Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/4/2015

The German government has revised its projections of the total number of “refugees” that are expected to arrive in Germany before the end of the year. The prediction is now 1.5 million migrants in 2015, which is 500,000-700,000 higher than earlier estimates.

In other news, record rainfall in South Carolina — up to three inches an hour earlier today — caused massive flooding in Columbia and other low-lying areas, in what is described as a once-in-a-millennium disaster.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, LP, Nick, 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
» China: Beijing: Industrial Production Falls to 2009 Levels
» For Many Families in Portugal, Economic Crisis Has Not Ended
» Italy: House Prices Down 14% Since 2010
» Blue Helmets to Supplant America’s Blue Line
» CNN Alters Photo of Umpqua Killer Chris Harper-Mercer to Make Him Look White
» Donald Trump Storms Tennessee to Push Second Amendment Protection Plan
» Hillary Clinton Calls for Mass Movement to Eradicate Second Amendment
» In South Carolina, “Potentially Historic’ Flooding After Days of Rainfall
» Obama Goes Beyond Mere Gun Control, Hints at Confiscation
» Oregon Shooting: Gunman Spared One Student to Deliver Message to Police
» Oregon Sheriffs Tell Gun Grabbers to Shove It
» Police: ‘They Were Going to Come on Campus and Shoot and Kill as Many People as Possible’
» Secret Service Agents Reveal Hillary Clinton is a Nightmare to Work With
» Team Fiorina Responds to Report Trying to Tie Few Donations From HP Employees to Candidate’s Time as CEO
» The Return of the Middle American Radical
Europe and the EU
» Italy: ENI: Scaroni Cleared in Saipem Bribe Case
» Italy: Supermarket Chain Coop Alleanza 3.0 is Born
» Italy: 10 Regions Deposit Anti-Drilling Referendum Requests
» Italy: Tax Break for Art Patrons Generates 25mn in Donations
» Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
» Spain’s Dec. 20 Vote Poses High Risk for Rajoy
» Swedish Bishop Wants Crosses Removed From the Church
» UK: Fury as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is Seen in Public for the First Time in 34 Years as He Walks to an Eye Clinic Without Handcuffs
» Milosevic Allies in Power With New Look, 15 Years on
» Serbia: Polls: Conservative Party SNS Expected to Win 51.5%
Middle East
» Barack Obama’s Syria Debacle Makes You Want to Weep
» David Cameron Pledges to Beef Up Britain’s Special Forces Targeting ISIS
» Egypt Supports Russia’s Military Moves in Syria
» Inside a Mid-East Coup: A Closer Look at the Russia-Iran Power Play
» Is Putin Winning?
» Over 500 Yemeni Children Dead in 6 Months, UNICEF
» Pat Buchanan: Russia is Right — US is Wrong — “Time for US to Get Off Its High Horse”
» Russia Claims ISIS Now on the Ropes as Fighters Desert After 60 Airstrikes in 72 Hours
» Russia Gets Real, Pentagon Freaks Out, Jihadis Head for Germany
» Russia Air Force Destroys ISIL Command Center, Underground Depot Near Raqqa
» Prodi to Putin: For Ukraine South Tyrol Solution
» Sanctions Caused $25 Bn Damage to Moscow, $100 Bn to EU
» World Leaders Must Bring Russia Back From the Cold, Renzi Says
Far East
» China Eyes Oil Markets Shake-Up With New Crude Futures Contract
Australia — Pacific
» Heartbroken Family of Accountant Gunned Down by Radicalised Muslim Teen, 15, Release Emotional Statement
» Sydney Shooting Carried Out by 15-Year-Old Terrorist, Say Police
Latin America
» BBC Admits Faking Dramatic Volcano Eruption Scene on Natural History Show
» Pope Francis Defends Appointment of Bishop Accused of Protecting Priest
» 200 British Anarchists ‘Help Migrants Storm Channel Tunnel’
» 50 Years of Dangerous Immigration Legislation
» Almost 60% of Foreigners in Italy Are Christian Says ISTAT
» Germany Changes Its Tune on Refugees
» German Bar Instructs Citizens to Inform on Parents Opposed to Illegal Immigration
» Germany Expects Up to 1.5 Million Migrants in 2015
» Hungary PM Tells US, Australia to Take Some of Europe’s Migrants
» Le Pen’s National Front Gets Into Elite Sciences Po
» Migrant Crisis Boosts Austria Far-Right Ahead of Vienna Vote
» Nordic States Fret Over Migrant Threat to Schengen
Culture Wars
» UK: Feminists Abused My Mother’s Suicide, Says Sylvia Plath’s Poet Daughter

China: Beijing: Industrial Production Falls to 2009 Levels

The sector was once the workhorse of the entire national economy. Now the central government wants to change its growth model, abandoning the heavy industry and exports to support the services sector and domestic consumption. But the transition will not be painless.

Beijing (AsiaNews /) — Industrial activity in China has slumped to its lowest levels for six years now (2009), while the services sector seems to be stalling. Private indicators published yesterday confirm the fears: the slowdown of the Chinese economy now seems not only unstoppable, but even faster than expected.

For the second consecutive month in September the manufacturing sector contracted: PMI data halted at 49.8 against 49.7 in August 2015. Any index below 50 indicates a contraction.

Although the figures are slightly better than market expectations, the latest reading suggests that the general conditions of the Chinese economy are now deteriorating completely. It also reinforces the belief in the markets that Beijing will eventually resort to stimulus measures, to prevent a more marked slowdown.

Analysts were expecting the index to touch 49.6 (the weakest level since August 2012), in response to falling demand at home and abroad. This decline has left many companies without orders and halted purchasing and sale of raw materials (iron ore and copper) needed for the production of the petrochemical industry.

Many economists expect a gradual economic slowdown and give credit to the central government’s attempt to replace the old model — based on heavy industry and exports — with a new, more flexible system based on services and on increasing domestic consumption.

However, as even the Premier Li Keqiang admitted on several occasions, this transition will not be painless. And given the enormous social problems of the country — caused by unemployment, pollution, corruption and food scandals — a drop in employment could cause a political earthquake in a position to bring down the Party.

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

For Many Families in Portugal, Economic Crisis Has Not Ended

She used to be a hairdresser with a mortgage on a spacious apartment in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city and the birthplace of port wine.

Now Ana Paula, 48, and her husband Belmiro Silva are out of work, and they are struggling to put food on the table.

With their 16-year-old son, they live in a tiny flat in a social housing building. To them, Portugal’s improving economic figures mean absolutely nothing.

“The image the government tries to give is totally false,” she said as she sat at a table of a charity that helps the poor in Porto, a city of soaring bell towers and baroque churches…

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

Italy: House Prices Down 14% Since 2010

Old property down 19%, new down 1.9%

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — Italian house prices have fallen 14% since 2010, Istat said Friday.

Old and new properties were both down, by 19.0% and 1.9% respectively, the statistics office said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Blue Helmets to Supplant America’s Blue Line

Blue Helmet United Nations personnel will be replacing municipal police forces whose ranks have been harassed and hollowed out over the last year by Obama activists in groups like #BlackLivesMatter.

Marxism always moves in to fill the vacuum left behind by anarchy.

Like all things named by the UN, the ‘Strong Cities Network’ (SCN) sounds benign and good for society, a society distracted from what is really going on by their own self-serving governments.

The Strong Cities Network is being launched in a day when millions of illegal aliens are flooding American borders while the Obama administration looks the other way. SCN makes its debut at a time when the public at large is forbidden to identify Islamic terrorists as Islamic terrorists; when citizens who dare to stand up for individual rights are automatically branded as dissenters who must be cowed into silence.

The project, introduced out of the proverbial blue at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is touted as the launch of a strong cities network “to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism”.

With no public input, no Congress debate or vote, it will be blue helmets and not local cops who will be policing the streets of America, in an initiative underway before its launch date.

[Comment: Camel’s nose in in the tent. Pieces are being moved into place. Wake up Americans!]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

CNN Alters Photo of Umpqua Killer Chris Harper-Mercer to Make Him Look White

Chris lived with his mother Laurel. He posted this selfie online.

But, according to Conservative Treehouse, CNN altered the image to make Harper-Mercer look white.

Via Conservative Treehouse: On the left is the selfie Christopher Mercer uploaded to his social media. On the right is how CNN presented the same selfie in broadcast stories about him. Why did CNN need to change the complexion (color) of their broadcast? Why is no-one showing pictures of mom, Laurel Margaret Harper.

His online profiles have been erased since the shooting.

[Comment: wow, not just increasing the gamma of the photo — it’s blatant attempt to make him look white.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump Storms Tennessee to Push Second Amendment Protection Plan

FRANKLIN, Tennessee — GOP frontrunner Donald Trump offered a ringing defense of gun rights and the Second Amendment to an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd of 3,000 Tennesseans on Saturday. An overflowing audience of an additional 1,000 stood outside The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee in the drizzling rain as they listened to the rally on speakers.

It was a huge turnout for Trump, whose campaign team announced the event less than 72 hours earlier.

“I’m a very, very big 2nd Amendment person,” Trump told the crowd. “It’s very important to me.”

“We have an incredible policy,” Trump said, as he waived a copy of the Second Amendment position paper he released on September 18. “You know, they all wanted me to do policy.”

“Read it!” someone in the crowd shouted to Trump.

“I’ll start off. Should I start off, really?” Trump asked, to which the crowd responded with cheers.

“Protecting our Second Amendment rights will make America great again,” Trump began, reading the title of his policy paper to the receptive crowd. “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear.”

Then, in true Trump style, he ad-libbed.

“Now this is in light of what happened in Oregon. Now every time something happens like this… They don’t blame mental illness, that our mental health care is out of whack, and all the other problems,” he said.

“And by the way,” he continued, “it was a gun-free zone.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hillary Clinton Calls for Mass Movement to Eradicate Second Amendment

Will “never relent” in war on Bill of Rights.

Presidential candidate and former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for a a “national movement” to “stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby,” euphemisms for attacking and rolling back the Second Amendment.

Clinton acknowledged passing laws designed to chip away at the constitutional right of Americans to own firearms will be “a political mountain to climb,” but said if elected she will “never relent.”

“But you don’t get anything done in this country if you don’t start by calling it out,” Clinton said.

She then exploited the child victims of “gun violence,” in other words the victims of psychopaths, many on psychotropic drugs.

“We need to make every politician who sides with them to look into the eyes of parents whose children have been murdered and explain why they listened to the gun lobbyists instead.”

She went on to characterize the effort to hamper and eventually eliminate the Second Amendment as “constitutional.”

[Comment: And she wants to be President? This alone should convince Americans she should NEVER be President. Banksters are itchy to collapse the US currency and implement tyranny enforced by UN police…nervous about doing it as long as Americans have their guns. American citizens should never relinquish their 2nd amendments rights or the Republic will be finished. Any hope of a free world rests with this right. Don’t let the elites “play” you with emotional arguments. See other story linked about the push for “Stong Cities Network” and a UN police force to “supplement” US local police forces.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

In South Carolina, “Potentially Historic’ Flooding After Days of Rainfall

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Record rainfall lashed South Carolina on Sunday, resulting in what the National Weather Service called “potentially historic and life-threatening flooding.”

South Carolina authorities pleaded with residents to stay where they were, as they rescued dozens of people trying to cross flooded roads and evacuated people to high ground.

One woman was reported killed in the hard-hit capital Columbia, authorities said, after her vehicle was swept away in the flooding. The woman, whose name was not released, was found Sunday afternoon, about 12 hours after she disappeared, the Associated Press reported.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol reported three weather-related traffic fatalities over the weekend.

In an afternoon news conference Sunday, Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said parts of her state were hit by once-in-a-thousand-years rainfall. The Congaree River in Columbia was at its highest since 1936, she said.

“It’s not something to be out taking pictures of,” she said. “This is not something you want your kids playing in. The water is not safe.”…

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

Obama Goes Beyond Mere Gun Control, Hints at Confiscation

When President Obama spoke in reaction to the heinous October 1 attack on Umpqua Community College, he went beyond his usual calls for more gun control and suggested instead that America consider following the path blazed by Australia and Great Britain.

In the mid-1990s Australia and Great Britain both instituted what were virtually complete bans on firearm possession.

Obama referenced the bans thus:…

[Comment: Crime increased in Australia and UK. Honest citizens were defenceless against armed criminals.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oregon Shooting: Gunman Spared One Student to Deliver Message to Police

Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer gave an envelope to ‘the lucky one’ and told him to take it to the authorities.

The law enforcement official who disclosed the existence of the manifesto did not reveal its contents but described it as an effort to leave a message for law enforcement.

The official is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to disclose information and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Oregon Sheriffs Tell Gun Grabbers to Shove It

Just a few weeks ago, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer made headlines for his staunch opposition to the gun registry bill moving through the Oregon Legislature. He is now being joined by several other Sheriffs across the state.

Just yesterday the House rules committee held their hearing on SB941, which is being sold as a “universal background check” bill. Among the folks testifying against the bill were Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson and Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin.

“My fear with SB 941 is that these citizens will now be at risk of being charged and prosecuted for acts they have done several times before with no negative effect on our community” said Sheriff Svenson. He added “There’s no consideration of the financial impact on the already stressed court system” and “SB 941 will not provide any additional protection of Oregon citizens against violence… SB 941 will create new layers of legal barriers to already law abiding citizens.”

Sheriff Hanlin added:

“This law is not going to protect citizens of Oregon, in that it is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It will not do that. We have laws that prohibit the possession of other things, like methamphetamines, and it doesn’t stop it.”

He went on to say:

“What I fear most is that we are going to create criminals, and specifically felonious criminals, out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law abiding citizens. Furthermore, I don’t know how I can, at least in my county, begin to try to enforce this law. Our budget is continuously shrinking to the point that there are times when we have a difficult time simply responding to domestic disturbances, vehicle crashes, the ordinary calls for service that happen every day. And to expect local law enforcement to run down and do an investigation into whether or not a private individual has conducted a background check is nearly impossible.”

Many Sheriffs in Oregon have released official statements opposing the legislation. This includes Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley, Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe, Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley, and others.

[Comment: Want to know who has guns so the guns can be confiscated when people are not at home — just like the test run in Alberta.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Police: ‘They Were Going to Come on Campus and Shoot and Kill as Many People as Possible’

Just days after a mass shooting claimed nine lives at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., police in Northern California said they have uncovered a plot to shoot teachers and students at a high school in Tuolumne, Calif.

Police have arrested four teenagers who planned to attack Summerville High School and have charged them with conspiracy to commit an assault with deadly weapons, according to the Associated Press.

Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele told the AP that plans for the attack were in the early stages but were “very detailed in nature and included the names of victims, locations and methods in which the plan was to be carried out.”

Investigators said the suspects were also attempting to obtain weapons for use in the attack.

“They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible at the campus,” Mele told NBC affiliate KCRA.

Mele said the four students, all male, have admitted to the plot, which was scheduled to take place during a school event, according to KCRA.

Investigators learned of the plot on Wednesday after school officials called to report students making threats toward faculty and staff, according to USA Today. The administrators had been alerted by students, police said, that some of their classmates were behaving suspiciously.

“As each one of them was identified they were removed from campus,” Robert Griffith, superintendent of the Summerville Union High School District, told the paper. “Their parents were called.”

Investigators said they also plan to call the parents of students named on the hit list, according to KCRA. The idea that they might receive a call from police about the list was almost too much to bear for some parents…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Secret Service Agents Reveal Hillary Clinton is a Nightmare to Work With

‘GOOD morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton.

“F— off,” she replied.

That exchange is one among many that active and retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of First Family Detail, a compelling look at the intrepid personnel who shield America’s presidents and their families — and those whom they guard.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.”

He adds: “Hillary Clinton can make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.”

Kessler was an investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post and has penned 19 other books. Among much more in “First Family Detail,” he reports:

“Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman recalls. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” one former agent remembers. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”…

After studying the Secret Service and its relationships with dozens of presidents, vice-presidents and their families, Ronald Kessler’s astonishment at Hillary Clinton’s inhumanity should reverberate in every American’s head.

As he told me: “No one would hire such a person to work at a McDonald’s, and yet she is being considered for president of the United States.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Team Fiorina Responds to Report Trying to Tie Few Donations From HP Employees to Candidate’s Time as CEO

Carly Fiorina’s campaign is pushing back against a published report suggesting the candidate’s tenure running Hewlett-Packard was so bad that no former employee wants to donate to her 2016 White House bid.

A Sept. 30 story in The Daily Beast suggested the dearth of support from employees speaks volumes about Fiorina’s legacy at the computer-technology giant, despite the Republican candidate touting herself on the campaign trail as a fearless and overall successful chief executive at Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005.

“The lack of early financial support from almost anyone associated with Hewlett-Packard is hard to square with Fiorina’s own description of her achievements there,” reads one part of the story…

She led the charge to acquire Compaq, which barely got 50 percent of the board and shareholder approval and has since been pilloried as unwise. And 30,000 people were laid off under her watch.

More recently, primary opponents such as Donald Trump have raised the issue of her business acumen at HP.

“The company is a disaster and continues to be a disaster,” Trump said during the Sept. 16 primary debate. “When Carly says the revenues went up, that’s because she bought Compaq. It was a terrible deal, and it really led to the destruction of the company.”

[Comment: She will do to America what she did to HP.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Return of the Middle American Radical

An intellectual history of Trump supporters.

By John B. Judis

In 1976, Donald Warren—a sociologist from Oakland University in Michigan who would die two decades later without ever attaining the rank of full professor—published a book called The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation. Few people have read or heard of it—I learned of it about 30 years ago from the late, very eccentric paleoconservative Samuel Francis—but it is, in my opinion, one of the three or four books that best explain American politics over the past half-century.

While conducting extensive surveys of white voters in 1971 and again in 1975, Warren identified a group who defied the usual partisan and ideological divisions. These voters were not college educated; their income fell somewhere in the middle or lower-middle range; and they primarily held skilled and semi-skilled blue-collar jobs or sales and clerical white-collar jobs. At the time, they made up about a quarter of the electorate. What distinguished them was their ideology: It was neither conventionally liberal nor conventionally conservative, but instead revolved around an intense conviction that the middle class was under siege from above and below.

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

Italy: ENI: Scaroni Cleared in Saipem Bribe Case

Saipem sent to trial for alleged corruption

(ANSA) — Milan, October 2 — A Milan preliminary hearings judge on Friday acquitted former Italian energy giant ENI chief Paolo Scaroni and ENI in connection with alleged bribes paid by its Saipem unit to Algerian officials. The same judge sent Saipem and six other defendants to trial for suspected corruption. Earlier this year Milan prosecutors requested that Scaroni, ENI’s former CEO, be sent to trial along with seven other people over alleged bribes of $198 million paid to former Algerian Energy Minister Chekib Khelil and his entourage to win seven big oil contracts worth over eight million euros for ENI’s Saipem subsidiary. The former head of electricity group ENEL, Scaroni, 68, was ENI chief from 2005 to 2014. The documents presented with the indictment request included the wiretap of a January 2013 conversation between Scaroni and former Italian industry minister Corrado Passera. In that conversation, Scaroni allegedly said that bribes of some sort were paid to Algerian politicians, while adding that he did not know who.

Also acquitted on Friday was former ENI executive Antonio Vella, who was responsible for North Africa.

ENI and Saipem were investigated under a law on corporations’ responsibility for crimes committed by their employees.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Supermarket Chain Coop Alleanza 3.0 is Born

Merger of three chains produces retail giant

(ANSA) — Milan, October 2 — Three supermarket chains merged Friday to form Coop Alleanza 3.0 (Alliance Cooperative 3.0). The merging partners are Coop Adriatica, Coop Estense and Coop Consumatori Nordest (Northeast Consumers Cooperative). Their merger brings the supermarket cooperative chain to a total of 2.7 million members, five billion euros in turnover, 419 outlets including 56 hypermarkets, and over 22,000 employees.

The new retail giant extends from Italy’s extreme northern Trentino region to Sicily in the south.

Unipol insurance and banking group holds just over 20% in direct and indirect shares.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 10 Regions Deposit Anti-Drilling Referendum Requests

Petitions presented to supreme court

(ANSA) — Rome, September 30 — Representatives of 10 regional councils — Basilicata, Marche, Puglia, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Veneto, Calabria, Liguria, Campania and Molise — on Wednesday presented requests to supreme Court of Cassation to hold six referendums against drilling in their territories and within 12 nautical miles of their coasts. Basilicata is the leader of the initiative. The six referendum questions called for the abolition of one article of the government’s so-called Unblock Italy and five articles in its Development decree referring to drilling.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Tax Break for Art Patrons Generates 25mn in Donations

Eligible donations 65% deductible

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — A government tax break on art-related donations has encouraged patrons of the arts to give over 25 million euros in support of the country’s cultural heritage, Culture Undersecretary Francesca Barracciu said Friday.

The so-called art bonus allows for a 65% deduction on eligible donations.

Barracciu said she is working to “keep the incentive at 65% in the next budget, and hopefully to make it permanent”.

So far 685 patrons have made donations to 188 beneficiaries in municipalities across Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs

Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops.

Members of the economic bloc have until Oct. 3 to let the E.U. know if they were requesting to opt out of growing GMO produce from major companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer, and according to the Food Navigator, a food trade publication, countries including Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and Cyprus recently filed their requests and applications, increasing the number to 16. Exactly how many countries will ultimately opt out could be confirmed as soon as Monday.

In August, Scotland publicly said it would prohibit GMO crops out of concern that they could damage the country’s “clean and green” brand.

“Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment — and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement at the time.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain’s Dec. 20 Vote Poses High Risk for Rajoy

Tension over Catalonia issue

(by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) — MADRID, OCTOBER 2 — Spain will finally vote on December 20, the last possible day to do so prior to the end of the legislature.

The decision was made on Friday by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy is close to certain that he will not see a similar success to his 2011 one, when he won an absolute majority in parliament, defeating a socialist party weakened by the disastrous economic policies of the last few years under Josè Luis Zapatero, with the country on the verge of an economic abyss. Four years later the political scene is completely different.

The two-party system at the helm of the country since the end of the years under Franco no longer exists and there are two new parties — Podemos on the left, Ciudadanos on the right — alongside the two longstanding ones. The latest polls (conducted before the crucial Catalan elections on Sunday) showed PP in the lead with about 28%, 3-5 percentage points ahead of the PSOE, and Podemos and Ciudadanos around 15%. It seems almost impossible that any group could now win an absolute majority of seats. For Rajoy, the crisis sparked by the Catalan secessionist leader Artur Mas — who won Sunday’s elections, in which the PP suffered a resounding defeat — will have disastrous effects. Several analysts say that the prime minister hopes to get back support through a hardline anti-secessionist and nationalist stance that he developed during the Catalan election campaign. The prime minister will be going into the elections weakened by three years of ‘blood and tears’ management of the crisis inherited from Zapatero. He will be focusing on the last year of an exit from tunnel and economic recovery in order to recover support, warning the population — as did his Portuguese counterpart Pedro Passos Coelho — about the risk of falling back into the downward spiral of the crisis is “the left” gets back into power. For now, the prime minister has two enemies: not only the young socialist leader Pedro Sanchez but also — and possibly most of all — the young Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera, currently the most popular politician in Spain. In Catalonia, the ‘clean-hands’ Rivera came in second, with double the votes that went to the PP. Whoever wins on December 20 will almost certainly have to ally with another party. The PSOE and Podemos — losing support after the Catalan elections — have already tried out an alliance after June’s local and regional elections. The PSOE is also prepared to come to an agreement with Rivera, who currently seems the only possible interlocutor for Rajoy after December 20, unless a ‘broad coalition’ can be brought in between the PSOE and the PP. No one has discussed this possibility yet, however.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Swedish Bishop Wants Crosses Removed From the Church

Bishop Eva Brunne wants to remove Christian symbols from the Seamen’s Church in Stockholm, and instead create a prayer room for Muslims, SVT reports.

The bishop wants to temporarily make the Seamen’s Church available to all, for example by marking the direction of Mecca and remove Christian symbols, which is already done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapels.

“Leasing a room to people of other faiths, does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people. But that does not mean that we are hostile toward people of other faiths, “writes Bishop Eva Brune at Stockholm municipality’s website.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Fury as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is Seen in Public for the First Time in 34 Years as He Walks to an Eye Clinic Without Handcuffs

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has been seen in public for the first time in 34 years.

Britain’s most notorious murderer was not handcuffed as was taken to an NHS eye clinic surrounded by five Broadmoor guards.

Doctors are trying to save the 69-year-old serial killer’s sight.

His appearance sparked fury among MPs and justice campaigners, who spoke of their disgust that Sutcliffe was receiving treatment at such vast expense to the taxpayer.

He was jailed for life in 1981 after admitting killing 13 women and attempting to murder seven more between 1975 and 1981 in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester…

After hearing that the Yorkshire Ripper had been out and about and close to unsuspecting patients, the son of one of Sutcliffe’s victims spoke of his anger — saying ‘they should let him go blind’.

Neil Jackson, 57, told the Sun on Sunday: ‘He murdered 13 women, including my mum and destroyed our family.

‘Yet now he’s walking around without a care in the world in nice clothes, eating what he wants. It is disgusting.’

[Comment: UK has no death penalty anymore.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Milosevic Allies in Power With New Look, 15 Years on

When jubilant crowds stormed Belgrade’s parliament 15 years ago and ousted Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, few could have imagined that his allies would be in power today — and firmly backing European integration.

Monday marks the anniversary of the overthrow of the late president, whose 13-year iron rule stoked brutal ethnic conflict and mass murder in the former Yugoslavia, resulting in international isolation and the crippling of the Serbian economy.

After Milosevic refused to admit defeat in a September 2000 election, Serbs took to the streets for two weeks, culminating on October 5, 2000, when hundreds of thousands stormed the state media building and the federal parliament. The largely nonviolent uprising forced Milosevic to resign a day later.

“It felt incredible, because before that day we thought David can beat Goliath only in legend — or ‘Lord Of The Rings’,” said Srdja Popovic, a leader of the Otpor (Resistance) movement that galvanised the uprising…

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

Serbia: Polls: Conservative Party SNS Expected to Win 51.5%

PM Vucic’s party is the biggest political force

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — Serbia’s conservative Progress Party (SNS), the major political force, which is ruling in Belgrade, gains by far the biggest consensus among the country’s electorate, according to the latest poll conducted by Faktor Plus. If the people were to vote next Sunday, SNS, premier Aleksandar Vucis party, would win 51.5% of the vote. The Socialist Party (SPS) led by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic would be ranked second, totaling 8.8%, followed by the Democratic Party Bojan Pajtic (DS, opposition), winning 7% and Vojislav Seselj’s Serbian Radical Party (SRS, ultranationalist), 6%. Only these four parties would surpass the 5% threshold to enter parliament, and all the others would be excluded. Among these, the Social Democratic Party (SDS) led by former president Boris Tadic, which is given 3%. According to the poll, the turnout is expected to be 51%, down 4% compared with 55% at the last general election. The survey also showed that Prime Minister Vucic remains by far the most popular politician in Serbia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Barack Obama’s Syria Debacle Makes You Want to Weep

If it had the wit, the Obama administration would be not angered, but appropriately humiliated. President Obama has, once again, been totally outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin. Two days earlier at the United Nations, Obama had welcomed the return, in force, of the Russian military to the Middle East — for the first time in decades — in order to help fight the Islamic State.

Just three weeks ago, Obama chided Russia for its military buildup, wagging his finger that it was “doomed to failure.” Yet by Monday he was publicly welcoming Russia to join the fight against the Islamic State. He not only acquiesced to the Russian buildup, he held an ostentatious meeting with Putin on the subject, thereby marking the ignominious collapse of Obama’s vaunted campaign to isolate Putin diplomatically over Crimea.

Putin then showed his utter contempt for Obama by launching his air campaign against our erstwhile anti-Assad allies not 48 hours after meeting Obama. Which the U.S. found out about when a Russian general knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and delivered a brusque demarche announcing that the attack would begin within an hour and warning the U.S. to get out of the way.

In his subsequent news conference, Secretary Carter averred that he found such Russian behavior “unprofessional.”

Good grief. Russia, with its inferior military and hemorrhaging economy, had just eaten Carter’s lunch, seizing the initiative and exposing American powerlessness — and the secretary of defense deplores what? Russia’s lack of professional etiquette.

Makes you want to weep.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

David Cameron Pledges to Beef Up Britain’s Special Forces Targeting ISIS

The promise came amid reports that the Prime Minister still wants to press ahead with a Commons vote on British air strikes in Syria despite Russia launching its own military action there last week .

[Comment: No need to send special forces to support fight ISIS. Russia is fighting ISIS properly and need no “help”.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt Supports Russia’s Military Moves in Syria

Russia’s intervention in Syria will curtail the spread of terrorism and help deal a fatal blow to ISIS in the war-torn country, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria on Wednesday in its biggest Middle East intervention in decades, marking a dramatic escalation in a more than four-year-old civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.

“Russia’s entrance, given its potential and capabilities, is something we see is going to have an effect on limiting terrorism in Syria and eradicating it,” Shoukry said in a televised interview on Saturday.

Vladimir Putin said he is striking ISIS and helping Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, long Russia’s closest ally in the region. But the United States is concerned that Moscow is propping up Assad, who Washington has long held should leave.

Egypt has avoided showing support for Assad.

Shoukry’s comments are just the latest sign of warming relations between Russia and Egypt. In a state visit to Russia by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in August, the two countries called for a coalition to fight terrorism in the Middle East.

In June, Egypt and Russia held their first-ever joint naval exercise.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most-populous nation, is confronted by an increasingly violent insurgency in North Sinai, where the most active militant group has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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

Inside a Mid-East Coup: A Closer Look at the Russia-Iran Power Play

Earlier today, we ventured to characterizethe breakdown of Washington’s strategy in Syria as the worst US foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.

To be sure, that’s a bold claim, but it’s supported by the sheer number of missteps, bad outcomes, and outright absurdities that have developed in the Mid-East as a result of the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad.

At the most basic level, the support provided by Washington, Riyadh, and Doha for the various Sunni extremist groups battling for control of Syria has created a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and millions are displaced. As tragic as the situation already is, the conditions are ripe for it to get even worse if the move by Brussels to force recalcitrant EU countries into accepting a migrant quota system they are opposed to ends up triggering a dangerous bout of xenophobia in the Balkans.

Washington’s move to train and arm the Syrian opposition has of course also led directly to the creation of a group of black flag-waving jihadists that have taken the term “extremists” to a whole new level on the way to producing a series of slickly-produced videos depicting the murder of Westerners. This same group is now stomping around between Syria and Iraq wreaking havoc on civilians and committing acts so heinous that even al-Qaeda has condemned them.

Of course the outright chaos the West has managed to create in Syria has now come full circle, providing Iran and Russia with a unique opportunity to tip the scales and seize power in the Mid-East.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Putin Winning?

by Ross Douthat

ONCE again, Vladimir Putin is on the move in ways the Obama White House did not anticipate. Once again, American foreign policy analysts can’t agree on whether he’s acting out of brilliance or desperation.

Is Putin’s bombing campaign in Syria a geopolitical masterstroke? Is he filling a regional vacuum, creating a new Baghdad-Tehran-Damascus-Moscow axis, demonstrating the impotence of American foreign policy? Is his strategy of provocation putting NATO on the ropes?

Or is Putin actually acting out of weakness, trying to save a deteriorating position? Is his Middle Eastern gambit, like his Ukrainian intervention, a flailing, foredoomed to regain ground that Russia has lost of late? Should we ignore his bluster and macho photo ops, take note of his slumping economy and sanctions-bitten inner circle, and assume that his Syria intervention will lead to quagmire and blowback?

The curious reality is that these interpretations are not mutually exclusive, because whether Putin is “winning” depends on how you define success.

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

Over 500 Yemeni Children Dead in 6 Months, UNICEF

1.7 million at risk of malnutrition

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 2 — Over the past 6 months, more than 500 children have died in Yemen and over 700 have been injured due to the ongoing violence, reported UNICEF on Friday.

At least 1.7 million are also at risk of malnutrition, it added. A statement noted that about 10 million children, 80% of the country’s population under age 18, urgently need humanitarian assistance, with over 1.4 million forced to leave their homes. “With every day that passes, children see their hopes and dreams for the future shattered,” said UNICEF Representative in Yemen Julien Harneis, adding “their homes, schools and communities are being destroyed, and their own lives are increasingly threatened by disease and malnutrition.” Figures show that 537,000 children under five are at risk of severe acute malnutrition this year, more than tripling the pre-conflict number of 160,000.

It has been estimated that at least double this number of children under age five — 1.2 million total — suffer from acute-moderate malnutrition, compared with 690,000 prior to the conflict.

UNICEF and its partners have ensured access to clean water for three million people and mobile healthcare units have helped to distribute vaccines for measles and polio for over five million children. About 93,500 children have been treated for severe acute malnutrition and over 520,000 have been able to take their school exams, added UNICEF.

The UN agency called for support for its Children in Danger campaign.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pat Buchanan: Russia is Right — US is Wrong — “Time for US to Get Off Its High Horse”

“Unlike most U.N. speeches, Putin’s merits study. For he not only identifies the U.S. mindset that helped to produce the new world disorder, he identifies a primary cause of the emerging second Cold War”.

So Vladimir Putin in his U.N. address summarized his indictment of a U.S. foreign policy that has produced a series of disasters in the Middle East that we did not need the Russian leader to describe for us.

Fourteen years after we invaded Afghanistan, Afghan troops are once again fighting Taliban forces for control of Kunduz. Only 10,000 U.S. troops still in that ravaged country prevent the Taliban’s triumphal return to power.

A dozen years after George W. Bush invaded Iraq, ISIS occupies its second city, Mosul, controls its largest province, Anbar, and holds Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, as Baghdad turns away from us — to Tehran.

The cost to Iraqis of their “liberation”? A hundred thousand dead, half a million widows and fatherless children, millions gone from the country and, still, unending war.

How has Libya fared since we “liberated” that land? A failed state, it is torn apart by a civil war between an Islamist “Libya Dawn” in Tripoli and a Tobruk regime backed by Egypt’s dictator.

Then there is Yemen. Since March, when Houthi rebels chased a Saudi sock puppet from power, Riyadh, backed by U.S. ordinance and intel, has been bombing that poorest of nations in the Arab world.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Claims ISIS Now on the Ropes as Fighters Desert After 60 Airstrikes in 72 Hours

One question that’s been asked repeatedly over the past thirteen months is why Washington has been unable to achieve the Pentagon’s stated goal of “degrading and defeating” ISIS despite the fact that the “battle” pits the most advanced air force on the planet against what amounts to a ragtag band of militants running around the desert in basketball shoes.

Those of a skeptical persuasion have been inclined to suggest that perhaps the US isn’t fully committed to the fight. Explanations for that suggestion range from the mainstream (the White House is loathe to get the US into another Mid-East war) to the “conspiratorial” (the CIA created ISIS and thus doesn’t want to destroy the group due to its value as a strategic asset).

The implication in all of this is that a modern army that was truly determined to destroy the group could likely do so in a matter of months if not weeks and so once Russia began flying sorties from Latakia, the world was anxious to see just how long the various rebel groups operating in Syria could hold up under bombardment by the Russian air force.

The answer, apparently, is “less than a week.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Gets Real, Pentagon Freaks Out, Jihadis Head for Germany

“Most of the Jihadis … are frantically shaving off their terrorist beards and heading for Turkey and ‘safe passage’ to Germany”

You may, or may not, have noticed the growing body of evidence over the past year or two that strongly suggests that the U.S. government and its European “allies” are not really serious about destroying “ISIS”.

The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful “rebels”.

The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against “ISIS” that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.

The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to “Syrian rebels” were ‘accidentally’ ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Air Force Destroys ISIL Command Center, Underground Depot Near Raqqa

The Russian Air Force has destroyed an ISIL command center and underground depot with explosives near the Syrian city of Raqqa, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Prodi to Putin: For Ukraine South Tyrol Solution

Former Premer, I met Russian leader some months ago

(ANSA) — BOLZANO — The proposals of Putin for the Russian-speaking regions in Ukraine “are difficult to accept”, former Prime Minister Romano Prodi said in an interview with Eugenio Scalfari, published in La Repubblica. Prodi says he had met a few months ago the Russian leader: “In our meeting, I suggested to study the solution that Italy adopted in South Tyrol”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sanctions Caused $25 Bn Damage to Moscow, $100 Bn to EU

Says deputy industry minister

(ANSA) — Moscow, October 2 — The damage caused by anti-Russian sanctions amounted to $20-25 billion for Moscow in a year and a half and up to $100 billion for the EU, First Deputy Industry Minister Alexey Likachev said Thursday according to Russian new agencies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

World Leaders Must Bring Russia Back From the Cold, Renzi Says

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said western leaders trying to end the carnage in Syria must accept the central role of Russia in world affairs as a renewed drive to end the war got off to a difficult start in New York.

The youthful premier, in a sweeping interview that tackled issues ranging from reform of Italy’s Senate to the Middle East and the migration crisis, urged his partners to show they could “build a Europe without walls, but with hope.”

As U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first formal sit-down in more than a year, Renzi, 40, said Russia had an “absolutely crucial” role to play on key dossiers including Syria.

“Russia is a great country, with a great history and a great future,” Renzi said Monday in the 49th-floor office of the Italian diplomatic mission, which towers over the United Nations headquarters in New York. “Imagining a future without Russia is a great mistake.”

Reference Point

While stressing the importance of the U.S. as Italy’s “point of reference” in international affairs, he also made it clear that Russia must be brought back in from the diplomatic cold. That ambition seemed some way off on Monday after Putin emerged from a 1.5-hour meeting with Obama to say relations between the two are still “at a pretty low level.”

In the interview, Renzi stopped short of saying it was time to roll back sanctions over Ukraine as a conciliatory gesture toward Putin.

“We must preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty, we must preserve Ukraine’s identity and borders. And for this reason it’s correct to have the sanctions against Putin,” he said. All parties must respect the Minsk protocols, he added.

Syria Dominates

Syria is taking center stage at the UN’s annual gathering as refugees from the war-ravaged country stream into western Europe, sowing often-rancorous divisions among European Union members over how best to deal with the influx. At one end of the spectrum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted an open-door policy for migrants, while at the other extreme Hungary has fenced off borders against other EU members to keep refugees out.

For Renzi, whose country is bearing the brunt of the worst refugee crisis since World War II, the lack of solidarity is tearing at the fabric of European ideals already damaged by seven years of weak economic growth and the politics of austerity.

“If Europe is closed, Europe is finished,” he said.

The region faces three crucial electoral tests between now and 2017, Renzi said, pointing to national votes in France and Germany and the U.K.’s referendum on EU membership.

Renzi added that the central pillars of EU membership such as a commitment to a common currency and the free movement of people will ultimately hold together.

“For refugees, the question is very simple: if we believe in a Europe focused only on spreads, and austerity and budget, OK,” he said. “But that is not Europe.”

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

China Eyes Oil Markets Shake-Up With New Crude Futures Contract

China is seeking to assert its growing influence on global oil markets with a yuan-denominated crude futures contract expected to be launched this year.

At the same time, analysts warn that the second-largest oil consumer after the United States will struggle to compete with more established benchmarks such as London’s Brent North Sea crude and New York’s WTI.

“China is the world’s largest oil importer and is going to become the largest oil consumer in the future, so it makes sense for the country to be the place for an oil futures (contract) in Asia,” Lin Boqiang, director of the Energy Economics Research Centre at Xiamen University, told AFP.

China’s consumption will exceed that of the United States by 2034, according to the US Energy Information Administration…

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

Heartbroken Family of Accountant Gunned Down by Radicalised Muslim Teen, 15, Release Emotional Statement

The heartbroken family of the accountant gunned down by a ‘radicalised’ Muslim 15-year-old have paid tribute to the ‘kind, gentle, and loving’ father-of-two.

Curtis Cheng, 58, was shot in the back of the head by lone gunman Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad after the teenager stormed the police headquarters in Parramatta, Sydney.

His wife Selina and two children Alpha and Zilvia, both in their 20s, said their father was ‘generous of heart’ and ‘always put family first’.

They said: ‘We would like to thank all those who have expressed their well wishes and blessings upon us following the tragic passing of our most loved husband and father, Curtis Cheng.

‘My father was a kind, gentle, and loving person. He was humourous, generous of heart and always put the family first. He has set a tremendous example for us as a family.

‘We are deeply saddened and heartbroken that he has been taken from us, but we are truly grateful for the fruitful and happy life he has shared with us.’

Mr Cheng, who worked in the Finance and Business Services department for 17 years, was shot dead as he was leaving work on Friday afternoon in an ‘act of terrorism’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sydney Shooting Carried Out by 15-Year-Old Terrorist, Say Police

An Iranian teenager fatally shot a civilian member of Sydney’s police force in a killing that officers believe is linked to terrorism, Australian officials said on Saturday.

The 15-year-old, who is of Iraqi-Kurdish background and was born in Iran, shot a New South Wales police finance worker with a handgun at close range as the man left work in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta on Friday, said Commissioner Andrew Scipione. The teen then fired at responding officers, who shot and killed him, he added.

“We are a long way from establishing a full picture of this man. His exact motivation still remains a mystery to us,” said Mr Scipione.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

BBC Admits Faking Dramatic Volcano Eruption Scene on Natural History Show

The BBC has admitted faking spectacular scenes of a volcano eruption in its new natural history series Patagonia: Earth’s Secret Paradise.

The programme, broadcast in late September, purported to show a “dirty thunderstorm” above the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile, with flashes of lighting within clouds of ash.

The scene was actually created by using footage from two different eruptions four years apart.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis Defends Appointment of Bishop Accused of Protecting Priest

Pope Francis called critics protesting the appointment of a new bishop in Chile, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse crimes committed by priests, “lefties” in a video message Saturday.

The installation of Juan Barros earlier this year as the Bishop of Osorno, in southern Chile, was heavily protested by those accusing him of having protected Fernando Karadima, a priest the Vatican in 2011 found guilty of child sex abuse, committed in the 1980s.

Barros has denied the allegations against him. But 51 members of the Chilean Congress sent a letter protesting his appointment to the Vatican…

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

200 British Anarchists ‘Help Migrants Storm Channel Tunnel’

Fighting broke out ten miles inside the undersea link from the French side as a well organised group clashed with police. There were also skirmishes in the supposedly secure zone at Coquelles.

[Comment: Fixed the title: 200 British anarchistsmorons ‘help migrants storm Channel Tunnel’]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

50 Years of Dangerous Immigration Legislation

by Daniel Pipes

Unlike other government decisions — say tax rates or defining the nature of marriage — those affecting immigration are both irreversible and profound. In that light, today marks a half-century since the passage of one of the least heralded but most significant pieces of legislation in American history.

That would be the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, known as the Hart-Celler Act, which ended the highly restrictive terms of the prior 1924 legislation, opening the United States to larger and more varied immigration.

Put in numerical terms, according to the Pew Research Center, the United States was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent Asian in 1965; today, it is 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian, and 2 percent other. The center projects that in 2065, the population will be 46 percent white, 13 percent black, 24 percent Hispanics, 14 percent Asian, and 3 percent other.

As for numbers of immigrants, they totaled 5 percent of the population in 1965, 14 percent today, and are projected to make up 18 percent in 2065.

Theses changes have profound implications for the country; as Jeff Melnick of the University of Massachusetts puts it, “You’d have to go really far to find an area of American life that’s untouched by the realities of the ‘65 law.” Already in 1990, or only 25 years after Hart-Celler, Ben J. Wattenberg celebrated this change, calling the United States “The First Universal Nation.” Many others join him in seeing population diversity as inherently positive.

But I take a darker view. As multiculturalism takes hold, I wonder if classic American culture, with its stress on individualism and freedom, will survive. As communication and transportation costs shrivel, maintaining bonds to other countries gets easier, permitting newcomers to opt out of critical portions of American life. I watch how the American power of acculturation weakens and a once-unified country becomes increasingly riven. I worry that the success of the United States will bring in so many from the world at large that they eventually undermine that very success.

Put differently, the first half century of Hart-Celler is just the warm-up act for what’s to come. The United States of 2065 will differ much more, I predict, from today’s country than today’s does from that of 1965. And not be for the better. (October 3, 2015)

This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Almost 60% of Foreigners in Italy Are Christian Says ISTAT

Almost 27% Muslim, followed by Buddhists, atheists, and others

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — A majority of foreigners residing in Italy are Christians, a study by Istat national statistics agency showed Friday.

The 2011-2012 survey sampled the 3.639 million foreigners legally living in Italy, and found that 56.4% were Christians (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant), 26.3% were Muslim, Buddhists made up 3%, 7.1% were atheists, and 5.6% belonged to other religions.

More than one in two foreign residents said religion is an important part of their life, with 52.2% of Muslim respondents saying they pray several times a week and 23.1% of Catholics saying they pray at least once a week. As well, 30.4% of foreigners said they follow religious norms on food and diet, and seven in 10 said they participate in rites in places of worship.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany Changes Its Tune on Refugees

Growing public unease prompts tough talk and harsher measures from Berlin.

Just weeks after Germans surprised the world, and themselves, by embracing the challenge of taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees, Germany’s leaders are rolling up the welcome mat.

In a primetime appearance on German television on Thursday, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière lashed out at the “many” refugees he accused of not following Germany’s rules.

“There are many refugees who believe that they can just allocate themselves,” he said. “They leave the facilities and order a taxi — and then, surprisingly, they have the money to drive hundreds of kilometers across Germany. They strike because they don’t like the way they’re accommodated, they create trouble because they don’t like the food, or they get into fist fights in the refugee centers.”

De Maizière, whose comments recall populist stereotypes of asylum seekers, wasn’t alone. Spooked by signs of waning public support for the government’s refugee strategy in polls, senior officials from both left- and right-of-center parties have begun calling for tougher measures in recent days.

“In Germany, we are rapidly getting close to the limits of our possibilities,” Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economic minister and vice chancellor, told Spiegel Online in an interview published Friday. “While the asylum law doesn’t have a ceiling, there are real limits to how much pressure we can put on our cities and towns.”

Germany expects somewhere between 800,000 and one million refugees this year, substantially more than the rest of Europe combined. The influx has forced local communities to convert everything from school gyms to parking lots into refugee camps.

The rhetorical shift, officials say, is part of a concerted effort to show a tougher face to the refugees to discourage more from coming. But the comments appear aimed more at shoring up domestic support by reassuring the Germans the government is still in control of the situation.

For the first time since the crisis began, a majority of Germans said the number of refugees coming to Germany “scared” them, according to a poll for state broadcaster ARD released on Friday. The country appears split down the middle, with 51 percent expressing fear, while 47 percent said they weren’t afraid. Back in September, just 38 percent said that they were scared, while 59 percent said that they weren’t.

In the same poll, 54 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with Angela Merkel’s performance — her lowest rating in nearly four years.

The widening criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis is putting some of those in charge on the defensive.

“Everyone is making every damned effort — there’s just no other way at the moment,” de Maizière told the Bundestag on Thursday, adding that the country’s leaders had to make tough decisions when confronted with the largest influx of refugees in many years.

“In September, more refugees came to Germany than in any other month during the last couple of decades,” he said. About 280,000 arrived in September.

Much of the pressure on Merkel’s government is coming from its backbench, especially the more conservative Bavarian wing of the party. This group has been outspoken in criticizing the chancellor and is pushing for harsher rules.

“It’s easier to take selfies with refugees than to get tough,” said one MP, a reference to the widely circulated photos of Merkel with asylum seekers.

‘The unthinkables’

In response to such pressures, the government introduced new legislation this week to make it easier to deport asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. Such measures would have been impossible to push through the Bundestag just a few months ago. Now, the growing public unease is forcing the government to put what some here call “the unthinkables” on the table.

The asylum bill, which is expected to be rushed through for implementation on November 1, would reduce incentives for so-called economic migrants by switching from cash benefits for refugees to allowances in-kind.

The legislation would also add Albania, Kosovo and Serbia to a list of “safe countries of origin,” meaning asylum applications from those nationalities, which are almost always rejected, could be processed much more quickly than at present.

Refugee advocates have criticized the measures, saying they will complicate life for asylum seekers while doing little to slow the flow of new arrivals. Even after the changes go into effect, refugees, regardless of their origin, will be afforded broad rights to appeal. Critics say neither the application process nor deportations will be accelerated and dismiss the effort as a political ploy aimed at calming the public.

“The planned government actions are a disappointment,” said Werner Schiffauer from Frankfurt’s Viadrina University. “They will neither accelerate the application processes, nor will they create a deterrent effect that the interior minister is after.”

The trouble for Berlin is that more substantial changes to the asylum rules would require amending Germany’s constitution, a complicated process that would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament.

Faced with a large influx of refugees from the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the government took that step, but now those reformed rules are viewed as out of date.

Some migration experts say further reforms to the law are inevitable if the crisis doesn’t ease soon. For now, the government insists it has no such plans.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Bar Instructs Citizens to Inform on Parents Opposed to Illegal Immigration

Urges behavior reminiscent of East Germany’s Stasi.

Citizens who oppose a mass influx of culturally incompatible immigrants in Germany risk having the state take away their children, according to the German Bar Association.

DeutscheAnwaltauskunft Magazine notes an increasing number of Germans are expressing “openly xenophobic” opinions and demonstrating against the presence of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and the third world.

Expressing these opinions may result in the seizure of children and summons before the Family Court.

The German Bar Association suggests family members concerned about the politically incorrect opinions of a parent should “collect screenshots and printouts” of social media pages and submit them to the Youth Welfare Office.

According to the magazine, even apolitical opinions expressed by parents may result in action by the state.

[Comment: This is evil.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany Expects Up to 1.5 Million Migrants in 2015

German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, the Bild daily said in a report to be published on Monday, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to 1 million.

Germany’s top-selling newspaper cited an internal forecast from authorities that it said had been classed as confidential.

Many of the hundreds of thousands of people pouring into Europe to escape conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond have said they are heading to Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hungary PM Tells US, Australia to Take Some of Europe’s Migrants

Hungary’s populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban called Friday on the US, Australia, Israel and “rich Arab nations” to take in some of the migrants flowing into Europe, while likening the influx to an “army”.

“It’s not fair, that the USA doesn’t take any in, or only 10,000-15,000 refugees,” Orban told radio station Kossuth.

“It’s not fair that Israel doesn’t take any at all, that Australia doesn’t take any at all, that the rich Arab countries are dithering,” he said…

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

Le Pen’s National Front Gets Into Elite Sciences Po

Far-right group wins enough votes from students to establish a campus association.

by Nicholas Vinocur and Sofia Melo

PARIS — French far-right party Front National (FN) gained entry to the distinguished French school of political sciences Sciences Po as a student association Thursday, a symbolic step into elite circles for a group that has long advertised itself as an outsider.

The anti-immigration, anti-EU group at Sciences Po needed 120 votes from student peers in order to gain recognition as an official association, a status that grants access to meeting rooms, limited funding for travel and the right to debate other political groups.

The party earned the requisite votes three-and-a-half hours after the anonymous online poll opened, finishing after the center-right Les Républicains Party but ahead of the ruling Socialist Party.

“This is hugely satisfying for us,” Aymeric Merlaud, a student and National Front member who spearheaded the Sciences Po operation, said in an interview. “It shows that our ideas are finding an audience here, too.”…

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

Migrant Crisis Boosts Austria Far-Right Ahead of Vienna Vote

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) has drawn nearly even with the ruling Social Democrats (SPOe) in Vienna ahead of October 11 elections in the capital city state, according to a poll published Saturday.

According to the survey, the FPOe would win some 35 percent of the vote, just one point short of the SPOe, which has controlled the Austrian capital since 1945.

The FPOe, led by 46-year-old Hans-Christian Strache, has gained steadily in the polls since the spring, thanks in part to the migrant crisis, like other far-right parties across Europe…

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

Nordic States Fret Over Migrant Threat to Schengen

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Saturday said she feared for Europe’s borderless Schengen zone and urged countries to shore up their external frontiers in the face of the migrant crisis.

“The challenge for the Nordic region is not an internal one, but the fact that Schengen’s outer borders have broken down,” Solberg said.

“We must now make sure that the outer borders work,” she added as Europe struggles to cope with its worst refugee crisis since World War II…

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

UK: Feminists Abused My Mother’s Suicide, Says Sylvia Plath’s Poet Daughter

The feminists who exploited Sylvia Plath’s death to accuse her husband Ted Hughes of mistreating her committed an “abuse” and a “horrible form of theft”, the couple’s daughter has said.

Frieda Hughes, the oldest of Plath and Hughes’ two children, said she had been “appalled” by the appropriation of her family’s tragedy to suit a cause.

Appearing in her first ever television interview, she said she deplored the judgment of “outsiders” who mistakenly believed they had an insight into her family’s life.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

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

  1. a direct consequence of losing a war.

    Although America is also in trouble, a direct consequence of winning a war.

    This is what you get when the acursed write your policies.

  2. The source for the CNN doctoring the shooter’s picture to make him look white is

    There is much doubt as to whether it is true in the comments there:

    “Folks, the alleged image manipulation of Mercer by CNN is very likely a fake story. I have searched for this image or any reference to CNN doctoring this image a dozen ways to next Sunday and the only result is a link back to this post. I asked the originator 0Hour1 for source repeatedly but have only received a non-related response.”

    • I would have to agree. CNN would not do anything that obvious. Nonetheless, CNN and the rest of the MSM are propagandists who WILL publish lesser lies like the shooter had “white supremacist” literature, deliberately suggesting that Evil White People did the shooting. Since CNN is spreading lying propaganda, it would be foolish not to fight fire with fire. I applaud the people who created the dummy photo and attributed it to CNN. Desperate times Call for desperate measures.

  3. >>The United States is concerned that Moscow is propping up Assad, who Washington has long held should leave. <<

    And who gives a damn what the Obama thinks Assad should do? Who was it exactly who appointed Obama as the arbiter of Syria's fate?

    The arrogance of Obama is insufferable. Everything about this man is contemptible. And millions of Americans voted for him.

  4. >> “Everyone is making every damned effort — there’s just no other way at the moment,” [German Interior Minister] de Maizière told the Bundestag on Thursday, adding that the country’s leaders had to make tough decisions when confronted with the largest influx of refugees in many years. <<

    They keep coming and coming. What can we do? We're helpless. If they want to come, we can't stop or discourage them. The army can't be used to keep the "refugees" out either. Arent they for parades anyway?

    Merkel has decided to destroy Germany but there's no crisis. My job is to be a doorman or taxi driver and my job is more important to me than my honor or the future of my children.

  5. >> worst refugee crisis since World War II… <<

    No. It's the worst moral crisis in 2,000 years.

    Lies, evasions, theft, cowardice, obfuscation, betrayal, surrender, weakness, and stupidity. A 1,000-yard-high wave of it stretching for 500 miles.

    It is positively satanic in every aspect.

Comments are closed.