Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/22/2014

There are a couple of stories in the feed about tonight’s PEGIDA rally. Deutsche Welle confirms that the number of participants in Dresden was over 17,000.

In other news, a bin lorry (garbage truck) mounted the pavement (sidewalk) in Glasgow and ran down a number of pedestrians, killing six and wounding at least another six. The authorities believe that the driver may have had a heart attack. They do not think there is any connection with the “jihad by car” attacks in Dijon and Nantes.

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

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

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

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

Financial Crisis
» Greece: People Turn to Christmas Traditions
» Battered NY Mayor Calls for Temporary Protest Halt
» Giuliani Defends NY Mayor, Blasts Obama After Police Slaying
» N. Korea Threatens Strikes on US Amid Hacking Claims
» New York Times Wants Cheney Prosecuted for Torture
Europe and the EU
» Businessman Clambers Up St Peter’s in EU Protest
» Cardinals and Bishops Affected by Cancer, Says Pope
» Eyewitness: Glasgow Bin Lorry ‘Ran Up on Pavement’
» France: Court of Appeal Overturns Conviction of Woman Prosecuted for Insulting Islam
» France Attack: Van Driven Into Shoppers in Nantes
» France: Several Injured in Christmas Market Attack in Nantes
» France’s Only Kosher Vineyard Fights Its Corner
» France: ‘Allahu Akbar’ Attacks: Hollande Wants Vigilance
» France Braces for Doctors’ Christmas Strike
» Germany Plans Trauma Center for ‘Islamic State’ Rape Victims
» Glasgow Police Investigate George Square Fatal Bin Lorry Crash
» Italian Antitrust Authority Fines TripAdvisor 500,000 Euros
» Italy: Napolitano Bemoans Lack of Indian Cooperation on Marines
» Norway ‘Too Slow’ To Tackle Extremism: Report
» Record Numbers at German Anti-Islam Rally
» Spanish Princess to be Tried for Fraud
» Sweden: Bomb Blasts Rock Malmö’s Rosengård
» Sweden’s Christmas Present: New Laws Curbing Free Speech
» Swedish Parties in Secret Election Talks: Report
» Talking About ‘The Moroccan Issue’ Is Not a Crime
» The Wave Sweden Will Never Forget
» Serbia: Eur 1.7 Mln Grant for Study of Prehistoric Fertility
Mediterranean Union
» Fourteen Cultural and Creative Industry Clusters Selected to Take Part in Southern Mediterranean Programme
North Africa
» Egypt Court Tries 26 Men for Debauchery
» Tunisians Choose a Secular President, Essebsi Wins
Middle East
» Inside ISIS: The First Western Journalist Ever to be Given Access to the ‘Islamic State’ Has Just Returned — and This is What He Discovered
» ISIS: Mother Recognises Kidnapped Son
» Oil Price War Aimed at Non-OPEC Countries
» Sinjar Battle: Kurds ‘Take Control’ of Large Area From IS
» Syria 6 Billion Dollars in Aid to Assad From Iran and Russia
» Belarus Takes Drastic Measures on Rouble Crisis
» EU Must Not Try to Make Russian Economy Collapse, Says Austria
» In Rural Russia: Plunge of the Ruble Still a Remote Concern
» Moscow’s Weakness
South Asia
» Indonesian Islamists Threaten Christmas Celebrations
» Pakistan Death Row Inmates Face Imminent Execution
Far East
» China’s Leader is Telling the People’s Liberation Army to Prepare for War
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria’s Gombe and Bauchi Cities Hit by Blasts
Latin America
» Argentina Court Grants Habeas Corpus for Orangutan in Zoo
» Iran Hails US-Cuba Thaw as Proof Sanctions Don’t Work
» Nine Migrants Die in Strait of Gibraltar

Greece: People Turn to Christmas Traditions

To overcome anger and sadness

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DEC 22 — While Christians all over the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas and the new year, in Greece the overwhelming mood is one of anger, sadness and lingering pessimism. The front titles of Sunday’s newspapers are emblematic in this respect: for To Vima (centre-left) “ Greece is drowning in mud and decadence”; Rizospastis (official organ of the Communist party of Greece) writes that, in Greece, one lives “Amid rot, intimidations and illusions”. Kathimerini (centre-right) says “Towards elections in a sick climate”; for Ethnos (centre-left) the uncertainty in the country is reminiscent to the scenes of “Fog”. For Avghì (Sunrise, official organ of Syriza, the major opposition party) there must be a”Democratic solution against corruption and intrigue”.

To Greeks of an old age, the prevailing socio-economic predicament brings back memories dating to the Second World War and German occupation: despair and daily struggle for survival. However, despite the situation, even Greeks — according to their varying financial possibilities — are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Cities and villages have been dressed up for the occasion and people are keen to rediscover old and traditional customs to forget their daily tribulations, at least for a few days. From Christmas eve until the Epifany, a time known as “Dodecaimero” (the Twelve Days), as professor of Popular Traditions, Dimitris Loukatos, writes in his book “Christmas Customs” every Greek village goes back to ancient ways followed in most of the country albeit small differences. The belief in “Kalikanzari”(devils ) is one of the most enduring customs. According to the tradition, during the Dodecaimero the devils, envious of humans and their family-life, become kings of the night and the countryside. They lurk around houses and rejoice when they manage to infect people’s clothes or food. On the island of Cefalonia, Kalikanzari are called “paganà”, a noun that according to Loukatos is closely linked to paganism and idolatry. Here, on Christmas night, all homes once lit the Dodecaimero fire which lasted until the Epifany, while the cross was traced with a piece of coal on doors and windows to keep away the “paganà”. One of the most common traditions in Greece is “Ta Kalanta” (the first days of the months) well wishing tales and rhymes of religious content sang during Christmas, New Year and on January 6 to announce the birth of Jesus Christ, the arrival of the New Year and the Epifany. Their name comes from the January Kalante, the first days of January, when family members and friends would visit each other and exchange simple gifts such as honey, dried figs, dates and small coins.

“At a time in which calendars and newspapers did not announce the Great Festivities — writes Loukatos — people anticipated the voices of children singing “Today Jesus is born” (for Christmas day), “Today comes Agios Vassilios” (Father Christmas, on New Year’s eve) and “Today is the day of the Light” (for the Epifany l’Epifania). The preparation of “the Bread of Jesus” (Cristopsomo)is another tradition present in various regions of the country. According to Loukatos this custom boasts three very important folkloric elements: the fact that it is being reiterated Christmas after Christmas, the characteristic offering and the accurate technique following which it is made. In some regions, such as on the island of Crete, preparations for the Bread of Jesus is a sacred and purely Christian tradition taking a proud place at the Christams table and nurturing the family for the year to come. Only the best flour and expensive ingredients like rosewater, honey, sesame, cinammon and cloves are chosen for the batter of this special bread. The women of the house sit around a table where the batter is lying and sing religious hymns while they wait for it to rise. When the batter is ready, a cross-shaped incision, symbolizing fertility, is made at the centre of the bread. At last, all family members can sit around the table and the head of the family will bless the Bread of Jesus, cut it and distribute it just like Jesus did with his apostles as a reminder of the Holy Communion.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Battered NY Mayor Calls for Temporary Protest Halt

NEW YORK (AP) — As the New York Police Department mourns two of its own, Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for a pause in protests and rancor amid a widening rift with those in a grieving force who accuse him of creating a climate of mistrust that contributed to the executions of two officers.

De Blasio called on Monday for a halt of political statements until after the funerals of the slain officers, an appeal to both sides in a roiling dispute centered on the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.

“We are in a very difficult moment. Our focus has to be on these families,” de Blasio said at police headquarters. “I think it’s a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in all due time.”

De Blasio’s relations with the city’s police unions have tumbled to an extraordinary new low following Saturday’s shooting, an ambush the gunman claimed was retaliation for the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In a display of defiance, dozens of police officers turned their backs to de Blasio at the hospital where the officers died, and union leaders said the mayor had “blood on his hands” for enabling the protesters who have swept the streets of New York this month since a grand jury declined to indict an officer in Garner’s chokehold death.

[Return to headlines]

Giuliani Defends NY Mayor, Blasts Obama After Police Slaying

Former mayor says de Blasio needs to change attitude to force

(ANSA) — Washington, December 22 — Former mayor of New York Rudolfo Giuliani said current mayor Bill de Blasio must change his attitude toward the police but cannot be held responsible for the murder of two agents at the weekend.

Accusing the mayor of having his hands covered in blood is “an excessive reaction,” said Giuliani, “it is not fair to accuse him” over the officers who were shot and killed in their patrol car by a man who posted anti-police messages to his social media account.

Giuliani said that many mayors lost police officers during their terms of office and it was wrong of police to turn their backs on the mayor in a mark of disrespect. He said his thoughts go to De Blasio and the New York police chief Bratton.

However Giuliani criticised De Blasio for his handling of massive protests against police brutality following the chokehold death of a black man strangled in police custody.

Giuliani said the killings of the police were “horrible” but might change attitudes.

On the other hand, Giuliani blasted President Barack Obama.

“We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” Giuliani said.

“The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, a lot of them lead to violence, all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist. That is completely wrong.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

N. Korea Threatens Strikes on US Amid Hacking Claims

President Barack Obama is “recklessly” spreading rumors of a Pyongyang-orchestrated cyberattack of Sony Pictures, North Korea says, as it warns of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and “the whole U.S. mainland, that cesspool of terrorism.”

Such rhetoric is routine from North Korea’s massive propaganda machine during times of high tension with Washington. But a long statement from the powerful National Defense Commission late Sunday also underscores Pyongyang’s sensitivity at a movie whose plot focuses on the assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un, who is the beneficiary of a decades-long cult of personality built around his family dynasty.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New York Times Wants Cheney Prosecuted for Torture

Also ex chief of staff, CIA chief, lawyers, and agents

(ANSA) — New York, December 22 — A New York Times editorial published Monday called on United States President Barack Obama to prosecute “torturers and their bosses” including former vice president Dick Cheney in connection with the CIA torture scandal that came to light following a Senate Intelligence Committee report earlier this month.

According to the New York Times, such a criminal investigation “is not about payback — it is about ensuring that this never happens again, and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments”.

The editorial called for the indictments of Cheney, his then chief of staff David Addington, former CIA Director George Tenet, lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who drafted the so-called “torture memos”, CIA Agent Jose Rodriguez, who ordered videotapes of the torture sessions destroyed, the psychologists who came up with the techniques, and CIA staffers who carried the torture out.

Also on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent US Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. a letter requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what they said was “a vast criminal conspiracy to commit torture and other serious crimes under color of the law”.

On Monday, the US, along with other countries, will meet with the UN Security Council to denounce North Korea for systematic violations of human rights in its prison camps.

A damning US Senate report earlier this month revealed the CIA used “brutal” interrogation methods on terrorism suspects and misled policymakers in the White House about them.

“Today’s report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence details one element of our nation’s response to 9/11 — the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I formally ended on one of my first days in office,” Obama said in a Decembe 9 statement.

“The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the United States, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Businessman Clambers Up St Peter’s in EU Protest

Fifth such protest atop the Basilica by 47-year-old

(ANSA) — Vatican City, December 22 — An entrepreneur with a head for heights was spending a second day Monday perched 240 feet (80 M) up the facade of St Peter’s Basilica to protest an EU directive that he says will put him out of business.

Marcello Di Finizio, a native of Trieste, clambered on to a ledge on the facade Sunday and spent the night there in the fifth such protest he has staged on the largest church in the world against the Bolkestein Directive — an EU law aiming at establishing a single market for services.

During his previous protests Di Finizio, aged 47, climbed onto the dome of St Peter’s but this time he perched on a ledge above the balcony where on Christmas Day Pope Francis will deliver his Urbe et Orbi address to the city and the world.

Di Finizio has asked for a meeting with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi to discuss his grievance.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cardinals and Bishops Affected by Cancer, Says Pope

(AGI) Vatican City, Dec. 22 — Pope Francis condemned the practices of the Curia on Monday. He defined the Curia as closed circles, in which belonging to the group becomes more important than belonging to the Body of Christ, which is the Church. He defined it as a “cancer which threatens the harmony of the body and causes a lot of evil and scandal”. He also recalled that the greatest danger is that of self-destruction or friendly fire. The Roman Curia, he said, was “cold-bloodedly killing the reputation of their own colleagues and brothers…To achieve that, they may defame, slander and discredit others, even on newspapers and magazines. Naturally, that is in order to show off and exhibit their superiority to others”. He warned the cardinals and bishops gathered in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace to: “Watch out against the terrorism of gossip!”. It is the disease of those who ‘court their superiors’, becoming victims of ‘careerism and opportunism’. The Curia, he continued, is called upon to continuously improve itself and grow in communion, sanctity and knowledge in order to completely fulfill its mission and, as any other body, it is also exposed to disease, dysfunctions and illnesses. He went on to explain that he wanted to list some of “these probable diseases which, following the Fathers of the desert, will aid us in preparing for confession….and for Christmas”. They are diseases that weaken our service to the Lord, he said. Pope Francis described spiritual Alzheimer’s disease as forgetting the story of Salvation, the personal story with the Lord, the first love. Another disease is feeling immortal or essential: “A curia that does not practice self-criticism, does not keep up to date, does not try to better itself, is an infirm Body”. Another ailment is the disease of excessive activity. It is the disease of those who, like Martha in the Gospel, “lose themselves in their work, inevitably neglecting what is better: sitting at Jesus’ feet”.

The Pope recalled that Jesus “called on his disciples to ‘rest a little’, because neglecting necessary rest brings anxiety and stress”. Pope Francis denounced the disease of mental and spiritual ‘petrification’. It is the disease of those who “lose their internal peace, their vivacity and audacity, to hide under papers and become procedural machines instead of men of God, unable to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice!”. The next disease is overplanning: “When the apostle plans everything in detail and believes that things progress effectively, thus becoming an accountant. Good planning is necessary but without falling into the temptation of wanting to enclose or steer the freedom of the Holy Spirit… it is always easier and more convenient to fall back on static and unchanged positions”. The Curia also suffers from the disease of bad coordination. It is the malady of members who “lose the community among them, and the Body loses its harmonious functionality becoming an orchestra producing undisciplined noise because its members do not cooperate and do not live communally and have team spirit”. The following disease is that of hoarding, which the Pope described as follows: “When the apostle seeks to fill an existential void in his heart by hoarding material possessions, not because of necessity, but only to feel secure”. Then, there is the disorder of worldly profit and exhibitionism: “When the apostle turns his service into power, and his power into a commodity to gain worldly profits, or even more powers. It is the disease of those people who relentlessly seek to increase their powers”.

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

Eyewitness: Glasgow Bin Lorry ‘Ran Up on Pavement’

There are reportedly several people injured after a crash involving a bin lorry in George Square in Glasgow.

George Smith, who owns a restaurant near where the incident occurred, said he saw the lorry run up on the pavement.

Mr Smith said he had heard the driver suffered a heart attack while driving but this has not been confirmed.

[Return to headlines]

France: Court of Appeal Overturns Conviction of Woman Prosecuted for Insulting Islam

A French woman who protested a temporary tent-abattoir set up in a car-park near a hospital to ritually slaughter animals for Eid has had her conviction overturned, after she appealed a €4,500 fine and three month jail sentence for calling Islam a “cesspit”.

Retired school-teacher Christine Tasin, 58, was convicted under an 1881 law after the prosecution argued criticism of Islam was the equivalent of inciting violence against Muslims, and that in addition to the normal punishment of a fine and imprisonment, Tasin should also be stripped of the right to hold public office.

Her subsequent appeal was supported by Dr. Daniel Pipes’ American-based Legal Project, an advisory and funding body established to “protect the right in the West to freely discuss Islam, radical Islam, terrorism, and terrorist funding”, who have also backed Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders after his prosecution for criticising Islam.

Overturning the conviction last week, the court confirmed that Islamophobia and blasphemy was not a crime in France, despite the claims made by some Muslim groups after her initial conviction in August.

Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, Tasin said of the verdict: “Last Thursday was a great day for freedom of expression in France. I said, in Belfort, in 2013, before the mobile Eid abattoir that “Islam is sh*t” to Muslims who had recognized me and attacking me because I claim my Islamophobia.

“I was sentenced to a fine of €3,000 including €1,500 suspended after the Belfort court considered that I had incited hatred against Muslims. The [appeal] court in Besançon has now acknowledged that one has the right to express opinions and I did not encourage hatred against Muslims, and I can think and say that Islam is a threat to France, that it is a freedom of expression.

“The Resistance to Islam and all those who, in France, fear that freedom of expression is disappearing, and that blasphemy has become a crime again are relieved”.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

France Attack: Van Driven Into Shoppers in Nantes

A van has been driven at shoppers at a French Christmas market in the city of Nantes and the driver is reported to have stabbed himself, officials say.

Ten people are reported to have been injured, five seriously.

The exact circumstances remain unclear, but the incident comes only a day after pedestrians were run down in Dijon.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

France: Several Injured in Christmas Market Attack in Nantes

At least 10 people have been injured after a van drove into shoppers at a Christmas market in Nantes, France. The driver is said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” before attacking, the second such incident within days.

According to officials, a man drove into a crowd walking through a Christmas market in the western French city of Nantes on Monday evening.

At least 10 people are reported to have been injured, five of them seriously, including the driver.

The Associated Press news agency reported that video images on French television showed a white Peugeot van in the market, which was being held in the city’s main square.

Local newspaper Ouest France, citing a police officer and witnesses on the scene, said the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) before stabbing himself with a knife.

The market has been evacuated and cordoned off by the police.

In a similar incident on Sunday, a man drove his car into a crowd in Dijon

Weekend attacks

The incident comes a day after a man, also shouting “Allahu Akbar,” ran his car into pedestrians in the eastern French city of Dijon, injuring 13 people.

In another attack in the city of Tours over the weekend, a man, reported to be a convert to Islam, was shot dead after knifing three police officers.

None of the victims are reported to have died in the weekend attacks.

Officials have asked the public to be vigilant, but warned against jumping to conclusions.

lw/cmk (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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

France’s Only Kosher Vineyard Fights Its Corner

It was a visit to Jerusalem that inspired Frenchman Alexandre Sartene to start the world’s third kosher vineyard outside Israel which, despite a rocky start, now exports as far as Brazil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: ‘Allahu Akbar’ Attacks: Hollande Wants Vigilance

Concerns in France over the threat of lone wolf terrorist attacks were heightened on Monday after two separate random attacks on police and pedestrians by men shouting “Alluha Akbar”. President François Hollande has called for the ‘utmost vigilance’.

In the first incident on Saturday a French convert to Islam was shot dead after attacking police officers with a knife in the central town of Joue-les-Tours.

Then on Sunday the eastern city of Dijon was beset by panic after a motorist ploughed into people out taking an evening stroll. The incident left 11 injured, two of them seriously.

Witnesses told police that the driver shouted “Allahu Akbar” and that he was “acting for the Children of Palestine”, a source close to the investigation said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France Braces for Doctors’ Christmas Strike

France is bracing for a major strike over the Christmas period by overworked doctors, including casualty staff and specialists, unhappy about a new health bill.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Plans Trauma Center for ‘Islamic State’ Rape Victims

Overseas Development Minister Gerd Müller told a newspaper of the government’s plans to create a care facility for the victims of Islamic State violence. Germany has the highest number of aslyum seekers in Europe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Glasgow Police Investigate George Square Fatal Bin Lorry Crash

Police investigations at the scene of a fatal bin lorry crash in Glasgow are due to resume at first light.

Six people were killed when the lorry ran, apparently out of control, through city streets, on Monday.

The vehicle, operated by the city council, eventually crashed into the Millennium Hotel beside the entrance to Queen Street station on George Square.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said flags will fly at half-mast on government buildings out of respect.

City council leader Gordon Matheson described the crash as a “terrible tragedy”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected,” he said…

[Return to headlines]

Italian Antitrust Authority Fines TripAdvisor 500,000 Euros

Site ‘misleads consumers with unreliable information’

(ANSA) — Rome, December 22 — Italy’s antitrust authority on Monday fined popular travel website site TripAdvisor with a 500,000 euros for unfair trade activity and “misleading consumers”.

In a statement, the watchdog said that the travel website “emphasizes the authentic and genuine nature of the reviews, thus misleading consumers into believing that the information is always reliable, an expression of real tourist experiences”.

According to Antitrust Authority, led by Giovanni Petruzzella, TripAdvisor LLC and TripAdvisor Italy violated three articles of the Consumer Code which allowed the company to “mislead a wide audience of consumers”.

The statement also said that the travel website did not provide adequate monitoring for false reviews.

TripAdvisor LLC and TripAdvisor Italy must pay the fine within 30 days and they have 90 days to communicate steps for compliance, a statement said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Napolitano Bemoans Lack of Indian Cooperation on Marines

President says will meet Renzi to discuss case on Tuesday

(ANSA) — Rome, December 22 — Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday bemoaned a lack of cooperation from India over the case of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012. “There has been scarce political will to provide a fair solution,” the president said. “The malfunctioning of the Indian justices system (shows that this problem) is not just an Italian one”. The case has strained relation between Italy and India for almost three years.

Tension flared up again last week when the Indian supreme court knocked back a request from one of the marines, Salvatore Girone, to return to Italy for the Christmas holidays and a petition from the other, Massimiliano Latorre, to extend his stay in Italy for health reasons.

Latorre is receiving treatment in his homeland after suffered a stroke-like attack earlier this year.

Napolitano said Monday that he will meet Premier Matteo Renzi on Tuesday to discuss the case. “I’m counting on having a meeting tomorrow morning with Renzi, who will give me the latest developments on the steps taken with respect to the Indian authorities,” Napolitano told Girone while greeting Italian military personnel around the world before Christmas. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj last week said New Delhi was “studying” an Italian proposal for a consensual solution to the dispute.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, however, expressed skepticism about the likelihood of this producing a breakthrough.

“The harvest (from the dialogue with India) has been very disappointing,” Gentiloni told State broadcaster RAI.

“If the agreement is what we saw the other day, then we’re not going very far.

“I hope that different roads can be found in the next few days”.

Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti has said that Latorre, who was allowed to leave India in September for four months, is in no condition to travel.

Latorre and Girone are accused of killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012.

Rome has protested the many delays in the case. Formal charges have not yet been presented Italy successfully fought to ensure New Delhi took the death penalty off the table and dropped the application of a severe anti-terrorism, anti-piracy law, which it said would have equated Italy with a terrorist state.

Rome argues the case is not in India’s jurisdiction as the incident took place outside the country’s territorial waters.

It also says the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India, because they are servicemen who were working on an anti-piracy mission, and allowed to return home.

Gentiloni said Wednesday that the government would “take a decision within days” on seeking international arbitration in the case.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway ‘Too Slow’ To Tackle Extremism: Report

Norway is acting too slowly against radicalization and violent extremism as more and more people from Norway head off to war in the Middle East, a new report has warned.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Record Numbers at German Anti-Islam Rally

More than 17,000 protesters have rallied in Dresden against the “Islamization of the Occident,” the tenth such demonstration in as many weeks. The far-right movement is becoming a problem for politicians.

German society and the political establishment has for weeks grappled with the emergence of the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident,” or PEGIDA, whose ranks in the city of Dresden have quickly grown from just a few hundred in October.

Around 4,000 counter-demonstrators marched through Dresden under the slogan “Nazi-free,” warning there was no place for racism and xenophobia in a country marred by racial hatred during World War II.

Most PEGIDA followers insisted they had no connection to Nazis, calling themselves “patriots” concerned by the “watering down” of Germany’s Christian-rooted culture and traditions. They often accuse mainstream political parties of betraying them, and the media of lying.

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), called Monday for citizens to launch a “rebellion of the decent” against the anti-foreigner movement, telling a weekly magazine “that’s the kind of public reaction we need now.”…

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

Spanish Princess to be Tried for Fraud

Spain’s Princess Cristina is to be tried in court for tax fraud in what is a first for the Spanish royal family, the judge overseeing the case said on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Bomb Blasts Rock Malmö’s Rosengård

Police suspect that a rental dispute is behind a twin explosion which rocked the area around Ramels Väg in the Rosengård area of Malmö over the weekend.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden’s Christmas Present: New Laws Curbing Free Speech

by Timon Dias

The problem is that within the extremely politically correct culture of Sweden, questions, insults and criticism are often viewed as one and the same.

“Swedes who disagree… risk being labeled racist, fascist, even Nazi.” — Mikael Jalving, Author of Absolute Sweden.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Parties in Secret Election Talks: Report

The government and opposition parties are reported to be conducting negotiations in a bid to avoid government chaos, putting the new March election in doubt, according to a media report.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Talking About ‘The Moroccan Issue’ Is Not a Crime

A democracy must allow for the frank discussion of the problems it faces.

By Geert Wilders

Four years ago I was taken to court in the Netherlands on hate-crime charges. After a trial that lasted almost two years, I was finally acquitted. But the case cost me a lot of time and energy that, as an elected politician, I would rather have devoted to my parliamentary work.

Now, just as my Party for Freedom (PVV) is taking the lead in the polls and the Dutch government is facing serious political difficulties,…

[Return to headlines]

The Wave Sweden Will Never Forget

The Local looks at how Swedes are remembering the tidal wave that shook South-East Asia exactly ten years ago, leaving 543 Swedes dead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Serbia: Eur 1.7 Mln Grant for Study of Prehistoric Fertility

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, 22 DECEMBER — Belgrade-based scientist Sofija Stefanovic and her team have managed to secure a EUR 1.7 million European Research Council (ERC) grant for a scientific project of research into population growth in prehistoric times.

It is the first time ever in the history of Serbian science that the ERC has named a scientific project from Serbia as one of the most excellent scientific endeavours in Europe.

The research, titled BIRTH, will focus on an even better understanding of the Neolithic period between 10,000 BC and 5,000 BC, when the Earth’s population grew demographically for the first time ever, Stefanovic — who works at the bioarchaeology laboratory of the Department of Archaeology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade said .

In the next five years, the Serbian scientist and her associates will attempt to explain what contributed to fertility rates multiplying several times over in one of the most significant periods of human evolution and produce direct data on the number of childbirths in prehistoric women, which would be a world first in the history of science.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Fourteen Cultural and Creative Industry Clusters Selected to Take Part in Southern Mediterranean Programme

A regional project on the “Development of cultural and creative industries and clusters in the Southern Mediterranean”, labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and funded by the European Union (EU) with a financial contribution from the Italian Development Cooperation, held its first regional Project Approval Committee (PAC) in Barcelona last week, during which 14 high-potential Cultural and Creative Industries clusters were selected to take part in pilot initiatives.

In Algeria, the jewellery cluster in Batna and the brass (in French “dinanderie”) cluster in Constantine were selected; in Jordan, two Amman-based clusters were selected, namely the garment and ceramic clusters; in Lebanon, the jewellery cluster in Beirut and the furniture cluster in Tripoli were chosen; in Morocco, the garment/fashion cluster in Casablanca and the homeware cluster in Marrakesh were selected; in Palestine, the handicrafts cluster in Bethlehem and the furniture cluster in Nablus were picked by the National Steering Committee (NSC); and in Tunisia, the Nabeul arts de la table cluster and the mosaic cluster in El Djem were selected.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt Court Tries 26 Men for Debauchery

An Egyptian court on Sunday tried 26 men for alleged debauchery after accusing them of homosexual activity at a Cairo public bathhouse in a case that sparked international condemnation.

The handcuffed defendants, many of whom were crying, arrived at a Cairo court with their heads bowed as police pushed them inside a metal cage, an AFP correspondent reported.

“I am innocent. I was in the hammam for therapy, I swear in the name of Allah,” said a defendant as he wept inside the cage…

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

Tunisians Choose a Secular President, Essebsi Wins

With 55.5% according to latest exit poll. Turnout at 59.04%

Supporters of the Presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi shout slogans celebrate the first results of the Tunisian elections in Sousse

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS — Beji Caid Essebsi, elederly leader ot the first Tunisian party, the secular Nidaa Tounes, is set to become the new Tunisian president, the first head of state after the fall of Ben Ali four years ago. Confirming predictions on the eve of the elections, Essebsi won over the current caretaker president Moncef Marzouki, supported by islamists, with a comfortable margin according to the latest exit poll (55.5% according to Sigma Conseil, against 45.5 secured by Marzouki).

Despite the fact that a protest gathering in favour of Marzouki was dispersed by the police with teargas in the town of El Hamma, on the whole polling day proved relatively calm, marking the end of the transition process in Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring was born and, probably, the only in which a truly democratic outcome came about. While official results are expected to be announced this evening, Marzouki, so far, has not only refused to concede defeat but has also made vote-rigging allegations.

The only official results at the moment are the ones relating to turnout, which according to Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections (Isie) stands at 59.04%.

Essebsi, a lawyers and veteran Tunisian politician, will become the highest public official in Tunisia after a long career, at the age of 88. He held various significant government posts under the leadership of Habib Bourguiba, the “father” of Tunisian independence (he was minister of the Interior, of Foreign Affairs, of Defence). Tireless defender of the rule of law, Essebsi considers himself an heir of Bourghiba’s politics and values. After an absence from politics in the ‘90s, he returned to the fold on February 27 2011 when he was nominated prime minister in the second post-revolutionary caretaker government.

On April 20 2012 he founded the centrist Nidaa Tounes party as a counterforce to the governmental troika formed by Islamist Ennhadha, Cpr (Congress for the Repubblic) and Ettakattol.

Marzouki probably paid the price of a political campaign based more on the demonisation of his rival than on his political programme, failing to convey the revolutionary values he so wished to uphold against an adversary he regards as an embodiment of the previous regime. Ennhadha’s popular vote was not sufficient to bridge the six points separating him from Essebsi while party leaders refused to field a candidate for the second time running. With Sunday’s vote, Tunisians confirmed the political leaning expressed at the ballot box in October with the defeat of islamist Ennhadha and victory for secular Nidaa Tounes, when Ennhadha suffered the consequences of three years of poor goverment, rising prices, corruption and instability.

Some pundits view Essebsi’s anticipated victory as a risky institutional monopoly with Nidaa Tounes holding the posts of President of the Republic, Premier and head of Parliament, but even Ennhadha’s leader Rached Ghannouchi, has acknowledged his intention to modernize the country and stand as a political guarantor for the political future of islamists. Tunisia finally appears to be fully governable. The last elections brought about a Parliament marked by strong bipolarism, giving Tunisia the image of a country willing to normalize its political life amid the challenges posed by the financial crisis and the threat of islamic terrorism. There is a feeling that with the election of a President of the Republic who will uphold the constitution on behalf of all Tunisians and will ground his authority on true consensus, Tunisia has finally turned a new chapter of its recent history and completed an irreversable process. An outcome that should reassure investors and make them believe in Tunisia again.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Inside ISIS: The First Western Journalist Ever to be Given Access to the ‘Islamic State’ Has Just Returned — and This is What He Discovered

The first Western journalist in the world to be allowed extensive access to Isis territories in Syria and Iraq has returned from the region with a warning: the group is “much stronger and much more dangerous” than anyone in the West realises.

Jürgen Todenhöfer, 74, is a renowned German journalist and publicist who travelled through Turkey to Mosul, the largest city occupied by Isis, after months of negotiations with the group’s leaders.

Todenhöfer said his strongest impression was “that Isis is much stronger than we think here”. He said it now has “dimensions larger than the UK”, and is supported by “an almost ecstatic enthusiasm that I have never encountered in any other warzone”. “Each day, hundreds of willing fighters arrive from all over the world,” he told tz. “For me it is incomprehensible.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Mother Recognises Kidnapped Son

Boy taken to Syria by father, investigation underway

(ANSAmed) — PADOVA, DEC 22 — Padova police are investigating the autheticity of pictures representing a young boy wearing a black Isis band on his forehead and posing next to jihadi militants. The infant, according to a Cuban woman living close to the Italian city of Belluno is her son Ismail, kidnapped when he was three years old in November 2013 by his father Ismar Mesinovic, who joined jihadi forces in Syria. The man, who was a painter, allegedly died in combat but the little boy according to text messages sent to the woman by Bosnian relations of Mesinovic is reportedly in good health. In one of the pictures, published online by a jihadi propaganda outlet, the boy holding a militant’s hand is carrying an assault rifle . In another image, he is on top of a bike, dressed like a militant together with a jihadi combatant. As many papers suggest, there is no certainty that the boy actually is Ismail, a fact the mother, on the other hand, is certain of, but even investigators stress that there are many points in common between the photos which appeared online and pictures taken of the boy before his kidnapping.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Oil Price War Aimed at Non-OPEC Countries

The United States, Mexico, Russia, and Norway are among the countries targeted. Non-OPEC countries are blamed for an overproduction of 2 million barrels a day. Prices are expected to go up again in the second half of 2015.

Abu Dhabi (AsiaNews) — “Irresponsible” production by non-OPEC countries is undermining the oil market, cutting prices by half in just a few months, said Suhail Al Mazrouei, the Energy Minister of the United Arab Emirates, in an interview yesterday. Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali al-Naimi agrees.

Yet, despite declining demand, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to keep oil production at 30 million barrels a day last November. This has led the price of barrel to drop to US$ 55, the lowest in the last five years.

In the past, OPEC usually cut production based on market trends; this time output was not touched. So far, analysts thought that Saudi Arabia sought to penalise the United States, a major shale oil producer, and Iran, Riyadh’s main contender for hegemony of the Middle East.

Yesterday, the Saudi minister made it clear that the price war was not “politically” motivated but was an attempt to push non-OPEC countries to curb their production and reach an agreement with OPEC. Without an agreement, OPEC would let the market weed out the weakest. With oil lower prices, high cost oil producers would be forced to cut back.

According to OPEC — which meets about 41.9 per cent of the world’s needs in crude oil — non-OPEC countries are responsible for a surplus of more than 2 million barrels of oil a day.

The United States, Russia, Mexico, and Norway are among the non-OPEC countries targeted.

Still, OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri expects oil prices to rise again by the second half of 2015.

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

Sinjar Battle: Kurds ‘Take Control’ of Large Area From IS

Kurdish authorities say their Peshmerga forces have taken control of a “large area” of the Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State militants.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani claimed large Peshmerga advances during a visit to nearby Mount Sinjar.

The town, near the Syrian border has been controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants since August.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters backed by US-led air strikes launched a counter-offensive in the area last week.

IS controls a swathe of Iraq and Syria, where it has declared a caliphate.

The US said it launched 13 air strikes in Iraq on Sunday, four of which were on IS targets near Sinjar.

The US, Iraq and other Western and Arab countries have formed a coalition against the militant group and began air strikes in August.

‘Siege broken’

Massoud Barzani praised the progress Peshmerga troops had made when he visited Mount Sinjar on Sunday.

“Thanks to God we have opened and controlled all the roads and broken the siege imposed on Sinjar Mountain” he said…

[Return to headlines]

Syria 6 Billion Dollars in Aid to Assad From Iran and Russia

Arms, flour and fuel

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, DEC 22 — The new aid package to Syria from its Russian and Iranian is worth over six billion dollars.

According to a report in the Lebanese paper al Akhbar, close to Iran and to the pro-Iranian Shia group Hizbollah, the Islamic Republic has opened another line of credit to Damasco worth 4.5 billion dollars in order to support the Assad regime. In parallel, Russia has granted another million and a half dollars in aid. These funds are supplemented by 500 million dollars in fuel and 400 million in flour. The al Akhbar Damascus correspondent also said that the regime can count on the arrival of “important Russian and non Russian arms with the purpose of determining a positive outcome in many battles”.

According to the paper no further details have been provided in order to prevent Israel or other interested parties from gaining further information on the consignment. Meanwhile, Syrian government forces have rejected the onslaught of Islamic State (Isis) militants against an airbase in the east of the country, the official Syrian newsagency Sana reported Monday confirming dispatches in the pan-Arab press according to which over twenty jihadists died in fighting around the Isis-besieged military airport of Dayr az Zor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Belarus Takes Drastic Measures on Rouble Crisis

Belarus has imposed a 30% tax on purchases of US dollars, banned shops from raising prices, and blocked leading news websites from reporting bad news in knock-on effects from the Russian rouble crisis. Belarusians were buying $5mn a day in exchange kiosks in November, but $80mn a day in December.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Must Not Try to Make Russian Economy Collapse, Says Austria

Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann on Saturday criticised those states seeking tougher sanctions against Moscow. “I cannot approve of the euphoria over the success of sanctions against Russia… I do not know why we should be pleased if the Russian economy collapses,” he told the Oesterreich newspaper in an interview.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

In Rural Russia: Plunge of the Ruble Still a Remote Concern

In a myriad of villages like Voskresenskoye, nestled deep in the Russian countryside, the monetary turmoil roiling the nation’s large cities still seems a largely distant threat.

“This crisis is for the rich, for people who have dollars. We never had money here,” said Tamara Boychenko, a 68-year-old retired resident of the village located in northwest Russia about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Saint Petersburg.

“I can’t afford much with my pension of 15,000 rubles (200 euros, $250). Luckily I have my vegetable garden,” said Boychenko, smiling.

That rustic, phlegmatic attitude is far removed from Russia’s big cities, whose residents watched in panicky dismay the plunge of the ruble — which in the first two days of last week alone lost a quarter of its value…

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

Moscow’s Weakness

By Srdja Trifkovic

“It is obvious that the elites of the West — U.S. government, the EU, NATO and the banking interests wish to overthrow Putin and his government and open Russia to ideological, economic and material exploitation,” a perceptive reader commented on my December 19 posting. “It is obvious that there are factions deep within the Russian establishment who want to aid and abet this process, factions in finance, in industry and government.”

Those factions do exist, and they are deeply embedded in Russia’s power structure. Five visits to Moscow over the past nine months, and conversations with dozens of well-informed insiders in Russia’s capital, have been an eye-opener. “Putin’s Russia” is neither monolithic nor clear on the country’s long-term strategy in coping with the challenges it faces from Washington.

Animosity towards Russia-as-such, regardless of the ideological character of her regime, is a lasting constant of the policy of Washington and the West European governments subservient to the U.S. regime. That policy rests on the geopolitical and cultural premises which have been fully internalized by the governing Western elites, and which are not subject to any critical examination.

Faced with this existential challenge, Russia has not yet articulated a comprehensive strategy of defense. This is largely due to the fact that her power structure is still significantly impacted by the influential circles of pro-Western technocrats unwilling to contemplate de-dollarization of the financial system, and the pernicious presence of parasitic oligarchs whose sole loyalty is with the location of their ill-gotten gains.

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

Indonesian Islamists Threaten Christmas Celebrations

For the past few years, the Christian festivity has become an excuse for violence and targeted attacks. Among Muslims, moderates defend Christmas whilst fundamentalists view it as “haram”, sinful. Whilst Jakarta Governor sets up a tree, President Jokowi travels to Papua for the celebration. Meanwhile, members of the Yasmin Church prepare to celebrate the event outdoor.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Indonesia’s Christian community is getting ready for Christmas celebrations, a festivity that has become in recent years a source of controversy and a pretext for attacks and violence by extremist Islamic groups.

Once again, Muslim fundamentalists have issued warnings and threats, stating that Muslims are not allowed to wear Christmas symbols or exchange greetings with Christian friends and colleagues.

The controversy has generated conflict among Muslims as well. Moderate groups have criticised hard-liners and stressed the pluralistic and multicultural vision of the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesian’s foremost moderate Muslim organisation, is an active player in the controversy; its leaders have repeatedly stated that there is nothing unlawful (haram) or anti-Islamic in wishing Merry Christmas and happy holidays to Christians.

The decision by Jakarta’s new governor, an ethnic Chinese and a Christian, to put up a Christmas tree in City Hall has been an additional source of conflict, fuelled by social media. Some extremist movements took to the streets in protest, including the ‘Ansharusy Syariah (JAS), which has also carried demonstrations in Sidoarjo district, East Java province.

For his part, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that he would travel to Papua for Christmas, to take part in the festivities associated with the Christian celebration. The province is Indonesia’s easternmost territory and has been racked by decades of guerrilla war involving separatist groups.

The Yasmin Church is another issue that still festering, left unresolved from the Yudhoyono administration, which failed to defend religious freedom despite its official pronouncements.

For some time, the community has been forced to hold its religious services outdoor because the local government closed down its church, this despite a Supreme Court ruling in favour of the Christian Church’s right to use the place of worship.

The representatives of the Protestant community confirmed that they plan celebrate Christmas services near the church, even though the latter still off-limits.

“Our message (to the president) is clear,” said Bona Sigalingging, legal representative for the Yasmin Church. “For us, Supreme Court’s ruling is legally binding, and all Indonesian citizens should respect its decisions.”

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

Pakistan Death Row Inmates Face Imminent Execution

More than 50 people convicted of terrorist offences in Pakistan are facing imminent execution after President Mamnoon Hussain rejected their mercy petitions, officials say.

The president’s move means that some executions can take place across the country at any time.

Six people executed have been executed since a moratorium was lifted in the wake of a Taliban school massacre.

Hundreds more executions could follow in the next few months, reports say.

The Taliban attack in Peshawar killed 141 people and caused outrage across the country, with renewed calls for convicted terrorists to face capital punishment.

Human rights groups say that Pakistan has the world’s largest number of death row inmates, with more than 8,000 people awaiting execution.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

China’s Leader is Telling the People’s Liberation Army to Prepare for War

Over the last several months, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have repeatedly exhorted the People’s Liberation Army to “be ready to win a war.” Xi has repeatedly called for greater military modernization, increased training, and enhanced overall readiness of the Chinese army, navy, and air force.

These repeated calls have alarmed China’s neighbors from New Delhi to Washington. The question on everyone’s mind: what is all this preparation for?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Nigeria’s Gombe and Bauchi Cities Hit by Blasts

At least 26 people have been killed in bombings in two major cities in northern Nigeria, emergency workers and witnesses say.

The first blast at bus rank in Gombe killed at least 20 while another six died in an explosion at a market in Bauchi, they added.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram is waging an insurgency in the area.

Meanwhile, a video purportedly released by the group shows dozens of people being executed at a school dormitory.

They were made to lay face down before being shot dead.

There is no independent confirmation that Boko Haram produced the video. It is unclear where or when it was shot.

But the video bears Boko Haram’s insignia and shows gun-wielding men chanting “Allah is great” and speaking in the Kanuri language associated with the group’s fighters, says BBC Nigeria analyst Jimeh Saleh…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Argentina Court Grants Habeas Corpus for Orangutan in Zoo

Court finds Sandra is a “non-human subject”

(ANSA) — Buenos Aires, December 22 — A Buenos Aires court has granted a writ of habeas corpus for Sandra, a female orangutan who has lived behind bars in the Argentine capital’s zoo for 29 years.

The court found the primate is a “non-human subject” and not merely an object, and as such is being held illegally. The Cassation Court upheld the writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of the animal by the Association of Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA).

The writ argued that Sandra feels affection, mourns losses, perceives time, and is capable of learning, communicating, and transmitting what she has learned.

Therefore, being imprisoned is a violation of her rights as a “non-human subject”, AFAD argued successfully.

As a result, Sandra may soon be liberated into a nature reserve in Brazil, sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iran Hails US-Cuba Thaw as Proof Sanctions Don’t Work

Iran has seized on Washington’s historic rapprochement with Cuba after five decades of Cold War standoff as proof that big power sanctions do not work.

“The defence by the Cuban government and people of their revolutionary ideals over the past 50 years shows that policies of isolation and sanctions imposed by the major powers against the wishes of independent nations are ineffective,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Akfham said.

The statement, released late Saturday, was Iran’s first official reaction to the rapprochement announced by the two governments on Wednesday…

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

Nine Migrants Die in Strait of Gibraltar

Moroccan authorities on Friday recovered the bodies of three babies and six adults who died while trying to cross to Spain in a small boat.

Thousands of migrants fleeing war and hardship try to cross the 15-kilometre Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain on makeshift boats and inflatable dinghies each year.

Thousands also try to reach Spain by scaling border fences that surround Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish territories inside Morocco which are the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/22/2014

  1. Please confirmed, were the Glasgow and French incidents on the same day? It is too much of a co-incidence all three being so close together ! It strange the Scottish police do not name the driver in the Glasgow incident ? Why not? could he be a Muslim by any chance ?

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