Links submitted by readers of Vlad for July 23 – 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

62 Replies to “Links submitted by readers of Vlad for July 23 – 2015”

        • Donald Trump admits he pimped out the elected representatives do his own bidding against the interests of Americans.

          He doesn’t get it.

          Wherever we are, what station in life, we love our country and honor the people in it. Period.

          For Trump to hide behind the name “businessman” as they do with “lawyer” and “politician” does not cut it.

          A scumbag is still a scumbag.

    • The reporter asks only touchy-feely questions, those that Obama would smoothly deflect and ooze confidence.

      CNN have got this patter of a shamed intern down to a tee to mesmerise their audience, shift advertising and change the character of the country.

      “Shamed intern” refers to making your audience believe they are guilty. The reporter represents them, every American living in insecurity being scared of revealing the truth.

      They watch fascinated how the reporter uses the protection of questioning, in always looking for some way to be offended, going off subject, to hide them in avoidance from some unknown painful truth.

      In many single parent homes this is the norm to intimidate the children from ever knowing.

      The reporter hides something, and every interrogation sounds like an accusation that mustn’t reveal this secret guilt, to become that of a whole nation built on attrocities. This is Amerika.

      Obama and Hilliary express totally no shame. They have been tested and can be trusted to never to reveal that Common Guilt or even to be any part of it. They are not A Certain White Male. The ones who protect their families.

      Such Communist-inspired audiences very much want, and elect, their pieces of hubris.

  1. Since this comes from a Muslim friend (not from a Christian non-friend), Obama may change his mind and may start personally lobbying for a change. At least it wouldnt surpise me too much.

    Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari: US ‘aided’ Boko Haram with arms ban (BBC,July 23, 2015)

    “The US has “aided and abetted” the Boko Haram Islamist militant group by refusing to provide weapons to Nigeria, its president says.

    A US law prevents the government from selling arms to countries which fail to tackle human rights.

    Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari met President Barack Obama on Monday to seek further assistance.

    Boko Haram has killed some 10,000 people since 2009 and has also kidnapped hundreds of girls and women.”

  2. UK teen admits role in plot to attack police officer in Australia (CNN, July 23, 2015)

    “London (CNN)A 15-year-old British boy admitted Thursday in a UK court to inciting a teenager in Australia via the Internet to behead, run over or shoot a police officer in Australia, in a plot reminiscent of the chilling 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London.

    The ISIS-inspired attack was due to be carried out during a parade on Anzac Day, or April 25, when Australia commemorates the wartime service of its armed forces.

    Police in Britain and Australia intervened before any attack could take place. The British boy, from Blackburn in Lancashire, northern England, was only 14 at the time of the offense, making him the youngest person in Britain to admit to, or be found guilty of, a terror offense.

    The boy, who can’t be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced in September. At London’s Old Bailey court, via videolink from Manchester, he pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas.

    The court heard that he and the Australian teenager had exchanged thousands of instant messages enthusiastically planning the attack….”

  3. CAGE to sue David Cameron for calling it ‘extremist’ ISIS and Jihadi John supporting group (express, July 23, 2015)

    “The Prime Minister came down hard on the group as he laid out plans to stamp out ISIS, but CAGE has defended itself today and said it is seeking legal advice on whether Mr Cameron is “guilty of defamation”.

    Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, Mr Cameron said: “I want to say something to the National Union of Students.

    “When you choose to ally yourselves with an organisation like CAGE, which called Jihadi John a ‘beautiful young man’ and told people to ‘support the jihad’ in Iraq and Afghanistan it really does, in my opinion, shame your organisation and your noble history of campaigning for justice.”

    When west Londoner Mohammed Emwazi was ousted as the ISIS executioner nicknamed Jihadi John, CAGE’s research director, Asim Qureshi, said he was a “beautiful young man”when they had known him before.

    In a video in 2006 Mr Qureshi called to “support the jihad of our brothers and sisters” in the Middle East at a protest outside the US Embassy.

    But today CAGE said it has “never supported terrorism in any way” and maintained it works to “stand against torture and against the violation of human rights” by using the rule of law to end the “war on terror”.

    As well as potentially launching legal action against the Prime Minister, CAGE also announced today it has applied for a judicial review against UK charity watchdog, the Charity Commission.

    CAGE says the commission “exceeded its role as government regulator” by pressuring donors to stop funding it and claims the Charity Commission “spread false information based on misleading reports in certain sections of the media”.

    It said the commission “demonised” CAGE because Jihadi John approached it for advice before he left to fight for ISIS in Syria.

    The organisation is not stopping there on the warpath against the establishment – it has also complained to the United Nations (UN) about “sustained attacks on its ability to do its advocacy work”, which it says involves campaigning for the rights “of those adversely affected by the war on terror”.

    Tonight, Dr Adnan Siddiqui, director of CAGE, said: “The concerted efforts to demonise CAGE are counter-productive and fits into a broader counter-terrorism strategy that is founded on a combative, securitised approach that will increase the chance of politically motivated violence, rather than counter it.”

    He said CAGE is “taking steps to challenge this strategy” and warned “maligning” the organisation will damage efforts made by others in British society who are searching for solutions “to issues that affect all of society”.

    Dr Siddiqui added: “We are not the problem, even though our call for dialogue and conciliation may not be welcome by the Government.

    “We are looking to all fair minded people to join us in preventing alienation, division and fear with a view to preserving the basic freedoms that have been the fruits of the struggles of previous generations.”

    The Prime Minister’s office said it would not be commenting on the allegations.”

  4. Saudi Arabia says relations with Hamas have not changed after meeting

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Thursday a visit to the kingdom last week by a Hamas delegation was religious rather than political and Saudi relations with the Iran-allied Palestinian group had not changed.

    Saudi Arabia has for years regarded Hamas with intense suspicion because the Palestinian militant group is both a traditional ally of Iran and also an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement Riyadh has often seen as a threat.

    “The visit of Hamas to the Saudi kingdom made by Khaled Meshaal and his colleagues (was a) visit to the holy city of Mecca … The position of the kingdom with regards to Hamas has not changed,” Jubeir said.

    Jubeir described as inaccurate and exaggerated media reports that the visit was political in nature.

    King Salman’s meeting on Friday with Meshaal was seen by regional analysts as part of a Saudi effort to shore up Arab unity in the face of a perceived threat from Iran that Riyadh believes has become more urgent since last week’s nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

    Although the Brotherhood, like Saudi Arabia, is Sunni Muslim, Riyadh distrusts it because it combines a call to conservative religious values that might appeal to the kingdom’s citizens with demands to replace dynastic rule with elections.

    A Hamas source said the July 17 meeting, the first between the two sides for years, brought together top members of Hamas’s political wing with the Saudi king, crown prince and defense minister in a possible rapprochement between the conservative U.S.-allied kingdom. The political situation in the region was discussed at the meeting, the source said.

    Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 after fighting a brief civil war with Fatah, its main Palestinian rival, and has waged three wars with Israel, which it has vowed to destroy.

    Since Salman became king in January, he has stopped short of befriending the Brotherhood but worked to reduce tension with the movement’s own allies.

    Specifically, he has strengthened Saudi ties with Turkey and Qatar and provided refuge for leaders of Islah, the Yemeni offshoot of the Brotherhood, after they fled the takeover of the capital Sanaa by Iran-backed Houthi forces.

    By building rapport with Hamas, Riyadh might mollify some Brotherhood allies and make it harder for Iran to present itself as the region’s main defender of the Palestinians against Israel and to portray Saudi Arabia as covertly supporting Israel.

    Saudi Official Downplays Significance of Recent Hamas Visit

    Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat says a recent visit by the leader of Hamas was for religious purposes and was not an official political visit to the kingdom.

    Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and other officials from the militant Palestinian group visited the holy city of Mecca last week, with Hamas saying Mashaal shook hands with King Salman and prayed alongside the monarch.

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s comments on Thursday were aimed at downplaying speculation that Hamas was improving relations with Saudi Arabia, which is suspicious of Hamas’ political Islamist ideology and the group’s ties to its regional rival, Iran.

    Hamas’ relations to Saudi Arabia have been strained since a Saudi-brokered reconciliation agreement between the group and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction broke down a decade ago.

    • Better publicity would’ve increased turn-out, but the people who came were great. The speakers were powerful. They know how depressed – even defeatest – many of us are, so they were determined to boost our spirits. That seemed a big part of why they put so much effort into a small-scale rally.

  5. Channel Project under fire after conviction of Britain youngest terrorist

    The schoolboy was placed on the Channel Project when he was aged just 13 but failed to stop him plotting major outrage in Australia

    Britain’s counter-radicalisation programmes are under the spotlight again after it emerged that Britain’s youngest terrorist was first referred to one two years ago.

    The schoolboy was placed on the Channel Project when he was aged just 13, after concerns were raised at his school.

    He had made Islamist threats, talked about Osama bin Laden and expressed his desire to be a jihadist.

    But efforts to divert him from radicalisation failed because 16 months later he was directing plans for a major terrorist atrocity in Australia from his bedroom.

    It calls in to question the effectiveness of the Government’s counter-radicalisation efforts at a time when a worrying number of young Muslims are being attracted by the lure of Isil.

    The Government is considering plans to force jihadists returning from Syria to go through counter-radicalisation programmes as a condition of being allowed back in the UK.

    The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted inciting Australian teenagers to attack the Anzac Day parade in Melbourne when he appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink.

    The cell was to drive in to crowds and behead a policeman but were foiled when police in the UK discovered messages between the youngster and his Australian contact.

    The fact someone so young almost successfully organised what would have been a horrific terrorist attack has sent shock waves through the police and security services.

    But the Daily Telegraph can disclose the boy, who has poor vision and is almost blind in one eye, was flagged up as a risk at an even younger age.

    Police were called to his school in 2013 amid concerns over his erratic behaviour and threats he had made which had an Islamist theme.

    more :

  6. Turkish cleric issues Islamic license to kill ISIL militants

    After declaring that oral sex is not forbidden in Islam, a popular Muslim televangelist in Turkey has issued another sensational fatwa, issuing a religious license to kill Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

    “If you run across them, slaughter them like you fight with the people of Ad and ?rem [two places destroyed by God]. Those who kill them will be awarded and those who are killed by them will be martyrs,” Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü said in his July 23 column for daily Vahdet, adapting a quote by Prophet Muhammad to today’s ISIL militants.

    Ünlü, popularly known as “Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca” (Robed Ahmet Hoca) among his followers, also described ISIL militants as “the dogs of Hell.”

    The Turkish state had appointed a security detail to protect Ünlü after he was threatened by ISIL earlier this year. “If I am on God’s list, I will die anyway. If I am not on that list, then ISIL cannot intervene [to kill me],” he said at the time.

    More recently, Ünlü hit Turkish media headlines with a debate on venereal issues, slamming a colleague for describing “advanced oral sex” as religiously forbidden, claiming that there was no such ban in Islam.

      • Turkish army trades fire with ISIL fighters in Syria

        One army officer killed in Kilis in cross-border gunfire, prompting retaliatory assault on ISIL base, Turkish media say.

        One Turkish army officer has been killed and two soldiers injured in cross-border gunfire with Syria.

        Turkish media reported on Thursday that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) shot at the Turkish army in Kilis, a Turkish border town, causing the casualties.

        Anadolu News Agency reporters told Al Jazeera that the Turkish army immediately retaliated by attacking an ISIL base on Syrian territory, killing at least one fighter.

        The agency could not confirm what weapons were used in the ISIL attack.

        Against this backdrop, the Wall Street Journal, citing US defence officials, reported that Turkey had agreed to allow the US military to launch air strikes against ISIL from the Incirlik airbase.


        Turkey tanks open fire on Isil over Syria border after soldier killed

        First cross-border clashes between Turkey and Isil break out after Turkish soldier killed by gunfire from jihadist-controlled part of Syria

        Turkish tanks opened fire on Isil targets in Syria and fighter jets were scrambled after a Turkish soldier was killed by shots from across the border.

        The clashes on Thursday were the first between Turkish forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

        “Turkish soldiers returned fire after shots came from the Syrian side of the border, from the region where Islamic State militants are. The clash is going on at the moment,” a senior Turkish official said.

        Turkey scrambled F-16 fighter jets to the border region following the clashes.

        Two Turkish sergeants were also injured in the cross-border gunfire, although they were not in serious condition, said Suleyman Tapsiz, the governor for the Kilis province.

        At least one Isil jihadist was killed by Turkish tank fire in response. An Isil armed vehicle was also destroyed.

  7. EGYPT – Al-Azhar calls for Shia-Sunni gathering

    The Grand Imam of the al-Azhar mosque, Egypt’s top Muslim authority, has called for a meeting of leading Sunni and Shia scholars in the capital, Cairo.

    The call by Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb aired on Egypt’s state TV on Wednesday evening came at the close of a series of programs about Ramadan.
    Al Tayeb called on Sunni scholars to issue a Fatwa (Religious edict) prohibiting the killing of Shia Muslims.

    He also called on Shia scholars to issue a similar fatwa prohibiting the killing of Sunni Muslims.
    Al Tayeb said his call was aimed at “burying sectarian strife” and halting the “bloodbath” that is gripping the region.

    The sheikh of al-Azhar further stressed the necessity of endorsing the culture of “coexistence and peace,” and of saving the Islamic nation from “conspirators and plotters.”

    Al Tayeb has repeatedly accused what he described as a “Zionist plan” for wreaking havoc on Islamic countries, and creating rifts and strife among Muslims.

    • ( … killing infidels still OK ? )

      Sunni grand imam invites Shia clerics to issue joint fatwas

      Dr. Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque – one of the most respected institutions of Sunni Islam, has invited Shia clerics to a meeting to issue joint fatwas, a legal opinion pertaining to the Islamic law, against the killing of followers of either sect.

      In a televised address, El-Tayeb invited clerics and scholars from the largest denominations of Islam in an effort to stop the sectarian conflict that has existed for centuries.

      Despite El-Tayeb’s seemingly well-intentioned invitation, his address also carried a stern warning against what he called “Shiite evangelism in the strongholds of the Sunni people.” He added that Sunnis “represent 90 percent of the entire Muslim population in the world” and Egypt is a Sunni nation.

      El-Tayeb rejected attempts at recruiting Egyptian youth into the Shiite fold, saying that doing so may cause a split in the Egyptian population and may result in more sectarian violence in the country, similar to the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

  8. Coordinated searches carried out in Gothenburg, Sweden

    On 23 July, the Swedish Security Service carried out coordinated searches at several locations in the Gothenburg area. Two individuals were arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences, for murder in Syria. There is a warrant out for the arrest of one more individual.

    On Thursday morning, the Swedish Security Service carried out coordinated searches at several locations in the Gothenburg area. Two individuals were arrested. They are currently in police custody on suspicion of terrorist offences, for murder in Syria. The searches were carried out in cooperation with the National Counter Terrorism Unit and Police Region West.

    This Security Service investigation is not associated with the gang-related problems in Gothenburg.

    This investigation is subject to secrecy and therefore no further details can be provided at this time.

  9. Egypt Military Says Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Troops in Sinai (abcnews, July 23, 2015)

    “A roadside bombing in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai killed at least four troops on Thursday, military and security officials said, in an attack that was claimed by an Islamic State affiliate.

    The bomb went off when an armored military vehicle was combing an area around the border village of el-Mahdiya, close to the town of Rafah, which borders Gaza Strip, according to the Egyptian military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir.

    In a statement on his official Facebook page, Samir said the explosion killed one officer and three soldiers and also wounded three troops.

    An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb in a statement posted onTwitter by supporters of the group. The group said it also attacked another military vehicle at a separate checkpoint and shot and killed a soldier at a third checkpoint.

    A security official in Sinai said the explosion occurred outside a checkpoint near el-Mahdiya, killing the four troops who were inside an armored vehicle. Clashes with militants then ensued, killing a fifth soldier, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

    The official also said that at the same time, militants clashed with troops at two separate checkpoints in other parts of northern Sinai, wounding four soldiers. A military official denied the two separate attacks.

    It was not immediately possible to reconcile the different accounts. Media access to northern Sinai, where military operations have intensified since 2013, is limited.

    Egypt is battling a widening insurgency that has largely targeted troops in northern Sinai. Recently, the attacks have expanded to reach the capital of Cairo, with a car bombing killing the country’s chief prosecutor in late June and another striking outside the Italian Consulate earlier this month. The militants say they are avenging a government crackdown on Islamists.”

    • I go berserk at times about how the younger generations have been so propagandized about how a bad failed President was a demi God,, I was 16 the year JFK was murdered and I remember how even the press was mad at him and reporting how he was in so much trouble with the voters and leaders of the Dems that he might not run for a second term and would probably lose if he did run. They were still in love with Bobby and Teddy but had turned on John, they covered for Ted when he murdered the woman in his car and when he went to Moscow to get help from the KGB to defeat President Reagan in 1984.

  10. NYT video – In an exclusive interview with Thomas L. Friedman, Obama explains why he has no second thoughts about the accord with Iran.

    Whether it’s reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It’s all the news that’s fit to watch. On YouTube.

    Produced by: A.J. Chavar, Gabriella Demczuk, Gabe Silverman, Emily B. Hager and Abe Sater


    ( 47 min )

  11. Australian IS Nurse Faces Prosecution on Return to Sydney

    An Australian nurse who has said he was forced by the Islamic State movement to work as a medic in Syria faces prosecution under counterterrorism laws when he returns to Sydney on Friday, police said.

    Adam Brookman, 39, could become the first person to be charged under tough new laws which make it a crime to even set foot in the Islamic State stronghold of al-Raqqa province in Syria without good reason.

    Brookman was voluntarily returning to Australia with a police escort on a flight from Turkey where he had surrendered to authorities, Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

    He was “subject to ongoing investigations” but has not been charged, police said.

    “The public can rest assured that any Australian who is identified as a threat to security will be investigated by the relevant agencies,” the statement said.

    “If there is evidence an Australian has committed a criminal offence under Australia law while involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, they will be charged and put before the courts,” it said.
    Brookman, a Muslim convert and father of five children who live in Melbourne, told Fairfax Media in May that he went to Syria last year to do humanitarian work for civilians caught in the conflict. He said he was innocent of any crime.
    Brookman said he was forced to join Islamic State militants after being injured in an airstrike and taken to a hospital controlled by the group.

    “After I recovered, they wouldn’t let me leave,” he told Fairfax.

    He won the militants’ trust by working as a medic and was able to escape in December to Turkey where he eventually surrendered to authorities.

    Brookman told Fairfax that he opposed the violent and extreme actions of Islamic State militants, including the beheading of their captives.

    “Of course there will be an investigation. That is fine. Hopefully things don’t look that bad,” Brookman told Fairfax.

    It is not clear whether Brookman was still in Syria on Dec. 4 when Australia made being in al-Raqqa a crime punishable by 10 years in prison. If charged, the onus would be on Brookman to prove he had a legitimate reason to be in the terrorist hotspot.

    Australian police issued an arrest warrant in June for Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh who is working in an al-Raqqa hospital and has appeared in an Islamic State movement recruitment video urging Western medical professionals to join him.

    Kamleh faces three terrorism offenses carrying a maximum total of 45 years in prison if he returns to Australia.

    • Full Session: The Complexity of Today’s Global Threat Environment ( 58 min 26 )

      FBI Director Jim Comey assesses the diverse range of threats to the U.S. homeland and shares his strategy for countering them.

      James Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
      Moderator: Wolf Blitzer, Anchor, “The Situation Room,” CNN

  12. CANADA – Windsor- Rafid Jihad sentencing hearing to continue next week

    A sentencing hearing will continue next week for a man who attacked a teenage boy with a hammer.

    Rafid Jihad was previously found guilty of attempted murder in the attack that left a 13-year-old boy with multiple skull fractures last year.

    The Crown is seeking a six- to eight-year sentence for Jihad, along with a lifetime weapons ban.

    Defence lawyer Frank Retar says Jihad had an untreated mental illness.

    Retar is asking for the judge to sentence his client to a 44-month sentence, less time served. And he is also asking for Jihad to have three years’ probation with psychiatric supervision.

    The Crown says there is no evidence that Jihad’s mental-health issues contributed to the offence.

    On Thursday, it was revealed at Jihad’s sentencing hearing that he is not a Canadian citizen, as his lawyer had previously believed.

    Jihad is a permanent resident, a status that his lawyer says has potential deportation implications.

    These issues will be discussed when his sentencing hearing resumes next Thursday.

    Jihad will be given an opportunity to address the court at that time.

    video ( June 2014 )

  13. MEMRI TV – Saudi Author Turki Al-Hamad: Our Youth Are Brainwashed; We Must Dry Up ISIS Ideology at the Source ( 5 min 01 )

  14. DAILY MAIL – Saudi king builds a lift to the beach on French Riviera with walkways so his feet never touch the sand

    French President Hollande reportedly fast-tracked the lift request ‘in hours’
    The lift and wooden walkway will lead down to Mirandole beach in Vallauris
    He had popular nudist beach in French Riviera closed less than a week ago
    Mayor of Vallauris says the lift and walkway go against strict planning laws
    The King of Saudi Arabia has won approval to build an elevator from his luxurious villa on the French Riviera to the beach he had closed less than a week ago.

    King Salman, 79, also plans on building a staircase and wooden walkways leading from his opulent villa down to the Mirandole beach in Vallauris ‘so his feet never have to touch the sand’.

    He ignited the fury of residents in the Cote d’Azur when local officials agreed to close down the popular 100-metre-long beach, just six miles from Cannes, in the height of summer.

    The mayor of Vallauris wrote to French President Francois Hollande to say the lift, which will rest on a giant concrete slab, is against planning laws, the Times reports.

    But the president fast-tracked permission for the structure ‘within hours’ of the formal request, according to the newspaper.

    The French Interior Ministry announced the King Salman promised to remove all the newly-built facilities by the time he leaves the Riviera on August 20.

    He is thought to arrive on Saturday but his exact schedule has not been made public for security reasons.

    French Riviera Beach Taken Over by Saudi King Triggers Public Outrage

    All beaches in France are open to the public. That’s the law.

    Public, that is, until a very rich, very royal and very powerful king decides to sink concrete slabs and barriers in the sand to ensure that one particular beach will be kept all to himself and his hundreds of guests – and on none other than the Riviera, during high season when most of France is on vacation and headed in droves to the Mediterranean coast.

    So it has happened with Mirandole Beach in the small town of Vallauris between Cannes and Antibes, site of a gigantic mansion owned by the Saudi royal family.

    The locals are furious, triggering a stir that has been well covered by France’s national media.

    “The beach is not the most ‘glamorous’ of the French Riviera,” the magazine Paris Match explained. “But this is one of the few sandy beaches of the area, a family friendly, quiet place where locals swim every day and where everyone knows each other. There is a shower and a small jetty. The beach also provides access to a kilometer-long coastal path leading to another small cove popular with nudists. ”

    The municipal government initially greenlit the construction of an elevator, staircase and reportedly walkways on the beach so the king’s feet never touch the sand, which further stirred the controversy.

    Nestled in the rocks between train tracks and the blue waters of the Mediterranean, and stretching over a kilometer above the coastline, the Château de l’Aurore, as the property is known, is surrounded by walls where 79-year-old King Salman, who ascended to the Saudi throne after the death of King Abdullah in January, has decided to take a holiday accompanied by a 500-strong retinue of family members, friends, medical aides and staff.

    Although the scandal forced local officials to stop the “temporary privatization” work for a few days until required permits were filed, local officials confirmed that the Mirandole Beach will be handed over for security reasons entirely to the Saudi family during their vacation.

    It’s reported that the “affair” was closely followed by officials in President François Hollande’s office.

    Vallauris residents accuse the government of caving to pressure from the Saudi royal family, while various local agencies and interests are threatening lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the beach closure.

    The privatization extends into the sea, prohibiting boats from navigating within 300 meters of the immense villa.

    If the media reaction is a measure of the greater French opinion, here are some of the recent headlines:

    “Saudi Royals Grab Riviera Beach for Themselves” – The Local.

    “The Beach of Vallauris Prohibited to Please the Saudi King” – Le Point.

    “The Saudi King Decides to Privatize a Beach on the French Riviera” – L’Express.

    The privatization of a Beach for the Saudi King Arouses Bitterness” – El Watan.

    “A Public Beach of the Riviera Privatized for the Saudi Royal Family” – RTL.

    Despite their outrage, many in Mirandole also admit that the presence of some 500 members of the royal entourage will have an enormous and not entirely negative impact on the small town and many others in the vicinity. One sign is that local roads have been repaired and some public buildings improved in preparation for the royal visit.

    The controversial villa was built in 1932 for the American actress Maxine Elliot, a friend of Winston Churchill. Her guests and partygoers featured Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell and Doris Delevingne, great-aunt of the model Cara Delevigne.

    During WW II, it was used by the Gestapo. Afterwards, it was bought by Prince Ali Khan, who married Hollywood star Rita Hayworth.

    In 1979, it was bought by Saudi King Fahd but later fell into disrepair. Except for the maintenance staff, the chateau hasn’t been visited by the royal family for the last three years.

    In recent weeks, “there were dozens of workers repairing and restoring the place,” according to Paris Match. “Oleanders and other trees were planted and hundreds of flowers pots brought to decorate the terraces. Outside, 40 vehicles are parked along the road and a helicopter has even been mobilized to transport heavy equipment and to be on permanent standby.”

    Nevertheless, La France is La France and the rights of the citizens of the republic presumably prevail over commercial interests – at least on paper. In the words of one popular French columnist: “The people of Vallauris feel duped because they have come to the conclusion that the law is not the same whether one is rich or poor. And they are right. Security must be assured for the king but not by flaunting the law, not by kneeling at the feet of an Arab monarch.”

    All the new construction will be removed once the king and his retinue finish their holiday on August 20.

  15. EARLIER THIS WEEK – Bowe Bergdahl found during California pot raid, released by officials

    Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was released in a prisoner exchange in Afghanistan for five Taliban detainees, wound up in the middle of a pot raid earlier this week in northern California.

    Captian Greg Van Patten with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News Thursday that the county’s marijuana eradication team encountered Bergdahl on Tuesday while serving a search warrant on a home in Redwood City, Calif.

    Van Patten said Bergdahl was detained, but ultimately was “determined not to be connected to the operation, at least there was no evidence to suggest he was involved.”

    When Bergdahl encountered the law enforcement team, Van Patten said he identified himself while the sheriff’s office reached out to the Department of Defense. The agency confirmed Bergdahl was on leave, and asked for their assistance in getting him back.

    Sheriff’s office personnel later drove Bergdahl “to a halfway point,” where he met up with army representatives.

    An Army spokeswoman, Cynthia O. Smith, confirmed to Fox News that Bergdahl was picked up in California.

    “U.S. Army North was contacted by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office on July 21 regarding an incident within their jurisdiction in which SGT Bowe Bergdahl was present,” Smith said.

    “SGT Bergdahl was on authorized leave in California at that time. He was not arrested and has returned to his duty station at Fort Sam Houston He has not been charged with any crime involving his time on leave,” she added.

    Van Patten said the marijuana eradication team discovered 180 mature plants being grown outdoors, and added that it would not be out of the question for someone in the house to not be aware of the plants.

    At least one person was arrested in the raid, but Van Patten said at least one person other than Bergdahl was also not arrested. He added that it is “not unusual” for people found in similar situations to be released.

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