Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/30/2015

After researching the history of haggis for several years, a master butcher in Scotland has concluded that the Scottish national dish is not actually native, but was brought in by Viking invaders. He also says that it was originally made from deer, and not sheep.

In migration news, Finland has closed its border with Russia in northern Lapland to bicycle traffic, and will only allow migrants using motor vehicles to cross it.

In other news, the man who was arrested on suspicion of setting the mosque fire in Houston is a long-time attendee of the mosque, and is said to be a devout Muslim who prayed there five times a day.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Nick, Srdja Trifkovic, 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
» ‘Cash is Being Eradicated’: Digital Payments Take Over Western World
» Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars of Exposure to Derivatives
» The Lost Home Owner: “Soaring House Prices and Lack of Decently Paid Jobs” Affect Young
» Bill Cosby Arraigned on Aggravated Assault Charges, Posts Bail
» Bill Cosby Arrives for Arraignment on Assault Charges
» CPS Kidnaps Three Children After Loving Family Seeks Medical Help
» Everything You Need to Know About the New Street Drug ‘Flakka’ — Its Insane Side Effects Aren’t Even the Worst Part
» Executive Orders — Where is This Administration Getting This Authority?
» FBI Refuses to Comment on Downtown Anchorage Plane Crash or Any Connection to Pilot’s Wife
» Glenn Greenwald Confronts American “Liberals” Trying to Destroy Free Speech
» Man Charged With Setting Houston Mosque Afire Says He Was a Devout Attendee
» NYPD Out in Force to Make New Year’s Eve in Times Square ‘Safest Place in the World’
» Obama Spied on Netanyahu, Israel-White House Relations Cool
» Report: Obama to Campaign Overseas Against Donald Trump
» Canadian Space Agency to Map Asteroid That Could Destroy Earth
Europe and the EU
» Apple Agrees to Pay 318 Mn to Italian Tax Authority
» Belgium Terror Alert Halts New Year Fireworks in Brussels
» Italy: Berlusconi Says Country ‘No Longer a Democracy’
» Italy: Egyptian Inmate Expelled After Hailing ISIS, Paris Attacks
» Scotland’s National Dish is an ‘Imposter’ And Was Invented by Vikings, Claims Master Butcher
» Syria Strikes Like Paris Attacks Says German MP
» UK: Mohammed Rehman and Wife Sana Ahmed Khan Found Guilty of Planning London Terror Attack
North Africa
» Morocco: Tourism Losing 50 Million Because of Terrorism
» Moscow, Cairo to Ink $26bn Nuclear Plant Construction Deal in Q1 2016
Israel and the Palestinians
» Hamas Bans Gaza New Year’s Eve Parties
Middle East
» German Journalist Reports Israel is Only Country ISIS Fears
» Iran’s Rouhani Urges Muslims to Fix Islam’s Global Image
» Iranian Rocket Passes Within 1,500 Yards of US Aircraft Carrier
» ISIS Plotting ‘To Slaughter Thousands’ In 2016 in Bid to Spark Huge Final Battle With West
» Jihadists Holding Over 3,000 Yazidis Hostage: Activist
» Obama’s Hypocrisy on the Plight of Middle Eastern Christians
» RT Talks to Syrians Rescued From Al-Nusra-Besieged Shiite Villages After UN Swap (Exclusive)
» Syrian Journalist and Activist Critical of ‘Islamic State’ Assassinated in Turkey
» ‘Women and Children Will Become Captives of Muslims’ ISIS Release Sickening Rape Rulebook.
» Terror Warning: Dying Woman ‘Planning Islamic State Suicide Attack in Europe’
Far East
» China Passes Controversial New Anti-Terror Laws
» China Wants Encryption Cracked on Demand Because … er, Terrorism
» Japan and South Korea Agree WW2 ‘Comfort Women’ Deal
» North Korea’s ‘Paranoid’ Computer Operating System Revealed
» 2015: The Year Merkel Became Europe’s Boss
» Bavaria Demands Control of Own Borders
» Danish PM Seeks Change to UN Asylum Pact
» Finland: Ban on Bicycle Border Crossings at Eastern Lapland Border
» Finland: Police: Drunken Racists Target Refugee Centres
» Flow of Migrants to Islands Continues Over Christmas
» Germany, Migrants and Angela Merkel’s Big Lie
» Germany Hires 8,500 to Teach Refugees German
» German Finance Minister Critical of Greece Over Refugee Policy
» Hundreds of Migrants Kicked Out of Austria for Lying About Their Nationality
» Migrant Crisis: Over One Million Reach Europe by Sea
» Norway Pushes for Crackdown on Migrant Rules After 30,000 Enter the Country This Year
» Sweden: Rapes, Acquittals and Severed Heads
Culture Wars
» Materialism
» Video: Oregon’s ‘Anti-Gay’ Bakers Read Lovely Tweets From Oh-So-Tolerant Liberals

‘Cash is Being Eradicated’: Digital Payments Take Over Western World

Editor’s Comment: This is happening nearly as rapidly in the United States too, and other parts of the world aren’t too far behind. The system is working overtime to phase in what will become a mandatory cashless grid. It will make the real economy into a black market, where anyone and everyone can be criminalized for making unauthorized transactions of all kinds. It will make tracking of all financial activities default, and it will give all the control to the institutions that operate the system.

The banks want a cashless society because all transactions must flow through them, and each piece of circulating cash represents money they aren’t investing and profiting from, as well as money that they aren’t charging deposit fees and fines upon. The system of money reflects the freedom of a nation, and while America has already suffered enough under the Federal Reserve notes system, the cashless grid stands to be even more oppressive and enslaving.

The Cashless Society Cometh: European Nations Such As Sweden And Denmark Are ‘Eradicating Cash’

by Michael Snyder

Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless? And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030? All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe. In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed. At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all. The notion of a truly “cashless society” was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is “inevitable”, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. But what will we give up in the process?

In Sweden, the transition to a cashless society is being enthusiastically embraced. The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article that was published on Saturday…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars of Exposure to Derivatives

Did you know that there are 5 “too big to fail” banks in the United States that each have exposure to derivatives contracts that is in excess of 30 trillion dollars? Overall, the biggest U.S. banks collectively have more than 247 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives contracts. That is an amount of money that is more than 13 times the size of the U.S. national debt, and it is a ticking time bomb that could set off financial Armageddon at any moment. Globally, the notional value of all outstanding derivatives contracts is a staggering 552.9 trillion dollars according to the Bank for International Settlements. The bankers assure us that these financial instruments are far less risky than they sound, and that they have spread the risk around enough so that there is no way they could bring the entire system down. But that is the thing about risk — you can try to spread it around as many ways as you can, but you can never eliminate it. And when this derivatives bubble finally implodes, there won’t be enough money on the entire planet to fix it.

A lot of readers may be tempted to quit reading right now, because “derivatives” is a term that sounds quite complicated. And yes, the details of these arrangements can be immensely complicated, but the concept is quite simple. Here is a good definition of “derivatives” that comes from Investopedia…

A derivative is a security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets. The derivative itself is a contract between two or more parties based upon the asset or assets. Its value is determined by fluctuations in the underlying asset. The most common underlying assets include stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates and market indexes.

I like to refer to the derivatives marketplace as a form of “legalized gambling”. Those that are engaged in derivatives trading are simply betting that something either will or will not happen in the future. Derivatives played a critical role in the financial crisis of 2008, and I am fully convinced that they will take on a starring role in this new financial crisis.

And I am certainly not the only one that is concerned about the potentially destructive nature of these financial instruments. In a letter that he once wrote to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett referred to derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction”…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Lost Home Owner: “Soaring House Prices and Lack of Decently Paid Jobs” Affect Young

If it seems like the youngest generation of adults are missing out on starting their lives, and becoming real grown-ups… it might be because they are.

And despite what you might be thinking, it’s not just a case of fixation on vapid social media, cultural decline or laziness among millenials that is to blame. There is definitely a problem with the economic realities of the day that is making a major contribution to this growing problem as well.

The destruction of opportunity has been perhaps the biggest consequence of the economic crisis of 2008, and it continues to undermine the majority of Americans.

Housing and rent prices have soared, along with other sharp increases in the cost of living. Meanwhile, student loan debt has been absolutely crushing (and threatens to topple the economic system once again) and college graduates have been mismatched with a severe shortage of good jobs and decent wages — forcing far too many into competing for menial or basic service jobs.

This and more has put the decent lifestyles of the Middle Class, long the norm for most Americans, out of reach, particularly those just setting out in the world. Hard work be damned.

And thus, a massive wave of arrested development and immaturity has been bred at the hands of the bankers.

Homeownership is statistically at its lowest rate (63.7%) since the 60s, while the rate for those under 30 is at or near the all-time lowest point since the records began.

This article in the Daily Mail focuses on the issue in Britain, but the same trends are definitely happening in the United States and many other parts of the world:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bill Cosby Arraigned on Aggravated Assault Charges, Posts Bail

Bill Cosby was arraigned Wednesday on a felony assault charge stemming from a sexual encounter with a woman 12 years ago.

Wearing a spotted gray hooded sweater, Cosby was walked into the brick courthouse in Elkins Park, Pa., flanked by a man and a woman. The comedian held a briefcase and cane, and he nearly tripped on the sidewalk outside the courthouse entrance as cameras covered his every move.

Cosby posted 10 percent of his $1 million bail in cash.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bill Cosby Arrives for Arraignment on Assault Charges

For years, women — dozens of them — have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, with incidents dating back to the 1960s. Now, for the first time, Cosby is facing criminal charges in connection with an accusation of sexual assault, Montgomery County prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

CPS Kidnaps Three Children After Loving Family Seeks Medical Help

(NaturalNews) It’s happening all across the nation, but it’s something state and medical authorities are afraid to discuss. It’s something called medical kidnapping — the warrant-less seizure of children based on mere suspicion of child abuse. For example, if a parent disagrees with a medical diagnosis placed on their child and they want a second opinion, then authorities may label them “abusive parents.” Child protective Services (CPS) is called in to “rescue” the child, taking custody, leaving concerned parents heartbroken and powerless.

What’s absolutely appalling are the cases where hospital authorities call on state workers to seize children without any reason, warrant or evidence of abuse. In the most intrusive and authoritarian manner, case-workers for Child Protective Services are allowed to act on mere suspicion, barging into homes and kidnapping children without reason or common sense. This leaves parents in the most heartbroken and desperate situation. Cornered and questioned by state workers, parents are often bullied in their own homes, their children taken on mere suspicions. The forced separation is traumatic for children and parents.

For a family in South Dakota, initial concerns for their newborn’s health ultimately cost them everything. The two parents, Molly Bowling and Michael Becker, went to pick up their three children from daycare on November 28, 2014. This included their newest arrival, two-and-a-half-month-old Creedance and their toddlers Robin and Noah.

When they got their newborn home, they noticed a cut on their newborn’s tongue. Michael’s mother advised that they take Creedance to the hospital, because the cut was preventing Creedance from eating normally. Creedance was taken to Stanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

After looking over the newborn, the doctor decided to call Children’s Voice, a child abuse nonprofit organization. It didn’t take long for the situation to escalate. According to the father, Michael, “It all happened so fast. Next thing I know, we’re being questioned by CPS and detectives.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Everything You Need to Know About the New Street Drug ‘Flakka’ — Its Insane Side Effects Aren’t Even the Worst Part

There’s a new drug in town called flakka.

Many reports are saying this new designer drug is sweeping the state of Florida: Broward Health Medical Center — Florida’s public hospital system and one of the largest in the nation — now sees an estimated 25 to 30 flakka patients a day, NBC News reports.

The mind-altering substance has been popping up in other states as well, including Ohio and Texas.

There, it goes by the name “gravel” because it looks like the gravel pebbles you’d use to decorate the bottom of an aquarium.

Use of the drug, which can be snorted, smoked, injected, swallowed, or eaten as flakka-laced gummy candies, has been linked with serious — and sometimes deadly — behavioral problems:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Executive Orders — Where is This Administration Getting This Authority?

Barrack Hussein Obama, along with his incompetent outlaws, have set their sights on law-abiding gun owners in an attempt to “infringe” upon their rights (Amendment 2 Bill of Rights) during his last year of his incumbency. He is doing this with permission from the American people.

As a matter of fact, he wants to bring forth more unconstitutional executive orders to accomplish this. How does that work?

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords: that where the law ends, tyranny begins.” — William Pitt

First, understand that The Declaration of Independence underlies the Constitution. It holds that the rights of the people come from God and that the powers of the government come from the people (Exodus 18:21). This is, in fact, the reason that this government is at war with God and His people (Revelation 12:17).

Second, executive orders are defined:

“United States presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. Executive orders have the full force of law (Enumerated laws found within the United States Constitution) when they take authority from a legislative power which grants its power directly to the Executive by the Constitution, or are made pursuant to Acts of Congress (The representatives of the American people) that explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation).[1] Like both legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by government agencies, executive orders are subject to judicial review (Not by them that want to interpret what common sense laws state. Nor are judges there to judge the standard by which they are judged by), and may be struck down if deemed by the courts to be unsupported by statute or the Constitution.

There is NO constitutional provision nor statute that explicitly permits executive orders. The term executive power Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, refers to the title of President as the executive. He is instructed therein by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5 or face impeachment. Most executive orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President’s sworn duties,[2] the intent being to help direct officers of the U.S. Executive carry out their delegated duties as well as the normal operations of the federal government: the consequence of failing to comply possibly being the removal from office.

An executive order of the president must find support in the Constitution, either in a clause granting the president specific power, or by a delegation of power by Congress to the president.

Therefore, if the executive order is not congruent with the United States Constitution, then it is simply “null and void,” period. There is no judicial interpretation, no compromise nor debate. Why? It is because neither this nor any other administration has the power nor the authority to act out of their scope of authority.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Refuses to Comment on Downtown Anchorage Plane Crash or Any Connection to Pilot’s Wife

Firefighters stand near a piece of wreckage after a small plane slammed into a commercial building in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, early Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. Authorities say at least one person aboard died. Assistant Fire Chief Alex Boyd said there were no injuries on the ground.(AP Photo/Rachel D’Oro) (The Associated Press)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Authorities are refusing to comment on any connection between a deadly plane crash in downtown Anchorage and the fact that the pilot’s wife worked in one of the buildings the plane hit.

The FBI is investigating Tuesday morning’s crash that killed 42-year-old Doug Demarest during an unauthorized flight of a Cessna 172 owned by the Civil Air Patrol. Two buildings were struck in the crash.

No one on the ground was hurt, but the pilot’s wife works at a law firm in one of the buildings.

FBI spokeswoman Staci Feger-Pellessier said in a statement Wednesday that FBI policy prevents commenting on an active investigation, and the agency does not expect to provide any updates for at least two weeks.

The Civil Air Patrol says Demarest was not authorized to be flying the plane when it crashed.

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Glenn Greenwald Confronts American “Liberals” Trying to Destroy Free Speech

Perhaps the greatest irony of this past year has been the mind numbing and irrational anti-free speech wave that swept across facets of so-called “liberal” America.

This regressive movement was most readily apparent on college campuses, where hordes of sheltered and emotionally stunted students demanded restrictions on free speech in order to prevent themselves from being offended by an ever expanding list of unhappy thoughts and words. However, what is far more troubling, albeit much less public, are attempts by two fascist academic authoritarians, to convince the American citizenry to relinquish their First Amendment rights in the name of fighting ISIS. One of these men is a close advisor to President Obama.

Glenn Greenwald does a great job of calling both of them out over at the Intercept. Here are a few excerpts from his article:

[Comment: They are not “liberals”, they are communists who have co-opted the term liberal.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Man Charged With Setting Houston Mosque Afire Says He Was a Devout Attendee

A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery, with the suspect maintaining he was a regular at the mosque.

A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the suspect, 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday. Moore appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said, and bond was set at $100,000.

According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.

Moore said he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home, according to authorities and court papers. Moore said he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he departed, authorities said. He maintained he had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.

MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he was unfamiliar with Moore. “We are just looking into it ourselves,” he said Wednesday morning after learning of the arrest.

“We are really very surprised and saddened by this whole thing,” said Khan.

Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records. A search warrant of his home was conducted, and investigators recovered a backpack and clothing similar to that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter-fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.

A team of 30 investigators worked around the clock investigating the cause of the fire, which was found to have multiple points of origin. Moore was even interviewed by investigators at the mosque the day of the fire. He had attended services there earlier that day, according to Ruben Hernandez, chief arson investigator with the city’s fire department.

After collecting evidence, reviewing surveillance video and executing a search warrant, the fire department’s arson bureau and the ATF made a joint arrest around 1:30 am Wednesday at Moore’s house, where he lives with his wife and kids, according to Hernandez. Moore was charged with first-degree arson, a felony. A motive has not been determined.

“We view arson as a violent crime,” said Robert Elder, special agent with the Houston field division of the ATF, adding that arson is not just an attack on a building but “an attack on the community.”

Many of the details were still subject to investigation, including the substance used to set the fire, according to Hernandez, who said the district attorney’s office has taken over the investigation…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

NYPD Out in Force to Make New Year’s Eve in Times Square ‘Safest Place in the World’

When the ball drops in Times Square Thursday to mark the new year, New York counterterrorism officials are exceedingly confident they won’t drop the ball.

Despite two large scale Islamic terror attacks on Western targets during the past two months — that killed 130 in Paris in November and 14 in San Bernardino this month — authorities say revelers have nothing to fear.

“New Year’s Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be,” said Chief James Waters, head of the counterterrorism unit.

That sentiment was echoed by James O’Neill, chief of the counterterrorism department: “Leave the worrying to the NYPD.”

Officials say there is no credible threat to Times Square; however, terrorists rarely call their shot in advance of an attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Spied on Netanyahu, Israel-White House Relations Cool

Erdogan and advisors of Merkel and Hollande wiretapped, WSJ

NEW YORK — After the Datagate scandal, US president Barack Obama had promised not to spy on the leaders of allied nations. A report in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) shows that he has not entirely kept his word. The number one target of National Security Agency (NSA) wiretaps over the past few months was Benyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister whose opposition to the historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has put him ever more on a collision course with the US president. US intelligence and administration sources say that NSA agents had complete freedom to ‘monitor’ NATO leaders such as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and had continued to monitor the communications of the closest advisors to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande.

The revelations could rekindle the scandal initially caused by revelations by Edward Snowden, who sought refuge in Russia.

The Israeli government is prepared to lodge a formal complaint with the White House, which would complicate the detente underway between Obama and Netanyahu after tension between them in recent years. The Israeli minister in charge of its secret services has said that they are looking into the matter of alleged wiretaps both between Netanyahu and his advisors as well as them and some members of the US Congress and Israeli associations in the US. The wiretaps are said to have been intended to counter the Israeli PM’s campaign against the Iran nuclear agreement during a period in which Netanyahu was unexpectedly invited by Republicans to speak on Capitol Hill without the White House’s knowledge, sparking President Obama’s rage and the worst crisis in US-Israeli relations in recent decades. The Israeli government was accused of spying on the talks with Iran in an attempt to sabotage them, but there was no specific order from the White House to spy on Netanyahu. A former official of the Obama administration told the WSJ that they neither told the NSA to do it, nor not to. The daily noted that following the Datagate scandal leaders like Merkel and Hollande had been included on a list of allied heads of state and government on which the NSA should no longer interfere, but it was allowed to do so nonetheless. An NSA spokesman told the White House that foreign intelligence gathering was done only in the case of specific national security requirements, as concerns both US citizens and world leaders.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Report: Obama to Campaign Overseas Against Donald Trump

President Barack Obama plans to campaign against Donald Trump’s pro-American 2016 campaign by rallying international opposition among foreigners, according to Politico.

“Going into next year, Obama will be speaking out against Trump, as he did indirectly in several pro-immigration speeches earlier this month… pushing back against Trump will be a central theme of Obama’s international engagement,” according to a Politico article.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canadian Space Agency to Map Asteroid That Could Destroy Earth

The Canadian Space Agency has provided NASA with a laser mapping system that will scan an asteroid that could potentially hit the Earth in about 200 years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Apple Agrees to Pay 318 Mn to Italian Tax Authority

Three managers still being probed for alleged tax evasion

(ANSA) — Milan, December 30 — Apple Italy has reached an agreement to pay Italian tax authorities 318 million euros, as the result of proceedings regarding possible tax evasion totaling 879 million euros from 2008 to 2013, Italian daily La Repubblica said on Wednesday. The Milan prosecutor’s office is still investigating three Apple Italy top managers for alleged non-declaration.

Prosecutor’s office sources called the agreement “an important result” and said it’s the first time the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has agreed to resolve a lawsuit of this kind by paying out a major compensation sum to local tax authorities.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Belgium Terror Alert Halts New Year Fireworks in Brussels

New Year fireworks and festivities have been cancelled in the Belgian capital, Brussels, because of a terror alert.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision had been taken “given information we have received”.

Belgium has been on high alert since the terror attacks of 13 November in Paris. Several of the perpetrators are thought to have been based in Belgium.

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur told state broadcaster RTBF: “Together with the interior minister, we’ve decided to not have the celebrations on Thursday evening.”

Last year 100,000 people turned out in Brussels to welcome in the New Year, Mr Mayeur said.

“In these circumstances, we can’t check everyone,” he said.

Last month, Brussels was placed under a four-day lockdown closing universities, schools and the metro system, amid fears of a Paris-style attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Says Country ‘No Longer a Democracy’

Says he’ll bring centre-right to victory in elections

(ANSA) — San Vitaliano, December 29 — Former Italian premier and leader of Forza Italia (FI) Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday railed against the Renzi government and proposed his party as the solution, in a phone call broadcast at an FI convention organised by MP Paolo Russo.

“We’re no longer in a democracy. The current government isn’t supported by a legitimate majority and has an unauthorised premier. It’s not only a non-democratic government but it’s also against the will of the people,” Berlusconi said.

“I’ll be in the field with you to bring the united centre-right to a win in the next elections and to govern Italy,” he said.

“Can we do it? Yes. It’s left to Berlusconi to make a miracle”.

He said the prospect of a country “in the hands” of the Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) is “a possibility of terror”, calling them a “gang of incompetents”.

In an apparent reference to controversy over car bans in recent days aimed at controlling a smog emergency in the country, Berlusconi said that people are more understanding when traffic is blocked for him.

“When traffic is blocked for Silvio Berlusconi, there’s a greater affinity, because people are aware of the martyrdom to which I’ve been subjected,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Egyptian Inmate Expelled After Hailing ISIS, Paris Attacks

‘Called for new massacres’

(ANSA) — Rimini, December 30 — An Egyptian inmate at a Rimini prison was expelled and repatriated Wednesday after he was reported for praising the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group.

The 32-year-old also reportedly hailed the November 13 Islamist terror attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives, and called for fresh massacres.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scotland’s National Dish is an ‘Imposter’ And Was Invented by Vikings, Claims Master Butcher

Scotland’s famous national dish is an ‘imposter’ and has been faking it as native for centuries, says an award-winning butcher who has traced haggis and its recipe back to Viking invaders.

Joe Callaghan, of Callaghans of Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, has been researching the savoury pudding for three years and claims that the evidence is clear — haggis should be made with deer, not sheep.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria Strikes Like Paris Attacks Says German MP

Air strikes that cause collateral damage against civilians in Syria are a “no lesser crime” than the Paris attacks, a leader from Germany’s far-left Die Linke (Left Party) said on Monday.

“Of course, it is no lesser crime to murder civilians in Syria with bombs than to open fire at random in restaurants and concert halls in Paris,” Left Party leader in the Bundestag (German parliament) Sahra Wagenknecht said.

“One of them is individual terror, the other terror carried out by the state.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Mohammed Rehman and Wife Sana Ahmed Khan Found Guilty of Planning London Terror Attack

Rehman had gone by the name ‘Silent Bomber’ and had stockpiled chemicals needed to make a huge bomb with his wife

A potential suicide bomber and his wife have been found guilty of planning a massive terror attack in London designed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in the capital.

Mohammed Rehman, 25, and his wife, Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, were discovered to have been days away from committing an act of terrorism in the capital before they were arrested by anti-terrorism police.

Rehman, who had been going by the name of “Silent Bomber,” used money from his wife to buy chemicals needed to make a huge bomb from eBay and stockpiling them at his family home in Reading.

He had taken to Twitter in May to ask people for suggestions as to which target he should choose for the attack — Westfield shopping centre or the Tube — and had been found to have filmed himself setting off a small explosion in his back garden.

The prosecution said Rehman had been just days away from completing the bomb that would have caused multiple casualties in the capital before he was stopped by police.

Rehman and Khan were found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism around 28 May this year following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Rehman was also convicted of possessing an article for terrorist purposes.

The couple had shared a “common interest” in violent and extreme Islamic ideology and a keen interest in Isis, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC told the jury.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Morocco: Tourism Losing 50 Million Because of Terrorism

Minister Addad, 85thousand tourists lost in 11 months

– RABAT — The financial impact of international terrorism in Morocco amounts to 500 million Dirhams, approximately 50 million Euros. It was the minister entrusted with the relevant cabinet who mentioned the precise figure. According to minister Lahcen Addad, this loss of revenue lowers tourist activity in the country by 10%, a trend which started after the attack against the Bardo Museum in Tunisia. The past 11 months have been razor-edge “with a 85 thousand tourist loss and a slump in hotel bookings equal to 6.6%”.

While providing more details during a public meeting in Rabat, minister Addad also clarified that the loss of tourism regards French and Italian visitors mainly as “booking from Belgium have been -2% while those from France and Italy were -5%”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Moscow, Cairo to Ink $26bn Nuclear Plant Construction Deal in Q1 2016

The contract to construct Egypt’s first nuclear power plant is expected to be signed by Russia and Egypt in the first quarter of 2016, according to a source from Russian nuclear agency Atomstroyexport. “We plan to sign contract worth $26 billion in the first quarter [of 2016 — Ed.],” the source told journalists on Monday.

The agreement on building a plant was reached by the two countries earlier this year. As part of it, Russia will provide Egypt with $25 billion in credit to begin construction. It will cover 85 percent of the costs; Egypt has to provide the remaining 15 percent.

The plant will be built in Dabaa which is about 130 kilometers south of Cairo, it will comprise four 1200 MW nuclear reactors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hamas Bans Gaza New Year’s Eve Parties

Islamist group Hamas has banned public New Year’s Eve parties in the Gaza Strip because they offend the territory’s “values and religious traditions”, police said on Wednesday.

“The interior ministry and police department did not give permits to any restaurants, hotels or halls for end-of-year parties” after several venues requested permission, police spokesman Ayman al-Batinji told AFP.

He said New Year’s Eve celebrations were “incompatible with our customs, traditions, values and the teachings of our religion”…

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

German Journalist Reports Israel is Only Country ISIS Fears

Following 10 days in Islamic State territory in Iraq & Syria, German journalists reports that ISIS is afraid of Israel and that the “Israeli army is the real danger”

Jurgen Todenhofer, a German journalist and former member of Germany’s Parliament spent 10 days in Iraq and Syria, reporting and researching the Islamic State. Todenhofer is to date the only Western journalist permitted access to ISIS terrority.

In an interview with Jewish News, Todenhofer reported that the Islamic State movement is afraid of one country: Israel.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Iran’s Rouhani Urges Muslims to Fix Islam’s Global Image

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Muslims should strive towards improving the world’s opinion of Islam, which he says has been tarnished by violence.

“We must remove Islam’s negative image from today’s cyber and real space,” he told a conference in Tehran.

Mr Rouhani, a religious moderate, said Islamic principles opposed violence.

In a veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, he also criticised nations which had bought US weapons and fired them at fellow Muslims.

Iran is staunchly opposed to the Saudi-led aerial bombardment campaign targeting Shia Houthi rebels who seized control of large parts of Yemen earlier this year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iranian Rocket Passes Within 1,500 Yards of US Aircraft Carrier

Iranian rockets passed within 1,500 yards of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz last week, a senior defense official confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement to the Associated Press early Wednesday that Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval vessels fired “several unguided rockets” after giving only 23 minutes’ notice over maritime radio that a live-fire exercise would be carried out. The incident was first reported by NBC News.

Raines described the Iranian fleet’s actions as “highly provocative”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS Plotting ‘To Slaughter Thousands’ In 2016 in Bid to Spark Huge Final Battle With West

ISIS is planning to massacre thousands of civilians in public places around the world in 2016 as it desperately seeks to draw the west into a titanic “final battle”.

The sick terror group will activate hundreds of sleeper cells in “dozens of countries” in an unprecedented bid to destabilise western governments and spark a huge military retaliation in the Middle East.

The shock claim, from one of the world’s leading authorities on the death cult, comes amid fears of a New Year’s Eve terror plot in London and other major world cities.

In 2016 ISIS wants to show its global reach. From cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists — to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world.

The Islamic State has carried out more than 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since it declared its caliphate in 2014.

And next year will see a huge increase in both the number and scale of major terror attacks, according to Dr Theodore Karasik, a Gulf-based analyst of regional geo-political affairs who has extensively studied ISIS’s behaviour.

He warned: “ISIS’s media operation is taunting its enemy to come to fight their Final Battle.

“But first, it wants to show its global reach with zeal…from cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists — to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world.”

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Jihadists Holding Over 3,000 Yazidis Hostage: Activist

Jihadists in Iraq and Syria are holding over 3,000 Yazidi hostages, a Yazidi activist once imprisoned by the Islamic State said Wednesday.

“At this moment there are 3,400 people in detention who are Syrian or Iraqi,” Nadia Murad Basee Taha told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a visit to Athens.

“I call on you to convey my voice to the European Union because thousands of women and small children continue to be held hostage,” said the 21-year-old Taha, a member of one of the Iraqi minorities hardest hit by jihadist atrocities.

Taha was abducted by IS fighters in August 2014 from her village in Iraq and held for three months, during which time she was used as a sex slave…

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

Obama’s Hypocrisy on the Plight of Middle Eastern Christians

by Srdja Trifkovic

“In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on December 23. “This silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL.” This is a misleading and hypocritical statement for four main reasons.

(1) Obama singles out the Islamic State (IS, or “ISIL” as he still insists on calling it) as the culprit. He is thus creating the impression that anti-Christian “brutal atrocities” had been absent before the IS made its appearance on the Middle Eastern scene, or that such atrocities are limited to the IS-controlled areas today. This is demonstrably untrue.

It is a matter of historical record that the 75 years preceding the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 witnessed a more thorough destruction of the Christian communities in the Middle East than any period following the seventh century Islamic conquest. Thousands of Assyrians were murdered in the province of Mosul in 1850, and in 1860 some 12,000 Christians were put to the sword in Lebanon. Successive slaughters of Armenians in Bayazid (1877), Alashgurd (1879), Sassun (1894), Constantinople (1896), Adana (1909) and Ottoman-ruled Armenia itself (1895—1896) claimed a total of 200,000 lives. They were but rehearsals for the slaughter of 1915-1918, which claimed at least a million lives. Two million Armenians lived in what is now Turkey in 1914; some 3% (ca. 60,000) remain today. The proof of the genocide is in the numbers.

Further south, the slaughter of Christians in Alexandria in 1881 was but a rehearsal for the famine induced by the Turks in 1915—1916 that killed over 100,000 Maronite Christians in Lebanon and Syria. So imminent and ever-present was the peril, and so fresh the memory of these events in the minds of the non-Muslims, that illiterate Christian mothers dated events as so many years before or after “such and such a massacre.” Across the Middle East, the bloodshed of 1915—1922 crippled ancient Christian communities and cultures that had survived since Roman times. The carnage peaked with the destruction of Pontic Greeks after World War I had ended…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

RT Talks to Syrians Rescued From Al-Nusra-Besieged Shiite Villages After UN Swap (Exclusive)

The New Year might finally bring some respite for a group of Shiite Syrians, who have found safety in Damascus under a UN-brokered deal. RT’s Murad Gazdiev spoke to some of the families, learning of the atrocities they faced over the last few years.

The last two years have been brutal for Shiites living in the north of Syria. Sunni radicals, especially the Al-Nusra Front, have made their lives a living hell. However, some 300 families got lucky, as they were able to escape the conflict and arrive in the Syrian capital. A deal, which the UN helped to organize, allowed civilians and wounded fighters from opposing sides to leave the war-torn area.

The horrors of war can be seen everywhere — from children having been hit by shrapnel, to the internal hurt that the conflict has brought.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syrian Journalist and Activist Critical of ‘Islamic State’ Assassinated in Turkey

A Syrian journalist-activist and documentary filmmaker opposed to the “Islamic State” has been assassinated in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. He had been working with a group documenting “IS” abuses.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Women and Children Will Become Captives of Muslims’ ISIS Release Sickening Rape Rulebook.

A sickening rape rulebook has been created by barbaric Islamic State (ISIS) fighters.

Fifteen so-called rules are included in the vile Daesh document which has been ‘updated’ because of recent violations to their usual horrifying practice.

The additional rules warn fighters not to have sex with sisters at the same time and says “women and children of infidels will become captives of Muslims”.

ISIS militants are known to keep females ‘captives’ and sell them to others, even their own relatives.

The new rules state the ‘owner’ of a woman must not force her to abort a baby and how family members should avoid having sex with the same female slaves.

ISIS fighters are also told they should avoid having sex with women from the same family.

A “fatwa” which outlined the jihadis’ treatment of women and children was issued back in January, according to documents seized by US Special Operations Forces which have now been released.

It begins: “One of the graces which Allah has bestowed up the State of Caliphate is the conquest of large surface areas of the country and one of the inevitable consequences of jihad is that women and children of infidels will become captives of Muslims.

[Not captives of so-called ‘extremists’ or ‘radicals’ or ‘militants’. Captives of Muslims. So, obviously nothing to do with Islam.]

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Terror Warning: Dying Woman ‘Planning Islamic State Suicide Attack in Europe’

A woman with terminal cancer is feared to be planning a sickening Islamic State terror attack in Europe.

Anti-terror police are desperately searching for the 21-year-old, identified only as Oygul M., after fears she will attack Russia.

The woman, who has brain cancer, is believed to be based in Georgia with a male terror suspect, known as Bulat A.

But she could take advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis by entering Russian territory disguised as a Syrian refugee, officers said.

Oygul is said to have graduated from school in the port city of Rostov-on-Don.

She started her degree at the North-Caucasian Academy of Civil Service but dropped out after being diagnosed with the illness.

And doctors have reportedly said she may be considering becoming a suicide bomber because she is coming to the end of her life.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

China Passes Controversial New Anti-Terror Laws

China has passed controversial new anti-terrorism laws, saying they are needed to combat growing threats.

The new laws, passed on Sunday by China’s legislature, create a new anti-terror agency and security forces with significant powers.

Critics say the laws are too broad and can be used against dissidents and religious minorities.

China has blamed Muslim Uighur separatists from Xinjiang for several public attacks in recent years.

Last week several Western governments issued warnings for foreigners in Beijing’s Sanlitun neighbourhood citing intelligence of a possible threat there.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China Wants Encryption Cracked on Demand Because … er, Terrorism

China has passed its first antiterrorism law — and it is a worrying development for companies looking to do business securely in the Middle Kingdom.

Under the new legislation, organizations in China will have to “offer technological assistance and cooperation with security departments to help prevent and investigate terrorist activities.” In practical terms, that means cracking the encryption in an app or device when the police come knocking.

“This rule accords with the actual work need of fighting terrorism and is basically the same as what other major countries in the world do,” Li Shouwei, deputy head of the Chinese parliament’s criminal law division, told Reuters.

“Providers of telecommunications, Internet, finance, accommodation and passenger transport services should also check the identity of clients,” the law also states, effectively killing off online anonymity.

The legislation isn’t quite as bad as it could have been; an earlier draft called for mandatory backdoors in all encryption used by Chinese citizens.

The final version is still going to make life awkward for companies looking to tout their wares in the world’s biggest market: Western execs operating in China will be told to comply — or get out. Obeying demands to “assist” Chinese intelligence agencies would not be a good look for corporations desperate to prove they care about people’s privacy and security.

Speaking of the West, it would appear China, while drafting its antiterror law, got its inspiration from CALEA: America’s Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which requires telecoms companies to help the FBI and other g-men spy on people, provided the agents have a court’s approval.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Japan and South Korea Agree WW2 ‘Comfort Women’ Deal

Japan and South Korea have agreed to settle the issue of “comfort women” forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two, in their first such deal since 1965.

Japan has apologised and will pay 1bn yen ($8.3m, £5.6m) — the amount South Korea asked for — to fund victims.

The issue has been the key cause for strained ties. South Korea has demanded stronger apologies and compensation.

Only 46 former “comfort women” are still alive in South Korea.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

North Korea’s ‘Paranoid’ Computer Operating System Revealed

Hamburg conference hears that Red Star intranet allows Pyongyang to control citizens’ access to websites

North Korea’s homegrown computer operating system mirrors its political one — marked by a high degree of paranoia and invasive snooping on users, according to two German researchers.

Their investigation, the deepest yet into the country’s Red Star OS, illustrates the challenges Pyongyang faces in trying to embrace the benefits of computing and the internet while keeping a tight grip on ideas and culture.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

2015: The Year Merkel Became Europe’s Boss

In a year of crises for Europe, from the Ukraine war to Greece’s debt turmoil to the historic refugee influx, Germany’s Angela Merkel emerged as the continent’s de facto leader, drawing more praise and fire than ever.

Whether spearheading EU diplomacy with Moscow, bargaining with Athens over tough bail-out terms or responding to the world’s biggest refugee wave since World War II — Merkel was in the middle, again and again.

At a time of growing uncertainty and division in Europe, the pragmatic quantum chemist whom Germans call “Mutti”, or mummy, preached fiscal rectitude and humanitarian principles, often drawing a mixed response.

Her unusually bold move to throw open Germany’s doors to Syrian refugees has particularly battered her long-stellar poll ratings at home, and left the leader of Europe’s top economy isolated on key issues in the 28-member EU.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bavaria Demands Control of Own Borders

The conservative state government in Bavaria has called on Berlin to allow the Free State’s own police to secure its border with Austria, saying that federal officers are overwhelmed.

But Bavarian interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said on Sunday that the federal government had rejected the request from Munich.

“I can’t understand at all,” Herrmann told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “That we are not carrying out reliable controls, even five weeks after the Paris attacks and despite the blatant danger, is a sign of weakness.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Danish PM Seeks Change to UN Asylum Pact

Denmark’s centre-right prime minister on Sunday said he would seek a revision of the UN Refugee Convention, as Europe faces its worst migration crisis since World War II.

“If this continues or gets worse… we will get to the point where we’ll have to talk — and Denmark won’t be able to do it alone — about adjusting the rules of the game,” Lars Lokke Rasmussen told TV2 television.

The Danish premier, whose Venstre party rules with the backing of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP) in parliament, said the 1951 treaty should be revised in order to clarify the rights of refugees in the first country they fled to.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finland: Ban on Bicycle Border Crossings at Eastern Lapland Border

The Lapland Border Guard of Finland decided on Saturday that crossings at its two eastern border stations of Salla and Raja-Jooseppi on the Finland-Russia border will no longer allowed by bicycle, only by car.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finland: Police: Drunken Racists Target Refugee Centres

Police have not uncovered any evidence of an organized campaign of attacks against refugee reception centres in Finland. The common factors in the cases of arson and vandalism this autumn and winter have been racist attitudes and alcohol.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Flow of Migrants to Islands Continues Over Christmas

The flow of refugees and migrants to and from the Greek islands continued over the Christmas holidays.

Some 6,000 people arrived at the port of Piraeus on Christmas Day and Boxing Day on ferries from Lesvos, Chios and Samos. Nevertheless, thousands of refugees and migrants remained on the islands, Lesvos in particular.

On Christmas Day, authorities found two drowned migrants, one off Leros and the other near Samos. The coast guard and Frontex also rescued 265 migrants and arrested two suspected traffickers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany, Migrants and Angela Merkel’s Big Lie

A growing number of Germans are angry and feel betrayed. How will they respond?

By Brad Macdonald

During recent trips to Vienna, Hannover, Stockach and Zurich, I discussed Europe’s migrant crisis with friends and other travelers. Each had his stories and anecdotes, his concerns and frustrations, and, of course, his particular solutions. But nearly every person I spoke with shared an interesting concern, and one with enormous and alarming consequences.

I was told multiple times that there is a growing belief among Germans that they are being intentionally misled—and even deliberately lied to—by Angela Merkel and her pro-migrant allies in the government and the media. Many Germans believe Merkel and the media talk only about the “advantages” of migration and deliberately misreport, ignore, and even cover up its many negative impacts. There is a growing perception that mainstream politicians and media are more on the side of the migrants than the German people.

Across Germany, frustration, uncertainty and anger are welling up. A growing number of Germans are feeling betrayed and want change. They want a leader who will listen to their anxieties, defend their interests, and protect Germany.

In Stockach, I had coffee with a 20-year-old man who works as a security guard at a refugee camp containing more than 1,000 migrants. The camp, he explained, is a mix between a pigsty and a war zone. This man had witnessed migrants refuse to use the portable toilets and, instead, take care of business in the corner of the room or behind furniture. The camp was filthy. There was also rampant sexual abuse, rape, fights and knifings, and regular clashes between religious and ethnic foes (Shia vs. Sunni, for example). Are local politicians expressing concern about this in public? I asked. Is the local media reporting on what’s happening inside these camps?

They are totally silent, he said.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Germany Hires 8,500 to Teach Refugees German

Germany has recruited 8,500 people to teach child refugees German, as the country expects the number of new arrivals to soar past the million mark in 2015, Die Welt daily reported on Sunday.

With some 196,000 children fleeing war and poverty entering the German school system this year, 8,264 “special classes” have been created to help the new arrivals catch up with their peers, Die Welt said, citing a survey carried out in 16 German federal states.

Germany expects over a million asylum seekers this year, which is five times more than in 2014 and has put a strain on its ability to provide services to all the newcomers.

“Schools and education administrations have never been confronted with such a challenge,” Brunhild Kurth, who heads the education authority, told Die Welt.

“We must accept that this exceptional situation will become the norm for a long time to come.”

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, head of the DPhV teachers’ union, said Germany will in fact need up to 20,000 additional teachers in order to cater for the new numbers.

“By next summer, at the latest, we will feel that gap,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Finance Minister Critical of Greece Over Refugee Policy

Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble criticized Greece on Sunday over the way it deals with refugees, saying Athens has ignored for years the European Union’s Dublin rules that oblige migrants to file for asylum in the first European Union (EU) country they arrive in.

Schaeuble told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that German courts had decided some time ago that refugees were not being treated humanely in Greece and could not be sent back there, contrary to the Dublin rules.

Greece, a main gateway to Europe for migrants crossing the Aegean sea, has faced criticism from other EU governments who say it has done little to manage the flow of hundreds of thousands of people arriving on its shores.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hundreds of Migrants Kicked Out of Austria for Lying About Their Nationality

AUSTRIAN police have kicked hundreds of migrants out of the country for lying about where they had come from.

Officials in the country, which is on the Balkan route from Greece to Western Europe, uncovered the scheme when many people couldn’t speak the language of their alleged homes.

Translators in the province of Carinthia, which borders Slovenia, say they have seen a huge spike in the numbers of people trying to bluff their way through spot checks.

More than 3,000 migrants have been crossing Carinthia’s 72-mile border every day.

Officials would not provide exact numbers, but confirmed that at least 100 per day — three per cent of all arrivals — had been sent back since Boxing Day.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Migrant Crisis: Over One Million Reach Europe by Sea

More than one million refugees and migrants have reached Europe by sea since the start of 2015, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says.

More than 80% of the 1,000,573 people arrived in Greece, with the majority landing on Lesbos island, it said.

About 844,000 travelled to Greece from nearby Turkey. Most of the others — over 150,000 — crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

The migrant crisis is Europe’s worst since World War Two.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway Pushes for Crackdown on Migrant Rules After 30,000 Enter the Country This Year

The centre-right Government is proposing tighter controls in order to avoid what the immigration minister described as “violent consequences” to the country’s welfare system.

The measures, which would need parliamentary approval, would make it difficult for refugees to bring family members to Norway and raise the requirements for permanent resident permits.

The move comes after more than 30,000 asylum-seekers sought shelter in the country, which has a population of 5.1million people, this year.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Rapes, Acquittals and Severed Heads

One Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Sweden: November 2015

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

November 4: The Swedish Immigration Service sent out a press release, saying that it had hired close to a thousand additional employees since June. The Immigration Service now has over 7,000 employees, including hourly workers and consultants — double the 3,350 employees who worked there in 2012. Most of the new recruits work with the legal processing of asylum applications, but the units dealing with receiving migrants and filing their initial applications have also expanded considerably. As if the record influx of migrants this autumn were not crushing enough, the Immigration Service also had trouble retaining its staff. Employees complain about being badly treated: they are always expected to be on call, and possibly even work Christmas Eve.

November 4: Bobel Barqasho, a 31-year-old Syrian, was sentenced by Sweden’s Supreme Court to 14 years in prison. Before his case reached the Supreme Court, Barqasho had been sentenced by a lower court to 9 years in prison, then acquitted by the Court of Appeals. In February 2013, Barqasho threw his wife off a sixth-floor balcony. Against all odds, the woman survived the 13-meter (about 43 feet) fall, but was badly injured. When she woke up after five weeks in a coma, her head was held together by a helmet, her face felt loose, and her teeth were gone. In the Court of Appeals, the defense managed to plant reasonable doubt about the man’s guilt by claiming the woman was depressed and had jumped of her own free will] so the Court of Appeals set him free. By the time the Supreme Court pronounced its sentence of 14 years, Barqasho had disappeared. He is now being sought by Interpol.

[Comment: Stomach churning list of horrors. Most of these victims became victims due to the intentional flooding of “refugees” by traitorous political class.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]


The word materialism has more than one meaning. It does not refer just to a preoccupation with material goods, affluence, or pleasures and excess, although those are legitimate uses of the term. As explained in my Four Cardinal Errors (2011) and in my ebook Philosophy Is Not Dead (2014), materialism also names a comprehensive philosophical worldview which began to replace Christianity as an intellectual and cultural force, first in Europe in the latter half of the 1700s and then more rapidly in the 1800s. In the 1830s, Auguste Comte (1798 — 1857) offered a philosophical ideology known as positivism, which would ensure that materialism became the dominant philosophy of science. Meanwhile, Karl Marx (1818 — 1883) developed his dialectical materialism underwriting a theory of historical progress resulting from material economic forces that would culminate in Communism. Charles Darwin (1809 — 1882) offered a materialist theory of the origins of species, including humanity, with his theory of evolution by natural selection which quickly became the mainstay of modern biology. Wilhelm Wundt (1832 — 1920) developed an experimental psychology suitable for studying human beings conceived as little bundles of responses to stimuli: material boys and girls. As some of his leading students were Americans (e.g., G. Stanley Hall of Johns Hopkins University), he became the intellectual godfather of behaviorism as well as educational psychology as materialism came to the U.S.

Philosophically, the replacement of Christianity with materialism culminated when Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844 — 1900) Zarathustra proclaimed that “God is dead!” followed by Nietzsche’s own call for a “revaluation of all values.” Nietzsche was one of the most ruthlessly honest thinkers who ever lived. He realized that once God and transcendence vanished from your worldview, everything changed. Everything those notions made meaningful also vanished. The death of God meant the death of morality in any standard sense, and this could not be evaded forever. Bertrand Russell (1872 — 1970) penned “A Free Man’s Worship” (1903) and was more hopeful in finding ideals of peace and justice in the dead universe disclosed by materialist science. The impotence of these ideals was revealed in the disasters of future decades: the world wars, the brutal dictatorships, the casual genocides, the many hidden cruelties such as global sex trafficking (young girls kidnapped and forced into prostitution so sociopathic pimps could get rich), and finally the rising specter of scientific oligarchy by a technocratic elite.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Oregon’s ‘Anti-Gay’ Bakers Read Lovely Tweets From Oh-So-Tolerant Liberals

If you want to measure the methods of fascism, it’s hard to top a $135,000 fine imposed on someone simply for declining a small piece of business that presents a faith conflict. But I think the secular left has it in mind to wield an even more lethal weapon than that, which is to turn Christians into modern-day Hester Prynnes. Not only are you going to get labeled as a bigot, but you’re going to be a constant target of mockery and ridicule from people who believe they are morally superior to you. It doesn’t appear to be working with Aaron and Melissa Klein, who recognize the anger and hatred behind it and appear to feel some genuine pity for the people who feel the need to act like this. As is so often the case, the Daily Signal presents the story to us in striking terms:(Scroll down for video)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]