Reader’s links on August 1, 2017

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About Eeyore

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

122 Replies to “Reader’s links on August 1, 2017”

  1. Almost 500 to face judges in Turkey’s biggest coup trial (france24, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Nearly 500 people arrested in the crackdown following the failed July 15, 2016 coup in Turkey go on trial Tuesday accused of conspiring to oust the government from an air base seen as the plotters’ hub.

    A total of 486 suspects will go on trial in a purpose-built courtroom outside Ankara, charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

    They are accused of running the coup bid from the Akinci air base northwest of the capital, which the authorities regard as the headquarters of the plotters where orders were sent out for fighter jets to bomb parliament.

    Almost all the suspects — a total of 461 individuals — are held in custody while seven are still on the run and the remainder charged but not in jail.

    Among the main suspects named in the indictment but still on the run is US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of ordering the attempted July 15 putsch.

    Gulen, who is based in a secluded compound in the US state of Pennsylvania, strongly denies the charges.

    Those held in custody include former air force chief Akin Ozturk who, like several suspects, is also on trial in another case related to the coup bid.

    Another chief suspect is theology lecturer Adil Oksuz, whom Turkish officials accuse of being the so-called “imam” of the plot by coordinating the action on the ground in Turkey with Gulen.

    Businessman Kemal Batmaz is meanwhile accused of assisting Oksuz.

    Oksuz was detained following the coup’s defeat, but was subsequently released and is now on the run. Batmaz is in custody in Sincan prison outside Ankara.

    Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar and other senior commanders were held hostage at the base during the coup attempt before they were freed on the morning on July 16.

    The base was seen as the coup bid headquarters where commands were given for the F-16 fighter jets to attack and fly them above the capital.

    The Turkish parliament was bombed three times by F-16s.

    The indictment refers to the suspects’ alleged involvement in bombing parliament, areas close to the presidential palace, the special forces’ headquarters and the Ankara security headquarters.

    The government has suggested the base could be turned into a memorial or park a few weeks after the failed putsch.

    The trial is taking place in Turkey’s largest courtroom established inside a prison complex in Sincan to hear coup-related trials and has space for 1,558 people.

    The courtroom has previously hosted mass trials related to the coup bid including one which opened in February of 330 suspects accused of murder or attempted murder.

    And in May, 221 suspects were put on trial accused of being the ringleaders of the failed coup.

    The attempted coup left 249 people dead, the Turkish presidency says, not including 24 coup-plotters killed on the night.

    Anadolu reported there would be heavy security including 1,130 security personnel inside and outside the courtroom as well as snipers, armoured security vehicles and a drone.

    The trial is one of several held across Turkey judging coup suspects, in the largest legal process in the country’s modern history.

    Over 50,000 people have been arrested over alleged links to Gulen in a widescale crackdown under the state of emergency imposed following the coup.”

    • Turkey: 486 suspected conspirators in failed coup attempt arrive at courthouse

      Hundreds of suspects, accused of conspiring in the July 2016 Turkey coup-attempt arrived at a purpose-built courtroom outside Ankara, Tuesday.

      They are standing trial on numerous charges, including murder, violating Turkey’s constitution, conspiring to overthrow the government and conspiring to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are accused of running their operations from the Akinci air base, which the government alleges was their headquarters.

  2. Wasteful and delusional Keynesian central planners squander resources under the false impression that cooked GDP stats represent real growth and wealth creation. Every western country is guilty of this. In my little corner of the universe I see endless rows of Arab cab drivers sitting like static parasites awaiting their next fare. Able-bodied men should not be sitting on their asses all day–leave that to old broken construction workers who’ve done their part, or for temporary immigrant employment while they add to their own marketable skills.. In other words “employment” by any means does not add real value to a country. This was Obama’s greatest economic policy folly. Yet, the Red Chinese are even more delusional:

    • China is collapsing and may well be counting on the confrontations with the US to provide a real increase in GDP through the spending on military equipment. Here they are making a mistake, contrary to common belief WWII didn’t end the Great Depression there wasn’t enough real economic growth through the war to end the war, it took tax cuts after the war and civilian spending on goods and services to end the Great Depression.

      China and all of the other command driven economies are headed for the same type of collapse we saw in the USSR and are seeing in Venezuela.

      Another economic fallacy we see all the time is the news media looking at the stock market as saying the economy is booming when stock prices raise and dropping when they drop. The Stock Market is an indicator on what the economy is doing but not a very reliable one, the economy can be booming and the market can drop if the investment firms think the stocks are over priced. (Their is currently a massive stock bubble caused by the Obama administration combined with a massive housing price bubble) Stock prices can also raise during a recession or depression without the economy following.

      With the worlds governments cooking their GDP numbers there is no good indicator of what the economy is really doing besides your pocketbook. If you can buy less for what you are earning the economy is not doing good.

  3. Richard: Pay attention to this law suit, it is another legal case that will determine if we still have the rule of law.

    Palin lawyers blocked from grilling reporters in defamation suit

    A Manhattan federal court judge will decide by the end of this month whether to dismiss a defamation lawsuit Sarah Palin filed against the New York Times for accusing the former Alaska governor of inciting gun violence.

    In the meantime, Judge Jed Rakoff suspended discovery, blocking Palin’s lawyers from grilling two dozen Times reporters to prove the Gray Lady is biased against her.

    On June 14, the Times published a since-corrected editorial tying one of Palin’s political-action committee ads to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six people.

  4. US detects ‘highly unusual’ North Korean submarine activity

    Washington (CNN)The US military has detected “highly unusual and unprecedented levels” of North Korean submarine activity and evidence of an “ejection test” in the days following Pyongyang’s second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month, a defense official told CNN on Monday.
    An ejection test examines a missile’s “cold-launch system,” which uses high pressure steam to propel a missile out of the launch canister into the air before its engines ignite. That helps prevent flames and heat from the engine from damaging either the submarine, submersible barge or any nearby equipment used to launch the missile.
    Carried out on land at Sinpo Naval Shipyard, Sunday’s ejection test is the third time this month — and fourth this year — that North Korea has conducted a trial of the missile component that is critical to developing submarine launch capabilities, according to the US defense official.

  5. North Korea’s night lights show improving economy despite sanctions

    Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld kept a satellite picture of the Korean peninsula in his office that showed South Korea at night lit by millions of lights–and North Korea dark except for a small dot: Pyongyang.

    At a 2006 Pentagon briefing he was asked if there could be effective diplomacy with the North Korean regime without a strong military deterrent “in their faces.”

    “Probably yes,” he said, but only time would tell. The Bush administration, like the Obama administration that followed, was committed to diplomacy while unwilling to speculate about the use of force when it came to dealing with the Hermit Kingdom.

  6. Greenspan Sees No Stock Excess, Warns of Bond Market Bubble

    Equity bears hunting for excess in the stock market might be better off worrying about bond prices, Alan Greenspan says. That’s where the actual bubble is, and when it pops, it’ll be bad for everyone.

    “By any measure, real long-term interest rates are much too low and therefore unsustainable,” the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in an interview. “When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast. We are experiencing a bubble, not in stock prices but in bond prices. This is not discounted in the marketplace.”

  7. Venezuela arrests two top opposition leaders

    Caracas (AFP) – The Venezuelan intelligence service arrested two prominent opposition leaders early Tuesday, their relatives said, a day after a vote to choose a much-condemned assembly that supersedes parliament.

    Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were both already under house arrest when they were picked up by the intelligence service known by its in acronym Sebin, the wife of Lopez and children of Ledezma said separately.

    The two men are Venezuela’s most high profile opposition leaders. Both had called for a boycott of Sunday’s vote for a so-called and all-powerful constituent assembly tasked with rewriting the constitution.

    Both of their families said they held President Nicolas Maduro, the driving force behind the vote, responsible for the leaders’ lives.

    “They just took Leopoldo away. We do not know where he is or where they are taking him,” Lopez’s wife Lilian Tintori said on Twitter.

  8. Venezuela’s Opposition Leaders Dragged From Homes
    Armed officers take Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma a day after President Nicolás Maduro promises to jail rivals

    CARACAS, Venezuela—Dozens of intelligence officers dragged out two opposition leaders from homes in the middle of the night, a day after President Nicolás Maduro vowed to jail opponents after winning a disputed vote.

    Videos posted by family members showed officers armed with automatic weapons taking Leopoldo Lopez, the country’s most popular politician, and Antonio Ledezma, the elected mayor of Caracas, and shoving them into patrol cars. Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledezma’s political parties said they don’t know where the politicians were taken.

    In a speech Monday morning, Mr. Maduro said he would jail opposition politicians who have accused him of electoral fraud. The government claims to have received more than eight million votes in Sunday’s uncontested election for a special assembly that will have absolute powers.

  9. ROBOSTOP Facebook shuts off AI experiment after two robots begin speaking in their OWN language only they can understand

    Experts have called the incident exciting but also incredibly scary

    FACEBOOK shut down an artificial intelligence experiment after two robots began talking in a language only they understood.

    The “chatbots” Alice and Bob modified English to make it easier for them to communicate — creating sentences that were gibberish to watching scientists.

    • Somehow makes me think of saving Ladino, but doing it without people.

      creepy to think of yourself in the past tense, but we ARE going extinct.

      Spain to create Israeli Ladino academy to preserve the language

      Spain’s leading linguistic authority will create an academy in Israel dedicated to the study and preservation of the Ladino language.

      Dario Villanueva, director of the Spanish Royal Academy, or RAE, said Ladino is “an extraordinarily important cultural and historical phenomenon” that deserved its own academy.

      Nine Ladino specialists have been appointed to help start the institution’s work. The academy’s 23 other branches specialize in other Spanish dialects and are located across Latin America and other countries, such as the Philippines.

      Ladino, sometimes referred to as Judeo-Spanish, is an endangered species in the language world. Some estimates say less than 100,000 people currently know how to speak it.

      “The idea isn’t to absorb Ladino into modern Spanish, it’s the opposite: to preserve it,” Villanueva said.

      how sweet

  10. Pres. Trump Set to Speak with Small Business Owners at WH, Aiming for 15% Tax Rate

    President Trump is moving forward with his push for tax reform.

    The president is set to participate in an event with small businesses Tuesday afternoon where he’s expected to demand a historic overhaul of the tax code.

    Officials say the president is 100% committed to getting tax reform done this year.

    They also claim he’s set an “aggressive schedule”{ in hopes of passing new legislation.

    Participants in Tuesday’s meeting are expected to discuss the hardships and struggles of small businesses, and the future of manufacturing.

    Meanwhile, White House officials say the president is aiming for a business tax rate of 15%.

    Legislative Director Marc Short laid out how the Trump administration wants the bill to be drafted Monday.

  11. U.S. begins Russia drawdown after Kremlin retaliates for sanctions

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States began removing furniture and equipment from a diplomatic property in Moscow on Tuesday in the first sign of compliance with a Kremlin order to slash its presence in Russia as retaliation for new U.S. sanctions.

    President Vladimir Putin has ordered the United States to cut around 60 percent of its diplomatic staff in Russia by Sept. 1, and said Moscow will seize two U.S. diplomatic properties in response to sanctions approved by Congress last week.

    The White House has said U.S. President Donald Trump will sign the sanctions bill, meant as a response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and to further punish Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

    On Tuesday, removal men began dismantling play equipment and barbecues at a U.S.-owned dacha (country villa) on the outskirts of Moscow, after being refused access the day before, according to a Reuters journalist at the scene.

    • Russia: Last man out turns off the lights! US embassy’s summer houses vacated following banThe last US diplomatic staff vehicle left the US embassy’s summer houses in Serebryany Bor on the outskirts of Moscow, Tuesday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to halt the American diplomats’ usage of the summer houses and cut 755 staff from the country.

      The Russian leader’s order comes in retaliation to a new US economic sanctions bill against Russia which was approved last week. US President Donald Trump must first sign off on the bill before it is fully implemented.

    • Russia: Vehicles leave US embassy dachas in Serebryany Bor as Moscow responds to sanctions

      Several vehicles could be seen leaving US diplomatic staff’s summer houses in Serebryany Bor on the outskirts of Moscow, Tuesday, as a Russian ban on the use of the facilities comes into effect.

      Russian authorities have stated that the US must cut the number of diplomatic staff working in the country to 455 personnel by September 1, and halt their usage of summer houses in Serebryany Bor and embassy storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow by August 1.

      Moscow’s decision comes after the US Congress passed a bill that would impose new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting mining, defence, and shipping industries, among others. US President Donald Trump must first sign off on the bill before it is fully implemented.

  12. President Xi says China loves peace but won’t compromise on sovereignty

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China loves peace but will never compromise on defending its sovereignty, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday while marking 90 years since the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

    China has rattled nerves around Asia and globally with its increasingly assertive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and an ambitious military modernization plan.

    Relations with self-ruled Taiwan have also worsened since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections there last year. China considers Taiwan a wayward province, to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if necessary.

  13. Surge in North Koreans slipping into Thailand: immigration

    BANGKOK (Reuters) – The number of North Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand has surged in recent months, according to immigration bureau officials, as tensions mount on the Korean peninsula because of Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

    Thailand is on a popular transit route for North Koreans defecting from the impoverished communist state. Hundreds flee each year to China and make it to Thailand after an overland journey, from where they are usually sent on to South Korea.

    In 2016, there were 535 North Korean arrivals in Thailand, but the first six months of this year saw 385 arrivals, according to data from Thailand’s immigration bureau seen by Reuters, and more are arriving each week.

    For graphic on North Korea defectors click:

  14. “Venezuela Seizes Opposition Leaders Lopez, Ledezma From Homes” Reuters via The Epoch Times – August 1, 2017

    “Venezuela’s government arrests Antonio Ledezma in the middle of the night” – SperoNews – Published on August 1, 2017

    Venezuela’s government arrested two opposition leaders in the middle of the night, Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez. Both men oppose Nicolas Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian government and have been under house arrest for months. In the video, Ledezma is seen being led outside by authorities. He was arrested after midnight and can be seen wearing sleepwear.

  15. Moped riders throw liquid in man’s face during ‘attempted robbery’ (express, Aug 1, 2017)

    “A MAN was taken to hospital after being doused with a liquid during a suspected attempted robbery near London’s Harrods department store.

    Scotland Yard said it was called at 8.33pm on Monday to reports of an assault in Walton Place, Knightsbridge, where “men on a moped” had thrown liquid in a pedestrian’s face.

    The victim, a 47-year-old man, was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to a central London hospital.

    The extent of the man’s injuries has not been disclosed, however police said he had since been discharged…”

  16. Jordan repeals ‘marry the rapist’ law (standard, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Jordan’s parliament has repealed a provision in its penal code that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim.

    Cheers erupted from the spectators’ gallery as legislators narrowly voted to scrap controversial Article 308.

    The vote came after an emotional debate in which some politicians argued that an amended version of the clause was needed to protect rape victims against social stigma by giving them the marriage option.

    Jordan’s government had backed repeal.

    Jordan joins Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, which have cancelled “marry the rapist” clauses over the years…”

  17. 67 migrants storm into Spanish enclave bordering Morocco, 14 injured (VIDEO) (RT, Aug 1, 2017)

    “More than 60 migrants managed to gain access to the Spanish territory of Ceuta after breaching a fence separating the autonomous city from Morocco, according to the Civil Guard and Red Cross. Fourteen people were injured during the crossing.

    Around 200 sub-Saharans attempted to overcome the six-meter (20-foot) border fence at around 5:30am local time on Tuesday, according to the Civil Guards of Ceuta, as cited by Reuters. Some climbed the fence, while others tried to break some of the gates, according to sources cited by El Pais…”

    • Spain: Dozens injured as hundreds of migrants storm Ceuta border fence

      Around 200 migrants stormed a border fence in an attempt to reach Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta, early Tuesday morning. Reportedly, 67 migrants successfully crossed into Spain.

      Several groups of migrants remain dispersed around the city, showing signs of exhaustion but also of elation at having managed to enter the European Union. Many celebrated and raised their hands as a sign of victory. Several of the refugees also sustained injuries in the process of crossing the border fence.

      Red Cross officers arrived on site to provide medical assistance to the injured. 14 migrants were reportedly transferred to the Ceuta hospital for the further treatment.

  18. China’s 1st foreign naval base officially opens in Djibouti (RT, Aug 1, 2017)

    “China has formally launched its first overseas naval facility in Djibouti, an East African nation that is already hosting America’s only expeditionary Marine base in Africa.

    Five Chinese formations and Djibouti’s Three Services Honor Guard took part in the launch ceremony on Tuesday, the People’s Daily reported, referring to the base as “the logistics facility.” The event marked the 90th anniversary of the Chinese military.

    The base is set to enable China to better support its patrols in waters off Somalia and Yemen and carry out international humanitarian operations as well as naval exercises, according to the newspaper…”

  19. Ottawa probes claims Saudi Arabia used Canadian-made weapons against own citizens (RT, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Ottawa said it is investigating local media reports claiming that Saudi Arabia deployed Canadian-made combat hardware against its own civilians. Opposition and human rights groups are calling on the government to suspend arms exports to Riyadh.

    Saudi Arabia launched a military operation against suspected militants in Shia-dominated Awamiya in the Eastern Province in May. The ongoing mission has resulted in casualties, both among police and local residents, Reuters reports, citing witnesses and activists.

    Reports that Saudi Arabia is using Canadian-produced military vehicles against its own citizens later emerged in the Globe and Mail newspaper in July. The Canadian outlet claimed that photos and video distributed on social media pointed to the use of the country’s equipment in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province…”

  20. Sweden Turns the Blind Eye to Creeping Islamism, Refugees Flying Daesh Flags (sputniknews, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Younger refugees in Sweden seem to be ideal prey for Islamists. There, Daesh flags have been spotted in refugee accommodations around the country, amid the Nordic nation’s efforts to combat extremism.

    Hörby Municipality in Sweden has recently renounced an agreement with an asylum home for unaccompanied young people after there were reports that the staff were radicalizing young men. According to Merzek Botros, an Arab pastor from Stockholm, the incident in Hörby is far from the only one of its kind.

    In his capacity as a priest and spiritual adviser, Botros has been visiting asylum homes across Sweden, where he has seen such blatant tokens of Islamism as Daesh flags hanging and Daesh music being played. By his own admission, he tried to warn the authorities about creeping Islamism, yet never heard back from them.

    Another perennial problem is the harassment and the persecution of Christian asylum seekers and those who want to convert.

    “I have personally helped many Christians to report threats and harassment from Islamists to the police,” Merzek Botros told the Christian newspaper Världen Idag.

    According to him, it is not difficult to prove both threats and harassment, yet the victims nevertheless receive little to no help at all from the Swedish police.

    “After police reports, they will return to the same accommodation, and then there’ll be war,” Botros said, venturing that this forces many people to leave their accommodations.

    Botros related a story of a Muslim couple who converted to Christianity.

    “When they became Christians, the wife took off the veil. Then she was told she was about to get slaughtered,” Botros told, concluding that the couple finally had to leave Sweden for Germany.

    Meanwhile, Sweden’s National Defense Institute was earlier this year commissioned to investigate the spread of jihadism and militant Islamism in the Nordic country, on behalf of the Swedish Civil Protection and Emergency Agency (MSB). Senior terrorist researcher Magnus Ranstorp, who leads the project, ventured that it was remarkable it had not been done earlier. By Ranstorp’s own admission, the research group focus on socially vulnerable environments where children and young people grow up, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported.

    Earlier this year, Sweden’s Security Police SÄPO estimated that there were around 3,000 extremists in Sweden, which is a steep rise from the previous years’ estimate of several hundred. Of them, about 2,000 were Islamist radicals and 1,000 right-wing extremists and militant leftists, the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported. According to Wilhelm Agrell, a professor of intelligence analysis at Lund University, only a dozen of them can be under persistent surveillance.

    In recent years, Sweden emerged as one of the biggest jihadi exporters per capita, supplying about 300 jihadists to the Middle East. About half of them returned, leaving the Swedish authorities puzzled by the problem of returning Daesh defectors.

    While the Swedish government has so far been relying on peaceful efforts to somehow “reform” the former terrorists, Erik Nord, the police chief of Greater Gothenburg, argued that Sweden should instead terminate their citizenship, like Great Britain does. Since the bloody terrorist attacks in London and Manchester earlier this year, about 40 suspected terrorists have had their citizenship terminated. Now, calls are being heard in Sweden to follow the same template.

    “We cannot have people living here and propagating the overthrow democracy in a society that has been so generous to them,” Erik Nord told the local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, who has suggested that Sweden revoke their residence permits as well.

    International law allows citizenship to be withdrawn if the person in question has dual citizenship and thus does not become completely stateless.”

  21. Suspected Swedish Supporters of Daesh Terrorists Detained in Northern Syria (sputniknews, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Number of suspected terrorists originating from Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, are now being held by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the de facto autonomous Kurdish Rojava region, according to Swedish media.

    STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — A group of Swedish nationals suspected of fighting alongside members of the Daesh terror group (outlawed in Russia) have been captured in northern Syria, Swedish media reported Tuesday.

    Radio Sweden reported, citing sources close to the Kurdish administration, that a number of suspected terrorists originating from Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, are now being held by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the de facto autonomous Kurdish Rojava region.

    The Swedish Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the information provided by the broadcaster…”

    • Do Europe a big favor and kill them instead of repatriating them. Sweden is incubating ISIS, giving murderers TLC.
      Just about time to quarantine Sweden.

  22. US-Led Coalition Destroys Daesh Chemical Weapons Factory Near Deir Ez-Zor (sputniknews, Aug 1, 2017)

    “The US-led coalition to counter the Daesh terrorist group has announced the destruction of the extremists’ assets in both Iraq and Syria, including a chemical weapons factory near Deir ez-Zor.
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US-led coalition strikes against the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia) on Monday destroyed a chemical weapons factory near the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release.

    “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed 13 ISIS [Daesh] oil stills, an oil storage barrel and an ISIS chemical weapons factory,” the release stated on Tuesday.

    The coalition carried out 17 additional strikes in Syria, destroying 14 Daesh fighting positions, a tactical vehicle, a vehicle bomb improvised explosive device (VBIED) facility and other targets near Raqqa and Al Shadaddi…”

  23. Bedfordshire Police Introduce ‘Right-Wing Extremism Simulator’ Which Ends With Murder (breitbart, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Bedfordshire Police have been slammed online after creating a “right-wing extremism simulator” that links meeting people at the gym with far-right extremism and has the player murder a Muslim at the end…”

  24. EU Gives Hungary, Poland, One Month to Back Down and Accept Migrant Quotas (breitbart, Aug 1, 2017)

    “The European Union’s (EU) unelected executive branch has given the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland one month to back down and start admitting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa or face legal consequences.

    The migrant relocation scheme was forced through the European Parliament in September 2015, regardless as to whether all nations and their populations agreed.

    A number of Eastern and Central European countries resisted the plan, and have since challenged the scheme in the courts – arguing they did not vote for it and placing blame for the migrant crisis with the EU and Germany – as the EU threatens sanctions.

    “There is still time to change everything and come back to normality,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on Wednesday 26 July, the EUObserver reports.

    He said the Commission had taken the next step in a legal procedure against the three countries. The so-called infringement procedure began last month when the Commission sent letters of formal notice.

    “In their reply, none of these member states indicated that they would relocate a number of applicants swiftly to their territory,” Mr. Avramopoulos explained.

    The second stage of the procedure is also a letter, called a ‘reasoned opinion’. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland have one month to reply.

    The decision comes on the same day that an advocate general for the Court of Justice of the European Union said that the forced relocation plan was legal under EU law.

    The policy did not need to be agreed on unanimously thanks to a mechanism called ‘qualified majority voting’, which weighs decisions in favour of larger nations such as Germany and France.

    Last month, the outspoken prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, said if Brussels tries “to force the relocation programme on us at our next upcoming summit… I’ll exercise my veto.”

    In October last year, 95 per cent of Hungarian voters rejected the migrant redistribution plan in a referendum called by Mr. Orbán.

    Poland has vowed to follow and also hold a referendum on the issue, and the nation’s interior minister, Mariusz B?aszczak, said in May that taking in 6,000 asylum seekers would “certainly be much worse” for Poland than the threat of EU punishment.

    The original intention of the plan was to alleviate the pressure on Italy and Greece by sending 120,000 migrants to various countries in the EU. Less than 20,000 have moved so far.

    Hungary and Poland have not taken any migrants; according to figures released by the Commission on Wednesday, Slovakia has accepted just 16, 45 have moved to Romania, and 12 to the Czech Republic.

    Relocation picked up slightly in June, when some 2,000 migrants were relocated from Greece and almost 1,000 from Italy.

    “Here we are finally starting to see proper solidarity,” the Greek EU commissioner noted, praising Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, and “in particular” Sweden, for their relatively high numbers of relocations.

    The moves toward prosecution getting underway against The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland comes just days after the political bloc launched separate legal action against Poland for moving forward with long-promised judicial reform. As reported by Breitbart London the European Union had warned the nation would be punished for going through with the reforms the ruling party had been elected on.”

  25. Four Teenage Girls Raped at Swedish Music Festival, Many More Sexually Abused (breitbart, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Police in the southern Swedish province of Småland say at least four teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 17 were raped at the Emmaboda Festival over the weekend. They also claim hundreds of drug offences also took place at the event.

    The police released a statement on their website totalling the various crimes that occurred at the five-day festival which ended on Saturday. They say that four girls, between the ages of 15 and 17, were raped, 11 women over 18 were sexually abused, 113 people were reported as possessing drugs, and there were a further 251 reports of individuals consuming drugs.

    Ewa-Gun Westford, spokesman for the South Police Region, said: “There are six suspects for sexual attacks and one for rape,” but did not identify any of the suspects or describe their backgrounds.

    Ms. Westford added: “Several people who have worked at the festival have been using or have been dealing drugs.”

    Festival organisers have said that this year’s festival will be the last…”

  26. BREITBART – John Kelly Pushed Obama’s Jihad Policy Chief Out of DHS

    The holdover official responsible for implementing former President Barack Obama’s failed “Countering Violent Extremism” policy at the Department of Homeland Security finally resigned just before DHS Secretary John Kelly departed for the White House.

    George Selim headed the now-defunct CVE program which tried to offer federal support and legal autonomy to Islamic political groups if they redirected Islamic immigrants and youths away from Islamic militancy and jihad. His resignation spotlighted Kelly’s decision to replace Obama’s failed policy with more direct government involvement in Islamic communities. Kelly may use his new White House job to make his anti-jihad strategy a government-wide policy.

    “On Friday [July 28], Secretary Kelly accepted the resignation of George Selim, a dedicated career professional who served at DHS under three presidents, beginning with President Bush in 2005,” said a statement from acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke. She continued:

    Over the last seven months, the Secretary and I often relied on George’s thoughtful and reasoned approach to challenging issues. His experienced and steady hand was important as he played a key role in advising me and senior DHS leaders. The Department could not function effectively without the selfless service of career leaders like George Selim. He will be missed and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors. In addition, the Office for Community Partnerships will continue its terrorism prevention work under the leadership of acting director David Gersten.

    In December 2015, Selim, then the new director of the Office for Community Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, outlined the Obama CVE strategy when he told NPR that Muslim communities were not identifying emerging jihadis:

    The research and the statistics have all indicated that peers, people that are in close association with subjects that ultimately commit an act like this, see something that’s a little bit out of the norm, but they don’t necessarily report it. And so part of our goal is to create the type of partnerships in which peers know when and how to elevate those type of suspicions…

    We realized that central governments aren’t necessarily best placed to prevent and intervene in the process of radicalization. It’s, in fact, local actors that are, in fact, best placed on this. What we saw earlier in this year in the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism is three cities – Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis – who are pioneering prevention programs on countering violent extremism in three different ways – the local demographics, the local municipal officials and religious leaders.

    The CVE plan failed, in large part, because immigrant Islamic political activists kept raising their demands in negotiations with Obama’s deputies. For example, some Islamic advocates demanded the FBI stay out of Muslim neighborhoods. Many activists also refused to admit the role of Islamic texts in motivating Islamic believers to launch Islamic jihad attacks, despite the repeated use of Islamic texts by U.S-based Islamic clerics to urge Islamic attacks.

    In fact, both Obama and Selim echoed those no-Islam-here hardline claims. In 2016, Selim told a House committee that “to be successful in our homeland security efforts, we have to underscore and reinforce the fact that ISIL does not represent Islam and cannot justify its barbaric terrorism with twisted interpretations of one of the world’s most prominent religions.”

    The successful Islamic opposition to Obama’s CVE was admitted by the Washington Post, which wrote in July 2016:

    An FBI plan … only heightened suspicions among some civil rights and Muslim community leaders … Meanwhile, in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, federal pilot programs announced in 2014 to prevent extremism have met such fierce resistance from local Muslims that the first two remain mired in the developmental stage. In Minneapolis, officials were compelled to change the program’s name from “Countering Violent Extremism” to “Building Community Resilience.”

    The failure of Obama’s CVE strategy was brutally highlighted by the December 2015 jihad massacre in San Bernardino and the June 2016 mass-murder jihad at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In both attacks, the killers were part of the local Islamic community, which did not alert Americans to the growing danger. The same inaction was spotlighted by the September 2016 pressure-cooker jihad bomb attacks in New Jersey.

    During his six months at the agency, Kelly apparently discarded Obama’s CVE plan and has shifted DHS attention and funds away from Islamic groups which wanted to prevent FBI anti-jihad investigations in their Islamic communities.

    Instead, the funds and attention will go to police groups that are directly assimilating Islamic communities into normal American civic society, without relying on the Islamic political groups, such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Kellly explained his new pro-integration strategy in a June 22 event held in Congress, where he acknowledged that Islamic terrorists are acting for sincere Islamic reasons, saying:

    They are out there doing what they think is their religion and think [it is] what they are supposed to be doing … What I’ve elected to do is take what little money I have in this regard and give it to what I consider to be the time-proven things — law enforcement from an outreach point of view and communities developing relationships … so that there’s an open line of communication so they know if they see this [advocacy or preparation for violence] happening in the home or they see it happening — that is to say, the move towards radicalism — or they see it happening in the churches or mosques, they know to call someone before that person typically crosses the line.

    In June, Kelly used a more diplomatic explanation of his approach to domestic Islamic terrorism.

    Before working at DHS, Kelly was a U.S. Marine Corps general who quelled a vicious Islamic-fueled insurgency in Iraq by using U.S. military power to build alliances with less-radical tribal groups.

    There are some reasons to think Kelly’s assimilationist strategy can work.

    A new Pew survey of U.S-based Muslims shows that only about half of the roughly 3 million Muslims living in the United are religiously observant, and only about a third hold fundamentalist beliefs. This ratio may allow pro-assimilationist Muslims to quickly identify military Islamic believers, despite opposition from Islamic political activists and groups who want to segregate Muslim communities from U.S. society.

    Those hardline Islamic activists include Linda Sarsour, who recently told an Islamic political audience that:

    Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority. Our obligation is to our young people, is to our women, to make sure our women are protected in our community, and our top priority, even higher than all those priorities, is to please Allah and only Allah…

    What I believe that people can learn from my experience is that you can be unapologetically Muslim, unapologetically Palestinian-American, hold strong conviction, have strong ideology and politics and still become a mainstream American who can inspire and still resonate with people outside of the Muslim community… We do not have to give up any part of our identity… I will not be in a space where any group or any organization or individual tells me that there is apart of my [Muslim] identity that is not welcome into any space. That, my sisters and brothers, is not going to fly with us in the
    Muslim community

  27. Girls Seeking Help for Forced Marriage at Record High, Just One Conviction (breitbart, Aug 1, 2017)

    “The number of children subjected to or fearing forced marriage being offered assistance by the UK’s leading children’s charity has hit a record level, new data has revealed.

    The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) now provides three times more counselling sessions than they did five years ago.

    Some of the victims are as young as 13 and they are frequently threatened with violence and emotional blackmail, pressuring them to marry older men they may have never met.

    Childline, the 24-hour counselling hotline for children provided by the NSPCC, has experienced more children than ever are calling with fears over forced marriage. The charity said it delivered 12 per cent more counselling sessions in 2016/17 than in 2015/16.

    Forced marriage can carry a prison sentence of up to seven years in the UK, but as of December 31, 2016, figures suggest there has been just one conviction in Britain.

    The charity said some families use the long school summer holidays to pull children out of Britain and marry them off abroad to strangers…”

  28. Anti-India protests in Kashmir after rebels, civilian killed (abcnews, Aug 1, 2017)

    “Large anti-India protests and clashes spearheaded mostly by students erupted in disputed Kashmir on Tuesday after government forces killed two senior militants in a gunbattle and fatally shot a protester during an ensuing demonstration demanding an end to Indian rule.

    The protests following the killings spread across the region and were led mostly by students, after which authorities ordered the closure of educational institutions.

    Police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan said the two militants were killed after police and soldiers on a tip cordoned off southern Hakripora village early Tuesday.

    Khan said the trapped militants fired at the troops, triggering a gunbattle which lasted at least two hours.

    Villagers said troops blasted two civilian homes with explosives during the operation…”

  29. Germany’s immigrant population hits new high in 2016 (abcnews, Aug 1, 2017)

    “The number of people in Germany with immigrant roots rose 8.5 percent last year to a record 18.6 million, powered by the influx of refugees and other migrants up to the spring of 2016, official statistics showed Tuesday.

    The Federal Statistical Office said people with an immigrant background — defined as those who either weren’t born as German citizens or have at least one parent who wasn’t — made up 22.5 percent of the country’s total population of 82.4 million in 2016.

    The figure was the fifth annual record in a row and the year-on-year rise the strongest since the measurement began in 2005, the office said.

    Germany saw a large influx of migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere in 2015 and early 2016. That hurt Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity for a time and boosted the four-year-old nationalist Alternative for Germany party…”

  30. Please read whole article, link is at the bottom..

    How China’s biggest bank became ensnared in a sprawling money laundering probe

    Part 1: When Chinese residents of Spain needed to get piles of illicit cash back home, police allege, they found an accomplice in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Confidential court filings, including wiretap transcripts, detail how the bank allegedly helped launder hundreds of millions of euros.
    El artículo en español

    MADRID – A few minutes before 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2012, two Chinese living in Spain – a banker and her client – held a blunt phone conversation.

    Wang Jing was a senior officer at the Madrid branch of the state-controlled Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The client, Xu Kai, was an alleged top figure in an international money laundering group that was suspected of using the bank to transfer illegal income to China. The network was allegedly using multiple accounts in the name of Chinese residents of Spain, in some cases without their permission, to make the transfers. But there had been a hitch.

    Earlier that day, banker Wang said, a woman had come to the branch to complain that transfers were being made from her account without her knowledge. Wang chided Xu, telling her to make sure that account holders used in the scheme were on board.

    “You have to look out for yourself and make sure these people are obedient,” Wang warned. More complaints would lead to “problems” for the bank, Wang added.

    In fact, the bank already had problems. Big problems. Spanish police were listening.

    Related content

    Video: Operation Shadow

    Graphic: Cash Flow

    Wang’s warning to Xu is documented in confidential court filings that include wiretap transcripts from a series of police investigations starting in 2009 into Chinese organized crime in Spain. The Spanish authorities have said publicly they suspect these groups siphoned up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) out of Spain to China between 2009 and the end of 2012.

    The wiretaps and findings from police investigations ultimately led Spanish investigators to the front door of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, or ICBC – the world’s biggest bank by assets. On the morning of Feb. 17 last year, dozens of police officers burst into the bank’s Madrid branch and arrested Wang Jing and four other senior managers. Two more executives were arrested after the raid.

    In a statement released in May last year, Spanish prosecutors said the giant Chinese state-run lender was a conduit for laundering tens of millions of euros in illegal funds from tax fraud and smuggling by “Chinese criminal organizations.” The sums laundered were so large, the prosecutors said, that “the damage to the socio-economic order and the national economy is clear.”

    But beyond news of the arrests and a summary of allegations in the statement, little information has been revealed about the case.

    Now, thousands of pages of confidential case submissions reviewed by Reuters, and interviews with investigators and former ICBC employees, provide the first detailed account of the alleged racket and show that the probe reaches high into the state-run bank’s European operation. The investigation has so alarmed Beijing that China’s top official in Madrid has publicly pressured Spanish officials to conclude the inquiry, warning that failure to do so would harm economic relations.
    At the core of the ICBC case is the relationship between the bank and a group of clients from Spain’s thriving Chinese business community. These clients are alleged to have accumulated mountains of cash, much of it from avoiding duty and tax on the sale of consumer goods imported from China. They could not spend it or bank it in Spain without raising suspicion, so they opted to send it to bank accounts in their homeland.

    The wiretap transcripts show how ICBC allegedly helped them do it: Bankers accepted forged documents to conceal the source of the funds, failed to report suspicious transactions and even tipped off the smuggling groups ahead of inspections at the bank, police say in the court filings.

    Law enforcement officials in Spain are preparing to expand their probe, Reuters has been told. Prosecutors plan to ask the judge in charge of the case to summon ICBC’s Luxembourg-based European administrative board for questioning for the first time, according to two Spanish officials involved in the investigation. The Luxembourg unit of ICBC holds the lender’s European Union bank license and is responsible for supervising the Madrid branch.

    A spokesman for ICBC in Europe, Sun Feng, said the case file was sealed by the court so the bank could not comment on it. ICBC, he added, was a “law-abiding company” and had cooperated with Spanish authorities.
    “ICBC Spain Branch has been insisting on operating within the law and regulations, and has continuously strengthened the internal control of anti-money laundering,” Sun said in a written response to questions for this article. “ICBC Spain Branch has always been actively cooperating with the judicial authority to conduct the investigation.”

    Reuters spoke to five of the arrested ICBC employees by phone and sent questions to all seven and their lawyers. All but Wang Jing, who commented very briefly, declined to discuss the case.

    “Inside the bank, I am the lowest-level employee,” said Wang Jing, who declined to discuss the wiretap transcript of her phone conversation with Xu Kai. Wang referred all questions to ICBC. Xu Kai, who was arrested and released on bail in late 2012, fled to China. She couldn’t be reached for comment.

    The court filings and wiretap transcripts reviewed by Reuters indicate that within eight months of ICBC opening for business in Madrid in January 2011, its staff there were soliciting money transfer business from people under police surveillance. Money transfers to China soon accounted for an estimated 95 percent of the Madrid branch’s business, according to a Spanish judicial official.
    The wiretap transcripts document ICBC managers in at least 30 conversations with six leaders of Chinese networks in Spain, who police believe were seeking new avenues to launder money. These included conversations in which ICBC staff discussed how to avoid detection when moving money to China. On occasion, the staff warned of transfers that might attract unwanted attention.

    After listening in on the Aug. 8, 2012, phone conversation where Wang Jing warned Xu Kai, the police concluded from a series of wiretap conversations that Wang, “from her privileged position as an ICBC employee, was not only aware of the activities carried out” by suspected money launderers, but also was “actively collaborating” with them. The police pointed in their report to the advice she gives Xu on “how the transfers must be made and how she must control the people working for her.”

    The wiretap transcripts also document conversations between suspected Chinese money launderers in Spain and ICBC employees in China.

    Officials involved in the investigation spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing and Spain’s High Court has imposed secrecy orders on the proceedings.

    Between 2011 and 2013, the officials said, ICBC’s Madrid branch transferred about 225 million euros to China, most of it for suspected criminal networks. These networks also sent funds via money transfer firms in Spain and by smuggling large amounts of cash by road to other European countries from where it was transferred to China………

  31. Two dead in explosion in Turkey as military hunt down bombmakers (express, Aug 1, 2017)

    “TWO soldiers have been killed in an explosion in Turkey after a military vehicle hit a hidden landline.

    The improvised explosive device (IED) was planted at the side of the road in southeast Diyarbakir province.

    The explosion killed two men.

    The device was detonated by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as the vehicle was passing the road, sources said.

    Ground and air operations were immediately launched to hunt down the militants…”

  32. Italy migrant crisis: More than half of Italians worried about immigration issue (express, Aug 1, 2017)

    “THE majority of Italians are worried the impact of immigration on the country as they grapple with large numbers washing up on their shores…

    A recent survey, by Ipsos PA for newspaper Corriere della Sera, of residents of the EU country found that a staggering 71 per cent thought the country was going in the wrong direction when it came to immigration.

    And that figure is up from just 59 per cent last year.

    Overall the issue of foreigners and immigrants in the country was only viewed as a problem for three per cent of people in 2014, but that figure has since risen to 35 per cent of the 999 people interviewed.

    In response to the growing numbers trying to reach Italy, Rome is considering issuing 200,000 temporary migrants visas which will allow them to travel throughout the EU in a bid to force other countries to take note of the problem.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro said: “We are in a tug of war.

    “We don’t accept being turned into a European hotspot, or feeling guilty because we rescue people, so deciding what to do with the migrants who arrive is everyone’s responsibility.”

    But neighbouring country Austria threatened to shut its borders with Italy in response, as Vienna anticipates an influx of migrants if the Italian government hands out the visas.

    Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka criticised the plans, saying: “Italy granting humanitarian visas to migrants is unacceptable. In that case, we would immediately introduce controls in Brenner.”

    And inflaming the situation, Austria stationed troops at a key crossing point, Brenner Pass, earlier this month.

    Some four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region and 750 troops were on standby in case migrants tried to cross the border.”

  33. “Escape From Marawi” ABC News (Australia)
    Published on Aug 1, 2017
    Thousands of people have been caught up in a brutal new ISIS battleground on Australia’s doorstep. One of them was ABC correspondent Adam Harvey, who took a bullet to the neck. This is his story, and theirs.

    Suddenly, somehow, a country loses an entire city. ISIS militants swarm through Marawi, in the Philippines island of Mindanao, all but emptying it of more than 200,000 people.

    For Harvey, this story is personal. There’s the hurried patch-up by brave medical staff as a gun battle rages metres away; the dash to safety; the delicate surgery to remove a deeply embedded M16 bullet; and the emotional reunion with family.

    For Foreign Correspondent, he now gives the full account of his own dramatic escape alongside producer Geoff Thompson and cameraman Phil Hemingway, and of the plight of the thousands fleeing ISIS in Marawi.

    Marawi’s fall stunned Philippine authorities and neighbouring countries. So how did it happen? Harvey traces how rival groups of extremist secessionists teamed under the ISIS banner and the spell of two charismatic local brothers. Their planning and execution were meticulous.

    The fear now is that Marawi may become a beacon for extremists, like Syria and Iraq, where fighters are blooded to spread terror abroad.

  34. DAILY MAIL – ‘We will slaughter you in your own houses!’: ISIS fighter with a ‘British’ accent warns of terror attacks in Italy and Turkey as he threatens Donald Trump in menacing video

    ISIS fighter speaking with a British accent appear in jihadi video
    Man warns that ISIS will ‘slaughter’ Westerners in attacks on Europe
    The U.S.-backed coalition has been making headway in retaking Raqqa

  35. Bloomberg – Trump Worked With Fox News on DNC Staffer Story, Suit Claims

    President Donald Trump collaborated with Fox News to concoct a story claiming a Democratic National Committee staffer was killed in retaliation for leaking Hillary Clinton’s emails to Wikileaks, according to a lawsuit by a private investigator for the slain man’s family.

    Trump, who allegedly reviewed the Fox story before it was published on May 16, intended for the article to divert attention from the widening probe into ties between his campaign and Russia, according to the suit filed Tuesday by Rod Wheeler, the investigator, a former Washington police detective and occasional Fox News contributor.

    He claims Fox attributed fabricated quotes attributed to him in the story to back up the network’s false thesis. Wheeler said the fake quotes amount to defamation. Fox later retracted the story.

    The alleged motive behind the report, overseen by Fox investigative journalist Malia Zimmerman, was “to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election,” Wheeler said in the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.

    “The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman,” Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a a statement. He called the allegations “completely erroneous.”

    The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wheeler’s allegations.

    Unsolved Crime

    Seth Rich was shot to death on July 10, 2016, as he walked home from a Washington bar. Police believe Rich was the victim of a botched robbery attempt, but the crime remains unsolved.

    After Clinton claimed that Russian hackers had been the source of the DNC leak, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange deflected the claim in part by pointing out that Rich, a low level staffer, had been murdered weeks earlier, hinting at a DNC conspiracy.

    Wheeler’s suit names Zimmerman and Fox News contributor Ed Butowsky, a friend to former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Butowsky allegedly approached Wheeler in February and offered to finance an investigation into Rich’s murder for Zimmerman’s story, according to the lawsuit.

    According to the complaint, it was all just a setup.

    “Butowsky and Zimmerman were not simply Good Samaritans attempting to solve a murder,” Wheeler said in the suit. They “hoped that, if they could confirm that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, that would debunk reports the Russians were responsible for the DNC hacks.”

    The allegedly faked quotes used in the story, attributed to Wheeler, include, “My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and Wikileaks.” Wheeler was also falsely quoted saying the Democratic National Committee or Clinton’s team were blocking the murder investigation.

    ‘Behind the Scenes’

    Butowsky allegedly kept Spicer and Bannon apprised of the work on the Rich murder story, as well as the Justice Department’s director of public affairs, Sarah Flores. She denied the allegation. “I have not communicated with Mr. Butowsky at any point this year,” Flores said in an email.

    Butowsky told Wheeler that the bogus quotes were included in the story because “that is the way the President wanted the article,” according to the suit. Butowsky couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

    The first paragraph of Wheeler’s complaint includes a screen shot of a May 14 text message to Wheeler by Butowsky that reads: “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. but don’t feel the pressure.”

    Fox retracted the story on May 23, but not before it inflamed Clinton opponents and fueled conspiracy theories.

    The court fight cuts to the heart of one of Trump’s regular claims about the media — that news outlets other than Fox are essentially fake news, especially stories linking his campaign to Russia.

    “Fox News was working with the Trump administration to disseminate fake news in order to distract the public from Russia’s alleged attempts to influence our Country’s presidential election,” Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for Wheeler, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

    Wheeler, who is black, also claims Fox discriminated against him based on his race by giving him less air time than white colleagues who are more frequently hired into full-time positions. Wigdor represents several current and former Fox staffers who have made similar allegations.

    “Fox News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit — the dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race,” Wallace said in the statemen

    • The sad part is that they probably needed it. Can you imagine the crusty perspiration build-up underneath a burka? [Gag!]

  36. As someone who once passed out on an Air Transat airplane, left to sit for hours on the tarmac in Dominican Republic, with no air conditioning and all doors closed a few decades ago, this story brings back memories of my younger days:

    Passengers on two Air Transat flights were stuck on planes at the Ottawa airport for hours on Monday after being diverted due to stormy weather, and at least two of them called 911.

    Air Transat flight 157 from Brussels was scheduled to arrive in Montreal at 3:15 p.m. ET Monday, but was diverted to Ottawa after circling east of Montreal due to thunderstorms.

    The flight landed at the Ottawa airport just after 5 p.m. ET, after more than eight hours of flying time.

    It then sat on the tarmac for six hours, and passengers weren’t allowed to get off. Laura Mah, who was on board, spoke to CBC News as they waited.

  37. Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tampering With Climate Numbers
    Photo of Chris White
    9:57 PM 07/31/2017
    Australian scientists at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) ordered a review of temperature recording instruments after the government agency was caught tampering with temperature logs in several locations.

    Agency officials admit that the problem with instruments recording low temperatures likely happened in several locations throughout Australia, but they refuse to admit to manipulating temperature readings. The BOM located missing logs in Goulburn and the Snow Mountains, both of which are in New South Wales.

  38. IRS rehired employee that falsified documents, had unauthorized access to taxpayer information
    By Ali Meyer Published August 01, 2017 Washington Free Beacon
    The Internal Revenue Service rehired employees who were previously involved in agency misconduct such as falsifying documents or having unauthorized access to sensitive taxpayer information, according to an audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

    Considering that identify theft is a major concern, auditors wanted to inspect the agency to ensure the individuals they hire are of high integrity in safeguarding sensitive taxpayer information.

    The auditors found there were 200 employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.

  39. Gen. Kelly knows the political swamp better than most: Gorka

    Deputy Assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka on the appointment of General John Kelly to White House chief of staff, Venezuela’s crisis and North Korea nuke threats.

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