Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/15/2015

Today’s annual Carnival parade in the northern German town of Braunschweig had to be cancelled, due to the threat of a terrorist attack. Police in Braunschweig received information indicating that there was a credible threat, and the parade was called off just ninety minutes before it was scheduled to begin.

In other news, Muslims in the town of Elgin, Illinois were stunned by allegations that a respected imam had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with young women and girls, some of whom were underage when the alleged improprieties took place.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, 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
» Swedish Bond-Buy Plan Could Spread
» As Early as 2016, Robot Cops Will be Patrolling Your Streets…….No, Seriously
» Contacting Aliens — War of the Worlds or War Over Cash?
» Drunken Cop Who Drove Head-on Into Other Cop After Fleeing From Hit & Run, Invokes Blue Privilege
» February: Annual White America Sucks Month
» GMOs Invade Fruit Industry: Apples, Pears, Cherries and Peaches to All Become Unlabeled GMO
» Impregnating America With Muslims — Deadly Consequences to Women
» Interstellar’s True Black Hole Too Confusing
» Liberal Media: Suspected Chapel Hill Shooter’s Leftist Ideology Not Important
» NSA Braced for Major New Leaks
» Sexual Assault Allegations Against Illinois Imam Stir Divisions in Insular South Asian Community
» Vaccine Safety: Why Media and Politicians Lie
» What Actually Causes American Fear of Islam and Muslims?
Europe and the EU
» Carnival Parade in Germany Canceled Because of Terror Threat
» Copenhagen Attacks: “Could Have Happened in Stockholm”
» Copenhagen Gunman Had Gang Background, Criminal Record, Police Say
» Danish Mother Describes Bat Mitzah as Terror Struck Copenhagen Synagogue
» Danish Police Kill Suspect in Two Copenhagen Shootings
» Denmark: Terror Suspect Killed in Shootout With Police
» Denmark: Fear and Defiance in Copenhagen After Terror
» Denmark: Film Director Was First Victim in Copenhagen Shootings
» Denmark Sees Possible ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Motive Behind Copenhagen Attacks
» Germany: Braunschweig Parade Off Over ‘Terror Threat’
» German Carnival Parade Cancelled Due to Islamist Attack Threat
» Hundreds of Tombs Defaced in French Jewish Cemetery: Minister
» In Paris, So Much at Stake at Europe’s Oldest Jewish School
» Italy: Liechtenstein Sign Tax Information Deal
» Italy: Prosecution Allege Fraud at Ubi Banca 2013 Meeting
» Italy: PD Rises: Northern League Ahead of FI — Poll
» Italy: Eight Arrested in International Fake-Invoice Scam
» Italy: Palermo TAR Upholds Appeal Against Muos
» Lars Vilks: Swedish Artist in Harm’s Way
» Lupi Says Costa Cruises Not Cutting Italian Jobs
» Media Identify Suspected Copenhagen Gunman as Omar El-Hussein
» Pictured: Danish Lone Wolf ‘Jihadi’ Who Was Gunned Down by Police After Terror Shootings Which Killed Film Director and Jewish Security Guard — Weeks After He Was Released From Prison Over Knife Attack
» Police Raid Internet Cafe in Major Copenhagen Operation
» Suspected Gunman Born and Raised in Denmark
» Telescopic Contact Lenses Let You Zoom in on Demand
» The Butcher/Rapper of ISIS: German Jihadist Became Terrorists’ Poster Boy
» UKIP Fury as Channel 4 Predicts Race Riots if Nigel Farage Wins Election
North Africa
» Italy ‘Ready to Fight’ In Libya if Needed, Foreign Minister Says
» Prime Minister Glad Over Italy’s Intention to Intervene in Libya
Middle East
» Dubai Customs Seizes Black Magic Goods
» Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base
» Lebanon: On Dismantling the Statues of Christ the King and Our Lady of Harissa
» U.S. Relies on Iraqis to Interrogate Jihadis
» Bank Hackers Steal Millions Via Malware
Far East
» GMOs Found Growing in South Korea Despite National Ban
» Mixed Marriages: Key to Migrants Integration in Korea
Latin America
» New, More Aggressive HIV Mutation Discovered in Cuba
» Italy: Somali Human Trafficker Sentenced to 30 Years
Culture Wars
» Fifty Shades of Abuse
» Fifty Shades of Filth
» World’s Elite Buying Remote Hideouts to Flee Impending Social Unrest

Swedish Bond-Buy Plan Could Spread

Sweden’s non-eurozone neighbours could follow a new bond-buying plan to stave off falling prices and trigger a round of money printing to thwart untimely currency rises against the weakening euro, according to analysts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

As Early as 2016, Robot Cops Will be Patrolling Your Streets…….No, Seriously

By 2016, there will likely be a 6-foot tall police robot patrolling the streets and handing out parking tickets. The Telebot, developed by Florida International University’s Discovery Lab, has been field-tested and is undergoing final tune up.

With a swiveling head and dexterous fingers, the humanoid robot is controlled remotely by a person wearing an Oculus Rift headset and motion-tracking vest, arm bands, and gloves. The voice of the remote operator is transmitted through the robot to the unfortunate citizen on the receiving end.

The menacing look of Telebot is no accident. Its design is one “…that can intimidate and display a sense of authority.”

Justification for this (let’s just say it) Robocop, is couched in appeals to sympathy, to help disabled officers and veterans “get back on the job.” The reality is that it introduces another level of intimidation to the increasingly militarized police state and brings us one step closer to a dystopian future where autonomous robots carry out law enforcement.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Contacting Aliens — War of the Worlds or War Over Cash?

The idea is to use the world’s largest radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, to message stars within 82 light-years of Earth.

Stephen Hawking has warned against shouting about our location to aliens, and this week in a statement so did SpaceX founder Elon Musk and several others, including a couple of SETI researchers based at the University of California, Berkeley, Dan Werthimer and Geoff Marcy, and science fiction author and astrophysicist David Brin.

Or as Hawking once put it, contact with aliens could do for us what it did to Native Americans when Europeans first came over, “which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Drunken Cop Who Drove Head-on Into Other Cop After Fleeing From Hit & Run, Invokes Blue Privilege

43-year-old police officer Shawn Norton was released from jail on a meager $100 bail after he was caught driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident.

The 16-year veteran of the police department was reportedly so drunk when he was arrested that he could not even stand, and had trouble getting out of his vehicle.

Just before midnight on Wednesday night, Norton was driving drunk when he got into a car accident with another vehicle and kept on driving.

A witness followed Norton and reported his vehicle to police, who tracked him down and arrested him. When police found Norton, he was driving in a vehicle with severe front-end damage near the intersection of Hartshorn Street and John Carver Road. When police pulled up behind him and put on their flashing lights Norton continued to drive away, making several turns.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

February: Annual White America Sucks Month

Bashing white America and stirring the pot of racial discord has become in vogue all year round. But every February, the usual suspects (race profiteers and America haters) use Black History Month to double down on their rhetoric. Their operatives who control our public schools lay guilt trips on white students for being white while teaching blacks kids to feel victimized and resentful.

White America is once again beat over the head with slavery as liberals argue the need for federal government payback (reparations). In a nutshell, the Left’s annual message is America is still racist and owes blacks, big time.

The Left’s approach to Black History Month is to celebrate black achievement from a divisive “blacks vs white America” point of view; insidiously leaving out the contributions of whites from black success stories. Their desire is to create the illusion that these blacks succeeded “in spite of” racist white America burning the midnight oil plotting ways to keep them down. Clearly, the Left’s intention is not to unite Americans nor heal the racial divide which has grown exponentially under Obama.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GMOs Invade Fruit Industry: Apples, Pears, Cherries and Peaches to All Become Unlabeled GMO

(NaturalNews) Genetically modified apples have been approved by the industry-corrupted USDA, a federal regulator that accomplishes for the biotech industry the same thing the FDA achieves for Big Pharma: unlimited profits, lax regulation and a ready willingness to accept fabricated “science” as fact.

“The USDA’s environmental review received 73,000 comments that overwhelmingly opposed the commercialization of Arctic Apples,” explains a press release from Food & Water Watch.

The GMO apple that just received approval was developed by the Okanagan Specialty Fruits company, which says it “…married the best of nature with the best of science.”

The road to Hell, of course, is paved with the best of intentions, and that’s the problem with all these GMOs: Modern science is rolling the dice with a self-replicating “genetic pollution” scenario that could play out in ways that no scientist ever anticipated. As the Food & Water Watch press release explains:

The USDA has neglected to look at the full range of risks from these apples. In its environmental assessment, the USDA glossed over the possibility of unintentional effects associated with the technology used to engineer these apples, potential economic impacts on the U.S. and international apple market, effects of potential contamination for non-GMO and organic apple growers and the impact of the non-browning gene silencing which also can weaken plant defenses and plant health.

In addition to genetically modified apples, the Okanagan Specialty Fruits company also promises to roll out genetically modified peaches, cherries and pears.

Suppression of the PPO gene may lead to less nutritious fruits To achieve its GMO apples, the Okanagan fruit company has developed a way to reduce the natural browning of apples that takes place after they are sliced. This is accomplished by genetically suppressing the polyphenol oxidase (PPO) gene.

What’s wrong with playing around with the PPO gene? Suppressing this gene may have unintended consequences such as reducing the fruit’s nutritional polyphenols (natural medicinal compounds). Thus, this genetic alteration of the apple might strip from the apple many of its health-promoting qualities.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Impregnating America With Muslims — Deadly Consequences to Women

Part 13: Muslims kill their women at will in Islamic countries. They perform female genital mutilation, honor killings and arranged marriages of little girls.

Unfortunately, Islam abhors equality for women. Each year, in alliance with Sharia Law, thousands of Muslim husbands and sons kill their wives and daughters in accordance with “honor killings.” They behead them, strangle them, stone them and shoot them. If a Muslim woman suffers rape, Muslim men blame the woman. Then a father, husband or son may kill that woman for dishonoring the family. On average, over 5,000 Muslim women suffer death annually at the hands of Islamic honor killings. (Source: United Nations “Honor Killings in Islamic Countries”)

Islam also mandates an ancient ritual called ‘female genital mutilation’. This custom, performed on their young girls, cuts and mutilates the vital sexual being out of the woman, usually before age nine. The butchery proves painful with no anesthetic and devastating for a lifetime for the woman! In some cases, the child dies from infections from the procedure carried on with crude instruments such as glass or razor blades. After the operation, she cannot enjoy any intimate fulfillment for the rest of her life.

According to Sharia Law, Muslim women found guilty of some error in personal conduct may be stoned to death. Muslim women cannot vote, drive cars or leave their homes without a family male escort. They must cover their bodies and heads with a burka. In many parts of the Middle East, they must cover their faces completely while in public. You’ve seen it on TV!

In effect, they must bow to the total subjugation of Muslim men. They cannot speak nor may they enjoy a voice in their societies. They must defer to men in public and private at all times. A Western person might call it misogyny in the extreme.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Interstellar’s True Black Hole Too Confusing

Even black holes wear makeup in Hollywood. Last year’s hit film Interstellar used real scientific equations to depict what happens when a team of space farers venture near a supermassive black holeMovie Camera. Now, a joint paper published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity from the movie’s visual effects team and scientific consultant reveal that the real black hole (see above) was deemed too confusing for audiences, and some of the science had to be toned down.

Interstellar’s premise was first conceived by physicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology, who wanted to make a realistic movie about black holes. He got together with director and co-writer Christopher Nolan, and also with London-based visual effects studio Double Negative to create the movie’s black hole, Gargantua.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Liberal Media: Suspected Chapel Hill Shooter’s Leftist Ideology Not Important

Left-wing media outlets wasted no time in blaming Tuesday’s tragic Chapel Hill shooting on their political adversaries after the ideological leanings of suspected shooter Craig Stephen Hicks became apparent.

Hicks, who is charged with the brutal murders of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was found to be a hardened atheist, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) supporter and Rachel Maddow fan after investigators and reporters began searching for a motive this week.

According to multiple online news sites such as Salon and Raw Story, who carried an Alternet article entitled “Angry, armed and white: The typical profile of America’s most violent extremists,” Hicks’ ideology is a completely irrelevant point.

“On Thursday, sought to replay that script and portrayed Hicks as a liberal, by reporting his Facebook likes included Rachel Maddow, gay marriage groups, Neil deGrasse Tyson and others,” the article states. “That relabeling is absurd on many levels, because Hicks appears to fit the psychological profile of violent extremists—regardless of their ideological stripes—and that includes many white Americans.”

Alternet instead argued that the suspected shooter’s white skin and history of gun ownership were the only data points worth examining.

“Hicks had a state-issued concealed handgun permit and was a ‘champion of Second Amendment rights,’“ says the article.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NSA Braced for Major New Leaks

The National Security Agency, still reeling from massive leaks caused by Edward Snowden, is preparing to be hit with another major loss of secrets, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

The leaks are expected to be published in the near future by a news outlet that was not further identified by the officials familiar with details of the compromise. The NSA is aware of the news outlet’s forthcoming disclosures and is taking steps to try and minimize any damage they will cause.

According to the officials, the latest NSA disclosure of secrets is not the result of an insider stealing documents, as occurred in the case of fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Instead, the leaks will reveal certain NSA technical cyber intelligence gathering capabilities. The officials did not provide details about the leaks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Illinois Imam Stir Divisions in Insular South Asian Community

ELGIN, Ill. — Ordinarily, she never wore a veil. But it was required at the Islamic school where she worked, and she remembers being surprisedwhen the head of the school, a conservative imam, suggested that she remove it and reveal her face.

When the imam, Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, came into the office where she worked, she said, he would sometimes touch her cheek or put an arm around her shoulder. Mr. Saleem was revered in her close-knit community, and she did not object at first. But simply being alone together represented a forbidden intimacy, and looking back, she said those first gestures should have beenmore alarming.

“It’s not something that gets done,” the 23-year-old woman said recently. “Men and women don’t even shake hands.”

Over time, she said the touching became more aggressive, reaching a point that she did something almost unheard-of in her community. She told people: her family, a social worker, an Islamic scholar. Recently, she went to the police. As word spread of what she had told them, three other women came forward, telling detectives that as young girls they had been molested by Mr.Saleem.

In the next few days, the women will name Mr. Saleem in a lawsuit that accuses him of decades of assault and child sex abuse, according to Steven A. Denny, their lawyer. But the accusations are already widely known and deeply felt within the community of Indian and Pakistani Muslim immigrants and their families in the Chicago area for whom the Institute of Islamic Education, the school that Mr. Saleem founded, is a focal point.

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Vaccine Safety: Why Media and Politicians Lie

Last month measles broke out here in the U.S. affecting dozens of people: Measles outbreak spreads in US after unvaccinated woman visits Disneyland (Jan. 19, 2015)

According to that piece, the average number of cases of the measles in the U.S. each year is 220. However, watching the media, one would think we had an epidemic sweeping the country. As of this writing there are 110 confirmed cases of measles in a country of 320 million people.

What the piece above also claimed is that those who question the ingredients in vaccines are somehow reckless, stupid and care nothing for anyone else. Every adult in a free nation has the absolute right to question what’s in those cocktails being injected into their bodies and their children. I have not had the flu but a few times in my life. In 1993, I got the ‘flu bug’ bad. My husband took me to the doctor in the Denver metro area. He said I had the Beijing flu and was going to give me a shot and some pills. I said no. He was very upset because a couple of people died from it and I must get the shot. I said no and John and I went home. For eight days I was really sick, but with bed rest, lots of liquids, vitamins and home made soup (which I cooked sick as I was) I recovered.

You see, I had just finished reading ‘Murder by Injection: The Medical Conspiracy Against America’ and no way was I going to take that shot. That was the last time I had the flu; 21 years ago this past December. I’ve never had a flu shot and never will. Here’s the link to read the book on line free.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

What Actually Causes American Fear of Islam and Muslims?

by Daniel Pipes

An ambitious 81-page document, Fear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America, just appeared from the Center for American Progress, a liberal Democratic organization. Unlike its first iteration, in which a group with a $40-million annual budget and deep ties to big business had the nerve to claim that seven much smaller institutions were overpowering the country through their financial clout, this one looks at what the alleged “Islamophobia network” actually does.

The report, written by Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer, makes for interesting reading. Its premise is that critics of Islamism (1) are really anti-Islamic and (2) have single-handedly distorted a the fundamental American value, namely a “basic respect for the rights of minority groups throughout the country.” According to the CAP study, “the views of anti-Muslim actors stand in stark contrast to the values of most Americans.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Carnival Parade in Germany Canceled Because of Terror Threat

Police in the German city of Braunschweig cancelled a popular Carnival street parade on Sunday because of fears of an imminent Islamist terror attack.

Police spokesman Thomas Geese said police received credible information that there was a “concrete threat of an attack with an Islamist background” on Sunday’s parade and therefore called on all visitors to stay at home.

Geese said the parade was canceled less than 90 minutes before its scheduled start and that “many people arriving at the train station from out of town were already dressed up and very disappointed — but we didn’t want to take any risks.”

Braunschweig’s Carnival parade is the biggest one in northern Germany and draws around 250,000 visitors each year.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Copenhagen Attacks: “Could Have Happened in Stockholm”

The deadly attacks in Copenhagen Saturday have clear parallels to those in Paris, according to the head of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism.

“We see a pattern, just like in Paris”, Willy Silberstein says, “it starts with Charlie Hebdo or Lars Vilks, and it ends with Jews”, he told Swedish Radio News Sunday.

Silberstein says the feeling is that what happened in Copenhagen could just as easily have happened here in Stockholm.

“I think many Jews are already reflecting about whether they can stay in Sweden, in Europe. It’s obvious that these kinds of thoughts are nourished, once again, when something like this happens”, he adds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Copenhagen Gunman Had Gang Background, Criminal Record, Police Say

The gunman killed by Copenhagen police after two deadly shootings had a background in criminal gangs, authorities said Sunday.

Copenhagen police said the 22-year-old man was born in Denmark and had a criminal record, including violence and weapons offenses. They didn’t release his name.

Police said they had found an automatic weapon that may have been the one the gunman used in an attack on a cultural center hosting a free speech event.

Danish police killed the man early Sunday, who is suspected of carrying out attacks at the free speech event and at a Copenhagen synagogue that left two men dead and five police officers wounded.

Officials said it is possible he was imitating the terror attacks that took place in Paris last month carried out by Islamic radicals at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom and at a kosher grocery store that left 17 dead.

[There’s a very good video that accompanies this story, including an interview with ex-FBI man Jonathan Gilliam, who stresses that what we must fight is an ideology. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Danish Mother Describes Bat Mitzah as Terror Struck Copenhagen Synagogue

The Algemeiner interviewed the mother of a Bar Mitzvah as terror struck the Copenhagen Synagogue.Read this story of how a Danish Bat Mitzvah celebration was interrupted by Terror outside. Note the tribute by the mother of Bat Mitzvah to fallen Copenhagen Synagogue Security Guard Dan Uzan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Danish Police Kill Suspect in Two Copenhagen Shootings

Danish police said they killed a man likely responsible for two Copenhagen shootings — at a synagogue and at a café hosting a free speech debate.

Early on Sunday, police fired multiple shots at Copenhagen’s central Norreport station, killing a man.

“The man was hailed. He opened fire against the police and was then shot to death. The man has died. No police officers were hit,” the police said in a statement.

Danish police said at a subsequent briefing that the dead man was the prime suspect in two Copenhagen shootings which took place hours earlier.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Terror Suspect Killed in Shootout With Police

Copenhagen Police believe that they have killed the man who shot and killed two people and wounded five police officers during a spree of violent attacks that began on Saturday afternoon and ended in the early hours of this morning.

“We assume that the man we have been tracking and who has now been shot by police is the same man who opened fire with automatic weapons at Krudttønden at 15:33 yesterday afternoon,” said police spokesman Jørgen Skov at a briefing held this morning.

Skov said that there was much work to be done in the case of the attacks at Krudttønden on Saturday and at a Copenhagen synagogue early this morning.

Police said that they had been tracking the suspected shooter via video surveillance that followed him from the crime scene at Krudttønden, where he stole a car nearby.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Fear and Defiance in Copenhagen After Terror

Amidst beefed-up security and mixed emotions, Danes begin the process of moving on following two fatal shootings that left the country stunned.

Outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue a young woman in tears placed flowers at the gates where people gathered Sunday in a mood of fear and defiance after a lone gunman claimed two lives in their city.

The grieving residents stood with their arms around each other in a sad solidarity as they remembered one of the victims, a 37-year-old member of Denmark’s small Jewish community, who was killed outside the synagogue shortly after midnight as a bar mitzvah was being celebrated inside.

The shooting came just hours after a 55-year-old man died when the same gunman attacked a cultural centre where a debate on Islam and free speech was taking place.

“It feels less safe, especially in the Jewish community. I came in solidarity. Everyone is blasting the Jews, and then we hit them as they celebrated bar mitzvah,” a 65-year-old man who gave his name as Liebecke told AFP.

As Copenhagen woke on Sunday morning to the news of both the second shooting and the killing by police of the gunman believed to be responsible, people reacted with mixed emotions.

Denmark has prided itself for decades on being one of a tiny number of nations that were able to save the majority of their Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Film Director Was First Victim in Copenhagen Shootings

Finn Nørgaard, a 55-year-old, documentary director was the first of two victims in the shootings that took place in Copenhagen on Saturday and Sunday, reports DR.

Nørgaard was attending the blasphemy debate on Saturday night at the Krudttønden theatre in Østerbro when a gunman opened fire in the building.

The film director worked on many feature films and documentaries, including producing company films for Maersk, SAS and Microsoft, and co-owned the film company, Filmselskabet, which started in 2001.

Nørgaard was the first of two victims the gunman killed.

The second victim was 37-year-old Dan Uzan, who was killed hours later when a gunman shot him while he was standing guard at the Jewish synagogue in downtown Copenhagen.

Police believe the gunman was the same who opened fire at the debate.

Uzan was standing at the gate of the synagogue admitting people into the parish hall where a group of approximately 80 people were celebrating a girl’s Bat Mitzvah.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Denmark Sees Possible ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Motive Behind Copenhagen Attacks

Denmark’s spy chief Jens Madsen said the gunman was known to the intelligence services prior to the shooting and probably acted alone. He did not elaborate.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: Braunschweig Parade Off Over ‘Terror Threat’

A carnival parade has been called off at short notice in Braunschweig, northern Germany, due to the threat of an Islamist attack, police said.

A “specific threat of an Islamist attack” was identified by state security sources, they said in a statement.

Police urged people planning to attend to stay at home.

The parade — a well-known regional attraction — was cancelled only 90 minutes before it was due to start.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Carnival Parade Cancelled Due to Islamist Attack Threat

A carnival parade in the northern German town of Braunschweig planned for Sunday lunchtime has been cancelled at short notice due to a concrete threat of an Islamist attack, police said.

“Reliable state security sources have made it known that a concrete threat of attack with an Islamist background exists,” authorities in Braunschweig said in a statement.

The police called on all visitors to refrain from visiting the planned route of the carnival parade and avoid travelling to Braunschweig.

Two civilians died and five policeman were wounded in attacks in Denmark on Saturday at an event promoting freedom of speech and on a synagogue.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hundreds of Tombs Defaced in French Jewish Cemetery: Minister

France’s interior minister said Sunday several hundred tombs have been defaced at a Jewish cemetery in east of the country, in what he called “a despicable act”.

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

In Paris, So Much at Stake at Europe’s Oldest Jewish School

In the socially and religiously mixed neighborhood in northern Paris, security precautions at Lucien de Hirsch Lycée are high, but they were even before last week’s attacks

To get inside the Lucien de Hirsch Lycée in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, you have to swipe your finger through a finger sensor. After a camera inspects you, the heavy security door swings open. Now, you’re blocked into a space with dark glass and a voice asks for your name and the reason for your visit to what happens to be the oldest Jewish school in Europe. Once through, you suddenly hear the bursts of laughter and the other normal sounds of children playing.

These precautions were not put in place after last week’s events in the French capital. “Security is part of everyday life in Jewish schools in France and elsewhere,” says the school’s Principal Paul Fitoussi.

Born in Tunisia, he spent many years in Marseille before coming to Paris. Smiling, Fitoussi exudes calmness. It’s no coincidence: “I don’t want the terrorists to succeed a second time,” he says. “I do not want them to turn our lives completely upside-down.”…

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

Italy: Liechtenstein Sign Tax Information Deal

Arrangement aimed at improving fight against tax evasion

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — Italy and Liechtenstein signed a tax deal Friday involving the exchange of tax information based on the latest standards set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Italy’s economy ministry said Friday.

The agreement is aimed at improving the fight against tax evasion and furthering economic relations.

While Italy is a member of the OECD, Liechtenstein is not.

The agreement comes after Italy signed a similar tax-information exchange arrangement with Switzerland, also aimed at fighting tax evasion.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecution Allege Fraud at Ubi Banca 2013 Meeting

Documents show investigators concerned with proxy votes

(ANSA) — Milan, February 13 — Prosecutors in Bergamo alleged fraudulent acts may have been committed in collecting proxy votes ahead of a 2013 shareholders meeting called by Ubi Banca, according to a search order issued to tax police earlier in the week.

Searches were conducted Wednesday at Ubi Banca offices and investigators alleged senior bank officers were involved in obstruction of regulators.

Those being investigated include Franco Polotti, management board chairman, Andrea Moltrasio, head of the supervisory board, and CEO Victor Massiah.

Sources said they were also looking at Paolo Giovanni Bazoli, a senior member of the bank’s supervisory board, and other officers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PD Rises: Northern League Ahead of FI — Poll

M5S second, SEL fifth

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — Premier Matteo Renzi’s ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) rose 0.5% to 37.5% in Ixé’s weekly poll of voter intentions for Raitre TV.

The rightwing populist Northern League gained 0.1% to 13.9% and is now more than a point ahead of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) which fell 0.2% to 12.8%.

Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement fell 0.3% to 19.1% but held on to a comfortable second place in voter intentions.

The leftwing Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party came a distant fifth again and was down 0.2% to 3.8%.

Those saying they would vote rather than abstain rose from 56.8% to 58.3% over the week.

Here are the leading parties (previous week’s score in brackets): — PD 37.5% (37.0).

– M5S 19.1% (19.4).

– Northern League 13.9% (13.8).

– FI 12.8% (12.9).

– SEL 3.8% (4.0).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Eight Arrested in International Fake-Invoice Scam

Fraud worth tens of millions of euros, police say

(ANSA) — Perugia, February 11 — Finance police on Wednesday arrested eight people in the southern Campania region and in the northern Lombardy region over an alleged international crime ring involving a tax fraud worth an estimated 300 million euros.

Seven firms based in Italy, four in Hungary, one in Romania and another one in Switzerland allegedly issued fake invoices to avoid paying taxes.

Eight people, including an entrepreneur and an accountant, were arrested as part of the investigation carried out by prosecutors and finance police in the central Italian city of Perugia. The suspects face charges including aggravated criminal conspiracy aimed at a transnational tax fraud.

A total of over 42 million euros have been confiscated from the suspects and over 31 million from the companies involved in the alleged scam.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Palermo TAR Upholds Appeal Against Muos

‘Would harm locals’ health’

(ANSA) — Palermo, February 13 — A Palermo administrative court (TAR) on Friday upheld an appeal by the Sicilian town of Niscemi against the construction of the controversial Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) by the US military, saying it would affect locals’ health.

Councillors and activists have been protesting against the installation at a US military base near Niscemi for months.

They say MUOS, which entails placing some 46 telecommunications antennas, will threaten the environment as well as as the health of local residents.

Italy’s defence ministry says the system is “essential to NATO operations in the Mediterranean and to national security”.

Protesters managed to get into the site last August.

The hooded ‘No MUOS’ demonstrators climbed over the fence to reach two fellow activists, who had perched on an antenna tower for days.

The two climbers descended, everyone took pictures as a testament to their foray into the base, and the group retreated to their camp nearby, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lars Vilks: Swedish Artist in Harm’s Way

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who gained international notoriety for a cartoon portraying the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, emerged unscathed from a deadly attack in a Copenhagen on Saturday, the latest in a string of death threats against him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Lupi Says Costa Cruises Not Cutting Italian Jobs

Workers protest in Genoa, say positions moving to Hamburg

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said Friday that Costa Cruises, based in Genoa, and its parent Carnival group are not cutting Italian jobs but “shifting functions” as part of a global reorganization.

Lupi met with Costa officials who he said reassured him that “(it) still believes that Genoa and Italy are key areas”.

Earlier in the day, Costa Cruises workers protested in Genoa, fearing approximately 160 jobs in the Italian city will be lost.

Their unions produced a letter addressed to senior officers of parent company Carnival in Miami to denounce comments attributed to Costa’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Thamm.

Those came as the company said it would transfer four departments from Genoa to Hamburg.

Thamm said that Costa Cruises was not leaving Italy.

“We are not going to move our business outside of Italy, we want to stay in Italy which is a market with great potential,” Thamm said after meeting Lupi and local officials.

“Ours is the only Italian cruise company, the only one with an Italian flag that pays taxes in Italy and must remain so,” he added.

“We must keep soul, heart and brain in Italy”.

Costa drew worldwide headlines after a deadly crash in January 2012 off the Tuscan island of Giglio led to 32 deaths and a prison term for the captain, who is appealing.

Just this week, Francesco Schettino, captain of the crashed cruise liner, was convicted of multiple counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Under Italian law, he would not begin to serve that sentence until he has exhausted all of his appeals. Meanwhile, Thamm told newspaper secolo XIX that Costa Cruises, known in Italy as Costa Crociere, is part of a multinational company with a worldwide market share of 15%.

“I have the feeling that the city (of Genoa) is not entirely aware of the size of this company,” and its plans to keep growing, he said.

That will require deals including a connection with German airline Lufthansa and a “center of excellence” in the northern German port city of Hamburg.

“Costa Cruises is an Italian brand that has lived a bad time in 2012 but that is getting some of the best results of its history,” said Thamm.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Media Identify Suspected Copenhagen Gunman as Omar El-Hussein

Danish police say they have identified the man they believe to be behind two shootings in the capital in the past 24 hours. They believe last month’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in France could have inspired him.

Police have identified the slain gunman suspected of killing two people in a double shooting outside a synagogue and at a free speech debate in Copenhagen as a 22-year-old Danish-born man with a criminal record and history of gang-related offenses.

Authorities have so far refused to make the name of the suspect public. But Danish broadcaster DR Nyheder said the gunman’s name was Omar El-Hussein. The man was reportedly released from prison just two weeks ago.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pictured: Danish Lone Wolf ‘Jihadi’ Who Was Gunned Down by Police After Terror Shootings Which Killed Film Director and Jewish Security Guard — Weeks After He Was Released From Prison Over Knife Attack

This is the first picture of the terror suspect believed to have killed a film director and Jewish security guard in two attacks in Copenhagen.

Danish-born Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, 22, was killed after opening fire on officers who had closed down the area surrounding Norrebro metro station at about 5am today.

The man — whom police said is known to them due to past violence and gang-related activities — is thought to have killed two people in separate attacks at a free speech event and a synagogue.

Film director Finn Noergaard, 55, was killed yesterday at a cafe. Hours later, security employee Dan Uzan, 37, was shot in the head as he stood outside a building belonging to the city’s Great Synagogue.

Also, it was revealed tonight that El Hussein was released from prison two weeks ago after serving part of a jail sentence for a knife attack on a teenage train passenger in 2013.

[Be it noted that ISIS has a $100,000 bounty on Lars Vilks’s head. This creature may have been after it. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Police Raid Internet Cafe in Major Copenhagen Operation

After double shootings, at least two people detained by cops in operation

COOPENHAGEN, Denmark — Armed Danish police on Sunday raided an Internet cafe in a major operation in Copenhagen near the spot where officers killed the suspected gunman behind fatal shootings, local media said

TV2, which reported from the scene, showed footage of armed officers in dark uniforms outside the Internet cafe and said at least two people had been taken away by police.

“It’s part of our investigation,” a police official told broadcaster DR.

The swoop came hours after police told reporters they were carrying out searches in several parts of the Danish capital.

The weekend shootings — one targeting a meeting on freedom of expression, the other the city’s main synagogue — have come as a shock to Denmark, which has so far escaped any major acts of terror.

Copenhagen police said Sunday that the two recent shootings in the Danish capital were carried out by a gunman who may have been influenced by last month’s Paris terror attacks at the headquarters of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine and at the Hyper Cacher supermarket.

The suspect on Sunday was identified in several Danish media outlets as Omar El-Hussein. Ekstra-Bladet, a Danish tabloid, reported that the 22-year-old, Danish-born man was released from jail only two weeks ago after serving a term for aggravated assault.

[He must’ve gotten in on some red-hot prison da’wah. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Suspected Gunman Born and Raised in Denmark

The man who is suspected of having shot two people dead in Copenhagen was 22 years old and born in Denmark, Copenhagen Police said on Sunday.

The alleged gunman in Copenhagen’s dual shooting attacks, who was himself killed in a shootout with officers early on Sunday, was known to police due to his involvement in gangs, police said in a statement.

“He is a young man aged 22, born in Denmark, and he is known by police for several crimes,” the statement said.

He had a history of assault and of violation of Danish regulations on the possession of weapons, according to the statement, which did not give further details.

Although police did not name the subject, TV2 News reported that it the man’s name is Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein. Subsequent media reports said that the the 22-year-old was released from jail only two weeks ago after serving a term for aggravated assault.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Telescopic Contact Lenses Let You Zoom in on Demand

Wink once to zoom. Telescopic contact lenses that let the wearer switch between normal and magnified vision are coming into focus.

Developed by a team led by Eric Tremblay at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the rigid contact lens covers the sclera, or whites of the eyes, making it larger than an ordinary lens. Within it are tiny aluminium mirrors, arranged in a ring around the centre. When light streams through, the mirrors bounce it around several times, causing objects to appear 2.8 times larger than they really are.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Butcher/Rapper of ISIS: German Jihadist Became Terrorists’ Poster Boy

BERLIN — A German rapper whom stardom eluded has achieved twisted infamy with ISIS, appearing on videos gleefully hoisting a severed head and exhorting other radical Muslims to leave the Fatherland and join him on the killing fields of Syria and Iraq.

Deso Dogg, whose real name is Denis Cuspert, traded a middling career on the Berlin music scene to become the face of German-grown terror, first in Al Qaeda, and then in the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. In recent years, Cuspert, 39, who the U.S. State Department on Monday designated a “global terrorist,” appeared in numerous propaganda videos aimed at recruiting German jihadists. But he was rumored to have been killed until he appeared in an especially grisly video that surfaced in November.

In the video, which was made public by a Raqqa-based activist group, Cuspert is seen with other fighters who are shown shooting one person and beheading another. Cuspert is not shown killing anyone, but holds the severed head and announces that the dead were enemies of ISIS.

“That’s why they’ve received the death sentence,” Cuspert announces in German on the video.


Well before Cuspert became a killer for the cause of radical Islam, he was a petty criminal whose rap lyrics revealed a dark and twisted mind. The son of a Ghanian father who left Cuspert’s German mother, he recorded three albums for a Berlin-based gangsta rap label, toured with American rapper DMX and scored a minor hit with “Willkommen in meiner Welt” (Welcome to my World) in 2010.

“Welcome to my world full of hate and blood,” went part of the song.

[Wasn’t kidding, was he? — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

UKIP Fury as Channel 4 Predicts Race Riots if Nigel Farage Wins Election

Ukip has slammed Channel 4’s new drama-documentary ‘Ukip: The First Hundred Days’ shows British society on the brink of collapse three months after the party wins the 2015 general election.

Ukip has accused Channel 4 of peddling ‘liberal-Left poppycock’ over an apocalyptic portrayal of what British life would be like if Nigel Farage became Prime Minister.

The row has blown up over a drama-documentary to be screened at tomorrow which imagines life under a Farage government. In Ukip: The First Hundred Days — which mixes acted scenes with real news footage — border guards are seen forcibly repatriating illegal immigrants amid race riots, as the UK prepares to pull out of the European Union.

The film shows Ukip winning a slim majority in May’s Election, but within three months, society is on the brink of collapse under Mr Farage’s Right-wing policies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy ‘Ready to Fight’ In Libya if Needed, Foreign Minister Says

ROME— Italy would be ready to join a U.N.-led force to battle “an active terrorist threat” after recent advances by a faction in Libya that has sworn loyalty to Islamic State militants, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Friday.

In an interview with SkyTG24 television, Gentiloni said Italy backed efforts by U.N. special envoy Bernardino Leon to bring warring factions to the table to try to broker a cease-fire.

But he said should talks fail, Italy “is ready to fight naturally in the context of an international mission.”

“We cannot accept the idea that there’s an active terrorist threat only a few hours from Italy by boat,” he said.

The situation in Libya, already chaotic, “is deteriorating,” Gentiloni said, adding that Italy “cannot underestimate” the possibility of an attack by Islamic State militants.

In recent days, Italian officials have made generic statements about being willing to lead a U.N. force in Libya, but Gentiloni’s comments Friday marked a more aggressive stance…

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

Prime Minister Glad Over Italy’s Intention to Intervene in Libya

Prime Minister welcomes Italy’s announcement of possible intervention in Libya

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has welcomed an announcement by Italy yesterday evening. Italy announced that it would be ready to join a UN-led force to battle “an active terrorist threat” after recent advances by a faction in Libya that has sworn loyalty to the Islamic State. Taking to Twitter, Muscat said he was glad that Italy is now willing to intervene in Libya under a UN mandate. “Malta will play its part to ensure Mediterranean stability,” he said.

Italy has issued a call for Italian nationals to leave Libya after the reported IS advances in the country.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica, reported that Italy is highly concerned about the situation in Libya, only 200 nautic miles away from the country.

According to comments made by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni during an interview with SkyTg24, the presence of IS in Libya is very “alarming” and it cannot be ignored.

“Libya is a failed state and as such IS could have a golden opportunity there. Italy will work alongside the UN to promote peaceful discussions between the various forces, but should this not be enough, Italy is ready to take action against this threat.”

“We cannot underestimate this threat given the ever-deteriorating situation,” Gentiloni added.

Libyan IS jihadists have formally taken control of the city of Sirte, 500 kilometres east of Tripoli. They have established headquarters in a building within acentral zone of the city, and an IS group has broken into and seized control of Radio Sirte, a radio station of the city. Confirmation of this was shown in some websites that have jihadist ties, where photos showing armed militants within the studios have been posted.

According to the Italian newspaper, following these events, the city is now expected to be declared part of the Caliphate and the radio station is expected to transmit new rules to the people. This would make it the second Libyan city to become a part of the Islamic State, after the recent domination of Derna.

However, Sirte also houses several other terrorist formations and militias, whose reaction is yet unclear.

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

Dubai Customs Seizes Black Magic Goods

Dubai: Black magic practitioners and believers had a not-so magical experience lately when they were caught in the act of smuggling talismans and other items and sent to cool their heels in prison.

Dubai Customs inspectors at Dubai International Airport foiled 155 attempts at smuggling nearly 10,000 articles — weighing 97kg — associated with the practice of witchcraft and sorcery by international passengers.

Talking about witchcraft confiscations made by Dubai Customs, Ahmad Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said: “Practising sorcery and witchcraft is considered a dangerous epidemic threatening the security of the society as it works on manipulating people’s minds, exploiting their superstitions and ignorance to defraud these victims of large sums of money. Dubai Customs is committed to its corporate social responsibility through deterring all bids to smuggle prohibited materials into the country which form a threat to the security and safety of the local community.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, American intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

Intelligence officials estimate that the group’s fighters number 20,000 to 31,500 in Syria and Iraq. There are less formal pledges of support from “probably at least a couple hundred extremists” in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen, according to an American counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information about the group.

Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an assessment this month that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was “beginning to assemble a growing international footprint.”

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: On Dismantling the Statues of Christ the King and Our Lady of Harissa

A Sunni lawmaker calls for their removal only to retract soon after. He made his request after the government began removing Islamist political symbols from a Tripoli square. Private spaces have a public side to them, but public spaces must be symbols of coexistence and openness. The State has a role in checking Islamist and Christian sectarianism.

Beirut (AsiaNews) — Reacting to a government decision to remove all political symbols in public spaces, a Sunni lawmaker from northern Lebanon, Khaled Daher, on Tuesday said that if all religious political symbols have to be removed in al Nour Square (formerly Abdul Hamid Karami Square), so should the statue of Christ the King overlooking the mouth of the Nahr al-Kalb River, on the northern edge of Beirut, and the statue of the Blessed Virgin in Harissa, which overlooks the Bay of Jounieh.

The statement quickly caused an uproar. On Thursday, Mr Daher was suspended from the Future Movement, Lebanon’s main Sunni political party. However, regardless of how this statement is used, one is struck by the fact that no one responded with a rational argument to the lawmaker’s remarks, not even his colleagues in the Future Movement.

The fact is that the statues of Christ the King and Our Lady of Lebanon are on private land, namely convents, and that they cannot be compared with what Islamist groups have done in Tripoli’s Abdel Hamid Karami Square. The statue that once stood in the middle of this square was taken down and replaced by a monumental sculpture of the world Allah with the inscription ‘Tripoli, a Muslim stronghold’. The square itself is full of black flags with Qur’anic verses in white. Some of them are hard to distinguish from the flags of the ‘Islamic State’ group.

On Thursday, the lawmaker backtracked on his earlier statement and apologised but it was too late. His membership in the Future Movement, Lebanon’s main moderate Sunni political force, was suspended. However, in announcing the suspension, the Future Movement failed to say anything about the different that exists between public and private spaces. Speaking for himself, MP Ahmad Fatfat merely reiterated that his party is opposed to all forms of sectarianism, as well as against everything that divides and undermines Lebanon’s pluralistic vocation.

For Fr Fadi Daou, from the Adyan Foundation, an inter-faith think tank, “The distinction between public and private space is certainly fundamental, but not absolute. Private spaces have a public side as well, like the face of a building, reflecting its identity and character. This is the trademark of Lebanon’s diversity and charm. Even when they are private, spaces partly belong to everybody. This is why they have to reflect Lebanon’s shared culture, and must be neither provocative nor sectarian.”

In this regard, for most Lebanese, neither the statue of Christ the King, nor the Virgin in Harissa, can be regarded as sectarian and provocative, quite the opposite. They are fundamentally unifying symbols, because of their religious function and the services they render. On some days, there are almost as many Iranian pilgrims in Harissa as there are Christians.

Nevertheless, not all of Lebanon’s Christian religious symbols are so innocent. For example, since the end of the Civil War, many, more or less big metal crosses have appeared on the hills in “Christian country,” and represent a way to stake out a claim to the land and assert one’s confessional identity. In most cases, political parties put them up. As creeping Islamisation continues on the ground, which some Christian leaders fear, these cross are subtle declarations of hostility. This is not good, reflecting a still openly divided body politic. By and large, such problems should be treated rather than repressed, to avoid the possible resurfacing of “repressed feelings”, as psychoanalysts put it.

When it comes to public spaces, which reflect something of the diversity of a pluralistic country like Lebanon, we must still remember that they are under the jurisdiction of the State, and not of any particular groups. It is clear that now some decency was imposed on al-Nour Square, and that not all Tripoli residents identify with the slogan “Tripoli, a Muslim stronghold,” a sectarian statement if there ever was one. Emphasising Tripoli’s Muslim identity this way comes at the expense of its inter-faith and pluralistic character. For Christians, upholding the latter would mean fiercely defending the city’s precious Islamic heritage, should it ever be threatened.

It thus seems obvious that the State has a regulatory role to play in this field. Doing so does not necessarily antagonising fundamentalist Islamic groups, but it does mean not accepting the imposition of their symbols, not to mention their customs, in public spaces.

The issue is also one of perception. One need not be as abrupt as Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouq, but the State has to exercise extreme vigilance in this area. Such vigilance is justified by past attempts to impose a daytime ban on restaurants during the month of Ramadan, or ban on beer ads. Indeed, Tripoli, a city of so many faces and faiths, redeemed itself this winter, through the explosion of Christmas garlands and trees that appeared during the holy season, and the restocking of the shelves a bookstore that was torched last year.

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

U.S. Relies on Iraqis to Interrogate Jihadis

By Eli Lake

Since Iraqi and Kurdish forces started fighting the Islamic State, they have captured scores of the group’s fighters. That’s what Kurdish and Iraqi commanders and officials told me when I was in the country last week.

One might think fighters with detailed knowledge of the Islamic State’s order of battle, inner workings and supply chains would be of keen interest to the 3,000 U.S. military advisers on the battlefield, not to mention the CIA officers stationed in Baghdad and Erbil. But U.S., Kurdish and Iraqi officials all tell me the Americans do not interrogate the captured fighters, and that the CIA and U.S. military rely instead on reports from Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officers who do the questioning.

This is not because the U.S. government has been denied access, these officials tell me, but is the result of U.S. policy to make interrogations of suspected terrorists safe, legal and rare.

[Our intel people are afraid of ending up in the papers and the courts. We can thank the ACLU and its legion of traitor-lawyers for this. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Bank Hackers Steal Millions Via Malware

In late 2013, an A.T.M. in Kiev started dispensing cash at seemingly random times of day. No one had put in a card or touched a button. Cameras showed that the piles of money had been swept up by customers who appeared lucky to be there at the right moment.

But when a Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, was called to Ukraine to investigate, it discovered that the errant machine was the least of the bank’s problems.

The bank’s internal computers, used by employees who process daily transfers and conduct bookkeeping, had been penetrated by malware that allowed cybercriminals to record their every move. The malicious software lurked for months, sending back video feeds and images that told a criminal group — including Russians, Chinese and Europeans — how the bank conducted its daily routines, according to the investigators.

Then the group impersonated bank officers, not only turning on various cash machines, but also transferring millions of dollars from banks in Russia, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and the Netherlands into dummy accounts set up in other countries.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GMOs Found Growing in South Korea Despite National Ban

(NaturalNews) More unapproved — and in some cases, unidentifiable — genetically modified (GM) plants are turning up in places where they shouldn’t be. South Korea, which currently prohibits the cultivation of all GM crops anywhere in the country, is becoming beleaguered with wild GMO strains, according to new reports.

The transgenic plants are popping up all along seed delivery routes, near animal feeding operations and in various other locations throughout the country, threatening to disrupt local ecosystems. Despite a nationwide ban on their cultivation, GMOs are still making their way into South Korea in the form of feed for cattle, which is falling off the wagon — quite literally — and spreading genetic pollution.

A recent report in The Hankyoreh explains that mystery GMOs are becoming a major problem in South Korea, which is now the world’s second biggest importer of GM crops. Not enough safety and regulatory measures have been established to protect the country’s natural habitat from destruction, and its ecological and agricultural systems are both taking a hit.

A report issued by South Korea’s National Institute of Ecology (NIE) explains that monitoring data has revealed the presence of GM corn and cotton throughout the country. GM corn was found in at least three separate provinces, while GM cotton was found in no fewer than 15 distinct locations.

“Analysis of 521 suspected GM samples collected from 647 regions showed a total of 21 GM crops in eighteen regions,” explains the NIE report.

This shocking discovery is even more harrowing in light of the fact that these locations aren’t all clustered in the same spot — they dot the entire South Korean landscape, showing how widespread GMO pollution has become. Most of the locations are centered near livestock farms, but several of them are also located along transportation routes near feed factories.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mixed Marriages: Key to Migrants Integration in Korea

Marriages between a Korean man and a woman from another country are often the result of a financial transaction, rather than love. But the statistics show that 8.7% of all marriages in the country is of this type, and today 67,800 children studying in national schools are children of multicultural families. They are the way forward for the acceptance of migrants. Part II of an analysis by an OMI missionary on the peninsula.

Gwangju (AsiaNews) — The government and the Catholic Church in Korea are working well to help the “second generation” of migrants in Korea to find a place in society. But foreigners are still considered “different”, “second class” citizens. Mixed marriages are leading to a rapidly growing number of children from these marriages. They need suitable policies and pastoral care. Part II of an analysis by Fr. Maurizio Giorgianni, Oblate of Mary Immaculate who has been working with migrants in South Korea (Part I click here).

One of the avenues to emigrate to South Korea is that of so-called “international marriages”. First of all it should be emphasized that in certain situations rather than marriage it is “buying” a wife, in the sense that agencies and dealers earn large sums of money from contracting similar unions. Generally the foreign woman are very young while the man is 15 or even 20 years older. Moreover, most of the time it is the second or third marriage for the man involved. There are some couples who live quite peaceably, but more often than not the huge difference in culture, language and expectations regarding the marriage create conflict.

Often, the grounds for the marriage differ between the couple involved: economic reasons are predominant among the women (to escape a situation of poverty and help their family of origin); while for the man, the need to have someone to do household chores, to combat loneliness or sometimes also to help in the work place are the main reasons. Sometimes the woman is kept almost as a “prisoner” (not given the opportunity to study the language, to have money available for personal expenses), especially when these marriages are contracted among the socially and culturally poorer classes.

The Korean government is trying to resolve these situations by giving financial support to multicultural couples, helping the education of children, trying to help the integration of this category of “migrants”. In fact they are the only “stable” migrant presence in Korean society (other migrants with work visas must in fact sooner or later return to their country of origin). But very often they fail.

Migrant inclusion in the host society is very important, but also very complicated. If by “inclusion” we mean “integration”, it must be said with honesty there is very little here.

Considering that the laws on migration in Korea do not allow a migrant to remain legally in the country for more than seven years, it is easy to understand why Korean society does not pursue a real policy of migrant “integration”. The immigrant is seen and considered as “a guest who works in the territory”, but who must will return to his country of origin sooner or later.

As for the acceptance of the foreign presence in Korean society, in the not too distant past in Korea there was a certain openness and greater acceptance. For historical reasons, the foreign presence in Korea has always been seen as a “invading presence”, because of which the foreigner here has never been seen in an entirely positive light. Slowly, however, things are changing.

The Catholic Church and the various shelters that the Church runs (for the pastoral care of migrants, Catholics here are very well organized) are working hard to promote the positive acceptance of foreigners in society, and within a Catholic context they are considered as “neighbors” to love and respect. And when the migrant shares the same Christian faith then efforts are made to have him considered as our brother in faith, to be accepted in the Christian assemblies and given a place in the pastoral care of parishes. Many churches have Sunday Masses in English or other languages for migrants, with priests in charge of their care and premises made available for meetings or gatherings (catechesis, Korean language schools or similar activities).

The government is starting to more specifically tackle the task of integration by targeting multicultural families. The latest statistics show that 8.3% of marriages in 2013 are “intercultural” (between a Korean and a foreigner). In particular, they are focusing on the children of multicultural families (Korean father and foreign mother). The 2014 statistics speak of 67,800 children born into multicultural families in Korean schools. They are little more than 1% of total students, but still represent an increase of 21.6% in a year. It is expected that in the next three years the number of students from multicultural families could reach 100 thousand units (data of the Ministry of Education).

These figures represent a challenge for the education system in Korea, so we need the government to be aware of them. One study revealed that in the current textbooks, the multicultural family is always put in opposition to the “normal” Korean family. For which the Ministry of Education has decided to revise textbooks and adapt to the new situation with a more positive view of the “foreigner in society.” There is an ongoing effort to improve the education system for students who are “children of migrants “, with support in learning the Korean language, but also favoring the idea that the culture and language of the foreign spouse be preserved, known and learned by the children. A report of the National Commission (Korean) for Human Rights showed that 41.3% of the children from multicultural families have no Korean friends. This shows that the Koreans have little tolerance towards multicultural migrant families.

At a Church level, I believe that we should pursue the path of integrating ministry for migrants within the context of parish pastoral care programs (while maintaining a “special” care for migrants) so as not to “marginalize” them, and increase awareness of solidarity and acceptance of migrants among the faithful. Certainly there is much to do regarding Korea’s migration laws. Often it migrants are considered “second class” people whose fundamental rights are ignored. This is because the laws tend to put the economic and political interests of the nation first rather than the fundamental rights of the person. Surely the steps that Korean society is taking to protect and take care for multicultural families is a positive sign, which could lead to greater openness towards migrants. But more still needs to be done. (end of Part II)

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

New, More Aggressive HIV Mutation Discovered in Cuba

A new strain of HIV (Human Imunodeficiency Virus) detected in Cuba can mutate into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) after only three years.

Medical experience with HIV shows this collection of diseases normally transforms into HIV anywhere from six to 10 years without proper treatment. The Cuban HIV can accelerate this transformation into AIDS much faster, hence the concern among the medical community.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Somali Human Trafficker Sentenced to 30 Years

(AGI) Palermo, Feb 13 — A Somali human trafficker has been sentenced to 30 years in prison by the Court of Assizes in Agrigento. He was one of the organisers of a boatload of immigrants which was wrecked off the cost of Lampedusa with 366 deaths in October 2013. Mouhamud Elmi Muhidin, 34, was also convicted of violence against immigrants. Muhidin was identified by a group of immigrants who survived the shipwreck.

They recognised him at the reception centre in Lampedusa, where he arrived with another boat a few days after the wreck. He was one of the jailers of a group of immigrants, mostly Eritreans, who had been tortured and raped while being held in Seeba, in the Libyan desert, before leaving for Lampedusa. The court granted the demand for imprisonment by the prosecutor of Palermo’s Anti-Mafia team, Geri Ferrara.

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

Fifty Shades of Abuse

Where are the feminists when you need them? If a Christian leader dares to assert that his wife is and should be a homemaker, the feminists slander and threaten, but when Hollywood depicts a billionaire stalking and tying up a woman for violent, degrading intercourse against her will, that’s “art.” Make no mistake, when Hollywood dares to portray a woman as the abused turf of a selfish, sadistic creep in love with his own machismo, they do a grave disservice to women in the culture.

Some have speculated that since the story ends well with the sadomasochist abandoning the handcuffs and whips for genuine tenderness in a future sequel, it’s a worthy journey, but we only get there after a trilogy of abuse and perversion. If Fifty Shades is a love story, then the Nazi Holocaust was a charity ball, gun control keeps us safe, and Planned Parenthood loves babies. Movies like this encourage love like a drug-dealer encourages sobriety.

The thing about sexual abuse is that it creates an appetite for it, stimulating just enough curiosity in the culture to tempt the more promiscuous among us to spice up their love life with chains and whips, and to entice the culturally conservative to wonder what in the world they’re missing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fifty Shades of Filth

I’m sure you’ve heard ad nausea that the ‘blockbuster’ movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” based on the book of the same name, was released on Valentine’s Day. Aww. How sweet. Yes honey, take me to a romantic dinner, get me some flowers, maybe some chocolates — then we can overpay to watch fantasy characters have two hours and four minutes of sado/masochistic sex on the big screen. And when we get home, you can beat the hell out of me for your own selfish pleasure.

Hey, nothing says ‘I love you’ like violent porn!

There isn’t a Christian on this planet that has any business seeing this tripe, but you KNOW the theaters will be packed. Be careful…you just might run in to someone from church! Pornography is a huge vice in the church today; kind of like the thong-wearing elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.

Porn has been clinically proven to be just as addictive as hard drugs. Why? It’s due to a chemical in the brain called Dopamine. That is the chemical responsible for feelings of happiness, rewards, motivation, desire, cravings, sexual arousal, and is also the main player in the establishment of addiction.

When a person watches highly sexual images, the brain is flooded with Dopamine, causing a rush of intense pleasure. The problem is, the brain gets used to all that warm, fuzzy Dopamine and soon begins to become desensitized to the effects of the chemical. Like heroin or crack, it takes more and more of the stimuli, porn, to achieve the same level of ‘high’.

This is the reason most porn junkies need to view increasing volumes of material, as well as higher levels of violence and/or perversion, in order to enjoy that same Dopamine high they’re used to. Long-time porn users usually end up getting hooked on rape scenes, sadistic/masochistic scenarios and sometimes, they dive headlong into the really kinky stuff of pedophilia or bestiality.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

World’s Elite Buying Remote Hideouts to Flee Impending Social Unrest

(NaturalNews) Many of the world’s uber-elite and super-wealthy are staking out retreats in remote lands like New Zealand to protect themselves and their families from coming unrest.

As reported by Britain’s Mirror, hedge fund managers especially are staking out the secret escapes, “in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality,” the paper said in online editions.

Included in the purchases are landing strips, homes and land in remote areas of remote countries where they believe they will be safe from the masses.

The paper further reported:

With growing inequality and riots such as those in London in 2011 and in Ferguson and other parts of the USA last year, many financial leaders fear they could become targets for public fury.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

12 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/15/2015

  1. On the world’s elite fleeing to remote locations. When the SHTF and the real reasons are eventually learned by the majority of native populations for why just a tiny percentage of humanity have become so wealthy at the expense of the majority, no place will be deemed safe.

  2. They’re so greedy they would rather buy these places than reduce their “take” in ill-gotten gains. Honestly their greed is surreal.

  3. re. “Fifty Shades of Filth”: Evidently I *do* live under a rock. 🙂 My husband and I went to see elongated part 3 of The Hobbit on New Year’s Night. Of course, there were trailers for “upcoming films” before the actual movie started.

    I’ve seen reviews of a book called “50 Shades of Gray,” but never read more than the first paragraph.

    I *have* read take-offs, e.g., a cooking article about a chef “having his way with Miss Hen,” and demonstrating to the reader–with photographs–how to spatchcock a chicken, how to truss the legs after stuffing a bird, etc. There was an odd frisson in the article which seemed strangely out of place in a cooking article, but as this *is* the San Francisco Bay Area, I shrugged it off.

    Back to the movie trailer. There is a montage of scenes–a man and a woman, both dressed for the office, in an elevator making eyes at each other (but other people are in the elevator, so they control themselves); the man and the woman enter an office, the door is shut, and–woops, trailer is over!

    Only then did the name of the movie show up. “Fifty Shades of Gray,” Coming Soon…. There was absolutely nothing in the trailer to let the viewer know what kind of movie this is, unless said viewer had perhaps read the actual book? Now that the film has opened, and its…ah…character is revealed (maybe more than we would want?), I can safely say I will NOT be seeing it.

    What a waste of talent, time, and money. What friends of mine in the quilting and sewing worlds refer to as a WOMBAT: Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time. Bleah.

    • You have summed up the ‘feeling state’ that becomes activated when I happen upon images, verbiage, links, etc., to this book/film. It has arrived on the scene as I am leaving said scene. My response to film these days (since fibromyalgia for me and cultural ossification for it) is vague; it is a medium I can no longer access and there are few film notices/reviews out there capable of summoning a small sense of loss on my part. “American Sniper” evoked that loss, but this damned disorder teaches one to accept loss and move on or die. FM never killed anyone but it has prompted suicide for some, for those who feel so deeply the reduction of their lives to WOMBAT status.

      BTW, spatchcocking poultry is a wonderful way to prepare it for roasting and carving. One of those things that makes a cook ask, “why didn’t I know this before?” The website I use for reference happens to belong to a most pulchritudinous young chef, so cheerful that even the Baron is willing to look at her demonstrations.

      Learn To Cook: A Down and Dirty Guide to Cooking (For People Who Never Learned How)

      I used the Read For Free option. Even experienced cooks would like her – such energy. The appeal of those shades of grey without the drag into ugliness.

      But her website is worth a look, for sure:

      • FM here, too; probably CFS/SEID (new acronym) as well. The rheumatologist and I are laying down data….

        Plus old sports/bicycle/car accident injuries and lifelong migraines.

        It’s just too much fun, isn’t it?

    • Haven’t we all had enough BS in our sex lives? It is 2015. If you want that kind of stuff go out and get it. I, for one, lived through the 70’s and can’t think of a thing this movie could bring to me.
      I am not interested in voyeuristic sex. I am strong enough to do the sex myself.

      • “I am not interested in voyeuristic sex. I am strong enough to do the sex myself.”

        And that right there is the thread winner!
        I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Like Captain Reynaud in Casablanca, I am shocked, shocked to find an imam engaging in such behavior!

  5. Re: “Fifty Shades”. Not sure how relevant this is, and possibly giving my age away, but even if one is promiscuous, isn’t it a good idea to get to know someone before getting into anything kinky?

    • It’s now the age of libertinism Mark, immoral one night stands are a thing of the past and all that is amoral and ‘kinky’ now gets front billing – so long as no one is hurt in the production of such ‘kinkiness’ that is.

      All those debasing things we were once taught to avoid are now openly paraded as naturally occurring activities for the bulk of humanity. I find it all so truly distressing.

      The evil now stalking this world is almost palpable.

      • Thanks Nemesis; not so sure about “evil”, but our viewpoints are different. I’d settle for “cheapening”. Actually, maybe “debasing” too, as it applies to currency, emotional rather than monetary here.

      • The Macquarie Encyclopedic Dictionary 1990 (Australia) meaning of debased, debasing, debase is 1. to reduce in quality or value: adulterate 2. to lower in rank or dignity.

        However, it’s description of the meaning of evil is quite lengthy and I believe covers most definitions of what evil means to most folk. Why, even for a Collective produced and redefined book of word meanings, it even mentions the devil!

        My point in posting this comment is this; at some point in everyone’s life evil visits, and to those it visits who have no definition of what evil truly is, it compromises their thinking to the extent that truth and the true meaning of life are no longer a goal in their lives, and only the self indulgent animal urges matter.

        You can’t see that is exactly what is occurring today?

        History shows that the human race has been in this compromised position before, and many times. Many of those times are adequately recorded in the Bible for all to read and to comprehend that when truth is forsaken for the here and now and bugger everything else, humans become attuned to the forces that would have total control over their very lives.

        We have a book that plainly warns us about it, yet we forsake the warning and abandon ourselves to the forces of evil time after time and even to the point that some cannot even recognize evil when it stares them in the face.

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