Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/7/2015

In the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, Donald Trump called for a temporary halt to the entry of all Muslims into the United States, including tourists. The White House quickly rebuked the Republican presidential candidate for his words, saying they were “un-American”. His fellow Republicans also distanced themselves from Mr. Trump’s announcement.

In other news, in today’s elections Venezuelan voters repudiated the “Chavismo” socialists of President Nicolas Maduro’s party. In a landslide vote, the opposition coalition gained a majority of seats in the national assembly.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dora, ESW, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JLH, 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
» A Beleaguered Wal-Mart Sues a Broke Puerto Rico for “Astonishing” Tax Hike
» As Spanish Polls Near, Disillusioned Jobless Struggle on
» Finland’s Residents May be Given a Monthly Income of $868 — for Doing Nothing
» It Begins: Desperate Finland Set to Unleash Helicopter Money Drop to All Citizens
» Italy: Save-Banks Decree Victims Move Accounts — Group
» Six Million Italians Get Pensions Lower Than 1,000 Euros
» After a Paid Suspension for Killing a Man, This Cop Shoots His Neighbor in the Head
» Donald Trump Urges Ban on Muslims Coming to US
» Feds Illegally Maintain Registry of Firearm Owners; Media Fails to Report it
» Former Congressman Joe Walsh Goes on Anti-Islam Rant, Dares Loretta Lynch to Prosecute Him
» Hello (Hackable) Barbie
» Liberals Say They Have a Three-Step Plan to Expand Gun Control
» Newt Gingrich: New Words for a New World
» Removing the Gag: How One Man Took on the FBI for Nearly 12 Years and Won
» San Bernardino Attacks: Suspects Had Target Practice, Says FBI
» Teenager Sues Police After Being Jailed for 40 Days Over a Snowball Then Cleared of Wrongdoing
» The Selling Out of the American Family
» Totalitarian End Game is Here: New York Times Calls for Nationwide Gun Confiscation From Law-Abiding Americans
» Trump Calls for Racial Profiling Muslims After San Bernardino Attack
» Trump Calls for ‘Total and Complete Shutdown of Muslims Entering the United States’
» Trump Calls for Muslims to be Temporarily Denied Entry to US
» Was a Pro-Israel Messianic Jewish Christian the Primary Target of the San Bernardino Shootings?
» Canada, Mexico Win $1b in Sanctions Against US Over Meat Labeling
Europe and the EU
» Activists Demand UN ‘Revoke’ Credentials of ‘Climate Deniers’ In Paris
» Aunt-and-Niece Pair Lead France’s FN Into Dominant Territory
» Belgium Puts 160 Terror-Related Suspects on International Wanted List
» Britain Leaving the EU Would be Like the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Spell the End for the Bloc, Says Marine Le Pen
» Estonian President Ilves Engaged to Latvia Cyber Chief
» EU Must Rethink Its Approach After FN Victory Says Boldrini
» France’s Socialists to Withdraw From Two Regions to Block Far-Right in Second-Round Vote
» France Mulls Tighter Noose Around Crypto
» France Could Ban Public WiFi After Paris Attacks
» German Politician Calls Erdogan ‘Godfather of Terrorism’
» Germany Criticizes Saudi Arabia for Funding Radical Mosques
» German Court Sentences Two ‘Islamic State’ Members to Seven Years in Prison
» Italcementi Job Cuts Halved Ahead of Takeover
» Italian Muslims to Attend Jubilee Opening Ceremonies
» Italy: ENI Looking to Exit Long-Term Gas Contracts
» Italy: Priest Used Charity Cash for Mum’s Cosmetic Ops
» Italy: 50-Mn-Euro Friar Fraud Suspect Commits Suicide
» Italy: Banca Finnat Offices Searched on Vatican Warrant
» Italy 5th in OECD for Tax Burden
» Italy: Iraqi Arrested in Bari in Terror Probe
» Italy: Law Enforcement to Get 3,000 New Hires
» London Underground Terror Suspect Had ISIS Material on Phone, Prosecutors Say
» Renewables Unable to Meet Future Energy Demand — World Energy Council
» Right-Wing Success in French Elections Shows Citizens Are ‘Fed Up’
» Salvini Says Le Pen Victory ‘Just the Beginning’
» Spanish Anti-Jihadist Hotline Turns Up 29 ‘Suspects’ In First 24 Hours
» The Right Stuff: Marine Le Pen and the Growing Influence of Front National
» UK: Couple Who Kept Man as Slave for 24 Years Jailed in Britain
» UK: Dramatic Footage Shows the Moment a Man ‘Armed With Foot-Long Knives’ Is Tackled After ‘Stabbing a Man to Death in a Poundland Branch in Front of Horrified Shoppers’
» UK: Lord Janner: Judge Rules Dementia Sufferer is Unfit to Plead in Child Sex Abuse Trial
» UK: London Man Charged With Sending Malicious Facebook Messages to MP
» UK: The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is Playing us All for Fools Writes Peter McKay
» UK: Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe May Have Been Responsible for More Attacks
North Africa
» Pentagon: US Airstrikes Kill ISIS Head in Libya, Al Qaeda Senior Official in Somalia
Israel and the Palestinians
» Israel in Fresh Row With Sweden Over ‘Extrajudicial Execution’ Comments
» Kerry’s ‘Binational’ Comment Causes Outrage in Israel
» US Donors Pump Millions Into Israeli Settlements, Report Finds
Middle East
» Al Huda: The Pakistani Women’s Islamic Academy That May Have Radicalized Tafsheen Malik New English Review
» Daesh Earning $80mln Monthly With 43% Coming From Oil — IHS Research Center
» German Media: Is Erdogan’s Son ‘The Oil Minister of Daesh’?
» Iran Tests Another Mid-Range Ballistic Missile in Breach of UN Resolutions
» Italian Prime Minister Warns West Against Repeating ‘Libyan Scenario’
» Lebanese Soldier Recalls Terrifying Qaeda Kidnap Ordeal
» Middle East Conflict Means Business is Booming for US Defense Contractors
» Senior Daesh Sponsor Returns to Syria From UK Despite Sanctions — Reports
» The ISIS Papers: A Masterplan for Consolidating Power
» Turkey Demands Russia End ‘Provocative Acts’ After Missile Launcher Incident
» US Targets Syrian Military
» Customers ‘Lining Up’ To Buy Russian Su-34, Su-35 Aircraft
» Russia Expects Military Contracts With Iran to be Worth ‘Billions’
» Russians Told to Shun ‘Stereotype’ Beach Holidays Abroad
» Ukraine ‘3%’ Away From EU Visa-Free Green Light
South Asia
» California Shooter Attended Female Madrassa in Pakistan: Teacher
» India to Build 6 Nuclear-Powered Submarines — Navy Chief
» Not-Free Press: Journos Stopped From Investigating US Shooters in Pakistan
» Rejected by Society: HIV Patients Helped by Caritas Bangladesh
» SoCal Terror Probe Points to Pakistan, Raises Trust Issue in Terror War
» Von Der Leyen Tells German Soldiers in Afghanistan: ‘We’re Staying’
» Why Thousands of People Are Leaving Nepal
Far East
» Beijing Orders All Schools to Shut and Outdoor Construction to Cease as it Issues First Ever Red Alert for Smog Levels in City
» China to Operate 110 Nuclear Reactors by 2030
» China Pollution: Beijing Issues First Red Smog Alert
» Money is Flying Out of China
Australia — Pacific
» Australia Considering Legal Action Against Japan Over Whaling
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Ghana: Fear of More Layoffs in 2016 if Economy Does Not Improve
Latin America
» Barter Activity Explodes Across Venezuela as Failed Socialist Economic Policies Leave Entire Nation on Verge of Economic Collapse
» Venezuela Election: Maduro’s Socialists Trounced
» Venezuelan Voters Turn Their Backs on ‘Chavismo’ After 17 Years
» Venezuela Opposition Wins Majority in Country’s National Assembly
» Austria Building Fence at Border Crossing With Slovenia Amid Migrant Crisis
» Ban All Muslim Travel to U.S.
» Egypt: Army: 610 Migrants Arrested in North Sinai in November
» Germany: 965,000 Migrants Registered Through November
» Germany: States Slam New Refugee Boss for ‘Slow Work’
» Migrant Crisis: Germany Heads for 1m Asylum-Seekers in 2015
» Money Talks: Norway ‘Paying’ Asylum-Seekers to Leave Country
» Netherlands: Syrian Teenager Arrested After Telling Refugees He Fought for IS
» Soldiers Deployed at Friuli Border With Austria, Slovenia
» Somali ‘Refugee’ Linked to San Bernardino Terror Attack
» Stranded in Calais, Thousands Make ‘Jungle’ Their Home
» Suspected Pro-Daesh Refugee in Germany Injures 2 Police Officers
» Sweden’s First Refugee Tent Camp Set to Open
» Swedish Bridge Closure Plan Slammed by Lawyers
» Unwelcome Guests: Infectious Diseases Migrate to Europe With Refugees
Culture Wars
» Every 16-Year-Old in Sweden to Receive Copy of We Should All be Feminists
» Putting Military Women’s Lives on the Line
» Oil Tumbles to Lowest Level in 7 Years

A Beleaguered Wal-Mart Sues a Broke Puerto Rico for “Astonishing” Tax Hike

It’s always amusing when unforeseen circumstances conspire to bring two previously disparate stories together in one hilarious boondoggle.

As regular readers are no doubt aware, Puerto Rico is broke. “Let us be clear: We have no cash left,” governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla told Congress last week, after the commonwealth used an absurd revenue clawback end-around to avoid defaulting on some $345 million in debt that came due on Tuesday.

The island owes another $300 million on January 1st and what might this week’s payment so important was that of the $354 million coming due, around $273 million was GO debt, and defaulting on that would mean a cascade of ugly litigation.

Of course the use of the clawback — which effectively allows the island to divert revenue earmarked for other bonds to GO debt repayments — is a bit like Greece tapping its IMF reserves to pay the IMF. That is, there’s a palpable sense of desperation here and the situation is going to get immeasurably worse without some manner of federal intervention.

Ok, so that’s Puerto Rico.

Regular readers are also no doubt aware that Wal-Mart has gotten itself into trouble this year after bowing to calls for increased wages for its lowest-paid employees. Those wage hikes (which are set to cost the retailer around $1.5 billion over two years) pinched margins, prompting the company to tighten the screws on suppliers with a series of measures that culminated in Wal-Mart demanding that its vendors pass on any savings they might have derived from the yuan deval.

The company also learned that when you hike wages for some employees but not others, the wage hierarchy gets thrown out of whack prompting workers higher up the ladder to either quit, or demand more money to restore the compensation pecking order.

Unable to cope and unable to squeeze anything else out of the supply chain without triggering a veritable vendor mutiny, Wal-Mart was forced to cut hours and then, to cut jobs at the Bentonville office.

It all fell apart in October when the retailer slashed its guidance, triggering a harrowing decline in the stock.

Well don’t look now, but a beleaguered Wal-Mart is suing a beleaguered Puerto Rico after the latter’s attempt to lift government revenue by raising taxes pushed the company’s tax burden in the commonwealth to nearly 92% of net income.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

As Spanish Polls Near, Disillusioned Jobless Struggle on

Gema Martin remembers with a touch of nostalgia the time when she had medical insurance, holidays… in other words, a job.

All that was cut short when the 43-year-old was laid off under Spain’s previous Socialist government and failed to find another job with the ruling Conservatives — a drop in the four-million-strong ocean of unemployment that has become a crux issue for upcoming elections.

“I had an admin position in a company that made cheque books, and I would work from 9am to 2pm, for 800 euros ($870) a month,” Martin said in a working-class district of Madrid after helping hand out free clothes at the local church.

“We were laid off gradually,” she recalled. Once out of a job, her unemployment benefits soon ran out, so she and her husband — who is jobless too — now depend partly on charity to survive…

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

Finland’s Residents May be Given a Monthly Income of $868 — for Doing Nothing

Finland’s citizens could soon receive tax-free payouts of roughly $868 a month — just for living in the country.

Proposals being drawn up by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution call for a national basic income that would replace other benefit payments, regardless if the recipient is working or not, The Telegraph reports. It’s not clear how Finland would shore up enough cash to make the payouts each year, according to Bloomberg.

Still, government officials say they’re trying to encourage more people to return to work. More than 10 percent of Finland’s workforce is unemployed, with figures soaring to 22.7 percent among younger workers, according to the Telegraph.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

It Begins: Desperate Finland Set to Unleash Helicopter Money Drop to All Citizens

With Citi’s chief economist proclaiming “only helicopter money can save the world now,” and the Bank of England pre-empting paradropping money concerns, it appears that Australia’s largest investment bank’s forecast that money-drops were 12-18 months away was too conservative.

Over the last few months, in a prime example of currency failure and euro-defenders’ narratives, Finland has been sliding deeper into depression. Almost 7 years into the the current global expansion, Finland’s GDP is 6pc below its previous peak. As The Telegraph reports, this is a deeper and more protracted slump than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. And so, having tried it all, Finnish authorities are preparing to unleash “helicopter money” to save their nation by giving every citizen a tax-free payout of around $900 each month!

Just over two years ago, when the world was deciding who would be Bernanke Fed Chair replacement, Larry Summers or Janet Yellen (how ironic that Larry Summers did not get the nod just because a bunch of progressive economists thought he would not be dovish enough) we wrote about a different problem: with the end of QE3 upcoming and with the inevitable failure of the economy to reignite (again), we warned that there remains one option after (when not if) QE fails to stimulate growth: helicopter money.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Save-Banks Decree Victims Move Accounts — Group

Account holders ‘forced into buying subordinated bonds unawares’

(ANSA) — Rome, December 7 — Account holders who lost money as a result of a recent government decree to save four struggling banks are transferring what is left of their savings to other credit institutes, the group ‘Victims of the Save-the-Banks’ said in a statement Monday. The alleged victims all had accounts with Banca delle Marche, Banca Popolare dell’Etruria e del Lazio, Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Chieti or Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara, at the centre of the November decree.

“They were forced into buying subordinated bonds unawares,” the statement said. Critics have described the operation as a “bail-in in disguise”. Reports say over 100,000 account holders have been affected by the measures.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Six Million Italians Get Pensions Lower Than 1,000 Euros

More than four out of 10

(ANSA) — Rome, December 3 — More than four out of 10 Italian pensioners, or 40.3%, get less than 1,000 euros a month, Istat said Thursday, publishing 2014 figures. That is more than six and a half million people, it said.

Almost half of Italy’s women pensioners, or 49.2%, don’t reach 1,000 euros in their monthly cheques, Istat said Thursday on 2014 figures. That is more than 4.2 million women, it said. Of these, some 1.169 million get less than 500 euros.

At the other end of the scale, almost 240,000 Italian pensioners, or 1.4% of the total, get more than 5,000 euros a month, Istat said. Another 767,000, or 4.7% of Italy’s 16.25 million pensioners, can count on pensions between 3,000 and 5,000 euros a month, it said.

More than a quarter of Italian pensioners, or 25.4%, get two pension cheques each month, Istat said. That is more than four million people, it said. Some 7.8% get three or more pensions.

The number of pensioners in Italy fell by more than 400,000 between 2011 and 2014, from 16,668,000 to 16,259,000, Istat said, due to a controversial pension reform enacted by the Monti government in 2011, Istat said. Spending on pensions was up 0.2% to 17.17% of GDP in 2014 compared to 2013, Istat said. Spending totalled 277 billion euros, a cash rise of 1.6%, the statistics agency said. Some 23.2 million pensions were paid out.

Some 47.7% of Italian pensions are paid out in the north of the country, amounting to 50.5% of spending and 48.2% of pensioners while 20.4% of pensions go to central regions (21.4% of spending), Istat said. The remaining 31.9% of pensions are paid out in the south, amounting to 28.1% of overall spending. Istat was publishing figures for 2014.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

After a Paid Suspension for Killing a Man, This Cop Shoots His Neighbor in the Head

Waverly, OH — After killing his neighbor, an inebriated Pike County sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with felony manslaughter for accidentally shooting him in the head. Although the deputy initially reported the shooting, he neglected to inform the dispatcher that he had pulled the trigger.

Around 11:40 p.m. on Thursday, Pike County Deputy Joel Jenkins called the sheriff’s office to report a shooting. Jenkins told dispatchers, “There’s been an accidental discharge at my house. My neighbor, he’s down. You guys are going to have to get here ASAP.”

According to Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, Jenkins was off-duty and handling a firearm that “was not his duty gun” when he shot his neighbor, 40-year-old Jason Brady, in the head. Police pronounced Brady dead at the scene. They also discovered Jenkins was drunk when he killed his neighbor.

Arrested by agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Jenkins admitted to accidentally shooting his neighbor while showing off the gun. Due to the fact that Jenkins has worked closely with the Attorney General’s office, a special prosecutor and the BCI are conducting the investigation into the shooting. Charged with felony involuntary manslaughter, Jenkins was transported to the Franklin County Jail.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump Urges Ban on Muslims Coming to US

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a “total and complete” halt to Muslims entering the US, in the wake of the deadly California shootings.

The White House swiftly criticised Mr Trump’s statement as “un-American”. It is contrary to US values and its national security interests, a statement said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Feds Illegally Maintain Registry of Firearm Owners; Media Fails to Report it

In plain English, unless a person is prohibited from owning a firearm, their information cannot be retained. However, a recent Washington Post article parroted the Government Accounting Office’s numbers related to firearms purchases:

“Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.”

Upon first reading, many Americans might be glad the authorities are keeping an eye on those potential terrorists in our midst. Of course, the facts are a little different. The term “suspected terrorists” in this case means somebody on the combined terrorist watch-list. These are people that may have never been convicted or even charged with a crime. The list has expanded so much that there are around 700,000 names on the list. They include a number of journalists, former Department of Justice ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack, Nelson Mandela, and the list of non-terrorists and false positives goes on forever. Known nonviolent activists have been added to the list because there is no real justification required to be placed on it, only a “reasonable suspicion.”

Even more disturbing is that to make the matches, the government must retain records on everyone, or at least have every purchase in a supposedly confidential system scanned. That data is being shared within the government, contrary to federal law.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former Congressman Joe Walsh Goes on Anti-Islam Rant, Dares Loretta Lynch to Prosecute Him

Free speech works and censorship doesn’t.

Before I get into this piece, it’s very important for me to state how little respect I have for anyone who judges people based on anything other than the actions of that specific individual. I think most readers of this site are enlightened and intelligent enough to understand this position. Not only do I find such generalizations to be ignorant and foolish, but I’m also well aware that the status quo intentionally pushes such divisions so that the citizenry remain too busy fighting amongst themselves to unite and take on the real cancer that is the elite established oligarchy.

With that out of the way, I still think what former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh did is noteworthy. Although I find his commentary revolting, I would defend his constitutional right to do so to the grave.

Just in case you aren’t aware of what he’s referring to in his dare to Loretta Lynch, the following should get you caught up.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hello (Hackable) Barbie

Cybersecurity researchers uncovered a number of major security flaws in systems behind Hello Barbie, an Internet-connected doll that listens to children and uses artificial intelligence to respond. Vulnerabilities in the mobile app and cloud storage used by the doll could have allowed hackers to eavesdrop on even the most intimate of those play sessions, according to a report released Friday by Bluebox Security and independent security researcher Andrew Hay.

[Comment: A way to get a listening device inside most American homes…]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Liberals Say They Have a Three-Step Plan to Expand Gun Control

Following Oregon’s installation of strict background checks for firearm ownership, gun-control advocates are looking at the events leading up to that decision as a blue print for strict gun control despite Congress’s efforts to limit such laws.

Penny Okamoto of gun-control advocacy group Ceasefire Oregon lays out a three-step strategy targeting lax gun laws.

Step one: grassroots lobbying.

Even though the group mostly failed in pushing for tighter-gun control laws following the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, she says “We got a lot of branding.”

Step two: reach out to the big players.

“When the big groups came in, they brought the muscle that we didn’t have,” Okamoto said.

Okamoto named a coalition of groups in support of gun-control: the Brady Center, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Center for American Progress. These groups not only brought their voices, but also their big bucks and lobbying power.

“They were our answer to the NRA,” she said. “That put us on equal footing, politically.”

2014 saw money play a big role for both sides, and the battle over hearts and minds is showing no sign of slowing down. That year, Everytown pumped at least $600,000 into its efforts. The group backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg bought online and T.V. ads, while the NRA mobilized its forces to rally support in Congress.

Step 3: recruit moderates for gun freedom.

“If you ask people about ‘gun control’, they might say they don’t like it,” Okamoto explains. “But if you ask people about specifics, like assault rifles or background checks, they’re overwhelmingly for it. People want change. So we put the vote in their hands.”

Voting in Oregon doesn’t require much effort. Residents are automatically registered to vote when they apply for drivers’ licenses and each ballot is sent through the mail.

Gun-control advocates’ three-step attack on lax gun laws and the simplicity of Oregon’s voting system essentially turned the election into a referendum on guns, where the Democrats ended up hitting the bull’s eye. Two Democrats rose to the ranks in the Senate and implemented bill 941—the first major gun-control law in more than a decade and a half.

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

Newt Gingrich: New Words for a New World

We are living in a world rapidly evolving away from the mental constructs and language of the last 375 years. These ideas can be traced to the Treaty of Westphalia ending the 30 Years War in 1648 and Grotius proposal of a system of International Law in the same era. The ideas were then extended through the development of state warfare culminating in the Napoleonic Wars.

This intellectual framework was applied and reapplied through two World Wars and the Cold War. It is the framework within which academic and bureaucratic careers were made and are still being made.

It is now a framework which distorts reality, hides from uncomfortable facts, and cripples our ability to develop an effective national security and foreign policy.

The gap between the old world in our heads and the new world we now find ourselves in is so large that the very language of the past blocks us from coming to grips with an emerging future that will be radically different.

Consider these challenges to the old intellectual order:…

           — Hat tip: JLH [Return to headlines]

Removing the Gag: How One Man Took on the FBI for Nearly 12 Years and Won

After years of silence and secrecy, internet service provider Nick Merrill can reveal an FBI demand for confidential information and its attendant gag order

On a snowy afternoon in February 2004, an FBI agent came to Nick Merrill’s door, bearing a letter that would change his life.

At the time, Merrill was running a small internet service provider called Calyx, with offices just below Canal Street on Manhattan’s west side.

The man who came to see him was well-built; older, with white hair. It was snowing; the man at the door wore a trenchcoat. “He looked like an FBI agent from central casting,” Merrill said. “He was so classically FBI.” FBI used Patriot Act to obtain ‘large collections’ of Americans’ data, DoJ finds Read more

The envelope that the agent carried contained what is known as a “national security letter”, or NSL. It demanded details on one of his company’s clients; including cellphone tower location data, email details and screen-names.

It also imposed a non-disclosure agreement which was only lifted this week, when — after an 11-year legal battle by Merrill and the American Civil Liberties Union, he was finally allowed to reveal the contents of the letter to the world.

The NSL which Merrill was given was a new use for what was a relatively old tool; the FBI had long — if sparingly — used them if there was probable cause for them to make such a requisition, for example to oblige a hotel to turn over information on its guests.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

San Bernardino Attacks: Suspects Had Target Practice, Says FBI

The two people behind the San Bernardino attack that killed 14 people had target practice days before, the FBI has said.

Tashfeen Malik and husband Syed Farook visited ranges in the Los Angeles area, said David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

He said both were radicalised and had been “for some time”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Teenager Sues Police After Being Jailed for 40 Days Over a Snowball Then Cleared of Wrongdoing

Detroit, MI — A Detroit teenager is suing police in federal court after being wrongfully jailed for 40 days over a snowball.

Dominique Rondeau thought he would have some fun with the other kids after school by throwing snowballs. In Police State USA, however, even this immortal pastime can get you thrown in jail.

One of those icy snowballs from the crowd hit the windshield of a police car parked at East English Village High School, in just the right way to shatter it. Although officers Floyd Jenkins and Freddie Wilson did not see who threw the snowball, they looked at security camera footage and fingered Rondeau for the “crime.”

Later that day of December 16, 2013, they would nab Rondeau from his home and put him in juvenile detention for nearly 40 days under a charge of destroying police property.

“They knocked. I cracked the big door open to see who it was … They opened the (screen) door, and they just walked in, and they started putting me in handcuffs,” according to Rondeau.

He was separated from his family during Christmas and New Year’s holidays, as they could not afford the $2,000 bond to release him.

At the bench trial on February 26, the two cops testified that they saw Rondeau on the video, but when the footage was played in court, they could not pick out Rondeau. Based on this and the fact that no other evidence was offered, the case was dismissed and Rondeau was freed.

What possessed these police officers to not only go after a kid over a snowball, but also attempt to deceive the court so the kid would stay in jail?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Selling Out of the American Family

Among the many things dangerously wrong with this legislation, which the ABCs of Dumbdown has repeatedly exposed, are the continuing provisions which allow for the selling of our children and communities for work force training and international privatization profit. This will continue to occur through the legislation’s Title IV 21st Century Learning Programs planted in this legislation.

If Americans understood who was feasting on their children, their schools, communities, and their tax dollars through the ESEA Title IV Programs, they would recoil in disbelief.

Become aware of how Charter Schools are failing children. Look at who’s making big money at the expense of your children and taxpayers.

Look at the foreign nationals who are getting visas for their families to enter America by investing in U. S. Charter schools.

Look at who is getting a 39% tax credit through the New Markets Tax Credit that will double their investments in seven years at taxpayers’ expense.

Read about the big bucks behind Charter School secrecy, financial scandal, and corruption. Understand how the provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Title IV — 21st Century Charter Schools, Community Learning Centers, and Family Engagement in Education Centers afford the license for this activity. There is no local control/taxpayer (voter) representation with these schools and Centers, just taxpayer funding.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Totalitarian End Game is Here: New York Times Calls for Nationwide Gun Confiscation From Law-Abiding Americans

(NaturalNews) It is now obvious to nearly everyone that the leftist mainstream media is actively working on the same team as ISIS. Not only has this media — the NYT, CNN, WashPost, etc. — deliberately covered up the real threat of ISIS and radical Islam in America; it is now demanding that all Americans be disarmed so that ISIS terrorists will meet no armed citizens whatsoever as they escalate their terrorism and mass murder across America.

CNN, for example, blacked out any mention of the word “Muslim” when covering the breaking news of the San Bernardino shooting. Every leftist media outlet in the nation has demanded the continuation of the absurd national policy of wholly unprotected borders that allow terrorists to easily enter the country. And now the New York Times is directly calling for the nationwide, government-run confiscation of firearms from all Americans.

The leftist media tag-teams with ISIS to destroy America

The leftist media — much like ISIS itself — has now become the direct enemy of the American people.Have no illusions of what the New York Times is now calling for: Squads of jack-booted government thugs going door to door, raiding private homes and demanding people surrender their firearms and thereby make themselves completely vulnerable to home robberies, violent crime and terrorism at their doorstep.

This gun confiscation effort, of course, must be carried out at gunpoint, unambiguously demonstrating that gun control isn’t about eliminating all the guns in America; it’s about monopolizing all the guns in the hands of the government… the same government that uses the IRS as a political weapon to terrorize conservative groups… the same government that prosecutes natural healers and alternative cancer doctors who save lives… the same government that demands all your children be vaccinated or injected with chemotherapy even without parental consent and in complete violation of not just the Geneva Convention, but the core principles of human rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trump Calls for Racial Profiling Muslims After San Bernardino Attack

Civilian deaths stemming from terrorist attacks at the hands of radicalized extremists has risen dramatically all over the world, as does Donald Trump’s ratings as he comments on these atrocities.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who has always had a penchant for clearing American land from Latinos and Muslims appears now to be in his hour of triumph as he proposes to launch tracking and racially profiling the latter.

In an interview to CBS News Face the Nation host John Dickerson, Trump indicated “profiling” as a preventive measure in the wake of the San Bernardino attack which resulted in 14 deaths and 21 wounded. He also stressed that a fear of not being sufficiently politically correct with Muslims thwarts taking measures when it’s the time to do so.

“If they thought there was something wrong with that group and they saw what was happening, and they didn’t want to call the police because they didn’t want to be profiling, I think that’s pretty bad,” said the presidential candidate. “People are dead. A lot of people are dead right now. So everybody wants to be politically correct, and that’s part of the problem that we have with our country.”

The religious affiliations of suspects and political correctness must not thwart people from calling police, according to Trump. He urged Americans to stay vigilant towards those “that have to be tracked”, even if they are Muslims.

“You have people that have to be tracked. If they’re Muslims, they’re Muslims,” said Trump.

Extra monitoring is never enough, claimed Trump, adding that the current president Barack Obama is far away from reality while calling global warming as “our biggest problem.”

“…We have to show vigilance. We have to have it. And if we don’t, we’re foolish people. You know, we’re really — we’re being led by people that don’t know what’s happening. When you have President Obama talking about global warming is our biggest problem, we have a president that is just not with it at all,” Trump said.

The GOP presidential candidate said that he believed the sister of the San Bernardino shooter knew about the plot adding that families are aware of “exactly what was going to happen.”

Trump’s ideas are not particular new, including the creation of a Muslim database, the issuance of special ID cards to Islamic residents in the US and set up surveillance on mosques across the country.

On Thursday, he said that the San Bernardino shooters weren’t reported “because of racial profiling.”

However, Trump has found few supporters even within his own party as another Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie dismissed the proposals as unnecessary.

“We don’t need to be profiling in order to get the job done. Increased surveillance, creating relationships with mosques and the Muslim-American communities across the country. We did that after 9/11 and prevented attacks in New Jersey and all across the country,” said Christie.

According to some reports, a significant number of Muslims out of three million living in the US have been already been put on surveillance with their monitored, tracking at the airports, mosques, stores and other crowded places.

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

Trump Calls for ‘Total and Complete Shutdown of Muslims Entering the United States’

Donald Trump called Monday for a “total and complete shutdown” of the entry of Muslims to the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

In a statement released by his campaign Monday afternoon, Trump included recent poll findings that he says show that a sizable segment of the Muslim population has “great hatred towards Americans.”

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump is quoted as saying in the statement. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Associated Press that the ban would apply to “everybody,” including both immigrants and tourists.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Trump Calls for Muslims to be Temporarily Denied Entry to US

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Monday called for a “total and complete” block on Muslims entering the United States, in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in California by a Muslim couple believed to have been radicalized.

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

Was a Pro-Israel Messianic Jewish Christian the Primary Target of the San Bernardino Shootings?

Why is the mainstream media ignoring evidence that the primary reason why Sayed Farook and his wife went on a deadly shooting spree in San Bernardino, California was because Farook wanted to get revenge on a pro-Israel Messianic Jewish Christian co-worker? 52-year-old Nicholas Thalasinos had worked alongside Farook as an inspector for an extended period of time, and it is being reported that they would often have discussions about religion and politics. As you will see below, the two had been arguing about whether Islam was a peaceful religion or not, Farook had reportedly made threats to kill Thalasinos, and Farook had was quite insistent that Islam would someday “ rule the world” .

As authorities search for a motive for the shootings, you would think that a “ heated, passionate” debate that took place between Farook and Thalasinos just a few days earlier would be a natural place to start.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada, Mexico Win $1b in Sanctions Against US Over Meat Labeling

The World Trade Organization ruled Monday that Canada and Mexico can slap more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation for meat labeling rules it says discriminated against Mexican and Canadian livestock.

At issue were U.S. labels on packaged steaks and other cuts of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The WTO has previously found that the so-called “country of origin” labeling law put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage. It ruled Monday that Canada could impose $780 million in retaliatory tariffs and Mexico could impose $228 million.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Activists Demand UN ‘Revoke’ Credentials of ‘Climate Deniers’ In Paris

Claim ‘Climate Hustle’ film is ‘full of lies’ — without seeing it — Warn skeptics may ‘derail’ UN treaty

Green groups want alternative views on climate science silenced in Paris, with a call for delegates with contrarian opinions to be ejected from the UN talks.

Sceptic groups such as the Heartland Institute have started to arrive in the French capital, sparking fears among environment groups that they will derail proceedings using funds from fossil fuel interests.

A new documentary, Climate Hustle, was due to be premiered in Paris tonight (Monday). Producers claim it will be for nonbelievers what Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was for the converted.

[Comment: “Nope…nope…not listening…nope…the sky is falling! The sky is falling!…”]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Aunt-and-Niece Pair Lead France’s FN Into Dominant Territory

One is a pragmatist: a 47-year-old lawyer by training who has steered France’s far-right National Front (FN) from pariah status to mainstream.

The other is an ideologue: her 25-year-old niece, a photogenic Roman Catholic traditionalist with a stance on abortion, homosexuality and Islam that critics say is dangerous or sectarian.

On Sunday, Marine Le Pen and Marion Marechal-Le Pen — respectively the daughter and grand-daughter of the FN’s firebrand founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen — established themselves as major players in France’s political landscape.

The first round of regional elections placed the FN on track to break the grip of Socialists and conservatives, cementing the party’s grassroots’ rise across the country…

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

Belgium Puts 160 Terror-Related Suspects on International Wanted List

Belgium has put a total of 160 people, in absentia convicted of terrorism or suspected of terrorist activities, on the international wanted list, local media reported Monday, citing the national federal prosecutor’s office.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The list includes Belgian nationals already fighting in Syria, as well as those who were preparing to leave before being stopped by law enforcement, the Sudpresse media group reported.

Earlier this month, the Belgian Interior Ministry announced that it had identified 837 Belgian residents believed to be involved in extremist activity or likely to join extremist groups, the highest such figure in Europe.

According to media reports, Belgian police have opened some 270 investigations into suspected terrorists since the beginning of 2015.

On November 13, a series of terrorist attacks in Paris claimed the lives of 130 people. Daesh, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks. A number of the suspects in the attacks are thought to have traveled to Paris from Belgium, according to police. Salah Abdeslam, who is one of the key suspects in the case, reportedly lived in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, which is home to an ethnically diverse population.

Since the attacks in the French capital last month, the Belgian authorities have charged at least eight people in connection to the killings and have put their country on high terror alert.

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

Britain Leaving the EU Would be Like the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Spell the End for the Bloc, Says Marine Le Pen

Britain leaving the EU would be as positive for Europe as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the French far-right leader Marine le Pen has claimed.

The leader of the National Front said that if the British public were to vote to leave the European Union it would herald the beginning of the end for the bloc.

She said an out vote would be ‘marvellous’ for all those who ‘long for freedom’.

David Cameron has promised a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 after the renegotiation which he hopes will see the return of powers from Brussels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Estonian President Ilves Engaged to Latvia Cyber Chief

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is engaged to Latvian cyber security chief Ieva Kupce, the presidential office in Tallinn has confirmed.

Mr Ilves’s PR adviser Toomas Sildam told Estonia’s ERR public broadcaster that they had taken the “personal decision” in the middle of November.

He stressed it “is in no way related to the presidential duties” of Mr Ilves.

Ms Kupce is the head of the National Cyber Security Policy Section at Latvia’s defence ministry.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Must Rethink Its Approach After FN Victory Says Boldrini

Must act against ‘those who would disintegrate Europe’

(ANSA) — Brussels, December 7 — House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Monday called on the EU to rethink its approach in the wake of the electoral success of the far-right, anti-immigrant National Front (FN) in in France at the weekend.

“If we stand still we will be doing a favor to those who would disintegrate the EU and all that we achieved in the past 60 years,” Boldrini said at the European Parliament, where she delivered EP President Martin Schulz and EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini a document signed by the speakers of nine parliaments calling for more EU political integration.

“The time for efficient action has come — we need an EU 2.0 that will rethink its economic policy,” Boldrini said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France’s Socialists to Withdraw From Two Regions to Block Far-Right in Second-Round Vote

The Socialist party will withdraw from the second round of regional elections in the north and southeast of France where the National Front (FN) made major gains on Sunday, in a move to block the far-right party, the socialist party chief said.

Socialist voters would be left to back conservatives in the two regions in a conclusive second round of voting on December 13, party chief Jean-Christophe Cambadélis said.

His comments followed a difficult night for President François Hollande’s party, with exit polls showing it took just 22.7 percent of the vote nationwide…

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

France Mulls Tighter Noose Around Crypto

Gendarmes seek powers to decrypt tout le monde

France’s state of emergency could lead to blocks on encrypted Internet connections and a ban on public Wi-Fi networks, if proposals put to the government go ahead.

According to Le Monde, the (in French) extension of the state of emergency could also stretch to requiring all rental cars to carry GPS, expansion of public video surveillance, two-year telecommunications data retention, and approval for police to use IMSI-catchers (like the Stingray devices used in America).

French news site adds that the matters under debate also include forced provision of messaging encryption keys.

Numerama explains (in French) that in a paywalled article, Le Monde quoted from an internal Department of Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs document prepared last week.

The laws could be up for consideration as soon as January, Numerama says.

Some of the proposals, however, seem nebulous to the point of impossibility: the proposals stretch beyond shutting off the Wi-Fi at Parisian cafes to banning “shared connections” with criminal sanctions as enforcement.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

France Could Ban Public WiFi After Paris Attacks

Police in France want to cut off the country’s public WiFi connections during the ongoing state of emergency, according to internal documents seen by the French media.

French authorities aim to pass new laws that would block anonymous web browsing, according to Le Monde newspaper, which has seen internal documents from the Interior Ministry.

Police argue that such Wifi networks make life both easy for terrorists to contact one another and more complicated for authorities who are trying to keep tabs on them.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Politician Calls Erdogan ‘Godfather of Terrorism’

During an interview with Spiegel, leader of Germany’s Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht criticized the Turkish President and said that the United States is hampering the fight against terrorism to pursue its own interests.

Commenting on the situation with the terrorist threat in the Middle East, the German politician called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the “godfather of terrorism.”

Wagenknecht expressed regrets that the Turkish leader does not stop secretly supporting terrorism and is refusing to close the Turkish border with Syria.

Germany is currently working out a three billion euro plan to “encourage” Ankara to keep potential Syrian migrants bent on a peaceful invasion of the EU on Turkish soil.

However, Wagenknecht does not believe that the promised money will resolve the refugee crisis.

“While Erdogan plays the role of the godfather of terrorism, one should not enter into dirty deals with him,” the politician said.

According to Wagenknecht, another problem is that the United States is pursuing its own interests, which undermine the united front against terrorism.

“Americans do not just want to fight against the ISIL, but also to overthrow the Assad regime,” she said, adding that it was the military activities of the US which contributed to the creation of “a monster called ISIL.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Criticizes Saudi Arabia for Funding Radical Mosques

German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Saudi Arabia on Sunday (7 December) to stop supporting religious radicals, amid growing fear it is funding militant mosques across Europe.

“We need Saudi Arabia to solve the regional conflicts,” Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the Social Democrats (SPD), who are part of a coalition with the conservative chancellor Angela Merkel, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.

“But we must at the same time make clear that the time to look away is past. Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities,” he said.

Gabriel’s criticism, though not the first, is a rare rebuke from a Western politician directed at Riyadh, the world’s biggest oil exporter.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Court Sentences Two ‘Islamic State’ Members to Seven Years in Prison

A court in northern Germany has sentenced two men to a total of seven years and three months in jail for being members of a terrorist organization. The two men returned to Germany last year after several months in Syria.

More than 700 people have traveled from Germany to Syria and Iraq in recent years to join extremist Islamic groups such as IS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italcementi Job Cuts Halved Ahead of Takeover

HeidelbergCement to buy firm that invented biodynamic cement

(ANSA) — Milan, December 3 — Layoffs at Italcementi cement maker will be 538 not 1,080, labor undersecretary Teresa Bellanova said Thursday.

The deal to reduce job losses in Italcementi’s workforce of 3,000 in the was hammered out by government, unions and management ahead of the Bergamo-based firm’s 3.7-billion-euro takeover by German rival HeidelbergCement, which is the world’s second-biggest cement producer. The deal will allow HeidelbergCement to expand operations in Mediterranean, including Egypt, as well as in France and Belgium, which together comprise Italcementi’s biggest market.

Italcementi researchers famously invented Biodynamic, a sustainable cement that was showcased in the 9,000-square-meter external facade of Palazzo Italia at the Expo world’s fair this year.

The biodynamic cement — which is covered by five worldwide patents — captures pollutants present in the air and turns them into inert salts. It is 80% made up of recycled aggregates, making it shinier than traditional white cement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Muslims to Attend Jubilee Opening Ceremonies

UCOII delegation ‘sharing in mercy that unites humanity’

(see related)(ANSA) — Rome, December 7 — Delegates from Italy’s Islamic community will attend the December 8 ceremonies for the start of the pope’s Jubilee or Holy Year of Mercy, the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII — said Monday. “A delegation will be in St. Peter’s Square tomorrow,” UCOII President Izzedine Elzir told ANSA. “It is a gesture of sharing in this great event and in the mercy that unites the whole of humanity, to join together against fear”. The UCOII firmly condemned the November 13 Islamist terror attacks in Paris.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ENI Looking to Exit Long-Term Gas Contracts

(AGI) Rome, Dec. 3 — Eni will do all it can to get out of the long-term gas contracts it has, the Italian oil giant’s CEO said on Thursday. “If we could get rid of all our long-term gas contracts we would immediately do so, they are an albatross around our neck,” said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi at a conference of Confindustria. “They bleed hundreds of millions of euros.

They no longer make sense. We will do all we can to change them. We constantly have to renegotiate the take or pay contracts to bring them back to the hub price,” he continued.

“The business of buying long-term gas and selling it is dead and buried. So we have to find a way to renegotiate the contracts. They represent an old way of trading gas.” Descalzi also said that following the dispute between Turkey and Russia, plans to build the so-called Turkish Stream gas pipeline were dead in the water. “This does not change much for Europe in terms of the supply of gas, but it worries Turkey because it needs gas and Russia is an important supplier. The contribution of Russian gas is important for Turkey.” Descalzi added: “The connection can no longer be linked to the interests of individual states. There is no energy policy for a single state when we have no resources and without resources there can be no energy policy. We need to unify the only resource we have, we should share the infrastructure. Those who say otherwise are against the consumers, because this infrastructure is paid by the consumer.” Europe no longer produces gases. In fact, as the CEO pointed out, “current policies see drilling for gas as a crime. Therefore, we no longer produce anything.” Europe still has its infrastructure, but “the pipes from the north are virtually empty, even though we pay for the logistics. Russia is not supplying additional gas and is not producing at full capacity.” Regarding a possible return to Iran, Descalzi said that “until the situation is completely defined, since we are investing billions, I prefer to keep this money in our pocket, especially in light of low oil prices. We need to fully understand the new contracts because they have just been presented, and they must be linked to the fields. These things must be put together and we have to understand about the guarantees. The sanctions are still active. I don’t know when we’ll return to Iran. It could be in 2016, but we have to learn more about the possibilities. There are many questions to be answered.” About the new contract models presented by the Iranian government, the CEO said: “We must study them and discuss them with the Iranian counterpart. An in-depth study is appropriate.” Asked about rumours that the group would be close to the sale of 70 percent of Versalis to a Fund, Descalzi commented: “Nothing has been done yet. We are looking for a partner, but haven’t found one yet. We’re involved in talks.”.

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

Italy: Priest Used Charity Cash for Mum’s Cosmetic Ops

An Italian priest is being investigated for embezzlement after squandering €100,000 which was intended for the poor on cars, holidays — and cosmetic treatments for his mother.

The generous sum came from a Paduan pharmacist who left €14 million to the Church when he died last year. The money was intended to go to the local branch of Caritas, a Catholic charity which offers humanitarian aid to the poor.

But when the priest, a 57-year-old who works in the village of Legnaro, was named custodian of the bequest, he ensured much of the money never made it to those in need, instead squandering it on personal luxuries.

Il Corriere del Veneto reported that the priest used the money to buy a car, a scooter, holidays in the Dolomite mountains and to Sicily, sporting equipment and expensive dinners. He even splashed out on cosmetic treatments for his mother.

The priest is thought to have spent up to €100,000 in total.

Colleagues noticed the sudden change in the his lifestyle and alerted police. The priest, named by local newspapers only as L.S.,is currently being investigated for embezzlement.

Authorities have taken control of the bequest while the investigation is underway.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: 50-Mn-Euro Friar Fraud Suspect Commits Suicide

Broker Leonida Rossi found hanged at home

(ANSA) — Milan, November 26 — Leonida Rossi, the 78-year-old Italian-Swiss broker under investigation by prosecutors in Milan and Lugano over a 50-million-euro shortfall in the accounts of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (OFM), has committed suicide, judicial sources said Thursday. He was found hanged in his home, the sources said. Rossi allegedly received funds from OFM’s treasurer, Friar Giancarlo Lati, to invest in Switzerland, but then withheld both the capital and interest proceeds. The OFM General Curia filed charges with the Lugano federal prosecutor’s office, which ordered a series of searches and seizures. Rossi was under investigation for improper financial practice.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Banca Finnat Offices Searched on Vatican Warrant

President Nattino probed by Holy See

(ANSA) — Rome, December 2 — Italian finance police on Wednesday searched the Rome offices of Banca Finnat Euroamerica and seized documentation, working on a Vatican warrant. The bank’s president, Giampietro Nattino, is under investigation in the Vatican for alleged insider trading and money laundering. Nattino is being probed following statements implicating him in suspect operations by Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, the disgraced former head of analytic accounts at the Holy See’s asset-management agency APSA.

Scarano is under investigation in Rome after being arrested in 2013 for allegedly trying to illegally smuggle 20 million euros into Italy for rich friends.

The Vatican sent the search warrant to the Rome Court of Appeal, which approved it and ordered the finance police to carry it out.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy 5th in OECD for Tax Burden

43.6% in 2014

(ANSA) — Rome, December 3 — The Italian tax burden, or taxes as a percentage of GDP, fell slightly between 2013 and 2014, from 43.9% to 43.6%, the OECD said Thursday.

Italy was fifth highest in the OECD ranking of 30 countries, behind Denmark (50.9%), France (45.2%), Belgium (44.7%) and Finland (43.9%). The average tax burden in the OECD was 34.4%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Iraqi Arrested in Bari in Terror Probe

Police seized postcards hailing jihad, ISIS

(ANSA) — Bari, December 7 — Police in the southern city of Bari on Monday arrested a 45-year-old Iraqi national, Majid Muhamad, as part of an investigation into Islamist terrorism.

Bari anti-Mafia prosecutors are probing at least 10 suspects in an international terrorism investigation that led to Muhamad’s arrest on charges of abetting illegal immigration. The other suspects are being probed for providing logistical support to foreign fighters, police sources said.

Muhamad is thought to have helped people linked to an Italian cell of the Ansar al-Islam terror group and “aiding the entry into Europe of people linked to Islamist fundamentalist combatant circles,” police sources said.

He allegedly organized the illegal entry into Italy of numerous foreigners using fake documents including 11 people from Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey whom he helped find accommodation in Bari between March and September, investigators said.

Muhamad was released from an Italian prison in January after serving 10 years for international terrorism.

He moved to Bari after his release, after winning an appeal against an expulsion order.

Within months of his release he became the leader of a group of foreigners including Georgians, Moroccans, and Tunisians he met in a kebab bar in Bari, investigators said.

Among those he had contact with were an Iraqi citizen, Ridha Shwan Jalal, arrested in Bari August 5 as he was about to embark on a ferry to Greece. Some months before, Jalal had asked a travel agency in Matera for an estimate on 20 plane tickets from Sulaymaniyah International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan to Paris via Istanbul.

The tickets were for as many Iraqis who would leave in groups of five, investigators said.

Jalal was released and vanished. Investigators later learned that he transited through the port of Bari the same day as Abdeslam Salah, the terrorist being hunted for the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.

Muhamad had telephone contact with numerous people believed to be linked to the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group, including some who were arrested recently, they added. Many of them addressed him as Mullah Fouad, the name he used inside Ansar al-Islam. Wiretapped phone conversations revealed Muhamad used what police believe to be code for explosives when he spoke of 2 kilos of “truffles” his wife sent him from Iraq.

Investigators are checking on people Muhamad called from his mobile in Afghanistan, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, and Tunisia. Many contacts were with members of a terror group based in Parma that was broken up by arrests but that he evidently was trying to rebuild, they said.

During a February raid on a Bari apartment, police confiscated from Majid postcards he sent from prison in which he exalted the jihad, or holy war. He also mentioned the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist organization as early as June 2011 though it was not generally known then, police added.

Bari Police Chief Antonio De Iesu said there is no evidence so far that Majid or the others under investigation were planning a terrorist attack, but said inquiries are continuing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Law Enforcement to Get 3,000 New Hires

Ministers Madia and Padoan sign decree

(ANSA) — Rome, December 7 — Civil Service Minister Marianna Madia and Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan on Monday signed a decree authorising almost 3,000 new hires in law enforcement. The decree provides for a new intake of 1,137 Carabinieri police, 861 police, 552 finance police and 145 firefighters.

The fire department can also issue a call for applications for a further 262 places.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

London Underground Terror Suspect Had ISIS Material on Phone, Prosecutors Say

A man who allegedly screamed “this is for Syria” as he slashed a passenger’s neck in a London subway station had images associated with the Islamic State group on his mobile phone, prosecutors said Monday.

Muhaydin Mire, who has been charged with attempted murder, also allegedly had images relating to the Nov. 13 gun and bomb rampage in Paris and a recent British police anti-terrorism training exercise.

Prosecution lawyer David Cawthorne told a court hearing Monday that prosecutors allege Saturday’s knife attack at Leytonstone Underground station was an act of terrorism. Authorities in Great Britain have stepped up security at transportation hubs around the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Renewables Unable to Meet Future Energy Demand — World Energy Council

Renewable sources of energy are unable to meet the future energy demand, as it is expected to continue to increase, with electricity demand nearly doubling by 2050, the chair of the World Energy Council (WEC) said Monday.

PARIS (Sputnik) — According to the WEC chief, the fossil fuels will make up from 59 to 77 percent of the energy mix compared with the current 79 percent.

“The Council believes it is a myth that renewable energy will be sufficient to meet future energy demand,” Marie-Jose Nadeau said at the COP21 Sustainable Innovation Forum.

The UN-accredited global energy body’s chief suggested that the energy demand would be increasing dramatically, eventually exceeding supply.

“Fifty percent of this will happen in Asia, and approximately 50 percent in Africa and in the Middle East. Demand will continue to increase due to the growth in emerging economies. It is even expected that demand for electricity will even double by 2050.”

Given the current path, the 2-degree Celsius global warming target will not be achieved and the planet will continue to heat to dangerous levels, Nadeau warned.

“We do depend on a full and realistic agreement here in Paris, one that can trigger a wide range of measures from governments and public sector… And could lead to substantial decarbonization.”

The French capital is currently hosting the 21st UN Climate Change Conference, ending December 11. Some 130 leaders and top diplomats from dozens of countries are expected to reach a legally binding agreement on climate change.

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

Right-Wing Success in French Elections Shows Citizens Are ‘Fed Up’

France’s far-right National Front made big gains in the first round of regional elections on Sunday, coming top in six of 13 regions in mainland France.

In the best ever performance for the anti-immigration, anti-European party, the National Front secured 30.6 percent of the vote nationally, an exit poll by Ifop-Fiducial poll showed, ahead of former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s center-right Les Republicains party and their allies, who secured 27 percent.

As expected, President Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialists came third polling 22.7 percent.

On Corsica an alliance of left-wing parties was in the lead. There will be a run-off on December 13.

If confirmed, the result would be a boost for Le Pen, who had hoped her anti-immigrant, anti-euro party would emerge on top in the first round, boosting her hopes for the 2017 presidential elections.

“The people of France have made it clear that they are fed up… with the uncontrolled influx of migrants and the terrorist threat. This is something the European leaders can’t deny, otherwise they will keep making the mistakes they made before and the threat of extremism will grow,” the Flemish Nationalist Party’s leader Bart De Wever said on Monday.

To resolve the EU’s migrant crisis De Wever, whose New Flemish Alliance formed Belgium’s ruling center-right coalition government in 2014, has proposed closing the Schengen borders and excluding Greece “if it keeps the doors open” to migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.

He has also called for an end to “the Turkish blackmail”.

“If we do not do this the rift between various social groups in France and elsewhere in Europe will deepen even further and drive us to a dead-end,” De Wever warned.

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

Salvini Says Le Pen Victory ‘Just the Beginning’

We stand with Northern League says Front National

(ANSA) — Milan, December 7 — Anti-immigrant, anti-euro Northern League chief Matteo Salvini said Monday he is happy about the strong showing of the far-right Front National (FN) in French regional elections. “This is just the beginning,” Salvini told ANSA. “Let’s say this is the last warning — if Europe doesn’t change and if we don’t rewrite all the treaties…this Europe is finished”.

Salvini added he will invite FN chief “Marine Le Pen, the Austrians, the Flemish people, the Poles, the Hungarians and representatives of other European peoples” to a January meeting.

“We will present our proposal for a Europe that is an alternative to (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, to (Premier Matteo) Renzi, to the bankers and the economic despots,” Salvini said.

Earlier on Monday, the FN said it stands with Italy’s Northern League “We share the great struggle for the return of national sovereignty, against immigration and against the European Union with (LN chief) Matteo Salvini,” FN second-in-command Florian Philippot told ANSA in Paris.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spanish Anti-Jihadist Hotline Turns Up 29 ‘Suspects’ In First 24 Hours

Spain’s intelligence agency received a “multitude” of calls during the first 24 hours of a new campaign in which Spaniards can anonymously report people they suspect of jihadist activity.

Spain’s intelligence services are investigating 29 reports of people engaging in suspected jihadist activity, one day after the launch of a new campaign to help people report suspected jihadists, reported the country’s Interior Minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Right Stuff: Marine Le Pen and the Growing Influence of Front National

Marine Le Pen has managed to pull the Front National from the extremist fringe into the political center. The right-wing populists could even emerge as France’s strongest party in upcoming regional elections. But the real prize is in 2017.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Couple Who Kept Man as Slave for 24 Years Jailed in Britain

A British judge has sentenced a husband and wife who kept a man as a slave for almost a quarter of a century to six years each in prison.

Emmanuel Edet, a doctor, and his wife Antan Erdet, a nurse, moved from Nigeria to Britain in 1989. With them came 13-year-old Ofonime Sunday Inuk — whom they told officials was their son.

Prosecutors say he worked as an unpaid “houseboy” for 24 years, cooking, cleaning, gardening and looking after the couple’s two sons.

Inuk eventually contacted a charity after the couple went to Nigeria for Christmas 2013 and they were arrested three months later.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Dramatic Footage Shows the Moment a Man ‘Armed With Foot-Long Knives’ Is Tackled After ‘Stabbing a Man to Death in a Poundland Branch in Front of Horrified Shoppers’

Dramatic footage has emerged showing a man being restrained on the ground after an elderly customer was stabbed to death in a Poundland branch.

Staff placed the store in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on lockdown after a man was spotted wandering the aisles with up to four ‘foot-long knives’ around 11.20am.

One witness claimed he was forced to jump on top of the attacker in a desperate bid to restrain him after he stabbed the shopper, who is thought to have been in his 80s.

It comes just three days after father-of-one David Pethers had his throat slashed at Leytonstone tube station, east London, by a man who allegedly shouted ‘this is for Syria’. Police said today’s attack was not terrorist related.

Officers rushed to the discount store around 11.22am and were faced with the knifeman who was still at the scene. He was floored by a Taser gun fired by an officer moments later, witnesses said.

The shopper died from his injuries. He is yet to be identified and his next of kin have not been informed, police said…

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]

UK: Lord Janner: Judge Rules Dementia Sufferer is Unfit to Plead in Child Sex Abuse Trial

Lord Janner has been declared unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges dating back 50 years, a senior judge has ruled.

In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old’s mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from “advanced and disabling” dementia.

He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence — all of which agreed the peer’s mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: London Man Charged With Sending Malicious Facebook Messages to MP

A white Muslim convert has been charged with sending malicious messages to an MP on Facebook the day after the vote in favour of airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

Scotland Yard said Craig Wallace, also known as Muhammad Mujahid Islam, 23, of Willesden Green, north London, will appear at Hendon Magistrates’ Court in London tomorrow.

He has been charged with the offence of malicious communications.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is Playing us All for Fools Writes Peter McKay

The so-called Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, 69, and two fellow killers have requested a goose instead of a turkey for their Christmas dinner at Broadmoor, says a news report.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe May Have Been Responsible for More Attacks

Newly released reports suggest Sutcliffe (pictured) could be investigated in relation to dozens of unsolved crimes which link him to victim statements, photofits and potential suspects.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pentagon: US Airstrikes Kill ISIS Head in Libya, Al Qaeda Senior Official in Somalia

The Pentagon confirmed Monday that U.S. airstrikes last month killed the head of the Islamic State in Libya.

Abu Nabil was targeted in a Nov. 13 airstrike carried out by F-15 aircraft in the city of Derna, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.

Nabil, also knowns as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, was an Iraqi national and former al Qaeda operative before assuming his role as head of the Islamic State’s Libya affiliate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Israel in Fresh Row With Sweden Over ‘Extrajudicial Execution’ Comments

Israel has been involved in a fresh diplomatic dispute, this time with Sweden, after Stockholm accused Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu of deliberately misunderstanding recent comments made by Swedish government officials over the ongoing violence with Palestinians in the country.

The row was triggered by recent comments made in parliament by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who spoke out against the recent spate of Palestinian knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

Wallstrom supported Israel’s right to defend itself, but raised concerns over the prospect of heavy-handed reprisals against Palestinian people.

“The response [to Palestinian attacks] must not be of the kind — and this is what I say in other situations where the response is such that it results in extrajudicial executions or is disproportionate in that the number of people killed on that side exceeds the original number of deaths many times over,” Wallstrom said.

According to news agency Reuters, Israeli police or military officials have killed 102 Palestinians — including 63 people identified as being perpetrators of attacks against Israelis — during an outbreak of violence in recent months.

Palestinian attacks are estimated to have killed 19 Israelis and one American citizen.

Sweden Threatened With Peace Talks Expulsion

However, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who interpreted Wallstrom’s speech as an accusation that Israel was carrying out “extrajudicial executions”‘ was highly critical of Stockholm.

And I also condemn the Swedish FM’s scandalous remarks. Apparently she expects Israelis to offer their necks to whoever wants to stab them.

— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 6, 2015

“I condemn the statements, the scandalous statements, made by the foreign minister of Sweden,” Netanyahu told reporters on Sunday.

“The [Swedish] foreign minister suggests that Israeli citizens simply give their necks to the murderers trying to stab them with knives. The citizens of Israel and its security forces have the right to defend themselves.

“The citizens of Israel have to deal with terrorism that receives support from irresponsible and false statements like that,” said Netanyahu.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister also joined in on the criticism of Stockholm, saying that she and Netanyahu were going to meet to figure out a “sharp response” to the comments, hinting that Sweden may be excluded from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“Sweden has crossed all red lines in relations with Israel. This is defamation of Israel and the statements are distancing Sweden from the ranks of enlightened nations that can take part in the dialogue about rights in the region,” Hotovely told Army Radio.

Sweden Hits Back

However, Swedish officials hit back in a joint statement from Wallstrom and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, saying that the foreign minister had spoken in general terms and implied that the comments had been deliberately misunderstood.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs did not, as alleged, say that extrajudicial executions occur in Israel […] The situation in the Middle East is difficult enough without having to be encumbered by misunderstandings about anybody’s intentions,” the statement read.

The fallout isn’t the first between Israel and Sweden in recent times, with Israeli officials outraged at Sweden’s decision to formally recognize Palestine as a state last year.

The diplomatic row comes amid increased tension between Israel and some of its traditional western allies.

Israel was involved in another dispute with the EU over the bloc’s decision to specifically label exported products originating from the occupied Palestinian territories, which the EU considers to be outside of the country’s internationally-recognized borders.

As a result Israel said it was suspending contacts with European Union bodies involved in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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

Kerry’s ‘Binational’ Comment Causes Outrage in Israel

US Secretary of State John Kerry caused an outrage in Israel after warning that the country will no longer exist as “Jewish” and “democratic” state, if Israelis don’t stop violence and settlement activities in the West bank.

The comment that saw a backlash among many Israelis was made on Saturday during Kerry’s address at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

Kerry said that Israel’s activities on the West Bank such as building constructions and brutality toward Palestinians “are imperiling the viability of a two-state solution,” — the initiative that was supported by the US and international community, under which an independent Palestine would exist along with Israel.

“We have to be honest about what a one-state solution looks like,” Kerry said, commenting on Israel’s activities in the West Bank, hinting that Israel may in fact turn into a binational state where the rights of Palestinians would be dramatically infringed. “How does Israel possibly maintain its Jewish and democratic character when from the river to the sea there would not even be a Jewish majority?”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up with a statement on Sunday, declaring “Israel will not be a binational state,” and laid the responsibility for failure of peace efforts on Palestinians.

Some of the Israeli opposition politicians, journalists and activists believe that in case the state doesn’t stop its expansion into the West Bank, occupying millions of Palestinians who cannot vote in national elections, the wave of violence will continue to sweep over Israel.

“If Israel were the Titanic and the binational apartheid state its iceberg… then the collision with the iceberg has already occurred,” Rogel Alpher, a columnist wrote for the Haaretz daily. “Without a diplomatic solution, we will continue to slowly sink into an existence of knifings, hatred and fear.”

Ahmed Qurei, a Palestinian negotiator reiterated that position.

“If the Israelis don’t hurry up to implement the two-state solution on the ground, they will lose,” he said.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the population of Israel excluding Gaza and the West Bank is comprised of 6.3 million Jews and 1.7 million Palestinian. And if those territories were combined, Arab and Jewish populations would become almost equal.

Meanwhile, Israel been dealing with a wave of terror attacks by Palestinians recently. According to media reports, such occurrences left 19 Israelis and more than a hundred Palestinians, mostly pronounced by Israel to be attackers, dead.

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

US Donors Pump Millions Into Israeli Settlements, Report Finds

Private American donors have pumped more than $220 million into Jewish West Bank settlements in recent years through tax-deductible donations, effectively subsidizing a policy opposed by U.S. administrations for decades, according to an investigation published in an Israeli newspaper on Monday.

The Haaretz daily found that some 50 nonprofit organizations from across the U.S. were raising funds for settlements in the West Bank, an area the Palestinians want as part of a future state, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Israel captured all three areas in the 1967 Mideast war.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Al Huda: The Pakistani Women’s Islamic Academy That May Have Radicalized Tafsheen Malik New English Review

From US and Canadian news reports comes evidence that the murderous Jihadi couple, Tafsheen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farooq had allegedly long been radicalized. The picture above from ABC News is a shot taken on July 27, 2014 when the couple went through customs at O’Hare International Airport after Ms. Malik had secured a K-1 fiancée Visa to come to the US with her intended husband Farooq. The Customs photo caught them in Sharia compliant garb reflective of professing fundamentalist Muslims. They were returning from an extensive trip that took Farooq to Saudi Arabia to meet Malik and hence to her parent’s home in Multan in Central Pakistan before returning together to California. There is the suspicion that Ms. Malik had undergone formal radicalization in her native Pakistan. Information on Malik’s background is emerging from independent investigations about her attendance at an Al Huda women’s Islamic Academy in Multan , one of several across Pakistan propounding a Salafist Islamic doctrine.

The Los Angeles Times produced a report on the Pakistani Al Huda Islamist women’s seminaries and Ms. Malik’s attendance at the one in Multan, “San Bernardino assailant attended Islamic institute in Pakistan:”…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Daesh Earning $80mln Monthly With 43% Coming From Oil — IHS Research Center

The terrorist group gets 46 percent of its revenue from oil sales and 50 percent from looting.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Islamic State, known as Daesh in the Arab world and prohibited in Russia, the United States and other countries, will be bringing in approximately $80 million per month by the end of 2015, IHS, Inc. research center revealed Monday.

The researcher noted that the Islamic State makes approximately 50 percent of this revenue from taxes and confiscation in territories it occupies, and another 43 percent from oil sales.

“One of the Islamic State’s main sources of income comes from taxation on economic activity and basic services, including electricity, mobile phone networks, internet access, retail, industry and agriculture, within territory it controls,” said Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst at IHS and also on the IHS Conflict Monitor team.

Carlino explained that airstrikes by the US-led international coalition targeted primarily oilfields and refining capacity of the terror group, disrupting financial flows from the oil industry. Tax revenues are much harder to destroy, he observed, without inflicting massive damage on the civilian population.

IHS Conflict Monitor said it had information that Islamic State was struggling to balance its budget, cutting salaries of its fighters and increasing prices for basic services, such as electricity, in the controlled territories.

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

German Media: Is Erdogan’s Son ‘The Oil Minister of Daesh’?

Many Western countries refuse to believe that Turkey is involved in illegal oil smuggling activities with Daesh terrorists, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. However, even if one would put aside the recent evidence provided, the reputation of the president’s son Erdogan speaks for itself, German newspaper Handelsblatt wrote.

Although on paper the president’s son, Bilal Erdogan, has an impressive, even exemplary resume, his actual biography has quite a few dark spots, Handelsblatt wrote, adding that Russia’s accusations against him are not unfounded.

In 2013, prosecutors suspected Bilal Erdogan of laundering money for his father. The accusation was based on a dossier, which included photos and phone records between Bilal and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. By that time, the then Turkish prime minister instructed his son to “get rid of all the money in the house,” the newspaper wrote.

In early 2014, there was a record of another phone conversation, which was about a ten million dollar payment. There have been no direct indications about the purpose of the payment, but the media speculated that it was bribing in connection with the construction of an oil pipeline. Erdogan said that the audio was a “dirty fake.”

In November, Syrian Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi publicly stated that the transport company owned by Bilal Erdogan was receiving oil from Daesh terrorists. Some others accused Bilal Erdogan of stealing oil from areas captured by jihadists in Iraq and shipping it to Asian countries. As a result of these activities, he was called by the local media “the oil minister of Daesh.”

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was ready to resign if his family’s involvement in the oil smuggling activities are proven to be true.

According to the newspaper, the Turkish President should be more cautious with his statements.

With such bad cards, the President is obviously gambling at very high stakes, the article concluded.

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

Iran Tests Another Mid-Range Ballistic Missile in Breach of UN Resolutions

Iran has carried out a new medium range ballistic missile test in breach of two United Nations Security Council resolutions, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on Monday.

Western intelligence says the test was held Nov. 21 near Chabahar, a port city in southeast Iran’s Balochistan province near the border with Pakistan. The launch took place from a known missile test site along the Gulf of Oman.

The missile, known as a Ghadr-110, has a range of 1,800 — 2000 km, or 1200 miles, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Prime Minister Warns West Against Repeating ‘Libyan Scenario’

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said that in its ongoing war on terror, the West should try to avoid the mistakes it once made in Libya.

“Italy’s position in clear and serious… We must destroy terrorists, not just make commentators feel happy. We should scale down our advertising campaign because we don’t have a strategic vision… We can afford doing everything but repeating the mistakes we made in Libya,” Matteo Renzi said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

When asked if Italy thus risked playing a second fiddle in Libya, Renzi said that if being the main player meant running after others’ bombings, he wanted no part of that.

“We did that in 2011 by grudgingly bending under pressure from [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy. Four years into the civil war in Libya we now see that we needed a different strategy,” Renzi emphasized.

He also said that Italy actively engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Somali and Iraq and, along with France, had the second biggest military contingent stationed overseas after the US.

Saying that the recent terrorist attacks had been masterminded by those living in the European cities’ less privileged outskirts, the Premier said that to effectively fight Daesh the Europeans needed more than just bombs and missiles, they needed schools and theaters.

“That’s why for each euro we spend on security we invest another one in culture,” Renzi noted.

He also said that “prepared as we are to fight the terrorists with military force, we also need a clear strategy. That’s why in Vienna we must work hard to reach agreement on Syria and on Libya here in Rome.”

“Things like this do not grab public attention as bombing raids do, but they are paramount to our effort to root out the scourge or terrorism,” Matteo Renzi emphasized.

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

Lebanese Soldier Recalls Terrifying Qaeda Kidnap Ordeal

Lebanese soldier George al-Khoury cried for days after Al-Qaeda executed a fellow captive during one of the lowest points of his 16-month ordeal as a hostage of the group.

Now back home in northern Lebanon, he can barely believe he is free and safe.

“My God, how long I’ve waited to see my son Michael,” he says in the living room of his home in Kobayat, with his mother, his wife and their second son Andrew seated around him.

The 30-year-old was among several dozen Lebanese police and soldiers kidnapped by Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group from the border town of Arsal in August 2014…

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

Middle East Conflict Means Business is Booming for US Defense Contractors

Major weapons-manufactures are looking to make big gains as Middle Eastern governments seek to boost their defenses in the face of terror threats, civil wars and other turmoil across the region

As armed conflict and political unrest grows in the Middle East, major defense contractors are seeing it as a golden opportunity to supply their customers in battle.

Tom Kennedy, chief executive of weapons-manufacturer Raytheon, says regional conflict provides “a significant uptick” for “defense solutions across the board in multiple countries in the Middle East.”

Wilson Jones, president of Oshkosh, says the threat of Daesh, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, in particular is making more countries interested in beefing up their defenses with Oshkosh’s M-ATV armored vehicles.

Bruce Tanner, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, cited “indirect benefits” from the war in Syria, where more US Special Forces will soon join the US-led coalition against Daesh.

While speaking at a Credit Suisse conference in West Palm Beach this week, Tanner explained to investors that the Turkish military’s recent shooting of a Russian warplane has provided “an intangible lift because of the dynamics of that environment and our products in theater.”

Tanner also said Russian intervention would raise the need for his company’s F-22s F-35 jets. He also stated the war in Yemen could trigger Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to increase their demand for “expendable” products such as rockets.

The authorization of the latest US defense budget may also serve as a boost for contractors.

Congress has authorized $607 billion in defense spending. Even though it comes $5 billion short of what the Pentagon had requested, Tanner assured investors that Lockheed Martin’s programs are “well supported” by the budget.

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

Senior Daesh Sponsor Returns to Syria From UK Despite Sanctions — Reports

Mohammed Khaled, a senior fundraiser for the Islamic State (ISIL, or Daesh in the Arab world) terrorist group, has left the United Kingdom for Syria despite the fact he had been placed on a terror sanctions list, local media reported Sunday, citing a UK High Court judgement.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 45-year-old man who resided in west London was suspected of diverting humanitarian aid meant for Syrian refugees to the Daesh jihadists, according to The Telegraph.

He carried out his activity in spite of having the assets frozen under the 2010 UK Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act.

According to the court’s judgment, Khaled might be plotting terrorist acts against Britain while staying in Syria.

The incident raised questions about the ability of UK authorities to monitor and track extremists and control the British borders, the newspaper noted.

Last month, the United Kingdom announced its new safety and security strategy, pledging to strengthen its anti-terror measures, and invest into security, both at an international and domestic level.

The government strategy was announced in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed the lives of at least 130 people.

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

The ISIS Papers: A Masterplan for Consolidating Power

24-page document, translated here, outlines principles for governing territory under the group’s control and strategy for becoming a viable state

Caliphate on the prophetic methodology

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful:

“No, by your Lord, they will not believe until they have you rule over them in what they have disagreed and find in themselves from what you have judged and willingly submit.”

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful

As for what follows:

After 50 years of jihad whose sides have fallen prostrate in the totality of the land, and the states gathered against the centres of the Sunni jihad in the world, God ennobled his true soldiers whom he selected to establish the caliphate state whose fortresses had fallen at the hands of global Zionism in al-Astana [Istanbul] 100 years ago. [Note: This is a reference to the end of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924].

Indeed the establishment of the Islamic State, its concept does not stand on the basis of a mujahid soldier fighting and bearing his arms, nor does it rest on da’wa [evangelising] in a mosque or a street, but rather it is a comprehensive system requiring the leaders of the ummah [Muslim nation] to realise its concepts….

           — Hat tip: ESW [Return to headlines]

Turkey Demands Russia End ‘Provocative Acts’ After Missile Launcher Incident

Turkey’s foreign minister called on Russia Monday to end “provocative acts” after Turkish media captured images of a Russian soldier apparently pointing a missile launcher as his warship navigated through the Bosporus strait on its way to the Mediterranean.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey had made the necessary response over Sunday’s incident which came amid escalating Russian-Turkish tensions following Turkey’s downing of a Russian plane.

Cavusoglu did not provide details but said: “The ship’s passage in such a way was an openly provocative passage. This has to end.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

US Targets Syrian Military

Real target in Syria is Bashar al-Assad, not the Islamic State.

On Monday the US-led coalition targeted the Saeqa military camp near the western town of Ayyash in the province of Deir ez-Zor. Four Syrian soldiers were killed and 16 others injured.

The airstrike was confirmed by the Syrian foreign ministry. It said nine missiles were fired at the camp.

The United States denies it attacked the camp.

“Syria strongly condemns the act of aggression by the US-led coalition that contradicts the UN Charter on goals and principles.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent letters to the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council,” the foreign ministry told SANA, the Syrian government news agency.

It is the first time the coalition has directly attacked the Syrian military…

“If they [the United States and its partners] were serious about dealing with ISIL [IS] they would be meeting in Damascus right now with President Assad to ask how they can help him and Russia destroy ISIL instead of playing political games and pretending the Syrian government does not exist,” Christopher Black, a Canadian international criminal lawyer, said last month.

“The United States and its dependencies in Europe and Canada do not want to cooperate with Syria or Russia on this [counterterrorism efforts] because their primary objective is not as they claim to destroy ISIL but to destroy the government of Syria as they did the government in Libya and Iraq.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Customers ‘Lining Up’ To Buy Russian Su-34, Su-35 Aircraft

The Su-34 and Su-35 models are the pride of the Russian Armed Forces, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said.

Foreign states are “lining up” to purchase Su-34 and Su-35 jets, which demonstrated their outstanding capabilities during the Syrian military operation, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Monday.

“Today, military forces are receiving such advanced models as the Su-34 and Su-35, with characteristics equal to those of Western models,” Borisov said.

“This is the pride of our armed forces. […] these samples have already demonstrated their combat capabilities, also in the Syrian conflict. Potential buyers are already lining up,” Borisov told the Russian TV Channel Russia-24.

The Su-34 is Russia’s most advanced interdiction aircraft. It made its combat debut over Syria recently. It is armed with R-73 dogfighting missiles and R-77 long-range radar-guided air-to-air missiles. The aircraft has a combat radius of nearly 700 miles on internal fuel but is also designed for aerial refueling.

The Su-35 fighter jet is an upgraded version of the Su-27 multirole fighter. It was first introduced to a foreign audience at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

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

Russia Expects Military Contracts With Iran to be Worth ‘Billions’

Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide responsible for military and technical cooperation said that Russia expects military contracts with Iran to be worth “billions,” as Tehran is “highly interested” in buying Russian military equipment.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia expects military contracts with Iran to be worth “billions,” as Tehran is “highly interested” in buying Russian military equipment, Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide responsible for military and technical cooperation, told the Izvestia newspaper.

“The interest of the Iranian side is very high. They are really in need of a serious update for almost all of its forces… Given that this is a large country with large armed forces, of course, it will be very large contracts, worth billions,” Kozhin said, as quoted by the newspaper.

According to Kozhin, when the sanctions imposed on Iran over fears it was developing a nuclear weapon are lifter, Russian-Iranian military-technical cooperation will see “serious development.”

Iran has already renewed S-300 anti-aircraft missile system deliveries from Russia. On November 9, Russia signed a new contract to supply Iran with the systems by the end of the year for the first time since the 2010 freeze on supplies under the 1929 UN Security Council resolution.

Russia’s S-300 deal became possible again after Iran reached an agreement on its nuclear program with the P5+1 group of international mediators on July 14. Iran agreed to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear program in exchange for easing of the sanctions imposed against the country.

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

Russians Told to Shun ‘Stereotype’ Beach Holidays Abroad

Russia’s tourism chief has criticised fellow Russians for flocking to foreign resorts for beach holidays — but admitted that he sold two holiday homes in the Seychelles this year.

Russians cannot buy package holidays to Egypt or Turkey now, because of the terrorism risk and sanctions on Turkey.

They have been hugely popular, sunny destinations for millions of Russians.

But tourism chief Oleg Safonov said Russia had many attractions and package holidays abroad were a “stereotype”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ukraine ‘3%’ Away From EU Visa-Free Green Light

The EU has warned Ukraine it needs to finalise anti-corruption reforms to get a thumbs up for visa-free travel by the end of the year. Speaking after talks with Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Brussels on Monday (7 December), commissioner Johannes Hahn said “the fight against corruption was, is, and stays at the top of our joint priority list.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

California Shooter Attended Female Madrassa in Pakistan: Teacher

The woman who with her husband shot dead 14 people in California last week attended one of Pakistan’s most high-profile religious seminaries for women, a teacher at the madrassa told AFP Monday.

Tashfeen Malik, 29, studied at the Al-Huda Institute in Multan, which targets middle-class women seeking to come closer to Islam and also has offices in the US, the UAE, India and the UK, the teacher at the seminary who gave her name only as Muqadas said.

The institute has no known extremist links, though it has come under fire in the past from critics who say its ideology echoes that of the Taliban.

Malik and her husband Syed Farook, 28, went on a killing spree at a social services centre in San Bernardino, an act praised by the Islamic State group who hailed the couple as “soldiers” of its self-proclaimed caliphate…

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

India to Build 6 Nuclear-Powered Submarines — Navy Chief

India will commission the construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), India’s navy chief Adm. Robin Dhowan said.

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The boost to India’s navy will renew the country’s submarine fleet currently composed of 13 aging diesel-powered submarines and one Nerpa SSN, called Chakra locally, on lease from Russia.

“The six SSNs will be constructed under the Make in India program,” Dhowan said, as quoted by The Times of India on Thursday.

Technical parameters are being drawn up, and a shipyard for the construction is yet to be selected, according to the newspaper. Another three Scorpene-class submarines will be ordered from the French DCNS company.

India’s own nuclear-powered ballistic missile INS Arihant submarine is due to be commissioned next year at the Navy Shipbuilding Centre in Visakhapatnam.

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

Not-Free Press: Journos Stopped From Investigating US Shooters in Pakistan

Western journalists appear to be forbidden from doing their job in Pakistan, as the country’s officials reportedly fear any investigations into the real reasons behind an attack in San Bernardino that took the lives of 14 people at the hands of a Pakistani couple.

Reporters have been visiting the city of Multan in the Pakistani province of Punjab to probe into the life of Pakistani Syed Rizwan Farooq, one of the San Bernardino terrorists, claiming that they have been stuck in a hotel without any permission to go out.

Washington Post correspondents came to what is believed to be the epicenter of Sunni extremism after it emerged that Chicago-born Pakistani-American Farooq may have followed his wife, student Tashfeen Malik, to the US.

“Pakistani ‘officials’ not letting some journalists out of our hotel in Multan this morning to do reporting. I am still barred from leaving hotel in Multan and Pakistani ‘officials’ strongly suggest I, as foreign journalist, ‘go back to Islamabad”‘ tweeted Washington Post’s Tim Craig from Pakistan.

Craig, by putting “officials” in quotes, confirmed the widespread belief that they are mostly from Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI, whose staff is accused by foreign reporters for restraining them from getting closer to the truth. In this case, the truth is that Multan and neighboring Punjabi areas are the epicenter of state sponsored Sunni extremism.

Pakistani “officials” not letting some journalists out of our hotel in Multan this morning to do reporting

— Tim Craig (@timcraigpost) December 6, 2015

The country’s intelligence service has quite a bad reputation in “welcoming” foreign correspondents as they used harsh methods towards New York Time’s female journalist Carlotta Gall after the publication of her book in which she revealed that ISI sheltered Bin Laden. Daniel Pearl’s murder has been also used by the ISI as an example of consequences western journalists should be aware of before coming to investigate the dangerous Southern Punjab region.

Pakistani media also reported about the region’s radicalization that has been supported by Saudi Wahhabi ideology and funds.

“On one hand officials say Tashfeen Malik wasn’t radicalized here in Multan, yet on other hand they say ‘it’s too dangerous’ for foreigners,” Craig tweeted, adding, “I’ve lost track of how many different security/intel officials I’ve had to talk to, copy my passport, etc in past 17 hours — think 12 to 16.”

Malik’s family allegedly has roots in the Punjabi area where they had political weight and ties with some local extremists. They moved to Saudi Arabia when Tashfeen was four, however, she came back to her native town frequently. She returned to Multan to study pharmacy in 2007, at a time when there was a Lal Masjid Operation break-up by the Musharraf government in Islamabad against extremists who later swore revenge. This is still a question whether the government-led operation influenced Tashfeen’s radicalization.

The question remains as to whether Tashfeen entrapped her husband or not as Farook seemed to be moderate, according to one of his colleagues who said “he married a terrorist”. The reports have mounted claiming she was the initiator of the shooting in San Bernardino while he hesitated to open fire in the assault that resulted in 14 deaths and 21 people being wounded.

Later media reports claimed that Farook and Malik had contacts with Islamist organizations, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the IS (Daesh in the Arab world), which is outlawed in many countries including Russia.

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

Rejected by Society: HIV Patients Helped by Caritas Bangladesh

According to the UN, 9,500 people are HIV-positive in the country. About 50 of them are Catholics. Because of social stigma, people have been forced to change their name and move away from home. Caritas Bangladesh provides economic and spiritual assistance, including bursaries to the children of the poorest, but for volunteer, preventing priests from addressing the issue is making matters worse.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — I had to “leave my community because I was told that I was sick because of my sins! People looked at me in a very negative way, but I know that I am not to blame for this disease. I got it from my husband,” said Mina Gomes (not her real name).

Since she became HIV-positive, she has had to change her identity and move away from her village. Her husband, a migrant worker, died a year after he was infected.

Last Tuesday, 1 December, was World AIDS Day. Like Mina, some 50 Bangladeshi Catholics have been infected with the virus. Caritas Bangladesh is in charge of their care.

Bangladesh’s Health Ministry data indicate that the country had 3,664 AIDS patients in 2014. The United Nations AIDS (UNAids) programme put the number at 9,500. So far, 472 people are known to have died of the illness.

“Little by little, the number of HIV-positive patients is creeping up in the country, including among Christians,” said Edward Pallab Rozario, head of the Caritas Bangladesh Health Project.

“Most patients,” he told AsiaNews, “will not reveal that they are positive because of the social stigma.”

Since 2007, the Catholic Church has offered a host of services for people living with HIV. However, for patients, the social consequences of their illness are worse than the illness itself.

“Many priests told me that they are not allowed to mention AIDS in their homily,” Rozario said. However, “if they could warn parishioners and explain the disease in their pastoral outreach, this would be fruitful. Priests visiting homes can play a vital role in lowering the risks associated with HIV/AIDS.”

For now, Caritas is offering spiritual and financial support and some counselling to Christian patients and their children. “Twice a year, we meet with them to offer spiritual assistance and bursaries to the poorest families,” he explained. “We also organise vocational courses in crafts and small-scale business management, so that patients can earn a living.”

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

SoCal Terror Probe Points to Pakistan, Raises Trust Issue in Terror War

The investigation into the jihadist couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino last week is pointing to Pakistan as the likely source of the pair’s radicalization, a development that threatens to expose once again the tenuous relations between the U.S. and the country accused of once harboring Al Qaeda founder and 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden.

Investigators are focusing on Tashfeen Malik, who married Syed Rizwan Farook after meeting him online and coming to the U.S. on a fiancee visa, and are particularly interested in a period from roughly 2007 to 2014 that she spent in her native Pakistan. It is during that time when she may have become radicalized, adopting the extremist ideology that she may have spread to her American-born husband.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Von Der Leyen Tells German Soldiers in Afghanistan: ‘We’re Staying’

Germany’s defense minister has emphasized the country’s commitment to its mission in Afghanistan while visiting troops there. Berlin recently announced it was expanding the scope of the mission.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why Thousands of People Are Leaving Nepal

When an earthquake hit Nepal in April, 9,000 people were killed and many more lost their homes. Thousands of men are now facing a difficult choice — should they stay to rebuild the country, or travel abroad where they can earn more money?

Sabin has a dilemma. We are sitting outside the tea shop in his village, chickens pecking around our feet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Beijing Orders All Schools to Shut and Outdoor Construction to Cease as it Issues First Ever Red Alert for Smog Levels in City

Beijing has ordered all schools to shut and outdoor construction to cease after the first ever red alert for smog levels in the city.

Restrictions have also been placed on factories and traffic in a move that will see half of vehicles kept off the roads in China’s capital.

The red alert — the most serious warning on a four-tier system adopted a little over two years ago — means authorities have forecast more than three consecutive days of severe smog.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China to Operate 110 Nuclear Reactors by 2030

China will increase the number of nuclear reactors in the country to 110 by 2030, local media reported Friday.

BEIJING (Sputnik) — By 2030 China is expected to become one of the biggest nuclear energy users in the world with 110 nuclear reactors operational at that point in time, China Daily reported, citing sources in Power Construction Corp of China Ltd, a leading Chinese power plant construction company.

According to the plans of the Chinese government, between six and eight nuclear reactors are expected to be added every year for the next five years.

China currently has 31 operational nuclear reactors and 21 more are under construction, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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

China Pollution: Beijing Issues First Red Smog Alert

Schools in Beijing are to close and outdoor construction to stop after the Chinese capital issued its first “red alert” over smog levels. The red alert is the highest possible, and has not been used in the city before, the state-run Xinhua news agency says.

Current pollution levels in Beijing are actually lower than last week’s, but the red alert has been placed because of levels expected over the coming days.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Money is Flying Out of China

China’s big cash pile is dwindling.

On Monday, China’s central bank reported $3.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, the lowest level since early 2013. November was one of the biggest drops ever.

Many investors are trying to get at least some of their money out of the country. Many Chinese see better opportunities abroad, whether it’s real estate in New York or London, pricey art, or stocks and bonds in other countries.

Exact data is hard to come by from China, but Capital Economics forecasts that November set a record for people moving money out of China — so-called capital outflows.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Australia Considering Legal Action Against Japan Over Whaling

Australia is considering taking legal actions against Japan after its decision to restart whaling in the Antarctic, the nation’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Japanese Fisheries Agency notified the International Whaling Commission earlier that it intended to resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season.

“We are working with other like-minded nations to build international consensus against Japanese whaling. We are also exploring options for further legal action,” the Australian ministry said.

It added that 32 other nations had lodged protests against Japan’s whaling ambitions.

“Australia is committed to the protection of whales. We will continue our efforts in the International Whaling Commission to promote whale conservation and uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling,” the ministry vowed.

The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986. A 1987 agreement, however, allows for whales to be hunted and killed for scientific research purposes — a loophole Japan has been using for decades.

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

Ghana: Fear of More Layoffs in 2016 if Economy Does Not Improve

(AGI) — Accra, 4 dic. — Employers in Ghana would be left with no choice than to lay off workers if Ghana’s current economic condition does not improve in 2016. According to business operators, pending conditions have not been favourable. Erratic power supply, high-interest rates, instability of the local currency, and rising cost of utilities have all contributed in raising the cost of doing business in the country, they noted.

As a result, some three thousand workers or more — mostly from the mining and manufacturing sectors — have lost their jobs as a result of labour retrenchments since the beginning of 2014.

Director of Research and Projects at the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), Charles Asante-Bempong said, a recent study carried out by the GEA revealed that the current energy crisis in the country has had a telling effect on businesses with some industries laying off staff, and others working below capacity due to the unreliable nature of power. He hinted the situation could get worse if the general economic condition does not improve in 2016. Asante-Bempong was speaking to journalists on the sideline of a breakfast meeting held by the Association to discuss with industry players its draft Business Agenda document for 2016-2018. Since the beginning of 2014 till now, many prominent companies in the country have laid off some of their employees while some have threatened to do so if the economy does not improve. “This has left the Ghanaian worker worse off than ever” he said. In the mining sector, where the challenges equally stem from external shocks, as they are nationally, about a thousand workers have been laid off.

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

Barter Activity Explodes Across Venezuela as Failed Socialist Economic Policies Leave Entire Nation on Verge of Economic Collapse

(NaturalNews) While most people think of Facebook and Twitter as a way to share photos and exchange comments for fun and news-sharing reasons, residents in Venezuela are turning to social media for something entirely different — and it’s saddening. There, it’s not uncommon for people to barter for the likes of infant formula, medication, batteries and diapers.

The unfortunate situation isn’t just a phase, either.

It’s a reflection of the dire economic situation in the country, where failed policies have put the area on the edge of financial collapse. The bottom line is that Venezuela gets about 70 percent of its goods from abroad, however, the area’s fast-falling oil prices have prevented the government there from importing. As a result, the economy has shifted to a culture where a black market lifestyle is the norm, and people can expect items to cost upwards of three times their original price.

To escape the corruption and avoid such absurdity, the people have been left with no other choice but to barter on a daily basis. In some instances, people have actually created Facebook swapping sites in which goods can be exchanged. Yannilay Liendo is one such person; she’s a 16-year-old who created Super Anti-Bachaqueo Truekes, which essentially translates to “Super Anti-Gouger Swap,” where more than 1,000 members remain active.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Venezuela Election: Maduro’s Socialists Trounced

The opposition in Venezuela has won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, overturning nearly two decades of dominance by the Socialists of President Nicolas Maduro.

Five hours after polling ended, the National Electoral Council announced the opposition had won 99 seats.

President Maduro has admitted defeat, recognising “these adverse results”.

It is the worst-ever defeat for the leftist movement founded by former leader Hugo Chavez in 1999…

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]

Venezuelan Voters Turn Their Backs on ‘Chavismo’ After 17 Years

Voters in Venezuela on Sunday handed opposition parties a historic landslide victory over President Nicolás Maduro’s Socialists in hotly contested National Assembly legislative elections that ended 17 years of parliamentary rule by backers of the regime of the late president Hugo Chávez.

The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition took 99 seats compared to the 46 won by Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), announced late Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Venezuela Opposition Wins Majority in Country’s National Assembly

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide, trouncing the ruling party and altering the balance of power after almost 17 years of socialist rule.

The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the incoming 167-seat legislature, electoral authorities announced after midnight Sunday. The ruling socialist party won 46 seats. The 19 remaining races remain up for grabs, but if enough are won by the opposition it could give the coalition a two-thirds supermajority needed to strongly challenge President Nicolas Maduro’s grip on power.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Austria Building Fence at Border Crossing With Slovenia Amid Migrant Crisis

A 2.3-mile fence is being built at an Austrian-Slovenian border crossing to better control the inflow of migrants, Austrian media reported Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The first metal posts of a future mesh fence were installed at a checkpoint near the Austrian locality of Spielfeld in the southeastern Styria state on Monday afternoon, Austria’s Krone newspaper reported.

Austrian soldiers from a battalion stationed at the southern city of Villach were helping a Tirol-based construction firm to assemble the over-eight-feet-high fence, according to reports.

Maj. Gerald Trampusch, in charge of the construction, said the fence was due to be completed by Christmas.

Austria has been overwhelmed by a rising influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, fleeing conflicts and poverty in their home countries. The country’s Interior Ministry estimates that over 2,600 asylum claims were submitted between November 30 and December 6.

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

Ban All Muslim Travel to U.S.

(CNN) Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday to block all Muslims from entering the United States.

Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., made his latest controversial call in a news release. His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to “turn against one another” out of fear.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Army: 610 Migrants Arrested in North Sinai in November

478 weapons, 15 tons of drugs seized and 20 tunnels closed

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, DECEMBER 7 — Egyptian armed forces spokesman Mohamed Samir has announced on his Facebook page that during security operations carried out in November at the border in northern Sinai “610 migrants were arrested, 478 weapons and 15 tons of drugs were confiscated and 20 tunnels were closed”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: 965,000 Migrants Registered Through November

Well above a forecast for the whole year

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — The number of people registered as asylum-seekers in Germany this year hit 965,000 by the end of November, well above a forecast for the whole year that was made less than four months ago, the country’s interior minister said Monday.

Some 206,000 new arrivals were registered in November. That pushed the total for 2015 well above the 800,000 that Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere forecast for the full year in mid-August, a few weeks before the flow of people arriving via Turkey, Greece and the Balkans accelerated.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: States Slam New Refugee Boss for ‘Slow Work’

Ministers rushed to defend the new head of the national refugee authority from attacks by leaders of Germany’s federal states, saying he had only been in the position a few weeks and needed time to make a difference.

Rhineland-Palatinate minister-president Malu Dreyer said on the weekend that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) was working too slowly and shouldn’t be taking weekends off during the crisis.

The BAMF still faces a backlog of 355,914 cases, the PNP reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Migrant Crisis: Germany Heads for 1m Asylum-Seekers in 2015

Germany has registered 964,574 new asylum-seekers in the first 11 months of the year, putting it on course for more than a million in 2015.

The number of migrants arriving has not slowed despite the winter cold, with a record high of 206,101 in November.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in August that the country expected 800,000 asylum-seekers over the year.

Documents leaked in October suggested the government was privately anticipating the arrival of up to 1.5m.

Germany has registered more asylum-seekers than any other nation in Europe, although at about 1% of its population, less per capita than several smaller nations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Money Talks: Norway ‘Paying’ Asylum-Seekers to Leave Country

Norway appears to have found a way novel to tackle the country’s refugee crisis: offer asylum-seekers cash to get out.

Along with a one-way ticket paid for, each refugee who made it to Norway could receive tens of thousands of Norwegian kroners if he or she agrees to leave the country voluntarily.

Hordes of foreign nationals arriving from Syria, Iraq and Northern Africa seek asylum in EU countries, believing that the Norwegian government will be able to take care of them right away, but officials say the asylum process can take months or even years.

“They thought they would have the opportunity to work or take an education — and maybe even to get their family to Norway,” said Katinka Hartman, head of the immigration department’s return unit (UDI), according to NRK Television.

“Many cannot wait (for the asylum process to run its course). They have family at home who expect them to be able to help,” said Hartman.

She also stressed that Norway has long had issues accommodating displaced persons from Somalia, and this latest initiative may help with that as well.

“For a long time, Norway has not been able to forcibly return people to Somalia, but now that we can, I think that more Somalis with an obligation to leave will opt for assisted return,” outlined Hartman. “It’s important to have more initiatives of this kind in the future.”

More than 900 people have already applied to accept financial support from Norway and depart for their home countries, according to UDI data.

A couple with two kids can receive up to 80,000 kroner ($9,400), in addition to their flights paid for.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) processes applications for the Voluntary Assisted Return Programme (VARP), which also provides counselling services and transportation assistance for refugees. They described the initiative as “safe and dignified,” according to the Independent.

The number of refugees taking advantage of the offer is on the rise, according to spokesperson Joost van der Aalst.

“Earlier this year, the number was an average of 100 per month,” he told NRK. “In October, there were 150 and in November there were 230 applications.”

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

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

Netherlands: Syrian Teenager Arrested After Telling Refugees He Fought for IS

An 18-year-old Syrian teenager has been arrested after telling asylum seekers in Zaandam he is a soldier for Al-Qaida and IS.

He was arrested in The Hague on Monday after fellow asylum seekers tipped off the authorities. He is now being questioned about his possible involvement in terrorism, news agency ANP reports.

A public prosecution spokesman told broadcaster RTV NH that there is no concrete evidence the teenager was planning to launch terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. He came to the Netherlands in October and applied for asylum

Labour MP Attje Kuiken said the case is ‘serious’. ‘We have to wait for the results of the investigation but we want to know if screening is thorough enough and if we could have identified him earlier,’ the MP said.

Christian Democrat MP Mona Keijzer referred to a recent report showing that border checks on new arrivals are weak and that many people have no papers with them.

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, said a terrorist attack in the Netherlands is simply a matter of time. Prime minister Mark Rutte will be jointly responsible if there is an attack for ‘letting them all in’, he said.

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

Soldiers Deployed at Friuli Border With Austria, Slovenia

Where refugees cross, as part of anti-terror measures

(ANSA) — Udine, December 7 — Thirty-five soldiers are to be deployed to the northern province of Udine next week to help police patrol the border with Austria as part of heightened anti-terrorism measures in Italy. Thirty-two soldiers will take part in mixed patrols operating 24 hours a day and the remaining three will have responsibility for logistics.

The patrols will focus on the Tarvisio border with Austria and Slovenia, where migrants and refugees continue to cross in small numbers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Somali ‘Refugee’ Linked to San Bernardino Terror Attack

A young man who came to Minnesota as a “refugee” from Somalia has been linked to Syed Farook, the shooter who, along with his jihadist wife, killed 14 Americans in San Bernardino less than a week ago.

Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler provided a key piece of information about the case, linking the San Bernardino shooters to Mohammad Hassan, a known terrorist recruiter who has been on the FBI radar screen for at least seven years.

What Fox did not report, however, is how Hassan ended up in the United States.

He came into the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia and became an American citizen.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Stranded in Calais, Thousands Make ‘Jungle’ Their Home

After dinner, migrants and refugees in the camp near the northern French town of Calais, gather in groups and linger around the barbed wired fence separating them from trucks headed to the UK, looking for an opportunity to get on.

The Calais camp, nicknamed “the Jungle” because of its location close to a forest, and because of the slum-like labyrinth of tents and makeshift homes, has been here for years. But the number of inhabitants swelled since the summer as hundreds of thousands made their way to Europe.

Now, aid workers say there are about 4,500 people looking for asylum who call this unforgiving muddy patch of land their home.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Suspected Pro-Daesh Refugee in Germany Injures 2 Police Officers

A refugee shouted pro-Daesh slogans while attacking two German police officers who were responding late on Sunday to reports of a rail fare dodger in a railway station in the northwestern city of Osnabrueck, police said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The man has been identified as a Moroccan asylum seeker by police in the German state of Lower Saxony. No evidence linking the suspect to Daesh terrorist group, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, has been found.

Police were alerted to the presence of a suspicious commuter by a ticket collector. When police officers attempted to establish his identity, the man attacked them, trying to bite the law enforcers, according to a police account of the incident.

The 23-year-old continued to attack the officers and tried to grab a police pistol even after he was put in handcuffs with the help of a third police officer. All that time, he shouted “Allahu Akhbar” and “Daesh”.

Eventually, officers used pepper spray to subdue the attacker. One officer received a knee injury and another was bitten in the forearm and had a rib cracked. The third officer sprained his hand.

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

Sweden’s First Refugee Tent Camp Set to Open

Two months after Sweden announced it would be opening its first tent camp for refugees, the accommodation is finally set to open on Tuesday. Around 20 refugees will move into the tent camp in Revingehed, a small town near Lund in southern Sweden.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Bridge Closure Plan Slammed by Lawyers

Sweden’s plans to stem the flow of people coming into the to claim asylum via the Öresund Bridge have been slammed by the government’s independent legal advisors — but will go ahead anyway, according to a top official.

The Social Democrat-Green coalition wants to introduce ID checks on buses, trains and ferries, and to have the right to close the Öresund Bridge in the event of a crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Unwelcome Guests: Infectious Diseases Migrate to Europe With Refugees

Migrants have been flocking to Europe in huge numbers unseen since World War Two, fueling fears that they could bring rare infectious and contagious diseases, which, if uncontained, could well lead to a major health and security crisis.

Over the weekend, the Norwegian Coast Guard brought 906 migrants, who traveled to Europe from Central Africa, to the Italian port city of Reggio di Calabria. Authorities identified six suspected cases of malaria and 300 suspected cases of scabies, the ANSA news agency reported.

This was not an isolated incident. In May, one migrant brought to Reggio di Calabria was diagnosed with malaria, while 50 people were diagnosed with scabies. In August, the port city welcomed a refugee boat from Africa, which was also carrying the corpse of an Eritrean national, who died during the voyage.

A report, released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in May 2014, found that migrants living in the EU were disproportionately affected by HIV and tuberculosis. It also showed that “99% of reported cases of malaria were ‘imported.’“

“To date, screening migrants for infectious and contagious diseases has been voluntary, inconsistent and under-resourced. … This means that many epidemic-prone diseases go undetected as migrants enter into Europe. Prioritizing infectious and contagious disease detection and treatment is a short-term must,” Melissa S. Hersh wrote for the National Interest in late November.

Reggio di Calabria has been trying to address the challenge: for instance, sanitary services are working with newcomers fleeing violence in Africa and the Middle East. But this is not enough.

“As Europe bursts at the seams with asylum seekers, refugees, and irregular migrants — presenting their own endemic disease footprint — there’s a greater need to consider when and how to establish quarantine and isolation at migrant processing/reception centers,” Hersh observed.

No major outbreaks of infectious diseases have been recorded in areas where refugees coming to Europe live but it could be only a matter of time if European authorities do not address this issue soon.

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

Every 16-Year-Old in Sweden to Receive Copy of We Should All be Feminists

Campaign hopes to ‘open up conversation about gender’ with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist call to arms

Less than a month after it was revealed that the UK is planning to drop feminism from the politics A-level, every 16-year-old in Sweden is being given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to arms, We Should All Be Feminists.

The essay, adapted from Adichie’s award-winning TED talk of the same name, is being distributed in Swedish to high-school students by the Swedish Women’s Lobby and publisher Albert Bonniers. Launching the project at Norra Real high school in Stockholm this week, they said they hoped the book would “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism”.

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

Putting Military Women’s Lives on the Line

In a move that reeks of political correctness, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday that all combat positions in the U.S. military will now be open to women, with no exceptions. “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat,” Carter declared. “They’ll be able to serve as Army rangers and green berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

As the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) explains, Carter could only make the change by overruling the best professional advice of the U.S. Marine Corps “in matters involving life, death, and national security,” and “by breaking his own promise” to base his decision on the quality of scientific research behind the military services’ recommendations. The Marine Corps had requested some exceptions to the policy, but Carter declined to honor them. “The important factor in making my decision was to have access to every American who could add strength to the joint force,” he insisted, further stating the decision to do so was based on empirical analysis of the data following a three-year review by all armed services branches.

CMR president Elaine Donnelly disputes that assertion, noting that Carter promised to base his decision on “the analytic underpinnings and the data supporting them.” On that basis, Donnelly added, “Secretary Carter must assign greater weight to Marine Corps empirical evidence than he does to wishful thinking, unsupported speculations, and ‘mitigation myths.’“ CMR further explains Task Force tests were created to test the hypothesis that “an integrated unit under gender-neutral standards will perform equally as well as a gender-restricted unit.”

Not exactly. The Marine Corps Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA) report, a 33-page memo with attached documents, was signed by Brig. Gen. George W. Smith, Jr., Director of the Marine Corps Force Innovation Office. It was designed to analyze the collective performances of units because Marines operate as such. Moreover the analysis emphasized the unwavering focus considered the benchmark of achieving the most combat effective force.

Integrated units were found lacking in three areas. Female Marines demonstrated they were capable of performing physically demanding tasks, but not at levels commensurate with their male counterparts, measured in terms of performance, fatigue, workload, or cohesion. With very few exceptions gender-integrated units also performed at lower levels with respect to time taken to complete tasks, move under loads and achieve timely efforts on targets, when compared with male counterparts. And finally, it was determined that the greater the gender integration, the more these shortfalls were “magnified.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oil Tumbles to Lowest Level in 7 Years

Oil tumbled another 6% on Monday to as low as $37.50 a barrel, its weakest level in almost seven years. A massive supply glut has wiped out two-thirds of oil’s value after it peaked at nearly $108 a barrel in June 2014.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

26 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/7/2015

  1. Of course the bleeding heart leftists (like the delightful Mrs Clinton) will disagree, but Trump is right; Americans, and westerners in general are just not used to anyone making such draconian pronouncements any more.

    While I expected not only Democrats to ridicule Trump, but many Republicans as well, the other GOP candidates disgust me–they should be supporting Trump; and by the way, I say that as an immigrant to Canada.
    Muslims are uncultured savages, the enemy, and they have NO place in any civilized society.

    • “… Donald Trump called for a temporary halt to the entry of all Muslims into. . .”
      That’s exactly the right thing to do: all other empty hot air is wrong. Nothing fits but the right correct thing and attitude. In 10 years’ time everyone will realize that nothing is correct but the correct detested unmentionable thing now but only Trump can utter it. And they are attacking him for telling the truth: Are they hypocrites: Do they know he is right and pretend he is not, or are they too stupid to see what he is seeing in advance. These attitudes are of dictators and are disastrous.

      “Americans, and westerners in general are just not used to anyone making such draconian pronouncements any more.

      These are not draconian pronouncements, these are just plain facts and logical, reasonable attitudes and steps that should have been taken silently long ago. But reasonable, logical, commonsensical, truthful pronouncements seem criminal in this time of profuse knowledge and utter ignorance.

      • “Do they know he is right and pretend he is not, or are they too stupid to see what he is seeing in advance”?

        I’ll go with Stupid for $200.

        (BTW, Murad: I think it was you who posted the link to the Valaam recording of Agni Parfene in April. If so, my heartfelt gratitude to you.)

  2. Being a Muslim may not be a sufficient condition for becoming a jihadist and murdering innocent people, but it can no longer be denied that being a Muslim is a necessary condition for becoming a jihadist.

    This is as plain as the nose on your face to all of us, but this is a point that now needs to be made as loudly and as often as possible. The Donald appears to have opened a window of opportunity, so we need to make use of it.


  3. Let’s start with the assertion we hear so often, which is trotted out as if it is some profound article of knowledge: Not all Muslims are jihadists.

    Ok, what this means is that being a Muslim is not a sufficient condition for becoming a jihadist. Fair enough. But so what?


    There may very well be a set of necessary conditions which must all be met before someone becomes a jihadist and goes on a killing spree. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter which of these necessary conditions we prevent from happening – it will have the effect of preventing that person from becoming a jihadist and going on a killing spree.

    If being a Muslim is the only obvious one of the set of necessary conditions that we can get a handle on, then let’s use it. Anything to stop jihadists from killing any more innocent people. That is the over-riding priority here – or at least is should be.

    The American state has a duty of care towards its own citizens first and foremost. Any individual, Muslim or otherwise, from any other country comes a distant second. The American state is under no obligation to care for them, or indeed, to care about them. At all.

    To let your own citizens die a brutal horrific death, all so that foreigners won’t feel frustrated and will have to well, live in their own country. Let’s do a cost/benefit analysis here: On one hand, we have someone in another country, a foreigner who the American state has absolutely no obligations towards whatsoever, feeling frustrated and having to live in their own country. Hardly a terrible fate now, is it? On the other hand we have American citizens who the American state does have an obligation towards, and they are being brutally murdered, families torn apart, everything they were and ever would have been, ended.

    To say that a foreigner feeling a little bit frustrated is more important than an American losing their life in the most barbaric and violent fashion imaginable is just so … un-American.

  4. Trump saying put block on Muslims is absolutely historical. It leaves Spencer especially and Geller in deep ideological crisis. Geller seeks to divert from it. It is a form of diverting technique. Geller diverting was shown on the Lou Dobbs interview yesterday.

    • What does it matter? It is fine for people to have different view points. It doesn’t mean an ideological crisis!

    • As I understood it, she said that she agreed with Trump’s suggestion. I just got the impression that she has (legitimate) reservations about a gentleman who would show blatant disregard for the First Amendment, something he did when he criticised her event in Garland. In other words, her caution was in regard to Trump himself, not his proposal.

    • “Small speculated that the text (of the Quran) could have been adopted by Muhammad as a way to shape his own political or social agenda.”

      Like leftists. They shape everything to their own political agenda. Even history.

  5. “With all the talk in Congress and the media about Syrian refugees, we don’t hear anything about Somali refugees and they have one of the worst records of not assimilating and being accomplices to terrorist acts,” said Ann Corcoran, refugee watchdog who blogs for Refugee Resettlement Watch.

    Robert Spencer is speaking on this very topic in Minneapolis Dec 18 and Dec 19th. (ACT for America)

    • Good for Robert Spencer: talking about Islam in the belly of the beast requires some physical courage. He is very well paid for his speaking engagements but that does not take away from his willingness to speak up in dangerous territory. I hope ACT has stellar security.

    • It is absolutely insane and unbelievable to me that there are Somali ghettoes in Minneapolis, MN.

      It is even more nauseating to think that these ghettoes are recruiting grounds for ISIS supporters, and probably contain at least one sleeper cell.

  6. C’mon, folks, there’s nothing new here. There’s been an outcry to close the porous border with Mexico for years. Trump is simply transferring this stark reality to another venue. In the end, the American people — if there is such a thing anymore — will decide. Prediction: Trump is president and Marine Le Pen wins France.

  7. The first reason why the Republicans started hating Trump was that he wasn’t part of the party establishment. They have a long history of nominating the out-of-touch senior citizen golf course patrician who has put in his time, worked himself up through the party ranks and paid all his bribes – I mean, dues – until it is now ‘his turn’.
    They pat him on the back and say ‘ Win one for the Gipper’ or some such 1950’s slogan.
    Because that’s where they are stuck.
    The Republican leadership still to this day believes they can win elections with elderly, avuncular father figures à la [I]Father knows Best[/I] or [I]The Andy Griffith Show[/I] – neatly parted, slicked-back hair, pipe and slippers optional – in today’s America.
    And after about 50 years of ever-increasing Political Correctness, they are deathly afraid of ‘offending’ anyone at all, so they say and do nothing.
    Donald Trump chops their Gordian knot in half and goes right to the people, aka as The Silent Majority.
    He knows he can’t get the Black vote because a) he’s not Black and b) he’s Republican, so he doesn’t even try.
    He knows he can’t get the Hispanic vote because he is neither Hispanic nor does he have any Hispanic family members, so he doesn’t even try.
    He knows he can’t get the Muslim vote, because they don’t vote, they have bigger things to do.
    He knows that offending any of these groups can’t do him any harm, because none of them would have voted for him anyway, regardless of what he said or did.
    He knows he can’t make friends in the media, because he’s not a Democrat, so he just sticks his tongue out at them.
    He is quite literally the only candidate in a long time who isn’t afraid to say what the majority of people are thinking.
    They call him a ‘carnival barker’ , but compared to this carnival barker, all other candidates look like either clowns or wet rags or just plain crooks.
    I’m increasingly getting the feeling we might see some very, very long journalist faces on election night, and it may start early, when they have to call NY, NJ and CT for Trump and go into full damage control (‘he’s illegitimate’ ‘he’s Satan’ ) mode immediately.
    If this is not the case, the Australian consulates across the US better prepare themselves for quite the flood of applications.

    • Mmmmm, and NZ, lots of North Americans there already and no doubt more going next year, but they do have mu[redacted]slims there too.
      Liked your comment, and I hope desperately your prediction comes true, which would just leave us in Canada with a real problem; the clueless twit the Baron calls ‘Baby Doc’.

      • Fleeing to NZ is a short-term solution that depends on someone else taking care of the long term.

        • NZ? Ha ha! Good luck with that one. Muslims already have their halal going on everywhere in that country. Live animal (like horses) exports to all over the Muslim occupied earth. Kiwis are known to a little slavishly following the UK mother country and are especially adept at doing stuff that is not pleasing to their Oz neighbor. Give it time. This is a planet earth problem far more threatening than anything the so called warriors of warmth have going on in shady financial dealings. Stop running. Stop denying. “We have got to get it together – now” (Thunderclap Newman)

  8. In response to Dymphna who has covered over the role of Spencer in attacking Trump at the very moment all the knives are being stuck into his back. See comment by Dymphna as in QUOTE…”Good for Robert Spencer: talking about Islam in the belly of the beast requires some physical courage. He is very well paid for his speaking engagements but that does not take away from his willingness to speak up in dangerous territory. I hope ACT has stellar security.”

    I respond that this is not a matter of the courage of Spencer but of his political position towards Trump, which also applies to Pamela Geller but I am here referring to Spencer. I raise the very serious question after the most courageous and epoch making statement ever made by a politician of the American ruling class, which is Trump…as to why Spencer says he is “not a fan of Trump”. If he is not a fan of Trump after such a statement, that nobody ever came closer to before in America, who IS Spencer a fan of anyway, and does it matter after this?

    TRUMP HAS DONE HUMANITY A GREAT SERVICE OVER MUSLIM BAN…SPENCER NOT UP TO THE JOB AND IS EXPOSED…”The politics of Robert Spencer have been exposed by the Trump clarion call to ban Muslims because Spencer chose that moment to attack Trump”…Felix Quigley of
    The situation can never be the same again. Donald Trump has done humanity a great service by boldly calling for a block put on Muslim immigration into America. This at one stroke raises the issue of what is Islam and what are Muslims in a way that has never been done before.
    At the very same time the supposed great anti-Jihadist campaigner Robert Spencer has said that he will never vote for Trump even if Trump got down on his knees and begged him.
    Thus the isue of Islam and how to fight Islam is also very sharply posed by the Trump call to ban Muslims.
    It is not that Spencer is opposed to the call to ban Muslim immigration. He is not opposed to that. It is that he chooses this moment to call Trump a “very dangerous man”.
    All of these things are a matter of emphasis and tactics and Spencer has shown that he has no tactics. It also therefore raises the nature of the anti-Jihadism of the Spencer organization.
    He has been exposed totally.
    I am raising questions and questions will continue to be raised.

    On December 7 Robert Spencer wrote the following “Donald Trump shows here that he is a very, very frightening candidate: he would restrict the freedom of speech as part of some attempt to deal with the jihad threat: in other words, he would have us give up our freedom in exchange for security”
    It is the great misfortune of Spencer, and the great fortune of those of us who really do fight Islam, that Spencer called Trump in words that are unforgettable QUOTE…”he is a very, very frightening candidate” at the very moment that every pro-Jihad commentator in the world was sharpening the knife to stick it into Trump.
    THAT is the problem. For whatever reason Spencer did not read the situation correctly.
    Spencer has ended up attacking Trump brutally at the same time that the knives were being sharpened and were being stuck into Trump.
    This is a very big problem and not to be minimised or glossed over.

    PS Did Spencer check with Trump what he meant by his internet remarks or why did Spencer fly off the handle at this? One answer maybe he mixes personal and political.

    • “…the most courageous and epoch making statement ever made by a politician of the American ruling class.”

      I was thinking that too, about it being epoch-making. Already in Britain the liberal-left is sticking its knife in – and illustrating very clearly how little it reflects public opinion.

  9. I made a passing remark on Robert Spencer’s well-known courage in being willing to appear in Minnesota to talk about Islam. That was all I said and all I meant to say.

    In response, you used 637 words to say repeatedly that Spencer was bad because he doesn’t like Trump. In case we missed who you were talking about, you then invoked Spencer’s name over twenty times in making your counterpoint regarding what you perceive to be his mendacity in not liking Trump.

    My comment had nothing to do with Spencer’s political beliefs. Since I don’t know what those are – beyond what you say about them here – I won’t address the issue beyond saying he’s entitled to have his own opinions even if I don’t agree with them.

    As for Trump’s remark about preventing Muslims from ever entering the country, it was unrealistic at this stage in the game. Beyond grabbing headlines in the political news it accomplishes nothing. Implementing such a “proposal” would prove unworkable, even in the short run.

    In general, Mr. Trump is better than 95% of those currently “serving” in any national political office in the U.S. His tendency to blurt “speech bites” in order to grab headlines in this horse race is most unfortunate. Then again, it could be a deliberate tactic and part of a longer-term strategy. With the Donald, it’s difficult to tell.

    But Trump has nothing to do with what I asserted in my original comment: Robert Spencer is courageous to agree to a speaking engagement in one of the chief areas of Somali settlement in this country, no matter how well he is paid to do so.

  10. “As for Trump’s remark about preventing Muslims from ever entering the country, it was unrealistic at this stage in the game.” Unrealistic ‘at this stage in the game’ maybe, but surely it could be realised given the will.

    • Jimmy Carter did a no Muslims in 1980 when the crazies were mostly students and “better educated” islam typos. Has anyone asked Jimmy what he would do if he were pretzel to-day?

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