Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/6/2015

The European Union is negotiating with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to obtain Turkish help in slowing down the flow of migrants into Europe. The EU is offering to pour billions more into Turkish refugee camps in the hope that the migrants will remain in Turkey. Meanwhile, Frontex has called for EU countries to deploy 775 more frontier guards to help identify and register “refugees” when they reach European soil.

In other news, five people have been arrested in Australia on terrorism charges in the wake of last week’s fatal shooting of a police employee by an Iraqi-Kurdish “youth” in a Sydney suburb.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JFJ, MC, MT, Nick, TP, 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
» Fitch Considers Ukraine in Partial Debt Default
» Italy to Propose Common EU Jobless Benefit — Padoan
» Italy Can Hit 0.9% Growth This Year — Cottarelli
» Italy: Renzi Reforms Fuelling Surge in Acquisitions — S&P
» The Fed Missed Its Chance.
» “Lithium Love”: Was Oregon Gunman on Psychiatric Meds Linked to Violence?
» Amtrak Warns of Service Cuts if Congress Doesn’t Extend Safety Deadline
» Clinton Unveils Gun Control Plan During Monday Campaign Stop
» Critics Blast $20m Cal-Berkeley Fund for Race-Based Scholarships, Hiring
» DNA ‘Vaccine’ Sterilizes Mice, Could Lead to One-Shot Birth Control
» Few Minorities Visit Sequoia National Forest or the Sawtooth Wilderness. This Man Wants to Change That.
» Former UN Chief John Ashe Charged With Taking $1.3m in Bribes
» GM Foods Are Inherently Unsafe, Warns American Academy of Environmental Medicine
» Guns Don’t Kill People— Liberals Kill People
» Liberal Media Attacks Pro-Second Amendment Sheriff, All But Blames Him for College Shooting
» Navy Secretary Dismisses Risks to Women in Combat
» Released Hillary E-Mails Show How Clinton Foundation Donors Bought Themselves State Dept. Access
» Roseburg, OR Residents to Protest Against Obama’s Grandstanding Visit Following Shooting
» School Bans ‘Offensive’ America Day Celebration
» Snowden Renews Offer to Go to Prison in Order to Return to US
» Texas Top Cop: ISIS May be Infiltrating Border
» TPP Will Restrict Internet, Punish Whistleblowers
» Trade Officials Announce Conclusion of TPP — Now the Real Fight Begins
» U.S. Senate Candidate Admits to Sacrificing Goat, Drinking Its Blood
Europe and the EU
» Free Speech Under Fire at UK University and Art Show
» German TV Channel Under Fire Over Image of Merkel in Headscarf
» Italy: We Have Other Priorities’ Delrio Says on Messina Bridge
» Italy: Saudi Arabia Will Not be Guest Country at Turin Book Fair
» Italy: Rome Prosecutors Open Probe Into Mayor Marino’s Expenses
» Merkel Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize
» ‘Muslim Merkel’ German TV Image Causes Outrage
» Scathing Anti-Obama Article in Romania’s Largest Newspaper
» UK: London Woman Charged After Alleged #killallwhitemen Tweet
» UK: Six Brokers on Trial Over Libor Fixing ‘Conspiracy’
North Africa
» Jazeera Journalists Receive Free Speech Prize
Israel and the Palestinians
» Palestinian President Calls for Calm Amid Escalating Unrest With Israel
» Priceless: US State Dept. Can’t Explain Israel Double-Standards
Middle East
» An Up Close and Personal Look at the Russian Firepower Deployed in Syria
» ISIS So Weakened by Russian Airstrikes and Desertion it Could be Destroyed in Hours
» Italy: Govt Says Fighter Missions in Iraq a ‘Hypothesis’
» Russia Deliberately Targeting CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria, Says US
» Syria Ground War Imminent? U.S. Accuses Russia of Launching Syrian Land Campaign
» Syria Conflict: Russia Violation of Turkish Airspace ‘No Accident’
» Syrian Rebels Are Bracing for a New Reality, More Violence Amid Russian Air Campaign
» This is How Close US and Russian Jets Are to a Dog Fight Above Syria
» What Does Russia Want in Syria?
» Ukraine: Kiev: 16,000 Deserters, Many With Weapons
Australia — Pacific
» Sydney Police Arrest Five People After Terrorism-Linked Shooting
Sub-Saharan Africa
» S. Africa’s Business Confidence Dips to a 22-Year Low: Survey
» Somalia’s Extremist Rebels Vow Violence Against British Troops Set to Deploy to Somalia
» 1965 Immigration Reform Act by Teddy Kennedy: America’s Real Downfall
» Chancellor Merkel: “Lord God” Sent Illegal Immigrants
» Claim: ‘No Borders’ Activist Gang Raped by Migrants, Pressured Into Silence to Not ‘Damage Cause’
» Danes Demand ‘Decent Treatment’ of Refugees
» EU Chief: Migrant Influx is ‘Campaign of Hybrid Warfare’ By Neighbours to Force Concessions
» First Refugee ‘Relocations’ On Friday, From Italy to Sweden: EU
» Frontex Asks for 775 Guards for Italy and Greece
» Government Sets Aside Millions for Refugee Efforts in Denmark
» ‘Gypsy Boss’ Avoids Expulsion From Denmark
» Migrants: Hungary: Fence With Serbia Effective
» Migrant Crisis: EU Plan Offers More Money for Turkey Camps
» New American Century: Arabic is Fastest-Growing Language in USA
» Tricky Talks With Erdogan in Brussels
» Turkey Warns 3 Mln More Refugees May be Headed to EU From Syria
» Tusk: Defenseless External Borders, ‘Goodbye’ To Schengen
Culture Wars
» Report: Planned Parenthood Hires Private Investigator to ‘Stalk’ Undercover Video Producer

Fitch Considers Ukraine in Partial Debt Default

Fitch ratings agency said Tuesday it now considers Ukraine to be in partial default after it failed to make payment on bonds the country has been trying to restructure with its creditors.

“The 10-day grace period on Ukraine’s USD500m eurobond maturing on 23 September 2015 has elapsed without payment being made. Fitch therefore judges Ukraine to be in default on its sovereign eurobond obligations,” the agency said in a statement.

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

Italy to Propose Common EU Jobless Benefit — Padoan

Econ minister will air proposal Tuesday in Luxembourg

(ANSA) — Luxembourg, October 5 — Italy will ask its euro zone partners to back a common unemployment benefit to protect European unemployed from future economic shocks, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview with the Financial Times online Monday. He said he would present the proposal Tuesday in Luxembourg. The Italian government has been considering a new jobless benefit for the country. Italy is one of only two euro zone countries, along with Greece, that currently does not have a basic-income provision.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Can Hit 0.9% Growth This Year — Cottarelli

And 1.6% next

(ANSA) — Lima, October 6 — The IMF has been “prudent” in estimating Italian growth of 0.8% this year and it could well reach the 0.9% forecast in the government’s economic and financial blueprint, the DEF, IMF executive director for Italy, Carlo Cottarelli, said Tuesday. Also next year Italian growth may well be above the IMF’s prudent estimate of 1.3% and the government’s forecast of 1.6% is realistic, Cottarelli said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Reforms Fuelling Surge in Acquisitions — S&P

Economic stability also attracting foreign buyers, agency says

(ANSA) — Milan, October 6 — The government of Premier Matteo Renzi has helped fuel a surge in acquisitions by foreign buyers by introducing more pro-business conditions in Italy, Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday.

Greater economic stability and a slight recovery in gross domestic product (GDP) is also encouraging acquisitions, the ratings agency said in its annual report on Italian companies.

Since coming to power in February 2014, Renzi has overhauled the jobs market and introduced reforms to public administration, aiming to make the country more attractive to foreign investors.

Company investments should pick up between 2015 and 2016 after several years of declines, S&P said. It added that this would be helped by easier access to credit.

S&P warned however that the legacy of the non-performing loans that have piled on the balance sheets of Italian lenders during the economic crisis “will “weigh on recovery prospects”.

The ratings agency described Italy’s recovery after years of recession as “superficial” and forecast GDP growth of 0.7% in 2015 and 1.2% in the following two-year period.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Fed Missed Its Chance.

Truth be told, the Fed should have raised rates in 2011 or 2012. Even if the Fed had an excuse not to at those times, it should have hiked them in April 2014, when the US economy hit its unemployment rate target of 6.5% (assuming this number is correct).

Instead the Fed opted to keep rates at zero, as it also did in April of 2015, June of 2015, and now September of 2015.

Indeed, a whopping 82% of economists thought the Fed would hike rates in September. The whole market believed it too. So why didn’t the Fed do it? Just how much prepping do we need for a measly 0.10%-0.25% increase in rates after six years of ZIRP?

[Comment: Everything the Fed is doing is designed to collapse the American economy…it is intentional.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“Lithium Love”: Was Oregon Gunman on Psychiatric Meds Linked to Violence?

The revelation that Umpqua Community College shooter Chris Mercer used the screen name “lithium love,” along with other references to prescription medication, strongly suggests that the gunman was taking psychiatric drugs that have been linked to violent outbursts.

As the Oregonian reports, “There are a number of indications that Harper-Mercer had mental health or behavioral issues. His screen name on some social media sites was “lithium love.” Lithium is used as a psychiatric medication.”

Lithium is used to enhance the effect of SSRI drugs, a number of which, “have also been linked to increase risk for violent, even homicidal behavior,” reports Time.

On one of his Facebook posts, Mercer also made reference to a number of different prescription drugs he was taking.

“I have a pill bottle with like five types of pills mixed in. I don’t know which ones are the sleep aids, so I just took four of each,” wrote Mercer.

The gunman was also struggling with his inability to find a girlfriend, which was one of the factors that contributed to Mercer’s mental health issues, according to his mother.

Ms. Harper also, “Expressed having expertise in autism, saying that both she and her son — whom she never identified by name — had Asperger’s syndrome,” reports the New York Times. She also revealed how Mercer was placed in a psychiatric hospital when he refused to take his medication.

Every time there is a mass shooting, the national debate centers around gun control, with any discussion of the link between psychiatric drugs and violent outbursts being relegated to the fringes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Amtrak Warns of Service Cuts if Congress Doesn’t Extend Safety Deadline

The head of Amtrak has warned lawmakers that it will suspend service on parts of its national network by December unless Congress extends its deadline for implementing advanced safety technology, according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

The letter sent Monday by Amtrak Chairman Joseph Boardman to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., outlined efforts to install Positive Train Control (PTC) to enhance train safety.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Clinton Unveils Gun Control Plan During Monday Campaign Stop

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Monday that, if elected, she would use the power of her office to curb gun violence if necessary.

Expanding background checks and making it easier to hold negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable would be some of the measures she would take, she said.

Clinton has spoken forcefully in favor of new gun control measures after a gunman killed nine people and wounded another nine last week on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Critics Blast $20m Cal-Berkeley Fund for Race-Based Scholarships, Hiring

The $20 million fund unveiled by a top California university last month to endow scholarships for African-American students and to hire diverse faculty is just the latest attempt to get around a state law barring schools from using racial preferences in admissions, according to critics, who are vowing yet another legal battle.

University of California-Berkeley’s “African-American Initiative” would raise funds from private non-profits to fund “a comprehensive effort to address the underrepresentation of African-American students, faculty and staff at our university, and improve the climate for those who are here now and all who will join our community in the future.” The money would go to scholarships for black students, the hiring of race-specific clinical psychologists and fostering a more diverse faculty and senior management, according to the school.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

DNA ‘Vaccine’ Sterilizes Mice, Could Lead to One-Shot Birth Control

Animal birth control could soon be just a shot away: A new injection makes male and female mice infertile by tricking their muscles into producing hormone-blocking antibodies. If the approach works in dogs and cats, researchers say, it could be used to neuter and spay pets and to control reproduction in feral animal populations. A similar approach could one day spur the development of long-term birth control options for humans.

“This looks incredibly promising,” says William Swanson, director of animal research at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Ohio. “We’re all very excited about this approach; that it’s going to be the one that really works.”

[Comment: “very excited”. Moron. Can’t even see the potential ramification of this technology. This is the Bankster/Elitists wet dream: injections to ensure the “useless eaters” cannot reproduce. Have one child (if Government allows it) then report to Goverment Health Services for sterilization.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Few Minorities Visit Sequoia National Forest or the Sawtooth Wilderness. This Man Wants to Change That.

By 2050, U.S. Census figures predict, the United States will be mostly a brown and black country. Yet hundreds of millions of acres of public land are rarely used by this portion of the citizenry. According to the Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres in 44 states and territories, only about 1 percent of visitors from 2010 through 2014 were black, and less than 6 percent were Hispanic. The other federal agencies that manage public lands report similar numbers.

Addressing such disparity is “critical,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, chief executive of the Corps Network, which supports national service programs. “We need to make sure people from other backgrounds and cultures understand the importance of natural space, or we won’t have the ability to preserve these places for future generations.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former UN Chief John Ashe Charged With Taking $1.3m in Bribes

US authorities have charged a former United Nations General Assembly president with taking bribes from a Chinese billionaire.

New York prosecutors said John Ashe “converted the UN into a platform for profit” as he helped real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng gain government contracts.

Mr Ashe is accused of taking $1.3m, spending the cash on luxury goods.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

GM Foods Are Inherently Unsafe, Warns American Academy of Environmental Medicine

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) doesn’t buy Monsanto’s claim that GM foods are ‘safe.’ In fact, the agency states, “several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food.” So why are we still being force-fed unlabeled GM foods by big multinational food companies?

The AAEM reports that GM foods can cause multiple adverse health conditions including “infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” The AAEM has even asked physicians to tell their patients to avoid GM foods. Does your doctor tell you to avoid genetically modified organisms? Does your doctor even know what GMOs are?

The AAEM also states that:

“Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.”

Since the time of the FDA’s negligence, the Institute for Responsible Technology points out numerous other troubling findings:

“Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
Testicle cells of mice and rats on GM soy change significantly
By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.”

With all these troubling studies, there still have been no human clinical trials for GM foods. We don’t even know how long the effects of eating GM will take to truly appear in the human form. As IRT points out:

“. . . genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their GM proteins produced continuously inside us.”

This could allow for the following results: …

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Guns Don’t Kill People— Liberals Kill People

By now the reader is well-aware of the recent school shooting that took place at Umpqua Community College in Rosedale, Oregon. Another mass shooting, another excuse for the left-wing vultures to prey on the carcasses of the dead. Another opportunity for Pres__ent Obama to grandstand and huff and sigh and affect an air of righteous indignation. Another occasion for left-wingers to roll their eyes and complain about how even after this shooting, those dastardly right-wingers still won’t support “common sense gun laws.”

The reason we don’t, of course, is because the left-wingers are still making the same old, nonsensical, discredited arguments that they always do. As always, the ideas they’re floating yet again would do nothing to stop a mass shooting such as occurred at UCC. They propose universal background checks after a case in which the shooter passed the stringent background checks that Oregon already imposes. They want to ban “assault rifles” and “high-capacity magazines” in response to a shooting spree which involved neither. They have literally no new ideas for dealing with these mass shootings, so it’s not surprising that normal people will continue to reject their “solutions.” Essentially, the left-wing solution is to punish millions of people who didn’t commit a crime.

But what we need to understand is that those on the Left cannot really bring themselves to deal with these shootings in a rational manner, nor can they really produce reasonable plans for preventing them in the future, simply because the policies and predilections of the liberals themselves are ultimately root causes of these mass shootings.

First and most obvious is the phenomenon of “gun free zones.” Liberals love them. So do mass shooters. Whenever you hear about a mass shooting, before you learn anything else about the situation, you can be guaranteed that the venue where it took place was a gun-free zone. You don’t see mass shootings at gun stores or shooting ranges for the same reason you don’t see donut shops setting up franchises inside a Gold’s Gym. The whole environment would render the attempt completely futile. So instead of choosing a tougher nut to crack, people like Chris Harper-Mercer and James Holmes choose places that they can be reasonably certain no one will be likely to shoot back.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Liberal Media Attacks Pro-Second Amendment Sheriff, All But Blames Him for College Shooting

Numerous leftist media outlets and gun control groups are demonizing and not-so-indirectly blaming an Oregon sheriff for last week’s college shooting, all because of his refusal to push authoritarian anti-gun legislation and his alleged personal beliefs on Sandy Hook.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin is overseeing the investigation into the Umpqua Community College shooting, in which a mentally disturbed lone gunman killed 10 people on a gun-free campus for religious reasons.

But surprisingly the sheriff’s investigation isn’t the focus of progressive liberal news reports’ ire; his support of the Second Amendment and possible belief in so-called “conspiracy theories” are.

Now the sheriff is also inexplicably being targeted by the Brady Campaign and gun control freaks for something even more trivial, a post he’s accused of making on Facebook.

In the wake of Obama’s renewed call for even further gun control legislation, the liberal media immediately launched an orchestrated attack on the pro-Second Amendment sheriff, who in 2013 stood firm when he sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden stating he would not enforce “federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the Constitutional rights of my citizens” following the Sandy Hook School shooting.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Navy Secretary Dismisses Risks to Women in Combat

For Navy Secretary Ray Mabus it would appear that progressive ideology trumps inconvenient reality. In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) Mabus criticized a nine month study revealing that women sustain injuries at a higher rate than their male counterparts and shoot with less accuracy under combat-simulated conditions. “(The study) started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea and women will never be able to do this,” Mabus told NPR’s David Greene. “When you start out with that mindset you’re almost presupposing the outcome.”

Apparently Mabus is immune to the irony that attends his own presuppositions. The study itself, known as the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force (GCEITF) and conducted with 200 male and 75 female volunteers, couldn’t have been clearer. As the executive summary reveals, all male squads, teams and crews “demonstrated higher performance levels on 69% of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews.” By contrast, gender-integrated units outperformed their all-male counterparts in two events.

In the Speed category, and regardless of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), all-male squads were faster than gender-integrated ones in each tactical movement. Furthermore, those differences “were more pronounced in infantry crew-served weapons specialties that carried the assault load plus the additional weight of crew-served weapons and ammunition,” the summary stated.

The Lethality category showed similar discrepancies. Other than the probability of hit and miss with the M4, all-male squads demonstrated greater accuracy than gender-integrated ones with a “notable difference” recorded between genders for “every individual weapons system.” All male squads had higher hit percentages, engaged targets in shorter time periods and registered more hits on those targets than their gender-integrated counterparts, with the only exception being M2 accuracy.

In addition, all male squads demonstrated superiority in the performance of the basic combat tasks that required negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. “For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top,” the summary revealed. “During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who ‘evacuated’ the casualty).”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Released Hillary E-Mails Show How Clinton Foundation Donors Bought Themselves State Dept. Access

It’s really not hard to put this together. On the one hand, you’ve got a highly ambitious, money-grubbing politician who is obsessed with becoming president — but who has to settle for Secretary of State because actually getting elected proves difficult when you’re an unappealing and totally inept candidate. On the other hand, you’ve got this person’s ex-husband — oh, sorry, ex-president husband — who along with her has set up a “global charity” that rakes in big dollars from the most influential people in the world. The very same people who are likely to come before the State Department with all kinds of issues.

So who do you think is going to get the quickest attention from the Secretary of State? Perhaps the very same people who are lining her pockets via this shameless Foundation? You’d presume that if you have a lick of sense, but you would also welcome evidence that proves it. And now we have it, via the latest release of the Hillary e-mails she so desperately tried to keep out of the public eye.

The Washington Post reports on the pattern these e-mails reveal. People who gave generously received generous attention from the Secretary of State:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Roseburg, OR Residents to Protest Against Obama’s Grandstanding Visit Following Shooting

Residents, community leaders want to “Defend Roseburg — Deny Barack Obama”

David Jacques, publisher of the Roseburg Beacon, also told Bill O’Reilly Monday that the people of Roseburg would not welcome Obama.

Jacques said that community leaders, including Douglas County commissioners, the police chief and local sheriff, do not want Obama to come grandstand in Roseburg for political purposes.

“He wants to come to our community and stand on the corpses of our loved one to make some sort of a political point.” said Jacques, noting that Obama was grandstanding before the body count had even been filed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

School Bans ‘Offensive’ America Day Celebration

School administrators in Wyoming announced the cancellation of a 2015 “America Day” celebration last week after the event was deemed “offensive” and unsafe.

According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the homecoming tradition was banned after Jackson Hole High School Activities Director Mike Hansen alleged that multiple students “could have” felt targeted and singled out.

“Many different students could have felt singled out,” Hansen said. “Maybe they moved here last week. Maybe they moved here last month.”

Local news speculated that the decision may have been linked to the school’s large Latino population, although no specifics were given by administrators.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Snowden Renews Offer to Go to Prison in Order to Return to US

Edward Snowden repeated in a Monday interview his pledge to do time if given the chance to come home from Russia, where he has lived since 2013 after divulging damaging information about federal snooping and fleeing the U.S.

The former National Security Agency contractor flew to Moscow two years ago after revealing information about the previously secret eavesdropping powers, and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

Snowden told the BBC that he’d “volunteered to go to prison with the government many times,” but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Texas Top Cop: ISIS May be Infiltrating Border

The director who oversees the Texas State Troopers says people from countries known to have a “terrorism presence” have already been caught on the Texas-Mexico border.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which supervises the Texas Highway Patrol and State Troopers, warned Sunday at an annual Texas Border Coalition meeting that vulnerabilities at the southern border may leave Americans open to a possible terrorist attack.

“[I]ndividuals that come across the Texas/Mexican border from countries with a known terrorism presence and the answer to that is yes,” McCraw stated over the weekend when asked if any suspected ISIS terrorists had yet infiltrated the border.

“We have individuals that we’ve needed to debrief in Pashto/Dari,” the director said, referring to two languages spoken in Afghanistan. “Not a lot of Pashto and Dari speakers around.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

TPP Will Restrict Internet, Punish Whistleblowers

In addition to consolidating corporate power over 40% of the world’s economy, the recently agreed upon Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will target internet-based investigative journalism and make it a crime to expose corporate crime.

One particularly controversial part of the provisions make it a crime to reveal corporate wrongdoing “through a computer system”. Experts have pointed out that the wording is very vague, and could lead to whistleblowers being penalized for sharing important information, and lead to journalists stopping reporting on them.

The draconian aspects of the TPP related to the internet were exposed in 2013 by Wikileaks.

Leaked drafts revealed it would police, censor and make the internet more expensive.

In addition to intimidating journalists and limiting access, the agreement contains provisions that require social media and online content providers such as Facebook and YouTube to remove content after one complaint.

The strict rule is already in effect in the United States, but the provisions will require this in all countries covered by the agreement.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trade Officials Announce Conclusion of TPP — Now the Real Fight Begins

Trade officials have announced today that they have reached a final deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Their announcement came after a drawn out round of negotiation in Atlanta, Georgia, which was mainly held up around disagreements over medicine patent rules and tariffs over autos and dairy.

We have no reason to believe that the TPP has improved much at all from the last leaked version released in August, and we won’t know until the U.S. Trade Representative releases the text. So as long as it contains a retroactive 20-year copyright term extension, bans on circumventing DRM, massively disproportionate punishments for copyright infringement, and rules that criminalize investigative journalists and whistleblowers, we have to do everything we can to stop this agreement from getting signed, ratified, and put into force.

The fact that close to 800 million Internet users’ rights to free expression, privacy, and access to knowledge online hinged upon the outcome of squabbles over trade rules on cars and milk is precisely why digital policy consideration do not belong in trade agreements. Hollywood, other major publishers and even big tech companies have taken advantage of this secretive, corporate-captured process to pass rules that they could not otherwise get away with in an open, participatory process. The Fast Track trade bill, which passed in the U.S. this summer, was a critical piece in the White House’s toolkit to getting this terrible deal passed through Congress with little oversight. And yet there’s an upside to that bill—which is that it may succeed in mucking up the TPP end game.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Senate Candidate Admits to Sacrificing Goat, Drinking Its Blood

Two years ago, Augustus Sol Invictus walked from central Florida to the Mojave Desert and spent a week fasting and praying, at times thinking he wouldn’t survive. In a pagan ritual to give thanks when he returned home, he killed a goat and drank its blood.

Now that he’s a candidate for U.S. Senate, the story is coming back to bite him.

The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida has resigned to call attention to Invictus’ candidacy in hopes that other party leaders will denounce him. Adrian Wyllie, who was the Libertarian candidate for governor last year, says Invictus wants to lead a civil war, is trying to recruit neo-Nazis to the party and brutally and sadistically dismembered a goat.

It’s an awkward situation for the small party that’s trying to gain clout.

“He is the absolute exact opposite of a Libertarian. He’s a self-proclaimed fascist. He’s promoting a second civil war,” Wyllie said. “It’s absolute insanity. We must explain to people this is the opposite of Libertarians. This guy has no place in the Libertarian Party.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Free Speech Under Fire at UK University and Art Show

by Johanna Markind

Two events last week crystallized the grave danger facing freedom of speech in the United Kingdom.

Warwick U. Students’ Union Censors Speaker Against Radical Islam, Then Caves

Maryam Namazie is a human rights campaigner, critic of Islamism, and member of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists Society (WASH) invited her to speak at Warwick University in Coventry, England, on October 28. The university’s students’ union then rescinded the invitation on the stated grounds that Namazie was “highly inflammatory” and could spread hatred and intolerance against Muslims.

WASH’s president objected and began an online petition asking the union to reverse its decision. Prominent people, including Richard Dawkins and physicist Brian Cox, signed the petition. Others, like Salman Rushdie and science writer Ben Goldacre, also criticized the decision. Dawkinscomplained, “To ban a speaker you happen to disagree with is a contemptible betrayal of everything a university stands for.” Rushdie echoed this observation, commenting, “Protecting students from ideas is idiocy. It is the free play of ideas that universities must protect.” Under the public pressure, the students’ union buckled and reversed course on September 27, offering a “full and unequivocal apology” to Namazie.

Warwick University and its students’ union have been criticized before for creating a campus atmosphere hostile to free speech. Spiked gave the students’ union a red (worst) rating and the university itself a yellow rating in its Free Speech University Rankings. What’s new here isn’t the effort to suppress speech, but the positive outcome.

The moral? Firm and outspoken support for free speech is an effective tool against politically correct speech suppression…

           — Hat tip: MT [Return to headlines]

German TV Channel Under Fire Over Image of Merkel in Headscarf

German TV channel ARD has denied broadcasting “anti-Islamic propaganda” after it aired a mocked-up image of Angela Merkel wearing Islamic dress.

The image was shown in the background of a segment on refugee quotas in the channel’s Report from Berlin programme.

The programme has received heavy criticism from viewers, some of whom said the image resembled those used by anti-Islam movement Pegida.

ARD said that the graphic was “designed to capture people’s attention”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: We Have Other Priorities’ Delrio Says on Messina Bridge

‘Must meet commuter needs’ says transport minsiter

(ANSA) — Rome, October 2 — Transport Minister Graziano Delrio on Friday said the government had other priorities, such as helping commuters, than reviving a long-dormant plan to build a bridge over the Messina Strait between Sicily and mainland Italy. “I have always said that we have other priorities, such as meeting the needs of those who travel every day,” he said. The seemingly moribund Messina bridge project, a former hobby horse of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, returned to the fore earlier this week when the junior government partner, the New Centre Right, passed a motion calling for a reassessment of the feasibility of the bridge for rail traffic only.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Saudi Arabia Will Not be Guest Country at Turin Book Fair

Event to focus on Arabic literature

(ANSA) — Turin, October 6 — Saudi Arabia will not be the guest country at the next Turin International Book Fair but the event will focus on Arabic literature, its organisers said on Tuesday.

Some reports that emerged before the organisers’ meeting on Tuesday had said that Saudi Arabia would be invited as guest country to the fair, which is due to be held on May 12-16 next year.

Founded in 1988, Turin’s international book fair is the largest book show in Italy, attracting more than 300,000 visitors per year.

The Saudi Arabian ambassador on Tuesday urged “our Italian friends” not to “interfere” with the oil monarchy’s internal affairs. The Turin Book Fair said its 2016 edition dedicated to Arab literature won’t be hosted by Saudi Arabia after it beheaded and crucified 21-year-old Mohammed al-Nimr for taking part in a protest when he was 17.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Prosecutors Open Probe Into Mayor Marino’s Expenses

City threatened to sue over ‘offensive campaign’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 6 — Rome prosecutors have opened a probe into the expenses of Mayor Ignazio Marino after the right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) filed petitions, ANSA sources said Tuesday. At the moment no one is under investigation in relation to the probe. On Monday the Rome city council said it will sue anyone who keeps up an “offensive campaign” against 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 city statement said.

A city council member from the 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. The mayor’s office said in a statement later in the day that Marino spends an average of 1,789 euros a month on diplomacy and PR-related expenses, using the city’s credit card.

The mayor’s office added that in 2014, the city spent a total of 128,028.10 euros on such expenses — which include items such as the mayor’s missions abroad, but also the minting of commemorative medals, gifts for visiting international delegations, and the anointing oil the city traditionally buys to celebrate Saint Francis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize

By Leonid Bershidsky

Odds on who’s going to win the Nobel Peace Prize, to be awarded on Friday, are so hard to make that one could easily arbitrage various bookmakers. I’m not a betting man, but I hope the prize goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She’s the favorite now, with average odds of about 6-1, and she deserves to win.

Merkel is likely to be most remembered for her treatment of the refugee crisis. The chancellor decided to bend European rules and accept those fleeing the Syrian war rather then send them back to their EU country of entry. At the cost of billions of euros — an extra 4 billion this year, to be precise — Germany mounted a resettlement operation that strained its considerable bureaucratic and law-enforcement capability. Though it hasn’t all gone smoothly, Merkel managed to use the window of opportunity Germans’ sympathy for the asylum-seekers gave her last summer to get hundreds of thousands housed and fed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Muslim Merkel’ German TV Image Causes Outrage

An image of Angela Merkel wearing a traditional Iranian Islamic headscarf has caused controversy in Germany.

ARD television was inundated with complaints after it broadcast a mocked-up picture of Mrs Merkel wearing the garment, known as a chador, against a backdrop of the Reichstag surrounded by minarets.

The image was shown during a debate on the refugee crisis on Report from Berlin, a Newsnight-style programme, and was intended to be satirical, the broadcaster claimed.

But many viewers accused the programme-makers of Islamophobia, and said they were deliberately provoking anti-Muslim sentiments.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Scathing Anti-Obama Article in Romania’s Largest Newspaper

They compare him with Iliescu, Romania’s corrupt neo-communist President from the 90’s. And believe me, that guy isn’t somebody you want to be compared with.

In 1990 Iliescu brought to the capital Bucharest several train loads of miners from the poorest, most uneducated region of Romania. He told these violent brutes that students, university professors, other intellectuals, members of opposition Parties and artists who were gathered in the heart of the capital of Romania for a peaceful anti-communist protest were in fact druggies, fascists and enemies of the State paid by foreign powers to overthrow the Iliescu regime. He asked them to help the police to “clean-up the capital from the traitors and enemies”

What followed is one of the most shameful chapters of Romania post revolution history.

Peaceful protesters were beaten by a mob of thousands of miners with chains, shovels, pickaxes and other tools miners use in their trade; an unknown number of people were killed and buried in unmarked graves; the University of Bucharest was ransacked, rare books burned, scientific research destroyed; headquarters of opposition Parties were looted and burned down; people on the streets were targeted and beaten simply because they wore glasses or a beard, thus they looked like intellectuals or students; women were kidnapped and raped from streets in plain daylight.

Unspeakable horrors happened during those days Romanians now call “The Mineriada” Here are a couple of images from those days:…

           — Hat tip: TP [Return to headlines]

UK: London Woman Charged After Alleged #killallwhitemen Tweet

Bahar Mustafa, 28, a student diversity officer at Goldsmiths, University of London, charged with sending threatening communication

A student diversity officer who came to prominence in a race row after allegedly tweeting the hashtag #killallwhitemen has been charged by police with sending a threatening communication.

Bahar Mustafa, of Goldsmiths, University of London, is set to appear at Bromley magistrates court on 5 November.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Six Brokers on Trial Over Libor Fixing ‘Conspiracy’

Six financial brokers were “willing and enthusiastic” players in a conspiracy to fix the Libor benchmark interest rate, prosecutors said as their trial opened on Tuesday.

The men, known by nicknames including “Lord Libor” and “Big Nose”, acted to “corrupt a process that should not have been corrupted”, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.

They are charged with conspiracy to defraud by trying to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) linked to the Japanese yen…

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

Jazeera Journalists Receive Free Speech Prize

Three Al-Jazeera journalists who served jail terms in Egypt were honoured Tuesday for standing up for freedom of speech despite intimidation and incarceration.

This year’s Freedom of Speech Award from the International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC) went to Australian Peter Greste, who accepted the honour also on behalf of Mohamed Fahmy and Mohamed Baher, at a ceremony in the Polish capital Warsaw.

Greste hailed Egypt’s recent release of his two Jazeera television colleagues along with scores of other detainees, but said Cairo needed to do more to guarantee fundamental freedoms in order to secure national stability.

“In releasing a hundred prisoners including some very important activists, including Fahmy and Baher, (Egyptian) President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi made a very important step: an acknowledgement of the need to address some of the injustices that have happened over the years…

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

Palestinian President Calls for Calm Amid Escalating Unrest With Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Tuesday for calm after several weeks of heightened unrest with Israel, saying his people had no interest in any further “escalation” and urging renewed dialogue.

The comments marked the Palestinian leader’s strongest attempt yet to restore calm after the worst outbreak of fighting in months, and came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take even tougher measures to quell the violence.

The clashes erupted three weeks ago at the start of the Jewish new year and have turned more violent in recent days. Four Israelis were killed last week in shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, while Israeli forces have killed four Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, amid violent protests.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Priceless: US State Dept. Can’t Explain Israel Double-Standards

State Dept. official left speechless when questioned why US army doesn’t live up to the high standards it sets for Israeli forces.[…]

During last year’s Operation Protective Edge, during which the IDF battled Islamist terrorists in Gaza to put an end to the threat of rocket fire and terrorist infiltration tunnels targeting its citizens, Israel faced the usual tide of criticism for its use of force despite unprecedented measures to limit civilian casualties.

Among the critics was none other than the US State Department, which issued a remarkably harsh condemnation of Israel after one particular exchange with terrorists resulted in a stray shell hitting a UN school close to where terrorist gunmen were operating.

Despite it being unclear precisely who was responsible, or what the precise circumstances were, the State Department immediately rushed to accept Hamas’s version of events[…]

The State Dept. accused the Israeli army of ignoring coordinates of the school sent “repeatedly” to its forces, and called on Israel to “meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”

But it appears now that even the US is unable to meet those “standards”; on Sunday, a US airstrike in Afghanistan struck a hospital, killing at least 22 civilians.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) branded the airstrike a “war crime.”

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee challenged US State Dept. spokesman Mark Toner over the strike, asking whether the US government viewed that incident — in which significantly more civilians were killed — as just as “disgraceful.”

The response (see video below) was a series of pauses, stammering non-answers and evasion — underscoring the blatant double-standards so often employed by foreign governments when it comes to condemning Israel.[…]

[What goes round come around Mr. Kerry, and that includes anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism]

           — Hat tip: MC [Return to headlines]

An Up Close and Personal Look at the Russian Firepower Deployed in Syria

As Moscow’s air campaign in Syria enters its sixth day, both the West and The Kremlin have put their respective media propaganda machines into overdrive.

In many respects, the geopolitical stakes for both sides are the highest they’ve been in decades. The West cannot afford to stand by and watch Russia do in a matter of weeks what the US has failed to accomplish in 13 months. Put simply: if Moscow declares victory over ISIS within the next month or two (and that appears as likely as not), Washington will be left to explain to a bewildered public what just happened. To the uninitiated, it will appear as though Russia’s military is far superior to the US Army when it comes to fighting terror and on top of that, Iran’s now well publicized role will not only cast further doubt on the nuclear deal, but will also raise questions about the contention that Tehran is committed to financing and exporting terror.

For Russia, the powerplay in Syria represents nothing short of a return to the world stage after decades of flying below the radar as a second rate superpower. Putin has now proven that Moscow can project its influence with virtual impunity and as Monday’s “accidental” violation of Turkish airspace suggests, The Kremlin is getting more brave by the day in the face of what certainly looks like a de facto surrender by the West.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ISIS So Weakened by Russian Airstrikes and Desertion it Could be Destroyed in Hours

Western and more recently Russian airstrikes, chaotic leadership and mass defections have weakened the jihadi group to such an extent that it would be unable to repel even a small invasion force.

A terror analyst told that the fanatics have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a co-ordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.

Dr Afzal Ashraf said ISIS has become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash.

A US-led coalition including Britain has launched airstrikes against the extremist group which have killed thousands of its fighters after being outraged by its barbarity.

[Comment: A “US led coalition”…rewriting actual events…who created ISIS? One and a half years of “bombing” by US acting as ISIS air force… It was one week of bombing by Russia that ACTUALLY targeted ISIS that is causing ISIS members to flee.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt Says Fighter Missions in Iraq a ‘Hypothesis’

Media reports say ISIS bombing to start soon

(ANSA) — Rome, October 6 — The Italian government on Tuesday said Italian fighter missions to bomb Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq was “a hypothesis”.

The government was responding to media reports that raised the possibility that Italian anti-ISIS missions might be starting soon. The defence ministry said that the use of Italian fighters to bomb ISIS in Iraq was “just a hypothesis to evaluate with our allies and not a decision taken which, in any case, will have to pass through parliament”. The ministry said the statement was in response to press reports. Daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday that Italian Tornado jets belonging to the international coalition fighting ISIS “in the next few hours will have the task of bombing Iraq”.

Italy has been taking part in the coalition for a year with four Tornadoes, a refuelling plane and several weapon-less Predator drones.

The number of Italian staff is 140, working on reconnaissance missions. Italy has also been supplying weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga troops fighting ISIS.

An Italian training programme for the Kurdish fighters is also ongoing. According to Corriere della Sera, Italy has made a fundamental distinction between Iraq and Syria.

Premier Matteo Renzi has repeatedly expressed Italy’s position against intervening in Syria, while in Iraq “the Iraqi government has asked us to intervene and also to bomb,” the Milan daily reported.

Interviewed by ANSA Tuesday, former air force chief of staff General Leonardo Tricarico said using Italy’s Tornado jets to bomb ISIS in Iraq would be a “significant” step but it would be even better if the US agrees to arm Italy’s Predator drones against the self-styled Caliphate.

Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti, who will meet US Defence Secretary Ash Carter Wednesday, should press him about getting the armed versions of the drones, said Tricarico, a former military advisor to the Italian premier’s office.

“The debate that has opened on possible Italian bombing,” Tricarico said, “is consistent with the somnolence and lack of desire with which the international community has decided to fight the so-called Islamic State.

“If we really want to hit ISIS all of us need to roll up up their sleeves and put into the field everything they have got to give to take the place of a coalition that has thus far proved not very effective,” he went on. Tricarico, president of the ICSA Foundation, went on to criticise France’s initiative to conduct raids against ISIS targets, calling it “a sign of the extreme superficiality with which action is being taken”.

As for Italy, the general said “if our Tornadoes are authorised not only for reconnaissance but also as strikers, there’s no scandal there, despite the usual pacifist hysteria that is re-awoken every time in these cases.

“The decision could skip the parliamentary rubberstamp but in actual fact this seems to be obligatory because the initiative sparks alarm among public opinion,” Tricarico went on to say.

The fighter-bombers, he said, “are aircraft fit for purpose, they have shown this over the years: they can hit targets with elevated precision and a margin of error of a metre”.

But Tricarico insisted on what he called the “bizarre” Predator question.

“We have had the Predators for almost 11 years, but we still haven’t got a weapons license the US administration has to give out for them.

“Evidently, they don’t consider us to be allies that are reliable as the British and so they aren’t giving us the weapons kit that would make our Predators much more useful than the Tornadoes in that theatre”.

Tricarico insisted: “I think that Pinotti must seize the opportunity, to speak with her US colleague and put an end to an embarrassing situation”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia Deliberately Targeting CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria, Says US

Russia is deliberately bombing CIA-backed rebels in Syria, US officials have claimed for the first time, as Nato warned that two incursions by Russian jets into Turkish airspace were also “no accident”.

US officials said on Monday that Russian bombing of America’s allies in Syria was part of a strategy intended to bolster the Assad regime by going its moderate opponents, rather than targeting terrorist groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil.)

“On day one, you can say it was a one-time mistake,” a senior U.S. official reportedly told the Wall Street Journal. “But on day three and day four, there’s no question it’s intentional. They know what they’re hitting.”

The strategy is part of a direct challenge to President Barack Obama’s Syria policy, the anonymous officials claimed.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Syria Ground War Imminent? U.S. Accuses Russia of Launching Syrian Land Campaign

While the US was been surprised and angered by the stunningly fast turn of events in Syria where in the span of less than a month Russia unleashed a massive, Syria-based airborne campaign against what it says are ISIS terrorists, even as the US accuses Putin of targeting “moderate rebels”, it has had little recourse in accusing Putin of violating Syrian sovereignty: after all Russia is the only nation that Syria has officially invited to eradicate the “terrorist threat” that is ISIS.

Then, last Friday, Syria raised the stakes once again, when as Bloomberg reported a loyalist of the Assad regime said “terrorism cannot only be fought from the air,” making an appeal for more military involvement to defeat Islamic State.

In a defiant speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem criticized the current approach to fighting the group that has conquered swathes of territory and was encroaching on President Bashar al-Assad’s coastal stronghold in Latakia. Those gains triggered Russian intervention.

“Air strikes are useless unless they are coordinated with the Syrian Arab army, the only force to combat terrorism,” al-Muallem, who also holds the title of deputy prime minister, told a largely empty assembly hall on Friday, the last day of speeches.

The logical implication is that Syria will next invite, if it hasn’t already done so, Russian troops to join the Russian airforce in eradicating the great ISIS strawman which until recently was the pretext for “coalition” forces to bombard Syria with complete disregard for Syrian sovereignty, and the intention of destroying Assad’s military so the CIA can conclude a regime change with a pro-western leader, one which will permit the passage of a Qatar gas pipeline.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria Conflict: Russia Violation of Turkish Airspace ‘No Accident’

Russia’s violation of Turkish airspace over the weekend “does not look like an accident”, Nato has said.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia had not provided “any real explanation” of the violation, which “lasted for a long time.”

Russia says Saturday’s incursion was brief and due to bad weather. It is examining claims of another violation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syrian Rebels Are Bracing for a New Reality, More Violence Amid Russian Air Campaign

The U.S.-backed rebel group Tajammu Alezzah has been fighting the Syrian military outside the city of Hama for months, but a new player has joined the fray: Russian warplanes, which have repeatedly hit their front-line positions, followed by airstrikes from government planes.

Russia’s bombing campaign, now a week old, has created a new reality for Syria’s opposition. The rebels say the airstrikes are meant to weaken the rebellion against President Bashar Assad, not just crush the Islamic State and other militants as Moscow contends.

The Russian airstrikes, more powerful than those by the Syrian military, have hit along several key fronts, even attacking rebel bases along the border with Turkey. That’s an area the opposition had considered to be relatively safe because Syria’s air force has avoided it.

Rebel factions — moderates, Islamists and radicals alike — have had to evacuate some bases and move ammunition stores, according to opposition activists and rebel commanders. The rebels are calling for their regional backers, such as the Gulf countries and Turkey, to boost their support, including more sophisticated weapons like anti-aircraft missiles.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

This is How Close US and Russian Jets Are to a Dog Fight Above Syria

With Russia now effectively controlling the skies over Syria and with the US chiding Moscow for “targeting” America’s CIA-trained proxy armies, everyone is anxious to know how long it will be before NATO’s F-16s have an actual, live fire run-in with Russian Su-34s.

As we noted on Monday, the biggest threat here is the close proximity at which everyone is now operating: “What happens next? Well, with the previously discussed Russian naval blockade of Syria as a likely next step, and with both US and Russian warplanes already flying back and forth above Syria, and now both superpowers having a legitimate, if only in the eyes of their own media, justification to dispatch land troops, what was until now a mere proxy war is about to become full blown land combat on Syrian soil, one which will soon involve both Russian and US ground, sea and airborne forces.”

How close to this eventuality are we, you ask? Well, to let CBS tell it, about 20 miles:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

What Does Russia Want in Syria?

In 2011, when the United States and its collaborators in NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) set out to destroy the North African nation-state of Libya, it was portrayed as an isolated intervention based upon the geopolitical doctrine of “responsibility to protect” — or in other words — an alleged humanitarian intervention.

What quickly became clear, even before the operation concluded, was that the US goal was regime change from the beginning, with many of the militant groups supported by the US-led axis via airstrikes and weapon deliveries revealed to be in fact terrorist organizations, including the US State Department-list foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Image: US Senator John McCain and others pose with Al Qaeda commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj after the collapse of the Libyan government to US-NATO-GCC backed terrorists. Libya now remains divided and destroyed, and the other unmentioned source of refugees flooding Western Europe.

Shortly after the fall of the Libyan government in Tripoli, it also became clear that US military aggression in Libya was in no way an isolated intervention. Almost immediately after hostilities ceased, US-NATO-GCC armed and backed militant groups began transferring weapons and fighters to NATO-member Turkey where they were staged for what was to become the invasion of Aleppo, the largest city in Syria.

The invasion of Aleppo was part of a wider US-backed campaign to divide and destroy the nation of Syria just as was done in Libya. Additionally there is the ongoing US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan and the division and destruction of Iraq after a US invasion in 2003 and a subsequent occupation there ever since. Considering this, what is revealed is a regional military campaign of conquest stretching from North Africa to Central Asia and pressing up against the borders of both Russia and China.

It must also be remembered that in 2011, the so-called “Arab Spring” was eventually revealed to be the premeditated work of the US State Department who began training, equipping, and arraying activists against targeted governments years before the protests began.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ukraine: Kiev: 16,000 Deserters, Many With Weapons

Last call to the army dodged by 50% conscripts

(ANSA) — MOSCOW — Approximately 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers have deserted, leaving the conflict zone of Donbass, many of them with weapons. It was announced by the military prosecutor Anatoli Matios, adding that investigations were opened on individual cases.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sydney Police Arrest Five People After Terrorism-Linked Shooting

Five people were arrested in dawn raids across Sydney following the fatal shooting of a police employee by a 15-year-old boy last week that authorities say was linked to terrorism.

Authorities have described last week’s shooting as politically motivated and linked to terrorism. The boy, who was shot and killed by police in an exchange of gunfire, had an Iraqi-Kurdish background and was born in Iran, New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Saturday in a news conference.

Australia remains on high alert for attacks, citing threats posed by local supporters of Islamic State militants.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

S. Africa’s Business Confidence Dips to a 22-Year Low: Survey

Business confidence in South Africa has dipped to its lowest level since the end of apartheid on the back of an unstable currency and lower commodity prices, a survey showed Tuesday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Confidence Index in September fell to the lowest level since 1993, a year before the end of apartheid.

Last month’s business confidence index “is the lowest level recorded since July 1993 and is a 22 year low,” said the group.

South Africa is the continent’s most developed and was long its economic powerhouse, but last year it lost its number one spot on the continent to Nigeria…

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

Somalia’s Extremist Rebels Vow Violence Against British Troops Set to Deploy to Somalia

A spokesman for Somalia’s Islamic extremists says their rebels will fight the British troops that are to be deployed to the country as peacekeepers.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for al-Shabab, said on the the group’s radio Tuesday that their fighters would welcome the British troops with bullets and drag beheaded British soldiers through the streets.

His comments were in response to British prime minister David Cameron’s pledge last month that as many as 70 British military personnel could be sent to Somalia to bolster a United Nations-backed mission to support the Somali government against the extremists.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

1965 Immigration Reform Act by Teddy Kennedy: America’s Real Downfall

In October of 1965, the late Senator Teddy Kennedy rammed through the Immigration Reform Act without fanfare and without knowledge from the American public.

Senator Jacob Javits said upon its passage, “Let the floodgates be opened.”

And, those gates to America opened from 150,000 annually to 1.2 million annually, without pause, and continue to this day in 2015. In a scant 40 years, America added 100 million people from all over the world.

It changed the mix of 90 percent European-Americans, 7 percent African-Americans and 3 percent Hispanic Americans—to an entirely new racial demographic. Today, Europeans hold on to a 54 percent majority, but that will vanish to 49 percent by 2042, when Hispanics will become the new majority. Muslims continue roaring into America at an ever-increasing rate of speed and expect to grow from 4 to 7 million to as high as 20 million by mid century.

Their presence in America will change everything. Muslims aggressively use their voting power and gather numbers to push for Sharia Law. They “seed” this country at an ever-accelerating rate of speed.

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

[Comment: Mass migration designed to destroy/weaken nation states in preparation of global government.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chancellor Merkel: “Lord God” Sent Illegal Immigrants

A German economic news website, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, reports Chancellor Angela Merkel as declaring the massive influx of illegal immigrants entering Germany and Europe are sent by God.

Merkel said it is “the duty of Germany” to accept the migrants, most arriving from Syria and the Middle East.

The Chancellor said she is in agreement with Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union.

[Comment: Germany should expect a spike of more “migrants” fleeing Russian bombing campaign in Syria (ie ISIS followers). Many are headed for Germany via Turkey.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Claim: ‘No Borders’ Activist Gang Raped by Migrants, Pressured Into Silence to Not ‘Damage Cause’

A young, female ‘No Borders’ activist working in a migrant camp on the France-Italy border remained silent about her gang rape by Sudanese migrants for over a month because “the others asked me to keep quiet.”

Colleagues are alleged to have said that reporting the crime would set back their struggle for a borderless world.

           — Hat tip: JFJ [Return to headlines]

Danes Demand ‘Decent Treatment’ of Refugees

Thousands of Danes braved chilly winds on Tuesday to march in Copenhagen for the “decent treatment of refugees” and to protest a decision by Denmark’s rightwing government to slash benefits for refugees.

Danish police told AFP that between 20,000 and 25,000 people had joined the three-mile march which ended at Christiansborg with music and speeches.

Carrying torches as darkness fell, demonstrators shouted slogans like: “Say it loud and clear, refugees are welcome here” and a cheer went up as thousands entered the public square outside of parliament.

Last month, some 30,000 people joined a Copenhagen rally in favour of taking in more refugees.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Chief: Migrant Influx is ‘Campaign of Hybrid Warfare’ By Neighbours to Force Concessions

Migrants are being sent to Europe as a campaign of “hybrid warfare” in order to force concessions to its neighbours, EU president Donald Tusk has claimed.

An influx of hundreds of thousands of people is a “weapon” and a “political bargaining chip” used by the EU’s neighbours who want to harm the continent, Mr Tusk said.

He made the incendiary comments as the European Union announced it would give an extra one billion euros in aid, and dangled the offer of visa-free travel, to Turkey as part of a charm offensive to encourage the country to close its borders as a major transit route for migrants.

Sources said Mr Tusk’s remarks were not aimed specifically at Turkey but that he was thinking of leaders across the region, including the late Libyan dictator Gaddafi who threatened to turn Europe ‘black’ unless it handed over billions in aid.

However, there is mounting frustration in Brussels at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s refusal to seal Turkey’s coasts and border wit Greece. Police have stopped just one in seven of the 350,000 people who have crossed since January on a major transit route for those fleeing Syria for the EU, and European leaders are convinced he could easily do more.

Mr Tusk, the president of the European Council, told MEPs that “many of our neighbours look with satisfaction at our troubles”, and were prepared to extract favours in exchange for halting the flow.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

First Refugee ‘Relocations’ On Friday, From Italy to Sweden: EU

The EU said a controversial programme to relocate 40,000 refugees within the bloc from overstretched frontline states would formally start on Friday when a group of Eritreans will travel to Sweden from Italy.

“First relocations within EU take place on Friday” following an agreement by interior ministers in September, the EU’s home affairs office said in a tweet. “Eritrean refugees will be relocated from Italy to Sweden.”

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

Frontex Asks for 775 Guards for Italy and Greece

In order to register arrivals from Libya and Turkey

(ANSA) — BRUSSELS — Frontex calls on EU governments to deploy 775 more border guards along the external borders of the Union.

The officers will be primarily used in the assistance of Greek and Italian authorities for the identification and registration of migrants coming from Libya and Turkey. This is the largest number of guards ever requested by the European agency since its opening. About 670 officers — especially ‘screeners’, ‘debriefers’ and interpreters — will be used in Italy and Greece. Another 105 officers will be deployed along some other EU’s external borders. The ‘screeners’ play a key role in helping the authorities to trace the nationality of the migrants, identify and register them , whereas the ‘debriefers’ collect information on the activities of traffickers’ networks.

“So far this year more than 470,000 migrants have arrived in Italy and Greece . No country can tackle such a high-pressure migration alone”, said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri. “It ‘s crucial that all those who arrive in the EU are properly registered and identified”, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Government Sets Aside Millions for Refugee Efforts in Denmark

The Social and Internal Affairs Ministry has revealed it intends to allocate 325 million kroner to assisting the municipalities in Denmark handle the increase in refugees expected to arrive in Denmark in 2016.

The funds, which have been earmarked for housing and integration, were agreed to as part of an agreement between the government and the local government association KL.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Gypsy Boss’ Avoids Expulsion From Denmark

A 46-year-old Croatian said to be the patriach of ‘Denmark’s most criminal family’ had his planned expulsion from the country overturned by the Eastern High Court on Tuesday.

Gimi Levakovic, known in Denmark as ‘the Gypsy boss’ (Sigøjnerbossen), was convicted on charges of having a loading pistol and making death threats by a Næstved court in August and sentenced to 15 months in prison followed by expulsion from Denmark.

Levakovic became nationally-known thanks to a TV2 documentary entitled ‘The Gypsy Boss and His Notorious Family’ (Sigøjnerbossen og hans berygtede familie). A Roma from Croatia, Levakovic is the head of what for many years has been called ‘Denmark’s most criminal family’ and is the self-declared ‘boss’ of the nation’s Romas.

Levakovic’s lawyer said that the impact of an expulsion would be traumatic on his young children.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrants: Hungary: Fence With Serbia Effective

‘We will keep it until is needed’

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — The anti-immigrant barrier raised by Hungary at the border with Serbia will remain ‘all the time that is needed, Hungarian Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi stated, admitting at the same time that the wall can’t solve the migration crisis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Migrant Crisis: EU Plan Offers More Money for Turkey Camps

The EU is offering new incentives to Turkey — including financial aid and easing of visa restrictions — for help to solve the migrant crisis.

The draft document includes proposals for the EU to:

  • Provide up to €1bn (£0.74bn) for this year and next to help Turkey cope with refugees from Syria and Iraq
  • Resettlement of some refugees already in Turkey
  • Reinforce the Turkish coast guard to help it tackle smugglers
  • Build on plans for lifting visa requirements for Turks travelling to the EU

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New American Century: Arabic is Fastest-Growing Language in USA

A new report shows that languages spoken in Muslim countries are surging into U.S. households, thanks in large part to immigration from Muslim nations.

New 2014 data from the huge American Community Survey reveals that Arabic and Urdu — Pakistan’s national language — are the fastest-growing foreign languages spoken at home, according to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

A record 63.2 million U.S. residents, or more than one-in-five, speak a language other than English when at home, after five decades of large-scale immigration, according to Census Bureau data authored by the Center for Immigration Studies. The data also shows that 41 percent— or 25.6 million— of the residents have difficulty speaking English.

Previous reports have shown that the United States is now the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tricky Talks With Erdogan in Brussels

The EU is turning to Turkey for help with the refugee crisis. The political price is likely to be high, though, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the opportunity for his own ends.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pulled out all the stops. He referred to the many years of friendship between himself and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and even praised him as a promoter of the reform process in Turkey. Juncker went so far as to say that he was “very much in favor” of bringing forward negotiations on visa-free tourism. This, however, is a decision that lies with the member states — Germany and France in particular.

Erdogan is now in an excellent position to negotiate with the EU. “Turkey has the upper hand,” Paul confirmed. Swift progress on visa-free travel is at the top of Ankara’s wish list, she said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey Warns 3 Mln More Refugees May be Headed to EU From Syria

Turkey has warned the European Union that 3 million more refugees could flee fighting in Syria as the EU struggles to manage its biggest migration emergency in decades.

Around 2 million refugees from Syria are currently in Turkey, and tens of thousands of others have entered the EU via Greece this year, overwhelming coast guards and reception facilities.

EU Council President Donald Tusk told lawmakers Tuesday that “according to Turkish estimates, another 3 million potential refugees may come from Aleppo and its neighborhood.”

Tusk said that “today millions of potential refugees and migrants are dreaming about Europe.”

He warned that “the world around us does not intend to help Europe” and that some of the EU’s neighbors “look with satisfaction at our troubles.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tusk: Defenseless External Borders, ‘Goodbye’ To Schengen

Speech at the plenary session in Strasbourg

(ANSA) — STRASBOURG — “In the absence of a serious and responsible defence system of the external borders of Europe, we should say goodbye to the Schengen Treaty”. This is what the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, stated speaking plenary session in Strasbourg. “At the UN, Europe seemed to be the worst place for refugees — said Tusk -, and I felt isolated when I defended the EU. We respect all the rules, but we do not prevent our divisions from damaging the good name of Europe”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Report: Planned Parenthood Hires Private Investigator to ‘Stalk’ Undercover Video Producer

Planned Parenthood has hired a private investigator to “stalk” one of the producers responsible for creating the undercover sting videos alleging to document their illegal sale of aborted fetal tissue, the founder of the organization which created the damning videos claims.

David Daleidan, the head of the non-profit, pro-life Center for Medical Progress, said in a Facebook post yesterday that he recently encountered a female private investigator “prowling around the front door” of his apartment, adding that she had been “stalking” his family and friends “for the past 4 weeks.”

A photo posted to Facebook by Daleidan shows a business card from Larsen AVR Group Inc., a private investigation firm based in Pasadena, California.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/6/2015

  1. “Frontex Asks for 775 Guards for Italy and Greece

    In order to register arrivals from Libya and Turkey”

    Wasn’t Frontex meant to protect Europe’s borders? Looks like they’ve already given up on that – which kinda fits in with the theory that those in power, especially in Brussels, want this to happen…

    • Poor deluded dispersed Euros. Erdo would never turn down any opportunity that might lead to Turkey armme forheads and boots on the ground.

  2. “The European Union is negotiating with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to obtain Turkish help … ”

    EU negotiated with Qaddafi. Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, . . . etc. and poured millions of (€) to the dogs to no avail. The west keeps repeating these attitudes with the same people expecting different results. Or probably they are not that stupid. The west wants muslims invaders at any cost. By giving money to Turkey and negotiating with this or that is a trick meant for their naive, simple voters. Has the impression that they are doing something to prevent musliima mosquitoes from invading the west., the west ultimate goal. For them its their goal to paradise.

    Do they really believe that Turkey will prevent itself from invading Europe again? Have the westerner elites not heard about “History repeats itself in a funny way, not recognized by simpletons.” Has Turkey and Arabs ever stopped from claiming Al-Andalus, Bosnia, Herzogovina, Bulgaria . . . etc. up to the Aurora Borealis.

    The west is lying when they say they are fighting ISIS. AS a Kurdish Peshmerga last week declared that “If the west were serious in fighting ISIS they would eliminate it in 3 days.” Anyone will doubt Peshmerga’s loyalty to the west? They got their “independence, 99% almost” by the west’s help.

    What has happened to the western brain? Who changed the wiring to become so exccentric and perverted, and enslaved to muslims. Every step in the West is geared towards promoting islam and the Caliphate.

    Hey Spain you still have the fever and itch to return yourself to your masters of Qurttubba or Cordova, which is a city in southern Spain; center of Moorish devastation and bridgehead for the invasion of the Sick Dying Continent.

    The west has taken all the steps to: das Abendland und “Deutschland schafft sich ab”

    No power will rescue you from yourself foolishness and your great democracy. Stay in hell and let the devil eliminate himself on your ugly grave.

    • Delusion. The vacuous thing calling itself the EU couldn’t negotiate it’s way out of a paper bag. Second world former Soviet Eastern Europe making policy for western Europesn countries. We see the complete stupidity now with Mercuriel outcomes in Germany especially. But really it’s everywhere. EU and its Muslim savages out now.

  3. >> more border guards to assist of Greek and Italian authorities for the identification and registration of migrants <<

    Well, now. Let's see . . .

    Navy = taxi service.

    Border "guards" = paper pushers, Welcome Wagon.

    Police = pizza deliverymen, AntiFa auxiliaries, mosque errand boys, esp. British police.

    Slipper lickers — see Police

    Foreign invaders = bright rays of sunshine, future ruling class.

    Western politicians = spawn of Ephialtes of Trachis.

    MSM = Klingon cloaking device.

    Open borders = natural phenomenon beyond the control of man, like sunspots, deficit spending, gravity, white perfidy, global warming, feminist stupidity.

    Muslim "no go" zones = islands of insanity within islands of insanity, weapons and ammo storage zones.

    Mosques — see Muslim "no go" zones.

    FBI, MI5, NSA, GCHQ, BND = first line of defense against thought crime.

    Sweden = poster child for national suicide, laughing stock of the world, future Putin summer home.

    Angela Merkel = Gog, Destroyer of Nations.

    Francois Horlorge = Marine Le Pen nemesis; Rule of Law champion; recipient Honorable Mention, 2015 Chickenshift Criminal Prosecution Contest; recipient Champion of Free Speech medal, Second Class.

    Westerners = globalist lab rats.

    Quantum mechanics, astrophysics, differential calculus, biochemistry, orbital mechancs, female psychology = prerequisites for Obama Syrian Policy 101.

    War criminal = Syrian patriot.

    Valdomar Putin = heterosexual bear wrestler, John Kerry sensei, cleanup batter for Barack Hosni Obama, threat to all planetary life.

    Bashir al-Assad — see War criminal.

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