Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/25/2019

The traffic strike in France continued into its fourth week, causing chaos over the Christmas holiday. Light rail and the Paris metro were mostly shut down by the strike.

In other news, police used pepper spray and tear gas against demonstrators during renewed protests in Hong Kong.

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

Thanks to Insubria, 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
» 141-Year-Old Fruitcake is Family’s Heirloom
» Body Found in Freezer Belonged to Husband Who Had Been Dead for 10 Years
» Latest Democratic Debate Had Lowest Viewership Yet
» Michael Bloomberg Used Prison Labour for His Presidential Campaign
» U.S. Box Office Revenue Falls 4 Percent in 2019, Sharpest Decline in 5 Years
» Veteran Wakes Up Out of a Coma Just in Time for Christmas
 
Europe and the EU
» France: Christmas Transport Disrupted by Prolonged Strike
» Italy: Panettone and Tortellini Still Prime Xmas Fare
» It’s Christmas! So a British Newspaper is Encouraging Wives to Cheat on Their Husbands… Again
» Norway’s Ari Behn, Ex-Royal and Kevin Spacey Accuser, Dies by Suicide
» Notre Dame ‘Has Only 50 Per Cent Chance of Being Entirely Saved’, Rector Says as Fire-Ravaged Cathedral Misses Christmas Mass for First Time Since the French Revolution
» Over 100 Swedish Churches Have Permanently Closed Since 2000
» UK: 12 Months of Brexmas: 1 Election, 2 Prime Ministers, 3 Brexit Delays…
» UK: Anti-Brexit Former Speaker Slams Populism in Alternative Christmas Message
» UK: BBC Bosses Are Accused of ‘Criminalising’ Young People With Prosecutions for Non-Payment of TV Licence Fee After New Figures Reveal 18,000 Under-20s Have Been Targeted Since 2014
» UK: Watch: Boris Johnson Mixes Up Baking Shows and Brexit in Christmas Viral Vid
» UK: Watch: Queen’s Christmas Message Commemorates Moon Landing, D-Day Anniversaries
» Vatican ‘Overwhelmed’ By Abuse Reports, 1,000 in a Year
 
Middle East
» Fireworks Instead of Mortar Shells: Syrian Christians Flood the Streets in Spiritual Unity of Christmas Celebrations (Photos)
» Italian Model Speaks Out Against the Backlash He and Other Celebrities Faced for Attending Saudi Music Festival Amid Country’s Human Rights Record and After Khashoggi’s Killing
» Syrian Arrested in Milan to Serve 7 Yrs in Kuwait
» UN, UK Treating Persecuted Christians as “Enemies”
 
Far East
» China Will Rewrite the Bible and the Quran to ‘Reflect Socialist Values’ Amid Crackdown on Muslim Uighur Minority
» Hong Kong Protests: Christmas Sees No Halt in Clashes
 
Australia — Pacific
» Sydney Archbishop Cautions Against ‘Safe Spaces’ And ‘Trigger Warnings’
 
Immigration
» Migrant Who Murdered Swedish Teacher Has Sentence Reduced
» Pope Francis Offers Triple Shout-Out to Migrants in Christmas Blessing
 

141-Year-Old Fruitcake is Family’s Heirloom

Some families pass down jewelry, watches or even recipes. But a Michigan family has its own heirloom: a 141-year-old fruitcake.

“It’s a great thing,” said Julie Ruttinger, the great great granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, who baked the cake in 1878. “It was tradition. It’s a legacy.”

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

Body Found in Freezer Belonged to Husband Who Had Been Dead for 10 Years

The body of a man found in a freezer last month is believed to have been there for 10 years.

And the 75-year-old is also said to have left a note stating his wife didn’t kill him, according to officials.

[Comment: Article dated December 18, 2019.]

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

Latest Democratic Debate Had Lowest Viewership Yet

Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate offered more fireworks than the previous political shout-fests — but fewer Americans tuned in to watch it than any of its five predecessors.

The debate in Los Angeles drew an audience of 6.17 million viewers — lowest so far of the cycle, according to early numbers from Nielsen, Deadline reported Friday.

PBS NewsHour and Politico hosted the debate at Loyola Marymount University, and it also was simulcast by CNN.

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

Michael Bloomberg Used Prison Labour for His Presidential Campaign

Former New York City mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg’s campaign used prison labour for phone-banking.

The prisoners working on Bloomberg’s campaign were allegedly paid just between $20 and $30 a month.

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

U.S. Box Office Revenue Falls 4 Percent in 2019, Sharpest Decline in 5 Years

Many had predicted that the year would match 2018’s record domestic haul of $11.88 billion, but audiences rejected a number of studio films as home entertainment options grew.

There were cracks in The Force at the 2019 box office as the Age of Streaming strengthened its foothold and the number of major Hollywood studios decreased from six to five following the Disney-Fox merger.

With Dec. 31 fast approaching, industry leader Comscore projected Sunday that box office revenue in North America will hit $11.45 billion for the full year, a decline of 3.6 percent from 2018’s record bounty of $11.88 billion.

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

Veteran Wakes Up Out of a Coma Just in Time for Christmas

A Christmas miracle occurred in Nebraska, where a “Purple Heart” veteran woke up out of a coma after suffering a brain injury.

Tony Belt can now sit up straight and enjoy the Christmas holidays with his wife and three kids.

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

France: Christmas Transport Disrupted by Prolonged Strike

Travelers in France faced frustrations on Wednesday, as the transport strike extended into its fourth week and coincided with the Christmas holiday.

Thousands of trains were cancelled or delayed, while taxis, ride-sharing services and car rental agencies were overwhelmed by demand. The underground metro in Paris was completely shut down, except for two lines.

Only a fraction of high-speed and inter-city trains ran on Christmas Eve and even fewer were operating the following day. Paris’ main train stations were closed on Christmas morning, with suburban connections slashed.

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

Italy: Panettone and Tortellini Still Prime Xmas Fare

Veggie lasagne top of ‘alternative’ list

(ANSA) — Rome, December 23 — Traditional Christmas Day treats panettone and tortellini are still prime festive fare for the palate, according to the latest survey.

The study by the chamber of commerce of Milan and the surrounding area found that 73% of those polled put panettone Christmas cake at the top of their Yuletide favourites list, followed by tortellini on brodo on 44%, panettone’s rival pandoro on 33%, and capon at 16%.

Among the ‘alternative’ Christmas meals, vegetarian lasagne topped the bill at 33%.

As for table decorations, candles won out on 52% ahead of edible decorations at 24% and holiday wreaths on 22%.

Another study, by the Coldiretti farm group, found that 81% of Italian households will stick to traditional fish menus on Christmas Eve.

Coldiretti advised consumers to buy their clams, sole, sea bass, red mullet and traditional ‘capitone’ eels straight from the producer, guaranteeing freshness.

They said Italians should check the label, to see the fish is properly sourced, and should make sure “the flesh of the fish has a firm but elastic consistency and does not smell too strongly”.

Clams, mussels and other shellfish must have their shells firmly locked shut, Coldiretti said, and prawns and shrimps must not have blackened heads.

“It’s better not to choose fish that have already had their heads and fins cut off,” the association added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

It’s Christmas! So a British Newspaper is Encouraging Wives to Cheat on Their Husbands… Again

Christmas is a time for tradition — bringing a tree into the house, midnight mass, giving gifts… and being repeatedly encouraged to cheat on your husband by a respected, small-c conservative national newspaper.

This is a tradition in the sense that 2019 is the second festive season in a row where British broadsheet newspaper the Daily Telegraph — which enjoys a strong legacy reputation as being the standard-bearer for the intelligent, conservative right in the United Kingdom — has bombarded its male social media followers with messages to encourage their wives to cheat on them as a Christmas present.

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

Norway’s Ari Behn, Ex-Royal and Kevin Spacey Accuser, Dies by Suicide

Norwegian author Ari Behn, the ex-husband of Princess Märtha Louise and one of those accusing actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault, has died in an apparent suicide, his family says. He was 47 years old.

“It is with great sadness in our hearts that we, the family of Ari Behn, must announce that he took his own life today,” the family said in a statement on Wednesday night. Police said they were called to the author’s home in Lommedalen, a small community northwest of Oslo, at 4:47 p.m.

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

Notre Dame ‘Has Only 50 Per Cent Chance of Being Entirely Saved’, Rector Says as Fire-Ravaged Cathedral Misses Christmas Mass for First Time Since the French Revolution

The rector of Notre Dame Cathedral says the Paris landmark is still so fragile that there is a ‘50 per cent chance’ the structure might not be entirely saved.

Scaffolding installed before April’s disastrous fire is threatening the vaults of the Gothic monument, according to Patrick Chauvet.

Restoration work is not likely to begin until 2021 and the church last night went without a Christmas celebration for the first time since the French Revolution.

Speaking at the replacement venue at the Saint-German l’Auxerrois Church last night, Chauvet said the church ‘is not out of danger’.

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

Over 100 Swedish Churches Have Permanently Closed Since 2000

As numbers of active parishioners continue to decline across Sweden, the Church of Sweden has been forced to permanently close 104 churches, as some speak of repurposing the buildings for other uses including mosques.

Last year saw the largest number of churches shut down with the small nordic nation losing 10 of its national churches in 12 months, but the trend of church closures shows little sign of abating in the near future, Swedish tabloid Corren reports.

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

UK: 12 Months of Brexmas: 1 Election, 2 Prime Ministers, 3 Brexit Delays…

t has been a year of Brexit battles these past 12 months, but it finally looks like the end is near and the United Kingdom will leave the EU, more than three and a half years after the historic referendum.

In keeping with the Christmas season, Breitbart London will break down the most significant Brexit news by the numbers, in the 12 months of Brexmas.

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

UK: Anti-Brexit Former Speaker Slams Populism in Alternative Christmas Message

Self-professed Remainer and former speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has criticised populism in his Alternative Christmas Message, and said that adults should take cues from children on good behaviour.

Channel 4 has been broadcasting its Alternative Christmas Message since 1993, as a “distinctive alternative” to Queen Elizabeth’s broadcast to the nation every Christmas day.

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

UK: BBC Bosses Are Accused of ‘Criminalising’ Young People With Prosecutions for Non-Payment of TV Licence Fee After New Figures Reveal 18,000 Under-20s Have Been Targeted Since 2014

Thousands of young people are being ‘criminalised’ by the BBC each year over unpaid TV licences.

As many as 18,000 under 20-year-olds have been chased since 2014, with fears mounting over the effect being in court can have on their futures.

Even ten-year-olds have faced prosecution, as well as a few 12 and 14-year-olds.

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

UK: Watch: Boris Johnson Mixes Up Baking Shows and Brexit in Christmas Viral Vid

Focus groups at Conservative Campaign Headquarters appear to have been working overtime, having figured out that the British voting public strongly like baking shows and Brexit, managing to combine the two for a Christmas themed viral video with the Prime Minister.

Appearing with his father Stanley Johnson in a kitchen setting, the Prime Minister is set the challenge of making Christmas mince pies. Taking the theme of combining disparate ingredients with a binding agent (an egg, or the NHS) as a metaphor for bringing the country together, Boris Johnson joked about Brexit.

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

UK: Watch: Queen’s Christmas Message Commemorates Moon Landing, D-Day Anniversaries

Her Majesty The Queen marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in a Christmas messsage which stressed reconciliation, and the beginning of great things from small steps.

“As a child, I never imagined that one day a man would walk on the moon. Yet this year we marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission,” said the 93-year-old in the opening to her traditional Christmas message, filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

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

Vatican ‘Overwhelmed’ By Abuse Reports, 1,000 in a Year

Cases ‘coming from countries never involved before’ — AP report

(ANSA) — Vatican City, December 20 — The Vatican office that handles clergy sex abuse has registered this year a record 1,000 cases that have been reported worldwide, including from countries that had never been involved before, Msgr. John Joseph Kennedy, the head of the disciplinary action section at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the AP news agency.

He added that the huge number of reported cases of abuse have “overwhelmed” personnel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Fireworks Instead of Mortar Shells: Syrian Christians Flood the Streets in Spiritual Unity of Christmas Celebrations (Photos)

Flashy firework displays and bright lit Christmas trees popped up all across Syria to celebrate Christmas, a joyous day not only for the Christian minority, but to people of other faiths living in the country.

Christians were among the minority groups persecuted by various Islamist militant forces, which tore Syria into pieces since 2011. The central government has managed to regain control over most of the country, and life there is slowly returning to normality. That includes celebrating Christmas openly and without fear of sectarian violence.

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

Italian Model Speaks Out Against the Backlash He and Other Celebrities Faced for Attending Saudi Music Festival Amid Country’s Human Rights Record and After Khashoggi’s Killing

Italian model, Pietro Boselli, has spoken out against the backlash that he and other celebrities have faced for attending a music festival in Saudi Arabia over the weekend.

           — Hat tip: SS [Return to headlines]
 

Syrian Arrested in Milan to Serve 7 Yrs in Kuwait

Allegedly imported 2,400 litres of spirits

(ANSA) — Milan, December 24 — A 39-year-old Syrian man was arrested in Milan Tuesday on an international warrant for allegedly importing into Kuwait 2,400 litres of alcoholic spirits in 2013, a crime for which he has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

Carabinieri traced the man to a hotel in Viale Suzzani and brought him into custody.

The extradition process will now be started, the police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

UN, UK Treating Persecuted Christians as “Enemies”

The United Nations Refugee Agency appears to be committed to blocking persecuted Christians from receiving any assistance. According to a recent CBN News report:

Christian Syrian refugees … have been blocked from getting help from the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, by Muslim UN officials in Jordan.

One of the refugees, Hasan, a Syrian convert to Christianity, told us in a phone call that Muslim UN camp officials “knew that we were Muslims and became Christians and they dealt with us with persecution and mockery. They didn’t let us into the office. They ignored our request.”

Hasan and his family are now in hiding, afraid that they will be arrested by Jordanian police, or even killed. Converting to Christianity is a serious crime in Jordan.

According to Timothy, a Jordanian Muslim who converted to Christianity, “All of the United Nations officials [apparently in Jordan], most of them, 99 percent, they are Muslims, and they were treating us as enemies.”

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

China Will Rewrite the Bible and the Quran to ‘Reflect Socialist Values’ Amid Crackdown on Muslim Uighur Minority

China plans to rewrite the Bible and Quran, among other ‘existing religious classics’ to ‘reflect socialist values’ amid crackdown on the country’s religious groups, including the Muslim Uighurs.

           — Hat tip: SS [Return to headlines]
 

Hong Kong Protests: Christmas Sees No Halt in Clashes

Christmas Day in Hong Kong has seen no let-up in clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters.

The police used tear gas and pepper spray as demonstrators gathered again in a number of shopping districts.

The latest protests began on Christmas Eve, with police battling activists who were throwing petrol bombs.

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

Sydney Archbishop Cautions Against ‘Safe Spaces’ And ‘Trigger Warnings’

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher warned against the dangers of identity politics in his Christmas morning homily, suggesting that today’s snowflakes risk falling victims to a toxic narcissism.

“As desires change, we can revise our bodies surgically or our beliefs ideologically,” the archbishop said. “But reducing ourselves to our tastes or to a single attribute risks neglecting other important things about us.”

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

Migrant Who Murdered Swedish Teacher Has Sentence Reduced

A Swedish court has reduced the prison sentence for a 20-year-old Afghan who murdered his 69-year-old teacher, who he was also in a sexual relationship with at the time, because of the migrant’s mental health issues.

The Afghan, who came to Sweden in 2015, reported the murder himself when he called emergency services stating that he had strangled the woman on June 27th, Swedish newspaper Expressen reports.

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

Pope Francis Offers Triple Shout-Out to Migrants in Christmas Blessing

ROME — Pope Francis made migrants the centerpiece of his Christmas blessing Wednesday, addressing the topic of immigration a remarkable three times in an 865-word message.

“May the newborn Lord bring light to the people of Africa, where persistent social and political situations often force individuals to migrate, depriving them of a home and family,” the pontiff said to the estimated 55,000 pilgrims and tourists gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.

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

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/25/2019

  1. ZWEDISH MUSLIMS ABROAD

    36-year-old “Swedish” shot dead in front of wife and children in London – December 26, 2019

    A 36-year-old Swedish citizen is said to have been shot dead in London on Christmas Eve. According to several media, it is about a man with connections to Muslim Karolin Hakim who was murdered at Ribbersborg in Malmö this summer.

    The “Swedish” gang violence continues to spread abroad. It was when the family was on their way home at 10 pm that someone shot dead the man on Battersea church road in south west London.

    – It was between eight and ten shots, explains neighbor Vittoria Amati to the British The Guardian.

    According to Sydsvenskan, the shooting of death has links to gang violence in Sweden. Specifically, the man must have been friends with a co-worker with the doctor Karolin Hakim, who was shot dead at Ribbersborg in Malmö this summer while she had her baby in her arms. Hakim had had a relationship with a known criminal.

    According to the Evening Post, the man is taken care of in an exclusive area, just minutes from the school where Prince William’s children are to go. The newspaper’s sources say that the murdered man “family-wise” spent time with Karolin Hakim and her partner. He should have been “close friends” with them, according to the KvP.
    No one has been arrested for the act.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/25/man-shot-dead-on-doorstep-in-south-west-london

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