Reader’s links for December 16 – 2016

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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

99 Replies to “Reader’s links for December 16 – 2016”

  1. Islam has always been intolerant, murderous, conquesting, misogynistic and violent.
    It has nothing to do with Israel, American foreign policy, or anything other than the severely armored, warrior-nomad character structure and ideology which was incorporated into Islam by its war-lord founder, Muhammed.
    Read ‘Saharasia: Origins of War, Social Violence, Sex-Repression, Child Abuse’ by James DeMeo Phd

  2. Russia challenges US to prove election hacking claims or shut up

    (CNN)The United States must either stop accusing Russia of meddling in its elections or prove it, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
    Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “indecent” of the United States to “groundlessly” accuse Russia of intervention in its elections, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

    “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly,” Peskov reportedly said about the latest accusations that Russia was responsible for hacker attacks.

    • I think that Obama and company have stepped in the real deep s–t, they have decided to create a major problem for Donald Trump to handle but are now faced with being called liars when they can’t produce any credible evidence.

  3. China holds first live-fire drills with aircraft carrier, warships

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s military has carried out its first ever live-fire drills using an aircraft carrier and fighters in the northeastern Bohai Sea close to Korea, state media said.

    China’s growing military presence in the disputed South China Sea has fueled concern, with the United States criticizing its militarization of maritime outposts and holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

    No other country has claims in China’s busy waterway of the Bohai Sea, but the drills come amid new tension over self-ruled Taiwan, following U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s recent telephone call with the island’s president that upset Beijing.

    Ten vessels and 10 aircraft engaged in air-to-air, air-to-sea and sea-to-air combat drills that featured guided missiles, state broadcaster Chinese Central Television reported late on Thursday.

    “This is the first time an aircraft carrier squadron has performed drills with live ammunition and real troops,” it said.

    China’s Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier and a formation of warships carried out aerial interception, anti-aircraft and anti-missile drills, in which Shenyang J-15 fighter jets carrying live missiles also participated, CCTV said.

    • Warning Japan and Korea to stay out of any demonstration the US may use to show China we aren’t backing down. China is getting ready for something and it looks like it is a major war.

  4. The federal government wants to deport thousands of asylum seekers to Afghanistan. Some of them therefore accuse themselves as terrorists – and thus bizarrely bring the justice into difficulties.
    On Wednesday evening, the first aircraft took off at Frankfurt Airport. Their goal: Kabul. On board were 34 rejected asylum seekers from Afghanistan. According to the wishes of the federal government, the flight marks the beginning of a mass deportation. Up to 12,500 Afghans are to be brought back home soon. At the beginning of October, the European Union (EU) signed an agreement with the Afghan government, which facilitated the easier deportation of refugees for a billion-dollar aid package.

    In the past few days, demonstrations against the planned repatriations to the Hindukush were taking place. Afghanistan, the opponents of the deportation policy, was anything but a safe country of origin. After all, according to the UN since 2009, 23,000 civilians have been killed by war and terror attacks.
    Despite the protests, refugees from Germany are likely to return to Afghanistan. Some Afghan asylum seekers, therefore, are now turning into a curious trick for information of Die Welt: They accuse themselves to be Taliban fighters. This in turn poses some problems for German authorities.
    Paragraph 129 of the Criminal Code as a hope anchor

    The Islamic Taliban movement is forbidden in the Federal Republic as a foreign terrorist organization. Their members are prosecuted by the Federal Prosecution Office in Karlsruhe in accordance with Paragraph 129 a and Clause 129 b of the Penal Code. Those who have joined the Taliban must be sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
    Some Afghans seem willing and willing to accept this. They argue, for example, in asylum talks with the employees of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Afghanistan for the Taliban – or have been forced to do so. The bizarre result: in the worst case, the refugees are arrested and sentenced – but not deported.

    “The facts are known to the Federal Ministry of the Interior,” a spokeswoman for the ministry reported on request. Asylum seekers would in fact claim that they or their family members had supported the Taliban in Afghanistan or forced them to cooperate with them. “These allegations can lead to the initiation of an investigation by the General Prosecutor on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization abroad,” he continued. The security authorities would take the cases very seriously and follow them accordingly.
    As die Welt learned from security circles, the number of terrorist self-assertions among Afghans in recent weeks has risen significantly. Both the Land Criminal Police Offices (LKA) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) are getting more and more reports from self-proclaimed Taliban fighters. However, sufficient evidence for membership of the terrorist group has so far only been available in a few cases, according to investigators.
    (google translate)

    Since October, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office has arrested three Afghans, which are former Taliban fighters. Wajid S., 19, Abdullah S.K., 17, and Hekmat T., 20, are suspected of having received a terrorist training in the Taliban. Two suspects have also been involved in attacks on Afghan security forces. The men are currently under investigation. It is still unclear whether there will actually be accusations in the cases.

    German investigators are barely able to obtain legal proofs of terrorist activities, they say in security crises. Also because the cooperation with the Afghan authorities in this area works rather badly than right. The investigations against the alleged Taliban are therefore possibly terminated without result. However, the Afghans are not deported. They could point out that they are at home with torture or even the death penalty – and that in turn would be an asylum.

    • And people wonder where the saying, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” came from.

      Islam’s own indiscriminate slaughter of Infidels and fellow Muslims alike mandates a similarly indiscriminate attitude to be held by its foes. Not since El Cid has this requirement been made sufficiently clear. Islam’s refusal to recognize or accept such reciprocity only serves to cement the prospect of Massively Disproportionate Retaliation. Pauvre petite.

      • I think the original Mexican saying was “Kill them all God will recognize his own”. Your version is the translation the Americans on the border used.

        Sorry the frustrated teacher in me coming out.

  5. African Gang Terrorises Beachgoers, Beats, Whips Workmen Until They Black Out (breitbart, Dec 15, 2016)

    “A man who was savagely beaten and whipped by a gang of up to 30 men on a Melbourne beach has called his attackers “animals”.
    When a gang of African teens began destroying temporary fencing outside St. Kilda Life Saving Club, two landscapers working there yelled at the men to leave the worksite but instead, they attacked.

    “There was about 30 of them and they all turned at once and attacked me, all of them swinging at once,” one of the victims, Andrew, recalled.

    “I just told them to get out of the construction site and then they just looked at me and they just charged at me like animals, like in the wild, they were wild animals.”

    The 21-year-old said the gang said nothing to him before the attack, in which he received a sudden punch to the head before being kicked, “stomped” on, and whipped with a belt.

    Andrew sustained multiple facial injuries, and his colleague Nathan had his nose broken by the youths. “Nathan was up against the wall getting beat up. He tried to grab somebody attacking me from behind and then a group of the people attacking me turned on him”, the landscaper told Ten News. The pair were taken to hospital by paramedics.

    Before launching their brutal attack on the workmen, the African teens had been terrorising beachgoers for hours, stealing their phones, bikes, and other possessions. Police were called to the south-east Melbourne beach but each time, the gang would just disperse before joining up again to continue their campaign of harassment.

    When police arrived there following the attack, they successfully fled using this tactic. A number of items were found at the scene including a large knife. Up to 50 youths were engaged in a huge brawl, in which three teenagers were injured and one left unconscious, which spilled over onto the Life Saving Club where men then beat the two landscapers unconscious.

    One witness told radio station 3AW that two groups of teenagers of African appearance were pushing and shoving each other on the beach before the fight erupted.

    Another told The Age she saw the “large” knife found by police being pulled, and a 15-year-old being knocked out with a pole that had been pulled from the ground…”

  6. Pro-Migrant Activists Storm Frankfurt Airport Over Afghan Deportations (breitbart, Dec 16, 2016)

    “As the first 50 Afghan nationals are deported to their native country, a large crowd of pro-migrant activists held a demonstration against the government’s actions at Frankfurt airport.

    Several hundred left-wing activists took part in the protest Wednesday evening at terminal one of the busiest airport in Germany. The activists held signs which read, “Stop – No Deportation to Afghanistan” and “Deportation is torture, deportation is murder” as the first 50 failed asylum seekers boarded a chartered plane to Afghanistan, reports Frankfurter Rundschau…”

  7. France Train Attack Was Ordered by Same Islamic State Terror Network as Paris Attacks (breitbart, Dec 16, 2016)

    “PARIS (AP) — The main suspect in a high-speed train attack thwarted by three Americans last year in northern France acted on orders from the leading member of the Islamic State cell that attacked Paris three months later, his lawyer said Thursday.

    Lawyer Sarah Mauger-Poliak told The Associated Press that Ayoub El Khazzani testified that he received specific orders from Abdelhamid Abaaoud to attack a Paris-bound Thalys express train in August 2015.

    El Khazzani, a 27-year-old-year Moroccan, was questioned at his request by a Paris counterterrorism judge Wednesday for more than five hours. It was the first time he agreed to answer questions about the case.

    “He gave the judge the name of the person who instructed him to attack this specific Thalys train: it’s Abaaoud”, Mauger-Poliak said in a phone interview.

    French authorities had earlier linked El Khazzani to Abaaoud, but without elaborating. It has never been reported before that Abaaoud also ordered the Thalys train attack.

    Abaaoud died a few days after the Paris attacks in a police raid outside the capital.

    During Wednesday’s hearing behind closed doors, El Khazzani told the investigating judge he made a trip to Syria and later traveled with Abaaoud in summer 2015, the lawyer said. The two men made several stops together, including one in Budapest, Hungary, the lawyer said….”

  8. Turkey To Confront Austria ‘On All Levels’ After EU Veto (breitbart, Dec 16, 2016)

    “After Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz made good on his promise to veto European Union membership talks for Turkey, the country has vowed to retaliate.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu has slammed the actions of his Austrian counterpart during an interview with Turkish television. He said that Turkey would look to confront the alpine country and “will fight against Austria at all levels” due to the delay in Turkish accession talks that could lead eventually to full membership of the EU, reports Die Presse.

    Mr. Cavusoglu said on Thursday, “I will not discuss with Austria, whose parliament takes decisions against us, and whose media reports badly about us”. The Turkish government had previously taken issue with Austrian paper Kronen Zeitung after they reported that the Turkish supreme court had repealed legislation which effectively lowered the sexual age of consent to as low as twelve.

    The Kronen Zeitung article led to a diplomatic spat between the two countries after the headline was broadcast over the news ticker at Vienna International airport…”

  9. Academic: Former Stasi Secret Police Informant Unfit to Lead Government Internet Censorship Task Force (breitbart, Dec 16, 2016)

    “The Ministry of Justice has come under renewed pressure to cut ties with Anetta Kahane after a Stasi expert declared her unfit to lead a “sensitive task like controlling the internet” based on her history working with the Communist secret police.

    A review of the former Stasi informant’s files has led to further questions over Justice Minister Heiko Maas’s decision to use Kahane’s Amadeu Antonio Foundation to oversee a programme of removing “hate speech” online and prosecuting its authors.

    Writing in Focus on Sunday, Communist political oppression academic and Stasi expert Dr. Hubertus Knabe, said it is “incomprehensible” that the ministry chose a foundation headed by Kahane to lead a “sensitive task such as controlling the internet”.

    Director of the Hohenschönhausen Stasi Memorial, Knabe reviewed Kahane’s files and found that she had lied about her history with the Communist secret police, whose repression leaves many survivors still traumatised today…”

    • USA: Kerry refuses to speak on ‘anonymous reports’ of Russian hacking

      US Secretary of State John Kerry refused to comment on anonymous reports from intelligence officials “that are not identified” on the claims of Russian hacking of the US elections. Kerry was briefing the press at the State Department in Washington DC on Thursday.

    • Johnson: CIA ‘withholding’ information on Russian hacking

      Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson on Friday said the CIA denied his request for a briefing on its findings about Russian cyberattacks allegedly designed to influence the election.

      “I’m not happy they denied a briefing to me,” the Wisconsin Republican told a public radio interviewer in his home state on Friday morning. “I need information from the administration, and right now they’re withholding it.”

      He added in a statement: “It is disappointing that the CIA would provide information on this issue to The Washington Post and NBC but will not provide information to elected members of Congress.”

      Johnson is the second congressional committee chairman in three days to charge that intelligence officials are leaving lawmakers in the dark as interpretations of Russian meddling in the election are leaked to the media. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Wednesday wrote to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, alleging that intelligence officials had declined his request for a committee-wide briefing.

      Johnson suggested that the furor raised by the leak of the CIA’s secret report on Russian interference to help Donald Trump risks “delegitimizing” the election. Electors from six states have sought an intelligence briefing of their own before they vote Monday to officially enshrine Trump as president.

      “I believe this is a fair election,” Johnson told Wisconsin Public Radio. “I believe it’s a legitimate result. The Electoral College certainly will vote, and Donald Trump will be our next president.”

      Johnson said he attended a September briefing with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey, and White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco. The Washington Post, in its initial report on the CIA findings, described that session as an effort to win bipartisan buy-in for a public statement of support against Russian cyberattacks.

      “They were assuring everybody there was no way Russia could hack our voting machines,” Johnson told Wisconsin Public Radio. “I don’t know what changed from that briefing to this in terms of additional information.”

      Johnson also questioned the White House’s promises to respond to the Russian hacking, which NBC News reported Thursday may have directly involved the Russian president.

      “My guess is Vladimir Putin is not shaking in his boots,” Johnson said. He added that Moscow should face consequences for its actions but voiced support for an investigation through normal committee channels, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has recommended.

      Democrats on Johnson’s committee were not informed of his CIA briefing request, according to an aide to the minority.

      Clapper’s office said in a Wednesday statement that it had given “extensive, detailed classified and unclassified briefings to members and staff from both parties on Capitol Hill” on the Russian actions but would hold off on further briefings until after a White House-ordered intelligence review is done.

      “Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress — and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods,” the director of National Intelligence said. “We will not offer any comment until the review is complete.”

      • This is like a 9-11 for us…

        Do you mean to say that almost 3,000 Liberals have killed themselves over Trump wining the election?!?

        Please hold that thought while I go out and purchase a case of Champagne!!!

        If only 19 jihadist Saudi hijackers had slammed two fully-fueled airliners into the Democratic National Convention. Maybe then this sort of (otherwise, utterly ridiculous) hyperbole might even slightly intrude upon the borders of reality.

        Does anyone recall how Democratic Party candidates howled about the prospect of election-time Republicans playing upon voter sympathies by summoning up various specters of the 9-11 atrocity?!?

        Now, here are these exact same worthless shites screaming about this election being an offense on a scale similar to the 2001 9-11 attacks.

        Clearly, dignity and pride have little to do with all of this Democratic Party (mis)behavior. Would that the truth had even a slight role in this matter. Instead, all of it is a megadose of infantile whinging and tantrum-throwing on a heretofore unprecedented scale.

        • I know how you feel, I have watched the Dems lie their way to power since the 60s and they have never allowed reality to enter into their thinking.

      • CNN – Trump says his supporters were ‘violent'</strong<

        Orlando, Florida (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump said Friday his supporters were "violent" during the 2016 campaign.

        Trump made the admission Friday night during a rally here on the Florida leg of his "Thank You" tour. During the campaign, he repeatedly downplayed violent outbursts his supporters displayed at times toward protesters and insisted that paid activists were instead responsible for inciting violence at his rallies.

        "You people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall? We want the wall!' Screaming, 'Prison! Prison! Lock her up!' I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?" Trump said Friday. "But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"

        During the campaign, Trump repeatedly referred to his rallies as the "safest place on Earth" and called them a "love fest."

        Meanwhile, some Trump supporters occasionally physically assaulted protesters at rallies across the country during the 2016 campaign. In several instances, Trump supporters were also assaulted by protesters after exiting Trump rallies.

        Several Trump supporters were charged with assault after attacking protesters at different rallies.

        And while Trump suggested that his supporters had mellowed out in their rhetoric as well — "now you're laid back, you're cool, you're mellow, you're basking in the glory of victory," he said Friday — the crowd broke out in "Lock her up!" chants twice.

        One Trump supporter who obtained a media pass from the Trump transition office shouted from the press pen that Trump's former opponent Hillary Clinton should be waterboarded.

        And a Trump supporter threw an empty water bottle at a reporter following the rally, calling the reporter "trash."

        That incident came after the President-elect repeatedly called reporters "very dishonest" and suggested without evidence that the media distorted exit polls on Election Day.

      • What else do you have if you don’t have hope?

        How about [gasp!] courage and determination!?!

        What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?

        Let’s start with moral fiber and (the sort of) philosophical resolve that derives from an individual rationality based upon well-considered principles which are available only to those with objective, introspective capabilities.

        For someone with the limited career experience and marginally, barely-productive earning skills of Michelle 0bama, the notion that moralistic behavior can transcend her (and her husband’s) abject reliance upon their proverbial (nutrient-free) manna of “Hope & Change”, must be nothing short of terrifying.

        All the better to ensure that they both are ejected from the White House faster than a mismatched, odd-colored sock from the supreme, “Clothes Dryer of Life”.

    • Obama warns Russia of retaliation over hacking

      Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton on President Obama saying the U.S. will retaliate against Russia over hacking allegations.

    • N Y T – Clinton Says Putin, Out of ‘Personal Beef,’ Played Role in Loss

      Hillary Clinton on Thursday night attributed her defeat to a convergence of two “unprecedented” events: the release of a letter by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, shortly before the election, and what she called an “attack against our country” by the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

      Mrs. Clinton has kept a low profile in the weeks since her defeat, mostly appearing on social media in photographs by passers-by who have spotted her walking her dogs near her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

      A few days after the election, she did talk about the impact of Mr. Comey’s letter in a conference call with supporters. But speaking in Manhattan on Thursday to a group of her campaign donors, many of whom are still despondent over her defeat, she was particularly pointed about the role of Russia.

      Mrs. Clinton said the letter Mr. Comey released disclosing new questions about emails handled by her private server had cost her close races in several battleground states. “Swing-state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the F.B.I. letter from Director Comey,” she said.

      The Russians, she said, sought to “undermine our democracy” through cyberattacks on Democratic targets. She said the hacking into the Democratic National Committee and into the emails of her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, were a result of Mr. Putin’s “personal beef” against her, pointing to her accusation that Russia’s 2011 parliamentary elections were rigged.

      “Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” Mrs. Clinton said.

      They were her first public remarks since widespread reports that the Russian government was behind the cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and Mr. Podesta, with the goal of influencing the election.

      “Make no mistake, as the press is finally catching up to the facts, which we desperately tried to present to them during the last months of the campaign,” Mrs. Clinton told the group, which collectively poured roughly $1 billion into her effort. “This is not just an attack on me and my campaign, although that may have added fuel to it. This is an attack against our country. We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”

    • Burr says Trump team may have to testify in Senate intelligence Russia investigation

      The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s work to uncover whether Russia nefariously sought to interfere with the 2016 presidential election is taking shape, said committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on Friday afternoon.

      And, President-elect Donald Trump could be called on to testify in front of Congress on the issue.

      Burr’s statement Friday said the committee plans to “interview senior officials of both the outgoing and incoming administrations, strong>including the issuance of subpoenas if necessary to compel testimony.”

      The pending review will “include conducting a thorough examination of the underpinnings of the intelligence that prompted the (White House) administration to issue the October 7 statement that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of U.S. political organizations,” Burr said in a news statement.

      “The committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads … When appropriate, the Committee will hold open hearings to help inform the public about the issues,” Burr said.

      Burr was a campaign ally to President-elect Donald Trump and the senior North Carolina senator is now positioned at the helm of a congressional investigation into Russian government officials directed cyberattacks with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election.

      As intelligence committee chairman, Burr is in the middle of a sensitive situation.

      Democrats and two prominent Republicans in Washington – Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain – have pushed for a special investigatory committee to probe alleged Russian interference. Republican lawmakers, in particular, in recent days have stressed the investigation cannot be a political one and have avoided implicating the president-elect.

      Burr has pledged to be aggressive in looking into various allegations of foreign interference, including U.S. intelligence officials laying blame on senior members of the Russian government for hacking into Democratic Party emails and computers. President Barack Obama has ordered an extensive U.S. investigation into any foreign meddling in domestic affairs, dating back to 2008.

      Earlier this week, Burr told McClatchy in an email statement that he and others on the intelligence committee have been concerned about Russia’s actions. He promised to “continue to conduct vigorous oversight over activities and agencies within our jurisdiction in an appropriate and responsible way.”

      Leading Republicans in Congress announced Monday Burr and the intelligence committee are in charge of probing the issue. That came after Republican leadership partially relented to Graham and McCain’s plea for a special, “select” committee.

      Meanwhile, Trump and some of his allies have outright rejected the claims of Russia influencing the election and the topic has opened up a rare war of words between the incoming president and the outgoing administration.

      Burr’s full statement on Friday said the committee plans to conduct its review “expeditiously, but we will take the time to get it right and will not be influenced by uninformed discourse.”

      Areas of inquiry, according to Burr’s statement, include:

      ? The Oct. 7, 2016 intelligence community public statement blaming Russian government for hacking

      ? Going beyond the question of Russian interference in just 2016 elections

      ? Holding hearings to examine “other specific aspects of Russian behavior”

      The intelligence chairman also used his statement Friday to express deep support for federal workers and people serving in the U.S. intelligence community.

      “Without exception, I know them to be hard-working, patriotic Americans. They care deeply about their country, and work every day to keep us safe. They come from all walks of life and hold views across the political spectrum. Unlike many in Washington, though, they check politics at the office door and focus on their mission,” Burr said.

      “They are tasked with keeping our nation’s leaders well-informed about events around the world. While their failures are often well known, their successes rarely see the light of day. We would all do well to remember the sacrifices they make on our behalf and keep in mind that what we do with the intelligence they provide is up to us.”

    • BOSTON – Elizabeth Warren slams Trump at jihad-friendly mosque

      “I must say I am really discouraged by the people he’s bringing into his administration. He starts with someone like Steve Bannon, who celebrates white supremacy.” -Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, Dec. 11, 2016

      The event was evidently organized to publicly distort the intentions of President-elect Donald Trump. “For those feeling disenfranchised by the election last month of President-elect Donald Trump,” reported CBS Boston, “the goal was to come together and heal.”

      Speakers such as Senator Elizabeth Warren parroted the blatant lies about 1.) an uptick of “hate crimes” since Donald Trump’s election and 2.) the #FakeNews about Trump proposing a so-called “National Muslim Registry.”

      And there is the minor detail that the Islamic Society of Boston has ties to numerous Islamic terrorists.

    • WaPo FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election

      FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have backed a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to U.S. officials.

      Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion suggests that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.

      “Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

      “The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI,” Brennan’s message read.

      Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russian hacking.

      The CIA and FBI declined to comment.

      The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill about two weeks ago in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Specifically, CIA briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was one of Russia’s goals, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

      CIA and FBI officials do not think Russia had a “single purpose” by intervening during the presidential campaign. In addition to helping Trump, intelligence officials have told lawmakers that Moscow’s other goal included undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system.

      A separate House intelligence briefing by a senior FBI counterintelligence official last week left some Republican and Democratic lawmakers with the impression that the bureau wasn’t on the same page as the CIA, according to officials present.

      “The truth is they were never all that different in the first place,” an official said of the FBI and CIA positions.

      In his message to the CIA’s workforce, Brennan said the administration has provided detailed briefings to lawmakers and their aides since the summer.

      “In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed,” Brennan wrote. “Many – but unfortunately not all – members understand and appreciate the importance and the gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway.”

      • That is not what the real news sites and networks are saying, they are saying the FBI says they don’t have evidence that the Russians were invovled.

    • reuters – U.S. to disclose estimate of surveilled Americans by early 2017: letter

      The U.S. intelligence community has committed to providing as soon as next month a public estimate of the number of U.S. persons whose electronic communications are ensnared under a surveillance authority intended for foreign espionage, according to a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers’ letter that Reuters saw.

      The decision would reverse the government’s longstanding position that calculating such a number may be technically impossible and would require privacy intrusions exceeding those raised by the actual surveillance programs.

      It also comes as Congress is expected to begin debate in the coming months over whether to reauthorize or reform the surveillance authority, known as Section 702, a provision that was added to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2008.

      The letter, sent on Friday to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, said his office and National Security Agency officials had briefed congressional staff about how the intelligence community intends to comply with the lawmakers’ disclosure request.

      Clapper’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The 11 lawmakers, all members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, termed their letter an effort to “memorialize our understanding” of the intelligence community’s plan to provide an estimate in real numbers, not percentages, as soon as January that can be shared with the public.

      “The timely production of this information is incredibly important to informed debate on Section 702 in the next Congress— and, without it, even those of us inclined to support reauthorization would have reason for concern,” the letter said.

      Section 702 will expire on December 31, 2017, absent congressional action. It enables two internet surveillance programs called Prism and Upstream that were revealed in a series of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden more than three years ago.

      Intelligence officials have said that data about Americans is “incidentally” collected under Section 702, due to a range of technical and practical reasons. Critics have assailed such collection as back-door surveillance of Americans without a warrant.

      Clapper, who is stepping down next month, suggested in April that providing an estimate of Americans surveilled under Section 702, a figure some have said could tally in the millions, might be possible, while defending the law as “a prolific producer of critical intelligence.”

      Republicans James Sensenbrenner, Darrell Issa, Ted Poe and Jason Chaffetz signed the letter, in addition to Democrats John Conyers, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hank Johnson, Ted Deutch, Suzan DelBene and David Cicilline.

  10. Fury as school CHANGES lyrics to Christmas carol over fears it’s OFFENSIVE (express, Dec 16, 2016)

    “A SCHOOL has come under fire for changing lyrics to a traditional Christmas carol to wipe out any reference of the festive period claiming some may be offended by what they consider “PREACHING”.

    Outraged parents hit out after the school also changed the name of its annual Christmas concert to a ‘December recital’, cutting any reference to the very reason for the performance whatsoever.

    Alterations to the seasonal songs included exchanging the word ‘Christmas’ with ‘winter’ and ‘Father Christmas’ with ‘friend’ at the school in Norway.

    Arvid Berentsen, head of the parents’ board at the Stravanger institution, in west Norway, said he was greatly opposed to the school rewriting their traditional song ‘Deilig er jorden’, which translates to Fairest Lord Jesus.

    The traditional song is not only sung in church services, but at homes around the Christmas tree.

    Mr Berentsen also said the rebranding of the Christmas recital as a December recital went against the wishes of the parents’ board…”

  11. France: One killed after fire tears through migrant shelter in Paris

    At least one person was killed and 14 more injured in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, Friday, after a fire ripped through a shelter for migrant workers.

    According to local sources, the fatality came when a 40-year-old man from Mali jumped from a fourth-floor window to escape the blaze after being trapped on the upper floors of the shelter.

  12. France: Idlib could become next Aleppo – UN’s Staffan de Mistura

    UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned that one of the last opposition held cities in Syria, Idlib, could become “the next Aleppo” if a ceasefire deal is not reached soon. De Mistura was speaking at a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Paris on Thursday.

    SOT, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, SOT (French): “The situation in Aleppo is catastrophic. Everyone sees it. Civilian populations who are still stranded in the eastern part of the city and are only asking for one thing: to go out safely. That is why France has called for a new meeting of the Security Council. Not with a view to getting new resolutions accepted, but to examine concretely with the United Nations General Secretariat tomorrow, the deployment of observers on the spot to ensure that no account settlement takes place and that the Civilian populations are truly protected.”

    SOT, Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Foreign Minister (French): “No one should be deluded. There is too much hatred that has been fuelled by what has happened, especially in Aleppo, and which will remain in memory, with a terrible desire for vengeance that risks war remaining in the region for a long time. And we do not want that. That is why it is the responsibility of those who are most concerned, and that is why we appeal to the conscience and the responsibility of the Russians. It has been a sort of short-term victory, that’s how Bashar al-Assad described it, a Pyrrhic victory, but the threat and chaos may still last a long time.”

    SOT, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, (French): “Staffan de Mistura just gave an impressive figure. There are 50,000 civilians, not to mention the fighters, who are still in the city of East Aleppo.”

    SOT, Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria (French): “Look at the red areas. That is what was completely, totally destroyed. The yellow part is the part that was not totally destroyed but very damaged.”

    SOT, Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria (French): “We could have avoided all that. I know, we know. Currently, part of Aleppo was not destroyed because there was a last minute agreement. We would have liked to have it before to prevent the rest of the population from emerging in a more humane way.”

    SOT, Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria (French): “What’s going to happen in Idlib? I regret to say that we do not know. But seeing what happened in Aleppo, and if there is no agreement on the ceasefire and if there is no political discussion, Idlib will be the next Aleppo.”

    • Not realistic for Turkey to take all Aleppo evacuees, Turkish officials say

      It would not be realistic for Turkey to take in all of the evacuees from Syria’s Aleppo, Turkish foreign ministry officials said on Friday, citing potential security risks.

      Turkey plans to set up a camp in Syria for evacuees from Aleppo, while continuing to take the sick and wounded to hospitals in Turkey, Turkish officials said earlier on Friday.

      Two potential sites around 3.5 km (2 miles) inside Syria have been identified for a camp with the capacity to host up to 80,000 people, officials have said. Some 8,000 people have been brought out of Aleppo so far, although the evacuation was suspended after pro-government militias demanded the wounded should also be brought out of two villages besieged by rebels.

      Russia says radical rebels remain in parts of east Aleppo who are shooting at Syrian troops

    • strong>Hundreds of Muslim terrorists evacuated from eastern Aleppo via humanitarian corridor

      20 passenger busses and 10 ambulances were seen taking a reported 900 jihadists with their families out of eastern Aleppo via the 21km Salaheddin corridor.
      The motorcade was being accompanied by humanitarian workers and employees of the Reconciliation Center. Ambulances were carrying injured people who could not be safely transported by other means.

    • Syria: Evacuation of East Aleppo halted after accusations of deal violation

      The evacuation of thousands of civilians and militants from east Aleppo through the Salahdeen corridor came to a halt on Thursday, after alleged reports of gunshots heard in the area. Earlier reports of several blasts in the area have been denied by locals.

      Military officials also claim that militants breached the terms of the evacuation by attempting to leave with heavy weapons as well as some hostages.

    • yahoo news – Child with explosives caused Damascus blast: Syria media

      Damascus (AFP) – A blast that rocked a police station in southeast Damascus on Friday was caused by a seven-year-old girl carrying a belt of explosives, Syrian media reported.

      The explosion in the bustling Midan neighbourhood of the Syrian capital wounded three police officers, said the Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government.

      “A seven-year-old girl entered the police station, carrying a belt that was detonated from afar,” the paper posted on its Facebook page.

      A police source told Al-Watan that she had appeared lost and asked to use the bathroom when the explosives went off.

      Although rebel groups have fired rockets and mortar rounds into the capital, explosions inside the city itself are rare.

      Syrian state news agency SANA said earlier there were preliminary reports about a “terrorist explosion at the Midan police station in Damascus”.

    • Austria: Over 1000 protesters rally outside Parliament in solidarity with Aleppo

      An estimated 1200 protesters rallied outside the Austrian Parliament in Vienna, Friday, to show their solidarity with Aleppo residents.

  13. Russia: FSB detain IS-linked terror suspects in Samara raid

    ussian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained several people suspected of acting under the direction of self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) in a counter-terrorist operation on the outskirts of Samara, Thursday. FSB officers seized firearms, ammunition and explosive devices during the raid.

    The Samara arrests occurred on the same day as four men with suspected ties to IS were arrested after FSB raids in Moscow. The men, from Tajikistan and Moldova, were thought to be planning an attack in the capital over New Years.

  14. UN condemns Myanmar over plight of Rohingya (BBC, Dec 16, 2016)

    “The UN has strongly criticised the government of Myanmar over its treatment of the minority Rohingya Muslim population.

    The UN’s Human Rights Office said it was receiving daily reports of rapes, killings and other abuses.

    Human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said the government approach was “counterproductive, even callous”.

    At least 86 Rohingya have been killed and more than 27,000 forced to flee military operations in Rakhine state.

    The government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, says it is conducting counter-terrorism operations in the region but has denied reports of atrocities.

    Most of the displaced Rohingya have fled across the border into Bangladesh…”

  15. Paris fire: Migrant dies in ‘suspicious’ Boulogne-Billancourt blaze (BBC, Dec 16, 2016)

    “French authorities are investigating a fire at a migrant reception centre in the western suburbs of Paris.

    One man died after he jumped from a third-floor window of the building in Boulogne-Billancourt, police said.

    Thirteen people were injured in the blaze and six people were rescued by some 70 firefighters who attended.

    Traces of fuel and fire accelerator were found in the lobby of the six-floor building in initial examinations, said French news reports.

    Migrant centres have been targeted in arson attacks in France in recent months…”

  16. 12 Soldiers Killed in Jihadist Attack on Burkina Faso Army (abcnews, Dec 16, 2016)

    “Authorities say at least 12 soldiers are dead after dozens of Islamic extremists attacked an army barracks in northern Burkina Faso.

    The jihadists stormed the barracks early Friday in Nassoumbou, a town near the Malian border that is about 260 kilometers (160 miles) from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

    The assailants also set fires to the premises, including tents and military vehicles, a security official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

    This West African country has seen a number of assaults since al-Qaida-linked extremists attacked in Ouagadougou in January, killing 30 people.

    Burkina Faso’s president was set to travel to Nigeria for a meeting on the Gambia crisis but has canceled his trip.”

  17. The Media Game: Creating the Hound Pack of the Day

    by Yves Mamou
    December 16, 2016 at 5:30 am

    There is something wrong with the media — internationally.

    In Great Britain, they were unable to listen to British people who wanted to “Brexit.” In the US, they were unable to listen to American people who wanted Trump. And in France, they were unable to predict the victory of François Fillon who “unexpectedly” won the presidential primary election of the center-right party.

    In each country, the media and journalists stigmatized and labeled the majority of the people — those who wanted to Brexit, such as Trump and Fillon — idiots and racists.

    So the question is: are journalists and media still people and companies paid to describe the world as it is? How did they go so wrong on such important questions? And go wrong so massively, with almost no exception? The corollary question is: are the media just playing a game? If so, what is the game? And why?

    For an answer, it is necessary to understand how the media works. First, it is important to abandon conspiracy theories. Many “experts” explain the lack of diversity — the one-sided orientation of information — by pointing to a supposedly oligarchic concentration of TV channels and newspapers in a few hands. This may sometimes be part of the problem, but only marginally. Media corporation owners want content that they can monetize, and much of the time they might not even care about the content. They just want an audience, as big as possible. As the French philosopher, Marcel Gauchet, put it: “in the manner of the adage that ‘money does not smell,’ one might add that the audience has no content.”

    • Excellent article, thoughtful analysis of how media got to this sorry state. ==>Message to those seeking a career in leftist “edgy” media: If you like to eat, play safe and get vocational training. Electrician, medi-tech, plumbing.

  18. Uncle Slits Niece’s Throat in Street in Name of ‘Honor’
    He executed her in public view because there were “rumors” about the 22-year-old divorcee’s “inappropriate behavior.” The man was arrested

    The horror of honor violence was brought into sharp relief on a street in Egypt’s Sohag region on December 13.

    Having heard rumors of her “inappropriate behavior,” a 40-year-old man slit his niece’s throat as hundreds watched on in shock (Arabic link).

    One question that must be asked is how the man was able to drag by the hair the screaming 22 year old from her home into a street when hundreds were there and yet he still managed to kill her. To what extent did the people watching try to intervene?

    Edmund Burke famously wrote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    Honor violence is rife in many Muslim-majority societies and indeed in Western countries on a smaller scale. The failure of the immediate populous to detect the threat and then act requires the very serious attention of relevant authorities from social services and local law enforcement up to the governmental level.

    “We must purify the family from you and your behavior,” said the divorcee’s uncle moments before her lifeless body fell into a pool of her own blood.

    “We are washing away the shame,” he reportedly said.

    Law-enforcement officers arrested the man who surrendered, admitted guilt and claimed no other family members were involved.

    • Law-enforcement officers arrested the man who surrendered, admitted guilt and claimed no other family members were involved.

      Not even to the extent of (those “other family members”) intervening. Some Gødd@mned “family” they are. Even if it were possible to disassociate terrorism from Islam (and it most certainly isn’t), the way Muslims treat women would still disqualify Islam from civilized society.

  19. Obama Refuses to Sign Iran Sanctions Bill
    The move by Obama was viewed as a symbolic gesture, since according to procedural rules, the bill will become law without the president’s signature.

    After a bill to renew to sanctions against Iran was passed by both houses of Congress nearly unanimously, U.S. President Barack Obama declined to sign the bill. According to procedural rules, the bill will become law without his signature.

    The move by Obama was viewed as a symbolic gesture – an expression of his disapproval for the measure, which goes against his signature foreign policy objective. When the bill was originally proposed, Obama was expected to veto it, however, due to the bill’s overwhelming support in Congress, a presidential veto would have been ineffective (as it can be overridden by a two-thirds vote).

    Speaking for the president, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement, “The administration has, and continues to use, all of the necessary authorities to waive the relevant sanctions.”

  20. Russian Hacking Conspiracy Theory Implodes
    The Left’s quest to overturn Trump’s election isn’t going very well.

    The Left’s crusade against Republican presidential electors is kicking into high gear even as the CIA-attributed story that Russian hackers won the White House for Donald Trump is going up in flames.

    There is still no evidence –at least none that has been made publicly available– that the Russian government or Russian-backed cyber militias hacked anything to help Trump win the election but that’s not halting the Left’s efforts to delegitimize his presidency before it even begins.

    Against this backdrop, members of the Electoral College are preparing to gather this Monday in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to fulfill their constitutional duty. Adding to the drama, some electors are demanding intelligence briefings on the alleged hacking before they vote.

    But sometimes not everyone on the Left gets the memo.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday undermined the Left’s post-election jihad against Trump by rejecting the proposition that the Russian government (or anyone) hacked into voting machines used in the recent election.

  21. The Gorbachev-Democrat Axis
    Both support Obamacare and decry “triumphalism”.
    December 16, 2016
    Lloyd Billingsley

    Democrats have been charging that Vladmir Putin’s Russia got Donald Trump elected President of the United States. As this absurd charge plays out, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, now 85, has been blaming the United States and its allies for the downfall of the USSR and for current tensions in the world.

    In an interview with the Associated Press, Gorbachev comes billed as one who “helped end the Cold War,” but the former Soviet president blames the United States and its allies for their failure to offer significant help, and says this wasted a chance for a safer world. Gorbachev further decried Western “triumphalism” over the outcome of the Cold War, and blasted a misguided policy toward Russia.

    “They have been badgering Russia with accusations and blaming it for everything,” Gorbachev said. “And now, there is a backlash to that in Russia. Russia wants to have friendly ties with America, but it’s difficult to do that when Russia sees that it’s being cheated.” Gorbachev also praised outgoing U.S. President Obama and described Vladimir Putin as a “worthy president” of Russia. Unlike Donald Trump, Gorbachev knows Putin.

    In a less publicized 2011 interview, Gorbachev made it clear that in the early 1990s he had been striving to keep the Soviet Union intact. “I fought the best I could, but I failed,” he said, adding, “Lenin, whom I respect, said don’t be afraid of chaos.” The USSR “could have existed longer today as the community of the sovereign states.” The 1990 Nobel laureate also shed light on the economic reforms known as perestroika.

    • Gorbachev further decried Western “triumphalism” over the outcome of the Cold War, and blasted a misguided policy toward Russia.

      This is what happens when you switch from vodka to Kool-Aid.

  22. CAIR-Florida’s 2016 Banquets of Terror
    Persons tied to ‘93 WTC bombing and Palestinian Islamic Jihad highlight CAIR events.
    December 16, 2016
    Joe Kaufman

    CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations began as an extremist organization with ties to terrorism, and over two decades later, the group remains the same, refusing to change. This was evidenced this past month, as the Florida chapter of CAIR held annual fundraising banquets in two separate locations, Coral Springs and Tampa, each featuring speakers associated with terror. They include an imam tied to those involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the manager of a mosque with ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

    CAIR was created in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella organization led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named a co-conspirator by the US Justice Department for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. In November 2014, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, the UAE government named CAIR to its list of terrorist organizations. A number of CAIR officials have been placed in prison and/or deported from the US for terror-related activity.

    CAIR’s Florida chapter does little to distinguish itself from its DC-based parent.

    In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Let’s go Hamas,” and “Hamas kicked your ass.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” In August 2014, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God…”

  23. Netanyahu Pays Visit to Strategically Positioned Azerbaijan
    Iranians now fretting the Israeli military option is back on the table.
    December 16, 2016
    Ari Lieberman

    On Monday, Israel took delivery of its first two F-35I “Adir” multi-purpose fighters. Barring any unexpected cost overruns, Israel is slated to take delivery of a further 48 of these machines, reckoned to be the most advanced in the world. The acquisition will add to Israel’s already formidable fleet of F-16I, F-15I and F-15C fighter bombers.

    The following day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, paid an official state visit to Azerbaijan to meet with his counterpart, President Ilham Aliyev, to sign various trade agreements and solidify understandings. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is predominantly Shia, the Muslim nation maintains very good relations with Israel.

    The two events are seemingly mutually exclusive but must be viewed within a wider geo-political context involving the Islamic Republic of Iran, its militarized nuclear program and the JCPOA, more commonly referred to as the Iran Deal.

    In any strike against Iran, the F-35, with its stealth capabilities, advanced avionics and large payload, will be the tip of the Israeli spear. These aircraft along with F-15 and F-16 fighter jets will be at the forefront of any operation targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities.

  24. Death rate rises, life expectancy falls, after Obamacare goes into effect
    By Hans Bader December 15, 2016

    The death rate increased 1.2% last year, and life expectancy fell. (2015 is the most recent year for which data is available). Female life expectancy dropped from 81.3 to 81.2 years, and male life expectancy fell from 76.5 to 76.3 years. As ABC News notes, “A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.”

    The core elements of Obamacare went into effect in 2014. Americans’ health has thus been deteriorating even as the provisions of the Affordable Care Act were supposed to be providing improvements (which they have not).

    The Economic Policy Journal predicted in 2012 that “life expectancy will decline under Obamacare.” In 2009, the dean of Harvard Medical School, Jeffrey Flier, predicted that Obamacare would cost lives by harming life-saving medical innovation. In 2013, two doctors wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Obamacare is “bad for your health,” and that it would eventually have a devastating effect on medical innovation by driving down investment in medical devices.

  25. Lawmakers seek to overturn ban on private employers’ asking employees about criminal history
    By Kenric Ward December 15, 2016

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has taken on a new meaning in liberal-run citites around the nation. Begun in Los Angeles by City Councilman Curren Price, the law known as Ban the Box prevents private employers from asking job applicants to disclose any criminal history they might have.

    According to inteview with Free Speech Radio News Price boasted that “without the stigma of a criminal record, my hope is that job candidates will be evaluated solely by their skills, their qualifications and their merits.”

    But now legislators are fighting back in cities like, which Austin this year became became the in Texas to adopt such a policy.

    And with good reason. According to researchers at the University of Michigan and Princeton University, the requirement, which is also known as “Fair Chance,” actually exacerbates racial bias.

    In Ban-the-Box cities studied, white applicants received 45% more callbacks than equally qualified black applicants. U-M law professor Sonja Starr and Princeton economist Amanda Agan theorized that employers assumed black applicants were more likely to have criminal records — even when they didn’t. Said Agan:

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has taken on a new meaning in liberal-run citites around the nation. Begun in Los Angeles by City Councilman Curren Price, the law known as Ban the Box prevents private employers from asking job applicants to disclose any criminal history they might have.

    According to inteview with Free Speech Radio News Price boasted that “without the stigma of a criminal record, my hope is that job candidates will be evaluated solely by their skills, their qualifications and their merits.”

    But now legislators are fighting back in cities like, which Austin this year became became the in Texas to adopt such a policy.

    And with good reason. According to researchers at the University of Michigan and Princeton University, the requirement, which is also known as “Fair Chance,” actually exacerbates racial bias.

    In Ban-the-Box cities studied, white applicants received 45% more callbacks than equally qualified black applicants. U-M law professor Sonja Starr and Princeton economist Amanda Agan theorized that employers assumed black applicants were more likely to have criminal records — even when they didn’t. Said Agan:

    • According to inteview with Free Speech Radio News Price boasted that “without the stigma of a criminal record, my hope is that job candidates will be evaluated solely by their skills, their qualifications and their merits.”

      Too bad Price fails to realize how most employers feel that a lack of prior participation in criminal behavior represents one of several significant “qualifications”.

  26. China’s Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
    By Phil Stewart

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Chinese warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest and a demand for its return, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.

    The incident, the first of its kind in recent memory, took place on Dec. 15 about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), officials said.

    “The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    “It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was U.S. property,” the official said.

    The Pentagon confirmed the incident at a news briefing and said the drone used commercially available technology and sold for about $150,000.

    Still, the Pentagon viewed China’s seizure seriously since it had effectively taken U.S. military property.

    “It is ours, and it is clearly marked as ours and we would like it back. And we would like this not to happen again,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said.

    Looks like China wants to stick their finger in our eye one more time before it becomes risky. We can trust Obama to cave and do everything the Chinese tell him to.

  27. 500,000 euro fines for fake news on Facebook in Germany? (DW, Dec 16, 2016)

    “The SPD’s Thomas Oppermann has called for fines against social media platforms if fake reports are not quickly deleted. A new law to control fake news and hate messages is under consideration.

    Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary chairman Thomas Oppermann singled out Facebook for particular criticism over the spread of fake news and hate messages. He called for tougher measures against the social media site.

    “Facebook did not avail itself of the opportunity to regulate the issue of complaint management itself,” Oppermann told “Der Spiegel” magazine in an interview published on Friday. “Now market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

    This would allow victims of fake news and hate messages to contact the platform, prove that they have been targeted and asking for action to be taken.

    “If, after appropriate examination, Facebook does not delete the offending message within 24 hours, it should expect individual fines of up to 500,000 euros ($523,320),” Oppermann told the weekly magazine. Furthermore, at the request of the people concerned, there should be some form of remedy or correction within the same range of value…”

  28. Man arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Turkey (DW, Dec 16, 2016)

    “German authorities in Hamburg arrested a Turkish man suspected of spying on Kurds living in Germany. Turkey has cracked down on suspected opponents, including Kurds, following an attempted coup.

    The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday it arrested a man suspected of spying for Turkey. The man was arrested on Thursday and is accused of spying on local Kurdish people for the Turkish government.

    “The accused is strongly suspected of working for the Turkish intelligence agency and providing information about Kurds living in Germany, including their whereabouts, contacts and political activities,” read a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

    The office did not comment on the accused man’s ties to Turkey or how long he has been living in Germany. The man’s home was searched following the arrest.

    Ties between German and Turkey, both of which are NATO members, have been strained in recent months. The German parliament voted to declare the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire genocide. Turkey has accused Germany of harboring militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is banned in both Turkey and Germany. Germany has denied the claim.

    The German government has criticized a crackdown on opposition politicians, journalists, academics and people suspected of having ties to pro-Kurdish groups or to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for orchestrating the failed July coup – an accusation he denies.

    Turkey has increased it military attacks on the PKK following a failed coup d’etat in July. The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous homeland in southeast Turkey for three decades. A ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed in 2015.”

  29. Taliban leader tries (and fails) to get asylum in Germany (thelocal, Dec 16, 2016)

    “A few weeks ago an Afghan man flew into Frankfurt Airport with his family and applied for asylum. An investigation revealed he was in fact a senior member of the Taliban, Spiegel reports.

    The man flew to Germany from Riad, the capital of Saudi Arabia and tried to pass through customs on a fake passport. But when federal police realized he wasn’t who he said he was, the man applied for asylum for himself and his family.

    When the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) checked his identity they realized he was none other than Abdul Rauf Mohammed, health minister when the fundamentalist Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s.

    This isn’t the first time that Mohammed, who reportedly met Osama bin Laden on several occasions, has arrived in Europe seeking asylum…”

  30. CIA apologizes to Turkey over ISIL oil trade allegations (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 16, 2016)

    “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the CIA have apologized to Turkey over allegations in 2014 about oil trade between Ankara and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    Meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu on the sidelines of a U.N. Security Council meeting in 2014, Kerry had said they had information that Turkey was importing oil from ISIL, a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that Çavu?o?lu denied this claim at the time.

    “We know who gave you this information. Some Arab countries are reacting to us because of disagreements over the Egypt issue. They are conducting a campaign on the issue. This is a very serious accusation,” Çavu?o?lu told Kerry at the time, according to the official…”

  31. US defense secretary thanks Turkey for its contribution to fight against ISIL (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 16, 2016)

    “The United States defense secretary Ashton Carter has thanked his Turkish counterpart Fikri I??k for Turkey’s contribution to the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)…”

  32. U.S. offers $25 million reward for information on Islamic State leader (reuters, Dec 16, 2016)

    “The United States on Friday more than doubled its previous reward for information on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, offering $25 million for information that would help locate, arrest or convict the head of the jihadist group.

    The U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program previously offered $10 million for information on Baghdadi, announced in October 2011. The increase was announced in a statement on Friday.

    Baghdadi, an Iraqi whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai, declared himself the caliph of a huge swath of Iraq and Syria two years ago.

    His exact location is not clear. Reports have said he may be in the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, Iraq, or in Islamic State-held territory to the west of the city, close to the border with Syria.

    Kurdish officials believe that growing pressure resulting from a coalition military assault on Mosul is causing Baghdadi and his top lieutenants to move around and try to hide themselves.”

  33. NSA Whistleblower Destroys Obama’s Russia Narrative – “Hard Evidence Points To An Inside Leak, Not Hacking”

    A group of retired senior intelligence officials, including the NSA whistleblower William Binney (former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA), have posted an open letter on that destroys the Obama administration’s “Russian hacking” narrative. Within the letter, Binney argues that, thanks to the NSA’s “extensive domestic data-collection network,” any data removed remotely from Hillary Clinton or DNC servers would have passed over fiber networks and therefore would have been captured by the NSA who could have then analyzed packet data to determine the origination point and destination address of those packets. As Binney further notes, the only way the leaks could have avoided NSA detection is if they were never passed over fiber networks but rather downloaded to a thumb drive by someone with internal access to servers.

    We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking

    Richard: This report should be published on every network, it won’t because the propaganda media/strong> doesn’t want the facts out there for everyone to see, they want to destroy Donald Trump so no other outsider will dare try and become President.

    As I have said before this is a silent coup against Donald Trump and when that doesn’t work the self proclaimed elites in the alt left will resort to violence by their puppet groups hoping this will destroy everything so they can take over and then not have to bother with the troublesome elections.

  34. GERMANY SEX ATTACKS: Arrogant asylum seeker DEPORTED after BOASTING about his crimes on TV (express, Dec 16, 2016)

    “AN ARROGANT asylum seeker who boasted about his criminal lifestyle on TV has been deported after he was identified by a woman he had sexually assaulted over New Year.

    After the victim’s complaint, the migrant’s status as a criminal was upgraded from being a petty pickpocket and violent thug to being a sex attacker, making him eligible for deportation.

    More than five million people in Germany watched an exclusive TV report in February titled ‘King of the Pickpockets’, which interviewed the 33-year-old Moroccan, identified as Taoufik M.

    But his boasting backfired when he was spotted by one of the Cologne sex attacks victims, who complained to police, leading to his arrest.

    In her statement, the woman had spoken of her shock at being surrounded by a gang of foreigners and said that the man she later recognised on TV had put his hand under her skirt.

    She had managed to break free from the group, but she claims he then chased her and again repeated the assault.

    The migrant’s trial lasted for months but eventually ended with his deportation.

    Taoufik M. was one of the few Cologne sex attackers who was actually sentenced, after he received 19 months in prison.

    Local media said police had identified him as the boss of a gang of North African thieves and pickpockets who has been arrested 22 times by police for crimes, ranging from grievous bodily harm through to organised thievery.

    Refusing to accept the sentence for the sex attack, he appealed and it was delayed when the judge became ill, but in the meantime German officials had had enough of him and decided to deport him.

    In a desperate bid stop the deportation, as soon as he had been loaded on the Royal Air Maroc plane from Frankfurt to Casablanca, the asylum seeker started violently resisting police officers who struggled to restrain him, and as a result the captain aborted the takeoff and asked the officers and the asylum seeker to leave.

    He was brought to a local detention centre in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia but the Ministry of the Interior officials had been prepared for him to try something like this, and had already booked several other seats and deportation papers so that it was not necessary to go through the whole process again.

    It meant that he could be taken repeatedly to the airport and on the latest attempt this month when he was accompanied by three police officers they managed to get him on board.

    Police reported that the procedure had included a strip search where they discovered a razor blade hidden on his body.”

  35. Migrant who ‘raped’ teen now faces ATTEMPTED MURDER charge after ‘trying to DROWN victim’ (express, Dec 16, 2016)

    “A MIGRANT arrested on suspicion of raping a 17-year-old girl will also face charges of attempted manslaughter after he allegedly tried to drown his victim.

    The horrifying incident, which took place in September, happened when the teenage girl was reportedly pulled from her bicycle and sexually assaulted by the 33–year-old Sudanese migrant in Kampen, the Netherlands.

    A procedural seating was started today, without the suspect nor the victim in the court room, to determine whether or not the suspect’s arrest will be extended.

    The public prosecutor said the migrant, who lived in a nearby asylum centre, raped his victim multiple times before trying to drown the girl in a river, which ultimately failed…”

  36. War of words escalates between Obama White House, Trump camp

    Top aides to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday escalated their war of words over allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest hit back at senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway after she accused him of making inappropriate comments in stating that Trump encouraged Russian hacking of his political opponents.

    “It is just a fact that the Republican nominee for president was encouraging Russia to hack his opponent because he believed it would help his campaign,” Earnest told reporters Thursday.

    “I’m not trying to be argumentative, it’s not a controversial statement,” he continued. “I am trying to acknowledge a basic fact. All of you saw it, it was not in dispute.”

  37. Home Office REFUSES to reveal number of ILLEGALS trying to enter Britain (express, Dec 17, 2016)

    “THE Home Office was last night accused of trying to cover up the true scale of illegal migration to Britain.

    It is refusing to release data on numbers seized at our borders – despite a six-month battle by the Daily Express.

    Angry MPs accused the department of deliberately withholding the information.

    We have repeatedly asked under Freedom Of Information laws for figures on the number of migrants intercepted at the UK border on the Continent in the first six months of this year…”

  38. <strong<America-last Rex Tillerson has quite a cozy relationship with the Islamic supremacist nation of Qatar

    he media have struggled to present a clear picture of what you’re getting with Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson. He’s been a company man for ExxonMobil all of his working life and, with a few exceptions, his views on foreign policy are largely a mystery.

    However, we’ve found that there’s plenty of evidence to ascertain that the ExxonMobil CEO has a particular affinity for the Islamic totalitarian nation of Qatar.

    Tillerson has met with the Qatari head of state countless times within the past couple of years, both inside and outside the Qatar capital of Doha. He usually meets behind closed doors with the leader of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. On U.S. Election Day, Tillerson was in Doha to discussing bilateral cooperation between Exxon and Qatar with Al-Thani. The two also met for business in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Before that, they got together during Tillerson’s February trip to Doha. And, rounding out the recent list of visits, they met in Houston in February 2015.

    And Tillerson is much more than a mere business partner to Qatar. He often vociferously compliments the country as a whole, burying its long record of human rights travesties along the way.

    In 2009, Tillerson spoke at the Seventh Doha Conference on Natural Gas. “It is evident why Qatar is an example to the world,” Tillerson said at the conference, per

    “We must learn from Qatar’s vision and its policies,” he added.

    A year later, at another Qatar conference, Tillerson praised “Qatar’s visionary leadership” in the natural gas sector.

    At 2011’s World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Tillerson personally commended “the leadership of His Highness.”

    The reality in Qatar is far different from what Tillerson presents. “His Highness” presides over a country that is the chief promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    While there is widespread suspicion that elements within Qatar’s government are funding ISIS, the oil-rich regime has overtly provided arms and aid to other Islamic terror groups, such as the Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group in Syria, and Hamas, a Palestinian terror group that rules Gaza. The latter takes in more money from Qatar than any other country.

    The Qatari ruling family controls the Al Jazeera news giant, which, before 9/11, was actively commending al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. After the attacks, The New York Times reported on the Al Jazeera studio in Doha: “The channel’s graphics assign him [Bin Laden] a lead role: There is bin Laden seated on a mat, his submachine gun on his lap; there is bin Laden on horseback in Afghanistan, the brave knight of the Arab world. A huge, glamorous poster of bin Laden’s silhouette hangs in the background of the main studio set.”

    Today, Al Jazeera is the world’s chief media promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that dozens of U.S. legislators think should be declared a terrorist organization. In 2013, the media outlet faced mass resignations after journalists complained about their pro-Brotherhood biases

    And back home, Qatar has an atrocious human rights record.

    Freedom House, a “watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world,” consistently classifies Qatar as a “Not Free” country that is an abuser of civil liberties and political rights.

    The Economist’s democracy Index classifies Qatar as an “Authoritarian Regime.” Its 2010 index ranked Qatar as less free than countries such as Cuba, China, and Angola.

    Migrant workers consist of around 90 percent of the Persian Gulf state’s workforce, and they are employed under slave-like conditions, according to human rights groups. Conditions are so bad for Nepalese migrant workers tasked with building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, that one dies from work-related injuries every two days.

    Rex Tillerson’s Qatar is not the real Qatar. One is left to speculate: How many other dictatorial countries has he provided cover for in order to curry favor with their leaders?

    • I don’t like it. Qatar is MB through and through.
      Tillerson is compromised by cultivating such an obscene mafia family. He’s a poor choice, the biggest disappointment so far.

      There’s lots I won’t like, but that’s ok. We may just manage to survive these harrowing times.

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