Reader’s Links, March 1, 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

121 Replies to “Reader’s Links, March 1, 2018”

  1. Confidential information from Canadian taxpayers could soon be shared with police and authorities in three dozen countries around the world, under measures included in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s latest budget.
    In an inconspicuous section tucked into a small 78-page annex to the budget, the government says it wants to give police and tax authorities new powers to fight tax evasion and advance international investigations into serious crimes, ranging from drug trafficking and money laundering to terrorism.
    “The sharing of information internationally for the investigation, prosecution and suppression of serious criminal offences, both tax-related and non-tax-related, is vital to the global fight against serious crime and is consistent with the government’s commitments to address global tax evasion and improve the fairness of the tax system,” says the budget annex.

  2. Trump Fires One of Obama’s Most Powerful Swamp Slugs

    By this point in time, we all know that President Donald Trump’s assertion that the swamp runs deep in the nation’s capital is much more than campaign rhetoric.

    The Verge has the scoop.

    Election Assistance Commission chairman Matthew Masterson is being removed from his post by the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a report from Reuters. Appointed to the commission in 2014 and serving as chairman since February, Masterson was expected to be appointed to a second four-year term.

    The dismissal of Masterson comes as the debate over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election rages on.

  3. 2 Syrian refugees on trial in Germany on terrorism charges (abcnews, Mar 1, 2018)

    “Two Syrians have gone on trial in Berlin on allegations they fought with Islamic extremist organizations in their home country.

    Abdulmalk A., 31, and Anas Ibrahim A.S., 26, who came to Germany as refugees in 2015, went on trial Thursday in Berlin state court on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. Their last names were withheld in line with privacy laws.

    A. is accused of joining the Nusra Front extremist group in 2012 and becoming a commander, taking part in the capture of gas fields and the town of Tabqa. He later joined the Islamic State group and was put in charge of a strategically important dam near the city.

    A.S. is accused of joining the Nusra Front in 2012 and participating in the takeover of an ammunition depot.”

  4. ISIS calls for attacks on sports events and markets in Barcelona in chilling message intercepted by Spanish police (dailymail, Feb 28, 2018)

    “Islamic State leaders have urged their ‘faithful’ followers to ‘martyr’ themselves by attacking ‘infidels’ in Catalonia.

    The message – broadcast through Telegramand and written in Spanish -was intercepted by the General Commissariat of Information of the National Police Body (CNP).

    Specifically mentioning Barcelona, the message instructs terrorists to attack sports facilities and events as well as markets…”

  5. Grenfell Tower activist, 35, caught with a cannabis oil distillery in his flat was previously jailed for five years for running a multi-million pound credit card cloning operation from the block (dailymail, Mar 1, 2018)

    “A Grenfell Tower survivor who was caught with a cannabis ‘oil’ distillery in the block of flats had previously run a credit card factory from his flat to swindle £1.6 million.

    Eamon Zada, 35, has been put up at £150 a night Raddison Blu hotel in Marylebone since the blaze claimed 72 lives last year and police found his drugs operation when they searched his home.

    It has now been revealed that Zada was jailed for five years in 2009 for his role in setting up a high-tech cloning scam at flat number 53.

    Zada, who is ‘core’ Grenfell activist and is due to give evidence at the official enquiry, had fitted four extra locks to his door and bought advanced gadgets which intercepts credit card details from phones…”

  6. Pakistani court wants names, ages & family info of those who left Islam (RT, Mar 1, 2018)

    “A Pakistani court has ordered the citizen database to hand over a list of an estimated 10,000 people believed to have requested a change of religion. The petition is the latest move by mainstream Muslims to criminalize Qadianism.

    On Monday, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), ordered Pakistan’s Citizen Authority (NADRA) provide information on residents who reportedly changed their religion from Islam to Qadianism. Qadiani, or Ahmadi Muslims are believers of a minority Islamic sect considered heretical by other, mainstream, Muslims…”

  7. WATCH: East Ghouta ‘Terrorists Not Interested in Accuracy, Do Not Care Who Dies’ (sputniknews, Mar 1, 2018)

    “The terrorists, who are currently holding the area of East Ghouta, continue to shell the Syrian capital paying no attention to the precision of their attacks, a local resident told Sputnik.

    “The school is being shelled daily, in these conditions; it is very difficult to study. We are afraid for our students and teachers. National security forces helped us to barricade the doors and some windows with sandbags to reduce the risk of someone being wounded by a [rocket] fragment or a bullet,” the school principal in the Dahiyat al-Assad district, named Lawrence Haddad told Sputnik…”

  8. Voluntary Repatriation: 10,000 Migrants Joined German Subsidised Deportation Scheme in 2017 (breitbart, Mar 1, 2018)

    “Since February of last year, the German Federal government has allowed failed asylum seekers to voluntarily return to their countries and receive cash incentives with 10,000 migrants taking part in the scheme.

    The programme, called Jump-Start Plus was introduced last year by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, along with an additional supplement for housing which expires this month. A total of 10,000 migrants signed up along with 1,260 who qualified for the bonus housing benefit, Bayerische Rundfunk reports.

    The scheme allows those who have failed in their asylum application to receive 800 euros per adult in two separate payments or 1,200 euros for those who chose to go back to their country before their asylum decision.

    One of the stipulations to be eligible for the scheme requires migrants to renounce any claim to dispute their asylum decision. Legal cases against negative asylum decisions have put enormous strain on the German court system.

    Around 100,000 court cases were decided last year out of the 273,000 that were filed. Among them, some 44 per cent of the cases were overturned and the migrants were given some form of asylum status.

    While the German government has put aside around 90 million euros toward encouraging migrants to return to their countries, the cost of forcibly deporting failed asylum seekers is much higher per capita.

    In 2016, it was revealed that the German government was forced to pay the sum of 125,000 euros to deport just three criminal migrants. A deportation to Afghanistan last October was also slammed for repatriating a mere 14 migrants out of a pool of over 14,000 on an aeroplane with 180 seats.

    The costs for Germany to allow all migrants to stay would be even higher according to economists. Some have claimed that the migrant crisis has cost German taxpayers as much as 30 billion euros per year.

    The economic advantages of mass migration have also been questioned with a study from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg claiming mass migration will ultimately hurt long-term economic growth.”

  9. ‘Migrant’ Most Commonly Used Word in Italian Newspaper Headlines in 2017 (breitbart, Mar 1, 2018)

    “An analysis of the most frequently used words in front-page headlines of Italian newspapers for 2017 reveals that Europe’s migrant crisis is still front and center in citizens’ minds as national elections approach.

    A comprehensive study of Italy’s headlines by L’Osservatorio di Pavia research institute shows that not only is “migrant” the most frequently recurring word in article titles of 2017, but that six out of ten of the most repeated words relate directly to the immigration question.

    While “migrant” was by far the most frequently used word in headlines, with nearly twice the number of appearances (2,455) as the second-most common word, “refugee” (1,322), almost all the words in the top-ten list related to immigration in some way.

    In order of frequency of use, the words are “migrant,” “refugee,” “Italy,” “NGO,” “immigrant,” “ius soli” (regarding giving citizenship to migrants’ children born in Italy), “welcome,” “Libya,” “European Union,” and “Italian.”

    Between 2015 and 2017, something similar happened in television coverage as well, with news programs spending 40 percent of their coverage on migrant flows in 2017, up from 28 percent in 2015. Coverage of crime and security has also increased significantly (from 25 to 34 percent) during the same period, while stories of “welcoming” migrants have fallen from 28 percent of news time to just 11 percent.

    A survey last autumn found that the level of fear of immigrants among the Italian population was the highest in more than ten years, as 46 percent of citizens say they agree with the statement that “immigrants are a danger for public order and the safety of persons.” The report found that the growing fear of immigrants was fueled, at least in part, by studies published on the correlation between a rising immigrant population and increased crime in the country.

    A 2016 front-page report in Il Giornale titled “More Immigrants = More Crime,” for instance, analyzed the correlation between the number of immigrants entering the country and the rise in the crime rate as revealed by a study conducted by the Confcommercio group on the statistical connection between crime and immigration.

    Highly publicized migrant crimes, like the recent brutal slaying and dismemberment of an 18-year-old Italian girl, allegedly by three Nigerian migrants, have also contributed to a growing sentiment of fear in relation to the immigrant population.

    Concern over a rising migrant population is reflected in political affiliation as well, the study found, with 75 percent of those identifying with the Northern League Party saying that immigrants are a danger, and only 18 percent of the progressive Partito Democratico (PD) agreeing with this statement. More than half (53 percent) of the supporters of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) considers migrants to be a threat to public order and personal safety.

    Italians’ relationship with the migrant question has evolved rapidly in the last several years as more than 600,000 mostly African migrants have entered the country. Despite their common desire to travel further north in Europe, the majority of these immigrants have stayed in Italy for the simple reason that they have not been granted asylum, and the Italian borders with France, Switzerland, and Austria are effectively blocked to them.

    In just three years, the percentage of Italians favorable to granting Italian citizenship to the children of migrants born on Italian soil (ius soli) has fallen from 80 percent in 2014 to just 52 percent in late 2017.

    Italians will go to the polls for national elections on Sunday. The most-recent polls predict a victory for the center-right coalition, whose leaders call for sealed borders and deportation of migrants to whom asylum has been denied.”

  10. Milan Mosque Urges Muslims to Vote for Italian Left-Wing Parties in Favour of ‘Birthplace Citizenship’ (breitbart, Mar 1, 2018)

    “The Mosque of Segrate located on the outskirts of Milan has called on Muslims to vote for the centre-left coalition and parties favourable to granting birthplace citizenship.

    The Segrate mosque, also known as Masjid al-Rahmàn or Mosque of the Merciful, released a bulletin to followers urging them to vote for parties which support granting citizenship to anyone born within the borders of Italy, known as Jus Soli, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

    The mosque told believers “they have a fundamental interest in going to the polls and in the secrecy of the voting booth, where nobody, except Allah, shines the splendour of his light, sees them express carefully on the valid ballot, putting the X on the symbol of parties favourable to Jus Soli.”

    The mosque is not the only authority telling Muslims to vote for left-wing parties. A recent issue of the Italian Muslim magazine Il Messaggero dell’Islam featured an article on who Muslims should vote for, reiterating many of the points of the mosque bulletin.

    The author of the article then writes: “Muslims must not lose this political occasion that Allah, the most high, puts at their disposal to consolidate them on this territory.”

    The Muslim population of Italy has grown largely due to mass migration, but many who have come from the Middle East and North Africa who do not qualify for asylum will likely face deportation if the right-wing coalition of populist Lega leader Matteo Salvini and former Prime minister and Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi win Sunday’s election.

    Both centre-right coalition leaders have promised to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants with the next five years.

    Current Italian citizenship laws largely follow the jus sanguinis, or right of blood, law which currently states that a child’s mother or father must be an Italian citizen for them to receive automatic citizenship with the only exceptions being stateless persons born in Italy.

    Muslims are also less likely to vote for Lega leader Matteo Salvini as he recently stated: “The Islam of today is a danger. I don’t want it.”

    “Either it evolves and opens itself or it is a danger. Once in office, I will put a halt to every irregular or abusive presence of Islam in Italy,” he added.”

  11. Iran and Hezbollah’s Terror in Argentina

    by Lawrence A. Franklin
    March 1, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Iran’s activities in Latin America are a direct challenge to U.S. primacy in the Western Hemisphere. Iran, it seems, wants to replace the U.S. as the power ally of Latin American countries.

    While Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and expansionist policies in the Middle East are well known, most of the Islamic Republic’s operations in Latin America appear to have been proceeding underway, below the radar, for several decades.

    During a joint news conference on February 4 in Buenos Aires with Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged to combat Hezbollah’s fundraising in Latin America, which is used to finance its terrorist operations. This indicates that U.S. intelligence and enforcement agencies could be closely following Iranian and Hezbollah incursions into Central and South America. The Department of Justice, for instance, recently announced that it had established a Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT) to monitor and prosecute the criminal activities of Hezbollah, Iran’s allied terrorist network in the region.

    One model to study how Hezbollah and Iran appear to be working in tandem in Latin America is the July 18, 1994 terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, allegedly carried out by Hezbollah under the guidance of Iran. This terrorist act was executed when a van packed with 600 lbs. of explosives detonated outside the Jewish center there, the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA). When the building collapsed, 85 people were killed and at least 300 more wounded.

  12. OIC voices concern over attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka (saudigazette, Mar 1, 2018)

    “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed deep concern over the tense situation in Sri Lanka after a mosque, several hotels and vehicles owned by Muslims were vandalized by mobs in the town of Ampara, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

    While expressing its concern over the highly explosive situation in the island nation, the OIC stressed the need to protect the rights of the Muslim minority, foremost of which is the sanctity of places of worship. It said Muslims should be able to perform their religious duties without fear or harassment and there should not be any direct or indirect attacks.

    The OIC also said Muslims should have the freedom to earn their livelihoods and conduct business under the full protection of the law.

    The OIC secretary-general called on the government of Sri Lanka to proceed expeditiously with an investigation of such abuses and to ensure the safety and security of the Muslim minority while practicing their religious rights in accordance with all relevant international human rights conventions and instruments.

    Meanwhile, an OIC delegation is visiting southern Thailand to assess the efforts of the Thai government to improve the plight of Muslims in the country. The visit was in line with a resolution of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. The delegation comprised ambassadors and representatives from Bahrain, Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and the OIC General Secretariat, SPA said…”

  13. Calls for Egypt to expel BBC journalist following damning documentary (memo, Mar 1, 2018)

    “A lawsuit has been filed demanding BBC reporter Orla Guerin be expelled from Egypt in response to a report on human rights violation which “contains lies and allegations”.

    The lawsuit was filed by controversial lawyer Samir Sabri before the Administrative Court of Justice demanding the Egyptian interior minister in his capacity as the Supreme President of the Passports, Immigration and Nationality Authority deport the BBC journalist.

    Last week, the BBC published a report entitled “The Shadow Over Egypt” which included interviews with families of alleged victims of torture and enforced disappearances…”

    • BBC ‘will discuss’ controversial human rights report with Egyptian authorities (ahram, Mar 1, 2018)

      “The BBC has said it will discuss with Egyptian authorities their complaint about a recent report on the country’s human rights record that has angered Cairo.

      The British broadcaster published a short documentary and online report last week on what it said were cases of forced disappearances and torture carried out by the Egyptian security forces.

      The report was described as containing “lies and allegations” by the Egyptian State Information Service, which oversees foreign media’s access to the country and frequently comments on foreign reporting about Egypt…”

  14. ‘Ghettos must go’: Government presents plan in Copenhagen underprivileged area (thelocal, Mar 1, 2018)

    “Denmark’s government presented its plan to tackle social problems in what it defines as ‘ghettos’ on Thursday as eight ministers visited the Mjølnerparken area of Copenhagen.
    Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the plan – which contains a number of potentially controversial elements – was not about race or religion.

    But too many Danish residents of non-Western backgrounds were not contributing to society, and the government was not prepared to accept that, the PM said according to newspaper Politiken.

    Rasmussen made his comments as he, along with seven other ministers, presented the ‘ghetto plan’ in Mjølnerparken, an underprivileged area of Nørrebro in Copenhagen that is included on the Ministry of Transport and Housing’s ‘ghetto list’.

    The plan – titled ‘One Denmark without Parallel Societies: No Ghettos in 2030′ – was also published on the government’s website on Thursday.

    “We still have time to turn around the trend, but we must act now,” Rasmussen said Thursday according to Politiken’s report.

    The PM also stressed that most residents in Denmark with non-Danish backgrounds contribute positively to society.

    But there are still too many people who are not, according to Rasmussen.

    “It concerns me deeply that we might not be able to come together around Denmark. We should be able to recognise our country. There are places where I don’t recognise what I’m seeing,” he said according to Politiken.

    Several elements of the government proposal were released to the media in the days prior to the official announcement on Thursday.

    These include introducing tougher criminal punishments in specified areas, housing rules aimed at changing resident demographics, data sharing, compulsory daycare attendance in underprivileged areas and financial incentives for good performance.

    In addition, the government also announced it wants to set aside 12 billion kroner (1.6 billion euros) to demolish and regenerate housing in underprivileged areas between 2019 and 2026.

    “We will invest on turning underprivileged areas into entirely normal neighbourhoods. All ghettos must be gone by 2030,” economy and interior minister Simon Emil Amitzbøll-Bille said at the press conference according to DR’s report.

    Another proposed law confirmed as part of the plan Thursday involves criminalising so-called “re-acculturation trips” (genopdragelsesrejser): trips abroad defined by the Ministry of Immigration as “sending children or young people under 18 years of age — often against their will — to their parents’ homeland or another country for an extended period”, for the purpose of strengthening cultural identity, family relations, and language skills or for solving conflicts.

    Parents sending their children on such trips could face up to four years in prison, according to the text of the proposed plan.

    People receiving unemployment state income (Danish: kontanthjælp) will see their income cut as a consequence of moving to one of 16 ‘hard’ underprivileged areas, in another of the proposed measures ostensibly aimed at altering demographics in these areas.

    Protestors gathered around Mjølnerparken as the plan was presented in the neighbourhood’s community centre on Thursday, expressing their dissatisfaction at the plan, which they accuse of punishing and discriminating against people based on where they live…”

  15. German school system is failing refugees – report (DW, Mar 1, 2018)

    “Young refugees often land in disadvantaged schools that lack qualified teachers in deprived areas. A new study claims that for integration to succeed, educators will have to rethink their approach.

    Children and juveniles who have been forced to flee their homes with family or on their own do not have it easy. They have been torn from their familiar surroundings and know poverty, war and fear all too well. Many have not attended school for months or even years, and they have no idea what a structured routine feels like. Since 2015, German schools have taken in some 130,000 such students, providing them with a variety of educational opportunities; classes that are designed to prepare them for regular schooling, intensive language courses and one-on-one mentoring.

    Nevertheless, teachers and fellow students are having a hard time integrating refugees, according to a new study published by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration. “We cannot be certain that students in our school system won’t get lost along the way,” said Ulf Matysiak, director of the “Teach First” program.

    Teach First supports schools in deprived neighborhoods by deploying college graduates from various disciplines for a two-year period. These so-called “fellows” are tasked with mentoring refugee students in particular, with the aim of preparing them to enter the German school system. Fellows from 56 schools in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia were anonymously polled about their experiences.

    Based on the fellows’ observations, the study found that the distribution of refugees represented a major impediment to academic success. Most refugees, the study found, landed in schools located in deprived areas.

    “Teachers already tend to be overburdened dealing with local students in these so-called segregated schools,” said the report’s author, Simon Morris-Lange. The deputy director of the Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migrationit added that is not impossible for new students to get an education at such schools but that teachers there often do not have the time and energy to deal with the individual needs of refugee students.

    That problem often begins when refugees have completed their two-year preparation and enter the actual school system. “Fellows from Teach First observe that teachers in the preparatory courses tend to work closely and exchange information with one another,” said Morris-Lange. “Moreover, their approach tends to be more adaptive than in the everyday school system. That means they structure classes to fit the special needs of their students.”

    Many students, however, require special assistance even after their two-year preparation, with things like advanced language courses. “Such offers are rather scant in the normal school system,” said Teach First Director Matysiak.

    One of the biggest problems is a lack of time. “Time for one-on-one talks, parent-teacher conferences and discussing longterm perspectives — the things that are most important — just isn’t there,” according to Matysiak. He adds that most teachers simply aren’t qualified to deal with students who come from different cultures, grew up in a different religious context and who often struggle with trauma as a result of their experiences. “Every teacher, even math teachers, should have at least basic knowledge of teaching German as a second language,” said Morris-Lange. “That is no longer something that only specialized teachers have to contend with.”

    The recommendations put forth by Morris-Lange are directed specifically at the educational authorities that create the structural framework for schools in their municipalities and states. He emphasizes that the most important aspect is the distribution of refugees.

    “Right now, the determining factor for school placement tends to be proximity to a person’s place of residence,” he said. “And most refugees do not live in middle-class neighborhoods.” He adds that the current distribution system poses the threat of ghettoizing already deprived schools. “Data about school districts could allow administrators to distribute students more equitably in order to avoid further segregation.”

    The report concludes that teachers themselves will need to be better trained to deal with diversity in their schools. That will require more money and more teaching personnel for schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

    Ultimately, the schools themselves will have to find solutions. Without them, even the best-laid plans will be doomed to failure.

    “It starts with understanding that diversity needs to be the point of departure for the organization of the school day,” said Morris-Lange, emphasizing that change is impossible if principals and teachers do not act as a team. “Nonetheless, it will take a long time to prepare our schools for the challenges of adequately serving the immigrant society that we have become.””

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