Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/11/2015

Abdullah Kurdi, the father of the drowned baby whose body was photographed on a Turkish beach, allegedly lied about his role in the tragic incident. According to a passenger on the same overloaded boat, Mr. Kurdi was actually a people smuggler, and the driver of the overloaded boat. The woman who made the allegations said she paid $10,000 for her passage, and that her children were among those who drowned.

Meanwhile, after a violent battle between Kurdish and Turkish migrants broke out in Frankfurt, 4,000 German army troops were mobilized to calm the area.

In other news, Pope Francis will meet with Vladimir Putin during his visit to the UN later this month. His Holiness will also deliver a speech in Spanish before the General Assembly.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, K, MB, MC, Srdja Trifkovic, 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
» Vestager Confident of Bad Bank Solution With Italy
» Ashley Madison Password Crack Could Spell Trouble Across the Internet
» Beware: Terrorist Celebrity Touring the US
» Former CIA Deputy Director Calls for Investigation Into Obama Administration’s Intelligence Manipulation
» ISIS Claims Hacker Attacks Against U.S. Sites
» Joe Biden’s Secret Backers
» Oath Keepers Dispatch to Defend Kim Davis
» The Absurdity of Hillary Clinton’s Apology Tour
» US Military Admits it “Misplaced” Black Plague Samples
Europe and the EU
» Germany: ‘Welcome Back, Lenin’: Soviet Leader Returns
» Italy: Calabria Remains in Grips of Torrential Rain
» Italy: INPS Says 787,000 Hired Thanks to Contribution Breaks
» Moroccan Man Arrested After UK Olympic Diver David Tarsey’s Body Was Found in Spain
» Motorist Filmed Picking Up His Car and Carrying it Out of a Tight Parking Spot
» UK: Daily Mail Fights to Overturn Alexander Blackman’s Life Conviction
» UK: Seven-Man Gang of Paedophiles Who Groomed Parents-to-be Face Jail
» Croatia Moves to Convert Swiss Francs Loans Into Euros
» Italian Troops Donate School Kits to Kosovan Children
North Africa
» Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Slams ISIS and Al-Baghdadi as Illegitimate
» Egyptian Student Becomes Anti-Corruption Icon
» Libya: Medical Sources Over 500 Dead, 900 Injured in Sirte
Middle East
» Bahrain’s Gulf Air to Buy Up to 50 Airbus Planes: Minister
» Dems, Republicans and Mushroom Clouds
» Deported Dutch Reporter Vows Return to Turkey
» Russia, Iran and China Trying to Stop West From Overthrowing Assad
» Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Censors National Geographic Issue Featuring Pope Francis
» US Backs Those Who Want to Use Terrorists Against Assad — Lavrov
» Berlusconi May Have Private Meeting With Putin
» Henry Kissinger’s Imperfect Vision
» Ukraine PM Calls Second Russia-Germany Pipeline ‘Anti-European’
South Asia
» Bangkok Bombers Revealed to be Chinese Muslim Terrorists
» India: Arrest Warrant for a Saudi Diplomat: He Abused Women in Nepal
» Taliban’s Murder Squads Try to Kill Another Afghan Translator for the British Military on the Same Day as it Emerged a Minister Has Dismissed the Threat to Their Lives
Far East
» China: Tianjin Disaster, Part of a Plot to Overthrow Xi Jinping
» Japan Nuclear Plant Begins Post-Fukushima Commercial Operations
Latin America
» Nancy Menges & Luis Fleischman: The Meaning of Venezuela’s Aggressive Moves Against Colombia
» And Then Came the Rains: Thousands of Migrants Battle With Riot Police in Macedonian Quagmire After Storms Batter Eastern Europe
» Austrian Railways Suspends Hungary Services Due to Migrants
» Coming to Grips With Mass Immigration Invading America, Canada & Europe
» Factbox: EU Proposals on Migrants
» Germany: Salafists Aim Propaganda at Young Refugees
» Gov’t Delegation Visits Lesvos as Athens Mayor Calls for Action on Migrants
» In Europe’s Heart, Makeshift Tent Camp Shelters Refugees
» IOM Doubles Estimate of Syrian Migrants to Greece in 2015
» Migrants Undeterred by Balkan Storms and Hungarian Clampdown
» Migrant Crisis: Father of Dead Toddler a ‘People Smuggler’
» Obama Wants U.S. To Prepare for 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year
» One in Three Migrants Refuse to be Identified in Italy
» Orban: Hungary Will Arrest ‘Rebellious’ Migrants
» Palestinian Refugees Joining Exodus From Syria
» Refugee Plan’s Effect on Budget Rules Not Yet Assessed — EU
» Saudi Arabia Offers Germany 200 Mosques — One for Every 100 Refugees Who Arrived Last Weekend
» Some 7,600 Migrants Enter FYROM From Greece in 24 Hours
» Sweden: Police Welcome Refugees With Viral Facebook Video
» Sweden Boosts Budget for Swelling Influx of Refugees
» U.S. Set to Let in 10,000 More Syrians
» Watch: Migrant Turks and Kurds Battle on Frankfurt Streets, German Army Called in
Culture Wars
» Boys Should be Taught How to Do the Ironing at School to Tackle Sexism
» Pope to Meet Putin at UN

Vestager Confident of Bad Bank Solution With Italy

Govt wants to relieve lenders of non-performing loans

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told the Lower House in Rome on Thursday that she was “confident” a solution could be found with the Italian authorities on a bad bank. Vestager, however, did not say how long she thought this would take. Rome has been in talks on setting up a bad bank to relieve the countries’ lenders of some 350 billion euros of non-performoing loans without breaching European laws against State aid.

Many Italian banks are weighted down by bad loans after years of recession, forcing them to set aside capital to cover losses.

It is hoped that the creation of a bad bank would free up resources for banks to lend to households and companies and help consolidate Italy’s economic recovery.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ashley Madison Password Crack Could Spell Trouble Across the Internet

Rampant password reuse means compromise could spill to other sites.

Now that a hobbyist team has uncovered programming errors that make more than 15 million of the Ashley Madison account passwords orders of magnitude faster to crack, it will be only a matter of time before a large percentage of them are available to hackers everywhere. And given how rampant password reuse is, the tsunami-sized torrent is sure to affect accounts all over the Internet.

As Ars chronicled in a 2012 feature headlined Why passwords have never been weaker—and crackers have never been stronger, it’s not unusual for Twitter, Amazon, and online services to monitor large leaks and require password changes for affected users. As we reported:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Beware: Terrorist Celebrity Touring the US

This notice should be sent to all of your useful idiot acquaintances living in the listed cities below.

Is your city on this list?

Green Bay WI Notre Dame, IN Chicago, IL Woodstock, NY New York City, NY Ithaca, Cortland, Pittsburg, PA Ocean City, NJ Atlanta, GA Anaheim, CA Bay Area, CA Stockton, CA Hayward, CA Albuquerque, NM Boston, MA Cambridge, MA

If so, you need to be aware of the Fall Tour of Palestinian Terrorist Bassim Tamimi, ongoing now, throughout September. Not necessarily speaking under his name, he may be a part of panels and symposiums, etc…

Bassem Tamimi heads the “business” that stages clashes each Friday in Nabi Saleh, a Samarian town near Ramallah under the governance of the PA. Ex-prisoner Tamimi is going to be hosted by various American groups, including Amnesty International. Unfortunately, Amnesty has a long track record of aligning with the Tamimi family’s causes and has crowned Bassem Tamimi a “prisoner of conscience” which resonates in the world in which it is active.

“Human rights defender” Tamimi has been in the news recently because of some powerful video and photographic imagery — also called Pallywood — depicting his son in a headlock and his daughter biting the arm of an IDF soldier. Consider this: knowing where Bassem Tamimi was physically standing — and what he was doing there as his children were “attacked” — is key to understanding the weekly sham performance in Nabi Saleh, scandalously covered by dozens of reporters.

The Tamimi family business is terrorism by performance. Pallywood is the term recently created to describe this new performance industry. Bassim orchestrates — choreographs — the situations, and his son and daughter are the stars. His son uses the prop of a removable cast on his arm, while daughter has become so famous she is known as “Shirley Temper”. At the above link, pictures and analysis of the latest production are presented, clearly showing Bassim out of camera range, but evidently supervising the performance of his children.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former CIA Deputy Director Calls for Investigation Into Obama Administration’s Intelligence Manipulation

Former deputy Director of the CIA, Mike Morell, has called for a full investigation into the allegations from over 50 intelligence analysts at CENTCOM that higher ups altered their assessment reports on ISIS in order to fit with the Obama administration’s public narrative that the terror group is weak.

The charge was revealed in a Daily Beast article this week, and has been described as a “revolt” by spies within the military’s intelligence apparatus.

Appearing on CBS This Morning, the only program to report on story, Morell was unequivocal about what action he thinks should be taken.

[Comment: Millions in military hardware trucked in hundreds of trucks from Turkey to Syria…all supplied to ISIS by the west and Turkey. Remember, create the problem, get the reaction, propose the solution.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ISIS Claims Hacker Attacks Against U.S. Sites

Claim made in Twitter account affiliated to jihadists

(ANSA) — Beirut, September 11 — ISIS claimed Friday it had launched a series of telematic attacks against institutional websites in the USA including data banks of the FBI and the White House on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the twin towers in New York by Al Qaeda.

The claim was made in a twitter account said to be affiliated to extremist Islamist group.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Joe Biden’s Secret Backers

Author and analyst Trevor Loudon discusses the U.S. presidential election and the various candidates on the Democratic and Republican sides, in the context of the Russian role in global conflict and the Middle East refugee crisis. Loudon exposes how Joe Biden, Obama’ s “moderate” Vice President and possible presidential candidate, is linked to the far-left Council for a Livable World, Al Gore, and the Soviet agent of influence Armand Hammer. Trevor also addresses the controversy over whether Bernie Sanders is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the same group which backed Barack Obama’ s political career. Members of the DSA “are communists,” says Loudon, who notes that Sanders helped set up the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the U.S. Congress. This is the group (80 members strong) behind Obamacare, illegal alien amnesty, and the gutting of the American military. Sanders “is a hard-core communist,” Loudon says. He is “lying about his true intentions” while “popularizing socialism.” What’ s more, convicted communist spy Kurt Stand is campaigning for Bernie!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oath Keepers Dispatch to Defend Kim Davis

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the organization, said in a statement: “We believe the federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs. Davis’ due process rights and in particular, her right to a jury trial. This judge has assumed unto himself not just the powers of all three branches of government, but has also taken on the powers of judge, jury and ‘executioner.’ … The judge is violating the Constitution in his anger and desire to punish her for going against his will.”

Rhodes then referred to the “imperial presidency” America is experiencing under President Obama and the expanded war powers of the White House office that began under former President George W. Bush and intensified in recent years, particularly through the “unlawful combatant” tag the executive can place on any American.

“Now we see the rise of an imperial judiciary that not only legislates from the bench but is attempting to expand their “contempt” power to likewise swallow up our Bill of Rights and circumvent jury trial,” he said, in a written statement on the Oath Keepers’ website. “Both methods are used to allow the powerful office holder to merely point his finger and have his opponent thrown behind bars without a grand jury indictment and without being found guilty by a jury of their peers.”

Rhodes then said the end result “is a dictatorship, whether done by a president or by a judge.”

He wrapped: “No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Absurdity of Hillary Clinton’s Apology Tour

Hillary Clinton has been desperately trying to sell a number of lies to the American people about her inexcusable behavior as Secretary of State, but it is mainly the mainstream media who are buying her excuses. And even that avenue appears to be drying up as a source of support. Despite her protestations of innocence, it is clear that she has violated both the spirit and the letter of the law in an attempt to skirt accountability and stay on track to win the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2016.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Military Admits it “Misplaced” Black Plague Samples

Back in May, the US military was forced to admit that it had done something really stupid and what’s great about the story is that it requires very little in the way of explanation and/or added color to explain why what happened can be fairly classified as an example of sheer governmental incompetence. Put differently: this story speaks for itself. Here’s a recap:

“According to CNN, “four lab workers in the United States and up to 22 overseas have been put in post-exposure treatment, a defense official said, following the revelation the U.S. military inadvertently shipped live anthrax samples in the past several days.” The army apparently thought they were shipping samples rendered inactive by gamma radiation last year, but that clearly was not the case because when a Maryland lab received their sample last Friday they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis. The lab reported their concerns to the CDC. By Saturday afternoon, labs in Maryland, Texas, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia were notified that the US military had accidentally mailed them the deadly bacteria. A sample sent to a US base in South Korea was destroyed on Wednesday.”

That came just a few months after the CDC admitted to mishandling an Ebola sample, potentially exposing a dozen people to the deadliest virus known to mankind.

Needless to say, the story grabbed headlines across the country as Americans struggled to understand how it’s possible that the US army could possible have managed to unknowingly jeopardize dozens of lives by FedEx-ing live anthrax to nine states and one foreign country.

Well don’t look now, but the DoD is out warning that the army might have also mishandled samples of the black plague which isn’t known to be dangerous unless you count the time it wiped out 60% of Europe’s entire population. Here’s more from CNN:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: ‘Welcome Back, Lenin’: Soviet Leader Returns

A quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lenin made a comeback of sorts on Thursday as authorities unearthed a granite head of the Russian revolutionary to truck it across the German capital.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Calabria Remains in Grips of Torrential Rain

Trees uprooted, Roma camp in Cosenza flooded

(ANSA) — Catanzaro, September 10 — Heavy rain fell across the southern region of Calabria for the second day running on Thursday as fire fighters continued to evacuate flooded buildings and remove fallen trees. Areas along the southern Ionian coast were particularly badly affected by the stormy weather, sources said.

In Cosenza a tent amp housing approximately 250 ethnic Roma including around 100 children and several elderly people was flooded.

The local official responsible for the camp, Alessandra De Rosa, apologised to residents Thursday.

“It was not our intention to move you here for you to be worse off than in the shacks,” De Rosa said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: INPS Says 787,000 Hired Thanks to Contribution Breaks

Govt measure suspends contributions for some new hires

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — In the first seven months of 2015 786,912 people were employed on contracts taking advantage of a government measure suspending social-security contributions for three years for some new hires on permanent contracts, social security and pensions agency INPS said Thursday. The agency added that 100,667 contracts were signed in July taking advantage of the break.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Moroccan Man Arrested After UK Olympic Diver David Tarsey’s Body Was Found in Spain

David Tarsey and his wife Jean, both 77, were found in each other’s arms on their sofa after each was killed with a single bullet to the head on March 29. A man was arrested on Thursday morning.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Motorist Filmed Picking Up His Car and Carrying it Out of a Tight Parking Spot

This strong man from Avola, Sicily has a hands on and altogether more effective method of freeing his car from a tight spot.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Daily Mail Fights to Overturn Alexander Blackman’s Life Conviction

Sergeant Alexander Blackman — believed to be the only British serviceman ever convicted of murder on the battlefield — was locked up as a ‘political scapegoat’ for failings by top brass, say supporters.

A Royal Marine jailed for life for killing a Taliban insurgent was robbed of justice after crucial evidence was ‘deliberately withheld’ from his court martial, it is claimed today.

It meant Sergeant Alexander Blackman — believed to be the only British serviceman ever convicted of murder on the battlefield — was locked up as a ‘political scapegoat’ for failings by top brass, say supporters.

Today a campaign spearheaded by legendary thriller writer Frederick Forsyth is being launched to mount a fresh legal appeal to free Blackman.

Now a painstaking Mail investigation can reveal: Evidence that might have resulted in a lesser charge of manslaughter was ‘deliberately withheld’; A high-flying colonel who was blocked from telling the truth to the court martial called it ‘a failure of moral courage by the chain of command’; The colonel was so disgusted that he resigned his commission; Court martial panel members sent a message to Blackman — who is eligible for parole after eight years — apologising for the length of his sentence.

The Mail has seen confidential papers claiming the panel members who decided Blackman’s fate were deliberately kept in the dark and were therefore ‘blind to facts’ that would help him.

The court martial was never given evidence of alleged key operational failings by his commanders that meant his troop was scandalously isolated, under-manned, under-resourced and under daily Taliban assault — all directly affecting his state of mind at the time of the shooting. This led to Blackman not receiving a fair trial, it is claimed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Seven-Man Gang of Paedophiles Who Groomed Parents-to-be Face Jail

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

A gang of paedophiles raped and abused babies, toddlers and pre-school children in attacks that were streamed over the internet to users around the world, a court heard.

The ring preyed on the families of the youngsters they targeted, in one case grooming a mother and father before their baby was born.

Members travelled hundreds of miles to carry out sickening attacks together, or used the internet to encourage and direct others to abuse victims.

Chilling online chats revealed that members of the gang, who lived across the UK, would offer advice on how to drug young victims and avoid injury.

The seven men — aged between 31 and 51 and including three previously convicted sex offenders — appeared before Bristol Crown Court to be sentenced.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Croatia Moves to Convert Swiss Francs Loans Into Euros

The Croatian government Thursday backed legal changes to convert loans taken in Swiss francs into euros in a bid to help more than 50,000 struggling borrowers affected by the currency’s abrupt surge this year.

Amendments to consumer credit laws, which have to be adopted by the parliament where the centre-left government has a stable majority, would come into effect by the end of the month, Finance Minister Boris Lalovac told a cabinet session.

“I propose that the banks start immediatly preparing … to be able to give to citizens within a 45-day deadline calculations of new (loan) instalments” for each of some 53,000 loans, he said,

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

Italian Troops Donate School Kits to Kosovan Children

(AGI) Rome, Sept 7 — Italian troops from the 132nd Tank Battalion in Cordenons (Pordenone) have donated school kits to children in the Kosovan village of Klinavic, in the Klina municipality. The troops, based at Camp Villaggio Italia, are serving with the Multinational Battle Group West (MNBG-W) as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). The kits were put together in Italy by a volunteer organisation in Catenaso, near Bologna, to help the children start the school year off on a good footing.

The children come from the ethnic RAE (Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian) community, many of whom had moved abroad during the conflict.

Now, thanks to efforts by the municipality and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), people have returned to the area, largely populated by Albanians. MNBG-W Commander Colonel Ciro Forte, who attended the donation ceremony, said the contingent “works closely with local bodies in setting up projects geared to teaching and educating the new generations, the custodians of Kosovo’s future”. The operation is part of a wider MNBG-W project, which has focused on the Caritas Umbria in Klina and the education centre in Bec over the last few weeks. This is further testimony of the Italian commitment to the local people of all ethnicities and faiths.

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

Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Slams ISIS and Al-Baghdadi as Illegitimate

The Egyptian doctor (left), who replaced Osama Bin Laden, accused the militants of sedition and insisted their most senior figure does not deserve to be ‘calpih’ — or ruler.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egyptian Student Becomes Anti-Corruption Icon

Softly spoken schoolgirl Mariam Malak has become an unlikely symbol of the fight against corruption in Egypt after scoring the sum total of zero in her final exams.

The 19-year-old top student, a teacher’s daughter in a small village in the poor southern province of Minya, dreams of becoming a doctor like her two brothers.

In previous years she aced her exams, and had expected a similar result in her final year.

Now nicknamed the “zero schoolgirl” in the local press, Malak had scored 97 percent in her previous two years…

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

Libya: Medical Sources Over 500 Dead, 900 Injured in Sirte

Aodi(AMSI) 6 doctors and 4 nurses missing

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 10 — Violence in the Isis-controlled Libyan coastal town of Sirte carries on unabated with medical sources, quoted by AMSI (Association of foreign doctors in Italy) reporting that “there are more than 500 people dead, while the injured are more than 900”. “Violence against women and youths carries on, while many children are reported missing — wrote president Foad Aodi.

Six doctors and 4 nurses have been reported missing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Bahrain’s Gulf Air to Buy Up to 50 Airbus Planes: Minister

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air is planning to buy up to 50 Airbus aircraft, the country’s Information Minister Isa Abdulrahman Al Hammadi told AFP Tuesday.

The minister said the massive new contract was discussed between Bahrain’s King Hamad and French President Francois Hollande during a meeting in Paris.

“Gulf Air met today with Airbus and discussed the airline’s future narrow- and wide-body fleet requirements — up to 50 aircraft,” the minister said in an interview…

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

Dems, Republicans and Mushroom Clouds

By Mona Charen

The Democratic Party has been weak-minded on defense for decades, but with the Iran capitulation, they’ve achieved a new threshold of cowardice and treachery.

While it’s true that an honorable handful of Democrats have resisted the president’s pressure, the overwhelming majority have chosen to go over the cliff with Barack Obama, a president who never met an enemy he didn’t wish to conciliate or an ally he didn’t seek to betray.

Democrats have long tended toward appeasement of aggressors. Throughout the Cold War, they scared themselves (and everyone else) silly conjuring specters of nuclear holocaust. Then-Sen. John Kerry was one of many prominent Democrats who endorsed the “nuclear freeze.” It wasn’t America’s enemies that we should fear, the Democrats argued, but the weapons themselves.

Democrats rejected the insight of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and others that the surest way to prevent war was “peace through strength.” Reagan was regularly accused of courting Armageddon because he described the Soviets accurately (something liberals were too intimidated to do) and because he declined unilaterally to disarm. The dumbfounding reality is that the Democrats have never acknowledged that Reagan’s approach succeeded. Instead, with Iran as our chief enemy now, they hope to replay the Cold War so that this time, we fully surrender.

At least the Soviets made it easy for them, playing up the “peace” angle at every opportunity and investing heavily in organizations with names like the “World Peace Council” and the “International Institute for Peace.” Soviet leaders and propagandists of the 1970s and 1980s spoke silkily of their desire for “peaceful coexistence” with the West even as, behind the curtain, they were engaged in every form of subversion, terror, espionage and violence…

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

Deported Dutch Reporter Vows Return to Turkey

A Dutch journalist who was deported from Turkey after being detained during clashes between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces vowed Thursday to return to the restive region “as soon as possible”.

“I feel displaced. I would much rather be there than here,” Frederike Geerdink, who arrived back in the Netherlands late Wednesday, told Dutch public newscaster NOS.

Geerdink was detained last week in Kurdish-majority south Turkey while travelling with a delegation of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP)…

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

Russia, Iran and China Trying to Stop West From Overthrowing Assad

Russia, Iran and China are trying to stop the West and the Gulf countries from overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Middle East expert Michael Lüders during his interview with German channel N24 called such attempts by the United States and its allies absurd.

According to him, without the current president, Syria will, in all likelihood fall under the control of Islamic State terrorists.

Lüders further said, “Turkey and the countries of the West and the Persian Gulf are still determined to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Russia, Iran and China, however, are trying to prevent this and continue to support him. This means the growth of confrontation.”

[Comment: Strange to get more truth from Russian media than Western media on this issue.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Censors National Geographic Issue Featuring Pope Francis

The August issue of the famous magazine has not been published in the Saudi kingdom. Leaders of Islamic nation “offended” by cover photo of the head of the Catholic Church. And they fear what is termed Bergoglio’s “silent revolution” in a nation obsessed with control and hostile to change.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Riyadh authorities have censored the Arabic version of the August issue of National Geographic, which featured a cover photo of Pope Francis. Although officially there has been no explanation of the ban, the leaders of the Islamic country are reportedly “offended” by the of the head of the Catholic Church presence in the prestigious journal.

In a brief Twitter message, the leaders of the Arabic version of National Geographic spoke of a “banned” edition for “cultural” reasons without providing further details.

According to reports from the site, director Alsaad Omar al-Menhaly apologized to readers for the non-distribution of the August edition, due to the fact that the magazine “did not receive entry permission [into the country] for cultural reasons “.

It would appear that the headline that speaks of Pope Francis’ “silent revolution” has deeply angered the Saudi regime, ever fearful of riots and protests. For the religious authorities, the concept of a religion that is “fluid” and open to “change” and modernity (which is what the Argentine Pope is doing for the Catholic Church according to the magazine) is exactly what they are opposed to, maintaining a “pure” and unchangeable version of Islam.

Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia, or Islamic law, which imposes the “death penalty” in cases of “murder, rape, drug trafficking and sorcery.” In the ultra-conservative Sunni Wahhabi kingdom, women are forbidden to drive and must always be accompanied by a man with whom they have close ties of kinship.

Moreover, these days, the Pope continues to promote a policy of welcome and support for refugees fleeing from the wars in the Middle East, particularly the Syrians (mostly Muslims), opening the doors of the Vatican and inviting priests to do the same in parishes; compared to a Saudi Arabia that has never accepted any refugees in four years of conflict, and who have effectively sealed their borders.

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

US Backs Those Who Want to Use Terrorists Against Assad — Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Washington is making a grave mistake by appeasing those who want to use the terrorist group Islamic State to force the ouster of Syria’ s president, Bashar Assad.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke on the phone with his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, who expressed concern over Russian support to the Syrian leader.

Kerry was also pushing the very strange idea that supporting Bashar Assad in his anti-terror fight only strengthens the positions of ISIS, because the sponsors of ISIS would pump even more arms and money into it,“ Lavrov said.

[Comment: Basically threatening that US and Gulf would more more money and arms to ISIS.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Berlusconi May Have Private Meeting With Putin

Ex-premier in Russia till Sunday

(ANSA) — Rome, September 9 — Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi may have a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, an old friend, during his five-day visit to Russia starting Wednesday, the Kremlin said.

A Kremlin spokesman said he “could not rule out” such a meeting.

Berlusconi is in Russia until Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Henry Kissinger’s Imperfect Vision

by Srdja Trifkovic

Even in his advanced age Henry Kissinger remains hugely influential, and the remnant of the realist school in Washington’s foreign policy establishment looks upon him as its part-guru, part-patriarch. His recent pronouncements are somewhat disappointing, however, and they reflect the confused state of the realist camp after many years of the neoconservative-neoliberal duopoly’s dominance. As seems clear from a long interview with Dr. Kissinger in the September-October issue The National Interest, they lack the consistency of the leading “offensive realist,” John Mersheimer, or the philosophical coherence of Kenneth Waltz.

In his own estimation Kissinger remains an unapologetic realist in his approach to world affairs: “you have to start with an assessment of the elements that are relevant to the situation.” The values are included, but a balance in the ranking of priorities is needed, contrary to the missionary zeal which is the Duopoly’s hallmark. As an example of realist pragmatism Kissinger cites détente as a strategy which successfully softened up the Soviet Union. By 1980, the Soviet Union was already well on the way to defeat.” The détente period was an indispensable prelude to the combative Reagan years.

Other two pivotal events of the Nixon era were the opening to China and reducing the Soviet role in the Middle East. Today’s China “inherently presents a fundamental challenge to American strategy,” Kissinger says, but the U.S. now faces a much subtler dilemma: “The Soviet problem was largely strategic. This is a cultural issue: Can two civilizations that do not, at least as yet, think alike come to a coexistence formula that produces world order?” It is neither in Russia’s nor China’s nature to seek a strategic rapprochement, but it is happening “partly because we’ve given them no choice.”

On Ukraine, in Kissinger’s view, it is possible to solve the impasse in a way conducive to international order. This requires recognition that the relationship between Ukraine and Russia “cannot be put into a simple formula of applying principles that worked in Western Europe, not that close to Stalingrad and Moscow.” He finds it inconceivable that Putin intended to start a military crisis only days after the Sochi Olympics. In the ensuing crisis “there was no significant political discussion with Russia or the EU of what was in the making.” Each side acted “sort of rationally” based on its misconception of the other. In Moscow this looked as if the West was exploiting an opportune moment to move Ukraine out of the Russian orbit. “Then Putin started acting like a Russian czar — like Nicholas I over a century ago. I am not excusing the tactics, only setting them in context.” It should have been determined at an early stage whether Russian concerns can be reconciled with Western necessities. As for the future, a “nonmilitary grouping” may be needed on the territory between Russia and the existing frontiers of NATO, which would entail “cooperation between the West and Russia in a militarily nonaligned Ukraine.”…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

Ukraine PM Calls Second Russia-Germany Pipeline ‘Anti-European’

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday criticised as “anti-Ukrainian and anti-European” a deal between Russia’s energy giant Gazprom and several Western firms to build a second gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

In June, Gazprom agreed with Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV to build the new gas pipeline — dubbed Nord Stream-2 — to Germany, bypassing conflict-torn Ukraine and also EU neighbour Poland.

“When the first Nord Stream was built, it brought the European Union no additional energy independence,” Yatsenyuk said after talks with Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava…

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

Bangkok Bombers Revealed to be Chinese Muslim Terrorists

Thai police have revealed that the horrific bombing attack on a Hindu shrine in Bangkok last month that murdered 20 people was masterminded by Chinese Muslims of the Uyghur minority.

The mastermind of the bombing has been named by Thai police as “Izan,” and reportedly fled to Bangladesh the day before the bombing on a Chinese passport, reports the Washington Post on Thursday.

Likewise another man who admitted to being part of the group behind the bombing is currently being held by police and has been identified as Yusufu Mierili. He was nabbed on September 1 close to the border with Cambodia in possession of a Chinese passport, which listed him as hailing from the Uyghur homeland of Xinjiang in western China near Pakistan.[…]

           — Hat tip: MC [Return to headlines]

India: Arrest Warrant for a Saudi Diplomat: He Abused Women in Nepal

The violence lasted for five months. The victims lured with the promise of a good job. Also conducted in the Indian jungle for strange sexual practices and gang abuse. One victim tells of dozens of trafficked women, probably sold in Saudi Arabia.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) — A New Delhi court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a Saudi diplomat, accused of abusing and kidnapped two women of Nepalese origin for more than five months at his private residence in the Indian capital.

The court has asked for the maximum punishment and the embassy of Nepal has lodged the case with the Indian Foreign Minister, to ensure that justice is guaranteed despite the man’s international diplomatic status. A Nepalese diplomat said he had found the women in serious condition, exploited for sexual pleasures of the man and his friends.

The affair was made public by Maiti India, an association that defends women victims of human trafficking. Balkrishna Pandey, founder of the movement, reports that the diplomat is accused of violating seven Indian laws, but “the lawsuit will go ahead despite the consular protection he enjoys.”

The man is accused of violence and human trafficking against Juna Damai (30 years) and Gita Tamang (50 years old), two women from Nepal, lured to his home under the guise of a good job. The women were locked up in a wing of the building and exploited to satisfy the man’s sexual appetites.

The youngest, still obviously shaken by the experience, tells AsiaNews: “At first he asked us to work as cooks and assistants. Instead we were exploited not only by him but also by several of his friends. If we confessed abuse, he said we would be killed. “

She also reports that “many young Nepalese women, and even some Indian, were taken by him. They were lured with offers of good jobs in Saudi Arabia, but we believe that they have been sold. “ “Sometimes he took us into the jungle to preform strange sexual practices. Often we were subjected to gang violence. “

The victims reported that they were also forced to travel to Saudi Arabia, always at the service of the diplomat. The Light House Foundation, an organization against trafficking in women, has offered both women all the necessary support and to help them return home to Nepal at the end of the trial.

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

Taliban’s Murder Squads Try to Kill Another Afghan Translator for the British Military on the Same Day as it Emerged a Minister Has Dismissed the Threat to Their Lives

Interpreter Sam, who risked his life on the Helmand frontlines, narrowly avoided an attack a month after his brother — also an interpreter — was gunned down.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

China: Tianjin Disaster, Part of a Plot to Overthrow Xi Jinping

China’s president believes in a conspiracy, and charged his closest allies with the investigation. His relations with the still-powerful former President Jiang Zemin and military leaders are still conflictual. The parade on September 3 “crowned” him as the country’s new leader but doubts remain about his real power. What follows is an analysis by a great China expert, courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — Almost immediately after the devastating explosions near Tianjin Port at 11 pm, August 12, President Xi Jinping convened his closest aides to check whether there was any political motivation behind one of the most atrocious accidents in China in recent memory. At the beginning of September, the official casualty figures stand at 158 dead and 15 unaccounted for, though it is widely assumed that the number of deaths was significantly higher (People’s Daily, September 1, Xinhua, August 28; Ming Pao [Hong Kong], August 27).

Three Chinese sources with the rank of head of government departments or above told the author that Xi suspected the horrendous blasts were a “political conspiracy” aimed at dealing a body blow to the zhongyang (central party authorities) led by the President himself. Senior officials advising Xi on this supposed challenge to his authority include Politburo member and Director of the General Office of the Central Committee Li Zhanshu, Director of Xi Jinping’s Office Ding Xuexiang, and Vice-Director of the General Office of the party’s Central Military Commission (CMC), Senior Colonel Zhong Shaojun.

Xi, who is also General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was particularly spooked by the fact that the catastrophe struck a mere three weeks before the September 3 military parade. In other words, Xi was made to lose face in the run-up to perhaps the most important public ceremony of his presidency. While the ostensible reason of this show of force by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II, it is also seen as the equivalent of a “coronation ceremony” for the ambitious leader. In China’s political culture, power grows out the barrel of a gun. A top leader does not gain the status of undisputed strongman until he has presided over a parade where he receives salutes from different divisions of the PLA (Deutsche Welle Chinese Service, August 28; Apple Daily [Hong Kong] August 24). [1] The author’s sources have discounted any link between the Tianjin explosions to the so-called “assassination attempts” on Xi, which have been a staple in Beijing rumour mills over the past two years. However, the blasts amounted to not-so-subtle psychological warfare, implying that Xi’s adversaries could harm him or his entourage during his inspection trips within China.

Sources told the author that while no conclusive evidence had yet been found, Xi’s advisers had focused on a military connection to the conspiracy. One factor being assessed was that the major detonations, which took place within approximately 30 seconds of each other, could not have been due merely to the chemicals being deposited at the dangerous goods storage owned by Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics (hereafter Ruihai). The Chinese Earthquake Administration reported that the first blast generated shocks equivalent to three metric tons of TNT-causing a virtual earthquake measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale. The second blast was equivalent to 21 metric tons of TNT or an earthquake registering 2.9 (China News Online, August 13).

Xi’s aides gravitated to the idea that munitions belonging to PLA companies-which should normally not be found in the vicinity of any hazardous material storage-were at least partly responsible for the extraordinary strength of the detonations. One question being asked by Xi’s inner circle: were the explosions plotted and executed by “anti-zhongyang military officers” with or without the knowledge of Ruihai? In any event, all the night-shift supervisors and workers in the immediate vicinity of the storage site perished, ruling out the possibility of close-range eyewitness accounts.

Tianjin Port is well known in military circles as an important facility for weapons manufacturers and exporters such as Norinco, which on a daily basis load hardware onto containers and vessels bound for different destinations under a shroud of secrecy. The PLA’s interests in the Tianjin Port were indirectly attested to by the fact that a special work team led by the Chief of Staff of the Beijing Military Region, Major-General Shi Luze, was on the scene within hours of the incident. Shi and his colleagues provided chemical-warfare equipment as well as expertise to rescuers close to the blast site (Ta Kung Pao [Hong Kong] August 17; China Daily, August 16). However, at the same time, the Shi team appeared keen to assess the damage to PLA-owned munitions and hardware in the port area.

According to Chief Brief’s sources, Xi’s suspicion has fallen on the dozens of senior PLA officers who are the protége’s and underlings of two purged former Politburo members and CMC vice-chairmen, the late General Xu Caihou and General Guo Boxiong. General Xu, who died on March 15 this year, had been detained in late 2014 for corruption-related felonies including “selling plum positions” to PLA promotion seekers (BBC Chinese Service, July 30; Wen Wei Po [Hong Kong] March 9). General Guo, who is facing trial in a military court, was formally arrested in late July for corruption and disciplinary violations (Xinhua, July 31). While senior officials, including the current CMC Vice-Chairman Xu Qiliang, have repeatedly told officers to “draw the right lesson” from the cases of these two “big tigers,” associates of Xu and Guo unhappy about the disgrace of their mentors are still a force to be reckoned with within the PLA hierarchy (Hong Kong China News Agency, August 14; Phoenix TV, August 13).

Despite rumours in the overseas-Chinese media that there could be some links between ex-president Xi and the Tianjin disaster, Xi’s aides involved in the investigations have focused on the fact that Jiang Zemin (CMC Chairman from 1989 to 2004) was the major patron of Generals Xu and Guo. Since coming to power at the 18th Party Congress in late 2012, Xi has been engaged in a power struggle with Jiang, who heads the powerful Shanghai Faction in party politics (South China Morning Post, August 11; Hong Kong Economic Journal, June 16). In the past month, official media have published two commentaries that are believed to reflect Xi’s dissatisfaction with retired leaders who are bitterly opposed to reform or who refuse to leave the limelight. One article complained that “the obstacles facing reform are as intransigent and ferocious . . . as to be beyond people’s imagination” (Xinhua, August 19). The other criticized certain retired cadres for “interfering in the [current] administration” and even “establishing cliques and cabals” in the party. The target of these two politically charged articles is thought to be Jiang [Radio Free Asia, August 10; Hong Kong TVB, August 10]. It is no accident that public reminders of Jiang, including photos and his calligraphy, have recently been removed from institutions such as the Central Party School (BBC China Service, August 31; Radio Free Asia, August 22).

Xi’s subordinates are also investigating the political protection of Ruihai, one of the few private companies to secure a license to work with dangerous chemicals. Ruihai certainly had powerful political backing. Li Liang, a major shareholder of Ruihai, is the son of Li Ruihai, businessman and brother of former Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) member Li Ruihuan. Often called “The King of Tianjin” due to his stints as mayor and party secretary of Tianjin, Li, 81, was a PBSC member from 1989 to 2002. In a matter of a few days, however, both Li Ruihai and Li Ruihuan were able to satisfy the Party authorities that they had nothing to do with Li Liang’s business. (Oriental Daily News, August 17; Apple Daily, August 15; Radio Free Asia [Chinese Service], August 15). Given that Li Ruihuan was a bitter political foe of Jiang Zemin’s, there are good reasons to believe that Xi needs Li’s help in his on-going campaign to curtail the Jiang’s political influence.

Xi and his Politburo colleagues’ preoccupation with checking out these and other leads about the explosions after the catastrophe helps explain why no senior official seemed to be in charge of the investigations. It was not until the fifth day after the explosions that Premier Li Keqiang showed up at Tianjin Port for a one-hour inspection trip, during which Li gave orders to CCTV and other official media present not to roll their cameras. Li’s belated visit to the city-which is little more than one hour by car from Beijing-broke a convention set by former premier Wen Jiabao that top political leaders should show up at the site of a major natural or man-made disaster within 48 hours (BBC Chinese Service, August 16; Hong Kong Economic Times, August 16).

Yet, Premier Li did little to clarify the question of responsibility for the disaster response. At a press conference on the same day that was also attended by foreign correspondents, Deputy Head of the Tianjin Municipal Propaganda Department Gong Jiansheng was asked by local reporters about who was running the rescue and investigation operations. Gong replied: “Regarding this question, I’ll try to get a detailed picture [from my superiors]” (Ming Pao, August 17; China News Service, August 17). It was not until August 19th that the most senior Tianjin official-Mayor and Acting Party Secretary Huang Xingguo-appeared at a press conference. While Huang said he bore “unshirkable responsibility” for the mishap, he said nothing about either the state of the probe or whether he would be resigning to take political responsibility (, August 19; Wen Wei Po, August 19).

Beijing waited a full week after the blasts to announce that a high-level task force headed by the executive Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Yang Huanning, would take charge of investigation efforts (Xinhua, August 19; Global Times, August 18). A 32-year veteran of the MPS, Yang is a specialist in weiwen or upholding political stability. It is understood that the CMC is also doing its own appraisal. The military investigation is being coordinated by Xi protégé Senior Colonel Zhong, who worked closely with Xi when he was party secretary of Zhejiang and Shanghai from 2002 to 2007 (Duowei News [Beijing] April 17, 2014; Reuters, April 17, 2014).

As though to pacify domestic and international opinion, Beijing authorities announced on August 27 that eleven mostly Tianjin officials had been arrested for dereliction of duty regarding the explosions. Almost all of them are mid-level officials involved with transportation, port management and industrial safety. The highest ranking person was Minister at the State Administration of Work Safety Yang Dongliang, who also happens to be a former vice-mayor of Tianjin. Yet Yang did not appear to have been penalized mainly for his failure to maintain safety standards in Tianjin. The Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, the country’s highest graft-buster, indicated on its website that Yang was being held for “violations of party discipline and the law,” usually a reference to corruption (CCDI, August 18; Ta Kung Pao, August 19; Reuters, August 18). Two other suspects had the rank of heads of regional departments: President of the Tianjin Port Group Zheng Qingyue, and Head of the Tianjin Communications and Transportation Commission Wu Dai (Ming Pao, August 28; Ta Kung Pao, August 27).

In addition, several Ruihai executives have been held for interrogation. They include company President Yu Xuewei, Vice-President Dong Shexuan and General Manager Zhi Feng. The Chinese and international media have reported that Yu was previously a senior cadre with the giant state-owned enterprise Sinochem-which has significant investments in Tianjin-and that Dong is the son of the port’s police chief. Censorship authorities have excised all references to the Ruihai staff’s connection to either Li Ruihai or Li Ruihuan (RTHK [Hong Kong], August 19;, August 19; Associated Press, August 20].

Immediately after taking over as head investigator of the Tianjin mishap, top police officer Yang Huanning indicated his team would “undertake clear, detailed and thorough investigations irrespective of who are involved and what their [political] backgrounds are.” He added the results of the probe must be able to “stand the test of science, the test of law and the test of history” (Xinhua, August 19).

Observers who are knowledgeable about the complicated political manoeuvres behind the Tianjin calamity, however, are less sanguine about whether the truth will ever emerge. According to respected Beijing-based historian Zhang Lifan, the murky circumstances surrounding the blasts and their aftermath could point to “political intrigue within the party.” “We still do not know the nature of the explosions,” he told the Hong Kong press. “It is not clear who the target of the blasts was and whether there were conspiracies involved” (Apple Daily, August 18; South China Morning Post, August 18). Despite the military parade “coronation” of Xi on September 3, these questions continue to cast doubt on the extent of President and Commander-in-Chief Xi’s authority.

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

Japan Nuclear Plant Begins Post-Fukushima Commercial Operations

A Japanese nuclear power plant started commercial operations on Thursday for the first time after two years of shutdown triggered by the Fukushima crisis.

Utility Kyushu Electric Power said a reactor at Sendai, about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) southwest of Tokyo, started “normal operation at 4 p.m. (0700 GMT) following final inspections” conducted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on the day.

The plant reached full power generation at the end of last month and is now ready to supply the Kyushu region.

But the same day an anti-nuclear citizen group submitted a request to close the plant to Kagoshima prefecture where the reactor is located, according to public broadcaster NHK…

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

Nancy Menges & Luis Fleischman: The Meaning of Venezuela’s Aggressive Moves Against Colombia

According to many analysts, the Venezuelan government has now lost its legitimacy. Its insistence on following its failed economic policies while promoting criminality instead of the rule of law and jailing its opponents while rigging its computers so as to commit electoral fraud has led many observers to conclude that Venezuela is no longer a functioning country. From now onward, its modus operandi is simply to survive and maintain power. Keeping the Bolivarian Revolution alive has always been the driving force of the Venezuelan government. The well being of the people was just an excuse that gave legitimacy to the new revolutionaries.

The evils and flaws of the regime are now quite apparent. However, there are those that still support the regime such as the nomenclature, the circle of people that surrounds and empowers the regime; the opportunists who have benefited from their association with the regime and became rich in the process (e.g. the boliburguesia); and those poor people that remain grateful to the Bolivarian regime for distributing government handouts.

Of course, this may not be enough to help the Venezuelan government survive through the next election.

Currently, the price of oil is at $40 a barrel. The Venezuelan government has designed its budget based on at least $60 a barrel. The country has lost its productive capacity. Scarcity of basic products has been a serious problem for the long-suffering Venezuelan people. Given the limited reserves available to the Venezuelan government as a result of having destroyed their productive apparatus and having spent enormous amounts of money on populist policies and foreign aid there is currently not even enough to import what the Venezuelan people need. In response, the Venezuelan government is resorting to fascist methods such as falsely accusing opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez of creating chaos in an already chaotic, insecure, and criminal country.

           — Hat tip: MB [Return to headlines]

And Then Came the Rains: Thousands of Migrants Battle With Riot Police in Macedonian Quagmire After Storms Batter Eastern Europe

Torrential rain has turned the Macedonian border into a sea of mud — the latest trial facing migrants on the 1,000-mile trek into Europe.

At least 7,000 people, including many parents lugging young children, braved downpours and scuffles with police to cross Greece’s northern border into Macedonia.

Greek border police said it as the largest single wave of refugees they had seen so far.

Despite wrapping themselves up in garbage bags of every kind, the migrants were soaked to the skin, their trainers caked with mud and hats dripping with rain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Austrian Railways Suspends Hungary Services Due to Migrants

Austrian Railways on Thursday suspended services to Hungary as it struggled to cope with large numbers of migrants arriving from over the border.

“Because of the massive overcrowding of trains coming from Hungary, OeBB has to suspend train services to Hungary temporarily,” the company said in a statement.

The suspension covers both Railjet intercity trains between Vienna and Budapest and regional cross-border services, it said…

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

Coming to Grips With Mass Immigration Invading America, Canada & Europe

For some reason, one of the business editors at the Star Tribune, Lee Schafer wrote a glowing commentary on the wonderful advantages that immigrants bring into the Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota region. Most editors write politically correct, soothing commentaries about the benefits of immigration across this country. None of them deal with the realities: massive welfare, linguistic chaos, cultural clashes, food stamps, crime, rapes, honor killings, anchor babies, female genital mutilation, job losses for our own citizens, cultural ghettos, school disruption, loss of jobs for our citizens and religious conflicts.

Yes, Schafer holds the “information spigot” in his hands while normal citizens live with the daily chaos and accelerating consequences—such as Chicago, Baltimore and Los Angeles. But Schafer doesn’t speak for the citizens on the streets living the nightmare brought upon them by our U.S. Congress’ endless immigration madness of 1.2 million annually from all over the world—most of them poor, uneducated and lacking in any ability to function in a first world country—other than thriving on welfare handouts.

Citizens of the “Gopher State” now feature 100,000 Somalian Muslims wreaking havoc in “Somaliland” as Minnesota citizens call it.

Muslims cannot in any way become Americans. The Koran forbids it. Their entire religious context demands subjugation to their religion with no allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. The Koran forbids women’s rights, marital choice, free speech, gay rights and religious rights. Our way of life remains completely out of bounds to Islam. This 4 minute video explains our plight:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Factbox: EU Proposals on Migrants

Permanent relocation system, sanctions worth 0.002% of GDP

(ANSA) — Brussels, September 9 — The European Commission on Wednesday adopted proposals to address a rising tide of record migration through the EU’s border countries. A mandatory quota system to allocate 160,000 refugees, fines for those who want to opt out, and speedier repatriation are among reforms presented by EC President Jean Claude Juncker in his State of the Union speech at the European Parliament.

* EMERGENCY RELOCATION of 120,000 refugees from Italy (15,600), Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). The redistribution follows a mandatory formula based on objective criteria (40% on the size of the country’s population, 40% on GDP, 10% on the average number of asylum requests made in the past, 10% on domestic unemployment). The relocations will be applied to nationalities with an average asylum approval rate at the EU level of over 75%. The new proposal is in addition to one in May, which called for the relocation of 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece, or 24,000 and 16,000 migrants, respectively. The two schemes together will relocate a total of 160,000 people. The EU is allocating 780 million Euros from the EU budget to participating member states, including 50% prefinancing to ensure that public authorities have the means to act quickly.

* TEMPORARY SOLIDARITY CLAUSE. If a state can not accept temporarily a decided relocation due to objective and justified reasons, such as a natural disaster, it will be required to make a financial contribution to the EU budget in the amount of 0,002 % of its GDP. The EC will analyze the reasons raised by the country and will decide whether they justify non-participation in the program for up to 12 months. In case of partial participation, the amount will be reduced proportionately.

* PERMANENT MECHANISM FOR RELOCATION. The EC proposes a system of structured solidarity that can be activated at any time to assist member states facing emergency situations. These circumstances will be defined by the EC based on the number of asylum applications in the last six months, per capita, and based on the number of irregular border crossings in the last six months. The same objective and verifiable criteria will be applied to distribution the proposed emergency relocation. The permanent mechanism will take into account the needs, the family circumstances and skills of asylum seekers. Also in this case, the temporary solidarity clause will be applied.

* LIST OF EU COUNTRIES OF SAFE ORIGIN. The new system will allow accelerated processing of applications from those seeking asylum from countries the EU considers secure, and rapid repatriation if the individual assessment of demand confirms the absence of the right to asylum. Brussels proposes to include Serbia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro on the list of secure countries.

*BETTER EFFICACY OF REPATRIATION POLICY. The EC proposes an action plan that foresees strengthening implementation of the directive by improving information sharing as well as strengthening the role and mandate of Frontex. The EC has also adopted a manual that provides practical instructions for national authorities to carry out the repatriation of migrants who are not entitled to stay in the EU.

* REFUGEE SUPPORT. The EC will communicate public procurement rules for refugee support. States must respond appropriately and quickly to the most urgent needs of asylum seekers as housing, basic necessities, services. The communication will provide guidance to national authorities on how to provide such services in a fast and efficient way in compliance with EU rules.

* FUND FOR AFRICA. Brussels has allocated 1.8 billion Euros to establish an emergency ‘trust fund’ to deal with the root causes of irregular migration from the Sahel, Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The fund will support these regions to develop more economic opportunities and better policies to manage migration. Brussels also expects an active contribution by member states. Spain, for example, have already confirmed its participation.

* STRENGTHENED INFRINGEMENT PROCEDURES. The other side of the solidarity offered to states on the front line of the migrant crisis is enforcement of EU rules. To this end, the EC this week also increased infringement proceedings to be applied at ‘hotspot’ centres in member states heavily hit by the crisis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: Salafists Aim Propaganda at Young Refugees

Muslim radicals in Germany are trying to recruit some of the growing numbers of asylum seekers reaching the country, according to intelligence services quoted by the German news agency DPA.

The Islamic extremists “are trying to approach the young unaccompanied refugees, who arrive in our country without their families and are particularly looking for contacts and support,” a spokesman for the intelligence service in the southern state of Bavaria told DPA.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Gov’t Delegation Visits Lesvos as Athens Mayor Calls for Action on Migrants

Alternate Shipping Minister Christos Zois and other government officials were in Lesvos on Friday to consult with local authorities and with representatives of local businesses and seek to improve their response to a burgeoning migration crisis.

Although tensions on the eastern Aegean island appeared to have eased in recent days as thousands of migrants have been transferred to Piraeus, the influx from Turkey is continuing unabated.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

In Europe’s Heart, Makeshift Tent Camp Shelters Refugees

(BRUSSELS) — A tent village of refugees hoping for a fresh start has sprung up in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, where ordinary people are helping out in place of largely absent Belgian authorities.

It is basic but works — a young Iraqi man gingerly holding a bandaged hand waits to be seen by doctors, while two concerned citizens unload nappies from the back of a car for babies in the camp.

Some 300 tents of all shapes and sizes have been put up in Maximilien Park in the shadow of shining new office blocks, not far from the gritty Gare du Nord area where prostitutes ply their trade and drug addicts look for their next fix.

It’s not pretty but it’s much better than the dangers faced in Syria or Iraq where civil war and turmoil have killed hundreds of thousands, and forced millions more to risk life and limb on a perilous journey to Europe.

“If Belgium decides to send us back to Iraq, my wife and I, we have decided to kill ourselves,” one man told AFP.

Trained as an engineer in Baghdad, married to a psychologist, the clearly nervous man in his thirties prefers not to give his name. He hopes to win refugee status, giving him the documents and security needed to plan a new life.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

IOM Doubles Estimate of Syrian Migrants to Greece in 2015

The International Organization for Migration says its estimate of the number of Syrians who have arrived in Greece this year has nearly doubled in just the last four days — to more than 175,000 people.

The Geneva-based intergovernmental agency attributes the jump to both an accelerated influx of Syrians from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands in recent days and a lag by overwhelmed Greek authorities in determining the nationalities of those arriving.

The agency said that as of Thursday, a total of 175,375 Syrians have reached Greece this year, up from 88,204 counted in its previous tally on Monday. Overall, it estimates that 432,761 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean this year.

IOM’s tally of Afghans, the second largest contingent, rose to more than 50,177 from 32,414 previously.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrants Undeterred by Balkan Storms and Hungarian Clampdown

Thousands of refugees trudged through mud and torrential rain to Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Thursday, swelling a human tide across Europe that authorities appear powerless to control.

Hungary, a key transit country for migrants trying to reach richer and more welcoming countries such as Germany and Sweden, said it expected to finish building a fence along its border with Serbia by early October to help stem the flow.

Denmark, the latest front line in the continent’s migrant crisis, allowed refugees to move freely through its territory to Sweden, a day after it shut a motorway link with Germany in a bid to halt the flow of people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy said the record-breaking influx of refugees could help ease a chronic skills shortage and provide a boost to Europe’s biggest economy. Berlin’s critics, notably in ex-communist eastern Europe, say that message will only encourage more people to move.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrant Crisis: Father of Dead Toddler a ‘People Smuggler’

A woman on the same boat as Alan Kurdi says the boy’s father is a people smuggler who begged her not to dob him in.

Zainab Abbas said Abdullah Kurdi had lied to the world after the image of his dead three-year-old son on a Turkish beach sparked a global outpouring of support for Syrian refugees.

“Yes, it was Abdullah Kurdi driving the boat,” Ms Abbas told Network Ten through her cousin Lara Tahseen today.

Ms Abbas also lost two children when the boat capsized shortly after leaving Bodrum for the Greek islands.

After the tragedy, Mr Kurdi told the media he took over steering the boat after the captain panicked and jumped ship.

But Ms Abbas said Mr Kurdi was the driver of the boat, and the man she paid to book her passage told her it would be safe because the driver was taking his wife and two children.

“When I lost my kids, I lost my life, how can he lie to the media?” her cousin Ms Tahseen said, translating for Ms Abbas.

“He said, ‘Please don’t dob me in.’ That was in the water.”

Ms Abbas said Mr Kurdi was speeding in the overcrowded boat, which did not have enough life jackets.

She said her husband told him to be careful just before the boat capsized, reportedly killing at least 12 people.

Ms Abbas is now in Iraq and her family has called on the federal government to include them in the 12,000 refugees Australia has pledged to take in.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Wants U.S. To Prepare for 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year

President Barack Obama has directed his administration to prepare to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

The number reflects a “significant scaling up” of the U.S. commitment to accept refugees from the war-torn country and to provide for their basic needs, White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

[Comment: Bama will probably ensure they’ll settle in those areas of “bitter gun clingers”…]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One in Three Migrants Refuse to be Identified in Italy

Police chief calls for new rules to enforce ID procedures

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — About a third of the migrants that have reached Italy so far this year have refused to be identified, according to Italian police.

Syrians and Eritreans are among those most likely to refuse to be identified upon arrival, forensic police chief Daniela Stradiotto told a parliamentary commission. Out of the 122,000 people that have arrived on Italian shores this year, 41,000 people have refused identification. EU regulation requires immigrants’ asylum applications to be handled by the country they first reach. But many of the migrants do not wish to stay in Italy, rather they are hoping to reach countries such as Germany, Sweden and Britain.

Stradiotto said the offices managing migrant arrivals and identifications in Italy were sufficiently staffed. However, many migrants are refusing the process and regulation prevents police from holding them for more than 12 hours, or forcing them through photo and fingerprint ID procedures.

“If the foreigner refuses to be identified then it is not possible to proceed,” she said.

She said new rules were needed to allow police to hold immigrants for up to 72 hours in order to try to force them to be identified.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Orban: Hungary Will Arrest ‘Rebellious’ Migrants

Hungary, a key transit country for migrants and refugees trying to reach richer and more generous European Union countries such as Germany and Sweden, is racing to construct a fence along its border with Serbia by early October to stem the flow.

More than 170,000 migrants have crossed into Hungary from Serbia so far this year. Most try to avoid being registered in Hungary for fear of being stranded there or returned there later on, encouraged by a temporary agreement by Germany and Austria to accept refugees.

“Considering that we are facing a rebellion by illegal migrants, police have done their job in a remarkable way, without using force,” Orban told reporters after a meeting with Manfred Weber, chairman of the conservative European People’s Party group in European Parliament.

“They have seized railway stations, refused to give fingerprints, failed to cooperate, and are unwilling to go to places where they would get food, water, accommodation and medical care … They have rebelled against Hungarian legal order.”

Orban said that, from Sept. 15, when tougher laws on immigration are due to take effect, migrants who cross Hungary’s border illegally will be arrested.

“From the 15th, Hungarian authorities cannot be forgiving of illegal border-crossing,” Orban said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Palestinian Refugees Joining Exodus From Syria

Palestinian pensioner Zahra Zahroura always imagined seeing out her days in her adopted Syrian hometown of Homs, sustained by the hope that being made a refugee once was enough for any lifetime.

But as the war in Syria worsened the 84-year-old was forced to flee a second time, aiming for a new life in mainland Europe but making it only as far as Cyprus, lucky to be alive at all.

“My husband worked and we lived well. But we had to leave because of the war,” says Zahroura, who was rescued on Sunday with more than 100 people aboard a small fishing boat that had drifted for three days under the scorching Mediterranean sun…

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

Refugee Plan’s Effect on Budget Rules Not Yet Assessed — EU

EC spokesperson refuses to speculate on use of flexibility

(ANSA) — Brussels, September 10 — A European Commission spokesperson said Thursday that no evaluations had yet been made on whether member States’ spending on migrants and refugees could enable them to benefit from the flexibility clause in the European budget rules. “The Stability Pact is applied to all States in a coherent way, taking into consideration all the relevant factors,” the spokesperson said. “Light will be shed on specific circumstances at the appropriate time. Let’s not speculate for now”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Offers Germany 200 Mosques — One for Every 100 Refugees Who Arrived Last Weekend

Saudi Arabia has reportedly responded to the growing number of people fleeing the Middle East for western Europe — by offering to build 200 mosques in Germany.

Syria’s richer Gulf neighbours have been accused of not doing their fair share in the humanitarian crisis, with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE also keeping their doors firmly shut to asylum-seekers.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which quoted a report in the Lebanese newspaper Al Diyar, Saudi Arabia would build one mosque for every 100 refugees who entered Germany in extraordinary numbers last weekend.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Some 7,600 Migrants Enter FYROM From Greece in 24 Hours

Some 7,600 migrants, many of them refugees from the Syrian war, entered the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Greece between 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) on Wednesday and 6 p.m. on Thursday, an official with the United Nations refugee agency said on the border.

Migrants are flowing in increasing numbers through the Balkan peninsula towards Hungary as Greece ferries them from inundated islands to Athens, from where they head north to FYROM.

“We have information from our Greek colleagues that the buses are on the way, so they will be coming and they continue to come,” Alexandra Krause, UNHCR senior protection officer, told Reuters.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Police Welcome Refugees With Viral Facebook Video

A group of Swedish police officers have posted a video on Facebook welcoming newly-arrived refugees to Sweden and wishing them luck in their new country.

The video features nine police officers speaking to the camera in Swedish in separate clips, some of them near famous landmarks in Stockholm, all offering kind words of support.

“Welcome to our beautiful country. We hope that Sweden can help you with whatever help you need. We hope everything turns out alright for you with school, work, housing, or maybe reuniting with your family,” says one male police officer kneeling on the grass as he pets his black service dog.

“We’re the same, you and I,” says another.

“We’re equals, with the exact same rights and obligations. You can believe in whatever you want, whichever God you want, express your opinion about whatever you want, marry whoever you want,” chimes in a third.

A brief text in English below the video reads: “Hello, we want to especially welcome you who have come to Sweden from another country!”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden Boosts Budget for Swelling Influx of Refugees

Sweden said Thursday it was earmarking extra money to take in and integrate the huge influx of refugees arriving in the country each year.

The government will make 1.8 billion kronor (191 million euros, $215 million) available to local municipalities in 2016 and 2.6 billion kronor in 2017, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters.

The Social Democratic premier said Sweden wanted to “accelerate” the integration of foreigners into Swedish society with more language lessons, professional training, care for unaccompanied child refugees, and schooling, as well as efforts to fight discrimination.

Sweden registered 80,000 asylum requests in 2014 and almost 50,000 in the first eight months of this year, making it the European Union country that has taken in the largest number of refugees as a proportion of its population of nine million…

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

U.S. Set to Let in 10,000 More Syrians

In coming budget year

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — The White House said Thursday President Barack Obama has told advisers he wants to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US in the coming budget year.

The US has accepted only about 1,500 Syrians since civil war broke out more than four years ago.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said about $4 billion the administration has provided to relief agencies and others is the most effective way to help meet the humanitarian crisis in Europe. Tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and other war-torn countries are seeking safe haven across Europe.

But Earnest said Obama had decided that admitting more Syrian refugees would help boost the U.S. response.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Watch: Migrant Turks and Kurds Battle on Frankfurt Streets, German Army Called in

At least five arrests were made in Frankfurt on Thursday night after a march by supporters of Turkish nationalism descended into bloody violence when they clashed with rival Kurd separatists.

Video of the riot has emerged on the same day Germany announced it will place 4,000 soldiers on standby over the weekend to help with a new wave of up to 40,000 refugees arriving in the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boys Should be Taught How to Do the Ironing at School to Tackle Sexism

The Brussels politicians said they want to stand against ‘sexist’ education by encouraging young girls and boys to take an equal interest in all subjects ‘beyond gendered stereotypes’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope to Meet Putin at UN

Will have four bilateral meetings in all

(ANSA) — Vatican City, September 9 — Pope Francis will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visits the United Nations later this month, the Holy See’s embassy to the UN said Wednesday. Francis will have another three bilateral meetings: with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing president of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa and Kutesa’s successor Morgens Lykketoft. The pope will address the General Assembly in Spanish on September 25, the Holy See sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/11/2015

  1. Re: Tianjin’s Disasters
    Personally, I believe that these are but speculations in a land where truth will never be told.

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