Reader’s links for Feb. 21 – 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.

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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

57 Replies to “Reader’s links for Feb. 21 – 2016”

  1. Horror as ‘group of migrants film themselves raping male teenager at asylum centre’ (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/646052/Horror-migrants-film-raping-male-teen-asylum-centre-Norway

    “A GROUP of migrants allegedly filmed themselves raping a male teen at a refugee centre.

    The 19-year-old Syrian was attacked at a Norwegian reception centre by four male migrants he knew before arriving in the country, according to police.

    The teenager was hospitalised after the alleged incident, where he was also hit and kicked.

    The alleged rapists, three in their 20s and one in his 40s, have been charged with rape or complicity to rape and grievous bodily harm (GBH) or complicity to GBH.

    Police attorney Lise Dalhaug said: “Police have questioned all of the accused at length and a legal questioning will also take place.

    “We are in possession of a video of the assaults, which the accused have filmed themselves.”

    The alleged incident took place at Oslofjord Convention Center at Brunstad in Vestfold in December last year.

    Three of the four accused have applied for asylum in Norway and have been remanded in custody by police already in December.

    The fourth suspect was arrested in Stockholm on Friday afternoon after Norwegian police issued an arrest warrant for the migrant.

    The man in his 20s is a lawful resident in Sweden and has now been remanded in custody awaiting a potential extradition to Norway.

    Both the accused and the victim are Syrians…”

  2. Syrian Army Encircles Hundreds of Daesh Terrorists in Continuing Crackdown (sputniknews, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160221/1035116659/syria-army-daesh.html

    “The Syrian Army and the country’s National Defense Force have destroyed militant groups’ positions in a spate of provinces across Syria in the past 24 hours.

    Backed by the Syrian Air Force, the country’s army and National Defense Forces (NDF) have clamped down on the terrorists’ positions throughout Syria over the past 24 hours, according to the Iranian news agency FARS.

    Dozens of terrorists were killed and many more wounded after the army launched military operations in the provinces of Aleppo, Daraa, Damascus, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Latakia and Hama, sources said. On Saturday, the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces, backed by its Desert Hawks Brigade and Cheetah Forces, took back the city of Aleppo’s thermal power plant and completed the encirclement of a region east of Aleppo’s airport along the strategic Aleppo-Raqqa highway, trapping 800 Daesh terrorist fighters…”

  3. ‘No ifs and buts’: Turkey demands US support against ‘Kurdish terrorists (RT, Feb 21, 2016)
    ’https://www.rt.com/news/333149-turkey-demands-unconditional-us-support/

    “Ankara has urged Washington to unconditionally support the expansion of its battle against the terror threat, in particular Kurdish militias, warning that those hindering Turkey’s right to self-defense will be considered terrorists and acted upon accordingly.

    “The only thing we expect from our US ally is to support Turkey with no ifs or buts,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference after a five-hour security meeting with cabinet and state officials.

    Following the car bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara this week which left 28 people dead, a breakaway faction of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack, and Turkey has vowed to intensify its fight against the Kurds both at home and in Syria.

    “If 28 Turkish lives have been claimed through a terrorist attack we can only expect them [the US] to say any threat against Turkey is a threat against them,” Davutoglu stated.

    The US however considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG to be one of the main fighting forces against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. Yet on Friday, during a phone conversation between President Barack Obama and his Turkish counterpart, the US leader stressed that “YPG forces should not seek to exploit circumstances in this area to seize additional territory,” in northern Syria where the Syrian army and the Kurdish militia, aided by Russian air power, have been making large gains.

    Turkey in the meantime views all Kurdish militia that are also spread widely throughout Syria and Iraq as a direct national threat. Following on his earlier promise this week Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again reiterated on Saturday that Turkey will strike Kurds everywhere…”

  4. Twin bomb blasts kill 25 in Syria’s Homs: monitoring group (reuters, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-homs-idUSKCN0VU08C

    “At least 25 people were killed in twin car bomb blasts that hit the Syrian city of Homs on Sunday, a monitoring group said, with state media confirming the deadly attacks.

    At least 100 others were wounded by the explosions in the city center’s Zahra district, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    State television put the death toll at 14 people with 29 wounded. Pro-Damascus channel al-Ikhbariya showed footage of damaged shop fronts, debris littering the streets, wounded people and charred or burning cars.

    A bomb attack claimed by Islamic State last month in Homs in the west of the country killed at least 24 people, the city’s governor said at the time, as government forces took back some Islamic State-held villages in Aleppo province in the north.

    Sunday’s attacks also came a day after government advances against Islamic State. There was no immediate claim from the group, however.

    Another bomb attack in December which killed 32 people took place following a ceasefire deal that paved the way for the government to take over the last rebel-controlled area of the city, which was a center of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.”

  5. Walesa Legend Now a Spy Story as Polish History Is Rewritten

    In the new Poland, yesterday’s heroes are being turned into today’s villains.

    It means that Lech Walesa, the country’s most famous politician and freedom fighter, is a traitor and the 1989 uprising that ushered in democracy and a market economy was little more than a conspiracy. At least, that’s the new Polish government’s narrative after documents were released this week that purport to show the former Solidarity leader was a paid agent working for the communist authorities.

    “Walesa may have been a puppet — we have to sort this out,” Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told TVN24 on Friday. “This casts a shadow over the creation of an independent Poland and its political elites.”

    The government in Warsaw has spent its less than four months in power on a collision course with adversaries in the European Union, the nation’s banks and even credit rating companies. As it tries to remold Poland’s relationship with the world, it’s also setting out to rewrite the history of its fight with communism.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-19/rewriting-history-in-warsaw-turns-walesa-legend-into-a-spy-story

      • Well, it is true. He really have been paid informant. For a long time there were rumors that he was a paid confidant but there was not proof. There was even a book whose authors , two historians working at IPN (Institute of National Remembrance),claimed that he was a confidant, but they didn’t have conclusive evidence. At that time, Piotr Gontarczyk and S?awomir Cenckiewicz, the authors, also claimed that some of the documents disappeared, however they could not confirm it. . Now there is a proof. The documents conveyed to IPN have been found to be authentic. They are the one that have been lost. The IPN got it from the widow of Mr. Kiszczak, the communist general. (she wanted money for the files. LOL:, of course she did not get any and her house and her dacha were searched,)
        The problem with Walesa is not that he co-operated, some people co-operated for a couple of years but then they stopped co-operating. I mean there were difficult times, particularly in the 70s and well, some people are weak. The problem is that he lied about it and that gen. Kiszczak (a communist general )kept files on him all the time from 1990s. These documents should have been given to IPN after the change of a system, but were not.
        The main problem is that we will never know which of Walesa decisions were his own, and which he did because someone else told him to do so.
        The Walesa documents (his files) will be make available to journalists on Monday.
        Of course Walesa now is claiming that the documents are forged, but he has to do it, hasn’t he?

        • Thanks for the clarification, there is an old Russian proverb that says that when three people set down to talk revolution 2 are fools and 1 is a police spy.

          One of the reasons for the Stalin purges was to try and destroy all evidence that Stalin have been a paid informant of the Czars secret police for decades before the communist revolution.

          I have heard rumors that Felix Dzerzhinsky the first head of the communist secret police was a member of the Czars Secret Police for his entire working life.

          Documents have survived proving Stalin was a police spy but to the best of my knowledge non about Dzerzhinsky.

          • oh, and I want to clarify, I mean it is known in Poland but Western media say he was a paid informant and that’s it.
            . Walesa was a paid confidant only for 5 years, from 1971 to 1976. He finished the collaboration himself. And I repeat, the problem is not that he was a paid confidant, problem was that after the fall of communist regime he did not come clear. He lied about it. He also knew that someone may have files on him. It follows that there is a possibility that he may have been blackmailed

            • That is something that all politicians who have done something wrong have to worry about and one reason so many people are afraid of having Hillary in power.

  6. Leading Hindu priest decapitated in Bangladesh

    A top Hindu priest was decapitated by attackers in northern Bangladesh Sunday and two worshippers wounded, police said, in the latest assault targeting minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.

    Two assailants armed with pistols and cleavers attacked Jogeswar Roy, 45, the head priest of Sri Sri Sant Gourio Math, at his home in the temple on Sunday morning, officials said.

    “The priest was preparing for morning prayers when they pounced on him and slit his head from the body at the verandah of his home inside the temple,” said Shafiqul Islam, a government administrator in the sub-district Debiganj where the temple is located.

    “We recovered a blood-stained cleaver from the spot,” he said.

    Two devotees were wounded in the attack including one who was shot as he tried to save the priest, he added.

    The motive for the murder was not clear but police said Islamist militants were among those suspected as being behind the killing.

    District police chief Gias Uddin Ahmed said police had lau

    http://news.yahoo.com/leading-hindu-priest-decapitated-bangladesh-115527074.html

  7. Missing radioactive material found dumped in south Iraq

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A “highly dangerous” radioactive material that went missing in Iraq has been found dumped near a petrol station in the southern town of Zubair, environment ministry spokesman Ameer Ali said on Sunday.

    Ali said it had not been damaged and there were no concerns about radiation from the material, the loss of which raised concerns it could be used as a weapon if acquired by Islamic State militants.

    Reuters reported last week the material had been stolen in November from a storage facility belonging to U.S. oilfield services company Weatherford near the southern city of Basra.

    It was not immediately clear how the material ended up in Zubair, around 15 km (9 miles) southwest of Basra.

    “A passer-by found the radioactive device dumped in Zubair and immediately informed security forces which went with a special prevention radiation team and retrieved the device,” the chief of security panel in Basra provincial council Jabbar al-Saidi told Reuters.

    “After initial checking I can confirm the device is intact 100 percent and there is absolutely no concern of radiation.”

    http://www.oann.com/iraq-health-minister-says-missing-radioactive-material-found-state-tv/

  8. Rutgers students, sobbing and terrified, seek therapy after free-speech lecture

    As Rick Moran says, at PJ Media, it seems like this has to be something from The Onion.

    Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart (and all-around flamboyant advocate for free speech), has launched a speaking tour of college campuses, and it’s been an interesting go so far. He spoke at Rutgers on 10 February. Afterward, students were offered therapy to help them recuperate from their trauma.

    Literally.

    Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari summarizes reporting from Rutgers’s Daily Targum:

    According to the paper, students and faculty members held a wound-licking gathering at a cultural center on campus, where students described “feeling scared, hurt, and discriminated against.”

    “A variety of different organizations and departments were present to listen, answer questions and show support” to the apparently weak and vulnerable students, who just a few days prior had disrupted Yiannopoulos’ event by smearing fake blood on their faces and chanting protest slogans.

    One student at the event told the Targum that they “broke down crying” after the event, while another reported that he felt “scared to walk around campus the next day.” According to the report, “many others” said they felt “unsafe” at the event and on campus afterwards.

    http://libertyunyielding.com/2016/02/21/rutgers-students-sobbing-and-terrified-seek-therapy-after-free-speech-lecture/

  9. British students assigned to write their parents a ‘conversion to Islam’ letter

    Here’s my question. Why is it that these “religious studies” assignments never, ever involve writing a “conversion to Christianity” letter, or a “conversion to Judaism” letter?

    How is it that they always just happen to require children to write about converting to Islam?

    Are we supposed to seriously accept that this is an effort at education, diversity, and tolerance? If this were done even once with Christianity as the religion being converted to, there’d be flame-throwing in the streets.

    In the reported case, the school in question is on the island of Guernsey. Sarkus Zeronian mentions, at Breitbart, that there are only a few dozen Muslims on Guernsey out of a population of 62,000.

    But that doesn’t matter. If it’s a public school (and it is), I don’t care if all 62,000 of the residents are Muslims. I wouldn’t require their children to write a letter about converting to Judaism, and no one should make other people’s children write one about converting to Islam. This is a tendentiously, insidiously framed intellectual attack on other people’s children. End of story.

    Zeronian describes the assignment:

    http://libertyunyielding.com/2016/02/20/british-students-assigned-to-write-their-parents-a-conversion-to-islam-letter/

  10. Germany: Huge blaze rips through planned refugee centre in Bautzen

    A former hotel and planned refugee centre in Bautzen was badly damaged after a huge fire ripped through the building during the early hours of Sunday morning. No casualties were reported as the building was empty at the time of the blaze.

    Police have yet to establish a cause for the fire and an investigation has been launched into the incident. It took a team of around 60 firefighters to bring the fire under control. Two men were detained for disrupting firefighters as they attempted to extinguish the blaze and there have been reports of people clapping and cheering as the fire destroyed the building.

    SOT, Thomas Knaup, Bautzen Police spokesperson (German): “In the early hours of Sunday a fire broke out at the Husarenhof [former hotel and restaurant] which is currently under the reconstruction and planned to be used as a refugee centre in the future. The causes of the fire are still not clear. More than 60 firefighters were deployed to the site to extinguish the fire, the firefighters are still working. The criminal police are examining the scene, the investigation has already been launched.”

    SOT, Thomas Knaup, Bautzen Police spokesperson (German): “Two 22-year-old citizens of Bautzen were detained because they disrupted the work of firefighters and confronted police officers. Moreover, the police issued a restraining order against a third, 19-year-old person. Police have blocked the area because a lot of onlookers are trying to enter the fire scene and disturb the work of the firefighters.”

  11. German police defend their handling of migrant bus unrest

    Accused of being heavy-handed, police in eastern Germany have defended their forced removal of asylum seekers from a bus which was surrounded by anti-migrant protesters.

    Many inside the vehicle were afraid to get off to go to their shelter, in a village south of Dresden, because of the 100 or so angry demonstrators shouting slogans such as ‘We are the people’.

    Videos of the incident posted online have prompted outrage but local police chief Uwe Reissmann was unrepentant.

  12. Britain First day of action in Bradford – Activists and cars attacked!

    Britain First held a successful day of action in the heavily-Muslim town of Bradford, in Yorkshire.

    Bradford is well known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism and colonisation.

    Around 40 Britain First activists gave out 1,500 newspapers during the afternoon in the town.

    The police soon started to harass our activists issuing us with Section 12 and 14 notices.

    They then issued Section 35 notices which meant we were to be immediately escorted out of the area of West Yorkshire completely.

    After the day of action ended, some of our activists were attacked by local Muslim extremists and suffered injuries and criminal damage to their vehicles.

  13. Germany: Migrant Crime Skyrockets

    by Soeren Kern
    February 21, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Migrants committed 208,344 crimes in 2015, according to a confidential police report that was leaked to the German newspaper, Bild. This figure represents an 80% increase over 2014 and works out to around 570 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 23 crimes each hour, between January and December 2015.

    The actual number of migrant crimes is far higher, however, because the report, produced by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA), includes only crimes that have been solved (aufgeklärten Straftaten). According to Statista, the German statistics agency, on average only around half of all crimes committed in Germany in any given year are solved (Aufklärungsquote). This implies that the actual number of crimes committed by migrants in 2015 may exceed 400,000.

    Moreover, the report — “Crime in the Context of Immigration” (Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung) — includes data from only 13 of Germany’s 16 federal states.

    The report does not include crime data from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany and also the state with the largest number of migrants. North Rhine-Westphalia’s biggest city is Cologne, where, on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants. It is not yet clear why those crimes were not included in the report.

    The report also lacks crime data from Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, and Bremen, the second most populous city in Northern Germany.

    Further, many crimes are simply not reported or are deliberately overlooked: political leaders across Germany have ordered police to turn a blind eye to crimes perpetrated by migrants, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7470/germany-migrants-crime

  14. USA – DALLAS – AKs & Shotguns: Heavily armed anti-refugee protesters gather outside Dallas mosque

    A group of heavily armed anti-Islam protesters gathered outside a Mosque in the Irving suburb of Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, to oppose the announcement that the US city is set to accept 200 Syrian refugees.

  15. Kashmir conflict: More troops killed as stand-off continues (BBC, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35626989

    “Another three soldiers have been killed in a stand-off with militants near Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir, military officials say.

    Two other soldiers and a civilian were killed in violence on Saturday.

    The stand-off began when up to four attackers ambushed a military convoy before taking refuge in a training institute.

    A new exchange of gunfire began on Sunday morning as soldiers repeatedly tried to dislodge them.

    Part of the building was on fire as security forces came under prolonged gunfire.

    Two army captains are among those killed on Sunday, military officials say.

    About 100 students and staff were evacuated from the building on Saturday as it was encircled by troops.

    The security forces say they are preparing for a final assault on the institute and are reported to be using reconnaissance drones in preparation.

    Police have described the militants as “suspected anti-India rebels”…”

  16. Haqqani network trucks packed with 12,500 kgs of explosives seized in Paktika (khaama, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/haqqani-network-trucks-packed-with-12500-kgs-of-explosives-seized-in-paktika-0128

    “The Afghan intelligence operatives thwarted a deadly attack plot by the Haqqani terrorist network in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan by seizing two trucks loaded with 12,500 kgs of explosives.

    The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the explosives were loaded on two trucks and were confiscated by the intelligence operatives before they manage to use them in an attack.

    A statement by NDS said the explosives were placed under woods and a suspect identified as Rafiq has been arrested in connection to the transport of the explosives.

    No further details were given regarding the exact location where the trucks were seized and the possible target of the attack by the network.

    Paktika is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and often carry out insurgency activities…”

  17. Two Taliban killed by own bomb in Paktika (khaama, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/two-taliban-killed-by-own-bomb-in-paktika-4592

    “Two Taliban militants have been killed in a bomb blast in the provincial capital of Paktika province.

    Spokesperson for the provincial governor said the incident took place in Sali area late on Saturday.

    Nabiullah Peerkhil said the militants were busy planting a landmine on on the road that exploded killing both of them killed on the spot.

    Taliban have not yet commented on the report.

    Paktika which shares along border with Pakistan is a restive province of Afghanistan where terrorist groups including the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Daesh, Haqqani network and others operate…”

  18. Foreign insurgents among 16 killed in Afghan army operations (khaama, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/foreign-insurgents-among-16-killed-in-afghan-army-operations-0130

    “At least sixteen insurgents including foreign nationals fighting with the anti-government armed militants were killed in separate military operations led by the Afghan army in the past 24 hours.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in Jawzjan, Baghlan and northern Kunduz provinces of the country.

    A statement by MoD said a foreign insurgent was killed along with 7 others during an operation in Qosh Tapa district of Jawzjan and two other foreigners were wounded.

    At least seven others were killed in a separate operation in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin district of northern Baghlan province and three others were wounded, MoD said.

    MoD also added that one insurgent was killed and two others were wounded in a separate clash in Dasht-e-Archi district of northern Kunduz province…”

  19. Taliban’s shadow governor for Chahardara District of Kundoz arrested (khaama, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/talibans-shadow-governor-for-chahardara-district-of-kundoz-arrested

    “The shadow governor of Taliban for Chahardara District of northern Kundoz province has been arrested by security forces.

    Ministry of Interior says Mohammad Sayed Raza was arrested during a raid of the special units of police in Mahmood Raqi city of Kapisa late on Saturday.

    “During a special operation of Afghan National Police (Special Units), a Taliban so-called district governor for Chahar Dara district of northern Kunduz province, named Mohammad Sayed Raza was arrested in Now Abad region, Mahmood Raqi city capital of Kapisa province, yesterday evening,” states a statement released by the Ministry of Interior on Sunday.

    “Mohammad Sayed Raza was involved in many terrorist and destructive activities in this district and other areas of Kunduz province.”

    Taliban have not yet commented on the report.”

  20. Army claims advances in Libyan cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya (ahram, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/188196/World/Region/Army-claims-advances-in-Libyan-cities-of-Benghazi-.aspx

    “Military forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government said on Sunday they had pushed back Islamist fighters in several areas of Benghazi, seizing the strategic port of Marisa.
    The Libyan National Army said it had also taken control of the town of Ajdabiya, about 150 km (90 miles) south of Benghazi, another city where it has been battling Islamist groups.

    Libya has been riven by conflict since the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, as armed factions supporting rival governments in Tripoli and the east have fought for power and a share of the country’s oil wealth.

    Islamist fighters have used a security vacuum to expand their presence, and militants loyal to Islamic State goup’s control of the city of Sirte, to the west of Ajdabiya.

    Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, has seen some of the worst fighting, with violence escalating when military commander Khalifa Haftar launched a campaign in 2014 against Islamists and other armed groups.

    Munthir al-Khartoush, a spokesman for the army’s Battalion 309, said that as well as Marisa port, the army had taken control of the nearby neighbourhood of Al-Halis, and had advanced in the district of Boatni, which also saw heavy fighting on Saturday.

    At least three soldiers and 15 Islamist fighters were killed in Sunday’s clashes, the military said.

    Marisa would be a significant gain for the army as the groups it has been fighting have been receiving weapons deliveries through the port….”

  21. ISIS terror warning ISSUED: Jihadis ‘planning attacks’ on Westerners in THIS capital city (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/646101/Islamic-State-ISIS-planning-Malaysia-attack-Kuala-Lumpur

    “BARBARIC Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists could be planning deadly terror attacks on Westerners in and around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, the Australian government has warned.

    Malaysia has been on high alert since twisted Daesh militants launched a bomb and gun attack in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta in January, leaving seven people dead.

    The prime minister of Malaysia last month declared that the twisted terrorists now pose a “very real” threat to his country after the group issued a fresh warning detailing how the Muslim-majority nation was now on their hit-list.

    Malaysia had also arrested a suspected militant who confessed to be planning an attack in the country….”

  22. Tensions at boiling point: Russia’s committing ‘most egregious WAR CRIMES’, blasts Amnesty (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/646093/Russia-Syria-airstrikes-Islamic-State-war-crimes

    “RUSSIA has been accused of committing some of the most “egregious” war crimes seen in DECADES including deliberately targeting civilians and rescue workers in Syria.

    Human rights organisation Amnesty International claims Moscow has been hitting schools, hospitals and civilian homes in the war-torn region while conducting its airstrike campaign against Islamic State (ISIS).

    But the group also went on to allege that Russian airstrikes are also committing “second bombardments” which are targeting humanitarian workers as they evacuate the wounded and dead.

    The Kremlin has persistently denied targeting civilians and insists it is only hitting Daesh terrorist targets.

    Tirana Hassan, director of Amnesty’s crisis response programme, told Sky News: “We’ve documented strikes on schools, strikes on hospitals and civilian homes. And one of the most egregious parts of what Russia and the Syrian forces are doing is that they’re bombing these civilian targets when it itself is a war crime.

    “But then they’ve been looping around – and this is a consistent report, that there are second bombardments – which are then injuring and killing humanitarian workers and just civilians who are going in to evacuate the wounded and the dead.”

    Shocking footage obtained by Sky News also shows the devastation caused by what rescue workers claim to be from a Russian airstrike….”

  23. ISIS tries to turn Beliebers into believers using JUSTIN BIEBER to spread hate messages (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/645948/ISIS-tries-turn-Beliebers-into-believers-using-Justin-Bieber-spread-hate-messages

    “MILITANT Islamic State (ISIS) recruiters are trying to brainwash millions of impressionable young people by using Justin Bieber Twitter hashtags to spread its vile propaganda messages.

    The terrorist organisation is setting its sights on the pop giant’s 76 million followers worldwide by exploiting the well-used hashtag of his name.

    Bieber is Twitter’s biggest attraction, boasting the most followers in the world. The hashtag is used hundreds, if not thousands of times an hour, and rockets to tens of thousands of times when the star is trending…”

  24. British pupils ordered to ‘CONVERT TO ISLAM’ for bizarre homework assignment (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/646041/Guernsey-pupils-convert-Islam-Les-Beaucamp-High-School

    “CHILDREN were told to write to their parents explaining why they had converted to Islam as part of a bizarre homework assignment.

    Year 8 Pupils at Les Beaucamp High School in Guernsey were asked to explain to their parents “how becoming a pupil has changed your life [and] how much you love your family and hope they can accept your choice”.

    Teacher Amber Stables told pupils: “Focus: How would it make you feel having to tell your parents this? How would/could they react?”

    Ms Stables added a disclaimer that the homework is a piece of creative writing and fictional.

    She said: “YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY CONVERTING TO ISLAM.

    “It is purely to test your knowledge of what we have learnt this year and how well you can argue objectively!!!!”

    The news comes in the wake of the Trojan Horse plot last year which saw hard-line Islamists allegedly trying to take over a number of Birmingham schools and oust non-Muslim staff.

    A similar incident in California last year sparked fury after pupils were asked to sing about spreading Islam.

    Pupils were told to sing: “This is their fight / Spread Islam now / Prove they’re right.”

    Just a month later pupils in Minnesota were told to sing a song about Ramadan at a Christmas concert.

    A county in Virginia was also forced to close all its schools amid growing fury after students were told to write the shahada, an Islamic declaration of faith, in Arabic calligraphy.”

  25. Refugees documentary ‘Fire at Sea’ wins Berlin fest top prize

    Italian director Gianfranco Rosi’s “Fire at Sea”, a harrowing documentary about Europe’s refugee crisis, clinches the Berlin film festival’s Golden Bear top prize from a jury led by Meryl Streep.

  26. Troops prepare for trouble at asylum border (thelocal, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.thelocal.at/20160221/troops-prepare-for-trouble-at-asylum-border

    “Austria said Sunday it is beefing up the army at its borders to deal with the inflow of migrants, with 450 more troops from Monday and military police on standby in case of trouble.

    The increase to 1,450 soldiers and reservists comes after Austria drew criticism last week for saying it would only accept 80 asylum seekers and let 3,200 migrants pass through the country per day.

    The troops will assist police carrying out checks on people and vehicles entering the country, patrol the “green border” and carry out surveillance work, the defence ministry said.

    Also a company of military police based in Salzburg “will be held back to be able to handle violent persons or groups of persons and prevent them crossing the border,” the ministry said.

    “These forces will be able to deploy all over the country and be brought into action using army helicopters at short notice as the interior ministry requires,” it said in a statement.

    There will also be two armoured personnel carriers and three military transport vehicles ready to “close gaps in the border at short notice,” as well as a company of military engineers on standby…”

  27. Greece: Macedonia Has Closed Its Borders to Afghan Migrants (abcnews, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/greece-macedonia-closed-borders-afghan-migrants-37092296

    “Macedonia closed its border to Afghan migrants early Sunday, Greek police said, slowing the admission of refugees to a trickle and leaving a growing bottleneck of people stuck at their shared border.

    A Macedonian police spokeswoman denied there was any new prohibition regarding Afghans, blaming the problem on Serbia, the next nation along the Balkans migration route into Western Europe.

    By early afternoon, about 1,000 migrants were waiting at the Greek border camp in Idomeni — and at a gas station only 17 kilometers (11 miles) away, 80 buses with 4,000 more migrants were waiting to take them to the border.

    Greek police said Macedonia refused to let Afghans through because Serbia made the same decision and officials feared the migrants would get stuck in Macedonia…”

  28. Lebanese Minister Resigns Over Hezbollah Domination (abcnews, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/lebanon-justice-minister-resigns-hezbollah-domination-37092854

    “Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi resigned from the Cabinet Sunday, saying the militant Hezbollah group dominates the government and is harming Beirut’s relations with Arab countries.

    The resignation of Rifi, a longtime critic of the Shiite Hezbollah, comes two days after Saudi Arabia halted deals worth $4 billion aimed at equipping and supporting Lebanese security forces. The move came after Lebanon failed to back the Sunni kingdom in its spat with Shiite powerhouse Iran, the leading backer of Hezbollah.

    The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council backed the Saudi decision, raising concerns it could have repercussions for thousands of Lebanese living in Gulf countries.

    Lebanon has a sectarian divide that reflects the wider regional split between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and has long been a battlefield for the region’s proxy wars.

    The Saudi decision came after Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil declined to support Saudi resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers. Bassil is the president of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement, a key ally of Hezbollah…”

  29. The Latest: German Lawmakers Urge Daily Quotas for Refugees (abcnews, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-fire-damages-future-refugee-home-germany-37092583

    “… A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is renewing a call for centers at borders from which refugees would be allowed into the country according to daily quotas.

    Julia Kloeckner, a deputy leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, hopes to oust a center-left governor in a March 13 election in Rhineland-Palatinate state. In neighboring Baden-Wuerttemberg, fellow party member Guido Wolf hopes to return the party to power after a five-year hiatus.

    In a joint statement Sunday, they pressed for daily quotas of an unspecified size, renewing a call Kloeckner made a month ago. The pair stressed their support for Merkel’s efforts to achieve a European solution to the migrant crisis but added Germany can’t depend solely on the goodwill of other unwilling nations.

    Germany saw more than 1 million asylum-seekers enter the country last year. European nations have been deeply divided over the immigration crisis…”

  30. Vatican invites head of al-Azhar to meet with pope to restart dialogue

    VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s interreligious council invited the head of a leading Muslim institution to meet with Pope Francis as part of an effort to restart dialogue.

    Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, invited Ahmad el-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar University, to come to the Vatican and meet with the pope.

    The invitation came in a letter that was delivered by Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, council secretary, and given to the imam’s representative during a meeting in Cairo Feb. 16.

    Talks between the Vatican and al-Azhar were suspended by the Muslim university in 2011.

    A decades-old dialogue between al-Azhar and the Vatican started to fray in 2006, after now-retired Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany. Al-Azhar officials and millions of Muslims said the speech linked Islam to violence.

    Al-Azhar halted the talks altogether in 2011 after the former pope had said Christians in the Middle East were facing persecution. Al-Azhar claimed that Pope Benedict had offended Islam and Muslims once more by focusing only on the suffering of Christians when many Muslims were suffering as well.

    During the meeting Feb. 16, the delegations from the Vatican and al-Azhar talked about “the need to restart dialogue between the two institutions,” according to a Vatican communique released Feb. 17.

    The two sides agreed on “the importance of continuing and deepening such dialogue for the good of humanity,” the communique said.

    In his letter, Cardinal Tauran expressed his “willingness to receive the grand imam and officially accompany him in an audience with the Holy Father.”

    In a statement published Feb. 17 by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, al-Azhar said the two sides “have agreed on the need to hold a joint meeting to exit the phase of suspension of the bilateral dialogue.”

    Bishop Ayuso told Fides that the Vatican was ready to receive a delegation from the theological institution in order to kick-start dialogue at the service of peace.

    The Vatican delegation went to Cairo, Bishop Ayuso told the news service, “to express the desire to resume friendly relations of cooperation, that on our behalf have never stopped, and to recall the importance of our cooperation for the common good of the entire human family.”

    “Religious leaders, with their collaboration, want to give an important contribution: In the moment of darkness that we are experiencing, it is important that there are converging forces, intentions and even actions in favor of the wounded humanity, which greatly needs to be healed,” he said.

    http://www.catholicregister.org/faith/faith-news/item/21788-vatican-invites-head-of-al-azhar-to-meet-with-pope-to-restart-dialogue

    Grand Imam al Tayyeb invited to the Vatican to relaunch dialogue between the University of Al Azhar and the Holy See

    Cairo – Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, received an invitation to visit the Vatican to officially sanction the resumption of bilateral dialogue between the Holy See and the most authoritative religious and academic institution of Sunni Islam. The invitation was delivered in person by Archbishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot MCCJ, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    “Al-Azhar and the Holy See”, says the statement released by the Islamic institution “have agreed on the need to hold a joint meeting to exit the phase of suspension of the bilateral dialogue”. In the meeting with the leaders of al-Azhar, Archbishop Ayuso Guixot confirmed the full willingness of the Holy See to receive a delegation of the academic and religious Sunni institution in Rome with the aim of relaunching dialogue at the service of peace.

    “We have come to Cairo” refers to Agenzia Fides Archbishop Ayuso Guixot “to express the desire to resume friendly relations of cooperation, that on our behalf have never stopped, and to recall the importance of our cooperation for the common good of the entire human family.

    We also brought an invitation to the Grand Imam to come to Rome to meet Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Cnsiglio for interreligious dialogue, who will then accompany the Grand Imam to the official audience with Pope Francis. Without precipitation, we hope that this will happen soon”.

    For the Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery responsible for dialogue with other religions, the resumption of active collaboration between the Holy See and al Azhar is also relevant in the light of the international situation marked by conflicts and convulsions that make entire populations suffer. The resumption of relations – said Archbishop Ayuso Guixot – is certainly “good news, that in the current situation will help guide our steps along the paths of justice and peace, for a better world. Religious leaders, with their collaboration, want to give an important contribution: in the moment of darkness that we are experiencing, it is important that there are converging forces, intentions and even actions in favor of the wounded humanity, which greatly needs to be healed. Many people of good will are already giving its contribution to spread this balm, which we all need”.

    The meeting with the leaders of al Azhar – says Archbishop Ayuso Guixot – was “friendly”, and the resumption of cooperation is “a shared desire by Pope Francis and Grand Imam al Tayyeb”. Even the Univerity of al Azhar declared their constant readiness in the official statement to work at the service of anything that promotes “stability and peace”, also suggesting to reconsider the setting of the bilateral dialogue in the light of the present changing global scenarios, also marked by the phenomenon of terrorism which claims to be justified on religious grounds.

    http://www.news.va/en/news/africaegypt-grand-imam-al-tayyeb-invited-to-the-va

    • Maybe that’s why the real pope had to retire.* Maybe they wanted a pope more amenable to their view of the world.
      __________
      *I’m thinking of our Ezra’s trials & tribultations.

  31. UK’s military chiefs warn leaving EU means more ISIS attacks and Russian agression (express, Feb 21, 2016)
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/646238/UK-military-chiefs-leaving-EU-ISIS-Russia

    “BRITAIN’S most senior military leaders are set to warn leaving the European Union (EU) will leave the UK open to more Islamic State (ISIS) attacks.

    Three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff, Admiral Lord Boyce, General Lord Stirrup and Field Marshal Lord Bramall, are all among a group of more than a dozen set to sign a letter to be sent this week saying Britain’s national security relies on the EU.

    An increasing number of ISIS attacks and mounting Russian aggression will be stated as two of the main threats.

    Other former military chiefs are still deciding whether to support the letter as they battle with personal thoughts over national security and anti-EU feelings…”

    • I didnt know about the EU being a military-type organization. It as well seems to me that the EU is rather working in favor of Muslim enrichment and consequently all that would have to follow…

  32. Rather long interview with a guy who works at Eurotunnel as firefighter. Most of the things is syaing is well know however there are few interesting points
    – right now firefighters working for Eurotunnel look for migrants on trains/trucks, which is not their normal job.
    – daily about 150 migrants reach UK side.
    – if UK police will find a migrant hidden in lorry/truck the lorry driver must pay a fine of abt 1000 pounds.
    – there is increase of small thefts in and around euro-tunnel, as some of the migrants get out of a truck and than disappear. To make living they steal money, things and farmer’s animals.
    – theoretically it is not a job of firefighters to look for migrants, therefore they do not get inoculations (for example for tuberculosis). Their complain are not listened to, and they can not go to “normal” press because they would have to give them the name, and if they give the name they will lose their job.

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