Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/5/2016

More than 200 Eritrean migrants staged a demonstration on the Italian island of Lampedusa to protest the mandatory fingerprinting program imposed by the Italian migration authorities. The Eritreans reportedly wish to move to some other part of Europe besides Italy, and are concerned that being fingerprinted may hurt their chances to do so.

In other news, photos of the Little Mermaid (havfruen in Danish), the iconic statue in the harbor at Copenhagen, has been banned Facebook for being “too sexual”.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, MC, 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
» Eurozone Inflation Unchanged at 0.2 Percent in December: Eurostat
» Interest Payments Exceed $60 Billion as Canadian Governments Continue Racking Up Debt
» Democrats Against U.N Agenda 21
» FBI Preparing for Waco-Style Armed Raid in Oregon… Local Schools Taken Over by Feds as Staging Areas for Weapons Stockpiling in Preparation for Massive Assault
» Gun Control and the No-Fly List
» Loretta Lynch Warns Gun Owners: We’re Watching You
» Ripe for Radicalization: Federal Prisons ‘Breeding Ground’ For Terrorists, Say Experts
» Texas Blizzard Kills 15,000 Cows
Europe and the EU
» Britain’s Labour Party in Disarray Over Botched Reshuffle
» Cologne ‘Can’t Become a Lawless Zone’ Says Mayor
» Cologne Sex Attacks: Merkel Disgust at New Year Gang Assaults
» FCA 2015 Italy Sales Up 18.34%
» Genetic Study Suggests European Farmers Came From Anatolia
» German City Holds Crisis Meeting After New Year Sex Assaults
» Italy: Rome to Up Anti-Terror Measures to Protect Shoppers
» Italy: 1 in 3 Pensioners Help Families — Coldiretti
» Italy: Milan Revokes Anti-Smog Restrictions
» Italy: Almost Half of Families to Hang ‘Befana’ Stocking
» Monumental Roman City Excavated in Spain
» Northern Ireland: Pastor Learns Fate for ‘Satanic Islam’ Sermon
» Op-Ed: European Union Drowns in Sea of Inconsistencies on ‘Palestine’
» UK: ‘Death-Trap Blunder’ Over New Cycle Lanes
» UK: MPs to Debate Calls to Ban Donald Trump
» Vatican Daily Slams Charlie Hebdo Cartoon
North Africa
» IS Presses Assault on Key Libya Oil Region
Israel and the Palestinians
» Gaza Protest After Hamas Arrests Satirical Journalist
» Palestinian Authority Adrift After Three Months of Unrest
Middle East
» ‘Cutting Off Heads’ No Response to Criticism: Iran’s Rouhani
» Don’t Flirt or Hold Hands, Top Turkey Clerics Tell Soon-to-Weds
» Iraq Must Walk a Fine Line Amid Iranian, Saudi Tensions
» Jordan Releases Top MB Leader Bani Irsheid
» Officials: Turkish Firms Eye Billions in Saudi Defense Contracts
South Asia
» US Special Ops Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Firefight
Far East
» Beijing Sea Flight Test on Disputed Island Draws Rebukes From US, Neighbors
» Chinese Villagers Build Giant Golden Chairman Mao
» Protests in Hong Kong Over ‘Pro-Beijing’ University Appointment
» Up Close at Huawei, China’s Challenger to Smartphone Giants
» Around 200 Eritreans Protest Against Forced ID in Lampedusa
» Deportation? No, A Warm UK Welcome for Sudan Migrant Who Ran Through Chunnel to Britain
» EU Admits Failure to Relocate Refugees, Lacks Resources
» Germany Stunned by Rash of New Year’s Sex Assaults
» Immigrants to Make Up Half of London Population in 15 Years Sparking NHS Strain Fears
» Italy: CEI Supports Migration Management With Eur 100.000
» Italy: Hosting Refugees in Families Could Save 70% of State Costs
» Italy: Milan Archbishop to Dine With Nine Muslim Refugees
» Revealed: 1,000+ Migrants Brawl, Rape, Sexually Assault, And Steal at One German Train Station on New Year’s Eve
» Sharp Drop in Migrants Arriving in Sweden From Denmark
Culture Wars
» Facebook Bans Picture of Danish Mermaid Statue for Being ‘Too Sexual’

Eurozone Inflation Unchanged at 0.2 Percent in December: Eurostat

Eurozone inflation remained unchanged at a lower than expected 0.2 percent in December, official data said on Tuesday, adding pressure on the European Central Bank to ramp up its efforts to boost the economy in Europe.

The data from the EU’s Eurostat statistics agency came in below analysts’ forecast of 0.3 percent inflation for the period, which is itself much lower than the ECB’s official two percent target.

ECB president Mario Draghi last month disappointed market hopes with a more limited than expected bid to revive the struggling eurozone economy given low inflation levels across the 19 countries that share the euro…

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

Interest Payments Exceed $60 Billion as Canadian Governments Continue Racking Up Debt

VANCOUVER—Interest payments on government debt in Canada consume substantial shares of taxpayer dollars and come at the expense of other budget priorities, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democrats Against U.N Agenda 21

Sounds like science fiction…or some conspiracy theory…but it isn’t.

UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL. — — Rosa Koire


In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

U.N. Agenda 21 cites the affluence of Americans as being a major problem which needs to be corrected. It calls for lowering the standard of living for Americans so that the people in poorer countries will have more, a redistribution of wealth. Although people around the world aspire to achieve the levels of prosperity we have in our country, and will risk their lives to get here, Americans are cast in a very negative light and need to be taken down to a condition closer to average in the world. Only then, they say, will there be social justice which is a cornerstone of the U.N. Agenda 21 plan.

Agenda 21 policies date back to the 70’s but it got its real start in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro when President Bush signed onto it. Click here to see a list of the countries that signed UN Agenda 21. President Clinton took office the following year and created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development to implement it in the United States. Made up of federal agencies, corporations, and non-profit groups, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development moved quickly to ensure that all federal agencies would change their policies to comply with UN Agenda 21. A non-governmental organization called the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, ICLEI, is tasked with carrying out the goals of Agenda 21 worldwide. Remember: UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is a global plan that is implemented locally. Over 600 cities in the U.S. are members; our town joined in 2007. The costs are paid by taxpayers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Preparing for Waco-Style Armed Raid in Oregon… Local Schools Taken Over by Feds as Staging Areas for Weapons Stockpiling in Preparation for Massive Assault

(NaturalNews) Natural News can now exclusively report that local schools near Burns, Oregon are being used as staging areas by FBI and other federal officials in preparation for an armed raid on the protesters camping out at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

This has been relayed to Natural News via hosts who are on location and have independently affirmed the accuracy of this startling revelation. Pete Santilli, a talk radio host with, is on the scene and broadcasting live from time to time at

The federal government is staging military-style weapons, tactical equipment and long-range observation gear inside at least one school, Natural News has learned, apparently contradicting the FBI’s publicized claim that it seeks a “peaceful resolution” to the standoff. The kind of equipment being staged by federal officials is inconsistent with any “peaceful resolution” and looks intended to bring the standoff to a sudden and violent end with bloodshed caused by an armed government carrying out the mass slaughter of private citizens and protesters.

Meanwhile, Natural News has been told that there are “four to five layers of psyops taking place here,” and a TalkNetwork hosts is now telling us that he was “confronted by multiple provocateurs” — meaning undercover federal agents were somehow trying to get him to escalate the situation into more violence, creating a cover story for the feds to more easily “justify” an armed assault when the time comes.

Natural News has also learned that women and children are inside the compound, alongside the armed male protesters who have stated they are carrying firearms solely for self-defense and have no intention of initiating any acts of violence whatsoever. This means that if the feds stage an armed assault, they will be slaughtering women and children alongside the men.

UPDATE: This has also been confirmed by Brandon Darby of who just posted this article and video, revealing the presence of a mother and baby inside the compound.

Furthermore, the FBI is actively attempting to interfere with independent media’s ability to report the facts as they unfold on the scene. “The FBI is trying to shut down independent media,” Pete Santilli told Natural News. Subtle efforts are being made to intimidate indy media and prevent it from being able to continue to stream video live from the location, most likely in an attempt for the feds to monopolize the narrative as they did in the Waco raids from two decades ago.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Control and the No-Fly List

In the political realm, as elsewhere, evil never sleeps. And apparently there is no enormity which the present rogue régime in the Disgrace of Columbia, and equally rogue régimes in certain States, are not capable of, and not intent upon, committing with the expectation that sheepish Americans will remain somnolent and submissive until it is too late for them to recognize the danger and set about resisting it. The latest piece of “in-your-face” effrontery is an extension of these régimes’ never-ending push for systematic “gun control” aimed at the thoroughgoing disarmament of Americans—the goal so pithily and provocatively expressed in Senator Dianne Feinstein’s words: “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in.” In his recent televised address following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the present resident in the White House, Barack Obama, asked “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon?” and urged that “Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun.” Shortly thereafter, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut announced that he would sign an “executive order” directing the Connecticut State Police, not only to prevent individuals on “the no-fly list” from buying firearms or ammunition in the future, but also to revoke those individuals’ permits for firearms they already possess. These actions are open to the obvious questions: “What is Mr. Obama’s definition of a ‘terrorist’?”, “Under what theory of constitutional due process can a mere ‘suspect’ be denied a right explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution?”, and “How can a mere ‘executive order’ override the Second Amendment?” But, assuming for the purposes of argument that in some conceivable circumstances an individual suspected of “terrorism” could be denied “the right * * * to keep and bear Arms” (as, for example, because he were under arrest preliminary to being arraigned under a constitutionally valid criminal charge), what could possibly be the justification for employing a “bill of attainder” to deny that right to all “suspects” whom some nameless, faceless bureaucrats had included in some “list”, based on perhaps utterly fanciful definitions of “terrorism” known only to them? For the undeniable constitutional fact is that “the no-fly list” (and any other “list” of that genre) is an unconstitutional “Bill of Attainder”.

In general, an “attainder” is an act which extinguishes some or all of an individual’s civil rights. A “bill of attainder” is a legislative act which imposes a sentence of death upon an individual without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings


One need not be the victim of paranoia, only the possessor of a modicum of political insight and foresight, to conclude that the proposal by Mr. Obama that Congress should enact a new species of “gun control” based upon “the no-fly list”, together with the nearly simultaneous announcement by the Governor of Connecticut that he will impose “gun control” in that State perforce of “the no-fly list” through the fiat of an “executive order”, are parts of an integrated complot to test the waters of public opinion in order to determine if Americans will sit silent and still for such a scheme. This is a variant of the well known Leninist tactic of “salami slicing”: here, by installing the most obvious, pervasive, and obnoxious form of “gun control”—actual prohibition of purchase and possession of “Arms”—slowly and steadily, individual by individual, State by State, and then nationwide only after most Americans have been sufficiently “softened up”. And one can rest assured that, if the Governor of Connecticut succeeds in using an “executive order” to apply “the no-fly list” to purchases and possession of firearms in that State, then all too soon Mr. Obama will announce that he, too, can employ an “executive order” for that purpose throughout the United States, without the need for any new statute from Congress.

Perhaps it is merely accidental, albeit ironic, that “gun-control” fanatics have selected Connecticut—which calls herself “the Constitution State”—as their “test bed” for this operation, simply because the upper echelons of that State’s governmental apparatus happen to be infested with home-grown Stalinists and other totalitarians. Or, more ominously, perhaps their choice of “the Constitution State” is intended to demonstrate their belief that they can get away with anything, no matter how plainly contradictory of the Constitution it may be, because common Americans (especially in Connecticut) are just too stupid and cowardly to do anything about it…

The total domestic disarmament of America, in contrast, aims at no less than the assassination of “a free State” for everyone within the United States—because just about everyone could be, and in the predictable course of events no doubt would become, a target. Once the “gun-control” fanatics finally succeeded in disarming all, or even most, Americans, the number of political murders and other enormities could, and would, be raised to whatever level the tyrants wanted, without fear of effective (or perhaps any) resistance on the victims’ part—just as has occurred during the last century in country after country in which systematic “gun control” has been imposed.


Moreover, the salami-slicing tactic of gradually insinuating “gun control” throughout America by the attainder of individuals is not limited to the use of the present “no-fly list”. That is merely the first slice, and certainly one too thin for achieving the ultimate purpose of the exercise. In the nature of things, once the principle has been established, “gun control” by attainder can and will employ any and every “list”, based upon any and every imaginable theory of ineligibility—whether the listed individuals are denounced as “terrorists”, or extremists”, or “subversives, or “dissidents”, or by some other opprobrious epithet (including, no doubt, anyone who dares to deny the supposed power of “the government” to employ the tactic of “listing” itself). Everyone with access to the Internet knows that today’s “homeland-security” bureaucrats at every level of the federal system, and the subversive private organizations with which they regularly interact, entertain all sorts of truly crackpot notions as to who qualifies as an “extremist”, or a potential “domestic terrorist”, or a “home-grown terrorist”—including those Americans who identify themselves as “patriots” (because they love their country), as “constitutionalists” (because they believe in the rule of law), or as opponents of a “new world order” (because they defend the Declaration of Independence). Everyone is entitled, as well, to suspect that the “homeland-security” establishment is even now compiling extensive “lists” of Americans whom some bureaucrats and private organizations want to shoe-horn into such categories. Rogue politicians and bureaucrats may deny that these “lists” exist. But no sensible individual believes any such imposture, in light of the long-standing false denials by the FBI and the TSA that “the no-fly list” existed. See Laura K. Donohue, The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2008), at 254.

[Comment: Read it all.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Loretta Lynch Warns Gun Owners: We’re Watching You

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued what Second Amendment supporters likely see as a dark warning about the White House’ s looming executive order on guns, telling a group of reporters the federal government would be actively searching out those firearms’ owners who want to sidestep registration.

In her words, as reported by Breitbart: “ We will be looking for those individuals who seek to avoid registering,” she said, after a meeting with President Obama about his upcoming executive orders on gun control.

Her statement was in reference to the widely reported portion of Obama’ s executive order that’ s supposed to expand the definition of “ gun dealer” to include even those who make private, one-on-one transactions. Specifically, his order would then require anyone who’ s “ engaged in the business of dealing in firearms” to register as a dealer, and thus become subject to the background checks’ process, as Breitbart reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ripe for Radicalization: Federal Prisons ‘Breeding Ground’ For Terrorists, Say Experts

America’s federal prisons have become a “breeding ground” for radical Islam, warn critics, who say imprisoned terrorists are more likely to spread their beliefs than renounce them.

As law enforcement authorities lock up more home-grown terrorists, experts are warning the success could turn sour if jailhouse jihadists are allowed to infect fellow inmates. Prisons have long been criticized for a culture that can make some inmates more dangerous than when they entered, but the possibility that typical felons could become lone wolf terrorists upon earning parole is a disturbing new wrinkle.

“If we continue to downplay the threat, we do so at our own peril,” said Patrick Dunleavy, author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Texas Blizzard Kills 15,000 Cows

A freak blizzard killed at least 15,000 dairy cows in the US state of Texas and for almost two days kept farmers from milking some of those that survived, officials said Monday.

The brutal winter storm dumped heavy snow on the northern part of Texas on December 26. Farmers have not yet fully assessed the damage.

“They’re still trying to dig out, but at least it stopped snowing,” Kirsten Voinis, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of Dairymen, told AFP…

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

Britain’s Labour Party in Disarray Over Botched Reshuffle

The UK Labour Party — already reeling from the election of left-wing firebrand Jeremy Corbyn as leader — was plunged into further disarray Tuesday after Corbyn stepped back from a predicted “revenge reshuffle” of his shadow cabinet following a split over airstrikes in Syria.

Corbyn stood for the leadership of the Labour Party and was widely considered a complete outsider, having been a very left-wing lawmaker famous for being critical of the center-ground policies of previous leaders. However, following membership rule changes and a last-minute surge in party supporters, Corbyn became the surprise front-runner and won the leadership challenge.

However, although he enjoys a mandate from the wide party membership and the main trade unions, he does not enjoy popular support within the Parliamentary Labour Party, which is more center-ground and does not share many of his views.

Corbyn is facing an uphill task in holding his party together after it split over the decision to sanction the airstrikes, with his own shadow Defense Secretary Hilary Benn disagreeing with him over the airstrikes. Corbyn is a fierce anti-war campaigner and argued — during a parliamentary debate in December — against the air strikes. He was forced to back down on ordering his lawmakers — using a three-line whip — to vote against the airstrikes when it became apparent that half of his shadow cabinet was against airstrikes.

Benn, gave a barnstorming speech that attracted a cross party standing ovation and clapping — a very unusual breach of parliamentary convention. “Daesh is plotting more attacks, so the question for each of us and for our national security is this: given that we know what it is doing, can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in self-defense against those who are planning these attacks?

“Can we really leave to others the responsibility for defending our national security? If we do not act, what message will that send about our solidarity with those countries that have suffered so much, including Iraq and our ally, France?” Benn said.

Reshuffle? No Reshuffle?

It was widely predicted that Corbyn would carry out a “revenge reshuffle” in the New Year with Benn likely to be sacked for his disloyalty. However, it emerged Tuesday that Corbyn had pulled back from taking such drastic action.

The party leader was also rumored — over the Christmas period — to be thinking of moving one of the few female members of his shadow cabinet — Defense Secretary Maria Eagle because of their differences over the UK strategic nuclear deterrent, Trident. Eagle stands by the current Labour policy of replacing Trident, but Corbyn is against it. Corbyn has long been anti-nuclear, having been a leading light in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the national chair of the Stop the War Coalition from June 2011 until September 2015.

However, rumors quickly spread round the corridors of Westminster that Corbyn was forced to back down over removing either Benn or Eagle, as this would have lit the touch paper for open warfare within the party. Eagle was likely to be moved, but not demoted from the shadow cabinet.

The only sacking reported Tuesday morning was that of Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael Dugher, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Corbyn.

However, his sacking immediately led to Corbyn’s Shadow Home Secretary (and former leadership challenger) Andy Burnham to tweet: “@MichaelDugher is Labour to the core & has served our Party with distinction. He can leave the front-bench with his head held high.” That in itself could rattle relations between Corbyn and Burnham.

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

Cologne ‘Can’t Become a Lawless Zone’ Says Mayor

In the wake of dozens of sex attacks against young women in the centre of Cologne on New Year’s Eve, the city’s new mayor has declared that it must not become a “lawless zone”.

“The mayor cannot and will not accept that a lawless zone develops here,” mayor Henriette Reker’s spokesman said ahead of a crisis meeting with city and federal police on Tuesday.

Authorities have been scrambling to react to around 60 complaints of sexual violence, rape and theft made by young women who travelled to the area around Cologne’s main train station and cathedral to celebrate new year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cologne Sex Attacks: Merkel Disgust at New Year Gang Assaults

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced outrage over the sexual assaults and thefts that male gangs inflicted on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Women have made at least 90 criminal complaints to police about the harassment by gangs at Cologne’s main railway station on Thursday night.

Germans have been shocked by the scale of the attacks, involving many groups of drunk and aggressive young men.

Witnesses and police said the men were of Arab or North African appearance.

Mrs Merkel called Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker on Tuesday and expressed her “outrage over these disgusting attacks and sexual assaults”.

The chancellor said everything must be done “to find the perpetrators as quickly and comprehensively as possible and punish them, regardless of their origin or background”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

FCA 2015 Italy Sales Up 18.34%

‘Very positive, thanks to new Tipo’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 4 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sales in Italy rose 18.34% in 2015, raising its market share from 27.7% to 28.32%, the transport ministry said Monday. FCA said sales were “very positive”, partly thanks to the launch of the new Tipo. The Italian car market grew 15.75% in 2015 to 1.57 million vehicles, it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Genetic Study Suggests European Farmers Came From Anatolia

Ayca Omrak of Stockholm University obtained DNA from 8,000-year-old human remains at the site of Kumtepe, a Neolithic site in Anatolia that was excavated in 1994. The samples were heavily degraded, but she was able to show that the region was a hub for the spread of ideas and genes into Europe. “I have never worked with a more complicated material. But it was worth every hour in the laboratory. I could use the DNA from the Kumtepe material to trace the European farmers back to Anatolia,” Omrak said in a press release. Her colleague Jan Storå adds that further research in the region could shed light onto the transition from hunting and gathering to farming.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German City Holds Crisis Meeting After New Year Sex Assaults

At least 60 criminal complaints have been filed

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — City officials and police in Cologne are holding a crisis meeting following a series of sex assaults in the western German city on New Year’s Eve. Mayor Henriette Reker called Tuesday’s meeting to discuss the police response to the assaults that occurred around Cologne’s main train station, next to the city’s famous cathedral, during the night.

Police say dozens of women have reported being sexually assaulted and robbed. At least 60 criminal complaints have been filed, including one allegation of rape. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for the perpetrators to be held to account, saying the attacks were “cowardly and vile.”

Green Party lawmaker Claudia Roth warned against blaming refugees for the assaults, which police say witnesses described as being committed by men of “Arab or North African origin.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome to Up Anti-Terror Measures to Protect Shoppers

No specific threats, officials said

(ANSA) — Rome, January 4 — Rome authorities have upped anti-terrorist security measures ahead of the winter sales that traditionally occur on or around a national holiday on January 6.

Rome Police Commissioner Nicolò D’Angelo has fielded measures to be coordinated by Prefect Franco Gabrielli that will include law enforcement deployment at outlets, shopping malls, and on the capital’s main shopping streets.

No specific threats have been made, officials said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: 1 in 3 Pensioners Help Families — Coldiretti

‘Real piece of good luck’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 4 — Pensions help boost the budgets of one Italian family in three, farmers group Coldiretti said Monday.

“Some 93% of Italians think the presence of a pensioner in the family is a a real piece of good luck,” it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Revokes Anti-Smog Restrictions

Ban on diesel Euro 3 vehicles, heating restrictions lifted Wed

(ANSA) — Milan, January 5 — Special anti-smog traffic restrictions are to be lifted in Milan from Wednesday, the city council said Tuesday.

The decision comes after the regional environmental protection agency ARPA said the level of PM10 had fallen to below legal limits for three consecutive days.

Consequently diesel Euro 3 vehicles without particulate filters will be allowed to return to the roads.

In addition, central heating systems can be set to 20 rather than 19 degrees and turned on for 14 rather than 12 hours a day. The restrictions were introduced in late December as Milan battled a smog emergency lasting for weeks. The situation has also been critical in other major cities including Rome and Naples. Conditions everywhere have now improved, partly as a result of change of climate with wind and rain across much of the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Almost Half of Families to Hang ‘Befana’ Stocking

Parents to leave kids ‘healthier’ treats

(ANSA) — Rome, January 5 — Almost half, or 45% of Italian families will hang an Epiphany stocking this year, an Ixe’ survey for Coldiretti farmers’ association showed Tuesday.

The Epiphany is a national holiday occurring on January 6 inspired by the story of the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem with gifts for the newborn Jesus.

In pre-Christian Antiquity, worshipers celebrated the rebirth of Nature after the winter solstice at the end of December.

Legend had it that Mother Nature, exhausted by all her work in the year just past, transformed herself into a little old woman who distributed gifts as a symbol of the sowing season to come. She then burned herself, so that her younger version could rise from ashes. In Italy, this legendary old woman who delivers gifts on her broomstick is known as La Befana.

She is said to visit children on the eve of January 6 to fill their stockings with candy and presents if they have been good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they have been bad.

This year health-conscious consumers in a country where one third of children are obese will place dried fruits and nuts in the stocking along with homemade cookies in the stocking, according to Coldiretti.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Monumental Roman City Excavated in Spain

A major Roman settlement is being excavated in a town near Spain’s southern coast that has been continuously occupied since the eighth century B.C. Its hilltop location overlooks the surrounding arable countryside and inland routes from the Mediterranean Sea. “At first sight the impression is of visiting an Arab castle, slightly altered in the nineteenth century. But the moment you take a critical look and analyze what you are actually seeing you quickly realize that this is nothing other than the remains of a very important Roman city,” Miguel Angel Tabales of the University of Seville told BBC News.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Northern Ireland: Pastor Learns Fate for ‘Satanic Islam’ Sermon

A Christian preacher in Ireland has been acquitted of charges that stemmed from his description of Islam as being “ spawned in hell,” but the threat to speech remains because the judge’ s ruling was based on the fact the words didn’t rise to the level of being “ grossly offensive.”

Cleared of charges was Pastor James McConnell, 78, from Shore Road in Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

His comments came in a 2014 sermon, where he said, “ People say there are good Muslims in Britain — that may be so — but I don’t trust them. Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.”

The sermon was delivered from the pulpit of Whitewell Metropolitan Chapel of north Belfast, and became the subject of a Belfast Magistrates Court case.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Op-Ed: European Union Drowns in Sea of Inconsistencies on ‘Palestine’

by David Singer

The European Union (EU) has concluded an unhappy 2015 with the introduction of racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria (‘West Bank’) and East Jerusalem.

EU members Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have rejected these laws which have also been condemned in a bipartisan resolution presented to the US Congress.

The EU’s Ambassador to Israel — Lars Faaborg-Andersen — has attempted to justify these labelling laws as being simply an expression of the EU’s longstanding view that such designated territories are not part of Israel.

He omitted to state hthat EU policy will never support any part of these disputed territories becoming part of the State of Israel because the EU claims that Jewish settlement there since 1967 is illegal in international law.

However there is no binding legal decision in any Court that substantiates this EU claim.

Indeed there is territory-specific legislation to the contrary — article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter — that confirms the legal right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.

Jews lived in these areas for millennia prior to being driven out in 1948 by six invading Arab armies — facts which somehow appear to have escaped the EU’s notice.

Such EU policy also flies in the face of Security Council Resolution 242 calling for secure and recognised borders to be established in negotiations between Israel and her neighbours.

The EU’s anti-Israel stance no doubt encouraged the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to reject offers by Israel in 2000/01 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of Judea and Samaria as part of any peace treaty to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Why accept 90% when the EU is supporting the PLO’s demand for 100%?

The EU — in so acting — has repudiated the decisions adopted in 1922 by 23 of its current 28 members unanimously endorsing the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine — whose terms provided for:

1. Jewish self-determination in 22% of the territory of the Mandate including East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

2. Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of the territory of the Mandate — today called Jordan.

Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Malta are the only current members of the EU that were not members of the League of Nations when these fateful decisions were taken.[…]

[The differences between the EU and 1942 Nazi plan for Europe are very small, and Jews are not part of the future of the EU either]

           — Hat tip: MC [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Death-Trap Blunder’ Over New Cycle Lanes

BLUNDERING highway chiefs have transformed a busy road into a potential death trap by installing cycle lanes that push cars travelling from both directions into the middle of the road.

Motorists using the B6350 said they had been taking their lives in their hands to try to avoid the 5ft-wide lanes.

They were installed on either side of the road in the village of Corbridge in Northumberland.

The white lines marking the centre of the road were removed at the same time.

Confused motorists now drive up the middle of the road to avoid the cycle lanes.

This has meant they have to dodge oncoming drivers doing the same thing on the other side of the road.

Northumberland County Council highways officials gave the go-ahead for the cycle lanes in November.

However, bus driver James Simpson, 41, said: “There’s a point in the road where cars are travelling around a blind bend in opposite directions on what has become one carriageway. There have been reports of some near-misses but it’s surely a matter of time before there’s a serious accident.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: MPs to Debate Calls to Ban Donald Trump

MPs are to debate whether to bar Donald Trump from entering the UK in response to a public petition calling for action against the US Presidential candidate.

About 568,000 people have backed a petition calling on the tycoon to be barred for comments he made about banning Muslims from the US.

Labour MP Paul Flynn will lead a debate in Westminster Hall on 18 January.

David Cameron has condemned Mr Trump, who has major business interests in the UK, but said he should be allowed in.

The Commons petitions committee decided to hold a debate on the issue after considering the matter at a meeting on Tuesday. Under the current rules, MPs have to consider any petition with 100,000 signatures for discussion in Parliament.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Vatican Daily Slams Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

‘Refuse violence in name of religion’ says L’Osservatore Romano

(ANSA) — Vatican City, January 5 — Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano on Tuesday slammed a cover of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo showing God with a machine gun. It said the cartoon came amid “the sad paradox of a world that is ever more careful of political correctness to the point of flirting with the ridiculous” and said it didn’t respect “the faith in God of all believers, whatever creed they profess.

“The episode is nothing new because, behind the deceptive flag of ‘uncompromising secularity’, the French weekly once more forgets what religious leaders of all faiths have been repeating for a long time, to refuse violence in the name of religion,” L’Osservatore said.

It said that using God to justify hatred is true blasphemy, as Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

IS Presses Assault on Key Libya Oil Region

Fighting raged between the Islamic State group and Libyan forces Tuesday as the jihadists pushed on the country’s crucial coastal oil terminals.

For the second day running, IS jihadists — an increasingly powerful force in strife-torn Libya — attacked oil facilities in the so-called “oil crescent” along Libya’s northern coast.

IS has for several weeks been trying to push east from its coastal stronghold of Sirte and officials have warned of crippling consequences if the jihadists manage to seize control of Libya’s oil resources.

“Fighting continued today between Daesh and oil facility guards backed by the air force,” said Ali al-Hassi, a spokesman for the unit tasked with guarding oil installations, using an Arabic acronym for IS…

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

Gaza Protest After Hamas Arrests Satirical Journalist

Computers confiscated

(ANSAmed) — GAZA, JANUARY 5 — Hamas police on Monday arrested the satirical journalist Ayman Al-Alul, reported the MAAN news agency. The officers confiscated the computers of the journalist and his wife. Al-Alul often makes ironic Youtube videos on daily life in Gaza, and has in the past been bothered by Hamas for doing so.

Several of his colleagues on Tuesday staged a protest calling for his release.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Palestinian Authority Adrift After Three Months of Unrest

Three months into a wave of violence some have likened to a new uprising, the Palestinian Authority has found itself adrift and increasingly out of touch with frustrated youths behind the unrest, analysts say.

There is even speculation of an eventual collapse of the PA, the governing authority set up under the 1990s Oslo accords that were meant to lead to a final peace deal.

“Young people see no political horizon and suffer from economic crisis and unemployment,” with nearly half jobless compared with more than 27 percent of the overall population, said Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit University near Ramallah and a former Palestinian cabinet minister.

Young Palestinians see little hope of an independent state more than two decades after the Oslo accords — and many do not feel president Mahmud Abbas represents their concerns…

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

‘Cutting Off Heads’ No Response to Criticism: Iran’s Rouhani

Saudi Arabia cannot respond to criticism of its regime by cutting off heads, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

“One does not respond to criticism by cutting off heads,” Rouhani said as he welcomed visiting Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen.

“I hope that European countries who always react on human rights matters will meet their duties.”…

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

Don’t Flirt or Hold Hands, Top Turkey Clerics Tell Soon-to-Weds

Engaged couples should refrain from flirting, holding hands and “other behaviours that are not endorsed by Islam,” Turkey’s religious affairs agency declared Monday.

Answering the question “is it appropriate for those who are engaged to be married to be able to see each other?”, the agency, known as Diyanet, set out where the limits lay for those who plan to tie the knot in overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey.

“There is no harm in engaged couples meeting to get to know each other, as long as they follow the rules of privacy,” it said in a statement on its website…

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

Iraq Must Walk a Fine Line Amid Iranian, Saudi Tensions

While many Iraqi Shiites took to the streets in outrage over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, the country’s prime minister has had to walk a more cautious line, trying to contain Iraq’s own explosive sectarian tensions.

The execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr has inflamed the sectarian divide across the region. Shiite-led Iran has been the most vocal in its condemnation, and protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran over the weekend. That prompted Sunni-led Saudi Arabia to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, and the kingdom’s allies have lined up behind it, either cutting or reducing their ties with Tehran.

The government of Iraq, however, is straining to keep the peace amid the regional tumult. Iran is a key ally of the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, has helped it in the fight against the Islamic State group, and supports powerful Shiite militias in the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Jordan Releases Top MB Leader Bani Irsheid

Bani Irsheid vows national political initiative

AMMAN — Jordan on Monday released from prison top Muslim Brotherhood leader Zaki Bani Irsheid after completing sentence of 18 months.

Bani Irsheid showed defiance and called for sweeping reforms during his first public appearance.

“We love freedom and seek to reconciliation with everybody,” he told supporters during his reception.

“Authorities want renaissance, we are ready, but that does not happen by force,” he said.

Hundreds of supporters gathered north-west Amman to welcome Bani Irsheid , who served as president of the MB shura council and secretary general of the Islamic Action Front (IAF).

“I come from a prison and realize the suffering of prisoners,” and called for urgent reforms in the country.

“The situation in Jordan can no longer handle losing time. The country is saturated with bad management and this country needs free people,” he added.

The outspoken Bani Irsheid was imprisoned for publishing remarks on his Facebook page where he vilified the UAE after the Abu Dhabi government listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

Bani Irsheid was tried at the military run state security court and found guilty of harming ties between the kingdom and an Arab country.

Activists and human rights pundits criticized authorities for imprisoning Bani Irsheid , saying he fill victim to freedom of expression.

Bani Irsheid said he has prepared a national political initiative that he hopes would help defuse political tension.

His release comes at a testy time for the MB, after dozens of high ranking leaders quit the IAF and vowed to establish their own political party.

MB leaders accuse authorities of orchestrating a campaign against the group in order to undermine its influence in the country, but observers say power struggle within ranks is to blame for the current crisis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Officials: Turkish Firms Eye Billions in Saudi Defense Contracts

By Burak Ege Bekdil

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish defense companies are chasing contracts worth several billion dollars in Saudi Arabia, according to Turkish procurement officials.

The officials said that one Turkish armored vehicles maker, FNSS, is looking to win a contract that may be worth up to $10 billion to supply scores of armored vehicles.

One official said FNSS could produce the armored vehicles in Turkey or in Saudi Arabia.

Procurement officials also said Saudi Arabia was interested in two indigenous Turkish systems: the Altay, a new generation main battle tank; and the ANKA, a drone.

The Altay was developed by another armored vehicles maker, Otokar. The government is planning to launch a bidding for its serial production. The ANKA is made by Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

The potential contracts were discussed during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s state visit to Saudi Arabia on Dec. 31. Erdogan met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. Turkey views the Saudi kingdom as an important Sunni ally. Both countries back Syrian opposition fighting to oust Syria’s non-Sunni president, Bashar al-Assad.

Erdogan told reporters that the most important steps Turkey and Saudi Arabia are committed to take were in the fields of “commerce and defense industry.”

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

US Special Ops Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Firefight

One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and another was wounded while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan Tuesday, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News.

One other person wounded is an American service member, but not a special ops soldier, and was believed to be inside the U.S. military “medevac” helicopter that landed nearby, according to that official.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Beijing Sea Flight Test on Disputed Island Draws Rebukes From US, Neighbors

The United States has said that China’s recent test of a new runway on one of seven islands Beijing has constructed in the disputed South China Sea has increased tensions and threatened regional stability.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chinese Villagers Build Giant Golden Chairman Mao

Nearly 40 years after the death of China’s “Great Helmsman” a gigantic golden statue of Chairman Mao has been erected in rural China by admiring business people and villagers.

The 36 metre tall mega-Mao, which reportedly cost 3m yuan (about £312,000), towers over Tongxu county near the city of Kaifeng in Henan province.

Chinese media reports say the statue is built from steel and concrete and decorated in gold-coloured paint.

Mao Zedong, who ruled China until his death in September 1976, has been blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese citizens when his “Great Leap Forward” push for breakneck industrialisation caused a calamitous famine.

Henan province, still one of China’s poorest regions, was one of the areas worst hit by the famine, which some believe claimed up to 45 million lives.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Protests in Hong Kong Over ‘Pro-Beijing’ University Appointment

Large crowds protested in Hong Kong on Sunday after a pro-Beijing official was appointed to a senior role at the main university, as fears grow over what critics see as political interference in the city’s education system.

The downtown rally staged by teachers, students and alumni comes in the wake of Arthur Li’s selection last month as chairman of HKU’s governing council.

The appointment taps in to wider concerns that academic freedoms in the city are under threat, particularly in the wake of last year’s student-led mass pro-democracy rallies…

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

Up Close at Huawei, China’s Challenger to Smartphone Giants

A look inside Huawei’s HQ in Shenzen, the Silicon Valley of China, where plans are being laid to overtake Apple and Samsung

Under the milky grey sky, Lin challenges the autumn heat in a white dress and black jacket, walking confidently in her high heels. “There are seven women for every man in Shenzhen,” she says.

Continuously chatting, replying to emails, and swiftly tapping the screen of her phone — a Huawei smartphone, of course — Lin makes a point of noting that employees aren’t prohibited from using competitors’ phones and gadgets.

Shenzhen is home to the headquarters of Huawei, China’s largest smartphone producer and third in the global market behind Apple and Samsung. Its sprawling campus is a city within a city replete with 3,200 apartments for some 50,000 resident employees, roads, parks, and even a small lake with black swans brought in from Australia. “I live here and it’s a 20-minute walk to work,” Lin says. “If I lived in the city it would take me at least an hour and a half.”…

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

Around 200 Eritreans Protest Against Forced ID in Lampedusa

EU Commission has urged Italy to take migrant fingerprints

(ANSA) — Lampedusa, January 5 — About 200 Eritrean migrants who reached the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa on December 24 staged a protest on Tuesday against the obligation to provide digital fingerprint identification.

The European Commission has urged Italy to ensure that migrants’ fingerprints are taken, by force if necessary, and to hold anyone who resists attempts at identification.

Eritreans are among the migrants most likely to refuse to be identified upon arrival, forensic police chief Daniela Stradiotto told a parliamentary commission in September last year. The protesting Eritreans marched on Tuesday from a Lampedusa reception centre to a central square where police officers are monitoring the rally.

EU regulation requires immigrants’ asylum applications to be handled by the country they first reach. But many migrants do not wish to stay in Italy, rather they are hoping to reach countries such as Germany, Sweden and Britain.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Deportation? No, A Warm UK Welcome for Sudan Migrant Who Ran Through Chunnel to Britain

AN AFRICAN who broke the law running 31 miles to the UK through the Channel Tunnel has been granted asylum — leaving campaigners outraged and baffled.

Abdul Rahman Haroun caused travel chaos for thousands when he brought Eurotunnel train services to a grinding halt last August.

The 40-year-old from Sudan was due in court yesterday and faced up to two years’ jail and automatic deportation.

But instead he was freed on bail and told he may never face trial after the Home Office rubber-stamped his asylum plea.

It sparked fears other migrants will now attempt the perilous trip.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Admits Failure to Relocate Refugees, Lacks Resources

The latest report from the EU says it has relocated only 272 people from Italy and Greece out of a total of 160,000 and has still failed to get enough staff into the hotspots to process refugees in what has turned out to be the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.

In its latest update on the crisis — which has seen a million refugees, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq move across Europe — the European Commission says that, of the 160,000 refugees in Italy and Greece recognized in its relocation plan, only 190 had been moved out of Italy to other countries and only 82 from Greece.

There had been criticism over the ‘hotspots’ due to be set up in both Italy and Greece, for specialist teams to process the refugees. However, in the hotspots of Italy — Lampedusa, Pozzallo, Porte Empedocle, Augusta, Taranto and Trapan — there were only 40 experts dealing with 2,250 refugees.

In Greece, with hotspots in Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos — there were 448 members of Frontex and other staff, dealing with 1,840 refugees. However, in two of its hotspots — Leros and Kos — it listed there being no reception capacity, yet there were 87 staff, including “Screening and debriefing teams, Border Surveillance, Officer and Advance Level Document Officers.”

Plastering Over the Cracks

The admission comes amid deepening divisions within Europe over the refugee crisis. Part of the relocation plan promoted by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, is a relocation of refugees by quota — allocating refugees to member states. However, many countries — particularly in Eastern Europe — have refused to accept the scheme.

The relocation plan has been mired in political, technical and logistical problems, prompting Riccardo Mattei, relocation coordination for the Italian government, to say:

“At this rate, it will take until the end of this century to relocate all 40,000 refugees.”

The refugee crisis has deepened, with Sweden and Denmark imposing border checks, bringing swift criticism from Germany. Italy has also imposed new checks along its border with Slovenia to try and control the influx of refugees.

In his New Year message, European lawmaker Syed Kamall, the Leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, said: “As we say goodbye to 2015 can we really say that we have found long term solutions to our most pressing problems or did we just place more and more sticking plaster over the cracks?”

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

Germany Stunned by Rash of New Year’s Sex Assaults

The German government Tuesday condemned dozens of apparently coordinated sexual assaults against women on New Year’s Eve in the western city of Cologne blamed on Arab men but warned against anti-migrant scapegoating.

Justice Minister Heiko Mass called for a thorough investigation of the rash of attacks, ranging from groping to at least one reported rape, allegedly committed in a large crowd of revellers during year-end festivities at the city’s main train station.

ADVERTISING”This represents a new dimension of crime that we will have to get to grips with,” he told reporters, adding that the assaults had appeared to be “coordinated”…

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

Immigrants to Make Up Half of London Population in 15 Years Sparking NHS Strain Fears

ONE in three people who live in London were born abroad and immigrants are set to account for half the capital’s population within 15 years.

It is expected the foreign-born population will rise to more than five million in 2031 based on predictions from the 2011 census.

The figures show the booming number of people living in the capital is down to the influx in foreign-born immigrants rather than UK citizens moving in.

There are fears that if the population continues to rocket unchecked it could put an unbearable strain on hospitals, schools, housing and transport infrastructure.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: CEI Supports Migration Management With Eur 100.000

Co-financing approved for 11 projects across Central Europe

(ANSA) — TRIESTE, 04 GEN — The Central European Initiative (CEI) will co-finance 11 projects dealing with the management of the migratory crisis in Central and Eastern Europe.

The total of 96.000 euros of support has been approved in the framework of the Extraordinary Call for co-financing Cooperation Activities related to migration and security issues, launched last August by the CEI Cooperation Fund, financed by all CEI Member States.

The applicants included the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the inter-ministerial Balkan Initiative for Migrants and Refugees (MARRI), the Foundation of the NATO Defense College, the Strasbourg-based Association for Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA), the Ukrainian University of Ivano-Frankivsk, the Vienna-based Institut für den Donauraum und Mitteleuropa, the European Movement (Macedonia), the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (Albania), the Trieste-based International Solidarity Consortium (ICS), and a number of other organisations from Slovenia and Serbia.

Most of the approved projects will start their implementation during the first trimester of 2016.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Hosting Refugees in Families Could Save 70% of State Costs

Milan prepares to create list of families ready to host migrants

(ANSA) — Milan, January 5 — Hosting refugees in the homes of Italian families could help save about 70% of average State spending on migrant reception, Milan city councillor for social policy Pierfrancesco Majorino said on Tuesday.

Majorino was responding to a debate that has erupted over the council’s plan to create a list of families ready to host international asylum seekers.

“Welcoming refugees within families will not only allow us to try out new and more efficient forms of solidarity and social inclusion, but also to rationalise the use of state resources,” he said.

The council’s plan would involve refugees currently living at centres for asylum seekers and refugees that have already obtained rights to international protection.

The cost of hosting a migrant in a State centre amounts to about 35 euros per day, compared to a calculated cost of 10.5 euros for refugees staying in families, he said.

The council is due to try out an experimental project which will have a total cost of 42,000 euros compared to the 128,800 spending forecast for similar hosting of migrants in a reception centre.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Archbishop to Dine With Nine Muslim Refugees

Will meet Palestinian family who fled Iraq

(ANSA) — Milan, January 5 — Archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola will have lunch with nine Muslim refugees following Epiphany celebrations in the city’s cathedral on Wednesday.

The cardinal will dine with the Hamdawis, a stateless Palestinian family who fled Iraq and passed through Syria, Turkey, Italy, Sweden and Denmark to finally be hosted in the parish of Cinisello Balsamo after spending eight months in the Casa Suraya refugee centre in Milan. “At Casa Suraya it’s like we have a family. In Cinisello Balsamo we have got to know people who live in the context of the parish, we are getting on well,” said the oldest son Khaled.

“I serve as a volunteer for Caritas and I lend a hand to the refugees at Central Station,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Revealed: 1,000+ Migrants Brawl, Rape, Sexually Assault, And Steal at One German Train Station on New Year’s Eve

Just five arrests have been made by German police after central Cologne was transformed into a war-zone on New Year’s Eve, as an estimated 1,000 migrants celebrated by launching fireworks into crowds and sexually assaulting German women caught up in the chaos.

The sordid details of the horrifying sexual assaults and attacks made against ordinary Germans by large gangs of migrants in Cologne in the early hours of Friday morning are just now emerging.

Far from a small number of sex assaults reported to have been made by German speaking men in initial reports on New Year’s Day, dozens of women are now reported to have been molested and “raped”, while dozens more men have been assaulted and robbed.

One victim, 28 year old ‘Katja L’ spoke of her ordeal as she tried to make her way to the waiting room of Cologne railway station with two other girls and a boyfriend in the early hours of new year’s day. She told Der Express — one of the largest regional newspapers: “When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group that met us there”. She said the group was “exclusively young foreign men”. Keeping close to her friends, they pressed on:

“We then walked through this group of men. There was an alley through [the men] which we walked through. Suddenly I felt a hand on my buttocks, then on my breasts, in the end, I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and beat them, the guys did not stop. I was desperate and think I was touched around 100 times in the 200 meters.

“Fortunately I wore a jacket and trousers. a skirt would probably have been torn away from me”.

As Katja L and other witnesses who have since come forward said, as they were molested by the gang the men were laughing and pulling their hair, and there were shouts of “ficki, ficki” (


y) hurled at them as they were called “sluts”. Treating her as “fair game”, there had been so many men groping at her Katja L said she would be unable to positively identify any of the perpetrators to the police.

Others were less lucky. One woman had her tights and underwear torn off by the crowd, and a police source quoted said there had been “rapes” at the station that night.

So far, police have identified 80 victims of the gangs, 35 of which were subjected to sex attacks. Others were assaulted or robbed. Officers suspect there are many more as of yet unreported cases from the night, and are appealing for victims to come forward after their ordeals.

A press conference hosted by Cologne’s chief of police Wolfgang Albers this afternoon confirmed the attacks had been perpetrated by migrants, all of whom were found to be carrying official immigration paperwork by police officers at the time. Mr. Albers said “the crimes have been committed by a group of people who mostly come from her in appearance from the North African and Arab countries”, and that he found the situation “intolerable”.

In addition to the sex attacks, there were several brawls between migrant gangs at the railway station, and large numbers of fireworks were fired into the crowds and at the hapless police. A witness said: “There were thousands of men. Simply firing into the crowd, and as my girlfriend and I wanted to get us to safety, but they blocked our way. We were so scared! We fled from the station”.

Despite dozens of men and women having been attacked, the area being comprehensively monitored by CCTV, and having thousands of potential suspects, Cologne police have arrested just five men so far in relation to the new year’s eve attacks.

The police chief may yet have serious questions to answer on the attacks, which follow a year of record breaking migration, after it emerged that just ten officers were dispatched to the station after the report of a gang sex assault in the early hours of the morning, and unverified accusations started to circulate on-line of officers even ridiculing a victim for not having been vigilant enough to avoid being attacked. Breitbart London has approached Cologne police for comment.

The police union said of the incidents: “This is a completely new dimension of violence. This is something we have not known”.

Before the New Year some German towns cancelled fireworks displays for fear of upsetting migrants who would associate the loud noises with the sounds of a war zone.

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

Sharp Drop in Migrants Arriving in Sweden From Denmark

The number of migrants arriving in southern Sweden from Denmark dropped sharply on the first day that Sweden imposed systematic ID checks on travellers, police said Tuesday.

Police in the southern Swedish region of Skane said they had registered just 48 migrants arriving in Sweden on Monday. Excluding New Year’s Day, there had been at least 200 per day since December 29.

“One can say that it’s a sharp drop. But it’s only been one day (since the controls were introduced), and we can’t exclude that refugees will find other ways of entering Sweden,” police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford said…

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

Facebook Bans Picture of Danish Mermaid Statue for Being ‘Too Sexual’

Censorship is reaching new heights of absurdity, as Facebook has banned a photo of a nude mermaid statue in Denmark.

The social media website’s rules don’t allow the uploading of sexually explicit and/or nude pictures.

The banned image belongs to Denmark’s iconic 102-year-old waterside statue of the Little Mermaid, but Facebook thought the Danish national artwork allegedly had “too much bare skin or sexual undertones,” Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladent reported.

“The Little Mermaid is simply too naked for Facebook,” Danish MP Mette Gjerskov said on her Facebook account after several attempts of trying to post the picture of the mermaid on her Facebook account.

Facebook said it restricts nude pictures, because some audiences might find them offensive. According to Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking site, the images of female breasts can’t show nipples unless they’re seen breastfeeding. And yes, this rule applies to art.

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

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/5/2016

  1. So Frau Merkel and Henriette Reker vow to bring the Cologne “refugees” to justice…. Oh, yeah, right….

  2. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein.

  3. Re. the Little Mermaid

    Try substituting a statue of a wild boar. That will upset our favourite ethnic friends.

    MZ is a scumbag.

  4. you .. mdme mayor ; do affirm and establish the rule of fear….of darkness and violence…of deceit…. of sharia… of islam…. you capitulate to demons …. to baal.

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