Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/11/2016

A “youth” attacked and wounded a Jewish man with a machete in southern France today. The 15-year-old Kurd shouted “Allahu Akhbar” when he carried out the attack, and said that he did it for the Islamic State. A spokesman for the Islamic community in France said that the incident had nothing to do with Islam, and expressed concern about a possible backlash against Muslims.

OK, so I made that last sentence up. But still…

In other news, a vigilante group attacked culture-enrichers in the area around the main train station in Cologne, seeking rough justice for the New Year’s Eve Groping Jihad and sending at least two migrants to the hospital. The Cologne police promise that the perpetrators will be prosecuted vigorously for causing bodily harm.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Dean, DV, Insubria, LP, MC, MM, NP, Srdja Trifkovic, 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
» EU Says Italy Responsible for Decision on Bad Bank
» Lexington Park Elementary School Cleared After Bomb Threat
» Police Dog Picked up Scent of Murdered Virginia Student Hannah Graham in the Apartment of Man Charged With Killing Her
» Video Shows Stabbing Suspect Shortly Before Int’l District Death
Europe and the EU
» Cologne: Groped Between the Legs and a Firework Thrown Into a Hoodie
» EU Asks Belgium to Recoup 700 Mn From Multinationals
» Germany on the Brink
» Germany Threatens Sanctions Against Poland Over ‘Lack of Western Values’
» Horror in Europe
» Italy: ‘Never Considered Taking Part in Nord Stream’ Says ENI
» Italy: Civil Servants Get Jail for Absenteeism
» Italy: Quarto Mayor ‘Won’t Resign’ Says Lawyer
» Swedish Police Withheld Reports of Sexual Assaults at Music Fest
» Teen Accused of Stabbing Jewish Teacher in France With Machete Invoked ISIS
» The Polish-Hungarian Conspiracy Surrounding an ‘Alternative Germany’
» Vigilantes Hunting for ‘Justice’ For New Year Sex Attacks Carry Out Beatings on Random Foreigners in Cologne…
» Serbia and Russia: Rogozin in Belgrade for Weapons and Gas
North Africa
» 15 Libyans Wounded at Zliten Treated in Italy
Israel and the Palestinians
» Southern Terror Alert Lifted as Suspect Arrested
Middle East
» Syria: Moscow: Damascus Has Retaken 150 Cities Since Dec.
» Syria: For Patriarch Laham, Madaya is Hostage to Armed Gangs and Terrorists With Aid at Risk
Far East
» The West Sacrifices Free Press to Do Business With China
» Italy: Nigerians Attack Train Conductor
» Italy: Police Nab Man Convicted in Germany for Illegal Immigration
» Italy: Depenalisation of Immigration Not on Agenda Yet Says Renzi
» Pope Says EU Must Welcome Refugees Despite Fears
» Reuters: 600 Criminal Complaints Filed by Germans on Sexual Assaults by Migrants
» Swedish Police Probe ‘Cover up of Migrant Sex Assaults’

EU Says Italy Responsible for Decision on Bad Bank

Commissioner Vestager says ‘not for us to decide’

(ANSA) — Brussels, January 11 — EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Monday that it’s Italy’s responsibility to decide whether or not it wants to create a bad bank to handle Italy’s bad loan issues.

“Many member states have put systems in place to manage bad loans,” Vestager said. “We have a lot of experience on how to do so. We’ve shared our information with the Italian authorities. It’s not for us to decide. We’ve indicated the possible roads. There are various opportunities”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lexington Park Elementary School Cleared After Bomb Threat

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. (WUSA9) — Lexington Park Elementary School has been cleared after receiving a bomb threat Monday morning, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said.

The inside of the school was cleared by bomb-detecting K9 units first. The perimeter and outdoor classrooms were cleared shortly after.

Officials said the school is no longer on lock down. The school will resume normal activities.

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

Police Dog Picked up Scent of Murdered Virginia Student Hannah Graham in the Apartment of Man Charged With Killing Her

The scent of a student was picked up in the apartment of the man charged with murdering her by a police tracking dog, a former detective testified on Monday.

The disappearance of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old University of Virginia student, made national headlines in 2014.

Jesse Matthew Jr., of Charlottesville, was the last person seen with her and could face the death penalty if convicted in a jury trial set for July.

Stuart Garner Jr., a former Louisa County detective and dog handler, testified in a pre-trial hearing that his dog alerted him to Graham’s scent in several areas of Matthew’s apartment during a massive search for the student…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Video Shows Stabbing Suspect Shortly Before Int’l District Death

Seattle police released surveillance footage Monday afternoon depicting the man they believe fatally stabbed a store clerk in the International District Sunday evening.

The assailant remains at large.

Shown inside the market where the attack occurred, the suspect briefly walks in and out of the frame shortly before the stabbing.

A witness called 911 about 5 p.m. Sunday to report a stabbing at a shop in the 500 block of South Jackson Street, reports say.

Police arrived to find an unresponsive man in his 50s and gave medical aid until medics arrived to take him to Harborview Medical Center. The man died at the hospital.

Initial reports indicate a man engaged in a confrontation with the store clerk, which escalated to a stabbing…

           — Hat tip: MM [Return to headlines]

Cologne: Groped Between the Legs and a Firework Thrown Into a Hoodie

Brave female victims reveal the horrifying details after attacks by sex mob of 2,000 ‘North African and Arab’ men in Cologne

Police fear the violence in Cologne may be linked to a known criminal gang who use sexual assault as a means of distraction, as more than 100 women have so far reported being assaulted.

Two more victims have spoken out today on German TV, after they were sexually assaulted and attacked with fireworks during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

One woman, known only as Jenny, suffered serious burns when a firework was shoved into the hood she was wearing.

‘I heard a sizzling sound in my hood,’ said Jenny. ‘I somehow tried to get the firecracker out of the hood. Then it fell into my jacket and burned everything.’

She added: ‘The scars will be permanent. I was lucky that it didn’t explode.’…

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

EU Asks Belgium to Recoup 700 Mn From Multinationals

Crackdown on tax evasion continues

(ANSA) — Brussels, January 11 — The EU’s anti-trust authority on Monday asked Belgium to recoup 700 million euros in dodged taxes from 35 multinationals who benefited from a tax scheme that has been deemed illegal. The EU has been cracking down on tax evasion by multinationals.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany on the Brink

by Ross Douthat

ON New Year’s Eve, in the shadow of Cologne’s cathedral, crowds of North African and Middle Eastern men accosted women out for the night’s festivities. They surrounded them, groped them, robbed them. Two women were reportedly raped.

Though there were similar incidents from Hamburg to Helsinki, the authorities at first played down the assaults, lest they prove inconvenient for Angela Merkel’s policy of mass asylum for refugees.

That delay has now cost Cologne’s police chief his job. But the German government still seems more concerned about policing restless natives — most recently through a deal with Facebook and Google to restrict anti-immigrant postings — than with policing migration. Just last week Merkel rejected a proposal to cap refugee admissions (which topped one million last year) at 200,000 in 2016…

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Germany Threatens Sanctions Against Poland Over ‘Lack of Western Values’

German lawmakers are in agreement on the need to impose economic sanctions against Poland if Warsaw continues ‘to ignore European principles and values’, German daily newspaper Der Spiegel explains, quoting top CDU politicians including Volker Kauder, a man described as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘right hand’.

Last year, Poland’s conservative nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), led by former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, captured both the presidency and parliament at elections in May and November. Since taking office, the party’s lawmakers have used their parliamentary majority to initiate a series of controversial legal reforms, causing concerns both at home and abroad, specifically in Brussels and in Berlin.

The reforms include changes to the rules surrounding the operation of the country’s constitutional court, and, more recently, a new media law, giving the government the power to appoint the heads of public television and radio broadcasters directly, which critics suggest amounts to the restriction of media freedom.

Since coming to power late last year, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo’s PiS government has also eased out the head of the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, and worked to limit opposition oversight over surveillance services, moves which, together with the initiatives regarding the courts and the public broadcasters, have been criticized as unconstitutional.

The view from Berlin is that Warsaw must be punished for its alleged transgressions. Volker Kauder, the chairman and parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), advocates imposing sanctions against Poland, should the country continue to flout the EU-defined rule of law.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, published Saturday, Kauder noted that the EU must “find the courage to apply sanctions on the breach of European values,” adding that “the Polish government should know that in Europe you cannot violate some fundamental values.”

For his part, Herbert Reul, the chairman of the CDU/Christian Social Union in Bavaria group in the European Parliament, concurred with Kauder on the need to impose ‘penalties’ on Warsaw. “The economic sanctions are necessary if political dialogue does not lead to results,” the politician told the magazine.

The lawmakers’ commentary follow on the announcement made last week by EU media commissar Gunther Oettinger that the EU is preparing a series of ‘special measures’ against the Polish government, up to an including denying Warsaw voting rights in the EU if it continues to ignore Brussels’ warnings.

“It says a lot that we are now activating the rule of law mechanism and putting Warsaw under supervision,” Oettinger, the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Commissioner, told Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung last Sunday.

The ‘mechanism’ in question is the EU’s ‘framework for addressing systemic threats to the rule of law’, and as a last resort allows Brussels to withdraw member states’ voting rights if attempts at persuasion fail. The tool could be activated following an EC summit on Wednesday, where EU leaders will discuss Poland’s controversial reforms.

Leading to fierce debate and protests inside Poland, the new laws and the reaction in Berlin and Brussels has also poured fuel on the fire of the growing conflict between Warsaw and the EU establishment, with angry Poles protesting what they see as Berlin and Brussels’ bullying tactics.

On Friday, at a volleyball match against Germany, Polish fans unfurled a large sign reading ‘Protect your women, not our democracy!’, referring to the sexual assaults against German women by Arab and North African migrants on New Year’s eve in Cologne, and suggesting that Berlin should deal with its own problems before instructing its neighbors on how to run their affairs.

Anti-EU and anti-German sentiment is strong and growing stronger among the PiS government and their supporters. Not long ago, Der Spiegel explains, Poland’s controversial foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski had alleged that up to now his county has been a “vassal of Berlin.”

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

Horror in Europe

by Srdja Trifkovic

On New Year’s Eve 121 German women were subjected to sexual attacks, robbery and violence by “concentric rings” of a thousand Middle Eastern and African migrants in and around the central railway station in Cologne. Women and girls were surrounded, poked and jeered at as “whores” and even worse insults; their blouses were ripped and their underwear torn off. Two were reportedly raped. Roving gangs were assaulting women with complete impunity. Over 600 criminal complaints have been filed by the victims thus far.

The night of terror was followed by four days of media silence, most notably by the ZDF, Germany’s national broadcasting corporation. When the story eventually broke (thanks to the Net), official attempts were made to play down the magnitude and implications of the attacks. German police initially reported a “quiet night,” but a leaked internal report described the scenes of mayhem; many attackers waved asylum papers in officers’ faces, shouting “You can’t touch me, I’m Syrian, Merkel wants me here!”

A subsequent federal police report described how “several thousand male persons with a migrant background” hurled fireworks and bottles into the crowds of revelers who had gathered in front of Cologne Cathedral to celebrate New Year: “In the course of the operation numerous crying and shocked women/girls approached officers and told them of sexual assaults by male migrants/groups. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to identify them anymore.” (This is a lie: the area is covered by dozens of security cameras, the attacks were captured on hundreds of cell phones, and the assailants were unmasked.) Similar attacks were subsequently reported in every major Germany city, as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France and Austria. Austrian police also tried to cover-up the violence in Salzburg and elsewhere over fears of “reprisal attacks on asylum seekers”; later they claimed that they kept silent “to protect the victims.”

Over a million migrants, overwhelmingly young Muslim men, arrived in Germany in 2015, and approximately half a million came to other EU countries. The consequences have been predictable all along, and they are rapidly becoming too drastic to be concealed. Muslims now account for approximately one-fifth of all men under the age of thirty in Germany. On current form, before too long, “half the under-40 population [may] consist of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants and their children.” These millions of young men bring with them attitudes to women which will not be changed by the host-countries’ “education campaigns.” Those attitudes are rooted in Islam’s holy texts and in 14 centuries of unbroken historical practice.

WESTERN ISLAMOPHILIAC APOLOGETICS AND PC propaganda notwithstanding, the original sources for “true” Islam—the Kuran and Hadith—provide ample and detailed evidence on Muhammad’s ideology and subsequent Shari’a practice regarding women…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Never Considered Taking Part in Nord Stream’ Says ENI

Says Descalzi

(ANSA) — Milan, January 11 — Energy giant ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi on Monday ruled out taking part in the Nord Stream natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. “We have never considered, we are not considering and we will not consider taking part in Nord Stream,” he said. After talks on energy issues between Premier Matteo Renzi and President Vladimir Putin on the phone last week, Italian media speculated Italy might try to get in on the Nord Stream project after the South Stream project was aborted because of sanctions on Russia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Civil Servants Get Jail for Absenteeism

Nine public employees ‘defrauded the State’

(ANSA) — Bologna, January 11 — Nine civil service employees were sentenced to 14 months in prison for defrauding the State, sources said Monday.

The nine employees of a Bologna industry ministry office were found to have engaged in chronic absenteeism, with colleagues punching each other in then going shopping or to the gym.

They were turned in by a fellow colleague.

They will also have to compensate the ministry, which was a civil plaintiff in the criminal proceedings against them.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Quarto Mayor ‘Won’t Resign’ Says Lawyer

Capuozzo ‘the injured party’

(see related)(ANSA) — Naples, January 11 — Beleaguered Quarto Mayor Rosa Capuozzo of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) “is totally at peace and will not resign” over a probe into alleged Camorra mafia infiltration of her administration, her lawyer said Monday. “She will continue to be mayor,” Stafano Paparella said. Capuozzo is resisting calls from all sides to step down after an M5S councillor in the town near Naples was ejected from the movement after being placed under investigation for allegedly taking Camorra votes in exchange for a public works project. The mayor herself is not under investigation in the probe.

Paparella said he had assisted Capuozzo during a police search of her home and office Monday. “We remain an injured party in the affair,” Paparella said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Swedish Police Withheld Reports of Sexual Assaults at Music Fest

Swedish police were criticised on Monday after admitting they failed to release information about alleged sexual assaults against women by young immigrants at a Stockholm summer music festival over the past two years.

There were 38 reports of rape and sexual assault filed after the We Are Sthlm festival, which uses the postal abbreviation for Stockholm, in 2014 and 2015, according to police.

The allegations were first made public in a report by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, citing internal police memos, and the events appear to mirror similar incidents on New Year’s Eve in the German city of Cologne.

“We certainly should have publicly released this information, no doubt. Why it did not happen we simply do not know,” police spokesman Varg Gyllander told AFP Monday…

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

Teen Accused of Stabbing Jewish Teacher in France With Machete Invoked ISIS

A teenager armed with a machete slashed a Jewish teacher in southern France on Monday, invoking the Islamic State group and saying he had also planned to go after police, a French prosecutor said.

The 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested soon after wordlessly attacking the teacher, who was injured in the outdoor attack in central Marseille, said Brice Robin, the Marseille prosecutor. The teen invoked Allah and the extremist group only after he was detained, saying “the Muslims of France dishonor Islam and the French army protects Jews.”

He attacked the teacher first from behind, slashing him in the shoulder, and then went after the man again as he tried to run away, Robin said…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]

The Polish-Hungarian Conspiracy Surrounding an ‘Alternative Germany’

Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met for six hours with Polish political patriarch Jaroslaw Kaczynski at Niedzica Castle in southern Poland. With virtually no details available on the meeting, journalists were quick to speculate, some suggesting that the two political outsiders were hatching a conspiracy.

In his analysis, recently published on the website of independent Russian news agency REGNUM, journalist Stanislav Stremidlovsky offered one of the more interesting takes on what transpired in the Polish castle.

“On January 6, in the southern Polish town of Niedzica, two men — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski — now considered to be the most powerful man in Poland, held a meeting,” the journalist writes.

“Orban had arrived for a private visit. His conversation with Kaczynski lasted nearly 6 hours, and such a length, apparently, was not planned for in advance. Polish Radio’s foreign service quoted PiS politician Joachim Brudzinski, who wrote [in his Twitter account] that ‘in the morning, none of us expected that this meeting would be finishing just now.’“

And “since the discussion between the two influential European politicians had no official status, their press services declined to comment or disclose any information on what was discussed. This air of mystery excited the Polish, Hungarian and European press alike. The air smelled of conspiracy in the spirit of the good old Europe of the start of the 20th century — what more could the media ask for amid the New Year holidays?”

Orban himself, Stremidlovsky noted, “only added to the mystery,” saying of his meeting with Kaczynski that “if one looks at our biographies, it’s clear that the head of Poland’s ruling party and I are fighters for freedom of a certain kind. Therefore, one could say that we are old friends, and I was very happy to visit my friend.”

“The Hungarian prime minister,” the journalist writes, “cannot but be complemented for his sarcasm. Both he and his Polish ‘old friend’ are now being targeted by ‘democratic forces’ in their own countries and in Europe.”

“Orban, of course, for longer. For several years now he has been accused of authoritarianism, the suppression of freedom in Hungary, and for his lack of a critical attitude toward Russia, the latter causing outrage in Poland at the beginning of last year.”

In February 2015, “on the eve of his visit to Warsaw, the Hungarian Prime Minister said that when it comes to the prospects of developing relations with Russia, the EU is strongly divided. On one side were Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria: ‘We believe that without cooperation with Russia, we cannot achieve our goals,’ Orban had said. On the other side were the Baltic states, Poland, and from across the ocean, Washington, arguing that it was necessary to ‘push Russia away from cooperating with the European Union.’ At the same time, Orban criticized European Council chairman Donald Tusk, Angela Merkel’s protégé.”

Back then, Stremidlovsky noted, the PiS, “the party of Orban’s ‘old friend’, accused the Hungarian prime minister of ‘acting against the unity of Europe on the issue of relations with Russia’.”

“At that time, the main front for Warsaw was in the East. Today, the new Polish authorities are faced with the fact that they will have to defend themselves mainly in the West. Berlin means business and is not going to limit its attacks on the PiS to Brussels. As the German media has reported, the ruling coalition in the Bundestag is considering the imposition of sanctions against the ‘Conservative government’ in Poland, which ‘continues to violate the principles of the rule of law, the separation of powers and the freedom of the press.’“

Speaking to Der Spiegel, Merkel ‘right hand’ CDU politician Volker Kauder suggested that Brussels must “find the courage to apply sanctions” against a defiant Poland if “European values are violated.”

“It is this type of thing,” Stremidlovsky writes, “that Orban unequivocally steps out against. The Hungarian prime minister has publically said that Budapest will never allow the EU to punish Poland. And this is not just a gesture, but a manifestation of the political course taken by Budapest.”

“As Austrian newspaper Der Standard has noted, Orban is working at the head of an ‘axis of nations in the EU’. According to the newspaper, the governments of Hungary, Poland and the UK are trying to slow down European integration. Budapest, Warsaw, and the other two countries in the Visegrad Group — the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are turning into a powerful union, whose activities are aimed at strengthening ‘national politics’ in the EU. And their main opponent sits in Berlin.”

Now, Stremidlovsky suggests, “it’s time to admit the obvious: we need a different Germany and different Germans. Chancellor Merkel, unfortunately, has demonstrated that Berlin finds it difficult to follow a moderate middle course. Germany slides either toward Nazism or toward a vulgar understanding of freedom and tolerance. Europe and the world need a more sensible Germany, one which is accommodating and tolerant, but at the same time able to firmly defend European values and the interests of the EU’s citizens.”

That ‘different Germany’, the journalist suggests, is Austria. “History has shown that the Austrian, and later, the Austro-Hungarian Empires, distinguished themselves with their ability to carry out reforms, with virtuous, but simultaneously firm national and religious policies, and with an understanding about who it was they were dealing with in the face of the Ottoman Empire.”

“Today too,” Stremidlovsky writes, “Austria demonstrates an enviably sanity which leads Central and European countries to turn in its direction. It’s worth recalling that last year, in the Bohemian castle of Slavkov, the prime ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia met and signed a declaration announcing the establishment of the Slavkov Triangle. Its objectives include the promotion of cooperation on transport infrastructure, energy security, youth employment, cross-border relations, the social dimensions of EU integration, and countries neighboring the EU.”

“As Polish Institute of International Affairs expert Dariusz Kawan noted at the time, Austria is pursuing a consistent policy of ‘building bridges’ between the EU and Russia. Vienna actively participated in work on the [now abandoned] South Stream pipeline, which would have allowed it to increase the importance of the Baumgarten gas hub, and considered sanctions against Russia to be unnecessary.”

Ultimately Stremidlovsky notes, “so long as Poland, under the previous government, adhered to a rigid anti-Russian rhetoric, this created problems within the Visegrad Group and for Poland’s relations with those European countries which did not consider it necessary to provoke a confrontation with Moscow.”

“Coincidence or not, but there is one more interesting nuance here: when taking into account the Europe’s dominant national religions, the continent’s Catholic countries tend to be more friendly toward Russia than Protestant ones. Up to now, Poland has remained the exception, an anomaly, to this rule. Now, Warsaw has a chance to take its worthy place in the ‘axis of nations in the EU’. It will find Hungary and Orban’s help useful. Moreover, the development of relations with Vienna via Budapest will show that the Poles are able to reach an agreement and get along with Germans, no matter what Berlin may think.”

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

Vigilantes Hunting for ‘Justice’ For New Year Sex Attacks Carry Out Beatings on Random Foreigners in Cologne…

…as officials admit the assaults WERE carried out by migrants

Vigilante mobs have been attacking Pakistani and Syrians in Cologne, leaving at least two in hospital, following calls on social media for ‘revenge’ in the wake of the New Years Eve assaults.

The attacks were carried out by groups of young men, allegedly specifically targeting foreigners, after reports Cologne police are focusing their investigation on asylum seekers and migrants.

More than 500 criminal complains have now been filed over the events outside Cologne’s famous cathedral on New Years Eve, where young women were sexually assaulted, raped and robbed.

Two Pakistani nationals were admitted to hospital after six men were attacked by a mob of 20 people near the city’s main train station — the scene of the New Years Eve attacks — on Sunday.

It is unclear what their condition is although the police are looking to press charges of ‘serious bodily harm’ against their attackers who kicked, beat and abused them verbally…

           — Hat tip: NP [Return to headlines]

Serbia and Russia: Rogozin in Belgrade for Weapons and Gas

Vice-premier attends Intergovernmental Committee

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — Weapons and gas are among the main topics of the talks between the Russian vice-premier Dmitri Rogozin and the Serb leadership today and tomorrow in Belgrade. Rogozin, who arrived in Belgrade Saturday night, took part in the meeting of the Serbian-Russian intergovernmental committee for trade and economic-technical co-operation. His goal is to carry out projects and agreements which Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic discussed with Russian leaders during his visit to Moscow last October. According to the Serbian daily, Blic, one of the goals of Rogozin’s mission in Belgrade is to buy a MiG-35 aircraft, and that’s not quite so easy for Serbia, taking into account that this aircraft is worth $ 27 million.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

15 Libyans Wounded at Zliten Treated in Italy

‘Gesture of solidarity’ says PM’s office

(ANSA) — Rome, January 11 — Fifteen Libyan cadets wounded in an ISIS terror attack at the northwestern coastal city of Zliten January 7 have been flown to Rome and are being treated at the Celio Policlinico hospital, sources said Monday. The suicide truck bomb killed at least 74 people. The humanitarian operation represents “a concrete gesture of solidarity and attention by Italy towards the Libyan people in a particularly delicate phase of the ongoing process of stabilisation in the country,” the premier’s office said Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Southern Terror Alert Lifted as Suspect Arrested

Israel Police have withdrawn a terror alert for southern Israel, after it was determined that the suspected terrorist did not manage to enter Israeli territory.

Earlier Monday morning, dozens of emergency checkpoints were erected in southern Israel, after the Shin Bet intelligence service put out an alert for a female Arab terrorist who they believed was on her way to commit an attack.

The checkpoints were put up from the Lachish area near the Hevron Hills through to Sderot, in locations including Ashdod, Ashkelon, the Gaza Belt Region and Sderot itself.

The suspect was identified as Hamad Diana, from the Palestinian Arab village of Kfar Sira.

However, shortly after police announced they had arrested a suspect who they believe was meant to transport the terrorist into Israeli-controlled territory.

[A bit close to home!]

           — Hat tip: MC [Return to headlines]

Syria: Moscow: Damascus Has Retaken 150 Cities Since Dec.

Russian aviation helps moderate rebels reconquer Raqqa

(ANSAmed) — MOSCOW, JANUARY 11 — Syrian troops have reconquered over 150 cities and villages from December through the start of January, according to Russian Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, who was quoted by Tass as saying that Russia’s air force is helping moderate rebels advance towards Raqqa, the Syrian capital of ISIS.

“In December 2015 — said the general — militants were kicked out of 134 villages and cities and from 19 other settlements in the first days of the new year”. In addition, according to Rudskoy, “the most significant successes were registered in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Homs and Raqqa”.

Meanwhile, Syrian ‘moderate’ rebels “are continuing to advance towards Raqqa”, the stronghold of ISIS in Syria, with the “support of the Russian aviation” and “travelled 50 kilometers advancing towards Palmyra”, conquering Mhasse and other villages.

“Groups of the Syrian democratic forces led by Ayman al-Ghanim over the past few days have conquered” several residential centers, said the general.

“The Russian aviation — said Rudskoy — provides support to patriotic forces fighting against international terrorists in Syrian territory. Now — noted the general — our planes are carrying out raids in the interest of 11 groups of the democratic opposition, which includes over 7,000 people”.

According to Rudskoy, moreover, “towards the south, the Desert Lions and Kalamun groups have advanced along over 50 kilometers with the support of the Russian aviation in their offensive on Palmyra and have conquered the populated areas of Zaza, Kessara and the city of Mhasse”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: For Patriarch Laham, Madaya is Hostage to Armed Gangs and Terrorists With Aid at Risk

Today the first convoy has left for the besieged city, where residents are starving. Food supplies should last at least a month. In the next few days, medical drugs and other necessities should arrive. However, there is a risk that hey might end up in the hands of Daesh and other groups. For Gregory III, the dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia threatens peace efforts.

Damascus (AsiaNews) — Madaya is a city “hostage to people living within in,” armed gangs and terrorist groups, as well as members of Daesh (Arabic acronym for the Islamic State), who use civilians as “human shields,” said Gregory III Laham, Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the prelate said that “contrary to recent media reports, 20,000, not 40,000 people still live in the town” fought over by government and rebel forces.

“As a Church, we don’t have access to the town,” he explained. “We know that sending aid is risky, because, like elsewhere, they often end up in the hands of criminal gangs and terrorist groups.”

Up to 4.5 million people in Syria live in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 400,000 people in 15 besieged locations who do not have access to life-saving aid. Madaya, 25 km north of Damascus, is one of them.

Since early July, the town has been besieged by government forces and their allies in Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement.

Although there are no updated figures on the number of victims, sources told Doctors Without Borders (MSF) that at least 23 people have died from hunger since 1 December 2015.

According to UN officials, credible witnesses have said that people have starved to death and others have been killed for trying to flee the area.

Today, after a long wait, a convoy left for Madaya, with food supplies to last a month for at least 20,000 people.

Residents had not received any aid since October. With food supplies dwindling, prices have hit the roof. A litre of milk sold on the black market can fetch more than US$ 200.

In the coming days, medical drugs and other essential non-food items are expected to arrive in the city.

Gregory III noted that situations like that in Madaya require careful consideration because the aid “could end up in the hands of terrorists, not the people”.

The situation of the city is very similar to that in Yarmouk, which the Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus in the past called a “shameful” case because of the silence of the international community.

“If food arrives, there is the risk that it will be seized,” His Beatitude explained. “The situation is complicated. The issue is not only that the government does not want to let aid in. It is an ongoing crime against the weakest, a war among the big that kills more and more of the weak.”

The patriarch hopes that aid “will reach the people”. As a Church, we appeal to the government and the opposition “not to forget people, life, which must be protected.”

The prelate hopes to see the international community implement the UN peace resolution on Syria reached in New York, despite the complications caused by the crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In this context of war and violence, “Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy is even more important,” the patriarch said, because it reminds people that “we must not let the fire of hope go out, that we must pray and work for peace and reconciliation.”

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

The West Sacrifices Free Press to Do Business With China

The great Chinese dissident warns that after the expulsion of the French reporter Ursula Gauthier: “The politicians of the Old Continent are already on the payroll of Xi Jinping. If we let him get his hands on foreign newspapers the fight for democracy in China has no future”. A word of advice from the author of the Democracy Wall, “We should begin to suspect most of the articles are dictated by Beijing.”

Washington (AsiaNews) — By observing the changes of the situation over the past year, we can roughly predict the situation for the New Year. Many media have various predictions of China in the aspects of economy, politics, etc. So I will not repeat someone else’s work. Now I want to give a supplement to look from a new perspective.

In the next two days, Ursula Gauthier, a French journalist expelled by the Chinese government, will have to leave the China that she loved. When I was in France, I talked with her at some friend’s home. She is really passionate about China, especially about Chinese people and Chinese culture. Moreover, unlike some reporters who pretend neutrality, she really is a reporter with a strong stand on human rights issues.

Further, she cares about human rights in China more than human rights in other countries, which might be due to her fluent Chinese. She must understand Chinese culture in depth, thus love the Chinese people as well. When I heard the news that she will be forced to depart China, my first reaction was: ah, how did the Communist regime even tolerate her spending six years in China?

Maybe the photograph of Xi Jinping in the background of her photo illustrates the issue. With a good understanding of Chinese culture, she learned a little cunning to protect herself — she learned to protect herself with camouflage like the Chinese people do, instead of talking of true thoughts without guarding of mouths like those in a free society in the West. That way will not let someone stay in China for six years. Or otherwise, one would just become like some other foreign reporters who become the mouthpiece of the deceptive propaganda of the Communist regime — both deceiving foreign readers, but also Chinese people when their reports were imported back to China.

As a foreign correspondent, one should not cheat one’s readers. This is the bottom line or the minimum moral charge of a reporter. Generally speaking, during the eras of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, reporters were accepted for standing above this basic bottom line. Regarding the articles written by the foreign correspondents that were published in foreign media, the Chinese government did not peruse the accountability in depth. To the most, they gave some warning from time to time, to demonstrate that it is not that the Chinese government does not know but just does not want to pursue it. Meanwhile, it also meant that the Chinese government still accepted freedom of speech of these foreign reporters in their own countries.

Since Xi Jinping came to power, he persecuted several foreign reporters and their media. That was because these media exposed the false anti-corruption campaign by Xi Jinping, even exposed the corruption of Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan themselves. Perhaps these materials were provided by their enemies within the Communist regime, leading to a suspicion of being involved in the struggle within the Communist Party, so it resulted in an even more intensified reaction.

But from these few cases, the Communist regime discovered a new world. That is in order to do business with China, the Western governments do not really care about the freedom of speech that their journalists should have enjoyed as in the West, or do not care if their journalists cheat their own people or not — maybe these governments hope their people are lied to after all.

Just as they got impatient with Chinese human rights issues in private, they may have told those reporters who have conscience: Do not use your little freedom to trouble our big business. We still need the support from our business community to get elected. Without the approval of the Communist regime, which company would dare to support my campaign? If I lost the support of several companies, I could lose my re-election as well. This is our big problem.

Now, many people who serve Xi Jinping once studied in the USA and have a better understanding of these deficiencies of the Western politics. They finally realized that they could use these flaws to control the Western politics and media. During the eras of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, they were very successful at applying this method to control and to influence the Western politics. Recently, Xi Jinping spent a lot of money in Western countries, for the same purpose to strengthen the control of this area.

But the Communist China has been spending a lot of money in the West for decades; why has it not been in full control of the Western politicians? There is a problem — the problem of the media. When the media is not fully controlled, the Western voters are not completely deceived. So politicians have great difficulty to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party, while politicians concerned about human rights have a great advantage to convince their voters.

During the recent election campaign in the USA, the candidates with most advantage have taken the China issue as a holy grail to attack their opponents, and force their opponents to change their positions and strengthen the attacks against the Communist regimes. This change shows that the effectiveness of the old policy has reduced; the approach of buying the Western capitalists by letting them take advantage of the Chinese market, thus being able to buy out the politicians indirectly is no longer enough. “Political reform” has to adopt new thinking in this regard.

This new thinking is to aim at the media, especially the reporters in China, and particularly the reporters who are fluent in Chinese. The idea is to keep those foreign reporters who dawdle their jobs because they do not know Chinese well enough and have to use the unified releases from the Xinhua News Agency. Combined with both incentives and penalties, with two-pronged soft and tough approaches, the Chinese government can control the foreign media to the level of 1970’s.

Back then, there were only two reporters of British and French origin who dared to meet me in Beijing, not even the American reporters dared. Their bosses and governments were peeking into the possibility of doing business in China. I guess that during Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the United States, he had revealed this stand to then US President Carter in exchange for his support of the invasion of Vietnam. Afterward, the open economy while maintaining authoritarian policies of Deng Xiaoping received a strong support from the United States, which probably was also negotiated in private at that time.

Now the situation is that Xi Jinping wants to return the domestic policy back to the Mao Zedong era. Of course, he also wants to return to the time when the false imagination of China by the Western leftists influenced the Western voters. Here is an important part of the effort: to make the Western media not know the truth about China. Preferably it should be the same as those years, when the reporters did not understand Chinese and thus could only read and pass the unified news releases by the Xinhua News Agency and press conferences.

Another very important aspect is that the Chinese people, even Chinese officials, do not believe Chinese media, but just believe foreign media. So to import back the intended “news” from abroad, is the only way to continuously deceive the Chinese people. Therefore, to control the Western media is not merely an issue of foreign diplomacy, but the full issue of whether the dictatorship could continue in China. This is the main task of Xi Jinping’s rule.

That they chose to attack the French correspondent is because France is a small country and has become increasingly weak over the years. Even ISIS chose to attack France first. So Xi Jinping will pick up the soft persimmon to pinch first and chose France as well. It seems Xi is very successful and soon will fully implement his new thinking to control the foreign media.

The advice I want to give to my Chinese friends is that not only should we not listen to the lies by the Communist media, we should also analyze what we hear from the Western media in the future. As we try to prevent ourselves from being cheated by the Communist regime, we must also prevent the deception of these foreign media that are being snatched by the Chinese government.

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

Italy: Nigerians Attack Train Conductor

Victim hospitalized, attackers arrested

(ANSA) — Salerno, January 11 — A train conductor on a regional rail line in Salerno province was hospitalized Monday after being attacked by a group of Nigerian asylum seekers, Carabinieri police said Monday.

Four suspects aged 25-30 were arrested and are being questioned with the help of translators and cultural mediators from the migrant reception center where they live.

The attack took place on the publicly-owned Trenitalia Mercato San Severino-Buccino line after the conductor asked the suspects, who boarded at Eboli, for their tickets.

They responded by pushing, kicking and slapping him, continuing the assault on the station platform while another fellow Nigerian filmed the entire thing on his cell phone.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Police Nab Man Convicted in Germany for Illegal Immigration

Sentenced to one year in prison for transporting migrants

(ANSA) — Milan, January 11 — Police in the Italian town of Seregno, just north of Milan, arrested a 35-year-old Romanian man on Monday who was wanted by German authorities for illegal transport of Syrian immigrants.

The man had been arrested last October in Germany while attempting to cross the country with nine Syrian immigrants packed into a van, having entered from Italy.

He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to one year in prison in Germany for aiding and abetting illegal immigration.

Following his conviction he evaded German authorities and returned to Italy, and is now in prison in Monza awaiting extradition.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Depenalisation of Immigration Not on Agenda Yet Says Renzi

Widespread perception of insecurity

(ANSA) — Rome, January 11 — The depenalisation of illegal immigration into Italy is no longer on the political agenda amid widespread perceptions of insecurity, Premier Matteo Renzi said on RAI TV Sunday night.

Cabinet was to have examined the move on January 15 but Renzi said that would not now happen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Says EU Must Welcome Refugees Despite Fears

Francis says child deaths indelibly impressed in minds, hearts

(ANSA) — Vatican City, January 11 — Pope Francis on Monday said the European Union must welcome refugees despite rising fears about terrorism and security.

The deaths of children in the Mediterranean were indelibly impressed in minds and hearts, he said.

Speaking to the Vatican diplomatic corps, Francis said that “the inevitable fear” spurred by the “serious migratory emergency” must be overcome in order to address “such a massive phenomenon which in 2015 has hit Europe above all, but also various regions in Asia and North and Central America”. Francis urged people to “discern the causes and map out solutions” to the emergency.

Europe must continue to take in migrants despite the “massive landings” and fears of terrorism” that “seem to shake” Europe’s reception system, the pope said. Europe must overcome “fears for security” and “not lose the foundations of its humanistic spirit,” he said. Francis paid “special thanks” to Italy for “saving so many lives in the Mediterranean”.

Francis renewed an appeal to “stop people trafficking, which turns human beings into a commodity, especially the weakest and most defenceless.” He told the diplomatic corps that “the images of children dead at sea are indelibly impressed in our minds and hearts”. Francis has repeatedly urged action to stop migrant disasters in the Mediterranean.

The pope said the Holy See hopes the first World Humanitarian Summit at the United Nations in May can “succeed, amid the sad daily picture of conflicts and disasters, in decisively overcoming the throwaway culture”. Francis told the ambassadors to the Vatican that “we all look with hope to the important steps taken by the international community to reach a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, to put an end to the suffering, which has lasted too long, of the population”. He also said only “common action” can defeat terrorism and extremism. In other remarks, the pontiff said the recent inauguration of the Jubilee in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital of Bangui “gave a sign of encouragement” to CAR and reiterated that “those who believe in God must be men of peace”. Only a “deviated and ideological form of religion,” he said, can justify “massacres” in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Francis also sent a message to the national anti-usury board invoking the Holy Spirit to help “fight with all [our] force to defeat the widespread social plagues of usury and gambling”. The board, which is a consultative body, aims to coordinate efforts to fight usury and loan-sharking in all their forms.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Reuters: 600 Criminal Complaints Filed by Germans on Sexual Assaults by Migrants

Attacks on women in Cologne and other German cities on New Year’s Eve have prompted more than 600 criminal complaints, with police suspicion resting on asylum seekers, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel and her open door migrant policy.

The attacks, mostly targeting women and ranging from theft to sexual molestation, have prompted a highly-charged debate in Germany about its welcoming stance for refugees and migrants, more than one million of whom arrived last year.

The sudden nature of the violent attacks and the fact that they stretched from Hamburg to Frankfurt prompted Germany’s justice minister Heiko Maas to speculate in a newspaper that they had been planned or coordinated.

The debate on migration will be further fueled by the acknowledgement by the authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia that a man shot dead as he tried to enter a Paris police station last week was an asylum seeker with seven identities who lived in Germany.

In Cologne, police said on Sunday that 516 criminal complaints had been filed by individuals or groups in relation to assaults on New Year’s Eve, while police in Hamburg said 133 similar charges had been lodged with the north German city.

Frankfurt also registered complaints, although far fewer…

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Swedish Police Probe ‘Cover up of Migrant Sex Assaults’

Police in the Swedish capital Stockholm have launched an internal investigation into accusations that the force covered up widespread sexual assaults by mostly migrant youths at a music festival.

In a case echoing recent attacks in Cologne, a group of men reportedly groped girls at the We Are Sthlm event.

Police ejected 200 people from the site in August but did not mention assaults in their reports to the press.

Sweden was the first country to offer permanent residence to Syrian refugees.

Internal memo

The allegations relate to both the 2014 and 2015 editions of the festival.

Following the most recent event, a police spokesperson told local media: “There have been relatively few crimes and few taken into custody considering how many participants there were.”

Varg Gyllander, head of communications for Stockholm police, admitted the force “should have communicated” details about the alleged sexual assaults.

“I actually do not know why it did not happen,” Mr Gyllander told Radio Sweden. “Police have, as I understand the information I have been given, done a pretty big job there. A number of people have been removed due to harassment of women.”

The omission from the police’s account of the event came to light in an internal police memo leaked to Dagens Nyheter, which recorded that police identified 50 suspects and removed 200 people from the event over its five days…

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

28 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/11/2016

  1. re. machete attack in France
    This story reminded me of the Rwanda genocide. Nearly 1 million Tutsis were massacred in 100 days and he weapon of choice was the machete. In addition to that, 250,000 women were raped and many by HIV positive men. In the light of events on NYE and given the sheer numbers of recent “refugees”, 95% of whom are single men of fighting age, it seems to me that they don’t need guns to kill us. Unarmed Europeans are sitting ducks for a Rwanda style slaughter.

  2. Taharrush gamea – Collective harassment
    The multi muslim harrassment of Western women comes with a name

    Arabian lands know this phenomena for quite some time, according to
    Die Welt

    “”Such crimes are committed by groups of young men… mostly when there are large gatherings of people, such as demonstrations. They range from sexual harassment to rape,” the BKA told Welt.”

    “German police fear repeats of the Cologne New Year’s Eve sexual assaults, saying extra attention will now be paid to fighting similar attacks. Police used the Arab term ‘taharrush gamea’ (collective harassment) to categorize the assaults – causing an angry reaction on Twitter.” (RT)

    • The phenomenon “Tahar Rush Game” has arrived in Germany”

      Sexual harassment and raping of “naked innocent” European girls did not arrive in Europe on its own…. It was invited with open arms by our elected traitors. Even invaders themselves are not responsible at all. A wolf is “designed” to hunt innocent gazelle. A snake and a scorpion . . . we know they sting and bite. Do you invite a copra or a rattle snake into your kids’ bedroom even if the snake is a “refugee” and his abode is ruined by someone. ?

      A snake is treacherous no matter how many years you keep him on dole and give him shelter. I’d rather leave the snake alone and die rather than sacrifice one of the family to him.

      Is that very difficult to understand by the elected Traitors?

      • No, refugees are not snakes. Refugees come in all sorts, just like any other human being. Unlike snakes, human beings are quite versatile.

        • Refugee is a term related to war and people seeking security. A refugee goes to the nearest place where he is secure from the war he is seeking refuge from.

          Today, the word “refugee” it is used about welfare migrants and invaders, more than anything.

  3. “Varg Gyllander, head of communications for Stockholm police, admitted the force “should have communicated” details about the alleged sexual assaults.”

    Of dear! Sweden’s code of silence has been exposed. Another Police official admitted they didn’t want to report such sex attacks as it would give fuel to the Sweden Democrats. So that’s an admission of a totally politicized Police force.

    • I think it has more to do with pragmatic management i.e. don’t pour petrol on a fire, but catch the criminals without inflaming law & order breakdown further.

      • And the duty of the authorities to warn their citizens about a clear and present danger? You do realize that being silent about these attacks slows the awareness from spreading that the people need to take care?

        • I take your point, but it has to be done carefully & at an appropriate time, perhaps longer term.

          The horrific abuses in care homes of innocent children highlight a dereliction of duty & humanity.

      • Your “pragmatic management” is exactly what the Council and Police did to hide the abuse of young girls at Rotherham by muslim Pakistani men. The secrecy you so clearly support allowed the predators to escape justice for years and hundreds of extra victims were the result of the moral cowardice from those who should protect the weak.

  4. In Sweden
    Lithuanian Arminas Pileckas (15) stabbed to death at Swedish school by Ahmad (14), allegedly recently arrived from Syria.

    Alleged motive, Ahmad’s honor had been hurt, according to his father, when the victim Arminas had protected a girl hitting back at Ahmad when he had been harassing her. So, as a consequence, everybody is to blame for not restoring Ahmad’s “honor”, according to the Ahmad father.

    The homicide took place at Göingeskolan in Broby in Skåne, South Sweden, where as many as 160 new immigrants seem to have been enrolled over the last 18 months.

    The Ahmad, allegedly, went straight to the bench where Arminas was sitting with his girlfriend classmates, and stabbed him in the heart. Arminas was later pronounced dead in hospital.

    This happened during the time of the very Swedish Lucia celebration, around December 13.

    • The homicide happened on January 11 2016.
      The harassment goes back to Lucia, in December 2015.

    • If Ahmad’s father believes this is reasonable and support’s Ahmad’s murderous actions, shouldn’t his children be removed from him by Child Protective Services, lest he infect them with his madness as well?

      • The School Inspection never received any complaints about any bullying leading up to the incident at Göingeskolan, according to Lotta Kårlind, Manager at Skolinspektionen, although in general they have been paying closer attention to this school lately, based on surveys from parents and pupils.

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