Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/30/2015

The Islamic State has publicly executed eighteen people, some of them Syrian army soldiers, in the Syrian city of Palmyra. Meanwhile ISIS has consolidated its hold on Sirte on the coast of Libya, and is advancing eastward towards the oil terminals.

In other news, Ilse Aigner, the economic minister of Bavaria, says that she is in favor of a public ban on all clothing that covers the face, including the burka.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, 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
» Germany: Fall in Retail Sales in October, Down 0.4%
» Italy: Annual Inflation Drops to 0.1%, 0.4% Mnt-on-Mnt Fall
» Italy: Higher Inflation Better for Debt Says Padoan
» Price of Hunger: Financial Crisis Forces Greek Students to Sell Themselves
» Crystal Ball Communism: “Toward Soviet America”
» Republicans Warn Obama: No Global Warming Money if He End-Runs Congress
» The Latest: Minneapolis Protester Doesn’t Plan to Stop Demonstrating
» Trump’s 9/11 Statements Turn Muslims Against US — McCain
» U.S. Congress Giving IRS Authority to Rescind Passports to Prevent Citizens From Leaving the Country
Europe and the EU
» Bavarian Economic Minister Backs Banning Burqas, Niqabs in Germany
» First VatiLeaks 2 Trial Hearing Kicks Off
» Germany Withdraws Controversial Eurovision Contestant
» HSBC Whistleblower: The Biggest Bank Fraud in British History Carried Out on UK Shoppers and Covered Up
» Italy: Jeweller Probed for Killing Robber
» Italy: Top Cop, Police Chief Probed for Shalabayeva
» Nearly Quarter of UK People Doubt Negative Human Impact on Climate — Poll
» Netherlands to Appeal EU Demand for Starbucks Back Taxes
» Row Breaks Out Over LuxLeaks Political Cover-Up
» Spain Ruling People’s Party Expected to Top Polls in December Elections
» Superbugs to Devastate Humanity as Last Antibiotic Chemicals Prove Useless
» Survey Says 39% of Italians Think Islam, Europe ‘At War’
» Ticked Off for New Tick-Tock: UK Foreign Sec Accepts $3000 Saudi Watch
» UK: Horrifying Moment ‘Drug-Addled Wild Thing’ Thief Set Upon Frail Pensioner, 80, Leaving Her With Horrific Injuries
» UK: Universities ‘Dominated by Left-Wing Hate Mobs’, Says Professor Anthony Glees
» Worried About Hotbeds of Radicalism
North Africa
» Libya: Sources: ‘ISIS Advances East of Sirte to Terminals’
» Moving Closer to Europe: ISIL Sets Its Sights on Expansion in Libya
Middle East
» “No War Against ISIS Without the Kurds”: An Interview With US Army Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ernie Audino
» Cameron Creates ‘Phantom Army’ To Justify Bombing Syria
» ISIS Executes 18 in Public in Palmyra
» Obama Never Required Iran to Sign Nuke Deal, It’s Not Legally Binding, And Yes, We’re Honoring it
» Territorial Integrity Must be Undisputed Constant in Kremlin
» Turkey Scaled Down Greek Airspace Violations After Downing Russian Bomber
» U.S. Makes Excuses for Not Bombing ISIS Oil Wells: “Didn’t Want to Do Environmental Damage”
» US Must Cooperate With Russia, Arabs to Defeat ISIL — Retired US Intel Head
» Aeroflot Returns to Profit Against Economy Headwinds
» German Politicians Recognize Russia’s Importance, Hope to Ditch Sanctions
» It’s Been Fund: Russia Sends Soros Speculating His Way Out the Door
South Asia
» Indonesia: Muslim Businessman Proposes Bali as “Sharia” Tourism Destination
» Turkmenistan in Race Against Time to Become Global Gas Player
Far East
» China’s Xi Demands Developed Nations Pay for Climate Action
» Jack Ma’s South China Morning Post Takeover a Double-Edged Sword
Sub-Saharan Africa
» ICC Staves Off Africa-Led Rebellion, Sets Sights on New HQ
» Kenya: Environmently-Friendly Economies ‘Realistic Prospect’ — Pope
» Economic Idiocy to Bankrupt California: Half of Illegal Immigrants Qualify for Medicaid
» EU’s ‘Dirty Deal’ With Turkey on Migrants Draws Flak From German Press
» Netherlands: Failed Asylum Seekers Can be Refused Bed and Board, Highest Dutch Court Says
» Netherlands: Thousands of Red Cross Volunteers in Holland Won’t Help Refugees
» Netherlands: Newcomers Must Pledge to Uphold Dutch Values, Sign Contract
» Swedish Woman Raped by ‘Refugee’, Refuses to Report it Because She Feels Sorry for Him
» Texas Governor Refuses Syrian Refugees
» US, Cuba Holding Migration Talks in Washington on November 30
Culture Wars
» Italy: Nativity Cribs to be Installed in Prefectures, Alfano Says
» No Good Cancelling Xmas to Respect Others Says CEI’s Galantino
» The Effects of Graphic Sex Education on Innocent Minds

Germany: Fall in Retail Sales in October, Down 0.4%

Figures worse than expected

(ANSA) — ROME — Retail sales in Germany in October fell by 0.4% after being recorded stable in September, according to Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. An increase by 0.4% had been predicted. On an annual basis, the index rose by 2.1%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Annual Inflation Drops to 0.1%, 0.4% Mnt-on-Mnt Fall

‘Trolley’ 1.3% up over year

(ANSA) — Rome, November 30 — Italy’s annual inflation rate dropped to 0.1% this month, down 0.2 of a percentage point on the rate for October, according to provisional data released by Istat on Monday. The national statistics agency said its consumer-price index was 0.4% down this month with respect to October. The ‘trolley’ of most frequently bought goods was 0.3% up on October and 1.3% up on November 2014, down from October’s yearly rate of 1.5%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Higher Inflation Better for Debt Says Padoan

‘Counting on ECB’ says economy minister

(ANSA) — Rome, November 30 — Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Monday Italy’s “high” public debt would start falling in 2016 but stressed “it would be useful if inflation were a little higher. We are counting on the ECB, which is insisting on a heterodox monetary policy”. The Italian consumer price index fell 0.4% between October and November.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Price of Hunger: Financial Crisis Forces Greek Students to Sell Themselves

The Greek financial crisis has sent thousands of teenage girls to the streets, not to protest, but to earn a living; however, their hourly earnings are barely enough to buy them a cheese sandwich, according to one researcher.

Eastern Europe, a former leader in terms of its number of prostitutes, can no longer boast that it has the cheapest rates for sex. Greece’s deep economic and financial problems have shifted the priorities of its students, who face the highest unemployment rate in Europe, according to the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat. The national unemployment rate was 25% as of September and the youth unemployment rate in 2014 was 52.4%; both these figures are the worst in the EU.

“Some women just do it for a cheese pie or a sandwich they need to eat because they are hungry,” Gregory Lazos, a professor of sociology at the Athens-based Panteion University told The Times while commenting on the results of his research. They “sell it very cheap,” he said, “offering the lowest prices of the industry across the continent.”

The study lasted for three years and was conducted among 400 young women, mostly students, who have abandon their hopes that the Greek government, which has constantly been on the verge of bankruptcy, can offer them an alternative.

Prostitution is legal in Greece and both brothels and prostitutes must register with the government. However, brothels often operate without any license and have seen a huge influx of female students aged 17-20 who now account for 80% of the country’s prostitutes; they often earn just 2 euros per half hour.

Greek female students become prostitutes “in order to eat or cover basic needs and extra expenses as they have no money,” The Times quoted Lazos as saying.

According to Greece’s National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), the rate of prostitution has soared by 150 percent during the economic crisis. The organization estimates that there are currently 20,000 prostitutes in Greece, of whom fewer than 1,000 are legally registered.

“From the 18,500 prostitutes who work mainly in the streets throughout the country, since most brothels operated without a license, the majority now are desperate Greeks,” the study said.

Lazos stressed that according to the Syriza-led government, prior to the economic crisis and further austerity measures, “there was not prostitution tendency among Greek women.”

His main concern arises from the fact that “the phenomenon” has appeared to be on the rise and that it’s growing at a steady and consistent pace.

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

Crystal Ball Communism: “Toward Soviet America”

by Diana West

Toward Soviet America by William Z. Foster, CPUSA chairman, was first published in 1932. Later, copies of the book would be purged and almost eliminated entirely from American bookstores and libraries in what was presumably the CP response to the latest Moscow line; but surely it was also to try to put this spitting Soviet-American cat back in the bag. Interestingly, the book would be reprinted in 1961 with a foreword and commentary by the chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Rep. Francis E. Walter, who recommended that every American read it as a blueprint of Soviet intentions much like Mein Kampf was a blueprint of Hitler’s. The 1932 version (sans HCUA commentary) is now available online.

For the first time, I just picked up my new 1961 copy, formerly from the library of the late, great Stanton Evans, opened it at random, and found myself reading about what the Soviet-American world of tomorrow looked like back in 1932 to a Communist Party official under Stalin’s tight control. Eight decades later, it is shocking how many of Foster’s Kremlin-approved prophesies have come true — more counter-conventional evidence of the extent to which our “victory” in the so-called Cold War was in fact an ideological rout, particularly at home. This is a main theme of exploration in American Betrayal.

What continues to be clear is that none of this is “history.” Just from today’s headlines, for example, it is reported that the IMF is likely to promote China’s yuan into the “basket of currencies” on a par with the dollar. This isn’t a brand new, discrete development so much as it is the latest installment of a continuing Communist saga. That would be Communist China, of course, and that would be the same IMF whose first US director was Harry Dexter White, a Communist agent-extraordinaire inside the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, whose personal machinations on Stalin’s behalf greatly assisted, among other world-changing events, the cataclysmic Communist takeover of China in 1949.

It turns out that the “history” of Communism, from the IMF abroad to the “cultural revolution” on the college campus at home, is continually breaking news; or, worse, the status quo. And note: Foster is using the phrase “cultural revolution” (below) several decades before Mao.

Beginning on p. 316, here are some of Foster’s prophesies, a mix of recognizable present-day conditions and …?

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Republicans Warn Obama: No Global Warming Money if He End-Runs Congress

Just in case you were under the impression Obama is merely wasting time at the UN Climate Conference in Paris, no, he’s looking to waste a fair amount of U.S. taxpayer money too — with $3 billion set to directly from the U.S. Treasury to the UN Green Climate Fund. Now you might remember that whole thing about how Congress controls the purse strings, which somehow never seems to stop Obama from spending as much as he wants however he wants regardless of congressional disapproval…

You have to love the Obama Administration’s approach to international agreements. Is it a treaty? Well, not if that means the Senate has to ratify it. Is it legally binding? Well, only the parts that don’t require Obama to respect the constitutional limits on his office.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Latest: Minneapolis Protester Doesn’t Plan to Stop Demonstrating

MINNEAPOLIS — The latest in the investigation into the fatal shooting of a black man by Minneapolis police that has sparked more than a week of demonstrations (all times local):…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Trump’s 9/11 Statements Turn Muslims Against US — McCain

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent claims against Muslims make them hostile toward the United States, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In a speech on November 22, Trump made a highly-disputed claim that Muslims worldwide were “absolutely going wild” celebrating after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

“I think it has an interesting effect of turning Muslims all over the world against the United States of America, which is 99.44 percent people who practice an honorable religion,” McCain told the CBS television channel on Sunday, commenting on Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

The Arizona senator called on 2016 presidential candidates to shift their campaign rhetoric away from complaining about the refugee crisis and focus instead on countering the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group and the four-year civil war in Syria, as the latter issues pose a bigger threat to the United States.

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

U.S. Congress Giving IRS Authority to Rescind Passports to Prevent Citizens From Leaving the Country

Americans supposedly live in the land of the free, but the bald eagle soaring high is now just a facade, because Americans are trapped in a birdcage. This is especially true now that Congress is granting the IRS the authority to rescind personal passports to keep citizens confined in the country. People from anywhere in the world are free to cross the border and come in, but many Americans might be targeted, fined, and now restricted from leaving the country, because the IRS has the power to ruin their lives.

That’s right: the Internal Revenue Service will soon be prohibiting people from traveling as free human beings. If an individual is unable or unwilling to pay the amount of money the IRS has determined to take from them, then that individual may not be allowed to travel outside the U.S. This measure has been passed by Congress as part of the highway bill. The bill is intended to force individuals to pay their “seriously delinquent tax debts.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bavarian Economic Minister Backs Banning Burqas, Niqabs in Germany

The economic minister of the German region of Bavaria on Monday stated the support for a ban on burqas and niqabs, traditional Islamic clothing for women which covers the entire face or body.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Ilse Aigner added that wearing clothes that cover the face contradicts the European observance of the equality of women and men, and a law banning such items of clothing should be adopted by the parliament.

“When I traveled to Iran, I respected the traditions of the country and wore a headscarf. Likewise I expect from women from the Arab world that they will give up fully covering their faces in this country. These laws will apply not only to the German citizens,” Ilse Aigner said in an interview to the German Welt newspaper.

A ban on face covering in public places is in place in some European countries, including the Netherlands and France.

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

First VatiLeaks 2 Trial Hearing Kicks Off

Journalist-defendants both showed up in court

(supersedes previous)(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 24 — The so-called Vatileaks 2 trial against five people for allegedly leaking confidential Holy See documents kicked off in a Vatican court on Tuesday. Investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi are on trial for allegedly using the leaked material in books documenting Vatican waste and mismanagement and lavish spending by clergymen. Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, his former assistant Nicola Maio and PR expert Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui are charged with leaking the material. Proceedings began with the court rejecting a defence motion to dismiss the case against Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi told the court he can’t defend himself because the indictment “doesn’t contain the least description of the charges against me — not even an implicit one”. The court failed to say what leaked documents he is supposed to have used in his recently published book, Avarice.

Also on Tuesday, Nuzzi told trial reporters that freedom of information and of the press are worth defending. “We are not martyrs, we’re just reporters but some principles must be defended,” said the author of Merchants in the Temple. “You can criticize, appreciate, or blame but there is another level, which is safeguarding freedom of information”.

Fittipaldi’s book Avarice alleges officials in the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy spent hundreds of thousands of euros on business class flights, clothes made to measure, and expensive furniture.

Fittipaldi wrote that a list of the secretariat’s spending included “crazy expenses that reached more than half a million euros after just six months of operations”.

Nuzzi’s Merchants in the Temple paints a picture of financial mismanagement, greed, secrecy and waste in the Vatican’s bureaucracy.

Both books quickly sold out in Rome bookshops when they were released on November 5, and also became Amazon and Kindle best-sellers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany Withdraws Controversial Eurovision Contestant

(AGI) London, Nov 23 — Germany has withdrawn its contestant, Xavier Naidoo, from the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Naidoo, who is 44 and of Indian and African origin, has previously been accused of using anti-Semitic slurs and homophobic language in his songs. The news of his withdrawal was announced by the BBC.

A storm of criticism had blown up on German public ARD television, after anti-racist organisations complained about Germany’s decision to nominate Naidoo. Director of entertainment Thomas Schreiber stressed that “Xavier Naidoo is a brilliant singer who is, according to my own opinion, neither racist nor homophobe. It was clear that his nomination would polarise opinions, but we were surprised about the negative response.” Mr Schreiber added that “the Eurovision Song Contest is a fun event, in which music and the understanding between European people should be the focus. This characteristic must be kept at all costs. The ongoing discussion about Naidoo could harm the image of the Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore, Xavier Naidoo will not represent Germany and we will soon find a replacement.” Naidoo, born of a Cingalese father and a South African mother, was harshly criticised in 2014 for taking part in a demonstration organised by the Neo-Fascist Reichsbuerge group on the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany.

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

HSBC Whistleblower: The Biggest Bank Fraud in British History Carried Out on UK Shoppers and Covered Up

“In my position, as you can imagine, I’ve got a few enemies.” An anonymous tip off has contacted the DWP to suggest that Nicholas Wilson is frauding the benefits office. “They sent a letter calling me in for a compliance interview.”

The irony is that Nicholas Wilson is a whistleblower, who has been trying to expose what would be the largest bank fraud in the history of the UK, totalling over £1bn. This is made up of illegal charges imposed by HFC Bank — previously a subsidiary of HSBC, onto unsuspecting UK customer debts on high street store cards.

“Everything I do on my campaign with HSBC, it’s all about fraud and corruption and underhand dealings. I do everything up front and transparent and that’s how I have to be. I haven’t got anything up my sleeve.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Jeweller Probed for Killing Robber

Investigators had said he acted in self-defence

(ANSA) — Milan, November 27 — Rodolfo Corazzo, the jeweller who killed an Albanian robber in his home near Milan Tuesday night, has been formally placed under investigation for using excessive force in self-defence, judicial sources said Friday. They said it was a “due act”, or technicality. Investigators said earlier this week they believed Corazzo acted “within the realm of self-defence”.

The dead man, 36-year-old Albanian Valentin Frrokaj, was a fugitive murder convict and considered extremely dangerous.

He was part of a gang of three that attacked Corazzo outside his home in Rodano and forced him to open the door, according to initial reconstructions.

“I did it all to defend my family, my daughter, my wife,” a clearly shaken Corazzo told reporters in the office of his lawyer on Wednesday.

“I did not intend to kill but to send them packing.

“Thank God I had a weapon on me. If I had not been armed, I’m certain they would have killed us”.

The two other bandits are on the run and a manhunt is on for them throughout northern Italy.

They could be armed as one of the guns that Corazzo owns, and has permits for, a Smith&Wesson 357 Magnum, is missing.

Colazzo said the three spoke Italian with foreign accents.

Frrokaj was sentenced to life in prison for stabbing to death a fellow Albanian in July 2007 in Brescia.

He escaped with a compatriot from prison in Parma in February 2013, but was tracked down by Carabinieri, packing a loaded Beretta gun, in August that year.

He made a second prison break from a jail in Palermo in May 2014 — reportedly using the traditional method of cutting through the bars and tying sheets into a rope to climb down from the cell.

The gang he was part of is said to have hit Corazzo from behind, forced him to shut down his two-storey home’s closed-circuit video system and let them in.

A shootout is thought to have taken place after Corazzo fired into the air in an attempt to scare the robbers away.

Frrokaj was hit and is thought to have died immediately.

“I’d given them everything,” Corazzo said.

“I didn’t have anything in the house but they insisted, threatening me and they even tried to intimidate my 11-year-old daughter, taking her upstairs and saying they’d cut off her finger if I didn’t say where the money was.

“They kept us there, threatening us with guns, for an hour and a half.

“They fired six shots with a gun that I had in the safe.

“I fired only three. The first two didn’t hit anything.

The third hit one of them, but I didn’t aim”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Top Cop, Police Chief Probed for Shalabayeva

Kidnapping suspected

(ANSA) — Rome, November 26 — Top cop Renato Cortese, Rimini police chief Maurizio Improta, another five police and justice of the peace Stefania Lavore are being probed for suspected kidnapping in the 2013 expulsion from Italy of Alma Shalabayeva, wife of Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, and their six-year-old daughter, judicial sources said Thursday.

In July 2014 Italy’s supreme Cassation Court ruled that the deportation of the wife and daughter of the Kazakh dissident was “manifestly illegitimate”.

Italy rescinded the deportation order after the May 31, 2013, expulsion of Shalabayeva and daughter Alua, who were seized in a nighttime raid and put on a private jet with Kazakh diplomats, was brought to light.

According to Shalabayeva, some 50 plain-clothes officers mistreated and verbally abused her and her daughter during the operation before turning the two over to the government of Kazakhstan, which has been criticized for human rights abuses.

Ablyazov, who is wanted in Kazakhstan and Russia, is an outspoken critic of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Kazakhstan claims Ablyazov, a banker, is not a dissident but an outlaw wanted for a multi-billion-euro embezzlement case at his BTA Bank.

Shalabayeva and her daughter returned to Italy six months after their controversial deportation, which caused an international scandal.

They were able to leave Kazakhstan after the authorities in Astana lifted restrictions on their movements, following strenuous lobbying from former foreign minister Emma Bonino.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Nearly Quarter of UK People Doubt Negative Human Impact on Climate — Poll

Some 24 percent of British citizens participating in a survey doubt that climate change will harm the Earth’s environment or have a negative impact on human life, an opinion poll revealed Monday

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A survey conducted for the British Sky News TV channel said that at least 24 percent of UK citizens polled either do not interpret global warming as a threat or do not believe that humans are contributing to the environmental shift.

A similar poll conducted by the YouGov research company in 2013 showed that the number of UK citizens doubting the negative effect of humanity on the Earth’s climate was 12 percent.

The poll results were released as the 21st UN Climate Change Conference is currently taking place in Paris from November 30 to December 11. The international forum aims to reach a legally binding agreement on climate change between nations.

The Sky News poll results state that over half of those British people contributing to the questionnaire oppose an increase in personal taxes to finance cuts in greenhouse emissions, legislation which could be implemented in an agreement at the UN conference.

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

Netherlands to Appeal EU Demand for Starbucks Back Taxes

The Dutch government said Friday it will appeal an EU ruling that Starbucks must pay up to 30 million euros ($34 million) in back taxes after being awarded an illegal tax break.

In a major blow to sweetheart tax arrangements, Brussels said last month that the deals the Netherlands had offered the US coffee giant and Luxembourg had awarded Italian automaker Fiat were illegal.

But Dutch Foreign Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told MPs Friday that the government disagreed with the European Commission’s demand to reclaim two years of unpaid taxes from Starbucks…

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

Row Breaks Out Over LuxLeaks Political Cover-Up

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have hit out at what they describe as “procedural tricks” being used to protect Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem from investigation into the LuxLeaks scandal.

The so-called LuxLeaks scandal emerged when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a series of documents exposing Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies which had secured secret deals from Luxembourg that allowed many of them to slash their global tax bills.

Since then, the European Commission ruled that Luxembourg and the Netherlands have granted selective tax advantages to Fiat Finance and Trade and Starbucks, respectively. These are illegal under EU state aid rules.

The Commission found that Luxembourg has granted selective tax advantages to Fiat’s financing company and the Netherlands to the Starbucks Coffee Company. In each case, a tax ruling issued by the respective national tax authority artificially lowered the tax paid by the company.

The European Parliament set up a special investigation panel, known as the TAXE committee, to look into tax practices within the union. However, plans to extend its powers to look far wider into how much Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem knew about the tax practices have been scuppered.

Juncker was finance minister and prime minister of Luxembourg during the time the special tax deals were made. Dijsselbloem has been finance minister in the Netherlands since 2012.

‘Biggest Tax Scandal in the EU’

Last week, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and the center-left political S&D Group expressed legal concerns with the extension, but to set up a new special committee on taxation to last six months, with the political groups now tasked to work on a new mandate.

The President of the Greens/EFA alliance Philippe Lamberts said:

“EP president Schulz has used procedural tricks to prevent the prolongation of the special parliamentary committee investigating taxation. He is clearly more interested in protecting politicians directly implicated in the scandal, like Jean-Claude Juncker and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, instead of ensuring parliament plays its role in investigating the biggest tax scandal in the history of the EU.”

Greens/EFA tax policy spokesperson Sven Giegold said: “We will not accept any weakening of the mandate of the new committee, whose creation will already lead to unnecessary bureaucracy and delay. Parliament’s investigation cannot be deemed finished until we have established who bears political responsibility for the billion Euro tax dumping of Google, Amazon, Facebook and hundreds of other multinationals.”

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

Spain Ruling People’s Party Expected to Top Polls in December Elections

Spain’s ruling People’s Party is set to top the polls in the upcoming parliamentary elections, a Sigma Dos poll revealed Monday.

MADRID (Sputnik) — According to the survey, the People’s Party (PP) will receive 27.1 percent of the vote, securing 115 seats in parliament.

The pro-independence Citizens party will obtain 23 percent, while the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party is expected to come third with some 20 percent, according to the poll results.

Spain’s general elections are scheduled for December 20.

The ruling party currently holds 185 seats after winning the 2011 elections with some 45 percent of the vote.

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

Superbugs to Devastate Humanity as Last Antibiotic Chemicals Prove Useless

(NaturalNews) As drug-resistant infections become more prevalent, more and more people are now being treated with “last-resort” antibiotics, warns a new report by Public Health England, an agency within the British Department of Health.

The report also showed an increase in the number of people suffering a “significant antibiotic-resistant infection” between 2010 and 2014.

Antibiotic resistance develops as a natural consequence of antibiotic use. Because viruses are a diverse and ancient group of organisms, many of them have some degree of resistance to the chemicals used to kill them. When antibiotics are used, these naturally resistant organisms survive, while the vulnerable ones are killed.

The surviving bacteria then reproduce, passing on their resistance to the next generation. The more widely antibiotics are used, the more rapidly resistance genes spread through bacterial populations.

The problem is made even worse by the bacterial ability to swap genes with each other, even between species.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Survey Says 39% of Italians Think Islam, Europe ‘At War’

But 45% don’t believe Islam ‘opened hostilities’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 27 — Some 58% of Italians reject the notion of Europe has started hostilities following this month’s terror attacks in Paris and 45% say that Islam has not opened hostilities with Europe either, according to an Ixé survey for Raitre television.

Some 39% of Italians, on the other hand, say they believe that, after the Paris attacks Islam, is at war with Europe and 34% even say they believe Europe has started a war against Islam.

Some 47% of Italians favour Italian military action against ISIS but only as part of an international coalition, the survey.

Some 18% would support an Italian unilateral attack on ISIS while 32% say it is best to stay out of any military action and 3% said they don’t know.

Some 76% of Italians say their attitudes to Islam are unchanged after the Paris terror attacks, arguing that ‘one must not generalise,” according to the poll.

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

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ticked Off for New Tick-Tock: UK Foreign Sec Accepts $3000 Saudi Watch

Criticism is mounting on Britain’s foreign secretary Philip Hammond who has accepted a watch worth US$3000 from one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men.

The generous present to the Tory minister was given by businessman Sheikh Marei Mubarak Mahfouz bin Mahfouz following an event in Mr Hammond’s Runnymede and Weybridge constituency in the summer.

British Ministers are banned from taking presents worth more than US$210, but Mr Hammond claims he accepted the gift in his capacity as a constituency MP.

Pouring scorn on the decision by Hammond to take the gift, Labour MP John Mann told the Sunday Times:

“What on earth was he doing? No MP should be accepting watches worth near £2000 [US$3000] as a gift. He should now give it to charity.”

The acceptance of a watch worth more than the allowed gift price by Britain’s foreign minister exacerbates the criticism of the Conservative party’s cozy relationship with the Saudi Arabian kingdom.

Former Liberal Democrat leader, Lord Ashdown recently said British foreign policy was being influenced via “the closeness between the Conservative Party and rich Arab Gulf individuals.”

Lord Ashdown told British media that the failure by British Prime Minister David Cameron to put pressure on Gulf states to stop funding jihadists raises questions over the Conservative Party’s links to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Defending his decision to wear a new watch, a spokesman for Philip Hammond said: “The gift of a watch to mark the unveiling of the local commemoration was a constituency matter, not a government one, which is why it was declared fully, openly and properly in the Commons’ register of interests.”

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

UK: Horrifying Moment ‘Drug-Addled Wild Thing’ Thief Set Upon Frail Pensioner, 80, Leaving Her With Horrific Injuries

Lynnette Oakey, 34, pounced on Veronica Heyes (pictured) in Preston, Lancashire, after confronting the pensioner and demanding cigarettes from her.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Universities ‘Dominated by Left-Wing Hate Mobs’, Says Professor Anthony Glees

Buckingham lecturer Professor Anthony Glees said hard-line students and academics have become more militant in the past ten years as the internet age encourages ‘self-absorption’.

[Comment: Stop forcing a portion of sutdent fees to go to a student union. Student unions, like other unions, have become communist hotbeds.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Worried About Hotbeds of Radicalism

Islamists are particularly active in Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia

(ANSA) — ZAGREB — According to estimates made by some security experts, a relatively strong network of radical Islamic groups has been created in the last fifteen years in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo, Zagreb newspaper Jutarnji list reported today in a lengthy report on terrorist threats in the Balkans.

The daily, citing anonymous sources inside Croatian secret services, says that among the Muslims in Kosovo and Albania “the number of radicalised people is higher than in Bosnia”.

This situation could result from divisions and internecine clashes in the different Muslim communities, whereas in Bosnia the Muslim community appears much more unanimous in condemning extremists and terrorism. Something simliar appears to have been recorded in Macedonia, where parts of the large Albanian minority (25% of the population) are working together closely with some groups in Albania. The most worrying situation appears to have been detected in the Muslim region of Sandzak, which is divided among three countries (Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia). Within this area, many internal divisions have been recorded, particularly after several Bosnian Wahabi leaders have moved to Sandzak. In Croatia, where about 60,000 Muslims are well-integrated into local society, about 70 people were identified as “Islamic extremists” by secret services and are therefore under control. None of these people seem to be willing to commit terror acts of terror so far.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: Sources: ‘ISIS Advances East of Sirte to Terminals’

With heavy weapons and tanks towards Harawa and Nufaliya

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 30 — Libyan sources agreed in stating to media website Alwasat that “ISIS jihadists are advancing with heavy weapons and tanks east of Sirte, near the cities of Harawa, Nufaliya and Bin Jawad”. According to the same sources, “ISIS is approaching the area of oil terminals”, and “heavily armed members of the terror group patrol the main streets, accompanied by Islamic police cars”.

Residents of the districts of Wefaq al Gharbi and Ajdabiya, in eastern Libya, have said they are “ready for military action in cooperation with the Libyan army against the jihadists of ISIS”. A group calling itself ‘Al wefaq al Gharbi youth’ said it had “military weapons and munitions to fight terror organizations in the region”. Ajdabiya, located west of Benghazi ,has registered over the past few months a high rate of murders claimed by ISIS, Alwasat reports.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Moving Closer to Europe: ISIL Sets Its Sights on Expansion in Libya

The Islamic State has increased its presence in the Mediterranean city of Sirte in Libya from 200 fighters at the start of the year to a force of 5,000 men, including administrators and financiers; the base is the first to be directly established by ISIL outside Syria and Iraq, and brings the terrorists closer to Europe.

The militant group has apparently found a new base where it can “generate oil revenue and plan terror attacks,” according to a Wall Street Journal report, based on estimates provided by Libyan intelligence officials, residents and activists in the area.

The group has apparently expanded its staff and activities in the Mediterranean city of Sirte since February 2015, when it first announced its presence in the area.

It now has roughly 5,000 men there, including administrators and financiers. The new stronghold is directly across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy.

Sirte is a gateway to several major oil fields and refineries farther east along the same coast and the Islamic State has targeted those installations in the past year, the newspaper says.

“They have made their intentions clear,” it quotes Ismail Shoukry, the head of military intelligence for the region that includes Sirte, as saying. “They want to take their fight to Rome.”

The group has already announced their plans to recruit foreign fighters, and is calling them to travel to Libya instead of Syria. According to residents and activists from Sirte and Libyan military officials, recent weeks have already seen a flood of foreign recruits and their families.

“Sirte will be no less than Raqqa,” is a mantra often repeated by Islamic State leaders in the Libyan city during sermons and radio broadcasts, the newspaper quotes several residents and an activist from the city as saying. Raqqa is the group’s self-declared capital in Syria.

About 85% of Libya’s crude oil production in 2014 went to Europe, with Italy being the largest recipient. About half of the natural gas it produces is exported to Italy.

“The control of Islamic State over this region will lead to economic breakdowns,” the leader of the Libyan operation said, “especially for Italy and the rest of the European states.”

The extremist group has already called for recruits who have the technical know-how to put nearby oil facilities into operation.

The militants, as it turns, were able to successfully exploit deep existing divisions in Libya, which has two rival governments, which are entangled in a violent, nationwide power struggle.

The internationally recognized government has been forced to operate from Tobruk on the eastern border with Egypt and its rival self-styled government in Tripoli, which is run by Libya Dawn, a dominant group of Islamists forces.

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

“No War Against ISIS Without the Kurds”: An Interview With US Army Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ernie Audino

On the morning of November 13, 2015 combined Peshmerga and Yazidi forces, with US Special operators and USAF tactical support, successfully cut off the occupied city of Sinjar in northern Iraq. This action blocked Highway 47, the strategic line of communications between the Islamic State self-declared Caliphate capital in Raqqa, Syria from Mosul.

US Army Brig. Gen. (ret.), Ernie Audino knows the Peshmerga from practical experience. He was embedded with them for a year in 2006 as the commander of a small team of combat advisors. He knows that ISIS’ aim is a global Jihad insurgency. Speaking on the November 15, 2015 Lisa Benson Show on National Security, he called Sinjar a “decisive victory” by 7,500 Peshmerga and 6,000 armed Yazidis. He told the program listeners that the Kurds had “rolled up 28 villages retaking 200 kilometers of terrain.” The combined Peshmerga and Yazidi forces were assisted, he said, by “40 USAF strikes inside the city.” The combined force, Audino said, had cut off “600 ISIS fighters, resulting in 300 dead” against a few dozen Peshmerga casualties.

Thus ended a 15 month barbaric occupation of the largely Yazidi city, seized in August 2014 with a thousand men killed and buried in mass graves, thousands of women treated as chattel and sold as sex slaves and children enslaved as well. Thousands fled to Sinjar Mountain and were relieved by Kurdish PKK and Syrian Kurdish YPG forces which retook Sinjar Mountain in December 2014. The seizure of Sinjar by ISIS caught the Peshmerga off balance. They faltered in defense of the city because of alleged inadequate command and control. The Guardian report on the re-conquest of Sinjar, noted what a senior Kurdish official said:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Cameron Creates ‘Phantom Army’ To Justify Bombing Syria

The UK’s David Cameron has created a “phantom” anti-ISIL army which does not exist in reality, war correspondent David Fisk wrote.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has created a phantom army of 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria to justify joining bombing operations, award-winning war correspondent Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent on Monday.

Fisk has covered Middle Eastern conflicts for over 35 years, and is currently covering the Syrian conflict, both independently and embedded with Syrian troops.

“At one point last week, one of Cameron’s satraps was even referring to this phantom army as ‘ground troops.’ I doubt if there are 700 active ‘moderate’ foot soldiers in Syria — and I am being very generous, for the figure may be nearer 70 — let alone 70,000. And the Syrian Kurds are not going to conquer ISIS (ISIL) for us; they’re too busy trying to survive the assaults of our Turkish allies,” Fisk wrote.

According to Fisk, the Syrian Army are the only regular force in the Syrian conflict, actively fighting both ISIL and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

“Yet after losing at least 60,000 soldiers — killed largely by ISIS and the al-Nusra Front — the Syrian army would be hard put to fight off an assault on Damascus by Dave Cameron’s 70,000 ‘moderates.’ If this ghost army existed, it would already have captured Damascus and hurled Bashar al-Assad from power.”

Fisk added that ISIL attacks seek to destroy Western societies from within by turning them against Muslim communities, rather than destroying them through an armed conquest.

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

ISIS Executes 18 in Public in Palmyra

Those accused of collaborating with regime and gov’t soldiers

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, NOVEMBER 30 — At least 18 people have been executed in public by the Islamic State (ISIS) in the city of Palmyra in central Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Local sources say that among the victims are government soldiers captured in battle and other people accused of collaborating with the Syrian regime. Palmyra, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world due to its UNESCO World Heritage Roman-era ruins, has seen some of the worst atrocities perpetrated by ISIS since it gained control of it in May.

The jihadists, who blew up some temples and funerary monuments, used the Roman theater in July as the site for the execution in public of 25 soldiers by adolescent fighters. In August, ISIS also publicly beheaded the 81-year-old Khaled Al-Assad, who had been the director of the site for four decades.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Obama Never Required Iran to Sign Nuke Deal, It’s Not Legally Binding, And Yes, We’re Honoring it

In Obamaland, words have no meaning. We know this. Illegal Immigrants aren’t here illegally, the Islamic State isn’t Islamic, and affordable healthcare isn’t affordable. Now we’re learning that deals aren’t really deals. Actual “deals” are two-sided affairs and, according to the National Review, the President’s horrible nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t really qualify.

That’s because Iranian leaders were never required to sign the “deal,” which is not legally binding in any way. According to the State Department, it’s simply a collection of “political promises.”

Iranian leadership has already vowed to violate the terms, as the Washington Free Beacon reported:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Territorial Integrity Must be Undisputed Constant in Kremlin

VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Territorial integrity of countries like Syria, Iraq and Turkey has to be absolutely undisputed in the Middle East, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

“You know, this region is too vulnerable. And this is why the territorial and political integrity has to be the entirely undisputed constant,” Peskov told Rossiya 24 television channel.

The spokesman outlined Syria, Iraq and Turkey as the countries requiring such measures, as violation of territorial integrity could lead to catastrophic consequences.

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

Turkey Scaled Down Greek Airspace Violations After Downing Russian Bomber

Greece has seen a dramatic drop in the number of violations of its airspace by Turkish military aircraft since Tuesday’s downing of a Russian bomber over Syria, the Greek General Staff said on Saturday.

Turkish warplanes stray into Greek airspace dozens of times each day with more than 50 such incidents registered this month alone.

However, not a single such violation happened on Tuesday with RIA Novosti quoting a diplomatic source in Athens as saying that “there was zero Turkish military activity in the Greek Flight Information Region over the Aegean Sea, and we know why.”

On Tuesday, November 24, a Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet over Syrian territory and crashed four kilometers from the Turkish border.

“On November 25 a squadron of six Turkish warplanes, two with arms on board, strayed into Greek airspace, but no such incidents have been registered ever since,” the Greek General Staff said in a statement.

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

U.S. Makes Excuses for Not Bombing ISIS Oil Wells: “Didn’t Want to Do Environmental Damage”

Editor’s Comment: It wouldn’t be U.S. policy if it weren’t hypocritical. The entire war against ISIS has been a sham, a mental jihad to blunt the American people over the head with fear while the world watches a desperate empire try to hold onto petrodollar power with the tools of confusion and destruction. There can be no doubt for anyone paying attention that the U.S. has been funding ISIS, and pretending to fight against them as a reason for intervening in Syria and Iraq.

The Bizarre Explanation For Why The U.S. Has Avoided Bombing ISIS Oil Wells

by Michael Snyder

Why hasn’t the U.S. bombed the oil wells that ISIS controls into oblivion by now? Would you believe that it is because the Obama administration “didn’t want to do environmental damage”? Former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell has publicly admitted that we have purposely avoided damaging the main source of income for ISIS, and his explanation for why we were doing this is utterly bizarre. But at this point what could the Obama administration say that would actually make sense? Everyone now knows that ISIS has been making hundreds of millions of dollars selling oil in Turkey, and that this has been done with the full knowledge and complicity of the Obama White House. This is potentially the biggest scandal of the entire Obama presidency, and yet so far the Republicans have not jumped on it.

If you or I even gave five bucks to ISIS, we would be arrested and hauled off to Guantanamo Bay. And yet Barack Obama is allowing ISIS to funnel massive quantities of oil through our NATO ally Turkey, and he is not doing anything to stop this from happening. It is a betrayal of the American people that is so vast that it is hard to put into words.

By now, virtually everyone on the entire planet knows exactly what is going on. For example, Iraq’s former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie shared the following on his Facebook page on Saturday…

“First and foremost, the Turks help the militants sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for $20 a barrel, which is half the market price.

Until Russia started bombing the living daylights out of them, an endless parade of trucks carrying ISIS oil would go back and forth over the Turkish border completely unmolested. Following the downing of a Russian SU-24 bomber by Turkey in an area where many of these trucks travel, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to publicly air this dirty laundry. Just check out what he told reporters following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande last week…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Must Cooperate With Russia, Arabs to Defeat ISIL — Retired US Intel Head

Calling the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi strategic failures, former DIA head Michael Flynn said that cooperation with Russia and the Arabs is essential to resolving the Syrian crisis.

The United States must work with Russia and cooperate with Arab countries to defeat ISIL, retired DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) chief Michael Flynn told the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview.

“Our message must be that we want to help and that we will leave once the problems have been solved. The Arab nations must be on our side. And if we catch them, Kuwait for example, financing, if they funnel money to IS, that’s when sanctions and other actions have to kick in,” Flynn said.

Kuwait, as well as other Gulf States, are known to have financed Syrian rebel groups. Qatar is alleged to have financed ISIL when it was part of the rebel coalition, prior to its break-off from al-Qaeda and development into an independent entity.

According to Flynn, Russia must be considered a factor in the Syrian crisis, although he said it would have to pressure Iran to back out of its military efforts in Syria and other countries.

“We have to work constructively with Russia. Whether we like it or not, Russia made a decision to be there (in Syria) and to act militarily. They are there, and this has dramatically changed the dynamic. So you can’t say Russia is bad, they have to go home. It’s not going to happen. Get real,” Flynn told Der Spiegel.

Flynn also noted that the decreased willingness of the US to engage in combat has led its ally France to seek help from Russia.

“Look at what happened in the past few days: The president of France asked the US for help militarily (after the Paris attacks). That’s really weird to me, as an American. We should have been there first and offered support. Now he is flying to Moscow and asking Putin for help,” Flynn added.

Flynn also criticized the idea of targeting terrorism geographically, asking “where” the terror came from rather than “why.”

“We were too dumb. We didn’t understand who we had there at that moment. When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them,’“ Flynn said.

He added that he regrets the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein, calling the overthrow of both Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi strategic failures, which led to the rise of ISIL.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Aeroflot Returns to Profit Against Economy Headwinds

Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot on Monday announced it had returned to profit in the third quarter, shrugging off the impact of the country’s economic crisis with a boost in sales and market share.

The state-owned airline, which is a member of the SkyTeam alliance along with Air France-KLM, reported net profits of 5.4 billion rubles ($80.9 million, 76.5 million euros) between July and September, compared to a loss in the same period last year of 1.7 billion rubles.

The airline’s turnover was up 38 percent at 133 billion rubles, with passenger numbers up for domestic flights but also due to changes linked to the falling ruble.

The results “reflect the successful implementation of our initiatives to increase efficiency in challenging economic conditions,” the deputy CEO for finance, Shamil Kurmashov, said in a statement…

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

German Politicians Recognize Russia’s Importance, Hope to Ditch Sanctions

The Euroskeptic German party Alternative for Germany has called for the country to abandon its anti-Russian rhetoric and recognizing Moscow as a full-fledged ally, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.

One of the key points of Germany’s security policy should become its cooperation with Russia, which should be recognized as Berlin’s full-blown ally, the German newspaper Die Welt quoted the Eurosceptic German party Alternative for Germany as saying.

Speaking at the recent party congress, party members agreed, in particular, that Russia should play a significant role in the fight against Daesh, also known as the Islamic State or ISIL.

“We see Russia as a legitimate player on the global stage and an important partner in the joint struggle against Islamic terrorism,” the congress’s resolution said.

For his part, the party’s deputy chairman Alexander Gauland warned against going ahead with anti-Russian moves.

“Europe continuing to pursue a policy aimed against Russia is unacceptable. It must be stopped”, Gauland pointed out.

The resolution in turn underscored that the actions aimed against Moscow will weaken an international coalition fighting Daesh.

In this regard, the party called for the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions and restoration of normal relations between NATO, the EU and Russia.

Also, Germany should resume diplomatic relations with Syria, which were broken off in 2012, the party said, adding that the next few years may see an ever-increasing confrontation between the East and the West.

Referring to the recent downing by a Turkish warplane of the Russian Su-24 and bomber Turkey’s growing Islamization, the party argued that Ankara could not be seen as a reliable partner of Europe.

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

It’s Been Fund: Russia Sends Soros Speculating His Way Out the Door

Two foreign non-governmental organizations run by George Soros have been blacklisted as undesirable by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office, according to RIA Novosti.

The Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office has included two foreign organizations operated by George Soros in its list of the undesirable NGOs, RIA Novosti quoted the office’s spokeswoman Marina Gridneva as saying on Monday.

The organizations include the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, both part of a network of international organizations created by noted US billionaire investor George Soros.

“[The prosecutors] have found that the activity of these organizations poses a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional system and state security,” Gridneva said.

The decision came after Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, asked the country’s Prosecutor —General’s Office, the Foreign Minister and the Justice Minister to inspect organizations included in the so-called patriotic “stop list.” The document was approved by the Federation Council in July 2015.

Earlier this year, Russia adopted a law facilitating the blacklisting of foreign and international non-governmental organizations which were considered “undesirable in Russia”. Organizations are included in the list if they are thought to pose a threat to the country’s constitutional system, defense capability or national security.

Under the law, the Prosecutor General or his deputy decides whether or not to blacklist an organization, in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry. The revocation of such a decision is carried out in a similar manner.

Known for having made some of the largest speculative transactions in history, George Soros’ agenda in Russia dates back to 1988, when he met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. Through his multi-billion-dollar funds, he once hoped to help steer the course of Russian political development.

However, he disapproved of the Putin administration, and in 2003, he stopped funding charitable projects in Russia.

Earlier this year, he made it known that he supports sanctions against Russia and proposed propping up Kiev with a whopping $50 billion fund to “counter Moscow’s nationalist expansionism”, writing in the New York Times Review of Books that this would foil Putin’s “attempts to destabilize Ukraine”.

Among other ‘charitable’ projects, Soros himself does not deny having contributed financially to Ukraine’s 2004 “Orange Revolution” and 2013 Maidan coup.

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

Indonesia: Muslim Businessman Proposes Bali as “Sharia” Tourism Destination

The chairman of the Sharia Economic Society has proposed the creation of specific services in accordance with Muslim law in the most visited Indonesian island. The idea, he says, works from an economic standpoint because it attracts visitors requiring “halal services”. Numerous criticisms have been raised in the archipelago: “Do not ruin Bali, a place of tolerance and encounter”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Making Bali, the most visited tourist destination in Indonesia, a tourist center “in line with Islamic Sharia”, is a proposal of Muliaman Hadad, president of the Sharia Economic Society (Mes) Indonesian, who spoke from Denpasar, the capital of the island. The idea is to implement a number of specific services according to the most rigid dictates of Islamic law.

“Bali is made for it, why not try? At least seven million people — says Hadad — visit Bali every year, and three million are from abroad. So why not organize a tourism in line with Sharia as they do in Malaysia and Thailand and other countries in the Middle East? “.

The Muslim businessman was keen to stress that the proposal does not have to deal directly with religion, but aims to increase revenue and volume of visitors. The idea, he says, is a winner from the economic point of view, because it also would attract that segment of consumers who require special treatment such as, for example, halal services [permissible ed]. Muliaman Hadad made the request to the Mes President of Bali to seriously consider the proposal.

Although Hadad assured that the idea is not to establish a “more Muslim Bali”, many complaints have been raised in the archipelago by the civil society and beyond. Students, workers in the tourism sector and politicians (including former police chief of Bali) have spoken out against the creation of a tourism obedient to Sharia.

Bali is the only Hindu majority place in Indonesia, the Islamic tradition and customs of the country and modern Western tourists coexist peacefully, making it an oasis of tolerance. Hindus are free to practice their religion in public, and in past years the island has welcomed refugees fleeing the sectarian clashes that took place in Jakarta, who were ethnic Chinese or Christians.

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

Turkmenistan in Race Against Time to Become Global Gas Player

While the golden domes of Turkmenistan’s presidential palace hint at the country’s fantastic gas wealth, the reclusive Central Asian country remains a slumbering giant in the high stakes game of energy politics.

An ex-Soviet republic of five million, Turkmenistan boasts more gas reserves per capita than any other country bar Qatar. But it has so far proved unable to bring its energy bounty to a competitive market as low prices and technological improvements have expanded options for importers elsewhere.

And time may be slipping away for the authoritarian regime in Ashgabat with pressure coming not only from more producer nations but also the growth of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Once hailed as a missing piece in energy security puzzles from Brussels to Delhi, only China has established a firm grip over the hermit-like country’s strategic hydrocarbon wealth, while former chief buyer Russia has seemingly turned away…

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

China’s Xi Demands Developed Nations Pay for Climate Action

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Monday for rich nations to honour their commitment to provide $100 billion a year to developing countries to tackle climate change.

Xi told the UN climate summit in Paris that developed countries should accept “more shared responsibilities” for limiting global warming and helping poor countries adapt to a climate-afflicted world.

“Developed countries should honour their commitment of mobilising $100 billion each year from 2020 and provide stronger financial support to developing countries afterwards,” Xi said, according to an official translation of his remarks…

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

Jack Ma’s South China Morning Post Takeover a Double-Edged Sword

Chinese Internet tycoon Jack Ma’s mooted buyout of Hong Kong’s struggling South China Morning Post could see the paper prosper from his Midas touch, analysts say, but also further erode its independence and with it the city’s press freedoms.

The once globally renowned paper was founded in 1903 and has long given international readers an insider’s perspective on Hong Kong and the mainland, providing a window on events from the Mao era to China’s 1980s economic awakening and the 1997 handover.

But profits and sales have evaporated, hit by an industry-wide plunge in advertising revenue and unable to deal with the transition to the digital age…

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

ICC Staves Off Africa-Led Rebellion, Sets Sights on New HQ

The International Criminal Court staved off a veiled African-led threat to quit the world’s only permanent war crimes court, but experts say that has come at the expense of justice for the victims of mass atrocities.

Tensions flared last week at the nine-day Assembly of States Parties (ASP) over Kenya, which is embroiled in a bitter tussle with the ICC over efforts to prosecute its two top leaders, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

As delegates pack their bags, the court is now turning its attention to moving into its new permanent premises on the other side of The Hague, only steps away from the detention cells where defendants are held…

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

Kenya: Environmently-Friendly Economies ‘Realistic Prospect’ — Pope

Francis says post-industrial period was ‘irresponsible’

(ANSA) — Nairobi, November 26 — Developing economic and political systems that serve their people and respect the environment are a “realistic prospect” rather than an “idealist utopia”, Pope Francis said on Thursday.

Speaking at the United Nations offices in Nairobi during a tour of Africa, Francis said that while the post-industrial period may be remembered as one of the “most irresponsible in history”, he believed that early 21st century leaders would be remembered for shouldering those “grave responsibilities”.

He said an agreement at the U.N. Climate Change conference in Paris, which starts on November 30, could give a “clear signal” that the world is heading towards a new energy system that relies minimally on fossil fuels, aims for energy efficiency and makes use of energy sources with little or no carbon content.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Economic Idiocy to Bankrupt California: Half of Illegal Immigrants Qualify for Medicaid

While much of the state’s revenue comes from its massive agricultural industry — and migrant workers are most often employed at California’s farms — they are also provided a plethora of social welfare benefits that the state’s taxpayers (and federal taxpayers), are forced to subsidize.

What’s more, the amount being paid out to illegal aliens is about to explode. As reported by Fox News:

“Over half of all illegal immigrants in California earn incomes so low that they would be eligible for the state Medicaid system Medi-Cal, a new study has found, just as California is about to extend the health insurance to children in the country illegally.”

According to the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California, if the California legislature, which is dominated by Democrats, and its Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, decide to extend the program to include every illegal alien, then more than half — 51 percent — would qualify for benefits. Further, the policy institute’s study estimates that there are some 2.6 million illegals living in the deep blue state, meaning nearly 1.4 million would qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.

Already critics of the state’s lax immigration enforcement and sanctuary cities policies are citing the institute’s report as just another way California lawmakers are guilty of “self-inflicted costs” in a state that has a long history of being broke.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU’s ‘Dirty Deal’ With Turkey on Migrants Draws Flak From German Press

By attempting to cut a deal with Turkey in order to tackle the migration issue, the European Union has gone against its moral and political principles, according to the German media.

An array of German political commentators has harshly criticized the EU’s “dirty” agreement with Turkey over the migration issue, RIA Novosti reported.

The German newspaper Die Zeit quoted politician and lawyer Dilek Kurban as saying that from the very beginning, the deal was a controversial document from a political and moral point of view and that it should be critically reviewed after the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month.

She also questioned Turkey’s ability to provide adequate protection to political refugees, referring to the two Syrian journalists who wrote about the ISIL atrocities and who were found decapitated in the country on October 30.

In addition, Syrians can’t receive refugee status in Turkey under the Geneva Convention due to the fact that Ankara has introduced a so-called “temporary protection” system, which does not stipulate that the refugees receive a reliable legal status. Consequently, the EU signing a deal with Turkey is out of line with international law, according to Kurban.

She also said that apart from the refugee protection-related issues, high on the agenda is Erdogan’s stance on the Islamic State.

“Can Merkel and other heads of the EU trust the Erdogan government, which takes a relaxed look at ISIL and other Islamist groups or even actively support them?” she said.

Another German newspaper, Die Welt, described the EU-Turkey agreement as “a dirty deal at the expense of human rights.”

The newspaper referred to rights activists, who have slammed the agreement as a testament to the “moral bankruptcy” of Europe and a sign of support for Erdogan’s “inhumane policies”.

Kai Kustner, a correspondent from the German radio network NDR, pointed in turn to the fact that the ongoing migration crisis has forced the EU to start trying to widen its ties with Erdogan’s government, a process that Kustner said comes amid non-democratic moves by Ankara.

Also criticizing the EU is commentator Knut Pries from the German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost, who specifically pointed to the “hypocrisy” of the European Union, which he said has so far failed to resolve the migration problem, at a time when it has not yet become “a crisis of unprecedented scale.” According to him, the current talks between the EU and Turkey over migrants look like bargaining.

Die Welt journalist Robin Alexander, for his part, suggested that Ankara will almost surely capitalize on the situation by placing the simplification of the visa regime with Europe and Turkey’s possible accession to the EU on the table.

On Sunday, the EU and Turkey approved a joint plan to combat the flow of migrants to the bloc, under which the EU member states will allocate 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to Turkey and boost negotiations on its membership in the EU, according to President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

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

Netherlands: Failed Asylum Seekers Can be Refused Bed and Board, Highest Dutch Court Says

Ministers can refuse to provide bed and board for people living in the Netherlands without residency papers if they don’t cooperate with efforts to deport them, the Council of State ruled on Thursday.

The council, the Netherlands’ highest administrative court, said the government can make demands on people in return for basic accommodation.

The case was brought by an Iranian national who had been offered accommodation in a secure unit and told he had to work towards leaving the country.

A lower court found in favour of the Iranian and cited European treaties in support of its ruling. However, the Council of State said that although the European human rights treaty is binding on signatories, it does not require the government to offer housing to undocumented migrants.

‘If the foreigner refuges to work towards his departure from the Netherlands, the minister may refuse him a roof over his head,’ the council said.

Psychological problems

However, the court said the minister does have to make sure the person facing deportation is psychologically able to understand that he or she has to leave the country in return for bed and board.

This means junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff will now have to look again at the case of the Iranian to ensure he does not have serious psychological problems, a spokeswoman told broadcaster Nos.

Nos says 25 local authorities offer bed and board to asylum seekers who have not been recognised as such and some 2,000 people have been put up in emergency shelters this year.

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

Netherlands: Thousands of Red Cross Volunteers in Holland Won’t Help Refugees

Thousands of volunteers for the Red Cross in the Netherlands say they are not prepared to help refugees, according to a confidential report in the hands of broadcaster Nos.

The organisation carried out a survey of 1,300 of its 30,000 volunteers and found around one in five was unwilling to work with asylum seekers. The reasons given ranged from ‘I’d rather see our borders closed’ to ‘there is nothing for them here’, while others said most refugees are after an easy life.

The Red Cross is holding a meeting with officials from all 25 districts on December 15 in an effort to determine the full extent of the problem. The organisation is also developing a campaign based on the theme ‘Red Cross volunteers help everyone’ to try to change people’s minds.

‘It has to be clear that people who object to helping on principle can no longer be volunteers for the Red Cross, despite their work up to now,’ Nos quotes the document as saying.

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

Netherlands: Newcomers Must Pledge to Uphold Dutch Values, Sign Contract

All newcomers to the Netherlands who are required to take an integration course will also have to sign a ‘participation declaration’ pledging to uphold Dutch values, the government agreed on Friday.

The decision follows what the government says is ‘successful trials’ of the concept in 13 councils between March 2014 and March 2015.

In total, just over 4,000 people were involved in the trials and 1,500 completed the courses and signed the official declaration, a report for the social affairs ministry shows. Most of the signatories were people from central and Eastern Europe.

When the programme is anchored in law next year, it will first focus on refugees, people coming to the Netherlands to be with their families and everyone who has to undergo an integration course.

However, ‘at a later moment, people who do not have to take integration courses, such as EU migrants, may also be offered such a programme’, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said in a briefing to parliament.

The participation declaration programme will form the first part of the main integration course and people who refuse to sign could be fined up to €1,250.

‘Our society can only function if everyone who settles here participates and respects the basic principles of Dutch society,’ Asscher said in his briefing.


A draft version of the declaration issued by the government in 2013 states that ‘in the Netherlands, all citizens are treated equally’ and that discrimination is not accepted.

‘In the Netherlands, we ask citizens to help each other and to support each other if necessary,’ it states. The document continues: ‘In the Netherlands, we ask all citizens to contribute to a pleasant and safe society, for example, by working, going to school or doing voluntary work. Speaking Dutch is very important in this.’

The declaration ends with the signatory saying they have taken note of these Dutch values and will play an active part in Dutch society.

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

Swedish Woman Raped by ‘Refugee’, Refuses to Report it Because She Feels Sorry for Him

Victim sympathized with rapist’s “difficult situation”.

A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi “refugee” on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she ‘felt sorry’ for her attacker.

The incident occurred on a night train between Umeå and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the standard of asylum in Finland.

The woman found herself sharing a compartment with three Arab men, whom she immediately took pity on because they were ‘poor refugees’ and bought them sandwiches.

The men began to get drunk before attempting to touch the 28-year-old woman who told them to stop.

The woman subsequently went to bed only to be awoken by one of the men sexually molesting her. She fought off the rapist and ran to get help from a train attendant.

According to a report out of, ,the victim initially refused to report the rape to police because she “felt sorry for him” due to his “difficult situation” and feared that he would be deported back to Iraq.

The train attendant eventually convinced the woman to report the incident and the perpetrator was later arrested and sentenced to one year in prison while also being ordered to pay the victim 85,000 kronor in damages.

It later transpired that the rapist’s refugee status was bogus — he was not in any danger in the region of Iraq he had left and had merely traveled to Scandinavia for economic reasons.

After serving his sentence, the man will be deported back to Iraq and banned from re-entering Sweden for five years.

Rapes in Sweden have skyrocketed by a shocking 1,472% since the mid-70’s, with 6,620 sexual assaults being reported to police in 2014 compared to just 421 in 1975. The country is now known as the rape capital of the west.

“77.6 percent of the country’s rapists are identified as “foreigners” (and that’s significant because in Sweden, “foreigner” is generally synonymous with “immigrant from Muslim country”), writes Selwyn Duke. “And even this likely understates the issue, since the Swedish government — in an effort to obscure the problem — records second-generation Muslim perpetrators simply as “Swedes.”

Rapes occurring in and around migrant camps are now so prevalent, that authorities in Germany are covering up details of incidents so as not to “legitimize” critics of mass immigration.

Despite massive evidence that the west is importing a real rape culture that threatens the safety of untold numbers of women, feminists and the left continue to vehemently support the migrant invasion in the name of political correctness.

[Comment: If the rapist had been a white Swede, would she still have felt “sorry” for him? The brainwashing self loathing anti-white indoctrination garbage is complete. This is the product of ‘higher education’. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas Governor Refuses Syrian Refugees

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says Texas will not allow Syrian refugees to be relocated into Texas in the wake of the Paris terrorist attack. He also called upon President Barack Obama to halt the importation of any additional Syrian refugees into the U.S.

“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being resettled in Texas,” Governor Abbott said in a letter to President Obama. “Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. And I urge you, as President, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”

The Texas governor joins other state’s governors in taking action to stop the importation of potential terrorists. At least one of the Paris terrorists was a Syrian refugee who had recently entered Europe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US, Cuba Holding Migration Talks in Washington on November 30

According to the US State Department, Havana and Washington are holding a biannual meeting on Monday to discuss migration.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Havana and Washington are holding a biannual meeting on Monday to discuss the migration of Cubans to the United States, according to the US State Department.

The talks in Washington are expected to focus on the implementation of the US-Cuba Migration Accords, to provide for the “safe, orderly, and legal migration” of Cuban residents.

On December 1, the sides will discuss curbing the flow of illegal drugs between the countries, the statement said.

The last round of migration talks between the two countries was held in January in Havana.

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

Italy: Nativity Cribs to be Installed in Prefectures, Alfano Says

‘Dialogue is better, more authentic with strong identity’

(ANSA) — Venice, November 30 — Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday he would have traditional nativity crib scenes set up in prefectures across Italy this Christmas amid ongoing furore over last week’s decision by a principal at a comprehensive school near Milan to reportedly scrap its planned Christmas concert in favour of a more ‘secular’ event.

The principal, Marco Parma, handed in his resignation on Saturday over the controversy, but only with respect to the school’s primary section. “To those who believe dialogue is assisted by cancelling our identity today we reply by having the new police headquarters in Jesolo blessed by the Patriarch of Venice,” Alfano added. “Our position is very clear,” the minister continued.

“Meeting and dialogue work better and are more authentic if there is a strong identity. If identity is cancelled there is no dialogue, no meeting, only confusion,” said Alfano, adding that a nativity scene would also be installed at the interior ministry this year. Meanwhile Lombardy regional councillor for education Valentina Aprea affirmed her commitment to “returning nativity scenes and religious songs to schools”.

The authorities “will check where this is not happening, even in the absence of direct competence in the matter”, the representative of ex premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party added. Arena also reaffirmed her availability to sing a popular Christmas carol at the school in Rozzano at the centre of the ‘secular’ Christmas controversy. Also on Monday, a small crowd of Rozzano residents gathered outside Garofani school to debate the controversy, watched over by police agents. Regional FI coordinator and former education minister Maria Stella Gelmini and leader of the extremist, anti-Europe and anti-immigrant Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, were expected to arrive at the school later in the day.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

No Good Cancelling Xmas to Respect Others Says CEI’s Galantino

Furore over school’s decision to scrap Christmas concert

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 30 — Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, the secretary general of Italian bishops conference CEI, blasted alleged attempts to cancel or hide Christmas in an editorial published Monday in Catholic monthly Vita Pastorale.

“If this is Christmas, I find the decisions of those who would like to cancel or camouflage Christmas to respect other traditions or religious confessions, making fools of themselves in the process, to be specious and ideological,” Galantino wrote.

The comments come amid a furore over a decision last week by a school in Rozzano, near Milan, to scrap its traditional Christmas concert and remove a crucifix in order to stage a more ‘secular’ event. Galantino added that this Christmas will be even more special than usual as it will takes place during the Catholic Church’s extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Effects of Graphic Sex Education on Innocent Minds

Let us explore what happens to the innocent mind of a young boy or girl when confronted with explicit sexual material.

First, let’s acknowledge an important point: We are all born with a basic, indwelling standard of decency — a knowledge of right and wrong, a conscience — which by its very nature has the power to hold sway over unruly passions. But it is equally true that a child can all too quickly be separated/seduced from that standard through intimidation or shock — the kind of shock a child experiences when exposed to graphic sexual material.

That is why the kind of guidance children receive is so important. It can either confirm the promptings of their conscience and set them firmly on the right track, or it can contradict the child’s conscience and instead become the source of corruption itself. That is exactly what has happened in the nation’s classrooms.

Once the child has been separated from his inner standard by being sexually awakened prematurely, he becomes hopelessly dependent on the seducer for the guidance he can no longer find from within. Under the banner of education, teachers have become seducers — corrupters of innocence who usher young people into forbidden sexual experiences that lead to teen pregnancy, abortion, sexual diseases, and mental and emotional problems…

Once a child is sexually awakened, he gravitates toward society’s “sexperts” who eagerly assure him that every new impulse is perfectly normal. It’s all approved under the umbrella of self expression.

A child is extremely vulnerable to these ideas — especially when presented by adults in positions of authority — as he has not yet developed the ability to shield himself from dangerous influences…

Today’s sex education classes are actually a form of child abuse, which systematically tears down a child’s modesty — his protective barrier against obscene/intrusive influences. When this barrier collapses and a person is seduced into his imagination, right choices are no longer available. It is like falling into an Alice in Wonderland world of feeling in which every door leads farther away from reality. Emotional/sexual arousal blocks the youngster’s mind from making rational choices that could lead to truly human relationships, rather than blind animal attachments. How can a child remain unscarred when exposed to demonstrations of nudity, genital anatomy and graphic descriptions of the mating process? All this sexual overload violates the soul and creates a terrible conflict in the young child’s mind.

[Comment: A pedophile, currently in jail, helped design Ontario, Canada’s school sex education program. That’s how far this evil has progressed under the guise of “education”.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/30/2015

  1. I recall reading somewhere that high concentrations of lithium in drinking water cured a few mental disorders. Wonder what the ppm is in Sweden?

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