Reader’s links for September 17 – 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

87 Replies to “Reader’s links for September 17 – 2016”

    • When Bruce Schneier writes a post titled, Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet, you better listen.

      Read his post below and share widely:

      Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.

      First, a little background. If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Like the name says, this is an attack designed to prevent legitimate users from getting to the site. There are subtleties, but basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it’s overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don’t like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it’s a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.

      Richard: This one is imortant, everyone does a lot of work and notifications over the net, if it is suddenly taken down the attackers could have a period of time where their military could run riot.

      The author said that China and Russia spring to mind on who could be testing hte defenses, it could also be Iran or another Islamic nation that is preparing for a major attack in the near to medium future.

  1. Just 5.7 Percent Of Clinton Foundation Budget Actually Went To Charitable Grants

    Read more:

    Just 5.7 percent of the Clinton Foundation’s massive 2014 budget actually went to charitable grants, according to the tax-exempt organization’s IRS filings. The rest went to salaries and employee benefits, fundraising and “other expenses.”

    The Clinton Foundation spent a hair under $91.3 million in 2014, the organization’s IRS filings show. But less than $5.2 million of that went to charitable grants.

    That number pales in comparison to the $34.8 million the foundation spent on salaries, compensation and employee benefits.

    Read more:

    • How much of that money ended up in off shore accounts owned by the Clintons? I would love to have complete access to their books and the back up documents, that would be a truly fascinating audit. Of course I would need bodyguards for the rest of my life if I were allowed to audit those books.

  2. U.S. deploys SOF to battle for site of ‘Sunni Armageddon’; Syrian rebels chase them off

    The foolishness of this, when you reconstruct the whole picture, is almost unfathomable.

    Reports began gathering steam on Friday, 16 September, that U.S. commandos arriving in the border town of Al-Rai, in northwestern Syria, were greeted by threats and jeers from our erstwhile allies, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Al-Rai was recently liberated from ISIS, and was part of ISIS’s small but tenaciously held territory west of the Euphrates on the border with Turkey.

    The UK Telegraph picked up on early tweets with video of the small American contingent in Al-Rai, moving in unmarked vehicles. (All tweets below.) Telegraph noted some of the FSA taunts:

    • Below are selected sections of the article after the tweets and my comments:

      …. what the Telegraph and WSJ delicately refer to as a complex web of alliances is actually a minefield, for any force that wanders into it with too small a footprint, and too small an objective, to take care of itself. That’s what the U.S. SOF contingent inserted into the middle of this mess is.

      Not only is our force too small to have a decisive effect. America herself looks increasingly cynical and faithless to the parties in Syria, because of the way we have handled our operations there.

      Obama has spread our forces all over in Penny Packets where they are more or less ineffective and when crunch time comes unenforceable and at massive risk.

      In September 2016, every ally we’ve had in Syria can now look back and say that some policy move by the United States has gotten them shot at, by our other allies or partners. Most recently, it’s been the Kurds, being shot up by the Turks. Earlier this summer, it was our Syrian rebel partners, being attacked by our negotiating partners the Russians. In spite of how Russia has treated our rebel partners on the ground in Syria, John Kerry is literally desperate to force closer coordination between Russian and U.S. military forces.

      If you’re the Free Syrian Army, that’s how it looks to you: like working with the U.S. is just a way to call down fire on your position. In the strategically vital terrain of northern Aleppo, where the Russians have already been bombing for months, the last thing the FSA needs is help from Obama

      Obama and Kerry are masters of stabbing our allies in the back, their actions are leaving the next President (I pray it is Trump) a very large mess to handle.

      I can appreciate the antiseptic tone in which Western media report the imputed significance of Dabiq to ISIS and Sunni Islam (see here and here for additional discussion of how Dabiq has figured in military ops in Syria since 2014). We Westerners, of course, do not believe that there will be an Armageddon-type battle at Dabiq. Whatever our belief systems – Christianity, Judaism, post-modern secularism – we don’t accept the prophetic interpretations of Sunni Islam on this point.

      But we are fools to think that because we disbelieve it, it doesn’t matter. There is hardly any other place in Syria where we could have inserted U.S. troops to more confrontational and alarming effect. As our vice president might say, this was really effing stupid.

      The left does not respect any religion but Marxism and looks down on those who do. For this reason they never accept that this is a war over religion and that the religions prophecies of the opposing side have to be taken into consideration when we make moves. Eventually we will have to move into areas that will upset the Moslems but when we do we have to send in overwhelming force that will prevent most people from resisting.

      …. I don’t believe in the fantasy of a “Fortress America” that can magically wish away the rest of the world and avoid engaging with it. Nor do I think there is any future for an America that behaves like most of the other nations, spending all our time polishing explanations of how the dog ate our homework, and how only the most cynically selected things are our problem. I disagree strongly that the world can function well without the special American brand of leadership.

      I agree

      The accelerated pace at which things are moving in both Syria and Iraq suggests that we may not have until January before the fighting there puts our deployed troops in mortal danger. They are still scattered in relatively small numbers, as they have been since Obama began deploying them “against ISIS” in 2014. They’re not organized and equipped to fight on their own if they have to (not even the relatively larger task force in Irbil); they remain dependent on the local forces they are embedded with.

      Events are moving to turn WWIII kinetic all over the world. We are sailing uncharted waters in a hurricane in a leaky boat.

      This is a very dangerous and unstable situation, and since Obama can’t manage it properly, we need to just cut the cord. It would not be satisfactory, by any means, to regroup outside the theater of battle, maintaining a marginally responsive posture with some minimal capabilities in the region. But it wouldn’t be as bad as letting the operational vulnerability of our troops get any worse.

      • America is a large and powerful country but it is proudly ignorant of the culture and history of the world. Hubris and ignorance is no foundation for success nor world leadership. Plus their aristocracy have been owned by Islamic oil wealth in deals sweeter than can be imagined for over half a century now. No, America is not to be trusted.

        • This ignorance is primarily due to the lefts control of hte Universities, It use to be we have some of the top experts in the world on the history and culture of other nations. The left destroyed this when the achieved enough control of the educational establishment to be able to dominate what was included in the text books.

        • I don’t much care if ragheads trust me or not.
          Get our people the hell out of there, and then let these twisted freaks kill each other till there’s nothing but smoking ruin.

          • Eventually we will have to move into the Middle East big time but until then we need our people out. The way Obama has screwed things up (probably deliberately) pulling out is our best move. Once we are out of there the locals will turn on each other and Russia, Putin may be forced to pull out and let the entire region fester. We really need to let people who want to go to Israel to help them defend themselves.

  3. Philippine Abu Sayyaf militants free Norwegian hostage (BBC, Sep 17, 2016)

    “Islamist militants in the Philippines have released a Norwegian man taken hostage along with two Canadians who the group beheaded, officials say.

    The Abu Sayyaf jihadists freed Kjartan Sekkingstad in southern Sulu province on Saturday. Unconfirmed reports say a large ransom was paid.

    The group of four hostages was seized from a resort a year ago. A Filipina woman was freed in June.
    Abu Sayyaf is fighting for an independent Islamic state.

    It often attempts to raise money from ransom payments…”

  4. Syria war: Rebels ‘regrouping’ under ceasefire – Putin (BBC, Sep 17, 2016)

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Syrian rebel groups are exploiting the current ceasefire to regroup.

    He said the US, which backs some rebel groups, was more focused on retaining their military capacity than separating moderate and militant groups, a stated aim of the truce which began on Monday.

    Mr Putin also urged Washington to make the ceasefire agreement public.

    There are growing tensions between the two major powers over the rebels’ role and delays in providing aid.

    Separately footage has emerged of Free Syrian Army rebels expelling US special forces from the town of Al-Rai in northern Syria, calling them “infidels” in Arabic.

    The Pentagon said on Friday that dozens of US troops had been deployed to the border with Turkey at Ankara’s request, to fight so-called Islamic State (IS) militants…”

    • Russia: US to blame if Syria truce collapses

      Russia’s defense ministry on Saturday said US would be blamed if truce in Syria collapses, describing Washington as not ready to force Syrian rebels under its control to implement the ceasefire.

      “The United States and so-called moderate (rebel) groups under their control did not implement any of the obligations taken under the Geneva agreements,” Russian news agencies quoted Lieutenant-General Viktor Poznikhir as saying.

      “If the United States does not take steps needed to fulfil its obligations under the Sept. 9 agreement, then all the responsibility for any collapse of the ceasefire in Syria would lie with the United States,” he added.

      The defense ministry said there have been 199 times violations since ceasefire came into force on Monday, dubbing the situation in the conflict-torn country as worsening especially in Aleppo and Hama provinces.

      […]In a phone call with Kerry, Lavrov also proposed that documents related to the Syria ceasefire agreement should be published to avoid “any double meaning” over how the deal should be implemented, the ministry said in a statement. […]

      Russia: US will be responsible if ceasefire fails – Russian MoD

      Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir accused the USA of failing to fulfil their obligations to uphold the ceasefire in Syria, during a press briefing in Moscow, on Saturday. “The United States and the so-called moderate groups controlled by it have not observed a single obligation under the Geneva agreements” said Poznikhir.

      SOT, Vladimir Savchenko, Head of the Centre for Reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria (Russian):
      “The situation in Syria is becoming more tense. This is mostly observed in Aleppo and Hama Provinces, where the opposition troops, using the ceasefire regime, redeploy forces, fill supplies of ammunition, equipment and prepare the offensive in order to capture new territories.”

      SOT, Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir, Deputy Chief, Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Russia’s Defence Ministry (Russian): “We state that only the Russian and Syrian sides observe fully their obligations. As an initiative, Russia extended the ceasefire regime for 48 hours, and yesterday it was extended for another 72 hours. The United States and so-called moderate groups controlled by it have not observed a single obligation under the Geneva agreements.”

      SOT, Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir, Deputy Chief, Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Russia’s Defence Ministry (Russian): “The key priority of the Russian-US agreements of September 9 is dividing of territories, controlled by IS, Jabhat Al-Nusra and the moderate opposition, and the separation of the moderate opposition groups and Jabhat Al-Nusra. Without implementation of this provision, it would be impossible to provide the ceasefire regime.”

      SOT, Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir, Deputy Chief, Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Russia’s Defence Ministry (Russian): “The Russian Federation applies every effort to keep the government forces from using military force in response. If the US side does not undertake respective measures to observe its obligations under the agreement of September 9, the responsibility for the ceasefire failing in Syria will be on the US.”

    • US jets attack Syrian Army as ISIS captures strategic mountain in Deir Ezzor

      DEIR EZZOR (8:25 P.M.) – Al-Masdar News was just told by a senior officer in Deir Ezzor that the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition attacked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the Thardeh Mountains.

      The U.S.’ airstrikes on the Syrian Arab Army’s positions allowed the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham to capture the strategic Thardeh Mountains that were originally under government control.

      According to local activists, the U.S. attacked the Syrian Arab Army’s positions with phosphorous bombs, killing several soldiers and paving the way for the Islamic State to capture the whole area.

      The attack was conducted by 4 U.S. warplanes that were flying west from the Iraqi border.

      This is the second time this year that the U.S. Air Force has attacked the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

      Syrian army says U.S.-led coalition jets bombed it in support of IS

      BEIRUT – Syria’s army general command said warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition fighting against Islamic State bombed a Syrian army position at Jebel Tharda near Deir al-Zor airport at 5 p.m. on Saturday, state media reported.

      The air strike killed Syrian soldiers who had been preparing for an attack against Islamic State, and was “conclusive evidence” that the U.S. and its allies support the jihadist group, the Syrian army said in a statement.

      Earlier Saturday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said conditions in Syria were deteriorating, adding that it believed the ceasefire had been breached 199 times by rebels and saying the United States would be responsible if it were to collapse.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin cast doubt over Washington’s commitment to the deal, but also said he believed that securing a ceasefire was a common goal for the two countries, which both agreed to extend it on Friday.

      Insurgents say they only reluctantly accepted the initial deal, which they believe is skewed against them, because it could relieve the dire humanitarian situation in besieged areas they control, and blamed Russia for undermining the truce.

      “It is not possible for the party (Russia) that wages war against a people to strive to achieve a truce, as it is also not possible for it to be a sponsor of this agreement while it bombs night and day, while on the other side, the other party – America – has the role of spectator,” he said.

      Moscow has itself accused rebels of breaking the truce and said Washington needs to do more to make them abide by its terms, including separating from the jihadist Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which only broke formal allegiance to al Qaeda in July.

      The five-year-old civil war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half the country’s population, drawing in global and regional powers, causing an international refugee crisis and inspiring jihadist attacks around the world.

    • reuters- Syrian army says U.S.-led coalition jets bombed it in support of Islamic State

      BEIRUT, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Syria’s army general command said warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition bombed a Syrian army position at Jebel Tharda near Deir al-Zor airport on Saturday, paving the way for Islamic State fighters to overun it.

      The air strike killed Syrian soldiers and was “conclusive evidence” that the U.S. and its allies support the jihadist group, the Syrian army said in a statement, noting that the strike was “dangerous and blatant aggression”.

      The U.S.-led coalition has been conducting air strikes against Islamic State since September 2014. In December Damascus accused the coalition of striking an army camp near Deir al-Zor, but Washington said it was done by Russian jets.

      A strike list issued by the U.S. on Saturday said it had carried out a strike at Deir al-Zor against five Islamic State supply routes, as well as strikes near Raqqa and elsewhere in Syria.

      Syria’s army controls Deir al-Zor airport and parts of the city which are otherwise entirely surrounded by territory held by Islamic State.

      The United States and Russia agreed a deal on Syria last week, involving a ceasefire which came into effect on Monday, aid deliveries to besieged areas and eventual joint targeting of militant jihadist groups if the truce works out.

      Syria’s five-year civil war between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels seeking to topple him has drawn in regional and global powers and allowed militant jihadist groups including Islamic State to gain territory and inspire attacks.

    • 62 soldiers killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian army positions – Russian MoD

      RT- US-led coalition aircraft strike Syrian army positions – Syrian General Command

      US-led coalition jets have bombed Syrian government forces’ positions near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, “paving the way” for Islamic State militants, the Syrian Army General Command told the state television.

      According to Syria’s official SANA news agency, the bombing took place on al-Tharda Mountain in the region of Deir ez-Zor and caused casualties and destruction on the ground.

      Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 injured in the airstrike by the US-led coalition, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said, citing information received from the Syrian General Command.

      The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the aircraft which carried out the bombings had entered Syrian airspace from the territory of Iraq. The airstrike against Syrian positions was performed by two F-16 jet fighters and two A-10 support aircraft, it said.

      Even if the bombardment of the Syrian government troops was a mistake, it’s still a consequence of Washington’s unwillingness to coordinate its anti-terror efforts with Moscow, the ministry said.

      The Defense Ministry also confirmed a report by SANA that an Islamic State offensive began right after Syrian Army positions were hit from the air.

      The actions of the coalition “clearly paved the way for Islamic State terrorists to attack the position and take control of it,” the agency said citing the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces.

      The General Command has called the bombing a “serious and blatant aggression” against Syrian forces, and said it was “conclusive evidence” that the US and its allies support IS militants.

      Earlier on Saturday, Russia accused the US of being reluctant to take measures to force rebels under its control to fall in line with the terms of the Syrian ceasefire.

      Numerous Russian appeals to the American side remain unanswered, which “raises doubts over the US’s ability to influence opposition groups under their control and their willingness to further ensure the implementation of the Geneva agreements,” senior Russian General Staff official, Viktor Poznikhir, said.

      Poznikhir also said that the truce is being used by the militants to regroup, resupply and prepare an offensive against government troops.

    • Russia has called for an emergency UN meeting over the US attack on Syria


      DAILY MAIL Dozens dead in US-led coalition strike on Syrian army position

      US-led coalition aircraft hit a Syrian army position in the country’s east on Saturday, an armed forces statement said, while a monitor group reported dozens of soldiers dead.

      “Warplanes from the American coalition hit one of the Syrian army’s positions… near the Deir Ezzor airport,” the statement carried by state media said.

      It said the raid was carried out at 5:00pm local time (1400 GMT) and led to an unspecified number of “casualties”.

      Regime ally Russia said 62 Syrian soldiers were killed and at least 100 more wounded in strikes by “warplanes from the international anti-jihadist coalition”.

      The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 83 soldiers were killed in the raids on Jabal Therdeh, southwest of the Deir Ezzor airport, updating an earlier toll of 30 killed.

      Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said he could not specify who carried out the strikes.

      Syria’s army has been fighting off a fierce offensive by the Islamic State jihadist group on the Deir Ezzor military airport since last year.

      “This is a dangerous and bold attack against the Syrian state and army, and clear evidence that the United States and its allies support the terrorist group Daesh,” the statement said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

      It said the raids had allowed IS to advance on Syrian troops in the area.

      The IS-linked Amaq news agency said coalition strikes hit IS positions on Saturday afternoon, but that the jihadist group was able to “seize full control of Jabal Therdeh, which overlooks the Deir Ezzor airport”.

      A Syrian military source inside the Deir Ezzor airport told AFP that US-led coalition strikes hit two hilltops near the airport.

      “There were three raids on two army positions held by the Syrian army on Jabal Therdeh,” the source said.

      “Then, there was machine gun fire on the wounded soldiers and the paramedics” from the planes, he said.

      “We were the most unsettled by the machine guns.”

      Under a fragile truce deal negotiated by the United States and Russia, fighting in Syria is to halt on all fronts across the country except those held by IS.

      The deal came into force on Monday. If it holds for a week, Moscow and Washington are to begin unprecedented joint operations against jihadist groups in Syria.

      The US-led coalition has been carrying out raids against IS for two years in both Syria and Iraq.

  5. Niger Soldiers Kill 38 Boko Haram Extremists in Operation (BBC, Sep 17, 2016)

    “Niger’s defense ministry says soldiers have killed 38 Boko Haram Islamic extremists during an operation in the country’s southeast Diffa region.

    Col. Moustapha Michel Ledru said on national television late Friday that two Nigerien soldiers were wounded in the operation that had support from Chad’s army.

    Ledru on Tuesday said five soldiers and 30 Nigeria-based Boko Haram militants had been killed after an ambush by the extremists led to fighting Monday.

    Boko Haram has killed some 20,000 and displaced millions in its seven-year insurgency. The Nigeria-based extremists have been launching attacks across the country’s borders into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, which contribute to a multinational force that seeks to counter it.”

  6. Clinton Cash finds a new use: Paying bounties for dirt on Trump

    A Hillary Clinton super PAC, Correct the Record, which was founded by David Brock and funded by other Hillary PACs, will now be paying people to find dirt on Donald Trump.

    For those keeping score, Correct the Record, as a super PAC, is in theory prohibited by federal law from coordinating with Hillary’s campaign. Correct the Record isn’t officially affiliated with her campaign, and isn’t subject to the donation caps and donor transparency required for campaign financing. Its backing comes from so-called “dark money,” the kind Hillary is always railing against.

    But when have technicalities like that ever stopped Hillary? This is the woman who, as Howard Portnoy reported earlier today, takes her poorest donors’ credit cards and makes unauthorized “donation” charges against them. She might as well be “skimming” the debit cards of the unwary at a convenience store gas pump.

    In any case, a contributor with good enough “dirt” could probably earn a lot of Clinton Cash. NBC News explains (emphasis added):

  7. Bombshell: Hillary Clinton systematically overcharging her poorest campaign donors
    By Ben Bowles September 16, 2016

    For a woman who keeps telling voters she intends to put more money in the pockets of the middle class, Hillary Clinton is doing a bang-up job of picking those pockets — at least when Joe Q. Public is foolish enough to contribute to her campaign in the first place.

    From the Observer:

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

    The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

    “We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer.

  8. Car of Germany’s anti-immigrant AfD party leader set ablaze

    Unidentified attackers set fire to the car of Frauke Petry, the leader of Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, police said on Saturday.

    “We are currently assuming it was arson,” a police spokeswoman in the eastern city of Leipzig said, adding that investigators were still collecting evidence at the scene.

    The attack happened late on Friday and there has been no claim of responsibility so far, the police spokeswoman added.

    Petry wrote on Twitter: “An arson attack was committed on my car yesterday. Is this what we have come to…”

    Last year unknown attackers set fire to the car of AfD deputy leader Beatrix von Storch in Berlin.

    The right-wing AfD has gained support as voters become uneasy with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy toward refugees. Around one million migrants arrived in Germany last year, many fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.

    The AfD won a shock 20.8 percent in an election in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern two weeks ago, knocking Merkel’s conservatives into third place.

    Merkel’s party looks set to suffer a second electoral blow on Sunday in a Berlin city election.

    Deutsche Welle -Car of Germany’s anti-immigrant AfD leader Petry torched

    Alternative for Germany party leader Frauke Petry’s car has been set ablaze in a suspected arson attack. Support for the anti-immigration party has jumped to the double-digits.

    Police in the eastern city of Leipzig said they were still investigating the scene of the blaze, which occurred on Friday night.

    “We are currently assuming it was arson,” a police spokeswoman said, adding there had been no claim of responsibility.

    Petry wrote on Twitter: “Germany 2016: Yesterday an arson attack was committed on my car. What have we come to?”

    The Alternative for Germany (AfD) has profited from voters’ concerns about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy towards migrants and refugees. A million migrants and refugees arrived in Germany last year, mainly from the war-torn Middle East and northern Africa.

    The migrant influx has led to an increase in suspected right-wing arsonist attacks on refugee shelters. Less discussed in Germany is left-wing violence targeting the right-wing with increasing frequency.

    Earlier this month, the anti-immigrant party pummeled Merkel’s party into third place in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania’s state elections September 4, taking 20.8 percent of the vote to the CDU’s 19 percent.

    The AfD is on its way to becoming the third strongest party in polling at 15 percent. It is represented in nine of Germany’s 16 federal states.

  9. France’s Hollande named ‘Statesman of the Year’ by NY-based group

    French President François Hollande is to be honoured as the International Statesman of the Year by a New York-based interfaith foundation, The Appeal of Conscience.

    The foundation said in a statement that the prize honours “individuals who support peace, prosperity, liberty and promote tolerance, human dignity and human rights, both in their own countries and internationally through cooperation with other leaders”.

    The 2015 prize was awarded to British Prime Minister David Cameron and in 2014 was won by Mexican President Peña Nieto.

    The 2013 award for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was highly controversial since he has been criticised for failing to protect religious minorities in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. He has also been accused of masterminding a genocide in West Papua.

    The Jakarta Post in 2013 quoted the Setara Institute rights group saying the award was merely a PR mounted by Yudhoyono’s aides.

    ‘Some members of his clique approached the Appeal of Conscience Foundation regarding the award as part of a campaign to boost the president’s image in the global community,” Sentara told the newspaper.

    The 2012 award was given to Canada’s conservative former prime minister Steven Harper. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was awarded the prize in 2008.

    Appeal of Conscience was founded in 1965 by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who will present Hollande with the award on September 19 at the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

  10. Ex-Guantanamo inmate continues hunger strike in Uruguay

    Uruguayans gather in support of ex- Guantanamo inmate Jihad Diyab. Syrian launched a hunger strike more than three weeks ago demanding to leave Uruguay and be reunited with his family.

  11. the independent – Muslims are most disliked group in America, says new study

    2016 has also been one of the worst years on record for attacks on mosques

    Muslims are the most disapproved group in America, according to a new study, amid increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric from conservative politicians.

    A new study from sociologists at the University of Minnesota, which analysed Americans’ perceptions of minority faith and racial groups, found that their disapproval of Muslims has almost doubled from about 26 per cent 10 years ago to 45.5 per cent in 2016.

    Amid increasing focus on immigration, refugees and national security and in the wake of multiple terrorist attacks around the world, the study found that almost half of those surveyed would not want their child to marry a Muslim, compared to just 33.5 per cent of people a decade earlier.

    The report found that anti-Muslim violence spiked after the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, as did attacks on Sikh Americans, who are often confused with Muslim Americans.

    “Even the generally tolerant millennials exhibit relatively strong anti-Muslim sentiments,” the report read.

    Hussein Rashid, a professor at Barnard College in New York, told Religion News that the spike in intolerance is reflected by current political rhetoric.

    “In 10 years, people have a more negative perception of Muslims, Jews, gays, Latinos, and Blacks,” he said.

    “As a new America is taking shape, with all its diversity, there is a reactionary response that wants a mythic America of everyone being exactly the same.”

    The survey, completed by 2,521 people between February 2014 and March 2016, found that Jews, Latinos and Asian-Americans also saw their disapproval ratings jump by about 10 points each.

    Atheists were the second most disapproved group in the US, as they were associated with a “lack of morals”.

    The news comes as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that 2016 is on track to be one of the worst years for anti-mosque incidents, with 55 cases reported as of mid-September. There were 79 incidents in 2015.

    “This trend of increasing violence targeting the American Muslim community is deeply troubling,” said CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad.

    He added that 2016 was one of the worst years on record, involving vandalism, intimidation and physical assault.

    “It is important for presidential candidates and other public figures to unify Americans against hate,” he added.

    “Any American should be able to freely practise his or her religion without fear of harm or intimidation.”

    The most recent cases in September included someone throwing rocks through a window of a mosque in New Hampshire, a driver of a tractor-trailer being rammed twice into a mosque in Maryland and a man setting a mosque on fire in Florida.

    In Georgia, Newtown County officials recently reversed their decision to ban the building of a new mosque and small cemetery on land purchased by the Muslim community, following concerns from locals that the land would be turned into an “Isis training camp”.

  12. ‘Jungles all over France!’ Mayors revolt against ‘secret’ plan to turn country into Calais

    FRENCH mayors are banding together to take on the socialist government’s radical plan to force regions to take in five times as many migrants as they currently house amid fears it could “spark a civil war”.

    The group of leaders have rallied against the plan to dismantle the Calais migrant camp amid growing concerns the French government want to “secretly” replace the squalid makeshift camp with ‘mini-Jungles’ all over France.

    Dozens of refugee camps will be set up across the country after the French Interior Minister insisted that he will shut down the notorious Jungle camp, holding at least 9,000 migrants.

    A leaked government report announced plans to send 12,000 migrants throughout France as the solution to clear out Calais.

    The plan will see 12,000 migrants, evacuated from Calais and Paris, moved all across France.

    The only region exempt from the plan is Corsica, following high-profile attacks on migrants on the island.

    Robert Menard, the far-right mayor of the town of Beziers, warned that he does not want his city to be turned into “a small Calais”.

    He rejected the government’s “offer to distribute the problem across France”.

    He said: “I do not want to grapple with this problem because I have already enough migrants and don’t need to take in more of them.

    “Earlier I opposed the arrival of Syrian refugees in Beziers, and now I do not want Calais migrants to come to my city which is poor enough and has other problems to deal with.”

    The controversial mayor said that the migrants already in the city added to crime and terrorism, after they “received some number of jihadists who proved to be terrorists”.

    Mr Menard added: “This is why it is necessary to halt the migration process and stop accepting pseudo-refugees.”

    But, Interior Minister Bernard Cazenueve is adamant that “everyone will have to accept some of [the migrants].”

    Critics from the National Front called the plan “irresponsible” while the centre-right The Republicans said the plan could lead to “civil war”.

    The Republicans, a political party led by Nicolas Sarkozy, demanded that the government move the migrants to Britain and “end welfare benefits for foreigners without a job”.

    In the leaked document, the rural region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes will be forced to receive more than 1,700 migrants – five times the number the province has already welcomed.

    Laurent Wauquiez, president of the region, hit out at the plan and demanded a rebellion against the government.

    He said: “In our region we won’t let it go ahead!

    “We’ll refuse to offer these places, we’ll support all the regions and all the inhabitants that mobilise against the plan.

    “We’ll resist the plans of these unelected government officials.”

    He feared that the left-wing government wanted to reproduce “Calais everywhere in France”

    The outspoken mayor added: “The government does not want to solve Calais – it will turn France into Calais.”

    Mr Wauquiez warned he will sue the left-wing government if they go ahead if the plan.

    He added: “France does not have the capacity to accommodate as many migrants with so much unemployment already.

    “You do not put fifty families overnight in a territory, without it having consequences on the functioning of the school, schooling and national education, especially in towns that have seen their classes close.

    “The State is deliberately targeting small rural communities.”

    The former centre-right Government spokesman was enraged “96% of asylum seekers who have their applications rejected are still here”.

    In the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, mayor Christian Estrosi also dismissed the idea that the demolition of Calais will solve anything.

    Mr Estrosi called the plans “cowardly and brutal” before warning: “They are trying to transform the Calais Jungle into additions of Mini-Jungles.”

  13. BRETBART – CNN Says Trump Bashing the Media Is ‘Like’ Saddam Hussein Destroying Democracy

    Donald Trump’s latest slap at the media was apparently too much for CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield and Dylan Byers to take. While reporting Trump’s ribbing the two insisted that undermining the media is both turning the U.S. into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and somehow destroying democracy.

    Banfield played a clip of Trump’s September 14 rally in New Hampshire where the GOP nominee joked that the press was stuck on a plane. From the dais Trump told the crowd, “I have really good news for you, I just heard that the press is stuck on their airplane, they can’t get here. I love it.”

    Trump then informed his audience the press wanted him to delay the start of the rally so they had time to get to the venue. Naturally he refused to put off the rally just to satisfy the press.

    This was all just too much to take for CNN host Ashleigh Banfield.[…]

    • These idiots think we are stupid, they have moved from reporting to being paid publicity agents for the Democrats and think we aren’t smart enough to understand what htey are doing. They want to shut down the Blogs because we are doing their jobs and making them look like the whores they are.

  14. TNT traces on EgyptAir plane debris split investigators: Le Figaro

    French investigators who found trace levels of the explosive material TNT on debris of an EgyptAir plane that crashed in May were prevented from further examining it, Le Figaro reported on Friday, a charge Egyptian officials denied.

    The origin of the traces remains unclear and Egyptian judicial authorities did not allow French investigators to examine the debris in detail, Le Figaro said, citing a source close to the investigation.

    EgyptAir flight MS804, an Airbus A320, plunged into the eastern Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19. All 66 people on board were killed, including 15 French passengers. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

    Egypt wishes to write a joint report with France to validate the presence of TNT on the debris. France has refused to do this because the investigators were not able to carry out an adequate inspection to determine how the traces could have got there, Le Figaro said.

    Responding to Le Figaro’s report, sources on the Egyptian-led investigation committee denied the French team’s work had been obstructed.

    “None of the investigators were prevented from participating in investigations, but rather the work is being done jointly according to the conduct of the investigative process,” one of the committee sources said.

    A spokesman for the French national police has declined to comment on Le Figaro’s report.

    Audio from the flight recorder of the crashed aircraft mentions a fire on board the plane in its final moments, the investigation committee said in July.

    Earlier analysis of the plane’s flight data recorder showed there had been smoke in the lavatory and avionics bay, while recovered wreckage from the jet’s front section showed signs of high-temperature damage and soot.

    A committee source said the cause of the fire was still being investigated and it was too early to determine a cause

    TNT traces found in EgyptAir MS804 debris – report

    French investigators reportedly found traces of TNT in debris from the EgyptAir Airbus A320 that crashed over the Mediterranean in May. Though the origin of the traces is unclear, it adds to speculation that the crash was an inside job.

    Investigators from France’s Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN) discovered traces of the explosive last week when visiting Cairo, Le Figaro reported on Friday.

    Egyptian authorities reportedly did not allow French investigators to examine the debris more thoroughly, and the origin of the TNT traces still remains unclear, a source close to the investigation told the newspaper.

    To confirm the finding, the Egyptians want to draft a joint report with the French, but France’s investigators are unwilling to do so unless adequate access to the debris is granted, Le Figaro’s report said.

    EgyptAir Flight 804 took off at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on May 19 and crashed over the Mediterranean en route to Cairo.

    No mayday call was received by air traffic controllers or nearby radio stations, though the aircraft systems detected smoke in one of the A320’s front lavatories and in the avionics bay.

    Flight recorder audio data also mentions a fire on board the aircraft, the investigation said in July. Later, the Greek military said, citing its own radar data, that the ill-fated plane took “sharp turns” shortly before disappearing from the screens.

    There were 66 people on board, including 56 passengers and 10 crew members. No survivors have been found.

    The French-Egyptian investigation is still ongoing, but preliminary statements made by aviation and security officials say that a terrorist attack is considered the likely cause.

    Egyptian aviation authorities said in May that an inside job might have brought down the plane, ruling out technical failures.

    Later that same month, it was revealed that the crashed Airbus A320 had been vandalized by ground personnel at Cairo Airport about two years ago, the New York Times reported, citing three EgyptAir security officials.

    “We will bring this plane down” was scratched in Arabic on its underside. Egypt’s security services were quick to point out that the message was related to domestic political turmoil rather than to a literal threat from militant groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • Egypt’s ministry says has no reports of TNT traces in EgyptAir MS804 wreckage

      French newspaper Le Figaro reported Friday that French investigators had been prevented from examining the wreckage of the plane that crashed last spring en route from Paris to Cairo after the find

      Egypt’s civil aviation ministry told Ahram Online on Saturday the Egyptian committee investigating the crash of EgyptAir plane in May over the Mediterranean did not receive any new evidence from French investigators, a day after a French newspaper reported that their side found traces of TNT in the plane’s debris.

      French newspaper Le Figaro reported Friday that investigators from France’s Institute for Criminal Research found traces of TNT in the plane’s debris while conducting investigations in Cairo.

      On 19 May, EgyptAir flight MS804, en route from Paris to Cairo, crashed into the eastern Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board . Fifteen French passengers were among those killed in the crash.

      Le Figaro reported that Egyptian judicial authorities prevented investigators from conducting further examination of the wreckage, citing an unnamed source close to the probe.

      “The investigation committee has not received any technical reports on investigation results from the [interior ministry’s] criminal lab or the general prosecution on the matter,” the ministry’s media department head Bassem Samy told Ahram Online.

      “The committee is still working to identify the technical causes of the crash,” he added, stressing that any new results of the probe will be announced once verified.

      Sources from the Egyptian-led investigation committee denied Saturday that the French team had been hindered from performing their work, as reported by the French paper.

      In July, the investigation committee said the flight data recorder of the crashed aircraft showed a fire occurred on board the plane in its final moments.

      Earlier analysis of the recorder indicated there was smoke in the lavatory and avionics bay, and recovered wreckage showed “signs of damage because of high temperatures.”

  15. Serbia: Kosovo -Violence as Pristina student group rallies against Serbian Orthodox Church

    A protest organised against the construction of a Serbian Orthodox Church on the University of Pristina campus erupted in violence, as police and the protesters clashed in Pristina, Saturday. The protest was organised by the Student Parliament of the university. One police officer was reportedly injured in the scuffles.

    Previously, the church had set on fire when burning tyres were thrown into the building on September 9. The fire has been condemned by local authorities and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

  16. No Justice: FBI Wanted Investigation into the Clinton Foundation but DOJ Said “NO”

    According to reports, several months ago, top Department of Justice officials and FBI agents met together to discuss opening a public corruption case into The Clinton Foundation. However, the Justice Department killed the attempts for an investigation by three FBI field offices.

    CNN’s Pamela Brown told Wolf Blitzer, “We’ve learned what initially grabbed the FBI’s attention into this was that a bank notified the FBI saying that there was suspicious activity surrounding a foreign donor to The Clinton Foundation.”

  17. Sources: Tens of Thousands of Files from Clinton, Blumenthal Computers Available on Deep Web

    PJ Media has learned from multiple sources that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees may have access to the contents of an Eastern European computer, potentially Russian, and that hackers may have exfiltrated Hillary Clinton’s and Sidney Blumenthal’s unsecured files by first hacking Marcel Lazar Lehel aka Guccifer.

    One or more American whistleblowers recently informed the Intelligence Committees that the files taken by the unknown hackers are available at specific locations in the Deep Web.

    A congressional source who is familiar with the information says these documents are being called for now “the Russian files.” Getting them did not involve hacking Russians or anyone else, but rather locating the images that the files left behind while the unknown hackers moved them through the Deep Web. When Clinton associates thought they were deleting her files, they may not have realized that files leave images even in the Deep Web when moved by hackers.

    A preliminary review of the files indicated that they contain unclassified as well as potentially classified information, including one document relating to Benghazi that probably should have been highly classified and comes from one of Hillary Clinton’s private computers.

    Congress has learned that the FBI knew about the foreign exfiltration of that document from Clinton’s server weeks before Director James Comey announced his decision not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her use of private email. Comey testified to Congress that Guccifer denied hacking Clinton and that Clinton was “probably” hacked, but did not allude to having received any information that she was hacked.

    “With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain in its various configuration since 2009 was hacked successfully. But given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence,” said Comey.

    A congressional source who has met with a whistleblower commented that “even a Hillary supporter should want the public to know what foreigners took from her private servers, especially if it is damaging to her. Otherwise the candidate could be blackmailed by a foreign power.”


  18. Meat cleaver madman, a Palestinian, was in Midtown to appeal deportation order before he sliced cop

    The meat cleaver maniac who hacked an off-duty cop is a Palestinian busted two months ago while screaming in Arabic outside a Brooklyn synagogue.

    Suspect Akram Joudeh was only in New York for Thursday’s Midtown rampage because he was appealing a deportation notice — with a hearing set for Oct. 14, a high-ranking NYPD source told the Daily News.

    Cops found two knives inside Joudeh’s car after answering the July report of an erratic man on Shore Parkway in Brooklyn shout “Allahu Akbar!” — or “God is great” in Arabic.

    But the source said investigations by the NYPD and FBI showed Joudeh, 32, was emotionally disturbed and not a terrorist threat.

    Joudeh was selling perfume out of his illegally parked car Thursday near Madison Square Garden when he attacked NYPD Detective Brian O’Donnell on a W. 32nd St. sidewalk, cops said.

    The 16-year police veteran left a Manhattan hospital Friday sporting a blue NYPD windbreaker and a raw red gash on his cheek.

    O’Donnell was cheered by an assortment of fellow cops, doctors and family members as he exited Bellevue Hospital one day after he was gashed by the madman with an 11-inch blade.

    O’Donnell said nothing, but mouthed the words “Thank you” as he was rolled out in a wheelchair. He stood and waved before climbing into a waiting car for the ride back to his Northport, L.I., home.

    “His bravery is amazing,” said Detectives’ Endowment Association President Michael J. Palladino. “He’s remarkably in good shape today as he goes out the door … His spirit is remarkably high.”

    According to Palladino, O’Donnell already endured one surgery and may need more on the wound that snaked along the left side of his face from the temple down to the base of his jaw.

    The detective’s left hand and wrist were heavily bandaged from injuries suffered in his Thursday scuffle with Joudeh, police said.

    O’Donnell was headed to Penn Station to catch a train home after his 8 a.m.-4 p.m. shift when he spotted Joudeh running through rush hour crowds with the meat cleaver in his hand.

    O’Donnell was sliced after he tackled Joudeh, who had just climbed atop the front grill of a responding NYPD squad car, police said.

    Cops shot the suspect six times after Joudeh ignored repeated calls to drop the cleaver, police said.

    Joudeh, a career criminal who was likely living in his nearby parked car, went berserk when two police officers approached the vehicle — and went after the pair with the cleaver, police said.

    A 45-second video obtained by WNBC-TV showed Joudeh in the minutes before he opened a 6-inch gash on the jaw of O’Donnell less than a block from Penn Station.

    The deranged driver became enraged after several failed attempts to bash a traffic boot off his car’s wheel.

    The video captured an increasingly frustrated Joudeh unsuccessfully using a tire iron and his feet to free his illegally parked Nissan Sentra in Midtown.

    The video showed Joudeh first trying to use a car jack and a crowbar to pry the bright yellow tire lock off the front driver’s side tire.

    He later tried unsuccessfully to kick and twist the boot off the car before the officers arrived and the mayhem began. The suspect was carrying the cleaver in the waistband of his pants, cops said.

    Joudeh’s rap sheet included busts for larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

    Before he began sleeping in his car, Joudeh lived for a while with his uncle in Elmhurst, Queens.

    Neighbors remembered him as a troubled man.

    “He wasn’t the best tenant, I’m not gonna lie,” said Donna Frazer, 37. “He did give his family problems.”

    Frazier said Joudeh would often fight with his uncle and that the cops were called to the building more than once.

    She last saw Joudeh on Astoria Blvd. a few months ago. They made small talk and went their separate ways.

    “I didn’t know he was living in his car,” she said.

    “Anybody could snap, you know, being homeless — they’re not used to being homeless,” Frazier added. “Maybe he just snapped, he couldn’t take it anymore.”

  19. Visiting US, London mayor says immigrants shouldn’t have to assimilate

    Read more:
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    On a visit to Chicago, London mayor Sadiq Kahn lectured the U.S. on how to welcome immigrants to the U.S. He said integration, not assimilation should be the goal in developing “cohesive communities.”

    Voice of America:

    “One of the lessons from around the world is that a laissez faire or hands-off approach to social integration doesn’t work. We need rules, institutions and support to enable people to integrate into cohesive communities and for the avoidance of doubt, I don’t mean assimilation, I mean integration, and there’s a difference,” Khan said. “People shouldn’t have to drop their cultures and traditions when they arrive in our cities and countries.”

    Note that Khan is presuming to lecture a country that has successfully assimilated 140 million people in the last 170 years. It was done without forcing the newcomers to give up their culture. To this day, we celebrate the cultures of other countries together, as Americans. Pride in one’s ethnicity is encouraged. And while there are forces trying to destroy the “melting pot” model, they haven’t met with much success…yet.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  20. The “Virtuous” New Nazis

    by Giulio Meotti

    Meet the packs of new Nazis, posing as Righteousness and Virtue, pursuing new exterminationist policies against Israel and, right after that, the Jews.

    “In Nazi Germany,” noted Brendan O’Neill in the Wall Street Journal, “it was all the rage to make one’s town Judenfrei.”

    “Now a new fashion is sweeping Europe: to make one’s town or city what we might call ‘Zionistfrei’ — free of the products and culture of the Jewish state. Across the Continent, cities and towns are declaring themselves ‘Israel-free zones,’ insulating their citizens from Israeli produce and culture. It has ugly echoes of what happened 70 years ago.”

    The Nazis said “kauft nicht bei Juden”: do not buy from Jews. The slogan of these new racists is “kauft nicht beim Judenstaat”: do not buy from the Jewish State. The Nazis repeated “Geh nach Palästina, du Jud”: Go to Palestine, you Jew. Racists in Europe shout “Jews out of Palestine!”

  21. Clinton Fights Back Against Lawsuit Filed by Parents of Benghazi Victims
    by Rachel Stockman | 12:46 pm, September 15th, 2016

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is fighting back against a lawsuit filed by the parents of Benghazi victims. Pat Smith and Charles Woods are the parents of American U.S. Foreign Service member Sean Smith, and Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, respectively. Both died during the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They sued Clinton for wrongful death, defamation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

    As we reported last week, they asked the court for a default judgment against Clinton after she failed to respond to the lawsuit. A clerk entered the default judgment against Clinton in the case. But now Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, is protesting the judgment in a court filing, saying that Clinton was not properly served with the lawsuit, and therefore the default judgment against her should be thrown out. Kendall also takes aim at Larry Klayman, the founder of conservative group Freedom Watch. He is representing the Benghazi parents in this lawsuit.

  22. Obama aims to define his global leadership in last UN speech

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In one of his last major appearances on the world stage, President Barack Obama will try to define how his leadership has made the planet safer and more prosperous when he gives his farewell speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

    Obama’s challenge at the annual gathering of world leaders is to cast the past eight years as ones of overall progress, without glossing over the profound problems that have eluded his diplomacy. His successes in galvanizing action on climate change and encouraging democratic changes in Cuba and Myanmar are tempered by crises across the Middle East and North Korea’s nuclear threat, which has only strengthened.

    Obama’s U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, said that when Obama came into office in early 2009, the U.S. was isolated. She said Obama had told fellow leaders he planned a “new era of engagement” that recognized countries must address common threats together.

    “I think it’s hard to overstate the transformative effect that this approach has had,” Power said.

    After raising money for Democrats on Sunday in New York, Obama planned to open his week of diplomacy by meeting with Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, on Monday. Obama is counting on the Baghdad government to bridge sectarian divides and help fight the Islamic State group.

    On Tuesday, Obama will deliver his U.N. address, attend a lunch with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meet with CEOs and host a summit on refugees. The U.S. has urged other nations to take in more migrants and help address the unprecedented refugee crisis stemming from Syria’s civil war.

    Obama is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, an African country struggling with a homegrown threat from the IS-linked extremist group Boko Haram. On Wednesday, Obama will participate in a U.S.-Africa forum and meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos before returning to Washington.

    Not on Obama’s schedule is a formal meeting with the new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. His antagonistic tone toward the U.S. was most clearly demonstrated this month when he called Obama a “son of a bitch,” leading Obama to cancel a planned first meeting in Laos.

    Back in 2009, when Obama first stood in the General Assembly Hall, he was the fresh-faced leader whose status as America’s first black president had inspired hopes for a post-racial world. From the podium, Obama said he was fully aware “of the expectations that accompany my presidency” across the globe.

    “These expectations are not about me,” Obama said. “Rather, they are rooted, I believe, in a discontent with a status quo that has allowed us to be increasingly defined by our differences, and outpaced by our problems. But they are also rooted in hope: the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change.”

    He spoke of winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting climate change, and pursuing his “goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Obama would return to that third theme just three months later while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, an honor that the former Nobel chief would later acknowledge had been premature.

    In the years since, Obama brokered a global emissions-cutting agreement, brought the vast majority of U.S. troops home from war zones, and secured an historic deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

    The list of foreign trouble spots is just as long.

    In Syria, a civil war has killed roughly half a million people. Though the U.S. has pursued a diplomatic course, including most recently a deal with Russia, Obama has come under heavy criticism for refusing to consider sending in U.S. troops.

    His refugee summit appeared partly designed to blunt criticism that Obama is insufficiently disturbed by the millions of displaced Syrians.

    The U.S. has been largely unable to get Russia to stop menacing in Ukraine or give back Crimea. Fresh conflicts have broken out in Libya and Yemen, and Obama has acknowledged that defeating IS will be an incomplete project the next president will inherit.

    Officials said the week could include a Security Council session endorsing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The need for forceful global action on that issue was thrust into public view in the weeks before the U.N. gathering when North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test.

    Yet Obama’s commitment to the nuclear issue has been called into question given the slow pace of progress in reducing nuclear stockpiles and his reluctance to enact a no-first-use policy for America’s nuclear arsenal.

  23. Czech Republic: Anti-EU rally brings hundreds onto Prague’s streets

    Hundreds of anti-EU protesters gathered in Prague on Saturday, to demand the Czech Republic to leave the union.
    The demonstrators also demanded the Czech government to resign on basis of endangering state security due to their immigration policy.

  24. Germany’s migration office failed to detect fake passports, say officials

    A state attorney general has said he wants to seize records from the Federal Migration Office over the possible use of fake passports by refugees entering Germany. The issue has stirred tensions in Merkel’s coalition.

    Germany’s Federal Migration Office (BAMF) has been accused of severe security flaws after it was revealed that officials failed to detect counterfeit passports used by refugees entering the country.

    According to a report by German public broadcaster RBB, the attorney general for the state of Brandenburg, Erado Rautenberg, is now seeking to seize around 18,000 records from BAMF.

    Rautenberg reportedly wants to investigate a number of cases from the end of 2015 in which, due to time and personnel constraints, refugees arrived in Brandenburg without being properly identified.

    “I want to know who is here,” Rautenberg told the broadcaster. “And if something were to happen, I do not want to blame myself for not having done all I could have to prevent it.”

    The broadcaster also reported that numerous fake passports were seized in the southern German state of Bavaria. The passports were previously deemed legitimate by the asylum office. Some 3,300 more passports are also being reanalyzed in the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

    Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann weighed in on the matter, saying local authorities in his state had seized a random sample of migrant passports and that a “significant portion” of them were reported as counterfeit but had not been detected by BAMF.

    Herrmann launched a staunch criticism of the Federal Migration Office.

    “I cannot understand why the office, which should carefully analyze each and every passport, is unable to distinguish these fake passports,” he said. “We cannot accept this given the current situation and security in our country.”

    Herrmann also said that all German states should plan on how to tackle the issue. “I want to discuss this problem with federal Interior Minister de Maiziere in the coming weeks, because this is simply not acceptable,” he added.

    The head of BAMF, Frank-Jürgen Weise, defended his office, saying that migration processes were becoming more efficient.

    Merkel’s migrant policy under fire

    Herrmann’s comments are expected to put increasing pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her open-border refugee policy has caused a rift between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

    The CSU leader, Horst Seehofer, has called for stricter migrant policies, including an annual cap of 200,000 refugees. Merkel has repeatedly ruled out any such policy.

    Since the summer, the security situation in Germany has become increasingly tense. The so-called “Islamic State” claimed two attacks in July – one on a train near Würzburg and another at a music festival in Ansbach. In October, German security forces arrested three Syrian men in northern Germany on suspicion of being sent by “IS” to carry out an attack.

  25. 54 terror suspects arrested during Haj (saudigazette, Sep 18, 2016)

    “Riyadh — The security authorities arrested 54 terror suspects between Dhul Hijjah 1 and Dhul Hijjah 9.

    The terror suspects included 30 Saudis, 13 Bahrainis, and the rest from seven different nationalities. One of them was a citizen of Brunei.

    The Brunei national is the first man from the southeast Asian country to be apprehended on charges of terrorism.

    The security sources did not identify the man but said he was arrested in Riyadh without any resistance.

    They said the accused is currently being investigated to verify his involvement in terror operations that took place in the Kingdom or if he had any connections with or had supported terrorist organizations in the country.

    On Dhul Hijjah 1, 17 suspects were arrested, who included nine Bahrainis, three Pakistanis, two Saudis, one Yemeni, and one Sudanese.

    On Dhul Hijjah 3, five suspects were arrested. They included two Bahrainis, two Saudis, and one Yemeni.

    On Dhul Hijjah 4, 12 suspects were arrested, half of them were Saudis, two were Bahrainis, two Yemenis, one Syrian, and one Iraqi.

    On Dhul Hijjah 5, two Saudis and one Syrian were arrested.

    On Dhul Hijjah 6, one Saudi was arrested.

    On Dhul Hijjah 7 and 8, five Saudis were arrested.

    On Arafat Day, 10 Saudis and one Brunei national were arrested.

    This Haj season saw an unprecedented security for pilgrims.

    Saudi officers kept eyes on every route and gathering spot.

    An “eye” which never closes formed the heart of the command and control center located in Mina, said Col. Saad Al-Dosari, its planning chief.

    Another officer, Captain Tareq Al-Azam, said that his dozens-strong team had been on duty around the clock monitoring this year’s 1.8 million pilgrims.

    More than 5,000 cameras were installed in the entire Makkah sector covering a radius of around 10 kilometers (six miles) around its Grand Mosque.

    From his vantage point, the captain could direct the cameras and was able to zoom in to investigate any suspicious-looking or potentially dangerous activity.

    The job of the security team was “to survey the screens to detect any problem or any blockage” in the constant stream of pilgrims navigating the Holy Sites, explained Dosari.

    If any anomaly is detected, “they inform the operations center to prevent any problem before it can even happen.”

    Dozens of soldiers were posted at the center, located a few meters away, with headphones on and microphones at the ready to pass on information to the tens of thousands of members of the security forces on the ground.”

  26. US bill violates international norms: Minister (saudigazette, Sep 18, 2016)

    “Riyadh — The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which was passed recently by the US Congress, violates the principles of international law and all international norms as well as the principle of sovereignty of states enshrined in the UN Charter, Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani has said.

    He said that by passing this bill, the US Congress has assumed that the US judiciary is the center of prosecution in the world where the states shall be treated as individuals.

    The bill will create a dangerous precedent and a serious breach of the rules and basic principles of the international law, Al-Samaani said.

    He said the JASTA will trigger chaos in international relations and affect mutual trust among states and dent international cooperation. He also hoped that the US Congress would listen to the saner voices calling for reconsidering this act.

    The bill summary says that it will amend the law “to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity by authorizing US courts to hear cases involving claims against a foreign state for injuries, death, or damages that occur inside the United States as a result of a tort, including an act of terrorism, committed anywhere by a foreign state or official.”

    The Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab states have also expressed deep concern about the bill.

    The act runs contrary to the established principles of international law, especially that of sovereign equality among states, enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the GCC Secretariat said in a statement. “The GCC considers the US act conflicting with the basis and principles of relations among states and the principles of sovereign immunity, established in international laws and norms,” GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said.

    In Doha, Qatar said that it expressed its concern regarding the US Senate’s passing of the bill.

    The head of the media office in the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the piece of legislation violates international law, particularly the principle of sovereign equality between states, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

    UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also expressed the UAE’s concern about the US Congress adopting the law.”

  27. Guantanamo prisoner says Saudi ‘royal’ involved in 9/11 attacks (tribune, Sep 17, 2016)

    “A newly released transcript claims an accused al Qaeda bomb-maker told military officials at the US base in Guantanamo Bay that he believed an unnamed member of the Saudi royal family was part of an effort to recruit him for extremist acts before the 9/11 attacks.

    Ghassan Abdallah al-Sharbi, who went to college in Arizona, said a religious figure in Saudi Arabia used the term “your highness” during a telephone conversation with a man, just before urging him to return to the US and take part in a plot against the country that would involve learning to fly a plane, Associate Press reported.

    Al-Sharbi divulged and described details of the conversation in June to the Periodic Review Board at Guantanamo. The Pentagon on Thursday posted a transcript, with parts blacked out, on the website of the board, which includes representatives from six US agencies and departments.

    The statement lacks important details, such as whether the “religious figure” might be close to any Saudi officials. It does not indicate who the Saudi royal might be.

    Al-Sharbi said he listened as the “religious figure” spoke to the man –whom al-Sharbi believes was a royal — as they discussed his qualifications for returning to the US for jihad — which hints indirectly to the 9/11 incident. “I remember, ‘yes, your highness, yes your highness,’ and he was talking to him about me,” he recalled the clerics conversation on the phone.

    The September 11 commission found there was no evidence to indicate that the Saudi government as an institution or Saudi senior officials individually had supported the attacks, and the kingdom’s government has consistently denied it had any role in the plot.”

  28. 90 per cent policemen undereducated, says report (tribune, Sep 17, 2016)

    “It is estimated that almost 90 per cent personnel in the police force are undereducated and without power or authority, a report compiled by a committee constituted by the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat revealed.

    The report titled ‘Addressing Maladministration in Police Stations’ stated that at present, personnel working as assistant sub inspectors or in lower positions, constituting 12 per cent of the force, hardly have any authority. While the remaining 88 per cent wither do not work or have no trust in their superiors…”

  29. Russian Foreign Ministry: White House ‘Defending the Islamic State’ Terrorists (sputniknews, Sep 17, 2016)

    “Russia says that the situation in Syria is worsening finding that the rebels have intensified their attacks since the ceasefire came into force on September 12 and laying the blame at the feet of Washington for failing to crackdown on jihadists.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a scathing response to the Obama administration after a US Central Command statement suggested that the US-led coalition had warned Russia prior to the airstrikes against Syrian Army positions at Deir Ez-Zor that left some 62 Assad regime soldiers dead.

    The statement by the Foreign ministry comes in the wake of accusations by Russia that the United States has not been dealing in good faith in the ceasefire agreement with Russian General Vladimir Savchenko saying that “the situation is worsening” with rebel forces escalating their attacks since the agreement went into force on September 12. “Russia is exterting all possible effort to restrain Government troops from returning fire,” Senior Army General Viktor Poznikhir said…”

  30. Pro-Erdogan Turkish Newspaper Says Dead US Soldiers Were Terrorists, Not Heroes (sputniknews, Sep 17, 2016)

    “Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper known by some as the “mouthpiece” of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued an insulting editorial on Saturday labeling American Special Forces who died fighting Daesh alongside Kurdish militants as “terrorists.”..”

  31. Germany: Varoufakis calls for Left unity against far-right ahead of Berlin elections

    Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis spoke in Berlin, Saturday, one night before Berliners head to the polls for state elections, saying that the Left must “reach out even across political parties” in order to “fight against the darkness” of racism in Europe.

  32. Melbourne Gripped by Gun Violence, Prompting Call for Stiffer Gun Control

    “Melbourne is in the grip of an unprecedented wave of gun violence.”

    Thus begins a report published this week in the Australian newspaper The Age of a “three-day investigative series that should concern every citizen of a metropolis that has repeatedly won the accolade of “world’s most livable city.”

    The situation is critical according to the article. “Gun-related crime has surged,” the writers declare desperately, and “innocent people have been killed.”

    What do the authors of the series suggest as a solution to the crescendo of crime? “Concerted action” [must be] taken by those who make laws and those who enforce them.”

    Then, the paper presents the facts and figures that detail the depravity into which their once peaceful city has descended:

    The facts are chilling and compelling. In as little as five years, gun crimes have more than doubled. Some very dangerous people are involved; in 2015 alone, more than 750 people with serious criminal convictions were caught carrying guns. That’s up a staggering five times since 2011. Shootings have literally become a weekly event. Crimes related to firearm possession have more than doubled in the past five years. The number of young criminals has rocketed; almost 1500 people aged between 20 and 34 committed a gun offence [sic] last year, more than twice the number five years ago. A culture of carrying, and using, guns is becoming worryingly entrenched in criminal circles.

      • Probably but that wasn’t in the article, since the increase in gun crime that follows disarming the victims occured several years ago it is safe to say that something else is fueling this increase. It is probably very safe to say that this has to co with the Islamic immigrants but we don’t have any proof of this because the government and the media aren’t giving us the information.

  33. New York City police ‘responding to a report of an explosion at 23rd St. and 6t Ave.,’ NYPD spokesman says

    Explosion reported in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, fire department confirms –

    Multiple people injured in Chelsea explosion

    CHELSEA, Manhattan — Multiple people were injured during an outdoor explosion in Chelsea Saturday night.

    The explosion happened at 135 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

    Sources say 26 people have minor injuries.

    The victims were taken to area hospitals.

    The FDNY is on the scene with the NYPD Counterterrorism Unit.

    The explosion comes after a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey near the Semper Five 5K Charity Run Route. The device was placed in a garbage can.

    People are urged to avoid the area.

    The NYPD has stopped all southbound traffic on Seventh Avenue at 34th Street.

    The explosion has impacted subway service. According to the MTA’s website, there is no service on the No. 1 and 2 trains between 34th Street Penn Station and Chambers Street in both directions.

    Commuters should allow for additional travel time.

  34. SKY News -The Role Of The Oceans In Climate Change

    A new study has warned that humans could be responsible for bringing about the sixth mass extinction of marine life. Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, explains the role of the oceans in climate change.

    • SKY News – How To Save The World’s Oceans

      Dr Enric Sala is a Marine Ecologist and Explorer in Residence at National Geographic. He explains why the health of the oceans is directly linked to climate change, and what their impact on humanity could be.

      • The left likes to say the right is anti science but their refusal to listen to the honest scientists about the sun causing the change in climate is showing who the true anti science people are.

  35. USA – Minnesota – Reports: One dead multiple people injured at Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud

    – Police are at Crossroads Center in St. Cloud where reports indicate there are multiple stabbing victims.

    They responded around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Reports say one person has been killed and at least six others have been transported to the St. Cloud hospital. It’s unclear how many victims there are.

    St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson says the department is still trying to piece together what happened and will release more information as its investigation develops.

    Fox 9 has a crew on the way and we will bring you more information as we get it.

    St. Cloud Minnesota Crossroads Mall Stabbing/Active Shooter: What’s Happening?

    BREAKING: Police say suspect is in custody at Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud. Multiple people stabbed. Not clear if police shot suspect.

  36. Minneapolis – Hundreds march against Islamophobia, call to end CVE program

    About 200 demonstrators marched through Minneapolis’ West Bank Saturday to rally against Islamophobia.

    Beginning around 1 p.m., demonstrators met outside Mayday Books for opening speeches. Afterwards, they marched to the Republican Party of Minnesota headquarters on Franklin Avenue and chanted phrases including, “No racist war, no war no more, defend our civil rights.”

    The demonstration began with about 200 people, surging to 250 throughout the march, with passersby joining in.

    “This is an important protest. People came out of their homes to join the march and that’s a powerful thing,” said Matt Boynton, a University of Minnesota graduate student and a member of Students for a Democratic Society.

    The march was geared toward raising awareness against Islamophobia in the United States, protesters said. Protesters passed out flyers calling to end the Countering Violent Extremism program — described as racist and Islamophobic in the literature.

    The federal pilot program — as described by the Department of Justice on its website — consists of community leaders working to “eliminate conditions that lead to alienation and violent extremism … and reject destructive ideologies.” The department launched the program in 2014 in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

    “CVE is part of the growing national security, and the program will continue as long as Islamophobia goes unchallenged in the media, politics and broader American culture,” the handout read.

    The rally was also intended to raise awareness about other social movements like Black Lives Matter and protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline Project.

    Minnesotans Against Islamophobia and the Anti-War Committee co-sponsored the event. Meredith Aby-Keirstead, who said she has been an anti-war activist for over 20 years, assisted in organizing the event.

    “I went to Cleveland to protest the Republican National Convention and I wanted to bring that fire here to Minnesota. I wanted to help organize for something where people could stand together so they know they wouldn’t be alone.” Aby-Keirstead said.

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