Reader’s provided links for Aug. 7 – 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

67 Replies to “Reader’s provided links for Aug. 7 – 2015”

  1. BELFAST – Hundreds of supporters gather to cheer controversial cleric James McConnell

    The public gallery of court number nine can seat about 20 people.

    By the time Pastor James McConnell’s case was called, more than 500 supporters were queued at the door.

    And a similar number were waiting on the street outside, some clutching placards and banners in support of the evangelical preacher.

    Even for a building used to high profile criminal trials, it was an extraordinary morning. But then this is no ordinary case.

    At its heart is the question of freedom of speech, a very basic right of any democratic society.

    Pastor McConnell arrived about an hour before his case was scheduled to open, and was warmly applauded as he edged through the crowd.

    Stopping at the entrance, he smiled broadly and posed for photographs.

    Accompanied by supporters, he then made his way inside and up to court number nine, on the second floor of the vast building.

    The public gallery was already full as the pastor, dressed smartly in a navy suit, entered the room.

    One man had to leave to ensure he could be seated, second from the right of the back row, just behind his wife, Margaret.

    The case had been due to begin at 10.30am, with district judge Amanda Henderson keen to hear it immediately because of the growing crowd outside.

    However, difficulties locating the prosecutor meant there was a short delay.

    Questioned on the whereabouts of the missing official, an exasperated member of court staff remarked: “There are a lot of people outside.”

    “Yes, but not the prosecutor,” the judge replied.

    The case, when the prosecutor was finally located and the hearing got under way, lasted around seven minutes.

    Because the prosecution was brought by summons, Pastor McConnell was not required to enter the dock.

    He remained seated in the public gallery, appearing relaxed but listening carefully, as his solicitor outlined their intention.

    “We are pleading not guilty – a very candid not guilty,” Joe Rice said.

    It was, he continued, one of the most bizarre and peculiar cases ever to come before the courts.

    Acknowledging the vast number of supporters, Mr Rice said further hearings should be held in a larger courtroom.

    At times the pastor, now 78 and in declining health, leaned forward to hear what was being said. District judge Amanda Henderson relisted the case for September 3.

    As he left the courtroom, Pastor McConnell was greeted by loud cheers and applause.

    He briefly addressed supporters gathered in the corridor, waiting for news.

    “We are back on September 3, and my solicitor has done a wonderful job,” he said, before turning to leave.

    The crowd followed, spilling outside, where Pastor McConnell was greeted by more supporters, including DUP MP Sammy Wilson.

    There were loud cheers as the pastor approached, waving and raising his thumb.

    Supporters clutched banners reading ‘Christianity under persecution’ and ‘Evil Sharia Law is not welcome in our country’.

    Pastor McConnell made his way through the crowd to a set of microphones, where he struck a defiant tone during an impromptu press conference.

    To loud cheers he declared: “I will not go back on what I have preached.”

    At one stage he gave thanks to God for the weather, remarking: “He kept the rain off.”

    Referring to the case, he said there had been anger over his prosecution. “Even from atheists, even from people who don’t go to church. They say this is ridiculous, and it is ridiculous, it is absolutely stupid,” he said.

    Patted on the back by a supporter, the pastor continued: “I’ll see you all on the third of September.”

    Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson criticised the pastor’s prosecution.

    “People should have the right to express what they believe without fear of prosecution,” he said. “Here’s a man who passionately believes something, who says what he believes and who has been prosecuted for it because there is a narrow, politically correct Taliban who want to corral us all into thinking, saying, speaking as they believe we should. If we allow that to happen then I think we’ll be a poorer society.”

    As Pastor McConnell walked away, the crowd broke out into a hymn, raising their voices in support of his claim on freedom of speech.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/hundreds-of-supporters-gather-to-cheer-controversial-cleric-james-mcconnell-31433788.html

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Over 1000 turn up at court to support pastor behind ‘satanic Islam’ comments

    AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR garnered lots of support when he turned up at court yesterday to be charged over a controversial sermon.

    McConnell (78) gave a sermon last year at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle mega-church in Belfast, where he described Islam as “satanic”.

    He has been charged under the Communications Act in relation to the broadcasting of the sermon on the internet. He had initially been the subject of an investigation into whether he had incited hatred.

    McConnell initially stood over his remarks, but later reverted and apologised, saying, “I am saying sorry to those who may have been harmed. Because that was never my intention. My intention was to preach against the Islamic doctrine.”

    Yesterda,y McConnell said that over 1000 people turned out to support him at Laganside Magistrates Court.

    Speaking outside the court, he thanked God for his solicitor.

    “I will not go back on what I’ve preached,” he told the assembled media and supporters.

    I’m am not guilty, I am pleading not guilty. I want to be exonerated.

    He added: “We need sensible people governing this country.”

    He will be back in court on 3 September.

    http://www.thejournal.ie/james-mcconnell-preacher-court-case-2257701-Aug2015/

    ———————————————————————-

  2. War on Isis: Tunisian PM says Britain has a responsibility to protect nation from militants

    Britain has a responsibility to stop Isis from infiltrating Tunisia, the country’s Prime Minister has said, because the UK is partly to blame for creating the violent chaos that allowed the extreme Islamist movement to flourish in neighbouring Libya.

    In an interview with The Independent, Habib Essid blamed Western intervention in Libya, which helped bring about the downfall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, for destabilising that country and leaving his nation more vulnerable to terrorism.

    He spoke as British police said the attack in the Tunisian resort of Sousse in June that left 30 British tourists dead was almost certainly linked to a mass shooting at the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March.

    Mr Essid said the UK and France, which led the air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces, were not solely to blame for the current turmoil in Libya, but they had been “part of the problem”. Asked if this meant Britain and France had a responsibility to help Tunisia police its border with Libya, he said: “They have responsibility. Terrorism has no borders.”

    However Mr Essid stressed that Tunisia was “against all military intervention in Libya”. “We consider that the current situation is the result of the [2011] intervention, which created chaos. The solution must be a political solution,” he said.

    Safeguarding his country’s fledgling democracy also had a wider significance, he argued. “It’s the only success story of the Arab Spring. The success of Tunisia is important for everyone,” he said.

    The Sousse and Bardo shootings, which killed a total of 60 people, have both been claimed by Isis. Commander Richard Walton, of the Metropolitan Police, said there were “strong” links between the two attacks.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/war-on-isis-tunisian-pm-says-britain-has-a-responsibility-to-protect-nation-from-militants-10441631.html

          • – Vatican – Aug 07 2015
            Pope says rejecting migrants an ‘act of war’

            The rejection of migrants fleeing violence and hunger is an act of war, Pope Francis told youth Friday.

            Francis told members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement that when migrants are forced to flee from country to country, with no one giving them shelter, “this is an unresolved conflict, and this is war, this is violence, it’s called murder”. The pope urged members of the youth movement to remember the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh, calling them “our brothers”.

            In recent weeks, Rohingya migrants – most of whom are Muslim – have been refused sanctuary in Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

            The pope said it was a crime that the Rohingja “have been driven from one country to another and another”.” “In this world there are so many wars,” said Francis. “We are in a war, I repeatedly say that this is a third world war…

            “But we are at war. And this is negative. But there are signs of hope and there are signs of joy”.

            Francis has frequently spoken out about the importance of welcoming and assisting migrants, which have been flooding into Europe to escape wars in the Middle East and Africa.

            One of the pope’s first trips after he was elected in March 2013 was to visit the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the first European shore reached by countless migrants.

            “The world has so many bad things, we are at war,” concluded Francis.

            “But there are also many beautiful things and so many good things and many saints hidden in the people of God. God is present”.

            As the pope spoke, two operations coordinated by the Italian coast guard off the coast of Libya rescued some 240 people.

            But only days earlier, while some 400 migrants were rescued another 200 were presumed dead after a boat overturned. The bodies of 26 children were recovered.

            The pope also urged the young people to have courage in facing tensions and conflicts that he said are part of life, and reminded them that they “cannot retire at 20”.

            Northern League Leader Matteo Salvini on Friday challenged Francis’s call to care for migrants.

            In a Facebook post, Salvini, whose party is opposed to undocumented migrants, disagreed with the pope’s words.

            “Rejecting illegal immigrants is crime?,” wrote Salvini on the social media website.

            http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2015/08/07/pope-says-rejecting-migrants-an-act-of-war_858459f1-2a9e-4f75-9d05-a62a4233845c.html

            In Italian – Vatican Aug 07 2015 –

      • Afghanistan blast: Kabul hit by second bomb attack

        A suicide blast has rocked the Afghan capital Kabul, hours after a huge truck bomb killed 15 people and wounded 240 others in the city.

        A suicide bomber blew himself up near Kabul’s police academy. “Casualties are expected,” said interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

        In the early hours of Friday a truck carrying explosives was detonated near an army base in the Shah Shahid area.

        Suspicion for both attacks is likely to fall on the Taliban.

        Few details have yet emerged of the latest suicide attack. Mr Danish said the suicide bomber had been “on foot” when he blew himself up.

        The truck bomb, which went off just after midnight, damaged buildings and created an enormous crater in the road.

        A security source told Reuters that the target was probably an army compound.

        Injured people including women and children were rushed to hospital for treatment. Some bodies were feared buried in the wreckage of shops and businesses.

        The BBC’s Khalil Noori says that most of the casualties from the first bomb attack were civilians.

        Large truck bombs are unusual in the centre of Kabul, in part because police do not allow lorries to enter the city during daytime.

        But smaller bombs and suicide attacks have become almost a weekly occurrence in the heavily fortified city.

        On Thursday at least six people, including three policemen, were killed in a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan.

        A lorry filled with explosives was detonated outside a police compound in Puli Alam, capital of Logar province.

        The Taliban claimed the bombing, the first major attack since the militants confirmed last week that their leader, Mullah Omar, was dead.

        On Monday the Afghan Taliban released a video which they said showed members of the group pledging allegiance to the new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33814737

        Suicide bomber targets police academy in Afghan capital

        A suicide bomber attacked a police academy in the Afghan capital on Friday and casualties were feared, police said, less than a day after a huge truck bomb detonated in a central part of the city killing 15 and wounding hundreds.

        A police source said the bomber struck as cadets were returning to the academy after the weekend. The bomber was believed to have been in police uniform, the source said.

        Official figures on casualties had yet to be released, but a local television network said eight had been killed, quoting an ambulance official.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/07/us-afghanistan-attack-idUSKCN0QC1U920150807

        • At least 20 dead in Kabul police academy attack

          At least 20 Afghan cadets were killed when a suicide attacker blew himself up at the entrance of Kabul Police Academy on Friday, officials said.

          “The attacker was wearing police uniform… when he detonated his explosives, 20 cadets were killed and 20 more were wounded,” a senior Afghan intelligence official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

          The bomber managed to place himself in a queue as police trainees were waiting to be searched before entering the academy, the official said.

          The Taliban were behind the suicide attack, the spokesman for the group, Zabihullah Mujahid, told AFP.

          Another police official confirmed that toll while a third senior security source told AFP that 25 cadets were killed in the attack.

          The incident, which comes as cadets were returning to the academy after their two-day weekend, marks a serious breach of security at a premier training institute for Afghan security forces.

          Heavily-armed security officials cordoned off the area and ambulances with wailing sirens were seen rushing to the scene.

          The academy in west Kabul is a premier training institution for police forces in Afghanistan, with between 2,000 and 3,000 cadets graduating every year.

          The suicide bombing comes less than 24 hours after a truck bomb tore through central Kabul, killing 15 civilians and wounding 240 others in the first major attack in the Afghan capital since the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death.

          http://news.yahoo.com/suicide-blast-hits-kabul-police-academy-casualties-feared-162156495.html

    • Last week I saw a “talking-points” against this deal and the side-deals as details about them emerge. Very basic, just “be sure to say…”
      What to hit for Congress and American decision-makers who haven’t yet declared. Some are specific to tech specialists invited to testify.

      Caroline touches most of them; she’s one of the people who wrote the talking-points. I’ve seen 23 reports or articles so far. Some are simply devastating.

      Besides all that, we can come up with more:
      -Our European allies have scientists and corporate big-shots making-nice in Teheran. Iranian “students” grab them as hostages.
      -Or, IAEA inspectors are arrested as spies.

      Think of it as a slapstick game? What else?

      • Iran is a large untapped market, once the sanctions are lifted they will never be reapplied, there will be too much money being made by the big corporations for any government to impose sanctions that will do the damage to their own economy that sanctions reimposing sanctions would cause.

  3. Five killed in clashes between Turkish forces, Kurdish rebels

    Five people were killed in eastern Turkey on Friday in a series of clashes between security forces and Kurdish militants, part of a surge in violence that has put further strain on a fragile peace process between Ankara and the rebels.

    Three people were killed and seven wounded during clashes between police and militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the town of Silopi in Sirnak province, close to Turkey’s borders with Syria and Iraq, authorities said.

    In two other separate incidents in Van and Agri provinces, the militants killed two soldiers, bringing the death toll among Turkish security forces since July 20 to at least 21.

    Violence has swept eastern Turkey since last month when the outlawed PKK ramped up attacks on security forces and Ankara launched reciprocal air strikes against the militants in Turkey and northern Iraq.

    The provincial governor’s office in Silopi said PKK militants had dug trenches and erected barricades across the town and that they had then attacked security forces with rockets, handmade explosives and rifles at 5:30 am (0330 British time).

    The statement said a 17-year-old youth and a 58-year-old man were among those killed and that operations were still continuing.

    Sporadic gunfire rang out and smoke billowed into the sky, Reuters TV footage showed. Armoured jeeps and water cannon vehicles patrolled the streets as masked youths looked on from street corners.

    Two police officers were among the wounded, the governor’s office said.

    A lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, Faysal Sariyildiz, told reporters the casualties were civilians and that he had seen no sign of armed militants, contradicting official accounts.

    Hundreds of police backed up by armoured vehicles had tried to enter the town and had opened fire on local people, he said.

    “The police must withdraw immediately and tension must be lowered,” Sariyildiz said. “We are concerned that the number of dead and wounded will rise. If that happens it will spread to other cities across the country.”

    UNCERTAINTY

    The upsurge in clashes comes at a time of political uncertainty in Turkey, where efforts to forge a coalition government after an inconclusive June election have yet to yield fruit and with a snap election emerging as a possibility.

    The PKK announced it was stepping up attacks in mid-July over what it said were ceasefire violations by Turkish forces.

    Violence has worsened since Turkey began an air campaign against PKK camps in northern Iraq on July 24, in what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called a “synchronised fight against terror”. Turkish jets have also hit Islamic State positions in Syria and Ankara has allowed the U.S.-led coalition targeting the IS militants to use its air bases to launch further raids.

    The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union, launched its insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

    Ankara launched the peace process with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in late 2012.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/08/07/uk-mideast-crisis-turkey-kurds-idUKKCN0QC0XS20150807

  4. Pay close attention to this one, it is important.

    Sweden: The Defense that Disappeared

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6287/sweden-military

    Welcome to the future of the US if the current trend isn’t reversed. There are enough armed vets and civilians to deter the thinking nations that might invade us, other then that we are headed in the same direction, it wouldn’t take us 5 years to rearm, we could do this on a crash bases (think WWII) in one year as long as we don’t have too many attacks by the Islamic forces that are suppose to be in the US.

  5. »»» The Syrian civil war is actually a pipeline war over control of energy supply «««

    Chinese stratagems and Syrian buffer zone for Turkey-Qatar pipeline

    Erdogan’s latest feat in beguiling US/NATO to back his demands regarding Syria is a masterpiece.

    Employing a familiar Chinese stratagem of Man Tian Guo Hai often associated with Emperor Liu Bei’s (161-230 AD) military strategist Zhuge Liang in the Three Kingdoms period, in one fell swoop of offering access to Incerlik air base to fight ISIS, Erdogan obtained what he’s coveted all along: buffer zone for anti-Assad rebels courtesy of US air force, prevention of Kurdish expansion along Turkey’s borders, opportunity to pummel PKK, and legitimacy for his actions from NATO.

    Man Tian Guo Hai means deceive the heavens to cross the ocean–to use the ruse of a fake goal until the real goal is achieved.

    To what end? The golden prize is likely the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline to tap into EU’s lucrative market.

    Erdogan gains pipeline dream

    First proposed by Qatar in 2009, the natural gas pipeline would run through Syria’s Aleppo and Turkey unto Europe. However, Assad dampened this dream in 2011 when he instead forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run an “Islamic pipeline” eastward to the European market.

    Now coincidentally, around the Aleppo region is also where Turkey proposed for US to set up the buffer zone to supply “moderate rebel” forces.

    Writing in Armed Forces Journal, Major Rob Taylor joined numerous other pundits in observing that the Syrian civil war is actually a pipeline war over control of energy supply, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey needing to remove Assad “so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”

    “Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as al Qaeda and other groups, are maneuvering to depose Assad and capitalize on their hoped-for Sunni conquest in Damascus. By doing this, they hope to gain a share of control over the ‘new’ Syrian government, and a share in the pipeline wealth.” Even if it includes Turkey surreptitiously supporting ISIS against Assad.

    Thus, even if the Saudi/Qatar/Turkey backed Army of Conquest can control just enough land in Syria for a salafist statelet to build the Qatar-Turkey pipeline, then these sunni states can finally realize their pipeline dream.

    Indeed, the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report corroborates their desire to carve out a salafist statelet in Syria east of Assad-controlled territory in order to put pressure on his regime (In 2012 it was further east, but now that Assad has lost much territory it is just east of Latakia).

    But what are the costs for this ploy?

    Costs of US-Turkey bargain

    Firstly, jihadists in charge of Syria would mean the further extinction of Mideast Christians, as well as genocide of other Syrian religious and ethnic minorities.

    Secondly, US and NATO moral legitimacy would be eroded and rightly or wrongly, be perceived by the non-western world as complicit in backing al Qaeda terrorist groups and the persecution of religious minorities.

    Thirdly, credibility of US as an ally would further corrode especially since Washington has betrayed the Kurds more than once. Already, US security experts are warning allies such as South Korea and Japan to hedge themselves and build nuclear weapons due to loss of trust in US security guarantee.

    Additionally, as some Chinese scholars assessed, Syria/Turkey would become the new AfPak with a safe haven for salafist jihadists to gain power and launch attacks elsewhere, much like western-backed Afghan Mujahideen morphed into al Qaeda and continues to attack the west.

    In fact, German politician Cen Ozdemir already called Turkey a “mini-Pakistan” and Berlin has issued a travel advisory, following in the footstep of China after violent anti-China protests broke out in July.

    Finally, this risks escalation into a great power conflict by drawing in China, Russia and Iran into Syria.

    Iran’s interest in sustaining Assad is already well documented, and as for Russia, the Qatar-Turkey pipeline to Europe directly challenges its dominant position as energy supplier.

    That is why Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan tried to convince Putin to abandon Assad and promised that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”.

    Nonetheless Putin refused, and the Prince vowed military action.

    Chinese interests are also harmed due to link of Uyghur insurgents with Turkey’s anti-Assad rebels, threatening Xinjiang secession and destroying the crown jewel and bridge head of Xi Jinping’s silk road grand strategy.

    The Turkey/Qatar/Saudi-backed Army of Conquest includes Chinese Uyghur-led terror group, Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), that in April joined al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat-al-Nusra (JN), Uzbek-led Imam Bukhari Jamaat and Katibat Tawhid wal Jihad to defeat the Syrian army at Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Syria’s Idlib governorate.

    As such the rebel coalition now has a direct supply line open from Turkey’s Hatay Province to Idlib, further expanded by the new proposed buffer zone. Counter-terror expert Jacob Zenn assessed that the “rebels may have enough resources to establish a de-facto state in northwestern Syria led by JN and supported by several Central Asian militas.”
    *************************************************************************
    This de facto state poses a grave security threat to China s a safe haven for militant groups to launch attacks in the home front, especially with the recent revelation by Chinese security officials that Turkey has been issuing fake passports to recruit Chinese Uyghurs for its anti-Assad group.
    *************************************************************************
    TIP has already claimed numerous high-profile terrorists attacks against China over the past two years, including the Kunming train station attacks which Beijing calls her 9/11.

    The Middle Kingdom has in the past threatened support for PKK as leverage over Turkey’s backing of Uyghur separatists. As Turkey continues to support Uyghur militants and attack PKK, it would be interesting to see if Emperor Xi levels the playing field and decides to arm PKK via the strategy of Jiè dao sha rén , or killing with a borrowed sword.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/chinese-stratagems-and-syrian-buffer-zone-for-turkey-qatar-pipeline/

  6. NYT – Trial Starts for Argentine Ex-President in ’94 Bombing of Jewish Center

    BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s labyrinthine investigation into the suicide bombing of a Jewish community center here two decades ago began a new chapter on Thursday with the start of a trial in which Carlos Menem, a former president, is accused of trying to derail the case.

    Mr. Menem, 85, is one of 13 defendants, mostly former officials, suspected of conspiring to conceal what prosecutors have said was Syrian involvement in the 1994 bomb attack, which killed 85 people. The trial points to the struggles of Argentina’s judiciary, which has failed to convict anyone of the bombing but has pushed ahead with separate cover-up allegations.

    For some in Argentina, the long-awaited trial arouses hopes of one day solving the bombing, a case scarred by setbacks and controversy, including the mysterious death this year of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who was leading the investigation. Before Mr. Nisman took the helm a decade ago, the investigation had been tainted by scandal.

    Mr. Menem was not in the federal trial court on Thursday because of poor health, his lawyer said. But in their opening statements, prosecutors and lawyers for private plaintiffs, who have joined the case as allowed by Argentine law, told judges that one of the defendants — Juan José Galeano, who was the judge first assigned to the investigation — paid a witness, Carlos Telleldín, $400,000 to falsely incriminate four police officers in the bombing, as part of a state-directed scheme to distort the evidence.

    Separately, prosecutors and plaintiffs’ lawyers claim that Mr. Menem, who is of Syrian descent, ordered Mr. Galeano to deflect suspicion away from a Syrian-Argentine textile merchant by using the former president’s brother, Munir Menem, as an intermediary. In the days after the attack, the investigation of the textile merchant, Alberto Jacinto Kanoore Edul, “was prematurely discontinued following an order by Carlos Menem, obeyed without objection by Galeano,” the court was told, “paralyzing one of the leads that, without doubt, had serious probabilities of deepening knowledge” of the bombing.

    Munir Menem, who was a presidential secretary for his brother, has since died.

    In an interview before the trial began, Mr. Galeano, 57, claimed that the payment to Mr. Telleldín, 54, who sold the van used by the suicide bomber, was not a bribe to induce false testimony but a legitimate use of state funds to foster cooperation by witnesses. (A fund is available to pay reluctant witnesses who have information about the Jewish center bombing and another terrorist attack here two years earlier, according to a 1994 presidential decree.)

    “It was totally legal,” he said. “What I needed was information to move the case forward.” Mr. Galeano denied ever speaking to Munir Menem and allegations that he maneuvered to clear Mr. Kanoore Edul of suspicion.

    President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whom Mr. Nisman also accused of conspiring to derail the investigation, has supported the trial of Mr. Menem, now a senator who has been convicted of arms smuggling.

    In a new line of inquiry, Mr. Nisman had claimed that Iranian officials were behind the bombing. Days before his death in January, he accused Mrs. Kirchner of conspiring to shield them from prosecution in return for trade benefits. But a prosecutor who inherited the Kirchner conspiracy case dropped it.

    One theory about the bombing is that it was an act of revenge: Syrian leaders may have been angered that Mr. Menem, who had forged ties with Syria before he became president, terminated an arms deal after he was elected, historians say. Likewise, Mr. Nisman said in 2006 that he agitated Iran by ending nuclear energy cooperation.

    Some victims’ relatives say that the trial could provide new leads. “The hope is not illusory,” said Alejandro Rúa, a lawyer for Active Memory, a group representing some victims’ relatives that is a plaintiff in the trial. “The very state authorities that were supposed to investigate the case covered it up. Now, we will try to verify their motives.” Others said the trial, which may involve about 140 witnesses, according to local news media reports, and is expected last at least a year, would yield few results.

    “There is nothing to be discovered after so many years,” Carlos Escudé, an Argentine political scientist who has written on the case, said in an email. “Leads have faded.”

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/07/world/americas/trial-starts-for-argentine-ex-president-in-94-bombing-of-jewish-center.html

  7. Germany: Scuffles break out after gov. worker allegedly attacks a refugee

    Scuffles break out at the Health and Social Centre Moabit in Berlin after a government worker allegedly attacked a Moroccan refugee at the facility.

    Earlier in the day, Berliners donated water and food to refugees at the centre, where hundreds have been camping for several days.

    After reports of water and food shortages for the asylum seekers, a group of Berliners took matters into their own hands and started to bring donations to the premises themselves.

    According to the Ministry of Health and Social affairs, workers are overwhelmed with the task of providing food and water to the refugees and they couldn’t meet their basic needs anymore. There is no information on when the situation might be resolved.

  8. DENMARK – International Conference: The Danish Muhammad cartoon crisis in retroperspect

    http://www.trykkefrihed.dk/kalender/212/109-international-conference-the-danish-muhammad-cartoon-crisis-in-retroperspect.htm

    Danish Parliament to host Muhammad cartoon conference

    EUROPE – A controversial conference on cartoons and satire will be held in the Danish Parliament next month, because no other venues in the city are considered safe enough.
    ‘The Danish Muhammad cartoon crisis in retrospect’ will take place on 26 September, organised by the Free Press Society.
    Speakers include the editor of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Flemming Rose, Canadian journalist Mark Steyn and British political commentator Douglas Murray.

    Rose was responsible for commissioning a number of satirical drawings of Muhammad published in his newspaper in September 2005.

    In February this year, three people – two victims and one perpetrator – were killed and five police officers wounded in shootings following an afternoon event called “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” at the Krudttonden cultural centre in the Danish capital.

    Aia Fog, vice chairman of The Free Press Society, said that in the wake of the attacks the safety level of conferences and seminars has been significantly upgraded.

    She said: “The reason why The Free Press Society has chosen the Danish Parliament as venue of the international conference on the Danish Mohammad Cartoon Crisis is primarily that Flemming Rose will be among the speakers and that we also have invited several of the Mohammad cartoonists to attend the conference. They all live with death threats.

    “It is thought provoking though, that the Danish Parliament only has agreed to host the conference if it takes place on a weekend. On week-days the security-level for the conference is considered too high.”

    A spokeswoman for Wonderful Copenhagen, the city’s tourism arm, said: “It is going to take place in the parliament because they can offer sufficient security. Following the incident earlier this year, event venues were criticised for not offering enough security.”

    http://www.c-mw.net/danish-parliament-to-host-muhammad-cartoon-conference/

  9. Nigeria to establish weapons factory, says President Buhari (BBC, Aug 7, 2015)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33828244

    “Nigeria is going to establish a domestic weapons factory in an effort to cut its dependence on imported arms, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

    The defence ministry had been told to develop plans for a “modest military industrial complex,” the president, who came to power in May, said

    Nigeria has been battling the militant Islamist group Boko Haram for the last six years.
    The US has refused to sell arms to Nigeria citing human rights abuses….”

  10. Mali hotel siege: Gunmen take hostages in deadly raid (BBC, Aug 7, 2015)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33817733

    “Gunmen in Mali have killed at least five people in an attack on a hotel in the central town of Severe, officials say. The dead include Malian soldiers.

    The UN mission in the country said it believed “a member of the international personnel” was killed in the attack.

    An unknown number of hostages are still being held at the Byblos Hotel, which is popular with UN workers. Two of the gunmen have also been killed.

    Mali has been fighting Islamist rebels in the north for a number of years.

    A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Mali said one of those being held was a Russian citizen. Earlier, officials in Kiev said a Ukrainian citizen was also believed to have been captured.

    Army spokesman Lt Col Diarran Kone told Associated Press that the operation to free hostages was ongoing….”

  11. Islamic State militants ‘abduct Christians’ in Syrian town (BBC, Aug 7, 2015)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33818386

    “Islamic State militants have abducted dozens of people, many Christian, from a Syrian town captured on Thursday from pro-regime forces, reports say.

    They were seized when the jihadists swept through al-Qaryatain in Homs province, monitoring groups say.

    Many of the Christians had fled to al-Qaryatain to escape fighting in Aleppo province to the north.

    Islamic State (IS) has treated Christians harshly in other places under its control.

    The group follows its own extreme version of Sunni Islam and has previously ordered Christians to convert, pay jizya (a religious levy), or face death….”

  12. Thousands of Iraqis Protest Against Government Corruption (abcnews, Aug 7, 2015)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/thousands-iraqis-protest-government-corruption-32948612

    “Thousands of Iraqis braved the scorching summer heat to stage a huge protest in central Baghdad on Friday, calling on the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and sack corrupt government officials.

    Security forces and riot police sealed off Iraq’s iconic Tahrir Square and searched anyone who entered the area, but tens of thousands of men, women and children thronged the sprawling square, waving Iraqi flags.

    “In the name of religion, the thieves robbed us,” they chanted long into the evening.

    Men with the government-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the umbrella group made up predominantly of Shiite militias, pulled up in trucks and handed out ice water bottles to the protesters.

    Their gesture was welcomed by roaring shouts in support of the paramilitary force now fighting the Islamic State group. The PMU was hastily assembled last year, with pre-existing militias and new volunteers, to reinforce the Iraqi military after it crumbled in the face of the Sunni militant blitz that seized a third of the country.

    “The government is robbing the Mobilization Forces too!” the protesters cried, with many PMU fighters claiming they weren’t receiving salaries promised to them.

    This is the second Friday of protests in Baghdad and across Iraq, with people initially calling on authorities to address the country’s chronic electricity problems as temperatures in the capital soared above 50 degrees Celsius (123 Fahrenheit). But with little action from the Shiite-dominated government following last week’s demonstrations, the call for a government shake-up intensified….”

  13. Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood protest against New Suez Canal

    Hundreds of people gathered in Cairo, Friday, to protest against the New Suez Canal, which was inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Thursday. The demonstration was organised by the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The protesters carried anti-Sisi banners and called the president an “idiot,” arguing that the new canal has no use except for legitimising a government they say was brought to power in a “coup.”

  14. Kurds clash with Turkish police in two southeastern towns

    Pro-PKK protesters take to the streets in Cizre after three people are killed and seven wounded in clashes between police and Kurdish militants in nearby Silopi.

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