Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/6/2016

Police in Norway did not like a man’s profile picture on Facebook because in it he appeared to be holding an automatic weapon. They paid a visit to his house in the middle of the night, but the weapon turned out to be a Softgun, a replica gun that shoots plastic pellets. A Softgun is legal for adults to possess in Norway, but the police confiscated this one anyway.

In other news, students at the University of Indiana became alarmed when they saw what they thought was a member of the Ku Klux Klan walking across campus dressed in a white KKK robe. A residence hall advisor sent out a warning email to all the students on his list about the apparent danger. However, it turned out that the man was in fact a priest dressed in liturgical garments. There’s no word on whether the frightening clergyman was apprehended and removed from campus so that students could feel safe again.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Seneca III, 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
» ECB Chief Econ Says Low Inflation May Become ‘Persistent’
» EU: Cyprus Successfully Exits Its Aid Program
» War on Cash: Cash Banned, Freedom Gone
» 1956: “America Peaked Back Then and We’ve Been in Decline Ever Since”
» Adrenalin Junkies Have Less Grey Matter in Their Brains Than Those Who Play it
» Attorney General Seizes David Daleiden’s Property
» California’s Minimum Wage Madness
» Frank Gaffney: Sharia Law ‘Tolerated, Ignored, Accommodated for Years in Europe, ‘ Now ‘Beginning to Manifest’ In U.S.
» In Voicemail, Bank Says it No Longer Lends to Firearms Dealers
» Indiana University Students Mistake Priest for KKK Member
» Key Figure in Petraeus Case Says Justice Dept. Won’t Indict Hillary Over Emails
» Michigan GOP: Leave Trump’s Delegates Alone
» Stephen Miller: Trump ‘Won on the Issues’ The Republican ‘Donor Class Has Lost’
» “All Parties Too White”
» Wow! City of Toronto Spent a Whole $19,000 on Rob Ford’s Funeral
Europe and the EU
» Brexit is Irrelevant to Britain’s Future
» Bulgaria Soon to Produce Components for Boeing, Airbus
» Dutch Voters Reject EU-Kiev Deal, Ballot Valid: Projection
» Facebook Shuts Down Muslims of Italy Page
» German Finance Minister Says Brexit Would Push EU to Reform
» Italy: Banco Popolare to Increase Capital by 1 Bn
» Italy: Ex-Total Chiefs Convicted in Southern Oil Case
» Italy: Finmeccanica Seals Record Eurofighter Deal With Kuwait
» Italy: Montezemolo: UBI, Unicredit Named in ‘Panama Papers’
» Italy: EC Won’t Oppose ILVA Taranto Cleanup
» Italy: BTG Pactual Asks Generali for Damages Linked to Bsi
» Norway: Police Did Not Approve of His Profile Picture
» Polls Open in Dutch Referendum on EU-Ukraine Trade Deal
» Scotland: Student Accused of Violating University ‘Safe Space’ By Raising Her Hand
» Swiss Muslim Students Exempt From Shaking Hands With Female Teachers
» UK: Don’t Hold a Fire Sale, Javid Begs Tata Chief Ahead of Crunch Talks in Mumbai Over the Future of Steel Plants at Port Talbot and Across the UK
» UK: Girl ‘Who Was First Sexually Abused by Asian Gang When She Was 15 Was Raped Again in Front of Her Sleeping Baby Son’
» UK: How Europe’s Judges Put Our Safety at Risk
» UK: Teens Who Killed Angela Wrightson Escaped 18 Times From Care Homes
» Warning: Athens Must Build First Mosque or Face Islamic Terror
Middle East
» Cannibal ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Who Cut Out and Ate an Assad Soldier’s Heart and Liver is Killed ‘After His Convoy Was Ambushed’
» Emirates: Three Lebanese Charged With Creating Hezbollah Affiliated Group
» Islamic State’s Oil Revenues ‘Slashed’ By Air Strikes: French Experts
» Thanks to Erdogan: Turkey is on the Brink of Disaster
Far East
» China Won’t Waste Its Time on Wind Power
Latin America
» Mexican Government Changes Diplomats to Counter Trump’s ‘Hostile’ Message
» EU Border Agency: 1.8m+ Illegal Migrants in 2015, ‘Staggering’ Number of Jihadis
» Frontex: EU Border Vulnerable to Terrorist Infiltration
» GOP Chairman: Islamic Terrorists Likely to Use Porous Southern Border to Infiltrate U.S.
» Greece Postpones Deportations From Large Migrant Camps
» Mass Migration is Allowing Terrorists to Pour Into Europe, EU’s Border Agency Admits
» Norway to Jail Migrants Whose Asylum Seeker Claims Are Deemed ‘Obviously Groundless’
» Record Number of Illegal Entries in 2015 Says Border Agency
» Senior Trump Adviser Stephen Miller: Remittances From Illegal Immigration Finance ‘Corruption and Cartels in Mexico’
» Sustainable Development, Migration and the Multi-Cultural Destruction of the Nation-State
» Two-Thirds of Germans Want End to Open Borders
» UK: Migrant Numbers Fuel GP Crisis With Too Few Doctors Recruited
Culture Wars
» Expelling White Heterosexuals From the News Business
» Mississippi Gov. Signs Religious Freedom Bill Despite LGBT Pressure
» PayPal Cancels North Carolina Expansion After New State Law Defies Gay Movement
» The Scientist vs. The SPLC

ECB Chief Econ Says Low Inflation May Become ‘Persistent’

Peter Praet says central bank will continue to act ‘forcefully’

(ANSA) — Rome, April 4 — European Central Bank (ECB) chief economist Peter Praet said that low inflation in the eurozone could become a persistent problem, speaking at Rome’s LUISS University on Monday. “What started as a temporary period of low inflation could become persistent,” Praet said.

He said the ECB would continue to react “forcefully” in the future if necessary against the risk of persistent low inflation.

News that the ECB intends to continue its support for the eurozone’s financial recovery helped European stock markets on Monday.

At midday, Paris was up 1.1%, Frankfurt was up 1%, London was up 0.7% and Milan was up 0.6%.

On the Milan Stock Exchange, some banks saw jumps in their share prices: Mediobanca was up 2.95%, BPER was up 2.82%, and Unipol was up 2.62%.

Others suffered, including Banco Popolare, down 2.5%; BPM, down 2.24%; and MPS, down 2.16%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU: Cyprus Successfully Exits Its Aid Program

Financial assistance terminated, 7.3 bln since 2013

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, MARCH 31 — Cyprus has “successfully” exited its three-year financial aid program, according to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) fund. The fund has contributed with 6.3 billion euros, in addition to the billion in loans provided by the IMF, out of the total 10 billion of the bailout. But Cyprus did not need the remaining 2.7 billion.

ESM director Klaus Regling congratulated Cyprus on its success in re-establishing growth and repairing public accounts sooner than expected. The financial sector, the main element of the crisis, was restructured, recapitalized and resized, he said. The country has recovered confidence in investors and returned on the market, concluded Regling. The program started in April 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

War on Cash: Cash Banned, Freedom Gone

The plan to restrict the use of cash, or to abolish it step by step, has nothing to do with the fight against crime. The real reason is that states (and their central banks) want to introduce negative interest rates.

Although central banks have long pursued inflationary policies that devalue the debt owed by governments, negative interest rates offer a new and powerful tool to do this. But, to make negative interest rates work well, you have to get rid of physical cash.

Otherwise, if you apply negative rates on bank deposits, customers in the short or long run will try to avoid the costs that negative rates impose on their bank deposits. So, depositors will, in many cases, hoard cash. To block this last escape route, proponents of the ban on cash want to do away with it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

1956: “America Peaked Back Then and We’ve Been in Decline Ever Since”

Editor’s Comment: How far we have fallen! The American Dream used to be attainable to all who worked hard, and freedom was still a tangible thing that many experienced. People used common sense and wisdom from experience to make it through life.

Today, most people are dumbed-down consumers who only know what they have been told through the television, who eat processed foods made by leading corporations with almost no nutritional value, they are in debt up to their eyeballs, and couldn’t think independently if they tried. Problem solving and common decency have disappeared, and the gap between the Americans of 60 years ago is so astonishing as to make movies like Idiocracy and books like The Time Machine appear absolutely correct.

America 1956 vs. America 2016 by Michael Snyder

Once Upon A Time — Facebook

Is America a better place today than it was back in 1956? Of course many Americans living right now couldn’t even imagine a world without cell phones, Facebook or cable television, but was life really so bad back then? 60 years ago, families would actually spend time on their front porches and people would actually have dinner with their neighbors. 60 years ago, cars were still cars, football was still football and it still meant something to be an American. In our country today, it is considered odd to greet someone as they are walking down the street, and if someone tries to be helpful it is usually because they want something from you. But things were very different in the middle of the last century. Men aspired to be gentlemen and women aspired to be ladies, and nobody had ever heard of “bling”, “sexting” or “twerking”. Of course life was far from perfect, but people actually had standards and they tried to live up to them.

So how did it all go so wrong?

Could it be possible that life in America peaked back then and we have been in decline ever since?

Before you answer, I want to share with you a list of comparisons between life in America in 1956 and life in America in 2016…

In 1956, one income could support an entire middle class family.

In 2016, approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basics even though both parents have entered the workforce in most households.

In 1956, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.

In 2016, the federal government systematically redistributes our wealth, and two communists are fighting for the Democratic nomination.

In 1956, there were about 2 million people living in Detroit and it was one of the greatest cities on Earth.

In 2016, there are only about 688,000 people living in Detroit and it has become a joke to the rest of the world.

In 1956, millions of Americans dreamed of moving out to sunny California.

In 2016, millions of Americans are moving out of California and never plan to go back.

[Comment: Compare 1956 photo vs 2016 photo of the NY skyline.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Adrenalin Junkies Have Less Grey Matter in Their Brains Than Those Who Play it

Researchers, from US universities Harvard, Yale and Massachusetts, found that increased impulsivity and sensation-seeking in healthy young adults is linked to different brain structures.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Attorney General Seizes David Daleiden’s Property

WASHINGTON,-California Attorney General Kamala Harris has obtained a warrant to search and seize David Daleiden’s property in retaliation against his investigation into Planned Parenthood’s trade in fetal body parts. Harris threatened to pursue Daleiden after the first undercover video was released last July. She is now making good on her threat. Yesterday, Department of Justice agents searched David’s home and took away many of his personal belongings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

California’s Minimum Wage Madness

Despite the years-decades-of research revealing the damage caused by forced minimum wage hikes, state and federal governments are still pushing this unsound and unjust policy.

The California state legislature just rammed through a $15 minimum wage hike.

Yes, rammed. Sunday deliberation turned into Friday passage and then Monday signage and celebration.


Let’s be very clear: they did not raise anything. They have only imposed more costly regulations on businesses, small and large, in the state of California.

New York State has jumped on board to continue this madness.

Where do these state legislators think the money is going to come from for these outrageous proposals?

Businesses in California, and to a lesser extent in New York, are reeling under a moribund, sluggish economy.

Obamacare is dragging down the employment opportunities. High taxes and the reckless spending of the state legislature have discouraged entrepreneurs, young and old ,from expanding their operations, or from even testing the trade markets.

Now the legislature is demanding that every entry level employee make more money than active service men and women.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: Sharia Law ‘Tolerated, Ignored, Accommodated for Years in Europe, ‘ Now ‘Beginning to Manifest’ In U.S.

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, a senior policy adviser to presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), explains to Breitbart News Daily the reasons behind his candidate’s controversial call for enhanced counter-terrorist policing of Muslim communities.

Host Stephen K. Bannon found precedent for Cruz’s suggestion in the highly successful “demographic unit” employed by NYPD chief Ray Kelly under New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gaffney said Cruz was advocating a “common-sense approach” that would recognize “every community, every neighborhood, should be a safe neighborhood.”

It shouldn’t be the case that there are some areas of cities, or other parts of our country, that are off-limits to authorities, that are places that are known to… well, primarily to be dominated by folks who are engaged in a practice that is anti-Constitutional and hostile to the values of our country. Specifically, those who are seeking to impose a program they call sharia.

Gaffney said the drive to impose various aspects of Islamic law on the Western world was no longer a “hypothetical construct.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

In Voicemail, Bank Says it No Longer Lends to Firearms Dealers

“It is increasingly clear that the effects from Operation Choke Point are continuing to be felt…”

The stories of two businessmen who recently were denied banking services because they sell firearms suggest a secretive government program called Operation Choke Point still affects industries across the nation that the Obama administration considered undesirable.

In one case, a large bank in New England denied a line of credit to a former police officer who started a gun and tactical business in Monroe, Conn., saying it “no longer lends to firearms dealers.”

In the other case, a branch of a North Carolina bank refused to set up a new payment service for a firearms seller in Tryon, N.C., because of the nature of his industry, the business owner said.

The Daily Signal talked to both businessmen, who say they are being punished for their line of work despite efforts in Congress to end discrimination by banks against gun sellers.

[Comment: one of several facets of the war on the 2nd Amendment, others are — Feds buying up all the ammunition, Bloombergs council of mayors against the 2nd amendment, useful idiot organizations that seek to abolish the 2nd amendment.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Indiana University Students Mistake Priest for KKK Member

On Monday, students at Indiana University Bloomington mistook a priest for a Klu Klux Klan member, taking to social media to express their fear of the alleged Klansman, who they claimed was carrying a whip, and dressed in “white robes.”

Rumors of a Klansman on campus were extinguished after it was pointed out that the passerby was actually a priest innocently making his way through Bloomington, Indiana. When sighted on campus, students thought his white robes indicated an affiliation with the KKK.

iu students be careful, there’s someone walking around in kkk gear with a whip.

— sanchez (@babyynini_) April 5, 2016

Residential hall advisor Ethan Gill quickly wrote an email to his students, warning them of the “threat” on campus: “There has been a person reported walking around campus in a KKK outfit holding a whip. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, IUPD cannot remove this person from campus unless an act of violence is committed. Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight, always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you’re alone.”

Later in the evening, Gill was forced to retract his warning on his Facebook page, where he clarified that the purported Klansman was actually just an innocent priest dressed in liturgical garments. The “whip” turned out to be the clergyman’s robe-like belt that was tied around his waist.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Key Figure in Petraeus Case Says Justice Dept. Won’t Indict Hillary Over Emails

“This new director is… he has bosses, and they’re the same bosses that did this to General Petraeus and my family”

The Florida socialite whose 2012 complaint to the FBI led to the investigation of Gen. David Petraeus’ mishandling of classified information said on Monday that she does not believe that Hillary Clinton will be indicted for mishandling sensitive government information on her private email server.

In an interview with Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg, Jill Kelley indicated that she believes Clinton should be indicted but that the Justice Department will never pull the trigger.

“I don’t [think Clinton will be indicted]. You know why? Only because of one thing, the FBI, even though this new director is, I heard, a very good guy, he has bosses, and they’re the same bosses that did this to General Petraeus and my family,” said Kelley, referring to FBI director James Comey.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Michigan GOP: Leave Trump’s Delegates Alone

(POLITICO) — Donald Trump has been battered in the hunt for loyal delegates to the Republican National Convention, suffering loss after demoralizing loss to Ted Cruz. But Michigan Republican leaders are closing ranks around the struggling front-runner with a stern message: Hands off Trump’s delegates.

Though Cruz has outmaneuvered Trump in state after state, local Michigan GOP officials say a delegate fight that fails to reflect the results of the state’s March 8 primary — when Trump handily defeated Cruz and John Kasich — would rip the party apart. And they’ re working aggressively to prevent it.

“We don’t want to be part of the carnage of the presidential campaign,” said Bill Runco, one of 14 congressional district chairman for the state Republican Party. “Don’t play games. Just be honest about this. You know, don’t try to steal someone else’s delegates.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Stephen Miller: Trump ‘Won on the Issues’ The Republican ‘Donor Class Has Lost’

Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser for Donald Trump, tells Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon: “The important thing is that Donald Trump has changed the political debate in this country and won on the issues that are fueling his candidacy, that are going to translate, of course, into huge wins in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and all across the rest of the map.”

Added Miller, “Those issues, of course, are trade and immigration, as well as the underlying fact that voters feel betrayed by their party.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

“All Parties Too White”

The president of Canada’s third largest party, the New Democratic Party (NDP), has announced that all parties in that country are “too white” and that this urgently needs to be changed.

The comments, which would have landed her in court on “race hate” charges if she had said that all parties were “too nonwhite,” were made by NDP president Rebecca Blaikie live on air on CBC Radio.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Wow! City of Toronto Spent a Whole $19,000 on Rob Ford’s Funeral

The total cost will come in at more than the $19,000 the media is reporting because the cost of policing the funeral procession route has not yet been calculated. But we will use the $19,000 figure since that is what the liberal media is using in reporting it and implying it is too much money to spend on the likes of Rob Ford.

Shortly after the funeral, the Ford-hating media were quick to point out the cost of having Ford lie in repose at City Hall for two days before a procession took place that ended up at St. James Cathedral several blocks away. The was big news for CBC, CTV, CityTv and others. Andthen there was Metro, making a joke of the whole thing with the headline, “Guess how much the city spent to honour Rob Ford?”

Toronto is the largest city in Canada with multi-billion dollar operating and capital budgets; it is simply not newsworthy that less than $20,000 was spent on something unless the media reporting it has an agenda. And of course they do. Even in death, the Ford-hating left wing media are out to get him…

One of Ford’s mantras was “respect for taxpayers.” During his years in office he was constantly criticized for using his own money for things that could properly have been expensed to the city. The $19,000 is a piddly amount compared to the money Ford saved the city by not spending money allocated by the budget for council expenses. But all the media seems to want to talk about is how much his death has cost taxpayers.

[Comment: Communist media spinning the quite reasonable cost for an honorary funeral because they hated Rob Ford. He always sought to cut financial wastage and corruption in Toronto. That’s why all the leftists hated him.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Brexit is Irrelevant to Britain’s Future

The June 23 vote on British membership of the European Union is meaningless to the UK’s future-because longstanding immigration policies will have plunged Britain into minority white and Third World status by 2066. This racial demographic shift will happen no matter what the referendum’s outcome might be-a fact which all of the “vote no” campaigns stoically ignore-and can only be averted by dramatic-and unlikely-internal political reform.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bulgaria Soon to Produce Components for Boeing, Airbus

Production plant to open near Sofia

(ANSA) — TRIESTE, 04 APR — A production of components for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer is soon to begin in Bulgaria, Nova Tv reported. A US company whose name has not been precised is expected to invest 4.6 million euros (9 million lev) for transforming a 2,000 square meters plant near Sofia airport into a production unit which will produce components for airplane tail and wings, as well as parts for the fuel control system.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Dutch Voters Reject EU-Kiev Deal, Ballot Valid: Projection

Dutch voters largely rejected a cooperation accord between the EU and Ukraine Wednesday with some 61 percent against the deal, the Dutch news agency ANP projected, adding that enough people had taken part for the referendum to be valid.

Based on a count of 191 polling stations or 38.9 percent of all voters, ANP predicted turnout was more than the 30 percent needed for the ballot to count.

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

Facebook Shuts Down Muslims of Italy Page

On court order after threats to Italian journalist

(ANSA) — Reggio Emilia, April 6 — Facebook said Wednesday it has executed a court order to take down two pages called Muslims of Italy — one a community page and the other an invitation-only group page.

A Reggio Emilia judge ordered the pages shut down on March 8, following a February 25 post with threatening and defamatory content targeting 31-year-old journalist Benedetta Salsi, a court reporter at Il Resto del Carlino regional daily. “We will ask the judge to reconsider the appropriateness of a measure targeting an entire group or page rather than single defamatory comments,” a Facebook spokesperson told the daily.

The post that appeared on February 25 contained allegations about Salsi’s private and professional life, and called her “an Islamophobe”. “Under the Islamic juridical statute, such acts can be severely punished,” the Muslims of Italy page reportedly said.

Salsi reported the incident to the local division of the Digos anti-terror squad, while Reggio Emilia police beefed up security at the paper’s newsroom in the heart of the city’s historic district.

The online threats appeared the day Salsi reported on restrictive court measures issued against an unemployed Reggio man who converted to Islam a decade ago and who was one of the administrators of the Muslims of Italy page. Salsi reported he was being considered “dangerous” by the court due to his comments on Facebook, for which he was investigated for terrorism by Bologna prosecutors.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Finance Minister Says Brexit Would Push EU to Reform

The European Union (EU) would survive Britain leaving the bloc, and a Brexit could even spur European leaders into taking a new direction, the German Finance Minister has said.

Speaking to the University of Basel’s European Institute, the Wolfgang Schäuble said that although a Brexit would be a setback, he remained optimistic for the future of Europe.

“Even a Brexit would, without doubt, just force us to take a new approach and create a new dynamic.”,” he told the gathered audience in Switzerland.

Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that despite Europe’s currently problems, Mr Schäuble said he remained “totally optimistic” for the EU’s future, hinting that Brussels may take advantage of the continent’s multiple crises to push for further integration.

Despite this, he warned the bloc currently has a “crisis of legitimacy” thanks in part to the ongoing migrant influx. “It is quite a long, difficult path ahead of us,” he said.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Italy: Banco Popolare to Increase Capital by 1 Bn

Banco-BPM merger to form Italy’s third biggest bank

(ANSA) — Milan, April 5 — Banco Popolare is to increase its capital by one billion euros in view of a planned merger with Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM), the Verona-based credit institute said in a statement on Tuesday.

The capital increase will be approved by shareholders on May 7. The board of directors will then have 18 months to launch the operation, the statement said. Banco Popolare and BPM are poised to form Italy’s third biggest bank after Intesa and UniCredit. The merger still needs the formal approval of the European central Bank (ECB), although its banking oversight committee reportedly issued “an informal green light” at the end of last month.

Banco Popolare’s stock was down 6% in early trading on Tuesday, taking it to a minimum low of 5.01 euros, after a suspension for excessive volatility.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex-Total Chiefs Convicted in Southern Oil Case

Different case from probe that has hit govt

(ANSA) — Potenza, April 4 — The former chiefs of the Total oil company and various businessmen and officials were sentenced to terms ranging from two to seven years in jail Monday over the construction of the Tempa Rossa oil centre between Corleto Perticara near Potenza and Gorgoglione near Matera. The probe is different from another one into alleged corruption which has touched the government, spurring the resignation of industry minister Federica Guidi last week. Guidi is not under investigation but her boyfriend, oilman Gianluca Gemelli, is.

Prosecutors are currently questioning Reforms and Relations with Parliament Minister Maria Elena Boschi who signed off on an amendment favouring one of Gemelli’s projects, over which Guidi resigned.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Finmeccanica Seals Record Eurofighter Deal With Kuwait

Biggest-ever order, estimated at 3-4 bn

(ANSA) — Rome, April 5 — Italian defence giant Finmeccanica on Tuesday signed a contract to supply 28 Eurofighter Typhoons to Kuwait on the basis of an inter-governmental accord with Italy. It is the biggest contract ever signed by Finmeccanica, believed to be worth between three and four billion euros. The exact worth of the deal has not been released but Finmeccanica is said to be counting on just under 50% of a 7-8 billion-euro contract. “This is Finmeccanica’s largest ever commercial achievement”, said Mauro Moretti, Finmeccanica CEO and General Manager. “It is an outstanding industrial success with significant benefits, not only for our company and the other Eurofighter consortium partners, but also for the entire Italian aerospace industry. The contract will support expertise and skilled jobs at Italian small and medium-sized security and defence companies.” In a statement, Finmeccanica said “the Kuwait Ministry of Defence and Finmeccanica, which leads commercial activities in Kuwait on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium, today signed a contract for the supply of 28 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, to be produced in Italy. “The contract, part of an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries, was signed in the presence of the Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti and her Kuwaiti counterpart, H.E. SHAIKH Gen. Khaled Al Jarrah Al Sabah.

“The contract signed by Finmeccanica includes logistics, operational support and the training of flight crews and ground personnel, which will be carried out in cooperation with the Italian Air Force. The contract also provides for the upgrade of ground-based infrastructure in Kuwait which will be used for Typhoon operations.

“The Eurofighter Typhoon for Kuwait, which will be provided in its most advanced configuration, will be equipped with the cutting-edge new E-Scan radar (Electronically Scanned array radar). The radar is developed by the European EuroRADAR consortium which is led by Finmeccanica.

“The contract with Kuwait was signed following a thorough flight and technical evaluation of a number of competing aircraft in the same category. It is part of a wide-ranging partnership between the Italian Ministry of Defence and the Kuwait Ministry of Defence, which will continue to strengthen cooperation between the two nations and other European members of the Eurofighter consortium (the UK, Germany and Spain).

Finmeccanica is the leading industrial group in the high-technology sector in Italy and one of the main global players in aerospace, defence and security. It operates in five sectors: aeronautics, helicopters, electronics, defence systems and space. The company is partially owned by the Italian government through the economy ministry, which holds 30.204% of Finmeccanica’s shares.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Montezemolo: UBI, Unicredit Named in ‘Panama Papers’

Leaking of Mossack Fonseca documents causes scandal

(ANSA) — Rome, April 4 — Alitalia President and former Ferrari chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Italian banks UBI Banca and Unicredit were among the subjects to be named in the so-called ‘Panama Papers’ case over offshore accounts and companies.

The leaking of around eleven million documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has created a worldwide scandals after many world leaders and famous personalities, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and soccer player Leo Messi, were named.

Holding offshore accounts is not illegal.

But such accounts are often linked to tax evasion and other illegal activity.

Suddeutsche Zeitung shared the documents with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with news weekly L’Espresso getting access in Italy. L’Espresso said it had found about 1,000 Italian clients in its analysis of the documents.

These included former Formula One driver Jarno Trulli and the businessman Giuseppe Donaldo Nicosia, a fugitive of Italian justice after being implicated in a fraud case with jailed ex Senator Marcello dell’Utri. Dell’Utri, who used to be one of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s closest aides, is currently serving a seven-year jail term for mafia links. L’Espresso said Montezemolo’s name appeared in the documents after he was named as an agent for a company called Lenville in a series of contracts signed early in 2007. “The manager, who at the time was president of Fiat and Ferrari, allegedly received a mandate to use an account at Bim Suisse, the Swiss branch of the Italian Banca Intermobiliare,” L’Espresso said.

Sources close to Montezemolo said Monday that the Alitalia president, who is also head of Rome’s bid committee for the 2024 Olympics, does not own any offshore companies. “Neither Montezemolo, nor his family, possess any offshore companies,” the sources said.

UniCredit said that “Mossack Fonseca is not a tax consultant for the parent group”.

UBI Banca said “we do not have subsidiary companies in those locations” referring to Panama and the Seychelles.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EC Won’t Oppose ILVA Taranto Cleanup

According to documents seen by ANSA

(ANSA) — Rome, April 6 — The European Commission won’t nix Italian government measures to decontaminate an ILVA steel plant and surrounding areas in the southern city of Taranto, according to documents ANSA has seen Wednesday. The EC “does not intend to oppose possible immediate action Italian authorities believe to be necessary and urgent to safeguard the health of citizens” said the document to be published on the EU official gazette. Financing such a cleanup will not be considered illegal State aid, the document said.

The European Steel Association (EUROFER) appeared to believe the European Commission would instead consider the cleanup a form of State aid, according to a March 31 letter ANSA has seen. The association is among the signatories of an appeal against Italy, which prompted an EC assessment.

Extraordinary commissioners are managing ILVA as the firm undergoes a massive environmental cleanup and financial turnaround project. A court this year declared ILVA insolvent, with debt totalling nearly three billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: BTG Pactual Asks Generali for Damages Linked to Bsi

Connected to 1Malaysia Development, bank mired in scandal

(ANSA) — Milan, April 6 — BTG Pactual is asking Italian insurance giant Generali for damages related to losses it said it suffered with Swiss private bank BSI, said Bloomberg on Wednesday following a release from BTG on Tuesday evening.

BTG said the losses are connected to 1Malaysia Development Bank (1MDB), which is currently mired in a corruption scandal involving Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

BTG, a Brazilian financial company, purchased BSI from Generali in September 2015.

Generali said that BTG’s request for damages doesn’t “furnish any evidence to support possible violation of a declaration according to the sales contract”.

BTG resold BSI just five months after its purchase from Generali, after a corruption scandal brought the arrest of former BTG chief André Esteves.

Bloomberg reported that BTG notified Generali of the damages request by letter, in which the company said it had a “right to damages to cover potential liabilities linked to BSI activity with a Malaysian state fund”.

Last week BSI chief Stefano Coduri told investors that his bank was ceasing activity with 1MDB due to “official investigations” now underway.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway: Police Did Not Approve of His Profile Picture

Police in Norway increasingly monitor people on Facebook.

A 19 year old man in Haugesund was at 4 o’clock in the night visited by the police who did not like his profile picture, writes Radio Haugaland.

The man had posted a profile picture on Facebook of what looked like an automatic weapon.

– Police seized a “Softgun” from the man, said operations manager at the Police Department in Haugesund.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Polls Open in Dutch Referendum on EU-Ukraine Trade Deal

Many see it as evidence of unwanted EU expansionism

(ANSA-AP) — THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Polls have opened in a Dutch referendum on a far-reaching free trade deal meant to foster closer ties between Ukraine and the European Union that has run into opposition in the Netherlands where many see it as evidence of unwanted EU expansionism.

Wednesday’s non-binding vote in the Netherlands exposes deep divisions about this country’s place in Europe and comes less than three months before British citizens decide in their own referendum whether to leave the EU altogether.

Dutch opponents of the EU-Ukraine association agreement argue its ultimate goal is bringing Kiev into the EU. Supporters say it is not a membership stepping stone and will boost trade and help battle corruption and improve human rights in the former Soviet republic on Europe’s eastern edge.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scotland: Student Accused of Violating University ‘Safe Space’ By Raising Her Hand

Imogen Wilson, the vice-president for academic affairs at Edinburgh University Students’ Association Credit: Imogen Wilson

A university student was threatened with being thrown out of a meeting after being accused of violating “safe space” rules — by raising her hand.

Imogen Wilson, the vice-president for academic affairs at Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), spoke out against safe space rules becoming “a tool for the hard left to use when they disagree with people”, following the incident last week.

Ms Wilson, 22, was subject to a “safe space complaint” over her supposedly “inappropriate hand gestures” during a student council meeting.

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

Swiss Muslim Students Exempt From Shaking Hands With Female Teachers

Two male Muslim high school students in Switzerland refused to take part in the traditional handshake lineup with female teachers, so the school board ruled they will no longer have to.

A long-standing tradition in Switzerland is that male students shake hands with their female teachers. Two students in the canton of Basel-Country, the Swiss equivalent of a state, complained that shaking a woman’s hand was against their religious beliefs as Muslims.

The students argued Islam forbids them from having any sort of physical contact with women who aren’t immediate family members.

The education board decided to exempt the students — aged 14 and 15 — from the hand shaking ritual, to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

“It is difficult when someone refuses to adopt our way of life,” Christine Akeret, who is in charge of the local school board, told the media.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Don’t Hold a Fire Sale, Javid Begs Tata Chief Ahead of Crunch Talks in Mumbai Over the Future of Steel Plants at Port Talbot and Across the UK

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will plead with Tata Steel not to carry out a ‘fire sale’ of its UK plants today, amid growing fears they could be shut down within weeks.

Mr Javid was due to fly to Mumbai last night for crunch talks today with Tata chairman Cyrus Mistry over the future of the giant Port Talbot steelworks and the firm’s other UK plants.

David Cameron also gave the first hint that the Government could perform a U-turn on steel tariffs by backing higher EU levies in order to ‘crack down on the dumping of Chinese steel’.

The move comes amid mounting concern that EU rules could scupper a Government rescue deal designed to save the firm’s British steel plants and prop up its giant pension fund.

[Comment: England used to have a strong steel industry until communist unions killed it. Now resorting to begging foreign firms not to pull out.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Girl ‘Who Was First Sexually Abused by Asian Gang When She Was 15 Was Raped Again in Front of Her Sleeping Baby Son’

A girl who was first abused by an Asian sex gang when she was a teenager was raped again by the same men as an adult, a court heard.

The defendants then ‘caught up’ with the woman once she reached her 20s and abused her between 2005 and 2007, in one occasion raping her in front of her baby son, it is claimed.

She is one of two women who claim they were abused by the gang of men as teenagers.

The second girl was just 13 when she was first targeted in 2007 and was the victim of a number of sexual assaults over two years, it is claimed.

Oxford Crown Court heard both girls were ‘enticed’ into a cycle of abuse that they were ‘not equipped’ to handle, or remove themselves from.

Qasim Hussain, 30, Owais Khan, 32, Assad Hussain, 35, Anjum Dogar, 34, and Alladitta Yousef, 46, known as ‘The Governor’, are all charged with a string of sex offences.

Naim Khan, 37, is also accused of supplying the girls with drugs while Akhtar Dogar, 35, faces an additional charge of threatening to kill the alleged victims.

The men, all from Oxford, stand charged with a total of 41 counts…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

UK: How Europe’s Judges Put Our Safety at Risk

Time and again, the unaccountable judges of the European Court of Justice have flouted both national sovereignty and simple common sense.

Indeed, in their determination to undermine our parliamentary and judicial system, they have become a serious threat to democracy.

In its latest idiocy, the court has ruled that two suspects, a Romanian and a Hungarian, cannot be deported to their home countries because this would infringe their human rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Teens Who Killed Angela Wrightson Escaped 18 Times From Care Homes

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The girls were just 13 and 14 when they spent nine hours battering frail Angela Wrightson at her Hartlepool home with her few meagre possessions, including a television set, coffee table and a shovel…

The appalling murder sent shockwaves across the nation and raised urgent questions about how we care for our most troubled children as it emerged the pair had absconded from care homes 18 times in the 30 nights before they battered Miss Wrightson to death.

Last night the authorities were accused of being ‘failures’ and the detective who led the inquiry described the murder as the most brutal of his career.

[Comment: Pure evil filth. If you haven’t read about this nightmare case, you should. But only if you have a strong stomach and keep your blood pressure medication close.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Warning: Athens Must Build First Mosque or Face Islamic Terror

Athens — the last European capital without a mosque — is likely to be hit by Islamic terror attacks unless it rapidly builds one with tax payer money, local government officials have warned.

“Every day that we do not have an official mosque and Imam in Athens, we pay for in the increased risk of the radicalisation of Muslims”, an official at the Education and Religious Affairs Ministry who wished to remain anonymous told Kathimerini.

The official argued that so long Muslims continued to meet, “in the dark and unofficial places of worship”, without government appointed Imams and away from public scrutiny, they would be more inclined towards radical Islam.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Cannibal ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Who Cut Out and Ate an Assad Soldier’s Heart and Liver is Killed ‘After His Convoy Was Ambushed’

The ‘cannibalistic’ Syrian rebel who was filmed eating a regime soldier’s heart and liver has been killed in an ambush along the coast.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Emirates: Three Lebanese Charged With Creating Hezbollah Affiliated Group

The trio will have to serve a sentence of six months in prison. Upon expiry of the terms of custody they will be expelled. They have also done business, economic and political, “without the necessary permits.” A satirical cartoon and an offensive placard further exacerbate relations between Beirut and Riyadh.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) — A United Arab Emirates court (UAE) has sentenced three Lebanese citizens to prison, one of them with dual Canadian and Lebanese citizenship, for having formed — allegedly — a local movement affiliated with Hezbollah.

According to reports from the Ittihad newspaper, the Federal Supreme Court has sentenced the three men to six months in prison. In its judgment the court said that the trio was forming a point “group for the [terrorists] Hezbollah in the country”.

Local sources also add that once the three Lebanese citizens have served their sentence, they will be expelled from the UAE. The condemnation came yesterday confirming the progressive deterioration in relations between Lebanon and Arab nations, with the governments of the region threatening to expel Lebanese citizens and block their bank accounts.

Reporting the condemnation, the Gulf News said that the judges also questioned “the commercial, economic and political conduct without the necessary permits”.

The three convicted are Canadian-Lebanese citizen Suhail Gareeb Naif, 62, the Lebanese Asaad Ameen Qansouh 66 years and 30 year-old Lebanese Ahmed Ebrahim Qansou.

Hezbollah is a Shiite militant armed group disliked by Riyadh and the Arab states of the region, whose influence in Lebanese politics has grown more in recent decades. Allies and supported by Iran, they have put their military force at the service of the Syrian President Assad in fighting the al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) and the Islamic state (IS), inflicting heavy defeats.

Last month the Arab League declared the Lebanese Shiite movement “terrorist”, following a similar decision taken earlier by the Gulf monarchies for the movement’s alleged interference in Yemen and Iraq.

Meanwhile, a new front has opened in the conflict between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, over a satirical cartoon published last week by the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat, likening the Land of the Cedars to an April fool. In response, in the following days some nationalists have posted a billboard on the Nahr el-Mott highway, very critical of Saudi Arabia. The gesture resulted — albeit with a few caveats — in a wave of Lebanese political condemnations.

The bilboard, exposed on a large scroll director in a predominantly Christian area, is depicts the words “machinery of death”, a reference to the Saudi royal family, and a bloody saber, another reference to the Wahhabi kingdom, ready to sever the head of a person. It was removed after a few hours by Lebanese security forces.

It should also be added that Riyadh has recently carried out two other death sentences bringing to 84 the total number of people put to death so far this year.

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

Islamic State’s Oil Revenues ‘Slashed’ By Air Strikes: French Experts

Air strikes targeting oil facilities controlled by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq have greatly eroded the jihadists’ production capabilities and almost halted exports, French industry experts have told a parliamentary committee.

Francis Perrin, head of the French company Energy Strategies and Policies, and Francis Duseux, president of the French Union of Oil Industries, estimated on Tuesday that IS was now producing between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels a day compared to double that amount in mid-2014.

Duseux described IS’s situation in Syria as “critical” because it was no longer able to even meet the fuel needs for its war against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“The air strikes by the US-led coalition have had a big effect, especially since the launch of Tidal Wave II in autumn 2015,” Perrin said at the committee hearing held on Tuesday…

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

Thanks to Erdogan: Turkey is on the Brink of Disaster

As Turkey’s president rejects outsiders’ “lessons in democracy”, journalists are arrested, and lawmakers and scholars are accused of terrorism. Until a few years ago, Erdogan seemed to favour European Union membership, human rights and protection for religious minorities. Now he seems bent on establishing a quasi-dictatorship.

Ankara (AsiaNews) — Back from a trip to the United States, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the West for giving Turkey “lessons in democracy”.

“Those who attempt to give us lessons in democracy and human rights must first contemplate their own shame,” Erdogan told a meeting of the Turkish Red Crescent in Ankara.

His comments came after US President Barack Obama said Turkey’s approach towards the media was taking it “down a path that would be very troubling.”

More and more, Erdogan’s government has been accused of increasing authoritarianism, muzzling critical media, arresting journalists, charging Kurdish lawmakers with terrorism offences, and taking judges and academics to court. Such a dangerous game could lead the country to disaster.

Turkey has been derailed from its vision of closer integration with the EU, the adherence to fundamental freedoms and human rights and the freedom of press since the third term of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) when it won the elections in 2011.

The popular support for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP, in every election since 2002 resulted in success against the military tutelage in Turkey, which held the nation in a choke hold by way of memoranda and interventions if not outright coups.

Erdogan came to power at the turn of the century as Turkey coiled from a crippling financial crisis in 2001, which left the economy in ruins, a post-modern coup d’état which had taken place just in 1997 and was still being felt strongly, as he promised EU membership and end to military tutelage, justice for all and financial upheaval for the country.

The AKP’s conservative “moderate” Muslim base found their support for the AKP bolstered by the votes of disillusioned leftists and liberals, who believed that Turkey needed a new impetus to gain traction in social and economic reforms.

Many religious groups, including the Hizmet Movement, inspired by the reclusive Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who resides in rural Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile, supported the AKP’s pledge of a more free Turkey that was ready to confront its problems from the past, such as s the Kurdish issue, whilst striving for a more prosperous future.

Turkish people were spell bound by Erdogan’s energetic rhetoric which fused together a conservative and patriotic discourse with modern western values. Erdogan’s rise was crowned with a referendum on September 12, 2010, thirty years to the day of the dreadful 1980 military coup, making significant changes to the 1982 military-sponsored constitution which is in place in Turkey today.

However as much as the 2010 referendum was the funeral toll for the military tutelage in Turkey, it presented Erdogan and his associates with a conundrum, there were no enemies that the AKP could use to rally the people behind it.

This problem manifest itself onward from the 2011 elections when Erdogan and the AKP began to stray from the path to democratization they had promised the Turkish people, characteristically marked by a sharpening of the Prime Minister’s discourse and the eventual habit of inventing enemies, foreign and domestic.

Erdogan, and the media outlets he had begun to collect under his control from as early as 2007, began demonizing different sections of Turkey’s population, including Armenian Christians, Jews, Greeks, Kurds and Shia Muslims.

Turkey’s once lauded “zero problems with neighbors policy” crumbled as the AKP administration began damaging ties with surrounding countries one by one. For example, the bilateral ties with Israel were all but cut off after the intervention to the Mavi Marmara aid ship en route the Gaza Strip in 2010.

The AKP also became a vocal critic of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad after the Arab Spring uprisings looked as they might topple him in 2011. Turkey currently has over 3 million Syrian refugees within its borders fleeing the civil war in the neighboring country, according to Turkish officials.

Turkey is also currently estranged from Egypt, the largest Arab nation in the Mediterranean, after Erdogan publicly slammed the country’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and supported Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was overthrown by Sisi in a military coup in 2013.

However, Erdogan’s real authoritarianism began to take root after the Gezi Park protests in June 2013, against the AKP’s plans to build an Ottoman style barracks instead of the park in Istanbul’s Taksim square. The police force was criticized for excessive violence, though Erdogan praised the crackdown, saying the police suppression of the protest had been “heroic.”

The protests, the biggest incident of unrest against a government in the history of the Turkish Republic and the first serious challenge to Erdogan’s rule, caused a deeper divide in the already polarized nation. Erdogan has accused the protesters of terrorism and attempting to overthrow his government. Eleven people, many of whom were young demonstrators, were killed in the clashes between police and protestors.

Erdogan’s demonizing of a certain group reached its pinnacle after two far-reaching graft probes were revealed in Dec. 2013, involving four cabinet ministers, high-ranking bureaucrats and businessmen with strong ties to the AKP.

Erdogan blames the Hizmet movement for instigating the corruption probes, claiming the movement tried and failed to carry out a coup against his government. He subsequently waged a self-declared war against the movement, going so far as to say, “If reassigning individuals who betray this country is called a witch hunt, then yes, we will carry out this witch hunt,” during a in 2014.

Erdogan invented the term “parallel state” or “parallel structure,” to refer to members of the Hizmet Movement, upon instigating wave after wave of police operations against the group, the latest being the seizure of the Zaman daily, the largest circulation daily in Turkey, on grounds that it has links with the group. Turkey has over 30 journalists in prison with over 1800 court cases opened against individuals on the grounds that they insulted the president.

Erdogan became president in 2014 with 52 percent of the vote allowing him to proceed with his authoritarian agenda and vision for an executive presidential system to replace the parliamentary system currently used.

However, despite all the ostracization Turkey has been facing abroad, and the domestic turmoil Erdogan has been wreaking within to realize his goal of an unchecked presidential system, the main difficulty Turkey faces today would most succinctly be put as the Kurdish problem.

In 2013, the Turkish government headed by Erdogan brokered a settlement with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). The Settlement Process, as it was called, envisaged granting the country’s long-repressed Kurdish minority greater rights and autonomy in exchange for a cease-fire after a three-decade insurgency that claimed the lives of more than 40,000.

The ceasefire was ended, by the PKK in July 2015, a month after the AKP, still under Erdogan’s control, lost the majority in parliament that it held since 2002. The PKK’s attacks after the ending of the ceasefire and Erdogan’s heavy-handed retaliation in the country’s southeast resembled a civil war during the summer of 2015. The PKK’s return to arms and Erdogan’s retaliation was viewed by many as the president’s tactics to cause havoc and pressure the people to vote for the AKP in the snap elections that were held in November.

A reoccurrence of the situation after the June 7 elections, when the AKP had lost power, would mean the reopening of graft investigations against members of the AKP and family members of Erdogan himself. However, Erdogan’s scaremongering ahead of the Nov. 1 paid off as the AKP won 49 percent of the vote, allowing Turkey’s embattled president to continue pushing Turkey near the edge off a cliff, just in order to keep his grip on power and escape the graft probes that could see his family members behind bars.

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

China Won’t Waste Its Time on Wind Power

China is building coal-fired plants (about one every 2 days)(i] and nuclear plants to supply its energy needs, but has decided not to waste its time on wind power, according to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA). The local authorities in Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang-the windiest areas in China-were told to no longer approve conventional wind power projects until there is better infrastructure to transmit and use the power.

These regions have more wind turbines than the rest of China combined-about 71 gigawatts.[ii] According to the NEA, 33.9 billion kilowatt-hours of wind power (15 percent of China’s total wind power) was wasted in 2015 because of low utilization efficiency.[iii] This is not a new issue. China ordered its wind operators to stop increasing its wind power four times in the last five years because wind’s unreliability was damaging the country’s power grid and costing the government enormous amounts of money. China is learning from its experience with wind power.

Instead of the United States learning from China’s actions, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is promulgating onerous regulations that will push the United States into even more intermittent renewable power (wind and solar), making Americans pay higher costs for its energy. After all, he announced that “under my plan, electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket.” Since President Obama took office, residential electricity prices have increased 13 percent, and higher prices will come as EPA’s regulations are implemented.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mexican Government Changes Diplomats to Counter Trump’s ‘Hostile’ Message

The Mexican government has begun to circle the wagons as the possibility of a Trump presidency begins to take shape. This week, Mexico changed key members of it’s diplomatic team in order to “remain firm” amid what they are calling a “hostile” environment.

These comments were made Wednesday afternoon by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu during a meeting with various members of that country’s senate, Mexico’s La Jornada reported. During that meeting, Ruiz Massieu spoke about the most significant change, the recent replacement of Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Miguel Basanez by Carlos Sada Solana. The change was a sudden one since Basanez had only served as ambassador for seven months before he was replaced.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

EU Border Agency: 1.8m+ Illegal Migrants in 2015, ‘Staggering’ Number of Jihadis

The European Union’s own border agency, Frontex, had admitted that it has no way of knowing the true number of illegal immigrants crossing the continent as it has no means to track them. It concedes that a “staggering number” of jihadis have taken advantage of the situation to enter Europe.

Despite widespread claims that the migrants are all refugees fleeing the war in Syria, it is now known that at least two of the terrorists who carried out the Paris attack last November were EU citizens who had gone to Syria to train as jihadis, and who exploited the migration wave to re-enter Europe.

Frontex has confirmed that they entered the EU via the Greek island of Leros, where they presented fraudulent Syrian documents.

“The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU,” said the report, Frontex’s Risk Analysis for 2016. “With no thorough check or penalties in place for those making false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Frontex: EU Border Vulnerable to Terrorist Infiltration

The European Union borders are vulnerable to terrorists using illegal migrant flows to enter as border guards are often unable to determine the identity or nationality of migrants, Frontex says.

In a report just released, Europe’s border guard says that, “As the vast majority of migrants arrive undocumented, screening activities are essential to properly verify their declaration of nationality.”

“False declarations of nationality are rife among nationals who are unlikely to obtain asylum in the EU,” says the Frontex report, stressing there are “no penalties in place for those making such false declarations.”

The Frontex report warns that, “There is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

GOP Chairman: Islamic Terrorists Likely to Use Porous Southern Border to Infiltrate U.S.

The southern border represents a potential vulnerability that terrorists could use to gain access to the U.S., according to Senate Homeland Security Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

“My concern would be those Islamic terrorist operatives moving through Africa into Central or South America and then coming up through our completely porous border,” Johnson said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday evening.

He noted that Europe is currently “more vulnerable” to Islamic terrorism due to it’s proximity to Syria and its large influx of migrants but stressed that America is also at risk.

“You could have someone with a completely clean record, who’s been self-radicalized in Europe, using the Visa Waiver Program as well,” he said. “I think it’s more likely though that you move those individuals through our porous southern border.”

“We’ve actually got a category at Homeland Security called SIAs, special interest aliens,” Johnson added. “These individuals are being picked up in Central America — from Yemen and Somalia and Syria and from Pakistan. That’s where I think our greatest danger is.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Greece Postpones Deportations From Large Migrant Camps

The landmark EU-Turkey migrant summit deal may already be failing as Greece decides to postpone deportations in large migrant camps.

There were no deportations of migrants from the Greek island of Lesbos on Tuesday because, according to the Greeks, there were no ships available to take them. A Turkish official, on the other hand, claimed that 200 migrants will be returned to Turkey on Wednesday, though there has been no confirmation of whether this will happen reports Spiegel online.

The European Union Commission seemed in the dark about the whole affair and the spokesman for the commission refused to comment on questions from journalists who asked about the sudden stop in deportations. “We can’t give out any information,” a spokeswoman told press. They are said to be solely focusing on migrants who have filed asylum applications, which has not stopped even since the EU-Turkey deal came into effect on Monday.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Mass Migration is Allowing Terrorists to Pour Into Europe, EU’s Border Agency Admits

Frontex said a large number of people arriving mainly in Greece and Italy with false documents are not facing thorough checks or penalties. It said migration patterns could be used by terrorists.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Norway to Jail Migrants Whose Asylum Seeker Claims Are Deemed ‘Obviously Groundless’

The plan is part of a bill proposed today by Norway’s Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug (pictured) and aims to stop claimants evading police and turning to crime if they know they will be rejected.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Record Number of Illegal Entries in 2015 Says Border Agency

Risk of terrorists among migrants — Frontex

(ANSAmed) — Brussels, April 6 — European Union border agency Frontex said in a report on Wednesday that there was a record number of illegal entries in 2015. “Last year, an estimated one million migrants arrived in Europe, accounting for the record number of 1.82 million detections of illegal border crossings reported by EU Member States,” Frontex said in its risk analysis report for 2016. “The number of detections was more than six times the previous record set in 2014”.

Frontex said in the report that there is a threat of terrorists mingling among asylum seekers to enter Europe. “The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU,” Frontex said in its risk analysis report for 2016. “Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process”.

Frontex said an estimated one million migrants arrived in Europe last year, accounting for the record number of 1.82 million detections of illegal border crossings reported by EU Member States. It said that was was more than six times the previous record set in 2014”. The report highlighted that Italy and Greece have been hit particularly hard by the crisis, while noting that it is no longer just an problem for those countries.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Senior Trump Adviser Stephen Miller: Remittances From Illegal Immigration Finance ‘Corruption and Cartels in Mexico’

Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor for Donald Trump, told Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon he was shocked at President Obama’s response to Trump’s proposal to end remittances from illegal aliens back to Mexico as a means of curtailing illegal immigration, as it appeared the president was more concerned with Mexico’s economy than jobs for Americans.

“We’re financing corruption and cartels in Mexico,” Miller said about remittances. “Far from being compassionate, having illegal immigration and an open border finances failed political systems and violent cartels in Mexico that are spreading economic misery there. Until we remove the release valve of illegal immigration from Mexico, they’re not going to be able to get their house in order.”

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

Sustainable Development, Migration and the Multi-Cultural Destruction of the Nation-State

Depending on where you live and how sensitive you are to the global mass-immigration crisis, your reaction to it will be somewhere between head-scratching and shell-shocked incredulity. The purpose of this report is to give you some concrete evidence about where these policies originated and to what ends they were created.

A major player is Peter Sutherland, who in past years has served as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, as Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, as EU Commissioner, as Chairman of BP and Chair of London School of Economics Council, among other things. Most importantly, however, he is the European Honorary Chairman of the elitist Trilateral Commission.

His relevance to this article is that in 2006 he was appointed by the United Nations’ to be theSpecial Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration.

Needless to say, whatever comes out of Sutherland’s mouth is certifiably representative of official policy of the Trilateral Commission and the global elite at large. In fact, he is one of the most respected policy-makers in the world, and many consider him to be the “father of globalization”.

[Comment: Recommended reading. Planned destruction of western nation states (implemented by traitor political class) prior to implementing a global collective (communist) world order runby banksters.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Two-Thirds of Germans Want End to Open Borders

Germans appear to be losing faith in the idea of a borderless Europe, as the results of a poll published on Tuesday showed that two-thirds would prefer the government to end the Schengen free-movement zone.

The survey by French pollsters Ifop found that while 60 percent of Italians were against Schengen — an agreement which allows people to travel within the EU without showing a passport — across the Rhine the number of French people wanting borders closed was as high as 72 percent.

It shows that the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris “stoked the feeling that things have escalated out of control,” Ifop opinion research director Jérôme Fourquet told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Migrant Numbers Fuel GP Crisis With Too Few Doctors Recruited

Figures revealed up to four million people have to queue outside surgeries for a same-day appointment and the population could reach almost 80 million within 25 years if migration continues to rise.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Expelling White Heterosexuals From the News Business

The real one percent is in charge and growing stronger by the day. They are now determined to expel normal, white heterosexuals from the newsroom

The media are once again going nuts over the fact that a state legislature has acted to protect Christians and their churches and businesses from the demands of various sexual minorities. As we have noted before, the power of the real one percent has enormous influence in the major media. The real one percent consists of the open and closeted homosexuals and their allies in positions of power in the major media, academia and the corporate world.

When they want to make an example of Indiana, North Carolina and now Mississippi, they can do so. It is something to behold. They have the ability to make an entire state look like a hotbed of homophobia and hate. The special rights of homosexuals and even “transgendered” people suddenly take precedence over the constitutional rights of religious believers.

What is being demanded is nothing less than the “right” of a man to dress up as a woman and invade the privacy of real women and girls in a ladies’ restroom. That is one of the “rights” that is at stake in what is happening in Mississippi. The legislature and the governor have rejected what is clearly perverted behavior and have affirmed the rights and privacy of those of who understand the science of DNA and biological differences.

Before Mississippi took center stage as the most villainous state, North Carolina was under attack because its legislature passed-and its governor signed-a bill known as the North Carolina Public Facilities and Security Act. It will prohibit men from using women’s restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms.

Liberty Counsel, which is offering to defend the law in court, points out, “The North Carolina law was passed to maintain statewide uniformity and prevents abuse, such as has happened in other states. Recently, a 51-year-old cross-dressing male in Georgia entered the women’s restroom and exposed himself to women who were shocked and offended. In Minneapolis, a 15-year-old boy entered the girls’ locker room where five girls were in various stages of undress as they prepared for a basketball game. The boy looked around and disrobed in front of the frightened girls. When the girls and the parents complained, school authorities said they could not prevent boys from using the girls’ locker room because of the so-called ‘transgender’ policy.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mississippi Gov. Signs Religious Freedom Bill Despite LGBT Pressure

Governor Bryant: “Bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution”

Defying the trend of Republican governors in other states, the governor of Mississippi has signed a law protecting people of conscience from being compelled to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (H.B. 1523) yesterday, saying that the government may not compel religious organizations or individuals who have a sincere objection to take part in any homosexual couple’s “wedding.”

“I am signing H.B. 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations from discriminatory actions from state government or its political subdivisions,” Gov. Bryant said in a statement released this afternoon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

PayPal Cancels North Carolina Expansion After New State Law Defies Gay Movement

It is happening again. They’ve got it down to a science and it works every time, so why should they stop?

As much as you’re paying attention to what actually happened — PayPal hops on the corporate self-righteousness/pandering bandwagon by welching on a commitment it made to expand in the state mere weeks ago — pay attention to how USA Today approaches the story, particularly the words it uses:…

One thing I’ve noticed with these stories is that the media quickly co-opts the language of the activists, and USA Today has certainly done so here. To describe this is an “anti-gay law,” especially in what’s supposed to be a straight news story, is really pushing credulity. The law does two things: First, it says that when you’re using a public bathroom, you have to use the bathroom that corresponds to your gender at the time of your birth. Does the rationale for this really need to be explained? People in public restrooms — particularly women in ladies’ rooms — don’t want someone of the opposite sex just wandering in and claiming they “identify” as something other than what they actually are. It’s astonishing to me that we’ve reached the point as a society where this is controversial.

Second, the state law supercedes any local laws that may be passed to the contrary, which is done strictly to ensure there is uniformity throughout the state. This is what USA Today tries to present as something that “prevents cities and counties from passing rules preventing discrimination against gays,” etc. No it doesn’t. It simply says that people throughout North Carolina will be protected in public bathrooms from having to deal with miscreants who misrepresent their gender. If you want to pass a law in your city against discrimination in housing or whatever else, have at it.

But as has happened in other states, the facts scarcely matter. As soon as gay activists get wind of the law and crank up the outrage routine, the usual corporations get on board and start the threats.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Scientist vs. The SPLC

by Steve Sailer

The dumbing down of the establishment left is amusingly illustrated by how the Southern Poverty Law Center, America’s most lucrative hate group, put the great scientist Henry Harpending (1944—2016) on their “Extremist Info” blacklist as a “White Nationalist” on the grounds that

Henry Harpending is a controversial anthropologist at the University of Utah who studies human evolution and, in his words, “genetic diversity within and between human populations.”

(Do you ever get the feeling that SPLC staffers are just going through the motions for the money, or perhaps even intentionally trolling their own racket?)

Henry, who died over the weekend, was the rare college professor whose career justified the concept of tenure. The holder of a chair at the U. of Utah in anthropology, the subject perhaps most emasculated by political correctness, he enjoyed a double-sided career as a cultural researcher in the field and as a quantitative genetic theorist at the whiteboard.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]

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