Reader’s links for April 5 – 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

77 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 5 – 2016”

  1. Totally OT
    This is what the whole CVE/interfaith dialog is doing to western Europe
    We may as well be “Walking on the Sun”

  2. Saudi Arabia pushes austerity to mitigate latest oil woes
    Prince Mohammed bin Salman says reform programme will raise an extra $100bn (£70bn) in revenues a year by 2020

    Saudi Arabia has outlined plans to ramp up its austerity programme and avert the threat of national bankruptcy amid a sliding oil price and growing tensions with its regional oil-exporting rival Iran.

    Saudi Arabia has outlined plans to ramp up its austerity programme and avert the threat of national bankruptcy amid a sliding oil price and growing tensions with its regional oil-exporting rival Iran.

    Saudi Arabia has outlined plans to ramp up its austerity programme and avert the threat of national bankruptcy amid a sliding oil price and growing tensions with its regional oil-exporting rival Iran.

    Saudi Arabia has outlined plans to ramp up its austerity programme and avert the threat of national bankruptcy amid a sliding oil price and growing tensions with its regional oil-exporting rival Iran.

  3. North Korea can put nuclear warhead on mid-range missile: South

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea can mount a nuclear warhead on a medium-range missile, a South Korean official said on Tuesday in a new assessment of the capability of a country that conducted its fourth nuclear test this year.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said last month his country had miniaturized nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles. It was his first direct statement of a claim often made in state media though never independently verified. [nL4N16G5IY]

    “We believe they have accomplished miniaturization of a nuclear warhead to mount it on a Rodong missile,” the South Korean official, with knowledge of South Korea’s assessment of the North’s nuclear program, told a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity.

    The Rodong missile can fire a 1 tonne (1,100 lb) warhead a distance of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles), the official said. That would put all of South Korea, most of Japan and parts of Russia and China in range.

    “We believe they have the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a Rodong. Whether they will fire it like that is a political decision,” said the official.

    There was no direct evidence that the North has successfully mounted a warhead on such a missile, the South Korean official said. He declined to discuss the basis for the change in assessment.

    Staunch U.S. ally South Korea has been facing off against its rival to the north for decades.

    The South’s conservative president, Park Geun-hye, has reversed a policy of trying to engage the North in dialogue and has instead adopted a hard line against it, particularly since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a month later launched a long-range rocket putting an object into space orbit.

  4. Islamist rebels shoot down Syrian warplane, capture pilot: monitor

    AMMAN (Reuters) – Islamist rebels shot down a Syrian warplane and captured its pilot on Tuesday in an area south of Aleppo where insurgents are battling the Syrian army and allied militias, a monitoring group said.

    Syria’s military confirmed that a plane on a reconnaissance mission had been shot down and said it was hit by a surface-to-air missile. The pilot had bailed out and efforts were underway to rescue him, it said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters from al Qaeda’s Nusra Front group captured the pilot and took him to one of their headquarters in the area. There was no immediate rebel comment on the use of an anti-aircraft missile.

    The Observatory said a plume of smoke was seen as the plane caught fire before it fell in the Talat al-Iss highland, where al Qaeda-affiliated rebels have come under heavy bombardment by Syrian and Russian planes since they captured the area this week.

    Videos on social media also showed footage of an aircraft and pictures of the wreckage of a burnt plane surrounded by rebels.

    Aerial supremacy has been a major advantage for the Syrian army that has been battling insurgents seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

    Foreign-backed rebels have long demanded anti-aircraft weapons to offs

  5. Iran warns Obama: Missile program is a ‘red line’
    By J.E. Dyer April 4, 2016

    The obvious joke here is that if Iran enforces “red lines” the way Obama does, there isn’t much to worry about.

    Of course, the problem is sadly opposite. Obama doesn’t enforce red lines. But Iran will. The Jerusalem Post reports:

    Iran warned the U.S. on Monday that any attempt to encroach on the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program would constitute the crossing of a “red line.”

    “The US calculations about the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation are fully incorrect,” Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Brig-Gen Maassoud Jazzayeri was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying.

    “The White House should know that defense capacities and missile power, specially at the present juncture where plots and threats are galore, is among the Iranian nation’s red lines and a backup for the country’s national security and we don’t allow anyone to violate it,” Jazzayeri said.

  6. Brandeis sexual assault case: Even privileged minorities affected by Title IX Stalinism

    The destruction of people’s professional prospects, by the discretionary actions of P.C.-police functionaries plugged into both government agencies and non-government organizations, is Stalinism.

    There don’t have to be show trials, gulags, and summary executions for Stalinism to be occurring. The fact that people are being adversely and materially affected by Stalinist methods means, however, that those more visible forms of Stalinism will ultimately be easier to implement. The rule of law is being actively undermined already.

    Here’s the case. A male student at Brandeis was in a same-sex relationship with another student (hence his privileged-minority status). The relationship ended; then, several months afterward, the student’s former boyfriend (identified only by the initials J.C.) alleged sexual assault against him.

    The accused (his identity is withheld in public reporting) was punished by Brandeis. As The Weekly Standard and New Boston Post suggest, the evidence appears somewhat flimsy.

    This John Doe has sued Brandeis, however, because he claims the “special examiner” who gathered evidence on his case for the university leaked information about it to third parties:

  7. Germany should back Austria on controlling border with Italy against migrants: transport minister

    Germany should support Austria in stemming an expected increase in migrants trying to get to northern Europe by sending police to help control the Brenner border with Italy, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Tuesday.

    Dobrindt, a member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) which has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, said the move would send a signal that Germany was not prepared to welcome all migrants with open arms.

    “Germany could contribute and support Austrian efforts at the Brenner (Pass) with manpower,” Dobrindt told the Muenchner Merkur paper.

    Merkel has been critical of tighter border controls and is instead banking on a EU-Turkey deal that took effect on Monday and gives Ankara political and financial benefits in return for taking back refugees and migrants who have crossed to Greece.

    On Saturday, Austria’s defense minister told a German newspaper it plans to deploy soldiers at the Brenner Pass to help with border protection, migrant registrations, the humanitarian effort and deportations.

    Border clampdowns imposed by countries along the main migrant route northwards from Greece through the Balkans, including Austria, have helped sharply reduce the number of new arrivals in Germany, which took in over one million last year.

    But many politicians believe that the numbers will rise again once migrants try alternative routes, for example by crossing by sea to Italy from Libya in North Africa or from Albania in the Balkans.

    Dobrindt said Germany could not rely on its neighbors to manage to protect borders against the flow of migrants.

    “We must show that we are also prepared and are in a position to do the same,” he said, adding that Germany needed to send a signal that it did not have an “unconditional culture of welcome.”

    • Two-thirds of Germans want end to open borders (thelocal, Apr 5, 2016)

      “Germans appear to be losing faith in the idea of a borderless Europe, as the results of a poll published on Tuesday showed that two-thirds would prefer the government to end the Schengen free-movement zone.

      The survey by French pollsters Ifop found that while 60 percent of Italians were against Schengen – an agreement which allows people to travel within the EU without showing a passport – across the Rhine the number of French people wanting borders closed was as high as 72 percent.

      It shows that the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris “stoked the feeling that things have escalated out of control,” Ifop opinion research director Jérôme Fourquet told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

      “Before, people always said that an end to Schengen would mean the beginning of the end of the whole EU,” Fourquet went on.

      But despite the de-facto controls now in place on many European borders since autumn, “Europe isn’t falling apart,” he added.

      Meanwhile, almost half of Germans surveyed – 47 percent – said that it would not be possible to take in any more refugees given the number already present….”

    • Austrian, German Ministers Urge More Anti-Terrorism Measures (abcnews, Apr 5, 2016)

      “The interior ministers of Austria and Germany said Tuesday that the EU must link efforts to control migration and improve security by establishing functioning outer borders and improving information exchange channels among its 28 members over terror threats.

      They spoke to reporters during a break in consultations among themselves and colleagues from Europe’s three other German-speaking countries — Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein — on what they portrayed as the two major threats to European security.

      “A Europe without internal borders can exist only when a European outer border” functions to control those entering the EU, said Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. Citing figures of 5,000 radicals in Europe, she said the EU needed “systematic border controls … where EU citizens first and foremost are the ones controlled.”

      German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also focused on the need for all EU nations to work together to reduce the threat of new terror attacks. For that, he said, national concerns about privacy of citizens must in some cases be rethought in favor of a focus on the free exchange of information over possible suspects planning to strike European targets.

      “We have valuable data,” he said. “But the fact is that the information in these separate data sources can be strung together only in a very difficult process.” He called for a system of “integrated identification management over travel, migration and security in Europe.”

      The European Union began sending back migrants Monday under an agreement with Turkey. De Maiziere described the arrangement, which also allows controlled entry to the EU for those with good chances of asylum, as good but cautioned it was too early to deliver a final verdict…”

  8. Greece: ‘Erdogan is exploiting refugees for own benefit’ – Syrian refugee

    Erdogan does not know anything about human rights” and “is exploiting all of the refugees for his own benefit,” said a Syrian refugee from Damascus currently living in the Idomeni camp, Tuesday.

    SOT, Syrian refugee from Damascus (Arabic): “Erdogan does not know anything about human rights.”

    SOT, Syrian refugee from Damascus (Arabic): “The relocation programme is something that takes a lot of time for all refugees and Erdogan is exploiting all of the refugees for his own benefit. The government of Turkey uses us for money, they do not to help us.”

    SOT, Syrian refugee from Damascus (Arabic): “The government of Turkey wants to enter the EU, that is what Turkey is thinking, not about refugees.”

    SOT, Syrian refugee from Damascus (Arabic): “The camps in Turkey are not good for life or for refugees.”

    • Greece: Refugee children fight barbed-wire with flowers and tears in Idomeni

      Dozens of refugee children marched over train tracks towards the Macedonian border near the Idomeni migrant camp, Tuesday, throwing flowers at the heavily securitised frontier crossing demanding passage into central Europe. The protest comes as Greece’s Public Order Minister Nikos Toskas stated on Monday that the camp is expected to be evacuated over the next few weeks.

    • Refugees in Australia Seek Solace with Surfing

      A program called Surfing Without Borders is helping refugees in Australia cope with the anxieties of settling into a new country while also helping them get over their fear of the ocean after having survived terrifying journeys on rickety boats.

    • Bergoglio set to visit Greece to show support for refugees on Lesbos

      Greek authorities say plans approved for papal visit to island in company of head of Eastern Orthodox church

      The pope has asked to visit Greece to show support for refugees there, and Greek church authorities have approved plans for a papal trip to Lesbos, officials said Tuesday.

      The Greek Orthodox church added that it had invited ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, the head of the Eastern Orthodox church, “so that he can honour Lesbos with his presence the day of Pope Francis’s visit”.

      The Vatican did not confirm that the pope would be visiting the Greek island, but its spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, did not deny that contact had been made about the possibility.

      A Greek church statement published on the specialist website gave no dates for the visits, but the site suggested they would take place on 15 April.

      The head of the Greek Orthodox church, archbishop Ieronymos II, has been informed “of the wish of Pope Francis to visit Greece,” to “draw the attention of the international community to the need for an immediate ceasefire in the conflicts” in the Middle East and to “shed light on the major humanitarian problem” of the influx of migrants to Lesbos and other Greek islands, the statement said.

      The Greek church has accepted the Pope’s proposal for an informal “symbolic and humanitarian” visit to an Aegean Sea island for a few hours, it added.

      The Greek Orthodox church chose to invite the pontiff to Lesbos, which over the past year has been the main port of arrival into Europe from Turkey for those fleeing war and poverty in their own countries. Many of the arrivals are from Syria.

      “The personality and prestige of the ecumenical patriarch”, who is based in Istanbul, “and the weight of the presence of the pope will send a resounding wakeup call to the international community,” the Greek church said in its statement.

      The news of the pope’s interest came the day after Greece began expelling migrants back to Turkey under a deal agreed between the EU and Ankara that aims to mitigate the bloc’s worst migration crisis since the second world war.

      Bergoglio has spoken up for the migrants flooding into Europe on several occasions. In March he criticised the “rejection” of refugees as Europe struggles to cope with the influx of more than a million migrants last year.

      Countries along Europe’s Balkan route have toughened their stance on migrants in recent weeks, closing their borders to those seeking transit in search of a better life in the continent’s wealthier northern states.

      “The Easter message of the risen Christ … invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees … fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice,” the pope said.

      Bergoglio visited the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013, at a time when large numbers of migrants fleeing conflict in Libya were arriving.

      After the EU tightened controls along that sea route, the Aegean islands became the favoured destinations for people smugglers.
      The Pope will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos to visit refugees fleeing war

        • That it is, nations are going to disappear and new ones form because of the leftist stupidity. It will take a long time for this to settle down enough for us to make a guess about what is going to happen.

  9. Big Government, Budget, Capitalism, Corruption, Crime, Issues, Socialism
    Another Attack on Tax Competition: “Panama Papers” Is a Non-Controversy Controversy
    April 5, 2016 By Kent Kellar 0 Comments

    Three years ago, thieves stole a bunch of information from “offshore” service providers in the Cook Islands and British Virgin Islands. This was supposed to be a ground-breaking exposé with huge ramifications, but it turned out to be a tempest in a teapot. As I pointed out at the time, all that we really learned is that people who use offshore services are generally honest and law-abiding. And they definitely had far more integrity than the politicians who routinely attack the offshore world.taxes-646512_960_720

    Well, here we go again. We’ve learned that thieves have now obtained client data from a global law firm based in Panama, and leftists once again are making this seem like a giant story.

    But here’s what you really need to know. This is simply another chapter in the never-ending war by high-tax governments against tax competition, fiscal sovereignty, and financial privacy.

    Here’s some of what I wrote for Caribbean News on the issue, starting with the big picture.

    Many nations in Western Europe can no longer afford their big welfare states. Countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy already have needed bailouts, while it’s just a matter of time before several other European nations face a fiscal day of reckoning. …rather than fix their own fiscal problems, many of these nations are working through international bureaucracies such as the G-20 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to rewrite the rules and traditions of global commerce in an attempt to extract more tax revenue. This is why there’s been a major attack against so-called tax havens as part of a coordinated campaign to undermine fiscal sovereignty and restrict the human right of financial privacy.

    In other words, welfare states are going bankrupt and they hope to somehow prop up their unaffordable entitlements with a money grab.

    And they’re more than happy to rely on stolen data.

    One of the more bizarre chapters in this story is the way the pro-welfare state crowd is now trying to demonize financial service providers such as law firms that are hired to fill out paperwork by investors and entrepreneurs who are setting up trusts, companies, and other entities. Consider, for instance, the plight of Mossack Fonseca, a professional services firm based in Panama. …this collection of legal practitioners and egghead trust advisors is suddenly being portrayed as an international crime syndicate that’s corrupting Western civilization one business incorporation at a time.

    But it makes no sense to attack service providers.

    The controversy, in large part, derives from a basic and arguably willful misunderstanding of what firms like Mossack Fonseca do – and don’t do – for their clients. In basic terms, these firms help people create new businesses and trusts. …unlike banks, these law firms don’t take possession of their clients’ money. So the notion that they are involved in “money laundering” is laughable. Once incorporation papers are filed, the law firms don’t direct in any way the operation of the businesses.

    Besides, the real target isn’t the Panamanian law firm. Activists on the left, working in concert with international bureaucracies and uncompetitive governments, want to create a global tax cartel (sort of an “OPEC for politicians“) in hopes of enabling higher tax burdens.

    Firms like Mossack Fonseca are merely just the latest stand-ins and proxies for a much wider campaign being waged by left-wing governments and their various allies and interest groups. This campaign is built around aggressive attacks on anyone who, for any reason, seeks to legally protect their hard-earned assets from confiscatory tax policies. …a cabal of governments…has decided not to compete…instead simply seeking to malign and destroy any entity, individual or jurisdiction that exists that deprives them of tax revenue to which politicians greedily believe they are entitled. As usual, the media outlets running these perennial “exposés,” usually at the bidding of OECD bureaucrats (who ironically get tax-free salaries).

  10. US designates Paris attacks suspect ‘global terrorist’

    The United States on Tuesday designated a leading suspect in last year’s jihadist attacks on Paris, Salah Abdeslam, as a “global terrorist” under US law.

    The order, announced by the State Department, freezes any assets held by Abdeslam in US jurisdictions and forbids Americans from doing business with him.

    “Belgian-born French citizen Salah Abdeslam is an operative for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” it said, using a former name of the Islamic State group.

    The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control separately confirmed that Abdeslam’s name has been added to its list of specially designated foreign nationals.

    The 26-year-old was arrested on March 18 in a police raid on a hideout in the Brussels district of Molenbeek and is due to be extradited to France.

    He is accused of being the sole surviving member of a gang that launched a series of attacks on civilian targets in Paris on November 13 last year that left 130 dead.

    “Witnesses identified Abdeslam as the driver of a car full of gunmen that killed patrons at numerous restaurants in Paris,” the US statement said.

    “Authorities found his DNA both on a discarded suicide belt and along with traces of explosives in a Brussels apartment,” it added.

    “Abdeslam stated after his arrest that he planned on conducting a suicide bombing outside of the Paris soccer stadium, but had ‘backed out.'”

    Four days after he was arrested, the Belgian capital was struck by coordinated Islamic State suicide bombings at an airport and a metro station.

    The suspects in these attacks are alleged to have links to Abdeslam and the Paris attacks cell.

    Khalid El Bakraoui, who blew himself up at the metro, rented a flat in Brussels where Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found.

    And one of the two airport bombers, Najim Laachraoui, drove to Hungary with Abdeslam in September.

    • Top U.S. official: Iran not gaining access to U.S. financial system (reuters, Apr 5, 2016)

      “A senior State Department official reassured concerned lawmakers on Tuesday that the Obama administration is not planning to allow Iran access to the U.S. financial system or use of the U.S. dollar for transactions.

      “The rumors and news that have appeared in the press … are not true,” Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

      When Republican Senator Bob Corker, the committee’s chairman, asked if such reports were “bogus,” Shannon answered, “As of this moment, as far as I know, yes.”

      U.S. lawmakers, mostly Republicans but also some of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats, have expressed deep concern about recent reports that the administration might let Iran use the dollar in some business transactions.

      During the hearing, some lawmakers said they remained concerned, despite Shannon’s strong denial of such reports, because of comments they see as ambiguous, such as his saying the administration was open to discussing renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act if it does not conflict with the international nuclear agreement announced in July…”

    • How can any thinking person say that Iran deserves the benefits of the deal? He is even more evil then I thought.

  11. Two Al-Qaeda Explosives Experts Released From Gitmo
    A Pentagon official previously told congressmen that Americans have been killed by former prisoners released from Gitmo.

    The American government has released two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, the high profile anti-terrorism prison in Cuba, the Defense Department confirmed on Monday.

    The two Libyans, formerly explosives experts for al-Qaeda, were transferred to Senegal.

    Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby is thought to have fought in Afghanistan against coalition forces at Usama bin Laden’s Tora Bora “and was associated with senior members of al-Qaeda.”

    In 2008, Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjour Umar was judged likely to “immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities.”

    Legislation is being put forward by Senators which would make it illegal for the government to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to countries designated as terror hotspots and/or state sponsors of terrorism. These include Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Sudan. Sen. Mark Kirk, (R-IL) was reported to be introducing a bill soon.

    After the releases, 89 people remain in the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

    “We are taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population at Guantanamo and to close the detention facility in a responsible manner that protects our national security,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

    • Sept 11 Case at Guantanamo Hits yet Another Snag (abcnews, Apr 5, 2016)

      “An effort to prosecute five men held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack has hit another snag.

      A two-week pretrial hearing scheduled to start Tuesday was abruptly canceled late last week by the military judge presiding over the case after he received a confidential notice from Justice Department lawyers.

      The document is sealed. Its contents have not been disclosed to prosecutors or the defense. But defense lawyer James Harrington says there are signs the case appears to be back in the “limbo” stage again.

      The Justice Department declined comment.

      The five prisoners include the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. They could get the death penalty if convicted at a tribunal known as a military commission.”

  12. U.S. Offers Feckless Response to Iranian Belligerence
    The administration’s inaction is (finally) prompting bipartisan outrage in Congress. It remains to be seen what they will do about it.

    Iran has stepped up its belligerency in the Middle East since signing the nuclear agreement, increasing its involvement in conflicts from Syria and Iraq to Yemen and flaunting its forbidden ballistic missile program.

    The United States, for its part, has reacted fecklessly, fudging its redlines regarding the Islamic Republic and making empty threats.

    Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama commented that Iran was obeying the “letter” of the nuclear agreement with the West, but not the “spirit” of it.

    The president’s remark came after the second testing of ballistic missiles (designed to carry nuclear warheads) by the Islamic Republic. While Congress was originally told a moratorium on the Iranian ballistic missile program was part of the agreement, the administration decided it really wasn’t – and that the test constituted “merely” a violation of U.N. resolutions.

    No matter that in the latest test, conducted while Joe Biden was visiting Tel Aviv, the missiles had Hebrew writing on them saying “Israel should be wiped out.”

    The harshest criticism Obama could muster against the test was that such provocations would be bad for international trade as they would make countries “nervous” to do business with Iran.

    Similarly, Congress was told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be conducting inspections of all Iranian nuclear facilities and would have full, independent access. We then heard that two key passages of the Iran deal were kept secret – not only from Congress, but from the president himself.

  13. Intel Analysts Speak Out: We Were Forced Out for Telling the Truth About Obama’s ISIS War – See more at:

    The growing scandal over cooked ISIS intelligence just got much worse. Now, analysts are saying they’re being forced out for not toeing the Obama administration’s line on the war.

    (Daily Beast) – Two senior intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command say the military has forced them out of their jobs because of their skeptical reporting on U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria, three sources with knowledge of their claim told The Daily Beast. It’s the first known instance of possible reprisals against CENTCOM personnel after analysts accused their bosses of manipulating intelligence reports about the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in order to paint a rosier picture of progress in the war.

    One of the analysts alleging reprisals is the top analyst in charge of Syria issues at CENTCOM. He and a colleague doubted rebels’ capabilities and their commitment to U.S. objectives in the region. The analysts have been effectively sidelined from their positions and will no longer be working at CENTCOM, according to two individuals familiar with the dispute, and who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The analysts’ skeptical views put them at odds with military brass, who last year had predicted that a so-called moderate opposition would make up a 15,000-man ground force to take on ISIS in its self-declared caliphate. An initial $500 million program to train and arm those fighters failed spectacularly. And until the very end, Pentagon leaders claimed the operation was more or less on track. Lawmakers called the plan a “joke” when Gen. Lloyd Austin, the CENTCOM commander, finally testified last September that there were just “four or five” American-trained fighters in Syria.
    – See more at:

  14. CBC – Cape Breton students learn about Islam from local imam

    ‘Young people are the foundation of the society:’ Imam Umram Bhatti

    “This is the way we can help our youngsters understand the peaceful teaching of Islam, the correct teaching of Islam,” said Imam Umram Bhatti, the imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

    The imam was invited by the students in the school’s Interact Club — a group that’s been raising money to help Syrian refugees.

    Educational opportunity

    “We thought it would be a really good idea to get somebody in here to educate our student body, teachers even, just more about what’s going on within our community,” said Lauren Kelly, one of the students in the club.

    Bhatti went through slides describing many facets of Islam — from its definition to the amount of time spent in prayer. He spoke about stereotypes and the importance of education, especially with so many Muslim refugees coming into the community and the country.

    “The young people are the foundation of the society,” said Bhatti.

    “They can sometimes help their elders or their seniors in their homes, you know, ‘no mom, no dad, this is completely wrong, what you’re seeing on TV.”

    Crushing misconceptions

    Bhatti said many of the questions he receives are about jihad but he says the term was appropriated by terrorist groups and changed the meaning, “that we want to kill innocent people, which is completely against the true teaching of Islam.”

    “The actual jihad is the struggle of the self to make you a better person, a better person in society, nothing to do with an AK47 or a sword.”

    Jennie MacPherson, another student involved in the Interact Club, says she hopes this presentation will help transform harmful assumptions about the religion.

    Connecting with refugees

    “I know there’s a lot of people who have negative thoughts about Muslims so it’s good to learn about their culture and their religion and hopefully the people that came, they’ll tell their families and their friends,” said MacPherson, adding she learned a lot about Islam.

    “I knew it was peaceful, but I didn’t know how close it was to Christianity,” she said, adding that hearing Umram Bhatti gave even more meaning to the work they’re doing in preparation for refugees coming to Cape Breton.

    “When you hear about it in the news, you just see them as refugees, you don’t really see them as people … so knowing more about their religion and their culture kind of puts a face to them and makes them more relatable because that could have been us, we could have been in a war like that.”

    Ryan Magee, the student who introduced Bhatti, says he hopes the presentation made an impact.

    “I just hope that people walk away with a different point of view.”

  15. GERMANY – CELLE – Refugee charged with manslaughter after German volunteer dies in ‘honour killing’

    A REFUGEE in Germany has been charged with manslaughter after a volunteer – originally a refugee himself – died in a so-called “honour killing” as he helped new arrivals to integrate.

    A 58 year old man from Afghanistan who arrived in the country in December with his wife and six children was arrested after he allegedly attacked and killed the German teacher, known as Medhi H, after believing he was involved in a relationship with his eldest daughter, aged 20.

    The 55 year old ocal school teacher, who fled Iran with with his family decades before, met the Afghan man in the German city of Celle at an asylum centre.

    He continued to teach the family German after they were moved into a house provided by German officials.

    But, without warning the popular teacher was attacked with a stone and a metal rod.

    The horrifying incident happened in February but police struggled to get a solid lead until the end of March when they eventually arrested him and then charged him today.

    When interviewed by police he told them he believed the man had been involved in a relationship with his daughter and as a result killed him to avenge the insult.

    Lars Janssen, a spokesman for the Celle prosecutor’s office, said the teacher was an unpaid volunteer offering translation services and assistance to new arrivals.

    He said there was no evidence to support the arrested man’s suspicions the volunteer teacher had any designs on his young daughter.

    The Afghan man has been charged with manslaughter.

    The teacher had been working at a school in Celle where a memorial service is being staged by students while his body is being flown back to Tehran to be buried.

    • ” Perhaps the most quoted social philosopher of our time famously asked:

      “Can we all get along?”

      Well, when it comes to Muslims and Westerners, the answer is:

      No, we can`t.

      So, deal with it. When we get in each other`s faces, we get on each other`s nerves. It`s time to get out of each other`s faces.

      Westerners and Muslims don`t agree on the basics of social order and don`t want to live under the same rules. That shouldn`t be a problem because that`s what separate countries are for. We should stop occupying their countries and stop letting them move to ours.

      “To paraphrase E.M. Forster:

      “Only disconnect.”

      If we start disconnecting now, maybe in a generation or two we`ll have forgotten what we`ve done to each other and can start afresh.

  16. DAILY MAIL ‘They were like a pack of wolves’: Woman relives the moment she was gang raped by five ‘foreign’ men as she went to pick up a KFC takeaway for her boyfriend

    Michelle Pavey, 30, from Radstock, Bath, was gang raped by five men
    She had popped out to pick up a takeaway for her boyfriend Gareth
    Was heckled by five ‘foreign’ men in a car – and they kidnapped her
    She fought back but was held down by two men
    The five men then took it in turns to rape her
    One attacker has now been jailed, others believed to have fled the country

  17. Karabakh conflict: Azerbaijani Mulsim soldiers behead Yezidi from Armenia

    Karabakh – Clashes have erupted again over Nagorno-Karabakh, where a recent flare-up of violence between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces has left dozens of people dead. One Ezidi soldier fighting in the ranks of the Armenian army is among the casualties.

    On April 1 and 2, the Azerbaijani military started to launch attacks on Armenian positions, resulting in casualties on both sides. The 20-year-old Ezidi soldier Karam Sloyan of the Armenian army who was reported among the dead, was apparently beheaded. Pictures of Azerbaijani soldiers holding Sloyan´s decapitated head surfaced on VKontakte, a popular social network among Eastern Europeans.

    Soon after, an ISIS-style video emerged on the internet, showing Azerbaijanis holding the severed head of Sloyan like a trophy fish.

    Sloyan was from the town of Ashtarak in Aragatsotn Province where many of Armenia´s Ezidis live. Similar clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted in December 2015, resulting in the death of Sidar Aloyan, another Ezidi who fought for Armenia.

    Turkey has in the meantime pledged its support to the Muslim-dominated Azerbaijan against Armenia.

      • Azerbaijan and Armenia had a brief spell of shooting at each other, a Yezidi from Armenia was captured and then beheaded.

        In other words the barbarians are still acting like barbarians and we supposedly civilized people aren’t going much to stop them.

  18. Reuters – Russia’s Putin creates national guard to fight terror, crime

    Russia is creating a national guard to fight terrorism and organized crime, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

    “The decisions have been taken, we are creating a new federal body of executive power,” Putin told a meeting with his key security officials in the Kremlin.

    The national guard will be created on the basis of the Interior Ministry’s troops, Putin said. He said that Russia’s drug enforcement agency and federal migration service would be now subordinate to the Interior Ministry.

    TASS – Putin announces establishment of Russian National Guard

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced the establishment of Russia’s National Guard on the basis of the Interior Ministry Troops.

    “The decision has been made, we are establishing a federal body of executive power on the basis of the Interior Ministry Troops,” Putin said at a meeting with Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov and Interior Ministry Troops commander Viktor Zolotov.

    “We are establishing the National Guard, which will be involved in fighting terrorism, organized crime, which will, in close contact with the Interior Ministry, keep performing the functions that units of OMON [special-purpose police detachment], SOBR [Special Rapid Deployment Force] etc. performed,” he said.

    “We will mention that, as we discussed that with the interior minister, not only in the decree, but also in the future federal law in order to prevent any lack of coordination, for everything to work in a clear and coordinated way,” Putin said.

    “I hope very much that the National Guard troops will also effectively perform their tasks, as has been the case until now, and will enhance their work in priority spheres,” he said.

    Putin recalled that the issue of improving the work of law enforcement bodies was discussed before.

    “We thought over how to improve work in all spheres, including work connected with the fight against terrorism, organized crime, illegal drugs turnover,” he said.
    Putin subordinates Federal Drug Control Service to Interior Ministry

    The president has also made a decision to subordinate the Federal Drug Control Service to the Interior Ministry.

    “As for the struggle against organized crime in the sphere of drug trafficking, we are implementing one of the proposals we spoke about before: we are transferring the Federal Drug Control Service to the Interior Ministry’s system,” Putin said at a meeting with Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Federal Drug Control Service Head Viktor Ivanov, Interior Ministry Troop Commander Viktor Zolotov and Federal Migration Service First Deputy Head Yekaterina Yegorova.

    “The same refers to the migration service,” Putin said.

    “There are issues related to labor relations with foreigners. It is clear that this is a purely civilian sphere. This issue was discussed with the chairman of the government. The Interior Ministry and the Federal Migration Service should work on this issue in detail, in the same way as in the case with the Federal Drug Control Service, with interior troops and the National Guard, because there shouldn’t be any disruptions in this work,” Putin said.

    We also discussed this issue with the minister. I proceed from the fact that this entire structure will work self-sufficiently and independently but within the Interior Ministry,” the Russian president said.

    The possibility of liquidating the Federal Drug Control Service and the Federal Migration Service was discussed on March 31 at a session of Russia’s Security Council.

    As Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told journalists after the council’s session, opinions were voiced during the meeting about the need to liquidate the two services and transfer their functions to the Interior Ministry but no decisions were made.

    Russia: Putin establishes National Guard to fight terrorism, organised crime

    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an overhaul of Russia’s security forces, announcing the establishment of the National Guard in Moscow on Tuesday.

    Putin explained that “the new federal executive body will be engaged in the fight against terrorism and organised crime” and “will perform the functions of the OMON [Special Purpose Mobility Unit] and SOBR [Special Rapid Response Unit] units.” The National Guard will use Interior Ministry troops and be overseen by the ministry.

    SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): “We decided to establish a new federal executive body formed out of the Interior Ministry troops, we will establish a National Guard that will be engaged in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, as well as performing the functions of the OMON [Special Purpose Mobility Unit] and SOBR [Special Rapid Response Unit] units in close contact with Interior Ministry.”

    SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): “Regarding the fight against the illegal drug trade, as we said, one of the proposals we will bring into effect – the Federal Drug Control Service will be subordinated to the Interior Ministry. We discussed this with the minister, I assume that the whole structure will work and is self-consistent but as part of the Interior Ministry. The same applies to the [Federal] Migration Service.”

    • The internal KGB is reforming, I really doubt if the new “police” will really care about or respect the rights of those they are investigating.

  19. Iraqi Forces Face Heavy Resistance in IS-Held Town (abcnews, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Heavy resistance has slowed Iraqi forces Tuesday as they pushed forward toward the center of a town held by Islamic State militants in western Anbar province, commanders at the scene said.

    Hundreds of roadside bombs, car bombs and heavy mortar fire slowed advancing Iraqi troops to a near halt Tuesday after entering the small town of Hit the previous day.

    Hit — which lies along the Euphrates River in a valley in Anbar’s sprawling desert — is strategically important as it sits along an IS supply line that links territory controlled by the extremist Sunni group in Iraq and in Syria. Through the line, IS ferries fighters and supplies from Syria into Iraq….”

  20. The Latest: US Accuses Syria of Blocking Aid to Many Areas (abcnews, Apr 5, 2016)

    “… The United States is accusing the Syrian government of preventing humanitarian aid deliveries to all besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country as required in U.N. resolutions.

    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters after a closed-door emergency briefing to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday by U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien that less food reached people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas in March than in February.

    Power said the situation in Daraya, which is close to Damascus and hasn’t received “one crumb of U.N. food” since 2012, has generated “a lot of outrage and heartbreak.”

    She also held up a photo of a very emaciated boy in Madaya, which recently received several aid deliveries, saying he died on Monday because the Syrian government refused to evacuate him for medical treatment….”

  21. Migrant crisis: Greece halts deportations to Turkey (BBC, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Greece paused deportations of migrants to Turkey on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took back 202 people under a controversial EU plan to cut off a migrant route to Europe.

    Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.

    More than 220 reached the Greek islands on Monday alone, according to the UN.

    An increase in asylum claims has also reduced those eligible for deportation…”

    • Greece ‘postpones’ next batch of migrant deportations to Turkey

      Greece has postponed the return of the next group of migrants to Turkey until Friday, according to reports quoting at least one Turkish official.

      The official claims Greece has faced a surge in asylum requests from migrants, preventing them from being sent back.

      Amid anger among migrants detained at a centre on the island of Lesbos, the deal between the EU and Turkey was again castigated as “careless” and “fast-track”.

  22. Swiss anger at Muslim handshake exemption in Therwil school (BBC, Apr 5, 2016)

    “A Swiss secondary school has caused uproar by allowing two Muslim boys not to shake hands with women teachers – a common greeting in Swiss schools.

    The boys had told the school in the small, northern town of Therwil it was against their faith to touch a woman outside their family.

    Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said shaking hands was part of Swiss culture and daily life.
    A local teachers’ union said the exemption discriminated against women.

    The case has propelled Therwil, a town of 10,000 people in the Basel-Country canton, to the centre of a national debate about Swiss identity. A similar case has been reported elsewhere in the region.

    Christian Amsler, head of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, suggested that the school may have tried to get an “unpleasant problem out of the way” but had simply made a mistake.

    There has been little support for the school’s decision to grant special dispensation to the boys, who are 14 and 15 and have lived in Switzerland for several years.

    Therwil Mayor Reto Wolf said the community was unhappy with the decision taken by the school, which is run by the local canton.

    “In our culture and in our way of communication a handshake is normal and sends out respect for the other person, and this has to be brought [home] to the children in school,” he told the BBC.

    Felix Mueri, the head of the Swiss parliament’s education commission and a member of the anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party, said the decision sent out the wrong message. “Today’s it’s the handshake and what will it be tomorrow?”

    Muslim groups also disagreed with the school’s response.

    There was no reference in the Koran justifying a refusal to shake a woman teacher’s hand, said the Swiss Federation of Islamic Organisations. Saida Keller-Messahli of the Forum for Progressive Islam urged the Swiss not to give in to extremist demands.

    However the smaller Islamic Central Council of Switzerland said that a handshake between men and women was prohibited. “After the sex attacks in Cologne (on New Year’s Eve), they asked Muslims to keep their distance from women; now they demand they get closer to them,” spokesman Qaasim Illi told Swiss media.

    The justice minister said such dispensation for children was not her idea of integration…”

  23. Taliban Reshuffles Leadership Amid Fight Against ISIS (nbcnews, Apr 5, 2016)

    “The Afghan Taliban announced a reshuffle of its senior leadership in part to shore up the fractured organization fighting ISIS encroachment in parts of the country.

    Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi told NBC News on Tuesday that the group had appointed the eldest son and the brother of the Taliban’s late founder, Mullah Omar, as members of their powerful Leadership Council.

    Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was named the head of the militant organization soon after it emerged in July that Omar had actually been dead for two years. Omar’s eldest son Yaqoob and younger brother Manan both had been seen as his possible successors.

    The announcements came as ISIS showed signs of making inroads in Afghanistan. In December, ISIS released a highly produced video calling the Taliban deviant…”

  24. World must unite to stem ‘mushrooming’ violent extremism: UN (france24, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Countries must urgently cooperate to halt the spread of violent extremism around the globe, the United Nations said Tuesday, ahead of a high-level conference focused on preventing dangerous radicalisation.

    Jehangir Khan, head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre, warned that the problem of violent extremism was “mushrooming” and constituted a “clear and present danger” worldwide.

    He noted that tens of thousands of foreign fighters, coming from more than 100 different countries, have flooded into conflict zones like Syria and Iraq, while home-grown extremists have wreaked havoc in Europe with deadly attacks like the ones recently in Brussels.

    “Everybody is potentially affected by violent extremism. Nobody is spared,” Khan said, insisting that “the need for international cooperation has never been more than now.”

    The UN will on Thursday and Friday co-host a conference on preventing violent extremism, drawing some 30 government ministers, including the foreign ministers of Belgium, Switzerland, Egypt and Malaysia.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon will open Friday’s high-level segment in Geneva, alongside the foreign minister of co-host Switzerland.

    Counter-terrorism experts, representatives of regional organisations and social media companies will also figure among the more than 600 participants.

    The conference is meant to take stock of worldwide efforts to halt violent extremism, after Ban in January launched a global action plan and asked all countries to come up with national plans to address the problem.

    The UN is hoping that the growing realisation of the global reach of violent extremism will spur countries to come together and rethink their approach to countering the threat from the Islamic State group and similar organisations.

    “The security, military logic, while necessary, has shown its limits,” Khan said, stressing that strategies aimed at preventing youths from radicalising in the first place needed to be given far more weight.

    Ban’s plan encompasses a broad range of measures, from boosting education to promoting human rights to counter the recruiting drives of groups like IS and Boko Haram which prey on disaffected youth.

    Among his 79 recommendations was a call for countries to try to appeal to foreign fighters who have joined groups like IS to return home by offering them education and job opportunities, and urges governments to engage with social media to find ways to challenge the jihadists’ messages.

    Experts have repeatedly warned that tough, sometimes brutal measures taken by some countries in the fight against extremism can be counter-productive by pushing more people to radicalise.

    “We have to break this kind of vicious circle,” said Stephan Husy, ambassador-at-large for counter-terrorism at the Swiss foreign ministry.

    “One of the findings over the last 10 or 15 years (is) that maybe more terrorists have been generated than removed,” he told reporters.”

    • We just have to remove more terrorists then… It is just like with cancer… And yes, we can die in the process one way or the other (e.g. by trying to remove them or by not trying to remove them).

  25. Extreme Islam ‘winning propaganda war’ in France (thelocal, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Prime Minister Manuel Valls said extreme forms of Islam were winning the propaganda war for hearts and minds, warning the veil was being used as a political symbol for the “enslavement of women”.

    Speaking at a roundtable on Islamism in Paris on Monday, the premier warned that Salafists were “winning the ideological and cultural battle” in France, home of Europe’s biggest Muslim population.

    And he pledged to “massively” increase France’s security and defence budgets in the coming years, as the country grapples with a growing jihadist threat after two deadly attacks last year.

    “The Salafists must represent one percent of the Muslims in our country today, but their message — their messages on social networks — is the only one we end up hearing,” he said.

    France has cracked down on extremism since a deadly jihadist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in January 2015 and after Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people on the streets of Paris in November.

    Deadly Isis bombings in Brussels last month have intensified fears that parts of Europe are turning into a hotbed for home-grown extremism.

    There have been fears of an Islamophobic backlash, however, and France’s women’s rights minister sparked a storm last month when she compared women who wear headscarves to “Negroes who supported slavery”.

    Her comments were a response to the growth of fashion tailored for the Muslim market, as a wave of big fashion chains including Dolce & Gabbana have launched lines of hajib headscarves and “burqini” all-body swimming costumes.

    France bans the Muslim face veil in public places, and Valls said the headscarf was being used by some as a challenge to France’s secular society.

    “The veil does not represent a fashion fad, no, it’s not a colour one wears, no: it is enslavement of women,” he said, warning of the “ideological message that can spread behind religious symbols”.

    “We have to make a distinction between wearing the veil as a scarf for older women, and it as a political gesture confronting French society.”

    Experts however criticised Valls for either overstating the significance of Salafist Islam or for being “ignorant” about the dynamics in France’s Muslim communities.

    “It’s an undeniable fact that the influence of Salafism has progressed significantly in recent years,” said Gilles Kepel, a French expert on Islam. “Whether it is winning, I am not sure.”

    “I don’t think we should dramatize things or say that this ideology is winning .It’s not. But it’s a real debate today, that is dominating Islam in France and must be taken very seriously.”

    Raphael Liogier a French sociologist specialising in religions said Valls statement showed “a complete ignorance of all the multiple dynamics that play a role in Muslim communities today.””

  26. Egyptian Scholar: Belly Dance Permissible in Islam (moroccoworldnews, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Egyptian cleric Muhammad Abdullah Nasr said in an interview with LTC TV channel that the oriental belly dance, known as Raqs Sharqi in Egypt, is permissible in Islam.

    The Egyptian Muslim cleric, also known as Mezo, called for teaching the dance at Egyptian schools, adding that those who refuse to see it as “an art” and claim that it is prohibited in Islam are required to bring their evidence.

    The Muslim cleric argued that oriental dance is “much better” than the female students who wear “black tents” at Al Azhar and “ruin its facilities,” referencing women who wear abayat and niqab to cover themselves from head to toe.

    “When I was young, I watched the videos of Naima Akef, a famous Egyptian belly dancer, and her appearance never caused me to lust,” Nasr said.

    In earlier controversial statements, the scholar described ?a?i? al-Bukhari, one of the most trusted hadith collections in Sunni Islam, as a “ridicule work” for Islam and Muslims, stressing that some of the sayings attributed to the prophet, along with the dominance of hardline Salafist Wahhabism, are the source of extremism and terrorism.

    In the interview with LTC, cleric added that a belly dancer’s costume is much more honorable than the hat worn by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic theologian based in Doha, Qatar, and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

    The cleric asserted that “terrorists” deny the arts while at the same time claiming that it is permissible in Islam to capture and kill women.

    Nasr is also well known for his fierce opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2013 he accused Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president removed from office by the military, of being a Zionist with Israeli interests.”

  27. Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba Restores Islamic Identity After Heated Debate (moroccoworldnews, Apr 5, 2016)

    “Catholic Church authorities in the southern Spanish city of Córdoba have agreed to restore the Islamic reference in the name of the city’s famed mosque-cathedral after attempts to blot out its Islamic past and heritage.

    The decision was welcomed on Friday by the Mosque-Cathedral protest group that complained that the church’s aim was to take the UNESCO World Heritage site out of public hands…”

  28. Afghan intelligence arrest 19 militants for planning attacks in Kandahar (khaama, Apr 5, 2016)

    “At least 19 militants operating in 4 groups were arrested by the Afghan intelligence operatives as they were planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Kandahar province.

    The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said the militants were arrested from the vicinity of Kandahar province.

    No further details were given regarding possible targets of the militants and regarding the locations from where they were arrested.

    A statement by NDS said the intelligence operatives seized 7 pistols, 1 Improvised Explosive Device, 200 kg of explosives, 142 mine fuses, 500 meters of explosives strip from the detained militants.

    This comes as the Afghan intelligence operatives arrested at least 15 Taliban insurgents were arrested by the Afghan intelligence operatives for planning coordinated suicide attacks in this province.

    Kandahar is the birth place of the Taliban insurgents however the Afghan security forces have managed to maintain security and stability in this province during the past several months.

    The anti-government armed militants have been trying to expand their insurgency activities in this province lately amid deteriorating security situation in the south.”

  29. Top Taliban commander killed in Afghan army raid in Kunduz province (khaama, Apr 5, 2016)

    “A top Taliban commander has been killed in a raid conducted by Afghan army and in coordination with the Afghan police forces in northern Kunduz province.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Taliban commander was identified as Mawlavi Jahangir who was killed along with 2 others in Qala-e-Zal district.

    MoD further added that 12 militants were killed in a separate operation in Dehrawood district of Urugan province and 8 others were wounded.

    According to an operational update by MoD, 3 militants were killed during a separate operation in Mata Khan district of Paktia and center of Ghazni province.

    The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far which comes amid surging violence across the country…”

  30. 13 Afghan soldiers martyred amid surging violence in past 24 hours (khaama, Apr 5, 2016)

    “At least 13 Afghan soldiers lost their lives during the counter-terrorism operations being conducted across the country amid surging violence.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours as they were suppressing the anti-government armed militants.

    According to a statement by MoD at least 30 militants were killed and 11 others were wounded as a result of the clearance operations in the past 24 hours.

    The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Kunduz, Paktia and Ghazni provinces…”

  31. Afghan militants still armed and financed on other side of border: Sediqi (khaama, Apr 5, 2016)

    “The Afghan anti-government armed militant groups are still receiving support as they use safe havens on the other side of border.

    The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Sediq Sediqi told reporters in Kabul that the militants still receive financial support and are being equipped outside the country.

    Sediqi further added that the militants continue to their insurgency activities using the safe havens located on the other side of the border…”

  32. Norway gets tough: Government will JAIL migrants who file ‘groundless asylum applications’ (express, Apr 5, 2016)

    “NORWAY has put forward hardline proposals to arrest and jail migrants who file groundless asylum applications, it was revealed today.

    Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug said the move would stop refugees disappearing while their application was being looked into.

    She said: “Police will now have the opportunity to arrest and detain groundless asylum seekers who come here and get a fast-tracked application process.

    “We see that groundless asylum seekers are disappearing while police are processing the applications. This will stop them from running away and possibly ending up in a criminal environment.” …”

  33. Netherlands: Geert Wilders campaigns for Ukraine referendum ‘no’ vote

    CBC – Dutch vote on Ukraine treaty really a bid to stop EU ‘in its tracks’: Don Murray

    Organizers of referendum this week in the Netherlands admit it is just a pretext

    […]This is rich meat for one Dutch politician. He is Geert Wilders, the bleached-blond leader of the Freedom Party, an anti-immigrant, anti-EU grouping that at the moment tops the opinion polls.

    Wilders is a rabble-rouser, so much so that he is on trial a second time for hate speech. He said he wanted “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands. He doesn’t believe the 59,000 refugees the Netherlands accepted in 2015 are actually refugees. They were migrants, he says, because they could have stopped somewhere else in Europe.

    He has also called Islam a “fascist” ideology. [ OMG ...what ? ]

    Naturally, he’s voting “No” in the referendum. He doesn’t want the EU to rethink and reform; he wants out. And he links the Dutch vote with the upcoming referendum in Britain.

    “The beginning of the end of the European Union has already started. And it can be an enormous incentive for other countries if the United Kingdom would leave.”

    All of this is supremely embarrassing to the Dutch government, which is currently the head of the EU’s rotating presidency.

    […]When, five days before the vote, Wilders went to the city of Maastricht to campaign for a “No” in the referendum, he was heckled and forced to give up his rally by protesters shouting, “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”

    That, no more so than his trial, didn’t bother Wilders. He recently tweeted: “Politicians and the press can drop dead. Distance yourself from your cowardice and betrayal of the Netherlands to Islam. Suckers.”

    Americans and others following the Republican race may find the rhetoric familiar.

    […]The only one smiling may be Vladimir Putin. According to the EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, a Dutch refusal of the Ukraine treaty would offer him “the fruits of an easy victory.”

    And even a narrow “Yes” win would be no more than a pyrrhic victory, leaving the EU still bleeding and the Kremlin leader still smiling.


    Leader of Freedom Party (PVV) Geert Wilders distributed leaflets at the market of Purmerend, Tuesday, campaigning for citizens to vote ‘no’ in the upcoming Ukraine deal referendum.

    Wilders who was protected by an entourage of bodyguards and police officers, spent 20 minutes at the market taking pictures with supporters and distributing leaflets. He explained that for the first time Dutch citizens “have a say and actually can correct the elite.” He went on to state that he is “very confident” that the result will be a ‘no’.

  34. Hand That Feeds Palestinians Now Almost All Scar Tissue [Satire]

    The appendage used in providing for the needs of the Palestinians has turned almost entirely into scar tissue from repeated biting, medical officials reported today.

    In his monthly update of the state of the Palestinian medical system, Dr. Handat Fidzmi of the Ministry of Health in the Palestinian capital informed his colleagues and other interested parties of the recent developments in the hand’s condition, and analyzed the positive and negative ramifications of the scar tissue for the society at large.

    “On one crusty, impaired hand, we anticipate some difficulty in the provision of food, economic aid, infrastructure, and graft at the levels Palestinians have become accustomed to receiving, given the restricted movement and responsiveness of the bitten-up hand,” he wrote. “However, scar tissue has its advantages, among which is the ability not to transmit pain with the same intensity as healthy tissue, a fact that will facilitate the continued foul attitude toward the providers of Palestinian aid with less worry that such offensive behavior and statements result in any cessation of aid.”

    The biting has taken the form of terrorism against western targets, or on Western soil; societal movements that take pride in calling for the destruction or downfall of Western society; political maneuvering that undermines the stability of supposed allies; and accusing those who provide aid of stinginess.

  35. Brussels says we CAN’T send back Eastern European criminals..because of their HUMAN RIGHTS (express, Apr 5, 2016)

    “MEDDLING European judges have today told Britain we CAN’T automatically send back Eastern European criminals…because it could breach their HUMAN RIGHTS.

    Barmy Brussels bureaucrats have issued a choking diktat warning Western European nations not to send criminals back to their home countries if there is a risk of cruel treatment.

    Their decision means that criminals from Eastern European nations including Hungary and Romania could effectively have carte blanche to stay in Britain, where they must either be locked up at the taxpayer’s expense or let free to potentially go on crime sprees.

    Critics tonight said the crazy ruling will severely undermine our ability to deport dangerous criminals and cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.

    It was made by unelected judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), who were ruling on the case of two criminal migrants currently living in Germany.

    A Hungarian investigating magistrate had issued two European Arrest Warrants for the deportation of Pal Aranyosi, whilst a Romanian court wanted Robert Caldararu brought to book in his homeland.

    But both Aranyosi, prosecuted for alleged entry and theft and Caldarau, who drove without a driving licence, will now be able to stay in Germany following the controversial ruling.

    Bleeding heart judges in Strasbourg said the men could not be sent home to face justice because they would be subjected to conditions in prisons which are against their fundamental human rights.

    In a judgement issued on Tuesday the ECJ said that when an authority responsible for the execution of a warrant has evidence of a “real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment of persons detained in the member state where the warrant was issued” then it must assess the risk before making a decision.

    Blasting the decision Labour MP and chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, Keith Vaz, said: “This ruling will further diminish the immediacy of the European arrest warrant, which has already been beset by controversy.

    “It is no longer the quick and effective remedy which it was intended to be.”

    According to the judges, the extradition of criminals could be blocked if authorities show that there are substantial grounds for believing that the individual concerned will be exposed to inhuman treatment while being detained in their home country….”

  36. Sex attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve

    Official report

    Nordrhein-Westfalen veröffentlicht offiziellen Ermittlungsbericht

    Die Ereignisse in der Silvesternacht in Köln machten weltweit Schlagzeilen. Jetzt veröffentlichte Nordrhein-Westfalens Innenminister einen Bericht. Danach sollen die meister der Tatverdächtigen Ausländer sein.

    In Zusammenhang mit den massiven Übergriffen in der Kölner Silvesternacht sind den Ermittlern 153 Tatverdächtige bekannt, die meisten von ihnen sind Ausländer. In einem Bericht von Nordrhein-Westfalens Innenminister Ralf Jäger (SPD) an den Düsseldorfer Landtag vom Dienstag heißt es, 149 der Tatverdächtigen seien nichtdeutscher Nationalität. 103 von ihnen stammen demnach aus Marokko und Algerien.

    In der Silvesternacht hatten Gruppen von Männern am Kölner Hauptbahnhof massive sexuelle Übergriffe auf Frauen verübt. In den Tagen danach war bereits der Vorwurf erhoben worden, dass es sich bei den Tätern überwiegend um Menschen mit nordafrikanischen Wurzeln handele.

    Dem Bericht Jägers zufolge haben 68 der Tatverdächtigen einen Status als Asylbewerber, 18 halten sich demnach vermutlich illegal in Deutschland auf und 47 haben einen unbekannten ausländerrechtlichen Status. Vier der Tatverdächtigen seien unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge, zehn haben dem Bericht zufolge eine Aufenthaltsgenehmigung.

    24 Tatverdächtige befinden sich derzeit in Untersuchungshaft. Zehn allerdings wegen Ermittlungsverfahren, die nicht im Zusammenhang mit den Ereignissen der Silvesternacht stehen.

    Dem Bericht des NRW-Innenministers zufolge bearbeitete die Ermittlungsgruppe “Neujahr” mit Stand vom 30. März 1527 Straftaten mit 1218 Opfern. 626 Betroffene seien Opfer von Sexualdelikten geworden.

    In 529 Fällen handele es sich um Sexualstraftaten. In 185 dieser Fälle sei auch ein Diebstahldelikt angezeigt worden. Bei den übrigen 998 angezeigten Straftaten handele es sich um Eigentums-, Raub- und Körperverletzungedelikte.

    Der Bericht Jägers steht auf der Tagesordnung einer Sitzung des Innenausschusses des nordrheinwestfälischen Landtags am Donnerstag.

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