Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/7/2015

The big news of the day is of course the Charlie Hebdo massacre. In addition to the six or seven posts below, most of the news feed is taken up with the topic.

In other news (what little there is), the European Union has asked Turkey for an explanation of how two large cargo ships could be filled with illegal migrants at Turkish ports and then set sail for Italy without drawing the attention of Turkish authorities.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, K, Papa Whiskey, 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
» Deflation Hits Eurozone as Energy Prices Fall
» Antibiotics: US Discovery Labelled ‘Game-Changer’ For Medicine
» Do Mars Rover Photos Show Potential Signs of Ancient Life?
Europe and the EU
» 12 Dead in Paris Massacre: Islamic Gunmen Execute French Police Officer as He Pleads for His Life After Terror Attack on Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo at Centre of Mohammed Cartoon Storm
» Ahmed Merabet, Cop Killed in Paris Attacks, Was Muslim
» Charlie Hebdo Has Been the Victim of the Prophet’s Revenge for Years
» Charlie Hebdo Witness: They Said “We Are Al Qaida Yemen”
» Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’
» Four of France’s Top Cartoonists Killed in Paris Attack
» France: ‘Terrorist Commandos’: Paris Gunmen Likely Highly Trained, Say Experts
» Italian Cities Celebrate La Befana
» Italy: Renzi Tries to Allay ‘Pro-Berlusconi’ Tax Measure Row
» More Than 100,000 Rally Across France After Paris Attack
» Online Jihad Supporters Celebrate Attack on Headquarters of French Satirical Weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’
» Paris Charlie Hebdo Attack: Casualty Doctor Describes ‘Carnage’
» Turkish Ministers Notes ‘Islamophobia’ While Condemning Paris Newspaper Attack
» Youngest Suspect in Paris Attack Turns Himself in
Israel and the Palestinians
» What About Arab War Crimes Against Palestinians?
Middle East
» Did the U.S. Military Catch and Release One of the Charlie Hebdo Jihad Murderers as He Was Waging Jihad in Iraq?
» Russian Billionaires’ Fortunes Fall With Oil Price Plunge
» Spiny Monster From the Depths of World’s Oldest Lake
Latin America
» Chocolate Shortage Spurs Call to Revive Cocoa Farming in Amazon Basin
» EU Wants Turkey’s Explanation on Smuggling of Migrants in Cargo Ships
» Whitewashing Islamic Terrorism From Sydney to Jerusalem

Deflation Hits Eurozone as Energy Prices Fall

Inflation in the eurozone has turned negative, official figures have shown, with prices in December 0.2% lower than the same month a year earlier.

The tip into deflation adds pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take further action to stimulate the bloc’s economy.

The bank’s inflation target is below but close to 2%.

The fall was driven mainly by lower energy costs due to the plunging price of oil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Antibiotics: US Discovery Labelled ‘Game-Changer’ For Medicine

The decades-long drought in antibiotic discovery could be over after a breakthrough by US scientists.

Their novel method for growing bacteria has yielded 25 new antibiotics, with one deemed “very promising”.

The last new class of antibiotics to make it to clinic was discovered nearly three decades ago.

The study, in the journal Nature, has been described as a “game-changer” and experts believe the antibiotic haul is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but nothing found since 1987 has made it into doctor’s hands.

Since then microbes have become incredibly resistant. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ignores nearly everything medicine can throw at it.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Do Mars Rover Photos Show Potential Signs of Ancient Life?

A careful study of images taken by the NASA rover Curiosity has revealed intriguing similarities between ancient sedimentary rocks on Mars and structures shaped by microbes on Earth. The findings suggest, but do not prove, that life may have existed earlier on the Red Planet.

The photos were taken as the Mars rover Curiosity drove through the Gillespie Lake outcrop in Yellowknife Bay, a dry lakebed that underwent seasonal flooding billions of years ago. Mars and Earth shared a similar early history. The Red Planet was a much warmer and wetter world back then.

On Earth, carpet-like colonies of microbes trap and rearrange sediments in shallow bodies of water such as lakes and coastal areas, forming distinctive features that fossilize over time. These structures, known as microbially-induced sedimentary structures (or MISS), are found in shallow water settings all over the world and in ancient rocks spanning Earth’s history.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

12 Dead in Paris Massacre: Islamic Gunmen Execute French Police Officer as He Pleads for His Life After Terror Attack on Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo at Centre of Mohammed Cartoon Storm

Twelve people were killed today when gunmen carried out a ‘massacre’ at the offices of a notoriously anti-Islamist newspaper in Paris — including a police officer who was executed as he begged for mercy on the pavement.

Three masked attackers brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, opening fire on staff after seeking out journalists by name.

Those executed included four of the most famous cartoonists in France — men who had regularly satirised Islam and the Prophet Mohammed — including the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier.

The killers were heard to shout ‘the Prophet has been avenged’ and ‘Allahu akbar!’ as they stalked the building.

[As a journalist eight years ago I tried to push back against this, writing that American journalism’s pusillanimity in the face of Muslim demands for self-censorship in the Muhammad cartoon affair had set “a dreadful precedent, one certain to haunt us all in the years ahead.” I have since seen this borne out time and again, but never more horrifically than today. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Ahmed Merabet, Cop Killed in Paris Attacks, Was Muslim

Police have named 42-year-old Muslim policeman Ahmed Merabet as one of the two officers killed in Wednesday’s attack on a satirical magazine in Paris. He is survived by his wife.

Merabet was seen in videos being killed point-blank on the sidewalk by the Muslim terrorists, after begging for his life. He was a patrolman assigned to the 11th arrondissement- the Paris neighborhood where Charlie Hebdo’s office is located.

Islam explicitly condemns killing other Muslims. Many Islamist groups justify their indiscriminate attacks on fellow believers by claiming that those living in the West, or otherwise not advancing their group’s radical cause, have betrayed “true Islam” and are therefore apostates…

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

Charlie Hebdo Has Been the Victim of the Prophet’s Revenge for Years

In midday Paris at least 12 persons were reported to have been slaughtered in a brazen attack by three masked Jihadis armed with Kalashnikovs and an RPG. The dead include a French policeman and members of the courageous team at Charlie Hebdo, a satiric weekly including the editor and at least three cartoonists. This marks the latest example of “revenge” for daring to criticize the Prophet and his message at risk of life and limb. The perpetrators escaped and a manhunt is now underway to apprehend them. It was clearly an Islamic terror attack. Some Metro stations and schools have been locked down. We are concerned that French Jewish communities be given protection by the Interior Ministry against similar reprisals. There have prior attacks at Charlie Hebdo in 2007, 2011 and 2012 over offending satiric cartoons. However, today’s is by far the worst. It should not be lost on anyone that this is the latest in the string of armed retribution against those tolerating Muslim sensibilities in Eurabia. All while officialdom wrings it hands over protest rallies by Pegida in Germany, the renewal of prosecution against Geert Wilders in The Netherlands, Paul Weston in the UK and the Swedish Democrats for criticizing mass Muslim immigration.

In November 2011, when Charlie Hebdo’s office was firebombed we posted a number of Charlie Hebdo satirical covers, Shocking! “Charlie Hebdo” covers screams The Daily Beast … . When the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack occurred Charlie Hebdo produced a cover attacking the alleged cheap internet video , Video of Charlie Hebdo Cartoons on “Innocence of Mohammed Film” in Translation .

We commented in the November 2011 post:

Charlie Hebdo should be given a French Legion of Honor rosette as a cultural icon in la belle France and the EU. An EU now enforcing OIC blasphemy codes in a blatant attempt to silence free speech and criticism of a religion, Islam. We trust that Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and Swedish artist Lars Vilks were among the first to offer their support to their French colleagues. Charlie Hebdo is emblematic of Westergaard’s dictum: “free speech, USE IT.”

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Charlie Hebdo Witness: They Said “We Are Al Qaida Yemen”

Terrorists told man while stealing his car after accident

(ANSAmed) — BARI, JANUARY 7 — “Al Qaida Yemen, sortez de la voiture” (get out of the car), two terrorists reportedly told a man before stealing his car to run away after their attack against weekly Charlie Hebdo, ANSA has learned from an Italian national who works in Paris and spoke with the man whose vehicle was hijacked. The attackers appeared calm and “spoke a perfect French” and when the man, held at gunpoint, asked them whether he could take his dog from the car, they reportedly said yes.

The terrorists who fled aboard the black Citroen after the attack against Charlie Hebdo changed cars after crashing against a sidewalk on rue de Meaux, an eye witness who was at a bakery across the street was quoted as saying by the media. The man, identified as Jeremy, said he saw the terrorists crash and then leave the car and “take a light-colored Clio parked behind while screaming Allah is with us”. “They were masked and were carrying Kalashnikovs”, he said. The men then fled aboard the Clio towards the bridge de Pantin.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’

By Andrew C. McCarthy

There are now at least twelve confirmed dead in the terrorist attack carried out by at least three jihadist gunmen against the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. While it practices equal-opportunity satire, lampooning Islam has proved lethal for the magazine, just as it has for so many others who dare to exercise the bedrock Western liberty of free expression.


What Charlie Hebdo has satirized is a savage reality. That reality was visited on the magazine again today. As night follows day, progressive governments in Europe and the United States are already straining to pretend that this latest atrocity is the wanton work of “violent extremists,” utterly unrelated to Islam. You are to believe, then, that François Hollande, Barack Obama, David Cameron, and their cohort of non-Muslim Islamophiles are better versed in sharia than the Muslim scholars who’ve dedicated their lives to its study and have endorsed such scholarly works as Reliance [of the Traveller, a manual of Islamic law].

Let me repeat what I have detailed here before: Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State did not make up sharia law. Islam did. We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem.

[Mr. McCarthy, who prosecuted the “Blind Sheikh” and other perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, nails it as usual. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Four of France’s Top Cartoonists Killed in Paris Attack

Four of France’s most famous cartoonists were among the dozen people murdered Wednesday when gunmen attacked the Paris offices of their satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, French prosecutors said.

They included the editor-in-chief of the publication, Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb.

The other three were: Jean Cabut, known across France as Cabu; Georges Wolinski; and Bernard Verlhac, better known as Tignous…

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

France: ‘Terrorist Commandos’: Paris Gunmen Likely Highly Trained, Say Experts

The Islamist gunmen who mounted Wednesday’s terrorist attack at a Paris satirical magazine’s office moved with the skill and precision of highly-trained commandos, military experts told

Masked and garbed in black, the AK-47 wielding assassins appeared to be executing a well-coordinated plan in the late-morning raid, methodically seeking out and executing those targeted for death, and making a clean getaway — all in the span of a few minutes. Moments after the 11:30 a.m. attack, the three assassins were gone. A manhunt continued into the evening in a shaken and locked-down Paris, but their were no reports of suspects or even leads.

[Just like Mumbai in 2008, only more efficient. And, just like Mumbai in 2008, I’ll bet they had the help of a Muslim country’s intelligence service. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Italian Cities Celebrate La Befana

Record two-kilometer stocking in Milan

(ANSA) — Rome, January 6 — Italians on Tuesday celebrated the Epiphany, a national holiday inspired by the story of the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem with gifts for the newborn Jesus.

In Italy the festival is also known as La Befana after the legendary old woman who delivers gifts on her broomstick. She is said to visit children on the eve of January 6 to fill their socks with candy and presents if they have been good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they have been bad.

In Milan, authorities set up what they touted as the world’s longest Epiphany stocking — two kilometers long, it was made with thread derived from recycled bottles in the colors of this year’s world’s fair, Milan Expo 2015.

In Venice, a regatta was held in the Grand Canal with rowers dressed up as old women competing for best costume.

In Rome’s Piazza Navona, the holiday was focused on children with actities aimed at kids and the arrival of the three kings on horseback.

In the seafaring port city of Genoa, the Befana arrived on a water scooter, and Befana divers deposited a crown on the sea floor near Gallinara island. Florence celebrated with a procession down the Arno river by 100 vessels from the city’s rowing club, while in Naples, firefighters organized a feast for children that also taught them about fire safety. In the southern city of Brindisi, the Hellenic Community carried out a traditional blessing of the port.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Tries to Allay ‘Pro-Berlusconi’ Tax Measure Row

‘Berlusconi will serve every last day of his sentence’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 6 — Premier Matteo Renzi said Tuesday he will postpone a controversial tax-fraud decree to a February 20 cabinet meeting. “To avoid controversy affecting the (presidential election) and reforms, I think it is opportune to …insert this decree into the tax reform package (slated for cabinet debate) February 20,” the premier wrote on his website. “We are changing the tax system for the Italian people not for Berlusconi,” Renzi added. “We won’t give anybody a free pass, not even Berlusconi, who will serve every last day of his sentence”.

The premier was referring to Article 19-bis of a government legislative decree approved by cabinet December 24, which would have depenalized tax fraud “when the sum of evaded taxes does not exceed 3% of declared taxable income”. Renzi suspended the decree on Sunday after Article 19-bis sparked a public outcry because it could in theory be used to annul the August 2013 tax-fraud conviction and consequent ban from public office of media mogul and former premier, Silvio Berlusconi.

A court in April 2014 ordered the billionaire media mogul to serve out the remaining year of a four-year sentence for a 370-million-euro tax fraud at his Mediaset media empire by working at least four hours a week at a nursing home in the town of Cesano Boscone, near Milan.

Political forces are currently lining up to vie for the post of president of the republic, which incumbent Giorgio Napolitano has announced he will vacate as soon as Italy hands over the reins of its duty six-month European Union presidency on January 13.

News of Article 19-bis, which pundits soon dubbed the Save-Berlusconi measure, raised hackles across the political spectrum as it fomented suspicions of a back-room deal between Renzi and Berlusconi, who has pledged the support of his center-right Forza Italia (FI) party for the center-left premier’s electoral law reform bill.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

More Than 100,000 Rally Across France After Paris Attack

More than 100,000 people gathered in cities around France as night fell to pay tribute to the 12 people gunned down in an attack against the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly on Wednesday.

In Paris 35,000 gathered at Republique square, not far from where the attack took place, police said. Officials in cities such as Marseille, Toulouse and Lyon also reported thousands gathering in public spaces on the country’s darkest day in decades.

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

Online Jihad Supporters Celebrate Attack on Headquarters of French Satirical Weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Jihadists online celebrated today’s deadly shooting at the Paris headquarters of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which has satirized Islam and the Prophet Muhammad in some of its issues. Participants on jihadi forums and social media praised the attackers, saying that the shooting was a legitimate act of revenge against the weekly for insulting Islam and against France for its crimes against Muslims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Paris Charlie Hebdo Attack: Casualty Doctor Describes ‘Carnage’

Gérald Kierzec, 40, a casualty doctor on duty at Hôtel Dieu on Wednesday morning was among the first on the scene at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and described the “carnage” and “war scene” that met him.

He told the Telegraph: “We were near Charlie Hebdo on a call when I heard ‘plan red’ on the emergency service radio. We rushed to the scene as this is the signal for an incident with lots of victims.

“I could see this was a military-style attack. There was a first body lying in the lobby. Then I took the stairs which were covered in blood. When I got to the second floor, there were bodies lying one on top of another.

“It was carnage with war wounds. There was blood everywhere. These were Kalashnikov injuries with huge bullets that create huge trauma in the victims’ faces and chests. They literally explode. As a civilian doctor who deals with car accidents and the like, I have never seen anything like it in my career, so many wounded by gunfire.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkish Ministers Notes ‘Islamophobia’ While Condemning Paris Newspaper Attack

Two Turkish government ministers have condemned the deadly shooting attack on a French satirical newspaper, while also calling on Europe to tackle the rise of Islamophobia.

“Whatever is its reason or target, we are against all kinds of terror,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu told journalists Jan. 7, hours after hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades.

Çavusoglu added terrorism is the first of two elements that Europe must fight. The second problem, he said, “is racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia, which is on the rise in many regions of Europe.”

The Turkish FM asserted that terrorism and Islamophobia “affect and trigger each other.”

“People’s freedom of belief should also be respected. It shouldn’t be ridiculed or scorned,” Çavusoglu said. “Islam is a religion of peace and it is not right to associate it with terrorism.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Youngest Suspect in Paris Attack Turns Himself in

The youngest suspect in Wednesday’s deadly attack at the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has turned himself in, French police said Wednesday night, according to ABC News.

French authorities have named the three suspects who they believe are responsible for the shooting deaths of 12 people: Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, two relatives both in their 30s, and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad…

[Return to headlines]

What About Arab War Crimes Against Palestinians?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

More than 2,500 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in Syria three years ago, according to a report published this week by the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria. It revealed that 2,596 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in that country in 2011.

But this is a news item that has hardly found its way into mainstream media in the West. Even Arab media outlets have almost entirely ignored the report about Palestinian casualties in Syria.

The reason for this apathy, of course, is clear. The Palestinians in Syria were killed by Arabs and not as a result of the conflict with Israel.

Journalists covering the Middle East do not believe that this is an important story because of the absence of any Israeli role in the killings.

Arabs slaughtering, executing and torturing Palestinians is not sensational enough to grab a headline in a major Western or Arab newspaper. That is why most Middle East correspondents have chosen to turn a blind eye to the report.

According to the report, the victims include 157 women who were killed in the fighting between Bashar Assad’s army and various opposition groups in Syria. It also said that 268 Palestinians were killed by snipers, while another 84 were summarily executed. Another 984 Palestinians were killed when their homes and neighborhoods were shelled by the Syrian army and the opposition groups.

The report also reminded the international community that the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus has been under siege by the Syrian army for the past 547 days. Approximately 160 residents of the camp have died as a result of the siege, the report said.

It also pointed out that the camp has been without electricity for more than 620 days. Camp residents have also been cut off from water for the past 117 days, the report added.

In addition to the deaths, some 80,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in Syria due to the ongoing conflict. Nearly 15,000 have crossed the border to Jordan, while another 42,000 have fled to Lebanon, the report disclosed.

As if that were not enough, last week Muslim terrorists executed six Palestinians from Yarmouk camp after finding them guilty of “blasphemy.”

A senior PLO official in Syria, Anwar Abdel Hadi, said that the Palestinians were executed by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated An-Nusra terror group.

Abdel Hadi said that only 15,000 Palestinians remain in the refugee camp, which until three years ago was home to some 175,000 people.

Another report published recently revealed that 264 Palestinians have died as a result of torture in Syrian government prisons over the past few years.

The most recent deaths in Syrian prisons occurred last month, when three more Palestinians died after being tortured. The three were identified as Bila al-Zari, Mohamed Omar and Mohamed Masriyeh.

These Palestinians were arrested by the Syrian authorities on suspicion of helping anti-Assad forces in different parts of the country.

The stories of the Palestinians tortured to death in an Arab prison have also failed to win the attention of the Western media. Had any one of them died in an Israeli prison or in a confrontation with Israeli soldiers, his story and photo would have appeared on the front page of many newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

By contrast, when a top Fatah official, Ziad Abu Ein, recently died of a heart attack after an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, his story immediately caught the attention of the international media and human rights organizations. Many foreign journalists covering the Middle East covered the story of Abu Ein from every possible angle and conducted interviews with his family members and friends.

In an incident widely reported by international media, Fatah official Ziad Abu Ein (center) is shown suffering a heart attack while sitting on the ground, moments after an altercation with Israeli soldiers. Abu Ein later died. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

But the Palestinians who are being killed and tortured to death in Syria and other Arab countries have never received the same attention from the same journalists and human rights activists. Nor have the EU and UN, which called for an investigation into the death of Abu Ein, deemed it necessary to tackle the plight of the Palestinians in Syria.

And who has heard of the case of Zaki Al-Hobby, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot and killed last weekend by Egyptian border guards? The Palestinian teenager was killed because he came too close to the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Witnesses said he was shot in the back and died instantly.

Once again, Al-Hobby’s story has hardly received any coverage because Israel was not involved in that incident. Had he been shot by Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border, the EU and UN would have called for an international commission of inquiry. But the teenager was unfortunate because he was shot by Egyptian soldiers, making his story “insignificant” in the eyes of the international community and media.

That Palestinians are being killed by Arabs does not seem to bother even the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders are busy these days threatening to file “war crimes” charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court. As far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned — and the media, the EU, the UN and human rights groups — the only “war crimes” are being committed by Israelis, and not by Arabs who are killing, torturing and displacing tens of thousands of Palestinians. And all this is happening while the international community and media continue to display an obsession only with everything connected to Israel.

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

Did the U.S. Military Catch and Release One of the Charlie Hebdo Jihad Murderers as He Was Waging Jihad in Iraq?

The question comes from this ten-year-old New York Times article, which reports that a Muslim from Paris named Cherif Kouachi — the name of one of the Charlie Hebdo jihadis — was arrested by the U.S. military in Iraq. His lawyers said that he and his companion “have not denied that they intended to fight in Iraq but that both had begun having second thoughts and have since expressed relief that they were stopped.” So ultimately Kouachi made his way back to France. No one was apparently all that concerned about a jihadi returning from Iraq. After all, it’s a religion of peace, and he had second thoughts!

“3 Frenchmen Among Those U.S. Military Holds in Iraq,” by Craig S. Smith, New York Times, February 5, 2005.

[Je NE suis pas Charlie — Je tirerai en arrière! (I am NOT Charlie — I’ll shoot back!) — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Russian Billionaires’ Fortunes Fall With Oil Price Plunge

Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, along with plummeting oil prices, have taken a toll on Russia’s billionaires. Three of the five wealthiest Russians have seen their fortunes fall since March 2014. But one of the tycoons whose wealth has increased since then is Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football Club in the U.K.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spiny Monster From the Depths of World’s Oldest Lake

OLGA KAMENSKAYA says she lost her heart to Lake Baikal. It’s easy to see why. At 1642 metres deep and 25 million years old, the lake is the world’s deepest and oldest. It’s basically an inland sea.

Baikal is also a paradise of biodiversity, “the Galapagos of Russia”. Thousands of species of plants and animals live there, and some 60 per cent of them, including the photogenic Baikal seal, are found nowhere else. This little beauty is also unique to the lake.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chocolate Shortage Spurs Call to Revive Cocoa Farming in Amazon Basin

With chocolate prices surging, a former Credit Suisse Group AG banker wants to help revive cocoa farming in the Amazon basin, where the beans are thought to have evolved about 15,000 years ago.

His campaign, located in Peru, is part of a Latin American push to gain more control of an industry now dominated by West African farmers who provide 70 percent of the market. The effort comes as drought, disease and government price controls have cut into the ability of Africa’s suppliers to meet demand, boosting prices by 7.4 percent in 2014.

Enter Latin America, where academics believe cocoa originated. At one time, the confection was known by the Aztecs as the drink of the gods, and eventually it was introduced into Europe by Spanish conquistadors. Now, the former banker, Dennis Melka, is joining a push by Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia to return a legacy product to its roots.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Wants Turkey’s Explanation on Smuggling of Migrants in Cargo Ships

The European Union wants Turkey to explain how human traffickers could have taken two cargo ships filled with migrants out of the country and towards the EU without the authorities noticing.

Natasha Bertaud, spokeswoman for the European commission, said on Tuesday: “Given what has happened in recent days with the two ships, we wanted to clarify things with the Turkish authorities.”

The cargo ships were picked up in the Mediterranean last week with more than 1,000 migrants aboard, many of them fleeing Syria. The smugglers had locked up the migrants and sent the ships speeding towards the Italian coast with no one at the helm.

Bertaud said contacts with Turkey are happening at a “political and technical level”.

She said: “It’s always the same area the cargo ships are leaving from so there is a problem that has to be resolved there.”

Turkey’s foreign ministry did not have an immediate response.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Whitewashing Islamic Terrorism From Sydney to Jerusalem

by Charles Bybelezer

Three days before Christmas, one unsuspecting holiday shopper was killed and nine others injured when a van ploughed through a crowded market in Nantes, located in western France. The attack came a day after a man, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” rammed his car into crowds in the eastern city of Dijon, injuring thirteen people; this, some twenty-four hours after an assailant stabbed and wounded three police officers in Joue-les-Tours, central France, likewise while yelling “God is the greatest” in Arabic.

A day after the Dijon attack, which the perpetrator dedicated to the children of “Palestine,” France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, called on the public “to not draw hasty conclusions since…[the driver’s] motives have not been established.” Nevertheless, and despite the fact that “the investigation had barely begun,” Dijon’s public prosecutor, Marie-Christine Tarrare, made clear that the incident was “not a terrorist act at all.”

It took the third attack before French Prime Minister Manuel Valls came closest to accepting reality, conceding that, “there is, as you know, a terrorist threat to France.”

Leaving aside the virtually unreported incidents that same week of the drive-by-shootings in Paris targeting the David Ben Ichay Synagogue, the Al Haeche kosher restaurant and a Jewish-owned publishing house, only a Kafkaesque willful blindness could suggest that citizens being run down on the streets constituted a mere threat of terrorism rather than a terrorist problem of the first order.

The icing on the cake was an official French pronouncement that no link had been found between any of these events.

For starters, how about Islam?!

Across the globe, residents of Sydney were still reeling from the surreal siege on a café, which left two civilians dead. During the 16-hour standoff, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the nation, asserting, “we don’t yet know the motivation of the [hostage-taker].”

At that point, however, it was evident that the individual who would later be named as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh, was acting out of religious conviction; a black flag with clearly legible white Arabic writing had been forcibly held up by hostages against the restaurant’s front window.

Following the ordeal, once the extent of Monis’ extremism became public, Abbott had this to say: “These events do demonstrate that even a country as free, as open, as generous and as safe as ours is vulnerable to acts of politically motivated violence.”

Politically motivated…? How about religiously inspired?!

How could it be, Australian officialdom pondered, that someone with such a long and checkered history not have been under surveillance? The answer is that “sick and disturbed individual[s],” as Abbott described Monis, do not generally find their way onto terrorist watch lists, whereas radical Islamists might.

Monis fell through the cracks because the threat he posed was incorrectly characterized. While authorities (and much of the media) were quick to describe him as a “lone wolf,” the fact of the matter is that there have been multiple events throughout Australia over the past few months pointing to an extensive network of terrorist collaborators.

On September 23, Numan Haider was shot and killed outside a police station after stabbing two officers in the state of Victoria. He was found carrying an Islamic State flag.

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

11 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/7/2015

  1. Well if you have no army and you have no navy and you have no borders and you deny you have been invaded when you have been invaded and occupied and you feed your population lies and denial and Islamic cool aid of course Muslim countries like Turkey are going to getcha real good. The so called EU has collapsed a Europe what just a few decades ago was strong and united. Look at all those freedom loving Christian and Jew hating Muslim “refugees” taking full advantage of all the Kufar is giving away. It’s a zoo.
    Oh my.

  2. I don’t understand, how can 9/11, London Bombing, Madrid Bombing, Bali Bombing, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Mumbai Attacks, IS (Islamic State),Lee Rigby beheading, Boston Bombing, Westgate shopping mall attack, Fort Hood shooting, Charlie Hebdo attack…

    (more complete list here

    …how can these events have nothing to do with Islam when the Holocaust has everything to do with National Socialism.

    Seriously, I am trying to understand. What a rational argument for this would look like. Or is it naked propaganda and lies by our media and leadership.

  3. It is a zoo and we are being asked to vote for our national zoo keepers – but not our supra national gaolers.

  4. You’re being vindicated, GOV. Thanks for being a courageous, intelligent and (whatever was said) moderate voice over the past years of liberal insanity.

  5. OMG! The two Turkish ships laden with immigrants! “The Camp of Saints” a book written by a Frenchman in the 1070s! The exact plot!

  6. They have started going after “Far Right” in UK! as in “UKIP”….

  7. More about “our man”.

    In a blog post from 2008 the Dagens Nyheter’s and now thr TIME’s star historian Henrik Arnstad, 47, called Danish cartoonist “brown lice” and “racists” who should not “whine” when exposed to Muslim terrorist threats. The post was deleted from the blog after having been made known on social media.

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