Reader’s links, January 8, 2018

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

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

About Eeyore

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

143 Replies to “Reader’s links, January 8, 2018”

  1. Russian army repels attack by 13 militant drones on its Syrian compounds – MoD (RT, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.rt.com/news/415276-syria-russian-military-repelled-attacks/

    “Russian military have repelled a massive drone attack on its bases in Syria, which was carried out by militants, Moscow said. The extremists may have been aided by a “technologically advanced state,” it added.

    The militants launched their assault during the night on Saturday, the ministry said in a statement. The Russian Kheimim Airbase in the Syrian Latakia province was attacked by 10 unmanned combat aerial vehicles, while three more attempted a strike against the Russian maritime logistics base located in the city of Tartus.

    All of the drones were detected by anti-aircraft defense systems “at a considerable distance from the Russian military objects,” the ministry said. Seven of them were then successfully shot down by the Russian Panzir-S air-defense system.

    The Russian radio electronic warfare specialists also managed to override the operating systems of six more drones, and eventually gained control over the UAVs. Three of them were destroyed when they hit the ground, while another three were landed intact outside the base controlled by Russian forces.

    The ministry also confirmed that the attack had resulted in no casualties among Russian military personnel, and the two bases “continue to operate as normal.”

    It was the “first time that terrorists massively used unmanned combat aerial vehicles of an aircraft type that were launched from a distance of more than 50 kilometers, and operated using GPS satellite navigation coordinates,” the ministry said in a statement.

    The country’s specialists are now examining the seized unmanned aircraft and the recovered data has already allowed the specialists to pinpoint the exact location from which the drones were launched. The examination also showed that advanced technologies were used in the drones’ construction. They “could have been obtained only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies, including satellite navigation and remote control of … explosive devices [for] release at certain coordinates.”

    It further added that detonators used in the militants’ Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were “of foreign manufacture.” These facts indicate that the extremists were supplied with technologies allowing them to carry out terrorist attacks using UAVs in any country, the ministry warned.

    The ministry also said that the attack caused no casualties among the Russian military personnel and that the two bases “continue to operate as normal.” The incident comes about a week after the Kheimim air base was subjected to mortar shelling on December 31, 2017, an attack that claimed lives of two military personnel.

    Russia has been flying sorties from Khmeimim since 2015, when its Syria anti-terrorist campaign began. The site in Tartus has been operating since the 1970s, as a small facility meant for resupplying Soviet and later Russian ships.

    In 2017, Russia and Syria finalized an agreement regulating the presence of Russian troops in Syria. Khmeimim Airbase, located near Latakia, and the naval site in the port city of Tartus have both been handed over, lease-free, to Russia for 49 years, and with an option of automatic extension unless either country chooses to terminate the deal. The Russian parliament ratified the Khmeimim deal in July and the Tartus deal on Tuesday.

    Last month, the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, adding that a smaller presence of the Russian forces would be required in the area following the defeat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).”

    • US Blocks Sale of $1.2B Company to China

      MoneyGram is the financial equivalent of Tinsley Laboratories; the strategic electro-optics manufacturer which China (unsuccessfully) sought to purchase many years ago. Quite strangely, there is no record about this foreign bid (not even at DuckDuckGo). On second thought, it may have been Rocky Mountain Instrument Co., but Tinsely Labs sticks in my mind because of their high-level defense technology.

      In totally understated terms, a financial enterprise like MoneyGram represents the perfect “back door” through which Red China could infiltrate some of America’s largest credit card systems, personal spending records, and all the sort of data that these bloodsuckers have wet dreams about.

      Both represent critical “choke points” for American interests.

    • Hamas member dies in ‘accidental explosion’ in Gaza…

      Ah, yes. The old “red wire – blue wire” problem. Slightly Barely more honest media outlets used to call this a “work accident”.

      No matter what term they use, it’s the “retirement policy” that’s most satisfying when it comes to seeing off these terrorist scum.

  2. London in FLAMES: Massive ‘fireball in the sky’ in capital as firefighters rush to scene (express, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/901997/london-fire-waterloo-road-paint-factory-staples-corner-latest-news

    “AN ENORMOUS fire has broken out at a paint warehouse on Waterloo Road in north London.

    Fifteen fire engines and 90 firefighters have rushed to the scene and authorities have warned people to avoid the area.

    The flames are lighting up the sky at Staples Corner, a major intersection in north London near Brent Cross.

    People living nearby have been urged not to open their windows and doors while firefighters try to tackle the blaze.

    One social media user wrote: “Just passed the biggest fire I’ve ever seen in my life. Looks like a warehouse or something of that size near the north circular at Wembley.”…”

  3. Student hit by car while protesting Trump sues, says school is partly responsible for injuries

    A student at the University of California, San Diego, is suing her school for failing to stop her from protesting President Donald Trump’s election. The university’s actions caused her to be hit by a car on a busy interstate, she alleges.
    What’s going on?

    Mariana Flores, a UCSD sophomore, was participating in a campuswide Trump protest on election night 2016 when she was hit by a car on Interstate Highway 5 in San Diego.

    The collision shattered her pelvis, fractured her leg and caused many other severe injuries, according to The Guardian, UCSD’s school newspaper.

    In response, Flores filed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit on the one-year anniversary of her injuries. The lawsuit names UC-San Diego, the UC Board of Regents, the city and county of San Diego, the driver of the vehicle and the state of California as defendants.

    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/01/08/student-hit-by-car-while-protesting-trump-sues-says-school-is-partly-responsible-for-injuries

    • Mariana Flores, a UCSD sophomore, was participating in a campuswide Trump protest on election night 2016 when she was hit by a car on Interstate Highway 5 in San Diego.

      The collision shattered her pelvis, fractured her leg and caused many other severe injuries, according to The Guardian, UCSD’s school newspaper.

      As in: “I was playing on the freeway when a big, mean, old car driven by a WAYYYCIST ran me down…”

      Let’s all hope that her shattered pelvis will prevent her from giving birth. Sadly, there are Caesarean sections.

  4. New York Mayor Thinks Americans Have a “Socialistic Impulse”

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a journalist in September that he was in favor of a planned economy in his city and he was fairly certain that many of his constituents agreed with his view. In an interview with New York Magazine, he said that rules governing private property caused many of the problems with inequality seen in the Big Apple and elsewhere. It’s almost scary to see these words in print; we’re not sure if even self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders has ever traveled this far into communist territory with his rhetoric.

    “What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property,” de Blasio said. “I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.

    “I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs,” de Blasio continued. “And I would, too.”

    Wow.

    He continued, apparently taking a short break from perusing this month’s issue of The Daily Worker to give his thoughts to New York Magazine. He said it was a shame that the law made it difficult for Americans to do away with property rights.

    http://www.conservativefreepress.com/politics/new-york-mayor-thinks-americans-socialistic-impulse/

  5. Who’s Crazy? Trump or the Anti-Trump Shrinks?
    Lefty shrinks and Hawaiian gods are angry at Trump.
    January 8, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    In October, 125 psychologists and assorted mental health professionals marched to New York’s City Hall while wearing red tags warning, “DANGER.” Leading the march was Peter Fraenkel, author of Sync Your Relationship, Save Your Marriage, mournfully beating a drum in a solemn march. Fraenkel, a psychologist and “professional drummer” was able to combine his love of drums and hatred of Trump.

    The ‘Duty to Warn’ march had begun at New York Law School where the experts demanded that Trump be removed from office based on their inability to understand the 25th Amendment. And then the mental health experts marched to the beat of Fraenkel’s drum in what they insisted was a “funereal and dignified” procession.

    “Please wear professional attire or dark clothing,” the mental health experts were instructed. “There will be a slow drum beat, ‘DANGER’ tape, and flashing warning lights.”

    The paperwork urged, “Bring a drum if you have one” and, “come as your solemn, concerned self.”

    If only the organizers had put a fraction of their obsessive delusions into actually trying to justify the claim on their shiny blue banner that, “Trump is psychologically unfit to lead this country.”

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268951/whos-crazy-trump-or-anti-trump-shrinks-daniel-greenfield

  6. Criminal Charges for the British Spy of Dossier Infamy?
    Senators want former MI6 spook charged with lying to the FBI.
    January 8, 2018
    Matthew Vadum

    The freelancing foreign spy who concocted the discredited Fusion GPS dossier to undermine President Trump may soon get his comeuppance now that senators are demanding a criminal investigation into his 2016 election shenanigans.

    The criminal referral comes as Michael Wolff’s gossipy book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, debuts as a bestseller, causing outrage and consternation in the nation’s capital. Wolff admits he cannot vouch for the accuracy of much of the book in which he makes incredible claims. Wolff said in an interview that “100 percent of the people around” Trump, “senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office.” Trump himself tweeted the book is “full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist” and accused Wolff of using his former White House chief strategist, whom the president derided as “Sloppy Steve Bannon,” to promote sales of the book.

    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have reportedly asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate former British spy Christopher Steele for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The request came in a letter that no media outlets appear yet to have published.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268955/criminal-charges-british-spy-dossier-infamy-matthew-vadum

  7. Reason celebrates “Little Mogadishu”
    Turning to libertarians for wisdom on immigration control is like asking Christian Scientists for advice about the best hospitals.

    Not all that many years ago, the worst things you could say about Minneapolis were that it was very cold in the winter and, for an American city of its size, it was somewhat dull. On the plus side, this traditionally Scandinavian-American burg was a model of safety and cleanliness.

    Well, that’s ancient history. Minneapolis is now the world’s #2 capital of Somali Muslims. (#1 is Mogadishu.) In the Somali community, unemployment and welfare dependency rates are high. The city is a major recruiting center for ISIS. At least a couple of ISIS recruits have used taxpayer-funded student loans to fly to the Middle East to become jihadists; many other local Somalis are suspected of wiring welfare cash to terrorist groups. Violent crime is epidemic: as recently as December 13, a Somali Muslim immigrant stabbed a Minneapolis woman no fewer than fourteen times on her way home from work.

    None of this has kept government officials and news media from boasting of the success of Somali integration. Last February, CNN ran a collection of photographs designed to show just how delightful a contribution Somalis have made to Minnesota. In August, Ibrahim Hirsi of the Minnesota Post lauded the “Somali community’s success” in the state. Hirsi’s article began by summarizing the “classic American success story” of one Abdirahman Kahin, who emigrated to the U.S. two decades ago and, after founding a restaurant called Afro Deli in 2010, built it up into “one of the most successful immigrant-owned businesses in the state.”

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268932/reason-celebrates-little-mogadishu-bruce-bawer

  8. Al-Qaeda’s Younger Brother Raising Funds to Expand Islamist Children’s School
    Radical Muslims indoctrinating kids in South Florida.
    January 8, 2018
    Joe Kaufman

    There are two names prominently found on the Tamarac, Florida-based Alazhar School website. One is that of the school’s principal, Dina Ibrahim, and the other is that of the school’s administrator, imam and finance officer, Trinidad-born Nabil el-Shukri. Recently el-Shukri took to the fundraising site GoFundMe to ask for money for a school expansion project. Given the terror-related background of el-Shukri and the extremism coming from a number of Alazhar teachers, any expansion of the school presents an increased threat to the community.

    Nabil el-Shukri first arrived in the United States in late 1995, when he, along with his mother and siblings (three sisters and a brother), was summoned to come to Brooklyn, New York by his father, Gulshair Muhammad el-Shukri-Jumah (Shukrijumah). Gulshair, then-missionary for the Saudi Arabian government, found himself in the middle of a federal terrorism trial dealing with the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

    Gulshair had been involved with the main mosque associated in the bombing, Masjid Al-Farooq, and had ties to the spiritual leader of the attack, ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, and the explosives supplier for the attackers, Clement Rodney Hampton-El. Both Abdel-Rahman and Hampton-El received convictions for their roles in the bombing, and immediately following their January 1996 sentencing, Gulshair ushered his family out of New York and into South Florida.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268949/al-qaedas-younger-brother-raising-funds-expand-joe-kaufman

  9. Trump Ends Temporary Stay for 250,000 El Salvadorans After 2001 Earthquake
    January 8, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    We’re talking about people who have been given a blank check to stay in America based on a 2001 earthquake. We might as well extend temporary protected status for all of Italy because of Pompei.

    El Salvador suffered a devastating earthquake on January 13, 2001, and experienced two more earthquakes on February 13 and 17, 2001. Based on a thorough review by the Departments of State and Justice, the Attorney General has determined that, due to the environmental disaster and substantial disruption of living conditions caused by the earthquakes, El Salvador is “unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return” of its nationals.

    Accordingly, the Attorney General has determined that conditions in El Salvador warrant the designation of El Salvador under the TPS program. This order will designate El Salvador under the TPS program for an initial period of 18 months.

    And eighteen months then became 17 years.

  10. New MLA President Judith Butler Called Hamas Part of “Global Left”
    January 8, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    The Modern Language Association (MLA), an academic organization, has on the one hand made it abundantly clear that it’s not interested in advancing any more anti-Semitic BDS resolutions which single out the Jewish State for the latest incarnation of the Nazi boycott and the Arab League boycott. On the other hand, Judith Butler, a BDS obsessive, will become the MLA’s president.

    While haters of the Jewish State are resigning from the MLA over the lack of enthusiasm for their anti-Semitic agenda, they do have the bright spot of a Hamas supporter heading the MLA.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268958/new-mla-president-judith-butler-called-hamas-part-daniel-greenfield

  11. Lefty Site Pub Testifies to Grand Jury in Sanders Wife Fraud Case
    January 8, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Where does Bernie Sanders get his $700 coat from? His gullible supporters. And his wife’s golden parachute from the college she tanked. While the media is careful to keep a lid on it, the Burlington College investigation continues.

    Here’s a little background.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268957/lefty-site-pub-testifies-grand-jury-sanders-wife-daniel-greenfield

  12. DOJ official with ties to Fusion GPS gets demoted again

    Bruce Ohr loses his high-level post over the apparent conflict with the firm behind the Trump dossier;

    Catherine Herridge goes in-depth for ‘Special Report.’

  13. Spain: Deportations to Algeria continue amid migrant death outcry

    Protesters gathered outside of the Archidona migrant detention centre on Monday, to protest against the deportation of around 50 Algerian citizens.

    SOT, Ruben Quirante, spokesperson of ‘Plataforma Ciudadana Contra el CIE’ (Spanish): “577 Algerian immigrants are locked in this prison. The process carried out by the Spanish government has been illegal from the start, beginning by locking them in a jail instead of an internment centre and also their treatment has been illegal. This is like a jungle. There are no schedules on visits. The families come from France and wait for hours behind a door to not be able to hug them, because they communicate through a glass screen, with nothing like a telephone to speak.”

    SOT, Ruben Quirante, spokesperson of ‘Plataforma Ciudadana Contra el CIE’ (Spanish): “The death on December 29 of Mohamed Budalbala, who according to the media and Archidona’s judge has been a suicide and we ask for a clear, transparent and serious investigation. We ask that they don’t deport potential witnesses. We ask the government to stop the deportations, but Archidona’s court has closed the case, many of the witnesses are already deported in Algeria and now they will not be able to talk about the death of this person.”

  14. Saudi Arabia calls on US judge to drop lawsuit against the Kingdom over 9/11 attacks (memo, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180108-saudi-arabia-calls-on-us-judge-to-drop-lawsuit-against-the-kingdom-over-9-11-attacks/

    “Saudi Arabia has asked a US federal judge to reject a lawsuit that seeks to hold the Kingdom accountable for the September 11 attacks of 2001, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported yesterday.

    The paper cited a document presented by Riyadh’s lawyers to the Manhattan federal court in which he stated that the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which was passed in Congress in 2016 and is commonly known as JASTA, does not change the reality on the ground, which is that there is no evidence of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 2001 attacks.

    According to the paper, the lawyer told the court that JASTA does not mean that those who filed the case can continue make accusations against Saudi Arabia without presenting sufficient evidence to support their allegations.

    The lawsuit was filed by families of victims and survivors of the 2001 attacks.

    The official “9/11 Commission Report,” which was prepared at the request of then-President George W. Bush and the Congress, found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organisation [Al-Qaeda].” The report, however, did not “exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to Al-Qaeda.””

  15. Shoura panel favors restrictions on marriage of minors (saudigazette, Jan 8, 2018)
    http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/525765/SAUDI-ARABIA/Shoura-panel-favors-restrictions-on-marriage-of-minors

    “The Shoura Council on Monday started deliberations on the report of its Committee of Islamic and Judicial Affairs regarding to the marriage of minors.

    In the report, the committee recommended the council that the marriage contract of girls under the age of 18 can not be valid without a decision of the concerned court.

    A competent judge should also verify the fulfillment of all necessary conditions for such a marriage as spelled out in the committee’s report, which was read out by Abdul Aziz Isa, chairman of the committee.

    Yahya Al-Samaan, assistant president of the council, said that the committee requested the Ministry of Health to ensure that no girl under the age of 18 should be subjected to pre-marital screening without a directive of the competent court.

    The report also called on the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance and the Ministry of Culture and Information to create awareness about the demerits of marriage of minors.

    The council also decided to constitute a committee to review the proposed draft law to combat beggary.”

  16. Erdo?an again sues K?l?çdaro?lu over ‘insult’ (hurriyetdailynews, Jan 8, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-again-sues-kilicdaroglu-over-insult-125394

    “President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has sued main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu for “insulting the presidential office” in remarks on an alleged phone conversation between Erdo?an and his son.

    Erdo?an’s lawyer, Hüseyin Ayd?n, filed a letter complaint against K?l?çdaro?lu on Jan. 8 stating that the CHP leader had voiced arguments “used by the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)” by referring to alleged recordings of the phone conversations…”

  17. The Egyptian state won’t allow a water crisis to take place: President Sisi (ahram, Jan 8, 2018)
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/287778/Egypt/Politics-/The-Egyptian-state-wont-allow-a-water-crisis-to-ta.aspx

    “Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Monday that the Egyptian state would not allow the nation to be hit by a water shortage, pointing to steps taken to protect water resources and ensure they are properly managed.

    El-Sisi made the comments as he announced the construction of Egypt’s biggest water treatment and desalination project, costing almost LE70 billion.

    “We won’t allow a water-shortage crisis to occur in Egypt. We have not only to keep our share of the Nile, but but also to use our share to the maximum,” he said during a short statement.

    “Egypt is currently carrying out the biggest water treatment and desalination project, just in case of any circumstances concerning the sharing of water.”

    The water treatment and desalination project was highlighted by El-Sisi at the inauguration of several national transportation and residential projects in Cairo’s 10th of Ramadan Cty.

    “This is not for luxury but to resolve a possible situation,” he said, adding that he did not want to elaborate more.

    Egypt has expressed concerns over Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, saying it will affect Egypt’s share of Nile River water, a claim rejected by Ethiopia.

    Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been involved in talks for the past three years concerning the dam and its effect on the downstream countries. The Nile River is the main source of fresh water in Egypt.

    El-Sisi said that the government started implementing the water treatment and desalination project three months ago.

    “This is our country, and water for agriculture and drinking must be secured for citizens from Aswan to Alexandria, so that no problem will occur later and we say that we are not ready for it,” he added.”

  18. Pope says migrants are people, urges end to stoking fears (ansamed, Jan 8, 2018)
    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2018/01/08/pope-says-migrants-are-people-urges-end-to-stoking-fears_6ea9de1b-015d-4103-a094-6f417d4839d4.html

    “Pope Francis said freedom of movement is “a fundamental human right” and called for seeing migrants as people rather than stoking fears regarding refugees.

    “Nowadays people talk a lot about migrants and migration, sometimes only to stir up ancestral fears,” Pope Francis said.

    “Migration has always existed. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the story of salvation is essentially the story of migration,” he said.

    “We must emerge from the widespread rhetoric on the subject and start from the essential consideration that those who we have before us, above all, are people,” he said.

    “One cannot forget the situation of families broken up due to poverty, wars and migration. All too often, we have before our eyes the drama of children who cross borders separating the world’s south from the north by themselves, often victims of human trafficking,” he said.

    Pope Francis recalled his message for the 2018 World Day of Peace, titled “Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace”.

    “Even recognising that not everyone is always motivated by the best intentions, one cannot forget that most migrants would prefer to stay in their own countries, while instead they are forced to leave due to ‘discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation'”.

    “By practising the virtue of prudence, government leaders should take practical measures to welcome, promote, protect, integrate and, ‘within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good, to permit [them] to become part of a new society.’ (Pacem in terris, 57),” Pope Francis said, citing his World Day of Peace message.

    “Leaders have a clear responsibility towards their own communities, whose legitimate rights and harmonious development they must ensure, lest they become like the rash builder who miscalculated and failed to complete the tower he had begun to construct”.

    “I wish to thank once again the authorities of those countries who have gone out of their way in recent years to provide assistance to the numerous migrants at their borders.

    I’m thinking above all of the efforts of many countries in Asia, in Africa and in the Americas, who welcome and assist numerous people. I still keep alive in my heart the meeting that I had in Dhaka with some members of the Rohingya people, and I wish to renew my feelings of gratitude to the authorities of Bangladesh for the assistance that they are giving them in their own country”.”

  19. Survey: Swiss public in favour of burqa ban (thelocal, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.ch/20180108/swiss-public-in-favour-of-burqa-ban

    “If they voted today, three quarters of the Swiss public would say yes to an initiative calling for a ban on covering the face in public, which would effectively ban the burqa.

    A survey of 1,167 people conducted by two Sunday papers found 76 percent in favour of the initiative, compared with 20 percent against and three percent with “no view” on the issue, reported Swiss media on Monday.

    The popular initiative ‘Yes to a ban on face coverings’, which last September garnered more than the required 100,000 signatures to put it to a popular vote, calls for it to be made illegal for anyone to cover their face in public, with some exceptions including for local customs, the weather and health and safety reasons.

    Such a law would effectively ban the burqa, though the committee says it is also targeting hooligans and others who cover their face for criminal intent.

    The Swiss government opposes the idea, saying it’s up to the cantons to legislate on the issue. However in December it proposed a counter-project suggesting it be made illegal to force anyone to cover their face.

    The initiative and the counter-project will likely be put to the vote in 2019.”

  20. Refugees in Switzerland lack the psychological care they need (thelocal, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.ch/20180108/refugees-in-switzerland-lack-the-psychological-care-they-need

    “Switzerland doesn’t offer enough psychological support to refugees who have experienced traumatic events before arriving in the country, according to a report in Swiss media.

    According to estimates, half of all refugees arriving in Switzerland suffer from post-traumatic stress, reports news agency ATS.

    But it takes on average eight years after their arrival to start treatment, according to Matthis Schick, director of a Zurich organization helping victims of war and torture.

    Many trauma victims don’t want to talk about their experiences because they don’t want to relive them, or because they feel shame or guilt, particularly regarding rape and sexual assault.

    But even when they do want to speak, Switzerland doesn’t have enough places available to treat them.

    A 2013 study commissioned by the Swiss government found that the country lacked some 500 therapy places for refugees with psychological troubles.

    Wait lists are therefore very long, with some having to wait up to a year to be seen.

    The language barrier is also a major obstacle for people seeking treatment, according to Schick. Interpreters are often needed, but that’s a resource care-providers don’t always have and victims can’t always pay for.

    His Zurich clinic is lucky to have its own interpreting service, but others don’t, and health insurance companies are not obliged to cover the costs.

    Consequently, some patients resort to amateur interpreters or their own children, sometimes leading to errors.

    “A translation mistake drove a woman to abort her child without wanting to,” said Schick.

    In refusing to pay for professional interpreters the authorities are being short-sighted, he added, since not treating trauma victims can lead to bigger health problems down the line.”

  21. Justice Minister falls victim to own social media ‘censorship’ law (thelocal, Jan 8, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.de/20180108/justice-minister-falls-victim-to-own-social-media-censorship-law

    “Germany’s justice minister fell victim to the rules he himself championed against online social media when one of his tweets was deleted following several complaints, Bild daily reported on Monday. Critics accuse the new law of stifling freedom of speech.
    The tweet dated back to 2010, when Heiko Maas was not yet minister.

    In the post, he had called Thilo Sarrazin, a politician who wrote a controversial book on Muslim immigrants, “an idiot”.

    Maas told Bild on Monday that he “did not receive any information from Twitter about why the tweet was deleted, or whether it would be deleted from Twitter.”

    But he added that “there are things that I would no longer tweet today.”

    “I’ve learnt that over the years,” he said.

    A new law that came into force on January 1st requires social media giants to remove hate speech and other illegal content, or risk fines of up to €50 million ($57 million).

    Under the legislation, companies like Twitter and Facebook would have 24 hours to remove posts that openly violate German law after they are flagged by users.

    Germany meanwhile signalled on Monday it was open to amending the controversial law which combats online hate speech.

    Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said an evaluation would be carried out within six months to examine how well the new law was working.

    “It’s best to conduct the evaluation with an open mind, and then we’ll see what experience can be drawn from it, what impact and then all that would be weighed up,” he told reporters.

    The country adopted the measure, one of the toughest in the world, after a surge in racist and incendiary speech online, particularly since the arrival of more than one million asylum-seekers in Germany since 2015.

    Far-right politician Beatrix von Storch became the first high-profile individual to run afoul of the new rules, and saw one of her posts deleted from both Twitter and Facebook.

    Von Storch, deputy leader of the anti-immigration AfD party’s parliamentary group, had criticized Cologne police for sending a New Year’s greeting in Arabic on Twitter.

    “What the hell is going on with this country? Why is an official police site… tweeting in Arabic?” she wrote. “Did you mean to placate the barbaric, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men?”

    But critics of Maas’ new law argue that it stifles freedom of speech.

    Several parties, including the AfD, the pro-business FDP, far-left Linke as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies CSU, want the law scrapped or amended.

    Maas’ party, the Social Democrats, however are holding firm.”

  22. Terrorist safe havens: CIA chief joins chorus against Pakistan (tribune, Jan 9, 2018)
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1603718/1-terrorist-safe-havens-cia-chief-joins-chorus-pakistan/

    “In the wake of US President Donald Trump’s allegations that Pakistan is providing safe havens to terror outfits on its soil, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief Mike Pompeo doubled down on those claims in an interview to CBS.

    The CIA chief said that they would “protect” the US if Pakistan fails to address the issue.

    “We see that Pakistan is continuing to provide safe havens inside of Pakistan for terrorists who present risks to the United States of America,” Pompeo said.

    “We are doing our best to inform the Pakistanis that that is no longer going to be acceptable,” he added.

    “If they fix this problem, we’re happy to continue to engage with them and be their partner. But if they don’t, we’re going to protect America.”

    The statement came amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and Washington with Trump lambasting Pakistan of giving’nothing but “lies and deceit” adding that “they think US leaders to be fools”.

    “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump said in his tweet last week…”

  23. Death penalty for child abduction in Egypt (memo, Jan 9, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180109-death-penalty-for-child-abduction-in-egypt/

    “Egypt’s parliament approved, Monday, a legislative amendment to toughen penalties against child abduction to death by hanging.

    The House of Representatives of Egypt said in a statement it had agreed to “amend a penal code that would impose the death penalty or life imprisonment of 25 years for abducting a child if the abduction was linked with an assault or rape.”

    The amendment stipulates that “any child kidnapper who abducts without circumvention or coercion shall be punished by a term of not less than 10 years. If the abduction is accompanied by a ransom request, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a term of no less than 15 years and no more than 20 years.”

    The amendment also specifies that “the perpetrator of the abduction crime shall be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, if linked with the crime of assaulting the kidnapped or raping him/her.”…”

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