Reader’s links for Nov. 3 – 2015

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About Eeyore

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

40 Replies to “Reader’s links for Nov. 3 – 2015”

  1. Swedish Police Start Clearing Roma Camp Deemed Unsanitary (abcnews, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Swedish police have started clearing a Roma camp in Malmo after a months-long standoff between city authorities and about 200 people who had settled there without permission.

    Dozens of people remained in the camp despite a weekend deadline to move out after local authorities deemed the camp unsanitary and a threat to the environment and the health of the people living there.

    Police moved in before dawn Tuesday to remove protesters who were blocking city authorities from tearing down the camp, a cluster of ramshackle homes built on an abandoned industrial lot.

    Police commander Tommy Sverngard said the officers were helping city officials “to execute their decision without risk of being hindered or injured.”

    The city has offered temporary shelter to the camp dwellers, many of whom are from Romania.”

  2. Islamophobia Casts Shadow Over Myanmar Historic Election (abcnews, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Standing before a glistening monastery, Myanmar’s most infamous monk adjusts his saffron robe and then does something that would have seemed unthinkable a few years ago: He launches into the formerly untouchable Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of being lackadaisical about the threat Muslims pose to both the country’s security and Buddhist traditions and values.

    The comments by Ashin Wirathu highlight the rising role Buddhist nationalism — and by extension Islamophobia — is playing as the country heads into general elections this Sunday.

    The issue has helped shape who can vote, who can run and, quite possibly, what form the new government will take.

    Though Suu Kyi’s opposition party is still viewed as the favorite — tens of thousands turned out for a rally in the former capital Yangon over the weekend — analysts say the “race and religion” card could hurt her in rural, conservative areas.

    “Rightly or wrongly, Suu Kyi has been painted as being on the wrong side of the (Muslim) issue,” said Richard Horsey, an independent analyst. “That could affect the proportion of the popular vote the National League for Democracy gets in some regions.”

    “Will it be enough to tip the ruling party across the finish line in those constituencies? That’s still very unclear.”

    The predominantly Buddhist nation of 50 million started transitioning from dictatorship toward democracy in 2011, putting in place a nominally civilian government that won widespread international praise for quickly implementing political and economic reforms, many of which have since stalled or started rolling back.

    Wirathu and his radical Buddhist nationalist fringe, 969, took advantage of newfound freedoms of expression to fan prejudices against the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. His hate-filled sermons helped incite violence that began in 2012, leaving hundreds dead and sending a quarter-million others fleeing their homes….”

  3. Stockholm worst Nordic capital for gun crime (thelocal, Nov 3, 2015)

    “189 people have been injured in shootings in the Swedish capital over the past five years, double the number in Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki put together. Rising gang-related crime has been blamed for the violence.

    Gun crime in major Nordic cities is in focus after a study by Swedish public broadcaster SVT, which looked at shooting figures in the Danish, Finnish and Norwegian capitals as well as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö in Sweden.

    Researchers analysed official data for the period between January 2010 and the end of June this year. They noted that 189 people had been injured in Stockholm, alongside 109 in Gothenburg and 63 in Malmö.

    By contrast, Oslo and Copenhagen reported just 30 injuries each linked to gun crime, despite having slightly larger populations than Gothenburg, which is home to around half a million people. Only 10 people were hurt in shootings in Helsinki.

    The research follows a wave of high-profile attacks in Sweden in 2015, including a shooting at a restaurant in Gothenburg in March which made global headlines after two people died and eight others were injured.

    Malmö has also experienced an especially violent few months with rising numbers of shootings and one explosion a week on average during the spring and summer.

    Amir Rostami, a leading authority on Sweden’s organized crime groups based at Stockholm University, told The Local on Monday that he believes SVT’s figures demonstrate an ongoing shift towards gang-related violence.

    “This is part of a wider development in society that we have had in Sweden regarding gangs and organized crime during the past 20 or 30 years (…) If you see official crime data, many crimes are reducing, but when it comes to violence connected to gangs, this is actually going upwards,” he said.

    “Violent crimes in the past were impulsive actions, but we see now they seem to be part of long-term conflicts between gangs and that is quite worrying (…) it is becoming more acceptable to use a gun to solve problems.”

    Gothenburg police chief Robert Karlsson confirmed to SVT that his officers were increasingly investigating gang-related activities.

    “We have, unfortunately, a number of conflicts raging, and we do not really know where it is all going,” he said.

    SVT’s study shows that alongside large numbers of injuries there are also far more deaths from gun crime in Sweden than elsewhere in Scandinavia.

    In Stockholm, 21 people were killed between 2010 and June 2015. 17 people died in Gothenburg and seven in Malmö over the same period. By contrast, Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki recorded 11 deadly shootings between them.

    Rostami argues that Swedish police “need to be more creative” when it comes to tackling organized gangs and points to initiatives taken in Norway which have encouraged rival members to engage in dialogue with one another.

    “You need a very comprehensive approach by the law enforcers to resolve the conflict (…) and stop gangs recruiting in the future.”

    Sweden’s Social Democrat-Green coalition has promised to crack down on gun crime in the Nordic nation by increasing police resources and working to remove guns from the country’s streets.

    “Our society has been marked by horrific acts of violence recently,” said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in a keynote summer speech.

    “Although statistics show that security has increased and that crime against individuals has decreased in the last 10 years, we cannot have organized crime that terrifies families,” he said.”

  4. SPAIN – Home Secretary Says Three Moroccans Arrested In Islamic State Cell Were Planning Attack In Spain

    Following news on Tuesday morning that three Moroccans had been arrested in Madrid, the Home Secretary, Jorge Fernández Díaz, spoke to Cadena SER and said the three were ready to launch an attack in Spain.

    He said that the operation was ongoing in the Cañada Real and Vallecas areas of the Spanish capital and that unlike other anti-jihadi operations carried out in Spain “during this parliament”—in which 161 people had been arrested, mostly as part of Islamic State recruitment cells—the three Moroccan men arrested today were operational.

    “These people were not attracting, indoctrinating, radicalising, recruiting people to send them to Syria or Iraq to join DAESH and fight, but rather their aim was to act in Spain, which is a…sensitive…differentiating factor”.

    He said the three had Spanish residency documents “meaning they have been present in our country for some time”.

    “This is a qualitative leap because it would seem this is a group that meant to execute the orders DAESH has been giving recently to all the countries it considers infidels.”

    Asked what type of attack the group and Islamic State had been preparing, Mr. Fernández Díaz replied: “Look at what has happened in all the other countries, the nearest ones, you have France in the north with the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and later attacks; also in other European countries, in Brussels, etc. and in other countries that are not in Europe”.

    “It has all the hallmarks of attacks DAESH carries out, from using a knife against a person, attacking him, to, well, a Kalashnikov.”

    He said he wanted to remind listeners that Spain was still at a level four terror threat: “which means there is a high risk of a terrorist attack being carried out”.

    Spain increased its terror alert at the end of June following the attack on a Spanish-owned hotel in Tunisia in which 37 people were killed.

    A Home Office spokeswoman told The Spain Report in June that a level four terror threat level was one step short of putting troops on the streets.

    “Level five means calling out the Army”.

    Spain: Police dismantle IS-linked ‘terrorist cell’ in Madrid raids, several arrested

  5. Late Saudi King Fahd’s ‘secret wife’ wins £25m payout (BBC, Nov 3, 2015)

    “A woman who says she was the “secret wife” of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has won a multimillion-pound claim at the High Court.

    Janan Harb, 68, alleged one of the king’s sons had agreed she would be looked after “for the rest of my life”.

    The court ruled she was entitled to more than £15m, plus the £10m value of two homes in Chelsea, west London.

    Ms Harb claimed to have secretly married the king in 1968 before he ascended to the throne.
    The case could now go to the Court of Appeal…”

  6. Kashmir: Indian soldiers killed in ‘Pakistan firing’ (BBC, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Pakistani forces have killed two Indian soldiers in firing along the de facto border that divides Kashmir between the two countries, India’s army has said.

    The incident happened in the Gurez area of Bandipora district on Monday evening, an army officer said.

    India and Pakistan have often accused each other of unprovoked firing along the disputed border.

    A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.

    Monday’s incident happened days before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Indian-administered Kashmir.

    An Indian army officer said Pakistani troops fired machine guns and grenades.

    Correspondents say there has been an escalation in hostilities between the neighbours since last year, with some of the worst violence in a decade being recorded during this period. Both sides have accused each other of starting hostilities…”

  7. Turkey detains supporters of Erdogan rival Gulen in raids (BBC, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Turkish police have arrested 44 people suspected of having links to an exiled Islamic cleric accused of seeking to overthrow the government.

    Top bureaucrats and police officers were among those held in a crackdown on supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

    Mr Gulen is a rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose AK party regained its majority in Sunday’s election.

    European observers said violence and media restrictions marred the polls.

    On Tuesday, left-wing magazine Nokta said two of its editors had been charged with plotting a coup in the government’s latest move against opposition media outlets.

    Cevheri Guven and Murat Capan were arrested over a magazine cover criticising the election results that read: “The start of civil war in Turkey.”

    An Istanbul court later ordered that the magazine’s latest edition be withdrawn from the shelves, accusing it of inciting the public to commit a crime…”

  8. German Police Search for Father of Slain Syrian Woman (abcnews, Nov 3, 2015)

    “German police say they are looking for a 49-year-old Syrian man on suspicion of murdering his 20-year-old daughter, who worked as a volunteer translator after joining him in Germany.

    Police in the eastern city of Dessau said Tuesday that Hisso Malak, who came to Germany in 2009, is wanted in connection with the death of his daughter Rokstan, who arrived in Germany two years ago.

    Rokstan’s body was found Oct. 2 in what police called a killing for “cultural motives.”

    They would not elaborate but the local Mitteldeutsche Zeitung cited an interview Rokstan gave saying she had been raped in Syria and that her family considered her “unclean.”

    Police released a photo of Malak saying he could have already fled the country.”

  9. Fighting, Airstrikes in Yemeni City Kill Over 33 People (abcnews, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Yemeni security officials say fighting between Shiite rebels and their opponents has killed over 33 people in the past 24 hours in Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city.

    The officials said Tuesday that 21 rebels, known as Houthis, died in airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition that opposes them. Eight civilians died when their bus hit a land mine and four fighters from the anti-Houthi forces were killed in street clashes.

    The officials are independent in the conflict roiling Yemen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to talk to journalists….”

  10. Pakistan Bans Media Coverage of Militant Groups (abcnews, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Pakistani authorities have banned all media coverage of Islamic militant groups, including the one suspected of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and ordered media outlets to stop running advertisements for the groups’ charity arms.

    The agency that regulates media issued the order late Monday, specifically mentioning Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation. Both charities are linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic militant group suspected of carrying out the attacks in Mumbai, which killed more than 160 people.

    The agency said failure to abide by the order would result in the cancellation of licenses.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba was set up with the aid of Pakistani intelligence to fight in the disputed region of Kashmir. The government has officially banned the group but has done little to crack down on it.”

  11. Caged and in danger: Syrian soldiers become human shields for rebels (CNN, Nov 3, 2015)

    “Rebels are caging captured Syrian soldiers and others loyal to the regime and using them as human shields to fend off government attacks, Human Rights Watch and a Syrian opposition group reported.

    “Nothing can justify caging people and intentionally putting them in harm’s way, even if the purpose is to stop indiscriminate government attacks,” said Nadim Houry with Human Rights Watch.

    Videos posted to social media over the weekend show trucks transporting cages filled with up to eight men or women, the opposition Shaam News Network reported…”

  12. SYRIA – One in three UK-trained Syrian rebels drops out or is kicked off course

    British troops are training fighters to take on President Bashar al-Assad, but scores failed to complete the programme

    Scores of UK-trained Syrian opposition fighters have been kicked off or dropped out of their training schemes, we can reveal.

    British troops are helping rebel forces trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad by training hundreds of Syrian recruits in neighbouring countries.

    About 85 British military experts have been preparing and advising the rebels in Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan since the spring.

    But almost 90 have not made it to the end of the courses, the Ministry of Defence has admitted.

    The admission is a blow for Britain’s efforts to support pro-democracy rebels who have been battling to rid Syria of its ruler since 2011.

    And it comes as David Cameron has been forced to shelve plans for a Commons vote on extending RAF bombing raids against Islamic State from Iraq and into Syria.

    Defence Minister Earl Howe said: “Since January 2015, 268 Syrian opposition fighters have been trained at sites where British military personnel are training.

    “Of these 268, 180 have completed their training and the majority of that number have returned to Syria.

    “The 88 who left prior to completing their training were either removed for disciplinary reasons or opted out of the programme.

    “Whilst they might not all have been specifically trained by a British trainer, it is likely that most had interaction with a member of a British training team at some point during their tenure.”

    It is unclear how many Syrians who completed the programme have rejoined their comrades in trying to defeat dictator al-Assad.

    “We cannot say with certainty how many of the trained Syrian opposition fighters are actively involved in military operations,” said the Tory Minister.

    But there was no evidence to suggest any British-trained fighters have joined Islamic State extremists, he added.

    However, “some of the Syrian opposition fighters have been detained by extremist groups”, the peer said in a written parliamentary answer.

  13. DECEMBER 2011

    NATO vs. Syria

    By Philip Giraldi • December 19, 2011

    Americans should be concerned about what is happening in Syria, if only because it threatens to become another undeclared war like Libya but much, much worse. Calls for regime change have come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who several weeks ago predicted a civil war. That is indeed likely if the largely secular and nationalist regime of Bashar al-Assad falls, pitting Sunni against Shia against Alawite. Indigenous Christians will be caught in the meat grinder. Ironically, many of the Christians in Damascus are Iraqis who experienced the last round of liberation in their own country and had to flee for their lives.

    NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as U.S. proxy. Ankara’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davitoglu, has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade as soon as there is agreement among the Western allies to do so. The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya. Turkish sources suggest that intervention would start with creation of a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border and then be expanded. Aleppo, Syria’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, would be the crown jewel targeted by liberation forces.

    Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gaddafi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.

    CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war. The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. The Agency has refused to sign off on the claims. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.

    In the United States, many friends of Israel are on the Assad regime-change bandwagon, believing that a weakened Syria, divided by civil war, will present no threat to Tel Aviv. But they should think again, as these developments have a way of turning on their head. The best organized and funded opposition political movement in Syria is the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

  14. Former Al-Qaeda Operative Released from a Saudi Prison is Killed in Syria

    On Sunday, a former Al-Qaeda operative that defected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in 2013 has been reportedly killed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during their military operations inside the Aleppo Governorate’s eastern countryside.

    The terrorist was identified as ‘Adnan Al-‘Atawi (AKA “Abu Salim Al-Tabouki”) of Saudi Arabia – he was a prominent member of Al-Qaeda that reportedly participated in many of their foreign operations, including the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

    In 2011, ‘Adnan Al-‘Atawi was arrested by the Saudi authorities for his Al-Qaeda connections and sent to the Al-Salouliyah Prison; however, he was subsequently released the following year and returned to his position with Al-Qaeda.

    While jihading in Syria, Al-‘Atawi decided to defect from Jabhat Al-Nusra and join their former ally – ISIS – after both groups split apart.

    Oddly enough, ‘Adnan Al-‘Atawi had allegedly visited his family in Saudi Arabia a number of times over the last two years, despite his role with the terrorist group in Syria.

    His death was reported by members of ISIS on Monday after his body was retrieved from the Kuweires Military Airport front; this was ‘Adnan Al-‘Atawi’s primary location while operating inside Syria.

    Why the Saudi government decided to release this prominent terrorist from their prison system is unknown

  15. DAILY MAIL – Asian trio who rammed their car into the boyfriend of one of their sisters in ‘honour attack’ all avoid prison

    Court hears that family did not approve of woman’s relationship with victim
    The woman’s brother and his two cousins attacked the man in Blackburn
    Assault only ended when members of the public stepped in to stop it
    Judge blasts ‘honour-based violence’ but spares all three men prison terms

  16. Germany: Merkel’s Christian Democrats announce agreement on refugee response

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced a joint Christian Democratic Union plan of response to the refugee crisis at a press conference in Berlin, Tuesday.
    Merkel and Seehofer have reached agreement on a common position paper for tackling the refugee crisis, including measures regarding entry points, registration and distribution of refugees among EU member states. The German chancellor also stressed the importance of Turkey, stating “we need cooperation especially with Turkey in order to stop illegal migration.”
    Merkel and Seehofer held an intense discussion on Sunday which lasted more than 10 hours, following Seehofer’s call to better manage the recent influx of refugees. The two leaders will also meet with Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) on Thursday in an attempt to secure a consensus in the ruling coalition, and to adopt the measures.

  17. Afghan woman stoned to death for alleged adultery

    Killing – shown in 30-second video of Mulims hurling stones at woman – is blamed on Taliban, but activists say it may have been ordered by tribal leaders

    A video has emerged of what appears to be a young Afghan woman, married against her will, stoned to death for trying to elope with another man.

    In a graphic, 30-second video, which has not been verified, a group of men are hurling stones at what seems to be a woman reciting the Islamic creed of faith from a neck-deep pit.

    A group of people are watching the stoning as the men throw rocks with increasing speed, without betraying any visible emotion. The video cuts before the woman is killed.

    The incident occurred in Ghalmeen, a village outside the capital of the central Afghan province of Ghor, which is under the control of armed opposition groups, according to the provincial governor, Seema Joyenda.

    The woman, previously identified as Rokhshana, 19, was stoned last week, accused of adultery with a man much younger than the person she was forcibly married to.

  18. CYPRUS – Dhekelia base in chaos

    Dhekelia Sovereign Base has fallen into chaos as refugees being held there have lit fires and are threatening suicide, video footage and pictures showed on Tuesday.

    Refugees plead for their release from RAF base in Cyprus

    UK under pressure to resolve status of migrants at Cyprus base amid footage of children pleading for release and one man apparently trying to kill himself

    British defence officials are under pressure to resolve the status of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Cyprus after the release of video showing chaotic scenes at a UK military base on the island.

    Among the incidents in pictures, videos and audio recordings obtained by the Guardian is an apparent threat by a man to kill himself before British police officers rush in. Separately, a man is seen with his face covered in blood after cutting himself.

    In other videos, members of the group of 114 who landed on the island last month, among them 28 children, plead for their release from Dhekelia, one of two British sovereign base areas (SBAs) in Cyprus.

    “I am 12 years old. We are sitting here in the tents and we are cold and we are not allowed to go out from the tents … Please help us,” said one child.

  19. Germany: Priest turns church into refugee centre despite local opposition

    he priest at the Schmachtendorf Church in Oberhausen, Joachim Deterding, met with churchgoers on Tuesday amid anger over the church being used to house refugees during winter months.

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