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Immigrants And The Right-wing Rise In Austrian Parliamentary Elections

Crimes of rape, sexual harassment, hijab and burqa, the violation of women’s rights, the high rate of asylum and other problems led to the rise of the extreme right-wing parties in the parliamentary elections 2017.

Three years ago, hundreds of thousands of Austrians welcomed the Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees. They gave them every help and assistance.

Today, hundreds of thousands of Austrians voted in favor of the right-wing parties after the migrants’ crimes were reflected negatively on their daily lives.

The centre of political gravity in Austria shifted to the right after the conservative Austrian People’s party (ÖVP) came out top in national elections, making Sebastian Kurz, 31, become the EU’s and the world’s youngest head of government after becoming foreign minister at the age of 27.

Projections on Sunday night put the ÖVP ahead with 30.2% of the vote. The incumbent chancellor Christian Kern’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ), the largest party in the last government, are in third place with 26.3 percent, the party’s worst showing since the end of Adolf Hitler’s rule in Austria, according to Europe Elects, while the Freedom Party had 26.8 percent, The Green party had 4.9 percent, NEOS party had 5.3 percent and PILZ party had 4.3 percent.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said the People’s Party received 30.2 percent of the vote, a gain of more than 7 percentage points from the 2013 election. Kurz described that as the biggest jump in support in the party’s history.

Kurz toppled the last government in May when he pulled his conservative ÖVP out of a coalition with the centre-left SPÖ.

Continue reading: Immigrants And The Right-wing Rise In Austrian Parliamentary Elections

The Collapse Of EU Health Insurance System Is A Matter Of Time

The revolution of the medical industry in intensive care paves the way for the collapse of the health insurance system, and the patients will pay high taxes from their general health.

Today, 25. Sep. 2017, I attended the ESICM LIVES 2017- 30th European Society of Intensive Care Medicine Annual Congress held at the Austria Center. Giant medical companies have offered the latest equipment as a replacement of the old in the medical centers and the hospitals.

Briefly, the health system in Europe seems to be working to finance the investments of large medical companies and gradually paving the way for ending the public health insurance system and turning it into a private sector.

The middle class, the poor and perhaps the majority of European society will be the victims of this dangerous trend in public health and medical treatment.

To illustrate this, I have made a number of calls with cardiologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedics and neurologists to help a patient to make appointments for necessary medical examinations after he made heart operation and received two consecutive strokes.

The surprise was when I did not find doctors who still deal with the health insurance system. They were all private doctors and the patient has to pay € 250 per visit.

At best, I managed to schedule a visit to a physiotherapy center, but the surprise was when the medical team informed the patient that his treatment would begin at the best of conditions by the end of 2018, meaning that the patient had to wait more than a year due to the long waiting and advised the patient to take the necessary treatment at his own expense??

Only today, through what I have seen at this conference, I understand why doctors have switched to private treatment rather than health insurance.

EU Is Side By Side With USA at IAEA.

In order to please the USA, European Union Statement on the occasion of the 61st General Conference of the IAEA delivered by Mr Meelis Münt, Vice Minister at Ministry of the Environment ESTONIA concentrated on condemn the DPRK’s latest nuclear test and it’s all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile activities. (Estonia-statement PDF).

Mr Münt said: “The EU strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
DPRK’s latest nuclear test and all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile activities led by the DPRK. Its latest nuclear test, which followed a set of ballistic missile launches, some of which were of intercontinental range, repeatedly and deliberately threaten international peace and security and disrupt the strategic equilibrium in Asia, and beyond. The EU welcomes the unanimous adoption of the UNSC Resolution 2375 on 11 September imposing further sanctions on the DPRK.”

The DPRK is the only State to have conducted nuclear explosive tests in the 21st century, in contravention of several UNSC Resolutions, which interracial on all states to refrain from conducting nuclear test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions represent a threat to international peace and security and undermine the non-proliferation regime, which the EU has steadfastly supported for decades.

We urge DPRK to reverse course and to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, cease immediately all related activities, to return to the NPT, IAEA Safeguards at an early date and to sign and ratify the CTBT.

The EU supports diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means. The EU continues to attach the highest importance to maintaining an essential role for the IAEA in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme. There is therefore an urgent need for agreement on a strong resolution on the DPRK. being adopted by the General Conference.

Egypt changed The Tone Of Its Discourse Towards Israel In IAEA

Why has the tone of the Egyptian discourse changed before the International Atomic Energy Agency? See PDF in Arabic

The tone of the official Egyptian discourse changed toward Israel during the speech delivered by the representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Merkabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, before the 61st session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 18. (Egypt Statement PDF)

The Egyptian minister did not mention Israel in words, and only referred to the existence of one state in the Middle East that refuses to implement the IAEA’s safeguards.

A screen-shot of the Egyptian Minister speech is below.

At the start of the plenary session, Ambassador Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson was elected as President of the 61st IAEA General Conference. Delegates then approved Grenada’s application for IAEA membership.

Director General Yukiya Amano delivered his opening statement in which he reviewed the year’s highlights and defined priorities for the coming year. During the opening session, the General Conference by acclamation approved the re-appointment of the IAEA Director General for a further four year term.

During the first day sessions, the Chinese Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) has pledged to train experts from across Asia in the various peaceful uses of nuclear technology, under an agreement signed today. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 61st General Conference, will strengthen expertise in nuclear energy, nuclear safety and nuclear science and applications.

China has agreed to provide regional training courses and long-term education programmes such as Masters Degrees and PhDs for students from developing countries — including least developed countries and small islands developing states (SIDS) — in the areas of nuclear energy, nuclear safety and security, and nuclear sciences and applications. The training will be delivered under the IAEA technical cooperation programme.

On the other hand, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN and the US Department of Energy Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories will make their research reactors, labs and education and training facilities available to scientists from other countries for training and research and development, representatives of the labs announced at the IAEA General Conference today.

Both institutions received designations as IAEA International Centres based on Research Reactor (ICERR).
“This is an outstanding recognition for Belgium. The nuclear expertise and experience obtained through our research and development support the education and training activities with which we transfer knowledge and skills to current and future generations,” said Eric van Walle, Director General of SCK•CEN. “We are proud to contribute to IAEA’s goal with our unique infrastructure.”

Fedotov: Cryptocurrencies And The Dark Net Are The Unintended Beneficiaries of Globalization

For 20 years, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has been helping countries make the world safer from drugs, organized crime, corruption and terrorism. To do this we have a number of tools on our side, including three international drug control conventions, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on human trafficking, migrant smuggling and firearms, the Convention against Corruption and the universal legal instruments against terrorism. Said Mr. Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) during a special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

He added: “Transnational organized crime groups are exploiting vulnerabilities, crises and enforcement gaps wherever they find them, to expand their reach and diversify their activities. And Terrorism, cybercrime, cryptocurrencies and the dark net are the unintended beneficiaries of globalization.”

Mr. Fedotov noted that globalization had delivered many positive benefits, but the international community was grappling with problems based on asymmetric globalization that had left people behind, undermined trust and created instability. He warned of a growing nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism that encouraged cultural property trafficking and generated funds for terrorists.

He said: “Terrorists have also taken advantage of our interlinked societies and technologies, to operate across borders, to incite and recruit, and to spread violent extremist ideologies online, especially among young people.”

He added: “There is a growing nexus of transnational organized crime and terrorism, with trafficking in cultural property, in collusion with organized crime groups, generating funds for terrorists. Cybercrime has emerged as a truly borderless threat, one that stands alone, and also aids and abets so many other forms of crime. Cryptocurrencies are providing new avenues for moving and laundering criminal proceeds, straining the knowledge and capacities of law enforcement agencies to keep up.”

In his remarks, Mr. Fedotov said: “We also support application of UN standards and norms promoting comprehensive crime prevention strategies and effective, fair and humane criminal justice systems, with a focus on such challenges as violence against women and children.
What these mandates have meant in practice for UNODC, and for the international community more broadly, has evolved in many ways over this time.”

Continue reading: Fedotov: Cryptocurrencies And The Dark Net Are The Unintended Beneficiaries of Globalization

I Still Remember Scenes Of Horror From The World War II

On August 10 2017, I spent a nice week at Steiermark (Styria) in Sternhof (Star Court), among the apple trees, green corn fields, purple flowers, small ponds, long grass disappearing among them, deer, rabbits, birds and wild animals whose heads can be seen looking carefully around to feel safe. I watched the beautiful butterflies dance and fly from flower to another in attractive dances similar to ballet. I saw the farmers riding tractors and plowing the fields in romantic rounds. At night the sky was pretty clear and scattered with bright stars. The aromas of the countryside, scented with manure, were scattered with the airy breeze that reminded me of my presence in the beautiful countryside.

In this beautiful atmosphere, I met and interviewed Erika Swoboda, who in the age of 80 still enjoys the vitality and agility as if she were in her fourth decade. In the morning she practices yoga while listening to faint music and news, and beside her sit two cats watching the sport in great fun, a black cat, colored with little white, and a brown cat.

The story of Erika Swoboda could be simply described as a story of the queen of Austria who did not put a crown on her head inlaid with diamonds, but placed a crown of flowers and sat on the throne of nature in the Austrian province of Steiermark.

In August 1974 Swoboda had abandoned the city life of Vienna and the awful memories of the second world war she witnessed in her childhood in Vienna in search of tranquility between the embracing arms of nature. She began her life and career when pregnant with her daughter Anna together with her young husband Gerhard Swoboda, an actor for theater and television.

But the beautiful nature and continued success of the work did not make Swoboda forget the memories of World War II she experienced in her childhood:

She said: “the worst event was as a bomb hitting next door, and the people who lived there broke from their basement through to ours and fled to our basement full of fear. I can still remember these terrible, frightened faces full of dust! The people who had stayed next door in their flats above had all been buried and died.”

Swoboda often saw the bombs falling near her on her way to the school: She said: “Certainly I often was on the way to school and it happened to be air alert and bombs have been dropped. And for this case i was charged to immediately hide myself under a front door to be safe. And so I was standing there all alone as the bombs fell down and this certainly was a terrible time for me.”

But the tragedies of the Second World War experienced by Swoboda did not affect her love for nature, and the hug wild mulberry tree and jasmine that grows in the yard of the house has a significant positive impact her life, says  Swoboda: “I believe that in this early period of time, in which I was enveloped by fragrance, fruit and leaf, a natural imprint has emerged, to which I owe my present attraction to herbs, roots, and flowers.”

She added: “Only a few years ago I took the scent of childhood back. In front of my house in Styria there are jasmine and sword lilies, and when I look out the window I see a mulberry tree, still small, but at least there are already fruits.”

Despite the relocation of Swoboda to live in Steirmark’s beautiful nature, her memories and relationship in Vienna where she was born and grew up is still close, says Swoboda: “In the Viennese scene, I was at home between Hawelka and Vanilla, befriended by many painters, writers and filmmakers, until the storm of time drove me into one of the then existing land communes.”

She added: “My vision was to live and work with people in a community. This started in Vienna, where I was in several municipalities and ends up to this day at Sternhof, a 250-year-old farmhouse in the middle of South Styria, where I am living since 43 years.”

Continue reading: I Still Remember Scenes Of Horror From The World War II

29.5 million people globally suffer from drug use disorders.

In 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, around 29.5 million people – or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population – were engaged in problematic use and suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence. Opioids were the most harmful drug type and accounted for 70 per cent of the negative health impact associated with drug use disorders worldwide, according to the latest World Drug Report, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Disorders related to the use of amphetamines also account for a considerable share of the global burden of disease. And while the market for new psychoactive substances (NPS) is still relatively small, users are unaware of the content and dosage of psychoactive substances in some NPS. This potentially exposes users to additional serious health risks.

The Report finds that hepatitis C is causing the greatest harm among the estimated 12 million people who inject drugs worldwide. Out of this number, one in eight (1.6 million) is living with HIV and more than half (6.1 million) are living with hepatitis C, while around 1.3 million are suffering from both hepatitis C and HIV. Overall, three times more people who use drugs die from hepatitis C (222,000) than from HIV (60,000). However, the Report stresses that despite recent advances in the treatment of hepatitis C, access remains poor, as treatment remains very expensive in most countries.

This year marks 20 years of the World Drug Report, which comes at a time when the international community has decided to move forward with joint action. UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov highlighted that the outcome document of the 2016 landmark UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem contains more than 100 concrete recommendations to reduce demand and supply, however he acknowledged that more needed to be done.

Continue reading: 29.5 million people globally suffer from drug use disorders.

Military Spending Increased in the US and EU decreased in oil-exporting countries

Total world military expenditure rose to $1686 billion in 2016, an increase of 0.4 per cent in real terms from 2015, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Military spending in North America saw its first annual increase since 2010, while spending in Western Europe grew for the second consecutive year.

World military expenditure rose for a second consecutive year to a total of $1686 billion in 2016—the first consecutive annual increase since 2011 when spending reached its peak of $1699 billion.* Trends and patterns in military expenditure vary considerably between regions. Spending continued to grow in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa. By contrast, spending fell in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East (based on countries for which data is available), South America and sub-Saharan Africa.

The USA’s spending returns to growth; Saudi Arabia’s spending falls significantly

The United States remains the country with the highest annual military expenditure in the world. US military spending grew by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion. Military expenditure by China, which was the second largest spender in 2016, increased by 5.4 per cent to $215 billion, a much lower rate of growth than in previous years. Russia increased its spending by 5.9 per cent in 2016 to $69.2 billion, making it the third largest spender. Saudi Arabia was the third largest spender in 2015 but dropped to fourth position in 2016. Spending by Saudi Arabia fell by 30 per cent in 2016 to $63.7 billion, despite its continued involvement in regional wars. India’s military expenditure grew by 8.5 per cent in 2016 to $55.9 billion, making it the fifth largest spender.

The growth in US military expenditure in 2016 may signal the end of a trend of decreases in spending, which resulted from the economic crisis and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. US spending in 2016 remained 20 per cent lower than its peak in 2010. ‘Despite continuing legal restraints on the overall US budget, increases in military spending were agreed upon by Congress,’ said Dr Aude Fleurant, Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme. ‘Future spending patterns remain uncertain due to the changing political situation in the USA.’

Continue reading: Military Spending Increased in the US and EU decreased in oil-exporting countries

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