Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/5/2015

Sweden has told ten Stockholm gymnasiums, which are normally used to house evacuees during emergencies, to stand by to receive some of the “refugees” that are entering the country at the rate of a thousand per day. Meanwhile, Denmark has tightened its citizenship rules, making it harder for immigrants to become full-fledged Danish citizens.

In other news, the city of Casablanca in Morocco cancelled its first-ever beer festival, on the grounds that it would not be in compliance with the law, and would be offensive to Muslims.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, LP, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» As China Growth Flags, Analysts Weigh Alternative Indicators
» Portuguese Political Stalemate Threatens to Derail Eurozone’s Model Pupil
» Welcome to the Future: Downward Mobility & Social Depression
» BP ‘Got the Punishment it Deserves’ After Oil Giant Draws a Line Under Gulf of Mexico Disaster
» Clinton Unveils Plan for Tighter Gun Control Including Executive Action, Expanded Background Checks
» Cop Complains After “Blacklivesmatter” Put on Coffee Cup
» Obama’s Trash Talk
» Officials Reach Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal; Faces Tough Fight in Congress
» Smart Meters, Watching Our Lives
» Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Struck as “Corporate Secrecy” Wins Again
» Were ISIS Intelligence Assessments Modified to Paint a Better Picture?
» Former Conservative Premier Says Canadian PM’s Policies Borderline Racist, Bad for the Country
» Ham Sandwiches and Sausage Rolls May be Banned From Office Kitchens for Being “Offensive’
Europe and the EU
» German Infantry Deployed to Latvia
» Italy: Air France Manager Flees Workers Bare-Chested
» Italy: Bersani Blasts ‘Power Games’ After Verdini Backs Reforms
» Italy: Passera Among 17 Indicted for Olivetti Asbestos Deaths
» Italy: City to Sue if Anti-Marino Campaign Continues
» Italy: Squinzi Says Happy if IRES Cut Pledge is True
» Pope Tells Synod it Must Not Seek Compromise
» Rugby: Italy Salvage Pride But Quarterfinal Hopes Dashed
» UK: ‘Terror Twins’ Zahra and Salma Halane Who Joined ISIS Tried to Recruit Their Family
» UK: Cereal Killer Cafe Riot Leader Murray Healy Lives in a £600,000 Flat
» UK: Coventry Bus That Crashed Into Sainsbury’s Was Driven by Ex-Mayor
» Serbia: Over 75 Pct of Doctors Consider Emigration
North Africa
» Casablanca Bans Beer Festival
» Italy: Father Kills Daughter, Self Near Ferrara
Middle East
» Across Arc of Conflict, ‘Obama Doctrine’ Shows Signs of Failure
» Free Syrian Army Command Asks Russia for Help Against ISIL
» In Putin’s Syria Intervention, Fear of a Weak Government Hand
» Preview of World War III? Russia is Putting on a Display of Firepower That is Shocking the World
» Putin Has Just Put an End to the Wolfowitz Doctrine
» Ron Paul: I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria
» Russian Incursions Into Turkey Airspace Pose ‘Extreme Danger’, Warns NATO
» Russian TV Forecasts ‘Good Weather for Bombing’ In Syria
» Saudis Mull Launch of Regional War as Russia Pounds Targets in Syria for Fourth Day
» Sexual Slavery: “Nothing to Do With Islam”?
» Syria Update: Air Duel Between the Sukhoi Su-30 Russian Sm and Israeli F-15
» Syria Conflict: Turkey Summons Russian Ambassador a Second Time
» Syria: ‘Ransom of 11mn Paid for Italian Aid Workers’ Release’
» Syria: 160 Jihadists Killed, 3,000 Others Flee to Jordan
» Syria: For the Bishop of Aleppo, The Destruction in Palmyra is a Warning From the Islamic State to the West
» The Moscow-Washington-Tehran Axis of Evil
» Why Foreign Troops Can’t Fight Our Fights
» 10,000 Protest in Moldova Over Missing $1.5 Billion
South Asia
» Bangladesh: Dhaka: According to Sheikh Hasina, The Islamic State Did Not Kill Caesar Tavella and Hoshi Kunio
» Bangladesh: Protestant Clergyman in Stabbing by Three, Possibly Muslim Attackers
» India: Madhya Pradesh, Three Pentecostal Christians Arrested for Alleged Forced Conversions
» New Taliban Leader Mullah Mansour ‘Is Businessman Protected by Pakistan’
Far East
» Homeless Woman Found Dead at Hong Kong McDonald’s 24 Hours After She Sat Down as Unaware Customers Ate
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Burundi’s Hunt for ‘Rebels’ Spooks Frightened Rwandans
» Nepal Women Sold as Sex Slaves in Tanzania and Qatar
Latin America
» Brazil High Court: Lula Can be Questioned in Petrobras Probe
» Demonstration in Saxony, ‘Border’ Against Refugees
» Denmark Tightens Citizenship Requirements
» EU May Propose 500,000 Refugee Relocation
» Europe’s Stark Choice on Migrants: Spend Billions in Turkey, or See Migrant Influx Grow
» German Church Leaders Praise Merkel’s Policy
» Italy: In Palermo: First Festival of Migrant Literatures
» Merkel Rejects ‘Cap’, Barriers Do Not Solve Problems
» Migrant Crisis Debris: Greek Island Battles Lifejacket Mountain
» Origin Countries Must Take Back Citizens to Get EU Aid
» Prague to Send Soldiers to Hungary to Secure Europe’s Borders
» Scottish Minister Humza Yousaf Helps Syrian Refugees on Greek Island
» Sweden: Migration Agency Reports More Security Threats
» Sweden: 10 Stockholm Gyms Prepared to House Refugees on Short Notice
» Theresa May: Mass Immigration Making ‘Cohesive Society’ Impossible
» Thousands Attend German Rally Against Refugee Influx
» Town Hall’s Giving Away Your Country
» ‘Who Will Pay for That?’ — Migrants Clog East Europe Trade Routes
Culture Wars
» Gay Row Overshadows Opening of Landmark Catholic Church Synod
» Priest’s Coming Out Prior to Synod Stirs Controversy
» Anti-Parasite Drugs Sweep Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015

As China Growth Flags, Analysts Weigh Alternative Indicators

As once-stellar growth rates start to dip, watchers of China’s mammoth economy worry that it could be worse than it looks because the official figures might not be telling the whole story.

But amid mistrust of government numbers, economists are divided over what other measurements they can use.

Official growth figures last year were the slowest in nearly a quarter of a century, and dropped to seven percent in the first half of this year — suspiciously close to government predictions.

However, there is an emerging consensus among economists that real growth in China is lower…

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

Portuguese Political Stalemate Threatens to Derail Eurozone’s Model Pupil

Portugal has made political history.

For the first time in the euro’s five-year lurch from debt crisis to debt crisis, a government overseeing a bail-out programme has been re-elected.

Last weekend’s vote saw the ruling centre-right coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho come in first place with 37pc of the vote.

Despite being hailed as the star pupil for the eurozone’s cocktail of fiscal discipline and structural reforms, public appetite for austerity has waned.

Radical left-leaning parties were the biggest winners of the night.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Welcome to the Future: Downward Mobility & Social Depression

If you don’t think these definitions apply, please check back in a year.

The mainstream is finally waking up to the future of the American Dream: downward mobility for all but the top 10% of households. A recent Atlantic article fleshed out the zeitgeist with survey data that suggests the Great Middle Class/Nouveau Proletariat is also waking up to a future of downward mobility: The Downsizing of the American Dream: People used to believe they would someday move on up in the world. Now they’re more concerned with just holding on to what they have.

I dug into the financial and social realities of what it takes to be middle class in today’s economy: Are You Really Middle Class?

The reality is that the middle class has been reduced to the sliver just below the top 5% — if we use the standards of the prosperous 1960s as baseline.

The downward mobility isn’t just financial — it’s a decline in political power, control of one’s work and income-producing assets. This article reminds us of what the middle class once represented: What Middle Class? How bourgeois America is getting recast as a proletariat.

[Comment: Destroying the middle class is a communist goal, since a strong middle class is a bulwark against implementation of communism in any society.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

BP ‘Got the Punishment it Deserves’ After Oil Giant Draws a Line Under Gulf of Mexico Disaster

BP has got the “punishment it deserves”, the US Attorney General said, after agreeing the largest corporate settlement in US history over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The British company will pay more than $20bn (£13.2bn) in fines to resolve the disaster, which killed 11 workers and saw more than 3m of barrels of oil flow into the sea, destroying marine life and businesses.

“This resolution is a strong and fitting response,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries it caused to the environment and the economy of the Gulf region.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Clinton Unveils Plan for Tighter Gun Control Including Executive Action, Expanded Background Checks

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Monday proposed tighter gun-control measures, including expanded background checks, and suggested that if elected she would use executive powers to achieve her goals.

“I want to push hard to get more sensible restraints,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I want to work with Congress, but I will look at ways as president.”

She called for expanded background checks for firearms sales online and at gun shows. Clinton also called for closing loopholes in federal laws that allow for gun-sale transactions to be completed if the buyer’s background check is not finished within three days.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cop Complains After “Blacklivesmatter” Put on Coffee Cup

The Providence police union is speaking out after an officer received a cup of coffee with “blacklivesmatter” written on it.

The Fraternal Order of Police says the incident is “unacceptable and discouraging.”

The officer told the union that he received a cup of coffee Friday at a Dunkin’ Donuts store with the slogan written on the cup. He says an employee was rude to him.

The slogan arose last year during protests nationwide over police violence against civilians.

Lt. Roger Aspinall, a union member, told WLNE-TV the slogan is anti-police and the Black Lives Matter movement “condones violence against police.”

The union says it believes that “all lives matter.”

A call to the Dunkin’ Donuts corporate headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts, wasn’t immediately returned.

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Trash Talk

In a freewheeling news conference, the president smacks down Putin, Congress and gun control opponents.

It’s not just the fourth quarter. It’s trash talk time.

President Barack Obama’s never done a good job hiding his disdain for the people he doesn’t like—a long list that includes reporters, Republicans, pretty much every member of Congress, the foreign leaders he considers petty and childish (Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyanu most of all). Everyone would see things his way, he tends to project, if only they were a little smarter and thought it through as thoroughly as he has.

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

Officials Reach Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal; Faces Tough Fight in Congress

The United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations agreed Monday on the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a historic, international deal backed by President Obama that continues to create divisions on both ends of the U.S. political spectrum.

Negotiators took nearly six years to complete the deal, which if ratified is projected to impact 40 percent of the global economy. The deal was reached after a weekend of negotiations in Atlanta.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Smart Meters, Watching Our Lives

Under the guise of climate change advocacy which pretends to save the planet from a non-existent anthropogenic global warming, people across the globe have been forced by utilities and their governments to accept smart meters as readers of their electricity consumption. I called these smart meters in my book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy, drones attached to our homes.

Smart meters are being deployed without debate and without the informed consent of homeowners. They inspect homes 24/7 through several pulses a minute and without a warrant, over-bill, cause home fires, result in environmental and health problems, are vulnerable to hacking, and data obtained from such smart meters are sold to third parties without homeowners’ consent.

During peak usage, the utility company can turn off the power several hours a day, adjust the thermostat from afar, or turn off entire grids in an “emergency” situation when they run short of electricity. It is too expensive to build excess capacity storage facilities.

Smart meter removal from one’s home may not be enough. Within a five square mile area there is a collecting point of information from all meters and a transmitter receives information from all the collecting points of information within 125 miles of its location. This transmitter sends all collected data to a master location, the “mother ship,” where everyone’s information is stored, analyzed, and sold to a third party who is interested in the household’s pattern of usage, consumption of electricity, or possibly “illegal” activity in that home.

In addition to electric bills doubling in many places even though consumption had remained the same or had been reduced, customers are being “nudged” via carefully crafted notes added to their monthly bills for their shameless and selfish use of the planet’s resources.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Struck as “Corporate Secrecy” Wins Again

Once again the corporatocracy wins as the so-called “Trojan horse” Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has been finalized. As WSJ reports, the U.S., Japan and 10 countries around the Pacific reached a historic accord Monday to lower trade barriers to goods and services and set commercial rules of the road for two-fifths of the global economy, officials said.

For the U.S., the TPP (reportedly) opens agricultural markets in Japan and Canada, tightens intellectual property rules to benefit drug and technology companies, and establishes a tightknit economic bloc to challenge China’s influence in the region (likely forcing their hand into separate trade agreements).

However, Obama is likely to face a tough fight to get the deal through Congress (especially in light of presidential candidates’ opposition)…

The ISDS provisions of the TPP are insidious: the means by which signatory nations voluntarily surrender national sovereignty to the authority of corporate tribunals, without appeal, and apparently without exit provisions. No wonder the negotiations are secret.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Were ISIS Intelligence Assessments Modified to Paint a Better Picture?

ISIS intelligence assessments have been modified to use measures such as the number of sorties and body counts, something that has not been widely used since Vietnam, to paint a more positive picture of the progress made by the U.S. government strategy, according to sources familiar with allegations made by analysts at Central Command (CENTCOM.)

Critics say this “activity based approach” to battle damage assessments does not present a comprehensive picture of whether ISIS is being degraded, nor does it reflect its resiliency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former Conservative Premier Says Canadian PM’s Policies Borderline Racist, Bad for the Country

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — A former conservative premier of a Canadian province says Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is “bad for the country” because some of his policies are borderline racist.

Ex-Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams urged Conservatives not to vote for Harper, who has made the Islamic face veil a focus of the Oct. 19 election. Harper’s government lost an attempt to ban the practice of wearing the niqab while swearing the citizenship oath. It lost an appeal Monday to have the decision delayed while it appeals to the Supreme Court.

Williams said in interview with the Canadian Broadcast Corp. that Harper “doesn’t care if he possibly crosses that racism line.”

He says if that’s the price Conservatives have to pay to have Harper prime minister then Conservatives shouldn’t vote for him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ham Sandwiches and Sausage Rolls May be Banned From Office Kitchens for Being “Offensive’

Kitchens that are shared between office workers may soon be banned from storing pork products like sausage rolls over fears that they are “offensive”.

New guidelines proposed by interfaith group CoExist House say that employers should consider worker’s religions before allowing ham sandwiches placed in the fridge alongside other products.

The group also suggests that alcohol should not be served at corporate events in case it upsets members of certain faiths.

Andy Dinham, professor of faith and public policy at Goldsmiths, University of London, is writing up the guidelines that will be put forward to employers this week.

Defending the controversial report, he told The Sunday Times: “It would be good etiquette to avoid heating up foods that might be prohibited for people of other faiths.

“The microwaves example is a good one.

“We also say, “Don’t put kosher or halal and other€¦ special foods next to another [food] or, God forbid, on the same plate.”

He also said that religious people should be entitled to wear religious clothing and symbols as required…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

German Infantry Deployed to Latvia

Within the scope of a NATO agreement

(ANSA) — ADAZI (LATVIA), 4 OCT — German Bundeswehr soldiers on Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) arrive for an exercise to Adazi military base, near Riga, Latvia. Germany has deployed troops to Latvia within the scope of a NATO agreement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Air France Manager Flees Workers Bare-Chested

Valls ‘scandalised’ by violence

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 5 — Air France personnel manager Xavier Broseta fled protesting workers bare-chested Monday after having had his short torn from his body.

Another top manager, assistant director long-haul flights, Pierre Plissonnier, also fled after having had his shirt and suit jacket shredded.

Premier Manuel Valls said he was “scandalised” by the violence.

Union activists protesting proposed layoffs at Air France stormed the headquarters during a meeting about the job cuts Monday, zeroing in the two managers who had their shirts torn from their bodies before scaling a fence and fleeing under police protection.

About a hundred activists rushed the building after breaking through a gate. Alexandre de Juniac, the CEO of Air France-KLM, had announced Friday the company would have to cut jobs after failing to reach an agreement with pilots. French media, citing the unions, on Monday reported a proposal to slash 2,900 jobs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bersani Blasts ‘Power Games’ After Verdini Backs Reforms

Former PD leader says values being debased

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Pier Luigi Bersani, the former leader of Premier Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), blasted what he described as political “power games” over Denis Verdini’s support for the executive’s Constitutional reform bill. Verdini is the leader of a small centre-right group, ALA, which recently split from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. “I’m not worried about Verdini and company, but about the PD and the government’s policies,” Bersani said on his Facebook page. “It seems that centre-left values, ideals and programmes are being debased into ‘trasformismi’, power games and children’s songs… It’s necessary to make it clearer where we are going, without smoke screens, word games and one-liners”. Trasformismo is a term used to describe apparent change that disguises lack of true reform.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Passera Among 17 Indicted for Olivetti Asbestos Deaths

Businessmen De Benedetti and Colaninno also face trial

(ANSA) — Ivrea, October 5 — Former minister Corrado Passera and businessmen Carlo De Benedetti and Roberto Colaninno were among 17 people sent to trial on Monday in relation to the asbestos-related deaths of former Olivetti workers. A preliminary hearings judge, however, ruled that the case against 11 other people, including De Benedetti’s sons Marco and Rodolfo, be dropped. The trial will start on November 23.

Passera was Italy’s transport and industry minister from 2011 to 2013 in the emergency technocrat government of ex-premier Mario Monti.

De Benedetti was president of the IT company, now part of the Telecom Italia group, from 1978 to 1996, Passera was its co-managing director from September 1992 to July 1996, while former Alitalia president Colaninno had a stint as CEO after that.

The case relates to the suspicious deaths of 14 workers at the Olivetti factory in Ivrea, near Turin, who did jobs ranging from assembling typewriters and machine maintenance to painting.

The workers, who died after their retirements between 2003 and early 2013, had been employed between the 1960s and 1990s in areas of the plant that were allegedly contaminated with asbestos fibers.

They were subsequently diagnosed with illnesses including mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: City to Sue if Anti-Marino Campaign Continues

Opposition trying to slam mayor on travel expenses

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Rome City Hall said Monday it will sue anyone who keeps up an “offensive campaign” against Mayor Ignazio Marino regarding his travel expenses. The mayor’s budget and spending are posted online in the interests of transparency, and “any other version of events is offensive, politically motivated, and baseless,” the statement said.

“Every single expenditure is itemized and formally motivated by the mayor, as per city regulations,” the statement said.

“The city will sue should this offensive campaign continue, in the interests of safeguarding the honor of the institution and of the mayor”.

A city council member from the small rightwing opposition Brothers of Italy (FdI) party announced Monday it is putting together a report on the mayor’s spending with the city’s credit card, alleging its credit limit was raised from 10,000 to 50,000 euros in September 2013.

Another rightwing politician, Francesco Storace, alleged on Facebook that the mayor used the city’s credit card to pay for “unbearable Saturday and Sunday lunches and dinners near his home”.

The opposition has vociferously criticized Marino’s frequent missions abroad, from which he returned with 13 million euros in donations from foreign patrons to restore Rome’s crumbling monuments.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Squinzi Says Happy if IRES Cut Pledge is True

Confindustria chief waiting to see if govt lives up to promises

(ANSA) — Rho, October 5 — Giorgio Squinzi, the president of industrial employers’ confederation Confindustria, said Monday that he will be happy if Premier Matteo Renzi keeps his pledge to cut the IRES business tax, but he also suggested that he will only believe it when he sees it. “We’ll be really happy if the taxes are cut, but let’s see if they really are cut,” he said. Renzi’s government has also promised to scrap the IMU property tax on household’s first homes in the 2016 budget law.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Tells Synod it Must Not Seek Compromise

Bishops start work after Vatican priest comes out as gay

(ANSA) — Vatican City, October 5 — Pope Francis said Monday that the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family must not seek to find a compromise between the different positions within the Catholic Church. “The synod is not a parliament where, to reach consensus, you make a common agreement, a negotiation, bargaining and compromises,” the pope said as he opened work at the synod on the family, an institution that may be creaking worldwide but while creaking provides support and meaning for a broad swathe of humanity. “The only method is to open oneself to the Holy Spirit with apostolical courage and evangelical humility”.

Francis issued a strong call for the bishops to show frankness and courage. “The synod is walking together with a spirit of collegiality, courageously adopting parrhesia (evangelical plain-speaking), pastoral and doctrinal zeal, wisdom and frankness and always putting the good of the Church and families and the health of souls before our eyes… “We (synod) fathers should practise apostolical courage, evangelical humility and faithful oration”.

In a passage that appeared to be directed at traditionalists, the pope said bishops should beware the “hardening of some hearts, which despite good intentions, keep people away from God”.

But he also made a nod to conservatives, calling for courage that “does not let itself be intimidated by the seductions of the world” and passing fads.

Since his election in 2013 as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, Francis has sparked hope among progressives who want him to forge ahead with his vision of a more inclusive Church that provides mercy rather than acting as the strict arbiter of rules they see as out of date.

Faith was “not a museum to look at and save” but should be a source of inspiration, Francis said, calling on the synod to have “courage to bring life and not make our Christian life a museum of memories”.

The gathering brings together some 300 bishops, delegates, observers and 18 married couples — as well as the youngest participant, Davide, a four-month-old baby being carried on his mother’s hip.

The participants will discuss ways to defend the traditional family and make life-long marriage more appealing to the young while also providing some long-hoped-for outreach to disaffected Catholics such as homosexuals, co-habiting couples and the divorced.

In a lengthy introductory presentation, Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo touched on — in his words — the “pastoral care of people with homosexual tendencies”, but he also outlined so many other issues, from violence, migration and unemployment to cohabitation, divorce or declining birth rates, often stemming from the individualism or fear of commitment often experienced by young people today.

Synod secretary general Cardinal Baldisseri outlined the previous steps on this journey, from the much talked-about consistory of cardinals back in 2014, right up to the World Meeting of Families that concluded in Philadelphia last weekend.

In between there has been a year of reflections on family life from the pope at his weekly general audiences and a new document making it simpler and cheaper to obtain annulments for those whose marriages can be declared invalid — both important parts of the puzzle for those trying to predict how this highly charged meeting will pan out.

Special Secretary Msgr Bruno Forte warned against making the same mistaken “bipolar” reading of this year’s synod as last year’s, widely portrayed as split between traditionalists and progressives, while the synod’s president delegate, French Cardinal Andre’ Vingt-Trois, stressed “you should not expect any changes in doctrine”.

The run-up to the synod was hit by a senior Vatican priest coming out as gay at the weekend — an affair cardinal Vingt-Trois accused the media of paying too much attention to, thereby detracting from the serious business at the synod.

Polish priest and theologian Krzysztof Charamsa announced that he was in a relationship with a man and said he had come out to challenge the Church’s “backwards” attitude to homosexuality.

The Vatican swiftly stripped the 43-year-old, who was assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of doctrinal responsibilities. The affair nonetheless continued to stir controversy and criticism on Monday.

“The choice to make such a sensational announcement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, because it aims to put the synod assembly under undue media pressure,” said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.

Yoyo Grassi, an openly gay former classmate of Pope Francis’s with whom the pope visited on his recent trip to the United States, also believed the announcement was strategically timed to attract media attention.

“The timing was wrong and the way he chose to do it was wrong,” Grassi said in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

“I don’t think he did any favors for the cause of homosexuals or for Pope Francis,” said Grassi.

Roberto Formigoni, a Senator with the New Centre Right (NCD) party who openly practices abstinence as a member of the Catholic Memores Domini Lay Association, called Charamsa’s announcement “an act of pride”.

“Living in chastity and being celibate isn’t an extra step for heaven. And Charamsa can even say that he can’t resist. It’s human. But he can’t make it a moral lecture for us,” Formigoni said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.

Formigoni said he felt “pain” when he read Charamsa’s announcement.

“But I’m not surprised. These types of positions are widespread, unfortunately,” Formigoni said.

“I’m talking about the fact that the Church’s teachings could be so blatantly rejected by a believer, by a priest no less, for years, as a matter of fact a manager in the office for the defence of the Catholic faith,” he said.

Charamsa said Monday “all is in the hands of God”.

“One is always sorry to leave Italy,” the prelate said at Fiumicino airport on his way to Barcelona after losing his jobs as an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, adjunct secretary to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, and professor at two Vatican universities. “I will continue to face up to my vocation — my being a man and a priest — and in the same way one must wish every person, every Christian, (the ability to) be oneself on the path of faith, within the truth of one’s own nature,” he added.

“That is, with the courage to face who we are…otherwise we live a lie, which is no good to anyone”.

In an interview with Corriere della Sera paper at the weekend, Charamsa said “I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a homosexual priest who is happy and proud of his identity”.

“I am ready to pay the consequences, but the time has come for the Church to open its eyes to gay believers and for it to understand that the solution it offers them — that of total abstinence from a love life — is inhumane,” Charamsa told Corriere.

Cardinal Vingt-Trois may have been rather severe about the media coverage of the affair, but the pope himself appeared more benevolent towards the media.

At the end of his opening address Monday, in fact, Francis voiced his gratitude towards the media for its attention to the synod.

“I want to address a special thanks to the journalists present at this time and to those who follow us from afar. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation and for your admirable attention,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rugby: Italy Salvage Pride But Quarterfinal Hopes Dashed

Azzurri lose 16-9 to Ireland

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Italy salvaged some pride but their dream of reaching the Rugby World Cup finals for the first time ever are over after Sunday’s 16-9 defeat to Ireland.

The Azzurri were much improved with the return of captain Sergio Parisse, even though he was not fully match fit after recovering from a badly bruised leg, following a 32-10 defeat to France in their opener and a laboured 23-18 win over Canada.

They pushed the much-fancied Irish hard, giving them trouble in the scrum and serving up a sterling defensive display.

But their inability to cross the tryline, with lock Josh Furno tackled just short early in the second half, cost them. “It’s a missed opportunity,” Italy coach Jacques Brunel told a press conference.

“We have the ability to challenge teams. We can do better but we have shown the qualities we have”.

Italy must now beat Romania in their final Pool D match in Exeter on Sunday to ensure they finish third in the group and qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Terror Twins’ Zahra and Salma Halane Who Joined ISIS Tried to Recruit Their Family

Twins Zahra and Salma Halane, from Manchester, fled their family home last year to travel to Syria as jihadi brides. They since contacted their younger brothers encouraging them to join them.

The teenage ‘terror twins’ who fled Britain to join ISIS have tried to recruit their younger siblings since arriving in Syria.

Twins Zahra and Salma Halane, from Manchester, sent threatening messages to their family, swearing hatred for ‘the infidels’ and encouraging them to join ISIS.

One message, sent by Zahra to encourage her two younger brothers to sign up as ‘future mujaheddin’, read: ‘We might seem evil to you, but we will all be happy in jannah [the afterlife].

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Cereal Killer Cafe Riot Leader Murray Healy Lives in a £600,000 Flat

Murray Healy (left), leader of a hard-Left anarchist group that attacked a trendy cafe in East London used profits he made on a nearby flat to snap up a £600,000 home in Kennington.

The leader of a hard-Left anarchist group that attacked a trendy cafe in East London used profits he made on a nearby flat to snap up a £600,000 home.

Murray Healy, 46, joined the demonstrators in Brick Lane who threw paint and daubed the word ‘scum’ on the Cereal Killer Cafe last weekend.

He is part of the Class War group who claim to be a grassroots movement fighting against the gentrification of the traditionally working class area…

Following the so-called ‘**** Parade’ protest, it was revealed several of the protesters were high-profile academics from prominent universities.

Dr Lisa Mckenzie, a research fellow at LSE, was photographed at the event holding a placard with the slogan: ‘We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live’.

A mother of one with dyed red hair, she studied sociology at Nottingham University and went on to gain funding for a Masters degree and a PhD.

She lives in a £1,300-a-month flat in the trendy Limehouse area of London and posts details on her Facebook page of holidays to exotic destinations such as Barbados, Las Vegas and Jamaica as well as New York, Milan, Rome, Paris and Barcelona.

[Comment: All die hard communists. Why are upper class and “intellectuals” so enamoured with communism?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Coventry Bus That Crashed Into Sainsbury’s Was Driven by Ex-Mayor

Kailash Chander is understood to have lost control and mounted the pavement before ploughing through lampposts and crashing into the store in Coventry on Saturday evening.

A colleague of the bus driver, a married father of two and former Labour councillor, told how he had worked at the Stagecoach Midlands company for 42 years.

The man, who asked not to be identified, said: ‘He is a polite, kind man who has done a lot for the community — he was a former town mayor.

‘I have never known him to have a crash before. This tragedy will stay with him for ever.’

A second bus driver who worked alongside Mr Chander at the depot in the former mayor’s home town of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, said he was not aware of old age being a barrier to driving a bus with the company.

Police are continuing to establish exactly what caused the crash in Coventry. Nobody has been arrested.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Serbia: Over 75 Pct of Doctors Consider Emigration

BELGRADE — More than 75 percent of health care professionals in Serbia are thinking about leaving the country, according to the results of a research on health workforce migration, which could destabilize the country’s health care system.

Presenting the findings of the research “Migration of Health Care Workers from the Western Balkans: Analyzing Causes, Consequences and Policies”, the researchers said that the economic motives had a significant influence on migration.

“The results of the research have shown that more than 75 percent of doctors have considered leaving the country either at some point in their lives or recently. The percentage is even higher (81 percent) among respondents under 35 years of age,” said Dr Maja Krstic, a research associate from Serbia.

She pointed to difficult economic situation and low income, poor working conditions, low employment options and lack of prospects as the main reasons why health care professionals would choose to emigrate.

The Serbian Medical Chamber has issued around 2,000 “certificates of good standing” to medical doctors since 2012, and the number keeps rising, Krstic said, adding that no data were available on the possible country of destination or the length of stay.

At the end of 2014, 2,644 doctors in Serbia were unemployed.

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

Casablanca Bans Beer Festival

Three days prior to its ‘debut’

(ANSAmed) — RABAT, OCTOBER 5 — What was to have been the first beer festival ever in Morocco has been banned by Casablanca three days prior to its scheduled opening. The order came from the regional administration, with immediate effect. All ads for the event — organized by the Brasseries du Maroc company — must thus be removed immediately. According to a statement, the event “does not comply with the regulations and laws in force”, nor is it in line with the “ban on organizing any activity connected to the drinking of alcoholic beverages”. The festival was to have been held October 8 to November 8 in many parts of Casablanca. Though it began quietly, the event ended up drawing a great deal of attention in newspapers, local magazines and on television.

Thereafter came the public’s reaction, with a focus on the fact that a beer festival was being organized in a country where alcohol cannot be served to Muslims. A Facebook page was started against the holding of the festival as well.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Father Kills Daughter, Self Near Ferrara

Algerian driver in murder-suicide

(ANSA) — Ferrara, October 5 — A father shot his daughter dead before taking his own life with his pistol near Ferrara Monday, police said.

The man was a 50-year-old Algerian driver, they said.

His daughter was 21.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Across Arc of Conflict, ‘Obama Doctrine’ Shows Signs of Failure

In Syria, U.S.-trained rebels surrender supplies and ammunition to al Qaeda-linked insurgents. In Iraq, the battle by American-backed government forces against Islamic State is at a stalemate. In Afghanistan, the Taliban seize a provincial capital for the first time since their ouster in 2001.

Less than a year and a half after President Barack Obama used a West Point speech to lay out a strategy for relying on local partners instead of large-scale U.S. military deployments abroad, there is mounting evidence that the so-called “Obama Doctrine” may be failing.

Despite the U.S. investment of at least an estimated $90 billion in these counter-terrorism efforts, Obama has found few reliable allies to carry the load on the battlefield — and he seems to have few good options to fix the situation.

Obama also appears hemmed in by his deep aversion to seeing America drawn back into unpopular Middle East wars after pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2011.

Russia’s sudden moves to seize the initiative in the Syria and Iraq crises in recent weeks have stunned U.S. officials and laid bare the erosion of Washington’s influence in the region.

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

Free Syrian Army Command Asks Russia for Help Against ISIL

The representative of the Euphrates Volcano command of the FSA and the Kurdish YPG told Sputnik that the command supports Russia’s operation against ISIL and requests military help.

The Eurphrates Volcano (Burqan al-Furat) command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) supports Russia’s military operation in Syria and for help in battling ISIL, the command’s official spokesman Servan Devrish told Sputnik.

Euphrates Volcano is the joint command of the FSA and the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) operating in northern Syria, primarily against the Islamic State. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov previously said that Russia is willing to make contacts with the Syrian armed opposition Free Syrian Army, but requested further information on it from the United States, referring to the FSA’s “phantom nature.”

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

In Putin’s Syria Intervention, Fear of a Weak Government Hand

What’s Driving Putin Into Syria

Russia’s intervention in Syria is partly strategic, but President Vladimir V. Putin has another reason, a long-held belief, for supporting the Syrian president’s government.

By CHANNON HODGE and STEVEN LEE MYERS on Publish Date October 4, 2015. Photo by Regis Duvignau/Reuters. Watch in Times Video “

On the night of Dec. 5, 1989, Vladimir V. Putin, then a lieutenant colonel in the K.G.B., watched with alarm as thousands of East Germans in Dresden swarmed the riverside compound of the dreaded secret police, the Stasi.

The Berlin Wall had been breached the month before, and the Communist government that had ruled East Germany since the end of World War II gasped its last breaths as protesters took to the streets across the country. The young officer and future Russian president, just 37 at the time, could only stand by helplessly at the K.G.B.’s Dresden outpost a few hundred feet away.

The takeover of the Stasi headquarters was relatively peaceful, but in Mr. Putin’s mind the crowd was frenzied, deranged and dangerous, and the experience that night haunted him like nothing else in his mostly undistinguished career as an intelligence officer. “I felt it like a fault of my own,” he told one of his oldest friends, Sergei Roldugin.

East Germany soon ceased to exist, as did the Soviet Union following the abortive putsch in August 1991, suffering from an affliction that Mr. Putin described as “a paralysis of power.”

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

Preview of World War III? Russia is Putting on a Display of Firepower That is Shocking the World

The Russians have unleashed their own version of “shock and awe” in Syria, and the brutal efficiency of their airstrikes against ISIS targets has stunned many observers around the globe.

For more than a year, the Obama administration has claimed that its bombing campaign in Syria has been a “success”, and yet ISIS has continued to grow stronger and gain more territory. But now just over a few days the tide of the conflict appears to have turned. The whole world has gotten a chance to see what a global superpower can truly do to a bunch of radical Islamic terrorists when it is focused and determined. The images that we have seen of hardened ISIS command centers being wiped off the face of the map by Russian bombs are truly impressive. But why did those targets still exist in the first place? Was the U.S. military unable to identify them previously? Or could it be possible that the Obama administration did not want to hit them?

What we do know is that a state of panic has been created among ISIS militants that we have not seen previously. There are reports of hundreds of terrorists abandoning their positions and trying to flee the country…

Russian air strikes Saturday targeting the Islamic State group in Syria have sown “panic”, forcing some 600 “militants” to abandon their positions and head to Europe, Moscow claimed.

Summing up the results of Russia’s first three days of strikes, a senior official with the General Staff said Russian jets had made more than 60 sorties over 50 IS targets and added that Russia would ramp up its aerial campaign.

“Our intelligence shows that militants are leaving areas under their control. Panic and desertion have started in their ranks,” Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, a senior Russian General Staff official, said in a statement.

“Some 600 mercenaries have abandoned their positions and are trying to find their way into Europe,” Kartapolov said.

Of course the mainstream media in the United States is downplaying the effectiveness of these attacks. The Obama administration is very much against these Russian airstrikes, and it is quite an embarrassment to the U.S. that the Russians are doing what we were either unwilling or unable to do.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Putin Has Just Put an End to the Wolfowitz Doctrine

The Russians Will No Longer Allow Regime Change of Their Allies

4-Star General Wesley Clark noted:

In 1991, [powerful neocon and Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz] was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy — the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.


And I said, “Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.”

And he said: “Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region — in the Middle East — and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes — Syria, Iran, Iraq — before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

The hawks overthrew Soviet allies Iraq and Libya.

And they’ve been pushing for regime change in Syria for years.

By bombing Isis, Al Nusra and other jihadis in Syria who are focused on overthrowing Russian ally Assad, Putin has put an end to the Wolfowitz doctrine.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria

The US regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe.

More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not? What if Rouhani in Iran decided that Obama had lost his legitimacy for killing a number of American citizens by drone without charge or trial? Would we accept that?

At least three years of US efforts to train rebels to overthrow the Syrian government has produced, as General Lloyd Austin, Commander of US Central Command, testified last month, “four or five” trained and vetted “moderates” in Syria. The $500 million appropriated for this purpose has disappeared.

The neocon solution to this failure to overthrow Assad and “degrade and destroy” ISIS is to increase the bombing and lead a ground invasion of Syria. The confusing policy of fighting Assad and also fighting his enemies does not seem to bother the neocons. They want us to forget all about their recent failures in Libya and Iraq and to try the same failed strategy one more time.

But something dramatic happened last week. Russian president Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the United Nations criticizing the US policy of partnering with one set of extremists — al-Qaeda and its allies — to attack both ISIS and Assad. “Do you realize now what you have done?” asked Putin.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russian Incursions Into Turkey Airspace Pose ‘Extreme Danger’, Warns NATO

Nato on Monday condemned the “extreme danger” posed by Russian incursions into Turkish airspace and called on Moscow to halt attacks on Syrian civilians and opposition groups.

Russia waded into Syria’s four-year long war last week, sending ripples of anger through rebel ranks and stoking tensions with the West and its Gulf allies.

Nato said that Russian intervention had reached a “more dangerous level” over the weekend, with two separate violations of Turkish airspace reported, after Russia sent Su-30 and Su-24 aircraft into the Hatay region along the southern border with Syria.

“The aircraft in question entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ clear, timely and repeated warnings,” the military alliance said in a statement, noting the “extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Russian TV Forecasts ‘Good Weather for Bombing’ In Syria

Russian TV has taken its gung-ho coverage of air strikes in Syria to another level by airing cheery weather forecasts for its fighter jets bombing Syria.

A female forecaster on the state-owned Rossiya 24 rolling news channel told viewers that Syria’s weather in October was “ideal for carrying out operational sorties”.

Standing in front of an image of a bomber and the headline “Flying weather”, the forecaster gave a straight-faced analysis of the perfect conditions for bombing.

Light cloud cover “will not make flying more difficult and will not influence the systems for aiming weapons,” she told viewers on Saturday…

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

Saudis Mull Launch of Regional War as Russia Pounds Targets in Syria for Fourth Day

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey will move to counter Russia militarily.

While the US has certainly made some epic strategic blunders in Syria that raise serious questions about just how “intelligent” US intelligence actually is, there’s little doubt that if one were to look behind all of the media parroting, the Pentagon and Langley understand all too well what’s going on in the Middle East.

That is, the significance of the Russia-Iran “nexus” in Syria isn’t lost on anyone in the US military and you can bet there have been quite a few high level discussions over the past 72 hours about the best way to counter Moscow and Tehran’s powerplay before it spills over into Iraq and ends up degrading Washington’s influence in Baghdad.

As we put it on Friday, “if Russia ends up bolstering Iran’s position in Syria (by expanding Hezbollah’s influence and capabilities) and if the Russian air force effectively takes control of Iraq thus allowing Iran to exert a greater influence over the government in Baghdad, the fragile balance of power that has existed in the region will be turned on its head and in the event this plays out, one should not expect Washington, Riyadh, Jerusalem, and London to simply go gentle into that good night.”

Sure enough, some experts now predict Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey will move to counter Russia militarily if Moscow continues to rack up gains for Assad. Here’s The Guardian with more:

Regional powers have quietly, but effectively, channelled funds, weapons and other support to rebel groups making the biggest inroads against the forces from Damascus. In doing so, they are investing heavily in a conflict which they see as part of a wider regional struggle for influence with bitter rival Iran.

In a week when Russia made dozens of bombing raids, those countries have made it clear that they remain at least as committed to removing Assad as Moscow is to preserving him.

[Comment: obamas ww3, as instructed by his bankster handlers.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sexual Slavery: “Nothing to Do With Islam”?

by Uzay Bulut

“They are also taught that white non-Muslims are easy, cheap, dirty sluts and that it is their right [to take them]. … On top of this, teaching people to hate anyone who is not a Muslim — as is done in many mosques — will, of course, lead to a lot of people hating anyone who is not a Muslim. … The problem, however, is also due to police, judges, lawyers, and teachers, fearing the words ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobe’ — and nothing is being done to stop that.” — Toni Bugle, women’s rights activist, founder of Mothers against Radical Islam and Sharia, and victim of child-rape.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria Update: Air Duel Between the Sukhoi Su-30 Russian Sm and Israeli F-15

Six Russian fighter jets type Multirole Sukhoi SU — 30 SM have intercepted 4 Israeli McDonnell Douglas F-15’s fighter bombers attempting to infiltrate the Syrian coast.The Israeli F 15 warplanes have been flying over Syrian airspace for months and in particular the coast of Latakia, which is now the bridgehead of the Russian forces in Syria.

The Israeli jets would generally follow a fairly complex flight plan and approach Latakia from the sea.

On the night of 1 October 02, 2015, six Sukhoi SU-30 Russian SM fighters took off from the Syrian Hmimim airbase in the direction of Cyprus, before changing course and intercepting the four Israeli F-15 fighters off the coast of Syria, that were flying in attack formation.

Surprised by a situation as unexpected and probably not prepared for a dogfight with one of the best Russian multipurpose fighters, Israeli pilots have quickly turned back South at high speed over the Lebanon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria Conflict: Turkey Summons Russian Ambassador a Second Time

Turkey has again summoned the Russian ambassador after a second violation of its airspace by a Russian warplane operating in Syria in two days.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria: ‘Ransom of 11mn Paid for Italian Aid Workers’ Release’

Alleged kidnapper was ‘convicted for pocketing ransom money’

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, OCTOBER 5 — Judicial sources in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday said that a nearly 11-million-euro ransom was paid for the release last January of Italian aid workers Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo, who were abducted together in Abzimo in July 2014. The sources said one of the people involved in the ransom negotiations, Hussam Atrash, was convicted by an “Islamic tribunal” of the Nureddin Zenki Movement for having pocketed nearly half of the ransom money. The group is part of the al-Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate.

ANSA obtained a digital copy of the October 2 conviction by the Nureddin Zenki Movement’s Qasimiya tribunal in Atareb, which said that Atrash, who was based in Abzimo, pocketed five million of the 12.5-million-dollar ransom payment. Sources in Atareb told ANSA by phone that the remaining 7.5 million dollars were divided among local warlords.

When the aid workers were released in January, rumours circulated suggesting that Italy had paid a ransom to free them.

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the rumours were “just conjecture”. The Italian government, like its predecessors and in line with international practice, is against paying ransom to free hostages, Gentiloni told the Lower House after welcoming the aid workers home last January.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: 160 Jihadists Killed, 3,000 Others Flee to Jordan

Turkey accuses Russia of violating air space. Protests

(ANSAmed) — MOSCOW, OCTOBER 5 — At least 3,000 militants from ISIS and jihadist groups Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaish al-Yarmouk have fled from Syria to Jordan over fears the Syrian army is advancing on all fronts and for the Russian air raids, Ria Novosti reports, citing a military source. Some 160 jihadist militants have been reportedly killed yesterday during an attack carried out by the Syrian army in Deir Ezzor province while 17 others died in an attack in Homs and Palmyra.

According to the same source, the Syrian army yesterday launched an offensive in the outskirts of Damascus, in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Homs, as well as close to the city of Palmyra. This morning, instead, according to Ria Novosti, Syrian army helicopters launched leaflets in the southern part of Hama province, calling on terrorists to surrender and warning civilians that a major military operation was beginning.

On Saturday, a Syrian fighter jet reportedly violated Turkish air space in Hatay province, close to the Syrian border, according to the Turkish foreign ministry. Russian Ambassador Andrey Karloc was summoned to express Turkey’s protests with the threat of retaliatory actions in the event of similar incidents in future.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: For the Bishop of Aleppo, The Destruction in Palmyra is a Warning From the Islamic State to the West

Militants blew up the monumental arch dating back to the Roman era. For Mgr Audo, this is a show of force against the United States and Europe. The West is deaf to the suffering population. The situation is getting worse. Peace and a political solution are needed.

Aleppo (AsiaNews) — Mgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo, spoke to AsiaNews about the destruction by the Islamic State (IS) group of the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, which dates back to Roman time, some 2,000 years ago.

For the prelate, this is not “a domestic message, for Syria, but a warning to the international community, especially the United States and Europe, who care a lot about archaeological assets”.

“These acts,” he added, 2are meant to show the world their strength, violence, domination of the Arab and Muslim world. They are an act of great media propaganda.”

The Arch of Triumph was pulverised, this according to Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim, who confirmed earlier news reports. If IS remains in control of Palmyra, “the city is doomed,” he said.

For UNESCO’s director general Irina Bokova, the destruction constitutes a “war crime” and called on the international community to stand united against IS efforts to “deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history”.

The latest destruction is not an isolated act. In late August IS posted five pictures online, showing its members placing explosives around the Baal Shamin temple, and adjacent walls, which they consider pagan.

IS, which had already seized large swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory, took the city of Palmyra from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad last May.

In addition to destroying archaeological sites, IS in mid-August publicly decapitated the site’s director, Khaled al-Assad, who had refused to disclose where he had removed most artefacts before the arrival of IS fighters.

The latest salvo in IS’s propaganda war came just days after Russia launched air strikes against the extremists and other opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

However, the West has accused Moscow of mainly targeting moderate opponents of the regime whilst neighbouring Turkey has branded the Russian bombing campaign “unacceptable”.

Ankara said it had intercepted a Russian warplane on Saturday in its airspace, and summoned the Russian ambassador in protest.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo said that the country’s tragic situation is getting worse. “People have become destitute; many are sick. There is no money to buy food; everything is expensive.”

Meanwhile, militants continue to “issue their messages, to show that they are powerful and have the means to instil fear. And the West,” he warns, “is in danger against these extremist groups.”

The escalation of violence and terror complicates even more the already fragile situation of the Christian community, whose exodus seems to be never-ending.

“The Church is working to maintain the Christian presence in the Middle East, especially in Syria, alive and well. It is a sign of pluralism and dignity,” said the prelate. “However, it seems that the West is not paying attention.

For the prelate, “the disappearance of Christians would be a loss not only for the Eastern Churches, but also for Islam itself. Without their presence, there would be room only for sheer violence whereby one side can continue to destroy.”

The Syrian Church, Mgr Audo said, is trying as much as possible “to give a future to families and young people by providing education, food, health care and psychological support. However, without peace and a political solution, war and violence are bound to continue.”

More than 240,000 people have died since March 2011, when anti-government unrest turned into an open revolt against the Assad regime.

According to UN figures, some 10 million have become displaced since then. At least 4 million people found refuge in neighbouring countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq — with 150,000 seeking asylum in the European Union. Another 6.5 million are internally displaced. (DS)

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

The Moscow-Washington-Tehran Axis of Evil

The conventional wisdom is that Vladimir Putin has blindsided Barack Obama in the Middle East, catching the U.S. off-guard. It’s another Obama “failure,” we’re told. “Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria,” is how a Washington Post headline described it. A popular cartoon showsPutin kicking sand in the faces of Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on a beach.

The conventional wisdom is driven by the notion that Obama has the best of intentions but that he’s been outmaneuvered. What if his intention all along has been to remake the Middle East to the advantage of Moscow and its client state Iran? What if he knows exactly what he’s doing? Too many commentators refuse to consider that Obama is deliberately working against U.S. interests and in favor of the enemies of the U.S. and Israel.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why Foreign Troops Can’t Fight Our Fights

Phillip Carter is a former Army officer and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

In a pair of stunningly candid admissions during the past few weeks, the U.S. Central Command has signaled that a $500 million effort to train and equip Syrian rebel forces has failed. Just four or five fighters of a force planned to number 3,000 to 5,000 by now are active in the battle against the Islamic State; many more of those trained may now be fighting for the other side. A significant chunk of the U.S. military hardware given to the rebels has passed through their hands and into the possession of al-Qaeda. Based on what is publicly known, the United States is worse off now than it was before it started training the rebels.

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

10,000 Protest in Moldova Over Missing $1.5 Billion

Want probe into the missing money and for responsible prosecuted

(ANSA-AP) — CHISINAU, Moldova — About 10,000 Moldovans have staged an anti-government protest, demanding a probe into the up to $1.5 billion that disappeared from three Moldovan banks last year. Some protesters scuffled with police and tried to push their way into Parliament. Protesters gathered in a main square in the capital, Chisinau, for the fourth consecutive Sunday of anti-government demonstrations, which began on Sept. 6.

Protesters want a probe into the missing money and for those responsible to be prosecuted. The losses were covered by state reserves in Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries.

They are also demanding early elections and for the president, the prime minister and others to resign.

On Saturday, two pro-Russian parties erected about 250 tents near Parliament, blocking the capital’s main street. They took the tents down Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh: Dhaka: According to Sheikh Hasina, The Islamic State Did Not Kill Caesar Tavella and Hoshi Kunio

In a press conference, the Prime Minister states that there are no caliphate cells in Bangladesh and that the two murders are the work of the alliance between BNP (Nationalist Party) and Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamist organization). The Japanese, 66, was killed less than a week after Caesar Tavella. Still doubt the motive. Kunio had recently converted to Islam.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — The Islamic State (IS) is not responsible for the murder of the Italian volunteer Cesare Tavella or the Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio, according to statements made today by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Speaking at a press conference held at his residence (Gono Bhaban) in Dhaka the head of government, claimed the murders were the work of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic political organization).

“The style of the murders of the two foreign nationals- said the prime minister — is as if … they were well prepared.” “I can say that no group like the Islamic state is active here. Our intelligence — the woman continued — is on alert and have no evidence of any operations by such groups in Bangladesh. “

The Islamic State has claimed both crimes. According to local police, Hoshi Kunio, 66, was traveling on a rickshaw on 3 October in the city of Kaunia, Rangpur district, when “his vehicle was blocked by three masked men on a motorcycle.” The man was killed by gunshots. Kunio was working on an agricultural project in Rangpur, 300 km north of Dhaka. According to the Site Intelligence Group, the Caliphate claimed responsibility for the murder on Twitter.

The murder of Japanese citizen comes less than a week from that of Italian Cesare Tavella, 50, shot dead on 29 September in the diplomatic area of the capital while jogging. Following the murder, the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have raised the alert level for their diplomatic missions in Bangladesh and the countries of South Asia. International schools in Dhaka were temporarily closed. The Australian cricket team has canceled a tour in the country, scheduled for last week, due to security concerns.

While the motive of the murder of Caesar Tavella seems to have been his “western” origin, it is less clear what motivated the murder of Hoshi Kunio who, according to witnesses, had recently converted to Islam.

Siddik Hossain, imam of Munshiparha, told “I personally converted him to Islam during the last Ramadan, in the presence of a group of local Muslims. He has prayed the Jumma prayers in the mosque many times since that day. “

Riazul Islam Rintu, from Munshiparha, confirms that Hoshi Kunio had converted on the 27th day of Ramadan and had taken the name of Golam Kibria: “I was present when he converted. He prayed the Jumma prayers in a mosque near his home and has participated in the Eid-ul-Azha in Munshiparha mosque “.

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

Bangladesh: Protestant Clergyman in Stabbing by Three, Possibly Muslim Attackers

Luke Sarkar was at home when three men approached him. The attackers pulled out a knife and tried to cut his throat. The modus operandi is the same as in the cases of Cesare Tavella and Hoshi Kunio. Police suspect Muslim extremists. “Christians are vulnerable in this country,” says Christian activist. “We can be attacked at any moment.”

Pabna (AsiaNews) — Rev Luke Sarkar, who heads a Protestant congregation, was attacked at home and stabbed by three criminals, not far the Ishwardi police station in Pabna district, about 200 km from the capital of Bangladesh.

Police have not yet arrested the culprits, who fled when the victim began screaming, and attracted the attention of his wife and relatives. However, suspicions have fallen on Muslim extremists, who have been on a terror binge in recent days across the country.

Luke Sarkar, a 50-year-old homeopath, heads the ‘Faith Bible Church of God’. He said that about two weeks ago he received a call from two Muslims, who told him that they wanted to learn about the Gospel. “We want to hear the Gospel from you,” they apparently told him. “We want to meet you.”

This morning, three men approached him to ask him some questions. When they saw the Gospel and other books, they suddenly pulled out a knife and tried to cut his throat.

However, the three fled when Sarkar started shouting, attracting the attention of family members. In their haste, the attackers abandoned the motorcycle with which they had come to the house.

“Rev Luke Sarkar was treated at the hospital in Pabna and returned home safely,” local police said. “We believe he was attacked by members of some extremist group.”

“We are very concerned about the attack,” said Nirmal Rozario, general secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association, a Christian activist group.

“In the last two weeks, radical Muslims have killed two foreigners,” he told AsiaNews. “We Christians are vulnerable in this country, as are other Muslim minorities. We can be attacked at any moment.”

Activists and intellectuals who criticise radical Muslims have also been targeted in recent years.

The latest attack against the Christian clergyman closely resembles the murder of two humanitarian workers, 50-year-old Italian humanitarian worker Cesare Tavella, who was killed in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter whilst out jogging, and Hoshi Kunio, a 66-year-old Japanese, who was shot dead by three men on a motorcycle.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for both murders, an assertion rejected by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who said IS was not operating in Bangladesh.

In view of the situation, Rozario wants action. “I call on the government in Dhaka to ensure security in all churches and for all Christians in Bangladesh,” he said. “The police must arrest the three assailants and impose an exemplary punishment.”

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

India: Madhya Pradesh, Three Pentecostal Christians Arrested for Alleged Forced Conversions

The three work for the NGO Gospel Echoing Missionary Society, which has worked for more than 40 years in the northern states of India. Religious material, CDs and projectors confiscated. Two men allegedly paid to convert. Christian leader: “The Pentecostal Christians were arrested under the pernicious anti-conversion law that violates religious freedom.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Madhya Pradesh police have arrested three Pentecostal Christians accused of proselytizing and forced conversions in the central Indian region. The arrest took place on Saturday night (October 3) in a school Majhgawan in Satna district (in the north of the state), while the three men were giving courses in religion.

Msgr. Leo Cornelius, archbishop of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), told AsiaNews: “The police conducted the arrests on the basis of a simple ‘complaint’, without any investigation: this is a serious violation of human rights. Some fanatics put pressure on the police without any evidence of actual attempts at forced conversions. The agents then carry out the arrests. What happened is a serious violation”.

The three men work for the NGO Gems (Gospel Echoing Missionary Society), which has been present for more than 40 years in the northern Indian states. Majhgawan Police report that those arrested are: Stephan Rajkumar, 40, a resident of Chennai (in Tamil Nadu); Harilal 20, from Rewa, in Madhya Pradesh; Anil Kumar, Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh).

According to the policeman Khem Singh, the Christians violated sections 3 and 4 of the 1968 norm the Madhya Pradesh Dharm Swatantrya Adhiniyam and some articles of the Criminal Code.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews that “the law violates religious freedom. The police are giving in to right-wing activists with arrests conducted in compliance with the pernicious anti-conversion law. The police are wasting time instead of acting against these attacks on religious minorities”.

Singh reports that two men reported the three Christians, claiming they had been offered 5 thousand rupees [approximately EUR 68 — Ed] to convert. During the arrest, the police also seized religious material, CDs and projectors. Another 10 people are reportedly willing to testify against Christians.

The president of the GCIC said that “India is a secular republic, where every religion is equal before the law. The GCIC appeals to the National Human Rights Commission of India and the National Commission for Minorities for guaranteeing security and freedom of confession to the tiny Christian community in Madhya Pradesh “.

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

New Taliban Leader Mullah Mansour ‘Is Businessman Protected by Pakistan’

Mullah Mansour, the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, has a house in the western tourist haven of Dubai which he visits regularly and from where he runs part of a business empire, according to new claims.

Unlike his hermit-like predecessor, the one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar, the controversial new figurehead of the war against the western-backed government in Afghanistan is a pragmatist with a known record as a businessman.

However, in a profile by the New York Times based on interviews with present and former colleagues and government officials, Mullah Akhtar Mansour is revealed to be not only wealthy, but well-travelled and well-protected.

He is said to have a home protected by Pakistan’s security agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), in the city of Quetta, from where he also runs a number of businesses including a mobile phone company.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Homeless Woman Found Dead at Hong Kong McDonald’s 24 Hours After She Sat Down as Unaware Customers Ate

Police are trying to confirm the identity of a homeless woman who was found dead in a 24-hour McDonald’s outlet at a public housing estate in Kowloon Bay yesterday morning.

The case has raised concern among social welfare groups about the lack of support for people living on the fringes of society.

The woman, aged around 50 to 60 years, was found slumped over her table in a quiet corner, 24 hours after she entered the restaurant at Ping Shek Estate, while other customers were unaware what had happened.

She was 1.6 metres tall, with short black hair and wearing black-rimmed glasses. She was dressed in a gray long-sleeved overcoat, white t-shirt and black trousers, and wore slippers. Although she had a bag and a wallet on her, she had no identification documents.

It is believed she was a street-sleeper who regularly spent her nights in McDonald’s…

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

Burundi’s Hunt for ‘Rebels’ Spooks Frightened Rwandans

Buses to Burundi from neighbouring Rwanda used to be full, but nowadays they struggle for passengers: a reflection of tensions amid accusations Kigali is backing a rebellion against Bujumbura.

Checkpoints on the roads from Rwanda have sprung up, with passengers regularly taken off buses and accused of being part of a rebel army Bujumbura accuses Rwanda of harbouring on its soil.

“If you are young you are routinely arrested,” said Jacques, who works for a Rwandan bus operator…

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

Nepal Women Sold as Sex Slaves in Tanzania and Qatar

The victims’ stories are just about the same. Rima Basnet was lured into slavery in Tanzania, and Kamala Tamang was sold in Qatar, where she contracted AIDS before she was thrown out. In both cases, the victims received death threats if they did not perform to satisfy the sex desires of customers. Thousands of women share the same fate: sold and used in the Middle East and Africa.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) — Scores of young women from Nepal have been caught up in the sex trade. Rima Basnet and Kamala Tamang (not their real names) are two of them.

Rima Basnet is 22. Her painful journey began when she was lured by a job promise that ended up with her becoming a sex slave in Tanzania. “Our job,” she told AsiaNews, “was to dance and satisfy the sexual desires of the customers who came to the club and picked us. We could not tell our families what was happening. The owner always carried a loaded pistol, ready to shoot if we told anyone he was exploiting us.”

Like Rima, Kamala Tamang’s journey of exploitation and abuse brought her to Qatar, but “Once I contracted HIV/AIDS, my captors threw me out.”

These young women are but two of the thousands of women from Nepal, Bangladesh and India who are sold every year as sex slaves in Africa and the Middle East, including in Syrian territory under the control of the Islamic State (IS) group.

Rima Basnet comes from a poor family that belongs to a minority in the southern district of Morang. AsiaNews met her at the Patan Appellate Court (south of Kathmandu) –

After she finished high school, she left for the capital to look for work. “In Kathmandu, a friend of my brother told me I could go to Tanzania to work as a waitress in a restaurant,” she explained. “He told me that I would get a good paying job but had me promise not to tell anyone”.

“Then he took me to a hotel where five other women were staying. He took our passports and papers, and asked us to pay 200,000 Nepali rupees (about US$ 1,900), which I did not have. So he told me I had a debt with him and that he would invest in me.”

After a few days, the 22-year-old was moved to India. Here she and other women were passed on to an Indian agent, who brought them to a hotel in Delhi where they were raped and threatened. From there, they ended up in Tanzania, in a strip bar.

“We were denied food but were given stuff to increase our sex drive. We asked to be paid, but we were told that we had been sold, so we had to do everything we were told. “

Eventually, she was found and rescued, unconscious, in a forest where she had been beaten for refusing to have sex.

Kamala Tamang, from the northern district of Sindhupalchowk, endured a very similar same fate. She too was eventually rescued, by the Maiti Nepal, an association that saved two women in India from a Saudi diplomat.

Her brother sold her in Qatar when she was just 18 years old. “I was forced to have unprotected sex with up to ten men,” she told AsiaNews. “I eventually contracted HIV/AIDS and was thrown out. Many girls are enslaved like me in these countries.”

These cases are far from isolated. In fact, the sex trade is growing in the Indian subcontinent. In Delhi, India, police rescued 235 women in 2014. A year earlier, they had saved 160, including 43 from Nepal. In 2012, they freed another 185, including 42 Nepalis.

Since the beginning of this year, Indian police have arrested 62 human traffickers. In 2013 they took into custody 199; the year before, 261.

Recently, the Achham District Court in (north-western Nepal) sentenced a 56-year-old man, Amar Bista, to 44 years in prison for selling his wife as a sex slave for 300,000 Nepali rupees (US$ 2,900).

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

Brazil High Court: Lula Can be Questioned in Petrobras Probe

Police in Brazil can question former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as they probe the massive money-laundering scandal at state oil giant Petrobras, the nation’s Supreme Court ruled.

Brazil’s top court issued its ruling late Friday, after being petitioned last month by police to interrogate Lula, who governed the country from 2003 to 2010.

The high court, which handles all cases involving federal politicians, is mired deep in the fallout from the Petrobras kickback and political payoff scandal that cost the company more than $2 billion in 2014…

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

Demonstration in Saxony, ‘Border’ Against Refugees

A Gortlitz “challenge” between protests and anti-protesters

(ANSA) — BERLIN — Weekend of anti-immigrant protests in Saxony. The most striking event was held in Sebnitz, on the border with Czech Republic, where on Sunday 2,500 people marched through the streets of the town shouting slogans against migrants, and then formed a human chain along the border, creating a sort of ‘living barrier’. The day before, another anti-immigrant demonstration in Goerlitz, where also 500 people marched in support of ‘Goerlitz open city’

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Denmark Tightens Citizenship Requirements

Denmark, which earlier this year slashed benefits for asylum seekers, said Monday it is making it more difficult to acquire citizenship in the Scandinavian country.

“Acquiring Danish citizenship is something very special, and therefore it also reasonable that we now raise the bar for when a person can call themselves a Danish citizen,” Integration Minister Inger Stojberg told news agency Ritzau.

Those wanting to become Danish nationals will have to meet tougher requirements on language skills, and be financially self-sufficient for four years and six months of the past five years, up from the current two years and six months.

Applicants will also have to score better on a current affairs test, answering correctly on at least 80 percent of questions instead of the current 73 percent…

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

EU May Propose 500,000 Refugee Relocation


(ANSA) — Brussels, October 5 — The EU may propose relocating 500,000 refugees from Turkey, the Financial Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported Monday. In exchange, the dailies said, it will ask for borders to be sealed and large welcome centres to be opened, as well as providing work for up to two million Syrians.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Europe’s Stark Choice on Migrants: Spend Billions in Turkey, or See Migrant Influx Grow

Ask Syrian families camped out in the parks and metro stations of Istanbul why they are desperate to get to Europe, even to risk their lives doing so, and one word keeps cropping up: school.

Syrian Arab Sunnis, Kurds, Shia — they may be separated by faith or language, but the determination to give their children a future is one thing they all share.

They also increasingly share the view that there is no such future in either Syria or Turkey.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Church Leaders Praise Merkel’s Policy

Impressed with her humanity, integration big challenge

(ANSA) — BERLIN — The leaders of the Catholic and Evangelical churches in Germany are in favour of the policy of accepting migrants decided by Angela Merkel.

In an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the chairman of the board of the German Evangelical Church, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, said he was “impressed” with the Chancellor’s attempt to “reconcile humanity with control”. The president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has advised Germany’s political class “not to undermine the fundamental right of asylum”. In this regard, Merkel has always been very clear, even replying to attempts to re-open the discussion made by some members of the CSU.

According to both clergymen, we should not underestimate the difficulties of the integration process and try to make any effort to prevent different groups, ethnic groups and religions in Germany from building ‘enclosures’ which are isolated from the rest of society. “Fears of islamization, however, have no real basis”, Bedford-Strohm underlined.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: In Palermo: First Festival of Migrant Literatures

Books, cinema, docufilms, reportage, theatre productions

(ANSAmed) — PALERMO, OCTOBER 1 — Palermo will host the first Festival of Migrant Literatures from October 7 to October 11.

The event will engage authors of literary texts and reportage, cinema and docu-films, without shunning theatre, and “cuntu” the oral and physical tale that represents true cultural heritage in the south of the world.

This is a festival to retrace the steps of other ‘migrations’, we experience thanks to literature and the knowledge of cultural coordinates that until recently were still foreign and marginal and which have been recuperated thanks to new communication techniques.

The programme will be presented tomorrow at 9.30 a.m at Palazzo Cefalà, hosting the Consulta delle culture (Cultures board) with the attendance, among others of Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando and of the artistic director of the festival, Davide Camarrone.

The programme is directed at schools, cultural institutes, archives, theatres and museums in Palermo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Rejects ‘Cap’, Barriers Do Not Solve Problems

Replying to CSU’s criticism and SPD’s requests

(ANSA) — BERLIN — “Building barriers will not solve the problem”. Angela Merkel does not change her policy on emergency and refugees, and in an interview with Deutschlandfunk, released yesterday and relaunched today on many German newspapers, disappointed the expectations of those who, in the Grand Coalition, asked her to put a cap on migrant reception. “Those who believe that there are faster solutions are spreading illusions, she replied. Germany must accept and deal with this big issue that arises from the flow of migrants. “We will make it, even though it will take us time”, she added. According to German chancellor, the Union will be able to stop arrivals only if the EU’s external borders will be safe, if there is an agreement with Turkey, and if life conditions will improve in the migrans’ home countries.

Answering a question on the opening of borders decided in September, in the midst of the Hungarian crisis, Merkel said: “I would do it again”. And she concluded, “looking away and complaining, this is not the way we behave”. The CSU’s leader Horst Seehofer — who has been accusing for days Merkel of having committed a big mistake on that occasion -, over the weekend asked the chancellor once more to give a clear signal that Germany is “exhausted” in terms of “hospitality”. Even some members of the SPD had urged the chancellor to take a position in favour of a “cap” on migrants.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Migrant Crisis Debris: Greek Island Battles Lifejacket Mountain

For the thousands of refugees and migrants landing on its beaches every day, Greece’s Lesbos island is a step to safety and a brighter future in Europe.

But the continent’s biggest migration challenge since World War II is now presenting an unexpected environmental headache: what to do with the vast heaps of lifejackets and inflatable boats left behind by the arrivals?

On the beach of Skala Sikaminias on Lesbos’ northern coast, a key landing point for migrants, a group of municipal employees are loading discarded jackets and dinghies on a truck.

“We’ve barely finished when it’s time to start all over again,” sighs Yiorgos Katsanos, the deputy mayor in charge of waste management…

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

Origin Countries Must Take Back Citizens to Get EU Aid

Topic to be discussed by interior ministers Thursday

(ANSA) — Brussels, October 5 — The countries of origin of migrants must agree to take them back if they are repatriated in order to qualify for EU aid, EU presidency sources said Monday. They were discussing countries which do not currently have readmission accords with the EU and its member States. The issue will be discussed by EU interior ministers in Luxembourg Thursday.

“We don’t like this way of proceeding, but this is what is on the cards now,” the sources said.

“We will apply our repatriation policy, even if there aren’t any readmission accords, because we can’t wait five or six years to achieve them. Spain is already applying this model, with success”.

Repatriation is one of the key issues for Italy, in order to enable ‘hotspot’ registration centres to work properly.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Prague to Send Soldiers to Hungary to Secure Europe’s Borders

The Czech Republic announced on Monday it would send soldiers and equipment to neighbouring Hungary to help secure Europe’s borders in the face of an unprecedented influx of migrants.

“About 25 soldiers” will be stationed in Hungary — the migrants’ main entry point to the European Union — from October 15 to December 15, Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky told reporters.

Prague would also send engineering equipment, he added…

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

Scottish Minister Humza Yousaf Helps Syrian Refugees on Greek Island

Scotland’s international development minister Humza Yousaf has described how he witnessed “utter chaos” as he helped Syrian refugees off a boat. The politician was on he Greek island of Lesbos to see what help was being given to those coming ashore. Mr Yousaf said an estimated 5,000 people had arrived on the island in the 24 hours he was there.

Mr Yousaf called on governments across Europe to do more to assist.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Migration Agency Reports More Security Threats

With more refugees coming to Sweden, the Swedish police intelligence service Säpo has increased co-operation with the Migration Agency to try to detect any suspected terrorists or spies among those who come here, news agency TT reports.

In the last three months, the Migration Agency has reported 152 suspected terrorists or spies to Säpo. That is more than all of last year.

Säpo is primarily looking for people with links to violent islamist groups such as IS, to try to stop them from using Sweden as a base for future terrorist acts. But they are also looking for spies working for foreign intelligence bodies, who may be sent out to spy on the refugees coming here.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: 10 Stockholm Gyms Prepared to House Refugees on Short Notice

One thousand new places are needed every day in order to accommodate refugees, according to the Migration Agency, and as Sweden’s municipalities buckle down to figure out where to put up these newcomers, one solution has been to turn evacuation centers, like gyms, into temporary housing.

In Stockholm, 10 gyms are prepared to be transformed, at three hours notice, into temporary housing, Olof Öhman, director for the sports administration in the city of Stockholm, tells Radio Sweden.

Elsewhere, in the municipality of Trelleborg, an ice skating rink was opened last week for forty unaccompanied child refugees.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Theresa May: Mass Immigration Making ‘Cohesive Society’ Impossible

Mass immigration is forcing thousands of British people out of jobs and is making it “impossible” to build a “cohesive society”, Theresa May will say.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Home Secretary will say that there is “is no case in the national interest for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade”.

Mrs May, considered a potential successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, will warn that current levels of migration into the UK are unsustainable as she calls for a system “that allows us to control who comes to our country”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Thousands Attend German Rally Against Refugee Influx

Thousands of far-right protesters, many wearing T-shirts that read “refugees not welcome”, gathered in Germany Monday to condemn the government for allowing an unprecedented migrant influx.

With Europe’s biggest economy expecting to take in up to one million people fleeing war and poverty this year, anger has flared among anti-foreigner groups and backers of the anti-Islamic “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” (PEGIDA).

“Merkel is guilty, commits ethnocide against the German people,” read one banner at the rally in Dresden, the historic city in the former communist East where PEGIDA emerged about a year ago and is now hoping to rekindle the movement…

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

Town Hall’s Giving Away Your Country

The ‘Strong Cities Network’ (SCN) that will supplant local police with blue-helmeted United Nations personnel was up and running almost a year before it was launched from UN Headquarters by Attorney General Loretta Lynch last Wednesday.

Strong Cities logo is “Inspiring Local Resilience on a Global Scale’.

Yet, citizens valiantly trying to provide local resilience at the local level are oppressed by Western leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a declining Europe, and in America by the lawless Obama administration. Merkel was overheard on an open mic last week button holing FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg to curb anti-immigrant comments on his social network. In America, Obama, who has declared that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”, has banned the term “radical Islamist” from the public lexicon.

Just as the Syrian refugees crisis is providing cover for incoming terrorists, the sponsors of SCM are providing cover for the blue helmets of the UN who will supplant America’s activist harassed and Obama administration hollowed out municipal police ranks.

[Comment: The PC enforcement police — following international law NOT US law — is being built right before our eyes.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Who Will Pay for That?’ — Migrants Clog East Europe Trade Routes

Border closures and tighter controls caused by record numbers of migrants are clogging up trade in southeast and central Europe, driving up costs and forcing transport companies to seek other routes.

Freight traffic through Serbia was severely disrupted when Hungary and Croatia closed their borders last month to cope with tens of thousands of migrants, most bound for richer nations further north.

The clampdown hit not just Serbian and Croatian trucks but also cargo in transit from other countries to the south, including Macedonia, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.

Aleksandar Momcilovic drives a truck carrying sunflower meal and soy meal from Serbia to Italy. Usually it takes eight hours to reach Italy, his final destination near Genoa.

But last week he spent almost three days at the border between Serbia and Croatia. His company may have to pay a penalty for not delivering on time:

“Who is going to pay for that?”

When Teodisiadis Leamis left Thessaloniki to take canned olives and olive oil to Germany, Hungary closed the Horgos border crossing.

When Leamis entered Serbia, he was given papers to cross to Croatia and then continue to Germany. But as he drove north, Croatia closed its border with Serbia as well and he spent three days sleeping in his truck.

“This is terrible. I am running out of food and water,” he said. Going back to the border crossing with Hungary which opened in the meantime was not an option, as Leamis had papers to exit Serbia at the Bajakovo border crossing with Croatia.

Complicated customs procedures due to the fact that Serbia is still outside the EU are further delaying transit through the country, where transport accounts for 15 percent the economy and employs more than 11 percent of the workforce.

Arpad Vasarhelyi, chief executive of the Hungarian unit of logistics company DB Schenker, said routes through Serbia and to the Balkans were in a “critical” state, with the crisis slowing both road and rail deliveries.

“Certain traffic has been diverted to alternative routes, which can be more expensive,” he said, adding that some clients had cancelled orders when road traffic stopped at the borders.

Rail Cargo Hungaria, a member of Austrian Rail Cargo Group, said the closure of the crossing at Magyarboly on the Croatian border meant it had to reroute some trains to another point at Murakeresztur, 200 km (125 miles) northwest.

“As the situation is not expected to ease in the coming days and weeks, certain restrictions might become necessary in rail cargo traffic, for example as a result of the government’s measures, or if migrants should walk onto the tracks,” it said.

Temporary controls

The crisis has also spilled over into the border-free Schengen Zone, where Germany, Austria and Slovenia have imposed temporary border controls due to the migrant influx.

“DHL Freight Hungary is exploring the need for alternative routes to avoid excessive waiting times that arose as a result of tightened border controls at certain frontier sections,” DHL’s local unit said.

“In case of northern and western European regions we use Czech and Slovak transit, while in case of certain south European destinations we opt for Slovenian transit to avoid longer waiting periods,” it said.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said Hungary, a transport hub where logistics accounts for 6 percent of GDP, could lose billions of euros if Schengen, a cornerstone of European integration, were to crumble.

Car makers dependent on timely deliveries could be among the hardest hit, with the Volkswagen emissions scandal already casting a pall over a sector accounting for over a tenth of Hungarian exports.

A spokeswoman for Mercedes, which has a 1 billion euro factory in central Hungary, said the plant was running normally, but the company was monitoring developments and was in continuous contact with its partners.

German rival Audi did not respond to a request for comment.

“The Hungarian economy is very dependent on industrial production, which is dominated by the automotive industry, primarily European brands,” Erste Bank analysts said in a note.

“Thus, if border checkpoints were to be restored, additional transportation time might hinder local production and weigh on Hungarian GDP growth,” Erste said.

A Hungarian logistics body said its members have reported significant waiting times at the Hungarian-Austrian and Austrian-German borders, with trucks stranded for between eight and 24 hours.

“There were 7- to 20-km lines at Passau in recent days because cars and trucks were let through in a single lane only,” said Zoltan Door, head of the Hungarian Logistics Association.

He said longer waiting times hit perishable goods the worst, and delays and reroutes were pushing up costs of refrigeration, fuel, road tolls and drivers’ wages.

“It is hard to predict what will happen as no one was prepared for a flow of migrants on this scale,” Door said. “I hope there will be a common solution outside Europe. If they do this, then Schengen will not be at risk.

“If not, it will be.”

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

Gay Row Overshadows Opening of Landmark Catholic Church Synod

A gathering of bishops intended to reshape Catholic teaching on the family kicks off Sunday against a backdrop of controversy over the thorny and divisive issue of homosexuality.

With Pope Francis having been dragged into the United States’ debate over gay marriage and a high-ranking priest accusing the Vatican on Saturday of “institutionalised homophobia” in his ‘coming out’ speech, the synod appears as if it has been called solely to address the question of the Church’s approach to gay and lesbian believers.

In fact, such issues will take up only a small part of discussions over the next three weeks. But there is little doubt that they will dominate headlines emanating from the Vatican theological talk-fest.

The reasons for that are three-fold: sexuality is a lightning rod for a broader debate about reform of Church teaching; Pope Francis has given a clear steer that the Church should be more open to gays; and for the first-time, a high-ranking Vatican official has declared his homosexuality to the world saying the Church has been paranoid and hypocritical about the issue for decades…

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

Priest’s Coming Out Prior to Synod Stirs Controversy

Vatican sacks priest, says announcement timing ‘irresponsible’

(ANSAmed) — VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 5 — Polish-born priest Krzystof Charamsa’s announcement on Saturday that he is gay and in a steady relationship continued to stir controversy and criticism on Monday, just one day after the official opening of a 20-day Catholic synod on the family.

The Vatican announced on Sunday that Monsignor Charamsa would no longer be able to continue his work with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the organisation responsible for promoting and defending Catholic Church doctrine) or his teaching at pontifical universities.

“The choice to make such a sensational announcement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, because it aims to put the synod assembly under undue media pressure,” said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.

Yoyo Grassi, an openly gay former classmate of Pope Francis’s with whom the pope visited on his recent trip to the United States, also believed the announcement was strategically timed to attract media attention.

“The timing was wrong and the way he chose to do it was wrong,” Grassi said in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

“I don’t think he did any favors for the cause of homosexuals or for Pope Francis,” said Grassi.

Roberto Formigoni, a senator with the New Centre Right (NCD) party who openly practices abstinence as a member of the Catholic Memores Domini Lay Association, called Charamsa’s announcement “an act of pride”.

“Living in chastity and being celibate isn’t an extra step for heaven. And Charamsa can even say that he can’t resist. It’s human. But he can’t make it a moral lecture for us,” Formigoni said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.

Formigoni said he felt “pain” when he read Charamsa’s announcement.

“But I’m not surprised. These types of positions are widespread, unfortunately,” Formigoni said.

“I’m talking about the fact that the Church’s teachings could be so blatantly rejected by a believer, by a priest no less, for years, as a matter of fact a manager in the office for the defence of the Catholic faith,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Anti-Parasite Drugs Sweep Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015

Three scientists who developed therapies against parasitic infections have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The winners are: William C. Campbell, a microbiologist at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey; Satoshi Omura, a microbiologist at Kitasato University in Japan; and Youyou Tu, a pharmacologist at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

12 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/5/2015

  1. We are getting closer to the truth of the reasons behind the murder of Curtis Cheng in Parramatta, Sydney last Friday. Still no closer to where he got the gun from and if it was a legal or illegal but I’m sure that will come out soon – illegal gun but no idea of where a 15 year old could have got it is the best guess. Chairman Mal (our new Prime Minister foisted upon us by a political party and not a democratic vote, still maintains ‘this tragic incident’ has nothing to do with Islam.

    • Chairman Mal has had the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, hold back on issuing a visa to Mr. Geert Wilders, who is to appear at the launch of the Australian Liberty Alliance party this month.

      The very same tactic that the Labor Party employed in 2013 when they were in government. Is there any real difference in the thinking of both major parties?

  2. A student attending the same school as the 15 year old Paramatta shooter has been arrested and been given strict conditional bail and is expected to appear at a children’s court on November 9.

    A right little one caught in the net. If it was a fish you would throw it back in the water. Will be interesting how the judiciary system deals with him.

    Also interesting links lead out from that article, one where the police said that a year ago they were reeling in guys in their 20’s and by last Christmas in their late teens and now their mid teens.
    Another link that radicalization seems to be happening in a shorter time frame, plus more care is taken about being on line, and or having a deeper cover.
    Another connection is to the “Baqiya” family with an estimated of up to 40,000+ and growing, where your tweet can be sent to a fighter in Syria and in 15 seconds you may be in direct communication.

    Sydney morning Herald

    The teen posted footage of Commissioner Andrew Scipione’s press conference and commented: “Bahahja f*** you motherf****r Yallah merryland police station is next hope they all burn in hell.”

    He also posted footage of the news breaking of the shooting on Friday, commenting: “Serves you right I hope them lil piggies get shot.”

    The next day he posted a photo of himself with the comment: “No justice, no peace, [****] the police.”
    Police said when they spoke to the teenager on Tuesday morning, the teenager allegedly “threatened and intimidated police”………

    ……….Police alleged that the teenager threatened and intimidated police during an altercation.
    The teenager was charged with assaulting and intimidating police, two counts of resisting arrest and using a carriage service to menace/harass/offend after spending more than nine hours in police custody……….

    It is all very interesting and some of the conjecture is tracing the facts very well,…. except for the 3 things David Wood came up with.
    1 belief
    2 knowledge
    3 obey
    which when they all align, is the most dangerous state, so the muslim knows his duty, and must act.
    This is belief, knowledge and obedience is sourced from the koran, hadiths and suras.

    It is probably the reason young mid life teen-agers are the most hopeful optimistic stage of their lives and so most emotional and persuadable.
    By the time they are 20 and had a few knocks and set backs in life they became more realistic. They have had to rethink this in the real world. Probably why then it takes longer for a 20+ to radicalize and needs much more study to get to that state, so they can rationalize what they are doing.
    The only real psychologist that understands the young and the “elephant in the room” is Danish Nicolai Sennels which GOV has articles on.

    Sad to say this problem is not going away, and I fear that predicted map of Europe with the 1000’s+ “Baqiya” family” of small piranha fishes in the refugees, and around the world, the shyer bigger older sharks, smelling blood will also go into a “shark frenzy”. That in all the confusion is where a shark bites and consumes shark too.

    The only real weapon we have and must safe guard is freedom of speech. The knowledge must be revealed, so the truth, debate, discussion, can be more widely enhanced and more openly with cartoons, slogans, and fun.
    Already now we see “self censor ship” and many forms of expression being attacked through “political correctness” and “shaming”, loss of jobs, financial security, fines, jail, to physical injury, and death. Is that not war?

    “All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!
    ― Kurt Vonnegut [anAmerican anti war, pacifist, though he did fight in WW2 and was taken prisoner ]

    • A good inside look at the Australian situation, though I’m unfamiliar with what you call the “Baqiya family”.

      Yes indeed Dr. Sennels has the best understanding of the tribal mindset/pervasively severe neglect and abuse of even infants in the Islamic family system. I do wish he’d use someone with more facility in English to edit his essays since his knowledge is first-rate. I’d repost his work here frequently, but you can’t mirror someone and change it *that* much.

      What is a “carriage service”?

      Thanks for summing up and reminding us of David Wood’s excellent analysis. One of my favorite speakers: he is calm and measured in his tone. If our ranting political talking heads were more like him, the right would have a far larger audience.

      • Carriage service,
        using internet, face book, twitter, twitter, skype etc.
        or phone cellphone sms etc.
        to procure an underage person through enticement, threats etc. for a “specific intention”

        Aussie have had some bad rape gangs, in the past, and at the time one lot was jailed up for a long time.
        Can it be truly stopped when it is in the ideology?
        I would not be surprised if it is running more underground now, like in Rotherham, but the girls may be more controlled blackmailed now with this modern technology and by younger delinquents.

    • Good policing aside, the police hierarchy, like the weasel politicians, are bending over backwards to limit any reference to that murder as being an act of Islamic Jihad.

      And our security services are no better as it is them who advise on what to publicly utter.

  3. Using the 4chan chat forum to be safe do not attend classes, though that post has now been deleted, but captured on the Otago Daily Times.

    The anonymous poster claimed they had taken inspiration from Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States in 2007.

    ”If you’re in Dunedin, I wouldn’t recommend coming to Otago University on Wednesday,” the post, which has now been deleted from 4chan, said.

    ”Notes have been taken from tactics used in other massacres and shootings, I know what works and what doesn’t. The necessary preparations have been made for you to expect a shooting of a similar (possibly even greater) caliber to that of Seung-Hui Cho, who is one of my many idols.

    ” . . . this thread is likely to be lost in an ocean of troll threats, which is probably for the best. Just try to remember my post number so you can find it in the archive when the happening hits. See you in hell you magnificent bastards”.

    The post was accompanied by an image of a cocked American-made handgun which appeared to have been taken by the poster.

    The threat follows a shooting at Umpqua Community College, in the US state of Oregon, in which eight people were killed last week.

    2013 Census shows about 850 muslims live in Dunedin. They would be predominately students.
    The number of Saudis studying in universities across New Zealand increased to 4,000 in 2014, up 22 percent from the previous year, according to an embassy official. That would be across the 7 universities.

    Although police will monitor things more closely and the university will continue its classes, some students will not attend as they believe out of the 1000’s that move between classes there is no effective way of monitoring for suspicious activity and so they do not believe it will be secure.

    New Zealand has troops, not shooting, but training Iraqi’s in Iraq to guard against ISIS. Yeah right.
    Now out of Afghanistan, they did have some “fire fights” there and with some elite forces were very effective, working in with other country’s contingents.
    Some NZ’ers also travelled to the Middle East where some have been droned.

    4chan forums have pulled a number of pranks, like pee your pants to support rape victims and photos of this is sent.
    For woman to have power to be woman, to oppose the patriarchal society and allow “free bleed” and again photos were sent.
    FBI says the warnings through 4chan not to attend Umpqua was just a coincidence.
    It may be a laugh and a “send up” when some people take them selves seriously on a number of issues

    That 4chan is causing a lot of problems, but using the term “fire” in a crowded theatre, or bombs or guns etc. are not done in airports or planes either. I hope a good “hacker” can track the idiots down.

  4. Good news from the Netherlands. Sort of. Tonight Dutch under secretary of justice and traitor in chief Dijkhof got attacked when visiting the village Oranje. In Oranje 140 inhabitants attacked the car of the secretary who only this time managed to escape.

    The town of Oranje allready had to take in 500 invaders . Mr Dijkhof came to tell them they are getting 500 more.

      • Probably just that he needs added security: after all, he must remain safe if he is to continue his heroic efforts to do what’s best for the unwashed masses.

    • Thanks, Dutch Patriot. My home-country media basically ignore small-scale European affairs, especially of this nature, so that Gates of Vienna and its contributors have become my main source of material for small but significant stuff like this.

      • You are welcome, hej! The villagers of Oranje last night blocked the influx of the invaders with road blocks.

        As the Mercedes of the secretary drove away he hit a woman who tried to stop the car. Only minor injuries for the woman but the secretary is two steps away from some serious payback.

        Today the secreatary announced he will force all Dutch towns to take in more invaders. Heavy resistance- still verbal- in the town Purmerend and in the city of Enschede the major got some serious death threaths. Slowly the Dutch population – the ones that are sane- are starting to use force against the traitor class.

        In the near future we will see more of that for sure!

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