Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/19/2015

Sweden has decided to take away the passports of any “Swedish” citizens who have journeyed abroad to wage jihad for ISIS. Once they return to Sweden, they will not be able to leave. After that… well, it’s not certain what will happen after that. But at least they won’t be able to kill any more people in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.

In other news, Pope Francis met with representatives of the Italian coast guard to commend them for rescuing thousands of migrant boat people who might otherwise have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Papa Whiskey, Phyllis Chesler, Steen, 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
» Bailout Austerity Hurts the Most Vulnerable, Charity Says
» EU Urges ‘Common Ground’ In Greece Debt Battle
» Italy: QE ‘Only Tool Left’ For ECB, Bank Minutes Reveal
» ‘A Complete Warrior’: Navy Releases Chris Kyle’s Combat Records
» A Superbug Nightmare is Playing Out at an LA Hospital
» Arizona House Votes to Ban Common Core
» Boston Mayor Asks Residents to Stop Snow Jumping From Windows
» Breaking: Whistleblower Reveals Deadly Nerve Agent Spill at Kentucky Army Base — Video
» Budweiser Campaign Highlights Rift Between ‘Big Beer, ‘ Craft
» Bush Jumps Into Privacy Fight, Backs Controversial NSA Program
» Congress Fiddles While the World Burns
» Defensive Gun Use is Not a Myth
» Jeh Johnson: The Administration Must “Give Voice to the Plight of Muslims”
» Memorial Held for Kayla Mueller in Arizona Hometown
» Minneapolis Man Stopped at NYC Airport Indicted for Conspiracy to Support Islamic State Group
» Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Civilization Jihad’ Next Door, Should You be Afraid? — Podcast
» Obama: Islam Not ‘Responsible for Violence and Terrorism’
» Obama Appoints Terrorist Supporter to Head Up New Counterterrorism Messaging Center
» President Obama: “We Are Not at War With Islam” — But is Radical Islam at War With Us?
» Publication Denies Cover-Up on OIC Envoy, Implies Anti-Muslim Bias Lies Behind Story
» Reds in Hollywood Making a Comeback
» Shocking Video Shows College Students Condemning Free Speech and the 1st Amendment
» The “Jobs for Jihad Delinquents” Program
» The Internet is Our Only Free Press
» The Reason Obama Won’t Use ‘Islamic Extremist’ — Video
» The White House is Hosting a Summit on Counterterrorism This Week.
» Video: “Free Roamer” Loses it on Border Patrol Checkpoint Officers 200 Miles Away From Border
» Woman Who Fatally Shot Herself in Eye Was Adjusting Her Bra Holster, St. Joseph Police Say
» Woman Calls Cops for Help Against Intruders, Cops Show Up and Shoot Her Dead
» “Total Information Awareness”: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Bill C-51
Europe and the EU
» Breaking News: The Great Sim Heist
» Copenhagen Imam on Eve of 2/14/15 Jihad Terror Attack Eschewed “Dialogue, “ Stated: “Muhammad Waged War Against the Jews”
» Crunch Time for Mars One to Avoid Two-Year Delay
» Falciani Book Says Vatican Halted IOR Probe by Italy
» Forgetting the Hard Lessons of Appeasement
» France: Paris Votes to Sue Fox News
» HSBC Offices Raided as Tax Scandal Deepens
» Is Soros Preparing a Color Revolution for Greece?
» Italy Puts Troops on the Street in Response to Islamic State Threat — Video
» Italy: Rome Devastated: It Won’t End Here Says Marino
» Jihad Attacks in Denmark: Dateline Paris
» LHC Ready to Hunt Down Mystery Dark Matter Particles
» Smoking in Cars With Children Banned in England
» Spain: Church Must Return Córdoba Mosque to Public Domain, Say Ex-Mayors
» Spain: Parliament Approves New Anti-Jihad Provisions
» Stretchy Limpet Teeth Are Nature’s Strongest Material
» Sweden: Child Marriage Authorized by Tax Authority
» Sweden to Help Norway With Woman ‘Terror’ Case
» Sweden: Jihadist Speaks to SVT
» Sweden Can Run From Islamic Terrorism, But it Cannot Hide
» Swedish ISIS Fighters to Have Passports Taken
» Belgian FM Praises Albania’s Steps for EU Integration
» Confirmed: Tony Blair to Advise Serbia
North Africa
» Doha Recalls Its Ambassador From Egypt After Air Raids on Libya
» Four Years After Ouster of Mubarak, Egyptians ‘Are Tired of Revolutions’
» Italy Tells UN it is Ready for Lead Role in Libya
» Italy: MSC Cruises ‘Do Not Go Near Libya’
» Libya: Egypt-Drafted UN Resolution Includes Use of Force
» Libya: ISIS Gaining Ground, Says Tobruk PM
» Morocco Hammams to be Made Environment-Friendly
» Napolitano Says 2011 Libya Mission Had Broad Support
» Qatar Recalls Envoy to Egypt in Row Over Libya Airstrikes
Middle East
» #We’re Coming to Rome Say ISIS
» 50 Shades of ISIS
» Figure in ISIS Mass Beheading Video Could Have US Ties, Linguistic Expert Says
» ISIS Chief Was ‘Civilian Detainee’ In U.S. Custody
» Turkey to Go Ahead With Non-NATO-Integrated Missile Defense
» What ISIS Really Wants
» Why the CIA Created ISIS — Video
South Asia
» Indonesia’s Ban on Maids Threatens 2,000 Saudi Jobs
» Pakistan: Faisalabad: For the Past Year, Dozens of Christian Families Have Been Homeless, Threatened by Muslims
Far East
» Author Murakami’s Advice on Dating a Younger Woman: Read the Art of War
» Chinese New Year in Numbers
» Ghost Town: Beijing Streets Empty After Workers Head Home for Lunar New Year
» Great Firewall Rises: Darkness Descends as China Tightens Online Censorship
» Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study Shows
» U.S. Pays $2 Mln to Philippines for Damaging Coral Reef
Australia — Pacific
» Australian Jihadis Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar Appear to Star in Sickening New Islamic State Beheading Video
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Sudan’s President: CIA and Mossad Are Behind ISIS and Boko Haram
Latin America
» Venezuelan Opposition Leader Marks First Year in Prison
» Britain Warned to Expect ‘Boats Full of Terrorists’ As ISIS Tightens Grip on Libya and 2,000 Migrants Are Rescued From the Mediterranean
» Denmark: Copenhagen Attacks Renew Integration Debate
» EU Vows to Reinforce Migrant Assistance to Italy
» ‘Guantanamo of the East’: Ukraine Locks Up Refugees at EU’s Behest
» Italy: Immigrant Landings Up 59% Since Beginning of 2015, FM
» Pope Meets Coast Guard After Massive Immigrant Rescue
» US Officials Admit Concern Over Syrian Refugee Effort
Culture Wars
» Feminists Mute on Muslim Rape Epidemic Sweeping Europe — Video
» Just Who Has to Adjust in the Name of Tolerance?
» The Danger of Too Many Selfies: We’re Striving for Perfection That Won’t Come
» Collapse Survivor Explains Strategic Savagery: “You Have Two Choices — Fight to the Last or Run”
» Jostling Photons Could Give Dark Matter Away
» Lenovo Shipping PCs With Pre-Installed ‘Superfish Malware’ That Kills HTTPS
» Report Finds We Are Eating ‘2,500 Tons of Fake Food’
» Slimy Microbes May Have Carpeted Earth 3.2 Billion Years Ago
» Star Buzzed Solar System During Human Prehistory

Bailout Austerity Hurts the Most Vulnerable, Charity Says

Greece has received fresh ammunition in its negotiations with creditors, as a new report about poverty in bailed-out countries paints a grim picture of the social cost of austerity.

“The people paying the highest price currently are those who had no part in the decisions that led to the crisis, and the countries worst affected are amongst those with the biggest gaps in their social protection systems,” according to the latest “Crisis Monitoring Report” published Thursday (19 February) by Caritas Europa, a pan-European charity.

The study was carried out in seven countries who were particularly hit by the crisis and/or received international financial assistance in the past years: Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

The report examines the situation of children, working poor, the unemployed, migrants and people with disabilities.

Greece — currently at the crux of the anti-austerity debate in Europe — stands out as a particularly problematic case.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Urges ‘Common Ground’ In Greece Debt Battle

The EU on Wednesday said efforts were under way to forge a compromise between Athens and its sceptical eurozone partners on extending Greece’s bailout agreement.

“We are now working to see if it is possible to find a common ground for an extension of the current programme,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s vice president for the euro.

“The best way forward is to extend the existing programme with its conditionality,” he told a press briefing.

An application by Athens to extend Greece’s current bailout programme is expected early Thursday in Brussels, but the opposing sides remain wide apart.

Greece has signalled it wants to extend the loan agreement without the austerity commitments made in return for its 240 billion euro ($270 billion) bailout, which expires on February 28.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: QE ‘Only Tool Left’ For ECB, Bank Minutes Reveal

Existing program judged by central bank as ‘insufficient’

(ANSA) — Rome, February 19 — The purchase of government bonds through a program of quantitative easing (QE) was “the only tool left to deliver sufficient monetary stimulus,” for the struggling eurozone economy, according to minutes released Thursday of the European Central Bank meeting where the program was approved.

Existing ECB programs were “insufficient in quantity” said the January 22 minutes.

The QE program unveiled by the ECB begins next month and will be worth about 1.1 trillion euros, the bank estimates.

The minutes show that the ECB’s governing council agreed that “purchases of sovereign debt appeared to be the only remaining instrument of sufficient scope to provide the necessary monetary stimulus to deliver on the ECB’s price stability objective”.

This marks the first time the ECB has publicly released such a summary of governing council’s discussion, according to Bloomberg news.

Bank of Italy officials have said that Italy’s economic growth in the coming months should be “significantly higher than its latest forecast,” thanks to the QE policy.

The Italian central bank had previously forecast GDP growth of 0.4% this year and 1.2% in 2016.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘A Complete Warrior’: Navy Releases Chris Kyle’s Combat Records

“American Sniper” Chris Kyle received high marks throughout his military career for leadership, teamwork, and courage under fire, according to his recently released military records.

An Oct. 1, 2006 evaluation characterized Kyle as “One of the most effective combat snipers in U.S. military history.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

A Superbug Nightmare is Playing Out at an LA Hospital

In today’s terrifying health news, the LA Times reports that two medical scopes used at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center may have been contaminated with the potentially deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Two patients have died from complications that may be connected to the bacteria, and authorities believe that 179 more patients have been exposed.

Most healthy people aren’t at risk of catching a CRE infection, but in hospitals this bacteria can be quite dangerous: CRE kills as many as half of all people in whom the infection has spread to the bloodstream. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with the CA Department of Public Health to investigate the situation, which is expected to result in more infections.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Arizona House Votes to Ban Common Core

An Arizona House committee voted yesterday in favor of legislation that would eliminate Common Core school standards, marking the Grand Canyon State’s first serious move toward doing away with the federally-imposed curriculum.

On Wednesday, a House education committee voted 5-2 in favor of House Bill 2190, a bill prohibiting the adoption and implementation of Common Core standards.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boston Mayor Asks Residents to Stop Snow Jumping From Windows

The past few weeks have set a record for the snowiest 30 day period ever in Boston. The north-eastern US city has endured three snowstorms in less than a month, bringing over 115 centimetres of the white stuff. A lot of locals however have made the most of the situation by taking up a new game: the “Boston Blizzard Challenge”.

Social networkers may be finding it all very funny, but the local authorities are not quite so amused. And in view of the growing number of “Boston Blizzard Challenge” videos emerging online, the Mayor, Marty Walsh, decided to take action. He held a press conference on Tuesday February 17, urging people to stop the snow jumping, describing it as stupid and potentially dangerous.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Breaking: Whistleblower Reveals Deadly Nerve Agent Spill at Kentucky Army Base — Video

Infowars reporter Joe Biggs reports on a chemical spill at the Blue Grass Army Depot via information sent in by an army contractor.

Interestingly, the Blue Grass Army Depot was also where the U.S. Army was stockpiling millions of rounds of 7.62x39mm AK-47 ammunition, most likely for the CIA who has been covertly arming ISIS-linked Syrian rebels for at least two years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Budweiser Campaign Highlights Rift Between ‘Big Beer, ‘ Craft

By Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Attention die-hard craft beer drinkers: This Bud’s not for you.

After several years of losing ground to craft brewers, Anheuser-Busch, the country’s biggest brewery, seems to be conceding that its flagship brew may not fly with fans of fancy suds.

Rather than try to woo them to toss back a Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch is aiming its latest marketing at its core consumers, the folks who likely wouldn’t reach for a craft beer in any case. And they’re doing it with a playful wink and nod that says, “We didn’t want their fancy-schmancy beer anyway.”

That was Anheuser-Busch’s playbook for the Super Bowl, when they ran an ad — relaunched this week in wider play — that calls Budweiser a beer that “isn’t brewed to be fussed over.” As a mustachioed man drinks beer from a fancy glass, the ad mocks, “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale. We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

[What you’ll be brewing, guys, tastes like it’s been micturated by a herd of goats. Bleaggh! Give me a savory stout or a fine Belgian ale any day. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Bush Jumps Into Privacy Fight, Backs Controversial NSA Program

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is putting his weight behind controversial spying programs at the National Security Agency, setting up a battle within the Republican Party ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

In a major foreign policy address at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday, the likely presidential candidate praised the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone data, which critics call a massive invasion of privacy.

“This is a hugely important program to use these technologies to keep us safe,” Bush said.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand [how] the debate has gotten off-track,” he added, while maintaining that program rules “do protect our civil liberties.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Congress Fiddles While the World Burns

The Obama administration may be on the same side as the Muslim Brotherhood, but at least we know where they stand. Congress, by contrast, sounds tough and does nothing.

Consider the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who has issued a “seven-point plan” to defeat Islamist terrorism that includes countering Islamist ideology. He gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute called, “An American Strategy for Victory in the War Against Islamist Terror.” Unfortunately, he had the opportunity to go on the offensive more than two years ago when he rebuffed requests to hold hearings into Al Jazeera’s expansion into the United States.

Once known as the mouthpiece for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Al Jazeera has earned the label “Jihad TV.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Defensive Gun Use is Not a Myth

By Prof. Gary Kleck

It’s deja vu all over again. In a recent Politico Magazine article, Evan DeFillipis and Devin Hughes resuscitate criticisms of a survey on defensive gun use that I conducted with my colleague Marc Gertz way back in 1993—the National Self-Defense Survey (NSDS). The authors repeat, item for item, speculative criticisms floated by a man named David Hemenway in 1997 and repeated endlessly since. The conclusion these critics drew is that our survey grossly overestimated the frequency of defensive gun use (DGU), a situation in which a crime victim uses a gun to threaten or attack the offender in self-defense. But what DeFillipis and Hughes carefully withheld from readers is the fact that I and my colleague have refuted every one of Hemenway’s dubious claims, and those by other critics of the NSDS, first in 1997, and again, even more extensively, in 1998 and 2001. Skeptical readers can check for themselves if we failed to refute them—the 1998 version is publicly available here. More seriously motivated readers could acquire a copy of Armed, a 2001 book by Don Kates and me, and read chapter six.

If DeFillipis and Hughes could refute any of our rebuttals, that would be news worth attending to. They do not, however, identify any problems with our refutations, such as errors in our logic, or superior evidence that contradicts any of our rebuttals. Instead, they just pretend they are not aware of the rebuttals, even though our first systematic dismantling of Hemenway’s speculations was published in the exact same issue of the journal that published Hemenway’s 1997 critique, on the pages immediately following the Hemenway article.

The authors, a couple of Oklahoma investment counselors with no graduate degrees, do not claim to have had any training in survey research methods.

[Their minds are made up — don’t confuse them with facts. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Jeh Johnson: The Administration Must “Give Voice to the Plight of Muslims”

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JEH JOHNSON: We in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face. The fact that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood.

[Yes — peace and brotherhood between Muslims. See Qur’an 48:29, which stipulates that “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” As to the “plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face,” what a laugh. Such discrimination involving Muslims is not against them — as witness the fawning rhetoric that suffuses this entire nonsensical conference. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Memorial Held for Kayla Mueller in Arizona Hometown

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Candles lit up the plaza of a central Arizona courthouse Wednesday as hundreds gathered to honor the American woman pictured before them who was taken hostage by Islamic State militants.

Kayla Mueller’s death earlier this month was confirmed by her family and U.S. officials. The 26-year-old international aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, had been captured in Syria in August 2013.

Friends, family and strangers wore pink ribbons on their shirts as they listened to speakers reflect on Mueller’s life and work. Strangers and friends dropped off cards and wrote messages for a scrapbook, calling Mueller an angel and saying she represented the best of humanity.

Mueller’s brother, Eric Mueller, encouraged the crowd to live as his first friend, best friend and sister did by reaching out to those who are suffering and give them a hug. His father, Carl Mueller, stood up immediately after his son finished speaking and hugged him tightly at the bottom of the stage.

“May God keep you from any more harm, any more hurt,” Eric Mueller said to his sister. “You are in his hands now. You do not have to suffer anymore. Only now will you be able to see how much you really did and truly did for this world by looking down on it from above.”

[Requiescat in pace. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Minneapolis Man Stopped at NYC Airport Indicted for Conspiracy to Support Islamic State Group

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis man who was previously charged with lying to the FBI is now facing additional counts alleging he tried to provide support to the Islamic State group.

A federal grand jury indicted 19-year-old Hamza Ahmed on one count of conspiring to provide material support to the terror group and one count of attempting to provide material support.

Court documents say Ahmed and three others took a bus from Minnesota to New York City in November and planned to travel overseas but were stopped. Ahmed was arrested this month and is in custody after a judge said comments he posted on Twitter amounted to threats.

[Poor lambkin! He needed a nice cushy job! — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Civilization Jihad’ Next Door, Should You be Afraid? — Podcast

Make up your own mind after listening to a panel of experts discuss the penetration of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) into everyday American life.

The Denise Simon Experience radio program on Thursday 2/12/15 provided the opportunity for an open, candid and sometimes chilling discussion of deception at the highest level that enables MB “Islam-apologists” to promote the acceptance by America of Islam and its Sharia Law mandate despite its obvious conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

Who are the MB Islam-apologists?

What U.S. organizations have they penetrated?

“What difference does it make anyway?”

  • To the Benghazi narrative?
  • To the safety and freedom of your family?

Grab a cup of coffee, listen to the podcast and tell us what you think:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama: Islam Not ‘Responsible for Violence and Terrorism’

By Raymond Ibrahim

After playing the role of pseudo historian, Obama today took on the mantle of pseudo theologian, reassuring Americans that Islamic law and teaching are not “responsible for violence and terrorism” — despite the plain fact that they are. As I delineated in “The Islamic State and Islam,” every atrocity IS has committed—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or burning humans—is legitimated by verses in the Koran and/or the words and deeds of Muhammad, that most “perfect” and “moral” man (Koran 33:21, 68:4).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Appoints Terrorist Supporter to Head Up New Counterterrorism Messaging Center

By Pamela Geller

In 2013 an Egyptian magazine reported about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the Obama administration at the highest level. They wrote of Rashad Hussain that he “maintained close ties with people and groups that [the magazine] says comprise the Muslim Brotherhood network in America.”

In yet another stunning development in Obama’s plan to turn the war on terror over to the terrorists, he’s ramping up a counter-defense headed up by a terror-tied operative, Rashad Hussain. Over 80 people will staff the newly-empowered center.

It seems Obama is turning the war on terror over to the terrorists.

Rashad Hussain is a hafiz, one who has committed the Qur’an to memory. He currently serves as Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I wrote about Hussain’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood back in 2010 when Obama first appointed him as special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

[Shades of Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and Kim Philby. Only this isn’t even covert. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

President Obama: “We Are Not at War With Islam” — But is Radical Islam at War With Us?

On Wednesday, February 18, 2014 at a White House Summit, President Obama presented his views on countering “violent extremism”. He suggested that Islamic terrorists misappropriate Islamic doctrine, exploit disaffected youths in communities across the US and globally throughout the Ummah- the community of Muslim believers. He suggested that youths prone to radicalization outside the US may be victimized by poverty, without job opportunities and oppressed by corrupt regimes. Countering violent extremism he suggests is a multi-pronged approach involving economic programs, political reform and community involvement to halt radicalization. His focus in the US was on creating community partnerships and pilot projects in several American cities, endeavoring to integrate Muslims in America, preserving and protecting their civil rights under our constitution against untoward surveillance. The President gathered Muslim and other religious clerics from the US and abroad, community leaders, law enforcement, homeland security officials, and high tech entrepreneurs seeking means of stopping radicalization of youths. Youths attracted by the ‘successes’ of the Islamic State blasted around the world via the internet, tens of thousands of tweets, high production videos and on-line webzines in a number of languages including English.

Watch this C-Span video excerpt of the President’s remarks at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. Countering violent extremism as propounded by President Obama evades his responsibility to identify the radical Islamic doctrine of IS. He is instead engaged in the delusion that by campaigning for community organization, jobs and faith based programs we might prevent radicalization of Muslim youths. Instead he should listen to the wise counsel of former DIA chief, Army Gen. Michael Flynn , who in media interviews and testimony before the House Armed Services Committee has called for a global war against IS. Flynn has suggested the first cornerstone of a strategy to “ degrade” and “defeat” IS is to define the ideology behind radical Islamic extremism. The fact that liberal publications like The Atlantic have exposed the barbarity of strict adherence to Tawhid in Islam clearly communicates that destroying IS through the exercise of American and allied military power should be the first order of business.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Publication Denies Cover-Up on OIC Envoy, Implies Anti-Muslim Bias Lies Behind Story

By Patrick Goodenough

( — A Washington-based publication said Tuesday that it incorrectly quoted President Barack Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as saying in 2004 that an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions.”

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) was responding to queries about why an archived story quoting Rashad Hussain as making the controversial comments was altered years later.

WRMEA News Editor and Executive Director Delinda Hanley denied there was a “cover-up,” and implied that anti-Muslim discrimination was behind the fact this was now being raised.

At the time of the quoted remarks Hussain was a Yale law student. Last year he was appointed White House deputy associate counsel and Obama at the weekend named him as special envoy to the OIC, the 57-member bloc of Islamic states. reported earlier that Hussain was quoted in a November 2004 WRMEA article as telling a Muslim students’ event in Chicago that the situation facing Sami al-Arian — a university professor then in custody and later convicted and jailed for conspiring to aid a Palestinian terrorist group — was “politically motivated” and a means “to squash dissent.”

It was also reported that the WRMEA article was amended — at least three years later, according to an Internet archive site — with the paragraphs quoting Hussain removed (see the original and revised pages).

[Two words: “memory hole.” — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Reds in Hollywood Making a Comeback

Bryan Cranston is famous for his role as meth cook “Walter White” on the AMC drama series, “Breaking Bad.” He may become infamous for something else later this year. He is playing the role of Stalinist Communist and Hitler apologist Dalton Trumbo in the new film, “Trumbo.”

The film is said to be in its “post-production” phase, and Cranston may not have known what he was getting into. It’s hard to believe he would have played this role had he known the facts about Trumbo’s service to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Once the facts get out, his role could derail what looked like a promising career.

Allan H. Ryskind, author of the new book, Hollywood Traitors, anticipates that the film “Trumbo” will be “celebrating Dalton Trumbo, a major Hollywood Ten figure and longtime Communist enthusiast…” He notes that the advance publicity for the film says that Trumbo bravely took a “stand against the Communist-witch-hunt at the height of the Cold War” and was “punished for his principled stand for free speech and the Constitution.”

Indeed, the conventional wisdom is that Trumbo and all other members of the “Hollywood Ten were innocent victims of a ‘blacklist.’“ The facts show something very different. Trumbo was in fact a Soviet/Nazi agent of influence in Hollywood. All of the “Ten” were communists but Trumbo was one of the worst.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Shocking Video Shows College Students Condemning Free Speech and the 1st Amendment

Just how important is the First Amendment to students today? I’m pretty sure that after watching the video, you’ll feel more compelled to protect the First Amendment than ever before!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The “Jobs for Jihad Delinquents” Program

By Michelle Malkin

At the White House Summit on Extremism That Shall Remain Unspecified Because Violent Followers Belonging To Unnamed Extremist Movement Might Take Extreme Offense And Act Extremely, the feds are touting a ground-breaking, new strategy to fight terrorists.

Just kidding. It’s actually the same, old futile strategy that big-government liberals use to cure everything: mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.


The persistent, left-wing myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist is absolute madness. How many times do we have to remind the clueless Kumbaya crowd that al Qaeda mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri had a medical degree, as did Hamas bigwig Abdel Rantissi and the seven upper-crust doctors who helped plan the 2007 London/Glasgow bombings?

Or that Al Qaeda scientist Affia Siddiqui studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis. Terror architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed earned a mechanical engineering degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. 9/11 lead hijacker Mohamed Atta majored in urban planning at a German technical university. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh graduated from the London School of Economics before abducting and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl. And Osama bin Laden (Oxford) and Sayyid Qutb (Colorado State Teachers College) had plenty of exposure to wealth and Western studies.

The “root cause” of their evil-doing is not a lack of employment, education, community centers, Iftar dinners at the White House, or publicly-funded “opportunities.” They don’t want jobs. They want blood. Revenge. Islamic dominance.

[The Good Michelle nails it yet again. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

The Internet is Our Only Free Press

I see with no surprise that Washington is stepping up its campaign to censor the internet. It had to come, and will succeed. It will put paid forever to America’s flirtation with freedom…

Today the internet is the only free press we have, all that stands against total control of information. Consider how relentlessly the media impose political correctness, how the slightest offense to the protected groups—we all know who they are—or to sacred policies leads to firing of reporters and groveling by politicians. The wars are buried and serious criticism of Washington suppressed. That leaves the net, only the net, without which we would know nothing.

Which is why it must be and will be censored, sooner if Washington can get away with it and later if not. The tactics are predictable. First, “hate speech” will be banned. The government will tell us whom we can hate and whom we cannot. “Hatred” will be vaguely defined so that one will never be sure when one is engaging in it and, since it will be prosecutable, one will have to be very careful. Disapproval of favored groups, or of their behavior, will be defined as hatred. National security will be invoked, silencing whistle-blowers or, eventually, anything that might make the public uneasy with Washington’s wars.

The next step probably will be to block links to foreign sites deemed to transgress. China is good at this. The most likely avenue will be executive orders of increasingly Draconian nature, about which Congress and the Dead— the Supreme Court, I meant to say—will do nothing.

At that point, coming soon to a theater near you, the United States as it was intended to be, and to an extent was, will be over. Our increasingly characterless young, raised to ignorance and Appropriate Thought by government schools, will question nothing. They will have no way of knowing that there is anything to question.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Reason Obama Won’t Use ‘Islamic Extremist’ — Video

The federal government has ignored Islamic threat while obsessing about domestic “extremism,” including veterans and gun owners, for years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The White House is Hosting a Summit on Counterterrorism This Week.

The summit will focus on fighting extremism, particularly on social media. That’s part of the UK counterterror strategy as well. But security forces are working with different toolboxes on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: “Free Roamer” Loses it on Border Patrol Checkpoint Officers 200 Miles Away From Border

Being routinely stopped at a permanent checkpoint close to 200 miles away from the border by Homeland Security agents, one freedom loving American decided enough was enough recently and stood up to them on video.

In a submission to CopBlock website, the self proclaimed “free roamer” wrote:

“I was traveling east from Tuscon, AZ going through Texas. There is a permanent inland non border checkpoint outside of El Paso, TX which I must travel through every year. After the 8th year of the abuses, they put me through. I had finally been through it enough. I then felt it was necessary to surveil my car to capture the violation of my rights which have occurred so many times off camera.”

Whether you agree with the approach this person takes or not in confronting the agents, the exchange makes for compelling viewing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Woman Who Fatally Shot Herself in Eye Was Adjusting Her Bra Holster, St. Joseph Police Say

ST. JOSEPH, MI — A woman who accidentally shot herself in the eye on New Years Day at her Lake Michigan home was adjusting the handgun in her bra holster, police say.

St. Joseph Public Safety detectives are still waiting on the full autopsy report in the death of Christina Bond, 55, but released the new details to the Kalamazoo Gazette on Wednesday.

“She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon,” said St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp.

[Gunsite Safety Rule No. 2: “Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.” Such as yourself. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Woman Calls Cops for Help Against Intruders, Cops Show Up and Shoot Her Dead

A mother of two in Gastonia, North Carolina was shot dead by police in her own home after she called them for help when two intruders entered the property.

As reported by WCC Charlotte, Betty Sexton, 43, called 911 and asked police to come and remove two unwanted guests who she said were no longer welcome in her home, but would not leave.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“Total Information Awareness”: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Bill C-51

The House of Commons debate over Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism bill, began yesterday with strong opposition from the NDP, disappointing support from the Liberals, and an effort to politicize seemingly any criticism or analysis from the Conservative government. With the government already serving notice that it will limit debate, the hopes for a non-partisan, in-depth analysis of the anti-terrorism legislation may have already been dashed. This is an incredibly troubling development since the proposed legislation has all the hallmarks of being pulled together quickly with limited analysis. Yet both the Conservatives and Liberals seem content to stick to breezy talking points rather than genuinely work toward a bill that provides Canadians with better safeguards against security threats while also preserving privacy and instituting effective oversight.

The only detailed review to date has come from Professors Kent Roach and Craig Forcese. Their ongoing work — three lengthy background papers so far (Advocating or Promoting Terrorism, new CSIS powers, expanded information sharing) — provides by far the most exhaustive analysis of the bill and is a must-read for anyone concerned with the issue. Indeed, once you have read their work, it becomes readily apparent that all should be concerned with this legislation. Much of the focus to date has been on the lack of oversight and the expansive new powers granted to CSIS. However, the privacy implications of Bill C-51’s information sharing provisions also cry out for study and reform.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Breaking News: The Great Sim Heist

How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data…

Leading privacy advocates and security experts say that the theft of encryption keys from major wireless network providers is tantamount to a thief obtaining the master ring of a building superintendent who holds the keys to every apartment. “Once you have the keys, decrypting traffic is trivial,” says Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union. “The news of this key theft will send a shock wave through the security community.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Copenhagen Imam on Eve of 2/14/15 Jihad Terror Attack Eschewed “Dialogue, “ Stated: “Muhammad Waged War Against the Jews”

Per the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the sermon excerpted below, validates what I wrote about at length in my essay, “Re-enacting Muhammad in Copenhagen.”

On the evening before jihadist Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein murderously attacked both a Copenhagen free speech conference, and then a synagogue, Hajj Saeed, Imam of the Al-Faruq Mosque in Copenhagen, eschewed “dialogue” with Jews, reminding his Muslim listeners that Muhammad waged jihad against the Jews when they failed to submit to his nascent Islamic order. The good imam Saeed intoned the following during his February 13, 2015 sermon:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Crunch Time for Mars One to Avoid Two-Year Delay

Mars One, the Dutch firm hoping to colonise the Red Planet, has just a few months to decide whether it will launch its first unmanned mission to Mars in 2018. If it misses the deadline, the entire high-risk enterprise will be delayed another two years.

While national space agencies think manned missions to Mars are something for the distant future, Mars One says it can establish a permanent colony on the planet by the mid-2020s, funded by turning the whole thing into a reality TV show and selling the media rights.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Falciani Book Says Vatican Halted IOR Probe by Italy

Whistleblower famous for leaks of bank accounts of tax evaders

(ANSA) — Rome, February 18 — An Italian investigation into the Vatican bank, the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), was stopped by the Vatican even though Switzerland was willing to collaborate, charged whistle-blower Hervé Falciani in a book presentation Wednesday. He added that he hoped it would be useful to Pope Francis “who can give an example to the world”.

Falciani has become a controversial figures over his involvement in the leak of documents concerning tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts, particularly HSBC account holders.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Forgetting the Hard Lessons of Appeasement

By Paul Miller

When news broke of the terror attacks in Denmark, a close friend of Danish descent called me to vent his frustration that once again Jews were being murdered in Europe. He reminded me when such atrocities were happening during World War II, Danish citizens rescued their Jewish countrymen.

On Oct. 1, 1943, Adolf Hitler ordered that all Danish Jews be arrested and deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The order was to be carried out on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, as the Nazis assumed all Jews would be in their homes. Attache for Germany, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, warned the Danes a few days before the roundup, enough time for the Danish resistance movement to organize a mass exodus to Sweden of more than 7,200 Jews and their non-Jewish relatives.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

France: Paris Votes to Sue Fox News

Paris City Council authorized Mayor Anne Hidalgo to sue U.S. broadcaster Fox News for reporting there are “no-go zones” in the French capital where non-Muslims and police fear to venture.

City officials voted to file a lawsuit at a French court for defamation regarding comments on Fox News and a map it broadcast with eight such so-called off-limits areas circled in red. The report came when Paris was on high alert after attacks by Islamic radicals last month.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

HSBC Offices Raided as Tax Scandal Deepens

Swiss prosecutors searched the offices of the Geneva subsidiary of UK banking giant HSBC bank on Wednesday (18 February) as the inquiry into alleged money-laundering by the bank deepened.

In a statement, the Geneva prosecutor said that “a search is currently underway in the premises of the bank, led by Attorney General Olivier Jornot and the prosecutor Yves Bertossa” into what it described as “aggravated money-laundering”.

The scandal broke after Herve Falciani, a former IT worker with the bank, leaked details about clients involved in alleged tax avoidance to French newspaper Le Monde and, subsequently, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The documents, which relate to activities between 2005 and 2007, suggest that HSBC helped clients avoid paying millions in taxes by hiding their money in secret Swiss accounts and gave them tips on how to exploit loopholes in the EU’s savings tax directive.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Is Soros Preparing a Color Revolution for Greece?

With the recent victory of Syriza in Greece, opponents of austerity the world over have been rejoicing. The news from a country crushed by austerity policies, the European Central Bank, the IMF, and corrupt oligarchs is now heralding a shift in direction toward a “third way” that does not simply involve trading one austerity oligarch and his party for another.

For many in Greece, the signal is clear — help seems to be on the way.

For those watching the developments from afar, the hope is that the spark in Greece will light the brushfire across Europe and the rest of the world that says “No!” to austerity and banker domination of national economies.

Yet, while the signs coming out of Greece may seem positive at first, there is an ominous cloud approaching — the cloud of George Soros and his color revolution apparatus.

If Syriza is truly as anti-austerity, anti-banker, and anti-troika as its rhetoric and even its first actions seem to indicate, then the Greek oligarchs, international bankers, corporate boards, and secret societies will undoubtedly respond as soon as they are able to mount a calculated strategy.

George Soros and his color revolution networks may just be the response these oligarchs are ready to mount.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy Puts Troops on the Street in Response to Islamic State Threat — Video

Italy plans to use police state tactics in an effort to head off a possible attack by the Islamic State.

Italian security officials said they will deploy 5,000 soldiers in Rome and other sensitive sites and potential targets around the country after IS declared it will invade Italy’s capital city and take the Vatican.

Troops will also guard Jewish schools, synagogues and diplomatic residences.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Devastated: It Won’t End Here Says Marino

Mayor contacts Dutch ambassador after Feyenoord fans rampage

(ANSA) — Rome, February 19 — “Roma devastated and wounded.

In contact with the Prefect, Police Chief and Dutch Ambassador.

It won’t end here” tweeted Mayor Ignazio Marino after Feyenoord fans ran amok in the historic centre ahead of a Europa League match with AS Roma Thursday. After clashing with police under the Spanish Steps following a rampage in Campo de’ Fiori the previous night, fans left the famous Barcaccia fountain filled with litter and used the nearby subway entrance as a urinal.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Jihad Attacks in Denmark: Dateline Paris

by Nidra Poller

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was on official business in Morocco when informed of the jihad attack against a free speech meeting in Copenhagen. He immediately flew to Denmark where he joined his personal friend François Zimeray, French ambassador to Denmark. Zimeray, who attended the “Art, Blasphemy, Freedom of Speech” event at the Krudttønden Café organized in reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, put it succinctly: “I went to the meeting by bicycle and left in an armored car.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

LHC Ready to Hunt Down Mystery Dark Matter Particles

An upgraded, more powerful Large Hadron Collider, slated to begin returning to service next month, should open the door to new realms of physics, including possibly a glimpse of so-called “dark matter” particles, which, along with an equally mysterious dark energy force, dominates the universe.

A promising doorway into the new frontier is located at Europe’s CERN particle physics laboratory near Geneva, home to the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Smoking in Cars With Children Banned in England

A law being implemented this year will prohibit all drivers in England from smoking in their cars if they are carrying children as passengers. The ban has been hailed as a victory for young people’s health by anti-smoking activist groups.

The move, which will become law on 1 October, follows a similar ban in Wales and aims to protect young people under 18 from second-hand smoke. Scotland is also considering introducing a ban.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain: Church Must Return Córdoba Mosque to Public Domain, Say Ex-Mayors

Five former mayors from Córdoba have demanded an explanation as to why the Catholic diocese was allowed to register the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba as a property holding on the city’s registry.

In a letter released Wednesday, the mayors said they were “deeply concerned” about the Church’s takeover of the mosque and cathedral complex, which were both declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spain: Parliament Approves New Anti-Jihad Provisions

New crimes, internet recruiting, training in war zones

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, FEBRUARY 19 — The Spanish Parliament approved a proposal submitted by the governing Partito Popular together with opposition PSOE Socialists providing new tools in the fight against Islamic terrorism. The provision identifies a new set of crimes to combat jihadist extremism — among which internet recruitment, indoctrination-journeys and training in war-zones — to be added to the Penal Code. None of the other parliament groups voted in favour of the “anti-terrorism pact”, as they said such an agreement was not made for the sake of the State but represented a “two-party electoral” pact sanctioning the introduction of life imprisonment in the Penal Code. Following this reasoning parties belonging to the Izquierda Plural (Plural Left), the separatist Catalan Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV) voted against the provision while the constitutionalist Union Progreso y Democracia and Convergencia i Union (CiU) abstained.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Stretchy Limpet Teeth Are Nature’s Strongest Material

No wonder it takes a crowbar to detach a limpet from a rock while it’s feeding. The mollusc’s teeth, seen in the above microscope image, are made from the strongest material yet discovered in the natural world.

When Asa Barber from the University of Portsmouth and his team measured the stretching force needed to break the teeth, they found that the material they are made out of is about six times as strong as spider silk — the previous record holder. The material also matches ultra-resistant carbon fibres, which are the strongest artificial material.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Child Marriage Authorized by Tax Authority

A marriage between a 14-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man was authorized last year by Swedish authorities. The two were asylum seekers last summer and ended up in Gothenburg and because the case involved a child, Gothenburg social services got involved. They decided the couple would be placed in an apartment together in a different municipality in western Sweden.

This decision angered the social services office in the municipality where the couple was sent to live. One of the chiefs there told Swedish Radio News that it is impossible to live up to the Social Welfare Act and ensure the safe upbringing of a child if that child is living married to an adult.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden to Help Norway With Woman ‘Terror’ Case

Police in Sweden are helping authorities in Norway who are investigating a young Norwegian woman who is understood to have been trained by an extremist group in Syria and could be plotting a terror attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Jihadist Speaks to SVT

Around 130 Swedes have travelled to Syria and Iraq in order to fight with various terror groups. One of them is “Adam,” who says he’s prepared to die as a martyr. SVT’s investigative program Uppdrag Gränskning has spoken to him.

“Adam,” which is not his real name, describes himself as a normal guy, born and raised in Gothenburg. He did well in school and wanted to become a dentist. When he was 16 or 17 he became interested in Islam and two years after that travelled to Syria to fight for the terrorist organization IS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden Can Run From Islamic Terrorism, But it Cannot Hide

Since Sunday’s brutal attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen, the media and government in Denmark’s neighbour across the straits, Sweden, have struggled to describe the horrendous event as a clear-cut “anti-Semitic” attack. Rather, it has been more fitting to the Swedish worldview to discuss a murdered security guard who happened to be Jewish and standing outside a synagogue, and to relate to this incident as part of a general terror threat against the Swedish nation.

The media and government officials have further diluted the anti-Semitic nature of the incident by wrapping into the discussion the risks of Islamophobia and the security needs of the Muslim community in Sweden.

The fact that we need to recognize, discuss and act upon a specific threat toward Jews is either unfathomable, marginalised or sought to be ignored by large parts of the Swedish political and media spectrum…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Swedish ISIS Fighters to Have Passports Taken

A new law to allow Swedish authorities to confiscate the passports of Swedes who are known to have fought alongside extremists in Syria or Iraq is being drafted by the government.

Sweden’s Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman hopes the legislation will be passed by parliament and put in place by 2016.

“We can take care of passports so that a person cannot leave Sweden,” he told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Wednesday, adding that he felt it was “terrible” that some Swedish jihadists were currently travelling back-and-forth between the Nordic nation and the middle east.

Last month, Sweden’s Security Service, Säpo, confirmed data suggesting that at least one hundred Swedes have so far fought alongside Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Belgian FM Praises Albania’s Steps for EU Integration

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, arrived in Tirana on February 17 with a positive message about Albania’s progress towards European Union integration.

Reynders was received by Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati. The two men discussed Albania’s EU accession negotiations after receiving candidate status. According to the Albanian Daily News, Reynders praised Albania’s role in the region and assured his Albanian counterpart on the continued support of Belgium to the EU integration process of Albania.

Reynders and Bushati also discussed Belgian investments and the need to give these a boost.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Confirmed: Tony Blair to Advise Serbia

Tony Blair has signed a contract to advise Serbia’s prime minister, 16 years after the two were on opposite sides of the Balkan conflict. Former British PM Blair was instrumental in NATO airstrikes against Belgrade.

Blair will work for PM Aleksandar Vucic, Slobodan Milosevic’s information minister at the time of the Kosovo conflict.

Vucic had previously been an outspoken critic of Blair. He was listed as an editor of the 2005 book ‘English Gay Fart Tony Blair’.

The deal was paid for by the United Arab Emirates, according to Serbian officials, which has raised doubts over Blair’s ability to operate as a neutral envoy in the Middle East for the Quartet — the UN, US, EU and Russia.

A spokeswoman for Tony Blair Associates did not confirm whether Blair’s fee was paid by Abu Dhabi. She told the Guardian: “This project was directly negotiated and agreed between Serbia and TBA (Tony Blair Associates) following meetings between Tony Blair and the Serbia prime minister and was not part of any wider agreement.”

She said the advisory role would not affect Blair’s work in the Middle East.

“The work of the delivery unit has no bearing on Tony Blair’s role in the Middle East for the Palestinian economy.”

Blair and his team have reportedly made regular visits to Belgrade in recent months, including for a lecture by Alastair Campbell at the end of January. Campbell was Blair’s Director of Communications and Strategy between 1997 and 2003.

In June last year, media outlets reported Serbia wanted to offer former Labour business secretary Lord Mandelson an advisory contract to help Serbia join the EU, because Tony Blair was considered “too expensive.”

At the time, Vucic said of Blair: “He earns his money, but we didn’t speak about a penny. We were speaking about the way to Europe — the Serbian way to Europe.” Asked if he would consider paying Blair, he replied: “No, he’s too expensive.”

Blair supported the Albanians during the Kosovo conflict. He was a strong advocate of putting ground forces in Kosovo and the bombing of Belgrade in 1999 in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Blair was to describe his part in the NATO intervention in the Kosovo War — in which the Serbian government was accused of attempting to change “the ethnic composition of Kosovo and creating an apartheid-like society” — as being necessary to “to avert what would otherwise be a humanitarian disaster in Kosovo”.

The Kosovo Report later determined that “the NATO military intervention was illegal, but legitimate”. Blair is considered a hero in Kosovo for his support for them against the Belgrade government at the time.

In 2013, he agreed to help Albania join the European Union, reportedly at no cost to the Albanian government.

“The orientation toward Europe is immensely important, and personally I’d love to see this country join the family of European nations,” he said.

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

Doha Recalls Its Ambassador From Egypt After Air Raids on Libya

Qatar opposes Egyptian raids against the jihadists. The Egyptian ambassador accuses Doha of supporting Islamic State terrorism. Al Sisi warns: Every security threat will receive a military response.

Doha (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Qatar has recalled its ambassador from Egypt today “for consultations”. According to local media, the decision is due to Doha’s opposition to Cairo’s air raids against the jihadists in Libya.

The QNA state agency said that the recall of the ambassador is a response to the statements of Tariq Adel, Egyptian delegate to the Arab League.

The Egyptian media and Al Jazeera (Qatari TV) report that Adel accused Qatar of supporting Islamic State terrorism. Adel has expressed his thoughts — shared by a large portion of international opinion — after that Qatar expressed reservations about Egypt’s air raids in response to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts, who had gone to Libya to seek work.

The ambassadors of the Arab League had gathered to approve the Egyptian operation. Qatar has distanced itself from the Arab League statement, noting that “consultations are required before any unilateral military action against a Member State”. Doha also denounces the fact that the representative of Egypt to the Arab League “confuses the need to combat terrorism [with] … the brutal killing and burning of civilians.”

Qatar is suspected of being a longtime supporter of the Islamist formations fighting Bashar Assad in Syria, but also of supporting the Islamic State, which has occupied a part of Iraq and Syria, in alliance with jihadist groups in Libya.

Yesterday, the Egyptian president Abdelfattah Al Sisi visited the border with Libya and said that Egypt will respond with military force to militia threats to the security of his country (See photo).

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

Four Years After Ouster of Mubarak, Egyptians ‘Are Tired of Revolutions’

From police shootings at street protests to the killing or jailing or thousands of supporters of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, the list of alarming headlines out of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s Egypt grows longer by the day. Almost two years after Sisi ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, and four years after a popular revolt ousted long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak, many Egyptians their country is veering off a democratic path.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy Tells UN it is Ready for Lead Role in Libya

Rome reiterates need for action at Security Council meeting

(ANSA) — Rome, February 19 — Italy told an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council late Wednesday that it was ready to play a “lead” role in finding a political solution to end the chaos in Libya.

The meeting was called amid international concern about advances made by jihadists linked to ISIS following the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya at the weekend.

In a video of the murders, a jihadist warned ISIS was now “south of Rome” and no longer isolated to the areas it controls on Syria and Iraq.

Italy’s permanent representative at the UN, Sebastiano Cardi, told the Security Council that Italy was ready to help watch over an eventual a ceasefire and train local armed forces as part of of a UN-mandated mission. The Italian government has been pressing hard for the international community to take action to end the chaos that has ensued in Libya since Muammar Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in 2011.

Italy’s southern-most islands are only several hundred kilometres from Libya.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the governments of Libya and Egypt both called for an end to the arms embargo that is in force to help the fight against ISIS. Two rival governments and parliaments — one in Tripoli, the other in Tobruk, each backed by different militias — rule in the eastern and western regions of Libya. A diplomatic solution to the crisis could see those governments ending hostilities and joining forces against ISIS without a military intervention by foreign forces. Egypt has attacked ISIS targets in Libya in response to the beheadings.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: MSC Cruises ‘Do Not Go Near Libya’

But in close contact with foreign ministry for security

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, FEBRUARY 18 — MSC Cruises said on Wednesday that none of its ships passed close to Libya.

Nevertheless, CEO Gianni Onorato said on the fringes of a press conference for the presentation of the 2016-2017 catalog, “we are in close contact with the Italian foreign ministry and with international organizations”.

The comments came in response to journalists’ questions on whether the company was concerned about the instability in Libya and the Mediterranean, given the latest threats from the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) to attack southern Europe, “maritime companies and cruise ships”. Onorato said that he was not worried about the security of ports, “which are under tight surveillance” or about ships at sea, as they are “monitored by a system that enables the authorities to watch over the routes”. He added that a private security system was also “in place on the ships, in a discrete manner”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: Egypt-Drafted UN Resolution Includes Use of Force

Wants Tobruk arms embargo ended, militia pull-out from Tripoli

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK — A draft UN resolution drawn up by Egypt on Libya is based on Chapter 7 of the international body’s charter.

The document has been circulated by Jordan at the Security Council and ANSA is in possession of a copy. The draft calls for an end to a weapons embargo on the internationally recognized Tobruk-based government, a withdrawal of militias from Tripoli and restrictions on the flow of arms to non-state entities in Libya. The draft resolution notes that the Security Council committee will have to submit within 30 days to the council its recommendations to prevent the sale and transfer of weapons and munitions to non-state bodies. The draft condemns all terrorist acts committed by local Islamic State (ISIS) affiliates, Ansar Al-Sharia and all other terrorist groups and individuals in the country, underscoring that a global approach is required to deal with them.

It calls on UN member states to fight with all means available to them — in conformity with the UN Charter and international law — threats to peace and security caused by terrorist acts in the country, stressing the need to provide support and assistance to the legitimate Libyan authorities. The document also expresses support for UN-led dialogue between the House of Representatives, the government and non-violent entities in Libya, asking them to work in a constructive manner to form a national unity government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: ISIS Gaining Ground, Says Tobruk PM

Claims rival gov’t in Tripoli ‘doesn’t want dialogue for peace’

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, FEBRUARY 19 — Libyan groups affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) “continue to spread and take more terrain” and “their flags can be seen in Tripoli, Sabratha, Sirte and Ben Jawad”, said Abdullah Al-Thinni the prime minister of the Tobruk-based government recognized by the international community, on Thursday. In an interview with the Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Thinni accused MPs of the General National Congress (the Tripoli-based rival parliament led by Islamists) of not wanting to engage in UN-mediated dialogue for peace.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Morocco Hammams to be Made Environment-Friendly

French project aims to lower costs and pollution

(by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) — ROME, FEBRUARY 16 — Hammams are not only part of the religious purification process for Muslims, they are also a place to socialize and in which nudity has a leveling effect in both luxurious and spartan hammams.

The philosophy behind them has remained the same for centuries, as has the way in which the heated water evaporates.

Mainly wood is used to bring water to three traditional temperature levels (20, 32 and at least 42 degrees Celsius) with all the contingent energy and environmental costs. A French NGO working in the field of renewable energy and environmental compatibility has decided to start with Morocco to render hammams more environment-friendly, saving energy and costs.

There have been previous attempts but all achieved little. The first part of the project will focus on about 40 hammams that will receive material aid worth an overall 1.2 million euros. The project must take into consideration a the fact that every hammam is a universe unto itself, and thus requires a personalized solution. Some, therefore, will continue to be wood-fired while adopting solutions that can cut energy use to a sixth of its current level. Others will instead use ovens running on olive pits and argan nuts or are solar-powered, or water use will be made more efficient and insulation will be added.

The project calls for interventions on 40 Moroccan hammams scheduled for completion by 2017. Other projects will be initiated at the same time in the country, with more limited goals but able to improve the facilities and the environment.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Napolitano Says 2011 Libya Mission Had Broad Support

Italy can’t ‘step back’ from responsibilities

(ANSA) — Rome, February 18 — Former President Giorgio Napolitano said Wednesday that Italy’s involvement in the 2011 international intervention in Libya, which contributed to the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, was backed by broad support in parliament. He added that Italy cannot “step back” from its international responsibilities when faced with the current crisis in Libya. “The (2011) action was decided in common, it was a common assumption of responsibility,” Napolitano, who quit last month after nine years as head of State, said in the Senate. “But I’d like to recall that there was very wide parliamentary support for the March 18 resolution of the House and Senate assemblies,” added the Life Senator. “We cannot step back, we cannot dodge or evade. Italy must do its bit, like we did not step back in 2011”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Qatar Recalls Envoy to Egypt in Row Over Libya Airstrikes

Qatar said Thursday it has recalled its ambassador to Cairo to protest comments made by an Egyptian official over his country’s decision to carry out air strikes in neighboring Libya. The spat marks a new flare-up in tensions between the wealthy Gulf state and Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Qatar said in a brief statement it was withdrawing the envoy “for consultations” in response to comments made by the Egyptian delegate to the Arab League, Tarek Adel.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

#We’re Coming to Rome Say ISIS

‘God willing’ says Islamist militants

(ANSA) — New York, February 19 — Islamic State have created the new Twitter hashtag #We_Are_Coming_To_Rome, terrorism analyst and director of the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group Rita Katz said Thursday.

“ISIS will come to Rome, God willing,” the Islamists said alongside photos of armed convoys carrying militants in ski-masks bearing ISIS banners

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

50 Shades of ISIS

A shocking new report from Syrian activists claims that while ISIS imposes their “moral authority” on women, the terror group is engaged in some kinky behavior behind closed doors.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Figure in ISIS Mass Beheading Video Could Have US Ties, Linguistic Expert Says

A linguistics expert believes the man who threatens the West in an Islamic State video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians was educated in the United States.

But Erick Thomas, a professor of acoustics and dialects at North Carolina State University, says it’s unclear whether the mysterious, shrouded figure in the video released on Sunday is from the U.S.

“He clearly spent a significant amount of his childhood in the United States,” Thomas told Gretchen Carlson on “The Real Story” Wednesday afternoon. “Whether it was all of his childhood or not, I couldn’t say that. I would say probably from the time he began his schooling, he was in the United States, but he was properly exposed to Arabic all along.”

Thomas cited the man’s use of a “hard G” in two instances: when he says “chopping off” and “fighting us.” He also said his pronunciation of the letter “O” in “Rome” might be a clue of his upbringing as well.

“It’s a good sign of influence from another language,” Thomas said.

As several men in orange jumpsuits are led to a beach where they are believed to have been beheaded, one militant, dressed differently than the others, addresses the camera.

“All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together,” the militant says. “Therefore we will fight you all together,” he said. “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Usama Bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”

[This creature didn’t sound very American to me, but as Fats Waller used to say: “One never knows, do one?” — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

ISIS Chief Was ‘Civilian Detainee’ In U.S. Custody

Declassified military documents obtained by a U.S. news website showed on Wednesday that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, was held as a “civilian detainee” during his U.S. army custody a decade ago.

His detainee identification papers, obtained by current affairs site Business Insider, also contained his picture.

While being a “civilian detainee” shows that Baghdadi was not believed to be a member of a foreign armed force or militia, he was still held for security reasons.

It also showed his “capture date” starting on Feb. 4, 2004 and ending on Dec. 8, 2004 as his “release in place” date.

His “civilian occupation” was identified as “administrative work (secretary).”

In the files, Baghdadi was listed as aged 43 as of 2014 and he was identified by his birth name, Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey to Go Ahead With Non-NATO-Integrated Missile Defense

Turkey’s new defense missile system, for which Ankara is in talks on a $3.4 billion deal with a Chinese company, will not be integrated with one used by NATO, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz has said.

Ankara will use the long-range system without integrating it with NATO’s system, Yilmaz said in his elaboration on the issue, which came in response to a parliamentary question filed by an opposition deputy.

Turkey originally awarded the tender to China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC) in 2013, prompting U.S. and NATO officials to say the deal could raise questions over security…

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

What ISIS Really Wants

By Graeme Wood

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers.


Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable.


The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.


The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.


If we had identified the Islamic State’s intentions early, and realized that the vacuum in Syria and Iraq would give it ample space to carry them out, we might, at a minimum, have pushed Iraq to harden its border with Syria and preemptively make deals with its Sunnis. That would at least have avoided the electrifying propaganda effect created by the declaration of a caliphate just after the conquest of Iraq’s third-largest city.


Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options. Neither the Kurds nor the Shia will ever subdue and control the whole Sunni heartland of Syria and Iraq—they are hated there, and have no appetite for such an adventure anyway. But they can keep the Islamic State from fulfilling its duty to expand. And with every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammad than yet another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people.


A few “lone wolf” supporters of the Islamic State have attacked Western targets, and more attacks will come. But most of the attackers have been frustrated amateurs, unable to immigrate to the caliphate because of confiscated passports or other problems. Even if the Islamic State cheers these attacks—and it does in its propaganda—it hasn’t yet planned and financed one. (The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January was principally an al-Qaeda operation.)


Islamic State supporters know how to react to Muslims who ignore parts of the Koran: with takfir and ridicule. But they also know that some other Muslims read the Koran as assiduously as they do, and pose a real ideological threat.

Baghdadi is Salafi. The term Salafi has been villainized, in part because authentic villains have ridden into battle waving the Salafi banner. But most Salafis are not jihadists, and most adhere to sects that reject the Islamic State. They are, as Haykel notes, committed to expanding Dar al-Islam, the land of Islam, even, perhaps, with the implementation of monstrous practices such as slavery and amputation—but at some future point.


These quietist Salafis, as they are known, agree with the Islamic State that God’s law is the only law, and they eschew practices like voting and the creation of political parties. But they interpret the Koran’s hatred of discord and chaos as requiring them to fall into line with just about any leader, including some manifestly sinful ones.


Quietist Salafis believe that Muslims should direct their energies toward perfecting their personal life, including prayer, ritual, and hygiene.


“The khilafa is something that Allah is going to establish,” [a quietist imam said, “and it will involve a consensus of scholars from Mecca and Medina. That is not what happened. ISIS came out of nowhere.”

The Islamic State loathes this talk, and its fanboys tweet derisively about quietist Salafis. They mock them as “Salafis of menstruation,” for their obscure judgments about when women are and aren’t clean, and other low-priority aspects of life.


[But] quietist Salafism offers an Islamic antidote to Baghdadi-style jihadism. The people who arrive at the faith spoiling for a fight cannot all be stopped from jihadism, but those whose main motivation is to find an ultraconservative, uncompromising version of Islam have an alternative here. It is not moderate Islam; most Muslims would consider it extreme. It is, however, a form of Islam that the literal-minded would not instantly find hypocritical, or blasphemously purged of its inconveniences. Hypocrisy is not a sin that ideologically minded young men tolerate well.


That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time.

[Wood’s elucidation of “quietist Salafism” is intriguing, but holds out the same specious basis for hope as the chimerical “moderate majority of Muslims.” “Ideologically minded young men” want a life of murderous action, not fastidious observance. “Quietists” and “moderates” merely offer them a sea to swim in like Mao Tse-tung’s guerrilla fish. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Why the CIA Created ISIS — Video

Alex explains the U.S. government’s involvement in ISIS.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Indonesia’s Ban on Maids Threatens 2,000 Saudi Jobs

Some 600 recruitment offices are being threatened with bankruptcy as approximately 2,000 Saudi employees working in their offices are expected to lose their jobs due to a new Indonesian ban on maids working abroad, local media quoted office owners as saying. The Indonesian Manpower Services Association (APJATI) has reportedly agreed to send its house maids to some companies as “janitors” with an agreed salary, Al-Riyadh daily said. This situation will deprive citizens and recruitment offices their rights to recruit manpower from Indonesia under the profession of “house maids,” the daily said quoting office owners.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Faisalabad: For the Past Year, Dozens of Christian Families Have Been Homeless, Threatened by Muslims

The authorities in Samundari (Punjab) have arbitrarily and unilaterally torn down homes without warning residents. A Muslim who resents the local minority is behind the deed. Christians demand respect and dignity.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) — “We have lived here for 25 years, since the then (martyred) Bishop John Joseph gave us this land, from a government tender. Then, one day, the Samundari municipal government suddenly demolished our houses, without warning us,” said Fazal Masih, a local Christian elder who had his own home torn down. The town is located in Faisalabad District, Punjab province.

Speaking to AsiaNews, he said, “For months, we have been forced to live in some makeshift shelters on land “owned by local Muslims” and “their relatives”. During this period, “Part of our group has been forced to live in tents, and our relatives have received threats from Muslim neighbours.”

For dozens of Christian families in Samundari, this is a desperate situation. For years, they lived in the town, in 72 houses. In recent years, 13 additional houses were built near a local government hospital that was never used, except as a barn and an animal shelter.

Asghar Ali Jutt, a local Muslim landowner, has always held a deep hatred towards Christians because of their faith.

On several occasions, he has insulted and attacked the local community, threatening to destroy their homes.

Finally, he went to the city administration, claiming that the Christian houses were illegal and had to be torn down.

Following his appeal, the authorities destroyed the houses last year during the period of Lent, without warning the residents.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Nusrat Bibi, one of the residents of the demolished houses, said that some of things he owned had been stolen.

“We are forced to live with relatives,” he explained, “and to work in the fields owned by Muslims without pay. We are still victims of threats and harassment by Muslims.”

After the destruction of the houses, “we no longer even have toilets or latrines.” For this reason, “we want our homes rebuilt so that we can live with respect and dignity”.

On Monday, Christian leader Robin Daniel, and a representative of the South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) visited the area to assess personally the situation and show solidarity to the victims. Both described the actions by the local government as “barbaric behaviour” vis-à-vis “the poor Christians,” who have been homeless for the past year.

The case has drawn the attention of Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Khalil Tahir Sindhu who wrote a letter to the city administration asking them to find a solution for the Christians.

With a population of more than 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia.

About 80 per cent of Muslims are Sunni, whilst Shias are 20 per cent. Hindus are 1.85 per cent, followed by Christians (1.6 per cent) and Sikhs (0.04 per cent).

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

Author Murakami’s Advice on Dating a Younger Woman: Read the Art of War

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is offering tips on love and lust, counselling sex with a fish and advising one fan who wants to date a younger woman to read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

To a 53-year-old man who wants to know the secret to seducing a woman 20 years his junior, Murakami recommends Sun Tzu’s ancient tract on military tactics, The Art of War.

“Above all, you need to gather information. You need to create the chance to speak with her and find out how she would react to your advances.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chinese New Year in Numbers

People across the globe have begun celebrating Chinese New Year, marking the beginning of a new lunar year.

Chinese New Year sees the world’s largest annual human migration take place. Some 3.6bn journeys will be made across the country as people set off on the trip called “chunyun”, or spring movement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ghost Town: Beijing Streets Empty After Workers Head Home for Lunar New Year

It’s Beijing, but not as you know it.

With empty streets, spacious subway trains and not a traffic jam in sight, the city today was a very different place to usual — and even the skies were blue.

Beijing’s empty business district was just one indication that Lunar New Year is fast approaching, leading vast numbers of the city’s migrant workers to return to their homes across the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Great Firewall Rises: Darkness Descends as China Tightens Online Censorship

Chinese controls on information have tightened and loosened over the years, but Pin and others are feeling what many say is China’s most severe crackdown in decades on how people learn about the world around them, talk to each other and do business.

On the internet, in college classrooms and in corporate offices, the Communist Party has raised the virtual wall separating the most populous country from the rest of the globe. Experts say it reflects a distrust of outside influences that the party thinks could threaten its control on society.

Companies that have depended for years on virtual private networks, or VPNs, to get around Chinese online censors and access business tools have seen those channels squeezed or closed since the start of the year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study Shows

Once again, the completely illogical debacle concerning the world of vaccinations has surfaced.

By now, you know they’ve come under fire by those who are adamant that they do more harm than good. Countless people have developed irreversible health problems and even died shortly after receiving a vaccination, which the medical community chalks up to “coincidence” or cleverly crafted wording that a patient should have known about.

Take, for example, the young Florida girl who made headlines last year when she received the flu vaccine. Marysue Grivna, now 10 years old, experienced paralysis and vision loss within a few short days of receiving the shot. She was ultimately diagnosed with a debilitating brain disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Today, she’s confined to a wheelchair or bed and is almost entirely nonverbal.(1)

There’s also the disturbing discovery of elderly people who lived at a senior care facility in Georgia. After all received the flu shot in 2014, five of them died the next week.(2)

Time and again, stories like this abound. Most recently, however, additional news comes from South Korea, where researchers have demonstrated what people have known in their heart to be true all along: that vaccinations not only are unhealthy but also aren’t effective.(3)

Surprise, surprise.

Reported cases of chickenpox have more than tripled since vaccinations became mandatory in South Korea:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Pays $2 Mln to Philippines for Damaging Coral Reef

Damage caused by U.S. Navy minesweeper

(ANSA) — Manila, February 18 — The Philippine government on Wednesday announced it has 1.97 million dollars in compensation from the United States for damage a US Navy minesweeper caused to a coral reef two years ago.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that Manila was paid last month for the damage caused by the USS Guardian when it rammed into the Tobbataha Reef Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The money will be used for the environmental rehabilitation of the area and to improve monitoring activities in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again, the government said.

The minesweeper in January 2013 remained stuck for two months in the reef, damaging over 2,000 square meters of protected reefs in the Sulu Sea, one of the most important marine sanctuaries worldwide.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Australian Jihadis Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar Appear to Star in Sickening New Islamic State Beheading Video

Two of Australia’s most wanted jihadis Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar are suspected of starring in a sickening new Islamic State beheading video filmed in Syria.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sudan’s President: CIA and Mossad Are Behind ISIS and Boko Haram

Sudan’s President has claimed the CIA, America’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad are behind the Islamist militant groups Boko Haram and ISIS.

Omar al-Bashir used an interview with Euronews to claim there was a connection between the American and Israeli intelligence organisations and both extremist groups.

He spoke after Isis released a video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, an act that prompted Egypt to respond with air strikes avenging the massacre.

Al-Bashir told the broadcaster: “I said CIA and the Mossad stand behind these organisations; there is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Marks First Year in Prison

On February 18, 2014, thousands of Venezuelans dressed in white and holding the country’s tricolor flag converged on the streets of Caracas in support of opposition leader Leopoldo López soon after the government announced it had issued an arrest warrant for him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Britain Warned to Expect ‘Boats Full of Terrorists’ As ISIS Tightens Grip on Libya and 2,000 Migrants Are Rescued From the Mediterranean

Britain has been warned to brace itself for ‘boats full of terrorists’ if Islamist fanatics are allowed to cement their foothold in Libya.

Egypt’s Ambassador to the UK said the flood of migrants from north Africa poses a new threat now that the Islamic State controls the Libyan coastal town of Sirte.

Nasser Kamel’s comments come after 2,164 migrants were rescued at sea in a 24-hour period over the weekend in what has been described as an ‘exodus without precedent’.

He said: ‘You know how far Sirte is from Italy? It’s 300km.

‘Those boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean… in the next few weeks, if we do not act together, they will be boats full of terrorists also.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Copenhagen Attacks Renew Integration Debate

Problems with immigration and integration — topics that have dominated the political debate in Denmark for over a decade — have become more urgent in the wake of the twin killings that have shocked the nation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Vows to Reinforce Migrant Assistance to Italy

Rome appealed for action after over 300 killed in disaster

(see related story on Libya) (ANSA) — Brussels, February 19 — The European Commission on Thursday pledged to boost the assistance it gives to Italy to deal with the crisis caused by the arrival of thousands of migrants from North Africa. “The European Commission will reinforce its assistance to Italy for immigration,” said Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. Italy appealed to the EU to do more after over 300 people died in a disaster involving a series of migrant boats in waters south of Italy this month. The loss of life was blamed by some on the alleged inadequacies of the EU’s Triton search-and-rescue programme in the Mediterranean, which replaced Italy’s better-funded Mare Nostrum operation last year. “The message that we sent today is very simple,” Avramopoulos said. “Italy is not alone. Europe is at Italy’s side”. The commissioner said Triton would run until the end of 2015, adding the the EU executive was ready to “react rapidly” to any request for the operation’s funding to be boosted. Italy is also asking the international community to do more to resolve the crisis in Libya, from where many of the rickety migrant boats that attempt the hazardous Mediterranean crossing depart.

Human traffickers have capitalised on the chaos in Libya and Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday that migrant landings in Italy have have gone up 59% since the beginning of 2015. Overall, 5,302 people have landed in Italy this year compared to 3,338 during the same period in 2014, he said.

“We heard Italy’s appeal and we are responding in every way we can,” said European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Gentiloni said Thursday’s announcement as “a first step”.

“We trust that at the March 4 commissioners’ summit (on the Agenda for Migration) further action will be defined to cope with the urgency of the challenge,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Guantanamo of the East’: Ukraine Locks Up Refugees at EU’s Behest

Brussels is doing all it can to prevent refugees from reaching Fortress Europe, with initiatives like funding the construction of interment centers in Ukraine. Asylum seekers who have spent time there report miserable conditions and abuse.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Immigrant Landings Up 59% Since Beginning of 2015, FM

Gentiloni urges EU to do more

(ANSAmed) — ROME, FEBRUARY 18 — Immigrant landings in Italy have gone up 59% since the beginning of 2015 from the same period last year, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday, urging more help from the European Union.

The crisis in Libya is “exacerbating the tragedy of thousands of people fleeing towards our coasts aboard boats”, Gentiloni told the Lower House.

Overall, 5,302 people have landed in Italy this year compared to 3,338 during the same period in 2014, he said.

The foreign minister stressed in his address that Europe “is an economic superpower and, as such, can go beyond the 50 million euros a year today spent to confront such an emergency”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Meets Coast Guard After Massive Immigrant Rescue

‘I feel small compared to your work’ says Francis

(ANSA) — Vatican City, February 18 — Pope Francis met with an Italian Coast Guard delegation on Tuesday evening to express his appreciation for their service following a massive operation Monday in which they rescued 2,000 immigrants at sea between Libya and Italy, said Holy See press office director Father Federico Lombardi on Wednesday.

Lombardi said Pope Francis thanked the men and women members of the Coast Guard for “service carried out with courage and dedication in favor of people in dire need”.

“I feel small compared to the work you do, saving lives,” the pope said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

US Officials Admit Concern Over Syrian Refugee Effort

By Justin Fishel and Mike Levine

Top U.S. counterterrorism officials say they worry a potential terrorist could be hiding among refugees who are looking to come to the United States after escaping the brutal war in Syria.

“It’s clearly a population of concern,” the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen, told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, went further, saying it would be a “huge mistake” to bring refugees from the conflict to the U.S. — even as an estimated 4 million children, women and men have been forced to flee Syria and another 7 million have been displaced from their homes there, unable to leave.

Senior officials leading the State Department’s refugee efforts say the U.S. government has a long history of caring for the innocent victims of war.

“It’s not a matter of should we do it, it’s really a matter of how we do it,” Larry Bartlett, the State Department’s director of Refugee Admission for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, told ABC News. “One of the fundamental principles of our country is that we care about others. We will help others.”

[Welcoming Muslims into your country is like welcoming cockroaches into your kitchen. They will pullulate, with unpleasant results. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Feminists Mute on Muslim Rape Epidemic Sweeping Europe — Video

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

After years of screaming bloody murder about a rape epidemic on college campuses in the United States that didn’t exist, feminists remain mute on the real rape epidemic sweeping Europe — that being perpetrated primarily by Muslim men.

Feminist groups have campaigned tirelessly to draw attention to their claim that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. This figure was completely debunked by a December 2014 U.S. Department of Justice report which found that non-students are 25% more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students.

In fact, the actual rate of female college students becoming sexual assault victims is 6.1 per 1,000 students, compared to 7.6 per 1,000 people for non-students. That means that just 0.03-in-5 female students, not one in five, are victims of sexual assault…

While feminists are quick to condemn the ‘white male patriarchy’ for non-existent rape scandals in America, their attitude to actual rape epidemics being carried out by Muslim men across Europe has been noticeably more reserved.

In 2012, it emerged that over a thousand mostly white young girls in the northern England town of Rotherham were systematically groomed, trafficked, beaten and sexually abused by rape gangs consisting of mainly Pakistani Muslim men. A report released earlier this month confirmed that the local Labour government council and the police covered up this horror because they were afraid of being characterized as racist or politically incorrect.

For over 15 years, criminal rape gangs were protected by the authorities because of their foreign ethnicity. Meanwhile, young girls were being beaten and raped, then ignored, labeled liars and left defenseless because they were white.


Rapes in Sweden have skyrocketed by a shocking 1,472% since the mid-70’s, with 6,620 sexual assaults being reported to police in 2014 compared to just 421 in 1975.

“77.6 percent of the country’s rapists are identified as “foreigners” (and that’s significant because in Sweden, “foreigner” is generally synonymous with “immigrant from Muslim country”), writes Selwyn Duke. “And even this likely understates the issue, since the Swedish government — in an effort to obscure the problem — records second-generation Muslim perpetrators simply as “Swedes.”…

“In cases of gang rape, culprits and victims are most often young and in almost every case, the perpetrators are of immigrant background, mostly from Muslim countries. In an astounding number of cases, the Swedish courts have demonstrated sympathy for the rapists. Several times the courts have acquitted suspects who have claimed that the girl wanted sex with six, seven or eight men,“ states the report…

So why do feminists habitually ignore crimes against women committed by way of a belief system — Islam — that treats women as second class citizens?

The answer is obvious; Third wave feminism has little to do with protecting the rights of women and everything to do with social engineering.

Because the Muslim rape epidemic cannot be blamed on the ‘white male patriarchy’ that radical feminist groups seek to dismantle, it’s of zero advantage to feminists to draw attention to crimes against women that are not being committed by white western males.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Just Who Has to Adjust in the Name of Tolerance?

by Phyllis Chesler

Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy Fellow Shadi Hamid recently criticized the West as “illiberal” for refusing to accept the fact that Muslims, both in the West and globally, are different from Westerners.

It was an unusual argument, one for which The Atlantic devoted 3,400 words.

Although President Obama insists that the “fight against terrorism is not a religious war,” Hamid seems to disagree with him.

According to a variety of polls, Hamid is right. For example, while a 2009 Gallup poll shows European Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence, they are far more religious than those who live in secular Europe (France, England, and Germany), and are more strongly opposed to homosexuality than are secular Europeans. In addition, young, second or third generation European Muslim men favor veiling for women, polygamy, the execution of apostates, and favor prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men.

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

The Danger of Too Many Selfies: We’re Striving for Perfection That Won’t Come

For decades psychologists have put mirrors in labs to understand what happens psychologically when we look at ourselves. The first experience is self-consciousness, the second is comparison — Am I all that I should be? And the answer is often no. It’s the age of narcissism, anxiety…and the selfie stick.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Collapse Survivor Explains Strategic Savagery: “You Have Two Choices — Fight to the Last or Run”

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

[Editor’s Note: The following commentary comes to us from Selco of SHTF School, one of the preparedness community’s most well known authors — and for good reason. Selco survived the Balkan war of the 1990’s and described his experiences in his online course One Year In Hell.

He has seen the worst that humanity has to offer and once again shares his thoughts on living in a world that has completely fallen apart.

If you want a first person perspective on what collapse looks like then keep reading]

It looks like there is no sense and order in what ISIS folks are doing while they are terrorizing people and burning them alive, stone them to death, kill captured soldiers or simply women and kids. But spreading terror and pure fear makes lot of sense in terms of strategy, especially in already “chaotic” times and territories where they are trying to advance.

Terror is a psychological game.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Jostling Photons Could Give Dark Matter Away

DARK matter may not be so dark after all. If the invisible stuff interacts with light, it could glow bright enough to be seen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Lenovo Shipping PCs With Pre-Installed ‘Superfish Malware’ That Kills HTTPS

One of the most popular computer manufacturers Lenovo is being criticized for selling laptops pre-installed with invasive marketing software, or malware that, experts say, opens up a door for hackers and cyber crooks.

The software, dubbed ‘Superfish Malware’, analyzes users’ Internet habits and injects third-party advertising into websites on browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer based on that activities without the user’s permission.

Security researchers recently discovered Superfish Malware presents onto new consumer-grade Lenovo computers sold before January of 2015. When taken out of the box for the first time, the adware gets activated and because it comes pre-installed, Lenovo customers might end up using it inadvertently.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Report Finds We Are Eating ‘2,500 Tons of Fake Food’

Are you drinking beverages out of antifreeze containers and chewing on horse meat in your pre-packaged ‘hamburgers?’ As it turns out, new evidence from an Interpol investigation reveals that many ‘brand-name’ food items may actually be comprised of some very different ingredients than advertised. All in all, the food investigators seized a whopping 2,500 tons of fake food from wthin the food supply.

The reports are hitting the media from the UK to Thailand, which are two of the nations included in new operations through which government officials are cracking down on entire factories churning out phony food items. In the U.K., for example, there exists a major issue in which producers were selling fake ‘brand-name vodka’ in antifreeze containers that had been chemically treated to remove the repulsive smell. Unsurprisingly, alcohol was actually the most highly counterfeited substance of them all.

Others included:

  • Seafood
  • Mineral water
  • Dietary supplements
  • Mozzarella
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Eggs
  • Dried fruit
  • Cooking oil

And that’s just a partial list of items seized from over 47 different countries by a joint operation conducted by Interpol and Europol over a two month period. And according to Time magazine’s take on the results, we are still dealing with several thousand tons of fake items on the market — ranging from common grocery items to extravagant imports.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Slimy Microbes May Have Carpeted Earth 3.2 Billion Years Ago

A layer of living scum only a cell thick may have covered parts of Earth more than 3 billion years ago, surviving with the help of nitrogen that these slimy microbes pulled from the atmosphere, a new study finds.

This finding suggests that nitrogen may have helped some planets, such as Mars, support life, researchers say.

Although life can exist without oxygen — and did, in the earliest days of life on Earth — without nitrogen, such organisms would be scarce. Nitrogen is needed to create proteins, DNA and RNA, and necessary for plants to grow and photosynthesize. It is an essential nutrient for all life on Earth and must have been available since its origins, researchers said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Star Buzzed Solar System During Human Prehistory

A recently discovered stellar neighbour of the Sun penetrated the extreme fringes of the Solar System — the closest encounter ever documented — at around the time that modern humans began spreading from Africa into Eurasia.

Tracing the trajectory of the star and its brown dwarf companion back in time, Mamajek’s team found with 98% confidence that Scholz’s star passed within the Solar System’s Oort cloud, a reservoir of comets, about 70,000 years ago.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

8 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/19/2015

  1. On Budweiser; not what I would consider a good brewski BTW, but when I was at San Francisco International Airport back in 1974 I had a five hour delay before flying home to Oz. So what does a thirsty Australian soldier do with five hours to cool his heels, why he rips into the Bud at the airport lounge – good for the thirst, but hardly felt the effects!

  2. Why allow them back home? Leave them in limbo to return to one of the Islamic hellholes they hoped to create. These are disturbed violent animals who deserve their fate.

    Allowing a cancer to grow in your own society is insane. Look at how America is dying from liberalism.

    • Exactly. Why let them back in? Cancel their passports while they’re abroad. One-way tickets to their (supposed) Islamic Sharia paradise on earth.

  3. Imagine that. The very lowest form of fifth column terrorist will go out there and get his blood letting taste buds fully developed and return to what he sees as the space taken up for the present by the hated Kufar Christians and Jews. Do whatever you have to do but you can only do it in Sweden. Nobody amongst the kufars ever heard of forged passports. In fact the Kufars seems to be so confused or delight these days in looney tune responses. Perhaps they will continue to build staffing at the passport offices, airports and borders with fully costumed Muslims steeped in Muslim ideology. Or maybe fast track a non Swede into a marriage with Royalty and a no election Wahabi Prime Minister. Go Sweden!

  4. Revoke their passport, and make them ‘persona non grata’ in Sweden. Let them remain in their Islamic ‘paradise’ savoring all of it’s fruits and wonders.

    • Ha ha 🙂 I responded above before reading your comment. Great minds and all that….

  5. The Swedish government wishes to ensure that returning jihadists commit their future killings in Sweden only.

  6. Well at least Sweeden is accepting responsibility for the jihadists being generated in Sweeden by not letting them get back out if they come back. That will theoretically keep them from coming to where I live assuming they ever do return to Sweeden. I just wonder if the Swedish government will accept responsibility for protecting the Swedish people from them.

    Then again perhaps they’re just trying to turn Sweeden into a big jihadi roach motel. Perhaps the roach motel policy will become an ISO standard.

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