Reader’s links for June 25 – 2015

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

48 Replies to “Reader’s links for June 25 – 2015”

  1. Police withheld bombshell report revealing how gangs of Muslim men were grooming more than 100 schoolgirls as young as 10 in case it inflamed racial tensions ahead of General Election

    West Midlands Police release March 2010 document for first time this week

    It says 100 mainly white children were at serious risk of being groomed

    Report says perpetrators were all Asian, which could cause tension locally

    No appeal was made and the report was published for first time this week

    • Report about Asian grooming gangs was supressed to avoid inflaming racial tension (telegraph, June 25, 2015)

      “A report detailing how gangs of Asian men in Birmingham were grooming school girls with alcohol and drugs was not made public after senior officers warned that such information could inflame racial tensions ahead of the 2010 General Election.

      West Midlands Police were warned that more than 100 predominantly white school children – some as young as 13 – were at serious risk of child exploitation, with abusers approaching pupils at the school gates.

      Police said they had identified 75 suspects, most boasting a history of sexual violence and most of whom came from the Pakistani community in Birmingham.

      But they warned that making the information public could inflame racial tensions particularly ahead of the 2010 General Election, which was due to take place several weeks later….”

  2. Isis Execution Video: Islamic State Beheads 12 Syrian Rebels in Damascus

    Just days after Isis released one of its most gruesome execution videos that showed prisoners being drowned in a cage and killed in other barbaric ways, the Islamic State has now released a video showing the beheading of 12 men in Damascus region in Syria.

    Images from the gory video were shared on social media sites on Thursday. The video shows the 12 men pinned to the ground in an open field and beheaded using small knives.

    Similar to other Isis execution videos, all the captives are dressed in orange suits to resemble prisoners of the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    Some Twitter accounts identified the men as members of the Syrian rebel group, Jaish al-Islam, also known as the Army of Islam, which has been fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army.

    Isis fighters have been clashing with members of the Jaish al-Islam in the Qalamoun region, and several of the Islamic State jihadists were killed by the rebels recently.

    video on this page :

  3. OKLAHOMA – ‘He Started Slicing My Neck’: Watch 1st Interview With Survivor of Attempted Beheading

    In a “Kelly File” exclusive interview, Megyn Kelly sat down with Traci Johnson, the Oklahoma woman who was nearly beheaded in a horrific 2014 workplace attack. Johnson, who worked on the production line at Vaughan Foods, walked Megyn through the entire harrowing experience.

    video ( 32 min27 )

  4. EGYPT – 9 arrested in Cairo over online execution video

    Security forces have arrested nine suspects for killing a man in Helwan and publishing a video of his execution online, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Thursday.

    The suspects are allegedly members of the pro-Mohamed Morsi ‘Revolutionary Punishment’ (Al-‘iqab Al-Thawri) militant group. They are currently being detained for four days pending investigation.

    A video was published on Wednesday on Vimeo website, allegedly by the group, and went viral. It showed the execution of Walid Ahmed, 25, from Helwan in south Cairo.

    In the six-minute video, Ahmed is shown confessing to working as informant for the security forces and helping them to arrest protesters at pro-Morsi rallies in the area.

    Ahmed warned others against informing for the police or they would meet the same fate as him.

    At the end of the video, Ahmed was shot 13 times while blindfolded. It is noticeable that the chants used by Islamic State militant group were used in the video.

    The body of a young man was found in the desert of 15th May City on 16 May. After investigation, police discovered it was Ahmed, a microbus driver from Helwan who had been reported missing two days earlier.

    ‘Revolutionary Punishment’ emerged earlier this year, claiming responsibility for attacks on mobile phone shops and banks across the country, as well attacks against police officers.

    Egypt’s government has designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and launched a crackdown against its leaders and members since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in summer 2013.

    It has arrested hundreds of members and put many on trial on violence-related charges.

    the video on youtube :

  5. Israel arrests more Druze over Syrian ‘lynching’

    Israeli police said Thursday they arrested three more suspects in attacks by members of the Druze minority on military ambulances transporting wounded Syrians to hospital.

    In one of two incidents Monday, one Syrian was beaten to death and a second hurt, in an unprecedented outbreak of violence by Druze on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “lynching.”

    Syria’s Druze are traditional allies of President Bashar al-Assad, and have become caught up in the fighting.

    “During the night, police and border guards in the north arrested three more suspects from the Druze community suspected of involvement in the events,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

    She said a gag order had been imposed on all other details of the investigation.

    Police said they carried out a “wave of arrests” Wednesday, with media saying nine people had been detained.

    Monday’s deadly incident took place hours after Druze in the neighbouring Galilee region of Israel blocked and stoned a military ambulance they suspected was taking Syrian rebels to hospital.

    Both incidents demonstrate the anger felt by Druze towards the rebels, and towards the Israelis, whom they suspect of providing medical help to the fighters.

    Israel does not rule out the possibility that some of those given medical care are rebels.

    Syria has said the two men in the ambulance were members of Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. Israel says they were civilians.

    The Druze are a secretive offshoot of Shiite Islam. Officials say there are 110,000 of them in northern Israel and another 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan.

    Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from neighbouring Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.

  6. The Daily Caller – Michigan Prof Blames Charleston Shooting On Jews, Islamophobia

    Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, claims right-wing Jews and an “Islampohobic network” were “a key influence” to Dylann Roof’s rampage that killed nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C.

    “The Muslim-hatred of the Geert Wilders and Marine LePens in Europe, for which Daniel Pipes, and Pamela Geller, and the whole Islamophobic network are cheerleaders and enablers, was a key influence on Dylann Roof, according to his manifesto,” Cole writes on his popular blog, Informed Comment.

    But as The College Fix points out, and one commenter noted, Roof’s manifesto makes no mention of Pipes, Geller, Wilders, Muslims, or Islam.

    Cole then pivots to where Roof would have found “that white Europeans are being victimized by immigrants,” citing one of his older posts about Anders Breivik, who killed 77 youths in Norway in a 2011 attack, as The College Fix reports.

    “Breivik’s passions were whipped up, according to his diary, by reading anti-Muslim hatemongers such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes (whose “Campus Watch” is an Israeli settler-oriented attempt to deny tenure to American academics critical of Israel’s oppression of the stateless Palestinians, and to harass more senior professors with character assassination),” Cole wrote.

    “It was apparently similar writings and web sites that made Roof ‘completely racially aware,’” he continues, citing a Fear, Inc., database project of the Center for American Progress, which, according to the ultra-progressive think tank, tracks organizations which contribute to Islamophobia.

    “Ironically, some groups connected to the Islamophic Network are, like Geller and Pipes, Jewish. But their anti-immigrant, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric backfired on them in Roof’s case, since he went on heartily to hate Jews, as well,” Cole writes. “Many American Jews, he held, are pro-African-American, and so he abhorred them, as well.”

    Cole responded to an email from The Daily Caller after publishing.

    “I said that the kind of sentiments Roof posted about European white people being overwhelmed by non-whites were typical of the line of Marine LePen (Catholic) and Geert Wilders (born Roman Catholic, now unchurched.),” Cole said, when asked to further explain the connection between Storm, right-wing Jews and Islamophobia. “I then noted the paradox that Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes are cheerleaders for this anti-immigrant white nationalist narrative.”

    Previously, Cole has written on his blog arguing that recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is racist.

  7. Rwanda blames war crime arrest on racism

    President Paul Kagame’s speech came on the same day that spy chief General Karenzi Karake is due to appear in court in London following his arrest under a Spanish indictment accusing him of involvement in the murder of nine Spanish aid workers.

    “They want to mask their responsibility by saying it’s not us, it is savages of Africa who killed each other,” he said. “Since when did we become killers? Who has killed more Africans than they have? They have killed millions of Africans.”

    Kagame questioned the right of Britain to act on the Spanish indictment, issued in 2008, that accuses Karake of mass ethnic killings of Hutus in the wake of the 1994 genocide and of orchestrating the murder of Spanish aid workers in 1997.

  8. Police called in to Bradford school after staff member allegedly shared ‘tasteless and offensive’ Facebook post calling the Islamic veil offensive

    A secondary school, where pupils are mainly Muslim, has called in police to investigate a ‘hate crime’ due to a Facebook posting criticising women publicly wearing Islamic veils.

  9. Turkey’s Erdogan sees red over ‘giant table’ accusations

    Already stung by accusations that his presidential palace in Ankara is a megalomaniac folly, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing new claims of wasteful extravagance.

    But this time the controversy does not surround a grand new building but a humble table set for the traditional fast-breaking iftar meal for the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

    The circular table, however, is perhaps not so humble. The size of a squash court, it is so vast as to be impossible to have a conversation with the person at the other end.

    The Ankara Architects’ Chamber — a frequent critic of Erdogan over the palace — gave an itemized valuation of the table, chairs, and ornaments, saying they were worth one million lira ($375,000).

    The presidency however rubbished the suggestion, saying it was “black propaganda”.

    “All these figures, stated per item, are wrong and a lie, all these claims are merely slander,” Erdogan said in a speech late Wednesday.

    “We know their intentions and a full account will be given before the law,” he added.

    The controversy erupted on Monday when the presidency published pictures of Erdogan and two dozen religious figures and scholars seated around the table for the iftar meal.

    Seated as the head of the table, the president was only vaguely discernable from the other end.

    Similar images emerged after an iftar meal Wednesday evening with municipal chiefs, with social media ablaze with suggestions over what to put in the vast empty space in the middle.

    Some suggested a vast pizza, others that there was ample space for a traditional oil-wrestling match.

    Meanwhile, the presidency took the hugely unusual step of issuing a one minute time-lapse video showing that officials at the palace assembled the table out of several smaller ones with a round table at the center.

    It then shows the white-jacketed palace officials sweeping the table clear and adding a vast table cloth and cutlery.

    Erdogan said the tables used for the giant table were merely heirlooms from the 1993-2000 presidency of Suleyman Demirel, who died earlier this month. The chairs, meanwhile, were purchased under his predecessor Abdullah Gul.

    Erdogan’s new $615 million presidential palace in the outskirts of Ankara, which has 1,150 rooms, has for opponents become a symbol of authoritarian tendencies.

    The president insists however it’s a worthy symbol of the “new Turkey” he is trying to build.

  10. France: Turkey “overburdened” by Syrian refugee crisis, demands assistance

    Turkey has spent more than six billion US dollars (€5.36 billion) to assist Syrian refugees on its territory and the financial burden on the country is increasing every day, a Turkish member of Council of Europe, Reha Denemec, warned his colleagues in Strasbourg, Thursday. He added that the international community has contributed six percent of this amount so far, which is “below all expectations.”

    • Italy in Emotional Plea for EU Help on Migrants (abcnews, June 25, 2015)

      “Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi clashed Thursday with European Union leaders reluctant to help ease pressure on Italy and Greece by taking in thousands of refugees arriving in the two countries.

      More than 114,000 migrants have been plucked from the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. Some 2,600 have died or gone missing during the often-perilous sea crossing.

      The EU wants to oblige member countries to share 40,000 Syrians and Eritreans requiring international protection who are expected to arrive in Italy and Greece over the next two years. But many of the 28 nations are refusing to have migrant numbers dictated to them from Brussels.

      “If you don’t agree with 40,000 refugees you don’t deserve to be called Europe,” Renzi was quoted as saying to fellow EU leaders during an emotional plea at a summit in Brussels.

      “If this is your idea of Europe, you can keep it. Either there is solidarity or don’t waste our time,” he said, according to an EU diplomat, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were not public.

      Around a dozen nations oppose the EU plan. A further 12 that would support it want the method for sharing out the refugees reassessed. The ‘distribution key’ foreseen by the EU takes into account the population, economic strength, unemployment rates and current efforts already undertaken to help refugees.

      Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that her country would participate “but on a voluntary basis.”

      While EU leaders have made pledges to help front-line migration countries in the past, their promises have sometimes vaporized once the media spotlight dims.

      Earlier, EU President Donald Tusk called for a crackdown on migrants who are only looking for jobs and do not qualify for international protection, as opposed to those fleeing war or persecution.

      “We need to contain illegal migration and this should be our priority,” Tusk said. “All those who are not legitimate asylum-seekers will have no guarantee that they will stay in Europe.”

      European coast guards have been unable to cope with the influx, with migrant reception centers in Italy and Greece completely overwhelmed even as the summer migrant crossing season is just beginning.

      Hungary, for one, plans to build a border fence to stop the flood of migrants entering from Serbia.

      “There is only one solution — everyone must defend their own borders,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told reporters. “In the next years, millions are going to take to the road if they feel they have a chance to get in,” he said.

      As the leaders haggled in Brussels, more migrants landed at Italian ports. The Swedish navy ship Poseidon brought 497 migrants to Catania after they were rescued in the waters south of Sicily, as well as the body of an elderly woman.

      The migrants were at sea “for 10 or 12 days, and they hadn’t had any food or water,” Poseidon Capt. Claes Jacobsson said. “Several of them were quite dehydrated.”

      Among the migrants were many Syrians, Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese, officials said.”

  11. ‘Odious terrorist act’: Al-Azhar condemns ‘sick’ cartoons aired by Dutch politician

    CAIRO: The leading Sunni Muslim seat of learning, al-Azhar, on Thursday denounced the “sick imagination” behind cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) that were aired on Dutch national television.

    A statement by the Cairo-based al-Azhar also urged Muslims to “ignore this odious terrorist act,” a day after some 10 cartoons were screened by anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders during a television slot for political parties.

    “The stature of the Prophet (pbuh) of mercy and humanitarianism is greater and more noble than to be harmed by cartoons that have no respect for morals or civilised standards,” it said.

    Many Muslims feel drawings of Prophet (pbuh) are disrespectful or even outright blasphemous, and some Dutch Muslims have chosen to simply disregard Wilders.

    The right-wing Dutch politician, who has been behind such incidents in the past as well, said he was making the broadcasts to defend freedom of speech after two militants launched an attack in May on a Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) cartoon contest in Texas, before being shot dead by police.

    “Freedom of speech must always prevail over violence and terror,” Wilders told viewers in the broadcast.

    Before Thursday’s statement and the cartoon broadcast, al-Azhar had said that the objective of Wilders was to “provoke the anger of Muslims” around the world.

    But it had also warned that this would only benefit “terrorism which takes advantage of such incidents to spread violence and destabilise peace and security in the world”.

  12. BREITBART : US Attorney: ‘Nothing’ About Boston Marathon Bombing ‘Was Islam Associated’

    US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz declared “there was nothing about this crime that was Islam associated” regarding the Boston Marathon bombing at a press conference on Wednesday.

    Ortiz stated, “And, we believe that, at the end of the day, the punishment that was rendered by the jury appropriately fitted the crime, a crime of terrorism, a crime that was not religiously motivated, and a crime that was intended to coerce and intimidate our country, but the response has been otherwise.”

    Later, Ortiz said of Tsarnaev, “He didn’t renounce terrorism. He didn’t renounce violent extremism, and he couched his comments in line with Allah, and Allah’s views, which give it a religious tone, and there was nothing, as you heard judge O’Toole say in the courtroom, there was nothing about this crime that was Islam associated, so that’s what I was struck by more.”

    She also responded to a question about Tsarnaev’s references to Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran, with “That is that a skewed view of the religion of Islam. That is not what Islam is all about, and so when individuals utilize that, it is a radicalized view, that ideology. It’s a radical ideology, which really isn’t at the heart of what is truly a peaceful and loving religion.”

    Right scoop : Islam is a ‘PEACEFUL and LOVING religion’ – U.S. Attorney says Tzarnaev has NOTHING to do with Islam

  13. Ottawa police probe possibility man who drowned in Rideau is suspect in high-profile cellphone murder

    Ottawa police are probing the possibility that a man who may have drowned in the Rideau River following a pursuit Wednesday is a suspect in a high-profile homicide in London, Ont.

    Muhab Sultanaly Sultan, 23, of Calgary is wanted for second-degree murder in the June 14 shooting death of 18-year-old Jeremy Cook, who had been trying to retrieve a cellphone he had left in a taxi.

    Crews were searching the Rideau River in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood Thursday for any trace of a man who officers saw disappear below the surface Wednesday night.

    Police believe the same man tried to run down two bicycle patrol officers with his vehicle during a traffic stop at Rideau Street and King Edward Avenue at 4 p.m. Wednesday. One officer suffered minor injuries.

    The vehicle was abandoned on Wiggins Private near the Strathcona Heights Community Garden after a pursuit and a male passenger was taken into custody. The driver escaped into a nearby wooded area.

    Muhab Sultanaly Sultan is shown in an undated photo provided by police. Efforts to find him with a tracking dog were unsuccessful, but hours later, a man was spotted trying to swim across the Rideau River. Two officers “went into the water after the man, who was showing signs of distress,” police said in a release.

    “As the officers got closer to the suspect, he went under the water and has yet to be located,” police said.

    Pedestrian walkways and bike paths in the area remained closed as part of the search.

    Police say the man tried to swim across the Rideau River, but disappeared below the surface. Sultan, a member of a well-known family in London’s Sudanese community, is the subject of a Canada-wide warrant in the slaying of Jeremy Cook. The teenager had traced his missing phone to an address in the London area and became involved in a confrontation with three men in a vehicle before he was fatally shot.

    Cook’s death has attracted wide attention and prompted warnings about the risks of software applications that track stolen phones and other devices.

    Ottawa police said the province’s Special Investigations Unit, which investigates deaths and other serious events involving police officers, has been called in.

  14. Video maker sues after MTA bans subway ads for film meant to depict Muslims as ordinary people

    NEW YORK — Two Muslim filmmakers have filed a lawsuit against the operator of New York subways claiming the agency rejected their advertisements under a rule that prohibits disputed political views. They argue the ads have nothing to do with politics and should not be banned.

    In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the filmmakers, Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, claim the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is violating their First Amendment right to free speech.

    The two created the advertisements to help promote their 2013 film, “The Muslims Are Coming.” They say the overall message of both the ads and the film is “that American Muslims are ordinary people.”

    Farsad and Obeidallah said they paid the MTA nearly $15,000 to run the ads, which they were told would be put up in 140 subway stations in April. When the ads didn’t go up on the scheduled date, they called the MTA but didn’t hear back for several days — until they were told the ads would violate a policy that went into effect in the interim, which bans ads that are “political in nature.”

    Glenn Katon, their attorney with the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, said the two “had a constitutional right to post the ads under the old policy.” He claims the MTA “reneged on the deal” and now wants a federal judge to order the agency to put up the advertisements. The two are not challenging the MTA’s ability to enact policies, but instead are arguing that their advertisements are not political and do not violate the policy.

    MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency had not yet been served with the lawsuit but that it was pleased that a judge upheld its new policy last week. In a recent court filing, the MTA’s director of real estate said he had determined the ads violated the policy because they “prominently or predominantly advocate or express a political message.”

    The ads include, among others, the phrases: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes” and “Muslims! They invented coffee, the toothbrush and algebra … Oh wait, sorry about the algebra. That’s a year of class you’ll never get back.”

    “It’s comedic,” Obeidallah said of the MTA’s determination. “What’s political about saying ‘Muslims like frittatas’ or have great frittata recipes?”

  15. U.S.: Text of Iran nuclear deal will be made public but not signed (CNN, June 25, 2015)

    “Washington (CNN)The U.S. expects that the text of any potential deal with Iran, including detailed technical annexes, will be made public but not be signed by the negotiating parties, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.

    The official, who briefed reporters on the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry’s travel to Vienna for a final round of negotiations, said this sort of agreement is not typically signed. But that could open the door to critics who say the arrangement gives Iran an opportunity to violate it.

    The arrangement comes as several of President Barack Obama’s former military and foreign policy advisers expressed disapproval of the terms of the deal that is coming together ahead of a June 30 deadline.

    “The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability,” said a letter signed by 18 notable figures, including former CIA Director David Petraeus and former White House Iran adviser Dennis Ross. The letter also claims that the known terms of the deal will “fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement.”

    The senior administration official acknowledged Thursday that the June 30 deadline might slip but said that if the deal comes together, it will be “close” to the official deadline….”

  16. No deal for Greece, creditors; top-level talks resume Saturday

    The Greeks are trying to extort money from Germany by threatening to bring down the euro and by extension the EU, Merkel isn’t letting them get away with this crime. Even if Greece gets the money it will only hold off the collapse for a few months at best.

    I am reading more and more top financial advisers that are warning of a economic crisis to start soon.

  17. Report: State Department unable to find all or part of 15 work-related emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, officials say

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department cannot find in its records all or part of 15 work-related emails from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private server that were released this week by a House panel investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, officials said Thursday.

    The emails all predate the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic facility and include scant words written by Clinton herself, the officials said. They consist of more in a series of would-be intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, the officials said.

    Nevertheless, the fact that the State Department says it can’t find them among emails she provided surely will raise new questions about Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server while secretary of state and whether she has provided the agency all of her work-related correspondence, as she claims.

    “She has turned over 55,000 pages of materials to the State Department, including all emails in her possession from Mr. Blumenthal,” said Nick Merrill, a Clinton campaign spokesman, when asked about the discrepancy.

    Clinton is running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

    Clinton’s use of the non-government email while in office was kept hidden from all but a small circle of aides, outside advisers, family members and friends. She says the single account for personal and professional purposes was a matter of convenience, and says all her work emails were included in the 55,000 pages of documents she later handed over to the State Department. Emails of a personal nature were destroyed, she says.

    The State Department informed the Select Benghazi Committee on Thursday that they are no longer certain that’s the case, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The officials said Julia Frifield, the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, confirmed that nine emails and parts of six others that the committee made public Monday couldn’t be located in the department’s records.

    As for 46 other, previously unreleased Libya-related Blumenthal emails published by the committee, officials said all are in the department’s records. They weren’t handed over to congressional investigators because they had no relevance to events in Benghazi and did not correspond to the committee’s request, the officials said. The officials added that they are willing to provide emails outside the committee’s initial request, but warned that doing so would require more time.

    The emails missing from the State Department’s records include missives from Blumenthal in which he sends media accounts about the killing of one of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s sons, various reports on internal politics among Libya’s rebels and news of the assassination of a former Gadhafi minister in Vienna. The last email was sent Aug. 28, 2012, two weeks before the Benghazi attack, and none focus particularly on the eastern Libyan city.

    Clinton’s responses are brief. In one from August 2011, she tells Blumenthal she will be in Paris the next day to meet rebel leaders and says she had “to resort to new iPad” because she didn’t have electricity or Blackberry coverage after Hurricane Irene.

    In another from March 2012, she passes on an adviser’s skepticism regarding one of Blumenthal’s reports about political intrigue in post-Gadhafi Libya, saying: “This strain credulity based on what I know. Any other info about it?”

    And after a long August 2012 note from Blumenthal about Libya’s new interim President Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, Clinton writes: “Another keeper — thanks and please keep ’em coming.” Four days later, she responds to a follow-up reports about el-Magariaf, saying: “Fascinating. I had a very good call w him.”

    Clinton’s critics are likely to focus less on the substance of the emails than on the fact that they weren’t shared with the State Department.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the Benghazi panel’s Republican chairman, has pressed for an explanation of why Blumenthal gave the committee emails not previously shared by the State Department. The suggestion has been that either the department or Clinton was hiding something.

    Clinton aides say her submission to the department included all emails from Blumenthal and a dozen more exchanges that weren’t in the records he provided the House committee. They said some from Blumenthal’s record, which was provided as a Microsoft Word document, couldn’t be confirmed as having been sent as emails.

    State Department officials also questioned the provenance of some exchanges because they weren’t formatted as emails.

  18. UNHCR Report: $4.53 billion required for Syrian refugee response is only 23% funded

    UN pleads for Syria refugee aid to be speeded up

    Amman (AFP) – The United Nations said Thursday there is an acute shortage of money to provide aid to refugees from Syria and their hosts in neighbouring countries, appealing for funding to be speeded up.

    Some 3.9 million people have fled the civil war in Syria, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the shortage is hampering assistance to them and to more than 20 million people in the countries hosting them.

    The UNHCR said that, of $4.53 billion (4.04 billion euros) required under the so-called Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan, only $1.06 billion, or 23 percent, had been received by the end of May.

    Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that this “massive crisis requires far more solidarity and responsibility-sharing from the international community than what we have seen so far.”

    “But instead, we are so dangerously low on funding that we risk not being able to meet even the most basic survival needs of millions of people over the coming six months.”

    The UNHCR said refugees’ food assistance is being reduced, children are not attending school, life-saving health services are becoming too expensive for many and many live in sub-standard housing.

    The UNHCR also said that, as pressures grow on host countries, it is increasingly difficult for Syrians to find refuge.

    That has resulted in a greater number of Syrians seeking to reach Europe on dangerous, sometimes fatal, journeys across the Mediterranean.

    The report called on the international community to share more of the burden, not only through timely funding but also by providing additional resettlement opportunities and other forms of humanitarian admission.

    Otherwise, “a generation of Syrians will be left behind, and neighbouring countries will continue to struggle to provide a public good that they cannot and should not have to bear alone.”

  19. Council of Europe must act so that definition of Islamophobia can be found

    “The fight against Islamophobia which is ravaging Europe necessarily must pass by way of a legal definition and the creation of a legal arsenal at the European scale,” pleaded Wednesday, in Strasbourg, at the Council of Europe (CoE), the association Organization Racism Islamophobia Watch (ORIW), raising an issue that stirs up polemics among the political ranks as much as within activist associations.

    “It is all of our responsibilities, regardless of our beliefs, to fight against a phenomenon which undermines togetherness and saps social cohesion. The CoE, the European Parliament (EP), the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) all have a crucial role to play in order to contribute to a legal definition of Islamophobia. It is an essential condition for the struggle to bear fruit,” affirmed islamologist Yanis Mahil during an event organized alongside the summer plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    There is strong consensus in regards to the gravity and the steep increase of anti-Muslim acts, especially since the deadly attacks in Paris that occurred in January of this year.

    In the two weeks that followed, France saw as many anti-Muslim acts as during the entire year of 2014, at an increase of 70 percent. Between Jan. 7 and 19, the Interior Ministry counted 116 such acts. For the first time, these figures surpass those of Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), which is often accused of alarmism.

    The necessity of a definition of Islamophobia, however, is far from being unanimously supported. Even the usage of the term is disputed. Particularly in France.

    “The militant anti-racist of yesterday is in the process of transforming into a hyper specialized shopkeeper. To fight against racism, it is to fight against all racisms; to fight against Islamophobia is to fight against what?” wrote the illustrator Charb, killed during the Jan. 7 attack in his posthumous letter, “To the swindlers of Islamophobia who play the racist game.”

    A “pseudo-argument,” retorts Yanis Mahil who denounces an “ideological agenda.”

    “Certain people have gone to the point of supporting the idea that the term was invented by the Iranian mullahs in 1979 even though it doesn’t exist in either Persian or Arabic, and even though we find it used by French authors since the end of the 19th century,” affirmed the islamologist.

    “In order to count islamophobic acts, it is clear that it would need to be defined,” he argued.

    The word “Islamophobia” made its entry into the most recent edition of the French dictionary Le Robert which defined it as a “particular form of racism directed against Islam and Muslims.” Its usage since, however, doesn’t create any fewer divisions, even at the highest levels of state.

    “France fights in an implacable manner against racism, against anti-Semitism, against Islamophobia,” declared French President Francois Hollande on Jan. 16.

    Beyond the semantic quarrel is hidden a lack of courage from public authorities, affirmed Yanis Mahil, who cites sociologist Abdellali Hajjat, author of a work on Islamophobia published in 2013: “It’s usage is revealing of the will, or not, to recognize the existence of racist acts and discourses founded on a supposed affiliation with the Muslim religion.”

    “Islamophobia has several faces and several forms. It is a group of prejudices, of fears and hatreds against Muslims which translate themselves into acts of violence, discriminations and stigmatizations due to their affiliation real or supposed with Islam,” maintains the islamologist.

    “Islamophobia is different from a simple anti-religious or anti-immigrant sentiment,” interjected the coordinator of the ORIW association which has been working since 2013 for recognition of the term.

    “The French Consulting Commission on Human Rights validated the term in 2014. A clear definition at an international level would undeniably allow things to move forward. Recognition by the Council of Europe would help enormously,” she added.

    It is difficult, however, to study the question of Islamophobia without also taking into consideration the radicalization of young Europeans with Arab-Muslim origins, two phenomena which seem to feed each other. Professor Tahir Abbas, from the Sociology Department of Fatih University of Istanbul, brought it up Tuesday, during a meeting of the Parliamentary Alliance Against Hate, jointly organized by the PACE Committee of Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.

    “In Western Europe, parallel to the resurgence of Islamophobia, radicalization of youth is developing in an alarming manner. They are more and more numerous, those who come from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands to fight for the Islamic State,” said Abbas.

    According to the professor, there are multiple causes: “the social and economic transformations linked to globalization, problems of education, employment, and the lack of a future for youth, the system created by the politicians which make it that Muslims are perceived as potential terrorists …”

    To remedy it, Bernard De Vos, general delegate for children’s rights for the Wallonia Federation, made recommendations to the Parliamentary Alliance Against Hate launched in January.

    “It is necessary, at any cost, to end the confusion between Islam, terrorism and salafism. It is necessary to fight with force against educational segregation: ethnic schools are a veritable bomb for our societies. It is necessary to revalidate the notion of community that is not communitarianism,” he affirmed. Enditem

  20. Calais crisis: Migrants erect barricades to snare lorries bound for UK (telegraph, June 25, 2015)

    “David Needham, 45, delivers fresh and frozen foods for UK supermarkets. Four times a week for the past two years, he drives from Kent to Belgium and back, his lorry loaded up with bread, vegetables and ice-cream, all destined for British retailers’ shelves.

    On Tuesday morning he was on his way back to Calais port to catch the 7 am ferry to Dover when he was confronted by hundreds of migrants lining the approach road to the dock. As he drove down the road, he saw two migrants dragging bollards from the temporary lane divider into the path of his eighteen ton lorry.

    He swerved to avoid running over the bollard, narrowly missing the two migrants, and veered dangerously near to the roadside verge. It’s an escalation of the danger he has faced over the past few years as the migrant crisis in Calais has grown….”

  21. North Korea’s historic drought expected to cause famine, U.N. says (CNN, June 25, 2015)

    “Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Even a simple piece of fruit was unfamiliar to Lee So-yeon when she fled North Korea seven years ago. She had never seen an orange. So when she came across one at a South Korean market, she bit into it like an apple — peel and all.

    During the famine of the 1990s, Lee was forced to eat grass from the mountains to survive….

    Now, North Koreans are again facing a “looming humanitarian disaster in the DPRK,” or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to the United Nations human rights chief.

    Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told CNN, “We call for the international community to support the DPRK and help the DPRK in a respect of what is going to be a very difficult famine.”

    State media, which usually paint only a rosy picture of life for North Korea’s citizens, have been publishing reports about what they call the worst drought in 100 years….”

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