Reader’s Links, January 10, 2018

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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

103 Replies to “Reader’s Links, January 10, 2018”

  1. Fusion GPS founder’s lawyer: Somebody killed due to dossier

    Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony was released; Catherine Herridge goes in-depth for ‘Special Report.’

  2. FBI agents’ text messages could prove to be a crime

    Judicial Watch Director of Investigations Chris Farrell on text messages exchanged between agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page and whether their texts prove that they leaked information to news outlets.


    ‘There are too many laws’: Sudanese mother says troubled migrant youths are confused by Australia’s legal system – and driven to a life of crime because there aren’t enough jobs.
    A Sudanese mother-of-six says there are ‘too many laws’ and not enough jobs in Australia – a mix she claims is driving Melbourne’s crime wave.

    Asha Awur, whose eldest son has been imprisoned for gang activity, says isolation and the inability to support themselves is driving men in her community to join gangs.

    She claims migrants who come from African nations like Sudan have fled traumatic upbringings and struggle to assimilate immediately into Australian culture.

  4. MSNBC finds Russia 5,000% more newsworthy than devastated Yemen – media watchdog (RT, Jan 9, 2018)

    “An investigation by FAIR found that the US liberal cable network failed to run a single program devoted to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen in the second half of 2017. MSNBC programming frequently focused on Russia related topics.

    FAIR, the US media watch group, scrutinized the channel’s broadcast via Nexis news database. The group notes that the liberal network practically ignored devastation in Yemen as the US is actively supporting Saudi Arabia, which conducts airstrikes and imposes a blockade causing famine in the country.

    The examination of the content of broadcasts over the course of last year showed MSNBC ran just one segment on the Saudi airstrikes that have killed and wounded thousands of Yemeni citizens. It also conspicuously shunned reporting on the country’s massive cholera epidemic, which infected more than one million Yemenis – the largest cholera outbreak in history.

    A number of human rights organizations have spoken out against the US and the UK over their willingness to supply weapons to Riyadh in their fight against anti-government Houthi rebels, to no avail.

    Human Rights Watch noted that the US continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, approving more than $20 billion in military sales in 2015 alone.

    “This campaign by the Saudis is almost entirely dependent upon British- and American-manufactured munitions, which continued to be supplied to this day,” security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge told RT in November. “British and American assistance in refueling facilities and intelligence gathering and logistics, and even in the control rooms coordinating the targeting.”

    In May 2017, Donald Trump concluded a massive military deal with the Saudi Arabian government reportedly worth up to $350 billion over the next decade.

    Amid this near media blackout on the deteriorating conditions in Yemen, MSNBC preferred to focus its journalistic juices on all things related to Russia, both real and imagined.

    This stance will probably come as no surprise considering the partisan battle that has divided the nation ever since Donald Trump trounced Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, a contest that Democrats allege – without any evidence to support the claims – that Russia hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee.

    According to the FAIR analysis, “MSNBC ran nearly 5,000 percent more segments that mentioned Russia than segments that mentioned Yemen” over the course of last year.

    To put the numbers another way, when looking at the content for all of 2017, MSNBC ran 1,385 broadcasts that mentioned “Russia,”“Russian” or “Russians.” By comparison, just 82 broadcasts used the words “Yemen,” “Yemeni” or “Yemenis” that year.

    Of these 82 broadcasts that mentioned ‘Yemen’ in 2017, there was only a single MSNBC news segment devoted specifically to the US-supported Saudi war in Yemen.

    Towards the end of the year, Russia-related broadcasts showed a massive uptick.

    In the four days from December 26 to December 29, MSNBC uttered “Russia,”“Russian” or “Russians” nearly 400 times in 23 separate broadcasts, on all of the network’s major shows.

    On December 26, the words “Russia,” “Russian” or “Russians” were spoken 156 times in the broadcasts from 5pm EST to 11pm. Below is a breakdown of the number of mentions of Russia, courtesy of FAIR:

    • 33 times on MTP Daily at 5pm
    • 6 times on The Beat at 6pm
    • 30 times on Hardball at 7pm
    • 38 times on All In at 8pm
    • 40 times Rachel Maddow at 9pm
    • 9 times on The Last Word (with Ari Melber filling in for O’Donnell) at 10pm

    “On this single day, MSNBC mentioned Russia almost twice as many times in six hours of coverage than it mentioned Yemen in all of 2017,” FAIR estimated.”

    • Because Yemenis are inbred subhumans?

      Grow dope instead of food? Consume so much of it they’re even more resigned to “insha’allah” than your average 3rd World Mohammadan?

      Distrust inoculations against polio, smallpox, measles, etc. as ‘witchcraft’? Burn alive medical personnel from NGOs stupid enough to venture into their hellholes?

      Won’t clean their own feces because ‘it’s beneath them’? So that cholera is endemic?

  5. Libya may not be ready for democracy, says military strongman (theguardian, Jan 10, 2018)

    “The Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar has warned that the country may not be ready for democracy even though the UN is planning to hold elections this year.

    Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east of the country, said: “The upcoming elections in the country must bring a solution to the current bloodshed, but if the situation and the chaos continue after the elections, then we will say ‘enough is enough’ and take action.”…”

    • In Libya, political assassinations threaten forthcoming elections (memo, Jan 10, 2018)

      “The recent assassination of Salah Al-Qatrani, a Libyan activist, marks the 201st political assassination in the country since 2017 and the first of 2018.

      Al-Qatrani, the director of the Educational Services Bureau of El Biar, was attacked by an armed group on 4 January 2018 and died in later in hospital.

      Libyan politicians warned of the escalation of political assassinations, stressing that this will affect the political reform process and potentially the forthcoming parliamentary elections…”

      • Watch and listen to the libs in the US, they are working hard to get President Trump assassinated, him and all other Republican politicians.

  6. At least five protesters died in Iran police custody, says Amnesty International (alaraby, Jan 10, 2018)

    “At least five protesters arrested during recent anti-government demonstrations in Iran have died in police custody, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

    A brutal crackdown by security forces led to at least 22 protesters but more deaths might have taken place in prison cells, where reports of torture are frequent, the human rights group claimed.

    Amnesty International said one protester, Sina Ghanbari, aged 23, died in mysterious circumstances at the “quarantine” section at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

    Authorities said Ghanbari committed suicide. Activists dispute this claim.

    Amnesty International has called on Tehran to investigate his death and others following the crackdown on anti-government rallies in Iran.

    “The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees is alarming. Instead of rushing to the judgment that they committed suicide, the authorities must immediately launch an independent, impartial, and transparent investigation, including independent autopsies,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “We have long documented the nightmarish conditions in detention facilities in Iran, including the use of torture. Those suspected of having any responsibility for these deaths should be suspended from their positions and prosecuted in proceedings that respect international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty.”

    At least four other people have reportedly died in custody including two more at Evin prison’s “quarantine” section, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh reported…”

  7. Potential joint defence agreement between Sudan and Turkey (memo, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Sudan and Turkey have recently discussed the possibility of expanding their cooperation and are considering signing a joint defence agreement.

    The Sudanese sources explained to The New Arab, that “there is information circulating in Khartoum that suggest agents from Cairo and Abu Dhabi are seeking to stir unrest in Sudan.”

    The sources said that “there have been hints of this in the Egyptian media and in the writings of those who are close to the regime”. Thus, “it is important to take immediate steps to put an end to these attempts.”…”

  8. LAPD takes another step toward deploying drones in controversial yearlong test

    The Los Angeles Police Department took another step toward using drones in some tactical situations after its civilian bosses Tuesday approved a $31,500 donation to purchase the controversial devices.

    The LAPD has yet to fly any drones. The yearlong pilot program, approved by the Police Commission last fall, won’t begin until the department buys the drones and teaches officers how to use them.

  9. French star Deneuve defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women

    France’s most revered actress Catherine Deneuve hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.

    She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted women over decades.

    They claimed that the “witch-hunt” that has followed threatens sexual freedom.

    “Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.

    “Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss,” said the letter, which was also signed by Catherine Millet, author of the hugely explicit 2002 bestseller “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”.

    Men had been dragged through the mud, they argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”

  10. The Mystery of the
    Exiled Billionaire

    From a penthouse on Central Park, Guo Wengui has exposed a phenomenal web of corruption in China’s ruling elite — if, that is, he’s telling the truth.

    On a recent Saturday afternoon, an exiled Chinese billionaire named Guo Wengui was holding forth in his New York apartment, sipping tea while an assistant lingered quietly just outside the door, slipping in occasionally to keep Guo’s glass cup perfectly full. The tycoon’s Twitter account had been suspended again — it was the fifth or sixth time, by Guo’s count — and he blamed the Communist Party of China. “It’s not normal!” he said, about this cycle of blocking and reinstating. “But it doesn’t matter. I don’t need anyone.”

    Guo’s New York apartment is a 9,000-square-foot residence along Central Park that he bought for $67.5 million in 2015. He sat in a Victorian-style chair, his back to a pair of west-facing windows, the sunset casting craggy shadows. A black-and-white painting of an angry-looking monkey hung on the wall to Guo’s right, a hat bearing a star-and-wreath Soviet insignia on its head and a cigarette hanging from its lips. Guo had arrived dressed entirely in black, except for two silver stripes on each lapel. “I have the best houses,” he told me. Guo had picked his apartment for its location, its three sprawling balconies and the meticulously tiled floor in the entryway. He has the best apartment in London, he said; the biggest apartment in Hong Kong. His yacht is docked along the Hudson River. He is comfortable and, anyway, Guo likes to say that as a Buddhist, he wants for nothing. If it were

  11. Russian historian who exposed Stalin’s crimes faces enforced psychiatric testing

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian historian whose exposure of Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s crimes angered state officials is due to begin enforced psychiatric testing this week amid fears he will be falsely declared insane, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

    Yuri Dmitriev, 61, is on trial in northwest Russia on charges brought by state prosecutors of involving his adopted daughter, then 11, in child pornography, of illegally possessing “the main elements of” a firearm, and of depravity involving a minor.

    Some of Russia’s leading cultural figures say Dmitriev was framed because his focus on Stalin’s crimes – he found a mass grave with up to 9,000 bodies dating from the Soviet dictator’s Great Terror in the 1930s – jars with the latter-day Kremlin narrative that Russia must not be ashamed of its past.

    The narrative has taken on added importance ahead of a March presidential election which polls show incumbent Vladimir Putin, who uses his country’s World War Two victory when Stalin was in charge to bolster national pride, is on track to win.

    Putin asserted last year that what he called an “excessive demonization of Stalin” was being used to undermine Russia.

  12. House Passes New Cybersecurity Bill

    The House passes a cyber security bill aimed to increase oversight on the Department of Homeland Security.

    Lawmakers passed the legislation on Tuesday through a voice vote.

    The bill would require the DHS to alert Congress of any potential cyber threats affecting the private sector.

    Supporters of the bill say the current system of identifying vulnerabilities is not transparent, and could put businesses at risk.

    Many lawmakers view the move as a step forward as the bill heads to the upper chamber for a vote.

  13. Fusion’s frustrated founder complained to Senate: I said it here, and it DIDN’T come out there
    By J.E. Dyer January 10, 2018

    A lot will be written in the next few days about the Senate testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, released by Senator Dianne Feinstein this week, as well as newly reviewed texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which suggest the latter two may have been involved in leaking Bureau information.

    Although there has been a big clamor on Tuesday (9 January) over the suggestion – derived from the Simpson testimony – that the FBI had a source inside the Trump campaign in 2016, I don’t think that’s the story. That’s basically because I don’t think it’s true.

    Simpson never asserts it explicitly, for one thing. But there’s also simply a better explanation for why FBI agents reportedly told Christopher Steele in September 2016 that they had a separate source giving them information that seemed to come from within the campaign.

    Ken Dilanian of NBC has the explanation that makes the most sense. When FBI personnel were telling Steele they had a separate source impelling them to probe links between Trump personnel and Russians, they were referring to the information about George Papadopoulos.

  14. Not sure about legitimacy of all of this, but thought it worth posting for further examination:
    Q Anon: “Learn to Read the Map”
    A Cartography of the Globally Organized Corruption Networks: A Treasure Trove of Maps, Diagrams, Org Charts, and Family Trees
    Article updated several times on January 9, 2018, now with over 100 new resources, a good number of them very large and high resolution.
    If you have additions for this collection,please get them to the Meme Lab Facebook group.
    The material presented below has been collected the old-fashioned way: Google…
    This is a dynamic article with more maps and diagrams being added and Dylan has and will continue to provide updates, revisions, and a number of additional products. We have begun to add videos that use this article as a resource and would welcome links to videos that do so.

  15. German court on jihadist ruling: People can’t be deported if they face inhuman treatment

    A court ruling in German has provoked controversy after it refused the deportation of a Turkish jihadist. The decision’s likely to also give chancellor Merkel a headache, as she continues to struggle to form a coalition government.

  16. MEMRI TV –Tehran Protester: Money Sent to Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, While We Steal and Women Sell Their Bodies

    In a protest against Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which took place in Tehran, a woman shouts that Khamenei was sending Iranian money to Iraq, devastated by ISIS, while “Iran itself is full of poverty and corruption, of young men who steal and women who sell their bodies due to poverty and the high cost of living.

    The video was tweeted by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters’ correspondent on Iranian affairs, on November 20.


    A video of an Islamist leader purportedly drinking a mixture of camel urine and camel milk in Saudi Arabia has sparked debate over the health dangers of the practice in his native Indonesia.

    Bachtiar Nasir is the chairman of the National Movement of Fatwa Guards Majelis Ulama Indonesia (GNPF-MUI) movement, an organization of hard-line Islamist groups that led last year’s protests against Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, accusing him of insulting the Koran, last year.

    In the video, Bachtiar can be seen pouring the amber-colored content of a plastic bottle into a bowl, combining it with a white liquid and then taking a sip from it, describing the flavor as bitter and rich. The video was shared on his Instagram page, where he has half a million followers, last week and it has since been viewed more than 200,000 times, sparking an online debate over the drink’s health benefits among all levels of Indonesian society, including politicians, as BBC Indonesia reported.

    The Islamist cleric defended the consumption of the drink in the video caption, claiming the mixture of camel urine and milk has medicinal benefits. He quoted verses from the Hadiths, which record the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and are second in authority only to the Koran.

    But scientists in Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries reject the claims, and actually link the consumption of camel urine to the spread of a disease known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS). The disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and caused the death of 36 people during an outbreak in South Korea in 2015.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is transmitted from dromedary camels to humans, and as such it is advisable to avoid contact with the animals. “People should avoid contact with camels, drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

    The Indonesian Health Ministry is of the same opinion. In a statement to CNN Indonesia, the ministry’s spokesperson Oscar Primadi warned against repeating Bachtiar’s actions, quoting the WHO advice.

    Bachtiar is a controversial figure in indonesian politics, having been investigated for alleged money laundering to fund the Islamic State militant group (ISIS)—which proved inconclusive—and for leading a campaign to ban extramarital and gay sex, which the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected, as reported in Global Voices.

    Indonesian professor Noorhaidi Hasan, who teaches Islamic politics at the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga in Yogyakarta, told the BBC Bachtiar’s post is deeply political. Hasan said it represents the wider debate between conservative and progressive Islam that characterized the Jakarta gubernatorial elections in 2017, which saw Ahok’s defeat, and will continue to affect the country’s political situation ahead of the 2019 election.

  18. BREITBART – Tens of Thousands of Migrants in Germany Unable to Read or Write

    The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has released new figures showing that around 43,000 individuals engaged in integration courses are unable to read or write at all.

    The 43,000 migrants were placed into special courses meant to help them learn how to both read and write but many have been totally unable to learn how to speak German in the language component of the courses, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reports.

    The number of people enrolled in the special courses is an increase of 10 per cent since the same time last year. Although class sizes are small and migrants have access to greater teacher contact across around 1,300 lessons, many are said to be so poor at German that they will not likely find any type of work.

    Less than a fifth, or 17 per cent, of the migrants, engaged in the programme were able to speak German at an intermediate level which is required for basic labour jobs. Of the various nationalities, BAMF reports that Iraqis and Eritrean migrants performed the worst in the language schools.

    The report confirms the assessment of some economists who have predicted that mass migration will have a negative impact on the long-term economic growth of Germany.

    A vast majority of the migrants who arrived during and since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015 are unemployed with a report from late 2016 claiming that only three per cent had managed to find work.

    As a result of not being able to find a job, many migrants have ended up on the German benefits system. Last year the German Federal Agency for Employment (BA) announced that there were half a million asylum seekers living on state handouts.

    In the district of Salzlandkreis in Saxony-Anhalt, the unemployment situation for migrants is even more pronounced with only 56 out of 1,530 migrants registered with the local job centre being able to find any kind of work.

    • Many are illiterate in their own languages.
      A substantial subset of whom are functionally retarded. Physically robust and capable of reproducing. Lotsa luck.

  19. Britain First activists protest outside grooming hotspot Kebab shop!
    Hampshire Police have exposed an epidemic of child grooming in the Waterlooville, Havant and Portsmouth areas.

    That investigation has led to Istanbul Grill in Waterlooville being ordered by Havant council to stop serving by 11pm after what the council described as a ‘failure in the management of the premises… in particular in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm’.

  20. Report: Three Men in Vienna Charged for Waving Israeli Flag in ‘Provocation’ (breitbart, Jan 10, 2018)

    “The Jerusalem Post reports: The Vienna police are pursuing criminal charges against three pro-Israel activists for waving an Israeli flag at a protest against the designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    The police are seeking a 100 euro fine or two days in jail for the waving of the flag at the December 8 rally near the US embassy in the capital. The criminal notice, dated January 3, states that the activists “showed an Israeli flag at a rally in an extremely provocative way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offense and provocation among the Palestinian protestors.”

    The German-language edition of the news site Vice first reported on Tuesday on the penalties against the three men and conducted an interview with one of the pro-Israel protestors.”

  21. Switzerland Rejects Citizenship Bids of Residents Who Have Been on Welfare (breitbart, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A new civil rights act has come into force in Switzerland that prevents residents who have been on welfare in the past three years from becoming citizens unless they pay back the money they received to the state.

    The new regulations will make it impossible for asylum seekers and migrants who have lived off state handouts in the last three years to become citizens even if they have lived in Switzerland as permanent residents for the required time to make a citizenship application, Kronen Zeitung reports.

    The previous law allowed migrants to apply for citizenship as long as they were not on state benefits at the time of their application.

    Along with the welfare stipulation, the new act requires migrants to demonstrate a greater level of integration than before including making them prove they have a certain number of Swiss friends and acquaintances.

    Language requirements vary by canton with most expecting an intermediate level of language proficiency judged on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) at the B1 or B2 level.

    While Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, asylum seekers have attempted to flood into the country through the southern Italian border. While many have used Switzerland as a transit country to reach Germany, others have remained in the Alpine state…”

  22. London Islamic State Sympathiser Planned to Bomb ‘Smart People’ (breitbart, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A self-described “simple man” who had an apparent hatred for people of intelligence planned a suicide bombing in London to take out “smart people”, a British court has heard.

    Whitechapel resident Mohammed Kamal Hussain, 28, was arrested with Mohammed Ashfaqur Hemel, 31, last year as he planned to launch an attack, which he identified in communications in code as a “barbeque party”, reports The Times.

    Calling himself “Captain the illiterate” — a pseudonym he later explained to police was missing the word “of”, communications by Hussain intercepted by officers included the confession that he considered himself “a simple man” and that “I hate the smart people”, who he wanted to kill…”

  23. Tens of Thousands of Migrants in Germany Unable to Read or Write (breitbart, Jan 10, 2018)

    “The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has released new figures showing that around 43,000 individuals engaged in integration courses are unable to read or write at all.

    The 43,000 migrants were placed into special courses meant to help them learn how to both read and write but many have been totally unable to learn how to speak German in the language component of the courses, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reports…”

  24. British Army Recruitment Campaign Focuses on Islam, Sexual Diversity, Banishes Macho Image (breitbart, Jan 10, 2018)

    “The British Army has been slammed for bowing to “political correctness” after spending £1.6 million on a campaign engaging with gender and racial identity politics and encouraging troops to be more emotional.

    Army representatives say they want to encourage diversity of religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity with their ‘Army Belonging 2018’ campaign, as well as telling recruits its okay for them to cry.

    In promotional videos, voiced by serving soldiers, recruits ask: “Can I be gay in the Army?”, “Do I have to be a superhero?”, and “What if I get emotional in the Army?”

    In another, a Muslim soldier explains how the Army has allowed him to practice Islam, but Christian soldiers are not given the same reassurance in the campaign…”

  25. Syrian troops reach gates of key rebel-held air base (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Syrian pro-government forces reached a sprawling air base controlled by rebels since 2015 on Wednesday, the target of a wide-ranging offensive in the northwestern Idlib province.

    Recapturing the Abu Zuhour air base has been one of the main goals of the government offensive launched in late October. The operations also aim to secure the road linking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest.

    The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops were engaged in fierce fighting with al-Qaida-linked militants and other insurgents just outside Abu Zuhour.

    The government offensive in the region has displaced tens of thousands of people, who have fled toward areas close to the Turkish border…”

  26. Yemeni official: Saudi-led airstrike on market kills 11 (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A provincial health official says an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition has struck a market in northern Yemen, killing 11 people, including an 11-year-old boy.

    Hassab al-Azay, the health director in Saada province, a stronghold of the country’s Shiite Houthi rebels, told The Associated Press that Wednesday’s airstrike wounded another five people.

    The coalition, which is allied with an internationally recognized government, has been at war with the Iran-supported rebels since March 2015. The Houthis control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

    It was not immediately clear if those killed included combatants. The coalition, which says it takes all precautions to minimize civilian casualties, could not be reached for comment.

    The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.”

  27. Iran arrests dozens for ‘terrorist’ acts linked to protests (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Iran says it has arrested dozens on suspicion of “terrorist activities” during a recent wave of protests.

    The official IRNA news agency on Wednesday carried a statement from the Intelligence Ministry saying security forces confiscated arms and explosives from “safe houses” kept by the detainees. It says some detainees had filmed the protests…”

  28. Rights activist arrested in Russian province of Chechnya (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A prominent Russian rights group says one of its activists has been arrested in the province of Chechnya on trumped-up charges.

    The Memorial group said that Oyub Titiev, the head of its branch in Chechnya, was arrested Tuesday on charges of unlawful drug possession that he rejected.

    Human Rights Watch denounced Titiev’s arrest as a “disgraceful attempt at silencing Memorial.” It emphasized that framing people for drug crimes has become a favorite tactic of Chechen authorities to punish critics…”

  29. Russian gains in Syria threatened by series of rebel attacks (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Syria, Russian military outposts in the country have come under rebel attacks that are challenging Moscow’s gains.

    Russian bases located in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Alawite heartland had been immune to rebel raids ever since Moscow launched its campaign in Syria in September 2015. But a series of drone attacks and mortar and rocket shelling in recent days has broken the calm.

    The incursions have raised doubts both about the sustainability of the Assad government’s recent victories and Moscow’s ability to protect its assets in the country…”

  30. Egypt’s inflation drops as economic reforms take effect (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Egypt’s inflation dropped to 21.9 percent in December, down from nearly 26 percent the month before, marking its lowest level since the currency was floated in November 2016, according to figures released Wednesday.

    The numbers published by the Central Bank of Egypt also showed that year-on-year core inflation declined to 19.86 percent in December, down from 25.54 percent in November. Core inflation excludes volatile commodities such as food and energy.

    The inflation rate peaked over the summer after the government raised fuel prices by up to 55 percent and electricity prices by more than 40 percent. It had also doubled the price of household gas canisters. Inflation largely hovered around 30 percent in 2017.

    Dubai-based Arqaam Capital said the decline in inflation reflects the “strong positive base effect” following the currency float, part of broader economic reforms taken to meet demands by the International Monetary Fund for a $12 billion bailout loan. It expects inflation to decline to 18 percent in January.

    The currency floatation and austerity measures, aimed at rebuilding the economy after years of unrest, have hit poor and middle class Egyptians especially hard.

    President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president, has urged Egyptians to be patient as the reforms take effect. In September he said the government would aim for around 13 percent inflation in 2018.

    El-Sissi has yet to formally announce his candidacy, but is virtually certain to run for and win a second four-year term in elections set for March. He faces no realistic challengers, and authorities have silenced virtually all public criticism of the government.”

  31. Iran halts death penalty for minor drug crimes (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Iran has begun implementing new guidelines that will prevent thousands of convicted drug smugglers from being executed, Iranian media reported Wednesday.

    The new regulations, approved by parliament in October, would limit the death penalty to drug kingpins, armed dealers and those convicted of smuggling more than 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of opium or 2 kilograms of heroin. Previous law prescribed the death penalty for smuggling 20 kilograms of opium or 30 grams of heroin.

    The pro-reform Shargh newspaper and other dailies reported Wednesday that Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of the judiciary, has ordered officials to “quickly” review cases and implement the new regulations.

    The report said the decision would affect more than 5,000 convicts.

    Rights groups have long criticized Iran for being among the world’s leading executioners…”

  32. Pakistan reporter says he escaped kidnapping attempt (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A Pakistani journalist says several armed men tried to kidnap him and threatened to shoot him if he resisted.

    Taha Siddiqui, a reporter with France 24 and the Pakistan bureau chief for World Is One News, says he fears Wednesday’s attack was payback for his critical reporting on Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence agencies.

    Siddiqui said he was heading to the airport when his taxi was stopped. He was ordered out of the vehicle, beaten and threatened. He says he escaped by fleeing into traffic as the men shouted “Shoot him.”

    The Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia program coordinator, Steven Butler, says the attempted abduction “sends a chilling signal to the entire press community.”

    Several activists and bloggers have disappeared after criticizing the military or advocating improved ties with India.”

  33. A Tunisian synagogue set on fire by Molotov cocktails (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Two Molotov cocktails have been thrown at a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, setting fire to the building.

    The president of Djerba’s Jewish community, Perez Trabelsi, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the attack was perpetrated by two people on a motorbike. He said the synagogue suffered no damage.

    “The perpetrators want to sow dissension between Jewish and Muslim communities living in harmony on the island for many years,” Trabelsi said.

    A reporter at the scene told the AP the synagogue was empty and the fire was quickly extinguished. The reporter couldn’t be identified in accordance with her company’s policy.

    Djerba is home to Tunisia’s main Jewish community. The 2,500-year-old Ghriba synagogue, which was targeted in a 2002 extremist attack, is located on the island.

    Tuesday’s fire was at a smaller prayer site.

    In recent days, violent protests over price hikes have left one person dead and raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the Arab Spring.”

  34. Saudi prince who criticized arrest of relatives is sacked (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A Saudi prince who purportedly made an audio recording criticizing the government has been sacked as head of the kingdom’s Maritime Sports Federation and replaced by a military officer, according to local press reports.

    In the nearly six-minute-long audio that was posted online and published on Arabic media websites this week, Prince Abdullah bin Saud bin Mohammed said the government’s publicly stated reasons for arresting 11 princes are “false” and “illogical.”

    The Associated Press could not independently verify the recording’s authenticity. Bloomberg, which obtained the recording and first reported on it, said the voice message had been circulated on Whatsapp. It also reported that among those detained are the sons of the billionaire prince and chairman of Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company, Almarai Co…”

  35. Pakistan mob angered by rape, murder of girl attacks police (abcnews, Jan 10, 2018)

    “A mob angered over the recent rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl attacked a police station and a nearby government building in eastern Punjab province on Wednesday, triggering clashes that left at least two people dead and several injured, the police said.

    The violence erupted in the city of Kasur hours before the funeral of Zainab Ansari, whose case has drawn wide public outrage.

    The girl went missing last week while going to a nearby home for Quranic studies. Her parents, who were away at a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia at the time, returned on Wednesday, landing at the Islamabad airport.

    “We will not bury our daughter until her killers are arrested,” said the father, Ameen Ansari, as his wife sobbed.

    Zainab’s body was found on Tuesday in a garbage bin, senior police officer Imran Nawaz Khan said. Police say she was abducted, raped and murdered. Officer Maqsood Ahmed said six girls were sexually assaulted in recent months in Kasur and that police were probing whether there was a connection in the cases.

    Activists on social media have condemned the government for failing to arrest those involved in the crime…”

  36. Ritz Paris robbery: Jewellery worth millions seized in armed heist (BBC, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Armed robbers have seized millions of euros worth of merchandise from a jewellery shop at the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris.

    Five men armed with axes smashed a window at the shop inside the hotel at about 18:00 local time (19:00 GMT), French media report.

    Three men have been arrested, police said, while others remain on the run.

    It is not clear whether any of the loot, estimated to be worth more than €4m (£3.5m), was recovered.

    The luxurious five-star Ritz is located in Place Vendôme, in Paris’ historical first district on the right bank of the river Seine. The ministry of justice lies next door.

    The hotel includes a gallery shopping area near its rear entrance, which it says hosts five shops and 95 “showcases”, selling jewellery, watches and luxury clothing…”

  37. Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions (BBC, Jan 10, 2018)

    “Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid concerns they face abuse and neglect abroad.

    Ethiopia is one of the biggest source countries for international adoptions by US citizens, accounting for about 20% of the total.

    Celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia.

    However, in 2013, a US couple were convicted of killing an adopted Ethiopian girl.

    That case triggered a debate about foreign adoption, the BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa says.

    The adoption process in Ethiopia has also faced serious questions with rights groups saying that it was prone to abuse by human traffickers who saw it as lucrative market…”

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