Reader’s links for May 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

65 Replies to “Reader’s links for May 12 – 2016”

  1. So it IS biased! BBC to re-write mission statement to include NO left-wing bias (express, May 12, 2016)

    “THE BBC’s mission statement is to be re-written amid concerns it promotes left-wing programmes and is compromising quality for ratings.

    Culture Secretary John Whittingdale will set out his plans for the BBC later on today in a speech which is set to establish a new benchmark in the corporation’s history.

    Mr Whittingdale believes rating wars between shows like Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor jeopardise the quality of the BBC’s shows and said he wants to see “impartial, distinctive content”.

    The media watchdog Ofcom will also be given powers to investigate any allegations of impartiality.

    The BBC was created in 1922 and Lord Reith, its founding director general, said its mandate would be to “inform, educate and entertain”.

    However, Tories have complained the BBC has a left-wing and pro-EU bias.

    A White Paper on reform will detail exactly how the BBC will change with a new mandate.

    Among the changes, the BBC will receive an 11-year Royal Charter but will be expected to improve transparency of how it spends its £3.7billion garnered from licence fees.

    Mr Whittingdale said the corporation has become too similar to commercial channels while criticism has also been levied at the BBC for buying in US formats such as The Voice.

    Despite the looming raft of changes, the BBC’s flagship shows Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off will not be affected.

    A consultation document published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year said: “It is a very broad mission, and one that risks the BBC competing for ratings not quality, or distinctiveness, under the ‘entertainment’ banner.””

  2. BRITAIN TERROR WARNING: Top minister admits UK has ‘genuine Muslim extremism problem’ (express, May 12, 2016)

    “”EXTREMISM in the Muslim community exists and people should stop “trying to be diplomatic” about tackling the problem, a minister has warned.

    Skills minister Nick Boles said people must stop “tiptoeing around” extremism in Britain and understand that it is rife in “certain communities”.

    His remarks come after Greater Manchester Police were criticised for featuring a fake suicide bomber shouting “Allahu Akbar” in a training exercise.

    Mr Boles was quizzed by Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, about the Government’s decision to link English language classes for immigrant women to counter-extremism efforts.

    David Cameron claimed more Muslim mothers learning English would help prevent their sons turning to extremism.

    Mr Boles accepted people might see that view as “unhelpful” but “completely rejected that charge”.

    He said: “We do have a problem with extremism in parts of our country in certain communities, we have a problem and we will not solve that problem by tiptoeing around it and somehow failing to recognise it.”

    The minister said it would be a “fundamental error” to not acknowledge “there is a genuine problem with extremism” in the UK…”

  3. ISIS firefights with Syrian Army; Insurgents capture Muhajarah Base near T-4 Airport in eastern Homs

    “The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) captured the Muhajarah Base near the T-4 Military Airport on Wednesday after a series of firefights with the Syrian Arab Army’s 525th Regiment of the 18th Tank Division in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate.

    Following the loss of the Muhajarah Base, the Syrian Armed Forces attempted to rally their troops to recapture this abandoned military installation near the T-4 Airport; however, their counter-attack was eventually repelled by the ISIS terrorists after a two hour long battle on Wednesday evening.

    ISIS is now within striking distance of the T-4 Military Airport that harbors not only Syrian Air Force jets, but also, aerial assets that belong to the Russian Air Force; specifically, their MI-28NE attack choppers.”

  4. ‘ISIS bomb plotter’s tour of Britain’: Afghan ‘refugee’ suspected of planning terror attacks used fake IDs to visit high-profile UK sites and posed for pictures as he scouted for targets (dailymail, May 12, 2016)

    “A terror suspect toured potential targets in Britain while posing as an Afghan refugee.

    Hakim Nasiri was described as a ‘human bomb’ when arrested in Italy this week accused of being in an Islamic State cell.

    A chilling image found on his phone shows the 24-year-old brandishing an M16 assault rifle in a British supermarket.

    The discovery raises fears of a Paris-style gun rampage in this country. And a Mail investigation can reveal Nasiri made suspicious journeys around Britain and mainland Europe under a series of bogus names…”

  5. U.N. rights chief concerned about Austria’s tough asylum law (reuters, May 12, 2016)

    “The United Nations’ Human Rights chief is concerned about Austria’s tough new asylum law, which allows a process under which migrants could be turned away at the border within an hour, he said in an interview published on Thursday.

    Austria, a country of 8.5 million, has mostly served as a conduit into Germany for refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa but it has also absorbed around 100,000 asylum seekers since last summer.

    After initially welcoming refugees, the government capped the number of asylum claims it would accept this year at 37,500 and has made family reunification harder for migrants.

    “We are concerned that people could possibly be turned away on a questionable basis,” Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein was quoted as saying by newspaper Die Presse about the law which could be applied as soon as June 1.

    Zeid added he was also worried about the law allowing for under-age migrants to be held in detention for up to three days, which he said could represent a breach of children’s rights.

    “Austria was a leading European country for the defense of human rights globally for a long time. There must be conformity between what you say to other countries and what is applied domestically,” he said….”

  6. Danish minister to ‘Sharia’ troublemakers: ‘Get a job’

    Danish Minister for Integration Inger Støjberg exchanged views with passers-by – two of whom called her a “Nazi” and “fascist” – during a visit to a bar in Nørrebro, the Copenhagen neighbourhood known for its multicultural population.

    “Recently some young men came in and shouted that all the guests should leave. They then shouted that the place belonged to them and that Nørrebro is covered by Sharia, so alcohol is forbidden,” Dyrnesli told Radio24syv.

  7. Copenhagen bars tired of ‘Sharia patrols’ rampage & threats raise issue with integration minister

    A group of bar owners from one of Copenhagen’s suburbs, who have been endlessly harassed by Muslim youth activists trying to impose a so-called “Shariah zone”, have taken their case to a government minister, urging her to protect their businesses and the locals.

  8. The FBI Is Keeping 80,000 Secret Files on the Saudis and 9/11

    The Obama administration may soon release 28 classified pages from a congressional investigation that allegedly links Saudis in the United States to the 9/11 attackers. A former Republican member of the 9/11 Commission alleged Thursday that there was “clear evidence” of support for the hijackers from Saudi officials.

    But in Florida, a federal judge is weighing whether to declassify portions of some 80,000 classified pages that could reveal far more about the hijackers’ Saudis connections and their activities in the weeks preceding the worst attack on U.S. soil.

    The still-secret files speak to one of the strangest and most enduring mysteries of the 9/11 attacks. Why did the Saudi occupants of a posh house in gated community in Sarasota, Florida, suddenly vanish in the two weeks prior to the attacks? And had they been in touch with the leader of the operation, Mohamed Atta, and two of his co-conspirators?

    No way, the FBI says, even though the bureau’s own agents did initially suspect the family was linked to some of the hijackers. On further scrutiny, those connections proved unfounded, officials now say.

  9. Could Osama bin Laden’s son be the future leader of al-Qaeda?

    Osama bin Laden’s son and heir apparent has resurfaced in an audio message after many months of silence, prompting renewed speculation over the leadership of al-Qaeda.

    Hamza bin Laden, understood to be 23 or 24 years old, was not found among the bodies after the 2011 CIA raid on the compound in Pakistan housing the world’s most-wanted terrorist.

    His whereabouts now are unknown, but some experts believe he is being carefully stage-managed by al-Qaeda’s leadership to one day take over his father’s role.

    • One humongous clan.
      Given 9/11, it might merit North Korean justice. Make a clean sweep of all of them, right down to the goldfish and bedbugs.

  10. Brazil’s Rousseff set to bow out after Senate votes to put her on trial

    Brazil’s Senate voted on Thursday to put leftist President Dilma Rousseff on trial in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal that will now confront her successor, Vice President Michel Temer.

    With Rousseff to be suspended during the Senate trial for allegedly breaking budget rules, the centrist Temer will take the helm of a country that again finds itself mired in political and economic volatility after a recent decade of prosperity.

    The 55-22 vote ends more than 13 years of rule by the left-wing Workers Party, which rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before seeing many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.

  11. Vietnam says would welcome U.S. accelerating lifting of arms ban

    HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam would welcome the United States “accelerating” the lifting of a lethal arms embargo, which would reflect trust between the two countries and recognition of its needs to defend itself, its foreign ministry said on Thursday.

    Vietnam’s comments on a topic that has long been a source of friction with the United States comes just over a week ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama, and amid debate in Washington over whether to remove the ban, which was eased in late 2014.

    The arms embargo is one of the last major vestiges of the Vietnam War era. The United States has not indicated publicly it would remove the embargo and has long said such a move would depend on Vietnam showing progress on human rights.

    “We welcome the United States’ acceleration to fully lift the lethal arms sales ban on Vietnam,” the ministry said in response to Reuters questions.

    “This is consistent with the development trend of the comprehensive partnership … demonstrating trust between the two countries.”

    Lifting the embargo would mark a major step forward in ties 21 years after normalization began.

    The ministry said it welcomed the “many supporting voices” in the United States that had called for the removal of the embargo.

    U.S. engagement with Vietnam was stepped up rapidly during 2014, in what experts say was a calibrated move by the United States to seize on deteriorating ties between Vietnam and communist neighbor China over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.

  12. This is a chance to get Nam to become freer, we will have to maintain a delicate balance between helping them too much and too little until they become a free nation. We must also walk a fine line between helping Nam and pissing off the Nam refugees that are in the states.

    Having said that, if China becomes pushy enough we will have to help Nam no matter how nasty they are or remain.

  13. U.S. activates Romanian missile defense site, angering RussiaDEVESELU, Romania (Reuters) – The United States switched on an $800 million missile shield in Romania on Thursday that it sees as vital to defend itself and Europe from so-called rogue states but the Kremlin says is aimed at blunting its own nuclear arsenal.

    To the music of military bands at the remote Deveselu air base, senior U.S. and NATO officials declared operational the ballistic missile defense site, which is capable of shooting down rockets from countries such as Iran that Washington says could one day reach major European cities.

    “As long as Iran continues to develop and deploy ballistic missiles, the United States will work with its allies to defend NATO,” said U.S. Deputy Defence Secretary Robert Work, standing in front of the shield’s massive gray concrete housing that was adorned with a U.S. flag.

    Despite Washington’s plans to continue to develop the capabilities of its system, Work said the shield would not be used against any future Russian missile threat. “There are no plans at all to do that,” he told a news conference.

    Before the ceremony, Frank Rose, deputy U.S. assistant secretary of state for arms control, warned that Iran’s ballistic missiles can hit parts of Europe, including Romania.

    When complete, the defensive umbrella will stretch from Greenland to the Azores. On Friday, the United States will break ground on a final site in Poland due to be ready by late 2018, completing the defense line first proposed almost a decade ago.

  14. The Obama-Rhodes mind-meld: A foreign policy tale told by an idiot
    By J.E. Dyer May 11, 2016

    Future histories will show, if they’re accurate, that at the time when we decided to simply give up and let Iran acquire nuclear weapons, what our brain trust was talking about was Ben Rhodes, and the journalists’ feelings that were hurt by what he said about them.

    Now, of course, it has been a useful exercise, in the past week, for the top-echelon opinion establishment to face the truth that the Obama administration lied us into compliance with revolutionary Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We already knew that, but it didn’t hurt to have Mr. Rhodes lay it out for us. It’s a riveting tale: how he – in a mind-meld with Obama – concocted the Big Lie that a trend toward political moderation in Iran prompted the 2015 “deal”; and how he advanced it by “ventriloquizing” an ignorant, complaisant media to shout down the “deal’s” critics, and give cover to the White House’s political allies.

    But the aftermath is becoming a bit wearisome. Now it’s time to babble and chase our tails for a while, focusing on absurdities like the Obama State Department’s apparent erasure of damning video evidence, from 2015, that it consciously lied in retailing the Big Lie. (State came out within a day and re-published the whole video, damning evidence and all.) Or on irrelevancies like the angry journalists’ complaint that they’re being unfairly smeared as collaborators – when nobody implied they were collaborators. Rhodes implied they were dupes. Yada yada yada.

    Even a refreshingly pertinent discussion at the Atlantic Council blog misses the mark by more than a hair. Its author, Frederic Hof, tries to focus on the really, really important thing David Samuels told us in his NYT piece on Rhodes, which is that the whole Big-Lie-ventriloquizing mechanism had the goal of utterly gutting seven decades of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

    But you’ll miss the import of that if you don’t stop and think about it. And Hof really doesn’t. He gives it some treatment, yes, but he frames it in a separately-focused discussion that is clearly his priority: about what “the Blob” is – Rhodes’s dismissive term for the U.S. foreign policy establishment – and whether its conventions or its recent personalities are to blame for Rhodes’s, and others’, obsessive animus against the 2003 Iraq war.

    And you know what? It just ain’t about that now. Sure, Hof has brilliantly exposed the essential foolishness of Ben Rhodes’s vision. In concert with the Samuels article, we now have a pretty full understanding of how Rhodes’s foolishness, in mind-meld with Obama, has led America to destroy the precarious balance long held in tension by U.S. policy in the Middle East.

    But, see, hold it right there. Back on that thing about utterly gutting seven decades of U.S. policy. Two questions.

    • A very thoughtful and damning analysis that places the current mess in the MIddle East in Obama’s lap. By extension it puts the current mess in Europe there also since Europe wouldn’t have progressed to this state so quickly if Obama hadn’t betrayed our allies in the Middle East, pulled the US troops out of Iraq early, set a date for withdrawl from Afghanistan (thereby telling the Taliban how long they had to hang on to be able to reconquer Afghanistan), destroyed Libya, tried to remove Assad when he was not a problem for the US our our allies, and finally clearing the way for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and develop missiles to use to attack Israel, Europe and any other place they want.

      Not that this will become known to most of the public for many decades since the LSM will never publish these facts.

      • The public doesn’t know what century we fought the Civil War or who we fought against in WWII.

        But believe me, people involved with policy everywhere are paying lots of attention. Plus those who support Israel. We put enormous effort into opposing the Iran coup, lobbying Congress and getting others to do the same. Good faith, badly abused.

        As J.E. says, there’s babbling and some of it is wearisome. There’s also some very sharp commentary. I follow think-tanks and blogs from the region, as well as Israeli sources, and they’re just boiling.

        Reading that ghastly article sucked oxygen out me, personally. I devoted part of last summer to briefing church groups across New England. So much for genuine democratic activism in America.
        All for naught.

  15. Islam doesn’t belong here, say two-thirds of Germans

    The number of Germans who say that Islam is not a part of Germany has risen sharply over the previous two years, a new poll shows.

    For 60 percent of Germans, Islam does not belong in their culture, with only 34 percent of respondents saying that, yes Islam does have a place in Germany, a poll published by Infratest dimap on Thursday shows.

    This is a dramatic sharpening of public hostility to the Mohammedan faith since ex-President Christian Wulff famously stated in 2010 that “Islam is now also a part of Germany”.

    When Wulff made his remark slightly more Germans agreed than disagreed.

    But a poll conducted in August 2014 showed that public opinion was slowly shifting against tolerance.

    At that time 52 percent of respondents were against the idea that Islam is a part of Germany, while 44 percent supported it.

    As hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers have arrived in the country from the Muslim world over the last 12 months, public anxieties about the cultural impact have grown.

    Thursday’s poll confirms this, showing that 52 percent of respondents fear that the refugee crisis will lead to Islam having too much cultural sway in the Federal Republic.

    Terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have also led to a fear that Germany could be the next country in the sights of Islamist fanatics.

    The Infratest dimap poll showed that 72 percent of Germans worry that there will be a terror attack in their country, while a quarter of respondents said they don’t believe that will happen.

    Meanwhile mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities at New Year have led people to question whether Muslim men can adapt to a culture which strives for sexual equality.

    Xenophobic right-wing movements have also become ever more present in recent months. Pegida, an anti-Islamic movement based in Dresden has managed to attract tens of thousands of adherents, while the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party which wants minarets banned, has had remarkable success in state elections.

    The scepticism about Islam is particularly pronounced among AfD voters, and those who favour the Free Democratic Party (FDP), a small traditionally liberal party.

    While over two thirds (76 percent) of FDP voters agree that Islam doesn’t belong in Germany, AfD voters almost unanimously agreed with the statement.

    • When the reasonable politicians refuse to address the concern of that many of the voters they are laying the groundwork for an outsider, and given what is happening they are opening the door for real Nazi racists who are also nationalists. Once again the left seems to be creating the very thing they are saying they are opposed to.

  16. CNN – Trump: Muslim ban ‘just a suggestion’

    Washington (CNN)Donald Trump, who issued a December press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said Wednesday such a ban “hasn’t been called for yet” and it was “only a suggestion.”
    It’s the latest lightning-speed evolution for the real estate tycoon as he pivots from the provocateur who upended the Republican primary to a general election candidate preparing to square off with likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    “We have a serious problem, and it’s a temporary ban — it hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Wednesday.


    Donald Trump claims proposed US Muslim ban was ‘only a suggestion’

    For the first time since he called for the ban in November after the Paris attacks, Mr Trump said he would like to ‘back off’ as soon as possible

    Donald Trump has softened his stance on the most controversial proposal of the 2016 election campaign, saying that his call to ban Muslims from entering the US was “just a suggestion”.

    Speaking to Fox News radio, the real estate mogul who won more than 60 per cent of the Republican vote in New York in March, said: “It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

    The ban was only supposed to be temporary, he said in a separate television interview with Fox News.

    “I’d like to back off as soon as possible because, frankly, I’d like to see something happen,” he said. “We have to be vigilant. There is a radical Islamic terrorism problem that our president doesn’t even want to talk about.”

    He pointed to examples of terrorism in Paris, San Bernardino in California, the 9/11 attacks, and the “the other night in Germany, look what happened on the train”, referring to a German citizen called Paul H who ran amok near Munich, stabbing four people. Authorities said the man had no terrorist links.[…]

      • He and his parents before before him have been active – like, forever – in the Jewish Agency. Quiet, generous, intense. They were very much involved with the Agency campaign to free Soviet Jewry.

        He and Mr. Sharansky have been on a speaking tour of college campuses in California. Just trying to brighten the darkness that’s descending on our Jewish college kids.

    • CNN – London Mayor Sadiq Khan: ‘I’m hoping’ Trump

      The first Muslim mayor of a Western capital, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, has a message for Donald Trump: “Your views of Islam are ignorant.”

    • Turkey withdraws Bangladesh ambassador after execution of Islamist: Erdogan

      Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador to Bangladesh, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, following the execution of an Islamist party leader this week for genocide and other crimes committed during a 1971 war of independence.

      Bangladesh on Wednesday hanged Motiur Rahman Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of intellectuals during the war.

      International human rights groups say the procedures of the Bangladeshi tribunal that sentenced Nizami fell short of international standards. The government rejects that, and the trials have been supported by many Bangladeshis. In Turkey, there have been a handful of protests against the execution in recent days.


      GERMANY – MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV

      A conservative politician extensively quoted a poem in parliament on Tuesday which accused the Turkish president of having a penchant for child porn.

      The hugely controversial poem also said Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s favourite pastimes included fornicating with goats, kicking Kurds and clobbering Christians.

      This isn’t the fare one normally expects to hear from the pulpit of the German Bundestag, where Chancellor Angela Merkel inflicts seemingly interminable speeches on helpless legislators.

      But on Thursday, Detlef Seif, an unremarkable politician within the ranks of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU), stood up and spoke these very words – and about the President of Turkey no less – leaving fellow politicians rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

      The conservative lawmaker was quoting the now infamous poem written by comedian Jan Böhmermann which set off a full blown diplomatic crisis between Berlin and Ankara in April.

      Politicians were debating whether to annul Paragraph 103 of the federal law book, which protects foreign heads of state from insult, and which Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used to try and exact revenge on Böhmermann.

      But far from reading the poem as a brave act of solidarity with the comic, who now faces a possible prosecution and jail term of up to five years, Seif hoped to illustrate its lack of satirical merit, broadcaster ARD reports.

      Unfortunately for him, the recitation was broadcast live on television – turning it into a an immediate internet sensation – and the explicit quotes will now also have to be written into the parliamentary minutes.

      House speaker Edelgard Bulmahn was less than pleased, warning Seif that he should “keep in mind that we are in the German parliament, and that even with quotations one should not forget this fact.”

      Renate Künast MP for the Green Party said she found Seif’s speech “embarrassing”, while Christian Flisek of the Social Democrats (SPD) state simply, “he could have saved the poem for himself.”

      All about the context?

      Debate raged in Germany after Böhmermann first aired his poem, with detractors accusing him of a tasteless stunt, while supporters said that the poem should be viewed in the artistic context in which it was intended.

      Böhmermann said before reading the poem he intended to show Erdogan “what real slander is” after the Turkish leader had reacted furiously to a much milder satire on a rival German late night show.

      Merkel, who has allowed prosecutors to look at the case, has been strongly criticized for not standing up for artistic freedom.

      Reacting on Twitter, Böhmermann joked that Seif had “read the poem after taking it out of context. Disgraceful, dishonourable and tasteless!”

      Detlef Seif hat das Schmähgedicht aus dem Kontext gehoben und im Deutschen Bundestag vorgetragen.

      Beschämend, würde- und geschmacklos!
      — Jan Böhmermann (@janboehm) May 12, 2016

      In another Tweet the comic claimed “I am filing for the lifting of Detlef Seif’s parliamentary immunity due to a breach of Paragraph 103.”

      Ich beantrage hiermit die Aufhebung der Immunität des CDU-Abgeordneten Detlef Seif wegen Verstoßes gg. §103 StGB.
      — Jan Böhmermann (@janboehm) May 12, 2016

      • German MP reads out controversial Erdogan poem in parliament

        A lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party on Thursday read out in parliament a crude satirical poem about Turkey’s president, which had been at the heart of a free speech row.

        Seeking to condemn the content of the poem that accused Recep Tayyip Erdogan of bestiality and paedophilia, Christian Democrat MP Detlef Seif recited key parts of the text by German TV comedian Jan Boehmermann.

        “A person’s honour is under attack here and the justice must decide if these statements are still covered by freedom of expression and press,” Seif told parliament.

        “But put yourselves in the shoes of Erdogan and think about it, how would you take it?” he said, in a speech that was broadcast on television and can be viewed on German parliament’s website.

        Boehmermann’s recital of his so-called “Defamatory Poem” on national television in late March sparked a diplomatic firestorm and a row over free speech.

        In a controversial move, Chancellor Angela Merkel authorised criminal proceedings against the comedian after Turkey requested he be prosecuted under the lese majeste law over his “smear poem.”

        During the broadcast Boehmermann gleefully admitted his poem flouted Germany’s legal limits to free speech and was intended as a provocation.

        “I ask that the parliamentary immunity of CDU MP Detlef Seif be lifted for prosecution under article 103 of the penal code,” wrote Boehmermann on Twitter.

        Boehmermann is due to make his first TV appearance since the uproar later on Thursday.

        Merkel has come in for criticism for authorising possible criminal proceedings against Boehmermann.

        Although she defended the decision as a “fair” reaction, she expressed regret that her spokesman Steffen Seibert had said she viewed the poem as “deliberately insulting” in the chancellery’s first official reaction to the row.

        “With hindsight, it was an error,” Merkel told regional officials meeting in Berlin, adding that the remark could have given the impression that “freedom of opinion is not important, that freedom of the press is not important”.

        NYT -German Lawmaker Reads Poem on Erdogan, to Show Just How Vulgar It Is

        BERLIN — A lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party stunned his colleagues on Thursday when he took to the floor of the German Parliament to repeat a vulgar accusation that the president of Turkey has a venereal disease, perhaps contracted while having sex with goats.

        “Unbelievable,” murmured one surprised lawmaker in the chamber when Detlef Seif, a member of the Christian Democratic Union, read a satirical poem about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

        The poem created a diplomatic firestorm when its author, the German comedian Jan Böhmermann, recited it on his national television show in March.

        It so enraged Mr. Erdogan, who has sought to silence his critics at home and challenge them abroad, that he demanded Mr. Böhmermann be prosecuted under an obscure German law that makes it a crime to insult a foreign leader.

        Raising the Turkish president’s ire was Mr. Böhmermann’s intent. But Mr. Seif, 53, meant no offense when he recited the poem Thursday on the floor of the Bundestag, inadvertently entering the profane text into Germany’s permanent public record.

        Mr. Seif said he was so disgusted by the content of the poem — which, among other insults, accuses Mr. Erdogan of pedophilia and bestiality — that he wanted to remind his colleagues just how offensive it was.

        “I really didn’t want to do this, but I read this out to you so that one knows what actually was said here,” Mr. Seif said, adding: “A person’s honor is clearly under attack here, and justice must decide if this kind of language is still covered by freedom of expression and press. But put yourselves in the shoes of Erdogan and think about it: How would you feel about it yourself?”

        Unlike Mr. Böhmermann, Mr. Seif is legally protected from prosecution should Mr. Erdogan again feel aggrieved by another recitation of the satirical poem.

        But Mr. Böhmermann insisted, sarcastically, that Mr. Seif be held to the same standards.

        “I ask that the parliamentary immunity of CDU MP Detlef Seif be lifted for prosecution under paragraph 103 of the penal code,” Mr. Böhmermann wrote on Twitter.

        He also shared his caustic surprise at Mr. Seif’s earnest repetition of his comedic provocation.
        — Jan Böhmermann (@janboehm) May 12, 2016

        Renate Künast, a lawmaker from the Green Party, told Mr. Seif that she “felt very embarrassed for this house that you read out the text.”

        Another lawmaker, Christian Flisek of the Social Democrats, said that Mr. Seif’s recitation was provocative and unnecessary.

        Last month, Mrs. Merkel announced she would allow the prosecution against Mr. Böhmermann to go ahead, but added that her government would seek to repeal the 1871 law that she said was inconsistent with modern Germany’s commitment to free speech.
        Detlef Seif liest Böhmermann Gedicht KOMPLETTE Rede (11 min.)

  17. DAILY MAIL – The smiling assassins: Teenage boys grin with delight as they prepare to murder five innocent men after ISIS militants asked for VOLUNTEERS to execute ‘apostates’

    ISIS militants paraded five prisoners who had been accused of rejected Islam, in front of a baying crowd in Iraq
    The terror group asks for volunteers to shoot dead the men and several teenage boys eagerly step forward
    The youngsters could not conceal their delight as members of the terror group handed them their weapons
    As the crowd begin a countdown, the volunteers then fire into the prisoners whose bodies are left on the ground

    video :

  18. France: General Piquemal goes on trial after organising anti-Islam Calais rally

    General Christian Piquemal stood trial in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Thursday, after he was charged with the illegal organising a rally in Calais in February.

    Piquemal was arrested along with four other protesters after taking part in a banned Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) march in Calais.

    • French General To Be Fined For Joining Anti-Mass Migration PEGIDA Protest

      A French prosecutor has asked a northern court to fine a former Foreign Legion commander for taking part in an outlawed anti-migrant protest in Calais.

      Four-star general Christian Piquemal went on trial Thursday in Boulogne-sur-Mer after he and some 150 other people defied a ban on a demonstration last February in nearby Calais, a port city hosting a sprawling migrant camp.

      Prosecutor requested a 500-euro ($570) fine for the 75-year-old Piquemal, according to Dominique Mattei, the general’s lawyer. The court will return its ruling on May 26.

      The protest, organized by the anti-Islam movement PEGIDA, took place a few weeks before authorities ordered a mass eviction in part of the slum camp where thousands of migrants have gathered to try to sneak across the English Channel to Britain.

  19. WaPo- U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic State

    American Special Operations troops have been stationed at two outposts in eastern and western Libya since late 2015, tasked with lining up local partners in advance of a possible offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

    Two teams totaling fewer than 25 troops are operating from around the cities of Misurata and Benghazi to identify potential ­allies among local armed factions and gather intelligence on threats, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive mission overseas.

    The insertion of a tiny group of U.S. personnel into a country rife with militant threats reflects the Obama administration’s worries about the Islamic State’s powerful Libyan branch and the widespread expectations of an expanded campaign against it. For months, the Pentagon has been developing plans for potential action against the group, which has at least several thousand fighters in the coastal city of Sirte and other areas. And the U.S. personnel, whose ongoing presence had not been previously reported, is a sign of the acceleration toward another military campaign in Libya.

    The mission is also an illustration of President Obama’s reliance on elite units to advance counterterrorism goals in low-visibility operations.

    The activities of the American “contact teams,” as they are known, take place in parallel to those of elite allied forces from France and other European nations in the same areas, U.S. and Libyan officials said.[…]

    The U.S. troops, who began making visits to Libya last spring and established their twin outposts six months later, have been cultivating relationships among forces that are mobilizing for a possible assault against the Islamic State in its Sirte stronghold.

    Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook declined to provide specific information about the U.S. assessment teams. But he said that military personnel had been meeting periodically with a variety of Libyans “in an effort to help them reestablish a safe and secure environment.” The effort is part of a larger Obama administration strategy to bring Libya’s feuding factions together behind a fragile new unity government, which officials believe is best positioned to combat the Islamic State.[…]

    more :

    Reuters : Islamic State kills 4 Libyan security personnel near Misrata -medics

    Four members of military forces loyal to Libya’s new U.N.-backed unity government have been killed and 30 wounded in clashes with Islamic State (IS) insurgents near the western Libyan city of Misrata, a hospital spokesman said on Thursday.

    Aziz Issa said the fighting was going on east of Assdada, around 80 km (50 miles) south of Misrata and the line of defence for brigades from the coastal city since IS militants captured several villages and checkpoints in the area late last week.

    Assdada is also more than 150 km (90 miles) west of Sirte, Islamic State’s stronghold in the widely lawless North African country since last year.

    The largest of the Misrata-based brigades support the unity government that is now gradually trying to stamp its authority on the country beyond its base in the capital Tripoli.

    Commanders of an operations room set up by unity government authorities in Misrata say they are preparing an offensive to recapture Sirte. After several days of calm, fighting broke out at Assdada late on Wednesday.

    European powers and the United States hope the unity government will be able to unite Libya’s rival political and armed factions to take on Islamic State.

    But the unity government has struggled to win support from another administration based in eastern Libya and the military forces allied to it.

    Islamic State controls a strip of more than 250 km (155 miles) of Libya’s central Mediterranean coastline, from which it has launched attacks to the east, west and south.
    Libya: Fierce fighting continues between Libyan Army and IS near Benghazi

  20. Persian Gulf Sheikhs Gave Bill & Hillary $100 Million

    A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation reveals that Bill and Hillary Clinton received at least $100 million from autocratic Persian Gulf states and their leaders, potentially undermining Democratic presidential candidate Hillary’s claim she can carry out independent Middle East policies.

    As a presidential candidate, the amount of foreign cash the Clintons have amassed from the Persian Gulf states is “simply unprecedented,” says national security analyst Patrick Poole.

    “These regimes are buying access. You’ve got the Saudis. You’ve got the Kuwaitis, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. There are massive conflicts of interest. It’s beyond comprehension,” Poole told TheDCNF in an interview.

    […]It’s unclear what kind of promises or concessions the Clintons may have given the monarchs in return for their lavish financial support over the years, but last month the candidate reversed her long-standing support for fracking.

    Hillary’s new position, unveiled last month at a CNN presidential debate with Democratic opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, put her in alignment with the Gulf State policy that opposes North American oil and gas fracking.

    The FBI has reportedly launched a second investigation of the former secretary in addition to its probe of her private email server. This investigation is looking into “political corruption” and is seeking evidence where former Secretary Clinton may have offered official government favors to foundation donors.

    […]Bill’s Dubai links run deeper than just his dealings with sheikhs. Between 2011 and 2014, he received $5.6 million from the Dubai-based company GEMS Education for serving as the “honorary chairman.”

    The American University of Dubai has a William Jefferson Clinton Scholars program and the former president has been a frequent guest of the university.[…]

    more :

    Read more:

  21. ‘Kurdish bomb-makers’ killed in Turkey explosion (BBC, May 12, 2016)

    “Four suspected Kurdish rebels have been killed while loading explosives in south-eastern Turkey, the interior ministry says.

    It says at least 10 people were injured in the blast in the Sarikamis district in Diyarbakir province.
    The rebels are believed to be members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Earlier on Thursday, a car bomb exploded near a military facility in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul, wounding at least eight people.

    Five military personnel and three civilians were injured, one seriously, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said.

    No group has so far claimed responsibility for that attack…”

  22. Al-Qaida, Hard-Line Rebels Seize Alawite Village in Syria (abcnews, May 12, 2016)

    “Al-Qaida fighters and other ultraconservative Sunni insurgents seized a predominantly Alawite village in central Syria on Thursday, sparking fears of sectarian violence as families from the village were reported missing by activists.

    Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said “terrorists” were killing residents of the village of Zaara, previously controlled by the government. Syrian state media said insurgents had looted and destroyed homes.

    Clashes continued into the afternoon as government or allied Russian aircraft pounded rebel positions, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that seven militants were killed. The Local Coordination Committees, an activist-run network, said the insurgents killed over 30 pro-government fighters in the clashes.

    Ahrar al-Sham, an ultraconservative Sunni militant group, led the assault on Zaara, along with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s Syrian franchise, which often fights alongside opposition factions. The Observatory, which covers both sides of the conflict through a network of local activists, said families disappeared from Zaara after the militants took over….”

  23. Iran Declines to Take Part in Hajj Over Dispute With Saudis (abcnews, May 12, 2016)

    “Iran will not send pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year for the annual hajj, an Iranian official said Thursday, the latest sign of tensions between the two Mideast powers after a disaster during the pilgrimage last year killed at least 2,426 people.

    Saudi Arabia blamed Iranian officials for the decision and suggested it was politically motivated to publicly pressure the kingdom.

    Iran says Saudi “incompetence” caused the crush and stampede in the area of Mina on Sept. 24 during the hajj, which all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform once in their life. Iran has said the disaster killed 464 of its pilgrims.

    Ali Jannati, Iran’s minister of culture and Islamic guidance, said negotiations that took place over several months between Iran and Saudi Arabia were aimed at trying to “resolve the issue” of security during the hajj, but failed to make any headway.

    “We did whatever we could but it was the Saudis who sabotaged” it, Jannati said in comments carried by the state-run IRNA news agency. “Now the time is lost.”…”

  24. Yemen conflict: Suicide attacks hit government forces (BBC, May 12, 2016)

    “At least 10 soldiers have been killed in three attacks on army bases in the southern Yemen city of Mukalla, military sources say.

    The so-called Islamic State (IS) said it was behind at least one of the attacks, a suicide car bombing.

    Mukalla was held by al-Qaeda militants up until a month ago, when it was recaptured by pro-government forces.

    The attacks came hours before Yemen PM Ahmed Obeid bin Dagher was due to arrive in Mukalla for a visit.”

  25. US naval commander demoted after Iran’s capture of sailors (BBC, May 13, 2016)

    “The US Navy has fired the commander of the 10 US sailors who in January entered Iranian territorial waters and were briefly detained.

    In a statement, the US Navy said it had lost confidence in Eric Rasch, who was in charge of a riverine squadron at the time of the incident in the Gulf.

    A Navy official said Mr Rasch had been re-assigned, the Associated Press says.

    The sailors were released after intense diplomacy between US Secretary of State John Kerry and senior Iranian officials.

    On Thursday, the US Navy official said that Mr Rasch had failed to provide effective leadership, leading to a lack of oversight, complacency and failure to maintain standards in his unit….”

  26. Sweden arrests ‘terror recruiter’ wanted in Germany (thelocal, May 12, 2016)

    “Swedish police tracked down the man who’s accused of recruiting people to a terror group in Germany.

    The man has not been named by Swedish media but is understood to be 23 years old and from a country outside of Europe.

    He was arrested and detained on Tuesday, according to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, which broke the story on Wednesday evening.

    According to the newspaper, the suspect later appeared at Attunda District Court, north of Stockholm. The allegations against him centre around recruiting members of a terror group in Germany during the course of this year, Aftonbladet reported.

    The man had a European arrest warrant against him at the time of his arrest and it is understood that Sweden will send him back to Germany for further questioning….”

  27. Egypt receives first batch of armoured vehicles from US (ahram, May 12, 2016)

    “An initial shipment of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from the United States arrived in Alexandria on Thursday for delivery to Egypt’s security forces, the US embassy in Cairo announced Thursday evening.

    “Today’s delivery is the first batch of a total 762 MRAP vehicles that the United States will transfer to Egypt,” said the statement.

    The new vehicles, originally designed for US military operations in Afghanistan, will be used to combat terrorism in the region, according to the US embassy statement….”

  28. Jail, lashes for spying on others’ mobile (emirates247, May 12, 2016)

    “If you live in Saudi Arabia, make sure you do not spy on the others’ mobile phones as you could be jailed and lashed in public.

    Even those who peer into the mobile phones of their spouses or friends will also have the same punishment.

    “Spying on the mobile phones of wives, husbands or friends is a punishable offence in Saudi Arabia…the penalty includes imprisonment or lashing or both…this is up to the judge to decide,” said Mohammed Al Timyat, a legal adviser at the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

    Quoted by Sada newspaper, he said the offence is classified as a violation of others’ privacy, adding that the plaintiff needs to provide evidence of spying to court.”

  29. Iranian MP barred from parliament for ‘hijab violation’ (gulfnews, May 12, 2016)

    “Tehran: Minoo Khaleghi easily won a seat in the Iranian Parliament in February, part of a wave of independents and reformists who now have the numbers to wrest authority from the hardliners. On Wednesday, however, a powerful state committee demonstrated that the conservative forces would not relinquish power without a fight.

    Citing “evidence” that had emerged against her, the Dispute Settlement Committee of Branches, a part of Iran’s generally conservative judiciary, ruled that Khaleghi could not be sworn in a new member of Parliament, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. The evidence, it turned out, consisted of photographs of Khaleghi, “leaked” on social media last week, showing her in public in Europe and in China without the obligatory Islamic headscarf. Hardliners immediately accused her of “betraying the nation”.

    But opposition-aligned analysts and Khaleghi shot back that the case against her was politically motivated, more about curtailing and marginalising prominent reformists — and a woman — than about her travelling abroad without a headscarf….”

  30. NATO and partners reaffirm continued financial support to Afghan forces (khaama, May 12, 2016)

    “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and partners reaffirmed commitment to support financial sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces.

    The commitment was made at the plenary meeting of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board on Wednesday, the alliance said in a statement….”

  31. Over 80 Taliban militants killed or wounded as heavy clash erupt in Herat (khaama, May 12, 2016)

    “At least 82 Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded during a heavy clash in western Herat province of Afghanistan, the security sources said Thursday.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were killed during the clearance operations conducted as part of the Zafar-4 military operations.

    However, the local officials, said the militants were killed after launching coordinated attacks on several security posts.

    The officials put the number of dead militants at 35 and at least 40 others were wounded…”

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