Reader’s links for April 20 – 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

78 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 20 – 2016”

  1. Watchdog says press freedom in decline in ‘new era of propaganda’

    Paris (AFP) – World press freedom deteriorated in 2015, especially in the Americas, advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday as it released its annual rankings, warning of “a new era of propaganda”.

    The World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries on indicators such as media independence, self-censorship, the rule of law, transparency and abuses.

    This year’s report warned of a climate of fear that has seen world leaders “developing a form of paranoia about legitimate journalism.”

    Christophe Deloire, secretary general of the Paris-based group told AFP there had been a decline in all parts of the world, with Latin America of particular concern.

    “All of the indicators show a deterioration. Numerous authorities are trying to regain control of their countries, fearing overly open public debate,” he said.

    “Today, it is increasingly easy for powers to appeal directly to the public through new technologies, and so there is a greater degree of violence against those who represent independent information,” he added.

  2. April 20
    Thilo Sarrazin’s Fear Of Uneducated Migrants

    The former German Central Bank chairman and SPD senator of Berlin, Thilo Sarrazin, is back with a new book.
    In “Wishful Thinking. Europe, Currency, Education, Immigration – why politics fail so often” (to be published on April 25) he deals with the refugee politics of chancellor Merkel – and takes the same line as in his controversial first book “Germany abolishes itself”.
    According to “Bild” newspaper, who prints excerpts from the book, Sarrazin again argues that people of certain provenance have lower “cognitive competences”.

    In the prepublication, Sarrazin accuses the chancellor that with her “We can do it”, she distracts from the important questions in the refugee crisis. According to him, “the question whether the daily influx of refugees can be quickly registered, homed, fed, and medically cared for”, is not at the core, but questions about the perspective of integration of them.

    And in that respect, Sarrazin appears skeptical, and argues similar to in “Germany Abolishes Itself”: the refugees “come from countries with a low educational achievement. Their cultural and cognitive profile is similar to those Muslim Immigrants from these countries, who are already in Europe. Therefore it is fair to assume that regarding educational performance, obtaining of social security benefits, criminality and susceptibility for fundamentalist ideas, would develop accordingly.”

    Besides, the author calculates that each yearly cohort of refugees will, by family reunion and own children, multiply by five within two decades. He infers, “The retrieval of control over our borders, be it Germany’s or Schengen’s, is a matter of life and death for our culture, and for the survival of our society.”

    Further, Sarrazin writes: “German politics neglects their executive function, to show the direction of what is imperative, and the scope of what is responsible.” The internationalist view of Merkel “might have in mind the well-being of the world in general, but scarcely the interests of Europe, and certainly not the Germans’ concern for the future of their own nation, the protection of their living environment, and of their cultural identity”.

  3. Saudi Arabia takes out $10bn in bank loans

    Saudi Arabia is raising $10bn from a consortium of global banks as the kingdom embarks on its first international debt issuance in 25 years to counter dwindling oil revenues and reserves.

    The landmark five-year loan, a signal of Riyadh’s newfound dependence on foreign capital, opens the way for Saudi to launch its first international bond issue. It comes as the sustained slump in crude encourages other Gulf governments, such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman, to tap international bond markets.

    The oil-rich kingdom, which last weekend blocked a potential deal among oil producers to freeze output and bolster prices, has burnt through $150bn in financial reserves since late 2014 as its fiscal deficit is set to widen to 19 per cent of gross domestic product this year.

    Strong interest in the loan, especially from Asian banks, came despite rating agency downgrades on Saudi creditworthiness since the oil price collapsed. The government raised the amount it wanted to borrow from $6bn-$8bn to $10bn after the deal was oversubscribed.

  4. The Left isn’t against all money in politics — just the opposition’s
    By Benny Huang April 20, 2016

    Four hundred protesters associated with the Democracy Spring movement were arrested in Washington, D.C. last week after demonstrators descended upon the U.S. Capitol. They spoke out against money in politics, the Koch brothers, and the Citizens United ruling that overturned key provisions of campaign finance law. The demonstration was clearly a statement against corporate influence in politics.

    The protesters aren’t entirely wrong. Yes, political influence is unequally distributed because money begets power and vice versa. A guy who changes oil for a living doesn’t have as much pull as a guy who owns an oil company. But what can be done about it? Societies that have experimented with radical egalitarianism have yielded horrific results — and none of them can even claim to have achieved their purported goal of leveling the playing field for everyone.

    We’re left to ponder why efforts to equalize political power always fail. Could it be that even those who demand equal voices in government don’t really want it? From observing Democracy Spring in action I can only conclude that the answer is yes. They’re neither class warriors nor small-“d” democrats; they’re just hacks.

  5. On a side note:
    In 2012, the Turkish/Kurdish-German writer Mely Kiyak (*1976) called Mr. Sarrazin (*1945) in two major newspaper columns a “lispelling, stuttering, twitching caricature of a human being”. Mr. Sarrazin is affected by partial facial paralysis as a result of an operation.
    After being criticised for that remark by two newspapers, Die Welt and Bild, Mrs. Kiyak said that she had not been aiming at Mr. Sarrazin’s “physical imperfections”. The majority of liberal German newspapers, like Fr, BZ and taz, dismissed criticism of Mrs. Kiyak for the remark as a “hate campaign” against Mrs. Kiyak.
    Mr. Sarrazin never commented on this matter. Mrs. Kiyak lately received an award for “Journalist of the year” for her work against racism, and a scholarship grant by the Senate of Berlin.

  6. Rhode Island attorney general seeks to curb freedom of speech
    By Hans Bader April 20, 2016

    The Rhode Island attorney general wants a broad ban on hostile social media posts. As the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson notes,

    Social media posts … that cause someone’s online embarrassment or insult, would become crimes under a set of bills being advanced by Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.” One of the bills “would target a wide range of social media activity that makes people ‘feel … frightened,” or “intimidated.’” so long as it had been “made with the intent to cause emotional distress and be expected to cause distress in a ‘reasonable person.’” While previous “cyber-bullying” legislation required a pattern of conduct, “someone could be prosecuted under the new Kilmartin bill for a single post if at least two others pile on with ‘separate non-continuous acts of unconsented contact” with the victim.’” — meaning that the trigger for jail time over speech could be the actions of other persons. [Providence Journal] Two years ago the New York high court struck down an overbroad ban on so-called cyber-bullying.

    As I noted earlier regarding similar proposed federal “cyberbullying” legislation, under such legislation, outspoken critics of injustice could be prosecuted for their persistence in condemning wrongdoing. Thus:

    [A] blogger like Emile Zola, the courageous writer who exposed an anti-semitic witchhunt

  7. Moral Matrix: Islam, Religious Freedom and Europe Today
    Clarion investigates where the line should be drawn in three recent cases involving Islam in Europe. Let us know where you stand.

    Three separate cases in different parts of the world illustrate the moral complexities that arise with differing attitudes to the separation of religion and state in public school systems. Different ideas as to what constitutes acceptable expressions of religion in the public sphere can lead to increased community tensions. Accusations fly. Those who wish to introduce religious elements into schools are frequently accused of imposing their religion onto others, while those who oppose religion in school have been accused of religious discrimination.

    These problems look set to multiply as Western societies become increasingly heterodox and diverse. The principles of toleration developed during the Enlightenment, perhaps most clearly sat out by the English Philosopher John Locke in his Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), primarily dealt with the complexities of different denominations of Christianity tolerating each other. Only later were other faiths considered, beginning with Jews.

    Growing Muslim populations in Western countries mean that issues of where and how to demarcate religion and state will become more pressing until they are resolved. If they are not resolved, either Muslim communities will become alienated and disenfranchised due to the discrimination they perceive or Islamist extremists will abuse Western notions of religious freedom to impose their hardline agenda on others.

    Neither scenario is a welcome one.

    Clarion investigates where the line should be drawn in the following three recent cases in Europe. Let us know where you stand:

  8. Support for Bill Naming Brotherhood Terrorist Org. Grows
    After Clarion Project’s letter writing campaign, seven new members of Congress signed on to co-sponsor the bill. Tell your member of Congress! Seven more congressmen have signed on to cosponsor the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act after the Clarion Project letter campaign was launched. You can tell your representatives to support the legislation in less than one minute by using our online form.

    The seven new supporters are Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Rep. Charlie J. Fleischmann (R-TN), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC).

    Over 60 members of Congress are cosponsoring the bill or have voted in its favor. It now has bipartisan support and has passed the House Judiciary Committee. Four organizations representing persecuted Christians are also pushing for the bill.

    The next steps are for it to come to a vote in the House of Representatives and to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where it is currently stalled.

    Regardless of whether it passes or not, the legislation is an unprecedented opportunity to educate congressmen about the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in terrorism. The legislation also outlines how the Brotherhood is linked to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

    • This is good news, the more cosponsors the bill has the better the chance of passing the House. 60 is a good start but if they can reach 150 to 200 the bill is then almost assured of passing the House. The big fight will happen in the Senate, we will have to wait to see what happens there.

      • I’m going to look very closely at those Congressmen most adamantly opposed to the bill. That’ll give us a quick start for when the next House Committee on Un-American Activities reconvenes.

        • I wish, what the left doesn’t tell people is that the first committee was investigating to see if communism should be outlawed. They decided it shouldn’t, maybe this time they will decide Islam should be outlawed.

  9. Turkish Gov’t Expropriates Churches in Kurdish Areas
    The local municipality says the seizure, which could result in the displacement of 50,000 people, violates seven articles of the Turkish Constitution.

    The Turkish government’s expropriation of large swaths of land in the Kurdish majority southeast, including six churches, has been met with anger by residents of the region as well as world-wide diaspora communities.

    Turkey has been fighting the banned PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) in the Diyarbakir province, including the historical Sur area, for 10 months, after tensions flared due to a combination of factors, including the Islamic State’s bid to conquer Kobani, a Kurdish city on the Turkish-Syrian border.

    The tensions marked a break in the two-year peace negotiations between the Turkish government and the PKK and have resulted in hundreds of civilians killed by the Turks.

    Last month, Turkey’s Islamist government passed a law regarding the “urgent expropriation of the Sur district” of the Diyarbakir province, taking control of 82 percent of the region’s properties, including all of the area’s Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches. The government said that the move was necessary to rebuild and restore the area’s historic center.

    Included in the expropriation was a 1,700-year-old church that pre-dates Islam, as well as a church built in 2003 and the 400-year-old Surp Giragos Church, the largest Armenian church in the Middle East.

  10. Sanders Campaign Releases Ad Slamming Anti-Muslim Bigotry
    Tackling anti-Muslim bigotry and challenging Islamism are complementary rather than contradictory ideas.

    Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders released a new campaign video April 18 directly addressing anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States.

    Entitled Love Trumps Hate, Sanders argues hatred against Muslims is used in contemporary American political discourse as a sop to distract people from the real problems of wealth inequality and injustice.

    He specifically targets Donald Trump in the ad, saying “demagogues like Trump who come along as say ‘I know what the cause of your problem is’.”

    “Today it is Muslims, you won’t remember how many years ago we were younger it was the uppity women who were trying to take our jobs as men, it was blacks who wanted to take white jobs that’s what demagoguery is about.”

  11. German Political Party Considers Openly Anti-Muslim Platform
    A faction within ‘Alternative fur Deutschland’ wants to adopt an openly anti-Islamic stance at the party conference on April 30.

    A German political party is considering adopting an openly anti-Islam stance. A faction within the ‘Alternative fur Deutschland’ party has called for a total ban on the Burqa and minarets on mosques, arguing that Islam is not a normal religion and therefore is not covered by constitutional protections for religious freedom.

    “Islam is not a religion like Catholic or Protestant Christianity, but rather always associated intellectually with the takeover of a state,” the party’s leader in Brandenburg state Alexander Gauland in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, reported Deutsche Welle.

    The party’s deputy leader, Beatrix von Storch, said “Islam is a political ideology that is not compatible with the constitution.”

    AfD also reportedly wants to ban male circumcision. The party’s manifesto will be finalized before its conference on April 30.

    Repositioning to be openly anti-Islam marks a break with the party’s previous anti-immigration stance and may be pushed through at the upcoming party conference. The party leader, Frauke Petry, is opposd to the shift according to the Telegraph.

    Alternative Fur Deutschland (AfD) has under 5% of the vote, but has gained seats in some regional assemblies. Its leader, Bernd Lücke, is a member of the European Parliament.

    • Belgium: Refugee relocation numbers have to increase –

      European Union Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, speaking from Brussels, Wednesday, said that EU member states should increase efforts to reach the target of 6,000 refugees relocated from Greece per month, much higher than the number refugees relocated so far.

      “Today 56 persons were relocated from Greece to France and 42 persons from Greece to the Netherlands. But we need to see their numbers increased to reach an average of 6,000 per month as I have repeatedly said before. Around 70 percent of the more than 50,000 people currently in Greece are eligible for relocation,” said the EU commissioner.

  12. The Holocaust, the Left, and the Return of Hate
    The European Left is struggling to combat anti-Semitism in its midst.

    Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, resigned on February 17, citing widespread anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews among its members. His statement and a subsequent press release by the Oxford University Jewish Society make for sobering reading, not least because this is not an isolated case.

    In early March, the British Labour Party was forced to explain why it allowed Gerry Downing, who had written about the need to “address the Jewish Question,” and Vicki Kirbyi, who once tweeted that Adolf Hitler might be the “Zionist God,” to be readmitted to the party following their suspension for anti-Semitism. Kirby had been nothing less than a parliamentary candidate, and upon her return was appointed vice-chair of her local party executive committee.

    Over the past few years, a palpable sense of alarm has been quietly growing amongst Jews on the European Left. At the heart of an often-fraught relationship lies the following dilemma: The vast majority of Jews are Zionist, and the vast majority of Left-wing opinion is not.

  13. Killing Jews Becomes a Legitimate Topic of Discussion at Prestigious Debating Society
    Oro-Palestinian academics stoop to new lows in attempt to mainstream Jew-hatred.

    Are violent acts against Jews, including murder and terrorism, justified? The question of course, is one that makes all but the most rabidly anti-Semitic recoil with horror and disgust but this is precisely the question that was thrust upon debating participants at a prominent national debating championship.

    On April 9-11, 2016 Morehouse College, Dr. Martin Luther King’s alma mater, hosted the U.S. Universities Debating Association national championship where the following repugnant debate topic was proposed;

    “This House Believes That Palestinian Violence Against Israeli Civilians Is Justified”

    As an aside, Dr. King was an admirer and a strong supporter of Israel and had noted that Israel was one of the great democracy outposts of the world. He also astutely observed that “when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

    Debate participants were given 15 minutes to prepare for the topic and some were actually expected to advocate for the slaughter of innocent Jews. Those who refused to advocate such heinous positions were penalized by the judges. Others tried to frame the debate in a more general, non-specific tone and they too were penalized for failing to address the specific topic.

    Even those who advocated against the position were adversely affected. For example, one debater noted that although she was tasked with arguing against the slaughter of Jews, the shocking nature of the subject matter reduced her to tears during her brief preparation time.

  14. Turkey regresses in RSF’s latest press freedom index (hurriyetdailynews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “The 2016 World Press Freedom Index prepared by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) saw Turkey decline by over six points compared to last year due to “systematic censoring” of the media in addition to a sharp rise in charges of “insulting the president” and loosely defined “terrorism.”

    This year, Turkey lagged behind Russia, Cambodia and Qatar in the index’s “bad” section, while performing slightly better than Iraq and Egypt.

    In its benchmark index that measures the attacks on journalistic freedom and independence by respective governments, Reporters Without Borders presented the struggle in Turkey as “Erdo?an against the media.”

    “President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has embarked on an offensive against Turkey’s media. Journalists are harassed, many have been accused of ‘insulting the president’ and the Internet is systematically censored,” it said, adding that regional geopolitics, including the war in Syria and the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has also had a negative impact on freedoms.

    Turkey was cited, alongside Egypt, as one of the countries where the “authoritarian tendencies of governments” were on the rise. ….”

  15. Surging violence claims lives of 33 militants, 7 Afghan soldiers (khaama, Apr 20, 2016)

    “At least 33 militants were killed and 35 others were wounded during the clearance of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the past 24 hours.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said at least 4 militants were also arrested during the same operations.

    The statement further added that 8 of the militants were killed in Nari district of Kunar where 4 militants were also wounded, while 2 others were killed and 8 more were wounded in Chahar Dara district of Kunduz.

    At least 4 militants were killed in separate raids in Syedabad district of Wardak province and 4 others were killed in Baraki Barak district of Logar province.

    At least 2 militants were killed in Qarabagh district of Ghazni, MoD said, adding that 2 others were wounded.

    The Ministry of Defense also added that 7 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces also lost their lives during the same operations.

    “The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces are prepared for all kinds of devotion and with all force to maintain security and comfort for the people of Afghanistan,” a statement by MoD said, adding that 7 Afghan soldiers were martyred during counter-terrorism operations against the internal and foreign terrorists.

    The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.”

  16. Russian envoy: ISIS in Afghanistan eyes expansion to Central Asia and Russia (khaama, Apr 20, 2016)

    “The Russian Presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has said the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan are looking to expand to Central Asia and Russia.

    Kabulov, who is also the head of the Asia and Middle East department of the Russian foreign ministry, said the number of the loyalists of the terror group has significantly increased in Afghanistan.

    “There are now 10,000 IS fighters in Afghanistan. A year ago there was a hundred. This growth over a year is spectacular,” he told reporters.

    Kabulov further added “The Afghan branch of IS is definitely specialized against Central Asia. Russian is even one of their working languages,” Kabulov added. “They are being trained against Central Asia and Russia.”

    The remarks by Kabulov comes as a spokesman for the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan earlier said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has the potential to be an ‘enormous’ threat in Afghanistan.

    The chief of communications for the coalition, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, has said the threat exists despite the group has received major setbacks during the recent months, pointing towards the growing US forces airstrikes against the loyalists of the terror group.

    “Obviously, we’ve all seen them, how rapidly they are able to spread, in other parts of the world,” Gen. Cleveland said during a briefing at Pentagon.

    According to Gen. Cleveland, between January and March, the United States has carried out 70 to 80 airstrikes against ISIS in Afghanistan.”

  17. Egypt Blasts UN Chief Over Case of Rights Groups (abcnews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “Egypt on Wednesday blasted the U.N. chief for calling for a fair trial for two prominent rights activists accused of illegally receiving foreign funds for their NGOs, in the latest sign of Egypt’s growing impatience with criticism of its human rights record.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement that comments by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were an attempt to intimidate Egypt’s judiciary and meddle in its affairs…”

  18. Kosovo Passes Anti-Terror Funding Law (abcnews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “The Kosovo government says draft measures against terror funding and money laundering have been given the go-ahead to go to Parliament for approval.

    In a statement Wednesday, the government said the new tools are “very important” in helping to combat extremism. Further details were not forthcoming.

    Authorities say that some 70 Kosovo citizens are believed to still be active within Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq.

    Last year the government passed another law that could see Kosovo citizens participating in armed conflicts outside Kosovo being sentenced to 15 years in prison.”

  19. Obama Meets With King Salman at Start of Saudi Arabia Visit (abcnews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “President Barack Obama opened a brief trip to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with a one-on-one meeting with King Salman in Riyadh. The visit for a Persian Gulf summit comes against the backdrop of increasingly strained U.S. relations with the Saudis, who remain deeply opposed to his outreach to Iran and skeptical of his approach to Syria.

    Under crystal chandeliers, the Saudi monarch greeted Obama in a grand foyer at Erga Palace, where the two walked slowly to a reception room as the small of incense wafted. The two offered polite smiles as they sat down side by side for pictures at the start of their private meeting.

    “The American people send their greetings and we are very grateful for your hospitality, not just for this meeting but for hosting the GCC-U.S. summit that’s taking place tomorrow,” Obama said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council summit that starts Thursday.

    King Salman, speaking thru a translator, offered similarly gracious words for the president, who is paying his fourth trip here for face-to-face meetings and photos with royal rulers since becoming president.

    “The feeling is mutual between us and the American people,” the king said.

    The president was slated to spend little more than 24 hours in the Saudi capital before heading on to visits to London and Hannover, Germany….”

  20. France Wants to Extend State of Emergency for Sport Events (abcnews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “France’s government is calling for a two-month extension of the state of emergency that was declared after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, the country’s prime minister said Wednesday. The move, which will require parliament’s approval, is intended to cover the European Championship soccer tournament and the Tour de France.

    Prime Minister Manuel Valls told France Info radio that the extension of the state of emergency until the end of July will “allow a better response against the terrorist threat” during the June 10-July 10 tournament….”

  21. Lebanon ‘to free Australian TV crew’ held in kidnapping case (BBC, Apr 20, 2016)

    “A deal has reportedly been reached in Lebanon in the case of an Australian mother and TV crew accused of abducting two children in a custody dispute.

    Channel Nine said the children’s Lebanese father, Ali Elamine, had agreed to drop all charges against Sally Faulkner and its four employees.

    They are expected to be released soon.

    But Channel Nine said Mr Elamine wished to proceed with the prosecution of two Britons who allegedly oversaw the failed attempt to seize the children.

    Ms Faulkner says her estranged husband moved the children to Lebanon from Australia last year without her permission – something he denies…..”

  22. Immigration Failure — By Design
    Doing the bidding of the Open Borders anarchists.
    April 19, 2016
    Michael Cutler

    The Obama administration’s immigration policies, including outrageous executive orders and other such directives, have hobbled all efforts at immigration law enforcement. “Surges” of unaccompanied minors across our nation’s southern border, the release of thousands of illegal aliens who have serious criminal convictions — for crimes of violence, including rape, weapons possession, drug offenses and even homicide — have made it clear that the term “immigration law enforcement” is now a virtual oxymoron.

    Now the Obama administration, to the consternation of Americans across the United States, is preparing to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States with less scrutiny than ever before. This was the focus of my April 15, 2016 article for FrontPage Magazine, “How Obama’s Refugee Policies Undermine National Security: Obama orders ‘shields down’ in the wake of a succession of deadly terror attacks.”

    Furthermore, the huge quantities of heroin and cocaine present in towns and cities across our nation lay waste to the administration’s absurd lie that our borders have never been more secure.

  23. Police Officers Guarding Polio Workers Killed in Karachi, Pakistan (nbcnews, Apr 20, 2016)

    “ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Gunmen killed seven police officers guarding polio workers in two separate attacks in a suburb of Pakistan’s largest city Wednesday, according to officials.

    “These were trained assassins,” said Feroz Shah, Karachi’s deputy chief of police.

    He said three of the officers, who were all wearing bulletproof jackets, died at the scene after being shot at close range in the head and neck. Four others died on the way to the hospital, he added.

    None of the health workers being protected in the working-class suburb of Orangi Town were killed, Senior Superintendent of Police Arif Meher said.

    “We are treating this as a hit targeting police,” he added….”

  24. Leaked Report: Muslim chaplains promote extremism, distribute hate literature in UK prisons

    Muslim chaplains appointed by the UK government have been routinely promoting extremism among British prisoners. That’s according to a leaked report commissioned by the country’s Justice Secretary

  25. ‘Hijab Day’ at prestigious French university stirs controversy (france24, Apr 20, 2016)

    “A group of university students have rekindled the heated debate over the acceptance of the Muslim veil in French society as they invited fellow classmates at the prestigious Sciences Po university to try on the garment.

    Around a dozen young women wearing colourful Muslim veils paced about nervously in the main hall of Sciences Po university in central Paris on Wednesday, bewildered by the numerous journalists on hand for “Hijab Day” and seemingly unprepared to answer questions about an event that had roused such attention.

    Initially reluctant to explain why they were inviting fellow classmates to don the religious attire, they eventually gained a measure of confidence as two women stepped forward to participate.

    “We could no longer allow people to say things supposedly on our behalf, it was time to speak for ourselves,” a student identifying herself as Laetitia told journalists, insisting that the event aimed to encourage discussion among students, but in no way intended to convert people to Islam.

    Laetitia and others in the group said they were disheartened by recent public comments by members of France’s Socialist government that likened wearing the Muslim veil to enslavement….”

  26. Supreme Court sides with families of terror victims against Iran’s central bank (bostonglobe, Apr 20, 2016)

    “WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a judgment allowing families of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism to collect nearly $2 billion.

    The court on Wednesday ruled 6-2 in favor of relatives of the 241 Marines who died in a 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut and victims of other attacks that courts have linked to Iran….”

  27. ISIS wants to launch chemical or nuclear attacks – EU/NATO security chiefs (RT, Apr 20, 2016)

    “NATO and EU security chiefs say Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) wants to use chemical or nuclear weapons to attack Britain.

    During the Security and Counter Terror conference in London on Tuesday and Wednesday, a group of policing and counter terrorism experts delivered a dire warning.

    Jorge Berto Silva, the European Commission’s deputy chief of counter-terrorism, told the Telegraph that “with CBRN [chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear materials], there is a justified concern.”…”

  28. Children, women killed by Turkish border guards while fleeing Syria – report (RT, Apr 20, 2016)

    “Eight Syrians were killed by Turkish border guards while fleeing violence in their war-torn country, according to footage obtained by The Times. Most of the victims were women and children.
    The group was trying to cross into Turkey through a mountain smuggling route at the western end of the border on Sunday night, but were forced back by government forces firing live rounds.

    Video footage recorded on a mobile phone reportedly shows a man carrying his young son after the boy was shot in both legs. The father is seen turning back down the mountain path in search of medical help.

    Another man, who was shot in the upper arm, allegedly says in the video that he is fleeing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and the Syrian regime.

    Abdmunem Kashkash, a lawyer who was with the group and managed to cross into Turkey unharmed, said the Turks are “killing unarmed people” at the border, as cited by the paper….”

  29. RT-Happy Hijab Day! Paris students of all faiths invited to cover their hair

    Students from the Sciences Po University in Paris are hosting ‘Hijab Day’ to combat the stigma surrounding the headscarf worn by Muslim women.

    Organizers from the group’s Facebook page said “Veiled or not, we are all equal,” and more than 250 people said they would attend the event, which will finish at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

    Both males and females were welcomed to try on headscarves and participate in tutorials and discussions.

    Writing on the Facebook page, the group said students could try on “our prettiest scarves and pashminas”, because they wanted to highlight women’s decisions “to dress however they want and be respected in their choices.”[…]

  30. EU security chief admits Europe FAILING to tackle terrorism as 5,000 jihadis return home (express, Apr 20, 2016)

    “EXCLUSIVE: THE European Union and many of its member states are spectacularly failing to cope with the unprecedented security threat posed by returning jihadists, a senior EU terror chief and a former British foreign secretary have warned.

    As many as 5,000 radicalised Islamic State fighters – and possibly many more – have travelled back to Europe after spending time in the group’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

    Security services on the continent have been criticised for failing to counter the threat from Islamist terrorism, which was exploited to devastating effect in Paris last November and then Brussels last month.

    Failings have been exposed in the Belgian police force, which was criticised for missing vital clues in the days before and after the bombings at Brussels Airport and Metro….”

  31. Ramadi mass graves reveals bodies of women and children slaughtered by ISIS animals (express, Apr 20, 2016)

    “MASS graves have been found in the former Islamic State (ISIS) stronghold of Ramadi with the bodies of about 40 people brutally slaughtered by the group.

    The two graves were found when ISIS jihadis led authorities to the site inside the city’s soccer stadium after they were captured and arrested by Iraqi forces.

    Women and children’s bodies were found in the holes as well as men wearing civilian clothing, officials said….”

  32. Greece: Fire devastates Diavata refugee camp

    A fire broke out at the refugee camp in Diavata, near Thessaloniki, on Wednesday afternoon, destroying a large portion of the area where refugees are living.

    At least 26 tents were burnt and a number of refugees had to be offered first aid, mainly for breathing problems. Around Fifteen firefighters with five vehicles arrived at the scene to attend to the fire and bring it under control. The reasons of the fire are under investigation.

  33. Hamas Claims Responsibility for Jerusalem Bus Bombing

    Palestinian said to be behind attack dies of wounds; police investigators believe that blast Monday, which wounded 21, was caused by a small bomb placed at the back of the bus.

    Hamas has claimed responsibility for Monday’s Jerusalem bus bombing, shortly after a Palestinian man who was seriously wounded in the attack and is suspected of carrying out the attack died of his wounds Wednesday.

    The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man, a 19-year-old from the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.

    The Jerusalem District Court imposed Tuesday a gag order on details of the investigation into the attack, which wounded 21 people, including the suspect.

  34. Malaysia school shuts after ‘mass hysteria’ outbreak</strong<

    A school in northern Malaysia has had to shut temporarily to handle what local media have called a case of "mass hysteria".

    It started last week with several students and teachers of the school in the city of Kota Bharu claiming that they had seen spirits or had supernatural experiences.

    School authorities shut the school and called in Islamic traditional experts, scholars and even witch doctors in prayer sessions and “exorcisms”.

    By Sunday, the school had reopened and school officials said things had gone back to normal – but questions remain and the case continues to generate intense interest in Malaysia.
    What happened?

    The school, SKM Pengkalan Chepa 2, is located in the highly traditional and religious state of Kelantan.

    Last week, a small group of students began claiming they had seen a “black figure” lurking in the school. Soon, more students and even teachers claimed to have seen the same figure or experienced a supernatural presence.

    One teacher told local news channel Astro Awani that she felt a “heavy” presence was hanging on to her, while another claimed that a “black figure” was attempting to enter her body.

    A student meanwhile told newspaper Sinar Harian (in Malay) that he felt numbness in his hands while his mind “was all over the place”.

    About 100 people, mostly students, were affected, a senior school staff member confirmed to the BBC.

    “Our students were possessed and disturbed [by these spirits]. We are not sure why it happened. We don’t know what it is that affected us,” she said.

    “But the place is a bit old, and these children can be disobedient and sometimes throw their rubbish around the school grounds. Perhaps they hit some ‘djinns’ and offended the spirits,” she added, using a local reference to ghosts.

    The school shut on Thursday and invited Islamic preachers to recite the Koran and conduct prayers in the school. Local education authorities are also sending counsellors to the school this week.

    The Kelantan state education department did not respond to queries from the BBC.

  35. Analysis: Afghanistan must recognize Taliban are winning (CNN, Apr 21, 2016)

    “It is a war of perception, you repeatedly hear: that the perception the Taliban are winning means the Taliban are winning.

    There is some logic to this thesis, which is often heard from government and other Afghanistan officials in Kabul, in that those on the fence head to the winning side of the insurgency. Yet it begins to fall apart when the mantra overtakes the grasp on reality.

    The Taliban do look a lot like they are winning. It is a grotesque slow grind, their pursuit of victory.

    Tuesday it claimed dozens of women and children as casualties in Kabul when a suicide truck bomb, so eager to attack a government VIP bodyguard service, detonated in a parking lot just behind its target. The death toll was stated at around 30 that day, and now, on Wednesday, it has reached 64, likely the deadliest attack the capital has seen since the Taliban were dislodged in 2001.

    Other somber figures explain how bad the problems are: 5,500 Afghan security forces dead in just 2015, say U.S. officials, far more than NATO lost in a decade of war; 3,500 Afghan civilians dead in the same period, mostly at the hands of the Taliban, says the United Nations. Two-thirds of the personnel absences in the security forces are not down to injury, but instead desertion, U.S. officials say. More of the country is in Taliban hands than at any time since 2001, U.S. officials say.

    The attributions to U.S. officials are important, because it was this same source of information that constantly assured reporters, the world and Afghans that once NATO drew down in 2014, Afghan security forces would be more than capable of holding back the Taliban. It is now woefully apparent that is tragically untrue….”

  36. Brussels Suicide Bomber Worked at City’s Airport For F I V E Years

    Najim Laachraoui, a jihadist who blew himself up at the Brussels airport in a Daesh-coordinated attack on the city in March, appears to have worked at the facility for five years, Belgium TV reported.

    According to VTM News Channel, the 24-year-old worked at the city airport until 2012. It’s is unclear what job Laachraoui had, but it was reported that all airport personnel backgrounds are checked before being granted access badges.[…]


    Brussels airport bomber worked there for five years: report


    One of the jihadists who blew themselves up at Brussels airport last month had in fact worked at the site for five years until 2012, Belgium’s VTM television reported Wednesday.

    It had already emerged earlier that Najim Laachraoui also briefly worked as a cleaner at the European Parliament several years ago.

    He was one of two suicide bombers at Brussels airport on March 22 in coordinated attacks that also struck a metro station in the city, killing 32 people overall.

    For five years until 2012, Laachraoui “worked… at Brussels airport”, Flemish-language VTM reported, adding that he had been recruited by a temp agency.

    It did not provide details about the kind of work Laachraoui was to have carried out there, but said that airport staff are usually subject to a security check before being given access badges.

    There has been no official confirmation of the report.

    Traces of Laachraoui’s DNA have been found at a Brussels apartment where the suicide belts for the Brussels attacks were made.

    The 24-year-old one-time electrical engineering student is also suspected of being the bomb-maker for last November’s Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

    Both attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

    On April 6, the European Parliament said one of the bombers had held a summer cleaning job at its Brussels headquarters in 2009 and 2010. Speaking to AFP, a source close to the inquiry named that person as Laachraoui.

    Belgian prosecutors believe Laachraoui went to Syria in February 2013 where he joined IS. He resurfaced last September, two months before the Paris carnage, when he was stopped by police on the Austria-Hungary border.

    He was using the false identity of Soufiane Kayal and was travelling with Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving Paris attacks suspect.

    The Brussels bombings were carried out just four days after Abdeslam was arrested in the Belgian capital after a massive manhunt.

    Also on Wednesday, VTM reported that a hidden prayer room had been discovered at Brussels airport shortly before the attacks, “where radicalised staff would meet to pray in secret”.

    The airport shut the prayer room down at the request of police, VTM reported, adding that investigators have since drawn up a list of “at least 50 radicalised airport employees”.

  37. Students’ union elects new president – despite the fact she REFUSED to condemn ISIS (express, Apr 20, 2016)

    “STUDENTS have announced the election of the new president of their national Union – who won the seat despite refusing to back a motion to condemn Islamic State.

    At this week’s National Union of Students conference, members voted to elect Malia Bouattia as the union’s first black Muslim female president.

    But the union has been blasted after it was revealed she refused to back a motion to condemn ISIS.

    Winning 50.9 per cent of the vote to become president of the NUS, the new leader promised to put “liberation at the heart of our work”.

    She said: “I am so proud to be elected as NUS’ first Black woman president and I look forward to the year ahead. I know the students have huge transformative potential when we come together and put liberation at the heart of our work.

    “From cuts to maintenance grants, college closures, the black attainment gap and the Prevent agenda, the number of voices and groups being silenced by this government grows by day.”

    But the election has sparked controversy after some of Miss Bouattia’s views were made public.

    In October 2014, when Ms Bouattia was employed as the NUS’s black students officer, she rejected a motion put forward by other students to condemn terrorist acts committed by ISIS.

    The NUS says that this was a dispute over the wording of the motion rather than the principle of condemning the terror group’s actions.

    But in a recent talk, she also dismissed the threat of “so-called terrorism” in the UK and voiced her opposition to the Government’s Prevent counter terrorism strategy.

    Malia Bouattia – whose campaigns have included “Why Is My Curriculum White?” – also co-wrote an article describing Birmingham University as “something of a Zionist outpost”.

    She has also argued the Middle East peace talks were only “strengthening the colonial project” and warned of “mainstream Zionist-led media outlets”.

    Last week Ms Bouattia responded to an open letter signed by university Jewish society leaders saying they were “extremely concerned” by her views amid rising extremism and anti-Semitism on campus.

    She said: ”It seems I have been misrepresented. I am extremely uncomfortable with insinuations of anti-Semitism.

    “I want to be clear that for me to take issue with Zionist politics is not me taking issue with being Jewish.

    “In fact, Zionist politics are held by people from a variety of different faiths, as are anti-Zionist politics.

    “It is a political argument, not one of faith.”

    Labour MP and former student leader Wes Streeting tweeted after her election: “NUS is lost I’m afraid.” He added “it no longer represents students well”.

    Chris Phillips tweeted: “Selection of Malia Bouattia to head up @nusuk is a disgrace. Shouldn’t be given any platform to air her discriminatory views. #nusconference”.

    Another twitter user said: “How the hell does a anti-white British Muslim racist become president of the NUS?”

    A statement from Labour Humanists said: “Desperately worrying a candidate who refused to condemn ISIS on the grounds of ‘Islamophobia’, declared he media to be ‘Zionist-led and voted to remove the reserved space for a Jewish representative as an Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist campaign convener has won the presidency of the National Union of Students.

    “In recent years, the NUS has become steadily more regressive, condemn secular speakers such as Peter Tatchell while frequently giving platforms to extreme conservative, misogynistic and homophobic Theocrats.

    “This is the end product of the so-called Left who reject universal principles in favour of a misguided and insidious moral relativism.”….”

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