Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/30/2015

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said that preparations are underway to build a border fence between Austria and Slovenia. She was at pains to emphasize that the initiative is designed to ensure the safety of migrants who attempt to cross the border. Meanwhile, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has harshly criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for her policies on the refugee crisis.

In other news, the notorious “Norwegian” firebrand Mullah Krekar has been sentenced to a year and a half in the pokey for praising the attempts to murder Motoon cartoonists and threatening Kurdish activists.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, 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
» First They Jailed the Bankers, Now Every Icelander to Get Paid in Bank Sale
» Italy: 5-Yr BTP Yields Down to All-Time Low, 0.53%
» Italy: Unicredit Redundancies Raised to 12,000 — Report
» Italy’s Inflation Rate Edges Up to 0.3%
» Armed Black Man Debunks Police ‘War on Blacks’ Myth With Routine Traffic Stop
» Donald Trump Defends Burqas and Niqabs
» Lone Wolves Could be Behind Multi-Million Dollar Cryptowall Ransomware Racket
» Mark Levin Calls for Firing of RNC Chief
» Not Wearing Blackface This Halloween? NC State Worries You May be Hitler
» Obama Sends $70 Mil. To Pakistani Girls, While American Kids Struggle
» Plague Surfaces: Oregon Girl Recovering in Hospital
Europe and the EU
» Bucharest Nightclub Fire: ‘at Least 26 Killed’
» Czech Dissident Opposed to Soviet Invasion of 1968 Now Opposed to EU Diktat
» G36 Assault Rifle Manufacturer Sues Germany Over Export License Delay
» How the EU’s Proposed New ‘Privacy’ Rules Will be a Tool for Massive Censorship
» Is Berlin Ready to Risk Washington’s Wrath by Restoring Ties With Russia?
» Israel Cautions Italy About Rouhani Visit to Rome
» Italy: Touil to be Held in Turin ID Centre Pending Expulsion
» Italy: Rome Mayor Marino Mulling U-Turn on Quitting
» Italy: RAI Tightens Politician-Pay Ban After Varoufakis Row
» Italy: Palermo Airport Ex-VP Gets 4 Yrs 8 Mths for Graft
» Italy: Geronzi Cleared: Cragnotti Gets 5 1/2 Yrs for Eurolat
» Italy: CEI Head Bagnasco Says Rome Needs Worthy Administration
» Labour MP Says UK-Israeli Relations Influenced by ‘Jewish Money’
» Many Italians Are Ashamed to Ask for Doggy Bag Says Survey
» Niel’s Stake in Telecom Italia Rises to 15.1%
» Norway: Muslim Cleric Jailed for Praising the Jihad Murder of Muhammad Cartoonists
» Norwegian Court Sentences Radical Islamist Cleric to 1.5 Years in Jail
» UK: Gipsy Slave Gang Boss Has His Newly Built £300,000 House Destroyed by Mystery Attacker Who Repeatedly Rammed it With a Lorry
» UK: Muslim Group Boycotts, Threatens Police Over Investigation of Muslim Rape Gangs That Destroyed Lives of 1,400 Girls
» UK: Newcastle Man Found ‘Orange Stone’ on Beach and it Set His Leg on Fire
» EU Puts Pressure on Serbia to Drop Trade Area Deal With Russia
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Rabin’s True Legacy
» Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin’s Legacy: 20 Years After His Assassination
Middle East
» All in the Kingdom is Not Well: Power Struggle in Saudi Arabia
» Analyst Calls for Obama to Enter Into a “Devil’s Bargain” With ISIS in Syria
» Beheaded Bodies of Syria Anti-is Activist, Friend Found in Turkey: Group
» Cameron Scrambles to Salvage UK-Saudi Relations Amid Human Rights Fallout
» German-Born Rapper Turned ISIS ‘Poster Boy’ Reported Killed in US Airstrike
» Iraqi Christians Face Extinction: An Interview With Joseph T. Kassab
» Obama, Kerry Throw in the Towel: US Prepared to Accept Assad Regime in Syria
» Syria: Crisis Continues for Persecuted Christians
» Turkey: Gulen in List of Most Wanted Terrorists
» Turkey: Censored Media Back on Newsstands With New Line
» US to Send ‘Fewer Than 50’ Special Ops Forces to Syria
» Bad News for Bad Guys: Russia Decides to Export Iskander Missile Complexes
» From PM to GTA: Ukraine’s Orange ‘Princess’ Caught With Stolen Limo
» In Search of a Better Future, Latvians Choosing Russian Citizenship
South Asia
» Italy Delivers 2014 Peshawar Terror Suspect to Pakistan
» Italy to Up Contingent in Afghanistan
» Russia, India May Conclude up to $3Bln-Worth in New Arms Contracts
Far East
» China Warns US Against ‘Minor’ Incidents That Could ‘Spark War’
» China to US: Minor Provocative Act in South China Sea Could Spark War
» Peak China: Beijing Makes Doomed Attempt to Boost Birth Rate
Latin America
» Brazil Eyes ‘Wild West’ Gun Ownership Law
» Austrian Minister: Preparations to Build Barriers
» Four-Year-Old Boy Snatched From German Migrant Registration Centre is Found Dead
» How to Uninvite 200,000 Muslims Refugees Away From America
» Hundreds of Germans Are Trying to Bring Treason Charges Against Angela Merkel Over Migration Policy
» Italians Abroad and Foreigners in Italy Both Pass 5 Mn
» Italy: House OKs Special Court Sections for Asylum Appeals
» Italy: CasaPound Members Arrested Over Anti-Migrant Clashes
» Merkel Slammed by Her Own Vice Chancellor as Refugee Crisis Deepens
» Migrants Taking Arctic Path to Norway Are Stranded in Russia
» Migrants’ Risk Grows With Greece Bad Weather Discounts
» Muslim Migrants Invited to Take Over German Church; Altar, Cross, Pulpit Removed
» Norway Digs Deeper Into $860 Billion Fund Amid Refugee Costs
» Orban Accuses Soros of Stoking Refugee Wave to Weaken Europe
» Slovenia: Arrivals Have Exceeded 100,000
» Sweden’s Ikea Killer Given Life Jail Sentence
» Swedish Politician Says Country ‘Facing Collapse’ Due to Mass Influx of Refugees
» The Next Wave: Afghans Flee to Europe in Droves

First They Jailed the Bankers, Now Every Icelander to Get Paid in Bank Sale

First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.

If Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson has his way — and he likely will — Icelanders will be paid kr 30,000 after the government takes over ownership of the bank. Íslandsbanki would be second of the three largest banks under State proprietorship.

“I am saying that the government take some decided portion, 5%, and simply hand it over to the people of this country,” he stated.

Because Icelanders took control of their government, they effectively own the banks. Benediktsson believes this will bring foreign capital into the country and ultimately fuel the economy — which, incidentally, remains the only European nation to recover fully from the 2008 crisis. Iceland even managed to pay its outstanding debt to the IMF in full — in advance of the due date.

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Budget Committee vice chairperson, explained the move would facilitate the lifting of capital controls, though he wasn’t convinced State ownership would be the ideal solution. Former Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon sided with Þórðarson, telling a radio show, “we shouldn’t lose the banks to the hands of fools” and that Iceland would benefit from a shift in focus to separate “commercial banking from investment banking.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: 5-Yr BTP Yields Down to All-Time Low, 0.53%

10-yr yield down to 1.48%

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — The yield on 5-year BTP Treasury bonds fell to an all-time low of 0.53% at an auction Thursday.

The yield on 10-year bonds fell to 1.48% from 1.82% at the last such auction a month ago.

Yields on BTPs that mature within a year have turned negative for the first time this week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Unicredit Redundancies Raised to 12,000 — Report

Bank does not comment

(ANSA) — Milan, October 30 — Unicredit’s revised industrial plan features 12,000 redundancies, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

In September the plan for the Italian bank was said to feature 10,000 job cuts. The numbers are still subject to revision, Bloomberg said.

The lender did not comment on the report

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Inflation Rate Edges Up to 0.3%

Rise of 0.1 of a percentage point compared to September

(ANSA) — Rome, October 30 — Italy’s annual inflation rate edged up to 0.3% in October, an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point compared to September, Istat said on Friday. The national statistics agency added that its consumer-price index was 0.2% higher in October than in September, according to provisional data. “The slight speed up of the inflation was mainly due to the further increase of prices of unprocessed food (+4.2%, from +3,3% in September 2015) and of services related to recreation, including repair and personal care (+1.5%, from +1.1% in the previous month),” Istat said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Armed Black Man Debunks Police ‘War on Blacks’ Myth With Routine Traffic Stop

An Arizona man’s Facebook post describing a routine traffic stop, in which he was let off with only a warning, has gone viral for challenging the narrative that police are waging a war on minorities.

Steven Hildreth, a Tucson author and Army veteran, related his tale in a social media post that has since accumulated over 261 thousand likes and over 160 thousand shares.

In the post Hildreth describes how he complied with officers’ orders after he was pulled over for having a broken headlight, and how he notified officers that he was armed.

“The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons,” Hildreth says.

“Yes, sir,” Hildreth replies. “I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket.”

The officer asks Hildreth to step out, asks for his gun, and proceeds to run his license.

“Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them,” Hildreth says he remembers thinking.

“Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning,” the officer told Hildreth. “Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.”

Hildreth says his routine interaction goes to show how the police “war on minorities” claim has been grossly exaggerated by social justice warriors.

“I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities,” Hildreth states.

“Maybe…just maybe… that notion is bunk.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump Defends Burqas and Niqabs

“Then I saw women interviewed. They said, ‘We want to wear it. We’ve worn them for a thousand years. Why would anyone tell us not to?’ They want to! What the hell are we getting involved for? In fact, it’s easier. You don’t have to put on makeup.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Lone Wolves Could be Behind Multi-Million Dollar Cryptowall Ransomware Racket

A single group could be behind the monstrous Cryptowall 3.0 ransomware, widely considered to be one of the most menacing threats to end users that has fleeced victims of millions of dollars.

Intel Security, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and Symantec under the Cyber Threat Alliance have probed the net scourge revealing that the attackers are thought to be a single entity. That theory’s based on commonalities in the Bitcoin wallets they use to receive ransom payments.

The findings are contained in the report Lucrative Ransomware Attacks (PDF). The document details the complexities of the ransomware menace that has forced users and businesses to pay criminals hundreds or thousands of dollars in individual ransoms for a key that can decrypt files.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mark Levin Calls for Firing of RNC Chief

Mark Levin, one of conservative radio’ s biggest stars, slammed Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus during his recent broadcast, saying the party leader ought to be fired over his role in arranging the latest presidential candidate debate at CNBC.

Levin has been critical of the previous two Republican debates, calling the moderators less than adequate and the questioning and format unfair. But he really ratcheted his rhetoric after this third debate, turning his ire fully at Priebus and calling for his ouster.

“ Enough is enough,” Levin said, as Mediaite reported. “ I say that Reince Priebus should be fired over there at the Republican National Committee. … That guy’ s an incompetent! He’ s a boob!”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Not Wearing Blackface This Halloween? NC State Worries You May be Hitler

On Tuesday, Khari Cyrus, the student body president at North Carolina State University sent a campus wide email on the “concept of appreciation vs. appropriation” this Halloween.

The email directed students to a new webpage from the administration that has the aim of “Making Halloween an Inclusive Experience for all.”

The first part of the page focuses on making sensitive and smart choices when it comes to deciding what to wear this Halloween, which also falls on the school’s homecoming weekend. Examples of costumes deemed inappropriate are “Hey Amigo Mexican,” “Native American,” and “Tighty Whitey Rapper.”

The school included a flowchart to aid in making appropriate costume choices.

The first questions asks, “Are you planning on painting your face black to mimic a skin tone?” If the answer is yes, the chart informs one that, “That’s called blackface, and it’s never okay, no matter how clever your costume is.”

If the answer is no, however, the chart does not praise the sensitivity of the costume-wearer, but rather implies that they might be a mass murderer, asking, “Are you Hitler? Do you have anything to do with Hitler?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Sends $70 Mil. To Pakistani Girls, While American Kids Struggle

This latest giveaway to people who despise America and its citizens, is party of First Lady Michele Obama’s Let Girls Learn program designed to provive education opportunities for more than 60-million girls in third-world countries who are not in school. While on the surface it sounds like a generous and charitable effort to list women out of second-class citizenship in their home countries, American taxpayers are being bled for huge sums while American kids — especially minorities — are struggling in substandard schools that are inadequately funded, according to the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

What appears to be Obama once again favoring the Muslim world is a boatload of money being turned over to Pakistan’s government, regardless of it being included in the U.S. State Department’s “Reports on Terrorism.” The Pakistani leaders will get $70 million in order to help about 200,000 girls and young women aged 10-19.

“Young women in Pakistan face barriers and lack of access to education opportunities from an early age due to poverty, cultural norms, and geographic isolation,” noted the White House announcement.

While this “charitable” initiative is being hailed by Democrats, U.S. schools — even the public school district in the Obamas’ own hometown of Chicago — could use some extra cash. By Thanksgiving as many as 5,000 teachers could be laid off unless Chicago’s 367,499-student school district gets a $500 million bailout from the state or help from the federal government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Plague Surfaces: Oregon Girl Recovering in Hospital

A Crook County, Oregon, girl is being treated in the hospital for bubonic plague, a disease medical officials believe she contracted from a flea bite during a hunting trip in Morrow County.

Her condition hasn’ t been released, but she’ s in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Bend, CNN reported.

State and federal officials, as well as medical authorities, are investigating and warning area individuals to watch out for rodents, including chipmunks, squirrels and rats. The animals are carriers of infected fleas, which can then jump to humans and bite.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bucharest Nightclub Fire: ‘at Least 26 Killed’

At least 26 people have been killed after fire broke out at a nightclub in the Romanian capital Bucharest, government officials say.

Romanian media said a large fire took hold at the Colectiv club on Friday night, causing a stampede for the exit.

Emergency response chief Raed Arafat said 145 people were being treated in hospital, the state news agency reported.

Initial reports suggested fireworks may have been let off inside the club.

Witnesses said a spark on a stage where a band was performing ignited some of the polystyrene decor. A pillar and the club’s ceiling caught fire and there was an explosion and heavy smoke.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Czech Dissident Opposed to Soviet Invasion of 1968 Now Opposed to EU Diktat

In an interview with Radio Praha, Czech writer and former dissident Jan Petranek, best known for his work on Czechoslovak Radio during the Prague Spring political revolution of 1968, offered a strong criticism of the European Union, suggesting that Brussels’ attempts to impose its will on the nations of Europe could end up destroying the union.

Petranek worked as a radio broadcaster covering the Warsaw Pact armies’ invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Fired for his coverage condemning the invasion, he went on to become one of the founders of the Czech dissident movement, writing samizdat (self-published) materials and becoming a signatory of the Charter 77 petition, which demanded that the communist government recognize the basic human rights of the Czechoslovak people.

Speaking to Radio Praha on Thursday, Petranek commented on a range of issues, from Brussels’ attempts to mandate refugee quotas in the wake of the continent’s refugee crisis, to Russia’s war against ISIL in Syria, to press freedom in the contemporary Czech Republic.

Along with its partners in the Visegrad Group (which includes Poland, Slovakia and Hungary), the Czech Republic criticized Brussels’ plans to introduce mandatory quotas on the distribution of refugees.

Commenting on the situation, Petranek suggested that “the European community must come to its senses,” adding that the continent is extremely divided on the issue at present.

The former dissident suggested that “if Brussels wants to dictate its terms to the nations of Europe, the organization [the EU] will collapse. The EU will not be able to sustain its groundless strategy, which has no real understanding of history.”

Commenting on the refugee problem more broadly, having previously suggested that he believed that it was a focused and well organized ‘encroachment’ of Europe, Petranek noted that he believes that “billionaires from Saudi Arabia” and the Gulf are responsible for financing many of the refugees’ arduous journeys, rather than dealing with the problems in their home region.

“There are many forces there who do not give a damn about what is happening to the millions of refugees. It’s difficult to say that Assad is a bad guy, if at the same time in Riyadh people are getting their heads chopped off about two or three times a week,” Petranek emphasized.

The writer suggested that economic elites in Saudi Arabia and other regions in the regions have a responsibility to solve the problems, “and not to send refugees to Europe. The refugees do not have the necessary ten thousand dollars for the road -someone is financing it all.”

Discussing Russia’s involvement in the war against ISIL in Syria, and the Czech media’s generally negative coverage, the writer stressed that “this is something that pains my heart. I believe that Russia’s attempts to crush ISIL are a very good thing, but many in the Czech media seem to succumb to pressure from the Americans, suggesting that Russian involvement will only prolong the Syrian conflict. However, I hold to a completely different opinion.”

Petranek noted that he believes “that terrorism is a phenomenon which must be fought against very actively, and that we should not be accounting for some so-called ‘moderate terrorists’. Such a linguistic formulation is akin to saying that someone has been ‘politely raped’ -i.e. absolutely unacceptable! Terrorists cannot be ‘good’. Those who cut off heads must be destroyed. Here the fate of the world is really in the balance.”

Commenting on the situation surrounding press freedom in the Czech Republic today, Petranek lamented that “the current state leads much to be desired. The economic crisis which has overtaken our country has shown that some of our media are under the influence of certain large economic interests, and this is a bad thing. And there are really few journalists who are able to write freely. I would say that we have only one daily newspaper today — Pravo, the former communist organ, which is now only half-left, where people, including those from the right, can always express their opinions.”

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

G36 Assault Rifle Manufacturer Sues Germany Over Export License Delay

The arms company Heckler & Koch is suing the federal government of Germany for not granting it an export license to deliver G36 assault rifle components to Saudi Arabia, local media reported, citing government sources.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Thursday’s edition of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), following a decision “taken on political level,” suspended consideration of the manufacturer’s application which was filed about two years ago.

The company is seeking tens of millions of euros in compensation because it claims the license delay foiled its plans to produce rifles in Saudi Arabia, as some of the components were to be exported from Germany.

Heckler & Koch is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of small arms, according to the company’s website. It counts the security forces, police and special forces of the German Federal Armed Forces, NATO and NATO-associated states among its partners.

Heckler & Koch’s G36 is an individual weapon (IW) of many armies and security forces around the world. Since the company started producing the G36 in 1997, it has delivered nearly 180,000 assault rifles to the German armed forces.

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

How the EU’s Proposed New ‘Privacy’ Rules Will be a Tool for Massive Censorship

We recently wrote about some concerns about the new Data Protection Directive that is being set up in Europe. The law is driven by people with good intentions: looking to better protect the privacy of European citizens. Privacy protection is an important concept — but the current plans appear to be so focused on privacy protection that it gives very little regard for the unintended consequences of the way it’s been set up. As we wrote in our last post, Daphne Keller at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society is writing a series of blog posts raising concerns about how the new rules clash with basic concepts of free speech. She’s now written one about the immensely troubling setup of the “notice and takedown” rules included in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For years, we’ve been concerned by problematic notice and takedown procedures — we’ve seen the DMCA frequently abused to stifle speech, rather than for genuine copyright challenges. But, for some reason, people often immediately leap to “notice and takedown solutions” for any kind of content they don’t like, they and the drafters of the GDPR are no different.

Except, it’s worse. Because whoever drafted the notice-and-takedown portion of the GDPR actually made the process worse than the notice and takedown rules found elsewhere. Here’s the GDPR process, as explained by Keller:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Berlin Ready to Risk Washington’s Wrath by Restoring Ties With Russia?

Berlin is ready to restore its relationship with Russia, clearly understanding that it would “create friction” with Washington, which, in turn, will use all its influence over Eastern European states to restrain the rapprochement of the two. But for now, Germany is only “testing the waters” before its final decision, according to Stratfor.

Berlin is “testing the waters before making a decision on the future of Germany’s relationship with Russia,” according to an article published on the website of an American intelligence agency Stratfor (also known as Strategic Forecasting and widely known as the “shadow CIA”) following the meeting between President Putin and German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in Moscow on Wednesday.

“Germany sent a signal Wednesday that it is rethinking its relationship with Russia, when Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow,” the article says.

“Berlin is looking for ways to modify or even lift the current punitive measures against Moscow. However, such a decision would probably create friction between Germany and most Central and Eastern European countries, which means that Berlin is still not ready for a formal change of direction,” it adds.

The author then gives his reasons why Russia and Germany might be of some interest to each other.

Germany’s Interest in Russia

Russia is only Germany’s 13th most important exports destination, he reasons, but at a time when Europe’s economic recovery is still fragile and China’s growth is slowing, Berlin probably thinks it needs to diversify its exports as much as possible.

“The EU sanctions against Moscow make exporting goods to Russia complicated. In addition, Germany and Russia had planned to increase trade before the crisis, with talks for trains, chemical plants and other projects on the table.”

“Germany is also interested in improving its ties with Russia for energy,” the article says, going into some detail.

“Germany is the largest consumer of Russian natural gas. This fact forces Berlin to make sure that German and Russian energy companies continue to cooperate. It also forces Berlin to balance between containing Moscow’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe and making sure Russia continues to sell natural gas at affordable prices.”

Another reason, the article says, is that Germany sees Russia as a “key player in solving the crisis in Syria, which is directly linked to the increased arrival of asylum seekers in Europe.”

Besides, it says, “Germany has been softer than other Western European countries and the United States when it comes to discussing the future of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s government and the Syrian conflict.”

The above echoes a recent discourse of Ian Bremmer, TIME editor-at-large and the president of the Eurasia Group, who said that Europeans “have got sick of anti-Russian sanctions.”

And, as Ukraine “has left the headlines”, he said, “you see more European leaders saying: let’s try to normalize our relationship with President Putin.”

Russia’s Interest in Germany

The reason why Russia, in turn, is interested in Germany, Stratfor says, is that “the Kremlin has been actively lobbying many European countries, such as Italy and France, to ease sanctions — though Moscow knows that Germany is the key to unlocking the sanctions.”

“The Kremlin also sees meetings with high-ranking European officials,” it hopefully suggests, “as proof that it is not isolated and as a way to generate friction among EU members.”

“Putin is probably also thinking long term. Gabriel is the leader of the Social Democratic Party, which traditionally has been sympathetic to Russia. With the popularity of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party in decline because of the refugee crisis, there is a chance Merkel will not be victorious in the next general election, scheduled for 2017. The Social Democratic Party is also taking a hit because of the refugee crisis, but preserving Russia’s good ties with the German center-left could be useful should the party perform well in two years.”

Attention of Ukraine and the United States

Gabriel’s meeting with President Putin, Stratfor suggests, will draw the attention of Ukraine and the United States.

“Lifting sanctions against Russia could damage Germany’s relationship with the United States and also force the White House to increase its economic and military cooperation with former Communist states, from Poland to Romania. This would, in turn, deepen the European Union’s already serious political fragmentation.”

“Though countries in the West such as Italy and France would welcome an easing of tensions with the Kremlin, most EU members in Central and Eastern Europe continue to push for a hard line on Moscow,” it further warns.

“These countries already have a tense relationship with Germany over its strategies for dealing with the immigration crisis; Central and Eastern Europe have been particularly critical of German plans to relocate asylum seekers across the European Union, and Berlin is not ready for another confrontation.”

Therefore, the agency concludes, “Germany will probably choose to deal with one crisis at a time.”

“Gabriel’s meeting with Putin suggests that Berlin is testing the waters before making a decision on the future of Germany’s relationship with Russia,” it states.

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

Israel Cautions Italy About Rouhani Visit to Rome

‘Don’t think only about business’, ambassador at ANSA forum

(by Elisa Pinna). — ROME — Business is business, but Israel has called on Italy to maintain a “highly consistent” position towards Tehran during Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s first visit to Europe.

Israeli ambassador to Rome Naor Gilon — who spoke on Thursday at a forum hosted by ANSA with its editor-in-chief Luigi Contu — said that Italy must keep in mind Iran’s “destabilizing” role in the Middle East, its continuing threats to destroy the State of Israel and its human rights violations. Rouhani will be in Italy on November 14-15 on the first stop of a European trip that will afterwards take him to Paris. He will be meeting with President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as well as Pope Francis, as Iranian sources announced on Thursday.

He will be the second head of state of the Iranian Islamic Republic ever to enter the Vatican, after Mohamed Khatami did in 1999. “I understand everyone’s desire to do business, but I hope that everyone in Europe will be consistent,” underscored Ambassador Gilon at the forum. He added that Iran acts as a destabilizing force in the Middle East and that the agreement on Iranian nuclear power aggravates the current instability, since it has freed Tehran of economic and military pressure without eliminating its nuclear capabilities and facilities. Gilon said that he was strongly against inviting Iran to the talks on Syria, which will be held on Friday in Vienna. “This means, among other things,” he said, “considering Assad (who Iran supports, Ed.) part of the solution, while instead he is part of the problem.” The Israeli ambassador underscored that “every week” Iranian high-ranking officials say that their aim is to destroy the State of Israel. He also noted that Iran executes 1,000 people every year and that religious minorities such as the Baha’i are persecuted. “I hope and expect these issues to be brought up in the talks with Rouhani,” he said.

On the latest wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Gilon said that he believed it should not be called a “third intifada” and that the attacks “are ever more limited”. “None of the parties involved want a Third Intifada,” he said, noting that however the youngest generation of Palestinians remain an incognito, raised as they were in the “culture of hate” against Jews. Some “80% of Palestinians are anti-Semitic”, he said. “And when ethnicity and religion enter the conflict, it becomes much more difficult to find a solution.” The ambassador said that only in places controlled by Israel “can everyone pray freely”, criticizing the UNESCO attempt “shelved for the time being”, but on which “Italy was abstaining”, to pass a motion to restore Jerusalem’s religious status quo to what it was in 1967, when Jews could not pray at the Wailing Wall — which at that time was under Jordanian control. The ambassador reiterated that Israel has pledged to respect and defend, however, the fact that only Muslims can pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex (known as Temple Mount in Israel). He also defended the actions of the Israeli army when they shoot at those armed with knives. “There is no alternative,” he said. “Those prepared to stab a soldier or an Israeli civilian cannot take into consideration that they may not come out of it alive.” On his years as ambassador to Rome, Gilon said that there had always been excellent relations between Italy and Israel and praised the collaboration on Expo Milano 2015, saying that “everything went well”. “I have been spoiled in Italy. It will be difficult to choose another destination for me,” he joked in referring to the end of his mandate next summer. On Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and former MP from Italy’s center-right Popolo della Libertà (PdL, led by Silvio Berlusconi), who has already been indicated as his successor, he simple said that “dual nationality is allowed for Israeli ambassadors in many countries. It is not unusual in any way.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Touil to be Held in Turin ID Centre Pending Expulsion

Moroccan Bardo massacre suspect in Italy illegally

(see related) (ANSA) — Milan, October 28 — Abdel Mayid Touil, a Moroccan national suspected by Tunis of involvement in the Bardo Museum massacre who a Milan court has refused to extradite, will be held in a centre for identification and expulsion (CIE) until he is expelled from Italy, police sources said Wednesday. Touil, 22, is “in Italy without a regular permit of stay and so an expulsion order has been issued against him; pending its execution he will be held in the CIE in Turin,” a statement said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Mayor Marino Mulling U-Turn on Quitting

Meets with Orfini ‘in secret’ amid stand-off

(ANSA) — Rome, October 28 — Rome’s outgoing mayor, Ignazio Marino, is mulling a surprise U-turn on his recent resignation that would cause a major headache for his and Premier Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD), which has lost faith in him.

Marino met ‘in secret’ with Rome PD commissioner Matteo Orfini amid the stand-off. The meeting took place at the home of Deputy Mayor Marco Causi, ANSA learned. Marino, who quit earlier this month after the PD pulled the plug over an expenses scandal, is increasingly said to be leaning towards withdrawing that resignation instead of confirming it.

By law he has until November 2 to do so.

In his last public statement he said he was “looking ahead” to future challenges.

“The mayor is still weighing whether to withdraw his resignation,” sources said after a meeting of the Rome executive council that was initially expected to produce a decision by the first citizen.

Observers said Marino may now wait until after the next item of business, completing the transformation of the Roman Forum into a pedestrian zone, to announce he will try to cling on despite the PD’s overt lack of support.

A U-turn would leave the PD in a quandary as to whether to join forces with opposition forces and vote no-confidence in the controversial official.

The PD is reportedly split among those who are ready to vote Marino out and those who would like Renzi to come out and get his hands dirty by virtually ousting him.

There has been widespread speculation that, in order to avoid nasty secrets in store from a confidence vote, which is secret, the PD may ask its Rome members to resign en masse.

As is stands, 28 votes are needed on Rome’s 55-member council to get a majority and fell a mayor, while the PD only has 19.

There has also been speculation that the opposition — such as Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party — may opt not to add its weight to a PD no-confidence motion, in order to embarrass Renzi’s party and potentially force the premier’s hand. Some observers have mooted, further, that Marino will pull his resignation in order to gain some leverage for another top post for the PD, although many observers think Renzi will be so irked by a U-turn that he will banish the former liver transplant surgeon for good. Marino said earlier this week he “would not disappoint” supporters, quoting Che Guevara’s saying “We are realists, we want the impossible” and also likening himself to Chilean leftist leader Salvador Allende.

The PD says the expenses row that ultimately led to Marino’s erstwhile demise was just the last in a long series of cases that mean the mayor cannot regain its trust.

In the latest row, Marino has said he never used public money for private ends.

He told a press conference last week that he had “never used public money for private purposes, if anything the contrary”.

He said when he met social housing officials in New York last summer, for instance, that “I paid for the hotel myself”.

He also noted he was not under investigation in a criminal probe.

Marino stepped down after two opposition parties filed suits claiming he ran up thousands of euros of private expenses on his municipal credit card.

He was effectively ditched by the PD who pulled the plug after months of sometimes grudging support through woes including the ‘Capital Mafia’ case, an illegally parked car, the glitzy funeral of a mafia boss and Pope Francis’s public disowning of him after he claimed to have been invited to an event in Philadelphia.

The city of Rome has asked to stand as civil plaintiff in the Capital Mafia trial, starting November 5, involving allegations that an organised crime group muscled in on council contracts worth millions including work with migrants and Roma.

Most of the Capital Mafia cases began under Marino’s rightwing predecessor Gianni Alemanno.

Marino has claimed credit for unearthing much of the graft.

But aside from the rows that have undermined his position, Marino’s record on trying to solve Rome’s many woes, from potholes to traffic to graffiti and general urban neglect that has won international attention, has been spotty at best.

The PD’s commissioner in the capital, Matteo Orfini, spoke up Wednesday in support of his PD colleague Fabrizio Barca, who had expressed concern over the party’s progress in the capital in light of Marino’s resignation.

“Fabrizio, the process of renewal and rebuilding Rome’s PD won’t stop because of manipulative opportunists. In these months we’ve fought a lot together and together we’ll continue to change Rome’s PD,” Orfini wrote on his Facebook page, attaching an interview Barca conducted with Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano that was republished on PD’s website.

In that interview, Barca said, “Marino’s resignation has hit us at the most difficult point, halfway, before the rebuilding (of the party). I’m very concerned that the process of change will stop and go backwards”.

Referring to Marino, Barca said, “You can’t say in public, ‘I’ll give the money back.’ A poor man who steals three kilos of pears in the market, can he give them back as if nothing happened? Too many mistakes, in the end he (Marino) was no longer defensible”. Barca recently concluded a survey of PD chapters in Rome which found that the personnel in some of them were not up to acceptable standards.

The former Bank of Italy and Treasury official has been tasked with revamping the party structures in Rome so as to make them fit for purpose and avert any more scandals.

Also weighing in on the Marino problem was the leader of the PD’s internal leftwing minority, Pier Luigi Bersani, who called for discussions “for all the nights necessary” to resolve the apparent impasse, as was in the party’s tradition.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: RAI Tightens Politician-Pay Ban After Varoufakis Row

Former Greek finance minister paid 24,000 euros

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — State broadcaster RAI said Thursday that it was tightening its ban on paying politicians to be guests on its shows after it emerged that former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was paid 24,000 euro for an appearance, sparking a furore. The economics professor was interviewed by Fabio Fazio for 22 minutes during an episode of his flagship programme Che Tempo Che Fa at the end of September. The anti-austerity champion’s first-class flight to Italy was covered too, his website showed.

“RAI’s management today issued a directive that reinforced and tightened the company ban on paying fees to politicians who take part in television or radio broadcasts,” a statement said.

“The ban has been extended to companies who produce for RAI”. Varoufakis was paid by the production company that makes Che Tempo Che Fa.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Palermo Airport Ex-VP Gets 4 Yrs 8 Mths for Graft

Roberto Helg guilty of taking 100,000-euro bribe

(ANSA) — Palermo, October 29 — The former vice president of Palermo airport management company Gesap, Roberto Helg, was sentenced to four years and eight months in jail Thursday for taking a 100,000-euro bribe from patissier Santi Pazzolo to renew his lease at the airport. Helg is the former head of the Palermo chamber of commerce.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Geronzi Cleared: Cragnotti Gets 5 1/2 Yrs for Eurolat

Prosecutors had requested 9-yr terms for both

(ANSA) — Rome, October 30 — Former president of the Banca di Roma Cesare Geronzi was cleared Friday of bankruptcy charges over food giant Cirio’s milk unit Eurolat but former Cirio boss Sergio Cragnotti got five and a half years in jail.

Prosecutors had requested a nine-year prison term for Geronzi, formerly one of Italy’s top financiers.

Geronzi, a former bank executive, had previously received a four-year jail term for his role in the bankruptcy of Cirio, in turn linked to the 2003 collapse of the Parmalat dairy giant.

The former Banca di Roma head was also given a five-year term in 2011 for his role in the closure of former Parmalat subsidiary Ciappazzi.

Prosecutors had requested a nine-year term for Cragnotti, former Cirio owner and ex chairman of Laziosoccer team, and a five-year sentence for lawyer Riccardo Bianchini Riccardi, a board member, over the affair.

Bianchini Riccardi was cleared, like Geronzi.

In Italy jail terms do not usually take effect until the appeals process is exhausted, with two appeals granted in each case.

Unicredit, one of Italy’s largest banks, later took over Banca di Roma and was fined 200 million euros for Banca di Roma’s role in the Cirio bankruptcy.

Founded in the mid-19th century, Cirio was Italy’s oldest food canner.

Cirio’s collapse was followed by that of Parmalat.

Parmalat went under in December 2003 in a false accounting scam that resulted in estimated debts of 14.5 billion euros.

The dairy multinational’s meltdown left more than 150,000 investors with virtually worthless bonds.

After his arrest at the end of 2004, Parmalat’s disgraced founder and ex-CEO Calisto Tanzi accused Geronzi of “pressuring” him to buy the Eurolat milk company from Cirio at a price far above its market value.

Geronzi denied Tanzi’s accusations which he said were “self-serving”.

However, the operation raised some eyebrows because proceeds from the sale were given directly to Banca di Roma, which not only had lent large sums of capital to Cirio but was also involved in placing both Parmalat and Cirio bonds with small investors.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CEI Head Bagnasco Says Rome Needs Worthy Administration

Capital is ‘a city that deserves a lot’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 30 — Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco on Friday said that, as the Jubilee approaches, Rome needs an administration worthy of the city itself, commenting in the wake of news that Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino withdrew the resignation he tendered following an expenses scandal.

“Rome needs an administration, guidance, that it deserves, because it’s a city that deserves a lot, especially in light of the Jubilee which is just around the corner,” said Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), the official assembly of the bishops in Italy.

“We hope that Rome can move forward with its head held high and with great efficiency”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Labour MP Says UK-Israeli Relations Influenced by ‘Jewish Money’

Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has slammed Britain’s support of Israel, saying that David Cameron’s government is being influenced by “Jewish money”. Kaufman also blasted Israeli authorities, accusing them of fabricating some of the recent stories of Palestinian knife attacks against Jews.

Speaking at a Palestine Return Center event in parliament, Kaufman — who is Jewish, but has been a long time critic of the state of Israel — said that he’d noticed a stronger pro-Israel stance from the government in recent years, which he believed was due to recent donations from Jewish groups.

“It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party — as in the general election in May — support from The Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives.

“There is now a big group of Conservative members of Parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does,” he was quoted as saying by news website, the Jewish Chronicle.

“They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t care.”

‘More Than Half’ of Palestinian Knife Attacks ‘False’

In comments recorded by blogger David Collier, Kaufman cited “a friend who lives in East Jerusalem,” who said that a significant number of the recent stabbing attacks in the country were based on “false claims.”

“I wanted to say they shoot and then ask questions, but the truth is they shoot and then they fabricate a stabbing story. No questions asked. More than half the stabbing claims were definitely fabricated. The other half, some were true, the others — there was no way to tell since they executed Palestinians and no one asked questions.”

Kaufman, who is Father of the House of Commons, also referred to a recent incident where an Eritrean man was killed by angry Israelis after being mistaken as the accomplice of an Arab attacker.

“Not only that, they got to the point of executing Arab-looking people and in the past few days they killed two Jewish Israelis and an Eritrean just because they looked Arab. They fabricated a stabbing story to justify the killings before they found out they were not Palestinians,” Kaufman said.

Comments Reflect Change in Public Mood

Pro-Israeli and Jewish groups have accused Kaufman of engaging in an anti-Semitic rant, with President of the Board of Deputies Jonathan Arkush, describing the comments as “outrageous” and demanding an investigation from the Labour party.

Kaufman’s comments come at a time of increased public and political criticism of Israel, heightened by last year’s summer offensive in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 2,200 Palestinians and accusations that Israel was in breach of international law.

The criticism of Israel’s actions is thought to have been a factor in British parliament’s decision to recognize the State of Palestine in a symbolic vote last year.

The former Labour leader Ed Miliband was behind the push for Palestinian recognition, while Prime Minister David Cameron abstained from the vote.

Despite the vote, the UK government’s formal position on Palestinian recognition hasn’t changed, with officials saying they support the two-state solution and Palestinian sovereignty, but at a suitable time in the future.

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

Many Italians Are Ashamed to Ask for Doggy Bag Says Survey

Don’t want to evoke memories of poverty

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — About 40% of Italians would be embarrassed to ask a restaurant if they could take home the leftovers of a meal, a survey showed on Thursday, prompting a new designer ‘doggy bag’ project to encourage the trend.

Three out of four Italians realise that leftover food in a restaurant is a waste, but only 9 percent would dare ask if they could take it with them when they leave, according to the survey by Waste Watcher, an organisation monitoring waste by Italian families.

Some of the reasons given for avoiding the habit, common among British and American diners, include the fact that eating out in Italy is viewed as a celebration, and so people do not want to evoke memories of the hunger suffered in the post-war period. It is also considered good manners to finish a dish completely so people do not want to draw attention to themselves if they do not manage to.

Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said on Thursday that Italians throw away 5.1 million tonnes of food every year, wasting 12.6 billion euros annually. Fabio Spada from restaurant association Fipe Confcommercio said on average Italians waste only 4% of what they eat at home, but much more of what they eat out.

Recycling association Comieco and Slow Food Italia have launched the “If I’m left over, eat me” project, which will distribute 40,000 designer doggy bags in selected restaurants in cities including Milan, Bergamo and Rome, hoping to develop the trend in Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Niel’s Stake in Telecom Italia Rises to 15.1%

Over 30% of telecommunications company now in French hands

(ANSA) — Milan, October 30 — French tycoon Xavier Niel has increased his stake in Telecom Italia to 15.14%, Milan stock-market regulator Consob said on Friday. Niel, founder of low-cost French mobile operator Iliad, hit the headlines on Thursday when it emerged that he had acquired a 11.2% stake in Telecom. Friday’s announcement means that over a third of Telecom Italia is in French hands as French media group Vivendi has 20.03%. Consob said Thursday it was looking at possible links between Niel and Vivendi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway: Muslim Cleric Jailed for Praising the Jihad Murder of Muhammad Cartoonists

A Norwegian court has sentenced an Iraqi-born cleric to 18 months in jail for praising the slaying of cartoonists at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions.

The Oslo city court also found Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, guilty of urging others to kill a Kurdish immigrant in Norway in the same interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“Whoever offends our religion and our honor must understand that this is a conflict about life and death,” Ahmad told NRK, adding a cartoonist is “a fighting heathen whom it is permissible to kill.” The interview was broadcast Feb. 26 — the day after he was arrested.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norwegian Court Sentences Radical Islamist Cleric to 1.5 Years in Jail

Kurdish cleric Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad sentenced to a year and a half in prison by Oslo District Court.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Oslo District Court sentenced controversial Kurdish cleric Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, better known as mullah Krekar, to a year and a half in prison on Friday for threatening a Kurdish activist.

“The threats were made under aggravating circumstances,” the court said in its ruling, cited by the local Aftenposten newspaper.

The cleric’s threatening statements were made in interviews with Norwegian and Kurdish television in February, one month after Krekar was released after serving two years in jail for making threats against three Kurds and Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg, now Prime Minister of Norway.

Krekar was the original leader of the Ansar al-Islam militant group, active in Iraq and Syria from 2001 until its merger with Islamic State in mid-2014.

The group carried out numerous deadly attacks, and is widely regarded as a terrorist organization.

The mullah first came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, and has since repeatedly traveled to the Middle East. He has been on the UN terror list since 2006.

Though Norwegian authorities decided to deport Faraj Ahmad in 2003 over national security concerns, international human rights obligations ban Oslo from returning him to Iraq, where he is wanted on terror charges.

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

UK: Gipsy Slave Gang Boss Has His Newly Built £300,000 House Destroyed by Mystery Attacker Who Repeatedly Rammed it With a Lorry

A gipsy slave gang boss has had his newly built £300,000 house almost completely demolished by a mystery attacker in a lorry.

Eyewitnesses said the truck was repeatedly reversed into the front of the four bedroom home on the outskirts of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, leaving it on the point of total collapse.

The property was in the process of being sold by traveller John Connors who was jailed for four years in 2012 for running a workforce of ‘vulnerable’ adults through fear and intimidation.

Many of the victims, homeless drifters or addicts, were beaten, hit with broom handles, belts, a rake and shovel, and punched and kicked by the family.

He has since been released and was the registered owner of the newly built house, which was in the process of being sold on.

The front of the house, on a main road, was completely wrecked and left the property — which was not yet inhabited — facing demolition. The lorry was found burned out in a nearby field.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Group Boycotts, Threatens Police Over Investigation of Muslim Rape Gangs That Destroyed Lives of 1,400 Girls

Rotherham is where police stood by and allowed Muslim rape gangs to abduct and destroy the lives of 1,400 non-Muslim girls, and did nothing for fear of being branded “racist.” Now that that scandal has broken, however, Muslim groups are scrambling to recover protected victimhood status: “British Muslim Youth (BMY) warned its members would not be ‘held responsible for acts of personal self-defence’ and said it could no longer trust South Yorkshire Police because of the ongoing ‘marginalisation and dehumanisation’ of Muslims.” Aside from the not-so-veiled threat, which is an indication of how aggressive Muslims are in today shattered, staggering, dhimmi UK, the rest of the British Muslim Youth’s statement is quite familiar: we have seen again and again and again, in the U.S. and elsewhere, Muslims claiming that counter-terror efforts are resulting in their “marginalization and dehumanization.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Newcastle Man Found ‘Orange Stone’ on Beach and it Set His Leg on Fire

A dog walker has spoken of the horrifying moment he put what he thought was a colourful beach pebble into his pocket only for it to explode and blow a hole in his leg.

Ian Stewart, 49, was seriously injured when the lump of white phosphorus ignited his jeans and lower back, leaving him with 12 per cent burns.

He had been walking his Border Collie sheepdog Lexi on a beach close to his home when he spotted what he thought was a ‘pretty’ orange and amber stone.

In fact, it was the chemical element used in smoke, tracer, illumination and incendiary munitions.

Moments after Mr Stewart put the white phosphorus in his back pocket, his jeans suddenly caught fire. The flames spread across his lower back and burned through a chunk of his thigh.

A mother and daughter who were passing by managed to help get his burning jeans off.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Puts Pressure on Serbia to Drop Trade Area Deal With Russia

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that as Serbia prepares to join the European Union, the European Commission wants it to abandon the free trade area (FTA) agreement signed by Russia and the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2000.

DUSHANBE (Sputnik) — The European Commission has demanded that Serbia abandon the free trade area (FTA) agreement signed by Russia and the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2000, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.

“We have an agreement on a free trade zone, concluded by the Russian and Yugoslavian governments. At present, as Serbia prepares to join the European Union, the European Commission wants it to abandon the agreement. So our concerns are completely justified,” Medvedev stated at a session of the CIS Council of Heads of Government.

The accord, signed in August 2000, aims to deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation as well as creating necessary conditions for the free movement of goods and capital.

According to Medvedev, the issue has been discussed with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, and the sides agreed that is was impossible for the country to participate in two free trade zones simultaneously.

On Tuesday, Vucic arrived in Moscow for a three-day visit, where he met his counterpart Medvedev and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During his visit, Vucic also attended the Serbian-Russian Business Forum and the Moscow international forum on innovations.

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

Caroline Glick: Rabin’s True Legacy

It is notable that the same week that Israel marked the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of prime minister and defense minister Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian Authority President and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas went before the UN Human Rights Commission and asked the UN to establish “a special regime of international protection” for the Palestinians against Israel.

“It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations just for the sake of negotiations. What is required is the ending of the occupation in accordance with international legitimacy,” said the man who has never held good faith negotiations with Israel in his life and has refused to even pretend to hold them for the past seven years.

It is ironic that Abbas issued this latest salvo in his diplomatic war against Israel the week that Israel marked Rabin’s assassination. As our putative peace partner was slandering us on yet another international stage, yet again our introspection around the anniversary of the murder showed that we have learned very little over the past twenty years.

As is the case every year, the Left used the anniversary of Rabin’s murder to accuse the Right of responsibility both for Rabin’s assassination and for the failure of the peace process with the PLO.

For their part, nationalist commentators restated the obvious fact they repeat every year: there is a world of difference between solicitation of murder and a policy dispute.

Israel’s annual national self-flagellation around the anniversary of Rabin’s murder is a twofold travesty. It is a travesty first because it prevents us from coming to terms with the true reason that Oslo has failed. And it is a travesty because it distorts to the point of non-recognition Rabin’s record as a leader and his lifelong dedication to Israel’s national security…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin’s Legacy: 20 Years After His Assassination

This weekend there will be many commemorations and discussions on the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir, an extremist who killed him following a massive Peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995. Thoughts linger about why Rabin’s security detail was absent when by chance Amir shot him three times.

Controversy surrounds Rabin’s assassination in this 20th year given incitement by the Palestinian leaders triggering the current wave of violence bordering on the brink of a Third Intifada, or “uprising”. There were remarks by Israeli President Rivlin about throwing the key away keeping his assassin in prison for life. That triggered a response from Amir’s brother Hagai who was arrested by Israeli police accused of inciting violence. Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks revealed a letter he received posthumously from Rabin extolling the patriotism of religious nationalist Zionists.

The left commemorates Rabin’s assassination as both a personal loss to the Jewish nation and demise of the peace process. A peace effort virtually dead in the current context of what we have taken to call the al Quds or Jerusalem Intifada. An uprising fomented by PA President Abbas of PLO-Fatah-PLO, Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, Sheikh Hassan Youssef in the West Bank and jailed Sheikh Raed Salah of the northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. Then there was the complicity of the United Arab List Members of the Knesset like Gattis, Tibi, Aymen and Zoabi riling Israel Muslims to act in solidarity with their Palestinian brothers…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

All in the Kingdom is Not Well: Power Struggle in Saudi Arabia

With falling oil prices, a controversial military intervention in Yemen, and the devastating hajj tragedy last month, experts say many of Riyadh’s mounting troubles can be blamed on its aging king, and a power struggle brewing within the House of Saud.

While King Salmon assumed the Saudi throne only nine months ago, questions have been raised about the 79-year-old’s health. Preparing for the worst, two Saudi princes are already vying for the Kingdom’s highest position.

And while this may seem like a petty internal squabble, the fact that both of these princes already hold established positions in the government means that the infighting is already causing ripples through Saudi policy.

“It’s resulting in some disturbing policies abroad and internally,” said Frederic Wehrey of the Middle East Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, according to AFP.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is the king’s 56-year-old nephew, a Saudi interior minister, and next in line for the throne. Thirty-year-old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the king’s son, but also the head of the Saudi Defense Ministry.

While Nayef’s seniority makes him next in line, the younger Salman has “acting as if he was the heir apparent, so this obviously creates tensions,” says Saudi specialist Stephane Lacroix, according to AFP.

The king’s son also has to ensure that he becomes indispensable, in the event that Nayef becomes king. The removal of Deputy Crown Prince Moqren six months ago has shown that the position is far from secure, and, without his father’s protection, bin Salman could see a similar fate.

How? Possibly by using a military campaign in neighboring Yemen.

“You could argue this whole Yemen operation was in part calculated to shore up the defence minister’s profile,” Wehrey said.

The deputy prince also oversees Saudi Aramco, the government’s oil company and world’s largest petroleum exporter.

“Mohammed bin Salman is clearly amassing extraordinary power and influence very quickly,” said Wehrey. “This is bound to unsettle his rivals.”

Nayef, for his part, is a popular choice among not only the Saudi royal family, but also the West.

“I think they’d be shooting themselves in the foot if they cut Mohammed bin Nayef out,” one Western diplomat told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s well-respected. He’s the one guy in the West who is trusted, particularly on counter-terrorism.”

Another diplomat suggests that there would be one way to tarnish Nayef’s reputation. Given that the interior ministry’s police were in charge of security at the hajj last month, the stampede which left over 2,200 people dead could have provided an opportunity.

“They could have made him the scapegoat if they wanted to get rid of him,” the diplomat told AFP.

No one expects the infighting to reach a point where the Saudi government becomes destabilized, but it’s certainly an uncomfortable example of the far-reaching influence of one of the world’s richest monarchs.

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

Analyst Calls for Obama to Enter Into a “Devil’s Bargain” With ISIS in Syria

According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, the American bi-monthly international affairs magazine The National Interest has published an article calling for the Obama administration to support radical jihadists in the war against Bashar al-Assad.

The analysis authored by former US military intelligence officer Thomas Buonomo states so-called moderate rebels in Syria have been “effectively compelled to enter into a devil’s bargain with the radical Islamists in order to have any chance of accomplishing their overriding goal” of overthrowing the “irredeemable dictator Bashar al-Assad.”…

There are virtually no “moderate” proxy forces in Syria and the war against al-Assad is waged almost entirely by radical Sunni Salafist groups determined to establish a principality ruled by Shari’a law in Syria.

[Comment: “compelled”?…More lies to make palatable the US/NATO support of jihadists in Syria.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Beheaded Bodies of Syria Anti-is Activist, Friend Found in Turkey: Group

The beheaded bodies of a Syrian activist opposed to the Islamic State group and his friend were found early Friday in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa, his group told AFP.

Ibrahim Abdul Qader, 20, and his friend Fares Hamadi “were found beheaded at the friend’s house this morning,” Abu Mohammad, a founder of the “Raqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” group, said via the Internet.

The group, which documents abuses in areas under IS control in Syria, accused the jihadist organisation of the murders on its Facebook page…

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

Cameron Scrambles to Salvage UK-Saudi Relations Amid Human Rights Fallout

British Prime Minister David Cameron was reportedly forced into a desperate charm offensive to smooth over diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, following fears the Kingdom was about to withdraw its ambassador to London in protest of British criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

According to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Cameron’s chief of staff sent a personal letter to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud to ease concerns of a strain in the special relationship between the two countries.

It’s understood that furious officials in Riyadh considered withdrawing their ambassador to London, after the UK government scrapped a prison consultancy contract with the Saudi government.

While there was no official reason behind the decision, many have speculated that the government bowed to overwhelming public pressure, with the deal being publicly denounced by many Labour and Conservative MPs due to Saudi Arabia’s questionable human rights record.

A source close to the government told the newspaper:

“It appears that the Saudis believe that they are being treated like a political football and had enough. It was only after the personal intervention of the Prime Minister that the situation has temporarily cooled but the Saudis want assurances.”

UK Accused of Hypocrisy Over Saudi Alliance

Cameron’s reported secret mission to charm the Saudis comes amid heightened debate over the value of Britain’s alliance with the Gulf Kingdom, as criticism of the country’s approach to human rights intensifies.

There was international outcry following the news that Saudi anti-government protester Ali al-Nimr, who was 14-years-old at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to death by beheading, after which his body will be crucified for three days.

Following extreme criticism and pressure on the UK government to intervene, David Cameron said in a television interview that he “completely disagreed” with Saudi Arabia’s “punishment routines” and added that he would follow up on the issue.

Despite allegations of violent human rights abuses, Cameron moved to defend the UK’s ties to Saudi Arabia, saying that the relationship was essential to the UK “because we receive from them important intelligence and security information that keeps us safe.”

Calls to Scrap Sale of Arms

Following Cameron’s criticism of the manner in which Saudi Arabia deals with human rights, many called on the UK to scrap trade ties with the country altogether, until Saudi Arabia addresses its human rights concerns.

The alleged Saudi bombing of a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Yemen, along with the ongoing bombing campaign in the country led Lucy Wake from Amnesty International UK to say that “the UK should immediately suspend all arms exports to Saudi Arabia,” amid fears Britain may be complicit in potential war crimes.

Saudi Arabia is one of the UK’s closest allies in the Gulf, with Britain licensing almost US$6.1 billion (£4 billion) worth of arms to the country between May 2010 and March 2015.

With increased public and political scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s actions, the relationship between Britain and the Gulf Kingdom is coming under more strain than any other time in recent memory.

While Cameron’s last minute intervention helped to ease fears of a diplomatic fallout, it seems as though growing cracks are developing in the relationship between London and Riyadh.

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

German-Born Rapper Turned ISIS ‘Poster Boy’ Reported Killed in US Airstrike

A German-born rapper who traded in the life of a MC for a life of terror with ISIS was killed earlier this month in a U.S. airstrike in Syria, multiple news outlets reported Thursday.

The Daily Beast, citing two U.S. officials, reported that Denis Cuspert, aka Deso Dogg, was killed Oct. 17 while traveling in a car with two other people. The website reported that Cuspert was the target of the strike, though he was not considered to be a high-value member of the terror group.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraqi Christians Face Extinction: An Interview With Joseph T. Kassab

by Jerry Gordon

One of the oldest Christian minorities in the Middle East is in danger of extinction: the Assyrian Chaldeans in Northern Iraq and adjacent Syria. They are descendants of ancient Babylonians and Assyrians who were converted to Christianity in the First Century by disciples of St. Thomas, Mar Marie and Mar Addie. These Iraqi Christians revere the prophet Ibrahim, Abraham of the Old Testament, who left Ur of Chaldea, in Southern Iraq, to found the Jewish faith and nation in Israel. Following the conquest of Judea and the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, Jews were removed by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylonia where a community flourished for over 2,500 years until their expulsion by the Iraqi nationalist regime following the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948.

Iraqi Jews and Christians share something in common, Aramaic, the lingua franca of the ancient Middle East of two millennia ago spoken by Jews, including Jesus and his apostles. Iraqi Christians built a significant religious culture and civilization over six centuries numbering more than 7 million until the grand jihad of Islam swept out of Arabia 1,400 years ago. Their homeland is the biblical Plain of Nineveh in northern Iraq with its historical center in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, now occupied by another group of 21st Century jihadists, ISIS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama, Kerry Throw in the Towel: US Prepared to Accept Assad Regime in Syria

John Kerry is back in Vienna today as Washington and its regional allies attempt to forge some kind of face-saving deal that won’t result in absolute humiliation with regard to the conflict in Syria.

Kerry held talks last week with his “friends” from Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia in an effort to begin working towards a diplomatic solution. Washington’s top diplomat pledged to keep the lines of communication open and in a notable shift, this week’s talks include Iran. Washington and Riyadh had previously refused to consent to Tehran’s participation but given the fact that Iranian soldiers and Iran-backed militias are doing most of the fighting on the ground, excluding them ultimately became impossible.

As we reported late last month in “US Syria Strategy Officially Unravels: Kerry Admits Timetable For Assad Exit Is Completely Unknown”, Washington has been forced to completely abandon its hardline stance on the ouster of Bashar al-Assad. What was once an unequivocal “Assad must go” policy had by late September morphed into an admission that the timetable for regime change in Syria is now completely indeterminate thanks to Russia and Iran’s stepped up efforts to rout rebels and militants on the way to bolstering government forces.

Now, even the Western media have been forced to admit that Moscow and Tehran have effectively compelled the US to abandon the idea that Syria will soon be governed by a Western puppet. Here’s WSJ:…

So once again, say what you will about Assad, but the reality is this: Washington, Riyadh, Ankara, and Doha are “demanding” that the West be able to dictate who runs a sovereign country while Moscow and Tehran are insisting that it isn’t up to the West.

But thanks to the fact that the US is fighting via proxies while Russia and Iran are involved directly, Washington has no bargaining power (something else we were keen on emphasizing as soon as Russia began flying sorties from Latakia):

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Crisis Continues for Persecuted Christians

A mass migration is still underway as Syrians stream into Europe via Turkey. The crisis is lessening Syria’s prospects for reconstruction and devastating its church. While multitudes of Christian youths and families are understandably desperate to leave the Middle East, their pastors and priests are longing for them to stay—something they will understandably not do without security.

In any conflict, the wealthy are the first to flee. Then, as life becomes intolerable, the middle class flee across borders into camps where they wait, in hopes that the fighting will end and they will be able to return to their homes and businesses. When the fighting doesn’t end, they seek alternatives, including the services of people smugglers. Lacking resources, the poor have little choice but to stay and watch their children grow up traumatized, brutalized, and without stable education.

Several of the refugee camps are much too dangerous for religious minorities. Consequently, most Christians hope to obtain refuge in monasteries, churches, Christian schools and other suitable buildings. Thus the local church carries the burden, explains Elizabeth Kendall in her informative report for RLPB. The global church needs to share this load and send necessary aid to those caring for refugees, she further informs, but only through recognized Christian agencies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Gulen in List of Most Wanted Terrorists

HRW, never such media crackdown since coup 1980

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 29 — The Turkish interior ministry has published a list of the most wanted terrorists, including magnate and imam Fetullah Gulen, a former friend and now number one enemy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to state-run news agency Anadolu. The same list includes members of the Kurdish PKK, among others.

Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, is accused of creating a “parallel state” infiltrating members of his Hizmet brotherhood in the police corps, judiciary and bureaucracy, to topple the ruling power in Ankara.

Leaders of the Kurdish PKK include Cemil Bayik, Murat Karayilan and Duran Kalkan. Terrorists wanted by Turkey are listed according to their alleged danger, divided into five categories marked in red,blue, green, orange and grey with a decreasing level of danger.

Along with members of the PKK and Gulen’s network, the list includes far-left militants and members of ISIS. Turkish authorities offer up to four million in Turkish liras (some 1.2 million euros) to those providing useful information for their capture.

International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that drastic measures to “block and prevent the control of power” had not been taken since the military coup in 1980 , referring to the crackdown on the Ipek media group accused of ties with Gulen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Censored Media Back on Newsstands With New Line

Pro-Erdogan headlines for Bugun and Millet

ISTANBUL — Two Turkish dailies opposing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose publication was halted on Thursday, Bugun and Millet, were back on newsstands Friday with a new editorial line in favor of the head of State.

Bugun published on its front page a photo of celebrations yesterday for Republic Day with Erdogan at the centre and the headline “The nation on the street”. Millet wrote instead “Turkey, only one heart” with a picture of Erdogan’s presidential motorcade during the parade. Opposition parties were ignored.

The change comes after the editorial management was removed by administrators appointed by the tribunal after the Ipek media group was placed under controlled administration over its alleged ties with magnate and imam Fethullah Gulen, a former ally who has become Erdogan’s number-one enemy. The two television channels of the Ipek group whose broadcasts were blocked on Wednesday — Bugun TV and Kanalturk — have reportedly resumed broadcasts with a stance many observers see as in favour of Erdogan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

US to Send ‘Fewer Than 50’ Special Ops Forces to Syria

The United States will deploy “fewer than 50” special operations forces to northern Syria in an advisory role, US officials said Friday, as major powers met in Vienna to find a political solution to the conflict.

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

Bad News for Bad Guys: Russia Decides to Export Iskander Missile Complexes

Short-range nuclear-capable Iskander missile complexes will be offered for export.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia’s largest arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, plans in the future to offer the country’s Iskander missile system (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) on the foreign market, Rosoboronexport General Director Anatoly Isaikin said Tuesday.

“The Iskander [missile system] will be offered for export in the future,” Isaikin told journalists without specifying the possible date for future export deliveries.

Iskander-M is a Russian mobile short-range ballistic missile system, which entered into service in 2006. Iskander missiles are nuclear-capable and can engage a wide range of targets, from enemy military units to underground command centers.

The Iskander is characterized by its high mobility and maneuverability, as it takes just 20 minutes to put the system in operational readiness.

Tests of the latest missile for Russia’s Iskander tactical missile system are set to be completed by the end of 2015, according to the the bureau which designed the system.

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

From PM to GTA: Ukraine’s Orange ‘Princess’ Caught With Stolen Limo

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reportedly confirmed that the country’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had ridden a Mercedes Benz which had been stolen from a fleet of cars owned by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko rode a Mercedes Benz hijacked from a fleet of cars owned by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

Its official response was published on Euromaidan’s Facebook page.

The response came after Ukrainian activists questioned why police had confiscated the Mercedes from Ukraine’s Batkyvshchina (Fatherland) Party, once controlled by Timoshenko.

The activists referred to a black Mercedes Benz S600 Limousine Lang with an engine capacity of 5,513 cubic centimeters. The car was produced in 2011 and was reportedly worth about 800,000 dollars.

According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry document, the vehicle was confiscated in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation. The inquiry referred to the car with the same chassis registration number, but with different license plates.

As for the Euromaidan group, it also published links to other documents, which referred to Tymoshenko’s Mercedes Benz as a car stolen from a fleet owned by former president Viktor Yanukovych after his overthrow in 2014.

Tymoshenko served as Ukraine’s Prime Minister from January 24 to September 8, 2005, and again from December 18, 2007 to March 4, 2010. After she stepped down, she signaled her readiness to join the Ukrainian opposition.

However, in October 2011, she was sentenced to seven years behind bars for the abuse of office during the signing of gas agreements with Russia.

On February 2014, she was released from prison following Yanukovych’s ouster and shortly after, she announced her decision to run for President. She obtained 12.81 percent of the vote, and yielded to Petro Poroshenko. Later that year, she was elected as a deputy of the Batkyvshchina Party during the country’s parliamentary elections.

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

In Search of a Better Future, Latvians Choosing Russian Citizenship

An investigation by Latvian news website Neatkarigas Rita Avize has revealed that the demand for Russian citizenship is growing in Latvia, to the concern of authorities.

Studying a spate of advertisements in Latvian newspapers encouraging people to apply for Russian citizenship, the news site found that despite the fact that making the switch is a complicated procedure, costing about 600 euros, demand is strong, and growing.

Neatkarigas Rita Avize warns that the Latvian government has cause for concern, “because its residents, out of economic considerations, are becoming the citizens of a foreign, unfriendly state. Furthermore, after demonstrating such a gesture of disloyalty, these people are not going anywhere — Latvia has been and remains their home.”

Among the chief benefits luring Latvians toward Russian citizenship is Russia’s retirement age. While in Latvia, the retirement age is presently 62 years for both men and women, and set to increase to 65 years over the next ten years, in Russia, the minimum age is 55 for women, and 60 for men. Latvia and Russia also have an agreement on employment history in one country counting toward a pension in the other, which only increases the appeal of swapping citizenship.

According to Latvian political scientist Alexander Gaponenko, who recently spoke to Russia’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta on the subject, Russian citizenship appears to appeal equally to Latvia’s ‘non-citizens’ (Russians and other Russian-speakers not integrated into the country following the collapse of the Soviet Union, presently comprising about 13% of the population, or 288,000 people), and Latvian citizens alike.

“At present, both ‘non-citizens’ and Latvian citizens are giving up their former legal status in favor of Russian citizenship. The process is beginning to take on a mass character, and this is something Latvian authorities ought to reflect on,” Gaponenko noted.

As part of its investigation, Neatkarigas Rita Avize spoke to a woman named Lyudmila, an elderly woman born in Latvia, whose children are also Latvian citizens, but who did not undergo naturalization following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and now has Russian citizenship and enjoys a Russian pension.

“If she were a Latvian citizen, she would probably be unemployed,” the paper writes, noting that “employers do not need a woman approaching pension age.” She lives in Latvia with permanent resident status, which requires regular reregistration, but doesn’t mind. Moreover, like many Latvians in her situation, she has no plans to move to Russia: “What will I do in Russia? My home is in Latvia. All my family is here, the graves of my loved ones are here.”

A representative of Neatkariga, one of the legal firms involved in collecting the documents necessary to change citizenship, told the newspaper that the process is perfectly legal. Nonetheless, Latvian authorities have voiced their concerns over the practice, which is effectually increasing the number of foreign citizens in their country.

Latvia’s Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs has taken note of the advertisements, sending them to state security organs for analysis. The country’s Foreign Ministry isn’t too happy about it either, apparently. Statistics for 2014 show that 208 Latvians jettisoned their Latvian citizenship in favor of foreign citizenship, with more expected this year. At present, about one in 50 residents of Latvia (2% of the population) is already a Russian citizen. The phenomenon is said to be particularly popular in Latgalia, the country’s economically depressed eastern-most region, which borders Russia.

Latvia’s population was 1.98 million people as of 2015, and has been falling since the last Soviet census of 1989, when it had peaked at 2.66 million. The country’s accession to the European Union in 2004, which gave Latvians the ability to move to other, more prosperous parts of Europe and work without obtaining extra documentation, accelerated this process, especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and the collapse of Parex, Latvia’s second-largest bank. The country’s GDP per capita was only able to reach pre-crisis levels by 2013 (although this may be misleading, as the population had fallen by approximately 164,000 in those five years). Many ‘non-citizens’, particularly ethnic Russians, have also said goodbye to the country, which had once been one of the most prosperous in the Soviet Union. If in 1989, about one in three residents of Latvia was ethnically Russian, today, only approximately one in four have Russian roots.

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

Italy Delivers 2014 Peshawar Terror Suspect to Pakistan

Usman Ghani suspected of involvement in attack that killed 150

(ANSA) — Islamabad, October 29 — Italy delivered a suspected Pakistani Islamist militant to police in Islamabad on Thursday following the execution of an expulsion order issued in September, Federal Investigation Agency sources told ANSA. Usman Ghani is suspected of involvement in a December 2014 Taliban attack on an army school in Peshawar in which 150 people, almost all children, died.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy to Up Contingent in Afghanistan

To ‘make up for Spanish reentry’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 30 — Italy is to swell its forces in Afghanistan to make up for the return home of a Spanish contingent busy with Force Protection, Defence Undersecretary Domenico Rossi told the House Friday. “The government has decided to remodulate the reentry of some of the contingent” from Afghanistan “and to increase its numerical consistency” as of the end of 2015, “in a way held to be suitable for compensating for the reentry of part of the Spanish contingent that had been dedicated to Force Protection”, he said.

On October 19 a NATO commander said Italy, Germany and Turkey are willing to keep their military in Afghanistan “at current levels”.

“Many of our partners have already communicated their willingness to remain at current deployment levels,” said top NATO Europe commander, General Philip M. Breedlove.

US President Barack Obama said earlier this month he would maintain the current force of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year to combat a growing Taliban insurgency, then draw down to 5,500 troops in 2017, at a pace still to be determined after consultation with commanders.

Premier Matteo Renzi indicated that Italy, too, would keep up its commitment to the Taliban-plagued Asian country.

The mission has cost Italy 54 casualties and many wounded over the past decade, and now numbers 750 personnel.

Of these, about 60 are deployed to the Kabul headquarters of the Resolute Support Mission, which took over in an advisory role after the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ceased combat operations and was disbanded in December 2014.

The rest are deployed in the Western city of Herat.

The Italian mission is made up of logistics, a security task force, a helicopter division called Phoenix, and some 100 military advisors from the Army and Carabinieri military police, whose job it is to train the Afghan military.

It is currently financed with 59 million euros through December 31.

A government decision to extend the mission beyond that date would have to be approved by parliament.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia, India May Conclude up to $3Bln-Worth in New Arms Contracts

The value of a new package of contracts to supply Russian arms and military equipment to India may reach $3 billion, the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier, India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said his country could sign an agreement with Russia next month for the delivery of Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems. The two sides are also discussing the purchase of two Russian Kilo-class diesel-powered submarines.

India will acquire 48 Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters and, on Thursday, the Indian Defense Ministry cleared a proposal to upgrade the country’s fleet of Russian-made Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes and Il-78 aerial tankers.

“The recent statements by the military leadership of India about large-scale purchases of Russian arms shows that India is still the most important partner of Russia in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. I believe that here we can talk about $1.5-2 billion-worth contracts, maybe even about $3 billion,” a spokesman for the Moscow-based think tank said.

He added that the contracts could be executed in 3-5 years.

Since the Soviet era, Russia and India have enjoyed mutually beneficial strategic relations, especially in defense and military cooperation.

In 2014, the value of weapons and military hardware delivered by Russia to India reached some $4.7 billion, according to the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.

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

China Warns US Against ‘Minor’ Incidents That Could ‘Spark War’

China has issued its strongest warning yet to the US over an incident during which a US destroyer sailed within territorial waters of China’s man-made islands in the South China Sea, claiming that US faces running the risk of “a minor incident that sparks war.”

On Tuesday, the Aegis destroyer USS Lassen entered within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, an undersea cliff in the South China Sea, which Beijing turned into an artificial island. The destroyer was reportedly traveling with a Navy surveillance airplane near the contested Spratly Islands. China views the man-made creation as part of its territory and claims territorial sovereignty over the waters surrounding it.

Addressing the issue of US intrusion on Thursday in a video teleconference, Admiral Wu Shengli warned the chief of US naval operations Admiral John Richardson to refrain from further “provocative acts”.

“If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war,” Wu said, according to a Chinese naval statement.

“(I) hope the US side cherishes the good situation between the Chinese and US navies that has not come easily and avoids these kinds of incidents from happening again,” Wu added.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

China to US: Minor Provocative Act in South China Sea Could Spark War

China’s Naval Commander, Admiral Wu Shengli, has warned the US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, that any “dangerous, provocative acts” of the US Navy could spark war in the South China Sea.

“If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war,” Reuters quoted a Chinese naval statement as saying following a video teleconference between the admirals on Thursday.

“I hope the US side cherishes the good situation between the Chinese and US navies that has not come easily and avoids these kinds of incidents from happening again,” Wu said.

The two naval officers held talks after a US warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of Beijing’s man-made islands in the contested Spratly archipelago on Tuesday despite repeated warnings from China that such overt action would be taken as a deliberate provocation in an already strained relationship between the two countries.

China has rebuked Washington over the patrol.

Both officers agreed on the need to stick to protocols established under the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).

“They agreed that it’s very important that both sides continue to use the protocols under the CUES agreement when they’re operating close to keep the chances for misunderstanding and any kind of provocation from occurring,” Reuters quotes one US official as saying.

Admiral Wu Shengli said he believed the Chinese and US navies had plenty of scope for cooperation and should both “play a positive role in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea”.

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

Peak China: Beijing Makes Doomed Attempt to Boost Birth Rate

For Chinese leaders, demography is destiny. Mao Zedong declared motherhood a patriot duty, with six children the average in the 1960s. In 1979, faced with a population that had doubled in 30 years to 1 billion, Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping slammed on the brakes with a one-child policy.

That stuck until this week when, after years of lobbying by the country’s demographers, the Communist Party declared a new two-child policy “as an active response to an ageing population”.

The one-child policy, though brutal, was never universal. Only about a third of Chinese couples have been restricted to one child. Minorities in Tibet and elsewhere, as well as the ever-growing army of couples who are both single children, have been allowed two and sometimes more.

But despite all the anguish of the one-child policy, small families are now the cultural norm — not just in mainland China but also among most ethnically Chinese populations across East Asia. Hong Kong, which was a British colony until 1997 and has never had a one-child policy, has just 1.2 children per woman, and Taiwan 1.1. Despite decades of encouraging childbirth, Singapore is stuck at 0.8. After fertility in China’s biggest city, Shanghai, sunk to 0.7, the authorities piloted the new two-child policy there in 2009, but so far there is no sign of a baby boom.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Brazil Eyes ‘Wild West’ Gun Ownership Law

Brazil, which has one of the highest murder tolls on the planet, could soon end most restrictions on gun ownership, risking what one critic called a “Wild West” scenario.

A draft law stripping away current limits has already been approved in committee and is due to go to the lower house of Congress in November.

Under the law, anyone over 21, including people accused of crimes or convicted of less than serious crimes, would be allowed to purchase up to nine firearms a year and 50 rounds of ammunition a month.

State employees and public figures, ranging from government inspectors to politicians, would be authorized to carry arms, as would private citizens often in the public eye such as taxi drivers…

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

Austrian Minister: Preparations to Build Barriers

Mikl-Leitner to FAZ, ‘technical barriers’ for a safe arrival

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the preparations to build fences and barriers along the border with Slovenia are underway.

“This is not a complete closure of the border”, Mikl-Leitner said, but “a project designed for a tighter border control”.

The minister also stated that we are talking about a “technical barrier”, which aims to maintain public order and ensure that migrants enter the country safely. What is certain — Mikl-Leitner added — is that these fences will be placed within a few kilometers, to the left and right of the crossings. Regarding their size, the minister explained that, so far, no decision has been made.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Four-Year-Old Boy Snatched From German Migrant Registration Centre is Found Dead

Police in Berlin have arrested a man over the disappearance of a four-year-old Bosnian boy after they found a child’s body in the suspect’s car. Mohamed Januzi, 4, was last seen on October 1.

The suspect, who has not been named, was being questioned.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How to Uninvite 200,000 Muslims Refugees Away From America

This past week George Noory, host of Coast-to-Coast AM, interviewed yours truly for two hours. Several callers raged about how our country faces an invasion of endless legal and illegal immigrants. One, especially, hated the Muslim refugees being forced upon rural cities that cannot handle them.

Americans must push back against Secretary of State John Kerry and Obama’s unlawful edict of forcing 200,000 Muslim refugees onto Americans—without due process. The fact remains: we don’t want them, we can’t support them and we refuse to become victims like all of Europe. Let Muslims migrate into Islamic countries where they will be at home with their Sharia Law.

It’s pretty sickening when Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton told St. Cloud citizens that they must accept that state’s “growing diversity” including the expanding Somali refugee population now at 100,000 people. If they didn’t like it, they “should find another state because we cannot expand on white, B+, native born citizens. We don’t have enough.”

What a crock! Over 90 percent of those Somalian immigrants raise holy hell in Minnesota with crime, drugs, welfare, endless babies, food stamps and violence against anyone within range.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hundreds of Germans Are Trying to Bring Treason Charges Against Angela Merkel Over Migration Policy

Hundreds of Germans are attempting to bring criminal charges against Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of treason by opening the borders of Germany to mass migration.

The Federal Prosecutors office in Karlsruhe, Germany, has received over 400 letters calling for it to open an investigation into Chancellor Merkel, the elected leader of the German government for high treason. The complaints cite the chancellor’s decision to open the borders of the nation to all comers in September, since when they claim “an unhindered flow of refugees have poured into Germany”.

Under German law, anyone who attempts to affect change to the German republic or damage the constitutional order by force or threat of force is guilty of high treason.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italians Abroad and Foreigners in Italy Both Pass 5 Mn

2015 immigration report highlights fragmented reception system

(ANSA) — Rome, October 29 — The number of Italians living abroad grew more than the number of foreigners living in Italy in 2014, according to the 2015 statistical report in immigration presented Thursday.

The Italians overseas population grew by 155,000 last year, while the immigrant population in Italy grew by 92,000.

By year’s end both communities numbered over 5 million people.

The report showed that Italy’s immigrant population is growing progressively but at a slower pace than in the past. It also highlighted a net positive balance between public expenditure on immigrants and their contribution to state coffers and an improvement in immigrant crime statistics.

ARRIVALS. Over 170,000 asylum seekers and economic migrants arrived in Italy in 2014. Others arrived for family reunifications or other reasons by regular channels. Last year police intercepted 30,906 foreigners without a regular permit of stay. Of these, 15,725 (50.9%) were repatriated.

ASYLUM SEEKERS. Requests for asylum totalled 64,625 in 2014 and involved people prevalently from sub-Saharan Africa but also from Asia and Europe (Ukraine). The system for receiving and accommodating asylum seekers and refugees in Italy remains fragmented, with four first aid and reception centres (CPSA), ten reception centres for asylum seekers (CARA), the protection service for asylum seekers and refugees (SPRAR) network and temporary reception centres (CAS). The number of people accommodated in SPRAR facilities rose from 7,823 in 2012 to 22,961 in 2014; in June 2015 only 25% of the 78,000 asylum seekers present in Italy lived in these structures, while 62% lived in temporary reception centres. REGULAR IMMIGRANTS. Foreign residents account for 8.2% of the Italian population. This is above the European average of 6.2%. Non-EU citizens number 3.5 million and EU citizens 1.5 million. Romanians are the largest group by nationality. Rome is the province with the largest immigrant population at over 520,000 foreign residents at the end of 2014 — 10.4% of the nationwide total. The number has more than doubled in 10 years. STABLE. Immigrants show a strong tendency to settle permanently. 129,887 foreigners obtained Italian citizenship in 2014, up 29% over the previous year. Of the 502,596 children born during the course of 2014, 75,067 (14.9%) had two foreign parents. Foreign children accounted for 9.2% of school enrolments for the 2014/2015 school year. Foreigners account for 4.2% of the university population and 3.3% of graduates. EMPLOYMENT. Roughly 2.3 million foreigners were in work in 2014, 10% of the total. 154,686 permits of stay were not renewed on expiry as a result of the economic crisis (up 6.2% on 2013).

The report estimates that tax revenue and social security contributions deriving from immigrant labour amounted to 16.6 billion euros in 2013. This compares to an estimated expenditure by the state of 13.5 billion euros in the same year on foreigners” behalf. CRIMINALITY. Police reports against foreigners fell by 6.2 per cent in the period 2013-2014. Over the same period reports against Italians rose by 28%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: House OKs Special Court Sections for Asylum Appeals

Italy trying to speed up migrant processing

(ANSA) — Rome, October 28 — The Lower House on Wednesday approved measures to set up special sections in the nation’s courts to deal with an avalanche of appeals against rejected political asylum claims.

The country is laboring to rescue, process and host hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war, persecution and destitution in Africa and the Middle East.

The first landfall for most asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean in often unseaworthy boats is either Greece or Italy, depending on where they leave from.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CasaPound Members Arrested Over Anti-Migrant Clashes

14 police officers injured in July protests

(ANSA) — Rome, October 30 — Rome police on Friday arrested several members of neo-fascist group CasaPound over violent clashes in the Casale di San Nicola district of the capital on July 17 during protests against the arrival of a number asylum seekers. CasaPound members wore helmets and covered their faces during the protests and 14 police officers were injured in the ensuing clashes. Two people were arrested at the time.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Slammed by Her Own Vice Chancellor as Refugee Crisis Deepens

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been criticized by her own Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who says he has had enough of the stand-off between Merkel and Bavaria’s President Horst Seehofer over the refugee crisis.

Seehofer has been critical of Merkel’s ‘open doors’ policy, which has led to hundreds of thousands moving across into Europe fleeing warzones including Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has vented his anger at both Austria and Merkel over the way the situation has been handled.

Seehofer set Merkel a deadline of November 1 for Berlin to take control of the border issue with Vienna, otherwise “we need to consider what options we have,” he said. Her personal handling of the situation has now led to a crisis within her own grand coalition party. Merkel is the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which is politically allied to its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), led by Seehofer.

Now, the German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel — who is leader of the SPD party which is in coalition with the CDU/CSU alliance — has warned that Merkel’s handling of the crisis and the splits emerging in her Unions party are threatening to stop the basic workings of government.

“This form of mutual blackmail and abuse is unworthy and simply irresponsible,” he told Spiegel Online.

“The dispute between Horst Seehofer and Angela Merkel would seem bizarre even in normal times. Given the great challenge of our country faces because of the strong influx of refugees, the dispute between the CDU and CSU is now threatening the viability of the Government.”

Collapse of Merkel’s Coalition?

He called on the German Chancellor to do more to tackle the practicalities of dealing with the tens of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Germany each month. Although Bavaria — being the nearest state to the Western Balkan route taken by many of them fleeing war zones — has had to deal with the biggest amount, many other German states are struggling to deal with accommodation and refugee support.

Gabriel said:

“We now expect everyone to do their job. We do not need every day new half-baked proposals and bogus debates, but the implementation — finally — of practical measures: more staff for rapid decision of the asylum procedure, language courses, training and education for the refugees who have stayed in Germany, and rapid deportation of those who cannot stay here. It is time that all this is finally implemented by those who bear responsibility for it.”

The Bild newspaper reported that the CSU leadership is even considering withdrawing its ministers from the federal government and thus forcing the collapse of the coalition if Merkel if Merkel does not take firm action.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrants Taking Arctic Path to Norway Are Stranded in Russia

More than 500 refugees from Syria and other countries have been left stranded recently in the tiny town of Nikel on Russia’s far northern edge, where they have encountered problems trying to cross into Norway, the local news media reported.

The migrants who make their way through Russia travel to the regional capital, Murmansk, and then to the border at Nikel, an industrial town of just under 13,000 people. There, they usually take a taxi to the border and then cover the short distance between the Russian and Norwegian border posts on bicycles — crossing on foot is not allowed.

Norway, while not a member of the European Union, is part of the Schengen Area, which gives people who enter unfettered access to most other European countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrants’ Risk Grows With Greece Bad Weather Discounts

“Go now and it’s 850 dollars, and your kids can go for free, wait until tomorrow and it’s double.”

A Syrian nurse, Nancy Ahmed, recounts the conversation she had with Turkish smugglers in Izmir, as she chose to risk setting off on a rubber boat to Greece.

“They offered a discount because the seas were rough and it was raining. It’s riskier, but we were told we’d be okay,” she says.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, says it has received many migrant reports of smugglers offering to charge less for people willing to travel in turbulent conditions.

The UNHCR spokesman in Greece, Ron Redmond, believes the discount has contributed to the sharp rise in drownings in recent days.

“In Lesbos at the moment we’re hearing from migrants that they’re being offered up to 50% discounts to travel when it’s windy or raining.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Muslim Migrants Invited to Take Over German Church; Altar, Cross, Pulpit Removed

A Protestant church in Oberhausen, Germany is set to remove Christian crosses, altars and pulpits in order to accomodate 50 Muslim migrants who were invited to stay in the building.

“The parish had offered that to the city,” Oberhausen city spokesperson Rainer Suhr told media outlets.

“Before the refugees can move in, the seats have to be taken away. Also the altar, the pulpit and font are movable,” said the superintendent of the Oberhausen church district Oberhausen, Pastor Joachim Deterding.

Sanitary facilities with washing machines will be installed next to the church, while free lunches will also be delivered to the migrants.

While Germany is beginning to turn over Christian churches in order to house the influx of Muslim migrants, Sweden may be about to follow suit.

As we reported earlier this month, the world’s first lesbian Bishop Eva Brunne suggested removing Christian crosses and symbols from a church in Stockholm in order to make the building “more inviting” for Muslims.

Brunne, who also said that the direction of Mecca should be marked, argued that the church should be treated more like an airport, where Muslim prayer rooms are provided.

Migrants are also being provided with accomodation at luxury ski resorts and hotels while Europeans living in social housing are being given eviction notices to make way for the “refugees”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Norway Digs Deeper Into $860 Billion Fund Amid Refugee Costs

Just three weeks after announcing it will dip into its massive $860 billion piggy bank for the first time, the Norwegian government is at it again.

The government will use 209 billion kroner ($24 billion) of its oil revenue in its budget next year, up from the 207.8 billion it planned to spend in its initial proposal released Oct. 7. It’s also scaling back planned income tax cuts and a reduction to its wealth levy to cover 9.5 billion kroner in extra costs from an expected inflow of about 33,000 refugees next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Orban Accuses Soros of Stoking Refugee Wave to Weaken Europe

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused billionaire investor George Soros of being a prominent member of a circle of “activists” trying to undermine European nations by supporting refugees heading to the continent from the Middle East and beyond.

“His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle,” Orban said in an interview on public radio Kossuth. “These activists who support immigrants inadvertently become part of this international human-smuggling network.”

Rights groups have criticized Orban for building a razor-wire fence on the border, tightening asylum laws and boosting his support among voters with anti-immigrant rhetoric. Soros, who was born in Hungary and is one of the biggest philanthropists in eastern Europe via his foundations and university, gives grants to organizations that provide legal assistance to asylum seekers.

Soros said in an e-mailed statement that a six-point plan published by his foundation helps “uphold European values” while Orban’s actions “undermine those values.”

“His plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,” he said in the statement. “Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national border as the obstacle.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Arrivals Have Exceeded 100,000

So far, 73,000 refugees in transit

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — The total number of refugees who have arrived in Slovenia since the beginning of the second wave of immigration — which began on October 17 -, has reached 102,757.

This news was released by the Slovenian Police.

The influx of migrants into Slovenia continued yesterday: 9,848 migrants entered the country. This morning another 5,354 arrived before 6am.

All the migrants who entered Slovenia yesterday have continued their journey heading to Austria: the police have recorded 9,848 exits from Slovenia yesterday. About 73,563 migrants have left Slovenia since the beginning of the migration wave.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden’s Ikea Killer Given Life Jail Sentence

An Eritrean asylum seeker charged with murdering a mum and a son at an Ikea store in Sweden earlier this year has been sentenced to life in prison.

Abraham Ukbagabir, 36, remained calm when the guilty verdict and jail term were read out in Västmanland District Court on Friday morning, reported regional newspaper VLT.

It is likely that his life sentence will be reduced after a number of years in prison, as is customary in Sweden and he was told that he would subsequently be deported from the country.

A mother, 55, and her adult son, 27, died in the attack at the Ikea mall in Västerås on August 10th. Ukbagabir had admitted stabbing the pair using knives from the store, but said he did not mean to kill them.

But the judge Per Kjellsson told the courtroom that the act had been carried out with “indifference” to the victims’ lives.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Politician Says Country ‘Facing Collapse’ Due to Mass Influx of Refugees

A leading Swedish politician says the country is facing a refugee catastrophe, which will lead to the “country collapsing.” The bold claims were made by Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who adds the EU needs to do more to take the strain off Stockholm.

The northern European country expects to accommodate around 190,000 by the turn of the year, but this is putting a strain on the country both economically and socially. Wallstrom says that Stockholm needs more help and intends to put pressure on European Union member states to take a greater share of the burden the continent is facing from the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Africa.

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

The Next Wave: Afghans Flee to Europe in Droves

As the situation in Afghanistan becomes ever more chaotic, an increasing number of Afghans are heading towards Europe. But as one family’s story shows, the trip often ends in tragedy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/30/2015

  1. So Los Norwegianoz have dared to place a wanna be mass murderer for Lala under some kind of restriction for a few months of contemplation on the finer points of how to diminish the dhimmi. Surely they are missing the really big picture? Might not the really dangerous threat to their lives and stuff be the eventually millions of costumed, bearded or otherwise Koraned, mosqued and committed to their conversion or murder? We had better stop doing what we are doing and take a sharp shift to Crusader Law.

  2. All we have to do is sit back and wait for the collapse of the PC Left West. Their economic Welfare policies have led to stagnation and now they are burdening their citizens with an indigestible invasion of aliens, who will be shoved onto small, vulnerable, rural communities – the least able to deal with them! Resistance movements will continue to evolve as the State rams its insanity down our throats. What a fertile breeding ground for civil war!

    The beneficiaries will be China and the East Asian nations plus India, who refuse to entertain Immigration Invasion or Entitlement Economics.

    Fortunately, the legacy of Western culture, which the Left has trampled through the mud for the last 100 years (one ideologically correct student recently protested at having to listen to Mozart on the grounds that he was an enemy Dead White Male), has been preserved in China, Japan, South Korea etc – all except for Human Rights philosophy.

    What we seem to be witnessing is the enlargement of the Third World, with all its dysfunctions, by transfer to the West. There won’t be much money left over for R&D, technology innovation, real universities (rather than Left-wing, PC Propaganda Centers) after supporting the lives of inadequately educated aliens on massive Welfare regimens! Like the Third World itself, we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

    • I agree with some of your premises but not your conclusions. It doesn’t follow that because the massive immigrations are taking place there will be an end to innovation. Innovation is driven by curiosity and it will continue, whether or not the government funds it. We are already supporting large numbers of an inadequately educated native underclass. They are not constrained by niceties; we will perhaps see what follows when the two primitive populations encounter one another. I will look with interest at what happens in Michigan when the large numbers of “Syrians” the governor wants to import meet up with the entrenched poverty-stricken in Detroit.

      As for the large p.c. university system, it will fall of its own insupportable weight. The education process has begun to move out of the brick and mortar buildings and into cyberspace and small groups. If things become so chaotic that the wealth of information on the internet is cut off, then the “education” “system” will collapse that much faster and we’ll return to apprenticeship. Look at the relative novelty of higher education: prior to WW II the average person didn’t attend college. Government “loans” and subsidies grew that mess; the bigger it got the less quality it produced. It is similar to what the banksters did with real estate: they enriched themselves while running home ownership into the ground.

      The percentage of men attending college is dropping. It has always been the case in the past that when women begin to take over a field, men leave for other endeavors. I don’t think it will change now. That doesn’t mean it’s a centrally commanded decision; it’s simply a male behavior pattern. But the sciences will remain largely male because the male brain. The resentful push for “equality” has deformed itself into a freakish equality of outcome but that artificiality can’t be propped up forever.

      People who shoot themselves in the foot end up lame but not without the resources to get by. It is only when we start aiming for our own heads that we have a problem.

      I suggest you read David Stockman’s work on economics and history. Here’s a good place to start:

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