Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/23/2015

Anti-Muslim crimes have skyrocketed in Britain since the jihad massacre in Paris, with at least 115 hate crimes against Muslims reported since November 13. Most of those were attacks on women or girls wearing hijab.

Meanwhile, Australia has put twelve men and boys on its terrorist watch list. Authorities are concerned that these confused people may be inspired by the Islamic State or other violent extremist groups to engage in kinetic activism.

In other news, Switzerland is expecting a record 300,000 asylum applications in 2015.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, 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
» Brazil’s New Middle Class Faces Plunge Back to Poverty
» Italy: Intesa Says Rescues of Fellow Banks Will Cost it 475 Million Euros
» Oil Pressures Mounting as Saudi Arabia Inches Toward Riyal Devaluation
» Russian Recession is Over: Economy Minister
» Stronger Dollar Boosts Asian Shares But Hits Commodities
» Belmont Club: Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Insania Mori
» Catholic Writer Hits “Crony Catholicism”
» Democrat Congresswoman Introduces Bill That Must Anger Obama
» FBI Confirms Alleged ISIS Threat Against Wwe Event in Atlanta on Sunday
» Muslim Teen Ahmed Mohamed Lawsuit: ‘Clock Kid’s’ Family Seeking 15 in Million Damages
» Three Suspects Arrested Over Rape and Murder of Pregnant Pastor’s Wife Who Was Killed in Her Home
» US Bioterrorism Gen-2 Detection System May Not Actually Work
» US Draws Record Number of International Students
» US People’s Trust in Federal Government Sinks to Four Year Low
» US Senators Demand White House to Address Loophole in Gun Legislation
» Victim? Or Activist? The Choice is Yours!
» Thornhill High School Evacuated Following Bomb Threat
Europe and the EU
» Anti-Muslim Crime Soars in Britain After Paris Attacks
» Brits Aim for the Stars With Big Bucks on Offer to Conquer Final Frontier
» Brussels Blasted for Bowing to Terrorists Amid French Defiance
» EU May Collapse in Ten Years Unless Changes Strategy — Hungarian PM
» France: Customs Officer Killed in Toulon Raid
» Freemasons ‘Fixed Inquiry Into Sinking of the Titanic to Clear Bosses’
» French Far-Right Sees Popularity Boost After Paris Attacks
» German Merkel Ally Warns Global Problems Cannot be Solved Without Russia
» Italy: Journalist Fittipaldi Interrogated by Vatican Authorities
» Italy: Over 1 in 4 Risks Poverty or Exclusion — ISTAT
» Italy Expels Four Moroccan Islamic Extremist Suspects
» Italy: Bassolino Launches Campaign for PD Mayoral Primaries
» Rising French Political Star Struggles With School Inequality
» Suicide Bomber’s Belt Containing ‘Mother of Satan’ Explosives is Found Dumped in a Dustbin With a Mobile Phone in Paris Suburb — So Did Europe’s Most Wanted Man Abandon His Deadly Mission?
» Terrorism Antidote: A Well Regulated Militia and Unconventional War
» Transparency Intl: UK’s a Criminal’s Haven on Earth Awash With Dirty Cash
» UK: David Cameron Pledges 10,000 Strong Anti-Terrorism Army Strike Force
» UK: Lord Lawson: Spend the Money on National Security Not Historical Child Abuse Inquiries
North Africa
» Maria Ivleva Was Sitting on Top of the Bomb That Downed Russian Plane Over Egypt
Middle East
» Climate Change to Blame for Syrian Conflict — Prince Charles
» Czech Republic Would Offer 200 Troops Against Islamic State
» From Child Brides to Child Soldiers: Horrific Tales From ISIL Territories
» Gifts From Uncle Sam: Al-Qaeda Wages War in Syria With US Weaponry
» HRW Says Torture Still Happening in Bahrain Jails
» Hundreds Recruited to Shiite Militia Set to Fight Against Kurds in Iraq
» Iran Student Unleashes ‘Israel’s Nightmare’ With New Smartphone App
» Iraq’s Paramilitaries Demand More Cash for Islamic State Fight, Testing PM
» ISIL Created by US Interventionism, Saudi Money & Wahhabi Ideology — Assad
» ISIL Militants Capture 19 Police Officers Near Iraq’s Mosul — Reports
» Moldovan Citizens Fight Along ISIL in Syria — Defense Minister
» Russian Infantry Forces Involved for the First Time in Ground Attack in Syria
» Russia Destroys 472 ISIS Targets in Syria Bombing Missions Over the Weekend
» Syria: Moscow: 472 Terrorist Targets Hit in Two Days
» UAE Blames Islamists for Delay Against Rebels in Yemen Province
» US Media Shows Footage of Russian Airstrikes Passed Off as American
» Western Gov’ts Create ‘Perfect Climate’ For Terror by Funding Extremists
» Anti-Russian Sanctions ‘Incompatible’ With Fight Against ISIL
» Germany Condemns Ukraine’s Blackout of Crimea as Criminal
» No Space Without Moscow: US Buying Once Sanctioned Russian Rocket Engines
» Russian Food Ban Would Cost Ukraine $600 Mln Next Year: PM
South Asia
» Pakistan: Lahore: Plant and Three Ahmadi Places of Worship Torched for “Blasphemy”
Australia — Pacific
» At Least 12 on Australian Terror Watchlist
Latin America
» Conservative Opposition Wins Argentine Presidential Election
» Using the TPP for Hostile Takeover of Mexican Agriculture
» Anti-Anti-Racism Protesters Clash Across Australia
» Austria Migrant Spending Excluded From Eurozone Budget Deficit Target
» Canadian Authorities to Ban Entry for Single Refugee Men
» Former Polish Gov’t Wrong to Accept 7,000 Refugees — Interior Minister
» Jewish Group in Germany Urges Limit to Refugee Influx
» Misplaced Compassion for Gitmo Detainees, Syrian Refugees, & Illegal Aliens, Not Who We Are!
» No, Muslim Refugees Are Not Jewish WWII Refugees. Here Are 5 Reasons Why.
» Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy Caused the Refugee Crisis
» Refugees Block Railway on Greek-Macedonian Border, Demand Way to EU
» Switzerland Expects Record 30,000 Asylum Requests in 2015
» U.S. Officials Can’t Ask Syrian Refugees Key Questions
» UN Chief Concerned Over Australia Refugee Detention Conditions
» Who Should Pay for the Syrian Refugees?
Culture Wars
» The National Geographic’s War on Science

Brazil’s New Middle Class Faces Plunge Back to Poverty

Brazilian Monica de Oliveira thought she’d forever left behind those days of worrying about getting her daughter new clothes.

As part of a wave of poor Brazilians to enter a basic sort of middle class in recent years, de Oliveira was a Latin American success story. But for how much longer?

Biting recession in the world’s seventh biggest economy is starting to undermine the country’s widely lauded progress in dragging some 40 million people out of poverty, starting in 2003.

De Oliveira knows what it’s like to be one of them and now she’s afraid her family is sliding back. She and her husband had a combined monthly salary of about $500 working as security guards in Caieiras, near Sao Paulo, and both have been laid off…

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

Italy: Intesa Says Rescues of Fellow Banks Will Cost it 475 Million Euros

Plan to save four vulnerable lenders

(ANSA) — Milan, November 23 — Intesa Sanpaolo said Monday that its participation in a rescue plan for four crisis-hit Italian banks will cost it 475 million euros. The 3.6-billion-euro plan, approved by the government on Sunday, seeks to save four small lenders — Banca delle Marche, Banca Popolare dell’Etruria e del Lazio, Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Chieti and Cassa Di Risparmio di Ferrara.

Intesa Sanpaolo said the charges derive from 380 million euros, before tax, related to an extraordinary contribution to the Fund and an ordinary contribution of 95 million euros which had already been booked in the first half of this year.

It said it will lend the Fund some 1.33 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Oil Pressures Mounting as Saudi Arabia Inches Toward Riyal Devaluation

While OPEC is obviously unable to balance global oil prices, the energy oversupply is poised to linger into 2016 as oil exporters might withstand fiscal challenges by devaluations, austerity measures or hedging strategies.

Kristian Rouz — The long-lasting period of cheap oil might linger for most of next year if Saudi Arabia makes an unlikely (for now) choice to depeg its national currency, the riyal, from the US dollar in order to make up for fiscal losses. While the international hedge funds are gradually losing hope of an oil price recovery, cutting their net-long crude positions, and the oil cartel, OPEC, is seemingly unable to support prices via administrative methods, the Saudi depeg of the riyal would significantly undermine crude prices, stirring yet another wave of devaluations across the commodity-reliant economies.

Ahead of the next month’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, international oil speculators are betting that the crude cartel will fail to reach consensus on raising prices. Hedge funds have cut their net-long oil positions by 17% in the second week of November, even though increases in petrol and diesel processing in the US have provided some support to crude prices.

Generally, hedge funds are expecting the oil glut to continue into 2016 and most of 2017 unless a robust economic acceleration happens in big energy-importing economies like mainland China and Japan.

The greatest risk to oil prices, however, stems from Saudi Arabia. The nations’ fiscal exposure to crude prices has already impaired its finance over the past 12 months, and as the oil glut lingers, the Saudi’s fiscal dysfunction is getting worse. The nation’s currency, the riyal, is currently pegged to the US dollar at 3.75 SAR per 1 USD.

Recently, speculators’ contracts on the riyal’s possible devaluation during the next 12 months have reached their 13-year peak. The Saudi currency is expected to weaken by 1.5% to 3.8088 per 1 dollar: one-year forward contracts on that event rose 120 points to 575 in Riyadh. If that happens, it would be the first riyal devaluation in 30 years.

However, US analysts suggest it would be easier for Saudi Arabia to implement oil supply cuts in order to support prices, as a full-scale devaluation bears multiple connected risks.

Besides, the Saudi ‘s deep monetary reserves are hardly exhausted yet. The total amount of the Saudi reserves is at $646.9 bln, the highest in the region, even though it is at its three-year low right now. The Saudi population is now at 28.83 mln people, meaning social spending is not as burdensome for Riyadh as it is for many other oil-reliant economies.

The Saudi government can also avoid the devaluation by decreasing governmental spending and state capital investment. Energy subsidies spurring domestic or even some international demand are also an option.

Meanwhile, Mexico, a nation receiving about one-third of its income from the oil and gas industry, is poised to benefit from the oil price slump for the second consecutive year due to its reasonable hedging strategy. That means Mexico is interested in an even greater decline in prices.

Mexico sells oil via a guaranteed financial deal involving the US banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase. That allowed Mexico to sell oil at about $75/bbl throughout 2015, when the actual price was $30 below that. Consequently, Mexico will receive some $6.8 bln plus fees for the current year above what it would have received had it not hedged against a drop in the oil price.

The Mexican government paid some $773 mln in 2014 to hedge the risk, and such a strategy has paid off so far. In 2015, Mexico hurried to hedge its oil trade in August instead of November as usual. That said, in 2016 Mexico will consciously increase oil extraction to depress the market price as deep as possible so that the hedge payoff would be greater.

Even though many advanced nations have increased oil consumption in November, the crude prices are still under huge pressure. OPEC statements have so far only confused the markets, but the once-powerful energy cartel is hardly able to affect prices. While OPEC oil exports still make up some 60% of the global petroleum trade, US domestic production and non-OPEC exports significantly impair the potential impact of the cartel’s output decisions. That said, mainland China and Japan remain in focus on the demand-side being the economies most reliant on imported energy.

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

Russian Recession is Over: Economy Minister

Russia’s economy minister on Monday said the country has edged out of recession but the crisis-hit economy remains mired deep in trouble.

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

Stronger Dollar Boosts Asian Shares But Hits Commodities

Growing confidence the US will raise interest rates next month boosted stocks in Asia on Monday and helped the dollar cement gains, but piled pressure on commodities prices and hurt mining and energy companies.

Wall Street capped its best week all year on Friday, shaking off the horror of attacks in Paris and Mali on expectations the Federal Reserve is confident enough in the world’s top economy to raise interest rates next month.

The prospect of the first rise in US rates in almost a decade boosted the greenback, but dragged down raw materials and energy prices as the stronger dollar made them more expensive for international investors.

Oil prices dipped, with US benchmark prices trading around $41 a barrel, while copper lingered near its lowest point since 2009 and gold slipped for its second day in a row…

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

Belmont Club: Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Insania Mori

By Richard Fernandez

Matt Yglesias’s sources in the administration hinted that their response to a post-Paris attack would be to contain public outrage if a similar event occurred in the United States. Anger at such an outrage might well force Obama to retaliate vigorously against ISIS, something which he believed would lead to disaster. Yglesias described the dilemma:

the administration is faced with a nightmare. And it’s a nightmare that looks a lot like what played out in Paris on November 13. …

an actual attack on US soil would, on an emotional level, demand that we “do something” — something that would already have been rejected as unworkable or counterproductive. A land invasion of ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq would be costly and only serve to further roil the waters of the region. Yet the idea of a president going on television in the wake of an attack and not vowing further punitive measures is inconceivable.

In this way, the hardest problem in US counterterrorism policy is in some ways as much a speechwriting challenge as anything else. The next time something goes wrong and an attack hits the United States, how do you sell the American people on the idea of not really doing anything about it?

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

Catholic Writer Hits “Crony Catholicism”

Catholic writer Vic Biorseth has coined the term “Crony Catholicism” to describe how the American branch of the Roman Catholic Church has been working hand-in-glove with the Obama administration, even assisting in what he calls “the advance of Islam in America at the expense of Christianity.” Biorseth is among a growing group of American Catholics who have become disillusioned with the liberal trends in the church and have turned to the use of new media, including blogs, to sound the alarm.

A self-described “old time Catholic” stirred to a major renewal in faith by the anti-communist Pope John Paul II, Biorseth was rejected for the local Diaconate for being “too rigid” in his religious views. He has written a book, Culture = Religion and Politics: Who Are We?, describing the decline of America and how the country can be saved from the Marxist, atheist and Islamic forces trying to destroy it. He dedicates the book to the truth, his wife, and “to the America that was, and that can be again.”

The book looks at the history of America and the West and argues that our success as a nation has been based on Judeo-Christian values, now under sustained assault by the President of the United States, referred to as “Comrade Obama, peace be upon him.” The phrase “peace be upon him” is an Arabic phrase often used to refer to a prophet of Islam. Alluding to Obama’s Marxist tendencies, Biorseth also refers to the President’s approach as “Obamunism.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democrat Congresswoman Introduces Bill That Must Anger Obama

“Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, and Austin Scott, a Republican, introduced legislation on Friday to end what they called an “illegal war” to overthrow Assad, the leader of Syria accused of killing tens of thousands of Syrian citizens in a more than four-year-old civil war entangled in a battle against IS extremists, also known as ISIS.

“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria,” Gabbard said. “The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11. The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.”

“Scott said, “Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.”

“Publicly, the United States has focused its efforts on fighting IS and urging Assad to step down. But beyond thousands of U.S. airstrikes targeting IS in the region, the CIA began a covert operation in 2013 to arm, fund and train a moderate opposition to Assad. The secret CIA program is the only step the U.S. is taking on Assad militarily.”

There is the key word: illegally. Something the criminal impostor in the White House and hundreds of Republicans and Democrats in Congress don’t seem to give a damn about. In the case of Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama, he does what his handlers tell him to do while ignoring any input from high ranking military who are actually in the theater of operations. The brain dead in the U.S. Congress continue to sit back and allow we the people to be raped in more massive unpayable debt to play geopolitical games in pursuit of world government through brute force.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Confirms Alleged ISIS Threat Against Wwe Event in Atlanta on Sunday

The FBI confirmed that it is aware of an alleged threat by the Islamic terror group ISIS to attack a WWE event scheduled for Atlanta on Sunday night, but an official said the bureau did not have “specific or credible information of an attack.”

“The FBI is aware of reports of an alleged threat that includes an Atlanta, Georgia venue and event,” FBI Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the Atlanta office on Saturday. “While we take all threats seriously, we do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time. We have, however, made the proper notifications as we continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to keep our community safe.”

The hacker group Anonymous said Saturday that it had uncovered information about Islamic State group plans for additional terror attacks in Paris as well as locations in the U.S., according to the International Business Times.

According to Anonymous, ISIS may be planning an assault at an WWE Survivor Series event scheduled for Atlanta’s Philips Arena on Sunday night. The event is expected to recognize the 25th anniversary of the Undertaker with the wrestling organization.

The WWE, Atlanta Hawks and Phillips Arena released this joint statement in response to the terror threats:

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Muslim Teen Ahmed Mohamed Lawsuit: ‘Clock Kid’s’ Family Seeking 15 in Million Damages

The family of Ahmed Mohamed — a Muslim teenager who was arrested at his high school in Irving, Texas, earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb — is seeking $15 million in damages and an apology from the city and its schools in order to avoid a lawsuit, Reuters reported Monday. The Mohamed family is reportedly asking for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district, or they will file civil lawsuits within 60 days.

In separate letters to the city of Irving and the Irving Independent School District, the lawyers representing Mohamed’s family stated that Mohamed was wrongfully arrested as well as illegally detained and questioned, without his parents being present. The family’s attorneys argued that the teenager’s name and likeness will be “forever associated with arguably the most contentious and divisive socio-political issue of our time,” Fox News reported.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Three Suspects Arrested Over Rape and Murder of Pregnant Pastor’s Wife Who Was Killed in Her Home

Three people are being held by police in connection with the rape and murder of the pregnant wife of an Indiana pastor.

Eighteen-year-old Larry Taylor, Jalen Watson and Diano Gordon were arrested over the sexual assault and homicide of Amanda Blackburn, 28.

Taylor had been previously questioned in the case but then released and the three will also be charged in other burglaries including a rape in Indianapolis, FOX 59 reported.

Blackburn was 12 weeks pregnant when she was shot in the head as she tried to defend herself and her one-year-old son Weston when her house entered into on November 10. She died after being rushed to the hospital.

Her husband, pastor Davey Blackburn, told reporters on Monday morning that he is ‘extremely relieved’ about the arrest but said it doesn’t ‘undo the pain we are feeling.’…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

US Bioterrorism Gen-2 Detection System May Not Actually Work

The report of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not been systematically testing the system to detect terrorist biological attacks, BioWatch Gen-2, in realistic conditions.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The system designed to detect terrorist biological attacks, BioWatch Gen-2, cannot readily be relied on because the US government has failed to properly test its technical capabilities, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report on Monday.

“Considerable uncertainty remains as to the types and sizes of attack that the Gen-2 system could reliably detect,” the report stated.

In 2003, former President George Bush introduced the BioWatch system to detect and defend the United States from biological attacks. The system includes a network of air samplers across the United States.

However, the report noted that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not been systematically testing the system in realistic conditions.

“DHS officials have stated that the system’s operational objective is to detect attacks large enough to cause 10,000 casualties, but DHS cannot conclude with any defined level of statistical certainty that the system can reliably achieve this objective,” the report said.

The revelation about the US bioterrorism detection system came following a warning from French Prime Minister Manuel Valls last Thursday that terrorists could carry out chemical or bacteriological attacks.

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

US Draws Record Number of International Students

Almost a million foreign students enrolled in US higher education programs in 2014-2015, representing a 10 percent jump year-over-year, the State Department said Monday.

The number of foreign students during the school year surged to 974,926, representing an increase of some 88,000 people, according to the annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.

The strong growth demonstrated that the United States is the choice destination for higher education students, the report said…

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

US People’s Trust in Federal Government Sinks to Four Year Low

An estimated 19 percent of the population of the United States trusts its federal government, a Pew Research Center poll suggested on Monday less than a year ahead of a US presidential election.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -Confidence in the US government hit its lowest point of 15 percent in early October 2011.

“Currently, just 19 percent say they can trust the government always or most of the time,” the 6,000-person survey stated.

Poverty, immigration and elderly income are key areas where less than half of respondents evaluated Washington’s performance as “good.”

The survey reflected a deep partisan divide in the United States, marking the Republican Party’s consistent opposition to every policy recommendation of US President Barack Obama.

“In Barack Obama’s six years as president, 13 percent of Republicans, on average, have said they can trust the government always or most of the time — the lowest level of average trust among either party during any administration dating back 40 years,” the poll said.

The August 27-October 4 survey was conducted against a backdrop of perceived support for inexperienced or controversial Republican candidates in the ongoing presidential campaign, as evidenced by leading poll positions maintained by reality television personality Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Voters in the United States are scheduled to elect their next president on November 8, 2016.

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

US Senators Demand White House to Address Loophole in Gun Legislation

The US government must take steps to change a controversial definition allowing for a loophole in the current gun law in order to reduce gun violence in the United States, 24 US Senators said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “We urge you to address an aspect of the high-volume gun seller loophole that allows guns to be sold without a background check by eliminating the ambiguity surrounding the term ‘engaged in the business’ as it pertains to federally licensed firearms dealers,” the letter stated.

Updating the definition of the controversial term, the senators suggested, would provide more explicit guidance as to which gun sellers are required to obtain a federal firearms license.

“[That would] help ensure that individuals are not able to continue to exploit ambiguity in the current regulation,” the letter added.

The letter concluded that changing the definition of the term would also help push universal background checks on all potential and current gun owners seeking to gain access to more weapons.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of US citizens to keep and bear arms.

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

Victim? Or Activist? The Choice is Yours!


Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Prayers go out to the citizens of Paris, Lebanon and Mali. Again, this ISIS activity is being allowed to continue because DEPOPULATION is a GOAL of Sustainability. Throughout history the Muslims were always the initial gladiators used for the first round of cleansing. I am borrowing a few words from Franklin Graham.

Franklin Graham was speaking at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida in January, 2015, when he said America will not come back.

He wrote:

“The American dream ended on November 6th, 2012 in Ohio. The second term of Barack Obama has been the final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest republic in the history of mankind.”

There is nothing for whites to be ashamed of in America; it is just history. It is the way it was. The sad part is that the blacks who built America along with the European whites — have had the American Black history replaced with victimhood and hatred.

Will we let a small coalition of blacks, Latinos, feminists, gays, government workers, union members, environmental extremists, the media, Hollywood, uninformed young people, the “forever needy,” the chronically-unemployed, illegal aliens, and miscellaneous fellow-travelers…End the Constitutional Republic of America?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Thornhill High School Evacuated Following Bomb Threat

Westmount collegiate in Thornhill, Ontario was evacuated Monday morning, November 23, as a precaution following a possible threat. The neighborouhods surrounding the school are known as predominantly Jewish.

Police condoned off the school complex and conducted a thorough search inside its premises. Police and CTV helicopters were hovering the sky and two fire trucks were deployed in the area.

Update: Around noon after almost three hours, the Police determined that the school is safe, wrapped up its operations and the students started returning to the school.

In recent years several incidents of spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti were reported in Vaughan. On October 31, 2015, unknown individual(s) spray-painted on Saturday () the word “Jews” on a sign placed by the Parks and Forestry Department of the City of Vaughan, Ontario at Concord/ Thornhill Regional Park located at 299 Racco Parkway.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Anti-Muslim Crime Soars in Britain After Paris Attacks

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 300 percent in Britain in the week following the coordinated attacks in Paris, according to figures published on Monday.

A “vast and overwhelming majority” of the 115 attacks were against Muslim women and girls aged between 14 and 45 who were wearing traditional Islamic dress, according to the findings reported in The Independent newspaper.

The perpetrators were mainly white males aged between 15 and 35, according to the report, which noted that the true numbers of attacks were likely much larger than those reported.

The figures come from a report to a government working group on anti-Muslim hate compiled by Tell Mama, a helpline that records incidents of physical and verbal attacks on mosques and Muslims…

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

Brits Aim for the Stars With Big Bucks on Offer to Conquer Final Frontier

The space industry is growing massively in the UK, and could be worth as much as US$61 billion (£40bn) by 2030. That’s according to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, who are calling for the British government to ease restrictive regulations on investment in science.

Think of the Cold War space race and Soviet cosmonauts like Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space in 1961, or Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon in 1969, come to mind.

But what about Brits in space? And what does 21 century space travel have to offer us now?

Well, a lot, says the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

It’s much cheaper and easier to explore space now than it was 50 years ago because of innovations in technology and engineering. Then there’s the shrinkage of complex gear that also makes transporting technology into space less expensive, so you can now get satellites the size of a shoebox.

UK technology is currently in orbit around Saturn, Mars, Venus and the moon, and the sector contributes about US$14 billion (£9bn) to the UK economy back here on Earth.

Interstellar development is just one of the rewards up for grabs in the burgeoning European space industry. But to make the most of the opportunities to come, experts say that deregulation of the industry must happen soon.

They point to outdated and complex launch and operation licence regimes for satellites as well as expensive third-party liability insurance.

Dr Helen Meese, Head of Engineering in Society at the IMechE, said:

“Small satellites are not only transforming sectors such as agriculture, conservation, energy production and disaster relief, but also have the potential to be a huge business opportunity for the UK.

“The UK has the potential to build a £40 billion space industry by 2030, supporting an extra 100,000 jobs, but work needs to be done to simplify regulation and boost the number of people entering the space industry or we risk losing business overseas.”

And the institute are not the only ones calling for us to reach for the stars.

British billionaire and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, is investing millions into trying to achieve one of his dreams — putting humans on Mars.

However, stretching humanity’s horizons to living on the Red Planet won’t come easy.

In a US talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on 9 September, Musk conceded:

“[Mars] is a fixer-upper of a planet, so first you’re going to have to live in transparent domes, but eventually you can transform Mars into an Earth-like planet.”

“You’d warm it up. There’s the fast way and the slow way. The fast way to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles.”

It’s unclear what NASA makes of Musk’s theories, but what is certain, is that plans are already underway for humans to colonize Mars.

The Mars One project intends to send four crew on a grueling seven-month one-way mission in 2025.

52 Russians and five Britons have been shortlisted for the final four positions.

In the meantime, the development of a US$61 billion industry will mean an explosion of innovation for the British space sector —and it’s good news for engineers across Europe.

Space is surely more exciting than building bridges.

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

Brussels Blasted for Bowing to Terrorists Amid French Defiance

Brussels — now known to be the breeding ground for terrorism in Europe and home to the Paris attackers — remains in lockdown Monday, with many of the European Institutions canceling meetings over the terror threat.

However, many people have taken to social media to slam the European Council for bending to the terrorists, appearing weak in the face of the threat, while Parisians showed solidarity in the days after the attacks on November 13 by coming out onto the streets.

Cinemas, concert halls, shopping malls, the Metro transport system, schools and museums remained closed Monday following security raid that led to 16 arrests, but which failed to net the missing Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.

Although Belgian interior Minister Jan Jambon told RTL radio, that: “Apart from the closed metro and schools, life goes on in Brussels, the public sector is open for business today, many companies are open,” EU officials canceled a whole raft of meetings due to be held in the capital Monday.

However, the three EU institutions appeared in disarray over how to react to the terror threat.

European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, tweeted:

“The safety and wellbeing of our staff remain our priority, so flexible working arrangements/telework are encouraged wherever possible,” Georgieva said.

Meanwhile, European Parliament spokesperson Jaume Duch said staff would be able to work from home in Brussels.

However, officials at the European Council said it “has decided to cancel the majority of non-essential meetings scheduled to take place [Monday] in the Council building.” The officials canceled “all but essential” meetings of the EU institutions and urged staff to work from home, in what many see as a capitulation to terrorism.

Georgi Gotev, senior editor of tweeted:

The lockdown in Brussels is in marked contrast to Paris, where the French state broadcaster France 24 reported:

“A week after their city was shaken to the core by a series of deadly terror attacks, Parisians took to streets and cafes in the thousands Friday to honour the victims and express defiance at those who would try to challenge the French way of life.”

Hotbed of Terrorism

Belgium has become the center of international attention following the Paris attacks, after the links to Brussels and the poor district of Molenbeek in particular, emerged. Fugitive suspected militant Salah Abdeslam, slipped back home to Brussels from Paris shortly after the attacks, in which his elder brother Brahim blew himself up at a cafe.

A second man from Molenbeek, Bilal Hadfi, was also among the Paris suicide bombers. Three people detained in Brussels are now facing terrorism charges. Federal prosecutors said Saturday that weapons had been found at the home of a person charged on Friday.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told reporters he wanted a register of everyone living in Molenbeek because it was not clear at present who was at each address, a process local officials had already started.

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

EU May Collapse in Ten Years Unless Changes Strategy — Hungarian PM

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the European Union’s “number one job” after the Paris attacks is “to defend the borders and to control who is coming in.”

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union may collapse in 10 years time, if it fails to adopt a new concept of preventing crises, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview.

“It’s an open question,” Orban told Politico magazine when asked whether the European Union would exist in 10 years, adding that the union “is only reacting, reacting, crisis after crisis, instead of having a concept.”

According to Orban, the present security threat is a direct result of the EU migration policy. He stressed that the union’s “number one job” after the Paris attacks is “to defend the borders and to control who is coming in.”

Europe has been beset by a refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty.

Hungary has been fiercely opposing EU plan to share 160,000 refugees under a mandatory quota scheme. Orban has repeatedly spoken against the quota as, in his opinion, it only addressed the consequence of the refugee crisis instead of tackling its root causes.

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

France: Customs Officer Killed in Toulon Raid

In an operation against arms trafficking. ‘Killer detained’

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, NOVEMBER 23 — A customs officer was killed and two officers were wounded Monday in a gunfight during an operation against arms trafficking in Toulon in southern France.

The policemen was reportedly shot during the gunfight Monday morning in the Saint-Jean-du-Var neighborhood in Toulon. An individual reportedly opened fire with heavy weaponry against the customs officers. According to a police source quoted by Europe 1, he has been arrested.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Freemasons ‘Fixed Inquiry Into Sinking of the Titanic to Clear Bosses’

Freemasons dominated the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic and may have allowed Establishment figures to escape blame, it was claimed last night.

The investigation into the 1912 tragedy that cost 1,500 lives exonerated most of those involved, including the ship’s White Star Line owners as well as its captain.

Now the publication of a secret archive of Freemasons — containing two million names of members from 1733 to 1923 — reveals the scale of Masonic involvement across the highest echelons of British society.

The archive contains the names of three kings, statesmen, judges, military top brass and bishops.

Experts believe it could lead to a re-examination of almost 200 years of British history, revealing the scale of Masonic influence at all levels of British society when the UK was one of the world’s most powerful countries.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

French Far-Right Sees Popularity Boost After Paris Attacks

A poll conducted just after the the November 13 Paris shootings has put far-right candidate Marion Maréchal Le Pen well in the lead to win the presidency of the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur region (PACA) in December’s regional elections.

Marion Maréchal Le Pen, granddaughter of National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and the youngest sitting member of the National Assembly, will get 40% of the ballot in a first round of the vote, according to the Ipsos poll (elections in France go to a second round if no candidate gets more than 50% in the first round).

Just behind her is former minister and current Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, leading the centre-right coalition of The Republicans-UDI-MoDem, which got 30% in the first round and 34% in the second, according to the poll…

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

German Merkel Ally Warns Global Problems Cannot be Solved Without Russia

It is impossible to cope with global challenges without Russia, according to Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, who is also the leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU).

Horst Seehofer, Prime Minister of Bavaria and leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU), believes that it is impossible to grapple with modern-day challenges without Russia’s help, RIA Novosti reported.

He made the remarks during the CSU congress which kicked off in the city of Munich on Saturday.

“The truth is that acting without Russia or against it, we cannot resolve the conflicts of our time. We have long adhered to this position,” he said.

Additionally, he called for “looking at reality based on a realpolitik stance.”

“We will not be able to resolve many [international] hot-button issues without Russia,” Seehofer pointed out.

At the same time, he noted that his remarks do not call into question the cooperation between Germany and the United States.

He added that he plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow, which is scheduled for 2016.

Part of the Bundestag’s ruling coalition, the CSU party currently acts in alliance with the Christian Democratic Union party led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Seehofer has repeatedly criticized Merkel in connection with her migration policy.

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

Italy: Journalist Fittipaldi Interrogated by Vatican Authorities

Said he referred to professional confidentiality

(ANSA) — Rome, November 17 — Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of a recent book at the centre of a new scandal over leaked Vatican documents, said on Tuesday he had been interrogated by Vatican judiciary authorities.

Fittipaldi said he had appeared in front of Vatican magistrates to understand which accusations he faces in the investigation into leaked Holy See documents.

Asked if he replied to magistrates’ questioning, Fittipaldi said he referred to the right to professional confidentiality.

Fittipaldi’s recently published book Avarice documents alleged waste and mismanagement in the Vatican and lavish spending by clergymen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Over 1 in 4 Risks Poverty or Exclusion — ISTAT

Figure steady with respect to 2013

(ANSA) — Rome, November 23 — Over one in four people in Italy, 28.3%, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2014, Istat said on Monday. The figure is steady with respect to that for 2013. The national statistics agency said 19.4% of people were at risk of poverty, 11.6% lived in seriously deprived families and 12.1% were members of households of “low work intensity”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Expels Four Moroccan Islamic Extremist Suspects

‘For national security reasons’ says interior minister

(ANSA) — Rome, November 23 — Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday he ordered four Moroccan nationals expelled from the country because they are violent extremism sympathizers.

“I signed this decree for reasons of national security,” Alfano said. The four “adhered to and were committed to spreading violent extremism”.

The four suspects lived in Bologna province and were under surveillance by the police anti-terror unit. They were being investigated for training recruits and other activities aimed at domestic and international terrorism.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bassolino Launches Campaign for PD Mayoral Primaries

Party mulls changing rules to ban him

(ANSA) — Naples, November 23 — Former two-time Naples mayor and long-time Campania governor Antonio Bassolino on Monday launched his campaign for the mayoral Democratic Party (PD) primaries, in spite of his own party’s opposition.

Two top PD officials said the party will likely make a new rule banning those who have already served as mayor from running for the same post again, after Bassolino announced his candidacy last Saturday.

“The party secretariat has proposed banning those who have already been mayor from running for the same office again,” Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Debora Serracchiani, a staunch Renzi supporter, told La Repubblica paper in an interview published Monday.

Serracchiani, who is also one of Renzi’s deputies as PD leader, said the party is planning to hold the primaries March 20, and they will be “open to all citizens”.

She was echoed by fellow PD deputy chief Lorenzo Guerini, who told La Stampa and Secolo XIX papers that “those who have already been two-term mayors had better hand over the reins”.

“Let us all commit to discovering fresh new forces in society and in our party,” he said. He said the same rule would apply to all ex-mayors including himself, and that the party does not need another divisive clash over candidates.

“You don’t change the rules during the game but well before,” said Bassolino.

The 68-year-old first became mayor of Naples in 1993. His term was widely viewed as a period of civil, economical and social renaissance for the city. In 1997 he was re-elected with 72.9% of the votes. In October 1998, then center-left Premier Massimo D’Alema made him welfare minister. He resigned a year later, after leftwing terrorists from the Red Brigades assassinated his advisor Massimo D’Antona.

He then became governor of the Campania region from 2000-2010.

In 2013, he was indicted along with 38 others and 10 companies on waste trafficking and racketeering charges. He was cleared in October this year.

PD mayoral primaries February 7.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rising French Political Star Struggles With School Inequality

She is a rising political star and a striking immigrant success story from France’s ghetto-like suburbs, but Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem faces huge obstacles in fighting the inequality she herself overcame.

“The system in France is like we’re all running the 100 metres, but some have a 30-metre head start and some start 30 metres behind,” she tells AFP.

The word “egalite” might be plastered over every school, but OECD studies show inequality is rising faster in France’s classrooms than in any other developed country…

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

Suicide Bomber’s Belt Containing ‘Mother of Satan’ Explosives is Found Dumped in a Dustbin With a Mobile Phone in Paris Suburb — So Did Europe’s Most Wanted Man Abandon His Deadly Mission?

A suicide bomber’s explosive belt was tonight found dumped in the southern Paris suburb from where terrorist fugitive Salah Abdeslam escaped the city.

The 26-year-old fled the bloodbath that left 130 dead on November 13 rather than blowing himself up.

Tonight’s find in a dustbin in Montrouge, in the Hauts-de-Seine department, is hugely significant because it supports the theory that Abdeslam abandoned his mission.

It comes as one of 16 people arrested in Brussels last night was charged with terror offences relating to the Paris attacks. The rest were released without charge.

A French police source said: ‘The belt was found in a dustbin, and is said to be very similar to those worn by the Paris terrorists. Its detonator had been removed.

‘The area around the dustbin has been sealed off, and bomb disposal experts are in the area.

‘Judicial police are at the scene, together with forensics experts and anti-terrorist officers.’…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Terrorism Antidote: A Well Regulated Militia and Unconventional War

Imagine if at each venue in Paris where terrorists struck with AK-47s and explosives, Parisians were armed. Had Parisians been armed, it is likely that far fewer would have lost their lives. Dozens would have trained their weapons on the terrorist attackers and cut them down in short order. The wisdom of the Founding Fathers in giving the new American nation the Second Amendment is underscored by precisely what happened in Paris.

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Founding Fathers knew that only if the citizenry were equipped with the means to defend themselves militarily could a free nation survive the assaults that came (then as they do now) from enemies domestic and foreign. Indeed, individual liberty and sovereignty depend greatly on the diffusion of power made possible only when a free people have the physical means to defend their freedom. A monopoly on force, whether in the hands of government or terrorists, creates an inevitable threat to life, liberty, and property. Force in private hands that can compete with that coming from tyrants is the only true security for a free people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Transparency Intl: UK’s a Criminal’s Haven on Earth Awash With Dirty Cash

The UK is failing to stop the in-flow of dirty cash into the country, and attempts to tackle the issue are being hampered by a lack of independent oversight, a leading anti-corruption group has told Sputnik.

Transparency International UK have published a report, in which they call for a radical overhaul of the UK’s anti-money laundering system. They say that currently, the UK allows billions of dollars in corrupt money to enter the country every year.

“Corrupt individuals are still finding the UK to be a safe haven for their ill-gotten gains and the vast majority of institutions that are meant to prevent that from happening are not up to the job. The average house price in central London is more than the total amount of fines dished out to those who laundered money through property last year,” a Transparency International UK spokesperson told Sputnik.

Anti-money laundering supervision in the UK is currently split among 22 supervisory bodies, some of which are private.

Transparency International says that this leaves the system open to abuse.

“The main conflict of interest is that many of the supervisors are both lobbying and promotional bodies for their sector as well as being enforcement authorities against those same firms they are lobbying on behalf of.”

The anti-corruption group says the UK Government should strip the various private sector institutions and professional bodies of their supervisory roles and create a single, well-resourced “super” supervisor to protect the UK against money laundering.

Back in July, the UK Prime Minster David Cameron vowed to tackle the issue insisting “the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world.”

The prime minister said he wanted the corrupt offshore companies that are buying up luxury London properties using “plundered and laundered cash” to be unmasked.

However, Transparency International say that this vow of intent, did not signal greater scrutiny:

“Our research indicates the supervisory structure leads to poor oversight and inconsistency. We believe the PM has a genuine desire to stop the UK being a safe haven for corrupt and illicit wealth and so we are calling on the Government to overhaul the supervisory system.”

Earlier this year, the EU-funded Organized Crime Portfolio, also documented how organized crime groups choose to invest in real estate across Europe, particularly in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. By investing in housing assets, the criminals are able to infiltrate the legitimate economy.

Monday’s Transparency International report also reveals that a third of UK banks have dismissed serious allegations of money laundering, without any adequate review of the evidence.

Anti-corruption campaigners fear that unless the UK tightens regulations, Britain is vulnerable to being used to store terror funds.

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

UK: David Cameron Pledges 10,000 Strong Anti-Terrorism Army Strike Force

The two rapid-response brigades, which can be quickly deployed to war zones, are the centrepiece of the Prime Minister’s long-awaited strategic defence and security review.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Lord Lawson: Spend the Money on National Security Not Historical Child Abuse Inquiries

Police should stop complaining about budget cuts affecting their ability to conduct effective anti- terrorist operations and channel the money being spent on ‘ unsubstantiated’ historical establishment child abuse investigations said Lord Lawson.

[Comment: Sounds like the police are closing in on the pedophiles in elite circles. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Maria Ivleva Was Sitting on Top of the Bomb That Downed Russian Plane Over Egypt

Investigators revealed that the bomb was stuffed under the seat of Maria Ivleva, 15, who is thought to have been the first of 224 victims to die when it went off, sending the plane crashing to the ground.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Climate Change to Blame for Syrian Conflict — Prince Charles

Prince Charles has said that he thinks the Syrian civil war was started partly due to a drought in the region six years ago, which he blames on climate change.

It’s the UN conference on climate change next week in Paris, and the British heir to the throne is due to speak at the opening ceremony.

Ahead of his speech, Prince Charles has suggested that there is a connection between climate change and terrorism around the world.

“We’re seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem, because, I mean, it sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn’t tackle these issues you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought, and the accumulating effect of climate change, which means that people have to move.

“And, in fact, there’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land.”

Prince Charles even suggested that international intelligence and security agencies are beginning to recognize the connection.

“It’s only in the last few years that the Pentagon have actually started to pay attention to this. I mean it has a huge impact on what is happening.

“The difficulty is sometimes to get this point across — that if we just leave it and say, well there are obviously… endless problems arising all over the place therefore we deal with them in a short-term way, we never deal with the underlying root cause which regrettably is what we’re doing to our natural environment.”

His comments were filmed by Sky News before the Paris attacks on November 13, but broadcast on Monday.

Although his comments have attracted ridicule on social media, there are many academics who agree that the changes wrought by climate change can lead to instability, which radical groups take advantage of.

A 2014 US Department of Defense report identified climate change as a factor in widespread migration, infrastructure damage and the spread of disease.

“These gaps in governance can create an avenue for extremist ideologies and conditions that foster terrorism,” the report said.

Prince Charles is known as a committed climate change activist. However, his comments are controversial to many, due to his official role in Britain as the heir to the throne.

He is expected to stay above the fray of politics and not to interfere, a requirement he has struggled with publicly in the past.

In March 2015, after repeated legal attempts to block their release, hundreds of letters by Prince Charles to officials and MPs were published by the Guardian.

Dubbed the ‘Black Spider memos’, there was consternation at the revelation that the Prince, who referred to himself as a “dissident”, has been attempting to influence government policy for years.

Looking ahead to next week’s gathering of over a hundred world leaders in Paris, Prince Charles expressed doubts about whether a consensus will be reached.

“I haven’t been to all of them, but I went to Copenhagen (the last UN climate conference) in 2009 and that really ended in disaster, frankly. There’s a lot to catch up on.”

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

Czech Republic Would Offer 200 Troops Against Islamic State

Most of them would be members of an anti-chemical warfare unit

(ANSA-AP) — BRUSSELS — The Czech Republic’s defense minister says that his country would be able to deploy about 200 soldiers in the case of an international ground operation against the Islamic State group. Martin Stropnicky says most of them would be members of an anti-chemical warfare unit, while the rest would be medical personnel. Speaking Sunday on Czech public television, Stropnicky said the Czechs would participate if there were a NATO ground operation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

From Child Brides to Child Soldiers: Horrific Tales From ISIL Territories

Lamia, a seven-years-old Yazidi girl from Iraq, finally managed to safely return home after being rescued from the clutches of ISIL. She told Sputnik how she, along with her pregnant mother and her sister, were abducted by Islamist militants and what she had to endure in captivity.

Lamia said that she was often subjected to physical violence by an ISIL militant named Abu Mohammed (most likely an alias — Sputnik) from Qatar. This militant who was several decades her senior, forced the girl to study the Koran and Hadith in an attempt to make her forget the Yazidi religion of her ancestors.

The abducted women were moved to the Syrian city of Raqqa, the so called capital of the Islamic State. Lamia and her sister Mona were prohibited from attending school and their mother, who was in her fifth month of pregnancy during the abduction, gave birth to a son whom militants named Omar without her consent.

Later their ‘master’ decided to sell Lamia to another militant, a native of Saudi Arabia. The girl’s price was set at “a handful of Syrian liras or US dollars,” Lamia said. The Saudi militant wanted to buy her on the condition that he’ll be ‘raising’ her for a year until she turns eight so that he could marry her.

Lamia and her mother and sister were freed by a compatriot named Abu Shujaa who rescued many Iraqi women from ISIL captivity. They already decided to rename their little brother in honor of their liberator.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State began conscripting and arming hundreds of children in an attempt to recoup the losses it suffered in Iraq.

A local source told Sputnik Saturday on condition of anonymity that over the last two days ISIL have conscripted several hundred children and teenagers from impoverished families in Al-Fallujah and Ar-Ramadi in the Anbar province of Iraq.

The source added that the young conscripts were issued black Afghan clothes and various assorted weaponry in order to repel the advance of the Iraqi military in those two cities.

“The families who give up their children to ISIL are enticed with money — $1400 per month per child. It’s a considerable sum for those families the people have been starving ever since ISIL seized control of the two cities. On the other hand, if the parents refuse to hand over their child, they could be executed,” source said.

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

Gifts From Uncle Sam: Al-Qaeda Wages War in Syria With US Weaponry

The Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, has released a grateful video, where they openly thank the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which the US has touted as a “moderate opposition group”, for supplying them with US-made anti-tank TOW missiles (“Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided”).

A recently released video shows an Al-Nusra Front field commander thanking the FSA commanders for giving his forces TOW missiles, according to a report released by the Iranian news agency FARS.

The agency reminds readers that the two groups, the Al-Nusra and the FSA, formed an alliance in March, the Army of Conquest, or Jaish al-Fatah in Arabic, to fight against the forces of President Assad.

Since then, they have fought together “at almost every single battle in Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, and Idlib Governorates of Syria.”

Through this alliance several militant groups like the Al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham movement have been given access to FSA’s US-made heavy weaponry, which has been supplied to the militant group by the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

According to the agency’s estimates, Saudi Arabia sent 500 TOW missiles to Al-Nusra directly last month.

The US, however, claims that it is just supplying aid and weapons to FSA or the so-called moderate militant groups in Syria.

The BGM-71 TOW is one of the most widely-used guided anti-tank missiles. The weapon is used in anti-armor, anti-bunker, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing roles.

TOW missiles are used by the armed forces of more than 40 countries and are integrated in over 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms worldwide.

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

HRW Says Torture Still Happening in Bahrain Jails

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation as regulatory bodies set up after the 2011 uprising “lack independence” and officials are not held accountable, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain, a key ally of the West, has been rocked by a Shiite-led uprising since February 2011 with demands ranging from a constitutional monarchy to overthrowing the ruling Al-Khalifa dynasty altogether.

Scores of opponents have been detained, with many facing trial, while others convicted of involvement in violence have been handed heavy sentences, including revoking citizenship and life in prison…

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

Hundreds Recruited to Shiite Militia Set to Fight Against Kurds in Iraq

Iraqi anti-ISIL Shiite militia and Kurdish forces have been in constant confrontation. This month, the stand-off turned violent. Local media reports that Shiite Kurds are taking part in the Shiite militia in this sharp conflict among anti-Jihadi ranks.

The Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi Shiite militia has recruited some 5,000 fighters in its ranks in recent months, including approximately 1,800 Shiite Kurds, who may take part in clashes with mainly Sunni Kurdish forces of Peshmerga, an anonymous local military official told the Kurdish Rudaw news outlet.

“They have an entire brigade for the Kurdish recruits in Khanaqeen, fully armed and funded,” he was quoted as saying by Rudaw. “Even the commander of the brigade is a Shiite Kurd.”

Intermittent clashes between the Popular Mobilization Units, as Hashd al-Shaabi’s name is translated, and the Peshmerga flared up on November 12 at a Kurdish checkpoint in Tuz Khurmatu, a multi-ethnic town lying on the main highway between Baghdad and Kirkuk. The clashes lasted for at least three days and reportedly claimed lives of 21 persons on both sides, including civilians, and multiple arrests. The stand-off is complicated by active engagement of civilians.

“Violence in Khurmatu has resulted in the death and wounding of 21 people, including seven Kurds and others from Arabs and Turkmens of the city,” Jabar Yawar, chief of staff of the Peshmerga ministry, told Rudaw last week.

Analysts point to the rivalry over control of territories across Iraq and historical Sunni-Shiite contradictions as possible reasons for violent confrontation. While Peshmerga represents mostly Sunni Kurds, Hashd al-Shaabi recruits Arabs, Turkmens and Shiite Kurds to its ranks.

The town of Tuz Khurmatu’s disputed status was to be decided after a referendum, being continuously postponed since 2007. Earlier this fall, the Peshmerga forces and Shiite militias entered the city to take it under joint control during an ISIL offensive west of Kirkuk.

Local Islamic clergy has raised its voices to urge Peshmerga and Hashd al-Shaabi to stop the clashes and ease tensions and concentrate on fighting the common enemy, ISIL, instead.

“All hands should join and unite their energy to fight the real terrorists and the war should not be diverted from its course,” a major Shiite cleric Abdul-Mahdi said in a sermon in Karbala, as cited by Rudaw.

This is not the first time clashes between Shiite militiamen and Peshmerga troops have flared up. For instance, in late October 2014, Badr fighters fired rounds and detained some Kurds.

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

Iran Student Unleashes ‘Israel’s Nightmare’ With New Smartphone App

An Iranian student has developed “Israel’s Nightmare,” an Android app which allows users to learn about Iran’s missile technology.

A university student in Iran has developed a free Android app called “Israel’s Nightmare,” detailing Iran’s missile capabilities, Iranian news agency Fars News reported.

The app itself is more of a reference guide than a simulator, describing Iran’s missile capabilities in detail, from short-range to long-range missiles. The app is hosted on the website of the Basij Student Organization, a political movement established during the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“This android application can be accessed free of charge and I do not seek any financial gains by designing this software,” the student, Arhia Badi said, as cited by Fars News.

The app shows photographs, illustrations and specifications of Iran’s missiles.

The new app also led Israeli news websites to republish the original story from Fars News with almost no changes. Some users saw the student’s app as an expression of the Iranian government’s ill will, while others mocked it

“Just downloaded the APP. It crashed the moment I loaded it. Seems to be an accurate representation after all…” one user wrote.

Iranian experts maintain that its missiles act as a deterrent against potential threats, according to Fars News.

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

Iraq’s Paramilitaries Demand More Cash for Islamic State Fight, Testing PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015.

Iraqi paramilitaries seen as essential in fighting Islamic State are resisting moves to rein in their budget, highlighting the challenge of imposing government authority on one of the country’s most powerful forces.

Facing lower revenue because of declining oil prices, OPEC oil exporter Iraq is planning widespread budget cuts next year, with government expenditure set to drop by nearly 10 percent to around $95 billion…

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

ISIL Created by US Interventionism, Saudi Money & Wahhabi Ideology — Assad

Commenting on the origins of the Islamist terrorism plaguing the Middle East, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad noted that terror groups including Al-Qaeda and ISIL have been able to find fertile soil in Iraq as a result of US interventionism, with Saudi oil money and their poisonous Wahhabi ideology nurturing the groups and helping them grow.

Interviewed by Italy’s RAI UNO television, Assad was asked to respond to accusations made by some Western analysts that his government was at least partly responsible for ISIL’s creation.

“Actually,” the president retorted, “according to what some American officials, including Hillary Clinton, have said, Al-Qaeda was created by the Americans with the help of Saudi Wahhabi money and ideology. Of course, many other [US] officials said the same…ISIL and al-Nusra are offshoots of Al-Qaeda. Regarding ISIL, it started in Iraq; it was established in Iraq in 2006…and the leader of ISIL today — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — he was in American prisons, and he was put in New York in their prisons, and then he was released. So it wasn’t in Syria; it didn’t start in Syria. It started in Iraq, and it started before that in Afghanistan…And Tony Blair recently said that yes, the Iraq War helped to create ISIL. Their confession is the most important evidence regarding your question.”

Moreover, according to Assad, ISIL has no natural incubator in Syria, given the country’s long-standing ideology of secular nationalism, religious tolerance and ethnic and religious co-existence prior to the war.

“If you want to talk about the strength of Daesh,” the president noted, “the first thing you have to ask is how much of an incubator, a real, natural incubator, you have in a certain society. Up to this moment, I can tell you that Daesh does not have a natural incubator, a social incubator, within Syria.”

At the same time, Assad warned, if ISIL’s poisonous ideology grows roots and becomes chronic, “this kind of ideology can change the society.” In the president’s words, the terrorists, who have been “supported…in different ways since the beginning of the crisis” by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, “and of course the Western policy that supported [them] in different ways since the beginning of the crisis,” will lose their strength once they lose the support of their benefactors.

“They can be strong as long as they have strong support from different states, whether in the Middle East or the West,” Assad suggested.

Asked to comment on the deadly attacks which took place in Paris earlier this month, the president once again sent his condolences, condemning the “horrible crime” and noting that Syrians like few others can understand the terror of seeing “innocents being killed without any reason and for nothing….We’ve been suffering from that for the past five years.”

Assad emphasized that “we feel for the French as we feel for the Lebanese a few days before that, and for the Russians regarding the airplane that’s been shot down over Sinai, and for the Yemenis.” At the same time, the president voiced his hope that the Western world would find compassion for the victims of terror from all these attacks, and not “only for the French.”

Political Settlement Requires an Accurate Definition of the Opposition

Commenting on the potential for a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, the president emphasized that there could be no discussions on any timetable for settlement so long as the terrorist threat was not dealt with. Otherwise, Assad noted that a year and a half to two years would be enough to create mechanisms for a new political system, including a new constitution, and guidelines on referendums, parliamentary and presidential elections.

Regarding disagreements with Western powers over who can be defined as the legitimate opposition, Assad explained that people who hold machineguns in their hand cannot be considered legitimate opposition. “That’s the case in every other country. Whoever holds a machinegun and terrorizes people and destroys private or public property or kills innocents -he is not the opposition. Opposition is a political term. Opposition can be defined not through your own opinion; it can be defined only through elections -through the ballot box.”

According to the president, only the Syrian people, via elections, can determine who they consider the real opposition. “If you want to talk about my own opinion, you can be opposition when you have Syrian grassroots, when you belong only to your country. You cannot be opposition while you are formed as a person or as an entity in the foreign ministry of another country or in an intelligence office of another country. You cannot be a puppet; you cannot be a surrogate mercenary; you can only be a real Syrian.”

Refugee Crisis Hitting Syria Just as Hard as Its Hitting Europe

Asked to comment on the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled Syria for Europe in recent months, Assad emphasized that “everyone who leaves this country is a loss to Syria…We feel the suffering, because every refugee in Syria has a long story of suffering within Syria, and that’s what we should deal with by asking the question: ‘Why did they leave?’“

According to the president, Syrians leave “for many reasons. The first one [is] the direct threat by terrorists. The second is the influence of terrorists in destroying infrastructure and affecting the livelihood of those people. But the third one, which is as important as the influence of terrorists, is the Western embargo on Syria.” Assad emphasized that many people would go back to Syria in a heartbeat, “but how can he go back…while the basics of his life, his livelihood, has been affected dramatically?…The Western embargo and terrorism have put these people between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

Asked by his interviewer whether he considered the Syrian war to be a religious war, the president made clear that this was actually a war with “people who have deviated from real religion; mainly, of course, from Islam, toward extremism, which we don’t consider as part of our religion. It’s a war between the real Muslims and the extremists. Of course, [the radicals] give it different titles -a war against Christians, a war against other sects…but the real issue is the war between them and the rest of the Muslims, the majority of whom are moderates.”

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

ISIL Militants Capture 19 Police Officers Near Iraq’s Mosul — Reports

ISIL reportedly captured 19 police officers in the south of Iraq’s Mosul, indicting them with cooperation with the Iraqi army.

DUBAI (Sputnik) — Islamic State (ISIL) extremist militants captured 19 police officers in the village of El Mrir south of Iraq’s Mosul, indicting them with cooperation with the Iraqi army, Al-Wasat news outlet reported, citing a police source.

The captured police officers pledged their loyalty to the ISIL rebel group in 2014, the media said, citing the source.

“The militant group members surrounded the village of El-Mrir and detained 19 police officers…on charges of collaboration with the Iraqi army,” the media quoted the police source as saying.

The second largest city in Iraq — Mosul — was captured by ISIL jihadists in June 2014 after the militants did not meet any resistance from the local residents.

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

Moldovan Citizens Fight Along ISIL in Syria — Defense Minister

According to Defense Minister, Moldovan citizens among the foreign-born fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group in Syria.

CHISINAU (Sputnik) — There are Moldovan citizens among the foreign-born fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group in Syria, acting Moldovan Defense Minister Anatol Salaru said Monday.

“The risks come from within. We have citizens, who are already on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and sympathize with the Islamic State radical group and the Islamists. There are Moldovans, who are fighting along them in Syria,” Salaru told reporters after a meeting of Moldovan security services.

The minister added that terror attacks across the world must not panic Moldova, as local authorities have boosted security, including in the Chisinau International Airport and on the country’s borders.

The Islamic State militant group is notorious for using propaganda to recruit foreigners. More than 25,000 people from around the world are said to have joined extremist groups to fight in their ranks, according to the European Council estimates.

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

Russian Infantry Forces Involved for the First Time in Ground Attack in Syria

Moscow imposed rules and procedures in the Mediterranean in an unprecedented moved

For the first time a Russian infantry backed by T-90 tanks and Russian Air Force SU-25M stormed the Syrian Takfeery opposition between Latakia and Idlib countryside’s, capturing a strategic hill after five hours of fierce battle resulting in no casualties among the attacking forces.

A high ranking source said “ the Russian live manoeuver required the use of 130mm artillery battalion backed by a heavy air bombardment to the hill before the advance of the infantry as a test of the troops’ readiness and to raise the efficiency of engagement of the Russian forces in further battles on the Syrian soil against terrorists. Russia is also showing the real evolution and strength of its troops that did not participate in real battle for many years. The Syrian forces and allies provided only logistic support without participating to the battle as requested by the Russian officers. Many terrorists were killed and left behind in the battlefield.”…

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

Russia Destroys 472 ISIS Targets in Syria Bombing Missions Over the Weekend

The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed that almost 500 ISIS targets in Syria had been destroyed by Russian jets in cities including the capital Damascus and the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Moscow: 472 Terrorist Targets Hit in Two Days

1,000 ISIS oil tankers destroyed and a refinery near Raqqa

– MOSCOW — Over the past two days, the Russian air force has carried out 141 sorties in Syria, hitting 472 terrorist targets in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Raqqa and Dei-ez-Zor, said Igor Konashenkov, spokesman of the Russian defence ministry. Furthermore, over 1,000 oil tankers used to take crude oil to ISIS refineries in Syria have been destroyed in Russian air raids over the past five days. A major oil depot 15 km south-west of Raqqa and a refinery controlled by terrorists 50 km from Raqqa have been hit over the past two days.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UAE Blames Islamists for Delay Against Rebels in Yemen Province

A key member of a Saudi-led Arab coalition has blamed Islamists for delays in its military operations to expel Shiite Huthi rebels from the key southwestern province of Taez.

The coalition on Monday intensified air strikes against the Iran-backed rebels in Taez as an Emirati minister blamed an influential Sunni Islamist party’s for the delays.

Coalition jets carried out several strikes against rebel positions on the outskirts of Rahida, the province’s second-largest city, military sources said.

On the ground, loyalist troops and allied Popular Resistance fighters fired Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds at rebel positions, said Fadhl Hasan, commander of the operations to retake Rahida…

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

US Media Shows Footage of Russian Airstrikes Passed Off as American

PBS NewsHour, a daily US television news program shown on the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), used footage of Russian airstrikes against ISIL targets, claiming that they were US airstrikes, an Information Clearing House article revealed…

The US public broadcaster used the footage of Russian airstrikes, passing them off as US airstrikes, without revealing the true source.

“For the first time the US is attacking oil delivery trucks,” the voice-over said between 2:30 — 2:35, while showing a clip of exactly the same video published by the Russian Defense Ministry the day before.

The PBS program neither mentioned the Russian military operation nor revealed the source of the footage.

What the US channel did was just outright lying, because millions of viewers would certainly think the video footage showing the explosions of oil trucks was from US airstrikes about which the New York Times ran an article on Monday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Western Gov’ts Create ‘Perfect Climate’ For Terror by Funding Extremists

By funding radical organizations — from the Afghan Mujahideen to the Islamic State — Western governments “have created the perfect climate” for terror attacks in their homeland and used the terror threat as a pretext for implementing Orwellian-style policies, Scottish geopolitical analyst Steven MacMillan writes.

According to Scottish geopolitical analyst Steven MacMillan, it is beyond even a shadow of doubt that Western foreign policy has directly resulted in the rise of terrorism in the Middle East.

“These groups would not have the resources and global reach to launch any attacks in the West if they had not been armed, trained and let loose on the Syrian government by NATO members in collusion with regional allies. For those who have been following the proxy war in Syria and the nefarious and insidious policies of the West, this latest attack comes as no surprise,” MacMillan notes in his recent piece for New Eastern Outlook.

In order to illustrate his statement, the geopolitical analyst pointed to a number of facts shedding light on the controversial role of the Western establishment in the emergence of radical groups in the Middle East.

Citing the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report, MacMillan noted that back in 2012 the US authorities were well informed that the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria included “the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq).” Al-Qaeda in Iraq is one of the names used for the notorious Islamic State.

According to the report, US intelligence officials envisaged the establishment of a “declared or undeclared” Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) in order “to isolate the Syrian regime.”

“The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael T. Flynn, revealed in a recent interview that the Obama administration took the ‘willful decision’ to support the rise of the Syrian rebels in 2012, even though Washington knew the opposition was composed of extreme terror groups,” MacMillan continues.

Remarkably, the UK has poured millions into the Syrian insurgency. Together with Washington and some EU member states, London was involved in providing the Syrian rebels with almost 3,000 tons of weapons in 2013.

In its turn, the French government has delivered vast sums of money and weapons to the so-called “Syrian opposition,” MacMillan emphasized.

In a further complication of the situation, former French minister of Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas revealed that the war in Syria was “prepared, preconceived and planned” by some Western top officials at least “two years before the violence” erupted in 2011.

But were London, Paris, Brussels and Washington indeed unable to foresee the possibility of terror attacks in Europe after they armed Syrian religious extremists and then flooded Europe with refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa?

Predictably, terrorists jumped at the opportunity to enter the European Union alongside innocent asylum seekers, the analyst remarked.

“This leads to the question: Do Western leaders welcome more attacks?” he asks.

“It is clear that Western countries have been using the hoax of the ‘war on terror’ as a justification to impose totalitarian control domestically, in addition to using it to mobilize public opinion for imperial wars abroad. The US, UK and France, can’t justify a dystopian surveillance state without terror attacks, and these attacks allow the government to impose policies that the population would have never have accepted prior to the crisis,” MacMillan explained, adding that the recent Paris attack may prompt the Western governments to demand even more Orwellian-style surveillance powers.

At the same time, the Scottish researcher noted that there have been a few signs showing that European powers could shift their stance toward Syria and the government of Bashar al-Assad.

“In Syria, we’re looking for the political solution to the problem, which is not Bashar Assad. Our enemy in Syria is ISIL,” Hollande said as quoted by MacMillan.

And still it is difficult to believe that the West will change its foreign policy course anytime soon, the analyst believes, expressing the hope that Russia “will encourage the West to move in the direction of sanity.”

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

Anti-Russian Sanctions ‘Incompatible’ With Fight Against ISIL

Italian lawmaker Pier Ferdinando Casini said that it was impossible to create a new world order without Russia.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The cooperation of Russia and the West in the fighting against the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group is incompatible with the anti-Russia sanctions, Italian lawmaker Pier Ferdinando Casini said Sunday.

“This contradiction must be overcome. I hope that the clear obligations of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin with respect to ISIL will open doors to put an end to disagreements over Ukraine and make sanctions history,” Casini told Il Matino newspaper.

The politician stressed that it was impossible to create a new world order without Russia.

The European Union and its allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since 2014, accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. The claims have been repeatedly denied by the Kremlin.

In response, Moscow has imposed an embargo on food imports from the countries that sanctioned it in retaliation.

Since September 30, Russia has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL radicals in Syria at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while a US-led international coalition has been targeting ISIL positions in the country without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations.

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

Germany Condemns Ukraine’s Blackout of Crimea as Criminal

Germany’s foreign ministry said that it considers the blackout of Crimea by extremist groups a criminal act.

The blackout in Russia’s Crimea peninsula is a criminal act that must be investigated, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

The Crimean blackout began on Sunday, after Ukrainian extremist groups blew up power line pylons on the Ukrainian side of the border. The Ukrainian power utility has thus far been unable to repair the pylons, as extremists maintain access to the site and local police have not been able to remove them from the site of the explosions.

Around 2.5 million residents of Crimea have been left with no constant electricity supply as a result.

“Attacks on Ukraine’s public infrastructure, including to provide Crimea with electricity, are criminal acts. We expect them to be perceived as such by Ukrainian officials and are investigated,” Martin Schaefer said.

The spokesman added that Berlin expected power to be quickly restored in the Black Sea peninsula.

German media also criticized the attacks, with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commentator Reinhard Veser writing that the attacks are criminal negligence toward the peninsula’s residents, which could also lead to tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukrainian energy utility Ukrenergo previously said that the power line downing caused considerable difficulties, including the forced shut-off of several power stations. The utility warned that shutoffs at nuclear reactors in the area could lead to accidents.

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

No Space Without Moscow: US Buying Once Sanctioned Russian Rocket Engines

Washington continues to purchase rocket engines from Moscow, as the US has removed them from the list of sanctioned materials, Russia’s trade representative to the United States told RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Alexander Stadnik, the rocket engines were initially sanctioned by the United States, but Washington removed them from the list.

“They must have understood that they needed this Russian equipment for development of rocket equipment, otherwise they would have to limit themselves in a series of expensive projects. It is evident that this is the reason the supplies of our engines were continued.”

Stadnik noted that the sides were continuing cooperation with previously signed contracts.

In January, Russian rocket producer Energia signed a $1 billion contract with US Orbital Sciences Corporation for the delivery of 60 RD-181 engines. The contract also includes a provision on a range of services including flight training, installation of the engine and engine testing.

In the late 1990s, the Russian Energomash company won a contract with United Launch Alliance to supply RD-180 engines for the Atlas rockets. This contract, valued at about $1 billion, remains in place.

The West, led by Washington, has been imposing sanctions on Russia since 2014, when a military and political crisis in Ukraine escalated, with the US and the EU alleging Russia’s involvement.

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

Russian Food Ban Would Cost Ukraine $600 Mln Next Year: PM

Ukraine said Wednesday it expects to lose some $600 million next year as a result of a food trade ban which Russia has threatened to introduce from January 1st.

Speaking at a government meeting, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he expected a free trade agreement between his country and the European Union to enter force from January 1, 2016.

“We are also getting ready for Russia to introduce trade limits against Ukraine,” Yatsenyuk said, estimating that the food ban would cost the conflict-torn ex-Soviet country some $600 million next year…

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

Pakistan: Lahore: Plant and Three Ahmadi Places of Worship Torched for “Blasphemy”

? Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslim community has about four million members, often victimised in “the name of religion”. A chipboard factory was destroyed after its owner was falsely accused of having a copy of the Qur’an burnt. For Catholic priest, “We must pray more to send a message of peace in such sad times.”

Lahore (AsiaNews) — An Ahmadi-owned plant and three Ahmadi places of worship were torched in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

According to a preliminary police report, hundreds of people, acting on unfounded rumours that a copy of the Qur’an had been burnt in the factory, stormed the site and set it on fire. They later did the same to three Ahmadi mosques.

“We live in difficult times in terms of intolerance. We must unite to combat the scourge of racism, discrimination, and terrorism,” said Fr Arif John, from the Diocese of Rawalpindi.

The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations agreed to hold a special prayer in Rawalpindi as well as Jhelum, where the incident took place, to show solidarity with the people attacked “in the name of religion”.

The first attack took place last Friday. A mob of hundreds of Muslims stormed a chipboard factory owned by Qamar Ahmed Tahir, an Ahmadi, who was also responsible for the factory’s security.

Following the violence, police arrested him on blasphemy charges. However, what actually happened remains unclear.

According to some, Mr Tahir ordered an employee to burn a copy of the Qur’an. The day after the plant attack, a crowd stormed Ahmadi places of worship, torching three of them. Chaos spread across Jhelum and police were able to restore law and order in the city with great difficulty.

Investigation eventually showed that the allegations against the owner were false. It was determined that Tahir only supervised the burning of waste material. Nothing closely related to the Qur’an, or religious material, was found in what was left of the site.

“Torching a place based on false information only leads to the loss of property,” said Fr John. “False charges like this one leads to complete chaos in the city.” For this reason, “we call on everyone to join hands to pray. We must pray more to send a message of peace in such sad times.”

Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslim community has about four million members. Founded in the late 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in what was then British India, the Ahmadi faith is considered heretical by most Sunnis and Shias. Whilst claiming to be Islamic, it draws on the beliefs of other religions as well.

Within Pakistan, Ahmadis are not allowed to Islamic greetings and prayers, and cannot refer to their places of worship as mosques. However, like Pakistan’s Christians, they have often been victimised by the country’s blasphemy laws, which are used to persecute minorities.

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

At Least 12 on Australian Terror Watchlist

Australian officials said Monday they were aware of 12 men or boys in the community who they believe could commit an act of terror, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull convened a national security meeting.

Canberra has become increasingly concerned about the prospect of lone-wolf attacks by individuals inspired by groups such as Islamic State, and a tightening of counter-terrorism laws is underway.

Six attacks in Australia have been foiled over the past year, according to the government. But several have not, including a police employee shot dead in Sydney last month by a 15-year-old reportedly shouting religious slogans.

The Australian Federal Police’s counter-terrorism chief Neil Gaughan told ABC television that a group of 12 men or boys capable of committing an act of terror were being closely watched…

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

Conservative Opposition Wins Argentine Presidential Election

Conservative opposition candidate Mauricio Macri won Argentina’s presidential election on Sunday after promising business-friendly reforms to spur investment in the struggling economy.

Macri’s supporters swarmed to the Obelisk in the heart of Buenos Aires’ theater district for a giant street party as subdued ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli conceded defeat.

Argentina’s election body said Macri had 52.1 percent of votes and Scioli had 47.9 percent with returns in from 91.5 percent of polling stations.

“The is the beginning of a new era that has to carry us toward the opportunities we need to grow and progress,” Macri told supporters at his headquarters, which pulsed with Latin music and was festooned with white and sky-blue balloons, the colors of the Argentine flag…

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

Using the TPP for Hostile Takeover of Mexican Agriculture

For a company that is long accustomed to getting its way in just about every jurisdiction on planet Earth, the constant obstructionism of the Mexican justice system is beginning to wear thin for Monsanto. But the company and its rivals still have one ace up their sleeves, a weapon that has the potential to obliterate Mexico’s judicial resistance in one fell swoop: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the world’s biggest trade agreement that was recently signed by the governments of 12 Pacific-rim nations, including Mexico.

Buried deep within the 5,000-plus page deal is the Intellectual Property Rights charter which, among many other sinister things, requires all 12 TPP countries to join a number of global intellectual property treaties. One of those treaties is the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV 91), an agreement that elevates the rights of seed companies over farmers’ rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Anti-Anti-Racism Protesters Clash Across Australia

Anti-Islam protesters clashed with supporters of cultural diversity across a number of cities in Australia, as the country is expected to accept a large number of refugees, SkyNews television reported.

In the city of Melbourne, about 500 opponents of a planned construction of a mosque clashed with around the same number of its supporters on Sunday, according to the media. Police intervened, using pepper spray, the media reported.

Ten Australians have been arrested in the nationwide protests, according to the media.

Australia is expected to take in 12,000 Syrian migrants before Christmas in order to help Europe cope with the ongoing refugee crisis.

ISIL terrorist group, which took responsibility for deadly attacks in Paris on November 13, occupies a large part of Syria.

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told Sputnik on Friday that his city, home of the country’s busiest port, may consider strengthening security measures after the Paris attacks.

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

Austria Migrant Spending Excluded From Eurozone Budget Deficit Target

The European Commission recognized that the Austria’s refugee-induced spending is extraordinary and unexpected, according to Austria’s Finance Minister Hans-Joerg Schelling.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Commission has conceded to Austria’s request to exclude costs invoked by the migrant crisis from the country’s budget deficit target, Austria’s Finance Minister Hans-Joerg Schelling said on Monday.

“The Commission recognized that the refugee-induced spending is extraordinary and unexpected,” Schelling told Austria’s Oe1 public radio station.

Austria can be certain that the migrant-linked spending deduction will take place, with technical details still to be clarified, the minister added.

Austria has set aside over 1 billion euros ($740 billion) for for migrant spending next year, with the costs rising from 0.1 percent of GDP in the current year to 0.3 percent of GDP in 2016, the finance minister’s latest annual budget report said. As Austria is close to failing to meet the European Commission’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) budget deficit target pf 3 percent, omitting this figure from its deficit to GDP ratio could help the country comply with the targets.

In mid-October, Austria’s finance minister outlined the budget plan for next year, projecting an influx of some 85,000 refugees.

Over 1.2 million illegal border crossings into the European Union have been recorded by EU border agency Frontex since the start of 2015.

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

Canadian Authorities to Ban Entry for Single Refugee Men

Only women, children and married men with families will be allowed as refugees into the country by the Canadian government amid security concerns, local media reported Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his commitment to resettle 25,000 refugees, primarily Syrians, currently residing in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey by the year-end. But, in the wake of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, several politicians in Canada have warned that the country is taking a risk by welcoming thousands of refugees without determining whether they have been radicalized.

On Tuesday, the government will announce a new refugee relocation plan, according to which the same number of migrants will be allowed to enter, and single men will be excluded, the CBC television channel reported.

According to the broadcaster, the measure is aimed at strengthening security and reducing the risk of extremists arriving in Canada.

In recent months, hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa have arrived in the European Union, risking an arduous journey to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

A number of countries from the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, have expressed their readiness to welcome refugees from Iraq and Syria.

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

Former Polish Gov’t Wrong to Accept 7,000 Refugees — Interior Minister

Poland’s newly elected Interior Minister said that previous leadership in Poland was wrong to accept 7,000 refugees.

WARSAW (Sputnik) — The previous leadership in Poland was wrong to accept 7,000 refugees, Poland’s newly elected Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told local media on Monday.

Former Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz was formally succeeded by Beata Szydlo last Monday, November 16.

“The previous government’s decision to accept 7,000 refugees was wrong,” Blaszczak told Polskie Radio.

The Law and Justice party member outlined a no-compromise approach by the newly elected government.

“The most important thing for Prime Minister Beata Szydlo’s office is the security of Poland and the Polish people,” Blaszczak asserted.

Poland’s European affairs minister-in-waiting at the time signaled a change in attitude toward the European Union’s refugee redistribution plan two days before being sworn in.

At the interior minister session on September 22, Poland broke ranks with Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in voting for the European Union-wide refugee resettlement plan. Under the plan, some 160,000 refugees are to be distributed within the bloc over the next two years.

Frontex has estimated over 1.2 million illegal crossings into the European Union since the beginning of the year in what has become Europe’s largest human migration since World War II.

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

Jewish Group in Germany Urges Limit to Refugee Influx

The Central Council of Jews in Germany called Monday for a limit to the migrant influx because of problems with integrating the mainly Muslim newcomers, earning a quick rebuke from a pro-refugee charity.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has opened the doors to asylum seekers fleeing conflict in Syria, and arrivals from the war-torn country and other trouble spots are expected to reach one million this year.

“Sooner or later we won’t have a choice but to set an upper limit,” the council’s president Josef Schuster told Die Welt daily…

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

Misplaced Compassion for Gitmo Detainees, Syrian Refugees, & Illegal Aliens, Not Who We Are!

Listening to the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other liberals argue against reasonable steps to protect Americans from slaughter and great bodily harm at the hands of those who sneer at the rule of law is literally “mind blowing!”

Most distressing is hearing Barack Obama and the others ridicule Republicans for advancing policies which, in the confused thinking of goofy liberals, do not reflect, “Who We Are!”

Since when is refusing to relocate detained terrorists from GITMO to mainland locations a negative measure of one’s adherence to American values and mercy?

Is it really Un-American to resist the importation of tens of thousands of refugees that ISIS has openly warned will be stocked with killers looking to spill American blood on US soil?

Why is it racist or Un-American to demand that American borders and immigration laws be enforced and that those who come here illegally be sent back to their nations of origin?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

No, Muslim Refugees Are Not Jewish WWII Refugees. Here Are 5 Reasons Why.

By: Michael Qazvini

In a desperately misguided attempt to placate the palpable fear of allowing thousands of Muslim refugees into United States without proper security screenings just days after an Islamic terrorist attack, several left-leaning media outlets have fallen back on comparing the Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust to Muslim refugees fleeing a chaotic Middle East.

The false analogy is incredibly offensive, not only to the victims of the Holocaust but history itself. Here are 5 reasons why Muslim refugees are not Jewish WWII refugees:

1. There was no threat of Jewish terrorists infiltrating the United States. The same cannot be said about Muslim terrorists…

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

Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy Caused the Refugee Crisis

According the speaker of the US House of Representatives, the current refugee crisis is a consequence of Obama’s failed policy in the Middle East.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The great number of asylum seekers fleeing the Middle East is the result of President Barack Obama’s failed policy in the region, US House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Monday.

“The refugee crisis is a consequence of the President’s [Obama’s] failed policy in the Middle East,” Ryan wrote in an op-ed for CNN. “It is a symptom of the disease.”

Ryan argued that the solution to the crisis lies in a plan to defeat the Islamic State terrorists operating in Iraq, Syria and regions of northern Africa.

“Until we are willing to truly confront this terrorist threat wherever it is, we cannot be truly safe,” Ryan added.

The House speaker noted that the terrorist problem “will not go away anytime soon.”

Europe has been struggling with a major migrant crisis as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee war-torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa.

On Thursday, the US House of Representative overwhelming passed a bill to block the Obama administration from resettling some 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in 2016.

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

Refugees Block Railway on Greek-Macedonian Border, Demand Way to EU

The migrants gathered near the Greek checkpoint of Idomeni in what appears to be the third day of the protest.

BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Some 1,300 migrants blocked international railway from the Greek city of Thessaloniki to Skopje on Monday, demanding the authorities to let them into Macedonia and then further into the European Union.

On November 18, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia limited access to their countries for economic migrants, those who originate not from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The move came after the deadly Paris attacks on November 13 raised security concerns all over Europe.

Europe has been beset by a refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, using the countries as a transit zone to enter the bloc and travel to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum.

EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.2 million illegal border crossings into the European Union in the first 10 months of 2015.

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

Switzerland Expects Record 30,000 Asylum Requests in 2015

Switzerland is expecting at least 30,000 asylum requests by the end of the year,according to a senior migration official.

BERN (Sputnik) — Switzerland is expecting a record of 30,000 asylum requests by year-end, a senior migration official said on Monday.

“The final data for the 2015 records is not available, but we have already received some 29,000 asylum requests, so, by the end of the year we expect over 30,000 applications. This is a record figure,” an official in the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, Martin Oberholzer, told reporters.

Last year, some 23,000 people requested asylum in Switzerland, he recalled.

Europe has been struggling to cope with a surging stream of refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa. Despite not being part of the European Union, Switzerland agreed to take part in the EU quota scheme to relocate 160,000 refugees, volunteering to accept some 1,500 refugees.

In October, Swiss lawmaker Luc Recordon told Sputnik that Switzerland is capable of receiving additional refugees due to its economic well-being, stability and low unemployment relative to other countries.

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

U.S. Officials Can’t Ask Syrian Refugees Key Questions

The Obama administration appears to have taken yet another terrorism-fighting tool away from U.S. law enforcement trying to screen Syrian refugees.

By Kyle Shideler

U.S. law enforcement officials involved in screening Syrian refugees are forbidden from asking key questions about individuals’ religious affiliations or beliefs based on policy guidance created by the Obama administration, according to a recent report published at The Daily Caller.

The piece notes that both Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) policies have increasingly restricted the ability of law enforcement to query individuals about their religious behaviors or associations.

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

UN Chief Concerned Over Australia Refugee Detention Conditions

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern with conditions in Australia’s refugee detention facilities and urged Canberra to reconsider its strict policies, a readout of Ban’s meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Refugees, including young children, seeking asylum in Australia are settled in offshore detention camps at the nearby Manus island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the South Pacific. Rights groups criticize the camps for inhumane living conditions.

“The Secretary-General expressed concern over the detention conditions in Australia’s offshore processing centers and encouraged the Prime Minister to reconsider ‘Operation Sovereign Borders,’“ the late Sunday UN statement read.

Operation Sovereign Borders is Australia’s military-led border control operation launched in late 2013 by Turnbull’s predecessor, Tony Abbott. It includes a maritime dimension with Naval and Border Force ships patrolling the country’s territorial waters to prevent traffickers from smuggling asylum seekers into Australia.

A recent Amnesty International report condemned Australia for being “complicit in transnational crime” by paying smugglers $32,000 earlier this year to reroute a boat carrying some 60 migrants bound for New Zealand to Indonesia under Operation Sovereign Borders.

Ban met Turnbull on the sidelines of the 10th East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, established on the initiative of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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

Who Should Pay for the Syrian Refugees?

I agree that we must be very careful about who is permitted to enter the United States, but I object to the president’s plan for a very different reason. I think it is a sign of Washington’s moral and intellectual bankruptcy that US citizens are being forced to pay for those fleeing Washington’s foreign policy.

For the past ten years the US government has been planning and executing a regime change operation against the Syrian government. It is this policy that has produced the chaos in Syria, including the rise of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the country. After a decade of US destabilization efforts, we are now told that Syria is totally destabilized and we therefore must take in thousands of Syrians fleeing the destabilization that Washington caused.

Has there ever been a more foolish and wrong-headed foreign policy than this?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The National Geographic’s War on Science

The cover of the March 2015 issue of the National Geographic magazine depicts in big letters the title “The War on Science,” as well as the subtitles, “Climate Change Does not Exist,” “Evolution Never Happened,” “The Moon Landing Was Fake,” “Vaccinations Can Lead to Autism,” and “Genetically Modified Food is Evil.” The cover is expanded in an article by Joel Achenbach, “The Age of Disbelief,” with the subtitle “Skepticism about science is on the rise, and polarization is the order of the day. What’s causing reasonable people to doubt reason?”

The overall tone of the heavily-slanted article indicates that the author is not trying to provide strong arguments to prove his point, but that he is preaching to a choir of people who see themselves as intellectually superior to the cave men troglodytes who don’t believe in science.

Nevertheless, an analysis of the article shows that, despite his claims of support for science, the author doesn’t seem to know much about it. A cardinal example of this is evidenced in the fact that, in a seven-page article about science, the author mentions the word “consensus” nine times. Even worse, the author shows his ignorance when, on page 40, he mentions Galileo as a hero of science. Apparently it escaped the author’s comprehension that in the early 17th Century, Galileo defied the consensus when he claimed that the Earth rotated on its axis and orbited around the sun.

A cardinal feature of science is that it is not based on the opinion of the majority but on facts. Actually, most things that today we accept as scientific fact began as a negation of the consensus of the time.[1] It is highly revealing, though, that the very people who allegedly are for diversity in race, culture and sexual practices, do not accept diversity in scientific theories…

According to National Geographic, some unscientific Cro-Magnons believe that “Climate Change Does Not Exist.” The claim has been maliciously postulated to show the ignorance of the unbelievers, because no rational person with a minimum of education can believe that climate change does not exist. It is obvious that climate change exists, and existed since time immemorial. The climate is always changing.

What most people do not believe, however, is that climate change (the brainwashers’ new name for global warming) is caused by human activity. This planet has passed through periods of both global warming and global cooling way before people were driving SUVs.[3]

Speaking from his ideological high ground, the author asks, “What’s causing reasonable people to doubt reason?” Actually, what reasonable people doubt is not reason but illogicality, irrationality, magic thinking and plain lies. Reasonable people are reaching the conclusion that most of what is currently passed as science is nothing but junk.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

16 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/23/2015

  1. Larry Taylor, Jalen Watson and Diano Gordon are blacks killing, raping a white pregnant woman. Where is Obama’s outrage? Where is “White Lives Matter”?

    • You are joking right? Well dark humor at best.

      White lives matter? Unborn babies of a murdered white CHRISTIAN women who the miscreants also raped… that baby mattered?

      Certainly NOT to zerobama , he is a devil from hel-.

      Do not see any sympathy from him or his ilk!
      Nor from Hillary the wife of the “1st black president”. Nor burn-baby burn-Burns, the socialist/commie/Nazi candidate either.

      And I hate to say this , but MANY people of color are probably saying that she got what she deserved BECAUSE she is WHITE and a Christian.

      Zerobama and his kit and kin probably among them.

  2. The stats on anti-Muslim attacks in the UK are compiled by a group called Tell Mama which was found to have greatly exaggerated so-called Islamophobic attacks following the attempted beheading in public of Fusilier Lee Rigby, who died from his injuries.

  3. Anti muslim crimes have “rocketed” by 300%? So in 1 week after the French atrocities the number of unspecified “crimes” against muslims has gone up from about 29 in a normal week to 115. That is in a population of 64 million. I would say that the result, even if true, shows that British tolerance is absolutely remarkable and perhaps suicidal. The figures of course are provided by “Tell Mama”, a muslim organisation which has been proven to lie and cheat and exaggerate with its figures and claimed “crimes” most of which are not such. The organisation had government funding withdrawn because of its lies.

  4. Are we about to enter a new dark ages? Or are we there already? I don’t know, but reading about people who have their minds made up and declare science as an enemy are a bit disturbing, just as this whole migration is also extremely disturbing. It’s happened before in history, but who today studies or even knows, any history whatsover previous to 1968?

    Pardon the semi-diatribe. “As the lights go out in Europe. . .” Was that the song I am thinking of about WWII? Or was it “all over the world”? And the 20th century was war and war after war, and nothing has changed, has it?

    It’s a different war of course, but. . . war is war. Mankind evidently is incapable of finding peaceful ways to resolve conflicts — so we are not really as smart as some like to think. And it doesn’t help that so many of our (all over the world) leaders (so-called) are so terrifyingly blind to reality.

    • “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time” — British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, August 3 1914

    • “peaceful ways to resolve conflicts”.
      One conflict is permanent, one-sided, and imposed. It is hard-wired into an ideological political movement. This is jihad. “Jihad means to war against non-muslims”, and is a “communal obligation”, says the Manual of Islamic Law, “Reliance of the Traveller” (o9.0, o9.1). The only aim of Islam is to spread Islam, “by persuasion or by force” (Ibn Khaldun), until it is the only governance (Koran 8:39).
      There is not a peaceful way to resolve this unilaterally imposed aggression, which has been driven for nearly 1400 years. It has to be countervailed by force in self-defence.

  5. The latest news is that we may have to go to war with Russia over the downed Russian fighter because of something called article 5 of NATO. The Islamist fanatical government of Erdogan is a regime that seeks to repeal secularism in Turkey and has played footsie with ISIS. And note there was no mention of the aforesaid article 5 when the Turks allowed and connived at the invasion of their own NATO allies by hordes of so-called refugees. What a strange world our Western elites have created for us.

    • A Turkish F16 shot down a Russian SU24, both pilots may be dead, after being shot at while parachuting down. While Turkish air force bombs heavily Kurdish positions, those who are actually fighting Daesh.

      This is the same Turkey as a NATO state successfully managed to invade another country, Cyprus, with hardly a mumur back in 1974.

      Lastly, read the last sentence of the first paragraph, since both Greece & Turkey are NATO allies:

      plus this:

      “both Greece and Turkey have, since 1974 and especially since the mid-1980s, been engaging in almost daily simulated dogfights, testing each other’s will and defensive systems.”

      Although this seems to come out of the blue, the shooting down of a Russian jet, is another show of the hand, of a smug, arrogant newly elected Turkish government.

  6. “at least 115 hate crimes against Muslims reported since November 13. Most of those were attacks on women or girls wearing hijab.”

    That would be great news, if true. The [Muslimas] wear hijab on part to protect themselves against [Muslims]. These same [Muslims] rape Western women who dress normally. It’s a great idea to make the [Muslimas] suddenly fear to wear their slave outfit.

  7. A great expressive young lass, just straight shooting, who seems to have got everything sorted.
    “Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME?”

    and her face book page.

    It begs the question, what made her able to see past her liberal muslim family, and then the liberal USA education system.
    She seems to have a great wariness of sharia law and I wonder despite liberal parents, she saw the dilemma that they may have had, at some stages and if they did not support all islamic principles. Just how it affects her family life would be difficult.

    Then again as an earnest teenager she may have in devout moments seen through the hypocrisy of her parents, believing they are absolute sinners, but then grew up to realize her parents were ahead of the game, but so far have just kept an easy cover.

    Still other issues on her face book page, that she speaks forthrightly on.

    “Farrah Prudence
    November 18 at 1:00pm · Edited ·
    Facebook took down my profile until I can prove my name. Unfortunately because of domestic violence, fatwa and safety, I cannot share it. I am working to resolve this issue. I had over 6000 following my original profile….Please spread the word that you can contact me here!”

    God bless and protect you all, who shine lights on to all that is evil.

  8. Thank you, Baron — that is what I was searching for, that quote about darkness descending, to put it in my own words.

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