Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/4/2014

Congress has reversed the Obama administration’s policy, deciding to make the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting eligible for the Purple Heart. The president designated the incident “workplace violence”, but Congress has determined that the actions of Maj. Nidal Hasan were domestic terrorism.

In other news, in downtown Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, ten police officers were killed and 28 wounded when they surrounded and stormed a building occupied by a group of Islamic terrorists.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, K, Papa Whiskey, Phyllis Chesler, 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
» Troika ‘Failing to Acknowledge Progress’, Greek Minister
» Arab Pro-Terrorist Cartoonist Urges Ferguson Protesters to Cancel Christmas
» As National Guard Prepares to Leave Ferguson, Michael Brown’s Stepfather Faces Investigation
» Chimpanzees Aren’t ‘Persons’ With Rights of Humans, No Need to be Freed, New York Court Rules
» Coexisting at Christmas: Walmart’s New Christmas Decor for Muslims
» Five Charts That Show Why a Post-White America is Already Here if You’re Under 18, The Future is Now
» Fort Hood Shooting Victims Will Soon be Eligible to Receive Purple Heart
» Obama Cites ‘Deep Unfairness’ In How Laws Are Enforced
» San Jose’s ‘Jungle’ Homeless Encampment Mostly Vacant Ahead of Eviction Deadline
» This is What it Means for Me to Teach Your White, Privileged Kids
» U.S. Army Wants a New Gun
Europe and the EU
» Catalonia to Open Delegation in Rome
» Draghi Says No Unanimity Needed for QE, Big Bond Buys
» Europe’s New Ariane Space Rocket Will Have Italian Engine
» Italy: Berlusconi ‘Expects’ To Have Say in Presidential Race
» Italy: Rome Mayor Meets National Anti-Corruption Czar
» Italy: Reports of Mafia Infiltration, Political Abuse Rock Rome
» Italy: Corruption Czar to Set Up Rome Mafia Team
» Italy: Capital Repatriation Bill Approved in Senate
» Italy: Labour Minister Indignant at Link to Mafia Probe
» Leading UK Muslim Group Assured Brotherhood Won’t be Banned
» Radical Islam Suspects to Remain Under Arrest, Bulgarian Court of Appeal Says
» Shipping: Greek Banks Ready to Start Funding Again, Says Nbg
» Spain Wins Gibraltar’s Exclusion From Single European Sky
» The Lenses of the Cardinal, The Sociologist, The Journalists
» There’s a War of Religion, But the Pope Keeps Quiet or Stammers
» UK: Canary Wharf Owner Gets Offer From Qatar, Brookfield
» Who Decorated the First Christmas Tree? A Battle in Baltics is Branching Out
» Hahn Warns Belgrade: Kosovo Issue to be Resolved
North Africa
» Derna ‘Out of Control But Few ISIS’, New Libyan Ambassador
» ISIS: U.S.: Training Camps Set Up in Eastern Libya
» Italy ‘Should Help Libya, But Without Foreign Peacekeepers’
» Russia Willing to Work Together on Libya, Italian FM
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Lapid’s Political Crack-Up
Middle East
» An American Infidel in Abu Dhabi
» EU Anti-Terrorism Chief Wants Law Against Foreign Fighters
» ISIS: Media: Woman Arrested in Lebanon is Baghdadi’s Ex-Wife
» UAE Woman Arrested in U.S. Teacher’s Mall Restroom Stabbing
» Indian Explorer Set to Acquire Stake in Siberian Oilfields
» Grozny: 10 Police Officers Killed, 28 Injured in Anti-Terror Operation
South Asia
» Pakistan: Christian Woman Miscarries After Brutal Beating by Muslims
» Homeland Security Already Hiring 1,000 Employees to Carry Out Obama Amnesty
» Multistate Coalition Sues Over Immigration Order
» President Obama’s Unilateral Action on Immigration Has No Precedent
» What is Life? It’s a Tricky, Confusing Question

Troika ‘Failing to Acknowledge Progress’, Greek Minister

‘Delays in review help neither EU nor creditors’

(ANSAmed) — ROME — The counter-proposals advanced by the Samaras government to the troika of international creditors (IMF, EU, ECB) are fair and should not be changed in any substantial way, Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ANSAmed in an interview on Wednesday. The minister of administrative reform and e-governance was in Rome to take part in a meeting of EU public administration ministers.

“I think,” he said, “that the time has come to acknowledge that Greece has carried out most of the reforms that it had to, which shows the government’s will to continue in this direction.” It is thus unfair, he added, “to question our commitment”.

Talks between the troika and the Athens government seem to have slid to a breaking point after the former replied via email on Wednesday morning to the proposals that the Samaras government had sent to representatives of the international creditors. The proposals contain measures the government is willing to implement to move forward a stalled review. Athens seems unwilling to go beyond a certain point, however. “We will not accept,” the minister said, “additional measures.” Due to cuts and draconian measures taken at the beginning of the crisis, “we have made the public administration sustainable at the economic level,” he continued. “Now we have to make it more efficient.” “It is possible to discuss how to achieve the goal,” he said, “but the reform of the state administration is in no way in question. These are non-negotiable principles.”

Protests continue to be held throughout Greece, nonetheless. “In the last general strike of the public administration, only 12% took part,” he said, adding that next week “I will be meeting with unions to discuss the evaluation system for state employees. I am open to dialogue, but not to second thoughts on the matter.” At the moment and for the next few months, he said Greece needs political stability “to reassure markets and investors”. Thus, no early elections as the far-left under Alexis Tsipras would like.

All the polls, he continued, “tell us that the people do not want fresh elections. It would be like going backwards, rendering the sacrifices made over the past five years in vain.” He said that the necessary support in parliament to election a new president (180 MPs out of 300, Ed.) would be found. “Everything,” he warned, “will depend on independent MPs and their sense of responsibility.” SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, he said, “will not be able to stop us.”

He then commented on the words of the prime minister, who on Tuesday spoke before the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce, criticizing the troika and the far-left leader and accusing them of wanting to jeopardize the country’s stability. The minister noted that “while internally no one has the right to politically destabilize the country, externally any delay in the completion of the review (by the troika, Ed.) does not help Europe, the international creditors or Greece.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Arab Pro-Terrorist Cartoonist Urges Ferguson Protesters to Cancel Christmas

by Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

Cancel Christmas. It’s what Michael Brown would have wanted. Or at least it’s what Carlos Latuff, an Arab settler living in Brazil, mainly known for his violently anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist cartoons, wants.

So far Michael Brown protesters have attacked the Thanksgiving parade and attacked little kids at tree lighting ceremonies. Psychos like Carlos Latuff, along with various Muslim agents at these protests, are predictably tilting this is an overtly anti-Christian direction.

Carlos Latuff’s usual specialty is depicting Jews as Nazis so he’s really stretching himself artistically here. There isn’t even a Nazi anywhere in the cartoon…

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

As National Guard Prepares to Leave Ferguson, Michael Brown’s Stepfather Faces Investigation

As National Guard troops began withdrawing from this troubled region, police officials said on Tuesday that they were investigating whether the stepfather of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer in August, incited a riot by issuing an invective-filled call to action outside the police department Nov. 24, not long before protesters began smashing windows and burning cars.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chimpanzees Aren’t ‘Persons’ With Rights of Humans, No Need to be Freed, New York Court Rules

A chimpanzee is not entitled to the rights of a human and does not have to be freed by its owner, a New York appeals court ruled Thursday.

The three-judge Appellate Division panel was unanimous in denying “legal personhood” to Tommy, who lives alone in a cage in upstate Fulton County.

A trial level court had previously denied the Nonhuman Rights Project’s effort to have Tommy released. The group’s lawyer, Steven Wise, told the appeals court in October that the chimp’s living conditions are akin to a person in unlawful solitary confinement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Coexisting at Christmas: Walmart’s New Christmas Decor for Muslims

Last weekend, my wife and I determined it was time to get a new tree topper for our Christmas tree. For years, we had an angel tree topper, but we wanted to change things up with a star this year.

So, we braved the post-Black Friday rush to check out the options available at some of our local retailers.

We eventually wound up at a Walmart store. Wandering through the Christmas décor section, we found the products we wanted to shop, as well as one we really never imagined we would see — ever.

Nestled among the stars, angels, Santas, and those pointy things (does anyone know what those things are even called?), I found a crescent moon with a star. Not a happy, smiling, man-in-the-moon crescent moon … no, this was a crescent-and-star ornament that could only symbolize one religion: Islam.

I was blown away.

I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, so I wondered, if I said anything, if it would quickly be relegated to urban legend status. It was almost too absurd to be believed without some kind of visual confirmation. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only person who saw these ornaments on the shelf.

Bryan Lisitsin of The Czar Report spotted one on the shelf at a Walmart back in October, and snapped a photo he shared on Twitter…


           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Five Charts That Show Why a Post-White America is Already Here if You’re Under 18, The Future is Now

The sweeping racial changes transforming the United States come with an important demographic dimension: age. The waves of Hispanics and Asians and multiracial Americans reshaping the country’s population are full of young people, who by some measures already outnumber their white counterparts. The trend was punctuated by the arrival in 2011 of the first “majority-minority” birth cohort, the first in which the majority of U.S. babies were nonwhite minorities. Consequently, the racial makeup of the nation’s younger population is beginning to contrast sharply with that of baby boomers and seniors.

The cultural divide opening between the older, whiter and younger, more diverse generations will require adaptation on all sides, and policymakers and citizens alike will need to approach these changes with a long view. Rather than seeing the inevitable changes as damaging to the American way of life, it behooves the nation to consider the future, and prepare now for a country that will be majority-minority.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Fort Hood Shooting Victims Will Soon be Eligible to Receive Purple Heart

Victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, with Congress pushing ahead with a policy change that would officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue, rather than the “workplace violence” designation the Obama administration had used.

The issue has been contentious since the 2009 attack, with victims and their family members saying Army Maj. Nidal Hasan’s shooting spree was clearly linked to the broader war on terror that the U.S. is fighting overseas…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Obama Cites ‘Deep Unfairness’ In How Laws Are Enforced

President Barack Obama reasserted his commitment Thursday to improving relations between law enforcement agencies and the people they police, alluding to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

“Unfortunately in recent days,” there have been reminders of the “deep unfairness when it comes to the gap between our professed ideals and how laws are applied on a day-to-day basis,” Obama said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

San Jose’s ‘Jungle’ Homeless Encampment Mostly Vacant Ahead of Eviction Deadline

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— It’s been called one of the largest homeless encampments in the U.S., but Wednesday was move-out day for many of the more than 200 residents of “The Jungle” at Coyote Creek, south of downtown San Jose.

On Monday, city and Santa Clara County officials issued a 72-hour-notice for residents to vacate the premises for health reasons, citing the unsanitary and unsafe conditions of the complex. People, mostly living in tents and outdoors, officially have until 6 a.m. Thursday to vacate the land…

[Return to headlines]

This is What it Means for Me to Teach Your White, Privileged Kids

A month after protesting in Ferguson, this Black, Harvard-educated literature professor has been teaching at one of the nation’s most elite boarding schools. Can she make a difference?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

U.S. Army Wants a New Gun

After about 30 years of using the Italian-made Beretta as the primary sidearm pistol for the U.S. military, the Pentagon is seeking a new gun contract.

For gun manufacturers, this kind of a contract is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While the Beretta lasted three decades, the U.S. military’s first semiautomatic standard-issue sidearm, the M1911 from Colt, lasted nearly 90 years. It was issued during the U.S. war in the Philippines through the World Wars to Vietnam and beyond.

[They should adopt the .45 H&K USP. Or just go back to the 1911. Neither will happen, of course. God knows what the brass hats will foist on us this time. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Catalonia to Open Delegation in Rome

To raise awareness on independence bid

(by Elisa Pinna) (ANSA) — ROME, DECEMBER 4 — The Catalan government will in the coming months open a delegation in Rome to raise awareness in the country about the region’s bid for independence from Spain. The announcement was made on Thursday during a conference at the Rome Tre university by Francesc Homs, advisor to the Catalan presidency and spokesman for the Barcelona government. The Catalan government already has representative offices in Brussels at the EU, Germany, France, Great Britain and US. Citing the November 9 “consultation” won by those calling for independence, Homs reiterated the desire to move forward. “As Catalan politicians,” he said, “we are trying to meet a massive, peaceful demand for self-determination.” Spain, however, refuses to so much as discuss the matter.

“As a result of the consultation,” the regional government representative noted, “Spanish prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against the Catalan government for daring to ask the opinion of its people.” If in future elections the Catalan population reiterates its will to separate from Spain, “confrontation with Madrid will be necessary”, he added, noting that other nations — such as Great Britain, as concerns the Scottish independence vote — had behaved differently in similar situations.

On this issue, he said, “Denmark is a true model.

Copenhagen has never used its constitution to prevent independence movements in Greenland and the Faroe islands.” With almost eight million inhabitants — including a million who have immigrated there in recent times — Catalonia accounts for 15% of Spain’s population, 20% of GDP and 26% of foreign trade. Though not the wealthiest region (coming in fourth after the Basque Country, Navarre and the Madrid province), it is forced to transfer about 8% of its GDP to the Spanish capital.

Taxes collected by Barcelona total over 19% of Spain’s revenue but only 14% of expenditure is allotted to Catalonia from the central government, a percentage under even the share of the national population its inhabitants account for. Catalans say that the problem is not only one of the amount of money transferred to the Spanish capital. There is also the desire in the region to decide their own future, since — as Catalan finance minister Andreu Mas-Colell put it recently — “Madrid’s centralized government model does not function any longer in the global market” and it is “a weight that is sinking the Spanish economy, as well as ours”. The Catalan government spokesman on Thursday noted in the Italian capital that Catalonian independence “was born 650 years ago and not with the 1978 Spanish decentralization”. A future separation from Madrid, he said, however, will not mean distancing itself from the EU. “We all know,” Homs said, “that the EU is going through difficult times. But we can assure you that we are clearly pro-EU.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Draghi Says No Unanimity Needed for QE, Big Bond Buys

Warns inflation may drop lower yet due to weak energy prices

(ANSA) — Frankfurt, December 4 — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday that the institution “does not need unanimity” to commit to “quantitative easing or a massive purchase of securities”. The comment seems a direct reprimand of German officials who are strongly opposed to QE and sovereign-bond purchases. Draghi disappointed markets by saying that no action would be taken until the new year. But he said the ECB would act to combat low inflation that could drop lower still due to weak oil prices.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Europe’s New Ariane Space Rocket Will Have Italian Engine

(AGI) Rome, Dec 3 — The prime contractor for the Vega rocket launcher, Italy’s Avio S.p.A., will develop a more powerful Vega-C launcher and new space engines for the Ariane 6, the successor to the highly successful European Ariane 5 rocket.

Ministers from European Space Agency (ESA) member states approved plans for the Vega-C launcher and Ariane 6 at a ministerial conference in Luxembourg on Wednesday. The plans include the development of innovative 120-tonne (P120) solid fuel boosters in carbon fibre. Ariane 6 is a three-stage modular launcher with two configurations — either two or four solid fuel engines — allowing maximum flexibility for commercial necessities. It can be used for single launches or for launches to various satellites. Vega-C will be the new, improved, and more versatile launcher developed by Avio through its group member company ELV, 70 percent of which is owned by Avio and 30 percent by ASI. Vega-C will increase the cargo threshold by up to two tonnes in low orbit, including in multiple satellite missions. Avio’s carbon fibre boosters have already been used in the 88-tonne (P80) version of the Vega launcher, for which Avio has recently secured contracts for 10 more launchers over the next three years. The solid fuel boosters will be built by the Avio Group’s establishments in Colleferro and French Guyana, ensuring continuity for development and production. Avio’s CEO Pier Giuliano Lasagni commented: “Applying composite materials technology to carrier rockets provides great advantages in terms of reducing weight and costs. For this reason, on top of design and construction, we have researched a resin to develop imbued carbon fibre textiles that are necessary for such engines. This technology allows us to maintain our leadership among the world’s solid fuel booster constructors. The approval by the Conference of Ministers of the development phase of our new Vega-C launcher and the Ariane 6 confirms the high technological quality and competence reached by our teams in Italy, France, and French Guyana. Avio holds a central role in the international aeropsace industry, and with Vega it has allowed Italy to be among the few nations to have their own space launcher”.

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

Italy: Berlusconi ‘Expects’ To Have Say in Presidential Race

Ex-premier sees a ‘shared path’ with Renzi on nominees

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that he expects to have a say in nominations for the next Italian president.

The issue is gaining attention amid reports that President Giorgio Napolitano, 89, is considering stepping down from the post early in the new year.

Berlusconi said in a published interview that he expects a “shared path” in choosing nominees with centre-left Premier Matteo Renzi, to ensure the list “is not only an expression of the left”.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Berlusconi suggested selecting presidential nominees is linked to other government reforms.

Renzi said on Wednesday suggested that no one party will dominate the list of possible candidates.

Instead, he said, the list of nominees “will be left to the Parliament to decide on, but the names are to be given the broadest possible consensus”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Mayor Meets National Anti-Corruption Czar

Cantone, Marino talk after arrests involving former city bosses

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino met Thursday with Raffaele Cantone, the national anti-corruption czar, amid reports of corruption and mafia infiltration of the city government under the previous administration. It’s believed that hundreds of millions of euros were diverted into mafia hands from the cash-strapped Rome government. Police arrested 37 people on Wednesday in the probe that include such prominent right-wing politicians as ex-mayor Gianni Alemanno, a former cabinet minister under ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Reports of Mafia Infiltration, Political Abuse Rock Rome

Renzi ‘shocked’ at allegations of corruption

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — Premier Matteo Renzi expressed shock and anger at revelations that a new mafia allegedly infiltrated Italy’s cash-stripped capital city of Rome, where residents awoke Thursday to the scandal involving a former mayor and a host of other senior officials.

Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini expressed “total outrage” over news that broke Wednesday when police announced that former right-wing Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno was among some 100 people under investigation in a probe into a mafia gang that allegedly diverted public contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros.

Late in the day, some 37 arrests had been made and police alleged a former terrorist who lost one eye in a police shoot-out years ago was among the leaders of the mafia group.

Renzi, who leads the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) announced the appointment of MP Matteo Orfini as Rome commissioner for the political party to examine any possible links with the former city administration now under scrutiny. “I’m shocked and upset seeing so serious a person as the prosecutor of Rome talk about mafia in Rome,” Renzi said late Wednesday.

He added that even if the accused are associated with the political right and far-right, it was still shocking for all parties and has triggered “a need for deep reflection”.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) called for the current city government, led by PD Mayor Ignazio Marino who was elected last year to replace Alemanno, to be dissolved in the wake of the mafia shock.

Marino maintained that his new administration “has barred the doors to anyone wanted to influence it in any way”.

Among those put behind bars Wednesday was the Roman mobsters’ alleged leader Massimo Carminati, a former member of the NAR neofascist terrorist group and of the Banda della Magliana crime gang. Judicial documents suggested his allies boasted of how much profit his gang was making off scamming city funding for migrant settlement centres, including social housing for Roma people.

“Do you have any idea how much I make on these immigrants?” Carminati’s right-hand man Salvatore Buzzi allegedly says in a 1,200-page wiretap from early 2013.

“Drug trafficking is not as profitable”. “We closed this year with turnover of 40 million but…our profits all came from the gypsies (Roma people), the housing emergency and the immigrants,” Buzzi said. “We didn’t make any money in the other sectors,” he added. These sectors, according to prosecution documents, included waste management and recycling, parks maintenance, and immigrant and refugee reception centers (CIEs).

The immigrant racket — which allegedly involved controlling the social cooperatives running the CIEs and the Roma people camps — was allegedly coordinated by Luca Odevaine, a deputy cabinet secretary under former center-left mayor Walter Veltroni. “This gentleman crisscrossed all key public offices dealing with the immigrant emergency, both vertically and horizontally,” prosecutors wrote.

“Odevaine used his contacts…to steer authorities to follow his indications, aimed at furthering the economic interests of certain entrepreneurs, which he shared,” the prosecution wrote. “We must take the measure of (current mayor) Marino,” Buzzi continues in the wiretap from early 2013, soon after the Democratic Party (PD) candidate Marino replaced Alemanno. Marino, it appears, proved difficult to approach. “They trust (center-left Lazio Governor Nicola) Zingaretti, no one trusts Marino,” Buzzi says in the wiretap.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Corruption Czar to Set Up Rome Mafia Team

Cantone meets Marino to discuss Mafia Capitale

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — Italy’s anti-corruption czar Raffaele Cantone is to set up a special team to analyse what public contracts may be affected, after a criminal investigation uncovered an alleged network linking organised crime to the capital’s the local political world, ANSA sources said. Cantone had a meeting with Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino on Thursday to discuss the so-called Mafia Capitale uncovered by investigators.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Capital Repatriation Bill Approved in Senate

Proponents say no amnesty but outstanding taxes to be paid

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — A bill permitting the repatriation of capital held abroad by Italians won final approved in the Senate Thursday, with a vote of 119 yeses while 61 said no and two abstained.

The bill, approved without changes Wednesday night in the Senate finance committee, also deals with the crime of self money-laundering — “own proceeds” laundering by a person who may be the author of the offence.

The bill is not an amnesty but involves a voluntary disclosure of assets held abroad.

The repatriated capital will be subject to all taxes, said Luigi Casero, junior economy minister. The common level of taxation for large amounts of capital can be as much as 43%, which could yield a tax boon for the Italian treasury.

It follows standards developed by international bodies including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said Casero.

No criminal penalties would be applied but petitioners under the bill would be required to reveal all relevant information including bank documents and intermediaries to create a picture of the money trail.

Moscardelli said the bill would concern violations of existing capital laws up to September 20, 2014 and remain in place until the same day in 2015.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Labour Minister Indignant at Link to Mafia Probe

Poletti says had nothing to do with alleged corruption

(ANSA) — Rome, December 4 — Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti said he was indignant after a photo of him with one of the people at the centre of a huge mafia investigation in Rome appeared in the media. “I feel terrible seeing my name put near to this filth,” Poletti said regarding an image of him with Salvatore Buzzi, a former manslaughter convict who headed cooperatives implicated in the scandal. “I’m indignant. I have nothing to do with that stuff. It’s intolerable to feel your reputation put in doubt. “Everyone knew that Salvatore Buzzi had been convicted of homicide, but those of us who live in the world think that it’s possible to change your life. “Buzzi seemed a good person who did a degree while he was in prison, he worked to give people who came out of prison another chance.

“It’s a paradox to discover what he has done”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Leading UK Muslim Group Assured Brotherhood Won’t be Banned

According to the president of the Muslim Association of Britain, the British government has given assurances that it will not proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood on the basis of its review into the movement, its ideas and policies

The UK government will not ban the Muslim Brotherhood movement as a result of its review into the Islamist group, a leading British Muslim group has said.

The UK prime ministerial review was ordered by David Cameron in April into all activities, ideology and policies of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the review team, led by Sir John Jenkins, UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia, completed the task and handed over its final report in July, the government has not yet published the results.

The British media has speculated that the results could be controversial.

“The government confirmed to us that it will not designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation,” Dr Omar Al-Hamdoon, president of Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), told Ahram Online…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Radical Islam Suspects to Remain Under Arrest, Bulgarian Court of Appeal Says

The Plovdiv Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the ruling of the Pazardzhik District Court to keep under arrest seven Bulgarian nationals accused of preaching radical Islam as there was risk they might commit other crimes.

There has been change to the lawyers of the defendants — the public defenders who appeared in Pazardzhik have been replaced with hired ones. Among them is Hari Haralampiev, who is to defend the imam Ahmed Musa Ahmed.

The prosecution revealed new details of the case.

Material evidence — photographs and items carrying the logo of Islamic State (IS) — have been supplemented with the testimony of protected witnesses…

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

Shipping: Greek Banks Ready to Start Funding Again, Says Nbg

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, DECEMBER 4 — National Bank of Greece chief executive Alexandros Tourkolias on Wednesday confirmed Greek banks’ return to the financing of the shipping industry as reported by daily Kathimerini online. “Greek lenders are determined to support the Greek oceangoing shipping sector,” Tourkolias said at an Athens event under the auspices of Cass Business School in London, adding that this has now become possible thanks to the fact that the local credit system has secured its stability. He did warn, however, that the new regulatory framework is particularly tight and that all European banks must learn to function under common European monitoring in the next three years. Tourkolias also said that Greek banks aim to create revenues through the issue of loans for new activities in oceangoing shipping. “Today we have the capital adequacy and the liquidity, so the question now is revenues,” he told a shipping financing panel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain Wins Gibraltar’s Exclusion From Single European Sky

Madrid considers it as illegally occupied by the UK

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — The Spanish government has obtained the exclusion of the airport of Gibraltar, built over land which Madrid considers as illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, from Single European Sky regulations to harmonize air traffic over the skies of Europe, ministerial sources were quoted as saying by local media on Thursday. At the European Council of transport ministers from the 28 member States, which approved yesterday the new Single European sky regulations (Ses2+), Spanish Infrastructure Minister Ana Pastor threatened to exercise her veto right if Gibraltar was included in the legislation to harmonize air traffic, claiming that it was “a State matter of vital interest for Spain, something that concerns its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

The regulation was finally approved with only one vote against by Britain, which opposed Gibraltar’s exclusion.

However, the Italian rotating presidency of the EU presented a solution of compromise with the suspension of the implementation of Ses2+ from Gibraltar’s airport until an agreement is reached between Spain and Britain.

Gibraltar is considered overseas British territory under UK administration but claimed by Spain, which in 1713, with the Utrecht treaty, gave away the city, the castle of the rock, together with the port, defenses and fortresses but not surrounding waters over which Madrid continues to claim its sovereignty, considering the area between the rock and Spanish territory as occupied territory.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Lenses of the Cardinal, The Sociologist, The Journalists

All focused on Francis. To understand who he is and where he wants to go. In the Church, at all levels, criticisms of the pope are no longer being silenced. They are voiced openly. Among the cardinals, the most explicit is Francis George

by Sandro Magister

ROME, November 24, 2014 — The tempestuous October synod on the family, the appointment of the new archbishop of Chicago, and the demotion of Cardinal Raymond L. Burke have marked a turning point in the pontificate of Pope Francis.

The disquiet, the doubts, the critical judgments are coming out more and more into the light of day and are becoming ever more explicit and substantiated.

On all levels of the “people of God.” Among cardinals, among sociologists of religion, among journalists specializing in Vatican affairs.

The following are three testimonies of the new climate.

1. The Cardinal

Francis George is not just any cardinal. Archbishop of Chicago until a few weeks ago and president of the United States bishops’ conference from 2007 to 2010, he is the one who guided the new course of the American Catholic Church during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, in perfect harmony with him.

By installing as his successor in Chicago a bishop with the opposite profile, Blase J. Cupich, Pope Francis has sent an unmistakable signal of disagreement with the stance of the episcopal conference…


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

There’s a War of Religion, But the Pope Keeps Quiet or Stammers

In the face of the offensive of radical Islam, Francis’s idea is that “we must soothe the conflict.” And forget Regensburg. With serious harm also to the reformist currents of Islam

by Sandro Magister

ROME, November 21, 2014 — In a few days Pope Francis will go to Turkey, right into the thick of the new “piecemeal” global war that he sees overrunning the world.

The Islamic caliphate that has taken hold just beyond the Turkish border, between Syria and Iraq, pulverizing the old geographical boundaries, is global by nature. “The triumphant march of the mujahideen will reach all the way to Rome,” caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi proclaimed in the middle of November.

It has received declarations of obedience from patches of Islam in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, and Libya, opposite the coasts of Italy. In Nigeria and nearby Cameroon, Boko Haram has extended the caliphate to sub-Saharan Africa. New followers are streaming in from Europe and North America.

The black flag of the newly created Islamic State bears a Kufic inscription of its profession of faith: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Christians are among the many victims of this puritanical Islam, which calls itself the only true form and also wants to make a desert of what it considers the greatest betrayals of original Islam: the Shiite heresy with its epicenter in Iran and the secularizing modernism of the Turkey of Kemal Atatürk, from whose mausoleum Pope Francis will begin his voyage.

In Ar-Raqqah, the de facto capital of the caliphate and the Syrian city from which the Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio disappeared, on the 15 out of 1500 Christian families that have survived the new Islamic State has imposed the jizya, a protection tax of an exorbitant 535 dollars a year, on pain of the confiscation of their homes and possessions.

In Mosul there is no longer any church where Mass is still celebrated, as also happened after the invasion of the Mongols.

It is impossible not to see in this the features of a “war of Islam” pushed to the extreme, fought in the name of Allah. It is illusory to deny the Islamic origin of this unbridled theological violence. This has been published even by the officially supervised “La Civiltà Cattolica,” only to be contradicted afterward by its fearsome director, Antonio Spadaro, the Jesuit who plays the role of Francis’s interpreter.

On Islam the Catholic Church stammers, the more so the higher up the ladder one goes.

The bishops of the dioceses of the Middle East are calling upon the world for effective armed protection, which never comes. In Rome, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran publishes the most detailed denunciation of the atrocities of the caliphate, and declares an end to all possibility of dialogue with those among the Muslims who do not stamp out violence at its roots.

But when the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, speaks in New York from the tribunal of the UN, as he did on September 29, he carefully avoids the taboo words “Islam” and “Muslims,” and pays the obligatory tribute to the mantra that denies the existence of that conflict of civilization which is plain for all to see.

Of course, Parolin raises the protest against the “irresponsible apathy” shown by the United Nations. But it is precisely on the UN that Francis calls for the sole legitimate decision on any armed intervention in the theater of the Middle East.

Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio has given back to the diplomats, in the curia, the role that the two previous pontiffs had obfuscated. But ultimately he is the one to dictate the times and means of Vatican geopolitics. More with silences than with speech.

He remained silent on the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. He remained silent on the young Sudanese mother Meriam, sentenced to death solely for being Christian and finally liberated by the intervention of others. He remains silent on the Pakistani mother Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for five years, she too because she is an “infidel,” and does not even reply to the two heartrending letters she has written to him this year, before and after the reconfirmation of the sentence.

The Argentine rabbi Abraham Skorka, a longtime friend of Bergoglio, has said that he has heard him say that “we must soothe the conflicts.”

With Islam, even in its theologically bloodiest form, this is what the pope does. He never calls those responsible by name. They must be “stopped,” he has said, but without specifying how. He prays and he has others pray, as he did with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents. He calls for all steps of dialogue to be taken, but on what unites and not on what divides.

In 2006 Benedict XVI, first in Regensburg and then in Istanbul, said what no pope had ever dared to say: that violence associated with faith is the inevitable product of the fragile bond between faith and reason in Muslim doctrine and in its very understanding of God…

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

UK: Canary Wharf Owner Gets Offer From Qatar, Brookfield

Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY) increased their bid for London Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates Plc (SBD), and the Qatar fund agreed to buy as much as 9 percent of Brookfield.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Who Decorated the First Christmas Tree? A Battle in Baltics is Branching Out

Latvia and Estonia — Two of the three nations that make up the Baltics — don’t have a ton to hang their hats on when it comes to international notoriety. So, it’s understandable if the two are battling it out over who can claim to be the home of the decorated Christmas tree.

Estonians, however, are singing a different carol, where historians say the first Christmas tree was seen in 1441, almost 70 years ahead of its neighbor.

This is more than just harmless bickering over which nation started decorating Christmas trees first. Holding the status as the tradition’s motherland is one of the meaningful draws for tourists at the coldest and darkest time of year in Northern Europe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hahn Warns Belgrade: Kosovo Issue to be Resolved

But Nikolic insists, we’ll never recognize Kosovo’s independence

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — Serbia will never be able to join the EU before resolving the Kosovo issue. This was the message sent to Belgrade by the new EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn, reported by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, who met Hahn recently in Belgrade.

“Hahn told me literally: we do not want you in the Union unless you resolve your problems. And since most of the EU member countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence, he told me clearly that Europe will not welcome us, if we don’t resolve the Kosovo issue”, Nikolic said in an interview with the public tv broadcaster RTS. Nikolic, however, reiterated that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo’s independence.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Derna ‘Out of Control But Few ISIS’, New Libyan Ambassador

‘Army stronger, controls 80% of Benghazi’, ‘Oil hub secure’

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, DECEMBER 4 — The situation in the eastern city of Derna is out of control but the city is surrounded by the armed forces, Libyan ambassador to Rome Ezzedin Al-Awami told ANSA on Thursday. The former vice president of the General National Congress (GNC), recently appointed to his new position by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni, added that the army was now, “thanks to the support of the parliament and the government, stronger than the militias. There aren’t many Islamic State (ISIS) members, including foreign ones.” Libyan media quote sources with insider knowledge as saying that the self-declared emir of the Islamic State for North Africa, the Iraqi Abu Nabil Al-Anbari, is living in Derna. The man’s real name is reportedly Wessam Abd Zeid, former emir of the Iraqi province Al-Anbar. Anbari is said to have met ISIS supreme leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi during his time in a US prison in Iraq. Awami said that “80% of Benghazi is under army control, while the eastern coastal oil hub is entirely secure.” Libyan PM Al-Thinni spoke on the issue of Benghazi on Thursday as well, saying that 96% of the city had been liberated and that the Libyan army had begun the battle to liberate Tripoli. “The legitimate parliament,” Awami, who was designated by the Tobruk government, “supports UN-mediated dialogue and will take part in the December 9 meeting in Ghadames.” “But we will not speak,” he added, referring to Libya Dawn militias that currently control Tripoli,”with those that have blood on their hands.” “If an agreement is reached for a national unity government,” he said, “an exit of militias and in investigation into the attacks on the cities, this will be the basis for a solution to the crisis.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS: U.S.: Training Camps Set Up in Eastern Libya

At the moment, some 200 jihadists are being trained

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK — The Islamic State has set up training camps in eastern Libya, according to General David Rodriguez, commander of the US Africa Command.

Gen. Rodriguez added that the US are closely monitoring the situation.

At the moment, added the general addressing reporters at the Pentagon, some 200 jihadists are being trained at the camps.

It is a new phenomenon and the US, said the general, will continue to monitor and observe with attention the situation in order to see what happens in the future and whether it will continue to grow. Gen. Rodriguez added that at the moment no air raids on those camps have been planned, although this possibility is being discussed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy ‘Should Help Libya, But Without Foreign Peacekeepers’

New ambassador calls for technical support but no weapons

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, DECEMBER 4 — Libya’s new ambassador to Rome, Ezzedin Al-Awami, on Thursday called for Italy to help bolster the “legitimate power of the elected parliament and to stabilize security”. The former vice president of the General National Congress (GNC) noted that, however, “the Libyan population would not accept the presence of foreign peacekeepers”. In recent days Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, had said that Italy was prepared to intervene with a peacekeeping mission if asked to do so by the UN. “Neither soldiers nor advanced weaponry that could end up in the wrong hands are needed,” Awai added, saying that what was necessary was “logistical and technical support to stabilize the situation on the ground, as well as moral support.” He noted that Italy, “which is the most important country in Europe for us, with very strong relations and economic activities, can act as a mediator with other countries.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia Willing to Work Together on Libya, Italian FM

In UN initiatives

(ANSAmed) — BASEL (SWITZERLAND), DECEMBER 4 — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaled to Italy on Thursday that Russia would be willing to cooperate on the issue of Libya, his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni said. Gentiloni announced the news in speaking to journalists after meeting with the head of Russian diplomacy on the sidelines of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) ministers meeting in Basel. “We are please to note that Russia is willing to cooperate with UN activities and the initiatives that Italy and its allies take on the Libyan scenario, which,” he added, “concerns us particularly and on which the Russian foreign minister told us explicitly that their position is to collaborate on the intervention and development lines that Italy deems most appropriate, obviously within a UN framework.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Lapid’s Political Crack-Up

Three days after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and leader of the Yesh Atid party and now former finance minister Yair Lapid failed to resolve their differences and so thrust Israel into an electoral season less than two years after the last election, the Left’s narrative is already clear. Netanyahu has forced unnecessary, costly elections on the country. He did so because his reactionary nature, overweening ego and thin skin made it impossible for him to handle a true reformer like Lapid, who was trying to push the country forward.

The actual situation is quite different. These elections are necessary. The up to NIS 1.2 billion that taxpayers will have to pay to finance the vote scheduled for March 17 is money well spent. And if the current polls are even close to what the election results will be three months from now, then the public understands that they are necessary and intends to elect a government that will serve it better than the one that just dissolved.

To be sure, Netanyahu is the one who decided to call elections. But the person responsible for making it impossible for the existing government to function is Lapid. Over the past few months Lapid has had the political equivalent of a nervous breakdown…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

An American Infidel in Abu Dhabi

by Phyllis Chesler

On December 1st, a figure in a black burqa, armed with an eight-inch knife, entered the upscale Boutik shopping mall located in Reem Island, the neighborhood where most of Abu Dhabi’s 40,000 expatriates live.

The black burqa’ed figure waited for more than an hour in a woman’s toilet—then stabbed the first white blonde infidel American woman who came in to use the facilities six times until she was dead. Then, with the possible help of two other women, the mysterious black burqa’ed figure either smoothly and calmly walked away, or did so in a frenzied fashion (there are conflicting eye witness reports about this). In any event, the killer entered an elevator and disappeared.

The victim’s name was Ibolya Ryan. She was a Hungarian-born and Romanian-raised kindergarten teacher and the divorced mother of two 11 year-old twin boys, Adam and Aiden. Her former husband lives in Colorado. Ryan had described herself in an online profile for a teacher-recruiting company as “Romanian born” and someone who has worked “in four countries over the last 15 years.” Ryan wanted to “experience the Arab world…their culture and daily life.”

Tragically, she has done just that. At a time of fierce Islamic fundamentalist Jihad, Ibolya, a civilian, may have been targeted by Jihadists. On October 29, 2014, the Embassy of the United States Abu Dhabi UAE posted a “message” for U.S. Citizens, especially “Teachers at International Schools.” An anonymous posting on a Jihadist site, which encouraged “attacks against teachers at American and other international schools in the Middle East,” prompted the Embassy to issue a “security warning.” This included the following:…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

EU Anti-Terrorism Chief Wants Law Against Foreign Fighters

‘More collaboration with Med nations needed’

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 4 — In a meeting of EU justice ministers on Thursday, anti-terrorism chief Gilles De Kerchove called for an EU-wide law that would criminally prosecute ‘foreign fighters’, greater collaboration with Mediterranean countries for evidence gathering and development of de-radicalization programs as an alternative to prison. “An EU law against fighters would send a strong signal,” De Kerchove said. For the first time the issue of ‘foreign fighters’ — term used to refer to citizens of Western nations fighting in Syria and other conflict zones — was on the agenda of the EU justice ministers meeting, which dealt with the issue during an informal lunch in which De Kerchove took part. “In September, the UN adopted a resolution so that all member states provide for possible criminal prosecution of those that go abroad for training and fighting, as in Syria and Iraq,” De Kerchove said. “Having EU legislation harmonizing the behavior of all member states on this would ensure effective implementation, send a strong signal, prevent gaps and constitute a shared benchmark.” The anti-terrorism coordinator also stressed the difficulty involved in collecting evidence of foreign fighters’ activities.

“If we are not in Syria, how can we prove that that person was with the Islamic State (ISIS)? This is why,” he said, “we must increase our judicial cooperation with Mediterranean countries like Turkey and Egypt,” which he recently visited. However, in De Kerchove’s eyes there is also the need to develop de-radicalization and reintegration programs in society as an alternative to prison, since prisons are “large incubators” that often result in deeper and more widespread radicalization. “We must send those that have actually been in the ranks of terrorism to prison,” he said, “but we also have to come up with an alternative, a second track, and we would like the Commission to support member states in the organization of these programs.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Media: Woman Arrested in Lebanon is Baghdadi’s Ex-Wife

With their daughter after three-month marriage six years ago

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT — The woman arrested by Lebanese authorities as she was trying to get into the country from Syria with fake documents was married to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi for three months, six years ago, and had a daughter with him, local media reported on Thursday, quoting statements by Interior Minister Nuhad Machnuk.

The woman, identified as Saja al Dulaimi, was travelling with the daughter she had with the ISIS chief, as well as her two other children. She is now expecting from her current husband, a Palestinian.

DNA tests on the little girl, carried out thanks to samples sent by Iraqi authorities, have confirmed she is al Baghdadi’s child. She has been entrusted, together with her two brothers, to a childcare facility while her mother was arrested over her connections with jihadist groups.

Yesterday, the Iraqi interior ministry was the first to deny that Saja al Dulaimi was still married to the leader of ISIS, publishing the names of his current two wives: Asmaa Fawzi Mohammad Al Dulaimi and Israa Rajab Mahal Al Qaissi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UAE Woman Arrested in U.S. Teacher’s Mall Restroom Stabbing

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — An Emirati woman arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a U.S. teacher in a bathroom at a United Arab Emirates mall is also accused of placing a handmade bomb in front of an American doctor’s house, the country’s interior minister said Thursday.

Police arrested the woman, identified only as in 30s and a UAE national, Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

More details about the arrest weren’t immediately available.

Police said a veiled woman stabbed American schoolteacher Ibolya Ryan, 47, during a fight in a restroom at the high-end Boutik Mall on Reem Island on Monday.

The alleged attacker was fully covered, donning an abaya — a black, full-length gown traditionally worn by Emirati women — black gloves, a face cover and a hijab, or head scarf, police said. She fled the mall after the attack.

Police believe Ryan, who was married with 11-year-old twins, did not know the attacker, Al Nahyan said.

Later Monday, the suspect placed a primitive bomb in front of a house where an American Muslim doctor lives, said Al Nahyan, adding that authorities had video of the event.

The doctor’s son saw the object and called police, Al Nahyan said. Police defused the device.

[Return to headlines]

Indian Explorer Set to Acquire Stake in Siberian Oilfields

Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, Moscow has offered olive branch to New Delhi, allowing Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) — the South Asian country’s biggest explorer — to acquire stake in two Siberian oilfields.

The Narendra Modi government said in a statement on Thursday that ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) — the overseas arm of government-run Indian explorer — would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with biggest Russian petroleum company Rosneft upon Putin’s arrival in the Indian capital on December 11. On the basis of the MoU, OVL will acquire a 10% stake in strategically important Vankor and Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye oilfields.

Talking to the media, a senior Indian Petroleum Ministry official said that the MoU would be a part of Putin’s energy engagement with New Delhi, as Kremlin decided to bolster trade ties with Asian nations in an attempt to counter sanctions from the US and its Western allies over the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.

Earlier, Rosneft indicated that it would sell a 10% stake in Vankor to OVL. It had already sold 10% stake in the Vankor cluster fields to CNPC of China for around USD 1 billion in September. India, too, is interested in acquiring stake in Vankor — the largest Russian oilfield with an initial recoverable reserve of estimated 500 million tonnes of oil and condensate and 182 billion cubic meters of gas. The filed has been brought into production in the last 25 years. In the next five years, Vankor is likely to reach peak output of 500,000 barrels per day or 25 million tonnes a year.

Apart from offering a 10% stake in Vankor, Rosneft has also invited OVL to take part in the joint development of Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye oilfield in eastern Siberia. The Indian company immediately accepted the offer, as the field, which is estimated to hold 991 million barrels of oil equivalent reserves, might start production in 2017.

According to the Indian official, Kremlin is confident that China and India can help Rosneft counter sanction imposed by the EU and the US on Russia for Moscow’s alleged involvement in the recent political development in eastern part of Ukraine.

Currently, OVL enjoys a 20% stake in Russia’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field.

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

Grozny: 10 Police Officers Killed, 28 Injured in Anti-Terror Operation

Ten police officers were killed and 28 injured during an anti-terrorist operation in the Chechen capital, Grozny, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee has reported. The operation prevented major terrorist attacks planned in the city, the committee said, RT reported.

“In the course of the counter-terrorist operation 10 local police officers were killed and 28 were wounded, having shown bravery while on civilian and military duty,” the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement.

RT’s video agency RUPTLY has obtained exclusive video of the last hours of the operation.

The footage from the location shows a building on fire, with emergency services trying to put out the flames.

The incident started after midnight when a group of armed men traveling in three cars attacked a police checkpoint outside Grozny. Then the gang proceeded into the city and occupied the Press House building in the city center.

At 8 am, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, wrote on his Instagram page that he was personally supervising the anti-terrorist operation and that it was “entering its final phase.”

Security forces immediately arrived at the scene and blockaded the Press House. An anti-terrorist curfew was imposed in the city.

Also, additional measures were taken to liquidate terrorists who besieged a school building, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee spokesman said.

The committee reports that the operation has now ended.

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

Pakistan: Christian Woman Miscarries After Brutal Beating by Muslims

By Robert Spencer

“Bibi has been quoted as saying that the Muslim family often tried to persuade her to convert to Islam.” And she refused. Muhammad said: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)

So if Elishba Bibi refused the Muslim family’s invitation to Islam, and did not pay the jizya, it was not just their prerogative, but their responsibility to fight her — hence the beating with pipes…

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

Homeland Security Already Hiring 1,000 Employees to Carry Out Obama Amnesty

Department of Homeland Security officials wasted little time in ramping up for President Obama’s amnesty, posting 1,000 job openings the day after his announcement and announcing it already has space for hundreds of employees at a new location in Arlington, Virginia — an indication that it had laid its plans well before Mr. Obama’s announcement.

And even though Mr. Obama said his policy is temporary, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring the employees for permanent positions, at salaries of up to $157,000 a year, according to the job postings listed on the official federal jobs website.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Multistate Coalition Sues Over Immigration Order

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration’s recently announced executive actions on immigration.

Many top Republicans have denounced President Barack Obama’s unilateral move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further Wednesday, filing a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. Texas is joined by 16 other, mostly southern and Midwestern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.

Under Obama’s order, announced Nov. 20, protection from deportation and the right to work will be extended to an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.

Abbott argued Wednesday that Obama’s action “tramples” portions of the U.S. Constitution.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

President Obama’s Unilateral Action on Immigration Has No Precedent

THE WHITE House has defended President Obama’s unilateral decision to legalize the presence of nearly 4 million undocumented immigrants as consistent, even in scope, with the executive actions of previous presidents. In fact, it is increasingly clear that the sweeping magnitude of Mr. Obama’s order is unprecedented.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

What is Life? It’s a Tricky, Confusing Question

The usual definition of life, as used in the first case, is that it is a system of material entities that can undergo evolution, which implies reproduction, mutation and selection. This is what we are looking for on Mars and on other worlds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

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


    Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind
    — Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would loose. He told the BBC: — The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.

  2. Obama can veto the bill to give the Fort Hood soldiers the purple heart. As the SOB is a heartless traitor, this could be expected.

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