Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/31/2021

Police in the UK cracked down on illegal parties and raves, handing out massive fines to revelers in Lancashire, Essex, Northumbria, and London. There were also raids on lockdown-violating parties in Vancouver and the Bronx.

In other news, acts of violence by left-wing extremist groups in Germany increased by 29% in 2020 compared with the previous year.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, 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.

Financial Crisis
» Has the Robinhood Exodus Begun?
» Melvin Capital Lost a Stunning $7 Billion in January, 53% of Its Capital; Here’s How Everyone Else Did
» Reddit Outages Reported As r/WallStreetBets Experiences Surge in Web Traffic
» Silver Futures Soar 8%, Rise Above $29 as Reddit Hordes Pile in
» Spain’s Economy Shrank 11% in 2020, In Biggest Drop Since Civil War
 
USA
» Drake University Professor Proclaims Her “Hatred” of Republicans, Says “They Need to Suffer”
» Hundreds at Large Gatherings in Violation of COVID Regs: Officials
» Lincoln Project Denounces Co-Founder After Allegations of Pedophilia, Sexually Provocative Messages to 21 Young Men
» Mississippi Looks to Withhold Funds From Schools Teaching 1619 Project
» NYT Columnist Charles Blow Calls for a ‘Reverse Great Migration’, Saying Black Americans Should Move Back to the South to Turn States Into ‘Centers of Black Power’
» Perfect. Kamala Harris Tells Unemployed Coal Miners That After Biden Kills Their Jobs They Should Work Reclaiming Abandoned “Land Mines” (Video)
» Trump Names New Lead Lawyers for Impeachment Defense Team
 
Canada
» Vancouver Police Issue $17,000 in Fines, Arrest Man After Again Busting ‘Makeshift Nightclub’ In Telus Garden Penthouse
 
Europe and the EU
» 60-Day Study Suggests COVID May Cause Significant Damage to Male Fertility
» Austria Finds 96 Foreigners in Breach of Lockdown Rules at Top Ski Resort
» Belgium: Coronavirus Digest: Brussels Police Detain Hundreds of Anti-Lockdown Protesters
» Belgium: Brussels: Nearly 200 Islamic Terror-Related ‘Entities’ Shut Down Since 2014
» Brexit Britain Applying to Join 11-Nation Pacific Free Trade Pact
» Facebook Censors Anti-Lockdown Group Save Our Rights UK, Backed by British Lawmaker
» Germany: Acts of Violence From Left Wing Extremists Skyrocketed in 2020
» Italy: E-R Governor Bonaccini Probed for Abuse of Office — Report
» Italy: Salvini Vindicated as Parents of Pusher Stunt Boy Arrested
» Lockdown UK: Social Distancing Could Remain in Place Until End of 2021
» Netherlands: Woman’s Skull Fractured After Police Fire Water Cannon at Anti-Lockdown Protesters
» Sweden: Prison Works: Police Link Decline in Malmo Murders to Gang Members Being Jailed
» Thousands Take to Streets to Protest Against French Security Bill
» UK Terror Police: Online Privacy is “Putting Lives at Risk”
» UK: COVID: Police Stop Illegal Rave After Hundreds Buy Tickets
» UK: COVID Lockdown Breaches Include Boat and Hotel Parties in Weekend of ‘Unbelievable Behaviour’
» UK: Essex COVID: Revellers at Illegal House Party Fined £15,000
» UK: Khan’s London: Mohin Hussain Gets Short Sentence for Stabbing Policeman
» UK: Police Attacked Breaking Up 20-Strong Student House Party in West Lancashire
» Vaccines: Brexit Britain Willing to Help Bail Out Failing EU
» ‘We’ve Had Enough’: In France, Spain and Denmark, Anti-Lockdown Protests Continue
» ‘You Can Wait’ — WHO Asks UK to Pause Vaccinations Until Other Countries Catch Up
 
North Africa
» Egypt: The Noblewoman Who Fights for Cats’ and Dogs’ Rights
 
Middle East
» Anti-Lockdown Protests Turn Bloody in Lebanon
» Davos: Saudi Arabia Ready to Share Global Challenges With US
» Pope Francis Set to Travel to Iraq to Meet With Ayatollah Sistani, Who Called Unbelievers Unclean
 
South Asia
» Indonesia: Public High Schools Force Non-Muslim Girls to Wear Hijab
» Military Coup Underway in Myanmar as Civilian Leaders Arrested — State TV Off Air, Internet Cut
» Pakistan: Muslim Falsely Accuses Christian Nurse of Blasphemy, Hospital Staff Tortures Her, Turns Her Over to Police
 
Far East
» China is Jailing Twitter Users for Posts Critical of the Chinese Communist Party
» Five Keys to Understanding Chinese Strategy
» Ian Birrell: Virus ‘Definitely’ Began in China, Say US Scientists… And the Outbreak Started in October 2019 — Months Before Beijing Alerted the World
» Pathway to UK Citizenship Now Open to Millions of Hong Kongers
» Religious Books Seized and Burned in Communist China, ‘Believers’ Given Jail Terms
» WHO Team ‘Tightly Controlled’ By CCP During COVID-19 Origins Investigation
 
Australia — Pacific
» Climate Change: New Zealand to Phase Out Petrol Cars and Slash Cow Herds
 
Culture Wars
» Google Reinstates Decentralized Chat App Element After Sudden Ban
» Twitter Suspends Christian Magazine for Calling Biden’s Biologically Male Nominee a Man
 

Has the Robinhood Exodus Begun?

There’s no telling how many Robinhood users are infuriated with the discount brokerage after last week’s GameStop snafu following trading restrictions and forced liquidations. Still, the evidence is mounting of a possible mass exodus.

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

Melvin Capital Lost a Stunning $7 Billion in January, 53% of Its Capital; Here’s How Everyone Else Did

We already knew that last’s weeks epic squeeze of the most shorted stocks was a disaster for Melvin Capital, which emerged as the first casualty of the reddit squeeze because, as we showed last Monday, it was heavily short precisely the stocks that exploded higher (mostly as pair trade offset to its retail longs such as Amazon and others) with its puts losing all value, even as the fund suffered further pain on its outright shorts.

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

Reddit Outages Reported As r/WallStreetBets Experiences Surge in Web Traffic

Reddit users are reporting issues with the website on Sunday morning, according to Downdector. The outage map appears widespread.

Redditors began reporting issues around 0930 ET and appear heavily concentrated in the Northeast.

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

Silver Futures Soar 8%, Rise Above $29 as Reddit Hordes Pile in

Update (1800ET): It was the one print everyone was waiting for, and here it is: silver futures opened up 7%, surging from $27/oz to a high of $29.095 following a weekend of speculation that the next big squeeze on WSB’s radar is silver. And whether that’s true or not, may no longer matter in a world where — as described below — there is virtually no physical silver to be purchased.

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

Spain’s Economy Shrank 11% in 2020, In Biggest Drop Since Civil War

Spain’s economy shrank 11% in 2020, according to data released on Friday by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This is the biggest contraction since the days of the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s.

This dismal figure is a result of the restrictions imposed last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus, particularly the 94 days of strict home confinementthat nearly brought the economy to a halt between March and June. Economic output fell 17.8% in the second quarter, and even though there was some recovery during the second half of the year, it was not enough to make up for the damage.

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

Drake University Professor Proclaims Her “Hatred” of Republicans, Says “They Need to Suffer”

Dr. Beth Younger, an associate English professor at Drake University, tweeted on October 26th that she was “pondering how much hatred” she had for “all the republican a**holes,” adding that they “need to suffer.”

It wasn’t the first time that Dr. Younger had shared vitriolic comments directed at political figures on the right.

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

Hundreds at Large Gatherings in Violation of COVID Regs: Officials

Hundreds of city revelers were caught overnight attending two illegal bashes that flaunted COVID-19 restrictions — including one massive gathering with infants present, authorities said Sunday.

The New York City Sheriff’s Office said about 70 people were first seen going into the side entrance of a building at 2368 Westchester Ave. in The Bronx around 11 p.m. Saturday.

When deputies entered the location about 30 minutes later, they found 400 patrons inside “consuming alcohol, not wearing masks, and unable to social distance,” according to an e-mail from Sheriff John Fucito’s office.

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

Lincoln Project Denounces Co-Founder After Allegations of Pedophilia, Sexually Provocative Messages to 21 Young Men

The Lincoln Project — a group of anti-Trumpers founded by an accused pedophile, a guy with a confederate flag cooler, and possibly the worst husband in the world — denounced the alleged pedophile on Sunday following a New York Times report detailing allegations by 21 young men.

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

Mississippi Looks to Withhold Funds From Schools Teaching 1619 Project

The Mississippi Senate recently introduced a bill that would reduce state funds by 25% for any school teaching the historically suspect “1619 Project” curriculum.

Sen. Angela Burks Hill described the curriculum authored by the New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones as “racially divisive,” saying it offers a “revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.”

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

NYT Columnist Charles Blow Calls for a ‘Reverse Great Migration’, Saying Black Americans Should Move Back to the South to Turn States Into ‘Centers of Black Power’

  • Charles M. Blow presents his provocative proposal in his new book ‘The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto’
  • He calls for black Americans to move back to Southern states that their ancestors fled from during the Great Migration in the 20th century
  • He says doing so could create a ‘contiguous band of Black power that would exponentially increase Black political influence’
  • ‘After centuries of waiting for white majorities to overturn white supremacy, it seems to me that it has fallen to Black people to do it themselves,’ he writes

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Perfect. Kamala Harris Tells Unemployed Coal Miners That After Biden Kills Their Jobs They Should Work Reclaiming Abandoned “Land Mines” (Video)

“Land Mines”

Joe Biden killed tens of thousands of jobs his first day in office when he canceled contracts with the Keystone XL pipeline.

Biden and his “Climate Envoy” John Kerry are waging war on the energy sector but fear not because Kamala Harris is here to save the day.

Kamala Harris talked about creating news jobs in her interview and shared her brilliant idea to “build back better”….by reclaiming abandoned land mines in West Virginia.

“All of those skilled workers who are in the coal industry and transferring those skills to what we need to do in terms of dealing with reclaiming abandoned land mines.”

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

Trump Names New Lead Lawyers for Impeachment Defense Team

Update (2035ET): Trump has secured new legal counsel

Authored by Janita Kan via The Epoch Times

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday named two attorneys who will lead his impeachment defense legal team.

The two lawyers who will represent the former president in the upcoming Senate trial are David Schoen, an attorney from Alabama, and Bruce Castor Jr., a former prosecutor in Pennsylvania.

This comes a day after media reports, citing anonymous sources, said an earlier group of attorneys from South Carolina were no longer participating in the defense.

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

Vancouver Police Issue $17,000 in Fines, Arrest Man After Again Busting ‘Makeshift Nightclub’ In Telus Garden Penthouse

The party may be over for the owner of a Vancouver luxury condo that police say has been transformed into a makeshift nightclub in violation of provincial COVID-19 social gathering restrictions.

Vancouver police arrested a 42-year-old man and issued more than $17,000 in fines in connection with a pair of weekend parties that were allegedly held inside a penthouse suite at the Telus Garden Residences, at 777 Richards Street, on Saturday night.

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

60-Day Study Suggests COVID May Cause Significant Damage to Male Fertility

A German study suggests that the Chinese coronavirus may inflict long-term on male fertility, with sperm quality significantly impacted over a period of 60 days.

Researchers at the Justus-Liebig University compared 84 coronavirus-infected men with a 104-strong age-matched control group, and found, according to the Telegraph, that “sperm concentration was reduced by 516 per cent, mobility by 209 per cent and sperm cell shape was altered by 400 per cent”.

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

Austria Finds 96 Foreigners in Breach of Lockdown Rules at Top Ski Resort

VIENNA (Reuters) — Austrian police have found 96 foreigners from across Europe at the ski resort of St Anton am Arlberg in breach of pandemic-related rules on entering the country and the national lockdown.

The mayor of St Anton, one of Austria’s top resorts, said this week that dozens of young tourists from across Europe had recently come to his town and circumvented lockdown rules under which ski lifts are open but hotels are closed to tourists.

“Among others Britons, Danes, Swedes, Romanians, Germans, Australians, Irish people and Poles were checked and fined,” the police force of the western province of Tyrol said in a statement issued on Friday night.

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

Belgium: Coronavirus Digest: Brussels Police Detain Hundreds of Anti-Lockdown Protesters

In Belgium, police said they have detained more than 400 people in Brussels to prevent banned protests against measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak. Hundreds of people turned up at several locations around the capital after numerous calls to protest circulated on social media platforms.

A police spokesman said most arrests took place around train stations in the capital, adding that those involved in the banned protests would be allowed to leave one by one after identification. Dozens of demonstrators also gathered at the Atomium, a landmark building in Brussels.

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

Belgium: Brussels: Nearly 200 Islamic Terror-Related ‘Entities’ Shut Down Since 2014

Since 2014, the Belgian police have identified and closed 192 entities, including prayer rooms and organisations, linked to radical Islamic terrorism in Brussels as part of an anti-terror project.

The Belgian Fighters project — Belfi for short — placed a total of 832 entities under observation and closed 192 of them for links to radical Islamic terrorism between 2014 and the end of 2020.

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

Brexit Britain Applying to Join 11-Nation Pacific Free Trade Pact

Britain is taking advantage of its newfound autonomy from the EU to apply for membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Before Brexit, Britain could not strike its own international trade deals, with such agreements being the purview of Brussels. This prevented the country from trading freely with many key partners, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand — as vested interests in other EU member-states felt deals with these countries would not be to their advantage.

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

Facebook Censors Anti-Lockdown Group Save Our Rights UK, Backed by British Lawmaker

Facebook removed multiple videos by a coronavirus lockdown skeptics group based in the UK. The group, Save Our Rights UK, was told by the conservative MP, Sir Desmond Swayne, to persist in protesting lockdown measures.

The Facebook page for Save Our Rights UK had more than 60k followers. The group’s videos came under Facebook’s scrutiny after The Guardian identified what it says were “misleading” videos on the page and reported them to Facebook.

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

Germany: Acts of Violence From Left Wing Extremists Skyrocketed in 2020

The number of violent acts committed by far-left extremists in 2020 skyrocketed compared to the previous year, according to data held by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

The Federal Interior Ministry (BMI) released the data following a request from Linda Teuteberg, a member of the Bundestag for the Free Democratic Party (FDP), a classically liberal party focused mainly on promoting economic liberalism, privatization, and free markets. According to the statistics, 1,359 violent crimes committed by far-left extremists were recorded last year, 29 percent more than were seen in 2019 (1,052), German weekly magazine Junge Freiheit reports.

Documents released by the BMI also revealed that 9,973 far-left extremist crimes were identified and recorded last year, just over the 9,849 that were registered in the previous year.

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

Italy: E-R Governor Bonaccini Probed for Abuse of Office — Report

Case regards complaint by Jolanda di Savoia mayor

(ANSA) — ROME, JAN 27 — Emilia-Romagna Governor Stefano Bonaccini is under investigation for alleged abuse of office, daily newspaper il Resto del Carlino reported on Wednesday.

The case stems from a complaint filed a year ago by the mayor of the town of Paolo Pezzolato.

The complaint was backed up by a recording of a telephone conversation between the centre-left governor and the first citizen, according to the report.

Pezzolato alleged that Bonaccini applied pressure so that other municipalities in the area would refuse to share employees with Jolanda di Savoia after his deputy mayor, Elisa Trombin, backed the governor’s opponent in regional elections, the report said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Salvini Vindicated as Parents of Pusher Stunt Boy Arrested

‘Time is a gentleman’ says League leader after drugs arrests

(ANSA) — BOLOGNA, JAN 27 — League leader Matteo Salvini said Wednesday he had been vindicated after the parents of a boy whose intercom he buzzed in what was decried as an electoral stunt in Bologna a year ago were arrested on suspicion of pushing drugs in the Emilian capital.

Surrounded by a film crew and a crowd of supporters for his campaign in the Emilia Romagna elections, the nationalist leader buzzed the intercom of the 17-year-old Tunisian boy in a working-class district in January 2020 and asked if a pusher was living there.

A police officer reportedly put Salvini in touch with a woman in the Pilastro district whose son had died of drugs and who led the former hardline anti-migrant interior minister to the boy’s home.

The boy sued the opposition leader, who went on to narrowly lose the regional elections.

Salvini’s opponents decried the stunt while the Tunisian ambassador called it an unacceptable breach of privacy.

Facebook took down a video Salvini had posted of the “raid”, which had enthused his supporters.

On Wednesday the boy’s parents, a 59-year-old Tunisian man and a 58-year-old Swiss national, both naturalised Italians, were arrested on suspicion of distributing and possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, as well as possessing counterfeit money and weapons.

Salvini said he had been vindicated, tweeting: “Anti-drugs raid in Bologna. Time is a gentleman. Drugs are bad for you”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Lockdown UK: Social Distancing Could Remain in Place Until End of 2021

The United Kingdom’s social distancing regulations may need to remain in place throughout the entirety of 2021 if vaccines for the Chinese coronavirus are not at least 85 per cent effective, government scientists have warned.

A paper commissioned by SPI-M, a subgroup of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) quango, claimed that Britain will face a third wave of the coronavirus if vaccinations do not substantially reduce the rate of transmission.

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

Netherlands: Woman’s Skull Fractured After Police Fire Water Cannon at Anti-Lockdown Protesters

A woman’s skull was fractured after police blasted her with a water cannon during anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands.

Denisa Stastna and her boyfriend said they were just filming the demonstrations when her head was pushed against a building by the high-pressure water coming from the cannon over the weekend.

The Czech national had to have more than 15 stitches because of the fracture, local media reported.

[Comment: Article dated January 29, 2021.]

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

Sweden: Prison Works: Police Link Decline in Malmo Murders to Gang Members Being Jailed

Police in the multicultural southern Swedish city of Malmö say that the murder rate has fallen since 2018 because many gang leaders are behind bars.

In 2020, the city saw five murders, a major drop from the 13 that took place in 2018 and eight in 2019.

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

Thousands Take to Streets to Protest Against French Security Bill

Fresh protests were held Saturday against a French security bill which critics say will restrict the filming of police and posting images to social media, notably to document cases of police brutality.

A broad cross-section of protesters turned out in dozens of French cities, including activists from the anti-government “yellow vest” movement and others calling to protect the cultural sector.

“I have two reasons for coming today — the comprehensive security law and also to support culture,” said Kim, a 24-year-old civil service intern.

“Lots of stores are open, the metro is packed, yet cultural sites are closed, even though we can apply protective measures” against the coronavirus, she said.

Also among the protesters were young people calling for the right to hold rave parties such as one in Brittany that attracted 2,400 at the start of the year.

The demonstrators are protesting draft legislation that would ban filming police activities, which the ruling LREM party of President Emmanuel Macron has said it would rewrite.

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

UK Terror Police: Online Privacy is “Putting Lives at Risk”

End-to-end encryption, which tech companies implement in their products and services to keep them safe and secure for their users, are a constant target of certain segments of law enforcement apparatuses in various countries.

This time it was the turn of UK’s anti-terrorist “cyber police” chief Kevin Southworth to express his concern that Facebook’s plans to extend encryption from the messaging app WhatsApp to Instagram and Facebook Messenger could be “putting lives at risk.”

Southworth is particularly concerned that behemoths like Facebook with billions of users might suddenly become protected in this way, and less so with “niche” apps. For now.

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

UK: COVID: Police Stop Illegal Rave After Hundreds Buy Tickets

Police have stopped an illegal rave that had sold hundreds of tickets before it started, despite it being in breach of Covid rules.

Northumbria Police said the rave was due to be held at a disused building on Saturday evening near to the County Durham border at Consett.

Organisers had arrived to set up before officers intervened and made a number of arrests, with equipment seized.

Police called it “irresponsible and completely unacceptable”.

Those who planned to attend were warned they faced being reported for Covid breaches if they visited the area.

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

UK: COVID Lockdown Breaches Include Boat and Hotel Parties in Weekend of ‘Unbelievable Behaviour’

Police have discovered more than 70 people partying on a boat in west London in breach of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Officers were called to Volt Avenue, North Acton shortly after 11pm on Saturday to reports of a large gathering on a moored boat.

The group was dispersed and a total of 72 people were reported for the consideration of fixed penalty notices of £800 for attending an indoor gathering of more than 15 people in breach of the coronavirus regulations.

The organiser was identified and reported for consideration of a £10,000 fine.

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

UK: Essex COVID: Revellers at Illegal House Party Fined £15,000

A GROUP of reckless revellers caught having an illegal house party have been fined almost £15,000 by Essex Police.

Officers attended a house in Bury Road, Sewardstonebury, at 5pm on Saturday, following reports a number of partygoers were having a gathering in a clear and flagrant breach of coronavirus restrictions.

After arriving at the house, which is a vacant rented property, officers were initially refused entry from those inside who claimed to be making a music video.

However, officers forced their way inside and found 18 individuals having a party while others were still arriving at the property.

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

UK: Khan’s London: Mohin Hussain Gets Short Sentence for Stabbing Policeman

A man who stabbed a police officer in the chest in London has received a prison term of less than three years.

41-year-old Mohin Hussain had been approached by patrol officers in London while being observed keeping his hand in a satchel strapped across his chest, with a search being attempted due to his answers to their questions and “odd behaviour”.

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

UK: Police Attacked Breaking Up 20-Strong Student House Party in West Lancashire

A student party in West Lancashire that attracted people from across the North West has been broken up by police.

Officers were called to the property overnight and discovered a brazen breach of Covid restrictions with the premises being used to host a house party with up to 20 people inside.

The shameful scenes also saw officers and an emergency worker attacked and one man arrested.

Quantities of cannabis and boxes of nitrous oxide were seized and the student who organised the party now faces a £10,000 fine.

It also comes after new laws came into effect on Friday night to tackle illegal gatherings during the pandemic, with fines of £800 for anyone attending a house party with over 15 people.

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

Vaccines: Brexit Britain Willing to Help Bail Out Failing EU

The British government is willing to “move on” from the European Union’s aborted effort to impose a hard border between EU Ireland and British Northern Ireland and help Brussels overcome its vaccine failures.

Britain has far outperformed the European Union on vaccines after opting out joint procurement — a decision heavily criticised by EU loyalists and some supposed health experts when it was made — with the bloc taking much longer to approve, order, and administer inoculations.

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

‘We’ve Had Enough’: In France, Spain and Denmark, Anti-Lockdown Protests Continue

Marches to denounce COVID-19 restrictions put in place by various government have been taking place in cities across Europe.

France

An authorized protest in support of culture workers quickly turned into a rave in the centre of Perpignan on Saturday, with about 200 maskless party-goers at the height of the demonstration.

The open-air disco, which even had a sound system installed on a podium, was over by the early evening.

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

‘You Can Wait’ — WHO Asks UK to Pause Vaccinations Until Other Countries Catch Up

The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked Britain to pause vaccinations once at-risk groups are inoculated, so doses can be “fairly distributed” overseas.

Despite a near-consensus among liberal media and health experts that Britain’s decision to opt-out of the European Union’s vaccine programme and manage its own situation would be a disaster, the island nation has in fact managed to approve vaccines, secure orders, and begin mass vaccinations long before the 27-nation bloc and many other countries, possibly offering a light at the end of the tunnel for a citizenry struggling under lockdown and long-term separation from friends and family.

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

Egypt: The Noblewoman Who Fights for Cats’ and Dogs’ Rights

An Abaza and her Ngo against cullings and cruelty

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JAN 29 — For 20 years, an Egyptian noblewoman has been a champion for the rights of cats, dogs and donkeys in Egypt, working with one of the few animal rights organisations in a country that uses brutal means to keep the stray population under control.

Amina Abaza belongs to an influential Egyptian family of Circassian origin dating back to the late 18th century.

Her family produced the highest number of nobles in the country from the 19th to the mid-20th century.

“I started a shelter for stray cats, dogs, and donkeys, and an organisation to protect animal rights called SPARE, the first fully Egyptian animal protection society,” Abaza told ANSAmed.

The goal of SPARE, whose acronym stands for “Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt”, is to help wounded animals, poisoned dogs and cats, and animals that have been shot by the authorities as part of seasonal culling programmes.

It also seeks to help animals that are abused, tortured and mistreated out of ignorance, poverty or simply for amusement.

“SPARE was founded in 2001,” said Abaza.

“A dog that was my friend when I was little used to wait for the school bus with me every day, but then was killed one night.

I heard horrible screaming, and the next day my dog was not there to wait for the bus with me. Her name was ‘La plus belle de la terre’ (the most beautiful on earth). I think that was the day I decided to do something for animals,” she said.

“In two decades, more than 10,000 animals have been helped, treated, spayed and neutered and also sent to Europe for adoption,” she said.

“At the moment we have our animal sanctuary at our farm in Sakkara,” south of Cairo, she said, adding that it hosts nearly 70 animals including donkeys, dogs, cats, and a camel.

“I adopted them all, because nobody wanted them,” she said.

“In our SPARE clinic, we had an abused animal almost daily, having been thrown in a canal, or strangled by children, or the victim of a car accident or sadistic practices,” said Abaza, whose family has never had any member hold a role as ruler or president of Egypt, but has been defined by some Egyptian media one of the “families that rule the country”.

The Abaza family has also contributed to the modern Arabic intellectual landscape through the works of journalists and political activists.

Abaza said animals are killed in Egypt “because we have rabies, but this is not a reason to kill them savagely with poison or shooting. If the authorities have to kill, they should do it through euthanasia, a gentler way”.

“In Egypt there are very few official animal welfare organisations. The registered ones are very few, maybe 10. There are over 50 unregistered NGOs, but not all are good ones because some work only to get donations and they treat the animals badly, starving them, not giving them vaccines or good veterinary care,” Abaza said.

She expressed regret regarding adoptions.

“Unfortunately there have not been many. In 19 years, only 2,500 animals have been adopted, because most of our animals are from the streets, not purebred. Most of them were adopted in Holland, Germany and Austria,” she said.

When asked about the relationship between her NGO and Italy, she said she remembered one of the SPARE managers.

“A great lady named Egitzia Romeo. She cared for SPARE for 8 years. We all loved her very much and she was an Italian born in Egypt. May she rest in peace”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Anti-Lockdown Protests Turn Bloody in Lebanon

A 30-year-old man has died after security forces fired live rounds during violent clashes between protesters and riot police in Lebanon, with 226 people reported injured.

Earlier this month Lebanon introduced one of the strictest coronavirus-related lockdowns in the world, beginning a two-week 24-hour curfew. But existing anger over everyday quality of life in a country suffering from a spiralling economic crisis bubbled over into street protests.

[Comment: Article dated January 28, 2021.]

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

Davos: Saudi Arabia Ready to Share Global Challenges With US

‘Moving focus from military sphere to security’

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JANUARY 29 — Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum, said Saudi Arabia trusts that the America of Joe Biden “wants to move attention from the military sphere to that of security and cooperation, in an effort to guarantee peace and prosperity to the world”.

“The US administration was very clear on this, and we are confident that we can participate in reaching the objectives set forth in the global challenges we face,” he said.

The minister referred in particular to climate change, highlighting the programmes begun in this field with various European countries, and nuclear policy, stating the Kingdom’s commitment to regional and global stability.

“We want to contribute to reaching peace and global prosperity together with Europe and the United States,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Pope Francis Set to Travel to Iraq to Meet With Ayatollah Sistani, Who Called Unbelievers Unclean

Another fool’s errand in pursuit of the chimera of “dialogue” that has never solved anything or improved the conditions of any Christians in Muslim countries. Sistani has called disbelievers impure on the order of dogs, pigs, blood, etc. However, he has specifically exempted Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians from this. That’s great, but will Francis implore Sistani to remove the “impure” status of Hindus, Buddhists, and other groups that aren’t among the “People of the Book”? Of course not. But everyone will go away from this meeting feeling good, and that’s all that matters.

“Prelate Urges Pope to Sign Catholic-Shia Pact,” by Jules Gomes, ChurchMilitant.com, January 29, 2021.

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

Indonesia: Public High Schools Force Non-Muslim Girls to Wear Hijab

Islamic apologists in the West continually insist that Sharia rules apply only to Muslims, and that non-Muslims will not be inconvenienced by them in the slightest as they come to Europe and North America. There is, however, an abundance of evidence to the contrary.

“Mandatory hijab rule in Padang public schools under scrutiny following non-Muslim student’s complaint,” Coconuts Jakarta, January 25, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace).

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

Military Coup Underway in Myanmar as Civilian Leaders Arrested — State TV Off Air, Internet Cut

It appears a military coup is underway in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar (formerly Burma), where a state of confusion has descended on the population with soldiers now patrolling major city streets, and given state TV has also been taken off the air, according to Reuters.

The national army says a recent major vote won by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party was “fraudulent,” as a breaking BBC report details:

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s governing National League for Democracy (NLD) party, has been arrested, the spokesman for the party said. It comes amid tensions between the civilian government and the military, stoking fears of a coup.

The NLD won enough seats in parliament to form a government in November, but the army says the vote was fraudulent.

The army has called on the government to postpone convening parliament, which was due to take place on Monday.

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

Pakistan: Muslim Falsely Accuses Christian Nurse of Blasphemy, Hospital Staff Tortures Her, Turns Her Over to Police

Pakistan’s blasphemy law is the occasion of regular human rights abuses. But the world yawns. Wrong victims. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

“Christian Nurse in Pakistan Falsely Accused of Blasphemy by Muslim Coworker,” International Christian Concern, January 29, 2021.

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

China is Jailing Twitter Users for Posts Critical of the Chinese Communist Party

Everybody knows by now that major centralized foreign social networks are banned in mainland China, and that some people there still make the effort to use them, bypassing this type of censorship in various ways — but did you know they can also wind up imprisoned because of that “invisible” content?

That’s because even if it’s invisible to the majority of people in China, the authorities appear to be reading it. And reacting.

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

Five Keys to Understanding Chinese Strategy

by Morgan Deane

Chinese strategy can be hard to grasp, with wildly different views from politicians and analysts, lots of scary headlines — lots of letters and numbers like the J20, THAAD or the F35 — as well as a certain mysterious quality and lack of knowledge about Chinese history.

But it isn’t as intimidating when you keep in mind a few key concepts.

China’s History Holds Crucial Clues

[…]

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

Ian Birrell: Virus ‘Definitely’ Began in China, Say US Scientists… And the Outbreak Started in October 2019 — Months Before Beijing Alerted the World

IAN BIRRELL: The coronavirus pandemic definitely started in China, according to a World Health Organisation study which traced the ‘mother’ of all Covid-19 infections to the country.

           — Hat tip: SS [Return to headlines]
 

Pathway to UK Citizenship Now Open to Millions of Hong Kongers

(AFP) — A new visa scheme offering millions of Hong Kongers a pathway to British citizenship went live on Sunday as the city’s former colonial master opens its doors to those wanting to escape China’s crackdown on dissent.

Anyone with a British National (Overseas) passport and their dependents can now apply online for a visa allowing them to live and work in the United Kingdom. After five years, they can apply for citizenship.

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

Religious Books Seized and Burned in Communist China, ‘Believers’ Given Jail Terms

Authored by Jocelyn Neo via The Epoch Times

Years ago, the horrors of the holocaust paved the way for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; however, our basic right to freedom of religion or belief is still being trampled in societies ruled by totalitarian regimes.

In communist China, practicing a certain faith, printing, or even reading religious books could result in prison terms and abuse. Spiritual believers in China — be it Christians, Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, or Falun Gong practitioners — are faced not only with brutal suppression or forced-labor terms but also have their religious books burned or trashed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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

WHO Team ‘Tightly Controlled’ By CCP During COVID-19 Origins Investigation

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s probe into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, appears to be nothing more than the media blitz that most skeptics predicted.

According to Reuters, the team’s visit is being “tightly controlled by its Chinese hosts” as they visited a hospital on Saturday in Wuhan which treated early COVID-19 patients.

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

Climate Change: New Zealand to Phase Out Petrol Cars and Slash Cow Herds

(AFP) — New Zealand unveiled a blueprint Sunday to phase out petrol-powered cars while its dairy industry, a key pillar of the economy, must slash cow numbers under the ambitious plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The changes are among a raft of recommendations presented to the government by the Climate Change Commission on steps New Zealand must take to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

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

Google Reinstates Decentralized Chat App Element After Sudden Ban

A federated alternative to Google’s own Hangouts and Duo Android apps got suspended from the Play Store without explanation on Saturday.

Element (previously known as Riot.im) is one of the clients, and a popular one, for Matrix, a federated open source messaging protocol.

Judging by the comments that started coming in after the Element’s announcement on Twitter, the app is also used widely by a number of governments, including US, French, German, and British, as well as companies and universities.

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

Twitter Suspends Christian Magazine for Calling Biden’s Biologically Male Nominee a Man

Twitter has suspended the account of The Daily Citizen, a publication of Focus on the Family, for a January 19 tweet that described President Biden’s assistant secretary of health nominee, Rachel Levine, as “a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes she is a woman.”

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

9 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/31/2021

  1. “In other news, acts of violence by left-wing extremist groups in Germany increased by 29% in 2020 compared with the previous year.”

    This is a right-wing lie, a nazi conspiracy!
    Nazis and Covid19-deniers are the real threat!
    More money for Antifa to fight Nazis!
    More money for the fight against the right!

    (This was irnoy, if you thought otherwise…)

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