Reader’s links for Jan. 16 – 2016

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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

50 Replies to “Reader’s links for Jan. 16 – 2016”

  1. Extremists shouldn’t be banned from preaching at British universities, Oxford chief says (express, Jan 16, 2016)

    “EXTREMIST groups should not be banned from speaking at British universities, Oxford University’s new vice chancellor has said.

    Universities across the country have come under fire for inviting extremist organisations to speak on campus in recent years.

    But Professor Louise Richardson said controversial groups such as Cage should be welcomed provided they “can be countered”.

    She added that students should confront views they find “objectionable” rather than attempt to ban them.

    She said: “We need to expose our students to ideas that make them uncomfortable so that they can think about why it is that they feel uncomfortable and what it is about those ideas that they object to.

    “And then to have the practice of framing a response and using reason to counter these objectionable ideas and to try to change the other person’s mind and to be open to having their own minds changed.

    “That’s quite the opposite of the tendency towards safe spaces and I hope that universities will continue to defend the imperative of allowing even objectionable ideas to be spoken.”

    Asked if groups such as Cage should be allowed to speak, she said: “Provided that they can be countered, I think that we should let them be heard.

    “In that way we model to our students how you counter ideas you find objectionable.”

    Asim Qureshi, the research director of the human rights outfit, last year described Islamic State terrorist Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man”.

    Prof Richardson, who is seen as a modernising figure, also branded the all-male Bullingdon Club “completely unacceptable”.

    The group boasts David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Boris Johnson, the London mayor, among its former members.

    She said there was no formal link between Oxford and the Bullingdon Club but stressed: “If it had I would sever it or I would do my best to sever it.””

  2. TERROR WARNING: Britons told to ‘stay vigilant’ amid horror hotel attack in Burkina Faso (express, Jan 16, 2016)

    “BRITONS have been warned not to travel to an area of Burkina Faso after a hotel and cafe popular with Westerners was hit in a suspected Islamic terror attack.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned against travelling north of the town of Boulsa in the west African state.

    A spokesman said: “You should avoid the area and follow the instructions of local security authorities.”

    At least 20 people are said to have killed by al-Qaeda militants at the four-star Splendid Hotel, which is used by United Nations staff and Westerners….”

  3. Calais chief says hard-left activists causing migrant chaos should be ‘kicked out’ (express, Jan 16, 2016)

    “HARD-LEFT British activists who stir up trouble in Calais’ migrant camps should be kicked out of France, the port city’s deputy mayor has said.

    Philippe Mignonet called on UK officials to help clamp down on liberal activists using migrants for “political reasons”.

    He said: “The English government, who know who these activists are, should treat them as hooligans and not allow them to leave the country.

    “They are acting as humanitarians undercover but they are using the migrants for political reasons. They are there to manipulate the migrants.

    “Most are from the extreme left. Whatever we do they are activists, they are anarchists, all they do is create a mess.”

    It comes after a British charity worker suggested truck drivers who are victims of attacks at the hands of Britain-bound refugees should simply change jobs.

    Clare Moseley, who also claimed the plight of truckers who are attacked by refugees is “not the end of the world”, has since been forced to apologise…”

  4. Woman, three children axed to death in Peshawar (tribune, Jan 16, 2016)

    “A man was accused of axing his wife and three children to death, with the help of his brother and others, in Islamabad Town within the jurisdiction of Paharipura police station on Friday. The victims have been identified as Bakht Meena, 25, Waqas, 4, and Amna and Gulmeena, who were between the ages of two and five.

    According to an official of Paharipura police station, complainant Marjana Bibi, a resident of Dolatzai, Sarband, and mother of Meena, registered an FIR against her son-in-law and his accomplices….”

  5. 4 Afghan policemen martyred in suspected insider attack in Kandahar (khaama, Jan 16, 2016)

    “At least four Afghan policemen have lost their lives in a suspected insider attack in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

    The incident has reportedly taken place in Khakriz district of Kandahar province in a check post of belonging to the police forces.

    Provincial governor spokesman Samim Khpolwak confirmed that an incident has taken place in a police check post but there are no further details available regarding the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

    Meanwhile, a local security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the attack was carried out by a group of individuals in police uniform…”

  6. Taliban says not a threat to America, decry coalition role in Helmand fight (khaama, Jan 16, 2016)

    “In a series of back-to-back setbacks in their offensive in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Taliban group on Saturday issued a statement decrying the coalition forces role in the ongoing fight in Helmand.

    The statement by the Taliban group followed after the Afghan national security forces operations gained momentum in repulsing the Taliban offensive with the air support of the coalition forces.

    The Taliban group warned that the interference of the coalition forces in Helmand fight could derail the peace, a statement contrary to the Taliban offensive which has been launched amid ongoing efforts to end ongoing violence which has been ongoing during the past 14 years.

    Claiming victory in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the Taliban group said they “are not a threat to anyone including America and have no intention of enmity and fighting with anyone rather our goal is to defend our soil.”

    The statement by the Taliban group further added “No other system is acceptable to the Afghans except for an Islamic system. In short the end of occupation and establishment of Islamic system is peace as well as the solution in itself. Similarly it embodies security, stability and aspirations of the Afghan nation.”…”

  7. NATO assists ANA rebuff Taliban attacks in Helmand, 35 killed (khaama, Jan 16, 2016)

    “NATO forces have assisted Afghan National Army (ANA) to repulse a Taliban attacks in southern Helmand province.

    A statement released by the Ministry of Defense on Saturday states that militants launched attacks on security posts of army and police in Adam Khan and Rahim villages of Gerishk District last night.

    The statement adds that Afghan forces on the ground responded to the attacks with the assistance of the airstrikes of foreign forces 35 assailants killed. Three vehicles belonging to the attackers were also destroyed.

    There were no casualties to Afghan forces during the attack.

    Although, the statement does not specify what group the militants belonged to but at the time Gerishk District is the site of heavy clashes between security forces and Taliban.”

  8. Petraeus: US should unleash airpower in support of Afghan partners (khaama, Jan 16, 2016)

    “The retired US Army General David Petraeus recommends unleashing airpower in support of the Afghan national security forces who are fighting a resurgent Taliban amid deteriorating security situation.

    Petraeus said US should adopt a new policy that expands airstrikes in Afghanistan to target a resurgent Taliban and an emerging threat posed by the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.

    In an Op-Ed published by Washington Post, Petraeus wrote “We should unleash our airpower in support of our Afghan partners in the same way that we support our Iraqi and Syrian partners against extremists.”

    “We should unleash our airpower in support of our Afghan partners in the same way that we support our Iraqi and Syrian partners against extremists,” Petraeus said, adding that “We have the tools in place to step up our game considerably.”

    This comes as the security situation has rapidly deteriorated since the Afghan national security forces assumed full charge of the security in the start of last year with the conclusion of the coalition forces combat mission…”

  9. Malaysian officials nab four suspected IS-linked militants: police (france24, Jan 16, 2016)

    “Malaysian authorities have arrested four suspected militants and confiscated a weapon along with Islamic State group (IS) documents, national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Saturday.

    Security forces have been on high alert in the predominantly-Muslim country in the wake of deadly coordinated attacks in neighbouring Indonesia earlier this week that were claimed by IS. Seven people, including five assailants, were killed during the incident.

    “Congratulations E8 CK (anti-terror unit) for arresting one male suspect on Friday at a train station…. Weapon and IS documents were confiscated (from the suspect),” the police chief said on his Twitter account.

    The train station is located near the iconic Petronas Towers in the heart of the capital Kuala Lumpur and houses a huge shopping mall frequented by foreigners.

    The country’s counter-terrorism assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay later confirmed to AFP that a knife and IS documents were confiscated at the suspect’s house…”

  10. Burkina Faso attack: Troops battle to end deadly hotel siege (BBC, Jan 16, 2016)

    “Exchanges of fire are continuing at a hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital as special forces seek to break a deadly siege by suspected Islamist gunmen.

    Some 30 hostages were freed overnight at Ouagadougou’s luxury Splendid Hotel but there are fears that at least 20 people were killed.

    Gunmen stormed the hotel and a nearby cafe after setting off bombs.

    Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said it carried out the attack in the West African nation, monitors said.

    French President Francois Hollande – whose forces are part of the operation against the militants – condemned the “odious and cowardly attack”.

    Remi Dandjinou, the Burkinabe communications minister, told the BBC there were between six and seven gunmen and they had been staying at the hotel.

    He also said a member of the government, Minister of Public Works Clement Sawadogo, was among those freed at the hotel.

    Thirty-three people were in hospital receiving treatment, he added.

    French special forces and Burkinabe troops have been deployed at the hotel, which is used by UN staff and Westerners.

    Hospital chief Robert Sangare quoted survivors as saying at least 20 people had died in the initial attack, before the security forces began their assault on the hotel.

    Interior Minister Simon Compaore said 10 bodies had been found on the terrace of the nearby Cappuccino cafe.

    The al-Murabitoun group, which reportedly merged with AQIM recently, was involved in the attack, monitors said.”

  11. North African men suspected of stoning transgender women in German city

    Three young men from North Africa sought to stone two transgender women in the western German city of Dortmund on Sunday.

    According to a report on Friday on television station SAT1.NRW, the men attacked Yasmine und Elisa, two transgender women, near the city’s main train station.

    “Within seconds we were tossed around…and they took stones from a gravel bed on the corner and threw them at us,” said Elisa.

    A police car at the train station appeared as the stoning attack unfolded and arrested the men.

    The German media as a general rule do not disclose the last names of victims to protect their privacy. The three men are between 16 and 18 years-old and are known to the authorities because of theft and assault arrests.

    The Dortmund police official Kim-Ben Freigang said the suspects told the police that “such persons must be stoned.“

    Three young men from North Africa sought to stone two transgender women in the western German city of Dortmund on Sunday.

    According to a report on Friday on television station SAT1.NRW, the men attacked Yasmine und Elisa, two transgender women, near the city’s main train station.

    “Within seconds we were tossed around…and they took stones from a gravel bed on the corner and threw them at us,” said Elisa.

    A police car at the train station appeared as the stoning attack unfolded and arrested the men.

    The German media as a general rule do not disclose the last names of victims to protect their privacy. The three men are between 16 and 18 years-old and are known to the authorities because of theft and assault arrests.

    The Dortmund police official Kim-Ben Freigang said the suspects told the police that “such persons must be stoned.“

  12. The backlash: Neo-Nazis on the rampage. Gun sales soaring. SUE REID warns sex attacks by migrants have unleashed dark forces in Germany that have disturbing echoes of the pas

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    Sitting in his white-walled room on the second floor of an anonymous office block, the German politician talks from the heart.

    He states emotionally that his country has changed for ever; that the European Union is finished and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s days are numbered.

    ‘Frau Merkel, she’s not right in the head,’ adds 46-year-old Siegbert Droese, pointing his finger at his temple.

    ‘She tells people from all over the Islamic world to come here to paradise. The numbers are mind-boggling and could reach ten million [when the migrants bring members of their families over to join them].

    ‘So many young men arriving every day with high testosterone and little respect for women mean the New Year sex attacks in Cologne will be repeated.

    ‘I am not alone in thinking this. The penny is dropping among ordinary Germans.’

    What Herr Droese — president of the populist Eurosceptic party, Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in the eastern city of Leipzig — says about German views on migrants is all too true.

    According to a recent survey, half of the population is now sceptical that Mrs Merkel will cope with the huge influx.

    This is despite her recent TV address to the nation — complete with Arabic sub-titles aimed at the 1.1 million migrants who arrived in 2015 and now live at the Government’s expense in 2000 camps, hotels and rented accommodation across the country — when she repeated her insistence that ‘we can do this’.

    The tide is inexorably turning against her, and polls show her popularity is declining.

    In contrast, the AfD, with an increasingly middle-class following of intellectuals and business people, hit an all-time high in an opinion poll released by best-selling newspaper Bild this week.

    From a standing start when it was founded in 2013, it is now supported by 11.5 per cent of voters, making it the third largest political party in the country.

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  13. World leaders gather in anticipation of ending Iran sanctions

    VIENNA — World leaders converged here Saturday in anticipation of the end of international sanctions against Iran in exchange for significantly curtailing its nuclear program.

    The nuclear agreement will take effect when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran has met its commitments under the deal it signed last July with six global powers, including the United States.

    Secretary of State John F. Kerry flew from London to Vienna in the early afternoon local time. He went immediately into a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Coburg Palace Hotel, the scene of months-long final negotiations last summer that led to the deal between Iran and the world powers.

    [How the nuclear deal with Iran works]

    Iranian, European and U.S. officials have said repeatedly over the past week that IAEA certification and implementation of the agreement was just “days” away. But the delay in what initially was to be an announcement Saturday morning, Vienna time, suggested that some last-minute issues still needed to be ironed out.

    Zarif was brimming with optimism when he arrived earlier in the day and met with Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief.

    “This is a good day for the Iranian people .?.?. and for the world,” he told Iranian media. “What is going to happen today is proof .?.?. that major problems in the world could be tackled through dialogue, not threats, pressures and sanctions.”

  14. Taiwan opposition wins presidency, China ties could suffer

    Supporters of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) react as the chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen addresses the crowd during a final campaign rally ahead of the elections in Taipei, Taiwan
    Supporters of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) react as the chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen addresses the crowd during a final campaign rally ahead of the elections in Taipei, Taiwan, January 15, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

    January 16, 2016

    By Faith Hung and Yimou Lee

    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s independence-leaning opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen won a convincing victory in presidential election on Saturday and pledged to maintain peace with China, which claims the island as its own, though vowed to firmly defend Taiwan’s sovereignty.

    Tsai, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), will be thrust into one of Asia’s toughest and most dangerous jobs, with China pointing hundreds of missiles at the island, decades after losing Nationalists fled from Mao Zedong’s Communists to Taiwan in the Chinese civil war.

    Tsai risks antagonizing China if she attempts to forcefully assert Taiwan’s sovereignty and reverses eight years of warming China ties under incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalists, whose forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949.

    Tsai said she would establish “consistent, predictable and sustainable” relations with China and not be provocative, to ensure the status quo.

    “Both sides have a responsibility to do their utmost to find mutually acceptable ways to interact with respect and reciprocity and ensure no provocation and no surprises,” Tsai added, having taken more than half the vote.

    She added, however, that she would defend Taiwan’s interests and its sovereignty. China has not renounced the use of force to ensure eventual unification with the island.

    “Our democracy, national identity and international space must be fully respected and any suppression would undermine the stability of cross-Strait relations,” she said.

    Support for the DPP has swelled since 2014, when hundreds of students occupied Taiwan’s parliament for weeks protesting against a China trade bill in the largest display of anti-China sentiment the island had seen in years.

    • China and Taiwan are two seperate nations and should be treated as such, China is upset because there are ethnic Chinese just off their shore that they can’t order around. Also they want the riches of Taiwan to shore up their rapidly sinking economy.

  15. North Korea says peace treaty, halt to exercises, would end nuclear tests

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a ceremony at the meeting hall of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a ceremony to award party and state commendations to nuclear scientists, technicians, soldier-builders, workers and officials for their contribution to what North Korea said was a succesful hydrogen bomb test, at the meeting hall of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 13, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA

    January 16, 2016

    SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – North Korea on Saturday demanded the conclusion of a peace treaty with the United States and a halt to U.S. military exercises with South Korea to end its nuclear tests.

    But U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Pyongyang needed to demonstrate by its action that it was serious about denuclearization for any dialogues to start.

    “We now have unfortunately a decade during which North Korea has totally reversed its obligations to international community, when it comes to missile and nuclear programs,” Blinken told a news conference in Tokyo.

    “So it’s very hard to take any of their overtures very seriously, particularly in the wake of their fourth nuclear test,” he said, after meeting his counterpart from Japan and South Korea.

    North Korea said on Jan. 6 it had tested a hydrogen bomb, provoking condemnation from its neighbors and the United States.

    The isolated state has long sought a peace treaty with the United States, as well as an end to the exercises by South Korea and the United States, which has about 28,500 troops based in South Korea.

  16. Merkel allies step up pressure over welcoming refugee policy

    German Chancellor Merkel waits to give statement during CSU Epiphany meeting in Wildbad Kreuth
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits to give a statement during the annual Christian Social Union (CSU) Epiphany meeting in the southern Bavarian resort of Wildbad Kreuth near Munich, Germany January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

    January 16, 2016

    BERLIN (Reuters) – A prominent ally of Germany’s Angela Merkel threatened on Saturday to take her government to court over its “open doors” refugee policy as political pressure grows for the chancellor to reduce the number of new arrivals.

    Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer said he would send the federal government a written request within the next two weeks to restore “orderly conditions” at the nation’s borders, through which one million migrants and refugees passed last year alone.

    “If it doesn’t follow, the state government will have no other choice but to file a suit at the federal constitutional court,” Seehofer told Der Spiegel magazine.

    Seehofer has issued a series of ultimatums to Merkel in recent months to press her into taking immediate action to limit the influx of migrants, only to back down at the last minute.

    His comments reflect increasing doubt among Germans about Merkel’s “we can do this” mantra in the face of Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since World War Two, especially since sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve were blamed on migrants.

    Merkel’s popularity has dropped following the assaults, a poll showed on Friday.

    Bavaria, a conservative state that borders Austria to the south, is the home of Seehofer’s Christian Social Union (CSU) — sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) — and is the main entry point for migrants and refugees.

  17. Guess what percentage of Dems think Hillary should run even if she is indicted?
    By Deneen Borelli on January 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

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    We are 0ften told — by liberals no less — that the chief difference between Republicans and Democrats is one of intelligence.

    The Donks fancy themselves the GOP’s intellectual superiors, though judging by some of their words and deeds, their calculus is likely flawed.

    One difference that was hinted at in a recent poll relates not to brains but to moral fiber. While a majority of Republicans believe a candidate should quit the race immediately if he is indicted for a felony crime, Democrats disagree. An incredible 53% of them believe the candidate should hang in there even if he is on the verge of a court trial.

    These polling numbers are especially relevant for the 2016 presidential election, after a former U.S. attorney predicted that Hillary Clinton could be indicted by the spring.

  18. Iraqi ‘refugee’ in the U.S. had big bomb plans
    By Carol Brown

    Many “refugees” from Islamic lands come to the United States pursuing their particular American dream. The dream is more like a nightmare for us, as some of our new friends set about maiming and murdering Americans – as was the case with Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, an Iraqi “refugee” who came to the United States in 2009, wanted to help the Islamic State, and had plans to set off bombs in Houston malls. The AP reports:

    An Iraqi refugee who is facing charges that he tried to help the Islamic State group wanted to set off bombs at two Houston malls and was learning to make electronic transmitters that could be used to detonate explosive devices, a federal agent testified.

    Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, who came to Houston from Iraq in 2009, was indicted last week on three charges, including attempting to provide support to a designated terrorist organization. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges during a court appearance on Wednesday.

    U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes denied granting Al Hardan a bond, ruling that there would be a serious risk that the Iraqi refugee would flee if released from federal custody.

    Hughes made his decision after listening to testimony from Homeland Security Special Agent Herman Wittliff, who said that in addition to Al Hardan wanting to set off bombs at the two Houston malls, including the popular Galleria mall, the Iraqi man was also learning how to make electronic transmitters that could be used to detonate improvised explosive devices. Al Hardan wanted use cellphones — a collection of which were found in his apartment — to detonate the transmitters, Wittliff said

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  19. Sweden: State-funded Muslim “Sniper” Training

    The Swedish state is funding a “sniper” training course for recently-arrived Third World “refugees” as part of their “integration program”—despite the ever-growing refugee-terrorist attacks across Europe

    The almost unbelievable plunge into insanity—started two years ago already—was reported—in a positive pro-refugee light—by the Allehanda newspaper in Sweden, under the title “Fired up for Sniping,” (Laddade för prickskytte, literally “Charged up for Sniping”) and shows a large number of Third Worlders being taught how to target shoot with “sniper” target rifles on a formal shooting ground in Sollefteå, central Sweden.

    The Allehanda informs its readers that the “sniping course” began on a “small scale in the Fall,” but then for reasons which are obvious, but which the Swedish newspaper ignores, “interest exploded” among the nonwhite invaders to take the course.

    When the Allehanda visited the shooting range, “more than 50 immigrant youths were on the course,” honing their shooting skills.

    Even more incredibly, the sniping course is being paid for by Sweden’s state-funded Migration Agency as an “integration” program into Swedish society.

    “Young people from all over the world—Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, [and] South America” are taking sniping lessons, the Allehanda said, and some of them are “interested and very talented,” the paper quoted course supervisor Birgit Höglin as saying.

    The program is offered as part of the language course at the local upper secondary school, Höglin said, saying that the benefits of the program are “much more” than just teaching the invaders how to use sniping rifles.

    “Here they talk Swedish in other social contexts, meet new people, and hang out. It is especially good for their vocabulary,” Höglin said.

    It seems of no concern to these liberals that every single terrorist attack on Europe in 2015 was carried out by “refugees.”

    State-funded sniper training for “young immigrants” seems so out of place that such an undertaking is firmly in the realm of the insane, and would, if not actually happening, be the subject of some bizarre joke.

    Unfortunately, it is not.

  20. German finance minister proposes EU-wide petrol tax to pay for refugee crisis

    Wolfgang Schaeuble gave no details on how high the extra levy on petrol should be, but said it would pay for costs such as securing Schengen’s external borders

    Germany’s finance minister has called for a new EU-wide tax on petrol to pay for the refugee crisis.

    Wolfgang Schäuble proposed the tax on petrol sales across the EU to pay for the costs of securing the Schengen Area’s external borders against a further influx of migrants.

    “Why shouldn’t we deal with this at a European level, if the task is so urgent?” said Mr Schäuble, “We need to secure the Schengen external borders now. We cannot fail to address this problem because of a lack of funds.”

    It was not clear whether the UK would be affected by the proposal, as it is not a member of the border-free Schengen Area.

    Even if it cannot secure EU-wide agreement, Germany was prepared to implement a tax with a “coalition of the willing”, Mr Schäuble told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

    If the EU cannot reach agreement on securing the external borders, Germany may be forced to close its own, the influential finance minister warned. Such a move could prove fatal to the Schengen Agreement.

    It would also leave countries such as Greece to deal with the huge numbers of arriving asylum-seekers without German assistance, Mr Schäuble warned.

    The finance minister’s intervention comes amid growing pressure on Angela Merkel’s government in the wake of the New Year sex attacks in Cologne.

    A second local authority has imposed restrictions on asylum-seekers using a public swimming pool, it has emerged.

    The town of Hermeskeil, in western Germany, has not gone as far as Bornheim, near Cologne, which made waves this week by imposing an outright ban on asylum-seekers after a series of alleged incidents of sexual harassment.

    Instead the local authority is insisting asylum-seekers obtain a special pass to prove they understand pool etiquette in Germany. To get the pass, they must undergo a short interview.

    The restriction was imposed because asylum-seekers were breaking the pool’s rules by swimming in their underwear and jumping next to other swimmers.

    Meanwhile authorities in Bornheim have announced they will lift their ban on asylum-seekers next week. Rainer Schumann, a spokesman for the local council, said the ban was intended as “a signal women’s rights are untouchable”.

    The restrictions are an indication of how attitudes to refugees are hardening in Germany.

    When a night club in the Bavarian town of Bad Holz started refusing entry to asylum-seekers last year, there was a public outcry.

    But in the wake of the Cologne attacks there have been reports of asylum-seekers being turned away by bouncers in other cities.

    Across the border in Austria, one bar has made headlines with an openly declared “No asylum-seekers” policy.

    Karin Siebrecht-Janisch, the owner of Charly’s Bar in the town of Bad Ischl, said she imposed the ban after male asylum-seekers harassed her customers.

    An opinion poll published this week found for the first time a majority of Germans believe the country cannot cope with the refugee numbers it is facing.

    Sixty per cent now believe the numbers are unmanageable, up from just 46 per cent before the Cologne attacks, according to the poll for ZDF public television.

    The poll makes uncomfortable reading for Mrs Merkel: 56 per cent of those surveyed now believe she is doing a bad job of managing the refugee crisis.

    Only 39 per cent approve of her policy. Before the Cologne attacks opinion was evenly split.

    Mrs Merkel has pledged to reduce the number of refugees in the country “noticeably”, but so far she is struggling to deliver results with the EU still divided on securing the external borders.

    Her government is demanding Morocco and Algeria take back more of their citizens whose attempts to claim asylum in Germany have been rejected.

    Thousands of migrants have arrived from the two countries in the last six months, despite the fact they have little chance of being granted asylum.

    But German officials have complained Morocco and Algeria are blocking attempts to deport them.

    Of the 5,500 Moroccans, Algerians and Tunisians ordered to be deported in the first six months of 2015, only 53 were actually sent home, it has emerged.

    • Germany’s finance minister proposes petrol tax to fund refugees (DW, Jan 16, 2016)

      “Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says an EU-wide tax on petrol could help finance refugees and strengthen the bloc’s borders. His comments come after sexual assaults by foreigners in Cologne caused uproar.

      “I’ve said if the funds in the national budgets and the European budget are insufficient, then let us agree to set up, for instance, a tax on a certain amount on each liter of gasoline,” Schäuble told the “Süddeustche Zeitung” daily.

      “We have to secure Schengen’s external borders now. The solution to these problems must not founder due to a limitation of funds,” he added. Schäuble went on to say that if all countries were not willing to pay the tax, he would not mind a “coalition of the willing.”

      Cologne attacks

      The finance minister said it was the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve that had stepped up pressure to find “a solution to the problem of controlling the European Union’s external borders.” The problem had to be solved at a European level, Schäuble said, adding that not just Germany, but neighboring countries would otherwise suffer the consequences.

      Schäuble said he fully supported Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to solve the crisis.
      The finance ministry has declined to comment on the remarks.
      German politicians against ‘refugee toll’

      Schäuble’s colleagues have criticized his proposal. “I’m strictly against any tax increase in light of the good budgetary situation,” Julia Kloeckner, Schäuble’s colleague and deputy chief of the Christian Democrats, told journalists. Germany currently has a budget surplus of 12.1 billion euros ($13 billion).

      The Social Democrats were also against Schäuble’s idea, saying they wanted to “hold society together instead of dividing it with a new refugee toll.”

      More than one million refugees from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa have arrived in Germany in the past 12 months. State administrations have been struggling to cope with the influx.

      Resentment against refugees peaked after around 1,000 men, believed to be immigrants from North Africa and Arab countries, sexually assaulted hundreds of women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.”

  21. Top US Admiral Fired For Questioning Obama Purchase Of Mansion In Dubai

    A stunning new Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that one of the United States Navy’s top commanders was relieved of his command a few hours ago after he sent out an “email/posting” revealing that President Barack Obama was in the process of purchasing a multi-million dollar seaside luxury villa in the United Arab Emirates city (UAE) of Dubai.

    According to this report, the Commander of the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 15, Rear Admiral Rick Williams, posted a “pointed” query on 8 January [since deleted] to the US Naval Institute’s “Readiness Kill Chain” “recipients/responders” list as to why Navy security and intelligence personal had been dispatched from Naval Support Facility Thurmont (aka Camp David) to Dubai on what he termed an “Obama house hunting mission”.

    Within 18 hours of Admiral Williams posting this query, this report continues, the US Navy’s Third Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Nora Tyson, acting on direct orders from her Commander-In-Chief, President Barack Obama, fired Admiral Williams stating her action was “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command” because of “allegations of his misuse of government computer equipment”

    When further questioned by Russian Today journalists via email to provide more details about Admiral Williams firing, this report notes, the Pentagon failed to reply—but then began releasing “anonymous” stories to the US press that Admiral Williams had been viewing pornography on his computer.

    To such an absurd claim that Admiral Williams (or any US Navy officer or seaman in fact) could view pornography on their computers, SVR analysts in this report note, is an impossibility due to the US Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), which not only blocks such sites, but also requires each single user to log in with their own unique password and username and whose records are meticulously kept and reviewed on a daily basis (thanks to Edward Snowden)—and which one would logically think one of the highest ranking officers in the US Navy would surely be aware of.

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  22. Saudi Arabia buying up farmland in US Southwest

    Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries are scooping up farmland in drought-afflicted regions of the U.S. Southwest, and that has some people in California and Arizona seeing red.

    Saudi Arabia grows alfalfa hay in both states for shipment back to its domestic dairy herds. In another real-life example of the world’s interconnected economy, the Saudis increasingly look to produce animal feed overseas in order to save water in their own territory, most of which is desert.

    Privately held Fondomonte California on Sunday announced that it bought 1,790 acres of farmland in Blythe, California — an agricultural town along the Colorado River — for nearly $32 million. Two years ago, Fondomont’s parent company, Saudi food giant Almarai, purchased another 10,000 acres of farmland about 50 miles away in Vicksburg, Arizona, for around $48 million.

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  23. Austria Suspends Schengen, Imposes Border Control Amid Refugee Crisis

    The Austrian government temporarily suspended the Schengen agreement, imposing full border control measures on everyone entering the country, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told the newspaper Oesterreich in an interview.

    The Austrian government temporarily suspended the Schengen agreement, imposing full border control measures on everyone entering the country, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told the newspaper Oesterreich in an interview.

    Chancellor Faymann said that from now on Austria would “similar to Germany” have a more strict border control and deport people who, lacking the proper refugee identification, out of the country.

    “At border control points everyone has to show a valid ID to Austrian authorities,” Faymann said, adding that if the EU cannot provide the security at its external borders, countries should start controlling their own national borders, according to the Austrian newspaper.

    Austria plans to use its army to stop refugees from entering the country. Most refugees are trying to reach Germany and apply for asylum there, but to get to Germany they need to hike across Austria.

    The move of the Austrian government essentially means that the Schengen agreement is thrown out the window. The Schengen zone has currently 26 members, including most EU members and four non-EU members.

    The idea behind the agreement is that the citizens of Schengen countries can access any country without the need to go through border controls and visitors can travel across the Schengen zone with one common visa that applies throughout the entire Schengen zone.

    Earlier this week, other Schengen countries, including Norway, Sweden and Denmark, also temporarily suspended the Schengen agreement and restored border control measures at their national borders.

    Europe is currently struggling to cope with a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and refuge in the stable and wealthy EU states.

  24. Police heap pressure on Canadian [ Muslim ] crime family by seizing $1.4M in properties

    Police pressure on a self-made crime group built by five gangster brothers continued as authorities seized real estate housing a restaurant in Ontario and a nightclub in Quebec from the Alkhalil organization, claiming the buildings are the proceeds of crime.

    Authorities restrained the Abu Abed Café at the corner of Olmstead and Gladu streets in Ottawa, and a building housing a stretch of three businesses on Promenade Du Portage in Gatineau, just across the bridge from Parliament Hill.

    Hisham “Terry” Alkhalil, 33, of Ottawa, the third born of the five brothers, was served with the asset restraint notice Wednesday.

    “It is the belief of investigators that these properties were obtained through their criminal operations,” said Inspector Mike Laviolette of the Ottawa Police Service.
    The owner of a business tenant in one of the buildings said the retail businesses are caught in the middle of the restraint order against the building.

    “We are innocent business owners… I am a very hard working and legitimate business owner who pays taxes and the rent,” an owner said, requesting their name not be published because of the sensitivity of the case.

    The buildings have an estimated combined worth of about $1.4 million.

    Police have already seized Alkhalil’s opulent, newly constructed Ottawa home on Rossland Avenue after his arrest in 2014. It is valued at about $1.1 million.

    “We were watching it go up during the investigation — it’s quite the shack, has an elevator and everything — and a few weeks before he moved in we arrested him,” said Laviolette.

    The 2014 arrest of Alkhalil and eight others in Project Anarchy was announced with great zeal; it is the largest criminal probe the Ottawa police have undertaken. Called “a pre-emptive strike” to avert a gang war, police seized 24.5 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $12.5 million and four guns.

    Six of the nine arrested have since pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from six to 10 years in prison. Alkhalil and one co-accused continue to fight the drug-related charges in court. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume next month.

    This asset probe — called Project Attar — picked up where the criminal probe left off, calling in forensic accountants to analyze business records and trace how money was made and where it went.

    “It’s really just the continuation of what was started almost four years ago,” said Laviolette, the Project Anarchy manager.

    But as much of a nuisance that police have been to the Alkhalil brothers, the pain of pursuit, prison and fiscal hits pale in comparison to the push-back the brothers have received from rival gangsters.

    The Alkhalil family moved to Ontario and Quebec from British Columbia after years of violence and bloodshed.

    Their family arrived in Canada from Saudi Arabia as refugees in 1990 — although their roots are believed to be in Iran — and settled in Surrey, B.C.

    In 2001, Khalil Alkhalil, 19, the second oldest of the five brothers, was shot dead in Surrey in a gunfight over a drug debt. His killer claimed self-defence and was freed. The shooter’s lawyer was beaten up in court by angry supporters of Alkhalils and the shooter himself was later gunned down in Kelowna in a case that remains unsolved.

    Mahmoud Alkhalil, 19, the fourth oldest, was one of three people killed in a notorious gunfight in 2003 between rival gangs in Vancouver’s Loft Six nightclub. He made it out of the club but was found bleeding and unconscious after crashing his car 20 blocks away.

    The youngest brother, Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil, 28, was only two when he came to Canada. Last February he was extradited to Canada after his arrest in Greece.

    There is a line-up to prosecute him: In Vancouver, he is charged with first-degree murder in the 2012 hit on gangster Sandip “Dip” Duhre in the Sheraton Wall Centre; in Toronto, he is charged with first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting of Johnnie Raposo on the patio of the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe in Little Italy; in Montreal and Niagara Falls, Ont., he faces cocaine smuggling charges.

    The eldest brother, Nabil Alkhalil, is on the run abroad. He has his own history with police.

    Soon after his release from jail in 2005 for assault, his Cadillac was stopped for speeding on Highway 401 near Cornwall, Ont. When he was asked to open the trunk, he drove off, leaving his brother Hisham behind and led police on a long, high-speed chase. When he was caught, a duffel bag with 11 kilos of cocaine was found nearby.

    Nabil was convicted of cocaine trafficking and ordered deported but because he is considered stateless — no country will grant him travel papers — he remained.

    He was released from immigration detention in 2010. In 2013 he fled the country; his family said he feared gangland retribution by rivals in Canada.

    Authorities have tracked him travelling from Mexico to Colombia in the past year, where he was refused admission after being stopped at the airport.

    His whereabouts are unknown.

  25. Germany: Counter-demo confronts PEGIDA protest in Nuremberg

    A PEGIDA protest was held in Nuremberg on Saturday attracting a counter demonstration which opposed the far-right group. Supporters of PEGIDA marched through the streets, marking their first protest of the year in the Bavarian city.

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