Massive Fire Engulfs Historic Church on Orthodox Easter

“For this to happen on such a holy day, I don’t know what to say,” said Alex Velic, a 31-year-old churchgoer, as enormous fireballs erupted from the shattered windows of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street.

“To see it burning like that is such a shock. It’s just so sad,” he said. “I can’t think of the words to express how I’m feeling.”

A force of 170 firefighters responded to the fire, which started shortly before 7 p.m., FDNY officials said. Church officials and the FDNY both said there were no reports of major injuries, though three firefighters and a church caretaker had minor smoke inhalation.

“Nobody is hurt, everyone is safe,” explained Father Djokan Majstorovic, dean of the cathedral.

churchonfire

Photo: Peter Gerber

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said there had been 700 people inside the church earlier in the day for the Orthodox Easter service. He added that the cause of the fire at the historic house of worship is still under investigation.

[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]

“It’s a very sad day today,” Nigro said. “They had their Mass at 10 a.m. and then a luncheon. The good news is that there was no one inside when the fire started and there are no injuries. One man is being checked out for smoke inhalation.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘Faux Passeport Syrien’: Paris Stadium Attacker Got to Europe Using Fake Syrian Passport 

Greece’s migration minister, Yiannis Mouzalas, during a news conference in Athens on Sunday. Greek authorities say the man posing as Ahmad AlMohammad took a ferry to the port of Piraeus, arriving on Oct. 8, before traveling north through the Balkans. Photo: angelos tzortzinis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

ATHENS — Marcus Walker and Noemie Bisserbe report: Mystery deepened over a Paris attacker who traveled to Europe via Greece and the Balkans, after French officials said Monday that the Syrian passport he had used was indeed a fake.

“Greek authorities on islands such as Leros, Lesbos and Chios have confronted thousands of arrivals every day in recent months as refugees and other migrants make the short sea crossing from Turkey in inflatable boats.”

Authorities in France and Greece have said that fingerprints taken from the remains of a suicide bomber outside France’s national sports stadium, the Stade de France, match the prints of a man who entered Europe via the Aegean island of Leros on Oct. 3.

“Short of staff and equipment, Greek police carry out only a simple procedure that involves taking people’s data and fingerprints, and sometimes asking them a few questions, before giving them permission to travel onward, deeper into Europe.”

Police on Leros registered the man under the identity in the passport he showed them: Ahmad AlMohammad, 25, from Syria. The same passport was found near the man’s body outside the stadium on Friday night.

[Read the full story here, at the WSJ]

Whoever the man was, he posed as one of the many refugees fleeing Syria’s war—including the violence of Islamic State—to enter Europe through its lightly controlled frontier in the Aegean Sea. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Europe: Hard-Left ‘Anti-Fascists’ Clash With Cops At Pro-Migrant Protest

Hundreds of the hard-left protesters, and a group calling themselves ‘The Revolutionary Youth’ gathered in the Swiss capital of Bern to call for German-style mass immigration and a change in asylum policy.

Liam Deacon reports: A pro-migrant protest turned violent today, with Swiss police forced to use water cannon and rubber bullets to quell the self-described ‘anti-fascists’ who violated law by demonstrating on an election day.

Hundreds of the hard-left protesters, and a group calling themselves ‘The Revolutionary Youth’ gathered in the Swiss capital of Bern to call for German-style mass immigration and a change in asylum policy. The group started to violently clash with local police at around 2pm.

[Read the full story here, at Breitbart.com]

Around 110 people were arrested or detained, local publication Blick reports. A Bern police spokesman referred to “violent attacks” on officers and a “great potential for violence.”

The protesters defied an election time ban on demonstrations in Switzerland, and were accompanied by young children when they turned to violence, Switzerland Radio Und Fernsehen reported. Read the rest of this entry »


Europe’s Refugee Chaos: Hungary’s Army Authorized to Use Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas

CPfBgCuWgAAgmcD

Hungry’s parliament has authorised its army to shoot rubber bullets, pyrotechnical devices, (flashbangs), net guns and tear gas grenades at migrants.

They say that the use of the so-called non-lethal weapons will help Hungary’s military handle the migrant crisis.

As Hungary rushes to finish building a fence along its border with Croatia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the police needed the army’s help to secure Hungary’s borders with Serbia and Croatia.

“The migrants are not only banging on our doors but they are breaking them down. Not a few hundred, not a few thousand but hundreds of thousands, even millions besiege the borders of Hungary and the European Union,” said Orban before lawmakers voted on the controversial measures. “We cannot see where the end is. There are plenty more coming, millions are setting out on the journey.”

hungary_migrants

Amnesty International said in a statement that “Hungary is violating the human rights of refugees by blocking their access to a meaningful asylum procedure on its territory. Amendments of the law criminalizing the ‘illegal’ entry of refugees and migrants and intended to shift Hungary’s responsibility towards those in need of international protection must be repealed.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to stop the flow of migrants, EU member state Croatia has blocked trucks from entering from neighbouring Serbia. Read the rest of this entry »


GERMANY OR BUST: Migrants Flee Hungary, March to One Particular European Country

So flagrant is Hungary’s apparent animosity for migrants that the U.N. said its leaders had declined to accept assistance from the agency that supports refugees.

LONDON —  Haggard and defiant, hundreds of migrants stormed out of the Keleti train station in Budapest on Friday and set off on foot towards Germany, choosing a 300-mile walk over spending another night in a country where they are not welcome.

“This is going to go down in history,” said Rami Hassoun, an Egyptian migrant from Alexandria helping to corral the crowds on a six-lane highway to Austria, where the migrants were accompanied by a police patrol.

Elsewhere, hundreds of migrants remained locked in a standoff with the police at the Bicske station outside Budapest, demanding that train service to the west be restored, so they could continue their journeys to more prosperous European countries, like Germany or Sweden.

drudge-migrants-march

Hundreds of others stormed out of a reception camp in the country’s south, highlighting their desperation to flee.

The chaos in Hungary reflected the inadequacy of an asylum policy across the 28-member European Union bloc that has forced migrants to register or apply for asylum in the country where they arrive — though in many cases that becomes the country where they are discovered or detained by authorities.

[Read the full text here, at The New York Times]

Once they register and apply, they must remain in that country — even if that country, like Hungary, is so hostile to migrants that it is building a 110-mile fence on its border with Serbia to keep them away. Read the rest of this entry »