Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/7/2016

The latest video from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb promises attacks on Rome, Naples, and Madrid. Another video by the same group shows a Malian AQ leader calling for attacks on France.

In other news, gunmen fired on an Israeli tour bus near the Pyramids in Egypt, but no one was injured. The tourists on the bus were Israeli Arabs.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dora, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Nick, 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
» China’s Defense of the Yuan is Growing More Costly: Chart
» George Soros Sees Crisis in Global Markets That Echoes 2008
» How Central Banks Gained More Control Over the World’s Major Currencies
» Italian Inflation Lowest Since 1959 in 2015
» Italy: European Markets Recover Slightly on China Suspension Move
» Italy: Milan Bourse Falls Backs a Year Amid China Fears
» ‘It’s a Kind of Vicious Cycle’: China’s Foreign Reserves Fall by Record Us$107b in December
» US Trade Deficit Shrinks to Nine-Month Low
» What’s Truly Behind ‘Illusion’ of German Economic Success?
» Chinese Immigrant Defies Obama’s Executive Gun Grab: I Won’t be a Slave Here Too
» Obama Should Focus on Beating Daesh, Stop Violating US Citizens’ Gun Rights
» Sanders Invokes Dante in Anti-Wall Street Crusade
» Welcome to New Reality: Russia and China Challenge US Naval Supremacy
» Yellowstone About to Blow? Scientists Warning Over Super-Volcano That Could Kill Millions
» Canada Going Ahead With Massive Saudi Arms Deal Despite Executions Row
Europe and the EU
» Al-Qaeda Video Threatens Naples, Rome, Madrid
» Britain’s Cameron in Germany to Pursue Quest for EU Changes
» Cameron Asks Germans to Help Keep Britain in EU
» Colonel Gaddafi Warned Tony Blair of Islamist Attacks on Europe, Phone Conversations Reveal
» German Broadcaster Sorry for Slow Reporting on Mob Assaults
» In Cologne — People Are Afraid
» Italian Authorities Question Libyan Terror Suspects
» Italy: ILVA Subsidiaries Among Group Assets Up for Sale
» Italy: M5S Ideologue Paolo Becchi Quits Party
» Italy Mustn’t Exaggerate on Flexibility Says Dijsselbloem
» Italy: Dolce & Gabbana Launches First Hijab and Abaya Range
» Italy Braces for Rain Over Weekend, Snow in Alps
» New Year’s Eve Sex Assaults Also Reported in Zurich: Police
» Poland: Media: Kaczynski Met With Orban, Focus on Eurozone
» Rome-Brussels Row Deepens With Italy Unrepresented in Juncker’s Cabinet
» ‘Star Wars’ Turned This Tiny Irish Island Into a Tourist Hotspot
» Threatened Swede Talks on Paris Anniversary
» Tommy Robinson Arrested Again Two Days After Launching PEGIDA UK
» Welcome to Sweden of Today. (Video)
North Africa
» Egypt: Gunmen Shoot at Tourist Bus Near Pyramids
» Libya Oil Storage Tanks Set Ablaze During is Assault
» Libya: Media: Truck Bomb in Zliten, 50 Reported Dead
» Libya: ISIS Tells Followers to Go to Ben Jawad Via Sea
Middle East
» Brent Oil Slumps Under $35 for First Time Since 2004
» Erdogan Critic Gulen Goes on Trial on Corruption Charges
» Former Pennsylvania Congressman and Retired US Navy Admiral Joe Sestak Says: “ Iran Fulfilled Its Part of the Nuclear Deal”
» Syria: UNHCR ‘To Send Aid to Regime-Besieged Madaya Soon’
» Turkey Has EU by the Throat: No Funding? Prepare to Accept ‘All Refugees’!
South Asia
» Bangladesh Upholds Death Sentence for Top Islamist Leader
» Between Mr Doval and the Deep Blue Sea
» India: Orissa Pogroms: Catholics in Prayer Ahead of Final Hearing for 7 Innocent Christians
Far East
» Pig Character in Film Poster Gets the Chop in Malaysia
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Boko Haram Kill Seven in Suicide Attack, Raid: Residents
» Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf… New Year’s Migrant Sex Assault in Every Major German City
» ‘Colossal Political Failure’: Angela Merkel’s Imaginary World Ruined
» Countries to Pledge Spots for Syrian Refugees at UN Conference in March
» EU’s Top Priority to ‘Get Migrant Numbers Down’
» Feminists Denounce “German Born Men” After Migrant Sex Attacks
» From Slovenia to Italy: Schengen Slowly Shutting Down
» German Attacks Are a Symptom of Migrant Crisis, Says Leo McKinstry
» Germany: Minister Says Deportations Possible in Cologne Case
» German Minister: Critics of Refugee Program “At Least as Awful” As Migrant Rapists
» Italy: We Won’t Suspend Schengen Says Alfano
» Merkel Facing Coalition Split Over Refusal to Cap Refugee Numbers
» Merkel Rejects Limits on Refugee Intake at CSU Meeting in Bavaria
» More Swedes Than Ever Are Moving Abroad
» Schengen is the Answer to Migrants Says Ravetto
» Slovenia: Province of Gorizia, No Barbed Wire Along Borders
» Suspects in Cologne Sex Attacks ‘Claimed to be Syrian Refugees’
» Sweden Extends Border Controls by a Month
» ‘We Must Save Schengen’ Says Juncker
Culture Wars
» Joy Behar: I’d Vote for Man Who Commits Violence Against Women if He’d Vote for Violence Against Women Act

China’s Defense of the Yuan is Growing More Costly: Chart

China is burning through cash as it battles to support the yuan.

The nation’s foreign currency reserves tumbled by a record $108 billion in December as the central bank sold dollars to stem a slide in the currency. That was about four times greater than analysts predicted in a Bloomberg survey, and reduced the stockpile to the lowest level in three years. Despite the intervention, the yuan’s descent has steepened, with the currency falling to a five-year low on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

George Soros Sees Crisis in Global Markets That Echoes 2008

Global markets are facing a crisis and investors need to be very cautious, billionaire George Soros told an economic forum in Sri Lanka on Thursday.

China is struggling to find a new growth model and its currency devaluation is transferring problems to the rest of the world, Soros said in Colombo. A return to positive interest rates is a challenge for the developing world, he said, adding that the current environment has similarities to 2008.

Global currency, stock and commodity markets are under fire in the first week of the new year, with a sinking yuan adding to concern about the strength of China’s economy as it shifts away from investment and manufacturing toward consumption and services. Almost $2.5 trillion was wiped from the value of global equities this year through Wednesday, and losses deepened in Asia on Thursday as a plunge in Chinese equities halted trade for the rest of the day.

“China has a major adjustment problem,” Soros said. “I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

How Central Banks Gained More Control Over the World’s Major Currencies

Globalized trade, more concentrated currency power.

The reaction of the world’s major currencies to potential changes in monetary policy hasn’t been this strong in 15 years, according to strategists at HSBC.

Global equity markets have started 2016 with a thud amid continued weakness in China’s currency, an echo of August’s market meltdown, with the People’s Bank of China reducing the yuan fixing rate to its lowest level since 2011. But exchange rate potency isn’t just for central bankers who operate in economies with currency pegs, according to HSBC’s strategists.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Inflation Lowest Since 1959 in 2015

Consumer spending set for biggest rise in decade this year

(ANSA) — Brussels, January 5 — Average Italian inflation slowed down for the third consecutive year, hitting its lowest level since 1959 in 2015, Istat national statistics agency said Tuesday.

Inflation slowed from +0.2% in 2014 to +0.1% last year, dropping to its lowest level since 1959 when it was at -0.4%, Istat said. The average consumer shopping cart of food, home products and personal care products became more expensive last year (+0.8%) than in 2014 (+0.3%), Istat said. The agency added that fuel prices plunged -10-3% in 2015, against -2.1% the previous year.

In related news, a report by Coop large-scale retail distributor said family spending is set to rise by 1.4% in 2016, its largest annual increase in the past decade.

The Coop report said that 2016 is seen as “the year of hope” by more than a third of Italians.

Another one in six of Italians are associating the year with change, while for 14% the prevailing sentiment is fear.

Based on its survey of spending intentions, the report found that per capita consumption will remain at levels seen in the 1990s.

Italians will spend 1,700 euros less than they did in 2007 per capital, according to Coop.

Also on Tuesday, Coldiretti farmers association reported food consumer prices grew 11 times the average rate of yearly inflation (+0.1%), but those earnings did not benefit those who produced the food. “The trend in food prices reflects seasonal conditions but it also the result of (market) distortions that still exist and that occur after the products leave the field and before they reach the table,” Coldiretti said. “In that phase, prices rise an average of five times, albeit with differences between fresh produce and processed foods”. Coldiretti added that Italian family spending on food and beverages rose by an estimated 0.3% in 2015 after contracting for seven consecutive years. The positive trend is expected to continue this year, the association said. Food spending is the second most important family budget item after housing, and is a key indicator of the state of the national economy, Coldiretti said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: European Markets Recover Slightly on China Suspension Move

Milan bourse closes down 1.14%, spread 101 points

(ANSA) — Milan, January 7 — European stock markets recovered some ground on Thursday afternoon after authorities in China suspended a circuit-breaking mechanism that sent Asian stocks plunging earlier in the day.

The mechanism, introduced by China in December, is designed to suspend trading automatically in the presence of excessive volatility. The Milan bourse closed down 1.14% on 20,189 points compared to a 2.2% plunge in early trading.

The differential between 10-year Italian treasury bonds and their benchmark German equivalent stood at 101 basis points.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Bourse Falls Backs a Year Amid China Fears

FTSE Mib index down 2.6%, below 2,000 points

(ANSA) — Milan, January 7 — The Milan bourse on Thursday fell back to the level it was at a year ago amid fears on the Chinese economy.

The bellwether FTSE Mib index fell below 20,000 points, hovering between 19,887 e 19,901 after a loss of 2.6% that pushed it back to mid-January 2015 levels.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘It’s a Kind of Vicious Cycle’: China’s Foreign Reserves Fall by Record Us$107b in December

China’s foreign exchange reserves fell more than US$100 billion in December as the central bank struggled to fight massive capital outflows and fend off attacks on the yuan.

Markets were taken by surprise as data released by the People’s Bank of China on Thursday revealed the reserves had fallen a record US$107.9 billion — the first time a monthly fall has surpassed the US$100 billion mark and the tenth monthly fall of 2015.

The new data meant that for 2015 as a whole there had been a fall of US$512.7 billion to US$3.33 trillion — lower than the US$3.4 trillion expected by economists and down from US$3.84 trillion at the end of 2014.

The meltdown of China’s foreign exchange reserves picked up in August after the PBOC ended a soft peg to the US dollar and targeted a basket of currencies on August 11. The move resulted in sharp depreciation of the yuan against the greenback and triggered frequent intervention by the central bank to defend the yuan. August’s fall of US$93.9 billion was second only to the drop in December.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

US Trade Deficit Shrinks to Nine-Month Low

The US trade deficit shrank in November to a nine-month low as a sharp drop in imports outpaced a decline in exports, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

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

What’s Truly Behind ‘Illusion’ of German Economic Success?

Germany is well-known as the locomotive of the European Union, which keeps economies of less developed countries afloat. But is Germany an ideal example for other states? Or is this perception just a widespread illusion?

According to Marcel Fratzscher, one of the most reputable German economists, Germany is currently going through a period of self-satisfaction.

Germans are sure that their economy is booming and that they should be rewarded for its strong economic performance. However, such widespread perception is just an illusion, which — to some extent — may even be dangerous, the expert wrote for the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Fratzscher argued that his country can be proud of the fact that it managed to significantly decrease its unemployment rate and create more jobs. He also mentioned that German export companies have become very competitive, while the government itself has managed to generate budget surpluses.

At the same time, however, the German economy experienced no boom for more than 25 years: Since the introduction of the euro in 1999, the country registered only a modest economic growth, which was three percent less than that of the French economy and ten percent less compared with Spain.

According to the expert, the growth of the German economy is one-sided and unbalanced — it is almost exclusively driven by consumption, while the investment rate remains the lowest among all industrialized countries.

“Despite booming consumer demand, German companies invest less in Germany and more in countries abroad. Companies complain about poor infrastructure, lack of skilled labor forces, […] excessive bureaucracy and false regulations,” the expert said.

Moreover, the German market is currently characterized by a rising inequality regarding wealth, income and opportunities, with “far too few people in Germany having a real chance to use their professional skills,” the expert argued.

Although, Germany is now at the peak of its economic performance with a high level of competitiveness and a strong labor market, certain sectors require serious improvements.

“However, the experience teaches us that economies often need to be in trouble until politicians demonstrate their will to carry our necessary reforms,” Fratzscher said.

“The coming years might therefore be years of missed opportunities,” he concluded.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chinese Immigrant Defies Obama’s Executive Gun Grab: I Won’t be a Slave Here Too

A Chinese immigrant took a bold stand against President Obama’s recent executive actions on gun control Tuesday in a viral message posted to social media.

Lily Tang Williams, the state chair of the Colorado Libertarian Party, posted a photo to Facebook featuring her AR-15 rifle and the American flag with a vow to never again be a “slave.”

“I am a Chinese immigrant and an American citizen by choice. I once was a slave before and I will never be one again,” Williams wrote.

“If you believe more gun control by your government is going to save lives, you are being naïve. The champion of all the mass killings in this world is always a tyrannical government.”

Williams went on to point out the thousands of unarmed students killed during the Tienanmen square massacre, promising to defy the president and “his pen.”

“Where I came from, China had killed thousands of the students by its own government during the massacre of Tian An Men square in 1989. I surely wish my fellow Chinese citizens back then had guns like this one I am holding in the picture,” she wrote.

“I will always stand with my AR, no matter what my President signs with his pen.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Should Focus on Beating Daesh, Stop Violating US Citizens’ Gun Rights

Barack Obama should concentrate on fighting Daesh, rather than violating US citizens’ second amendment rights.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama must put an end to his invasion of US citizens’ second amendment rights and concentrate on eliminating Daesh, US House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Wednesday.

“I think it’d be nice if he would actually focus on defeating ISIS, on calling radical Islamic terrorism what it actually is instead of talking about how we can intimidate and frustrate the second amendment rights of law abiding citizens,” Ryan said at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Obama earlier unveiled measures that would require individuals involved in trading firearms to obtain special licenses and carry out background checks of their customers. The US government would treat failure to comply by firearms salespeople as a criminal matter.

Obama also pledged to increase funding for treating mental health as well as support research on gun safety technology. The president underscored that the measures will not violate US citizens’ constitutional right to bear and keep arms, but many are skeptical.

“The President clearly does not respect the Second Amendment rights for law abiding Americans,” Ryan said. “We will look at all of our options but we will not take this distraction for more than it is: a distraction.”

On Wednesday, US advocacy group National Gun Victims Action Council Secretary Martha Rosenberg told Sputnik that Obama could implement a state of emergency to prevent any legal challenges to his executive gun control regulations.

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

Sanders Invokes Dante in Anti-Wall Street Crusade

Presidential hopeful slams ‘usury’

(ANSA) — New York, January 7 — US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has evoked Dante in his crusade against Wall Street.

Arguing for limits on credit-card interest, he said Thursday “the Bible has a name for this practice, it’s called usury. And in the Divine Comedy Dante reserved a special place in the Seventh Circle of Hell for those who give loans at usury-level interest”. Wall Street’s greed, he said, “is destroying the fabric of our nation”.

If Wall Street fails to curb that greed, said the Vermont Senator, “we’ll do it for them.

“Fraud is Wall Street’s business model”, he said, saying the Fed had been “hijacked” by bankers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Welcome to New Reality: Russia and China Challenge US Naval Supremacy

Russia and China have achieved remarkable success in their efforts to develop advanced navies, which presents a challenge to America’s naval supremacy at a time when the US Navy is trying to adept to the changing security environment, US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said.

“For the first time in 25 years, the United States is facing a return to great power competition. Russia and China both have advanced their military capabilities to act as global powers,” he stated in a report, titled “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.” The document was released on Tuesday.

Both countries possess a “growing arsenal of high-end warfighting capabilities,” designed to exploit the US Navy’s “vulnerabilities” and “to leverage the maritime, technological and information systems,” the document noted.

In addition, Russia and China “continue to develop and field information-enabled weapons, both kinetic and non-kinetic, with increasing range, precision and destructive capacity.”

“The Russian Navy is operating with a frequency and in areas not seen for almost two decades, and the Chinese PLA(N) is extending its reach around the world,” the report added.

The document also mentioned other players, who are trying to acquire “advanced technology, including military technologies that were once the exclusive province of great powers.” Richardson listed North Korea, Iran’s “advanced missiles, proxy forces and other conventional capabilities,” as well as international terrorist organizations as a threat to the US.

“Coupled with a continued dedication to furthering its nuclear weapons and missile programs, North Korea’s provocative actions continue to threaten security in North Asia and beyond,” the document stated.

Incidentally, on Wednesday, Pyongyang announced that North Korea successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. Russia condemned the move as a violation of international law and urged all stakeholders to look for to a diplomatic solution to the issue.

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

Yellowstone About to Blow? Scientists Warning Over Super-Volcano That Could Kill Millions

SCIENTISTS have warned the world is in “volcano season” and there is up to a 10% chance of an eruption soon killing millions of people and devastating the planet

The world’s most dangerous active volcanoes include Yellowstone, Mount Vesuvius in Campagnia, Italy, and Popocatépetl i near Mexico City.

If any of them or other massive volcanic peaks suffered a major eruption the team said millions of people would die and earth’s atmosphere would be poisoned with ash and other toxins “beyond the imagination of anything man’s activity and global warming could do over 1,000 years.

The chance of such as eruption happening at one of the major volcanoes within 80 years is put at five to ten per cent by the experts.

There are already fears that Yellowstone could blow any time within the next 70 years on a scale that would wiped out the western USA and affect the course of global history.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada Going Ahead With Massive Saudi Arms Deal Despite Executions Row

Canada has condemned Saudi Arabia’s recent mass execution, but will go through with a controversial arms deal to sell the Middle East kingdom $15 billion worth of weapons.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion released a statement this week decrying the execution of 47 people on January 2 and urging the Saudis to respect peaceful dissent and human rights.

But the killings have not caused Ottawa to back out of a deal to supply the kingdom with armored fighting vehicles. The transaction will support about 3,000 jobs in Canada for 14 years, the Globe and Mail reported.

“A private company is delivering the goods according to a signed contract with the government of Saudi Arabia. The government of Canada has no intention of cancelling that contract,” Adam Barratt, director of communications for Dion, said on Monday.

Federal law compels the Canadian government to consider whether shipping weapons to countries with poor human-rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, would put the local population in danger.

Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares, an anti-war group that tracks arms sales, said on Monday that Dion’s criticism of the mass executions sounds unconvincing given Ottawa’s unwillingness to cancel the arms sale.

“Canada’s condemnation of the most recent gross human-rights violations by the Saudi regime rings somewhat hollow against the backdrop of the $15-billion worth of Canadian military exports that this very regime is set to receive with Ottawa’s blessing,” Jaramillo told the Globe and Mail.

Among those executed was prominent Iranian Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. His killing sparked outrage in Iran, and protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In response, Riyadh cut ties with Tehran.

Canada is making plans to expand diplomatic relations with Iran, which could include reopening Canada’s embassy in Tehran.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Tony Clement urged the Liberals to shelve the idea.

“Iran continues to be a dangerous state sponsor of terrorist groups around the world. When Iran moves away from its terrorist activities, Canada should then act to restore relations,” Clement said.

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

Al-Qaeda Video Threatens Naples, Rome, Madrid

‘Explosions will be everywhere’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 7 — A new video posted by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) Thursday said “we will strike in Naples…Rome…Madrid. The explosions will be everywhere,” the SITE jihadi-monitoring website reported. SITE said Wednesday another new AQMI video showed jihadi Abu Baseer al Bumbari, freed by Mali in exchange for French hostage Serge Lazarevic in 2014, calling on supporters to attack France.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Britain’s Cameron in Germany to Pursue Quest for EU Changes

‘Changes will benefit the EU’ and Berlin too

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to push forward his campaign for changes to the European Union during a visit to Germany Thursday, arguing that his proposals would benefit the EU as well as Britain.

Cameron was in the Alps for a meeting of the Christian Social Union, the Bavaria-only sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. He also met Merkel at the gathering Wednesday evening.

He said that Britain, like EU heavyweight Germany, believes in the free movement of workers “but we want to make sure that … our welfare system is not an unnatural draw to Britain.” Cameron wrote in an op-ed for German daily Bild published earlier Thursday that the changes he wants “will benefit the EU too, and Germany can help deliver them.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cameron Asks Germans to Help Keep Britain in EU

UK prime minister David Cameron appealed to Germany on Thursday (7 January) to support his proposed changes to the EU, arguing they would help to persuade Britons to stay in the bloc.

Cameron is on a visit to Germany, where he met with chancellor Angela Merkel in Bavaria on Wednesday and will outline his reform ideas on Thursday at the annual conference of the sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union.

The UK prime minister campaigned in the EU’s largest economy to enlist its support for his reform proposals ahead of EU leaders’ meeting next month in Brussels.

If a deal is reached in February, Cameron could call for a referendum in June.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Colonel Gaddafi Warned Tony Blair of Islamist Attacks on Europe, Phone Conversations Reveal

Transcripts of two telephone conversations between the two leaders which took place on February 25, 2011, are made public

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi issued a ‘prophetic’ warning to Tony Blair that jihadists would attack Europe if his regime was allowed to collapse, phone conversations reveal.

Gaddafi’s dire prediction was made in two desperate telephone calls with Mr Blair on February 25, 2011 — as civil war was engulfing Libya.

In the first call at 11.15am, Gaddafi said: “They [jihadists] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

German Broadcaster Sorry for Slow Reporting on Mob Assaults

The rash of attacks and thefts in a New Year’s Eve crowd in the western city of Cologne was only widely covered by national media early this week, after police had initially reported no major incidents.

News editors of ZDF’s flagship “heute” (today) evening news programme apologised on social media for not reporting on the incidents at least in its Monday evening bulletin, four days after the attacks.

“The news situation was clear enough. It was a mistake of the 7pm ‘heute’ show not to at least report the incidents,” wrote deputy chief editor Elmar Thevessen on the show’s Facebook page.

Editors had decided to postpone the news segment to Tuesday, the day Cologne’s city hall and police held a crisis meeting on the attacks, he wrote, admitting this was “a clear misjudgement”…

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

In Cologne — People Are Afraid

IN COLOGNE, people are afraid. And many residents are angry.

The German city is reeling after a series of apparently co-ordinated sexual assaults on local women, allegedly committed by large groups of “Arab-looking men”.

Various reports give startling accounts of dozens of offenders surrounding victims, robbing them and in many cases sexually violating them. At least one rape has been reported.

The mass crime is alleged to have occurred on New Year’s Eve as thousands of people were drawn to year-end festivities outside the western German city’s main train station and its famous Gothic cathedral. Police were clearing the area after fireworks were thrown into the crowd — and it is while that operation was being carried out that the assaults took place.

One victim, an 18-year-old identified only as Michelle, has told N-TV in Germany about her ordeal.

“At around 11pm we were at the main train station and wanted to travel on to see the fireworks, and that was when we first noticed all these men standing around,” she said.

“We managed to go into the cathedral and wanted to go past the Museum Ludwig to join everyone and watch the fireworks by the river, but suddenly we were surrounded by a group of between 20 and 30 men.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Authorities Question Libyan Terror Suspects

Judge to decide whether to release men or keep them in jail

(ANSA) — Genoa, January 7 — Three Libyan citizens arrested at Genoa port on Sunday and suspected of links to the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group were interrogated by Italian authorities for more than six hours on Thursday.

Judge Cinzia Perroni will decide at the end of the questioning whether to release the Libyans or to keep them in prison.

The three say they are car dealers who were on their way to Belgium for business. Prosecutors accuse them of being supporters of ISIS. They face charges of money laundering aggravated by international terrorist intent.

Anti-terror police arrested the men on Sunday evening as they disembarked at Genoa port from a ferry coming from Tunis.

They have been named as Abdel Kader Alkurbo, 50, travelling on a Swedish passport, Muhamad Ali Mosa Lufty, 43, resident in Brussels, and Mohamed Abdel Mohamed Amar, 39, travelling on a Belgian passport.

Police found on their cellphones pictures of armed children, scenes of war and of people hailing ISIS, wounded people and images linked to jihad.

One of the pictures showed the men swearing allegiance to the black flag of ISIS, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ILVA Subsidiaries Among Group Assets Up for Sale

ILVA Cornigliano plant workers threaten strike

(ANSA) — Rome, January 5 — Assets of the troubled ILVA steel group that have been put up for sale by the government include seven subsidiary companies, according to a tender offer published Tuesday. The companies are Ilva Servizi Marittimi, Ilvaform, Innse Cilindri, Sanac, Taranto Energia, Socova and Tillet.

Industry Minister Federica Guidi signed a decree putting ILVA facilities up for sale on Monday as part of efforts by the government to keep the struggling steel manufacturer alive. Prospective buyers have until February 10 to present their bids. The tender is open to individual companies or alliances of all nationalities that are able to “ensure production continuity” and maintain “adequate employment levels” at ILVA. Also on Tuesday, unions representing workers at ILVA’s Cornigliano plant near Genoa threatened a strike next Monday after failing to reach an agreement with company representatives over pay.

Unions are asking ILVA to allow employees on solidarity contracts to work an additional week per month in order to sustain income levels.

However, the company claims it does not have the resources to increase working hours. ILVA has been placed under special administration as the troubled firm goes through a massive environmental clean-up and financial turnaround project.

The company has employed some 20,000 people and been blamed for decades of environmental degradation and high levels of cancer at its plant in the southern port city of Taranto.

Separately on Tuesday, Cardinal Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Bishops Conference, said ILVA “is an affair that doesn’t only concern Genoa or Taranto, but the whole country”. “I hope that wise, far-sighted and concrete decisions can be taken by those in responsibility, beginning with the government, and that they might protect heath, the workers and also Italian excellence,” Bagnasco said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: M5S Ideologue Paolo Becchi Quits Party

‘Grillo just a hologram’ says law professor

(ANSA) — Genoa, January 5 — The so-called ideologue of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) announced Monday he is quitting what is Italy’s second-largest party after the ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD) of Premier Matteo Renzi. “The M5S is changing into a hybrid party and has made a new pact with the PD,” law professor Paolo Becchi told online daily in an interview.

“It is acting as a crutch to the Renzi government,” said Becchi as he announced his “official goodbye to the M5S”.

Becchi added that M5S leader Beppe Grillo “has become a hologram”. The professor added that he canceled his M5S membership on December 31, because the party is no longer truly anti-establishment but rather is working with Renzi’s majority party.

This was seen, he said, in the December election of three new Constitutional Court judges.

That election proved “a new pact between the PD and the M5S has been born and it is being kept top secret, so much so that anyone who mentions it gets covered with online insults,” Becchi charged.

Another nail in the coffin, said Becchi, came when Deputy House Speaker Luigi Di Maio (M5S) told The Financial Times in an interview that the caucus is against Italy leaving NATO.

Bringing Italy out of the eurozone as well as NATO are major planks of the M5S stated program.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Mustn’t Exaggerate on Flexibility Says Dijsselbloem

‘Let’s not push’ too hard says Eurogroup chief

(ANSA) — Amsterdam, January 7 — Italy mustn’t “exaggerate” in the kinds of budget flexibility it is asking for, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Thursday. “Italy has requested various flexibilities, for structural reforms, for investments, for migrants,” he said…”It depends on the European Commission. All I can say is let’s not push…you can’t exaggerate,” he said. Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, said flexibility was “a margin that can only be used once”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Dolce & Gabbana Launches First Hijab and Abaya Range

Fashion house targets growing demand in Middle East

(ANSA) — Rome, January 7 — Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has launched its first range of hijabs and abayas to cater to growing demand for its luxury designs in Middle Eastern countries.

The range includes black and beige veils and cloaks, some decorated with daisies, roses, and other prints and patterns.

Dolce & Gabbana has teamed the garments traditionally worn by some Muslim women with ornate sunglasses, jewellery, bags and other accessories.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Braces for Rain Over Weekend, Snow in Alps

New, colder phase of winter on the way

(ANSA) — Rome, January 7 — Italy is bracing for rain across the country from Saturday with snow also expected in the north-western Alps, weather experts said on Thursday.

Ski enthusiasts in the Apennines however will have to wait for a fall in temperatures expected on Tuesday before significant snowfall.

Meteorologist Gianni Messeri from Consorzio Lamma-Cnr said that a new phase of winter was set to begin next week with a decline in temperatures following relatively mild weather.

Rain over the weekend is expected to particularly affect central and northern regions. Parts of the south will also see showers while Sicily is expected to avoid the bad weather, Messeri said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New Year’s Eve Sex Assaults Also Reported in Zurich: Police

Six women reported being surrounded by “several dark-skinned men”, who had robbed, groped and molested them, police said, adding that this was an unusually high number for Switzerland.

The statement mentioned the shocking rash of sexual assaults in several Germany cities also on New Year’s Eve.

“It’s a little bit similar,” Zurich police spokesman Marco Cortesi told AFP, stressing though that the scale of the alleged attacks was “difficult to compare.”

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

Poland: Media: Kaczynski Met With Orban, Focus on Eurozone

Probably talks about Eu reforms package proposed by Cameron

(ANSA) — WARSAW — Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Law and Justice (Pis), the right-wing party ruling in Poland, met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban yesterday in Niedzica, southern Poland, the Polish news agency PAP reported. According to PAP, yesterday’s meeting lasted about six hours and ended at around 17pm. No press release was issued after talks.

According to Hungarian website, the relationship between the two countries and the eurozone and all the activities developed by the constitutional courts of both countries were among the issues discussed.

The daily Gazeta Wyborcza dedicates today’s front page to the meeting, talking about the “Anti-EU cousins” and reporting that the two leaders probably talked about the package of EU reforms proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Orban may receive Cameron in Budapest today.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rome-Brussels Row Deepens With Italy Unrepresented in Juncker’s Cabinet

A fresh row has opened up between the EU and Italy, after the country’s sole representative in European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet resigned, allegedly over a dispute that saw some of his powers transferred to another member of staff.

Legal expert Carlo Zadra resigned from his post in Juncker’s EC cabinet, with reports in Italian media suggesting that the resignation stemmed from a falling out between the Italian and the cabinet’s chief of staff, German Martin Selmayr, who had recently transferred some of Zadra’s responsibilities on migration to Briton Michael Shotter.

European Affairs Undersecretary Sandro Gozi was quick to weigh into the decision, saying it was “unacceptable” for Rome not have a representative in Juncker’s team and urged the European Commission to replace him with another Italian.

“Starting 2016 without an Italian certainly doesn’t facilitate relations with Italy,” Gozi said, adding that Zadra is an “excellent servant.”

Gozi, who is a member of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, said it is “essential that a member of Italian nationality” holds a position in Juncker’s cabinet, noting that he had already made this request to cabinet chief of staff Martin Selmayr.

While noting that Mr Juncker had “no legal obligation” on staff quotas in his cabinet, it would be advised to introduce an Italian into his staff as a matter of “political expediency.”

The developments leave Italy without a say on EU migration in Juncker’s team, despite the country being at the centre of the refugee crisis. Italy received more than 150,000 arrivals by sea in 2015 — second in the EU behind Greece.

Fallout Widens

The fallout comes at a time of heightened tensions between Rome and other EU officials, with Italian PM Renzi clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU leaders’ summit in December.

Renzi accused Merkel of reneging on a plan to develop a Eurozone deposit guarantee system, with the criticism highlighting months of tensions between Rome and Berlin.

The Italian has been openly critical of the EU’s economic agenda in recent times, arguing that the German-driven emphasis on austerity has been counterproductive and has led to a surge in support of radical political movements such as the Front National in France.

He also accused Germany of profiting from the euro crisis, noting that German airport operator Fraport had made efforts to buy airports in Greece after Greek leader Alexis Tsipras was urged by Germany to privatize them.

“You cannot say that you are giving your blood to Europe,” he allegedly told Merkel during the summit.

Merkel isn’t the only senior EU official to have drawn criticism from Renzi, with the Italian leader coming to blows with European Council President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and EU President Juncker over the past six months.

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

‘Star Wars’ Turned This Tiny Irish Island Into a Tourist Hotspot

When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiered in Dublin, the room broke out in applause at the sight of national treasure Skellig Michael. Now, the country wants the world to discover the island.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Threatened Swede Talks on Paris Anniversary

Security was stepped up at an art school in central Sweden ahead of a high profile lecture by Swedish cartoonist and freedom of speech campaigner, Lars Vilks, a year after the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Lars Vilks, who was caught up in last year’s terror shootings in Copenhagen, arrived at the venue amid a strong police presence, with local officers from the Örebro region supported by a team from the neighbouring Värmland area.

“We have secured the premises both inside and outside,” Tommy Lindh, a spokesperson for Örebro police told the TT news agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tommy Robinson Arrested Again Two Days After Launching PEGIDA UK

Two days after launching the UK branch of pan-European anti-Islamisation movement PEGIDA, Tommy Robinson has been arrested and charged with an assault allegedly committed in prison in 2014. Documents confirm police dropped the case in October 2015.

“The police told my solicitors I was going to be charged with battery. I was told this allegation was dropped and then two days after the Pegida UK press conference they say I’m going to be charged”, the former English Defence League (EDL) leader told the IB Times tonight.

Continuing: “Whatever this is all about, it’s a complete fabrication. It’s all to do with that press conference. The amount of stupid things they’ve arrested me for in the past, it’s ridiculous.”

“This is so blatant police & state collusion because of my political beliefs”, Mr. Robinson tweeted tonight. “How can you drop the case & then months later decide to come back & charge me @bedspolice it’s embarrassing how blatant this is” he added.

“The state persecution continues. Police have contacted me telling me I have 2 hand myself in 2 face charges. I’ll make video of details later”, he promised on the social media site…

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]

Welcome to Sweden of Today. (Video)

A famous Danish journalist, Lars Hedegaard, said in March 2009:

“I think that the best prediction is that Sweden will have a muslim majority by 2049, so we know where that country is going.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Gunmen Shoot at Tourist Bus Near Pyramids

No victims reported, Arab Israelis in group

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JANUARY 7 — A bus carrying Israeli tourists was attacked near the pyramids by a group of 16 gunmen, according to Egyptian security sources, who added that the tourists were not injured.

According to Jerusalem radio, the Israelis involved in the incident are a group of Arabs. Nobody reported injuries, according to the broadcaster, which added that there were scenes of panic following the attack.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya Oil Storage Tanks Set Ablaze During is Assault

At least four petroleum storage tanks were set ablaze during deadly fighting as the Islamic State group tries to seize coastal export terminals in eastern Libya, the National Oil Company said Wednesday.

The fighting, in which at least 10 security guards have died, began Monday as UN Libya envoy Martin Kobler struggles to convince the oil-rich North African country’s rival parliaments to agree on a unity government deal brokered by the world body.

The fires broke out at key terminals in Al-Sidra and Ras Lanouf, located in the so-called “oil crescent” along Libya’s northern coast, said a statement from the NOC management loyal to the internationally recognised government…

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

Libya: Media: Truck Bomb in Zliten, 50 Reported Dead

Attack targets police training center

Bombing in Tripoli [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20150909 ]

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JANUARY 7 — A truck loaded with explosives struck a police training center in the Libyan city of Zliten, 60 km west of Misrata, with some 50 feared dead, according to the website of Russia Today.

Dozens were reported wounded at the Al-Jahfal training center. The website of Al Jazeera reported that four hospitals in the area are in a state of emergency following the attack.

Russia Today said the hospital of Misrata, some 60 kilometers from Zliten, asked citizens to donate blood.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack yet though ISIS is feared to be behind it as the group is gaining ground and taking advantage of divisions within the country. At least nine soldiers were killed in the past few days in clashes with the jihadists and at least five oil depots have been burning for days.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: ISIS Tells Followers to Go to Ben Jawad Via Sea

Boat arrives in Zliten; ‘unable to prevent morning’s attack’

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JANUARY 7 — The Islamic State (ISIS) has called on its followers to reach the Libyan oil terminals of Ben Jawad via sea, according to the SITE intelligence group. Tripoli sources have meanwhile told the Libya Herald that a boat carrying foreigners had arrived on the beaches of Zliten two days before but that security forces had not been able to prevent Thursday’s attack. The Ben Jawad oil facilities and those of the neighboring Ras Lanuf are at the center of an ISIS offensive launched at the beginning of the year. ISIS claims to have taken full control of the coastal city and on Thursday posted photos of fighters using its trademark black flag controlling the streets. “We had information that a boat arrived at the town’s shore two days ago carrying a number of strangers,” Zliten Security Directorate’s Serraj Al-Rashdi told the Libya Herald. “We started an operation yesterday to register all strangers in the town without residency permits, but unfortunately this didn’t prevent this catastrophe,” referring to a suicide attack that killed dozens in a coast guard training camp on Thursday. The daily went on to say that “there has been at least one other report this week of a boatload of militants, sailing from Tunisia to Sabratha where more militants were picked up and then on, further east. Its destination, however, was said to be Sirte.” A Libyan study states that at least 10,000 foreign jihadists are fighting for ISIS in Libya, reported the website Akhbar Libya 24 in summing up a report by a Libyan center for terrorism studies. The center warned that the number of foreign fighters could rise and that one of the major countries of origin was Tunisia, followed by Mali, Sudan and Egypt. The latest figures seen as reliable by the UN and Western intelligence services put the number of fighters at around 5,000. The figure is rising, however, after numerous appeals to fighters to go to Libya and not Syria and Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Brent Oil Slumps Under $35 for First Time Since 2004

Brent oil prices tumbled Wednesday beneath $35 for the first time in 11 years, plagued by abundant oversupply and amid the ongoing row between key producers Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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

Erdogan Critic Gulen Goes on Trial on Corruption Charges

A US-based Turkish preacher who has emerged as an arch-enemy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went on trial in absentia Wednesday along with several former police chiefs charged over the corruption allegations that hit the Turkish leader in 2013.

Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan turned chief foe, was not present at the start of the proceedings in Istanbul, with Washington failing to grant Turkish requests for his extradition from his secluded compound in Pennsylvania.

He is being tried along with dozens of former police officers, including the former head of Istanbul police Yakup Saygili and the city’s ex-deputy criminal police chief Kazim Aksoy, both of whom are said to have ordered the graft probe…

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

Former Pennsylvania Congressman and Retired US Navy Admiral Joe Sestak Says: “ Iran Fulfilled Its Part of the Nuclear Deal”

Here’s former Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman and US Navy Admiral Joe Sestak suggesting that Iran has met all of the conditions for release of $100 billion in sequestered funds? Sestak is either desperate, myopic or both in the looming electoral battle going up against incumbent Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey who beat him in a narrow 2010 race. This Washington Free Beacon report discusses the incredulity of Sestak’s remarks, Joe Sestak: ‘Iran Has Met Its End of the Deal’. Sestak’s assertions come in the face of definitive evidence of Iran’s violation of UN Resolutions banning ballistic missile testing, which experts allege has only purpose; fitting a nuclear warhead.

Note these excerpts from the Washington Free Beacon report:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Syria: UNHCR ‘To Send Aid to Regime-Besieged Madaya Soon’

Rebel forces allowing civilians out of Foua and Kafraya

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JANUARY 7 — The Syrian government has pledged to allow humanitarian organizations to reach the regime-besieged city of Madaya, UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said Thursday. Aid is expected to arrive in the coming days to the city, where tens of thousands of civilians are struggling to survive and many have starved to death, she added. Opposition forces besieging the two northern, pro-regime cities of Foua and Kafraya have also agreed to allow civilians out. An estimated 40,000 people are trying to survive in Madaya, which was once a resort town. Snow has fallen in recent days, making the conditions even more difficult for the population. Hundreds have also recently been displaced to the city from nearby Zabadani, which was long fought bitterly over between opposition forces and regime and allied ones.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Has EU by the Throat: No Funding? Prepare to Accept ‘All Refugees’!

Ankara cornered the EU: should the bloc refuse to fund Turkey, the country will send “all refugees” to the Union, a European Parliament member said.

RIGA (Sputnik) — Turkey is blackmailing the European Union by asking for funding to address the refugee crisis, Member of the European Parliament Iveta Grigule said Wednesday.

“Turkey is engaged in blackmail: give us money and we will help refugees, give us money, and we will detain them. The EU is cornered. If it refuses to give money, Turkey will let all refugees in here,” Grigule told the Baltkom radio in an interview.

According to Grigule, the European Commission is the only EU body capable of improving the situation with refugee arrivals but it fails to cope with its duties.

Grigule also said the European Union’s future did not seem to be “bright,” as the bloc was initially created as a financial pyramid.

The European Commission set up a 3-billion-euro (almost $3.8 billion) fund for Turkey in November, of which some 500 million euros have been transferred to Ankara to help it bolster border security and accommodate some 2.2 million Syrian refugees. The rest is still to be donated to the fund by EU member-states.

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

Bangladesh Upholds Death Sentence for Top Islamist Leader

Bangladesh’s highest court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence for the leader of the country’s largest Islamist party for crimes during its 1971 independence struggle, paving the way for his execution within months.

The Supreme Court led by chief justice S.K. Sinha dismissed an appeal by Motiur Rahman Nizami, the “Emir” of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who was sentenced to be hanged for murder, rape and orchestrating the killing of top intellectuals as the head of a ruthless militia during the conflict.

“The court upheld the death sentence in three out of four charges. We’re very happy,” prosecutor Tureen Afroz told reporters.

Nizami, 72, Jamaat’s leader since 2000 and a minister in a former Islamist-allied government of 2001-2006, now faces the gallows within months unless his case is reviewed by the same court or he is granted clemency by the president…

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

Between Mr Doval and the Deep Blue Sea

By Ajai Shukla

This title, borrowed from a comment posted by @ajith27 on Twitter after the Pathankot attack, accurately sums up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s current predicament. His bold opening to Pakistan last week, which shifted the moribund peace dialogue from the morgue to intensive care, depends upon peace —- both on the Indo-Pakistan border, and in the relative absence of terrorist strikes originating from Pakistan. But National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s inept handling has transformed what should have been a short, intelligence-driven, counter-terrorist operation into something that increasingly seems like a debacle. For the peace dialogue to continue, India cannot afford to gift an aura of success to the terrorist “spoilers” who will inevitably follow up with further strikes. If only for our own sake, India must competently defend itself.

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

India: Orissa Pogroms: Catholics in Prayer Ahead of Final Hearing for 7 Innocent Christians

The seven Christians were accused without proof of murdering guru Laxamananda Saraswati. They have been held for seven years, even though Maoist rebels have always claimed the murder. A profile of the seven accused. New episodes of tension in Kandhamal district. In Barkhama, Christians stopped from celebrating Christmas.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) — The final hearing of the trial of the seven Christians begins tomorrow, sentenced to life imprisonment — without any evidence — for the murder of the Hindu leader Laxamananda Saraswati, whose death sparked violent anti-Christian pogrom of 2008 in Orissa . Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), has launched an appeal: “We ask everyone to pray for the seven innocent Christians”.

Tomorrow the court of Phulbani will decide the fate of the seven men, who were accused on the back of two witness statements, later recanted. At first the two accusers said they had seen the suspects gathered in a forest and “conspiring against the Hindu leader.” But they later dropped the charges.

These Christians have been awaiting judgment for seven years, after a series of postponements and sham trials. “They are languishing in prison — says Sajan K George — despite the fact that Maoists have twice claimed responsibility for the murder of the swami Laxamananda and his four followers”.

To raise awareness about the plight of these seven Christians, their families have shared some information about them with AsiaNews:

Bijay Kr Sunseth, son of Salai Sunseth. Originally from Madhuguda (Kotagad). He and his wife Pabitra have six children, two sons (15 and 9) and four daughters (14, 10, 7 and 5). Because of the situation, the eldest has not been able to complete his mid-term exams. The children live in hostels paid by benefactors. The family belongs to the Baptist Church (Kandhamal Union). According the wife, Bijay was a community leader. On 13 December 2008, police summoned him to the station where he was arrested and taken to Rayagada. They claimed they captured him in the jungle.

Gornath Chalanseth, son of Bachan Chalanseth. Originally from Sartuli (Kotagad). He and his wife Ruta have an older married daughter and three sons. The oldest lives in Berhampur, where he is studying engineering and works part-time to support himself. The youngest are 12 and 9. According to his wife and brother Banga, police summoned Gornath for the first time in December 2008, and then sent him home. On the 13th of the month, they arrested him along with Bijay. In his case, they also claimed that they had captured him in the jungle.

Budhadeb Nayak, son of Muga Nayak. Originally from Kilangi (Kotagad). He and his wife Nilandri have three sons and two daughters. The two eldest sons are married, and one is Protestant clergyman in Chhattisgarh. The third is 7. His daughters are 8 and 7. According to his wife, police took him away in the middle of the night when he was asleep.

Bhaskar Sunamajhi, son of Budui Sunamajhi. Originally from Kutiguda (Kotagad). He and his wife Debaki have a son, 6, who does not go to school yet. Bhaskar was a village guard (working with police). Some 10 to 12 days before Christmas 2008, he was playing cards with friends when police told him to take money and clothing and go with them. Having done this before, Bhaskar had no qualms about doing it again. This time however, police took him away and charged him with murder.

Durjo Sunamajhi, son of Asin Sunamajhi. Originally from Budapada (Kotagad). He and his wife Gumili have three sons and due daughters. His older sons work whilst the 8-year-old goes to school. His daughters are 12 and 3 (the youngest one does not go to school yet). In October 2008, police stormed his home at night and took him away.

Munda Badmajhi, son of Dhanura Badmajhi. Originally from Duringpodi (Kotagad). He and his wife Bamdiguali have due sons and due daughters. The eldest son, 10, was in grade 4 when his father was arrested. He had to leave school to go to work. The youngest son is now 7 and a Christian clergyman is paying for his school fee. As in Durjo’s case, in October 2008 police took Munda away in the middle of the night. His wife tried to give a shawl but was turned away.

Sanatan Badmajhi, son of BaldoBadmajhi. Originally from Madaguda (Kotagad). He and his wife Badusi have two sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter is 11 and attends a government school, followed by the two boys, 7 and 5, and a sister, 8. Police arrested him in Sanatan on 4 October 2008, and took him away when he was asleep.

Meanwhile, while waiting for the last hearing, some villages of the state report that they are living in fear of a possible repeat of the 2008sectarian violence. The Hindu group Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samity (KSSS), affiliate of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the RSS (Rastriya Sevaka Sangh), has called a general strike [in local language “bandh” — Ed] in the days of the Christmas celebrations. The strike blocked transport, preventing Christians from some remote villages from reaching the local churches, and closed down shops.

The most serious incident, however, as reported to AsiaNews by Fr. Ajay Singh, director of the Forum for Social Action of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, took place in the village of Barkhama. “While the national newspapers — he says — advertise a situation of peace in Orissa during the Christmas period, they all ignored the threats that Christians suffered in Barkhama”.

The Catholic leader reveals that on the morning of December 25, the faithful found the village roads blocked by uprooted trees and heavy boulders.

The authors of the act were over 1000 Hindu radicals, who prevented Christians from going to church to celebrate Christmas. Fr. Singh says: “Christians have filed a complaint but the police refused to register the case. They also sent a memorandum to Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of the state. Now they live in fear and insecurity”.

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

Pig Character in Film Poster Gets the Chop in Malaysia

Cinema posters and a billboard advertisement for a Hong Kong blockbuster film have been modified in Muslim-majority Malaysia to erase a half-man, half-pig character.

“The Monkey King 2,” an action-fantasy movie set to hit cinema screens during the Lunar New Year next month, has a star-studded cast including Gong Li and Aaron Kwok.

It is based on a Chinese novel about a monk who travels far and wide with his three disciples, including a half-man, half-pig character called Zhu Bajie.

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

Boko Haram Kill Seven in Suicide Attack, Raid: Residents

Boko Haram gunmen have mounted their first attacks since Nigeria’s government declared them “technically” defeated, killing seven people in a raid and suicide bombing, residents told AFP on Wednesday.

The attacks happened on Tuesday in the northeastern state of Borno, near the Islamists’ Sambisa Forest hideout, where the army is looking to flush out remnants of the rebel group.

ADVERTISINGPresident Muhammadu Buhari, who has made crushing the rebellion a priority, in December said a sustained counter-offensive had reduced the group’s ability to strike effectively…

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

Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf… New Year’s Migrant Sex Assault in Every Major German City

Police have recieved 53 complaints of harrasment relating to new year’s eve so far

German capital city Berlin has joined the sad parade of cities touched by migrant sex violence on New Year’s Eve, with hundreds of assaults now reported to police in Cologne and other cities.

Although on a smaller scale to the unrestrained and un-policed sex attacks in Cologne, the Berliner Morgenpost has now reported on assaults taking place on the street “in front of the Brandenburg gate”.

The revelation may prove difficult for the German media, which until now has stressed in most reports on the new year’s rapes that Berlin was not caught up in the scandal.

The paper reports four separate incidents around the city, including a tourist being sexually assaulted by a group of “three to five men”, and two women being “sexually harassed” by men from Pakistan and Iraq.

Another woman came forward to police on Tuesday following national press coverage of the migrant rape scandal to report being “touched” at a music event by “several immoral men”.

[Comment: Coordinated attacks in all theses cities. This is “probing”; foreign invading army tests the defences of the natives.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Colossal Political Failure’: Angela Merkel’s Imaginary World Ruined

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made neither public nor personal statements about the terror alert in Munich or the violent attacks on women in Cologne.

Both events occurred five or six days ago and left the German population in the state of shock.

“Who has been waiting for a clear, or at least compassionate word of the Chancellor during the emergency meeting on Tuesday […] was disappointed,” German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) wrote.

Instead of some appropriate reaction to the recent events, Merkel continued to persuade Germans that “some things may develop for the better,” DWN wrote.

“Many events will accompany us this year. But we must not let them discourage us, we must always persuade each other that we can change something for the good. Some things may develop for the better,” Merkel argued.

The New Year’s holidays turned out to be a mess for some Germans. On January 1, French intelligence agencies have warned Munich authorities about two suicide bombers and five accomplices who were said to be preparing terrorist attacks in the city.

A day earlier, on the New Year’s Eve, some 90 women in Cologne were robbed, threatened and sexually assaulted by small groups of aggressive men allegedly of Arab and North African origin.

According to DWN, Merkel seems to be out of touch with reality which became totally different after the New Year’s celebrations. The newspaper called the Chancellor’s speech “a colossal political failure” and said that the Chancellor does not want to recognize the real security threat in her country.

“She wants Germany to show ‘friendly face’. It is unclear whether the pastoral Chancellor would go so far as to advise people to turn the other cheek,” the article said.

The recent events caused a lot of criticism regarding of Merkel’s policy of open-doors towards migrants and refugees. According to the latest data, over a million of refugees from the Middle East and Africa arrived in Germany over the course of the year.

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

Countries to Pledge Spots for Syrian Refugees at UN Conference in March

The United Nations will hold a conference in March where countries will be asked to pledge resettlement places for people fleeing the Syrian conflict, the world body’s new refugee chief announced Thursday.

Filippo Grandi said the ministerial conference, to be opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on March 30 in Geneva, would be the first of its kind ever organised by the world body.

“This is a bit unchartered territory,” said the 58-year-old Italian, who took over the UNHCR helm less than a week ago after Antonio Guterres of Portugal stepped down after a decade in charge…

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

EU’s Top Priority to ‘Get Migrant Numbers Down’

The Dutch EU presidency and the European Commission have said their top priority in the next six months is to reduce the number of asylum seekers.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch leader, whose country is to chair EU proceedings until July, said in Amsterdam on Thursday (7 January): “To stem the flow of migrants, to bring down these numbers consideraby, is of crucial importance. We cannot continue with the present numbers.”

The commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Dutch EU commissioner, Frans Timmermans, echoed his remarks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Feminists Denounce “German Born Men” After Migrant Sex Attacks

Pro-refugee activists deflect blame from Muslim rapists.

Feminists responded to the mass molestation of women by foreign migrants in Cologne on New Years Eve by denouncing “German born men”.

Dozens of women in Cologne and other areas of Germany were sexually assaulted and terrorized by up to a thousand men of Arab and North African origin during a wave of attacks that police described as a “civil war” like situation.

However, instead of drawing attention to the Muslim rape epidemic that has swept Germany and other European countries since the deluge of “refugees” began to arrive last year, feminists focused on the apparent threat posed by German men.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, activists who gathered at a multicultural center in the neighborhood of Mülheim tried to deflect blame from the migrants responsible for the attack, claiming that sexual assaults were a big problem, “long before refugees even came here.”

One feminist named Tanja even went so far as to imply that the conversation should not be about refugees, but German men, despite the fact that a leaked police report found that 14 out of the 15 culprits arrested for the attacks were Syrian refugees.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

From Slovenia to Italy: Schengen Slowly Shutting Down

The decision by Denmark to tighten border controls with Sweden and Germany is having a domino effect on the rest of Europe, piling more pressure on countries already receiving the majority of refugees.

Sweden has imposed strict identification checks for all rail passengers arriving from Denmark while Austria, Germany and Norway ramp up border controls to prevent an influx of refugees entering their territory.

The knock-on effect from the Nordic countries has now reached Italy. According to newspaper Corriere della Sera, Italy is to increase controls along its border with Slovenia following an increase in the number of migrants crossing the border into the Mediterranean county.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry and reported in Corriere, between 300 and 400 refugees are arriving every week. As a result, police patrols will be deployed at the border to check the documents of every single person passing through Slovenia, which is part of the Schengen zone.

Italy, it seems, has become the latest member state to defy Europe’s founding principle to allow people to move freely between the 26 European countries in the Schengen zone without a passport or having to stop at border controls.

The Mediterranean country had been accused of turning a blind eye to registering many migrants, allowing them to travel overland to other European countries and claim asylum there. Brussels has since launched legal action against Italy, Greece and Croatia for failing to carry mandatory fingerprinting of asylum seekers and recording their data correctly.

In December 2015, the European Commission ordered Italy to use force if necessary to collect the fingerprints of every asylum seeker and migrant before they moved on.

“We risk paying serious consequences, many other states don’t register all of the migrants who arrive and yet we [Italy] are the ones who get sanctioned for it,” said Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.

However, while Italy faces legal repercussions if it fails to fingerprint all migrants properly, the number of refugees arriving overland continues to increase as other northern European countries flout Schengen rules and close their borders to more people.

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

German Attacks Are a Symptom of Migrant Crisis, Says Leo McKinstry

AT the end of last summer much of the German political class and public were enveloped by a mood of self-congratulation over their response to the European migrant crisis.

As Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the floodgates, Germans wallowed in moral superiority about their supposed compassion and tolerance. New arrivals were applauded by self-regarding crowds at train stations.

Volunteers eagerly collected clothing, food and toiletries. “We love refugees,” proclaimed banners at rallies and football matches. But now as the numbers continue to grow, the German people are waking up to the brutal impact of Merkel’s reckless open-door policy.

The smugness has been replaced by anxiety, the triumphalism by fear. With more than 1.1million self-styled refugees having arrived in Germany over the past year alone, a society once renowned for its orderliness is buckling under the strain.

The country’s descent into darkness has been encapsulated in an appalling incident that took place in Cologne on New Year’s Eve when a group of migrants perhaps numbering as many as 1,000 men, attacked female revellers in the city centre.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Germany: Minister Says Deportations Possible in Cologne Case

There’s little solid information on who committed the assaults

(ANSA-AP) — COLOGNE — Germany’s justice minister says asylum-seekers could be deported if they’re found to have participated in a string of New Year sexual assaults in Cologne.

Police say witnesses have described the perpetrators as being of “Arab or North African origin,” but there’s little solid information on who committed the assaults. That has been seized on by some opponents of Germany’s welcoming stance toward those fleeing conflict.

Officials have cautioned it’s important not to cast suspicion on refugees in general. Still, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with the Funke newspaper group published Thursday that “deportations would certainly be conceivable.” He said the law allows for people to be deported during asylum proceedings if they’re sentenced to a year or more in prison, and that’s possible with sexual offenses.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Minister: Critics of Refugee Program “At Least as Awful” As Migrant Rapists

Stunning comments underscore conservative backlash against Merkel’s open border policy

German Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger has asserted that conservatives who criticize the wave of migrants flooding into the country on Internet chat rooms are “just as awful” as the migrants who sexually molested dozens of women in Cologne on New Years Eve.

Women in Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart and other cities were attacked and sexually assaulted by Arab and North African men during a rampage that has shocked the country. 14 out of 15 of the men arrested so far are Syrian refugees who recently arrived in Germany, according to a leaked police report.

The sex attackers bragged to police about how their refugee status gave them special privileges.

“I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me,” said one the culprits.

However, Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger directed an equal share of his anger towards Germans who cited the attacks as a reason why Angela Merkel should reconsider her open border refugee policy.

“What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chat rooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women,” said Jaeger. “This is poisoning the climate of our society.”

Quite how online criticism of mass immigration can even be considered in the same context as dozens of women in cities across Germany being terrorized, beaten and molested by up to a thousand migrants is unfathomable.

While authorities have been ordering German police to cover-up rapes and other crimes committed by migrants, Germans themselves who express hostility towards the refugee program have been warned that they could face prosecution for Internet posts.

Last year, Facebook announced that it was working with the German government to crack down on anti-migrant sentiment.

The plan was first leaked during a conversation between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel which was caught on a hot mic. Zuckerberg promised Merkel that he was working on censoring anti-migrant posts.

It subsequently emerged that the German government and Facebook were working with ex-Stasi agent Anetta Kahane to identify “xenophobic” posts made on the social networking website and punish people who make them with fines and jail sentences.

[Comment: What is the penalty for treason in Germany?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: We Won’t Suspend Schengen Says Alfano

Italy has upped Balkan anti-terror controls says minister

(ANSA) — Rome, January 5 — Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Tuesday denied reports Italy was set to restore controls at the Slovenia border, saying “we aren’t planning to suspend Schengen”. He said “what we have done for weeks is boosting anti-terrorism controls along the Balkan route”. Alfano was speaking after the EU called Germany, Sweden and Denmark to a meeting after they suspended Schengen amid an immigrant influx.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Facing Coalition Split Over Refusal to Cap Refugee Numbers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing another rift within her grand coalition party by refusing to set a maximum limit on the number of refugees her country will accept, in direct contradiction to the leader of her sister party in coalition.

Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Socialists (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Minister-President of Bavaria has called for a maximum limit of 200,000 refugees to be accepted in 2016.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Merkel Rejects Limits on Refugee Intake at CSU Meeting in Bavaria

The German chancellor dismissed influential Bavarian leader Horst Seehofer’s suggestion of a cap on refugees for 2016, as tensions mount between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their sister party in the south.

Merkel’s refugee policy has come under fire, primarily from within her own party, the CSU, and other organizations or groups further to the right. News that numerous women were sexually harrassed on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and to a lesser extent in Hamburg, by men who appeared to be Arab have also sparked renewed criticism of her policies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

More Swedes Than Ever Are Moving Abroad

Record numbers of Swedes are quitting their homeland, according to figures from the country’s number crunching agency Statistics Sweden.

More Swedish residents chose to leave the Nordic nation to live in other countries in 2015 than at any other time in the last 160 years, freshly released figures suggest.

Between 1850 and 1930, there was mass emigration from Sweden amid high unemployment and crop failures, with around 50,000 people a year quitting the Scandinavian country.

According to Statistics Sweden, some 51,237 people left Sweden last year, including foreign-born residents heading back to their home countries or other destinations.

“The proportion of emigrants in relation to the Swedish population as a whole is not as great as in the 1800s. But the fact remains that Sweden is today also a country of emigration,” Maria Solevid, political scientist at the University of Gothenburg, told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Schengen is the Answer to Migrants Says Ravetto

‘Intensify border controls, set up common border guard’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 7 — The chair of the parliamentary Schengen committee said Thursday shutting down the passport-free zone is not the way to deal with the inflow of migrants and asylum seekers.

“The solution to the problem of migratory flows is certainly not shutting down Schengen but enacting it stringently,” MP Laura Ravetto said.

“Schengen allows for the free circulation of those citizens who have a right to do so and it also allows for the tight control of external borders and consequently a ban on access of those who do not have a right to enter”.

The solution, she said, would be to ramp up Schengen and not the opposite.

“We need to intensify external border controls and possibly also immediately set up a common border guard,” Ravetto said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Province of Gorizia, No Barbed Wire Along Borders

Protest against Slovenia’s decision

(ANSA) — GORIZIA — About 150 people, led by the president of the Province of Gorizia Enrico Gherghetta, have laid bouquets of flowers near the barbed wire fence in Dragonja today, at the border crossing between Slovenia and Croatia. The barbed wire fence was set up by the Slovenian authorities in order to stem the flow of asylum seekers entering the country through the Balkan land route.

Alongside Gherghetta, the mayors of eleven municipalities in the province of Gorizia, Maurizio Tremul, president of the Italian community in Slovenia and Croatia, and Fulvio Radin, MP who represents the Italian minority in the Croatian Parliament. “This is not the Europe we want — Gherghetta said -; since the beginning we have believed in the idea of EU enlargement, in accordance with a precise vision of society, values and rights, which are now being partially betrayed: we are facing a society which is not inclusive, but exclusive, and betrays the essential European values”. According to Gherghetta, “in front of this barbed wire, we can assess the gaps in the European Union: the EU is not only based on single currency, but also on a shared welfare, environment, energy policy, army. At the heart of the Union, there should be a European and cosmopolitan citizen. When you put up new barriers, just like what happens today, you betray the true spirit of Europe and you go back to the situation that has caused two world wars”, he stated.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Suspects in Cologne Sex Attacks ‘Claimed to be Syrian Refugees’

Leaked police report claims senior police officers feared fatalities and that one of those involved in attacks told officers: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me”

Some of those involved in a series of sexual assaults against women in the German city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve claimed to be Syrian refugees, according to a leaked police report.

The outbreak of violence was also far more serious than previously thought, and at one point senior police officers feared “there could have been fatalities”.

Two publications have released what they claim is an internal report by a senior officer who was at the scene.

If confirmed, the report could have far-reaching consequences for Angela Merkel’s government as it tries to deal with the aftermath of the assaults.

Ministers have said there is no evidence asylum seekers were involved in the violence.

But the leaked police report, published in Bild newspaper and Spiegel, a news magazine, claims that one of those involved told officers: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.”

Another tore up his residence permit before the eyes of police, and told them: “You can’t do anything to me, I can get a new one tomorrow.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden Extends Border Controls by a Month

Schengen suspended amid migrant influx

(ANSA) — Rome, January 7 — The Swedish government on Thursday extended temporary border controls by a month until February 8, the Associated Press reported.

Sweden reintroduced the border controls in November and has extended them several times in a bid to stem the flow of migrants entering the country from Denmark and Germany. Sweden received more than 160,000 asylum-seekers last year.

The countries of the visa-free Schengen Zone are not supposed to have any internal border controls but member states can temporarily reintroduce them if they face threats to public order or security.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘We Must Save Schengen’ Says Juncker

‘Protect our outer borders’ says Timmerman

(ANSA) — Amsterdam, January 7 — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday the EU must save its passport-free Schengen Area. “We must save Schengen,” he said. “It’s our collective duty”. He added the EU must make it a priority to beef up its border patrol to deal with the migrant and asylum seeker emergency.

He was echoed by European Commission Deputy President Frans Timmermans.

“We must protect our outer borders better and quickly reinforce them,” Timmermans said.

“We have much to gain by identifying — at a very preliminary stage — who has a right to international protection and who doesn’t, allowing for fast repatriations,” he added.

“We must take these steps in the next two weeks,” Timmermans said.

Meanwhile in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said preserving the Schengen Area is a priority.

“Temporary controls are a part of Schengen,” she added.

“But if the problems don’t get solved, the danger remains of us not being able to live Schengen as we would wish”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Joy Behar: I’d Vote for Man Who Commits Violence Against Women if He’d Vote for Violence Against Women Act

Or at least be pro-abortion.

If you are looking for serious, sober political analysis, The View probably isn’t on your DVR subscriptions. This week, Joy Behar gave a perfect example of why, as well as an insight into the liberal mindset, when she said that she would vote for a rapist as long as the rapist would vote for her agenda.

“Republicans have voted against the Violence Against Women Act. That to me is more ipmortant than anything Bill Clinton did or didn’t do. Because it’s what she’s going to vote for, how she’s going to lead the country that matters more than that.”

Chappaquiddick. I mean, a girl drowned and he abandons her and she drowned and women still voted for Teddy Kennedy. Why? Because he voted for women’s rights. That’s why. That’s the bottom line of it in my opinion. I mean, I don’t like either one of them, to tell you the truth, Teddy or Bill. They’re both dogs as far as I’m concerned. But I still will vote for Bill Clinton because he votes in my favor.

Rape? Murder? Not a problem. Just check the correct box and you’re good to go.

This is not a new concept on the left. Remember Robert Byrd? Klansman. That’s fine.

In fact, it’s not even new with regard to Kennedy. HuffPo ran an article calling Mary Jo Kopechne a “footnote” who would have thought her death “worth it” to get the votes the left got from Teddy.

You can hate. You can rape. You can drown. Just vote my way. That’s the liberal mindset, and it always has been. The agenda is everything, because politics is everything.

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

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/7/2016

    • I do not know.

      However, it seems that the New World Order system is making sure to deconstruct the European nations in such ways that the “old” systems for taking care of Treason no longer exist, or are no longer working for that purpose.

      No nation – no treason.

  1. Dolce & Gabbana submits to islam, offering islamo-symbolic wear for women

    After H&M’s submitting by showing islamo-symbolic garments in 2015, now – gay duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana – Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana turns its back on “Rome”, Western civilization, in 2016.

    “Dolce & Gabanna launches is first collection of headscarves and abayas as it joins the luxury brands targeting Muslim fashionistas

    Italian fashion house have launched first collection for Muslim women”

    Qatar bought the Italian fashion house Valentino several years ago, among a lot of other purchases on their big scale shopping spree in Europe.

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