Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2021

A German TV reporter named Susanna Ohlen was caught on video smearing herself with mud in order to appear more authentic during her reporting on the recent flooding. Ms. Ohlen has been suspended by her employer, the RTL network.

In other news, a senior Labour Party official with a Mohammed Coefficient of 100% said that the party will definitely vote against vaccine passports for the UK.

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

Thanks to Fjordman, JW, Reader from Chicago, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. I check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

USA
» $150M Initially Going to Victims in Surfside Condo Collapse: Judge
» Breaking: Biden Admin Disavows CRT Material Originally Included in Official School Reopening Guidance
» CNN Bureau Chief Says ‘Carrot’ Is No Longer Working in Drive to Vaccinate Americans
» CNN’s Town Hall With President Biden Bombed in the Ratings
» Downingtown Parents Speak Out on Critical Race Theory
» Exclusive — Pompeo Explains How He and Trump Would Have Handled Cuba Better Than Biden
» Florida Gov. DeSantis Vows to Fight Any Federal School Mask Mandate
» Former Education Sec. Devos Blasts Biden Admin’s ‘Many Ties’ to ‘Twisted and Warped’ Critical Race Theory
» George Soros Funneled $1M to Defund the Police Movement as Violent Crime Continues to Surge
» ‘Maskless’ Dem Donna Howard Still Desperately Digging
» Missouri Teachers, CRT Advocate Plotted to Hide Social Justice Curriculum From ‘Trump Country’ Parents
» Poll: Majority of Americans Want Investigations Into BLM and Antifa Riots, Not Capitol Infiltration
» Revealed: Critical Race Theory Group Promoted by Dept of Ed Has Links to Top Biden Officials
» St. Petersburg City Council Shows Support for Cuba Protests
» Teacher Fired After Anti-Riot Facebook Posts, Sues School District
» Union Protests New York-Presbyterian’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Staff
» Video: Sen. Ron Johnson Unloads on Fauci; “He’s Culpable, He’s Lying, He Needs to be Held Accountable”
» Virginia School Board Unanimously Rejects Critical Race Theory and State-Mandated Transgender Policy
» Watch: White House Defends Policy of Anonymous Buyers for Hunter Biden’s ‘Art’
 
Canada
» Alberta Bucks the Trend on COVID-19 Compared to Canada, Cites Love for Freedom: Poll
» Public Health Agency Admits Almost All Canadian Children With COVID-19 Were Never Hospitalized, Closures Worse Than Pandemic
» Trudeau Government Sent Over 28,000 People to Quarantine Hotels: Report
 
Europe and the EU
» Arrests for Gun Crimes Soar in Sweden Since 2017
» Britons Ditch COVID Surveillance App After Constant Demands for Isolation
» Commuters Block Border Crossing Between Czechia and Slovakia
» Czech PM Talks Conflict and Friendship in His New Book
» Czech Senate Approves the Right to Use a Weapon in Self-Defense
» Eric Clapton Says He Won’t Play Venues That Enforce Vaccine Mandates
» French 13-Year-Old Boy Discovered Murdered and ‘Eaten’
» German TV News Reporter Suspended After Video Shows Her Smearing Herself With Mud in Flood-Hit Town
» Hungarian Spy Story Follows a Well Worn Path
» Italians Hit the Streets to Protest Mandatory Vaccine Passports
» Italian Populist Leader Salvini Claims Vaccine Not Necessary for Those Under 40
» Lawmakers Who Refused Anti-Harassment Training Banned From UK Parliament Facilities
» List of UK Venues That Could Mandate ‘Vaccine Passports’ Already Expanding
» UK House of Lords Blasts Big Tech as Monopolizers of the “Public Square” In New Report
» UK Law Commission Recommends Making Speech Offenses Based on “Likely Psychological Harm”
» UK: London Office Workers Demand $7,000 Payoff Before Returning to Office
» UK: Labour Will ‘Absolutely’ Vote Against Vaccine Passports, Pledges Mahmood
» UK: Poor Families Could See 11 Per Cent Rise in Grocery Bills Under Govt ‘Unhealthy’ Food Restrictions: Report
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Israeli Firm Denies Any Involvement in Surveillance List
 
Far East
» Hong Kong Police Arrest Apple Daily Former Executive Editor-in-Chief
» Kodak Deletes Xinjiang Photo From Instagram, Apologizes for Offending China
» Video: China Refuses to Cooperate With Who Investigation; Says Lab Leak Possibility is a “Conspiracy Theory” And “Against Science”
 
Latin America
» Cuban Protesters Report Being Sent to Jail Without Fair Trials
» US Sanctions Cuba Over Crackdown on Protests in 1st Steps Toward New Policy
» YouTube Deletes 15 Videos From Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
 
Immigration
» Greece Investigates Foreign Activists Suspected of Helping People Smugglers
» Over 200 Migrants Scale Fence Into Spain’s Melilla Enclave
» Record of Failure: More Illegal Boat Migrants Have Landed in Britain This Year Than All of 2020
» Rural Texan Community Sees Rise in Crime, Deaths Due to Illegal Immigration
» Swedish Court Reduces Sentence of LGBT Activist Convicted of Raping Male Asylum Seekers
 
Culture Wars
» Only 12% of Romanians Approve Further LGBT Rights — Survey
 

$150M Initially Going to Victims in Surfside Condo Collapse: Judge

Sum includes insurance on the Champlain Towers South building and the expected proceeds from sale of the Surfside property where the structure once stood

Victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse of a 12-story oceanfront Surfside condominium will get a minimum of $150 million in compensation initially, a judge said Wednesday.

That sum includes insurance on the Champlain Towers South building and the expected proceeds from sale of the Surfside property where the structure once stood, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said at a hearing.

“The court’s concern has always been the victims here,” the judge said, adding that the group includes visitors and renters, not just condo owners. “Their rights will be protected.”

The $150 million does not count any proceeds from the numerous lawsuits already filed since the June 24 collapse, which killed at least 97 people. Those lawsuits are being consolidated into a single class action that would cover all victims and family members if they choose, the judge said.

“I have no doubt, no stone will be left unturned,” Hanzman said of the lawsuits…

           — Hat tip: JW [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: Biden Admin Disavows CRT Material Originally Included in Official School Reopening Guidance

After the Biden administration’s Department of Education was forced to walk back guidance on schools reopening that included counsel from critical race theory purveyors Abolitionist Teaching Network, the White House disavowed the group in a press briefing on Thursday.

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

CNN Bureau Chief Says ‘Carrot’ Is No Longer Working in Drive to Vaccinate Americans

A leaked internal email from CNN’s Washington bureau chief complains that the “carrot” is no longer working in terms of convincing Americans to get vaccinated and that authorities need to start using the “stick.”

The message, which was mistakenly sent to conservative activist Charlie Kirk, was only intended to be seen by other CNN colleagues.

Although Fox News didn’t name the individual responsible for the comment during an interview segment between Tucker Carlson and Kirk, CNN’s Washington bureau chief is also the network’s senior vice president, Sam Feist.

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

CNN’s Town Hall With President Biden Bombed in the Ratings

The CNN town hall event in Ohio, with the current President of the United States, only averaged 1.5 million viewers, slumping behind both Fox News and MSNBC.

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

Downingtown Parents Speak Out on Critical Race Theory

DOWNINGTOWN — Downingtown parents are speaking out about the controversial Critical Race Theory, and the hiring of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion director. A petition has even been circulated.

At a recent school board meeting, incoming freshman Mackenzie Gillespie of Upper Uwchlan Township said Critical Race Theory has been doing more harm than good by increasing “the space between people in today’s society.”

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

Exclusive — Pompeo Explains How He and Trump Would Have Handled Cuba Better Than Biden

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Breitbart News exclusively that he and former President Donald Trump would have been much more forceful and aggressive with the Communist regime in Cuba in response to protests there as people rise up against the oppressive government, pushing for more freedom.

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

Florida Gov. DeSantis Vows to Fight Any Federal School Mask Mandate

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated his stance against students wearing masks for the upcoming school year, saying any attempt by the federal government to mandate facial coverings for kids will be fought by the state.

“We’re not doing that in Florida, we want our kids to be able to be kids, we need them to be able to breathe,” DeSantis said at a Thursday news conference. “It’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it, there’s not very much science behind it, there’s some schools we had, didn’t do masks, others did, the outcomes were not meaningfully different.”

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

Former Education Sec. Devos Blasts Biden Admin’s ‘Many Ties’ to ‘Twisted and Warped’ Critical Race Theory

EXCLUSIVE: Former Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said it is “appalling” to see close ties between radical groups pushing critical race theory and the Biden administration, which came under fire this week for promoting a radical activist group’s manual advocating for educators to “disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression.”

“[The Biden administration] is continuing to claim that they are not promoting critical race theory… but the link in the back to school manual was uncovered yesterday and there are ties between the deputy secretary and others in this admin directly to the Abolitionist Teaching Network group who have been pushing this whole issue in a major way,” DeVos said during an exclusive interview with Fox News on Thursday.

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

George Soros Funneled $1M to Defund the Police Movement as Violent Crime Continues to Surge

George Soros has provided financial support to an organization backing the defund the police movement as violent crimes surge across the country.

The billionaire, who regularly backs Democratic congressional candidates and attorneys general, donated $1 million to the Color Of Change PAC, which calls itself the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The sum was Soros’s largest political donation of the 2021 election cycle and supported the PAC’s efforts to slash police budgets.

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

‘Maskless’ Dem Donna Howard Still Desperately Digging

Democrat Texas state Rep. Donna Howard is still desperately trying to explain why she was maskless on a private jet flight, but her efforts only appear to be drawing more anger and ridicule.

Howard was one of 60 Texas Democrats who boarded a jet to Washington, D.C., to skip out on a vote on Texas’ election reform bill last week.

A photo of the plane cabin shows Howard and several of her colleagues without a face covering.

Following the trip, where they met with U.S. officials, Howard along with 5 of her colleagues tested positive for COVID-19.

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

Missouri Teachers, CRT Advocate Plotted to Hide Social Justice Curriculum From ‘Trump Country’ Parents

Teachers questioned how they could teach history and social studies through a social justice lens without rankling parents in the ‘highly conservative county … in the middle of Trump country.’

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

Poll: Majority of Americans Want Investigations Into BLM and Antifa Riots, Not Capitol Infiltration

A new Rasmussen poll reveals that a majority of voters in the U.S. want Congress to carry out investigations into mass rioting in cities in the Summer of 2020 by BLM and Antifa groups, while significantly less are supportive of an investigation into the Capitol infiltration on January 6th 2021.

The poll finds that two thirds (66%) of voters want the costly Black Lives Matter related riots investigated, while only 49% of voters agree that a January 6th investigation should be a priority.

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

Revealed: Critical Race Theory Group Promoted by Dept of Ed Has Links to Top Biden Officials

A critical race theory group leader with work linked in a Department of Education school reopening handbook has been revealed to have links to top department officials.

The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning” which advocates for teachings that uses language associated with critical race theory, was linked in the Department of Education’s “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs” handbook released to assist schools in reopening in the wake of the pandemic, Fox News reports. The Department of Education told Fox News that the inclusion “was an error,” but did not reveal why the link was included in the first place. The network’s co-founder, Bettina Love, was revealed by Fox News to have ties to top officials in the Department of Education.

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

St. Petersburg City Council Shows Support for Cuba Protests

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council passed a resolution declaring support for protests against the Cuban government that have erupted across the island nation and Florida.

Cubans took to the streets in early July to demand food and COVID-19 vaccines, calling for the end of the island nation’s decades-old dictatorship. Many Floridians followed, holding protests in cities across the state to rally behind the overseas demonstrators.

The resolution, brought forward by council Chair Ed Montanari, passed unanimously, with council member Deborah Figgs-Sanders absent.

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

Teacher Fired After Anti-Riot Facebook Posts, Sues School District

A former teacher at Illinois’ Palatine High School who was fired in the summer of 2020 after sharing posts on social media criticizing BLM and the riots wrecking havoc on Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the school district and the school board alleging that they violated her first amendment rights.

A complaint was filed on July 15 by Judicial Watch in Chicago Federal Court on behalf of Jeanne Hedgepeth against defendants that include the Township High School District 211, as well as individual defendants that include the district’s superintendent and human resources director, and those who were sitting on the District 211 school board in July 2020, according to the Cook County Record.

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

Union Protests New York-Presbyterian’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Staff

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — The largest healthcare union in the United States held a rally on Thursday, protesting one of the biggest hospital group’s policy of COVID vaccination or termination.

The demonstrators said the shouldn’t be required to be vaccinated in order to keep their jobs.

New York-Presbyterian Health System announced the new mandate last month in a company-wide message to its 48,000 employees in which workers were told they must receive at least one shot by September 1.

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

Video: Sen. Ron Johnson Unloads on Fauci; “He’s Culpable, He’s Lying, He Needs to be Held Accountable”

Following Anthony Fauci’s latest meltdown in the Senate as Rand Paul once again exposed his involvement with funding gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Senator Ron Johnson has called for the NIH head to be held responsible.

Appearing on Fox Business, Johnson said Fauci is “culpable,” declaring that “He’s lying and he needs to be held accountable.”

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

Virginia School Board Unanimously Rejects Critical Race Theory and State-Mandated Transgender Policy

The school board of Russell County, Virginia, July 15 unanimously rejected both the teaching of the radical Critical Race Theory (CRT) indoctrination scheme and Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) mandated transgender policy.

According to WCYB News:

[A] passionate crowd was in Russell County Thursday evening, where a public hearing was held over a new policy in Virginia that addresses transgender students. … The vast majority of people in attendance were against the Virginia Department of Education’s model policy for treatment of transgender students.

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

Watch: White House Defends Policy of Anonymous Buyers for Hunter Biden’s ‘Art’

Press Secretary Psaki followed up on the plan the White House set in place to ensure that the Bidens are “kept in the dark” about buyers of Hunter Biden’s art.

Government ethics watchdogs and art critics have been vocal about their concerns as Hunter Biden prepares for his art exhibitions in the fall, where paintings from the former lawyer and lobbyist are expected to bring in between $75,000 and $500,000 a piece, while buyers will remain anonymous. Opponents have cited the issue of anonymity, noting that foreign governments or lobbyists could buy the art through intermediaries in an effort to gain favor with the Biden administration.

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

Alberta Bucks the Trend on COVID-19 Compared to Canada, Cites Love for Freedom: Poll

According to a new Leger poll, Albertans are not on board with the rest of Canada on public health measures for COVID-19.

While 52 percent of Canadians oppose reopening the Canada-US border, 60 percent of Albertans support the move. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that full-vaccinated Americans can travel to Canada as of August 9, extending to fully vaccinated travellers from elsewhere on September 7. About 27 percent of Albertans advocate an immediate relaxing of international travel restrictions.

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

Public Health Agency Admits Almost All Canadian Children With COVID-19 Were Never Hospitalized, Closures Worse Than Pandemic

New federal data confirmed school, playground and rink closures negatively affected more Canadian schoolchildren than the pandemic.

“Lockdowns have been implemented across Canada,” the Public Health Agency wrote in a data blog Impacts Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Canadian Children. “These measures have been key to help curb the spread of COVID-19, but at the same time they have significantly altered Canadian families’ daily life.” The Agency cited “significant disruptions” to daily life for the 99.9 percent of children who were never hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Blacklock’s.

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

Trudeau Government Sent Over 28,000 People to Quarantine Hotels: Report

The Department of Public Safety said Canada sent more than 28,000 people into quarantine hotels at both public and personal expense.

Cabinet to date has not detailed the cost of the program, though Supplementary Estimates tabled in Parliament put the expense of border measures at $225,556,596. Taxpayers paid the full cost of transport, room, board and medical care for hotel stay until February 22, when cabinet charged costs directly to travellers under the Quarantine Act, according to Blacklocks. The COVID-19 hotel program ends on August 9.

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

Arrests for Gun Crimes Soar in Sweden Since 2017

The number of arrests for gun crimes in Sweden has dramatically increased since 2017 from 64 to 340 arrests last year, with over 1,300 weapons seized in 2020.

The increase in the number of gun crime arrests is partially due to the tightening of Sweden’s gun laws in 2018, which also increased the minimum sentence for serious gun crime from one year in prison to two years.

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

Britons Ditch COVID Surveillance App After Constant Demands for Isolation

The UK NHS’s £37 billion Test and Trace system is causing havoc, with those that carry the surveillance app often being forced to isolate, even if they test negative for coronavirus.

Workers are having to stay home from work, causing businesses to be forced to close and the shelves in some regions to go unstocked as a shortage of delivery drivers, combined with people stocking up to self-isolate, has increased the sightings of empty shelves in some stores.

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

Commuters Block Border Crossing Between Czechia and Slovakia

On Wednesday afternoon, Slovak commuters protested against the conditions for crossing the border. The current measure asking for four PCR tests per month will be replaced by a rule demanding eight tests beginning in September. People who commute from Slovakia to neighboring countries for work call this rule destructive. While currently they pay 50 euros for one test, it will be 70 euros from September onwards. They can however avoid testing if they get vaccinated.

In the afternoon, about fifty people gathered at the Lanžhot-Kúta border crossing on an old road. After 6 p.m., they moved to the D2 motorway, which they blocked. Long bottlenecks formed on the spot, with cars passing through very slowly. After about an hour, the participants agreed with the police to end the event.

According to the protesters, Slovakia discriminates against commuters with new rules for cross-border commuting to work.

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

Czech PM Talks Conflict and Friendship in His New Book

In a newly published e-book entitled “Share it, before they ban it”, Prime Minister of Czechia Andrej Babis remembers his struggles since he joined the Czech government in 2014 and discusses the friendships he’s made along the way. The book, written in a direct and unpretentious style, is characteristic of Babis’ slightly eccentric and self-focused approach to contemporary history and politics that makes him so popular with some, and unpopular with others.

The book starts with the discussion of events surrounding the 2015 European migrant invasion and how European institutions have tried to force migrant quotas on member states. He mentions that, according to the Commission’s plans, 120,000 Middle-Eastern migrants concentrated in Greek and Italian camps were to be distributed among member states in the first wave, of which Czechia was compelled to accept 1863. This would have risen to nearly 3000 migrants in two years. The EU’s plan was, according to Babis, thwarted by the common stance of the Visegrad 4 (V4) countries: Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

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

Czech Senate Approves the Right to Use a Weapon in Self-Defense

The right to defend oneself and others with weapons under legal conditions will be enshrined in the Czech Constitution. It will become part of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. The adjustment is a response to disarmament trends within the EU. As expected, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed the approval of the amendment to the Charter. The change will now be signed by the president, who, unlike ordinary laws, cannot veto constitutional laws.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms will now contain a provision stating that “the right to defend one’s own life or the life of another person with a weapon is guaranteed under the conditions laid down by law.” According to the submitters, the constitutional change will prevent this right from being restricted by ordinary law. It will also strengthen the position of the Czech Republic in discussing other EU regulations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Eric Clapton Says He Won’t Play Venues That Enforce Vaccine Mandates

In the wake of the UK Prime Minister’s Monday announcement that attendees wishing to enter entertainment venues will have to show proof of vaccinations starting this fall, rock legend Eric Clapton pushed back by stating he would cancel shows where audiences were discriminated against.

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

French 13-Year-Old Boy Discovered Murdered and ‘Eaten’

Police have discovered the dismembered remains of a murdered 13-year-old boy along with alleged “Satanic” objects in a villa in the commune of Tarascon in southern France.

Police fatally shot the main suspect, a 32-year-old man, as he was fleeing the villa. The man was said to have had a history of psychiatric problems and violence.

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

German TV News Reporter Suspended After Video Shows Her Smearing Herself With Mud in Flood-Hit Town

A German television news reporter was suspended after a video showed the journalist smearing herself with mud in an apparent attempt to look more authentic while reporting on devastating damage caused by flooding.

RTL presenter Susanna Ohlen was in the town of Bad Münstereife to ‘help out’ with flood recovery efforts, but the clip shows the reporter deliberately dirtying herself by running the dirt on her forehead and cheeks.

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

Hungarian Spy Story Follows a Well Worn Path

“Viktor Orban using NSO spyware in assault on media, data suggests,” proclaims a recent headline from the Guardian, that British left-wing newspaper. Along with other mainstream international newspapers, the article goes on to detail an elaborate conspiracy theory in which the Hungarian government is trying to undermine the credibility of media and NGOs tied to US oligarch George Soros. However, as elections in Hungary are expected to take place in less than a year, some are taking a look at previous elections for similar patterns and asking whether this is not in reality a smear campaign directed against one of the last stalwarts of Europe’s conservative leadership.

One need not look for long to find that the current fake spy story that involves an Israeli surveillance software called Pegasus, allegedly installed on the phones of opposition activists and journalists, was played out in a strikingly similar fashion just days before the 2018 Hungarian elections, which Orban won by a landslide. Its components are virtually identical: an Israeli security agency, ex-Mossad operatives, surveillance of left-wing journalists and pro-migration NGOs, George Soros as victim, and Viktor Orban as the self-evident suspect.

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

Italians Hit the Streets to Protest Mandatory Vaccine Passports

After the Italian government followed other European countries in announcing mandatory vaccine passports, Italians hit the streets to protest the measure, with demonstrators in Turin shouting, “No dictatorship!”

After France and the United Kingdom announced that proof of vaccination would be required to enter some venues, Italy followed suit.

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

Italian Populist Leader Salvini Claims Vaccine Not Necessary for Those Under 40

League leader Matteo Salvini has criticised the idea of vaccine passports and said he did not feel younger people needed to be vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus, contradicting the official advice given by the Italian government and the World Health Organisation.

The populist Italian senator stated that it was important that those over the age of 60 get the jab and those 40 to 59 could choose to have it, but under-40s were of less urgent concern for vaccination.

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

Lawmakers Who Refused Anti-Harassment Training Banned From UK Parliament Facilities

Two members of the House of Lords in their eighties have been banned from parliament’s bars, restaurants, and the library for refusing to undertake reeducation on sexual harassment and bullying.

On Tuesday, members of the upper house voted by 315 to 86 to ban hereditary Peer Lord Willoughby de Broke, 82, and Lord Kalms, 89, formerly the chairman of Dixons Retail, from the facilities because they had refused the much-criticised “Valuing Everyone” training.

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

List of UK Venues That Could Mandate ‘Vaccine Passports’ Already Expanding

The list of attractions that could be forced to mandate vaccine passports as a condition of entry is already growing, with minister Nadhim Zahawi listing other “crowded venues” that may have to ban the unvaccinated.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a mockery of ‘freedom day’ — when all coronavirus restrictions were supposed to be lifted — by announcing that nightclubs would be made to check for vaccine status on the door.

Despite widespread backlash to the idea and the potential for a defeat when it comes to a vote in Parliament, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi indicated today that the program could be extended further.

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

UK House of Lords Blasts Big Tech as Monopolizers of the “Public Square” In New Report

The upcoming Online Safety bill, being promoted by the conservative UK government, has been labelled a threat to freedom of expression by a committee of Lords who argue that the new laws will give Big Tech more authority to “stifle legitimate debate” by making these already powerful companies the “arbiters of truth.”

The government plans to introduce the new social media laws as a way to “protect users from harmful and hurtful content.”

One of the proposals in the Online Safety bill requires social media platforms to clearly state their rules on the type of content that is legal but not allowed, and to enforce those rules.

However, the Lords Communications and Digital Committee released a report that deemed the proposal a mistake, considering Big Tech companies have monopolized the industry.

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

UK Law Commission Recommends Making Speech Offenses Based on “Likely Psychological Harm”

Recommendations unveiled by the UK’s Law Commission are seeking to establish a new offense by criminalizing communications that could cause “likely psychological harms.”

Another offense that is recommended in the document concerns “knowingly false communications.” This is a serious threat to freedom of expression, and a chance for the authorities to get the last word on what is perceived as true and false.

The recommendation defines “harm” as something that causes “serious distress,” while “psychological harm” is also being mentioned. As for defining “serious distress” — the Commission refers to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

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

UK: London Office Workers Demand $7,000 Payoff Before Returning to Office

“Freedom Day” has come and gone, and yet the small businesses and retail shops flanking London’s retail district are still struggling as the number of white-collar workers flocking to the City and other parts of the city remains well below its pre-pandemic level.

One reason is that British workers are digging in their heels and demanding a pay raise or some other form of compensation in exchange for returning to the office.

According to surveys from YouGov, and Locatee, office workers want pay raises equivalent to the cost of some annual railway season tickets to return to their desks full-time after the pandemic.

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

UK: Labour Will ‘Absolutely’ Vote Against Vaccine Passports, Pledges Mahmood

Labour will “absolutely” vote against demanding vaccination for entry to aspects of public life, a senior party member has pledged.

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from the end of September, Britons would need proof of vaccination to enter large social venues likes nightclubs, dozens of Tory MPs and the Liberal Democrats voiced their opposition. However, with the Conservatives holding a strong 83 seat working majority in the House of Commons, the power to stop the introduction of vaccine passports could rest in the hands of the official Opposition, the Labour Party and its leader Keir Starmer.

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

UK: Poor Families Could See 11 Per Cent Rise in Grocery Bills Under Govt ‘Unhealthy’ Food Restrictions: Report

Government environmental and public health proposals could drive up the price of grocery bills for poor Britons by 11 per cent — in what would be the equivalent of their entire spend on fresh vegetables, according to a food industry body.

The Food and Drink Federation’s report Eating into Household Budgets: the Government’s Recipe for Food Price Inflation examined forthcoming government recycling and healthy eating proposals.

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

Israeli Firm Denies Any Involvement in Surveillance List

Salev Hulió, one of the company’s founders and CEO, told the paper that the NSO had nothing to do with the fifty thousand list of unknown origin and denied that the software had been used for malicious activity.

“About a month ago, we were approached with a list circulating in the market. They claimed that NSO servers in Cyprus had been hacked and that we needed to be careful,” Hulió told Calcalist.

“We checked. We don’t have any servers in Cyprus, we don’t have such lists, and the number makes no sense, either. Later, two of our clients also told us that they had been approached, claiming that this NSO-related list existed. We got some screenshots and saw that it didn’t look like a Pegasus system — the image on the server in particular is not like that, but rather an HLR (Home Location Register, used by mobile service providers) lookup server. We came to the conclusion that this was a joke,” said Hulió.

“They’re trying to build something on a crazy lack of information,” he said. “They say the list has been leaked. But where did it leak? They don’t tell you who leaked it, but where did it leak? Who owns the list? Who made it? Why is there no data on this? This is absurd.”

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

Hong Kong Police Arrest Apple Daily Former Executive Editor-in-Chief

According to Hong Kong-based news outlet HKFP, another executive at the since-defunct pro-democracy news outlet Apple Daily has been arrested. As previously reported, the police raided the paper’s headquarters in June, seizing equipment and arresting at least five executives.

In a statement, the Hong Kong police said that a 51-year-old newspaper editor was arrested in relation to a case filed last month. According to HKFP, the man who was arrested is Apple Daily’s former executive editor-in-chief Lam Man-Chung.

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Kodak Deletes Xinjiang Photo From Instagram, Apologizes for Offending China

In deleting an Instagram post that is offensive to the Chinese government’s sensibilities, and apologizing for posting it, Kodak has basically promised Beijing that it will “learn, grow, and do better.”

The US company issued a statement after removing content by photographer Patrick Wack — who described the Xinjiang region that is home to the Uyghur minority as “an Orwellian dystopia” — saying they don’t endorse or share the Frenchman’s views.

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Video: China Refuses to Cooperate With Who Investigation; Says Lab Leak Possibility is a “Conspiracy Theory” And “Against Science”

The communist Chinese government is again refusing to cooperate with the World Health Organisation’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19, declaring that any attempt to look into the lab leak theory goes “against science”.

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of China’s National Health Commission announced Thursday that Chinese authorities will not participate in phase two of the WHO’s probe, which involves a further visit to the Wuhan lab.

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Cuban Protesters Report Being Sent to Jail Without Fair Trials

MIAMI — Video shot by Elizabeth Cintra Garcia shows her before she presented herself at a military unit after she was cited following the widespread protests in Cuba earlier this month.

Her mother Maidelki Garcia Guzman says Elizabeth remains detained in a women’s prison in Santa Clara, charged with disrespect of authorities, epidemic spread, public disorder and inciting others to protest.

Reports keep coming out of Cuba that protestors are being sentenced to jail without fair trials.

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US Sanctions Cuba Over Crackdown on Protests in 1st Steps Toward New Policy

In his first steps toward his own Cuba policy, President Joe Biden is sanctioning the Cuban defense minister and its special forces for the aggressive crackdowns on protests across the island nation earlier this month, the White House announced Thursday.

Those protests were some of the largest and most widespread in decades as Cuba reels from a new wave of the coronavirus, the economic pain of COVID-19, and shortages of food and medicine.

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YouTube Deletes 15 Videos From Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

YouTube has deleted videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for what it says is disseminating misleading information about the coronavirus spread, making it the second internet behemoth to censor the Brazilian President.

The President has come under fire for opposing lockdowns, promoting hydroxychloroquine and being skeptical about the effectiveness of mask-wearing.

YouTube said in a response that its standards do not allow material that claims hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin is efficacious in curing or eradicating Covid-19 or that claims masks do not function to prevent the transmission of the virus.

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Greece Investigates Foreign Activists Suspected of Helping People Smugglers

Police in Greece are investigating four members of foreign NGOs and six other foreigners over alleged facilitation of illegal migration. The suspects also face accusation of espionage and other crimes listed in the immigration law, the AP agency reported. NGOs have long claimed that Greece illegally pushes migrants back to Turkey, which Athens denies. Investigators have not yet commented on the police allegations.

According to the police, the investigation has been underway for many months, focusing on Lesbos and other Greek islands off the Turkish coast which are a frequent destination of migrants. Police say that the foreigners, under the pretext of humanitarian action, provided “substantial support to organized networks of illegal migrants smugglers.” According to the police, the suspects intended to pass on information to migrants about where it was better to disembark, which areas to avoid, and where to get medical treatment.

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Over 200 Migrants Scale Fence Into Spain’s Melilla Enclave

MADRID (Reuters) — More than 200 migrants crossed into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla early on Thursday, climbing the high fence that separates it from Morocco, local authorities said.

More than 300 migrants attempted to scale the six-metre (20-ft) fence using hooks, the authorities said in a statement. The 238 who made it through were all men. Three police officers were slightly injured, the statement added.

Melilla and Ceuta — a second Spanish enclave also on Africa’s Mediterranean coast — are popular crossing points for African migrants seeking to enter Europe illegally.

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Record of Failure: More Illegal Boat Migrants Have Landed in Britain This Year Than All of 2020

The number of boat migrants illegally crossing the English Channel from France has surpassed the yearly record set last year, with more than five months left to go this year.

On Tuesday, another 287 illegal migrants were brought ashore by the British Border Force, adding to the daily record set on Monday when 430 aliens reached the UK.

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Rural Texan Community Sees Rise in Crime, Deaths Due to Illegal Immigration

The community of Hudspeth County, which is located a few miles from El Paso, Texas, is seeing a rise in crime and deaths following a surge in illegal immigration.

Fox News spoke with Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, who said the county has “had several break-ins.” He adds that “typically they break in, they try to find food, water, things to continue on their journey. Here recently, we had a break in where they broke into the house and stole a bunch of guns. That’s a big concern.”

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Swedish Court Reduces Sentence of LGBT Activist Convicted of Raping Male Asylum Seekers

An LGBT activist who was convicted of raping and sexually abusing several male asylum seekers has had his prison sentence reduced by a Swedish court following an appeal.

Pablo Leiva was handed a four-year prison sentence after being convicted of five rapes and two counts of sexual assaults on male asylum seekers between 2018 and 2019, while he worked as a migration consultant for the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights (RFSL) in Stockholm, SVT Nyheter reports.

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Only 12% of Romanians Approve Further LGBT Rights — Survey

A mere 12 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by the Romanian Avangarde polling institute answered “yes”, and 57 percent said “no” to whether the rights of those belonging to the LGBT community should be expanded. A remaining 31 percent did not express an opinion.

When asked whether the role of the traditional family should be strengthened through legislation, 62 percent answered “yes”, 14 percent “no”, and 24 percent could not or did not want to answer.

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8 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2021

  1. I don’t know about Hungarian, Austrians, etc., but many of us Czechs don’t like Slovak commuters (students flooding our universities, generally workers who don’t bother to learn our language, etc.) at all, so if this measure makes them work in their homeland, we would certainly welcome it.

    • To be honest, I don’t care. I still consider myself a Czechoslovak, but its’ certainly weird when every shop assistant in Prague is a Slovak 🙂

      The universities – frankly – is not Slovak’s problem but our government which lets them do it. Governments today seem to favor foreigners in their own countries, which is not fair.

  2. I would like to add, that the biggest news in the Czech Republic today is that our minister of Medicine, mr Vojtech, declared that he will not comply with the ruling of the Czech courts of law, that have ruled that the ammount of covid antibodies in bloodstream after covid is as valid as “vaccination status”, and regardless of the ruling of the Czech courts he will push the vaccines as the one and only final solution to covid.

    See, at least our government is honest, and declares up front that they are not law abiding. I am relieved 🙂

    PS: Mr Vojtech is part of our prime minister Babis mafia ring.

  3. Smearing herself with mud? Reminds me of the TimeLife photographer who emptied a city trash can on the sidewalk to get photographic evidence of urban blight in Philly to justify federal urban renewal project in Philadelphia back in the 1960s.

    • Or the story recently told by the mother of Amy Winehouse, ten years after her death, of a “reporter” opening the door of Amy’s taxi, throwing in some pills and a pair of knickers, and taking a pic. People can be really disgusting.

    • we left Viet Nam in the same fashion and the same thing happened. You would think that we would have learned from our mistakes but someone must have told Biden that this time it would be different. Yeah it’s different, it’s worse.

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