Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/28/2016

The well-known American chanteuse Madonna may be banned from the Philippines for draping herself in the country’s flag at a show in Manila last week. It is against Philippine law to use the national flag as an article of clothing. Violators may receive up to a year in jail.

In other news, a female police officer was shot and killed in Prince William County, Virginia, while answering a call about a domestic dispute during her first day on the job. Two of her fellow officers were seriously wounded. The suspected perpetrator had already killed his wife before police arrived at his house.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Dean, Fjordman, 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
» EU’s Lowest Inflation in Poland, Romania (-1.7%, -1.5%)
» Italy: Non-EU Exports Down 7.9% Jan-Jan
» Italy: Wage Index Rise Lowest in 33 Years
» 106 Burmese Pythons Captured in Florida, Including 15-Footer
» Bernie Sanders Fans Slam Black Voters After South Carolina Defeat
» Fascist American Universities 2016: Notes From Cal State Los Angeles
» Is the Republican Party Self-Destructing?
» McConnell Tells GOP Senators: We’ll Drop Trump ‘Like a Hot Rock’
» Shocking Video: US Marine Booed, Removed From Clinton Rally for Asking Legitimate Question
» Snowden Sums Up the Presidential Campaign With Just One Tweet
» Texas Man Arrested for Open Carrying Less Than Two Months After Open Carry Became Law
» Virginia Officer Killed on Her First Day on Job, 2 Other Officers Injured in Shooting
Europe and the EU
» Belgium: Cities Fight Radicalization of Young Muslims
» Claim: New Surgical Microchips the Key to the Future
» Doing Business in Italy Harder Than in Other Countries Says EC
» France: Criticize Islam and Live Under Police Protection
» Ghent Cathedral Bells Ring Out Bob Carter’s Peal
» Italy Has Made ‘Some’ Progress Says EC Report
» Italy: EC Agree on Flexibility Says Renzi
» Italy: Six in 10 Employee Contracts Expired in Jan Says ISTAT
» Merkel Asks German Businesses to be Patient With Anti-Russian Sanctions
» Slovenia: Record Revenues for Koper Port
» UK: Jeremy Corbyn Backed Left Wing Activists Vow to Target Moderate Labour MPs
» UK: Victim of Rotherham Sex Gang Who Was Blackmailed by ‘Mad Ash’ Reveals She Was Forced to Carry Out Dozens of Crimes Including Attacking Two Girls
» Yazidi Women, Girls Seek Healing in Germany After IS ‘Hell’
Middle East
» Oil Producers’ $94 Bln Debt Meltdown After Two Years of Cheap Crude
» Turkey’s Erdogan Lambasts Court Decision to Release Journalists
» US-Backed Proxies Use Ceasefire in Syria to ‘Regroup, Rearm and Prepare’
» Russian Meat Certification Protocol Signing Expected in Iran Next Week
South Asia
» For Indian Activist, Hindu Radicals Slam Anti-Nationalism to Crush Democracy
Far East
» China Bans ‘Bizarre’ New Buildings
» Chinese Join American Globalists in Attacking Donald Trump
» ‘Love the Party, Protect the Party’: How Xi Jinping is Bringing China’s Media to Heel
» Philippines Wants to Ban Madonna After Flag Furore
Australia — Pacific
» Science Debunks the Eco-Fable of Easter Island
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Robert Mugabe: Zimbabwe Leader’s Birthday Party Criticised
Latin America
» Two Former Mexican Presidents Compare Donald Trump to Hitler
» A Plan to Destroy Europe.
» Hit by Worker Shortage, Germany Tries Points-Based Immigration
» Poles Fear Middle Eastern Migrants Will Create ‘Ukrainian Route’ To Europe
» Swiss Voters Reject Plan to Expel Foreigners for Minor Crimes
» UK: EU Migrants Get £886 Million You Pay in Out-of-Work Benefits in Just One Year
Culture Wars
» Gloria Steinem: Feminist Icon Says No-Platforming ‘Is Wrong’
» What Happened to Free Speech?
» A New Way of Looking at ‘The Pause’. Why Karl et al. Got it Wrong About ‘The Pause’. (Part 1)
» Now Even Michael Mann Admits the ‘Pause’ In Global Warming is Real; Throws Allies to Wolves
» Very Strong Graphical Evidence for the Pause. (Part 2)

EU’s Lowest Inflation in Poland, Romania (-1.7%, -1.5%)

Eurostat data for January

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — The lowest annual inflation rate has been registered in Poland (-1.7%), Eurostat data for January shows.

Romania came second with -1.5%. Medium annual inflation rate at the EU28 level has been 0.2% in the same period.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Non-EU Exports Down 7.9% Jan-Jan

Down 6.2% Dec-Jan

(ANSA) — Rome, February 25 — Italy’s exports to non-EU countries fell 7.9% between January 2015 and January 2016, Istat said Thursday.

They fell 6.2% between December 2015 and January 2016, the statistics agency said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Wage Index Rise Lowest in 33 Years

0.7% in January

(ANSA) — Rome, February 26 — January’s yearly 0.7% rise in Italy’s hourly wage index was the lowest in 33 years, Istat said Friday. The last time the gain was so low was in 1983, when records began, said the statistics agency.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

106 Burmese Pythons Captured in Florida, Including 15-Footer

The 106 Burmese pythons captured over a monthlong hunt won’t help control Florida’s invasive snake population, but wildlife officials said Saturday that doesn’t matter as much as the awareness they bring to the state’s environmental concerns.

Thousands of pythons, far from their natural habitat in Southeast Asia, are believed to be stalking Florida wildlife in the beleaguered Everglades. The tan, splotchy snakes can be elusive in the wetlands, but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say volunteer python removal programs and two state-sanctioned hunts since 2009 are focusing more eyes to the problem.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bernie Sanders Fans Slam Black Voters After South Carolina Defeat

Some Sanders supporters are attacking black voters for backing Clinton on Saturday over their favored candidate

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fascist American Universities 2016: Notes From Cal State Los Angeles

by Ben Shapiro

As you can see, during the course of the speech, the protesters pulled the fire alarm — literally shouting fire in a crowded theater. There have been no arrests and there will be no investigation. I continued with the remarks.

When I concluded, I asked the students if they wanted to go outside to confront the anti-free speech protesters. They were gung ho, but I told them I needed to check with campus police and security first.

After walking backstage, my security team, former Israeli military who had worked in crowd control situations, told me that it wouldn’t be advisable to go out. Then campus security explained that if I went out there, they “couldn’t guarantee your security” and added that they couldn’t guarantee the security of the students either. One of my security guards told me that the crowd had already entered mob territory, and that one thrown punch could start a riot.

We walked backstage, where two police officers exited through another doorway as a decoy, and another 10 uniformed police officers escorted us through a roundabout route to our car. My security told me to walk quickly to the vehicle and duck into the rear seat of the three-row van for safety. Two motorcycle cops escorted us from campus, lights flashing.

This is America 2016.

And this bulls*** cannot stand.

But it will stand if we don’t stand together. What I witnessed — and what the brave students standing for free speech experienced — was a full outbreak of the fascist mentality, urged and spurred on by state-paid professors, greenlit by state-paid administrators. Nobody should have to exercise free speech by sneaking in the back door while the fascists block the front door. Not in America.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Is the Republican Party Self-Destructing?

Even though this system has been in place for 240 years each party has managed to work up to the point where they make it look like the people are involved by allowing the people to vote for the candidates the Party elites want in office. I believe that this is what we saw in 2008 when Romney backed out of the race to let McCain take the lead. In 2012 Romney got the elites nod and the race was his to lose, which he did, but the people still had their ‘voice’. All candidates have people who finance their campaigns. This simply means that they are bought. Favors have to be given to those that fund the campaign. If you want to see what positions a candidate is going to take, I’m not talking campaign promises because they will say what they have to to get elected, look at who is funding them. Where is the candidate getting his support? Rubio has several billionaires that are funding him. With that said you have to look at what these ‘supporters’ support. It will make no difference what Rubio says in his campaign it will make a difference as to who is supporting him.

Rubio has talked no amnesty but in the same breath he talks illegals paying fines, back taxes and getting in line. He says nothing about deporting them. One of his backers is Sheldon Adelson a strong open borders billionaire. Rubio will say no amnesty but because his financier likes the open borders there will be nothing done to secure the border as we have seen nothing being done since the Reagan years.

Remember the Gang of 8 Bill? This was nothing more than amnesty hidden in legalize. A little background on Adelson tells you that he is a casino owner with casinos in Vegas and China. The ones in China are interesting. It appears that they are possibly being used for money laundering by Chinese organized crime: “A diminutive 82-year-old with a lumpy face and a puff of thinning red hair, Adelson is the 13th-richest man in the United States, worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes. Though he made his initial fortune in Vegas, he joined the ranks of the superrich following his 2001 investment in Macau, a once run-down seaport an hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong that in the last decade has overshadowed Vegas to become the world’s gambling capital. Adelson’s casinos in Macau, a special administrative region of China, provide the majority of the revenue for his company, Las Vegas Sands. But beneath Macau’s glitz lurk organized crime, corruption, and a shadow banking system that has allegedly laundered billions of dollars for China’s ruling elite.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

McConnell Tells GOP Senators: We’ll Drop Trump ‘Like a Hot Rock’

McConnell said the potential of Trump losing to Hillary Clinton is a given

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told colleagues they will drop GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump “like a hot rock.”

McConnell reassured Republican members of the upper chamber they could run negative ads against Trump if he becomes the nominee and it threatens their re-election, reports The New York Times.

[Comment: Clueless idiots. They will lose their seats if they attack Trump should he win the nomination. These guys are so out of touch (or serving another master) with the American electorate. Just another bankster lackey looking to position a Republican Tweedledee instead of Trump.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Shocking Video: US Marine Booed, Removed From Clinton Rally for Asking Legitimate Question

Hillary Clinton supporters booed and shouted at a Marine veteran until security forcibly removed him — all because he asked about Benghazi.

The incident happened at a Clinton rally in Bluffton, South Carolina on Friday, where the man who introduced himself as a veteran asked former President Bill Clinton why his wife “lied over the coffins” of the men killed in the Benghazi attacks.

“I did eight years of active duty service, two tours of Iraq,” the Marine said, to a silent reaction from the crowd.

“We had four lives in Benghazi who were killed and your wife tried to cover it up,” he said, causing the crowd to boo wildly.

To President Clinton’s credit, he thanked the man for his service and tried to answer him, but the crowd was too rowdy shouting, “sit down” and “throw them out.”

“Hillary lied over four coffins!” a woman who accompanied the Marine shouted.

While Clinton insisted his wife didn’t lie, the woman was also removed by security as the crowd shouted and jeered.

“Those families are lying?” the woman shout as she was being dragged out.

“Why are you trying to not listen to my answer?” Clinton asked the woman but he could barely be heard over the crowd. “Are you afraid?”

“No. I’m not afraid because I know you’re going to lie,” she screamed back.

A far cry from how military service members are treated at a Donald Trump rally, or any Republican presidential candidate’s event for that matter.

[Comment: Communists are eager to replace patriotic military members with those that have no loyalty or love for the constitution. Watch for Commucrats to push a “service for citizenship” program for illegals.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Snowden Sums Up the Presidential Campaign With Just One Tweet

And so, just like that, with a sweeping victory in South Carolina, Sanders’ Socialism crawls back into its cage and crony capitalism is alive and well.

As Edward Snowden so perfectly sums up…

2016: a choice between Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs.

– Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 28, 2016

And in case you thought this was an exaggeration…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas Man Arrested for Open Carrying Less Than Two Months After Open Carry Became Law

Less than two months after a Texas law went into effect allowing citizens to open carry handguns, Texas police arrested a man for doing just that Saturday afternoon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Virginia Officer Killed on Her First Day on Job, 2 Other Officers Injured in Shooting

A Virginia police officer who was on her first shift with a department was shot and killed Saturday and two other officers were wounded in a standoff stemming from a call about a domestic-related incident.

Prince William County Police Department said officers responded to a call about 5:30 p.m. in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. It’s unclear how the altercation between the suspect and police began, but the suspect is in custody and was not injured, Sgt. Jonathan Perok said.

The suspect has not been identified, but Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebery says he has authorized a capital murder charge, among other counts, against the suspect.

A county leader said a civilian woman was also killed in the domestic dispute.

The department said in a statement on Facebook that Officer Ashley Guindon had died “as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident.” The other officers were still being treated for wounds stemming from the shooting, the statement said…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Cities Fight Radicalization of Young Muslims

Ever since November’s attacks in Paris, Belgium has been stereotyped as a hotbed of terrorism. Several cities are trying to prevent young Muslims from being radicalized.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Claim: New Surgical Microchips the Key to the Future

Imagine a world where people can enter buildings and turn on machines using a tiny microchip in their hands. Well, that future-at least for Sweden — isn’t too far out.

A few office workers in Sweden are being injected with a microchip the size of a grain of rice “that will open doors, turn on machines and serve as a business card,” according to Q13 Fox.

The Swedish company plans to eventually have the chip allow workers to pay for their meals at the office cafe as well. Epicenter is a high-tech office complex in Sweden. The point of this product is to test the efficiency of the technology.

“We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped — the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip,” Hannes Sjoblad, chief disruption officer of Epicenter, said…

Accusations of the government chipping all Americans and being able to locate people by their chip cannot be confirmed. As of now, the only information that can be confirmed is that the FDA has approved radiofrequency identification devices that enable access to patient identification and provide corresponding health information. Basically, these chips would be able to confirm the person to be who they say they are; an implanted social security, or health insurance card. More advanced chips that serve as a debit card are likely to be created in the future.

[Comment: Useful idiots — building and designing the foundation for mankind’s panopticon environment. Too stupid to see the social ramifications beyond the next technical design hurdle. Picture a society with no physical cash, everyone microchiped; those that do not want it are persecuted. (eg, single line for non-chipped people at grocery store). Add the IoT — internet of things. Now put it all under the aegis of a global Stasi-like intelligence organization. Welcome to 1984.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Doing Business in Italy Harder Than in Other Countries Says EC

Obstacles to competitiveness, high admin costs says report

(ANSA) — Brussels, February 26 — Doing business in Italy is still hampered by obstacles to competitiveness and high administrative costs, according to a European Commission (EC) report on macroeconomic imbalances in EU member nations out Friday.

Market liberalization measures being approved by parliament “still will not eliminate significant obstacles to competition in key sectors such as retail sales, professional services, local public services, and transportation,” the report said.

“Doing business in Italy is significantly harder than in other large EU economies, with modest progress made in the past few years,” according to the report. The EC pointed out that a drop in Italian exports since the single currency was adopted “was aggravated in the first phase of the economic crisis, and subsequent recovery was almost null”.

However the drop in Italy’s share of the export market in the past decade is “mostly due to eroded competitiveness”, the report said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: Criticize Islam and Live Under Police Protection

by Giulio Meotti

“After a few moments of fear, I thought that if there are these threats it is because my fight foiled the plans of the Muslim Brothers by bringing them to light. I decided not to give up.” — Laurence Marchand-Taillade, National Secretary of the Parti Radical de Gauche (Radical Party of the Left).

The author Éric Zemmour lives under police protection. Two policemen follow him wherever he goes — including to court, where Muslim organizations tried to defame him and his work by accusing him of “Islamophobia,” to silence him.

In France, hunting season is still open for critics of Islam.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ghent Cathedral Bells Ring Out Bob Carter’s Peal

by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Bob Carter’s Peal, a clock tune composed in memory of the late Professor Bob Carter, seems to have gone viral…

But now, from another direction altogether, what I had hoped has happened. Lou Mackenzie, in the noble tradition of Edinburgh polymaths, has worked for weeks to tune the waveforms of the ancient bells of Ghent Cathedral. He has used the tuned waveforms to play Bob Carter’s Peal as it was intended to be played — as a stately clock-tune on cathedral bells.

Lou has succeeded in retaining the authentic sound of the real cathedral bells. His virtual carillon is light-years ahead of the pasteurized bell-sounds that are commercially available. Some of the Ghent bells, particularly in the bass register, sound just a little off key, for that is what real bells do.

This is partly because the bells are very old, and partly because the harmonics of bells are extremely complex. The note that is struck when the clapper meets the bell is not necessarily the note that continues to sound. Often a secondary note is heard.

When the climate scam finishes dying, as the gap between profitably exaggerated prediction and unexciting real-world observation widens beyond all possibility of data-tampering, the few good and brave scientists like Bob Carter will deservedly be remembered for all they did to try to defend the reputation of the scientific method against the hateful political forces that came so very close to destroying it. Long may his Peal ring out in his honor.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Italy Has Made ‘Some’ Progress Says EC Report

Still work to be done

(see related)(ANSA) — Brussels, February 26 — Italy has “made some progress on enacting specific country recommendations in 2015,” a European Commission (EC) report on macro-economic imbalances said Friday.

It cited school and labour market reform and “important” measures for banks but went on to say there is still work to be done “in some fundamental areas” such as spending cuts, taxes on primary residences, the land registry office, wider fiscal policy, collective bargaining and the statute of limitations among other things.

“Given its centrality to the eurozone, Italy is a source of potential fallout for other member States” and its economic recovery “is affected by external conditions,” the EC said in its country-by-country report. “Structural weaknesses continue holding back Italy’s capacity to grow and react to economic shocks…the country’s modest recovery and structural weaknesses are a negative influence on European recovery and growth potential,” the report said.

The abolition of a tax on primary residences, IMU, “is not in line with the reiterated recommendations of the Council to shift the tax burden from productive factors onto consumption and real estate”, the report added. Italy has also failed to revise land-registry values and tax breaks as recommended, it said.

“hile Italy is making “significant bank reforms, areas of vulnerability persist” as shown by “the recent rescue of four small Italian lenders”. “The reabsorption of non-performing loans proceeds very slowly” in spite of progress made, and “the banking system appears to be weaker than that of other countries,” the EC report said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EC Agree on Flexibility Says Renzi

Italy ‘exemplary’ on refugees says Juncker

(ANSA) — Rome, February 26 — Premier Matteo Renzi said after meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Rome on Friday that Italy and the EC see eye-to-eye on flexibility.

“We share the Commission’s line on flexibility,” he said.

“Our reference point is what the European Commission wrote on flexibility — we’re not asking for changes”.

Juncker later replied that the EC introduced in January 2015 “elements of flexibility that Italy is rightly using at this time”.

Renzi said “Italy is at a historic low in terms of EU infraction procedures — we went from 199 (such procedures) when we came to power to 83 today”. The Italian government “believes in respecting the rules and does its all to be in the vanguard,” the premier said. He and Juncker had “elements of a different vision on banks and…State aid” as was “normal in a dialectic,” he added.

Renzi also said “Italy fearlessly and with head held high is working for Europe to once more become a place of souls and not just a single market” and that a “strong European initiative” was needed to bolster solidarity in the face of the migrant and refugee emergency. “We cannot imagine solidarity in one direction only, either you always show solidarity or you never do,” he said, voicing the hope that Juncker “can win the contest with other heads of government that do not have the same sensitivity” and want to stop the refugees from entering the EU.

Juncker replied that raising barriers against refugees “doesn’t solve problems” and that Italy’s conduct has been “exemplary and should serve as a model” to other European countries.

Italy “is a great country, a founding member of the European Union,” Juncker said. “There are widely shared views (and) there are more meeting points than partial — and sometimes clumsy — disagreements”.

“Italy is a great beneficiary of the (EC) investment plan and the leading light of the plan,” Juncker went on. “Matteo and I want to prolong it for longer than the three years”. Renzi earlier voiced the hope the 315-billion-euro plan could be extended.

Juncker also said the EC is not just “technocrats and bureaucrats in favor of…austerity”. “You have to interpret the rules in the best way possible, but not lose sight of the path towards a more intense and lasting growth,” Juncker added when asked about Italian flexibility margins allowed by the EC. Renzi followed this up by saying “Italy is doing more than its homework — it is showing concrete results. We will use the flexibility that will be allowed — it mustn’t be called into question”.

“Those who trust in austerity make a mistake,” Renzi added.

“Today Juncker said it is stupid. I agree with that”. Italy was bent on cutting its large public debt “for the sake of its children and not because Juncker and Europe are demanding it”, the premier added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Six in 10 Employee Contracts Expired in Jan Says ISTAT

Up from 39.1% in December

(ANSA) — Rome, February 26 — The work contracts of more than six out of 10 employees in both the private and the public sector in the national economy expired in January, ISTAT national statistics bureau said Friday.

The 62.6% figure was a sharp rise compared to 39.1% in December, ISTAT said.

The number of private-sector employees with expired contracts more than doubled in a month — from 21.3% in December to 51.7% in January — and it also rose compared to 44.4% in January last year, ISTAT said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Merkel Asks German Businesses to be Patient With Anti-Russian Sanctions

The German chancellor acknowledged the significant impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the German economy at her party’s economic conference in Stralsund on Friday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked for business representatives reeling from the costly effects of anti-Russian sanctions to remain patient at the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) economic conference, the German news agency DPA reported.

“The sanctions have hit some sectors of the economy hard,” Merkel said in her annual address to the conference in Stralsund, northeast Germany, on Friday.

She told those present that the anti-Russian sanctions, which resulted in a 25 percent (7.5 billion euros, $8.2 billion) drop in German exports to Russia last year, will be lifted in accordance with the Minsk Agreements that the representatives of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia agreed upon in February 2015.

There is no evidence that Russia has not fulfilled the conditions of the agreement, and earlier this month Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Alexander Lukashevich, told the OSCE’s Permanent Council meeting about Moscow’ concern that Kiev is not carrying out its obligations under the agreement.

Breaches of the agreement include the bombardment of residential homes by the Ukrainian military, the shelling of a trip by the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and Kiev’s failure to pass legislation that would provide a special status to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

“One of the key problems is that our colleagues pretend that Kiev is faithfully complying with the Package of Measures. In fact, it’s the other way round,” Lukashevich said.

“The Minsk Package of Measures is the foundation of the peace process via a direct dialogue between the parties to the Ukraine conflict. It provides a framework for a sustainable solution to the crisis, and defines the principles of conserving the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as part of Ukraine with constitutional and legislative guarantees ensuring the rights of the people of Donbass.”

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

Slovenia: Record Revenues for Koper Port

+13% compared to 2014

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — The port of Koper registered record-high revenue in 2015, Sta agency reported. The net revenues amounted to 184.3 million euros (13% higher than in 2014), while the net profit was 32.5 million (+12%).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Jeremy Corbyn Backed Left Wing Activists Vow to Target Moderate Labour MPs

MP Chuka Umunna has come under fire from trade union activist Hugo Pierre at a rally in London where supporters were urged to target ‘right-wing’ Labour politicians to support leader Jeremy Corbyn.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Victim of Rotherham Sex Gang Who Was Blackmailed by ‘Mad Ash’ Reveals She Was Forced to Carry Out Dozens of Crimes Including Attacking Two Girls

The 30-year-old said she was ordered to commit dozens of crimes by Arshid Hussain, as well as being abused herself by the gang in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Yazidi Women, Girls Seek Healing in Germany After IS ‘Hell’

One eight-year-old was repeatedly sold and raped, while another girl set herself on fire to make herself less attractive to her jihadist captors.

These are only two of the more than 1,400 horror stories German doctor Jan Ilhan Kizilhan has heard first-hand from Yazidi women and girls once enslaved by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq.

“They have been through hell,” he told AFP in an interview in Geneva.

Kizilhan heads a project that has brought 1,100 women and girls to Germany to help heal their deep physical and psychological wounds…

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

Oil Producers’ $94 Bln Debt Meltdown After Two Years of Cheap Crude

The nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council might not have enough oil export revenues to fund their excessive debts in the medium-term due to low crude prices, possibly resulting in the financial insolvency of the least diversified economies of the region.

Kristian Rouz — Amid persistently low oil prices, the most indebted of the oil producing countries are facing debt collapses, as much as $94 bln worth of borrowed capital is in danger of being wiped out in a manner similar in fashion to December’s Third Avenue crash. However, what the US economy saw as a massive, yet tolerable loss of money in one of its many sectors, oil producers would see it as a disaster for their national economies. The ongoing decline in growth prospects in the Middle East amidst political, military, and sectarian tensions, aside from the aftereffects of cheap oil, might invoke decreases in investment activity and credit rating downgrades. Consequently, the golden age for crude oil exporters might be effectively over in two years, unless a structural reform aimed at increasing the role of oil processing and development of other sorts of economic activity is enforced.

According to estimates made by the British bank HSBC, the nations of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC), will have to pay back or restructure $94 bln in debt within the next two years, including $52 bln worth of bonds and $42 bln in syndicated loans. The lion’s share of that debt accrues to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, one of the world’s major crude oil suppliers. Additionally, the GCC nations will have to deal with a $395 bln deficit in fiscal and foreign trade accounts over the period, exacerbating the situation to the point of insufficiency in FX reserves to cover the losses.

Should these nations extend their selloffs in US Treasuries, which are held by their governments in order to finance their FX rate stability and budget losses, they would be short of cash to refinance their debts.

“[This] will complicate efforts to refinance existing paper that matures over 2016 and 2017,” Simon Williams of HSBC wrote. “With the Gulf acting as a single credit market, the refinancing challenge will likely be much more broadly felt … compounded by tightening regional liquidity, rising rates and recent downgrades.”

The Middle Eastern oil producers will be facing increasing debt pressure until 2020, and the UAE will be paying back or otherwise refinancing their obligations, which account for the largest share of the $92 bln total debt burden. In the medium-term, the low oil prices would not provide the GCC nations with enough export revenues to allow them to meet all of their obligations.

The overall volume of the GCC countries’ indebtedness, including securities maturing post-2017, stands at $610 bln.

Recent credit rating downgrades by the world’s leading agencies have made the situation worse, making debt restructuring more complicated for the GCC nations. Standard & Poor’s revised downward the Saudi and Omani debt, and junked Bahrain’s credit rating first time on the record.

Another rating agency, Fitch, however, reaffirmed the credit ratings of major UAE banks, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, FGB, Emirates NBD, and Union National Bank. Part of the reason is the UAE’s financial sector and infrastructure are far more developed than those of their neighbors.

“We view Abu Dhabi, and by extension the UAE, as a resilient economy, supported by robust growth, particularly through strong government spending on infrastructure projects and an expanding non-oil sector. However, growth is moderating in response to lower oil prices,” Fitch noted.

HSBC, in turn, expects a greater scale of GCC bonds being issued in order to finance short-term obligations, resulting in an even greater debt imbursement in these nations, which eventually might lead to a full-blown financial crash should low oil prices linger medium-to-long term. For now, HSBC confident GCC countries will service their debts properly in the short-to-medium-term.

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

Turkey’s Erdogan Lambasts Court Decision to Release Journalists

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said he has “no respect” for a decision by the Constitutional Court to order the release of two Turkish journalists held in jail for three months on charges of revealing state secrets.

“I am not in a position to agree with this decision. I am saying this very clearly: I don’t concur with the decision and I have no respect for it,” Erdogan told reporters before leaving on a trip to Africa.

“This issue is not remotely linked freedom of expression. It’s a spying case,” he said…

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

US-Backed Proxies Use Ceasefire in Syria to ‘Regroup, Rearm and Prepare’

The cessation of hostilities in Syria almost certainly does not mean the end of the Syrian war, as US, Turkish and Saudi proxies are using the timeout to regroup, rearm and prepare, according to former MI6 agent and EU foreign policy adviser Alastair Crooke.

The Syrian ceasefire deal, brokered between the US and Russia, almost certainly will not last long and definitely does not mean the end of the war on the ground, Alastair Crooke, former MI6 agent, who was Middle East advisor to Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (CFSP) from 1997 to 2003, said in a lengthy interview with the RT news channel.

The British diplomat analyzed the possible intentions of the parties of the deal.

“And one of the intentions is to have a break, a pause, I think, so that your own proxies — the American, Turkish, Saudi proxies — can regroup, can rearm and prepare,” he therefore suggested.

“In a sense, this is a timeout, which is why I said that I don’t think this is the beginning of the end. I think there is another chapter in this, and what we are going to see and why are they doing this, is because precisely they want to rearm, to push back the rapid advance that is taking place across Syria of the coalition forces led by Syrian army, and to stop that progress, in order to give them position to continue their negotiations, in order to have something in their hand to negotiate with.”

At the moment, Crooke explained, for the rebels, the negotiating hand is vanishing day by day and if the Syrian forces reach Raqqa, they will have almost nothing.

Their major purpose is stopping the government forces getting to Raqqa, because then what’s there to negotiate about? The negotiations are taking place on the ground, in the battlefield, Idlib and Aleppo in the north of Syria, he suggested.

The Syrian government forces have already established control of strategic heights in the Raqqa province.

The diplomat however explained that actually, in a certain sense, it’s not just a race for Raqqa, it’s a race for both Raqqa and Mosul, because the government forces need to take both, and “Turkey is very anxious to take Mosul because they always had a claim that Mosul was part of Turkey, and American forces would like to take Mosul.”

“It would be very important if the non-American, the non-Turkish forces can take both Raqqa and Mosul. It will end the idea of creating a wedge in the Middle East of a Sunni state that is under the influence of Turkey and Saudi Arabia and acts as block between Iran and the Mediterranean and between Iran and Syria,” he explained.

Crooke suggested a further aim is in “trying to create circumstances where they can blame Russia and Iran for in fact continuing to fight and to bomb what they would describe as “moderates”, but it would be groups involved with the radical jihadists.”

The former MI6 agent also pointed out that, interestingly enough, those who are fighting in Syria, are, in fact, different US-backed groups fighting each other.

“It’s clear that there are different elements within America. We’ve seen that the Defense Department had quite a different position from that of the CIA, and so, at the moment, what we are seeing in Idlib, for example, is that the American-supported Syrian Kurdish groups are actually fighting some of the groups that the CIA have trained. So you have American supported groups fighting American supported groups in the area around Aleppo. So yes, there are differences in the American administration in that area,” he said.

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

Russian Meat Certification Protocol Signing Expected in Iran Next Week

Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said that a protocol on sanitary requirements for Russian cattle meat earmarked for export to Iran may be signed next week.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A protocol on sanitary requirements for Russian cattle meat earmarked for export to Iran may be signed next week, Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said Saturday.

“The final approval and signing of the protocol on the sanitary requirements for the important of cattle meat is planned at the first meeting of the working group on veterinary and phytosanitary issues from February 29 to March 1 in Tehran,” the watchdog told RIA Novosti.

Russian beef makers would be allowed to begin delivering their products to Iran once the protocol is signed, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

The watchdog added that it expected Iran to offer a similar draft agreement on poultry meat in the near future.

Iran’s veterinary organization experts visited Russia twice this year to test Russian control systems in beef and poultry production.

Rosselkhoznadzor said the organization approved meat exports, but first raised the requirement to agree on protocols reflecting sanitary requirements for poultry and boneless cattle meat imports.

The Russian watchdog received a draft protocol relating to cattle meat in mid-February, then analyzed and offered its commentary to the document.

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

For Indian Activist, Hindu Radicals Slam Anti-Nationalism to Crush Democracy

Ram Puniyani is the president of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. He writes about the ongoing university student protest in favour of freedom of thought who are accused of anti-nationalism by Hindu radicals. Modi has targeted Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University because it reflects a “democratic spirit, freedom of thought, and progressive values”.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) — For Ram Puniyani, president of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai, “what is happening is a blatant attack by RSS controlled ABVP-BJP* to crush the democratic secular voices in the country.” The cause for his reaction are the ongoing student protests at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which have rekindled the debate over freedom of expression in the country, with students demonstrating against the killing of a Kashmiri separatist sympathiser, who was hanged in 2013.

According to Puniyani, Hindu nationalists have “become emboldened to call all those opposing their politics as anti-national and are getting the state support to intimidate the voices for social justice; the progressive voices.” The social activist cites the case of a Dalit student, Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide because he was expelled from the university, losing his right to campus housing.

This, in his view, show how the BJP “and its political associates create a mass hysteria around anti-Nationalism”. Vemula was expelled in early January after he was accused of attacking ABVP members, who tried to get him expelled. The intellectual’s views follow:

On the back of the death of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University (HCU), one of the most prestigious University of the country Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been targeted by the ruling Modi Sarkar. The frightening things which happened in HCU were just the beginning of attack on autonomy of universities, on the free thinking in a democracy. Rohith was forced to kill himself by the machinations of ABVP, which had brought pressure through a BJP MP on the ministry to get Rohith expelled from hostel and to stop his fellowship. Similarly, the local ABVP unit brought pressure through its usual channels to intimidate and stifle the democratically elected student union in JNU.

It is alleged that in JNU some anti India; Pro-Pakistan slogans were shouted. There are confusing versions as to who did it. Truth of the video has come out, it was doctored. On the pretext of that Kanhiaya Kumar, the president of the JNUSU was arrested and the charges of sedition were slapped on him. Now Kumar is a member of AISF, the student wing of CPI, which is opposed to the separatist-pro Pakistan stance and in no way can he be part of type of slogan shouting which is supposed to have taken place. The original video also makes it clear. He neither shouted the slogans nor can anybody be arrested on the charge of shouting slogans. The constitutional position as clarified by noted lawyer Soli Sorabjee is that incitement to violence alone can be termed anti-National.

How come Delhi police enter the campus? The Vice chancellor, a BJP appointee, is indulging in double speak on the issue. On TV he stated that he will be the last person to call police in the campus. The investigation shows that he wrote letters to police calling them to take suitable action. Delhi police, working under Home Minister Rajnath Singh; went on recklessly to put the charge of sedition against Kumar. The lawyers in the court indulged in violence against those who looked like JNU students. One BJP MLA is involved in mercilessly beating up a CPI activist. This MLA also said that had he got the gun he would have shot those raising anti India slogans. One journalist was also attacked by BJP supporters. The same violence was repeated by lawyers the next day also and when Kanhaiya was being brought to court he was also beaten.

Now what is happening is a blatant attack by RSS controlled ABVP-BJP to crush the democratic secular voices in the country. As in Rohith Vemula case the ABVP, has become emboldened to call all those opposing their politics as anti national and are getting the state support to intimidate the voices for social justice; the progressive voices. BJP related organizations are creating a mass hysteria around ‘Anti national’. All those who don’t endorse the ‘RSS promoted Hindutva nationalism’ are being called as anti national. Prashant Bushan calls it a fascist onslaught.

All this is a big erosion of the values and practices which India has been nourishing. RSS combine is seeing this as an opportunity to wipe out all the norms and ethos of democratic culture and dissenting voices. It is a matter of shame that the police lacks the spine and professionalism and arrests the likes of Kanhaiya Kumar.

Rahul Gandhi who went to the campus and showed solidarity with the students was shown black flags and stones were thrown at him in Lucknow. Those agitating said that they are very angry as Rahul is sympathizing with anti Nationals. The MLA who beat up the CPI worker also said that anti national activities are going on and so he is showing his anger against those who shouted the pro Pakistan slogans. In TV debates the BJP spokespersons are harping on the same slogans and social media is resorting to the similar language.

The argument has been uniformly spoken by the Delhi lawyers taking law in their hands to those indulging in violence, from the ministers and top BJP leaders to those indulging in street violence. The second observation is that JNU students have been demonized through the propaganda as being anti National, and JNU being the den of anti-India activities. One recalls that all this demonization of JNU has started with this Government coming to power. The RSS affiliates, VHP etc. have been taking the marches to JNU gate to protest against the anti-National JNU students and faculty.

Both these arguments show the deeper agenda in a way. The anti-national rhetoric has been created to generate a mass hysteria against those disagreeing with BJP politics. The resorting to violence on this pretext clearly shows that this is a concerted effort to browbeat the practices and ideas which are not in keeping with the RSS-BJP mindset. This hysteria has been created to distract the attention from the social movement building up around the death of Rohith Vemula. The all-round anger on the Rohith issue had put the BJP on the back foot. This creation of mass hysteria around anti India slogans has been created and is leading to street violence.

This is an attempt on the part of BJP associates to wrest the initiative away from the movement which is building around Rohith. Apart from the attempt to abolish autonomy of universities this is also an attempt to sidetrack the issue of Dalits. The latter has also been reflected in the resignation of three office bearers of ABVP of JNU. These office bearers in their letter point out their dissatisfaction with the Government-BJP-ABVP interference in JNU affairs and their attitude of undermining the Dalit issue as reflected in their attitude to the death of Rohith.

The demonization of JNU again is on purpose. This institute has reflected the democratic spirit, the freedom of thought, and the progressive values, all of which are an anathema to the agenda represented by ABVP-BJP. They want to abolish the autonomy of academic institutions as reflected in their policies in case of FTTI, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and HCU to name the few. JNU was a particular target due to its outstanding contribution to high level of scholarship and adherence to progressive secular values. The concerted move by the ruling dispensation and its political associates’ to create a mass hysteria around anti-Nationalism and to erode the image of a progressive institution like JNU is as such an attack on the principles of democracy in the country.

While hopefully Courts may give some relief to Kanhaiya Kumar, the issue remains whether the mass hysteria and the street violence which has been unleashed on the pretext of anti-India slogans can be brought under control. The massive rallies of the students demanding the release of Kumar, demanding that government should not interfere in autonomy of universities and opposing the demonization of JNU drew a massive response. ABVP and family in a recalcitrant manner is mobilizing all through the country to protest against ‘Anti nationalism’. Those who were part of the JNU students meeting and of JNU have condemned the anti-India pro Pakistan slogans. The need is to take up the struggle for preserving democratic values to the masses

* The RSS is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist organisation, and the ABVP-BJP is the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad -Bharatiya Janata Party, i.e. the youth wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party.

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

China Bans ‘Bizarre’ New Buildings

They are certainly eye-catching.

But these buildings have caught the attention of Chinese officials — and not because they’re considered beautiful.

Buildings such as the National Theatre in Beijing and the iconic Guangzhou Circle are under the spotlight with authorities keen to get back to basics when it comes to the country’s architecture.

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared war on the trend of wacky buildings popping up across the country in the wake of a decade-long construction boom.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chinese Join American Globalists in Attacking Donald Trump

Officials from the People’s Republic of China have reportedly given $350 million to a low-key Super PAC whose goal is sabotaging GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s presidential bid. According to the Satira Tribune, the $350 million will be used to defeat Trump and lobby for several new U.S.-Chinese trade deals.

Chinese government officials remain mum over the allegations that they are becoming financially involved into U.S. political elections, but British news outlets have been probing the Chinese effort to influence foreign nations’ politics. The BBC claims its own investigation uncovered a Super Political Action Committee with the singular goal of interfering in the political affairs of the United States.

The multi-billionaire real estate magnate, “The Donald,” told the BBC, “Of course the Chinese don’t want me to be President. They know I’ll be out dealing them every step of the way. I know these people very well, some are great friends, but others only want to take advantage of the American people and I’m sick of it.

“Under Obama they have won time and time again, it’s disgraceful, but what else do you expect from a loser. With me, they know they are dealing with a winner. Party time is over for the Chinese. America is about to win again and become greater than the Great Wall of China,” Trump promised.

A transaction by the Obama White House that’s sure to anger most Americans — if the news media ever bothered to tell them — the People’s Republic of China and other nations get millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help with their so-called green projects. The outrageous part of the story is that the U.S. is indebted to China for almost a trillion dollars, according to a vocal critic of outsourcing on Friday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Love the Party, Protect the Party’: How Xi Jinping is Bringing China’s Media to Heel

The Communist party is in a ‘no holds barred’ battle to wrestle absolute control of all media to project a better image of China

Tom Phillips in Beijing

It was an astonishing admission from one of the Communist party’s key mouthpieces: with China’s economic star fading, its leaders now urgently needed to strengthen their hold on the media in order to maintain control.

“It is necessary for the media to restore people’s trust in the Party,” an editorial in the China Daily argued this week in the wake of a high-profile presidential tour of the country’s top news outlets in which Xi Jinping demanded “absolute loyalty” from their journalists.

“The nation’s media outlets are essential to political stability.”

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

Philippines Wants to Ban Madonna After Flag Furore

The Philippines said Sunday it was looking to ban Madonna from performing in the country after the US pop diva “disrespected” the country’s flag during her concert in Manila last week.

Photos from the concert published in local media showed the 57-year-old “Like a Virgin” star draped in the Philippine flag.

While press reports said the audience roared its approval at the icon, who was in the country as part of her global “Rebel Heart” tour, Filipino officials were less amused…

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

Science Debunks the Eco-Fable of Easter Island

“The real mystery of Easter Island, however, is not its collapse. It is why distinguished scientists feel compelled to concoct a story of ecological suicide when the actual perpetrators of the civilisation’s deliberate destruction are well known and were identified long ago.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Robert Mugabe: Zimbabwe Leader’s Birthday Party Criticised

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has been criticised for hosting lavish 92nd birthday celebrations for President Robert Mugabe while swathes of the population face food shortages.

The event reportedly cost almost $800,000 (£575,000).

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) called the celebrations “obscene”.

Mr Mugabe has dominated Zimbabwe politics since independence from the UK in 1980.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Two Former Mexican Presidents Compare Donald Trump to Hitler

Two former Mexican presidents have compared Donald Trump’s to Adolf Hitler as the cross-border war of words over the Republican presidential frontrunner’s immigration rhetoric intensified.

Felipe Calderon, a conservative who was president of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, told reporters at an event in Mexico City on Saturday that Trump’s political rhetoric was “racist” and evocative of the Nazi dictator.

“This logic of praising the white supremacy is not just anti-immigration,” Calderon said. “He is acting and speaking out against immigrants that have a different skin color than he does, it is frankly racist and [he is] exploiting feelings like Hitler did in his time,” Calderon said.

Calderon added that Trump’s discourse was “sowing hate” against the United States around the world and that was “not in Washington’s interest”.

Trump has accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug runners across the US border and has vowed to make Mexico pay for a wall on the border.

Calderon’s predecessor, Vicente Fox, also compared Trump to Hitler in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

A Plan to Destroy Europe.

by Y.K.Cherson

Refugee crisis, immigrants’crisis… If I open the doors of my house to a crowd of aggressive and hostile people, I shall have a “refugee crisis” too. That is why normal people have doors and locks. And what’s most important; normal people do not usually let strangers enter their houses. If you let a tribe of cavemen occupy your house, get ready that very soon you will live in the cave too. So, the problem is not in refugees/immigrants- but in those who let them in.

It’s also quite obvious that these millions of immigrants, especially from countries of absolutely different culture and confessing very aggressive religion, are creating very serious problems for native Europeans . And people in Europe simply do not understand, why their Governments act against their interests. Europeans refuse to believe that the European immigration policy is not a result of their leaders collective stupidity or an attack of maddness- but a concious policy. The idea that their own leaders whom they democratically elected treacherously act against them and promote the policy aimed on destruction of the European civilization and substitution of native European population by immigrants from Africa and Middle East seems so illogical and monstrous that common people cannot believe it. It’s impossible! It’s against any common sense! Why would our leaders want it?

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Hit by Worker Shortage, Germany Tries Points-Based Immigration

Germany began testing a points-based immigration system Friday in a bid to attract more skilled foreigners and end a chronic shortage of workers plaguing Europe’s biggest economy despite a record influx of asylum seekers.

The affluent south-west region of Baden Wuerttemberg, home to major automobile and machinery firms, is hosting the pilot project inspired by Canada and New Zealand’s immigration systems.

“Our future quality of life depends on how many people are working in Germany and contribute to our prosperity,” said Labour Minister Andrea Nahles…

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

Poles Fear Middle Eastern Migrants Will Create ‘Ukrainian Route’ To Europe

Poland’s right-wing National Movement Party is calling for the construction of a wall on the country’s border with Ukraine. Speaking with Sputnik, Robert Winnicki, National Movement’s chairman, explained that his party believes that Ukrainian territory may be used by the next wave of Middle Eastern migrants attempting to make their way to Europe.

Earlier this week, Sylwester Chruszcz, a representative of Poland’s National Movement Party told Polish newspaper Wiadomosci that by the spring, the Polish-Ukrainian border could become a “channel for the transfer of illegal migrants to Poland.” Subsequently, he explained, “Poland should be prepared to start building a wall [to protect itself] from the influx of refugees.”

If the Polish government says ‘no’ to the National Movement Party’s proposal, it would create “a human tragedy because a wave of migrants will rush into Poland,” the politician emphasized.

Asked by Sputnik Poland to comment on his party’s proposal, National Movement Party chairman and Sejm MP Robert Winnicki explained that ultimately, his party fears that with the closing of the Balkan migration route, Ukraine may be turned into an attractive alternative for would-be migrants from the Middle East and Asia.

“Previously, Turkey sent a huge number of migrants through its territory toward its western border, from where they came into the Balkans — into Greece. Now, controls for the route through Balkan countries such as Serbia and Macedonia have been strengthened. Hungary has adopted a very strict policy for protecting its borders,” Winnicki explained.

As a result, the politician continued, he and his colleagues have reason to fear that the Ukrainian-Polish border may become an alternative migration route. What’s more, he says, “we already have the first signs that Ukrainian territory will be used [for such] a route.”

“And our borders are, to begin with, very extensive; secondly, much of the border doesn’t have any natural obstacles, even those such as rivers. Therefore, there is a problem, and we believe that a fence similar to the one built by the Hungarians should appear on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Our border guards are already beginning to experience problems, since the first groups of migrants from the countries of the Middle East and Asia have already appeared on the border.”

As for the impact such a border fence might have on diplomatic relations between Kiev and Warsaw, Winnicki explained that he believes that “such a problem will not occur, because we are not calling for the closing of the Polish-Ukrainian border, only for its strengthening. We believe that all crossings must be organized only through legal crossings.”

“At the same time,” the politician noted, “we are concerned, and these fears have a tangible basis in the areas of the Bieszczady and other mountainous areas, that there will be attempts at crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border by large numbers of people.”

For their part, “Ukrainians, if they want, and if Polish law permits it, can enter Polish territory through official border crossings. I repeat: we are not in favor of closing the Polish-Ukrainian border, but we propose its strengthening through the construction of a border fence,” Winnicki concluded.

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

Swiss Voters Reject Plan to Expel Foreigners for Minor Crimes

People in Switzerland have rejected a plan to automatically expel foreigners who commit minor crimes, results show.

Some 59% of voters have said “No” to the proposal put forward by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.

The vote happened amid growing unease at rising immigration and the problems which, the party says, come with it.

But opponents said the law would create a two-tier justice system unfairly targeting foreigners, who make up around 25% of Switzerland’s population.

Almost two million foreign passport holders live permanently and legally in Switzerland, but as gaining Swiss nationality is a complicated and expensive procedure, and is not conferred automatically at birth, these foreign nationals include many who have never lived outside of Switzerland.

The Swiss government says only two in every 100 foreigners living in Switzerland have been granted Swiss citizenship.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: EU Migrants Get £886 Million You Pay in Out-of-Work Benefits in Just One Year

The staggering welfare bill for out-of-work EU migrants was disclosed for the first time, buried in a Government report backing David Cameron’s plea for the UK to remain in the European Union.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gloria Steinem: Feminist Icon Says No-Platforming ‘Is Wrong’

Feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem has hit out the rise of “no platforming” of controversial speakers at universities, saying protesters should instead argue their case.

However the American women’s rights campaigner hailed recent attempts to prevent Republican candidate Donald Trump from coming to Britain over his “hate speech” about Muslims, and joked she would move to the UK if he was elected US president.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

What Happened to Free Speech?

Former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar wrote in 2010: “The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others.”

We talk so much about free speech. We expect it. We demand it. But do we ever ask how we came to receive it? Or what it means? Why do we in the West have free speech when it is not available to the vast majority of people on this planet?

Free speech, the idea of it-just the idea-came into our world consciousness about 3500 years ago as part of the ethic that was revealed at Mount Sinai. Our ethic, today. But it was during the time of the prophet Jeremiah, approximately 2600 years ago, that we were reminded of the importance of free speech and the need to protect the messenger from those who wished to prevent the missive from being shared.


I have lost track of the number of speakers who are shouted down by “progressive” forces on campus. It seems free speech is only free if you agree with the left-wing agenda on so many campuses today. In Britain “ …never have the university authorities been so complicit in allowing the free exchange of ideas to be closed down.” This from Haaretz a well-known left wing outlet.

December 2015, Conor Friedersdorf wrote about American campus life in the Atlantic:

“But I see some of these well-intentioned young people undermining the First Amendment; spitting on people with whom they disagree; using stigma and “call out” culture rather than persuasion against non-bigoted speech; physically intimidating members of the press; bullying students who disagree with them; shredding newspapers because they disagree with an article; and calling for dissent to be punished.”…

In Germany and Sweden we have seen the attempts to prevent freedom of speech for fear of offending people from other cultures. Swedish journalists have edited their reports on refugee rapes and the police do not mention skin colour or ethnicity. “Stockholm’s Chief Press Officer had written that the police might be perceived as racist, and therefore should not report physical descriptions to the public. Ironically, it is journalists who have more or less forced the police to stop using descriptions such as skin color, by labeling the police “racist” every time a person of color appears on a wanted list.”

German authorities attempted to keep quiet the rapes and assaults that took place New Year’s Eve. “The news took four days to get out. Inexplicably, Cologne’s police initially reported “relaxed” festivities. (On January 8th Wolfgang Albers, the local police chief, was suspended for this and other failings.) The public news networks were also slow to pick up the story, providing grist for the conspiracy mills of populists who denounce the mainstream media as a politically correct ‘liars’ press.’“…

Our Culture is under attack from people who live by a different Culture, with a different ethic; one that is diametrically opposed to ours and we are being bullied into silence for fear of offending, of being accused of racism or Islamophobia. Offending is part of our Culture because we have free speech. Not hate speech or speech that incites hate, but the right to speak to truth-no matter whom it offends. And the operative word here is TRUTH as in facts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A New Way of Looking at ‘The Pause’. Why Karl et al. Got it Wrong About ‘The Pause’. (Part 1)

One of the common accusations made with global warming, is that the start time and/or end time were cherry-picked to give a particular result.

Accusations are also made that the length of the trend was too short to give a significant result (e.g. trends less than 10 years, or even trends less than 30 years).

What if there was a technique that we could use to get around these accusations?

To overcome the problem of cherry-picking, we use all possible start and end times from the time interval being investigated.

To overcome the problem of short trends, we only look at trends which are at least 10 years in length.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Now Even Michael Mann Admits the ‘Pause’ In Global Warming is Real; Throws Allies to Wolves

The “Pause” in global warming is real — not an urban myth concocted by evil ‘deniers’ — a study has found, signalling the development of a major schism within the climate alarmist camp.

“It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims,” the paper in Nature Climate Change says.

Though the paper’s findings are not controversial — few serious scientists dispute the evidence of the temperature datasets showing that there has been little if any global warming for nearly 19 years — they represent a tremendous blow to the climate alarmist “consensus”, which has long sought to deny the “Pause’s” existence.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Very Strong Graphical Evidence for the Pause. (Part 2)

If we average the overall warming rates for the 2 reference intervals, we get about 1.65 degC/century. The Pause has an overall warming rate of less than 33% of the average of the 2 reference intervals.

To be more specific, the Pause has an overall warming rate of about 27% of reference interval 1, and less than 42% of reference interval 2. These percentages represent a large reduction in the warming rate, and justify the name “Slowdown”, or “Hiatus”, or “Pause”.

Could anybody deny the Pause, after seeing that evidence? I expect that there will be many “Pause deniers” who will stubbonly refuse to accept the proof that I have presented here. Of course, anybody can overturn my proof if they can find a significant error in it. That is the way that science works.

A final word about the future. The Pause has been weakened by the 2015 El Nino. That does not mean that it never existed. Anybody gloating over the Pause becoming weaker, should bear in mind that El Nino’s do not last forever. Once the El Nino’s temperature increase has gone, the Pause will probably strengthen. A La Nina may also give the Pause a boost. Do not underestimate the Pause, it may surprise you yet.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/28/2016

  1. We are being subjected to billions in extra taxation to offset ‘Global warming/climate change’ Can this then be deemed theft?

    Someone needs to get tough on this possible political thievery…..

    • Unfortunately it seems like it’s way too late for facts to get in the way of thievery. Catastrophic global warming theology is already a religion which means it’s in the social cognitive domain, and because that domain is so irrational it’s very difficult to get anything out of it once it’s there.

      It’ll get excised eventually but I think the best anyone can hope for is a dismantling of the carbon credit trading scam. The idea of charging anyone with fraud seems DoA though.

      The damage is already done. Cleptocratic mission accomplished!

      • Can you say more about “the social cognitive domain”?? That’s not a familiar term, but then we live far from the madding crowd, and have neither a TV or cellphone. We haven’t been in the loop since about 1980 or so.

        In order to hear news about the First Gulf War, the Baron and my older son rigged up a shortwave radio with an antenna line running up an oak tree. I no longer remember when we got our first computer but for many years we had access only via a dial-up connection.

        There are advantages to living in The Middle of Beyond but they don’t include being au courant with the latest terminology.

        • That’s not a term that anyone would have learned from TV. I had to do a lot of research to learn anything about this, using both the Internet and inter-library loan books.

          I find this subject very difficult to explain to people. Here’s a technical explanation of the aspect of social cognition that applies here.

          What I was getting at was that the CAGW stuff has created a social cognitive schema in the minds of many people and this creates confirmation bias: accept anything that agrees, reject anything that disagrees, and this happens automatically at a level lower than any sort of formal reasoning.

          If it were something totally new that they had no social schema for then they’d have no choice but to try to figure it out rationally. Even if they had a schema, adjusting it would be easier if it weren’t linked to social approval/disapproval.

          Social cognition is what’s primarily being used if someone is operating at Kohlberg’s stage 3 (social approval/disapproval) in a situation. For example, the woman saying she would wear her hijab in solidarity with the women who wouldn’t wear a hijab, she was obviously using this sort of cognition to come up with this answer because she 1) figured it out way too quickly when thrown a curve ball 2) the answer is in formal logical contradiction. I can almost imagine the AI algorithm that approximates it.

          Someone with high functioning autism couldn’t do that. Even if they were seeking social approval, they’d have to trying to solve that puzzle using formal reasoning and they’d probably be unable to optimize for maximum approval and minimal disapproval. They’d be more likely to give an answer that didn’t involve logical contradiction but also didn’t avoid nearly as much disapproval from some group of people.

          If you asked someone using social cognition how they came up with an answer, they’d say “intuition”, “I just know”, or something else that amounts to that.

  2. “Hit by Worker Shortage, Germany Tries Points-Based Immigration”

    Why aren’t they recruiting from that 50% unemployed European youth??

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