Reader’s Links, March 20, 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

140 Replies to “Reader’s Links, March 20, 2018”

  1. Lawsuit: Chicago GOP Accuses Public Schools of Political Indoctrination

    The Chicago Republican Party is filing a lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools, accusing them of indoctrinating area students by helping them organize Wednesday’s gun control walkouts across the district.

    In a statement to the press, GOP Chairman Chris Cleveland said it was one thing for students to participate in the walkouts on their own but quite another for school administrators to actively help and encourage them to do so.

    “It’s appalling that 10 to 14-year-old kids would be coerced, by their teachers, to participate in a political demonstration,” said Cleveland. “A 10-year-old kid isn’t going to have an informed opinion on these political matters, and shouldn’t be expected to have the fortitude to hold a different opinion from everyone else in his or her classroom. This is political indoctrination, pure and simple.”

    http://www.conservativefreepress.com/legal-scoops/lawsuit-chicago-gop-accuses-public-schools-political-indoctrination/

  2. University Canceled Conference Because Every Speaker was White

    March 19, 2018

    Lineup did ‘not reflect the diverse St. Kate’s community of today…

    (The College Fix) St. Catherine University recently canceled a one-day conference designed to equip and empower women for leadership roles due to the fact that every speaker scheduled to appear was white.

    In particular, the line-up consisted of attractive white women mostly in their middle ages with blond or brown hair.

    The College Fix reached out to about a dozen of the speakers slated to present at the conference, and they all refused to comment on the cancellation.

    “The Leadership Imperative: Rise to Your Purpose” was intended to “equip both emerging and seasoned female professionals with the tools they need to become impactful, respected leaders,” according to the conference website.

    It was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 at the St. Paul, Minn.-based school, a private Catholic institution with a women-only undergrad program.

    But the event was canceled several weeks prior, with university officials stating in an email to speakers the decision was made because the lineup did “not reflect the diverse St. Kate’s community of today nor the world of tomorrow we are committed to creating,” Minnesota Republic reported.

    https://www.libertyheadlines.com/university-canceled-conference-every-speaker-white/

  3. Intersectionality, Tribalism and Farrakhan
    A movement of bigotries can only divide us.
    March 20, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    A funny thing happened on the way to the intersectional future. The proverbial knapsack was unpacked in the Women’s March and inside wasn’t just racial tribalism, but racial and religious supremacism.

    Why do Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March like Farrakhan and his hate group?

    The Nation of Islam preaches that black people are the master race. It doesn’t just hate white people, Jews and a whole bunch of other folks. It hates them out of a conviction in its own superiority. According to its teachings, “the Blackman is the original man” and lighter skinned people were “devils” created by an evil mad scientist to rule over black people until they are destroyed by UFOs.

    It even teaches that monkeys are descended from white people.

    Progressive media essays defending Obama, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Danny Davis, Mallory and other black leaders for their Farrakhan links have urged concerned liberals to look at the positive aspects of the Nation of Islam, its love for black people, not the negative, its hatred for white people.

    But it is the “positive” that is the problem.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269596/intersectionality-tribalism-and-farrakhan-daniel-greenfield

  4. Google Gearing Up to Censor Conservative News for Midterm Elections?
    March 20, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    The growing political censorship on the internet is a huge story that too few conservatives and conservative sites are paying attention to.

    And that’s unfortunate.

    I have been sounding the alarm about this for years. And it’s only getting worse. But hardly anyone is tracking these developments.

    Here’s the latest Google announcement.

    Additionally, Google said its search answers will now favor more authoritative outlets for news related queries. So will YouTube, which has been scorched lately for surfacing conspiracy theories. Google is teaming with Harvard University to launch a “Disinformation Lab” to spot fake articles ahead of the mid-term elections.C/blockquote>

    “Authoritative news outlets” is likely to mean that the mainstream media will be increasingly favored in search results. (It already is.)

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/269653/google-gearing-censor-conservative-news-midterm-daniel-greenfield

  5. About That Facebook Data Hysteria
    March 20, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Every few days, the media finds something new to freak out over. As long as it’s a minor variation of the thing it was freaking out over last week.

    Here’s the truth.

    The internet’s big free services are data harvesting operations. There are so many free apps and games because they collect your data. All those sites that want you to sign in using Facebook are collecting your data. All this is sold and resold more times than anyone can count.

    There’s nothing new here.

    Facebook isn’t careful with your data because it values your privacy, but because it can make money by restricting access to it. Along with Google, Facebook dominates digital advertising. It doesn’t just have a very popular service, it has a lot of personal data and lots of targeting options.

    And it wants to exploit those. Unless it really likes you or you get past its radar.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/269647/about-facebook-data-hysteria-daniel-greenfield

  6. Cambridge-Facebook Fake Scandal Falls Apart
    March 20, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    Like cars, shiny conspiracy theories lose their market value once you drive them off the lot.

    The media latched on to The Guardian’s Cambridge hysteria, but it’s quickly falling apart.

    In late September 2016, Cambridge and other data vendors were submitting bids to the Trump campaign. Then-candidate Trump’s campaign used Cambridge Analytica during the primaries and in the summer because it was never certain the Republican National Committee would be a willing, cooperative partner. Cambridge Analytica instead was a hedge against the RNC, in case it wouldn’t share its data.

    The crucial decision was made in late September or early October when Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s digital guru on the 2016 campaign, decided to utilize just the RNC data for the general election and used nothing from that point from Cambridge Analytica or any other data vendor. The Trump campaign had tested the RNC data, and it proved to be vastly more accurate than Cambridge Analytica’s, and when it was clear the RNC would be a willing partner, Mr. Trump’s campaign was able to rely solely on the RNC.

    So we’ve gone from the Facebook big data conspiracy rigged the election conspiracy theory to… Trump wasn’t even using it to win the election.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/269652/cambridge-facebook-fake-scandal-falls-apart-daniel-greenfield

  7. The Just Firing of Andrew McCabe
    Serious charges could follow the release of the Inspector General’s report.
    March 20, 2018
    Joseph Klein

    Based on the recommendation of career officials in the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe late Friday for good cause. The dismissal occurred less than two days before McCabe was planning to retire and become eligible to receive lucrative pension benefits.

    “After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR),” Sessions said in a statement Friday. “The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor ? including under oath ? on multiple occasions. The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’ Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

    Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz reportedly made his findings regarding McCabe’s alleged misconduct while looking into how the Justice Department and FBI handled investigations leading up to the 2016 presidential election, including their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server for government business. McCabe had already been placed on leave several weeks ago, reportedly in response to these findings. His dismissal for cause was the next logical step.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269643/just-firing-andrew-mccabe-joseph-klein

  8. Trump and the Norks
    Did Kim beg for talks because he was frightened by an American disinformation op?
    March 20, 2018
    Michael Ledeen

    This is a fantasy, but sometimes fantasies have a way of smelling out bits of truth. So who knows? I made it up, but maybe it’s accurate.

    Kim begged for talks with Trump because he was frightened by an American disinformation op. Over the Obama years, the Norks, sometimes working with their Iranian, Chinese and Russian friends, penetrated the American policy-making and intelligence communities. It was easy, since the president was calling for new friendships with old enemies, so enemy agents slid into place throughout the intelligence community, the White House, and the State Department. Many of those recruits remained in high positions of the Trump Administration, and provided Pyongyang, Moscow, Peking and Tehran with exceptionally good intelligence about American intentions.

    After a few months, Trump officials realized what was going on, but it was impossible to shut down all the foreign espionage. There were too many enemy agents, the anti-Trump forces in Congress would never approve a large-scale purge, and the Trump people weren’t savvy enough to find enough loyalists to staff out the government. So they decided to use our enemies’ own spies to funnel frightening disinformation to Kim.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269605/trump-and-norks-michael-ledeen

  9. Whacking Wax
    An Ivy League law prof is punished for speaking home truths.
    March 20, 2018
    Bruce Bawer

    Until last week, I’d never heard of Amy Wax. She is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School who landed in hot water after she co-authored a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed last August 9 with Larry Alexander, who teaches law at the University of San Diego. Under the headline “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture,” Wax and Alexander began their piece by listing some of the sociocultural pathologies currently plaguing America – low job skills, widespread opioid abuse, inner-city gang violence, one-parent homes, and high-school and college students who lack basic skills. They went on to attribute these problems to “the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.”

    They recalled the precepts by which Americans lived in the mid twentieth century: get married before you have kids; try to avoid divorce; get educated; work hard; be patriotic, neighborly, charitable, respectful, and law-abiding. Yes, they admitted, mid-century America was hardly perfect. There was racism; there were rebels who broke the rules. But the rules themselves were good. They resulted in “productivity, educational gains and social coherence.” Now they’re gone, replaced in many subcultures by “antisocial habits,” “rap culture,” “anti-assimilation ideas,” an obsession with group identity, and other destructive forces that do a terrible job of preparing young people for responsible adult lives.

    Every word of that op-ed was sheer common sense. (As NYU professor Jonathan Haidt observed, Wax’s concerns about the black subculture were expressed in the 1960 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who at the time “was roundly condemned as a racist” but whose analysis is now echoed by countless sociologists.) Yet the op-ed was widely seen as scurrilous. The very next day, the Daily Pennsylvanian ran an interview with Wax in which she declared that “Anglo-Protestant cultural norms” were “superior” to others. “I don’t shrink from the word, ‘superior,’” she said. “Everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans.” She underscored that Western norms “aren’t just for white people” but “can help minorities get ahead.”

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269630/whacking-wax-bruce-bawer

  10. Gov’t ‘Fusion Centers’ Spying on Patriots in all 50 States
    Intimidation used against activist who sought information on mosque.
    March 20, 2018
    Leo Hohmann

    Brenda Arthur received an unexpected visit on March 8 that, one week later, leaves her feeling more than a little uneasy.

    At her door that day was an officer with the West Virginia State Police. He wanted to know about her involvement in a Freedom of Information request regarding a local mosque.

    Arthur, who will turn 67 this summer, is leader of the West Virginia chapter of ACT For America, whose mission is to educate Americans about the advancement of Islamic principles in Western societies.

    As a Jewish American, she was concerned about a major expansion of the Islamic Association of West Virginia in her hometown of South Charleston. This mosque has hosted an openly anti-Semitic preacher in the past, and so she went to city hall in late January to have a look at its construction permits and site plans, something that is within the right of every American citizen under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and state open-records laws.

    She had no idea that this perfectly legal activity, performed every day by citizen watchdogs across the U.S., would prompt a visit from the state police.

    Arthur was not available to answer the door when Sgt. R.C. Workman came knocking, but Workman left his business card with a hand-written note on the back:

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269629/govt-fusion-centers-spying-patriots-all-50-states-leo-hohmann

  11. Gov’t ‘Fusion Centers’ Spying on Patriots in all 50 States
    Intimidation used against activist who sought information on mosque.
    March 20, 2018
    Leo Hohmann

    renda Arthur received an unexpected visit on March 8 that, one week later, leaves her feeling more than a little uneasy.

    At her door that day was an officer with the West Virginia State Police. He wanted to know about her involvement in a Freedom of Information request regarding a local mosque.

    Arthur, who will turn 67 this summer, is leader of the West Virginia chapter of ACT For America, whose mission is to educate Americans about the advancement of Islamic principles in Western societies.

    As a Jewish American, she was concerned about a major expansion of the Islamic Association of West Virginia in her hometown of South Charleston. This mosque has hosted an openly anti-Semitic preacher in the past, and so she went to city hall in late January to have a look at its construction permits and site plans, something that is within the right of every American citizen under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and state open-records laws.

    She had no idea that this perfectly legal activity, performed every day by citizen watchdogs across the U.S., would prompt a visit from the state police.

    Arthur was not available to answer the door when Sgt. R.C. Workman came knocking, but Workman left his business card with a hand-written note on the back:

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269629/govt-fusion-centers-spying-patriots-all-50-states-leo-hohmann

  12. Shooter Targets Rep. Loudermilk but Misses, Congressman Says
    FBI investigating September incident in which bullet was found embedded in back of car

    For the second time in less than a year, a shooter took aim at Rep. Barry Loudermilk but missed, the congressman said.

    Loudermilk was driving through the North Georgia mountains in September with his wife when they heard a “thump” hit the back of their car, the Georgia Republican told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a recent interview.

    https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/shooter-targets-rep-loudermilk-misses-congressman-says

  13. Police Uncover Antifa-Linked High-Explosives, Chemicals, and Mobile Bomb Factory

    The authorities have uncovered an Antifa-linked hoard of chemicals, high-explosives, and a mobile bomb factory in Thuringia, Germany, according to local media.

    There is some suggestion that the haul, which is suspected to be linked to alt-left extremism, has been played down for political reasons, Welt Am Sonntag reports.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/03/17/police-uncover-antifa-hoard-chemicals-high-explosives-mobile-bomb-factory-germany/

  14. Student Assaulted for Pro-Second Amendment Views, Then Suspended for Defending Himself

    PJ Media previously reported on the story of a 17-year-old high school student from Farmington, Conn., who was originally blocked from participating in a school assembly on March 14 where she had planned to present her conservative and pro-Second Amendment views. Thanks to the attention her story received, the student, Ashley Dummit, was eventually able to participate, and gave a speech at the assembly in defense of Second Amendment rights. In fact, she ended up being the only speaker at the assembly.

    Unfortunately, not all incidents involving pro-Second Amendment students have ended so well.

    Another high school student, 17-year-old Christian Breault, a senior at Middleburgh Junior/Senior High School, in Middleburgh, N.Y., found himself physically attacked for standing up for the Second Amendment when his school participated in the nationwide walkout on March 14. After the school participated in the walkout, an assembly was held in the school, featuring local law enforcement and community leaders to talk to the students about school safety. Instead of safety, the assembly turned political, tensions rose, and Christian found himself targeted for defending the Second Amendment. His father, Brian Breault, spoke out about the incident on Facebook:

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/student-assaulted-pro-second-amendment-views-suspended-defending/

  15. Germany: Migrant Rape Crisis Still Sowing Terror and Destruction
    Women and children sacrificed on the altar of political correctness

    by Soeren Kern
    March 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12066/germany-rape-crisis

    Germany’s migrant rape crisis continues unabated. Preliminary statistics show that migrants committed more than a dozen rapes or sexual assaults every day in 2017, a four-fold increase since 2014, the year before Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into Germany more than a million mostly Muslim male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    A quarterly report — Criminality in the Context of Migration (Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung) — published by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) showed that migrants (Zuwanderer, defined as asylum seekers, refugees and illegal immigrants) committed 3,466 sex crimes during the first nine months of 2017 — or around 13 a day. (Final crime statistics for 2017 will not be publicly available until the second quarter of 2018.) By comparison, in all of 2016 migrants committed 3,404 sex crimes, or around nine a day; in 2015, 1,683 sex crimes, or around five a day; in 2014, 949 sex crimes, or around three a day; and in 2013, 599 sex crimes, or around two a day.

    The actual number of migrant-related sex crimes in Germany, however, is believed to be far higher than the official number. For instance, the BKA data includes only crimes that have been solved (aufgeklärten Straftaten). On average only around half of all crimes committed in Germany in any given year are solved (Aufklärungsquote), according to police statistics.

  16. Who Are the Jihadists Fighting alongside Turkey in Syria?

    by Sirwan Kajjo
    March 20, 2018 at 4:00 am

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12061/turkey-jihadists-syria
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    In its offensive launched on January 20 against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey has deployed more than 25,000 Syrian rebel fighters who have been equipped and trained by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powerful military.

    The offensive, code-named Operation Olive Branch, aims at dislodging the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. On March 18, Turkish military and allied jihadist rebels took control of Afrin’s city center. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgent group that has been fighting for greater Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast. Backed by the United States, the YPG has been instrumental in the U.S.-led war on terror in Syria since 2014.

  17. It Begins: The Fall of the Obama Justice Department

    For anyone looking to have their faith restored in the FBI and the Justice Department, what happened on Friday proved that the Trump administration has set a course towards earning that faith from the American public. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the termination of career FBI official Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former deputy director of the Bureau, in a stunning announcement that came just two days before McCabe was scheduled to retire with his full pension.

    While the firing was lambasted by liberals as “politically motivated,” it came at the recommendation of the nonpartisan inspector general of the DOJ, who found that McCabe leaked to the press and lied to investigators about his role in helping the Clinton Foundation avoid serious scrutiny. It was a bold move by Sessions that proved his commitment to cleaning up Obama’s mess of a Justice Department and beginning a long process that may include the appointment of a second special counsel. No longer, this firing said in effect, will Trump administration officials turn a blind eye to the criminal activity that governed at least three investigations initiated by the previous administration.

    http://unfilteredpatriot.com/it-begins-the-fall-of-the-obama-justice-department/

  18. Morning Joe’ Frantic Over Poll Showing Americans Believe In A ‘Deep State’

    MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” was in panic mode Tuesday, after a Monmouth poll showed three out of four Americans believe in the existence of a “deep state.”

    “The attacks against the so-called deep state … by the president and some Republicans actually might be taking hold,” said co-host Mika Brzezinski. “More Americans now believe that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a deep state. That according to the newest Monmouth university poll. Six in ten Americans believe that un-elected or appointed government officials have too much influence in determining federal policy. Twenty-six percent say the right balance of power exists between elected and un-elected officials.”

    When the poll described the “deep state” as a group of un-elected non government officials, 75 percent of respondents said they believe there is a group of power players pulling the strings.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/20/morning-joe-deep-state-poll/

    • I mentioned the Irish mafia, the Winter Hill Gang, the other day.
      Whitey Bulger, dirty FBI, murder, mayhem, cover-up.
      Mueller is up to his craven eyeballs in one of the worst political machines in American history.

      Even those who should know better – but don’t live here – revere the myth of JFK. Goes to show what world-class propaganda can buy. Sainthood for a clan of moral lepers. And their hangers-on continue to bask in the reflected glory.

      After the wars we’ll have to open the archives. Blot out this embarrassment to the State that gave us my own dear Potus-2.

    • Al-Jubeir is a snake. A seriously bad dude, one of the most intelligent Saudis on the world stage.
      Thinning the population will improve life for the Yemenis. They NEED war and cholera and famine. It’s Allah’s way.
      Get back to the good life: dope, procreation, sexual congress with livestock, witch-burning.

  19. zero hedge – Democratic Congressman Suggests Taking Up Arms To Resist Trump

    New York Congressman Tom Suozzi (D) is taking heat for suggesting that a room full of voters may need to take up arms against the Trump administration if he doesn’t folow the law.

    “I mean, this is where the Second Amendment comes in quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?” said Suozzi during a Q&A session last week with constituents on Long Island.

    “It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” he added.

    Following his comment, a constituent asked him what the Second Amendment was.

    “The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms,” said Suozzi. “That’s why we have it.”

    […]

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-20/democratic-congressman-suggests-taking-arms-resist-trump

  20. Four Pakistani nationals accused of stealing power cables in Dubai (tribune, Mar 20, 2018)
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1665074/9-four-pakistani-nationals-accused-stealing-power-cables-dubai/

    “Four Pakistani nationals allegedly stole power cables worth Dh98,000 (approximately Rs2,940,000) in Dubai, leaving a busy bride out of electricity, Khaleej Times reported.

    The four accused, aged between 21 and 35, are accused of opening the cover of a box containing the cables, cutting them and fleeing the location after loading the material in their vehicle causing a blackout on a bridge in Jebel Ali after damaging the power cable installations, a Dubai court has heard.

    They appealed not guilty in the Court of First Instance to charges of robbery with the use of a sharp tool and damage of public property.

    The incident was reported on September 8 last year. An Indian contractual maintenance supervisor reported the power outage and the damaged cables…”

  21. Istanbul continues to slide down Mercer Quality of Living Survey (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 20, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-continues-to-slide-down-mercer-quality-of-living-survey-129044

    “Istanbul has continued its slide down the annual Mercer Quality of Living Survey, with the latest report released on March 20 citing “severe political turmoil in Turkey.”

    Istanbul ranked 134th on the Mercer 20th Quality of Living Survey, down one place from last year’s ranking and 12 places down from the 2016 ranking.

    The city, Turkey’s most populous city and main economic hub, was placed just behind Thai capital Bangkok and the Chinese city of Chengdu in the list.

    Only Belgrade, Sarajevo, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tirana ranked below Istanbul in the European region.

    Vienna keeps top spot

    In this year’s rankings, Austria’s capital Vienna defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world for the ninth year in a row, while Iraq’s capital Baghdad remained the worst.

    “Vienna remains the highest ranking city in Europe and globally, providing resident and expatriates with high security, well-structured public transportation and a variety of cultural and recreation facilities,” said the press release issued on March 20.

    Vienna is followed by Switzerland’s Zurich and then New Zealand’s Auckland and Germany’s Munich in joint third. Vancouver, ranked fifth, offers the best quality of living in North America.

    Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Basel are the other five European cities that took places in the top 10.

    Singapore at 25 and Montevideo at 77 topped the Asian and Latin American regions respectively. The best African entry on the list was South Africa’s Durban in 89th place.

    Dubai, ranked 74th, continued to rank highest for quality of living across the Middle East, closely followed by Abu Dhabi, ranked 77th.

    Eastern Europe on the rise

    Over the past 20 years, living standards have increased most in a number of eastern European cities such as Sarajevo, now at 159, and Bratislava, now at 80, the report said.

    “As a result of increased living standards, a competitive labor market and talent availability, many of these cities have started attracting multinational businesses setting up new operations,” said Martine Ferland from Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm.

    Baghdad has been at the bottom of the list for a decade now. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the city since the American-led invasion in 2003.

    Yemen’s capital Sanaa, devastated by conflict, ranked two places above Baghdad, and Syria’s Damascus, seven years into a civil war, ranked six places above Iraq’s capital.”

  22. Euro court says rights of journalists Alpay and Altan violated (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 20, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/euro-court-says-rights-of-journalists-alpay-and-altan-violated-129022

    “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on March 20 ruled that the right to liberty and the right freedom of expression of Turkish journalists ?ahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan have been violated.

    The decision stated that “the investigating authorities had been unable to demonstrate any factual basis” that indicate that both journalists “had committed the offenses with which he was charged.”

    It also said both journalists’ freedom of expression rights, protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, were severely violated and arresting individuals for expressing their opinions is a “severe measure.”

    The court also held that Turkey was to pay both Alpay and Altan 21,500 euros each for non-pecuniary damage…”

  23. US tried to deceive Turkey in Syria, says Erdo?an (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 20, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-attempted-to-deceive-turkey-erdogan-says-129020

    “President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on March 20 once again slammed the United States over its recent comments on Turkey’s military operation into Syria’s Afrin, saying the U.S. “tried to deceive Turkey.”

    “If we are strategic partners, you will have to respect us and move along with us. You [U.S.] tried to deceive us. You sent 5,000 trucks of weapons there. You sent more than 2,000 trucks of ammunition there. We wanted weapons from you to buy with our money, but you did not give any to us. What kind of a strategic partnership or solidarity is this?” Erdo?an said at his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting in Ankara.

    “The U.S. spokesperson makes a comment and says, ‘We are concerned about the situation in Afrin.’ Where were you when we transmitted our concerns to you? Where were you when we said ‘let’s clean the terrorist organization from there?’” he added.

    Commenting on U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s statement on the situation in Afrin, Çavu?o?lu also questioned why the U.S. is “concerned” by the operation.

    “The operation is over. [We have not] destroyed or burned. We have carried out the operation with utmost care. Why are the U.S. and other countries getting worried when civilians in Afrin are happy to have Turkey there,” Çavu?o?lu told reporters on March 20.

    He suggested that the U.S. is making such statements because it is “under pressure” from the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)…”

    • Turkey blasts US statement on Afrin operation (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 20, 2018)
      http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-blasts-us-statement-on-afrin-operation-129006

      “Turkey has slammed comments from senior U.S. officials that its military operation into Afrin helped the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to rebuild in parts of Syria, accusing its NATO ally of “not fully understanding” the objectives of the operation.

      “The latest statement reveals that the U.S. still cannot or does not want to comprehend the reason, purpose and nature of Operation Olive Branch,” Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozda? said through his Twitter account on March 20.

      He rejected the U.S. claims that the Turkey’s operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the northern Syrian district of Afrin negatively affected the ongoing struggle against ISIL, describing the accusations as “groundless and false.”…”

    • Turkey rejects Egypt’s statement on Afrin operation (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 20, 2018)
      http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-rejects-egypts-statement-on-afrin-operation-129059

      “Turkey on March 20 rejected the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s statement on “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin region.

      In a written statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Turkey was contributing to Syria’s territorial integrity by fighting against a separatist terror group.

      The allegations about the operation being a “violation of civilians’ rights” and “deepening the humanitarian crisis in Syria” are unreal, the statement added.

      “The operation has paved the way for security and stability by rescuing civilian people from the tyranny of a terror group,” the statement said.

      Allegations that “Operation Olive Branch” harms the process for a political solution in Syria are completely untrue, it said.

      “The PYD/YPG [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party/People’s Protection Units] terrorist organization, which Turkey is fighting, cannot have a role in the political solution process in Syria,” it added.

      On March 19, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned Turkey’s military operations in Afrin.”

  24. What the death of street hawker tells us about Madrid’s Lavapiés (thelocal, Mar 20, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.es/20180320/what-the-death-of-street-hawker-tells-us-about-madrids-lavapis

    “Leo Wiggen-Bush, a one-time resident of Lavapiés fears the persecution of street vendors is linked to the gentrification of one of Madrid’s most multicultural districts.

    You feel a true sense of community when walking down Calle Argumosa, past the metro station and up towards the plaza where the West African migrants meet up with their friends. But this multicultural oasis in the heart of the Spanish capital exploded in rage last week as one of the local residents died.

    Lavapiés is a diverse area of Madrid, where people from five different continents coexist in harmony and respect for each other. But that peace was disrupted last week when Mmame Mbaye, a Senegalese who lived in Madrid for 14 years, died of a heart attack last Thursday 15th March.

    It was reported that police allegedly chased the 35-year-old from Puerta del Sol to the Lavapiés neighbourhood of Madrid where he collapsed.

    It has since emerged that police claim a patrol went to his aid after he was found on the street in Lavapies suffering an epileptic fit and that he died of a heart attack while emergency services were attempting to treat save him.

    Whatever the true facts surrounding Mbaye’s unfortunate death, it sparked violent protests that highlighted the simmering tension between an immigrant underclass that feels outside of society and persecuted by the police.

    What is undisputed is that in an effort to stop the illegal sale of fake branded products, police vigorously and aggressively confront street hawkers – known as manteros because of the manner in which they display their goods on blankets (Mantas)and scoop them up to flee when police approach.

    The majority of the street vendors in Madrid are economic migrants from West Africa. They arrived in search of better economic prospects, but when I lived in Lavapiés and talked to these migrants, there was an overwhelming feeling of frustration: they simply could not access the job market.

    They did not come to Spain to sell football shirts and selfie sticks to uninterested tourists. They came to improve their lives and do so by working and contributing to the Madrid economy.

    Instead they are confronted with institutional racism and immigration bureaucracy making formal employment almost impossible. Street vending becomes the only reality to earn money and support family members back home.

    Street vending in Spain in punishable by fines, community service and even imprisonment. When not selling their products manteros, who are predominantly male, congregate around La Plaza de Lavapiés.

    This usually leads them to being harassed by police who seemingly have a permanent presence in Madrid’s most multicultural barrio. This cat and mouse between police and migrants generates animosity, one that erupted into open violence after news broke of the death of Mbaye.

    The most ethnically diverse barrio in Madrid, where curry houses neighbour tapas bars was on Thursday night and again Friday the scene of a riot.

    Migrant and non-migrant residents united in protests against perceived police aggression and violence. Protestors burnt bins and police fired rubber bullets.

    The heavy-handed police response was typified by a video released on twitter of a bystander being hit by police and continuously beaten after he fell to the ground.
    The catalyst of these protests, the chasing down of Mbaye by police, is not an isolated incident as police are increasing their presence in key selling areas like Sol and Callao. The criminalisation of the seller and not the buyer highlights the discrimination of a migrant population stuck in a cycle of informal work.

    On many occasions when I have been bought items from manteros, they have had to make a swift exit as police cars roll up, yet as a purchaser I was free to continue my commute via Atocha station.

    It is no coincidence that the street vendors hassled by police in Sol, live in the vibrant and energetic Lavapiés.

    Police want them to leave the area with the recent pressure on manteros living in Lavapiés a tactic to push out labour migrants and isolate populations in preparation for gentrification. La Latina, an area just north of Lavapiés has already gone through this gentrification.

    This is now a very high rent area filled with tourist bars and a watered down demographic of middle class Spaniards. This it seems is the future of Lavapiés if gentrification succeeds.

    Opposition from residents is strong and growing however. Proposals to build a hotel in the heart of Lavapiés have been met with strong protest and community action. There has also been opposition to the growing use of AirBnb, which is creating a shortage of apartments and further pushing up rent prices.

    Lavapiés is characterised by it’s shared urban gardens, public art installations and thought provoking murals, but this area is now at serious risk of becoming neutralised. The eclectic mix of people that make Lavapiés an exciting culturally dynamic residential area are likely to be depopulated and marginalised, making way for a demographic that can afford the increased rents.

    The annual success of the Tapapiés Ruta Multicultural (multicultural tapas and music street festival) is evidence of how sustainable and attractive Lavapiés is, as it continues to draw in tourists with its array of different tapas from traditional Spanish to Senegalese. Offering a range of eateries in the city that is possibly second to none.

    For Madrid to continue to benefit from the rich diversity of different people and cultures in this proud multicultural barrio, there needs to be a shift from corporate gentrification to inclusive urban development.

    But first, a dramatic revaluation of policing attitudes towards migrants, respect the manteros.”

  25. Attacks on Turkish communities in Germany reportedly on the rise (DW, Mar 20, 2018)
    http://www.dw.com/en/attacks-on-turkish-communities-in-germany-reportedly-on-the-rise/a-43052462

    “There have been dozens of attacks so far this year on Turkish mosques and restaurants in Germany — a sharp rise from last year’s figures. The Interior Ministry said Turkey’s offensive in Afrin has inflamed tensions.

    As tensions rise over the Turkish government’s offensive in Afrin, the violence is spilling over in Germany’s Kurdish and Turkish communities.

    German police have logged a total of 37 attacks carried out by suspected pro-Kurdish activists so far this year, reported newspapers by the Funke media group in Germany on Tuesday. The attacks targeted Turkish mosques, restaurants and cultural organizations.

    There were 13 such attacks for the entirety of last year, according to figures provided by the Interior Ministry. The figures do not include attacks carried out by suspected far-right extremists.

    “Germany has long been a mirror and sounding board for Turkish-Kurdish conflicts in view of the large numbers of people with Turkish backgrounds living here,” an Interior Ministry spokeswoman told the Funke media group newspapers.

    “This is especially true considering the backdrop of current events in and around Afrin,” she added.

    The spokeswoman emphasized, however, that the figures for this year and for last year are still provisional and may rise or fall.

    In the past few weeks, there have been numerous arson attacks, acts of vandalism and other attacks on Turkish institutions in Germany.

    In one incident, three youths were seen throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of a mosque in Berlin. In the small south western German town of Lauffen, attackers hit a Turkish-linked mosque with explosive devices.

    Communities in Germany should expect further attacks, Social Democrat (SPD) parliamentarian and deputy head of the foreign policy, defense and human rights commitees Rolf Mützenich told DW.

    “It was also the case in the past that domestic Turkish conflicts were also noticable in Germany,” Mützenich told DW. “Clearly the political atmosphere in these communities is such that the tensions are on the rise again.”…”

  26. Germany: Truck driver given jail sentence for smuggling 51 migrants (DW, Mar 20, 2018)
    http://www.dw.com/en/germany-truck-driver-given-jail-sentence-for-smuggling-51-migrants/a-43058004

    “A Turkish man was sentenced to jail for trying to smuggle 51 migrants into Germany last year. The court ruled the man was indifferent to the health and safety of the men, women and children held in the back of his truck.

    A court in the eastern German city of Frankfurt an der Oder handed down a jail sentence on Tuesday to a truck driver who tried to smuggle asylum-seekers into Germany last year.

    The 47-year-old Turkish man was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for allegedly trying to smuggle 51 men, women and children over the German-Polish border…”

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