni said that Libyan forces were on the edge of Ajaylat (80 kilometers west of Tripoli), where the population “rejoiced on their arrival”.

They will now retake the Ras Jedir border crossing, he said in a lengthy interview, and move towards Tripoli to liberate it.

The Libyan PM estimated that Libya Dawn militias currently control not more than 5-10% of the territory “through repression and torture”, and that 95% of Libyans support the elected parliament and its government. Thinni reiterated his support for UN-mediated dialogue, but said that it must not be “unconditional dialogue. Those who want to contribute are welcome, but they must recognize our legitimacy”.

Al-Thinni also told Al-Arabiya that the international community was to blame for the current situation in Libya, having abandoned the country after ousting Muammar Gaddafi. He added that the weapons should have been destroyed in order to rebuild the state, and that UN sanctions on arms imports put “victims and killers on the same level”. “They want us to fight terrorism, the Islamic State (ISIS) and Ansar Al-Sharia, but without the support of some (nations) brothers, we would not have last this long,” said the PM of the transitional government, who during the lengthy interview thanked the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Thinni added that the UN mission in Libya “uses a double standard”. “When the Libya Dawn militias hit Tripoli and killed civilians, it was silent. When the air force hit the militias’ arms depots, envoy Bernardino Leon called it unacceptable.” “It is our duty to destroy the bases and weapons depots” of the Islamist militias, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iran Claims ‘Conspiracy Against Muslim People’ Drags Down Oil Prices

The sudden oil price fall is the result of “treachery” against the interests of the Muslim world, says Iran’s President Rouhani. The 40 percent drop in oil prices since June has given Iran more significant problems as it’s already living under sanctions.

Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the falling oil price is at least partly “politically motivated.”

“Iran and people of the region will not forget such conspiracies, or in other words, treachery against the interests of the Muslim world,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting, cited by AP.

Oil has fallen to around $65 a barrel since June and seriously endangered the Iranian economy which has already been affected by sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program. The economy of the country is largely dependent on petroleum exports.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Jihadist Violence ‘Killed 5,000 in November’

More than 5,000 people worldwide died in November as a result of jihadist violence, a BBC study has revealed.

The four worst-affected countries were Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria, accounting for 80% of all deaths.

The investigation showed that nearly seven people died every hour in November as a result of violence attributed to al-Qaeda, its offshoots and groups that subscribe to a similar ideology.

The study recorded a daily average of 22 such attacks and 168 fatalities. Islamic State (IS) militants — operating in Iraq and Syria — were responsible for more than 2,000 deaths.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Majority of Educated Women Victim of Violence in Turkey, Survey Reveals

A large majority of Turkish women who work in white-collar jobs and have a university degrees say they have been exposed to some kind of violence at least once in their life, according to a recent survey conducted by the Business Against Domestic Violence-BADV project.

A total of 75 percent of female respondents who work in white-collar jobs and are university graduates said they were exposed to violence at least once in their lives, according to the survey, which was conducted by the Sabanci Univeristy’s Corporate Governance of Turkey with the support of the Dutch government’s Matra fund and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The survey revealed that 8 percent of women were exposed to “physical violence,” while 17 percent said they were exposed to “economic violence.” Forty percent of respondents said they were exposed to “psychological or emotional violence” while 35 percent said they were exposed to “violence in society” at least once…

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

More Than 700 Iraqi Kurd Fighters Killed Since June ISIL Offensive

In this Nov. 19 photo, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) soldiers walk near the town entrance circle heading to their strongholds in Kobani, Syria. AP Photo / Jake Simkin

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said Dec. 10 that 727 of its fighters have been killed in the conflict against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since the jihadists launched their offensive in June.

A statement from the region’s military forces, known as the peshmerga, said 3,564 members of the Kurdish security forces had also been wounded over the past six months…

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

Saudi Arabia: ISIS ‘Supporters’ Arrested for Shooting Dane

A Saudi government official has said that thee citizens have been arrested for the “vile attack” on a Danish man in Riyadh last month.

Three supporters of the Islamic State (Isis) group in Saudi Arabia have been arrested for shooting and wounding a Danish citizen last month, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

“The perpetrators of this vile attack, three Saudis, have been arrested,” ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Secularism Damages Religious Life in Turkey, Says Top Religious Body Official

Globalization and secularism have “changed and damaged” religious life in Turkish society, a senior official from the Directorate General of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has said, citing a recent survey about religion in Turkey.

“People’s loyalty to religion is high. But it should be expressed that different curriculums and education systems, the pressures of secularism, and particularly the globalization that Turkey is experiencing, has changed and damaged the details of society’s religious life,” Necdet Subasi, the head of the Diyanet’s Strategy Development Department, told the “5th Religion Council” in Ankara.

“The data confirms this. Some 67.5 percent of Turkish society says it is ‘very sensitive in religious matters,’ while the rest are confused and have a destination problem,” said Subasi, citing a recent survey conducted by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) for Diyanet…

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

Ruble Fall, Sanctions Hurt Russia’s Economy, Says Medvedev

The weakness of the ruble is hurting Russia, which has lost tens of billions of dollars because of sanctions imposed by the West in the Ukraine crisis, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Dec. 10.

In a sober assessment of an economy edging towards recession, Medvedev said Russia should reduce its reliance on energy exports, which makes it vulnerable to falls in the global price of oil.

But he said Russia still had options, such as its companies and banks turning to Asia for funds and boosting domestic production to reduce dependence on imports, and added that history proved sanctions could not hold back a country for long…

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

Russia Charms Uzbekistan With Massive Debt Writeoff

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday agreed to write off most of the debt owed by Uzbekistan in an apparent bid to steer the Central Asian country towards joining the Eurasian Economic Union.

Uzbekistan and Russia agreed to hold consultations on the possibility of a free trade zone between Uzbekistan and the Moscow-led union, Putin said after talks with Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov.

“We have agreed that we will begin consultations on the possible signing of the agreement between Uzbekistan and the Eurasian Economic Union on free trade zone,” he told reporters…

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

India to Get 10 Nuclear Reactors in Russian Cooperation Deal

Countries to boost cooperation in nuclear power and defence

(ANSA) — New Delhi, December 11 — India and Russia on Thursday announced plans to build at least 10 nuclear reactors on Indian soil. The project is part of a broader agreement to boost nuclear and defence cooperation between the two countries.

India already has a nuclear reactor operating at the Russian-built power station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, with a second reactor due to come onstream next year.

The new reactors will be built “thanks to cooperation with our Russian friends,” Indian Premier Narendra Modi said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: East Java: Three Students Caught Drunk Caned at (Moderate) Muslim School

The Jombang Institute is linked to the Nahdlatul Ulama, the most important moderate Muslim movement. Young people could “choose” between expulsion, caning being tied to a tree for three days. The Ministry for Religious Affairs expresses concern and calls for “non-violent methods”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Moderate Muslims and civil society are expressing concern following a video on Youtube in which three young students at an Islamic school in Jombang, East Java province, are brutally caned 35 times by their teacher. With the exception of Aceh, where the rule of Islamic law is enforced, the use of such a method of punishment is not common practice in Indonesian provinces. The heads of the institute explained that the boys had been caught drunk inside the building, after having consumed large quantities of alcohol (which is forbidden in Islam).

A further cause for dismay is the fact that Jombang, and in general the area of East Java, is where the seat of the most important moderate Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is based. Among the illustrious citizens of Jombang there is also the former President, Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, an icon of the struggle for integration between different faiths and interfaith harmony in Indonesia, as well as an important leader in the history of Nu. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the school where the violence was perpetrated is headed by a Muslim religious leader who belongs to Nahdlatul Ulama.

The head of ‘pesantrem’ — the Islamic school — Kiai Hajj Mohammad Qoyim confirmed the reports with no qualms noting that “caning (pictured) is practiced only for serious offenses.” He added that the three students were beaten with a sharp stick with the consent of their parents. The boys could leave school, he concludes, but have decided to stay and face punishment: remorse and caning.

Amongst the “alternative” punishments offered by the school, that of being tied to a tree for three days, but they preferred to be caned because “it was a quicker solution.” A punishment inflicted “out of love”, because they had “gravely violated the rules of the institution.”

In the past, another student was reportedly punished with a thousand lashes, for a case of adultery.

Questioned on the matter, the Indonesian Minister for Religious Affairs, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin (Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world), expressed his concern and his hope that such severe punishments be no longer put into practice. To educate young people, he added, “non-violent techniques must be used”.

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

Malaysian Christians Furious Over Hundreds of Desecrated Bibles

Muslim authorities in Selangor returned 321 copies seized in January after stamping them with a warning against distribution in the state because it contained the word ‘Allah’ for the Christian God, which is something offensive to Muslims. Christian leaders are preparing a formal complaint.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Malaysia’s Christian leaders are furious that hundreds of Bibles seized earlier this year and returned last month were desecrated by Muslim authorities in the State of Selangor.

The 321 copies were returned to Sarawak Christians after being stamped with a warning to ensure that the copies of the Holy Book containing the word Allah did not return to the state, the Sultan of Selangor Sharafuddin Idris Shah said.

According to the Association of Churches of Sarawak (ACS), the discovery was made only after the books were returned on 14 November at an official ceremony. Conversely, for the state’s sultan, Christian leaders were aware of the addition.

Local Christian sources said that the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), which owns the copies seized on 1 January by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), is preparing a formal complaint against what they call an added provocation.

Bibles contain a warning issued by Muslim religious authorities that says, “Strictly for non-Muslims usage only and shall not be published or used in any part of the state of Selangor”.

Such a Bible can therefore be used only in Sarawak (as in Sabah), in Malaysian Borneo, home to substantial Christian community.

Meanwhile, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah released an official statement, calling on non-Muslims to respect and protect the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Malaysia, in particular, in Selangor. “I hope that there are no more printing and distribution of copies of the Bible in Selangor with the word Allah,” the statement said.

A controversial Appeal Court ruling against the Malaysian Catholic weekly Herald using the word Allah is main reason for this year’s attacks — Bible seizure, church attacks and grave desecrations — against minority Christians.

Following the court decision, Interior Ministry officials seized 2,000 copies of the magazine published by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur at Kota Kinabalu airport, in Sabah State.

The seizure was “justified” by the need to check whether the publication complied with a court decision against the “illegal use of the word Allah”.

In Malaysia, a mostly Muslim nation (60 per cent) of more than 28 million, Christians are the third largest religious group after Buddhists with more than 2.6 million members.

A Latin-Malay dictionary published 400 year ago shows that ‘Allah’ was used in the Bible from the start to refer to God in the local language.

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

Malaysia: Islamic Scholars Say Playing Guitar and Piano Against Islamic Law

By Robert Spencer

YusufIslamThis is why Cat Stevens gave up music when he became Yusuf Islam, although his return to music suggests that these prohibitions can be set aside for purposes of dawah. In any case, this prohibition is not limited to Malaysian Islamic scholars, as it is founded on the hadiths below. It is consistent with the general denial of life, creativity, beauty and artistic endeavor that we see in many other areas with Sharia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Malala Sees Herself as Premier in 20 Years

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai said on Thursday at an Oslo press conference that she could see herself becoming prime minister of her country in about 20 years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Suicide Bomber Attacks French School in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber detonated explosives killing at least one person and wounding 15 others during an event at a French-run high school in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Thursday, the deputy interior minister said.

General Ayoub Salangi said the suspected bomber was about 16 years old and detonated his explosive vest inside the Lycée Esteqlal, where the French Cultural Centre was hosting a music performance at the time.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hong Kong Police Arrest Protesters After Clearing Camp

Admiralty dismantled in ‘end’ to pro-democracy protest

(ANSA) — Hong Kong, December 11 — Hong Kong police on Thursday began arresting people who remained at the site of the main camp used in recent pro-democracy protests after it was dismantled under judicial orders.

Thousands of people have been blocking roads and bus lanes at Admiraly in the city centre since late September in protest over a decision by Beijing to screen candidates for 2017 elections in the former British colony.

However on Thursday police told the hundreds of remaining demonstrators to leave or face arrest before moving in to dismantle the camp. Police have already cleared two other sites occupied by members of ‘Occupy Central’ and student associations at Mong Kok and Causeway Bay.

An opposition representative denied that the move signified the failure of the protest, insisting it had raised political progress in Hong Kong to a new level. Meanwhile four protest organizers were arrested in their homes on Thursday, pro-democracy supporters said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Study Showing Half of Liberian Girls, Women Undergo FGM Not a Surprise

by Phyllis Chesler

A recent study has documented that nearly half (49.8%) of all Liberian women have been genitally mutilated but this practice seems to be decreasing among younger girls. The practice is not considered a crime.

In fact, the Central West African region that practices FGM, especially Liberia and Sierra Leone, are unique in certain ways.

Although the Dutch, Portuguese, and British had trading posts in West Africa, Liberia was first colonized by free American Blacks in the early 19th century. This was an Abolitionist vision, one which President Thomas Jefferson shared. Britain settled the Black Poor of London in Sierre Leone.

The Americo-Liberians created a cultural and racial caste system with themselves at the top and the indigenous Liberians at the bottom. They practiced slavery. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, after years of terrible and unending civil wars, both traditional, Christian, and Muslim pro-peace Liberian women took to the streets; eventually they helped elect a Christian woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as President.

This is not surprising. Liberia (40% traditional religions, 40% Christianity and traditional religions, 20% Muslim); Sierre Leone (60% Muslim, 30% Christian, 10% traditional religions); Guinea (85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% traditional); Ivory Coast (39% Muslim, 30% 17% Atheist, 12% Christian), are all countries which initiate girls into the traditionally mandatory Sande Society…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

Fidel Castro Wins China’s ‘Confucius Peace Prize’

Fidel Castro has been awarded China’s version of the Nobel Peace Prize, reports said Thursday, with a newspaper close to the ruling Communist Party hailing the former Cuban leader’s “important contributions” to world peace.

Castro bested more than 20 nominees including South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional group led by Moscow and Beijing, to win this year’s “Confucius Peace Prize”, the state-run Global Times reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: Deadlock With Syrian Refugees on Syntagma Square Closer to Resolution

After nearly three weeks of sleeping in makeshift tents on Syntagma Square, a protest by 330 Syrian refugees seeking permission to travel to Northern Europe appeared closer to a resolution Wednesday after 40 members of the group applied for asylum in Greece.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Two More Arrests in Rome Mafia Case ‘Ndrangheta Link

Massive investigation rocks city of Rome

(ANSA) — Rome, December 11 — Carabinieri on Thursday arrested two more people as part of a massive probe into an suspected mafia organisation that allegedly muscled in on Rome city contracts in waste management, transportation, and migrant reception centers. Rocco Rotolo and Salvatore Ruggiero are accused of mafia association and are suspected of linking cooperatives controlled by Roman mobsters with the Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta syndicate.

Ruggiero, whom investigators say is linked to the Mancuso clan of the Calabrian mob, has been employed since 2009 in a company called Roma Multiservizi SpA, which is partially owned by the city of Rome. Its president since 2013 was Franco Panzironi, who has been arrested on charges of mafia association, corruption and bid-rigging.

Panzironi is thought to be the right-hand man of ex rightwing terrorist and gangster Massimo Carminati, the alleged leader of the Rome mob who is now also behind bars. As well, investigators said Panzironi was an employee in 1998-1999 of the June 29 Cooperative led by fellow jailed suspect Salvatore Buzzi, a former manslaughter convict who headed several cooperatives implicated in the mafia probe.

Buzzi was wiretapped apparently boasting about how much profit his gang was making by scamming city reception centres for refugees and migrants.

“Do you have any idea how much I make on these immigrants?” Buzzi allegedly said in a wiretap from early 2013 contained in prosecution documents.

“Drug trafficking is not as profitable. We closed this year with turnover of 40 million but…our profits all came from the gypsies (Roma people), the housing emergency and the immigrants”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden Slammed for ‘Sexist’ Street Signs

Thousands of streets in Sweden are named after people, but new figures suggest only 14 percent refer to women, despite the country’s reputation for gender equality.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Here Are the Reasons Oil is Plunging Toward $60

Oil’s stunning price collapse is undoubtedly one of 2014’s top stories and will remain a major theme for investors in 2015. Indeed, oil futures CLF5, have plunged 38% from the beginning of the year, including carnage in Wednesday trading that saw oil trade in the $60 neighborhood, while Brent LCOF5, is down 42% for the year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/11/2014

  1. Yes, I noticed that the Golden Dawn’s icon has been described as a ‘swastika’ when it is in fact a Greek Key design that probably is of Bronze Age origin.

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