Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/19/2021

Authorities cracked down on illegal lockdown-violating gatherings in Ontario and Malta. Meanwhile, the European Union has begun to reopen its borders to tourists who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

In other news, President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he wants to see a de-escalation of the conflict with the Palestinians and a “path to ceasefire”.

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

Thanks to Dean, DV, Fjordman, 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
» Bitcoin Continues Drop, Falls 30 Percent to $30,000 in Single Day
 
USA
» 2 Teens Killed in California Party Bus Shooting Identified
» Biden’s Department of Defense to Partner With Southern Poverty Law Center on Tackling ‘Extremism’
» Breaking: Trump Responds to New York Criminal Investigation: ‘There is Nothing More Corrupt Than an Investigation That is in Desperate Search of a Crime’
» Chicago’s Mayor Refuses to Give Interviews to White Reporters
» CNN Host Celebrates Antifa Violence, Says Those Who Oppose Them Are on the Same Side as Hitler
» Graham Calls for ‘Draft Trump’ Movement to Kick-Start 2024 WH Campaign
» House Approves Legislation to Form Jan. 6 Bipartisan Commission to Investigate Capitol Riot
» Incumbent Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Accused of Being Soft on Crime Wins Primary
» Jill Biden Said Kamala Harris Can ‘Go F*** Herself’ After She Attacked Joe Biden in First Debate, Book Claims
» Judge Blocks Biden Administration From Doling Out Grants Based on Race, Gender
» Judge Dismisses Durham Bar’s Lawsuit Against City, State Over Revenue Lost to COVID Restrictions
» Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Controversial Florida Trip Subject of IRS Complaint
» Most Americans Don’t Agree With the Massive Pandemic Data Grab
» Officials Say 130 Suspected Victims of Possible Energy Weapon
» Oregon Counties Vote to Secede to Idaho
» Pennsylvania Voters Approve Restrictions on Governor’s Emergency Powers
» Protests at Springfield School Board Meeting Over Diversity Training
» Report: NBA Lost 25% of TV Audience Since 2019, More Than 45% Since 2011
» Rumble Secures Investment From Peter Thiel and JD Vance
» Rutgers Students Opposed to Vaccine Mandate Hold Campus Protest
» Seattle Loses Almost 20% of Police Force Amid Year of Nationwide Protests: “We’re Not Allowed to Intercede”
» St. Louis Attorney Famous for Waving Gun at Protesters is Running for U.S. Senate
» Video: Was Biden ‘Fake Driving’ New Ford Truck?
» Watch: Violent Anti-Semitic Attack at Restaurant Caught on Video
» Watch: Parent Exposes Critical Race Theory Curriculum in Arizona Schools Paid for by the NFL
 
Canada
» Canadian Hospitals Declare Mental Health Crisis Among Children as a Result of Lockdowns, Call for Schools to Reopen
» Ontario Opioid Overdose Deaths Up 75 Percent Since Pandemic’s Start
» Over 20 Tickets Issued for Illegal Gatherings, One Ticket Issued to a “Non-Essential” Nail Salon in Mississauga
» Toronto School Board Considers Renaming Queen Victoria Public School Due to ‘Racist Legacy’
 
Europe and the EU
» Europe Opening Doors to Vaccinated Tourists
» France: Watch: Roving Gangs Firebomb Police, Detonate Explosives in Paris Suburb
» Germany Bans Islamic NGO Over Alleged Terrorism Financing
» German Teenagers Accused of Chasing Cow Into a Moving Train in Tik Tok Challenge
» Germany: Leftist Berlin Mayor Triggered Unlawful Police Raid on Home of Online Critic
» Hezbollah-Linked Sites in Seven German States Raided
» Hungary’s Ruling Conservatives Submit Anti-Pedophile Bill to Parliament
» Italy: 6 Questions for John Paul II’s Assassin
» Malta: Authorities Stop Three Illegal Parties Over the Weekend
» One of the European Disinformation Research Centers to Open in Prague
» PM Orban and Former Slovak PM Dzurinda Clash Over Different Visions of Central Europe
» Social Media Companies Face Calls to Self-Censor in Ireland
» UK: Andrew Lloyd Webber: ‘Selfish’ People Who Decline Vaccines Are Like Deadly Drunk Drivers
» UK: Activists Arrested Over ‘F*** the Jews’ Anti-Israel Protest Linked to Antisemitic Incident in Manchester
» UK: Chances of Lockdown ‘Freedom Day’ Going Ahead in June ‘Close to Nil’: Report
» UK: Delingpole: Guitar Legend Clapton Describes His Battles With COVID ‘Tyranny’
» UK: Woke Vicar to Replace Carvings at 900-Year-Old Church With Minority and Feminist Figures
» Vatican Official Urges Respect for ‘Scientific Consensus’ On Climate Crisis
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Benjamin Netanyahu Says Israel Has Not Ruled Out Conquering Gaza
» Biden Tells Netanyahu He Wants ‘Path to Ceasefire’
» Facebook Shuts Down Pro-Israel Page After it Was Reportedly Targeted by Hate Speech Campaign
 
Russia
» Watch: Russian Military Ad Showcases Strength, Masculinity as Opposed to American ‘Woke’ Ads
 
Far East
» Ex-New York Times Health Reporter: ‘Lab Leak’ Coronavirus Theory Looking Stronger
» Video: Communist Professor Declares That U.S. Was Defeated in ‘Biological War’ With China
 
Australia — Pacific
» Internet History of Auckland Man Accused of Possessing ISIS Material Reveals ‘Guidelines for Lone-Wolf Mujahideen’
» Mark Wahlberg is the Latest Hollywood Hotshot Coming to Byron Bay as His Business Partner Splashes Out on a $200million Precinct
 
Immigration
» 71% of French Say ‘We’re Full’: No More Immigration
» Chaos at the Spanish Border
» Czech PM: We Have to Deal With Migration Outside the EU
» France: National Rally’s Le Pen Accuses Migrant Transport NGOs of Taking Part in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
» Italy’s Lampedusa Island Slammed Again by Migrant Arrivals
» Spanish PM’s Motorcade Attacked by Angry Locals in Ceuta as Army Pushes Back Against Thousands of Migrants Rushing Coast
 
Culture Wars
» Facebook Hints Its “Oversight Board” Could Expand to Other Social Platforms
» Google Introduces Assisted Writing Tool That Suggests ‘Gender-Neutral Alternatives’
» Sweden: Multicultural Malmo Spends £76k ($108k) On 20-Foot High Pink Unicorn for Pride
» Texas Governor Signs ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law, Banning Most Abortions in the State
 

Bitcoin Continues Drop, Falls 30 Percent to $30,000 in Single Day

Bitcoin dropped to around $30,000 Wednesday morning, down more than 30 percent on the day amidst international sell-offs of the cryptocurrency that began a week ago, CNBC reports.

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

2 Teens Killed in California Party Bus Shooting Identified

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Relatives of two people killed after shooters opened fire on a party bus driving on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway have identified them as two teenagers who were celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday. They say they are 19-year-old Alayasia Thurston, of Oakland, and 16-year-old Zoe Hughes, of Modesto. The two were celebrating a friend’s birthday Tuesday when at least two people opened fire from another vehicle on a freeway. They then followed the bus off the freeway and continued shooting at it on city streets. Another five women were wounded.

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Biden’s Department of Defense to Partner With Southern Poverty Law Center on Tackling ‘Extremism’

Groups like ACLU, SPLC, and ADL are responsible for the calamity of Big Tech social media’s rules and policies. Now imagine that net being cast across the entire United States population.

The threat of targeting US citizens based on political leanings is a reality. Again, seeing as how under the Obama administration the IRS engaged in that practice.

The tragic death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville is one thing both sides of the political divide saw as senseless violence. But the fact that President Joe Biden started his campaign repeating a falsehood (confirmed via factcheck.org) that former President Donald Trump did not disavow white supremacists back in August 2017, actually reflects on the type of administration Biden runs now.

By that meaning, according to a recent Pentagon announcement, we’re now learning that the Defense Department is courting controversial partisan NGO groups for their “Countering Extremism Working Group.” This is another step in the Biden government’s effort to force far-left ideology onto the US military.

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

Breaking: Trump Responds to New York Criminal Investigation: ‘There is Nothing More Corrupt Than an Investigation That is in Desperate Search of a Crime’

Former president Donald Trump responded on Wednesday to the criminal investigationundertaken by the New York State Attorney General’s office into the Trump Organization.

In a solid block of text, Trump wrote:

“I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 1/2 years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has ‘informed’ my organization that their ‘investigation’ is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a ‘criminal’ investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

“There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here. The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into ‘every aspect’ of my real estate dealings. She swore that she would ‘definitely sue’ me.

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

Chicago’s Mayor Refuses to Give Interviews to White Reporters

Chicago’s mayor declared that she would only grant one-on-one interviews to minority journalists to protest the lack of diversity in the Windy City press corps.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the first black woman and openly gay person elected to run that city, confirmed the move Tuesday after members of the local press took to Twitter saying they had been denied interviews based on their skin color.

“By now, you may have heard the news that on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as Mayor of this great City, I will be exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color,” Lightfoot said in a letter to local media provided The Post.

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

CNN Host Celebrates Antifa Violence, Says Those Who Oppose Them Are on the Same Side as Hitler

Host of CNN’s “United Shades of America,” W. Kamau Bell, praised far-left extremist group Antifa in his latest segment and said those that are against the violent group are on the same side as Hitler and Mussolini.

“In 2020, many white Americans dealt with complicated feelings about the police for the first time,” Bell asserted. “The right-wing saw that, and they [sic] did what they do: They pulled a bait-and-switch, and returned to an old boogeyman: Antifa.”

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

Graham Calls for ‘Draft Trump’ Movement to Kick-Start 2024 WH Campaign

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) is desperate to bring former President Donald Trump into the campaign fray regardless of whether the 45th president intends to run for his old office in 2024.

“I miss Donald Trump,” Graham told Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night, adding, “I hope he’s considering running. Let’s start a ‘draft Trump’ movement. He’s the one guy I think can go to the American people and say, ‘Let me finish what I started. What I did worked.’“

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

House Approves Legislation to Form Jan. 6 Bipartisan Commission to Investigate Capitol Riot

The House of Representatives Wednesday passed legislation to form an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and to make recommendations on preventing another domestic attack.

Despite opposition from GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the Jan. 6 commission bill garnered bipartisan support. The vote was 252 to 175.

Among the vocal GOP supporters was Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., who called out his colleagues who have tried to “whitewash and rewrite the shameful events” of Jan. 6 and argued a fact-based investigation is needed to heal the nation.

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

Incumbent Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Accused of Being Soft on Crime Wins Primary

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner survived a challenge in the Democratic primary that pit his progressive reforms against growing concern over a rising tide of homicides and gun crimes.

The primary was seen as referendum on whether a wave of prosecutors elected on promises of criminal justice reform — measures like shorter probation and parole and a curtailing of cash bail that disproportionately keeps poor defendants confined before trial — would be blamed for increasing violence.

He beat challenger Carlos Vega, who billed himself as a third option between traditional law-and-order prosecutions and reform.

[Comment: Soros supports Larry Krasner.]

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

Jill Biden Said Kamala Harris Can ‘Go F*** Herself’ After She Attacked Joe Biden in First Debate, Book Claims

The relationship between the Bidens and Vice President Kamala Harris purportedly became messy after Harris — then Joe Biden’s opponent in the primary — came after him for his record on busing and his boasts of his relationships with segregationist senators, according to journalist Edward Isaac Dovere.

First lady Jill Biden even said Harris can “go f*** herself” in a call with campaign donors, Dovere writes in his forthcoming book shared with Fox News, “Battle for the Soul,” to be published May 25.

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

Judge Blocks Biden Administration From Doling Out Grants Based on Race, Gender

A federal judge this week blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from giving out grants in a program aimed at prioritizing applicants due to their race and/or gender.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush nominee, said he believes plaintiff Philip Greer is likely to succeed as he granted a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

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

Judge Dismisses Durham Bar’s Lawsuit Against City, State Over Revenue Lost to COVID Restrictions

DURHAM, N.C. — A superior court judge on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuits filed by the owner of Durham bar Atomic Fern against the city and state over revenue lost due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The lawsuit, filed in January, by Atomic Fern owner Kevin Slater sought $25,000.

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

Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Controversial Florida Trip Subject of IRS Complaint

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) complaint over her controversial trip to Florida in March, which she initially lied about taking and which came after she had cautioned against out-of-state travel due to coronavirus risks.

Conservative advocacy group Michigan Rising Action filed the IRS complaint against Whitmer and alleges the governor’s trip to Florida was outside the tax-exempt scope of her transition organization that helped pay for the trip.

The governor paid over $27,000 for her flight through a combination of payments from an inauguration-related nonprofit and with her own out-of-pocket cash, according to her office.

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

Most Americans Don’t Agree With the Massive Pandemic Data Grab

According to a recently published study, most Americans are uncomfortable with their digital health data being used to fight the pandemic. While the data may be of benefit to governments, the privacy risk appears to be too significant to ignore.

The study was conducted last July and responses were collected from 3,547 adults in the US. The study focused on how people felt about the use of digital health data to fight the pandemic, like the use of the Apple and Google exposure notification app for tracking, or a smart thermometer manufacturer sharing temperature records with public health bodies.

Regardless of the data sharing scenario, most people were not comfortable with the sharing of their data.

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

Officials Say 130 Suspected Victims of Possible Energy Weapon

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin reports these people may have been the target of a directed energy microwave weapon on ‘Special Report’.

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

Oregon Counties Vote to Secede to Idaho

Voters in five rural Oregon counties approved measures on Tuesday to consider joining the state of Idaho, a part of a long-shot grassroots movement to break with a state dominated by liberal voters west of the Cascade Mountains.

Voters in Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker and Lake counties all approved measures that would require county officials to take steps to promote moving the Idaho border west to incorporate their populations.

Oregon voters favored President Biden over former President Trump by a 56 percent to 40 percent margin in 2020, but voters in those five rural counties gave between 69 percent and 79 percent of the vote to Trump.

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

Pennsylvania Voters Approve Restrictions on Governor’s Emergency Powers

In March, I wrote about proposed constitutional amendments in Pennsylvania that would restrict the Governor’s emergency powers. Those amendments have now passed.

Pennsylvania voters have approved two ballot questions that would curtail the governor’s emergency powers, a victory for Republican lawmakers in what was widely seen as a referendum on the Wolf administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unofficial results show 54% of voters backed amending the state constitution to allow a simple majority of lawmakers to terminate a disaster declaration at any time. Currently, such a declaration can only be ended with the governor’s consent or with support from two-thirds of the General Assembly.

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

Protests at Springfield School Board Meeting Over Diversity Training

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Dozens of people joined together outside the Kraft Administration Building in Springfield protesting Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools.

Springfield Public Schools said they don’t have plans to add CRT in the school curriculum or teacher training. However, protesters said they have proof that states otherwise.

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

Report: NBA Lost 25% of TV Audience Since 2019, More Than 45% Since 2011

The NBA continues to suffer ratings disasters, with ABC falling 45 percent since the 2011-12 season, TNT down 40 percent, and ESPN off 20 percent.

It was reported that in May the NBA lost 13 percent over the “bubble” coronavirus season, and when headed into the final week of the 2020/2021 season, the ratings for ESPN, ABC, and TNT’s broadcasts were all down roughly 13 percent over the 2019/2020 season — the latter of which included the games in the NBA “bubble.”

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

Rumble Secures Investment From Peter Thiel and JD Vance

Popular YouTube alternative Rumble has revealed that it’s receiving investment from several conservative venture capitalists including billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel and best-selling author JD Vance.

The investment is being led by Thiel and the venture capital fund Narya Capital which was co-founded by Vance and Colin Greenspon. Colt Ventures, the family office of investor and former Trump advisor Darren Blanton, is also part of the investment group.

Ethan Fallang, a principal at Narya Capital, will be joining Rumble’s board as part of the deal.

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

Rutgers Students Opposed to Vaccine Mandate Hold Campus Protest

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Out of a total enrollment of 51,000 undergrads, these are the select few Rutgers students who say they intend to fight the university’s mandate that they get the coronavirus vaccine in order to return to campus this fall. They plan to hold a protest against the mandate this Friday on the College Avenue campus in New Brunswick.

“I’m very angry. I think the decision to get a COVID vaccination should be a personal choice, not the government’s,” said Sara Razi, a 21-year-old Rutgers junior. “And I’m not anti-vaccine at all. I’ve gotten the flu shot; my childhood vaccines. I’m anti-vaccine mandate.”

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

Seattle Loses Almost 20% of Police Force Amid Year of Nationwide Protests: “We’re Not Allowed to Intercede”

The Seattle Police Department is struggling under the backlash of recent police reforms. The state of Washington has just enacted a dozen police reform laws, following nearly a year of protests over police brutality.

According to one social justice group, more than $840 million were cut from U.S. police budgets in 2020.

This has caused a shortage of police in Seattle. The police chief tells CBS News that 260 officers, which is almost 20 percent of the force, have left in the past year and a half.

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

St. Louis Attorney Famous for Waving Gun at Protesters is Running for U.S. Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — Nearly a year after waving a long gun at protesters who had walked onto the street in front of his Central West End mansion, Mark McCloskey on Tuesday said he is running for U.S. Senate.

McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, pleaded not guilty in October to charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.

After the gun-waving incident last June made international headlines, Gov. Mike Parson promised to pardon the couple if they were convicted, and the two later spoke at the Republican National Convention.

[Comment: I hope he wins.]

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

Video: Was Biden ‘Fake Driving’ New Ford Truck?

Yesterday reporters laughed at Joe Biden for ‘joking’ about running them over in a new Ford pickup truck, but it has now been suggested that the President appears to have been ‘fake driving’ the truck and that the whole thing was a weird PR stunt.

Biden was filmed and photographed driving the new electric F-150 truck from Ford, after having given a speech about the need to move to electric vehicles (Biden has helped sell off a huge swathe of this sector of the industry to China).

But was he really driving the truck?

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

Watch: Violent Anti-Semitic Attack at Restaurant Caught on Video

New cell phone and surveillance video show a pro-Palestine caravan travelling through Los Angeles when a group of men wearing all black exit the vehicles and attack a group of Jewish diners. The men reportedly used anti-Semitic profanity, and LAPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

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

Watch: Parent Exposes Critical Race Theory Curriculum in Arizona Schools Paid for by the NFL

An outraged parent in Peoria, Arizona, exposed critical race theory curriculum taught in the school district and paid for by the NFL in partnership with the Arizona School Board Association.

At the Peoria Unified School District’s governing board meeting on May 13, the unidentified parent named EverFi’s “306: Continuing the Story,” a digital course for middle school and high school students that “uses counter storytelling to reveal Black experiences that are not often told…” or have been “purposefully silenced,” according to description outlined on the program’s website.

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

Canadian Hospitals Declare Mental Health Crisis Among Children as a Result of Lockdowns, Call for Schools to Reopen

The Children’s Hospital in Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and Children First Canada have declared what is called a Code Pink, saying that school closures, lack of access to recreation, and social isolation have led to “devastating effects on the health and well-being of kids and youth.”

A press release from the group says that the aforementioned problems “have resulted in children being one of the hardest hit populations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a release said.

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

Ontario Opioid Overdose Deaths Up 75 Percent Since Pandemic’s Start

A new report released by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital says that fatal opioid overdoses have risen by 75 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. Rural and medium-sized urban centres are among the hardest hit, and the cases where fentanyl is present have risen. The unprecedented rise in opioid deaths correlates with lockdown restrictions, as 75 percent of those who overdosed died alone.

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

Over 20 Tickets Issued for Illegal Gatherings, One Ticket Issued to a “Non-Essential” Nail Salon in Mississauga

Last week, the City of Mississauga issued a total of 27 COVID-19-related tickets to people who allegedly attended illegal gatherings, violated rules governing business operations and committed offences in parks.

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

Toronto School Board Considers Renaming Queen Victoria Public School Due to ‘Racist Legacy’

Canada’s largest school board’s Planning and Priorities Committee is looking at changing the name of the Queen Victoria Public School, due to the Queen’s “racist legacy.”

A request submitted by the committee says that the school council’s Black Student Success Committee is expressing interest in beginning the process of “changing the school name.”

“Under our current policies, a request of this nature can be initiated from a school or local community,” the request states, according to True North.

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

Europe Opening Doors to Vaccinated Tourists

Across the EU, borders are reopening to tourists from the US, UK and antipodes as a group of diplomats meeting in Brussels officially signed off on the plan.

The European Commission, the unelected committee of bureaucrats that handles most of the bloc’s executive policymaking, first got the word out back in April that tourists in wealthy countries who could prove their vaccination status could start booking European vacations again.

According to the AFP, the recommendations will be officially adopted by EU ministers on May 21. Until then, non-essential travel to the 27-member bloc will be banned, as it has been since last spring, when the pandemic first emerged from Wuhan.

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

France: Watch: Roving Gangs Firebomb Police, Detonate Explosives in Paris Suburb

A town in the Paris suburbs was rocked by hours of urban warfare as large groups of militants attacked police and emergency crews with incendiary devices on Monday night, according to reports.

At least 10 cars were destroyed in the mayhem along with other private property as assailants lobbed Molotov cocktails and shot fireworks in the commune of Argenteuil.

Firefighters and cops responding to a burning car at around 10:30 p.m. were ambushed by a group of around 50 masked individuals, a police source told local media.

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

Germany Bans Islamic NGO Over Alleged Terrorism Financing

The German government has announced a ban on the Salafist-Islamic association Ansaar International after accusing the purported aid organization of using donations to finance terrorist groups across the world.

Germany’s Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced the ban earlier this month on the same day that authorities across ten federal states carried out raids against people and properties associated with the Islamic organization and its various offshoots, German newspaper Die Welt reports.

“To fight terror, one must dry up its sources of money,” said Seehofer.

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

German Teenagers Accused of Chasing Cow Into a Moving Train in Tik Tok Challenge

Two German teenage girls from Bavaria are suspected of having deliberately startled cows in a pasture in the Allgäu and chased them in front of a moving train. As the police announced on Tuesday, an animal was hit by a regional train and killed on Thursday, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. Information from a witness indicated a connection with the so-called “Kulikitaka Challenge”.

In short videos under this title, people with wild movements frighten animals to the sounds of a merengue title. After the accident in the Allgäu, the police warned on Tuesday not to imitate this. Last year the social network TikTok deleted many “Kulikitaka” videos after farmers warned that scaring cows was life-threatening for animals and people.

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

Germany: Leftist Berlin Mayor Triggered Unlawful Police Raid on Home of Online Critic

Opposition politicians have questioned whether Berlin’s Social Democrat (SPD) Mayor Michael Müller abused his power after he triggered a police operation and search of the home of a woman who had criticised him on social media in actions later deemed unlawful.

The case began on April 14th, 2019, when a Facebook user named “Karina Fitzi” posted a doctored image of Müller that indicated he wanted to bring all the migrants picked up by NGO “rescue” transports to Berlin.

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

Hezbollah-Linked Sites in Seven German States Raided

BERLIN (AP) — Police raided sites in seven German states on Wednesday as German authorities announced a ban on three groups linked to the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah.

Germany’s Interior Ministry said the groups are suspected of raising funds for families of killed Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah, which is rooted in Lebanon’s Shiite community and has close ties to Iran, is an avowed enemy of Israel.

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

Hungary’s Ruling Conservatives Submit Anti-Pedophile Bill to Parliament

Hungary’s ruling conservative party Fidesz has submitted a tougher anti-pedophile law to parliament, caucus leader Maté Kocsis announced on his Facebook page.

“Every well-meaning person is shaken, but it especially worries us parents when we hear about pedophile crimes in the news. It is not all right for our children to come across content that is inappropriate for their age in more and more places, but it is also wrong that pedophiles are often punished too lightly,” Kocsis said when submitting the bill on Tuesday.

“Children need to be protected, and the perpetrators hit harder, which is why we will be presenting the anti-pedophile package to parliament next week. The first point is a searchable pedophile register of those who have committed sexual offenses against children should be established. In many cases, this can prevent pedophiles from getting close to children again.”

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

Italy: 6 Questions for John Paul II’s Assassin

Much still remains a mystery about the assassination attempt of former Pope John Paul II in 1981, but one journalist is still searching for answers.

“Did someone from Soviet services contact you so that you would kill Pope John Paul II?” Gian Franco Svidercoschi asked Mehmet Ali Agca in a new open letter.

The letter from the 84-year-old deputy editor-in-chief of Vatican journal L’Osservatore Romano was published by the Italian religious portal Il Sismografo a few days after the 40th anniversary of the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt and on the 101st anniversary of John Paul II’s birth (May 18).

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

Malta: Authorities Stop Three Illegal Parties Over the Weekend

Some 30 people were fined over the weekend after going to parties in breach of COVID-19 restrictions.

A police spokesperson said that on Saturday night, police were informed that a party was being held at a private residence in Gharghur. Police together with officials from the Health Authority went on site and 20 people were fined by the police.

On the same night, at around 3.30am, the police were also informed that there was another large gathering inside a private residence in Balzan. Nine people were fined by the police.

On Sunday, at around 4.30pm, officials from the Malta Tourism Authority and the police also swooped on a party being held in the limits of Rabat. Police did not give the number of fines issued.

A police spokesman said the fines were issued in terms of legal notices which regulate the number of persons in households and the organisation of mass events. They range from €300 for the former, and €3000 for the latter.

The weekend fines were part of a total of 1,078 COVID-19 fines issued last week, where 76 people were fined for illegal gatherings in private residences.

Another 160 people were fined for being in groups larger than four.

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

One of the European Disinformation Research Centers to Open in Prague

One of the eight European centers for research of disinformation will be established in Prague. The aim is to create an index that will allow a long-term study of the impact of misinformation on the Czech population and the media. The project entitled Central European Digital Media Observatory will be led by experts from Prague’s Charles University and the Czech Technical University.

The European Digital Media Observatory will focus on a number of goals, such as creating tools for tracking the routes through which disinformation spreads on the Internet and social networks or the identification of so-called deep fakes as well as linking fact-checking initiatives across Europe.

There will be a total of eight centers. And one of them, the Central European “branch”, will be based in Prague. The Czech capital succeeded in the selection of the European Commission.

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

PM Orban and Former Slovak PM Dzurinda Clash Over Different Visions of Central Europe

In a recent interview, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed his view that the Visegrad Four countries of Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia, should find their own voice and create a political counterweight in the European Union dominated by the Franco-German alliance. He has also expressed the view that Europe’s indigenous culture rooted in Christian values will survive and thrive in the Central and Eastern European region, while the West will be dominated by Islam.

His former counterpart and long-time political critic, former Slovakian Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda (1998-2006), has reacted to the above thesis by saying that creating a direct counterweight to the Franco-German cooperation would be damaging because such a goal would not contribute to the spirit of European unity, but would instead weaken it.

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

Social Media Companies Face Calls to Self-Censor in Ireland

Executives from Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok faced Irish legislators in Leinster House, to provide answers on what they are doing to fight the recent increase in “online abuse” in Ireland. Members of the ruling party, Fianna Fail, called for the immediate recruitment of an independent social media watchdog.

As expected, while answering to the Oireachtas Media Committee, executives from the social media platforms promised to do their best to tackle online abuse. And as usual, they argued they cannot do much since they are not publishers, they host third-party content.

As a result, Fianna Fail Sen. Malcom Byrne called for the establishment of an independent social media watchdog; a new online safety commissioner.

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

UK: Andrew Lloyd Webber: ‘Selfish’ People Who Decline Vaccines Are Like Deadly Drunk Drivers

Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has said that those who decline vaccines are “selfish” and similar to people who decide to drive drunk and kill others.

“I do think it’s selfish, because, I mean, look at it this way, I mean, you could just say, I would like to go out and have a drink tonight and drive home, and accidentally I kill somebody,” said the 73-year-old, best known for his work on musicals including Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar, in an interview with the BBC.

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

UK: Activists Arrested Over ‘F*** the Jews’ Anti-Israel Protest Linked to Antisemitic Incident in Manchester

Four men arrested in connection to a pro-Palestinian convoy that drove through Jewish neighbourhoods of London shouting antisemitic and sexually violent comments were arrested in relation to a similar incident four hours away in Salford, Greater Manchester.

British politicians expressed their shock and disgust on Sunday over footage that went viral on social media purporting to show a convoy of anti-Israel activists flying Palestinian flags from their car, with one man was heard shouting: “F*** the Jews”, “F*** their mothers”, “F*** their daughters”, and “Rape their daughters”.

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

UK: Chances of Lockdown ‘Freedom Day’ Going Ahead in June ‘Close to Nil’: Report

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly convene his cabinet to discuss whether the United Kingdom will actually see a full lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions next month, amid concerns about the so-called Indian variant of the virus.

While the PM has claimed that his “roadmap to freedom” will see a “cautious but irreversible” lifting of restrictions by June, government ministers are now expressing doubt over the feasibility of such a move.

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

UK: Delingpole: Guitar Legend Clapton Describes His Battles With COVID ‘Tyranny’

Eric Clapton has spoken out about his bad experiences with the AZ vaccine, his despair with Britain’s leadership, and his personal rebellion against “tyranny and arrogant authority.”

The rock guitarist made his views known in a message to the Telegram group of campaigner Robin Monotti Graziadei, which has been authenticated by Rolling Stone.

Clapton talks about the scientists he has admired during the coronavirus crisis — Carl Heneghan, Sunetra Gupta and Jay Bhattacharya; about the few British politicians who have acquitted themselves well — Sir Charles Walker MP; Sir Desmond Swayne MP, as well as senior lawyer Lord Sumption.

He talks about his musical collaboration with fellow Covid sceptic Van Morrison — and about the “contempt and scorn” he got for doing so.

And he describes how he believes his reaction to his second AZ jab affected him so badly — “my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks” — that he feared he would never play again.

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

UK: Woke Vicar to Replace Carvings at 900-Year-Old Church With Minority and Feminist Figures

A 900-year-old church in East Yorkshire will have damaged carvings replaced with figures celebrating feminist and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) figures.

The woke restoration project of St Mary’s Church in Beverley is being spearheaded by Vicar Reverend Rebecca Lumley and has been approved by the Church of England.

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

Vatican Official Urges Respect for ‘Scientific Consensus’ On Climate Crisis

ROME — The “scientific consensus” on climate change “calls for a radical change in the way our economic and political systems operate,” said the coordinator of the Vatican’s Ecology and Creation office Tuesday.

“I have seen how the climate crisis is affecting the lives of communities, especially of the poor,” Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam told Crux. “I lived and served in an area where there were (and unfortunately even now) the tragic cases of farmers committing suicides as their crops failed year after year due to droughts and other climate triggered natural disasters.”

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

Benjamin Netanyahu Says Israel Has Not Ruled Out Conquering Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel is trying to “achieve a state of deterrence against Hamas” to end the hostilities that have killed 229 people on both sides, but hasn’t ruled out “other options” — which include conquering Gaza.

“We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We are taking care of the operation’s objectives,” Netanyahu told foreign journalists, adding that no timeframe can be announced for the end to the fighting, the Times of Israel reported.

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

Biden Tells Netanyahu He Wants ‘Path to Ceasefire’

US President Joe Biden has told Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu he expects a “significant de-escalation” in the Gaza conflict on Wednesday.

Mr Biden wanted a “path to ceasefire”, the White House said.

The US is a staunch ally of Israel and has so far opposed a joint UN Security Council statement on the conflict.

Earlier Mr Netanyahu said the Israeli military was “taking care of objectives”, adding “we’re not standing with a stopwatch”.

The conflict is in its 10th day, with a continuing exchange of rocket fire from Palestinian militants into Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

On Wednesday, four rockets were also fired from Lebanon into Israel and Israel’s military responded by firing artillery shells at “a number of targets in Lebanese territory”. It was not immediately clear whether this would prove to be a significant escalation…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Facebook Shuts Down Pro-Israel Page After it Was Reportedly Targeted by Hate Speech Campaign

Social media giant Facebook took down a pro-Israel page last week after it was allegedly targeted by radical Islamists amid ongoing unrest in the Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Prayer Team (JPT) page, which has tens of millions of followers, was reportedly shut down on Friday after it was flooded with comments from people who allegedly wanted it taken offline.

The page’s founder, Michael Evans, told The Christian Broadcasting Network that there was an “organized attempt” by radical Islamists to target the page. Evans then said the people, who posted over 1 million comments on the site, contacted Facebook to say they had never written on the site.

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

Watch: Russian Military Ad Showcases Strength, Masculinity as Opposed to American ‘Woke’ Ads

A side-effect of the former Trump administration is that the United States has pitted itself against Russia as its main adversary.

With the onset of the sweeping changes enacted by the Biden administration, the American military has been forced to adapt identity politics as a form of both national and foreign policy.

A recent Twitter video that’s gone viral has both of these elements at play, side by side. In it, viewers see what both Russia and the USA are focusing on with their respective recruitment strategies.

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

Ex-New York Times Health Reporter: ‘Lab Leak’ Coronavirus Theory Looking Stronger

Possibility that virus escaped from Wuhan lab was initially dismissed by media as a conspiracy theory

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Video: Communist Professor Declares That U.S. Was Defeated in ‘Biological War’ With China

A professor with close ties to the Communist Chinese Government has declared that his country ‘defeated’ the U.S. in 2020, winning a biological war, and putting America ‘back in it’s place’. The comments were made by Chen Ping, a Senior Researcher at The China Institute of Fudan University, a CCP affiliated think tank, and a professor at Peking University.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Internet History of Auckland Man Accused of Possessing ISIS Material Reveals ‘Guidelines for Lone-Wolf Mujahideen’

WARNING: Graphic content

Internet searches by an Auckland man accused of possessing publications promoting terrorism reveal a video on how to make improvised explosive devices and advice on avoiding Government intelligence agencies, a court has heard.

The accused, known as Mr S due to an interim suppression order, is on trial before a High Court jury over three charges of possessing an objectionable publication relating to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

He is also charged with possessing an offensive weapon and failing to comply with a police search.

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

Mark Wahlberg is the Latest Hollywood Hotshot Coming to Byron Bay as His Business Partner Splashes Out on a $200million Precinct

Mark Wahlberg is the latest hotshot businessman hoping to cash in on Byron Bay’s skyrocketing popularity.

           — Hat tip: SS [Return to headlines]
 

71% of French Say ‘We’re Full’: No More Immigration

A new poll has found that 71 per cent of French people think the country has had enough immigration and that it can’t take any more.

The 2021 Fraternity Barometer, a joint effort by the polling firm Ifop and le Labo de la Fraternité, found that almost three quarters of respondents desired to see no more immigration, while a clear majority of 64 per cent said France should no longer accept refugees because of the threat of terrorism.

France has suffered numerous terror attacks carried out by jihadists who were let into the country as “refugees,” including the majority of the Paris massacre terrorists.

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

Chaos at the Spanish Border

If diversity is a strength, why do Islamist countries keep threatening to send migrants to Europe as a punishment?

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

Czech PM: We Have to Deal With Migration Outside the EU

We have to deal with migration outside the European Union, said Prime Minister Andrej Babis on the CNN Prima NEWS channel. He emphasized that Czechia, not the EU, must decide who will live and work in the country.

The number of migrants heading to Europe is rising again. In the first months of 2021, over 36,000 migrants arrived, about a third more than in the same period last year. They come mainly from North Africa, and with them, the scenes known from the migration crisis in 2015, i.e. smuggling, gambling with life while sailing across stormy seas, and crowded refugee camps in Southern Europe.

The prime minister told CNN Prima NEWS that he cannot predict whether 2015 will be repeated, however, he stressed that refugee quotas would not return. The quotas were part of the European Commission’s proposal from 2015 which tried to distribute asylum seekers who entered the EU among EU member states.

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

France: National Rally’s Le Pen Accuses Migrant Transport NGOs of Taking Part in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

In an official statement, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the populist National Rally party, has condemned the actions of NGO migrant transport ships, accusing the organizations of taking part in human trafficking and modern slavery.

Le Pen’s statement, released last week on France’s national day of the abolition of the slave trade, sharply criticized NGO ships which, for the last several years, have worked tirelessly to transport illegal migrants sitting off the North African Mediterranean coast to the European continent.

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

Italy’s Lampedusa Island Slammed Again by Migrant Arrivals

LAMPEDUSA, Sicily — The tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is in the throes of yet another season of migrants arriving by sea, and Ibrahima Mbaye and Waly Sarr can only watch from shore as their fellow Africans risk their lives to get here via unsafe smugglers’ boats.

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

Spanish PM’s Motorcade Attacked by Angry Locals in Ceuta as Army Pushes Back Against Thousands of Migrants Rushing Coast

Left-wing Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s motorcade was attacked by angry locals as he arrived in Ceute, which is ground-zero for a rapidy developing migrant crisis.

Thousands of additional migrants are believed to be heading to the Spanish enclave of Ceute after a record number of about 6,000 migrants arrived across the sea on Monday.

Dramatic video of locals attacking Sanchez’s motorcade has gone viral, with police pushing back against a crowd who kicked the vehicles and hurled projectiles.

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

Facebook Hints Its “Oversight Board” Could Expand to Other Social Platforms

Facebook is seen as trying to promote the self-regulating model known as its Oversight Board as a success story that could become a standard for other similar platforms.

There were indications of an ambition to turn the Oversight Board into a bigger, more widely-encompassing regulatory body in a letter CEO Mark Zuckerberg penned in 2019, announcing the Board and saying that while it would initially deal with a small number of contentious cases, Facebook hoped it would in time expand to include “more companies across the industry as well.”

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

Google Introduces Assisted Writing Tool That Suggests ‘Gender-Neutral Alternatives’

During Google’s annual developers conference Google I/O Tuesday, the tech giant unveiled its new collaborative tool Smart Canvas, which includes a new assisted writing tool that recommends to users gender neutral language in their writing, Metro reports.

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

Sweden: Multicultural Malmo Spends £76k ($108k) On 20-Foot High Pink Unicorn for Pride

The multicultural Swedish city of Malmö has spent an estimated 900,000 Swedish kronor (£76,409/$108,045) on a 20-foot high pink unicorn as part of a World Pride event set for August.

The 20-foot high and 33-foot wide pink unicorn sculpture was unveiled in the public square in the heart of the city and is said to be a collaboration between Malmö’s local government and Malmö’s Pride organisation.

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

Texas Governor Signs ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law, Banning Most Abortions in the State

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Wednesday legislation that bans abortions in the state once fetal heartbeats are detected.

The “fetal heartbeat” bill, effective Sept. 1, will ban most abortions in the Lone Star State, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The restriction, part of an aggressive agenda for Republican lawmakers during the current legislative session, places Texas at the helm of the pro-life fight among conservative states challenging the boundaries of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 controversial Supreme Court case.

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

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/19/2021

  1. “One of the eight European centers for research of disinformation will be established in Prague.”

    “The Ministry of Truth—Minitrue, in Newspeak—was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party: WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”

  2. “PM Orban and Former Slovak PM Dzurinda Clash Over Different Visions of Central Europe” luckily, the ideas of clero-fascist Slovaks are irrelevant to pretty much everybody.

  3. In Germany, not only various scientists, actors and pop stars, but recently also a whole series of rappers, the most prominent is likely to be Xavier Naidoo, publicly opposed the Corona ideology and the associated measures: https://youtu.be/sAJ4MQlnDkM

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