Reader’s links for January 7 – 2017

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

74 Replies to “Reader’s links for January 7 – 2017”

  1. “How Russia Used Trolls, Cyberattacks and Propaganda to Try to Influence Election

    “A declassified report on Russian hacking activity pertaining to the recent U.S. presidential election details how intelligence officials believe Moscow and its supporters attempted to put their stamp on the political process.

    The report, which comes after an investigation ordered by President Obama, specifies that there is no indication that Russian actors directly interfered with vote counts but does indicate that there were a number of other ways that they got involved in the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”

    “The Unfair New Presidency” from its own propaganda machine that will very soon have to be relocated.

    • If they had enough evdence to write the report in a week they had to have had it before and did nothing!

      Why didn’t they do something?

      Was it that Obama didn’t care about the hacks until Hillary lost and needed an excuse besides Hillary was a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign?

      Is it that they realize that when PET succeeds the alt lefts Marxists programs are finished for decades?

      Is it that Obama and company are living in a delusional world?

      Is it all of the above?

  2. Anarchists threaten to disrupt Trump inauguration, police say ready

    Anarchists threaten to disrupt Trump inauguration, police say ready
    By Ian Simpson
    ReutersJanuary 6, 2017
    Workers construct the viewing stands ahead of Trump's inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
    View photos
    Workers construct the viewing stands ahead of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s January inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

    By Ian Simpson

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anarchist groups have threatened to shut down Republican Donald Trump’s swearing-in as U.S. president, but police in Washington said on Friday they believe the thousands of security officers assigned to the event will be able to head off any disruption.

    Dozens of activist groups plan to protest the Jan. 20 inauguration of the New York real estate developer, whose supporters are counting on him to fulfill a host of controversial campaign promises including building a wall on the Mexican border and deporting millions of illegal immigrants.

    Police expect some 900,000 people to flood Washington for the inauguration ceremony, which includes a parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House along streets thronged with onlookers.

    Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters on Friday that in addition to the more than two dozen activist groups that have sought permits for peaceful demonstrations, Washington police were aware of anarchist groups vowing online to interrupt the proceedings.

  3. State election systems to get more federal aid for security

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing increasingly sophisticated cyber bad actors and an election infrastructure that’s “vital to our national interests,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering.

    “Given the vital role elections play in this country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure, in fact and in law,” Johnson said in a statement Friday. He added: “Particularly in these times, this designation is simply the right and obvious thing to do.”

  4. Turkey dismisses over 8,000 in new wave of post-coup purges

    Turkey dismisses over 8,000 in new wave of post-coup purges
    Stuart Williams
    AFPJanuary 7, 2017
    In the latest Turkish government decree over 6,000 people have been dismissed under emergency powers imposed after a failed coup, including 2,687 police
    View photos
    In the latest Turkish government decree over 6,000 people have been dismissed under emergency powers imposed after a failed coup, including 2,687 police (AFP Photo/EMRE TAZEGUL)

    Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey on Saturday ordered the dismissal of almost 8,400 civil servants and the closure of over 80 associations, including sports clubs, in the latest round of purges after the July failed coup.

    More than 100,000 people have already been suspended or sacked in a crackdown on those alleged to have links to coup-plotters in a relentless purge that shows no sign of slowing.

    According to three new decrees published within the state of emergency imposed after the coup, 8,390 more civil servants are to lose their jobs from 63 different state institutions.

    They include 2,687 police officers, 1,699 civil servants from the justice ministry, 838 health officials and hundreds of employees from other ministries.

    Another 631 academics and eight members of the Council of State were also dismissed.

    The dismissals are authorised by the cabinet and require no parliamentary approval under the state of emergency, which has twice been extended and is now due to last until April 19.

    • Canadian ‘detained in Turkey for allegedly insulting Erdogan’

      A Canadian dual national has reportedly been detained in Turkey for allegedly insulting the country’s president.

      Ece Heper, 50, was arrested on 30 December in the north-eastern town of Kars, her lawyer Sertac Celikkaleli told The Canadian Press.

      Canadian officials say they are offering consular assistance, but released no further information.

      Turkey’s penal code states that anybody who insults the president can face up to four years in prison.

    • 6,000 more ‘unreliable’ Turks lose jobs amid extended post-coup state of emergency (RT, Jan 7, 2017)

      “After extending its state of emergency this week, Turkey has issued three decrees that have resulted in the dismissal of over 6,000 state and private sector employees. The new rules also allow the government to tighten control over the internet.

      The new decrees, numbered 679, 680, and 681, published late Friday in the Official Gazette, appear to be aimed at alleged members of the Fethullah Organization (FETO), which Ankara blames for the failed coup attempt on July 15.

      According to the new decrees, 149 members of the navy, 164 from the air force, and 838 civil servants from the Ministry of Health have been dismissed from their jobs.

      Also, 1,699 employees have been dismissed in the Ministry of Justice, including eight members of the Council of State and one from the Supreme Electoral Council.

      In addition, 2,687 police officers, including 53 high-ranked commissioners and 919 chief officers, have been removed from the Security General Directorate.

      Besides government institutions, 649 people have been dismissed from universities, and 83 associations shut down.

      To deal with the alleged overseas threat, four military attaches posted in Turkish diplomatic missions in the US, Russia, Italy, and the Netherlands have been fired.

      Under the new set of laws, Turkish citizens who reside abroad have 90 days to return to Turkey after receiving a judicial summons. Failure to return within that time frame could result in loss of citizenship.

      The new decrees also expand government powers to tighten control over the internet. Police are now authorized to access the identity information of internet users…”

  5. Key US-Canada border crossing reopens after bomb threat

    Montreal (AFP) – One of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the United States reopened Friday, after authorities after being evacuated following a bomb threat, Canadian officials said.

    Canadian border services agency said in a tweet that they reopened the Saint Bernard de Lacolle POE Highway 15 in Quebec, after a nearly four hour interruption.

    The Saint Bernard de Lacolle checkpoint sits about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Montreal on the border between Quebec province and the US state of New York.

    Passage in both directions had been blocked shortly after 9:00 am (1400 GMT) following a “threatening telephone call aimed at customs,” according to Ingrid Asselin of Quebec’s national police agency.

    More than two million visitors cross at the Saint Bernard de Lacolle checkpoint each year.

    During the closure, Canadian border services directed travelers to use other nearby border crossings.

  6. After intel report on Russia and U.S. election, DHS moves to take over state election systems
    By J.E. Dyer

    The Obama administration’s move against U.S. election systems has been one long bait-and-switch, and has had all the subtlety of a steam calliope – to invoke a vivid comparison I’ve long remembered from a George Will column many years ago (on another topic).

    But the media have been next to useless in making it clear that a move against U.S. election systems is what’s been going on. Everything has happened in plain sight. But the media have made little or nothing of the actionable, significant events.

    They have focused instead on nonsense like whether Putin and Trump are sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. That’s what they’ve got all the talking heads babbling about. Naturally, that focus is meant to sow emotional, drive-by doubt about Trump, and befoul his presidency before it starts. But if it did only that, it would be weak sauce, for starters – there’s nothing to the implied narrative; no place to go with it – and would not yield a good return on the investment of political capital.

    What DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson did today – Friday, 6 January – definitely will yield such a return, assuming it stands.

    • I am not an IT security man but in my mind the fact that hardly any of the voting machines are connected to the Net, that there are so many different types of machines and that there are over 50 different types of security programs makes the election more secure.

      If all of the security is dictated from DC there will be one security program which would make it easier to hack and interfere. Also the alt left wants to make it easier for them to fix the election and one way they want to do that is to insist that all votes be cast by computer contact over the net.

  7. Julian Assange has given CNN 48 hours to air an exposé on itself or he’ll do his own
    By Thomas Madison

    CNN has already been discredited in the court of public opinion, but that is not enough for Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder apparently has the network over a barrel. He is threatening to file a lawsuit for defamation if CNN doesn’t air a one-hour exposé of a sinister plot that it apparently engineered against Assange and WikiLeaks. The plot may have to do with CNN’s attempt to paint Assange as a pedophile.

    The WikiLeaker, who helped give the one-time cable news leader a black eye during the presidential race, by revealing among other things that then-CNN commentator Donna Brazile gave Hillary Clinton questions before a debate that was to be moderated by CNN, has given the network 48 hours to comply.

      • I wish I knew more about Assanuge, he has done good and he has done bad.

        I don’t know if he is a hero or a villain?

        I don’t know if he is independent or in the pay of Russia?

        I do know that no one has ever proven anything he has released as being wrong. The jury is out and will probably remain out for a long time.

  8. Not a smidgen: A guide to Obama’s 600-plus scandals

    As President Obama prepares to wrap up his time in office,” advises media aggregator Grabien, “he’s recently taken to saying he’s ‘extremely proud’ to leave office without any scandals besmirching his tenure.”

    His delusional view doesn’t reflect the impression of the general public, which in a Gallup poll last year found that three-quarters of Americans believe there has been widespread government corruption.

    The folks at Grabien have unearthed 633 scandals for this look back. A number of the subjects — the IRS, Benghazi, Obamacare, Fast and Furious, the Iran nuclear deal — need no introduction, while others will jog your memory or make you aware of previously unidentified coverups, obfuscations, and more. Some are admittedly minor if scandalous at all (Obama thinking that “Austrian” is a language?), but there are enough unsavory developments to rank Obama one of the big league corruptors.

    A Complete Guide to the 633 Scandals of the Obama Administration
    ‘We have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations’

    Richard: Please click through the bottom URL to the list of scandals, there will be a lot of them that you have forgotten.

  9. Brazil Struggles to Care for Desperate Venezuelans

    We’ve watched in horror as oil-rich Venezuela plunged into poverty following the severe drop in oil prices. Coupled with the socialist polices of former president Hugo Chavez and current president Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela is now facing complete social collapse.

    Maduro has responded to the crisis with a call for more state controls – decreeing forced labor and rationing electricity – that have served only to exacerbate the problem.

    In November, I wrote an article detailing the heartbreaking story of a desperate Venezuelan family trying to make it across the sea to the island of Curaçao. This week, Breitbart reports a massive influx of Venezuelans crossing the border into Brazil seeking medical care and food.

    Hospitals and morgues in the border state of Roraima, Brazil are overflowing, and stand to face their own shortages if they don’t find a solution soon.

    Richard: The poverty was there before the drop in oil prices, it is a natural result of Socialist economics, as the rest of the world is discovering due to our leftist politicians try to take us to full communism.

  10. In Its Haste To Label Trump As Russia’s Favorite, Clapper’s Report Misses the Obvious

    I’ve read the assessment of Russian involvement in the US election twice now and, recognizing sources and methods have been excised, one still gets the feeling that there is no there really there. For the most part I agree with the take my colleague, Caleb Howe, has on the issue.

    What strikes me is how shabby the analytical framework is for a report of this significance. Arguendo, I will assume the statements of facts they make… and there are damned few of those in the report… are true. There are critical factual things we still don’t know, like the role of the largely discredited FBI/DHS report into the hacking of the DNC server in underpinning the assessment that Russia actually hacked it.

    The report makes three key judgments with some subordinate points supporting each.

    • According to this article the NSA the most technological of the three agencies is the one least convinced that Russia did what they are charged with. But I will agree with the conclusion that if Russia did what they are charged with it was to damage Hillary so her Presidency would be damaged and weaker. Remember it wasn’t until just before the election was held that the pollsters thought Trump had a chance, they all said a Hillary victory was inevitable.

      • Perhaps saddest of all is that every one of these agencies (i.e., FBI, CIA, DHS, NSA) have been so shot through with Political Correctness, or this current administration’s obsessive anti-Americanism, that the public is completely entitled not to trust a single one of them. Yes, the NSA is, by far, the most technically advanced and best qualified to perform an assessment of this hacking. Yet, they are the same agency that was recently caught surreptitiously intercepting domestic telecommunications.

        Both Bush 2.0 and 0bama have exhibited or tolerated such flagrant conflicts of interest* during their respective administrations that the American voting public is entirely within its rights to feel as though these organs of government are untrustworthy or without credibility. It is impossible to overstate how damaging and demoralizing this has been to our nation’s citizens. It also serves to explain why America’s soldiers routinely top the list of “most admired and trusted” professionals.

        From: Public Esteem for Military Still High (2013)

        Americans continue to hold the military in high regard, with more than three-quarters of U.S. adults (78%) saying that members of the armed services contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. That’s a modest decline from 84% four years ago, the last time the Pew Research Center asked the public to rate various professions. But the military still tops the list of 10 occupational groups, followed closely by teachers, medical doctors, scientists and engineers. A solid majority of the public says each of those occupations contributes a lot to society.

        By contrast, just 37% of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009.

        * By law, American politicians are not only required to avoid conflicts of interest, they are supposed to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest.

  11. NORWAY – ‘It’s like an ISIS flag’ says hairdresser convicted for refusing to serve hijab-clad woman

    A HAIRDRESSER who was slapped with a £900 fine by the courts after throwing a Muslim woman out of her salon has appealed the ruling saying “the hijab is the same as an Isis flag”.

    Merete Hodne was sentenced in September after refusing to serve Malika Bayan in her establishment in Byrne, south-west Norway, because she was wearing a hijab.

    Following the incident, which took place in October 2015, the 47-year-old businesswoman was reported to the police for religious discrimination.

    The hairdresser was initially fined £800 by the authorities, but the activist, who has spent years campaigning against the “Mohammedanism of Europe”, refused to pay as she insisted it was a political issue, rather than a religious one.

    In September the court ruled Hodne had discriminated against the 24-year-old Muslim by refusing service and hit her with the fine.

    The businesswoman risked six months in jail in addition to the fine, but despite escaping a jail sentence she appealed the ruling as she insisted she was fully within her rights to not colour the Ms Bayan’s hair.

    On Tuesday the appeal was hear in court where Hodne made her latest inflammatory remarks.

    “To me the hijab is the same as an Isis flag. The hijab is a political symbol,” Hodne said according to Stavanger Aftenblad.

    “As a matter of principle, one cannot know if the person wearing it is a Mohammedan or if it is someone who believes that God has decided that they should wear the garment.”

    Appealing the ruling in September, the hairdresser claimed the court was unduly influenced by her previous membership of an anti-Islam organisation and on Tuesday her lawyer argued her client’s conviction should be overturned.

    Linda Ellefsen Eide said: “If the court is in doubt about whether Hodne denied Bayan because she thought the hijab is a political symbol or a religious symbol, she should be acquitted. The doubt should be in my client’s favour.”

    A new witness, who was not present during the September trial, was also brought before the court.

    The male claimed he had heard a gang of people encouraging Ms Bayan to seek out the salon.

    “In central Bryne, there were five or six people and I overheard them say that ‘now you should do this and that and go up to Hodne’,” he told the court.

    “The way I understood it was that they planned it there and then.”

    Ms Bayan disputed the claim immediately as she insisted the visit the establishment had not been planned in advance.

    Hodne has vowed to take the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if the Norwegian courts uphold her conviction for religious discrimination.

    • I suppose that no one has bothered to consider that anyone can wear a hijab (Muslima or not) and anybody else can refuse service to someone clad in such apparel simply because they do not think it to be in good taste (or find it offensive, if only as a symbol of oppressing women).

      We won’t even go into how other customers at the salon might have been made to feel very uncomfortable at the possibility of such an individual carrying a concealed bomb vest (or just a more-recently-favored knife). As usual, it’s all about Islam, all of the time. What tripe!

  12. Norway considering 24-hour surveillance of migrants as thousands vanish before deportation (express, Jan 6, 2017)

    “NORWAY is considering 24-hour surveillance of asylum seekers as more than 5,000 migrants vanished from reception centres in 2016.

    In a radical move, the Scandinavian country’s Conservative government announced it is considering making ankle monitors mandatory for asylum seekers.

    The proposal was made after the police directorate delivered a report on the possibility of using electronic decides to monitor migrants who are a flight risk if their application is denied in December.

    In 2016, 5,482 migrants ran away from their reception centre, 69 per cent of which had their request for asylum denied or did not have permission to remain in Norway.

    Around half of the migrants who vanished off the radar to escape deportation are still uncounted for, according to Aftenposten.

    Ministry of Justice spokesman Andreas Bondevik said: “Every single year many [migrants] receive a final rejection of their asylum application. They should return to their home country.

    “But unfortunately, many of them try to avoid deportation and therefore it is very important for Norwegian authorities to have as much control as possible over [rejected asylum-seekers].

    “The deporting wants to see if it is possible to use electronic monitoring as an alternative to jail. In addition, we want to see if it can also be used in cases where we don’t currently use jail sentences.”…”

  13. Special police force to search refugee camps to track down New Year’s Eve sex attackers (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “A SPECIAL police task force has been established to track down the men responsible for a spate of sexual assaults in Innsbruck, Austria, on New Year’s Eve.

    The elite unit has begun searching all shelters holding asylum seekers around the Tyrol region in the west of the country after 18 women reported being abused.

    CCTV and mobile phone video footage is being analysed by officers, who are looking for six men in connection with the sickening sexually motivated violence in Innsbruck’s main square as 25,000 people gathered to welcome 2017.

    The alleged attackers reportedly surrounded their victims before groping and forcibly kissing them.

    Those responsible are believed to be in their late teens and of Asian or North African descent, according to local police commander Martin Kirchler.

    The attacks happened despite the presence of more than 90 police officers, leading some to question whether the spate of assaults could have been prevented…”

  14. German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel calls for ban on some mosques (independent, Jan 7, 2017)

    “Germany’s vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has called for Salafist mosques to be banned and their preachers “expelled” following the Berlin terror attack.

    The leader of the Social Democrats said those who “encourage violence” do not “enjoy the protection of religious freedom”, stressing he had a “zero tolerance” attitude towards combating Islamism.

    The country is on edge following a terror attack where Amis Amri ploughed a lorry in a Berlin Christmas market killing 12 people last month and a year of attempted “lone wolf” attacks.

    Salafism, an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam.

    Mr Gabriel told German weekly Der Spiegel that half the followers of Isis who travel to Syria are German, often with German parents.

    He said: “Salafist mosques must be banned, communities dissolved, and the preachers should be expelled as soon as possible.

    “If we are serious about the fight against Islamism and terrorism, then it must also be a cultural fight.”

    The vice-chancellor, whose party is currently in a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said this meant they needed to strengthen societal ties and make sure “urban areas are not neglected, villages do not fall into disrepair and people do not become more and more radicalised”.

    His intervention comes as his party prepares itself for a federal election later this year where anti-immigration parties such as Alternative for Germany (AfD) are expected to do well by exploiting fears over the influx of refugees.

    Following the Berlin attack an AfD MEP, Marcus Pretzell, tweeted that the victims were “Merkel’s dead” as she had allowed more than a million refugees to come from Iraq and Syria.”

  15. ‘ISIS will strike Italy soon’ Warning as officers ordered to do more shooting practice (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “ISLAMIC State militants will attack Italy soon and there could be a massive loss of life, warns one of the country’s top police chiefs.

    Franco Gabrielli shocked Italians by saying terrorists with ISIS links had already come “very close” to committing atrocities on a grand scale in the past.

    He has pledged to boost the police force by 1,000 officers in a bid to keep the public safe and has increased shooting practice drills for his trigger shy officers.

    The Principal of L’Aquila said: “I think we must be very clear about the fact that the chance of an attack in Italy is very high.

    “That goes from taking a car and running over a group of people to start shooting at a crowd, and so on.

    “We are seeing today a different kind of terrorism from the past. But I think we should really give a message of quiet confidence.”

    When terrorists have been arrested sinister facts have emerged about how close they were to committing mass murder.

    He said: “Most people detained in our country and considered linked to ISIS were very close to actually carrying out attacks and killing others.

    “I say it openly: we will have to pay a price as well.

    “The investigations, often subsequent to repatriations, have shown that most people arrested in our country with links to ISIS were very close to actually carrying out attacks and killing others.”

    But Mr Gabrielli admitted his own police force needed to become better at actually firing their weapons at terrorists…”

    • He has pledged to boost the police force by 1,000 officers in a bid to keep the public safe and has increased shooting practice drills for his trigger shy officers.

      More range time is always good, especially if involves shoot-to-kill. Also, this is precisely the right signal (as in: FOAD) to be sending our terrorist foes.

  16. Far-right groups call for Merkel to be LOCKED UP during protests one year on from Cologne (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “FURIOUS far-right protestors have called for Angela Merkel to be jailed after a string of attacks by migrants in Germany.

    They waved placards depicting the embattled Chancellor as a prisoner at a demonstration in Cologne this afternoon.

    Some also carried banners calling for mosques to be shut down.

    They were met by a counter-demonstration of far-left activists holding signs reading “Cologne against hate”….”

  17. EU set for NEW migrant crisis? 15million African immigrants ‘to arrive in Europe by 2020’ (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “AS many as 15 million new migrants could enter Europe from Africa in the next three years, according to a report by an Austrian intelligence agency.

    Analysis by Austrian Military Intelligence, an agency of the Austrian Armed Forces, has predicted a sharp rise in unemployment across Africa, which would lead to millions of economic migrants travelling to Europe in search of work between now and 2020.

    The predicted numbers, reported by German newspaper Bild, dwarfs the estimated figure of one million migrants believed to have entered Europe during the current crisis.

    The agency said one solution to the impending influx would be for Europe to bolster African nations’ economies, in order to support job creation, productivity and education.

    This in turn would encourage more investment from abroad and persuade more people to stay and work in their country of origin.

    However, the agency recognised such payments are open to abuse by certain regimes, who would use the funds to “attack their own people” and only increase the number of people fleeing to Europe.

    The report also called for countries of origin to invest in monitoring their own borders and reduce the “flow of migrants”.

    The study found that between 2013 and 2016, more than half a million Africans immigrated to EU countries, with the most coming from Eritrea.

    About 100,000 Eritreans are believed to have fled their war-torn country, while Nigeria had the second most asylum seekers, with around 80,000.

    Somalia was third with about 60,000, followed by Gambia (40 000), Mali and Algeria (30 000 each), Sudan, DR Congo, Guinea and Senegal (more than 20,000).”

  18. Trump Orders ALL Of Obama’s Diplomats Home On Day 1
    Phillip Stuck

    Read more:

    President-elect Donald Trump ordered every Obama-appointed diplomat home in the days which will immediately following his inauguration, according to a Thursday report from The New York Times.

    The Department of State sent a cable to all diplomats nationwide advising them of the break from tradition Dec. 23. Past administrations allowed diplomats an extension until a replacement could be found and moved to each post, according to the report.

    Read more:

      • Is this Trumps first hostile takeover or has he done it before?

        Either way he has studied on what to do and who to replace ASAP.

    • BREITBART – No, Trump’s Dismissal of Obama’s Ambassadors Is Not an Unprecedented Crisis

      President-elect Donald Trump’s order for all politically-appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day is “breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods,” according to the New York Times:

      The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.

      Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements. “Political” ambassadors, many of them major donors who are nominated by virtue of close ties with the president, almost always leave at the end of his term; ambassadors who are career diplomats often remain in their posts.

      This is followed by several anecdotes of the personal difficulties facing these ambassadors, who seem inordinately surprised, given that the outcome of the 2016 election was announced two months ago and was a very big story. Why, the New York Times even reported on it!

      Also, while the ambassador termination is being treated as a very big story this week, the State Department cable notifying all of the ambassadors was sent on December 23rd, and Inauguration Day is January 20. We’re talking about people with considerable means receiving a month’s formal notice that they need to make new life arrangements, over a month after they knew it would be necessary. Even if some of them were taken aback on Election Day because they swallowed the media and political consensus that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, they’ve had plenty of time to adjust to the new reality.

      The UK Independent notes that under the traditional approach, ambassadors “had the option of requesting to extend their term,” and those requests were approved on a “discretionary individual by individual basis, with allowances sometimes being made for those with children at school.” That makes the Trump transition’s blanket denial of extensions seem a bit less world-shaking. As a source in the foreign service community told Fox News, the Trump transition directive is “not that significant, but it is more unyielding than in the past.”

      Why, it’s the most unyielding directive since … Barack Obama’s. Somehow the hyperventilating editorialists of the New York Times forgot that Obama did the exact same thing, notifying all of George W. Bush’s ambassadors that they had to vacate their posts by Inauguration Day.

      Fox News recalls the Washington Post reporting the news in December 2008 without the slightest hint of disapproval, or a single heartstring-tugging anecdote about the difficulties faced by the ambassadors and their families:

      The clean slate will open up prime opportunities for the president-elect to reward political supporters with posts in London, Paris, Tokyo and the like. The notice to diplomatic posts was issued this week.

      Political ambassadors sometimes are permitted to stay on briefly during a new administration, but the sweeping nature of the directive suggests that Obama has little interest in retaining any of Bush’s ambassadorial appointees.

      Most ambassadors, of course, are foreign service officers, but often the posts involving the most important bilateral relations (such as with Great Britain, Japan and India) or desirable locales (such as the Bahamas) are given to close friends and well-heeled contributors of the president.

      That’s still how it works. The people asked to vacate their posts by the Trump Administration are big Obama donors and political allies. In fact, career diplomats complained about how crass and obvious the “selling of public office” had become by Obama’s second term, as one former ambassador put it to the UK Guardian in 2013.

      The Guardian ran the numbers and found the average amount of political cash raised by recent or imminent appointees “soaring to $1.8 million per post.” Some of them were far above that average, such as Obama’s choice for representative to the Court of St. James’s, Matthew Barzun, who personally donated $2.3 million to Obama’s re-election campaign and helped raise $700 million more. That wasn’t public knowledge, by the way; it was revealed when someone leaked Democrat Party records to the media.

      Those notorious Democratic National Committee documents released by WikiLeaks had even more information on these politically appointed diplomats. “Essentially, Obama was auctioning off foreign ambassador positions and other office positions while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State,” charged the Observer last September.

      The Center for Public Integrity counted 31 Obama campaign “bundlers” — good for at least $500,000 in donations — named as ambassadors, mostly to Western Europe and other “highly developed and stable countries such as Canada and New Zealand.”

      “Another 39 of Obama’s second-term ambassador nominees are political appointees who either gave his campaign money or are known political allies. They, too, largely enjoyed postings to wealthy and peaceful nations — Ireland, Denmark and Australia, for example — or high-profile countries such as China and India,” the Center added.

      The Center expected the incoming Trump administration to do much the same thing, as both Republican and Democrat presidents have for generations, but noted Trump would “find it difficult to match President Barack Obama’s legacy of sending top political patrons to the world’s poshest capital cities.”

      That’s something to keep in mind when establishment media outlets try to manufacture a tale of diplomatic crisis, painting Trump as a bull galloping through the ambassadorial china shop. As a British diplomat sighed to the Guardian back in 2013, “All that really matters is that the ambassador is close to the White House — and his top fundraiser usually is.”

      Some of Obama’s ambassadors have been highly problematic, even leaving aside the question of how many zeroes were on the check they wrote to obtain their posts. The Washington Post reported on the parade of diplomatic horrors in February 2014:

      The nominee for ambassador to Norway, for example, prompted outrage in Oslo by characterizing one of the nation’s ruling parties as extremist. A soap- opera producer slated for Hungary appeared to have little knowledge of the country she would be living in. A prominent Obama bundler nominated to be ambassador to Argentina acknowledged that he had never set foot in the country and isn’t fluent in Spanish.

      Even former senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the new U.S. ambassador in Beijing, managed to raise eyebrows during his confirmation hearing by acknowledging, “I’m no real expert on China.”

      The nominee for ambassador to Norway mentioned above also admitted he’d never actually been there before, and Obama’s choices for ambassadors to Argentina and Iceland said the same of their respective countries. His pick for ambassador to Hungary, soap opera producer Colleen Bell, gave confirmation testimony that suggested she would have difficulty finding it on a map.

      Obama’s ambassadors to the Bahamas and Luxembourg left their embassies in a state of extreme “dysfunction,” as official reports said of both postings. Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum was such a disaster that members of her staff requested transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan to get away from her.

      His ambassadors to places like the Vatican and Dominican Republic caused problems with their hosts. The Dominican Republic complained that the White House’s insistence on appointing openly gay Obama campaign bundler James Brewster was meant to promote “an LGBT agenda inconsistent with the Christian cultural values and tradition of the Dominican Republic.” The Vatican was not amused by Obama’s attempts to send them abortion activists.

      Donald Trump, therefore, is not the first President-elect to desire a clean diplomatic slate, or worry that his predecessor’s political appointees might cause trouble for the new administration if they were given extensions. Trump arguably has more reason for such concerns than any previous chief executive. Magnifying his policy into an unprecedented, unacceptable breach of protocol is Fake News manufacture at its worst.

  19. ‘What use is it!’ Australian immigration architect BLASTS Europe for border failings (express, Jan 7, 2016)

    “THE man behind Australia’s asylum policy has slammed Europe for failing to control borders

    Jim Molan says if Europe adopted the Australian model, the European Union would lower the risk of a terror attack on the continent.

    He said he believes Europe should turn back boats full of migrants in the Mediterranean, process asylum requests outside of the EU and resettle migrants outside the continent.

    Mr Molan, the co-author of Australia’s controversial asylum policy, accused Europe of “making up excuses” when it comes to the challenges of border control…”

  20. Police question two teenage refugees after woman sexually abused while drunk on NYE (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “POLICE in Germany are probing a pair of young refugees accused of sexually abusing a 22-year-old woman in their asylum home on New Year’s Eve.

    A magistrate in Nuremberg issued an investigating warrant against the two migrants from Afghanistan after the young woman said she was sexually assaulted while drunk and asleep.

    The woman testified against the 18 and 19-year-olds after spending the night with them in the public guest room of their accommodation in Neumarkt.

    Friends of the suspect told the Bild newspaper: “We all had a lot to drink. I don’t know the girl, saw her lying in the morning between my friends Hamid and Ali. She seemed dazed, could leave the apartment.”

    Later on January 1 she went to the police saying she believed she had been assaulted while she slept…”

  21. ‘Clinton quite effective at discrediting herself’ Ex-CIA analyst blasts hacking claims (express, Jan 7, 2017)

    “A FORMER CIA analyst has dismissed a report claiming Vladimir Putin led an elaborate cyberattack to install Donald Trump in the White House, saying the analysis is an attempt to “smear” the President-elect.

    Larry C Johnson branded the newly declassified US intelligence report “as a farce and a charade”, adding Russian attempts to discredit the Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton were unnecessary because “she was quite effective at it herself”.

    On Friday, intelligence officials published their findings into alleged Russian hacking during November’s US election.

    The report claimed the Russian president personally ordered an online campaign to influence the outcome of the ballot in Trump’s favour.

    It said Mr Putin’s goal was to undermine the democratic process and denigrate Mrs Clinton, by using intermediaries such as, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks to publicly expose private emails acquired from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and top level Democrats.

    The report said the campaign blended secret spying operations such as computer hacking with overt efforts to sway the result by Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries and paid social media users.

    The report, which did not suggest the interference tipped the balance in Trump’s favour, stated: “We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavourably to him.

    “We have high confidence in these judgments.”

    But Mr Johnson, a retired CIA analyst who previously worked in the US State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, said the report was a “joke” and lacked any evidence to back up the claims.

    Speaking to Kremlin-funded news agency Russia Today – which itself was the subject of seven pages of the intelligence report – Mr Johnson said: “It’s designed to smear Trump.

    “I don’t think they’re hiding anything because they don’t have anything. These are ‘or and how’ intelligence estimates as opposed to an intelligence analysis based on fact. There’s no fact underlying this. There are analytical assumptions.

    “This thing it’s a joke. If I’m a Russian intelligence analyst, with one of your intelligence services, I would be suspicious and think ‘What are the Americans up to? They really can’t be this stupid.’ And let me just reassure the folks on your side of the ledger – yeah, they actually are.”

    Mr Johnson comments to the RT are consistent with those on his personal blog, No Quarter.

    In a post titled “The Big Lie on Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” the retired analyst said the US intelligence community was made of 16 agencies, but the declassified report reflects the views of only three – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA.

    Mr Johnson wrote: “What happened to the other 13 members of the so-called Intelligence Community?

    “For example, what about the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research? They are a key part of the analytical portion of the Intelligence Community and have actual Russian experts. And why was the Defense Intelligence Agency excluded?

    “One of the supposed bad Russian actors in this hacking fiasco is the GRU, the Russian military version of the CIA. That is a prime target that DIA analysts follow. They are the experts. But they apparently were not given the chance to concur (or maybe they declined to do so out of embarrassment over the amateur quality of the work).”

    Mr Trump, meanwhile, has again downplayed Russia’s supposed role in his election victory.

    After a briefing with intelligence officials on Friday, the president-elect released a statement accepting organisations in Russia and China were “consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions”.

    However, the statement added such efforts had “no effect” on the outcome of the election “including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines”.”

    • A sensible assessment of the report and the motives behind it. The left wants us to check our brains at the door and believe everything they say.

      In Collage I too a Criminology class to fill in credit hours so the GI Bill would pay for that semester. One thing the Professor stressed was that if your experience says what and “expert” is saying is BS the statements are probably BS. Always remember to trust yourself and your experience.

  22. Italy Deports Extremist Muslim Who Lived In Europe Since Infancy To Tunisia (breitbart, Jan 7, 2017)

    “ROME (AP) — Italy has expelled a Tunisian man accused of religious extremism and befriending a jailed would-be foreign fighter, the country’s latest effort to crack down on the radicalization of young Muslims by getting rid of them.

    The Interior Ministry said the 26-year old, identified by Italian newspapers as Marouan Mathlouthi, was sent back to Tunisia on Thursday. The ministry alleged he had befriended a fellow Tunisian who was arrested in 2015 on terrorism-related charges because of alleged plans to join the jihad in Iraq and Syria.

    A ministry statement said Mathlouthi, who had lived in Italy since he was an infant and was married to an Italian, had jihadist propaganda on him and had written on his Facebook page, “I don’t know if I should be good or stage a massacre, I have to think about it.”

    The expulsion, the second of the new year, brings to 134 the number of suspected extremists expelled by Italy since January 2015…”

    • The expulsion, the second of the new year, brings to 134,000,000 the number of suspected extremists expelled by Italy since January 2015…

      Oops, that was supposed to be just 134. The zero key mysteriously must have stuck down.

  23. Saudi police kill 2 Islamic State suspects in gun battle (belfasttelegraph, Jan 7, 2017)

    “Two suspected Islamic State extremists have been shot dead by police in Riyadh, authorities in Saudi Arabia said.

    The Interior Ministry says the two suspects opened fire on Saturday at police after being surrounded in the capital’s northern Yasmeen neighbourhood, forcing officers to return fire and kill them. It said one officer was slightly wounded.

    The Interior Ministry published photos of explosive suicide vests, rifles and ammunition it said officers found. It also said material found inside the home the two men hid in suggests it was used to manufacture bombs.

    Saudi Arabia has faced a series of attacks from a local Islamic State affiliate.

    The militant threat in the kingdom is the most serious it has faced since an Al Qaeda insurgency over a decade ago.”

  24. Tunisia arrests state employees for passing information to ‘terrorists’ (alaraby, Jan 7, 2017)

    “Tunisian authorities have arrested a state employee accused of passing information about security operations to extremist groups, a police spokesman said on Friday.

    Khlifa Chibani, a spokesman for the national guard, told a news conference that 11 “terrorist cells” were broken up by security services last month alone and 62 suspects arrested.

    Among the suspects was “an employee of the state who provided these cells with a programme of security raids”, said Chibani…”

  25. Iraqi refugees found frozen to death in Europe (alaraby, Jan 7, 2017)

    “Two Iraqi men were found frozen to death in a mountainous forest region in south-eastern Bulgaria following fierce blizzards, police said on Friday.

    The two men, aged 28 and 35, were found by villagers in the Strandzha, a massif that straddles the Bulgarian-Turkish border, police in the regional capital of Burgas said.

    The Strandzha is the only part of the 200-kilometre (120-mile) frontier that has not been closed off by barbed-wire fencing – a measure aimed at discouraging migrants from crossing into EU member Bulgaria .

    Human Rights Watch said some 2,000 asylum seekers and migrants are sleeping rough in the Serbian capital Belgrade, where temperatures drop to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.

    Some are living in Hungary’s “transit zones” on the Serbian border, or “inside a tattered government-run tent camp in Hungary without enough aid”, which as also been hit by the sub-zero temperatures.

    Authorities across the region failed to ease the frosty situation as they continued to “prevent humanitarian organisations from aiding those in need”, HRW alleged…”

  26. Two Iraqi men were found frozen to death in a mountainous forest region in south-eastern Bulgaria following fierce blizzards, police said on Friday.

    Muzicles! What’s not to like?

    • Iraq, that country America invaded, created a new Totalitarian Islamic Constitution, and left, allowing ISIS fundamentalism to spread.
      The reason why these two men were there.could be two jihadis looking for Trucks of Peace, or two Christians fleeing the refugee camps in Turkey.


    • But at its very heart lies a disheartening truth. The property owner only got the desired result because he was Hindu. An atheist, Christian, Jew or Sikh could not get the same result and it would be entirely due to their faith.

  27. Germany: Hundreds march against Afghani deportations in Hamburg

    Around 800 people marched through Hamburg, Saturday to protest the deportation of Afghani asylum seekers from Germany.

    The protesters, carrying signs with slogans like “No man is illegal” and “Human rights know no borders,” gathered at Hamburg Central Station before marching to the city’s town hall.

    Afghanistan signed a joint declaration with Germany in October enabling Germany to deport rejected asylum-seekers back to Afghanistan. There are currently some 12,500 Afghan asylum seekers residing in Germany.

  28. Macedonia’s Ethnic Albanians Want Nation Declared Bilingual (abcnews, Jan 7, 2017)

    “Three ethnic Albanian political parties in Macedonia adopted a joint platform Saturday that demands a larger say in the country’s affairs in return for their support in forming a coalition government.

    Elections held last month gave the ruling conservative VMRO-DPMNE party 51 seats in the 120-member Parliament and 49 to the opposition Social Democrats.

    Albanian minority parties won the remaining seats; the largest, the Democratic Union for Integration, a coalition partner of the conservatives over the past decade, won 10.

    The platform approved by the three parties demands that the Constitution define Macedonia as a bilingual country where both Albanian and Macedonian are recognized as official languages.

    The parties also are calling for a parliamentary resolution condemning past persecution of the Albanian minority, especially during the period 1912-1956.

    Their platform also seeks “equal participation” in the country’s army, security, intelligence and judicial branches and a say in negotiations with Greece regarding a dispute over the country’s name…”

  29. French researcher acquitted of aiding migrants (thelocal, Jan 7, 2017)

    “A French court on Friday acquitted a man for helping migrants sneak into the country from Italy as immigration issues play a major role ahead of this year’s elections.

    “In France today we have the right to save people in distress,” said researcher Pierre-Alain Mannoni, who had faced a six-month suspended jail sentence for aiding Eritrean migrants who came into France from Italy.

    The prosecutor said during the trial in November in the southern city of Nice that people had a “duty” to help people, “but not help (illegal immigrants) to stay and circulate” in the country.

    The judge ruled Friday that the 45-year-old researcher at French national research centre CNRS had helped three young Eritrean women to “protect their dignity”.

    A law in effect since 2012 grants immunity to people smugglers who are not paid and if the lives of their charges are considered in peril…”

  30. Report: Pakistani accused of spying on German politician for Iran (DW, Jan 7, 2017)

    “A Pakistani man has been accused of spying for Iran on SPD politician Reinhold Robbe.

    Prosecutors have said the suspect was exploring targets for possible attacks against politicians in Germany with ties to Israel.

    German federal prosecutors pressed charges against a 31-year-old Pakistani student who they believe targeted Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician Reinhold Robbe on behalf of the Iranian intelligence agency, German media reported on Friday.

    Robbe, who served as president of the German-Israeli Society (DIG) until 2015, was being eyed as a possible assassination target, according to information reviewed by German public broadcasters NDR and WDR, as well as the daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung.”

    According to the federal prosecutors’ indictment, the suspected agent, named as Syed Mustufa H., compiled a thorough “movement profile” on Robbe and staked out the DIG offices in Berlin – signs authorities said were a clear indication of an assassination attempt.

    The suspect paid particularly close attention to Robbe’s public transportation travel habits and charted alternate routes that he took on the way to the DIG Berlin building.

    Motive unclear

    Prosecutors said the suspect’s actions were part of a broader operation to identify possible targets with friendly ties to Israel in Germany, France and other European countries, the reports said.

    The Pakistani man is also accused of spying on a French-Israeli professor at a business school in Paris on behalf of Iranian intelligence. The suspect was previously detained by authorities in July 2016 under suspicion of espionage and was known to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV). The Pakistani suspect is believed to have been spying for Iran since July 2015.

    The exact motive for carrying out a possible attack on Robbe is still unclear. However, security agencies speculate that the Iranian government could have been preparing a retaliatory move against people closely linked to Israel should Israel carry out airstrikes against Iranian nuclear power plants…”

  31. 11 PKK positions destroyed in N Iraq, says Turkish army (hurriyetdailynews, Jan 7, 2017)

    “The Turkish army destroyed 11 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in airstrikes against the terrorist group in northern Iraq, the Turkish military said late on Jan. 6.

    According to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff, fighter jets carried out the airstrikes in the Qandil region of northern Iraq on Jan. 6 between 6:58 and 7:55 p.m. (3:58 and 4:55 p.m. GMT).

    The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU, resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015, after a more than two-year-old resolution process failed.

    Since then, more than 300 civilians, including women and children, and nearly 800 security personnel have been killed. Around 8,000 PKK militants have been also been killed or apprehended.”

  32. US to deploy 300 soldiers in Helmand province (khaama, Jan 7, 2017)

    “The United States will deploy around 300 soldiers in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, it has bee reported.

    The troops will reportedly deployed by the US Marine to train, advise and assist the leaders of the Afghan National Army.

    The decision by US Marines to deploy forces to Helmand comes as the province has been witnessing firece clashes during the recent months as the Taliban group attempted take control of the strategic parts Helmand as part of their deadly spring offensive.

    Task Force Southwest, led by Brig Gen Roger Turner, “will train and advise key leaders within the Afghan National Army 215th Corps and the 505th Zone National Police,” a statement published by the corps on Friday read.

    According to the Afghan officials, the Taliban group attempted to shift some of its leadership to Helmand BT seizing control of the strategic Lashkargah city and other key districts.

    At least six Taliban leaders have left the Quetta city of Pakistan along with their family members and have shifted to Helmand province, Kandahar’s police chief General Abdul Raziq said late in the month of December last year.

    Speaking in a gathering attended by elders and Ulemas of 10 provinces, Gen. Raziq said some of the Taliban leaders who were looking to leave Quetta have been arrested and jailed by the Pakistani military.

    Gen. Raziq further added that there are no reports regarding the fate of the family members of the Taliban group leaders who have been jailed.”

  33. France: Holy Water used to extinguish suspected arson attack on nativity scene

    Parishioners extinguished two small-scale fires that are believed to be the result of arson in the Saint-Charles Cathedral, in Saint-Etienne on Friday.

    Two fires were allegedly started by one or more people after a small bundle of candles was found next to a statue of the Virgin Mary and the straw of the cathedral’s nativity scene was lit.

    Parishioners saw the fire when they arrived for Mass and reportedly used Holy water to put out the flames.

    No one had been arrested by midday Saturday.

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