Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s under-2-hours world marathon record

This 12 October 2019 Kenyan TV video, recorded in Vienna, Austria, says about itself:

Breaking history as #EliudKipchoge, world’s greatest marathoner, becomes the first human to run a marathon in under 2 hours.

Kipchoge finished in 1:59:40.

Lake Constance birds, sad, some good, news

This 3 April 2019 video from Austria says about itself:

Birdwatching with Johanna Kronberger in the Lake Constance Rhine delta – Vorarlberg Magazine

As a biologist specialising in birds, Johanna Kronberger regularly travels around Lake Constance and spends lots of time in the Rhine delta even during the winter. She takes people out on bird-watching tours.

Read the whole story in the „Worlds of winter“ Vorarlberg Magazine by Vorarlberg state tourist board.

From the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Germany:

Birds in serious decline at Lake Constance

Over the last 30 years, the region has lost 120,000 breeding pairs

September 3, 2019

Summary: In the past 30 years, the number of breeding pairs in the region has dropped by 25 percent from 465,000 in the eighties to 345,000 by 2012.

At first glance, the numbers recorded between 1980 and 2012 appear to be quite balanced. 68 of the 158 bird species that inhabit the area around Lake Constance became more populous, while 67 species declined; each of these figures approximates to 43 percent of all the bird species in the region. The total number of species has even increased slightly: although eight species have died out, 17 have either returned to the region or settled there for the first time. These include the white stork, the peregrine falcon and the eagle owl, all of which have benefitted particularly from the protective measures put in place.

This seeming contradiction is due to the fact that the most common species are disappearing particularly rapidly. Six of the ten most common bird species around Lake Constance have declined dramatically in number, while two have remained the same and only two have increased. The population of house sparrows, for example, has declined by 50 percent since 1980, at which time it was still the most common species. “These are really shocking figures — particularly when you consider that the bird population started declining decades before the first count in 1980,” explains Hans-Günther Bauer from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. Viewed over a lengthier period, the fall in numbers may therefore be even greater.

Agricultural landscape hostile to birds

It is particularly noticeable how differently the various habitats have been affected. The study indicates that bird populations around Lake Constance are dwindling particularly rapidly in countryside which is intensively used by humans. This applies above all to modern farmland: 71 percent of the species that inhabit fields and meadows have declined in numbers, in some cases drastically. The partridge, for example, which was once a common inhabitant of the region’s farmland, has completely died out around Lake Constance. The great grey shrike, the meadow pipit and the little owl have also disappeared from the area.

One of the main reasons for this decline is the scarcity of food. According to the ornithologists, 75 percent of the bird species that eat flying insects and 57 percent of those that eat terrestrial invertebrates have decreased in number around Lake Constance. “This confirms what we have long suspected: the human extermination of insects is having a massive impact on our birds,” says Bauer. In addition, today’s efficient harvesting methods leave hardly any seeds behind for granivorous species. Moreover, the early, frequent mowing of large areas of grassland, the agricultural practice of monoculture, the early ripening of winter grains, the implementation of drainage measures and the shortage of fallow land are destroying the habitats of many species that live in the open countryside.

However, the birds are disappearing not only from the fields and meadows but also from the towns and villages around Lake Constance. “The increasing need for order and decreasing tolerance of dirt and noise are making life more and more difficult for local birds. It appears that successful breeding is becoming increasingly rare since the birds are being forced to nest amid tower blocks, ornamental trees and immaculate kitchen gardens,” says Bauer. Even species that can survive virtually anywhere, such as blackbirds (down 28 percent), chaffinches and robins (each down 24 percent) are suffering greatly due to the deteriorating conditions in settled areas.

Winners and losers in the woods and on the water

In contrast, the woodland birds around Lake Constance appear to be doing comparatively well. 48 percent of the forest-dwelling species are increasing in number, while only 35 percent are dwindling. One example is the spotted woodpecker, whose numbers have grown by 84 percent. Like other woodpeckers, it seems to have benefited from the larger quantities of timber in the forest. Furthermore, more of the species that inhabit the wetlands around Lake Constance have increased than decreased. The winners here include the mute swan.

Nevertheless, the numbers of many forest-dwelling species are also declining. The wood warbler population, for example, has fallen by 98 percent, firecrest numbers by 61 percent. This is how the intensive use of timber around Lake Constance and the shorter felling intervals are making themselves felt. Trees containing nests are being felled even in protected areas, and breeding seasons are largely being ignored. Older trees are often felled for traffic safety reasons; new paths are laid in the forests and wet areas are drained.

All in all, the last population count in 2010-2012 documents the same developments and causes as those that preceded it. However, the situation has clearly worsened in some cases. There is hardly any indication that things have changed for the better since then. “The living conditions for birds around Lake Constance have in fact deteriorated further over the last seven years. This means that their numbers have presumably fallen still further in this time,” says Bauer.

More food and living space for birds

With its diverse structure and location in the foothills of the Alps, the Lake Constance region actually provides excellent living conditions for birds. However, the changes it has undergone over the last few decades are typical of densely populated regions with intensive farming and forestry. “This means that the rapid decline in the populations of many species that we have observed around Lake Constance is sure to be happening in other regions as well,” says Bauer.

The study is one of only a few long-term investigations of breeding bird populations ever conducted in Germany. In order to collect the most recent data, which dates from between 2010 and 2012, 90 volunteers joined the scientists and counted all the birds in an area of approximately 1,100 square kilometres surrounding Lake Constance. The ornithologists first recorded the bird population between 1980 and 1981 and have repeated the count every ten years ever since. The next count will take place between 2020 and 2022.

Measures that would benefit the bird populations include:

– The scientists are calling for agricultural and forestry policy to be reconsidered in order to counteract the rapid loss of biodiversity.

– Drastically restricting the use of insecticides and herbicides in forestry and agriculture, in public spaces and in private gardens

– Significantly reducing the use of fertilisers

– Converting at least ten percent of agricultural land to ecological conservation areas

– Leaving some areas of arable land and grassland uncultivated in winter and during the breeding season

– Late mowing outside the grassland birds’ breeding season, maintenance of flower strips and fallow areas for seed production

– At least five percent of woodland should be left completely unused

– Creating natural gardens using indigenous plants

Austria’s right-wing government collapses

This 18 May 2019 video says about itself:

Austria: Protesters fill Vienna after scandal-hit Vice-Chancellor’s resignation

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Austrian Federal Chancellery in Vienna on Saturday following the resignation of the country’s Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.

By Daniela Prugger in Austria:

Austria’s right-wing government implodes in scandal

Vienna, Austria – There is a significant chance that a 1990s Vengaboys song will become this year’s summer hit in Austria.

“We’re going to Ibiza” was played over and over again as protesters gathered in front of the chancellor’s office in Vienna on Saturday. “Ibiza-Gate” has triggered a political earthquake here.

This music video is called We’re Going To Ibiza – Vengaboys.

“That was one of the most remarkable political days in the life of us all. The mood was energetic,” says Can Gulcu, a 43-year-old curator at the Wien Museum.

Laura Holzinger-Sahan, a 22-year-old philosophy and history student agreed: “It was chaotic and stressful, but all the nicer that so many people were there.” The pair had brought together speakers and DJs to organise the protest. According to them, 15-20,000 people joined in.

Just a few hours earlier, German media outlets Suddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel had released an explosive video.

It was recorded with hidden cameras in July 2017 on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and featured two well-known protagonists: Heinz-Christian Strache, who later that year was appointed vice-chancellor, and Johann Gudenus, a member of the Austrian parliament. Both are leading politicians in the Austrian right-wing party, FPÖ. …

Gulcu explains why the video has been so powerful: “It speaks for itself. It shows two drunk political leaders selling themselves and their power. And now the people have understood their character.” …

The video scandal has caused a government crisis and it is hard to keep track of the events since it was published. Not only did Heinz-Christian Strache and Johann Gudenus resign, chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) has announced snap elections.

After Kurz dismissed the right-wing interior minister Herbert Kickl on Monday evening, all FPÖ ministers left the government. They will be replaced by technocratic experts – and for the first time ever, Austria will get a minority government.

Gulcu wants Kurz to leave office as well. “Sebastian Kurz presents himself as a saviour and victim in a situation that he himself produced. He sells his story very well, as always,” says Gulcu.

In a statement, Kurz repeatedly pointed to his government’s achievements, including the implementation of the 12-hour work day, and reductions in social care spending, but mostly, that he avoided arguing with his coalition partner. He stressed several times that FPÖ and ÖVP had worked hand in hand.

Kurz may also face a motion of no-confidence in the Austrian parliament …

FPÖ politicians have threatened journalists and published anti-Semitic poems, links with the Identitarian movement – who received a donation from the perpetrator of the Christchurch attacks – have been revealed, and anti-migrant rhetoric has dominated their public discourse. …

This is also why Holzinger-Sahan and Gulcu joined Wiederdonnerstag, a collective that organises weekly protests against the current government.

“Wiederdonnerstag”, which means “Thursday again”, is a reference to demonstrations in the years 2000 and 2001, when the first coalition of FPÖ and the conservatives came to power.

“We address problems that concern us all – from education to housing, poverty, work, Europe, racism,” says Gulcu.

He expects even more people to turn up to this week’s protest. “Currently the country is boiling,” he said. “And the demonstrations continue until something changes.”

This 18 May 2019 video from the Ballhausplatz square in Vienna, Austria shows a demonstration demanding that the whole right-wing government should resign. So, not just ex-Vice Chancellor Strache, called a ‘neo-nazi’ on signs.

Lawmaker says Austria’s Kurz to face no-confidence vote on Monday: here.

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern:

Austrian government falls over video exposing corruption of far-right politician Christian Strache

21 May 2019

The Austrian government collapsed on Saturday, the day after German media published videos of July 2017 discussions between far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader and Vice-Chancellor Hans-Christian Strache and a woman falsely claiming to be a Russian investor.

The video shows Strache planning influence-peddling with the woman, whom he believed was tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a luxury vacation villa she rented in Ibiza, Spain. Posing as Alyona Makarova, the niece of billionaire Igor Makarov, she was offering to invest €250 million in Austria. Strache proposes that she buy the Krone Zeitung paper with a portion of the money, use control of the paper to promote the FPÖ into power, and reap the benefits by accepting public contracts then steered her way.

On Friday, the news magazine Der Spiegel and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) published a small portion of the video showing Strache drinking and smoking, and exposing him as the corrupt politician he is.

Strache called the publication of the video a “political assassination,” but had no choice but to step down as vice-chancellor, minister, and chairman of the FPÖ. Shortly afterwards Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei-OVP) announced the end of the coalition with the FPÖ. On Sunday President Alexander Van der Bellen called new elections for September to “restore confidence in public institutions.”

The campaign that has been mounted against Strache and the FPÖ since has definite echoes of the Democratic Party’s campaign to seek Donald Trump’s removal as US president over his alleged ties with Russia. There is nothing progressive in this conflict between bourgeois factions. It is not aimed at the fascistic policies of the FPÖ and similar far-right forces, but part of the attempt of Paris and Berlin to secure its domination of the European Union under conditions of growing nationalist divisions within Europe. The focus is put firmly on corruption and susceptibility to Russian influence in order to stifle growing popular opposition to the extreme right and prevent an independent movement of the working class against all factions of the political establishment.

The FPÖ is a right-wing extremist party, which has close ties to neo-Nazi forces such as the Austrian Identitarian Movement (IBÖ). Strache himself shared videos of the Indentitarians and was active in neo-Nazi circles in his youth. It was revealed that IBÖ leader Martin Sellner received a donation from Christchurch mass murderer Brenton Tarrant and invited him “for a coffee or beer” to Vienna.

In the past one and a half years the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition has shifted politics in Austria sharply to the right with the full support of the EU. The Kurz-Strache government has increased military spending, handed over the police and secret services to the far-right and pushed through draconian labour “reforms” such as the introduction of the 12-hour workday. Its anti-immigrant policies bear all the hallmarks of the 1930s. The Austrian government passed a law tying welfare payments to German language skills and banned the headscarf in primary schools. FPÖ politicians describe migrants and refugees as “rats”.

Despite this record the official media and the “pro-EU” establishment parties manage to attack the FPÖ from the right! Raising no criticism of their extremist agenda, the main criticism levelled against the FPÖ and other far-right parties in the European elections is that they betray European interests and are bought by the Kremlin. “How the FPÖ learned to love Russia,” headlined the online edition of Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Monday. Manfred Weber, (Christian Social Union/CSU, and head of the conservative European People’s Party/EPP, faction in the European Parliament) declared that the Ibiza video showed that the far-right are “not patriots, but politicians who sell out their country.”

In Le Point, which is close to French President Emmanuel Macron, Luc de Barochez wrote: “They claim to be patriots, they are willing to sell their countries to Russian oligarchs.”

The dispute is not about whether to implement reactionary policies and promote nationalism throughout Europe in the face of growing working-class opposition, but who is in control of the EU and the European governments. The campaign in the week leading up to the European elections is aimed against far-right parties critical of the current German-French domination of Europe. It comes as pro-EU parties across Europe are losing public support because of their pro-austerity and pro-militarist policies, and far-right governing and opposition parties, posing as critics of a German-led EU and which sometimes pose as opponents of austerity—like Matteo Salvini’s Lega in Italy, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) in France and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party—lead the polls in several countries.

The video was published shortly before the rally of European neo-fascist parties, hosted in Milan on Saturday by Interior Minister Salvini’s Lega, and attended by Le Pen, Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) and representatives of the FPÖ and Alternative for Germany (AfD). Salvini declared that his goal in the European elections is to win the majority of the European Parliament for the European Alliance of Peoples and Nations (EAPN), which is yet to be formed, and could also draw in Poland’s far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS) and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Le Pen called on Macron to resign if his party, La République en Marche, lands behind her RN, as recent polls suggest.

It is unclear who filmed and leaked the video or if state forces were involved. The operation targeting Strache, however, involved vast resources. The villa was booked for €3,000 per day from July 22-25, 2017. Multiple high-end luxury cars were parked in the property so that Strache and leading FPÖ official Johann Gudenus were fooled into believing they were dealing with multi-billionaire oligarchs.

The SZ writes, “The meeting in Ibiza appears to have served the sole purpose of deceiving Strache and Gudenus in a professionally staged and technically elaborate spectacle. Hidden cameras and microphones were installed in the villa in light switches and in a mobile phone charging station. The microphones recorded almost every word spoken.”

After receiving the video from unidentified sources, the German publications held it for an unspecified length of time—supposedly for “evaluation of the material and verification of its authenticity by two experts,” according to the SZ. Finally, the SZ and Der Spiegel sprung the trap set in 2017, nearly two years after the video was shot.

The Strache affair exposes all factions of the European bourgeoisie as utterly reactionary and enemies of the working class. The Berlin-Paris axis’s hypocritical opposition to Strache and the far-right is based on their own imperialist agenda. The anti-immigrant policies of sealing borders and letting refugees drown in the Mediterranean, pioneered by the Italian and Austrian governments, like their policies of austerity and massive military spending increases, are shared by all the EU governments, especially Paris and Berlin.

In Germany the Grand Coalition government—the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD)—is implementing the policies of the far-right. Its refugee policy is set by the AfD as is its rearming of police, intelligence agencies and the army. In France Macron is hailing French fascist dictator Philippe Pétain while bloodily repressing “yellow vest” protests. The central goals pursued by the French-German axis are the strengthening of the “fortress Europe” policy against refugees, the intensification of austerity and the creation of a joint European army to defend its imperialist interests against Russia, China and the US.

To enforce this programme against growing working-class opposition to social inequality and militarism, all factions of the bourgeoisie are intensifying their collaboration with far-right and even fascistic forces.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) visited the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, over the weekend to seal cordial relations with Premier Adrej Plenkovic. Plenkovic’s Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is notorious for its close ties with the Ustashe movement that collaborated with the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia—carrying out mass murders of Jews, Serbs and Roma. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (HDZ) was at the centre of a scandal in November 2016 when she publicly posed smiling with the Ustashe flag.

Austria’s “Ibiza Affair” and the rightward shift of the political establishment: here.

AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR OUSTED IN NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE The Austrian parliament has voted to oust Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his ministers, paving the way for a caretaker government before a new election in which the young leader and his party could emerge strengthened. [AP]

Austria’s New Anti-Immigrant Green Government Stokes Fears Of Climate ‘Nightmare’ [HuffPost]

Austrian Hitler hometown racist politician’s neonazi poem

Austrian extreme right politician Christian Schilcher, AFP photo

Not only in Germany children of racist politicians write neonazi poems. In Austria, far-right politicians seem not to leave that to their children, but to do so themselves.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Austria, the deputy mayor of Braunau am Inn town has resigned after a storm of criticism of a poem he had published in a local newspaper before Easter. In the poem The Urban Rat, FPÖ

The extreme right party in Austria, formerly led by Jörg Haider. Now, part of the right-wing two-party coalition government.

politician Christian Schilcher writes that rats from outside must assimilate or “get away quickly”. He also warns against mixing cultures. …

The comparison of people with rats (or other animals) has been used more often in history to dehumanize groups of people and thus justify atrocities against those groups. For example, in the Nazi propaganda film Der ewige Jude (1940) Jews were compared with rats …

Today he has drawn consequences and resigned his position as deputy mayor of Braunau am Inn, the hometown of Adolf Hitler.

Australian nazi Christchurch terrorist, his Austrian connection

This 18 March 2019 video from New Zealand is called Students perform haka tribute at vigil for mosque attack victims in Christchurch.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The suspect of last month’s attacks in Christchurch has been charged in New Zealand for 50 times murder and 39 times attempted murder. The lawsuit against the 28-year-old Australian will continue tomorrow.

The shooter, Brenton Tarrant, killed fifty visitors to two mosques in Christchurch on March 15. Dozens of others were injured. …

Tarrant is a right-wing extremist who said he wanted to take revenge for attacks by Muslim extremists in Europe. German media report that two years ago the Christchurch shooter transferred more than 2000 euros to the French extreme right-wing movement Génération Identitaire.

In the investigation into the attacks in Christchurch, a search was also conducted at the end of last month at the house of a leader of a right-wing nationalist movement in Austria, the Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs. That movement also stated that it had received a major donation from the attacker.

By Markus Salzmann:

Christchurch terrorist donated to right-wing Austrian Identitarian movement

3 April 2019

Christchurch shooter, Brenton Tarrant, enjoyed wide-ranging ties with international right-wing extremist circles, reaching as far as Europe. He was no individual attacker, as the official narrative claims. On 15 March, the Australian shot and killed 50 people in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, and injured dozens more.

Last year, Tarrant donated €1,500 to the Austrian Identitarian Movement (IBÖ). As a result, the public prosecutor in Graz has ordered the house of IBÖ leader, Martin Sellner, to be searched. The spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Hansjörg Wacher, said that possible ties between the Christchurch shooter and Sellner were being investigated.

The donation came to light in the course of an investigation into another matter. The filing of a charge on the criminal offence of participation in a terrorist organisation was being considered, Wacher added.

For his part, Sellner said he had received an “unusually high” donation in 2018, and sent a thank you email to Tarrant. He added that his house had been searched before he could report the donation. Sellner went on to reject having any connection to the Christchurch attack, and accused Tarrant of wanting to associate him with it, in order to provoke repression against the Identitarian Movement.

This is obviously nonsense. Tarrant was in Vienna last winter, and it seems likely that he had ties to right-wing extremist groups. He participated in right-wing extremist discussions on 8chan, and commented on posts on Facebook and other media outlets using his own name. Although it remains unclear whether he developed ties to Sellner and other leading Identitarian figures during this time, it has not been excluded. The parliamentary subcommittee for internal affairs is now examining the Christchurch shooter’s ties in Austria.

By contrast, the political and ideological links between the Christchurch shooter and the Identitarians are clear. In his manifesto, released shortly before his attack, Tarrant based himself on a number of their conceptions. Its title “The Great Replacement” is taken from the Identitarians’ vocabulary. Even after the attack in New Zealand, a group of Identitarians marched in Vienna under the banner “Stop the great replacement.” Such agitation against “uncontrolled mass migration”, and the description of refugees as “invaders” are typical for the right-wing extremist scene around the Identitarians.

The same goes for their barely concealed calls for violence and vigilante justice against the left. “Thank God I bought a weapon before the asylum madness started. It would be hard to get something decent now”, Sellner tweeted in 2015. And, just one day prior to the massacre in Christchurch, when a two-year weapons ban (imposed after he fired at “antifa” demonstrators with an air pistol) was lifted, Sellner said in a video, “So now with the blessing of the state I can take entirely legal steps to ensure security for me and my girlfriend in a society which is rampant with criminality and becoming ever more violent. In fact, it is being made increasingly difficult for citizens to arm themselves for their own security, while at the same time insecurity rises and public safety can no longer be guaranteed.”

“The fact that his [Tarrant’s] gaze reached as far as Austria is quite remarkable”, Bernhard Weidlinger, an employee of the Documentary Archive for the Austrian Resistance (DÖW), said, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “But it is by no means surprising that he selected the Identitarians for a donation. The content of the attacker’s manifesto overlaps considerably with the Identitarians’ world view.”

The Identitarians are a right-wing extremist group that emerged 16 years ago in France and now maintains close connections to a network of far-right parties and militant neo-Nazi groups across Europe. They have been active in Austria since 2013. Although their membership numbers are relatively low and their activities meet with broad hostility and opposition from the vast majority of the population, they are well connected to high levels of government and enjoy support from the judiciary.

This was made clear in July last year. Seventeen members of the Austrian Identitarian Movement, including Sellner, were acquitted by the Graz District Court on every major charge in their case. The judgement was widely seen as a scandal. The Identitarians were charged because they had intimidated political opponents, disrupted their meetings, and promoted radical, xenophobic, and Islamophobic ideologies. According to the court, the accused were not guilty of sedition, or the formation of, or participation in, a criminal association.

Around six months prior to the Graz decision, the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), led by Sebastian Kurz, formed a coalition government with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), which maintains ties with the Identitarians. FPÖ members are also active in the Identitarian Movement, and high-ranking party officials appear in public with them.

For example, FPÖ Interior Minister, Herbert Kickl, spoke in 2016 at the right-wing extremist Congress of Europe’s Defenders, which was attended by the Identitarians and supporters of other far-right groups. Kickl has played a leading role in adopting more restrictive laws on the rights to asylum and foreigners’ ability to stay in Austria.

The ties between the FPÖ and the Identitarians are especially close in Graz. In January 2016, FPÖ member of the state parliament, Gerhard Kurzmann, joined a protest march there, organised by the Identitarians against the accommodation of refugees in an old barracks. FPÖ local councilor, Heinrich Sickl, reportedly had contacts to neo-Nazis as a 17-year-old, according to the Vienna-based Der Standard. To this day, he rents rooms to the Identitarians in a multi-party building in the centre of Graz. Sickl participated in Identitarian demonstrations—sometimes serving as a steward—including in a march against immigration in the border town of Spielfeld in 2015. The FPÖ’s Mario Eustaccio, deputy mayor of Graz, was also present in Spielfeld.

According to, the Free Association of Academics in Styria (FAV) organised a 2015 seminar, to which Sellner was invited as a speaker. The right-wing extremist publication AULA reported on the meeting. The report carries a photo of Sellner and Sickl posing together.

Deputy Chancellor Hans-Christian Strache also maintains close ties to the Identitarians. Photos from 2015 show the FPÖ leader sitting at a table with two well-known Identitarian members in a bar in Styria.

After the Identitarians stormed the stage in a theatre at the University of Vienna in April 2016, where a play by Austrian playwright Elfriede Jelinek was being performed, Strache defended them on Facebook. “The Identitarians are a non-party, non-left citizens’ movement, which has obviously adopted its free activism as a contrast and critical counterpart to the left, which, however, unlike the Identitarians, often unfortunately resorts to acts of violence,” the subsequently deleted post declared. “They are basically young activists of a non-left civil society.”

Official government policy also corresponds to the Identitarians’ line. The latest border-protection exercises, carried out jointly by the Interior and Foreign ministries, took place in southern Styria in 2018 and were entitled “Pro-border”, an Identitarian slogan. In 2016 and 2017, Strache posted on Facebook that the “population exchange”, which the Identitarians promote as a conspiracy theory, had already been accomplished, according to Der Standard.

In this context, Chancellor Kurz’s threat to take action against the Identitarians, and consider a potential ban, amounts to an attempt to cover his government’s tracks, curtail democratic rights, and prepare the ground for the banning of other, predominantly left-wing organisations.

For its part, the FPÖ immediately spoke out against banning the Identitarians. According to the television news program ZIB, Strache said that the proposed ban was Kurz’s initiative, and he did not support it.

This 28 March 2019 video is called Austrian government mulls disbanding far-right group over financial ties to Christchurch gunman.

From Belgian daily De Standaard today:

For the first time since he formed a government with the FPÖ at the end of 2017, conservative [‘Christian democrat’] Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz openly lashed out at the far-right party. It is a direct consequence of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, Australia, where the Australian Brenton Tarrant shot fifty Muslims in a mosque.

The investigation showed that in the beginning of 2018 Tarrant donated 1,500 euros to the Austrian extreme right-wing Identity Movement IBÖ. Austrian media discovered a 2016 statement by [FPÖ] Minister of the Interior Herbert Kickl: at a conference where many members of IBÖ were present, he called those present “like-minded”. At the end of last week it turned out that there is a villa in Linz that is used by both IBÖ members and a right-wing conservative student movement of FPÖ members.

Kurz thought the time had come to implement a part of the coalition agreement: from now on the intelligence services should report to the Chancellor instead of Kickl and Mario Kunasek, the Minister of Defense who is also a FPÖ member. According to the critical tabloid Kurier, this is “a clear sign of growing suspicion on the part of Kurz, especially towards the Minister of the Interior.”

The Austrian Chancellor was also under pressure from Berlin to take action – and such a thing weighs heavily in Vienna. German MEP Elmar Brok, a heavyweight within Merkel’s CDU, warned: “In Germany, we need to ask ourselves what data relevant to our security we can still share with an Interior Minister of the FPÖ.”

“A minister of the Interior who openly expresses his preference for an extreme right-wing and racist movement is, I believe, a security risk,” said Burkhard Lischka, MP for the SPD – the Social Democratic coalition partner of the CDU.

Another argument against Kickl is that he ordered a raid on the domestic intelligence service BVT in the spring of last year. This seized BVT files on extreme right-wing organizations in Austria.

Election in Austria: Freedom Party demonstrates its close links to the Identitarian movement: here.

Dutch FvD party uses Austrian ‘identitarian’ video for racism: here.

Austrian racist, accomplice in Christchurch massacre?

This 26 March 2019 German language video says about itself (translated):

The Christchurch assassin donated money to the spokesman for the Austrian identitarian movement.

The video says that police suspects the ‘identitarians‘ of complicity in terrorism.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Police raid at Austrian right-wing nationalist‘s house because of Christchurch attack

In the investigation into the attack in Christchurch city in New Zealand, police raided a house in Austria. The search was at the house of Martin Sellner, leader of the right-nationalist Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs (IBÖ).

The Public Prosecution Service in Austria does not want to provide an explanation, but according to Sellner himself it has to do with a gift to his movement. The donation was by the 28-year-old right-wing extremist who is detained for shooting 50 mosque visitors in Christchurch this month. …

The money is … “an excessively high amount”. According to [Sellner], electronic devices were seized during the house search in Vienna.

The IBÖ of 30-year-old Sellner objects, eg, against what the movement calls “uncontrolled mass immigration” and is committed to preserving national identity. According to Austrian media, the suspect of the New Zealand massacre is known to have been in Austria last fall.

NZ SHOOTER HAD FINANCIAL LINK TO FAR RIGHT Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday said there was a financial link between the man who killed 50 people in mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the far-right Identitarian Movement in Austria. Martin Sellner, head of the Identitarian Movement — which says it wants to preserve Europe’s identity — received 1,500 euros ($1,690) in early 2018 from a donor with the same name as the man charged with murder following the Christchurch attack. [Reuters]

Rare jellyfish not really rare

This 2015 video shows Rhizostoma luteum jellyfish in Schönbrunn zoo in Austria; where for the first time, this species was bred in captivity.

From FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology:

‘Rare’ jellyfish not so rare

November 13, 2018

When the Rhizostoma luteum jellyfish was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, only nine specimens were identified. For years, it was so inconspicuous that later, in the 20th century, it failed to turn up for six decades. A team of scientists, with the help of a citizen initiative, has now confirmed that it is not really as difficult to find as previously believed.

In 1827 the French naturalists Jean René Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard, while aboard the Astrolabe on a trip around the world, discovered a new jellyfish species in the Strait of Gibraltar. Describing the Rhizostoma luteum (formerly called the Orythialutea) was made possible thanks to the analysis of nine specimens. This was the first and last time it was seen.

During the following decades, this jellyfish went unnoticed and there were no scientific records of it over the last 60 years. It was not until 2013 when a team of scientists, led by Laura Prieto of the Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalusia (CSIC), confirmed the presence of this species in Mediterranean waters by means of a phylogenetic analysis.

“We believe that every time it was seen, it was mistakenly identified with such other jellyfish as the Rhizostoma pulmo, the Rhizostoma octopus and the Catostylus tagi“, as Prieto, the co-author of another study that corroborates that this jellyfish is actually more abundant than what was thought, has pointed out.

The new work, part of the future doctoral thesis by Karen Kienberger and recently published in the Marine Biodiversity journal, has made several historical and recent records of the Rhizostoma luteum since 1998, thanks to the observations of scientists and a citizen initiative.

The results confirm more than 150 observations in the last 17 years, “which shows that it is not such a rare species after all”, the authors emphasize.

“With this work, we did research work to see if what we thought was an unusual species was really one that had been ill-identified for many years,” explains Prieto. The R. luteum is frequent in the coastal waters of the west and south coasts of the Iberian peninsula and the west and north coasts of Africa.

Similar to the others

The jellyfish can reach a diameter of more than 60 cm with some specimens; the oral arms end differently and sometimes — but not always — they are very long, and can reach more than two metres.

“Its geographical distribution is very wide: from Portugal to South Africa in the Atlantic and in the Alboran Sea in the Mediterranean. With subsequent studies, we’ve been able to verify that the mother carries her protected offspring in her gonads until she releases them in an appropriate environment”, the researcher reports.

In order to detect the jellyfish, Laura Prieto and Karen Kienberger were helped by citizens who sent historical accounts, photographs and videos taken in the North-East Atlantic Ocean and the Alboran Sea. “Posters were distributed in diving and marine clubs and a lot of non-scientific outreach literature, such as books on diving or marine fauna, was subjected to revision”, says Prieto.

The scientists contacted many authors of the photos, and explored open social networks and open access databases on jellyfish that included photos. “Any citizen could (and can) send an email with the place, the date and the photo of a sighting,” the authors stress.

For the researchers, this type of work makes it possible to monitor biodiversity and the manner in which species respond to climate change in marine ecosystems.

Austrian jailed for killing bees

This 2011 video from the USA says about itself:

How can honeybees communicate the locations of new food sources? Austrian biologist, Karl Von Frisch, devised an experiment to find out! By pairing the direction of the sun with the flow of gravity, honeybees are able to explain the distant locations of food by dancing. “The Waggle Dance of the Honeybee” details the design of Von Frisch’s famous experiment and explains the precise grammar of the honeybees’ dance language with high quality visualizations.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Austrian fruit grower gets prison term for bee killing

A fruit grower in Austria has been convicted for the death of some 800,000 bees by poisoning with an insecticide. The 47-year-old man received a prison sentence of twelve months, four of which unconditional. He must also pay a compensation of 20,000 euros.

The court in Klagenfurt deems the Austrian guilty of “deliberately damaging the environment”. The man is the chairman of the local fruit growers’ association and was known for his knowledge and experience. According to the judge, the defendant knew very well that he was violating the legislation.

Chemical pesticide

The fruit grower used the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which kills all insects, during the spraying of his fruit trees last May. He sprayed his trees at the time that fruit blossoms attract bees. More than 50 bee colonies died, totaling some 800,000 bees.

In the court two affected beekeepers told how dramatic the bee mortality was. “Before the beehives there was a black mass of dead bees”, one of them testified. The bodies of the dead bees were cramped and bent, he said. These are clear signs of poisoning.

The fruit grower will appeal the verdict.

800,000 dead bees are 800,000 too many. Yet, this Austrian is small fry if one compares to the millions and more millions of bees killed by the fat cats of BayerMonsanto.

Researchers spent months shaking and rattling swarms of thousands of honey bees to better understand how bees collectively collaborate to stabilize structures in the presence of external loads: here.

Xenophobic homophobia in Austria

This video says about itself:

Austria: ‘Let us stay!’ – Afghan asylum-seekers march against deportations in Vienna

20 May 2017

Hundreds marched against the deportation of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan, on the streets of Vienna on Saturday, under the motto “Afghanistan is not safe, let us stay.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

AUSTRIA: An immigration official has been disciplined for “linguistic lapses” after rejecting an Afghan man’s application for asylum on grounds of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and those who murder gay people can use the victim’s sexuality as a mitigating factor, making it an “honour killing” with reduced penalties.

The Austrian official told the applicant that “neither the way you walk, nor your behaviour, nor your clothes even slightly suggested you might be homosexual.”

Right-wing Austrian bureaucrats may not know, but: LGBTQ people, like straight people, walk with two legs. Like with straight people, there are very big individual differences in behaviour among LGBTQ people. Like with straight people, there are big differences in ways LGBTQ people dress.

Dutch bureaucrat doubted whether gay refugee was gay, as ‘he had a beard’.

Austria calls on EU to get Egypt to block flow of refugees: here.

Anti-Semitism whitewashed on Facebook, in Austria

This video from the USA says about itself:

19 July 2018

In a viral interview Mark Zuckerberg … claims Holocaust denial, and Sandy Hook hoaxers like Infowars are fine to stay on Facebook. Hosted by Hasan Piker.

By Alyssa Fisher in the USA:

Zuckerberg: Holocaust Deniers Are Not ‘Intentionally Getting It Wrong’

July 18, 2018

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg defended Holocaust deniers in a recent interview with Recode, suggesting that their posts are not removed from the social network because it is unclear if they were written maliciously or in ignorance.

When addressing the issue of “fake news” and the spread of information, Zuckerberg said content that is “going to result in real harm, real physical harm” shouldn’t be on the platform.

ZUCKERBERG DEFENDS HOLOCAUST DENIERS Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a backlash after saying that Holocaust deniers are not “intentionally getting it wrong.” [HuffPost]

Mark Zuckerberg Falls For Nazi B.S.: here.

So, Facebook is not censoring shoah denial, often by persons who use it as propaganda paving the way for ‘real physical harm’ to Jewish people. On the other hand, Facebook is censoring news sources without Big Business or Big Government support; favouring instead corporate media like the Rupert Murdoch empire (where anti-Semitism and other forms of racism happen). Nevertheless, Facebook claims corporate news is not fake news.

No censorship of holocaust denial. Instead, censorship of an iconic photo of Vietnamese children attacked by United States napalm bombs; censorship even if the conservative prime minister of Norway posts that photo on Facebook. Instead, censorship of a 150-years-old painting by famous artist Gustave Courbet. Instead, censorship of information on the bloody invasion of Syria by the Turkish Erdogan regime. The Erdogan regime, which Facebook also helps by censoring a Turkish Dutch politician. Instead, censorship of information on the genocide of Rohingya, thus helping the regime in Myanmar. Instead of censoring shoah denial, Facebook censors Arizona, USA teachers on strike against bad education policies. Like Facebook also censors British striking workers.

Instead of opposing holocaust denial, they censor feminism. Instead, they censor information on women’s reproductive rights. Instead, Facebook censors a burn injuries survivor.

This Deutsche Welle video says about itself:

Poland Bans Kosher Meat Production | European Journal

5 September 2013

Poland’s parliament has banned the production of kosher and halal meat – and the country’s Jewish community says the decision is outrageous. Polish meat producers are also disappointed. Poland is the EU’s largest exporter of kosher and halal meat – but the country’s constitutional court and parliament decided that the method of slaughter is illegal.

Jews and Muslims in Poland consider the ban an affront to their religion, and they’re trying to find a legal loophole that will allow meat production to continue.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency, 19 July 2018:

Austrian State Might Limit Sale Of Kosher Meat To Registered Jews

A regional politician in Austria defended a plan to limit access to kosher meat, conditioning its sale on permits that would be individually issued to observant Jews.

The Wiener Zeitung daily reported about the draft decree in the state of Lower Austria, one of nine states that make up the federal Republic of Austria. Gottfried Waldhäusl,

Herr Waldhäusl is a member of the extreme right FPÖ party. A party founded by ex-members of Hitler’s nazi party.

the cabinet minister in the state government of Lower Austria who is in charge of animal welfare and several other portfolios, defended the plan as necessary “from an animal welfare point of view”.

Oskar Deutsch, the president of the Jewish Community in Vienna, warned that, in practice, the plan would require compiling a list of Jews, which he called “like a negative Aryan clause”, referencing racist laws passed by Nazi Germany and implemented in Austria after its [Hitler’s] merger with Germany in 1938.

The FPÖ (and their conservative ÖVP coalition partners) target not only Jews, but also Muslims with this, writes Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad, 20 July 2018, on the new policy. They write (translated):

“This is reminiscent of an era that I thought would never come back,” says IKG [Jewish community] Chairman Oskar Deutsch, referring to the Jewish register at the time of National Socialism. “These people are not concerned about animal welfare. The FPÖ demonizes ritual slaughter to demonize minorities. Yes, that is anti-Semitic”, he said to [German daily] Bild. There should never ever be a registration of Jews, according to Deutsch.

Why These Orthodox Jews Are Fighting For Muslim Rights: here.

Germany: Anti-Semitism victim beaten by police in Bonn. By Sybille Fuchs, 20 July 2018. Professor of Philosophy Yitzhak Melamed, who teaches at the University of Baltimore in the US, was brutally beaten up last Wednesday in Bonn in an anti-Semitic attack and was then subsequently beaten by police officers. Melamed had wanted to deliver a guest lecture on Spinoza at the University of Bonn: here