Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/3/2015

The Italian coast guard rescued 3,700 migrants on Saturday night, and 2,100 more were rescued today, making a total of almost six thousand for the weekend. Several bodies were found on the boats, and two refugees jumped into the sea and drowned. All surviving migrants were brought safely to Italy.

In other news, rescuers found three survivors eight days after the earthquake in Nepal, one of them a 101-year-old man.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Papa Whiskey, 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
» Australia First to Introduce a Compulsory Tax on Money Itself
» Chosen Generation
» Italy: Agency Says 65% of Pension Cheques Under 750 Euros
» Black Crime Facts That the White Liberal Media Daren’t Talk About
» Clashes Erupt in Seattle During May Day March; 3 Officers Injured
» Disney Setting Up High-Tech Sweatshops in U.S., Foreshadowing TPP
» Exclusive Look Inside the Freddie Gray Investigation
» For Schoolyard Ducklings, A Guided Trip to Gentle Waters is Carried Out by Students, Teachers
» Fox News Posts Fake Baltimore Riot Photo That’s Actually From Venezuela
» Freddie Gray’s Injury and the Police ‘Rough Ride’
» Legal Experts Divided on Charges Against Freddie Gray Officers
» ‘Lord of the Flies’ Comes to Baltimore
» New York Policeman in Critical Condition After Shooting
» Obama’s Trade Deal With Communist Vietnam and Muslim Brunei
» Our Police Union Problem
» Source: Baltimore Police Officers Want to Oust the Mayor [Video]
» The Most Diverse Cities Are Often the Most Segregated
» The Problem for Bernie Sanders: The Narrow Lane to Hillary Clinton’s Left
» US Specialty Vehicles Bringing Military Style to the Street
» Vatican Rewriting American Founding Father History
» Petition for a Judicial Inquiry Into the High River Forced Entries
Europe and the EU
» Europe Weighs Bombing Migrant Boats
» France: Memorial for Jew Murdered by Qur’an-Quoting Muslims Smashed
» Italian Rules on VAT Fraud ‘Incompatible’ With EU Law — CJEU
» Strasbourg Votes to Reduce Plastic Bag Use
» UK: Double Killer and Violent Rapist Who Has 18 Previous Convictions Wins Appeal Against Whole Life Sentence After Appeal Court Judges Decide it Was ‘Too Harsh’
» UK: Internet Could Reach Its Limit in Eight Years and Use All of Britain’s Power Supply by 2035
» UK: Paedophile’s Daughter Sandra Brown Gives Evidence to Help Search of Missing Girl
» What Happened When an Anti-Semite Found He Was Jewish?
» Real Estate: Israeli Companies Want to Invest in Serbia
Mediterranean Union
» Nicosia, Athens, Cairo to Boost Cooperation
North Africa
» Israel Warns of Terror Threat Against Jews in Tunisia
Israel and the Palestinians
» Teargas Used as Ethiopian Jews Protest in Israel
Middle East
» Gulf States Want Weapons, Promises From US for Iran Nuke Deal Support
» ISIS Militants Execute 600 Yezidis in Northern Iraq
» ISIS: Ruthless Militants Throw ‘Gay’ Man Off Building Then Stone Him to Death When He Survives Fall
» Saudi Arabia: Woman Divorced for Saying Hi to Ex
» Russia Releases Photos of New Tank Ahead of Victory Day Parade
South Asia
» Al-Qaeda Branch Claims Murder of Bangladesh-Born US Blogger
» Rescuers Find 3 Survivors in Nepal 8 Days After Earthquake
» Washington: Religious Freedom Has Worsened Under Modi
Far East
» Hong Kong: Electoral Reform Convinces Only 47% of the Population
» Vietnam Today: 40 Years After the Fall of Saigon
Latin America
» Cuba Gears Up for Tourist Influx as US Relations Improve
» Fidel Castro Lived Corrupt ‘Double Life’, Ex-Bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez Reveals
» The ‘SAS Invasion of Argentina’ And the Cruel Con to Cash in on Our War Dead
» Another 2,100-Plus Migrants Rescued in Italian Coastguard
» French-Italian Guides Aim to Help Migrants to Italy
» Italy Says 3,700 Boat Migrants Rescued, Operations Ongoing
» More Illegal Immigrants on the Run in Sweden
» New Migrant Rescues in Med as Nearly 3,700 Taken to Italy
» Thousands of Migrants Rescued at Sea
Culture Wars
» UK: A New Title for Transgender People Will Join Mr, Mrs and Miss
» Illusions of Freedom

Australia First to Introduce a Compulsory Tax on Money Itself

The reason I moved the Solution Conference forward was due to the fact that all my sources behind the curtain were screaming from the four corners of the world that the new age of Economic Totalitarianism is upon us all. Australia will be the first to introduce a compulsory tax on savings. This is the ultimate Marxist state for now anyone with spare cash is the enemy of the Conservative Tony Abbott government. What I laid out at the Solution Conference is the ONLY way out of this nightmare. It is time for people to start spreading the word and get behind changing the game plan while we still have a game in play. We have to stop this confiscation of all wealth and the continual borrowing and taxation. This will lead to the total destruction of Western culture for we are plagued by power hungry insane politicians who cannot see past their nose.

The new compulsory control is already provided for in the 2015 Australian budget. So that everyone who has any savings must pay taxes on on their savings. The measure is expected to serve as a global test balloon for Europe and North America will watch the outcome in Australia. If there will be no massive resistance of Australian savers, the rest of the world should expect this outright confiscation very rapidly.

Tony Abbot has proven to be a real Marxist. He is taking the Australian people into the economic abyss from which only war and bloodshed can emerge. This is really Atlas Shrugged in high gear. The Abbot Government will introduce its draft budget for 2015 tax on savings and it will to announce this measure before the formal decision on the budget.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chosen Generation

Because the goal of the Conspirators is world communism, and because of their compulsive fixation on advertising their moves in advance, we all should be ready to tighten our belts for the final moves of those who would rule the world. May 1st may be the date when they begin their countdown. There seems to be some advertising already being published.

Bix Weir’s money newsletter thinks the date may be the beginning of the financial wipeout that is planned:

“…I showed how JP Morgan was able to place their top market rigging executive, William Daley, into the White House as Obama’s Chief of Staff in order to officially orchestrate a raise (in) the price of silver from around $28/oz to $49/oz in a matter of 4 months. By doing this they lured unsuspecting silver buyers in and on May 1, 2011 they unleashed the slam using electronic sell orders to start a selling avalanche. This has continued ever (since) and now JP Morgan has covered a majority of its COMEX silver short. By January 2012 the price of silver was brought back down to $28/oz and William Daley resigned — a job well done for the criminals.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Agency Says 65% of Pension Cheques Under 750 Euros

Average retirement age in 2015 rising to 65.8%, says INPS

(ANSA) — Rome, April 30 — Almost 65% of Italian pension cheques are worth less than 750 euros, the national pension and social security agency INPS said Thursday.

And the situation is even worse for women, with 78.2% of retired females receiving less than 750 euros in pension money, the agency said in a report.

INPS stressed that this was an “approximate” measure of poverty because some Italians have other income sources.

This year the average retirement age will rise to 65.8, almost three years more than in 2010, INPS said.

For women, the average age will be 64.2, up 3.1 years from 2010 while for men, the average retirement age will be 66.4 this year, an increase of less than one year compared with 2010.

INPS also reported that its total annual spending on pensions amounted to 192.6 billion euros, including some social support payments, to represent about 11.8% of the national budget.

It added that the number of pensions paid had dropped by 112,000 compared with the beginning of 2014.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Black Crime Facts That the White Liberal Media Daren’t Talk About

Despite the revelation that half of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray — the incident that led to the Baltimore riots — are black, the narrative that black people are being disproportionately and unfairly targeted by predominantly white police officers and a racist criminal justice system in the United States continues to dominate.

This has led to the growth of a divisive movement — ‘Black Lives Matter’ — which has only served to further polarize America down racial lines, obsessing on skin color and invoking white guilt, while ignoring the true causes of and solutions to police brutality.

Until the following facts become part of the conversation, we’re never going to see a real reduction in the number of violent confrontations involving black people and police officers. But the mainstream media, political leaders and white people in general are afraid to even mention these facts for fear of being labeled racist.

I’m not here to win any popularity contests. I genuinely care about less black people and less police officers dying in the streets. So I’m going to give it to you straight.

Black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers than whites because they commit more violent crimes than whites per capita.

— FACT: Despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks commit around half of homicides in the United States. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed 52% of homicides, compared to 45% of homicides committed by whites.

More up to date FBI statistics tell a similar story. In 2013, black criminals carried out 38% of murders, compared to 31.1% for whites, again despite the fact that there are five times more white people in the U.S.

— FACT: From 2011 to 2013, 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. This figure is three times higher than the 13% black population figure. When you account for the fact that black males aged 15-34, who account for around 3% of the population, are responsible for the vast majority of these crimes, the figures are even more staggering.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Clashes Erupt in Seattle During May Day March; 3 Officers Injured

(CNN) Three Seattle police officers were injured during clashes with protesters at the annual May Day march.

Protesters, many donning black clothes and masks, threw rocks and burning objects, hurled wrenches and tossed an explosive device, according to the Seattle Police Department.

All three officers suffered serious injuries during the incident Friday evening. One officer was treated for a dislocated shoulder, another sustained a broken wrist and the third officer was left with burns to their leg and ankle.

“Seattle celebrates free speech, the right to assemble … [But] what erupted tonight is a very different story,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement.

“Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated. Those who are violent will be arrested.”

Officers arrested 16 protesters on suspicion of assault, obstruction and failure to disperse.

[Good intelligence work can forestall this kind of plot — as it did in St. Paul in 2008, when an anarchist cell was preparing just such mayhem at the GOP convention there. The cops got on to them and they ended up in the can before they could pull anything. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Disney Setting Up High-Tech Sweatshops in U.S., Foreshadowing TPP

Trade agreement makes NAFTA look like child’s play.

If President Obama, the IMF, the WTO and legions of New World Order stalwarts have their way, your job, your children’s future, and the future of the United States will be assimilated to the corporacratic borg.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Exclusive Look Inside the Freddie Gray Investigation

By Justin George

In a fourth-floor conference room at Baltimore police headquarters, two training officers in blue T-shirts and blue pants lowered themselves onto the carpeted floor to demonstrate the leg hold officers used to restrain Freddie Gray the day he was arrested — and sustained a fatal spine injury.

As one officer played Gray’s role, lying face down on the floor, the other bent his crossed legs back toward his head. Watching closely were members of the police task force investigating Gray’s death, and Dr. David L. Higgins, a Maryland orthopedic surgeon who has worked with the U.S. Olympic team.

Higgins had already reviewed cellphone video showing the 25-year-old’s arrest in West Baltimore, including scenes with him yelling in pain or protest as officers dragged him to a transport van. Now, Higgins was asked what injuries a person could suffer in such a leg hold.

“From that maneuver, even if you slammed him or dropped him like a wrestling move, you still won’t have a neurological injury,” said Higgins, continuing to explain in more detail.

“OK,” said Maj. Stanley Brandford, the Homicide Unit commander who led the task force. He marked another task complete. Another question about Gray was answered.

The scene on Thursday was part of a high-stakes police investigation — and came as Baltimore was reeling from protests that brought thousands of marchers, and some violence, to city streets. International attention was focused on the city, and many residents were protesting alleged police brutality and calling for criminal charges.

The Baltimore Sun was granted exclusive access to the task force and monitored the investigation for days.


The task force was planning to go full-bore straight through the weekend, feeding supplemental reports to Mosby’s office, and the investigation was to remain active indefinitely, according to Brandford.

“Important that the state’s attorney continue to get things as we collect them,” Brandford told his tired members Friday morning.

Then his cellphone rang. He stepped into the hall and didn’t return.

Minutes later, task force members found out why: Mosby was holding a news conference on the steps of the nearby Baltimore War Memorial. From a flat-screen television in Green’s office, they watched a live broadcast.

They stood motionless as Mosby began speaking. A lieutenant wearing a suit and bow tie rested his left hand on a leather chair; Green stood in uniform against the wall, hands behind his back. As Mosby read off the charges — including second-degree depraved-heart murder, the most serious, against Goodson — stunned looks crossed their faces.

They had not expected the state’s attorney’s office to act so soon.

[Why not? She’s got a reputation to make, and throngs of rioters to appease. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

For Schoolyard Ducklings, A Guided Trip to Gentle Waters is Carried Out by Students, Teachers

By Derek Brouwer

Mother duck isn’t thrilled to be wrested from her nest, but it must be done. She settled in the courtyard at Lewis and Clark Middle School, where on Tuesday she hatched a dozen ducklings.

“Come on, Mama!” the teachers say.

It happens every spring, and each time family consumer sciences teacher and self-described “duck expert” Tracy Larsen has helped drive the ducklings to safer ground. But this year is Larsen’s last, so she is passing the baton to students and teachers in the Life Skills special education class.


The ducklings are in for quite a journey. The path leading to Spring Creek Park cuts across the enclosed courtyard, into the school, through two hallways, out a side door, down a sidewalk and across Lewis Avenue.

Bedwell and another student hold hands in the hallway while they await instructions from their teachers. They are to flank the hallway to keep the avian troupe moving in the right direction. Bedwell acknowledges the instructions with a thumbs up.

The plan commences with a barrage of quacks from the mother duck as soon as the teachers approach her sheltered corner.


The chicks waddle their way into the school and along a row of lockers. They make a right turn, then a left, and in a quick minute are back outside.

A few of the students stand back. Not fans of ducks, they say. Another student, Rebecca Eck, stands close behind, reluctant to see the ducklings go. “Can I keep one?” she asks a teacher.

Down the sidewalk, onto the street. Larsen stops traffic so they can cross.

Then, an unplanned detour. The mother duck leads the ducklings through a front yard, making a line toward the rushing waters of Spring Creek.

Bedwell catches up with the group, and as they get near the stream, he joins in the corral, sidestepping beside his teachers like a basketball player on defense.

The ducklings splash into the creek’s rushing waters, and everyone is a little amazed to witness their first swim.

“They’re back in nature now, and they’re safe,” assistant Laura Ungefug tells Eck.

[This calls to mind Robert McCloskey’s 1941 children’s book “Make Way For Ducklings,” in which an anatine family journeys through Boston from the Charles River to a pond in the city’s Public Garden. Still in print and a fun read! — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Fox News Posts Fake Baltimore Riot Photo That’s Actually From Venezuela

If you are like thousands of others, you have no doubt seen an iconic photo of Baltimore burning. The image began circulating throughout social media after a local Fox affiliate in Memphis, Tennessee apparently first ran it. Some other mainstream media outlets even shared the image, using it with headlines that said “Baltimore is Burning” and referenced a “purge”.

The only problem is it wasn’t from Baltimore.

That’s right, the image was taken from Venezuela, not Baltimore. But for those who accepted Fox’s rendition of the story uncritically, the image became burned into their minds as being a scene of devastation in Baltimore.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Freddie Gray’s Injury and the Police ‘Rough Ride’

By Manny Fernandez

In Baltimore, they call it a “rough ride.” In Philadelphia, they had another name for it that hints at the age of the practice — a “nickel ride,” a reference to old-time amusement park rides that cost five cents. Other cities called them joy rides.

The slang terms mask a dark tradition of police misconduct in which suspects, seated or lying face down and in handcuffs in the back of a police wagon, are jolted and battered by an intentionally rough and bumpy ride that can do as much damage as a police baton without an officer having to administer a blow.

The exact cause of the spinal injury that Freddie Gray, 25, sustained while in police custody in Baltimore before his death April 19 has not been made clear. The police have said that he was not strapped into a seatbelt, a violation of department policy. That has led some to wonder whether he was deliberately left unbuckled, reminiscent of a practice that while little known has left a brutal, costly legacy of severe injuries and multimillion-dollar settlements throughout the country.


“It’s sort of a retaliatory gesture,” said Robert W. Klotz, a police-procedures expert and former deputy chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington. “It’s one of those nebulous type of things where the individual feels they’ve been subjected to it because they’ve been mouthy. The officers say they have no intent in doing anything. It winds up in a he said-she said situation.”


In 1999, a former police chaplain in Aurora, Ill., a city of nearly 200,000 outside Chicago, filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing the police department there of making it a common practice for drivers to stop suddenly to injure handcuffed suspects. Police leaders denied the allegations, but the suit was later settled.

[In L.A., they called this a “screen test,” because the suspect would hit the screen in the back of a cop car when it stopped. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Legal Experts Divided on Charges Against Freddie Gray Officers

By Liz Bowie and Michael Dresser

The decision of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby to file charges of murder and false imprisonment against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray was both bold and novel, according to legal analysts — but some said they will be challenging to prove in court.

“She has overcharged,” said criminal defense attorney Steven H. Levin, a former federal prosecutor. As a result, he said, Mosby could lose credibility with the jury, making it more difficult to obtain a conviction on any of the charges.

Other attorneys disagreed, saying it was impossible to judge the strength of Mosby’s case without seeing the evidence.

Defense attorney A. Dwight Pettit said the prosecutor “is going to have a rough road to travel” — but he believes the charges are reasonable.

“At least the public will be able to see that battled out in the courtroom,” he said. “For the first time, it is not swept under the rug.”

[The objective of this prosecution is not to obtain a conviction or to establish justice but to appease a riot-prone urban populace. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

‘Lord of the Flies’ Comes to Baltimore

By John Blake

He was a quiet man who once stood watch on his front porch, just three blocks away from where a riot erupted in West Baltimore this week.

We called him “Mr. Shields” because no one dared use his first name. He’d step onto his porch at night in plaid shorts and black knit dress socks to watch the Baltimore Orioles play on his portable television set.

He was a steelworker, but he looked debonair: thin mustache always trimmed; wavy salt-and-pepper hair touched up with pomade; cocoa brown skin. He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well.

I knew Mr. Shields’ routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody.

It’s surreal to see your old neighborhood go up in flames as commentators try to explain the rage with various complex racial and legal theories. But when I returned to my home this week, the rage made sense to me. There were no more Mr. Shields — the older black men were gone.

I asked 28-year-old Zachary Lewis about the absence of older men. He stood by a makeshift memorial placed at the spot where Freddie Gray, the man whose death ignited the riots, was arrested.

“This is old here,” he said, pointing to himself. “There ain’t no more ‘Old Heads’ anymore, where you been? They got big numbers or they in pine boxes.” In street syntax, that meant long prison sentences or death.

We hear about the absence of black men from families, but what happens when they disappear from an entire community? West Baltimore delivered the answer to that question this week.

It’s no accident that one of the most enduring images from the riot was a young mother spanking her son as she dragged him away from the protests. Where were the men in his life?

[A heartfelt and thoughtful article about a very grim situation. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

New York Policeman in Critical Condition After Shooting

A plainclothes policeman is in a critical condition after being shot in the head in New York.

Brian Moore, 25, was shot while attempting to question a suspect from his police car in the borough of Queens.

New York’s Jamaica Hospital said the officer underwent surgery there about four hours after the shooting.

Police said the suspect, named as Demitrius Blackwell, was arrested about an hour after the incident.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Trade Deal With Communist Vietnam and Muslim Brunei

Kevin Kearns, president of the U.S. Business & Industry Council (USBIC), is interviewed about whether the Republican-controlled Congress will pass President Obama’ s Trans Pacific Partnership. USBIC is a national business organization advocating for domestic U.S. manufacturers since 1933. He says previous trade deals have resulted in the U.S. losing five million manufacturing jobs and 57,000 manufacturing establishments since 2000.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Our Police Union Problem

By Ross Douthat

FOR decades now, conservatives have pressed the case that public sector unions do not serve the common good.

The argument is philosophical and practical at once. First, the state monopoly on certain vital services makes even work slowdowns unacceptable and the ability to fire poor-performing personnel essential, and a unionized work force creates problems on both fronts.

Second, the government’s money is not its own, so negotiations between politicians and their employees (who are also often their political supporters) amount to a division of spoils rather than a sharing of profits. Third, these negotiations inevitably drive up the cost of public services, benefiting middle-class bureaucrats at the expense of the poor, and saddling governments with long-term fiscal burdens that the terms of union contracts make it extremely difficult to lift.

Finally, union lobbying power can bias public-policy decisions toward the interests of state employees. To take just one particularly perverse example: In California over the last few decades, the correctional officers union first lobbied for a prison-building spree and then, well-entrenched, exercised veto power over criminal justice reform.

These points add up to a strong argument that the rise of public sector unions represents a decadent phase in the history of the welfare state, a case study in the warping influence of self-dealing and interest-group politics.

But as we’ve been reminded by the agony of Baltimore, this argument also applies to a unionized public work force that conservatives are often loath to criticize: the police.

Police unions do have critics on the right. But thanks to a mix of cultural affinity, conservative support for law-and-order policies and police union support for Republican politicians, there hasn’t been a strong right-of-center constituency for taking on their privileges. Instead, many Republican governors have deliberately exempted police unions from collective-bargaining reforms — and one who didn’t, John Kasich of Ohio, saw those reforms defeated.

In an irony typical of politics, then, the right’s intellectual critique of public-sector unions is illustrated by the ease with which police unions have bridled and ridden actual right-wing politicians. Which in turn has left those unions in a politically enviable position, insulated from any real pressure to reform.

Yet reform is what they need.

[Desperately. Another thing cop unions do is institute a “hands-off” period for any officer charged with a crime. They get, say, 48 hours to calm down and lawyer up before any questioning takes place. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Source: Baltimore Police Officers Want to Oust the Mayor [Video]

During a Baltimore-based radio talk show on Thursday, a man who identified himself as a Baltimore police officer named “Jeff” called into the program and said fellow police officers were organizing to push out the city’s mayor.

“There is right now over 50 of us officers who are immediately asking for [Baltimore Mayor] Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to step down for what she did to us Monday,” the caller told WBAL radio host Derek Hunter.

The Baltimore mayor has denied giving “stand down” orders and blamed the media for misinterpreting her comments about providing “a space” for protesters to loot.

“Any other time in my career, if somebody were to throw a brick or a block at me, we would take immediate actions to pull our weapons on them. Numerous times on Monday when our officers were being injured, our commanders are telling us ‘stand down, stand down.’ You had no idea what it did to us as police officers to sit there,” said the self-described “21-year veteran” of the Baltimore police department.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Most Diverse Cities Are Often the Most Segregated

By Nate Silver

When I was a freshman at the University of Chicago in 1996, I heard the same thing again and again: Do not leave the boundaries of Hyde Park. Do not go north of 47th Street. Do not go south of 61st Street. Do not go west of Cottage Grove Avenue. 1

These boundaries were fairly explicit, almost to the point of being an official university policy. The campus police department was not committed to protecting students beyond the area,2 and the campus safety brochure advised students not to use the “El” train stops just a couple of blocks beyond them unless “traveling in groups and during the daytime.”

What usually wasn’t said — on a campus that brags about the diversity of its urban setting but where only about 5 percent of students are black — was that the neighborhoods beyond these boundaries were overwhelmingly black and poor. The U. of C. has, for many decades, treated Hyde Park as its “fortress on the South Side,” and its legacy of trying to keep its students within the neighborhood — and the black residents of surrounding communities out — has left its mark on Chicago.

On Dustin Cable’s interactive “Dot Map” of racial residency patterns, Hyde Park appears as an island of blue and red dots — meaning, mostly white and Asian students and residents — in contrast to Chicago’s almost uniformly black South Side, designated in green dots. Washington Park, the neighborhood just to Hyde Park’s west, is 97 percent black3. Woodlawn — the neighborhood on the other side of 60th Street — is 87 percent black.

Chicago deserves its reputation as a segregated city. But it is also an extremely diverse city. And the difference between those terms — which are often misused and misunderstood — says a lot about how millions of American city dwellers live. It is all too common to live in a city with a wide variety of ethnic and racial groups — including Chicago, New York, and Baltimore — and yet remain isolated from those groups in a racially homogenous neighborhood.

You can see that by zooming out on Cable’s map and taking the 30,000-foot view of Chicago. Things start to look a little different: You notice the city’s diversity as much as its segregation. Citywide, Chicago’s population is almost evenly divided between non-Hispanic blacks (33 percent of its population), non-Hispanic whites (32 percent) and Hispanics (29 percent). So at a macro level, Chicago is quite diverse. At a neighborhood level, it isn’t.

The contrast to Chicago is a city like Lincoln, Nebraska. By one statistical measure of racial segregation called the index of dissimilarity, Lincoln counts as being highly racially integrated — it’s more integrated than New York, according to this statistic! But what does that integration look like? Here’s Cable’s map again:

In Lincoln, this supposed integration looks awfully blue — which is to say, awfully white, since blue is Cable’s color for caucasians, who make up 83 percent of Lincoln’s population. True, Lincoln’s few nonwhite residents are fairly evenly distributed throughout the city. But while Lincoln may be integrated, it’s not very diverse.

So let’s aim to develop a slightly richer vocabulary. I’m going to describe three statistical measures of segregation and diversity. Like any statistical definitions, they are precise but limited in scope. They refer to racial diversity only and not economic diversity or diversity within racial groups. They pertain to where people live, and not where they work or go to school. In other words: They’re a starting point and not an end point. No one of them is inherently more valid than the others; it’s best if you look at them holistically.

The data we’ll use is drawn from Brown University’s American Communities Project, which is, in turn, based on the 2010 Census. Brown’s data defines five racial groups: whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and “other,” where “other” principally refers to Native Americans. The groups are exhaustive (they add up to 100 percent of the population) and mutually exclusive (they don’t overlap). 4

In this article, we’ll look at cities proper rather than metropolitan areas. Venturing beyond the city limits and into the surrounding area can sometimes lead you to different conclusions about a city’s demographic makeup, so we’ll look at those in a follow-up post. But cities themselves matter too, especially for questions of urban planning and city-administered services like schooling and policing.

In order to provoke a few questions, I’m going to list the top 10 and bottom 10 U.S. cities by each of the these measures (out of the 100 most populous cities). Chicago, for example, ranks near the top of the charts by one metric, but is at the very bottom on another.

The first measure is the citywide diversity index. It’s defined as the answer to this question: For an average resident in the city, what percent of the people belong to a different racial group?5

The lowest possible citywide diversity index is 0 percent, which is what you get if everyone is the same race. The highest possible one is 80 percent. Why not 100 percent? Because the Brown data only includes five racial groups. Even if the population is divided exactly evenly between these groups, you’ll still have 20 percent of the people belong to the same race as you.

A few cities actually get pretty close to this ideal of complete diversity. Oakland, California, is not far from being evenly divided between whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians; its citywide diversity index is 75 percent. New York’s is 73 percent. And Chicago’s is 70 percent.

At the low end of the scale are extremely white cities like Lincoln and Scottsdale, Arizona. There’s also extremely black cities like Detroit, and extremely Hispanic cities like Laredo, Texas. Laredo, which is almost entirely Hispanic, has a citywide diversity index of just 8 percent.

There’s something else important here. The term “diverse” is sometimes used colloquially as a euphemism for “nonwhite.” But our statistics don’t handle whites differently than the other racial groups. One advantage of this approach is that it can account for the degree of segregation between different nonwhite groups. While blacks and Hispanics are highly segregated from one another in Chicago, for example, they’re reasonably well integrated in Phoenix.

The counterpart to the citywide diversity index is the neighborhood diversity index.6It answers basically the same question we asked above, but applied at the neighborhood level. That is: For an average resident in the city, what percent of the people in her neighborhood belong to a different racial group? (I’m using the term “neighborhood” loosely. More precisely, the index is based on census tracts, which are units of about 4,000 people.7)

The neighborhood diversity index is always equal to or lower than the citywide diversity index. In other words, if a city doesn’t have much diversity overall, it can’t have racially diverse neighborhoods.

But the reverse can be true, and often is: You can have a diverse city, but not diverse neighborhoods. Whereas Chicago’s citywide diversity index is 70 percent, seventh best out of the 100 most populous U.S. cities, its neighborhood diversity index is just 36 percent, which ranks 82nd. New York also has a big gap. Its citywide diversity index is 73 percent, fourth highest in the country, but its neighborhood diversity index is 47 percent, which ranks 49th.

To be clear, New York and Chicago are still more diverse than cities like Lincoln, even at the neighborhood level. But as the numbers show, they are segregated because they underachieve their potential to have racially diverse neighborhoods.

This is what the final metric, the integration-segregation index, gets at. It’s defined by the relationship between citywide and neighborhood diversity scores. If we graph the 100 most populous cities on a scatterplot, they look like this:

This chart is key to understanding our approach, so let’s take a quick tour, starting in the top-right corner of the chart and moving counterclockwise.

a.. The top-right quadrant contains cities like Sacramento, California, that have high neighborhood and citywide diversity scores. They’re both diverse and integrated.

b.. The top-left quadrant is empty. In theory, you’d place cities here if they had high neighborhood diversity but poor citywide diversity. But as we’ve said, you can’t have diverse neighborhoods if there’s no diversity in the overall population.

c.. In the bottom-left quadrant are cities like Laredo and Lincoln that score poorly on both neighborhood and citywide diversity. Because they’re so racially uniform, you can’t really define them as being either segregated or integrated.

d.. The bottom-right quadrant contains highly segregated cities like Chicago, Baltimore and St. Louis. They have average-to-good citywide diversity, but poor neighborhood diversity.

e.. The largest group of cities, including those like Los Angeles, are clustered just above these in the middle-right portion of the chart. They’re near the red regression line8 that indicates the typical relationship between citywide diversity and neighborhood diversity. These cities are reasonably diverse, but a very long way from being perfectly integrated. However, they’re not quite as segregated as cities like Chicago.

The integration-segregation index is determined by how far above or below a city is from the regression line. Cities below the line are especially segregated. Chicago, which has a -19 score, is the most segregated city in the country. It’s followed by Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington and Baltimore.

Cities above the red line have positive scores, which mean they’re comparatively well-integrated. Sacramento’s score is a +10, for instance.

But here’s the awful thing about that red line. It grades cities on a curve. It does so because there aren’t a lot of American cities that meet the ideal of being both diverse and integrated. There are more Baltimores than Sacramentos.

Furthermore, most of the exceptions are cities like Sacramento that have large Hispanic or Asian populations. Cities with substantial black populations tend to be highly segregated. Of the top 100 U.S. cities by population, 35 are at least one-quarter black, and only 6 of those cities have positive integration scores.9

So while Chicago really is something of an extraordinary case, Baltimore isn’t an outlier, exactly. Most cities east of the Rocky Mountains with substantial black populations are quite segregated. There’s not a lot to distinguish Baltimore from Cleveland, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia or St. Louis.

We’ll follow this up with an analysis of what these numbers look like when taken at the the metro rather than city level. In the meantime, you can find where your city ranks below:

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

The Problem for Bernie Sanders: The Narrow Lane to Hillary Clinton’s Left

The presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-described socialist who will most likely champion the liberal cause, won’t change that fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to win the Democratic nomination without a serious contest…

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

US Specialty Vehicles Bringing Military Style to the Street

By Gary Gastelu

Does the Ford Super Duty not look enough like a superhero for you?

California boutique automaker US Specialty Vehicles (USSV) is now selling a military-look truck called the Rhino GX. The much-more-than-full-size SUV is built on a Ford F-450 chassis and features an up-armored style that might cause an MRAP to give it the right of way.

It’s not actually bulletproof or bombproof, but has a steel and composite body that company founder Tim Tang says has millions of dollars of engineering work behind it. The seven-and-a-half-foot tall, eight-foot wide truck rides on 38-inch tires and a Liquid Spring CLASS hydraulic rear suspension, with or without computer controlled active adjustments to further enhance its comfort and handling.

Despite its utilitarian style, the Rhino GX was designed with luxury in mind, and its leather-upholstered and wood-trimmed interior can be outfitted pretty much any way a customer desires. Two and three-row seating layouts are available, including one that is essentially a rolling screening room with rear-facing second row recliners and large flat-screen TV.

[Were I to splurge on one of these I’d have it painted in a less ominous color, or maybe add a whimsical touch like hot-rod flames. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Vatican Rewriting American Founding Father History

Obama and Pope Francis, currently the world’s two biggest pushers of social justice, the professor and his star-struck student are throwing in on climate change replacing commonsense and science with propaganda.

Well along the path of turning the world green with guilt, the Pope is now awarding Founding Father status on the late Father Junipero Serra.

It should make no difference that Father Serra is the controversial California mission founder destined to become America’s first Latino saint later this year. Claiming any saint as a Founding Father is an outrageous deceit.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Petition for a Judicial Inquiry Into the High River Forced Entries

Hello! I have started a petition to the Premier of Alberta: Call a judicial inquiry into the High River Forced Entries.

I need your help to get it off the ground. Will you take a minute to consider signing this important petition?

WHY A JUDICIAL INQUIRY IS NEEDED FOR HIGH RIVER: On February 12, 2015, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP released their long-awaited report of their investigation of the RCMP’s actions during and following the emergency flooding in the Town of High River, Alberta between June 20, 2013 to July 13, 2013. The Commission’s investigation examined the RCMP’s forced entries of “more than 754 homes”, their unwarranted search of 4,666 homes (most on at least two occasions), damage complaints filed by more than 1,900 home owners, the RCMP’s seizure of more than 600 firearms and the seizure and destruction of approximately 7,500 pounds (between 400,000 and 450,000 rounds) of ammunition.

[Comment: Likely this tactic will be used in America. A forced evacuation under some false flag pretext, then confiscation of firearms (for the sake of “safety”) while the owners are away. Naturally owners will not receive their property back.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe Weighs Bombing Migrant Boats

ROME — Europe’s leaders are carefully weighing the chances of pulling off an unusual military operation: Bombing small boats before they’re loaded up with fishermen or illegal migrants.

What sounds like a hypothetical war college exercise has instead become a pressing political problem ever since one of the boats in question — operated by Libyan human traffickers — capsized in the Mediterranean, drowning more than 700 migrants.

The April 18 tragedy prompted calls around Europe’s capitals to stop the traffickers, who last year sent 170,000 migrants escaping war and poverty from Libya to Italy in search of a new life in Europe.

With old fishing boats often capsizing thanks to the weight of their human cargo, and old zodiac dinghies often deflating at sea, the number of migrants drowning this year alone has now topped 1,600, fast approaching the 3,400 who died on the route last year.

Amid public outcry, the European Union offered a hastily drawn up 10-point plan involving a reinforcement of search-and-rescue operations at sea, but also “A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels used by smugglers.”

That was followed up by an emergency meeting of EU leaders on April 23, which agreed to consider ways to put the smugglers out of business. Or, as UK Prime Minister David Cameron put it, “smash the gangs,” while Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi talked about plans to “capture and destroy the boats.”

Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said, “We know where the smugglers keep their boats, where they gather,” adding, “the plans for military intervention are there.”

Italian defense sources said Italian drones are already monitoring people smugglers who act undisturbed in Libya, which has collapsed into tribal feuding and lawlessness since the NATO bombing in 2011 helped oust Moammar Gadhafi.

Britain and France said they planned to seek a UN Security Council resolution to take action in Libyan territorial waters, while EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini visited the UN on April 28 to gauge support.

Observers said bombing boats would depend on hitting them after they were acquired by traffickers from local fishermen in Libya and before they were packed with migrants — a risky mission.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quickly raised objections. During a visit to the Vatican on April 28, he warned the idea was “not appropriate.”

“Fishing is an important source of income [in Libya],” he said. “If you destroy boats, you may end up affecting the general economic capacity of people.”

Ban said there is “no alternative” to negotiating a political truce in Libya that would restore law and order and allow a clamp down on traffickers.

But retired Gen. Leonardo Tricarico, a former head of the Italian Air Force, strongly backed military strikes, and said hitting the boats with UAV-launched munitions would be “simple.”

“The Israelis have a good record in cluttered urban environments against targets that know how to hide,” he said. “You would need excellent intelligence in Libya, which Italy has.”

Italy’s intelligence network in Libya derives from its oil interests in the country and traditional trade links…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

France: Memorial for Jew Murdered by Qur’an-Quoting Muslims Smashed

By Robert Spencer

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2006 that [Ilan] Halimi was found “stumbling in a field near the railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris. Handcuffed, naked, with four-fifths of his body covered with bruises, stab wounds and serious burns, Ilan died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Soon after, police provided more details. The victim had been kidnapped Jan. 20 and held for 24 days by a gang from the banlieues, the poor suburban projects that ring the French capital, who eluded capture while repeatedly contacting Ilan’s family with ransom demands….Ilan’s uncle Rafi Halimi told reporters that the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Quran, while Ilan’s tortured screams could be heard in the background.”

At his trial, Fofana smirked at Halimi’s relatives and shouted, “Allahu akbar!”

“Outrage as Memorial for Murdered Jew Ilan Halimi Smashed,” by Ari Soffer, Arutz Sheva, May 3, 2015:

The mayor of a Paris suburb has voiced his outrage after memorial plaque honoring Ilan Halimi — a young Jewish man tortured to death by a Muslim gang in 2006 — was desecrated by unidentified vandals.

The glass-and-stone plaque was found smashed at 18:00 on Saturday evening in Bagneux, a southern suburb of the French capital, according to Le Figaro, and has since been removed for repairs.

[These vandals are the people 204 PEN signatories consider “marginalized, embattled, and victimized,” and that the cartoonist Garry Trudeau considers “a powerless, disenfranchised minority.” So powerless and marginalized are they that their traditional enemies, the Jews, dare not even walk the streets in France with any manifestation of their faith in view. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Italian Rules on VAT Fraud ‘Incompatible’ With EU Law — CJEU

Statute of limitations must be ‘disapplied,’ AG says

(ANSA) — Brussels, April 30 — Italy’s statute of limitations on alleged VAT fraud is “incompatible” with EU law and so “must be disapplied”, advocate general of the European Court of Justice Juliane Kokott said Thursday.

The AG was giving her opinion concerning a prejudicial question brought before the court by judges in the Piedmont city of Cuneo. There, a court is hearing a case involving alleged fraudulent VAT statements that risks being timed out before a definitive sentence is reached. Since taxes raised through VAT form part of the EU’s own resources, the judges questioned whether “EU law tolerates the Italian law regarding the statute of limitations”. The opinion of the AG is not binding but it is usually upheld by the judges at the Luxembourg court.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Strasbourg Votes to Reduce Plastic Bag Use

Member states will have to use fewer than 90 per capita by 2019

(ANSAmed) — STRASBOURG — The European Parliament has granted broad approval to a directive calling on EU Member States to reduce the use of thin, highly polluting plastic carrier bags.

The bags end up in water sources and the ecosystem, leading to serious environmental problems. Member States will now have to sharply reduce the use of thin (less than 0.05 mm) single-use carrier bags by the end of 2019 to fewer than 90 bags per capita. This number will then have to drop to 40 by the end of 2025. As an alternative, EU countries will have to ensure that consumers pay for using the thin bags by 2018. The new regulation was one of the priorities of the Italian six-monthly EU presidency, during which an agreement was reached with the European Commission and European Parliament in November. Its approval may lead to a closing of the infraction procedure against Italy opened by the EU over the ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags introduced in 2011.

After the final vote by the European Parliament, the directive now only requires approval from the EU Council to enter into force, 20 days after its publication in the official gazette. This will most likely occur by this summer. At that point, Member States will have 18 months to comply with the EU legislation through incorporating it into their national laws.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Double Killer and Violent Rapist Who Has 18 Previous Convictions Wins Appeal Against Whole Life Sentence After Appeal Court Judges Decide it Was ‘Too Harsh’

In 2012, Donald Andrews, 51, became the UK’s only non-murderer to be jailed for life without parole at Woolwich Crown Court. But Court of Appeal judges have now ruled his sentence was ‘too harsh’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Internet Could Reach Its Limit in Eight Years and Use All of Britain’s Power Supply by 2035

Leading engineers, physicists and telecoms firms have been summoned to a meeting at London’s Royal Society later this month, to discuss what can be done to avert a web crisis.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Paedophile’s Daughter Sandra Brown Gives Evidence to Help Search of Missing Girl

Sandra Brown (pictured) believes that the body of 11-year-old Moira Anderson, who disappeared almost 60 years ago, will be found in an isolated pond in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

What Happened When an Anti-Semite Found He Was Jewish?

Three years ago, a Hungarian far-right politician with a strong line in anti-Semitism discovered that he was Jewish. He left his party, and set out on a remarkable personal journey to learn and practice his Jewish faith.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Real Estate: Israeli Companies Want to Invest in Serbia

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, 30 APRIL — Israeli companies increasingly want to invest in Serbia, which best indicates that Serbia is on a good path out of several years of economic crisis, Israel’s Ambassador to Serbia Yossef Levy said in Belgrade on Thursday.

Israeli companies are mostly interested in construction of real estate property, retail parks, hotels and other facilities, as well as in cooperation in the agricultural and IT sectors, Levy said.

He also said that Israeli companies are already building luxury apartments in downtown Belgrade and a retail park in the Zemun municipality.

Israeli companies in Serbia are currently pursuing projects worth around EUR 400 million, but the figure could exceed EUR 1 billion, Levy said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Nicosia, Athens, Cairo to Boost Cooperation

They agreed to promote peace, stability and security in the area

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, APRIL 29 — The leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt agreed on Wednesday to boost economic and political cooperation among their respective nations, underlining their commitment to peace and stability in a troubled region as reported by Cyprus Mail online. “Today we have reaffirmed that the trilateral dialogue and cooperation promotes peace, stability, security and prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean, a cooperation which includes, the areas of politics, the economy, trade, tourism and energy,” President Nicos Anastasiades said during a joint news conference shortly after the heads of state signed a three-way framework agreement, dubbed the ‘Nicosia Declaration’. On energy co-operation, Anastasiades said the leaders reaffirmed a shared conviction that the discovery of significant hydrocarbons reserves “can and must act as a catalyst for broader co-operation on a regional level, contributing to regional stability.” “At the same time, we reiterated that the dialogue and co-operation among the three nations is not directed at any third country. On the contrary, it serves as a model for similar co-operation with all the nations of the region,” he added. In his own remarks, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said the tripartite agreements are aimed at making the participating nations “the natural gateway for boosting cooperation between Africa and Europe.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the three countries decided to extend their co-operation within the international organisations of which they are members. Expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the Nicosia talks, Tsipras extended an invitation to his counterparts to follow up with a third three-way summit in Athens. The first tripartite summit had been held in Cairo in November last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israel Warns of Terror Threat Against Jews in Tunisia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that Israel had learned of “concrete threats” of terror attacks against Jewish or Israeli targets in Tunisia.

The Tunisian government quickly denied the claims, saying no such threats existed.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said: “Information indicates that there are plans for terrorist attacks against Israelis or Jews in Tunisia.”…

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

Teargas Used as Ethiopian Jews Protest in Israel

Police in Israel have fired tear gas and stun grenades in clashes with ethnic Ethiopians protesting about what they say is police brutality and racism.

Earlier, thousands of Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin had taken part in a rally in Tel Aviv.

But the protests turned violent and some demonstrators tried to storm the city’s municipality building.

At least 20 police officers were hurt and 26 people were arrested.

Israeli police on horseback charged demonstrators in an effort to bring the situation under control.

The protests came after a video emerged last week of an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent being beaten by police in Tel Aviv.

Two police officers have since been suspended on suspicion of using excessive force.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Gulf States Want Weapons, Promises From US for Iran Nuke Deal Support

Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials.

The leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plan to use a high-stakes meeting with President Obama later this month to request additional fighter jets, missile batteries and surveillance equipment.

They also intend to pressure Obama for new defense agreements between the U.S. and the Gulf nations that would outline terms and scenarios under which Washington would intervene if they are threatened by Iran, according to these officials.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS Militants Execute 600 Yezidis in Northern Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region — On Friday the so-called Sharia Court of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) reportedly executed 600 hostages from the Yezidi community of Shingal (Sinjar) in the Talafar district in northern Iraq.

The group piled the bodies into the well of Alo Antar on al-Ayyadiya highway, local sources reported.

Shahin Shingali, a fighter in the ranks of the Peshmerga forces, stated to ARA News that since Friday the IS radicals transferred nearly 700 Yezidi hostages to Talafar.

“Without a direct intervention by the international community, Iraq will be witnessing more genocides against innocent people at the hands of the IS terrorists,” Shingali said.

Aseel al-Nujaifi, governor of Nineveh province in Iraq, confirmed on Friday that the IS terrorists executed hundreds of Yezidi captives.

“A new crime was committed by Daesh (Islamic State) against our Yezidi people on Friday,” al-Nujaifi said in a statement.

“IS gangs executed hundreds of innocent Yezidi prisoners.”

“These terrorists are degrading Islamic religion. Muslim clerics should bear their responsibility to show the public the reality of this terrorist group, demonstrating how it is diametrically opposed to the correct, tolerant teachings of the Islamic religion,” al-Nujaifi added.

[Dare I say I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that? A photo with this story shows a rank of thugs dispatching a rank of captives in front of a ditch, much in the manner of SS massacres of Jews during Big Two. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

ISIS: Ruthless Militants Throw ‘Gay’ Man Off Building Then Stone Him to Death When He Survives Fall

By Sam Adams

This is the horrifying moment sick ISIS militants threw a ‘gay’ man off the roof of a building then stoned him to death as he lay badly injured on the ground.

The blind-folded man was held at the top of the tall block somewhere in Iraq while his captors took pictures of his final moments on mobile phones.

Below, hundreds of people gathered to watch the shocking killing.

Somehow the victim survived the fall from the building, but he was then pelted with rocks by a crowd of armed men.

[The true face of Islam: grossly intolerant and hideously cruel. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Woman Divorced for Saying Hi to Ex

A Saudi man divorced his wife after she said ‘hello’ to her ex-boyfriend when she met him by coincidence while strolling with her husband at a park in the Gulf kingdom.

The woman, her husband and his sister just entered the park in capital Riyadh for a weekend picnic when she saw her former boyfriend.

“She made an excuse to go the toilet and went to her former boyfriend to say hi and ask him how he was,” ‘Sada’ newspaper said.

“Her sister-in-law saw her and told the husband, who rushed to her, beat her up and divorced her.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Russia Releases Photos of New Tank Ahead of Victory Day Parade

MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry has released photographs of its new tank, which will be shown to the public for the first time during next month’s Victory Day parade on Red Square.

The photographs show the T-14 Armata tank with its turret covered with fabric. Only the platform, which also will be used for other armored vehicles, is visible.

The tank is said to surpass all Western versions because of its remotely controlled cannon and the protection it offers its crew.

[The question is, how viable is the manned tank going to be in a future battlespace full of hi-tech and increasingly lethal drones? — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Al-Qaeda Branch Claims Murder of Bangladesh-Born US Blogger

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has claimed responsibility for the murder of an American atheist blogger in Bangladesh over two months ago, according to SITE Intelligence Group. Avijit Roy was hacked to death by two assailants with machetes on the streets of the capital Dhaka in February as he returned from a book fair with his wife.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Rescuers Find 3 Survivors in Nepal 8 Days After Earthquake

Rescuers found three survivors in a Nepal village Sunday, eight days after the deadly magnitude 7-8 earthquake.

The rescue comes as villagers plead for aid in Nepal’s mountain villages.

U.N. humanitarian officials said Saturday they are increasingly worried about the spread of disease. They said more helicopters are needed to reach isolated mountain villages like Pauwathok, which were hard to access even before the quake.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Washington: Religious Freedom Has Worsened Under Modi

US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report 2015 in the subcontinent: “Since the elections last year, attacks and verbal violence against religious minorities have increased. The government is not doing enough to stop them. “ Delhi responds: “You do not understand the country.”

Delhi (AsiaNews) — The 2015 Report on Religious Freedom in India by a US parliamentary committee “is based on a limited understanding of India, its constitution and its society. We have no plans to implement it”, says the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Vikas Swarup, after the presentation of the text to the US Congress.

According to experts consulted by the Commission, since last year’s election, religious minority communities have been subject to derogatory comments and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups.

Among the cases cited by the document there is the plan to “reconvert” 4 thousand Christian families and a thousand Muslim families to Hinduism. The practice, known as “Ghar Wapsi” [“homecoming” -ed], is a mainstay of radical Hindutva policy, according to which “every Indian should be Hindu.” For the Commission, these behaviors “violate the status of the nation. Despite the country’s status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, India has long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, which perpetuates a climate of impunity”.

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

Hong Kong: Electoral Reform Convinces Only 47% of the Population

A survey conducted by three universities in the Territory show that less than half of the population supports the proposal “inspired” by Beijing. The Executive Secretary Carrie Lam had spoken in favor of a margin of 60%. The standoff with Democrats continues, they are ready to veto the reform that does not allow true democracy.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — Less than half the Hong Kong population supports the electoral reform presented by the local government but “inspired” by Beijing. A survey conducted by three universities in the Territory shows that only 47% of respondents agree with the proposal, while 38% are contrary: the remaining 16% are undecided. In any case, the numbers are far from the support “of 60% of the electorate” claimed by executive secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet -ngor, who recently presented the reform to the Legislative Council.

The draft proposal for electoral reform presented today by the Hong Kong government is the same as the one presented in August 2014 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. In reality, the Chinese central government wants to vet the challengers for the position of Chief Executive Officer and “grant” the Territory the opportunity to choose between two or three candidates screened by an election committee made up of members close to China.

When the latter was announced, tens of thousands of people joined the ‘Occupy Central with Peace and Love,’ movement, which had been peacefully challenging the government for months, demanding real democratic reforms.

The survey was conducted by the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University and the Polytechnic University. With a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points, it is considered “very reliable”. According to demographic analysis, young people and those with a high level of education showed a “strong preference” to veto the reform. Alan Leong Kah-kit, leader of the Civic Party and a leading exponent of the democratic movement, said these numbers “show that we have the support necessary to block reform” before it becomes law.

Moreover, popular discontent against the local government is mounting. The same Carrie Lam was embarrassed during a public meeting that was held yesterday in Cheun Sha Wan: organized by the Federation of Trade Unions (loyal to Beijing), it was a publicity stunt to show the electorate’s support for the executive. Instead, the first man who stood up to ask a question said: “I want a real universal suffrage for Hong Kong.” In addition, Lam has accused of failing to keep the promises expressed when she was Secretary for development.

The organizers closed the microphone on the man who was then removed, while the Secretary remained silent. The second intervention was entrusted to another participant, accompanied by an Federation official who whispered: “Say you support reform for the 2017 elections”.

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

Vietnam Today: 40 Years After the Fall of Saigon

On 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese forces seized Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, thus ending the Vietnam War. Forty years later, the country has become a medium-size economic “tiger” in Asia and the world, a country with a capitalist economy behind a Communist facade, under a regime still bent on exerting tight social controls. There are some positive signs for the Church, but also acts of persecution, bans, and censorship, especially against bishops and priests. Yet, the country really needs the reconciliation Christians can bring to heal still present wounds and divisions.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) — Forty years after the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, the Communist Party marked its anniversary yesterday by the largest ever military parade in the South to commemorate the day when their troops from the North captured the city and ended the Vietnam war and the America’s military involvement in a devastating conflict that left more than 3 million Vietnamese of both sides and roughly 60,000 American soldiers dead, with rifts remain deep and unresolved.

Speaking at the event in Ho Chi Minh City, which was then called Saigon and the capital of South Vietnam, the prime minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung condemned the “countless barbarous crimes” committed by the U.S. during the war, which “caused immeasurable losses and pain” to the Vietnamese people and the country.

News of the ‘Black April’ made headlines around the world 40 years ago; meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese boat people, including numerous Catholics, risked their lives to flee the country in search of democracy and freedom during a decade later. Many have returned home recently to visit relatives and to do business in the country; many, however, have refused to come back until the dictatorship goes out from power.

It has changed much after decades of bitter wars when the country was plunged into severe poverty and isolation. The former enemies are now friends and hold diplomatic ties. Vietnam today, according to a recent Pew Research survey, has the single most positive views on capitalism than any country in the world, even more than in Germany, China, India, or the U.S. It is communism in name only, but the one-party Communist state still strictly controls the media and cracks down on political dissidents. Authority jails those who dare to challenge their domination, to speak out for democracy or religious freedom, including on social networks. Though the country is seeking U.S.’s approval to sign TPP Treaty; however, more than dozens of activists were convicted in faulty trials simply because they had peacefully voiced criticism of government policies. This tends not to decrease, and the Catholic Church in Vietnam faces its own difficulties since the South and the North became unified.

Hard time

After the reunification in 1975, the Communists in Hanoi turned to suppress religion with great force. They tightly controlled and monitored all forms of public assembly, including assembly for religious activities. The then coadjutor archbishop Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan of Saigon, later appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican and elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II, was jailed by the Communist government of Vietnam for 13 years, 9 years in solitary confinement just simply because he was a nephew of South Vietnam’s first president Ngo Dinh Diem.

Since 30 April 1975, many religious activities of the Church, including ministerial practice, seminary training, humanitarian, cultural, charitable and educational activities were limited and prohibited. Numerous properties of the Church such as hospitals, educational structures, churches, convents, monasteries, seminaries, charitable houses and other assets were seized. “Nearly 400 properties were confiscated just in Saigon”, revealed the archbishop emeritus of the archdiocese cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man in 2009. “The decline of priests from 414 to 226, faithful from 516,000 to 387,184 in the diocese”, he added.

The newly government implemented a ban for the Church to close its over 2000 educational institutions from kindergartens to higher education institutes in the South, including the Pontifical Institute of St. Pius X in Da Lat where the current cardinal of Hanoi and incumbent archbishop of Saigon, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, along with other eight Vietnamese bishops used to study.

Caritas Vietnam was forced to shut down and banned from operating since 1976 until 2008. But Caritas Internationalis today is still not allowed to establish its office in the country.

The Church did not have facilities to assist its people: no schools for education or teaching Catechism, no hospitals for treatment, no charitable organizations to help the poor and the marginalized. The Catholic Church fortunately was not weakened by these losses.

The Church in a new age

The religious situation in Vietnam today has been eased very much compared to previous years ago. It is not difficult to see “a living Church” with all seats occupied not just for Sunday Mass, but also in weekdays in any parish through the country. Faithful can go for church services and freely to meet their pastors, they can gather in organizations for the lay apostolate and study catechism. Religious practice rate is very high at least in the Catholic Church.

Things seem to be loosened gradually. Some large religious gatherings and events were allowed.

In 2008, the government returned 52 acres of the confiscated land surrounding La Vang shrine in Quang Tri province to the Church. Local authority allowed huge gatherings up to a million every year at the shrine on 15 August to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. And a new shrine for Our Lady of La Vang, which is under construction, was originally expected to cost around US$ 25 million.

In December 2012, the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences tenth plenary assembly on the occasion of its 40th anniversary with top churchmen around Asia and high ranking figures from the Vatican took place in Vietnam after approval from the government and acceptance of some restrictions on media from the organizers.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam in its final document at the annual conference in Ho Chi Minh City two weeks ago officially informed that the Church is to open its first Catholic university, which is called ‘Catholic Institute of Vietnam’, after having been kept out of the state-monopolized educational system for decades. And bishops sought ‘Pontifical’ status for the new institution from the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

The constitutional right of religious freedom, however, continues to be interpreted and enforced unevenly. In some areas, authorities allow relatively wide latitude to the Church. But in many other areas, the Church is sometimes subject to harassment and persecution from local officials. Corruption and bureaucratic impediments placed restrictions on Church’s freedom and growth. Many dioceses faced limitations in expanding training facilities, building new churches, publishing religious materials, exercising Catholic movements, and expanding the number of clergy and nuns in response to increased demand from reality.

Last month, the incumbent Saigon archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday announced that the symbolic Notre-Dame basilica of Saigon accepted to undergo an official restoration in the coming months for the first time ever since its consecration on Easter in 1880. Otherwise, local authorities in Vinh and Kontum dioceses sent police and thugs to destroy worship places and assaulted faithful and clergy. In some rural areas, getting permit to build new churches is really a problem.

The government nowadays has numerous sophisticated restrictions, deterrents, and prohibitions jeopardizing the Church. Communist government’s velvet glove conceals an iron fist as the Catholic Church is considered the only influence besides the government, which is capable of co-ordinating mass demonstrations against them in an organized fashion in state-Church land disputes and other cases.

Earlier this year the central government warmly welcomed the news Pope Francis elevated senior prelate Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, archbishop of Hanoi, to the rank of cardinal. Vietnamese Communist Party “took advantage of Vatican’s move to advertise its religious policy on the occasion of the pastoral visit of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Vatican prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, to the country in January 2015”, a senior cleric who asked to remain anonymous told AsiaNews. He said, “The government tried to show concrete advancements on religious freedom in order to be recognized as a credible partner in the international community”.

In spite of that, the government often send officials from Government Committee for Religious Affairs and Ministry of Public Security to meet with bishops and congregation superiors to ask for action and cooperation to remove a bishop or a priest who they think as opponent to the regime.

Vinh Long diocese in southern Vietnam is currently vacant without a bishop since the late bishop Thomas Nguyen Van Tan, a prominent prelate who often opposed the government on land disputes, died on 17 August 2013. Some other Vietnamese prelates and clergy are well-known for their courage under government’s harassment like archbishop emeritus Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi who retired at the age 58 in 2010 cited “health reason” after enormous pressure from the authority; bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh of Kontum; bishop emeritus Paul Mary Cao Dinh Thuyen of Vinh; bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, O.P. of Vinh; and the Redemptorists.

Despite the state-Church relations have been enhanced in the past few years with the Vatican’s first non-resident representative to Vietnam since 19 December 1975 and visits of top Vietnam’s leaders to the Vatican and their meetings with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in the hope of re-establishing diplomatic relations, the Catholics in Vietnam, however, still have undergone hardship and discrimination.

Vietnam government still keeps restrictions and control in the process of recruitment, training and ordination of candidates for priesthood. They retain the right to refuse episcopal appointment by the Holy See.

Rights and contributions of Catholics are not much appreciated by the state. The Church has no room in most scopes of the society, especially in education, healthcare and charity where it has potential and is invited to serve.

Catholic press in the country is being restricted itself with fear and dismay when they saw persecuted situation of their counterparts who works for Vietnam Redemptorist Media Institute. Hence, Catholic websites’ stories are just generally about religious news, mediations and reflections.

Hoai Pham, a professional Catholic journalist who administers a very popular site in Vietnam and is currently living in Saigon, told AsiaNews: “I have family here, and sometimes I am afraid of authority’s harassment if I write something critical”. Thus, Pham has “to do self-censorship” as “if I am arrested, nobody would help me”, he added.

It has been 40 years since the end of the war. Many of the wounds from the war are intangible on the surface. And yet, in a way, Ho Chi Minh City today breathes with capitalism, but a division is still visible when “mentioning the [Vietnam] war, a million people feel happy but another million feel miserable”, said former Vietnamese prime minister Vo Van Kiet.

Recalling what happened to learn that Vietnam could possibly be better and more prosperous if nobody is treated unfairly for their beliefs and opinions, as “the motherland belongs to us, the nation belongs to us, the state belongs to us, Vietnam belongs to us, not to Communists or any religious group or faction”, said once Kiet.

“I hope that in this Holy Year of Mercy new doors will be opened for national reconciliation and a good time to path new ways for change and cohesion in the country”, Pham said to AsiaNews.

As the time marches on, the Catholic Church in Vietnam has a long-term agenda and a constructive approach to engage, and it should sustain consistent support as well as maintain resources to help faithful “live the Gospel in the heart of the nation” for building a strong and just Vietnam.

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

Cuba Gears Up for Tourist Influx as US Relations Improve

It is not hard to see why Cuba is so popular with tourists.

The music, fine cigars, rum and pristine beaches have enticed visitors to the island since before the Cuban Revolution.

Add the 1950s cars gliding through the streets of one of the last communist strongholds in the world, Cuba boasts something unique in the international tourism market: that intangible stamp of “authenticity” which so many visitors demand.

Today, even though the diplomatic ice between the United States and Cuba is melting fast, Washington’s decades-old travel ban on US citizens visiting the communist island is still officially in place.

But in the minds of many US tourists, the ban is no longer worth the paper it is written on.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Fidel Castro Lived Corrupt ‘Double Life’, Ex-Bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez Reveals

Juan Reinaldo Sanchez — who was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba in 1994 after he attempted to retire over concerns about Castro’s ‘corrupt’ practices — reveals his former boss’s ‘double life’ in a new book.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The ‘SAS Invasion of Argentina’ And the Cruel Con to Cash in on Our War Dead

An Argentine intelligence chief’s cynical plot to deceive British veterans of the Falklands War into believing he had found the remains of their comrades has been uncovered by the Mail on Sunday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Another 2,100-Plus Migrants Rescued in Italian Coastguard

The Italian coastguard said it had coordinated the rescue on Sunday of more than 2,150 migrants as they sailed across the Mediterranean on rickety boats, bringing the number of people rescued this weekend to 5,800.

The bodies of eight migrants were found on board two of the rescued vessels, while two other people drowned after they jumped into the sea to rush towards the rescue teams, the coastguard said…

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

French-Italian Guides Aim to Help Migrants to Italy

Regulations explained for Tunisians and Moroccans

(ANSA) — Rome, April 29 — Two guides in French and Italian designed to help legal migrants entering Italy from Tunisia and Morocco were made public Wednesday.

The guides, created for the interior ministry, focused on immigration to Italy from Tunisia and Morocco.

The guides aim to help to curb undocumented migration from the two countries and to offer migrants the tools they need for “safer and less costly journeys than those offered by human traffickers”. In addition to a brief history of migration, the guides contain information on procedures for visas, stay permits, job access, starting businesses, and family reunification. “Most of the irregular (migrant flows) consist of people who, after entering the country legally, become irregular following the expiring of their visas or stay permits,” said Antonio Ricci, project manager for the research organization that created guides.

The goal is to help migrants avoid that by explaining in their language how to follow Italian legal processes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Says 3,700 Boat Migrants Rescued, Operations Ongoing

Nearly 3,700 migrants were rescued from boats near the coast of Libya on Saturday and early Sunday and more rescue operations were expected during the day as people smugglers took advantage of calm seas, Italy’s coast guard said.

All of those rescued were being brought back to Italian shores, a spokesman for the coast guard said, and some reached Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost island, during the night.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

More Illegal Immigrants on the Run in Sweden

Migrationsverket is powerless to enforce deportation orders, says spokesman, as more than 11,000 asylum seekers go underground in Sweden

An increasing proportion of refugees due to be deported from Sweden are instead disappearing. Last year Migrationsverket decided to expel more than 20,000 people. But the proportion of those leaving the country voluntarily after the expulsion order was reduced to 41%.

That left 11,112 who became police matters. Some of those were forcibly deported, but in most cases the refugees have gone underground.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New Migrant Rescues in Med as Nearly 3,700 Taken to Italy

Italy’s coastguard attempted to rescue more migrants in the Mediterranean Sunday after nearly 3,700 were picked up trying to reach Europe on Saturday alone.

Although it was not a record, the number saved was one of the highest ever recorded in a single day, and raised fears that the tide of desperate people trying to reach Europe has not been slowed by recent disasters.

Italian coastguards said 3,690 migrants were rescued on Saturday without giving details of Sunday’s ongoing operations.

Coastguards coordinated the rescue of a record 3,791 migrants on April 12 and another 2,850 the following day…

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

Thousands of Migrants Rescued at Sea

Nearly 3,700 migrants were rescued from boats near the coast of Libya on Saturday and early on Sunday, the Italian coastguard said.

A spokesman said they expected rescue operations to continue throughout Sunday.

All of those pulled from boats were being taken to Italy.

Italian authorities said the migrants were rescued by Italian and French navy vessels in 17 separate operations.

At least 1,750 migrants have died so far this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

Many more are expected to make the crossing as smugglers take advantage of calmer weather.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: A New Title for Transgender People Will Join Mr, Mrs and Miss

Royal Mail, high street banks, government departments and some universities all now accept Mx which is used by transgender people or those who do not identify with a particular gender.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Illusions of Freedom

A narrative has dominated the West’s foreign policy since the end of the Cold War: if we increase per capita GDP in authoritarian nations, they will democratize.

Most notably, this doctrine was applied to China, and yet China failed to move away from its authoritarian system. Russia has gotten wealthier and returned to authoritarianism. Both nations used the West as an export market and a source of technology (obtained both legally and illegally) and gave little in return.

Over the past decade, China’s real per capita GDP has nearly tripled. No sign of democratization, and instead we see aggressive behavior towards its neighbors. Russia’s constant dollar GDP per person increased 50 percent since 2003 (compared to less than 9 percent in both the U.S. and Canada). It’s authoritarianism increases almost by the day, and not only is it behaving aggressively towards its neighbors, it is currently involved in outright invasions, occupations, and annexations. None of this was supposed to happen.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/3/2015

  1. Illegal or legal immigrants?
    Any muslim WHETHER legal or illegal is ILLEGAL. Because he is doing the Hijra for the eventual victory of destroying the infidels and taking over. Only afterwards he will start thinking about enjoying what the had-been-infidel-lands-and-women offer him in the way of utmost pleasure. But for now that entertainment is to be postponed.
    Western mind can hardly absorb such deep real thinking! Why because you have to have brain sensors to discover such intentions. Although for Geert Wilders he discovered that more than a decade ago.

  2. More then 5000 arrived this weekend. They say a million are waiting. Why? Why is the UN allowing it? A million Africans waiting to go to England to claim UK benefits. If the British people don’t w#ke up and vote UKIP this Thursday…….

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