Reader’s links for April 5 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

104 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 5 2017”

  1. Tucker vs Dem who called him Trump ‘smokescreen salesman’

    A former Clinton adviser accused Tucker of diverting attention away from the Russian collusion controversy with coverage of the Susan Rice unmasking scandal and its surveillance implications. Now they face off

    • Y´know, I think when talking to liberals you have to speak to them like children dodging the truth. Yes or No questions, keep it real simple.

      Did Susan Rice admit to the surveillance of Trump´s team today – yes or no? (YES)
      Is there any evidence that Trump had help from the Russian´s to win the election – yes or no? (NO)

      End of interview. Bye.

  2. zero hedge – WSJ reports that Susan Rice Was Not Alone In “Unmasking” Team Trump

    As part of its daily wrap of the Susan Rice newsflow, which focused on her first media appearance since she was “outed” as the persona responsible for “unmasking” members of team Trump, the WSJ provides two new pieces of incremental information: i) in addition to Michael Flynn, at least one more member of the Trump transition team was “unmasked” in intelligence reports due to multiple foreign conversations that weren’t related to Russia; and ii) Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Mr. Flynn’s unmasking, confirming there is at least one more high-level official giving “unmasking” orders.

    But first, a brief detour.

    “Unmasking” is a term used when the identity of a U.S. citizen or lawful resident is revealed in classified intelligence reports. Normally, when government officials receive intelligence reports, the names of American citizens are redacted to protect their privacy. But officials can request that names, listed as “U.S. Person 1,” for example, be unmasked internally in order to give context about the potential value of the intelligence. Unmasking is justified for national security reasons but is governed by strict rules across the U.S. intelligence apparatus that make it illegal to pursue for political reasons or to leak classified information generated by the process.

    It is the accusation that Rice unmasked members for purely political reasons – ostensibly in coordination with president Obama – that has gotten Republican smelling blood in the water. Republicans have for weeks signaled that they saw unmasking as the key to investigating the source of media leaks damaging to the Trump administration — such as the exposure of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after media reports revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of his discussions with the Russian ambassador.

    To that end, earlier this month, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) pressed FBI Director James Comey in a public Intelligence Committee hearing: “It would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name… because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might’ve actually disseminated a masked U.S. citizen’s name.”

    He went on to press Comey on whether specific Obama officials, including Rice, would have had the authority to request that a name be unmasked. “Yes, in general, and any other national security adviser would, I think, as a matter of their ordinary course of their business,” Comey answered.

    Shortly thereafter, The Hill notes Nunes made his shocking announcement that he — and he alone — had viewed documents that showed inappropriate unmasking by Obama-era officials.

    Today, Susan Rice came out to defend herself and told MSNBC that “the allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told Mitchell. “That’s absolutely false.”

    She added that “The notion, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the American person is the same is leaking it — that’s completely false. There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.”

    And yet, that is precisely what many republicans are suggesting because otherwise there is no explanation for how the WaPo and NYT received, on a virtual silver platter, stories about Mike Flynn’s communications with intel-level detail.

    Perhaps Rice is simply lying as she lied on March 22 when in a PBS interview she said “I know nothing” about unmasking Trump officials. Less than two weeks later, we learn that she did.

    But perhaps there is more to the story than what we know so far.

    * * *

    And this is where the WSJ comes in, with the new info that according to a Republican official familiar with deliberations by GOP lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee said that the names of two U.S. citizens who were part of Mr. Trump’s transition team have been unmasked in intelligence reports. One is Mr. Flynn and the other hasn’t been identified. The report involving Mr. Flynn documented phone conversations he had in late December with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

    The WSJ then reports that Rice had requested the unmasking of at least one
    transition official — not Mr. Flynn — who was part of multiple foreign
    conversations that weren’t related to Russia.

    And the punchline: “The Republican official and others said Ms. Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Mr. Flynn’s unmasking.”

    In other words, the story that Susan Rice is the unmasker is incomplete as there is at least one more person exposing the identities of people in Trump’s circle, and that the NSA and other intel agencies have been surveiling, accidentally or otherwise, at least one, so far unnamed individual, from Trump’s circle. It may well be someone that the WaPo and NYT have already published about, or it may be someone who has yet to hit the newswire, delivering the latest twist of the ongoing intelligence-fed news cycle.

    For now the answer is unknown, although when Rice testifies under oath before the House Intel Committee, we hope that all outstanding questions will finally get answers.

    • Despite what many people are saying I can see no reason for Assad to order a chemical attack against his own people, what we have to remember is that there has been accusations of his using chemical weapons before and they have all been proven wrong.

    • Turkey: Protesters rally outside Russian embassy over Idlib attack

      Protesters demonstrated in front of the Russian consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, after what is being reported as a chemical attack killed scores of people in the Syrian province of Idlib.

    • CNN – Bana Alabed’s full interview on Syrian attack

      Bana Alabed, the 7-year-old girl who became the face of the Syrian children, opens up to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about the recent chemical attack.

    • CNN – Rubio: ‘Putin is a war criminal’

      Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) made an impassioned plea for the United States to intervene in Syria’s civil war and denounced any countries that support President Bashar al-Assad.

      • I don’t think there is a long term solution for the Middle East that doesn’t include a bloody handed tyrant.

    • BREITBART -Donald Trump: I’m Not Going to Tell You What I’ll Do in Syria

      President Donald Trump said he was disturbed by reports of chemical weapons used in Syria but told reporters that he would not signal any plans for action in the war-torn country.

      “That attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. Big impact,” Trump said. “That was a horrible, horrible thing, and I’ve been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that.”

      The president made his remarks during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

      “I’m not saying I’m doing anything one way or the other, but I’m certainly not going to be telling you,” Trump said.

      Trump said he was flexible in reaction to foreign policy around the world, but criticized the Obama administration for declaring the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria and then backing down.

      He said that after the attacks his attitude toward Syria and President Bashar al-Assad “has changed,” despite past statements urging the United States to stay out of Syria.

      “That crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line — many, many lines,” he said.

    • zero hedge – On the Same Day Bannon Removed From NSC, Trump Sabre Rattles War with Syria

      This isn’t what I signed up for. If it’s Trump’s intention to continue the neocon policies that have left this country indebted to its eyeballs fighting meaningless wars, costing the lives of America’s bravest, count me out.

      Bannon’s removal at the NSC on the same day that Trump upped his rhetoric for war with Assad isn’t a coincidence. Bannon has been an anti war advocate and wanted America out of the Middle East. Now here we are, being led down a ruinous road by 35 year old Jared Kushner and Trump’s generals, positioning for conflict in Syria over a chemical weapons attack.

      In regard to the chemical attack that has left dozens dead, many of whom were children, no one knows with certainty who was responsible. There is so much fuckery going on there, you’ll drive yourself mad trying to figure it out.

      Then there’s this.

      Disgraced Dr. @DrShajulIslam received gas masks two days before “chemical attack” in Al Qaeda held #Idlib
      The propaganda continues.

      Wow. This anti-Assad “reporter” tweeted about the sarin attack in #Syria 24 hours before it happened. Still think nothing fishy is going on?
      Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo)

      Thus far, we have a President pursuing conflict escalations in both N. Korea and Syria. Everyone wants to be Churchill. We get to feel the brunt, however.

    • I’m totally, thoroughly disgusted.

      I’ve gone sour on Trump.
      …not that he isn’t worlds better than the alternative, and he seems to be going in the right direction for the American economy.

      What he needs are the blackmail files on every Congress-critter and all sitting judges. 0 had dirt on everybody; T needs to get his hands dirty. That’s the only way we’ll get anything like the balance of powers we need for longterm survival. If he can’t do, no one can.

      But he’s stumbling on Islam and the Mideast. Collapsing like a house of cards. Israeli analysts paint a dismal picture. His foreign policy appointments are a DISASTER. I’ve read a lot – experts on Russia, Turkey, Iran.

      He doesn’t FIGHT to have the kind of people he requires. We knew his limitations but counted on his strengths. Like delegation of responsibilities to people who can implement your vision - duh- what vision?

      He’s got polluted Jews and MB-operatives where he needs savvy wizards like Kissinger. Architects of the Iran Deal instead of Clare Lopez. Maybe he can make Fat-Boy die before the profitable collaboration with the Ayatollahs brings Armageddon.

      Yes, it’s early. I had such high hopes. I’m so disappointed.

      Places like the Conservative Treehouse worship _The Donald_ like the Second Coming. They’re smart and good people who won’t deviate and won’t recant. People like that burn heretics at the stake and toast marshmallows on the pyre.

      • Some of his actions worry me but I still have hopes he will change course when it hits the fan, if he doesn’t even more will hit the fan.

      • …not that he isn’t worlds better than the alternative

        This is what we have to keep reminding ourselves about. Welcome to the modern world of Defensive Voting. Most sane Americans are no longer able to vote for someone. They end up being obliged to vote against an opposing candidate that must not be allowed to win, regardless of the alternative.

        Months later, and to this very day, I still can get a frisson of almost ecstatic relief from the knowledge that Hillary was denied the Oval Office.

        I do hope that people here will recall having chided me about my concerns regarding Trump. While I’m nowhere near the point of, “I told you so”, there remain deep concerns about whether Trump truly “gets it”.

        How he deals with Communist China on trade and reining in North Korea will be a major bellwether with respect to his political abilities. Amidst my relief at no renewal of the Clinton dynasty, I’m willing to wait and see.

  3. the politically correct of the day:

    […]”And the British model, who splits her time between living in London and New York while her seven-year-old son lives with her mum, revealed she was saddened by the little boy’s awareness of ‘Trump’s America’.

    Touching on his attempted immigration ban, Jourdan revealed her shock when Riley asked her: ‘Mommy, you’re black; aren’t you scared that you’re going to be killed?”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  4. #Trending: Saudi TV pulls women’s rights campaign after backlash (alaraby, Apr 4, 2017)

    “What was meant to be an inspirational online campaign to encourage women to be empowered has seriously backfired for a Saudi-funded TV channel.

    MBC4’s Arabic-language hashtag #BeFree, which aimed to promote women’s rights, sparked a storm of online anger this week prompting the broadcaster to call off the Twitter campaign.

    “You weren’t born to be a follower or a shadow,” said one of the campaign’s tweets, according to alleged screen grabs taken before the campaign was deleted.

    “Rebel and be free without limits,” said another.

    All the tweets were posted with images of Western-looking women in skimpy clothing for Saudi standards.

    The campaign angered many Saudis, who believed they were inciting women to go against their religious values and cultural traditions.

    Thousands of Twitter users called for a boycott of the channel and a Saudi prince, who helped establish the channel, condemned the campaign and even called for the “destruction” of the employees behind it.

    MBC4 put out a statement on Monday apologising for the well-meant campaign and claimed that some of the screengrabs of tweets had been photoshopped…”

  5. Passport holders should not be forced to say they are male or female, says LGBT charity (express, Apr 5, 2017)

    “UK PASSPORT holders should be able to identify themselves as X rather than male or female, a leading LGBT charity has said.

    Stonewall said the move would help transgender people and those who do not identify with a single gender, who can often face difficulty at passport control.

    The recommendation is one of a series of changes recommended by the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group, as part of a five-year plan to create equality for trans people…”

  6. Iraq suicide bombings in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, kill 22 (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Islamic militants unleashed multiple suicide attacks in the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, killing at least 22 people, a provincial official said on Wednesday.

    Five suicide bombers on foot targeted a police patrol and broke into a police officer’s house in Tikrit’s al-Zihoor neighborhood, according to a Salahuddin provincial council member, Ahmed al-Karim.

    Al-Karim told The Associated Press that security forces managed to kill three of the bombers while two blew themselves up. Ten policemen were among the dead and up to 31 people were wounded in Tuesday night’s attacks, he added…”

  7. Taliban attack kills 6 in Pakistan, including census workers (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “A Taliban suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a vehicle carrying census workers in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six people — two data collectors and four soldiers who were escorting them, a government spokesman and police said.

    The attack took place on the outskirts of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, said Malik Ahmad Khan, the provincial government spokesman. The border with India is several kilometers (miles) away from the site of the explosion.

    A local police official, Mohammad Afzal, said that along with the six killed, 15 people were wounded in the blast…”

  8. Dog saves wedding party from suicide bomber in Nigeria (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Officials say a dog at a Nigerian wedding party grappled with a suicide bomber until her explosives detonated, killing the animal as well.

    Buba Ahmed of Belbelo village, near the northeastern city of Maiduguri, says guests are grateful that the dog sacrificed itself to save their lives.

    He says the teenage bomber was on the outskirts of a gathering where most villagers were attending a wedding ceremony when the dog pounced on her Sunday morning…”

  9. Car bomb kills at least 7 at restaurant in Somalia’s capital (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “A massive car bomb blast at a restaurant in Somalia’s capital killed at least seven people, police said Wednesday, as fears grew that al-Shabab extremists who have vowed to destabilize the country’s new government were behind it.

    Several others were injured in the blast near the ministries of internal security and youth and sports in Mogadishu, Col. Ahmed Hashi said…”

  10. 6 arrested for terrorism in wake of St. Petersburg bombing (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “As the residents of Russia’s second-largest city try to regain their nerve in the wake of a fatal subway bombing, officials announced Wednesday that six people have been arrested on suspicion of recruiting terrorists.

    Wednesday’s statement from the Investigative Committee gave few details, but said those arrested came from Central Asian countries that once were part of the Soviet Union. Officials have said the suicide attacker behind Monday’s blast that killed 14 people in St. Petersburg was a native of the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan.

    There was no immediate information tying those arrested with the suspected bomber, identified as 22-year-old Akbardzhon Dhzalilov. Fifty-five people wounded in the blast remain hospitalized, deputy mayor Anna Mityanina said Wednesday.

    The predominantly Muslim Central Asian states are seen as a prime recruiting ground for Islamic militants…”

  11. Italy summons Swiss ambassador after border crossings close (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Switzerland and Italy are in a diplomatic spat over Switzerland’s decision to close three secondary border crossings at night in a bid to fight crime.

    The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the Swiss ambassador for urgent talks Tuesday, emphasizing that the closings violate Europe’s norms on free circulation.

    Swiss Ambassador Giancarlo Kessler told the ministry that the measure is temporary, experimental and will be reviewed in light of improved border security collaboration, according to a ministry statement.

    Italian mayors in the region had protested the move as penalizing Italians who legitimately cross the border for work or other reasons.

    Italy’s northern border has long been a flashpoint with neighboring Switzerland, France and Austria, which are keen to prevent newly arrived migrants from transiting north.

    The Swiss parliament approved the six-month trial phase, which began April 1, to determine if it has any repercussions, including in the fight against cross-border crime, the Swiss federal customs administration said.

    The crossings from the Italian provinces of Como and Varese have an average nightly traffic of 90 vehicles during the week and 110 vehicles on weekends, 20 percent of which are Swiss vehicles, according to Swiss authorities.”

  12. Indian police: Mob kills Muslim man who was transporting cow (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “A Muslim man beaten by a mob that accused him of transporting cows for slaughter has died in western India, police said Wednesday, in the latest violence by Hindu vigilante groups enraged over treatment of the animal they consider sacred.

    Pehlu Khan died late Tuesday of injuries sustained when he and 14 other men were brutally beaten three days earlier in Rajasthan state, police said.

    Hindus, who form 80 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population, consider cows to be sacred and for many eating beef is taboo. In many Indian states, the slaughtering of cows and selling of beef is either restricted or banned.

    The men had bought the dairy cows at a cattle fair and were taking them home in neighboring Haryana state when the mob stopped the trucks, pulled out the men and beat them, said the duty officer at the police control room in Behror town, where Saturday’s attack took place.

    Behror is about 155 kilometers (95 miles) southwest of India’s capital, New Delhi.

    Indian television channels broadcast video of the men being beaten with sticks and iron rods. One of the truck drivers, a Hindu, was released by the mob, but was warned not to transport cattle in his truck.

    No arrests have been made, the police officer said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, took office in 2014, hard-line Hindus have been demanding that India ban beef sales — a key industry for many within India’s poor, minority Muslim community. There has also been a sharp rise in the activities of self-styled Hindu cow-protection groups that stop trucks on highways and attack anyone transporting bovine animals.

    Rumors of beef eating by Muslims have sparked violence in several places in northern India. About two years ago, a man was beaten to death by a mob over rumors his family had eaten beef, and two others were killed for allegedly transporting cows for slaughter.”

  13. White House blames Obama admin for suspected Syria chemical attack (abcnews, Apr 5, 2017)

    “White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical attack in a Syrian town was a “consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution.”

    “Today’s attack is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” Spicer told reporters. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he’d establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The U.S. stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.”

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the State Department in Washington, ignored questions from reporters about the chemical weapons attack. The Department of State later released an official statement condemning it…”

  14. So it begins: First U.S. city set to see complete collapse of Obamacare
    By LU Staff April 5, 2017

    In their blind defense of Obamacare, Democrats’ fallback criticism is that a repeal will leave 20 million Americans with no health insurance. A measure of how shortsighted that viewpoint is is about to play in Knoxville, Tenn. The city is poised to become the first city in the U.S. where Obamacare completely collapses, leaving tens of thousands of people without the option to buy a subsidized insurance policy.

    Humana, the city’s only remaining insurance provider on its Obamacare exchange, announced it is exiting the market in 2018. When that happens, Knoxville citizens will be in a rough spot. Unless another insurance provider fills Humana’s place, some 40,000 people in the Knoxville area will likely be left without the option to purchase an Obamacare-subsidized insurance policy, CNN reports.

    Knoxville is illustrative of one of the main problems with Obamacare: It doesn’t promote market-based competition. Insurers pull out of marketplaces where it is not cost-efficient for them to provide services, and, as a result, consumers are left with fewer options at higher prices.

    Tennessee is one of the largest casualties of the current health care system. Three insurers have pulled out of the state entirely, the state’s co-op failed, and premiums continue to skyrocket annually by double digits. Tennessee’s health commissioner has all but given up, describing the state’s health care system as “very near collapse.”

  15. Richard:Once again Dyer does her normally excellent job of spelling out what is happening and why it is important. Read the entire article to see what is happening and what is at stake. This scandal is more complicated them most realize nad here is an intel pro telling us what is probably going on behind the scenes.)

    ‘Unmasking’ Trump: What the stakes are, and why we need to prioritize
    By J.E. Dyer April 4, 2017

    Since the name “Susan Rice” burst upon us on Monday, all the talk about the apparently political unmasking of Trump and his associates in NSA-collected communications has focused on what Rice did.

    That’s understandable. But as I wrote yesterday, Rice is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I didn’t mean that the guy we really have to get to is Obama. Or that the gal is Valerie Jarrett. Just hold your horses on all that.

    I meant, rather, that the basic issues here are bigger than what any group of White House officials did to view the unmasked identities of Americans.

    Some of these issues are going to conflict with each other down the road, in terms of what we do to sort them out. So it’s essential to be sure up front what the issues are, and which one is the most important.

    There are three basic issues.

    1. The first is the one that got this whole ball rolling. It’s the fact that someone – not Susan Rice – took the unmasked identity of Michael Flynn and told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius about it. A number of us realized at the very beginning that that was what happened, because it’s what had to happen, given the way things are done now. Enough has been revealed in the weeks since then that the rest of America has now caught up.

    Since the name “Susan Rice” burst upon us on Monday, all the talk about the apparently political unmasking of Trump and his associates in NSA-collected communications has focused on what Rice did.

    That’s understandable. But as I wrote yesterday, Rice is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I didn’t mean that the guy we really have to get to is Obama. Or that the gal is Valerie Jarrett. Just hold your horses on all that.

    I meant, rather, that the basic issues here are bigger than what any group of White House officials did to view the unmasked identities of Americans.

    Some of these issues are going to conflict with each other down the road, in terms of what we do to sort them out. So it’s essential to be sure up front what the issues are, and which one is the most important.

    There are three basic issues.

    1. The first is the one that got this whole ball rolling. It’s the fact that someone – not Susan Rice – took the unmasked identity of Michael Flynn and told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius about it. A number of us realized at the very beginning that that was what happened, because it’s what had to happen, given the way things are done now. Enough has been revealed in the weeks since then that the rest of America has now caught up.

  16. Court confers ‘legal person’ status on Himalayan glaciers because … er — global warming!
    By LU Staff April 4, 2017

    An Indian court declared Himalayan glaciers “legal persons” under law in a bid to save them from global warming.

    The court’s two judges claimed Indian law must gives glaciers “living entity” status to keep them from melting.

    “The rights of these entities shall be equivalent to the rights of human beings and any injury or harm caused to these bodies shall be treated as injury or harm caused to human beings,” the highest court in Indian state of Uttarakhand ruled. “In other words, the entity acts like a natural person, but only through a designated person.”

    The ruling went on to affirm:

  17. Mehmet Ali Agca the Turkish ‘hitman’ who shot the Pope just threatened Europe and announced that he will attack Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen

    « Si Geert Wilders n’abandonne pas son attitude hostile envers la Turquie, nous allons lui casser les jambes. Je menace directement Marine Le Pen et Geert Wilders, faites attention car nous allons vous casser les jambes. »

    Message from Mehmet Ali Agca to Netherlands and Europe

  18. Mehmet Ali Agca the Turkish ‘hitman’ who shot the Pope just threatened Europe and announced that he will attack Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen

    twitter (dot ) .com/KomNewsCom/status/849212991975424000/video/1

    « Si Geert Wilders n’abandonne pas son attitude hostile envers la Turquie, nous allons lui casser les jambes. Je menace directement Marine Le Pen et Geert Wilders, faites attention car nous allons vous casser les jambes. »

    www ( dot ) fdesouche (dot ) com/839819-turquie-celui-qui-tenta-dassassiner-le-pape-jean-paul-ii-menace-marine-le-pen

    Message from Mehmet Ali Agca to Netherlands and Europe

  19. BREITBART -Ex-Obama Staffer Who Advocated Spying On Trump Urged Fight Against Nationalism, Populism

    Speaking at a conference last October, Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration official, warned that more must be done to counter the forces of nationalism and populism that have been entering the mainstream with the rise of Donald Trump and nationalist movements across Europe, Breitbart News has found.

    Farkas also noted the U.S. population is “becoming increasingly less European American” while advocating for a continued “strong shared commitment” to European values.

    Farkas served as deputy assistant secretary of defense under the Obama administration. She has been in the spotlight since the news media last week highlighted comments she made on television that seemed to acknowledge efforts by members of the Obama administration to collect intelligence on Trump and members of his campaign.

    Farkas made the remarks about fighting nationalism as a panelist at the October 26, 2016 Warsaw Security Forum during a discussion about what to expect following the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

    Following a lengthy panel talk about domestic politics and Trump, one unnamed questioner asked how political forces on the “margins” of politics in the U.S. and Europe were able to enter the “mainstream.”

    Farkas replied (her remarks start at 31:54 in the above video):

    What the first questioner asked was what happened. And I think what happened is that you have always in every domestic political landscape this nationalism, this populism, even fascism in almost every country in the world. But if you have strong liberal democratic leadership, if you have voices to speak out against those forces or to counter them effectively than they don’t come to the fore.

    And what I said earlier in the beginning when I spoke about the vacuum of leadership – that’s the problem that we have right now. And I believe very strongly that regardless of what kind of ethnic composition that we have in the United States, because it is becoming increasingly less European American, we still have very strong shared commitment to values with our European colleagues and with our Israeli colleagues. And together we need to work on the international front to counter the forces that are pushing against our values and interests.

    Farkas may have referenced “Israeli colleagues” because one of the panelists on stage with her was Eytan Gilboa, chairman of the left-leaning Israel Public Diplomacy Forum, which features articles in its newsletters complaining about the Israeli “far-right” and “right.”

    Yesterday, Breitbart News first reported that at the same conference, held two weeks before the presidential election, Farkas predicted that if Trump won the presidency he would “be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government.”

    Farkas has also been in the news after remarks she made as a contributor to MSNBC on March 2 resurfaced last week. In the comments, she said that she told former Obama administration colleagues to collect intelligence on Trump and campaign officials.

    “I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” stated Farkas.

    She continued:

    Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.

    The White House has utilized Farkas’s statements to bolster the charge that Trump was being illicitly surveilled during the campaign.

    White House Spokesman Sean Spicer last week stated:

    [I]f you look at Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense that is out there, Evelyn Farkas, she made it clear that it was their goal to spread this information around, that they went around and did this. …

    They have admitted on the record that this was their goal — to leak stuff. And they literally — she said on the record “Trump’s team.” There are serious questions out there about what happened and why and who did it. And I think that’s really where our focus is in making sure that that information gets out.

    Farkas, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia until she resigned in 2015.

    She told the Daily Caller last week that she had no access to any intelligence. “I had no intelligence whatsoever, I wasn’t in government anymore and didn’t have access to any,” she said.

    Speaking to the Washington Post, Farkas denied being a source of any leaks.

    The Post reported:

    Farkas, in an interview with The Post, said she “didn’t give anybody anything except advice,” was not a source for any stories and had nothing to leak. Noting that she left government in October 2015, she said, “I was just watching like anybody else, like a regular spectator” as initial reports of Russia contacts began to surface after the election.

    Farkas currently serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.

    The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department, and NATO ACT. Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

    Farkas serves on the Atlantic Council alongside Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, the third-party company utilized by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

    Last month, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency never had direct access to the DNC’s servers to confirm the hacking. “Well, we never got direct access to the machines themselves,” he stated. “The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.”

    National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers also stated the NSA never asked for access to the DNC hardware: “The NSA didn’t ask for access. That’s not in our job.”

    Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

  20. SYRIA – US restores support for Islamist rebels, moves to unify groups in Idlib

    A Free Syrian Army commander told to Al Jazeera that the US has restored the funding and logistical support it froze in February for rebel factions in northern Syria.

    A new military operation room, supported by the US, Turkey, Western European and Gulf states, is reportedly under discussion and efforts to unify groups in the Idlib area aim at consolidating military control over Idlib, western Aleppo and parts of Latakia.

    The commander told Al Jazeera that the top priority of the new military alliance would be fighting the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad. The alliance will be composed of Islamic fundamentalist groups and led by Fadlallah Haji of the Sham Legion (Failaq al-Sham) Salafist group.

    Many of the groups, such as Fastaqim Union (Tajammu Fastaqim Kama Umirt) and the Army of Mujahideen (Jaysh al-Mujahideen) are since January part of Ahrar al-Sham, actively backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, which aims to create an Islamic state under Sharia law.

    It is not clear if Ahrar al-Sham as a whole will join the unified command which will be led by the same backers of MOM – a Turkish acronym for Joint Operation Center (Musterek Operasyon Merkezi) – formed by the US, Britain, France, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in early 2014.

    The move comes following US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent visit to Ankara and suggests that the US is trying to balance Russian influence in the region, especially following a deal between Moscow and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin Canton, northwestern Syria.

    The Syrian army and Russia are aiming to push the rebels out from the Idlib province, advancing from the south while hoping that the Kurds establish a front line in Afrin in the north. The reported airstrike on Tuesday morning, allegedly a chemical attack, was carried out in rebel-held Idlib’s Khan Sheikhoun town.

    The formation of a new military force could also have knock-on effects on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)’s advance on Islamic State (IS) stronghold Raqqa. The YPG are a leading force in the SDF and a force Ankara has prioritised targeting even before government forces and IS. The YPG has said it will stop the Raqqa offensive if there are attacks on Kurdish-led autonomous areas in Syria’s north. The group has also said it could head to Idlib to “fight terrorists”.

    US support for FSA groups working with the MOM has been criticised as weapons delivered to the groups ended up on the black market and eventually in the hands of the Islamic State, al-Nusra or al-Nusra affiliated groups.

    An opposition source close to MOM-backed commanders told Financial Times that “the CIA knew about this, of course, everyone in MOM did. It was the price of doing business.”

    American journalist Theo Padnos recently told Russia Today that a second ISIS is being formed in Idlib near the Turkish border and that opposition groups defeated in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus were to join the new formation.

    “All the rebels from the different areas have been shipped up to this north-western corner of Syria, around Idlib. That entire province is governing itself with Sharia law which involves shooting people on the street,” Padnos claimed.

    • al jazeera- Syria’s ‘moderate rebels’ to form a new alliance

      US funding for rebel groups in northern Syria has been partially restored, opposition sources tell Al Jazeera.

      A new military alliance of rebel groups in northern Syria aims to consolidate military control over Idlib province, the western part of Aleppo province and parts of Latakia province, according to a Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander.

      Two sources from FSA have confirmed to Al Jazeera that the new military operation room, under discussion, will be supported by the “Friends of Syria” – a coalition of the US, Turkey, Western European and Gulf states – which have supported the Northern Front’s operations room, known by its Turkish acronym MOM.

      The commander said that the rebel forces will fight against the Syrian regime in northern Syria. He denied media reports that their goal would be to attack Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham, a Salafist alliance dominated by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS, formerly known as al-Nusra Front) which formally renounced its affiliation to al-Qaeda in 2016.

      The FSA commander confirmed that the funding and logistical support for rebel factions in northern Syria which the CIA froze in February have been restored to a certain extent.

      Another FSA source told Al Jazeera that Turkey and the US are still to decide what form the new rebel command will assume and added that pressure is exerted on other rebel factions to join it. He also said that in January the CIA told FSA factions it was funding not to join the Moscow-sponsored Astana talks in which Turkey participated along with Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime. High-level US officials did not attend the talks.

      The FSA is a loose umbrella of what are seen as moderate rebel groups. Previous attempts to establish unified command failed as the FSA succumbed to factionalism and internal disagreements.

      Among the groups joining the new formation are Failaq al-Sham as well as FSA-affiliated Tajamo Fastaqim, Jaish al-Mujahideen and Jaish Idlib. Fadlallah Haji from Failaq al-Sham has been chosen as its leader.

      In January, a number of these groups, including Tajamo Fastaqim and Jaish al-Mujahideen, joined the ranks of the influential Islamist Ahrar al-Sham movement seeking its protection from attacks by JFS.

      While ?Ahrar al-Sham has not yet clarified its position on the newly formed unified command, according to Syrian analyst Ahmad Aba Zeid, those factions will continue their association with the movement.

      Syrian analyst Mohamed al-Abdullah told Al Jazeera that Ahrar al-Sham might be a key factor in the success of the unified command.

      “Ahrar al-Sham will be the factor making or breaking this unification. If Ahrar al-Sham refuses to join, I don’t think this [unification attempt] will be successful. As we all know, Ahrar al-Sham is the main military force in the region,” he said.

      Abdullah also explained that the rebel factions do not have much of a choice about joining the new operations room and that not doing so would mean a confrontation with the US.

      The move to unify rebel factions in northern Syria came just a few days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey. Earlier last week, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the end of Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation in Syria, suggesting there might be future operations with Turkish involvement in Syria.

      According to Aba Zeid, it is possible that the new unified command is part of negotiations between the US and Turkey in which the participation of Turkish-backed Syrian forces the battle for Raqqa is also on the table.

      Ankara and Washington have disagreed on how to proceed with the anti-ISIL operation in Syria and specifically the capturing of Raqqa. Turkey has protested US support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and their likely alliance for the battle for Raqqa. Ankara considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominates the SDF, a “terrorist” organisation and has argued that Kurdish domination of Raqqa would be problematic for the majority of Arab residents of the city.

      In March, US troops were deployed in Manbij, east of the territory controlled by Turkish forces and their FSA allies in northern Syria, in order to stop their progress eastward and prevent clashes with the SDF.

      Abdul Majeed Barakat, political adviser of FSA forces which were included in the Euphrates Shield operation, told Al Jazeera that Turkey had planned a unified rebel army under the name “Al Jaish Al Watani” or “Jaish Al Tahrir”. That force was supposed to lead a second phase of Turkey’s operations in Syria which was to focus on Idlib province. Barakat said that a number of meetings were held in Ankara between the Turkish authorities and rebel commanders to discuss the issue.

      According to the FSA commander, an agreement could not be reached on how to form an army out of all the factions that participated in the meetings and, therefore, the decision was made to have a unified command under the support of the MOM.

  21. Russia: Seven men arrested for suspected militant affiliations in St. Petersburg

    Seven men suspected of having links to militant organisations were arrested in a house in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

    The men, some of whom were migrants from Central Asia, are suspected of being involved in recruitment efforts for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and the self-proclaimed Islamic State

    Russia’s Investigative Committee will be conducting thorough checks on the men’s backgrounds and contacts. There is currently no evidence linking the seven detainees to Monday’s deadly St. Petersburg Metro attack.

    • Russia: Parents of St. Petersburg bomb suspect arrive from Kyrgyzstan

      The parents of Akbarzhon Jalilov, the man suspected of being behind the subway bomb attack that left 14 dead in St. Petersburg, arrived at the city’s Pulkovo Airport, early on Wednesday morning.

    • Kyrgyzstan: A ‘smart and educated boy’ – ex-teacher remembers suspected St. Petersburg bomber

      Fatima Kadyrakunova, a former school teacher of Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, the chief suspect in the St. Petersburg metro blast, remembered him as a “straightforward, smart, and educated boy,” speaking from the village of On-Adir in the Osh Region, Wednesday.

      According to Kadyrakunova, Dzhalilov “would never insult other students”, and “his parents would have never been ashamed of his behaviour.” The suspect studied at a school called Toktogul Satylganov for three years, from 5th to 8th grades.

      SOT, Kadyrakunova Fatima, school teacher (Kyrgyz): “[Journalist asking: Do you remember your student Akbarzhon Dzhalilov?] Yes, yes, of course, I immediately imagine him in front of my eyes. This Akbar Dzhalilov was my student from fifth to eight grades. He was a very straightforward, smart, and educated boy. There was not a single time when he would have insulted other students, or when his parents would have been ashamed of his behavior. His parents are good people. His mother was a housewife, and father was unemployed and later moved to Russia, as we heard. I didn’t see anything bad in this boy when he was my student from fifth to eighth grades. This boy had good relations with all his classmates.”

    • Russia: Three alleged members of banned Hizb ut-Tahrir detained near Moscow

      Three alleged members of the outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation were arrested by Russian state security officers in a house located at an undisclosed location between Moscow Region and Penza Region on Wednesday.

      The raid was carried out by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB), with the cooperation of representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

      During a targeted search of the property, officers detained three people, one of whom is an alleged leader within the group.

      Banned literature and numerous electronic devices that contained propaganda materials were also seized in the operation.

      SOT, Abdymanapov Altynbek, Detainee (Russian): “Abdymanapov Altynbek. A native of Kyrgyzstan. I arrived in 2006 without registering.”

      SOT, Police officer (Russian): “Citizenship?”

      SOT, Abdymanapov Altynbek, Detainee (Russian): “Kyrgyzstan.”

      SOT, Police officer (Russian): “Registered here?”

      SOT, Abdymanapov Altynbek, Detainee (Russian): “I am not registered.”

      SOT, Police officer (Russian): “No registration?”

      SOT, Abdymanapov Altynbek, Detainee (Russian): “No.”

      SOT, Police officer (Russian): “When did you come here?”

      SOT, Abdymanapov Altynbek, Detainee (Russian): “In 2006.”

  22. France: EP president’s feathers ruffled after Farage compares EU to mafia

    European Parliament President Antonio Tajani reproved former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage after he said that the European Union is “behaving like the mafia” in its handling of Brexit, speaking at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg, Wednesday.

  23. Thiessen: Susan Rice has a record of serial dishonesty

    Fox News contributor: We don’t have any responsibility to take her at her word on unmasking allegations

  24. Susan Rice’s Unraveling Web of Lies
    Obama’s attack on our democracy becomes too clear to ignore.
    April 5, 2017
    Joseph Klein

    Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice is once again in the news, embroiled in a growing scandal. Bloomberg News has reported this week that Rice requested or directed the unmasking of the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports, who were involved with the Trump transition team. The communications of these individuals were apparently collected incidentally during the course of electronic monitoring of communications involving foreign officials of interest. Normally, Americans’ identities are masked, with generic references such as the title “U.S. Person One.”

    According to Eli Lake’s Bloomberg report, “The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations — primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.”

    Daily Caller has reported that Rice “ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce ‘detailed spreadsheets’ of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president,” citing former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova as a source.

    Circa has reported that Rice’s snooping actually preceded the election: “Susan Rice accessed numerous intelligence reports during Obama’s last seven months in office that contained National Security Agency intercepts involving Donald Trump and his associates.”

    It also appears that the monitoring at issue had little if anything to do with the investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election.

  25. Apathy, Balcony Girls & Refugee Honor Violence in Sweden
    A socialist utopia’s heartless nightmare.
    April 5, 2017
    Dawn Perlmutter

    An article by Rachel Aviv titled ‘The Trauma of Facing Deportation’ describes an unusual disorder known as ‘uppgivenhetssyndrom’ or ‘resignation syndrome’ that only exists in Sweden and is specific to the children of immigrants. Published in the April 3, 2017 issue of The New Yorker, Aviv describes how refugee children suffering from resignation syndrome fall into a coma-like state after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country. The Swedish refer to the condition as ‘apathy’ and the children as ‘de apatiska’, the apathetic. There have been several hundred cases of resignation syndrome in the past decade. The symptoms are very severe and typically begin with depression followed by a gradual withdrawal into an unconscious state that requires tube feeding. The children are unable to move, eat, drink or respond even to painful stimuli and are in this state for months sometimes years. The only known cure is for their families to receive residency permits to stay in Sweden.

    A simple objective cultural explanation for resignation syndrome is that it is another manifestation of honor violence. However, studies that suggested the family was staging the illness were labeled xenophobic while research that theorized the migratory process precipitated the condition became the basis for government policy. Hence, a 2013 guide for treating apathy published by the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare advised “A permanent residency permit is considered by far the most effective ‘treatment,’ and that a patient will not recover until his family has permission to live in Sweden.” In brief, political correctness tainted the studies because it was more politically expedient to grant residency to all families with children suffering from the syndrome than to acknowledge that this could be another manifestation of honor violence where cultural traditions allow parents to abuse their own children. If honor violence is proven to be the reason for the syndrome than Sweden’s immigration policy is the cause of the illness not the cure.

  26. zero hedge – Steve Bannon Removed From Trump’s National Security Council

    In what the biggest shake-up at the White House since Mike Flynn resigned in February, moments ago Bloomberg reported that President Trump has reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon as well as downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, while elevating national intelligence director, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, who will again be “regular attendees” of the NSC’s principals committee.

    According to Reuters, Bannon’s removal from the NSC was seen as a boost to national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who officials said has struggled to work together with Bannon.

    McMASTER has made it clear inside WH that he wants NSC to be non-political, especially as he crafts NSC strategy for admin…

    — Robert Costa (@costareports) April 5, 2017

    Wednesday’s change means Mr. Bannon is no longer part of the NSC. He is still permitted to attend such meetings but won’t automatically be invited to each one.

    The WSJ adds that “the decision to boot Bannon was made by Trump’s new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster” while another senior administration official said Mr. Trump “signed off on all the changes.”

    Bannon said in a statement: “Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration. I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized. General McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function.”

    Additionally, the Joint Chiefs chairman and intelligence director are having their roles on the principals committee restored, the report said.

    Bloomberg adds that Susan Rice’s successor, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, was given responsibility for setting the agenda for meetings of the NSC or the Homeland Security Council, and was authorized to delegate that authority to Bossert, at his discretion, according to the filing.

    A White House official said that Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and attended just one meeting. He’s no longer needed with McMaster in charge of the council, the official said.

    “Steve was put there as a check on [Mike] Flynn,” a second official told the WSJ, referring to the former national security adviser who was forced to resign in February over undisclosed contacts with Russia. With Gen. McMaster now in charge, “there was no longer a need [for Bannon] because they share the same views,” the official said. “The idea initially was to make sure Flynn implemented the vision they had talked about,” the official said.

    Said otherwise, perhaps Bannon – and Trump – simply saw no need him being on the committee any longer with Flynn gone; alternatively this could merely be spin.

    The memorandum also makes the director of the Central Intelligence Agency a permanent member of the principals committee and restores the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence as permanent members after they were initially downgraded from that status.

    As a reminder, back in January, in the first of many unexpected shakeups, Bannon was elevated to a position on the NSC principals committee. The move drew criticism from some members of Congress and Washington’s foreign policy establishment. Republicans and Democrats questioned whether Mr. Bannon’s addition would politicize the White House’s national-security decisions.

    The WSJ adds that White House officials had said if Mr. McMaster wanted to change Mr. Bannon’s status, he had the authority to do so. The senior administration official said Mr. Bannon had worked with Mr. McMaster to implement changes in the NSC, and now that they were well underway, he could step aside.

  27. zero hedge _ Germans Concerned After 270,000 Syrian Refugees Granted Permission To Bring Family Members

    With worries about mass migration having largely faded from Germany’s consciousness after a record surge in 2015, and an angry popular reaction, prompted Angela Merkel to curb the inflow of refugees, there is renewed concern in Germany following a report that up to 270,000 Syrians in Germany have the right to bring in their family members, a “revelation” that could refuel the debate about migration less than six months before a national election. Germany’s Bild cited a government paper showing that a total of 431,376 Syrians applied for asylum in Germany in 2015 and 2016 and said that of those 267,500 are allowed to bring their families to Germany.

    As Reuters observes, Germany blessing such a material migration could play into the hands of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has lost support in recent months as the refugee issue has receded from the headlines ahead of a Sept. 24 election. Sure enough, senior AfD member Alexander Gauland condemned the figures, saying it was “absolute madness” to allow so many people to bring their families to Germany: “Billions and billions of tax money are being swallowed and the social state is being steered toward breakdown while our eyes are wide open.”

    In 2016 Germany suspended family re-unifications for two years for migrants who get “subsidiary protection” – granted to people who are not considered as being persecuted individually but in whose home country there is war, torture or other inhumane treatment.

    According to Reuters, Syrians are the biggest group of asylum applicants in Germany. They are increasingly being granted subsidiary protection rather than refugee status and that means they are only granted the right of residence for a year, although this can be extended. But Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party – the Christian Social Union (CSU) – and the Social Democrats (SPD), their junior coalition partner, decided last week to make exceptions for people with subsidiary protection status in hardship cases.

    More than a million migrants flocked to Germany in 2015 and 2016 but arrivals have dropped significantly.

    The AfD, which has made immigration one of its key rallying points, is currently on between 7 and 11 percent in opinion polls, above the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament. CSU leader Horst Seehofer told German magazine Stern tackling the AfD was a main aim.

    “If we govern the country sensibly and don’t attack each other personally in the election campaign, we can push the AfD under 5 percent,” Seehofer said. However, while his party is behind Merkel in the election campaign he said it was sticking to its demand for a cap on the number of migrants coming here – a proposal which the chancellor has rejected.

    In 2016, some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany, a sharp drop compared with 890,000 the previous year. Bild said while there were no numbers for 2017 yet, the federal police had already caught more than 20,000 illegal migrants on the borders in the first three months of this year.

    • Germany Approves Bill Targeting Online Hate Crime, Fake News (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

      “Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news.

      Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros (53.4 million dollars) on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

      German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content. He said the new bill would not restrict the freedom of expression, but intervene only when criminal hatred or intentionally false news are posted.

      Germany poses a particular problem for U.S.-owned social networking sites accustomed to American standards of free speech. Due to its Nazi past, Germany bans public Holocaust denial and any overt promotion of racism. The issue has come to the fore amid the recent influx of migrants to Germany, which has sparked a backlash among some Germans including a rise in online vitriol.

      Social networks need to ensure that obviously criminal content — as defined by German law — will be deleted within 24 hours and other illegal content after seven days.

      “Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks,” Maas said….”

    • Germany: New cyber command ‘will take action’ against cyber attacks – DefMin

      German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen inaugurated the German military’s new cyber command in Bonn, Wednesday.

      “If the network of the German army is attacked, then we are allowed to defend it,” Von der Leyen said in her remarks during the opening ceremony of the new Cyber and Information Space (CIR).

      The defence minister added that Germany is “facing numerous new daily challenges. We got a taster of it in the way that the war was fought in East Ukraine.”

      SOT, Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence (German): “It proceeds from simply espionage, data theft, to disrupting, manipulating and influencing. Let’s make one thing clear, if the network of the German army is attacked, then we are allowed to defend it.”

      SOT, Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence (German): “When it comes to attacks on other state institutions, we can naturally, as always, take action in the role of administrative assistance. Also, right regards the application of this overseas, the situation is clear. Here the Federal mandate establishes both the possibilities and the limits. And that is, of course, also the case in cyberspace.”

      SOT, Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence (German): “We are facing numerous new daily challenges. We got a taster of it in the way that the war was fought in East Ukraine. And we are a long way from the threat of a virtual caliphate having no readers anymore, we had a hack in our own Bundestag just as there was a ‘Fake News’ campaign against the German army in Lithuania.”

  28. channel 4 -The Private Military Contractor for Jihadis

    It is well known that western armies have long employed private military contractors, from Afghanistan to Iraq, but now the other side has cottoned on.

    Rebels in Syria have also been using a consultancy firm to carry out first aid and combat training, as well as some of the actual fighting. For over a year a firm called ‘Malhama Tactical’ has been working with an exclusively jihadist clientele.

    • Channel 4 discovers? This is nothing new!
      They’re all paid by Qatar, et al. That’s why the militias are so unstable within the amoeba-FSA, shifting routinely on payday.

  29. the daily caller – Release Of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Won’t Be Finished Until October 2020

    A federal attorney said Tuesday that officials at the Department of State and other agencies can’t complete public disclosure of the remaining 100,000 unreleased Hillary Clinton emails for 42 months, or until October 2020.

    Justice Department attorney Jennie Kneedler told U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg Tuesday that “processing takes time.” She also told Boasberg during the status hearing on the case that the continued review of the former secretary of state’s emails was “not the best use of State’s time.”

    The nonprofit government watchdog group Judicial Watch successfully sued for the full release of the emails in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

    Many Americans might be surprised to learn so many Clinton emails are not yet public — a mountain of them are still being slowly reviewed by officials at the State Department, FBI and other federal agencies.

    Department of State officials claim they can only review and release 2,350 emails each month, stating they are slowly chipping away at 68,000 emails currently in front of them.

    There are also an estimated 31,000 emails on a laptop owned by former New York Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner, which the FBI has identified as State Department emails to and from Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff and Weiner’s wife.

    Weiner faces potential charges of child pornography over sexually-explicit digital exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl on the laptop.

    Boasberg approved the current pace of release Tuesday, which will deliver only 2,350 emails to the public each month. Clinton’s emails were a damaging controversy during her unsuccessful 2016 presidential effort, because she had used a private server located in her New York mansion and private email addresses instead of the government system to conduct official business.

    Lauren Burke, a Judicial Watch attorney, told The Daily Caller News Foundation outside the courtroom that Americans will have to wait a long time before all of Clinton’s emails are publicly released.

    “From today’s hearing before Judge Boasberg, things remain status quo, processing an amount of 2,350 pages per month. It will be a couple of years before we conclude this,” Burke said.

    The Clinton emails have been divided into six discs. Nearly all of the contents of disc one have been released to Judicial Watch. The contents of disc four, which total 8,000 pages, are now being released.

    Disc five is perhaps of greatest interest, since it represents a complete backup of Clinton emails that were overseen by Platte River Networks, the Colorado IT company that handled her private server. That disc holds 37,000 pages and was on a Datto computer system.

    Burke said the Trump administration process was being “slow-walked” by career civil service bureaucrats.

    “Those who are in place at Justice or State or at other agencies dealing with these ongoing cases are the same people. Whether it’s higher-ups that aren’t putting their feet to the fire, it’s business as usual and everything gets slow walked,” she told TheDCNF.

    “We had hoped with the new administration there would be more transparency, more cooperation,” she said but was disappointed saying “nothing has fundamentally changed.”

    The case is Judicial Watch, Inc. v U.S. Department of State. Another status hearing on the case is scheduled for July 20, 2017.

  30. Gangs of ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ Beating, Robbing Women in Montpellier (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Montpellier saw a weekend of chaos as groups of up to 10 violent migrant youths launched a series of attacks on lone pedestrians.

    Muggings and assaults in broad daylight have become a regular occurrence in recent weeks, as an influx of ‘unaccompanied minors’ from Morocco and Algeria have moved into Montpellier, in southern France…”

  31. NHS Orders Security Guards to Remove ‘Offensive’ British Flag Badges from Stab Vests in Bristol (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has ordered hospital security guards to remove Union flag badges from their stab vests after a member of the public complained they were “offensive”.

    An anonymous whistleblower told the Bristol Post that twelve security guards received an e-mail demanding they remove the badges, which they have been wearing for around two-months, immediately.

    “After a complaint from a member of the general public you are to remove the Union Jacks from stab vests,” it reads…”

  32. Poland Hits Back at EU Bullying, ‘Not Possible’ to Punish Poland over Migrants (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has rejected threats that the European Union could penalise Poland for refusing to participate in the forced redistribution of Middle Eastern asylum seekers, saying the migrant issue is not connected to funding.

    “I do not see how it will be possible to punish Poland for anything because the refugee problem, the problem of immigration, is not connected to structural funds,” the head of Polish diplomacy told press at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday…”

  33. Muslims Have Greater Religious Freedom than Christians in Europe, Says Anti-Discrimination Chief (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “In Europe, Muslims have greater freedom to follow their faith than Christians do, the head of an anti-discrimination group has said.

    Martin Kugler, Austrian historian and founder of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, said Christians were being marginalised on the continent while Muslims are treated much more carefully.

    Speaking to ACI Prensa, the Spanish edition of the Catholic News Agency, Mr. Kugler accused Europe’s elites of pressuring Christians into hiding their faith while permitting Muslims to display theirs.

    Europe has witnessed a secularist offensive, he added, but politicians have different criteria in dealing with Christians and Muslims, permitting the Islamic veil while trying to removing crosses from public places.

    He cited the example of air hostesses and nurses disciplined, or sometimes even fired, for wearing small crosses, or attempts to remove nativity scenes from public places.

    “The justification is separation between church and state, but in my opinion this is no more than an excuse. What European radical secularism is trying to do, in the name of tolerance and neutrality in the public square, is impose an ideology that means the expulsion of Christians from public life.”

    Mr. Kugler also pointed to the rise of Islam in Europe driven by demographic change, saying it is a “great challenge” for Christian culture, but adding: “I think aggressive secularism is more dangerous for European Christians.”

    “If Christians had the freedom to follow their conscience, with their schools and their rights, it would be much easier for them to confront the rise of Muslim culture.”

    He referred to the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said: “We do not need less Islam, we need more Christianity.”

    “It is interesting that Angela Merkel made this statement, because she is not a very observant Christian,” he added.

    It is also necessary for Christians to have better knowledge of their own faith if they are to have any hope of protecting it.

    “Many German Christians do not know to explain the message of the bible to Muslims, or the significance of Christian celebrations such as Easter. They do not know how to explain Church teaching. There is a lack of formation and bravery on the part of European Christians.”

    “Many Christian citizens, or ‘conservatives’, behave like an ‘angry majority’ instead of acting like a ‘creative minority’, forgetting that practising Christians in Europe are already a minority.””

  34. Football Fans Get Around Face Covering Ban by Wearing Islamic Niqabs (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Defying a new Swedish law that prohibits full face coverings at public events, such as political rallies and sports matches, keen football (soccer) fans donned Islamic garments at the game instead.

    Members of the so-called AIK Ultras, the dedicated fans of Stockholm’s Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK) team, also unfurled a giant banner at the match in Sweden Sunday thanking the law for a religious provision loophole.

    Swedish law specifically bans people in “a public place attending a public meeting under the Public Order Act” if there is a disturbance of the peace, or “immediate danger of such a breach” — making full face coverings generally illegal at football games. Those breaking the law can be fined or imprisoned for up to six months.

    Yet understanding of particular religious minorities in Sweden means the second paragraph of the face covering law created an exception: “The ban does not apply to covering the face for religious reasons.”

    Making the most of the new law intended to curb antisocial behaviour at football games, large numbers of AIK Ultra members were seen at the game wearing niqabs — the full face covering cloth which forms part of the Islamic hijab.

    The colossal banner held by fans in the stands made reference to the Swedish politician who introduced the ban, Anders Ygeman. It read: “AIK’s ultras are well meaning, we’re now wearing masks for religious reasons. Freedom for ultras is the goal, thanks Ygeman for the loophole.”…”

  35. Swedish No-Go Zone to Adopt ‘Feminist Urban Planning’ (breitbart, Apr 5, 2017)

    “In the heavily migrant-populated Stockholm no-go suburb of Husby, women feel unsafe. The Swedish government has determined to tackle the issue with “feminist urban planning”.

    The notorious Stockholm no-go suburb of Husby is becoming increasingly more dangerous for women, according to Järva for Swedish Homes coordinator Nurcan Gültekin.

    “Women do not dare to wear skirts. They feel that they have eyes on them and have felt discomfort on the subway. It’s a male-dominated place,” said Gültekin who is participating in a new feminist initiative to make the areas safer for women, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.

    Esme Güler, a resident of Husby, said the men act like they own the city centre and she is not alone in feeling this way. The Swedish Housing authority conducted a study among female residents and found that many women felt afraid and uncomfortable in the city centre.

    The proposed solution, feminist urban planning, would see several measures implemented to try and make women feel safer in the area. One of the proposals is to enhance the brightness and number of street lights, which the feminists believe will attract more women and children to the area and perhaps encourage more women to do business in the centre.

    The major proposal made by the group is to move a cafe to a different part of the city centre. According to the planners, the cafe would be moved to an area with less foot traffic and a view of houses making the women feel more comfortable.

    “There is a structural change that needs to happen, but I think if we arrange safer spaces for women to and from the subway, it will affect quite a lot of women in their daily lives,” a spokesman for the planners said.

    The owners of the cafe in question were more sceptical about the plan saying that they would like to see more female visitors, but the male domination of the area is a much deeper problem. “[Moving the cafe] will not affect the mentality of people here,” the owner said.

    Some feminists have left Husby because of Islamic fundamentalism in the area. Former Left Party politician Zeliha Dagli described a “morality police” operated by men who harass women considered to be dressed in an “immodest” manner.

    Feminist urban planning follows a number of other feminist initiatives by the Swedish government, some of which have been highly controversial. The streets of Stockholm were left in gridlock last winter when the city employed a feminist snow ploughing policy which saw pedestrian areas ploughed before main roads, resulting in public transport unable to function.”

  36. BREAKING NEWS: Bomb hidden inside bin injures two people at Thailand tourist hotspot (express, Apr 5, 2017)

    “AN EXPLOSION in Bangkok has injured two people when a bomb hidden in a bin went off in front of the former headquarters of the Government Lottery Officer.

    The bomb was hidden in a bin in the Thai capital and it exploded around 8pm local time.

    Two employees of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration were injured and sent to Vajira Hospital.

    The explosion happened on Ratchademneon Avenue in Bangkok…”

  37. 9yo girls ‘physically & spiritually’ ready to marry – Malaysian MP (RT, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Girls as young as nine are “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage, a Malaysian MP says, also claiming there’s “nothing wrong” with females marrying their rapists. It comes after Malaysia failed to criminalize child marriage in a recent law.

    “They reach puberty at the age of nine or 12. And at that time, their body is already akin to them being 18 years old. So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry,” Shabudin Yahaya, a member of the Barisan Nasional Coalition, told Parliament on Tuesday, as quoted by Reuters.

    He went on to say there is “nothing wrong” with a rape victim marrying the man who raped her, as doing so would allow her to avoid a “bleak future.”

    “Perhaps through marriage they can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped does not necessarily have a bleak future. She will have a husband, at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems,” he said, as quoted by Malaysian newspaper the Star.

    Shabudin’s comments have prompted outrage online, including from fellow government minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who said he received the comments with “utter shock and disappointment.”…”

  38. Russia to continue Syria military op in support of Assad after ‘chemical attack’ claims – Kremlin (RT, Apr 5, 2017)

    “Moscow will continue to support Syrian Army troops in their anti-terrorism effort, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after being asked whether Russian policy had changed following a reported chemical attack in the Idlib province.

    Peskov cited the opinion of the Russian military, which said the contamination may have been caused by damage to a rebel chemical weapons storage site…”

  39. FRANCE – Paris investigates Arab suspected of pushing Jewish woman to her death

    Neighbors say they heard the Arab man, who lived on the floor below a French Haredi woman, quarreling with her and screaming he wanted to kill her before she fell; suspect was known to the police.

    Police in Paris are investigating a 27-year-old Arab man on suspicion that he murdered his neighbor Lucy Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish Haredi woman, following a quarrel in her apartment.

    According to suspicions, the man, who is already known to the police, pushed her to her death from her apartment which was located on the third floor of the building.

    Police arrested the suspect who lives on the second floor after Halimi’s body was discovered overnight Monday at around 4:30am in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in the building’s yard.

    The man became a suspect when it emerged that he had entered his victim’s apartment before she fell. Neighbors also testified that they heard the suspect screaming that he wants to kill her just before the incident.

    Once the man had been arrested, the Paris police department transferred him for psychiatric analysis.

    The police are currently checking into a number of possible circumstances accounting for her death.

    They include the possibility that the suspect engaged in a confrontation with her after which he pushed her to her death, or that he scared her so much that she fell.

    Another scenario being considered is that he tried to rob her and that her resistance in the ensuing struggle precipitated her death.

    Halimi lived in her apartment alone. One of her children lives in Israel while two other daughters live in France.

    While her body has been sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the Jewish community has said that it is undertaking efforts to expedite its release for burial, and that the family is considering flying it to Israel where she may be laid to rest.,7340,L-4945581,00.html

    Paris Jewish woman pushed to her death by Arab neighbor

    French police are investigating the death of a Jewish woman believed to have been thrown from a window by an Arab neighbor.

    A Jewish woman in Paris, pushed to her death from the window of her third-floor apartment in the 11th arrondissement Monday night, was found dead on the street the following morning.

    It is suspected that the victim, Lucy Halimi, 67, was murdered by an Arab man.

    The suspect, 27, was arrested by the police. He is the victim’s neighbor and familiar to French authorities.

    Neighbors reportedly testified that they had heard the suspect shouting that he wanted to kill Halimi just before the incident.

    He was sent for a psychiatric evaluation to rule out the possibility of a condition that could have impelled him to commit the murder.

    The suspect’s motive has not been determined, and police have yet to define the incident as a hate crime. They are investigating several options, including a robbery that went bad and a dispute that got out of hand.

    Halimi may be buried in Israel.

    The incident brings to mind the murder of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew who was tortured and killed by young radical Islamists in Paris in 2006.

    Halimi’s death stunned many in France, especially in the Jewish community, Europe’s largest. Driven in part by anti-Semitism, a gang held him captive and tortured him for weeks before leaving him naked and handcuffed near railroad tracks. The 23-year-old Halimi died en route to the hospital.

    It is unknown whether the two victims were related.

    • Something’s off here. Mrs. Halimi?
      Why is a 66-yr-old haredi woman living alone in a “multicultural” apt-building in France?

      Is she crazy? Is her family crazy? Rabbi and community guilty of dereliction of duty?

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