Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/29/2015

Frauke Petry, the leader of the AfD party in Germany, called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign, saying, “You can do it.” Meanwhile, the town council of Steenbergen in Brabant in the Netherlands voted against plans to build a center for asylum seekers in the town.

In other news, a song called “Allahu Akhbar” is #1 on the Spotify charts in the UK.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Insubria, JD, LP, 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
» Another Bubble? China’s Corporate Bonds Market Surges on Shadow Investment
» Decline of Middle Class: ‘Black Friday’ Failure Outside Low-End Segment
» Rate Cut, More Stimulus in Store at ECB Meet: Analysts
» Spending Was at an All Time Low for Black Friday This Year and Corporations Lost Billions
» Islam’s Modus Operandi
» Trump Claims Muslims Worldwide Were ‘Going Wild’ After 9/11
» University of Missouri Assistant Professor Charged With ‘Violently Grabbing 14-Year-Old Relative by the Hair and Dragging Her Out of School for Not Wearing Hijab’
Europe and the EU
» ‘Allahu Akbar’ Is No. 1 Song on UK Charts
» Arabic Graffiti Found on Easyjet, Vueling Planes in France
» Belgian Scheme Tries to Nip Radicalisation in the Bud
» Five Charged in VatiLeaks Scandal: Report
» How a Secretive Elite Created the EU to Build a World Government
» Italy: Nuzzi and Fittipaldi Case Seen as Trial of Press Freedom
» Italy: Police Conduct Seizures in 20 Mn Franciscan Order Fraud
» Italy: South’s Per-Capita GDP Almost Half Less Than North West
» Italy: Health Sector Set for 8 Bn in Cuts 2015-2019 Says UPB
» Italy Has Oldest Average Population in Europe After Germany
» Italy: Three Syrians With Fake Passports Arrested at Ancona
» Italy: We’ll Shut Irregular Places of Worship Says Alfano
» Pensioner Who Killed Burglar Runs as Forza Italia Candidate
» Poland’s New Govt Rethinks Patriot Missiles, Airbus Choppers
» Poll Says 76% of Italians’ Attitude to Islam Unchanged
» Using New “Pre-Crime” Laws France Arrests 24 Climate Activists
» What’s Causing Germans to Stock Up on Arms?
North Africa
» Friends Shocked at Tunisian Football Fan Turned Bomber
» Tunis: Napolislam Raises Public Interest at 2015 JCC
Middle East
» 1 Journalist Dead, 3 More Arrested After Exposing Turkey Arming Syrian Extremists
» Erdogan’s Twisted Logic: S-400 Must Not Shoot Down Turkish Jets Over Syria
» For Years, NATO Has Granted Impunity to Convoys Packed With Supplies Bound for ISIS and Al Qaeda
» France’s Fabius Sees Syrian Regime Participating in Anti-IS Fight
» ISIS Fighter Cries Like a Baby After Being Captured by Kurdish Forces
» London May be Prosecuted for UK Arms Riyadh Used to Kill Yemen Civilians
» Rubio: Side With Turkey and Islamic State in Confrontation With Russia
» Russia Retaliates: Putin Reveals Sanctions Against Turkey
» Saudis to Sue Twitter User for Comparing Poet’s Sentence to ISIL Executions
» Saudi Women Candidates Begin First Election Campaign
» Some States Start to Change ‘Assad Must Go’ Stance — Kremlin
» Turkey Arrests Generals for Stopping Syria-Bound Trucks ‘Filled With Arms’
» Turkey Trying to Revive Ottoman Empire by Dividing Syria, Iraq — Damascus
» US-Turkey Edging up to Syrian Border
» Vaporized: The Moment an Islamic Extremist Filming a Propaganda Video is Wiped Out by an Artillery Shell
» OSCE Refutes US, Ukraine Allegations of Minsk Deal Implementation by Kiev
South Asia
» Pakistan’s Ahmadis Battle Mob and State for Identity
Far East
» China: Beijing Denies Entry Visa to Miss Canada, She Denounced the Persecution of Falun Gong
» Japan Launches First Commercial Satellite Using H2A Carrier Rocket
Latin America
» El Salvador Condemns Bishop Accused of Raping Girl
» Freak-Out Over Weird Armored Trucks Motorcade Stuffed With Cash in Argentina
» Dutch PM Warns EU to Avoid Roman Empire’s Fate Amid Refugee Crisis
» Fight in Berlin Refugee Center Leaves Seven Hospitalized
» French PM Valls Calls on Gulf to Accept More Refugees
» Italy: Risk of EU Procedure Without Flexibility — UPB
» Leader of German Anti-Immigrant Party Calls on Merkel to Resign
» Netherlands: Brabant Town Council Says No to Asylum Seeker Centre Plans
» Paying to be Invaded: Over 90 Percent of Middle Eastern Refugees Are on Food Stamps; 70 Percent Receive Cash Assistance From Government
» Refugee Crisis Tests Sweden’s Lofty Aim of ‘Equality for All’
» Sweden: Community Torn Apart as Arrival of Migrants Prompts Running Battles in Streets
Culture Wars
» ‘Planned Parenthood Shooter’ Identifies as Unaffiliated Voter, Female

Another Bubble? China’s Corporate Bonds Market Surges on Shadow Investment

Real estate in 2015, the stock market this past summer, and now the corporate bonds sector might be in line for the speculative assets acquisition in mainland China’s ‘shadow banking’ sector.

Kristian Rouz — While mainland China is rebalancing its economic model toward domestic consumption, negotiating its integration into the global financial system and liberalizing its regulations on market operations, its massive ‘shadow banking’ sector might be fueling another asset bubble within the nation’s economy.

After the 2014 bubble in real estate and this past summer’s dramatic crash in the stock market following the stunning equity rally in a matter of several months, this time around, the mainland’s corporate bond market is booming. Given the widely known scarcity of investment capital in mainland China, the ‘shadow banking’ sector is possibly laundering their assets via corporate bonds. Yet, as unsustainable borrowers’ loans have entered the

Chinese consumer market, the entire Chinese economic remodeling strategy might be at risk should the overheated bond market experience a profits-taking rout similar to those seen in real estate and stocks during the past two years.

Mainland Chinese companies, frustrated by the lack of quality investment resources, have recently decided to attract funds via bond issuance. For instance, new corporate debt in Q3 rose to 914 bln renminbi ($142.99 bln) and 29% of the total volume of new loans from just 381 bln renminbi and only 8% in Q1.

Corporate bonds are selling surprisingly well, attracting some authorities’ attention. Mainland China’s institutionalized investors (including trusts and other non-bank players) have bought some $450 bln worth of corporate debt before the authorities tried to curb excessive lending activity fearing a wave of defaults throughout the country.

However, Beijing does not mind unlisted companies selling debt securities in the nation’s bourses, which perhaps has become a channel of ‘shadow banking’ money laundering.

Among the 57 non-listed enterprises (meaning they do not trade their stock) having issued bonds, 23 have direct connections with the heavily-indebted local governments. Meanwhile, according to observations by CN Benefit, some 60% of new fund management services are actually debt management, with clients seeking to sell bonds.

Corporate volatility in mainland China is rife, and is particularly so in the most unstable situations of debt pileups, like the case of local governments.

The higher the risk, the higher the yield, driving demand for such bonds: investors are aware of Beijing’s role as lender and warrantor of last resort.

That said, market participants do not see the risk of a default as a realistic perspective.

“So for instance you can take 2 billion yuan of government debt as collateral and receive 750 to 800 million of cash, and use that to buy more debt,” an anonymous banking source told Reuters.

The scale of bond market manipulations is surprising. First, is it unclear where all the money that are buying bonds are coming from. The ‘shadow banking’ allegations are mere allegations thus far.

Second, the bond market might overheat amidst significant influx of capital of muddy origin. It is unknown how much money resources are involved, meaning it is almost impossible to predict how high the bond market might rise before investors decide to take their profits, triggering a bubble burst.

“Similar to what happened in China’s stock market earlier this year, the rally of bonds is largely driven by liquidity conditions and speculation that government will provide support when necessary,” Zhou Hao of the Singapore-based Commerzbank said.

Another concern is lack of predictability in the central government’s actions. The excessive and prohibitive regulatory measures to the bourses had arrived suddenly in August in the midst of the stock meltdown.

However, bond market is a more important sphere for the Chinese government as it directly affects the non-financial sector. A bubble burst in corporate bonds would be more devastating, hitting the provincial governments’ fiscal performance instantly, and halting development investment at once. That said, tighter regulations on bond investment might be imposed soon.

For now, the Chinese authorities seem to be rather satisfied they managed to endure funding of the most risky and overtly indebted provincial governments. However, chain-referral scheme collaterals are very well known from the 2007-2008 US experience, and Beijing had better address the issue until its too late.

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

Decline of Middle Class: ‘Black Friday’ Failure Outside Low-End Segment

‘Black Friday’ sales attracted mostly discount hunters among the low-income consumers, while the wealthier opted staying at home, thus leaving apparel and perfume shops on the skids in the wake of holiday season.

Kristian Rouz — Massive holiday sales on ‘Black Friday’ across the globe mostly failed to provide substantial support to the retail sector in most economies, as reflected by stocks dynamics in the open market, even though consumer confidence in the US, Eurozone and Japan is solid. The disinflationary tendencies and lending squeeze in major economies have taken their toll, leaving investors largely skeptical of the retail outlook.

Despite the sensible improvement in consumer confidence in most advanced economies, most retailers reported weaker-than-expected results of holiday sales as the rise in online shopping and shift of consumer tastes toward travel and durable goods have impaired the commercial performance of clothing and cosmetics chain stores.

Most prominently, Macy’s and Nordstrom have both disappointed their shareholders, with the former’s stock plummeting 39 percent so far this year, while the latter’s equities dropped 22 percent due to weak consumer demand.

‘Black Friday’ sales failed to improve the situation as not as many shoppers showed up at the counters as were supposed to be. Holiday crowds besieged the low-end segment of retail sector as low-income citizens were taking their chances at getting things cheap. On the contrary, wealthier customers were wary of holiday discounts.

Stock of Tiffany & Co has dropped 23 percent for the year — again, hardly any improvement in the undergoing holiday discount season. Meanwhile, low-end shops like Home Depot and Dollar Tree surged by 29 percent and 6 percent, respectively, for the year with significant demand on ‘Black Friday’ with rumbles and holiday crowds reported all across the US.

“You really have to bifurcate between the largely apparel retailers and hard-goods retailers,” Anthony Chukumba of BB&T Capital Markets said.

While fashion clothing segment is struggling, online shopping is expanding rapidly. The S&P 500 retail segment added 27 percent for the year largely due to a twofold surge in Amazon stock. Middle-income consumers are gradually switching to online shopping, while the influx of money in traditional shops is drying out.

According to data by the US Department of Commerce, US retail inched only 0.1 percent up in October after zero gains during the previous two months.

Weak inflation is another factor. While low-income consumers are discount hunting for basic things, a larger portion of shoppers are viewing the sluggish advance in prices as a reason enough to postpone more substantial purchases. Ever since 2008, the retail performance on ‘Black Friday’ has been weakening each consecutive year.

Even Wal-Mart fluctuated between gains and losses during holiday seasons during the past three years, despite the consumer hysteria portrayed by the media.

Overall, public tastes seem to be changing, and while the rise in online shopping generally bucks the trend of the improvement in consumer confidence, the era of fashion retail glamour seems to be rapidly nearing its end. Decline of the middle class is advancing, with consumers polarizing in the two groups — the wealthy exclusive and online shoppers, and the impoverished low-income class fighting for discount TVs in front of the media eye. As social alienation advances, the overall retail volumes are set to shrink further, with industry disinvestment gradually exacerbating.

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

Rate Cut, More Stimulus in Store at ECB Meet: Analysts

The ECB will roll out its big guns at its monetary policy meeting this week, ramping up its trillion-euro asset purchases and cutting key rates to hike weak inflation, analysts said.

Fed up with an inflation rate that is stubbornly far below the target of close to 2.0 percent, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has in recent weeks multiplied pledges to “do what we must” to lift consumer prices in the 19-member eurozone.

In what was viewed as an attempt to lay out his case for more stimulus, Draghi also presented a morose state of the economy at a banking conference earlier this month.

“We cannot yet say with confidence that the process of economic repair in the euro area is complete,” he said, noting that global growth is expected to be the weakest since 2009, while the rebound in the eurozone is the lowest since 1998…

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

Spending Was at an All Time Low for Black Friday This Year and Corporations Lost Billions

For years, Black Friday brawls and rampant materialism on the day after Thanksgiving have become a sort of twisted American celebration. However, each year the excitement continues to die down as people reject the Black Fridayantics and instead do their shopping online or on other days. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, Black Friday attendance was down over 3%, from 58.7% last year to 55.1% this year.

The survey noted that the average shopper was expected to spend $380.95, which was down from $407.02 the previous year. According to the group’s estimates, sales slipped from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion.

[Comment: Higher energy prices, food, unemployment, off-shoring, on-shoring is destroying the middle class — the consumer base of middle class is tapped out. They are putting what little PDI they into surviving. Destruction of middle class is a desired goal of new world communist order.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islam’s Modus Operandi

After the savage Jihad massacre of unarmed innocents in Paris, our petulant “potentate”, predictably, defends the Muslim maniacs.

All Americans need to be reminded of this early CIA report which predicts our country’s fate if we allow Obama to complete his insurgent, seditious, “fundamental transformation” of America. To wit from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

“Islam is not a religion or cult. It is a complete system of religious, legal, political, economic, and military components, the religious component a beard for the others. Islamization incubates when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for “religious rights”. Naive politically correct diverse societies who submit to Muslim demands get other components under the table (the French have now learned this the hard way).

As long as a Muslim population remains around 1% in any given country, they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not a threat to anyone. Examples are: United States (1% Muslim); Australia (1.5% Muslim); Canada (1.9% Muslim.

At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs: Denmark (2% Muslim); Germany (3.7% Muslim); United Kingdom (2.7% Muslim).

Beyond 5% they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to the population. They insist on introducing Halaal food (clean by Islamic standards) thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims, increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves with threats for failure to comply: France (8% Muslim); Sweden (5% Muslim); Switzerland (4.3% Muslim). At this point they demand the ruling government allow them to rule themselves under Islamic Sharia law (happening profusely in the US).

A Muslim population of 10+% produces increased lawlessness in protests of their conditions. Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats: India (13.4% Muslim); Israel (16% Muslim); Kenya (10% Muslim); Russia (10-15% Muslim).

After reaching 20%, expect hair trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning: Ethiopia (32.8% Muslim).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trump Claims Muslims Worldwide Were ‘Going Wild’ After 9/11

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ramped up his incendiary rhetoric, claiming that Muslims around the world were “going wild” to cheer the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Earlier this month, the real-estate tycoon invited scrutiny after saying that Arab and Muslim Americans had celebrated the terror strikes. He also voiced support for a database to track Muslims in the country.

But at the weekend rally in Sarasota, Florida, Trump took it a step further.

“Everybody admits that worldwide, the Muslims were absolutely going wild,” Trump told a crowd of supporters…

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

University of Missouri Assistant Professor Charged With ‘Violently Grabbing 14-Year-Old Relative by the Hair and Dragging Her Out of School for Not Wearing Hijab’

An assistant professor at an American university has been arrested for allegedly grabbing a 14-year-old female relative by the hair and dragging her into a car after he noticed she wasn’t wearing a hijab.

Youssif Z. Omar, 53, was reportedly at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, on Tuesday when he spotted that the girl did not have the traditional Muslim headscarf.

Officer Latisha Stroer told the Columbia Tribune in an email that Omar grabbed the girl ‘very violently by the hair’.

He then allegedly slapped her across the face, and pulled her by the hair down and flight of stairs and into his car.

The next day, Omar was arrested on suspicion of child abuse while he was at his home on the 1700 block of Timber Creek Drive.

Omar’s LinkedIn page lists him as being an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia and manager of Artifacts Journal at the University bookstore…

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

‘Allahu Akbar’ Is No. 1 Song on UK Charts

Dance track featuring Islamic call skyrockets to top of Spotify’s UK music charts, continuing to spread onto other European charts.

The atmosphere in Europe can easily be described as tense at the moment, with authorities battling terror on a scale that was previously unheard of. Thus it is surprising that a song titled “Allahu Akbar” has held the number one spot on the UK Spotify chart, and 5th place on the international charts.

The hit was created by an anonymous artist named “DJ Inappropriate.” The song is a upbeat dance track, leading some to believe that it is not meant to incite, but rather serves as a protest against “modest” Islamist terrorists. With that said, no one truly knows the purpose of the song…

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

Arabic Graffiti Found on Easyjet, Vueling Planes in France

French police and airport authorities said Saturday graffiti, much of it in Arabic, had been found sprayed on four aircraft belonging to British carrier Easyjet and a plane from Spanish airline Vueling at two airports.

Three of the jets had been defaced at Lyon airport in eastern France with two others sprayed at the Paris hub of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, police said.

A police source added authorities believed the graffiti had been painted on prior to the jets’ arrival in France, but that the issue posed questions about airport security…

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

Belgian Scheme Tries to Nip Radicalisation in the Bud

The first step is often to send a sociologist and psychologist to try to re-establish the link between the troubled young man and his family. The next is to flag up the dire consequences of the choice they seem to be about to make.

“We must try to defuse this anger among the young,” Turine, who oversees a radicalisation prevention programme in Molenbeek, told AFP over tea at an upscale Arab cafe.

“We have to assure them they have a place here, that they are not second-class citizens, and to undermine the recruiters’ arguments,” said Turine, a member of the leftist Ecolo party…

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

Five Charged in VatiLeaks Scandal: Report

The Vatican has charged five people over a damning leaks scandal at the heart of the Catholic Church, with a preliminary hearing set for November 24, Italian media reported Saturday.

Vatican deputy spokesman Ciro Benedettini confirmed to AFP that “summons are being served”, adding that an official statement would be made later.

“Vatican magistrates have charged five people at the end of an investigation into the stealing and publishing of confidential Holy See documents,” the Repubblica daily said.

Spanish priest Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Italian PR expert Francesca Chaouqui were arrested early this month on suspicion of stealing and leaking classified documents to the media…

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

How a Secretive Elite Created the EU to Build a World Government

Authored by Professor Alan Sked — original founder of UKIP, via The Telegraph

Voters in Britain’s referendum need to understand that the European Union was about building a federal superstate from day one

As the debate over the forthcoming EU referendum gears up, it would be wise perhaps to remember how Britain was led into membership in the first place. It seems to me that most people have little idea why one of the victors of the Second World War should have become almost desperate to join this “club”. That’s a shame, because answering that question is key to understanding why the EU has gone so wrong.

Most students seem to think that Britain was in dire economic straits, and that the European Economic Community — as it was then called — provided an economic engine which could revitalise our economy. Others seem to believe that after the Second World War Britain needed to recast her geopolitical position away from empire, and towards a more realistic one at the heart of Europe. Neither of these arguments, however, makes any sense at all.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Nuzzi and Fittipaldi Case Seen as Trial of Press Freedom

Social network support, OSCE tells Holy See withdraw charges

(ANSA) — Rome, November 23 — The trial of journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi Tuesday in the Vatican for their books about the Holy See, “Avarice” and “The Way of the Cross,” is a trial against freedom of the press as well as the two reporters, the pair have said.

Together with the two accused of divulging Holy See confidential documents also being tried are alleged whistleblowers, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, as well as Vallejo’s former assistant Nicola Maio, all of them also accused of criminal association for having taken documents from the Vatican’s financial affairs committee and passing them to the two reporters.

Nuzzi and Fittipaldi, who under Vatican law face potential sentences of four to eight years in prison if found guilty, indicated they would be present in court but both strongly protest the trial of journalists merely for doing their job and threatening thereby the freedom of information.

“What is opening is not a trial against me but a trial against freedom of the press,” Fittipaldi wrote in a letter to la Repubblica.

“Vatican jurisprudence considers the very essence of our profession to be a crime, that is to say the duty to publish facts that authorities, in whatever form they take, want to keep hidden from the public”.

Regarding the accusation of having put at risk “vital interests of the Holy See,” he asked “did the stories on the Vatican real estate wealth or the necessary costs for relatives and religious orders to canonize their candidate really threaten the national security of the Vatican? I doubt it”.

Faced with the revelations in his book “in the end they preferred to criminalise not the merchants in the temple but those who smashed them.” he said.

The journalist from l’Espresso magazine underlines that in the Vatican “there is no law comparable to article 21 of our Constitution, no defence of the right of reporting, or professional code that allows journalists to apply professional secrecy to protect their sources”.

Nuzzi for his part, writing on Twitter and Facebook under the hashtag #noinquisizione, launched a campaign of against gagging information.

“You can’t put people on trial for giving information. The politicians are silent, the Order of Journalists too,” he tweeted.

“At the trial nobody is charged with theft. The true theft is in the Vatican, as reported in the book, but nobody must talk about that”.

“The Vatican court forbids lawyers to give the defendants copies of the court documents, we can only look at them. Shame!” Supporters of the two reporters have been active on social networks with readers posting photos of themselves with their books in their hands.

In Vienna the OSCE, through its representative for media Dunja Mijatovic, asked the Vatican authorities to withdraw the criminal charges against the two journalists.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Police Conduct Seizures in 20 Mn Franciscan Order Fraud

Broker Leonida Rossi accused with former OFM treasurer

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Swiss police in Lugano on Wednesday are conducting search and seizure operations in the homes and offices of financial broker Leonida Rossi, accused of fraud totalling 20 million euros against the Franciscan Order of Friors Minor (OFM).

Finance police in Italy are also conducting investigations and seizures in Milan, including searches for documents in the offices of the Anycon company, which can be traced back to Rossi, as well as in the homes of some friars.

Sources in Lugano said Rossi received funds from OFM’s treasurer, Friar Giancarlo Lati, to invest in Switzerland, but allegedly withheld both the capital and interest proceeds for a total of 20 million euros.

The OFM General Curia filed charges with the Lugano federal prosecutor’s office, which ordered the searches and seizures.

Identical charges were also filed with the prosecutor’s offices of Milan and Rome. In Milan, Rossi is under investigation for improper financial practice, while Lati is accused of embezzlement, for allegedly using funds in an unauthorised manner.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: South’s Per-Capita GDP Almost Half Less Than North West

17,600 euros compared to 32,500 euros

(ANSA) — Rome, November 26 — The per-capita GDP for southern Italy was 17,600 euros in 2014, 43.7% lower than the 32,500 euros of the country’s north west, Istat said on Thursday. The national statistics agency said the per-capita GDP of the north east was 31,400 euros last year, while it was 29,400 in central Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Health Sector Set for 8 Bn in Cuts 2015-2019 Says UPB

Parliament office publishes report on 2016 budget policy

(ANSA) — Rome, November 27 — The Parliament Budget Office (UPB) said in a report Friday that Italian health spending is set to fall from 6.8% of GDP in 2015 to 6.5% in 2019, according to estimates based on the government’s economic blueprint, the Economic and Financial Document (DEF). “The overall reduction could be about half a GDP percentage point,” it said. This would amount to eight billion euros, it said in its report on budget policy in 2016. Premier Matteo Renzi’s executive has come under fire from regional governments over the health spending plans in its 2016 budget bill.

Renzi, however, has said that health spending will increase next year, in nominal terms at least, rising from 110 billion euros in 2015 to 111 billion in 2016.

This is two billion euros less than initially slated.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Has Oldest Average Population in Europe After Germany

Average age 44.7, in Germany 45.6

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 27 — Italy has the oldest population in the European Union after Germany with an average age of 44.7 compared to Germans’ average age of 45.6 while the youngest countries are Ireland (average age 36), Cyprus (average age 36.8) and Slovakia (average age 38.6), Eurostat said Friday.

The average age in the EU is 42.2, while Italy has ‘aged’ by 6.5 years over the past 20 years. In 1994 the average age of Italian people was just 38.2 years.

The EU as a whole has more or less ‘aged’ at the same rate as Italy, the poll said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Three Syrians With Fake Passports Arrested at Ancona

Will be deported

(ANSA) — Ancona, November 27 — Three Syrians with fake passports were arrested by railway police Friday at the Marche port of Ancona as they were about to board a train for Milan.

The men said they came aground at Bari hidden in a container and had bought the false papers in Turkey for 1,000 euros. They have already been sentenced to a year’s jail time and will be deported. Controls have been stepped up at Italian ports in the wake of the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: We’ll Shut Irregular Places of Worship Says Alfano

Places of worship must comply with laws says interior minister

(refiling with corrected slug) (ANSA) — Lecce, November 27 — Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Friday “we have in Italy four mosques and more than 800 Muslim places of worship. We will shut the unauthorised and irregular places, not to prevent worship, but so that worship takes place that comply with all the authorisations envisaged by our laws”. Italy has stepped up surveillance at Muslim sites after the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pensioner Who Killed Burglar Runs as Forza Italia Candidate

Sicignano says he accepted out of love for Berlusconi

(ANSA) — Milan, November 27 — Francesco Sicignano, a pensioner who shot and killed a burglar who was trying to break into his villa, will be a candidate for the conservative Forza Italia party at the Milan city council in the next local elections, the party said Friday.

Sicignano said he accepted the candidature out of admiration of Forza Italia leader and former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

“I have lots of respect for Berlusconi who after everything that happened decided to stay in politics for the good of the country,” Sicignano told a press conference.

“I believe Italy should be managed like a firm”. Sicignano said that in the past he had voted for the neo-Facist Italian Social Movement (MSI) but in the last elections he voted for Forza Italia.

“Let’s work on property and the sacrosanct right to defend it,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean that in Italy everyone must have guns, only those who know how to handle them”.

Sicignano is under investigation for voluntary manslaughter after shooting Albanian Gjergi Gjonj as he was coming up the steps to his villa near Milan on October 20.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Poland’s New Govt Rethinks Patriot Missiles, Airbus Choppers

Poland’s new conservative government on Wednesday called into question the previous liberal cabinet’s choice of US-made Patriot missiles and Airbus helicopters for a multi-billion-euro military upgrade.

Warsaw announced in April it was planning to buy the Raytheon-made Patriot system, a deal valued at an estimated five billion euros ($5.3 billion), as well as 50 Caracal choppers — a contract worth another three billion euros.

The decision to hold talks with the two companies — negotiations that are ongoing — came amid heightened tensions with neighbouring Russia because of the Ukraine conflict…

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

Poll Says 76% of Italians’ Attitude to Islam Unchanged

Majority say ‘one shouldn’t generalise’ despite attacks

(ANSA) — Rome, November 27 — Some 76% of Italians say their attitudes to Islam are unchanged after the Paris terror attacks, arguing that ‘one must not generalise,” according to an Ixè poll released Friday for RAI television.

Only 22% of people polled said they have become more diffident to Islam in the wake of the attacks while some 66% now believe in the existence of moderate Islam, according to the poll.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Using New “Pre-Crime” Laws France Arrests 24 Climate Activists

As Intellihub’s Shepard Ambellas writes, one-hundred and fifty heads of government, a.k.a. the elite, are gathering over the course of the next few weeks for a massive climate summit that’s anticipated to attract and indoctrinate over 40,000 visitors from around the globe. The summit, dubbed COP21, is sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and will reportedly focus on combating climate change. However it’s doubtful that geoengineering, which ironically is mostly to blame for current climate patterns, will even be a topic of interest to scheduled speakers. To boot any chance of that information making it out to the general public is limited as 24 activists have already been placed under house arrest.”

He further observes that “emergency powers” declared in the wake of the recent Paris attacks — in the name of terrorism — and adopted virtually overnight, were extended for a period of up to 90-days by the country’s leadership allowing for such activists to be jailed in advance of the summit or at anytime within period.

France 24 confirms the “pre-crime” arrests, writing that twenty-four environmental activists have been placed under house arrest ahead of the Paris climate summit, using France’s state of emergency laws. Two of them slammed an attack on civil liberties. The order ends on December 12, the day the Paris climate summit draws to a close.

[Comment: The climate scam con job, brought to you by globalists, banksters and puppet politicians along with other assorted useful idiots.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

What’s Causing Germans to Stock Up on Arms?

Following the Paris terrorist attacks, Germans suddenly began stocking up on weapons possibly in an attempt to protect themselves, the German newspaper Die Welt reported.

Germans are arming themselves with pepper spray, knives and rifles. The demand for weapons aimed at providing personal safety is higher than ever before.

“Personal security needs among the population have tremendously increased,” said Ingo Meinhard from the German Association of Gun Owners (VDB), as cited by Die Welt.

One of the most popular weapons is pepper spray, bought predominantly by women.

“Many people say they sleep better when they have pepper spray beside their bed,” Meinhard said, according to Die Welt.

According to a pepper spray producing company from Frankfurt, their sales increased by 600 percent this fall, the source said.

Right-wing groups said Germans are buying weapons to defend themselves from refugees, who increased crime rates in German communities. However, Die Welt said their accusations are unfounded since it’s not in the interest of refugees to cause trouble in Germany as it might cost them their asylum status. Furthermore, the police often carry out strict monitoring of refugee camps in Germany.

Another reason could be the rapidly changing hectic environment in which many Germans might find themselves as of late. If refugees aren’t increasing crime rates across the country per se, their arrival might have triggered the fears of vandalism and urban public disorder among the residents of German towns. Some of these effects are explained by the broken window theory in criminology, the German newspaper said.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have also probably played a role in spreading fear among Germans. It might be that residents no longer trust that their government can provide protection from terrorists, who in some people’s minds could be sneaking up on them right in the streets of their hometown. On the other hand, if terrorists carried out a series of attacks in Paris, what stops them from doing the same thing in Berlin or Frankfurt?

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

Friends Shocked at Tunisian Football Fan Turned Bomber

On Tuesday morning, Houssam Abdelli quickly finished his coffee at a cafe on the outskirts of Tunis where he and his friends would gather to watch their favourite football players in action.

Hours later, he boarded a bus carrying presidential guards to work along one of the capital’s main thoroughfares, clasped the detonator of his 10-kilo Semtex explosive vest, and blew himself up.

Abdelli, a 26-year-old street vendor, was formally named this week by investigators as the man who killed 12 guards and wounded 20 people, including four civilians.

Friends and neighbours in the Cite al-Joumhouriya district of Mnihla, a northern suburb of Tunis, spoke of their shock that Abdelli could be capable of inflicting one of the worst ever attacks on Tunisia’s security forces…

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

Tunis: Napolislam Raises Public Interest at 2015 JCC

Pagano, ‘despite bombs, this country is more alive than ever’

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, NOVEMBER 27 — Movie theaters were packed and there were long lines at box offices in Tunis yesterday to watch movies being screened at the 26th edition of the Carthage Film Festival (Journées cinématographiques de Carthage, or JCC), the most important in the country, to fight the fear raised by the latest attack Tuesday claimed by ISIS.

Many young viewers waited on line for the premiere in an Arab country of the controversial Much Loved by French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch, banned in Morocco for offending moral values and women, while a more heterogeneous public filled the room of Le Mondial for another premiere in Maghreb, Napolislam, a documentary by Ernesto Pagano on Neapolitans who have converted to Islam. The documentary is part of an event at the JCC this year dedicated to Italian films, together with the film’s producers Lorenzo Cioffi and Matteo Parisini.

One day Naples wakes up and converts to Islam: from the Ramadan celebrated in the same square dedicated to the cult of the Madonna del Carmine, to the mosque in Piazza Mercato, from heated debates on the family, to the halal recipes of local delicacies such as zeppole, sfogliatelle and casatiello — this provocation opens ten different stories of conversions to Islam.

“In spite of the bombs, this country is more alive than ever. The huge Mondial room has been almost entirely filled with young Tunisians. An active and intelligent public who understood both the irony and drama in the film”, its director Pagano told ANSAmed. “Some thanked me for talking about Islam and Muslims without judgement, without depicting them like terrorists. But there are also those who, observing some characters from Napolislam with long beards said: this is the Islam that ruined Tunisia. This is the Islam we are trying to get rid of but which we see rising in Europe. If in Europe we have the equation Muslim-terrorist, here there is one equaling bearded Muslims to terrorist”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

1 Journalist Dead, 3 More Arrested After Exposing Turkey Arming Syrian Extremists

Istanbul, Turkey — Just over a week after Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief, Can Dündar, represented the Turkish daily news outlet in receiving a press freedom award, he and another top editor were arrested and jailed on charges of espionage. In question was a controversial article exposing arms shipments from Turkish intelligence to Syrian extremist rebels.

“We have been arrested,” tweeted Dündar on Thursday. “Don’t worry, these are medals of honor for us.”

He explained further: “We are accused of ‘spying.’ The president said ‘treason.’ We are not traitors, spy [sic], or heroes; we are journalists. What we have done here is an act of journalism,” said Dündar before testifying on Thursday. “Of course, this prosecution will help enlighten how these incidents took place, rather than how we covered this story.”

Now a third Turkish journalist has been arrested, according to local reports. Ertugrul Özkök, a reporter for Turkish daily Hüriyet, has been arrested for a slanderous criticism of who is presumed to be Erdogan — even though the president wasn’t explicitly named anywhere in Özkök’s article. As if more evidence of Turkey’s quashing free press and free speech were needed , Özkök potentially faces five years and four months in prison for expressing this opinion.

Dündar and Ankara correspondent, Erdem Gül, if found guilty on charges of spying, as well as aiding a terrorist organization, could spend the rest of their lives in a Turkish prison — for doing their job. There is a painfully ironic undercurrent in the charges considering the subject of the article is the Erdogan administration’s complicity in arming Syrian extremists (read: terrorists).

Erdogan himself sued Dündar and accused Cumhuriyet of releasing false information and spying when the story first exploded, stating at the time the journalist responsible would “pay a heavy price,” as the Wall Street Journal reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Erdogan’s Twisted Logic: S-400 Must Not Shoot Down Turkish Jets Over Syria

In what is a prime example of twisted logic, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia against using its ultra-modern S-400 air defense system to shoot down Turkish fighter jets if they violate Syrian airspace just days after Ankara brought down a Russian Su-24 bomber.

Downing a Turkish warplane over Syrian territory would qualify as aggression, Erdogan told CNN in response to a question on what would happen if a Turkish fighter jet were to stray into Syrian territory.

“This kind of an incident which may happen of course will further push us to take measures. … Of course it will be an aggression against our rights of sovereignty and it is a natural right of [Turkey] to protect those rights,” Erdogan said.

On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 shot down the Su-24, claiming that the aircraft violated its airspace. Russian officials and the Su-24 pilot, who survived the crash, insist that the plane did not cross into Turkey. The crew, according to the pilot, did not receive any warning prior to the attack.

The Su-24 was involved in Russia’s counterterrorism efforts in Syria aimed at assisting Damascus in its fight against ISIL and other extremist groups trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

Erdogan refused to apologize for the incident, which Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to as a “stab in the back” committed by “accomplices of terrorists.”

In the wake of the Su-24 crash, Russian defense officials decided to send the S-400 system to prevent similar incidents from happening.

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

For Years, NATO Has Granted Impunity to Convoys Packed With Supplies Bound for ISIS and Al Qaeda

Russian airstrikes have stopped them dead in their tracks…

Ideally, NATO should have interdicted these supply convoys before they even crossed over into Syria — arresting the drivers and tracking those who filled the trucks back to their source and arresting them as well. Alternatively, the trucks should have been destroyed either at the border or at the very least, once they had entered into Syria and were clearly headed toward ISIS-occupied territory.

That none of this took place left many to draw conclusions that the impunity granted to this overt logistical network was intentional and implicated NATO directly in the feeding of the very ISIS terrorists it claimed to be “fighting.”


Obviously, any nation truly interested in defeating ISIS would attack it at its very source — its supply lines. Military weaponry may have changed over the centuries, but military strategy, particularly identifying and severing an enemy’s supply lines is a tried and true method of achieving victory in any conflict.

Russia, therefore, would find these convoys a natural target and would attempt to hit them as close to the Syrian-Turkish border as possible, to negate any chance the supplies would successfully reach ISIS’ hands. Russian President Vladmir Putin noted, regarding the Azaz convoy in particular, that if the convoy was legitimately carrying aid, it would have been declared, and its activities made known to all nations operating military aircraft in the region…

For those that have criticized Russia’s air campaign claiming conflicts can’t be won from the air without a ground component, it should be clear by now that the Syrian Arab Army is that ground component, and has dealt ISIS and Al Qaeda its most spectacular defeats in the conflict.

When this corridor is closed and supplies cut off, ISIS, Nusra, and all associated NATO-backed factions will atrophy and die as the Syrian military restores order across the country. This may be why there has been a sudden “rush” by the West to move assets into the region, the impetus driving the United States to place special forces into Syrian territory itself, and for Turkey’s ambush of a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian-Turkish border.

What all of this adds up to is a clear illustration of precisely why the Syrian conflict was never truly a “civil war.” The summation of support for militants fighting against the Syrian government and people, has come from beyond Syria’s borders. With that support being cut off and the prospect of these militants being eradicated, the true sponsors behind this conflict are moving more directly and overtly to salvage their failed conspiracy against the Syrian state.

[Comment: Read it all. More truth than on any mainstream news channel.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

France’s Fabius Sees Syrian Regime Participating in Anti-IS Fight

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday he could envisage Syrian regime troops taking part in the fight to crush the Islamic State jihadists that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.

In order to fight IS, “there must be two measures: bombings… and ground troops who cannot be ours, but who should be of the (opposition) Free Syrian Army, Sunni Arab forces, and why not regime forces too,” Fabius told RTL radio.

The main military target remains Raqa, the Syrian city that is the stronghold of IS, Fabius said. Russian and French jets have targeted the town in recent days…

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

ISIS Fighter Cries Like a Baby After Being Captured by Kurdish Forces

Dramatic footage has emerged online showing a suspected ISIS fighter crying after he was taken prisoner by Kurdish forces in Iraq.

The prisoner does not appear to have any noticeable injuries as he seats in the back of the armoured truck.

Much to the amusement of the Kurdish forces, the prisoner cries and moans loudly as he waits to be taken away.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

London May be Prosecuted for UK Arms Riyadh Used to Kill Yemen Civilians

The United Kingdom may face prosecution for war crimes due to evidence that arms it had sold to Saudi Arabia were used by the coalition it leads against the Yemeni Houthi rebels on civilian targets, local media reported Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said that a UK-made missile was used by the coalition to destroy a Yemeni ceramics factory in September. One civilian died as a result of the attack.

According to The Independent newspaper, advisers in the UK Foreign Officers have increased their legal warnings that the sales of missiles to Riyadh may be in breach of international law.

The UK government told the newspaper that the country’s defense ministry “monitors alleged International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violations, using available information, which in turn informs our overall assessment of IHL compliance in Yemen. We regularly raise our concerns with the Saudis, and have repeatedly received assurances of compliance with IHL.”

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Since late March, a Saudi-led coalition including Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Hadi.

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

Rubio: Side With Turkey and Islamic State in Confrontation With Russia

Turkey strives for a resurgence of the Ottoman Empire

“They are a member of the NATO alliance,” Rubio said, “and if we were not to come to Turkey’s defense in any instance, it would undermine the NATO alliance and that is something we need to understand.”

“This is a critical moment,” Rubio continued. “If Russia believes they can respond and retaliate against Turkey and NATO is not going to do anything about it, what they are basically doing is making the argument NATO is no longer viable, that it is a feckless alliance. So it is important for us to be very clear that we will respond and defend Turkey as they come under assault by the Russians. Otherwise the entire NATO alliance comes into question.”

In other words, according to Rubio, the United States and NATO must support Turkey’s regional ambitions, including Erdogan’s desire to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and a caliphate.

[Comment: Evil machinations of banksters and their puppets proceeds…]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Retaliates: Putin Reveals Sanctions Against Turkey

While many in The West had hoped for a “see, we told you so” strongman military response from Vladimir Putin, it appears the Russian leader has, for now, taken a more practical approach. The wide-ranging sanctions unleashed on Turkey (by its 2nd largest trade partner) include a ban on Turkish workers (with estimates that 90,000 will be fired by Jan 1 2016), restrictions on imported goods and services provided by Turkey, and scraps visa-free travel and bans charter flights (implicitly hurting a major part of Turkey’s domestic industry). Finally, Putin calls for “strengthening of port control and monitoring to ensure transport safety,” hinting at the fears many have voiced over whether Turkey shutting the Bosphorous in an escalation would be seen as an act of war.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudis to Sue Twitter User for Comparing Poet’s Sentence to ISIL Executions

A Saudi Arabian court will sue a Twitter user for criticizing a death sentence handed down to a Palestinian poet last week.

Ashraf Fayadh, 35, was previously arrested by the country’s religious police and charged with apostasy (abandoning one’s faith), according to trial documents seen by Human Rights Watch.

The story provoked international public outrage, and social media was overflowed with users’ fierce criticism. There were tons of posts condemning the Kingdom’s justice system which is based on Islamic Sharia law and dictates death penalty for religious crimes, including blasphemy and apostasy.

One Twitter user even described the decision as ‘ISIS-like’, implying the punishment was akin to what is popular with extremists from the Islamic State. Whoever wrote that is probably regretting it already, for Saudi Arabia’s justice ministry is planning to sue the “criminal”.

“The justice ministry will sue the person who described… the sentencing of a man to death for apostasy as being ‘ISIS-like’,” a justice ministry source told major pro-government newspaper Al-Riyadh.

Neither the user nor the possible penalty were identified, but last year three lawyers were sentenced to up to eight years in prison by a Riyadh Saudi court for a similar “crime”.

Saudi Arabia has already executed 152 people in 2015, which is the highest number on record since 1995, according to Amnesty International. Now the Kingdom has vowed to sue Twitter users doubting that the poet’s sentence was legit and comparing it to the punishments meted out by ISIL.

“Questioning the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of the Kingdom and its judicial system based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity,” the source told the newspaper.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the self-proclaimed Islamic State group may be responsible for executing around 10,000 people, though it will hardly ever be possible to give an accurate number.

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

Saudi Women Candidates Begin First Election Campaign

Saudi women running for public office next month for the first time ever begin campaigning Sunday in another step forward for women’s rights in the conservative kingdom’s slow democratic process.

Around 900 women are standing in the December 12 municipal elections, which will also be the first time females have been allowed to participate in choosing officials.

“This is one of the first steps for women’s rights, a big step for us,” said Sahar Hassan Nasief, an activist in the Red Sea city of Jeddah who has many friends running for office.

The election will be the third municipal ballot for men, who previously voted in 2005 and 2011…

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

Some States Start to Change ‘Assad Must Go’ Stance — Kremlin

Some countries started to change their stance concerning the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the spokesman, speaking of political settlement and holding elections is not very realistic while a part of the country is controlled by the Islamic State militants.

“They [countries] are abandoning this… pressured stance of ‘let Assad leave primarily, and then let’s think of what we should do.’ This stance is unrealistic,” Peskov told the Rossiya 24 television channel.

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

Turkey Arrests Generals for Stopping Syria-Bound Trucks ‘Filled With Arms’

Trucks were indeed transporting weapons to Islamic extremists in Syria.

Two Turkish generals and a colonel were detained on Saturday for intercepting Syria-bound trucks that belonged to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the newspaper Today’s Zaman reported.

In January 2014, Ankara Gendarmerie Major-General Ibrahim Aydin, former Adana Gendarmerie Brigadier-General Hamza Celepoglu and former Gendarmerie Criminal Laboratory Head Colonel Burhanettin Cihangiroglu stopped Syrian-bound trucks in southern Turkey after they received information from an anonymous source that the trucks were illegally carrying weapons to militants in Syria.

When the information about the trucks became public, MIT officials and high-ranking Turkish politicians, including President Recep Teyyip Erdogan, who was Prime Minister back then, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then the country’s foreign minister, were furious that the gendarmes stopped the trucks and said the Syria-bound trucks were carrying “humanitarian aid” to Turkmen living just south of Turkey, the newspaper said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey Trying to Revive Ottoman Empire by Dividing Syria, Iraq — Damascus

Ankara seeks to restore the disintegrated Ottoman Empire by dividing Syria and Iraq and turning them into Turkish protectorates, the Syrian information minister said.

DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — The Turkish leadership wants to split Syria up and destroy it in hopes of reviving the Ottoman Empire and its previous territories, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said.

“Turkey’s goal is to try and revive the Ottoman Empire that was earlier divided into provinces. There were the provinces of Damascus, Mosul, Aleppo, Jerusalem, Beirut, and so on, and it is this main goal that’s leading to the wish to divide Syria and Iraq into emirates or provinces that would exist under the protectorate of the empire and in its interests. These types of ambitions raise controversy with the United States,” al-Zoubi told RIA Novosti in an interview.

The information minister said that Ankara and its Western allies’ ambitions were put at risk after the Russian Aerospace Forces began their military air campaign in Syria.

“Russia’s active intervention unexpectedly changed the balance of powers. First, this is the actual existence, and second, [the West] wants to drive Russia out of the Arab world and make it an enemy of the region like Libya or Yemen,” al-Zoubi said.

West’s Real Goal in Syria is to Destroy the Country

“In 2015, the Syrian leadership, under the true support of Russia with President Vladimir Putin at the head, was able to reveal the West’s actual policy of wanting to destroy Syria using the slogan of peaceful settlement,” al-Zoubi told RIA Novosti.

The minister said that everything predicted by Damascus in 2015 has come true in that terror would spill beyond Syria’s borders.

“The pressure created by terrorists in the world should convince everyone that the fight against terrorism demands common coordinated efforts,” al-Zoubi said.

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

US-Turkey Edging up to Syrian Border

Increasingly desperate geostrategic posture.

US demands Turkey to “seal” notorious 100 km border region with Syria, but may be pretext to invade and establish long-sought after “safe haven” for terrorists in Syria.

In the most open admission yet that NATO-member Turkey has been allowing a torrent of supplies, weapons, fighters, and equipment to flow across its borders with impunity and into the hands of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), the US has urged Ankara to seal the remaining 100 km border region yet to be closed by Syrian and Kurdish forces.

The Wall Street Journal in its article, “U.S. Urges Turkey to Seal Border,” reported that:

The Obama administration is pressing Turkey to deploy thousands of additional troops along its border with Syria to cordon off a 60-mile stretch of frontier that U.S. officials say is used by Islamic State to move foreign fighters in and out of the war zone.

The U.S. hasn’t officially requested a specific number of soldiers. Pentagon officials estimated that it could take as many as 30,000 to seal the border on the Turkish side for a broader humanitarian mission. Cordoning off just one section alone could take 10,000 or more, one official estimated.

Coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal also reports that 30,000 troops are also precisely what is estimated to be needed to carve out a NATO-occupied “safe zone” within Syria, one US policymakers have plannedsince 2012 as a means of protecting Western-backed militants from Syrian — and now Russian — attacks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Vaporized: The Moment an Islamic Extremist Filming a Propaganda Video is Wiped Out by an Artillery Shell

The Islamic State loves to share propaganda videos of beheadings and mass murders of innocent victims, including children and those whose only crime against Islam is that they are Christians.

Thus, it is with great pleasure and a smile that we share the following short video clip from the Syrian border in which an Al-Queda affiliated Islamist rebel filming his latest propaganda video is vaporized by a mortar shell.

Standing in front of a makeshift bunker, the man is speaking about his pride over capturing the town of Tal Sukayk. “Thank God, it turned out to be easier than we thought despite the fact that this position was very important,” he says just a blink of an eye before an artillery shell crashes down on his position — and we mean directly on HIS position.

After the impact screams of pain can be heard, presumably from the fighter in the video and his cameraman.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

OSCE Refutes US, Ukraine Allegations of Minsk Deal Implementation by Kiev

Voluntary military formations resort to looting, robbery and violence despite Kiev’s claims, an OSCE envoy said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Reports by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Monitoring Mission to Ukraine contradicts the United States and Ukraine’s vocal confirmations that Kiev is faultlessly fulfilling the complex of measures in complying with the Minsk agreements, Russian OSCE Envoy Alexander Lukashevich said Friday.

“Everyone here reads the Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on the situation in Donbass, on ceasefire violations and machinations with withdrawing arms. They contradict vocal allegations from representatives from the United States and Ukraine on Kiev’s faultless fulfillment of the Minsk Complex of Measures,” Lukashevich said during an OSCE council session.

Russia’s OSCE Envoy Accuses Kiev of Deliberately Delaying Minsk Deal Implementation

Kiev intends to delay implementing the Minsk agreements for a Ukrainian settlement, particularly political provisions on a constitutional reform and local elections, Lukashevich said.

“The latest events confirm that Kiev will do everything to delay the implementation of the [Minsk accords], in particular the political part envisaging the agreement with Donbass authorities on modalities of local elections, the elements of the constitutional reform relating to Donbass,” Lukashevich said in a statement, as quoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Minsk agreements are a set of measures developed by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany to facilitate the process of Ukraine’s reconciliation after Kiev launched a military operation against local independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Under the deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbass must be concluded before the end of 2015.

The country’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukraine authorities must fulfill all the Minsk agreement obligations.

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

Pakistan’s Ahmadis Battle Mob and State for Identity

“Are these the people with bullets who took my papa away?” two-year-old Sabiha Ahmad asked her mother anxiously when AFP visited her family, members of Pakistan’s persecuted Ahmadi minority, who are currently living in hiding.

The toddler’s family have had little contact with anyone since they were forced to flee for their lives on November 20 when hundreds of people torched a factory in the eastern city of Jhelum after rumours spread workers were burning copies of the Koran.

Sabiha’s father Asif Shahzad was one of the employees — all Ahmadis, a minority group who are legally declared non-Muslims in Pakistan for their belief in a prophet after Mohammad — and that night the mob took him away…

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

China: Beijing Denies Entry Visa to Miss Canada, She Denounced the Persecution of Falun Gong

Anastasia Lin wanted to participate in the final of Miss World in China. She has been stuck at the international airport of Hong Kong, because she “is not welcome”. She belongs to the Falun Gong movement, whose members are branded as “heretics” and persecuted by the authorities. “They want to keep me from talking about human rights. I have been excluded from the competition for political reasons”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Chinese authorities have denied entry visas to Anastasia Lin, elected Miss Canada last May, while on her way to the Chinese island of Hainan to participate in the finals of Miss World. The girl is blocked at the international airport of Hong Kong, where she made a stopover. “The reason is my commitment to human rights,” said the model, 25, of Chinese origin, who moved to Toronto in 2003.

Anastasia said she had not received an invitation to the event, and tried to go to Hong Kong from where the entrance to the island resort of Hainan is easier for citizens of some nationalities, including Canadian. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa noted however that “China does not permit entry to undesired people”.

The girl is in this category because she is part of the Falun Gong movement, which China has branded as “heretical organization” and “threat to social and political stability”. Falun Gong is a practice of meditation and physical exercises inspired by Buddhist and Taoist traditions. In China, there are about 100 million followers, victims of persecution and arrests.

In July the model also participated in a hearing of the US Congress on the subject of religious persecution, during which she said she wanted “to testify in favor of those in China who are beaten, burned to death or executed in the electric chair for their beliefs “.

Following her speech, the girl’s father — who lives in the country of origin — was beaten savagely by the police “because I denounced the abuse of human rights in the communist country.”

Anastasia told reporters at the airport: “The rejection of my entry is unpleasant, but it was predictable. The Chinese government has excluded me from the competition for political reasons. “ She concluded: “They want to punish me for my religious beliefs and stop me from speaking truthfully the issue of respect for human rights.” The organizers of the competition stated that they will offer the model a place for the 2016 edition.

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

Japan Launches First Commercial Satellite Using H2A Carrier Rocket

Japan carried out its first commercial satellite launch onTuesday, using a modified H2A rocket carrying a Canadian Telstar 12 VANTAGE satellite.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — The launch took place at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The Telstar 12 VANTAGE will receive and transmit over 200 TV channels, broadcasting to Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Japan has stated its intention to enter the commercial space exploration market, in competition with Russia, the European Union and the United States.

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

El Salvador Condemns Bishop Accused of Raping Girl

A “well-loved” senior bishop in El Salvador who is also a prominent Church historian was Friday condemned by government officials and a rights organization after being accused of repeatedly raping a girl in the 1980s.

Bishop Jesus Delgado, 77, was on Thursday suspended from his functions as number three in the country’s archdiocese after the alleged victim, today a 42-year-old woman, came forward with her account.

She told authorities and church officials that Delgado started raping her when she was a nine-year-old girl and continued until she was 17…

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

Freak-Out Over Weird Armored Trucks Motorcade Stuffed With Cash in Argentina

Residents of the city of Río Gallegos in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, witnessed a surprising sight yesterday afternoon when at least five bright yellow armored trucks accompanied by heavily armed police paraded through the city.

The trucks reportedly arrived empty to the local airport Piloto Fernández, where they were loaded up with an estimated AR$1.3 billion in cash. Three of the five trucks delivered their load to banks in the city of Río Gallegos, while the other two continued on likely to Tierra del Fuego further south.

Local news organization OPI Santa Cruz reported on the unusual activity, likely prompting an official response from the Bank of Santa Cruz stating that “the movement of the armored trucks observed in the past few hours in Bank of Santa Cruz branches in Río Gallegos corresponds to the normal operation of the Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina (BCRA) and the Regional Treasury.”

According to a local news source at OPI that remained anonymous, the money was intended for Santa Cruz’s new governor and outgoing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s sister-in-law, Alicia Kirchner, as well as her Tierra del Fuego counterpart Rosana Bernton.

The reason? The local informant alleges that it is to allow Alicia Kirchner’s government to pay salaries and end-of-year bonuses so as not to draw local attention to additional public spending. The province allegedly runs a massive deficit, and this cash from the outgoing national government would buy enough time to negotiate with the new government down the road.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dutch PM Warns EU to Avoid Roman Empire’s Fate Amid Refugee Crisis

The European Union must improve border protection, as an ongoing massive refugee inflow threatens the integrity of the bloc, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Rutte, whose country assumes the rotating EU presidency in January, said that southern nations of the European Union have not yet implemented policies to tackle the “massive influx” of refugees from the Middle East and central Asia.

“As we all know from the Roman empire, big empires go down if the borders are not well-protected,” Rutte was quoted as saying by the Financial Times newspaper. “So we really have an imperative that it is handled.”

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

Fight in Berlin Refugee Center Leaves Seven Hospitalized

Seven people were hospitalized after a mass fight in a refugee accommodation center in western Berlin, local media reported Sunday.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — According to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper citing the police, the scuffle took place Saturday night. The people involved in the fight used fire extinguishers, with some 500 people fleeing the building due to noise and foam. Several police patrols, fire fighters and a translator attended to the fight.

The inhabitants of the center were only able to return to their accommodation in the middle of the night. The police filed several cases of bodily harm.

A similar event transpired in the Saxony-Anhalt state of Germany on the same night. Five people were injured, with the police filing a case of grievous bodily harm.

Europe is currently dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and shelter.

German Justice Minister Warns of Chaos if Berlin Shuts Down Border

Calls have been made in the ruling party of Chancellor Angela Merkel to shut down the national border to middle-aged male refugees travelling alone, among other proposals, but the German leader refused to act on them.

“Closing internal borders would be counterproductive and would only make the situation more chaotic,” Heiko Maas said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag.

The justice minister explained that refugees travelling to Germany through Balkans would be forced to seek illegal ways into the country, bypassing official crossings and making immigration extremely hard to account for.

“This won’t work,” he noted, adding that if Germany and other EU countries start sending refugees away this would cause an “anarchic domino effect” in the region. Instead, he urged to tighten controls on the EU’s external border to better process incoming immigrants.

According to Die Welt newspaper, some 950,000 immigrants have arrived in Germany this year, although the German government continues to stick to its forecast of 800,000 arrivals by the end of 2015.

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

French PM Valls Calls on Gulf to Accept More Refugees

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called on the Gulf states to accept more refugees fleeing Syria, saying that a “humanitarian disaster” could erupt in the Balkans if Europe does not control its borders.

“I’ll say it again, Europe cannot accept all the refugees coming from Syria. That’s why we need a diplomatic, military and political solution in Syria,” Valls said Friday evening.

“Every country must play its part; I’m thinking particularly of the Gulf states,” the prime minister said during a discussion with residents of Evry on the outskirts of Paris, focusing on the response to the attacks which rocked the capital two weeks ago…

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

Italy: Risk of EU Procedure Without Flexibility — UPB

‘Strong risk of being considered signicant

(ANSA) — Rome, November 27 — The Parliamentary Budget Office (UPB) on Friday said there was a risk of the EU opening budget infraction procedures against Italy unless it is granted the margin of flexibility it has requested for the migrant emergency. The UPB said the deviation from the budget-balancing course would be 0.5 percentage points, posing “a strong risk of being considered significant”. The government is hoping to get two billion euros’ worth of wiggle room from the migrant provision and has also said it is asking for flexibility for terrorism expenses.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Leader of German Anti-Immigrant Party Calls on Merkel to Resign

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) — The leader of Germany’s anti-immigrant AfD party, riding a wave of public anger against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s asylum policy, on Saturday called on her to resign for throwing the country’s doors open to migrants.

“Merkel, step down. You can do it,” Frauke Petry told some 600 AfD supporters, mainly gray-haired men, putting a new twist on Merkel’s “Wir schaffen das” (We can do it) message to those who doubt Germany can deal with the influx of migrants expected to reach one million this year.

Petry, whose Alternative for Germany is enjoying an improbable revival after nearly imploding in a power struggle, said her party stood a real chance of entering three new state parliaments next year and the national parliament for the first time in 2017.

Petry drew at least four standing ovations with attacks on what she called Merkel’s undemocratic decision to open Germany’s borders to migrants who are expected to reach one million this year.

Merkel, who will attend a summit of European Union leaders and Turkey’s prime minister on Sunday on the issue, has resisted pressure from her own conservatives to cap the number of refugees…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Brabant Town Council Says No to Asylum Seeker Centre Plans

The Brabant town of Steenbergen, at the centre of angry protests by anti-refugee activists last month, will not get an asylum seekers centre after all.

The town council on Wednesday voted against plans to develop a refugee centre for 300 people but did agree to house 100 recognised refugees with residency permits for a maximum of six months.

The town has seen several bad-tempered protest meetings about the council’s plans and police were forced to intervene on one occasion. In October, some 600 people at one meeting shouted down the town’s mayor and one woman who supported the idea.

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

Paying to be Invaded: Over 90 Percent of Middle Eastern Refugees Are on Food Stamps; 70 Percent Receive Cash Assistance From Government

(NaturalNews) Tens of millions of Americans are getting to the point where they feel like strangers in their own country, thanks to the Obama administration’s incessant importation of as many third-world migrants as the president can possibly stuff into the country.

That is principally why many of them are backing billionaire businessman Donald Trump, and why he has remained the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, and why he continues to out-poll the Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton (and nearly a half-dozen other current GOP contenders).

So it is no secret why consistent majorities of Americans are opposed to mass immigration, as well as President Obama’s plan to resettle as many as 10,000 Syrian “refugees” in the U.S. Indeed, many Americans are beginning to feel as though their country is under invasion, from refugees to those streaming over the Southwest border.

What is even more galling to many is that they are essentially paying to be invaded.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) data analyzed by the immigration subcommittee staff of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, says that in fiscal year 2013, 91.4 percent of refugees from the Middle East, who were accepted into the country between 2008-2013, were receiving taxpayer funded food stamps. Meanwhile, the data showed that 73.1 percent were eligible for, and receiving, Medicaid benefits or Refugee Medical Assistance, while 68.3 percent were on cash-payments welfare.

[Comment: Banksters seek to destory all western nation states using mass migration from a crisis they themselves created. (the so called “Arba Spring” and now Syria.)]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Refugee Crisis Tests Sweden’s Lofty Aim of ‘Equality for All’

Aneta Moura, who emigrated to Sweden from Greece 43 years ago, says the last ethnic Swede has moved off her street in Malmo’s Rosengard neighbourhood and youths with nothing to do hang out on the streets at all hours.

“I no longer know any of my neighbours,” laments 81-year-old Moura.

Growing segregation between ethnic Swedes and immigrants is emerging as a major concern in Sweden, a country that has for decades prided itself on its egalitarian ideals and where most low-skilled jobs have been eliminated in a bid to do away with much of the “class society” that went with them…

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

Sweden: Community Torn Apart as Arrival of Migrants Prompts Running Battles in Streets

A SMALL Swedish village has descended into open warfare after furious locals clashed with migrants in a chilling warning of the dangers associated with mass migration.

By Nick Gutteridge

Outraged protestors threatened children and hurled stones at sheltered housing in apparent retaliation for vandalism and burglaries carried out by newly arrived refugees.

The growing chaos engulfing the once tranquil village of Tärnsjö has got so bad that the children of migrants now need a police escort just to get to school.

It is a snapshot of potential tensions between locals and large numbers of new arrivals boil over, coming as thousands of Syrian refugees begin to arrive in Britain…

Villagers have expressed outrage that migrants get instant access to state benefits and housing whilst many families struggle to get by paying exorbitant rates of tax.

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

‘Planned Parenthood Shooter’ Identifies as Unaffiliated Voter, Female

Much to the consternation of liberals

Gateway Pundit is reporting information today which suggests that, contrary to the dearest hopes of rush-to-judgment liberals, the so-called Planned Parenthood shooter is not a right-winger driven to “domestic terrorism” by “anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric.”

The man who killed three, including Police Officer Garrett Swasey, and wounded several more in a shootout yesterday that ended in a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, has been identified as 57-year-old Coloradan Robert Lewis Dear, originally from South Carolina.

Before any verified details about the shooter or the incident came to light, the left — never letting a crisis go to waste — decided to run with the narrative that the shooter was at Planned Parenthood to kill workers there in response to the shocking series of undercover videos earlier this year. Those videos exposed the organization’s abhorrent practices and attitudes toward aborted fetuses. Twitchy has some vile examples of the left’s accusatory rhetoric on social media here. So far there is no evidence that Planned Parenthood was Dear’s target, nor is there any indication of a motive.

Pundit has more details about Dear:

According to his voting registratoin, Dear identifies as an unaffiliated voter and a woman:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/29/2015

  1. >> a NATO-occupied “safe zone” within Syria, one US policymakers have planned since 2012 <<

    Alternatively, a "stupidity-free zone" or a "lie-free zone" could be created. Either one could revolutionize warfare. Together?

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