News items from readers for July 31 – 2015

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About Eeyore

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

51 Replies to “News items from readers for July 31 – 2015”

  1. Price tag for anti-ISIS operations now tops $3.2 billion (CNN, July 27, 2015)

    “The cost of U.S. military operations against ISIS now tops $3.2 billion — a tab of $9.4 million per day, according to Pentagon estimates.The bulk of those expenses are daily flying operations by the Air Force. Those flights have accounted for 53% of the total costs so far, with munitions and operational support ranking second at 23% each.The costs averaged $5.6 million per day in August and September of 2014, when the United States was only fighting ISIS in Iraq. But they’ve ticked up to an average of $9.9 million per day since then, with operations taking place in both Iraq and Syria.”

  2. Saudi Arabia asks NY judge to drop it from Sept. 11 lawsuit

    NEW YORK – Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks and should be dismissed as a defendant in lawsuits brought by victims’ families, a lawyer for the kingdom told a judge Thursday.

    Attorney Michael Kellogg made the argument before a Manhattan federal judge, who did not immediately rule.

    Saudi Arabia was dropped as a defendant nine years ago by a judge who said it was protected by sovereign immunity, but a federal appeals court in December 2013 reinstated it, saying a legal exception existed and the circumstances were extraordinary.

    Kellogg said there were no facts showing Saudi Arabia knew of the attacks in advance or knowingly aided terrorists.

    He said the plaintiffs had failed to allege “admissible, concrete, competent evidence” that Saudi Arabia was involved, but they instead relied on innuendo and rumors to support their claims.

    He argued that foreign nations are immune from such lawsuits and the plaintiffs had not shown any evidence that could overcome that burden.

    Speaking for the Sept. 11 families, attorney Sean Carter said the judge must decide whether there is sufficient evidence to find that Saudi Arabia’s agents provided terrorists with “operational assistance.”

    He said two Saudi government employees helped two Sept. 11 hijackers who could not speak English find an apartment and get acclimated with the country when they first arrived in San Diego. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

    One of the Saudi employees, according to court papers, housed them for a time at his apartment, co-signed and guaranteed their lease and helped them open a bank account with $9,000 of his own money.

    Lawyers for the plaintiffs say they have developed substantial new evidence against Saudi Arabia since the Sept. 11 Commission said in a report a decade ago that it found no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials individually funded Al Qaeda.

    Carter said some of the commission staff responsible for the Saudi part of the investigation had believed there was a Saudi connection, but other more senior officials made a “political decision” that there should be no allegations against a foreign entity that could not be proved 100 percent.

    The lawsuits were brought in 2002 and afterward against countries, companies and organizations accused of aiding Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. They sought billions of dollars in damages.

      • DAILY MAIL – BBC reporter who asked migrants if they were returning to ‘the Jungle’ is slammed by viewers even though he was referring to the temporary camp in Calais

        Paul Adams heard asking refugees: ‘Are you going back to the jungle?’
        Viewers did not realise he was using correct name for illegal Calais camp
        ‘The Jungle’ houses 5,000 refugees who are trying to get from France to UK

        A senior BBC reporter triggered a furious response today after asking a group of black refugees: ‘Are you going back to the Jungle?’

        Viewers accused Diplomatic Correspondent Paul Adams of making a racist slur – not realising that the ‘Jungle’ is the real name of the huge migrant camp just outside Calais.

        Mr Adams has spent the past two nights with migrants desperately trying to get to the Channel Tunnel and then on Britain.

        After a group were repelled by French police at the fences around the Eurotunnel terminal the journalist asked them: ‘Are you going back to the Jungle or will you try again?’

        Shocked viewers, many of them watching early this morning on BBC Breakfast appeared to misunderstand the reference.

        Ashleigh Lianne ?tweeted: ‘Will you be trying again or going back to the jungle’ a BBC reporter says to a Black man in Calais.. Wow’

        Mark Davies wrote: Did I just hear a reporter on BBC ask a migrant if he was going to go back to the jungle?

        Ellie Bath said: ‘Can’t believe the bbc reporter got away with saying to a couple of black men ‘you going back to the jungle now’

        While Graham Shaw tweeted: BBC reporter asked a black man if he was going back to the jungle?! just because he got flung out of Calais train station!’

        ?@PalmersGun tweeted: ‘BBC reporter asking captured immigrants if they are going to try again or go back to the jungle! I know it’s what they call the camp but..

  3. Europe responsible for refugees drowning in the sea – Erdogan

    Jakarta – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe on Friday of not doing enough to help refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, suggesting it was responsible for people “drowning in the sea”.

    Turkey, which has taken in some 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict started in 2011, has repeatedly said that it has been left to shoulder a disproportionate burden as Western states stand by.

    Erdogan has championed an “open-door” policy toward Syrian refugees, despite their increasing presence in major Turkish cities stoking tensions with locals.

    The president complained again Friday that Turkey had “welcomed” two million refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq while Europe had struggled to accept a tenth of that number.

    “This is the type of country that we are,” Erdogan, through a translator, told an audience at a military think tank in Jakarta at the start of a two-day visit to Indonesia.

    “But when you look at the whole of Europe, what you find is that they have not been able to welcome a mere 200,000 refugees in their countries.

    “What’s more, when there are those who tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get into Europe, the attitude they have or the groundwork they lay is such that these people end up drowning in the sea,” he added.

    The outspoken president has not been alone in criticising the West on refugees, with the UN’s refugee chief urging countries to follow Turkey’s lead and open up their borders.

    Erdogan said this week the formation of a safe zone inside war-torn Syria, free from the Islamic State group, would help 1.7 million refugees return home.

    Erdogan slams claims of Turkey IS cooperation as ‘black propaganda’

    Jakarta (AFP) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday fiercely denied suggestions Turkey was assisting Islamic State militants, accusing “dark powers” of spreading false propaganda about his country.

    During a visit to Indonesia, the president said Turkey had suffered “significant losses” in its battle against terrorists but was determined to keep up the fight, pointing to military operations launched by Ankara in the last few days.

    Turkey launched strikes against IS last week following a devastating suicide bombing in a border town, and shortly after gave the US approval to use the strategic Incirlik air base near the Syrian border for anti-IS raids.

    But after initially targeting the IS group, the campaign has become increasingly focused on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, with the Turkish air force launching a wave of new assaults on PKK targets.

    The PKK has accused Ankara of collaborating with IS, while Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party claims Erdogan is using strikes against the jihadists as “cover” for its main goal of eroding the PKK.

    Though not naming the PKK, Erdogan said “dark powers” were spreading misinformation about Turkey, dismissing accusations against Turkey as “ungrounded and unjustified”.

    “Unfortunately these dark powers or circles try to convey the image – the black propaganda – that Turkey is actually assisting this kind of terrorist organisation,” Erdogan, through a translator, told an audience at a military thinktank in Jakarta at the start of a two-day visit to Indonesia.

    “Never has Turkey been involved in this kind of a scenario… and never will it be.”

    Syria’s foreign ministry this week also expressed scepticism about Turkish efforts to fight IS, suggesting internal factors were at play.

    Turkey had long been reluctant to take action against IS militants. Its failure to let US planes use Incirlik for raids against IS in Syria had caused severe irritation in Washington.

    Turkey’s decision to lump IS together with Kurdish forces who bitterly oppose the jihadist group has surprised some Western allies, but NATO this week united behind the alliance’s only Muslim member.

    Erdogan also used his speech in Jakarta to criticise countries trying to “pass the blame to Turkey” because they couldn’t keep track of their own citizens travelling abroad to fight with IS militants.

    Turkish prosecuters launch investigation into leader of pro-Kurdish opposition

    • Turkey’s Erdogan says his only concern is Islam, takes jab at atheists

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his only concern is Islam, while slamming the defenders of terrorists and atheists in Turkey.

      “We have only one concern. It is Islam, Islam and Islam. It is impossible for us to accept the overshadowing of Islam. Islam is damaged from what is all being done now. We all have to show the will to categorically deny terrorism without looking at its basis or identity,” said Erdo?an in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta as part of a visit to the Far East and Southeast Asia.

      Erdogan also said some people in Turkey who belong to different sects even defended atheists and terrorists due to sectarian reasons.

      “When it comes to speaking, they say ‘We are Muslims.’ But on the other hand, we see those who defend both terrorists and atheist organizations just because of that sectarian difference. Therefore, we have to be on alert against those people,” said Erdogan.

      Erdogan also added Islam was at a turning point with sectarianism being the primary problem.

      Turkey does not have a problem with different sects, but terrorist organizations attempt to take advantage of differences in sects under the guise of Islam, he said. In this regard, he named the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as a terrorist organization and said it was damaging Islam and the perception of Muslims in the world.

      “The footage disclosed to the world by the hand of this organization greatly damages the perception of Islam and Muslims in the world. We all have to defy this as Turkey does. However, there are some dark powers spreading propaganda that Turkey supported this organization. Turkey has never been involved in that support,” Erdogan said, adding that the actions of ISIL had no place in Islam.

      Erdogan also said the cost of Syrian refugees to Turkey had now exceeded 6 billion dollars, while criticizing the West over its failure to show as much sensibility as Turkey in terms of refugees.

      “They [European nations] are even giving opportunities to refugees coming from the Aegean and Mediterranean to drown in the sea,” Erdogan said.

  4. National Abortion Federation Files for Injunction Against Center for Medical Progress

    The videos included footage of baby organs in petri dishes at Planned Parenthood clinics.

    The Center for Medical Progress must have a sting video from National Abortion Federation meetings.

    And NAF doesn’t want it released!

    From a NAF press release:

    Attempting to stop an ongoing campaign of threats and harassment against health care providers, the National Abortion Federation filed suit today in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction which would prohibit the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), David Daleiden, and others from releasing recordings and materials they illegally obtained at NAF’s educational meetings.

    The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asks that the Defendants be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from publishing or otherwise disclosing any recordings or confidential information from NAF annual meetings, publishing or otherwise disclosing the names or addresses of any NAF members that they learned at NAF annual meetings, and attempting to gain access to any future NAF meetings.

    NAF meetings are one of the only places where abortion providers can come together to learn about the latest research and advances in their field, and network without fear of harassment or intimidation. Many of the attendees are high-profile targets of anti-abortion extremists. Given the decades-long campaign of violence against abortion providers, NAF has strict security measures in place that are not common at other meetings.

    “The safety and security of our members is our top priority,” said Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO. “That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers. CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”

  5. StemExpress got a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress. The order prevents CMP from releasing more video footage.

    What are they hiding? David Daleidan, the man who spearheaded the undercover operation, went on CNN to tell the world.

    StemExpress gets fully intact babies from abortion clinics.

    “In a meeting with their top leadership, they admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with, and that could be prima facie evidence of born alive infants. And so that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape and they’re very scared of it.”

  6. “Brother Kelly, who has been arrested 10 times, had a bucket of water thrown over him and been pushed over in the street, has travelled the country giving out leaflets condemning homosexuality and abortion.

    Despite his arrests he has refused to stop putting leaflets through people’s letterboxes.

    He told “At first I agreed to do no more leafleting. But I’ve wrestled with it, I’ve sought spiritual counsel. And I’ve decided I have to obey God’s law and not the state’s law.””

    “In an appeal on the Black Hermits’ website Sister Colette writes: “We are having to move from our present diocese (Northampton), but we do not have anywhere to go. Does anyone know of anywhere suitable for three hermits and our cats in the British Isles or Ireland?”
    Get a job?

  7. Ebola vaccine is ‘potential game-changer’ (BBC, July 31, 2015)

    “A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest.

    There were no proven drugs or vaccines against the virus at the start of the largest outbreak of Ebola in history, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said the findings, being published in the Lancet, could be a “game-changer”.

    Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

    This trial centred on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was started by the Public Health Agency of Canada and then developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck.

    It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.

    A unique clinical trial took place in Guinea. When a patient was discovered, their friends, neighbours and family were vaccinated to create a “protective ring” of immunity….”

  8. Chad reintroduces death penalty for acts of terror (BBC, July 31, 2015)

    “MPs in Chad have voted to reinstate the death penalty for acts of terrorism six months after it was abolished.

    The unanimous vote by 146 of the 189 members of parliament present followed recent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants from neighbouring Nigeria.

    Officials in the mainly Muslim nation have already banned the full Islamic veil in response to suicide bombings.

    Chad has been instrumental in helping Nigeria recapture territory from the insurgents earlier this year.

    Opposition and civil liberties groups have criticised the new anti-terror legislation that was passed on Thursday evening, saying it could be used to curb civil rights.

    Meanwhile, Chad’s army says it has “killed 117” militants in an operation launched a fortnight ago against Boko Haram fighters hiding on the islands of Lake Chad, the AFP news agency reports.

    “Two Chadian soldiers died and two others were wounded” in the operation, said army spokesman Col Azem Bermendoa Agouna, adding that the operation was ongoing….”

  9. Libya: Indian university teachers ‘kidnapped’ (BBC, July 31, 2015)

    “Four Indian teachers have been kidnapped in Libya, India’s foreign ministry has reported, adding later it had secured the release of two of them. The four were abducted at a checkpoint near the city of Sirte, where they were teaching at a university.

    The Islamic State (IS) group has a strong presence in Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Libya has descended into chaos since Gaddafi’s death in October 2011, with various militias fighting for power.

    The teachers, from the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, were working with the University of Sirte. They were kidnapped on their way back to India on Wednesday.

    “They were returning to India via Tripoli and Tunis, when they were detained at a checkpoint approximately 50km (31 miles) from Sirte,” an Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said. It is still not clear who kidnapped the teachers, but the spokesperson said the Indians “have been brought back to the city of Sirte”.

    On Friday afternoon, a tweet by India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the government was “able to secure the release” of two of them – named as Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar.
    “Trying for other two,” the tweet said.

    Most of Sirte fell to IS in May. Last July, a group of 65 Indian nurses were trapped in fighting in Libya. The nurses, who had been working in hospitals in the country, safely returned to India in August.

    In June 2014, 40 Indians – all construction workers – were kidnapped in the violence-hit Iraqi city of Mosul. Their fate is still not known.”

  10. Turkey: Five dead in PKK attacks on police and railway (BBC, July 31, 2015)

    “Five people have died in Turkey after Kurdish PKK rebels launched two separate attacks on a police station and railway, officials said. Two officers and two PKK fighters died in the police station raid in the southern town of Pozanti on Thursday.

    In the eastern province of Kars, the rebels bombed a railway line and then fired at repair workers, killing one. The attacks are the latest in a sudden upsurge in violence after a fragile two-year ceasefire broke last week.

    Turkey began launching airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq last week, after a Turkish policeman and civilian were killed in an attack in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, for which the PKK claimed responsibility.

    The strikes have prompted a renewal of open hostilities with the Kurdish group, which wants greater independence from Ankara for Turkey’s Kurdish minority. The two police and railway worker killed on Thursday bring the the number of deaths in Turkey since violence resumed to about 20 – chiefly members of the security forces.

    Turkish intelligence sources, cited by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, said they believe as many as 190 PKK fighters have been killed – and 300 wounded – in airstrikes. Many governments, including Turkey, Britain and the US, classify the PKK as a banned terrorist organisation.

    Turkey’s fight with the PKK is complicating the US-led war on the Islamic State group, for which the US has relied heavily on Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with Turkey’s Kurdish rebels.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said strikes against the PKK will continue until the group surrenders, despite calls from Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish political party for the resumption of peace efforts.”

  11. Czech Police Use Tear Gas Against Asylum Seekers (rferl, July 31, 2015)

    “Czech police say they used tear gas to stop migrants who were trying to flee a detention center in the country’s northeast on July 31.

    “A hundred migrants revolted. A special forces unit had to intervene because of the intensity of the protest,” a police spokeswoman said.

    The migrants, who were mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, have been held in the detention center awaiting deportation from the Czech Republic.

    The spokeswoman, Katerina Rendlova, said the migrants caused damage to the detention center as they tried to flee.

    After appealing for calm in Arabic and English, police resorted to “various methods, including handcuffing and tear gas,” she added.

    The migrants were expected to be sent to the countries through which they first entered into Europe’s Schengen zone.

    Under the European Union regulations, a migrant’s asylum claim is processed in the EU country they first arrive in.

    Local media reported that the migrants were likely trying to reach Germany.”

    Just plain Osama
    That La Mesa–based
    Saudi Arabian who reportedly got thousands
    of dollars from Saudi Princess Haifa al Faisal
    prior to the World Trade Center attacks owes
    the U.S. government some back taxes. According
    to county records, the Internal Revenue
    Service filed a
    tax lien against
    Osama Y. Bassnan
    for $5638 on February
    2 of this year.
    Congressional investigators
    say they discovered
    that the
    princess, wife of
    Prince Bandar bin
    Sultan, the Saudi
    ambassador to the
    U.S., began sending monthly $2000 checks
    to Bassnan’s wife, Majeda Dweikat, in January
    1999. And the ambassador himself reportedly
    gave Bassnan $15,000, all supposedly
    because he needed assistance for his kids
    and ailing spouse, who underwent thyroid
    surgery. After 9/11, Bassnan was linked to another
    San Diego–based Saudi national,Omar
    al-Bayoumi, who had befriended two of the
    men who wound up hijacking Flight 77 and
    flying it into the Pentagon. At least one of the
    checks the Bassnans got from the princess was
    signed over to al-Bayoumi’s wife, and the
    money ultimately made its way to the hijackers.
    Al-Bayoumi subsequently left the country
    and, after being arrested and released in
    London, disappeared back into Saudi Arabia.
    Will the IRS ever collect the taxes it says are
    owed by Bassnan? Unlikely, since the government
    charged him and his wife with visa
    fraud and deported them back to Saudi Arabia
    two months ago. Their six children are reportedly
    U.S. citizens.

  13. Jihadis threaten to slaughter British soldiers’ wives and families as police issue social media warning

    One family in Lincolnshire are believed to have fled their home after a chilling letter was posted through their letterbox

    The letter is entitled “JIHAD – The Holy War For Islam – A warning to the brides of British Soldier Warmongers” and threatens to “destroy the families of unbelievers”.

  14. Thousands of people in Mali’s capital, Bamako, are flocking to see what it believed to a religious sign on a wall that suddenly appeared last weekend.

    Many believe the white image on the outside wall of a toilet shows a man praying, interpreting it as a message from God.

    Riot police have been deployed to keep an eye on the crowd as people queue day and night to see the mark.

    Most southern Malians are Tijani Muslims, a moderate sect of Sufi Islam.

    ‘We believe it is a vision of our prophet,” Aliou Traore, who lives in the compound, told the BBC.

    ”People have come from Senegal to see it and several Malian government ministers and religious leaders have paid us a visit,” he said.

    Mr Traore said the mark has been changing shape since it first appeared.

    “Sometimes the white apparition leaves the wall altogether and moves around the compound. Then it goes back,” he said.

    The BBC’s Alex Duval Smith in Bamako says people do not have to pay to see the mark but are leaving money in a bucket, which the Traore family say they will give to the local mosque.

    When our reporter visited the compound, the mark seemed to look like a drying patch of cement in the shape of a standing woman.

    Photos of the image have been circulated widely in Bamako by mobile phone since it appeared on Saturday evening, our correspondent says.

    “It’s a miracle, I’ve seen it,” schoolteacher Aboubakar Diarra said after looking at the wall.

    “It’s obviously true. It’s a sign from God to Mali that our nation is great.”

    Followers of Tijani sect – who are mostly found in West Africa – are known for respecting “miracle” signs.

    pics on this page

  15. Some 260 PKK members killed in Turkey air strikes: report

    Around 260 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have been killed and hundreds more wounded in Ankara’s week-long campaign of air strikes against targets of the group inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, the official Anatolia news agency said Saturday.

    Without citing its sources, Anatolia said that among those wounded was Nurettin Demirtas, the brother of the leader of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas.

    Ankara has launched a two-pronged “anti-terror” offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after a wave of attacks inside the country. But so far the bombardments have focused far more on the Kurdish rebels.

    In the latest air strikes on Friday, 28 Turkish F-16s destroyed 65 targets of the PKK including shelters and arms depots, it said.

    The heaviest air strikes were on Thursday, when 80 Turkish aircraft hit 100 targets of the PKK, Anatolia said.

    “Up until now 260 terrorists have been rendered ineffective (killed) and 380-400 terrorists have been identified as injured, including the brother of Selahattin Demirtas, Nurettin Demirtas,” Anatolia said. The air strikes are expected to continue, it added.

    The Turkish government has so far refused to officially disclose casualty figures, with one official telling AFP that “this is not a soccer game”.

    But the sheer numbers of planes involved in the daily strikes on the PKK targets in northern Iraq has given an idea of the scale of the operation and raised concern in some Western capitals.

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday urged Turkey not to “tear down the bridges” that had been built over the last years with its Kurdish minority.

    The PKK’s insurgency for greater rights and powers for Turkey’s Kurdish minority, begun more than 30 years ago, has left tens of thousands dead. The current violence has shattered a ceasefire declared in 2013.

    Selahattin Demirtas openly acknowledges that his elder brother Nurettin went to the Kandil Mountain in northern Iraq where the PKK’s military headquarters are based.

    “I don’t even know if he’s dead or alive,” Selahattin Demirtas told AFP in an interview earlier this week.

    • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday urged Turkey not to “tear down the bridges” that had been built over the last years with its Kurdish minority.

      Not gonna pacify your your Kurdish constituents, Mr. Steinmeier. Just like POS, you changed sides. Cheap sellout.

  16. Venezuela supermarket looting leaves one dead, dozens detained

    CARACAS (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens were detained following looting of supermarkets in Venezuela’s southeastern city of Ciudad Guayana, the state governor said on Friday, amid the ongoing food shortages in the recession-hit OPEC nation.

    Shoppers seeking scarce consumer staples including milk, rice and flour broke into a supermarket warehouse on Friday morning, leading businesses in the area to shut their doors, local newspaper Correo del Caroni reported.

    State governor Francisco Rangel of the ruling Socialist Party said the looting was politically motivated.

    “A group of armed motorcyclists arrived and said they were going to loot certain establishments,” he told Venezuelan television station Globovision. “I’m sure it wasn’t spontaneous but rather planned with a political motive.”

    Gustavo Patinez, 21, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, Correo del Caroni reported, adding that 60 people were detained.

    Shops in the surrounding area were either shuttered or protected by national guard and police.

    Low oil prices and an increasingly dysfunctional set of currency and price controls have spurred shortages of consumers goods and caused tempers to flare in supermarket lines across the country.

    President Nicolas Maduro blames opposition leaders and businesses, saying they are waging an “economic war” against his government by raising prices and hoarding goods. Critics say the problems are due to a failing state-led economic model.

  17. Dresden, Germany (dpa) – Eight people were injured Saturday when a quarrel between residents came to blows in a refugee camp in the eastern German city of Dresden, police said.

    Officers with 14 patrol cars and two lines of riot police ended the fight and held off around 50 Syrians and Afghans from each other.

    “Men and women went at each other with whatever they could grab, from a fencing stake to a bedframe,” a spokesman said.

    It remains unclear why the fight escalated between the two groups.

    Approximately 80 police officers will temporarily stand guard at the camp. The arrival of around 1,000 asylum seekers in the last week has inflamed anti-immigrant sentiment and set off violent protests in the city.


    Eight people were injured in a massive fight between Syrian and Afghan refugees in the eastern German city of Dresden, local media reported Saturday, citing German police.

    Some 50 residents of a refugee camp were involved in the clashes. Riot police and patrol cars were deployed to quell the crowd.

    The cause of the fight between the two groups is yet to be determined. The tent city is now guarded by 80 police officers.

    Earlier this week, the arrival of some 1,000 asylum seekers, mainly from North African countries, to Dresden caused an anti-asylum rally, which culminated in the bombing of a local left-wing politician’s car.

    Europe is experiencing a major migrant crisis as thousands of people flee conflict-torn countries in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia. According to UN data, 137,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea for Europe in the first six months of 2015.

  18. AUSTRALIA – New Aussie anti-Islamic party guns for 20 per cent of the vote

    Australia officially now has a political party modelled on the far-right wing movements in Europe and dedicated to the idea that Islam is a “totalitarian ideology with global aspirations”.

    The Australian Liberty Alliance gained approval from the Australian Electoral Commission on Wednesday for registration as a party, having signed up well over the required 500 members and attracted no objections.

    Its national secretary, Ralf Schumann, confirmed that controversial anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders planned to launch the party on October 20.

    Mr Schumann told sympathisers this week that the party faced “a strong headwind and … some nasty windshears”, but reminded supporters that “so did like-minded parties with similar policies in Europe”.

    “And see where they are a few years later: In the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Austria, France and Italy – they are supported by millions, already poll in the 20 per cent bracket, win seats and slowly return common sense and Western principles to their parliaments.”

    Mr Schumann refused an interview about the party, which is the political offshoot of the “Islam-critical” Q Society. But Q Society national president Debbie Robinson, who is also a director of the ALA, told Fairfax Media that Islam was “a dangerous ideology that’s definitely not compatible with Western culture and society”.

    “There is no moderate version of Islam … there may be people who don’t follow it to the letter, but there is no moderate version, so it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for our society.”

    In Q Society emails, Ms Robinson has said the Australian Liberty Alliance intends to “rebuild the lucky country”.

    […]The party would ban full-face coverings in public spaces, and calls for a 10-year moratorium on resident visa applications by people from member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. These countries include Indonesia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Egypt, as well as many African and Middle Eastern countries.

    more :

  19. Rafid Jihad likely to be deported after sentence for hammer attack

    The man who tried to kill a 13-year-old in a hammer attack will likely be sent back to Iraq, the same place he left as a refugee more than a decade ago.

    Rafid Jihad was convicted of attempted murder in May in the savage attack that left teenager Jacob Mitchell with a fractured skull.

    Jihad is very likely to lose his permanent residency and subsequently be deported, his defence lawyer Frank Retar said in Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

    The law says permanent residents lose their status if sentenced to longer than six months, or if convicted of a serious crime that comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years or more.

    Both the Crown and defence submissions for a sentence are longer than six months. Retar asked the judge for a 44-month jail sentence, less about 21 months of time already served. Assistant Crown Eric Costaris argued for six to eight years in jail.

    The maximum sentence for attempted murder is imprisonment for life.

    “I believe he will be deported and return to Iraq,” Retar said after the hearing. “Rafid Jihad is looking forward to putting this behind him. He’s actually looking forward to — and has said more than once — his intention is to return to Iraq.”

    Retar said Jihad came to Canada in 2002 as a refugee. The Christian Iraqi’s mother and two sisters live here. His father died two years ago. Retar said it appears Jihad has no concerns about returning to Iraq.

    “He has uncles there. He came from there. Since coming to Canada he has returned to visit twice to visit for lengthy periods of time,” he said.

    Mitchell’s mother Rosa said she just wants to see a resolution soon, to give closure to her family and the rest of the community.

    “I’m only blessed right now that my son made it through this and that nothing happened to any other kids in the neighbourhood,” she said. “I don’t want to have to keep coming to court and listening to details.”

    She said she doesn’t want to see Jihad end up back in the neighbourhood, but that she hopes he gets the help he needs.

    Once Jihad is sentenced, he loses his right to appeal. He could ask for a judicial review to assess whether there is a way for him to stay in Canada, but Retar said he expected it was unlikely Jihad would do that.

    Retar had initially asked for three years of probation after a two-year jail term with the condition that Jihad receive treatment from the Canadian Mental Health Association of Windsor and Essex County and from a psychiatrist. He told the court Thursday that the probation was no longer relevant, since Jihad would likely be deported as soon as his time in custody is completed.

    Superior Court Justice Scott Campbell offered Jihad a chance to make a statement in court, but he declined. He asked instead for permission to submit a letter.

    Campbell is expected to deliver his sentence Sept. 25.

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