Reader’s Links, March 9, 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

93 Replies to “Reader’s Links, March 9, 2018”

  1. SYRIA – First fighters evacuated from Syria’s Ghouta as food goes in

    Just 13 fighters were evacuated from the rebel enclave

    A first group of fighters were evacuated from Syria’s rebel-held Eastern Ghouta on Friday, as an aid convoy delivered food to the hunger-stricken residents of the enclave despite renewed bombardment.

    Nearly 950 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched a blistering assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on February 18.

    Eastern Ghouta’s 400,000 inhabitants have lived under government siege since 2013 and the enclave — more than half of which has over the past three weeks been retaken by regime forces — is home to a myriad of armed groups.

    Apart from Islamist groups such as Jaish Al Islam, jihadists from Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), who are mostly linked to Al-Qaeda, are also deployed there.

    Syrian state television aired footage of a single bus carrying 13 “fighters” and family members out of the enclave through Al Wafideen checkpoint, without giving their affiliation.

    Some appeared to be young, while others wore hoodies to cover their heads and faces.

    The limited operation came as the powerful Jaish al-Islam said HTS fighters would be evacuated to the northern province of Idlib, in an arrangement struck following consultations with the United Nations and other international players.

    “It has been agreed that the first group of HTS members be released from the prisons of Jaish Al Islam … (and) moved to Idlib at their request,” Jaish Al Islam said.

    HTS is the main force in Idlib, in Syria’s northwest and the last province outside regime control.

    Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the violence on Friday with at least six killed in air strikes on the area of Jisreen, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

    Thirteen trucks loaded with 2,400 food parcels, meanwhile, crossed into Eastern Ghouta, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, entering what UN chief Antonio Guterres has called “hell on earth”.

    But “shelling” near the enclave’s main town of Douma threatened “to put at risk” the joint ICRC, Syrian Arab Red Crescent and United Nations convoy, said the UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria, Ali Al Zaatari.

    The aid was delivered as helicopters hovered overhead and warplanes targeted areas outside Douma, a correspondent said.

    In the face of the regime’s Russian-backed onslaught, Ghouta’s main rebel groups had so far rejected Moscow-brokered offers to evacuate civilians or any of their own fighters.

    But on February 27, they said in a letter to the United Nations they would be willing to expel jihadist fighters from the enclave as soon as a UN ceasefire took effect.

    That offer came on the same day as a daily humanitarian “pause” called by Moscow began, a measure which fell short of a 30-day ceasefire called by the UN Security Council late last month.

    Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said talks were underway between regime representatives and local figures to organise the evacuation of civilians or fighters from parts of the enclave.

    SANA earlier said dozens of civilians were expected to leave on Friday through the Wafideen checkpoint, an agreed exit point.

    An AFP correspondent at the checkpoint said green and white trucks and ambulances were parked waiting to pick up passengers.

    In the town of Hammuriyeh, dozens of people took part in a protest calling for an end to the bloodshed, the Britain-based Observatory said.

    “Enough destruction and death! We want to save our children and all those who have not died,” said Abu Riyadh, a 47-year-old man in the town.

    A negotiator from the Hammuriyeh said a “civilian delegation” wanted to hold talks with the regime to end the fighting in the area.

    A tribal leader said more than 300 civilians from the areas of Kafr Batna, Saqba and Hammuriyeh wanted to leave.

    He told journalists there had also been discussions for “500 fighters to hand over their weapons to the army”.

    Syria’s war, which enters its eight year next week, has killed more that 340,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

    UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Friday called the conflict a “colossal human tragedy”.

    The World Health Organization said it has verified 67 hits on medical facilities in Syria through January and February, nearly half of them in Eastern Ghouta.

    The facilities hit included 20 hospitals, 16 health facilities, two ambulance stations and one medical supply warehouse.

    Doctors and nurses in the enclave have run out of several life-saving items, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

    It said hundreds of people have been wounded and need urgent assistance.

    In rebel fire on Friday, a woman and a child were killed by a mortar round that hit the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, SANA said.

    On another front, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his forces and allied rebels could enter the northern Syrian town of Afrin “at any moment”, a day after they seized another town in the area.

    Turkey-led rebels have been pressing an assault on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin since January 20.

  2. Teachers in some of Berlin’s most heavily migrant-populated schools have complained that they are seeing a large increase in bullying along religious lines, primarily from Muslim students.
    Hildegard Greif-Gross, director of the Peter Petersen Elementary School in Neukölln, claimed that there are many examples of religious bullying even with younger students. Greif-Gross said that Muslim students would bully others on as little as bringing a ham sandwich for their lunch because they were taught pork is forbidden in Islam, Berliner Zeitung reports.

    “Even gummy bears are not considered clean,” Greif-Gross added noting that Muslims objected to the use of gelatin which is a beef byproduct and may not have been halal slaughtered.

    The teachers made their comments after the launch of a petition called the “Pro Berlin Neutrality Act” which supports existing legislation that has banned religious symbols from classrooms in the German capital.

  3. The National Assembly has approved legislation that aims to allow the FPB to regulate the distribution of online content in South Africa.

    Known as the Internet Censorship Bill, the Film and Publications Amendment Bill includes provisions to give the FPB powers to have online content blocked in South Africa.

    This includes “user-generated content”, such as posts published to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media services.

    According to reports, the National Assembly vote was 189 in favour, 35 against, and no abstentions.

    TL;DR: South African government passes a law to prevent the Internet from being a means of getting news about the genocide of white South Africans. Or any criticism of the SA gov….

  4. Washington High School Bans Students from Using Backpacks in School
    Students will be banned from carrying even backpacks, purses or other school bags “that can be used to conceal weapons, drugs or alcohol” in Granger High School in Yakima, Washington with the school citing “safety concern” as their reason for the prohibition.

    The school administration also pointed to “the increased school violence in the Yakima Valley” for the policy change, which is already scheduled to take effect on March 12.

    The school also said on its Facebook page: “We understand this is an inconvenience, but our main concern is that school is a safe place for learning.”

  5. UK – Armed Men Raid Iranian Embassy in London

    TEHRAN (FNA)- Several Britain-based Shiite extremists affiliated to Sadeq Shirazi sect attacked the Iranian embassy premises in London minutes ago, while menacing the staffers with cold weapons.

    Early reports said the raiders are four men who have opened their way into the embassy premises, while threatening people on the scene with machetes and baseball bats. The London Police have reportedly deployed around the embassy but took no action in the first couple of hours after the attack.

    The slogans chanted by the raiders indicate that they are members of Sadeq Shirazi Shiite extremist sect, supported by London.

    Iran’s Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeedinejad confirmed the reports on the embassy attack minutes ago.

    “A few followers of Shirazi have attacked the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Embassy in London and broke the flag mast,” the ambassador tweeted minutes ago, and added that the raiders are “chanting slogans against Iranian officials”.

    He further confirmed that the raiders were carrying “sticks and machetes”, and said Police are deployed on the scene.

    The Shirazi sect that has been labeled as “British Shiism” by the Iranian Supreme Leader operates mainly from London. The sect also runs a satellite network called ‘Fadak’ from London and promotes Shiite extremism against Sunni Islam. The sect is also known to be the religious opposition of the Islamic Republic.

    Meantime, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told FNA that “we are investigating into the case and will keep in contact with the Iranian embassy in London and the British embassy in Tehran”.

    “The British government is duty-bound to seriously and decisively fulfill its responsibility to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran’s diplomats and diplomatic centers and immediately arrest and prosecute those who have trespassed the diplomatic sanctuary,” the spokesman reiterated.

    • reuters – Four arrested after balcony protest at Iranian embassy in London

      LONDON (Reuters) – Four people were arrested after they climbed on to a first-floor balcony of the Iranian embassy in London on Friday and waved flags in an apparent protest against the government in Tehran.

      The four were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and being unlawfully on diplomatic premises, a spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan Police said.

      No one was hurt during the incident and the four were arrested when they came down voluntarily after around three hours.

      Iran’s ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidnejad, tweeted that the assailants were “advocates of the Shirazi cult” and had replaced Iran’s national flag with that of their group. He said all staff at the embassy were safe.

      Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Hossein Shirazi, whose son was recently arrested for insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been a fierce critic of Iran’s clerical leadership.

      Iranian state television quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi had protested about the incident to the British ambassador in Tehran.

      “Britain is responsible for the safety of Iranian diplomats,” said the spokesman, Bahram Qasemi.

      Iran’s state news agency IRNA said the attackers had carried knives and sticks. Iran’s English-language Press TV said a religious group was behind the attack, without elaborating.

      Images posted on social media showed four men in black attire on the balcony of the embassy, waving a blue and white flag.

      In 1980, gunmen seized the embassy to try to secure the release of Iranian political prisoners. One hostage was killed in the five-day siege, and another died when British commandos stormed the building, killing all but one of the gunmen.

  6. What ever happened to Afghan soldiers AWOL in America?

    152 Afghans sent for military training in the U.S. since 2005 went AWOL from U.S. military bases across the country; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports.

    • Like I’ve said (and you have repeatedly noted, Richard), Pakistan, India, Taiwan, and North Korea are all just pimples on Red China’s butt. Pay attention to the gravity well (i.e., Beijing).

      Modern Communist China has to be one of human history’s most stupendous geopolitical teeter-totters, ever.

      Not since the USSR has so much of humanity’s future hinged upon such a ginormously artificial construct, and we all know how Soviet Russia turned out …

      • Communist China is headed that way which is why they are printing and spending so much money trying to spread around the world to get raw materials and assets that will let them find some way out of their economic and environmental slow motion collapses.

        • As an example:

          During a five-year period (e.g., 2010 – 2015) Communist China used more cement than America did during the entire twentieth century!

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