Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/3/2022

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party won a massive victory in today’s general election. When the rest of the votes have been tallied, Fidesz is projected to win 54%, against 34% for the leftist opposition parties. The result is expected to give Fidesz another super-majority in Parliament. Many Western political leaders and media people have expressed dismay over the Hungarian election results. I hope Mr. Orbán has retained the services of a food-taster.

In other news, an entrepreneurial German man in Saxony was arrested after he allegedly got himself “vaccinated” up to 90 times in order to sell vax passes to vaccine-hesitant people.

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

Thanks to Dean, DV, GL-T, JW, 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
» Chicago Fed’s Woke Enemy of Free Speech Heading for Promotion to Federal Reserve Board
» Poland’s February Unemployment Rate Second Lowest in EU — Eurostat
» Poland’s CPI Hits 10.9 Pct y/y in March — Stats Office
» S&P Confirms Poland’s A- Rating With Stable Outlook
» Senator Elizabeth Warren Says “It’s Time” For a Centrally Controlled Digital Currency
» World Government Summit Speculates on “Digital Money” For Full Centralized Control
 
USA
» Biden Wants DOJ to Prosecute Trump Over January 6
» Ghislaine Maxwell Pedo Conviction Upheld Despite Juror’s Post-Verdict Admission
» Iowa House Passes Bill Requiring Schools to Post Curriculum Materials Online for Parent Review
» Justice Department Charges 12 People for Arming Gang Members in Chicago
» New York City Will Mandate Masks for Children Under 5 Years Old
» ‘People Distraught’: At Least 6 Dead, 12 Injured After Sacramento Shooting Rampage; Police Searching for Suspect
» Richard Johnson: George Soros Behaving Like a Robber Baron, Union Leader Says
» Suspect Dead, Police Officer Hospitalized After Oak Forest Grocery Store Shooting
» Trump Says Jen Psaki Has ‘Really Beautiful Red Hair’ And MSNBC Wants to Hire Her Because They Need a Redhead
» Watch: Biden Says Michelle Obama Was ‘Vice President’ In Latest Gaffe
 
Canada
» Watch: People Chant ‘Shame’ at Police Officers Ticketing People for Honking to Protest Trudeau
 
Europe and the EU
» Finland PM: NATO Decision Must Happen This Spring
» German Man, 60, Vaccinated Up to 90 Times to Sell Passes to Anti-Vaxers
» Hungary Nominates Transylvanian Monk for Nobel Peace Prize
» Hungary’s Viktor Orban Wins 4th Term With Large Majority, Celebrates ‘Great Victory’ In Budapest
» Italy Relaxes Health Pass Rules After Ending Coronavirus State of Emergency
» ‘It’s a Lie!’ — Germany’s Leftist Chancellor Launches Verbal Assault on Anti-Lockdown Protesters
» New WHO Pandemic Treaty May Erode Independence of Sovereign Nations
» Nuclear Bunkers for All: Switzerland is Ready as International Tensions Mount
» Poland ‘Open’ & Ready to Host US Nukes on NATO’s Eastern Flank
» Poland: Survey Shows Ruling Party Continues Its Lead in Election Poll
» Secret UK COVID Courts Still Handing Out Lockdown Fines of Up to £13,000: Report
» Seven European Nations Have Increased Defense Budgets in One Month. Who Will be Next?
» ‘The House That Davos Built’ Quakes as PM Orban Claims “Great Victory” In Hungary Election
» UK, Germany Threaten New Sanctions After Alleged Bucha Massacre
» UK: Tommy Robinson is Held by Police at Manchester Airport After Being ‘Separated From His Children and Thrown Out of Mexico on a Matter of National Security’
» Vaccines for Children Between 5 and 11 to be Rolled Out in England on Monday
 
Russia
» Global Food Crisis: Russia Threatens to Limit Vital Agri Supply to ‘Friendly’ Countries Only
» Google to Demonetize Sites That “Dismiss” The Russia-Ukraine War
» Pics: Ukraine Forces Find Bodies Littering Streets as Russia Retreats From Kyiv Region
» Pics: Ukrainian Forces Capture Remains of World’s Largest Aircraft as Russians Retreat
» Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Asks Countries to Criminalize the Use of the “Z” Symbol
» Western Media Clubs Together to White-Wash Ukrainian Neo-Nazis
 
South Asia
» A Right Wing Political Party in India Urges to Stop Mosque Loudspeakers
» One Dead, 59 Injured After Blast in Kabul
» Sri Lanka Cabinet Offers to Resign as Out-of-Control Inflation Sparks Widespread Social Unrest
 
Immigration
» Poland Accepts Over 2.45 Mln Refugees Since War in Ukraine Started
 
Culture Wars
» ‘Do We Have a Voice?’: University of Arizona Swimmers Slam NCAA Over Lia Thomas’ Participation in Women’s Sports
» Scientists Demand Climate Revolution With Promise of Civil ‘Disobedience’
» Seattle Museum Hosts ‘Drag-Tastic Summer Camp’ For Tween and Teen Boys
» UK Doctors to be Paid for Putting People on Transgender Sex Change Hormones
 

Chicago Fed’s Woke Enemy of Free Speech Heading for Promotion to Federal Reserve Board

By Mark Glennon of Wirepoints

The United States Senate on Tuesday voted to advance Lisa Cook’s nomination by President Biden to the Federal Reserve Board after a committee deadlocked on her nomination earlier this month. Cook is currently an Executive Committee member of the regional Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Board of Directors. As a member of the national Federal Reserve Board, she would have key influence on the Fed’s monetary policy, which is supposed to be about price stability, i.e., controlling inflation.

In 2020, you may recall that the Chicago Fed bowed to the cancel mob in a particularly egregious manner by cutting ties with a prominent University of Chicago economics professor, Harald Uhlig. We wrote about it here.

What was Uhilg’s sin? He wrote a series of tweets criticizing Black Lives Matters’ call to defund police departments. That’s all.

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

Poland’s February Unemployment Rate Second Lowest in EU — Eurostat

Poland had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU in February, according to data published by Eurostat, the bloc’s statistical office.

The office put Poland’s rate at 3.0 percent, right after the 2.4 percent held by the Czech Republic in first place.

Spain and Greece recorded the worst results in February with 12.6 percent and 11.9 percent respectively, according to Eurostat data.

In February 2022, the unemployment rate in the eurozone countries stood at 6.8 percent and in the entire 27-member bloc, the average unemployment rate was at 6.2 percent.

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

Poland’s CPI Hits 10.9 Pct y/y in March — Stats Office

Prices of consumer goods and services (Consumer Price Index, CPI) increased by 10.9 percent year on year and by 3.2 percent month on month in March 2022, the Central Statistical Office (GUS) reported in a flash estimate on Friday.

Economists polled by PAP Business estimated that March’s CPI would reach 10.1 percent year on year and by 2.5 percent month on month.

In February, the prices of consumer goods and services increased by 8.5 percent year on year and fell by 0.3 percent month on month.

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

S&P Confirms Poland’s A- Rating With Stable Outlook

Global ratings agency S&P has confirmed Poland’s long-term A- rating in foreign currencies with a stable outlook, the agency said in a Friday statement.

The A grade is the third from the top in a ten-level scale used by S&P.

According to S&P, the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine will have a significant impact on Poland’s economy and public finance.

As a result of this, S&P has trimmed its GDP growth forecast for Poland to 3.6 percent from 5.0 in 2022 and is expecting a higher general government deficit this year, at 4 percent of GDP versus 3 percent predicted earlier.

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

Senator Elizabeth Warren Says “It’s Time” For a Centrally Controlled Digital Currency

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said it is time for a US CBDC (central bank digital currency).

“So a lot that banks do wrong, if you think, ‘We could improve that in a digital world,’ the answer is, ‘Sure you could.’ But in that case, let’s do a central bank digital currency,” Warren told Todd. “Yes, I think it’s time for us to move in that direction.”

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

World Government Summit Speculates on “Digital Money” For Full Centralized Control

On March 29 and 30th, senior government officials and leaders of international organizations from more than 190 countries met in Dubai for the World Government Summit 2022. The participants present their ideas for the future from their different fields.

Dr. Pippa Malmgren, an economist who served as an Economic Policy senior adviser to former President George W. Bush made a notable announcement about the relationship about finance and the world order.

“What underpins a world order is always the financial system. I was very privileged. My father was an adviser to Nixon when they came off the gold standard in 71. And so, I was brought up with a kind of inside view of how very important the financial structure is to absolutely everything else,” she said.

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

Biden Wants DOJ to Prosecute Trump Over January 6

President Biden wants his Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute former President Donald Trump and people within his orbit over the January 6 Capitol Riot, and has expressed frustration in private over the AG’s lack of action on the issue.

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

Ghislaine Maxwell Pedo Conviction Upheld Despite Juror’s Post-Verdict Admission

Jeffrey Epstein’s “partner in crime” won’t get a new sex trafficking trial, despite one of the jurors — a Carlyle Group staffer — admitting he may have influenced the jury with a tale of his own childhood sexual abuse that materialized during deliberations despite checking “no” on the juror questionnaire.

The juror told news interviews that he had talked about this during jury deliberations to show why the memories of Maxwell’s accusers may not have been perfect.

He told the Reuters news agency that he did not remember being asked about his experiences with sexual abuse when he filled in the juror questionnaire, insisting he would have answered honestly. —Sky News

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

Iowa House Passes Bill Requiring Schools to Post Curriculum Materials Online for Parent Review

Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours)

The Iowa House on March 29 voted to pass a bill that would require public schools in the state to publish their curriculum materials and library books online for parents to view, and give them the power to request that certain books be removed from classrooms.

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

Justice Department Charges 12 People for Arming Gang Members in Chicago

By Naveen Athrappully of The Epoch Times

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a 21-count superseding indictment that charged 12 individuals with conspiring to violate federal firearms statutes after they trafficked over 90 guns from Tennessee and Kentucky areas into Chicago.

Among those charged, three were enlisted members of the U.S. Army at the time of the crime. Stationed at the Fort Campbell military installation in Clarksville, Tennessee, they were involved in the purchase and transfer of “dozens of firearms to the streets of Chicago,” an April 1 press release from the department said. The three individuals—Demarcus Adams, Brandon Miller, and Jarius Brunson—were arrested in May last year by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives.

Nine of the remaining 12 individuals are members of the Gangster Disciples street gang based in the neighborhood of Pocket Town, Chicago.

According to the Justice Department, the nine “conspired to purchase and deliver over 90 illegally obtained firearms” to the Chicago area between December 2020 and April 2021.

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

New York City Will Mandate Masks for Children Under 5 Years Old

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that the city would mandate children aged 2 to 4 to continue wearing masks after a judge issued an order in favor of his administration.

“Every decision we make is with our children’s health and safety in mind. Children between 2 and 4 should continue to wear their masks in school and daycare come Monday,” the Democrat mayor said on Twitter on April 1.

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

‘People Distraught’: At Least 6 Dead, 12 Injured After Sacramento Shooting Rampage; Police Searching for Suspect

A manhunt for a killer or killers was underway Sunday in Sacramento after a shooting rampage left at least 6 people dead and fueled a chaotic scene in a downtown area packed with bar crowds.

Police Chief Kathy Lester said officers arriving at the scene around 2 a.m. Sunday found bodies on the street amid a large crowd gathered in an area. Police initially reported “multiple victims” after the attack, not far from the State Capitol, as they waded through the carnage counting casualties.

At least 18 people were shot, Sacramento Police said, and 12 are being treated at nearby hospitals.

Broken glass and police evidence markers were strewn across multiple blocks. Police tweeted that investigators were aware of a social media video “that appears to show an altercation” taking place just prior to the shooting. No arrests were immediately made, and an online portal was opened for the public to upload evidence.

“If anyone saw anything, has video, can provide any information to the police department we are asking for their assistance,” Lester said.

Video posted on Twitter showed people running in the street with the sound of gunfire in the background. Multiple ambulances and other first responders were at the scene.

Kelsey Schar was staying on the fourth floor of Citizen Hotel when she said she heard gunshots and saw flashes. From the window she “saw a guy running and just shooting.”

Berry Accius, a community activist, said he arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting.

“A lot of victims with blood,” Accius told local news ABC10. “Just watching some of the families that didn’t know if their loved one was alive, running, trying to figure out what was happening, people distraught, people discombobulated. It was just horrific.”

Pamela Harris stood outside the cordoned-off area Sunday, awaiting news about her son, Sergio. Sergio Harris had gone to the London nightclub late Saturday, and the family had not heard from him since, she told the Sacramento Bee.

“We just want to know what happened to him,” Pamela Harris said. “Not knowing anything is just hard to face.”

Sergio Harris’ family later confirmed to KCRA 3 that he was one of the six people killed…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Richard Johnson: George Soros Behaving Like a Robber Baron, Union Leader Says

George Soros was hailed four years ago when the staff at his Open Society Foundations unionized.

But now the hedge fund billionaire’s halo is getting tarnished as labor leaders charge that he’s behaving like a robber baron.

Gloria Middleton, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1180 which represents about 140 workers at Soros’ charity in New York, told me, “We are finding that the workers are, excuse my language, treated like s—t.”

After the New York staff unionized, the charity, with 1,500 workers worldwide, restructured to eliminate jobs.

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

Suspect Dead, Police Officer Hospitalized After Oak Forest Grocery Store Shooting

The incident is being investigated by the Illinois State Police’s Public Integrity Task Force.

A 21-year-old woman was fatally shot and a south suburban police officer was injured Sunday afternoon after a routine call turned into a shooting at an Oak Forest grocery store, according to authorities.

At approximately 11:54 a.m., officers with the Oak Forest Police Department were called to the 6000 block of 159th Street for a possible motorist needing assistance, according to authorities. Police made contact with the driver and attempted to transport her to the hospital for a mental evaluation, but she fled the scene.

At some point during the encounter, the woman produced a handgun, according to the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, which is investigating the shooting. The officers continued to negotiate with the individual, but she entered the Food 4 Less grocery store and “exchanged gunfire” with Oak Forest police officers.

The woman, Ketura Wilson, 21, of Calumet City, was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. An Oak Forest police officer sustained a non-life threatening injury and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Says Jen Psaki Has ‘Really Beautiful Red Hair’ And MSNBC Wants to Hire Her Because They Need a Redhead

Former President Donald Trump referred to White House press secretary Jen Psaki as “the woman with the really beautiful red hair” at his rally in Michigan on Saturday.

While complimenting her hair, Trump criticized Psaki for once joking about the nation’s Space Force, a branch of the US military forces set up by Trump.

“The woman with the really beautiful red hair, she laughed. And she was hit so hard by the military because they knew I was right. The military understood I was right.”

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

Watch: Biden Says Michelle Obama Was ‘Vice President’ In Latest Gaffe

President Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, as the former “vice president,” in the latest gaffe during a speech Saturday.

Biden’s mistake was made during remarks he gave at a ceremonial commissioning of the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Delaware.

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

Watch: People Chant ‘Shame’ at Police Officers Ticketing People for Honking to Protest Trudeau

On Saturday, protesters attending a rally against COVID-19 public health restrictions chanted “shame” at police officers after they ticketed a woman who honked in support of the pro-freedom demonstrators.

In video taken by Western Standard reporter Rachel Emmanuel, it shows cops speaking with the driver of a vehicle after they pulled her over in Calgary.

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

Finland PM: NATO Decision Must Happen This Spring

Sanna Marin on Saturday told Social Democratic Party delegates gathered in Helsinki that it was time for Finland to seriously reconsider its stance on military allegiance.

Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine has forced Finland to reexamine its security policy, according to Marin, who said, “Russia is not the neighbour we thought it was.”

Any decision to seek Nato membership would have to be made “thoroughly but quickly,” essentially this spring, the PM said in her speech to party top brass.

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

German Man, 60, Vaccinated Up to 90 Times to Sell Passes to Anti-Vaxers

BERLIN (AP) — A 60-year-old man allegedly had himself vaccinated against COVID-19 dozens of times in Germany in order to sell forged vaccination cards with real vaccine batch numbers to people not wanting to get vaccinated themselves.

The man from the eastern Germany city of Magdeburg, whose name was not released in line with German privacy rules, is said to have received up to 90 shots against COVID-19 at vaccination centres in the eastern state of Saxony for months until criminal police caught him earlier this month, the German news agency dpa reported Sunday.

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

Hungary Nominates Transylvanian Monk for Nobel Peace Prize

A Transylvanian Franciscan monk of Hungarian ethnicity, Csaba Böjte, has been nominated by Hungary for the Nobel Peace Prize for his three decades of work in creating a network of orphanages in neighboring Romania, Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kasler announced on Thursday.

“I was very surprised because the minister did nominate me a few months ago, but the confirmation that my nomination has been approved just arrived, and it looks like I will indeed be considered in 2023,” Böjte told commercial channel TV2.

Böjte, 63, is an ethnic Hungarian Franciscan monk who established the St. Francis Foundation and its adjacent orphanage in Déva in central Romania in 1992 when he illegally occupied a Franciscan monastery there which has been abandoned for decades.

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

Hungary’s Viktor Orban Wins 4th Term With Large Majority, Celebrates ‘Great Victory’ In Budapest

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist-populist Fidesz party scored a resounding victory in tonight’s election, with results showing that the party has a strong chance to retain its two-thirds super majority.

While declaring victory in Budapest, Orban thank Hungarians for placing their trust in him once again.

“Dear friends, we have won a great victory — a victory so great that you can see it from the moon, but certainly from Brussels,” Orban said to raucous applause.

“We won because we have a common passion called Hungary,” he added.

With over 87 percent of the votes counted, Fidesz, along with its junior coalition partner, the Hungarian Christian Democrats (KDNP), is leading with 53.64 percent of the vote, with the far-left opposition only at 34.8 percent. This would translate into 135 seats in the 199-member parliament for Fidesz, according to the official national election website.

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

Italy Relaxes Health Pass Rules After Ending Coronavirus State of Emergency

As of April 1st, Italy has begun to relax Wuhan virus restrictions including the country’s health pass system, allowing people to use outdoor dining areas and local public transport without one.

Unvaccinated and untested Italians will once again be able to dine outdoors at restaurants and bars which will no longer require customers to present the Green Pass, which is available to fully vaccinated people along with those who have recently recovered from the coronavirus and those who produce a recent negative test.

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

‘It’s a Lie!’ — Germany’s Leftist Chancellor Launches Verbal Assault on Anti-Lockdown Protesters

Germany’s left-wing Chancellor has verbally attacked a group of anti-lockdown protesters, accusing them of lying.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s leftist pro-compulsory vaccination Chancellor, launched a verbal assault on a group of anti-lockdown protesters on Saturday, accusing them of lying about a lack of free speech in Germany.

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

New WHO Pandemic Treaty May Erode Independence of Sovereign Nations

The appearance of SARS-CoV-2 led to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a global pandemic, which led to an unprecedented process of transferring public health care responsibilities from the state to the international level.

By the end of 2021, the WHO announced that it was working on creating a document which would “allow states from across the whole world to increase country, regional and global abilities and increase resilience against future pandemics.” According to Polish legal institute Ordo Iuris lawyers, the creation of such a document has caused concern that the sovereignty of nation states will be restricted.

The International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness is currently in the draft phase. The authors of the Ordo Iuris’s analysis believe that the possibility of including motions in the document according to which the WHO would take over some competencies from national governments is very real.

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

Nuclear Bunkers for All: Switzerland is Ready as International Tensions Mount

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reawakened interest in Switzerland’s concrete nuclear fallout shelters, built during the Cold War with enough space to shelter everyone in the country.

Since the 1960s, every Swiss municipality has had to build nuclear bunkers for their residents — and they’re mandatory in large homes and residential buildings.

“I think this shelter system makes sense,” says Marie-Claude Noth-Ecoeur, who heads civil and military security services in the mountainous southern Wallis region.

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

Poland ‘Open’ & Ready to Host US Nukes on NATO’s Eastern Flank

The large NATO ‘eastern flank’ country of Poland now says it’s “open” to hosting nuclear weapons as a deterrent against Russian aggression. A fresh weekend statement from Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jaroslaw Kaczynski urged a tougher united Western stance against Moscow.

Specifically he said Poland stands open and ready to deploy US nuclear weapons on its soil. This is the same ruling party politician who previously called for a NATO ‘peacekeeping’ mission in Ukraine, which other Western leaders have rejected given it would mean a direct shooting war with Russia.

“The eastern flank must be much better protected in the future than before,” Kaczynski told Germany’s Welt Am Sonntag newspaper. He also explained the need for America to increase its troops presence in the region by at least half.

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

Poland: Survey Shows Ruling Party Continues Its Lead in Election Poll

Law and Justice would receive 39.2 percent of votes cast if elections were held next Sunday and the main oppositionist Civic Coalition could count on 25.4 percent, according to the latest survey by Estymator for the Do Rzeczy portal.

Law and Justice and the United Right were chosen by 39.2 percent, 0.4 percentage points less than in the previous survey. The PiS result would translate into 222 seats in the Sejm (lower house), which is 13 less seats than in the 2019 elections.

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

Secret UK COVID Courts Still Handing Out Lockdown Fines of Up to £13,000: Report

Average British citizens are reportedly being fined thousands of pounds by closed-door courts — sometimes without even being notified — over alleged failures to pay fines for breaking the COVID-19 lockdowns.

In order to deal with the massive number of offenders who supposedly broke lockdown restrictions over the past two years, a special mechanism known as a Single Justice Procedure (SJP) is being used to adjudicate cases of people failing to pay their fixed penalty notice for lockdown breaches.

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

Seven European Nations Have Increased Defense Budgets in One Month. Who Will be Next?

PARIS: The war in Ukraine has been a strong wake-up call for a number of European countries who’d been basking in post-Cold War comfort thinking that armed conflict was relegated to history and that spending on defense could be minimal.

The turnaround since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has been nothing less than stunning, to the point that six NATO members have now pledged defense increases of $133 billion so far; militarily neutral Sweden has also pledged an increase. And more nations seem poised to follow suit in the days and weeks to come.

The first to make a 180° turnaround was Germany. Just four days after Russia’s invasion began, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced his government would ramp up its defense spending in 2022 alone by €100 billion ($112 billion) taking defense spending from 1.53% of GDP to above 2%.

That is the figure recommended by NATO estimated to have been only met in 2021 by the US, Greece (3.82%), Croatia (2.79%), the United Kingdom (2.29%), Estonia (2.28%), Latvia (2.27%), Poland (2.10%), Lithuania, (2.03%), Romania (2.02%) and France (2.01%), according to NATO statistics. (That Germany had not met that threshold was a major political sticking point during the Trump administration, leading to tensions between Washington and Berlin.)

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

‘The House That Davos Built’ Quakes as PM Orban Claims “Great Victory” In Hungary Election

Update (1700ET): AFP reports that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed a “great victory” in Sunday’s general election, as partial results gave his Fidesz party the lead.

Addressing a jubilant crowd chanting his name, Orban said:

“We have won a great victory — a victory so great you can perhaps see it from the moon and certainly from Brussels”.

This will be Orban’s fourth consecutive term in office.

“Hungarians decided that they back peace and security,” Orban’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, told TV2 Sunday night.

As Bloomberg reports, the unexpectedly clear victory (Orban’s Fidesz party leads United for Hungary, a six-member opposition alliance, 55% to 33% in the party list contest, according to the National Election Office, with 63% of the votes counted) defied polls ahead of the vote that had predicted Orban would face the toughest challenge to re-election in his 12 years in power, even as changes to the electoral process under his rule gave Fidesz an advantage.

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

UK, Germany Threaten New Sanctions After Alleged Bucha Massacre

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “despicable attacks against civilians” in Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv were evidence that Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine, and that Britain would step up sanctions and military aid in response.

“I will do everything in my power to starve (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine,” Johnson said in a statement on Sunday.

“We are stepping up our sanctions and military support, as well as bolstering our humanitarian support package to help those in need on the ground,” he said.

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

UK: Tommy Robinson is Held by Police at Manchester Airport After Being ‘Separated From His Children and Thrown Out of Mexico on a Matter of National Security’

Tommy Robinson was filmed being detained by police at Manchester Airport just hours after he claimed he was deported from Mexico.

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, featured in video footage which showed a heated confrontation with two police officers at the airport this afternoon who say they were believed he had ‘breached security’.

In a Telegram message to his followers shared later today, the 39-year-old accuses one Greater Manchester Police Officer of trying to ‘bait’ him into a reaction so they could ‘arrest him legitimately’.

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

Vaccines for Children Between 5 and 11 to be Rolled Out in England on Monday

Around five million children between the ages of five and 11-years old in England will be eligible to take a “low-dose” coronavirus vaccine despite the government acknowledging a low risk profile for youngsters dying from the Chinese virus.

Starting on Monday, hundreds of sites across England will begin the rollout of jabs for five million children between five and 11-years-old, after previously limiting the vaccines to youngsters deemed to be at high risk or who live with vulnerable people.

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

Global Food Crisis: Russia Threatens to Limit Vital Agri Supply to ‘Friendly’ Countries Only

A Russian government official has threatened that Russia will limit its vital food exports to only nations it considers “friendly”.

Dmitry Medvedev, a senior Russian security official who previously served as the nation’s president, has threatened that Russia may soon cut off the West from food exports.

A major player in the global market for wheat and other agri-food products, Russia will instead focus on keeping itself fed, according to Medvedev, alongside supplying its friends and close allies.

Posting on his Telegram, Medvedev said that cutting off the likes of North America and the European Union from its agricultural produce would be a very good way of retaliating against sanctions imposed by the West.

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

Google to Demonetize Sites That “Dismiss” The Russia-Ukraine War

On YouTube channels, apps, and websites, Google will no longer run ads on content that condones or dismisses the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The move is in line with Google’s policy that says it wants to prevent the monetization of content that denies tragic events and incites violence.

“We can confirm that we’re taking additional steps to clarify, and in some instances expand our monetization guidelines as they relate to the war in Ukraine,” a Google spokesperson said.

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

Pics: Ukraine Forces Find Bodies Littering Streets as Russia Retreats From Kyiv Region

Ukrainian forces have found bodies littering the streets of Bucha, a key town near Kyiv (Kiev), after Russia’s retreat from the region. (Warning: graphic images.)

With Russian forces having pulled back from their northern positions near Kyiv after encountering fierce resistance, counter-attacking Ukrainians and photo-journalists have encountered scenes of devastation, with the bodies of seemingly civilian victims of the invasion littering the streets.

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

Pics: Ukrainian Forces Capture Remains of World’s Largest Aircraft as Russians Retreat

Ukrainian forces have recaptured the shattered remains of the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest aircraft, as Russian troops retreat from the Kyiv (Kiev) region.

A national icon, the mammoth aircraft was built during the Soviet era in 1985, when it was given the codename ‘Cossack’ by NATO, to transport Buran-class space shuttles on its back, but was repurposed after the fall of the communist regime to move cargo no other aircraft could handle.

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

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Asks Countries to Criminalize the Use of the “Z” Symbol

Some parts of Germany have criminalized the display of the pro-Russian “Z” symbol to show support for Ukraine in the on-going war. Ukraine has called on other countries to do the same.

The letter Z is being used by supporters of the war in and outside Russia. Russian forces have been brandishing it on military vehicles, while civilians have been displaying it on the windows of their cars.

It is not clear what the symbol means; some say it stands for “Za pobedy,” the Russian word for “victory.” Others believe it means “Zapad” (West).

In a tweet, Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said: “I call on all states to criminalize the use of the ‘Z’ symbol as a way to publicly support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. ‘Z’ means Russian war crimes, bombed out cities, thousands of murdered Ukrainians. Public support of this barbarism must be forbidden.”

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

Western Media Clubs Together to White-Wash Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Multiple outlets use the same talking points, quotes, and ‘experts’ to whitewash Ukraine’s notorious “Azov” regiment

During the last week of March, multiple major media outlets in the UK and the US ran stories about Ukraine’s ‘Azov Batalion’, seeking to whitewash almost a decade of previous reporting that clearly identified the unit’s Nazi sympathies and ethos. Supposedly acting independently, they nonetheless stuck to the same talking points and often the same verbiage, suggesting a concerted effort to spin the unit as heroic defenders of Ukraine against the alleged “real” fascists — the Russians.

The latest wave of the lionization of Azov began sometime before the Russian military operation — notorious was the much-publicized image of an AK-47-wielding Ukrainian granny training to repel invaders in the regiment’s camp. The last week of March, however, saw the puff pieces come in a tight group, like the bullet holes after an AK burst.

The first of the bunch was a ten-minute video, from Britain’s state-broadcaster BBC, on March 27, in which presenter Ros Atkins sought to debunk Russian “untruths” about Nazis in Ukraine. How can Ukraine be “held hostage” by Nazis when its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish, Atkins argues, pointing to his 73% of the vote, at the last election, and triumphantly declaring that, “No far-right groups have any formal political power in Ukraine.” Remember that word, “formal” — it does a lot of heavy lifting here.

Atkins’s piece set the tone for the articles that followed. Two days later, on March 29, the Financial Times ran a story describing Azov as “key to the nationwide resistance effort.” While it acknowledges that Azov was created in 2014 “by volunteers with nationalist and often far-right political leanings,” the FT shrugs off its Nazi connections…

           — Hat tip: GL-T [Return to headlines]
 

A Right Wing Political Party in India Urges to Stop Mosque Loudspeakers

Remove loudspeakers outside mosques, says Raj Thackeray, unless MNS workers play the Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques.

Upendra Bharti | HENB | Mumbai | April 3, 2022:: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday said that his party workers would play the Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques if loudspeakers are not removed by the State government.

He targeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena (SS) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar while addressing a rally at Shivaji Park here on Gudi Padwa, the beginning of the Marathi Hindu new year, but chose to not to utter a word against BJP. Instead, he said that Uttar Pradesh results showed that development work was taking place in that State with upholding the Hindutva line as well.

“Why do you need loudspeakers outside mosques? Did loudspeakers exist when the religion (of Islam) was shaped? Let me tell the government to remove those speakers, and if it fails to do, MNS workers will play Hanuman Chalisa in front of every mosque,” said Mr. Thackeray.

“Why loudspeakers in mosques are played at such high volume? If this is not stopped, there will be speakers outside mosques playing Hanuman Chalisa at higher volume,” he said.

“I am not against prayers, or any particular religion. I do take pride in my own religion,” he added.

Slamming Mr. Uddhav, his cousin and Shiv Sena president, he said that the Sena-ruled BMC is responsible for “creating slums filled with people from Pakistan and Bangladesh”.

Taunting the Chief Minister over his decision to snap ties with the BJP over CM’s post and also on ED notices to Sena leaders, Mr. Thackeray said, “If you are going to play politics with them, then they too will play politics with you.”

His speech also made it clear that the MNS is ready for Hindutva politics and will object the Muslim appeasement by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress alliance in Maharashtra.

           — Hat tip: Upananda Brahmachari [Return to headlines]
 

One Dead, 59 Injured After Blast in Kabul

KABUL: An explosion in the centre of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday killed one person and wounded at least 59 others, hospital officials said. Kabul’s Emergency Hospital said one body was received and 59 people were treated, with 30 of the wounded being admitted for further treatment.

           — Hat tip: JW [Return to headlines]
 

Sri Lanka Cabinet Offers to Resign as Out-of-Control Inflation Sparks Widespread Social Unrest

Update (1535ET): Bloomberg reports that Sri Lanka’s cabinet has submitted its resignation, a ruling party member said, amid rising public anger about the government’s economic policies that have led to soaring living costs and a foreign exchange crisis.

“We gave resignations to the Prime Minister saying we are willing to leave at any time,” Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told reporters in Colombo late Sunday.

“After discussing with the President the steps to be taken will be decided.”

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

Poland Accepts Over 2.45 Mln Refugees Since War in Ukraine Started

Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, 2.461 million people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border into Poland, the Border Guard (SG) tweeted on Sunday morning.

The SG wrote on Twitter that on Saturday Border Guard officers carried out 23,800 border checks on people entering Poland from Ukraine, a rise of 13 percent compared to the previous day.

The Border Guard also said that the number of arrivals by 7:00 a.m. on Sunday had reached 4,300 people.

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

‘Do We Have a Voice?’: University of Arizona Swimmers Slam NCAA Over Lia Thomas’ Participation in Women’s Sports

Alumni members of the University of Arizona recently penned a letter to the NCAA, bashing their decision to allow biological male swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against women in the 2021-22 swimming season, culminating with the college athlete competing in the NCAA championships.

The letter, obtained by Swimming World Magazine, was sent shortly after Thomas competed at the championships, which drew protests over Thomas being allowed to compete.

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

Scientists Demand Climate Revolution With Promise of Civil ‘Disobedience’

Scientists are mad as hell and demand their claims of looming climate catastrophe are taken seriously. That’s the message released Sunday by a loosely federated global network of scientists and academics who plan “high levels of disobedience” to highlight what they say is a planet in decay.

Members of Scientist Rebellion told AFP their non-violent actions are timed to coincide with an upcoming report from the U.N.’s climate science advisory panel laying out options for slashing carbon pollution.

Scientist Rebellion will operate in two dozen countries. It targets universities, research institutes and major scientific journals, demanding they speak out at what is described as the “existential threat of global warming.”

The group promises to block streets from April 4th — 9th “on all continents with over 1000 scientists and academics” with associated acts of civil disobedience inspired by the eco-extremist Extinction Rebellion lobby.

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

Seattle Museum Hosts ‘Drag-Tastic Summer Camp’ For Tween and Teen Boys

MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington, is currently advertising and enrolling for a drag-themed summer camp where 12— to 18-year-old boys will learn to create their own drag queen persona and appearance.

Drag-tastic Summer Camp: The Art of Drag is enrolling for Aug. 8 — 12, 2022.

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

UK Doctors to be Paid for Putting People on Transgender Sex Change Hormones

Family doctors in Britain will be paid by the government when they provide hormone-altering drugs to transgender patients.

The trial scheme, which was launched on Friday, will see General Practitioners (GPs) in Sussex receive £178 per year in taxpayer cash for every person they sign up to take “cross-sex hormone therapy” and an additional £91 a year for annual health checks for transgender, non-binary, and intersex (TNBI) patients, The Times of London reports.

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

30 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/3/2022

  1. Orban election victory will certainly create a dilemna for Polish government. Anything said too warm will sure be seized on as “proof” that Polish government is also collaborating with Putin.

    As for needing a food-taster, traditionally it’s those who were not convenient for Russia who could’ve done with one (former Ukrainian president Yushchenko, Litvinenko, etc), and I’m not sure Hungary here is so critical – weapons supplies etc can flow freely through Poland, or Romania.

    So maybe he will be safe to continue collaborating with Putin, no matter how strange this is for someone who at the start of his career was calling for Russian troops to leave his country.

    • In Syria, about midway through the last decade, there were a number of “atrocities” – alleged attacks upon Syrian citizens using chemical weapons, which turned out to be staged. Which is to say that they were false-flag ops.

      In one such instance, independent investigators caught the Turkish intelligence service committing one such act, and when an officer was confronted with the information, he admitted to the operation, shrugging his shoulders and saying “Sometimes these operations work, sometimes not.”

      The investigators grew suspicious in the first place because of irregularities and incongruities discovered at the alleged site, not consistent with the use of sarin gas, the purported weapon.

      The point being that in war, truth is the first casualty as the propaganda begins to flow. Informed skepticism of such claims is generally a wise course of action, at least until someone with a reasonable degree of impartiality and expertise can examine the evidence and make a determination.

      Of course, atrocities are – always have been – a part of war, which is the other side of that particular coin. But ask yourself: Would the western mainstream media be as even-handed in reporting Ukrainian atrocities had they occurred? Their deafening silence over the last eight years as Ukraine has used artillery to shell the Donbas region, suggests not.

    • There is nothing new about this pattern of storytelling…

      We have seen fully reproduced in Ukraine the famous episode of the maternity ward of Kuwait City in 1990, which had been entirely staged by the company Hill & Knowlton for the compensation of about 10 million dollars in order to convince the Council of United Nations security to intervene in Iraq for Operation Desert Shield / Storm.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_testimony
      https://www2.hkstrategies.com/kuwait/en/about/
      https://citizentruth.org/fake-news-1990-that-ignited-gulf-war-sympathy/

  2. Yesterday, the Russian state information agency RIA Novosti published a lengthy piece titled “What Russia should do with Ukraine”. An extract:

    “Ukraine’s political elite must be eliminated as it cannot be re-educated.

    Ordinary Ukrainians must experience all the horrors of war and absorb the experience as a historical lesson and atonement for their guilt.”

    Translated into English, by noted Belarus dissident Tadeusz Giczan. (Link to the original RIA Novosti article is at the end of the thread):

    https://mobile.twitter.com/TadeuszGiczan/status/1510908242188292099

    • Novo Sti, is that where Russian pigs are raised?
      Just like Tass and Pravda, in Truth there is no News and in News there is no Truth.

    • Here’s a better link, with the whole translation.

      (Note: it calls for the “Banderite leadership*” to be “eliminated”…

      And that “De-nazification will inevitably be expressed as de-Ukrainianization”)

      https://english.nv.ua/nation/kremlin-s-mouthpiece-ria-publishes-russian-fascist-manifesto-50231047.html

      *But who exactly does Russia consider to be the “Banderite leadership”?! Hardcore Banderites, who are in any case out of power? Or average small-town mayors and anyone not submitting?

    • “.Ordinary Ukrainians must experience all the horrors of war and absorb the experience as a historical lesson and atonement for their guilt.”..
      As a Pole i unconditionally agree with this opinion !
      Ukrainians like Germans , Dutch, Austrians, refusing to face a Truth about what theirs Forefathers did in 1939-1945 period..
      Ukrainians until now , are not willing to abandon Nazi, Fascist Ideologi as a building block of theirs National conciseness..
      With Catholic, traditional , pragmatic Poles as me , Ukrainian with this attitude has no chance and will be consider a Enemy for me !!

      • Well, we know what Russia means by “experience all the horrors of war” – glad you admit to supporting it…

        If, as you write, you’re in Ukraine, maybe you should tell it also to Ukrainians you come across… Or do you prefer just to hide behind an anonymous account on the internet?

  3. There is no reply button on the previous news feed thread.

    This post is in reply to Green Infidel.

    I watched Styxhexenhammer’s video about the alleged war crime and what he says seems sensible to me: cannot immediately say it is a war crime, and cannot immediately say its a false flag. The proper thing to do at this point is to investigate.

    I had listed Styxhexenhammer as an anti-globalist intellectual.

    • Agree there is a need for independent investigators to look into it, as soon as possible.

      But on the face of it, looks bad… And apparently, today an “even worse” mass grave was discovered in Borodyanka, a few miles to the west.

      And we’re talking small towns here. Effectively, (rather wealthy) suburbs of Kyiv. Imagine what might be happening in bigger occupied cities like Melitopol, Kherson or Mariupol.

      • The NY Times is about as credible a source for news as TASS or RT.

        They do make a good if expensive wrapping paper for fish from the local butcher, and an outstanding liner for budgie cages. If I had a dog to walk, the Times would be my paper of choice to use for picking up and disposing of its feces.

        Satellite photos can be faked pretty readily, especially if it has passed through government hands first before being supplied as evidence for alleged atrocities.

        I would think that if the atrocities are legitimate then there would be calls for a proper forensic investigation using teams from western nations and from Russia to avoid any doubts or allegations of false flags. And then those responsible apprehended and punished whether they prove to be Ukrainian, Russian, or organized criminals.

        • There were numerous reports during March about Russian soldiers rounding people up in Bucha, and bodies lying on the street much earlier than before it was liberated.

          If you have any proof that the satellite photos were faked, please show it. As it is, you seem to be in denial, tending to the level of denial of those who refused to believe the holocaust happened, after it was revealed.

          • Ah, so now I am also a holocaust denier according to your all-knowingness!

            At what point am I also accused of being a nazi, or perhaps an illegitimate child of Putin himself?

            Perhaps you have proof that the photos weren’t faked? The ability to manipulate photographs and video has advanced to the point that neither are conclusive proof or evidence of anything in this day and age. Ever heard of deep fakes?

            Occams Razor would imply that the simplest explanation is likely the most plausible. What sounds more plausible to you; russians would deliberately and provocatively leave bound corpses laying in the street as they voluntarily withdraw from the town, or that this is some kind of false flag meant to inflame the west further against Russia for the purpose of getting them to commit to sending military forces?

            Anyway, its war. Atrocities happen. On both sides. Get over it. The lesson is that there are consequences for actions. And these deaths are at the end of a long chain of consequences that began when the US and NATO chose to disregard the agreement made with Gorbachev not to admit former Soviet republics in exchange for reunification of Germany. And to treat Russia as a shabby secondhand nation and enemy all through the 90s even as home grown and foreign financial pirates raped the Russian economy and strip mined its state-owned industries before Putin brought the oligarchs to heel.

            But what do I know anyway, I’m just a holocaust denier.

          • “Occams Razor would imply that the simplest explanation is likely the most plausible. What sounds more plausible to you; ”

            Sitting here in a country bordering Russia, and hearing many stories of how Russian troops behaved over the years, from World War 2 and earlier, through to Chechnya, all this seems very familiar… So why not repeat the behaviour they’ve been known for, for a long time?

            And who said they give a damn about being seen as war criminals?! They know they have nukes, and everyone’s aftaid of “starting World War 3″… So why not send a message, that “this is what happens, if you don’t leave your lands”?

            But I’m glad you live far away from it all, that you can tell others to “get over it”…

            As for Nato’s “agreement” with Gorbachev – date, place and signatures, please… Otherwise, it’s just meaningless verbal chit-chat. Of the sort, that goes on at every international summit.

          • You see, some of the troops are loud and proud, about what they did in Bucha…

            https://mobile.twitter.com/olex_scherba/status/1511346270853545997

            The denials by the government and are only there, to not encourage Western governments further to get involved…

            The important thing though, is that the villagers and residents know what happened, and that the word spreads, so all Ukraine’s civilians are afraid of Russia, and that they run away, never to return…

    • >Styxhexenhammer intellectual
      he does not seem very smart to me, anyway he is right twice a day as a broken clock, I remember I was following him during the trump elections and he got so many things wrong i have come to the conclusion it was a waste of my time to follow him despite he could be funny at small doses.
      anyway, from my perspective, he is a weirdo who used to have many libtard imprints in his mind, that he really cannot get over them anyway, not very convincing in his arguments anyway.

  4. On that Tommy Robinson story, what they don’t mention is the deportation was at the request of the UK government. The commentators don’t seem to realize he was allowed to fly with his kids, he landed and got snatched, separated from his kids, deported and then assaulted on return. The readers may think Mexico just decided to not let him enter.

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