Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/28/2018

An improvised explosive device blew up near a tour bus in the Haram area in Egypt on the road from Cairo to the Great Pyramids. Four people (or two, according to some reports) were killed and a dozen or more others wounded. Three of the dead were Vietnamese tourists, and the other was a tour guide. No group has claimed responsibility.

In other news, President Trump took to Twitter to demand that Congress fund the wall, or else he will close the southern border in its entirety. Mr. Trump also insisted that “ridiculous immigration laws” be reformed.

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

Thanks to DV, MB, Reader from Chicago, 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.

USA
» Boston Marathon Bomber Wants Conviction, Death Sentence Overturned
» Google & Facebook Fed Ad Dollars to Child Porn Discovery Apps
» Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech
» Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes
» NY Times Reporter Spoke at Event Organized by Group Behind Secret Alabama Senate Race Disinformation Campaign
» Trump Imposes Pay Freeze on Civilian Feds for 2019
 
Canada
» M103: Alive and Well in Toronto
» Maxime Bernier Challenges Quebec Political Orthodoxy With New Party
 
Europe and the EU
» “There’s No Democracy in the European Parliament, It’s a Joke!” — Former Czech President
» African Soldier Sues British Army Over Cold Weather
» Angela Merkel: Nation States Must be Willing to “Give Up Their Sovereignty”
» Belgians First? Nationalist Party Doubles Support as European Spring Continues
» British Man Jailed for Writing Rude Christmas Card
» France: Yellow Vest Protesters Try to Storm Macron’s Holiday Resort
» French Yellow Vests “Are Still Mobilised” And Will Protest on Saturday and New Year’s Eve, Organisers Say
» Google Removes Ads From British Populist News Site Politicalite
» Houellebecq Keeps France Guessing With ‘Angry’ New Novel
» International Security Expert: “Sweden is Heading for Civil War”
» Legal Expert: European Court Ruling Could Open Door to Sharia in EU
» Netherlands: Third ATM Bombing in Amsterdam in Just a Week
» Pepper Spray Legal in Denmark as of January 2019 “To Increase Security of Citizens”
» Sweden to Release Muslims Who Wanted to “Kill as Many as Possible” Over 2010 Cartoon
» UK: Friend of Jihadist Who Plotted Theresa May Beheading Guilty of Terror Offences
» UK: London: Second Man Injured in ‘Acid Attack’ In One Day
 
North Africa
» Egypt Tourist Bus Explosion: Two Dead and 12 Injured After Blast Near Pyramids
» Egypt Tourist Bus Bombing Near Pyramids: At Least 4 Dead, 11 Wounded
 
Middle East
» Iraqi Archbishop Praises Trump for Aid to Persecuted Christians
 
Latin America
» Hungarian Prime Minister to Attend Inauguration of New Brazilian President
 
Immigration
» FBI: Record Number of Illegal Immigrants Barred From Buying Guns
» Illegal Migrants Try to Seize French Fishing Boats for Cross-Channel Runs
» Nine Migrants in Custody for Gang Raping German Teen Girl After DNA Match
» Police: Illegal Alien Suspected of Killing Officer Day After Christmas
» Sweden’s “Pro-Migration Government” Has Governed it Into an Uncertain Domestic Situation — Hungarian FM
» Swedish Journo Disillusioned After Witnessing ‘Most Feminist Place on Earth’ Ignore Migrants’ Sex Assaults
» UK Govt Declares Illegal English Channel Migrant Crossings ‘Major Incident’
» UK Home Office Slammed for Failing to Tackle Illegal Migration
» ‘We Build a Wall or Close the Southern Border Entirely’: Trump Demands a Wall and an Overhaul of ‘Ridiculous Immigration Laws’ In the U.S. In Latest Tirade Against Democrats
 
Culture Wars
» Video: Transgender Goes Nuts in Store After Being “Misgendered”
 
General
» AI Competition is the New Space Race
 

Boston Marathon Bomber Wants Conviction, Death Sentence Overturned

Attorneys for the surviving brother of the pair that bombed the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and later murdered a police officer, filed a motion with the First Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday claiming that the judge erred in the case by denying his motions to move the trial out of Boston. He is asking for his death sentence to be overturned.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Google & Facebook Fed Ad Dollars to Child Porn Discovery Apps

Google has scrambled to remove third-party apps that led users to child porn sharing groups on WhatsApp in the wake of TechCrunch’s report about the problem last week. We contacted Google with the name of one of these apps and evidence that it and others offered links to WhatsApp groups for sharing child exploitation imagery. Following publication of our article, Google removed from the Google Play store that app and at least five like it. Several of these apps had more than 100,000 downloads, and they’re still functional on devices that already downloaded them.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In a glass conference room at its California headquarters, Facebook is taking on the bonfires of hate and misinformation it has helped fuel across the world, one post at a time.

The social network has drawn criticism for undermining democracy and for provoking bloodshed in societies small and large.

But for Facebook, it’s also a business problem.

The company, which makes about $5 billion in profit per quarter, has to show that it is serious about removing dangerous content. It must also continue to attract more users from more countries and try to keep them on the site longer.

How can Facebook monitor billions of posts per day in over 100 languages, all without disturbing the endless expansion that is core to its business? The company’s solution: a network of workers using a maze of PowerPoint slides spelling out what’s forbidden.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes

Nearly 40 years after it was proposed, mathematicians have settled one of the most profound questions in the study of general relativity. In a paper posted online last fall, mathematicians Mihalis Dafermos and Jonathan Luk have proven that the strong cosmic censorship conjecture, which concerns the strange inner workings of black holes, is false.

“I personally view this work as a tremendous achievement — a qualitative jump in our understanding of general relativity,” emailed Igor Rodnianski, a mathematician at Princeton University.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

NY Times Reporter Spoke at Event Organized by Group Behind Secret Alabama Senate Race Disinformation Campaign

A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter spoke at a private gathering organized by a group that funded the secret effort to convince voters that the Russian government was supporting Alabama Republican Roy Moore in last year’s Senate election, according to a new report.

Scott Shane, the newspaper’s national security reporter, was one of the authors who broke the story that American Engagement Technologies, a firm run by former Obama appointee Mikey Dickerson and funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman, spent $100,000 on a project aimed at emulating Russian disinformation tactics.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Imposes Pay Freeze on Civilian Feds for 2019

After months of speculation, President Trump followed through on a March proposal and instituted a pay freeze for federal civilian employees.

In an executive order issued Friday, Trump confirmed that pay rates would remain stagnant next year for non-military federal workers. The news comes despite statements from the president in September that he would “study” whether to provide feds with a pay raise after all.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

M103: Alive and Well in Toronto

Beth Tikvvah Synagogue in Toronto was planning on renting their space to the organization ‘Canadians for the Rule of Law’ for a conference entitled ‘The New Taboo: Respect for the Rule of Law in Canada’ to discuss topics of radicalism within the Canadian community. Their topics are to cover 1. the radical left; 2. radical Islamists; and 3. the radical right

The synagogue has since decided against hosting this conference after correspondence from Karen Mock, president of the progressive Jewish group JSpace Canada. She argued that there would be much negative media attention due to “the Islamophobia and bigotry associated with some of these groups and individuals.”

Rabbi Jarrod Grover stated that the decision to pull out was to avoid a media circus, not to stifle free speech. He reiterated that his was a religious institution, not a political venue.

           — Hat tip: MB [Return to headlines]
 

Maxime Bernier Challenges Quebec Political Orthodoxy With New Party

WATCH ABOVE: Maxime Bernier, the new leader of the People’s Party of Canada, said Friday the party was form to “put power back into the people’s hands” and will have a full list of candidates in the 2019 election.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

“There’s No Democracy in the European Parliament, It’s a Joke!” — Former Czech President

Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic talks with Echo TV about the Central European Visegrad Group and the future of Europe.

Klaus fears democracy “is gone” in Europe and he lashes out at the European Union and the gap between elitist governments and their citizens.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

African Soldier Sues British Army Over Cold Weather

A soldier from Africa is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for £150,000, claiming they failed to protect him from cold weather conditions.

Michael Asiamah, from Ghana, brought the negligence claim after allegedly suffering a “cold-related” condition during exercises on Salisbury Plain in March 2016.

According to his lawyers, the 36-year-old suffered pain and numbness in his feet and hands after he was exposed to 18 hours of cold and windy conditions during Exercise Scorpion.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Angela Merkel: Nation States Must be Willing to “Give Up Their Sovereignty”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told an audience in Berlin that “nation states should be willing to give up their sovereignty” and that governments shouldn’t listen to their own citizens on matters of immigration.

During an event aimed at combating populism entitled Parliamentarism in the Tension of Globalization and National Sovereignty, Merkel brazenly said that “nation-states should be willing to give up their sovereignty today” and this should be done via an “orderly process”.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Belgians First? Nationalist Party Doubles Support as European Spring Continues

An Ipsos poll shows that nationalism is on the rise in Belgium as Flemish nationalist party “Vlaams Belang” doubled its support.

Vlaams Belang, a party with Flemish national interests, has grown from 5.5 to 12 per cent in the polls. The party is heavily opposed against Islamisation, mass migration and globalisation.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

British Man Jailed for Writing Rude Christmas Card

The rapidly spreading control of speech and thought in the UK, manifesting itself at times as extreme priggish censorship, was dramatically underlined Friday when a Scottish court jailed a man for writing a sexual Christmas card to his next-door-neighbour.

Falkirk, Scotland, resident Allan West spent Christmas day alone and got drunk, according to a court report by British state broadcaster the BBC.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

France: Yellow Vest Protesters Try to Storm Macron’s Holiday Resort

French President Macron’s holiday resort in Bregancon was almost stormed by around 40 yellow vest protesters, a mayor of a nearby town told AFP on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

French Yellow Vests “Are Still Mobilised” And Will Protest on Saturday and New Year’s Eve, Organisers Say

According to several of the Yellow Vest movement, protests will continue through January, including this Saturday and New Year’s Eve.

“The yellow vests are still mobilised,” Laetitia Dewalle, a spokeswoman of the Yellow Vests, said on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Google Removes Ads From British Populist News Site Politicalite

Google withdrew ads from populist British news website Politicalite last week, over an article about Marine Le Pen. Online ad platform Taboola followed, accusing the site of violating its Acceptable Use policy.

Politicalite was founded in 2017 by British conservative Jordan James. Its deputy editor is Darrell Goodliffe, who is also editor-in-chief of the UKIP-supporting blog Kipper Central. Since its founding, Politicalite has grown its readership to over 500,000 readers a month.

Google’s ad team informed Politicalite that their reposting of an article from partner website Voice of Europe about French right-winger Marine Le Pen violated its policies, although the tech giant would not explain precisely how. After Politicalite removed the article and filed an appeal, Google continued to refuse ad service to the website.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Houellebecq Keeps France Guessing With ‘Angry’ New Novel

Having praised Donald Trump last week as “one of the best American presidents”, Michel Houellebecq, the ageing bad boy of French letters, may have another shock up his sleeve.

The controversial writer, who made his reputation with bestselling novels about sex tourism, swingers clubs and everyday misogyny, has called his next novel after the “happy chemical” which engenders well-being and happiness.

“Serotonin”, which will be published in French on January 4, and then in Italian a week later, comes months after Houellebecq married for a third time, to a Chinese woman some two decades his junior.

Wags on social media have joked that with such a feelgood title, the arch-miserablist may be softening his notoriously cynical view of life in his old age.

But others have warned that the nihilism that marked novels such as “Atomised”, “Platform” and the Prix Goncourt-winning “The Map and the Territory” is unlikely to have been dented by three months of nuptial bliss with Shanghai-born Qianyum Lysis Li.

Critic Nelly Kaprielian, of the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, says the story grapples with globalisation and the crisis gripping provincial France.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

International Security Expert: “Sweden is Heading for Civil War”

International security adviser Olle Fjordgren sees Sweden as a runaway freight train heading for a rock wall.

“We have basically given up and the criminals have seized power. Right now we have nothing to oppose and I can’t see that we could reverse the development,” he tells news blog Ingrid & Maria.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Legal Expert: European Court Ruling Could Open Door to Sharia in EU

French legal expert Gregor Puppinck has said that a recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling in Greece could open up the door for limited aspects of Islamic sharia law to be adopted in Europe.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Netherlands: Third ATM Bombing in Amsterdam in Just a Week

For the third time this week an automated teller machine (cash point) was blown up in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, broadcaster NOS reports.

Last night an ATM of Dutch bank ABN Amro was blown up at the “Surinanameplein” by men who fled on scooter. It’s unclear if any money was taken.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Pepper Spray Legal in Denmark as of January 2019 “To Increase Security of Citizens”

From January, private individuals in Denmark will be allowed to possess and use pepper spray if they are subjected to an assault.

In Sweden, however, it is still prohibited, which means that, particularly women feel more insecure than they would otherwise do.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden to Release Muslims Who Wanted to “Kill as Many as Possible” Over 2010 Cartoon

Four Swedish citizens, one a Tunisian with Swedish residence, sentenced for preparing a terrorist act in 2010, will be released Saturday.

They planned to “kill as many as possible” in a planned bloodbath against the headquarters of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten over Muhammad cartoons.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Friend of Jihadist Who Plotted Theresa May Beheading Guilty of Terror Offences

Mohammad Aqib Imran, 22, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Thursday of terrorism offences after making plans to join Islamic State.

Imran, from Birmingham, was friends with 20-year-old Bangladesh-born north London resident Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, who was jailed earlier this year for plotting to behead Prime Minister Theresa May.

The pair had been caught following investigations and undercover operations from the combined efforts of the Metropolitan Police, MI5, and America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK: London: Second Man Injured in ‘Acid Attack’ In One Day

A man from Tower Hamlets, east London, was rushed to hospital after having ammonia thrown at him — the same day another man in north London was treated after having been attacked with a corrosive substance.

The incident happened in the early evening on Thursday, when a 29-year-old man was attacked with what police believe is ammonia on Roman Road, in the borough of Tower Hamlets which covers much of the traditional East End.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt Tourist Bus Explosion: Two Dead and 12 Injured After Blast Near Pyramids

The explosion reportedly took place when the bus was travelling along the famous Mariouteya Pyramid Road in Cairo, Egypt

Two people have died and 12 have been injured following an explosion on a tourist bus near the pyramids in Giza, Egypt.

Sky News Arabia reports a number of people are dead and wounded following the explosion on a passenger bus in the Haram area.

According to reports, the explosion took place on the Mariouteya Road in the pyramid district, one of the most famous streets in greater Cairo.

The Interior Ministry has confirmed two Vietnamese tourists were killed and 12 others were injured in the improvised bomb blast, Sky News Arabia reports.

Two of those injured included the bus driver and a representative of the tourist company.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt Tourist Bus Bombing Near Pyramids: At Least 4 Dead, 11 Wounded

At least three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide were killed Friday when a roadside bomb struck a tourist bus in Egypt, Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek announced Friday night , according to state-run Ahram Online.

The bombing took place in the Giza region near Cairo, where the pyramids are located.

At least 11 people were wounded, Sadek said. Authorities said earlier the wounded include 10 Vietnamese tourists and the Egyptian bus driver.

The incident occurred on El-Maryoutiya Street in Giza’s Haram district, where an improvised explosive device was hidden near a wall. The bomb went off when the bus went by, authorities said.

No one has claimed responsibility.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez called the attack an act of terrorism…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Iraqi Archbishop Praises Trump for Aid to Persecuted Christians

The archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, thanked President Donald Trump this week for his administration’s support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

“This is the first administration we’ve seen that’s close to us,” Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda told Crux, a U.S.-based online Catholic news outlet.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Hungarian Prime Minister to Attend Inauguration of New Brazilian President

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban confirmed that he will attend the inauguration of Brazil’s next president, Jair Bolsonaro on the 1st of January, according to the local Folhapress news agency.

Among other world leaders, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also attends the event.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

FBI: Record Number of Illegal Immigrants Barred From Buying Guns

The FBI this year has barred a record number of cases of illegal immigrants from buying guns, according to a new report of background checks.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System listed 7,836,600 “illegal/unlawful alien” as of 2018.

That number has been increasing in recent years.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Illegal Migrants Try to Seize French Fishing Boats for Cross-Channel Runs

Illegal migrants appear to have boarded and forced the bridges of a number of French fishing vessels in an attempt to reach the British coast.

French fishermen discovered fishing boats in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer which had seemingly been forced overnight by illegal migrants having to steal the vessels and make a drive across the English Channel, La Voix du Nord reports.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Nine Migrants in Custody for Gang Raping German Teen Girl After DNA Match

An 18-year-old German student in the German city of Freiburg, was given a drink containing a drug rendering her completely “defenceless” at a disco.

She was then taken nearby to some bushes where ten men raped her over the course of four hours. Mayor Horn told tabloid “Bild”, stating the obvious, in October: “The woman is severely traumatised”.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Police: Illegal Alien Suspected of Killing Officer Day After Christmas

The Newman Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department are searching for an illegal alien accused of murdering a California police officer a day after Christmas.

Newman, California Corporal Ronil Singh, 33-years-old, was shot and killed by the illegal alien suspect, whose name has not been released by law enforcement officials.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden’s “Pro-Migration Government” Has Governed it Into an Uncertain Domestic Situation — Hungarian FM

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Friday rejected remarks by his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom criticising Hungary for being “problematic” when it comes to European unity.

Wallstrom told the online edition of Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Thursday that Hungary by itself had prevented the European Union from presenting a united front on multiple occasions.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Swedish Journo Disillusioned After Witnessing ‘Most Feminist Place on Earth’ Ignore Migrants’ Sex Assaults

A female Swedish journalist became disillusioned with her country after witnessing how “in a country that claims to be one of the most feminist places on earth” the media couldn’t care less about reports of Middle Eastern migrants sexually assaulting women en masse at a music festival in 2015.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK Govt Declares Illegal English Channel Migrant Crossings ‘Major Incident’

The UK’s Home Secretary has declared the illegal crossings across the English Channel from France a “major incident” after a sharp rise in boat migrants, mainly Iranian citizens, landing on Kent’s shores.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK Home Office Slammed for Failing to Tackle Illegal Migration

Distracted by Brexit, Sajid Javid’s Home Office has failed to ensure security at UK border’s according the Conservative parliament members. The influx of migrants has not been limited according to a report by The Times newspaper.

The report says that 82 migrants have been detained having attempted to reach the United Kingdom by boat since Tuesday last.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

‘We Build a Wall or Close the Southern Border Entirely’: Trump Demands a Wall and an Overhaul of ‘Ridiculous Immigration Laws’ In the U.S. In Latest Tirade Against Democrats

President Donald Trump returned Friday to a threat to close the nation’s southern border if he doesn’t get his wall money from Congress.

Trump warned as the weekend began that he’ll close every port of entry, if he doesn’t see progress not only on his wall, but on a total immigration overhaul.

‘We build a Wall or close the Southern Border,’ he declared.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Video: Transgender Goes Nuts in Store After Being “Misgendered”

A transgender went nuts in a store because an employee “misgendered” him by calling the biological man “sir” in a confrontation that was caught on video.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

AI Competition is the New Space Race

It’s been another year of relentless artificial-intelligence hype and incremental AI achievement. Machines still beat humans only in carefully constructed environments or at narrow tasks. The good news is that, as the technology progresses, the race for leadership is still wide open, and even Europe, where politicians fret that the continent is lagging behind China and the U.S., is still quite competitive.

According to the Artificial Intelligence Index 2018 annual report, whose steering committee includes leading AI scholars such as Yoav Shoham of Stanford University and Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, AI has progressed on all the measures tracked.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/28/2018

  1. Egypt, people still refuse to believe it’s a dangerous place.

    I’m sure the bus had an armed guard to protect them although no doubt slept most of the time.

    The Nile is quite an open sewer now.

    Just stay home and watch the wonders of the earth on TV. At least the photographers are able to prevent you from seeing the beggars, garbage and sewage.

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