Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/21/2016

A Hindu priest in Bangladesh was attacked and beheaded in his home, which is also the Hindu temple. Two other victims were reportedly wounded. Although the group responsible for the attack is not known, officials are certain that the incident had nothing to do with Islam.

In other news, 3,000 protesters gathered to protest the establishment of a refugee center near Kranja in Slovenia, fifteen miles north of the capital Ljubljana.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Dean, Diana West, Insubria, JD, 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
» 21 New Numbers That Show That the Global Economy is Absolutely Imploding
» Italy: Audit Court Says Spending Review a ‘Partial Failure’
» Italy Has Top Economically Inactive Rate in EU Says Eurostat
» Italy: EU Bail-in Rules Risky for Economy Says Confindustria
» OPEC is Out of Business, But Dollar Crash Will Save the Oil Price
» How Hillary Stole Nevada: Voter Fraud Caught on Camera
» Kalamazoo Shooting Spree: What We Know
» Michigan Officials Deliberately Blocked Investigation Into Water Contamination While Poisoning Children En Masse
» Obama Set to Settle Score Against Oregon Sheriff Outspoken on the Second Amendment
Europe and the EU
» 5,000 ISIS Jihadists at Large in the EU: Europol Boss Warns Huge Numbers of Terrorists Have Slipped Back Into European Capitals After Being Trained in Iraq and Syria
» EU Referendum: An Extraordinary 24 Hours in Politics — Cabinet Divided Moments After Historic Vote Called
» France: Front National Seeks Russian Money
» German Mayor’s Browser Tabs Catch Him With Trousers Down
» Germany: Crowd Rejoices as Invader Center Burns
» How European Leaders Ganged Up on David Cameron and Turned EU Summit Into a Farce
» Italian Birthrate Hits Historic Low
» Italy Clouds Overshadow Renzi’s Second Anniversary
» London Mayor Boris Johnson Backs Brexit in Blow for Cameron
» This Way to the Brexit: What Would Happen if Britain Left the EU?
Israel and the Palestinians
» Netanyahu Backs Army Chief in Row Over Use of Deadly Force
Middle East
» A Furious Turkey Says US is “Acting Like an Enemy, “ Demands Washington Brand Kurds “Terrorists”
» BBC Report Explains How US & UK Weapons Flow to Al-Qaida & Other Extremists in Syria
» Turks Burn 150 Kurds Alive
» Former Czech President: “US/EU Propaganda Against Russia Ridiculous”
South Asia
» Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur Agree to Exchange 1.5 Million Workers
» Leading Hindu Priest Decapitated in Bangladesh
» Lockdown in Parts of Northern India After Deadly Caste Clashes
Far East
» Apple Plays Digital Privacy Hardball With FBI, ‘But Not China’
» Chinese Attempting to Buyout U.S. Weapons Manufacturer Terex
» Austria Rejects EU Criticism Over Migrants Cap
» Merkel Fears Putin Plot to Weaken Her by Exploiting Migration Crisis
» Migrants: Austria Isolated at EU Summit on Refugee Threshold
» More Austrian Troops to Deal With Migrant Inflow
» No Escaping Islamic Extremism: Muslims Harass Christians in Refugee Camps
» Opinion: Last Chance for the Refugee Crisis
» Some 150,000 People Likely to Leave Libya for Europe in Next Weeks
» Spring Could Bring a Fresh Surge of Refugees. But Europe Isn’t Ready for Them.
» Sweden is on a Fast Track to Becoming a Banana Republic, All Because of Out-of-Control Mass Muslim Immigration
» Thousands Protest Against Slovenia Migrants’ Centre
» UK: ‘If We Leave the EU, We Won’t be Able to Control Immigration, ‘ David Cameron Warns
Culture Wars
» Indonesia’s Religious Leaders to Fight “LGBT Propaganda”
» Philippine Church Defends Manny Pacquiao on Gay Marriage Stance
» UK: Heathfield School Headmistress Jo Heywood Wants Children Brought up Gender Neutral

21 New Numbers That Show That the Global Economy is Absolutely Imploding

After a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment. But that does not mean that the crisis is over. On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams. This is especially true when you look at global trade numbers. The amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the planet is falling precipitously. So don’t be fooled if stocks go up one day or down the next. The truth is that we are in the early chapters of a brand new economic meltdown, and I believe that all of the signs indicate that it will continue to get worse in the months ahead. The following are 21 new numbers that show that the global economy is absolutely imploding…

#1 Chinese exports fell by 11.2 percent year over year in January.

#2 Chinese imports were even worse in January. On a year over year basis, they declined a whopping 18.8 percent.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Audit Court Says Spending Review a ‘Partial Failure’

Saving margin limited, flexibility used up says Squitieri

(ANSA) — Rome, February 18 — The government review of public spending has been a “partial failure”, State Audit Court President Raffaele Squitieri said at the inauguration of the court’s judicial year on Thursday.

The spending review has given “the essential issue of the interrelationship with the quality of services” a back seat, Squitieri said.

Consequently it has given rise not only to actions geared at improving efficiency and rationalising resources, but also to “less targeted operations to reduce, if not suppress, services to the collectivity”, he added.

Squitieri also said that the margin of saving on public spending could be “limited” over the coming years.

“In an outlook for public finance that still requires non-marginal spending adjustments to be made, including in order to tackle the complex issue of the fiscal burden, the margin of saving on the expenditure front could turn out to be limited,” the audit court president said. Spending cuts have given “important results on the level of aggregate data” since the start of the economic crisis, he added.

Squitieri also pointed out how the flexibility obtained from Europe has been “entirely used up” in the 2016 budget. “In this way, the drop in the public deficit has been maintained, but at a slower pace,” he said. The court president added that the proliferation of complicated laws in Italy favours illegality.

“The complexity and multiplication of laws give illegality more fertile ground for taking hold, rather than defences against or obstacles to its spread,” Squitieri said. “The efficient working of the judicial system as the main instrument for countering illegality represents a decisive element in the development and growth of the country,” he added.

Squitieri also said renewed public investment is essential for growth.

“Recovering adequate levels of public intervention in major works is not only a key condition for meeting the European clause on investments required of the government, but also, and especially, for achieving adequate levels of growth, reabsorbing a delay in infrastructure provision that risks impacting on the country’s competitive potential,” he said. Squitieri’s remarks were saluted by unions, consumer groups and voluntary sector representatives who have long criticised the spending review’s impact on essential services. Nine million Italians no longer use the national health service, Susanna Camusso, leader of Italy’s biggest trades union confederation CGIL, claimed Thursday. “They can’t reach it anymore because of budget cuts and reduced services,” she said.

“The failure of the spending review has produced a double loss for Italians,” consumer association Codacons President Carlo Rienzi said. “On the one hand, it has not eliminated the waste and improper use of public resources that weights on the pockets of the collectivity; on the other, it has led to an increase in fiscal pressure, particularly with regards to local taxes,” he continued.

The upshot is that residents “pay more to receive ever fewer services”, Rienzi concluded.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Has Top Economically Inactive Rate in EU Says Eurostat

Followed by Finland, Lithuania, Holland

(ANSA) — Brussels, February 19 — Italy has the highest rate of economically inactive people aged 15-74 in Europe, according to a Eurostat third quarter 2015 report out Friday.

Eurostat says a person is economically inactive if he or she is not part of the labour force, based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition. For statistical purposes, inactive people are neither employed nor unemployed, and can include children, students, pensioners and housewives or -men, provided they are not working at all and not available or looking for work.

In Italy in the second quarter last year, 41.6% of the unemployed aged 15-74 was inactive — more than double the European average of 19.4%, according to Eurostat. Finland had second highest rate of inactivity with 34%, followed by Lithuania at 28.9% and Holland at 27.8%.

As well, Eurostat reported that 12.9 million Europeans lost their jobs and 3.7 million found work between the second and third quarters last year.

In Italy, 44.2% lost work and 14.3% found jobs in the same period.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EU Bail-in Rules Risky for Economy Says Confindustria

Would ‘quadruplicate’ costs to taxpayers

(ANSA) — Rome, February 19 — New European Union rules on bank bail-ins put the economy at risk and are an obstacle to Italy’s growth, the Confindustria industrialists association research center (CSC) said Friday.

“Some banking rules recently adopted in Europe and others that are being debated — all theoretically aimed at strengthening the banking system and reducing risks to the economy — are actually counterproductive,” the CSC report said.

“Not only for peripheral countries…but also for the core countries that inspired those rules”. “Placing limits on bank purchases of government bonds would increase credit costs and fails to break the link between banking debt and sovereign debt,” the CSC added. The report said banking systems remain national insofar as government bond yields guide medium-to-long term rates. Placing limits on bond buys would cause a credit crunch, the report said. As well, new EU bail-in rules that say shareholders, bondholders and clients with accounts of over 100,000 euros must take losses if the bank fails “quadruplicate the costs for taxpayers”.

As far as toxic loans are concerned, the CSC blamed “a long and deep recession” over recklessness on the part of lenders.

Measures to immediately free bank balances from non-performing loans are “essential to relaunching credit and the economy, but some measures are being stymied by the new EU rules,” the CSC said.

“State guarantees at market prices do not solve the problem,” the report said.

The CSC called for more vehicle companies in which to transfer the bad loans, spreading losses over several fiscal years, and speeding up enforcement of collateral.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

OPEC is Out of Business, But Dollar Crash Will Save the Oil Price

The OPEC oil cartel is finished because its members don’t trust each other, but a severe weakening in the US dollar will cause oil prices to rise later in the year, investment expert Michael Pento told Sputnik.

The supply and demand of oil will both be subject to great volatility this year because many oil companies will not be able to maintain their business at low prices, and there will be a “destruction” of demand from Asia, Michael Pento of Pento Portfolio Strategies told Radio Sputnik.

“What’s going to save the oil market is going to be a fall in the US dollar, and I think oil bottoms around $20 a barrel and then climbs higher from there, but that won’t happen until later this year.”

“Towards the end of 2016 the US Central Bank assents to the notion that they cannot engage in a protracted regime of rate hikes. The US economy is already headed for recession, we are already in a manufacturing recession, it’s spilling over to the service sector and I think it’s going to intensify over time this year.”

Members of the OPEC cartel are bidding for market share and are more interested in putting frackers out of business than supporting the oil price by agreeing to lower production, Pento said.

“These is no OPEC any more, they do not trust each other.”

“I’m not at all enamored with the belief that these disparate nations can agree on anything anymore. There is no coalition that’s cohesive and that can stay together.”

By focusing on oil prices, observers are missing the symptoms of a wider economic malaise across the world that continues because the problems of the 2008 economic crash were never solved, Pento said.

A depression that was engendered by artificially low interest rates, asset bubbles and debt was then compounded by “taking interest rates down to zero and leaving them there for seven years.”

“Now they’re trying negative interest rates. There’s seven trillion dollars’ worth of sovereign debt with a negative yield and yet we still can’t generate any growth.”

“No-one acknowledges that falling oil prices are a symptom of the global metastasizing deflationary depression that’s occurring right now.”

“It’s not just oil prices that are down, it’s every commodity, it’s soy beans, corn, base metals, energy, so it’s not just oil — oil is a symptom of the global slowdown and the only thing that’s going to save that is a rapid amount of supply destruction later this year and a turn in the value of the US dollar.”

“We’re entering into a world of what I call ‘recessflation,’ it used to be called ‘stagflation,’ now it’s recessflation where you’re going to have rising prices, higher inflation and economic stagnation on a global basis. This is one of the reasons why gold is having such a wonderful year.”

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

How Hillary Stole Nevada: Voter Fraud Caught on Camera

Pro-everything awful and establishment blowhard Hillary Clinton “defeated” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in yesterday’s Nevada caucus, 52.7% to 47.4%. But we’re calling shenanigans. Similar to our last report on the presidential nomination race, “How Hillary Stole Iowa”, it appears that Mrs. Clinton continues to find creative ways to rack up votes. In Iowa, the Clinton campaign declined to “count” votes — because what’s the point in that?

In Nevada, they adopted a slightly different strategy: Let’s not bother with registering caucus-goers. After all, that would unfairly prevent people who shouldn’t be voting from voting. This is special: You can cleary hear the Clinton goon commander announcing that “they will register after this”, as Clinton fanatics rush past him. Yeah…no they won’t. Another damning video… How many other Nevada precincts used this “open door” policy for Clinton supporters from Colorado/New Mexico/apparently it doesn’t matter? What a charade.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kalamazoo Shooting Spree: What We Know

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) — The mass shooting situation in Kalamazoo is over following the arrest of a 45-year-old man, Michigan State Police say.

It remains a developing situation, however, with six people dead and two others wounded at three individual, “random” shooting scenes, MSP Lt. Dale Hinz said. The man, identified as Jason Dalton, was taken into police custody at 12:40 a.m. Sunday at Ransom and Porter streets in downtown Kalamazoo.

“The threat to the public is over,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said. “We now have our suspect.”…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Michigan Officials Deliberately Blocked Investigation Into Water Contamination While Poisoning Children En Masse

(NaturalNews) In an extremely unsettling report by Reuters it seems that Michigan officials were actually aware of a serious problem with the water supply in the city of Flint but took measures to block an investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is said to be undertaking a full review of the way the water crisis was handled, which led to contaminated drinking water seriously poisoning 87 people — 10 of whom died.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Set to Settle Score Against Oregon Sheriff Outspoken on the Second Amendment

Faces revocation of his police certification.

In the latest development involving the Burns-OR Standoff case, the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is asking the state Department of Justice to investigate Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer after receiving numerous complaints from the public and others, including dispatchers and the John Day police chief. The Department has released eight separate complaints, including ones from a 911 manager and the John Day police chief, alleging misconduct by Palmer, and raising alarm concerning Palmer’s association with leaders of the refuge occupation.

The Department of Justice has been asked to investigate the case, and the licensing agency has warned Palmer that if violations of police standards are found, he could face revocation of his police certification.

According to a one-sided article published by Oregon Live on Thursday, February 18, Palmer has drawn criticism for his association with the armed militants who took over the wildlife refuge and his meeting with some of the occupation leaders:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

5,000 ISIS Jihadists at Large in the EU: Europol Boss Warns Huge Numbers of Terrorists Have Slipped Back Into European Capitals After Being Trained in Iraq and Syria

The British head of Europol has warned that as many as 5,000 ISIS-trained jihadists are wandering free in Europe.

Rob Wainwright, chief of the EU’s police agency Europol, said the agency believed between 3,000 and 5,000 jihadists have been able to slip back into Europe after training with ISIS in the Middle East.

‘Europe is currently facing the highest terror threat in more than 10 years,’ Mr Wainwright told Germany’s Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper.

‘We can expect [ISIS] or other religious terror groups to stage an attack somewhere in Europe with the aim of achieving mass casualties among the civilian population.’

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

EU Referendum: An Extraordinary 24 Hours in Politics — Cabinet Divided Moments After Historic Vote Called

David Cameron’s Cabinet split apart just minutes after he called a historic in-out referendum on membership of the European Union as six of his senior ministers demanded that Britain sever its links with Brussels.

In an extraordinary 24 hours in British politics, the Prime Minister announced a June 23 referendum but was then faced with the prospect of one fifth of Government ministers opposing his bid to keep Britain in the EU.

Mr Cameron yesterday made an emotional plea on the steps of Downing Street for voters to reject the “leap in the dark” of a British exit from the EU, saying that remaining a member of the bloc is essential for “economic and national security”.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

France: Front National Seeks Russian Money

France’s Front National, denied loans by all French banks, has reached out to Russian banks to borrow the 25 million Euros ($27.7 million) it needs to pay for the 2017 election…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

German Mayor’s Browser Tabs Catch Him With Trousers Down

A German mayor has been left red faced after he posted online a screenshot of his browser without noticing open window tabs with adult material.

Thomas Kappl grabbed the screenshot on his iPad with his main browser window showing a Wikipedia page about the German Constitution and posted it on his Facebook page as part of a political argument.

Unfortunately, readers quickly noticed that the browser tabs were distinctly less political.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: Crowd Rejoices as Invader Center Burns

Former hotel was under renovation in preparation for its use as an invader center

Crowds of locals gathered round, cheered and applauded as an invader center in the German town of Bautzen, Saxony, burned down last night, horrifying local establishment politicians.

The invader center-planned to accommodate at least 300 nonwhites pretending to be refugees-was totally destroyed in the blaze, and is now uninhabitable.

Saxony police have said in a statement that it is too early to determine a cause of the blaze in the empty building, located in the city center, but that the forensic team was investigating and that they “suspected a xenophobic motive.”

However, what shocked Bautzen Mayor Alexander Ahrens, a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, was the fact that hundreds of local townsfolk gathered to watch the blaze, and openly expressed their delight.

Ahrens even claimed that some townsfolk had tried to stop the fire brigade from extinguishing the monster blaze-an allegation which appeared to be supported by the fact that some in the crowd were arrested by police in the resulting celebrations.

“What I find repugnant is that onlookers accosted the firefighters and hindered their work,” Ahrens said. He was backed by Saxony’s Interior Minister, Markus Ulbig, (CDU), who said that it was “intolerable to parade such open disrespect and hatred of foreigners.”

[Comment: Perhaps the Interior Minister would feel differently if a member of his family has been raped/assaulted by an invader? The Public is waking up to the fact that this is an INTENTIONAL flooding of invaders (by traitor political class) to destabilize the nation.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How European Leaders Ganged Up on David Cameron and Turned EU Summit Into a Farce

John Stevens examines, hour by hour, how European leaders ganged up on David Cameron, turning the EU summit into a 30-hour farce.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Birthrate Hits Historic Low

Istat data shows more Italians leaving country as well

(ANSA) — Rome, February 19 — Italy is facing a double demographic challenge, with the 2015 birthrate the lowest since the country’s unification in 1861, coupled with a 12.4% increase in Italians leaving the country, according to data released Friday by statistics bureau Istat.

Istat said 488,000 babies were born in 2015 — eight for every 1,000 residents — down by 15,000 births compared to the overall figure for 2014.

In response to the data, Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin told ANSA that the country’s low birthrate is its main economic problem. She said the ministry will conduct studies on support for working women and the country’s so-called baby bonus, a monthly per-child payment to low-income families.

Compounding the low birthrate was an increase in 2015 in both emigration and the country’s mortality rate.

Istat said 100,000 Italian citizens were removed from the registry of residents in 2015 after moving abroad, up 12.4% over the previous year.

There were also 45,000 foreign nationals who left the country.

The mortality rate was up 9.1%, with 653,000 deaths in 2015, an increase of 54,000 compared to 2014.

At a rate of 10.7 deaths per 1,000 residents, Italy’s 2015 mortality rate is among the highest registered in the post-war period, with fatalities concentrated in the 75-95 age range.

Italy’s population did get a slight boost, however, from 28,000 Italians who returned from abroad and from 245,000 foreign nationals registered as residing in the country last year.

“The government’s commitment is clear — to create active policies that put the family at the centre,” said Regional Affairs Minister Enrico Costa.

“This is not a single provision, but a comprehensive network of measures, acts and decisions, above all in the tax sphere, aiming to help and develop the country’s backbone.

“Next week motions to support the family will be debated in the Lower House”. Consumer groups Federconsumatori and Adusbef said the data show that couples are giving up on starting a family because they can’t afford to support one.

“It won’t be possible to talk about a true recovery until a recovery is triggered on the job front, creating new incomes and lightening the load on families,” the groups said.

Consumer group Codacons said the cost of raising a child in its first years of life is estimated at about 10,000 euros a year.

“Many Italians nowadays can’t afford to bring a child into the world anymore, and they’re forced to postpone becoming parents to better times, in the absence of concrete support from the State, as today’s Istat data attests,” Codacons’ Carlo Rienzi said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Clouds Overshadow Renzi’s Second Anniversary

Bullish and boyish in equal measure, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is not shy about blowing his own trumpet.

To mark his second anniversary as premier, which falls on Monday, the Twitter-loving 41-year-old has posted a slideshow on his Facebook page vaunting his achievements since seizing power in an internal putsch inside his centre-left Democratic Party (PD)…

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

London Mayor Boris Johnson Backs Brexit in Blow for Cameron

London mayor Boris Johnson on Sunday said he would support a vote for Britain to leave the European Union in a blow for Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of a membership referendum in June.

“After a great deal of heartache… I will be advocating vote Leave,” said Johnson, a popular politician from Cameron’s own Conservative Party who is seen as a potential successor to the prime minister…

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

This Way to the Brexit: What Would Happen if Britain Left the EU?

Welcome, once again, to the messy and uncertain future of British politics. On the Essex coast, the UK Independence Party has just won its first parliamentary byelection; in Greater Manchester, they have come within a whisker of snatching a hitherto safe seat from Labour. Having once warned the Conservatives against “banging on” about Europe, David Cameron leads a party that is arguably more obsessed about it than ever. And a new word has entered the political lexicon, which may soon become inescapable.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Netanyahu Backs Army Chief in Row Over Use of Deadly Force

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his army chief on Sunday after his comments on the use of force against young Palestinian attackers drew rightwing fire.

Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot on Wednesday told high school seniors heading for compulsory military service that troops should not use excessive firepower in combating a wave of Palestinian violence in which many youthful assailants have died.

Hardliners, including senior members of Netanyahu’s own Likud party, responded angrily to his comments.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz called them “mistaken and unfortunate” and liable “to cause soldiers to hesitate to open justified fire against terrorists in future.”…

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

A Furious Turkey Says US is “Acting Like an Enemy, “ Demands Washington Brand Kurds “Terrorists”

As you might have noticed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to lose his mind with the situation in Syria.

To be sure, the effort to usurp the Bashar al-Assad government wasn’t exactly going as planned in the first place. Regime change always takes time, but the conflict in Syria was dragging into its fifth year by the time the Russians got directly involved and although it did indeed look as though the SAA was on the verge of defeat, the future of the rebellion was far from certain.

But to whatever extent the rebels’ fate was up in the air before September 30, the cause was dealt a devastating blow when Moscow’s warplanes began flying sorties from Latakia and while Ankara and Riyadh were initially willing to sit on the sidelines and see how things played out, once Russia and Hezbollah encircled Aleppo, it was do or die time. The supply lines to Turkey were cut and without a direct intervention by the rebels’ Sunni benefactors, Moscow and Hassan Nasrallah’s army would ultimately move in on Aleppo proper and that, as they say, would be that.

The problem for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar is optics. That is, everything anyone does in Syria has to be justified by an imaginary “war on terror.” Turkey can’t say it’s intervening to keep the rebels from being defeated by the Russians, and similarly, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US, France and everyone else needs to preserve the narrative and pretend as though this all doesn’t boil down to the West and the Sunnis versus the Russians and the Shiites.

Here’s what we said earlier this month: somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area.

Well it turns out that’s an impossible task and so, Turkey has resorted to Plan B: a possible false flag bombing and the old “blame the Kurds” strategy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

BBC Report Explains How US & UK Weapons Flow to Al-Qaida & Other Extremists in Syria

AUSTIN, Texas — Western weapons and equipment flow freely between the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria and their close allies from extremist groups like al-Qaida, according to an investigation from a BBC reporter.

In a Dec. 17 episode of the BBC Radio series “The Report,” investigative journalist Peter Oborne documented disturbing evidence that the United Kingdom and United States continue to support the the Syrian opposition, particularly the Free Syrian Army, despite ample evidence that they work closely with extremist groups NATO has traditionally thought of as enemies.

Oborne reported that at least two Westerners who were accused of aiding extremist groups in the region, found their charges rapidly dropped when they argued that by seeking to destabilize Syria and depose its president, Bashar Assad, they’d fought on the same side as the U.K.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turks Burn 150 Kurds Alive

Some 150 Kurds have been burned alive in different buildings by Turkish military forces, as government’s offensive on mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces brings new victims, a member of the Turkish parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, Feleknas Uca, told Sputnik. Over the past month, Turkish forces have repeatedly attacked YPG positions in Syria, claiming the Kurdish militia is a terrorist group that threatens Turkish security.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former Czech President: “US/EU Propaganda Against Russia Ridiculous”

Vaclav Klaus, longtime president and prime minister of the Czech Republic who is still highly popular, is one of the most respected and outspoken conservatives in Europe. “I remember one person in our country who at one moment was minister of foreign affairs, telling me that he hated communism so much that he was not even able to read Dostoevsky. I have remembered that statement for decades and I am afraid that the current propaganda against Russia is based on a similar argument and way of thinking…The US/EU propaganda against Russia is really ridiculous and I can’t accept it.”

In an interview on Czech radio in early September, Klaus stated that Ukraine is an artificially created state, and that the Ukrainian conflict was an artificial event created by the West and the United States which forced Russia to intervene. He also argued that Ukraine lacks strong ties to keep country together. Klaus believes the EU is beyond reform and has called for it to be replaced with an ‘Organisation of European States’ — a simple free trade association which would not pursue political integration.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur Agree to Exchange 1.5 Million Workers

The signature was reached after lengthy discussion. Union representatives in both countries have raised concerns. Malaysia offers tax incentives for hiring Bangladeshi migrants, to detriment of workers in Malaysia. The Bangladeshi associations instead fear the monopoly of the Malaysian trade unions and non-protection of their countrymen.

Dhaka (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The governments of Bangladesh and Malaysia have signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the exchange of 1.5 million workers in the next three years. The final agreement was reached on 18 February between Nurul Islam, Bangladeshi Minister for Welfare of expatriates and workers abroad, and Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Malaysian Minister for Human Resources.

The signing comes after lengthy discussions, during which several reservations were raised from both countries about future conditions of Bangladeshi workers abroad and the danger that this could represent for the domestic labor market of Malaysia.

The issue of Bangladeshi migrant workers is becoming more and more sensitive. The migrants go abroad in search of better living conditions and the governments of the host countries welcome the large influx of cheap labor.

Lately, however, a number of cases have emerged of the exploitation and abuse that these workers suffer abroad. Saudi Arabia is one of the riskiest countries of destination, especially for women. Some of them have talked to AsiaNews about the dramatic conditions in which they were forced to live as domestic slaves by day; at night, sex slaves for employers and their male employees.

The new agreement with Malaysia has raised concerns, especially when it became known that the authorities in Kuala Lumpur would have hired immigrants through the private sector, so as to have more tax cuts. In fact, according to the agreement, the tax per employee will be equal to 1,946 Malaysian ringgit (about 415 euro).

This has raised protests from unions in both countries. On the one hand, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) has lamented the “possible monopoly of Malaysian trade unions of companies in the recruitment of workers”.

Instead the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is concerned that such favorable tax conditions could damage the Malaysian workers. The association has submitted a report in denouncing the government’s agreement and urging the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry and the cancellation of MOU to protect the interests of the Malaysian people.

From San Francisco, where he is on a state visit, the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he would discuss the issue with the deputy prime minister. Either way Najib pledged that “every decision made by the government is to meet the needs of the economy.”

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

Leading Hindu Priest Decapitated in Bangladesh

A top Hindu priest was decapitated by attackers in northern Bangladesh Sunday and two worshippers wounded, police said, in the latest assault targeting minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.

Two assailants armed with pistols and cleavers attacked Jogeswar Roy, 45, the head priest of Sri Sri Sant Gourio Math, at his home in the temple on Sunday morning, officials said.

“The priest was preparing for morning prayers when they pounced on him and slit his head from the body at the verandah of his home inside the temple,” said Shafiqul Islam, a government administrator in the sub-district Debiganj where the temple is located…

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

Lockdown in Parts of Northern India After Deadly Caste Clashes

Indian authorities issued shoot-on-sight orders and deployed thousands of troops in a northern state neighbouring New Delhi Saturday, after escalating caste protests left at least one dead, officials said.

Television images showed mobs wielding sticks rampaging through the streets in northern Haryana state, setting fire to a local government minister’s house and railway stations, damaging train tracks and blocking two key highways.

A week-long protest by the state’s dominant Jat caste, who are demanding quotas for government jobs and in education, turned violent Friday as police fired on protesters with local reports saying four had died…

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

Apple Plays Digital Privacy Hardball With FBI, ‘But Not China’

Apple was hailed as a champion of digital privacy this week after refusing to help the FBI hack into an iPhone belonging to a suspect in the San Bernardino shooting. But the firm hasn’t always been so scrupulous about user data, especially in China.

The standoff between the FBI and Apple over the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting, which claimed the lives of 14 people in early December, has divided the United States. While some have argued that the company should, in this particular case, help investigators by bypassing the phone’s security system, others have insisted that doing so will set a dangerous precedent.

The controversy began on Tuesday after a judge ordered Apple to help the FBI “hack” an iPhone linked to the tragic shooting. The next day, the White House gave the investigation its full support, describing it as an “important national priority”…

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

Chinese Attempting to Buyout U.S. Weapons Manufacturer Terex

Ali Meyer for the Washington Free Beacon reports, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urging for scrutiny over an unsolicited takeover bid from a Chinese company to manufacture U.S. military equipment.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Austria Rejects EU Criticism Over Migrants Cap

Austria’s combative interior minister on Saturday rejected EU criticism of its cap of 80 asylum claims per day, saying a letter of complaint to her from the bloc’s migration commissioner was “sent to the wrong address”.

“It should be generally known that Austria does not have an external EU border and is therefore not the first safe country that these people (migrants) set foot in,” Johanna Mikl-Leitner told the Austria Press Agency (APA).

“If everybody stuck to the content of the letter (from migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos), then Austria would not have a problem with it. But the letter was clearly sent to the wrong address,” Mikl-Leitner said…

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

Merkel Fears Putin Plot to Weaken Her by Exploiting Migration Crisis

GERMANY is investigating what it claims are covert operations by Russia to exploit the migration crisis to weaken Angela Merkel’s government and destabilise the EU.

Merkel herself is understood to have told her secret services to investigate suggestions the Kremlin is using “hybrid warfare” — a mixture of media manipulation, espionage and political and military pressure — against her country.

Officials in Berlin are convinced that Putin, who served as a KGB officer in Dresden in the last years of the Soviet Union, wants to damage or even topple Merkel, who is seen as key to keeping a common European front against Russia after its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Sources close to the German leader said the decision to deploy the Verfassungsschutz — Germany’s equivalent of MI5 — and the Bundesnachrichtendienst — its MI6 — was taken after erroneous reports last month in Russian state media about a 13-year-old Russian girl…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Migrants: Austria Isolated at EU Summit on Refugee Threshold

Renzi, No to closing Brenner. Summit with Turkey in March

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the end of the first day of an extraordinary two-day EU summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 19 February 2016

(by Patrizia Antonini) (ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, FEBRUARY 19 — Vienna remains isolated in the EU over measures approved to cut down the inflow of migrants. Debate raged at a dinner during the summit of leaders from the 28 member countries dedicated to the refugee crisis, with strong tension for decisions that were defined as unilateral, not agreed at a EU level, and violating European and international laws, in particular the Geneva treaty, considered a cornerstone to be defended. European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has rejected without appeal Austria’s decisions: “I don’t like them”. And in the afternoon already the European commissioner for immigration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in a letter to the interior minister, Johanna Mikl Leitner, called the daily thresholds imposed — 80 asylum applications — and transit (3,200 passages) “clearly incompatible with obligations of EU and international laws”, inviting “to reconsider” their implementation already scheduled tomorrow.

Premier Matteo Renzi has warned: “We cannot think of closing the Brenner which is one of Europe’s symbolic passages”. And Germany, sources explained, considers Austria’s action as “short-sighted”. Possible consequences cited by them is a worsening of the Greek economic crisis.

Premier Alexis Tsipras, once again grilled, arrived with four planned hotspots out of five to show Greece’s good intentions and gave a show of force, repeatedly refusing to sign the draft conclusions and asking an engagement also on reallocations.

Premier Matteo Renzi also made a strong intervention, stressing the need for bilateral solidarity, citing structural funding plans for 2014-2020.

Chancellor Werner Fayman during the day said Vienna would maintain its position. “From a political standpoint, it is unthinkable for us to welcome all of Europe’s asylum seekers”.

Austria’s measures also dominated a pre-summit with leaders from the western Balkan route, Croatia’s Tihomir Oreskovic, Slovenia’s Miro Cerar, Serbia’s Tomislav Nikolic and Macedonia’s Gjorge Ivanov. Strong concern was expressed by the four. Many stressed the will to remain countries of transit. Cerar says he back plan B promoted by the four countries of Videgrad (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) for the reconstruction of the barrier in Macedonia, if the Turkish border will not be sealed successfully.

Belgrade said it will behave like Vienna. “Serbia will do what Austria does”, said the minister in charge of the refugee emergency, Aleksandar Vulin.

Meanwhile police chiefs from the four countries in Zagreb reached an agreement for a new system of border checks between Greece and Macedonia to avoid chain rejections, as occurred over the past days for some 200 migrants, sent from the Austrian border to Slovenia and then Croatia and Serbia.

Berlin criticizes the principle to reject migrants at the external border who “don’t satisfy entry requirements or who have not presented an asylum request although they had the opportunity to do so”, part of the summit’s conclusions, and presses on the activation of article 26 of the Schengen code, which allows internal border checks for up to two years, to maintain the free exchange area alive.

“At the beginning of March we will hold an extraordinary meeting with Turkey”, announced in the end German chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that the date has not been decided yet given the absence of Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

More Austrian Troops to Deal With Migrant Inflow

Austria said Sunday it is beefing up the army at its borders to deal with the inflow of migrants, with 450 more troops from Monday and military police on standby in case of trouble.

The increase to 1,450 soldiers and reservists comes after Austria drew criticism last week for saying it would only accept 80 asylum seekers and let 3,200 migrants pass through the country per day.

The troops will assist police carrying out checks on people and vehicles entering the country, patrol the “green border” and carry out surveillance work, the defence ministry said.

Also a company of military police based in Salzburg “will be held back to be able to handle violent persons or groups of persons and prevent them crossing the border,” the ministry said…

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

No Escaping Islamic Extremism: Muslims Harass Christians in Refugee Camps

It is not uncommon in Germany for Muslims migrants to gang up on Christians in refugee camps; the number of these attacks has increased in the country over the past six months, according to Protestant pastor Gottfried Martens.

Protestant pastor Gottfried Martens said in an interview with the website that the past six months have seen an increase in Muslim migrants’ attacks on Christians in refugee camps across Germany.

“The situation has deteriorated over the past six months and we have already heard of several cases of such attacks, which are mainly staged by radical Muslims,” Martens said.

He added that these incidents, as a rule, pertain to household-related issues.

“In some refugee centers, for example, Christian migrants are banned from going to the kitchen because they are seen by Muslim migrants as kafirs (infidels) who allegedly can desecrate cookware,” Martens said.

This is something that also explains Muslim families forbidding their children from play with Christian kids, according to Martens.

“The number of cases related to negative attitude toward Christian refugees has showed no sign of abating in recent weeks,” he said.

Marten expressed his concern that the issue is being hushed up by both European politicians and the media, which he said will not help “to drop huge problems.”

More than 1.1 million migrants and refugees arrived in Germany in 2015. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government came under pressure over its open-door policy after a series of attacks on women in Cologne, allegedly by men from refugee backgrounds.

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

Opinion: Last Chance for the Refugee Crisis

Angela Merkel didn’t show it, but she was furious with Austria, which left her alone on the refugee issue. The only hope for her concept now lies in Turkey’s hands. And that could go terribly wrong, writes Barbara Wesel.

If Merkel fails, so does Europe

Those who declare the chancellor’s refugee policy a failure should answer the following: What else should she have done? Should she have closed the door immediately and left Europe to fend for itself?

None of the newly anointed experts who proclaim to have always known that her policy would go south had predicted last fall that the EU would fail so spectacularly at getting its act together. It shows a lack of solidarity and humanity, for the war in Syria is becoming increasingly gruesome. All this talk about a resolution appears to be illusionary.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Some 150,000 People Likely to Leave Libya for Europe in Next Weeks

Europe is likely to face an increased influx of refugees in the next few weeks, with some 150,000 people ready to leave Libya for Europe, German media reported.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Germany’s Interior Ministry believes that refugees will arrive in Greece and then head to other European countries via the Balkan route, the Bild am Sonntag news outlet reported, citing a ministry’s source.

The German government is planning on Monday to officially appeal to the European Commission to demand the complete registration and control over refugees in the Schengen area, the news outlet reported.

According to the International Organization for Migration, over 83,000 migrants or refugees have already crossed into Greece since the beginning of 2016.

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

Spring Could Bring a Fresh Surge of Refugees. But Europe Isn’t Ready for Them.

LONDON — After an unparalleled tide of asylum seekers washed onto European shores last summer and fall, the continent’s leaders vowed to use the relative calm of winter to bring order to a process marked by chaos.

But with only weeks to go before more favorable spring currents are expected to trigger a fresh surge of arrivals, the continent is no better prepared. And in critical respects, the situation is even worse.

Ideas that were touted as answers to the crisis last year have failed or remain stuck in limbo. Continental unity lies in tatters, with countries striking out to forge their own solutions — often involving a razor-wire fence. And even the nations that have been the most welcoming toward refugees say they are desperately close to their breaking point or already well past it.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Sweden is on a Fast Track to Becoming a Banana Republic, All Because of Out-of-Control Mass Muslim Immigration

And the rest of Europe isn’t far behind. Danish commentator, Jeppe Juhl, a sort of Scandinavian Pat Condell, laments that there are more than 50 (Muslim) areas of Sweden where police, firefighters, and ambulance drivers dare not go without wearing bullet proof vests.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Thousands Protest Against Slovenia Migrants’ Centre

Thousands of people in Slovenia on Saturday protested against the proposed opening of a migrants’ centre.

Around 3,000 protesters, according to state Radio Slovenija, waved Slovenian flags and banners with slogans such as “Migrants’ centre: no thanks!” and “The duty of all patriots is defend the country from this government”.

The protest near the town of Kranj, around 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of capital Ljubljana, was called by a civil group and backed by the main opposition centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS).

The authorities have said they could open a migrants’ accommodation centre in an abandoned home improvement store near the town…

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

UK: ‘If We Leave the EU, We Won’t be Able to Control Immigration, ‘ David Cameron Warns

The PM, pictured on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, attacked his own pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers this morning, accusing them of making ‘no effort’ to plan for a post-EU Britain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Indonesia’s Religious Leaders to Fight “LGBT Propaganda”

Islamic, Catholic, Buddhist and Confucian leaders sign a joint statement calling for an end of violence against gay people but also reiterate their opposition to homosexual practices. For Islamic leader, stopping advertising by LGBT groups will help people get “back on track to normalcy.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Leaders from Indonesia’s religious groups have waded into the debate over the place of the LGBT community in society.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Indonesia Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KWI), the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi) and the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia (Matakin) rejected all forms of propaganda in favour of LGBT legalisation, stating that LGBT behaviours are a “social illness” that violates religious teachings and principles of the Constitution.

For MUI leader Yusnar Yusuf, not encouraging LGBT values and behavious is key to helping LGBT people get “back on track to normalcy.

Putting limitations on the promotion of LGBT activities would act as a form of “treatment” in encouraging the elimination of any tendencies toward deviant sexual behavior.

“It is important now to invite everyone to think positively about them in that they are sick people who need to be healed,” Yusnar said at a press conference on Thursday.

Although religious leaders also condemned all forms of violence against gay people, they joined government in calling for a stop to foreign funding for NGOs that promote LGBT rights.

The government’s policy is to tolerate homosexuality as a prerogative of some people in society (who must be protected as citizens), but to ban public campaigns that seek to influence other people to adopt that lifestyle.

The controversy over homosexuality came to the fore after the Support Group and Resources Centre (SGRC) applied for a permit to operate at the University of Indonesia, which the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Muhammad Nasir, turned down.

Fr Siswantoko, from KWI, said it was important not to isolate LGBT people but to welcome them, because a healthy society also depends on their rehabilitation.

For its part, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) announced new regulations — discriminatory according to their critics — that ban all forms of communication on TV, radio, or other means of communication that promote LGBT activities.

The government has also blocked popular microblogging website Tumblr, claiming it contained pornography and promoted LGBT relationships.


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

Philippine Church Defends Manny Pacquiao on Gay Marriage Stance

The Philippine Catholic church on Sunday defended boxing hero Manny Pacquiao for his opposition to gay marriage, saying he was only quoting the Bible.

But Father Jerome Secillano also said over radio station DZMM that Pacquiao should respect homosexuals and not judge and condemn them after the eight-division world champion last week described them as worse than animals…

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

UK: Heathfield School Headmistress Jo Heywood Wants Children Brought up Gender Neutral

Jo Heywood (pictured), of Heathfield school, Ascot, Berkshire, believes gender neutral parenting would produce girls confident about entering careers such as science and engineering.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

14 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/21/2016

  1. You might notice my Slovene origin from my surname.

    The place referred to is “Kranj”.

    “Kranja” represents a change for reasons of grammar.

  2. One of these days all the players will start their day as usual not. Everything will have changed.

  3. Girl (14)
    Gang raped in Oslo

    “Three African immigrants who brutally raped a 14-year-old girl to the point where she wanted to kill herself were given extremely light sentences by a court in Norway, with one receiving community service and avoiding prison altogether.

    The incident happened on the night of July 30 when the three men accosted the girl on a commuter train before also molesting her in a farm house and at an apartment in Oslo.”

    – How many more European girls are politicians willing to sacrifice to their allah-figure?
    – How many European girls already killed themselves from being gang raped in the same politicians’ willing work to spreading sharia?
    – The politicians should give their number loud and clear, so the sleeping voters could get their late wake up call

    • Unfortunately people still don’t understand that the “sexual freedom” concept is what’s behind rape being taken much less seriously. Forget the real rape culture of Islam for a second; the “sexual freedom” culture is exactly the same “rape culture” that the feminazis keep complaining about, they’re just too ignorant and fuzzy thinking to figure this out.

      For those who think that sex is no big deal because of contraception, abortion, and antibiotics for STDs, “to the point where she wanted to kill herself” is an important part of the picture.

      No doubt they think that can just be solved with Prozac though.

      As Hillary Clinton says, “What difference at this point does it make?”

      • Not entirely sure about that, Nimrod; in less “permissive” times, rape was often not taken seriously.

        • Provide an example, preferably one that doesn’t involve aristocrats raping peasants and the aristocrats not taking it seriously, or slave masters raping slaves and other slave masters not objecting. (These are cases where the real issue is class subjugation.)

  4. I’ve been to Ljubljana, back in 2012. No “enrichers” to speak of, other than small number of fellow-Balkaner Bosniaks. And very clean and well-kept…

    What have the good citizens of Kranj done to warrant a refugee centre for 3,000 enrichers being put on their doorstep – and for their area to be turned into a 3rd-world ghetto overnight?

    Btw, this sort of thing is becoming a problem everywhere, it seems. Not just in Calais, or the leftist lunatic asylums of Germany and Sweden. Governments who decide to open a massive refugee reception centre, especially in an area previously free of any enrichment problems, should be held responsible for any increase in robberies, rapes or other crimes – and, if the house prices fall for the inhabitants, should be made to pay any difference in house price. This ghettoisation of whole swathes of countries should be unacceptable.

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