I Missed This Story About a Terrorist in Italy

I don’t suppose it got a lot of coverage by the media. Italy: Bus driver takes 51 kids hostage, sets vehicle on fire.

A school bus driver on Wednesday allegedly held 51 children and their chaperones hostage on a bus in the northern Italian city San Donato Milanese before setting it on fire.

All of the children were rescued when the bus crashed following a police chase, allowing officers to force open the back door and help students off the bus, as the driver threatened suicide.

A story from today he says “It’s all the white people’s fault.”

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Headlines From Europe

I read the European press, because they have better coverage of what’s going on in America – some of it anyway – than 90% of the US press. (I guess they can be a BIT more objective, though they are still mostly a bunch of Leftist shills.) Though the 1st story is from the Washington Post…

The Left’s talking points around Germany have been – for 2 years now – that they are placed to become the “new world power.” Since all the “right-thinking” folks in the media hate America. (No, not just Trump, America.) Merkel missing the first day of G-20 is a metaphor for why you shouldn’t believe all the myths about Germany. But when you lose the WaPo…

The Bundeswehr itself isn’t in great shape, either. To the amusement of the world, Germany’s military made headlines a few years ago for replacing machine guns with broomsticks during a NATO exercise because of a lack of equipment. The headlines weren’t exaggerated. Earlier this year, an internal watchdog described the German military as virtually “not deployable for collective defense.” Only a few of the country’s tanks, helicopters and planes are combat-ready, and pilots have at times had to resort to private automobile clubs’ choppers to practice. Germany approved a boosted defense budget this year, but any trend reversal will take a lot longer.

No mention of Trump and his call for Europe to do a better job with their defense.

Italy stops a terrorist. (Granted this is 2 days old, so maybe you heard about it…) Italian police arrest Lebanese man suspected of planning poison attack.

“He was planning an attack with ricin and anthrax,” chief anti-terrorism prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho told reporters, naming the man as Alhaj Ahmad Amin.

Amin, 38, who is a legal immigrant and married with three children, was arrested in Macomer earlier in the day by hooded police who forced him from his car as he left home.

The French are STILL unhappy about paying more for fuel. And now so are folks in Belgium. Brussels protesters attack PM’s office as Paris braces for more ‘yellow vest’ unrest.

Over in Paris, builders were busy boarding up flagship banks and stores along the Champs-Elysées as “the world’s most beautiful avenue” braced for its third straight Saturday of violence.

In what President Emmanuel Macron called “war scenes”, a peaceful protest descended into riots and tear gas, leaving many of the avenue’s windows smashed by cobblestones and other objects.

Two stories from Britain. The first, how NHS (THE Sacred Cow of UK politics) is failing the elderly. Pensioners left in pain amid NHS cuts to hip and knee operations.

The Royal College of Surgeons said patients were being unfairly denied operations by arbitrary policies, including those which restrict them to those in most pain.

And in the 2nd story, folks in the UK still have bad teeth. Soaring numbers of children forced to have teeth taken out in hospital.

The number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.

Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.

Can we blame this on the NHS? No, it isn’t the .gov who is responsible for making sure kids brush their teeth.

EU to Italy: … or else!

After the handsprings the EU did to keep Greece in the fold, do you really think anything will come of this? Salvini defiant over budget despite EU giving Italy three weeks to come up with new plan. And you thought American politics were screwed up.

The Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, reviews the budgets of the 19 eurozone economies to check for compliance with its deficit and other standards.

European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will ask Italy’s populist government on Tuesday to “revise its budget,” which exceeds EU limits, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In theory they could kick Italy out of the club, I think. In reality, they won’t do much that the bond markets aren’t already doing.

This is in addition to Poland (apparently) ignoring an order from the European Court to reinstate some judges or face fines.

This kind of thing always brings up this scene form The Demolition Man.

The Italians are Cheesed Off

Which is to say that they are not happy with the UN. Over cheese and ham. Agriculture minister says Italian ham and Parmesan ‘under attack’ from UN plan to reduce salt intake.

Because the Useless Nitwits at the UN apparently have ended hunger, and war, and famine (at least if you don’t look to closely at the People’s Republic of Venezuela), and so they are going on to telling you what you should eat. And the Italians aren’t too happy about it.

Proposals related to warning labels on unhealthy food mooted in a recent WHO report are set to be discussed at a meeting in New York in September.

The report did not mention any specific food products by name but the respected Italian business newspaper Sole 24 Ore set off a furore by reporting that the UN agency could target Parmesan cheese and ham from Parma as well as pizza, wine and even extra-virgin olive oil.

The UN was chartered to ensure that genocide was never perpetrated again, and yet despite failing miserably at that mandate they are now going to control your diet. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the raft of sex-scandals wherever peacekeepers show up, and occasionally where other staff and NGOs show up. To “do good.” Only they victimize already victimized people.

Italians Want Less Gun Control

Where would we be without surveys? Sharp rise in Italians in favour of loosening gun control.

The proportion of Italians who favour relaxing laws on gun ownership has jumped from around a quarter to more than a third, according to a new survey.

Also the number of Italians who own guns, is rising.

You have to admire the uniform nature of spin on Italian politics.

The hard-right League party has long advocated for changes in the law to protect people using weapons, including firearms, in the name of self-defence. Now the junior partner in Italy’s governing coalition, the party has proposed that individuals should be allowed to shoot anyone who enters their home, even in the absence of a clear physical threat.

While the league is opposed to the Euro (Italy had problems, but they didn’t get the press that was lavished on Greece), but I’m not sure the press – in any country or any language – is able to do anything except denigrate any group that doesn’t think more government is better. Then again, I’m that up on Italian politics.

But advocating armed self-defense? In Europe? Where do they think the live, Texas? (Actually they live in the Real World™ where bad things can and too often do happen.

And You Thought Government in the USA Was Screwed Up

The News from Europe reinforces the idea that Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

First up, Greece. It hasn’t been on my radar for a while. Greek lawmakers to vote on no-confidence motion in govt. (For those of you not up on Parliamentary governments, a No-confidence vote would trigger new elections.)

This is over an insane issue.

Greek lawmakers are debating for the final day a no-confidence motion against the government over a deal to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Macedonia over the latter’s name.

Greece wants to claim the name “Macedonia” because of Alexander the Great – also known as Alexander of Macedonia. (And his hometown IS in northern Greece.) But Macedonia has been Macedonia since WWII, though lately it is The Former Yugoslavian Province Known as Macedonia. Or some such nonsense. (That is actually how it appears on official NATO and EU maps, though it is usually abbreviated as just a list of first letters.)

Most of the EU is making faces at Italy because their new .gov has decided the whole unfettered immigration thing has gone far enough. Italy’s populist government won’t permit boats carrying migrants to dock, despite EU pressure

Even the Pope has weighed in on that one.

Last but not least, we have Germany. Merkel stands firm against Bavarian demands to close borders

Among Merkel’s sharpest critics is Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, whose Christian Social Union is taking an increasingly hard line ahead of a state election this fall, even though it forms part of the national governing coalition.

The CSU has been in partnership with the CDU (Merkel’s Party) pretty much since reunification. But that cozy deal seems to be falling apart – ahead of elections that the CSU might be worried about losing.

And on the subject of Germany, Austria is PISSED that the Germans were spying on them. Austria angry at Germany over ‘enormous’ spy effort

Top Austrian officials called on Germany to clarify reports that its BND spy agency had snooped on high-profile targets including embassies, international organizations, Austrian ministers and banks based in the Austrian capital.

Make Italy Great Again? Probably Not

But some of the naysayers are crying in their beer Chianti. Italy edging towards Eurosceptic, populist government after two months of paralysis

Berlusconi has agreed to bow out, so that the Five Star Movement and the League can form a government. (He had to be gone for the League to agree.)

The League wants to ditch the euro as Italy’s currency and both parties have blamed Brussels for economic pain caused by austerity policies and for not doing enough to help with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

Pulling out of the Euro can only be done by pulling out of the EU generally, and the bureaucrats (Mandarins?) in Brussels will fight that with everything they have.

And you though American politics were interesting…