Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/12/2015

Hungary has warned Germany not to send any of its “refugees” back to Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that since Hungary cannot possibly be a country of first entry to the Schengen Zone, it would be a violation of the Dublin Agreement to repatriate migrants there. Meanwhile, the king of Sweden is considering opening up some of his royal palaces for the housing of migrants.

And Germany has its priorities straight: 60 police officers in Berlin conducted raids against locations housing people who were suspected of expressing “hate speech” on the Internet concerning migrants. Police confiscated smartphones and computers during the raids.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, Gaia, Green Infidel, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, RRN, Seneca III, 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
» Greek Riot Police Use Tear Gas Against Athens Anti-Austerity Protesters
» S. Korea Keeps Interest Rate at Record Low
» Unicredit: 1.5 Bln Profit in 9 Months, Ukraine’s Impact
» Angered Residents Grill Sheriff on Why Deputies Gunned Down Idaho Rancher
» Glass-Steagall Takes Center Stage in 2016
» Massive Hack of 70 Million Prisoner Phone Calls Indicates Violation of Attorney-Client Privilege
» Media Graveyard: Daily Newspapers Down Nearly 80%, Hard News ‘In Danger’
» Pregnant Wife of Indiana Pastor Dies Two Days After Shooting
» Race Activist Who Got Mizzou Prof to Resign Does Not Attend School — Lives in Houston
» Salini Impregilo Buys America’s Lane Industries
» Seattle Cleans Up Sticky Situation at Infamous Gum Wall
» USDA Scientist Subjected to Aggressive Retaliation for Reporting Scientific Truth on Pesticides and Honeybees
» Video Shows Cop Attack a Non-Violent 13-Y.O. In School Lobby as His Mom Watched
» White Men Dying in America
Europe and the EU
» FIFA Taps Sheikh Salman as Election Candidate
» Germany Spied on FBI: US Companies: French Minister
» Italian Police Swoop on International ‘Jihadist Network’
» Italy: Tax Breaks for Southern Hires in Budget
» Italy: Two INAIL Managers Held in Fake Invalid Probe
» Italy: Ten Arrested Over May 1 Anti-Expo Clashes
» Italy: Elementary School Cancels Museum Visit on Religious Grounds
» New Linux Ransomware Decrypted, Pwns Itself
» Portugal: Left-Wing Government or Fresh Elections?
» UK Lays on Red Carpet Treatment for Indian PM it Banned for a Decade
» UK: Parents Too Scared to Send Their Children to School After Boy, 14, Is Arrested ‘After Revealing on Facebook His Massacre Plot to Stab Classmates and Rape His Teacher’
North Africa
» Star of Banned Morocco Sex Worker Film Tells of Street Attack
Israel and the Palestinians
» Obama Does Not Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over the Golan
» PLO Pleased With EU Labeling of Israeli Settlement Products
Middle East
» Deadly Explosions Rock Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut
» ‘Flagrant Violation’: Saudi Jets ‘Deliberately’ Attack Hospitals in Yemen
» Kurdish Forces Launch Major Offensive to Retake Iraq’s Sinjar From IS Group
» Russian-Led Coalition in Syria Scores First Major Victory While Putin Steps Up Campaign Against Islamic State
» Syria Threatens to Target French Aircraft Carrier
» UK’s Hammond Backs More Saudi Arms Sales, Says They Create ‘British Jobs’
» Kremlin-Controlled TV Airs ‘Secret’ Plans for Nuclear Weapon
Far East
» Police Torture Rife in China Despite Reforms: Amnesty
Sub-Saharan Africa
» South Africa: Water Disaster ‘Could Have Been Avoided’
» Berlin Police Raid Clamps Down on Hate Speech Against Refugees
» Calais Lacks Gov’t Support, Finances to Cope With Migration Crisis
» Cost of Refugee Crisis in Germany Doubles Amid Rows Over Strategy
» EU Leaders Race to Secure €3bn Migrant Deal With Turkish President
» EU to Set up Trust Fund for Africa Migration
» Germany Runs Out of Pepper Spray as Residents Brace for Immigrant Crime Wave
» Hungary Warns Germany Not to Send Migrants Back
» ‘I Would Send All Illegal Immigrants to US’ — Hungarian Town Mayor
» Italy: Renzi Wants ‘Africa at Centre of European Migrant Efforts’
» Merkel Has Lost Control Over Her Government — German Politician
» Migrant Summit in Chaos as African Countries Refuse to Take Back Europe’s Failed Asylum Seekers
» Migrant Resettlement Rate Spells End in 2101 — Juncker
» Muslims Become 2nd Largest Religious Group in Finland Amid Refugee Crisis
» Slovenia Installs Razor Wire on Croatia Border
» Swedish King Considers Opening Up Royal Palaces to House Refugees
» Ticking Clock: European Civilization on the Brink of Extinction?
Culture Wars
» Italy: 67 Lawmakers Request Slot for End-of-Life Bill
» Now at Vanderbilt: Conservative Professor Targeted by Offended Students
» PC Insanity Turns University of Missouri Into Mini Police State
» Two Children’s Centre Workers ‘Fired for Refusing to Acknowledge Transgender Girl Aged 6’

Greek Riot Police Use Tear Gas Against Athens Anti-Austerity Protesters

Greek riot police have used tear gas against protesters in Athens, rallying against the government’s austerity measures on Thursday, media reported.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to The Guardian newspaper, riot police used tear gas to quell the protesters in the central Syntagma Square. Some protesters were throwing petrol bombs.

The rally, which had been peaceful, is now said to be disbanding due to heavy policy presence.

Earlier in the day, thousands of workers from both the country’s public and private sectors took to the streets of major cities in opposition to austerity.

The ruling Syriza party’s labor policy department urged Greeks to take part in a general strike against the government’s austerity policies.

Under the agreement with Greece’s international creditors, that was signed by Syriza leader and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the country committed to introducing more austerity measures and to coordinating its budgetary decisions with its lenders in exchange for the country’s third bailout program, worth 86-billion-euros ($94.8 billion).

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

S. Korea Keeps Interest Rate at Record Low

South Korea’s central bank on Thursday left its key interest rate unchanged at a record-low 1.5 percent for the fifth straight month ahead of a possible US rate hike.

The decision by the Bank of Korea was widely expected, following a cut of 0.25 basis points in June.

The central bank has cut a total of one percentage point over the past year. In August last year, the rate was cut from 2.5 percentage to 2.25 percent and then to 2.0 percent in October, 1.75 percent in March and to 1.5 percent in June this year…

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

Unicredit: 1.5 Bln Profit in 9 Months, Ukraine’s Impact

Third quarter: 507 million, above expectations

(ANSA) — MILAN — Unicredit records a profit of over 1.5 billion (-16.1% compared with the same period of 2014) at the end of the first nine months of the year. Accounts have been affected by the 400 million devaluation of a subsidiary company in Ukraine and the conversion into euro of Swiss franc loans in Croatia. In the third-quarter, profit was 507 million, above the 458 million consensus estimate.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Angered Residents Grill Sheriff on Why Deputies Gunned Down Idaho Rancher

Hundreds of residents packed a town hall meeting in Idaho yesterday asking tough questions of their county’s sheriff after two deputies fatally shot a local rancher.

Over 200 residents from the town of Council voiced concerns over the death of Jack Yantis, the rancher killed by deputies last week, with some leaving the assembly angry over the answers Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman gave.

Police had first claimed that Yantis, 62, engaged in a fire fight with Adams County Sheriffs deputies last Monday on US Route 95 after being summoned to deal with his injured and aggravated two-ton Angus bull.

But Yantis’ daughter, Sarah, says there was no such gun fight, and instead called the altercation a “senseless murder” that was the result of police needlessly escalating the situation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Glass-Steagall Takes Center Stage in 2016

A Depression-Era banking law is helping to shape the 2016 presidential field, as Wall Street critics push hard for its return.

The Glass-Steagall Act, the 1933 law that established a firewall between investment and commercial banking, was repealed 16 years ago on Thursday.

Where candidates stand on its possible return has become a litmus test in both parties, with supporters arguing Congress needs to restore it to prevent the next financial collapse. The debate is leaving the 2016 field, and particularly Hillary Clinton, in a tough spot.

“A lot of people view it as a litmus test,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of the Wall Street reform group Better Markets.

For those who are in favor of restoring the law, a candidate’s backing Glass-Steagall says “‘I get it, I get it. I will be tough on Wall Street. Trust me,’“ Kelleher said.

Calls from the left and right for a return to Glass-Steagall have popped up all over the campaign trail, particularly from feisty populist underdogs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Massive Hack of 70 Million Prisoner Phone Calls Indicates Violation of Attorney-Client Privilege

AN ENORMOUS CACHE of phone records obtained by The Intercept reveals a major breach of security at Securus Technologies, a leading provider of phone services inside the nation’s prisons and jails. The materials — leaked via SecureDrop by an anonymous hacker who believes that Securus is violating the constitutional rights of inmates — comprise over 70 million records of phone calls, placed by prisoners to at least 37 states, in addition to links to downloadable recordings of the calls. The calls span a nearly two-and-a-half year period, beginning in December 2011 and ending in the spring of 2014.

Particularly notable within the vast trove of phone records are what appear to be at least 14,000 recorded conversations between inmates and attorneys, a strong indication that at least some of the recordings are likely confidential and privileged legal communications — calls that never should have been recorded in the first place. The recording of legally protected attorney-client communications — and the storage of those recordings — potentially offends constitutional protections, including the right to effective assistance of counsel and of access to the courts.

“This may be the most massive breach of the attorney-client privilege in modern U.S. history, and that’s certainly something to be concerned about,” said David Fathi, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project. “A lot of prisoner rights are limited because of their conviction and incarceration, but their protection by the attorney-client privilege is not.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Media Graveyard: Daily Newspapers Down Nearly 80%, Hard News ‘In Danger’

Hard news faces the same kind of extinction as newspapers and magazines, the result of a dramatic death spiral of reporting jobs and ads and the rise of the type of opinion journalism popular two and three centuries ago, according to a new report and analysis.

“Hard news is in danger,” said a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The report detailed a fall-off in advertising revenues and employment and raised the question that without editorial employees filtering the news, credibility will be undermined.

“These trends have left many people wondering who will collect hard news for the general public. While the Internet world has made it possible for everyone to express their opinion widely — whether they know anything or not — it has also confused readers. In the absence of supposedly neutral intermediaries such as reporters, fact-checkers, and editors, readers are having a hard time judging the credibility of what they read,” said the report.

[Comment: Translation: “Public is not believing our lies anymore. The internet is revealing our lies. We must stop this.”]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pregnant Wife of Indiana Pastor Dies Two Days After Shooting

The pregnant wife of a young Indianapolis pastor died Thursday two days after she was shot in apparent home robbery, police said.

Amanda Blackburn, 28, was in critical condition since the shooting Tuesday morning. She died in a hospital after she was taken off life support, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The Blackburns had a 1-year-old son, and Blackburn recently told friends she was 12 weeks pregnant, the Star reported.

“It’s impossible to communicate all the emotions my heart has been forced to process,” her husband Davey Blackburn wrote on the website for his church, Resonate Indiana.

“My wife was such a beautiful, gracious, loving woman of God. I have not only lost my ministry partner and support but also my very best friend. There is no way to prepare yourself for circumstances like these.

“As deeply as I am hurting I am hopeful and confident that good things will come of this….I hold firm to the belief that God is still good, that He takes our tragedy and turns it into triumph, and that the best truly is yet to come.”

Blackburn was shot around 8:30 a.m. while the couple’s 1-year-old son was at home, WTHR reported. Her husband found her wounded after he returned home from the gym, according to an Instagram post from their church. Their son was not hurt.

Police are investigating the fatal shooting as part of a robbery, and have not named any suspects…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Race Activist Who Got Mizzou Prof to Resign Does Not Attend School — Lives in Houston

Dr. Dale Brigham, considered one of the most beloved professors at the University of Missouri, has resigned after refusing to cancel an exam for students who claimed to feel “unsafe.”

“If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class,” Dr. Brigham told his students. “I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class,” he continued, imploring his students to stand up to the bullies on campus. “If you give into bullies, they win. The only way bullies are defeated is by standing up to them.”

Dr. Brigham was sharply criticized in the media for requiring his students to attend class and take their exam. Salon ran a story with the headline “White Missouri professor shames black students for heeding violent threats.”The Washington Post featured similar coverage of “a white professor” who “challenged his students to come to class.”

Those upset with Dr. Brigham’s decision to hold class took to Twitter calling for Brigham to befiredand calling him “a failure as a human being.”

Under intense pressure, Dr. Brigham has both cancelled the exam and resigned from the university, according to screenshots posted online of an email from Dr. Brigham to his students.

Now this…

The race activist who was responsible for getting Professor Brigham to resign does not even attend Mizzou and lives in Houston.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Salini Impregilo Buys America’s Lane Industries

Operation worth 406 million, Italian infrastructure firm says

(ANSA) — Rome, November 12 — Italy’s Salini Impregilo said Thursday that it was buying Lane Industries, an infrastructure company that has been doing business for 125 years in North America. The operation, which has been approved by Salini Impregilo’s board, is worth some $406 million, net of adjustments that will be defined at closing, the company said. A statement said the move, which is condition on approval by shareholders, will create “a larger and stronger group with 2015 pro-forma sales of more than €6 billion”.

With Lane, the large and attractive US construction market will be a key region for the Group, representing approximately 21% of pro-forma revenues, the statement added. Dams and water projects are a key area for Salini Impregilo and the company is involved in the expansion of the Panama Canal.

“With Lane, we bring our group to a new, more ambitious level as we reach a truly global scale while preserving a sound financial structure,” said Salini Impregilo CEO Pietro Salini.

“We will be at home in more than 50 countries with a workforce of more than 35,000 employees. “We will have a leadership position in the US, in Europe as well as in high-growth regions. “We will be able to compete globally and seize the best opportunities on a risk-adjusted basis”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Seattle Cleans Up Sticky Situation at Infamous Gum Wall

A gum-covered wall in the US city of Seattle that had become a major tourist draw is finally getting a cleanup after more than two decades, officials said Wednesday.

A three-man crew began removing the more than one million gum wads with high-pressure steam cleaners on Tuesday and were expected to finish the job on Thursday, Emily Crawford, a spokeswoman for Pike Place Market, where the infamous Gum Wall is located, told AFP.

She said the wall, started in an alley in 1991 by patrons of a nearby theater, had spread over the years as people sought space for their masticated mess.

“Visitors started wanting to find clean space to put their gum so instead of adding to the wall they would walk down the alley and find their own brick or clean space,” Crawford said…

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

USDA Scientist Subjected to Aggressive Retaliation for Reporting Scientific Truth on Pesticides and Honeybees

(NaturalNews) One of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) top bee scientists has filed a federal whistleblower complaint, alleging that the USDA has harassed him in retaliation for his work, which shows that neonicotinoid insecticides harm pollinators.

“Once he started publishing this work, he went from golden boy to pariah,” said Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is representing the scientist.

Neonicotinoids are among the world’s most widely used insecticides. They are applied to seeds before planting, and the poison is then taken up into every tissue of the plant, including the pollen, nectar and seeds. They therefore harm any animal that visits the plant.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video Shows Cop Attack a Non-Violent 13-Y.O. In School Lobby as His Mom Watched

Kissimmee, FL — Charged with felony child abuse and battery, another school resource officer has been caught on surveillance video aggressively using excessive force against a student. Although the teen never made a violent or threatening gesture towards the officer, the recently released video clearly shows the cop assaulting the student before throwing him to the ground and nearly breaking his wrist.

Recorded on May 8, a security camera captured Alexis Richmond walking into the lobby of Kissimmee Middle School with her 13-year-old son. As the mother and son began arguing at the front desk, Kissimmee Police Officer Mario Badia entered the lobby and confronted the student by repeatedly jabbing his finger in the teen’s face. Although audio was not recorded, the boy can be seen hunched over leaning against the desk as Officer Badia continued to get in his face.

While acting like a jackass and escalating the situation, Badia suddenly laid his hand on the student by grabbing the child’s face. When the teenager pulled back to free himself, Badia shoved the student in the chest, grabbed him by his shirt, and placed him in a wristlock before lifting the 84-pound boy off his feet and slamming him to the ground. For at least 42 seconds, Badia viciously torqued the kid’s wrist as the student writhed in agony.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

White Men Dying in America

The Wall Street Journal broke the news on November 3, 2015: for white men in America, the quintessential group of privilege, a century of increased life span is coming to an end, with, for the first time, with, for the first time a decline in longevity shortening the white male life expectancy more each year. Men 45 to 55 years-old are now showing a decades-long decline in longevity. Every year during the past decade and a half, since 2000, this group has experienceda one percent per year increase in mortality.

This is momentous and very disturbing news. For the first time in American history, one age cohort, white males heading into their fifth decade, cannot expect to live longer than their parents. This should shock you. While other age groups, older and younger, do not yet show a similar pattern, I predict they will. In fact, the next younger cohort has leveled off in longevity increase. I predict they will now start to decline…

First, let’s examine the alleged causes (and note the use of the word, “alleged”, please) of this dramatic, marked degradation of life span for this group. WSJ hints at the truth: “suicide, alcohol abuse, drug overdoses and chronic liver diseases largely drove the rise….” [Emphasis added — General Bert]

Other media reports focusing on the same data cite the increasing availability of certain psychiatric drugs since 1999, the year before the sudden sharp acceleration of death. These are drugs that Dr. Rima continually warns against anyone using. She notes that these drugs have “side effects” such as suicide and liver damage.

By the time these men reach the “death belt age” on their longevity charts, far more than half of them are taking drugs for psychiatric purposes, cholesterol lowering, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure control and more. It is well known that psychiatric drugs enhance and stimulate suicidal and homicidal thoughts and feelings and, worse, acts — so one of the causes of death is clearly linked to this common, and entirely unnecessary, pharmaceutical intervention.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FIFA Taps Sheikh Salman as Election Candidate

Suspended Platini potential sixth man

(ANSA) — Rome, November 12 — Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa was listed as an official FIFA presidential candidate on Thursday, while Musa Bility of Liberia was left out after failing an integrity check.

FIFA announced the five declared candidates for the February 26 election, with Michel Platini a potential sixth man. The suspended Platini’s candidature was not judged at this stage by the FIFA election committee pending his ethics case.

The five candidates are: Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Jerome Champagne of France, Gianni Infantino of Switzerland and Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa. They are in the running to replace Sepp Blatter, who announced in June he would step down as president after FIFA was plunged into crisis following U.S. and Swiss corruption investigations.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany Spied on FBI: US Companies: French Minister

Also International Criminal Court in The Hague, WHO

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — German public radio station rbb-Inforadio reports that the country’s foreign intelligence agency spied on the FBI and U.S. arms companies.

The station didn’t identify the source of for its report Wednesday that the BND spy agency also eavesdropped on targets that included the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the World Health Organization, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and even a German diplomat who headed an EU observer mission to Georgia from 2008 to 2011.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Police Swoop on International ‘Jihadist Network’

Italian police on Thursday announced a swoop on a European jihadist network that was allegedly planning to try to spring its leader out of detention in Norway.

Seventeen people were targeted in the raids across Europe — 16 Kurds and a Kosovan. Six of them have been arrested in Italy, four in Britain and three in Norway.

Several members of the group have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State group, police said.

Investigators said the network was trying to free Norway-based fundamentalist preacher Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj — also known as Mullah Krekar — who is listed as a terrorist by the United States and United Nations…

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

Italy: Tax Breaks for Southern Hires in Budget

But 160% amortisation nixed

(ANSA) — Rome, November 11 — Businesses in the struggling south of Italy will get “reinforced” tax breaks for new hires and a tax credit for investments in the 2016 budget, the ruling Democratic Party said Wednesday. But a proposed measure setting amortisation at 160% will be removed, it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Two INAIL Managers Held in Fake Invalid Probe

‘Fraud cost State 3 mn euros’

(ANSA) — Naples, November 11 — Police in Caserta near Naples on Wednesday arrested two managers at work-accident insurance agency INAIL for allegedly inflating the invalidity benefits of 96 people between 2013 and 2014.

The alleged fraud was said to have cost the State three million euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ten Arrested Over May 1 Anti-Expo Clashes

Suspects include ‘dangerous’ Greek anarchist Alexandros Kouros

(ANSA) — Milan, November 12 — Police on Thursday executed arrest warrants against 10 people in Italy and Greece in connection with anti-Expo clashes that turned violent on May 1, the opening day of the world’s fair.

The suspects — five Italians and five Greeks — face charges of destruction and looting, aggravated resistance to a public official and misrepresentation.

Eight of the suspects — four Greeks and four Italians — were taken into custody, while the remaining two were on the run.

A further five suspects — three Milanese, one person from Como and one Greek national — are out on bail.

The suspects all belong to anarchist groups that infiltrated a programmed peaceful anti-Expo march, lobbing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at police, setting cars on fire, and destroying shop windows.

They were identified after police analysed over 600 GB of photographic and video material.

“We extrapolated hundreds of stills highlighting every smallest detail useful in singling out the authors of the crimes,” police sources said. The Greek anarchist group was pinned down after 14 members drew the attention of cashiers at a Milan supermarket where they were shopping on May 2.

The cashiers called the police.

Investigators say the suspects formed a single ‘black bloc’ that carried out over 100 acts of devastation in complicity “with at least 300 people”.

One of the suspects is Greek anarchist Alexandros Kouros, who investigators say was the most dangerous and active in causing violence.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Elementary School Cancels Museum Visit on Religious Grounds

Divine Beauty show ‘might trouble non-Catholic families’

(ANSA) — Florence, November 12 — A Florence elementary school canceled a class visit to a religion-themed art exhibition because it might irk non-Catholic students, sources said Thursday.

The show titled Divine Beauty is on view at Palazzo Strozzi and includes The White Crucifixion, a canvas by Russian Jewish painter Marc Chagall, as well as work by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh.

School officials decided to cancel the visit “to accommodate the sensibilities of non-Catholic families, given the religious theme of the show”, La Nazione regional daily reported.

Several parents objected on the grounds that much of art history is based on sacred subjects, Christian or otherwise.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Linux Ransomware Decrypted, Pwns Itself

Romanian researchers lay waste to Linux badware, let users out of Cryptowall hell.

Ransomware targeting Linux servers has been thwarted by hard working security boffins, with help from the software itself, mere days after its existence was made public.

The Linux.Encoder.1 ransomware seeks Linux systems to encrypt and like others of its ilk demands owners pay BitCoins to have files decrypted.

But the first iteration of the malware has, like most betas, proven fallible.

Not only can it be decrypted using scripts without the need for ransoms to be paid, but it can re-encrypt itself, corrupting files and even encrypting the ransom note that directs victims how to pay the extortion.

Bitdefender security wonks report both failures, including the flaw in Linux.Encoder’s local encryption key generation that allowed it to be removed and files decrypted.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Portugal: Left-Wing Government or Fresh Elections?

Crisis in president’s hands after Passos gov’t falls

MADRID — After four years of harsh austerity measures, the future of a possible ‘popular front’ between Socialists and left-wing parties in Portugal is now in the hands of conservative head of state Anibal Cavaco Silva.

On Tuesday, the combined votes of all opposition parties (Socialists, Communists, Greens, Post-Trotskyists and animal rights parties) against the center-right minority government under outgoing prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho, formed only 12 days ago, brought it down. The management of the crisis sparked by the October 4 elections, won by Passos but without the absolute majority he had enjoyed since 2011, is now back in Cavaco Silva’s hands. Two months before the end of his term, the head of state must now decide — reports Publico — whether to entrust the task of forming a new government to Socialist leader Antonio Costa, in a fragile and unprecedented coalition between the PS, the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) post-Trotskyists and the PCP communists or to call fresh parliamentary elections for April or May, after the January presidential ones. He would then have to put the country in the hands of Passos until the vote, or an institutional government ‘of the president’. Cavaco will be speaking in the coming days on the matter with party leaders.

Portuguese media said on Wednesday that the fragility of the separate agreements signed by the BA (19 seats), the PCP and the Greens (17 seats, standing alongside the CDU coalition at the elections) with Costa’s PS (86).

The Socialist leader guarantees that a government under him would comply with the commitments Portugal has made with Brussels. However, the starting positions of Costa’s PS, for attenuated austerity measures, of the BE under actress Catarina Martins (near Greece’s Syriza) for debt renegotiations, and the Communists under Jeronimo da Sousa for an exit from the eurozone have raised concern on the markets and may influence Cavaco’s choice. For Portugal, the plan for a ‘popular front’ government is almost a historic event, after the split between the Communists and the Socialists following the 1974 Carnation Revolution against the Salazar dictatorship. The split played a part in the pushing of the ‘brain behind the revolution’, Otelo de Carvaho, into jail — a man now seen as an icon of the international leftist movement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK Lays on Red Carpet Treatment for Indian PM it Banned for a Decade

British Prime Minister David Cameron is treating India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to every possible diplomatic courtesy possible on his three day visit to the UK, despite Modi having been banned from the country for a decade.

Modi is set to enjoy a flypast from the UK’s elite Red Arrows aerobatic team, a visit to Queen Elizabeth II, a trip to Cameron’s country pile, Chequers, and will attend a huge Diwali festival in the famous Wembley Stadium.

Cameron’s cosying up to Modi is an about-turn for Britain. As chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, the Indian PM was heavily criticized for his handling of the intercommunal riots that left over 1,000 dead and 2,500 injured — mostly Muslims and Hindus.

He was later cleared of initiating and condoning the violence, but anger has persisted over what part he played as well as the role of the police and government officials at the time, who allegedly directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them.

As a result of the Gujarat riots, Modi was banned from travel to the UK — as well as the US and the EU.

However, after securing a fourth term as chief minister in Gujarat — and two years of the 2014 general election campaign, in which he was becoming a prominent player — the UK lifted its ban.

But Modi’s visit to Britain has brought further criticism over his policies at home — including free speech and violence against opposition parties. Two hundred writers — including Salman Rushdie, Alan Ayckbourn and Ian McEwan — Thursday published an open letter to Cameron calling on him to tackle Modi over the “rising climate of fear, growing intolerance and violence towards critical voices who challenge orthodoxy or fundamentalism in India.”

Money Over Matters

However, Cameron is unlikely to rock the boat as he showers every possible diplomatic gift he can on Modi in an effort to boost trade with one of Britain’s oldest colonial partners and one which is currently the fastest-growing economy in the world.

The British Prime Minister will be keen to play up the historic ties between the UK and India, which date back to the British Raj in the late 19th century and which ran until partition between Pakistan and India in 1947. British Indians are also the largest minority group in the UK, with 1.4 million, accounting for 2.5 percent of the population.

Ahead of Modi’s visit, the Indian High Commissioner, Ranjan Mathai, told the BBC: “I think both Britain and India could do more to expand the trading opportunities. If you look at the level of trade, and the level of investment, you see a major contrast.

“We [India] are today the third largest investor in the UK, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India, so investments have done well. When you talk of trade, we are still stuck at the level of around US$18 billion (£11.8bn), which is less than 2% for both of us of our global trade. So, obviously there is much more that can be done.”

His view were echoed by Simon Moore, international director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), who said:

“The Indian prime minister’s business-friendly approach has won many plaudits among industry leaders here, and we look forward to building on our already solid historic trade links to create prosperity in both countries.”

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

UK: Parents Too Scared to Send Their Children to School After Boy, 14, Is Arrested ‘After Revealing on Facebook His Massacre Plot to Stab Classmates and Rape His Teacher’

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly posting a Facebook ‘hitlist’ of classmates he planned to stab during a school massacre.

The teenager is also said to have threatened to rape a teacher in the attack allegedly planned for tomorrow.

He is said to have posted names online and made threats in person at Heathfield Community School near Taunton, Somerset. Police have since arrested the teenager.

The boy has been released on bail, but many worried parents have removed their children from the school despite reassurances from the headteacher.

Head Peter Hoare said: ‘You will no doubt be aware of reports this week of an ongoing Police investigation involving the school and I appreciate that this has been a cause of concern for students and parents.

‘I would like to reassure you that we have taken this very seriously and that all the right steps have been taken to ensure the safety of everyone at the school.

‘While I cannot go into detail, I can confirm that the individual involved is not in school.

‘We are confident that appropriate steps have been taken and the school will be open as usual and attendance is expected.’…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

Star of Banned Morocco Sex Worker Film Tells of Street Attack

The star of a film about prostitution in Morocco said Thursday she had been abducted and savagely beaten for helping shine a light on an issue long taboo in the Muslim country.

Moroccan actress Loubna Abidar, 30, who plays a prostitute in “Much Loved”, said she was dragged off the street and into a car in Casablanca last week by three young men and beaten, then mocked by police and hospital doctors when she turned to them for help.

“It was a terrible night. The doctors to whom I went for help and the police officers at the station laughed at me. I felt incredibly alone… (until) a cosmetic surgeon agreed to save my face,” she wrote in the French daily Le Monde…

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

Obama Does Not Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over the Golan

Israel’s Knesset in 1981 passed the Golan Heights Law extending Israeli law and administration throughout the territory. This move was condemned by the United Nations Security Council in UN Resolution 497, saying “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.” Israel contends it has the rights to secure and defensible borders under UN Resolution 242. Nevertheless, the International community persists in considering the Golan sovereign Syrian territory.

The strategic importance of the Golan plateau is reflected in Israel’s hard fought wars with Syria in 1967 and 1973 to retain it. Moreover, the IDF maintains on Mount Hermon in the Golan a big electronic ear to monitor communications in the region in the midst of the turmoil of the civil war in Syria. Moreover there are continuing threats to Israel on the Golan from Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Nusrah, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah and ISIS. That raises the question of why during Israeli PM Netanyahu’s alleged ‘good ‘ meeting with President Obama on Monday, November 9th, the Administration wouldn’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.

Arutz Sheva, Israel National News revealed a suggestion by Netanyahu for the Administration to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan. “US won’t recognize Israeli rule over Golan Heights”. The INN report noted the Administration’s response:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

PLO Pleased With EU Labeling of Israeli Settlement Products

‘Important step towards 2-state solution’, Shtayyeh

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH, NOVMBER 11 — The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) expressed its approval of the EU’s move to label products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank through member and head of the Palestinian economic organization for reconstruction and development (PEDCAR), Mohammad Shtayyeh, to ANSA on Wednesday.

Shtayyeh called the new guidelines “an important step towards the two-state solution and for future sanctions against settlement products.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Deadly Explosions Rock Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut

Police said two men on foot set off suicide vests in front of a shopping centre in the mainly Shiite area of Burj al-Barajneh, south of the capital.

The Red Cross estimated 37 people had been killed and 181 wounded in the blasts, which happened around 6 p.m. (1600 GMT), according to witnesses.

“Unfortunately the death toll is likely to rise with so many people injured,” FRANCE 24 correspondent Adam Pletts said.

According to a Lebanese security official, the first suicide attacker detonated his explosive vest outside a Shiite mosque, minutes before a second attacker blew himself up inside a nearby bakery…

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

‘Flagrant Violation’: Saudi Jets ‘Deliberately’ Attack Hospitals in Yemen

As the Saudi-led alliance, backed by the United States, continues its bloody operation in Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports coalition jets are “deliberately” targeting hospitals and clinics, as the civilian death toll continues to rise.

The news follows reports of a civilian hospital coming under fire on Sunday in the southern city of Taiz, in Yemen’s most densely populated region.

“The neutrality of healthcare facilities and staff is not being respected,” Kedir Awol Omar, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, told Common Dreams. “Health facilities are deliberately attacked and surgical and medical supplies are also being blocked from reaching hospitals in areas under siege.”

According to the publication, Saudi jets on Sunday repeatedly shelled the Al-Thawra hospital, considered one of the area’s most important health care facilities, providing medical assistance to 50 patients daily. The attack was carried out just weeks after another significant facility — a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic — was reportedly attacked in the northern city of Haydan.

On Tuesday, MSF stated that the situation in Taiz, where the half of the population is displaced, is deteriorating, as foundation activists were unable to supply hospitals in the city’s most dangerous areas with medication and equipment.

“The situation in Taiz is dramatic and will only get worse in the coming weeks if no efforts are made to spare civilians from the violence and allow them to access basic services, including health facilities,” Karline Kleijer, MSF’s emergency manager for Yemen, said.

ICRC labeled the recent attacks “a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

Saudi officials refrained from commenting on the Taiz shelling, and claimed they were unaware that the earlier attack in Haydan had targeted a clinic.

“This is an alarming sign for the Yemeni people and for those trying to assist them,” Laurent Sury, head of MSF emergency operations, said. “How are we to draw lessons from what happened when all we face are denials? How can we continue to work without any form of commitment that civilian structures will be spared?”

But the blame doesn’t fall solely on Riyadh, according to aid workers. Amnesty International pointed out that while the jets taking part in airstrikes against hospitals were Saudi, the bombs dropped onto targets were in fact American.

“The US and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, claimed.

“Lack of accountability has contributed to the worsening crisis and unless perpetrators believe they will be brought to justice for their crimes, civilians will continue to suffer the consequences,” Rovera added. “[The] world’s indifference to the suffering of Yemeni civilians in this conflict is shocking.”

So far, over a hundred hospitals across Yemen have been shelled by Saudi-led forces since the beginning of the international military campaign in March, according to official data.

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

Kurdish Forces Launch Major Offensive to Retake Iraq’s Sinjar From IS Group

Kurdish forces launched an offensive Thursday to retake the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State militants who overran it more than a year ago, killing and enslaving thousands of its Yazidi residents and triggering U.S.-led air strikes.

Operation Free Sinjar aims to cordon off the town, take control of Islamic State supply routes and establish a buffer zone to protect the town from artillery, a statement from the Kurdish national security council said.

Sinjar is a symbolic and strategic prize, sitting astride the main highway linking the cities of Mosul and Raqqa — Islamic State’s bastions in Iraq and Syria…

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

Russian-Led Coalition in Syria Scores First Major Victory While Putin Steps Up Campaign Against Islamic State

The breaking of the ISIS siege is the first major success of Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his allies in more than two years of devastating war.

Syrian government forces supported by Iranian IRGC troops and Russian air support today succeeded in finally breaking Islamic State’s siege of an important air force base in the northern Aleppo Province. The breaking of the ISIS siege is the first major success of Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his allies in more than two years of devastating war.

Iranian and other pro-Assad media report that scores of ISIS fighters and other Islamist rebels in the Aleppo area and other regions laid down their arms and turned themselves into the Syrian authorities over the weekend.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria Threatens to Target French Aircraft Carrier

The Iranian news agency Sahar claims Syrian Gen. Mohammad Issa has warned the French his country will target the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle if it approaches the Syrian coast.

On November 5 French President Francois Hollande said the aircraft carrier would be sent to Syria.

“The deployment of the battle group formed around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was decided to participate in operations against IS and its affiliates,” the French presidential office at the Élysée Palace announced.

On September 27 the French began airstrikes in Syria. On Tuesday Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France began bombing “the Islamic State group’s oil infrastructure,” which is Syria’s oil infrastructure captured by ISIS. has detailed how the French effort is designed to cripple the Syrian economy and force Bashar al-Assad from power.

Issa claims the Western coalition has not targeted ISIS in Syria and striking the country’s oil wells is a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

Taking out Syria’s oil infrastructure under the guise of fighting ISIS will sabotage Russian and China’s gas energy projects in the country.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK’s Hammond Backs More Saudi Arms Sales, Says They Create ‘British Jobs’

UK Foreign secretary Philip Hammond has been criticized for suggesting that Britain should sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh’s military offensive in Yemen, which has led to allegations of Saudi war crimes.

When questioned on the matter of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Hammond said he was aware of alleged Saudi war crimes committed during its aerial bombardment of Yemen, including claims from the International Red Cross Committee that the Saudi-led coalition was “deliberately” targeting hospitals and medical clinics.

There is growing concern over the humanitarian impacts of the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen, with more than 2,200 civilian deaths in the country since March.

The high-profile incidents included the bombing of a Medecins Sans Frontieres medical facility in the country’s Saada district, which the charity has blamed on Saudi forces.

Aid agencies have also slammed Riyadh’s blockade of Yemeni ports, designed to stem the flow of weapons to the Houthi rebels, saying that the blockade has left 20 million people — 80 percent of the population — in urgent need of basic supplies like food, water and medical aid.

Arms Sales Create More British Jobs

Despite the concern over the impacts of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and their humanitarian impact, Hammond told the BBC that arms sales helped to create “British jobs”.

“We’d always like to do more business, more British exports, more British jobs and in this case very high end engineering jobs protected and created by our diplomacy abroad.”

“I know that some of them are being used in Yemen, that doesn’t fall foul of the export licensing criteria.

“Those weapons are being used in Yemen, the important thing is they are being used legally in an international armed conflict. There have been accusations of breaches of international humanitarian law.”

“We regularly intervene with the Saudis to encourage them to be transparent with us.

“The Saudis deny there have been any breaches of international humanitarian law. Obviously that denial alone is not enough — we need to see proper investigations, we need to work with the Saudi’s to establish that international humanitarian law has been complied with.”

Amnesty — Britain Can’t Rely on Saudi Assurances

Hammond’s call to “encourage” Saudi Arabia to improve transparency was criticized by Amnesty International (AI) officials as being “grossly inadequate”.

“Rather than apparently relying on Saudi Arabia to conduct its own investigation, the UK should conduct its own rigorous investigation into how weapons supplied to Riyadh have been used in Yemen,” a statement from AI said.

Amnesty have led the call for the UK to suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, with AI’s UK director Kate Allen criticizing Mr Hammond’s rhetoric over the matter.

“Philip Hammond’s remarks about ‘investigations’ over Saudi war crimes in Yemen are grossly inadequate.”

“We need an independent investigation into whether UK arms supplied to Saudi Arabia have been used to commit appalling attacks on civilians in Yemen.”

“Rather than meekly accepting Saudi assurances over Yemen, the government should have been urgently investigating mounting reports of Saudi war crimes all along. It shouldn’t have taken more than 2,000 Yemeni civilian deaths for the Foreign Secretary to finally realize that simply relying on Saudi denials over war crimes was always a disastrous course of action.”

The British Foreign Office has come under increased scrutiny in recent times after senior official Sir Simon last month revealed that human rights were no longer a “top priority” for the government, with the matter being downgraded in favor of increasing trade deals.

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

Kremlin-Controlled TV Airs ‘Secret’ Plans for Nuclear Weapon

Submarine-launched torpedo

(ANSA) — Rome, November 12 — President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Thursday plans for a new submarine-launched nuclear torpedo shown on Kremlin-controlled television were secret and should never have been aired, the Associated Press reported.

NTV and Channel One showed a large document — filmed over a military officer’s shoulder during a meeting with Putin — with drawings and details of a weapons system called Status-6.

The torpedoes could create “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would make enemy coastal areas “unsuitable for military, economic, business or other activity for a long time,” the document said.

The channels later removed the footage, which was shot during a meeting on Monday in Sochi.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Police Torture Rife in China Despite Reforms: Amnesty

Torture of suspects in police detention is widespread in China, Amnesty International said Thursday, citing interviews with nearly 40 lawyers, some of whom said they themselves had been beaten while attempting to protect their clients.

Suspects received electric shocks, were punched, kicked, hit with shoes or bottles filled with water, denied sleep and locked in iron chairs forcing them into painful postures for hours on end, the rights group said.

The report, echoing findings by journalists and other rights groups, comes a week before China’s record is set to be scrutinised by the United Nations’ anti-torture committee…

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

South Africa: Water Disaster ‘Could Have Been Avoided’

Johannesburg — The reality of the water crisis in the country hit home on Tuesday, with some Joburg schools sending their pupils back home and some parts of Gauteng running dry.

Numerous southern and south-western suburbs had no water on Tuesday, leading to residents believing that water rationing had started.

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality issued a red alert on residents, warning them to use water sparingly as many suburbs in and around Germiston experienced water shortages.

It warned that levels in the reservoirs supplying certain areas were at a critical level which could lead to low water pressure.

“If the situation in all of the areas above deteriorates further, the EMM will implement water shedding measures and shut off supply from 10am-3pm,” the municipality warned on Tuesday.

In KwaZulu-Natal large parts of the North Coast and Zululand are under severe water restrictions, with many residents relying on supply from water tankers, while parts of the Ugu District Municipality on the South Coast are being serviced with salty water, as the main reservoir has run dry and a key river has been flooded with seawater.

As authorities grapple with the problem, it emerged on Tuesday that a lack of strategic planning, the loss of skills to transformation, poorly-functioning waste-water treatment plants which are spewing some four billion litres of untreated or partially-treated sewage into rivers every day, have contributed to the looming water disaster…

           — Hat tip: RRN [Return to headlines]

Berlin Police Raid Clamps Down on Hate Speech Against Refugees

German police raided ten properties in Berlin on Thursday linked to mostly far-right activists suspected of hate speech directed at refugees, local police said in a statement.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 60 police officers searched properties in nine Berlin districts. They confiscated various electronic devices, including smartphones and computers, which they suspect may have been used to access the Internet to post incendiary comments.

“Federal police security [forces] continue to investigate people who make far-right comments on social media networks against refugees and asylum seekers, their homes, or other minorities,” Berlin police said.

If the suspicions are confirmed, the offenders may face hefty fines or even prison terms, according to the statement.

Germany is one of the most popular destinations for migrants in Europe and is expected to register some 800,000 asylum applications by the end of the year, according to official estimates.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in October that refugee shelters in Germany had been attacked 520 times this year, with most attacks blamed on right-wing movements.

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

Calais Lacks Gov’t Support, Finances to Cope With Migration Crisis

The French port city of Calais, hosting to thousands of refugees, cannot cope with the migration crisis due to a lack of support from the government.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Yulia Shamporova — The French port city of Calais, hosting to thousands of refugees, cannot cope with the migration crisis due to a lack of support from the government, Deputy Mayor Philippe Mignonet told Sputnik on Thursday.

“The city of Calais through its mayor, Natacha Bouchart, is trying its best to reduce the negative impacts of the situation but as a city we have neither the power nor the finances to do more, where the state is doing only bits and pieces to clear their mind,” Mignonet said.

Four nights of ongoing clashes between migrants and Calais police took place from Sunday to Wednesday. The most violent Sunday night clashes saw at least 26 officers injured in a stand-off with rock-throwing refugees, media reported.

“The situation has been better last night even if some migrants again tried to jump into trucks. They’ve been pulled away by the police forces,” Mignonet added.

He stressed that the refugee crisis in Calais proves that the French government has lost control of the situation.

At the same time, police in Calais cannot properly do their job during migrant skirmishes fearing their actions, filmed by activists, might be misinterpreted.

“The police forces are not given the power to do their job because activists are filming everything and everybody is scarred that some images could be taken out of the context,” Mignonet said.

The French port city of Calais, hosting thousands of refugees in its so-called Jungle refugee camp, has seen numerous clashes with its temporary residents in recent days, and as a result at least 26 Calais police officers have been injured, according to media reports.

“The city of Calais needs help but nobody cares about a small city at the top north of the country,” Mignonet added.

Calais has seen tens of thousands of attempts by refugees to cross the Channel Tunnel to the United Kingdom in recent months, several resulting in death and heavy traffic disruption.

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

Cost of Refugee Crisis in Germany Doubles Amid Rows Over Strategy

The cost to Germany of dealing with the refugee crisis this year is set to double from an official estimate of US$11 billion to at least US$23 billion, according to the Ifo Center for International Economics.

As further cracks emerge with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government over her handling of the affair, new questions are being asked of the price Germany is paying for its open doors policy for refugees — mainly from Syria.

The cost estimates of a rise from an estimated US$11 billion to at least US$23 billion is a further issue Merkel will have to tackle as she tries to keep her government together amid calls for a cap on accepting more refugees — predicted to reach 1.1 million by the end of 2015.

Although no actual figures have been published by Berlin, it is known that the 16 states in Germany have already been given an extra US$4.3 billion.

The federal states have projected the total costs next year would be US$17 billion, but these costs are bound to rise as Germany struggles to process the refugees over time.


German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told the Center for European Policy in Berlin Wednesday that the situation was akin to an avalanche.

“Avalanches can be triggered if any careless skier hits the slopes and moves a little snow. Whether we are already in the situation where the avalanche has already reached the valley below, or if we are in the situation where it is on the upper slopes, I don’t know.”

The Ifo Institute now expects the costs to amount to US$23 billion euros for 2015 alone, based on the assumption that 1.1 million people will flee to Germany by the end of the year. “That figure includes accommodation, food, creches, schools, German courses, training and administration,” said Gabriel Felbermayr of the Ifo Institute in Berlin on Tuesday.

“The keys to costs and integration are qualifications and the labor market.”

Many refugees are poorly educated. Over 40 percent of Western German manufacturers surveyed by the Ifo Institute feel that refugees could only be employed as unskilled laborers; the figure is just under 40 percent in construction (in the West) and distribution (in the West). The figures for Eastern Germany are far lower.

However, on average and across all branches of manufacturing, 29 percent of companies see the minimum wage as a major constraint.

The minimum wage is particularly problematic for branches in the east. Here around 60 percent of firms in distribution and construction see the minimum wage as a barrier to recruiting refugees.

The Ifo Institute is therefore calling for a complete abolition of the minimum wage in Germany; and not only for refugees, but for all young employees without qualifications at the very least. Refugees should be able to work immediately and to attend German language courses at the same time.

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

EU Leaders Race to Secure €3bn Migrant Deal With Turkish President

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other EU leaders are racing to clinch a €3bn (£2.4bn) deal with Turkey’s strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to halt the mass influx of migrants and refugees into Europe.

All 28 national EU leaders are expected to host Erdogan at a special summit in Brussels within weeks to expedite a pact that would see Turkey patrolling the EU’s southern border with Greece and stemming the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees, mainly from Syria.

In return, Ankara would get €3bn over two years and the EU would also probably agree to resettle hundreds of thousands of refugees in Europe directly from Turkey…

           — Hat tip: Green Infidel [Return to headlines]

EU to Set up Trust Fund for Africa Migration

For countries of origin, fighting traffickers

(ANSA) — Valletta, November 12 — European leaders agreed at a Malta summit on migration Thursday to set up a 1.8 billion euro trust fund to help African countries of origin and fight people traffickers.

The EU funds will be supplemented by those of individual countries which currently stand at 100 million euros — which European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said was “not enough”.

An EC spokesman said “the multiplication of barriers and controls at borders should not permit talk of ‘ending the Schengen system’.” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said “we don’t need fences but joint action”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany Runs Out of Pepper Spray as Residents Brace for Immigrant Crime Wave

Despite occasional videos of angry Germans protesting at what has become the biggest “foreign invasion” of Europe since World War II, the German popular response to the wave of migrants, which is now expected to top 1 million in 2015 has been relatively calm. Fear (and anger), however, are building beneath the otherwise calm surface.

According to a report by Focus, following a 600% surge in sales over the past two months, Germany has run out of pepper spray, and the irritating substance can now only be purchased after weeks of waiting. Focus says that according to pepper spray manufacturers, “frightened Germans” have bought out all the available inventory. The alleged reason, according to the German publication: “die Flüchtlingskrise”, or the refugee crisis.

Focus goes on to say that in private, Germans are equipping themselves “massively.”

It appears that “die Flüchtlingskrise” is a phrase being heard on the lips of many, many Germans these days, and for good reason. Things have long since reached crisis proportions and people are frightened. This isn’t some rampant xenophobia run amok, but rather a rationale response to an existential threat. And if the German government doesn’t want to listen to their own people, maybe they should check in with their allies in Italy. You’ll never guess who they just caught trying to sneak into the country disguised as a poor, beleaguered Syrian “refugee” this month. (Daily Caller)

Italian authorities arrested a convicted Tunisian terrorist with links to ISIS as he tried to enter the country on a boat carrying Syrian refugees.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hungary Warns Germany Not to Send Migrants Back

(AGI) Budapest, Nov 12 — Hungary is maintaining its contrarian stance towards the EU’s handling of the refugee crisis, calling for an end to the relocation system and disputing the idea of transfers to the country of first arrival. “The Dublin system is dead,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto affirmed on Wednesday. Even if it weren’t, he added, the matter would involve Greece and not Hungary, which erected walls at the beginning of the crisis to halt thousands of refugees at the borders. “If anyone leaves from Syria towards Europe it is physically impossible for them to enter the European Union in Hungary,” he said. “Therefore, it is not justified to send any Syrians back to Hungary.” If Germany chose to waive the Dublin system in August, then the rules — under which the first member state of arrival is responsible for refugees’ asylum requests — can no longer be enforced, he argued. Hungary has been greatly affected by the crisis, with some 200,000 arrivals so far, most of them from Syria. Many refugees, after reaching Greek coasts, continue up the Balkan route towards Macedonia and Serbia before re-entering the EU in Hungary. In the meantime, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker affirmed, EU states must accelerate their redistribution efforts for the agreed upon 160,000 migrants from Italy and France. “We don’t have a lot of time, and if we stick at this pace, all will be located by the year 2101,” he stated after the special two-day summit between African leaders and the EU Council.

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

‘I Would Send All Illegal Immigrants to US’ — Hungarian Town Mayor

We bet that if you mentioned Asotthalom before September 16, 2015, people would make big eyes wondering what you just said. But a day later you started googling this Hungarian village and its Mayor Laszlo Toroczkai, whose video message swept the board in the Web.

Vasily Raksha — While brave Internet warriors are battling for the truth behind this video, Sputnik visited Mayor Toroczkai to tell you all you ever wanted to know about him and the role of his small village in the massive refugee crisis in Europe.

It is 10.00 a. m. Saturday in the village of Asotthalom nearly touching the Hungarian-Serbian border. A smiling sprightly man in jeans and a jacket steps out from his sedan near the municipality. No military clothing, no big hulky bodyguards on jeeps. A vigorous handshake. It is the mayor.

“I have to work every day, and fortunately the situation with the illegal immigration is better,” Laszlo Toroczkai says instantaneously coming to the point of our talk.

This is what made him the most googled Hungarian figure as of right now — a blockbuster trailer-style video stating that “If you are an illegal immigrant, Hungary is a bad choice and Asotthalom is the worst.”…

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

Italy: Renzi Wants ‘Africa at Centre of European Migrant Efforts’

Says Valletta Summit ‘great opportunity’ for Italy’s role in Med

(ANSA) — Rome, November 11 — Italian Premier Matteo Renzi on Wednesday said the Italian government’s objective during the European Commission’s Valletta Summit on migration is to “put Africa at the centre of European initiatives on migration”, in a front-page essay in the Catholic Church-affiliated Italian daily Avvenire.

“It’s useless to cry over the thousands of sisters and brothers who have died in the Mediterranean, if one doesn’t have the strength to react,” Renzi said.

Renzi suggested intervention in the migrants’ countries of origin in order to “create conditions suited to the cultural, labour, and economic growth of every potential migrant, so that Europe is a choice, not a necessary landing, an unrelenting destiny”.

Renzi said Italy will be “among the main contributors” to an EU trust fund aimed at addressing the root causes of migration in Africa.

“It will be an operating tool of an innovative cooperation between countries that don’t want to limit themselves to reacting or halting the flow of the migrant phenomenon, but want to accompany it with political and not emergency choices,” Renzi said.

Renzi is at the summit in Malta among 60 heads of state and government, and called the two-day event “a great opportunity” for Italy “to set itself apart and rediscover its role in the Mediterranean”.

“It’s also an opportunity for Europe, to rediscover the soul lost under piles of dusty bureaucratic paperwork,” he said.

Renzi highlighted Italy’s role in the rescue of migrants from the Mediterranean and called the migrant crisis “a humanitarian catastrophe that requires all of our attention”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Has Lost Control Over Her Government — German Politician

According to the leader of the German “green” party, Cem Ozdemir, Merkel is no longer in control of her own allies. The migration crisis took German politicians by surprise, with Merkel being unable to find a compromise within her own coalition.

For instance, German Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere has repeatedly announced controversial initiatives aimed at reducing the number of migrants and was supported by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who also stressed the need to limit the influx of newcomers to the country.

In particular, de Maiziere suggested that Syrian refugees should receive a special status, which would prohibit them from reuniting with their families and bringing them to Germany. Eventually he had to take his proposal back, but the precedent itself has raised concerns about the ability of the government to make efficient decisions.

“Persistent unilateral actions of Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere show that the Chancellor can no longer determine the political course. Angela Merkel has lost control of both the black-red coalition government and the CDU,” head of the German “green” party Cem Ozdemir told Der Tagespiegel.

Ozdemir argued that Merkel is unable to prevent the emergence of the new opposition movement within her CDU party in which adherents are proposing new measures to “scare the refugees away.”

Der Spiegel columnist Jakob Augstein earlier wrote that the current situation in the German government looks like a “putsch” against Angela Merkel.

However, Russian political expert Alexander Kamkin does not agree with this opinion.

“I would have never called it a putsch though the internal contradictions of the ruling coalition came out and we can see clear multi-directional vectors. If the German parliament attempts to initiate a vote of no confidence against the Chancellor, then we can talk about attempts to displace Merkel. As for now, we can see only disputes behind the scenes,” Kamkin said in an exclusive interview with Radio Sputnik.

According to Kamkin, these arguments are being fueled by the lack of a clear strategy towards migrants. The German government does not have a clear understanding of how many refugees to accept and whether or not to close the border.

Earlier, Merkel proposed to set up transit zones on Germany’s borders, where asylum seekers would live while their applications are being processed. This initiative was, however, opposed by members of her coalition partner the SPD Party, who said that such transit camps would resemble detention facilities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrant Summit in Chaos as African Countries Refuse to Take Back Europe’s Failed Asylum Seekers

The European Union has been forced to drop controversial plans to deport failed asylum seekers who do not have passports after African countries blocked the move.

European leaders offered more than £1billion aid in a bid to persuade their African counterparts to take back tens of thousands of illegal migrants.

But a migration summit in Valletta, Malta, descended into farce after the Africans rejected the EU plan to expel those who do not qualify for asylum using special papers.

The ‘laissez passer’ travel documents issued to Africans without identification are aimed at easing their return back to countries they left or travelled through.

Under the proposal, EU countries would decide where a person without a passport has come from in Africa and issue the papers in lieu of a passport.

Many people arrive in Europe without identity papers with some falsely claiming to be Syrians or Iraqis in order to increase their chances of being granted asylum.

Draft conclusions for the summit of EU and African leaders written earlier this week showed it was planned they would agree to ‘enhance recognition of the EU laissez passer for return purposes’.

But last night it emerged that this would not be in the final conclusions when they are adopted today. A leaked copy of document handed to the Mail showed the line had been removed.

David Cameron last night announced the UK will use £200 million of aid money to help African countries tackle the migrant crisis.

The government said the funding, which will be given between now and 2020, will be used to help African countries cope with economic pressures, environmental disasters such as droughts and problems of corruption. It will also be used to provide humanitarian support for refugees.

The Government will provide £125 million to Ethiopia, which has seen its refugee population soar from 90,000 in 2011 to 700,000 in 2015…

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

Migrant Resettlement Rate Spells End in 2101 — Juncker

EC president slams slow pace

(ANSA) — Valletta, November 12 — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that if the EU’s refugee resettlement continues at the current rate, “we’ll finish in 2101”.

Juncker was speaking after an EU migration summit in the Maltese capital of Valletta.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Muslims Become 2nd Largest Religious Group in Finland Amid Refugee Crisis

Muslims have become the second largest religious group in Finland, after Lutherans, following a rise in asylum seekers entering the country, local media reported.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 70,000 Muslims and 61,000 Orthodox Christians currently live in Finland, and the number of Muslims is rising due to high migration, the Finnish broadcasting company Yle reported Wednesday.

A majority of the 5.5-million population of Finland, about three quarters, are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

Helsinki could stop accepting migrants from North Africa and the Middle East under the EU quota system, should other European states fail to participate in the program, Finnish Interior Minister Petteri Orpo said Monday.

Finland has been accepting up to 750 refugees annually since 2001 under a national quota. The refugee quota was increased to 1,050 in 2014 and 2015 due to the severity of the Syrian civil war, according to the Finnish Immigration Service.

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

Slovenia Installs Razor Wire on Croatia Border

Slovenia began erecting razor wire along the border with fellow EU member Croatia on Wednesday in a move the government says will help it better manage a record influx of migrants.

Slovenia last month suddenly found itself on the Balkans route taken by thousands of migrants heading to northern Europe after Hungary sealed its borders with Croatia and Serbia.

More than 180,000 passing have passed through the small EU member state of two million people since mid-October, all but a handful heading for Austria and beyond…

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

Swedish King Considers Opening Up Royal Palaces to House Refugees

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is considering letting refugees stay in his unused palaces as the country has run out of available housing options.

The King has 16 extravagant estates across the country, many of which he never uses. Margareta Thorgren, the royal director of communication, said the royal family has taken the Syrian migrant situation to heart and is “open to creative solutions” to solve the housing emergency.

“The royal family is following it and is very engaged in the issue,” Thorgren said. “The situation is such that we need as many people as possible helping out, and the royal family has done this by helping established organizations working on the refugee crisis.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ticking Clock: European Civilization on the Brink of Extinction?

Europe is undergoing the greatest mass migration since the Second World War, US conservative political commentator and author Patrick J. Buchanan points out, posing the question whether European civilization will survive in 21th century.

Europe is unable to absorb millions of asylum seekers fleeing from war-torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa; they come from other civilizations and cultures and will change the face of Europe forever, US conservative political commentator and author Patrick J. Buchanan notes.

It will never be the same again.

“The threats raised by the mass migration into Europe rise to the level of the existential. Can a civilization survive the replacement of the people who created it by people of other races, religions, and civilizations? Ask the Native Americans,” Buchanan writes in his article for the American Conservative.

“Will Europe remain Europe if she is repopulated by Arabs, Muslims, Asians, and Africans? What will hold Europe together? Free trade?” he asks.

The American author reminds that unlike the United States, Europe has never experienced mass migration.

Indeed, from 1890 to 1920 America had faced a huge influx of migrants. However, most of them were European nationals, mostly Christians.

Those who are pouring into Europe now are representatives of other civilizations and cultures. They are not inclined to assimilate into the European community but rather try to preserve their own cultural identity by creating enclaves “to replicate the lands whence they came,” Buchanan underscores.

To complicate matters further, there is seemingly no end in sight to the migrations from Africa and the Middle East.

“As long as Europe’s borders remain open, they will come. And the people who wish to come number not just in the millions but the tens and scores of millions. And they know how to get there,” the US author remarks.

The desire of millions of people to flee war, terror and poverty and seek the good life in Europe is perfectly understandable.

However, the question arises: “Will European civilization survive the century?” the conservative commentator asks, citing Hungarian President Viktor Orban.

“With birth rates in this smallest and least populated of continents below replacement levels for decades, Europe is aging, shrinking and dying, as it is being invaded and altered forever,” he warns.

Simultaneously, one can observe the rise of right-wing movements in Europe as a response to the migrant flow. On the other hand, the support for Angela Merkel, who has opened Germany to millions of refugees, is decreasing.

According to Buchanan, “if the mass migrations are not halted, the rise of nationalist regimes at the expense of Europe’s liberals and leftists is inevitable.”

So is there a way out?

Buchanan believes that the United States is able to help Europe to mend the situation.

“One day soon, a voice will arise across the Atlantic calling for an end to this invasion, by force if necessary, and declare: “Let Europe be Europe!” he added.

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

Italy: 67 Lawmakers Request Slot for End-of-Life Bill

Letter sent to House Speaker Boldrini and party whips

(ANSA) — Rome, November 11 — A group of 67 lawmakers have sent a letter to Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini and the party whips asking for a bill on end-of-life issues to be given a slot in the parliamentary schedule, Socialist (PSI) MP Pia Locatelli announced on Wednesday. Locatelli is the coordinator of the inter-party group (Intergruppo) for euthanasia and the living will.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Now at Vanderbilt: Conservative Professor Targeted by Offended Students

Female, black, conservative, Christian, and outspoken — a toxic soup for progressives

The safe spaces of students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee are being threatened by a black conservative professor of law who is outspoken about her Christian and conservative beliefs.

And before they crush under the pressure of a different worldview from their own, students are hoping to exterminate the threat before they are scarred for life.

The suspension of Professor of Law and Political Science Carol Swain is being called on through a petition that, as of this writing, is only 40 signatures away from its stated goal. These students are calling for an investigation by the university to look into allegations of “unprofessional intimidation on social media, discriminatory practices in the classroom, and unclear representation as a Public Figure with invocations of the Vanderbilt name on her Facebook page.”

[Comment: All part of a program to convert “higher education” into full blown marxist indoctrination centres whre useful idiots are manipulated into serving the cause of world communism by aiding in the destabilization of the Republic of the United States. Manipulating blacks to serve as foot soldiers is part of the communist tactic. Banksters using classic divide and conquor.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

PC Insanity Turns University of Missouri Into Mini Police State

Anyway, where have we seen such student tactics — like the ones being utilized at the University of Missouri before? Where did they originate? I have expanded on this question previously within the broader context of Cultural Marxism in my article, Political Correctness Means A Draconian Police State, but for a more recent historical precedent, we need only look to Maoist/Communist China.

According to award-winning journalist and editor of Whistleblower Magazine David Kupelian, Chairman Mao was the “world’s most politically correct mass murderer.”

Kupelian writes:

“Not to have a correct political point of view is like having no soul.” …those are the words of Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist leader with the extreme distinction of having caused more deaths than any person in human history — 50 to 70 million, more than Stalin and Hitler combined.

Mao was a rabid believer in “political correctness.” In fact, he wrote the book. Mao’s 1967 book — officially titled “Mao Zedong on People’s War” (though better known as Mao’s “Little Red Book”) — became the ultimate authority for political correctness during the 1960s…

A few excerpts from the once-ubiquitous [book (which contain his collected works)] demonstrate just how fanatical Mao was about political correctness — which, whether on an American university campus or a communist dictatorship, amounts to the gradual, long-term conditioning (brainwashing) of the population:

“Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. Are they innate in the mind? No. They come from social practice and from it alone. They come from three kinds of social practice: the struggle for production, the class struggle and scientific experiment.” (“Where Do Correct Ideas Come from?,” May 1963, 1st pocket ed., Page 1.)

“… [T]he Communist Party has always advocated a firm and correct political orientation. … This orientation is inseparable from a style of hard struggle. Without a firm and correct political orientation, it is impossible to promote a style of hard struggle. Without the style of hard struggle, it is impossible to maintain a firm and correct political orientation.” (“Speech at the Yenan Rally in Celebration of International Labor Day,” May 1, 1939.)

“Be a pupil before you become a teacher; learn from the cadres at the lower levels before you issue orders…. What the cadres at the lower levels say may or may not be correct, after hearing it, we must analyze it. We must heed the correct views and act upon them…. Listen also to the mistaken views from below, it is wrong not to listen to them at all. Such views, however, are not to be acted upon but to be criticized.” (“Methods of Work of Party Committees,” March 13, 1949, Selected Works, Vol. IV, Pages 378-379.)

The Red Guards were a mass paramilitary social movement mobilized by Mao in 1966 and 1967 during the Cultural Revolution, but they started out as campus thought police attacking and shouting down anyone that didn’t hold the “correct views.”…

In other words, students in places like Missouri and Yale University — where they were recently filmed shrieking at a professor who refused to denounce Halloween costumes, are willful dupes in the Cultural Marxist/Red Guard program to denounce all opponents of the socialist narrative of institutional victimization.

These people actually think they are fighting the establishment. Truth is however, they are the establishment. One might think “progressives” who once heralded the slogan “question authority,” and claim to be promoters of diversity, would welcome diversity of thought — but as we can see from recent footage recorded in Missouri, they will literally call for police to arrest you — even if you are a journalist just trying to document their protest.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Two Children’s Centre Workers ‘Fired for Refusing to Acknowledge Transgender Girl Aged 6’

Refusing to abide by the wishes of the child’s parents who wanted them to recognise their daughter as a boy

Madeline Kirksey and Akesha Wyatt have filed a formal federal complaint against their former employer, claiming their religious liberties as Christians were violated.

Both were fired from a Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center in Houston, Texas, earlier this month for refusing to abide by the wishes of the child’s parents who wanted them to recognise their daughter as a boy.

Attorney Andy Taylor filed the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint on behalf of Kirksey and Wyatt for race, gender, age, and religious belief discrimination.

“On Friday, this little girl left the school as ‘Sally,’ and on Monday this little girl called herself ‘Johnny’,” he told the news conference.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

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