Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/6/2015

Germany has downgraded the asylum status of Syrian “refugees”, who will no longer be granted the right of family reunification. Meanwhile, the prime minister of Slovenia says his country is reserving the option to build a fence along its border with Croatia if Austria tightens its own border with Slovenia.

In other migration news, Canadian Prime Minister Justin “Baby Doc” Trudeau says that Canada is ready to accept and settle 25,000 Syrian “refugees”.

In other news, a loud explosion in Stockholm today was thought to have been caused by a gas leak. Police investigated a damaged apartment, but found no sign of criminal activity. The incident had nothing to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, DV, ESW, Insubria, JD, JLH, LP, NG, Nick, Rama Roy, TT, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Former Reagan Administration Official Warns That Financial Disaster is Dead Ahead
» German Factories Post September Production Decline
» Italy Has Finally Emerged From Recession Says Squinzi
» Peter Schiff Warns Governments, Central Banks Are Flirting With Communism
» Trump Accuses Fed of Not Raising Rates Because Obama “Doesn’t Want a Bubble Burst” Until He Leaves
» Bad Cop: Cop Arrested for Shooting Himself, Blaming it on Motorist
» Ban on ALL Religious Figure Art for Islam
» Ben Carson Defends His Telling of an Informal Offer From West Point
» Coroner Finds Manifesto on UC Merced Stabbing Suspect
» Disney Documentary Attempts to Shame Christians Into Giving Up Firearms
» Jeff Sessions: TPP ‘Breathtaking … Erosion of Sovereignty’
» Obama Unleashes His Pro-Criminal Agenda
» Shock Video: Cop Executes Man as He is Lying Face Down and Complying
» Student, 18, Who Went on a School Stabbing Rampage Wanted Revenge for Being Kicked Out of Study Group
» Syngenta Now Patenting Natural Plant Foods Produced Without GMO Technology
» The Nightmare of Collectivism: “A Society Built on the Lowest Common Denominator is a Society Destined for Collapse”
» The Sword of Revolution and the Communist Apocalypse — A Book Review
» Top FBI Lawyer: You Win, We’ve Given Up on Encryption Backdoors
» TPP Text Finally Released … It’s Even Worse Than We Thought
» U.S. Regulators Reject Push for ‘Do Not Track’ Internet Rules
» US May Release More Guantanamo Bay Detainees by 2016
» Vaccine Whistleblower Gave Congress Thousands of Documents, Claims CDC Destroyed Proof of Mmr-Autism Link
» Woman Apologizes for Fire Started by Efforts to Kill Bedbugs
» Canada Reinstates Mandatory Census, To Delight of Social Scientists
» Raw Milk Farmer Jailed for Removing Gov’t Surveillance Cameras From Own Property
Europe and the EU
» Catalonia: Constitutional Court Doesn’t Ban Secession Debate
» EU Free Movement in Tatters as France Controls Border for UN Climate Summit
» Hague Court to Handle Italy-India Marines Dispute-Source
» IOR ‘Operated in Italy Unauthorized for 40 Years’
» Italy: Renzi Tussle With Regions Over Budget Continues
» Italy: Refugees, Roma People Want to be Rome Mafia Civil Plaintiffs
» Italy: Renzi Says Regions Should Spend Money Better, Not Moan
» Italy: Berlusconi to Attend Northern League Rally
» Italy: Mineo Apologizes for Renzi-Beautiful Woman Comments
» Italy: Messina Water Crisis Deepens, State of Emergency Declared
» Italy: Supermarket Workers Announce Nat’l Strike
» Italy: Four Ex-Milan Mayors Probed in La Scala Asbestos Deaths
» Italy: New Leftist Party is in the Works Says D’Attorre
» Pope Says Sad to See Priests, Bishops Attached to Money
» Spain: Islamic Extremists ‘Break Into Church and Spray Allah on Walls Before Destroying Crucifix’
» Sweden: Stockholm Blast Thought to Have Been Caused by Gas Leak
» UK: I Know I Shouldn’t Break the Speed Limit — But it’s the Profiteering Police Who Are Really Pulling a Fast One
» UK: Maths Teacher Convicted of Assault for Squirting His Ex-Girlfriend With a Water Pistol as She Screamed ‘Stop Shooting at Me’
» ‘Vatileaks’ Books Sell Out in Rome on Publication Day
» Vatican Books Are ‘Misleading’, Says Cardinal’s Spokesman
» Vatileaks 2 ‘Won’t Stop Pope’s Economic Reforms
» Croatia: Sunday’s Vote: Campaign Heats Up, Uncertain Outcome
North Africa
» Easyjet Announces Sharm-Milan Flight on Friday
» Egypt: Rocket ‘Attack’ On UK Tour Jet
Israel and the Palestinians
» Micro-Credit for Palestinians Begins, With Italian Help
» Obama Rules Out Peace Accord by End of Mandate
Middle East
» Dear Fellow Americans: Do You Have Any Idea What’s Being Done in Your Name in Syria?
» IS Accused in Syria Mustard Gas Attack as Rebels Push Back Regime
» Site: ‘Al Qaeda Envoy to Mediate Between Al Nusra and ISIS’
» Syria: Media: Nine-Point Russian Plan
» Turkish Police Raid Business Group Tied to Erdogan Rival
» Charlie Hebdo Crossed Line With A321 Cartoons — Russian Journalists Union
» Putin Has Suspended All Flights From Russia to Egypt, Russia’s Most Popular Tourist Destination
South Asia
» Denied Halal Biryani, Muslim Customer Stabs Hindu Eatery Owner in Bengaluru
» Foreign Aid Workers Shy Away From Afghanistan as Violence Surges
» Pakistan: Lahore: After a Year No Justice for Christian Couple Burnt Alive
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Somalia: Sick Islamic Terrorists Gun Down Giraffe and Hack it to Bits in Shock Propaganda Video
» Austria Borders on Rebellion Over Refugee Crisis
» Cyprus: Migrants at Riot Camp Now Accuse British Officials of Crushing Their Dreams
» Europe Must Push Families to Have Children and Not Take Migrants, Says Hungarian PM
» George Soros Letter Reveals Globalist Plan to Destroy the First World by Eliminating National Borders With Global Migrant Blitzkreig Invasions
» Germany Downgrades Asylum Rights for Syrians: Report
» Merkel Slammed Over Refugee Climb Down and Injustice Warnings
» Norway’s PM Refuses to Shut Border With Russia Over Migrant Influx
» Owner of Bankrupt Casino Offers to Unleash Thousands of Syrian Refugees in New Jersey
» Slovenia’s PM: Barriers Are Possible, If Necessary
» Trudeau Says Canada Ready to Settle 25,000 Syrian Refugees
» UK: Teenager Claims She Was Gang Raped by Five Young Syrian Migrants
Culture Wars
» Germany: Bundestag Prohibits for-Profit Euthanasia
» Italy: Naples Prefect Annuls 2-Mum Birth Certificate
» Linus Torvalds Targeted by Honeytraps, Claims Eric S. Raymond
» Supreme Court Accepts Challenge to Health Law’s Contraceptive Mandate
» Washington School Threatens to Fire Football Coach if He Prays Silently to Himself in Public or Even Kneels to Honor God

Former Reagan Administration Official Warns That Financial Disaster is Dead Ahead

by Michael Snyder

Why won’t the American people listen to the warnings? David Stockman was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1981, and he served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985. These days, he is running a website called “Contra Corner” which I highly recommend that you check out.

Stockman believes that a global “debt super-cycle” that has been building for decades is now bursting, and he is convinced that the consequences for the U.S. and for the rest of the planet will be absolutely catastrophic. His findings are very consistent with what I have been writing about on The Economic Collapse Blog, and if Stockman is correct the times ahead of us are going to be exceedingly painful.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

German Factories Post September Production Decline

Weaker economies in China and elsewhere are taking a toll

(ANSA) — BERLIN (AP) — German industrial production fell again in September as evidence increased that weaker economies in China and elsewhere are taking a toll.

The Federal Statistical Office said Friday production dropped 1.1 percent in September, adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors. The office, however, revised August’s drop to 0.6 percent over July, half the 1.2 percent decline initially reported.

Factory orders in September were down 1.7 percent according to a report Thursday, suggesting production would remain sluggish.

ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski said the numbers show “the Chinese and emerging market slowdowns are also leaving their marks on the eurozone’s largest economy,” which doesn’t bode well for next week’s third-quarter GDP figures.

He says “our current estimate of 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in the third quarter all of a sudden looks rather optimistic.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Has Finally Emerged From Recession Says Squinzi

Confindustria president urges new industrial policy

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Italy has finally left the economic recession behind, Confindustria employers association chief Giorgio Squinzi said Thursday. An EU growth forecast released earlier in the day “shows there is improvement”, Squinzi added. “We really should see the end of the tunnel shortly.” Squinzi also reiterated his “overall positive” evaluation of the government’s 2016 budget bill currently before parliament.

However the budget should include more funds for research and innovation and for Italy’s chronically impoverished South, he said. Squinzi said the country’s industries have a “high growth potential” but they need “a new industrial policy”. While Confindustria is “genetically opposed” to government interference in the business world, it wants “a policy that gives the country big aims serving as pole stars for industrial development and scientific, technological, economic and social advancement,” Squinzi said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Peter Schiff Warns Governments, Central Banks Are Flirting With Communism

Writing in a blog post this week entitled “QE’s Creeping Communism,” Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and author of “Crash Proof,” opined that the Federal Reserve has distorted markets and guided all kinds of investors into high-risk investments with zero-percent interest rates.

Schiff noted that “exploding debt, financial distortion, prolonged stagnation, recurring recession, and the eventual government takeover of industry and the economy” are things that politicians and central banks seem to prefer. Schiff came to this conclusion because politicians and central bankers “simply refuse to let the free markets function the way they are supposed to.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trump Accuses Fed of Not Raising Rates Because Obama “Doesn’t Want a Bubble Burst” Until He Leaves

It is clear that Janet Yellen is holding her tongue on raising interest rates, and the Federal Reserve is effectively propping up the stock market in the meantime.

The maneuver will only delay the inevitable, but perhaps that is exactly what the powers that be want.

If Donald Trump is right, the Fed is only holding off on rates in order to spare President Obama the stain of another financial crisis during his time in the Oval Office, stalling only to dump a recession-slash-depression on the next president.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bad Cop: Cop Arrested for Shooting Himself, Blaming it on Motorist

Late last month, an Arkansas police officer sparked a manhunt and investigation after claiming a motorist shot him during a traffic stop. In reality, the officer shot himself, and once authorities discovered this, he was subsequently fired and arrested for filing a false police report…

The officer claimed the shooter managed to get away.

However, investigators soon noticed holes in Houser’s story. “The more we investigated, the more it became clear that the details of his story were inconsistent,” Police Chief Nathan Cook said. “We went after it as if we were going after someone who had just tried to kill a police officer.”

“The crime scene was staged. The bullet hole was self-inflicted,” Cook continued. “He had laid out some different caliber (casings) to make it appear he had exchanged gunfire. He did discharge his service weapon.” Though Cook explained the inconsistencies in the story, it remains unclear why Houser shot himself in the first place.

After being fired on Monday for admitting he lied during the investigation into his unlikely story, he turned himself in on Tuesday. He was booked into the Lonoke County Detention Center, according to state police and Sheriff’s office records.

Unsurprisingly, he immediately walked out after paying bond.??

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ban on ALL Religious Figure Art for Islam

The seventh-grade history assignment at High Desert School in Acton, Calif. was a worksheet called “Vocabulary Pictures: The Rise of Islam.” It featured several words including Quran, Mecca, Bedouins and Muhammad. There was space for students to sketch their own images representing the various words.

The parent who found the assignment offensive is Melinda Van Stone, a chiropractor in nearby Palmdale.

After her 12-year-old son brought home the assignment a couple weeks ago, Van Stone was “very upset,” she said.

“It’s not appropriate to have our children go to school and learn how to insult a religious group,” she told the Daily News.

Van Stone refused to indicate her own religion or her son’s religion…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Ben Carson Defends His Telling of an Informal Offer From West Point

Ben Carson defended his long-told story of a “scholarship” to West Point today, responding to scrutiny by saying that he merely had received an “informal” offer of a free ride to the military academy.

“Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me [could] get a scholarship to West Point,” Carson told the New York Times. “It was, you know, an informal “with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’“

Allies of the former neurosurgeon, who has slowly risen to the top of 2016 Republican primary polls, had been making a similar case all day. The argument — which depends on a careful parsing of verbs — is that he never applied, even after being told he’d be a sure-thing candidate. The point, which found many takers in conservative media, was that the controversy could be dismissed as a witch hunt.

That reasoning came together Friday morning, after Politico published a story titled “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.” After confirming that Carson had never applied to West Point, and that a meeting Carson described with Gen. William Westmoreland apparently did not happen when the candidate had claimed, the story quoted Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett’s new explanation.

“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett said. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]

Coroner Finds Manifesto on UC Merced Stabbing Suspect

MERCED, Calif. (KGO) —

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland says personal animosities, not a political agenda, motivated 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad from Santa Clara in Wednesday’s multiple stabbings on the school’s campus. Authorities say the stabbing of four people at UC Merced was not related to terrorism.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said the coroner was performing an autopsy and found the suspects manifesto in his pocket. Police say that two-page, handwritten note was a step-by-step guide of how he wanted the attack on UC Merced’s campus to happen. He even wrote out dialogue and specific timing of the events.

According to the sheriff, the suspect intended to shoot people, attack a police officer and had a specific target in mind who had kicked him out of a study group. The suspect listed the students he wanted to hurt and had planned to zip tie students to desks and draw out police so he could steal their gun. The first student he stabbed was one of the names listed.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said this is not terrorism, just a step above a high school grudge. He said, “We had an upset teenager that was upset because he got kicked out of a study group.”

The bomb squad recovered Mohammad’s backpack, which contained zip ties, a night vision scope and duct tape. Mohammad also had petroleum jelly which Warnke said he wanted to “squirt the petroleum jelly on the floor as kind of a slip and slide.”

Warnke created a far-fetched plan to trip officers, but didn’t get to try it out because a construction worker interrupted him.

“I went to open the door to break it up, and see if everybody was OK and they all scream ‘Run!’“ stabbing victim Byron Price said.

Shortly after that, police shot and killed the 18-year-old. The sheriff estimates the whole thing took under two minutes.

The knife blade used in the attack was 8-10 inches long, but all four victims are expected to recover.

Warnke says there was nothing to indicate Mohammad would lash out violently.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Disney Documentary Attempts to Shame Christians Into Giving Up Firearms

Abigail Disney, the grandniece to Walt Disney, not-so-subtly promotes gun control and disarmament of the American populace in her directorial debut “The Armor of Light.”…

One man of faith who likely disagrees with the film’s premise is Charl van Wyk, who is credited with stopping the 1993 St. James Church massacre in South Africa.

Van Wyk sat in a congregation of over 1,000 when a group of terrorists entered the church and began firing automatic rifles, killing 11 and wounding 58.

Van Wyk used a snubnosed .38 revolver to shoot one of the terrorists, sending them fleeing. The terrorists’ had intended to kill everyone in the church, but they did not anticipate an armed parishioner.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Jeff Sessions: TPP ‘Breathtaking … Erosion of Sovereignty’

“They’re not even asserting that it will create jobs in America, raise wages in America or reduce our trade deficit because these agreements in the past have been bad for all three,” Sessions told Breitbart News’ Stephen K. Bannon.

Bannon asked Sessions about a commission that is formed through the TPP that could potentially have an effect of global governance.

“I think for President Obama, I do believe the driving force behind this is a belief that this is some sort of a one unified governmental structure. It creates judicial bodies. The language of it confirms what I’ve been saying,” Sessions said, affirming the creation of an oversee commission that will have control over the parties and interpretation of this agreement.

On the commission’s control and oversight, Sessions said, “It’s really breathtaking and it’s an erosion of sovereignty.” He added, “particularly an erosion of congressional power.”

“The president can participate in some of these things and advance what he’d like to see, but it takes the people out through their elected congressional representatives,” he explained.

           — Hat tip: JLH [Return to headlines]

Obama Unleashes His Pro-Criminal Agenda

President Obama is attempting to fundamentally redefine and mainstream criminal behavior by fast-tracking criminals’ federal employment applications, weakening criminal law penalties, and trafficking in get-out-of-jail-free cards for tens of thousands of imprisoned federal drug offenders.

Releasing prisoners because it’s not fair to keep them locked up for their crimes, defending lawless so-called sanctuary cities, and banning the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) criminal record box on job applications, are Obama’s goals.

Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu (R) warns that the administration’s claim that the roughly 1,700 illegal alien inmates—who are part of the group of 6,112 new parolees—will face deportation is nonsense. “There’s no chance of them being deported to their country of origin and this is just another lie.”

But Obama doesn’t care about what his critics say.

The most radical left-wing American president in history is defining deviancy down by attempting to de-stigmatize criminality. The Left views criminals—especially minorities—as victims of society, oppressed for mere nonconformism. Because it needs their votes, the Left is pressing for the restoration of felons’ voting rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Shock Video: Cop Executes Man as He is Lying Face Down and Complying

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Officer Lisa Mearkle of the Hummelstown Borough Police Department was found not guilty of criminal homicide for the shooting death of 59-year-old David Kassick on February 2. Video has just been released from the Taser camera which was deployed before she fired two bullets into the man’s back, as he lay face down on the ground in full compliance with her orders.

The video of this cold-blooded killing by a maniacal cop, shown in full detail, somehow did not convince a jury that it was homicide. He had been chased down, shocked repeatedly with a Taser, fallen down face first in the snow, displayed his hands clearly at the officer’s orders, and then shot in the back twice.

Officer Mearkle had attempted to pull Kassick over for an expired inspection sticker, but Kassick fled to his family home, where he tried to run into the backyard. That’s where Mearkle ended his life.

Mearkle seems to be in a hysterical rage as she shoots the Taser into Kassick’s back. He falls to the ground, shouting and writhing in pain as police sirens blare. She applies the Taser continuously for almost 30 seconds as he was on the ground, while shouting for him to “get on the ground.”

He is, in fact, on the ground. She shouts, “Show me your hands!”

Kassick, face down in the snow after receiving 50,000 volts of electricity, holds his hands forward and says, “I am showing you.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Student, 18, Who Went on a School Stabbing Rampage Wanted Revenge for Being Kicked Out of Study Group

Manifesto in his pocket reveals he planned to kill a cop, steal a gun and shoot his classmates

The California student who went on a stabbing rampage before being shot dead by police had planned to kill a police officer, steal a gun and shoot the classmates who had kicked him out of a study group.

Faisal Mohammad, 18, a freshman who majored in computer science and engineering at the University of California, Merced, stabbed four people on Wednesday.

But the teenager, of Santa Clara, California, ‘had far greater intentions to do damage’, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

According to a two-page manifesto found stuffed in his pocket during an autopsy on Thursday, Mohammad had a detailed plan of revenge for the students who had expelled him from their group.

Mohammad had been carrying two plastic baggies of highly flammable petroleum jelly, ziptie handcuffs, night vision goggles, duct tape and a hammer in his backpack when he was shot in the back by officers.

He had planned to hold students hostage by using the plastic ties to bind their hands to their desks during class on Wednesday morning. Then he planned to call police with a fake distress call, ambush the responding officers and take their guns.

He intended to squirt the petroleum jelly on the floor to create a slippery surface for anyone entering the classroom. But his attack on the class was foiled almost immediately and the four people he stabbed with a hunting knife — two students, a staff member and a building contractor — are all expected to recover.

Sheriff Warnke said the document written by Mohammad discussed his expulsion from the study group and listed the students he sought to harm as well as other violent musings.

Warnke added that although Mohammad made several references to ‘Allah’, he does not believe the attack was connected to religion or terrorism.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Syngenta Now Patenting Natural Plant Foods Produced Without GMO Technology

(NaturalNews) Biotech companies such as Syngenta and Monsanto have more on their agendas than simply peddling poisonous GMO Frankenfood technology to us; they want to own and control the entire food supply, both genetically modified and otherwise.

Many people don’t know that these agricultural tech giants are also involved in the business of patenting non-GMO plants and seeds. It’s all part of their sinister plan to own the patents on all of the foods we eat.

In the United States, what was once a diverse and essentially free exchange of seeds among farmers and home gardeners has become a giant industry…

The trend is towards the privatization of the things we need to survive, namely water and food. Whoever controls these elements has great power. The populace needs to become aware that companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta are looking forward to a world in which they hold the keys to our survival.

One recent example of how this works is the case of Syngenta’s patenting of a pepper strain obtained through conventional breeding methods.

The European Patent Office (EPO) granted the patent for use “as fresh produce, as fresh cut produce, or for processing such as, for example, canning.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Nightmare of Collectivism: “A Society Built on the Lowest Common Denominator is a Society Destined for Collapse”

by Brandon Smith

While many divisions within our society are arbitrary or engineered, there is one division that represents perhaps the most pervasive and important conflict of our time; the division between collectivists and individualists.

Now, people who do not understand the nature of collectivism will often argue that individualism and collectivism are not mutually exclusive because individuals require groups in order to survive and thrive. However, a “group” is not necessarily a collective.

For some reason the core fundamental of collectivism — the use of psychological coercion or physical force to compel participation — goes right over the heads of many skeptics. A group does not have to be collectivist. Any group can and should be voluntary. Collectivism is NOT voluntary. Therefore, collectivism and individualism are indeed mutually exclusive. Collectivists and individualists cannot exist in the same space at the same time without eventually coming into conflict. There is simply no way around it…

The key here is that collectivists understand that the average person does not want to be seen as too contrary to the majority. They understand that the majority view matters to the public, even if the majority view is utterly wrong. If collectivists can convince enough people that their ideology is the majority view, they know that many people will blindly adopt that ideology as their own in order to fit in. The lie of consensus then becomes a self perpetuating prophecy. This problem will remain forever a danger as long as people continue to care at all about the majority view.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Sword of Revolution and the Communist Apocalypse — A Book Review

I have read and admired the writings of Cliff Kincaid for years now. He is simply one of the most gifted researchers out there and he is a fantastic author. His latest book: The Sword Of Revolution And The Communist Apocalypse does not disappoint. It is the best book I have read in a long time. Right now, my husband is reading it and our children will also read the book. If you buy one book this year, it needs to be this one.

Communism is now pervasive throughout America. Because of political correctness and outright treason, we have allowed Marxists and Islamists to infiltrate our political and societal power structures. There are those in America who obviously don’ t recall what true communism entailed. They don’ t remember the Soviet Union as the massive threat as it was in the past and as it should be viewed now. Instead, a certain sector of America views Vladimir Putin as a hero, riding to the rescue to protect Christians and save the world. He is anything but. Look behind most of the evil in the world today and you will find Russia there somewhere. As I have long contended, the Cold War never ended… it shifted.

Here is a summary of Cliff’ s new book from Amazon:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Top FBI Lawyer: You Win, We’ve Given Up on Encryption Backdoors

We’re your servants, says general counsel unconvincingly

After spending months pressuring tech companies to add backdoors into their encryption software, the FBI says it has given up on the idea.

Speaking at a conference in Boston on Wednesday, the bureau’s general counsel James Baker even used the term that has been repeatedly used to undermine the FBI’s argument: magical thinking.

“It’s tempting to try to engage in magical thinking and hope that the amazing technology sector we have in the United States can come up with some solution,” he told attendees at the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) annual conference.

“Maybe that’s just a bridge too far. Maybe that is scientifically and mathematically not possible.”

The response is a world away from comments made by FBI director James Comey a year ago. In October 2014, Comey decried the decision by Apple and Google to turn on file system encryption as a default on devices following revelations of mass surveillance, complaining that it was impinging the ability of cops to do their jobs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

TPP Text Finally Released … It’s Even Worse Than We Thought

As we’ve noted in hundreds of articles, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a horrible pact which would destroy everything that America stands for. And see this, this, this and this.

The full text of the TPP was finally released today after years of secrecy … and it’s even worse than we thought.

One of America’s top TPP experts — Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch — said:

Apparently, the TPP’s proponents resorted to such extreme secrecy during negotiations because the text shows TPP would offshore more American jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in foreign tribunals.


From leaks, we knew quite a bit about the agreement, but in chapter after chapter the final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Regulators Reject Push for ‘Do Not Track’ Internet Rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. regulators rejected an effort on Friday to force Google, Facebook and other popular web sites to honor “Do Not Track” requests from users, in a setback for digital privacy advocates.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed a petition that would have required Internet giants to let consumers opt out of having their online activity tracked.

The decision secured a win for Silicon Valley businesses that rely on monetizing reams of personal data.

The FCC said it “has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers,” or companies that provide content and services over the Internet.

Digital privacy advocates argue consumers should be allowed to submit “Do Not Track” requests to tell a website not to collect information about their online browsing habits.

Some websites do honor “Do Not Track” requests, but doing so is largely voluntary…

           — Hat tip: TT [Return to headlines]

US May Release More Guantanamo Bay Detainees by 2016

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the US government might transfer more inmates from the Guantanamo Bay detention center before the end of 2015.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government might transfer more inmates from the Guantanamo Bay detention center before the end of 2015, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Friday.

“I believe that it’s possible that there would be some additional transfers that would take place before the end of the year,” Earnest stated.

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

Vaccine Whistleblower Gave Congress Thousands of Documents, Claims CDC Destroyed Proof of Mmr-Autism Link

While I’m not anti-vaccine, I am anti-ignorance, and there’s a lot of ignorance and bluster out there when it comes to this subject. I know this, because I spent a lot of time researching the topic over the past nine months, after finding out that my wife was pregnant. It’s a complicated topic, which is why this is the first time I’ve ever written about it.

I came to realize that what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote in an Alternetarticle earlier this year is undoubtably true. He noted:

Vaccines are big business. Pharma is a trillion dollar industry (1) with vaccines accounting for $25 billion in annual sales. (2) CDC’s decision to add a vaccine to the schedule can guarantee its manufacturer millions of customers and billions in revenue (3) with minimal advertising or marketing costs and complete immunity from lawsuits. High stakes and the seamless marriage between Big Pharma and government agencies have spawned an opaque and crooked regulatory system. Merck, one of America’s leading vaccine outfits, is currently under criminal investigation for fraudulently deceiving FDA regulators about the effectiveness of its MMR vaccine. Two whistleblowers say Merck ginned up sham studies to maintain Merck’s MMR monopoly. (4)

Big money has fueled the exponential expansion of CDC’s vaccine schedule since 1988, when Congress’ grant of immunity from lawsuits (5) suddenly transformed vaccines into paydirt. CDC recommended five pediatric vaccines when I was a boy in 1954. Today’s children cannot attend school without at least 56 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they’re 18. (6)

An insatiable pharmaceutical industry has 271 new vaccines under development in CDC’s bureaucratic pipeline (7) in hopes of boosting vaccine revenues to $100 billion by 2025. (8)The industry’s principle spokesperson, Dr. Paul Offit, says that he believes children can take as many as 10,000 vaccines. (9)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Woman Apologizes for Fire Started by Efforts to Kill Bedbugs

A Detroit woman has apologized for a massive fire that she and authorities said was accidentally started by her efforts to eradicate bedbugs from her apartment.

Tuesday’s fire tore through Ramblewood Apartments, destroying the 48-unit complex. Sherry Young was injured along with four others, including three firefighters, the Detroit Free Press reported ( ).

Young told the newspaper she had doused herself with rubbing alcohol before it was ignited by a stove and oven. She said she had turned on the stove and oven the previous day to heat up her apartment, on advice from a neighbor, as part of the effort to kill the bedbugs.

“I didn’t know that the fumes were so ignitable,” she said. “Had I known that, I would not have doused myself before going into the apartment.”

Young said she suspected the apartment had bedbugs in January and earlier efforts by an exterminator and an apartment complex employee failed. Speaking by phone from a hospital where she was being treated for burns, she said she was in a “state of torment” from the bedbugs.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, struggling to speak as she began sobbing. “I didn’t mean it. My neighbors … everybody’s displaced because of me.”…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Canada Reinstates Mandatory Census, To Delight of Social Scientists

The new Canadian government today announced it would restore the country’s mandatory long-form census.

“Our plan for open and fair government starts today with restoring the long-form census,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, speaking in Ottawa alongside Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children, and social development. “We’re focused on good evidence-based policies.”

Bains said that Statistics Canada would be able to meet the 2 May deadline to roll out the 2016 census, which is conducted every 5 years, and that there would be no additional costs to making it mandatory. He confirmed that residents who fail to fill out the census could face criminal prosecution, an issue that contributed to the decision by the Harper government to make the 2011 census voluntary.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Raw Milk Farmer Jailed for Removing Gov’t Surveillance Cameras From Own Property

A Canadian farmer that provides raw milk to his community was reportedly arrested and jailed for removing government surveillance cameras from his own property. The Canadian government is filing charges against the man for ‘theft.’

When Michael Schmidt found cameras on his land that had been spying on him and his friends, he simply removed them and contacted the local police department to find out who they might belong to. It was at this time that he was charged with theft after refusing to hand the cameras over to the police.

Only later did Schmidt find out that the cameras, which had no markings or identification, were placed there by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to keep an eye on Glencolton Farms.

On September 30, 2015 Schmidt was slapped with a summons to appear for fingerprinting and a mug shot. He has been harassed by government food authorities before. He has been producing raw milk for over 21 years for a member’s food club.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Catalonia: Constitutional Court Doesn’t Ban Secession Debate

On motion separatists who now have majority Barcelona assembly

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 6 — The Constitutional court in Madrid has ruled not to ban the Catalan Parliament from examining next Monday a motion presented by separatist lawmakers, who now have the absolute majority in the assembly in Barcelona, which declares the start of a process to create a future ‘Catalan republic’.

The high court, however, added that it means to have the “last word” on the issue after a formal vote. Outgoing regional separatist president Artur Mas, who won elections on September 27, has promised to bring Catalonia to independence in 2017, in spite of harsh opposition from Madrid.

Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy has scheduled an emergency government meeting on Tuesday to challenge the Catalan parliament’s resolution and has asked the Constitutional Court to annul it. Tension between Barcelona and Madrid has flared again, dominating pre-electoral debate in Spain ahead of a crucial national election on December 20.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Free Movement in Tatters as France Controls Border for UN Climate Summit

The EU’s freedom of movement policy has suffered another blow with French officials announcing that the country will reinstate border controls in the lead up to the UN Climate Change conference over fears of a terrorist attack.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told BFM TV that controls would be put in place for about a month “in the context of terrorist threats that could come and stain this large international gathering that is carrying a grand message for humanity.”

The UN Climate Change conference will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, with 80 heads of state plus tens of thousands of other people to be present in the city at the time.

Despite announcing the reintroduction of border controls, Cazeneuve said “it is by no means a suspension of Schengen,” in reference to the EU free travel zone where there are generally no border checks.

However, the decision has added to criticism that the EU’s ambitious open border policy is unsustainable, with a number of countries closing off their borders in recent months as a reaction to the refugee crisis.

Critics have argued that the Schengen zone has exacerbated the flow of refugees into Europe, while the open border access has also facilitated the flow of weapons and terrorist activity among EU states.

The Schengen Zone consists of 22 mainland European EU countries plus four non-EU states.

France’s decision to impose border controls in the lead up to the climate change conference follows similar actions taken by a number of EU states this year, with many countries reintroducing controls to try and stem the flow of refugees and migrants.

Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Austria were among those countries that have imposed border controls over the past few months with concerns the EU’s open borders policy is being increasingly undermined by member states concerned about terror and immigration issues.

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

Hague Court to Handle Italy-India Marines Dispute-Source

Italy to submit request for Girone’s release-minister

(ANSA) — New Delhi, November 5 — The international tribunal that will handle the dispute between Italy and India over two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 has been set up at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, an Indian government source told ANSA on Thursday.

The board of arbitrators was nominated administratively as no agreement was found between the two parties, the source said.

Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of killing the fishermen after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and opening fire on their trawler while guarding a privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012.

Latorre has returned to Italy after India granted him medical leave last year.

Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said on Wednesday that at the first hearing of the tribunal Italy would submit a request for Girone to also be able to return to his homeland.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

IOR ‘Operated in Italy Unauthorized for 40 Years’

Ex-Vatican Bank execs Cipriani, Tulli may face fresh charges

(ANSA) — Rome, November 4 — The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors said Wednesday. The city prosecutor is about to notify ex-IOR general manager Paolo Cipriani and his former deputy Massimo Tulli that a probe into alleged wrongdoing at the Vatican bank has ended, a possible prelude to their indictment.

Cipriani and Tulli were indicted in a separate case a year ago on money laundering charges after a probe that in 2010 led to the freezing of 23 million euros over two cash transfers involving IOR that were deemed suspicious.

That trial is ongoing.

On Wednesday, investigators said IOR acted as a bank without central bank authorization until 2011, when the Bank of Italy told credit institutions to consider it a non-EU bank. At that point, IOR most of its banking activities to Germany.

However, Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce strict anti-money laundering criteria to continue working with it.

From January 1 to February 12, 2013, the Bank of Italy froze all credit card and ATM transactions inside the Vatican City over its failure to fully implement international anti-money laundering standards.

The Council of Europe’s Moneyval agency, a monitoring group of financial experts, earlier this year praised the Vatican’s progress in trying to get onto the white list of countries with strong credentials on combatting financial crime.

In January 2014, the Vatican Bank resumed normal relations with Italy after implementing moves to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Tussle With Regions Over Budget Continues

Premier says governors must ‘stop moaning’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Premier Matteo Renzi said Thursday that Italy’s regional governments should spend their budgets better, and denied allegations that his executive was cutting regional health care funding. “We have increased the money for the health sector from 110 billion euros to 111 billion (in the 2016 budget bill),” Renzi said in an interview with veteran TV journalist Bruno Vespa for an upcoming book. “Now the issue is to force the regions to spend the money they do have better, instead of moaning about what they would like to have”.

The government’s budget bill features the abolition of the TASI local services tax and property tax IMU on primary residences and farms. The executive has said local councils will be reimbursed for the lost revenue by central government, but the move has still been criticised for limiting municipalities’ room for budget manoeuvre, and punishing authorities that applied relatively local TASI rates. Italy’s regional governments have complained vital services will be at risk because of cuts that they will face, sparking tension with Renzi even with governors belonging to the premier’s Democratic Party (PD). On Thursday, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Governor Debora Serracchiani said the Conference of Regions unanimously voted to suspend its reading on the government’s budget bill as a series of round-tables got underway to discuss regional accounts.

Renzi has repeatedly said the government is increasing money it allocates the regions for health spending, but the governors say they are to get less than they were promised, which means the increases are effectively cuts as they don’t keep up with inflation. Puglia Governor Michele Emiliano said the regions are ready to “hand back the keys” if government does not quickly approve a decree to help solve some of the accounting problems they face. The so-called “Save the Regions” decree is expected to be presented by the government on Friday. Separately, a minority group of leftwing dissenting members of Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) presented 10 amendments to the government’s budget bill, related to issues ranging from a plan to make massive investments in the country’s chronically impoverished South, to a diverted profits tax. They also want to eliminate a plan to raise the limit on cash transactions from 1,000 euros to 3,000 euros, which has been criticised on the grounds that it would make tax evasion easier.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Refugees, Roma People Want to be Rome Mafia Civil Plaintiffs

Along with 150 other persons, entities

(see related)(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — About 150 people and entities including refugees and Roma people asked to be admitted as civil plaintiffs in the so-called Rome Mafia case, which opened Thursday in the nation’s capital.

The trial centers on an alleged racketeering ring made up of gangsters, businessmen and politicians that muscled in on lucrative city contracts for refugee and Roma people camps, trash collection, parks maintenance, and other sectors. Among the would-be plaintiffs are three refugees from Darfur, a 23-year-old Pakistani political refugee, and 37 Roma people who argued the defendants dissipated funds earmarked for improvements to a camp where the city had transferred them by force.

Others wanting to constitute themselves as injured parties include the interior ministry, the Lazio region, the city of Rome, AMA trash collection company, Confindustria employers association, cooperatives league Lega Coop, Codacons consumer group, Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship) non-profit, the Lazio section of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S). The court will announce its decision at the next trial hearing on November 17.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Says Regions Should Spend Money Better, Not Moan

Premier says health spending up to 111 billion euros

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Premier Matteo Renzi has said that Italy’s regional government’s should spend their budgets better and denied allegations that his executive was cutting funding to them for the health sector. “We have increased the money for the health sector from 110 billion euros to 111 billion (in the 2016 budget bill),” Renzi said in an interview with veteran TV journalist Bruno Vespa for an upcoming book.

“Now the issue is to force the regions to spend the money they have better, instead of moaning about what they would like to have”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi to Attend Northern League Rally

‘Demonstration of center-right unity’ says Forza Italia chief

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Former center right premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday he will gladly attend a rally organized by the rightwing, anti-immigrant Northern League (LN) at the weekend.

“I am very happy to accept the invitation of League secretary, Matteo Salvini,” said Berlusconi, who leads the center-right Forza Italia (FI) party.

An earlier version of FI and the League were erstwhile ruling coalition partners under previous Berlusconi administrations, along with the now-defunct, rightwing National Alliance (AN).

“We could not remain indifferent to the pressure from our voters, who have been insistently calling on a strong demonstration of center-right unity,” Berlusconi said.

“The center-right movements are absolutely convinced they can only win as long as they are united”.

“I am happy about Berlusconi’s presence,” said Salvini.

“A finally compact opposition can liberate Italians from the left, its taxes and its (immigrant) invasion”.

Salvini is an outspoken opponent of the government’s open-door policy towards asylum seekers.

In the latest polling, Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) remained Italy’s number one party at 34% of projected votes, followed by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement at 26.4%, LN at 14.8% and FI at 9.6%.

The small rightwing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, who will also attend the rally, scored 3.1%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Mineo Apologizes for Renzi-Beautiful Woman Comments

Ex-PD MP says didn’t intend to sound sexist

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Former Democratic Party (PD) Senator Corradino Mineo on Thursday apologized for saying Premier Matteo Renzi is in the thrall of “a beautiful, determined woman”.

“I didn’t mean to sound sexist,” said Mineo, a leftist former journalist at RAI public broadcaster who quit Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) last week.

“I apologize if someone perceived sexist allusions, but it was not my intention to make any sexual reference”.

“Renzi is subjugated by (Reform Minister Maria Elena) Boschi,” he went on.

“I know he didn’t believe in the Constitutional reform or the school reform. But his people forced him. He’s a fragile leader,” said Mineo, who has long been at odds with Renzi, who is the PD leader as well as premier.

In a letter published yesterday, Mineo said “I know the extent to which (Renzi) feels inferior to and dependent on a beautiful, determined woman — to the point where he questions his very role in government”.

“I know, but I won’t reveal the details of private conversations”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Messina Water Crisis Deepens, State of Emergency Declared

Bypass pipe breaks, city without water for most of two weeks

(ANSA) — Messina, November 6 — Premier Matteo Renzi’s government declared Messina to be in a state of emergency on Friday as the water-supply crisis that the Sicilian city is enduring deepened.

The crisis deteriorated with the breaking of a bypass pipe, which had been installed after a landslide took out a broken aqueduct. The bypass connected the Alcantara aqueduct with the Fiumefreddo one and made it possible to transfer 300 litres of water a second to the city. Messina has been without water for most of the last two weeks after two separate landslides cut off supplies.

Cabinet secretary Claudio De Vincenti said Friday that the government has given Italy’s civil protection department “extraordinary powers” to deal with the Messina crisis, describing the situation in the Sicilian city as “intolerable”.

He added that the executive has allocated special funding and authorised the use of the army. “We accompany the state of emergency with a first funding allocation for the necessary works and we are also putting the Army and military at disposition,” De Vincenti said after a cabinet meeting.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Supermarket Workers Announce Nat’l Strike

National collective contracts haven’t been renewed

(ANSA) — Rome, November 7 — Supermarket, retail and large-scale distribution workers will go on strike Saturday to protest the failed renewal of their national collective bargaining contracts, FILCAMS union said Friday.

The strike called by Italy’s “big three” CGIL, CISL and UIL unions will affect companies belonging to the Federdistribuzione supermarket federation, shopkeepers association Confesercenti and Distribuzione Cooperativa distributors’ cooperative.

Unions and labor “are ready for a long battle” after 22 months of unsuccessful negotiations, FILCAMS said in a statement.

The union has already planned another strike on December 19, should talks still lead nowhere after tomorrow’s action.

On Saturday, there will be sit-ins at shopping malls and strategic retail points in Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome, and Turin, and all the cities of the Emilia Romagna region.

Retail employees will demonstrate in front of the prefectures in Ancona, Bolzano, Florence, and Vicenza.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Four Ex-Milan Mayors Probed in La Scala Asbestos Deaths

Ex-superintendent Carlo Fontana also named in investigation

(ANSA) — Milan, November 6 — Four former Milan mayors are being investigated for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm in seven asbestos-related deaths at the Teatro alla Scala opera house. They were named as Giampiero Borghini (in office in 1992-1993), Marco Formentini (1993-1997), Paolo Pilliteri (1986-1992) and Carlo Tognoli (1976-1986), ANSA sources said.

Also named in the investigation was former La Scala superintendent Carlo Fontana, who served from 1990-2005. The world-renowned theatre was inaugurated on in August 1778 and underwent a major renovation in 2002-2004.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: New Leftist Party is in the Works Says D’Attorre

Could be named Italian Left

(ANSA) — Rome, November 6 — Former Democratic Party (PD) MP Alfredo D’Attorre said Friday a new leftist political party is in the works.

“Tomorrow new leftist caucuses will be formed, uniting lawmakers that have left the PD in the past few weeks,” he said.

“We’re thinking of calling ourselves Italian Left. A final decision as to the name will be made tonight and formalized tomorrow”. D’Attorre said the new formation will include just over 30 Lower House MPs and 10 Senators, and will officially turn itself into a party in 2016.

“This is the birth of a new, non-radical, pluralistic…

left, which will finally offer a home to the tens of thousands of voters who have found themselves homeless,” he said.

The ruling center-left PD of Premier Matteo Renzi has long been fighting internal leftwing dissenters over its labor and welfare policies as well as its Italicum electoral reform bill.

Ex-premier and leading leftist PD dissenter Pier Luigi Bersani told La Repubblica paper in an interview Friday that he disagreed with the choice of leaving the party, because this will drive disaffected voters into the arms of the opposition anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

The M5S is currently Italy’s second-largest party after the ruling PD.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Says Sad to See Priests, Bishops Attached to Money

Church hit by Vatileaks and books documenting lavish spending

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 6 — Pope Francis on Friday said that it was sad to see clergymen, including senior figures, “attached to money” and material goods. This week the Catholic Church was hit by the so-called VatiLeaks 2 scandal and the related publication of two books documenting allegedly waste and lavish spending by clergymen.

“There are people within the Church who, instead of serving, of thinking of others and laying down foundations, serve themselves from the Church — the climbers, those attached to money,” the pope said in his homily during Mass at the Santa Marta residence where he lives inside the Vatican, according to Vatican Radio. “And how many priests, bishops have we seen like this? It’s sad to say it, isn’t it?” Francis admitted that the Church in not immune to corruption in an interview published by Dutch newspaper Straatnieuws Friday. “There is always the temptation to corruption in public life — both political and religious,” the pope said. “There is always the danger of corruption”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Islamic Extremists ‘Break Into Church and Spray Allah on Walls Before Destroying Crucifix’

ISLAMIC vandals were today being blamed for breaking into a church and spray-painting “Allah” on the walls and destroying holy objects.

The attackers smashed wooden statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus on the cross during the shocking attack earlier this week.

They stormed the Church of our Lady of Carmen in the Spanish town of Rincon de la Victoria, Andalucia on Monday morning.

Spain’s Civil Guard has now launched a probe into the vandalism.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Stockholm Blast Thought to Have Been Caused by Gas Leak

A gas leak is now thought to have caused an explosion heard shortly before noon on Friday in Stockholm.

Initially witnesses said they had heard a large blast near Brännkyrkagatan on Södermalm in the Swedish capital and emergency services were called in, sealing off surrounding roads.

A shattered window was found in an apartment but police say they have found no signs of criminal activity there.

           — Hat tip: ESW [Return to headlines]

UK: I Know I Shouldn’t Break the Speed Limit — But it’s the Profiteering Police Who Are Really Pulling a Fast One

Ever since speed cameras were introduced on Britain’s roads in 1992, politicians and the police have pulled sanctimonious faces and assured us that the idea wasn’t to extort money from motorists.

No, no, they said. The thought couldn’t be farther from their minds. The one and only point of the cameras was to improve road safety and reduce the appalling death toll from accidents.

Indeed, nothing would make them happier than if Gatsos succeeded in their purpose of making every driver stay within the limit, thereby raising not a penny in revenue.

Two decades on — with booty from the cameras pouring into the coffers of the Treasury, local councils and the police —motorists have long stopped believing this pious talk (if they ever did).

And now up speaks Olly Martins, Bedfordshire’s Left-wing Police and Crime Commissioner, to confirm officially that worst-kept dirty secret: the authorities do indeed regard speed cameras as a perfect means of raising revenue with the minimum of effort — and certainly no thought for justice.


Indeed, the country’s first Gatso, installed on a 40 mph stretch of the A316 over Twickenham Bridge in Surrey, was set to catch motorists driving above 60 mph. (As a sign of the prevailing attitudes to speed in 1992, it is interesting to note that the trial camera caught no fewer than 22,939 cars exceeding 65 mph in just three weeks.)

Since then, with the smell of easy money in the air, the triggers have been set lower and lower. A man in a pub tells me that nowadays we can reckon on about 10 per cent above the speed limit (though for heaven’s sake don’t take his word for it — and don’t pass your ticket on to me if you do!).

But Mr Martins plans to show no mercy at all. From next April, if he gets his way, the cameras between junctions 10 and 13 on the M1 — hitherto used only to enforce variable speed limits when road conditions are dangerous — will be set permanently to catch anyone driving at so much as 1 mph above the limit.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Maths Teacher Convicted of Assault for Squirting His Ex-Girlfriend With a Water Pistol as She Screamed ‘Stop Shooting at Me’

Timothy Gledhill, 40, wept at Canterbury Crown Court when he was told a judge would not be overturning the conviction.

He told the judge: ‘It’s not illegal to hold a water pistol. It’s just a toy.’

A maths teacher has been convicted of assault after squirting his ex-partner with a water pistol.

Timothy Gledhill, 40, wept in court when he was told a judge would not be overturning the conviction.

Gledhill feared professional ruin after he was found guilty of soaking his furious victim with a child’s toy in a ‘humiliating’ attack during two heated rows.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Vatileaks’ Books Sell Out in Rome on Publication Day

Books point to waste, mismanagement and greed in Vatican

(ANSA) — Rome, November 5 — Two new books by investigative journalists exposing mismanagement and greed within the Vatican’s ranks quickly sold out in Rome book shops on their first day of release on Thursday.

Merchants in the Temple (Via Crucis in the Italian version) by Gianluigi Nuzzi and Avarice by Emiliano Fittipaldi were commonly bought together by customers, a sales assistant at a Feltrinelli shop in central Rome told ANSA.

The two books, based on leaked confidential Vatican documents, are also at the top of Amazon’s lists of the books that have been sold the most and downloaded the most to Kindles.

They have been published days after two advisers of Pope Francis were arrested and interrogated over leaked documents in the second so-called VatiLeaks scandal to rock the Holy See.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Vatican Books Are ‘Misleading’, Says Cardinal’s Spokesman

Pell ‘made efforts to contain costs’

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 5 — Recent books based on leaked Vatican documents appear to contain false and misleading claims about the expenses of Cardinal George Pell and of the Secretariat for the Economy that he heads up, a spokesman for the cardinal told ANSA on Thursday.

Two books, “Merchants in the Temple” (Via Crucis in the Italian version) by Gianluigi Nuzzi and “Avarice” by Emiliano Fittipaldi were released on Thursday, detailing waste, mismanagement and excessive expenses racked up by Vatican officials. The authors say they based their research on Vatican documents.

“To avoid any doubt about Cardinal Pell’s efforts to manage and control costs, the secretariat finished the year within the budget for 2014 and it was one of the few departments to propose a reduction in overall spending in its request for the 2015 budget,” the spokesman said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Vatileaks 2 ‘Won’t Stop Pope’s Economic Reforms

Msgr Becciu says scandal won’t get in Francis’ way

(see related)(ANSA) — Rome, November 4 — Monsignor Angelo Becciu, substitute for general affairs at the Vatican, said Wednesday that the new document-leaking scandal at the Vatican would not stop Pope Francis in his drive to overhaul finances there.

“This incident, albeit unpleasant, will certainly not block him,” Monsignor Becciu told ANSA. “The Pope is very upset but truly this fact will not stop him at all, he will move quickly as he has done until now and so there will be no obstacles in this sense,” he added. The latest scandal dubbed Vatileaks 2 and concerning leaked confidential documents led to the arrest of two advisers who served on the pope’s financial reform commission at the weekend.

Vatileaks 2 has been amplified by the publication on Thursday of two books pointing to waste and mismanagement holding up Pope Francis’s economic reforms.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Croatia: Sunday’s Vote: Campaign Heats Up, Uncertain Outcome

Centre-right opposition slightly ahead, pm Milanovic’s recovery

(ANSA) — ZAGREB — Four days ahead of the elections in Croatia, the election campaign heats up, amidst accusations, cheap shots and fiery appeals made to the electorate that, according to surveys, is basically split in two. Therefore, Sundays’s vote looks set for a photo-finish. However, nobody made concrete promises or submitted clear economic programmes.

The Social Democrats, who have been ruling since 2011, have called their center-left coalition “Croatia is growing” by focusing on the country’s macro-economic performance over the last 6-7 months, almost positive after six long and difficult years of recession and stagnation, including GDP data, industrial production, exports and employment.

The centre-right opposition leader, Tomislav Karamarko, former secret service director and interior minister in one of Sanader’s cabinets, responded by accusing the premier of being “in love with himself, arrogant, incompetent, a man who has run up massive debts totalling 13 million in four years, ruining the economy and forcing a hundred thousand young people to emigrate”. Just six months ago, the victory of the centre-right was taken for granted, with a gap between the two blocs of about 10%. The latest polls show, however, that the outcome is on a knife’s edge: Milanovic is given 30-33% of the vote and Karamarko 32-35%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Easyjet Announces Sharm-Milan Flight on Friday

Bringing back 180 stranded in Egyptian resort

(supersedes previous)(ANSA) — London, November 5 — British budget airline EasyJet said Thursday it will resume flights from Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday in order to bring back passengers who got stranded in the Egyptian resort after flights there and back were suspended on government orders.

There will be a total of 10 flights tomorrow, including one to Milan’s Malpensa airport bringing back 180 passengers who were supposed to fly home tonight, British media reported.

Easyjet earlier cancelled its scheduled flights from Milan Malpensa to Sharm El Sheikh on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula following Saturday’s Russian plane crash in which 224 people were killed. The decision came after the British and Irish governments ordered the suspension of all flights to and from the Red Sea holiday resort amid conjecture that the plane might have been brought down by a bomb smuggled on board in hand luggage at Sharm El Sheikh airport.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Rocket ‘Attack’ On UK Tour Jet

Pilot with 189 passengers dodged missile above Sharm El Sheikh with just ‘seconds to spare from disaster’

A British plane carrying 189 passengers came ‘within 1,000ft’ of a rocket as it approached Sharm El Sheikh, it emerged last night.

The Thomson flight from London Stansted only took evasive action after the pilot spotted the missile speeding through the air.

The jet landed safely, and holidaymakers were not told they had been seconds from disaster.

The revelation comes amid claims British jihadists had spoken about an Islamic State ‘mole’ at Sharm el-Sheikh airport minutes after a Metrojet plane crashed in Sinai, killing all 224 on board.


The Department for Transport confirmed the Thomson near-miss incident took place on August 23 — just two months before the Metrojet plane crash.

A source said: ‘The first officer was in charge at the time but the pilot was in the cockpit and saw the rocket coming towards the plane.

‘He ordered that the flight turn to the left to avoid the rocket, which was about 1,000ft away.’

They said the five members of cabin crew only found out about the incident after landing…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Micro-Credit for Palestinians Begins, With Italian Help

‘To reinforce Palestinian state’, Consul General La Cecilia

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH, NOVEMBER 4 — Over 20 million euros have been made available by the Italian foreign ministry and international cooperation for a three-year micro-credit program in the West Bank, an inauguration ceremony for which was held on Wednesday.

The program, entitled ‘Start-Up Palestine: Financial Instruments to Increase Employment and Income Generation in Palestine’, enjoys the collaboration of the Italian banking institutes Cassa Padana, Federcasse (the central institute of Banche di Credito Cooperativo) and Banca Etica, in partnership with the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) and the Palestinian Authority’s finance ministry. The project aims to provide financial instruments especially to women, youths and small-scale farmers, who suffer the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in the Palestinian Territories. “In Italy we are among the pioneers of cooperative credit for rural areas,” said the Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, Davide La Cecilia. “This agreement shows Italy’s will to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and the institutions of the future Palestinian state.” “The program is on two levels,” said Marco Azzalini, head of the project for the Italian Cooperation in Jerusalem. “The first concerns financial and non-financial services to micro and small enterprises and vulnerable groups — for which 5 agreements were signed today worth 7 million euros — which will make it possible to offer credit lines. And then we are working with the Palestinian Monetary Authority to introduce alternative banking models, including credit and cooperative saving.” The inauguration was held at the Gran Park Hotel in Ramallah, with — in addition to Consul La Cecilia, who signed the agreement on Italy’s behalf — PMA governor Jihad Al Wazir, Labor Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla, Federcasse director Sergio Gatti and Banca Etica chief Ugo Biggeri.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Obama Rules Out Peace Accord by End of Mandate

White House sources, ‘realistic evaluation’ by president

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 6 — US President Barack Obama has reportedly ruled out the possibility of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians during the last months of his mandate, according to US administration sources.

The sources have stressed how the president has made a “realistic evaluation” of the situation in the Middle East, a few days ahead of the visit of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States.

The same sources were quoted by US media as explaining how the main objective of talks between the two leaders at the White House (the first since the controversial agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier) will be to discuss the necessary steps to avoid a clash between Israelis and Palestinians without a peace accord.

The meeting will also be an occasion to discuss issues like security, Iran and Syria.

However, according to deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, the fact that the Israeli government gives lukewarm support to the so-called “two-state solution” (strongly supported by the US administration) means that Obama must now accept the idea that an agreement to end the conflict within the next 12 months is impossible.

Rhodes however reportedly stressed that this will not diminish Washington’s efforts nor its belief that the solution of two states is the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to reach lasting peace and security, giving Israelis and Palestinians the dignity they deserve.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Dear Fellow Americans: Do You Have Any Idea What’s Being Done in Your Name in Syria?

Americans have some vague understanding that the U.S. wants Syria’s Assad to go, while Russia wants him to stay.

And Americans know that the U.S. “war against ISIS” hasn’t done much, while the Russians have been pounding Syrian targets with jets.

But Americans have no idea that the U.S. is deploying fighter jets designed solely to engage in plane-to-plane dogfighting … in order to counter the Russians.

And we don’t understand that the U.S. is arming the Syrian “rebels” with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons. As the Wall Street Journal reports:…

Americans don’t know the history of American regime change in Syria:

The U.S. carried out a coup in Syria in 1949

In 1957, the U.S. president and British prime minister agreed to use Arab extremists — including the Muslim Brotherhood — to effect regime change in Syria

In 1991, the U.S. hawks started planning another round of regime change in Syria

The U.S. has been arming the Syrian opposition since 2006 … years before the uprising started

Americans don’t know that it was the “rebels” — not the Syrian government — who carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria.

Americans don’t know that U.S. backed rebels told Christians, “Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded.” Syrian rebels slit the throat of a Christian man who refused to convert to Islam, taunting his fiance by yelling: “Jesus didn’t come to save him!” A former Syrian Jihadi says the rebels have a “9/11 ideology”. Indeed, they’re literally singing Bin Laden’s praises and celebrating the 9/11 attack.

Americans don’t know that the U.S. and its allies are largely responsible for creating ISIS, that U.S., Turkey and Israel have all been acting as ISIS’ air force, and that influential American figures are calling for openly arming Al Qaeda … and perhaps even ISIS.

Americans don’t know that Russia and China are catching up to the U.S. military, and that this isn’t a mere proxy war … but is “one step closer” to all out war between the U.S. and Russia.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

IS Accused in Syria Mustard Gas Attack as Rebels Push Back Regime

Activists accused the Islamic State (IS) group Friday of being behind a deadly gas attack in northern Syria this past summer, as the global chemical weapons watchdog confirmed it was mustard gas.

Meanwhile, Islamist rebels wrested back a flashpoint town in the central province of Hama, reversing the last of gains the army had made in a month-old offensive.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Friday confirmed with “utmost confidence” that mustard gas was used in August in Syria.

A report from OPCW fact-finding teams said an infant was “very likely” killed in the attack on Marea, a town in Aleppo province, on August 21…

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

Site: ‘Al Qaeda Envoy to Mediate Between Al Nusra and ISIS’

Two days ago al Zawahri launched an appeal for unity

(ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 5 — Two days after al Qaeda leader, Ayman al Zawahri, launched an appeal to rally all “Mujaheddin brothers” in the fight against Russia and the West, the commander in chief of the terrorist network sent an envoy to Syria acting as a mediator between the pro al Qaeda al Nusra front and the Islamic State, the director of the jihadi monitoring centre Site, Rita Katz, reported.

The man entrusted with the task is Saif al Adel, the organisation’s number three, and he is allegedly already in Syria.

Al Adel came under the radar in September when he was mentioned as one of the five people freed by Iran to secure an exchange with an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen, a circumstance Teheran has always denied.

The director of Site added that Adel was the second envoy sent to Syria by Zawahri, as another al Qaeda operative, al Suri, was killed in February in the aftermath of a suicide attack that took place in Aleppo. At the time, his comrades blamed the attack on Isis.

Two days ago the Egyptian doctor leading al Qaeda launched an appeal two all Sunni Muslims calling on them to join hands instead of fighting against each other and rally together against Russia and the West.

This message was delivered only a month and a half after al Zawahri called Isis caliph, al Baghdadi, “an impostor” and claimed the Islamic State, born out of an al Qaida cell, lacked any legitimacy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Media: Nine-Point Russian Plan

Saudi paper, aim is for Moscow to stay in East Med

BEIRUT — Russia has prepared a plan to solve the conflict in Syria in its favor and stay in the eastern Mediterranean, according to a nine-point plan published by Saudi Arabia’s pan Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

The plan should have remained a secret but Russian media over the past 24 hours have been reporting on it. The nine points provide for the sides currently involved in air raids in Syria to define common objectives and decide that those refusing the Russian “political solution” become part of objectives to be eliminated.

Moscow’s plan also provides for a halt in fighting between loyalists and insurgents and the start of a conference of dialogue between the regime, insurgents and both opponents in exile and at home. This would provide for a general amnesty and the release of political detainees, presidential elections, and the creation of a national unity government including the regime and oppositions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin vows to work directly so that his Syrian counterpart Bashar al Assad does not run in potential new presidential elections. However, the Kremlin’s plan, according to the Saudi paper, does not prevent one of the Syrian president’s relatives or another member of the regime from running.

The plan also reportedly states that a system needs to be devised so that the government’s army can include loyalists and insurgents. Russia also engages to assure a general amnesty to exiled opponents and those who have taken up armed fight but in exchange the oppositions have to vow not to prosecute Assad and his regime at home or abroad. The regime and oppositions would also need to lift a siege on areas currently surrounded and countries arming the oppositions would need to cease supporting them.

Russia would instead keep its military bases “in the respect of UN Security Council resolutions”.

The text will reportedly be presented to Syrian and international sides on Friday, November 13, in Geneva, the daily’s website said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish Police Raid Business Group Tied to Erdogan Rival

Turkish police on Friday raided the offices of a major business group linked to a US-based cleric who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s archfoe, local media reported.

Officers were searching the Ankara headquarters of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (Tuskon), the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The operation was part of “the inquiry into the parallel state”, Anatolia said, using the government’s term to refer to the network of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the United States.

Since Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept back to power in Sunday’s election, the police have already launched crackdowns on the president’s rivals and opposition media, raising fears about the government’s commitment to democracy…

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

Charlie Hebdo Crossed Line With A321 Cartoons — Russian Journalists Union

The Russian Union of Journalists called satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures on the crashed Russian Airbus A321 airliner “vulgarity, cynicism and criminal provocation.”

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has crossed the line of common decency, being outright vulgar in its mocking cartoon depictions of the crashed Russian Airbus A321 airliner that killed 224 people, the Russian Union of Journalists said Friday.

In its latest issue, the French magazine published two caricatures of the A321 tragedy, one of which compared Saturday’s air crash in Egypt to Russia’s military operation targeting terrorist positions in Syria.

“The magazine’s staff is long past the line that separates free journalism and freedom of speech from vulgarity, cynicism and criminal provocation,” the union’s secretary Timur Shafir told RIA Novosti.

The French outlet, known for its bluntly provocative caricatures, became the target of two radical Muslim gunmen who stormed Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office in January 2015 and gunned down ten journalists, including the editor, as well as two police officers. The attack was allegedly motivated by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad by the magazine.

Despite the brutal shooting, Charlie Hebdo continues to publish controversial cartoons, including those depicting the vanished Malaysian Flight MH370 and a drowned Syrian toddler whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach after the migrant boat he and his family were fleeing in capsized on its way to Greece.

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

Putin Has Suspended All Flights From Russia to Egypt, Russia’s Most Popular Tourist Destination

President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday suspended all flights from Russia to Egypt, the most popular tourist destination for Russians, as several airlines imposed bans on checked luggage over concerns that a bomb in the cargo hold brought down the Russian charter jet that broke apart over the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, killing all 224 people on board.

Mr. Putin signed off on a recommendation by Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service, Russia’s internal state security agency, that the flights be suspended, his spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, confirmed to the Interfax news agency. It was not immediately clear when the suspension would begin.

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

Denied Halal Biryani, Muslim Customer Stabs Hindu Eatery Owner in Bengaluru

Not getting desired Biriyani, angry Muslim customer critically injured Hindu Eatery Owner by repeated stabbing with Kitchen Knife.

Anil Ponnuswamy | HENB | Bengaluru | Nov 6, 2015::A 42-year-old Hindu owner of an eatery was stabbed by a customer when he refused to serve biryani to the latter, at Andhrahalli in Rajagopal Nagar on Wednesday.

The multiply injured Soundar, owner of Ambur Biriyani, was rushed to MS Ramaiah Hospital where his condition is said to be serious.

Police have arrested Sultan Pasha (28), a resident of Laggere.

Sources said that around 9.40 pm, Pasha, who was inebriated, came to the eatery at Hegganahalli Cross and ordered beef biriyani.

Soundar told him that being the eatery as a “no beef’“ unit he could only arrange ‘chicken’ or ‘mutton’ dishes, but that even couldn’t be possible as he was about to shut shop for the day as all the food was already sold.

Irked by this, Sultan picked a quarrel with Soundar stating that he cannot refuse to serve a regular customer, and started to assault him. An excited Sultan exhorted also why each Hindu Hotel (eatery) had not a Halal section including beef preparations. The other customers pacified Sultan and tried to pull him out.

But he barged into the kitchen, took a knife and stabbed Soundar in the back thrice.

When Soundar collapsed, perpetrator Sultan Pasha fled.

           — Hat tip: Rama Roy [Return to headlines]

Foreign Aid Workers Shy Away From Afghanistan as Violence Surges

Afghanistan was once a magnet for foreign aid workers but surging violence has left NGOs struggling to recruit staff and restricted their ability to deliver crucial aid to the country’s vulnerable.

Plagued by decades of war and natural disasters such as last month’s earthquake, which killed more than 120 people in the country and left thousands homeless, up until around 2009 Afghanistan was considered a risky but rewarding post for humanitarian workers.

But with a resurgent Taliban leaving Afghan forces floundering and forcing NATO allies to extend their presence in the country, increasing attacks are leaving would-be volunteers jittery.

Posts now remain “empty for a long time” compared to a decade ago, said Elise, of France’s Acted NGO in Kabul, who declined to provide a last name…

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

Pakistan: Lahore: After a Year No Justice for Christian Couple Burnt Alive

Falsely accused of blasphemy Shama and Shahzad Masih, parents of four children, were lynched and burnt alive on 4 November 2014. For the president of the foundation that takes care of their children, “they did not only burn two precious lives, they burnt humanity”. For a Catholic writer, “The government has shown criminal negligence in dealing with the problem of the abuse of the blasphemy law”.

Lahore (AsiaNews) — A year ago (4 November 2014), Shama, 24, and Shahzad Masih, 26, a Christian couple, were brutalised by a Muslim mob — still breathing, they were thrown in the burning furnace of the brick kiln where they worked.

“Today we hold Shama and Shahzad deep in our hearts: two innocent lives lost to extreme bigotry in our society. The horror of that ill-fated day will remain in our hearts and minds for years to come,” said Michelle Chaudhry, president of the Cecil and Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF).

In the furnace, “they did not only burn two precious lives, they burnt humanity, they burnt the principles of Islam, and they burnt Jinnah’s* Pakistan and no amount of monetary reparations can atone for such an extreme act of violence.”

The murderous incident took in Kasur District, about 60 kilometres from Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. Shama and Shahzad Masih, parents of four children, were seized, beaten and killed by a mob of 350-400 people, egged on by a local religious leader over alleged blasphemy.

One of the workers had accused Shama of burning pages of the Qur’an. So far, the allegation was never proven, and no one has been convicted in connection with the crime.

The Cecil and Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF), which is named after Pakistani Airforce hero and Catholic activist Cecil Chaudhry and his wife, decided to take charge of the education of Shama’s and Shahzad’s children (pictured), whose age ranges from two to nine. In the meantime, the Catholic community is still waiting for justice for Shama and Shahzad.

“We at the Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) continue our struggle for a just and equitable Pakistan,” President Michelle Chaudhry said. “We continue to demand the implementation of the 19th June 2014 Supreme Court judgment issued by former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani who, in a 32-page judgment, issued a set of guidelines for the government, promoting religious and social tolerance and the protection of religious minorities in Pakistan.”

Instead, for Attaurehman Saman, a member of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), “The government has shown criminal negligence in dealing with the problem of the abuse of the blasphemy law,” and has failed to adopt “appropriate legislation” in the matter.

“By contrast, the police has shown a responsible attitude and brought the situation under control,” he added. “Their vigilance during the incidents in Dhup Sari in Lahore and Kangapur Kasu saved the (Christian) community from mass destruction.”

* Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), founder of modern Pakistan.

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

Somalia: Sick Islamic Terrorists Gun Down Giraffe and Hack it to Bits in Shock Propaganda Video

Disturbed Islamists have gunned down an innocent giraffe and hacked the creature to bits in a sick safari-inspired propaganda video.

Fanatics can also be seen hunting and butchering a buffalo in the 16-minute clip, which has been widely shared online by armchair jihadists.

A pair of white fighters appear in the film, titled From the Fortified Strongholds of Glory #3, but their faces are blurred.

Other scenes show the terrorists leaping into a murky river, camping out in a jungle and going fishing.

The ‘jihadi tourism’ video was produced by Somali-based group al-Shabaab — which has links to al-Qaeda — in a desperate bid to attract new recruits.

One fighter tells the camera: “As you can see our brothers here get injured to ease our journey, Allah has granted us this great reward — a giraffe.

“Alhamdulillah [praise be to God] there is no shortage of meat here. It’s a great blessing from Allah.”

And Osama bin Laden’s supposed mentor, Abdullah Azzam, claims jihad is an “entertaining journey of tourism and hunting.”

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Austria Borders on Rebellion Over Refugee Crisis

Austrians are increasingly concerned over the refugee influx into the country, latest opinion polls show. And those who helped refugees stranded on the Hungarian border to get into Austria could face prosecution for “people smuggling”.

According to a new survey, 60 percent of Austrians say they are worried, and even scared, by the continuing arrival of huge numbers of refugees and migrants.

In a poll by Unique Research, 35 percent of respondents said they wanted the government to stop accepting any more refugees.

Sixteen percent were in favor of Freedom Party leader Heinz Christian Strache’s solutions to the crisis, which include constructing border fences anywhere where refugees and illegal migrants are trying to enter Austria.

Strache has been vocal in his criticism of the government’s approach to the crisis, saying that Austria had become “almost a Banana republic” with the government providing a “catering service” for passing illegal migrants.

The government has said that it expects 85,000 asylum requests this year. To date, there have been 63,000, with as many as 500 per day last week, making Austria one of the highest recipients in Europe on a per-capita basis.

According to government figures, 76 percent of current refugee applications are from men. Seventy percent of refugees and migrants are aged between 16 and 46 years old — and 25 percent are younger than 16.

The majority of people claiming asylum in Austria are from Syria, followed by Afghanistan and then Iraq.

People Smugglers?

Austrian activists who took part in a “refugee convoy” and drove cars into Hungary to pick up refugees and help them reach Austria and Germany could face criminal charges of people smuggling, Der Standard newspaper reports.

According to the report at least three people are the subject of an investigation by the Vienna public prosecutor’s office. Last September about 150 cars were driven to Budapest and Györ in Hungary, where they picked up refugees and drove them back to Austria for no charge.

The Linz public prosecutor is investigating another citizen initiative to help refugees — an online platform called ‘’, which was launched in Germany and gives people tips on how to help refugees without facing prosecution.

The site’s owners could face charges of encouraging people to commit crimes and disobey the law, and if convicted they would face a maximum of two years in prison. Authorities in Germany are also looking into the case.

However, human rights lawyers argue that many ‘people smugglers’ are in fact just doing what the government should be doing — giving refugees safe passage.

Unique Research shows 34 percent of respondents don’t trust any of the country’s politicians to come up with a good solution to the refugee crisis.

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

Cyprus: Migrants at Riot Camp Now Accuse British Officials of Crushing Their Dreams

Angry migrants at the Cyprus camp where tents were recently set on fire have now accused officials of crushing their dreams of making it to northern Europe.

The Syrian and Palestinian refugees, currently in a British RAF base near Larnaka, say they are being treated like prisoners.

Footage released by one of them shows migrants sitting around the site complaining about the conditions — despite a United Nations report approving of the camp.

Ibrahim Marouf said: “The gate of the camp is always closed, there are fences all around the camp, it makes us people in jail.

“People here are getting frustrated because it seems their dreams are not going to happen.”

[Welcome to the real world, pal, where ‘privileged’ white folks realise their dreams aren’t going to happen all the time.]

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Europe Must Push Families to Have Children and Not Take Migrants, Says Hungarian PM

Europe has been warned that it “cannot build its future on immigration instead of families” as the Hungarian prime minister once again urged against taking in unprecedented numbers of migrants.

Viktor Orban waded into the crisis as he spoke of the dangers Europe could face if it tries to solve its demographic and economic problems by taking in large swathes of refugees.

Addressing crowds at a conference in Budapest this week, the outspoken leader said the continent must instead push families to have more children because “the survival of our civilisation and our culture is at stake”.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

George Soros Letter Reveals Globalist Plan to Destroy the First World by Eliminating National Borders With Global Migrant Blitzkreig Invasions

(NaturalNews) As the Left continues to lose the battle for America’s soul, its greatest champions are going full-out in an attempt to turn the tide any way they can — even if it means destroying the country.

One of the vilest among them is billionaire George Soros, a Hungarian-born U.S. citizen who now seeks to demolish the country that gave him his riches along with its allies.

As reported by Breitbart London, Soros recently publicly confirmed that, yes, he seeks to essentially wipe out all European borders following an accusation made last week by the prime mister of his birth country, Viktor Orban (who, unlike Soros, actually has to deal with the tens of thousands of second- and third-world migrants streaming into his country and other European nations — while Soros lives free of such inconveniences in his $10 million mansion/castle outside of New York City).

In recent days, Orban has accused Soros of deliberately encouraging the migrant crisis now engulfing the continent.

“This invasion is driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other by those (human rights) activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state,” Orban said. “This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.”

[Comment: Orban is 100% correct.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany Downgrades Asylum Rights for Syrians: Report

Germany has scaled back its refugee policy for Syrians, the largest group of asylum seekers, including eliminating their right to have their families join them in the country, a newspaper reported Friday.

As Europe’s top economy prepares for the arrival of around one million asylum seekers this year, Germany has now downgraded the standard of legal protection for Syrians, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported.

The new measures mean that Syrian refugees will only receive a residence permit for one year and can no longer claim a right of their families to move to Germany…

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

Merkel Slammed Over Refugee Climb Down and Injustice Warnings

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been heavily criticized after climbing down over the issue of refugee transit zones, in an effort to close a major rift within her own coalition government and suggesting processing asylum-seekers within weeks.

Merkel has courted criticism for wanting to set up transit zones on Germany’s borders, where asylum-seekers would be kept until they had been processed. Refugees genuinely fleeing war zones — mainly Syrians — would be accepted, but economic migrants and others would be sent back to where they came from.

Her policy was opposed by her coalition partner the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Sigmar Gabriel, who said the transit camps would be like detention centers and resemble concentration camps.

Meanwhile, another rift opened up within her own CDU/CSU Union party, with Bavarian CSU leader Horst Seehofer demanding more action from Berlin to deal with the tens of thousands of refugees swarming into the southern state from Austria.

Talks over the past week between the three leaders came to a head Thursday night when Merkel — in an attempt to dispel the biggest crisis in her leadership — backed down over transit camps and agreed to set up refugee centers and speed up the processing of refugees and the deportation of those refused asylum.

Asylum Injustice?

The compromise will mean that refugees will be processed within weeks, rather than months, although critics question how the status of an asylum-seeker can be established so quickly.

Robert Habeck, a member of Germany’s opposition Green Party told the DPA news agency:

“In other countries, most people have to wait a year before they can even apply for asylum. In this context, it is a complete mystery how the Federal government intends to conclude the process at special registration centers within a few weeks.”

Left Party co-chairman Bernd Riexinger said the expedited status process could lead to injustices. “There’s the danger that these people won’t receive a fair asylum procedure,” Riexinger said.

However, Merkel received some consolation when leading economists said the refugees the country did accept would prove a long-term benefit for the country.

Marcel Fratzscher, the head of the German Institute for Economic Research said the new arrivals represented a major opportunity.

Fratzscher told The London Guardian newspaper:

“In the long run the refugees are an incredible opportunity for Germany. Because of the surplus in the public budget, and a labor market that’s doing incredibly well, there’s probably never been a better moment in the last 70 years for Germany to deal with the challenge.”

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

Norway’s PM Refuses to Shut Border With Russia Over Migrant Influx

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said that closing of the Norway’s border with Russia is not a solution the migrant crisis.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has ruled out closing the country’s border with Russia to stop the influx of mostly Afghan migrants.

The inflow of Asian migrants through Russia has surged ten-fold since the summer, according to official estimates, with 200 people on average crossing into the Sor-Varanger community in Norway’s Finnmark county every day.

These record levels have prompted calls for help from local authorities. Some politicians from the right-wing Progress Party have recently urged Solberg to close the border with Russia, warning that the border area could become an “Arctic Lampedusa.”

“To close the border overnight is not a solution when people are being forced to walk all this way in the cold,” the prime minister said during a late-night debate televised by the public broadcaster NRK1 on Thursday.

Norwegian police estimate that up to 65,000 people might arrive in the country by the end of the year.

Europe has been struggling to cope with a huge influx of refugees from the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. Most of them have been traveling via the Western Balkan route and across the Mediterranean, triggering a crisis on Italy’s small island of Lampedusa.

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

Owner of Bankrupt Casino Offers to Unleash Thousands of Syrian Refugees in New Jersey

Straub told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he’s willing to let people displaced by the civil war in Syria stay at the 47-story Revel resort as he fights in court over its future.

“We treat our dogs better than we treat the Syrians right now,” he said. “If the government wanted to house Syrian refugees, I’d give them use of the building and let them put those people there.”

Which is great news for Obama: recall that recently the White House announced it would accept 100,000 refugees in the US starting in 2017. Surely a few thousand of them wouldn’t mind staying in the luxury building.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Slovenia’s PM: Barriers Are Possible, If Necessary

A necessary response, if Austria implements restrictive measures

(ANSA) — LJUBLJANA — The Slovenian government will be ready to cope with the influx of refugees even if “more restrictive measures” are implemented in the coming days, “if deemed necessary”. This was stated by Slovenia’s prime minister, Miro Cerar, during an extraordinary session of Parliament in Ljubljana on the issue of migration.

Among the measures, somebody mentioned “technical barriers” and the chance to build these “barriers” on the country’s border with Croatia.

Cerar will meet tomorrow with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Lendava (Slovenia), where a Hungarian community resides. During the extraordinary session, the President of the Slovenian Republic, Borut Pahor, spoke about the possibility of a “tighter control” by the Austrian authorities, regarding the flow of migrants moving on towards north. If Austria implements restrictive measures, Slovenia will act accordingly, implementing restrictive measures in turn.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Trudeau Says Canada Ready to Settle 25,000 Syrian Refugees

Canada’s new prime minister vowed to make good on campaign promises to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the beginning of next year and bring home fighter jets battling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

In his first interview since taking office on Wednesday, Justin Trudeau told the Radio-Canada network: “The goal is still to have 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada before January 1.”

Several government ministries have been mobilized to achieve this goal in such a short time, Trudeau said, adding the federal government would have to work closely with Canada’s provinces and municipalities…

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

UK: Teenager Claims She Was Gang Raped by Five Young Syrian Migrants

An 18-year-old woman says she was raped by a group of migrant teenagers while staying in a supervised facility in Kent.

The victim claims her attackers were all Syrians who had only recently arrived in the UK.

She says last weekend’s horror ordeal lasted a terrifying five hours at the home she was staying in in Gillingham.

The four men arrested have already appeared at a youth court hearing held inside Medway Magistrates (pictured). They were remanded in custody and will appear again on November 20

Her accused attackers had been given accommodation in the same building by the local council.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Germany: Bundestag Prohibits for-Profit Euthanasia

Assisted suicide as a form of business will be prohibited

(ANSA) — BERLIN — Assisted suicide as a form of business will be prohibited in Germany from now on. This is what the Bundestag decreed, by voting four bills this morning at the end of an heated debate on euthanasia. The proposal passed today had been submitted by two MPs, one from the CDU and the other from the SPD.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Naples Prefect Annuls 2-Mum Birth Certificate

Italy does not recognise same-sex married couples

(ANSA) — Naples, November 5 — The Italian state’s representative in Naples has partially annulled the birth certificate of a boy registered by the city’s municipal authority as having two mothers as it does not conform to national law, her office said on Thursday.

Italy still lacks a civil unions or gay marriage law, so births to same-sex married couples are not officially recognized.

Left-leaning Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris, who supports extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, had threatened to take legal action over an order he received from the prefect to cancel the transcription of the birth certificate.

“I believe that the law should help the process of recognition of rights for those that lack them,” De Magistris said. “We filled a gap and our conscience is clear,” he said.

Prefect Gerarda Pantalone had ordered De Magistris to correct “errors” in the birth certificate by Thursday otherwise she said she would do it herself.

These included naming a woman in the “father” section, because legally only a man can be considered in this field. She said only the boy’s biological mother should be named on the certificate.

The mother is legally married in Spain to another woman.

Last week, Italy’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, annulled a lower court ruling that had approved the registration of gay unions contracted abroad.

The ruling was a blow to gay rights campaigners tired of waiting for lawmakers to give same-sex couples some form of legal recognition in Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Linus Torvalds Targeted by Honeytraps, Claims Eric S. Raymond

Attempts to frame open-source leaders with false sexual assault allegations alleged

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community.

Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has championed since the late 1990s.

In a blog post this week, Raymond, often referred to as “ESR”, dropped this bomb on the internet:

The short version is: if you are any kind of open-source leader or senior figure who is male, do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference. Try to avoid even being alone, ever, because there is a chance that a ‘women in tech’ advocacy group is going to try to collect your scalp.

Raymond’s evidence for his assertion comes from an unnamed “source I trust” with whom he shared an IRC chat.

The source accuses some members of The Ada Initiative, an organisation that “supported women in open technology and culture through activities such as producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies,” of “trying to pre-generate outrage and collect scalps.”

“The MO was to get alone with the target, and then immediately after cry ‘attempted sexual assault’,” Raymond’s source alleges, going on to say that Linux kernel supremo Linus Torvalds is never alone at open-source events because he is aware of the potential for such incidents.

The motive for such attacks, it is implied, is to expose sexists who hold positions of influence in open source communities and precipitate their replacement.

Raymond goes on to say that “this report is consistent with reports of SJW [social justice warrior] dezinformatsiya tactics from elsewhere and I think it would be safest to assume that they are being replicated by other women-in-tech groups.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Supreme Court Accepts Challenge to Health Law’s Contraceptive Mandate

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear another challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time to decide whether religiously affiliated organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities should be free from playing any role in providing employees with contraceptive coverage.

The case pits questions of religious liberty against a woman’s right to equal health care access, and it is the fourth time in five years the court will consider some aspect of what has come to be known as Obamacare.

[Ruling sets up another challenge to contraceptive mandate]

The Obama administration says it has provided the organizations with an easy way to opt out of the legal requirement that employers include contraceptives as part of health insurance coverage. Employers who object must file their religious objections and let insurance companies and the government take over from there.

But the groups say even that step would implicate them in what they sincerely believe to be a sin, adding that they face ruinous fines if they refuse to comply. They want to be included under the blanket exclusion from providing the coverage that the government has already extended to churches and solely religious groups.

The government counters that students and employees of universities and hospitals are less likely to adhere to the organizations’ religious views about contraceptives and that they should not be denied the health care benefits that others covered by the law receive.

           — Hat tip: NG [Return to headlines]

Washington School Threatens to Fire Football Coach if He Prays Silently to Himself in Public or Even Kneels to Honor God

As reported by Fox News and others in recent days, a Washington State high school football coach was suspended by the school district’s administrators because he dared to exercise his First Amendment religious freedom by praying where some people could see him (as in he was doing it publicly).

Mind you, the coach, Joe Kennedy, from Bremerton High School, wasn’t requiring his players to join him. In fact, he wasn’t asking anyone to join him. This was all him, acting alone and of his own (constitutional) accord.

Or so he thought. School officials — egged on by a minority of parents who somehow feel they have a First Amendment right to complain but feel put upon when someone else deigns to exercise a different right outlined in the same amendment — decided they needed to punish him for his heinous “act.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/6/2015

  1. ‘Schiff noted that “exploding debt, financial distortion, prolonged stagnation, recurring recession, and the eventual government takeover of industry and the economy” are things that politicians and central banks seem to prefer. Schiff came to this conclusion because politicians and central bankers “simply refuse to let the free markets function the way they are supposed to.”’

    This is the absolute root of the issues we are facing today. It is the thread which ties the present political configuration together. The greedy global ‘Casino Capitalist’ financiers know very well that they are using an unsustainable model to make money – the growth of debt! Not only do they add little value to the economy, but their rapaciousness ensures that when the creditors call for the payment of their debts, the whole sand castle will fall with catastrophic consequences.

    What to do? The fall must be MANAGED! Under the feint of blaming various scapegoats, they will wring their hands and demand a WORLDWIDE-REGULATION of the global economy – allegedly to prevent such terrible collapses happening again. But the real reason will be their own self-preservation. They wish to continue manipulating the global economy unchecked, so that they can proceed to further rip the guts out of us .

    Already the national central banks are little more than their administrative units. But national central banks of smaller nations, don’t wield enough power and cannot be so readily coordinated. Also, national banks put their own national welfare first. So the global financiers need Supra-national central banks and organisations like the EU, the World Bank, the IMF, the UN!

    The toad-like Soros has admitted as much. He also promised, after the shock of tiny Greece bringing the EU to its knees, that the EU and its Central Bank must, at all costs, be strengthened. ‘At all costs’ meant creating a continent-wide disruption that would allow the EU to step in, strengthen its centralized power and ‘manage’ the problem. Therefore, as he admits himself – he partly funded and promoted the ‘invasion by invitation’. It was supposed to smash national borders, reduce citizens to atomized serfdom and give those nests of predatory toads the power to do as they wish, with the aid of quisling politicians.

    This program falls on fertile ground because the Marxist white-anting of educational and governmental institutions has finally triumphed after 100 years. The sheep have been pacified by Welfare Entitlement economics and silenced by accusations of Racism.

    Under Global Casino Capitialism, the nationality of wage labor is immaterial. People can be moved around the gaming table like gambling chips. As long as they are all finger-printed and can be kept track of, that is all that matters. Notice the push now by the UN for global IDs!

    National identity is being corroded everywhere to prepare for World Government. This is the largest attempt at social engineering since Lenin and Hitler. Every device to gain the acquiescence of the sheep will be launched – Climate Change, financial insecurity, Multi-culturalism. Violence will be used – by armed force, elimination of free speech, the Marxist Rent-A-Crowd. It already IS being used!

    If we do not wish Democracy and the Judeo-Christian-Classical Hellenic and Enlightenment heritage to sink beyond recall, then we have to prepare ourselves for the most bitter of civil wars yet recorded on the face of the planet.

    First – throw out the quisling politicians. Second – demand responsible fiscal policy. Third – rid the educational institutions of PC Marxists. Fourth – break the power of Muslim clerics in the West… and that will bring the suppurating boil of Radical Islam to a head, and it will burst – hopefully consigning it to the putrid garbage pile forever!

    • All those things you have so well expressed have been brought to us by other humans who have way too much money and power. Their plan has largely gone unnoticed until now because the majority of those their plan will affect have been asleep, but there is yet hope and that many are now stirring and waking up out of their slumber. Look to Europe because it is from there that we will be able to ascertain what the future may bring.

      Remember too, that what Man puts in place can easily be undone by other more determined Men.

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