Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/14/2021

Due to stochastic vagaries, or perhaps a disturbance in the solar wind, tips for all of tonight’s news feed items came from Reader from Chicago.

The big news of the day is that President Joe Biden sent another 1,000 troops to Kabul to assure an orderly evacuation of American citizens from the U.S. embassy. Meanwhile, reports say that British jihadis are traveling to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban.

In other news, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced that vaccine passports will be introduced for travel across provincial borders.

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

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
» Biden’s Inflation Swamps Wage Gains, Leaving Working Families Behind
 
USA
» All About Freedom to Choose: Protestors Decry Self Regional’s Employee Vaccination Mandate
» ‘Antifa’ Activists Clash With Anti-Mask Protesters in Bloody Skirmish, 1 Stabbed
» Anti-Mask Group Organizes Protest Near Kafoury’s Home
» Anti-Vaccine Protesters Gather Near Phoenix Children’s Hospital
» Around 100 Protest Vaccine Mandate Outside of Loveland Hospital
» Biden Reportedly Considers Vaccine Passports for Interstate Travel
» Despite Calls for Censorship, Joe Rogan’s Podcast Remains Number One
» Federal Judge Rules Devin Nunes Lawsuit Against Washington Post Can Continue
» Minnesota Parents Refuse Lockdowns and Mask Mandates for School Children
» MSNBC ‘Expert’ Equates Republicans to Terrorists, Warns of QAnon Supporters ‘Who Are Preparing for Civil War’
» Oregon School Board Votes to Ban Pride, Black Lives Matter Flags
» Protesters Gather Outside of MVHS to Speak Out Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
» Soros Bankrolls Group Pushing to ‘Dismantle,’ Replace Minneapolis Police Department
» Teacher Fined After Quitting Over Mask Mandates, Critical Race Theory
 
Canada
» Breaking: Sir John A. Macdonald Statue Toppled by Hamilton ‘Unity’ Demonstrators
» Canada to Introduce Vaccine Passports for Crossing Provincial Borders
» Large Crowd Marches in Montreal to Protest Against Quebec’s Vaccination Passport
 
Europe and the EU
» Belgium: Using COVID Pass for Weddings or Private Events ‘Goes Too Far, ‘ Says Jambon
» Belgian Army Opens Investigation Into Illegal Party in Barracks
» Facebook Shuts Down Researchers Studying Instagram’s Promotion and Censorship Algorithm
» France Sees Fifth Weekend of Protests Against Macron COVID Pass
» Germany: Leftist Politician Denies Afghan Woman Allegedly Murdered by Brothers Was Honour Crime
» Protesting Vaccine Passports for Cafés and Restaurants, French Protesters Create a Feast in the Streets
» UK Government to Use Plymouth Shooting to Push for Online “Incitement and Extremism” Legislation
» UK: Jeremy Clarkson Admits to Self-Censoring to Avoid Online Mobs
 
South Asia
» Afghan Conflict: Taliban Take Mazar-i-Sharif, Government’s Last Northern Stronghold
» After More Than $2 Trillion Spent by the US, Afghanistan is Falling Back to the Taliban
» Biden Mobilizes 5,000 Troops for Urgent Afghan Evacuation
» British Jihadis Going to Afghanistan to Fight for the Taliban: Report
 
Far East
» China is Flooding South America With Cheap Surveillance. At What Cost?
» Tokyo Olympics Least-Watched Ever, Summer or Winter
» Unredacted Email Shows Fauci Knew About EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak Working With Chinese Virologists
 
Australia — Pacific
» New Zealand Parliament Takes Down Churchill Portrait, PM Ardern Says ‘I Don’t Care’
» NSW Government Criticized for Announcing Last Minute Lockdown on Twitter
 
Latin America
» Jamaica: Senior Cop Warns Partygoers
 
Immigration
» Austria Insists Deportation of Afghan Migrants Will Continue
» EU Governments Criticise Afghanistan Deportation Bans
» Europe Sees Surge in Illegal Migration, 59% More Than in 2020 So Far
» Judge Orders U.S. To Reinstate “Remain in Mexico” Asylum Policy
» Lithuanian Migrant Crisis Enters New Phase as Influx Ceases
» Spain: Three Migrant Boat “Skippers” Arrested in Mallorca
» Thirty-Two Migrants Flee Camp in Southern Lithuania
» U.S. Diplomat Calls on Lukashenka to Stop ‘Irregular Migrant Flows’
» UK: Channel Migrant Crossings Reach Record High as Man Dies
» UK: Suspected Gangland People Smuggler is Arrested While ‘Preparing to Send Another 70 Desperate Migrants Across the Channel’
» With Populists Out of Govt, Illegal Boat Migrants Up 673 Per Cent in Italy
 

Biden’s Inflation Swamps Wage Gains, Leaving Working Families Behind

President Biden’s economic agenda has boosted wages, but millions of American workers are still being left behind as inflation has more than wiped out salary gains.

U.S. wages grew at a 4% year-over-year pace in July, but trailed the 5.4% annual increase in inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, suggesting that while nominal wages are rising, real wages are falling.

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

All About Freedom to Choose: Protestors Decry Self Regional’s Employee Vaccination Mandate

About 100 people made their voices heard Saturday at a rally to protest Self Regional Healthcare’s mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees.

Luke Rankin, chairman of the Laurens County Republican Party, organized the protest to share the message that people should choose, not be forced, to get the vaccine. It was a message that resonated with several people.

“Self’s policy is overreach,” said Morris Madden of Laurens County. “If an employer can tell you you have to get a vaccination, what’s to stop Social Security from requiring a shot for you to get your check?”

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

‘Antifa’ Activists Clash With Anti-Mask Protesters in Bloody Skirmish, 1 Stabbed

Activists reported to be associated with Antifa clashed with anti-mask protesters outside Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday afternoon resulting in multiple injuries.

“Breaking: Brutal right-wing vs antifa brawl breaks out at anti-mask protest in Los Angeles,” journalist Andy Ngo tweeted Saturday along with a video from videographer Sean Carmitchel who was at the scene. “One of the antifa who charges in to fight gets pummeled to the ground. A woman trying to help him gets hit on the head. The antifa end up retreating.”

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

Anti-Mask Group Organizes Protest Near Kafoury’s Home

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters are near the house of Multnomah County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury for a demonstration on the same day a statewide mask mandate went into effect again.

Organizer Ben Edtl of Free Oregon told KOIN 6 News in a statement, “We no longer accept mask mandates. We support vaccine encouragement, not force. We vehemently oppose medical segregation and segregation of any kind.”

On Friday, a statewide mask mandate was reinstated as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced 1,500 National Guard members would report to hospitals around the state. More than 1,700 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases were reported by the Oregon Health Authority on Friday, along with seven new deaths.

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

Anti-Vaccine Protesters Gather Near Phoenix Children’s Hospital

A few hundred people gathered outside Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Friday evening to protest mask and vaccine mandates in schools and businesses.

Many carried anti-vaccine signs with messages like “My body my choice” and “Stand for body sovereignty” as cars passed with some honking in support.

A shirtless man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and pants with the American Flag on it paced alongside the crowd playing “We’re Not Going to Take It” by the band Twisted Sister on a saxophone.

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

Around 100 Protest Vaccine Mandate Outside of Loveland Hospital

Protesters stood outside of Medical Center of the Rockies on Friday waving signs, banners and flags while denouncing the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate and claiming it is against the rights of the workers inside hospitals.

Chants of “my body, my choice” and “USA” were intercut with honking cars that passed on the roundabout outside the Loveland hospital.

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

Biden Reportedly Considers Vaccine Passports for Interstate Travel

Following the stalling of the vaccine program, President Joe Biden supported incentives such as million-dollar lotteries. However, according to the Associated Press, due to the surge in cases the president is exploring stricter vaccine passport approaches, but cautiously to avoid backlash.

In the past two weeks, millions of federal workers have been forced to prove their vaccination status. Those who cannot attest to their vaccination status will face potential restrictions, and are required to maintain social distance, and submit weekly tests.

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

Despite Calls for Censorship, Joe Rogan’s Podcast Remains Number One

According to a recently published study, the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) remains the most popular podcast in the US, despite facing mainstream media criticism and a few controversies related to censorship. Similar studies from 2020 also placed JRE in the No.1 position.

A study by Edison Research found out that JRE was the most popular podcast in the US by weekly listeners in both Q3 2020 and Q2 2020. The research firm surveyed more than 8,000 podcast listeners aged 18 and above.

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

Federal Judge Rules Devin Nunes Lawsuit Against Washington Post Can Continue

A federal judge ruled ruled Wednesday that a defamation lawsuit by Rep. Devin Nunes (R) could continue against the Washington Post. In the lawsuit, Nunes complained that the newspaper described some of his theories as “baseless” and that previous Post reporting indicated that some of those theories were, indeed, correct. The Post‘s contradictions led the judge to rule that Nunes had a shot at recovery despite a subsequent correction by the newspaper.

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

Minnesota Parents Refuse Lockdowns and Mask Mandates for School Children

Dozens of parents groups in Minnesota have voiced their opposition to Democrat Governor Tim Walz latest mandates for school children in that state. The letter from 36 parent groups to the governor rejects “lockdowns and forced masking.”

The parents advocacy groups, under the banner of Open Schools USA, call on leaders to overturn the “local and national calls for new lockdowns and enforced masking” of children.

In the letter, addressed both to Walz and to President Joe Biden, the group claims to represent more than 30,000 Minnesota families and slams the “uninvited reign of destruction over the children of Minnesota.”

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

MSNBC ‘Expert’ Equates Republicans to Terrorists, Warns of QAnon Supporters ‘Who Are Preparing for Civil War’

In an interview on The Reidout with Joy Reid this week, author Malcom Nance warned that Q-Anon supporters have taken over the Republican Party and are “preparing for civil war.”

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

Oregon School Board Votes to Ban Pride, Black Lives Matter Flags

Newberg, Oregon’s school board voted Tuesday to prohibit all broadly “political” signs, flags, and clothing, including those depicting LGBTQ pride and Black Lives Matter messaging, from district buildings.

The school board voted 4-3 in favor of a ban following a virtual evening meeting during which parents and officials debated the measure.

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

Protesters Gather Outside of MVHS to Speak Out Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

CENTERVILLE — Protesters gathered outside of Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville to speak out against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for employees.

People began gathering around 3:30 p.m. across from the hospital on Wilmington Pike.

Members of the “Ohio Says No” group told News Center 7 that this is their 26th protest in recent weeks and that their protests against vaccine mandates are part of a larger national effort to overturn them in all work places.

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

Soros Bankrolls Group Pushing to ‘Dismantle,’ Replace Minneapolis Police Department

Money from liberal billionaire George Soros is fueling an initiative to “dismantle” and replace the Minneapolis Police Department, campaign finance records show.

The Open Society Policy Center, an advocacy nonprofit in Soros’ network, provided a $500,000 donation to Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis in November, one month after it was established, the records show. The group, a coalition of at least 33 activist organizations, is pushing a ballot initiative to amend the city charter to replace the police department with a public safety agency.

Since then, Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis has raked in slightly more than $1 million in total cash, according to campaign finance records released Tuesday, with Soros’ being the most significant contribution.

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

Teacher Fined After Quitting Over Mask Mandates, Critical Race Theory

A 6th-grade math teacher in Kansas got hit with a $1,000 fine after quitting his job over mask mandates and critical race theory training in his school district.

“That was my final straw,” Josiah Enyart said after the Shawnee Mission School District sent an email on July 25 renewing its mask mandate for all students and unvaccinated teachers, Fox News reported Saturday.

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

Breaking: Sir John A. Macdonald Statue Toppled by Hamilton ‘Unity’ Demonstrators

Another statue of Sir. John A. Macdonald was toppled in Canada, this time at a Hamilton park during a Saturday afternoon rally.

After Hamilton city council voted against removing the statue of Canada’s controversial first prime minister from Gore Park. Hundreds of demonstrators from the Indigenous-organized Unity Rally shortly afterwards went to Gore Park where they removed the statue, reportedCP24.

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

Canada to Introduce Vaccine Passports for Crossing Provincial Borders

Canada’s Minister for Transport Omar Alghabra announced the introduction of vaccine passports for transport across provincial borders via plane, trains, and large water vessels.

The move underscores the growing adaptation of digital vaccine passports across the globe, particularly in developed countries.

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

Large Crowd Marches in Montreal to Protest Against Quebec’s Vaccination Passport

A large group of people gathered in downtown Montreal on Saturday to protest against Quebec’s vaccination passport, just a few weeks before the system is expected to be in place.

The crowd, which stretched at least four to five blocks on René-Lévesque Boulevard West, began marching toward Place des Festivals at 2 p.m. ET, with people chanting “No to vaccine passports,” in French.

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

Belgium: Using COVID Pass for Weddings or Private Events ‘Goes Too Far, ‘ Says Jambon

The Covid Safe Ticket, which can be required at outdoor events from today, should not be made mandatory at weddings or other small private events, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

From 1 September, the Covid Safe Ticket can also be used for indoor events, but some people are calling for it to be used at weddings, staff parties, and other private events before September.

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

Belgian Army Opens Investigation Into Illegal Party in Barracks

The Belgian army is opening an investigation into an illegal party that was thrown in its barracks in Tielen, in the Antwerp province, images of which surfaced in Flemish media in recent days.

Footage of the party, seen by VTM News, shows about 20 members of the 3rd battalion parachutists, who can be seen drinking, dancing and singing in the presence of a stripper.

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

Facebook Shuts Down Researchers Studying Instagram’s Promotion and Censorship Algorithm

Following legal threats from Facebook, German-based AlgorithmWatch was forced to abandon its research project that was monitoring Instagram’s algorithm. This was not the first time the social media company has shut down similar projects.

AlgorithmWatch was launched in March 2020. The research project was done through a browser extension that users could install and collect data from their Instagram feeds. The data collected by the plugin allowed the researchers to see how Instagram prioritizes content and better learn what’s going on with the algorithm.

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

France Sees Fifth Weekend of Protests Against Macron COVID Pass

Protesters opposing a health pass championed by President Emmanuel Macron to defeat Covid-19 massed in streets across France for the fifth successive weekend Saturday, refusing to give in after the measure was fully implemented.

Macron sees the health pass — which essentially makes vaccination essential to carry on with routine activities like sipping a coffee in a cafe or travelling on a train — as the key to emerging from the pandemic and avoiding further lockdowns.

But protesters — an eclectic mix of far-right, yellow vest anti-inequality activists, anti-vaxxers and civil liberties campaigners — say that the policy encroaches on the basic freedoms so prized by the French.

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

Germany: Leftist Politician Denies Afghan Woman Allegedly Murdered by Brothers Was Honour Crime

Berlin Senator Elke Breitenbach has denied a possible honour motive in the case of an Afghan woman who was allegedly murdered by her brothers who disapproved of her Western way of life.

Breitenbach, a member of the Left Party, claimed the alleged murder was not an honour killing but rather a misogynistic crime, saying: “In Germany, every third day a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner. This is not an honour killing. This is femicide.”

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

Protesting Vaccine Passports for Cafés and Restaurants, French Protesters Create a Feast in the Streets

When the French government introduced vaccine passports, it was met with instant backlash.

And now, as part of the protest, where the government is trying to force cafe’s and restaurants to check vaccine passports, the people are subverting the order by providing free food in the streets for protesters, creating somewhat of a “wild terrace.”

President Emanuel Macron and his government have been dismissing the protests in support of civil liberties, blaming them on anti-vaxxers and far right extremists.

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

UK Government to Use Plymouth Shooting to Push for Online “Incitement and Extremism” Legislation

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has revealed that the UK government is working on online “incitement and extremism” legislation that will be coming this fall.

Patel made the announcement after a Sky News journalist pressed her on the mass shooting in Plymouth where a gunman, who was identified by police as 22-year old Jake Davison, killed five people, including a child, before turning the gun on himself.

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

UK: Jeremy Clarkson Admits to Self-Censoring to Avoid Online Mobs

Jeremy Clarkson, a British broadcaster who specializes in motoring, has admitted to self-censoring because of the fear of “cancel culture.” In the current online climate, one wrong statement could get such a veteran broadcaster fired due to backlash from the “woke mob.”

Traditionally, Clarkson has not shied away from speaking his mind. However, recently he admitted that he has to self-edit because of the fear of “cancel culture.” The Grand Tour presenter said that while commenting on a recent statement by Sir Tom Stoppard.

In an appearance on the BBC, Stoppard commented on how free speech has been eroded.

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

Afghan Conflict: Taliban Take Mazar-i-Sharif, Government’s Last Northern Stronghold

Taliban fighters have captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the last major city in northern Afghanistan which was still under government control.

The fall of the traditional anti-Taliban bastion marked a major gain for the militants, who have been advancing at speed as US-led forces withdraw.

President Ashraf Ghani travelled to the city just days ago to rally troops.

The Taliban are now in control of much of the country and are edging closer to the capital Kabul.

More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced by the violence, and many have fled to Kabul in the hope of finding safety.

Women in areas captured by the Taliban have described being forced to wear burkas and the militants are also reported to have beaten and lashed people for breaking social rules.

Western countries are scrambling to evacuate their citizens.

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

After More Than $2 Trillion Spent by the US, Afghanistan is Falling Back to the Taliban

Stunning advances by Taliban insurgents this summer amid an ongoing U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan threaten to unwind a fragile security structure built through years of military toil in a matter of weeks, raising renewed questions about the conflict’s cost.

From its start in 2001 through April 2021, the war in Afghanistan has cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $2.261 trillion, according to estimates earlier this year from the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

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

Biden Mobilizes 5,000 Troops for Urgent Afghan Evacuation

There’s been reported growing frustration and anger even within the Democratic administration itself over President Biden’s being utterly silent Friday into Saturday while for much of the past week the Taliban has steamrolled Afghan forces as it prepares to lay siege to Kabul. He’s even vacationing this weekend at Camp David; Axios described the president as “relaxing”.

Amid growing pressure to address the crisis which is seeing a rapid emergency evacuation from the US Embassy in Kabul with Pentagon assistance, President Biden belatedly addressed the situation late in the day Saturday. His first move was to announce an increase in the US security deployment to Kabul to assist the evacuation of US diplomatic staff.

“I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 US troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel,” he said while acknowledging the Taliban advance. Ironically the past months have witnessed a steady draw down of just as many troops — and now they will go right back.

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

British Jihadis Going to Afghanistan to Fight for the Taliban: Report

British intelligence services have reportedly intercepted communications from militants in Afghanistan indicating that UK jihadis have travelled to Afghanistan to join the Taliban.

Phone calls intercepted from war-torn Afghanistan have revealed jihadis with British accents living among the Taliban. It is believed that the British fighters smuggled themselves into the country following the withdrawal of American military personnel.

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

China is Flooding South America With Cheap Surveillance. At What Cost?

Over the past decade, surveillance firms, mostly from China, have increased demand for their products in Latin America by offering their products and services at discounted prices and sometimes even for free. You may remember that time when China started offering drones to US police forces.

The issue is, in Latin America, and even the USA, authorities are not sure where the data collected by the surveillance technology goes.

In the Latin America region, demand for facial recognition technology has increased over the past decade. The technology is welcomed as it is seen as a means to fight crime.

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

Tokyo Olympics Least-Watched Ever, Summer or Winter

The final — and biggest — marquee sporting event postponed from last year, the Tokyo Summer Olympics suffered the same fate as its predecessors.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics averaged 15.6 million viewers per night across NBC’s various television and digital platforms, marking the least-watched primetime Olympics on record, Summer or Winter. The previous low was set by the previous Olympics — 19.8 million for the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018.

Tokyo is the first Summer Olympics to average fewer viewers than the preceding Winter Games since Athens in 2004, which followed a U.S. based Winter Olympics two years prior.

The primetime average from Tokyo marks a 42% decline from the previous Summer Games in Rio five years ago (27.0M) and a 50% drop from the London Olympics on NBC alone in 2012 (31.1M). Viewership fell 27% from the previous Summer Games low of 21.5 million for Sydney in 2000, the last Summer Olympics to take place in the fall.

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

Unredacted Email Shows Fauci Knew About EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak Working With Chinese Virologists

A newly unredacted exchange between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Peter Daszak of EcoHealth alliance indicate that Fauci had more immediate knowledge of the lab leak theory, as well as the pushback in the public domain.

The unredacted segment shows Daszak discussing the importance of working with the Chinese and how lab leak theory jeopardizes that. Something that Fauci acknowledged in his response.

Back on Thursday the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) announced they’ve acquired a key item from their lawsuit against the NIH in court. After suing for emails, they initially got a batch that had redactions to it.

It was something that only until recently they were able to remedy.

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

New Zealand Parliament Takes Down Churchill Portrait, PM Ardern Says ‘I Don’t Care’

New Zealand’s parliament took down a historic portrait of Sir Winston Churchill in response to Green Party lobbying, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brushing the incident off with a flat “I don’t care.”

“We wanted a painting outside the Green Party offices that was more representative of the values that we stand for,” said Green Party co-leader James Shaw, claiming in comments reported by Stuff that their primary issue with the late prime minister was his supposed foreignness.

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

NSW Government Criticized for Announcing Last Minute Lockdown on Twitter

Politicians often argue that social media isn’t the public square when it comes to defending censorship online. Yet, they often use it as one.

Australia’s New South Wales’ leadership is facing backlash for announcing a statewide lockdown via Twitter. Critics of the move note that news of such impact deserved mentioning in a press conference as some people do not use social media (or are actually banned from social media for criticizing the very proposals the government are introducing) and might not get the news in time.

The first official announcement was made through Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s Twitter account, though several Nationals MPs had already shared the news through Facebook.

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

Jamaica: Senior Cop Warns Partygoers

Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, who heads operations of the Area Four police, is appealing to persons to resist the temptation to keep parties as entertainment events are currently prohibited.

McGregor’s warning comes after the emergence of a video showing persons, seemingly at an illegal party, hiding behind a fence as a mobile police unit passed by.

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

Austria Insists Deportation of Afghan Migrants Will Continue

Austria will continue its policy of deporting failed Afghan asylum seekers, despite the threatened takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, two senior Cabinet members have said.

Other EU countries, including France and Germany, have suspended deportations as the Taliban advance unfolds.

But Austria’s interior and foreign ministers have now indicated they see deportations as a policing and crime issue rather than a humanitarian crisis.

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

EU Governments Criticise Afghanistan Deportation Bans

Several European Union member-states have criticised a move by Sweden and others to halt deportations to Afghanistan, saying that it could encourage Afghans to try and come to Europe.

Ministers from the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Greece, and even Germany have criticised the halting of deportations to Afghanistan, saying: “Stopping repatriation sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate more Afghan citizens to leave their homes to travel to the EU.”

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

Europe Sees Surge in Illegal Migration, 59% More Than in 2020 So Far

The European Union has seen a dramatic increase in illegal migration at its external borders in recent months, with a 59% increase over 2020 so far.

Frontex, the European Union’s border and coast guard agency, reported that there were 17,300 illegal border crossings in July, 33% higher than July 2020, and a slight increase over June, when there were 14,600 illegal crossings detected.

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

Judge Orders U.S. To Reinstate “Remain in Mexico” Asylum Policy

A federal judge in Texas directed the Biden administration on Friday to reinstate the Trump-era policy of requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their U.S. court hearings, saying the program was illegally terminated.

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

Lithuanian Migrant Crisis Enters New Phase as Influx Ceases

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — An influx of migrants from Iraq and elsewhere into Lithuania allegedly abetted by neighboring Belarus appears to have stopped, but with a pile of asylum applications to process and local communities angry about nearby migrant camps, the Lithuanian government faces an unfamiliar challenge.

The U.N. refugee agency’s representative for the Baltic region said Friday that while the “emergency phase” of the mass arrivals seems to be over, Lithuania must now focus on the wellbeing of the people held in immigration detention centers and on assessing their claims for international protection.

So far this year, more than 4,000 asylum-seekers from 40 countries, most of them Iraqi, have illegally crossed from Belarus into Lithuania. That’s 50 times more than during all of 2020.

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

Spain: Three Migrant Boat “Skippers” Arrested in Mallorca

The National Police have arrested three “skippers” of migrant boats. They belong to a criminal organisation in the northeast of Algeria and have been charged with facilitating illegal immigration, crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, and belonging to a criminal organisation.

The organisation has fixers, the ones who offer trips by boat to Spain for the equivalent of some 1,000 euros. Their selling is in the likes of cafe’s and their targets are usually young people. Then there are the ones who are responsible for the supplies — the boat, the fuel, a GPS device. They are usually the skippers of the boats.

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

Thirty-Two Migrants Flee Camp in Southern Lithuania

VILNIUS — Thirty-two people ran away from a former school turned into a migrant camp in Verebiejai, a village in the southern Lithuanian district of Alytus, on Friday, the Interior Ministry said.

“Two of them have been found and taken back to the school,” Mindaugas Bajarunas, the ministry’s spokesman, said, adding that the search for others continued.

A helicopter of the State Border Guard Service has been scrambled to help search for the missing migrants.

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

U.S. Diplomat Calls on Lukashenka to Stop ‘Irregular Migrant Flows’

A top U.S. diplomat has called on Belarus to stop allowing migrants to illegally cross into Lithuania and other neighboring countries.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman raised the migrant situation along Lithuania’s border with Belarus in a call on August 13 with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka should “immediately halt a campaign of orchestrating irregular migrant flows across its borders,” Sherman said during the call, according to the statement.

[Comment: That’s all well and good. But I call on Joe Biden to stop ‘irregular migrant flows’ at the southern US border.]

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

UK: Channel Migrant Crossings Reach Record High as Man Dies

Nearly 600 migrants crossed the Channel on the same day a man died making the journey, the government has confirmed.

The Home Office said UK authorities dealt with 592 people on Thursday — the highest figure for a single day.

French authorities reported more than 160 rescues on Thursday after several boats got into difficulty.

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

UK: Suspected Gangland People Smuggler is Arrested While ‘Preparing to Send Another 70 Desperate Migrants Across the Channel’

A suspected gangland people smuggler was arrested while preparing to send another 70 desperate migrants across the Channel.

Ali Ibrahim, originally from Burundi in Africa but now living in luxury in Holland, was arrested near Dunkirk 48 hours ago suspected of being one of the gangland people smugglers who charge migrants thousands of Euros to get on a boat, MailOnline has learned.

The smugglers drive in inflatable dinghies, outboard engines and lifejackets and bury them in the sand dunes or in some cases rendezvous in the dead of night with groups who gather at specified locations after camping out for days in the dunes.

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

With Populists Out of Govt, Illegal Boat Migrants Up 673 Per Cent in Italy

Illegal migrant landings have increased by nearly sevenfold since leftist Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese took over from Matteo Salvini in 2019.

Earlier this week, Ms Lamorgese, a member of the leftist Democratic Party (PD), admitted that she could not stop the wave of new landings of illegal immigrants that continue to arrive on the shores of Sicily.

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

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/14/2021

  1. Only in the last few days using the Nord virtual private network (VPN) one finds if the ‘Cybersec: block ads and malicious websites’ setting is enabled, the GoV website is apparently included on the blocklist.
    There is no warning from the VPN, all this is done under the hood, browers cannot connect and only say ‘site is not responding or busy, try again later’.
    I will re-check these settings in a day or two but for now it does appear to be the VPN responsible and this has happened in the last few days.
    I can only speak from my own experience here and there could be some other factor at play, however I’ve tried a few different configurations and nothing works unless the VPN is disabled completely (not good) or the Cybersec setting is disabled.
    Nord VPN claim Cybersec blocks websites that are: “…known for hosting malware, spyware, or other malicious software”.

    None of which applies to GoV however it would come as no surpise if GoV has been surreptitiously placed on such a blocklist given the numerous pernicious tactics of Islamo/leftists to shut down debate and valid criticism.
    In other words without fiddling with VPN app settings, (tbf online guide also says to turn off Cybersec if ‘trusted’ website is unavailable, however one has to even consider VPN settings in the first place), it would be rather easy just to think GoV site was down or otherwise unavalable.

    One can’t but help think, this was/is the intention.

    • I asked an expert about this, and here’s what he advised:

      Chances are someone used that exact NORD VPN server to launch attacks, and it’s temporarily blacklisted at all sites protected by the firewall service, and likely by other sites like Cloudflare as well.

      It’s usually due to hackers abusing a particular VPN server to wage DDoS jihad on a site somewhere.

      The fix is easy: Change servers.

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