Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/6/2015

In the wake of the “No” vote in the Greek austerity referendum, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned. Mr. Varoufakis he said he hoped his departure would give Prime Minister Tsipras more maneuvering room. Financial markets dropped in reaction to the news from Greece. Meanwhile, 46% of Austrians say Greece should leave the Eurozone.

In other news, at least sixty people were killed in suicide bombings and other Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. Among the targets were a mosque, an upscale restaurant, and various churches.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Upananda Brahmachari, Vlad Tepes, 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
» Bankers Plan to Raid Deposits After Greeks “Rise Up Against Debt Bondage”
» Bare Supermarket Shelves in Greece Should be a Huge Wake Up Call to Millions of Clueless Americans
» Financial Markets React After Greece Bailout Plan Rejected, Finance Minister Quits
» Greece Votes No — Let the Chaos Begin…
» Greece Referendum: UKIP’s Nigel Farage Praises Greeks for Calling Bluff of ‘Dying’ EU Project
» Latin America Celebrates Greek Austerity ‘No’ Vote
» Merkel ‘Knows What She Wants’ — Spokesman
» Puerto Rico: The Greece of the Caribbean?
» Survey in Austria: 46% Want Greece to Leave the Eurozone
» The “Nightmare of the Euro-Architects” Is Coming True: JPM Now Sees Grexit, Eurogroup “Split in Coming Days”
» The Troika Swindle: Greeks Owe Nothing
» UK: If Little Greece Can Stand Up to the Bullies in Brussels, So Can We Says Daniel Hannan
» Varoufakis Resigns Ahead of New EU Talks
» With Yanis Gone, Now Troika Heads Must Roll
» 15 Weeks: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000
» Astronomers Propose Giant Space Telescope to Replace Hubble
» Chicago Boy, 7, Among Victims as Gun Violence Sweeps City
» FBI Reveals 11 Attacks Against Internet Lines in California
» Top American Indian Scholar Outed as Fake Indian
» WikiLeaks Exposes How TiSA Will Gut Financial Regulations All Over the World
Europe and the EU
» Cleric Said to be Behind Tunisian Beach Massacre is Living in Benefits in Britain
» Finland: HS: Iraqi Man Jailed for Planning Sister’s Death
» Finnish Nurses Heading Abroad for Better Pay
» Italy: Suspected Jihadist Arrested in Pisa
» Italy: Islamist Nabbed ‘For Plotting Attack on Pisa Leaning Tower’
» Italy: Man Kills Cousin, Dumps Body in Rome Street
» Italy: Tax Revenues Up 0.9% 1st 5 Months 2015, Treasury
» Spain: Madrid to Remove References to Franco Dictatorship in Names of Streets, Plazas
North Africa
» Campaign Uses London 7/7 Bombing Image as it Urges Tourists to Support Tunisia
» Egypt Faces Challenging Task Containing ISIS Presence in Region
» Moroccan Women in Inezgane Court Over Dress
Israel and the Palestinians
» Ehud Barak: ‘We Could Defeat ISIS in Two Days’
» Israel Intelligence Agency Says it Arrested 6 Bedouin for Establishing Pro-is Cell
Middle East
» Iran Pushes for End to Arms-Embargo in Nuclear Deal
» Iraq: For Baghdad Archbishop, The Persecution of Christians is the Product of Fundamentalism and International Political Calculations
South Asia
» Anti-Shiite Attack in Kandahar Kills Three
» Street Namaz May Evoke Hindu-Muslim Clash in India
Far East
» World Bank Removes Critical Section From China Report
Sub-Saharan Africa
» 44 Dead After Bombings in Nigerian Mosque, Restaurant
» Extremist Violence Against Muslims, Christians Sweeps Nigeria, 60 Dead
» Lagos Store Brings Modern African Luxury to Nigeria’s Rich
» Hungary’s Parliament Votes to Tighten Asylum Laws
» Italy: Migrants Must Prove They Are Disease-Free: Mayors
Culture Wars
» Spain: Over a Million Celebrate Madrid Pride 2015
» Ramadan — The Month of Spirituality, Devotion, Jihad and Martyrdom

Bankers Plan to Raid Deposits After Greeks “Rise Up Against Debt Bondage”

This weekend brought not only the “no” vote but the resignation of Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who angrily pointed the finger at predatory creditor banks who he said are using “terrorism” against the angry, defiant people of Greece.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, on Saturday accused the country’s creditors of trying to “terrorise” Greeks into accepting austerity.

“What they’re doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” he told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people.” (source)

As things stand, the banks are still closed, ATM withdrawals are very limited and strict capital controls have imposed to avoid a full on bank run… but now they are looking to take deposit funds to cover the emergency as well.

With the very near possibility of collapse, amid a shortage of cash and short term money, banks in Greece are poising themselves to “ bail in” during financial emergencies by seizing customers bank accounts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bare Supermarket Shelves in Greece Should be a Huge Wake Up Call to Millions of Clueless Americans

What you are watching unfold in Greece right now is eventually going to come to your own neighborhood.

Someday, people living all around you will be storming the supermarkets in a desperate attempt to secure the food and supplies that they neglected to store up when they had the chance. Of course the Greeks never thought that it would happen to them either. Their civilization had endured for thousands of years, and they were a part of the most powerful economic alliance on the face of the planet. Most Greeks never imagined that they would be plunged into a multi-year economic depression that would ultimately lead to “bank holidays”, long lines at ATM machines, and people diving into dumpsters in a frantic search for something to sell. And this is just the beginning of the chaos in Greece — things are going to get much, much worse for them. Hopefully, this will serve as a wake up call for millions upon millions of clueless Americans out there, because we are on the exact same path that Greece has gone down. The sad truth is that no amount of “American exceptionalism” is going to prevent us from suffering the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions. We are steamrolling toward our own version of economic collapse, and when that time arrives you don’t want to be caught totally unprepared for it.

In some cities in the United States, it only takes an inch or two of snow during the winter to set off panic hoarding at local supermarkets and hardware stores. So what is going to happen during a real crisis?

The Greek people are just like us. They are proud, sophisticated people that are highly educated. But now that a full-blown collapse of their economy is imminent, they are feverishly hoarding cash and food…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Financial Markets React After Greece Bailout Plan Rejected, Finance Minister Quits

Greece’s debt crisis sent shivers through American stock markets Monday, a day after Greek voters rejected demands from international creditors for further austerity measures in exchange for a bailout of its bankrupt economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 100 points after the opening bell, at one point hitting its lowest level since early February, before recovering much of the losses, dipping below 45 points at 12 p.m. EST. The dip followed plunges by markets in Europe and around the world as the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggled to find its way through the crisis, which included the resignation Monday morning of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Greece and its membership in Europe’s joint currency faced an uncertain future, with the country under pressure to reach a bailout deal with creditors. Tsipras has two days to resolve the standoff with creditors before ATMs run out of cash and civil unrest breaks out, hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management said. But making a deal will be daunting after some 61 percent of voters rejected the austerity measures lenders were demanding.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece Votes No — Let the Chaos Begin…

The result of the referendum in Greece is a great victory for freedom, but it is also threatens to unleash unprecedented economic chaos all across Europe.

With almost all of the votes counted, it is being reported that approximately 61 percent of Greeks have voted “no” and only about 39 percent of Greeks have voted “yes”. This is a much larger margin of victory for the “no” side than almost everyone was anticipating, and it represents a stunning rejection of European austerity. Massive celebrations have erupted on the streets of Athens and other major Greek cities, but the euphoria may not last long. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is promising that Greece will be able to stay in the euro, but that gives EU bureaucrats and the IMF a tremendous amount of power, because at this point the Greek government is flat broke. Without more money from the EU and the IMF, the Greek government will not be able to pay its bills and virtually all Greek banks will inevitably collapse. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe is about to experience a tremendous amount of pain as financial markets respond to the results of this referendum. The euro is already plummeting, and most analysts expect European bond yields to soar and European stocks to drop substantially when trading opens on Monday morning.

Personally, I love the fact that the Greek people decided not to buckle under the pressure being imposed on them by the EU and the IMF. But amidst all of the celebration, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that your options are extremely limited when you are out of money.

How is the Greek government going to pay its bills without any money?

How are the insolvent Greek banks going to operate without any money?

How is the Greek economy going to function without any money?

Now that the Greek people have overwhelmingly rejected the demands of the creditors, it will be very interesting to see what the EU and the IMF do. Prior to the referendum, European leaders were insisting that a “no” vote would put an end to negotiations and would force Greece to leave the euro.

Now that the results are in, are they going to change their tune? Because the ball is definitely in their court…

“This does two things: it legitimises the stance of the Greek government and it leaves the ball in Europe’s court,” ANZ Bank analysts said in a note.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greece Referendum: UKIP’s Nigel Farage Praises Greeks for Calling Bluff of ‘Dying’ EU Project

EU project is now dying. It’s fantastic to see the courage of the Greek people in the face of political and economic bullying from Brussels.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Latin America Celebrates Greek Austerity ‘No’ Vote

A handful of countries across Latin America congratulated Greece on its Sunday referendum in which voters rejected creditors’ austerity demands.

More than 60 percent of Greek voters said a resounding “No” to further austerity measures in return for bailout funds in a Sunday referendum that could see the country crash out of the eurozone.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, whose country defaulted on a mountain of debt more than a decade ago, called the vote a victory…

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

Merkel ‘Knows What She Wants’ — Spokesman

Referendum No not a defeat says Seibert

(ANSA) — Berlin, July 6 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel “knows very well what she wants, as can be deduced from her contribution to the debate in the Bundestag last week,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said Money, answering a question on Merkel being accused of not being decisive. Asked if the Greek referendum No could be considered a defeat for her, he said No.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Puerto Rico: The Greece of the Caribbean?

Take a walk around the old town in San Juan, and you would be hard pressed to find evidence of the abominable situation Puerto Rico is in with its public finances.

The bars appear to be thriving, the restaurants full and there seems no shortage of the tourists that flock to this Caribbean sun spot.

But behind the facades, things are bad.

Puerto Rico has also been lobbying to be allowed to file for bankruptcy, much as Detroit did in 2013. That would give it a breathing space and certain rights to restructure the debt. But that option is not open to the island legally, and thus the creditors have the government here over a barrel.

Pedro Pierluisi is the island’s sole representative in the nation’s capital, and he has no voting rights at all. He says this lack of clout means Puerto Rico also does not get its fair share of federal funding for other programmes.

“It’s pretty embarrassing to be a citizen of a nation where you cannot vote for the president…The same goes for Congress,” he says. “And lastly to be treated unfairly, not to say discriminatorily, in key federal programmes like Medicare and Medicaid.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Survey in Austria: 46% Want Greece to Leave the Eurozone

Same percentage disapproves referendum in Athens

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — 46% of Austrian respondents say they are opposed to let Greece remain in the eurozone, 41% say instead that Athens should stay in the euro, 13% do not express their opinion, according to a survey conducted by the think tank ‘Austrian Society for European Politics’ (Oegfe), released today in Vienna, and based on a sample of 523 people representative of the Austrian community. The percentage of Austrians who still want to see Greece in the eurozone rises to 61%, however, if you take into account only the respondents who have a higher education (college or university).

The same percentage (46%) of respondents said to have a rather bad opinion of the Greek decision to hold a referendum on the negotiations with Brussels, while 39% specifies to consider it as a quite positive move of Athens. 15% do not know or do not respond. Compared to a previous survey made by Oegfe, dating back to February, in Austria, however, there is a rising percentage of people who think that the eurozone “should be meeting” Athens’ needs with regard to debt (28-38%), while the percentage of opponents has slightly decreased (from 58% in February to 56 at the present time), though being the majority.(

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The “Nightmare of the Euro-Architects” Is Coming True: JPM Now Sees Grexit, Eurogroup “Split in Coming Days”

Perhaps the best summary — or epitaph, some would say — of the shocking events that took place in Greece this afternoon, and the resultant falling dominoes that are about to be unleashed, was given by Slovakia’s finance minister Peter Kazimir, who summarized events as follows:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Troika Swindle: Greeks Owe Nothing

In June the Greek “Truth Committee on Public Debt” established by Zoi Konstantopoulou the speaker of the Greek parliament “came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.”

The establishment media has hidden from view the facts behind the debt and has sided with the banks in declaring the population of Greece deserves austerity and its attendant poverty and misery because of the Greek government’s intransigence and refusal to accept the harsh conditions of the Troika, consisting of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank.

Left unsaid is the fact a large portion of the debt totaling about €245 billion was fraudulently dumped on the country in the course of huge bank bailouts in 2010 and 2012.

“And since the huge bank bailouts, ‘Greek debt’ exists only on the basis of the Wall Street practice for unpayable debt, known as ‘extend and pretend.’ Its interest and repayment terms have been so dramatically changed by the creditors — in a backhanded admission that it cannot be paid — that in debt-market terms, it is nearly worthless,” Paul Gallagher wrote in February.

Gallagher explains that the Greek debt swindle is similar to the TARP scam foisted on the American people following the subprime fiasco and a move by the Federal Reserve to print $4 trillion of new money to cover the gambling debt of the financial class. “Its political perpetrators are the same huge banks, and the European Central Bank working with the Federal Reserve,” he writes.

In the course of buying up toxic mortgage securities and derivatives from the United States, the European banks engaged in their own subprime scam and made unrepayable loans to governments in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Hungary.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: If Little Greece Can Stand Up to the Bullies in Brussels, So Can We Says Daniel Hannan

This was a brave, almost heroic, vote. Greeks cast their ballots in the face of extraordinary pressure from the European elites, writes DANIEL HANNAN.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Varoufakis Resigns Ahead of New EU Talks

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation the morning after the 61-percent victory of the No in the referendum.

He said on his blog his resignation is designed to help Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras in his negotiations with EU partners.

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my … ‘absence’ from its meetings”, he wrote.

“Tsipras judged (the idea) to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today”.

He added: “I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

With Yanis Gone, Now Troika Heads Must Roll

Now that Yanis Varoufakis has resigned, in the kind of unique fashion and timing that shows us who the real men are, it’s time to clear the other side of the table as well. The new finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, should not have to face the same faces that led to Europe’s painful defeat in yesterday’s Greek referendum.

That would be an utter disgrace, and the EU would not survive it. So we now call for Juncker, Lagarde, Schäuble, Dijsselbloem, Draghi, Merkel and Schulz to move over.

It’s time for the Troika to seek out some real men too. It cannot be that the winner leaves and all the losers get to stay.

The attempts to suppress the IMF debt sustainability analysis were a shameful attempt to mislead the people of Greece, and of Europe as a whole. And don’t forget the US: Lagarde operates out of Washington.

It cannot be that after this mockery of democracy, these same people can just remain where they are.

It’s time for Europe to show the same democratic heart that Varoufakis has shown this morning. And if that doesn’t happen, all Europeans should make sure to leave the European Union as quickly as they can.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

15 Weeks: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000

The portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed Friday, June 26, at $18,112,975,000,000, according to the latest Daily Treasury Statement, which was published at 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Astronomers Propose Giant Space Telescope to Replace Hubble

Segmented mirror four or five times wider than Hubble’s would peer directly at exoplanets.

An influential group of US astronomers has laid out its vision for the biggest and best space telescope yet — a worthy successor to the much-loved Hubble Space Telescope that some say could cost US$10 billion or more.

The proposed High-Definition Space Telescope (HDST) would have a mirror up to 12 metres across. That’s 5 times the width of the 2.4-metre Hubble, which revolutionized astronomy with its sharp views of the cosmos, and nearly twice as wide as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is being readied for its 2018 launch.

Hubble, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and is no longer receiving maintenance support from astronauts, is expected to last for another five or six years. By the time it stops working, the JWST should be in orbit, but the newer telescope will operate in different wavelengths from Hubble — using infrared rather than optical and ultraviolet light. After JWST, the next large space telescope in NASA’s queue is a mission called the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, but it too would operate mainly in the infrared.

Once Hubble goes, scientists will lose the ability to take jaw-dropping, Hubble-quality astronomical images in visible light, or to probe with a powerful space-based instrument the ultraviolet wavelengths that are washed out by Earth’s atmosphere.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chicago Boy, 7, Among Victims as Gun Violence Sweeps City

Gun violence in Chicago at the weekend left 10 people dead, including a 7-year-old boy, and more than 50 wounded.

Amari Brown was shot in the chest by a gunman who was targeting his father, a known gang member, according to police.

Police chief Garry McCarthy said the boy’s father should not have been on the streets, telling reporters: “If (he) is in custody, his son is alive”.

Despite the multiple shootings since Thursday, the number of incidents was lower than in the same period in 2014.

Last year, 16 people were shot dead and more than 80 others were injured, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The worst period at the weekend came between 21:00 on Saturday and 05:00 on Sunday, when 30 people were shot as residents celebrated Independence Day.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

FBI Reveals 11 Attacks Against Internet Lines in California

On Tuesday, someone broke into an underground vault in Sacramento, and cut several high-capacity internet cables. Nobody knows who this person is or why they did it, but since that time the FBI has revealed that it was not an isolated incident. They’ve been investigating 10 other recent attacks on the internet infrastructure of California, and they seem to be deeply troubled by the vulnerability of these cables.

The FBI is investigating least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California’s San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.

Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state’s capital.

FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday’s attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.

The attacks date back to at least July 6, 2014, said FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich.

“When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing,” Wuthrich said. “We definitely need the public’s assistance.”

A security professional who was interviewed for that article, also suggested something that should perk the ears of any American that hears it.

When it’s situations that are scattered all in one geography, that raises the possibility that they are testing out capabilities, response times and impact,” Thompson said. “That is a security person’s nightmare.”

The article goes on to compare these incidents to similar attacks that happened in Arizona last year, as well as California in 2009. However, they may be missing the bigger picture.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Top American Indian Scholar Outed as Fake Indian

Just a few weeks after Rachel Dolezal transfixed the nation with her bogus claims to black heritage, yet another professor stands accused of falsely claiming a different racial identity to advance her career.

Andrea Smith, a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California at Riverside, has started to draw attention in the wake of the Dolezal incident from those who say she has for years falsely claimed to have Cherokee blood. The case is arguably much more significant, though, because while Dolezal was a relatively undistinguished academic at Eastern Washington University, Smith is recognized as a significant scholar in her field. She routinely appears as a featured scholar at major events and has written books that were well-received by her colleagues (though others may question the broader worth of works like Conquest: Sexual Violence And American Indian Genocide).

Her career has largely been defined by her supposed American Indian identity. Besides her academic work, she also helped create the organization INCITE!, which describes itself as a collection of “radical feminists of color.” She’s also been active in the Indian group Women of All Red Nations (WARN).

But according to many, Smith’s Cherokee identity is a complete sham. Much of the attack on Smith is coming from an anonymous, but well-sourced, Tumblr blog, Andrea Smith Is Not A Cherokee. She has also been called out in The Daily Beast…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

WikiLeaks Exposes How TiSA Will Gut Financial Regulations All Over the World

It’s almost impossible to keep anything secret these days — not even the core text of a hyper-secret trade deal, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which has spent the last two years taking shape behind the hermetically sealed doors of highly secure locations around the world. According to the agreement’s provisional text, the document is supposed to remain confidential and concealed from public view for at least five years after being signed! But now, thanks to WikiLeaks, it has seeped to the surface.

TiSA is arguably the most important — yet least well-known — of the new generation of global trade agreements. According to WikiLeaks, it “is the largest component of the United States’ strategic ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate,” which also includes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP).

“Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order shaped for transnational corporations, but a new economic ‘grand enclosure,’ which excludes China and all other BRICS countries” declared WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in a press statement. If allowed to take universal effect, this new enclosure system will impose on all our governments a rigid framework of international corporate law designed to exclusively protect the interests of corporations, relieving them of financial risk, and social and environmental responsibility.

Thanks to an innocuous-sounding provision called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, every investment they make will effectively be backstopped by our governments (and by extension, you and me); it will be too-big-to-fail writ on an unimaginable scale.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cleric Said to be Behind Tunisian Beach Massacre is Living in Benefits in Britain

A leader of the terrorist group suspected of being behind the Tunisian beach massacre is living in benefits in Britain.

Hani al-Sibai, an al-Qaeda cleric suspected of radicalising “Jihadi John”, lives in a £1 million house leafy street in fashionable west London.

He is said to be one of the “key influencers” of the Islamic fanatics believed to have recruited and trained gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.

Egyptian-born al-Sibai, 54, reportedly lives on £50,000 a year in handouts, disability living allowance, with his wife and five children.

Asked how he could justify taking so much in benefits, al-Sibai, who is under investigation suspected of benefit fraud, told the Daily Mail: “Ask David Cameron, don’t ask me.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finland: HS: Iraqi Man Jailed for Planning Sister’s Death

Helsinki District Court has ruled that a 20-year-old Iraqi man be sent to prison for preparing to kill his own sister, daily Helsingin Sanomat reports. The charges are being characterised as so-called honour violence.

A 20-year-old man from Iraq has been sentenced to 25 months in prison in Helsinki by the District Court after he planned to end his own sister’s life. The charges were for assault and for preparing an aggravated assault.

The man reportedly believed his 16-year-old sister was not adhering to Islamic tradition. The sentencing mentions that the accused planned the crime in order to supposedly “restore his family’s honour”.

The man’s sister had spent time outside of her home in addition to her trips to and from school, met with friends her own age against the wishes of her mother and brother and dressed in clothes her family deemed inappropriate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finnish Nurses Heading Abroad for Better Pay

Nurses who have received their degrees from Finland are increasingly leaving the country — usually temporarily — to work abroad, according to a fresh study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL.

The most popular destination for Finnish nurses is in the Nordic countries. Last year, for example, there were some 1,200 Finnish-trained nurses working in Sweden. In Norway during the same period there were about 600, according to THL.

The tax free situation in Saudi Arabia draws medical professionals, too.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Suspected Jihadist Arrested in Pisa

A man was arrested in Ponsacco, a town in the province of Pisa, on Monday morning on suspicion of spreading jihadist propaganda and inciting terrorism.

The Moroccan is the latest person to be arrested as part of an anti-terror sweep being carried out by Digos, Italy’s anti-terror police squad, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

Twelve other arrests were made last week.

Ten people were accused of planning to fight in Syria alongside Isis jihadists, while two others were suspected of being part of an al-Qaeda-inspired cell that was planning attacks in Italy and North Africa.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Islamist Nabbed ‘For Plotting Attack on Pisa Leaning Tower’

Moroccan-born extremist ‘instigated jihad on Facebook’

(ANSA) — Florence, July 6 — Italian police arrested a 25-year-old Moroccan man near Pisa Monday on charges of instigating Islamist terrorism and jihad (holy war) against a rash of suspected targets including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, police said.

Officers identified the man as Jalal El Hanaoui, born at Souk Sebt in Morocco, who joined relatives in Italy at age 8 and remained in the peninsula ever since, notching up a criminal record for drug dealing and was currently unemployed.

El Hanaoui used three Facebook identities to instigate holy war among 12,000 followers and posted photos of monuments around the world suspected of being targets for attacks including the tourist-famed Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty, the Cathedral of St Basil in Moscow and the Israeli wall separating Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied West Bank.

In posts and chat with two other terrorist suspects the Moroccan proposed using massacres, murders, attacks and damage to create an Islamic state.

“He is very expert in computer technology and telematics and through the web and social networks instigated jihad and holy war,” said Giuseppe Creazzo, a Florence prosecutor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Man Kills Cousin, Dumps Body in Rome Street

Egyptian acts after cousin steals from him

(ANSA) — Rome, July 6 — An Egyptian man killed his cousin and dumped his body in a bag in the street on the outskirts of Rome Saturday.

The cousin had stolen 5,000 euros which the man needed to open a fruit shop in the Monteverde district where the body was found, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Tax Revenues Up 0.9% 1st 5 Months 2015, Treasury

VAT payments up 0.7% thanks to Split Payment system

(ANSA) — Rome, July 6 — Tax payments collected in Italy by the state in the first five months of 2015 were as much as 151.68 billion euros, an increase of 1.388 billion euros or 0.9%, the Treasury ministry said Monday.

VAT payments were up by 287 million euros or 0.7% due to an increase in commerce and an increase of 0.9% in payments made using the Split Payment arrangement.

Revenue from tax checks and controls increased by as much as 3.7% compared to the previous year, garnering as much as 122 million euros more than in the first five months of 2014, the Treasury said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Madrid to Remove References to Franco Dictatorship in Names of Streets, Plazas

Madrid’s new leftist city council says it will remove all references to the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco in names of streets and plazas in the Spanish capital.

A 2007 law already called for the gradual replacement of symbols relating to the 1939-1975 dictatorship, with statues of Franco and streets bearing the names of his allies being removed in recent years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Campaign Uses London 7/7 Bombing Image as it Urges Tourists to Support Tunisia

Other photographs used show the 9/11 attacks in New York and one representing the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris

A provocative advertising campaign featuring images of terror attacks in Western capitals urges tourists not to abandon Tunisia in the wake of its own terror attack.

The campaign, launched by a Tunisian communications firm, asks “would you stop visiting” alongside images of London during the 7/7 bombings, New York during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre and a placard signifying the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

A caption reads “Support Tunisia, land of peace”…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Egypt Faces Challenging Task Containing ISIS Presence in Region

The unraveling security situation in parts of Egypt is drawing new attention to the fight against Islamist extremists in the region.

Terror activity has been on the rise in recent weeks in Egypt. Last week, the country’s military fought jihadists affiliated with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Egyptian government sees itself squeezed between the Islamic State or its local affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula and then another Islamic State affiliate on the western border with Libya, while at the same time, they are dealing with unrest and dissatisfaction from the Muslim Brotherhood from across the country,” said Oren Kessler, deputy research director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

On June 29, Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s top prosecutor, was assassinated. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Moroccan Women in Inezgane Court Over Dress

Two women have gone on trial in Morocco on charges of “gross indecency” for wearing skirts.

The two were arrested in Inezgane last month, after a market trader drew attention to what they were wearing and a crowd gathered round, reports say.

An internet petition calling the arrest an attack on personal freedom has attracted thousands of signatures.

The two women, 23 and 29, are being tried under an article in the penal code which says that anyone found guilty of committing an act of “public obscenity” can be jailed for up to two years.

The judge will give a verdict on 13 July.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ehud Barak: ‘We Could Defeat ISIS in Two Days’

So could Barack Obama, if he wanted to.

Former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak was interviewed by Russian media outlet RT on Friday. He stated that it is he belief that the Islamic State “is not strong” and with an appropriate response, it would be possible to suppress and destroy ISIS within a matter of days. “I think that ISIS is successful to a certain extent because they are not facing a concentrated effort to destroy the organization,” said Barak, adding “Technically they aren’t that strong- they are made up of only about 30-40 thousand people.”

“Basically, what they faced in Ramadi (a town in central Iraq that was occupied by ISIS) and elsewhere in Iraq are armies that don’t want to fight. When an army doesn’t want to fight, you don’t need much experience to win,” said Barak. “ISIS has never fought a real battle,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Israel Intelligence Agency Says it Arrested 6 Bedouin for Establishing Pro-is Cell

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency says it has arrested six Bedouin for establishing a cell supportive of the Islamic State group.

The agency said Monday that four of those arrested were teachers and tried to indoctrinate students at their schools with the extremist group’s ideas.

It said they intended to travel to Syria and fight for the Islamic State group, which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria. The group governs its self-styled caliphate in accordance with an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, carrying out cruel and often choreographed killings.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iran Pushes for End to Arms-Embargo in Nuclear Deal

VIENNA — A day before the new deadline for a nuclear accord, Iran pushed on Monday for an end to the U.N. arms embargo on the country — a parallel deal that the United States opposes as it seeks to limit Tehran’s Mideast power and influence.

Speaking on the eve of an already-extended target date for a complete agreement, a senior Iranian official and a U.S. official said Iran and the six world powers it is negotiating with are also working on a U.N. resolution that would endorse any future nuclear deal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq: For Baghdad Archbishop, The Persecution of Christians is the Product of Fundamentalism and International Political Calculations

Some people carry out persecution; others, unseen, order it, guided by political projects that are not just the product of religious intolerance. In a speech the European Parliament, the Archbishop of Baghdad of the Latins, Mgr Sleiman, said that the violence against Christians reflects plans to break up Iraq and the Middle East. The violence must stop; Christians should become full citizens; the state should guarantee coexistence.

Brussels (AsiaNews) — For Mgr Jean Benjamin Sleiman, archbishop of Baghdad of the Latins, the persecution visited upon Christians in Iraq is the result of Islamic fundamentalism, especially under the Islamic State group, but also of political calculations and projects to break up the Middle East that date back to the 1950s

The prelate spoke at a meeting held at the European Parliament on 1 July titled ‘The Persecution of Christians in the world.’ Organised by the Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue Unit of the European People’s Party, the seminar had to overcome resistance by some secularist (and anti-Christian) elements in the European Parliament.

MEPs Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (Spain), Hölvényi György (Hungary), and Jan Olbrycht (Poland) were the main sponsors of the event. The vice president of the Conference of Imams of France Hocine Drouiche, the director of the European Jewish Community Centre in Brussels Rabbi Avi Tawil, Fr Andrzej Halemba of Aid to the Church in Need, and AsiaNews chief editor Fr Bernardo Cervellera also addressed the gathering.

Below we publish Mgr Sleiman’s address (translation from the French by AsiaNews). More will follow in the coming days.

The persecution of Christians in Iraq reached its peak with the invasion by the Islamic State group of a section of the country. This followed a long string of car bombs against Christian places of worship, kidnappings, assassinations, expropriations, armed robberies, as well as threats, discriminations, psychological pressure, and hateful sermons to silence, discourage and push them into exile, etc.

Thus, between 1 August , 2004, when several churches were bombed, and the invasion by the Islamic State, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by three major waves of persecution: they were driven out of Dora, a Baghdad suburb, in 2006-2007, and Mosul in October 2008. In June-August 2014, they suffered the same fate again in Mosul as well as in the Christian villages in Nineveh Province.

Consistently, extremists ordered Christians to become Muslims, pay the Jizya, the poll tax imposed on Dhimmis to allow them to live, or leave without taking any of their property. The tax could be replaced by handing over young Christian boys for combat and Christian girls for “jihad marriage”.

In other words, Christians were asked to go and leave everything behind. If they stayed, killing them becomes legitimate, i.e. justified by God in accordance with the Sharia, the body of laws and rules that define Islamic jurisprudence.

Persecution supposedly stemmed from Muslim religious fanaticism, which is said to be rampant in Iraq. However, persecution did not appear to be spontaneous. It is like the tip of a big iceberg, one we should probe to understand better and find an effective cure.

Thus, I propose to answer three questions: Where does persecution come from? Who is behind the persecution? How can the persecution be stopped?

I. Where does persecution come?

A key feature of persecution was that it did not happen by chance. It was deliberately organised, sometimes with premeditation. It was the product of history, of a process and an evolution within a specific cultural context. Thus, the persecution of Iraqi Christians that has characterised the country since 2003 goes back a long way.

In 2003, when the dictatorship fell, society was left to itself. The many conflicts, problems, and frustrations that had been kept under warp, were now exposed. Without a state, society succumbed to anarchy, regressing inexorably, and is now rudderless.

Tribalism came to the fore. Religion, particularly the dominant one, has become fundamentalist and confessional in order to legitimise persecution.

Instead of sparing culture and minds from regression, religion no longer regulates violence. The latter has found a niche in cultures and structures that have never lost their tribal nature, ethnologically speaking.

Instead of welcoming otherness, accepting differences, and recreating an interplay between unity and plurality, it has allowed itself to be monopolised by fanatics, ignorant men, and opportunistic leaders in search of legitimation, as well as religious men hungry for power.

The religion of Islamic extremism legitimises excesses, discrimination, and persecution on a daily basis. The new political structures, the constitution for example, despite their openness to modernity, despite serious progress towards freedom, have allowed this religion to infiltrate and be used by them. Article 2 exemplifies this situation.

2. Who is behind the persecution?

Persecution is a complex phenomenon. The history of the Middle East tells us that it can be overt or subtle, systematic or occasional, unstoppable or fleeting. It can involve a variety of social and political actors. It can be committed by a group or an individual.

When Arab nationalism came to power in some countries, it resorted to violence and persecution. Religious fundamentalism, which is trying to replace it, will not be less eager to use violence and persecution.

International politics, which is running out of steam in order to protect its interests in the region, has largely contributed to instability and favoured extremist actions like persecution.

Certainly, we can see those who carry out persecution and those who order it. We see the tragedy but we are not always sure what or who will benefit.

If we just look at Iraq, we cannot avoid seeing ethno-religious cleansing. Are there not makers and breakers of nations behind it?

Since the 1950s, the idea of a new, grander Middle East has been discussed. Does such a plan to rebuild societies, and homogenise human groups, by moving, eliminating and exiling some groups not pave the way for persecution?

Persecuting Christians in Iraq and pushing them into exile will bring down the interethnic bridges that Christians constantly build, wiping out the mediatory and moderate role Christians played, pushing groups away from each other, whilst enhancing their socio-political-cultural narcissism.

Violence will be, as the Bible says about Cain, this wild beast, lurking at each other’s door, with never-ending fights. “Then the LORD said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why are you dejected? If you act rightly, you will be accepted; but if not, sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it” (Gen 4:6-7).

3. How can the persecution be stopped?

It seems clear to me that we have to fight on two fronts. Domestically, it is essential to review cultures and structures. We have to work a lot on education, instil values, civilised behaviour, on a continuing basis . . .

At the same time, we have to work hard on laws to eliminate discrimination, as well as redefine citizenship to establish “equality, fraternity and liberty.”

At the regional and international level, it is essential to stop destabilisation and proxy conflicts, and remember that peace is the best way to pursue one’s interests and safely live together.

As for Iraq, the state must be helped to become again the foundation of society, which can control, protect, and rescue it from its own violence. The state, despite all possible limits, is the best guarantee for coexistence among its citizens.

*Archbishop of Baghdad of the Latins

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

Anti-Shiite Attack in Kandahar Kills Three

Hekmatyar pledges support to ISIS against Taliban ‘enemies’

(ANSA) — Rome, July 6 — Three people died and 13 were wounded in a suicide bombing in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Sunday near the Imam Bargah, a place of prayer for Shiite Muslims.

Meanwhile, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Afghan Islamist militant organization Hezb-e-Islami, pledged his group’s support to ISIS in combating the Taliban in Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Street Namaz May Evoke Hindu-Muslim Clash in India

Aggressiveness by Hindus against persisting hazards in road blocked for Namaz may put India into a Communal Clash in this Id-ul-Fiter.

           — Hat tip: Upananda Brahmachari [Return to headlines]

World Bank Removes Critical Section From China Report

The World Bank has removed a critical portion from a recently released report on China’s economy, saying the section had not been adequately reviewed.

On Wednesday, the Washington-based institution released its China Economic Update report in Beijing, which included a section urging the country to accelerate reform of its state-dominated financial sector.

In blunt language, the World Bank warned that failure to address the issue could end “three decades of stellar performance” for the world’s second-largest economy.

“Wasteful investment, overindebtedness, and a weakly regulated shadow-banking system,” had to be addressed for China’s broader reform agenda to succeed, it said…

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

44 Dead After Bombings in Nigerian Mosque, Restaurant

Boko Haram suspected in explosions

(ANSA) — Jos, July 6 — Forty-four people were killed and 67 were wounded after two bombs exploded in a crowded mosque and a restaurant frequented by Muslims on Monday in Jos, Nigeria.

Islamist extremist group Boko Haram is suspected as responsible for the attack.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Extremist Violence Against Muslims, Christians Sweeps Nigeria, 60 Dead

A day of extremist violence against both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria killed more than 60 people, including worshipers in a mosque who came to hear a cleric known for preaching peaceful coexistence of all faiths.

Militants from Boko Haram were blamed for the suicide bombings Sunday night at a crowded mosque and a posh Muslim restaurant in the central city of Jos; a suicide bombing earlier at an evangelical Christian church in the northeastern city of Potiskum, and attacks in several northeastern villages where dozens of churches and about 300 homes were torched.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Lagos Store Brings Modern African Luxury to Nigeria’s Rich

Take a sought-after architect, add the king of “new Africa cuisine” and a smattering of famous designers, and you get a concept-store in Lagos that seeks to bring modern African luxury to Nigeria’s ultra-rich.

The chaotic, cosmopolitan metropolis has largely failed to cater for its mega-rich minority despite a big appetite for high-end shopping and eating in a country that houses 11 of Africa’s 50 biggest fortunes, according to Forbes magazine.

So, Reni Folawiyo, a businesswoman married to one of the 11 — multi-millionaire Tunde Folawiyo — decided to create Alara, a four-storey building housing a mix of African fashion, design and art and a selection of work by Western designers, complete with a gourmet restaurant…

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

Hungary’s Parliament Votes to Tighten Asylum Laws

Hungary has approved tightening its laws on migrants and asylum seekers, in a move slammed by the UN’s refugee agency. It comes after plans were announced to build a wall on the border with Serbia.

The Hungarian parliament passed the legislation on Monday, with laws shortening the timeframe for screening claims for asylum, as well as the power to reject applications from migrants from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq who passed through other “safe” countries without lodging claims there. It also includes provisions to cancel requests if migrants leave their place of residence for more than 48 hours without authorization, and extends detainment periods.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has attributed growing numbers of migrants, particularly economic migrants seeking a better standard of living, to “bad policies,” saying they “can increase and induce this mass migration manyfold.” Orban’s right-wing government is steadfastly opposed to immigration, and has criticized a plan by the European Union to introduce quotas for refugees.

The nation of 10 million people recently announced it would erect a four meter (13 foot) fence on the country’s border with Serbia. Politician Antal Rogan said Hungary had no choice but to build the barrier to stem the flow of refugees.

“There is no good solution to this issue other than setting up the security border seal,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Migrants Must Prove They Are Disease-Free: Mayors

Six mayors of towns in the Ligurian province of Savona have signed decrees stating that they will only accept migrants who come with a clean bill of health.

Enzo Canepa, the mayor of the seaside town of Alassio, signed the first decree, which effectively bans migrants from entering the town unless they have a health certificate proving they are free from disease.

The controversial move came after the arrival of hundreds migrants in Ventimiglia, a town further up the Ligurian coast from Alassio, and which borders France.

As Italy struggles under the migrant influx, the mayor was accused of flippantly using public health concerns as an excuse to block the arrival of immigrants in Alassio.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spain: Over a Million Celebrate Madrid Pride 2015

From July 1st to 5th, Madrid’s restaurants, shopfronts and balconies were awash with rainbow colours in a unanimous show of support for the biggest gay pride celebration in Europe.

The city’s new left wing mayor Manuela Carmena offered an historic symbol of solidarity with the gay community by making the decision to fly the rainbow flag from City Hall for the first time, an act which made this year’s Pride stand out as a landmark event in Madrid’s history.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ramadan — The Month of Spirituality, Devotion, Jihad and Martyrdom

The month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, has a special status as the month of religious spirituality and devotion. However, in Muslim tradition it is also perceived as a month of jihad and martyrdom, a month in which Allah grants military victories to His believers. It was during Ramadan that Muslims triumphed in many of their battles, among them the battle of Badr in 624 between supporters of Muhammad and a merchant caravan of the Quraysh tribe; the conquest of Mecca in 630 and of Andalusia in 711; the battle of Al-Zallaqa in 1086, in which Spanish Muslims defeated the Castilians near the city of Badajoz on today’s Portuguese border, and the 1973 War (called The Ramadan War).

Given the historic religious and military significance of Ramadan, Islamist and jihadi groups, and sometimes also mainstream Arab organizations and Arab media, escalate incitement to jihad and martyrdom during this month. Messages, articles and sermons that are published on the occasion of Ramadan and explain the connection between Ramadan and jihad and often stress the following themes:

  • The commandment of jihad, which is of supreme importance at all times, assumes even greater importance during this holy month and gains precedence over all other commandments.
  • There is a close connection between fasting and jihad, for the former is jihad of the soul, aimed at restraining it from sinning, while the second is jihad against the enemies, aimed at preventing them from spreading “corruption” in the world. Moreover, fasting is a powerful means to prepare the soul for jihad, i.e., to school oneself in obedience, devotion, resilience and endurance, which are the virtues of the jihad fighter that allow him to vanquish his enemies. On Ramadan Allah grants fighters special strength, despite — or rather by virtue of — their fasting.
  • Those who gain martyrdom during the month of Ramadan are doubly rewarded in Paradise.
  • During Ramadan, the Muslims are especially beholden to protect the sanctity of the Muslim holy places and keep the infidels from “desecrating” or threatening them.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/6/2015

  1. Hurray for Orban of Hungary (my home country, as that is where my parents came from to America) — he is apparently the only European with the [male reproductive organs] (sorry, Baron) to protect his country from the “migrants” and I congratulate him for doing his job, which is protecting his country.

    These “migrants” could stay at home and make their home a better place, but I guess Europa’s freebies are easier.

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