Reader’s links for Jan 1 – 2016

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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

37 Replies to “Reader’s links for Jan 1 – 2016”

  1. Demand for ‘panic rooms’ growing
    Industry keeps local man’s company ‘busy full time’
    By Hector Gonzalez
    [email protected]

    It’s a business that requires client confidentiality, and even most satisfied customer isn’t likely to brag about their purchase.

    A safe room is a highly secure space inside a home designed to be discreet and to offer protection during a home invasion, terrorist attack or other life-threatening event. Most safe rooms include some type of communication system or closed-circuit television so those inside can contact the police.

    The 2002 movie “ Panic Room” with Jodie Foster gave instant publicity to safe rooms, and a New York Times article in May reported the industry continues to grow.

    Nick Paster of American Saferoom Door builds panic rooms, but he’s tight-lipped about the number of rooms installed in a year, saying only that he has “enough business to keep us busy full time.”

    “We do see it fluctuate, depending on what’s going on in the world,” Paster said.

    http://www.simivalleyacorn.com/news/2016-01-01/Business/Demand_for_panic_rooms_growing.html

  2. Iran has more missiles than it can hide

    Tehran (AFP) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have so many missiles they don’t know where to hide them, a senior commander said at Friday prayers, after the United States threatened to impose fresh sanctions.

    “We lack enough space in our stockpiles to house our missiles,” said General Hossein Salami, the Guards’ deputy, as a row with the US over Iran’s ballistic missile programme deepened.

    “Hundreds of long tunnels are full of missiles ready to fly to protect your integrity, independence and freedom,” he told worshippers in Tehran, promising to never “stop developing our defence deterrent”.

    Iranian state television aired in October unprecedented footage of such an underground missile base.

    http://news.yahoo.com/iran-more-missiles-hide-general-140851192.html

  3. Kim Jong Un says he’s ready for war in New Year speech

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is ready for war if provoked by “invasive” outsiders, in his annual New Year’s speech.

    In the address, his fourth since becoming leader in 2011, Kim spoke of the need to increase the “political and military might” of his country “in every way,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

    “The year 2015 was a year of gigantic struggle recorded with significant events and eye-opening successes and a year of victory and glory that strikingly demonstrated the dignity and might of socialist Korea,” Kim said in the 30-minute televised speech.

    “We will continue to work patiently to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional stability,” he added. “But if invasive outsiders and provocateurs touch us even slightly, we will not be forgiving in the least and sternly answer with a merciless, holy war of justice.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/01/01/kim-jong-un-new-year-address/78169974/

  4. State Department Kept Tabs on the Drudge Report, Emails Reveal

    Hillary Clinton’s State Department kept tabs on the Drudge Report, new emails released Thursday reveal.

    In an April 2012 email, then-Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer alerted then-Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton Cheryl Mills about a story “running on Drudge.”

    That story was about controversial remarks former United States Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman delivered during a speech. In it, he suggested some anti-Semitism in Europe is a direct result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Clinton was once again briefed on the situation, being forwarded the email from Hammer that explained how the State Department would respond.

    It’s no surprise Clinton’s team kept close tabs on the Drudge Report. The conservative news aggregation website is widely considered one of the most influential in the U.S.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/12/31/state-department-kept-tabs-on-the-drudge-report-emails-reveal/

  5. China creates three new military units in push to modernize army

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China has created three new military units and will update equipment as well as modernizing its command structure, state media said on Friday, as part of a major overhaul of the armed forces announced by President Xi Jinping in November.

    Xi’s push to reform the military coincides with China becoming more assertive in its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. China’s navy is investing in submarines and aircraft carriers and its air force is developing stealth fighters.

    At a ceremony on Thursday, Xi inaugurated a new general command unit for the army, a missile force and a strategic support force for People’s Liberation Army (PLA), state news agency Xinhua said.

    State television showed Xi handing over a large red flag to Li Zuocheng, the new head of the land command force. Li was previously commander of the key Chengdu military region, which includes restless and strategically vital Tibet.

    http://www.oann.com/china-creates-three-new-military-units-in-push-to-modernize-army/

    • Things in the Pacific are getting as tense and scary as those in the Middle East, while there is open fighting in the Middle East and not in the Pacific China has a more disciplined military with a much larger manufacturing sector. Weapons need to be manufactured and when Obama is out of office a lot of the weapons supply for the various groups trying to rebuild the Caliphate will dry up but China manufactures their own weapons and has been stockpiling strategic minerals for decades.

      One advantage the US has is that we manufacture all of our own weapons, although Obama and the left have been working to shut down most of the defense industries. as the fighting spreads the LSM will eventually discover this problem and blame the conservatives.

  6. Syrian, Iraqi militants said to have planned New Year attack in Munich

    MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany received a tip hours before midnight that militants from Iraq and Syria were planning New Year attacks in Munich but police could not find the suspects and are not even sure if they exist or are in the country, the city’s police chief said on Friday.

    Hubertus Andrae told a news conference that German officials had received a “very concrete” tip that suicide attacks were planned on New Year’s Eve at two train stations.

    Police closed the central and Pasing stations about an hour before midnight, and reopened them hours later.

    “We received names. We can’t say if they are in Munich or in fact in Germany,” Andrae said.

    “At this point we don’t know if these names are correct, if these people even exist, or where they might be. If we knew this we would be a clear step further. We have no information that these people are in Munich or in Germany,” he added.

    The alarm came as Europe entered the New Year under a state of heightened alert, seven weeks after Islamist militants killed 130 people in shootings and suicide blasts across Paris.

    http://www.oann.com/police-evacuate-two-munich-train-stations-citing-threat-of-militant-attack-2/

  7. White House delays imposing new sanctions on Iran

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has delayed imposing new financial sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, the Journal, citing U.S. officials, said the Obama administration was preparing to sanction nearly a dozen companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates for their role in developing Iran’s ballistic-missile program.

    The U.S. sanctions were expected to be formally announced this week, the newspaper said.

    Sources familiar with the situation confirmed to Reuters that the United States was preparing sanctions.

    The Obama administration is committed to combating Iran’s missile program and the sanctions being developed by the U.S. Treasury Department remain on the table, the Journal reported on Thursday, citing U.S. officials.

    But U.S. officials offered no definitive timeline for when the sanctions would be imposed, the newspaper said. At one point, they were scheduled to be announced on Wednesday morning in Washington, according to a notification the White House sent to Congress, the Journal reported.

    http://www.oann.com/white-house-delays-imposing-new-sanctions-on-iran-wsj/

  8. Erdogan says Hitler’s Germany exemplifies effective presidential system

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is pushing for executive powers, cites Hitler’s Germany as an example of an effective presidential system, in comments broadcast by Turkish media on Friday.

    Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the United States, France or Russia.

    Asked on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia late on Thursday whether an executive presidential system was possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, he said: “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.

    “There are later examples in various other countries,” he told reporters, according to a recording broadcast by the Dogan news agency.

    The ruling AK Party, founded by Erdogan, has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda after winning back a majority in a November parliamentary election.

    It agreed with the main opposition CHP on Wednesday to revive efforts to forge a new constitution.

    http://www.oann.com/erdogan-says-hitlers-germany-exemplifies-effective-presidential-system/

  9. Erdogan isn’t the only national leader dreaming of that type of authority, Obama has pretty much seized that much power and Putin has expressed a desire for the authority to do a lot that Obama is doing. Plus lesser moves in Europe towards national leaders acting on their own to do what they want and not what the people elected them to do.

  10. ISIS Owns Headlines, but Nigeria’s Boko Haram Kills More Than Ever (nbcnews, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2014-year-in-review/isis-owns-headlines-nigeria-s-boko-haram-kills-more-ever-n480986

    “… Nigeria’s militant group — which has pledged allegiance to ISIS — has been tied to nearly 11,000 killings in 2015 as of mid-December, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

    More than half of the deaths — around 6,500 — have been the direct result of Boko Haram’s suicide bombings and armed raids. The rest died as a result of fighting between the militants and Nigerian troops, according to CFR’s data.

    With details and information from Boko Haram’s heartland in northeast Nigeria hard to come by, most experts believe the true tally of the violence has been even higher and could still climb before the year’s end.

    “Sadly they have a history of attacks around Christmas and New Year,” said Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.

    That could put Boko Haram on track to surpass last year’s brutal toll and claim the mantle of deadliest terror group for a second year running. Recent findings from the Institute for Economics and Peace, a Sydney-based think tank, showed that Boko Haram was the deadliest terror group in the world last year. ISIS came in second.

    Between them, Boko Haram and ISIS accounted for more than half of the world’s terrorism-related deaths in 2014, according to the Institute’s Global Terrorism Index published in November….”

  11. Afghan ‘suicide attack’ hits Kabul French restaurant (BBC, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35210281

    “A loud explosion has targeted a restaurant popular with foreigners in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

    The target of the suicide attack was Le Jardin restaurant in the Taimani area, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told the BBC.

    Two people are said to have been wounded. Security forces and ambulances have rushed to the scene.

    The Taliban have stepped up attacks on high-profile targets in Afghanistan in recent months.
    Gunshots had been heard at the scene following the blast, Afghanistan’s Channel One TV reported.

    Taimani is located near a district with many foreign embassies and government buildings.”

  12. U.S.-backed alliance advances against Islamist groups in Syria’s north: spokesman (reuters, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-idUSKBN0UF1VU20160101

    “A U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters advanced against Islamist insurgents in the north of the country on Friday, capturing at least one village in Aleppo province, a spokesman and a monitoring group said.

    Fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria seized the village of Tanab near the town of Azaz after heavy clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and the powerful Ahrar al Sham, spokesman Talal Selo told Reuters.

    “We liberated Tanab,” he said.

    Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Democratic Forces of Syria had also captured the village of Tat Mrash. Selo said he could not yet confirm its capture.

    It came just days after the alliance seized a dam from Islamic State further east, cutting one of its main supply routes across the Euphrates.

    Since the U.S.-backed alliance was formed last October, its fighters have opened several major offensives against Islamic State with the ultimate goal of capturing Raqqa.

    The alliance has separately been fighting in recent weeks against Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham and other insurgents in northern Aleppo province.

    The Democratic Forces of Syria includes the Kurdish YPG militia, which has been the most effective partner on the ground for U.S.-led air strikes.

    Kurdish gains around Azaz, which is near the Turkish border, are also likely to increase concern in Turkey about growing Kurdish sway near the frontier. Ankara is fighting an insurgency against Kurdish PKK fighters in its southeast.

    Washington’s strategy in Syria shifted in 2015 from trying to train thousands of fighters outside the country to supplying groups headed by U.S.-vetted commanders.

    The U.S. military estimates the Democratic Forces of Syria has captured around 1,000 square kilometers of terrain in the past six weeks or so, bolstered by coalition air strikes.”

  13. 2016 to see end of terrorism: Army chief (tribune, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1020141/2016-to-see-end-of-terrorism-army-chief/

    “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Friday said 2016 will be the year of unity and eliminating terror from the country.

    “With the support of the nation, we will root out terrorism, crime and corruption and will make peace and justice prevalent in the country,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted the army chief as saying…”

  14. MoD: 14 ISIS fanatics killed in Afghan Air Force raids in Nangarhar (khaama, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/mod-14-isis-fanatics-killed-in-afghan-air-force-raids-in-nangarhar-1904

    “At least 14 fanatics affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in airstrikes carried out by Afghan Air Force in eastern Nangarhar province.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrikes pounded the sanctuaries of the terror group in the restive Achin district.

    A statement by MoD said at least 12 ISIS fanatics were also injured and numerous weapons, ammunition and explosives were also destroyed in the raids.

    The Afghan national security forces have stepped up counter-terrorism operations in the restive districts of Nangarhr province as the insurgency activities by ISIS fanatics have been rampant during the recent months.

    Meanwhile, the Afghan Air Force has also doubled air raids against the terrorist groups with the arrival new combat aircraft which are expected to turn tide in favor of the Afghan security forces.

    Afghanistan received six MD-530 aircrafts at the first quarter of current year and it will have a total of 16 of them by early 2016.

    MD-530 Warrior is a close-air attack aircraft and it has been newly added to the arsenal of the Afghan Air Force. It is designed for high altitude and hot weather operations.

    Afghanistan has also received 3 Mi-25 gunship helicopters from India and will receive another gunship in the near future which is expected to further increase the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force.”

  15. ISIS plotting ‘to slaughter THOUSANDS’ in 2016 in bid to spark huge FINAL BATTLE with West (express, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/630316/ISIS-secret-plot-world-masterplan-2016-final-battle

    “ISIS is planning to massacre thousands of civilians in public places around the world in 2016 as it desperately seeks to draw the west into a titanic “final battle”.

    The sick terror group will activate hundreds of sleeper cells in “dozens of countries” in an unprecedented bid to destabilise western governments and spark a huge military retaliation in the Middle East.

    The shock claim, from one of the world’s leading authorities on the death cult, comes amid fears of a New Year’s Eve terror plot in London and other major world cities.

    Islamic State has carried out more than 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since it declared its caliphate in 2014.

    And next year will see a huge increase in both the number and scale of major terror attacks, according to Dr Theodore Karasik, a Gulf-based analyst of regional geo-political affairs who has extensively studied ISIS’s behaviour.

    He warned: “ISIS’s media operation is taunting its enemy to come to fight their Final Battle.

    “But first, it wants to show its global reach with zeal…from cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists – to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world.”

    Dr Karasik added: “There are close to 40 ISIS affiliates globally with millions of adherents and believers around the world. The New Year may ring in with disturbing terror attacks.

    “ISIS is an airborne disease and still remains robust as the movement enters into a new combative and aggressive phase.

    “Many of us see the change of year as ‘turning over a new leaf’ and ISIS may do the same.

    “The level of ISIS’s destructiveness, to force confrontations across the world, indicates that 2016 is likely to be more chaotic than 2015…”

  16. British man arrested at Amsterdam airport for false bomb threat (reuters, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-netherlands-airport-threat-idUKKBN0UF1VD20160101

    “Dutch police said they arrested a 29-year-old British man at gunpoint at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Friday after he shouted several times that he had a bomb.

    The man, whose identity is not being released in accordance with Dutch privacy laws, did not have a bomb, said spokesman Eric Vermeulen of the Dutch Royal Marechaussee, or border police. Vermeulen said the man is being interrogated to see what his motivation was.

    Making false bomb threats is a criminal act in the Netherlands, and the man will face charges after the case is turned over to a prosecutor, Vermeulen said.

    One of the airport’s three departure halls was evacuated for around 30 minutes after the incident, which took place at around 8 a.m. local time (0700 British time).”

  17. Iranian rocket launches near U.S. carrier: More than just a provocation

    On Saturday, 27 December, an Iranian fast attack craft reportedly conducted a short-notice rocket launching exercise in the vicinity of USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75) as the carrier transited the Strait of Hormuz, heading inbound to the Persian Gulf.

    Iran’s attack craft are small boats equipped with machine guns, rocket launchers, and in some cases anti-ship cruise missiles and/or torpedoes (see here for a summary from 2013).  They are operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), and patrol the Persian Gulf constantly.  They also appear in most of Iran’s naval exercises.
    At least one rocket hit the water some 1,500 yards from the carrier.  Also in company with Truman were USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer, and a French frigate (probably the Aquitaine, which left its homeport of Brest on 17 December headed for the Persian Gulf).  Bulkeley would have been serving as the carrier’s main escort, defending the air space around the Truman during the critical strait-transit period.
    A military spokesman noted that the Iranians’ action on Saturday was provocative and unsafe:
    “The IRGCN’s actions were highly provocative,” Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, said Wednesday in a statement.
    “Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional, and inconsistent with international maritime law.”
    Military Times’ report indicates that the Iranians gave only 23 minutes’ notice of their launch exercise, which apparently was announced by voice on the international bridge-to-bridge radio channel.  For a live fire exercise, this short notice is extraordinary, and out of keeping with sound, conventional practice.  That’s especially the case in a restricted area like the Strait of Hormuz, where even the shortest-range weapons pose a potential danger to innocent shipping.

    http://libertyunyielding.com/2016/01/01/iranian-rocket-launches-near-u-s-carrier-more-than-just-a-provocation/

    • This is a thought provoking article that requires much thought before making an intelligent comment, the first thought is that given the current level of technology if we are swarmed by small craft the best option is shoot first, shoot fast and shoot accurately. In the current political environment this isn’t a viable option.

  18. French soldiers open fire on car ‘attempting to ram mosque’ (independent, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-soldiers-open-fire-on-car-attempting-to-ram-mosque-a6793131.html

    “Several people have been injured after French soldiers fired on a car which attempted to ram them outside a mosque.

    The driver of the car did not stop when ordered, Le Parisien reports, leading the soldiers guarding the mosque in Valence, Drome, to open fire.

    The driver and another person in the car were injured.

    Three soldiers were reportedly injured, there also appear to be injuries among worshippers at the mosque.

    A stray bullet hit one of the worshippers, the Dauphiné Libéré news agency reports.

    The driver has been detailed – his motives are currently unclear.”

  19. Opposition activist who joined Islamic State dies in Syria (wapo, Jan 1, 2016)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/opposition-activist-who-joined-islamic-state-dies-in-syria/2016/01/01/ba519d72-b0a1-11e5-b281-43c0b56f61fa_story.html?

    “Syrian activists say an opposition supporter who became an Islamic State militant has died in central Syria.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Abu Bilal al-Homsi died earlier this week in the central province of Homs. He had kept in touch with journalists even after joining the IS.

    The Observatory’s chief Rami Abdurrahman said Friday it wasn’t immediately clear whether al-Homsi died in an airstrike in the historic city of Palmyra or whether he carried out a suicide attack.

    Homs-based activist Bebars Al-Talawy says al-Homsi most likely carried out Monday’s bombing in a government-held neighborhood in the city of Homs, when 19 people were killed and nearly 100 were wounded.

    Al-Homsi, who was in his late 20s, left his hometown of Homs in mid-2014 and later joined IS…”

  20. Unhappy in Europe, some Iraqis return home (wapo, Jan 1, 2016)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/unhappy-in-europe-some-iraqis-return-home/2015/12/30/cc1d106c-a33c-11e5-8318-bd8caed8c588_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop_b

    “At 25, Faisal Uday Faisal had high expectations when he packed his bags for Europe in September.

    After quitting his job making tea and cleaning for the Ministry of Education in Baghdad, he set off to Turkey to join more than a million refugees and migrants who have made their way to the continent in the past year.

    “My dream since I was a child was to go to Europe,” he said. “I was imagining a beautiful life, a secure life, with an apartment and a salary.”

    But despite a grueling month-long journey to Sweden, he came back home — one of a surging number of returnees, Iraqi and international authorities say. The International Organization for Migration says it helped 779 Iraqis come back from Europe voluntarily in November, more than double the previous month, and those figures don’t include people like Faisal, who returned on his own.

    Some have chosen to leave because they were confused about the asylum process, disillusioned with the lack of opportunities or homesick, while others were forced to go when their asylum claims were rejected.

    “It was a boring life there, their food even a cat wouldn’t eat it,” Faisal said of his two months in an asylum center near the Swedish city of Malmo. “I went to Europe and discovered Europe is just an idea. Really, it’s just like Bab al-Sharji,” he said, referring to a Baghdad market neighborhood.

    While some who come back of their own volition may not have been fleeing danger in the first place, aid agencies warn that legitimate asylum seekers are also being discouraged as Europe becomes less welcoming to newcomers and tries to tighten its borders. Finland and Belgium are among the countries that have warned arrivals from Baghdad that they won’t automatically receive asylum.

    Faisal concedes that he left for economic reasons, the kind of asylum applicant European authorities are trying to sift out from those fleeing violence. He said he decided to “arrange a story” about being threatened by Iraqi militias. “If I was in danger, I wouldn’t have come back,” he said.

    Faisal begged his father, who had already spent $8,000 on sending his sons to Europe, to send money so he could come home. “He missed the services here. At home everything is done for him,” said Faisal’s father, Uday Faisal Mohee.

    “The problem is, the words Europe or America has such magic for the young people. This one is still affected even though he knows the reality,” he said, pointing to his younger son, who returned to Iraq after being detained in Turkey en route but still wishes to try again.

    “There are thousands of Iraqis who have come back, and thousands more that want to,” said Sattar Nowruz, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Iraqi embassies in Europe are scrambling to provide emergency travel documents for those travelling back.

    Nowruz said many young Iraqis were encouraged by television broadcasts of hundreds of thousands flocking to Europe this summer. According to the United Nations’ humanitarian organization, 8 percent of the nearly 1 million refugees and migrants who have arrived in Europe by sea this year were Iraqi – nearly 80,000 people.

    “It has a direct effect on those that genuinely need asylum,” Nowruz said. “Certainly there are many that have suffered violence.”

    Aid agencies say asylum seekers are struggling to have their cases heard.

    “Some authorities are encouraging applicants to return,” said Shannon Pfohman, head of policy for Caritas Europa, “implying that they won’t get asylum, won’t get a job and generally painting a bleak picture.”

    A total of 35,000 refugees and migrants left Europe “voluntarily” from the beginning of the year to November, Pfohman said. “But really much of it is more forced. It’s not clear what extent it’s voluntary,” she said, adding that a further 17,000 were deported.

    Those fleeing certain countries are being increasingly lumped together, she said, whereas each claim should be individually assessed. But asylum systems are overwhelmed….”

  21. Germany: Fire guts centre for young refugees early on New Year’s day

    A blaze ripped through a centre for young refugees in the town Ruppertshofen in Baden-Wuerttemberg early on New Year’s day, causing considerable damage to the structure but reportedly causing no casualties. Firefighters continued to pour water on the structure, Friday morning, as workers removed belongings from the building.

    The fire began at around 03:35 (GMT) in the house of one of supervisors of the centre. He woke up 10 children and everyone was evacuated before the fire brigade arrived. It is believed that the fire began in the garage and then spread to the other parts of the house. Before firemen succeeded in extinguishing the fire, a major part of the roof was burnt.

    Police have already launched an investigation into the blaze, the precise cause of which remains unknown.

  22. France: Containers to house 1,500 refugees near completion outside Calais

    Construction work neared completion on a project to house 1,500 refugees and migrants in shipping containers at a camp outside Calais, northeast France, Friday.

    The migrants and refugees are to be housed in 125 containers, with 12 people in each container, in a new camp constructed alongside a separate camp that’s currently in use.

    Around 6,000 refugees and migrants currently live in the original camp, many of whom are seeking to cross the channel to enter the UK.

    • Man attacks soldiers guarding French mosque with his car

      PARIS – A local official says a man has rammed his car into four soldiers guarding a mosque in the French city of Valence. Mayor Nicolas Daragon says one soldier fired and wounded the attacker who was hospitalized.

      Daragon said that the man wasn’t immediately identified, and his motives were being investigated.

      The mayor told iTele TV a passerby was wounded in the leg by a bullet,.

      The secretary-general of the prosecutor’s office, Frederic Ouiseau, told the station that authorities must be “extremely prudent about the motive” of the attack.

      France is on high alert after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people. The soldiers are part of the reinforced security guarding places of worship and other sensitive sites.

      http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/01/01/man-attacks-soldiers-guarding-french-mosque-with-his-car.html

  23. PICS – GETTY IMAGES The hair of the Prophet Mohammed

    Kashmiri Muslim women pray at Hazratbal shrine on the Friday following Eid-e-Milad , or the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad on January 01, 2016 in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, India.

    Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over Kashmir visit the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar to pay obeisance on the Friday following Eid-e-Milad , or the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed. The shrine is highly revered by Kashmiri Muslims as it is believed to house a holy relic of the Prophet Mohammed.

    The relic is displayed to the devotees on important Islamic days such as the Eid- Milad when Muslims worldwide celebrate.

    More pics on this page :

    Birth of Prophet Mohammed is Marked in Kashmir

    http://www.newindianexpress.com/photos/nation/article1446804.ece#

    =========================================================

    • Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar –

      […]It contains a relic, the Moi-e-Muqqadas, believed by many Muslims of Kashmir to be a Hair of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

      […]The relic was reported disppeared on 26 December 1963. There were mass protests all over the state on the disappearance of the Mo-e-Muqaddas (the Hair of the Prophet) with hundreds of thousands out in the streets. The Awami Action Committee was formed to recover the relic. On 31 December the prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru made a broadcast to the nation on the disappreance of the sacred relic. The relic was recovered on 4 January 1964

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazratbal_Shrine

      video – The imam of the mosque showing the relic to the faithful

    • Celebrations of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in Srinagar

      Hundreds devotees gathered at the Hazratbal shrine, which houses a relic believed to be a hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammed, to offer special prayers on the occasion of Prophet’s birth anniversary on Thursday, 24 December 2015.

  24. OCT 2015 – Russia: Hair of Prophet Muhammad presented at Moscow Cathedral Mosque

    Rawil Gaynetdin, the Grand Mufti of Russia, presented a strand of hair believed to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad to hundreds of Muslims at Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Tuesday. Gaynetdin said the hair will remain in the mosque in “permanent storage.” The hair was a gift in honour of the mosque’s opening from Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia’s Chechen republic.

  25. Al-Shabaab Releases Recruitment Video Featuring Donald Trump (abcnews, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/al-shabaab-releases-recruitment-video-featuring-donald-trump/story?id=36052185

    “The militant group Al-Shabaab — Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia — has released a recruitment video featuring GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

    The more-than 51-minute propaganda video comes on the heels of a war of words between Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton over her suggestion that the real estate mogul’s controversial remarks about Muslims would be used to recruit jihadis.

    The video includes a clip of Trump calling for a “shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.

    “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the [bleep] is going on,” Trump says in the clip. The group bleeps out Trump’s use of the word “hell.”

    Immediately preceding the message is a statement from Anwar al-Awlaki, the American terror leader who was killed in a drone strike in 2011.

    Awlaki discusses America’s history of race relations and his predictions for the future.

    Clinton sparked a feud with Trump when she suggested during a debate hosted by ABC News that Trump was being used to recruit new jihadists.

    “He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” Clinton said during the Democratic debate on Dec. 19.

    Clinton provided no specific evidence of the claim being true.

    Trump went on the offensive afterwards, saying Clinton fabricated the claim….”

  26. Gunmen Attack Indian Air Base Near Pakistan Border; 1 Killed (abcnews, Jan 1, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/gunmen-attack-air-force-base-northern-india-killed-36053126

    “Gunmen attacked a northern Indian air force base near the border with Pakistan and were exchanging fire with security forces on Saturday morning, police said.

    At least one of the attackers was killed at the Pathankot air force base, about 430 kilometers (267 miles) north of New Delhi, said police official Ashwini Kumar.

    Pathankot is on the highway that connects India’s insurgency wracked Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of the country. It’s also very close to India’s border with rival Pakistan.

    NDTV news station reported that the attack began at 3:30 a.m. when the gunmen entered the air base.

    Saturday’s attack comes just a week after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”

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