Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/15/2022

According to Ukraine, the captain of the Moskva — the guided-missile cruiser that served as the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet — was killed when his vessel exploded and sank. Also, a Ukrainian newspaper said that the Moskva may have been carrying two missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

In other news, Russia is on the verge of defaulting on its debt obligations by making its April payments in rubles. If it does not convert those payments to dollars by May 4, it will be considered in default.

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

Thanks to Dean, DV, Reader from Chicago, Upananda Brahmachari, 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
» Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Says Costs From Pandemic, Inflation and War Are Too High for Company to Absorb
» Real Wages Plummet Nearly 3% Due to Inflation
» Russia on Verge of Default After Making Payments in Rubles, Moody’s Warns
 
USA
» Babylon Bee Shares Spoof of Twitter Employee Seeking Therapy Amid Elon Musk Takeover
» Biden Shakes Hands With Thin Air After North Carolina Speech
» Biden Admin Resumes Oil, Gas Leases on Federal Land Amid Spiking Gas Prices
» Biden COVID Czar: Little Kids Should Still Wear Masks Because CDC Says So
» California High School Teacher Arrested on Charges of ‘Lewd Acts’ With Student
» California Puts Pause on Vaccine Mandate for Kids
» Congressional Republicans Introduce Bill to Repeal Federal Charter for Large Teacher’s Union
» Elon Musk Could Have Competition: Thoma Bravo Considers Twitter Bid
» Elon Musk Considering Bringing in Partners on Twitter Bid, Sources Say
» Elon Musk Asks Users Who Should Have the Final Say in His Bid to Buy Twitter, CEO Says ‘No One Man’ Can Change the Company
» Florida Education Officials Reject Math Textbooks Over Critical Race Theory
» Georgia School Teacher Sentenced for Three Counts of Sexually Assaulting Student
» Meta Plans to Take a Massive 50% Cut on Virtual Sales
» NYC Public Libraries to Provide Free Ebook Versions of Banned Books
» Politicians Want ID Verification Company ID.me to Hand Over Records
» Quintez Brown to Remain in Federal Custody After Judge Grants Stay for Prosecution to Appeal
» Rumble Commits to Free Speech in the Face of Media Censorship Demands
» Study: Major Newspapers Deliberately Bury Race of Homicide Suspects, Unless They’re White
» Study: Republicans Were 4.6x More Likely to be Suspended by Twitter in the Six Months After the 2020 Election
» Twitter Pushes Back on Elon Musk’s Hostile Takeover With ‘Poison Pill’
» Twitter CEO to Employees: Musk’s Offer is Not Holding the Company ‘Hostage’
» Video: Elon Musk Explains Why He Wants to Buy Twitter; “To Help Freedom in the World”
» Video: Tucker Carlson Outlines How Twitter is “Where Elite Opinion is Incubated”
 
Canada
» Calgary Police Officers Will Not be Punished for Displaying ‘Thin Blue Line’ Patch ‘Until Further Notice’
» Canadian Legacy Journalists Freak Out Over Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Bid
» Church in the Vine Heading to Trial for Obstructing Health Inspectors
» Trudeau Government Considering Up to $4k New Tax on Pickups
 
Europe and the EU
» France: Mob of 50 ‘Youths’ Wreak Havoc After Motorcycle Rider Arrested for Dangerous Driving
» France: University President Under Fire for Telling Students and Staff to Vote Against Le Pen
» France: Macron Considers the ‘Dismantling’ of Facebook and a Ban on Online Anonymity
» Frexit Fracas
» Germany: Heart Problems and Strokes: Berlin’s ER Cases Rise Sharply
» No COVID Baby Boom: Pregnancies Fell to 17-Year Low During First Year of UK Lockdown
» Number of ‘Bobbies on the Beat’ in Britain Fell by One Third in Five Years
» UK: Another 40 Arrests After Protests at Oil Depots
» UK: Extinction Rebellion: Activists Block Four London Bridges
» UK: Several Oil Firms Secure Civil Injunctions Aimed at Stopping Climate Protests
 
Middle East
» Records Show Saudi Prince Who Rejected Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Twitter Sold All Personal Shares in 2019
 
Russia
» Captain of Sunken Warship Killed in Explosion, Says Ukraine; Street Battles Reported in Mariupol
» Kremlin Vows to Step Up ‘Missile Attacks’ On Kyiv After Russia Allegedly Bombed
» Latest News in the Russia-Ukraine War
» Sunk Russian Flagship May Have Carried Nuclear Warheads: Report
» Ukraine Uses Facial Recognition Software to ID Slain Russians and Send Photos of Their Dead Bodies to Their Families
 
South Asia
» India: Hindutva Outfits Started Playing ‘Bhajans’ Five Times a Day Against Azan in Varanasi.
 
Far East
» China is Hatching a Plan to Find Earth 2.0
» Shanghai Cops Clash With Citizens Over Leaving Homes to COVID Patients
» WeChat Censors Elderly Shanghai Man’s Lockdown Pleas for Medical Help
 
Immigration
» Belgium Faces Rising Number of Third Country-Refugees Coming From Ukraine
» Biden Administration Resumes After-Dark Migrant Flights to Airport Outside NYC
» Border Force Bring Dozens of Migrants Ashore in UK on Royal Navy’s First Day Patrolling Channel… After Tory MP Warned Government’s Rwanda Plan Will See Increase in Asylum Seekers Hoping to ‘Cross Before it Comes in’
» Channel Crossings: UK Could Send First Migrants to Rwanda Within ‘Weeks’
» Pope Francis: ‘We Are Racists, We Are Racists’
» Third Texas Migrant Bus Arrives Near US Capitol
 
Culture Wars
» All-Girls California High School Has Students Make ‘Pronoun Buttons’ At Diversity Festival
» Canada: “More Inclusive” Military to Permit Face Tattoos, Fake Nails, Dyed Hair on Soldiers
» Canada: Soldier “Drag Queen Bingo” And Critical Race Theory in the Canadian Armed Forces
» Twitter Locks Out Popular Viral Account Libs of TikTok
» UK Home Office Accused of Compelled Speech, Ordering Staff to Put Pronouns in Email Signatures
» Woke ‘Via Crucis’ Canonizes Greta Thunberg
 

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Says Costs From Pandemic, Inflation and War Are Too High for Company to Absorb

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company needed to add a fuel and inflation surcharge to deal with rising costs tied to inflation, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“At a certain point, you can’t keep absorbing all those costs and run a business that’s economic,” Jassy told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin in a “Squawk Box” interview on Thursday.

Amazon has tried to assume all those costs wherever possible, Jassy said, but it became increasingly untenable as the pandemic continued and after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. On Wednesday, Amazon imposed a 5% fee to U.S. third-party sellers who use its shipping and storage services.

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

Real Wages Plummet Nearly 3% Due to Inflation

Amid inflation that is spiraling out of control, real wages for Americans have dropped by nearly 3%.

“Inflation ran 8.5% in the year ending last month, while nominal wages grew only 5.6%, a decline in inflation-adjusted wages of 2.7%,” Jason Furman at Harvard University, one of President Barack Obama’s top economists, wrote in a Wall Street Journal article.

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

Russia on Verge of Default After Making Payments in Rubles, Moody’s Warns

A leading credit agency warned Friday that Russia is on the verge of defaulting on its debt obligations — the latest sign that escalating Western sanctions over the Ukraine war could do lasting damage to the Russian economy.

Russia violated the terms of two bond contracts with installments due on April 4 by paying in rubles rather than dollars, according to Moody’s. The dollar-denominated bonds are respectively set to mature in 2022 and 2042.

Moody’s noted the use of rubles “represents a change in payment terms relative to the original bond contracts and therefore may be considered a default under Moody’s definition if not cured by 4 May, which is the end of the grace period.”

“The bond contracts have no provision for repayment in any other currency other than dollars,” the credit agency added.

If Russia does default on its debt payments, it will mark the first lapse of its kind on foreign obligations for the Kremlin since the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, according to Reuters.

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

Babylon Bee Shares Spoof of Twitter Employee Seeking Therapy Amid Elon Musk Takeover

Fans are thrilled to see The Babylon Bee mocking Twitter employee meltdowns over a potential Elon Musk takeover, especially in light of the fact that their account on the platform is still suspended.

The satire site released a YouTube video specifically targeting Twitter employees who can’t stand the thought of Musk taking over. The video opens with a therapist meeting with one of those workers.

“It’s terrible. I can’t even,” the distraught woman tells the therapist. “I have literally lost my ability to even.”

After confirming that the woman didn’t experience a true tragic loss, like a death in the family or being misgendered, the therapist lands on the source of her troubles. The employee is freaking out because Musk made a bid to purchase Twitter outright, and she’s afraid the deal could happen.

“What is it about Elon buying Twitter that actually bothers you?” the therapist asks.

“If he buys our free speech platform, people will be able to have free speech on our platform” the woman cries.

“Well, that’s just stupid,” the therapist agrees.

“Let’s go a little deeper. What exactly bothers you about somebody having free speech on our free speech platform?” the therapist presses.

“If we don’t have the unilateral power to ban ideas we don’t like, we’d actually have to discuss and defend our ideas based on their own merit,” she says.

“And … what’s the problem with that?” the therapist asks.

“It’s just … everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi,” the Twitter employee explains. “So it’s imperative that I change their mind with force and violence.”

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

Biden Shakes Hands With Thin Air After North Carolina Speech

President Biden was left empty-handed following an address at a North Carolina university Thursday.

Biden, 79, had just finished delivering a nearly 40-minute speech at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro when he turned toward stage right with his paw outstretched in a handshake position.

There was no one else on stage and no one from the applauding crowd approached the president to exchange the pleasantry, according to footage of the event.

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

Biden Admin Resumes Oil, Gas Leases on Federal Land Amid Spiking Gas Prices

The Biden administration will resume oil and gas leases on federal land beginning next week, the Interior Department announced Friday.

The Bureau of Land Management has selected about 173 parcels on roughly 144,000 acres for lease and will issue environmental assessments and sale notices starting Monday for new oil and gas projects, according to Fox News.

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

Biden COVID Czar: Little Kids Should Still Wear Masks Because CDC Says So

The Biden Administration’s ‘COVID Coordinator’ declared Thursday that little kids should still be wearing masks in school because the ‘experts’ say so, but claimed that lifting all restrictions for migrants crossing the border is different.

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

California High School Teacher Arrested on Charges of ‘Lewd Acts’ With Student

Water polo and swim coach Amanda Quinonez, a California teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in the Los Angeles area, was arrested Tuesday for what authorities are calling “lewd acts” with an underage male student.

Allegations against Quinonez, 30, are that she had an “inappropriate relationship” with the boy, and that she had sent him “explicit photos of a sexual nature.”

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

California Puts Pause on Vaccine Mandate for Kids

The California government has put a moratorium until at least the middle of 2023 on their planned vaccine mandate for students in the state’s schools.

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

Congressional Republicans Introduce Bill to Repeal Federal Charter for Large Teacher’s Union

Republican Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Jim Banks introduced a measure Thursday to repeal the century-old federal charter granted to the National Education Association, arguing the group has shifted too far to the left.

Fitzgerald, of Wisconsin, and Banks, of Indiana, members of the House’s Republican Study Committee, argue the congressionally chartered labor union has abandon its core mission to “advance the interests of the profession of teaching; and to promote the cause of education in the United States.”

Fitzgerald further argues: “Rather than supporting students, the NEA consistently put the interests of progressive teachers’ unions over the learning of students. It is time for Congress to say enough is enough and revoke the NEA’s federal charter,” said Fitzgerald.

According to the committee, in recent years the NEA, which was granted the charter in 1906, has supported heavily partisan initiatives such as prolonged school closures during the pandemic and the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in curriculums.

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

Elon Musk Could Have Competition: Thoma Bravo Considers Twitter Bid

Private equity giant Thoma Bravo is working on a possible bid for Twitter, a source close to the situation told The Post — setting up what could be a rival to Elon Musk’s offer for the embattled social network.

“They are making a push,” the source said of the private-equity firm that already owns tech names including McAfee and Landesk.

It’s not clear how much Thoma Bravo might bid or when it might make an offer. The firm has an internal team working on the potential transaction, the source familiar with the matter told The Post.

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

Elon Musk Considering Bringing in Partners on Twitter Bid, Sources Say

Elon Musk is speaking to investors who could partner with him on a bid for Twitter, sources close to the matter told The Post.

A new plan that includes partners could be announced within days, those sources said.

One possibility, the sources said: teaming with private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners, which was planning to co-invest with him in 2018 when he was considering taking Tesla private.

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

Elon Musk Asks Users Who Should Have the Final Say in His Bid to Buy Twitter, CEO Says ‘No One Man’ Can Change the Company

Elon Musk polled Twitter users on whether shareholders, not the board, should have the power to decide the company’s future.

On Thursday, Elon Musk took to Twitter to ask users who should have the final say in his bid to buy the social media company.

He suggested that shareholders, not the board of directors, should decide whether to accept his offer to take the company private.

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

Florida Education Officials Reject Math Textbooks Over Critical Race Theory

The Florida Department of Education has rejected a slew of math textbooks they say attempt to “indoctrinate” students through the inclusion of critical race theory and other prohibited subjects, officials said Friday.

The agency junked 41 percent of publisher submissions for a range of reasons — including “references to critical race theory” and adherence to federal Common Core standards.

“It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement.

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

Georgia School Teacher Sentenced for Three Counts of Sexually Assaulting Student

Craig Dean Godfrey, of Cartersville Georgia, has been sentenced to 25 years after pleading guilty to three separate charges stemming from a sexual relationship with one of his students.

Godfrey, 38 years old, who was the band teacher at North Cobb Christian School in the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and a further count of aggravated child molestation.

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

Meta Plans to Take a Massive 50% Cut on Virtual Sales

On Monday, Meta announced that it would monetize items sold in Horizon Worlds, a virtual world app. Creators would be able to earn revenue by creating virtual goods and experiences in the Metaverse. However, the company did not reveal how much commission it would be taking from the revenue earned by creators.

Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, a Meta spokesperson said that the company would take a 30% commission as hardware platform fee for using Meta Quest Store, and another 17.5% commission for sales made on Horizon Worlds.

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

NYC Public Libraries to Provide Free Ebook Versions of Banned Books

Public libraries in New York City have taken steps to fight book banning. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) launched a program called “Books UnBanned” that will provide eBooks for free to teens and young adults across the country. And the New York Public Library (NYPL) launched the “Books for All” program that has converted some of the popular banned books into eBooks.

In recent times, attempts to ban books have increased. According to the American Library Association, in 2021 alone, there were 729 attempts to ban 1,579 books.

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

Politicians Want ID Verification Company ID.me to Hand Over Records

Two Democrats House Representatives have sent a letter to identity verification service ID.me, demanding it provide documents detailing its dealings with the government. The letter follows backlash over IRS’ plans to have Americans use the service for verification when filing tax returns.

Two Democrats House Representatives have sent a letter to identity verification service ID.me, demanding it provide documents detailing its dealings with the government. The letter follows backlash over IRS’ plans to have Americans use the service for verification when filing tax returns.

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

Quintez Brown to Remain in Federal Custody After Judge Grants Stay for Prosecution to Appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville man accused of trying to kill a candidate for mayor will remain in federal custody for now after a court hearing Friday.

Quintez Brown returned to federal court to learn whether he would stay in federal custody or return to home incarceration. He was arrested in February after police said he opened fire in the campaign office of Craig Greenberg.

According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, Greenberg, who is running for mayor, was the target of Brown’s gunfire. The office is located in Butchertown and Greenberg was not wounded.

Police said one of the bullets grazed Greenberg’s sweater. There were several other people inside the office at the time of the incident, as well.

Brown was taken into custody following the attempted shooting of Greenberg. But he was then bailed out of jail by a Black Lives Matter bail fund group…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Rumble Commits to Free Speech in the Face of Media Censorship Demands

Rumble will continue to allow content from Russia’s state-run news outlet RT, to continue upholding its mission “to protect a free and open internet.” Its Big Tech rival YouTube suspended RT’s channel in early March.

Earlier this week, Rumble tweeted that it was being pressured by journalists to censor RT. The free speech platform posted screenshots of emails it had received from journalists at news outlet the Globe and Mail.

Rumble wrote that journalists were “demanding to know why we aren’t dutifully copying YouTube’s censorship.”

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

Study: Major Newspapers Deliberately Bury Race of Homicide Suspects, Unless They’re White

After conducting an exhaustive study, the Washington Free Beacon confirmed that major newspapers deliberately bury the race of homicide suspects, unless they’re white, in which case their race is prominently reported.

The results of the investigation found that legacy media outlets try to downplay the race of the suspect if he is black, a trend that has worsened since the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots.

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

Study: Republicans Were 4.6x More Likely to be Suspended by Twitter in the Six Months After the 2020 Election

A study of 9,000 politically active Twitter users who shared election hashtags in October 2020, half Republican and half Democrat, found that in the six months following the 2020 US presidential election, Republicans were 4.6x more likely to get suspended from the platform than Democrats.

During this six-month period, a staggering 35.6% of the Republican users were suspended while just 7.7% of the Democrat users were suspended.

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

Twitter Pushes Back on Elon Musk’s Hostile Takeover With ‘Poison Pill’

Twitter is putting up a fight against Elon Musk’s hostile takeover bid by offering its shareholders the opportunity to buy more company stock at a discounted rate — a defensive tactic known to investors as a “poison pill.”

The move was done to make it more difficult for Musk, who currently owns 9.2% of Twitter, from upping his stake in the company to acquire more than 15% of shares.

Musk made a $41 billion all-cash bid for Twitter, saying he wanted to own the firm and take it private in order to restore its commitment to free speech.

The social media platform’s board of directors announced Friday that it has “unanimously” approved a “limited duration shareholder rights plan” that would remain in effect until a year from today.

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

Twitter CEO to Employees: Musk’s Offer is Not Holding the Company ‘Hostage’

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sought to bring ease to employees’ concerns on Thursday and reassured that the company was not being “held hostage” in reaction to Elon Musk’s proposed offer to buy the social media platform for $43 billion.

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

Video: Elon Musk Explains Why He Wants to Buy Twitter; “To Help Freedom in the World”

Speaking at the TED conference in Vancouver, Elon Musk explained why he feels it is imperative that he buy Twitter, declaring that it is “extremely important for the future of civilization” that the platform is turned around from being an echo chamber that censors certain opinions.

Musk said “It’s important for the function of democracy. It’s important for the function of the United States as a free country among many other countries. And to help, actually to help freedom in the world more importantly than the US.”

He continued, “I think the situational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform.”

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

Video: Tucker Carlson Outlines How Twitter is “Where Elite Opinion is Incubated”

Tucker Carlson explained Thursday why Elon Musk’s attempted takeover of Twitter is “the single most important development for free speech in the modern history of the United States,” noting that the platform is “where elite opinion is incubated.”

The host declared that Twitter “is the single most important forum for speech possibly in the world,” but that it is currently being used to foment mass group-think.

“As Musk put it, Twitter’s potential is to be ‘the platform for free speech around the globe.’ Twitter will neither ‘thrive nor serve the societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Carlson said.

He further highlighted that “if Twitter’s board rejects Elon Musk’s offer, they will need to explain why to their shareholders. They turned down a deal that would make the shareholders much richer.”

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

Calgary Police Officers Will Not be Punished for Displaying ‘Thin Blue Line’ Patch ‘Until Further Notice’

The Calgary Police Service has announced that officers displaying the controversial “thin blue line” patch will not be reprimanded “until further notice.”

Members of the Calgary Police Service who continue to display a “thin blue line” patch have been told they will not be punished so long as the Calgary Police Commission and the police associations continue discussions over the symbol.

The patches have become a contentious issue as groups argue over its intended meaning.

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

Canadian Legacy Journalists Freak Out Over Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Bid

The Canadian legacy media is up in arms after Elon Musk announced his plan to buy the popular social media platform Twitter for $43 billion.

On Thursday it was revealed that Musk made an offer of $54.20 per share in cash, saying he hoped to unlock the “extraordinary potential” of Twitter should he own it. The offer is 38% over the price as of April 1.

The news came shortly after Musk became the largest shareholder of the company earlier this month.

Musk has been an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter. He has repeatedly tweeted in support of the Freedom Convoy movement and was even forced to take a controversial tweet down which likened the prime minister to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

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

Church in the Vine Heading to Trial for Obstructing Health Inspectors

Pastor Tracy Fortin and the Edmonton-area church face the potential for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for three separate alleged breaches of COVID regulations when Fortin stopped Alberta Health inspectors from interrupting church services to check for coronavirus compliance.

Tracy and her husband, Pastor Rodney Fortin, have been outspoken lockdown critics from the onset of the restrictions on places of worship.

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

Trudeau Government Considering Up to $4k New Tax on Pickups

The Trudeau government is considering a recommendation to hit pickup trucks with a new tax that could cost Canadians between $1,000 and $4,000 per truck.

If the tax is approved, popular light-duty trucks such as the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado would be charged $1,000, while heavy duty trucks used to tow equipment like the Ram 3500 would pay $4,000.

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

France: Mob of 50 ‘Youths’ Wreak Havoc After Motorcycle Rider Arrested for Dangerous Driving

A huge group of ‘young people’ rioted in France after a teen was arrested for reckless motorcycle riding this week, according to reports.

Chaos unfolded on Thursday night in Romans-sur-Isère, a commune in the department of Drôme.

A 17-year-old suspect was apprehended at around 8 p.m. after he was caught driving a motocross bike dangerously in the district of Monnaie.

Officers came under attack during the arrest, with projectiles launched at them by a group of youths who were quickly dispersed.

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

France: University President Under Fire for Telling Students and Staff to Vote Against Le Pen

The president of the University of Nantes has come under fire after circulating an email to students and faculty at the university, in which she called on them to vote against populist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

President of the University of Nantes Carine Bernault sent an email to faculty and students on Wednesday stating, “I solemnly call on you to vote on April 24 to block the extreme right and therefore the National Rally.”

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

France: Macron Considers the ‘Dismantling’ of Facebook and a Ban on Online Anonymity

French President Emmanuel Macron has assumed a position of someone firmly against U.S. social media platforms after criticizing the addictive and harmful aspects the platforms and opposing online anonymity, the BFM TV reports.

The next meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Mark Zuckerberg could thus be colder than the one in May 2018. In an interview with Le Point weekly, Macron delivered his view of the major digital platforms and their effects on society, with a particularly critical stance on the latter. During the interview, Emmanuel Macron hypothesized a dismantling of digital platforms to put an end to the power of Facebook.

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

Frexit Fracas

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) — A French nationalist wants to cut her country off from the globalist agenda — and it just might work.

Over the course of this week, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen teased the possibility of pulling the eldest daughter of the Church out of the European Union — and even NATO — if she wins the runoff election on April 24.

Although Le Pen’s party, the National Rally, backed off its official “Frexit” policy after the 2017 election, the decision seems to have been in name only. In a speech Sunday, after winning entry to the second round of voting for the presidential election, the National Rally leader declared, “I will bring back France’s sovereignty in all areas — which means the freedom for the French people to decide for themselves and decide their interests. I will control immigration and re-establish security for all.”

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

Germany: Heart Problems and Strokes: Berlin’s ER Cases Rise Sharply

The number of emergency rescue missions of the Berlin fire brigade under the keywords heart complaints as well as strokes has risen sharply in 2021. This is the result of an answer by the Senate’s internal administration to a question by SPD member of parliament Robert Schaddach.

“The aim of the question is to determine the development of the Berlin fire brigade’s deployment figures with regard to heart problems and strokes in the past four years.”

Under the keywords “Heart complaints/Implanted defibrillator” as well as “Chest pain/Other chest complaints”, the number of logged deployments in 2021 increased by 31 percent to a total of 43 806 deployments compared to the averages from 2018/2019.

The number of logged missions under the keywords “Stroke/Transient Ischaemic (TIA) Attack” increased by 27 percent to a total of 13 096 missions compared to the averages from 2018/2019.

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

No COVID Baby Boom: Pregnancies Fell to 17-Year Low During First Year of UK Lockdown

Despite Britons largely being confined to their homes, pregnancies fell to a 17-year low during the first year of Chinese coronavirus lockdowns.

According to figures compiled by Britain’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were 817,515 conceptions recorded among women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2020.

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

Number of ‘Bobbies on the Beat’ in Britain Fell by One Third in Five Years

The number of police on foot patrol in communities has fallen by a third over the past five years, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to bolster the ranks of forces across the country.

According to data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services, there are now only one police community support officer (PCSO) for every 2,400 people in England and Wales. This is down from one officer per 1,650 people in 2012/2013.

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

UK: Another 40 Arrests After Protests at Oil Depots

Police have arrested 40 more people after climate change protests at three oil terminals.

Essex Police said 28 were detained at the Navigator depot in Thurrock and the Grays oil terminal.

Warwickshire Police confirmed another 12 arrests at the Kingsbury depot near Tamworth.

People in orange hi-vis jackets were seen on top of oil tankers, holding “Just Stop Oil” signs, a group affiliated with Extinction Rebellion.

They have been demanding that the government stop new oil and gas projects.

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

UK: Extinction Rebellion: Activists Block Four London Bridges

Climate change protesters have blocked four of London’s busiest bridges.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion activists gathered on Waterloo, Blackfriars, Lambeth and Westminster bridges calling for an end to new fossil fuel investments.

Queues of traffic have been forming as a result of the demonstrations.

The Metropolitan Police said it was aware of “pockets of protest” and officers were attempting to control the disruption.

Demonstrators were playing bongos and waving banners, which read: “End fossil fuels now” and “Love in action”.

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

UK: Several Oil Firms Secure Civil Injunctions Aimed at Stopping Climate Protests

Several oil firms have secured civil injunctions aimed at stopping environmental protesters from targeting their fuel processing sites.

A number of key operators including Navigator Thames, ExxonMobil and Valero gained their injunctions in the last few days, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said on Friday.

It comes as dozens of climate activists were charged after arrests were made at protests at oil depots.

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

Records Show Saudi Prince Who Rejected Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Twitter Sold All Personal Shares in 2019

It has been revealed that the Saudi prince who publicly rejected Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter sold all his personal shares in 2019.

On Thursday, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud publicly rejected Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter for $43 billion.

The prince owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holdings Company, which continues to hold stock in Twitter, however, records show he sold all his personal shares in 2019.

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

Captain of Sunken Warship Killed in Explosion, Says Ukraine; Street Battles Reported in Mariupol

Captain of sunken warship killed in explosion, says Ukraine

We’ve been reporting today that Russia’s Moskva warship sunk while being towed to a port after an explosion.

Now, Ukraine claims Moskva’s captain was also killed in that explosion.

In a statement on Telegram, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs, said:

“1st rank captain, cruiser Moskva flagship commander of the Black sea Fleet, Anton Kuprin died during the explosion and fire on board.”

While Ukraine said its military successfully struck the flagship missile on Wednesday, Russia’s defence ministry said a fire onboard and “stormy sea conditions” were to blame…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Kremlin Vows to Step Up ‘Missile Attacks’ On Kyiv After Russia Allegedly Bombed

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Defence Ministry on Friday promised to ramp up “the scale of missile attacks” on Kyiv in response to Ukraine’s “diversions on the Russian territory.”

The statement comes a day after Russian authorities accused Ukrainian forces of launching airstrikes on residential buildings in one of the country’s regions on the border with Ukraine, in which seven people sustained injuries.

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

Latest News in the Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine: Russia escalated attacks on Kyiv and elsewhere in the country and threatened to strike Ukrainian command centers in response to alleged strikes inside Russia. Russia said it struck a missile factory near Kyiv.

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Russia had captured an iron and steel works complex in Mariupol; Russia this week claimed control over the besieged port city. About 30,000 people are returning to Ukraine each day, according to a U.N. agency.

Russia: The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the warship Moskva, sank Thursday following what the Ukrainian military said was a cruise missile attack. Its sinking recalled great naval battles of the past that are remembered as turning points. The U.S. said Friday it had confirmed Ukraine’s account of the attack.

Russia warned it could station nuclear forces in Northern Europe if Finland and Sweden join NATO. Western governments are using sanctions to target an expanding list of Russian billionaires and Kremlin elites.

U.S.: The latest $800 million U.S. military aid package for Ukraine will give Kyiv weapons and equipment the U.S. once considered too risky to provide, including 155-mm howitzers and artillery. Western leaders seeking to build a global coalition to isolate Russia are facing pushback from the world’s largest developing nations.

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

Sunk Russian Flagship May Have Carried Nuclear Warheads: Report

On Thursday, the Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea flagship, sank after an explosion, raising fears that the ship may have harbored nuclear warheads, a so-called “broken-arrow” incident. Ukraine claimed it had struck the ship with two Neptune cruise missiles fired by a coastal battery; Russia claims an ammunition fire contributed to the sinking.

“Mykhailo Samus, director of a Lviv-based military think-tank; Andriy Klymenko, editor of Black Sea News; and Ukrainian newspaper Defence Express all warned today that the Moskva was designed to carry warheads which could be fitting into the nose of its supersonic P-1000 missiles — designed to take out American aircraft carriers,” The Daily Mail reported.

Samus surmised, “On board the Moskva could be nuclear warheads — two units.” Klymenko echoed, “Where are these warheads? Where were they when the ammunition exploded?”

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

Ukraine Uses Facial Recognition Software to ID Slain Russians and Send Photos of Their Dead Bodies to Their Families

Ukraine is reportedly using facial recognition software provided by surveillance technology firm Clearview AI to identify slain Russian soldiers and contact their families with reports of their deaths.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the software, donated by the U.S.-based company, is being used by Ukrainian forces to scan and identify the faces of fallen soldiers, tie them to their social media accounts, and contact the families of the deceased to show them photos of their dead bodies.

The outlet called it “one of the most gruesome applications of the technology to date.”

“The Ukrainians champion the use of face-scanning software from the U.S. tech firm Clearview AI as a brutal but effective way to stir up dissent inside Russia, discourage other fighters and hasten an end to a devastating war,” the Post reported.

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

India: Hindutva Outfits Started Playing ‘Bhajans’ Five Times a Day Against Azan in Varanasi.

‘Azaan’ controversy reaches Varanasi: Saffron outfits start reciting ‘bhajans’ five times a day.

Sanjay Pandey | DHNS | Lucknow | Apr 14 2022:: The ‘azaan’ controversy has reached all the way to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, where saffron outfits have installed loudspeakers atop several houses to recite the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, ‘bhajans’ and other hymns, five times a day during the azaan.

President of Shrikashi Vishwanath Gyanvapi Movement and BJP member Sudhir Singh made the announcement on Thursday, saying that the recitation of bhajans and mantras had been an ancient tradition in Varanasi. “It was stopped under pressure during the non-BJP governments…we want to restart the old tradition,” Singh said.

Saffron outfits were demanding a ban on ‘azaan’ through loudspeakers.

Singh asked all the Hindu residents of Varanasi to install loudspeakers atop their houses and join the recitation five times a day. He, however, said that it was not his intention to disturb communal harmony in the town.

“If azan can be recited through loudspeakers from the mosques, then why can’t we recite bhajans through the loudspeakers from the temples?” asked Roshan Pandey, president of the Rashtriya Hindu Dal.

Some Hindu seers, however, reacted sharply to the recitation of bhajans through loudspeakers. “Hinduism is not a reactionary religion. There are certain established traditions for puja. There is no provision like reciting bhajans three times or five times. The move is politically motivated,” said a prominent Varanasi-based seer.

Earlier Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray had warned that his party workers would start reciting ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at high decibel levels if the state government did not get the loudspeakers removed from the mosques in Maharashtra.

           — Hat tip: Upananda Brahmachari [Return to headlines]
 

China is Hatching a Plan to Find Earth 2.0

After sending robots to the Moon, landing them on Mars and building its own space station, China is now eyeing distant solar systems. This month, scientists will release detailed plans for the country’s first mission to discover exoplanets.

The mission will aim to survey planets outside the Solar System in other parts of the Milky Way, with the goal of finding the first Earth-like planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a star just like the Sun. Astronomers think such a planet, called an Earth 2.0, would have the right conditions for liquid water — and possibly life — to exist.

More than 5,000 exoplanets have already been discovered in the Milky Way, mostly with NASA’s Kepler telescope, which was in use for 9 years before it ran out of fuel in 2018. Some of the planets were rocky Earth-like bodies orbiting small red-dwarf stars, but none fit the definition of an Earth 2.0.

With current technology and telescopes, it is extremely hard to find the signal of small, Earth-like planets when their host stars are one million times heavier and one billion times brighter, says Jessie Christiansen, an astrophysicist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

The Chinese mission, called Earth 2.0, hopes to change that. It will be funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is wrapping up its early design phase. If the designs pass a review by a panel of experts in June, the mission team will receive funding to start building the satellite. The team plans to launch the spacecraft on a Long March rocket before the end of 2026.

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

Shanghai Cops Clash With Citizens Over Leaving Homes to COVID Patients

Furious Shanghai residents clashed with hazmat-suited police Thursday after they were ordered to give up their homes so COVID-19 patients in China’s most populous city can isolate amid draconian lockdowns.

Officers were filmed wrestling residents to the ground and then leading some away to a van — as others said they were fearful that making their home a quarantine center amid an influx of cases would expose them to the illness, according to Agence France-Presse and footage of the incident.

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

WeChat Censors Elderly Shanghai Man’s Lockdown Pleas for Medical Help

China has censored audio of an 82-year-old man pleading for assistance from a local official to see a doctor. The story underscores numerous reports of Shanghai residents not being able to access food and medical care and the attempts to cover up the situation.

“I can’t stand it now. I’ve finished all my medication,” the man identified as Yu Wenming told the local official in the phone call.

“My throat hurts. My temperature is spiraling up.”

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

Belgium Faces Rising Number of Third Country-Refugees Coming From Ukraine

Belgian authorities are recording an increasing number of non-Ukrainian nationals arriving from the territory of Ukraine, who are not allowed to stay, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi said on Friday.

“Third-country nationals, arriving from the Ukrainian territory and having an opportunity to return to their countries of origin, cannot enjoy the right of temporary protection and asylum at the Belgian territory,” Mahdi was quoted as saying by Metro new agency.

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

Biden Administration Resumes After-Dark Migrant Flights to Airport Outside NYC

The White House has quietly resumed its after-dark charter flights of underage migrants to a suburban airport north of New York City — after a Post expose led to their suspension last year.

The Post watched as a group of migrant teens got off an Avelo Airlines plane that arrived at the Westchester County Airport near White Plains at 9:25 p.m. Thursday. The group then boarded three waiting buses that drove off about 50 minutes later.

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

Border Force Bring Dozens of Migrants Ashore in UK on Royal Navy’s First Day Patrolling Channel… After Tory MP Warned Government’s Rwanda Plan Will See Increase in Asylum Seekers Hoping to ‘Cross Before it Comes in’

At least 50 migrants arrived in the UK by boat today on the first official day of Navy patrols in the Channel — after a Tory MP warned the government’s Rwanda plan would see an increase in asylum seekers trying to get to Britain before it’s implemented.

Between 25 and 30 migrants reached the Dover harbour, Kent around 2.30am this morning before a second group, of around 30 people, was escorted to shore on board Border Force cutter Valiant shortly before 10am.

The Home Office and the MoD are yet to confirm the official number of migrants to arrive in the UK today, or on Wednesday or Thursday — but it is thought more than 1,000 people made the perilous crossing.

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

Channel Crossings: UK Could Send First Migrants to Rwanda Within ‘Weeks’

The government hopes it can start sending asylum seekers to Rwanda in a matter of “weeks”, according to Boris Johnson’s policy chief.

The UK government is attempting to crack down on Channel crossings by small boats and as part of the plans, the Home Office has signed a “world first” deal with Rwanda to send migrants to the landlocked African country.

The Home Office said on Thursday that the first people to be sent to Rwanda will be formally notified in the coming weeks, with the first flights taking place in the next few months.

[Comment: Is Boris Johnson finding his inner Trump?]

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

Pope Francis: ‘We Are Racists, We Are Racists’

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis accused the West of racism Friday, insisting migrants are “subdivided” by skin color and country of origin.

“Refugees are subdivided,” the pontiff declared during a lengthy Good Friday interview on Italian television. “There’s first class, second class, skin color, [whether] they come from a developed country [or] one that is not developed.”

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

Third Texas Migrant Bus Arrives Near US Capitol

A third migrant bus arrived in Washington, D.C., around 8 a.m. Friday as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to counter federal immigrant policies amid the current border crisis.

Texas began sending an unspecified number of buses en route to Washington, D.C., on April 8, followingAbbott’s statement that Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) officials would be transporting migrants released in Texas communities to the nation’s capital. The White House initially described it as a “publicity stunt,” with many assuming the governor would not follow through. The Friday bus carried approximately 30 migrants.

“What better place for them to go than the steps of the United States Capitol?” Abbott asked “America’s Newsroom” hosts just last week.

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

All-Girls California High School Has Students Make ‘Pronoun Buttons’ At Diversity Festival

A recent report highlights how an all-girls Catholic high school in California injected progressive gender ideology into their school’s “cultural’’ fair. Student attendees were subjected to rhetoric about transgenderism and LGBTQ lifestyles, which in itself clashes with the fact that this took place at a religious private school.

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

Canada: “More Inclusive” Military to Permit Face Tattoos, Fake Nails, Dyed Hair on Soldiers

A new draft plan by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to create a more “gender inclusive” dress code includes permitting men or women in uniform to don face tattoos, fake nails, jewelry and dyed hair while on service.

True North has exclusively obtained a presentation by the Department of National Defence titled “Canadian Armed Forces Dress Instructions proposal to reflect a more inclusive culture.”

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

Canada: Soldier “Drag Queen Bingo” And Critical Race Theory in the Canadian Armed Forces

Internal communications from the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) reveal a military increasingly preoccupied with concepts like equity, critical race theory (CRT) and gender ideology.

Instances range from a “drag queen bingo” event for CAF members, instructions to root out right-wing political opinions and claims that soldiers were encouraged to read anti-racist literature like Robin Diangelo’s book White Fragility.

A CAF member who asked to remain anonymous over fears of reprisal shared with True North multiple emails and documents sent out to military personnel, revealing material chock-full of woke ideology.

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

Twitter Locks Out Popular Viral Account Libs of TikTok

Citing “hateful conduct,” Twitter suspended the popular account @LibsofTikTok on Thursday.

Twitter warned “Libs of TikTok” that: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

But the account only features liberals talking about their values, without any commentary. Twitter did not specify what post led to the 12-hour suspension.

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

UK Home Office Accused of Compelled Speech, Ordering Staff to Put Pronouns in Email Signatures

In a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the UK’s Home Office, headed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, Matthew Rycroft, the Free Speech Union objected to a directive to staff to change their email signatures to indicate their pronouns.

According to the FSU, the directive, which was later clarified to be mandatory, is a violation of free speech rights as it compels speech whether people agree with it or not.

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

Woke ‘Via Crucis’ Canonizes Greta Thunberg

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) — Italian bishops are canonizing a climate alarmist, a bisexual activist, a lesbian journalist, an open-borders agitator and Muslim campaigners in a woke “Way of the Cross” for Lent and Holy Week.

Via Crucis, published by the Italian Episcopal Conference for use in Italy’s dioceses and parishes in 2022, glorifies Swedish climate alarmist Greta Thunberg among the ranks of “missionary women and men who were martyred.”

Thunberg is exalted at the 10th Station (Jesus is stripped of His clothes) by the publication as a 19-year-old “protagonist of change” who “became famous for her strike against climate change.”

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

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/15/2022

  1. The fog of war, and of the Black Sea, appears to have obscured the true and actual fate of the Moskova even since it exploded/burned/got hit by a missile/sank/got towed to port.

    Whatever the case, in the context of the war, the fate of the Moskova seems inconsequential.

  2. SWEDEN WAS ONCE

    Sweden best in EU at changing population to Arabs

    Published 16 April 2022 in Fria Tider

    No other EU country issues more citizenships relative to its population size than Sweden, newly released figures from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat show. People from the Arab world completely dominate among those who become citizens, according to the office’s figures.

    More than 80,000 immigrants received Swedish citizenship in 2020, the highest number in the EU relative to the population of member states.

    In Sweden, the largest nationalities of origin were Syrians, Iraqis and the category of stateless persons, which is effectively Palestinians.

    According to Eurostat, the largest single nationality among new citizenships in the EU as a whole is Moroccan, followed by Syrian.

    However, the population of the EU is not only being replaced by Arabs, although this ethnic group is predominant. Instead, the third largest group to gain EU citizenship was another Muslim group: Albanians.

    Lithuania had the lowest number of citizenships: five per 100,000 inhabitants, or 152 people in total for the whole year.

    Population change
    SCB: Sweden could have 12 million inhabitants by 2040
    Most Arabs, Somalis and Afghans become Swedes in 2021
    12 percent of Sweden’s 21-year-old men were born in Afghanistan

    Hübinette: “4 out of 10 children have a foreign background”
    Swedes flee Gothenburg – new arrivals move in

  3. Hey Pope! The Ukrainian refugees are women and children. The “refugees” from the ME mostly are young men. Are you blind?

Leave a Reply to billrla Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.