Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/1/2016

Germany has opened the country’s first shelter for gay and lesbian refugees in Nuremberg. The authorities are concerned that minority-gendered asylum seekers may be under threat of violence if they are housed in shelters along with the general migrant population.

In other news, a suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded a dozen more at a police base in Kabul. Most of the casualties were reportedly civilians.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, H. Numan, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, 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
» Inflation Weaker Than Forecast Says Draghi
» Italy: Padoan Says Culture of Austerity Still Strong in EU
» Italy: Public-Sector Surplus of 4.6 Bn in Jan
» Japan Megabank Profits Down as BoJ Stimulus Threatens Bottom Line
» US Consumer Spending Flat in December
» Emails Prove Michigan Governor Knew About Lead Contamination of Flint Water, But Covered it Up While Children Were Poisoned
» Fighting Back: Utah’s Governor Calls on States to Take Back Lands From Feds
» Ron Paul: Is Congress Declaring War on Isis… Or on You?
» When Trump Tells Supporters Not to Donate, They Mostly Listen
» Massive Snowstorm Hits Nova Scotia, Canada
Europe and the EU
» Britain Okays Human Embryo Modifications for Research
» Cameron’s Climbdown: Brexit Campaigners Slam ‘Blatantly Staged’ Talks
» Danish High Court Upholds Ex-MP’s Racism Conviction
» German Media ‘Are Subject to Strict Censorship, Restrictions’
» Italy: Jubilee Ban on St Peter’s Snack Vans Partly Lifted
» Italy Doesn’t Take Orders, But Leads EU Says Renzi
» Italy: New Laws Coming Into Force Banning Smoking in Cars With Kids, Pregnant
» Italy: Mussolini Yacht Seized From Suspected Tax Evader
» Italy: Adopted Sons Beat Parents Up Over Drugs
» Italy: FCA Sales Up 19.79% in Jan
» Leaving the Priesthood, Joys and Struggles of a Second Life
» ‘Over 1 Mln Jobs Lost’: Germany Feels Pinch of Anti-Russian Sanctions
» Spain’s Pig Farmers Thrive as Fellow European Breeders Struggle
» The Spirit of Ventotene Will Save Europe Says Renzi
» UK: Political Correctness is Killing Comedy, Says John Cleese: Monty Python Star Believes Fear of Offending Certain Groups Could Lead to 1984-Style Society Where Free Expression is Not Allowed
» Kosovo: Islamic Extremists Arrested in Decani Monastery
» Serbia: 48% in Favour of EU Membership
North Africa
» Italian Doctoral Student Missing in Egypt
Middle East
» Dozens of Russian Missiles, Warplanes Deployed at Latakia
» Mideast Christian Suffering and U.S. Denial
» Russian Intervention in Middle East Conflicts: A Discussion With Dan Diker and Shoshana Bryen
» Sadad: Small Syrian Christian Town That Refused to Bow Down to Terror
» Turkey Denies Use of Syrian Refugee Child Labor in Textile Factories
» War in Syria: Russia’s ‘Rustbucket’ Military Delivers a Hi-Tech Shock to West and Israel
South Asia
» Pakistan: Catholics Oppose Ulema’s Revision of Blasphemy Laws
» Suicide Bombing in Kabul Kills at Least 9
» Thailand: Phuket Said to Scrap Shows by French Comedian Dieudonne Under Israeli Pressure
Latin America
» Race for Zika Vaccine Gathers Momentum as Virus Spreads
» Zika Virus Outbreak is a ‘Global Public Health Emergency’, Says World Health Organisation, As Graveyards and Schools Are Desperately Disinfected in South America
» Zika Virus Outbreak Linked to Release of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes… Disastrous Unintended Consequences Now Threaten Life Across the Americas
» Zika-Linked Condition: WHO Declares Global Emergency
» Austria Speeds Up Repatriations Using C-130 Plane
» Cologne All Girls High School Closes for Carnival for Fear of Sexual Attacks
» Comment Isn’t Free: Guardian to Close Comments on Articles About ‘Race, Immigration and Islam’
» EC Says Response on Flexibility for Italy in Spring
» EU Funds Job Creation Project to Syrian Refugees, Jordanians
» France: ‘Major Risk’ of Islamic State Jihadis Among Migrants From Libya
» Germany: Shocking Footage Claims to Show a Group of Migrant Men ‘Attacking Two Pensioners Who Stood Up for a Woman They Were Harassing on the Munich Subway’
» Germany’s Spending on Refugees May Reach Unprecedented €50 Billion by 2017
» German-Russian Teen Receiving Psychiatric Treatment After Alleged Rape
» Graphic Video Evidence of Muslim Migrant Violence in Germany Amid Calls for Merkel’s Resignation
» Landfill Lesbos-Style: Astonishing Drone Pictures Show Ten Acres of Dumped Life Jackets — as it Emerges 35 Times More Refugees Have Landed in Greece Compared to This Time Last Year
» Merkel’s Madness Makes Bloodshed Inevitable
» Migrants Disturb Peace in Shelter in Western Sweden
» Migrant Crisis: Greek Volunteers Welcome Nobel Nomination
» Over 2,000 Police Officers to Ensure Public Order at Cologne Carnival
» Swedes Tell Racists: ‘We Are Not Your Women’
» The Left’s Manufactured Muslim Crisis
» We Won’t be Provoked, Renzi Tells EU
» Why is Obama Flooding Small Towns in the Most Conservative Parts of America With Refugees?
Culture Wars
» Germany Opens First Shelter for Gay Refugees

Inflation Weaker Than Forecast Says Draghi

EU cohesion being tested, uncertainty bad for economy

(ANSA) — Brussels, February 1 — Eurozone inflation is proving weaker than December forecasts, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Monday. “Conditions have changed since December,” Draghi told the European Parliament. Internal demand is driving a moderate recovery, but uncertainties over emerging economies, market volatility, and geopolitical risks may drive prices lower, he said. “European cohesion is being tested,” he added. The EU faces challenges that “require a strong European response,” Draghi said.

“There is still political uncertainty over the European project,” he went on. “A solution firmly anchoring Great Britain to the EU, while at the same time allowing the eurozone to integrate further, would help shore up confidence,” Draghi told MEPs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Padoan Says Culture of Austerity Still Strong in EU

Minister gives reassurances about Italian finances

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said that the “culture of austerity is still strong in Europe” in interview published in Monday’s edition of Rome-based daily Il Messaggero. Premier Matteo Renzi’s government has been driving, with some success, for the European Commission to allow greater flexibility in the application of its budget rules for growth-stoking measures. But there has been tension between Roma and Brussels in recent weeks over a variety of issues. Padoan was commenting after the Commission said in a report last week that the medium-term risks on Italy’s massive debt of over two trillion euros are high. “That report just showed that, with a such a high debt, we are more exposed to shocks,” Padoan said.

“That’s why the government has put the debt on a downward trajectory after eight years of growth and, in 2016, it is set to decrease as a proportion of GDP… There’s nothing wrong with the concept of Budget responsibility and Italy is proving highly responsible”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Public-Sector Surplus of 4.6 Bn in Jan

Agst 3.4 bn in Jan 2015

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Italy’s public-sector borrowing requirement (PSBR) showed a surplus of around 4.6 billion euros in January compared to a surplus of 3.4 billion in January 2015, the economy ministry said Monday. The PSBR is important for calculating Italy’s public debt which at about 133% of GDP is the second-biggest in the eurozone after Greece’s.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Japan Megabank Profits Down as BoJ Stimulus Threatens Bottom Line

Japan’s biggest banks tumbled in Tokyo share trading on Monday as a drop in their latest earnings was compounded by fears that the Bank of Japan’s new stimulus measures would hit their bottom line.

Shares in the trio — Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group — suffered a sell-off after the central bank on Friday unveiled plans to effectively charge lenders on some deposits.

The negative interest rate policy is intended to increase lending to people and businesses in order to kickstart the world’s number three economy and fend off deflation.

The idea is to give commercial banks an incentive not to park their cash at the central bank…

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

US Consumer Spending Flat in December

Americans had a bit more income in their pockets in December but kept a clamp on spending in the year-end holiday season, while inflation was flat, government data showed Monday.

Consumer spending, the driver of about two-thirds of the US economy, edged down less than 0.1 percent last month, following a 0.5 percent rise in November, the Commerce Department said.

Personal income rose 0.3 percent for the second straight month, even while growth in wages and salaries, the largest part of income, slowed sharply to a 0.2 percent increase from 0.5 percent in November.

Post-tax, or disposable, personal income, picked up slightly to a 0.3 percent gain…

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

Emails Prove Michigan Governor Knew About Lead Contamination of Flint Water, But Covered it Up While Children Were Poisoned

(NaturalNews) Day after day, month after month, the people of Flint, Michigan, were poisoned by increasing amounts of lead and other toxins coming from the city’s water supply. The poisoning began in April 2014, when the source of the city’s drinking water was switched from Detroit to the Flint River. The switch was to be a temporary one, as the city prepared to get its water from Lake Huron. During the switch, Flint city officials cut corners and knowingly allowed corrosive water to leach lead from the inside of water pipes for thousands of households across the city.

A memo sent out to Governor Rick Snyder in February 2015, proves that Flint city and the state of Michigan knew about the water crisis but did nothing about it, sometimes mocking the severity of the problem. The memo made it “clear that folks in Flint are concerned about other aspects of their water — taste, smell and color being among the top complaints.” In fact, the memo discussed the water quality problems in detail, bringing attention to a contaminant called total trihalomethanes, which can lead to liver and kidney problems.

City officials mocked residents’ water concerns, emails show

The memo, included among 274 pages of emails detailing the water crisis, clearly showed that the government did not care that people were being poisoned. The city’s then chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, condescendingly wrote in an email to the governor on September 26, that the “anti everything group” believed that people were being poisoned by lead. Chief of staff Muchmore pointed his finger at the people of Flint, mocking, “of course, some of the Flint people respond by looking for someone to blame.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fighting Back: Utah’s Governor Calls on States to Take Back Lands From Feds

“I think there is discussion along that very line,” the governor said. “Having other states of like mind joining together gives us a stronger voice and helps share the costs. If that was to be the case, I would certainly welcome that.”

It will be up to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office whether the state files suit, but lawmakers would have to approve the funds. Hughes said later that the $14 million price tag is an estimate that initially gave lawmakers pause.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: Is Congress Declaring War on Isis… Or on You?

The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating

Passage of Senator Mitch McConnell’s authorization for war against ISIS will not only lead to perpetual US wars across the globe, it will also endanger our civil and economic liberties.

The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating. Therefore, it could be used to justify using military force against United States citizens on US territory. It may even be used to justify imposing martial law in America.

The President does not have to deploy the US military to turn America into a militarized police state, however. He can use his unlimited authority to expand programs that turn local police forces into adjuncts of the US military, and send them increasing amounts of military equipment. Using the threat of ISIS to justify increased police militarization will be enthusiastically supported by police unions, local officials, and, of course, politically-powerful defense contractors. The only opposition will come from citizens whose rights have been violated by a militarized police force that views the people as the enemy.

Even though there is no evidence that the government’s mass surveillance programs have prevented even a single terrorist attack, we are still continuously lectured about how we must sacrifice our liberty for security. The cries for the government to take more of our privacy will grow louder as the war party and its allies in the media continue to hype the threat of terrorism. A president armed with the authority to do whatever it takes to stop ISIS will no doubt heed these calls for new restrictions on our privacy.

Following last year’s mass shooting in California, President Obama called for restricting the Second Amendment rights of any American on the “terrorist watch list.” The president also used the attacks to expand the unconstitutional gun background check system via executive action. Can anyone doubt that President Obama — or a future anti-gun president — will use the absolute power to do whatever is necessary to stop terrorism as a justification for imposing new gun control measures? Using the war on ISIS to justify more gun control will be particularly attractive since even many pro-gun politicians will support gun control measures if they are marketed as part of the war on terror.

As the American economy faces continued stagnation, and as challenges to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency mount, an increasingly authoritarian government will impose new restrictions on our economic activities and new limits on our financial privacy. In particular, our ability to move assets out of the country will be limited, and new reporting and other requirements will limit our ability to use cash without being treated as criminals or terrorists. Those who carry large amounts of cash will find themselves at increased risk of having the cash confiscated by government agents under civil asset forfeiture laws.

If Senator McConnell’s declaration of perpetual war passes, presidents could use the war on ISIS as a justification to impose new restrictions on our use of cash and our financial privacy via executive action. After all, they will say, the government needs to make sure cash is not being used to support ISIS.

The only way to protect both liberty and security is to stop trying to impose our will on other countries by military force. The resentment created by America’s militaristic foreign policy is ISIS’ most effective recruiting tool. Adopting a non-interventionist foreign policy that seeks peace and free trade with all would enable the government to counter legitimate threats to our safety without creating an authoritarian police state.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

When Trump Tells Supporters Not to Donate, They Mostly Listen

Donald Trump likes to boast to his supporters that he’s so rich he doesn’t need outside money to pay for his presidential campaign. His fans seem happy to oblige him, according to financial disclosures released on Sunday.

The New York businessman’s quest to become the Republican party’s presidential nominee has attracted massive crowds but only a trickle of donations, the disclosures filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission show. He raised just $2.6 million from donors in the last three months of 2015.

Most of his Republican rivals have raised far more. His nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, raised $20.5 million, while former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who was once the front runner but has fallen sharply in the polls, raised $7 million.

Yet Trump still leads in every national poll as voters in Iowa prepare to gather for the country’s nominating contest on Monday.

Trump spent $6.9 million during the last three months of 2015. His distant rival for the Republican nomination, the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, spent $27 million. Cruz spent $15.5 million.

And the man now seen as the most plausible establishment alternative to Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, spent $14.8 million in the fourth quarter. That’s about $2 million more than Trump spent in all of 2015.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Massive Snowstorm Hits Nova Scotia, Canada

A strong winter storm brought heavy snowfall to Nova Scotia, Canada on January 29, 2016. 30 000 residents were left without power by the afternoon hours of January 30 (local time), and it could take another day to restore the power in all the homes, according to Nova Scotia Power estimates.

The power outages have been reported across 16 communities from Windsor to Sheet Harbour, Antigonish and large portions of Cape Breton.

According to Beverley Ware, the Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman, the crew has restored power to about 15 000 homes so far, but, unfortunately, new outages occurred as heavy snowfall struck down more power lines in the region. 67 000 homes and businesses in total were left without electricity at the peak of the outage.

The heaviest snowfall was reported along the northern coast and Cape Breton. 32 cm (12.6 inches) was recorded in Ingonish and 34 cm (13.4 inches) in Antigonish County, Environment Canada reported. Dartmouth measured 11 cm (4.3 inches) while 22 cm (8.7 inches) fell at the Halifax airport.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Britain Okays Human Embryo Modifications for Research

Fertility regulator approves ‘gene editing’

(ANSA) — London, February 1 — Britain’s fertility regulator said Monday that it had given approval for scientists to genetically modify human embryos — gene editing — in a world first.

The approval is for research into early human development at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

The move does not give scientists the ability to implant the modified embryos into women.

But the decision will stir controversial amid concerns about the possibility of it leading to ‘designer babies’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cameron’s Climbdown: Brexit Campaigners Slam ‘Blatantly Staged’ Talks

While UK government figures have claimed a major victory in negotiations for an “emergency break” to be placed on EU migrant in-work benefits, critics have accused Prime Minister David Cameron of watering down the country’s EU demands and creating an “embarrassing spectacle” of negotiations.

The possibility of a June referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU appears to be back on track after Downing Street officials claimed to have secured a deal on a four-year “emergency break” that would allow Britain to place a halt on paying in-work benefits to new EU arrivals, should the British public vote to remain in the EU.

“On welfare, the [European] Commission has tabled a text making clear that the UK’s current circumstances meet the criteria for triggering the emergency brake,” a spokesperson for the prime minister said.

“This is a significant breakthrough, meaning the Prime Minister can deliver on his commitment to restrict in-work benefits to EU migrants for four years.”

The announcement comes as talks between David Cameron and European Commission chief Donald Tusk continue on Monday.

While Tusk took to Twitter on Sunday night to claim that no deal had yet been agreed upon, officials in London have claimed that an agreement has been reached, which will increase chances of a formal deal being signed between all 28 member states during the EU summit later this month.

‘Bad Joke’: Euroskeptics Unhappy Over Demands

Despite Downing Street’s claims of a major breakthrough and victory in securing an emergency break on in-work EU migrants work benefits, many Euroskeptics have attacked the government, arguing that the proposed changes don’t go far enough to justify the UK remaining in the EU.

Senior Euroskeptics have labeled the emergency break proposals as a “bad joke” and “an insult to Britain” with many unhappy with the manner in which Cameron has compromised on his original demands.

The emergency break deal is a serious step-down for Cameron, who initially called for the introduction of a cap on the number of foreign EU citizens allowed into the UK.

After facing unanimous opposition from fellow EU member states, Cameron then called for a ban on welfare payments to EU migrants during their first four years in the UK.

Once gain these demands were knocked back by European leaders, concerned that their citizens would be unfairly discriminated against.

Critics however, see the emergency break deal as a last chance for Cameron to save face, with officials in London claiming that the country’s welfare system is under such strain that it needs to halt paying benefits for new EU arrivals until a wider EU treaty change is made.

Despite the reported compromise, Liz Bilney, CEO of the Brexit campaign group Leave.EU, said the emergency break reforms did not go far enough.

“The public don’t want an emergency brake on migrant benefits, they want control of the steering wheel so that we, the British people, can choose the destination, speed and cost of our journey.”

‘Embarrassing, Blatantly Staged Row’

While the UK government has been heavily criticized at home for changing its stance on EU demands, others have attacked the manner in which negotiations have been handled, with the prime minister accused of fabricating a series of rows with Brussels to portray the image that it has fought for a good deal.

“The Prime Minister’s so-called renegotiations are a fudge, designed to appear as if he has fought the EU and won. Even his own MP’s are saying demands are weak. The truth is the EU cannot be reformed,” Ms Bilney said.

“This embarrassing spectacle is for publicity purposes only; a blatantly staged row.”

“We’re confident that most people will see right through his deceit and vote to leave.”

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

Danish High Court Upholds Ex-MP’s Racism Conviction

The Eastern High Court found Mogens Camre, a 79-year-old former MP and MEP for the Danish People’s Party and current member of the Gladsaxe city council, guilty of racism on Tuesday and slapped him with an 8,000 kroner fine.

The court thus upheld a previous ruling by the Glostrup City Court.

Camre called the high court’s ruling “completely unfair” and “grotesque”.

“This is an expression of the limitations of Danish mental freedom and a genuflection to the immigrant culture,” Camre told broadcaster DR.

The two convictions stem from a tweet Camre wrote in in July 2014 that compared Muslims to Adolf Hitler.

“Regarding the Jews’ situation in Europe: The Muslims are continuing where Hitler left off. Only the same treatment Hitler received will change the situation,” he wrote in the now-deleted tweet.

Two separate individuals filed racism charges against Camre after his tweet garnered national attention.

Camre disputed the lower court’s August ruling, arguing that his controversial tweet was due to the popular social media platform’s 140-character limit.

“I can only say that to express myself in a precise way would have taken more than 140 keystrokes. That is the problem,” he said in court, according to broadcaster DR.

The Eastern High Court did not buy that argument and told Camre on Monday to pay the fine.

Camre attempted to clarify his controversial June 2014 tweet with a subsequent post which said that “forces in the Islamic world who threaten non-Muslims should be fought like Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and Gadaffi were”.

Danish People’s Party leadership said that Camre’s racism conviction would not affect his standing in the party.

Camre previously compared Muslims to Nazis in a 2009 Dutch TV interview.

“The German soldiers in our streets behaved better than the Muslim boys €” much better, they were well disciplined,” he said in a clip that can be viewed here.

In 2003, Camre was charged with racism for saying that all Western countries have been infiltrated by Muslims planning to take over, and in 2005 he was reported to police for blaming Denmark’s low birth rate on the “immigrant burden” and for saying that “immigrants in Denmark as a whole do not contribute anything at all to society.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Media ‘Are Subject to Strict Censorship, Restrictions’

German journalist and former director of the ZDF-studio Wolfgang Herles has accused German media of obedience to the country’s authorities. He argued that many media sources follow “instructions from above” and are a subject to strict censorship.

In an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk, Herles said that German journalists are not free to choose the stories and the way they want to cover them. The country’s authorities put restrictions on many subjects and have forced the media to follow certain instructions, reminding the journalist of the times of Germany’s division.

“At that time, we were not allowed to say anything negative about the new federal states. Today we can’t say anything negative about refugees. This governmental journalism leads to the situation on which people no longer trust us,” Herles said.

In an interview with Wirtschaftswoche, former head of ARD TV channel Ulrich Wickert confirmed the fact that German citizens are losing confidence in the media. According to him, the media are in general a part of the economy and are, therefore, dominated by economic interests.

“Publishers have to consider [following issues]: How do I sell my paper? How much profit do I make?” Wickert said, adding that financial interests significantly infringe on the freedom of speech and the power of media as the Fourth Estate.

The journalist stressed that the main task of the media is to inform the reader so that he or she can form an opinion by themselves.

“But I observe a false understanding of tolerance and democracy, because some things are labeled as taboo. There are, for instance, moments when you have to admit that there were Algerian or Moroccan or Tunisian youths who behaved in a way we do not tolerate here in Germany,” the journalist stated.

“The interesting thing is that they started to discuss problems in connection with people from North Africa only after the New Year’s Eve in Cologne, because it proved to be a mass phenomenon. But then it suddenly turned out that it had been existing by us for a long time! However, earlier it was a taboo,” Wickert stated.

Earlier, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte admitted that he repeatedly had to cooperate with the CIA and German intelligence agencies and was forced to put his name under biased publications under the threat of being fired.

In several media interviews and in his book, Ulfkotte revealed how German journalists and politicians were recruited as CIA assets to write stories that are aimed at serving the geopolitical interests of Washington, and not the interests of the German people.

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

Italy: Jubilee Ban on St Peter’s Snack Vans Partly Lifted

Souvenir hawkers can also operate on selected days

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Rome Commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca signed an ordinance Monday partly lifting a ban on commercial activity in public areas around the Vatican introduced on the eve of the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy in early December. Under the new ordinance travelling souvenir vendors and snack vans operating near St Peter’s basilica can resume activities on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays except when these days coincide with Jubilee events. A total of 47 businesses were affected by the original ban, of which 14 for the entire year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Doesn’t Take Orders, But Leads EU Says Renzi

Country no longer indebted to Europe says premier

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Italy is no longer taking orders from the EU, Premier Matteo Renzi wrote on his website Monday. “Reforms are now laws, and economic fundamentals have returned to a plus sign after three years of recession,” he wrote. “We can go back to doing our job, which is to lead Europe — not to go take orders in some palace in Brussels”. Italy is no longer indebted to Europe, Renzi went on. “For years, Italy was morally indebted to European institutions (and to) its own citizens, because it spoke of reforms it didn’t carry out,” he added.

Italy has been quarreling with the European Commission recently over its veto of a fund for refugees in Turkey, saying it will only contribute to the fund if the EU agrees to free its spending on migrant rescue, processing and hosting from Stability Pact constraints.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: New Laws Coming Into Force Banning Smoking in Cars With Kids, Pregnant

Also higher sanctions, shock images on cigarette packages

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — New anti-smoking regulations based on EU directives will be progressively introduced in Italy, with the first going into effect on Tuesday, ANSA sources said on Monday.

The new measures are aimed at curbing smoking among young people, and include a smoking ban in cars with minors or pregnant women.

In addition, cigarette and loose tobacco packages will now be printed with so-called combined warnings that include “shock” photos and images along with text.

Other measures going into effect, but which weren’t required by the EU directives, include a smoking ban in front of hospitals, a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, and higher fines for selling tobacco to minors, including license revocation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Mussolini Yacht Seized From Suspected Tax Evader

Businessman linked to alleged ‘Mafia Capitale’ ringleader Buzzi

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — ‘Fiamma Nera’ (Black Flame), a yacht that once belonged to Benito Mussolini, was among the 28 million euros worth of assets seized by finance police Monday from a businessman suspected of large-scale tax evasion, ANSA sources said. A total of 32 plots of land and 75 properties were seized from the businessman and two other people. The seized assets included sites rented to the Eriches 29 cooperative of Salvatore Buzzi, one of the alleged ringleaders in the so-called Mafia Capitale probe into allegations a mafia organisation muscled in on city of Rome contracts worth millions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Adopted Sons Beat Parents Up Over Drugs

Arrested for battery, attempted extortion

(ANSA) — Milan, February 1 — Carabinieri police on Monday arrested two Colombian brothers aged 17 and 20 for battery, damages and attempting to extort their adoptive Italian parents.

The two allegedly beat up their mother and father, aged 50 and 54, after the mother found cocaine in the flat.

They allegedly demanded 800 euros from their parents, saying they owed it to a drug dealer.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: FCA Sales Up 19.79% in Jan

Outpaces the market again

(ANSA) — Turin, February 1 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)’s Italian sales in January were 19.79% up over the same month in 2015, the transport ministry said Monday. FCA’s market share rose from 28.23% al 28.79%. All marques grew with Jeep up 47.56% and Fiat up 19.66%. Alfa Romeo was 11.69% up and Lanica 10.34% up. FCA outpaced the market, which rose 17.44% in January compared to the same month in 2015. FCA hailed the latest set of strong sales figures saying “in a market that is racing, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is flying”. January was the 13th straight month FCA sales rose more than the Italian market did.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Leaving the Priesthood, Joys and Struggles of a Second Life

In Italy, between 5,000 and 7,000 priests have given up their robes. Some ex-priests re-enter lay society with a female companion, others struggle to build a new life from scratch

Some have “converted” to being social workers, some have jobs in factories, and others have reinvented themselves as entrepreneurs or salesmen or high school teachers. Many others are desperately seeking work. Few, it should be noted, say they have lost their faith.

Welcome to the (complicated) world of ex-priests, those who abandoned the cassock and returned to everyday society, in some cases accompanied by a wife. It isn’t easy to begin a new life and take on a new identity, to start over without ever having prepared a résumé or hunted for an apartment, especially without the support of the Church or the prospect of a generous pension from the Italian Episcopal Conference.

At times, former priests become prisoners of a sociological and psychological no-man’s land, because while those who give up the priesthood can no longer practice, the impact of taking on holy vows is long-lasting for devout Catholics. In a sense, then, once a priest, always a priest…

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

‘Over 1 Mln Jobs Lost’: Germany Feels Pinch of Anti-Russian Sanctions

The EU’s anti-Russian sanctions have already cost Germany over a million jobs, the head of the German party UNITY (EINHEIT) Dimitri Rempel said on Monday.

During a visit to Crimea to discuss possibilities of cooperation in the field of tourism, sports and public diplomacy, the leader of the party representing the interests of Russian-Germans, as well as those with a migration background, said that he had a number of interesting business proposals for the Crimean authorities.

“Germany alone has lost over a million jobs due to the sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation. A great number of companies have gone bankrupt, gone out of business or had to move out resulting in the loss of many jobs and financial losses too,” Rempel told Radio Russia Today.

He said that many ordinary Germans and business people disagreed with the EU’s decision to impose sanctions against Russia.

“German businessmen are taking a great deal of interest in what is happening in Crimea. Unfortunately, not everyone can or wants to come over here because they are afraid of losing business contracts and things like that,” Dimitri Rempel added.

He said that with the high degree of political instability in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, German businessmen were now setting their sights on Crimea as a potential tourist hub.

Relations between Russia and the West soured when the European Union and the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian banking, defense and energy sectors starting April 2014.

The measures were imposed following the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014 and the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia responded with a ban on the import of food from the US, the EU countries, Canada, Australia and Norway.

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

Spain’s Pig Farmers Thrive as Fellow European Breeders Struggle

While pig breeders in many European countries are suffering from a crippling Russian embargo, their counterparts in Spain, Europe’s second-biggest pork producer, have stayed afloat thanks to a system that sees a large majority work for a company — and not for themselves.

The companies — more often than not firms that make cattle feed — own and supply the animals, fodder and veterinary products, while the farmer receives a fixed sum per pig produced and is tasked with investing in infrastructure and paying employees.

The system acts as a safety net for farmers as the company takes the hit when prices fall — as they are doing now due to Russia’s ban on EU meat imports in retaliation for Ukraine-related sanctions — though it also means that the firm reaps the profits when good times roll…

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

The Spirit of Ventotene Will Save Europe Says Renzi

‘A new generation will save it from walls’

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Europe will be saved by the spirit of its founding fathers at Ventotene and not by economists nitpicking over deficits, Premier Matteo Renzi wrote on his website Monday. “Professionals of the decimal point won’t save Europe,” he wrote. “We will save Europe with the consciousness of a new generation of European citizens — only the spirit of Ventotene can save Europe from those who would raise walls and shut down Schengen”. The small island of Ventotene off the coast of Lazio housed a Fascist prison during World War II, where two of the founding fathers of the European Union, Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi, were held by the Mussolini dictatorship. The so-called Ventotene Manifesto of 1941 eventually laid the basis for the Union.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Political Correctness is Killing Comedy, Says John Cleese: Monty Python Star Believes Fear of Offending Certain Groups Could Lead to 1984-Style Society Where Free Expression is Not Allowed

John Cleese says that political correctness and fear of offending could lead to a 1984-style society.

The Monty Python star said he has now been advised not to perform on university campuses as the idea of political correctness has expanded so far that any kind of criticism is now seen as ‘cruel’.

Veteran comic Cleese said it is down to people who cannot control their emotions, so seek to control others, and worries that it could lead to a society like that in the iconic dystopian Orwell Novel.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Kosovo: Islamic Extremists Arrested in Decani Monastery

Four men. Weapons and ammunition found in their car

(ANSA) — PRISTINA — Four armed Islamic extremists were arrested in front of the main entrance of the monastery of Visoki Decani in Kosovo. Media reported that these men are four Albanians from some towns in Kosovo. The arrest took place during a joint operation conducted by the Kosovo police and the KFOR, the Nato forces in Kosovo. A Kalashnikov rifle, a handgun and large quantities of ammunition, as well as some books books on Islamic radicalism were found in the extremists’ car. The abbot of Visoki Decani Sava Janjic said this arrest is further proof “that the presence of KFOR troops is still essential to the safety of the monastery”, which is included in the list of Unesco world heritage sites. The director of the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo Marko Duric has expressed great concern, calling on the authorities in Pristina to counter the growing religious extremism in Kosovo, rather than sparking row and delaying, at all costs, the establishment of the Association-Community of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Serbia: 48% in Favour of EU Membership

The results of a survey conducted by EU Integration Office

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — If a referendum on the country’s future in the EU were held tomorrow in Serbia, 48% of votes would be in favour of EU membership, compared to 28% against. Here are the results of a survey conducted by the EU Integration Office in Belgrade.

The survey — carried out on a sample of 1,027 Serbian citizens aged 18 and over — revealed at the same time that 15% of voters wouln’t go to the polls, whereas 9% would not know exactly how they would vote.

Moreover, 73% of respondents said they believed that some reforms are necessary in order to enable Serbia to join the European Union. Serbia officially began the EU accession negotiations in mid-December, with the opening of the first two negotiation chapters, n. 32 on the financial issue and n. 35 on Kosovo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Doctoral Student Missing in Egypt

Gentiloni asks Egyptian counterpart for ‘maximum effort’

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has asked his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry for “maximum effort” in the search for Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni.

Regeni went missing in Cairo on January 25, the day of demonstrations marking the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution.

Italy’s Foreign Ministry announced the disappearance, which it said took place under “mysterious” circumstances, on Sunday.

On the day of the demonstrations, Egyptian authorities arrested about a dozen people in the country’s capital.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Dozens of Russian Missiles, Warplanes Deployed at Latakia

Missiles batteries, 30 warplanes

(ANSA) — Tel Aviv, February 1 — Russia on Monday deployed a large number of warplanes and missile batteries at Latakia in Syria, where Moscow is supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

According to a series of photos from Israel’s Fisher Institute, to be shown tomorrow at a conference on space research at Herzlyia, the Russians have deployed S400 missile batteries alongside SA22 missile systems. There are also 30 warplanes on runways. The Russian defence ministry confirmed it had deployed latest-generation SU35 jets.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mideast Christian Suffering and U.S. Denial

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

After a 1,400-year-old Iraqi Christian monastery was recently destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) most of the world condemned the demolition—except for spokesman for the U.S. military’s Operation Inherent Resolve, Col. Steve Warren.

“Thousands [of Iraqi Christians] have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee,” noted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview with Col. Warren last week. “There is legitimate fear—you’re there in Baghdad—that the long history of Christians living peacefully, productively in Iraq, is coming to an end. How worried should we be about the Christian community in Iraq?”

The response: “Wolf, ISIL doesn’t care if you’re a Christian… We’ve seen no specific evidence of a specific targeting towards Christians.”

Wrong: Roughly two-thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christian citizens have been killed or forced to flee the country by ISIS and its jihadi predecessors over the past decade—and this has everything to do with their religious identity.

In Iraq and everywhere else it has conquered, ISIS has, at a minimum, rigorously enforced on pain of death Islam’s dhimmi laws, which require Christians to pay extortion money (jizya) and agree to live by a set of degrading rules.

Often, ISIS fighters skip these formalities and simply torture to death Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, sometimes releasing the footage online for propaganda purposes. Most notable are two videotaped mass executions of 21 Egyptians and 30 Ethiopians in Libya last spring, but there have been many lesser-known cases. When a group of Iraqi Christian children refused to renounce Christ in 2014, saying “No, we love Jesus,”ISIS decapitated and mangled their bodies. Last summer in Aleppo, Syria, ISIS tortured, mutilated, publicly raped, beheaded and crucified 12 Christians for refusing to convert. Escaped eyewitnesses have reported ISIS places Iraqi and Syrian Christians in cages or coffins and sets them on fire.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russian Intervention in Middle East Conflicts: A Discussion With Dan Diker and Shoshana Bryen

Given the breaking news from Syria today concerning cross border artillery attacks by Turkey and Russian deployment of super maneuverable SU-34s, you ought to read this astute and timely discussion about Putin’s intervention in the roiling Middle East…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Sadad: Small Syrian Christian Town That Refused to Bow Down to Terror

Hundreds of Christian fighters from across Syria joined their local brethren in the majority-Syriac Christian town of Sadad to prevent it falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

A symbol of Christian resistance, Sadad, which lies just 17 kilometers off a strategic highway connecting the capital Damascus and Homs in the west of the country, has faced an onslaught from Daesh and other jihadist militants since late October 2015 as the terrorists advanced across central Syria.

The military command and members of the local militia are fully aware of the fact that the fall of this Orthodox Christian town would effectively cut off Damascus from the rest of the country.

When al-Nusra militants seized the town in 2013 Syria’s Christians chose to stay away from what they sew as a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.

It wasn’t until the jihadists ransacked the ancient Christian monastery at Maaloula that they finally realized that the very same fate awaited their own community.

Shortly afterwards, seven militant Muslim groups joined forces in laying siege to Sadad.

As the jihadists prepared to storm the town its defenders decided to fight to the bitter end. And fight they did until the Syrian Army arrived and drove out the enemy.

With Sadad liberated, the town’s defenders are now setting their sights on Al-Karyatein — another Christian town and the terrorist’s last remaining stronghold in Homs province.

The militants took many locals hostage and threatened to kill them all if the Army decided to storm the town. All of the Christian hostages are now free having either run away or were ransomed out.

After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber in November many in Sadad gathered in the local churches to pray for the Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov who was killed in that unwarranted attack.

Sadad is a peaceful town now, but traces of the recent fighting are everywhere with many houses on the town’s central square pockmarked with deep gouges from ricochets and direct gunfire.

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

Turkey Denies Use of Syrian Refugee Child Labor in Textile Factories

The Istanbul Ready-made Clothing and Confection Exporters’ Association (IHKIB) has denied claims that Turkish textile factories use the labor of Syrian refugee children when producing clothes, IHKIB President Hikmet Tanriverdi said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the British newspaper the Independent reported that UK high street giants H&M and Next had admitted to identifying child labor in supplier factories in Turkey.

A report by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) revealed earlier that a few brands were taking decisive action to protect refugees in their supply chain in Turkey.

“It is impossible legally in Turkey to hire child labor. Besides, H&M and Next will never accept such production [practices],” Tanriverdi said, as quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News.

According to Tanriverdi, the Association is ready to provide evidence that child labor is not being used by its members and are open to accepting observers to confirm the same.

Turkey is one of the world largest producers of clothes, supplying many famous international brands. At the same time, Turkey has accepted over 2.5 million Syrian refugees, who fled war-torn Syria.

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

War in Syria: Russia’s ‘Rustbucket’ Military Delivers a Hi-Tech Shock to West and Israel

As the Kremlin showcases its military capabilities in Syria, Kim Sengupta says Nato leaders are having to reassess

Their army’s equipment and strategy was “outmoded”; their air force’s bombs and missiles were “more dumb than smart”; their navy was “more rust than ready”. For decades, this was Western military leaders’ view, steeped in condescension, of their Russian counterparts. What they have seen in Syria and Ukraine has come as a shock.

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

Pakistan: Catholics Oppose Ulema’s Revision of Blasphemy Laws

The Council for the Islamic ideology has proposed to amend the blasphemy laws in order to bring them into line with the Koran and the Sunna. Catholics fear a further tightening of laws which have already led to violence. Between 1987 and 2014, 166 Christians sentenced to death for insulting Muhammad; another 25 cases in 2015.

Lahore (AsiaNews) — The Catholic Church of Pakistan and Christian activists condemn the proposed revision of the blasphemy laws by the Council for Islamic ideology. Catholics are concerned about the initiative which was proposed by the head of the ulema in recent days and finds that an amendment by the Islamic leaders can lead “to a further tightening of such laws”, which have already caused hundreds of incidents of violence and death sentences handed down against Catholics and “heretics”.

The Catholic Church in Pakistan swiftly rejected Muhammad Khan Sherani’s proposal. The initiative of the head of the Council was reported by Reuters, according to whom the religious leader said the Council was willing “to reopen cases and examine if judgments were rigorous and the death penalty correctly imposed”.

The Council for the Islamic ideology is a constitutional body in Pakistan, which is supposed to advise government regarding compliance of State laws to the dictates of the Koran and the Sunna. In this regard, Sherani said: “The government of Pakistan should defer the blasphemy law to the Islamic Council. On this issue there are different opinions among the religious. That is why the Council can seriously address the matter and say whether it is necessary to confirm the law, tighten it or soften it”.

Christian leaders fear, however, that a review by the ulema could lead to more restrictions against minorities. In Pakistan, many Catholics are tried for blasphemy, often without evidence. There are also numerous incidents of violence against religious groups considered “heretics”.

Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, expresses deep concern about the proposal. “The ulema — he told AsiaNews — may even worsen the law. It is true that there are gaps that need to be addressed and also that sometimes there is an inappropriate use of the law, but we are concerned. These advisory bodies should not exist. The government should adopt their own procedures to change the blasphemy laws. “

Samson Salamat, director of the Center for Human Rights Education, believes that similar bodies “undermine the power of Parliament. If they change the law, nobody will have the chance to change the verdict. We have been asking for some time for the abolition of the current blasphemy laws, but this power cannot be left in the hands of just one body. This is unconstitutional and undemocratic”.

He concludes: “We can only accept the opinion of Parliament, representing 182 million Pakistanis. Parliamentarians should discuss this topic and appoint legal experts who can provide critical analysis”.

According to the Justice and Peace Commission, in the period between 1987 and 2014 a total of 166 Christians have been accused of insulting the Koran or Muhammad and have paid with their lives for their alleged guilt.

In 2015 there were 25 cases. The charges affect not only Christians, but also Muslims, Ahmadis, Hindus and members of other confessions. Between 1986 and 2009 at least 964 people were indicted: among them 479 were Muslims; 119 Christians; 340 Ahmadis; 14 Hindu; 10 from other religions.

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

Suicide Bombing in Kabul Kills at Least 9

12 wounded in Afghan capital

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — A suicide bomber killed at least nine and wounded 12 in an attack on a police base in Kabul on Monday, an Afghan official said.

Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said the attacker joined a line of people waiting to enter the local headquarters of a branch of the national police after having lunch and praying outside. The bomber detonated his explosives after being spotted near the gate.

“Unfortunately the majority of the killed and wounded are civilians,” Mujahid said, adding that two police officers were among the dead and a third was wounded.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Thailand: Phuket Said to Scrap Shows by French Comedian Dieudonne Under Israeli Pressure

PHUKET — A French comedian and political activist was forced to cancel shows last week in the south of Thailand under pressure from the Israeli Embassy, according to media reports.

Dieudonne M’bala M’bala’s first shows in Thailand had been scheduled for Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 at Phuket night club Illuzion. According to Ynetnews, Israeli Ambassador Simon Roded asked Thailand’s military government to bar him from performing due to his history of making anti-semitic comments.

“Police and officials visited our place the day before the event,” Namaoi Pasuphan of Illuzion said by telephone Monday. “My boss later googled his name and found out about his background. He suddenly decided we don’t want to be involved.”

Namaoi said the pub’s owner canceled with the organizer who booked the pub for those nights after being asked to cooperate by both local officials and the Embassy of Israel.

           — Hat tip: H. Numan [Return to headlines]

Race for Zika Vaccine Gathers Momentum as Virus Spreads

Companies and scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine as concern grows over the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects and is spreading quickly through the Americas.

Zika is now present in 23 countries and territories in the Americas. Brazil, the hardest-hit country, has reported around 3,700 cases of the devastating birth defect called microcephaly that are strongly suspected to be related to Zika.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), stung by criticism that it reacted too slowly to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, convenes an emergency meeting on Monday to help determine its response to the spread of the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated an emergency operations center staffed around the clock to address Zika, agency officials told Reuters.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Zika Virus Outbreak is a ‘Global Public Health Emergency’, Says World Health Organisation, As Graveyards and Schools Are Desperately Disinfected in South America

The World Health Organisation said the outbreak should be considered a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, putting the mosquito-borne disease in the same category as ebola, which killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa.

Experts were called in to assess the Zika outbreak after noting a link between its arrival in Brazil last year and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads.

WHO officials have predicted that as many as four million people could be infected with the virus this year.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Zika Virus Outbreak Linked to Release of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes… Disastrous Unintended Consequences Now Threaten Life Across the Americas

(NaturalNews) GMO skeptics like myself have been warning for years of the unintended consequences of genetic pollution. Even when genetically engineered organisms are released into the world with the best of intentions, such actions can wreak havoc on the ecosystem and human civilization in ways that simply can’t be foreseen by the world’s most well-meaning scientists.

I specifically warned about this in 2012, listing the top 12 threats to humanity posed by out of control science. In that infographic, I designated “Level 4” hazards as “Self-replicating pollution,” naming genetically engineered organisms as the vector for such threats against humanity. (In the years since, many top science figures like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have repeated the warnings from my list, including threats from AI.)

Now we may be seeing the first wave of the horrific destruction that can be unleashed by self-replicating genetically modified organisms. The Zika virus, now spreading with unbridled ferocity, appears to have been caused by the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes that scientists hoped would sharply reduce malaria infections…

As pointed out in this fantastic article by, the genetic engineers running this massive open-air experiment with mosquitoes and humans failed to consider the impact of antibiotics in the environment caused by their heavy use in agricultural (animal feed) operations.

The presence of antibiotics causes the mosquitoes that are supposed to die off to survive and reproduce. These same genetically engineered mosquitoes may then bite humans, injecting them with the Zika virus that’s now causing horrific mutations in head and brain formation in children…

We must now come to realize that the GMO industry and its captive government regulators (EPA, USDA, FDA) are actively engaged in a war on humanity. It is no coincidence that Bill Gates, a vocal advocate of active human depopulation, is also involved in the same kind of genetically engineered mosquitoes now linked to the Zika pandemic. When the globalists consider all the various ways in which they can murder six billion people and “save the planet” from overpopulation, mosquitoes and engineered viruses become the obvious vectors for achieving that aim.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Zika-Linked Condition: WHO Declares Global Emergency

A disease linked to the Zika virus in Latin America poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response, says the World Health Organization.

Experts are worried that the virus is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences.

The infection has been linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains.

The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of concern as Ebola.

It means research and aid will be fast-tracked to tackle the infection.

There have been around 4,000 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil alone since October.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Austria Speeds Up Repatriations Using C-130 Plane

List of “safe” countries widens to include Morocco and Algeria

(ANSA) — VIENNA — Austria aims to speed up the repatriation of migrants who are not entitled to asylum, even using C-130 military transport plane, international media reported.

Moreover, the list of “safe” countries of origin widens to include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Georgia and Mongolia. “We are already among the countries that most tend to repatriate migrants”, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said. “But we will still have to increase the pace”. Austria will also offer 500 euro as an incentive for migrants whose application was rejected and voluntarily accept to be repatriated. Austria has already put a ceiling to the acceptance of migrants, 127,000 refugees, that is 1.5% of the population, within four years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cologne All Girls High School Closes for Carnival for Fear of Sexual Attacks

What a way to live …. what a way for a nation to die

When I first reported on the New Year’s Eve mass sexual attacks, I warned that Carnival would be next on the migrant army’s list.

Fear of sexual assault — Cologne high school (for Girls only) closes for security to Carnival — Chief of school “we want not bring the girls in danger, avoid the girls the way to school” = not another Cologne NYE Mass rape situation — German Feminists very silent, so you can see They were only a tool to destroy familystructures & values, sponsored by NGOs

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Comment Isn’t Free: Guardian to Close Comments on Articles About ‘Race, Immigration and Islam’

“A new strategy is aiming to counter an unacceptable level of toxic commentary on our website”, an opinion piece began in yesterday’s Observer — the Sunday edition of the Guardian newspaper.

The article, written by the Observer’s “reader’s editor” Stephen Pritchard, outlines how the paper — which recently announced a massive cost cutting exercise — is going to start censoring its readers on articles about race, immigration, and Islam.

“We are living in an age of rage,” the piece begins, going on to explain that because “People are angry with government, with media, with religion, with migration, with Europe, [and] with big business”, the paper will no longer tolerate its readers expressing these views “below the line” on its website; ironically named “Comment is Free”.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

EC Says Response on Flexibility for Italy in Spring

Spokesman says assessment on ‘case-per-case basis’

(ANSA) — Brussels, February 1 — A European Commission spokesperson on Friday said that the EU executive will decide whether it has granted Italy’s request to have flexibility in the application of budget regulations for its spending on asylum seekers in “spring”. The spokesperson added that the valuation will be made “on a case-per-case basis, ex post, on the basis of the expenditure undertaken”. On Friday Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said after a bilateral meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he hoped Brussels would give a response to Italy on the budget flexibility request this week.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the EU executive stated in December that member States’ contributions to a package of three billion euros in aid for Turkey in exchange for cooperation over the refugee crisis are excluded from deficit calculations. Italy has been accused of holding up the aid package. Premier Matteo Renzi had said the money must be outside the parameters of the Growth and Stability Pact. “The Commission had already clarified in December that the national contributions to the three-billion-euro fund for Turkey are not considered in the deficit calculations for the Stability and Growth Pact,” Schinas said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Funds Job Creation Project to Syrian Refugees, Jordanians

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, FEBRUARY 1 — The EU has launched employment projects targeting host communities and Syrian refugees in an attempt to create jobs and integrate refugees in the labour market, officials said today.

“We are pleased to fund these two important projects facilitated by Luminus Group, and we anticipate that their outcomes will enable young Syrians and Jordanians to enhance their job prospects and create new businesses that will, in turn, create more jobs and raise local economies within Jordan,” said EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn as saying. The first project will enhance work preparedness and life skills among young Syrians and Jordanians in Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Mafraq and will be implemented by Al Quds Education, Training and Consultancy — Al Quds College, according to the statement. The second aims at creating private sector jobs and enhancing the economic growth potential of local economies in the northern cities of Irbid and Mafraq.

Luminus Education is offering education for both Syrian and Jordanian youth in Za’atari, Irbid, Mafraq, Amman and Zarqa. Topics to be studied include hospitality, construction & built environment, art & design, engineering, creative media production, and graphic design. Other training programs include: life & soft skills, and mentoring, in addition to other skills The project will set up an innovation and entrepreneurship centre Fab Lab, to provide comprehensive business development services to high potential start-ups and existing micro, small and medium enterprises.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: ‘Major Risk’ of Islamic State Jihadis Among Migrants From Libya

Islamic State terrorists hiding among migrants traveling from Libya to Lampedusa are a “major risk” for Europe, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

In an interview on French television Sunday, Le Drian said that there is an “urgent” need for a political solution in Libya where “Daesh is being established.” Reports suggest that Islamic State fighters in Libya now number in the thousands.

“I’ve been very worried about Libya since September, 2014,” Le Drian said. “There they are, just 200 miles from Lampedusa, and they are expanding.”

The French minister added that “when the Mediterranean weather is good, there is a risk that [ISIL fighters] will make the crossing, mingling with migrants. It is a major risk.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Germany: Shocking Footage Claims to Show a Group of Migrant Men ‘Attacking Two Pensioners Who Stood Up for a Woman They Were Harassing on the Munich Subway’

Shocking footage has surfaced online appearing to show a group of young migrants attacking two German pensioners after they stood up for a young women the men were harassing on a subway train.

Recorded on a mobile phone, the disgraceful video shows the men — of Eastern European or Arabic origin — holding one man by the arms as they verbally abuse him.

The second victim is seen grappling with one of the migrants, before he is held up by the neck and threatened.

Munich man Tom Roth uploaded the disgraceful video to his Facebook page. He caught the footage while travelling from Sendlinger Tor station to the Metro’s city centre terminal.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Germany’s Spending on Refugees May Reach Unprecedented €50 Billion by 2017

Spending for health care, accommodation, language courses and other expenses related to the migrants’ inflow may reach an unprecedented level by the beginning of the next year.

Germany is expected to spend almost 50 billion euros on refugees over the course of the year, German magazine Spiegel Online wrote, referring to a new study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

According to the latest data, Germany will spend about 17 billion euros on accommodation for asylum seekers and five billion euros on language and integration courses. Along with other costs, the entire sum is expected to reach 27.6 billion euros.

The findings of the new study confirm previous forecasts of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, although the Kiel Institute’s researchers published even higher cost estimates related to the migration crisis.

According to the best scenario, the country’s authorities will have to spend 25 billion euro annually until 2022, while the worst scenario estimates the future annual spending at about 55 billion euros.

Researchers of both institutions stressed that the estimates are a subject to great uncertainty — because it is impossible to foresee how many refugees actually will arrive and how quickly they will integrate into the labor market.

Over a million refugees have arrived in Germany alone last year. Most of them left their crisis-torn home countries in North Africa and the Middle East in search of a better life in stable and wealthy EU member states.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German-Russian Teen Receiving Psychiatric Treatment After Alleged Rape

A teenager of Russian descent who was allegedly raped by migrants in Berlin is receiving psychiatric treatment, her mother told German television on Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 13-year-old girl was reportedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted in September. Her aunt claimed in a January 16 interview with Russia’s Channel One broadcaster that the teenager was abducted and raped by a group of immigrants.

“My daughter feels very bad… She has been receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment as of Monday,” the alleged victim’s mother told Spiegel TV.

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged Germany to conduct a “thorough examination” of the case. It denied Berlin’s accusations of exploiting the alleged sexual attack for propaganda purposes.

Last week, Berlin Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Martin Steltner said there was no evidence the girl was forced to have sexual relations during the period of her disappearance. However, since the age of consent in Germany is 14, an investigation into possible statutory rape had been opened against the man in question.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Graphic Video Evidence of Muslim Migrant Violence in Germany Amid Calls for Merkel’s Resignation

We interviewed Kent Ekeroth, Sweden Democrat party deputy in the Riksdag, the country’s national Parliament, on the Lisa Benson Show, Jan. 31, 2016. Listen to the podcast. Ekeroth. explained how the arrival of Muslim male migrants has led to sexual assaults of Swedish women for well over two decades even before the great wave of Muslim migration in 2015 -2016. Data from Swedish Statistics and IOM indicate that more than 65,000 unaccompanied minors were in the throng of 160,000 Asylees admitted in 2015. Four fifths of them are male. One 15 year old Somali perpetrated the killing of a 23 year Swedish woman aide in a reception center who was trying to break up of a struggle between two youths. Today came graphic evidence of Ekeroth cited. Ekeroth believes this uncontrollable young Muslim male asylees population in Sweden will likely lead to chaos in the spring and summer when Swedes emerge to gather at the country’s beaches…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Landfill Lesbos-Style: Astonishing Drone Pictures Show Ten Acres of Dumped Life Jackets — as it Emerges 35 Times More Refugees Have Landed in Greece Compared to This Time Last Year

Covering ten acres and piled five metres high, thousands of life jackets make the island of Lesbos look more like a landfill site than a holiday hotspot.

They have been dumped near the village of Molyvos by thousands of migrants making the boat journey to Greece before heading further into Europe.

The dramatic drone images emerged as figures revealed the number of migrants arriving in Greece is nearly 35 times higher than at this point last year.

In a sign that the crisis is not easing, figures from the UN’s refugee agency show that 58,547 came into Europe via the country last month.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Merkel’s Madness Makes Bloodshed Inevitable

There is no chance that the 1.5 million nonwhite invaders who have poured into Europe since mid-2015 will all go back home peacefully “once there is peace” in their countries, as the increasingly delusional German Chancellor Angela Merkel has claimed.

Last week, European Union Commissioner Frans Timmermans said that 60 percent of the influx were not even “refugees from any of the “war countries,” a figure in line with previous estimates as well.

Here is where Merkel’s latest “logic” collapses: she actually appears to believe that the 1.5 million nonwhites who have invaded Europe did so to “flee war.”

If the figures claimed by Timmermans are correct—and there is every reason to think that they are an underestimate—then this means that there are currently at least 900,000 invaders currently in Germany alone who will not qualify as “refugees” at all.

Their numbers are still increasing by between 2,000 and 3,000 per day—and probably now number over one million.

To suggest that these one million nonwhite parasites—who entered Europe with bad faith and fraudulent intentions—are now going to peacefully put up their hands and agree to go away, is so delusional that it borders on outright insanity.

Furthermore, Merkel’s newest assertion that the rest—the so-called “real” refugees are all now actually going to be sent home anyway, is merely throwing fuel on the fire.

Merkel clearly has no idea of the consequences of her remarks: first, she created the impression among millions of nonwhites—all desperate to get into white Europe—that the doors were open to them to come.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Migrants Disturb Peace in Shelter in Western Sweden

A group of migrants disturbed the peace in a shelter near the western Swedish city of Gothenburg on Monday, local media reported.

STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — According to the local GT newspaper, the incident took place in the early hours of the morning.

“They have been noisy all night. The shelter’s employees thought that everything would come round, but in the morning they decided to call the police,” the media outlet quoted a local police spokesman as saying.

He added that the riot, which involved some 20 people and was apparently triggered by a dispute between residents of the center, caused serious damage to the shelter before police arrived and detained one of the rioters.

Last month, Swedish media reported that over the last four months local police registered over 5,000 migrant-related incidents. According to the local authorities some 158,000 asylum-seekers arrived in the country in 2015.

Europe is currently struggling to cope with a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and refuge in stable and wealthy EU states, including Sweden.

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

Migrant Crisis: Greek Volunteers Welcome Nobel Nomination

The leader of a volunteer group on the Greek island of Kos has welcomed news that islanders have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

George Chertofilis, the president of the Kos Solidarity Group, said a win would “give meaning to the work we do”.

Kos Solidarity is one of 16 volunteer groups from the Aegean Islands nominated on Sunday for the award.

They were nominated by more than 230 academics from universities including Oxford, Harvard, and Princeton.

In a private letter to the Nobel committee, shared with the BBC, the academics praised the islanders for responding to the crisis “with overwhelming empathy and self-sacrifice”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Over 2,000 Police Officers to Ensure Public Order at Cologne Carnival

The Cologne authorities will double police presence at the Women’s Carnival Day up to 2,000 law enforcement officers, the local police chief said Monday.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Women’s Carnival Day, celebrated with colorful parades, will be held in the city on Thursday.

“Some 2,000 police officers, twice more than last year, will work on the Women’s Carnival Day,” Jurgen Mathies said.

He added that 350 police recruits will also participate in policing the streets.

The decision comes as the criminal situation in the city remains tense after hundreds of women in Cologne were robbed and sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve by groups of aggressive men, believed to be mostly of Arab and North African origin.

Germany has been the key destination for thousands of refugees and immigrants coming to Europe since the start of 2015. Last year, the country registered over a million asylum applications, nearly five times more than the number registered in 2014, according to the interior ministry’s estimates.

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

Swedes Tell Racists: ‘We Are Not Your Women’

Swedes are hitting back following a series of far-right violent marches over the weekend which targeted asylum seekers and migrants.

Swedes took to social media to hit back after violent far-right groups attacking refugee youths in Stockholm over the weekend handed out flyers and posted online messages claiming they acted to protect “Swedish women”.

The hashtag #inteerkvinna (#notyourwoman) was trending in Sweden on Sunday, with women posting pictures of themselves on Twitter alongside messages saying “not in my name”.

“I’m not your woman. I don’t want your protection. You’re the ones making me scared, worried, angry and sad,” tweeted one.

“No racist will use me as an alibi to commit their acts of violence,” wrote another.

White people on the other side of the world call the terrorists on MY streets “Vikings”. #inteerkvinna

— Sofia Capel (@SofiaCapel) January 31, 2016

The campaign came in response to a series of violent weekend incidents in the Swedish capital which began on Friday evening when gangs of up to a hundred masked men marched through the city, beating up non-Swedes and handing out leaflets threatening further attacks.

The march, the most extreme reaction seen so far to the murder last week of social worker Alexandra Mezher, has been linked to football gangs and far-right groups.

According to Aftonbladet newspaper, men were distributing leaflets on Friday evening with the slogan “It’s enough now!” which threatened to give “the North African street children who are roaming around” the “punishment they deserve.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Left’s Manufactured Muslim Crisis

The left helped create Islamic terrorism; its immigration policies import terrorism while its civil rights arm obstructs efforts to prevent it and its anti-war rallies attack any effort to fight it. In America, in Europe and in Israel, and around the world, to get at Islamic terrorists, you have to go through the left.

When a Muslim terrorist comes to America, it’s the left that agitates to admit him. Before he kills, it’s the left that fights to protect him from the FBI. Afterward, leftists offer to be his lawyers. The left creates the crisis and then it fights against any effort to deal with it except through surrender and appeasement.

Islamic violence against non-Muslims predated the left

Islamic violence against non-Muslims predated the left. But it’s the left that made it our problem. Islamic terrorism in America or France exists because of Muslim immigration. And the left is obsessed with finding new ways to import more Muslims. Merkel is praised for opening up a Europe already under siege by Islamic terror, Sharia police, no-go zones and sex grooming and groping gangs, to millions.

The left feverishly demands that the whole world follow her lead. Bill Gates would like America to be just like Germany. Israel’s deranged Labor Party leader Herzog urged the Jewish State to open its doors.

And then, after the next round of stabbings, car burnings and terror attacks, they blame the West for not “integrating” the un-integratable millions who had no more interest in being integrated than their leftist patrons do in moving to Pakistan and praying to Allah on a threadbare rug. But “integration” is a euphemism for a raft of leftist agenda items from social services spending to punishing hate speech (though never that of the Imams crying for blood and death, but only of their native victims) to a foreign policy based on appeasement and surrender. Islamic terrorists kill and leftists profit from the carnage.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

We Won’t be Provoked, Renzi Tells EU

‘All migrants equal’ says premier in Nigeria

(ANSA) — Accra, February 1 — All migrants are equal and Italy will not be provoked by the EU, Premier Matteo Renzi said Monday. “We think all migrants are equal,” the premier said in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. “To envisage treating differently the cost of saving Eritrean children seems absurd to me — just a bureaucratic perversion. But we will not be provoked, in spite of the professional quarrelers in Brussels trying to relaunch from Brussels as though there were Serie A and Serie B lives”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Why is Obama Flooding Small Towns in the Most Conservative Parts of America With Refugees?

Of course the Obama administration will never publicly admit that this is happening, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is going on.

Why are small towns in conservative states being specifically targeted for refugee resettlement?

Of course the Obama administration will never publicly admit that this is happening, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is going on. Just look at the uproar that refugee resettlement is now causing in small communities in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Kansas. The Obama administration has deemed large cities such as Washington D.C. to be “too expensive” for the refugees, and so large numbers of them are being dispersed throughout smaller communities all over the nation. If you drop a few hundred refugees into a major city of several million people, it isn’t going to make much of a difference. But if you drop a few hundred refugees into a small town that has only a few thousand people living there, you can start to fundamentally alter the character of the whole area. Could it be possible that this is yet another way that Barack Obama is attempting to “fundamentally transform” America?

You would think that there would be more employment opportunities, cultural attractions and government services available for refugees in major metropolitan areas. So it would seem natural to resettle them in those areas. But instead, there seems to be a major push to resettle large numbers of them in small towns…

Look, I am all for assisting people that need our help.

In particular, I would love for our country to take in Christians from Iraq and Syria. The things that ISIS has been doing to those that believe in Jesus Christ are almost too horrible to put into words, and yet Barack Obama has been almost totally silent on the matter.

Instead of taking in persecuted Christians, it has been estimated that well over 90 percent of the refugees from Syria are Sunni Muslims, and surveys have found that a significant percentage of them actually have a favorable view of ISIS.

In the mainstream media, we are told quite often that the number of refugees being brought in is 10,000 a year. But that simply is not accurate. In a previous article, I documented the fact that the White House has admitted that the number of refugees being resettled in this country has been increased to 100,000 per year.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany Opens First Shelter for Gay Refugees

Germany opened Monday its first shelter for gay and lesbian refugees, as fears grew over threats to sexual minorities in overcrowded accommodations.

The new housing in southern Germany’s Nuremberg can host up to eight people, said Michael Glas, who runs an association called Fliederlich that started the initiative.

“No one has moved in yet but it’s a question of a day or two, the accommodation is ready,” he told AFP…

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

14 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/1/2016

  1. Perhaps some people can finally see what I am talking about now.

    “I’m not your woman. I don’t want your protection. You’re the ones making me scared, worried, angry and sad,” tweeted one.

    This is the sort who deserves to be the social outcast, if anyone.

    For some reason it is *these* particular women who feel free to speak while the ones who disagree remain silent. Why exactly is that the case? What the bleep is WRONG with these women?

    • Not sure here, because there’s not enough information in the article to form a reliable conclusion, but…

      Many, many otherwise good men are not of a mind to just be _friends_ with women.

      A woman who has or had a good father (which is NOT all that common) had one of those strong, manly people around who viewed her NOT as a sex object but, rather, as a being with intelligence, talents, etc., capable of understanding the plumbing as well as the knitting although the plumbing likely needed his physical strength.

      That kind of “protectiveness” goes well beyond protecting women, but it’s especially important with, say, one’s wife or sister as they have the power of generating life that is related to the man.

      Unfortunately, once one makes the setting adult male and female who are strangers to each other and especially if seemingly “unattached,” all too often what turns up is not that attitude of general protectiveness.

      “Feminism” exists for many reasons, very often for some form of real or perceived personal injustice, and there is no doubt that it’s sometimes called into play without sufficient grounds. There may, however, be nothing wrong with the women.

      • Yes, from a sort of self-absorbed social-emotional perspective this is pretty normal especially for immature women who have trouble imaging anything not specific to just them and not related to only courtship.

        The problem is that some woman or teenage girl is trying to signal her courtship preferences (doesn’t want anyone to save her from her romantic fantasy rape scene except for the Prince Charming she desires) when what is needed is signaling against the Bystander Effect.

        I would expect some immature women to say stuff like this and fail to understand how it is likely to be interpreted outside the romantic context they’re imagining, but I would also expect more mature women who understand the larger social implications to challenge such statements and point out the greater context at stake. (Maybe some have; I haven’t looked at Twitter.)

        Is this something that women are supposed to be able to deal with among themselves or is this a case where for society to function men are supposed to just write this off as a situation where women have to be treated like children who don’t know what’s good for them?

        I’m not trying to be insulting, but I am trying to figure out exactly how people think this is supposed to work.

  2. Interesting, re Guardian. Just yesterday, I was reading some politically correct article off Guardian, some days old. And I noted that the comments, usually and so far a mix of “welcoming culture” type comments with many more critical comments, had become pretty much a solid onslaught of critical comments, all the way down. I did not see vicious comments, or angry comments, what I saw was simply a wall of refusal for the line taken by that article’s writer (who was some Danish official).

    And now Guardian cracks down. That’s why. The contrast has become too great, the rebellion too glaring.

    • Thanks for sharing that observation, Vera. I had not been keeping up with comments on sites like that so I wouldn’t have noticed this.

      Seems like another example of the interactivity of the Internet being absolutely great until too many people start disagreeing with the opinion makers.

    • Indeed, I only bother reading the comments sections in MSM, after getting the gist of the (predictable) line of the article.

    • An idea for Baron and Dympna: let us know whether a Guardian article you mention allows comments or not. Then those of us not wanting to support the Guardian won’t bother clicking on it, possibly giving them some revenue by mistake.

      • Not possible! People send snips from these articles — I don’t have time to look at them myself, except in rare circumstances.

        • OK, well whoever sends in Guardian snippets might try to add the information? We don’t want to help the Guardian get money!

  3. Testing.

    This item supposedly has five replies at this time, and only one has been appearing for me.

  4. US Congressional House Resolution 569 – Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States This bill was introduced (12/17/2015) Sponsored by Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]
    Beyer is on the House – Judiciary Committee. Adding insult to injury….There are 123 traitorous cosponsors of this grossly offensively unconstitutional assault against the freedom of expression !
    Latest Action: 01/15/2016 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

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