Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/22/2015

A suicide bomber detonated himself today outside the Afghan parliament in Kabul, after which Taliban gunmen attempted to storm the building. No members of parliament were hurt, but two other people were killed and dozens more wounded. All seven gunmen were killed by the guards at the parliament building.

In other news, two teenaged girls blew themselves up today outside a crowded mosque in Nigeria, killing at least thirty people.

Neither incident had anything to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, PS, 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
» Collapse, Part 1: Greece
» Crisis Report From a Greek Island
» Draghi Says Europe Must Safeguard Irreversibility of Euro
» Goldman’s “Conspiracy Theory” Stunner: A Greek Default is Precisely What the ECB Wants
» Greek Debt Plan Seeks to Address Key Sticking Points
» ‘No Substance From Greece’, Says Schaeuble
» Rand Paul’s Tax Code Non-Solution
» Ron Paul: Will Seizure of Russian Assets Hasten Dollar Decline?
» Taxes on Business: Wealthy in Plan, Says Greece
» “Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards”: The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-Tracked Secret Trade Agreements
» Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga Headlining Clinton Fundraising Spree
» Exploiting the Deaths of the South Carolina Nine Before They Can be Laid to Rest
» Full Court Press is on to Pressure Supreme Court Into Saving ObamaCare
» Karl Rove Says the Only Way to Stop the Violence is to Repeal Our Second Amendment
» No Rolling Mainstream Media Coverage of Two Other Mass Shootings
» South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Calls for Confederate Flag to be Removed From Statehouse
» The Town That Banned Wi-Fi
» Transatlantic Global Governance: A Regime Change or Coup by Any Other Name
» Where the BLM and the Antelope Play
» Why You Shouldn’t Feel “White Guilt” Over the Charleston Shooting
Europe and the EU
» Czech Government Approves Plan to Build New Nuclear Reactors
» Europol Launches Anti-ISIS Unit
» Eurozone Should Have Own Treasury by 2025
» Ferrero Launches Takeover Bid for UK’s Thorntons
» Italy Prosecutors Target Bank of China in Graft Probe
» Italy: Pope Asks Forgiveness From Waldensians
» Italy’s Stores: Tourism Sector ‘On Their Knees’ — Vivoli
» Modern Humans and Neanderthals ‘Interbred in Europe’
» Slovenia: Commemoration for Victims of Massacres After WWII
» Spain’s ‘Fort Kill Jews’ Village Changes Name
» UK: Hilarious Video of Pilot Finding a CAT Clinging on to the Wing of Their Glider in the Air
» Albanian Opposition Cries Foul in Local Elections
» Serbia Counts on Italy for EU Entry, Dacic Says at Expo
North Africa
» Egypt: 152 Strikers Disciplined for “Anti-Islamic” Work Stoppage
» Morocco: Toll-Free Number to Report Corruption
Israel and the Palestinians
» Gaza: “One of Arrigoni’s Killers Escaped Abroad”
Middle East
» Arab League Slams ‘Hateful Campaign’ Against Qatar
» Israeli Druze, Alarmed by Brethren’s Plight in Syria, Ask Jewish State to Help, Offer to Fight
» Kurds Find ISIS Tunnel Near Turkish Border
» ‘Nothing Could Prevent S. Arabia From Buying Russian Defensive Weapons’ — Saudi FM
» Russia and Saudi Arabia Sign Six Deals, Agree to a Petroleum Alliance
» Saudi Imam Apologises to ‘Apostate’ Comedian
» Syrian Kurds’ Morale High But Arms Needed, YPJ Commander
» Turkish Wine Seeks Markets Abroad, Bypassing Restrictions
» Yemen: Arab Coalition Warplanes Continue Strikes on Houthis: Residents
» YouTube Bans Wilders’ Mohammed Drawings in Turkey
» Ukraine Crisis: Yanukovych Regrets Bloodshed in Kiev
South Asia
» 2 Dead, 31 Wounded as Taliban Attack Afghanistan Parliament
Far East
» 12 Signs That the United States and China Are Moving Toward War
» Samsung Makes Big Trucks Transparent in the Name of Road Safety
» United States Pacific Command Has Stationed More Than 1,200 Special Forces Troops in the Asia-Pacific
Australia — Pacific
» Australian Senate Passes Controversial Anti-Piracy, Website-Blocking Laws
» Red Flag: Grand Experiment: The Plan for a Future Australia
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Ebola Returns to Sierra Leone Capital After Three-Week Gap
» Huge Spike in Number of South Africans Wanting to Emigrate. From 1-2 a Week to 5-10 a Day
» Two Girl Suicide Bombers Kill 30 at Nigeria Mosque
Latin America
» Enel Green Power Gets in on Uruguay Wind Program
» Mexico Straddles the Fence Between the West and Russia
» EU Still Angling for UN Permit on Migrant Operation
» Hungary Seeking to Tighten Law on Asylum Seekers, Migrants
» Italy and France Play Down Migrant Drama
» Slovakia Holds Anti-Migrant Rally
» States Can Decide Migrant Quotas With Restrictions, Sources
» Ticino Threatens Closing Italy Border to Refugees
» Welcome to Italy: This is What a Real Immigration Crisis Looks Like
Culture Wars
» A Culture Shattered
» How the CIA Used Feminism to Destabilize Society
» Amazon to Start Paying Authors Based on the Number of Pages Read in E-Books

Collapse, Part 1: Greece

Europe’s financial Aristocracy has an unsolvable dilemma: writing off defaulted debt also writes off assets and income streams, for every debt is somebody else’s asset and income stream. When all those phantom assets are recognized as worthless, collateral vanishes and the system implodes.

The peripheral nations of the EU are effectively neocolonial debtors of the core, and the taxpayers of the core nations are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any loans to the periphery that go bad. (see chart of Greece’s debtors below)

Greece’s financial/political Elites milked the entry into the EU for all it was worth, effectively destroying the Greek economy in their limitless looting: Misrule of the Few: How the Oligarchs Ruined Greece.

What has already collapsed is the faith that institutions within Greece and the European Union can effectively manage the inevitable Greek default. As noted in the essay linked above, Greece’s power structure is designed to do one thing: protect vested interests and dissipate accountability.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Crisis Report From a Greek Island

Ann Diamond reports that many people are suffering due to the debt crisis. Even the weather and the soil cannot be relied upon…

People are suffering — shops are closing. Two years ago, the owner of a cyber café (whose Russian waitresses moonlighted as prostitutes) shot himself because he could no longer face his debts.

The local grocer can’t pay his electricity bill and has installed a noisy generator. He owed so much money to creditors, they came around to his store and forced him and his elderly brother to take off their trousers and be paraded around the port with ropes around their necks in broad daylight, in front of the men in the cafe neon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Draghi Says Europe Must Safeguard Irreversibility of Euro

Report urges measures to strengthen monetary union

(ANSA) — Rome, June 22 — Europe must “safeguard the irreversibility of the monetary union,” European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said in a report on ways to strengthen the eurozone released Monday.

A “huge leap towards European integration” could be useful, moving the eurozone away from the “current system of coordination of the rules to one based on shared decision-making within common institutions,” added Draghi.

In this way can “differences become convergences,” he said in his comments on the ‘Five Presidents Report’ created by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Euro Summit head Donald Tusk, President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and Draghi.

The report is aimed at deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) beginning on July 1 completing it by 2025.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Goldman’s “Conspiracy Theory” Stunner: A Greek Default is Precisely What the ECB Wants

From an economic perspective, Greece shows that “internal devaluation” — whereby structural reforms are meant to restore competitiveness and growth —is difficult politically and a poor substitute for outright devaluation. Emerging markets that devalue during crises quickly return to growth, powered by exports, while Greek GDP continues to languish. We emphasize this because — even if a compromise involving a debt haircut is found — this will not do much to return Greece to growth. Only a managed devaluation, with the help of the creditors, can do that. With respect to EUR/$, we think the Bund sell-off increases EUR/$ downside if tensions over Greece escalate further. This is because the ECB, including via the Bundesbank, would almost surely step up QE to prevent contagion. We estimate that the immediate aftermath of a default could see EUR/$ fall three big figures. The ensuing acceleration in QE would then take EUR/$ down another seven big figures in subsequent weeks. We thus see Greece as a catalyst for EUR/$ to go near parity, via stepped up QE that moves rate differentials against the single currency.

Incidentally, “internal devaluation” is a very polite way of saying plunging wages, labor costs, and generally benefits, including pensions.

But if this is correct, Goldman essentially says that it is in the ECB’s, and Europe’s, best interest to have a Greek default — and with limited contagion at that — one which finally does impact the EUR lower, and resumes the “benign” glideslope of the EURUSD exchange rate toward parity, a rate which recall reached as low as 1.05 several months ago before rebounding to its current level of 1.14. Needless to say, that is a “conspiracy theory” that could make even the biggest “tin foil” blogs blush.

A different way of saying what Goldman just hinted at: “Greece must be destroyed, so it (and the Eurozone) can be saved (with even more QE).”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greek Debt Plan Seeks to Address Key Sticking Points

(BRUSSELS) — Greece has submitted a new debt plan aimed at resolving the row between Athens and its European and IMF creditors, addressing key sticking points that have blighted months of talks.

Greece’s proposals — which were examined in Brussels at an emergency summit of eurozone leaders on Monday — are focused on VAT rates, early retirement measures and tax hikes, and narrowing the country’s budgetary gap.

The state of Greece’s budget no longer appears to be the major stumbling block that it once was.

The new proposals from Athens seek to close a gap of almost one billion euros between the creditors’ demands for savings in the 2016 budget and the last offer Greece’s leftist government made, which was rejected.

Anti-austerity Athens has conceded ground on pensions and defence spending but movement on VAT is still wanted by creditors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘No Substance From Greece’, Says Schaeuble

Spain’s De Guindos says no deal on Monday

(ANSA) — Brussels, June 22 — Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday that Athens has not presented significant proposals to end the impasse in negotiations with its creditors and avert the risk of a Greek default. “There is nothing new,” Schaeuble said as he entered a Eurogroup meeting.

“We have’t received proposals of substance from Greece. You can’t prepare for a summit with them,” he added, referring to an emergency summit of eurozone leaders later on Monday.

Schaeuble’s Spanish counterpart Luis De Guindos said “a meeting today is not possible”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rand Paul’s Tax Code Non-Solution

If all “income” taxes collected is gone for waste, interest and so called transfer payments how does the federal government fund the trillions in unconstitutional spending? Why, the thieves in the Outlaw Congress borrow it from the magical money machine called the “Federal” Reserve which charges you, me, our chilren and grandchildren interest that is 100% UNPAYABLE. Former Congressman Wright Patman summed it up perfectly:

“Now, take the Panama Canal bonds. They amounted to a little less than $50,000,000 — $49,800,000. By the time they are paid, the Government will have paid $75,000,000 in interest on bonds of less than $50,000,000. So the Government is paying out $125,000,000 to obtain the use of $49,800,000. That is the way it has worked all along. That is our policy. That is our system. The question is: Should that policy be continued? Is it sane? Is it reasonable? Is it right, or is it wrong? If it is wrong, it should be changed.

“Now, I believe the system should be changed. The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.

“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.

“We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says ‘Federal Reserve’. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent by the private banks — we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government’s money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: Will Seizure of Russian Assets Hasten Dollar Decline?

While much of the world focused last week on whether or not the Federal Reserve was going to raise interest rates, or whether the Greek debt crisis would bring Europe to a crisis, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague awarded a $50 billion judgment to shareholders of the former oil company Yukos in their case against the Russian government. The governments of Belgium and France moved immediately to freeze Russian state assets in their countries, naturally provoking the anger of the Russian government.

The timing of these actions is quite curious, coming as the Greek crisis in the EU seems to be reaching a tipping point and Greece, having perhaps abandoned the possibility of rapprochement with Europe, has been making overtures to Russia to help bail it out of its mess. And with the IMF’s recent statement pledging its full and unconditional support to Ukraine, it has become even more clear that the IMF and other major multilateral institutions are not blindly technical organizations, but rather are totally subservient lackeys to the foreign policy agenda emanating from Washington. Toe the DC party line and the internationalists will bail you out regardless of how badly you mess up, but if you even think about talking to Russia you will face serious consequences.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Taxes on Business: Wealthy in Plan, Says Greece

Economy minister tells BBC no cuts in salaries, pensions

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JUNE 22 — New taxes on the rich and on companies, an increase in the value-added tax (VAT) on some products but not electricity, and no further cuts in pensions and public salaries. These are some of the proposals included in the plan that Athens has presented to creditors, Greek Economy Giorgos Stathakis told the BBC on Monday. He added that the proposals should be enough to forge a new agreement with creditors that include the ECB, EU and IMF.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

“Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards”: The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-Tracked Secret Trade Agreements

The TPP, TiSA and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP, which covers Europe) will collectively encompass three-fourths of the world’s GDP; and they ultimately seek to encompass nearly 90 percent of GDP. Despite this enormous global impact, fast-track authority would allow the President to sign the deals before their terms have been made public, and send implementing legislation to Congress that cannot be amended or filibustered and is not subject to the constitutional requirement of a two-thirds treaty vote.

While the deals are being negotiated, lawmakers can see their terms only under the strictest secrecy, and they can be subjected to criminal prosecution for revealing those terms. What we know of them comes only through WikiLeaks. The agreements are being treated as if they were a matter of grave national security, yet they are not about troop movements or military strategy. Something else is obviously going on.

The bizarre, unconstitutional, blatantly illegal nature of this enforced secrecy was highlighted in a May 15th article by Jon Rappoport, titled “What Law Says the Text of the TPP Must Remain Secret?” He wrote:

It seems like a case of mass hypnosis. . . .

Members of Congress are scuttling around like weasels, claiming they can’t disclose what’s in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.

They can go into a sealed room and read a draft, but they can’t copy pages, and they can’t tell the public what they just read.

Why not?

If there is a US law forbidding disclosure, name the law.

Can you recall anything in the Constitution that establishes secret treaties?

Is there a prior treaty that states the text of all treaties can be hidden from the people?

To Congressmen who say they cannot reveal what is in a treaty that will adversely affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, Rappoport says:

Wrong. You’re lying. You can reveal secret text. In fact, it’s your duty. Otherwise, you’re guilty of cooperating in a RICO criminal conspiracy.

What is going on was predicted by David Korten in his 1995 blockbuster, When Corporations Rule The World. Catherine Austin Fitts calls it a “corporate coup d’état.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga Headlining Clinton Fundraising Spree

Hillary Clinton embarked Monday on an aggressive campaign dash across the United States, further fueling questions about whether the front-running Democratic presidential candidate is having a harder time than expected locking down the Left in the face of a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Clinton is scheduled to attend over 20 fundraisers between Monday and July 3 — including 11 in New York — according to a list obtained by Fox News.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Exploiting the Deaths of the South Carolina Nine Before They Can be Laid to Rest

It’s not the trumped up battle over the 150-year-old Confederate flag that’s what the slaughter of nine victims at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is really all about. It’s that the flag protesters seek to make a flag flap transcend the deaths of nine people in church—bypassing those tragic deaths as though they never happened.

For shame the tragedy was made political before even Susie Jackson, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, DePayne Doctor, Ethel Lance, Daniel Simmons Sr., Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, and Tywanza Sanders could be laid to rest.

For shame that #BlackLivesMatter trumps ‘Rest in Peace’ at the same moment their loved ones are prostrate in unimaginable heartbreak and grief.

Blaming their deaths on the Confederate flag is a convenient political tool for all those who keep stirring the pot of racial discord in America.

“On Friday, the White House joined the debate, saying that Obama believes the rebel flag belonged in a museum.” (Daily Mail, June 22, 2016)

If Obama sincerely wanted to mothball the Confederate flag by hiding it in the obscurity of a museum, why did he wait seven years to turn on it?

Many black men sacrificed their lives fighting on both sides of the American Civil War. How many of the nine’s ancestors could be counted among them?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Full Court Press is on to Pressure Supreme Court Into Saving ObamaCare

President Obama is once again telling lies about Obamacare while bullying the Supreme Court to decide in his administration’s favor in King v. Burwell, a court case which will likely be decided this month and which has the potential to gut the law’s subsidies. On cue, the mainstream media have marshaled their forces in defense of Obama and his signature legislation. And the media, just like the President, have been peddling many of the same lies about this law at the expense of the health and welfare of average Americans.

A recent health care poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, popular with many in the media, asked whether Congress should intervene on behalf of low-income persons who might lose their subsidies. Not surprisingly, six in ten responded, “Yes.” But that poll does not appear to have asked the deeper question of whether all three branches of the federal government should respect the law as written.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Karl Rove Says the Only Way to Stop the Violence is to Repeal Our Second Amendment

Apparently the only people Mr. Rove wants to have guns are criminals who commit mass shootings and the government.

[Comment: More people have died at the hands of their own government than all the wars.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

No Rolling Mainstream Media Coverage of Two Other Mass Shootings

While the nation’s mainstream media continues to obsess over the heinous Charleston shooting, two other mass shootings occurred this past weekend in Detroit and Philadelphia, but were barely covered at all, despite the fact that 19 people were shot and 1 person killed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Calls for Confederate Flag to be Removed From Statehouse

In a break from her own position, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday called for the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

“The time has come,” she said to applause.

Haley joined other state leaders, including Republican state Sen. Tim Scott and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, in calling for the removal of the flag.

“Today we are here at a moment of unity in our state, with no ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” Haley said.

The move comes after last week’s shooting death of nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was among those killed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Town That Banned Wi-Fi

‘Electrosensitive’ people are flocking to the West Virginian home of a deep-space telescope, attracted by the rules prohibiting phones, TVs and radios. But, as Ed Cumming reveals, their arrival means Green Bank is far from peaceful.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Transatlantic Global Governance: A Regime Change or Coup by Any Other Name

After six decades the Republican Party is ready to grant fast track “trade promotion authority” that will allow for the emergence of the Transpacific Partnership and a transatlantic global governance agreement. Although these secret treaties are called “free trade” agreements, they are actually a Trojan Horse designed to do an end run around the Constitution and bring in global governance.

The individual and sovereign nations of Europe were destroyed by a series of “harmless” trade treaties that created the European Union. When the citizens of the European nations finally woke up it was too late because they had legally handed over their freedoms. The exact same stealth strategy of secret trade treaties is being used by American politicians on the left and the “right” to force America to come under the rule of global governance, which was formerly called global government. The reason that the trade treaties are secret is because there are powerful people who do not want you to know that they are designed to destroy our prosperity, our freedom, and our sovereignty.

The other reason that the contents of the trade treaties are secret is because they reveal the plan to transfer manufacturing, jobs, and the wealth of the middle class to global entities and Third World nations. They give our politicians secret powers to give away our Constitutional rights such as Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, the right to privacy, and the right to bear arms. That means that trade treaties are a Trojan Horse that will allow the illegal rulership of the United States by multinational corporations, international banking cartels, and foreign governments who are not bound by the Constitutional protections that we take for granted.

The reason that the majority of the Republican Party and Democratic Party are still aggressively pushing these trade treaties, despite the protests of the American people, is because the leadership and the majority of politicians in both parties are “bought and sold” men and women; they do not represent the American people at all; they represent the people who put them in power and keep them in power: the multi-national corporations and the international banks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Where the BLM and the Antelope Play

When those who live outside of the Western United States think of the West, they often think of private ranches replete with cattle and cowboys. They think of a rugged way of life where the underlying interdependent themes of freedom, hard work, and private property define a proud and formidable existence. The sad reality is, however, that the West is largely public, not private, and the few cowboys who remain are under siege, forced to make a last stand against overpowering federal agencies: the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Park Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, each of which is intent on driving private ranches out of existence.

Consider just how much of the West is owned by the federal government: 84.5% of Nevada is federally owned; 69.1% of Alaska; 57.5% of Utah; 53.1% of Oregon; 50.2% of Idaho; 48.1% of Arizona; 45.3% of California; 42.3% of Wyoming; and 41.8% of New Mexico. Several Governors in the West have demanded that the federal government cede those lands back to their respective states, all to no avail. The grip held by the federal government on Western lands is tight and growing tighter; every effort is being made by the BLM to drive off of remaining private lands those last vestiges of individual ownership that remain. Grazing fees, license fees for use of rights of way over federal lands, extreme restrictions on those rights of way, and acts of intimidation have forced ranches to close, with the lands then ceded to the federal government.

The removal of Western lands to federal ownership and control has preserved most of the West as a desert wasteland with little development, arid lands bearing little diversity of life. Private lands stand in stark contrast with irrigation, diverse flora and fauna, and successful cohabitation of man and wilderness. The decision to remove from private hands virtually all of the West has done little but invest the government with incredibly valuable real estate and control over jack rabbits, Joshua trees, cacti, and tumble weeds.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why You Shouldn’t Feel “White Guilt” Over the Charleston Shooting

Leftists pounced on the Charleston shooting before the bodies were even cold to push their twin agenda of gun control and racial division.

Liberals are hastily exploiting this tragic incident to fabricate the myth that there are armies of white people waiting to commit violent hate crimes against blacks.

They’re even advocating that only white people be disarmed, an inverse of early racist gun control laws which targeted black people. said white America must “answer” for the tragedy, a somewhat different tone to how they responded the Boston bombing, for which Muslims ‘didn’t need to apologize’.

Apparently, white people have suddenly become some kind of KKK version of ISIS.

The reality is somewhat different. Here’s what they’re not telling you.

There’s no wave of hate crimes being committed by whites against black people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Czech Government Approves Plan to Build New Nuclear Reactors

Austria has said it will use all means to stop construction

(ANSA/AP) — PRAGUE — The Czech government has approved a long-term plan to increase the country’s nuclear power production.

Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek says that to ensure the country’s energy independence and security it is necessary to begin preparations to build one more reactor at the Temelin nuclear plant and another at the Dukovany plant, with an option to build yet another reactor at each plant.

Financing of the project is yet to be decided. The Czech Republic relies on nuclear energy and the current six reactors produce a third of its electricity.

Neighboring Austria has previously said it will use all means to try to stop the construction at Temelin.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Europol Launches Anti-ISIS Unit

The EU’s police agency Europol is to launch a special unit on 1 July to track and shut down online militant propaganda. Europol’s director Rob Wainwright told the Guardian Sunday that the police would be working with social media companies and plan to remove accounts within two hours of detection.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Eurozone Should Have Own Treasury by 2025

Eurozone states should cede more powers to EU institutions, including to a euro area treasury to be set-up in the next 10 years, according to a new report on further integration in the single currency area published on Monday (22 June).

“The world’s second largest economy cannot be managed through rule-based cooperation alone,” says the report, drawn up by the heads of the European Commission, the EU Council, Eurogroup, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank (ECB).

The eurozone “will need to shift from a system of rules and guidelines for national economic policy-making to a system of further sovereignty sharing within common institutions, most of which already exist and can progressively fulfil this task,” it adds.

“In practice, this would require member states to accept increasingly joint decision-making on elements of their respective national budgets and economic policies.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ferrero Launches Takeover Bid for UK’s Thorntons

Chocolate firms set to unite

(ANSA) — Turin, June 22 — Italian food giant Ferrero, the maker of the Nutella spread and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, said Monday that it is making a takeover bid for British confectioner confectioner Thorntons. The Italian company said it would pay 145 pence for each Thorntons share for a total of close to £112 million — or some 157.6 million euros. The news sent Thorntons’ share price soaring, increasing by over 40% to approach the 145p mark. Ferrero announced that it has acquired has bought a 29.9% stake in Thorntons and has the backing of owners for 4.5% more. “This transactions brings together two highly complementary businesses, but more importantly it unites two companies that share the same passion for growing brands, and a proud heritage, drive and culture built upon their family foundations,” Ferrero CEO Giovanni Ferrero said in a statement.

“We have long admired Thortons and what they have achieved in the UK as demonstrated by their tremendous customer loyalty, and we look forward to working with their experienced team”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Prosecutors Target Bank of China in Graft Probe

Italian prosecutors have asked for some 300 Chinese nationals and the Bank of China’s Milan branch to be tried for money laundering and tax evasion.

Prosecutors in Tuscany made the request following a probe into criminal networks in the region, long home to a large Chinese community that has drawn fire in the past for running clothes factories in sweatshop conditions.

The investigation, dubbed “River of Money”, began in 2008 and focused on money transferred to China — funds Florence prosecutors say come from exploiting illegal labour, counterfeiting money and tax evasion, according to Italian media reports.

Those under investigation are accused of using the Money2Money (M2M) transfer service to shift money from several Italian cities, with the Bank of China receiving over 750,000 euros ($850,000) in commissions, the reports say…

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

Italy: Pope Asks Forgiveness From Waldensians

Francis lunches with family members gathered in Turin

(ANSA) — Turin, June 22 — Pope Francis asked forgiveness in Turin on Monday for the Catholic Church’s past persecution of members of the Waldensian church after becoming the first pontiff to visit a Waldensian house of worship.

“On behalf of the Catholic Church, I ask forgiveness for the un-Christian, and even inhuman, attitudes and behaviours we have had against you during history,” the pope said.

“In the name of Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us”.

Francis said that unity between faiths “does not mean uniformity” and differences are acceptable.

However, diversity was not always accepted and in the past has been a cause of violence and disputes “committed in the name of the faith itself”, the pope added.

It was therefore important to pray for the grace “to recognize that we are all sinners and to know to forgive one another”.

Meanwhile, Francis had lunch and later celebrated Mass with a large group of his relatives at the archbishop’s residence in Turin.

Although the pope was born in Argentina, his father was born in the northern Italian region of Piedmont and around 30 of Francis’s relatives — six cousins and their families — came to visit him Monday, Vatican Radio reported.

As well, on Sunday, the pope briefly visited the Church of Santa Teresa, where his paternal grandparents Giovanni and Rosa Bergoglio Vassallo were married in 1907, and where his father Mario was baptized the following year, Vatican Radio said.

The Holy See Press Office said in a statement that Francis used the opportunity to emphasize the importance of family, Pope made this gesture to reiterate the value of the family ahead of the Synod on the family scheduled for October.

Francis viewed his trip to Turin as a “homecoming”, adding that the warm welcome he received went “beyond his expectations,” according to the Holy See statement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Stores: Tourism Sector ‘On Their Knees’ — Vivoli

Confesercenti president urges end to fiscal receipts,cash limits

(ANSA) — Genoa, June 22 — Most firms in Italy’s retail, service and tourism sector are “on their knees,” Confesercenti retailers’ association president Massimo Vivoli said Monday.

However Vivoli told an annual meeting that “we can and must help them to get up again, just as we want to contribute to changing our country for the better”.

Vivoli said scrapping fiscal receipts for purchases in stores and a ceiling on the use of cash in transactions were “contradictory” measures in the battle against tax evasion.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella in a telegram to the meeting said “it appears urgent to free resources so as to invest in innovation, education and training to offer new job opportunities especially to young people”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Modern Humans and Neanderthals ‘Interbred in Europe’

Modern humans and Neanderthals interbred in Europe, an analysis of 40,000-year-old DNA suggests.

The study suggests an early Homo sapiens settler in Europe harboured a Neanderthal ancestor just a few generations back in his family line.

Previous work has shown our ancestors had interbred with Neanderthals 55,000 years ago, possibly in the Middle East.

The new results reveal there was additional mixing once modern humans pushed north into Europe.

A international team of researchers has published its analysis of the ancient European genome in Nature journal.

The group successfully extracted and sequenced genetic material from a jawbone found in 2002 inside the cave system of Pestera cu Oase in south-west Romania.

The ancient man was found to be more closely related to Neanderthals than any other modern human (Homo sapiens) who has previously been analysed.

Between 6% and 9% of the Oase individual’s genome is from Neanderthals — an unprecedented amount. By comparison, present-day Europeans have between 2% and 4%.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Commemoration for Victims of Massacres After WWII

In the mine there should be between 2,000 and 3,000 bodies

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — Near the mine of Santa Barbara at Huda jama (not far from Lasko) a commemoration took place yesterday, as a tribute to the victims of the massacres perpetrated by the Yugoslav regime immediately after the end of World War II, 70 years ago.

Among the casualties are mostly those people who, having been part of the teams who had fought a civil war against the partisans with the support of the Germans, or having been opponents to the new regime, were sentenced to death after summary trials.

The commemoration was organized by the ‘Association for the arrangement of unspoken graves’, with a memorial Mass, celebrated by Slovenian Bishop Stanislav Lipovsek, along with Croatian Bishop Mile Bogovic and prior Edmund Rudolf Wagenhofer.

According to historians, in the bowels of the Santa Barbara mine there should be between 2,000 and 3,000 bodies of Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian and German victims. The mass grave was discovered in 2009 and the remains of 800 victims have been exhumed so far. The government has recently pledged an extra budget of around € 90 thousand for the arrangement of the remains and their burial.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain’s ‘Fort Kill Jews’ Village Changes Name

The name of a Spanish village that translates as “Fort Kill Jews” has been changed following a referendum and local government approval.

Castrillo Matajudios has now reverted to its previous title — Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jew’s Hill Fort”).

Some 50 people who live there voted to change the name last year.

The controversial name may have been adopted in Medieval times by Catholic converts from Judaism keen to show their loyalty to the state.

Castrillo Mota de Judios has a long Jewish heritage — it was founded in 1035 by Jews fleeing persecution.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Hilarious Video of Pilot Finding a CAT Clinging on to the Wing of Their Glider in the Air

This incredible video captures the moment a sleeping cat woke up to a nightmare after discovering it was flying through the air thousands of feet from the ground.

The black and white moggy had crawled into the wing of an open-cockpit glider — thinking it would be an ideal place for a nap.

But after two people took the aircraft out for a flying session, the cat can be seen crawling along the surface of the wing before emerging in the cockpit in terrified confusion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Albanian Opposition Cries Foul in Local Elections

(TIRANA) — The Albanian opposition condemned what it called voting “irregularities” in local elections Sunday seen as a test of the Balkan country’s fragile democracy as it pushes to join the European Union.

The first official results from the vote to elect mayors and councillors in 61 municipalities were not expected until Monday, but the main opposition Democratic Party (PD) was quick to cry foul after polling stations closed at 1700 GMT.

“There have been irregularities, manipulations as well as pressure and threats against voters from the right,” senior PD lawmaker Edi Paloka said in a statement, while also claiming a clear win for his party.

Since the fall of communism in the early 1990s, Albanian elections have been often marred by violence and accusations of fraud from all sides.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Serbia Counts on Italy for EU Entry, Dacic Says at Expo

Serbian foreign minister notes Italy is main trading partner

(ANSA) — Milan, June 22 — Serbia is counting on Italy’s support during its application to enter the European Union, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Monday during a day at Expo Milan 2015 dedicated to Serbia.

“Italy is the first trading partner for Serbia and our best friend,” Dacic added.

Italian under secretary for foreign affairs Benedetto Della Vedova for his part told Dacic that “The Adriatic-Ionian strategy is a point of connection between our countries”.

Composer GOran Bregovic was conducting Monday night at a concert at the Biomediterranean Cluster to climax the day dedicated to Serbia at the universal exposition.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: 152 Strikers Disciplined for “Anti-Islamic” Work Stoppage

The vice-president of Egypt’s administrative prosecution ordered disciplinary measures against 152 cleaners, supervisors and drivers in Upper Egypt’s Luxor for striking in demand of an increase in their wages.

Judge Mohamed Hamed Diab agreed Sunday to send the 152 workers to a disciplinary committee in accordance with a new verdict issued in April by the High Administrative Court (HAC), read the prosecution’s statement.

The HAC ruled that public employees who take part in sit-ins on the job could be punished for impeding the ability of public institutions to deliver services “which constitute a right for citizens.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Morocco: Toll-Free Number to Report Corruption

Ministry of Justice plan to halt the phenomenon

(ANSAmed) — ROME — The scourge of corruption appears inescapable in Morocco and the government has decided to tackle the issue by establishing a special toll-free number dedicated to people who whish to report graft accompanied by an ad hoc campaign on national television.

The toll free number ( was set up by the Ministry of Justice wishing — according to the Map agency — to give citizens “a useful and efficient mechanism to denounce corruption”.

The main point of the initiative is not the speed with which the reports will reach the judiciary but the fact that the number will ensure the necessary security guarantees to those wishing to use it.

Once informed about the content of telephone report, the magistrates will verify the facts and were they to be confirmed, the report would be sent to the Kingdom’s courts to formally open a case. For those who do not believe in the security guarantee set up, there is also another possibility, a form to complete containing all the elements to identity the briber and the corrupt person and the transaction linked to one or both of them.

In order to ensure that the population is well informed about the toll free number and the other initiatives, the Ministry of Justice will promote a specific tv campaign.

However, the establishment of the toll free number has also raised many concerns: notwithstanding the fact-checking of the competent authorities, the reports, instead of tip-offs, run the risk of turning into vendattas against innocent business or tender rivals .

Another risk envisaged by those skeptical about the plan, is that the justice system will get clogged by a wealth of proceedings complicating to the extreme the workload of tribunals which are already swarmed with cases.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gaza: “One of Arrigoni’s Killers Escaped Abroad”

According to news agency. Italian activist was murdered in 2011

(ANSAmed) — GAZA — One of the Palestinians sentenced for the killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni fled overseas, said Gaza agency ‘Akhbar Falastin’, according to which, a few days ago, Mahmud al-Salfiti took advantage of a permit granted during Ramadan fasting to leave the Gaza Strip.

The agency added he might be in Syria. Hamas did not comment on the matter.

Four members of a local Salafi cell had been setenced for the kidnapping and the killing of Arrigoni.

Two of them, al-Salfiti and Tamer al-Hasasna, had been given a life-sentence, later commuted in 15 years in jail.

One of their associates escaped arrest while a fourth member of the group who has already served a lighter sentence, was freed.

The only person currently in jail is al-Hasasna.

Arrigoni was very popular in Gaza because of his activities for the local population.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Arab League Slams ‘Hateful Campaign’ Against Qatar

The Arab League on Sunday condemned what it called the “hateful campaign” against Qatar’s controversial hosting of the 2022 World Cup, amid a corruption scandal rocking football’s governing body FIFA.

The League’s General Assembly in a statement declared its “full support” for Qatar’s hosting of the tournament, which would be the first World Cup held in an Arab country.

“The Arab League endorses the resolution issued by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) condemning the hateful campaign that attempts to question Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup,” the Cairo-based League said.

On Thursday, the OIC denounced “biased Western media campaigns against the State of Qatar”, and GCC foreign ministers issued a strongly worded statement on June 11 affirming their solidarity with their member state…

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

Israeli Druze, Alarmed by Brethren’s Plight in Syria, Ask Jewish State to Help, Offer to Fight

Members of Israel’s Druze minority, long among the Jewish state’s most loyal citizens, have become increasingly concerned about the plight of their beleaguered brethren in neighboring Syria. Now, they are asking the state of Israel to help their fellow Druze next door — and some are even offering to go fight in Syria if needed.

Israel has been careful to stay out of the four-year-old Syrian civil war and the Syrian Druze have themselves mostly avoided involvement.

But after al-Qaida-linked militants earlier this month brutally killed as many as 20 Druze in what amounted to the deadliest violence against members of the small Arab sect since the Syrian conflict started in March 2011, Israel finds itself under increasing internal pressure to act. That would have the extraordinary outcome of having Israel intervene on behalf of a group perceived as loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kurds Find ISIS Tunnel Near Turkish Border

Kurdish forces have discovered a 440-yard long tunnel dug by Islamic State group militants near the Turkish border with Syria, a spokesman for the militia said Monday.

Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, discovered the half-completed tunnel after they captured the border town of Tal Abyad last week, spokesman Redur Khalil said. He said it wasn’t clear whether it was eventually meant to lead into Turkey as the tunnel splits into two different directions at one point.

A tunnel linking Turkey to IS-held territory might offer some insight into the many ways in which Muslim radicals from around the world have slipped across the Turkish border to reach the fanatical group, whose territory straddles Syria and Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Nothing Could Prevent S. Arabia From Buying Russian Defensive Weapons’ — Saudi FM

There is no reason why Saudi Arabia should not buy Russian weapons and nothing could interfere with Moscow selling its arms to Riyadh, the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, told RT Arabic.

The newly signed memorandum serves as a prolongation and activation of previously signed similar documents, the minister said. The purchase now depends on the position of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia and the result of bilateral negotiations.

In the meantime, military experts of both sides are studying the issue.

“I make a point that nothing could prevent us from purchasing Russian defensive weapon systems,” Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir (Reuters / Faisal Al Nasser)

Speaking about the nuclear energy deal inked by Moscow and Riyadh last week, Al-Jubeir stressed that the Kingdom “has been striving to obtain alternative sources of energy for many years.”

Russia has a high potential in the nuclear sphere and Saudi Arabia, which is considering development of different schemes for energy production, addressed Moscow on the nuclear energy issue, the minister said.

“We plan to construct a nuclear reactor in Saudi Arabia, probably 16 nuclear reactors, at all events — more than one,” the minister said.

The minister said that the Kingdom’s plans for nuclear energy are entirely peaceful.

“The main point is that Saudi Arabia has always been advocating making the Middle East a region free of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction,” the Saudi FM said.

Al-Jubeir spoke against building Russia-Saudi Arabian relations on the basis of a “barter of interests,” stressing that such attitude could improve relations for only a short-term prospect, whereas Riyadh expects relations with Russia to prosper in the years to come.

“Enhancement of bilateral relations is not defined by the need to solve a certain problem,” said the Saudi minister.

The Middle East region is facing new challenges, he said, and Saudi Arabia and Russia have common interests.

There are 20 million Muslims living in Russia, for whom Saudi Arabia is important as the host of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

The minister recalled that back in 1926 it was Russia, then part of the Soviet Union, that became the first country to recognize the newly created state of Saudi Arabia. The same year Russia’s Supreme Mufti visited the Kingdom, where he held a historic meeting with leaders of several Muslim States.

After King Salman was enthroned, he received an invitation to visit Russia and, as part of the planning of that visit, the heir to the throne, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, visited Moscow on Thursday, signing a number of deals and meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Thursday’s meetings were quite a success for the two nations, which — when it comes to diplomacy — are at opposite ends of the spectrum on a wide swathe of issues, most notably the civil war in Syria and the Saudi-led military operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Russia has been critical of the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen from the very beginning. Prior to the meetings in St. Petersburg, Saudi Ambassador to Russia Abdulrahman Al-Rassi said Moscow has an “important” role to play in implementing a Security Council resolution on Yemen, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), reporting on Thursday.

Moscow is also a longtime supporter of Iran, which Riyadh sees as a primary rival in the Middle East.

The Saudi ambassador said Moscow’s role was also “important” when it comes to other countries in his region, such as Iran, stressing that Russia should use its power in the UN Security Council to “maintain stability and security in the world.”

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

Russia and Saudi Arabia Sign Six Deals, Agree to a Petroleum Alliance

Russia and Saudi Arabia signed six new cooperation deals last Thursday in an event that signifies a reversal of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Russia under its new king. The six new cooperation agreements will advance the relationship between the two countries in all areas of commerce and included the areas of military and nuclear activities. Perhaps most significant was statement from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, who issued a statement about advancing the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russian in the oil market…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Imam Apologises to ‘Apostate’ Comedian

A Saudi imam has apologised after accusing a well-known Saudi comedian of apostasy for mocking overzealous clerics.

The Islamic affairs ministry called for an investigation into Saeed al-Farwa after he denounced Nasser al-Qasabi for his latest TV show for Ramadan.

In the show, he made fun of Saudi imams smashing musical instruments.

He has faced death threats from Islamic State supporters for another show in which he ridiculed jihadists.

Mr al-Qasabi has been a popular TV personality and comedian across the Middle East for a number of years — still something of a rarity for a Saudi.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syrian Kurds’ Morale High But Arms Needed, YPJ Commander

‘We’re fighting ISIS to save human values’, says Abdallah

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JUNE 22 — The commander of the Syrian Kurdish Women’s Defense Units (YPJ), Nessrin Abdallah, said on a visit to the Italian capital on Monday that morale was strong among her troops but that weapons were lacking.

The Islamic State (ISIS), she noted, “has more sophisticated weapons than we do.” Abdallah was accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the Kurdish movement that defended and liberated Kobane/Ayn Al-Arab, a city in Syrian Kurdistan along the border with Turkey, and that created an experiment in democracy and self-government called Rojava. “We do not consider the battle only a military struggle,” she said. It is also “ a cultural, social and value-based one that gives us the possibility to build the basis of a new model of life in our territory. It is true, we fight against the patriarchal system, religious despotism and inequality between men and women in favor of freedom and equality for women, but ISIS is a threat to the entire world, and so our struggle is to save the values of humanity.” “In Tal Abyad the population was forced to leave to defend itself,” said the commander, referring to the latest YPJ operation. “The easiest possibility was to go to Turkey, but the borders were closed, and only after a rebellion was permission given to take in the refugees. We cleaned the streets and homes of the mines that ISIS had planted and called the population back. We are providing humanitarian assistance to everyone to facilitate their return home. We have also created an organization to help women that have suffered violence.

Security has meanwhile been established. We do not have any intention of invading the territory, and it is inaccurate to speak of ethnic cleansing as some newspapers have. Anyone who wants to come and see what is happening is welcome. As People’s Defense Units, our goal is to defend everyone, without distinction.” “The battles against ISIS were fierce and we have many injured, including ones seriously injured, and lack the conditions to treat them,” she said. Abdullah underscored that she hoped the YPJ would receive medical aid from the international community as well.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish Wine Seeks Markets Abroad, Bypassing Restrictions

Urla aims for high quality, garners numerous awards

(di Patrizio Nissirio) (ANSAmed) — URLA(TURKEY), JUNE 5 — The vineyard extends in perfect rows across 350 hectares of hilly countryside and greenery. There is a small, stylish, boutique hotel for those who want to enjoy the area’s absolute quiet. But this is not Tuscany, nor France. We are in Urla, a town on the Karaburun Peninsula — part of Turkey’s Aegean coast not far from Izmir.

Here a winery named after the town is pushing its award-winning wines increasingly into the international market.

Despite restrictive laws on the advertising and marketing of alcohol, introduced in recent years by Turkey’s Islamic-leaning government, the Urla company, founded in 2001 by Can Ortabas, is looking with confidence toward expansion abroad.

Markets like China, the USA and the United Kingdom appear very promising for wines like Urla Nero D’Avola & Urla Karasi 2012, honoured nationally and internationally, or Nexus 2012, which has also been recognized on a global level. “We produce about 200,000 bottles a year. We mainly make reds; and unlike other producers in the Mediterranean, we have had no repercussions from climate change or bad weather,” explained the young oenologist Hasan Deniz, who trained in Australia.

“We make use of the advice of an French oenologist, who comes here every three months. But the technology for the fermentation containers is Italian”.

The wines of Urla’s highly modern cellar is also visible under a pool. The wines are very robust, including the whites. The oenologist explained that the work to refine them is constant, thanks to the crossing of local varieties — such as the Bogazkere and Bornova Misket — and others that are imported.

The Turkish wines are produced, other than In the Aegean region, traces of vineyards and winemakers date back to the seventh century BC, with evidence of trade toward the Black Sea and Europe. Turkish wine is also cultivated near the Marmara Sea, as well as in areas of central and southern Anatolya, where some vines grow at over 1,200 meters in altitude, and production is more difficult. According to Deniz, total domestic production totals around two million bottles; and ‘new’ Turkish wines are being watched worldwide with increasing attention. They are a bet that can not be lost.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Yemen: Arab Coalition Warplanes Continue Strikes on Houthis: Residents

More than 20 air strikes by Arab forces hit targets controlled by Houthi rebels across Yemen late on Sunday, residents said.

An Arab military coalition has been bombing the Houthis for three months to restore the country’s exiled government and fend off what they see as Iranian influence.

The Houthis took over the capital Sanaa in September and spread throughout the country in a push they view as a revolution against a corrupt government but deny any military links with their allies in Tehran.

Backed up by Arab bombings and weapons drops, local fighters in Yemen’s south and its main city Aden have resisted the heavily armed militia’s advance.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

YouTube Bans Wilders’ Mohammed Drawings in Turkey

The PVV party political broadcast featuring a series of drawings of Muslim prophet Mohammed has been banned from YouTube in Turkey, according to party leader Geert Wilders. Wilders has used Twitter to send round a note from YouTube which states ‘we have received a legal complaint from the government about your video. We have checked the video … which can no longer be broadcast in the following territories: Turkey.’ The note goes on to state that YouTube has to block videos in order to meet local laws and refers the PVV press department to its Help centre. The video should have been broadcast on Saturday but an old item was transmitted instead. Wilders at first accused the public broadcasting system of sabotaging his efforts to show the drawings. It later transpired to be human error.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ukraine Crisis: Yanukovych Regrets Bloodshed in Kiev

Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych has said he accepts some responsibility for the killings that led to his overthrow in February 2014.

“I don’t deny my responsibility,” he told BBC Newsnight, when asked about the shooting of demonstrators in Kiev’s Maidan Square.

He never ordered the security forces to open fire, he said, but admitted he had not done enough to prevent bloodshed.

It is his first Western media interview since the civil war erupted last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

2 Dead, 31 Wounded as Taliban Attack Afghanistan Parliament

Taliban militants attacked Afghanistan’s parliament Monday, detonating a suicide car bomb at an entrance and sending gunmen to storm the building, engaging security forces in a gunfight that left two dead, as lawmakers inside voted to endorse a new defense minister.

Afghan security forces managed to repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen and ensuring that no members of parliament were harmed. But the audacious assault on one of the most heavily guarded compounds in the capital came as the Taliban captured two northern districts in as many days, displaying their ability to operate on multiple fronts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

12 Signs That the United States and China Are Moving Toward War

If the United States and China are supposed to be such “great friends”, why are both sides acting as if war is in our future?

Thanks to events in the South China Sea and the blatant theft of the personal information of millions of U.S. government workers, tensions between the United States and China are the highest that they have been in decades. Most Americans typically assume that a real, actual shooting war between the U.S. and China could never possibly happen, but as you will see below the Chinese are actually spending a lot of time and money preparing for precisely such a conflict. In fact, the Chinese are working feverishly to develop new offensive weapons systems that would only be used in such a war. Of course it is extremely unlikely that a military conflict between our two nations will happen in our immediate future, but without a doubt we are moving in that direction. And this is how wars typically happen — things build up over a period of time before they finally reach a breaking point. Just think about what took place between the United States and Japan in the lead up to our war with them. There were years of diplomatic troubles before Japan finally made the decision to launch a “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor. Right now, I believe that we are moving into a similar period of diplomatic trouble with China. Initially, this will likely affect our trade relationship with the Chinese, but ultimately it could be much more than that. The following are 10 signs that the United States and China are moving toward war…

#1 China’s moves in the South China Sea have greatly angered Obama administration officials. Some of the islands that China has grabbed are also claimed by Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines. The United States is bound by treaty to defend the Philippines in any conflict with China, and Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam are all slated to be parties to the new super secret global trade treaty that Obama is currently negotiating. The following comes from Business Insider…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Samsung Makes Big Trucks Transparent in the Name of Road Safety

It was remarkably simple: put a camera on the front of large, slow-moving trucks and connect it to video displays on the back, thereby informing trailing drivers whether it’s safe to overtake the big rig. That’s the exact same idea that Samsung is now pursuing with a new prototype truck. Making use of its abundance of outdoor displays, the Korean company has stitched together a video wall of four displays at the rear of the truck, which transmits video captured by a wireless camera at the front.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

United States Pacific Command Has Stationed More Than 1,200 Special Forces Troops in the Asia-Pacific

The United States Pacific Command has stationed more than 1,200 special forces troops in the Asia-Pacific along with the latest advancements in weapons technology to contain China’s rising presence in the region, reports the Beijing-based Sina Military Network.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Australian Senate Passes Controversial Anti-Piracy, Website-Blocking Laws

In the eyes of at least one intellectual property academic, the passing of controversial anti-piracy website-blocking legislation in the senate on Monday night represented “a very dark day for the internet in Australia”.

But for the film and TV industry, which has been battling online piracy at record levels, it was a watershed moment. Finally they could seek a remedy in the courts to block access to sites offering their content for free.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Red Flag: Grand Experiment: The Plan for a Future Australia

A new report, undoubtedly overblown in its predictions, but still important, states that up to 40% of Australian jobs could be transferred to machines in the next several decades, with a projected loss of five million human jobs by 2030.

See “Australia’s Future Workforce,” issued by CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. Stephen Martin, the head of CEDA, states:

“Australia and the world is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution and it is important that we are planning now to ensure our economy does not get left behind.”

Martin is talking about automation, not just in the mining and trucking sectors, but in offices, healthcare, many transportation services— wherever machines can do the jobs now occupied by humans.

Obvious result?

Massive unemployment.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ebola Returns to Sierra Leone Capital After Three-Week Gap

Sierra Leone has recorded two new cases of Ebola in Freetown in the past few days, disproving the assumption that the capital city had already defeated the deadly virus, officials said on Monday.

The worst known Ebola epidemic in history has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa, about a third of them in Sierra Leone. Liberia became Ebola-free in May, but its neighbours Sierra Leone and Guinea are still struggling to get to zero cases despite hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

“This is worrisome because we had already closed all Ebola quarantine structures in Freetown since we had gone for weeks without a case,” said Sidi Yahya Tunis, a spokesman for the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Huge Spike in Number of South Africans Wanting to Emigrate. From 1-2 a Week to 5-10 a Day

Emigration specialists reveal a spike in the number of South African citizens investigating or applying for foreign citizenship or residence abroad.

South African citizens can enter 97 countries with a South African passport without requesting a visa beforehand. Still, there are growing numbers who apply for foreign citizenship or residence, which some see as a “safety net” that provides better education and business opportunities.

“Until the end of last year [2014], we would get an emigration inquiry about once every two weeks. Now we are fielding about nine or 10 emigration inquiries a day”, Chris Watters, a lawyer working on immigration and emigration issues, told the Mail & Guardian. He said his law office in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, had seen a spike in demand in the past six months.

While some South African citizens resort to their family history to obtain a second passport, others turn to specialised lawyers.

Citizenship by investment programmes is an option for the well-heeled: countries such as Malta sell residence permits or citizenship in exchange for financial investment in the country.

The United Kingdom, the United States, Malta and Cyprus are among the most popular options to South Africans seeking to emigrate. Each has a citizenship or residence-permit programme established by its government.

           — Hat tip: PS [Return to headlines]

Two Girl Suicide Bombers Kill 30 at Nigeria Mosque

Fourth suicide attack in Maiduguri this month

(ANSA-AP) — Bauchi (Nigeria), June 22 — At least 30 people died Monday when two girls blew themselves up near a crowded mosque in northeast Nigeria’s biggest city.

This is the fourth suicide bombing this month in Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist insurgency. Eyewitnesses say one teen exploded as she approached the mosque crowded with people praying during the holy month of Ramadan. The second teenager appeared to run away and blew up further away, killing only herself, eyewitnesses said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Enel Green Power Gets in on Uruguay Wind Program

Melowind wind farm to generate power for state utility

(ANSA) — Montevideo, June 16 — Enel Green Power, the renewable energy branch of Italian energy giant Enel, has jumped into the Uruguayan government’s goal of reaching 50% of renewables in its power supply by January 2016, with a wind farm project in the country’s northwest.

Melowind, named for the capital of the Cerro Largo Department where it’s located, is a wind farm that aims to generate more than 200 million KW a year to sell to Uruguayan state energy utility UTE, on a 20-year agreement.

Construction began in August 2014 and is slated to cost just under 100 million dollars for Enel Green Power, already present in 15 countries with 740 green energy plants.

Luigi Parisi, Enel Green country manager for Brazil and Uruguay, said the country is good for investment because “it’s a country with abundant natural resources, economic growth, attractive demographics, and a stable regulatory framework”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mexico Straddles the Fence Between the West and Russia

Mexico is playing a duplicitous game with the West, and it is time to take a more serious approach towards the geopolitical risk emerging south of the Rio Grande.

As the United States and Canada struggle with geopolitical challenges abroad, the potential weak link in continental defense sits at the U.S. southern border. For too long has Mexico forged a political path that often acts at cross-purposes to the goals of its democratic northern neighbors. And the problems run far deeper than just Mexico’s internal difficulties with the drug cartels. The nation’s true allegiances remain undefined.

The Mexican ambassador to Russia—Ruben Beltran—has recently come out with some recent statements to Russia’s official media channels that should cause concern in American and Canadian diplomatic circles:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Still Angling for UN Permit on Migrant Operation

EU states haven’t given up on UN backing for their migrant boat “disposal” operation, as ministers launched a half-baked version of the project on Monday (22 June).

The UN resolution is “still in the cooking”, Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania’s foreign minister, whose country held the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in May, told EUobserver in Bratislava on Saturday.

He noted the EU has softened the language of its UNSC draft in a bid to win support from veto-holders China and Russia: “We’re no longer talking about ‘destroying’ ships but about ship ‘disposal’.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hungary Seeking to Tighten Law on Asylum Seekers, Migrants

Easier to expel those who entered the country illegally

(ANSA-AP) — BUDAPEST — The Hungarian government says it is planning to tighten the law on migrants and asylum seekers, making it easier to expel those who entered the country illegally.

A draft amendment to the law on asylum rights, released late Friday by the interior ministry, says the changes are needed to speed up and improve the identification of legitimate asylum-seekers and allow the deportation of economic migrants.

The ministry said Hungary had received 53,300 asylum requests so far this year compared to 42,700 in all of last year. Most asylum-seekers quickly move further west to countries like Germany and Sweden before they claims are resolved.

On Wednesday, Hungary announced plans to build a 4-meter (13-foot) high fence on its southern border with Serbia to stem the entry of migrants.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy and France Play Down Migrant Drama

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French President Francois Hollande played down tensions on Sunday over a migrant crisis which has seen hundreds of asylum seekers blocked at the border between the two countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Slovakia Holds Anti-Migrant Rally

Between several hundred to several thousand people marched against immigration in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava on Saturday, reports Reuters. The demonstrators are upset about a European Commission plan to relocate some 785 asylum seekers to Slovakia over a two-year period. The march took place as other capitals celebrated World Refugee Day.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

States Can Decide Migrant Quotas With Restrictions, Sources

Draft EU document tries to overcome conflicts among members

(ANSA) — Brussels, June 22 — A draft document on the re-settlement of 40,000 refugees in Europe says that member States can decide the distribution among themselves but with a time restriction of one month, sources told ANSA.

“All States will decide by the end of July on the distribution,” says the draft prepared for a summit of European Union leaders set for Thursday and Friday.

The draft aims to overcome conflicts among members over who would set quotas and at what levels among member States for accepting refugees.

Some balked at being ordered to accept a set number of refugees. Sources said this approach, with the one-month deadline, should be better accepted.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ticino Threatens Closing Italy Border to Refugees

The head of the cantonal government of Ticino is warning that the border with Italy will have to be closed to refugees to stem the tide of asylum seekers entering Switzerland.

“If the influx of refugees from Italy continues, we will have to temporarily close the border,” Norman Gobbi, the Ticino government’s president told NZZ am Sonntag.

“It’s the only way for Switzerland to put pressure on other countries that do not respect their obligations,” Gobbi said.

He said the number of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants crossing the border from Italy had doubled from a year ago

Gobbi complaind that Swiss authorities “were doing work for Italy and the European Union, notably with the identification of migrants.”

He said that when its comes to asylum seekers, Ticino has become the “southern border of Germany”.

Gobbi suggested the pressure had only risen since France decided to close its border to refugees travelling from Italy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Welcome to Italy: This is What a Real Immigration Crisis Looks Like

With 50,000 boat people in just six months, and more to come, the politics of asylum here is becoming increasingly toxic

Let us suppose that along the coast of Normandy up to one million non-EU migrants are waiting to be packed like sardines in small unseaworthy vessels and to cross the English Channel.

Let us suppose that first the Royal Navy, then the navies of a dozen other EU countries, start to search for all such vessels in the Channel right up to the French coast, out into the North Sea and the Atlantic even, and then ferry all the passengers on board to Dover, Folkestone, Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton in a surreal modern-day never-ending version of the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940. Would the British government agree to take them all? What of the British people? And if they did agree, what would the British government and people do with all the migrants? How would they cope?

Well, Italy has been invaded in just this way, by migrants from many nations all coming over here from Libya. And Italy’s unelected government has agreed to take them all. This makes the Italian people — who are among the least racist in Europe — very angry. It’s hard to blame them.

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

A Culture Shattered

Part 1 —The Dialectic Scheme: Priming the Pump (1960s); Testing the Waters (1970s)

Middle American Baby Boomers can’t help but wonder, “What made our culture shift as it has?” More importantly, “Is the America of our childhood lost forever?” Some credit this phenomenon to Darwin’s theory of historic optimism, or social Darwinism, presupposing that apart from God a natural succession of gradual reforms in human thinking, philosophy, and destiny progressively improve—past the Bible and the U.S. Constitution—to some higher evolutionary rung of enlightenment. To discard that theory, one need only ponder the question, “How’s that working?” Apparently not so well.

Guiding the evolutionary process, German philosopher George Hegel (1770-1831) advanced a methodology called the dialectic whereby all discussions are masterfully fashioned to ensure consensus with some predetermined outcome. Consensus is a soviet term, which means “collective opinion.” It uses the Marxist decision-making process of dialectics, featuring three stages: 1) fact-based “thesis”; 2) feelings-based “antithesis”; 3) compromise “synthesis.” Applying conflict resolution methodology, Hegelian Dialectic effectively undermines the notion of fixed rights and wrongs. First developed by the Rand Corporation in the late 1950s, the Delphi Technique is yet another term for this psychological process.

The Dialectic Scheme

To initiate the technique, a cordial facilitator “unfreezes” a group, thus establishing a sense of comradeship, before purposefully introducing a contentious issue. All must participate; none may escape the ensuing discussion, which goes like this: The fact-based thesis—e.g., marriage is between one man and one woman—is countered with a feelings-based antithesis—e.g., marriage involves any who choose to love one another. To ease groupthink, a change agent deconstructs the language of absolutes with politically correct alternatives. “Gay orientation” replaces “sodomy” or “deviation”; “partner” replaces “husband” or “wife”; “intergenerational sex” supersedes “pedophilia.” Once bits and pieces are skillfully deconstructed and rearranged, information more easily lends itself to synthesis, or compromise—in this case, “civil unions.”

Trained to do so, the change agent spots independent thinkers and “archaic” verbiage. Without the participants’ knowledge or permission, and purportedly for the higher good, the facilitator applies guilt, deceit, and/or manipulation to achieve coveted groupthink. Facilitators (also a soviet concept) freely employ velvet-hammer put-downs to quell independent thought—e.g., “Any thinking person can understand” or “Even Tom knows” (intimating “Even a child knows”).

To maintain genial relationships, independents are coached to preface their thoughts with “I think” or “I feel.” To achieve collective thought, their fact-based absolutes (the didactic) must bow to feelings-based “opinions” (the dialectic). If the facilitator has done his job well, each participant embraces the predetermined outcome as his own and, doing so, surrenders his original position to an opinion upon which all can agree. Once the question is posed, “Can we all agree with this?” no one dares disrupt group harmony.

Broadly employed in communist and fascist regimes, this “brainwashing” process was likewise exploited by gay marriage advocates in order to undermine cultural norms that civilizations throughout the millennia had universally recognized — namely, that marriage is God’s provision for the biological imperative (to procreate) and for the cultural imperative (personal companionship and community-building). Biblical moralists accept this definition on God’s terms, not according to human preferences or orientations. Postmodernists do not.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How the CIA Used Feminism to Destabilize Society

“In the 1960’s, the elite media invented second-wave feminism as part of the elite agenda to dismantle civilization and create a New World Order.” Since writing these words last week, I have discovered that before she became a feminist, Gloria Steinem worked for the CIA spying on Marxist students in Europe and disrupting their meetings. She became a media darling due to her CIA connections. MS Magazine, which she edited for many years was indirectly funded by the CIA…

Raised in an impoverished, dysfunctional Jewish family in Toledo Ohio, Steinem somehow managed to attend elite Smith College, Betty Friedan’s alma mater. After graduating in 1955, Steinem received a “Chester Bowles Student Fellowship” to study in India. Curiously, an Internet search reveals that this fellowship has no existence apart from Gloria Steinem. No one else has received it.

In 1958, Steinem was recruited by CIA’s Cord Meyers to direct an “informal group of activists” called the “Independent Research Service.” This was part of Meyer’s “Congress for Cultural Freedom,” which created magazines like “Encounter” and “Partisan Review” to promote a left-liberal chic to oppose Marxism. Steinem, attended Communist-sponsored youth festivals in Europe, published a newspaper, reported on other participants, and helped to provoke riots.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Amazon to Start Paying Authors Based on the Number of Pages Read in E-Books

The royalty payment changes will take effect from the 1 July. The changes apply to books published and available on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/22/2015

  1. So, the Pope has apologised to the Waldensians, were there any left to accept the apology. That leaves the Bogomils, Hussites, Cathars, Protestants…

  2. Ramadan days
    Dia Vomitia(…)

    Turkish French ramadan reveling leads to food poisoning with sixty ending up in hospital, forty of them in the Via Domitia hospital, and the rest in other hospitals around Montpellier, France.

    According to some, the suspect is the meat coming from the new butcher’s in town, though nothing is yet confirmed about the cause of the food poisoning.

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