Reader’s links for Feb. 2 – 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

87 Replies to “Reader’s links for Feb. 2 – 2016”

    • The left has created the situation where following the laws they have enacted leads to national suicide. A year or so back we were talking about the Geneva Convention and I said that this war was going to destroy the Convention and return us to the days of anything goes in combat and concerning prisoners. This is a prime example proving my statement.

  1. ‘At least’ 40 Swedish children staying with Isis

    At least 40 Swedish children aged 0-10 are believed to be staying with Isis after their parents travelled to Syria or Iraq to join the terror group, according to the national coordinator against violent extremism.

    “That is a low estimate. I could imagine that there are many, many more,” Yassin Ekdahl, committee secretary at the office of the national coordinator, told Swedish radio on Tuesday.

  2. ‘This is too much for me’: Zimbabwean farmer’s wife evicted from family home by black British GP reveals ‘thugs’ have been terrorising her for months

    Phillip Rankin and his family have farmed in Zimbabwe for decades

    Their farm has been taken from them and given to Sylvester Nyatsuro

    Mr Rankin was handcuffed and dragged away from the property last week

    Police have ‘taken over the home’ and are ‘stopping them using the farm’

    New owner originally from Zimbabwe but now works as GP in Nottingham

  3. As Feds Plan to Cut Border Monitoring, Texas Officials Ask Why

    Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, pressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday to explain why the agency plans to reduce its aerial surveillance on the Texas-Mexico border.

    In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the lawmakers said the cut to a requested 3,850 hours of aerial detection and monitoring in 2016 amounts to 50 percent less coverage than recent years.

    “Given the recent surge of migrants from Central America and Cuba along the southern border, we believe DHS should request more surveillance and security resources, not fewer,” Abbott and Cuellar wrote in a letter.

  4. Fearing lean times, U.S. companies tighten purse strings

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The capital spending slump that originated in the hard-hit energy sector appears to be spreading more widely across other U.S. industries.

    Companies cutting or flat-lining their capital expenditures in 2016 outpace those that say they will increase spending by a factor of more than two to one, according to a Reuters analysis.

    Companies in industries as diverse – and relatively strong – as healthcare, consumer goods and restaurants are among those tightening their belts in yet another sign that economic growth in 2016 may be anemic.

    For instance, McDonald’s Corp , which saw its stock jump 26.1 percent in 2015 and is trading at record levels now, said it would keep capex flat with 2015 at about $2 billion, the company’s lowest budget in more than five years.

    Drugmaker Eli Lilly is holding its capex budget flat and Verizon Communications Inc said it plans to cut its budget from $17.8 billion, to between $17.2 and $17.7 billion.–sector.html

    • The only reason to do this is because you expect sales to drop, you are holding onto as much cash as you legally can so you can ride out the recession.

  5. Russia deploys frontline fighter jets to Syria amid Turkish tension

    U.S. defense officials are quite impressed

    Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Monday that Su-35 fighters have been deployed to Hemeimeem air base in Syria. The Su-35 is Russia’s most advanced fighter that is fielded in significant numbers. NATO designates the aircraft as the SU-35S Flanker-E.

    “Starting from last week, super-maneuverable Su-35S fighter jets started performing combat missions at Khmeimim airbase,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov told the Russian state news agency, TASS.

    Overall, U.S. defense officials are quite impressed with this latest Flanker variant. “It’s a great airplane and very dangerous, especially if they make a lot of them,” one senior U.S. military official with extensive experience on fifth-generation fighters told me some time ago. “I think even an AESA [active electronically scanned array-radar equipped F-15C] Eagle and [Boeing F/A-18E/F] Super Hornet would both have their hands full,” reported National Interest.

    In addition to providing hi-tech protection for its ground attack aircraft in theater, the Syrian conflict will allow Moscow to test the new weapon system in combat conditions. Currently at least four of the new aircraft are in theater and will also allow Moscow to market the system to China and other militaries as a combat proven weapon system.

  6. UBS bank shares plunge as rich investors withdraw money

    AP Business Writer

    Buy AP Photo Reprints

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Swiss bank UBS saw its shares slide on Tuesday on news that investors had pulled billions out of its division serving wealthy clients – a token of the market turbulence that has shaken the world in the past few months.

    The Zurich-based bank, which nevertheless booked higher fourth quarter profits, cited “very low levels of client activity and pronounced risk aversion” as it reported 3.4 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion) had flowed out of its wealth management arm, which handles money from rich people outside the U.S.

    Fourth-quarter outflows from clients in emerging markets and in Europe outweighed inflows in the Asia Pacific region and Switzerland.

    Shares in UBS Group AG were down 7.8 percent at 15.37 Swiss francs in midday trading in Europe.

  7. This Biotech Startup Promises Lab-Grown Pork Within Five Years

    The future of lab-grown meat is coming. Or at least it feels that way, based on burgeoning interest in the biotech community. One by one, companies are staking out different animal tissues to grow in vitro for human consumption. First there was beef. Then there was chicken. Now there’s pork.

    San Fransisco-based startup Memphis Meats made its public debut today, with a Wall Street Journal exclusive that details the team’s ambitious plan to grow beef and pork in laboratory bioreactors—and to be the first company to bring lab-grown meat to market. Memphis Meats says it’ll be selling its animal-free products to high-end customers in three to four years. Oh, and to dissuade any lingering doubts, they’ve also just unveiled the world’s first lab-grown meatball.

    Mark Post, whose stem cell burger created an international sensation in 2013, recently announced that his company, Mosa Meat, would be selling lab-grown beef in four to five years.

        • I would think so but I don’t know enough about this, I know the vat grown turkey started with real turkey and is more or less a grey tasteless mess when taken out. They then put coloring and flavoring into the “meat” to make it look and taste like just about any meat.

  8. Ferguson, Mo., to hear from public on proposed justice reforms

    FERGUSON, Mo. (Reuters) – Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, which has a proposed agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform its police department after the 2014 shooting by a white officer of a black teenager, will voice their opinions on the deal at a meeting on Tuesday night.

    The fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, 18, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson exposed tension between the city government and the largely black community outside St. Louis that erupted into violent protests in 2014 after a grand jury chose not to indict the officer.

    It was one of a series of highly publicized killings of black men, mostly by white police officers, that set off a nationwide debate about the use of police force, especially against minorities.

    The Justice Department issued a sharply critical report last year that documented discriminatory actions by Ferguson police and the municipal court system, especially against blacks.

    Under the terms of the proposed agreement, which were posted on the city’s website, the Ferguson police department would be required to give its officers bias-awareness training, implement a strong accountability system and ensure that police stop, search and arrest practices do not discriminate on the basis of race or other protected characteristics.

    The settlement also would require the city to change its municipal code, including sections that impose prison time for failure to pay certain fines and an ordinance used against individuals who do not comply with police orders.

  9. ISIS pushed back in Iraq, Syria, but a threat in Libya: Kerry

    ROME (Reuters) – An international coalition is pushing back Islamic State militants in their Syrian and Iraqi strongholds but the group is threatening Libya and could seize the nation’s oil wealth, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

    Officials from 23 countries are in Rome to review the fight against Islamic State militants, who have created a self-proclaimed Caliphate across swathes of Syria and Iraq, and are spreading into other countries, notably Libya.

    Islamic State forces have attacked Libya’s oil infrastructure and established a foothold in the city of Sirte, exploiting a power vacuum in the North African country where two rival governments have been battling for supremacy.

    “In Libya, we are on the brink of getting a government of national unity,” Kerry told the Rome conference. “That country has resources. The last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars of oil revenue.”

    Under a U.N.-backed plan for a political transition, Libya’s two warring administrations are expected to form a unity government, but a month after the deal was agreed in Morocco, its implementation has been dogged by in-fighting.

    The United States is leading two different coalitions carrying out air strikes in Iraq and Syria that have targeted Islamic State.

    Western nations are also considering hitting the militants in Libya, a gateway for tens of thousands of migrants hoping to reach Europe. However, they want a green light from the planned unity government before acting.

  10. Stranded migrants block main Greece-Macedonia artery demanding passage

    POLIKASTRO, Greece (Reuters) – Hundreds of migrants stranded in northern Greece blocked the main road to Macedonia on Tuesday, angry at delays to their journey north caused by protesting taxi drivers and farmers on the border, a Reuters cameraman said.

    The migrants, many of them refugees from the Syrian war, chanted “Macedonia, Macedonia” and sat down in the road.

    Around 80 buses packed with migrants were backed up short of the border on Tuesday, their journey halted by Macedonian taxi drivers who have blocked the railway line and Greek farmers staging a tractor protest over planned pension reforms.

    • It wasn’t justified so much as necessary. A small nation with a disorganized militia has to do what it has to do in order to protect itself from a massive geopolitical superpower of its day such as the Caliphate centered in what is now Turkey.

      It isn’t that different from US militias fighting the British in the war of independence really.

        • Oh I wasn’t being PC here, I was adding emphasis. I meant that beyond justification for it, it was an utter necessity for the existential survival of the peoples. Sorry for any confusion.

      • For those who are wondering in the American Revolution both sides did things that today would result in war crimes, at the time they were called how you make war. The idea of war crimes was an attempt to civilize what is essentially organized barbarism, and todays laws of war have pushed things to the point no nation can follow them and win the war. The article about the Brits not being able to hold the POWs or transfer them to some other nations care is an example of how the left has used our laws and compassion against us and their victory is in the process of destroying civilization.

    • Putin is strengthening Isis in Syria, says UK foreign secretary

      ‘Everything we are doing is being undermined by the Russians,’ says Philip Hammond on visit to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

      […] the Russian air strikes are causing hundreds of civilian casualties in indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas away from the frontline.

      “Since the Russian intervention in Syria, the dribble of people who were perhaps going back from these camps to Syria has stopped dead, and there is a new flow coming in because of the actions the Russians are taking – particularly in southern Syria along the border just a few kilometres from here,” Hammond said.

      Russia’s intervention had been a major setback for international efforts to find a political solution to the crisis, Hammond said. The effect of the intervention was to strengthen Islamic State, he added.[…]

      • Sounds like the author believes in national suicide and pin point air strikes. By holding to the standard the left has forced on us since the Korean War we are unable to effectively strike the enemy.

        When the enemy hides their fighters and factories among civilians they are the ones responsible for the civilian deaths.

        You win wars by destroying the enemies will to resist, you don’t try and win their hearts and minds until the war is over and you are occupying their nation.

    • IRAQ – Mosul battle will be difficult, bloody and long, coalition spokesman in Iraq warns

      ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A long-anticipated battle to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS) will be difficult, bloody and long, the spokesman of the US-led coalition warned Tuesday.

      US Army Col.Steve Warren dismissed claims that the coalition had signed any secret agreements to reclaim Mosul from ISIS.

      Speaking to reporters at the US embassy in Baghdad, Warren said that an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 militants from the ISIS group are expected to be inside Mosul and other parts of the province.

      He warned that ISIS fighters will fiercely fight off any offensive to defend what is Iraq’s second-largest city and the group’s stronghold in the country.

      “There will be difficult battle, bloody battle and will be long one,” he predicted.

      Warren urged Iraqis in ISIS-held areas to remain patient, pledging that Iraqi forces would liberate their areas.

      “It is difficult to say how long we need to free Mosul, but I would like to tell the people in Mosul you will be freed. Just hold on, it will take time,” he warned.

      There has been no plan to bring infantry troops by the US-led coalition to Iraq, unless the Iraqi government calls for them.

      Warren revealed that some 5,600 troops and trainers from the coalition are now based and on duty in Iraq, doing their part in the fight against ISIS. He said that 3,600 of that number are Americans and the rest from other countries in the coalition.

      ISIS took control of Mosul in June 2014 in a matter of a few hours. In the face of an ISIS blitzkrieg, several Iraqi army and police divisions melted away and fled the city towards Baghdad.

    • Protesting Pakistan Airline Employees Killed In Karachi

      At least two workers of Pakistan International Airlines were killed and several others wounded after security forces allegedly opened fire on protesting employees of the national carrier at Karachi airport.

  11. Kerry brands Islamic State group ‘apostates’

    With an unusual choice of language, US Secretary of State John Kerry waded into Islamic theological debate on Tuesday when he branded the Islamic State group “apostates.”

    The United States affords its citizens religious freedom and does not consider apostasy a crime, but Kerry chose the term to rubbish the militants’ claims of piety.

    “Daesh is in fact nothing more than a mixture of killers, of kidnappers, of criminals, of thugs, of adventurers, of smugglers and thieves,” he declared using the Arabic acronym for the IS group.

    “And they are also above all apostates, people who have hijacked a great religion and lie about its real meaning and lie about its purpose and deceive people in order to fight for their purposes.”

    Some Muslim legal scholars consider the proper punishment for turning one’s back on the faith to be death and several majority Islamic countries execute convicted apostates.

    The IS group claims to have founded a “caliphate” based on its interpretation of Islamic sharia law and itself often brands its Muslim enemies apostates.

    Kerry was in Rome on Tuesday for a meeting of the 23 nations at the core of the US-led coalition fighting the IS group in Iraq and Syria and supporting local forces.

    The end of a news conference by Kerry and Italy’s foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni was briefly disrupted by protesters alleging US policy had caused the militants’ rise.

    Coalition faces growing IS threat in Libya and at home

    • Russia is destroying ISIS in Syria and Iraq, they aren’t going to move into Libya without a real good reason so ISIS has a free rein there.

      We can expect them to move into other nations and work hard to conquer large areas before Obama leaves office.

  12. Moonbat Who Wanted To Perform “Peace Concert” For ISIS Makes It To Israeli-Syrian Border And Stops Fighting With “World Synchronized Meditation”…

    World Synchronized Meditation for Syria w/ James Twyman

    On February 1, 2106, millions of people will participate in one of the largest and most important synchronized meditations in history. James Twyman, The Peace Troubadour, will walk into a Syrian village, within eyesight of ISIS, along with leaders from Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and a local Druze leader, to sing prayers of peace while millions of people “Pulse” the region with harmonic energy. Please join us.
    Go to www WorldPeacePulse com to register, and we will send the exact time of the vigil on January 31st.

  13. SOMALIA – Explosion on board an A321 few mins after taking off from Mogadishu

    A Daallo Airline Airbus A321 flight D3159 made an emergency landing at Mogadishu today after an explosion soon after takeoff from Mogadishu, Somalia.

    A loud bang was heard followed by flames, injuring 2 passengers.
    The body of a person fallen from a plane around Balcad town, Somalia.

    If it had happened in higher altitude, it would have been an explosive decompression! It could have been a premature detonation of a bomb carried by a passenger.

    A passenger filmed the interior of the aircraft still airborne just after the explosion. All passengers moved to the rear of the A321.

    pics :

  14. Daesh has nothing to do with Islam, says Erdogan

    Speaking in Chile, Turkish president says terror group is harming Islam

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told an audience in Chile that the Daesh group, which declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014, has “nothing to do with Islam”.

    “Islam never allows terrorism; this is one. Secondly, Islam and terror cannot be mentioned together. Third, Daesh is a terror organization and it has nothing to do with Islam,” Erdogan said during an address to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile.

    The Turkish leader is currently on a tour of Latin American states.

    Erdogan said that those who linked Islam and terrorism were giving support and courage to terrorist organizations.

    “On the contrary, Daesh is harming Islam with what it does,” said Erdogan, warning that the approach of associating terror with a religion or an ethnic group empowered xenophobia and racism which he described as a “disgrace [in] the history of humanity”.

    Refugee crisis

    The president turned to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

    “Even though the refugee crisis seems like a regional issue, in fact, it is a global one. The European countries watching the incidents from outside yesterday are today deeply experiencing the refugee crisis … inside,” Erdogan said.

    “Now, they [the European countries] began to shout, saying: ‘They do not come to us’. Well, what should Turkey, where 2.5 million people are sheltered, do?” Erdogan asked.

    Erdogan said Turkey had spent over $9 billion for refugees and just received $420 million from the international community.

    “But, Turkey does not care whether we receive aid or not. It has not closed its gates to anyone; whoever comes, Turkey did not look at their race, religion and language, and opened its doors,” Erdogan added.

    Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Munoz praised Turkey over its efforts in hosting millions of refugees.

    “I am saying not only in the name of Chile, but also that of Latin America; we are watching the support Turkey gives to refugees with admiration,” Munoz said.

    • Italy: Kerry says Syria crisis is getting worse by the day, slams Assad

      US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the situation in Syria was getting worse by the day while speaking in Rome, Tuesday. Kerry was in the Italian capital to meet with officials from 23 countries to discuss the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS, ISIL).

      “The crisis in Syria is simply getting worse by the day not better, and it would help enormously if those who say they are there to fight Daesh (IS) fight Daesh, and we will watch in the next days whether or not they join unison in an effort to achieve a ceasefire,” Kerry stated.

      The US’ top diplomat went on to criticise Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, blaming him for the influx of militants into Syria. “Assad remains a magnet for terrorism, why are all the fighters there? They are fighting Assad. Why are they fighting Assad? Because Assad denied his people what they were demanding. He met them, instead of with a programme, he met them with thugs and met them with guns and with bullets,” Kerry said.

    • Huffingtonpost :

      6 Words You Should Know Before Talking About Islam

      A lot of the suspicion surrounding Islam comes from a lack of knowledge or understanding of a religion that is still foreign to many people, despite its 1.6 billion followers. Often this lack of knowledge results in the public cooptation of important aspects of the faith.

      Words like jihad and shariah have become synonymous with things like terrorism, violence and radicalism, resulting in Muslims being unable to freely use or express these important tenets of their faith.

      To help clarify</strong some common misconceptions about one of the world's largest religions, here is a page from my Muslim dictionary.

      Islam : peace that comes from submission

      Islam derives from the Arabic root consonants s-l-m, which means submission. Islam is also derived from the root word salaam, meaning peace. Islam is thus the submission of oneself to God through which the highest form of peace is attained. Assalaamu alaykum, a common Muslim greeting, is translated from Arabic to be “Peace be upon you.”

      Muslim : one who has submitted

      The word Muslim in Arabic is also derived from the same root consonants as Islam, s-l-m. A Muslim is one who has submitted or surrendered; in this religious context, a Muslim is one who has voluntarily submitted to God’s will or God’s decree to achieve peace.

      Allah : The God

      The word Allah can be broken down into two parts. The al is a prefix definite article that translates to the. The second part luh simply translates to God. Therefore, Allah refers to The God. This is an important clarification to make because Allah is not a God Muslims believe in that is inherently antithetical to other groups’ beliefs; rather, Allah just refers to The God. From an Islamic viewpoint, this is the same God that the other Abrahamic faiths believe in. For example, Christian Arabs would also refer to God as Allah.

      Jihad : a spiritual self struggle

      Jihad is derived from the Arabic root word juhud, which means effort. Jihad is thus generally the process of exerting effort and can be applied to nonreligious actions. In the religious context, however, jihad does not mean waging a holy war or engaging in violence. Rather, the greatest form of jihad is an individual’s struggle with the self — the heart, the soul. A Muslim exerts effort in daily life activities — such as pursuing an education or a career — to do and achieve good for the personal process of self-improvement so as to achieve internal peace and closeness with Allah.

      Shariah : legal reasoning; law

      Shariah derives from the root shara’a and refers to a pathway or a path that leads to water. Shariah refers to the pathway upon which the believers should tread so as to reach this source of water i.e. the righteous way of life. The shariah is derived from Quranic revelation, the Prophet Muhammad’s sunnah (Peace be upon him) or his traditions and sayings, and other sources of law and legal reasoning.

      Madrasah : a school

      The word madrasah derives from the root consonants d-r-s, meaning to learn or to study. Derived from this root, madrasah literally translates into a place where one goes to learn or study. A madrasah, though it can be, is not necessarily exclusively for religious studies; for example, a high school Muslim American student in the United States would refer to her public high school as a madrasah.

      The implications of this false use of rhetoric is neither trivial nor inconsequential; rather, it has serious implications for the millions of Muslim Americans living in the United States. This false rhetoric — used by everyone from the 2016 presidential frontrunners to our next door neighbors — contributes to the increasingly unwelcoming and hostile environment and promotes dangerous Islamophobic sentiment.

      The use of jihadists to refer to terrorists and Islamism to terrorism is detrimental to American Muslims’ ability to freely and confidently practice and express faith. Reversing the seemingly continuous stream of hatred directed towards Muslims requires fostering a deeper understanding of Islam among Americans, and so I offer to you a page from my Muslim dictionary.

  15. The Death of a Swedish Town
    How leftist ideals annihilated Mölndal.

    After delivering his laugh line that Bernie Sanders would make “a good candidate for president — of Sweden,” Senator Marco Rubio declared during the last Republican presidential debate on January 28th that “We don’t want to be Sweden, we want to be the United States of America.”

    More than simply saying that we do not want to be Sweden, we need to learn from Sweden’s tragic mistake of becoming an open border sanctuary country for refugees from some of the most dangerous areas of the world. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, “between 2010 and 2014 Sweden received, on average, the highest number of asylum-seekers compared to its national population.”

    Swedes enthusiastically embraced their open door policy as an article of faith. According to an autumn 2014 Eurobarometer survey, “No fewer than 72 percent of Swedes said they were either fairly positive or very positive towards immigration from countries outside the European Union.”

    In 2015, this open border trend continued. Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum seekers, which exceeded any other European Union state per capita. This total included 51,338 asylum seekers from Syria, 41,564 from Afghanistan, 20,857 from Iraq and 5,465 from Somalia.

    Sweden has paid a very heavy price for its generosity and devotion to leftist ideals. Sweden’s social fabric and sense of security are unraveling as a result of a refugee population that has gotten out of control. In the last few months, Sweden has begun to wake up – but it appears to be too late.

    Case in point is the Swedish town of Mölndal. With open arms, the town accepted more unaccompanied refugee minors than anywhere else in Sweden, mainly teenagers whom had arrived in Sweden without their families. Last autumn, the town was welcoming 400 refugee minors every week. The total for all of 2015 exceeded 4000.

    However, what may have begun as a well-intentioned humanitarian gesture to provide places to live and support to refugee minors, has caused the town to descend into utter lawlessness. The longtime residents of the town, a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, do not feel safe anymore for good reason. And the lawlessness has spilled over to Gothenburg itself.

    One Gothenburg police officer with more than three decades of experience told MailOnline that there were “violent gangs roaming around the streets and the use of knives and other weapons have become normal, rather than a rarity as it used to be.” Robberies, violent assaults and sexual harassment of girls are becoming more commonplace. The officer identified the gang members as mainly young men from North Africa. “They will do anything to get money – steal a person’s wallet, iPhone, jewellery (sic),” he added. “And then they will attack their victim and kick them half to death.”

    Now, after a fatal stabbing, Mölndal, the most welcoming place for teenage refugees in Sweden, is beginning to seriously grapple with the tragic consequences of its open door policy. On January 25th, Mölndal became the scene of a brutal murder committed by one of the teenage refugees, a 15-year-old migrant boy from Somalia. He stabbed to death a 22-year-old social worker, Alexandra Mezher, who was working at the care home for unaccompanied refugee minors where her attacker lived. She was trying to restore peace after a knife fight had broken out between her murderer and another immigrant at the residence. The Somali murderer is in police custody and will be tried as an adult, Swedish authorities have announced.

  16. Karachi protest: Pakistan clashes at airport ‘kill two’ (BBC, Feb 2, 2016)

    “Pakistani security forces and protesters have clashed at Karachi airport, leaving at least two people dead, officials say.

    Staff at the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines were protesting against privatisation plans.

    Officers responded with tear gas, water cannon and batons. At least three other people were injured.

    Police denied having opened fire on protesters, who broke through the cargo gate.

    The two who died were workers of the company, hospital officials have said…”

  17. Ashraf Fayadh: Saudi court quashes poet’s death sentence (BBC, Feb 2, 2016)

    “A Saudi Arabian court has overturned the death sentence of a Palestinian poet convicted of apostasy.

    Ashraf Fayadh was instead sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, his lawyer said.
    Mr Fayadh has denied the charges, claiming that another man had made false accusations against him.

    His death sentence caused an international outcry with hundreds of writers, actors and artists appealing for his release.

    Mr Fayadh’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahim, said the court in the south-western city of Abha had also ruled that his client would have to issue an announcement of repentance in official media. The lashes are to be carried out in 16 sessions, he added.

    Mr Lahim said the defence would appeal against the new ruling and ask for Mr Fayadh’s release…”

  18. Libya’s Political Chaos Slows Response to Islamic State (abcnews, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The military strategy for eliminating the Islamic State in Libya appeared on hold Tuesday as nations fighting the extremist group said they could help the North African country re-establish security once its long-awaited new government is established.

    But Libya is in political crisis, more than four years after a U.S.-led military effort helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Neither the U.S. nor anyone else at a 23-nation conference in Rome spoke of a second military intervention.

    Although much of the conference focused on anti-Islamic State efforts in Syria and Iraq, the concluding statement of foreign ministers also noted Islamic State’s “growing influence” in Libya. And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued his own warning, saying “the last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars of oil revenue.” He called for more security training and undefined military support for Libya….”

  19. Iraq Awards Contract for Repairing Major Dam (abcnews, Feb 2, 2016)

    “Iraq on Tuesday awarded an Italian company a contract to overhaul and maintain the Mosul dam in the country’s north, days after a U.S. general warned of its possible collapse.

    Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told The Associated Press the Cabinet awarded the contract to Italy’s Trevi group Tuesday. He had no precise figure for the contract’s value. However, a Cabinet official told AP it was worth $230 million and that work on the dam would begin later this month.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    News of the contract came just days after Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the top U.S. general in Iraq, warned of dam’s potential collapse, which could cause mass flooding. Built in the early 1980s, the dam is made largely of earth and situated on soft mineral foundations, which are easily dissolved by water…”

  20. Top U.S. general slams idea of carpet bombing ISIS (CNN, video, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The top U.S. commander for the fight against ISIS on Monday slammed the idea of “carpet bombing” the terror group.

    Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who directs the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, provided the most detailed military criticism to date about the concept and detailed why it’s militarily unacceptable.

    “Indiscriminate bombing where we don’t care if we are killing innocents or combatants is just inconsistent with our values,” he said in response to a question from CNN on the possibility of using carpet bombing.

    Though MacFarland didn’t mention any political candidates by name in his answer, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas while on the campaign trail has called for employing the practice against ISIS…”

  21. Denmark re-extends border controls on German frontier (DW, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The government said it believes large numbers of migrants are still attempting to enter the Nordic country. The move comes as IOM reported over 67,000 people crossing into the EU in January with an increase in minors.

    Danish Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg said Tuesday that Denmark will extend border controls on its frontier with Germany for an additional 20 days to February 23 in a bid to quell migration.

    Stojberg added that the government believed large numbers of migrants could likely attempt to enter the country via Germany after Sweden imposed border controls.

    EU member states are struggling to form a cohesive action plan to tackle the wave of migration that witnessed more than one million people – many of them fleeing war and poverty in conflict-stricken countries – enter the 28-nation bloc in 2015.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that refugees should view their new residences in the country as temporary, adding that it is expected they leave “once there is peace in Syria again.”

    Merkel has come under increased scrutiny for her open-door policy to those fleeing war in Iraq and Syria, where the “Islamic State” militant group seized large swathes of land in both countries…”

  22. France, Belgium to step up counter-terrorism cooperation in wake of Paris attacks (france24, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The Belgian and French prime ministers on Monday agreed on the need to boost counter-terror cooperation, after Belgium came under fire for failing to help prevent November’s Paris terror attacks.

    Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium and French counterpart Manuel Valls were keen to present a united front following a row over alleged Belgian intelligence failings ahead of the jihadist attacks that killed 130 people in the French capital.

    “The main message is that we stand side by side and are determined to work to increase the level of security for our citizens,” Michel told a joint press conference after the two leaders met in Brussels.

    Valls added: “We must be united around our values, cooperate and become stronger against terrorism. I have never doubted the Belgian people.”

    The premiers were joined by their interior and justice ministers, along with representatives of the military, police and intelligence services of both countries, and the magistrates leading the Paris attacks investigation…”

  23. Fourth Afghan soldier earns the title of Ranger from US Ranger school (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “With help from the Security Assistance Office-Afghanistan, 1st Lt. Mohammad Yarghal became the fourth member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to earn the title of Ranger.

    The 27-year-old Afghan soldier recently returned to Afghanistan following a year of training in the United States. He first attended the four-month American Language Course at the Defense Language Institute in San Antonio. Then, he completed the 17-week Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course followed by a two-week Ranger Training Assessment Course, two months at Ranger School and three weeks of Basic Airborne Course, all at Fort Benning, Georgia.

    Yarghal, who is from Khost province, was inspired to join the Afghan National Army at a young age by a general who hailed from his village. In high school, he enacted his plan to serve his country and prepared to apply for the National Military Academy of Afghanistan.

    “I read a lot of books, and did PT [physical training] all the time,” explained Yarghal. “In my village, I have a place where I would run, usually one or two hours a day, and the locals call it by my name.”

    Yarghal was accepted into the prestigious four-year academy, which is structured similarly to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation in 2012, he attended infantry school in Afghanistan for three months.

    “My father was a doctor for the Mujahedeen,” said Yarghal. “He told me if I wanted to be a good officer and leader, I needed to do infantry. Massoud [Afghan political and military leader] was an infantry commander; so I chose that.”

    A fellow soldier told Yarghal about a four-month infantry course in the United States that he could attend, along with a school where he could become a paratrooper, a skill he believes is important for all armies.

    “My goal in the Afghan National Army was to become a leader who can keep my soldiers strong,” said Yarghal. “I wanted to be the best I could be.”

    Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan’s Security Assistance Office-Afghanistan stepped in to make the lieutenant’s dream a reality….”

  24. 12 civilians wounded in magnetic bomb explosion in Laghman (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “12 civilians have sustained injuries in a magnetic bomb explosion in Mehtarlam, capital of eastern Laghman province.

    Officials say the bomb was attached to a police vehicle which exploded close to Aziz Bank around 03:00 PM on Monday.

    The vehicle slightly damaged but there was no harm to policemen.

    All of the victims are civilians which include two children, a woman and nine men. Two of them are announced to be in critical condition.

    Abdul Jabar Naemi, governor of Laghman province has strongly condemned the attack calling it work of the enemies of peace and stability.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion which came about an hour after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 20 people and wounded 29 others in capital Kabul.”

  25. Anti-Taliban child killed in Urozgan (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “A teenager who had taken weapon against Taliban militants has been killed in an armed attack in central Urozgan province.

    The incident took place in Kharo Kariz area of the provincial capital Tereen kot on Monday afternoon.

    A security source from the police headquarters of Urozgan has told Pajhwok news that Wasil Mohammad had gone to the capital city for shopping when he came under the armed attack.

    Another source from the provincial hospital has told Pajhwok that 14-year-old Wasil Mohammad was brought to them to the hospital in wounded condition who later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

    According to the security source cited by Pajhwok, Wasil Mohammad had participated in fighting against Taliban.

    Wasil Mohammad was the nephew of the police chief of Khas Urozgan District of Urozgan province.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. In the past, Taliban have claimed responsibility for almost all of the attacks against people who were fighting against them.”

  26. NDS detains seven terrorists in connection with recent attacks in Kabul (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has detained seven members of Haqqani terrorist network who had planned a number of terrorist attacks in Kabul city.

    A statement released by NDS on Tuesday states that the attacks were carried out in Hawa Shinasi area, in front of Hamid Karzai International Airport and on the road leading from Shaheed Masoud square to the airport which left a number of people martyred and wounded.

    According to the statement, the terrorists were arrested from Hudkhil area, located in the 9th sector of the city, last night.

    They are identified as:….”

  27. Senior Afghan army commander Gen. Atamir martyred in Helmand (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “A senior commander of the Afghan National Army (ANA) was martyred in an explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the officials said Tuesday.

    The incident took place late on Monday night in Greshk district of Helmand province, provincial governor spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed.

    Gen. Atamir Agah was serving with the 3rd Brigade of 215 Maiwand Corps of the Afghan National Army, Zwak said, adding that three soldiers were also wounded.

    The district administrative chief Mohammad Sharif also confirmed that Gen. Atamir was martyred while he was on his way to Mosa Qala district when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

    However, another source speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Gen. Atamir lost his life along with 25 other soldiers after a group of militants launched an attack on an army camp in Greshk district.

    The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the incident which comes amid deteriorating security situation across the country.

    Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and frequently carry out insurgency activities.

    The Taliban militants launched a major offensive in a bid to take control of key districts including Sangin last month, forcing the US forces to interfere in support of the Afghan security forces.”

  28. Afghanistan needs long-term U.S. support to defeat militant groups: Gen. Campbell (khaama, Feb 2, 2016)

    “The outgoing commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, said Tuesday that Afghanistan needs long-term commitment from United States to defeat Taliban and other militant groups.

    In his testimony to a congressional committee, Gen. Campbell further added that the commitment must be made in a bid to prevent the security situation to further deteriorate and stop attacks on the West by militants based in Afghanistan.

    According to Gen. Campbell, the militants are controlling or having influence on 26 of 407 district centers in the country while 94 districts are viewed as at risk at any given time.

    Praising President Barack Obama’s decision to maintain a U.S. troop presence throughout most of this year, Gen. Campbell said aid the United States was developing a five-year vision that would avoid the traditional year-to-year planning mindset.

    He also warned that the situation will likely further deteriorate as compared to 2015 if deliberate and measured adjustments are not made.

    The remarks by Gen. Campbell comes as the security situation has sharply deteriorated across the country, prompting President Obama to announce in October that the United States would maintain a force of about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of 2016.

    The United States was due to draw down the number of forces in the country to an embassy-based presence by 2017 as per the earlier draw down plan.”

    • U.S. defense budget focuses on changing security environment: Carter

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the Pentagon would seek a $582.7 billion defense budget next year and reshape its spending priorities to reflect a new strategic environment marked by Russian assertiveness and the rise of Islamic State.

      Carter, speaking to the Economic Club of Washington, said the funding request was in line with last year’s congressional budget deal and the spending plan would be refocused to address the five big challenges facing the U.S. military: Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Islamic State.

      “Today’s security environment is dramatically different than the one we’ve been engaged with for the last 25 years and it requires new ways of thinking and new ways of acting,” he said.

      Carter’s remarks came a week ahead of the formal rollout of the administration’s 2017 budget. The Pentagon is in the process of cutting projected spending by nearly $1 trillion over a decade but the congressional budget deal last year raised the department’s spending caps by $25 billion for 2016 and $15 billion for 2017.

      The Pentagon received $580 billion this fiscal year, including a $521 billion base budget and $59 billion in war funding, which is not constrained by budget caps. The budget deal set the Pentagon’s base budget for 2017 at about $524 billion and war funding at a minimum of $59 billion.

      But a top Republican lawmaker quickly accused President Barack Obama of failing to use the authority given him by the deal to boost the Pentagon’s war-funding budget.

      “The president’s response to a security environment that is quickly degrading is to further cannibalize our military capability,” Representative Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

      Carter said that to address the changing strategic environment the Pentagon would seek $7.5 billion for the war against Islamic State in the 2017 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, a 50 percent increase over spending on the conflict this year.

      He said the increase was critical because the United States has used so many smart bombs and laser-guided rockets against the militants in Iraq and Syria that it is running low on the weapons and needs to invest $1.8 billion for 45,000 more.

      Carter said the Pentagon would ask for $3.4 billion to boost military training and exercises aimed at reassuring European countries concerned about Russia, which seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and has worried NATO allies with its strategic bomber flights.

      Obama said in a statement the request for European training, a four-fold increase from last year’s $789 million, would enable the United States to strengthen the U.S. military posture in Europe. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the move a “clear sign” of the U.S. commitment to European security.

      Carter also voiced concern about China’s military intentions. Beijing has been rapidly developing missiles and other weapons that could force the U.S. military to operate farther from shore in the case of a conflict.

      “Key to our approach is being able to deter our most advanced competitors,” Carter said. “We must have – and be seen to have – the ability to impose unacceptable costs on an advanced aggressor.”

      To build upon the U.S. military’s technological superiority, Carter said the Defense Department planned to invest $71.4 billion next year in research and development, much of it aimed at boosting strategic capabilities.

      The military has been developing drone aircraft and boats that are capable of swarming an adversary, preventing it from threatening U.S. warships and jets.

      He said the Pentagon also would spend $8.1 billion on undersea warfare in fiscal 2017 and more than $40 billion in the next five years–business.html

      The Hon. Ashton B Carter
      ( 63 min )

  29. Veteran Cop Fired, Threatened for Exposing What Gov. Is Really Doing With Refugees

    A 17-year veteran police officer from the German district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld was recently suspended from his job, then fired and threatened with a libel suit for revealing damaging information about what the German government has forced officers to do with millions of “refugees” fleeing Syria and the surrounding war-torn area.

    Sven Kleuckling posted to his Facebook account that the government ordered officers not to punish refugees for committing crimes such as theft, assault or robbery.

    Kleuckling’s post, translated by an online website, went on to describe how officers are expected to arrest 73-year-old Germans for theft of alcohol and put them way for 30 days, but refugees committing the same crimes get no discipline at all. Mad World News, citing German media reports, reported that the post got him fired.

  30. SERBIA – KOSOVO – “No terror link” as “armed Islamists” are arrested in Kosovo

    Four armed Islamists have been arrested in front of the main gate to the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Visoki Decani in Kosovo.

    This is what Abbot of Visoki Decani Sava Janjic told Tanjug on Sunday, adding that an investigation was under way.

    The suspects – four ethnic Albanians from various parts of Kosovo- Gnjilane, Urosevac, Prizren and Djakovica- were arrested at around 21:00 CET on Saturday in front of the main gate to the monastery in a car with the Urosevac license plates, he specified.

    In a joint operation, Kosovo police and KFOR members asked the men to show their IDs and searched the car. They found a Kalashnikov rifle with ammunition and a pistol, as well as some extremist Islamist books, the abbot added.

    This incident is another indicator that the presence of KFOR troops is vital for the security of this monastery which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, he emphasized.

    Two of the suspects wore beards and had shaved heads, and their style of dress was “characteristic of Wahhabis,” Janjic noted.

    In October 2014, graffiti reading ISIS and AKSh (“Albanian National Army”) were sprayed on buildings belonging to the monastery. Four months earlier the acronym UCK (Albanian for KLA – “Kosovo Liberation Army”) was also painted there.

    The police investigation into the incident produced no results but KFOR’s presence was beefed up in its wake, with the monastery and the area around it considered “a high risk zone.”

    Since the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999, Visoki Decani came under armed attack four times – only one of these has been investigated. In 2007 a Kosovo Albanian was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail attacking the monastery, the abbot noted.

    “No link to terrorism”

    The Kosovo police on Monday denied that the four suspects had been detained on terrorism charges, or because they planned to attack the monastery.

    Instead, spokesman Baki Kelani said, they were arrested for illegal possession of weapons, “and cannot be linked to any kind of attack on the monastery, or a …

    Local Albanian language media are meantime accusing Abbot Sava Janjic of “using the arrests for propaganda reasons.”

    pamelageller ( . ) com/2016/02/no-terror-link-as-armed-jihadis-with-qurans-are-arrested-in-kosovo.html/

    Suspect arrested in front of monastery fought in Syria?

    The Basic Prosecution on the town of Pec in Kosovo suspects that one of the men arrested in front of the Visoki Decani monastery had fought in Syria.

    Another suspect “attempted to travel to the Middle East,” according to the same source, who added the four were brought in front of the Basic Court in Pec on Monday “but the process against them was interrupted due to the business hours of the court.”

    The group of armed persons in question was arrested in front of the Serbian Orthodox monastery over the weekend. A police spokesman said on Monday they were held on charges of illegal weapons possession and had not planned a terror attack. The abbot of Visoki Decani reacted to this by saying it was “an insult to common sense and damaging for Kosovo police credibility.”

    In its report on Tuesday, the Beta agency said the prosecution in Pec was yet to obtain the evidence of any plans to carry out a terrorist attack, and the charges against the four remain related to illegal weapons possession.

    The suspects on Monday admitted to carrying such weapons, “but pointed out they were on their way to camping in the Decani mountains.”

    The suspects – Kosovo Albanians believed to be members of the radical Islamist Wahhabi movement – had an AK-47 rifle with 20 bullets and a pistol at the time of the arrest, the investigation order stated.

    Prosecutor Valbona Disha-Haxhosaj addressed the court to say all conditions had been met to detain the suspects, adding they could also be responsible for attacking the home of a Serb man in Berkovo, Klina municipality – an incident that took place on the day they were arrested.

  31. Germany’s Migrant Deportation Plan: “Political Charade”

    After three months of political infighting, Germany’s coalition government has announced new measures aimed at making it easier to deport migrants who are convicted of committing crimes.

    The measures emerged in response to voter outrage over the sexual assaults of hundreds of women by migrants in Cologne and other German cities on New Year’s Eve — and alleged attempts by the government and the news media to cover up the crimes.

    Known as the Asylum Package II (Asylpaket II), the draft law was announced by the cabinet on January 28 and must now be approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, for it to come into effect.

    A central feature of the plan involves increasing the number of migrant reception centers to five, up from two today. The centers would supposedly fast-track legitimate asylum requests submitted by people who can prove they are fleeing war-zones.

    The centers would also step up efforts to weed out fraudulent applications submitted by economic migrants who are posing as asylum seekers. The stated aim is to eventually deport those who arrived in Germany under false pretenses.

    In addition, the plan would introduce a two-year waiting period for legitimate refugees who want to bring family members to Germany. Exceptions would be made for those who can prove that their family members are being “personally, urgently persecuted.”

    The government also said that it would try to limit migration from North Africa by declaring Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as so-called safe countries, where there is no armed conflict or threat of violence, persecution or torture. This would make it virtually impossible for asylum applications from those countries to be approved.

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