Reader’s links April 12 – 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 April 12 – 2016”

  1. Malmö police investigate murder in Fosie suburb (thelocal, Apr 12, 2016)

    “Police were investigating on Tuesday after a man was shot dead in Malmö in southern Sweden.

    Police were called to the scene in the Fosie suburb in southern Malmö shortly before 2am on Tuesday after several residents in the area reported they had heard the sound of gunfire.

    A body was later found in an area between two apartment blocks.

    “We find a dead man in the courtyard and note that he has been shot,” police control room officer Peter Martinsson recounted the events to the Aftonbladet tabloid on Tuesday morning.

    The man had not yet been identified by 8am and no arrests had been made.

    Forensic teams cordoned off the area and examined the crime scene throughout the night.

    “There are loads who have heard shots being fired but no information about anyone seeing anything, so we’re knocking on doors in the area and are questioning people,” said Martinsson.

    While not as well known internationally as troubled neighbouring district Rosengård, violence in Fosie is regularly linked to gang crime and ethnic segregation.

    Tuesday’s incident comes just over a month after another man was found dead in a separate shooting at a car park in the suburb.”

  2. ISIS rapidly expanding activities in Afghanistan, Ata Mohd Noor warns (khaama, Apr 12, 2016)

    “The acting provincial governor of northern Balkh province of Afghanistan Ata Mohammad Noor has warned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group is rapidly expanding activities in Afghanistan.

    Noor was speaking during a ceremony for the inauguration of a high school in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the provincial capital of Balkh province.

    He said the terror group is getting stronger each day and are deployed in Afghanistan to destabilize the country.

    Noor further added that the loyalists of the terror group are now active in major parts of Afghanistan and it would be wrong to concentrate on Kunar and Nangarhar only as the stronghold of the terror group.

    This comes as a top Russian official earlier made a similar comment regarding the terror group in Afghanistan and said the terrorist group is acting quietly in the country as it plans to use Afghanistan for wider expansion.

    Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, said the loyalists of the group is expanding in Afghanistan and wishes to use the country as a “springboard for a wider expansion”.

    Kabulov further added that Daesh has fewer militants than Taliban, but it does not spend its resources on fighting Afghan and US servicemen in the country.

    “They have other aims. They need Afghanistan as a springboard for a wider expansion,” Kabulov explained.”

  3. Afghan Taliban Announce Spring Offensive (abcnews, Apr 12, 2016)

    “The Taliban announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season on Tuesday, vowing “large-scale attacks” in the 15th year of their war against the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

    In an email to media, the militants said the spring offensive had begun at 5 a.m. It dubbed the campaign “Operation Omari” in honor of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, who died three years ago. The statement said waging jihad against American invaders is a holy obligation.

    It said this year’s campaign will incorporate suicide attacks, assassinations, and other tactics aimed at undermining the enemy’s morale.

    The Taliban added that in areas under their control, “mechanisms for good governance will be established so that our people can live a life of security and normalcy.” The insurgents control several rural districts and last year seized the northern city of Kunduz and held it for three days.

    The Taliban said they would try to avoid killing civilians or destroying civilian infrastructure, and would carry out a “dialogue with our countrymen in the enemy ranks” to try to convince them to join the insurgency.

    More than 11,000 civilians were killed or wounded in 2015, according to the U.N…”

  4. Up to four killed in suicide blast in Yemen’s Aden: witnesses (reuters, Apr 12, 2016)

    “A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden belt near a football stadium in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Tuesday, killing up to four people, witnesses said.

    Eight people were wounded in the attack, which appeared to target young men queuing to register to serve in the military, they said. They said up to four people were killed, apart from the bomber.”

  5. REVEALED: Paris saved from second terror attack by brave Muslim woman (express, Apr 12, 2016)

    “A MUSLIM whistleblower risked her life to prevent a second deadly Paris attack and possible terror assaults in the UK, it can be revealed.

    The woman, whose identity is being protected for fear of jihadi retaliation, informed French investigators of the location of the ISIS mastermind behind the November attacks.

    She lived with the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who orchestrated night of terror in the French capital in which 130 innocent people were heartlessly slaughtered.

    Following the attacks, Abaaoud went on the run before contacting his cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen asking for help.

    The woman, whose identity is being protected for fear of jihadi retaliation, informed French investigators of the location of the ISIS mastermind behind the November attacks.

    She lived with the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who orchestrated night of terror in the French capital in which 130 innocent people were heartlessly slaughtered.

    Following the attacks, Abaaoud went on the run before contacting his cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen asking for help.

    Aitboulahcen idolised the terrorist, who had moved up the ISIS ranks after heading to Syria in 2013 and was behind the Paris massacre along with a series of unsuccessful attacks.

    She wanted to marry her Belgian-Moroccan cousin and began wearing a niqab as they became closer.

    According to her friend, Aitboulahcen was delighted when Abaaoud called and arranged to meet up on November 15, two nights after the deadly attack.

    The two women made their way to a wooded area in the French suburb of Aubervillier, where Abaaoud met them and began boasting about the killings.

    The 28-year-old spoke at length about the brutal attacks, which took place in the Bataclan music theatre, the Stade de France and at a number of bars, restaurants and cafes across the city.

    While her friend rejoiced, declaring the innocent victims from 26 countries were “unbelievers”, the whisteblower was furious and questioned Abaaoud as to why he had carried out the attack.

    He replied Paris was “nothing” and chillingly warned of further attacks to come, the woman told the American press.

    He then gave the women €5,000 and instructed them to find him and his associate accommodation and to buy smart clothes, which was believed to be a disguise for a planned attack on the city’s financial district.

    After leaving, the whistleblower attempted to get Aitboulahcen drunk enough to be unable to carry out the tasks. She then rang French investigators and told them everything….”

  6. Yes, we Muslims must be braver and do more to integrate says Labour MP after former equalities chief’s call provokes furious backlash (dailymail, Apr 12, 2016)

    “Urgent calls for Britain to adopt a more ‘muscular’ approach to integrating Muslims into society triggered a furious row last night.

    Former equalities watchdog Trevor Phillips urged Muslims to change their values and behaviour, saying the UK risks ‘sacrificing a generation of young British people’ if hardline Islamic values are not challenged.

    His call, in yesterday’s Daily Mail, was backed by MPs, although it also provoked a backlash from community groups who accused him of ‘stigmatising and scapegoating Muslims’.

    Labour’s Khalid Mahmood, England’s first Muslim MP, said: ‘A lot of people are challenging unacceptable attitudes.

    ‘There are women’s groups doing this. I only wish more men in some communities were able to be as brave.’

    But he said successive governments going back to the 1980s had pursued policies which had led to the ‘ghetto-isation’ of Muslim communities.

    ‘Trevor Phillips is right in terms of saying we must get the community to integrate far more,’ he said.
    ‘But a lack of planning going back decades means they have not had a chance to move out of their areas.’…”

  7. Olivier Blanchard eyes ugly ‘end game’ for Japan on debt spiral

    Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned.

    Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said zero interest rates have disguised the underlying danger posed by Japan’s public debt, likely to reach 250pc of GDP this year and spiralling upwards on an unsustainable trajectory.

    “To our surprise, Japanese retirees have been willing to hold government debt at zero rates, but the marginal investor will soon not be a Japanese retiree,” he said.

    Prof Blanchard said the Japanese treasury will have to tap foreign funds to plug the gap and this will prove far more costly, threatening to bring the long-feared funding crisis to a head.

    “If and when US hedge funds become the marginal Japanese debt, they are going to ask for a substantial spread,” he told the Telegraph, speaking at the Ambrosetti forum of world policy-makers on Lake Como.

    Analysts say this would transform the country’s debt dynamics and kill the illusion of solvency, possibly in a sudden, non-linear fashion.

  8. Turkey Decorates Saudi King Salman for Building Close Ties (abcnews, Apr 12, 2016)

    “Turkey has decorated Saudi Arabia’s King Salman with the country’s highest state medal in recognition of the close ties between the two countries.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday bestowed the medal, saying the Saudi monarch had exerted “great efforts” to forge friendly ties since taking the throne.

    Saudi Arabia and Turkey are both strong supporters of the opposition forces in Syria and have been building strong military ties. Turkey participated in military drills in Saudi Arabia this year. Riyadh has deployed warplanes at a Turkish air base as part of the anti-Islamic State coalition….”

  9. This may shock a lot of people but the Japanese national debt (called public debt in the article) is a much higher percentage of their GDP then that of the US. Everyone including myself tends to forget this and Japan has always more or less ignored this debt knowing that the US economy will pull them out of the mess. Then along came Obama who set out to bankrupt the US and all of the nations with socialist governments of one variety or another who have always depended on the US to pull their chestnuts out of the fire of socialist stupidity discovered that when we have a President dedicated to destroying the US they are in big trouble.

    This should be giving the Chinese real big nightmares about what will happen to their nation if Japan’s economy collapses.

  10. Europe’s refugee system in chaos as Germany admits nearly 9,000 child migrants are MISSING
    THE number of missing migrants in Germany continues to grow with authorities now saying nearly 9,000 children are now unaccounted for

    Germany registered 60,000 unaccompanied child refugees with 4,750 listed as missing in January.

    That has now spiked to more than 8,600 cases, including hundreds of children under 14 years, according to the interior ministry.

    Most of the youngsters come from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Morocco and Algeria

    That has now spiked to more than 8,600 cases, including hundreds of children under 14 years, according to the interior ministry.

    • How many males of more or less military age have now gone missing in Germany?

      How many weapons have slipped through customs and are stashed in the Mosques?

      How long before the missing males and the weapons are united and start trying to take over Germany?

  11. reuters – AI helps Syrian refugees through trauma

    Refugees living in Lebanon now have access to an artificial intelligence mobile phone app called ‘Karim’ that they can talk to about their problems. Edward Baran reports.

  12. Böhmermann’s anti-Erdogan poem is satire and Germany should bear it

    Is it satire or defamation? Now the German government is to review comedian Jan Böhmermann’s poem about Turkish President Erdogan. DW’s Susanne Spröer says it’s obviously satire – what else?

    First of all, I think the content of Jan Böhmermann’s controversial poem, which he presented on the ZDF television show “Neo Magazin Royale,” is a jab below the belt.

    Seated before the Turkish flag and a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Böhmermann alleges the president of, among other things, sex with goats and sheep. The comedian also claimed that Erdogan loves to “repress minorities, kick Kurds and beat Christians while watching child porn.”

    There’s no question about the tastelessness of the poem. Nevertheless, it’s clearly a piece of satire. What else would it be?

    The “poem” didn’t appear in a literary magazine, but was broadcast as part of a satirical television program. It’s only to be expected that a show like “Neo Magazinb Royale” push the envelope; satire is more than just telling jokes.

    Satire is an artistic genre that aims to polarize and criticize individuals or situations by means of derision, irony and exaggeration. Yes, sometimes it may make us choke on our own chuckle. And the show really did make me laugh – not the poem itself, which I found quite tasteless, but the entire skit. Not only was it cleverly and originally composed and executed, but it managed to spark an important social discourse on the boundaries of satire.

    Böhmermann planned the controversy

    The opening scene was particularly witty. Jan Böhmermann introduced the poem with a warning: What he was about to do, he said, actually wasn’t allowed and that such slanderous statements could be punished and removed from the TV program.

    And that’s exactly what happened. German public broadcaster ZDF did indeed remove the controversial portion of the show from its online media center.

    It was a well planned provocation that unfolded just as the show’s creators intended. Cologne-based media attorney Markus Kompa told DW that Böhmermann’s poem was a “calculated breach of the law,” and I think it’s an ingenious satirical media coup.

    The anti-Erdogan poem has to be seen in context. It references a song, recently broadcast in the ARD program “Extra3,” that attacks Turkey’s excessive censorship and repression of freedom of speech in the country. Although the “Extra3” piece was indisputably a work of permissible satire, Erdogan called in the German ambassador and demanded that the video be erased.

    Over a week later, the German government issued a public statement defending freedom of speech in Germany.

    How far can satire go in Germany?

    The Böhmermann video ingeniously and cryptically takes it one step further – with such absurdly exaggerated insults that even the harshest Erdogan critics can’t take any of them at face value.

    Despite the obviously offensive statements in the video, it does not intentionally defame the president – which would indeed require legal action. Instead, it satirically criticizes Erdogan’s dictatorial approach to freedom of the press and freedom of opinion and takes him to task for trying to torpedo these freedoms in Germany – as in the case of the “Extra3” song.

    That’s precisely what makes Böhmermann’s video dyed-in-the-wool satire. It’s not only of didactic value in defining the boundaries of satire (and could actually be used in educating journalists and lawyers). It also shows how powerful satire can be when it pokes a finger in social and political wounds.

    Enduring the pain is what characterizes a democratic society.

    • Germany: Merkel touts ‘freedom of speech’ in face of ‘insulting’ Erdogan poem controversy

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on Turkey’s request to prosecute German comedian Jan Boehmermann over his satirical poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Chancellery in Berlin, Tuesday.

      SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): “I want to stress once again what was said yesterday – we have fundamental rights written in the constitution and there is an Article 5 which stipulates the freedom of speech, science and of course art. And all these values are valid and completely uncoupled from political problems that we discuss with each other. The issue of refugees is also among them. I think it’s in the interests of Turkey and European Union as well as Germany to find a political solution here, to legalise the refugee routes and share the burdens. Turkey has a large burden taking into account the civil war in Syria. But all this is absolutely uncoupled from this. The fundamental rights including Article 5 and freedom of press, speech and science are valid and viewed completely separate.”

    • […]Erdogan’s German lawyer, Michael-Hubertus von Sprenger, said he was prepared to go to the highest court and added that the Turkish president wanted Boehmermann to be punished.

      “He definitely won’t get a heavy punishment, but rather it will be a punishment that is necessary to get him back on the right path – to produce satire, and not gross insults,” Sprenger told German broadcaster ZDF.

      German media reported that Boehmermann was under police protection and had canceled the next emission of “Neo Magazin Royale”.

      […]The law, which does not appear to exist in most other European countries, leaves Merkel with a conundrum.

      If her government gives the nod to prosecutors, it could enrage Germans already dubious about what they view as her Faustian pact with Erdogan to help stem the flow of migrants.

      “If the government supported the move, there would be a huge backlash domestically,” Wolfgang Kubicki, a lawyer and senior member of the business-friendly FDP party, told NDR radio.

      […]”We cannot tolerate this. We want this shameless man to be prosecuted under German law for insulting the president,” Turkish government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said in response to a question after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

      […]Among those who have stood up for him are Matthias Doepfner, the head of the Axel Springer media group, publisher of the bestselling tabloid Bild. He wrote in Die Welt that the incident has made society think about how it deals with satire and intolerant attitudes towards satire from non-democrats. […]
      video – Erdogan’s German lawyer, Michael-Hubertus von Sprenger

  13. Austria: Vienna begins works on ‘refugee barrier’ near Italian border

    The Austrian Government went ahead with its plans to build an refugee ‘control area’ at the Brenner Pass close to the Italian border on Tuesday, an attempt to allegedly deter refugees from entering via the so-called Alpine Pass.

    SOT, Giovanni Pederzini, Brennero councillor (Italian): “Austria is being confrontational with Italy to force us to arrange plans to take care of refugees before they pass the border and go to Austria.”

    SOT, Giovanni Pederzini, Brennero councillor (Italian): “I’ll let them finish their work and build fences. Then we will see what will happen. What will other European countries say? When, for example will the Netherlands take food into Italy or Sweden.”

  14. ‘Lack of hope’ Refugee admits setting shelter on fire, painting swastikas to frame German far-right

    A Syrian asylum seeker has confessed to setting fire to a refugee center in Western Germany and also to painting swastikas on its walls. Six people suffered from smoke inhalation in the incident. Here’s how local police explained this apparent attempt to frame far-right groups.

  15. Belgium charges two, detains three over Brussels, Paris attacks

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium has charged two more men with terrorist offences linked to last month’s bombings in Brussels and also searched a house related to the attacks in Paris, detaining three people, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

    A judge charged the two men, identified as Smail F., born in 1984, and Ibrahim F., born in 1988, over alleged links to the rental of a property that investigators believe was used as a “safe house” before the March 22 suicide bombings in Brussels.

    Prosecutors said in a statement that they had searched a house in the southern Brussels district of Uccle, taking into custody three people for questioning over the Nov. 13 shooting and bombing rampage in Paris.

    Prosecutors did not comment on what was found in the house search but said the three people detained would appear before a judge on Wednesday to decide whether they would be charged.

    Investigations into the attacks in Paris and Brussels, both claimed by Islamic State militant group, unveiled significant overlap between the groups that orchestrated them.

    Belgian prosecutors said on Sunday they had reason to believe that those behind the Brussels attacks, which killed 32 people, had initially planned to strike again in France.

    Including Smail F., and Ibrahim F., six suspects have been arrested and charged since late last week as a result of investigations into the Brussels bombings.

  16. Salah Abdeslam prison photo: Isis suspect described as ‘good boy and role model’ in jail

    The first prison photo of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has emerged. Abdeslam is currently held at a high-security prison in Bruges waiting for extradition to France. A photo taken within the detention facility and obtained by a Belgian newspaper shows his face bearing the signs of fatigue after months of being on the run and weeks of imprisonment.

    His hair is unkempt, and bags under his eyes are more heavily marked than in images taken prior to his alleged involvement in the November attacks in Paris.

    Despite the worn-out appearance, prison sources described him to Flemish daily Nieuwsblad as a “model prisoner” with an “excellent appetite”. “[He is] A very good boy, a role model for many other detainees in terms of behaviour. We don’t have any negative comment to report,” the source said.

    Abdeslam also appears to have kept the beard he grew to disguise his identity in the four months he was Europe’s most wanted man. The 26-year-old was eventually captured a few hundred metres from his home in the Molenbeek district of Brussels in March, days before three suicide blasts tore through the city’s airport and a central metro station.

    The subsequent investigation has revealed how the attacks were precipitated by Abdeslam’s arrest. The jihadi cell behind the bombings initially planned to hit Paris a second time but decided to rush the operation and target Brussels instead as they were caught off guard by “the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation”, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.


    DAILY MAIL – Broken Paris bomber on suicide watch: Tired, bedraggled Salah Abdeslam is pictured inside prison for the first time where he is checked eight times an hour and described as a ‘model prisoner’

    First photo of captured Paris ISIS attacker Salah Abdeslam since capture
    The terrorist appears bearded and rundown inside prison in Bruges
    He played a key role in the logistics of the Paris attacks before going on the run for four months in Belgium

    The first photograph of captured Paris ISIS attacker Salah Abdeslam has emerged showing the failed suicide bomber looking bearded and broken inside a prison in Bruges.

    The terrorist has been described as a ‘model prisoner’ and that guards have been checking on him eight times an hour for fear he might try to harm himself, according to local media Nieuwsblad who quoted a prison source and an investigation report on his reaction to life in prison.

    Abdeslam is believed to have played a key role in the logistics of the Paris attacks, hiring the cars and renting the safe houses for the other members of the ISIS cell.

  17. Nocturnal Paris youth protests give government sleepless nights

    ARIS (Reuters) – “This is amazing, people are finally taking the political debate into their own hands,” 19-year-old literature student Zoe beamed as she roamed Paris’ Place de la Republique, where thousands are meeting nightly to debate, protest and dream of another world.

    Street protests are hardly a novelty in the homeland of the 1789 French revolution and the May 1968 student-worker uprising.

    But the occupation, night after night, of the vast square by left-wing and anarchist young people is a novel form of snowballing action that is giving President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government sleepless nights.

    The “Nuit Debout” or “Up all Night” movement began on March 31 when a group of activists decided not to go home after a march against labor reform, said 35-year-old Simon, a theater worker and one of the volunteers who greets newcomers.

    Crowds ranging from several hundred to a few thousand have gathered every evening since then for a spontaneous happening that is a mixture of street theater, party and ritual initiation for a new generation of activists.

    • The French economy is one of the worst in the world, and its socialist policies has welcomed foreign invaders into the country to try and destroy France. Now the left wing students are campaigning to ensure that the French economy falls even further.

      • I smell Soros.

        Occupy and Podemos were his brainchildren. Shadowy spokespeople, who insist “[it’s] leader-less even if a few high-profile activists, including an economist and a documentary filmmaker, helped launch it.”


        There’s “Clementine” who works for a NGO, labor agitators, anarchists between gigs at Calais and Idomeni. White middle-class students incited by their old hippie profs who wax nostalgic for the summer of ’68. They’re easy prey anyway, from families defined as one child, single-parent of indeterminate sexual orientation.[*]

        This crowd should be sweating boot camp RIGHT NOW. The ghoulish shrines are still fresh, hundreds of thousands of sworn enemies are almost upon them, and they’re playing patty-cake.
        [*]That's Perfectchild's cue.

  18. North Korea accuses South of ‘hideous’ abduction of workers

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea accused South Korea on Tuesday of abducting its citizens in China, four days after South Korea said 13 workers at restaurant run by the North had defected.

    North Korea said the abduction of its citizens was an unacceptable provocation and it demanded their return.

    “We sternly denounce the group abduction of the citizens of the DPRK as a hideous crime against its dignity and social system and the life and security of its citizens,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman of its Red Cross Society as saying.

    DPRK stand for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

    South Korea said on Friday that 13 workers at a restaurant run by the North in an unidentified country had defected, a case it described as unprecedented, adding that the 13 had arrived in the South a day earlier.

    South Korea did not say where the 13 had worked. China said on Monday that 13 North Koreans had been there and had left lawfully. It did not say if they were the same group.

  19. Far-right Austrian leader visits Israel’s Holocaust memorial

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Tuesday, laying a wreath under the engraved names of towns in Austria from where Jews were expelled by the Nazis.

    He said anti-Semitism had no place in his party and urged a common front against Islamists.

    Strache’s party, which last year expelled a member of its parliamentary group for anti-Semitic comments, has sought to redress the worst of its past while retaining popular support with outspoken opposition to Muslim migration.

    During his visit, Strache kept a Fedora hat firmly on his head as a sign of respect and declined to answer questions. But afterwards he explained why he was visiting Yad Vashem’s Valley of the Communities, where the names of 5,000 towns and cities where Jews once lived are listed on monumental stone walls.

    “For us, it’s important to act against anti-Semitism and also against Islamism and terrorism and to discuss the issues we have in common,” he told Reuters by telephone. “Anti-Semitism often emerges anew from Islamism and from the left.”

    The Israeli foreign ministry said it had nothing to do with Strache’s visit and the Austrian embassy in Tel Aviv also said it was not involved. Strache said he was invited by Likud, the right-wing party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  20. EU – Parliament advocates a centralised EU asylum system and legal ways to migrate

    A centralised asylum system would allow the EU to better manage flows of migrants and asylum seekers, said the European Parliament on Tuesday. It also asked for safe and legal ways to be found for third country nationals to enter the Union without resorting to human smugglers at the risk of their lives.

    In a non-binding resolution, MEPs acknowledge the failure of the EU asylum system to cope with ever-rising numbers of migrant arrivals and call for a radical overhaul of the so-called Dublin rules. They propose establishing a central system for collecting and allocating asylum applications. The scheme, which could include a quota for each EU member state, would work on the basis of “hotspots” from which refugees would be distributed.

    The resolution, drafted by Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT), was approved by 459 votes to 206, with 52 abstentions.

    The European Commission is currently considering a revision of the Dublin III Regulation (which determines which member state is responsible for processing which asylum application) and has pledged to present a legislative proposal before the summer.

    “There is no quick fix for migration, no magic silver bullet. We do not need more emergency solutions, we need a sustainable approach for the future”, said Ms Metsola during the plenary debate.

    “Migration should not be combatted, it should be managed”, added Ms Kyenge, insisting that the European approach should be based on solidarity and responsibility sharing.

    Parliament underlines that the current asylum system does not take proper account of the particular migratory pressures faced by member states with EU external borders. MEPs demand changes to ensure fairness and shared responsibility, solidarity and swift processing of applications.

    Relocation and resettlement

    The text calls on member states to fulfil their obligations with regard to urgent relocation measures, stressing that so far, only a minimal part of the 106,000 asylum seekers awaiting reassignment from Italy and Greece to other EU countries had actually been relocated. On resettlement, MEPs insist that the EU needs a “binding and mandatory legislative approach”.


    MEPs demand new EU-wide “readmission” (return) agreements which they say should take precedence over bilateral ones between member states and third countries. They insist that migrants should be returned only if the country to which they are being returned to is safe for them.

  21. Minnesota National Guard soldiers to be deployed to Egypt

    Many southeastern Minnesota soldiers will be heading to Egypt for a 9-month deployment.

    Around 400 soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard’s Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment will deploy for a 9-month peacekeeping mission to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to support the Multi-National Force and Observers, according to a news release.

    The deploying battalion includes several companies in Rochester, Winona, and West St. Paul.

    “Our soldiers are well trained, experienced and ready when called upon,” said battalion commander Lt. Col. Jon Ostercamp in a statement. “Now that we have received our mobilization orders, we can provide some clarity for our families and employers on the year ahead and focus our training on this important mission.”

    The mission of the approximately 2,000 Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) is to enforce the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Divided into four zones, the Sinai Peninsula is hosting 12 nations in support of the MFO.

    The southern Minnesota “Red Bull” units will mobilize in July and depart for pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, Texas. They then will begin their mission in Egypt by the end of the summer. When there, the soldiers will provide force protection, serve as a quick reaction force and observe and report violations of the peace treaty in support of the MFO’s mission in the region.

    Departure ceremonies will be held in each of these communities in early July. Once details are finalized, family members, media and the public will be invited to attend those events.

    US reviewing Sinai peacekeeper mission, looks at automating jobs

    The US military said on Tuesday it has formally notified Egypt and Israel that it is reviewing peacekeeping operations in Sinai, including ways to use technology to do the job of some of the 700 US troops there.

    “I don’t think anyone’s talking about a (complete) withdrawal. I think we’re just going to look at the number of people we have there and see if there are functions that can be automated or done through remote monitoring,” said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.,-looks-at-a.aspx

  22. TURKEY – ISTANBUL – OIC summit: Muslim body focuses on Palestinians, terrorism

    The world?s Islamic countries began their annual meeting on Sunday in Istanbul, where they are set to focus on the Palestinian cause, conflicts in member states and combating terrorism.

    The meeting of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) comes once again at a time of turmoil in many Muslim nations, with conflicts in Syria and Yemen dragging on and several states including Turkey, bloodied by militant attacks.

    The 13th annual OIC conference began with senior officials adopting the agenda and will be followed by a foreign ministers meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over 30 heads of state and government will attend the summit hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday and Friday.

    With guests set to include Saudi King Salman, the event is taking place under the highest security, with police stationed all around the venue in central Istanbul.

    The OIC said the summit was to issue a resolution on the Palestinian issue and support for international efforts to relaunch a “collective political process”.

    The gathering comes at a time of rising Islamophobia in many western nations in response to a spate of attacks by the Islamic State group.

    Islamic leaders will also “consider the situation of Muslim communities in non-OIC member States and the issue of combating terrorism.”

    Turkey has also been a victim of several bloody IS attacks and the Istanbul summit comes a day after the US warned of a “credible threat” of attacks in the city.

    Under Erdogan, who has made Islam one of central themes of his politics, Turkey has upped its economic and political influence throughout the Islamic world, particularly in lands in the Middle East once part of the Ottoman Empire.

    However this policy has not always met with success and frosty relations with several Muslim states, including Egypt, have led some analysts to conclude its aim of “zero problems with neighbours” ended up having exactly the opposite effect.

    In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan hailed the role Turkey has played by hosting nearly three million refugees from neighbouring Syria.

    “In the world, there is no state, no country that is capable of assuming such a burden. The events this year that targeted us will not deflect us from this path,” he said.

    A big question mark hangs over the level of representation from Egypt, which has had strained ties with Turkey since the ousting of Ankara ally Mohammed Morsi in 2013.


    US Dept of State – Acting Special Envoy Arsalan Suleman to Travel to Turkey

    Acting Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Arsalan Suleman will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, April 12-15. During his trip, he will offer remarks at the OIC’s Young Leaders Summit about the importance of pluralism, civic engagement, and inter- and intra-cultural dialogue. He will also attend the 13th Islamic Summit Conference of the OIC and discuss U.S.-OIC collaboration and strategic partnerships.

    Additionally, Acting Special Envoy Suleman will meet with leading civil society members from OIC member states, government officials, and students and faculty at the University of Istanbul.

  23. Germany Turkey: Police protection for satirist Boehmermann over Erdogan poem (BBC, Apr 12, 2016)

    “A German TV comic, Jan Boehmermann, has been placed under police protection after he read an obscene poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    A police spokesperson said a patrol car had been parked in front of his house.

    Mr Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against the satirist in a case that has prompted a debate in Germany over freedom of speech.

    German prosecutors are investigating whether he broke a law against insulting foreign leaders.

    Public broadcaster ZDF announced earlier on Tuesday that his weekly satire programme would not go ahead this week because of the “vast amount of media reporting and the resulting focus on the programme and its presenter”.

    It was not immediately clear if a concrete threat had been made against Boehmermann but Cologne police told German media: “When you can’t rule something out then you have to do something.”

    Bild website reported that the satirist and his family were apparently facing a threat from supporters of the Turkish president. No request for protection measures had come from the comic but were a result of risk analysis, reports said…”

    • I will believe he is under a massive threat, I will also believe that the government picked him up for his own protection. Having said that I also believe that Merkal likes the idea of having her hands on him in case it becomes politically expedient to turn him over to Turkey.

  24. Jihadi Twitter Account Threatens Britain First Leaders

    A jihadist Twitter account issued a threat against leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen of the Britain First nationalist party in England.

    Britain First activists banned from going within 250m of any UK mosque or entering London

    Two Britain First activists have been banned from entering London and going within 250m of any mosque in the UK after an anti-Islam protest in East London descended into violence. Supporters of the Christian right-wing political party were involved in a volatile stand-off with opponents on Saturday (9 April) after staging a demonstration outside East London Mosque.

    Footage posted on social media showed police trying to break up fights as people were kicked, punched and thrown to the ground. One clip shows an unknown assailant launch a flying kick into what appears to be a Britain First supporter as the group was pelted with eggs.

    Britain First leaders Paul Golding, 34, and Jayda Fransen, 30, who were carrying “No More Mosques” banners and union jack flags, said they were set upon by “around 150 aggressive Muslims”. Representatives for the mosque accused the group of “provoking and attacking members of the community”.

    The Met Police arrested two Britain First supporters after the unrest – a 52-year-old man on suspicion on assault and a 41-year-old man on suspicion of going equipped to cause criminal damage. Both were released without charge but subject to what the group called “extreme” bail conditions.

    The pair have been banned from entering any area within the M25 and from associating with any Britain First or English Defence League (EDL) members. Bail documents posted online by Britain First also show they are “not to go within 250 metres of any mosque or premises used by the Muslim faith”.

    Britain First, a registered political party that brands Islam a “fascist ideology”, accused the police of being “Muslim collaborators” and said they had failed to arrest any individuals they claimed attacked their activists.

    The demonstration was the third the group had staged outside East London Mosque in the past two months. A Britain First protest on 12 March required a wall of police officers to separate opponents to prevent violence from spilling out onto the streets. The group eventually left on police orders.

    The unrest had prompted calls from the mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, and the leaders of East London Mosque for Britain First to be banned from entering the borough, accusing them of holding “racist” and “provocative” protests. Mayor Biggs urged senior police commanders to “consider all actions to prevent violence coming to our streets… [including] bans and injunctions”.

    Similar calls have been made by community and faith leaders in Luton, where Britain First has held its controversial “Christian patrols” that see supporters carry religious crosses and hand out anti-Islam literature.

    But attempts by Bedfordshire Police in 2015 to seek a High Court injunction banning Golding and Fransen from entering Luton failed. The same police force has since managed to ban the pair from the town after arresting them on suspicion of wearing a political uniform in February and using bail conditions to prohibit them from entering Luton.

    On Tuesday (12 April), Tower Hamlets Council and the Met Police said they were considering using new legal powers, known as ‘Community Protection Notices’, to curb Britain First’s activities. Passed in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the measures are intended to “prevent unreasonable behaviour that is having a negative impact on the local community’s quality of life”.

    Mayor Biggs said: “The hatred and division of Britain First has no place in Tower Hamlets. We are pursuing a Community Protection Notice, which would block behaviour that has a detrimental effect on quality of life. This may take some time to implement and we are working together with police and other agencies to expedite it.

    “I stand in solidarity with all residents of Tower Hamlets, and particularly our Muslim community, who feel threatened by the provocative actions of Britain First. We must continue to send the strong message that Britain First is not welcome in any corner of our borough.”

    Golding and Fransen strongly deny any accusation Britain First is racist, instead saying they are opposed to Islam as an ideology. They claim their right to free speech and protest has been repeatedly curbed by the police.

    • As they say on, the “election of a New People” is showing dividends for the rulers. A half-century ago, who could have imagined that the Mighty West would be facing an existential crisis not in their spheres of influence, but in their very own lands!
      And that their own Treason Networks do everything in their power to suppress opposition to their own demise.

  25. Netherlands: Schiphol Airport evacuated due to security alert, 1 arrested

    A commercial section of the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has been evacuated and a suspect has been taken into custody on Tuesday evening after reports a suspicious package was found.

    Security officers as well as a bomb squad team with a robot arrived at the site which was cordoned off and passengers were asked to evacuate the area. Hundreds of people were filmed stranded standing outside the terminals.

    • Netherlands: Armed police deployed at Amsterdam airport amid bomb threat

      There was a heavy police presence at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, early Wednesday morning, following an evacuation due to an alleged suspicious package left unguarded in the terminal building.

      A bomb squad team with a robot arrived at the site which was cordoned off and passengers were asked to evacuate the area. Hundreds of people were filmed stranded standing outside the terminals.

      Dutch police spokesperson Alfred Ellwanger informed the press that one man was arrested at the airport. Lodewijk Hekking, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security in Holland, confirmed a second suspect had been arrested at Leiden Centraal railway station around 30km (18.6mi) and a 20-minute train ride away from the Dutch capital’s airport.

      • My Russki has a lay-over in Amsterdam on his way to visit his sons in Kiev and Jerusalem in a week or so. I’m threatening to hold my breath in protest till he’s back.
        I won’t be able to breathe anyway, I just know it.

        • He will be in my prayers. Travel in and through Europe is rapidly become a crap shoot where the dice are loaded and the rules change hourly.

    • Mehr als 50 Polizeibeamte sind bei dem Einsatz verletzt worden, bei vier Beamten trat Dienstunfähigkeit ein. Den Großteil der Verletzungen erlitten die Polizistinnen und Polizisten von massiven Böllern sowie durch Steinwürfe und Tritte, zumeist aus den Reihen der Gegendemonstranten.

  26. 400 Democracy Spring protesters arrested in DC

    Hundreds of progressive activists were arrested in Washington DC Monday afternoon as part of “Democracy Spring” which is a coalition of about 100 progressive groups. CNN reports:

    “More than 400 individuals have been arrested for unlawful demonstration activity, and are being processed using mass arrest procedures,” the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement early Monday evening. Those taken into custody will be charged with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding.”

    Beginning on April 2 in Philadelphia, participants in the “Democracy Spring” campaign marched nearly 150 miles south to Washington, where the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said on Monday that rallies and events have been scheduled through the weekend in an effort to “draw attention to our corrupt campaign finance system and rigged voting laws.”

    Protesters staged a sit-in at the U.S. Capitol and refused to move even after police warning they would be arrested.

  27. Saudi News Anchor Urges Muslims to Take Responsibility for Terrorism
    – Kara O’Neill 8 Apr 2016

    ?In the middle of a TV broadcast on a Saudi Arabian news channel, newsreader Nadine Al-Budair said: “Whenever terrorism massacres peaceful civilians, the smart alecs and the hypocrites vie with one another in saying that these people do not represent Islam or the Muslims….It is we who blow ourselves up. It is we who blow up others….Don’t these perpetrators emerge from our environment? Don’t their families belong to our society?”
    ?”After the abominable Brussels bombings, it’s time for us to feel shame and to stop acting as if the terrorists are a rarity. We must admit that they are present everywhere, that their nationality is Arab, and that they adhere to the religion of Islam. We must acknowledge that we are the ones who gave birth to them.”  (Mirror-UK)

  28. The Assad Files
    The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) is an independent investigative body founded in 2012 in response to the Syrian war.

    In the past four years, people working for the organization’s regime-crimes unit have smuggled more than 600,000 government documents out of Syria, many of them from top-secret intelligence facilities.

    The commission’s work recently culminated in a 400-page legal brief that links the systematic torture and murder of tens of thousands of Syrians to a written policy approved by President Bashar al-Assad, coordinated among his security-intelligence agencies, and implemented by regime operatives who reported the successes of their campaign to their superiors in Damascus.

  29. Egypt Gives Saudi Arabia 2 Islands in a Show of Gratitude
    CAIRO — Since King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a five-day visit, the leader of the oil-rich kingdom has lavished his Egyptian allies with promises of aid and investment.

    But this time, instead of writing a blank check with little more than a polite “thank you” to show for it, King Salman will return home Monday with something more substantial in return: two islands in a strategic corner of the Red Sea.

  30. This is important. Egyptians are furious at Sisi for this toadying to the Desert Rat-King. An unnecessary, unusually craven decision for the President of the most populous, important country of the Arab world.

    Egyptians blast Sisi for ‘selling Egypt’ in exchange for Saudi money
    In an unprecedented move, Egypt announced Friday that the two disputed Red Sea islands, Sanafir and Tiran, fall within the territorial water of Saudi Arabia, thereby putting an end to a 60-year-old dispute with the Kingdom over their ownership.

    The Egyptian government stated that it decided to renounce sovereignty in the islands to the Kingdom following the work of a joint Egyptian-Saudi committee, adding that it will soon present the new delimitation agreement of maritime borders between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

    The Egyptian controversial move that took place during the visit of Saudi King Salman to Cairo enraged many Egyptians who regard the twin islands as an indispensable part of their country.
    Sanafir and Tiran have great geo-strategic importance. Besides their abundant deposits of natural resources such as oil and gas, the two islands are located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba, enabling the one who controls them to reign in shipping to the gulf.

    In 1950, Egypt occupied the two islands with the concurrence of the Saudi government, who fearing that Israel might seize the islands as it seized the city of Eilat a year before, decided to protect the islands by putting them temporarily under Egyptian rule.

    During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel occupied the two islands and maintained control of them until March 1979, when it signed a peace treaty with Egypt. In 2010, the Saudi Kingdom issued a statement calling on Egypt to delimit its maritime borders with Saudi Arabia. […]


    On the latest list of books most objected to at public schools and libraries, one title has been targeted nationwide, at times for the sex and violence it contains, but mostly for the legal issues it raises.
    The Bible.

    “You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it’s a violation of church and state,” says James LaRue, who directs the Office for Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, which released its annual 10 top snapshot of “challenged” books on Monday, part of the association’s “State of Libraries Report” for 2016.

    • The libraries make a big deal about keeping banned books but I will bet many of them roll over and play dead in this case.

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