A couple of complimentary examples of media manipulation for leftist effect

This first one is from the new station, Czech Independent News and busts Polish TV doing what Canada’s CBC does daily, especially when it comes to any pro-life marches at Parliament hill. If they report on them at all, they reduce the numbers in attendance often by nine tenths or more.

Below, a TIME reporter claims the number in attendance at a ‘Slut Walk’ is higher than actual by something like 5000%

This goes some way to explaining the gap between male and female representation in STEM subjects: a feminist TIME journalist has claimed that “15,000” people attended a Slut Walk for which, by most estimations, barely 300 showed up.

In an op-ed for the magazine’s website that has since been altered to read “thousands,” which is still inaccurate, journalist Erica Williams Simon heavily implied she was present at the event, writing, “The solidarity was palpable and the energy electric.”

And a bonus example from Australia

About Eeyore

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

33 Replies to “A couple of complimentary examples of media manipulation for leftist effect”


    “A young, female ‘No Borders’ activist working in a migrant camp on the France-Italy border remained silent about her gang rape by Sudanese migrants for over a month because “the others asked me to keep quiet.”…”

  2. SC questions whether individuals have authority to punish blasphemers (tribune, Oct 6, 2015)

    “ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court questioned on Tuesday whether individuals had the authority to punish a blasphemer.

    Hearing former elite force guard Mumtaz Qadri’s plea, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the main issue in the case is whether individuals can presume the authority to punish a blasphemer.

    Justice Khosa expressed apprehension that if people took the authority to punish blasphemers then a “trend will start” which will be “dangerous for society.”

    Further, the judge said that there are a number of precedents in the superior courts wherein individuals have leveled allegations of blasphemy on the basis of their personal grudges.

    Justice Khosa also questioned whether the accused had approached the state against former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

    Although agreeing with the court’s apprehension, the counsel for the accused, Nazir Akhtar, said, “Punishing a blasphemer is a religious duty which has to be performed by everyone.”

    “In 80 cases, courts have given punishment and in 40 cases individuals have taken steps against blasphemers,” Akhtar added.

    On Monday, Qadri’s lawyer argued before a bench of the Supreme Court that the guard had acted on his own interpretation of the blasphemy law and teachings of the Holy Quran after being influenced by speeches of a religious scholar to assassinate ex-Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

    Mian Nazir Akhtar, arguing Qadri’s plea to overturn the death sentence awarded by an anti-terror court, said that the guard was convinced Taseer had committed blasphemy.

    The three-member bench noted that the real culprit was the person who had induced Qadri to commit the act.

    Justice Khosa added that no evidence had been presented that showed Taseer committed blasphemy; rather it seemed that the slain governor had pointed out defects in the law — which did not constitute a crime.”

  3. Taliban fighters launch hit-and-run attacks in Afghanistan’s Kunduz (reuters, Oct 6, 2015)

    “Taliban fighters on motorbikes have carried out hit-and-run attacks on Afghan forces trying to clear Kunduz city of insurgents, more than a week after the militant movement briefly seized the provincial capital.

    Adopting new tactics, Taliban fighters have been firing at security forces at checkpoints and then melting away into residential areas, rather than directly engaging in gun battles, said Hamdullah Danishi, acting governor of the northern city…”

  4. Russian jets hit Islamic State targets in Palmyra, Aleppo (reuters, Oct 6, 2015)

    “Russian jets hit Islamic State targets in the Syrian city of Palmyra and the northern province of Aleppo, Syrian state television and a monitoring group said on Tuesday, in some of the heaviest Russian attacks on the hardline Islamist group.

    The strikes destroyed 20 vehicles and three weapons depots in Islamic State-held Palmyra, state television said, quoting a military source. In Aleppo, they hit the towns of Al-Bab and Deir Hafer, about 20 km (10 miles) east of a military airport currently besieged by Islamic State fighters.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group tracking Syria’s civil war, said the Palmyra strikes killed 15 Islamic State fighters.

    “It was the heaviest Russian attack on Palmyra,” Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman said. Across Syria, Russian jets carried out at least 34 air strikes in the last 24 hours, the Observatory said.

    Another four Islamic State fighters were killed near Raqqa, the eastern city which has been the group’s stronghold in Syria for the last two years…”

  5. IS propaganda pushes state-building, Quilliam study finds (BBC, Oct 6, 2015)

    “Most propaganda from the self-styled Islamic State now aims to prove it is a genuine nation, rather than glorify acts of violence, a study suggests.

    Security think tank Quilliam said the fighting group was going to huge lengths to sell itself as a viable and functioning transnational state.

    IS media teams produced 900 separate reports, rulings, videos and radio programmes in one month, it found.

    It said 469 of these – more than half – focused on civilian life and statehood.

    These were spread worldwide through social media search terms and hashtags, to dodge attempts to close down its “official” social media channels…”

  6. Christian Pastor Survives Knife Attack at Home in Bangladesh (abcnews, Oct 6, 2015)

    “A Bangladeshi pastor survived an attempt on his life by three men who came to his home pretending to want to learn about Christianity, police and the victim said Tuesday.

    The attempt follows two killings of foreigners last week in the predominantly Muslim country grappling with violence claimed by hard-line Islamic groups.

    The Islamic State group claimed it had carried out last week’s attacks on a Japanese agricultural worker and an Italian aid worker. The IS claim has been rejected by Bangladesh’s government, which accused the opposition of trying to destabilize the country.

    On Monday, the Rev. Luke Sarker, 52, suffered minor injuries when three men attacked him with a knife at his home in the northwestern district of Pabna, police official Siddikur Rahman said.

    Sarker, the pastor of Faith Bible Church, said the men had phoned him about two weeks ago saying they wanted to visit him to learn about Christianity.

    After they arrived at his home on Monday, the men suddenly attacked him with a knife and tried to slit his throat, Sarker said by telephone. But as he shouted, his wife came to his rescue and the men fled. Police later recovered a motorbike from outside his home.

    On Tuesday, police arrested a member of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami political party, related to the attack on the pastor. Obaidul Islam was detained in a raid at his home at Ishwardi in Pabna, local police official Biman Kumar said…”

  7. Millions more refugees could flee Syria, Turkey warns EU (BBC, Oct 6, 2015)

    “Turkey has warned the EU that millions more refugees could flee Syria as the civil war intensifies, European Council President Donald Tusk has said.

    He said Russian and Iranian engagement in Syria was making a victory for President Bashar al-Assad more likely.

    According to Turkish estimates, it could mean another three million refugees from Aleppo and the area.

    The International Organization for Migration says it has so far had no reports of more people leaving Syria.

    “Violence and increased military activity breed displacement of civilians,” IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle told the BBC.

    He said his organisation was currently checking the situation on the ground, adding that Mr Tusk’s comments were “speculative”…”

  8. Yemen conflict: PM Bahah escapes Aden hotel attack (BBC, Oct 6, 2015)

    “Attacks in Aden on a hotel used by Yemen’s prime minister and two military installations have killed 15 Saudi-led coalition troops and pro-government fighters, Emirati state media say.

    Explosions rocked the Qasr hotel, the headquarters of the UAE’s forces in the city and a camp early on Tuesday.

    Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and members of his government escaped unharmed.

    The UAE blamed rocket-fire from Houthi rebels, but Islamic State (IS) said suicide bombers were responsible.

    Jihadist militants from IS and al-Qaeda have reportedly been seen on the streets of Aden since southern militiamen backed by coalition forces drove the Houthis out of the city in July before advancing northwards and creating a security vacuum…”

  9. Qatar ministry publishes maps with ‘no go’ housing zones for workers

    In an apparent renewal of efforts to keep blue-collar expats living in Qatar without their families away from residential areas, authorities have published maps detailing “no-go” zones for worker housing.

    The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP/Baladiya) has published a series of interactive maps on its website in Arabic that highlight the districts where laborer accommodation is banned.

    […]The move was spurred by complaints from members of the local community who said that they felt “threatened” in residential areas that had a large presence of male workers.

    […]It does not apply to individuals working in grocery stores or barbers, or to male white-collar, professional employees.


  10. Obama pushes tech firms to aid Syrian refugees

    The White House is pushing technology companies — from Kickstarter to Instacart — to roll out campaigns to help with the refugee crisis in Syria.

    President Obama wants the tech campaigns to encourage ordinary citizens to help out, calling it a “moral responsibility” that extends past government aid and Fortune 100 companies.

    “Large corporations have donated millions more. But you do not need to be a government or Fortune 100 company to #AidRefugees,” the White House’s director of product Joshua Miller wrote in a blog post.

    Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website, on Tuesday launched a campaign for the coming week to encourage donations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The company recently reincorporated as a “public benefit” company, and its chief executive said the Syria campaign was meant to “bring the most basic necessities to people who need them dearly.”

    People can spend anywhere from $15 to provide someone with a sleeping bag, to $600 to provide a year of education to a child.

    Instacart is a company that allows people to order groceries online for delivery. When checking out, customers on the site will also be encouraged to buy groceries for refugee families, with donations going to the UN. […]


  11. Morocco – Sex worker film banned – but widely available

    “Much Loved” tells the story of four prostitutes in the tourist city of Marrakech. It’s fictional but is meant to honestly portray the lives of Moroccan sex workers. But what peeved some Moroccans was not the hardships faced by the women in the film, but rather its nudity and vulgar language.

    Thousands were enraged and many created Facebook pages calling for a ban on the film and for action against French-Moroccan film director, Nabil Ayouch. The film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month, was then banned by the Minister of Communication who said it “undermines the moral values and dignity of Moroccan women as well as all the image of Morocco.”

    It wasn’t just conservative Moroccans who took issue with the movie. Some moderates and liberals, especially women, were also upset. “The film is offensive to Moroccan women,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “We don’t deny there’s prostitution but you can’t make it sound like it’s that big.”

    […]In parts of the Arab world, Morocco has a reputation as a destination for sex tourists, and that reputation is not dispelled by “Much Loved”. One scene from the film shows two Saudi men sitting in an apartment surrounded by Moroccan prostitutes. One of the sex workers says (while dancing provocatively): “I’m a Moroccan woman and I love the Saudi riyal and adore the dollar.” According to reports, a new study by the Health Ministry concluded that there are around 19,000 female sex workers. But in fact 96% of their clients are Moroccan men – not tourists.


    trailer :

    • NYT -Moroccan Film About Prostitution Creates Uproar

      PARIS — A prostitution-themed film from Morocco that had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May has set off a furor there: After six minutes of excerpts appeared online, the government last week banned the movie from theaters, the female stars received death threats and a male actor was attacked with a knife.

      The film, “Much Loved,” by the Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, includes scenes of prostitutes in Marrakesh partying, speaking raunchy Arabic and servicing wealthy Saudi clients. Within a few days of the May 19 premiere, the clips had received more than two million views on YouTube. The movie became the subject of protests outside Parliament in Rabat and of heated discussions on social networks in Morocco and France.

      […]After excerpts were leaked online, an actor who played a Saudi client was wounded in a knife attack by a stranger who the actor said accused him of tarnishing Morocco’s image. Death threats were also made against the film’s actresses, including Loubna Abidar. (Mr. Ayouch has secured an apartment where the women can safely stay.)

      Marrakesh, for example, is a well-known destination for sex tourists from Europe and the Middle East. Prostitution is a pillar of the city’s economy. More than 50 percent of prostitutes in the country care for their families by selling sex, according to a Ministry of Health study conducted in 2012 but released last week.

      “Sex labor is an informal response to unemployment,” Mr. Dialmy said. “In certain regions, it allows the economy to function. It gives work to taxis, hotels and so on. It helps the economy expand.”

      Meriam Cheikh, a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Brussels who is writing her thesis on sex labor in Morocco, said Mr. Ayouch’s film accurately portrayed the situation she studied while living for two years among sex workers in Tangiers.


  12. First refugee ‘relocations’ on Friday, from Italy to Sweden: EU

    The EU said a controversial programme to relocate 40,000 refugees within the bloc from overstretched frontline states would formally start on Friday when a group of Eritreans will travel to Sweden from Italy.

    “First relocations within EU take place on Friday” following an agreement by interior ministers in September, the EU’s home affairs office said in a tweet. “Eritrean refugees will be relocated from Italy to Sweden.”

    Italy to begin relocating Eritrean refugees this week

    Italy will begin relocating refugees this week under a European Union plan that aims to spread the burden of the continent’s biggest migrant crisis since World War Two, the EU’s migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Tuesday.

    The EU plans to relocate a total of 160,000 migrants, mostly Syrians and Eritreans, from the frontline countries of Greece and Italy to other member states in the 28-nation bloc.

    Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Croatian capital Zagreb, Avramopoulos said he would personally attend the departure of the first batch of migrants from Italy.

    “I will leave to Italy for the very first relocation of Eritrean refugees to Sweden,” he said. “I hope that next week we will also have the first relocation of Syrians from Greece to Luxembourg.”

    Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano will join Avramopoulos at Rome’s Ciampino airport when the plane carrying about two dozen Eritreans leaves Italy on Friday morning, a government source told Reuters.

    Avramopoulos is then scheduled to fly to the Italian island of Lampedusa to visit the island’s “hotspot”, a new immigration center to be run jointly by EU and Italian officials to better identify migrants and refugees, the source said.

    More than half a million people have poured into Europe this year fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, prompting bitter disputes between member states about how to react and how to share out the responsibility.

    Refugees and migrants arriving in Greece and Italy have been streaming north across the continent to reach more affluent nations such as Germany, triggering disputes between governments in central and eastern Europe as they alternately try to block the flow or shunt the burden on to their neighbors.


    VICE NEWS – My Escape From Syria: Europe or Die
    ( 19 min )

  13. German TV channel under fire over image of Merkel in headscarf

    German TV channel ARD has denied broadcasting “anti-Islamic propaganda” after it aired a mocked-up image of Angela Merkel wearing Islamic dress.

    The image was shown in the background of a segment on refugee quotas in the channel’s Report from Berlin programme.

    The programme has received heavy criticism from viewers, some of whom said the image resembled those used by anti-Islam movement Pegida.

    ARD said that the graphic was “designed to capture people’s attention”.

    “We welcome the many criticisms of the graphic in yesterday’s Report from Berlin and we are sorry some disagreed with our portrayal of the chancellor or even misunderstood,” the programme said in a statement published on Facebook.

    The statement said the graphic was intended as satire and reflected “the achievements of our Western society – freedom of expression, press freedom and equality”.

    But viewers took to Facebook to accuse the channel of anti-Islamic propaganda, calling the report “manipulative” and “appalling”. “This is not constructive journalism,” wrote another.

    Some defended the report, saying the programme was entitled to freedom of expression and had asked “very reasonable questions”.

    Many viewers compared the image to placards used by the Germany anti-immigrant protest group Pegida – which stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamification of the West.

    The group attracted tens of thousands to protest marches in cities around Germany earlier this year, with some waving placards displaying Ms Merkel, the German chancellor, wearing a headscarf.

    Pegida’s protests have seen a resurgence in numbers recently after infighting led to cancellations and a dip in attendance. On Sunday, several thousand people attended protests in two towns – Plauen and Sebnitz – after a call to action by the group.

    Writing on Facebook, German journalist and author Jakob Augstein compared the ARD report to the tactics of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

    “Don’t the colleagues know the anti-Islamic propaganda of the NPD? I don’t like the word but I consider it to be a scandal,” he said.

    The ARD controversy comes at a time of heightened tension over immigration in Germany, which has said it is expecting 800,000 refugees and migrants to enter the country this year.

    But a report leaked to German media suggests officials have put the figure far higher – at about 1.5 million.

    Ms Merkel has come under growing pressure within the country to clarify official estimates and defend her open-door policy towards refugees.


  14. US Officials Ask How ISIS Got So Many Toyota Trucks

    U.S. counter-terror officials have asked Toyota, the world’s second largest auto maker, to help them determine how ISIS has managed to acquire the large number of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs seen prominently in the terror group’s propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya, ABC News has learned.

    Toyota says it does not know how ISIS obtained the vehicles and is “supporting” the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department — part of a broad U.S. effort to prevent Western-made goods from ending up in the hands of the terror group.

    “We briefed Treasury on Toyota’s supply chains in the Middle East and the procedures that Toyota has in place to protect supply chain integrity,” said Ed Lewis, Toyota’s Washington-based director of public policy and communications.

    Toyota has a “strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities,” Lewis said. He said it is impossible for the company to track vehicles that have been stolen, or have been bought and re-sold by middlemen.

    Toyota Hilux pickups, an overseas model similar to the Toyota Tacoma, and Toyota Land Cruisers have become fixtures in videos of the ISIS campaign in Iraq, Syria and Libya, with their truck beds loaded with heavy weapons and cabs jammed with terrorists. The Iraqi Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, told ABC News that in addition to re-purposing older trucks, his government believes ISIS has acquired “hundreds” of “brand new” Toyotas in recent years.

    “This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Faily said. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?”

    ISIS propaganda videos show gunmen patrolling Syrian streets in what appear to be older and newer model white Hilux pick-ups bearing the black caliphate seal and crossing Libya in long caravans of gleaming tan Toyota Land Cruisers. When ISIS soldiers paraded through the center of Raqqa, more than two-thirds of the vehicles were the familiar white Toyotas with the black emblems. There were small numbers of other brands including Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Isuzu.

    “Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand,” said Mark Wallace, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who is CEO of the Counter Extremism Project, a non-profit working to expose the financial support networks of terror groups.

    “ISIS has used these vehicles in order to engage in military-type activities, terror activities, and the like,” Wallace told ABC News. “But in nearly every ISIS video, they show a fleet — a convoy of Toyota vehicles and that’s very concerning to us.”

    Toyota says many of the vehicles seen in ISIS videos are not recent models. “We have procedures in place to help ensure our products are not diverted for unauthorized military use,” said Lewis, the Toyota executive.

    But, Lewis added, “It is impossible for Toyota to completely control indirect or illegal channels through which our vehicles could be misappropriated.”

    Questions about the ISIS use of Toyota vehicles have circulated for years. In 2014, a report by the radio broadcaster Public Radio International noted that the U.S. State Department delivered 43 Toyota trucks to Syrian rebels. A more recent report in an Australian newspaper said that more than 800 of the trucks had been reported missing in Sydney between 2014 and 2015, and quoted terror experts speculating that they may have been exported to ISIS territory.

    Attempts to track the path of the trucks into ISIS hands has proven complicated for U.S. and Iraqi officials.

    Toyota’s own figures show sales of Hilux and Land Cruisers tripling from 6,000 sold in Iraq in 2011 to 18,000 sold in 2013, before sales dropped back to 13,000 in 2014.

    Brigadier General Saad Maan, an Iraqi military spokesman, told ABC News he suspects that middlemen from outside Iraq have been smuggling the trucks into his country.

    “We are spending our time to fight those terrorists so we cannot say we are controlling the border between Iraq and Syria,” he conceded. “We are deeply in need for answers.”

    In a statement to ABC News, Toyota said it is not aware of any dealership selling to the terror group but “would immediately” take action if it did, including termination of the distribution agreement.

    Toyota distributors in the region contacted by ABC News said they did not know how the trucks reached ISIS.

    Sumitomo, a Japanese conglomerate that ships vehicles to the region, wrote to ABC News, “In terms of how anyone operating outside of the law obtain vehicles for misappropriation, we have no way to know and therefore cannot comment.”

    A spokesman for former owners of the Toyota dealership in Syria said its sales operation was halted in 2012.

    The former owners, a Saudi company called Abdul Latif Jameel, said it “made the decision to cease all trading activities in the country and fully divested the business in October, 2012,” according to a spokesperson.

    Wallace, of the Counter Extremism Project, said his organization wrote directly to Toyota earlier this year to urge the company to do more to track the flow of trucks to ISIS, and noted that the trucks are stamped with traceable identification numbers.

    “I don’t think Toyota’s trying to intentionally profit from it, but they are on notice now and they should do more,” Wallace said. “They should be able to figure it out… how are these trucks getting there. I think they should disclose that, put a stop to that, and put policies and procedures in places that are real and effective to make sure that we don’t see videos of ISIS using Toyota trucks in the future.”

    Earlier this year, Toyota responded to Wallace’s organization with similar language the company has used to answer questions from ABC News, writing that Toyota stopped entirely its sales of vehicles in Syria several years ago.

    Toyota told ABC News that after company officials briefed the U.S. Treasury team and that Treasury indicated the meeting was “helpful.”

    “We cannot provide further details of our interaction with Treasury as we do not want to compromise its efforts to understand and prevent diversion, or make it easier for illicit groups to penetrate our supply chains or those of any other company,” Lewis said.

    Treasury officials told ABC News they could not comment publicly about the agency’s engagement with specific private companies. But in response to questions about Toyota, the officials said investigators are “working closely with foreign counterparts and stakeholders” on the issue.


  15. AUSTRALIA – Five men arrested in terror raids across Sydney following Parramatta shooting

    POLICE have arrested five men in raids across Sydney’s west following Friday’s terrorist attack on police headquarters and the murder of Curtis Cheng, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

    Armed officers raided four houses in Guildford, Wentworthville, Merrylands and Marsfield early this morning.

    Mr Cheng was executed as he left work on Friday at 4.30pm by teen terrorist Farhad Jabar.

    This morning’s raids were co-ordinated with the counterterrorism squad and homicide squad.

    More than 200 armed NSW officers as well as the Australian Federal Police arrested the five men aged between 16 and 24.

    The men have been linked to Friday’s terror attack at Parramatta’s police headquarters when police employee Curtis Cheng was executed, indicating 15-year-old Farhad Jabar was not acting alone when he opened fire in Charles Street.

    Two men aged 16 and 18 have been arrested at Wentworthville, two men aged 22 and 24 have been arrested at Merrylands and a 22-year-old arrested at is Marsfield home.


    Police raid home of arrested classmate of Sydney gunman

    Police have raided the home of a classmate of the teen gunman who shot dead a Sydney police worker after he was charged with a range of offences including assaulting police.

    Yesterday morning the teenager, 17, was stopped by police on his way to Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta and spoken to over his alleged social media posts.

    Police will allege the teenager “threatened and intimidated” officers during the incident.

    He was placed under arrest, handcuffed and taken to Parramatta Police Station.

    At about 5pm yesterday afternoon officers raided the Guilford home of the 17-year-old, seizing two laptops and other items for forensic examination.

    NSW Police issued a brief statement confirming the raid, saying it was part of an ongoing investigation.


    Don’t spread hate: Australian leaders call for unity after terror-related Parramatta shooting

  16. Danes demonstrate for ‘decent treatment’ of refugees


    Thousands of Danes braved chilly winds on Tuesday to march in Copenhagen for the “decent treatment of refugees” and to protest a decision by Denmark’s rightwing government to slash benefits for refugees.

    Danish police told AFP that between 20,000 and 25,000 people had joined the three-mile march which ended at Parliament Square with music and speeches.

    “This is only one manifestation among many from a population that thinks enough is enough,” Anne Lise Marstrand-Jorgensen, one of the organisers, told the marchers.

    Similar demonstrations were also planned in the smaller Danish cities of Odense and Aalborg.

    Carrying torches as darkness fell, demonstrators shouted slogans like: “Say it loud and clear, refugees are welcome here” and a cheer went up as thousands entered Parliament Square.

    Last month, some 30,000 people joined a Copenhagen rally in favour of taking in more refugees.

    Denmark’s minority government took power in June after campaigning on tougher asylum rules and halving benefits for newly-arrived immigrants to make the country less attractive to refugees.

    To pass such legislation, the ruling Venstre party needs the backing of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP) — which garnered more than one in five votes in the election.

    On July 1, Denmark slashed benefits to asylum seekers in a bid to reduce the number of refugees coming to the country.

    Under the new rules, which came into effect in September, a recently-arrived immigrant without children receives 5,945 kroner (797 euros/$897) per month in benefits, almost half the 10,849 kroner they previously received.

    Single parents arriving from a non-EU country receive 11,888 kroner per month compared to the previous 14,426 kroner.

    On September 7, the government placed adverts in several Lebanese newspapers warning that Denmark had “decided to tighten the regulations concerning refugees.”

    On Monday, the government also pledged to toughen the procedure for acquiring citizenship in the Scandinavian country.

    Those wanting to become Danish nationals will have to meet higher language requirements, and have been financially self-sufficient for the past four-and-a-half years, up from the current period of two-and-a-half years.

    Applicants will also have to score better on a current affairs test than they did in the past.


  17. German authorities accused of playing down refugee shelter sex crime reports

    Germany’s police union and women’s rights groups accused the authorities on Tuesday of playing down reports of harassment, sexual assault and even rape at refugee shelters because they feared a backlash against asylum seekers.

    Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere called on Germans to avoid succumbing to a blanket suspicion of the hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in the country, saying an unbelievable number of rumors were being spread on the Internet.

    But police union chief Rainer Wendt said he believed that authorities in Germany’s federal states, which are responsible for housing asylum seekers, were playing down the problem of assaults on women in the shelters.

    “It is understandable that there is the desire to calm things down politically,” Wendt told Reuters. But he, along with women’s groups, believed that ignoring the problem would be counterproductive. “There is a lot of glossing over going on. But this doesn’t represent reality,” he said.

    With public opinion hardening on the refugee influx, German authorities appear anxious to avoid giving extreme-right groups any opportunity to stir up hostility towards migrants, many of whom are Muslims including those fleeing the Syrian civil war.

    “There are an unbelievable number of rumors regarding this issue, which are being spread massively over social networks,” De Maiziere told a news conference.

    “The federal authorities are investigating these resolutely and often the rumors are not true,” he said. “There are things worthy of criticism. But there is no reason for a general suspicion of refugees.”

    No comprehensive official figures are available on the extent of the problem at the shelters, which local authorities are setting to provide temporary accommodation around the country in places such as sports halls and empty office blocks.

    But Wendt said the police were reporting cases to the state governments, which have their own interior ministers. These people should take note, he said: “The interior ministers would be well advised to have a look at their own reports to know what actually happens on our streets at night and in the shelters.”

    Wendt said that a high number of cases went unreported as women rarely dared to file complaints with police or public prosecutors.

    This is a general problem with sex crime, regardless of the community where it is committed, due to the victims’ feelings of fear and shame.

    However, Barbara Helfrich of the charity Paritaetischer Bund in the central state of Hesse, said some women had come forward. “We have several trustworthy reports on sexual violence and assaults from victims, as well as advisory groups and NGOs,” she told Reuters.

    In a recent open letter, several charities alleged crimes had been committed a city shelter in the state. “There are several cases of rape and sexual assault and increasingly even reports on forced prostitution,” the joint letter said, adding that these were not isolated incidents.

    With men accounting for about 70 percent of asylum seekers, other groups across the country have demanded gender-segregated accommodation and safe zones for women.

    At least 800,000 asylum seekers are expected in Germany this year, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity has fallen with polls showing many voters believe she is taking too soft a line on allowing them into the country.

    The northern city of Hamburg recently confirmed eight cases of sexual assault in refugee shelters this year.

    Tuelin Akkoc, spokeswomen for refugee affairs with the opposition Green Party in Hamburg, accepted that far-right groups might use such reports to turn sentiment against migrants. But she told Reuters: “That’s no reason to sweep this issue under the carpet. Right now is the time for the authorities to raise their voices in order to prevent extremist groups from dominating the debate.”


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