Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/26/2015

French President François Hollande has given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán an ultimatum: either accept EU “refugee” quotas, or leave the EU. It is not yet clear what Mr. Orbán’s response will be. Meanwhile, a record number of migrants arrived in Croatia today.

In other migration news, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has called on the government of Bulgaria not to let any migrants into the country.

In other news, a Saudi prince is facing sexual assault charges in Los Angeles for allegedly forcing a woman to perform a sexual act with him.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Insubria, JD, Nick, Seneca III, 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.

» Officials: More Work Emails From Clinton’s Private Account
» Pope Francis Giving Our Children Away to the Soul-less UN
» Saudi Prince Facing Sex Assault Charge in Los Angeles
Europe and the EU
» Companies Call for ‘Shift in the Balance of Power’ Between UK and Brussels
» Dutch Milk Production Rises 7% Since Scrapping of Quota
» Italy: Savona Prosecutors Probe Abuse Allegations Against Priest
» Italy: Two Taxmen: One Accountant Nabbed for Corruption
» Italy: Govt Turns Spotlight on 3,000 Public-Stake Firms
» Italy: Copper-Thieving Gang Caught
» Italy Tops European Destination for Non-EU Tourists
» Italy: Fincantieri and Pininfarina Unveil 85-Metre Super Yacht
» Italy Leader in Biodiversity With Traditional Products
» ‘Mr Borsalino’ To be Extradited to Italy
» Record Migrant Arrivals in Croatia as Crisis Deepens
» UK: Crimes in School Soar Past 30,000 With Theft, Burglary and Robbery Most Prolific
» UK: Hospital Told RAF Sergeant to Leave Waiting Room in Case His Uniform Upset Other Patients
» UK: London Mosque Fire — Over 70 Firefighters Tackle Blaze
» UK: Morden Mosque Fire: 70 Firefighters Tackle Blaze
North Africa
» In Tunisia -50% From Europe, +17% From Algeria
Middle East
» French IS Jihadist Who Held Western Hostages in Syria Named
» Saudi Colonel Killed in Gunbattle on Yemen Border
» Turkey’s Erdogan Defends Saudis After Mecca Tragedy
» Bielorussia: Wall at Ukrainian Border
» Russia Frees Estonian Officer in Spy Swap
South Asia
» Pakistan: Punjab Government Not Meeting Minority Quota Requirements, Says Justice and Peace Commission
» Trafficking of Women in Bangladesh: Victims of Poverty, Ignorance and a Chauvinist Mentality
Far East
» China, Russia to Co-Develop Heavy-Lift Helicopter in 2016
» Top China Rights Lawyer Says Was Tortured
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Islamist Faces ICC Trial for Destroying Mali’s Cultural Heritage
» S. African Breeders Ask Court to End Rhino Horn Trade Ban
Latin America
» Bolivia’s Congress Votes to Let Evo Morales Run for Re-Election
» Don’t Let Muslim Migrants in, Says Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church
» France Tells Hungary: Back Migrant Quotas or Quit EU
» ‘Freedom Bike’, From Russia to Norway
» Obama Throws Christian Refugees to Lions

Officials: More Work Emails From Clinton’s Private Account

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has discovered a chain of emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to turn over when she provided what she said was the full record of work-related correspondence as secretary of state, officials told The Associated Press Friday, adding to the growing questions related to the Democratic presidential front-runner’s unusual usage of a private email account and server while in government.

The messages were exchanged with retired Gen. David Petraeus when he headed the military’s U.S. Central Command, responsible for running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They began before Clinton entered office and continued into her first days at the State Department. They largely pertained to personnel matters and don’t appear to deal with highly classified material, officials said, but their existence challenges Clinton’s claim that she has handed over the entirety of her work emails from the account.

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis Giving Our Children Away to the Soul-less UN

Frustrating as it is to hear the Bishop of Rome blaming America for all of the world’s woes, he’s entitled to his political opinions.

But Pope Francis is not entitled to take away from the people of any nation, their sovereignty and very liberty. Yet that’s exactly what he was up to in his praise-heaping address to the United Nations today.

The world body’s long-held intention is to gain control of all world citizens by corralling them into a false utopia called One World Government , and Pope Francis is all for it…

It’s not always easy reading through the deliberately complicated coding of the UN at work, but Deweese lays out the new Agenda 21’s goals in plain English.

“Here are the seventeen goals to be presented and what they really mean:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Prince Facing Sex Assault Charge in Los Angeles

A Saudi prince has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly trying to force a woman to perform oral sex on him at a Beverly Hills mansion.

Prince Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested in the early afternoon Wednesday after police were called to the gated compound, Officer Drake Madison, of the Los Angeles police department, told AFP.

He said the 28-year-old prince was arrested on suspicion of forced oral copulation of an adult and spent the night in jail before posting a $300,000 (268,000 euros) bail on Thursday.

Witnesses reported seeing a bleeding woman scream for help as she tried to scale the wall of the property, the Los Angeles Times reported…

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

Companies Call for ‘Shift in the Balance of Power’ Between UK and Brussels

The findings make a mockery of claims that British business leaders overwhelmingly favour staying in the EU and will bolster the case of eurosceptics against Brussels rule.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dutch Milk Production Rises 7% Since Scrapping of Quota

Dutch milk production has risen 7% since the European milk quota was scrapped on April 1, the central statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.

Last month, the CBS said Dutch farmers are being paid 30% less for milk than they were a year ago. However, consumer prices have only gone down 5%.

The number of dairy cows in the Netherlands grew between April 1 2014 and April 1 2015 by 55,000 to 1.63 million, the CBS said.

Pig numbers also grew over the past year, increasing by 3%, despite the price of pork also being under pressure from low prices, the Russian boycott and tough Dutch rules on animal welfare.

Earlier this month a number of Dutch farmers joined colleagues from around Europe to protest about low milk and meat prices during an emergency meeting in Brussels of EU farm ministers.

‘We are all after one thing,’ dairy farmer Marcel Ottink told broadcaster Nos. ‘Whether it is meat or milk, we should simply get a fair price.’

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

Italy: Savona Prosecutors Probe Abuse Allegations Against Priest

Rete L’Abuso association reports abuse of boy in Uruguay

(ANSA) — Savona, September 22 — Prosecutors have launched an investigation into sexual assault accusations levelled against a priest in the town of Borghetto Santo Spirito near Savona in north-western Italy.

Don Francesco Zappella was put under investigation by Savona prosecutors after the Rete L’Abuso association representing victims of paedophile priests reported episodes of sexual abuse of a young Brazilian boy who he looked after in the Uruguayan city Treinta y Tres.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Two Taxmen: One Accountant Nabbed for Corruption

Fixed taxpayers’ internal revenue problems, for a price

(ANSA) — Turin, September 23 — Finance police on Wednesday arrested an internal revenue service employee, a staffer at tax collection agency Equitalia and an accountant on suspicion of corruption. Investigators say the three worked together to fix taxpayers’ internal revenue problems in exchange for bribes.

They face charges of corruption, instigating corruption and revealing classified information.

The investigation was sparked by the internal revenue service itself, which noticed suspicious accesses to the agency’s database.

As well, police searched the premises of 28 individuals, companies and professional studios who they say benefited from the suspects’ illicit intervention.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt Turns Spotlight on 3,000 Public-Stake Firms

Rughetti says aim is to eliminate ‘empty boxes’

(ANSA) — Rome, September 23 — The government has turned the spotlight on over 3,000 so-called ‘partecipate’ — firms that public bodies hold a stake in — with a view to eliminating useless ones to cut waste and stop possible corruption, Civil Service Undersecretary Angelo Rughetti told ANSA on Wednesday.

He said the government was looking at “experimental companies, where the number of directors is greater than the employees…

and the turnover is under certain thresholds”. The aim is to “eliminate empty boxes,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Copper-Thieving Gang Caught

‘Stole 1.5 bn euro worth in 26 robberies’

(ANSA) — Rome, September 24 — Police said Thursday they had arrested a gang accused of stealing copper worth a total of 1.5 million euros in 26 robberies over a three-month period in Piedmont and Lombardy.

Four Romanians and a Bulgarian were arrested.

One of the firms hit by the gang was forced to close and six people lost their jobs, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Tops European Destination for Non-EU Tourists

Beats UK, Spain, France

(ANSA) — Brussels, September 25 — Italy was the top European destination for non-European tourists in 2014, Eurostat said said Friday.

Non-continental visitors stayed a total of 57.36 billion nights last year — equal to 17.5% of the EU-28 tally of 327.22 billion nights for the EU-28.

Britain followed with 45.6 billion nights or 13.9% of the EU-28 total. Spain was close behind, while France brought up in fourth at 40.0 billion. Non-EU visitors represent a minority of travellers, however, and only accounted for 12.3% of total overnight visits in the EU-28. The top countries of origin for non-EU tourists were the United States and Russia, at 17.8% and 14.9%, respectively.

China was at 5.0%.

For Italy, however, the largest segment of non-European visitors comes from Brazil, at 23.2% of the total, followed by tourists from Japan and China. Eurostat issued the figures in honor of World Tourism Day on Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Fincantieri and Pininfarina Unveil 85-Metre Super Yacht

(AGI) Trieste, Sept 23 — Fincantieri and Pininfarina have unveiled Ottantacinque, an 85-metre super yacht weighing 2,460 tonnes with five decks. It features exclusive interior fittings and twin raised swimming pools on the main deck. The depth of water in the pools can be varied or drained to create a platform of more than 160 square metres, including a raised sundeck, giving an unbroken view of the sea. The yacht is the latest venture between the groups who are recognised world-wide as champions of Italian industry and culture, following on from the Destriero. Ottantacinque is seen as an added value project for the companies in the super yacht sector, which demands extremely high levels of quality and production capacity.

Fincantieri has devoted significant resources to this niche market and achieved important results by creating its Fincantieri Yachts business. The company has 230 years of experience in shipbuilding and its yacht division provides unparalleled levels of planning, style, reliability and quality for boats above 70 metres. The Pininfarina Group has been active in sailing since the 1970s and has left its mark on many projects, from one-off sailing or motor boats to topside and interior designs for limited editions or larger production runs. Its technical features and aesthetics are clearly drawn from the automobile sector, making for innovative products.

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

Italy Leader in Biodiversity With Traditional Products

(AGI) Milan, Sept 24 — Italy is the only country in the world with 4,886 regional foods produced according to traditional methods for at least 25 years, 272 PDO/PGI speciality products recognised at Community level and 415 Doc/DOCG wines, according to a report from agricultural association Coldiretti on “Made in Italy saved from extinction”. The report was presented at the opening of the exhibition “The ancestors of Made in Italy, the most ancient foods” at the “No. Farmers No Party” exhibition at Milan Expo. This result was possible due to the great variety of vegetable and animal heritage with 7,000 species of flora, 58,000 species of animals and 504 varietals in the vine register against 278 in France, but also 533 varieties of olives against 70 in Spain, due to daily work of farmers and breeders. Thanks to the extraordinary biodiversity of Italian farms 130 breeds have been saved from extinction, including 38 breeds of sheep, 24 of cattle, 22 of goats, 19 of horses, 10 of pigs, 10 of poultry and seven of donkeys, on the basis of the latest Rural Development Programme. While just 579 Romagna donkeys, known for their lively temperament, are engaged in the production of milk for paediatric use and onotherapy, there are about 400 Girgentana goats with the long corkscrew shaped horns for the production of milk for “Tuma Ammucchiata” cheese (hidden cheese) matured in cracks of the wall plaster and/or stone, which in the past were walled up to hide it from brigands. But there are also — Coldiretti continued — the Polverara hen, portrayed with characteristic tuft since 1400 in paintings and works that can even be seen in the Vatican Museums; the Mora Romagna, a curious breed of pig with blackish coat and lighter shades on the abdomen; the Garfagnina cattle with frosted coat and slate coloured skin that includes a population of just 145 head; or the Pontremolese of which there are just 46 left alive. Such a major conservation operations have occurred in response to the new business opportunities created by the farmers markets and the farms of Campagna Amica active in all regions, which have offered economic opportunities to farmers and growers of varieties and breeds at risk of extinction that otherwise would never have survived the rigours of modern forms of distribution. It is estimated that — according to Coldiretti — at least 200 minor varieties, including fruit, vegetables, legumes, wild herbs and products made from at least 100 different breeds of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats raised on a small scale are currently sold in the network of farmers markets run by Campagna Amica, which has about 10,000 sales points. “This is the result of the work of generations of farmers engaged over time to defend the biodiversity of the territory and its food traditions,” said President of Coldiretti, Roberto Moncalvo, noting that “it is a common good for the whole community and is also a cultural heritage that Italy can share.”

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

‘Mr Borsalino’ To be Extradited to Italy

Marco Marenco wanted over 3.5 bn euro crack-up

(ANSA) — Asti, September 22 — Italian financier Marco Marenco is to be extradited from Switzerland to Italy on Thursday in connection with a 3.5-billion-euro crack-up involving a series of energy companies in which he had interests.

Marenco, 59, was arrested in the Swiss city of Lugano in April and is wanted by Italian justice on charges including fraudulent bankruptcy, embezzlement and tax evasion.

The businessman also had a majority stake in Italian luxury hatmaker to the stars Borsalino, earning him the name ‘Mister Borsalino’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Record Migrant Arrivals in Croatia as Crisis Deepens

Croatia on Saturday announced an unprecedented spike in the arrival of migrants on a long, dangerous journey towards western Europe as the continent’s worst post-World War II refugee crisis showed no sign of abating.

With many of the people fleeing war and misery flocking towards Germany, a new poll showed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity at home has been hit by her policy of openness.

Merkel’s “strong commitment to the refugees has obviously not been met with much backing,” the Der Spiegel weekly newspaper said on the poll published Saturday on its pages.

Germany is expecting up to a million refugees and migrants to enter its borders this year, many encouraged by Merkel’s welcoming stance…

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

UK: Crimes in School Soar Past 30,000 With Theft, Burglary and Robbery Most Prolific

In 2014, 30,394 crimes were reported at primaries, secondaries and further education institutions in the UK. There were 28,444 in 2013. Theft, burglary and robbery were the most prolific offences.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Hospital Told RAF Sergeant to Leave Waiting Room in Case His Uniform Upset Other Patients

An RAF sergeant who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan was moved out of a hospital waiting room because staff feared his uniform would upset people from different cultures, it was reported.

Aircraft engineer Mark Prendeville’s treatment was condemned as ‘horrifying’ by military figures and Air Force veterans — but follows a string of incidents in recent years where service personnel were snubbed because of their uniform.

Sergeant Prendeville, 38, was taken to the A&E department at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, after chemicals from a fire extinguisher got in to his eyes during a training exercise.

He was then taken to an empty corner of the waiting room before being moved behind a corner by hospital staff, The Sun reported.

In an explanation to his family, hospital workers were said to have claimed ‘they didn’t want to upset people’ because they ‘have lots of different cultures coming in’.

Sergeant Prendeville’s father, Jim, said: ‘Mark was moved because of his uniform — he was told that twice.

The words they used were: “We’ve lots of cultures coming in”.

‘Mark was quite annoyed, but he’s a quiet lad and didn’t want to cause a fuss.’…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

UK: London Mosque Fire — Over 70 Firefighters Tackle Blaze

A large fire has has broken out at a south London mosque.

There are 70 firefighters tackling the blaze at the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) sent investigating officers and the incident has been referred to the police.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

UK: Morden Mosque Fire: 70 Firefighters Tackle Blaze

A large fire has broken out at a mosque in south London.

The Baitul Futuh Mosque in London Road in Morden, which describes itself as the largest mosque in western Europe, was being tackled by 70 firefighters.

London Fire Brigade said about 50% of the building’s ground floor was alight and the first floor was also on fire.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said a man was taken to hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

The brigade was called at just after 12:00 BST to the mosque, which also has a community centre attached.

Station Manager Philip Morton, who is at the scene, said: “This is a large fire and our crews are working hard to minimise fire spread to other parts of the mosque.

“We are working closely with the local community to ensure our damage control operations take full regard of the religious significance of the building’s contents.”

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

In Tunisia -50% From Europe, +17% From Algeria

According to data as of September 10

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, SEPTEMBER 21 — Tunisia has registered four million tourists since the start of the year as of September 10, down from the five million recorded over the same period last year, according to Tunisian Tourism Minister Salma Rekik Elloumi in Tunis-Gammarth during a meeting with a tourism delegation from Belgium.

European tourism has dropped in particular, down an estimated 50% from last year, as a consequence of the terror attacks on the Bardo museum and Sousse, after which tour cancellations have multiplied, the minister said.

Tourists from Algeria have instead increased, up 17% with one million visitors.

In addition, hotel stays by Tunisians living abroad have increased 7%.

A reform of the sector is urgently needed, including personnel training and improved quality of services to overcome the crisis, the minister noted, adding that a training program will soon be implemented for unemployed workers in the sector across eight regions in the country.

Out of 600 hotels, some 413 are reportedly still active, the tourism minister said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French IS Jihadist Who Held Western Hostages in Syria Named

A second French jihadist, Salim Benghalem, has been named as a possible jailer of Western hostages in Syria, a source close to the case told AFP on Friday.

Benghalem was named along with Mehdi Nemmouche, who carried out a fatal attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels last year, as suspected jailers for the Islamic State group (IS).

They are thought to be among the captors who held several Western journalists and NGO workers who were later executed, as well as four French reporters who were freed in April 2014 after 10 months in captivity.

A report in Le Monde newspaper on Friday cited a French intelligence source saying Benghalem was “currently part of the Islamic police of IS and participated in executions and corporal punishments”…

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

Saudi Colonel Killed in Gunbattle on Yemen Border

(c) AFP/File | Saudi soldiers from an artillery unit fire shells towards Yemen from a post close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, in southwestern Saudi Arabia, on April 13, 2015

Colonel Hassan Ghasoum Ageeli and a deputy sergeant died late Friday in the Jazan district, and four other guards were lightly wounded, the ministry said in a statement.

Ageeli is one of the most senior Saudi officers killed since March when the kingdom formed an Arab coalition to fight Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen.

The landmine blast damaged vehicles patrolling the border district, the ministry said.

After backup arrived, “they were subject to heavy shooting from several locations inside the Yemeni border,” sparking a firefight, it said…

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

Turkey’s Erdogan Defends Saudis After Mecca Tragedy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to Saudi Arabia’s defence on Friday as blame shifted towards the Saudi authorities after a stampede at the hajj pilgrimage killed at least 717 people.

“I do not sympathise with the hostile statements against Saudi Arabia,” Erdogan told journalists.

The Turkish leader said that it would be wrong to “point a finger at Saudi Arabia which does its best”, to make the annual hajj pilgrimage possible…

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

Bielorussia: Wall at Ukrainian Border

Lukashenko, we must prevent the spread of ‘banditry’

(ANSA) — MOSCOW — A new wall will be built in Europe, it will separate Belarus from Ukraine, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has announced. Belarus will erect a barrier on the border to prevent the spread of ‘banditry’ in the country, he said, Tass reported.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia Frees Estonian Officer in Spy Swap

Russia’s security service said Saturday it exchanged Estonian officer Eston Kohver, convicted for espionage, for an imprisoned Russian spy, in a cross-border bridge swap with its Baltic neighbour.

Kohver, who was sentenced in August to 15 years in jail on espionage and other charges, was exchanged for Aleksei Dressen, a former Estonian security official serving a 16 year sentence for spying for Moscow, the FSB security service said.

“On September 26, Estonian special service officer Eston Kohver, who was convicted in Russia for espionage, was exchanged for Aleksei Dressen, a former officer of Estonia’s security police, who has been serving a sentence for giving secret data to the Russian FSB,” said a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The swap took place on a bridge over the Piusa River that separates Russia’s western Pskov region and Estonia’s Polva county…

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

Pakistan: Punjab Government Not Meeting Minority Quota Requirements, Says Justice and Peace Commission

An ad by the Institute of Cardiology is the latest example of non-compliance with regards to the 5 per cent quota for non-Muslims, as the latter are guaranteed openings for low-paying menial jobs. Justice and Peace Commission calls on minister in charge to act. Christian activist bemoans the failure to enforce the law.

Lahore (AsiaNews) — Pakistani Christian leaders and activists have launched a campaign of protest against the authorities in the province of Punjab for a recruitment ad that does not fully meet the 5 per cent quota requirement for non-Muslims.

The ad clearly indicates that only minority non-Muslims would be considered for certain BS-1 level positions, like that of sanitary worker. Other, better-paid BS-1 level positions, such as security guard, house cleaner or ward boy do not indicate any religious preference.

For years, Pakistan has had a 5 per cent quota system for religious minorities. However, the legislation has been inconsistently enforced. Often, when suitable candidates were not available, positions were left vacant.

Last March, after years of foot-dragging, Punjab’s Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Khalil Tahir Sindhu, was able to change things.

In Pakistan, Muslims are the overwhelming majority with 97 per cent of the population, largely Sunni, and often with radical fundamentalist views. Minorities are about 3 per cent.

Discrimination based on gender, religion and ethnicity is widespread.

Despite their small numbers, non-Muslims (including Christians) have contributed significantly to the nation in various areas of public and private life: education, healthcare, national defence, human rights, cultural industries as well as other sectors of great importance.

However, the latest job offers by the Institute of Cardiology of Punjab is highly discriminatory with respect to employment, including for low-paying menial jobs.

This comes at a time when local authorities try to meet the sustainable developmental goal for 2030 set by the United Nations Development Programme, especially points 8 and 10, whereby every individual has a right to decent work, without discrimination and inequality.

Speaking on the matter, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church of Pakistan issued a statement calling for a radical change to ensure the 5 per cent quota for minorities, including in the latest job ad.

Christian activists are also demanding an official apology from those responsible for the ad as well as action by Punjab’s chief minister to clarify the situation, end discrimination and ensure equal rights for all.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Naseem Anthony, programme director for the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM), points the finger at the “weak implementation” of minority quotas, partly due to lack of will by the government and public administrations.

He confirms that it is “common practice” to reserve positions for menial jobs like janitors, but the principle is not taken into consideration as we move up the professional ladder.

In view of this, it is necessary “to create equal space and opportunities for religious minorities,” he added.

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

Trafficking of Women in Bangladesh: Victims of Poverty, Ignorance and a Chauvinist Mentality

The opinion of Rosaline Costa, known Catholic activist. Every year thousands of women and girls exploited in prostitution and illegal labor. Some Indian cities used as places for sorting victims from Middle East and Syria. “Educating respect for women from childhood to learn to recognize the children of the opposite sex as equal human beings to boys.” The role of the government and the Church.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — Thousands of women trafficked into Syria and the Middle East; husbands and in-laws who sell their wives and daughters to increase family profits; victims seduced by the promise of good jobs but then forced into prostitution; traffickers who use Indian cities as sorting centers for victims.

This is the picture of a phenomenon, the exploitation of women and girls in prostitution and illegal labor, which is becoming increasingly widespread in South Asia.

Rosaline Costa, Catholic activist, spoke to AsiaNews about the roots of it: “As long as women are not recognized as having the same value and respect as equal human beings within the family, society, the state or the workplace; as long as there is the chauvinist mentality that considers women the object of man’s pleasure or a source of income for the family, these crimes will not cease. “

Human trafficking also involves the political world. Recently the best-known case is the one that involved two Nepalese women, saved in India from the abuse of a Saudi diplomat. Mina Roy (not her real name), a girl of 22, told AsiaNews: “I was trafficked to the Middle East in 2013. I wanted to go abroad to earn more money and have a better life, but I did not know that I would be sold . I was forced to be prostitute. I cried every day in silence and in the end I was saved by a group of activists. “

A study by The New Indian Express reports that every year thousands of women from Bangladesh, India and Nepal are sold as sex slaves in the Middle East and in the areas occupied by militants of the Islamic State in Syria.

Traffickers use the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta in India as a place of transit to target victims. For those from Bangladesh, the sorting city is Guwahati (State of Assam) and in the last weeks the Indian authorities rescued about 60 girls in the Rangiya train station of (Assam).

According Rosaline Costa, coordinator of the association Hotline Human Rights Trust, which monitors respect for human rights in Bangladesh, the reasons for the growing human trafficking are as follows: the most common is poverty in rural areas, but also a deep-rooted sexist mentality, witnessed by the “greed” of husbands and in-laws, who sell women and children when the family of origin does not continue to meet their economic demands.

The Catholic activist explains: “Bangladesh is a poor country with a large population. The rural poor want to survive and seek a way to do it everywhere, accepting any kind of proposal that is offered to them by the traffickers, without knowing where they are going. “

According to Costa, people ignore the phenomenon of human trafficking, and worst, “women are not considered an economic resource for the family, but rather a means on which to earn money, especially with the dowry custom. The parents of the girls bear enormous efforts to pay their dowries at marriage, but then fail to meet additional requests from the new family. So if it happens the opportunity to sell their wives or their daughters in exchange for money or a good job, their husbands and in-laws waste no time in contacting traffickers”.

She believes that in the country there are no suitable laws for the effective protection of victims. “The exploiters — she reports — often have ties to the police, the politicians, the administration, and go unpunished if they are arrested. In this way they are encouraged to commit such crimes. “

The coordinator of the NGO blames the “macho mentality” present in Bangladesh. “Girls and women must be accepted with the same dignity, honor and respect as men and boys. This change of mentality can be implemented through education. Schools, colleges and universities should have courses which value the equality between men and women, so that children learn from an early age to accept the companions of the opposite sex as human beings equal to themselves”.

Costa suggests the government strengthen existing laws on the protection of human rights, but also use the media to push the population to recognize the value and the dignity of women. The Church can do a lot: “The Church could use the pulpit to generate awareness of the consequences of such crimes. You could create centers for the physical and psychological rehabilitation of the victims, which also provide legal support. “

In conclusion she calls for greater collaboration with the Christian community in which she lives. “That way you would accomplish the example of the life of Christ, who sacrificed himself for the good of the world.”

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

China, Russia to Co-Develop Heavy-Lift Helicopter in 2016

Aircraft expected to corner about 25% of international market, industry expert says

China and Russia are close to finalizing an agreement to jointly develop a heavy-lift helicopter next year, according to senior Chinese helicopter designers.

“The project is progressing smoothly, and we are discussing with our Russian counterparts terms and clauses in the agreement. The negotiations should conclude before the end of this year and the development will start next year,” said Wu Ximing, chief helicopter designer at Aviation Industry Corp of China, at the Third China Helicopter Expo, which opened on Wednesday in Tianjin.

The new helicopter’s production will be based in China, he said, adding it will use the Ukraine-made Lotarev D-136 turboshaft engine at the initial mass-production stage.

“Our existing turboshaft engines’ maximum output power is about 1,000 kilowatts, not powerful enough to propel the heavy-lift helicopter. The Chinese engineers are developing a 5,000-kilowatt turboshaft engine that can be used by the aircraft in the future,” he said.

Lin Zuoming, AVIC’s chairman, said on Tuesday that he expects the helicopter to conduct its first flight around 2020.

Huang Chuanyue, deputy chief engineer at Avicopter, AVIC’s helicopter branch, said that China realized in 2008 that it needs a heavy-lift helicopter following a devastating earthquake in Sichuan province. The lack of such aircraft made it very difficult for relief forces to transport urgently needed materials to mountainous areas affected by the disaster, he said.

China then decided to cooperate with Russia, which has experience and know-how in the helicopter industry, to develop a heavy-lift helicopter to serve mainly civilian purposes.

After several years of negotiations, AVIC and Russian Helicopters signed a cooperation framework agreement on the project in Moscow in May.

“The helicopter will use China’s world-class avionics systems and advanced materials, while Russia will be responsible for the aerodynamic design, transmission gear and de-icing equipment,” Huang said.

According to AVIC, the aircraft will have a maximum takeoff weight of 38.2 metric tons and a maximum cruising speed of 300 km/h. It will be capable of flying at altitudes up to 5,700 meters and have a range of 630 km.

Huang said it will be able to carry 10 tons of cargo, or more than 100 people inside the cabin, or 15 tons in an external sling.

“Compared with Russia’s Mil Mi-26, now the largest helicopter used in China, the new aircraft will be more adaptable to plateaus and tropical regions,” he said. “This is very important because China has vast plateau areas and mountainous terrain, as well as many islands that are difficult to access by other means. That has been an extremely serious problem because China is often hit by natural disasters.”

The aircraft will also be of value for building infrastructure in mountainous terrain and on islands.

Huang said China will need at least 200 heavy-lift helicopters within the coming 30 years, and the international market’s demand will reach about 2,000 in that time.

“We expect this helicopter will corner about 25 percent of the international market for this type,” he said.

Currently, heavy-lift helicopters in use include the United States’ Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion and Russia’s Mil Mi-26 series. The US and Russia continue to upgrade these types and aspire to maintain their joint dominance of the heavy-lift helicopter market, observers said.

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

Top China Rights Lawyer Says Was Tortured

Gao Zhisheng speaks out after five years

(ANSA) — Rome, September 24 — In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press Thursday, his first interview in five years, leading Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng said he was tortured with an electric baton to his face and spent three years in solitary confinement during his latest period of detention since 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize nominee also vowed to never leave China despite the hardships and having to live apart from his family. For years, Gao’s supporters feared he might perish inside a remote Chinese prison. He survived his prison term. But when he was released in August 2014 from prison to house arrest, the formerly outspoken lawyer could barely walk or speak a full, intelligible sentence, raising concerns that one of the most inspirational figures in China’s rights movement had been permanently broken — physically and mentally. He now spoke out once again in the interview with AP.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Islamist Faces ICC Trial for Destroying Mali’s Cultural Heritage

An Islamist rebel suspected of attacking mosques and monuments in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu has been handed over to the International Criminal Court, the first ever detained for wrecking cultural heritage.

The court said early on Saturday that the man was handed over by Niger overnight and was now in its seaside detention centre in The Hague, seat of the tribunal.

The court has been examining events in Mali since 2012, when Islamist Tuareg rebels seized large parts of the country’s north and imposed strict Muslim religious law and began desecrating ancient shrines, mosques and monuments in Timbuktu…

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

S. African Breeders Ask Court to End Rhino Horn Trade Ban

Two South African game owners went to court Tuesday to fight the government’s ban on the trade in rhino horn, arguing that legalising the market is key to curbing poaching.

John Hume and Johan Kruger are attempting to overturn South Africa’s 2009 moratorium on the domestic trade in rhino horn, a measure put in place to stem burgeoning poaching numbers.

But with the rhino poaching epidemic only getting worse — 2014 saw a record 1,215 rhino killed for their horn — breeders say selling legally harvested horns could stifle the lucrative black market trade.

The two game breeders will try to convince the High Court in Pretoria that it is their constitutional right to sell rhino horn, what they describe as a renewable resource…

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

Bolivia’s Congress Votes to Let Evo Morales Run for Re-Election

Bolivia’s Congress voted Saturday to amend the South American country’s constitution to allow President Evo Morales to run for re-election again in five years, and potentially extend his presidency to 2025.

The changes must be ratified by a national referendum set for February 21, 2016.

The leftist president, a member of the Aymara indigenous group who was easily re-elected last year to another five year term, has been in power since 2006…

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

Don’t Let Muslim Migrants in, Says Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church

Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church has called on its government not to let any more Muslim refugees into the country to prevent an “invasion”.

The Balkan EU member has largely been bypassed by the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and poverty, many of whom set off from Greece through neighbouring Macedonia and Serbia towards northern Europe.

But Bulgaria has still seen Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis cross its southeastern border from Turkey.

“We help refugees who have already arrived in our motherland, but the government must absolutely not let more refugees in,” the church — which claims 80 percent of the population as its followers — said late Friday on its website…

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

France Tells Hungary: Back Migrant Quotas or Quit EU

As Hungarians continue to resist EU-imposed quotas on how many migrants they should accept, French President François Hollande told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban: “States that don’t respect European values should ask if they belong within the EU,” according to The Times.

His attack comes as Orban accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of “moral imperialism” for helping impose the quotas on Europe.

“We are Hungarians — we cannot think with German minds,” Mr Orban said, adding: “Hungary should have the right to control the impact of a mass migration. The Hungarian people don’t want this.”

Meanwhile, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has vowed to break the new EU law, saying that his country will turn away 800 migrants due to be sent from Italy and Greece. “Slovakia is not going to respect mandatory quotas,” he said.

Poland, however, has capitulated to German pressure and backed the quotas. Observers in the country are now saying this will be the final nail in the coffin for the beleaguered government, which faces almost certain defeat in next month’s parliamentary elections…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

‘Freedom Bike’, From Russia to Norway

New route for refugees, after plane trip from Beirut to Murmansk

(ANSA) — MOSCOW — Entering Norway after crossing the border with Arctic Russia by bike: this is one of the new routes of Syrian refugees, according to some stories collected in a report by Novaya Gazeta, Anna Politkovskaya’s newspaper.

They leave Beirut by plane and land in Murmansk, paying 10,000 up to 40,000 roubles (140-550 euros) in order to take a taxi to reach the city where they buy a second-hand bike, and then they head to Nikel, a town which is 200 km far from Murmansk and 7 km far from the border with Norway.

They cycle the last kilometres, in order to comply with Russian law, which does not allow you to cross the border on foot.

Previously the local taxi drivers used to take them across the border, but now they wouldn’t do it because the Norwegian police fine them heavily (up to 700 euros) accusing them of trafficking refugees. The journey from Beirut may cost up to 1,500 euros.

Last year this route was chosen only by a few dozen refugees, but they were at least 400 this year.

“We found it out watching Russian television in Damascus, in the next two to three months there will be a really big flow”, a young Syrian told Novaya Gazeta.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Obama Throws Christian Refugees to Lions

The fate of those Iraqi Christians who had fled from the Islamic State only to be incarcerated in the United States has finally been decided by the Obama administration: they are to be thrown back to the lions, where they will likely be persecuted if not slaughtered like so many Iraqi Christians before them.

Fifteen of the 27 Iraqi Christians that have been held at a detention center in Otay Mesa, California, for approximately six months, are set to be deported in the coming weeks. Some have already been deported and others are being charged with immigration fraud.

Many of the Iraqi Christian community in San Diego—including U.S. citizen family members vouching for the refugees—had hopes that they would eventually be released. Mark Arabo, a spokesman for the Chaldean community, had argued that “They’ve escaped hell [IS]. Let’s allow them to reunite with their families.” One of the detained women had begged to see her ailing mother before she died. The mother died before they could reunite, and now the daughter is to be deported, possibly back to the hell of the Islamic State.


Even without defining refugees as people “persecuted by their government,” the Obama administration never seems to miss an opportunity to display its bias for Muslims against Christians. The U.S. State Dept. is in the habit of inviting scores of Muslim representatives but denying visas to solitary Christian representatives. While habitually ignoring the slaughter of Nigerian Christians at the hands of Boko Haram, the administration called for the “human rights” of the jihadi murderers. And when persecuted Copts planned on joining the anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution, Obama said no. Then there is the fact that every Arab nation the Obama administration has meddled in—especially Libya and Syria—has seen a dramatic nosedive in the human rights of Christian minorities.

[Comment: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” — listen not to what politicians say…judge them by what they do.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/26/2015

  1. And people say that Obama is not “a Muslim”… Well he sure behaves like one.
    This man and his cabal must be arrested and tried for Crimes against Humanity.

  2. Pakistan: Punjab Government Not Meeting Minority Quota Requirements, Says Justice and Peace Commission:

    “In Pakistan, Muslims are the overwhelming majority with 97 per cent of the population, largely Sunni, and often with radical fundamentalist views. Minorities are about 3 per cent.”

    Yet when they get to the UK they are peace loving ‘moderates’…..

    Pull the other leg, its got bells on…..

  3. If “respecting European Values” means letting yourself be browbeaten and threatened for daring to think of your country first and your culture first then perhaps it is time to think what ‘European Values’ mean in this new world. Do these values mean not adhering to the obligations of legally binding (Shengen) accords just because the going gets rough?
    First Austria’s chancellor likens Hungary to practicing ‘Nazism’, now France threatens Hungary: comply or leave.
    This is not respecting anything except the potential for ethnocide. Do they WANT to drive Hungary away? (I actually have come to like the idea of setting up corridors and giving the migrants swift unregistered passage through Hungary and dumping them in their uncontrolled thousands on the Austrian border. I would love to see how they deal with that. )
    It is interesting to me that although Hungary may be ‘resisting’ the idea of quotas, as far as I know it has not refused to take them and Orbán has said H. will accept its quota. On the other hand Slovakia has said it will turn back its ‘quotas’ and openly defy the ‘law’.
    Yet it is only Hungary who is being singled out by Austria and France. Their arrogance is astounding.
    At a time when Russia is beginng to assert itself here and there, this kind of attitude by France and Austria is dangerous and has the potential to destabilize an already unstable situation.

  4. So the EU was desperate to keep the huge financial impediment of Greece from leaving but the first sign of independence from Hungary and it’s “my way or the highway Jack”?

    Why fight so hard to keep the dead weight of Greece and then jump up and down on Hungary for refusing to commit cultural suicide?

    No other conclusion is possible than some people up there actually want the EU to implode. It does fit well with Comrade Merkel’s early Communist doctrines though. Doesn’t it?

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