Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/21/2014

Another bomb exploded outside a housing office in the southern Swedish city of Malmö. The same location had been bombed the previous night, and a total of three bombs have exploded in the area over the space of two days.

In other news, in the French city of Dijon a man shouting “Allahu Akhbar” drove his car deliberately into crowds of pedestrians at five different locations, injuring eleven people.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Argentina: VP Boudou to Stand Trial for ‘Illegal Car Purchase’
» China Seeks to Use Yuan More in Trade With Russia
» Detective: Shooter Said: ‘Watch What I’m Going to Do’
» EU Launches New Trade Dispute With US Over Boeing Subsidies: WTO
» Maine Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend, Two Children
» Satanic Temple: Christian State Senator Mount Dueling Displays Outside Michigan Capitol
» US Reportedly Asks China to Help Curb North Korea’s Cyberattack Abilities
Europe and the EU
» Agreement on High-Speed Rail Link Belgrade-Budapest
» Czech Kofola Group to Acquire Slovenian Radenska
» France: Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Drives Into Crowd
» France Dijon: Driver Targets City Pedestrians
» Hourly Labour Cost: New Europe at the Bottom of Rankings
» Italy: Fincantieri to Build Two New Carnival Ships
» Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Drives Into Crowd in France, Injuring 11
» Netherlands: Poll Today: PVV Nr 1
» Sweden: Malmö Office Hit by Second Bomb in Two Days
» Unicredit Buys Poland’s Skok Kopernik Bank
» Where Are the World’s Oldest Wines?
North Africa
» Egyptian Jailed for 10 Years for Spying for Israel
» Morocco and EU Wage ‘War of Tomatoes’
Middle East
» Deadly Attack on Yemen Tribal Chief Sparks Ambush
» PM Accuses EU of ‘Dirty Campaign’ Against Turkey
» UN Asks Israel to Pay Lebanon $856 Million for Oil Spill
South Asia
» Tattoos Embody Afghan Social Revolution, But Critics Push Back
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria’s Boko Haram Extremists Pose Regional Threat With Cross-Border Attacks and Recruitment
» Sweden: Shots Fired at Stockholm Migrant Camp: Report

Argentina: VP Boudou to Stand Trial for ‘Illegal Car Purchase’

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — For the first time in the history of the Republic of Argentina, a sitting Vice-President will be tried for corruption charges as a judge in Buenos Aires has charged second-in-command Amado Boudou with the “irregular” purchase of a car over two decades ago.

In June of this year, the 52-year-old Boudou was suspected of benefiting from illegal enrichment and was summoned by Judge Ariel Lijo to the hulking Palace of Justice in Buenos Aires, and was quickly escorted by security officials to the third floor of the building that houses the nation’s Supreme Court. He was being investigated for “passive bribery and incompatible negotiations.”

While hundreds of flag-waving supporters of Boudou stood outside, Lijo alleged that Boudou committed bribery in order to purchase a printing company while he served as the nation’s Economy Minister (2009-2011). Boudou was summoned for questioning, but a trial date has not been set as of yet in that case.

Now, a different judge has charged Boudou with a different crime: Claudio Bonado of Buenos Aires accused Boudou of falsifying documents while he purchased an automobile in 1992.

The problem, however, is that Boudou’s ex-wife Daniela Andriuolo filed a segment of the case during divorce proceedings that alleged the automobile was purchased in 1993 jointly, and thus, formed part of the items Andriuolo objected to being awarded to Boudou. The Vice-President, meanwhile, documented that the car was his in 2003, some five years after the divorce case was initially finalized.

While the case was initially thrown out, it was re-filed in the Civil Court of Mar del Plata, the coastal city where the couple previously lived during part of the year, and Boudou was accused of forgery and fraud in relation to the purchase of the car. Boudou’s defense was that the documents were frauds and that the case was politically motivated.

His defense has merit; Bonadio, the judge at the center of the car forgery case, has been understandably criticized by the ruling Front for Victory, the party of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. However, Bonadio has also been singled out by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the past for spearheading politically-based cases.

In the 1970s, Bonadio was a member of the Iron Guard, a notorious, right-wing sector of the Peronists. The big-tent political theory and unit, named after populist leader Juan Domingo Perón and split along political lines, would be decimated by the military several times but return to power in 2003 through Néstor Kirchner and then his wife, incumbent Fernández de Kirchner, both of whom belong to the center-left faction of the Peronists. The right-wing sector now belongs to the opposition.

Bonadio ruled in 2008 that the 1955 Massacre of the Plaza de Mayo, when over 350 supporters of Perón were killed by aerial bombing in the public square, was not a crime against humanity committed by the state, despite the fact that it was carried out by the military and air force which would depose Perón two months later.

The judge was denounced by the Anti-Corruption Office of Argentina for “suspicious dealings” in several cases where individuals were pardoned, and those individuals were those in the comptroller’s office that served during the time Bonadio was inserted into the Federal Court. He has also been repeatedly called to report by the Judicial Council for “poor performance.”

Finally, Bonadio was listed as one of the federal judges favorable to the then-ruling governments of neo-liberals Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rúa by Domingo Cavallo, who served under both leaders as Economic Minister and led Argentina to financial ruin after initially reducing inflation.

Boudou has also been criticized by PRO, the Renovator Front and the United Broad Front, parties in opposition to the government and as Boudou was handpicked by Fernández de Kirchner as her running-mate for her second term in 2011 (and as she has continued supporting him), Boudou has become a favorite target of the opposition, and they even attempted to impeach him unsuccessfully.

In regard to Fernández de Kirchner, Bonadio has also sniffed at her tracks: last week, he ordered a raid on the firm in Patagonia that operates a hotel owned by the President in the winter resort-town of El Calafate.

The sudden appearance of the car-purchase case against Boudou, as well as a seemingly endless line of baseless accusations levelled at government officials, has irked the President, who said she is “tired” of these events that seem to happen simply because the figures are “Kirchnerists.”

Indeed, her government has locked horns repeatedly with the country’s media giant Grupo Clarín, who is opposed to an audiovisual reform that the government says will level the playing field (and is supported by the UN and the local journalists’ association). For this reason, it is truly difficult to tell whether the dailies are simply dragging names through the mud or if the figures are actually culpable of corruption.

As for Boudou, no date has been set for the trial thus far, and it is unknown whether it will begin before his mandate expires (along with the President’s) on December 10, 2015. If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to anywhere from one to six years in prison. Until then, the opposition will surely continue to symbolically (as they do not have a majority) call for Boudou to be impeached.

Boudou was first implicated in wrongdoing in February of 2012 through the so-called Ciccone Case. The case was named so for the business at the center of the controversy, the printing house known as Ciccone Calcográfica. The segment of the Economic Ministry responsible for the revenue service of Argentina, the AFIP, listed the business as ‘bankrupt’ in July of 2010 but reversed the decision after a cash injection, later revealed to have been supplied by businessman Alejandro Vandenbroele, saved the company.

The revelations continued as it was made known that Boudou, then Economic Minister (2009-2011), used his influence within the Economic Ministry to urge the AFIP to extend the refinance deadline for Ciccone. Then, Ciccone was contracted by various government ministries as the printer of monetary notes, license plates and other government items.

Documents surfaced that showed Vandenbroele paid for rent and cable television and internet service in an upscale apartment lived in by Boudou, but the evidence was thrown out on the grounds that the apartment was actually owned by a friend of Vandenbroele’s who had moved to Spain.

The cases have had major implications for Boudou, who was previously thought to be a potential candidate on behalf of the Front for Victory in 2015 as Fernández de Kirchner is constitutionally term-limited.

Boudou, born in the capital of Buenos Aires to an Argentine mother and father of French ancestry, earned a degree in economics from the National University in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, and then moved to Buenos Aires to attend the Argentine Macroeconomic Studies Center where he earned a master’s degree in the same field.

He co-founded a sanitation services company before working for the state in 1998 when he joined the ANSES, or the National Social Security Administration of Argentina. He served as the Finance Secretary of Mar del Plata and became Executive Director upon his return to ANSES in 2008., and in the following year, became Economy Minister.

In his position as the Economy Minister, Boudou sided with president Fernández de Kirchner on issues like debt swap bonds, tax increases, the limiting of dollars and other currency controls, foreign debt issues, the nationalization of the state oil company YPF from Spanish stockholders Repsol, and the contentious relationship between Fernández and the nation’s two largest newspapers, Clarín and La Nación.

In 2011, Boudou was chosen by Fernández de Kirchner to be his vice-presidential running mate in the same elections, and the pair easily ran out winners in a blow-out victory.

Since then, Boudou has filled in for the President twice, taking care of presidential duties for twenty days while Fernández de Kirchner was recovering from a surgery to remove a cancerous growth on her thyroid, a growth which later was deemed to be non-cancerous.

Then, last year, he spent another month as the caretaker for Fernández de Kirchner after she began recovering from a surgery to remove a subdural hematoma.

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

China Seeks to Use Yuan More in Trade With Russia

BEIJING — China’s trade minister proposed more use of China’s currency in settling trade with Russia in the face of a falling ruble to ensure safe and reliable trade, Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix TV reported on Saturday.

The ruble has fallen about 45 percent against the dollar this year, and suffered particularly steep falls early last week. President Vladimir Putin has declined to call it a crisis and said it would eventually rise again.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said the use of China’s yuan, or renminbi, has been increasing for several years but western sanctions on Russia had made the trend more prominent, Phoenix TV said on its website

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Detective: Shooter Said: ‘Watch What I’m Going to Do’

NEW YORK — The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their car told two bystanders moments earlier to “watch what I’m going to do,” the city’s top detective says.

The police department’s chief of detectives, Robert Boyce, said Sunday that Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, talked to two people on the street moments before the shooting, told them to follow him on the social media site Instagram and said they should watch what he was about to do.

Boyce said Brinsley had a record of at least 19 arrests, most of them in Georgia and four in Ohio. He had attempted suicide, the detective said, and was estranged from his sisters. He had a violent childhood, and his mother said she was afraid of him, Boyce said.

He said there were 10 eyewitnesses to the shooting of the two officers, Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, as they sat in their patrol car Saturday, and as many witnesses to Brinsley’s last moments when he turned the gun on himself on a subway platform a short time later.

Brinsley did not have any known gang affiliations and had not made religious statements on social media examined thus far, Boyce said. He said Brinsley had voiced anger with the government, burned a flag and made comments about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who died during during confrontations with police…

[Return to headlines]

EU Launches New Trade Dispute With US Over Boeing Subsidies: WTO

The EU launched Friday a fresh trade dispute at the World Trade Organization, charging that the United States was providing “billions of dollars” in unfair subsidies to help Boeing build its new 777X jet.

The European Union said the United States was breaking WTO rules by offering “vastly expanded” tax incentives to the airplane maker, to ensure it develops, builds and sells its new model in the state of Washington.

Brussels said it had launched its request for consultations Friday in response to a decision by Washington State in November 2013, to extend subsidies to Boeing originally granted through 2024 until 2040…

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

Maine Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend, Two Children

(Reuters) — A 27-year-old man was arrested in Maine on Sunday and charged with killing his girlfriend and her two young children, whose bodies were discovered in their mobile home a day earlier, state police said.

Keith Coleman, of Garland, about 28 miles northwest of Bangor, was charged with three counts of murder and was awaiting a first court appearance either Monday or Tuesday, Maine State Police said in a news release.

He had been sought in connection with the killing of his girlfriend Christina Sargent, 36 and her two children, ages 8 and 10, at the mobile home they shared with Coleman, police said.

[Return to headlines]

Satanic Temple: Christian State Senator Mount Dueling Displays Outside Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Christians and Satanists put up competing displays Sunday on the Michigan Capitol grounds as Christmas week got underway.

The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple set up its “Snaketivity Scene” featuring a snake offering a book called “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift. The snake is wrapped around the Satanic cross on the 3-feet-by-3-feet display. Capitol rules require that displays have to be taken down each night.

In a videotaped interview with the Lansing State Journal, Satanic Temple spokeswoman Jex Blackmore said her group doesn’t worship Satan but does promote individuality, compassion and views that differ from Christian and conservative beliefs…

[Return to headlines]

US Reportedly Asks China to Help Curb North Korea’s Cyberattack Abilities

The Obama administration has asked China for help with curbing North Korea’s ability to launch cyberattacks like the one federal officials say crippled Sony Pictures, according to a published report.

The New York Times reports that the White House requested help from Beijing in recent days, but the Chinese have not responded. However, a senior Obama administration official claimed to the Associated Press that the U.S. and China have shared information about the Sony attack. The official also says China agrees with the U.S. that destructive cyberattacks violate the norms of appropriate behavior in cyberspace.

The United States has previously attempted to use China as a channel for influencing North Korean policy, particularly on matters such as nuclear tests, weapons launches, and relations with South Korea. However, successes have been rare and fleeting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Agreement on High-Speed Rail Link Belgrade-Budapest

On the sidelines of China-Central & Eastern Europe summit

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — Two cooperation agreements between the Railways of Serbia and Hungary towards the construction, thanks to Chinese funding, of a high-speed railway line between Budapest and Belgrade were signed today in Belgrade, on the sidelines of the summit between China and 16 Central and Eastern Europe countries, which is going to end today in the Serbian capital city. The signing of the documents took place in the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Serbia’s PM Aleksandar Vucic, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Macedonia’s Nikola Gruevski.

The new high-speed rail link might be extended, in the future, to Macedonia and Greece. According to Li Keqiang, the new railway line will be a driver of economic development both in Serbia and Hungary, for the sake of the peoples of both countries, and of other countries in the region, both those which are EU members and those that are not EU members yet.

According to Li Keqiang, the new line may be ready within two years. Vucic spoke of a ‘great and important day’ for Serbia, since the project is aimed at promoting the industry and at creating new jobs. According to Serbian PM, by means of this high-speed rail link, the travel time between Belgrade and Budapest will be reduced ‘from the current 8 hours to 2 hours and 40 minutes, a time which is shorter than a journey by car on the motorway (about 4 hours). At the end of the summit China-Central & Eastern Europe, Li Keqiang will be — this afternoon and until tomorrow — on his bilateral visit to Serbia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Czech Kofola Group to Acquire Slovenian Radenska

Bottled mineral water producer founded in 1869

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — One of the biggest producers of non-alcolic beverages in South East Europe, the Czech ‘Kofola’ — will shortly become the majority owner of the famous Slovenian producer of bottled mineral water, Radenska, the media in Prague reported, stating that this would be the biggest acquisition in Kofola’s history.

Kofola that has signed today with Pivovarna Lasko an agreement for the sale of 3,812,023 shares of the company Radenska (75,3% of the total shares), controlled by Lasko, at a price of euro 13.59 per 1 share. The total value of the transaction is 51,8 million euros. The Agreement is subject to several conditions precedent which have to be met before the completion of the transaction, expected in the next three months, says Pivovarna Lasko .

According to the Czech Hospodarske Noviny, Kofola will buy 35 million euros worth of shares from the current majority owner of Radenska, Lasko brewery. Kofola will also take responsibility for 32 million euros of debt accumulated by Radenska. Founded in 1869, Radenska is one of the most known Slovenian brands abroad.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Drives Into Crowd

A man heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) has driven into a crowd of people in the eastern French city of Dijon. At least 11 people were injured in the attack, two of them seriously.

It came a day after French police shot dead another man who stabbed three officers in a police station. The 20-year-old was also heard shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France Dijon: Driver Targets City Pedestrians

A driver shouting “God is great” in Arabic has run down pedestrians in the French city of Dijon, injuring 11, two seriously, French media say.

He was arrested after targeting pedestrians at five locations.

The suspect is “apparently imbalanced and had been in a psychiatric hospital”, a source close to the investigation said.

French police shot dead a man on Saturday after he attacked them with a knife, also shouting “God is great”.

The lives of the two people seriously injured in Dijon are not said to be in danger.

Witnesses told police the driver had said he was “acting for the children of Palestine”, the source told the AFP news agency.

There were two other passengers in the car at the time, according to some reports.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Hourly Labour Cost: New Europe at the Bottom of Rankings

Eurostat, in 2012, Bulgaria, Romania & Lithuania are the worst

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — Europe is a continent largely united under the blue flag with twelve stars, though with strong differences, at least in terms of labor cost, according to Eurostat, which has drawn a diagram of the hourly labour cost in the European Union, based on general economic data, excluding agriculture and public administration.

On average, according to the EU statistical office, in 2012 the hourly labour cost was 24.2 euros, 29.3 in the Eurozone (in Italy 28 euros), but that figure “hides significant differences among the Member States”, with Denmark leading with 40.1 euros and Bulgaria at the bottom of the ranking with just 3.4 euro per hour.

According to Eurostat, in 2012 the four countries with the lowest hourly labour cost in the EU were all located in the area of “ New Europe “: along withto Bulgaria, Romania (4.1 euro), Lithuania (5,9) and Latvia (6.0). Consideration must be given to Czech Republic (average hourly cost 10 euros), Estonia (8.6), Croatia (9.5), Hungary (7.4), Poland (7.9), Slovenia (15.6 ), Slovakia (9.0). At the top of the ranking, Germany (31.6) and Austria (30.5).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Fincantieri to Build Two New Carnival Ships

Italian shipyard climbs back to pre-crisis levels

(ANSA) — Milan, December 19 — Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri announced on Friday that it will build two new cruise ships for Carnival Corporation, adding two more to its successful 2014 output that climbed back to pre-crisis levels.

Fincantieri will build Carnival Vista’s 26th ship — a 133,500 ton, 3,954-passenger vessel. The company will also build a 99,500 ton, 2,650-passenger vessel for the company’s Holland America brand.

In 2014, the company was awarded eight of 16 ships commissioned throughout the year, it said Since 1990, Fincantieri has built 67 ships, and is expected to produce 17 more by 2018, including eight for Carnival.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Drives Into Crowd in France, Injuring 11

A driver shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) as he ploughed into a crowd in the eastern French city of Dijon on Sunday injuring 11 people, two seriously, a source close to the investigation said.

“The man, born in 1974, is apparently imbalanced and had been in a psychiatric hospital,” the source told AFP, adding that “for now his motives are still unclear”.

The attack came the day after a French convert to Islam was shot dead after attacking three police officers with a knife while also reportedly crying “Allahu Akbar” in the central town of Joue-les-Tours.

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

Netherlands: Poll Today: PVV Nr 1

In the last poll this year from today (attached) the PVV virtually won again two seats and is now even bigger (30 seats, 20 percent of the vote) than the two governing parties PvdA and VVD together. The short message of PVV-leader Geert Wilders to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte: ‘The revolution in The Netherlands has started now, Mark.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Malmö Office Hit by Second Bomb in Two Days

A second bomb exploded outside a housing office in the Malmö district of Rosengård Saturday night. It had already been targeted by another bomb the previous night.

“Some windows have been broken. Both in the office which belongs to an estate agent and in an apartment next door”, Skåne police chief Magnus Lefèvre told Swedish Radio News Malmö.

This is the third bomb in the same area in just two days, a car bomb also detonated in the area Friday night. Police say they cannot yet confirm if the blasts were linked.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Unicredit Buys Poland’s Skok Kopernik Bank

Ghizzoni: step agreed with authorities, 30 mln investment

(ANSA) — MILAN — UniCredit acquired, through its Polish subsidiary, Bank Pekao, a cooperative bank which operates in Silesia, Skok Kopernik, with 100 million assets. This is what Unicredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni reported during a press conference, stating that the small institution “had financial problems and was acquired after coming to an agreement with Polish authorities”. The investment amounts to 30 million euros, of which 24 guaranteed by a local fund.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Where Are the World’s Oldest Wines?

For a wine to be ancient, still in bottle or cask and not vinegar, it more or less has to be fortified — although there are famous exceptions. Top-quality Loire Chenin Blanc can last for decades, as those who come across 19th-century Vouvrays and the Moulin Touchais Anjous can attest. Kloster Eberbach in Germany’s Rheingau has bottles of Rieslings going back to 1706 and the Ratskeller of Bremen contains even older German wine, albeit in a different form. Michael Broadbent MW notes in his magisterial Vintage Wine, a record of the thousands of fine wines he tasted over 50 years at the helm of Christie’s wine department, that this Hanseatic trading city’s official cellars house large casks of extremely ancient German whites. The oldest is dated 1653, containing wine he describes as ‘very sharp and not very nice’, but these are casks which have routinely been topped up with much younger wines.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egyptian Jailed for 10 Years for Spying for Israel

An Egyptian court has jailed a Suez Canal shipping services manager for 10 years on charges of spying for Israel about naval movements through the strategic waterway, state media reported.

The court in the canal city of Port Said also handed down life sentences in absentia to two Israelis it found guilty of being the Egyptian’s handlers, the official MENA news agency reported late Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Morocco and EU Wage ‘War of Tomatoes’

Moroccan exports invade Europe, Europeans go to Commission

(ANSAmed) — RABAT, DECEMBER 17 — Morocco and Europe have waged a “war of tomatoes”. Rabat has “flooded” the European market with exports exceeding 50% of last year’s volume and Spanish, French and Italian producers are trying to form a united front against it and appealing to the European Commission.

The alarm was first raised in Marseille where the market of Saint-Charles, the main doorstep to food products in Europe, registered a 66% increase in imports in October and a 55% increase in November, alarming producers in the Old Continent.

Spanish, French and Italian producers under the Fepex group denounced the “chaos in Moroccan exports disrupting the union’s market with disastrous consequences, in particular for the three countries”.

Across the Mediterranean area, the legal war of tomatoes has been waged for years. The last agreement dates back to last spring. But constant squabbles with Morocco can emerge from the bloc’s farming policies until 2020.

The kingdom of Mohammed VI is the fifth exporter of tomatoes worldwide. Tomato exports represent 53% of overall exports in the agricultural sector with an annual average of 450,000 tons, at least until 2013, for a turnover of 3,500 million dirham, almost 315 million euros. The sum represents 11% of the total value of food exports. And the European market absorbs 85% of exports of tomatoes, especially the round type, which mostly arrive in France and Spain, and slightly less in Italy. A system of quotas, forfeit import values and exemptions from custom duties regulates prices though the balance is precarious.

The protocol of agreement between Europe and Morocco provides for Europe to intervene when Moroccan imports exceed average levels so as not to disturb the market and damage the sector, as is the case now, according to European producers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Deadly Attack on Yemen Tribal Chief Sparks Ambush

Four bodyguards of a Sunni tribal chief were killed on Sunday near Yemen’s capital by Shiite militiamen of the Ansarullah group, a tribal source said, sparking an ambush in reprisal.

The four were killed when the militiamen, also known as Huthis, blew up the house of Sheikh Yahia Taqi of the Islamist Al-Islah party at al-Makarib in the Arhab area, the source said.

Local tribes then ambushed an Ansarullah convoy of four vehicles carrying reinforcements, “killing or wounding around 30”, a local official said…

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

PM Accuses EU of ‘Dirty Campaign’ Against Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday accused the European Union of starting a “dirty campaign” against Turkey by criticising the arrests of opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey’s already stalled membership bid to join the EU has suffered a further blow amid the row with the 28-nation bloc over last weekend’s raids on journalists, scriptwriters and police.

Speaking at a congress of his ruling party in Ankara, Davutoglu lashed out at the EU for rushing to issue a statement criticising the raids last Sunday.

“The EU even made its statement on a holiday. With this statement, they started a dirty campaign concerning our government,” he told the congress…

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

UN Asks Israel to Pay Lebanon $856 Million for Oil Spill

Israel was asked by the UN General Assembly to compensate Lebanon for $856.4 million in oil spill damages it caused during its 2006 war with Hezbollah.

The non-binding vote, which passed 170-6, asks Israel on Friday to offer “prompt and adequate compensation” to Lebanon and other countries affected by the oil spill’s pollution.

In a statement, Israel condemned the resolution as biased against the nation, Israeli media reported.

The oil spill was caused by Israel’s air force when it bombed oil tanks near a coastal Lebanese power plant during the fierce month-long war with Hezbollah fighters…

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

Tattoos Embody Afghan Social Revolution, But Critics Push Back

Exposure to Western culture since 2001 has transformed Afghanistan’s previously isolated society, and a love of tattoos has taken hold ? despite inking parlours being illegal.

Under the Taliban’s tough 1996-2001 regime, personal fashion statements were outlawed and police squads patrolled the streets looking for men who had beards that were too short or hair that was too long.

Now, 13 years after the Taliban were ousted, young men in Kabul, Herat and other cities wear skinny jeans and embroidered jackets, and take pride in elaborate hairstyles sculpted with thick gel…

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

Nigeria’s Boko Haram Extremists Pose Regional Threat With Cross-Border Attacks and Recruitment

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Thousands of members of Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremist Boko Haram group strike across the border in Cameroon, with coordinated attacks on border towns, a troop convoy and a major barracks.

Further north, Boko Haram employs recruits from Chad to enforce its control in northeastern Nigerian towns and cities.

In Niger, the government has declared a “humanitarian crisis” and appealed for international aid to help tens of thousands of Nigerian refugees driven from their homes by the insurgency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Shots Fired at Stockholm Migrant Camp: Report

Stockholm police have launched an investigation after reports that shots were fired at an EU migrant camp in the south of the city on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

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