Reader’s links, Nov. 9, 2017

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About Eeyore

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

68 Replies to “Reader’s links, Nov. 9, 2017”

  1. Defence against the dark arts: Saudi Arabia trains staff against black magic (alaraby, Nov 9, 2017)

    “In the midst of Riyadh’s latest “anti-corruption purge” carried out by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a government body elsewhere was busy giving a course in defeating an alternative form of evil hiding between the walls… black magic.

    The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice concluded a training programme on Wednesday called the “development of scientific skills in the fight against witchcraft.”

    The course took place in Ramada al-Hada in the city of Taif, located in the Mecca province, southwest of the country.

    The 27 participants of the programme were taught how to “scientifically battle witchcraft,” and received certificates of attendance from the head of the Taif Governorate, Sheikh Yahya bin Ali al-Hazmi.

    Al-Hazmi expressed his thanks to the programme’s trainer, saying those who received the course now have new skills to “benefit” the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, hoping that they will be able to “apply and develop their new skills in their field capabilities.”…”

  2. Iraqi FM from Doha: Al-Jazeera Sows Sedition (aawsat, Nov 8, 2017)

    “Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari issued on Wednesday a strong message to Qatar’s al-Jazeera satellite television, demanding that it “rectify its errors.”

    He said that the television station sows sedition and it has committed a “historic error” in this regard.

    He made his remarks during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed Al Thani in Doha.

    Replying to a question from a al-Jazeera reporter, Jaafari added: “The station has sowed sedition for sectarian or ethnic purposes.”

    He called on it to open a new chapter in its reporting.

    Addressing the al-Jazeera reporter, the minister continued: “I hope that it corrects its historic error and when it does, it will receive all of my respect, appreciation and support.”

    “We hope that you will alter this position against Iraq and in turn, you will find an alternate stance from us,” he went on to say to the reporter.

    This is not the first time that criticism has been directed against al-Jazeera for promoting sectarianism.

    The four countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which have been boycotting Qatar since June, have also made similar accusations.

    They have demanded that Qatar shut down the station and its affiliates that are spreading hate rhetoric as one of the conditions for them to end their diplomatic and economic boycott of Doha.”

  3. Saudi Arabia makes fresh arrests in anti-graft crackdown: sources (reuters, Nov 8, 2017)

    “RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian authorities have made further arrests and frozen more bank accounts in an expanding anti-corruption crackdown on the kingdom’s political and business elite, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday

    Dozens of royal family members, officials and business executives have already been held in the purge announced on Saturday. They face allegations of money laundering, bribery, extortion and exploiting public office for personal gain.

    But the sources, speaking on Wednesday, said a number of other individuals suspected of wrongdoing were detained in an expansion of the crackdown, widely seen as an initiative of the powerful heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    Others under scrutiny are being telephoned by investigators about their finances but appear to remain at liberty, one of the sources said, adding that the number of people targeted by the crackdown was expected eventually to rise into the hundreds.

    The number of domestic bank accounts frozen as a result of the purge is over 1,700 and rising, up from 1,200 reported on Tuesday, banking sources said.

    A number of those held most recently include individuals with links to the immediate family of the late Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz who died in 2011, the sources said…”

  4. Yemen facing ‘largest famine in decades’ if blockade isn’t lifted, UN aid chief says (DW, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Mass famine in Yemen would affect millions of lives unless the Saudi-led coalition lifts its blockade over the country, the UN’s aid chief has warned. The Security Council has demanded aid be allowed to enter Yemen.

    The Saudi-led military coalition’s blockade of Yemen could lead to “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims,” Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, warned on Wednesday.

    Lowcock’s warning came as the UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the most recent escalation in the Yemen conflict after the Saudi Arabia closed off all land, sea and air borders to the Arab peninsula.

    The blockade has also grounded all UN humanitarian flights into Yemen and prevented ships carrying urgent supplies, such as medicine and food, from docking.

    The Saudi-led coalition has claimed that the blockade’s intention was to stop the flow of arms from Iran going to the Yemeni Houthi rebels Saudis have been fighting since 2015.

    The decision to block off Yemen’s borders followed the interception of a missile, allegedly fired by the Houthi militia, towards the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday.

    UN Security Council demands aid be allowed into Yemen

    Following Wednesday’s meeting, the UN Security Council demanded that Saudi Arabia open all borders into Yemen and allow humanitarian aid deliveries into the country…”

    • They prefer KHAT. The only way to get them off Khat is by starving them. Only then will they replace Khat cultivation (a lot of water required here) with real food cultivation.
      At times, you have to hit rock bottom in order to wake up.

  5. Turkey: 101 IS suspects detained in police sweep (washingtonpost, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Turkey’s state-run news agency says police have detained 101 suspected Islamic State group militants in a sweep in the capital, Ankara.

    Anadolu Agency says Thursday authorities have detention warrants for 144 other IS suspects.

    Some 1,500 officers from the police’s anti-terror and intelligence units took part in early morning raids at about 250 addresses around Ankara, the agency said.

    Anadolu said some of the suspects were members of a local group that allegedly “sponsored” IS. It didn’t provide further details.

    Last month, police detained dozens of IS suspects allegedly planning an attack during a national holiday.

    Turkey has suffered a series of bloody attacks blamed on IS militants, including a New Year attack at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people.”

  6. Egypt’s el-Sissi says Iraq, Syria militants headed to Libya (abcnews, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Egypt’s president says the defeat of the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is likely to have forced militants to seek a safe haven in neighboring Libya, from which they will later cross into his country.

    President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi also says Egypt’s ongoing arms buildup is designed in part to equip the country to deal with terrorism and redress the “strategic imbalance” in the region created by conflict and turmoil engulfing several countries in the area.

    He refused to be drawn into specifics about militants’ movements, saying it was only “natural” for them to move to Libya, where militias wield influence over large swathes of territory, and eventually to Egypt.

    “This is a threat not just faced by us, but also by Europe,” he told reporters late Wednesday.”

  7. ISIS Group Issues Threat Before Paris Attack Anniversary, Vows to Kill Kids

    A pro-ISIS group that threatened “more bitter and greater” Manhattan attacks after last week’s deadly ramming on the West Side bike path urged more attacks on the West today with a propaganda poster showing the Eiffel Tower extending upward as a rifle.

    Monday is the two-year anniversary of coordinated attacks on Paris in which nine terrorists killed 130 people.

    The Wafa’ Media Foundation titled the PR poster “The Specter of Terrorism,” stating in English, “You will pay very expensive price for your war on Islam.”

    The message adds: “We will take revenge for the blood of Muslims on your land, we will kill the young before the older watch this.”

  8. Saudi Billionaires Look to Move Funds to Escape Asset Freeze

    Wealthy Saudis are moving assets out of the region to avoid the risk of getting caught up in what authorities call a crackdown on corruption, according to six people with knowledge of the matter.

    Some Saudi billionaires and millionaires are selling investments in neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council countries and turning them into cash or liquid holdings overseas, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. In Saudi Arabia, some are in talks with banks and asset managers to move money outside the country, the people said.

    Until the surprise arrests of dozens of people last weekend, Saudi Arabia’s elite was the target of Deutsche Bank AG, UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and other global banks seeking to manage their wealth. They now find themselves on the run in the face of a campaign that has targeted some of the kingdom’s most prominent princes, billionaires and officials.

  9. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister calls for sanctions on Iran for its ‘support of terrorism’

    Iran can produce enough nuclear material for a bomb within weeks
    Iran could produce enough nuclear material for a bomb within weeks, says Saudi foreign minister
    1 Hour Ago | 02:08

    Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister urged the international community to slap fresh sanctions against Iran Thursday, accusing its arch-regional rival of supporting terrorism.

    “We would like to see sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism and sanctions on Iran for violating the ballistic missile resolutions of the United Nations,” Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of foreign affairs, told CNBC Thursday.

    When asked whether Saudi Arabia was headed for a direct conflict with Iran, Al-Jubeir replied, “We hope not.”

  10. Deutsche Bank CEO suggests robots could replace half the company’s 97,000 employees

    Some very smart people say that robots are going to steal your job.

    Researchers at Oxford University estimate that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be replaced by robots, automated technology and automated intelligence (AI) within the next 20 years. Jeff Hesse, PwC principal and U.S. people and organization co-leader, tells CNBC Make It, “The displacement is already beginning to happen.”

    Elon Musk told the National Governors Association, “There certainly will be job disruption. Because what’s going to happen is robots will be able to do everything better than us.” Musk even went so far as to say that “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

    • But, but, but …… I thought that US (and Canada) need more migrants to do the jobs? And the article claims that robots will steal the jobs so many people will loose their jobs?So do we need migrants or don’t we? hmm………

  11. Mystery of fire at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top secret spying HQ amid claims three trapped workers died

    A fire at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top-secret spying facility in Moscow has sparked a mystery amid claims that three people were killed.

    Aerial footage shot by a drone shows smoke pouring from the building as a fire brigade tackles the blaze.

    A spokesman for the SVR foreign intelligence service claimed three workers were initially trapped by the fire but managed to escape.

    Col Sergei Ivanov said: “The fire has been extinguished. No one was killed or injured.”

  12. For 2nd time in four days, MSM slam Trump for not demanding death penalty for guy already dead
    By Thomas Madison November 8, 2017

    It’s déjà-vu all over again. It has been only four days since a Wall Street Journal reporter castigated the president for supporting the death penalty for the Manhattan bike path terrorist but not for the Las Vegas shooter.

    What is wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, Stephen Paddock, the Mandalay Bay Hotel mass murderer, is already dead, by his own hand, while Sayfullo Saipov, who mowed down bicyclists and pedestrians in lower Manhattan, is not. Saipov was shot in the abdomen by an alert New York City cop, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

    But those troublesome facts were ignored entirely Eli Stokols, the Journal’s token liberal, who insisted that Donald Trump’s calling for the death penalty for Saipov and not for Paddock was a direct result of the former’s being Muslim, the latter white.

    Watch and learn:

  13. Trump warns ‘Little Rocket Man’: ‘Do not underestimate us, do not try us’
    By LU Staff November 8, 2017

    resident Donald Trump delivered a strong message to North Korea in Seoul Wednesday, warning Pyongyang not to challenge the U.S.

    Delivering a rare address before the South Korean National Assembly, Trump issued a stern warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong un, as well as a message of hope should he choose to change course:

    Do not underestimate us. Do not try us. America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it. History is filled with discarded regimes that have foolishly tested America’s resolve. Anyone who doubts the strength and determination of the U.S. should look to our past.

    The regime has interpreted has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the U.S. has had in the past. We will not be intimidated.

    “Now is the time for strength,” Trump went on to state before the South Korean parliament, advocating peace through strength. “If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times.” He stressed that the world cannot “tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens the world with nuclear devastation,” making it clear to countries like Russia and China that have long enabled the North Korean regime that the weight of whatever comes of this crisis will be on their conscience if they fail to act to resolve this situation.

  14. Petition at Rutgers to remove professor who worked for Assad, accused Israel of organ trafficking
    By Howard Portnoy November 9, 2017

    Usually, when Rutgers University makes headlines, it’s in connection with inviting a drag queen to perform during LGBTQIA Welcome Week the hiring of “social justice scholars.” If disciplinary action is taken against a student, generally it’s for “hate crimes,” such as having written the word illegal alien in a student newspaper column.

    This time, however, the commotion is over the hiring of a professor who has worked for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and claimed that Israel traffics in children’s organs.

  15. CBC – Federal government blocking social media users, deleting posts

    Porn, spam and hate among the top reasons cited for blocking Facebook and Twitter users

    Canadian government departments have quietly blocked nearly 22,000 Facebook and Twitter users, with Global Affairs Canada accounting for nearly 20,000 of the blocked accounts, CBC News has learned.

    Moreover, nearly 1,500 posts — a combination of official messages and comments from readers — have been deleted from various government social media accounts since January 2016.

    However, there could be even more blocked accounts and deleted posts. In answer to questions tabled by Opposition MPs in the House of Commons, several departments said they don’t keep track of how often they block users or delete posts.

    It is not known how many of the affected people are Canadian.

    It’s also not known how many posts were deleted or users were blocked prior to the arrival of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.

    But the numbers shed new light on how Ottawa navigates the world of social media — where it can be difficult to strike a balance between reaching out to Canadians while preventing government accounts from becoming a destination for porn, hate speech and abuse.

    The numbers came as Environment Minister Catherine McKenna found herself in a social media firestorm over a tweet from her official departmental account on Tuesday which praised Syria for joining the Paris climate change agreement.

    But while McKenna announced very publicly that that tweet had been deleted, the numbers tabled in the House of Commons reveal there were 97 other posts deleted from that department’s accounts between Jan. 1, 2016 and Sept. 18, 2017.

    In the department’s answer, signed by McKenna, it said posts were deleted that were inconsistent with Treasury Board guidelines or “when it was necessary to correct errors in information, grammar or visual imagery, to clarify or more accurately reflect a priority, or to ensure adequate service in both official languages.” The Treasury Board sets rules for government communications, including social media.

    “Social media moves quickly and sometimes mistakes happen.”

    But the environment department isn’t the only one that has deleted an awkward tweet.

    more :

  16. Iraq: Huge crowds commemorate Arbaeen in Karbala

    Drone footage captured millions of people gathering in Karbala, Thursday, for the annual Shia pilgrimage of Arbaeen, where millions of pilgrims are expected for the largest annual religious procession in the world.

    Arbaeen, meaning forty in Arabic, marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the seventh-century. Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam, was the son of Ali and the grandson of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

  17. SAUDI ARABIA – Official Source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible
    Thursday 1439/2/20 – 2017/11/09

    Riyadh, Safar 20, 1439, November 09, 2017, SPA — Due to the situations in the Republic of Lebanon, the official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible.

    The Kingdom advised all citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations.

    • Saudi Arabia orders all of its citizens to leave Yemen after Iran accuses the kingdom of orchestrating hostilities in the country (dailymail, Nov 9, 2017)

      “Saudi Arabia has ordered all of its citizens to leave Yemen after Iran accused the kingdom of orchestrating hostilities in the country.

      The warning from Riyadh also asked nationals not to travel to Lebanon from anywhere in the world.

      An official source said the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the warning, telling those in Yemen to leave ‘as soon as possible’ due to ‘situations in the Republic of Lebanon’…”

  18. France: A Decomposing Civilization

    by Giulio Meotti
    November 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

    France is about to commemorate the victims of the terror attacks of November 13, 2015. What has been achieved in the two years since the attacks?

    The French authorities are sending compensation to more than 2,500 victims of the jihadist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis, who will be compensated with 64 million euros. Important victories were also attained by anti-terrorism forces. According to an enquiry by the weekly L’Express, in the last two years, 32 terrorist attacks were foiled, 625 firearms were seized, 4,457 people suspected of having jihadist links were searched, and 752 individuals were placed under house arrest. But the general impression is that of a country “frailing from within”.

    • France is further along with the leftist inspired national suicide then the US and Canada but what we are seeing there is coming to our shores if we don’t start fighting back.

  19. Christmas in an Islamized Europe

    by Bruce Bawer
    November 9, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Compared to Americans, as everyone knows, people in the Nordic countries — and here I am speaking of the blond, blue-eyed natives who descend from generations of Christians (and, before that, followers of Thor and Odin) — are not big believers these days, and do not spend a lot of time in church. But that does not mean they are not devoted to their Christian heritage. At least in Norway, which is probably the most culturally conservative of the Nordic lands, Confirmation is still a universal rite of passage. Most of the official national holidays are Christian holy days, even if most people could not tell you exactly what Ascension Day and Pentecost commemorate. At Christmastime, the main streets are decked out with lights and wreaths, every home has a Christmas tree, and you cannot turn on the radio without hearing Christmas songs.

  20. Domestic Workers’ Salaries’ Surge As Migrant Labour Declines in Brexit Britain (breitbart, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Starting salaries in Britain are rising sharply as the supply of cheap labour from the EU dwindles — as predicted by Brexit campaigners and even Remain campaign chairman Lord Stuart Rose.

    “A sustained upturn in demand for staff and lower candidate availability [has] led to further increases in pay,” found a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

    “Starting salaries rose sharply overall, with the rate of inflation quickening to its second-strongest since November 2015.”…”

  21. Imam in Denmark gets suspended sentence for anti-gay remarks (abcnews, Nov 9, 2017)

    “An imam has been given a two-week suspended jail sentence for making public remarks against homosexuals, whom he compared to pedophiles.

    The city court in Viborg, 260 kilometers (160 miles) northwest of Copenhagen, said Thursday that Mohamad Jammal had violated Denmark’s penal code in newspaper interviews in June 2016 following the attack at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, where 49 people were shot dead. Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be sinful.

    Jammal, who spoke to the Skive Folkeblad newspaper, was convicted of making comments deemed threatening, insulting or degrading to a group because of their race, color, national or ethnic origin, belief or sexual orientation.

    It was not immediately clear whether Jammal would appeal.”

  22. Iranian political activist shot dead in Netherlands (reuters, Nov 9, 2017)

    “A political activist who founded an Arab nationalist group seeking an independent state inside Iran was shot dead in the Netherlands, police said on Thursday.

    Iranian Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, established the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), which seeks a separate state in the country’s oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province.

    A Dutch police statement said a suspect was detained at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday night in The Hague after trying to flee.

    “His involvement in the incident is being investigated,” it said. “Emergency services were at the scene quickly and reanimated the victim, but he died shortly later.”

    Ahvazi Arabs are a minority in mainly ethnic Persian Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy.

    They say they are deprived of decent living standards and civil rights. In an interview with Reuters in July, Mola Nissi said the movement wanted to “liberate Ahwaz lands and people from the Iranian occupation.”

    ASMLA’s armed wing, the Mohiuddin al Nasser Martyrs Brigade, has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Iran, including the killing of two members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in January.

    Shi‘ite Muslim Iran accuses its main regional adversary, Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, of funding separatist groups active in Iran, a charge Riyadh denies.”

  23. Islamic Groups Sue Regional Government to get More Influence in Schools (breitbart, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Two Islamic associations are suing the regional government of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany, to have more of a say in Islamic religious studies in government-funded schools.

    The lawsuit brought forward by the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) and the Islamic Council could change the face of Islamic education in the NRW region after a ruling expected on Thursday, Die Welt reports.

    Should the court decide in favour of the two associations, which are already on the regional schools advisory board until 2019, it could mean that the NRW government will not have as much input on the subject as it currently does with the advisory board model.

    Court spokesman Gudrun Dahme said: “If the plaintiffs win, then, at the end of the day, some other Islamic religious education would emerge rather than the one we have now.”

    A spokesman for the Dusseldorf Ministry of Education said the state’s education of teachers of Islamic religious studies would not be impacted by the ruling but the curriculum taught to students could be.

    Chairman of the Islamic Council Burhan Kisici said the case was about “legal certainty” to make sure his organisation still had a role in Islamic religious education after the 2019 deadline expires.

    At present, several Islamic associations sit on the Ministry of Education’s advisory board which previously included the Turkish-German Islamic Association DITIB. After it was revealed that DITIB-aligned imams actively spied on behalf of the Turkish government, the group resigned from the advisory board…”

  24. Libyan Navy Accuses Pro-Mass Migration Charity of Contributing to Migrant Deaths (breitbart, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Libyan naval authorities have accused the migrant transport NGO Seawatch of interfering in one of their rescue operations and contributing to the death of five migrants.

    Ayyoub Qasim, the spokesman for the Libyan coastal authorities, blamed Seawatch for the deaths saying they had refused to leave an area when asked by a Libyan vessel.

    Qasim added that the naval force was in the area responding to a distress call from the migrant boat, Il Giornale reports.

    The Germany-based pro-mass migration charity has one of the few vessels still operating in the search and rescue (SAR) zone off the coast of Libya. Many other NGOs have suspended their migrant-ferrying missions earlier this year after the Italian government released a code of conduct intended to make the organisations more accountable.

    The Italians have also accused some of the NGOs of working directly with people smugglers to provide what some described as a “taxi service” for migrants looking to reach the shores of Europe.

    In one case, the NGO Jugend Rettet had their ship the IUVENTA confiscated by Italian authorities. The Italians later released photographs which they claimed showed the NGO cooperating with people smugglers earlier this year.

    While some NGOs gave up on their migrant ferrying missions because of the pressure from Italy, others were motivated by negative encounters with the Libyan coastguard.

    In August, Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms had several of their crew arrested at gunpoint after being accused of turning off their ship’s transponders in the SAR zone.

    A week before the incident, the same vessel, the GOLFO AZZURRO, was subjected to warning shots from the Libyans who told them through a secure radio channel: “We have been watching you for the last two days. You are carrying out suspicious activities, we have confirmation that you have dealings with traffickers, do not come back to our waters.”

    “Never come back, otherwise I will shoot you,” the Libyans added.

    The five deaths are the latest migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean which have numbered 2,925 in total so far this year, down slightly from last year when the total was almost 3,200.”

  25. Persecution of Christians by Muslim Migrants Moves from Asylum Homes to the Streets (breitbart, Nov 9, 2017)

    “After several reports showed that Christians were being systematically persecuted in German asylum homes, the problem has now moved from the homes to the streets.

    Gottfried Martens, the pastor of a free church in Berlin, claims that while over the last year or so asylum homes have become much safer for Christians, he has seen the persecution of Christians, especially converts from Islam, continue, Die Welt reports.

    “Many who were in refugee shelters a year ago now have private homes,” Martens said but claimed that attacks on Christians now occurred on the streets or at metro stations.

    Over the past year across the country, there have been several attacks on Christians including the murder of an Afghan woman in Prien am Chiemsee which police believe had a religious motive behind it.

    The 38-year-old mother-of-four was stabbed to death in May by a male Muslim Afghan asylum seeker, and while police suspected a religious motive, the local Protestant church denied the act had anything to do with religion.

    In September, another attack occurred in Berlin where a 23-year-old Afghan male convert was beaten by young men in a migrant-populated part of the city after they spotted him wearing a cross around his neck.

    Ado Greve of the Christian charity Open Doors, which published an extensive report last year regarding violence against Christians, said: “Those who are attacked usually do not want to attract any attention and often feel they are not getting enough help from the authorities. The police can only respond to specific cases.”

    Rosemarie Götze, known as Sister Rosemarie, does not think the situation has improved for Christians at all in the Berlin district of Neukölln where the attack against the Afghan convert took place.

    Every Sunday, she holds a German-Persian service and hears harsh criticism against Islam from Afghan and Iranian congregants who say they hate Islam and some refuse to speak to Muslims.

    Sister Rosemarie said a few speak about the attacks: “They are afraid that they will continue to be attacked or that families who are still abroad may learn that they have become Christians.””

  26. Saudi Arabia: 201 detained in sweep over $100B in corruption (abcnews, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday it has detained 201 people as part of a sweeping probe, estimating that at least $100 billion has been misused through embezzlement and corruption in past decades.

    The kingdom’s Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb said in a statement that 208 people had been called in for questioning since Saturday evening, and that seven people were released without charge, leaving 201 people still in detention.

    The figure released by the government is far larger than previously reported as it appears more arrests were made throughout the week.

    Overnight Saturday, when the surprise arrest began, 11 princes and 38 officials and businessmen had been detained. They are being held at five-star hotels across the country, including the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

    Critics and observers say the purge that has targeted top princes, officials, military officers and businessmen is a power grab by the crown prince to sideline potential rivals and critics.

    Among those detained are billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and two of the late King Abdullah’s sons, including Prince Miteb who until Saturday had headed the powerful National Guard before he was ousted and detained. Prince Miteb was once a contender for the throne and was believed to be opposed to the king’s 32-year-old, Mohammed bin Salman, becoming successor as crown prince.

    The crown prince is leading the probe as the head of a newly-formed anti-corruption committee.

    “The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large,” the attorney general said, adding that based on investigations over the past three years, at least $100 billion has been misused through corruption.

    The government has declined to name the individuals being questioned, saying it is respecting their privacy during this phase of the process.

    An estimated 1700 bank accounts have been frozen belonging to individuals. Al-Mojeb confirmed that action was taken to suspend personal bank accounts, but did not disclose any figures. The government has stressed that only personal banks have been frozen, leaving companies and businesses so far untouched.

    For years, Saudis have complained of rampant corruption and misuse of public funds by top officials in a system where nepotism is also widespread.

    Royal family members have long received undisclosed monthly stipends from state coffers built up during years of higher oil prices. The government, however, has been forced to introduce austerity measures since oil prices fell three years ago, reducing subsidies and driving up costs for average Saudi nationals.

    Still, Saudi observer Thomas Lippmann says he believes the anti- corruption probe is “a power grab” because it targets only select members of the royal family and business community. He says it is also difficult to draw the line between what constitutes corruption in Saudi Arabia and how business deals, contracts and access have been won over the years.

    “I don’t believe for a minute this is really about getting rid of corruption,” said Lippman, author of “Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally.””

  27. U.N. watchdog says Australia must change its migration laws (reuters, Nov 9, 2017)

    “Australia should stop rejecting refugees and change its migration laws to come into line with international standards, the U.N. Human Rights Committee said in a report on Thursday.

    The committee, which comprises 18 independent experts and monitors countries’ compliance with a global human rights treaty, said Australia should come back in a year to explain what action it had taken to meet its concerns.

    Australia has been widely criticized by the United Nations and rights groups for detaining asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat, even if they are found to be refugees, and keeping them on offshore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

    The United Nations has warned of a “looming humanitarian crisis” in the Manus island center in Papua New Guinea. It was closed on Oct. 31 but 600 asylum seekers have refused to leave, fearing violent reprisals from islanders if they move to transit centers, pending possible resettlement to the United States.

    The committee’s vice-chair Yuval Shany said although the recommendations were non-binding it did not appear Australia was treating its obligations seriously.

    “We do not disagree with Australia’s right to adopt a tough policy, for instance on resettlement,” he said.

    “What they cannot do is treat asylum seekers as criminals and detain them, and they cannot absolve themselves of their duty not to send them back to danger.”

    He said it was exceptional to have such a situation in a developed country with a strong human rights record, and for a country to publicly reject the committee’s recommendations one after the other, as Australia had.

    The government could not be immediately reached for comment…”

  28. Army to determine if Bergdahl is owed back pay for his time in captivity

    When Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl came home in 2014, he was potentially entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay that accumulated over five years while he was in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan.

    Bergdahl was captured after walking off base on June 30, 2009, while deployed to Paktika province with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He pleaded guilty in October to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. On Nov. 3, a military judge ruled Bergdahl would not serve any jail time but be dishonorably discharged from the Army and reduced in rank to private.

    From the moment he was captured, Bergdahl became eligible for extra pays available to captive troops.

    In total, along with his basic and deployment pay, he could be entitled to more than $300,000.

    But the Army has not calculated that pay yet, a G-1 spokesman told Army Times, because the legal proceedings since his homecoming in 2014 have put that in limbo.

    “Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,” Lt. Col. Randy Taylor told Army Times. “His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DoD policy and Army regulation.”

    Those policies and regulations require the Army to wait for Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of Army Forces Command and the convening authority in this case, to approve the sentence that was handed down to Bergdahl, an Army official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told Army Times.

    If Abrams accepts Bergdahl’s sentence, the official said, the service can begin the long process of determining how much money Bergdahl earned in the past eight or so years.

    “My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now,” the official said.

    The Defense Department marked Bergdahl as “Duty Status-Whereabouts Unknown” on June 30, 2009, reported in 2014. Three days later, he was switched to “Missing-Captured,” when a Taliban propaganda video showed him alive and detained.

    The Army will use that timeline to determine his pay. Ordinarily, the official said, a soldier who has been marked missing or captured would be entitled to back pay upon return.

    But Bergdahl, who has been assigned to a desk job since his return and drawing commensurate pay, may not be considered a prisoner of war after pleading guilty to desertion.

    “In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity,” the official said.

    In the end, the official added, Bergdahl may be entitled to his accumulated basic pay while in captivity but not the Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence and per diem given to prisoners.

    Or, he added, it may turn out that Bergdahl “owes us,” if it’s determined he should not be paid for his time in captivity, or that he has been overpaid since his return.

    Reached for comment, Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, said the defense team’s focus has turned to preparing the case for an appeal. He declined to elaborate.

    “We are currently identifying the issues we will be pursuing,” Fidell said.

    An appeal would put off the Army’s pay and benefits determination, the official said.

    Fidell declined to comment on the back pay situation, or on a report by USA Today that he believed Bergdahl should receive the Prisoner of War Medal.

  29. reuters – Germany’s far-right AfD calls for repatriation of Syrian refugees

    BERLIN (Reuters) – The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party called on Thursday for the repatriation of half a million Syrian refugees living in Germany, saying the war there was nearly over and that President Bashar al-Assad had urged refugees to return home.

    Earlier on Thursday, Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year, hardline reign in the region.

    However, fighting is continuing in many areas, the United Nations says, in a complex civil war in which millions have been killed or forced to flee their homes, many to neighboring countries or to Europe.

    The AfD’s proposal for repatriating Syrian refugees is its first since it swept into Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in September’s federal election on an anti-immigrant platform.

    It is the third largest party in the new Bundestag but the proposal is very unlikely to win approval as mainstream parties including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the biggest bloc, have refused to work with the AfD.

    In its proposal, the AfD said the new German government should immediately start talks with Syrian authorities over a deal to repatriate the refugees.

    “This deal should ensure that the returnees will be accepted in Syria and accommodated only in safe areas,” the AfD said in a statement adding that Damascus must guarantee not to persecute citizens who escaped the military draft.

    The proposal said Syrian refugees’ children in Germany should now be taught the Syrian school curriculum, either by Syrian teachers already resident in Germany or by teachers sent by the Syrian government for this purpose.


    The statement, signed by the two party leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel, said the Syrian government should work with Germany to finance the repatriation, which they said should be free for the individual refugees.

    The Greens party, which is expected to join Merkel’s new conservative-led coalition, said the AfD proposal showed the party to be “irresponsible, inhumane and heartless”.

    “No subject is too abysmal, no populism is too dirty for you. Shame on you!” Greens politician Luise Amtsberg said on her Facebook account, commenting on the proposal.

    Immigration is one of the difficult issues where Merkel’s conservative bloc, the left-leaning Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) are struggling to forge a common stance in their coalition talks.

    Since the beginning of the year, some 156,000 people have applied for asylum in Germany, more than 25 percent of them from Syria, making them the biggest national group, data from the Federal Interior Ministry showed on Thursday.

  30. Nov 4th 2017 was supposed to be the start of Antifa’s ‘revolution’. It failed spectacularly.

    Could this be why?

    Operation “Line in the Sand” – Anonymous has declared a war on Antifa:

  31. When Clinton Donors Prosecute And Judge Trump Associates
    This is what a rigged system looks like.
    November 9, 2017
    Daniel Greenfield

    In May, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed a lawsuit by the families of the victims of Benghazi against Hillary Clinton. Judge Jackson decided that the families couldn’t sue Hillary either for wrongful death or for defamation. That isn’t too surprising as Jackson is a former Clinton donor who had been appointed by Obama. And a Clinton donor should never have been ruling on a Clinton case.

    But now Judge Jackson will be presiding over the Paul Manafort case.

    Presiding over Manafort’s indictment is Judge Deborah A. Robinson. Judge Robinson’s most prominent previous case was the Berger trial. Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s former National Security Adviser, stole classified documents about the terror failures of the Clinton administration, hid documents under a construction trailer, lied about taking them and destroyed some of them.

    People have gone to jail for doing a whole lot less with classified documents. But not Clinton associates.

    Sandy Berger was sentenced to two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a fine.

  32. International Criminal Court Challenges U.S. Sovereignty
    Seeks to open formal investigation of alleged criminal acts by U.S personnel.
    November 9, 2017
    Joseph Klein

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has decided to request authorization from ICC judges to commence a formal investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the conflict in Afghanistan. Allegations that U.S. military and CIA personnel committed acts of torture and other human rights abuses in connection with this conflict would presumably be deemed within the scope of such an investigation, if authorization is granted by the judges of the ICC’s pre-trial chamber. War crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Taliban and al Qaeda on Afghan territory would also be subjects of the investigation. The ICC would base its assertion of jurisdiction on the fact that Afghanistan is a State Party to the 1998 Rome Statute, the treaty under which the ICC was established. The ICC would argue that, irrespective of the fact that the United States is not a State Party to the Rome Statute itself, the ICC would have the authority to prosecute any war crime or crime against humanity committed by anyone – including U.S. personnel – within the territory of Afghanistan or of any other State Party to the Rome Statute.

  33. International Criminal Court Challenges U.S. Sovereignty
    Seeks to open formal investigation of alleged criminal acts by U.S personnel.
    November 9, 2017
    Joseph Klein

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has decided to request authorization from ICC judges to commence a formal investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the conflict in Afghanistan. Allegations that U.S. military and CIA personnel committed acts of torture and other human rights abuses in connection with this conflict would presumably be deemed within the scope of such an investigation, if authorization is granted by the judges of the ICC’s pre-trial chamber. War crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Taliban and al Qaeda on Afghan territory would also be subjects of the investigation. The ICC would base its assertion of jurisdiction on the fact that Afghanistan is a State Party to the 1998 Rome Statute, the treaty under which the ICC was established. The ICC would argue that, irrespective of the fact that the United States is not a State Party to the Rome Statute itself, the ICC would have the authority to prosecute any war crime or crime against humanity committed by anyone – including U.S. personnel – within the territory of Afghanistan or of any other State Party to the Rome Statute.

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