Czech Republic Votes To Put Gun Rights In Constitution.
‘In reaction to the recent increase of security threats’
The European Commission passed stricter gun laws in December in response to a growing terror threat. The Czech Republic was one of three countries to oppose the changes, and it is now about to make it legal for citizens to use firearms to protect the security of the country.
“This constitutional bill is in reaction to the recent increase of security threats, especially the danger of violent acts such as isolated terrorist attacks … active attackers or other violent hybrid threats,” a draft of the bill reads.
PARIS – With the polls narrowing and one of her main rivals embroiled in an expenses scandal, far-right leader Marine Le Pen could feasibly become French president in May, senior politicians and commentators say.
“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected.”
— Jean-Pierre Raffarin
At the headquarters of her National Front (FN) party in Nanterre, outside Paris, officials believe the same forces that led to last year’s Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump’s victory in November’s U.S. election could carry Le Pen to power.
Even some of her rivals concede a victory for the far-right firebrand is possible.
“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected,” former conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this month.
Another former premier, the Socialist Manuel Valls, has also warned of the “danger” of assuming that Le Pen cannot win.
Polls show that support for the anti-immigrant and anti-EU candidate has been consistent for four years now.
Since 2013, surveys have shown the blond 48-year-old will progress through the first round to reach the runoff stage in France’s two-stage presidential election.
Pollsters now note that although Le Pen is not currently forecast to win the all-important showdown on May 7, she has whittled down the projected gap between herself and her main challengers.
The legal woes of her conservative challenger Francois Fillon have especially played into Le Pen’s hands.
When Fillon saw off pre-contest favorite Alain Juppe to clinch the right-wing nomination in late November, polls showed he would win 67 percent of the vote in the runoff to 33 percent for Le Pen.
Then in January allegations surfaced that Fillon had paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros for parliamentary work she might not have done. Surveys now show Le Pen would score 44 percent to 56 percent for Fillon if the second round were held today.
The pressure on 62-year-old Fillon moved up a notch Friday when prosecutors announced he will face a full judicial investigation into the claims.
A similar picture emerges when Le Pen’s projected second-round score is compared to that of Emmanuel Macron, the pro-business centrist who has moved from outsider to genuine contender in the space of a few months.
Although Macron’s performance against Le Pen has only been tested since January, the winning margin has dropped from 30 points to around 20 in a month.
The latest Ifop poll gives Macron 61.5 percent to 38.5 for the far-right standard bearer. Read the rest of this entry »
Douglas Murray writes: How is your Merkelsommer going? For now, Britain seems to be missing the worst. True, a couple of men of Middle Eastern appearance tried to abduct a soldier near his base in Norfolk for what was unlikely to have been an interfaith dialogue session. But Britain’s geographical good fortune, relative success in limiting weapons and our justified scepticism of the undiscriminating ‘open borders’ brigade mean that we have so far been spared the delights of what Angela Merkel’s growing army of critics refer to as her summer of terror.
It is now a fortnight since Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ploughed a truck along the Nice seafront, killing 84 people. The following Monday Mohammed Riyad, who said he was from Afghanistan but almost certainly came from Pakistan, screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ while hacking with an axe at his fellow passengers on a Bavarian train. The next day another Mohammed, this time Mohamed Boufarkouch, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabbed a Frenchwoman and her three daughters (aged eight, 12 and 14) near Montpelier. Mixing things up a little, that Friday’s shooter in Munich was a child of Iranians called Ali David Sonboly. Skip forward a couple of days and a ‘-Syrian asylum seeker’ with a machete was hacking a pregnant woman to death in Stuttgart. The next day another ‘Syrian asylum seeker’, Mohammad Daleel, carried out a suicide bombing outside a bar in Ansbach, Bavaria. And a little over 24 hours later two men shouting the name of Isis entered a church in Rouen during Mass, took the nuns and congregation hostage and slaughtered the priest with a knife.
Although the public know what is going on, the media seems loath to find any connection between these events. Indeed, the same papers that blame an exaggerated spike in ‘hate crime’ on everyone who voted for Brexit seem unwilling to put the blame for these real and violent attacks on the individuals carrying them out. ‘Syrian man denied asylum killed in German blast’ was the Reuters headline on the Ansbach story, neatly turning the suicide bomber into the victim and the German asylum system into the perpetrator. As Reuters went on: ‘A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival.’ How terrible for him to lose his bomb in such a way.
The more complex story of the Munich shooter allowed everyone to double-down on their favourite explanations for violence. Inadequate welfare provisions, unsuitable town-planning and bullying were all wheeled out to explain why Ali David Sonboly started shooting in a McDonalds. Others were a little too keen to claim him as an Isis warrior, when it seems he wasn’t. The BBC got around the problem by excising the ‘Ali’ and all reports of his religion. Instead, speculation about the shooting happening on the fifth anniversary of Anders Breivik’s terrorist assault in Norway meant that every-one could ignore the Muslim eyewitness who heard Sonboly shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and headline on Breivik instead. Meaning that in Europe in 2016 a child of Iranian parents can be portrayed as a white supremacist, while no amount of Mohameds shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ can be said to have any connection to Islam.
Sections of the media and political class seem determined to stop the public coming to any conclusions. But most of us probably did that a long time ago, and these conclusions are being reinforced on a daily basis.
For the time being, the acceptable thing is to blame Isis. There is sense in that. The German train attacker had an Isis flag at his home, the Ansbach bomber left a video pledging allegiance to the group, and at least one of the Rouen church attackers had tried to travel to Syria to join them. The extent to which the group is involved varies, and they undoubtedly talk up their capabilities, but their ability to inspire as well as direct will be a problem as long as they exist. Read the rest of this entry »
Berlin (AFP) – The Islamic State group may have stolen “tens of thousands” of blank passports that it could use to smuggle its fighters into Europe as refugees, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
The Welt am Sonntag cited Western intelligence sources as saying that IS could have acquired the stolen travel documents in areas of Syria, Iraq and Libya it now controls.
The passports could be issued to would-be attackers to enter the European Union as asylum seekers, according to the report.
Moreover IS has already launched a money-spinning operation with the fake documents, selling them on the black market where they fetch up to 1,500 euros ($1,630) each, Welt said.
European authorities have repeatedly warned of the potential threat posed by refugees travelling with counterfeit documents.
The two unidentified Stade de France attackers in Paris have been tracked back to two fake Syrian passports used to enter Europe.
“The large influx of people who are travelling to Europe unchecked represents a security risk,” the head of EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, told Welt. Read the rest of this entry »
Paris (AFP) – France’s far-right National Front (FN) failed to win a single region in elections on Sunday despite record results in the first round, early estimates showed, as voters flocked to traditional parties to keep it out of power.
The leader of the anti-immigration FN, Marine Le Pen, lost out to the centre-right alliance in her northern region after the ruling Socialists pulled out of the race ahead of the second round.
Source: AFP/Yahoo News
PARIS — Belgian jihadi suspected of being the ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks was killed during a raid on a suburban apartment, officials said Thursday.The
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, died during Wednesday’s operation in Saint-Denis, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. He was identified by his fingerprints. His body was riddled with bullets, according to officials.
Abaaoud died along with a woman who blew herself up with a suicide belt when elite police forces stormed the scene. Eight other people were arrested.
In addition to being the suspected ringleader of Friday’s coordinated assaults, he had been linked to the thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and a church near the French capital earlier this year.
Abaaoud boasted in ISIS propaganda about avoiding capture and claimed he had been able to travel between Europe and Syria without being noticed.
BRUSSELS – The EU said a controversial program to relocate 40,000 refugees within the bloc from overstretched front-line states would formally start on Friday when a group of Eritreans will travel to Sweden from Italy.
“The EU formally agreed the plan last month despite the opposition of some Eastern European states worried about a popular backlash to migrants.”
“First relocations within EU take place on Friday” following an agreement by interior ministers in September, the EU’s home affairs office said in a tweet. “Eritrean refugees will be relocated from Italy to Sweden.”
An EU source told AFP that a flight will leave Roma Ciampino airport in the morning and take the first refugees to Sweden.
“First relocations within EU take place on Friday…Eritrean refugees will be relocated from Italy to Sweden.”
EU Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is expected to give a press conference in Rome.
The number of refugees being moved on Friday was not revealed, but Sweden agreed on July 20 to take 821 refugees from Italy and 548 from Greece as part of the commission’s plan to relocate 40,000 refugees from the two front-line states over two years. Read the rest of this entry »
Estimates predict up to 35 million refugees could head for Europe due to hugely unstable situations across the world.
Speaking as the country begins work on its second fence to stop migrants heading across its border he predicted the current crisis will continue for years.
Mr Szijjártó told the Hungarian Times: “The name of the fence is ‘Temporary Security Border Fence’ but I think there is no question that in this case temporary means years.
“It’s a self delusion to call this situation a migration crisis; it is a massive migration of nations, with inexhaustible reserves.
“I don’t think that the analysis results, stating that 30-35 million people out there could possibly become migrants, would be an exaggeration.
“Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are all countries with a huge population and an extremely unstable situation.”
The Hungarian government also defended itself from criticism over its fences.
It comes as a ten-year-old migrant boy with a severe lung condition died in Hungary.
His mother and siblings successfully made the journey to Germany but his father stayed behind with the poorly youngster, who was buried on Friday.
The first barrier was put up at its border with Serbia but, after migrants changed their route, they have now begun erecting a 41 kilometre fence at Croatia. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) June 1, 2014
Paris (AFP) – Claire Doyen reports: Thousands of students rallied across France Thursday to protest against the anti-immigration National Front party, whose historic success in EU polls they said threatened democracy.
Waving banners that read “No to the National Front”, and “Wake up, France,” demonstrators rallied in Lyon, in the east of the country, as well as in Paris, Toulouse, Rouen, Amiens, Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux.
“We respect the result of the European elections, of democracy, but we do not accept the values of the National Front (FN),” said Silvio Philippe, one of the organisers of the Lyon rally. “French democracy is in danger.”
The FN won a nationwide election for the first time on Sunday, topping mainstream political parties to clinch 24 of France’s 74 seats in the new European parliament.
The result, which was echoed by similar gains for far-right parties in other countries such as the United Kingdom, sent shock waves through the political establishment. Read the rest of this entry »
I heard a portion of an interview with Hannan on the radio yesterday, it was compelling, made me want to hear more. Maybe I’ll get the ebook edition.
Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World [Kindle Edition] [Hardcover Edition]
Daniel Hannan writes: How many countries fought for liberty in both World Wars and the Cold War?
We are still experiencing the after-effects of an astonishing event. The inhabitants of a damp island at the western tip of the Eurasian landmass stumbled upon the idea that the government ought to be subject to the law, not the other way around. The rule of law created security of property and contract, which in turn led to industrialisation and modern capitalism. For the first time in the history of the species, a system grew up that, on the whole, rewarded production better than predation.
Why did it happen? Why, after thousands of years of oligarchy and tyranny, did a system evolve that lifted the individual above the tribe rather than the reverse? How did that system see off rival models that elevated collective endeavour, martial glory, faith and sacrifice over liberty and property? How did the world come to speak our language?
I set out to answer these questions in my book, published in North America as Inventing Freedom and in the rest of the Anglosphere as How we Invented Freedom. (It’s reviewed here by Charles Moore.) I trace the lineage of liberty back through its great landmarks – the war against slavery, the American Revolution, the Glorious Revolution, the English Civil War, Magna Carta – to its origins in the folkright of Anglo-Saxon common law. Read the rest of this entry »