Almost 64% of voters in Sunday’s referendum supported tougher restrictions on semi-automatic and automatic weapons, final results show.
Switzerland is not an EU member, but risked removal from the open-border Schengen Area if it had voted “no”.
Nearly 48% of Swiss households own a gun – among the highest rates of private ownership in Europe.
The EU had urged the country to tighten its laws in line with rules adopted by the bloc following the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
The rules restrict semi-automatic and automatic rifles and make it easier to track weapons in national databases.
The EU’s initial proposal sparked criticism in Switzerland, because it meant a ban on the tradition of ex-soldiers keeping their assault rifles.
Swiss officials negotiated concessions, but some gun activists argued that the rules still encroached on citizens’ rights.
What does the result tell us?
Analysis by Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Geneva
Opponents of the new gun laws described them as a diktat from Brussels, being forced on non-EU member Switzerland against its will. The Swiss national identity, with its long tradition of gun ownership, was, they argued, being undermined.
But Sunday’s nationwide referendum shows voters think differently: they have overwhelmingly backed the new gun laws, following their government’s advice.
The Swiss seem keen to co-operate in the EU’s attempts to prevent terror attacks, and to keep their often tricky relations with Brussels as smooth as possible.
Why is the EU concerned about Swiss gun laws?
After the 2015 Paris attacks, the EU issued Schengen members with new restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
The rules called for:
- A ban on weapons capable of rapidly firing multiple rounds
- Automatic and semi-automatic weapons to either be banned or heavily restricted
- Each owner of such a weapon, and the weapon itself, to be known to police across Europe
- All essential weapon components to be clearly labelled and registered electronically
The EU hoped the rules would help to protect people across Europe, and prevent a repeat of the 2015 attacks.
Failure to adopt the changes could have forced Switzerland to leave the Schengen zone and the Dublin joint system for handling asylum requests.
What did Swiss officials say?
The Swiss government urged voters to back the changes.
On this date in 1945.
British Politicians Declare War on Knives
Having failed to thwart crime with gun bans, British officials now want to restrict what may be the most useful tool ever invented.
Next, they’ll want to outlaw rocks and sticks. Stupid is as stupid does.
It turns out that when you pass laws disarming people in an attempt to prevent violence, criminals who habitually disregard all laws don’t make exceptions for the new rules. In London, crime still thrives despite the U.K.’s tight gun controls and the British political class is now desperately turning its attention to restricting knives.
A flurry of recent headlines reveal that London now has a higher murder rate than New York City, a metropolis of nearly identical population and one long considered more vulnerable to crime. “London police investigated more murders than their New York counterparts did over the last two months,” Reuters reported earlier this month. “In the latest bloodshed, a 17-year-old girl died on Monday after she was found with gunshot wounds in Tottenham, north London, a day after a man was fatally stabbed in south London.”
Commentators note that this may be a blip and that New York City’s murder rate for 2017 stood at more than double that for London. In fact, London’s murder rate really hasn’t risen much—instead, New York’s has dropped dramatically. But that stillrepresents a big shift. In her 2002 Guns and Violence: The English Experience, historian Joyce Lee Malcolm noted that “New York City’s homicide rate has been at least five times higher than London’s for two hundred years. For most of that time, there were no serious firearm restrictions in either city.”
New Yorkers didn’t need firearms to exceed the bloodlust of their trans-Atlantic rivals. Even if you removed crimes committed with guns from the comparison, “New Yorkers still managed to outstab and outkick Liverpudlians by a multiple of 3 and Londoners by a multiple of 5.6″ over those two centuries,” wrote the late Eric H. Monkkonen in Murder in New York City, published in 2000.
The mayhem that’s closed London’s homicide gap with its trans-Atlantic rival appears to be largely the result of violent criminal gangs. Firearms are strictly restricted in the U.K., including a near-total ban on handguns. Nevertheless, “[i]n the 12 months to October 2017, there were 2,500 offences involving guns: a 16 per cent increase on the previous year and a 44 per cent increase on 2014,” the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee noted in January. Criminals, it seems, are not averse to committing crimes—including the illegal acquisition of tools that help them commit more crimes.
Besides illegal guns, British criminals also use edged weapons, which have been a favorite tool for mayhem since the dawn of civilization.
Having failed to disarm criminals with gun controls that they defy, British politicians are now turning their attention to implementing something new and different: knife control. Because criminals will be much more respectful of knife laws than of those targeted at firearms, I guess.
“No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law,” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted on April 8.
Not to be outdone, his predecessor, Boris Johnson, currently Foreign Secretary, calledfor increased use of stop-and-search powers by police. “You have got to stop them, you have got to search them and you have got to take the knives out of their possession.”
Poundland (the British equivalent of a dollar store) announced last week that it will no longer sell kitchen knives in any of its 850 stores. Similar stores are being slapped with fines for selling knives to minors.
British politicians propose banning home delivery of knives and police promote street-corner bins for the surrender of knives while also conducting stings against knife vendors. Their goal is to “target not only those who carry and use knives, but also the supply, access and importation of weapons.”
It all sounds all so familiar, doesn’t it? And yet so utterly pointless. If British authorities have been unable to block criminals’ access to firearms—mechanical devices that require some basic mechanical skill to manufacture, or at least a 3D printer—how are they going to cut off the flow of knives, which require nothing more than a piece of hard material that can take an edge?
There are also practical downsides to discouraging the public from possessing knives—one of the oldest and most useful tools ever invented. Poundland, after all, isn’t dropping the sale of combat blades; the company’s move applies specifically to the tools people use to make their meals. The law looks much more likely to inconvenience peaceful people planning to carve a roast than to put off thugs who, push comes to shove, can find a way to sharpen a piece of rebar against a rock.
But Shane, why didn’t their gun control solve their crime problem?
Violent crime across England and Wales has risen by one fifth in one year, the latest figures show.
The new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in the year ending December 2018 violent crime rose by almost a fifth — 19-per-cent — with 1.6 million incidents reported, compared to 1.35 million the year before.
If it had only been a singular incident involving a Catholic church in France the burning of one of the most well known human monuments to all of Christianity could be understandably classified as an unfortunate accident during recent renovation work. Given that more than a thousand French churches across the country have been vandalized in recent years, though, more and more French (and others) are wondering if the Notre Dame fire wasn’t something far more sinister.
Just released video of what appears to be someone moving inside the cathedral followed by a flash of light allegedly right before the fire started will do nothing to lessen those suspicions. If this was an act of vandalism and not an accident then hopefully the perpetrator(s) will soon be caught and brought to justice
In what some might ascribe to a holy week miracle, the interior of Notre Dame was miraculously saved last night by the more than 400 firefighters worker to suppress a devastating fire that destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old cathedral, as well as its iconic spire. In a speech delivered shortly before midnight, French President Emmanuel Macron implored the French people to join a national fundraising campaign to repair the damage, and at least one of the country’s wealthiest men has already obliged.
French billionaire François-Henri Pinault said Monday night that he and his family would donate €100 million ($113 million) to the rebuilding effort. Pinault, who is chairman of Kerring group, the luxury goods powerhouse behind Gucci, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent, said the money would come from his family’s investment firm, Artemis.
In a statement, the billionaire, who is married to actress Selma Hayek, said he hopes that the money will help the Catholic Church “completely rebuild Notre Dame.”
“My father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artemis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame,” he said.
Russia’s military ‘might’ was only ever in its nuclear capability, and even that was severely overestimated.
I think the only reason they were ever classed as a ‘SuperPower’™ was because they had been played into using their ground forces as cannon-fodder to bleed the Wehrmacht and that was a significant part in defeating the Nazis in WW2 and they had a bunch of leftist sycophants in the U.S. government at the time.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier which was built during the Soviet-era, was severely damaged last October when the massive Swedish-built PD-50 dry dock at the 82nd Repair Shipyard in Roslyakovo sank with the carrier on board.
The carrier was undergoing an extensive overhaul at the time of the incident.
While the ship was able to pull away from the sinking dry dock, it did not escape unscathed. A heavy crane fell on the vessel, punching a large gash in the hull and deck.
As is, the Kuznetsov is almost always accompanied by tug boats, preparation for practically inevitable problems.
The ship is rarely seen at sea. Between 1991 and 2015, the Kuznetsov, sometimes described as one of the worst carriers in the world, set sail on patrol only six times, and on a 2016 mission in Syria, the carrier saw the loss of two onboard fighter jets in just three weeks.
The U.K. government agency in charge of immigration has come under fire for denying political asylum to an Iranian convert to Christianity and explaining its decision on its contention that the religion is not peaceful. The Iranian man had said in his asylum petition that he converted to Christianity because it was a “peaceful” religion.
Meanwhile, the UK welcomed 400 ISIS fighters back home into the country in 2017.
Thousands of Isis fighters have already returned to their home countries amid confusion over the number of foreign jihadis remaining in the dwindling caliphate, a new report has found.
Research by The Soufan Centre estimated that at least 425 British Isis members have so far returned to the UK – the largest cohort in Europe.
But there are fears many have “disappeared” from the view of security services, who will not publicly confirm how many returnees have been jailed or are being tracked.
Gokmen Tanis has been arrested after three people were killed and five wounded, some seriously, in a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht.
When they released him before, did they keep track of him? Clearly the answer is no. And why not? Because there are just too many possible or potential jihadis for authorities to keep track of them all. And that is an Islamic State strategy: they are endeavoring to overload intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the West, and cause them to collapse. They’re well on their way to success.
LONDON (Reuters) – Two teenagers were killed in knife attacks in Britain over the weekend, bringing the number of people killed in stabbings this year to at least 24 and pushing the bloodshed to the forefront of national concern.
It’s not the weapons that are available.
It’s the so-called “diversity” in a given society.
Diversity is only good when it is integrated into a given society. As soon as that “diversity” instead fragments off and defines itself with hyphenated national interest (e.g. “Black American”) or worse, partitions itself off to the best of its ability (witness Sweden’s, France’s and England’s “no-go” areas) serious criminal activity including sexual assaults and murders skyrockets.
Because those who partition off refuse to consider the others as human equals.
This is the same process that nations intentionally engage in when they go to war. We called various “enemies” during wartime “Nips”, “Gooks” and similar all for the purpose of attempting to define them as less than human because if a military member hesitated at shooting such a person and they were an enemy combatant they were going to be the ones who got shot. The Nazis did the same thing with Jewish people — and so has basically every other nation that has ever gone to war.
But if that sort of crap invades your nation through “diversity” in immigration or you allow it to develop among the people in your country already through so-called “social justice” politics then youget raped, shot, stabbed, poisoned (with drugs) or robbed because to the person doing it you’re less than human.
It’s no more complicated than that.
The bottom line is that as soon as I can identify the “diversity” as a separate block of people it’s somewhere between bad and suicidal to the society in question.
There will always be crimes of passion and the criminally insane. But both are a tiny percentage of the population. As soon as you “open the door” to those who you do not insist assimilate fully into your society — that is, not requiring those who come to the US to become fully American including learning the English language, adopting our Constitutional principles as written and being in-line with the existing values of the people already here you are guaranteed a skyrocketing rate of serious criminal offenses.
That ought to calm down Gilet Jaune protestors…not.
Does Macron actually think permanently revoking someone’s fundamental right of free speech for saying something the liberal establishment does not like would really work, or is he just stupid?
I know, I know; mighty power of “and”.
Globalist President Emmanuel Macron is flirtingwith more anti-free speech measures.
At an annual dinner, Macron put forward the idea of permanently banning those convicted of so-called “hate speech” crimes from all social media.
Broadcaster BFMTV reports that a bill fighting hate speech online will be filed around May.
This proposal to put the clamps on Internet speech coincides with the ear-piercing levels of criticism Macron is facing throughout the anti-government Yellow Vest protest. The French government has brought down the hammer on the Yellow Vest protestors, arresting approximately 8,400 protestors in a span of a few months.
Looks like they ran out of ‘other people’s money’. Cue Margaret Thatcher
The crew of Venezuelan oil tanker, the Rio Arauca, that has been stuck in the middle of the river Tagus in Lisbon for nearly two years due to unpaid debt, is set to be dismissed, managers Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) said on Thursday.
BSM also said in a statement sent to Reuters another Venezuelan tanker, the Parnaso, which is in dry dock at the port of Setubal, south of Lisbon, will also have its crew removed later this week due to a lack of payment from owners PDV Marina, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.
Lisbon’s maritime court ruled to take possession of the Parnaso last August. Both vessels are under BSM management.
PDVSA had no immediate comment on the issue.
On this day in 1943, the last remaining holdouts of the German army fighting in an around Stalingrad since late August 1942, surrendered to the soviets.
Casualties were heavy on both sides; 600,000 Germans & their allies; over 1,100,000 Soviets.
Oooh, that’s certainly hardball.
Britain rejected Venezuela’s request to withdraw $1.2bn in gold stored in the UK, according to reports. It was enough for the self-declared and US-backed ‘president’, Juan Guaido, to support the alleged move.
The Bank of England blocked Venezuela’s attempts to retrieve $1.2 billion worth of gold stored as the nation’s foreign reserves in Britain, sources told Bloomberg on Friday.
According to the media outlet, officials in Caracas have for weeks been trying to withdraw the gold, with Calixto Ortega, the head of Venezuela’s central bank, traveling to London in mid-December to seek access to the nation’s assets.
Hear about this much in the U.S. ‘press’?
Violence erupted in France for the 11th Saturday in a row today as thousands of so-called Yellow Vest protestors demonstrated against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
It came two days after the head of state had accused British politicians of ‘tearing society apart’ by allowing a Brexit referendum in Britain, but today the chants in his own country were for his resignation.
The worst early violence was in Paris, and in northern towns including Evreux and Rouen, in Normandy, where tear gas and baton charges were used by police to restore order.
Remember, one was also arrested in Canada by our request.
This is not unusual in the world of espionage.
In the IC – the Intelligence Community – this used to be called ‘Non Official Cover’. Now, for obvious reasons, it’s called ‘Commercial Cover’. The spy masquerades as an employee of a (most of the time) actual legitimate private company. Of course, in China, any and all international businesses are to be considered state owned and thus nothing more than a spy ring that happens to have a commercial enterprise as a sideline.
For years, Washington has labeled Huawei a national security threat, saying it could be forced by China to use its knowledge of the telecommunications equipment it sells around the world to tap into, or disable, foreign communications networks. Huawei has denied that forcefully through the years. Part of its defense has been that it hadn’t been implicated in overseas spying allegations.
Officers of Poland’s counterintelligence agency this week searched the local Huawei office, leaving with documents and electronic data, as well as the home of the Chinese national, said Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s security coordination office. The Chinese individual wasn’t named, but was identified by Polish state television as a graduate of one of China’s top intelligence schools, as well as a former employee of the Chinese consulate in the port city of Gdansk.
People familiar with the matter identified him as Weijing Wang. He is known in Poland as Stanislaw Wang, according to these people and a public LinkedIn page that matches his biographical details.
A person who knew Mr. Wang described him as a well-known figure in local business circles, often spotted at events sponsored by Huawei in Poland. “He spoke great Polish,” this person said. “He was a really well-known Chinese guy in Poland and was always around.”
“So the only people you’ve stopped from having guns are the ones who don’t commit crimes. Keep thinking. You’re ALMOST to a conclusion.”
Police and border officials are struggling to stop a rising supply of illegal firearms being smuggled into Britain, a senior police chief has warned.
Chief constable Andy Cooke, the national police lead for serious and organised crime, said law enforcement had seen an increased supply of guns over the past year, and feared that it would continue in 2019.
The Guardian has learned that the situation is so serious that the National Crime Agency has taken the rare step of using its legal powers to direct every single police force to step up the fight against illegal guns.
The NCA has used tasking powers to direct greater intelligence about firearms to be gathered by all 43 forces in England and Wales.
Another senior law enforcement official said that “new and clean” weapons were now being used in the majority of shootings, as opposed to guns once being so difficult to obtain that they would be “rented out” to be used in multiple crimes.
Cooke, the Merseyside chief constable, told the Guardian: “We in law enforcement expect the rise in new firearms to continue. We are doing all we can. We are not in a position to stop it anytime soon.
“Law enforcement is more joined up now than before, but the scale of the problem is such that despite a number of excellent firearms seizures, I expect the rise in supply to be a continuing issue.”
The increasing supply of guns belies problems with UK border security and innovations by organised crime gangs. Smugglers have increasingly found new ways and innovative routes to get guns past border defences.
Cooke said more are coming in from eastern Europe and the western Balkans and also component pieces are being smuggled in via the fast parcel system, hidden among a growth in packages because of the explosion of internet shopping.
Guns are being bought on the dark web and the UK is also seeing weapons designed for sports shooting being smuggled in, as well as blank firing weapons bought for just £100 being converted in the UK. Criminals have also obtained high end automatic weapons such as an AK47.
Cooke said that the dynamics of the streets of British cities had changed and that criminals were more willing to use guns: “If they bring them in people will buy them. It’s a kudos thing for organised criminals.”
He said said one factor was a reduction in police proactive work because of government budget cuts leading to big falls in officer numbers: “The ability of law enforcement to respond to this rise in the criminal use of firearms has been hampered by the large reduction in police officers and the resultant diminishing of proactive capability to keep these criminals on the back foot.”
Simon Brough, head of firearms at the NCA, said: “The majority of guns being used are new, clean firearms … which indicates a relatively fluid supply.”
He said shotguns were 40% of the total, with an increase in burglaries to try and steal them. Handguns are the next biggest category, most often smuggled in from overseas, with ferry ports such as Dover being a popular entry point into the UK for organised crime groups: “We’re doing a lot to fight back against it,” Brough said, adding that compared to other European countries, the availability in the UK was relatively lower.
Gun crime has been rising and the last set of official figures about recorded firearms offences, showing a 5% fall to 6,362 in the year ending June 2018, is seen as a blip against a trend of rising gun offences. Statistics released earlier in 2018 had shown gun crime up 11% in 2017/18, and in the same period, the Metropolitan police said discharges of lethal barrelled firearms rose by 23%. Compared to 2015/16, there has been a 67% increase in the capital alone.
The German government is considering a new “mosque tax” for the German Muslim community to pay for its own mosques rather than rely on foreign funding.
Similar to the church tax, the proposal is backed by Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentary group vice-president Thorsten Frei who argued that a tax would allow Muslims in Germany to break free of foreign influences, Die Welt reports.
Looks to be gaining steam
The British Yellow Vests who brought Central London to a halt Friday with a flash protest have told Politicalite they plan to bring even more cities to a standstill.
The group which was made up of around 60 protesters stopped traffic and demanded action this morning on Westminster Bridge chanting: “What do we want? Brexit! When do we want it? NOW!” before Met Police arrived.
Outraged by the rising cost of living and price hikes on basic services, Israeli citizens who were inspired by the French Yellow Vest movement took to the streets of Tel Aviv demanding concessions from the government.
Wearing bright fluorescent yellow vests, symbolic of the French grassroots movement, some 600 Israeli activists blocked the Azrieli intersection and adjacent roads in the city center, accusing the government of “robbing” the people.
Now this a bold statement to be sure. No beating around the bush.
Political leaders in Czech Republic have previously condemned Islam in strong terms. Now, politicians in the Czech Parliament are discussing the complete ban of the religion.
If someone calls for the killing of infidels and Jews, then it is not a religion of peace, saysMP Jiri Kobza.
What's worse is that according to the woke and Macron himself this same broke France has got to find terrabucks to stop global warming and simultaneously cut back on destructive economic activity to save the planet. Where's the money going to come from?
— wretchardthecat (@wretchardthecat) December 11, 2018
Italy proposes a vehicle sales tax to subsidize electric vehicles. Let’s see; in Italian “Mouvement des gilets jaunes” (Yellow Vest Movement) is “Movimento dei giubbotti gialli”
Italy to impose $3,400 carbon tax on gas/diesel-powered cars to help subsidize electric car junk.
Do Italians not have the Internet? https://t.co/pySycZPUh6
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) December 5, 2018
Appears they have a plan.
In Slovakia, only 6.2 per cent of its citizens reported crime, violence or vandalism in 2017, according to data from the Eurostat statistics office survey which is part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 16) strategy.
The safest countries in the European Union are in order:
Croatia, with only 3 per cent of Croatians reporting crime, violence or vandalism in 2017. Poland, having only 5.4 per cent and third, again, Slovakia, with 6.2 per cent.
Slovakia has accepted very few refugees or migrants during the European migrant crisis and has no problems concerning terror, no-go zones or sex crimes.
The EU average is 11.6 per cent, CTK newswire reports, with Bulgaria bottoming out the list with 23.6 per cent of Bulgarians reporting crime, violence or vandalism. As high as that is, it has actually been dropping over the past three years since it peaked at a record 28.6 per cent in 2009.