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News from Austria

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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:56 am

He may have been distracted by a cellphone or something, LL. Cellphone addicts are aware of nothing else.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:11 am

bb1 wrote:He may have been distracted by a cellphone or something, LL. Cellphone addicts are aware of nothing else.
As soon as he stepped over the line into the no-go area he would have been told in no uncertain terms to move back into the safe area. If he ignored it then security would have been alerted and he would have been arrested - 100 Euros is the basic fine, rising steeply if the warning is ignored. As Grillgasse/Semmering is in Vienna the system is on 24/7. He was living in Austria so he would have known about this system. We can only surmise what happened. LL
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:08 am

Turkey's Erdogan 'not welcome' to campaign in Austria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is "not welcome" to hold campaign events in Austria ahead of April's referendum on strengthening his powers, the foreign minister in Vienna said on Monday.

Sebastian Kurz said that Erdogan campaigning over the controversial referendum would "increase friction" in Austria and "hinder the integration" of the country's 360,000-strong Turkish origin minority, which includes 117,000 Turkish citizens.

"Campaign events are not welcome. Of course the Turkish president, like other senior politicians, can make bilateral visits to Europe and Austria for talks with top officials," said Kurz.

"But we clearly reject bringing the Turkish campaign and polarisation to Austria," Kurz was quoted as saying in a foreign ministry statement.

The ministry said Erdogan's previous visits to Austria and also Germany had created "tensions" between his supporters and Turks of Kurdish origin, which have increased since July's attempted coup.

It quoted Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who himself hold a rally in the German city of Oberhausen on February 18th, as saying that Erdogan planned to campaign in European Union countries.

The April 16th vote will see Turks vote on whether to change the current parliamentary system into an executive presidency. Erdogan's government says that this will enhance political stability.

But opponents fear that the touted new system -- which would discard the post of prime minister for the first time in Turkey's history -- would cement one-man rule under Erdogan.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:10 am

16 police officers hunt 'escaped lion' at Schönbrunn.

Austrian police locked down the grounds of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace on Monday morning, after a jogger told them he’d spotted a lion which he believed must have escaped from the zoo.

16 police officers responded to the call at around 7.30am, shutting down the palace gardens and searching the area. However, the hunt was called off shortly afterwards when it was established that all the zoo’s big cats were safely in their enclosures.

"The zoo's employees counted all the big cats, and none were missing,” police spokesman Paul Eidenberger told the Heute newspaper. A spokeswoman for Schönbrunn Zoo, Johanna Bukovsky, confirmed that this was the case: "We realised very quickly that this was a false alarm, as our employees were able to check all the enclosures.”

It's not clear if the jogger pulled an ill-advised hoax, or perhaps just needs his eyes testing.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:30 am

I would have thought lions were pretty distinctive...

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:45 pm

Pensioner arrested after trying to electrocute his wife.

A 74-year-old man from Upper Austria has been arrested on suspicion of trying to murder his wife on two occasions last year by giving her electric shocks.

The pensioner is now being held in police custody in Steyr.

In January 2016 the man is accused of holding a live cable against his 64-year-old wife’s armpits, Andreas Pechatschek, a spokesman for the prosecutor said on Monday. She was later treated for electrical burns to her skin by a doctor. In February a similar incident occurred. On both occasions she did not report her husband to the police.

A few months later the police received an anonymous tip-off that the man had tried to murder his wife, and they began to investigate the incidents.

Two court appointed experts concluded that holding a live cable against someone’s damp armpits could in fact kill them - which was enough to secure an arrest warrant for the man.

Police say that the 74-year-old said the first incident was an accident, and denied having tried the same thing a second time.

The woman has since separated from her husband and left the family home. She told police that when her husband tried to electrocute her she was standing in the bathroom with her back to him.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:54 pm

Police say that the 74-year-old said the first incident was an accident

I can't think of a single way anyone could do that 'accidentally'.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:09 pm

Well I can think of something even more unlikely......killing yourself with 4 axe hits to the head. Pcorneater
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:47 pm

Turkish suspect identified in Vienna airport cyber attack.

An investigation into a failed cyber attack on Vienna airport has found that the main suspect is based in the US.

Hackers attempted to bring down the airport's computer servers in September last year, but were prevented from doing so. They did however manage to infect many of the computers with malicious software.

The Kurier newspaper reports that Austria's military secret service has traced the attack back to a Turkish man living in the US state of Kentucky. Arslan A., also known as Osman T. or General Osman, has a military background in Turkey.

Photos posted on social media appear to show him wearing the uniform of a Turkish paratrooper, carrying out exercises at a Turkish military training ground. He has also worked as a cyber security specialist.

In a tweet last September, the hacker group “Aslan Neferler Tim” or “Lion Soldiers Team” says it launched the attack in response to the “racism” of airport authorities.

It was referring to the refusal of Austrian officials to issue a group of Turkish nationals emergency visas that would have allowed them to leave the airport and stay the night in a hotel after their flight was grounded for technical reasons

Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundböck confirmed that a suspect is now under observation, but would not go into further details. "This is an ongoing, long-term investigation… and we don’t have a date for when we will make the result of the investigation public,” he said.

Diplomatic relations between Austria and Turkey took a downward turn last year after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz warning he will stop any move that brings Turkey closer to joining the European Union.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:13 pm

The world is full of dangerous crazies these days.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:53 pm

Turkey angry after Erdogan is told he can't campaign in Austria.

Turkey has slammed Austria's "double standard" and "irresponsible" approach to potential campaigning by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the EU member state ahead of April's referendum.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Erdogan is "not welcome" to hold campaign events, adding that it would "increase friction" in Austria and prevent the integration of a 360,000-strong minority of Turkish origin.

"We do not accept those irresponsible comments that exceed their limits and the distorted mentality," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said in a statement late on Monday.

Kurz's comments are a "new example of a biased and double standard approach", he added.

Turkey will hold an April 16th referendum on changing the constitution to give Erdogan an executive presidency along the lines of that in France or in the United States.

The Turkish government says the changes would bring stability while opponents fear it would hugely boost Erdogan's powers and drag Turkey into one-man rule.

Speaking in Vienna on Monday, Kurz said his government was clearly against bringing the "the Turkish campaign and (the resulting) polarisation to Austria" in remarks deemed as "worrying" by the Turkish foreign ministry.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:19 pm

Well, he's not short of cheek if he thinks he can throw his weight around in someone else's country...good for Austria, telling him to get lost.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:00 pm

I second that. Does he intend on spreading his Caliphate to Austria in the future?
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:15 pm

Wouldn't be the first time it's been tried.....


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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:18 pm

lily wrote:I second that.  Does he intend on spreading his Caliphate to Austria in the future?
Not a chance. Austria, like Hungary, has a large Turkish minority and neither country has had any problems with them. The concierge of my property in Vienna has worked for my family for many years, we vouched for them when they applied for Austrian citizenship. I hope to heaven the status quo stays as it is. LL
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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:09 pm

I totally understand and trust it will never happen (at least in your lifetime). hug
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:58 pm

Europe's trend: Austria, once open, now shows migrants door.

VIENNA (AP) March 05, 2017 — Austria was among the first countries in Europe to put out the welcome mat when waves of people fleeing war and poverty reached the continent. Now, its focus is showing them the door. Parliament is set to pass a law stripping pocket money, food and shelter from those denied asylum, potentially leaving them on the street. The interior minister proudly touts figures showing Austria as the European Union's per-capita leader in expelling those rejected.

Austrian courts are toughening up too. On Thursday, eight Iraqi men were sent to prison for up to 13 years for the gang rape of a German woman on New Year's Eve more than a year ago. Lawyer Andreas Reichenbach, who defended one of the men, said the stiff sentences were a signal to migrants that "when they come to Austria, that such behavior won't be tolerated."

The pro-migrant attitudes that once led thousands of Austrian volunteers to turn out with food, shelter and advice to the first asylum-seekers are still heard some places, but they appear outnumbered.

"We have to keep welcoming those who have nowhere else to go," said Marlis Bosch. "We in Austria have more than enough to share." A survey of 10 EU member countries last month showed 65 percent of the 1,000 Austrian respondents favored stopping all immigration from Muslim nations. Only Poles scored higher — at 71 percent — on Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs survey. But anti-migrant sentiment in Poland has been fueled by the government. Not so in Austria.

Former Chancellor Werner Faymann urged Austrians to deal generously with migrants as late as fall 2015, even as his government worked to secure its borders. But he was forced out last year after migrant policies threatened to tear apart his government coalition after he took a harder line.

His successor, Christian Kern, has found little choice but to stay tough — or risk boosting the right-wing Freedom Party and its message that migrants are overwhelmingly behind the kind of crimes the eight Iraqis were convicted of Thursday.

Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer, who advocates a tough line on migrants, was narrowly defeated in December in Austria's presidential election. Polls continue to show his populist party with the most voter support.

But Kern's Social Democrats have almost caught up since he took office less than nine months ago and continued hardening the country's migrant policies. Also gaining support on a tougher migrant stance is the centrist People's Party, the Social Democrats' coalition partner. Party member Sebastian Kurz, Austria's foreign minister, is advocating setting up North African holding camps for would-be emigres from there.

The Austrian government plans to stop all support for those whose asylum requests have been rejected — including meals, shelter and a monthly allowance of 40 euros (about $40). If Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka has his way, those refusing to leave will also pay high fines and end up in compounds until they are forcibly deported.

The coalition's majority in parliament means that approval of the draft law is virtually certain. Still, some members of Kern's Social Democratic party have joined with human rights advocates who say its passage could lead to increased misery for thousands and a possible rise in crime.

"Families with children, or the sick, all could end up on the street from one day or the other," warns Christoph Pinter of the U.N. refugee organization UNHCR. Sobotka shrugs, reflecting Austria's sharp about-turn on migrants.

"Who is contravening the law — me or those who do not leave the country?" he asked reporters. "My responsibility is enforcing the law."
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:04 pm

Good for Austria! IMO, the whole concept of 'asylum' has been degraded over recent years, and why this idea took hold that 'refugees' could just walk into any Western nation they felt like and demand to be fed and housed, I do not know.

In 1945, continental Europe was filled with real refugees who had survived utter horror; Europe would never have been rebuilt if those refugees had thought like this lot.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:10 am

Austria calls for EU-wide ban on Turkish campaign events.

Turkish politicians should be banned from political campaigning across the European Union, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said Sunday.

"A collective EU response to prevent such campaign events would make sense so that individual countries like Germany where appearances are forbidden don't end up being pressured by Turkey," Kern told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Ankara is wooing voters among Germany's three-million-strong population of Turkish origin - the largest outside Turkey -- to support expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers in an April 16 referendum.

Several German towns prevented appearances by Erdogan's ministers last week, citing security and safety concerns.

The cancellations have angered the Turkish government, which accused Berlin of seeking to undermine its referendum campaign.

Defying local authorities' block on a referendum rally, economy minister Nihat Zeybekci is to speak Sunday at two private events organised by Turkish groups in Cologne and nearby Leverkusen.

Berlin would "certainly not end our criticism of developments in Turkey, "German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday in a guest article for newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Gabriel insisted Germany would stand up for the rule of law, freedom of opinion, human rights and democracy.

And he rejected Turkey's arrest of Die Welt newspaper journalist Deniz Yucel last Monday on terror charges as "wrong and disproportionate".

But "along with all the necessary criticism, we won't fall for those who want to vent their political spleen on Turkish-German relations," Gabriel went on.

"The German-Turkish friendship is deeper than the diplomatic tensions we're living through now."
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:47 am

That'll be Austria getting called 'fascists' by the dictator, then.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:59 am

Austria fumes at Hungary's Kremlin-backed nuclear plant.

EU authorities on Monday approved a controversial nuclear expansion project in Hungary that is heavily backed by Russia.

The approval removes the last roadblock to the €12.5 billion ($13.2 billion) expansion of Hungary's only nuclear facility, which Russia is financing by 80 percent even as tensions between Europe and the Kremlin run high.

The European Commission "has approved this support under EU state aid rules on the basis of commitments made by Hungary to limit distortions of competition," said a statement.

Construction of the two 1,200 megawatt reactors at the Paks plant outside Budapest is considered a strategic project by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a close ally of Russia's.

EU authorities were under pressure to take a close look at the deal amid fears the Kremlin was using it to meddle further with the bloc's sensitive energy sector.

Fiercely anti-nuclear Austria denounced the decision and threatened to take the case to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg.

http://www.thelocal.at/20170307/austria-fumes-at-hungary-kremlin-backed-nuclear-plant
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:01 am

Austrian energy group OMV snaps up stake in Russian gas field.

Austria's OMV said that it is buying a 24.99-percent stake in one of Russia's biggest gas fields for $1.85 billion.

The Yuzhno-Russkoye field in western Siberia produces 25 billion cubic metres per year, OMV said late on Sunday.

"The gas produced there is the key resource for the Nord Stream pipeline transporting Russian gas straight to Germany," OMV said in a statement.

OMV is buying the stake from Uniper, a unit of Germany's EON. Russia's Gazprom is the biggest shareholder in the gas field with 40 percent.

The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, provided it receives the necessary regulatory approvals, OMV said.

OMV and Gazprom are deepening ties as Russia intensifies cooperation with its old partners in western Europe amid international sanctions over Ukraine.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:39 pm

Securing Europe's gas supply is very sensible, IMO - great principles tend to go out the window when the power goes off.

I've actually got nothing against nuclear power in itself; to me, the problem is that when things go wrong, it's catastrophic and not just inconvenient. It's a tricky one.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:48 pm

Police call off pro-Erdogan rally in Austrian town over 'disorder' fears.
10 March 2017

An Austrian town on Friday banned a rally which a senior official from Turkey's ruling AKP party was set to attend, in a growing international row over the country's referendum campaign.

The gathering was due to take place in the western Austrian town of Hörbranz but police said it was called off over "risks of public disorder" ahead of Turkey's controversial April 16th referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.

Turkish ministers have been heading to Europe to whip up support for a "yes" vote among millions of Turkey's voters who live abroad. Some 360,000 people of Turkish origin call Austria home, including 117,00 Turkish citizens.

But the ministers have been sparring with governments -- especially Germany's -- after a string of their events were cancelled by local authorities, ostensibly for logistical reasons.

Experts from rights watchdog Council of Europe's independent Venice Commission said on Friday the proposed changes to the Turkish constitution were a "dangerous step backwards" for democracy.

Erdogan has angrily compared the cancellations of events in Germany linked to the referendum campaign to "Nazi practices", drawing sharp criticism from Berlin.

Friday's event in Austria was billed as a "book presentation" attended by former Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz, but police said organisers were in reality planning a "political rally" gathering some 400 people.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Friday urged Ankara "not to export domestic politics to Austria".

"This hinders integration in Austria," he said in a statement.

Local officials have also called for a Turkish gathering due to take place Saturday evening in the northern town of Linz, attended by AKP lawmaker Muhammet Mufit Aydin, to be banned.

Ties with Ankara have been strained over the crackdown that followed last July's attempted coup against Erdogan.

Austria's ruling coalition has been divided for several days over a possible bill to ban all foreign politicians from campaigning on national territory.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:52 pm

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Friday urged Ankara "not to export domestic politics to Austria".

That's exactly what Erdogan's doing, but I doubt if he will pay any attention.

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