Reader’s links for April 3 – 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

71 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 3 – 2016”

    • Redouane D… and Mohamed B,,, from Molenbeek…. driving under the influence of drugs…. don’t remember anything about the incident

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      Manif anti-islam à Molenbeek: Redouane D. et Mohamed B. incarcérés

      Les deux jeunes chauffards molenbeekois qui ont percuté hier une piétonne et un motard prétendent aujourd’hui se souvenir de rien ; eux qui circulaient sous l’influence de l’alcool et des stupéfiants…

      Les deux occupants de l’Audi A 1 de couleur blanche qui ont percuté une riveraine samedi après-midi – sur le coup de 16 h 38 – à Molenbeek et, puis, un motard ont été mis à disposition du parquet de Bruxelles ce dimanche. Ils ont tous deux été envoyés vers la case prison à l’issue de leurs auditions respectives chez le juge d’instruction. Leur victime serait quant à elle sortie d’affaire. Elle a pu quitter l’hôpital dans le courant de la nuit.

      Domiciliés à Molenbeek et âgés d’une vingtaine d’années, ils circulaient à bord d’un véhicule de location – loué par un ami – non seulement sous l’influence de l’alcool mais aussi des stupéfiants !

      Défendu par Me Nawal Bakkali, Redouane D. est le chauffard numéro 1 qui a essayé de forcer le barrage de policiers et écrasé la piétonne qui traversait la rue Fernand Brunfaut. Il n’a pas été arrêté à l’issue de la course-poursuite mais s’est rendu hier soir de son propre chef à la police.

      Il dit qu’il s’est rendu compte qu’il était responsable de l’accident en rentrant chez lui mais qu’il ne s’en souviendrait pas du tout, lui qui empestait l’alcool et était à peine audible !

      Défendu par Me Thibaut Colin, Mohamed B. est le chauffard numéro 2 qui a repris le volant après le drame et a pu être interpellé sur le coup de 17 h 04 à hauteur de la Porte de Ninove, à moins d’un kilomètre du point de départ de leur rodéo.

      Lorsqu’il était passager, il a d’abord vidé un extincteur par la fenêtre et immortalisé leurs « exploits » avec son smartphone. Il a ensuite été arrêté après avoir percuté un motard tout comme plusieurs véhicules en stationnement (comme cela avait déjà été le cas lors du premier délit de fuite).

      Il prétend également que c’est le trou noir le plus total et ne manifesterait pas le moindre remord, lui qui était déjà bien connu de nos autorités judiciaires. Notamment pour des antécédents de roulage.

      Contacté par nos soins, les pénalistes assurant la défense de ces deux chauffards se sont malheureusement refusés à tout commentaire.

      Le parquet de Bruxelles a quant à lui – par la voix de son porte-parole Denis Goeman – confirmé que l’affaire avait été mise à l’instruction et que le jeune arrêté sur place place a été placé sous mandat d’arrêt (ce matin) tout comme le second jeune (cette après-midi). Ils sont inculpés des chefs d’entrave méchante à la circulation, de rébellion armée et de délit de fuite.

      Selon les infos recoupées de La DH : c’est donc le chauffard numéro 2 (Mohamed B.) qui a été envoyé en prison avant le chauffard numéro 1 (Redouane D.).

      Les deux skinheads (sur sept) qui ont fait l’objet d’une arrestation judiciaire alors qu’ils convergeaient en voiture vers la place communale de Molenbeek ont également été mis à disposition du parquet de Bruxelles, a souligné le porte-parole de la zone Bruxelles Ouest, Johan Berckmans. Ils font l’objet d’une citation directe devant le tribunal correctionnel de Bruxelles dans le cadre d’une procédure accélérée. Ils étaient visiblement plus que prêt à en découdre et avaient emporté tous l’attirail nécessaire dans leur coffre : notamment des sprays lacrymogènes et des jambières.

      http://www.lalibre.be/actu/belgique/manif-anti-islam-a-molenbeek-redouane-d-et-mohamed-b-incarceres-5700fc1c35702a22d603eeee

  1. #Halalchallenge: Racism in the guise of animal rights (DW, Apr 2, 2016)
    http://www.dw.com/en/halalchallenge-racism-in-the-guise-of-animal-rights/a-19160590

    “Social media users are using provocative videos to protest the appearance of halal meat at supermarkets in Germany. They call their campaign civil disobedience; critics call it sanctimonious and Islamophobic.

    “The nationwide Halal Challenge has begun,” a Facebook page recently announced. The stunt follows on the Ice Bucket Challenge, an Internet trend that got thousands of people to pour gallons of near-freezing water over their heads to somehow draw attention to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    Generating attention is likewise the aim of the Halal Challenge, though this time it is not for an incurable disease but instead for the animals who are slaughtered according to the Islamic halal code. “Put pork on the #halalcounter and film it,” the challenge instructs. “Then post the video in your Facebook timeline, on Instagram or on YouTube or wherever; then nominate your friend to participate next!”

    The Islamic rules for eating halal are quite similar to Judaism’s kosher dictates. Pork is taboo. Generally, meat is only considered fit for consumption when it is slaughtered under particular conditions. Animals must be fully bled out and are often killed without sedation – though in Germany every animal has to be sedated before it can be slaughtered.

    Despite what the organizers say about animal rights, the Halal Challenge is a provocation targeted at Muslims. Many supporters are not known for their animal rights activism, but they do have reputations for their right-wing activism. The Blog Dittmer Facebook page supported the challenge from the start. Melanie Dittmer, the initiator of Bonn’s anti-Muslim Bogida movement, is well-known for her racism. Also promoting the action quite loudly on his own Facebook page was Dominik Roeseler, a speaker for Pegida and co-founder of Hooligans against Salafists.

    War in the supermarket

    The first videos have begun to roll in. On Twitter, the hashtag was momentarily one of the top trending topics in Germany, though it was also used by users who were trying to draw attention to the challenge’s racism. The Facebook page already has nearly 4,200 fans.

    Groups that oppose Muslim immigration and/or the halal diet have attacked the Facebook pages of supermarkets such as Rewe and Edeka. The companies have reacted defensively. Edeka, for example, posted that only “a few individual sellers” produce their meat products in line with Islamic guidelines. Besides, the chain claimed, none of the products came from animals that hadn’t been sedated before being slaughtered.

    Austria’s Spar supermarket chain capitulated. After a store in Vienna offered halal meat on a trial basis, Internet users accused the company of supporting animal cruelty. The comments often employed Islamophobic language. “Spar has ended its sampling of halal meat in its Vienna store due to the (unfounded) accusations and the overheated Facebook discussion surrounding it,” the chain announced on the social network. The posting stated that slaughter had always taken place according to Austria’s guidelines, with the animals sedated. Then groups criticized Spar for giving into the xenophobes.

    It has become rare to find supermarkets that don’t have a wide assortment of vegan or lactose- and gluten-free products, yet only a few stores carry products that are prepared according to halal guidelines. As such, supermarkets that would carry such in-demand products would likely get an economic boost: In Germany, more than four million Muslims spend up to 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) annually on food.

    The halal label is concerned with more than just the rules for animal slaughter. “Those who feed themselves according to halal should actually only consume meat once a week and should know exactly under which conditions their food has been prepared,” Hamza Wördemann, of Germany’s central Muslim advisory board, told German daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung.”

    In an ethical-religious context, halal has a much broader meaning. As opposed to haram, or forbidden, halal means, good, allowed. And good also means no factory farming, fair wages, healthy animals and respect for creation.”

  2. Obama Nixed CIA Plan That Could Have Stopped ISIS: Officials (nbcnews, video, Apr 2, 2016)
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obama-nixed-cia-plan-could-have-stopped-isis-officials-n549111

    “The CIA in 2012 proposed a detailed covert action plan designed to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, but President Obama declined to approve it, current and former U.S. officials tell NBC News.

    It’s long been known that then-CIA Director David Petraeus recommended a program to secretly arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in 2012 to pressure Assad. But a book to be published Tuesday by a former CIA operative goes further, revealing that senior CIA officials were pushing a multi-tiered plan to engineer the dictator’s ouster. Former American officials involved in the discussions confirmed that to NBC News.

    In an exclusive television interview with NBC News, the former officer, Doug Laux, describes spending a year in the Middle East meeting with Syrian rebels and intelligence officers from various partner countries. Laux, who spoke some Arabic, was the eyes and ears on the ground for the CIA’s Syria task force, he says….”

  3. Nagorno-Karabakh violence: Shelling continues after worst clashes in decades (BBC, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35953358

    “New fighting has been reported overnight between troops from Azerbaijan and Armenia in the disputed Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The reports say that troops from both sides have used heavy weapons, mortars and artillery.

    Fighting on Saturday left at least 30 soldiers dead. Civilian casualties were also reported.

    Nagorno-Karabakh has been in the hands of ethnic-Armenian separatists since a war that ended in 1994…”

  4. Syrian Alawites distance themselves from Assad (BBC, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35941679

    “In a deeply unusual move, leaders of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect in Syria have released a document, obtained by the BBC, that distances themselves from his regime and outlines what kind of future they wish for the country after five years of civil war.

    The community and religious leaders say they hope to “shine a light” on the Alawites after a long period of secrecy, at what they call “an important moment” in their history.

    In the eight-page document, termed a “declaration of identity reform”, the Alawites say they represent a third model “of and within Islam”.

    Those behind the text say Alawites are not members of a branch of Shia Islam – as they have been described in the past by Shia clerics – and that they are committed to “the fight against sectarian strife”.

    They also make clear that they adhere to “the values of equality, liberty and citizenship”, and call for secularism to be the future of Syria, and a system of governance in which Islam, Christianity and all other religions are equal.

    And despite Alawites having dominated Syria’s government and security services under Mr Assad and his late father Hafez for more than four decades, they stress that the legitimacy of his regime “can only be considered according to the criteria of democracy and fundamental rights”…”

    • euronews – Alawite leaders distance themselves from Assad – reports

      The newspaper cites a document purportedly circulated by the religious leaders, smuggled out of Syria and shown to a handful of journalists including some working for “the BBC”

    • Syria: Assad calls the West ‘dishonest’ and warns against ‘fanaticism’

      Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was interviewed by Russian media in Damascus on Wednesday, March 30, regarding the conflict in Syria and the country’s relationship with international powers such as the USA and Russia.

      SOT, Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President (Arabic): “First of all, we do not wish what on any other country or people to go through what Syria has gone through. What we went through is inhumane, but today we live in a world with no international law, no manners in political work, as it is possible for everything to happen anywhere in the world. But what I would like to say, from our experience in Syria, is first of all that fanaticism, any type of fanaticism, be it religious, political, social or fanaticism for just any idea is basically destructive to society. We have to break away from fanaticism on the path of building societies. This is a duty of the state, of all parties involved, and it is also the duty of every citizen.”

      SOT, Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President (Arabic): “Though if this or any other crisis befell a country, the first thing any leader should know is that the people protect the country. And if he [the leader] wanted to take a certain direction in solving the crisis, then the direction has to be connected to the customs and traditions of the people, all along with its history and its current desires. It is not possible for the solution to emerge from the outside. You might have friends who would come to your aid from the outside, like for example Russia and Iran. But if there were no intrinsic willpower and a good relationship between the state and the people, then there will be no solution.”

      SOT, Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President (Arabic): “The most important lesson we learned is the one that we have known for long time, that is that the West is dishonest. Western countries are dishonest, western countries engage in politics that are far from principles, away from international law, away from the United Nations. There is no reliance on the West to solve any problem. The better friends you have, the faster the solution with less losses. So every leader should choose friend states well, who will stand by him if met with a crisis.”

    • euronews – Visits to Berlin’s Islamic Museum restore pride in Syrian refugees

      Arabic-language guide Razan Nassreddine says Syrian refugees visiting Berlin’s Museum of Islamic Art often ask her how and when the artefacts clearly marked as stemming from their war-torn country ended up in the German capital.

      Others jokingly wonder if the shrapnel holes on centuries-old palatial facades and gates brought from the Middle East were caused by fighting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels seeking to unseat him.

    • Syrian Army Takes Control Over Christian Town Al-Qaryatayn in Homs

      Syrian government forces have gained control over a Christian town in the province of Homs, Al-Qaryatayn. Meanwhile, the fighting is ongoing in the western suburbs of the town, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Sunday.

      A bomb squad has begun to work in the town, according to RIA Novosti. Militants have tried to mine roads and buildings in Al-Qaryatayn.

      According to Syrian military, 80 percent of the town is controlled by government forces. Militants continue to retreat in off-road vehicles to the north side of the mountains. Syrian army is deploying military hardware to the town.

      Earlier in the day, the Syrian army supported by popular defense groups started an offensive on the main stronghold of Daesh in the town of Al-Qaryatayn in Syria’s Homs province.

      Some of the terrorist armed groups tried to flee from the town to the nearby mountains.

      The operation to liberate the Christian town of Al-Qaryatayn from Daesh militants began on Saturday morning. Covered by artillery fire, vanguard units of the army and its allies began an assault from the south, southeastern and northwestern directions, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

      The Christian town was seized by Daesh terrorists in August 2015. Terrorists turned it into their main stronghold in southern Homs. From Al-Qaryatayn, militants moved reinforcements and ammunition to Palmyra to fight against government forces.

      http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160403/1037410323/syria-al-qaryataynin.html

  5. Greece challenges IMF over ‘debt transcript leak’ (BBC, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35953028

    “Greece has demanded an explanation from the IMF over a leaked conversation in which top officials allegedly discuss the Greek bailout.

    A transcript, published by Wikileaks, shows the officials discussing ways of putting pressure on Greece, Germany and the EU to get them to wrap up talks.

    One of those quoted suggests a crisis “event” may be needed to force a conclusion.

    Further negotiations between Athens and its lenders are due next week.

    Last year Greece agreed a multi-billion dollar bailout with the EU and IMF that was needed for the country to avoid bankruptcy and stay in the eurozone.

    The conversation on 19 March purportedly involves Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF’s Europe department, and Delia Velculescu, leader of the IMF team in Greece, the senior officials in charge of Greece’s debt crisis.

    Mr Thomsen is quoted as complaining about the pace of talks on reforms Greece has agreed to carry out in exchange for the bailout.

    “What is going to bring it all to a decision point?” he asks.

    “In the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when they were about to run out of money seriously and to default.”

    Ms Velculescu later agrees “we need an event, but I don’t know what that will be”.

    Mr Thomsen also appears to suggest the IMF could pull out of the bailout to force German Chancellor Angela Merkel to agree to debt relief.

    Such a move could be politically difficult for Mrs Merkel, the key figure in the crisis….”

  6. can’t recall having seen this before:
    http://www.usmuslimengagement.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=49
    from The Leadership Group on U.S -Muslim Engagement (September 2008)
    The next U.S. President and Administration must provide immediate and sustained leadership to improve U.S.-Muslim relations. We recommend that the next President take these steps:
    Speak to the critical importance of improving relations with the global Muslim community in his 2009 inaugural address…

    … [will] help create a more peaceful world.

    • I am suspicious of any group that starts out saying that the majority of people want peace. I can’t think of hardly any war where at the start the majority of people didn’t want war. I may be wrong but this sounds like a group that is trying to prevent us from doing anything to defend our freedom until it is too late.

  7. Foreign fighters are evading Europe’s security net

    BRUSSELS (AP) — When Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew himself up in the Brussels Airport check-in area, killing and maiming scores of travelers, it was at least the third time he had passed unimpeded through an airport terminal in recent months.

    Suspected by Turkey of being a “foreign terrorist fighter” and known at home in Belgium as an ex-con wanted for parole violations, Bakraoui was still allowed to board a commercial airliner unaccompanied last summer, flying freely from Istanbul to the Netherlands and disappearing without a trace.

    The ease with which he did so raises questions about how much governments know about the movements of returnees among the 5,000 home-grown jihadis who have trained and fought in places like Syria or Iraq. Many now pose a “serious threat,” according to the police agency Europol. Some, like Bakraoui, have already used their deadly skills in cities like Brussels or Paris.

    Testimony from government ministers, extracts of documents and conversations with police, border and aviation officials reveal a series of security gaps, misunderstandings and procedural red-tape that surrounded the deportation last July of this future suicide bomber.

    Even those who take some responsibility for missing the threat Bakraoui posed find it hard to understand why his capture raised no alarms. This was a man picked up by Turkish authorities in Gaziantep near Syria, who had done jail time in Belgium for armed robbery, including shooting at police with a Kalashnikov.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8592bb7d8f594669b325f0977fb28f75/foreign-fighters-are-evading-europes-security-net

  8. Air France stewardesses mutiny over order to wear headscarves

    Air France stewardesses, furious at being ordered to wear headscarves in Tehran, say they will refuse to fly to the Iranian capital when the airline resumes the service later this month.

    Female members of flight crews have been ordered to cover their hair once they disembark in Tehran and unions are demanding that the flights be made voluntary for women.

    The resumption of a thrice-weekly service between Paris and Tehran, planned for April 17 after an eight-year break, follows a thaw in relations since Iran agreed to dismantle large sections of its nuclear programme.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/02/air-france-stewardesses-mutiny-over-order-to-wear-headscarves/

  9. Azerbaijan says will stop fighting Armenian-backed troops over region

    YEREVAN (Reuters) – Azerbaijan said on Sunday it would stop fighting Armenian-backed troops over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region after two days of renewed clashes killed dozens and drew international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

    Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians, has run its own affairs with heavy military and financial backing from Armenia since a separatist war ended in 1994.

    But the situation along the tense “contact line” has deteriorated in past weeks and a fresh eruption of violence on Saturday left multiple dead on both sides.

    “Having taken into account … appeals from international organisations, Azerbaijan has decided to unilaterally cease retaliatory military actions and will consolidate yesterday’s territory gains,” RIA news agency quoted the Azeri Defence Ministry as saying.

    Nagorno-Karabakh officials, however, said the fighting had not let up.

    “At this very moment, hostilities continue,” Interfax news agency quoted a spokesman for the separatist forces as saying.

    “In the last 24 hours, Azerbaijan has twice declared a cessation of hostilities, but the reality and situation now is that no practical steps have been taken on their side,” the spokesman said.

    http://www.oann.com/tanks-heavy-artillery-deployed-in-new-wave-of-violence-in-nagorno-karabakh/

    • er…. The title of that video is wrong —- it is not about women but about a transexual sex worker….

      …. from a catholic cultural event :

    • The so called Leaders of both parties are not reading the events properly, it was only a few days ago that Newt Gingrich warned them that if the person selected at a brokered convention isn’t Trump or Cruz the Republican Party will disappear into the trash can of history.

  10. RT- Austria to deploy troops at Alpine border to stop refugees coming through Italy

    Austria is concerned that it may soon face an inflow of refugees coming through Italy and is considering deploying troops to handle it. This comes as the EU’s refugee deal with Turkey is about to be enforced.

    In February, Austria introduced border restrictions, as did the Balkan countries. It resulted in a sharp decline in the number of new arrivals in Germany, the primary destination of asylum seekers. In March, less than 5,000 refugees entered Germany from Austria, the German Interior Ministry reported on Saturday, compared to 38,570 in February and 64,700 in January.

    However, with navigation in the Mediterranean Sea becoming less risky, the flow may soon switch from the Turkey-Greek route to the longer Libya-Italy one. Austrian officials are preparing for the contingency and may deploy troops at the border with Italy, Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told news outlets on Saturday.

    “As the EU’s external borders are not yet effectively protected, Austria will soon ramp up strict border controls. That means massive border controls at the Brenner (Pass), and with soldiers,” Doskozil told the German daily Die Welt.[…]

    https://www.rt.com/news/338230-austria-troops-border-italy/
    ==========================================

    Sunday – April 3 2016 – Austrian police clash with people protesting border closure

    BERLIN (AP) — Austrian police have clashed with protesters demonstrating against the closure of Europe’s borders to migrants.

    About 1,500 people took part Sunday in a protest at the Brenner border crossing between Austria and Italy.

    Toward the end of a peaceful march dozens of protesters tried to break through a line of Austrian police in riot gear.

    Police used batons and pepper spray to drive back the protesters, some of who threw bottles and rocks at the officers.

    The Austrian daily the Tiroler Tageszeitung reported on its website that two police officers were injured.

    Several European Union countries have responded to the influx of migrants from across the Mediterranean by reintroducing border controls along their previously open frontiers.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3521689/Austrian-police-clash-people-protesting-border-closure.html

  11. ISIS issues chilling warnings: More attacks targeting U.S., Europe are coming – See more at: https://specialoperationsspeaks.com/current-news/isis-issues-chilling-warnings-more-attacks-targeting-u-s-europe-are-coming#sthash.m37vL6uY.dpuf

    Islamic State terrorists have taken to social media to tell the West that the March 22 attacks in Brussels are just the beginning of waves of violence that will strike more targets in Europe and the United States.

    The messages were produced by the Islamic State’s media company, Al-Wafa, which published a series of deadly predictions that indicate the terror army based in Syria has scores of attacks in the pipeline.

    “America, You Are Next” is the headline on one column. The U.S. is leading a coalition whose objective, through air strikes and commando raids, is to defeat or destroy the Islamic State and its so-called Caliphate in Syria-Iraq.

    “America has forgotten that Muslims do not accept humiliation and will not forget to retaliate,” says the article, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors jihadi communications traffic – See more at: https://specialoperationsspeaks.com/current-news/isis-issues-chilling-warnings-more-attacks-targeting-u-s-europe-are-coming#sthash.m37vL6uY.dpuf

  12. Nagorno-Karabakh: Official blames Turkey for latest Karabakh clashes

    Spokesperson of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic David Babayan accused Turkey of backing Azerbaijan following the most recent outbreak of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, speaking in Stepanakert on Sunday.

    SOT, David Babayan, spokesperson of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Russian): “There are quite intense clashes along the entire perimeter of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh border. In general, we have kept the strategic initiative in our own hands and prevent the attempts of the Azerbaijani side to force its way further or take any positions and localities into its control.”

    SOT, David Babayan, spokesperson of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Russian): “For example, we shot down two Azerbaijani helicopters. They still deny it even after we have provided photo and video proof. I think this very fact speaks volumes. We believe that the Azerbaijani side is simply speculating. You know, when the party itself starts the military operation, it is not interested in the public knowing the real numbers and casualties. Because in this case, the very state, the very regime must report to the public on why it has acted this way. Particularly when no progress has been achieved.”

    SOT, David Babayan, spokesperson of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Russian): “You know it is an interesting question. Azerbaijan alone would not take on such an effort. We are more than confident that certain forces are standing behind this state. And, in the context of this, we are sure that Turkey stands behind Azerbaijan. Because the statement made by the Turkish president during the Azerbaijani president’s visit to Turkey 10 to 12 days ago shows that this is true.”

  13. What Ted Cruz means when he talks about ‘carpet bombing ISIS’

    Ted Cruz ?
    97%
    has come in for a lot of pile-on criticism for his repeated references to “carpet bombing” ISIS. But although the terminology itself is incorrect – based on his own definition of what he’s talking about – he’s got everything else pretty much right.

    It’s the ear of partisan politics that refuses to hear what he’s saying. And it’s the brain of ignorance that doesn’t recognize the validity of his key – but unspoken – premise.

    Herewith, an explanation.

    First, here’s what Cruz has said, when challenged on his allusion to carpet bombing. This video clip is from the 6 February GOP debate on ABC.

    http://libertyunyielding.com/2016/04/03/ted-cruz-means-talks-carpet-bombing-isis/

    • Euphrates corridor: Jihadis, and territorial gains, metastasizing
      By J.E. Dyer January 11, 2014

      There’s always a risk in putting data points out there without having prepared the way for them, by starting with a comprehensive analytical piece. (Well, technically, I did the fundamental analysis back in 2009, when I posted the “Next Phase of World War IV” series, whose theses have been borne out by the Arab Spring and other developments since.)

      That said, I am trusting readers to understand that what we have here is an emerging trend, whose course is not set in stone, but whose potential impact is very far-reaching. The basic element of the trend is Sunni jihadis gaining control of territory in the Middle East, as they are currently doing in Iraq and Syria. Peter Bergen had a CNN piece on this on Wednesday, 8 January (which Jim Geraghty noted in his Morning Jolt dispatch).

      But Bergen’s emphasis was slightly misdirected. He characterized the issue as “al-Qaeda gaining territory.” It’s quite true that al-Qaeda can be identified in the forefront of the jihadis doing the gaining of territory. But it is misleading to imagine that this matters, or that it is accomplished as a coordinated effort, only if “core” al-Qaeda is explicitly involved. Americans, in general, are too boresighted on al-Qaeda, and on the “al Qaeda model” of spectacular attacks and occasional disruptions. Our minds need to get around the truth that jihadis who call themselves other things, who were not necessarily created by al-Qaeda operatives, and who wage guerrilla warfare over territory are a danger to the general peace as well.

      http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/01/11/euphrates-corridor-jihadis-territorial-gains-metastasizing/

  14. Spanish church backtracks on Cordoba mosque-cathedral name
    By the Associated Press | April 1, 2016 | 11:15 AM EDT

    FILE – In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, tourists visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain. Catholic Church authorities in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba have agreed to restore the Islamic reference in the name of the city’s famed mosque-cathedral and stop referring to it as simply “The Cordoba Cathedral.” The decision was welcomed Friday April 1, 2016 by the Mosque-Cathedral protest group that complained that church policy of calling the monument “The Cordoba Cathedral” on pamphlets and tickets in recent years was an attempt to blot out its Islamic past and confused tourists.The mosque was built after the Moorish invasion of Spain in the 8th century but was transformed into a cathedral in the 13th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

    MADRID (AP) — Catholic Church authorities in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba have agreed to restore the Islamic reference in the name of the city’s famed mosque-cathedral and stop referring to it as simply “The Cordoba Cathedral.”

    The decision was welcomed Friday by the Mosque-Cathedral protest group that complained that church policy of dropping the mosque reference on pamphlets and tickets was an attempt to blot out its Islamic past and confused tourists

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/spanish-church-backtracks-cordoba-mosque-cathedral-name

  15. The Independent -Charlie Hebdo criticised for calling Brussels attacks tip of Islam ‘iceberg’

    Magazine suggests bombings in Belgium are ‘visible part of a very large iceberg’

    The editors of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are facing criticism for an article linking the Brussels terror attacks to ordinary Muslims in Europe.

    In an editorial entitled “How did we end up here?” the magazine which suffered its own terror attack on 7 January 2015 gave its response to the bombings in Belgium two weeks ago which killed 32 people.

    “In reality, the attacks are merely the visible part of a very large iceberg indeed,” the article suggests, before describing a terror attack as the “end of a philosophical line” for a society which tolerates women wearing burqas or bakers not offering ham or bacon.

    Charlie Hebdo’s authors argue: “This is not to victimise Islam particularly. For it has no opponent. It is not Christianity, Hinduism nor Judaism that is balked by the imposition of this silence. It is the opponent (and protector) of them all. It is the very notion of the secular. It is secularism which is being forced into retreat.”

    The article has been condemned by campaigners for diversity in the media, particularly after Charlie Hebdo was last year awarded the PEN “Freedom of Expression Courage Award”.

    Media Diversified suggested the article “slandered individuals who practice Islam” as well as Islam itself, adding that the former “results in violence we have seen against young women and elderly men”.

    The Al Jazeera presenter Mehdi Hasan tweeted a range of criticisms of the article, including an opinion piece in response to Charlie Hebdo by the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole.

    Cole said he had to “carefully scrutinise” the piece before he believed it genuinely came from Charlie Hebdo, and that the authors “finally step away from the mask of ‘it’s satire and you don’t get it’ to state clearly that Muslims, all of them, no matter how integrated, are the enemy”.

    He wrote that reading the editorial it was “hard not to recall the vicious development of “the Jewish question” in Europe and the horrifying persecution it resulted in”.

    “Charlie’s logic is frighteningly similar: that there are no innocent Muslims, that ‘something must be done’ about these people, regardless of their likeability, their peacefulness, or their personal repudiation of violence,” Cole writes.

    “Such categorization of an entire community as an insidious poison is a move we have seen before.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/charlie-hebdo-criticised-for-calling-brussels-attacks-tip-of-islam-iceberg-a6966441.html

    • CHARLIE HEBDO

      How did we end up here?

      30/03/2016

      For a week now, experts of all kinds have been trying to understand the reasons for the attacks in Brussels. An incompetent police force? Unbridled multiculturalism? Youth unemployment? Uninhibited Islamism? The causes are numerous beyond counting and everyone will naturally choose the one that suits best their own convictions. Law and Order fans will denounce the haplessness of the police. Xenophobes will blame immigration. Sociologists will rehash the evils of colonialism. Urban-planners will point to the evils of ghettoisation. Take your pick.

      In reality, the attacks are merely the visible part of a very large iceberg indeed. They are the last phase of a process of cowing and silencing long in motion and on the widest possible scale. Our noses are endlessly rubbed in the rubble of Brussels airport and in the flickering candles amongst the bouquets of flowers on the pavements. All the while, no one notices what’s going on in Saint-German-en-Laye. Last week, Sciences-Po* welcomed Tariq Ramadan. He’s a teacher, so it’s not inappropriate. He came to speak of his specialist subject, Islam, which is also his religion. Rather like lecture by a Professor of Pies who is also a pie-maker. Thus judge and contestant both.

      No matter, Tariq Ramadan has done nothing wrong. He will never do anything wrong. He lectures about Islam, he writes about Islam, he broadcasts about Islam. He puts himself forward as a man of dialogue, someone open to a debate. A debate about secularism which, according to him, needs to adapt itself to the new place taken by religion in Western democracy. A secularism and a democracy which must also accept those traditions imported by minority communities. Nothing bad in that. Tariq Ramadan is never going to grab a Kalashnikov with which to shoot journalists at an editorial meeting. Nor will he ever cook up a bomb to be used in an airport concourse. Others will be doing all that kind of stuff. It will not be his role. His task, under cover of debate, is to dissuade people from criticising his religion in any way. The political science students who listened to him last week will, once they have become journalists or local officials, not even dare to write nor say anything negative about Islam. The little dent in their secularism made that day will bear fruit in a fear of criticising lest they appear Islamophobic. That is Tariq Ramadan’s task.

      Take this veiled woman. She is an admirable woman. She is courageous and dignified, devoted to her family and her children. Why bother her? She harms no one. Even those women who wear the total, all-encompassing veil do not generally use their clothing to hide bombs (as certain people were claiming when the law to ban the burqa was being discussed). They too will do nothing wrong. So why go on whining about the wearing of the veil and pointing the finger of blame at these women? We should shut up, look elsewhere and move past all the street-insults and rumpus. The role of these women, even if they are unaware of it, does not go beyond this.

      The visible part of a very big iceberg.

      Take the local baker, who has just bought the nearby bakery and replaced the old, recently-retired guy, he makes good croissants. He’s likeable and always has a ready smile for all his customers. He’s completely integrated into the neighbourhood already. Neither his long beard nor the little prayer-bruise on his forehead (indicative of his great piety) bother his clientele. They are too busy lapping up his lunchtime sandwiches. Those he sells are fabulous, though from now on there’s no more ham nor bacon. Which is no big deal because there are plenty of other options on offer – tuna, chicken and all the trimmings. So, it would be silly to grumble or kick up a fuss in that much-loved boulangerie. We’ll get used to it easily enough. As Tariq Ramadan helpfully instructs us, we’ll adapt. And thus the baker’s role is done.

      Take this young delinquent. He has never looked at the Quran in his life, he knows little of the history of religion, of colonialism, nor a great deal about the proud country of his Maghreb forefathers. This lad and a couple of his buddies order a taxi. They are not erudite like Tariq Ramadan, they don’t pray as often as the local baker and are not as observant as the redoubtable veiled mothers on the street. The taxi heads for Brussels airport. And still, in this precise moment, no one has done anything wrong. Not Tariq Ramadan, nor the ladies in burqas, not the baker and not even these idle young scamps.

      And yet, none of what is about to happen in the airport or metro of Brussels can really happen without everyone’s contribution. Because the incidence of all of it is informed by some version of the same dread or fear. The fear of contradiction or objection. The aversion to causing controversy. The dread of being treated as an Islamophobe or being called racist. Really, a kind of terror. And that thing which is just about to happen when the taxi-ride ends is but a last step in a journey of rising anxiety. It’s not easy to get some proper terrorism going without a preceding atmosphere of mute and general apprehension.

      These young terrorists have no need to amass the talents of others, to be erudite, dignified or hard-working. Their role is simply to provide the end of a philosophical line already begun. A line which tells us “Hold your tongues, living or dead. Give up discussing, debating, contradicting or contesting”.

      This is not to victimise Islam particularly. For it has no opponent. It is not Christianity, Hinduism nor Judaism that is balked by the imposition of this silence. It is the opponent (and protector) of them all. It is the very notion of the secular. It is secularism which is being forced into retreat.

      Above all, in a sense, this stops us asking perhaps the world’s oldest and most important question – “How the hell did I end up here?”. “How the hell did I end up having to wander the streets all day with a big veil on my head?” “How the hell did I end up having to say prayers five times a day?” ” How the hell did I end up in the back of a taxi with three rucksacks packed with explosives?” Perhaps, very sadly, the only people who are still asking themselves that most important of questions are the unlucky victims. “How the hell did I end up here, six yards away from that big bomb?”

      The first task of the guilty is to blame the innocent. It’s an almost perfect inversion of culpability. From the bakery that forbids you to eat what you like, to the woman who forbids you to admit that you are troubled by her veil, we are submerged in guilt for permitting ourselves such thoughts. And that is where and when fear has started its sapping, undermining work. And the way is marked for all that will follow.

      * Sciences Po is an elite French public research and higher education institution.

      https://charliehebdo.fr/en/edito/how-did-we-end-up-here/

    • The Editors are right, now that they have decided to start criticizing Islam again when will the next attack happen.

    • He is dead right about Hillary, her actions are deliberate and if elected she would be worse then Obama.

      Will she be indicted? I don’t think anyone knows, I do think that if it looks like she will be indicted Obama will pardon her.

      Yes she could still run for President but I don’t think the Clintons and Obama have destroyed the moral code to the point she could be elected after being indicted for corruption.

  16. IS rocket expert ‘killed by drone’ – US (BBC, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35955056

    “A militant from the so-called Islamic State (IS) believed to be responsible for a deadly attack on US troops in northern Iraq has been killed in a drone strike, the US military said.

    Jasim Khadijah was a rocket expert who controlled attacks, Col Steve Warren said.

    Last month a US soldier died and several others were injured when a base used by US troops was shelled by IS.

    It was the second US combat death since the US first struck the group in 2014.”

  17. Maldives Police Break up Media Protest; 19 Arrested (abcnews, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/maldives-police-break-media-protest-arrests-journalists-38116145

    “Police in the Maldives used pepper spray Sunday to break up a protest by journalists and activists accusing the government of stifling press freedom, arresting 19 of the journalists.

    The Maldives, a South Asian archipelago nation known mainly for its luxury resorts, became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule. However, democratic gains have been rapidly eroding in recent years.

    About 50 protesters rallied near the president’s office against the government’s move to criminalize defamation, as well as other measures allegedly taken against the media. President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s ruling party has presented a bill in parliament that proposes heavy fines and jail terms for defamation.

    The demonstrators also accused the government of having a part in a court order that suspended publication of the Maldives’ oldest newspaper. Other issues raised during the protest included delays in investigating the disappearance of a journalist two years ago and some media organizations being barred from court reporting…”

  18. Armed Train Marshals to Ride Some French Routes, Can Shoot (abcnews, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/armed-train-marshals-ride-french-routes-shoot-38119536

    “The head of the French national rail service says that train marshals, armed and allowed to use their weapons, will be patrolling some passenger trains, one of a series of new security measures.

    Guillaume Pepy said on iTele TV on Sunday that the marshals will be in civilian dress, chosen from the SNCF train authority’s 3,000 security agents and trained for the task.

    Among other measures, a team of profilers will survey some of the 40,000 train station cameras for suspicious behavior, and security portals in some stations will add arms and explosives detection.

    The November Paris attacks added to security concerns already prevalent after a radical tried to carry out an attack on a train last August that was aborted by three American travelers.”

  19. OK – this is not a news story as such, but….interesting use of language.

    I’m just watching the F-1 race from Bahrain.

    There has been some discussion of how to change the scoring of the qualifying laps which determine the order in which the cars line up on the starting grid. One of the (Brit) commentators rejected the changes (roughly the 18th lap – if you want to look it up for yourself) with the words:

    “That’s why they don’t have to dhimmi around with the qualifying laps!”

    “Dhimmi around”!!!

  20. Morocco Arrests ISIS-Linked Terror Cell (moroccoworldnews, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/04/183518/morocco-arrests-isis-linked-terror-cell/

    “Two terrorists in charge of financing and coordinating with fighters of the Libyan branch of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) were arrested on Friday and Saturday in Casablanca and Had Soualem, as part of the ongoing investigations on the dismantling of a terror cell linked to ISIS’s Libyan branch.

    The cell, which was operating in Marrakech, Essmara, Sidi Bennour and Had Soualem, intended to carry out terror attacks in Morocco mainly against security services, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    Investigations revealed that some members of this cell, who were planning to join ISIS camps in Libya, had contacts with some active ISIS members in Libya in charge of logistical support with the aim of joining this terrorist organization before returning to Morocco to carry out terror attacks, the source pointed out.

    The 10-member terror cell linked to ISIS’s Libyan branch was dismantled on March 24.”

  21. UAE aid to 5,000 Syrian, Lebanese families (emirates247, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.emirates247.com/news/uae-aid-to-5-000-syrian-lebanese-families-2016-04-03-1.626019

    “The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KF) in cooperation with the UAE Embassy in Lebanon, on Saturday started the distribution of aid to 5000 displaced Syrian and Lebanese families in Tripoli, North of Lebanon.

    An official source at KF said that the distribution of assistance, as per directives of the wise leadership, is part of the UAE’s response to meet the needs of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon during winter season. The campaign targets 44,383 displaced Syrian and Lebanese families across Lebanon.

    He also indicated that the campaign aims at providing assistance to the displaced Syrian and Lebanese families and others to overcome the severe cold wave that swept a number of Lebanese areas.

    Musallem Al Mansouri, director of the humanitarian and development aid office at the UAE Embassy in Beirut said that decision to launch humanitarian campaign was taken after the field visit of Hamad Saeed Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon. The campaign is carried by the KF in cooperation with other relief associations in Lebanon for the benefit of the victims and it will continue until April 7.”

  22. Kingdom gives $10m to build nuclear terrorism combat center (saudigazette, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-arabia/kingdom-gives-10m-build-nuclear-terrorism-combat-center/

    “Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it has donated $10 million to launch a specialized center to combat nuclear terrorism, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

    The center will be established at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna, capital of Austria, according to Dr. Hashim Bin Abdullah Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, and the head of the Saudi delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit.

    The Kingdom also donated €500,000 for the modernization project of the IAEA laboratories, in Seibersdorf, on the outskirts of Vienna.

    The Kingdom was among the first countries that supported the international resolutions related to nuclear security and paid special attention to the issue of infrastructure development for nuclear security, Yamani said while addressing the summit….”

  23. 252 militants killed in final phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb: ISPR (tribune, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1078016/252-militants-killed-in-final-phase-of-operation-zarb-e-azb-ispr/

    “Security forces have killed at least 252 terrorists over the past two months and cleared more areas in the remote regions of North Waziristan, in the final phase of the major offensive in the tribal region, the military said on Sunday.

    “During the last phase of operation in Shawal, 252 terrorists have been killed with 160 reported to be severely injured. In the last two months, valiantly fighting in Shawal, eight soldiers of Pakistan Army embraced Shahadat (martyrdom) while 39 are injured,” the chief military spokesperson, Lt Gen Asim Salim Bajwa said.

    Major terrorist hubs of Mana, Gurbaz, Lataka, Inzarkas and Magrotai and have been cleared, with army troops clearing at least 640 square kilometres of Shawal Valley.

    Since the beginning of operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014, security forces have cleared 4304 square kilometers of area in North Waziristan and “restored the writ of the government in all areas especially in remote areas of FATA.”

    The ongoing operation is being conducted in extremely hostile terrain and harsh weather conditions, the statement said, adding that all heights over 9000 feet have been cleared, terrorist strongholds destroyed and huge cache of arms and ammunition have also been recovered…”

  24. ISIS loyalists attempting to expand foothold in Afghanistan (khaama, Apr 3, 2016)
    http://www.khaama.com/isis-loyalists-attempting-to-expand-foothold-in-afghanistan-0523

    “The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are attempting to expand foothold in Afghanistan despite the terror group received a major blow in eastern Nangarhar province.

    The officials in eastern Ghazni province have confirmed that the terror group is attempting to recruit fighters in the outskirts of Ghazni and bordering regions of the restive Zabul province.

    A lawmaker representing Ghazni province in the Afghan parliament has confirmed that the group has been successful somehow in the recruitment of fighters in this province.

    The lawmaker Mohammad Arif Rahmani told RFE/RL that they are aware of practical steps taken by the terror group in Ghazni which is a strategic province in southeast and they have been trying to establish bases.

    He said militants loyal to ISIS or having similar operations as ISIS terrorist group have been seen and are active in some parts of Ghazni and Zabul, including Jaghoori, Gilan, Khak-e-Afghan and some parts of Andar.

    This comes as earlier reports emerged that the terror group has stepped up efforts to expand foothold in eastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

    The militants of the terror group were hardly hit by the US airstrikes as well as the Afghan air and ground operations in parts of Nangarhar province amid concerns that they were establishing a regional operations base and consolidate operations with the terror group based in Syria and Iraq.

    Thousands of militants loyal to the terror group were killed or wounded as US Air Force increased air raids which followed by more authorities granted by the Obama administration earlier this year.”

  25. 2 dead in Amtrak train accident in Chester; limited service between Philadelphia and Wilmington

    CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) —
    Two people are dead and dozens are injured after an Amtrak train struck a backhoe in Chester, Delaware County.

    After suspending all service on the Northeast Corridor between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Amtrak announced Sunday afternoon it is now providing limited service.

    http://6abc.com/news/2-dead-in-amtrak-train-accident-in-chester;-service-suspended/1274225/

    • A Backhoe was on the tracks and the train slammed into it, since the backhoe was owned by the railroad off the top of my head with inadequate info my first reaction is that a switch that should have been thrown to stop trains from using that track wasn’t thrown. But the switch position should have been signaled to the nearest tower who would have had the ability to thrown the switch or change the signal to stop the train. In other words was this a series of screwups with equipment failure possibly thrown in or was teh equipment messed with to show the switch in the correct position after it was put in the wrong position?

    • Germany: Nuremberg protesters decry Merkel’s refugee policy

      Around 80-100 Germans of Russian origin gathered near St. Jacob Church to protest against the current policy of the German government on refugees in Nuremberg, Sunday.

      Protesters came to the church with German flags and placards with slogans such as “we are against violence” on them.

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