Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/7/2016

In Austria, the Interior Ministry official responsible for Immigration Police, Crisis Management and Civil Protection wrote a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice President Kristalina Georgieva insisting that the EC pay member states’ expenses associated with housing migrants. Part of the letter was published in the Austrian daily Kurier.

In other news, a Pentecostal Christian pastor in India was arrested on charges of practicing black magic.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Nick, Vlad Tepes, 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
» German Factory Orders Down More Than Expected in December
» Uh Oh: 600,000 People Have Left the Workforce in the Past Two Months
» Hear Obama! Muslims Are Not the Victims, They Are the Perpetrators
» US Tech Companies Have Stashed Over $420 Billion Overseas
» US, Japan, Canada, Australia and 8 Other Countries Sign Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
Europe and the EU
» A World Divided: Violent Clashes Break Out Across the Globe as Thousands Take to the Streets in Anti-Islam Protests Organised by Far-Right Group PEGIDA
» BBC Race Row Amid Claims Execs Stopped Eastenders From Casting Asian as Abuser
» Denmark: This Country Will be the First Islamic Nation in Europe, Muslims Claim
» EU Force One: Juncker Commutes to Strasbourg by Private Jet
» Facebook to Censor & Remove Users for Anti-Obama Posts
» Former French Foreign Legion Chief Held at Calais PEGIDA Rally
» Italy: Riva Group Sues to Annul Decreed ILVA Sale
» Italy: Millions Seized From Venaria Palace Ex-Superintendent
» Italy: Priest Suspected of Abusing 3 Children Arrested in Rome
» Italy: Campania Health Officials ‘Illicitly Spent 16mn’
» Italy: ISTAT Sees ‘Uncertain’ Manufacturing Recovery
» Italy: PD ‘Not a Port for All and Sundry’ Says Bersani
» ‘Major Explosion’ Hits School in Swedish Karlstad
» Some 20 Arrested During PEGIDA Anti-Islamization Rally in Amsterdam
» Tangled Up in the Red Tape of Italy’s Building Regulations
» UK Conservative MPs Condemn Cameron for Dismissing Eurosceptic Views
North Africa
» Libya’s Unity Government: A Fig Leaf for Another NATO Intervention?
Israel and the Palestinians
» Hamas Armed Wing Executes Member ‘For Spying for Israel’
Middle East
» Erdogan Calls on US to Choose Between Turkey or Syrian Kurds
» Kurds: The Key Beneficiary of Daesh’s Rise and Fall
» Londoner Identified as Daesh Terrorist From ‘Jihadi John’ Group
» Russian-Made T-90 Tank Goes Through Baptism by Fire in Syria
» Syria Rebels Risk Collapse After Russia-Backed Regime Gains
» Corruption Scandal May Strip Ukraine of Western Support
South Asia
» India: Maharashtra: Pentecostal Pastor Arrested on Charges of Practicing Black Magic
Far East
» China to Slash Steel Production Capacity
» Is the North Korean Satellite Launch a Game Changer?
Australia — Pacific
» Rise in Number of Suspected Jihadists Blocked From Leaving Australia
Sub-Saharan Africa
» “Here, Rape is Normal”, A Five-Point Plan to Curtail Sexual Violence in Somalia
» African Countries Refuse to Take Back Their Nationals Living in EU
» Austria: Police Hid Rapefugee Attack on Child
» Austrian Official Calls on EU Commission to Cover Costs of Hosting Migrants
» Austrian Police Confirm Arrest of Iraqi Refugee Who Raped 10-Year-Old Boy
» Austria: Murdered by African She Sheltered
» Belgium: Five Migrants Among Seven Young Men Who ‘Laughed, Danced and Sang in Arabic as They Gang Raped Unconscious Girl of 17’
» Daily Mail Admits: Nonwhite Rape Plague
» Hungarian Woman Speaks Out Against the Betrayal of European Women and is Called a ‘Acist’
» Money Out of Misery: EU Firms Make a Killing Housing Refugees
» Phyllis Schlafly Issues Rubio Betrayal Memo
» Refugee Crisis: ‘Merkel Has Lost Contact With Reality’
» Telegraph Admits: Nigerians Associated With Crime
» Testimony of Brandon Judd on Behalf of the National Border Patrol Council in Front of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security February 4, 2016
» The Truth About How the “Refugee Crisis” Was Rigged From Start to Finish
» Turkey Tightens Visa Rules for Iraqi Citizens ‘To Fight Illegal Immigration’
» UK: A Private School Girl, Mothers Who Excuse Gang Rape and a Terrifying Culture Clash No One Dares Talk About: How Somalian Men Are Living by Their Own Laws…
» UK: Nonwhite Rape Gang Leader Flees
» Violent Somali Invaders Flood Scotland With Deadly Crack Cocaine
» Work for Less: End of Swedish Welfare State?

German Factory Orders Down More Than Expected in December

Orders were down 0.7 percent compared with the previous month

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — German factory orders declined slightly more than expected in December, dragged down by lower demand at home and in other eurozone countries.

The Economy Ministry said Friday that orders were down 0.7 percent compared with the previous month, more than the 0.5 percent drop economists had forecast. That followed two months of solid gains.

Orders from inside Germany were down 2.5 percent and demand from other eurozone countries dropped 6.9 percent. However, orders from outside the euro area increased 5.5 percent.

The government recently trimmed its growth forecast for the German economy, Europe’s biggest, to 1.7 percent this year from 1.8 percent amid concerns over weakening growth abroad and global political tensions. The economy grew by 1.7 percent last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Uh Oh: 600,000 People Have Left the Workforce in the Past Two Months

It happened again on Friday. Two pieces of news that don’t seem possible to square with one another. On the one hand, the U-3 unemployment rate declined to 4.9 percent, which sounds like wonderful news! On the other hand, the economy only created 151,000 new jobs, which is not even enough to keep up with population growth.

So how can this be? We’ve dealt with this many times before, of course, but since the lamestream media never catch on we’ll have to keep doing it. The U-3 unemployment rate doesn’t consider the underemployed or those who have left the workforce. So as far as this measure is concerned, if you give up looking for work, you don’t even exist.

That’s like saying the death rate is zero because we only count the living.

In the past month, more than 360,000 left the work force, which follows a total of 284,000 who did so the previous month. To some degree this is to be expected because people get seasonal jobs around the holidays. But remember, these are people who want jobs but have hit a dead end in their search. The fact that they had seasonal jobs and left them doesn’t mean they’re happy about it.

That’s why you can’t ever judge the employment picture by the U-3 rate. You have to look at several factors to understand where the economy really stands.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hear Obama! Muslims Are Not the Victims, They Are the Perpetrators

Obama’s recent visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a radical mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a slap in the face to all Americans whose lives have been altered due to Islamic warfare. While Obama continues to lecture us about the “victimized” Muslim community here in the United States, his comments fly in the face of reality. Who is really victimized here?

Before the influx of Muslims on to our shores, I can remember an America where we felt free to enter a school without security checks. I can remember going to concerts and sporting events without having my purse searched. It was possible to drive to the airport and get on a plane without waiting in line for security clearance, and one could attend Jewish services without having to worry about the temple being shot up.

Today, due to threats against Jews which stem from Quranic anti-Semitism, Jewish schools and temples have become fortresses. The cost for additional security guards and walls is enormous and a drain on temple funds already stretched from a decline in membership. Muslim anti-Semitism is rampant on college campuses where Jewish students are verbally and sometimes physically accosted by young Muslims. As a recent study conducted by the FBI bears out and contrary to Obama’s assertions, it is Jews and not Muslims who are the victims of hate. Of the 1,409 hate crimes in 2014, 65.4% were against Jews and only 13.2% were against Muslims.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Tech Companies Have Stashed Over $420 Billion Overseas

It’s no secret that the US government wants companies to bring more of their offshore profits back home for the sake of taxes, and it’s now exceptionally clear as to why. Bloomberg has sifted through financial filings and discovered that the top eight American tech firms, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, are keeping more than $420 billion overseas — $69 billion of it added in just the past year. That’s over a fifth of the $2.1 trillion held abroad by American companies, and would easily cover a lot of government expenses. A tax on Microsoft’s recent profits alone ($29.6 billion) would cover NASA and the Commerce Department for a year; Apple ($23.3 billion) could take care of the Transportation Department and Social Security, and Oracle could foot the bill for the Labor Department.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US, Japan, Canada, Australia and 8 Other Countries Sign Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be horrible for Americans and the people of the world.

But most politicians are thoroughly corrupt. Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Both parties ignore the desires of their own bases.

So today, 12 countries — Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States and Vietnam -signed the TPP.

They never followed through on their promise of an open and lively debate.

TPP still can be stopped — if the legislative bodies of the signatory nations refuse to ratify it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A World Divided: Violent Clashes Break Out Across the Globe as Thousands Take to the Streets in Anti-Islam Protests Organised by Far-Right Group PEGIDA

Nationalist groups in Europe have been galvanized by the unprecedented influx of refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East last year. Today similar, smaller PEGIDA-style protests were planned in France, Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

In the Czech capital of Prague, thousands rallied against the influx of refugees and others in support of them and opposing protesters clashed and had to be separated by police.

Martin Konvicka, a leader of the anti-Muslim movement, is calling the influx of refugees an ‘invasion’ that poses a ‘huge threat for us all’. Two other anti-migrant groups are rallying in Prague and another in the second-largest Czech city of Brno.

In Dublin, scuffles broke out between people who had gathered to protest against the launch of PEGIDA in Ireland, and those who attended the launch of the group.

In Birmingham, meanwhile, police said about about 200 PEGIDA supporters and 60 counter demonstrators turned out. Other demonstrations took place in Warsaw and Graz in southern Austria.

In Amsterdam, riot police have clashed with PEGIDA demonstrators as they tried to hold their first protest in the Dutch capital.

A square near Amsterdam city hall that had been earmarked for the rally had to be shut down shortly before the gathering as police and explosives experts examined what police called a ‘suspect package’.

Only about 200 PEGIDA supporters were present, where they were heckled by left-wing demonstrators who shouted: ‘Refugees are welcome, fascists are not!’

Dutch riot police detained several people as officers on horseback intervened to separate the two groups of demonstrators.

Other demonstrations took place in Warsaw, Bratislava and in Graz in southern Austria.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

BBC Race Row Amid Claims Execs Stopped Eastenders From Casting Asian as Abuser

THE BBC have hit back at claims they stopped EastEnders producers casting an Asian as a child abuser.

Writers on the soap came up with a hard-hitting child grooming plot.

But BBC chiefs are said to have intervened and told them the actor used had to be white.

Writer Jeff Povey said series chiefs had their hands tied by an “out-of-touch” editorial policy in place at the corporation.

Despite most known real-life grooming cases at the time apparently involving an Asian perpetrator, producers were told to cast a white actor.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Denmark: This Country Will be the First Islamic Nation in Europe, Muslims Claim

Daily headlines prove that Europe is bursting at the seams with Islamists attempting to establish Sharia law and homegrown terror plots. France is ablaze with radicals, ISIS threatens they will send Spain back to the times of the Ottoman Empire, and Britain is much too concerned with appeasing Muslims that they are doing away with their own citizens’ free speech.

The world is idly watching to see which European country will fall to Islamic rule, creating the first Muslim nation.

According to TMI, Muslims have already established which country will be the first to cave to Sharia:

A website claiming to be the Danish Muslim Party (DAMP) published a “press release” in English and Danish, saying that Denmark will be the first Muslim nation in Europe.

The website also stated as follows:

“[W]e can assure you that everything will be better in Muslim Denmark: No drugs, no crime, peace, and humanity — instead of drug culture, immorality, possibly human rights crimes and violence which we have now.”

“Every immigrant or Muslim in Danish jails should be released from prisons, because it is possible that there has been plotting or framing or provocation towards them — and all cases should be investigated again carefully.”

“Muslim party will be biggest party of Denmark — and it may be soon. First day after Turkey becomes EU member country about one million 20-50 year old Muslims [may] move to Denmark, and after that Denmark [may] be a Muslim country. Be ready!”

“Danish Muslim party’s only agenda is to get Muslims into Danish politics and into the parliament, no matter what our ideas and religious or political beliefs are.”

Mathaba News Network cites that 700,000 Muslims live in Denmark, and about one-third of the Danish parliament is Muslim. With this large of a percentage of Islamists in government, Muslims are seeing their religious views established in legislature under the guise of anti-discrimination.

According to the website, riots and violence from the Muslim community is a direct response to the mistreatment of Muslims, and can be solved by integrating them into politics.

So, to keep Islamists from killing and rioting, we must put them in positions of power, and if we don’t, they will resort to destruction and violence. Does this sound like the kind of people who you would trust to lead a nation?

Denmark had better wake up to the religious revolution before their rights are stripped away from them in favor of an Islamic State.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Force One: Juncker Commutes to Strasbourg by Private Jet

Jean-Claude Juncker and his top officials fly by private jet between Brussels and Strasbourg — a journey of just 220 miles — as EU forks out for €12m air deal

Jean-Claude Juncker and his top officials fly by private jet between Brussels and the European Parliament in Strasbourg just 220 miles away, documents show.

The European Commission — which paid €12.6 m for the air deal four years ago- has access to a fleet of six jets, which it dubs “air taxis”, to ferry Mr Juncker and other high-ranking officials around the world.

It includes a £4.3 million, seven-passenger Cessna Citation jet to make journey to Strasbourg for the parliaments’ monthly four-day sittings, despite the fact that daily commercial flights operate between the two cities.

The parliament spends around £200,000 to charter two express trains to take officials, MEPs and others from Brussels to Strasbourg on a Monday morning and back on a Thursday afternoon. Their papers are taken in black plastic crates in eight lorries.

In addition, well-placed sources say, the Parliament also charters a large aeroplane each Wednesday afternoon for around 100 staff who wish to return to Brussels early. It spares them the public train, which takes nearly six hours due to frequent stops.

Mr Juncker’s spokesman said the president of the European Commission used the private jet when there was “no commercial solution” to fit in with his schedule.

“The President usually travels to and from Strasbourg by car or on a commercial flight,” he said.

Mr Schulz’s spokesman did not respond to inquiries as to whether he used the jet, but he is listed as one of its users on contract paperwork.

The fleet of planes is also used by Donald Tusk, the president of the Council, and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative who acts as the EU’s chief diplomat.

A contract for six planes was awarded in 2012 to a Belgian aircraft company, at a cost of €12.6 million. A similar tender was recently advertised, providing 870 hours’ flying time over five years to destinations that also include Hanoi, Cape Town, New York and Tel Aviv.

Bidders must provide a fleet comprising a nine-passenger mid-size jet capable of a round trip from Brussels to Riyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi; and a super midsize jet, such as a Gulfstream G550, capable of taking 13 people to Tokyo and back via Strasbourg.

The Commission also wants occasional use of a large jet, such as a Boeing 737, to take around 100 people to destinations such as Antalya on the Turkish coast.

It reflects how, since the Lisbon treaty, the role of the EU has shifted from a regional trading bloc to a would-be global power with its own foreign policy. Mr Juncker insists that he is not a mere technocrat, but a “political” President.

The parliament’s official “home” was placed in the French border city of Strasbourg as a gesture of post-war reconciliation, and its status is written into the EU treaties over which France has a veto. MEPs have themselves voted for the Parliament to be given a single seat, to no avail.

Running two bases, and shuttling staff between them, now costs £130million a year, including £50million on maintaining buildings that sit empty for three weeks in a month.

The Tories campaigned to end the situation in the 2014 European elections, and in his 2013 Bloomberg speech, unveiling his reform agenda, the Prime Minister insisted the EU must cut back on spending and reduce the “huge number of expensive peripheral European institutions”.

Geoffrey Van Orden, a Conservative MEP who investigated the “egregious” cost of the Strasbourg seat in recent pamphlet, said it was “most unfortunate” that the Prime Minister’s renegotiation contained no initiatives to cut the price of membership.

“The heads of the various EU institutions have become lofty potentates with all the trappings of power and wealth leached from our nations,” he said. “So why should we be surprised at their fancy travel arrangements?”

It was announced in November that the Prime Minister and other ministers will have a dedicated plane for official trips.

An RAF Voyager A330 air-to-air refuelling aircraft will be refitted at a cost of about £10m. The government insists the move will save about £775,000 a year as the plane will be cheaper than chartering flights.

[Return to headlines]

Facebook to Censor & Remove Users for Anti-Obama Posts

Facebook is submitting to Obama in a truly sickening way this week as they announce a new policy regarding dialogue that involves “hate speech” and “xenophobia” on European profiles in reference to the Muslim refugee crisis.

According to World Daily Online, Facebook executives have created the “Initiative for Civil Courage Online” in Berlin, and it pledges to help non-governmental in counteracting “racist and xenophobic posts” that want to exclude or denigrate a group of society.

When asked to comment on this, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that “hate speech has no place in our society.” In order to go about this, Facebook is now going about deleting any profile in which someone makes a negative comment of any sort against Muslim refugees.

Facebook is ignoring the fact that the spike of “xenophobic” comments against Muslim refugees has been caused by a rise in sexual assaults in Europe, which the government is trying to coverup in the name of political correctness. It’s sickening that Facebook is submitting to Obama’s PC agenda by censoring their users in such a shameless way.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former French Foreign Legion Chief Held at Calais PEGIDA Rally

A former French general has been arrested with about 20 other protesters at a banned anti-Islam rally in the city of Calais.

Gen Christian Piquemal, who headed the Legion in the 1990s, was held after scuffles began with police in the northern city.

Thousands of migrants are living in a Calais camp known as the “Jungle”.

The rally was one of many held across Europe against what participants say is the “Islamisation” of the continent.

They were staged after the anti-Islamic Pegida group urged members and sympathisers to publicly voice their concerns.

Saturday’s rally in Calais came amid increasing hostility to migrants in the area, with French prosecutors investigating at least six assaults on people living in the Jungle.

On Saturday, officials said French police had issued warnings to disperse to about 150 Calais protesters, who waved national flags and sang the anthem in the town centre.

As skirmishes began, the police used tear gas to break up the demonstration.

Gen Piquemal said he was “shocked by the behaviour of the police”.

“There are things that have to be respected, including the national anthem — the Marseillaise — when it is sung,” he told police officers.

“I expected you to be at attention, singing with us but not-one of you opened your mouth. And this is France — the great France, the eternal France, which used to be the lighthouse of the world. It is in decline. Decadent. I regret that you received these orders. You are forced to obey your orders, but you don’t have to behave this way in the field.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Italy: Riva Group Sues to Annul Decreed ILVA Sale

Suit in Lazio TAR against State, ministers, commissioners

(ANSA) — Rome, February 5 — The Riva Group, former owner of the ILVA steel group, has filed a lawsuit with Lazio’s regional administrative court (TAR) to annul the government’s decree putting ILVA companies and plants up for sale, ANSA learned on Friday.

The Riva family owned the steel group prior to a government takeover in 2013 following a series of court orders dealing with serious environmental problems caused by the steel maker at its huge plant at Taranto in Puglia.

ANSA acquired a copy of the lawsuit filed in the name of Riva Group’s financial institution Riva FIRE against the Italian government, the Environmental and Industry Ministries, the extraordinary commissioners now managing ILVA, as well as the company itself under special administration.

In the lawsuit Riva maintains that it managed ILVA “within the atmospheric emissions limits” established by the Italian Environmental Ministry in 2011.

“ILVA was managed at a loss and deprived of any industrial prospect,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit states that ILVA lost 2.4 billion euros under special administration by the Italian government in 2013, compared to private management in 2011, and that the government’s administration led to the company’s insolvency.

A court in January this year declared ILVA insolvent, with debt totalling nearly three billion euros.

“From the time of his appointment, Commissioner Gnudi has shown that he considers the sale of the business the only possible result of the procedure,” the lawsuit reads.

Gnudi, formerly an ILVA sub-commissioner, was named to the position of extraordinary commissioner in January along with Enrico Laghi and Corrado Carrubba.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Millions Seized From Venaria Palace Ex-Superintendent

Pernice pled out for corruption in renovations of UNESCO site

(ANSA) — Turin, February 1 — Finance police on Monday seized real estate worth 2.2 million euros from the former superintendent of the Palace of Venaria, a former royal residence and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Francesco Pernice in 2014 plea-bargained a year and 11 months in prison for abuse of office, bid-rigging, and corruption in connection with contracts to renovate the Palace of Venaria and other historic residences in the northern Piedmont region. Co-defendant Ezio Enrietti, a builder and a Socialist who served as governor of Piedmont in 1980-1983, pled a year and six months in the same case.

The assets were seized on orders of the Piedmont Audit Court “to ensure compensation to the public administrations that were the damaged parties” in the case, finance police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Priest Suspected of Abusing 3 Children Arrested in Rome

Abuse allegedly started during pilgrimage

(ANSA) — Palermo, February 2 — Rome police on Tuesday arrested a 40-year-old priest who allegedly sexually abused three children in Palermo. The arrest follows a probe that uncovered alleged abuse of two brothers, aged 13 and 15, who went to a Palermo parish the priest worked at. The abuse allegedly started during a pilgrimage abroad and continued at the boys’ home after the priest had worked his way into the trust of their mother. It was the mother who subsequently learned of the abuse and reported the priest. The investigation unearthed another victim, who is no longer a minor but was at the time of the alleged abuse. Among the evidence police gathered was a chat conversation in which the priest allegedly confessed to having had a moment of weakness during the pilgrimage.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Campania Health Officials ‘Illicitly Spent 16mn’

(ANSA) — Naples, February 5 — The Campania Audit Court on Friday found regional public health officials illicitly spent 16 million euros in taxpayer money because they appointed too many head and deputy head physicians in the southern region’s public hospitals. The appointments were in excess of government-imposed guidelines under a spending review aimed at cutting waste in public finances. Finance police are notifying the officials of the court’s findings, sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ISTAT Sees ‘Uncertain’ Manufacturing Recovery

Construction posts ‘first positive results

(ANSA) — Rome, February 5 — Uncertainty in the manufacturing sector recovery is set to continue for a few months, ISTAT national statistics bureau said in its monthly economic bulletin Friday. The construction sector experienced “the first positive results” in the fourth quarter of 2015, ISTAT added. November industrial production and turnover were -0.5% and -1.1% respectively, compared to +0.5% and +1.9% in October. January manufacturing confidence was down slightly due to “worsened expectations on orders and production”. Market services confidence also fell on negative economic expectations across all sectors, while large-scale retail distribution is experiencing “a significant deterioration” of sales expectations, ISTAT said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PD ‘Not a Port for All and Sundry’ Says Bersani

After Cuffaro says his ex voters are now PD voters

(ANSA) — Rome, February 5 — Former premier and Democratic Party (PD) chief Pier Luigi Bersani said Friday the center-left ruling party is not a port of call open to all and sundry.

“The PD is not a power party good for any and all uses,” Bersani said. “We are not a port of call in which anyone may disembark”.

His remarks came after an ex-governor convicted of aiding and abetting the Mafia said his erstwhile voting base of two million has moved over to Premier Matteo Renzi’s PD.

The Sicily PD section yesterday froze all new party memberships as a result of the comments by Salvatore Cuffaro, who was from Silvio Berlusconi’s now-defunct People of Freedom (PdL) party and who was convicted for aiding and abetting the Mafia while he was governor.

Cuffaro was released from prison last December after serving four years and 11 months of a seven-year sentence for conniving with Cosa Nostra.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Major Explosion’ Hits School in Swedish Karlstad

It is yet unclear what caused the explosion, according to Aftonbladet.

“We have received a report about a loud explosion and smoke has been seen,” local emergency response team head Ola Akesson was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Some 20 Arrested During PEGIDA Anti-Islamization Rally in Amsterdam

A total of 20 people were detained in the Dutch capital Amsterdam during Saturday’s rally by the Pegida anti-islamization movement, local media said Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — All of the detained, most of whom had been attending the simultaneous counter-demonstration against Pegida, have now been released after being fined for minor offenses, the news website reported.

Pegida’s “Fortress Europe” day of action was held across several European cities, with the main rally taking place in the eastern German city of Dresden. Rallies were also held in the Czech Republic, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Ireland and Britain.

In Amsterdam, some 70 people took part in the Pegida rally, according to the report, while the counter-demonstration was attended by several hundred people. Numerous clashes between the two groups took place, with the police having to intervene, the report said. The city’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, then cut the event short after a suspicious package was discovered.

Pegida, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, began organizing rallies in its home city of Dresden, in October 2014, attracting hundreds and later thousands of supporters.

The far-right German movement gained support in many member states of the European Union amid rising anti-migrant sentiment as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

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

Tangled Up in the Red Tape of Italy’s Building Regulations

Each municipality has its own rules, laying down different requirements for minimum living space or balcony railings. Attempt to unify regulations floundering amidst bickering and conflicting proposals

The virus that prompted the drafters of Florence’s building regulations to write section 42 has still not been identified. Nor do we know why no one in the city that gave us a Renaissance architectural genius such as Filippo Brunelleschi felt the need to remove this grotesque example of the blindingly self-evident, not even when the current Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, was mayor. Surely, in a country like the United States, a regulation stating that “windowless walls are not to be considered walls with windows”, would have pride of place in the hall of fame on which contains a collection of the country’s most absurd and hilarious laws. It would make a fitting companion to a provision issued by the town of Little Rock in Arkansas, warning people that “It is unlawful to walk one’s cow down Main Street after 1:00 PM on Sunday”…

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

UK Conservative MPs Condemn Cameron for Dismissing Eurosceptic Views

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed the eurosceptic views of the people who helped secure his victory in the 2015 general election, Conservative Party members and supporters said in a letter on Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this month, David Cameron told the members of the parliament to ignore the views of eurosceptic grassroots members and Conservative associations ahead of the so-called Brexit referendum.

“It is deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister dismisses the very people who helped secure his victory, and he should remember that no prime minister has a divine right to rule,” the letter, published in The Telegraph newspaper, reads.

According to the letter, Cameron secured the majority he needed to form a government only through the dedication and hard work of Conservative Party members.

“We urge Mr Cameron to accept that loyal Conservative Party members want the opportunity for a balanced debate and that he and his colleagues should listen to the views expressed by all at the grassroots,” the letter said.

Cameron vowed to hold a referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017. Ahead of the vote, Cameron is seeking to revise the terms of his country’s membership of the bloc with Brussels.

As the nation prepares for the referendum, Cameron is facing a growing battle with eurosceptics over his deal with Brussels, while Conservative Party members traditionally hold eurosceptic views.

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

Libya’s Unity Government: A Fig Leaf for Another NATO Intervention?

The US and EU are urging Libya’s factions to form a national unity government and warning that to do otherwise would invite the rapid expansion of Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL); however, the widely-discussed unity government is merely a fig leaf for another NATO intervention in the region, according to political analyst Salman Rafi Sheikh.

Officials from 23 countries held a meeting in Rome, Italy on February 2 to discuss the fight against Daesh in Libya. The terrorist group, which is seeking to seize Libya’s major oil fields and ports, poses an imminent threat to the nation.

The participants of the meeting warned that the time to stabilize the country in the face of the Daesh menace is running out and urged Libya’s factions to set their differences aside and form a national unity government.

“An important aspect that has been largely ignored in this debate is that the Western powers are not pushing for signing the peace accord to merely pre-empt the emergence of ISIS [Daesh] in Libya — from where it can have access to Europe — but to place themselves as the final arbiter in Libya, a demi-god so-to-say, to consolidate their otherwise shaky position in global geo-politics in the wake of the Russian resurgence,” Salman Rafi Sheikh, a research analyst specializing in international and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

Washington and the European nations are considering a potential military operation in the region. The UK has already sent a small contingent to Libya to examine the possibility of deploying British troops, “in a training and advisory role,” the Guardian reports.

European powers are weighing options, including sending a 6,000-strong Italian-led military force to Libya.

The Obama administration is seemingly ready to take part in the operation. Citing White House officials, The New York Times reported on January 26 that “the campaign in Libya could begin in a matter of weeks.”

What Washington and the European states need is an official request for military assistance from Libya’s legitimate unity government.

“The key question here is: if the West is, after all, going to militarily intervene in Libya, why does it need to install a national unity government in the first place? The answer lies in their Syria experience. As opposed to the West’s way of [conducting] illegitimate interventions across the world, the Russian military campaign against Islamist forces in Syria is fully legitimate in that it started only after Russia was invited by the Syrian authorities,” Sheikh explains.

Remarkably, Libya’s factions show little if any enthusiasm regarding either forming a unity government or inviting foreign military force.

“Nobody is thinking about requesting foreign intervention at the moment. We are willing to fight [Daesh] ourselves,” Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s ambassador to the UN, said last month, as quoted by Al-Jazeera.

Furthermore, in his latest interview with Der Spiegel, Martin Koble, the UN’s special representative to Libya from Germany, admitted that the factions seem to fight each other more than Daesh.

“…the awareness that people need to be coming together to counter this threat [Daesh] is still lacking. My fear is that the political process will progress more slowly than the military process,” Kobler emphasized, adding that Berlin is considering sending military advisors to the country to provide training for Libyan security forces.

“The key question that must be asked is what would happen if the accord is not signed and a unity government not established?” Sheikh asks.

The Pakistani geopolitical analyst poses yet another question: whether or not the “national unity government” will be able to curtail Daesh’s advance in Libya.

Either way, it is likely that Washington and its NATO allies will unleash a full-scale military invasion of Libya under the pretext of fighting Daesh, he stresses.

“Western intervention and long term military presences are, therefore, necessary evils that will be imposed upon the Libyans,” the analyst points out.

“It has been clear to all parties since that time that once and if a unity government is created, this would make it much easier for the West to re-establish itself there militarily and acquire much necessary geo-strategic leverage,” Sheikh concludes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hamas Armed Wing Executes Member ‘For Spying for Israel’

The armed wing of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Sunday it had executed one of its members, with sources familiar with the case calling him a senior official accused of spying for Israel.

“The Al-Qassam Brigades announce that the death penalty pronounced against its member Mahmud Eshtawi has been applied today at 1600 hours,” Hamas’s armed branch said in a statement.

Executions have previously been carried out in the Gaza Strip, including in public squares in the Palestinian territory, but it appeared to be the first time Al-Qassam itself had sentenced one of its own through a court martial and executed him…

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

Erdogan Calls on US to Choose Between Turkey or Syrian Kurds

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed anger over a US official’s visit to a Kurdish militia group controlling the Syrian town of Kobane, urging Washington to choose between Turkey and the “terrorists” there.

A delegation including senior US diplomat Brett McGurk, special envoy to an international coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq, last week met members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a powerful militia that is in control of Kobane.

The meetings come after the YPG’s political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was excluded from new peace talks in Geneva being organised by the UN. Ankara had threatened to boycott the talks if PYD was invited…

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

Kurds: The Key Beneficiary of Daesh’s Rise and Fall

Fighting against Daesh and other radical groups has helped the Kurds to overcome their “factional divisions” and win powerful allies, but time will tell whether this will be enough to achieve their ambitions of greater autonomy, if not independence.

The Kurds (along with the Syrian Arab Army, for instance) have turned out to be one of the few forces capable of standing up against Daesh. The Iraqi Kurds were not overwhelmed with the group’s blitz offensive on northern Iraq in June 2014. As a result, they succeeded in preventing the militants from overrunning Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in what was one of the first major loses for Daesh.

The Syrian Kurds, assisted by the Iraqi and Turkish Kurds, defended the embattled Syrian city of Kobane, which spent six months under Daesh siege and was largely destroyed in the process. This, according to the National Interest, was “the most striking indication” that different factions within the ethnic group had cast their differences aside.

Consequently, the anti-Daesh fight has helped to empower the Kurds, leading to them achieving greater autonomy in Iraq and Syria, but this process could affect Turkey as well.

“True, IS will not be able to wrestle large swaths of territory from Ankara, as it has done in Iraq and Syria,” Egemen Bezci and Nicholas Borroz asserted. “But the group, which is well-embedded in Turkey, certainly has the ability to bring a burning, persistent, low-level conflict into the country.”

Although the analysts believe that the Kurds “will emerge from this crisis stronger than before,” they face major obstacles on the road to establishing an independent Turkish state. These include internal divisions, which are still plaguing the ethnic group, the lack of explicit international support for their cause, as well as absent formal military.

These obstacles are not insurmountable. Political scientist Peter Lvov noted that Western leaders could in fact side with the Turkish Kurds.

“Although Turkey is a NATO member state, Washington and its European allies will be more than happy to weaken it, even by tearing a part of its territory away to create Kurdish autonomy there, thus taming an uncompromising ally,” he suggested.

Ankara views the Kurds, not Daesh, as the key threat to its security and stability. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) launched a large-scale military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after the two-year-long peace process collapsed in 2015. The campaign has been condemned as a humanitarian catastrophe and violation of human rights.

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

Londoner Identified as Daesh Terrorist From ‘Jihadi John’ Group

Alexanda Kotey, a 32-year-old Londoner, has been identified to be part of a British group of Daesh militants, which also included Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, media reported Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to a joint Washington Post and BuzzFeed News investigation, a US intelligence official and other people familiar with British nationals in Syria confirmed Kotey’s membership of the group, notorious for torturing and executing western hostages.

The four Britons, nicknamed the “Beatles” by their prisoners for their English accent, are infamous for their particular cruelty, including subjecting the prisoners to regular beatings, waterboarding and mock executions.

Kotey’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

In November, the US Defense Department said that Emwazi was killed in a US airstrike in Syria.

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

Russian-Made T-90 Tank Goes Through Baptism by Fire in Syria

For the first time, the Syrian Army used Russian-made T-90A tanks in combat. Their baptism by fire took place near the city of Aleppo.

The T-90A, one of Russia’s most advanced weapons, went through its baptism by fire in service with the Syrian armed forces. Earlier, it was reported by Turkish and Iranian media, and then the Russian Defense Minister confirmed the fact.

The Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported, citing a military commander, that over 80 T-72 and T-90 tanks were spotted in combat north of Aleppo. The report also read that Syrian forces backed by Russian jets took control over the towns of Nubul and Zehra, north of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Syrian T-90s in action near Aleppo were then reported by Iran’s FARS news agency on February 2. According to the agency, T-90 tanks were deployed near the town of Khan Tuman, south of Aleppo, after the Syrian Army regained control over the town in December.

Using the advantages of the T-90 tank, the Syrian Army alongside its allies surrounded the strategic towns of Khan Tuman and Al-Karassi, along the Aleppo-Damascus highway, a military source told FARS News.

However, the first news about delivering T-90 tanks to the mechanized division of the Syrian Army came on November 29, 2015. At the time, Russia neither confirmed nor denied it.

On February 5, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RNS news agency that in late-2015, a number of T-90 machines were delivered to Syria. According to the source, previously the tanks were in service with the Russian military. Syrian troops practiced at training fields in Russia. According to RNS, the tanks were first used in combat by the Syrian Army near Aleppo. They supported a ground assault by Syrian troops.

The T-90A tank entered service with the Russian Armed Forces in 2004. The T-90A is a modernized version of the T-90 Vladimir tank developed on the basis of the T-72B, in the 1980-1990s. It was named “Vladimir” after its constructor Vladimir Potkin. The T-90A featured a new engine and turret and was equipped with a thermal-vision system. Its engine delivers 1,000 hp at 2,000 rpm. The tanks is equipped with third-generation active armor, capable of withstanding an attack by 120-mm M829A2 and DM43A1 tank rounds, designed for the Abrams M1A1 and Leopard-2 tanks respectively.

The T-90 protective system is capable of protecting the tank from the newest TOW-2A and HOT-2 anti-tank missiles.

According to FARS, in four-and-a-half years of the Syrian war various militant groups received over 9,000 US-made TOW anti-tank missile systems and M-79 grenade launchers. They were very successful against the aging T-55 and T-72 tanks of the Syrian Army. Only after the newest T-90 tanks were delivered to Syria the Syrian Army began its advance against militants.

The T-90 was delivered to Syria because the tank is equipped with the Shtora active armor, military analyst Alexei Ramm told Gazeta.Ru. Unlike, for example the T-72B, the T-90 tanks of the Russian Armed Forces were initially equipped with this type of armor. The need for it was dictated by the fact that many Syrian militants are armed with TOW missiles.

How does the system works? There are several laser radiation receivers, mounted on the tank, as well as two projectors near the gun. These receivers can detect laser radiation when the tank is being targeted and warns the crew of the threat, Ramm explained. In this situation, the crew can evade the attack. The second option is smoke-screening, and the third option is jamming the enemy target-acquiring system with the projectors.

The T-90A is equipped with a 125-mm smooth-bore gun — the 2A46M-2 — with a barrel length of 51 calibers. Its maximum accuracy range while firing high-explosive anti-tank warheads is 4,000 meters, and while firing fragmentation projectiles — up to 9,600 meters.

According to the analyst, the Syrian Army would actively engage the Russian T-90 tanks in combat. He explained that ground relief allows for using the T-90 near Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Homs but currently main combat actions are focused on Aleppo and northern Latakia.

“The principal task now is to neutralize threats to two western regions — Latakia and Tartus. If Latakia falls it would deal a serious blow to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s position and would complicate the Russian aerial operation,” Ramm pointed out.

What is more, now an offensive is also underway against militants in the enclave of Salma. Tanks are not enough in this mountainous area, where ground forces backed by aviation are needed.

“If Salma and Aleppo are liberated Turkey will not be able to deliver supplies to terrorists,” he said.

In December, Syria’s news agency SANA published footage from the battlefield where Russian T-90’s were also spotted.

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

Syria Rebels Risk Collapse After Russia-Backed Regime Gains

Syria’s mainstream rebels risk total collapse after a Russian-backed regime advance that severed their main supply line to Aleppo city and threatens to leave them completely besieged there.

Analysts said rebels and their international backers were left with few options to prevent fresh government advances, which came as fresh peace talks backed by the United Nations fell apart.

“The trajectory for the rebels is downwards, and the downward slope is increasingly steep,” said Emile Hokayem, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Aleppo province was once a rebel stronghold, providing easy access to neighbouring Turkey, a key opposition backer…

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

Corruption Scandal May Strip Ukraine of Western Support

The resignation of Western-trained Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius is another signal for Western allies that Ukraine may not be able to root out corruption and implement the reforms.

The resignation of Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius has almost buried hopes that the country will be able to overcome a “decades-long struggle with corruption,” The Washington Post reported.

On Wednesday, Abromavicius, a Western-trained minister, resigned, saying he had been unable to beat back corruption.

His resignation is another signal to Ukraine’s Western partners that Kiev may not be able to implement the reforms.

“The resignation fed growing concerns from Ukraine’s allies that the country remains stuck in unscrupulous dealmaking almost two years after pro-Western protesters overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych, whom they condemned as corrupt,” the article read.

The minister said that he had come under pressure from senior allies of the country’s president to appoint unqualified deputies to state-owned companies in the most lucrative industries in Ukraine.

Abromavicius, who was born in Lithuania, was one of a small team of foreign specialists whom President Petro Poroshenko invited to join the government in 2014. He was expected to contribute to fighting corruption in the government, as a condition for further loans for Ukraine.

However, the article read, the political situation in Kiev is destabilizing despite the fact that the violence in eastern Ukraine has largely calmed since September.

Despite Kiev having repeatedly pledged its commitment to carry out structural reforms, the country’s deeply corrupt political system has remained untouched, Joerg Forbrig, Central and Eastern Europe expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, wrote.

“Ukraine’s fledgling democracy edged closer to dismembering itself this week, as one of the most reform-minded members of the government stepped down. In his resignation letter, Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius accused old political elites of systematically blocking much-needed reforms and paralyzing the fight against rampant corruption; and singled out a close confidant of President Petro Poroshenko as one of the main culprits,” the expert noted in his article for Politico.

According to Forbig, Ukraine can still escape this political suicide, but its time is running out.

Speaking to Russian newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, Dmitri Zhuravlev, the general director of the Institute of Regional Problems, underscored that Abromavicius’ resignation is an indication of Western political elites’ disappointment with the post-Maidan Ukraine.

“Foreigners do not simply come to Ukraine; they are sent there. Who sends them is another story. But it is hard to imagine that Abromavicius sat in Lithuania thinking about how to get a government post in Ukraine. If he came, it means someone invited him. And if he has decided to leave, it means that ‘that someone’ is extremely dissatisfied with what is happening in the country,” he said.

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

India: Maharashtra: Pentecostal Pastor Arrested on Charges of Practicing Black Magic

Rev Sebastian Marin was detained along with two members of the prayer centre he directs. The three are accused of violating the state’s Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, a law against witchcraft. For Sajan K George, “Jesus is the Healer and there’s nothing magic about praying or laying hands”.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Police in Vasai, Maharashtra, arrested Rev Sebastian Marin, a Pentecostal minister on charges of witchcraft.

The clergyman, who is the founder of the Ashirwad prayer centre, was detained along with Vishnu Kudve, the centre’s director, and Vaibhav Tare, a staff member.

The arrests took place on 31 January, but were made public only now. Because of a back injury, the clergyman was admitted to the Jupiter Hospital in Thane. Police officers are stationed outside the medical facility.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIS), said that all this “is suspicious. Pentecostals believe that medicine and faith are compatible, that both are part of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.”

The three Christians were arrested following a complaint from Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organisation dedicated to “eradicate superstition” in India, under the state’s Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, which was enacted following the murder of MANS’s founder.

Contacted by AsiaNews, the prayer centre refused to issue any statement. On its website, it describes itself as “a healing ministry based in [the] remote village of Vasai,” which is located on the outskirts of Mumbai, India. Its congregation is 99 per cent poor and non-Christians “who come to the prayer centre” to heed the life changing message of salvation, and to “get healed”.

For the GCIC president, “Pentecostal Christians see no contradiction in prescribing medicine, and, at the same time, trusting God for divine healing. People go to this centre, as well as Pentecostal-run facilities to pray, hoping to receive physical healing.”

Ultimately, “Jesus is the Healer and there’s nothing magic about praying or laying hands,” George said. “The arrest of the three Christians is unfair and has, as its sole purpose, to intimidate the community.” (NC)

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

China to Slash Steel Production Capacity

China announced plans to cut steel production by as much as 150 million tonnes over the next five years, state media reported Thursday, as the country stares down industrial overcapacity that has weighed on its growth.

The State Council, the country’s cabinet, said it would close outdated plants and refuse to license new steel projects, the official Xinhua news service said.

Crude steel production declined 2.3 percent year-on-year to 803.8 million tonnes in 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics said last month. Xinhua news agency described it as the first drop since 1981…

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

Is the North Korean Satellite Launch a Game Changer?

North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it called an observational satellite. However, its neighbors and Washington denounced the satellite launch as a violation of previous accords conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test. But was the test a game changer in terms of missile technology and development of a possible nuclear warhead capability or merely the lofting into orbit of a satellite for observational, communications or other purposes. The answers, as usual, may be murky as regards what the Hermit Kingdom is up to in such dramatic demonstrations. Is it to buy bargaining leverage in negotiations with both South Korea and the Obama Administration, or is it something more concerning, perfecting an ICBM reaching US territory. We noted in an April 2015 NER/Iconoclast post on North Korean ICBM developments the comments of Admiral Bill Gortney of the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) at an April 7, 2015 Pentagon News Conference:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Rise in Number of Suspected Jihadists Blocked From Leaving Australia

The rate at which suspected jihadists are being blocked from departing Australia has doubled in the past year, a report said Sunday, amid a government crackdown of its nationals travelling to Iraq or Syria to fight.

There were 312 people pulled off planes in the seven months to the end of January, compared to 336 in the almost 12-month period before that, Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper reported.

The immigration department confirmed the figures to AFP but it was not clear how many of the suspected jihadists stopped from leaving the island continent were actually heading to the Middle East to fight, and some were eventually allowed to resume their journey…

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

“Here, Rape is Normal”, A Five-Point Plan to Curtail Sexual Violence in Somalia

Outside of areas under the control of the Federal Government of Somalia, Somali women and girls face threats of sexual and gender-based violence from al-Shabaab. In al-Shabaab-controlled areas, militants have been responsible for numerous acts of violence against girls and women, including rape, forced marriage, corporal punishment, and killing. In 2012, Human Rights Watch reported that al-Shabaab recruited and abducted girls to be raped, forced into marriage with fighters, or forced to cook, clean, and perform other domestic duties at their military camps.[85] The UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, said that Somali women and girl refugees and IDPs reported several cases of female refugees and IDPs, ages 11 to 80, being kidnapped, raped, or forced into marriage by al-Shabaab militias.[86] The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa also reported that girls as young as 12 were being forced into marriage with al-Shabaab fighters, while also being subjected to rape and sexual abuse.[87]

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

African Countries Refuse to Take Back Their Nationals Living in EU

North African states receive hundreds of millions of euro from Western countries for humanitarian aid, but refuse to take their nationals back, who left their countries amid poverty and violence.

According to German newspaper Bild, about 6,400 Moroccans, Algerians and Tunisians who actually should have been in their home countries a long time ago are still living in Germany as their countries refuse to take them back.

North African states turn a deaf ear when it comes to accepting their nationals and refuse to issue them documents despite the fact that they are obliged to do so. At the same time, these countries receive huge amounts of money as humanitarian aid from the West and Germany, in particular.

According to Bild, there were 900 illegal immigrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia living in Germany in January 2015. In December 2015, this number reached 26,000.

This means that the number of migrants from Morocco increased by ten times over the course of 2015, while the number of Algerians rose by four times and the number of Tunisians almost doubled.

The influx of migrants from the three Maghreb countries has been continuing to grow in January and February 2016 as well. The plan to redistribute refugees across the EU has made little progress, as many countries refuse to take high number migrants because of lacking capacities or discontent of the local population.

Earlier, such European countries as Sweden and Norway were reported to offer economic assistance to Morocco in a hope to contribute to young Moroccan refugees returning home. The financial assistance provides for the construction of youth centers that could receive all those young people who came to Europe in search of a better life.

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

Austria: Police Hid Rapefugee Attack on Child

[WARNING: *** Disturbing Content. *** ]

Austrian police deliberately covered up a December 2015 homosexual nonwhite invader rape attack on a 10-year-old boy in Vienna, using the excuse of “victim privacy,” it has emerged.

As the Austrian Krone newspaper has just reported, a December 2015 vicious rape of a 10-year-old boy by a “refugee” claiming to be from Iraq, has only now been confirmed by police in Vienna.

According to the report, the boy was raped on December 2 last year in an indoor swimming facility in Vienna. He sustained such severe internal injuries that he had to be operated upon at the Vienna General Hospital children’s section.

The nonwhite perpetrator was arrested at the scene and confessed. During his interrogation, he confirmed that he had entered Austria on September 13 through the “Balkan route.”

According to the official police report, the details of which were revealed by the Krone, the invader told the police that he had had a “sexual emergency” because he had “not had sex in four months.”

He said that he had had sex with women in Iraq, but not with his wife since the birth of their daughter. (The wife is apparently still in Iraq.)

In Austria, he said, he “could not wait to have sex again” and this was why he had raped the boy.

When the police asked him if it was not illegal even in Iraq to have sex with a ten-year-old boy, the invader said, according to the police report, that “such a thing is forbidden in any country of the world.”

He went on to say that he knew it was a “big mistake” and that it would leave a “huge scar on the boy.”

He had attacked the boy at the Theresienbad swimming facility, the report said. He had grabbed the boy, pushed him into a toilet cubicle and raped him. Even through the boy had cried out in pain, no one had heard him.

After the rape, the nonwhite then casually went out to the pool area and practiced diving off the board into the pool, not even noticing that the boy had emerged and informed the lifeguard, who called the police.

As the Krone article continued, the police did not even publicize the case at the time, and only responded to a press inquiry in February 2016 about the matter, citing “victim protection” as the reason why they had not informed the public.

A police spokesman denied that they had withheld news of the attack “in order not to incite the population.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Austrian Official Calls on EU Commission to Cover Costs of Hosting Migrants

Austrian Finance Minister Hans-Joerg Schelling requested the European Commission to provide 600 million euros ($670 million) to cover the costs of hosting refugees that do not fit within Austria’s quota under the EU relocation plan, local media reported Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In late January, Johann Bezdeka, the head of Interior Ministry’s Department for Immigration Police, Crisis Management and Civil Protection said that 90,000 have applied for asylum in the country since September 2015. Austria initially budgeted for 35,000 asylum seekers a year at a cost of 11,000 euros per person.

“In times of the financial crisis, the European Commission has mostly acted as the agent of the Member States. Concerning the migration crisis it is high time the Commission returned to its normal function as an independent institution representing the general Community interest and start acting as such,” Schelling said.

Schelling’s letter, addressed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice President Kristalina Georgieva, was partly published by the Kurier daily.

Europe has been experiencing a major migrant crisis, as hundreds of thousands of people flee conflict-torn states in North Africa and the Middle East in an effort to find a better life in stable and prosperous European states, such as Austria and Germany. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.8 million illegal border crossings in 2015, in contrast to some 283,000 in 2014.

In September, the European Commission announced a quota scheme, providing for the resettlement of 160,000 refugees currently located in Greece, Italy and Hungary, throughout other European member states over the next two years.

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

Austrian Police Confirm Arrest of Iraqi Refugee Who Raped 10-Year-Old Boy

The incident took place on December 2 in a swimming pool in the country’s capital, when the 20-year-old Iraqi national took a small by to a changing room and sexually assaulted him.

Austrian police confirmed the arrest of a 20-year-old Iraqi refugee who sexually assaulted and raped a ten-year-old boy in a swimming pool in the country’s capital.

“He was arrested and later sent to the Josephstadt prison,” Chief Inspector Roman Hahslinger of the Austrian police said in an interview with the Ruptly news agency.

“What we are talking here about is obviously or probably a case of sexual violence against a ten-year-old boy. This was also confirmed during the interrogation and the court is further to decide on the issue,” Hahslinger stated.

According to Hahslinger, the perpetrator is of Iraqi nationality, having an asylum status and residing in Vienna. The man crossed the Austrian border in September 2014 and said that he committed the sexual crime out of a “sexual emergency”.

The man admitted he was “fulfilling his desires” as he had not had sex for more than four months. When he was asked by the officials whether it was allowed in Iraq to have sex with a ten year old boy, he replied that “such a thing is forbidden in any country of the world” and confessed he “had left a big scar in the boy’s” soul.

The incident took place on December 2 when the man forced the ten-year-old boy to go with him to a changing room and then raped him. After the boy revealed the attack to the swimming pool’s staff, the administration called the police, who immediately apprehended the suspect.

The perpetrator surprisingly stayed in the building after committing the crime. The boy was sent to the hospital with serious internal injuries.

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

Austria: Murdered by African She Sheltered

[WARNING Disturbing Content.]

An American liberal living in Vienna was raped and murdered by the African invader she had deliberately hidden in her apartment to prevent him being deported back to Gambia, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper has revealed.

The American student, identified only as Lauren M., was part of an organized group of liberals dedicated to offering accommodation to nonwhite invaders threatened with deportation.

The African, identified as 24-year-old Abdou I., was already on police records after being arrested for a previous sexual offence. At that time, his DNA had been taken, and this provided the crucial clue in the murder of the American student.

The girl, originally from Colorado, had given the nonwhite shelter in her single room apartment located in Vienna’s Wiedner Main Street after he had been advised at the Erdberg “refugee center” that he was going to be deported.

The Kronen Zeitung revealed that the African had first invaded Europe in 2012 via Italy by illegally crossing the Mediterranean Sea. He had made his way to Germany where he had applied for “asylum.”

However, before his application could be heard, the nonwhite criminal was arrested for a number of serious crimes, including thefts, robberies, and sexual offenses. While under investigation, he managed to flee to Austria, where he mingled with the thousands of newly-arrived “asylum seekers” in Vienna.

A friend of Lauren M. told the Kronen Zeitung that she had “a great heart for the poor,” and “often went to train stations and asylum centers, where she helped distribute food and blankets to the needy.”

It was while on one of these trips that she met the African, who told her he was threatened with deportation. It was then she decided to help him, letting him stay hidden from the police in her apartment. She also fed him and provided him with food, cigarettes, and clothing, the newspaper continued.

It was only on January 25, after she failed to show up for her normal routine, that her friends — who were all aware of, and supported, her activities — began to get worried. They called the police, who broke into her apartment.

There they found the 25-year-old woman face down, dead on her bed. Her face was covered in a sweater, and her trousers had been pulled down to her knees. Blood and vomit lay on the bed and the floor, and wet, crumpled towels were scattered in the bathroom.

A forensic examination of the girl’s body revealed that she had been raped and smothered to death. The semen was analyzed and linked to the DNA already taken from the African invader at the time of his previous arrest in Germany.

Although he fled, the police were able to track him via geolocation data in the photographs he continued to upload to the Internet, and two weeks later he was arrested at an “asylum center” in Bern, Switzerland.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Five Migrants Among Seven Young Men Who ‘Laughed, Danced and Sang in Arabic as They Gang Raped Unconscious Girl of 17’


00:28, 5 Feb 2016

HORRIFIC footage has emerged of a group of young men, including five migrants, laughing, dancing and singing in Arabic as they gang rape an unconscious 17-year-old girl.

It is believed the attack happened after the girl passed out after drinking at a party.

One of the rapists later told police: “She can’t complain. Women must obey men.”

The shocking assault happened in November but was only discovered this week by a teacher at a school in Ostend, Belgium.

A police probe was launched after a 14-year-old boy at the Ostend Technical Institute bragged about a photo of himself dressed in military fatigues and holding a sub-machine gun.

Cops later discovered the shocking video on his phone — believed to have been filmed by the boy — of the suspects raping the victim before dancing around her, the country’s Het Laatste Nieuws site reported.

Police yesterday revealed that seven males aged between 14 and 25 were involved in the attack, including five Iraqis. Two had just arrived in the country and were in the process of seeking asylum when the gang rape took place. Two of the attackers were Belgian nationals.

The video shows them pull down the victim’s trousers, sexually assault her and rape her.

It was revealed she later took a taxi home and did not tell police. When she eventually spoke to cops this week she could not remember what happened.

It was reported that during police interrogations only the eldest suspect denied rape, while the others admitted having sex with the girl and even suggested gang rape was normal in other parts of the world. One claimed the girl had consented, but footage showed she was unconscious.

Four men have been put in jail over the attack while the three minors are in a youth detention centre, according to reports in the country.

Local mayor Johan Vande Lanotte said yesterday: “It’s obvious some newcomers have a cultural problem about relations between men and women.

“We must stay alert and explain our basic values to them and what they cannot do.”

Meanwhile Theo Francken, Belgium’s minister for asylum and immigration, said: “Rapists won’t be given asylum. They will be sent back to Iraq if they are found guilty.”

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

Daily Mail Admits: Nonwhite Rape Plague

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content. **]

Nonwhites commit at least 86 percent of all gang rapes in Britain, the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper has finally admitted — reversing a long-standing policy of censoring the relationship between race and crime.

In an article dealing with the wretched and widespread criminal behavior of Somalis in Britain, titled “A private school girl, mothers who excuse gang rape, and a terrifying culture clash no one dares talk about: How Somalian men are living by their own laws, and causing devastating repercussions in Britain,” the Daily Mail finally admits what the New Observer has been saying all along: that the presence of nonwhites in white society results in a dramatically-boosted — and racially-based — crime rate, where the victims are disproportionally white.

Starting off by discussing the recent conviction of three Somalis of a gang rape in Manchester, the Daily Mail moves on to the core facts:

There is something else you should know about her attackers. It is this: they were all from Manchester’s Somali community. The harrowing events that unfolded in court were also part of a much wider, and seemingly escalating, Somali crime wave taking place in many cities nationwide.

Until recently, the culture of political correctness that undermined the investigations into the Asian sex grooming scandals in Rochdale, Rotherham, and elsewhere, would have discouraged the reporting of this fact.

The article goes on to say that in Somalia, “sexual violence is pervasive.” It then quotes a 2014 report made by the Human Rights Watch organization which “sums up the reality of life for many women in the failed African state: “Here, Rape Is Normal.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hungarian Woman Speaks Out Against the Betrayal of European Women and is Called a ‘Acist’

According to the Women’s rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee of the European Parliament it is only racism that may lead someone who sees any problem in the mass violence committed against women in Europe by migrant men. Every day there are instances of European women being subjected to sexual abuses, insults, violent actions that force the European women to rethink and reorganize their daily lives and activities and this matter is “of course” not even on the agenda of the European Parliament, nor on the women’s rights committee’s. In other words: the European Parliament does not care about the fact that there were around thousand instances of violence against European women by migrant men in Cologne, and on New Year’s Eve alone.

Krisztina Morvai, Non-Attached Member of the European Parliament and of the FEMM Committee, broke the ice and pointed out that this matter had to be dealt with and called this lack of concern of the committee “an absolute betrayal of European women”. The answer was given by Mary Honeyball, the (socialist) rapporteur of the report on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU: Morvai is racist and this is what motivates her by raising this issue.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Money Out of Misery: EU Firms Make a Killing Housing Refugees

European entrepreneurs are making big money by setting up housing residences for refugees. The pursuit of profits often makes these accommodations of poor quality, barely satisfying the basic needs of asylum-seekers, the National Interest reported.

As the number of refugees continues to grow, a large number of private housing firms have sprung up across the European Union (EU). In countries, such as Sweden, Germany, Austria and Britain, government migration agencies rely on private companies for refugee housing, especially as the number of newcomers has dramatically increased over the past year.

In some of these countries, many refugees are housed in “ramshackle conditions” with too many people staying in one room or with not enough beds for everyone, and social activities provided except basic housing and food.

“The issue is the profits. It’s not acceptable that the operator makes a huge profit if the quality of his asylum accommodation is terrible,” explained Helena Puula Niemonen, the international coordinator at one of the Swedish Church-based social agencies Diocese of Strangnas, as cited by the National Interest.

In Sweden, for example, the Migration Agency gives firms that house refugees 350 kronor ($41) for each asylum-seeker per day. The National Interest cited that per unaccompanied minor the Swedish Migration Agency pays between 2,000 and 7,000 kronor ($235 and $820) per child per day. That’s some serious money.

According to the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, the top 30 refugee housing companies in Sweden are making profits above 10 percent, while many as much as 50 percent.

“It’s a totally crazy situation, with gold diggers buying up conference centers far out in the countryside and stacking asylum seekers in corridor-style living with no access to activities, no access to infrastructure,” former Swedish Employment Minister Sven Otto Littorin said, as cited by the National Interest.

Asylum-seekers used to be housed in the dorm-style residences of the Migration Agency, but starting from the 1990s, the Swedish government started to rely on the private sector for refugee accommodation as more and more refugees began to flock into Sweden. The ongoing refugee crisis, which brought over 150,000 people in 2015 into Sweden alone, forced the government to seek help from private companies, which were eager to help out… for a good amount of money, of course.

The unfolding situation is not only bad for asylum seekers, who are forced to spend months living often in unsuitable conditions, but also for European tax-payers whose money could be spent more wisely, the National Interest said.

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

Phyllis Schlafly Issues Rubio Betrayal Memo

Conservative icon and grassroots heroine Phyllis Schlafly has released a new report extensively detailing Sen. Marco Rubio’s efforts to deceive the American people in his determined pursuit to open the nation’s borders.

Schlafly’s 15-page report on Rubio’s “betrayal” provides hyperlinked sources to document Rubio’s “big con.”

Schlafly’s memo warns the American people that Rubio’s push to deliver globalist immigration policies for his donors is not finished. “There is likely no person in the United States of America in a better position to enact mass immigration legislation than a President Rubio — no one who could deliver more votes in both parties for open borders immigration,” the memo states. “Senator Rubio is not Main Street’s Obama, he is Wall Street’s Obama: President Obama was a hardcore leftist running as a centrist; Senator Rubio is a Wall Street globalist running as a tea party conservative.”

In a section entitled, “BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS,” the memo notes that “Rubio is also the only candidate in the race still advocating citizenship for all illegal immigrants, and all that necessarily entails in terms of fiscal costs and chain migration. (Jeb’s book did not call for universal citizenship, as Rubio does.) To this day, Rubio has not backed off a single policy in the Gang of Eight bill (see more here).”

The conclusion of Schlafly’s memo is posted here in full:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Refugee Crisis: ‘Merkel Has Lost Contact With Reality’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing increasing pressure as voters are doubtful that the government is able to tackle the refugee crisis.

According to Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann, founder of the online political magazine, Merkel has always been popular due to her step-by-step approach and pragmatism.

But now “she lost contact with reality. And this is always something very dangerous,” Hoffmann said in an exclusive interview with Radio Sputnik. “Anyone who dares to speak differently is being kicked out”.

“Basically this is a typical mistake of people who get to powerful,” the expert said.

According to official statistics, more than 1.1 million migrants and refugees arrived in Germany in 2015. Moreover, there are about 400,000 migrants who have not been registered and live in the country illegally.

“It is too much. I think Germany could absorb something like 200,000-250,000 each year.” But that’s the maximum amount, the expert said, adding that there is not enough housing and jobs for newcomers.

Recent studies revealed that in the worst case scenario Germany is expected to spend about 50 billion euros for refugees annually. Thus, spending for health care, accommodation, language courses and other expenses related to the migrants’ inflow may reach an unprecedented level by the beginning of the next year.

According to the expert, Merkel’s stance towards migrants could negatively affect the prospects of her party to win the next elections, as many voters will support other factions out of frustration.

Regarding Merkel’s pressure on other states to take in refugees, Hoffmann said that it contradicts the democratic principles, which the EU is based on.

“If they don’t want to take them, you have to accept this,” the expert concluded.

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

Telegraph Admits: Nigerians Associated With Crime

There are so many Nigerians in prison in Britain and other countries that their “reputation for criminality has made it hard for them to be accepted abroad,” the Telegraph newspaper in London has admitted.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Testimony of Brandon Judd on Behalf of the National Border Patrol Council in Front of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security February 4, 2016

Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions. There are little or no consequences for breaking the laws and that fact is well known in other countries.

If government agencies like DHS or CBP are allowed to bypass Congress by legislating through policy, we might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

The Truth About How the “Refugee Crisis” Was Rigged From Start to Finish

I show in this article how the refugee crisis’ has been rigged, from start to finish, in a kind of multi-pincer movement which is using mass theatre and false social science to create a delusion in the minds of the masses. It’s a complex web that has been weaved; so I’ve broken it down to its simplest components with links for those who want to drill down deeper.

So where did it all begin?

I find it ironic that many who support open borders and mass migration tell those who can see disaster writ large in such folly that they’re “stuck in the past” and that they should “move into the 21st century”. They don’t realise that they’re mind programmed victims of a staged roll-out of an agenda that follows a plan originally cooked up around 100 years ago, known as the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey Tightens Visa Rules for Iraqi Citizens ‘To Fight Illegal Immigration’

Turkey has tightened its visa rules for Iraqi citizens as a sign of its “determination to fight illegal immigration,” the foreign ministry said Saturday.

Under previous rules, Iraqi citizens were able to enter Turkey by obtaining sticker type visas at Turkish borders, valid for 30 days.

Now Iraqi nationals will have to pre-apply for either an electronic or a paper visa to enter the country, the ministry said in a statement…

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

UK: A Private School Girl, Mothers Who Excuse Gang Rape and a Terrifying Culture Clash No One Dares Talk About: How Somalian Men Are Living by Their Own Laws…

[…]and causing devastating repercussions in Britain

Room 38 is on the first floor. It is also where, just before midday on August 9, 2013, a young girl found herself trapped and about to be subjected to the most degrading and terrifying ordeal imaginable. She was 16, an A-grade student from a middle-class family, who had just completed her GCSEs at a leading private school.

How she came to be in Room 38 of this squalid hotel in Rusholme, on the south side of the city, is not important for now. By the time she emerged 30 minutes later, she had been gang raped at least six times by three different men.

The trio, all aged 20, were jailed for a total of 29 years at Manchester Crown Court this week. But six others were present when she was passed around like a piece of meat. They regarded her as ‘easy prey,’ to quote the judge. Those who did not violate her were spectators. They watched and did nothing to help.

The visceral horror of what happened in Room 38 was conveyed in a single harrowing sentence by the victim — now 19 and a university undergraduate — when the Mail spoke to her exclusively this week. ‘I just stayed quiet because I thought they would kill me if I screamed,’ she said.

There is something else you should know about her attackers. It is this: they were all from Manchester’s Somali community. The harrowing events that unfolded in court were also part of a much wider, and seemingly escalating, Somali crimewave taking place in many cities nationwide.

This is why the ethnic background of the rapists is central to this bigger picture.

Until recently, the culture of political correctness that undermined the investigations into the Asian sex grooming scandals in Rochdale, Rotherham and elsewhere, would have discouraged the reporting of this fact.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

UK: Nonwhite Rape Gang Leader Flees

The ringleader of yet another nonwhite mass-rape gang, this time operating in Yorkshire, England, has fled back to Bangladesh rather than face justice in the UK, it has emerged.

Arif Chowdhury, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi who was born in the UK after his parents legally immigrated there, fled after being arrested in the West Yorkshire town of Keighley, Bradford.

The case involved Chowdhury and twelve other nonwhites engaging in the sustained mass rapes and abuse of local white schoolgirls…

Bangladesh has always refused to extradite any of its nationals, making it next to impossible for the Keighley rape gang leader to be punished for his crimes.

This, combined with the fact that Bangladeshi criminals regularly “flee” to that country to avoid justice in Europe, also makes a mockery of claims by thousands of Bangladeshis for “asylum” in Europe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Violent Somali Invaders Flood Scotland With Deadly Crack Cocaine

Tens of thousands of violent Somalis, who invaded Britain by claiming “asylum” from their own self-inflicted Third World disaster nation have flooded Scotland with deadly crack cocaine and now run a multi-million dollar drug trade in Glasgow, a new report has revealed.

The report, contained in an article in the otherwise far-left Daily Record newspaper, headlined “African gangsters armed with bayonets are flooding Scotland with deadly crack cocaine,” announced “Immigrant thugs came to Scotland two years ago and have built £1million-a-year drug empire.”

Going on to describe the Somalis as “ruthless gangsters,” the paper said the nonwhite invaders are “flooding Scotland’s streets with deadly crack cocaine.”…

Britain is home to the largest Somali invader community in Europe, with 99,484 Somali-born residents of England recorded by the 2011 Census, and an estimated 115,000 Somali-born immigrants residing in the UK in 2010 according to the Office for National Statistics.

Most of these criminal gangsters came to Europe during the course of the ongoing “civil war” (actually just tribal warlords doing battle, as they have always done), and during the period 1988 to 1994, the favored destination for these bogus asylum seekers was Scandinavia.

By 1999, however, 53 percent of Somali asylum applications in Europe were made in the UK, and between 1985 and 2006, Somalis figured among the top ten largest country of origin groups of people seeking asylum in Britain. There has also been what is called “secondary migration” of Somalis to the UK from the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Because these Somalis are now counted as “EU nationals” by the race-denying authorities, they are not recorded as Third Worlders, but an article published in 2010 suggests that, since 2000, between 10,000 and 20,000 Somalis in the Netherlands have moved to the UK.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Work for Less: End of Swedish Welfare State?

Sweden needs a new system of labor contracts to help incoming migrants better integrate into the country’s labor market, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf said.

If the idea gains traction, employers will be allowed to pay migrants well below the existing minimum wage, Sveriges Radio reported on Friday.

“We need to perfect and reform the Swedish model for the [incoming migrants]… If we don’t do this we risk finding ourselves in a degree of isolation we won’t be able to cope with,” Annie Lööf said.

The Centre Party believes that this would help unqualified migrants find jobs in Sweden.

When asked whether it was legal to pay smaller wages to foreigners, Lööf mentioned already existing programs of integrating migrants into the local labor market, which allow employers to pay smaller wage tax.

In September the Danish newspaper Berlingske wrote about a team of economists from the Rockwoolfondens Forskningsenhed research center who proposed paying unqualified migrant workers less in order to make it easier for them to find a job in their new country.

Five months on, the problem is still there with a mere three percent of the newly arrived migrants being viewed as potential employees even though many of them are willing and able to work.

The problem is that refugees have little, if any knowledge of the Danish language to understand all the in and outs of the country’s labor laws and the social security system.

To obtain the status of a potential job seeker one needs to make regular visits to the employment services’ websites and write all kinds of letters and resumes. Failure to do all this implies a heavy fine and is why many are simply afraid to register — a dilemma that defies a quick and easy solution.

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

8 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/7/2016

  1. A greeting for Julian Assange
    Publicerad 8 februari 2016 kl 00.40
    The legal commission of the United Nations recently decided that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be left to move freely and be compensated for five years of legal harassment by Swedish and British authorities. Although the latter can be expected to ignore their obligations, the event inspires a summary of Julian Assange´s legal adventure.

    Firsty a repetition of how it all started. Julian Assange had, in connection with a conference in Sweden, sexual intercourse with two aquainted Swedish women, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén. What later became a problem was that Ms. Ardin, the leader of the two, had been first in line. And that this young lady holds somewhat old-fashioned opinions about sex: Sexual intercourse between man and woman creates a binding promise of lifelong fidelity.

    Before we continue, Anna Ardin must be given a thorough presentation. According to her blog she is a political scientist, communicator, entrepreneur and freelance writer with special knowledge in faith and politics, equality matters, feminism and Latin America. She apparently also has bitter experiences of various amorous adventures. In a posting, she adviced other women at length on what to do to about men who fail to live up to his their stringent fidelity requirements (“dumped” them, as Ardin put it). More precisely, such men should be subjected to a ruthless seven-stage revenge program. In the female tool box for such campaigns, the lie is prominent. From Ardin´s seven-stage revenge manual:

    Step 5: “Think about how you can get revenge systematically. Perhaps a series of letters and photos, to make the new girlfriend believe that the two of you are still together can be just as effective as just one big single lie?”

    Step 6: “Rate the components of your systematic revenge program from low to high in terms of likelyhood of success, input required and the degree of satisfaction if successful. The ideal revenge obviously scores high on this barchart, but often an increased input of labor and capital can provide a safer output in terms of the other two, really important parameters.”

    Step 7: “Get at it. And keep you goal in sight while performing the operation, namely that your victim will suffer as he made you suffer.”

    According to the blog, Ms. Ardin published her revenge manual on 7/1, 2001. Years later, during the week when the two women filed their complaints against Mr. Assange, steps number two to seven in the manual were deleted. Right now, the original version of the blog post is now deleted also from The current, self-censored, version retains the title “A seven-step manual for revenge within the law”, on top of a list consisting of only one item. Julian Assange’s solicitors have submitted printouts of the original blog post to the Swedish authorities. Ardin’s attitude to the truth as such is highly relevant to an assessment of her credibility, and hence the possibility of a rape conviction of a man with whome she admits having had sveral voluntary sexual sessions with.

    Equally important in this context is the fact that Ms. Ardin organized a party in Mr. Assange’s honor in her apartment – only days after the date when she was allegedly raped by the very same man. During the party, Ardin tweeted merrily, claiming to be having fun with “the world’s coolest, smartest people, it’s amazing.” Furthermore, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén exchanged text messages with each other during the days following their first sexual meetings with Assange, informing each other of what had gone down. The messages were boastful and did not reference any sexual violence or negative comments about Assange whatsoever.

    Just as much as a Swedish woman has the right to go to bed with whoever she pleases, the two ladies, who are both politicians, were definitely aware that Assange has not violated any law by allowing himself to go to bed with two women successively. Nevertheless, Anna Ardin apparently felt offended by what had transpired. One can only guess – but curcumstances indicate that Ardin’s grandiose self-image has led her to the view that a political scientist, communicator, entrepreneur, etc. of her own high standing deserves the protection of special rules: Most importantly the rule that a man who causes emparrassment to Anna Ardins love life should be jailed for years and have their lives shattered. In order to achieve this self-styled justice, Ms. Ardin has obviously awarded herself the right to lie about men who have earned her scorn. Since she is an active politician, it is obvious that the draconian penalties resulting from here ideas are exclusive for men who dare to offend Anna Ardin, not for the protection of other women. During her political career, Ardin never proposed neither long nor short prison sentences for men who have “dumped” their girlfriends.

    Julian Assange is still today not charged with anything. Chief prosecutor Eva Finné closed her case against Assange, the case lacking all substance. According to Finné, there was not even grounds for suspicion. Some weeks later, however, Karin Rosander at the Stockholm prosecutor’s office announced that Assange was again suspected, this time only for sexual molestation. On 20/10, 2010, Assange was questioned by the Stockholm police, refuting the allegations. The next day a feminist prosecutor, Marianne Ny, announced the investigation would be re-opened under her personal direction. Assange, who had applied for work permit and had intended to move to Sweden, finally got enough of the Ardin revenge campaign and left the country.

    Three weeks later, on request of the new the prosecutor, the Stockholm District Court issued an arrest warrant. In this document, Assange was suspected (but still not prosecuted) for a range of crimes of sexual violence against the two ladies. Rape included.

    Firstly, it is obvious that there has never been any basis for a criminal prosecution of Julian Assange. If the new prosecutor, Marianne Ny, would have had substance for prosecuting him she could and would have done it in his absence, without a second interrogation. The thought that Mrs. Ny expects Assange to incriminate himself so blatantly, could she only get a second interview with him, so that a bona-fide prosecution would suddenly be possible, is silly. So we are not disussing a convicted offender, not even a prosecuted suspect. The European arrest warrant of which we have all heard so much, is directed at a suspect who has already been interrogated. The prosecutor merely wishes to interrogate the man a second time before deciding on the question of a prosecution.

    Secondly, during his exile in London, Assange has made himself available for further questioning, albeit where he is. Swedish law allows such questioning, it occurs regularily. Assange’s motives for his demand are obvious. He refuses to travel to Sweden because of the risk that Sweden, if it get its hands on him, will proceed to deliver him to the US, where he will be imprisoned for life. Such life sentence has nothing to do with revengeful Swedish feminists. It would be Assange´s punishment for having helped the American whistle blower Bradley/Chelsea Manning reveal US war crimes in Iraq.

    Thirdly, Assange has declared his willingness to return to Sweden for interrogation as requested, provided only that the responsible Swedish officials declare that Sweden will contend herself with prosecuting him for the famously alleged sex crimes. This suggestion was greeted with scorn by the Foreign Minister at the time, Carl Bildt. That, if anything, shows that Julian Assange has been calculated quite correctly in the matter. His concern, that a short visit at the Swedish justice system could end with a lifelong visit to its American counterpart, is well-founded.

    Given all these circumstances, I agree with the UN legal commission: Sweden´s refusal to interrogate Assange on location in London is a gross miscarriage of justice. In order to please American politicians, eager to take revenge on a journalistic hero, the Swedish authorities harass a completely innocent man. Marianne Ny, the responsible chief prosecutor, makes herself guilty of an ongoing misconduct so serious that nothing less than the women´s correction facility at Hinseberg could be considered for her part.

    The behavior of news media in the Assange case speaks volumes about the quality of those designated to provide our country´s citizens with the news we need. Swedish Dagbladet contented itself with barking that Assange is a paranoid, megalomanic troublemaker who resides voluntarily at an exotic embassy, because he wants to cause a media circus. The division of labor between the Svenska Dagbladet and its sister company Aftonbladet i the usual: SvD uses a parlance that company executives and teachers may swallow. The rest of us are served by Aftonbladet. That tabloid, Swedens biggest, had sent their own reporter to one of the hearings in London. This man proclaimed that Julian Assange is a “coward” surrounded by a “horde of shysters”, “shouting” allegations at the Swedish justice system. In addition, Aftonbladet reported that Assange is a “cowardly shithead” who is “bullshitting” and who has “lost his honor”. The same newspaper also called the founder of Wikilieaks an “Australian pig” – interestingly in an article purporting that Assange, (rather than they themselves), poses a “threat to investigative journalism”.

    Unfortunaely, the propaganda war against Assange is not confined to Sweden. I followed the Swiss radio news about the UN report last Wednesday, the report that finally outlawed the Swedish authorities’ behavior. In the newscast, an “expert” reporter told us that Assange is hiding in London because of a Swedish prosecution for rape, “nicht gerade ein cavaliersdelikt” (not a trivial offense mind you). I assume that raped women across Switzerland are grateful for the latter enlightenment. Next broadcast, an hour later, was adjusted. This time they actually told listeners about the real reason why Assange refuses to set foot in Sweden – and explained the stupidity of Assanges stand: According to the same expert it is “Höchst unklar” (far from certain) that the Swedish and American prosecutors will gang up against Julian Assange, like Swedish and British prosecutors ganged up against Julian Assange. My hope is that Martin Alli, the journalist in question, now enjoys a game of Russian roulette. Why not? That his life will end with the help of just one single cartridge is “Höchst unklar”.

    Finally my best greetings to Julian Assange! You will never be the hero of the people and the wanna-be powerful at the same time.

    Carl Lundström

  2. It was here that I first heard the news from France 24 that Recep Erdogen has said that the U.S. must choose between the Turks and the Kurds. We have been discussing Turkiye on this website very recently. We may have rapidly worsening days in the very near future.

    If Merkel imagined that she had an understanding with Erdogen it may be that Obama imagines the same. With these people it may be we will never know.

    It sure would be nice to have leadership one had trust in at this time.

    • Watch the event unfold, with some trepidation. I’ve just added another blog post on the subject what is going on the Turkish border this week.

      The Syrian refugee blame game:

      Erdogan is a loose cannon, always has been, but under the Washington & NATO tutelage, “one of ours”. I think what he meant to have said, Do I stay with NATO or go with Daesh (IS)? He is burning the candle at both ends.

      • I did see the Sputnik article today about deployment of Russias new t 90 tank operated by Syrians trained in its use. They are more resistant to captured U.S. anti tank weapons which the rebels are said to have thousands of. They mentioned that Aleppo had just been cut off. Your lepontduha ref speaks of a very large new flow of refugees from Aleppo. Your Syrian blame game suggestion has to be right.

        • Captured U.S. anti-tank weapons? From whom, by whom? Interesting to hear this because it is my understanding that they were brought and paid for with Gulf money, shipped over from Turkey, to be given to a handful of so-called ‘moderate rebels’, who then allied themselves with Al-Nusra, ( Al Qaeda in Syria), who now have allied themselves with Daesh in the Aleppo region to fight off the Syrian gov forces.

          • I was in error for saying captured. My casual memory skills need correction. references FARS of Iran for the story. They say various Syrian militant groups recieved over 9000 U.S. made anti tank missle systems and M 79 grenade launchers which were effective against the older tanks. Nowhere does it say that they were captured. My incorrect assumption probably reflects my deep regret that we did not destroy more of the equipment abandoned by the Iraqi army in its flight from Mosul. Deep regret does not constitute factual info..

  3. American unemployment rate 4.9%?
    Shouldn’t there be a ’20’ before the 4?
    4.9%, what a sick joke.

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