Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/10/2015

Among the items carried by the UC Merced stabber Faisal Mohammad was an ISIS flag, in addition to written entries praising Allah and instructions on carrying out beheadings. But authorities are still certain that Mr. Mohammad’s attacks had no religious motives, and had nothing to do with terrorism. Or Islam, for that matter.

In other news, Slovenia says that it will tighten its border with Croatia by constructing physical barriers, and possibly a fence. Meanwhile, according to EU agencies the asylum applications for the “refugees” who arrived in Europe this year will take at least a year to process, even if no further immigrants arrive.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Erick Stakelbeck, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, 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
» Does the Bell Toll for the Fed?
» EU Misspent Over 6 Billion Euros Last Year: Watchdog
» OECD Raises GDP Forecasts, Renzi’s Blasts ‘Block Italy’ Opposition’
» Pocketbook Pain: The Rapidly Rising Cost of Living is Absolutely Killing the Middle Class in America
» Portugal’s Government Ousted Amid Austerity Backlash
» Ron Paul: Unless the Fed is Stopped, America Will “Soon Experience Major Economic Crisis”
» Fury and Fear in Ohio as IT Jobs Go to India
» Giant Utilities Try to Kill Solar Power
» ISIS Flag, Radical Manifesto Raise Questions About Calif. Campus Stabber’s Motive
» Media Nixing Comments Sections: When “Civility” Really Means “Political Correctness”
» Muslim-Majority City Council Elected in Michigan
» Obama: Gun Control is ‘One Thing’ I Still Want to Do
» Obama Explains Why ‘The Greatest Corporate Power Grab in History’ Is “The Right Thing for America”
» Oregon County Passes Initiative Allowing Sheriff to Void Gun Control Laws if He Thinks They’re Unconstitutional
» Photographer Threatened With Mob Violence for Asserting First Amendment Rights
» Wisconsin Dems Move to Ban Most Semi-Auto Firearms in a Big Way
Europe and the EU
» EU Says Ukraine Would Gain ‘Credibility’ By Beating Graft
» European Court Rules Against French Comic Dieudonne
» France Arrests Man in IS-Linked Plot to Attack Naval Base
» France: Hollande-Rouhani Lunch ‘Scrapped Over Wine Spat’
» French Police Arrest ‘Radicalized’ Person Suspected of Planning Attack Against Marines at Base
» Germany Bids Farewell to Oldest Former Chancellor
» Global Governance to Subvert Our Sovereignty Through Mayors
» Italian Government Attempted to Hide Arrest of Al Qaeda Terrorist on Migrant Boat
» Italy: ‘Queen Bee’ Began Tells Escort Trial She Loved Berlusconi
» Italy: Firm Goes Email-Free to Cut Staff Stress
» Pope Blasts VatiLeaks 2 as Deplorable, Says Reforms Continue
» Portugal’s Left-Wing Opposition Topples Minority Government
» Richard Littlejohn Doesn’t Understand Why Britons Are Putting Themselves at Risk
» Romania’s President Stops Planned $161m Loan to Moldova
» Snowden Praises EU Parliament Vote to Grant Him Whistleblower Protection
» Switzerland: Kempinski Luxury Hotel Chain Accuses Ex-CEO of Pocketing $6 Mn
» The Vatican Returns as a Global Hotpot of Political Intrigue
» Tim Cook: UK Crypto Backdoors Would Lead to ‘Dire Consequences’
» UK: Jenny Maher Who Nearly Died After Biting Surf Washing Machine Capsule Pictured
» UK: Teen Held After Woman, 87, Hit in Face on Bus
» UK: What the Investigatory Powers Bill Will Mean for Your Internet Use
North Africa
» Egypt Pyramids Scan Finds Mystery Heat Spots
Israel and the Palestinians
» Watch: Child Terrorist Stabbers Caught on CCTV
Middle East
» 400 More Sudanese Soldiers Arrive in Yemen’s Aden
» EU Grants Jordan 52 Million Euros to Fight Unemployment
» France Targets Syrian Infrastructure
» Italy: Palazzo Versace Luxury Hotel and Residence Opens in Dubai
» Lebanon: Quiet Metaphor of the Middle East on the Brink
» Oil to Cost About $60 Per Barrel in 2016-2018 — BP Head
» Russia’s Anti-ISIL Airstrikes in Syria May End War — Walesa
» Russian Fighter Jets Destroy 448 ISIL Targets in Syria
» Saudi Arabia: Italian PM at Riyadh Subway Site
» Terrifying Bumblebee: Fires Incendiary Bombs, Barbecues Enemy Indoors
» The Most Dangerous Man in the Middle East?
» UAE Buys Saab Surveillance Planes in $1.27 Bln Deal
» US Air Force May Keep A-10 Warthog Attack Aircraft Active to Fight ISIL
» Take That: Putin Says Russia Will Build Weapons Capable of Piercing US Missile Shield
Far East
» China: Easing One-Child Policy Will Boost Labor Force by 30 Million in Decades
Australia — Pacific
» New Zealand Releases Full Text of TPP (Monsanto’s Dream Trade Deal)
Sub-Saharan Africa
» ‘Significant Oil Find’ Possible in Lake Chad Basin: Nigeria
Latin America
» Federal Judge Upholds Mexican GM Ban After Over ‘100 Appeals by Biotech’
» Austria’s Far Right Sues Over Border Protection
» Brexit ‘Only Option’ To Stem Free Movement Across EU Borders — UKIP
» EU Inundated by Year-Long Backlog of Asylum Applications
» EU Plans New Refugee Centers as Influx Overwhelms Greece
» France: More Violence in Calais as Refugees Are Moved
» Germany Sends Syrians Back to EU Borders
» Italy: Refugee Hotspots to Slow Down Says Alfano
» Number of Refugees Escaping to Greece Expands Dramatically
» Refugee Crisis Opens New Rifts in Merkel Government
» Slovenia: Soon Barriers Along Border With Croatia
» Slovenia Vows to Tighten Border With Croatia
Culture Wars
» Donald Trump on Starbucks: ‘Maybe We Should Boycott?’
» Transgender in China: Secrets and Surgery
» Ukraine Fails Again to Ban Discrimination Against Gays
» University of Kansas Student Senate Bans Gender Pronouns Because They’re Microaggressions
» When You’re Popular, You Don’t Need Freedom of Speech
» Sony Says Goodbye to Betamax Tapes

Does the Bell Toll for the Fed?

The failure of the Fed’s policies of massive money creation, corporate bailouts, and quantitative easing to produce economic growth is a sign that the fiat money system’s day of reckoning is near. The only way to prevent the monetary system’s inevitable crash from causing a major economic crisis is the restoration of a free-market monetary policy.

One positive step Congress may take this year is passing the Audit the Fed bill. Fortunately, Senator Rand Paul is using Senate rules to force the Senate to hold a roll-call vote on Audit the Fed. The vote is expected to take place in the next two-to-three weeks. If Audit the Fed passes, the American people can finally learn the full truth about the Fed’s operations. If it fails, the American people will at least know which senators side with them and which ones side with the Federal Reserve.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Misspent Over 6 Billion Euros Last Year: Watchdog

The European Union misspent 6.3 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in 2014, the bloc’s financial watchdog said on Tuesday, urging Brussels to take make its unwieldy budget more responsive to shocks like the migration crisis.

The European Court of Auditors called for a “wholly new approach” to the way the EU uses its cash that would allow the 28-nation union to be more flexible and free up unspent funds so they can be used where needed.

Examples of misspending included underused airports of which only around half were worthy of EU funds, and aid paid for farmland in Spain that was actually being used as a motocross track, it said in a report.

“We call for a whole new approach — we cannot afford to do business as usual,” Vitor Caldeira, the president of the independent ombudsman, told journalists as he launched the report…

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

OECD Raises GDP Forecasts, Renzi’s Blasts ‘Block Italy’ Opposition’

Organization said ‘recovery gradually accelerating’

(ANSA) — Paris, November 9 — The OECD said in its economic outlook on Monday that it expects Italy’s GDP to increase 1.4% in 2016 and in 2017, 0.1 of a percentage point higher than it predicted in September. It added that Italy’s recovery after years of recession was “gradually accelerating”.

It also praised the government’s Jobs Act labour reform and the suspension of social-security contributions for some groups of workers hired on new permanent opened-ended contracts. It said these measures were “driving a change of direction for the labour market”. As a result, it forecast that Italy’s unemployment rate will drop from 12.3% this year to 11.7% in 2016 and 11% in 2017.

Premier Matteo Renzi, meanwhile, on Monday blasted opposition parties that he said wanted to block Italy during a visit to Saudi Arabia. “Italy is not just made up of those who want to shout and insult in the street — enough already of those who want to block the country. We’re restoring Italy to its place in the world,” Renzi said. On Sunday ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party, joined Matteo Salvini, the head of the right-wing Northern League, on the stage of an anti-government rally in Bologna.

During the rally, Salvini launched an venomous attack on Renzi’s reformist coalition government and called Interior Minister Angelino Alfano a “cretin”.

The demonstration was seen as cementing a new alliance on the right of Italian politics, although some FI members expressed reservations about Berlusconi’s participation on the grounds that it was moving the centre-right towards extreme positions.

Giorgio Meloni, whose right-wing Brothers of Italy party, like the League, adopts hard-line stances on migration issues, also spoke at the rally.

There were violent clashes in Bologna between police and participants at rival marches against the Salvini-Berlusconi rally, while train services were hit by sabotage of rail lines.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pocketbook Pain: The Rapidly Rising Cost of Living is Absolutely Killing the Middle Class in America

All over America, the middle class is dying and poverty is on the rise.

One of the primary reasons for this is the rapidly rising cost of living in the United States. The cost of just about everything that average families shell out money for on a regular basis — food, rent, health insurance, etc. — is rising much faster than wages are. In a previous article I noted that the federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, but 51 percent of all American workers are making less than $30,000 a year at this point. We have seen an explosion in the number of people in this country that are considered to be “the working poor” and it gets worse with each passing year.

One of the most frustrating things for me personally is the rising cost of health insurance. Barack Obama promised that his program would result in a decline in health insurance premiums by as much as $2,500 per family, but in reality average family premiums have increased by a total of $4,865 since 2008.

Just recently, I got a letter informing me that my health insurance premiums would be going up by close to 20 percent in 2016. That is on top of an increase of more than 30 percent in 2015. Sadly, the exact same thing is happening to millions of other families all over the nation. The following comes from TruNews…

The Obamacare increases for 2016 have been released. Premiums will increase 3 times faster than officials claim. […] As the middle class shrinks, poverty is growing and more Americans are becoming dependent on the government than ever before. The following numbers come out of one of my previous articles entitled “21 Facts About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Will Blow Your Mind”…

[Comment: Dependancy on the Glorious New USSA and destruction of middle class is what social planners want. Obama if fulling his bankster handler’s wishes beyond their dreams.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Portugal’s Government Ousted Amid Austerity Backlash

Anti-austerity lawmakers forced Portugal’s new center-right government to resign Tuesday by rejecting its policy proposals for what was supposed to be a four-year term in office.

The showdown came less than two weeks after the center-right government was sworn in.

The moderate Socialist Party forged an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a 122-seat majority in the 230-seat Parliament and vote down the proposals. The defeat brought the government’s automatic resignation.

After four years in power the government lost its parliamentary majority in an Oct. 4 general election, which saw a public backlash against austerity measures adopted following a 78 billion-euro ($84 billion) bailout in 2011…

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

Ron Paul: Unless the Fed is Stopped, America Will “Soon Experience Major Economic Crisis”

Ron Paul has written another column advocating the auditing of, and eventually shutting down, the Federal Reserve system.

Until the United States has the political will to tackle this important issue, America is in grave danger of “ a series of ever-worsening economic crises” which will wear down the purchasing power of the dollar while further eroding the standard of living for everyone.

In stark terms, Dr. Paul warns that this country and the world will “ soon experience a major economic crisis” unless they change course on monetary and economic policy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fury and Fear in Ohio as IT Jobs Go to India

The IT workers at Cengage Learning in the company’s Mason, Ohio offices learned of their fates game-show style. First, they were told to gather in a large conference room. There were vague remarks from an IT executive about a “transition.” Slides were shown that listed employee names, directing them to one of three rooms where they would be told specifically what was happening to them. Some employees were cold with worry.

The biggest group, those getting pink slips, were told to remain in the large conference room. Workers directed to go through what we’ll call Door No. 2, were offered employment with IT offshore outsourcing firm Cognizant. That was the smallest group. And those sent through Door No. 3 remained employed in Cengage’s IT department. This happened in mid-October.

“I was so furious,” said one of the IT workers over what happened. It seemed “surreal,” said another. There was disbelief, but little surprise. Cengage, a major producer of educational content and services, had outsourced accounting services earlier in the year. The IT workers rightly believed they were next.

The employees were warned that speaking to the news media meant loss of severance. Despite their fears, they want their story told. They want people to know what’s happening to IT jobs in the heartland. They don’t want the offshoring of their livelihoods to pass in silence.

The employees remaining at Cengage have begun training their replacements in person and via the Web. Their work is being “shadowed” and recorded. Their jobs will end in January.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Giant Utilities Try to Kill Solar Power

Rooftop Solar Poses a Threat to the Utilities’ Century-Old Business Model of Centralized Power … So They’re Trying to Make Solar Much More Expensive

One of the main reasons that solar energy is growing so fast in California is “net metering” … i.e. crediting rooftop solar users for surplus power their systems create, which is fed back into the grid for use by other customers.

Currently, rooftop solar owners are credited at the same rate they would pay the utility for electricity.

Not only is net metering a huge incentive to buy solar panels, but it is part of a wave of decentralized energy production which could help to solve our protect against terrorism, fascism and destruction of our health, environment and economy.

But the giant California utilities — PG&E, Southern California Energy and San Diego Gas & Electric — are determined to kill net metering, because it cuts into the profitability of their centralized energy production business.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ISIS Flag, Radical Manifesto Raise Questions About Calif. Campus Stabber’s Motive

The California college student who stabbed four people last week was carrying an image of the black flag of ISIS according to a report Tuesday, as well as a handwritten manifesto with instructions to behead a student and multiple reminders to pray to Allah, yet authorities continued to insist Faisal Mohammad’s motives had nothing to do with radical Islam.

The 18-year-old, who was killed by a campus police officer to end the Wednesday morning attack, was a loner who was incensed at being booted from a study group, according to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke. But the extreme way Mohammad dealt with his rage, the presence of the printout of Islamic State’s black flag and the deadly plans spelled out in the two-page document he carried could indicate there was more to the attack than simple rejection.

“This fits exactly with what ISIS is looking for, individuals to go and do an act of terrorism unilaterally,” said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York State Police Criminal Intelligence Unit and author of the 2011 book “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Media Nixing Comments Sections: When “Civility” Really Means “Political Correctness”

When leftists start talking about “civility,” watch out for your freedom of speech.

This again comes to mind with reports that some media outlets are eliminating online comments sections in civility’s name. And while it’s not a First Amendment violation (these are private-sector actions), it is largely motivated by the same mentality spawning speech codes on college campuses and “hate speech” laws overseas.

And as with those phenomena, the nixing of online comments is justified with noble-sounding sentiments. As the AFP recently reported, “Last month, Vice Media’s Motherboard news site turned off reader comments, saying ‘the scorched earth nature of comments sections just stifles real conversation.’ It instead began taking ‘letters to the editor’ to be screened by staff.”

That’s rich. What stifles conversation more than eliminating a comments section completely? As for “real conversation,” the content leftist media disgorge proves they haven’t the foggiest idea what that might be.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslim-Majority City Council Elected in Michigan

A city near Detroit made history when it elected the first Muslim-majority city council in the United States.

The town of Hamtramck, a long-time Polish-Catholic enclave, has been demographically changing for decades and the election symbolized how far the city had come. The top three vote-getters were Muslim, two were incumbents — Anam Miah and Abu Musa — and the third, newcomer Saad Almasmari, had the highest number of votes overall in last week’s election.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama: Gun Control is ‘One Thing’ I Still Want to Do

In an email sent out over the weekend by the Democratic Party, President Barack Obama urges followers to join him in the effort to enact stricter gun laws.

“We have not gone more than eight days without a mass shooting in this country this year,” Obama begins in the email. “That means that each week, more families are grieving, more communities are being pieced back together. As a nation, we’re holding everyone affected by these heartbreaking events in our prayers.”

[Comment: “Never let a crisis go to waste”…Saul Alinsky acolyte. Destruction of USA cannot begin until the population is disarmed. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Explains Why ‘The Greatest Corporate Power Grab in History’ Is “The Right Thing for America”

“As president, my top priority is to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class…”…

And in the other corner. Chris Hedges explains why ObamaTrade is “The most brazen corporate power grab in American history”

The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.

“The TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

The TPP is part of a triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services, is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017.

These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. If there is no sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise. Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good.

[Comment: Flush TPP into the sewer where it belongs…along with those trying to ram this turd down the throats of the public.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oregon County Passes Initiative Allowing Sheriff to Void Gun Control Laws if He Thinks They’re Unconstitutional

Nearly a month after a tragic mass shooting shook Umpqua Community College, a rural Oregon county roughly two hours west of the school passed a measure directing the sheriff to bypass state and federal gun laws if he judges them unconstitutional.

Coos County residents smoothly approved the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance on Tuesday with more than 60 percent voting for its passage. The ordinance bars public employees from using county funds to enforce any laws the sheriff deems unconstitutional.

It also prohibits enforcement of Oregon’s recent law requiring background checks on private gun transfers, including transactions between friends. County employees who violate the measure could face a $2,000 fine.

Rob Taylor, a retired optician who sponsored the measure, said the residents he spoke to while helping collect nearly 2,000 signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot were “thrilled” about it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Photographer Threatened With Mob Violence for Asserting First Amendment Rights

A photographer was threatened with mob violence by a professor at Missouri University after he tried to assert his First Amendment rights against “safe space” authoritarians who used Maoist tactics to shut down free speech.

The incident happened in the aftermath of yesterday’s resignation of University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe, who stepped down after failing to acquiesce to a list of demands from students that included a request he acknowledge his “white privilege”.

After students and professors formed a human shield to try and block reporters from covering the story, photographer Mark Schierbecker attempted to get an interview with some of the demonstrators.

The end of the video shows a woman who was later identified as Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media, grab Schierbecker’s camera before demanding that he leave.

Click then brazenly calls for mob violence to help remove Schierbecker.

“Hey who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here,” she yells…

After Click received a barrage of criticism for behavior, she locked down her Twitter account. It’s no surprise to learn that the professor is a fan of ‘Everyday Feminism’ and Planned Parenthood.

As reports;

“Students of history will notice an alarming similarity in the video above to the “struggle sessions” of Maoist China, a form of public shaming in which perceived enemies of the Party would be surrounded in a public place by Red Guards, Mao’s most zealous supporters. The Red Guards would hurl abuse at their target until they confessed to their crimes.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Wisconsin Dems Move to Ban Most Semi-Auto Firearms in a Big Way

A bill introduced by four Assembly Democrats would establish prohibitions on a variety of rifles, shotguns and pistols with no provision to grandfather.

Debuted last week, backers of the measure contend it is needed to prevent mass shootings such as those at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“No Wisconsin community should ever have to face such a tragedy at the hands of someone armed with a semiautomatic assault weapon,” said legislation sponsor, Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, in a statement. “I can conceive of no legitimate reason that any citizen should need to own or use a semiautomatic assault weapon.”

[Comment: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Democrat party is now full of communists and useful idiots. “…shall not be infringed”. Period.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Says Ukraine Would Gain ‘Credibility’ By Beating Graft

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Monday to take tougher and more immediate action against corruption as his ex-Soviet country moves closer to Europe.

But Mogherini’s visit was clouded by a decision by Ukrainian lawmakers the prior week to block a bill bannning discrimination against gays at work — a precondition for visa-free travel to most EU nations.

“We stressed the need to deliver the anticorruption reform which is the key to credibility and sustainability of all the others,” Mogherini told reporters in prepared remarks.

“I would stress the need to have anticorruption bodies that can start their work soon.”…

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

European Court Rules Against French Comic Dieudonne

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday against the controversial French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, deciding that freedom of speech did not protect “racist and anti-Semitic performances”.

Dieudonne, as he is commonly known, was protesting a fine he received from a French court in 2009 for inviting a Holocaust-denier on stage.

He was fined 10,000 euros ($11,000) for what that court referred to as “racist insults”.

Dieudonne argued the fine amounted to an infringement of his freedom of speech…

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

France Arrests Man in IS-Linked Plot to Attack Naval Base

Authorities in France have arrested a man with links to an Islamic State jihadist in Syria over a plot to attack military personnel at a major naval base, police and judicial sources said Tuesday.

The 25-year-old, whom sources said had been monitored by intelligence agencies after trying unsuccessfully twice last year to travel to Syria, was held late last month and charged on November 2.

The interior ministry said in a statement that the man had been under surveillance “because of his radicalisation and public support for jihadist ideology” and had “attempted to acquire material to carry out a violent attack on Navy personnel in Toulon”.

While he was being monitored, he had a parcel delivered by the post office which was found to contain a combat knife and a mask…

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

France: Hollande-Rouhani Lunch ‘Scrapped Over Wine Spat’

A formal lunch between the French president and his Iranian counterpart during next week’s historic meeting has had to be scrapped after the Elysée Palace reportedly refused Iran’s request to serve up halal meat and no wine.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani will pay a historic visit to France next week after being invited by François Hollande earlier this year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Police Arrest ‘Radicalized’ Person Suspected of Planning Attack Against Marines at Base

France says it has arrested a person suspected of planning an attack against marines at a naval base in the southeastern French city of Toulon.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve released a statement Tuesday that said the “radicalized” person was arrested on Oct. 29 and is now in police custody.

He said the person had publicly supported jihadi views and had been under surveillance.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Bids Farewell to Oldest Former Chancellor

Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt has died at home in Hamburg aged 96, his doctors told journalists on Tuesday afternoon.

As Chancellor of West Germany during the Cold War, Schmidt of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), left a legacy of closer cooperation on the international stage and economic prosperity and social reform at home.

His name goes hand-in-hand with the post-WW2 Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) and the bitter fight against the Red Army Faction, a communist terror cell who blighted his time in power.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Global Governance to Subvert Our Sovereignty Through Mayors

There is no government organization left that does not have a sustainable development plan in place, the lynchpin of U.N.’s Agenda 21. Now the U.N. elites are going to gain access into the mayors’ offices across the globe

What is the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) and why would USMC be a perfect partner? GPM is a project, a “political and civic institution by, for, and of cities.” The problem with this organization is that it is another phantom layer of government that was not elected by the people, for the people, and does not necessarily act in the best interests of the American people. Mayors are elected by the people to represent their local interests, not the global interests as dictated by the United Nations Agenda 2030, the U.N. Agenda 21 on steroids.

American mayors are not elected to “identify and pursue in common the public goods of urban cities around the world through a new global governance platform deploying collective urban political power that manifests the right of cities to govern themselves, and their responsibility to do so by contributing viable cross-border solutions to global challenges that are also municipal challenges. In an era of interdependence, where nation states have become dysfunctional and cities are rising everywhere, it is time to take the visionary leap from effective local governance to true global governance.” American mayors are elected to represent the interests of the residents in their city, not a global entity.

I am not sure American citizens have agreed to this global governance, they want to govern themselves through elected officials. Dragging our cities into a compact that would result in spreading the wealth of our successful cities to the strife-ridden tribal societies is not how American citizens and their cities want to spend taxpayer dollars. Nor do American citizens want to bend over to the collective urban political power of the elites who have made such decision for them.

[Comment: World being divided into “regions” by banksters…the Soviet system worldwide.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Government Attempted to Hide Arrest of Al Qaeda Terrorist on Migrant Boat

The Italian government attempted to cover up the arrest of a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist who tried to enter the country on a migrant boat last month, German media claims.

According to N-TV, the arrest of Tunisian citizen Ben Nasr Mehdi, who was sentenced to seven years in 2007 for plotting multiple terror attacks, was initially hidden by authorities over fears that the news would stoke “panic” among Italians.

Mehdi, who was arrested at sea while traveling with more than 200 migrants, told police he was seeking asylum in Europe in order to escape persecution after providing a false name.

Following several days of interrogation by police, Mehdi was deported back to Tunisia and handed over to local authorities.

As noted by the Independent, the alleged attempt to cover up the arrest was likely rooted in Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano’s repeated claim that “there was no evidence that Islamic terrorists were sneaking into Europe aboard migrant boats.”

[Comment: What’s the penalty for treason in Italy? ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Queen Bee’ Began Tells Escort Trial She Loved Berlusconi

‘Judge me with the heart, not only the law’ pleads defendant

(ANSA) — Bari, November 9 — Sabina Beganovic appeared in the courtroom for the first time on the last day of the nearly two-year trial in which she and six other defendants are accused of supplying former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi with dozens of women for sex parties in exchange for public contracts.

The prosecution is seeking three years in prison for Beganovic — the so-called “Queen Bee” of the parties that were organised at the former premier’s various residences in 2008 and 2009 — for recruiting three women. Beganovic, a German actress residing in Italy who goes by Sabina Began, made voluntary statements to the court both before and after her defence attorney’s closing arguments.

“I loved this man very much and I would have done anything for him,” Began said tearfully, referring to the former premier with whom she was romantically linked during the time he served as premier.

“Berlusconi was a wonderful man, fantastic. For me he was first a boyfriend and then like a father,” she said.

“When you love someone you dedicate your life to them. I wanted to defend the premier. I even said I participated in the bunga bunga parties, but everyone knows that wasn’t true. I was working, I didn’t need to prostitute girls to make money”.

Began said she “organised many dinners, I did it for him (Berlusconi), because he said he needed them. I wanted to please him. Today I regret it and I ask God to forgive me”.

Began’s defence attorney Fabrizio Siggia asked the judges to acquit his client.

“Began had an intimate relationship with Silvio Berlusconi that allowed her to have free access to the residences of the then-premier,” Siggia said.

“She wanted him to have fun … that’s why she invited girls who would ‘play along’, that were cute, nice and willing to humor him, willing to laugh at Berlusconi’s jokes even when they didn’t get them”.

Siggia said the girls were “lured by the possibility of gaining entrance to a certain environment, knowing that if they were nice they would get something, maybe the opportunity to be a TV showgirl”.

Began’s attorney said “nothing has emerged to show any direct contact between Sabina Beganovic and any of these girls and there isn’t any proof of relations of a sexual nature taking place at (Rome’s) Palazzo Grazioli the evening of September 5, 2008”, the evening that Beganovic is cited for.

Following her attorney’s closing arguments, Began asked once again to make a voluntary statement.

“I ask you to judge me with the heart and not only with the law”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Firm Goes Email-Free to Cut Staff Stress

Study showed emailing instead of talking stresses people out

(ANSA) — Milan, November 9 — An Italian company announced Monday that has decided to go email-free for a week to cut stress levels among its employees.

Gabel, which specialises in quality textiles for the home, commissioned a study to find out what made employees stressed out during the working day.

After a series of in-depth interviews with staff, it emerged that a large number of internal emails greatly contributed to stress levels in the office.

As a result, the company decided in an experimental capacity to ask employees to refrain from sending internal emails from Monday to next Friday. This will hopefully force staff into talking to each other more, foster a collaborative attitude and reducing stress levels, the company said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Blasts VatiLeaks 2 as Deplorable, Says Reforms Continue

Francis says leaking documents a ‘crime’

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 9 — Pope Francis blasted the leaking of confidential Holy See documents as “deplorable” and a “crime” during his Angelus address on Sunday and stressed that his reforms of the Vatican and the Catholic Church will not be derailed.

A week ago the Vatican announced it had arrested two people, Spanish Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Italian PR expert Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, over alleged involvement in the leaks.

Both served on an advisory commission to the pope on financial reform at the Vatican. The leaks related to the publication of two books — Merchants in the Temple by Gianluigi Nuzzi and Avarice by Emiliano Fittipaldi — documenting alleged waste and mismanagement in the Vatican and lavish spending by clergymen.

“Stealing those documents was a crime. It’s a deplorable act that does not help,” the pope said.

“I wish to reassure you that this sad event certainly does not deter me from the reform project that we are carrying out, together with my advisers and with the support of all of you”.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said last week that the revelations were not all that sensational because the pope’s reforms have rendered them out of date.

The papacy of Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, was hit by the so-called VatiLeaks scandal over the leaking of embarrassing confidential Church papers.

Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted over the leaks but was subsequently released from a Vatican cell thanks to a papal pardon.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Portugal’s Left-Wing Opposition Topples Minority Government

Portugal’s government has been toppled less than two weeks after taking power after left-wing opponents rejected its programme in parliament.

A centre-right coalition won the most votes in October’s election but lost its overall majority.

A new leftist bloc has now voted 123 to 107 against the administration’s programme, prompting its collapse.

The move could lead to a new government led by the Socialist Party, likely to focus on alleviating austerity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Richard Littlejohn Doesn’t Understand Why Britons Are Putting Themselves at Risk

LITTLEJOHN: I simply fail to understand why anyone would want to fly to a glorified Butlins in Egypt or anywhere else where they have scant respect for women and contempt for even basic human rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Romania’s President Stops Planned $161m Loan to Moldova

Not ‘opportune’ if Moldova wouldn’t continue pro-Eu reforms

(ANSA-AP) — BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s president has refused to sign off on a 150-million euro ($161-million) loan to Moldova that was approved by Parliament last month.

President Klaus Iohannis on Monday sent back the bill for the five-year loan to Parliament, saying the financial aid was not “opportune” without a guarantee that Moldova would continue pro-European reforms.

The loan agreement was signed in Moldova on Oct. 7, initiated by Victor Ponta, who resigned as Romania’s prime minster last week after mass protests over a nightclub fire.

Moldova’s Parliament dismissed its government on Oct. 29 after a former prime minister was arrested over bank fraud.

The country has been mired in political instability since up to $1.5 billion went missing from three banks ahead of November 2014 parliamentary elections.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Snowden Praises EU Parliament Vote to Grant Him Whistleblower Protection

The recent vote by the EU Parliament to drop criminal charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a show of friendship to the US, Snowden said in a public appearance sponsored by the PEN America free speech association.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On October 30, the European Parliament approved a measure to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden and grant him protection as a whistleblower and international human rights defender.

“They are not saying they are going to be anti-American, they are not trying to harm the United States. They are actually doing what I believe is a friendly action and a proper action,” Snowden said of the European vote.

The final vote to protect Snowden from extradition by a third party, like the United States, passed with a narrow margin of 285 to 281.

Snowden commented that it is “pretty extraordinary to see such a wide, broad body in the Parliament Assembly of the European Union say, look what the United States position on this issue is mistaken.”

Russia has granted Snowden asylum, but US authorities have prevented him on numerous occasions from transferring out of the country.

In 2013, Snowden leaked a trove of NSA documents to the press, revealing the all-encompassing extent to which the US government spied on its own citizens and carried out foreign espionage without any public knowledge or oversight.

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

Switzerland: Kempinski Luxury Hotel Chain Accuses Ex-CEO of Pocketing $6 Mn

The Swiss luxury hotel chain Kempinski is pressing criminal charges against its former president and chief executive Reto Wittwer, who is suspected of embezzling around $6.0 million, it confirmed Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the group, headquartered in Geneva, confirmed a report in the SonntagsZeitung weekly stating that Wittwer was suspected of pocketing around 6.0 million Swiss francs ($6.0 million, 5.6 million euros).

The group announced last week that it had filed criminal charges against him in Switzerland for “alleged professional misconduct and fraud” and suspicion he “defrauded Kempinski of significant sums of money”, but had not previously divulged the sum involved…

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

The Vatican Returns as a Global Hotpot of Political Intrigue

By Francesco Sisci

In the Middle Ages, as personified by the Borgias, the struggle for power in Rome was characterized by poisoning or mayhem behind closed doors. There were no public announcements of such bloodletting. There was only the whisper of rumors in the streets.

Times have apparently changed: Public information or the dissemination of it is now the battlefield for what may amount to an attempted coup d’état in the Vatican.

After a three-year hiatus, the the Holy See is again swamped by a series of scandalous revelations. All appear aimed at shaking papal authority in the Catholic Church, the largest unified religion in the world, to its core.

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

Tim Cook: UK Crypto Backdoors Would Lead to ‘Dire Consequences’

Weakening encryption will only hurt the ‘good people’

Apple boss Tim Cook has once again warned of what he says would be the “dire consequences” of opening up backdoors to allow spies to access our data.

He said it would be wrong for the UK government’s latest super-spy bid — the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which landed in Parliament last week — to weaken cryptography.

Cook was speaking to the Daily Telegraph during a visit to London on Monday.

“It’s not the case that encryption is a rare thing that only two or three rich companies own and you can regulate them in some way. Encryption is widely available,” he told the newspaper.

“It may make someone feel good for a moment but it’s not really of benefit. If you halt or weaken encryption, the people you hurt are not the folks that want to do bad things. It’s the good people. The other people know where to go,” Cook added.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Jenny Maher Who Nearly Died After Biting Surf Washing Machine Capsule Pictured

Jenny Maher, from Dunleer, Co Louth, had the Surf tablet in her mouth for less than one second but was still forced to spent one week in an induced coma after swallowing half the liquid inside.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Teen Held After Woman, 87, Hit in Face on Bus

An 87-year-old woman was punched in the face during a row with two teenage girls on a bus.

The elderly victim was left with a black eye after allegedly being attacked by one of two teenagers who had boarded the Route 166 bus in Croydon, south London without paying.

Police have now released CCTV footage of the “nasty” attack in a bid to track down the girls.

The incident took place on Brighton Road in Coulsdon at around 3.20pm on Friday October 16.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: What the Investigatory Powers Bill Will Mean for Your Internet Use

So who REALLY knows what I access? Google

Through pressure from Google, Facebook, and other major providers such as Yahoo and Apple, the world wide web is slowing becoming more secure, with web services using HTTPS to encrypt web traffic by default. However, the arrival of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill raises questions about who can potentially get access to what — here are some answers.

Can anyone see all my web requests?

Yes. Whenever you see HTTP in the browser’s address bar then any data sent over the link will not be encrypted. This means the address of the page and domain you’re browsing, and any data you send, such as in a form, and any data which is returned. Can anyone see my web requests if I use HTTPS?

No. If you see HTTPS in the browser’s address bar then the connection is encrypted using SSL/TLS. Only the IP address of the destination (and the port used, usually 443) can be determined. No details of what pages or resources were accessed, nor any further data sent over the connection will be accessible. Google, Facebook and many other major online services now use HTTPS by default, so all your Google search requests, for example, are protected and your ISP cannot see the URL and the results of the request.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt Pyramids Scan Finds Mystery Heat Spots

An international team of architects and scientists have observed “thermal anomalies” in the pyramids of Giza, Egyptian antiquities officials say.

Thermal cameras detected higher temperatures in three adjacent stones at the bottom of the Great Pyramid.

Officials said possible causes included the existence of empty areas inside the pyramid, internal air currents, or the use of different building materials.

A team of architects and scientists from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan used infrared thermography to survey the pyramids during sunrise, as the sun heats the limestone structures from the outside, as well as at sunset when they cool down.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Watch: Child Terrorist Stabbers Caught on CCTV

Footage has emerged showing the moment two young Arab terrorists — one of them aged just 11 — carried out a stabbing attack aboard a light rail car in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood Monday.

A security guard was moderately wounded in the attack, but succeeded in shooting and injuring one of the attackers, while the second was detained at the scene.

The attack was one of three stabbings or attempted stabbings in the capital Tuesday, ending a period of quiet in Jerusalem which lasted for several days.

Shortly after the Pisgat Ze’ev attack an Arab terrorist was shot near the Old City’s Damascus Gate as he attempted to stab Border Police officers there.

A similar incident occurred at a checkpoint near Abu Dis, also resulting in the wounding of the terrorist, with no Israeli casualties.

A wave of daily attacks by Arab terrorists — mostly stabbings but also car-rammings, shootings and other attacks — have claimed the lives of 12 Israelis and left scores more wounded, dozens of them seriously.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

400 More Sudanese Soldiers Arrive in Yemen’s Aden

A 400-strong Sudanese force arrived in Yemen’s port city Aden Monday in support of pro-government forces preparing to confront a possible new offensive by rebels on the country’s south.

Yemen’s loyalist forces, backed by Saudi-led coalition strikes, supplies and troops, pushed the rebels out of Aden as part of an operation launched in July to take back territory they had lost.

Four other southern provinces — Lahj, Daleh, Abyan and Shabwa — were also retaken by the forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

But the Iran-backed rebels this weekend recaptured several positions in the south…

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

EU Grants Jordan 52 Million Euros to Fight Unemployment

Projects to help absorb individuals in labour market

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, NOVEMBER 9 — The EU agreed to provide Jordan with a grant totaling 52 million euros to help fight unemployment and tackle social integration programs in the labour market, an official statement said today. Jordan hopes the grant will help finance the national employment programmes and Vocational Education training project that extends until 2020 and looks to trim jobless figures, despite difficult economic situation and slow growth. The funds look to increase number of individuals involved in education and training, particularly women and youth after recent studies showed that unemployment among young people is among the highest, according to a statement by ministry of planning and international cooperation. Other beneficiaries from the employment programme include people with disabilities, added the statement.

According to official figures, unemployment stands at 13.5 percent, but unofficial figures placed the figure at 26 percent.

Observers say the influx of Syrian refugees has worsened unemployment figures.

The EU has promised a basket of aid programmes to help Jordan through its difficult economic and social situation in light of the regional turmoil and increasing risk of spread of violence to other parts of the region.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France Targets Syrian Infrastructure

“We intervened in Syria… yesterday evening with a strike on an oil supply center near Deir Ezzor on the border between Iraq and Syria,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.

The Syrian Army, backed up Russian airstrikes, have made significant progress taking back the Deir Ezzor province from the Islamic State and al-Nusra.

The city of Deir Ezzor is Syria’s sixth-largest city and the country’s oil capital. Destroying oil infrastructure there will seriously cripple the Syrian economy and the government’s war against U.S. and Gulf Emirate backed mercenaries.

Maram Susli notes destroying Syria’s oil infrastructure is not an effective way to prevent ISIS from hijacking oil and selling it on the black market.

If the U.S. and France were sincerely interested in shutting down the ISIS black market oil business, they would target convoys transporting the oil.

“If the US truly intended to stop ISIS oil profits, they would bomb these oil convoys, which are easily spotted via conventional surveillance flights already allegedly taking place as part of ongoing Western operations,” Susli writes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Palazzo Versace Luxury Hotel and Residence Opens in Dubai

2nd in the world, another planned in Macao

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, NOVEMBER 9 — The second Palazzo Versace in the world has opened in Dubai.

The luxury hotel built by the Enshaa Group — one of the leading developers in the Dubai real estate market — includes 215 rooms and 65 suites, with areas and furnishings designed under the artistic direction of Donatella Versace. The complex, located in Dubai’s new Cultural Village, also includes 169 private residences with one to six rooms ach, entirely decorated and furnished in Versace style. “Versace is a fashion, luxury and lifestyle brand. Since the very beginning, Versace has understood different product categories — from clothes to accessories, from valuable goods to the home collection — able to convey the brand’s exclusive and iconic style,” said Versace managing director Gian Giacomo Ferraris. “In 2000, with the opening of Palazzo Versace Gold Coast, Australia, we created the concept of luxury fashion-branded hotel and today we are bringing Versace Lifestyle to Dubai with the new Palazzo. The refined and luxurious design can be seen in every detail of the hotel, and luxury becomes a lifestyle.” “This is a very important moment for Palazzo Versace hotels and we are enthusiastic about inaugurating a new, iconic fashion-branded hotel in the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Dubai,” said Enshaa CEO Raza Jafar. “We are very pleased with Palasso Versace and we are sure that it will be praised by our guests and remembered as a unique, exclusive experience.” The Dubai Palazzo Versace is the second in the world after the one in Australia, while another is being planned in Macao.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: Quiet Metaphor of the Middle East on the Brink

An Italian diplomat once said that “the darkest corners of a crisis can be the most illuminating in understanding geopolitical dynamics.” This is where Lebanon finds itself: One of the few Middle Eastern countries that is not at war, yet one suffering in the trenches nonetheless.

These days Lebanon is far from the glare of the international media, except for minor coverage of the “You Stink” protests against the waste collection crisis in Beirut. But it does find itself squarely in the sights of foreign experts, who see Lebanon’s ever fragile sectarian equilibrium as the key to understanding the future of the region…

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

Oil to Cost About $60 Per Barrel in 2016-2018 — BP Head

Oil prices are expected to stay at $60 per barrel over the next three years, BP’s regional president for Middle East, Michael Townshend, said Tuesday.

ABU DHABI (Sputnik) — At the same time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts, that oil prices could continue at close to $50 per barrel until 2020 before rising to $85 per barrel.

“We believe that the price will remain at $60 per barrel for another three years, until the supply [in the global oil market] continues to exceed demand,” Townshend was quoted as saying at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) by the FreeNews news portal.

Oil prices around the world dropped from $100 to $50 per barrel for Brent crude in mid-2014 due to oversupply in the global market.

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

Russia’s Anti-ISIL Airstrikes in Syria May End War — Walesa

Former Polish President Lech Walesa said that the situation in Syria will be resolved, because Russia has joined in the resolution of the conflict in Syria.

GDANSK (Sputnik) — Russia’s military operation against the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group in Syria may help to resolve the four-year civil war in the country, former Polish President Lech Walesa said Monday.

“Now that Russia has joined in the resolution of the conflict in Syria, I think that the situation will calm down. I know that if the Russians have joined, the situation will be resolved,” Walesa told RIA Novosti in an interview.

Also Walesa stated that restoring order in Syria must include the avoidance of past mistakes made by US-led intervention and regime change in the Arab world.

“I am for restoring order and peace. Doing so, like the removal of [former Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi, is wrong. They are still fighting there. It really needs to be done wisely,” Walesa said.

“Americans are too brash, these are American military boots. And then we pay the price. If it was done quietly and with understanding, everything would be fine,” Walesa suggested.

President of Poland from 1990-1995 and trade union leader of the Polish Solidarity party, Walesa said he supports the Western-backed idea to remove the current Syrian leadership from power, but acknowledged a lack of alternatives.

“Such a leader is not there yet, because there is a war. If hostilities cease, the need will arise for a leader, and this person will emerge fairly quickly,” Walesa said.

Former president of Poland Lech Walesa said he was interested in assisting in mediation to end the Syrian civil war, with the support of the Russian army.

“Theoretically this [Syrian mediation] can be considered. But I have no executive capacity. I have nothing to threaten them [the parties] with. I need the Russian army. If the Russian army stands behind me, then I will do this,” Walesa said.

Europe has to accept the refugees fleeing the ongoing Syrian civil war, as well as from the crisis in Libya, he added, noting that, concurrently, EU members must create the conditions for their eventual return to their homes.

An expanded round of international talks on the Syrian civil war is scheduled to be held on Saturday in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

A nine-point Vienna plan to end the Syrian civil war calls for the current Syrian leadership and opposition to meet under UN auspices to discuss “credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance,” hold fair elections and adopt a new constitution. The document also calls for a political process led by the Syrian people, who alone must decide on their government’s future.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces countering the so-called moderate opposition and several extremist groups, including the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

On September 30, Russia began launching precision airstrikes at Islamic State militant group positions in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad.

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

Russian Fighter Jets Destroy 448 ISIL Targets in Syria

Russian bombers have carried out 137 sorties and hit 448 terrorist targets, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted 137 airstrikes over the last three days, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said. Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft wiped out an ISIL depot containing ‘improvised unguided rockets’ in the Mgar mountain district. The militants used those weapons to shell residential areas of the Syrian capital.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, information on the ammunition depot’s destruction in Raqqah and Homs was provided by Syrian opposition representatives.

“This weaponry was intended to supply terrorists who came to Syria from abroad. I would emphasize that the information on this site was received from representatives of the Syrian opposition,” he stated.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Italian PM at Riyadh Subway Site

Metro line being built by consortium of Italian firms

RIYADH — Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has reached the construction site of Riyadh’s subway. The premier will watch as the last diaphragm of the first subway station is broken, which a consortium of Italian companies is building in the capital of Saudi Araba. Social Affairs Minister Majed bin Abdullah al Qasabi has accompanied minister.

The CEO of Salini Impregilo, Pietro Salini, and CEO of Ansaldo STS, Stefano Siragusa, welcomed the premier.

The consortium of firms taking part in the construction of the longest of six subway lines in the Saudi capital is led by Salini Impregilo and includes Salini Impregilo, Larsen & Toubro and Nesma for construction work, Ansaldo STS for the technological side and Bombardier, for the provision of vehicles.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Terrifying Bumblebee: Fires Incendiary Bombs, Barbecues Enemy Indoors

Military experts from Popular Mechanics, a US magazine of popular technology, are quite impressed with the capabilities of the Russian portable flamethrower system with a cute nickname Bumblebee, which nevertheless is capable of completely devastating enemy forces not only in the open but in bunkers, trenches, and even armored vehicles.

Russian rocket-propelled flame thrower, the Bumblebee, was originally developed due to the need for more effective fire power against an enemy entrenched in fortified positions, houses, caves and other solid cover.

It is a single-shot rocket launcher along the lines of the American LAW or AT4, the magazine says. Once used, the launcher is thrown away.

Classified as a flamethrower by the Russian military, the Bumblebee is actually a thermobaric weapon. It launches a warhead which uses a combination of an explosive charge and highly combustible fuel. When the rocket reaches the target, the fuel is dispersed in a cloud that is then detonated by the explosive charge.

Popular Mechanics military experts note that the resulting explosion is devastating, radiating a shockwave and fireball up to six or seven meters in diameter.

A thermobaric explosion is a capable weapon when used against troops in the open but is especially useful against troops in bunkers, trenches, and even armored vehicles, as the dispersing gas can enter small spaces and allow the fireball to expand inside.

Thermobarics are particularly devastating to buildings — a thermobaric round entering a structure can literally blow up the building from within with overpressure.

The weapon attracted the attention of Popular Mechanics experts after one of the Russian bloggers claimed that it was spotted in Syria, being carried by a Syrian Army soldier.

“The Bumblebee’s appearance in Syria is no surprise,” the magazine reasons, “its ability to devastate enemy forces in urban environments makes it an appealing weapon for urban warfare. Although heavy at 26 pounds, it has a simple sighting system that is easy to train soldiers to use and has a maximum range of 800 yards”.

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

The Most Dangerous Man in the Middle East?

My latest report for CBN News examines the growing alliance between Russia and Iran and the man at the center of it: Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, leader of the “Qods Force” wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Who is this shadowy figure, and why does one top analyst refer to him as a “uniformed Osama Bin Laden” with American blood on his hands? Click the link above to watch.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck [Return to headlines]

UAE Buys Saab Surveillance Planes in $1.27 Bln Deal

The United Arab Emirates Air Force announced Monday a $1.27-billion deal with Swedish defence giant Saab to purchase two surveillance planes and upgrade two others.

The two new aircraft are Global 6000 surveillance planes, while the old planes to be upgraded are part of the UAE’s fleet of Saab 340s, said Major General Abdullah al-Hashimi at a joint press conference at the Dubai Airshow.

The date of delivery has not been finalised, but could be within two years, he said.

The purchase “supports surveillance capabilities” of the Gulf nation’s Air Force, he said…

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

US Air Force May Keep A-10 Warthog Attack Aircraft Active to Fight ISIL

The US Air Force is considering delaying the retirement of the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft for several years and keeping it active in operations against ISIL, the US media reported on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The A-10 is double turboprop engine aircraft used for ground support and engagement of tanks and armored vehicles. Top US Air Force commanders have been trying to phase out the A-10 for decades and replace it with the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. However, the A-10s slow speed, heavy armor and massive firepower make it an ideal aircraft for close support operations.

“Keeping around the airplane a bit longer is something that’s being considered based on things as they are today and what we see in the future,” US Air Combat Command chief General Herbert Carlisle told the Defense Writers Group breakfast, The Hill newspaper said.

Carlisle stated the reasons pointing to such a decision to include the value of the aircraft in the current US-led air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, other US military commitments as well as the slower procurement rate for the replacement Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, The Hill added.

“I think if you look at what we’d like to do is probably [retire] a couple of squadrons maybe early… but I think the majority of it we would move it a couple of years, two to three years, to the right,” Carlisle explained.

He also acknowledged that growing demands on the US Air Force for more ground support missions in different countries factored in considerations to keep the A-10 in active service.

“One of our challenges today is capacity. If you look at the demand signal that’s placed on the United States Air Force across all of our mission areas, the demand signal has gone up… obviously we’re in Turkey now, which we weren’t before the fight against [ISIL],” Carlisle said.

In addition, the US Air Force was being called to fly ground support missions in an increasing number of other countries, the general admitted.

“What’s happening in Yemen, what’s happening in the horn of Africa, what’s happening in Libya, combined with the fact we’re not leaving Afghanistan… for at least one more year there, has all put a greater demand on the capacity of the United States Air Force,” The Hill reported Carlisle as saying.

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

Take That: Putin Says Russia Will Build Weapons Capable of Piercing US Missile Shield

Russia will counter NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense program by deploying new strike weapons capable of piercing the shield, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

Putin told defense officials that by developing defenses against ballistic missiles Washington aims to “neutralize” Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent and gain a “decisive military superiority.”

He said that Moscow will respond by developing “strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defenses.” Putin’s statement comes amid a severe strain in Russia’s relations with the U.S. and its NATO allies, which have plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War over the crisis in Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China: Easing One-Child Policy Will Boost Labor Force by 30 Million in Decades

Chinese authorities expect that easing the country’s one-child policy will add more than 30 million people to the country’s labor force by 2050, a senior official said Tuesday.

Wang Pei’an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a news conference that more than 90 million women will become eligible for having a second child when China formally moves away from the one-child policy to allow all couples to have two children.

The new policy is expected to add 3 million extra births each year in the initial years, Wang said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New Zealand Releases Full Text of TPP (Monsanto’s Dream Trade Deal)

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released the full text of the ubiquitous Trans Pacific Trade Partnership deal, which the public has been rallying against for months now.

Previously, Wikileaks released ‘leaked’ documents, including chapters on intellectual property rights (but not the full text) of a document that would affect everything from our civil liberties to biotech’s ability to legally patent your genes.

This document has been voted on in our government without the full text even being released to the public — until now — and take note — it wasn’t released by the US government, either. It would affect your Internet privacy, your ability to choose whether or not to eat GM food, and could even force multiple countries’ citizens to lose their rights for free speech or a fair trial for commodities traded between corporations.

Even the leaked chapters proved that lobbyists were going forward guns-blazing to try to pass this abhorrent piece of legislation. Specifically:

The public would be completely locked out of international trade deals, no matter how the deals might affect them personally.

Judges would be able to hold back certain technological advances which would help society by invoking faulty language in the US copyright law, while giving biotech companies free-reign to plant ‘proprietary’ seeds all over the world, without people even knowing where they were planted.

Whistleblowers in multiple industries would have an even more difficult time coming forward, as they would not be protected as well under new TPP laws.

For the first time, the ‘secret’ text which has been negotiated behind lock and key is available.

You can read the full text of the TPP here.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Significant Oil Find’ Possible in Lake Chad Basin: Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it “may well be on the verge of a significant oil find” in the Lake Chad area, which has been blighted by Boko Haram-related violence.

“There are signs from the latest 3D seismic studies that oil may well be very close to being found now in Lake Chad after very many years of trials,” added group managing director Ibe Kachikwu.

Kachikwu, appointed in August to overhaul the state-run group, described the potential find as “very key” and indicated it would help access to crude in northern Nigeria.

“I am optimistic that by the end of the year we should be able to announce something major on this,” he was quoted as saying in an emailed statement on Sunday evening…

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

Federal Judge Upholds Mexican GM Ban After Over ‘100 Appeals by Biotech’

Opponents of growing genetically modified corn in Mexico, the country known for over 30 varieties of non-GM maize, have prevailed. A federal judge upheld a GM ban that was put in place years ago.

Mexico is known for its biodiversity, which supports numerous varieties of maize. It is in fact considered their birthplace, and if GM corn had not been banned, corn developed over thousands of years would be in jeopardy of cross-pollination.

Fortunately, federal judge Benjamin Soto Sánchez, head of the second Unitarian Court in Civil and Administrative Matters of the First Circuit, upheld the provisional suspension that prohibits pertinent federal agencies from processing and granting the privilege of sowing or releasing into Mexico’s ecosystem any transgenic maize.

The federal suspension has been active since September 2013 despite 100 challenges by transnational agribusinesses like Monsanto, as well as biotech interests and the federal government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Austria’s Far Right Sues Over Border Protection

As European countries seek solutions to stem the flow of refugees and Austria’s Freedom Party goes on a lawsuit spree, migrant officials say many of the tools are already in place. Alison Langley reports from Vienna.

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party has filed suit against three top government officials for failing to protect the country’s borders against the influx of migrants this year, and charges rail officials with human trafficking for their part in helping refugees transit from the country’s eastern border to Germany.

The Freedom Party names in its suit, filed on Tuesday, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Chancellor Werner Faymann and Defense Minister Gerald Klug, as well as unnamed “responsible persons” at the Austrian Railway. In the suit, rail officials are accused of allowing “uncontrolled and unregistered people” at the bidding of the government to travel across the country. In doing so, they were engaging in human trafficking, the suit charges.

“What they are doing is completely irresponsible,” says Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache. “Because people are being checked, we don’t know whether they are victims of real catastrophe, real refugees or jihadists.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Brexit ‘Only Option’ To Stem Free Movement Across EU Borders — UKIP

British Prime Minister David Cameron is “fully aware” that London’s exit from the EU is the “only option” to escape the bloc’s non-negotiable free movement principle, the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party’s small business spokeswoman told Sputnik on Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — UKIP and other anti-migrant and Eurosceptic voices across the United Kingdom largely support Cameron’s campaign pledge to hold a so-called Brexit referendum by the end of 2017.

“If you want to see Britain have the ability to control her own borders again, voting to leave the EU is simply the only option,” Margot Parker said. “Cameron is fully aware that the free movement of people [within the EU] is not up for negotiation.”

Parker said the British leader’s four-point EU reform plan, sent to European Council President Donald Tusk and earlier on Tuesday, are unachievable without structural reforms. In addition to free movement exemptions for the United Kingdom, Cameron outlined sovereignty, monetary and competitiveness demands in his letter to Brussels.

“None of these demands can be achieved without treaty change and this is something which has been categorically ruled out from all sides of the debate. Cameron has now not even requested treaty change,” the UKIP member of the European Parliament stressed.

Parker urged Cameron to face up to the fact that “no renegotiation is possible” with Brussels, leaving British borders open to nearly 500 million people.

“It is either the status quo or Britain leaves, a third way is impossible,” she stressed. “This is something which is simply not up for discussion.

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

EU Inundated by Year-Long Backlog of Asylum Applications

The European Union’s asylum system is so clogged with applications that it would take a year to clear the backlog even if migrants stopped coming to Europe immediately, EU data showed Tuesday.

The applications of more than 770,000 people seeking international protection in the EU were on hold in the month of September, according to the European Asylum Support Office. Currently, the 28 EU countries are only able to process around 60,000 cases per month.

Almost one in three people have been waiting at least six months for their applications to be processed. More than 200,000 have been in limbo for six months, in a trend that EASO calls “worrying.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Plans New Refugee Centers as Influx Overwhelms Greece

European Union governments acknowledged that policies to channel migration aren’t working, announcing new processing centers to deal with refugees who slip through Greece without being registered.

With little more than 100 of a planned 160,000 asylum-seekers sent from Greece and Italy to future homes in other European countries and winter setting in, EU interior ministers said the record-setting influx threatens to overwhelm some governments.

European clashes over sheltering the mostly Muslim, mostly poor newcomers were accompanied by warnings of the risk to the system of passport-free travel between most EU countries, which is regularly hailed as one of the bloc’s greatest achievements.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: More Violence in Calais as Refugees Are Moved

Refugees and police clashed for a second night in Calais, with 11 officers left injured. The violence comes as the French government steps up efforts to move refugees and migrants out of the New Jungle camp.

Tensions remained high in Calais on Tuesday, a day after refugees were involved in a running battle with police near the infamous New Jungle migrant camp.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Sends Syrians Back to EU Borders

Germany is once again sending Syrian refugees back to the EU country where they first arrived, in line with the so-called Dublin regulations, the government confirmed on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Refugee Hotspots to Slow Down Says Alfano

Unless EU speeds up refugee relocations

(ANSA) — Rome, November 9 — The opening of hotspots in Italy will slow down unless the pace at which refugees are relocated across Europe speeds up, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday.

Italy and Greece have agreed with the EU to set up hotspots to register asylum seekers and speed up the handling of claims, after allegations from other States that these were not being handled effectively and too many arrivals were being lost track of.

The EU for its part agreed to redistribute some 160,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Italy and Greece, whose outlying islands are the first landfall for the majority of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean in search of safety from war and destitution. The EU relocation system is “in the trial phase but we are not going at the pace we would have wanted”, Alfano told RAI public broadcaster’s Radio One.

“We decided to proceed with the opening of hotspots at the same pace at which the relocations are happening,” he said. “We committed to opening six hotspots but we’ve only opened one so far.” His remarks came as President Sergio Mattarella spoke of the “huge effort in integration and dialogue” required to “safeguard and value the many ethnicities and religions that make up a country”.

Speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mattarella said EU member states must “carefully consider” what is needed “both in the process of welcoming migrants and when it comes to integrating the many people arriving daily in Europe”.

Meanwhile Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told German newspaper Die Welt that the advantages brought by migrants and refugees “far outweigh” the disadvantages, and we will see this “not today, not tomorrow, but in the long term”.

“Europe is welcoming talented new people,” he said. “This is wonderful.” Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Debora Serracchiani said “whether or not the various ministries of the interior can work together” will be one of the key elements in how Europe deals with the incoming migrants.

“This is an extraordinary and very useful opportunity in terms of Europe,” she said, speaking at a meeting between countries that make up the Central European Initiative.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Number of Refugees Escaping to Greece Expands Dramatically

More than 540,000 migrants escaping terror and poverty arrived on the Greek islands in the first 10 months of the year, 13 times more than in the same period of 2014, according to the European Union border control agency Frontex.

The Warsaw-based agency said Tuesday that more than 150,000 people made the journey from Turkey to Greece in October alone despite worsening weather conditions. That compares to 8,500 in October 2014.

Meanwhile, the numbers of people trying to reach Europe from Libya has been falling due to a shortage of boats available to smugglers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Refugee Crisis Opens New Rifts in Merkel Government

The emotional debate over Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II is tearing at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s left-right coalition government, exposing deep rifts and even open dissent.

Barely 24 hours after Merkel’s three-party coalition had settled weeks of infighting and agreed on a new refugee policy, a senior minister forged ahead with a different plan, sparking confusion, anger and distrust.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday that Syrian asylum seekers would be given shorter residence permits and denied the right to be reunited with their families in a bid to limit the influx which is expected to reach one million this year.

The idea was quickly shot down by the chancellery, which said it had no advance knowledge of it, and sparked outrage from Merkel’s centre-left coalition allies the Social Democrats (SPD)…

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

Slovenia: Soon Barriers Along Border With Croatia

Even fences, if necessary

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — Slovenia’s Prime Minister Miro Cerar said, during a press conference, that “Slovenia in the coming days will begin to build temporary technical barriers, even fences, if necessary”, along its border with Croatia. The border remains open, but it is under control, Cerar underlined. The prime minister said he was “not satisfied” with the implementation of the provisions agreed to at the Brussels summit a few weeks ago. The number of migrants, Cerar explained, shows no sign of decreasing and this is one of the reasons why Slovenia has decided to place “technical barriers”, including fences, if necessary, on its border with Croatia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia Vows to Tighten Border With Croatia

Slovenia’s prime minister says Slovenia will erect new obstacles along its frontier with Croatia. The measures are meant to control flow of refugees while maintaining an open border.

More than 170,000 refugees fleeing war, poverty and strife in the Middle East, Asia and Africa have crossed Slovenia since mid-October when Hungary sealed its border with Croatia. That decision diverted the flow towards Slovenia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump on Starbucks: ‘Maybe We Should Boycott?’

Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and 2016 presidential aspirant, suggested during a press stop that if the country was upset about Starbucks’ watering down of its Christmas message via plain red cups, then perhaps a boycott was in order.

His comments came after Starbucks, facing massive criticisms, changed tune and decided to abandon its generic holiday cups and return to its more traditional Christmas-themed messages.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Transgender in China: Secrets and Surgery

At home her son still calls her daddy, at work she dresses in a masculine style, but this Chinese person has a “little secret” — she was born male, but is not any more.

She had long identified as a woman, and suffered from depression after starting a family, opting in the end to have a surgical sex change.

“I had wanted to kill myself, but then I decided I should do something — if I die, I’d rather die on the operation table,” she adds…

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

Ukraine Fails Again to Ban Discrimination Against Gays

Ukraine’s parliament failed for the second time Tuesday to adopt a ban on anti-gay discrimination in the workplace, though it did vote in five other laws needed to secure visa-free travel to most EU nations.

The European Union in 2010 demanded that Ukraine clearly define the rights of gay people — who were viewed by the country’s former Soviet rulers as criminals who should either be sent to prisons or mental wards — at work.

Though Ukraine is now run by a pro-EU administration, it remains a deeply religious and conservative country.

Kiev decriminalised gay relationships a year after the Soviet Union’s 1991 breakup but it still takes a grim view of same-sex couples…

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

University of Kansas Student Senate Bans Gender Pronouns Because They’re Microaggressions

A governing body made up of students at the University of Kansas has voted to eliminate their use of gender specific pronouns, stating the terms pose “microaggressions” towards people who don’t fit traditional gender roles.

Last Wednesday, the KU Student Senate, in a 2/3 majority vote, passed a bill altering the Senate’s official Rules & Regulations which would require senators to use “inclusive” terminology, such as “they them or their,” as opposed to “his,” “her,” “he,” or “she.”

[Comment: Why are student councils so full of communists and useful idiots. It seems as if only psychopathic bullies and communist busybodies are in student councils…normal students are busy working to obtain their degree.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

When You’re Popular, You Don’t Need Freedom of Speech

Free speech is not something that people would normally see as a realm of economics, but in many ways, an economic understanding of the support and opposition to free speech can shed a lot of light on what’s happening now in the West.

The first thing that needs to be noted is that the left is winning the culture war…

Regardless though, the left, having ascended to cultural dominance, is no longer in need of free speech. After all, no one ever got in trouble for agreeing with the conventional wisdom. As Noam Chomsky said, “Even Goebbels was in favor of free speech he liked.”

On the other hand, the right is behind the eight ball in the culture wars and thereby supports the concept of free speech because they need it lest their very opinions be outlawed. In an economic sense, this could be called the “diminishing marginal utility of free speech.”

The law of diminishing marginal utility states that while keeping consumption of other products constant, there is decline in marginal utility that a person derives from consuming an additional unit of that product. In this case, the product is free speech. New leftists may have proposed unfettered free speech back in the early 1960s, but that was just because the right was the one in power culturally at the time. Free speech had a high utility to the left at the time and low utility to the right.

Now the situation has reversed. The right is at the disadvantage so it appeals to free speech. The left is ahead and no longer needs free speech, so it has discarded it.

If that statement sounds hyperbolic, just think of all of the campus speech codes and the ever expanding list of mostly trivial microagressions that can be taken for “hate speech.” Here is just a small sampling of examples to illustrate how absurd this has become:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sony Says Goodbye to Betamax Tapes

Sony has announced that it will stop selling Betamax video cassettes in March 2016.

The firm revealed on its website that it will also stop shipping the Micro MV cassette, used in video cameras.

It has not produced a compatible camera for the Micro MV since 2005.

Sony launched the format in 1975, a year before JVC’s rival the VHS cassette — which eventually became the market leader after a long battle between the two brands and their fans.

Although many felt Betamax was the superior format, most cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes — three hours versus one — and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines as the main factors as to why VHS eventually won out.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]