Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/2/2019

Hurricane Dorian has virtually stalled over the Bahamas as a Category 5 (or 4) storm, but is expected to resume movement overnight and turn to the northeast as it passes offshore of the southern Atlantic coast. Nine counties in eastern Florida have ordered mandatory evacuations.

In other news, if Parliament votes against a no-deal Brexit before it is prorogued, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to call a snap election. Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned that the Tories are likely to win that election.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, DV, Insubria, LP, Reader from Chicago, SS, 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. I 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
» CNN Benches Steve Cortes, Its Own Latino Contributor Because He Supports Trump
» In Florida, Evacuations Underway, Flights Canceled for Hurricane Dorian
» Man Who Killed Robert F. Kennedy Stable After Stabbing in Prison
» Millionaire Model Agency Boss and Close Friend of Jeffrey Epstein — Who is Thought to Have Information on the Epstein Case — Has Disappeared
» Remarks Against Antifa Prompt FBI Seizure of Former Marine’s Weapons Under Oregon’s ‘Red Flag’ Law: Reports
» Texas Shootings: Midland to Odessa, Shooter ‘On Long Spiral Down’
» Top Investor: Big Tech Using Smart Speakers for Surveillance
» What? Joe Biden Says He’s Going After Magazines That Can Hold Multiple Bullets
 
Europe and the EU
» Firefighters Rescue Pope Francis Stuck in Elevator for 25 Minutes
» Germany: Berlin Reacts to Far-Right Surge in Eastern Elections
» Italy: Proposed Leftist Coalition Faces Widespread Opposition
» Poland: Security Forces in Warsaw Detain Antifa Extremists Protesting US Vice President Mike Pence’s Visit to Commemorate WWII
» Pope Francis Calls for ‘Drastic Measures’ To Combat ‘Climate Emergency’
» Populist AfD Sees Massive Gains in Eastern German Regional Elections
» UK: Brexit: ‘Election in October’ If MPs Block No Deal
» UK: Blair Says Election Would Result in ‘Comfortable Tory Majority’ As Voters Fear Corbyn Govt
» UK: Johnson Govt Prepares for No Deal Brexit With ‘Get Ready’ Campaign
» UK: Report: Cabinet to Meet Amidst Speculation of Pre-Brexit Snap Election
» UK: Tory Brexiteers Plot to Remove Speaker as Former Deputy Accuses Him of Working in ‘Opposition to the People’
» UK: Ultimatum: Tory Remain MPs to be Kicked Out of Party if They Back Brexit Delay
 
Middle East
» Erdogan’s Elections: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
» Iran Acknowledges Rocket Explosion
 
Far East
» Hong Kong Leader Says She Would ‘Quit’ If She Could, Fears Her Ability to Resolve Crisis Now ‘Very Limited’
» Hong Kong Protestors Using Mesh Messaging App China Can’t Block: Usage Up 3685%
» Hong Kong Neighborhoods Echo With Late Night Cries for Freedom
» Japan: Black Whales in Hokkaido Known as ‘Crows’ Found to be New Species
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Dozens Arrested in South Africa as Looting Rocks Johannesburg
 
Immigration
» A Hopeless Case: The Real Reason Why Sri Lankan Asylum Seeker Family Are Likely to be Deported From Australia — and Nationwide Protests Are Making it Worse
» Hungary: “Migration Must be Kept Outside Europe’s Borders”
» Italy Seizes German Rescue Vessel Eleonore
» Italy: ‘Radical’ Change Needed on Migrants — Zingaretti-Conte
» Record 336 Migrants Crossed English Channel in August
» The Latest: 635 Migrants From Lesbos Reach Greek Mainland
 
Culture Wars
» PC Gone Mad: Furious Parents Launch Campaign Against Gender-Neutral School Uniform
 

CNN Benches Steve Cortes, Its Own Latino Contributor Because He Supports Trump

CNN has benched one of its own TV commentators Steve Cortes, because he is a Hispanic man who supports President Donald Trump and who also said that CNN is pushing a fake “racist narrative.”

Now, just stop and think for a second what CNN has done here. They have kept their own guy off the air because he does not have the exact same homogeneous opinion as to their other “commentators.”

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

In Florida, Evacuations Underway, Flights Canceled for Hurricane Dorian

Strong winds and waves were starting to rake Florida’s East Coast on Monday even as Hurricane Dorian all but stalled about 100 miles to the east over Grand Bahama Island.

Officials in nine Florida counties have called for mandatory evacuations and voluntary evacuations were called for in others. Airports began to close, and about 1,000 flights have been canceled.

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

Man Who Killed Robert F. Kennedy Stable After Stabbing in Prison

Sirhan Sirhan, imprisoned for more than 50 years for the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was hospitalized Friday after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a San Diego prison.

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Millionaire Model Agency Boss and Close Friend of Jeffrey Epstein — Who is Thought to Have Information on the Epstein Case — Has Disappeared

Jeffrey Epstein once allegedly had three 12-year-old girls flown in from France and delivered to him as a birthday present, a former “sex slave” says in newly released court documents.

The allegations, reported in August by Joseph Curl, are contained in more than 2,000 pages of a 2005 civil suit brought by Virginia Guiffre, who claims she was forced to become a sex slave for the psychotic billionaire. Those documents were released Aug. 9 — just hours before Epstein allegedly committed suicide.

According to Guiffre, the three young girls from poor families were flown in and molested by Epstein. The French girls worked from MC2, the modeling agency owned by Jean Luc Brunel, a longtime acquaintance and frequent guest of Epstein’s.

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

Remarks Against Antifa Prompt FBI Seizure of Former Marine’s Weapons Under Oregon’s ‘Red Flag’ Law: Reports

A former Marine who said at a protest that he would “slaughter” Antifa members in self-defense, if attacked, recently had his five weapons confiscated by the FBI, according to reports.

The temporary seizure came through the use of Oregon’s “red flag” law, which allows law enforcement agencies and family members to seek a court order to have weapons taken away from an individual viewed as potentially violent. Such laws are often opposed by supporters of Second Amendment gun rights.

[Comment: The law enforcement agencies’ actions here are outrageous. The former Marine’s 1st and 2nd amendment rights were violated.]

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

Texas Shootings: Midland to Odessa, Shooter ‘On Long Spiral Down’

The gunman who killed seven people and left at least 25 others injured on Saturday was fired from his job that morning and “on a long spiral down.”

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]
 

Top Investor: Big Tech Using Smart Speakers for Surveillance

A leading tech investor has warned that companies such as Amazon and Google are using smart speakers for surveillance purposes.

In an interview with Yahoo News, John Borthwick, of Betaworks said that the information recorded by the devices and relayed back to the host companies cannot be described any other way.

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

What? Joe Biden Says He’s Going After Magazines That Can Hold Multiple Bullets

Look, it’s Joe Biden, so we really don’t know how seriously to take anything coming out of his mouth these days, but when asked about gun control, he almost managed to outdo Marianne Williamson, who would ban the manufacture and sale of bullets so your AR-15 would have nothing to fire.

Biden told reporters at a Labor Day picnic that the idea that we haven’t eliminated magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them “absolutely mindless.” We’ve seen gun-grabbing politicians go after magazines before, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act that would limit “high-capacity magazines” from 10 bullets to seven. But this is the first we’ve heard of a magazine that holds only one round.

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

Firefighters Rescue Pope Francis Stuck in Elevator for 25 Minutes

When Pope Francis arrived late for his weekly Angelus message Sunday, he did not blame traffic but told the crowds he had been trapped in the papal elevator for 25 minutes.

“First of all, I have to apologize for the delay, but there was an accident: I was stuck in the elevator for 25 minutes!” the pontiff told the crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

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

Germany: Berlin Reacts to Far-Right Surge in Eastern Elections

The far-right AfD may have come second in regional elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, but Germany’s governing parties had been fearing even worse. Now, Berlin is searching for a strategy to deal with the new reality.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) just about managed to come out on top in regional elections in Saxony and Brandenburg respectively.

But both parties, who form the governing coalition at national level, still took an electoral hit. The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) came second in both states, a massive gain on results four years ago, but with a similar share of the vote as in the last national election in 2017.

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

Italy: Proposed Leftist Coalition Faces Widespread Opposition

The proposed coalition between the Five Star Movement and the establishment left-wing Democratic Party (PD) faces resistance from many, including potential rebels within the Five Star Movement.

The new coalition has been given the green light by Italian President Sergio Mattarella but faces many problems, including the two parties being three senators short of an absolute majority in the Italian senate and will be forced to rely on smaller groups, Il Giornale reports.

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

Poland: Security Forces in Warsaw Detain Antifa Extremists Protesting US Vice President Mike Pence’s Visit to Commemorate WWII

Police in Warsaw have detained several members of the far-left extremist Antifa organization as they protested the involvement of US government officials in the ceremonies commemorating the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.

Twenty to thirty activists from the Student Anti-Fascist movement assembled close to the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in protest of Poland’s invitation of US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence for the commemoration ceremonies of the Second World War, Sputnik News reports.

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

Pope Francis Calls for ‘Drastic Measures’ To Combat ‘Climate Emergency’

Human beings have caused “a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself,” Pope Francis said Sunday before urging “drastic measures” to fight global warming.

In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pope adopted the apocalyptic language encouraged by climate alarmists to frighten people into taking action.

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

Populist AfD Sees Massive Gains in Eastern German Regional Elections

The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) is projected to make enormous electoral gains in both Brandenburg and Saxony, with projections showing the party in second place in both states.

The AfD saw a doubling of their vote in Brandenburg according to an FGW projection, going from 12.2 per cent to 24.5 per cent and is likely to finish within two percentage points of the Social Democrats (SPD) which is projected to win the vote with 26.4 per cent.

The FGW exit poll also broke down the Brandenburg vote by age demographic, finding that the AfD won the most votes of the 30 to 59 age demographic with 31 per cent for those aged 30 to 44 and 29 per cent for those aged 45 to 59.

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

UK: Brexit: ‘Election in October’ If MPs Block No Deal

The government is expected to table a motion to hold a general election on 14 October if it is defeated by MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson said he did not want an election, but progress with the EU would be “impossible” if they won.

Tory rebels are joining forces with Labour to bring a bill designed to stop the UK leaving the EU on 31 October without an agreement.

It would force the PM to request a delay to 31 January 2020 in that event.

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

UK: Blair Says Election Would Result in ‘Comfortable Tory Majority’ As Voters Fear Corbyn Govt

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said Labour should reject a potential snap election, in case voters rally behind Boris Johnson and the Tories over fear of a Corbyn-led Labour government.

Under a Jeremy Corbyn leadership, Mr Blair said that Labour would “struggle” in a General Election, adding: “The opposition vote is going to split and under our system, that delivers a comfortable Tory majority.”

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

UK: Johnson Govt Prepares for No Deal Brexit With ‘Get Ready’ Campaign

The government has launched a “Get Ready” for no deal Brexit campaign, signalling Prime Minister Johnson’s dedication to delivering on the will of the people on October 31st.

Michael Gove launched the largest ever public information campaign on Sunday, with TV advertisements, billboards, social media ads set to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

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

UK: Report: Cabinet to Meet Amidst Speculation of Pre-Brexit Snap Election

Downing Street has confirmed that Cabinet ministers have been summoned for an impromptu meeting with the prime minister this evening amidst reports there could be a pre-Brexit snap General Election.

A Downing Street source told Sky News: “The PM is hosting all Tory MPs at Number 10 this evening. He is taking the opportunity to see cabinet as well… and they will discuss the government’s response to MPs seeking to take control of the legislative agenda away from the government and handing it to the opposition and Corbyn without the consent of the people.

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

UK: Tory Brexiteers Plot to Remove Speaker as Former Deputy Accuses Him of Working in ‘Opposition to the People’

Allies of Prime Minister Boris Johnson have reportedly called on Conservative Party chiefs to break protocol and field a candidate against John Bercow at the next election over his Remain bias.

Last week, the Speaker of the House of Commons said that Prime Minister Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament ahead of the Queen’s Speech and new parliamentary session — which is procedurally normal — was a “constitutional outrage”.

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

UK: Ultimatum: Tory Remain MPs to be Kicked Out of Party if They Back Brexit Delay

Remain-voting Tory parliamentarians will lose the party whip and be deselected if they back efforts by the left-liberal opposition to force yet another Brexit delay, according to reports.

“The whips are telling Conservative MPs… a very simple message — if they fail to vote with the Government on Tuesday they will be destroying the Government’s negotiating position and handing control of Parliament to Jeremy Corbyn,” a Government source suggested.

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

Erdogan’s Elections: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

No one in the saner parts of the world has ever claimed that Turkey’s Islamist President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a liberal democrat who never in the slightest rigged election results. But he was, at least, known to respect the ballot box. No longer. Erdogan has taken to ridiculing even further whatever little remains of Turkey’s democratic culture.

Claiming vote-rigging, he pressured Turkey’s supreme election board for a recount of ballots cast on March 31 in Istanbul, Turkey biggest city, which boasts more than 10 million registered voters. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) had lost municipal elections in Istanbul by a small margin of 13,000 votes. This was the first time Erdogan’s party had lost elections in Istanbul since 1994. The man who is notorious for saying “who wins Istanbul, wins Turkey” immediately ordered a rerun.

His cries of irregularities and fraud brought shy smiles to the faces of most foreign observers and Turks. “Sometimes you get the best detectives from the ranks of best thieves,” joked a European diplomat who asked not to be named, in a private conversation with Gatestone on April 4. Although the Supreme Election Board did not find any vote-rigging in favor of the opposition, it ruled for a rerun on June 23. Grudgingly, voters changed their travel plans, and cancelled and remade their flight and hotel bookings to be present at the ballot box on June 23. Erdogan promised party fans a clear election victory in Istanbul — but lost, this time, by a margin of more than 800,000 votes, compared to only 13,000 in the original race.

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

Iran Acknowledges Rocket Explosion

Iran acknowledged for the first time on Monday that a rocket at its Imam Khomeini Space Center exploded after satellite photos showed the blast last week.

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Hong Kong Leader Says She Would ‘Quit’ If She Could, Fears Her Ability to Resolve Crisis Now ‘Very Limited’

HONG KONG — Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she has caused “unforgivable havoc” by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording of remarks she made last week to a group of businesspeople.

At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now has “very limited” room to resolve the crisis because the unrest has become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.

“If I have a choice,” she said, speaking in English, “the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.”

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

Hong Kong Protestors Using Mesh Messaging App China Can’t Block: Usage Up 3685%

How do you communicate when the government censors the internet? With a peer-to-peer mesh broadcasting network that doesn’t use the internet.

That’s exactly what Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are doing now, thanks to San Fransisco startup Bridgefy’s Bluetooth-based messaging app. The protesters can communicate with each other — and the public — using no persistent managed network.

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

Hong Kong Neighborhoods Echo With Late Night Cries for Freedom

HONG KONG (Reuters) — Every night at 10 p.m., Hong Kong neighborhoods and university dorms echo with pro-democracy and anti-government chants, the latest form of protest in the Chinese-ruled city where a civil disobedience movement has been going on for more than 12 weeks.

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

Japan: Black Whales in Hokkaido Known as ‘Crows’ Found to be New Species

Black whales called “karasu,” or crows, by local Hokkaido whalers have turned out to be a new species.

The finding was announced Aug. 30 in the British science magazine Scientific Reports by a group of researchers from the National Museum of Nature and Science, Hokkaido University and other organizations.

The team named the species “kurotsuchikujira” (black Baird’s beaked whale).

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

Dozens Arrested in South Africa as Looting Rocks Johannesburg

Dozens of people have been arrested in the South African city of Johannesburg after rioters looted shops and torched buildings and vehicles.

Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to quell the unrest on Monday.

Many of the targeted shops are reported to be owned by foreign nationals.

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

A Hopeless Case: The Real Reason Why Sri Lankan Asylum Seeker Family Are Likely to be Deported From Australia — and Nationwide Protests Are Making it Worse

Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, are currently being held on Christmas Island.

           — Hat tip: SS [Return to headlines]
 

Hungary: “Migration Must be Kept Outside Europe’s Borders”

The security of European people is paramount, the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Sunday, commenting on the stabbings in Lyon the previous day. Migration, he said, must be kept outside of Europe’s borders.

“We sympathise with our French friends in these hours of grief and pain, and trust that this despicable attack does not claim any more victims,” Szijjarto said in a statement wishing the injured a full recovery.

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

Italy Seizes German Rescue Vessel Eleonore

German rescue ship Eleonore docked in Sicily on Monday in defiance of a ban from the Italian government, which has now seized the ship. Outgoing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that the Mission-Lifeline charity that operates the vessel would pay dearly for the violation.

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

Italy: ‘Radical’ Change Needed on Migrants — Zingaretti-Conte

Policies of last mts have not solved anything- PD chief

(ANSA) — Rome, September 2 — Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) leader Nicola Zingaretti on Monday told Premier-designate Giusepe Conte that a “radical” change was needed from the closed ports policy of outgoing interior minister and anti-migrant League party leader Matteo Salvini.

Two NGO migrant rescue ships, the Mare Jonio and the Alan Kurdi, are still engaged in standoffs with Salvini while a third, the Eleonore, has forced an entry ban after declaring a state of emergency.

But so-called ‘ghost landings of migrants directly from north Africa, not picked up by NGO ships, have been continuing apace.

“What is happening in these hours in the Mediterranean, amid continuous landings on our coasts and inhuman bans, confirms that the immigration policies of the last few months have not solved anything,” said Zingaretti.

“I once more ask premier(-designate) Conte to immediately tackle the situation of persons blocked at sea in conditions of humanitarians emergency and, obviously, we continue to ask that we should gear up for a radical turnaround in the policies on these issues.” The PD’s likely government partner the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) have said they will not change Salvini’s policies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Record 336 Migrants Crossed English Channel in August

A record 336 migrants were detected crossing the English Channel last month— more than in the whole of 2018.

On Saturday boats containing 66 men, women and children were intercepted along the Kent coast — taking the tally to the highest monthly figure ever recorded according to the BBC.

In comparison 297 people were caught attempting to enter Britain through the Channel in 2018.

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

The Latest: 635 Migrants From Lesbos Reach Greek Mainland

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — The Latest on the influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):

8 p.m.

A ship carrying 635 people, mostly Afghan families, from a congested camp on the Greece’s Aegean island of Lesbos has reached the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

From there, authorities said, the asylum-seekers were being bused to a camp in Nea Kavala in northern Greece that already holds another 1,000 people.

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

PC Gone Mad: Furious Parents Launch Campaign Against Gender-Neutral School Uniform

PARENTS of pupils at a secondary school are campaigning against the new gender-neutral uniform policy which bans skirts.

A protest will be held this week on the first day back at Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex. It comes after the uniform policy was changed over the summer, scrapping skirts and requiring girls to wear trousers from September.

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

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