Tag Archives: Austria

H&M Finally, Officially Launches Ecommerce in the United States

By Justin Fenner

Late Wednesday night, H&M made an announcement that’s been a long time coming: customers in the US can now shop online – which means shopping the brand’s upcoming Isabel Marant collaboration is going to be that much easier. The much anticipated collection will officially be the first of H&M’s collaborations to be sold online in the US.

“It’s finally here!” the Swedish retailer wrote in a Facebook post. “Our US online store is officially open in all 50 states. Great fashion is now just a click away!” Around the same time, the brand’s US Twitter account asked its followers, “Who’s ready to shop online?”

H&M said just a few weeks ago that it would be launching ecommerce Stateside in August, but that announcement came after a years-long cycle of repeated promises and delays. After its much-lauded collaboration with Lanvin, H&M said it would launch ecommerce at the end of 2011. Then, in 2012, the brand said in a financial statement that it would have to push the launch back to Summer 2013.

There were rumors that the ecommerce would launch this June, but those turned out to be false.

But none of that matters now: The “Choose Region” page that greets the site’s users now features a little shopping bag next to the link for the US site. The United States joins Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden (of course), and the United Kingdom on the list of countries that can shop H&M’s website.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at fashionologie

Is The FBI Becoming A Three Stooges Act?

By Harvey Silverglate, Contributor

A man calls a brokerage firm to say he is the Chief Operating Officer of Magnolia International Bank and Trust (MIBT). He assures the broker he speaks to that MIBT is not the Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology, as a Google search returns, but the central bank for scores of Native American governments, including the Yamasee tribe, which the man on the phone says is a nation worth trillions of dollars, but which Wikipedia says ceased to exist in the 18th Century. The man requests that the brokerage firm lend him a sum total of $3 billion to build an oil pipeline across Siberia. He offers $5 billion in US Treasury notes as collateral, which he says will yield a 171% return, and sends a copy of the supposed T-notes in Word Pad form from an AOL account. The T-notes are assigned to the “Great Siberian Pipeline Company,” allegedly a “Republic of Wyoming Corporation,” but the caller claims he cannot produce the print notes, as they are hidden in Austria. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Report: Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy?

By Brandon Turkus

2011 Indian Grand Prix first corner

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BBC Sport is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss and indicted briber, has said the Indian Grand Prix will “probably not” happen in 2014. The race, which takes place at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit, is in danger due to a combination of reasons, including Ecclestone’s desire to move India from its current slot in October to the beginning of the season, in March or April.

According to the BBC, this is to accommodate a schedule envisioned by Ecclestone that adds races in Austria, New Jersey and Russia, in addition to the current 19-race calendar. Why the shuffle, though? The teams aren’t too excited about a longer season, and Ecclestone is hoping that by moving India to the start of the season, with China, Malaysia and the season opener in Australia, he can knock out four of the seven Asia-Pacific-region races in one fell swoop.

This poses a problem for India, though, as it’d be forced to run a race in October of 2014 and then do the whole thing over again in six or seven months. According to the head of India’s motorsports federation, Vicky Chandhok, that doesn’t give the country enough recovery time, with Chandhok going so far as to say the early season date “would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources.”

There’s also a dustup over India’s import tax, that could hamper this year’s race. The Indian government is attempting to tax teams on their Indian earnings rather than on their profits, which would result in teams having to paying considerably more in taxes.

2013 marks only the third F1 race at the Buddh Circuit. But if Bernie doesn’t get his way, and the tax issues aren’t sorted, the track could go the way of Turkey’s Istanbul Park, another circuit built solely to attract F1, that lasted a mere six seasons before being dropped from the calendar.

Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Austrian flap over bell dedicated to Hitler

By hnn

VIENNA (AP) — Like many others in Austria’s countryside, a tower bell above the red-tiled rooftops of Wolfpassing village marks the passing of each hour with an unspectacular “bong.” But this bell is unique: It is embossed with a swastika and praise to Adolf Hitler.

And unlike more visible remnants of the Nazi era, the bell was apparently overlooked by official Austria up to now.

Ensconced in the belfry of an ancient castle where it was mounted by fans of the Nazi dictator in 1939, the bell has tolled on for nearly 80 years. It survived the defeat of Hitler’s Germany, a decade of post-war Soviet occupation that saw Red Army soldiers lodge in the castle and more recent efforts by Austria’s government to acknowledge the country’s complicity in crimes of that era and make amends….

SF Gate

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at History News Network – George Mason University

'Hitler' Bell Still Rings Hourly

By Ruth Brown

For 80 years, a large bell in an ancient castle in the sleepy village of Wolfpassing, Austria, has rung every hour. Charming—except the bell is a monument to Adolf Hitler, complete with a swastika and inscribed with praise for the “unifier and Fuehrer of all Germans.” Even during the… …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Newser – Great Finds

Blatter pushes for 2022 World Cup in winter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will push for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be moved to the winter after getting a personal taste of the Middle East’s blast furnace climate.

There has been widespread concern over the health dangers posed by staging the tournament in the Gulf in June and July where temperatures rocket to 50 degrees (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

Blatter insisted on Wednesday that he will push to have the World Cup moved despite the effects it could have on domestic leagues when the FIFA Executive Committee meets in October.

“The Executive Committee will certainly follow me,” Blatter was quoted by AFP subsidiary, SID, as telling a two-day sports conference in Austria.

Blatter said that a recent visit to Jordan and the Palestinian Territories had brought home the dangers of the intense heat.

He expressed his fears despite the Qataris’ ambitious plans to build air-conditioned arenas.

“It is clear that you cannot play in this heat in the summer and we have to consider the players,” he said.

“It is certainly possible to cool a stadium, but not an entire country. That’s why we need to have courage in the Executive Committee and to create awareness among the leagues that we need to change something.”

Qatar plans to spend around ??65 billion ($101 billion, 76 billion euros) on infrastructure projects, including building new high-tech stadiums, which the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said would likely cost $4-5 billion.

Average temperatures in Qatar are markedly cooler in December, with highs of 24C and lows of 15C.

In June this year, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino added his weight to calls for the 2022 World Cup to be staged later in the year.

“I fully share the view that you have to play in the best period for football; that is not June or July in Qatar. This is an issue that FIFA has to sort out,” he said.

“The sooner they do it, the better. The decision for 2022 was taken in 2010, so in 12 years you can organise yourself.”

Qatar has already said it was ready to host the World Cup in summer or in winter.

“Various figures from the world of football have raised preferences for hosting in the winter,” the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement earlier this year.

“We are ready to host the World Cup in summer or winter. Our planning isn’t affected either way.”

The committee said it planned to provide air-conditioning in stadiums, training area and public zones, and would do so with renewable energy.

“We will forge ahead with implementing and developing this technology. Our commitment to this is grounded in the legacy it will offer for Qatar and countries with similar climates.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

No smoke without fire: grim signs of war in S. Sudan

From the air, the vast lands of South Sudan’s conflict-wracked Jonglei state look peaceful before the white plumes of smoke come into view: thatch huts still burning from an attack.

“There are houses on fire,” the captain of the small plane shouts, as he swoops down low towards billowing clouds of smoke spiralling from a thatch hut for a closer look.

Nearby, two grey circles — looking like the remains of giant cigarettes stubbed out in a village — are all that is left of homes already razed to the ground.

Just out of reach of the flames, around a dozen men in dark green uniforms scan the sky for the plane above.

Elsewhere, more than 100 men in similar green battledress form a snaking line through the bush, determinedly marching south.

Tit-for-tat cattle raids and reprisal killings are common in this grossly under-developed state, awash with guns left over from almost two decades of civil war.

But the latest upsurge in fighting that began around a week ago is of a different scale and nature. Local government officials have reported columns of hundreds — if not thousands — of gunmen in a tribal militia fighting their way towards the heartland of a rival community.

Lou Nuer gunmen from northern Jonglei are heading south towards Pibor, an area of their rivals, the Murle.

Pibor County Commissioner Joshua Konyi, speaking from the impoverished town earlier this week, said Murle civilians were fleeing ahead of the gunmen, fearing a repeat of previous such attacks.

South Sudan’s rebel-turned-official army has also been fighting in the region to crush a rebellion led by David Yau Yau, who comes from the Murle people, since 2010.

US State Department officials said this week they were “deeply disturbed by mounting reports of abuse of civilians, including targeted killings, rape (and) beatings.”

European ambassadors in Juba warned Saturday that the clashes risked spiralling into “outright ethnic conflict”.

From the air, flying over the thick green bush broken up by simmering swamps reflecting the fierce sun, signs of actual fighting are hard to see.

A few homesteads burn, while in other villages, conical straw and mud huts lie deserted.

Herds of cattle, upon which the people here depend for their livelihood, are nowhere to be seen — either hidden in surrounding bush or taken by advancing raiding parties.

This isolated and swampy state, about the size of Austria and Switzerland combined, has limited mud roads that are often impassable for months during heavy rains.

The latest clashes follows bitter fighting in May, when soldiers and other gunmen looted UN and aid agency stores in Pibor, including a key hospital.

Government officials in Lou Nuer areas in northern Jonglei deny that young men have set off to fight, but past clashes followed a similar pattern.

In Walgak, where Yau Yau’s rebels massacred over 100 people in February, local commissioner Koang Rambang Chol dismisses reports that the Lou Nuer youth have left.

“This is farming season,” he said, before adding only that perhaps “some of the youth will be patrolling the borders of our areas.”

But in Akobo, another Lou Nuer …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Manila sets UN conditions for Golan force to stay

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has set out conditions to the United Nations for more than 300 Filipino peacekeepers to stay in the Golan Heights, including additional weapons for their protection and shorter periods of deployment in the volatile buffer region separating Israel from Syria, officials said Sunday.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario in a meeting Friday in New York that the world body will work “with all stakeholders to provide what is needed consistent with the disengagement agreement,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

President Benigno Aquino III’s administration did not immediately say if the U.N. pledge would be enough for it to decide to keep 342 Filipino soldiers in the Golan Heights beyond Aug. 11, when the Philippine contingent was to be replaced by fresh troops. Aquino has sought increased security for the troops, saying they face “an undoable mission” if their security in the increasingly violent buffer zone was not bolstered.

Austria announced recently that it would remove its 377 peacekeepers from the 911-member U.N. peacekeeping force, which includes troops from India, leaving the Philippines as the largest single contributor of armed peacekeepers.

The United Nations and the United States have asked the Philippines to keep its troops in place, warning of “maximum volatility” in the Golan Heights if the Filipinos withdraw after a number of other countries such as Japan and Croatia pulled out their forces amid escalating violence and a series of abductions of peacekeepers.

Del Rosario told Ladsous that the Philippines wanted the U.N. to deploy an agreed peacekeeping force of 1,250 troops and acquire additional protective equipment and weapons for the soldiers by October. Filipino troops should also be allowed to be replaced every six months, shorter than the current deployment, the statement said.

It said that Ladsous understood the Philippines’ position and agreed that more robust defense capabilities were needed for peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

The U.N. force was established in 1974 to monitor the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and Syria wants the land returned in exchange for peace.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Morales says US hacked Bolivian leaders' emails

Bolivia’s leftist president Evo Morales on Saturday accused US intelligence of hacking into the email accounts of top Bolivian officials, saying he had shut his own account down.

Latin American leaders have lashed out at Washington over recent revelations of vast surveillance programs, some of which allegedly targeted regional allies and adversaries alike.

Bolivia has joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, the former IT contractor for the US National Security Agency who publicized details of the programs and is now on the run from espionage charges.

Morales said that he learned about the alleged US email snooping at the Mercosur regional summit in Montevideo earlier this week.

“Those US intelligence agents have accessed the emails of our most senior authorities in Bolivia, Morales said in a speech.

“It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down,” he said.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told the same summit that more than 100 of his country’s officials were under electronic surveillance from a nation he did not name.

Bolivia’s Morales, who has long had a thorny relationship with the United States, speculated that Washington hoped to use the information in the emails to plan a future “invasion” of his country.

His allegations followed a diplomatic dust-up last week when, during a flight home from Moscow, European authorties diverted Morales’s plane to Austria and searched it after rumours that he had Snowden on board.

Morales renewed his offer of asylum to Snowden on Saturday, saying La Paz would follow all “diplomatic norms and international accords” in the case.

The 30-year-old intelligence leaker has been stranded in an airport transit zone in the Russian capital since June 23.

Snowden is seeking to avoid US espionage charges for revealing vast surveillance programs to collect phone and Internet data.

US authorities say the revelations threatened national security, insisting the secret programs are fully legal and have helped foil dozens of terrorist attacks.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Diplomats: Top aide to UN nuke chief resigns

A top aide to the chief of the U.N. nuclear agency has unexpectedly resigned, suggesting tensions among the organization’s top leadership, diplomats said Friday.

The move by IAEA Assistant Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi comes at a critical time for the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is the outside world’s only window on Iran‘s nuclear program, which some nations fear is close to the ability to make atomic arms — a goal Iran strenuously denies.

IAEA inspectors monitor Tehran’s known nuclear facilities including its expanding uranium enrichment program, which Tehran says is meant only to produce nuclear power and for other peaceful uses. But the United States, Israel, their allies and other nations fear the Islamic Republic could use the technology to make the core of a nuclear weapon.

The agency also is trying to kick-start a probe of suspicions that Iran has secretly worked on developing nuclear weapons after more than five years of stagnation. Iran denies such work and says the allegations are based on falsified intelligence from Israel and the West. The two sides plan to resume talks on the issue in mid-May.

Two diplomats demanded anonymity in exchange for speaking The Associated Press about the resignation because they were not authorized to discuss internal IAEA matters with reporters.

One of them said Grossi told Amano he was quitting earlier this week after being told that his contract was not being extended. He said Grossi would now become the chief delegate of his country, Argentina, to the IAEA and other Vienna-based U.N. organizations. He was also expected to become Argentine ambassador to Austria.

IAEA officials said the agency had no comment.

Grossi had been widely seen as a possible successor to Amano, who was re-elected for a second term earlier this year.

A career diplomat, he had assumed an increasingly visible role over the past year, accompanying senior technical and legal experts on trips to Tehran in attempts to restart the probe into Iran‘s alleged secret nuclear work. His presence in the delegation was seen as a move by Amano to have more direct reporting from those trips.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/4HKT-DZ5dMI/

Wallabies on the loose in Austria _ yes, Austria

Volunteers are searching for a pair of wallabies hopping through Austria — yes, Austria.

The kangaroo-like marsupials, which are smaller than “roos” and primarily found in australia, escaped from a farm in the Upper Austrian countryside, about 180 kilometers (about 110 miles) northwest of Vienna. Thursday was the third day of the quest to find them.

There are actually three wallabies on the loose — owner Gabrielle Schrammel says the female has a joey in her pouch.

Austrians often express irritation at being confused for Australians while abroad, and mail meant for australia occasionally surfaces in this central European Alpine country.

Those Vienna souvenir shops selling T-shirts with the slogan “No kangaroos in Austria” might have to start a recall campaign.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/MfShbllWBJU/

The Lauder Brothers Are a Throwback to World Class Art Collectors like Frick, Mellon, Morgan, Lehman and Annenberg

By Robert Lenzner, Forbes Staff Let us celebrate the business and cultural achievements of Leonard and Ronald Lauder. They took over the successful perfume business begun by their extraordinarily perspicacious mother Estee Lauder and built it into a global empire that made Revlon look like a scruffy second rate operation. All along both billionaire brothers used their fortunes to acquire amazingly disciplined collections of the objects their love and “eye” made possible. Last week we celebrated the gift by Leonard Lauder to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York of priceless Cubist paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Braque and others. A coup for the Met which has a multitude of Old Masters from Robert Lehman and magnificent paintings from the sugar trust baron Henry Havemeyer, just to name two of the collections drawn to America’s most famous and visited museum. By comparison Ronald Lauder, who was at one time Ambassador to Austria, has located his quite amazing collection of German Expressionists and unusually exotic paintings by Gustav Klimt and others in the Austrian School that are on display at the Neue Gallery— owned by Lauder himself– and only a few blocks north of the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue. In 2006 Ronald Lauder spent $135 million– at that moment perhaps the highest amount ever paid for a single painting fort what he calls “our Mona Lisa,” a magical portrait of a wealthy Viennese beauty, Adele Bloch-Bauer by Klimt. The Lauder brothers’ collections may not have the breadth of collections made in earlier times at lesser prices when there were fewer super-wealthy patrons of the arts such as J.P. Morgan,(he built his own museum), Frick, who put his glorious Renaissance and English portraits in his own elegant townhouse on Fifth Avenue, or industrialist Norton Simon, who built his own museum in southern California– or J.Paul Getty, whose mediocre paintings were overshadowed by Roman and Greek sculpture and 18th century French furniture, purchased on the cheap. You can’t buy that many masterpieces anymore without paying staggering prices for them– as there are so many more multi-billionaires who must have their own art collection to appear cultured and civilized. One hears of Cezannes in Swiss collections going for as much as $250 million. Private equity entrepreneur Leon Black paid well over $100 million for a Charles Munch “Cry” and is reputed to have paid nearly $50 million for a drawing by Raphael, the Renaissance master. To own hugely expensive art also makes you a celebrity. It also makes you a philanthropist, able to deduct part of the market value of the artwork donated to a tax-free institution such as a museum. I’m thinking of the much embattled Greenwich hedge fund king, Steven Cohen, who is on the edge of an investigation into “insider trading” without being charged yet of any crime. Cohen just acquired a magnificent Picasso for the record price of $155 million. So, you can understand just how difficult it is going to be for would-be Walter Annenbergs (whose collection is split between the Met

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2013/04/14/the-lauder-brothers-are-a-throwback-to-world-class-art-collectors-like-frick-mellon-morgan-lehman-and-annenberg/

2013 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63: We Test the Basically Unstoppable Geländewagen

By Andrew Wendler

“Gunter glieben glauchen globen.” We can’t so much as look at the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG without the phrase running through our minds. Coined by poodle-haired ‘80s Brit-rockers Def Leppard, the ostensibly German words have essentially no meaning, yet, like the G63 AMG, carry plenty of Teutonic gravitas. Precisely why this pop-rock chestnut imbeds itself into our subconscious whenever a slab-sided G-wagon rolls into view is a question best left to Freud. Wouldn’t an equally dramatic tune from tanzmetal kings Rammstein, or, say, David Hasselhoff make far more sense? Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the G63 (and the lesser G550 model) exudes more single-minded purpose than anything this side of a Panzer tank. (Freud, of course, was from Austria, and so is the G63. It is assembled in Graz by Magna-Steyr under contract with Mercedes.)  READ MORE ››

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caranddriver/blog/~3/mSY1Jp6LQL0/2013-mercedes-benz-g63-amg-testreviewcar-and-driver

Suspected Red Bull blackmailer arrested in Austria

Austrian police have arrested a man suspected of blackmailing Red Bull by threatening to place cans of its energy drink contaminated with feces on supermarket shelves.

Police officials cited at a Salzburg news conference by the Austria Press Agency say the unidentified 47-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday after he showed up for a payoff in the Lower Austrian town of Moedling.

Thursday’s report didn’t say how much the suspected blackmailer was demanding or give other details.

An official answering the telephone at Salzburg police headquarters confirmed the arrest. He refused to give his name.

The threats started coming in February by mail and email. Spot checks of stores across Austria showed no trace of tampering with the company’s product.

Red Bull has referred all queries about the case to police.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/Bc7bALVGS28/

Report: Wife of VW paterfamilias Piëch up for Audi supervisory board

By Michael Harley

Ferdinand and Ursula Piech

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In a move seen as yet another way for the controlling Piech-Porsche family to leverage its muscle over the continent’s biggest automaker, Ursula Piech – wife of chairman Ferdinand Piech – is set to join the Audi supervisory board at the annual shareholder’s meeting on May 16. Putting Piech‘s wife, a 56-year-old kindergarten teacher, on the board is seen as just a formality as the Piech and Porsche families already control more than 90 percent of the Porsche SE holding company (owner of a majority of Volkswagen common stock).

Although formally trained to educate young children, this isn’t Ursula Piech‘s first corporate role. In 2010, Piech chose his wife to be deputy head of two Austria-based foundations that control owned stakes in Porsche and VW. She took a seat on the board of Wolfsburg-based VW almost a year ago.

Chairman Piech will turn 76 next week, and his wife is set to take over her husband’s interests when he dies.

Wife of VW paterfamilias Piëch up for Audi supervisory board originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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From: http://feeds.autoblog.com/~r/weblogsinc/autoblog/~3/sGyo3VQNBpA/

Wrong turn leads Germans from home town to Austria

Instead of a five-minute trip home, a wrong turn led to an all-night drive for a pair of Germans that ended when police stopped their car in far-away Austria for heading the wrong way on a six-lane bridge.

A police statement says the couple ended up more than 250 kilometers (150 miles) away from their Bavarian hometown.

They were stopped early Tuesday after their car grazed three other vehicles while on the wrong side of a busy bridge in Linz, Austria‘s third-largest city.

The two told police they apparently took a wrong turn after attending a funeral Monday evening and couldn’t find their way back.

Wednesday’s statement says the driver’s son picked up the unnamed Germans — his 77-year old father and his aunt, 70 — and drove them home.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Austria party fires member over alleged Web posts

Austria‘s rightist FPO party has dismissed the spokesman of its Vienna branch for allegedly posting excerpts from a battle song of Hitler’s elite Waffen-SS units on Facebook.

The party says Stefan Gotschacher has been terminated “with immediate effect” while the FPO investigates media reports that he posted such passages.

Privacy settings on Gotschacher’s Facebook page restricted access. He did not immediately answer a Facebook query on whether the accusation was true.

The weekly Falter quotes Gotschacher as saying he did not know the origin of the passages. But an FPO statement Wednesday said such sentiments “have no place” in the party.

The FPO depicts itself as mainstream, European Union-skeptic and critical of immigration. Polls consistently show it with more than 20 percent support — some from the extreme right.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News