Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/31/2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she expects the “refugees” from Syria and Iraq to return home once their countries are at peace again, carrying with them the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their stay in Germany. Meanwhile, the latest polls shows that her party, the CDU, has lost an additional two percent in its approval rating with voters.

In other news, the kinetic activists of Boko Haram attacked a village near Maiduguri in Nigeria, killing scores of people and burning the village to the ground. The incident had nothing to do with Islam.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, Ilia Toli, Insubria, JD, Upananda Brahmachari, 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
» Italy: Public Debt to Drop This Year Says Padoan
» No Instant Cure for Italy Banks Says S&P
» Company Behind LA’s Methane Leak Sued by California Air Regulator
» FBI Negotiates With Defiant Oregon Refuge Holdouts
» Forget ‘We’ll Remember in November’ — It’s the Primaries
» The Latest: Family Friend: Murdered Girl Was an “Angel’
» The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen for His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties
Europe and the EU
» Britain’s New £1bln Warships Breaking Down Because of Engine Troubles
» IRA Terrorist Behind 1993 Belfast Bombing Was ‘MI5 Informant’ — Leaked Documents
» Italy: Police Find 300,000 Euros in Cash Held by Arrested Tax Judge
» Italy: Monti, Ex S&P CEO Testify in Trani
» New Study Unable to Outline Benefits of TTIP
» Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras
» UK: Cameron Orders Review of Alleged Bias Against Minorities in Justice System
» UK: Top Doctors Blow Whistle on EU Health Tourists Who Bleed NHS Dry
» US Seeks to ‘Tame Europe’ Drifting Toward Normalizing Ties With Russia
North Africa
» Libyan Failure: Why US Spies Losing to Their European, Russian Counterparts
Israel and the Palestinians
» Israeli Justice Minister Shaked: ‘We Will Not Commit Suicide’
» Shooting Wounds 3 Israelis in West Bank, Attacker Killed
Middle East
» Daesh’s 120 Days of Hell: Russia’s Success on Syrian Battlefield and Beyond
» Nobel Laureate Pamuk Chides EU for Ignoring Turkey’s Rights Record
» Saudi Police Arrest 9 American ‘Terror’ Suspects: Report
» Turkish Fighter Who Bragged About Killing Russian Pilot Appears at Istanbul Militant’s Funeral
» Yazidi Girls Subjected to ‘Virginity Tests’ After Escaping Daesh
» Russian Jet Flies Within 15 Feet of US Spy Plane
» Special ISIS Cells Preparing Terror Attacks in Europe and Russia — Russian Anti-Terrorism Body
South Asia
» Intolerant TNTJ’s “Anti Shirk Conference” In Trichy Declares All-Out War Against All un-Islamic and Hindu Practices in India
» Russia to Keep Share of Indian Arms Market Despite ‘Shadow CIA’ Claims
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Scores Feared Dead in Boko Haram Attack Near Maiduguri
Latin America
» Chile President Tearful as Daughter in Law Charged
» Mexican Oil Revenues Drop by Over 70%
» 10,000 Kids Missing in EU as Criminals ‘Exploit’ Migrant Flow — Europol Chief of Staff
» Dutch Police Threaten Whites
» European Petrol Tax: Will EU Drivers be Forced to Pay for Refugees?
» German Vice Chancellor Urges Surveillance of Right-Wing Party
» German Women Take Self-Defense Classes to Fend Off Migrants
» Italian PM Pledges to Save Schengen, Europe From Destruction
» London to Ask Brussels to Tighten EU ‘Emergency Brake’ Policy — Reports
» Merkel Says Expects Most Refugees to Go Home Once Safe to Do So
» Renzi, Merkel ‘United Amid Disagreements’
» Support for Merkel Dips to 2012 Low as Populists Gain Traction: Survey
» ‘We Will Not Allow Them to Destroy Europe’: Renzi
Culture Wars
» Op-Ed: Postmodern Cultural Totalitarianism Has Changed the Very Nature of Man

Italy: Public Debt to Drop This Year Says Padoan

Italy banks ‘still standing in spite of ordeal’

(ANSA) — Monza, January 29 — Italy’s public debt is expected to start dropping this year, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Friday. “We are in 2016, that is, a turning point because we expect debt to come down,” he said. The government as well as other institutions — such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — are expected to make this happen, Padoan said. The other variables are growth and the job market, he said.

The economy minister went on to say that Italy’s banking system is solid in spite of its problems.

“It went through a profound crisis and it’s still standing in spite of the ordeal,” he said.

Italy’s banks are holding 200 billion euros’ worth of non-performing loans, Padoan said.

“But there is some coverage for this enormous number, and ours is above the European average,” Padoan said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

No Instant Cure for Italy Banks Says S&P

Outlook stable

(ANSA) — Rome, January 29 — The ongoing economic recovery and government reforms are creating “opportunities” for Italy’s banks but “there is no instant cure” for them, Standard & Poor’s credit ratings agency said Friday in a report on the Italian banking system. “We now expect Italian economic recovery to gain momentum in 2016,” the agency said.

S&P pointed to three weaknesses in the Italian credit system: a high rate of non-performing loans, structural rigidity and low efficiency, and fragmentation leading to difficulties achieving economies of scale.

The government’s reform of the so-called ‘popolari’ or cooperative banks should lead to “consolidation between regional and local banks”, the report said.

S&P said authorities will likely be able to sell four rescued cooperative banks, and the ongoing economic recovery will be good for the banking sector as a whole.

The government’s new public guarantee on non-performing loans (GACS, in its Italian acronym) is a positive move but will likely find restoring bank balances to health a slow and uphill battle, the agency’s report said.

This is why the S&P outlook on Italy’s banks remains stable, the agency said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Company Behind LA’s Methane Leak Sued by California Air Regulator

The gas company behind the “mini-Chernobyl” methane leak in California is facing a $25 million lawsuit from the state’s air regulator seeking penalties for “each and every day” of the biggest natural gas leak in US history.

Based on six alleged violations, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is asking for up to $440,000 per day from the Southern California Gas Co. in compensation for the damage caused by the Los Angeles County leak, which has been ongoing since at least October 23, when it was first reported.

The months-long leakage from an underground gas storage reservoir in Aliso Canyon has emitted critical amounts of methane, leading to the evacuation of over 4,000 families in the northwest San Fernando Valley. The incident also triggered the declaration of a state of emergency by California Governor Jerry Brown on January 6.

According to January 19 estimates by the Environmental Defense Fund, SoCal’s Aliso Canyon storage field has leaked 62 million cubic feet of methane into the air daily since the end of October.

“Natural gas in its pure state is mostly methane. The natural gas leaking from Well 12 SS-25 contains tetra-butyl mercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene. These are odorants that produce 13 highly offensive rotten-egg odors,” the SCAQMD said in the lawsuit, while stressing the health effects of short-term exposure to the chemicals.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Negotiates With Defiant Oregon Refuge Holdouts

Passing the courthouse, protesters yelled “murderer” and “FBI go home.”

The FBI negotiated with four armed occupants at a remote federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday while the holdouts in a video posted online expressed their mistrust of the government and reluctance to leave.

One of the four protesters remaining at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge said in a darkly lit video posted on Friday that he wanted to be assured he would not be arrested if he left. Others with him expressed similar sentiments.

Tensions in the standoff remained high four days after Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 54, a spokesman for the group that seized buildings at the refuge on Jan. 2, was killed by police during the arrests of occupation leader Ammon Bundy and several other protesters as they traveled on a highway.

Supporters staged a rally in the nearby ranching community of Burns on Saturday night. About 30 pick-up trucks and other vehicles honked horns and waved flags — U.S., Confederate and Gadsden — as they drove. Passing the courthouse, protesters yelled “murderer” and “FBI go home.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Forget ‘We’ll Remember in November’ — It’s the Primaries

“Nature gave man two ends — one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then, man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.” —George R. Kirkpatrick (1867-1937) Lecturer

‘We’ll remember in November’ has been the rallying cry every two years by millions of Americans. Of course, too many don’t understand by November it’s too late. Rewarding Crooks and Incompetents, May 11, 2009

Find out who is challenging your congressional incumbent (same thing for your state rep and senator) in the upcoming primaries. Then you have to do like I did — which is time consuming — look up their ‘for Congress’ web site and go through them one by one. Get out there and help beat rotten congressional incumbents.

Here is a list of 150 incumbents Republicans, House and Senate, who betrayed YOU, your children and grand children on amnesty — they all need to get thrown out of Congress. The only way to get that done is to get out on primary day in your state and vote. There’s still time to sign up and volunteer for a good challenger because they don’t have the kind of money (well, most don’t) incumbents do and if they don’t have volunteers to walk the district getting the candidate’s message to voters, there’s no chance.

I guarantee you if the same congressional incumbents win their primaries odds are heavily in favor for that incumbent in November and NOTHING will change. Republican or Democrat, NOTHING will change except for the worse. I’ll say it again as I have said so many times: Do people expect change and problems solved by reelecting the same incumbents who never got the job done in all the years they’ve been in Congress?

Right now the major focus is on Iowa and the presidential candidates, but primaries are also for congressional seats, your state capitol and any other offices like city council, sheriff or judges. If you don’t know who is running for a particular office, use a search engine. Example: Texas primary candidates secretary of state. That took me to this page which gives you all candidates on your primary ballot.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Latest: Family Friend: Murdered Girl Was an “Angel’

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The latest in the death of missing Blacksburg teen Nicole Madison Lovell (all times local):


4 p.m.

A close friend of Nicole Lovell’s family says the 13-year-old was an energetic girl who got along with everyone.

Davy Draper says he’s a close friend of Lovell’s father and knew the girl most of her life.

He said she had a liver transplant when she was a child and required daily medication. He described her as “an angel on Earth.”

Two Virginia Tech students have been charged in connection with Lovell’s murder. Her body was found Saturday just over the border in North Carolina.


3 p.m.

A state police spokeswoman says officials are searching a pond on the Virginia Tech campus in connection with the death of Nicole Madison Lovell.

Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Sunday that a search and recovery team is combing a pond on the Blacksburg campus. She would not say what they are trying to find.

Police announced Sunday that they have arrested a second Virginia Tech student in connection with Lovell’s death.

Lovell’s body was found Saturday afternoon, when Virginia State Police located her remains in Surry County, North Carolina, just over the Virginia border.


2:30 p.m.

A former teammate of the Maryland man charged in the death of a 13-year-old Virginia girl says he was a good student who never got into any trouble.

Joe Keating, who was a co-captain alongside David Eisenhauer on the track team at their Maryland high school, Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, said he’s “appalled” by the news that the 18-year-old has been charged with the death of Nicole Madison Lovell.

Keating described Eisenhauer as a normal kid who enjoyed school and never started any problems. Keating said all of his friends are “in total shock.”

Eisenhauer is being held at the county jail on one count of first-degree murder and one count of abduction…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen for His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties

ISB is a curious choice for Obama’s first domestic visit

The Baltimore mosque President Obama has chosen as the first U.S.-based mosque to visit during his presidency has deep ties to extremist elements, including to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The White House announced on Saturday that Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) on Wednesday. He has visited several mosques overseas as president but has resisted visiting one in the homeland. The purpose of the trip, according to the White House, is to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”

But ISB is a curious choice for Obama’s first domestic visit.

The mosque is a member of a network of mosques controlled by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim civil rights group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror case. Several executives with that organization were convicted of sending money to aid the terrorist group Hamas.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Britain’s New £1bln Warships Breaking Down Because of Engine Troubles

The Type 45 British destroyers deemed to be the best warships in the world are constantly facing operating failures and need modernization that will boost their enormous building cost.

The six destroyers of the British Royal Navy costing over a billion pounds each keep breaking down, the BBC reported.

The warships regularly face failures of the electrical systems caused by power-hungry generators, according to sources from the Royal Navy. Running all systems simultaneously can simply de-energize a vessel, leaving it with no power to operate and take part in a combat.

The problem first arose when the engine of the warship Dauntless failed during exercises in 2014.

The defense ministry then dubbed the issue a “teething problem,” but now it has admitted it’s an issue that could potentially lead to disastrous consequences for the crew while in battle.

The military is now looking for a chance to “upgrade the ships’ diesel generators to add greater resilience to the power and the propulsion system,” according to the report. To solve the problem engineers stepped up with the idea of cutting large holes in the vessels to equip them with additional generators.

To keep the country’s maritime power, authorities in London aim to repair one unite at once leaving the rest in service. The work on the destroyers is projected to begin in 2019.

Defense ministry officials haven’t announced how much the repair will cost to the government. According to a Royal Navy officer, the price of such a refit could reach tens of millions pounds.

The first Type 45 destroyer was handed down to the British fleet in 2009. Because of the need to fix the faults, construction costs have surged. So London was pushed to purchase only six vessels of the original dozen.

BAE Systems which designed the destroyers claimed them to be the most powerful warships in the world.

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

IRA Terrorist Behind 1993 Belfast Bombing Was ‘MI5 Informant’ — Leaked Documents

Northern Ireland’s police watchdog is investigating allegations that the IRA operative who planned the 1993 Shankhill Road bombing was an MI5 informant who gave intelligence that could have helped security forces stop the atrocity.

Nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the attack on a fish shop in Belfast’s loyalist heartland in 1993. The bombing became one of the most notorious atrocities of The Troubles, prompting a wave of sectarian revenge murders in its wake.

Some 23 years after the attack, allegations have surfaced that sensitive documents stolen by the Irish Republican Army in a 2002 raid on the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) headquarters in Castlereagh show that the terrorist who planned the bombing was a British intelligence agent codenamed “AA.”

Excerpts of the stolen files indicate that AA had extensively briefed his Special Branch or MI5 handlers on the objective and timing of the bombing, which had been designed to stoke sectarian anger by murdering the leader of loyalist terror group the Ulster Defense Association (UDA).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Police Find 300,000 Euros in Cash Held by Arrested Tax Judge

Judge accused of corruption in judicial acts

(ANSA) — Milan, January 28 — Italian finance police have seized 267,000 euros in cash held by an Italian tax judge who they have accused of corruption in judicial acts in a case linked to the company Swe-Co.

The cash was found in two security boxes, and was divided in envelopes that were distinctly related to their supplier, said preliminary judge Manuela Cannavale.

Police said they also found large sums of cash at the home and offices of the judge, Luigi Vassallo, bringing the total to about 300,000 euros.

Wiretaps and testimony from a secretary working at Vassallo’s office helped lead police to the cash discoveries. Vassallo was arrested on Thursday along with judge Marina Seregni, who is also accused of corruption.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti, Ex S&P CEO Testify in Trani

Rating agency accused of ‘misleading markets’

(ANSA) — Trani, January 29 — Former premier Mario Monti testified for the prosecution Friday at a trial into alleged market manipulation by ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

In October 2014, prosecutors in the Puglia city of Brindisi indicted five managers and analysts from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) plus the agency itself on charges of deliberately misleading financial markets with reports on Italy.

S&P in January 2012 downgraded Italy from A to BBB+, and Corriere della Sera reporter Marco Galluzzo cited Monti as saying at the time that the move was tantamount to “an attack on Europe”.

Monti however denied saying those words in a 2014 statement to prosecutors.

Also testifying for the prosecution are former S&P Italy CEO Maria Pierdiccchi, and Galluzzo.

Pierdicchi allegedly said in a 2011 wiretapped conversation that S&P analysts weren’t capable of managing Italy’s ratings.

“I wasn’t referring to their analytical skills, but to their mental and psychological endurance” due to the fact that S&P analysts in Greece and Spain had gotten death threats at the time, she explained today on the stand.

“Downgrading a country causes negative consequences,” Monti said today on the stand.

The case follows a lawsuit stemming from 2011-2012 reports questioning Italy’s creditworthiness and lowering its rating.

The reports in question were issued between May 2011 and January 2012, at the height of the eurozone debt crisis when Italy looked to be in danger of a Greek-style financial meltdown.

They included a report issued on January 13, 2012, in which the United States-based S&P downgraded Italy’s sovereign debt rating by two notches from A to BBB+.

That same day, S&P also lowered its rating on several Italian banks in findings that another employee at the ratings agency disagreed with in an email, seized by authorities and given to Trani prosecutor Michele Ruggiero.

The defendants are charged with aggravated market manipulation to the detriment of a sovereign State and causing massive economic damage.

S&P has called the charges “completely unfounded”.

Complaints against S&P were initially raised by a group of 10 consumers and the Italian consumer association Adusbef, now a civil plaintiff in the suit.

Prosecutors say at least four ratings reports were involved and allege these were deliberately aimed at distorting market opinion on the risks involved in buying Italian bonds as well as the viability of Italian efforts to deal with the crisis that hit sovereign bond markets extremely hard.

Ratings by the influential international agencies have a significant effect on the cost of borrowing for businesses and government, and also have an impact on the size of government deficit and debt.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Study Unable to Outline Benefits of TTIP

A new report focusing on the economic opportunities and key aspects of the hotly-contested Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement seems to simply repeat the awkward predictions of a 2013 study.

A study on the TTIP, published in 2013 by the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) on behalf of the European Commission, forecast that the controversial trade deregulation deal currently in negotiation between the EU and the US, would significantly boost the economies of both parties. But the projected figures (€119 billion for EU and €95 billion for US) turned out to correlate only with an absolutely best-case scenario, and that forecast extra 0.5 percent boost for the EU economy was worked out to to be an extra GDP growth of a miniscule 0.05 percent per year.

The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU) recently sponsored a new report entitled “TTIP and the EU Member States: An assessment of the economic impact of an ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership at the EU Member State level.” The new study, according to contributing policy editor at Ars Technica, Glyn Moody, writing in an op-ed for the technology news website, simply mirrors the apparent bias of the earlier CEPR research and does not provide evidence strong enough to justify ratifying the TTIP.

The most telling evidence that the new study is merely a rehash is its prediction of EU and US economic boosts at exactly the same levels as the previous report. Moody notes that the new AmCham EU report used the same assumptions and methodology as the previous study. According to the editor, the only significant difference in the creation of the report is the lengthening of the time scale, from ten to 14 years, a change that makes the average additional GDP per year even less, at about a 0.035 percent annual increase, a number so small as to render the data point inconsequential.

After analyzing the report, Moody concluded that it unsurprisingly highlights the pretty aspects of the deal but ignores the many uncomfortable issues. Included in the biased fact-finding, the report suggests that exports will increase for all TTIP member states. But a core assumption in the methodology adopted by the AmCham EU study is that any increase in exports must be exactly matched by a corresponding increase in imports, an important point neglected by the deal’s negotiators. Accordingly, the AmCham EU report doesn’t find imports a topic worth discussing.

“So far, the AmCham EU report has mirrored CEPR’s work, both in terms of its results and its problems-one of which is that neither report considers the costs of TTIP, only the benefits,” Moody wrote.

Moody cited a description in the report of a 2014 consultation held by the European Commision (EC) on investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), an attractive corporate liability enhancement feature which would allow companies to sue nation-states over regulations and sovereign laws that could be interpreted by that company as potentially causing a net loss of profit. The new study briefly mentioned the “overwhelming” negative reaction from the public, which forced the EC to identify four topics requiring further discussion.

“The “negative answers,” according to Moody, are portrayed as little more than trivial nuisances that the EC has dealt with in addressing the four topics, all of which completely ignored a key point: millions of Europeans signed a petition stating that they did not want ISDS in any form. Moody noted that, “there is no discussion of that fact in the new study.”

The recent CEPR report contains many of these kinds of peculiarities, he said. For instance, fully 80 percent of the tiny best-case scenario projected annual GDP boost is assumed to come from the removal of “non-tariff barriers,” which include regulations protecting the environment and the online privacy of European citizens. If the barriers are not removed, the profit from the implementation of the TTIP will be even less than the annual 0.035 percent.

In Moody’s view, the report proves that even in the most favorable circumstances, the “ambitious” deal will bring only vanishingly small economic gains for both the EU and US, while simultaneously presenting a clear and present danger, not only to the rights of ordinary citizens, but also to the laws of sovereign nations.

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

Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

A scientist sought the Vatican’s approval for mixing human cells in animal embryos. And the Pope said yes.

A Spanish scientist working at the Salk Institute in California told Scientific American that Pope Francis personally blessed his cutting-edge research to mix human cells into animal bodies.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a prominent stem-cell biologist, is engaged in efforts to grow human tissue inside of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, and cows. This type of research is sensitive because scientists have to inject human stem cells into early-stage animal embryos, then try to grow the mixtures inside surrogate animals.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Cameron Orders Review of Alleged Bias Against Minorities in Justice System

UK Prime Minister David Cameron ordered on Sunday to make a review of the country’s criminal justice system to investigate into possible bias against black and minority ethnic (BAME) defendants.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the government data, BAME people make up more than a quarter of all prisoners, while they represent only 14 percent of the country’s population. BAME individuals also receive custodial sentences more often than white criminals.

The review is expected to present recommendations to make sure that all defendants within the criminal justice system are treated equally and to reduce the proportion of BAME individuals in it.

“I have asked David Lammy MP to lead a review of the over-representation of defendants from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in the criminal justice system. And this will include examining possible sentencing and prosecutorial disparity,” Cameron said in a statement.

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

UK: Top Doctors Blow Whistle on EU Health Tourists Who Bleed NHS Dry

European health tourists are milking the NHS for expensive treatments, drugs and dialysis by claiming they are UK residents on the day they arrive in the country, top doctors reveal today.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Seeks to ‘Tame Europe’ Drifting Toward Normalizing Ties With Russia

The US European Command published its revamped military doctrine which places emphasis on deterring the “Russian threat.” According to military political analyst Andrei Koshkin, the US seeks to draw Europeans’ attention from the migrant crisis and make them obedient once more.

The US European Command has listed deterrence of the “Russian threat” among its top priorities, its updated military doctrine revealed.

The author of the document is EUCOM Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove.

The document describes Russia as the principal threat for “its disregard for the sovereignty of its neighbors in Europe and its violation of numerous agreements” as well as building its forces in the Arctic Region and acting beyond the EUCOM sphere of responsibility, particularly in Syria.

“Russia is presenting enduring challenges to our allies and partners in multiple regions; therefore, it is a global challenge that requires a global response,” the doctrine read.

This is a dramatic change against the 2012 strategy which presented Russia as a potential partner to establish cooperation on the key issues.

Andrei Koshkin, head of the political science department of the Russian Economic University, said that with statements about the “Russian aggression,” the US tries to pressure Europe.

“The point is that the migrant crisis has shocked Europe, and the US needs myths to shake Europe up and make it believe that this is Washington that can protect it from ‘Russian aggression.’ All of the above were put in the updated EUCOM doctrine. It is the old fears that have just been refreshed. We are in an information war, and these myths are used to change the situation,” he told Radio Sputnik.

He underscored that the current developments in Europe are complicated.

“At a time when many European nations are nearing collapse due to the migrant crisis which was provoked by the US policy in the Middle East, the US needs to turn Europeans’ focus on the ‘Russian aggression.’ Americans wants to tame Europe which has begun to realize the roots of the crisis,” Koshkin explained.

According to the analyst, implementing its strategy, the US will try to “reverse” Russia’s successes.

“They will organize various drills and maneuvers on land, in the sea and air which will be aimed against Russia. And all our advances in Syria will be presented as aggression. The legitimate maintenance of security in the Arctic will also be considered an act of aggression,” he pointed out.

At the same time he expressed confidence that relations between Russia and Europe would normalize.

“Europe has repeatedly stated it would like to lift its anti-Russian sanctions, and these statements are not groundless. I’m sure Europe will remove its sanctions against Russia, and we will work together in dealing with problems. It’s sad that the US tries to interfere while Europe is drifting toward Russia. Washington is mad about that,” Koshkin concluded.

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

Libyan Failure: Why US Spies Losing to Their European, Russian Counterparts

Who works better in the foreign environment, American or Russian intelligence servicemen, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi asks, commenting on how to prevent another Benghazi disaster.

Although Washington spends a pretty penny on its Foreign Service and the intelligence community, which cost $50 billion and an estimated $80 billion respectively, the services do not work effectively enough due to hidden flaws in training and doctrine, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi notes.

“To be sure, no one has invaded the United States since Pancho Villa in 1916, but every war fought after 1945 has been either unnecessary, inconclusive, or a failure while the intelligence community is repeatedly caught flat footed in terms of anticipating the moves of both competitors and enemies,” Giraldi writes in his article for The American Conservative.

The CIA veteran recalls the 2012’s Benghazi attack that resulted in the death of four Americans, including J. Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya.

Referring to an interview given by the officer in charge of the CIA’s Benghazi base to The Washington Post, Giraldi underscores that “part of the delay in sending off the team [to save Ambassador Stevens]… consisted of attempting to contact local Libyan militias for clarification of what was occurring as well as for armed assistance, if needed.”

Giraldi calls attention to the fact that the officer spoke neither Pashto nor Arabic. According to the CIA veteran it had obviously complicated the officer’s task to find out what was going on on the ground.

“…he was not an ideal choice for the position because he would be in a highly volatile environment working through an interpreter and in all likelihood the interpreter would be someone provided by the local militias or even someone who walked into the compound and who could speak good English,” Giraldi emphasizes.

A strikingly similar incident occurred in 2009, at Camp Chapman, near Khost in Afghanistan, claiming the lives of seven CIA officers.

The crux of the problem is that the US intelligence service does not have a sufficient number of operatives and team-leaders with the knowledge of local languages and environment in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

“…one would think that after 15 years of the global war on terror someone might have figured out a solution,” Giraldi notes, adding that, unfortunately, US military and intelligence officers do not rush to learn foreign tongues, since “language training is not particularly career enhancing.”

“So American military officers, intelligence personnel, and even diplomats often tend to be the blind leading the blind when they arrive at an overseas post where the local language is challenging,” he stresses.

In this context, The 27 Articles of T.E. Lawrence, a famous British intelligence operative who was sent to the Middle East during the First World War, comes to mind.

“Learn all you can about your Ashraf and Bedu. Get to know their families, clans and tribes, friends and enemies, wells, hills and roads. Do all this by listening and by indirect inquiry. Do not ask questions. Get to speak their dialect of Arabic, not yours,” Lawrence wrote.

Indeed, T.E. Lawrence’s knowledge of the Middle Eastern environment at the time, including his brilliant knowledge of Arab dialects, made him a successful military leader during the 1917 Arab revolt.

The same way Soviet case officers operated.

“Back in the old Cold War days, Soviet case officers studied foreign languages and cultures for years before arriving on post. They would even buy clothing and shoes locally to fit in visually. And they would stay on target for years, becoming over time experts on the nuances of their working environment,” Giraldi narrates.

“That chicanery aside, who would be able to work better in the foreign environment, the American or the Russian? Who is more effective today?” the CIA veteran asks.

However, Washington still turns a blind eye to the problem, Giraldi notes, adding that it means the disasters like Benghazi and Khost will continue to happen.

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

Israeli Justice Minister Shaked: ‘We Will Not Commit Suicide’

Interview Conducted By Nicola Abé and Ronen Bergman

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is a hardliner in an Israeli government that already veers sharply to the right. She views the conflict with the Palestinians as being unsolvable and emphasizes “Jewish values” as much as law and democracy.

Ayelet Shaked, 39, has had an astonishing career. She studied information technology and later worked in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before falling out with him eight years ago and leaving the job. Today, Shaked is a member of his cabinet as his justice minister. She achieved that ascent by taking over the reins together with Naftali Bennett of the national religious party Jewish Home, which has become the third-strongest party in Israel, attracting the votes of young Tel Aviv residents as well as radical settlers. The fact that the party is able to manage this balancing act is also due to Shaked’s merits. She’s smart, secular and radical and doesn’t shy away from making razor-sharp — some would even say racist — comments.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Shooting Wounds 3 Israelis in West Bank, Attacker Killed

A shooting attack wounded three Israelis near a Jewish settlement and military checkpoint in the West Bank on Sunday and the assailant was shot dead, officials said, the latest in four months of violence.

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

Daesh’s 120 Days of Hell: Russia’s Success on Syrian Battlefield and Beyond

Four months and more than 6,000 sorties later, Russia’s counterterrorism efforts are bearing fruit — Daesh is retreating, while Damascus-led forces are on a roll.

Moscow launched its much lauded aerial campaign on September 30 following a formal request from Damascus. Russian warplanes have been tasked with assisting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in its fight against extremists groups, who are trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and establish an Islamic state in a once peaceful and prosperous land that was largely oblivious to sectarian violence.

This mission has been accomplished. Four months and more than 6,000 sorties later, due to Russia’s counterterrorism efforts, Daesh is losing fighters, weapons and territories, while the SAA is on a roll. Damascus-led forces are on the offensive on ten fronts out of 15, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said earlier this month. What could be even more important, SAA soldiers are now willing to fight and feel confident in their abilities.

Russian warplanes carry out scores of sorties daily. For instance, in the 72 hours since January 22 Russian aircraft flew 169 missions hitting 484 militant infrastructure targets. In addition, the Russian Airspace Forces have carried out up to 100 massive airstrikes daily in support of the SAA offensive in the last ten days.

It did not take long to see the results. This week, Damascus-led forces freed 28 localities in Latakia alone. The strategically important town of Rabia, the last militant stronghold in the province, was among those areas. In total, by January 15, militants were pushed out of as many as 217 localities.

Russian military officials have repeatedly said that the information regarding militant targets is always checked and double-checked before pilots are sent on a mission. “Our aviation does not even plan airstrikes if there is a possibility of civilian casualties,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov emphasized earlier this month.

An analysis recently released by IHS Jane’s has shown that Russia’s military engagement has been instrumental in Damascus’ achievements. The SAA managed to expand the territory under its control by 1.3 percent between September 29, 2015 and January 11, 2016. Prior to that Damascus was losing and its prospects looked bleak.

Since then, “momentum has shifted back in favor of government forces, which are stabilizing front lines in areas that are core to the government’s survival, and making slow but steady progress,” the analysts noted.

True, Daesh still has access to recruits, weapons and supplies, which are mostly smuggled through the porous border with Turkey (Ankara has yet to deliver on the promise to deal with the issue). But this is no longer a strategic advantage. After all, Russia has employed an impressive arsenal of cutting-edge weapons, including cruise missiles, state-of-the-art fighter jets and long-range bombers, in its limited, but extremely efficient campaign.

Russia’s achievements are not limited to victories on the battlefield. Moscow has made every effort to kick start the peace process in the war-torn country in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254, which paves the way for a lasting peace through multilateral and inclusive talks, a nation-wide ceasefire, as well as presidential and parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, the Russia military has launched a humanitarian operation to help civilians, who have been trapped in towns besieged by the extremists. According to Russian General Staff head Sergei Rudskoi, who made the announcement on January 15, the humanitarian aid would be largely distributed in the city of Deir Ez-Zor.

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

Nobel Laureate Pamuk Chides EU for Ignoring Turkey’s Rights Record

Internationally acclaimed Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has accused the European Union of turning a blind eye to the state of democracy in Turkey because of its cooperation in the migration crisis, local media reported on Sunday.

“They have forgotten all their values,” Pamuk told the Hurriyet newspaper in an interview, referring to the EU, adding that the fight against the Islamic State group and the migrant crisis had “tied Europe’s hands”.

Brussels reached an agreement with EU hopeful Turkey in November to encourage Ankara to keep refugees inside its territory, after a mass influx of migrants crossed into the EU last year, stoking tensions in several member states…

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

Saudi Police Arrest 9 American ‘Terror’ Suspects: Report

Saudi authorities have arrested nine American citizens among 33 “terror” suspects rounded up over the past days, the Saudi Gazette newspaper reported on Sunday.

Four Americans were arrested on Monday and five others over the past four days, the paper reported citing an unidentified source.

The arrests also included 14 Saudis, three Yemenis, two Syrians, an Indonesian, a Filipino, an Emirati, a Kazakhstan national and a Palestinian, the paper said…

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

Turkish Fighter Who Bragged About Killing Russian Pilot Appears at Istanbul Militant’s Funeral

A Turkish ultranationalist who bragged about killing the pilot of a Russian bomber shot down by Turkish fighter jets has showed up for the funeral of a fellow militant in Istanbul. Moscow has demanded the man’s arrest on war crime charges.

Alparslan Celik is a Turkish citizen, the son of a former district mayor elected from Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and a member of the party’s unofficial youth military arm, Bozkurtlar.

He appeared in Istanbul on Wednesday for the funeral of Ibrahim Kucuk, the head of the MHP bureau in Istanbul’s Fatih district, who was killed in an airstrike in a Turkmen village in Syria, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Yazidi Girls Subjected to ‘Virginity Tests’ After Escaping Daesh

Yazidi women and girls who escaped abuse at the hands of Daesh after being captured as sex slaves have been forced to undergo traumatic “virginity tests” to prove that they have been raped, Human Rights Watch has discovered.

According to a report looking into the post-Daesh fate of Yazidi women in Iraq, victims who survived rape, captivity and forced marriage were subjected to examination after believing that they had reached safety in Iraqi Kurdistan.

A report was posted on the human rights organization’s website by Rothna Begum, a WRD researcher, on Wednesday.

“Survivors my colleague and I interviewed, described organized rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage by ISIS,” the report reads.

Rothna Begum, said she spoke to a woman called Luna who had been kidnapped by Daesh as the militants swept through northern Iraq in 2014, sold four times and raped by all her “owners.”

She was one of hundreds of Yazidi women and girls thought to have since undergone painful “virginity tests” as a way of proving the rapes to Iraqi officials documenting Daesh crimes.

The victims described in the report were in need of psychological help, health care, and other services. While officials in Iraqi Kurdistan took their predicament seriously, they still forced the girls and women to undergo “virginity tests” to confirm that they had been abused.

“These tests were seen as evidence of rape by Iraqi courts,” Begum wrote.

The World Health Organization has stated that there is no place for virginity testing in modern practice, saying that the method of inserting two fingers “has no scientific validity” as it is painful and psychologically harming.

However, the good news is that the HRW has been assured by Kurdish officials that the practice will now end.

According to a chief judge at the Dohuk Appeal Court, located in the capital of Kurdistan’s Dohuk Governorate, said that the committee tasked with collecting evidence has stopped using the tests and adopted a new method of reporting coordinated with UN recommendations.

“The health directorate in Dohuk adopted a new medical examination report on sexual violence based on UN recommendations, consistent with human rights and best practice,” Begum wrote.

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

Russian Jet Flies Within 15 Feet of US Spy Plane

A Russian jet has flown by a US spy plane over the Black Sea in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner,” coming within 15 feet (4.5 meters) from it, says the Pentagon.

“On January 25, 2016, a US RC-135U flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Army Lieutenant Colonel Michelle L. Baldanza.

Baldanza added that aircraft intercepts are routine events but “the Russian pilot acted in an unprofessional manner that put both the American flight crew and himself at risk.” A US RC-135 spy plane

One official said that the jet flew along the right side of the US plane, then veered off in a maneuver that had an adverse effect on the “controllability of the US aircraft.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Special ISIS Cells Preparing Terror Attacks in Europe and Russia — Russian Anti-Terrorism Body

Islamic State cells led by Chechen recruiter Akhmed Chetayev are planning terrorist attacks in Russia and Europe, Moscow’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee reported. Former Iraqi army officers are taking part in training terrorists to attack Russia, it added.

“Russian special services have intelligence that certain IS groups are preparing terrorist attacks in Russia and European nations,” Andrey Przhezdomsky, spokesman for the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee, warned on Friday. “In particular, a battalion formed mainly from recruits from North Caucasus headed by Akhmed Chetayev, nicknamed One-Handed.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Intolerant TNTJ’s “Anti Shirk Conference” In Trichy Declares All-Out War Against All un-Islamic and Hindu Practices in India

Indian Multi Culture and Democracy in the cross-roads of Islamic State….

Call of Islamic State fills the air of South India. Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ) vowed to end Idol worship and Hindu practices and all others which are not according to ‘real Islam’.

Upananda Brahmachari | Chennai | January 31, 2016:: The Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath’s (TNTJ) has taken a vow to destroy all the Hindu Temples in Tamil Nadu along with the Muslims Dargah and Majar type prayer places. In a mammoth rally held today in Trichy various speakers and dignitaries pledged a Sharia law in India with a proto-type Islamic State in the southern India making it epicenter in Tamil Nadu.

With a crores of rupees of money funding and facilitating from unknown sources, lakhs of Muslims from all walks of life thronged to Trichy to make the controversial “Anti Shrik Conference” of TNTJ on January 31, 2016.

Though some Muslim organisations also opposed this conference of “INTOLERANCE” in the name of “SHRIK” and “SHARIA” and some one went to knocked the door of Madras High Court, the conference meant for a Jihad against Shirk could not be stopped anyway…

           — Hat tip: Upananda Brahmachari [Return to headlines]

Russia to Keep Share of Indian Arms Market Despite ‘Shadow CIA’ Claims

Russia’s Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT) on Friday criticized US-based geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor report that Russia may lose its dominance in the Indian defense market.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Stratfor released an analysis report Wednesday, claiming that the dominance of Russian defense manufacturers in the Indian arms market would rapidly erode amid increased competition from US, EU and Japanese arms makers.

CAWAT, an independent Moscow-based project scrutinizing the global arms market, said the US report was “an element of unfair competition aimed at discrediting Russia as India’s largest arms supplier,” in a bid to create “a favorable informational background” before moving deeper into the Indian market.

Stratfor cited several deals between India and Russia that have recently been stalled, including on a jointly-built multi-role transport aircraft and supplies of Kamov-226T light helicopters to India. But CAWAT argued that a batch of US-Indian contracts — on helicopters and artillery systems — were also put on ice years ago.

CAWAT pointed to the complexity of joint military projects and India’s new armaments procurement rules as the main reasons behind the slowdown in Moscow’s cooperation with New Delhi. But the future of a long-term military partnership remains secure, it maintained.

“Russia and India are currently discussing an array of major projects, including many strategic projects that will beef up India’s defenses in the foreseeable future,” the market research agency said, citing planned sales of Russian S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) missile systems and 48 Mi-17V-5 military transport choppers.

India is the world’s largest arms importer and accounts for 15 percent of world’s defense imports. Russia is estimated to have provided about 70 percent of India’s weapons in the past five years.

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

Scores Feared Dead in Boko Haram Attack Near Maiduguri

Scores of people were feared killed when Boko Haram Islamists attacked a village on the outskirts of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, the army and local residents said Sunday.

They said the jihadists attacked Dalori, some 12 kilometres from Maiduguri late Saturday, with guns and explosives and burnt down the village.

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

Chile President Tearful as Daughter in Law Charged

A Chilean court Friday brought formal tax fraud charges against the daughter in law of President Michelle Bachelet in a scandal the leftist leader tearfully admitted was a “painful” ordeal.

The case first came to light a year ago and has shocked the public in Chile, which is ranked by Transparency International as one of the least corrupt countries in Latin America.

The court in the central city of Rancagua banned Natalia Compagnon from leaving the country and ordered her to check in with police each month for a year while judges investigate…

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

Mexican Oil Revenues Drop by Over 70%

The secretary of Mexico’s Energy Ministry said that falling oil prices have reduced the country’s oil revenues by more than 70 percent.

MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Falling oil prices have reduced Mexico’s oil revenues by more than 70 percent, the secretary of the nation’s Energy Ministry said Sunday.

“Pemex has posted a loss of more than 70 percent due to a drop in oil prices,” Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said.

Coldwell added that, on the bright side, the state-run oil producer was able to raise $5 billion in well-placed bonds. The money will be invested in projects that have been suspended until recently, he explained.

Mexico is the world’s tenth largest oil producer. It relies on oil for only 10 percent of its total exports, which account for some 18 percent of its budget.

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

10,000 Kids Missing in EU as Criminals ‘Exploit’ Migrant Flow — Europol Chief of Staff

Thousands of underage refugees have reportedly disappeared since registering with authorities, Europol’s chief of staff, Brian Donald, told The Observer.

At least 5,000 children have gone missing in Italy alone, Donald said, adding that another 1,000 have vanished in Sweden.

Donald stressed that an EU-wide “criminal infrastructure” could be specially targeting refugee children.

“It’s not unreasonable to say that we’re looking at 10,000-plus children. Not all of them will be criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members. We just don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or whom they are with.”

Moreover, there is already evidence of sexual exploitation, especially in Germany and Hungary. “An entire [criminal] infrastructure has developed over the past 18 months around exploiting the migrant flow. There are prisons in Germany and Hungary where the vast majority of people arrested and placed there are in relation to criminal activity surrounding the migrant crisis,” said Donald.

Thickening the plot, Police have discovered that the illegal gangs helping refugees come to the EU are the same gangs involved with human-trafficking. “The ones who have been active in human smuggling are now appearing in our files in relation to migrant smuggling,” said Donald.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dutch Police Threaten Whites

Dutch police are being sent to threaten white people who dared send out mildly-critical social media messages about the “refugee” invasion on the grounds that they are being “seditious”—while at the same time, they mollycoddle nonwhite invader criminals who riot and attack policemen.

According to a report in the Dutch NRC newspaper, Dutch people on Twitter who oppose invader camps in that country “can expect a visit from the police.”

At the same time, a report in the Telegraaf newspaper revealed that dozens of “asylum seekers” in Zaandaam had violently attacked police and medical personnel sent in to help them—but no one was even charged in connection with that physical violence.

The NRC article told of a visit by Dutch police last Monday afternoon to the workplace of 28-year-old Mark Jongeneel, in the town of Sliedrecht. After causing an uproar in the office, the two policemen told him, “You tweet too much. We have orders to ask you to watch your tone. Your tweets are seditious.”

The police visit to Jongeneel followed a tweet he had made just prior to a public meeting in the town on a planned invader center in the area. His “crime” was to tweet: “The Council of #Sliedrecht comes with a proposal to take 250 refugees over the next two years. What a bad idea!”

He later tweeted “Should we let this happen?!”

This was obviously an important police matter, and two of Holland’s finest were dispatched to threaten Jongeneel for these “crimes,” leading even the leftist NRC to ask of the police harassment: “Is this even legal?”

The NRC went on to report that this tactic of police threats against whites who oppose the invasion has been carrying on for several months. “In recent months, police have visited the homes of many more people who criticized the plans for asylum centers.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

European Petrol Tax: Will EU Drivers be Forced to Pay for Refugees?

The German Finance Minister has put forth a new idea of a European tax on petrol to help finance the continent’s efforts to manage the migrant crisis, winning support from European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, German newsmagazine Der Spiegel wrote on Saturday.

The idea earlier floated by Wolfgang Schaeuble failed to gain widespread support in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

“A gasoline tax, be it on a national or on a European level, could be a possible source of funding, especially when you consider that the oil price is at a historically low level now,” Dombrovskis told Der Spiegel.

He added that he agreed with Mr. Schaeuble’s proposal as Europe needed “innovative concepts to cope with the refugee crisis.”

Valdis Dombrovskis also said that measures under consideration to better secure Europe’s external borders were expensive.

“Security is a public good that Europe should ideally ensure collectively,” he noted.

According to the latest figures released by the European border agency Frontex, there were some 1.2 million irregular entries to the European Union in the first 10 months of 2015, four times more than in the whole of 2014.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Vice Chancellor Urges Surveillance of Right-Wing Party

Security agencies should keep an eye on the right-wing Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) party after its leader suggested that police use firearms against migrants, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner Sigmar Gabriel told local media on Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — AfD party leader Frauke Petry came under criticism on Saturday after she urged border police to shoot at migrants trying to cross into Germany illegally, if necessary. Police responded by bashing the party for spreading radicalism and inhumane ideas.

“The [Federal Office for] Protection of the Constitution [domestic security agency] should deal with AfD,” Socialist leader Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag, adding the populist AfD should not be given airtime by national broadcasters.

The government of Angela Merkel has been criticized for its open-door refugee policy after more than a million immigrants arrived in Germany last year, causing her rating to drop. A recent poll published by the German Focus magazine found that 40 percent of Germans want Merkel to step down.

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

German Women Take Self-Defense Classes to Fend Off Migrants

On February 8, German residents will attend a traditional carnival in Cologne, which is now in the media spotlight after New Year’s attacks on the city’s female residents.

Hundreds of criminal complaints were filed by women in Cologne and other cities across Germany accusing small groups of purportedly Arab and North African men of robbing, threatening or sexually assaulting them on New Year’s Eve. According to recent reports, the police have registered more than 700 complaints.

The country’s authorities are going to set up a security center for women in the city as well as organize additional lighting on the dark streets. However, some Cologne female residents decided to ensure their safety by themselves and started to attend self-defense classes, a RT correspondent reported.

For instance, many women started to learn Israeli Krav Maga techniques. The number of those wishing to attend self-defense classes has more than doubled after the attacks in Cologne.

“More and more women want to attend self-defense courses. The number of those wishing to attend our classes has more than doubled. Here, they can learn effective techniques of Krav Maga,” a combat instructor Bjorn V. told RT.

“Women no longer feel safe. You can feel much calmer, when you know that you can protect yourself,” a course visitor explained.

“On Facebook, many people ask me where to learn this martial art. Events in Cologne definitely changed a lot,” echoed another.

Krav Maga is a self-defense technique worked out for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It includes various combat techniques from aikido, boxing and wrestling and teaches how to counter-attack in a real-world situation.

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

Italian PM Pledges to Save Schengen, Europe From Destruction

Italy’s prime minister claimed that powers that try to destroy the visa-free Schengen zone in fact aim to shatter a united Europe and pledged to oppose those actors with “force, decisiveness and courage.”

Matteo Renzi expressed his devotion to the idea of a unified Europe and promised to stand up for it during his visit to the Italian island of Ventotene on Saturday.

Renzi arrived to Ventotene to pay tribute to Altiero Spinelli, one of the ideologists behind European unification. He took part in the commemoration events and laid flowers on the Spinelli’s grave.

Spinelli is the author of “Ventotene Manifesto,” which inspired the creation of the EU. He started to work on the manifesto in 1941 while being imprisoned by Italian fascists who ruled the country at the time.

“Europe is in danger of collapsing when it becomes simply a set of self-interests,” Renzi said while delivering a speech in the memory of Spinelli.

The Italian leader also pointed out that modern Europe is undergoing a harsh test on vitality regarding the continuing migrant crisis.

“Today, in a moment of great difficulty for Europe, we decided to return here, where it all began… to pay homage to what happened during what was perhaps the most difficult moment in the history of European identity.”

In the run up to the event, Renzi met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Politicians discussed ways toward a refugee crisis solution and concluded that a united European response is the only option.

However, Renzi noted that all European countries should share the burden of resolving the problem.

Meanwhile, the immigrant inflow into the EU keeps growing. More than a million people from states like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan entered Europe in 2015. The crisis is considered the gravest since WWII.

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

London to Ask Brussels to Tighten EU ‘Emergency Brake’ Policy — Reports

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to address the European Union with a request to tighten the program regulating the social benefits received by EU migrants, which is under development within the bloc, local media reported on Sunday.

LONDON (Sputnik) — Cameron is seeking to renegotiate the conditions of his country’s EU membership before the so-called Brexit referendum. The so-called emergency brake is one of a number of alternatives that EU leaders have suggested instead of Cameron’s proposal of a four-year ban on in-work benefits for migrants.

According to the BBC, Cameron is expected to tell European Council President Donald Tusk during their upcoming meeting on the issue that the “brake” should be implemented immediately after the UK referendum on its EU membership.

Cameron is also expected to demand the brake would be in force long enough to cope with EU migration to the United Kingdom.

Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the bloc, referred to as an in/out vote, no later than late 2017. His four reform demands encompass boosting competitiveness by reducing bureaucratic red tape, exempting the United Kingdom from plans for an “ever closer union,” stripping the euro of its sole official EU currency status and restricting in-work benefits to intra-EU migrants.

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

Merkel Says Expects Most Refugees to Go Home Once Safe to Do So

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday she expected most of the refugees from Syria and Iraq to return home once peace has returned to their countries, as she faces strong pressure over her welcoming stance towards asylum seekers.

Merkel’s open-door policy, while initially winning praise last year, has come under mounting criticism, especially after the German city of Cologne was rocked by a wave of sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve blamed on migrants.

“We expect that once peace has returned to Syria, once the Islamic State (group) has been defeated in Iraq, that they will return to their countries of origin, armed with the knowledge they acquired with us,” Merkel said a regional gathering of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to news agency DPA…

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

Renzi, Merkel ‘United Amid Disagreements’

No deal yet on Turkey refugee fund

(ANSA) — Rome, January 29 — Premier Matteo Renzi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks in Berlin on Friday that their two countries remain united amid disagreements over Italy’s contribution to a three-billion-euro refugee fund for Turkey.

The Renzi government says it will veto the fund as long as the EU doesn’t agree to free Italy’s spending on migrant rescue, reception and processing from Stability Pact constraints.

Renzi said earlier in the month that Italy will sign off on the Turkey fund “tomorrow” if the EU agrees to do so.

“We were asked to contribute 200-250 million, I said fine, but I asked for the immigration funds to be freed from the Stability Pact for Italy as well,” Renzi said on January 21. “If they recognize 0.2% of the clause for migrants fine, we’ll sign tomorrow morning”.

On Friday, it appeared that the two leaders had failed to solve this issue.

“The accord on Turkey must urgently be enacted,” Merkel said, adding that Italy remains a key ally in handling the exodus of asylum seekers from war zones in Africa and the Middle East that is putting a strain on the European Union. “Italy is the country that was most affected initially,” Merkel said. “Things only began to change in April and May (2015), and we were the first to fight for equal redistribution (of asylum seekers). Italy is a very strong ally with regards to the refugee policy, and (Italy’s) orientation is fundamental”.

“We live in a time of great challenges,” Merkel said. “The European spirit unites us”.

Renzi echoed that sentiment.

“If Europe loses Schengen, it loses itself,” Renzi said.

“Every effort that we can make to keep the European ideal alive must be made together. Italy like Germany wants a stronger Europe, one capable of solving all the problems — from immigration to the economy”. “We’re at a delicate moment in the history of Europe,” Renzi said. “I feel the weight of that responsibility”.

“We are ready to overcome the misunderstandings there have been,” he said. “We have no problem, either with Turkey or Germany,” he said. “We have always been available on Italy’s (part of the) financing (for the Turkey refugee fund). We’re waiting for European institutions to give us some answers on some (of our) questions….on how this contribution is to be intended and conceived”. “We ask for the EU rules that exist on flexibility to be applied,” Renzi said. “We’re not asking for new rules”.

Italy and Germany “don’t see eye to eye on everything” because “we come from different political families,” the Italian premier went on. “But together we believe that combating unemployment is combating populism — we have a common enemy”. The two leaders also exchanged mutual praise on Germany’s leadership and on Italy’s reforms.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Support for Merkel Dips to 2012 Low as Populists Gain Traction: Survey

Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance has slumped to its lowest since July 2012 as opposition over her liberal refugee policy grows, a survey showed Sunday, while a right-wing populist party polled a record high.

According to the poll published by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, public support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and sister party Christian Social Union now stands at just 34 percent, down two percentage points.

The Social Democratic Party — the junior partner in Merkel’s left-right grand coalition, has also lost ground, shedding one percentage point to 24 percent, according to the poll of 1,638 people conducted from January 21 to 27…

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

‘We Will Not Allow Them to Destroy Europe’: Renzi

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Saturday accused those who would “destroy” the passport-free Schengen zone of wanting to destroy Europe, and vowed that Italy would not let it happen.

“We say with force, decisiveness and courage that those who want to destroy Schengen want to destroy Europe. And we will not allow them to,” Renzi said a day after meeting with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on a migrant crisis which has threatened to see freedom of movement in the European Union revoked.

Renzi was speaking during a visit to the Italian island of Ventotene, where during the Second World War two prisoners wrote a manifesto considered by many to be a key driver behind the movement for European unification.

The PM laid flowers on the grave of Altiero Spinelli, referred to as one of the founding fathers of the European Union for his co-authorship of the “Ventotene Manifesto”, which he wrote with fellow prisoner Ernesto Rossi.

“Today, in a moment of great difficulty for Europe, we decided to return here, where it all began… to pay homage to what happened during what was perhaps the most difficult moment in the history of European identity”.

Imprisoned from 1927 to 1943 by the fascist government for dissident activities, Spinelli began the manifesto in 1941 on a federation of European states which would create a bond between the countries of Europe and prevent


“The war seemed the natural outcome of centuries of conflict between European peoples. Yet here a few visionaries… had the courage, passion and strength to imagine a united states of Europe, a Europe as a place of peace,” he said.

European nations have adopted a raft of restrictive measures on their borders since the beginning of the year as they seek to stem an influx of asylum seekers and the migrant crisis has sparked repeated warnings over the

EU’s fate.

In the last few months of 2015, six out of the 26 members of Europe’s Schengen passport-free zone reestablished provisional border controls, without closing the frontiers altogether.

It is not the only issue threatening the union: Britain is preparing to vote on whether or not to stay in the EU and experts have warned its exit could trigger the disintegration of the European project in the crisis-hit


Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni this week called for an urgent meeting of the six founding countries of the union: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

“Italy will make its voice heard so that Europe does not become a grey, abstract debate on details and limits but becomes once more what it was for Spinelli and Rossi — a great dream, with the strength to move borders and

break down prison walls,” Renzi said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Op-Ed: Postmodern Cultural Totalitarianism Has Changed the Very Nature of Man

In my correspondence regarding the events in Cologne, an editor of a Russian newspaper asked me a natural, but discouraging question; “Where were the German men?” he enquired of me, perplexed.

Indeed, for us who grew up in Soviet Russia, it would be inconceivable that some drunk young people could publicly mock and harass girls on New Year’s Eve in the very center of Moscow or Saint Petersburg. If they dared to do this, they wouldn’t survive until the morning, they would become “martyrs” and would have their way with 72 virgins in a completely different realm.

Ethical codes, embedded in us on a genetic level, would demand that we intervene on behalf of the women. Especially, in a situation where normal adult men were more numerous than the rapists, and the rapists themselves were not terrorists, cyborgs or aliens, but mere street punks.

As it turned out in Germany, Sweden, Austria — these codes were fatally violated. A great number of strong healthy men, having heard the girls screaming and crying, and having seen the crimes being committed, didn’t do anything to save the victims. In rare cases, the girls were defended by migrants from Eastern Europe or Third World countries.

But this is only the first question in a long line of simple questions. We could expect that women, having learnt about the abuse of girls the next day, would be in a fury. Since there is an inherent instinct in every normal woman to rescue a child or to protect a girl from abuse, rape or harassment…

           — Hat tip: Ilia Toli [Return to headlines]

10 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/31/2016

  1. |==== må feb 01 2016 14:24:26 ====|

    absolut obligatoriskt från 30.00min.

    Innenpolitik 2016 – Christoph Hörstel

    Publicerades den 18 jan. 2016
    Im Zuge der politischen Entwicklungen in Deutschland, welche sich zunehmend gegen die eigene Bevölkerung richten, muss man sich fragen, ob die Bundesregierung einen Krieg im eigenen Lande führt.
    Zu den innenpolitischen Verwerfungen dieser Tage, sprach Hagen Grell mit Christoph Hörstel. Der Parteivorsitzende der neuen Partei “Deutsche Mitte” analysiert die Hintergründe der Flüchtlingswelle, warnt vor kommenden Unruhen und gibt einen Einblick in ein möglicherweise folgenschweres Ereignis, welches jederzeit und unerwartet über uns hereinbrechen könnte: Mit einem EMP (Elektromagnetischer Puls) wäre von jetzt auf gleich Feierabend mit unserer technologischen Welt. Kein Handy, kein Kühlschrank und sogar die meisten Autos würden nicht mehr betriebsfähig sein.
    Selbst wenn wir vertrauensvoll darauf hoffen, dass eine solche EMP-Waffe niemals seine Anwendung gegen uns findet, könnte ein solche Impuls auch durch einen kräftigen Sonnensturm ausgelöst werden. Christoph Hörstel rät also jedem, sich über ein solches Szenario Gedanken zu machen und ggf. Vorsorge zu treffen.

    [Machine translation of the German text:

    In the wake of political developments in Germany, which are increasingly focused on its own population, you have to wonder whether the federal government is waging a war in their own country.
    Among the domestic political turmoil these days, said Hagen Grell with Christoph Hörstel. The leader of the new party “German center” analyzed the reasons behind the wave of refugees, warns of coming troubles and gives an insight into a potentially momentous event, which could at any time and unexpectedly befall us: With an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) would from now on equal Feierabend with our technological world. No cell phone, no fridge and even most cars would no longer be operable.
    Even if we hope confidently that such an EMP weapon never finds its application against us, such a pulse could be triggered by a powerful solar storm. Christoph Hörstel therefore advises everyone to think about such a scenario thoughts and possibly to take precautions.]

    • I too was thinking that raping and defecating seem to be the only skills the migrants have displayed, except the irony of Merkel’s statement is that these are ‘skills’ the migrants brought with them.

  2. What’s the difference from the 7 century raids?
    They are wearing jeans and black jackets in modern European cities far from deserts and camels.

  3. Interesting how the EU system was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for keeping “Peace” – Religionofpeace in Europe

    “European Union (EU)

    Founded: 1952

    Prize motivation: “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”

    Field: human rights, world organizing”

    To further manipulate Europeans into believing it, and preparing the grounds for more of the same, more “advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”, more “human rights and world organizing”?

    Was it necessary to reconcile with the Europeans along the way, as they – the EU management – already knew there would be tougher “world organizing” around the corner as part of The Plan?

  4. Merkel says they will go home………..
    As they say down here in The South. About as much chance as a Gator to turn loose of hog……………….

  5. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she expects the “refugees” from Syria and Iraq to return home once their countries are at peace again, carrying with them the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their stay in Germany.”

    I’ll give a brief English interpretation; The Chancellor is desperately trying to back away from her foolish invitation to all comers and realizes only by giving some hope that the hordes may leave one day, may save her from electoral oblivion.

    • Good observation. Yet again she is playing on the ignorance of the public who fail to realize why this is unlikely to happen.

      Either that or she is suggesting that conditions in Germany will get worse than Syria and even a war torn middle eastern hellhole will seem more desirable than Germany will.

  6. Must not hold memorial to Swedish social worker stabbed to death by Somali “boy 15”
    for fear of upsetting “refugee children”

    “Staff at a housing centre for child migrants in Sweden have been banned from holding a memorial service in honour of a fellow social worker who was murdered last week.”

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