Reader’s links for May 27 – 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.

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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

84 Replies to “Reader’s links for May 27 – 2016”

  1. ‘ISIS soldiers are EASY to kill’ Female fighter boasts about blitzing jihadists in Syria (express, May 27, 2016)

    “A BRAVE young woman who fought Islamic State on the frontline for 12 months has boasted the jihadists are “easy to kill”.

    Blonde politics student Joanna Palani fled the safety of her home to help blitz depraved ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

    The 23-year-old, from Denmark, revealed she went to fight with Kurds because she believes in “human rights for all people”.

    Palani, who is now back in Copenhagen, said Bashar al-Assad’s troops were much harder to kill than ISIS fighters…”

  2. Fingerprints and DNA of ‘800 terror suspects’ DESTROYED due to police blunders (express, May 27, 2016)

    “THE fingerprint and DNA profiles of up to 800 terror suspects have been destroyed, it has been revealed.

    MPs last night blamed “appalling” blunders by police and spies for the loss of potentially vital forensic evidence.

    They reportedly failed to complete major paperwork – meaning the biometric data could only be held for six months.

    The revelation comes at a time when Britain is on a high terror alert following Islamic State attacks in France and Belgium…”

  3. Al Qaeda still reaping oil profits in Yemen despite battlefield reverses (reuters, May 27, 2016)

    “Al Qaeda may have been pushed out of the enclave it carved out in Yemen as the country descended into civil war, but the militants are still entrenched in other parts of the country’s south, reaping profits from smuggled fuel.

    Scores of militants were killed in a Gulf Arab-backed offensive on Al Qaeda’s de facto capital of Mukalla, Yemen’s third largest seaport, but hundreds fled to neighboring Shabwa province and beyond.

    A month later, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is thriving by joining diverse armed groups in taxing fuel delivered illicitly to remote beaches along the Arabian Sea coast, security, tribal and shipping sources say…”

  4. SAS take to the skies over London in anti-terror helicopters – skimming over the Eye and along the Thames – just a day after ISIS widow issued a warning over the capital’s tubes this summer (dailymail, May 27, 2016)

    “The SAS have put on an extraordinary show of force over the skies of London in their top-of-the-range new anti-terror helicopters.

    Elite forces were spotted flying over landmarks such as Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye during an apparent training exercise yesterday.

    In the event of an attack, the UK’s elite fighting force will swoop into action on the £43million heli-plane which has been nicknamed the ‘Transformer’.

    And the exercise came less than 24 hours after Islamic State widow Sally Jones issued a chilling warning to avoid visiting the capital this summer…”

  5. Islamic State drives Syria rebels from near Turkish border

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters captured territory from Syrian rebels near the Turkish border on Friday and inched closer to a town on a supply route for foreign-backed insurgents fighting the jihadists, a monitoring group said.

    The ultra-hardline group has been fighting against rebels in the area for several months. The rebels, who are supplied via Turkey, last month staged a major push against Islamic State, but the group counter-attacked and beat them back.

    The United States has identified the area north of Syria’s former commercial hub Aleppo as a priority in the fight against the Islamic State group (IS).

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday’s advance was the biggest by IS in Aleppo province for two years. It brought the jihadists to within 5 km (3 miles) of Azaz, a town near the border with Turkey through which insurgents have been supplied.

    Islamic State said in an online statement it had captured several villages near Azaz.

    International medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it evacuated patients and staff from a hospital in the area as the fighting got closer, and that tens of thousands of people were trapped between the front lines and Turkish border.

    A Syrian NGO operating in the area said the latest assault by IS had displaced 20,000 more people toward Turkey.

  6. DAILY MAIL – UK – Muslim policeman who made a hoax 999 call to tell his own West Midlands force there was a ISIS attack imminent is jailed for seven years

    PC Amar Tasaddiq Hussain’s caused West Midlands Police huge panic
    Made fake kidnap call to discredit official within Islamic community group
    Malicious 999 call in December 2014 passed on details of the ‘kidnap’ plot
    Muslim officer has now been jailed for seven years at Stafford Crown Court
    Judge said Hussain was ‘last person who ought to be serving’ with police

  7. TURKEY – SYRIA US soldiers with YPG insignias unacceptable, says Turkish FM

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu has strongly reacted to photos of U.S. special operations forces wearing Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) insignia on their shoulders during an assault on Syria’s Raqqa, saying it is “unacceptable.”

    “It is unacceptable that an ally country is using the YPG insignia. We reacted to it. It is impossible to accept it. This is a double standard and hypocrisy,” said Çavusoglu on May 27.

    On the same day during a visit to the State Department, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic expressed Turkey’s irritation at the news that U.S. troops sporting YPG emblems were fighting against ISIL north of Raqqa.

    As U.S. Ambassador to Ankara John Bass was not in town, Turkey’s reaction was passed on to Kilic through a telephone conversation.

    In both conversations, Turkey reiterated that it was unacceptable for the U.S. to cooperate with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, despite the fact that Ankara emphasized to Washington the link between the PYD and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Commenting on the photos, the Pentagon acknowledged that special operations forces do what they can “to blend in with the community.”

    “Special operations forces, when they operate in certain areas, do what they can to blend in with the community to enhance their own protection, their own security,” said Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook during a May 26 press briefing, adding that he would not comment on specific photos.

    Agence France-Presse released photos showing armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as U.S. special operations in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa on May 25. Some of the men seen in the photos wore an YPG insignia on their shoulders.

    “Special operations forces in the past have worked with partners, and in the past have conducted themselves in such a way that they might operate in an atmosphere in which they are supportive of that local force in their advice and assist role,” Cook said.

    “And they might be, again, for visual purposes, blending in with the local community,” he added.

    The U.S.-backed SDF, which consists of the YPG, Syrian Arabs and Syriacs, launched an offensive against ISIL stronghold Raqqa on May 24.

    The YPG is the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey says is a Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), thus making both the YPG and PYD terrorist organizations.

    Though designating the PKK as a terrorist organization, the U.S. does not perceive the PYD and the YPG in the same way and says they are “reliable” partners in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    This designation difference has caused a rift between the two NATO allies, Turkey and the U.S.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. May 26 denied it has provided arms to the YPG in Syria, despite the insistence of the group to the contrary.

    “We are playing an advise and assist role,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. “But assisting is not specifically providing arms.”

    Toner said, however, that there is a lot of “liberated” equipment being used on the battlefield and that it was impossible to say where from where they come.

    “We just don’t have the clarity on that,” he said.

    • NYT – U.S. Commandos Work With Syrian Fighters in Push Toward ISIS Stronghold/strong>

      WASHINGTON — American Special Operations forces and the Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters they are advising this week pushed closer to Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in northern Syria.

      Defense Department officials confirmed that photographs taken by an Agence-France Presse photographer in the village of Fatisah that were released on Thursday showed American commandos, dressed in camouflage, assisting fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces during their offensive against the Islamic State north of Raqqa.

      The United States has disclosed publicly that about 200 of its commandos and support personnel are on the ground in northern Syria, where they are working with the Syrian Arab and Kurdish partners. About 100 more are on the way.

      Pentagon officials said the Americans were not involved in any combat role on the ground. A Syrian militia commander told the photographer that the American troops had fired missiles from the rooftop of a house to destroy a booby-trapped car in the village, a characterization that Pentagon officials challenged.

      “We have been conducting advise-and-assist operations with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces for many weeks,” Col. Steve Warren, the chief military spokesman in Baghdad, said in an email. “Nothing has changed in our relationships or our distance from the front lines of combat.”

      Colonel Warren said the American commandos in the photographs were operating east of the Euphrates River, an area where he said Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters had been operating.

      Several of the American troops were seen wearing patches with the United States flag, while others also wore the patches of the Syrian Kurdish and Arab units, a common practice among commandos as a sign of solidarity and partnership, Colonel Warren said.

      The photographer told his agency that he saw as many as 20 American troops in Fatisah on Wednesday, and heard them speaking English. The Americans refused to talk to the photographer, the agency said.

      A Syrian opposition commander, whom the agency identified as Baraa al-Ghanem, told the photographer that American advisers were “present at all positions along the front.” About 25,000 Syrian Kurdish fighters and 5,000 Syria Arabs make up the opposition group the United States is supporting in eastern and northern Raqqa.

      Canadian YPG/SDF fighter to ARA News: we made gains north Raqqa despite ISIS’ fortifications

    • Turkey says U.S. ‘two-faced’ for not viewing Syrian Kurdish YPG as terrorists

      The United States is “two-faced” for refusing to call the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia terrorists, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday, reflecting Ankara’s growing irritation at Washington’s backing of the group.

      Mevlut Cavusoglu also said it was “unacceptable” for U.S. soldiers to wear YPG emblems, after photos emerged purportedly showing U.S. special forces wearing YPG emblems on their shoulders.

      NATO member Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast. Washington considers the PKK terrorists but backs the Syrian Kurdish militia in the fight against Islamic State.

      The YPG is the most powerful element of the U.S.-backed Syrian militia alliance involved in an offensive near the Islamic State’s de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa. Aided by U.S.-led air strikes, the YPG has driven Islamic State from wide areas of northern Syria over the last year.

      “If they say ‘We don’t see the YPG and these terrorist groups as the same’, my answer is, that is a double standard and two-faced,” Cavusoglu said at a UN summit in Turkey’s Antalya resort.

      “It is unacceptable for U.S. soldiers to use the insignia of the YPG, a terrorist group,” he said.

      Ankara had raised the issue with the State Department.

      Asked at a briefing on Thursday if it was appropriate to wear such insignia, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook declined to comment on the photos but said that when special forces operate in some areas they do what they can to blend in with the community to enhance their own security.

      The United States does not consider the YPG to be a terrorist group.

      RT -Syria: Arab forces to join Kurdish-led op. to reclaim Raqqa from IS – fighter

      At least 30 militants of the so-called Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) have been reportedly killed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during operations taking place in the last 48-hours on the outskirts of the city of Raqqa on Friday.

      SOT, unnamed Kurdish fighter (Arabic): “We are here to free northern Raqqa, all forces are gathering here to start the raid and more forces will be joining us soon to liberate the region from ISIS and all the terrorists.”

      SOT, unnamed Kurdish fighter (Arabic): “Freeing northern parts of Al-Raqqa, we are in preparations for this campaign, which already started two days ago. And yesterday we liberated more than ten villages. Now we are settled in advanced positions after the collapse of ISIS defenses. We are waiting for Aljazeera [region] forces which will come to support us from the eastern part. We are currently in the north part and there is another campaign coming in from the western part.”

    • Russia: ‘Weapons are still crossing Turkey-Syria border daily’ – Rudskoi

      The Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi discussed the current situation in Syria during a press briefing in Moscow, Friday. Rudskoi noted that “the flow of heavy vehicles from Turkey with weapons and ammunition continues to cross the Turkish-Syrian border daily” and has “allowed” Jabhat al-Nusra “to continue provocative attacks and lead the offensive against the Syrian government forces.”

      SOT, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of Main Operational Directorate of General Staff (Russian): “In general, the situation in Syria has improved significantly. The number of attacks has been reduced and civilians are getting back to normal life in areas of total ceasefire. The population is receiving humanitarian assistance, and war-damaged infrastructure is being restored.”

      SOT, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of Main Operational Directorate of General Staff (Russian): “The number of localities, which have joined the ceasefire agreement, is increasing. Today, the number has reached 122.”

      SOT, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of Main Operational Directorate of General Staff (Russian): “However, one may observe that in some areas of Syria the situation has been aggravated, which is associated primarily with the desire of the leaders of Jabhat al-Nusra to disrupt the reconciliation process. Taking advantage of the regime of cessation of hostilities and the location of this terrorist organisation that is in the same area as the location of the moderate opposition, which is not attacked by the Russian and Syrian air forces, Jabhat al-Nusra partially restored their fighting capacity, restocked weapons and ammunition and started to act.”

      SOT, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of Main Operational Directorate of General Staff (Russian): “The flow of heavy vehicles from Turkey with weapons and ammunition continues to cross the Turkish-Syrian border daily. This flow of manpower and weaponry allows the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra to continue provocative attacks and lead the offensive against the Syrian government forces, thereby preventing the operations against the IS terrorists in other areas. Turkish artillery continues shelling settlements at the Syrian border and the positions of the Kurdish militia.”

      SOT, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff (Russian): “I want to draw your attention to this – it is not only us who observes the situation in the areas controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra: our colleagues from other countries are also actively engaged and have enough information.”

    • Pentagon orders US special forces troops to remove Kurdish YPG insignia, citing ‘political sensitivities’ –

      US commandos ordered to remove ‘inappropriate’ YPG patches

      Washington (AFP) – US special operations forces photographed in Syria wearing the insignia of Kurdish troops considered terrorists by Turkey have been ordered to remove the patches, a military spokesman said Friday.

      Ankara accused the United States, a NATO ally, of “unacceptable” behavior for such an overt display of support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

      “Wearing those YPG patches was unauthorized and inappropriate, and corrective action has been taken,” Baghdad-based military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters.

      “We have communicated as much to our military partners and military allies in the region.”

      The United States has more than 200 special operations troops in northern Syria, where they are advising the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, the bulk of which is made of YPG fighters.

      The commandos are supporting the local forces as they push toward Raqa, the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold.

      While it is not unusual for US special operations forces to wear the insignia of partner forces, Warren said in this case it was inappropriate to do so given the “political sensitivities” around the issue.

      Ankara regards the YPG as a terror group, accusing it of carrying out attacks inside Turkey and being the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state for over three decades.

  8. Islamic Extremism in France Part IV: Crime and Immigration

    French civil servants are forbidden by law from voicing opinions that are not in line with government policy and can only express their views anonymously. In October 2015, a group of senior civil servants known as Plessis published an op-ed in the Figaro newspaper attacking the impotence of government policy and pernicious media propaganda on the issue of illegal migrants.

    “This impotence, coupled with a moralizing media discourse, is increasingly disconnected from the will of the French people, who have been subject for several decades to the disorder caused by uncontrolled immigration, are worried about the threat of terrorism and demand protection and security. It is striking to observe that the current non-stop media blitz, verging on moral bullying, has failed to convince the French people.”

    The disorder referred to is an omnipresent reality in France, most notably in the legal system.

    In March 2015, the Administrative Court building in Toulouse was ransacked by Islamic extremists who scrawled “The Prophet Will Judge You” on the walls. One third of the 6,000 cases currently being judged by the Toulouse Administrative Court relate to illegal aliens and 30% of those are challenges to deportation orders. The attack was not covered in the national media and local reports underplayed the fact that it was perpetrated by Islamists.

    French Administrative Courts rule on litigation between French citizens and the state in areas such as taxation, social housing, building permits and civil service employment, but in recent years there has been an explosion in cases brought before the court by illegal aliens supported by NGOs and these now account for over one third of cases nationwide.

    • These toxic NGOs are becoming as familiar in Europe as they’ve been for years in Israel.
      They promote the Soros agenda, or Soros in cahoots with shadowy Brussels ellites.
      Who may actually be insects. Caught in the web of that lethal spider that calls itself “Qatar”
      Qatar, remember, rhymes with “gutter”.

    • To give up a miserable life of Submission for Remission, is not a Martyr. It is murder by suicide.

      Socialism. Can’t tell the difference since 1917.

  9. Greece: Evicted refugees from Idomeni continue lives at makeshift Evzoni camp

    Over 1,000 people are still reported to be staying at a makeshift camp around Hotel Hara near Evzoni, Friday, despite earlier reports that the authorities will evacuate the camp after Idomeni.

    SOT, Yuneshan, refugee from Afghanistan (Urdu): “Conditions are very bad in my region in Afghanistan, this is why I can’t return to my land. I want to move on further from here. I have been here for three months now and it is very difficult. There is a lot of tension, there is nothing here, there are a lot of bad people here. How many people get stuck in these camps? How long can you stay in the camps for? one, two, three years?”

  10. euronews EU sets aside €400 million to fight Islamic radicalisation in schools

    The battle against Islamic radicalisation in Europe is to be taken into the classroom.

    The European Commisssion is setting aside €400 million from its Erasmus+ programme. The aim is to help students in primary and secondary schools learn critical thinking and democratic values. It will also include youth volunteering to help with the issue of youth unemployment

    It will use the existing e-twinning programme, with around 300,000 teachers to establish links between schools and teachers

    • euronews ( Qatar ) Learning World: refugee children – learning world

      The world is witnessing the biggest refugee crisis since World War ll. Governments are under strain and there are concerns about integration.

      How is education playing a role in making displaced people feel at home?

      Many refugees endure danger and uncertainty in the hope of a better future. In this episode, we hear the story of 13-year-old Nourollah.

    • The state wants to battle against muslim parents for the hearts and minds of muslim children who will almost always defer to the parents who raise them. How stupid they were to import the lot.

  11. The Italian coast guard said Thursday that it rescued some 4,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea in 22 separate operations. (May 27)

  12. Robert Fico: ‘Islam has no place in Slovakia’

    Prime minister worries about migrants ‘changing the face of the country.’

    Robert Fico has begun his third term as Slovakia’s prime minister by stepping up his anti-Muslim rhetoric just weeks before the country takes over the EU Council presidency.

    “It may look strange but sorry … Islam has no place in Slovakia,” Fico told the TASR newswire Wednesday. The problem is not migrants coming in, he said, but “rather in them changing the face of the country.”

    The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia told the Slovak Spectator website that Fico’s “repeated statements … do not only harm Slovak Muslims but also the country’s interests as a sovereign country which is building its position on the international scene.”

    Fico formed a coalition government following the March 5 parliamentary election in which his populist left-wing Smer party lost its outright majority. In April, he was hospitalized and underwent heart surgery.

    Slovakia takes over the six-month EU presidency on July 1 for the first time since joining the bloc in 2004, but some are concerned given the country’s refusal to participate in the EU’s refugee relocation scheme.

    Headache for Brussels as Slovakian leader declares ‘no place’ for Islam

    Islam has “no place” in Slovakia, the country’s prime minister has declared, weeks before he is due to take over the rotating presidency of the EU.

    Slovakia is a fierce opponent of the European Commission’s plans to enforce migrant quotas, and is taking legal action to halt the scheme. As such, Slovakia’s chairmanship of the bloc for six months from July presents a major headache for Brussels.

    The country has boycotted Mr Juncker’s quotas scheme for 160,000 refugees – which he wants to make a permanent system of handling asylum crises, backed up with fines of €250,000 for each refugee a state refuses to take

    “This may be seem strange…but I’m sorry Islam has no place in Slovakia,” Robert Fico said. “I think it is the duty of politicians to talk about this openly and clearly.

    “I do not wish tens of thousands of Muslims coming here and promoting their own stuff,” he continued, adding that taking in Muslims would threaten Slovakian traditions that “go back centuries”.

    Mr Fico’s comments dispelled speculation that he might tone down his anti-Islamic immigration rhetoric ahead of Slovakia taking over the presidency.

    The position plays a major role in chairing the meeting of national ministers and tabling proposals, and requires close co-operation with the Commission, the EU’s full-time executive.

    The post also provides a major platform for Slovakian leaders to hold forth.

    The post is currently held by the Netherlands.

    Official papers reveal that Mr Juncker expects countries such as Slovakia to be stripped of billions of pounds in EU infrastructure funding as punishment for their refusal to take part in the quotas scheme

    The “solidarity” that rich countries show former communist countries is not a “one way street”, Mr Juncker warned at a recent meeting.

    Commissioners are recorded as saying that “there was a danger that the EU’s solidarity towards Member States that were net beneficiaries of cohesion funds would be called into question if there were no reciprocal solidarity in the management of refugees.”

    “If the allocation of cohesion funds were to be called into question, this would have a considerable impact both on the EU’s internal affairs and on its fundamental values, particularly with regard to solidarity between Member States.”

    Mr Juncker is recorded as saying there is a “real risk that the principle of solidarity could be called into question in all EU policy areas if it were not also applied in the reception of asylum seekers.”

    Earlier this year Mr Fico pledged that “will never – under a quota system – bring one single Muslim to Slovakia”, saying that they represented a security ris.

    Mr Fico has also said that it “is impossible to integrate Muslims”, and on his watch Slovakia has even filed a law suit against the EU over its quota policy.

    The country has said it wants to promote a “sustainable” migration policy that will protect the EU’s external borders during its six months in control of the presidency. It also wants the EU to become “more attractive for highly qualified migrants”.

  13. Geert Wilders For Breitbart: The West Is Sick Of Politics, But It Isn’t Sick Of Democracy

    Ronald Reagan used to say that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Last November, Pew Research revealed that only 19% of Americans still trust the government. And 55% are convinced that “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems than the elected politicians.
    Elsewhere in the West, the situation isn’t much different. Research by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) in the Netherlands indicates similar distrust towards the government, with people complaining that politicians do not listen to ordinary citizens. 55% state that they want to have a bigger say.

    The SCP-study also reveals, however, that, while trust in politicians is dwindling, trust in democracy is rising. People want more direct democracy.

  14. Germany: Multi-faith service honours IS fighter, 17, reportedly killed by group

    Mourners attended a memorial service at the St. Pauli Church in Hamburg, Friday, for a 17-year-old named as Florent Prince N., and also known as “Bilal”, who joined the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) last year. It is suspected that the militant group killed the teenager around one year ago when reacting to a message he reportedly recorded and broadcast.

    SOT, Member of the Christian church (German): “I want to support the [church] community because I think it is good that we do this [memorial] and I think it is really important. I know that some people knew Florent and want to say goodbye to him. I personally think this is a total drama that so many young people go into a war like this voluntarily and become cannon fodder. [I feel] grief for all who became victims of fundamentalism and war propaganda.”

  15. Germany: Mazyek discusses AfD meeting, highlights ‘swing to the right’

    Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany Aiman Mazyek spoke to the press in Berlin, Friday, about his Monday meeting with the leaders of the Eurosceptic and anti-immigration AfD party (Alternative for Germany).

    SOT, Aiman Mazyek, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (German): “We didn’t go into this discussion saying, ‘Take this constitutional – or, actually, the anti-constitutional – positions out of your party’s manifesto.’ Instead, we rose above this and cut it out of the conversation. We said what our position is, that we have, alongside many constitutional lawyers and also, for the last two days, our President as well, acknowledged that the position of this party goes against the words and the spirit of our Basic Law. And we have dealt with this in our discussion. We had very concrete questions there; and we established that they didn’t wish to take up these questions. Rather, they wanted to set up an inserted trick to help themselves, where they said, ‘You exercised your freedom of expression around a month ago’ Regarding the Taggesschau where I voiced the view that the first time that a party is prepared to existentially limit and threaten an entire religious community which is already harking back to the position of Hitler’s regime. And, for me, expressing my view is something that one must simply accept in a democracy and in a social discourse. One can take a different position, one can even confront that position, but one cannot attempt to blackmail someone by saying, ‘Retract that or we will break off discussions.'”

    SOT, Aiman Mazyek, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (German): “We’re experiencing all over Europe, not just in Germany, a swing to the right. And perhaps we can see this as a worldwide, or at least in the western world, that we can talk about a general phenomenon of a swing to the right. We’re seeing simplification, positions that flee from the complexities that the world throws up. The populism and demagogy, which was something that was present, is playing an increasingly stronger role. And people are fearful that they’re going to abandon their history and that the middle class are seeing social decline. Then, the populists and the demagogues are profiting from this. One can see this phenomenon all over the place in the western world; with reference, for example, to the US election.”

  16. DAILY MAIL – Why I decided to give up my life in London and become a goat in Switzerland: Jobless Brit lives among mountain animals and creates prosthetics so he is just like them

    Thomas Thwaites, a 35-year-old Londoner, wanted a simpler way of life
    So he got prosthetic ‘goat legs’ and lived as part of an Alpine herd
    He said: ‘I suffered quite a lot as a goat…they didn’t like me much’
    ‘Goats live much more in the moment than we do,’ said Thwaites

    I later realised that they were just letting me know there was a hierarchy, and I should know my place.’

    […]But as he was not keen on meat he decided against becoming a dog.

    […]He applied for a university grant to study goat psychology and tracked down a goatherd

    […]’The best moment was when one of the goats suddenly decided she was going to be my friend, and she just followed me everywhere.

    • Goats aren’t very nice.
      Maybe it’s me, maybe it was just the particular goats, but I couldn’t make friends with any of them. Mean and stupid.
      Chickens are stupid too, but at least they give you eggs.

      Maybe I should write a book too.

      • It not you, goats are stupid, they are smelly and don’t make good pets, but their manure makes good fertilizer just remember to cut it will a lot of dirt before applying. You have to cut it because it is so rich.

      • So the black kid says “I came to listen.” But it just so happened that he had a whistle in his pocket and felt compelled to blow it. Strange that, who brings a whistle to a lecture?

        DePaul University admins should be ashamed of themselves, but they’re not. They have lost the narrative just like campuses all across the West.

  17. Germany: Friday prayer held on Berlin TU campus as protest continues

    Around 100 Muslims held Friday prayer on campus of the Technical University in Berlin, Friday, as a form of protest against the university’s decision to shut down Muslim prayer rooms continues.

    Footage from the protest showed protesters line up and pray on mats at the University’s premises, and a speaker with a megaphone addressing the crowd shortly after.

    The university shut down the open space and a closed hall for the Friday prayers in the middle of March 2016. According to Christian Thomsen, the university’s president, the room was closed as the university wanted to keep higher education separate from religion.

  18. Germany: Pro-refugee protesters decry deportations at Leipzig airport

    Around 200 pro-refugee protesters marched through Leipzig airport and to the city’s central train station on Friday, denouncing the government deportation plan which aims to make it easier to deport migrants who have been convicted of crimes.

    Protesters were accompanied by police as they rallied through the airport and then caught the train to the city’s main station. No serious incidents were reported.

  19. Iranian Students Lashed 99 Times Over Party That Included Men and Women (NYT, May 27, 2016)

    “TEHRAN — More than 30 college students were arrested, interrogated and within 24 hours were each given 99 lashes for attending a graduation party that included men and women, Iran’s judiciary has announced.

    The punishments, which were believed to be part of a wider crackdown by a judiciary dominated by hard-liners, were meted out in Qazvin, about 90 miles northwest of the capital, and were carried out in record time, Mizan, a news agency affiliated with the judiciary, reported on Thursday, citing the city’s prosecutor.

    The Qazvin prosecutor, Esmail Sadeghi Niaraki, said that more than 30 female and male students — the women were described as “half naked,” meaning they were not wearing Islamic coverings, scarves and long coats — were arrested while “dancing and jubilating” after the authorities received a report that a party attended both by men and women was being held in a villa on the outskirts of Qazvin.

    An arrest warrant was issued, he said, and the defendants were sentenced to 99 lashes after being questioned…”

  20. Islamic State: Killings of civilians rises in Falluja, says UN (BBC, May 27, 2016)

    “An increasing number of men and older boys are being killed in the besieged Iraqi city of Falluja for refusing to fight for so-called Islamic State (IS), the UN has warned.

    Government forces are currently trying to recapture the city from IS, one of its two remaining Iraqi strongholds.

    About 50,000 civilians are trapped and supplies are so low there are reports people have starved to death.

    Those that have been able to flee have described dire conditions inside…”

  21. Pakistani Premier to Undergo Open Heart Surgery in London (abcnews, May 27, 2016)

    “A spokesman says Pakistan’s prime minister is due to undergo open heart surgery in London next week.

    Mohyuddin Wani, a spokesman for Nawaz Sharif, said Friday that the prime minister will undergo surgery Tuesday and is expected to remain in hospital for a week at least.

    He did not comment on Sharif’s current condition, adding only that he had experienced “complications” following a previous heart operation.

    In Pakistan, Sharif is facing pressure from the opposition to conduct a thorough probe into the so-called Panama Papers, leaked legal documents that reveal that members of his family own undeclared offshore companies and expensive property in London. Some leaders have demanded Sharif step down.”

  22. The Latest: HRW: 165,000 Syrians Trapped at Turkish Border (abcnews, May 27, 2016)

    “… Human Rights Watch says around 165,000 civilians are trapped near the Turkish border as a result of the latest fighting in northern Syria.

    Islamic State militants launched an offensive in Aleppo province, capturing a string of villages from rebels, bringing them to within 3 kilometers (two miles) from the rebel-held town of Azaz.

    Azaz, on the Turkish border, hosts tens of thousands of internally displaced people.

    Turkey has closed its borders with Syria for the past 15 months, and HRW says Turkish border guards enforcing the closure have at times shot at and assaulted Syrian asylum seekers as they try to reach safety in Turkey — charges the Turkish government denies.

    “While the world speaks about fighting ISIS, their silence is deafening when it comes to the basic rights of those fleeing ISIS,” Gerry Simpson, senior researcher with the group’s refugee program, wrote in a dispatch…”

  23. Report: Rockets Fired From Syria Hit Turkey, 5 Wounded (abcnews, May 27, 2016)

    “Turkey’s state-run news agency says rockets fired from Syria have struck southern Turkey wounding five people.

    Anadolu Agency said Friday three rockets landed in a house garden and empty fields in the border province of Kilis.

    The wounded were rushed to the hospital as police stepped up security in the area.

    Cross-border fire from Syria has claimed 21 lives and wounded dozens of others in Kilis this year.

    Authorities blame the attacks on the Islamic State group which has a presence in northern Syria.

    The Turkish army typically responds by shelling IS positions in line with its rules of engagement.”

    • About lesbianism as affectation – that sounds right to me.

      Just something somebody dreamt up and sold to the credulous and confused.

      Gomer Pile Moment: Evidence suggests that which is unnatural is also deleterious to one’s health.
      File it under Decadence.

  24. ‘Gentle beating’ of wife is no violence, says CII chief (tribune, May 27, 2016)

    “ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: After the top constitutional body on Islamic laws recommended ‘a light beating’ for women’ sparking outrage, the body’s chairman softened his tone stating ‘violence’ is not permissible in the religion.

    “Do not try to relate our proposal (on beating women) with violence. Light beating does not mean violence,” explained Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Mualana Muhammad Khan Sherani after a press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

    “The issue has been blown totally out of proportions. Everyone condemns violence. People need to be educated to stay away from violence.”

    He added that both men and women should refrain from inflicting physical violence on one another. But the CII chief did not back down on the council’s recommendations that ‘light beating’ of wives was permissible.

    “If you want her (a wife) to mend her ways, you should first advise her,” Maulana Sherani explained to The Express Tribune after his press conference. “If she refuses, stop talking to her. Still if she does not show compliance, stop sharing a bed with her, and if things do not change, get a bit strict.”

    Maulana Sherani went on to detail what he meant by ‘beating’. “Hit her with light things like handkerchief, a hat or a turban, but do not hit her on the face or private parts. And the beating should not cause any kind of physical damage or even scratches. Resort to light stuff, nothing serious.”…”

  25. Draft paper: Germany to boost military role on world stage (DW, May 27, 2016)

    “Germany is ready to take on a bigger military role to maintain global security, according to a government white paper. The draft document indicates a possible shift away from Germany’s postwar era of military restraint.

    The government’s position paper on security policy, seen by media outlets on Friday, said Germany was increasingly seen as a “key player” in Europe, and had “a responsibility to actively help shape the global order.”

    It added that Germany could do more at a time when the global community was grappling with threats including terrorism waged by “Islamic State,” cybercrime and a more aggressive Russia. At the same time, however, the paper pointed out that there would be clear limits to Berlin’s contribution.

    “Our larger role in international security policy will not lead to automatic reactions or to pressure for action that conflicts with our values and interests or that overstretches our capabilities,” it said.

    The document also stressed that Germany would avoid unilateral action, and would instead rely on engagement with the European Union, NATO and a close partnership with the United States…”

  26. Islam classes will make protect children from fundamentalists, bishop says (DW, May 27, 2016)

    “State-sponsored lessons in Islam could protect young Muslims from radical ideologies, the Evangelical Church’s head bishop has said. The pontiff has called for all schools in Germany to teach the religion.

    “Young Muslim pupils should get the chance to critically analyze their religion’s traditions,” Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), told German newspaper “Heilbronner Stimme.”

    This could be the best way to make young people immune to fundamentalist ideas, he said.

    Bedford-Strohm called for “nationwide lessons in Islam,” adding that pupils could learn about Islam on the basis of the German constitution.

    “Tolerance, freedom of religion and conscience should be valid for all religions. These rules can be taught in the best way, if religion is seen as part of the state’s educational mission,” he said.

    The bishop said Islamic organizations could take up the responsibility for such lessons, the same way churches did for schools. Muslims in Germany could organize contact partners for this purpose. Most German schools offer classes in both Catholicism and Protestantism and some also provide students instruction in Judaism and Islam.

    Representatives of the Catholic Church agreed with Bedford-Strohm’s proposal, saying they had previously called for Islam lessons “on the basis of the Grundgesetz.”

    Bavaria’s Culture and Education Minister, Ludwig Spaenle, also said Germany needed to give school children the opportunity to learn more about their religion. However, at present, there was nobody from the Muslim community who could satisfactorily serve as a partner for dialogue, he added.

    Six out of 18 German states, including North-Rhine Westphalia, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, currently offer lessons in Islam. Saarland has been experimenting with the idea in junior classes, according to Germany’s Standing Conference of Education and Culture Ministers.”

  27. Moroccans Denounce French TV Program About King Mohammed VI (moroccoworldnews, May 27, 2016)

    “Rabat – Moroccan social media users have reacted with indignation following French TV channel France 3’s airing of a TV program critical of King Mohammed VI.

    The documentary, which was aired on France 3 yesterday night, was produced by the French journalist Jean-Louis Perez. After the channel announced that the program would be shown, many social media users launched calls for Moroccans to show solidarity with King Mohammed VI.

    The documentary focuses on the king’s reign, personal life and wealth. Many Moroccans consider the latter two violation of the king’s privacy…”

  28. White House has New Muslim American Community Liaison (moroccoworldnews, May 27, 2016)

    “Rabat – The White House recently welcomed their new community liaison under the Office of Public Engagement, Zaki Barzinji, former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, according to The Huffington Post.

    Barzinji plans to reach out to Muslim Americans, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Hindus working to ensure that the communities are represented at a federal level.

    “A big part of this role is making sure the national conversation about these communities is not framed through a single lens, but covers the full range of issues that Muslims and other Americans face,” Barzinji, 27, said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

    Previously, Barzinji served as a liaison to the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, directed outrach to Arabic American, Asian American and Pacific American communities for McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign, and was the former president of Muslim Youth of North America.

    Barzinji’s new role consists of coordinating public speaking engagements for the Obama Administration in Muslim American communities, ensuring that Muslim American communities are represented in the Administration’s work, and working to promote civic involvement within faith communities.

    “I look forward to working hand in hand with my fellow Muslims and other communities of faith to build upon the policy priorities that this administration has worked tirelessly to promote over the past seven years,” he said.”

  29. UK ready to send second Navy ship to Libya (ansamed, May 27, 2016)

    “ROME – Britain is willing to send another Navy ship to aid Libya in fighting human and arms traffickers in the Mediterranean, according to sources at a two-day Group of Seven (G7) summit of industrialized nations that ended Friday.

    Britain currently has one Navy ship in the area. The European Union must authorize any further deployment.

    London has sent four military strategy advisors to Rome to discuss a plan to beef up the Libyan Coast Guard’s action in the Mediterranean, the sources told the BBC…”

  30. Sociologist says Palestinian politics faces authoritarianism (ansamed, May 27, 2016)

    “RAMALLAH – “Palestinian politics is facing an authoritarianism without precedent,” said Palestinian sociologist Tariq Dana of the University of Birzeit (Jordan), where he teaches political science. In an interview with ANSA, Dana goes even further: “The authoritarianism of President Abu Mazen is far superior to that exercised in the past by Yasser Arafat”. During his rule, the sociologist said, dissent was much more tolerated, criticism of his policies were commonplace, and often there were protests in the streets against talks with Israel or against Palestinian security forces. “Since then, however, the structure of the Palestinian National Authority (ANP) has changed radically. The ANP has become an organisation at the service of the Palestinian political and economic elite, as well as a functional tool for the occupying force” that is, Israel. According to Dana – who has a doctorate in politics and human rights from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa – Abu Mazen also leverages tools of an economic nature to control dissent. Dana cites as an example the 2015 freezing of funds of the NGOs and foundations of former prime minister Salam Fayyad and Yasser Abed Rabbo (a storied member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization), “guilty” of having criticised the presidency…”

  31. Russia deplores US refusal to jointly fight Al Nusra in Syria (gulfnews, May 27, 2016)

    “Moscow: Washington’s refusal to jointly fight Al Qaida’s branch in Syria has contributed to an escalation of fighting in the war-torn country, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday.

    The Russians proposed last week that Russia and the US-led anti-Daesh coalition launch joint action against Al Nusra Front, but the US military said its contacts with Russia are only to maintain airspace safety in the crowded skies over Syria.

    Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said the US refusal to consider join action against Al Nusra Front is leading “to further escalation of the military conflict.”

    He noted that the US has failed to encourage opposition groups eager to abide by a US- and Russian-brokered cease-fire in Syria to leave the areas where the Al Qaida affiliate is present, saying their failure to do so is threatening the truce…”

  32. End Moral Crimes’ Charges and Virginity Tests, HRW urges Afghanistan (khaama, May 27, 2016)

    “The Human Rights Watch has urged the Afghan government to urgently act to end wrongful imprisonment and humiliating, scientifically invalid “virginity exams” of women and girls.

    Accordin to the rights organization, the Afghan police and prosecutors continue to engage in the abusive practice, despite a pledge from President Ashraf Ghani in a February 2016 letter to Human Rights Watch to “prevent the imprisonment of women accused of running away from their family.”

    Heather Barr, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said “President Ghani’s promise to end the practice of arresting women and girls for ‘running away’ is an important step forward for women’s rights in Afghanistan.”

    “But to make a real difference, the president needs to issue a clear and binding order that immediately changes how every police officer and prosecutor handles complaints against women and girls. For too long, women and girls fleeing violence have been treated as criminals while their abusers go free,” Barr added.

    HRW added that the government should take concrete steps to implement the promised reform and ensure that women and girls who have been the victims of violence are protected by the legal system.

    “In Afghanistan today, hundreds of women and girls are imprisoned on charges of “moral crimes,” Human Rights Watch said, adding that “These so-called crimes include “running away” from home, and committing or attempting to commit zina, or having sex outside of marriage.”

    According to HRW estimate, in 2013 that half of all women in prison and about 95 percent of girls in juvenile detention in Afghanistan have been arrested on “moral crimes” charges.

    Citing a research report, HRW said in most cases, the women and girls accused of these “crimes” were fleeing forced child marriage or domestic violence. In some cases, women and girls who have been raped were charged with zina, alongside their rapist.

    HRW said the so-called “virginity tests” have no scientific validity in reality, insisting that their use is based on the mistaken belief that “virginity” can be determined by examining a woman or girl’s hymen to determine whether it has been broken during sexual intercourse.

    “In fact, some girls are born without a hymen, hymens often break during daily non-sexual activities, and some hymens remain intact after sexual intercourse. These factors make “virginity examinations” so unreliable that the World Health Organization has said that they have no scientific validity and health workers should never conduct them,” HRW added.”

  33. European Commission – Press release ( part 1 )

    Commission updates EU audiovisual rules and presents targeted approach to online platforms

    The European Commission today proposed an update of EU audiovisual rules to create a fairer environment for all players, promote European films, protect children and tackle hate speech better. This proposal also reflects a new approach to online platforms, addressing challenges in different areas.

    As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, today the Commission presented an updated Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD); the common rules which have governed audiovisual media, ensured cultural diversity and the free circulation of content in the EU for almost 30 years. Nowadays viewers do not only watch video content via their TV channels but also increasingly via video-on-demand services (such as Netflix and MUBI) and video-sharing platforms (such as YouTube and Dailymotion). This is why the Commission wants to achieve a better balance of the rules which today apply to traditional broadcasters, video-on-demand providers and video-sharing platforms, especially when it comes to protecting children. The revised AVMSD also strengthens the promotion of European cultural diversity, ensures the independence of audiovisual regulators and gives more flexibility to broadcasters over advertising.

    This proposal reflects the new approach of the Commission towards online platforms – like online marketplaces, search engines, payment systems, social media, video and content-sharing sites. Since the launch of the Digital Single Market strategy in May 2015, the Commission has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the social and economic role of these new players. Today the Commission concluded that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach was not appropriate for consumers to benefit from the opportunities and for the rules to meet the different challenges posed by the very diverse types of online platforms. Based on this approach, the Commission will look at each area where it can act, from telecoms to copyright rules, to address any specific problems in a future-proof way for all market players.

    Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “I want online platforms and the audiovisual and creative sectors to be powerhouses in the digital economy, not weigh them down with unnecessary rules. They need the certainty of a modern and fair legal environment: that is what we are providing today. This means not changing existing rules that work, such as those related to the liability of online service providers. It also means deregulating where necessary for traditional sectors like broadcasting, or extending certain obligations to platforms and other digital players to improve user protection and to reach a level-playing field.”

    Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “The way we watch TV or videos may have changed, but our values don’t. With these new rules, we will uphold media pluralism, the independence of audiovisual regulators and will make sure incitement to hatred will have no room on video-sharing platforms. We also want to ensure a level-playing field, responsible behaviour, trust and fairness in the online platforms environment, our today’s Communication sets out our vision for that.”

    A media framework for the 21st century

    The Commission has conducted an evaluation of the 2010 Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and, on this basis, proposed:

    Responsible video-sharing platforms:Platforms which organise and tag a large quantity of videos will have to protect minors from harmful content (such as pornography and violence) and protect all citizens from incitement to hatred. Detailed measures include tools for users to report and flag harmful content, age verification or parental control systems. To make sure the measures are future-proof and effective, the Commission will invite all video-sharing platforms to work within the Alliance to better protect minors online, with an aim to come up with a code of conduct for the industry. On top of industry self-regulation, national audiovisual regulators will have the power to enforce the rules, which depending on national legislation, can also lead to fines.
    A stronger role for audiovisual regulators:The Directive will now ensure that regulatory authorities are truly independent from governments and industry, and can play their role best:ensure that audiovisual media act in the interest of viewers. The role of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), composed of all 28 national audiovisual regulators, will be set out in EU legislation. ERGA will assess co-regulatory codes of conduct and advise the European Commission.
    More European creativity:Currently, European TV broadcasters invest around 20% of their revenues in original content and on-demand providers less than 1%. The Commission wants TV broadcasters to continue to dedicate at least half of viewing time to European works and will oblige on-demand providers to ensure at least 20% share of European content in their catalogues. The proposal also clarifies that Member States are able to ask on-demand services available in their country to contribute financially to Europeans works.
    More flexibility for TV broadcasters: Viewers annoyed by too many TV advertisements can switch to online ad-free offerings which did not exist a decade ago. The revised audiovisual rules respond to this, and other new realities. The revised Directive gives broadcasters more flexibility as to when ads can be shown – the overall limit of 20% of broadcasting time is maintained between 7 am and 11 pm, but instead of the current 12 minutes per hour, broadcasters can choose more freely when to show ads throughout the day. Broadcasters and on-demand providers will also have greater flexibility to use product placement and sponsorship, while keeping viewers informed.

    These different measures are expected to have a positive economic impact for media service providers – mainly TV broadcasters – and increase their capacity to invest in audiovisual content. This is important for the competitiveness of the EU audiovisual industry.

    • ( part 2 )

      Online platforms: opportunities and challenges for Europe

      Online platforms play a key role in innovation and growth in the Digital Single Market. They have revolutionised access to information and have connected buyers and sellers in a better and more efficient way. EU action is needed to set the right environment to attract, retain and grow new online platforms innovators.

      The Commission outlined a targeted, principles-based approach, to fix problems flagged by respondents to the Commission’s public consultation during its year-long assessment of platforms (see questions and answers). The Commission will support industry and stakeholder efforts for self- and co-regulation to ensure this approach remains flexible and up-to-date. The action areas include:

      Comparable rules for comparable digital services:Comparable digital services should follow the same or similar rules and, where possible, the Commission should reduce the scope and extent of existing regulation. The Commission will apply these principles in- ongoing reviews of EU telecoms legislation, and of the e-Privacy Directive, for example when considering whether rules on confidentiality should apply to providers of online communications services as well as traditional telecoms companies.
      An obligation for online platforms to behave responsibly: The existing intermediary liability regime, set out in the e-Commerce Directive should be maintained. Specific problems will be addressed through targeted instruments, such as audiovisual or copyright rules (press release), or enhanced voluntary efforts by industry.
      For example, the Commission is working intensely with major online platforms on a code of conduct on combatting hate speech online and will present the results in the coming weeks.
      Trust is a must:Cross-border enforcement cooperation will ensure that platforms fulfil their obligations regarding consumer rights, for example to clearly indicate sponsored search results (press release). The Commission will also encourage industry to step-up voluntary efforts to tackle practices such as fake or misleading online reviews. The Commission will encourage online platforms to recognise different kinds of secure electronic identifications (eID) which offer the same reassurance as their own eID systems.
      Open markets for a data-driven economy:The free flow of data initiative scheduled for the end of 2016 will facilitate switching and portability of data among different online platforms and cloud computing services.
      A fair and innovation-friendly business environment: The Commission will carry out a fact-finding exercise into issues raised in the public consultation by businesses and suppliers who directly interact with platforms. These include, for example, concerns over unfair terms and conditions, in particular for access to important databases, market access and general lack of transparency. On this basis, the Commission will determine, by spring 2017, whether additional EU action in this area is needed.

      In its forthcoming European agenda for the collaborative economy, the Commission will also provide guidance on applicable EU legislation and make recommendations for Member States.


      These new initiatives under the Digital Single Market strategy are presented today along with a package to boost e-commerce in the EU (press release).

      Today’s measures followed a set of initiatives to digitise European industry (press release), proposals on copyright (press release) and digital contracts (press release) as well as a draft decision on spectrum coordination (press release). The Digital Single Market strategy includes 16 initiatives to be presented by the end of this year.

      More information

      Questions and answers on online platforms and on EU audiovisual rules

      Documents adopted today:

      Proposal for a revised Directive on audiovisual media services

      Communication on online platforms and the Digital Single Market

      Staff working document on online platforms and the Digital Single Market

      On social media




  34. UK – Theresa May says many Britons ‘BENEFIT GREATLY’ from Sharia Law

    THERESA May sparked anger today by claiming many Britons “benefit a great deal” from Sharia Law.

    The Home Secretary made the controversial remarks as she announced the Government is set to investigate the “misuse” of Islamist law to subjugate women.

    Top Tory Mrs May, who wants Britain to stay in the European Union, insisted the inquiry will not look into the legality of Sharia Law courts in a move designed to reassure Muslims.

    Instead it will focus on instances where traditional Islamic doctrine is being “exploited” to discriminate against Muslim women.

    There are thought to be around 100 Sharia Law courts operating throughout the UK, dispensing Islamic justice outside the remit of our own legal system.

    Judgements handed down by the informal courts have no legal basis, but there are fears their presence means many Muslim women are not getting access to the justice they deserve.

    But in a controversial intervention Mrs May today claimed many British Muslims “benefit a great deal” from their existence.

    Furious commenters took to social media today to blast the Home Secretary’s comments, which they branded “unbelievable”.

    Belinda Wood ?tweeted: “Theresa May hails Sharia Benefits!! What is happening, a home sec seems to want a secondary law system for those seeking to destroy democracy.

    Another user called Lithlad ?said: “While Theresa May explores the benefits of sharia law, Saudi Arabia bans cat photos for being ‘too Western’. I hate this septic isle.”

    And a third, going under the name P.Pink, simply responded: “God help us, from atheist.”

    Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, was also unimpressed by the comments, describing them as “unbelievable”.

    Mrs May’s remarks came as she launched a Home Office probe, led by Professor Mona Siddiqui, investigating the treatment of women in cases involving divorce, domestic violence and child custody.

    She said: “Many British people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit a great deal from the guidance they offer.

    “A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils, and that is a significant concern.

    “There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.

    “Professor Siddiqui, supported by a panel with a strong balance of academic, religious and legal expertise, will help us better understand whether and the extent to which Sharia law is being misused or exploited and make recommendations to the Government on how to address this.”

    Theresa May INSISTS many British people “benefit a great deal” from guidance offered by Sharia teaching……Hmm interesting
    — Ernie Warrender (@ErnieWarrender) 27 May 2016

    The review, which will last up to 18 months, will investigate whether there are instances where British law is being broken in the name of Sharia.

    It will also attempt to catalogue the number of Islamic courts and councils operating across Britain for the very first time.

    But Mrs May was quick to emphasises that the inquiry will only look at how Sharia ideas were being “misused or exploited” rather than a broader examination of whether the teaching itself discriminates against women.

    In a ministerial statement announcing the review Home Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon insisted: “It will not be a review of the totality of Sharia law, which is a source of guidance for many Muslims in the UK.”

    Professor Siddiqui added: “At a time when there is so much focus on Muslims in the UK, this will be a wide ranging, timely and thorough review as to what actually happens in Sharia councils.”

    But Baroness Cox, an independent peer who has spearheaded a Parliamentary drive to rein in unofficial Sharia courts, said there was a danger the inquiry could be a “distraction” from the urgency of tackling discrimination.

    She said: “I think the Government may well say ‘let’s wait until the results of the investigation’ but we need action now.

    “My reservation is that it won’t get to the root of the problem. A lot of Muslim women I know say that the men in their communities just laugh at this proposed investigation, that they will go underground so the investigation will have to be very robust.”

    She also blasted Mrs May’s insistence discrimination against women is only a result of a “misuse” of Sharia teaching, rather than the teaching itself.

    The peer said: “I believe in freedom of religion and I believe that there are aspects of Sharia law that are totally unproblematic.

    “If Muslims want to fast, well Christians do that at Lent, if they want to pray five times a day, that’s more than I do.

    “But the aspects which are causing such concerns – such as that a man can divorce his wife by saying ‘I divorce you’ three times, that is inherent, the right to ‘chastise’ women is inherent, polygamy is inherent.

    “I don’t think those things are a distortion or Sharia law.

    “These are aspects of Sharia law which are unacceptable.”

  35. Putin says Romania, Poland may now be in Russia’s cross-hairs

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.

    Putin issued his starkest warning yet over the missile shield, saying that Moscow had stated repeatedly that it would have to take retaliatory steps but that Washington and its allies had ignored the warnings.

    Earlier this month the U.S. military — which says the shield is needed to protect from Iran, not threaten Russia — switched on the Romanian part of the shield. Work is going ahead on another part of the shield, in Poland.

    “If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” Putin told a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    “It will be the same case with Poland,” he said.

    Putin did not specify what actions Russia would take, but he insisted that it was not making the first step, only responding to moves by Washington. “We won’t take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us.”

  36. White Paper: Germany sees itself as a security policy design power

    The federal government wants to commit a larger German leadership role in the world in the new White Paper on Security Policy. According to the draft of the White Paper, Germany sees the future (its future) as an active creative power. (power who shapes the world)

    The federal government wants to commit a larger German leadership role in the world in the new White Paper on Security Policy. In the draft strategy document states that Germany “has the responsibility to actively participate in the global order”. In Bundeswehr operations abroad Germany was prepared to take over as “framework nation” within an alliance leadership responsibilities.

    The Federal Republic is increasingly perceived as a “key player” in Europe, is in the design, on Friday was first reported by the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “and the” Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger “about. At the same time it is said: “Our enhanced role in international security policy does not lead to automatism still act constraints that are contrary to our values ??and interests or overstretch the measure of our possibilities.”

    In the White Papers safety overall political situation is analyzed to derive consequences for the orientation of the Bundeswehr. The first White Paper was published in 1969, that most recent White Paper was published of 2006. The committee responsible drawn up by the Ministry of Defence document to be discussed before the summer break in the Cabinet.

    The now agreed by the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Ministry and Chancellery design emphasizes integration into the EU, the anchor of NATO and the close security partnership with the US. “Alliance solidarity is part of German raison d’etat”, says the document.;art154776,3223147

      • It means Merkel is trying to take over the EU, she wants Germany,not the EU but Germany to be in charge of Europe. The socialist governments of Europe and simply another way for international Marxism to take over Europe and Merkel wants to be the boss of the EU. This is a power play that needs to be countered but I don’t think any of the current European socialist leaders will fight her.

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