Reader’s Links, July 30, 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

118 Replies to “Reader’s Links, July 30, 2018”

  1. They should have called Donald Trump. That man knows how to build a wall.

    The Democrats clearly don’t.

    [otw_shortcode_sidebars sidebar_id=”otw-sidebar-1?][/otw_shortcode_sidebars]

    To keep out the rabble, they had Philadelphia erect a massive fence around the Wells Fargo Arena to keep convention protesters out.

    Except the fences weren’t high enough … they stormed the walls and barricades and threatened to disrupt the convention. So they came out Tuesday morning and erected even more – and taller fences. These ones are 8-foot “no-scale,” meaning the communists, hippies and Bernie supporters would just have to meander about 100 yards away.

    One protester caught a video of all the walls and fences that have now been erected in some areas.

  2. Two Iraqi Airways pilots had an argument during a flight and physically fought at 37,000 feet, reports. The aircraft, which left from an Iranian airport on Wednesday and was headed to Iraq, was carrying 157 passengers.

    Iraq’s Ministry of Transportation has opened an investigation into the pilots who fought in the air and the pilots have been ordered to stop flying, according to a translation of an Iraqi Airways statement posted on the ministry’s website. reports that security guards on the aircraft intervened to break up the fight that passengers say caused damage to the cockpit.

  3. AMRITSAR: A young woman tourist from Netherlands, who was in the city along with her mother, was allegedly molested by a hospital staff.
    The 20-year-old woman in a statement told the police that she was staying in a hotel in Amritsar. After complaining of severe stomach pain, she visited the hospital, Deputy Commissioner of Police Lakhbir Singh said.

    There a male staffer allegedly molested her, Mr Singh said, adding that CCTV footage of the incident has been procured from the hospital and the accused, Ashish Rai, arrested.

  4. And now it’s global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year
    533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012
    BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013
    Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month

    PUBLISHED: 19:37 EDT, 7 September 2013 | UPDATED: 10:58 EDT, 11 October 2014


    View comments
    A chilly Arctic summer has left 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 29 per cent.

    The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

    Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.

  5. Danielle Kane, 31, was one of the 15 injured in the mass shooting that took place in Toronto on June 22nd. She is currently in the intensive care unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, expected to survive but never walk again.

    Kane, a nursing student, rushed to help shooting victims when she and her boyfriend heard people were wounded while eating at a restaurant. Kane’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Jerry Pinksen, is an emergency room nurse.

    “She Always Stands Up for Those Who Need Help”
    CBC reports that her family said that her heroic actions were characteristic of who she is: “She always stands up for those who need help.” Her cousin and her family’s spokesperson said “Danielle is that spark plug. She has a smile and she’s bright and colourful and strong.”

    “And to think that she might not be able to do to the things that she loves to do, like dance and be athletic and go on hikes,” he said. “It’s just tragic.”

  6. Taliban officials met secretly with a senior US diplomat in Qatar last week, sources in the group have told the BBC.

    The face-to-face talks in Doha with Alice Wells, a state department deputy assistant secretary, were “very important”, one Taliban official said.

    News of the meeting follows a directive from the Trump administration for US diplomats to talk directly with the Afghan militant group.

    The Taliban have long said that only with the US will they discuss peace.

    Direct talks with the militants, without Afghan officials present, marks a major turnaround in Washington’s policy as it seeks to end America’s longest war.

  7. Putin calls Christianity foundation of Russian state

    MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin says that the adoption of Christianity more than 1,000 years in territory that later became Russia marked the starting point for forming Russia itself.

    Putin’s comments came Saturday in a ceremony marking the 1,030th anniversary of the adoption by Christianity by Prince Vladimir, the leader of Kievan Rus, a loose federation of Slavic tribes that preceded the Russian state.

    Speaking to a crowd of thousands of clergy and believers at a huge statue of the prince outside the Kremlin, Putin said adopting Christianity was “the starting point for the formation and development of Russian statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity. Identity, the flowering of national culture and education.”

    The comments underline strong ties between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church.

  8. Sudan frees 5 Egyptian troops captured by Libyans (abcnews, Jul 30, 2018)

    “A Sudanese official says security agencies have freed five Egyptian soldiers who were abducted by an armed Libyan group in a remote area where the three countries meet.

    Col. Mohamed Hamed, a spokesman for Sudan’s security and intelligence agency, told reporters in Khartoum that the soldiers, including an officer, were freed Monday in a special operation by Sudanese forces.

    Egypt’s military issued a statement thanking Sudan for helping to return the soldiers, without providing further details. It’s unclear when the soldiers went missing.

    Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on July 20 in Khartoum.

    Ties had frayed in recent months after Khartoum revived a longstanding border dispute and appeared to side with Ethiopia over its construction of a massive upstream Nile dam than worries Egypt.”

  9. Mali says 700-plus polling stations couldn’t operate in vote (abcnews, Jul 30, 2018)

    “More than 700 polling stations across Mali were not able to operate in Sunday’s elections, which took place under the threat of attack by extremists, the government said Monday.

    The vote elsewhere was carried out under “satisfactory conditions,” the government said. No voting results have been announced; results are expected within the week.

    It was not yet clear how many of the West African nation’s 8 million registered voters took part in the election in which 73-year-old President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita seeks a second five-year term.

    If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, a second round is Aug. 12.

    The 716 stations that did not operate represent just over 3 percent of the country’s total. Al-Qaida’s Mali branch had warned voters against going to the polls…”

  10. Suicide car bomb kills Afghan tribal leader, 3 others (abcnews, Jul 30, 2018)

    “An Afghan official says a suicide car bomber has killed four people, including a tribal leader, in the eastern Nangarhar province.

    Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, says Monday’s attack targeted Haji Hayat Khan, a tribal leader who also commanded a local militia battling insurgents.

    No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in the province.

    In a separate development, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack against a midwives training center in Nangarhar. The attack killed three people and wounded seven.”

  11. Pakistan parties vow to oppose Khan, say vote was ‘rigged’ (abcnews, Jul 30, 2018)

    “At least four Pakistani political parties said Monday they will join hands against the “stolen mandate” of Imran Khan, whose party won the most votes in an election marred by allegations of fraud.

    But it’s unclear whether they have the political will or the seats to prevent Khan — a former cricket star who is believed to be backed by the military — from becoming the next prime minister.

    Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf Party won the most seats, with 115, but fell short of a majority in the 242-seat assembly. His party says it has enough support to form the national government as well as two provincial governments.

    The Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which came in second with 64 seats, along with the Pakistan People’s Party, which won 43, a religious alliance known as the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or MMA, with 12 seats, and the secular Awami National Party issued a joint declaration against the alleged vote rigging and suppression of the media. They condemned the interference of “state agencies” in the election, a veiled reference to the military and intelligence apparatus…”

    • Yeah, I just ordered something from Canada (made in Canada) that cost four times what the Chinese supposed “equivalent” cost. Paid an extra $34 in postage, while the Chinese brand shipped free.

  12. PM Trudeau’s motorcade arrives at Danforth shooting victim’s funeral

    A motorcade carrying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived Monday morning at the memorial service for 18-year-old Reese Fallon, who was shot and killed during last week’s mass shooting on Danforth Ave

    + video :
    Raw: Trudeau interrupted by heckler while visiting Danforth memorial

  13. Malta: Migrant boat captain appears in court over rescue mission

    The German captain of the migrant rescue Lifeline ship Claus-Peter Reisch appeared in court in Valletta on Monday accused of not holding valid paperwork for his rescue missions.

    His lawyer Maltese Cedric Mifsud said “it’s ironic how Maltese authorities decided to prosecute the captain, while still in Germany he is being considered as a hero.”

    The next hearing will take place on August 23rd, and Reisch will be allowed to return to Germany, according to the lawyer.

    The NGO Lifeline has been engaged in operations to help asylum-seekers attempting to reach Europe by sea. The Lifeline ship stranded at sea earlier this month for five days with more than 200 migrants, including five children, on board, before it was allowed to enter the port of Valetta.

    Reisch was accused of not possessing valid documents for his ship. However, he believes that saving seafarers in distress should not be criminalised, and claims that his documents are valid and will expire only in 2019.

  14. America launches drone attacks on Islamist terrorists in Niger (express, Jul 30, 2018)

    “American forces started using armed drones in the west African country of Niger earlier this year to attack Islamist terrorists, the US military announced today. Niger’s government granted American forces permission last November to arm their drones but neither side had previously confirmed their deployment.

    Before that, US drones had only been used for surveillance.

    The US military presence in Niger has expanded in recent years to an 800-strong force that accompanies Nigerien troops on intelligence gathering and other missions, reflecting US concerns about rising militancy in West Africa’s Sahel region.

    An ambush by a local Islamic State affiliate in western Niger last October killed four US soldiers.

    Jihadist groups based in neighbouring Mali have also struck military and civilian targets as far afield as Ivory Coast.

    “In co-ordination with the Government of Niger, US Africa Command has armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft already in Niger,” a spokesman for United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in an email.

    “As a matter of operational security, we do not discuss where strike platforms originate from, nor current or future operations.”

    The drones are currently being flown out of a base in the capital Niamey while the military completes construction of a $100million drone base in the central city of Agadez.

    The military views the drones as a cost-efficient way to counter the militants but critics fear that drone strikes will cause civilian casualties and trigger blowback from the local population.”

  15. Donald Trump: Europe Should Follow Italy’s Immigration Example (breitbart, Jul 30, 2018)

    “President Donald Trump praised Italy’s tough immigration policies on Monday during a meeting at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

    “I know he’s taken a very firm stance on the border, a stance few countries have taken, and, frankly, he’s doing the right thing, in my opinion,” Trump said during his White House meeting with Conte. “A lot of other countries in Europe should be doing it also.”

    The president spoke briefly to reporters in the Oval Office prior to a press conference with the prime minister later in the afternoon.

    “He’s a man who’s doing a fantastic job,” Trump said…”

    • Orban: Central Europe Will Be Anti-Globalist Bastion of Christian Culture and National Identity (breitbart, Jul 30, 2018)

      “Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has told supporters he will use his third consecutive election victory as an opportunity to advance into a “new era”, with Central Europe becoming a bastion of Christian culture and nation-state democracy as multicultural globalism turns liberal democracies into “liberal non-democracies”.

      Speaking at an event in the predominantly ethnic Hungarian region of Székely Land in Romania, the Fidesz leader said he was looking forward to the end of the present European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker, and to elections to the European Parliament in 2019 — which he predicts will for the first time revolve around one common European issue: mass migration.

      Orbán said these elections would provide an opportunity to block “the great goal of transforming Europe and moving it towards a post-Christian and post-national era” and hand a heavy defeat to “the elite of ’68” and their liberal democratic system.

      “In European politics it is the turn of the anti-communist generation, which has Christian convictions and commitment to the nation,” he declared.

      The chief failing of “liberalism”, the Hungarian argued, is its embrace of the ‘open society’ as promoted by billionaire plutocrat George Soros, and its failure to tolerate dissent on the topics of mass migration and multiculturalism.

      “Liberal democracy has been transformed into liberal non-democracy,” Orbán argued.

      “The situation in the West is that there is liberalism, but there is no democracy… Censorship and restrictions on freedom of speech have become general phenomena,” he observed.

      “Working together, political leaders and technology giants filter news items that are uncomfortable for the liberal elite… see the ingenious and cunning means by which they restrict access to negative news reports on migrants, immigrants and related topics… The liberal concept of freedom of opinion has gone so far that liberals see diversity of opinion as important up until the point that they realise, to their shock, that there are opinions which are different from theirs.”

      Prime Minister Orbán affirmed his own commitment to what he has repeatedly described — to the horror of mainstream media commentators — as “illiberal” democracy, which unashamedly promotes national identity, rejects mass migration, and embraces the “Christian foundations” of Western civilisation.

      “In other words, we Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path,” he explained.

      “In today’s open-society Europe there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions… In fact, in liberal Europe being European means nothing at all: it has no direction, and it is simply form devoid of content,” he argued — and declared that Central Europe would instead adopt “Christian democracy” as its model.

      “Christian democracy is not about defending religious articles of faith,” the Hungarian leader explained.

      “Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected… These include human dignity, the family and the nation – because Christianity does not seek to attain universality through the abolition of nations, but through the preservation of nations.”

      Orbán also stressed the importance of the State of Israel to European security in his speech, noting that “without Israel a geographical area of radical Islam would develop, which Europe could only see as a threat.”

      The European elections will be held from May 23rd to 26th in 2019…”

  16. Trump says ready to meet Iran’s Rouhani /BBC, Jul 30, 2018)

    “Donald Trump has offered to meet Iran’s leaders with “no preconditions” and “any time they want”.

    “I’d meet with anybody. I believe in meetings,” the US president told reporters at the White House.

    Mr Trump’s conciliatory approach comes after he and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traded hostile warnings earlier this month.

    In May, the US left a deal which curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

    Washington is preparing to re-impose sanctions on Tehran within days – despite objections from the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, which also signed the 2015 agreement.

    The US is deeply suspicious of Iranian activity in the Middle East and is an ally of Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of Iran’s foes…”

    • Why Khamenei can’t do a Kim Jong-Un

      • The Khomeinist regime is programmed in its DNA to be anti-American, anti-West, anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, anti-Turk, anti-Russian, and more importantly perhaps, anti-Iranian.

      • The “Supreme Guide” is getting less and less “supreme”. Signs that he is being cut down to size by events, including nationwide protests, have multiplied. He still makes speeches, summons civilian and military officials, and issues orders. But, increasingly, people hear him but don’t listen.

      • Khamenei’s power is declining not because he is challenged by anyone inside the establishment but as knocks on his door. Even if he wanted to do a Kim Jong-un, he can’t. He has no organized political party and, heading for his 80th birthday, is unable to attract young Shiites who are thinking of their future.

  17. Forced marriage: Leeds parents jailed over Bangladesh wedding BBC. Jul 30, 2018)

    “A husband and wife have been jailed for tricking their daughter into travelling to Bangladesh in order to force her into marriage.

    The couple were described as “monsters” by their daughter who they had threatened to kill if she did not go ahead with the arrangement.

    The father was jailed for four-and-a-half years and the mother for three-and-a-half years at Leeds Crown Court.

    None of those involved in the case can be named.

    More stories from Yorkshire

    The then 18-year-old daughter had to be rescued from a remote village in an operation by the British High Commission involving armed police, the judge heard,

    The woman, who is from Leeds and is now aged 20, described in a victim impact statement how she had assumed a new identity and lived in fear of her family.

    She said: “I know I will always have to remain cautious but, knowing those monsters are going to be in prison, I feel the uttermost freedom in my heart.

    “I want other girls to know that forcing someone to marry is wrong.”

    ‘Chop her up’
    The woman was taken to Bangladesh with other family members for what they had been told was a holiday.

    But the parents had made extensive plans for her wedding to a first cousin.

    She reacted against the plan and her father hit her, with her mother’s encouragement, the court heard.

    Her father said he would “chop her up in 18 seconds” if she continued to reject the proposed marriage, the judge was told.

    The woman managed to alert the police through her boyfriend in the UK and the court was played some of the messages she left on his phone.

    Judge Simon Phillips QC said of the recordings: “Her terror and distress is palpable.”

    Judge Phillips heard how the woman escaped with only the clothes she was wearing and a Leeds bus pass.

    The woman said: “I was betrayed by the two people who are supposed to protect, love and keep you safe.”

    She was born in the UK, lived a Westernised-lifestyle and was hoping to go to university, the court heard.

    Dafydd Enoch QC, defending her father, told the court: “These events are not borne out of malice, hate, greed or prejudice. They were borne of deep-seated culture.”

    The pair were found guilty of forced marriage and a count of using violence, threats or coercion to force their daughter into marriage, following a three-week trial earlier this year.

    Peter Mann, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said “This successful prosecution and the custodial sentences imposed send a clear message that forced marriage is a very serious crime and those responsible will be prosecuted.”

    It is thought to be only the second case of its kind.

    A woman was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court after forcing her daughter to marry in Pakistan in the first successful prosecution.”

  18. GELLER REPORT – SHARIA RULING CANADA: Blogger convicted of defamation (Islamic blasphemy) in Quebec, ordered to pay $60K


    Journal de Montréal – Condamné pour diffamation, le blogueur Magnan doit verser 60 000 $ à la militante Dalila Awada

    MONTRÉAL | Le blogueur Philippe Magnan responsable du site «Poste de veille», a été condamné à verser 60 000 $ plus intérêts et frais de justice à la militante féministe Dalila Awada pour les torts qu’il a causés à cette dernière en la diffamant à répétition dans ses publications sur internet.

    Les gestes qui étaient reprochés à Magnan remontent à l’époque où le débat sur la charte des valeurs battait son plein au Québec, notamment après la participation de Mme Awada, en septembre 2013, à l’émission Tout le monde en parle où elle avait défendu le droit des femmes à porter le voile. Magnan, un fervent défenseur du projet de la charte de la laïcité, avait alors commencé à publier des informations et vidéos associant Mme Awada à une mouvance islamiste chiite qu’il jugeait dangereuse.

    Plusieurs écrits et vidéos attaquant Mme Awada ont été diffusés par Magnan sous différents noms.

    Faisant valoir les impacts très négatifs du comportement de Magnan sur sa réputation et sa vie privée , Mme Awada, qui nie toute allégeance ou collaboration avec des groupes islamistes, a décidé de poursuivre le blogueur pour 70 000 $ en dommages moraux et 15 000 $ à titre de dommages punitifs, soit un peu moins que ce que la Cour supérieure du Québec lui a accordé plus tôt cette semaine, soit 50 000 $ pour dommages moraux et 10 000 $ pour dommages punitifs.

    «La réaction négative a été très forte envers Awada tant sur internet que dans sa vie personnelle, peut-on lire dans le jugement de la cour. Ses relations interpersonnelles ont été altérées. Des personnes ont pris des distances avec elle. […] Awada, souvent sollicitée par les médias pour discuter du voile ou d’autres sujets, a vu se tarir ses contacts. Elle a abandonné ses études pendant un an, étant très affectée et humiliée par ces propos. Elle a ressenti de la peur après avoir été interpellée par des inconnus de façon négative sur la voie publique ou dans des événements publics.

    Au cours du procès, Magnan a tenté de faire valoir son droit à la liberté d’expression, mais, a écrit la juge Carole Julien dans sa décision, «les actions de Magnan n’ont rien à voir avec la liberté d’expression garantie par la Charte [des droits], mais participent au contraire de la faute civile».

    «Le débat public sur le PL 60 [projet de charte des valeurs] et sur les droits et devoirs des citoyens du Québec et du Canada, qu’ils soient nés ici ou qu’ils aient choisi de s’y installer, est un débat qui doit se faire dans le respect des personnes et avec un minimum de civilité, souligne la juge. C’est ce que Magnan n’a pas su faire. Ce faisant, il a causé un tort irrémédiable à Awada et en a fait un objet de ridicule et de suspicion. Elle méritait mieux.»

    Magnan a 30 jours à compter de la date du jugement (rendu le 10 juillet) pour payer à Dalila Awada les sommes pour lesquelles il a été condamné.–a-la-militante-dalila-awada

  19. Hundreds of gun owners in Florida have been ordered to give up their guns under a new law that took effect after the deadly Parkland shooting in February, according to a report published Monday.

    The Risk Protection Order, signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott just three weeks after a gunman killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas, aims to temporarily remove weapons from gun owners who have been deemed by a judge to possibly be a threat to themselves or others.

    Florida Revokes Hundreds of Gun Permits
    Roughly 200 firearms have been confiscated in the state since the law was enacted, Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf, of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, told WFTS-TV. “Around 30,000 rounds of ammunition” were also taken, he said.

    A five-person team in the county that’s worked solely on the risk protection law reportedly has filed 64 risk protection petitions in court. Broward County, according to the news outlet, has filed 88 risk protection petitions since March.

    “It’s a constitutional right to bear arms and when you are asking the court to deprive somebody of that right we need to make sure we are making good decisions, right decisions and the circumstances warrant it,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the station in defense of the task force.

  20. Twitter Hires Hardcore Leftist Activist as New Hate Speech Chief
    This is not a joke, unfortunately, but Twitter’s latest stunt: Dr. Rebekah Tromble, who incidentally is a rabid Trump hater and a left wing activist was reportedly hired by Jack’s company to examine, let me quote: uncivil discourse and echo chambers, on behalf of Twitter of course. By the way, the same woman is helping Twitter to develop software which targets “hate speech”, whatever that means.

    The obvious question must be asked: what could possibly go wrong, right? Dr. Rebekah Tromble is an assistant professor of political science at Leiden University and she’s currently working with Twitter to, let me quote again: “develop algorithms to understand the different between intolerant discourse such as hate speech, and disagreement or incivility.”

  21. Iraqis Lose Millions of Dollars Worth of Deposits in Iran’s Banks (aawsat, Jul 30, 2018)

    “A large number of Iraqi citizens lost more than half of their money in Iranian banks due to the current economic crisis in Tehran and the rapid decline of the rial’s exchange rate, as the country braces for the re-imposition of US sanctions.

    Several Iraqi citizens have spoken publicly about losing more than half of their money following the collapse of the Iranian currency and the loss of more than half of its value in recent months.

    Iranian banks dictate that Iraqi citizens, who want to deposit money, must convert it to the national currency. They cannot withdraw the amount, in Iranian rial as well, until a year after making the deposit.

    Iraqi politician and investor Mazin al-Eshaiker wrote on his Facebook page about the collapse of the currency: “The price of the note (one hundred dollars) today on the black market reached one million Iranian rials!”

    Eshaiker predicted that with the implementation of the first phase of US economic sanctions against Iran on August 6, the value of the rial will fall even further. It will continue to collapse in November after the implementation of the second batch of sanctions, which would include a total ban on Iranian oil imports.

    A merchant working in Baghdad’s Shorja market told Asharq Al-Awsat that many traders have deposited large sums of US dollars in Iranian banks.

    Regular citizens from Baghdad and various provinces, especially Karbala and Najaf, have also deposited their money there. They are now suffering major losses following the dramatic decline of the rial, he added.

    “One of my fellow merchants put $400,000 into an Iranian bank and the current collapse in Iran’s currency cost him $300,000,” he said…”

  22. ‘You’ve lost Islam’: Ethiopian PM recounts snub to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince (mee, Jul 30, 2018)

    “Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that he shunned an offer by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to build an Islamic centre in the East African country by telling him that he had “lost” his religion.

    Ahmed recalled the conversation with bin Zayed, who is considered the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, in a speech to members of the American-Ethiopian Muslim community in the US state of Virginia on Friday.

    “We will help you with many things. We will teach you,” Bin Zayed allegedly said in a private conversation with Ahmed, who replied: “We don’t need to learn the religion from you. You’ve lost the religion. What we need is to learn Arabic quickly, so we could better understand the religion and teach it to you, and return you to it.”

    When Bin Zayed asked him why, Ahmed said that Islam is about peace, unlike what is happening in the Middle East.

    “You have lost the religion,” Ahmed said he told the crown prince.

    “The Islam that does not look like true Islam has begun spreading amongst you, and you have forgotten peace and how to forgive.”…”

  23. Wave of Muslim American candidates embracing left-wing politics (mee, Jul 30, 2018)

    “Abdul El-Sayed is the “only progressive candidate” for governor in Michigan, rising democratic socialist star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Saturday, calling the Egyptian American doctor the “foam at the tip” of a wave for social, economic and environmental justice.

    El-Sayed may become the first Muslim governor in the country. He has been featured by various media outlets across the world for that. But at home, he has built a base of support by pushing for policies that address economic disparities in the state.

    Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old progressive firebrand who defeated a senior Democratic congressman in New York to win the party’s nomination last month, is touring Michigan with El-Sayed to moblise the left-wing base.

    “We did it in the Bronx,” she said of her unlikely victory. “And we’re going to do it in Michigan.”

    El-Sayed advocates for a $15 minimum wage, tighter environmental protections and a tax-funded healthcare system that cover all residents. He also wants to make Michigan a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants.

    He is one of many Arab and Muslim candidates seeking office with left-wing talking points and populist energy. His platform echoes the spirit of Bernie Sanders’ left-of-the-establishment presidential campaign.

    “They’re telling us that some of us are not as American as others, except that they’ve forgotten the fact of the matter that America has been about all of us coming together,” El-Sayed told hundreds of supporters in Detroit through thunderous cheers on Saturday.

    At 32, his youth and relative inexperience have made him a target of criticism, but most decisive have been the attacks falsely linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood because of his faith and Egyptian roots.

    ‘Too Muslim’
    At the rally in Detroit, El-Sayed repeated Abraham Lincoln’s famous words on the need for a government “for the people by the people” no fewer than five times. His point was that corporations are gaining too much power in the government.

    Sanders endorsed El-Sayed for governor last week. And Ocasio-Cortez is using her newly acquired fame to help get him elected.

    “The future of this party is working people,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Democrats at the Detroit event on Saturday. “The future of this party is the marginalised – it is women… it is people of colour; it is intersectional; it is allyship.”

    Across Michigan and the US, Arab and Muslim candidates are finding themselves in the anti-establishment camp, just as Arab and Muslim voters backed Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

    El-Sayed told Middle East Eye that it is natural for Arabs and Muslims Americans to be drawn to progressive politics.

    “It’s an agenda that articulates a future where all of us can belong to the fabric of America; and the notion that it can include anybody,” he said.

    “If you look at both Alexandria and I, we don’t look like usual candidates: We’re both too young, too brown, and I’m too Muslim.”

    Muslim women for Congress
    Dawud Walid, the Michigan executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), said Muslim Americans have been moving leftward on the political spectrum.

    “The blatant racism of the Republican Party, as well as the failure of the mainstream Democratic establishment have pushed many people of colour more to the left, including many of our Muslim politicians,” Walid told MEE.

    In the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, the Arab and Muslim community overwhelmingly supported Sanders in the primaries in 2016 and Hillary Clinton later in the general election, partly because of Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

    Two Arab-American women who are Muslim are running for US Congress in separate districts in Michigan. Both want to increase minimum wage and work for universal healthcare.

    Fayrouz Saad, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants who had served as the head of Immigrant Affairs in Detroit, is running in a district currently occupied by a Republican congressman. Former state Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American environmental advocate, is vying for the top spot in a crowded primary for a safe Democratic seat.

    On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez appeared to back the two women at a rally in Dearborn to encourage Muslims to vote.

    “I can’t do it alone, just one seat out of 435 isn’t what’s going to get us there,” she told a crowd of supporters. “I need you to send Fayrouz with me. I need you to send Rashida with me. I need you to knock those doors and send us all, so that 2018 isn’t the year that we elect our first Muslim woman to Congress, it’s that we get our first class of Muslim women to Congress.”

    In Minnesota, Somali American state representative Ilhan Omar, is looking to fill the seat of Muslim American Congressman Keith Ellison who is looking to become the state’s attorney general.

    Ellison was among the few US lawmakers to endorse Sanders in 2016. Omar is also running on a left-wing platform.

    ‘The right issues’
    Prominent Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, who was a national surrogate for Sanders’ campaign in 2016, said the ideals of universal health care, immigrant rights and fair wages transcend political labels. She called them human values.

    “I don’t consider myself a progressive or a leftist,” she told MEE. “I’m a Muslim activist who believes everybody should be able to thrive in our country. That’s why people like Abdul and Rashida are resonating with people who are outside our community. They’re talking to everybody.”

    Michigan state Representative Abdullah Hammoud, who is the only member of the state legislature to endorse El-Sayed, echoed Sarsour’s comments.

    “I don’t brand it as being left-wing. I think it’s advocating for the right issues,” he told MEE.

    For all the energy and publicity on the ground, El-Sayed has been lagging in public opinion polls, but he has dismissed the surveys as faulty because they do not account for the overwhelming majority of his base of young people who do not use home phones.

    El-Sayed is the former director of the Detroit health department. His campaign credits him for drastically improving the department that was in disarray before his appointment in 2015.

    In the primaries, El-Sayed is facing off against an ex-leader in the state Senate who enjoys the backing of the top brass of the Democratic Party and a businessman who was reportedly debating running as a Republican. If El-Sayed wins on 7 August, he would face one of three Republicans running in the opposite primaries, including the Trump-backed Michigan attorney general.

    Religion and politics
    Right-wing groups have made unfounded accusations that Muslim candidates may not be fit to serve in public office because they would favour “Sharia law” over the US Constitution.

    Critics of that rationale argue that most Muslim candidates are running on a socially liberal agenda that promotes LGBT rights and women’s reproductive rights. For example, El-Sayed has endorsed the legalisation of recreational marijuana in Michigan.

    “In fact, the Muslim candidates are the ones who are centering the Constitution as the foundation of what they’re running on, and dignity and respect for all people,” Sarsour, who has been campaigning for Muslim candidates in Michigan, told MEE…”

  24. Minister blasts poisoning of quake-hero dog (ansa, Jul 30, 2018)

    “Health Minister Giulia Grillo on Monday expressed dismay after Kaos, a German shepherd dog that helped rescue people trapped under rubble in the 2016 Amatrice earthquakem was found poisoned at the weekend. “I have learned with great sadness about the news of the poisoning of Kaos, the dog hero of Amatrice,” Grillo said on Facebook.

    “It was a terrible, unjustified act. In collaboration with (fellow) ministers Sergio Costa (environment) and Alfonso Bonafede (justice), I am working to make tougher the punishments against these odious crimes by heartless criminals”.”

  25. Ethiopian migrants risk torture, cholera in Djibouti on way to Yemen (france24, Jul 30, 2018)

    Dozens of Ethiopian migrants died of cholera in Djibouti in June 2018. Their migration route went through this tiny state on the Horn of Africa, from where they try to get to Yemen – a nation in the grip of a civil war – and Saudi Arabia. Those who don’t die of hunger and thirst on the perilous journey often stop in the Djiboutian town of Obock, where they can wait for a crossing over the Red Sea.

    But once they get to Yemen, the same horrors await them as in Libya: they are almost systematically kidnapped by traffickers who torture them and rape the women in order to demand ransoms from their families. Our Observers revealed to us this forgotten humanitarian catastrophe.

    Over the last few weeks, Djiboutians have been alarmed by the rise of cholera and acute diarrhoea in the northern town of Obock, where hundreds of migrants arrive each week as a stopping point before trying to get to neighbouring Yemen.

    Citizens of the town have published a number of photos and videos on social networks of the mounting crisis. The FRANCE 24 Observers team has blurred some of the images in respect of the privacy and dignity of the people in them…..”

  26. Why Rod Rosenstein should be impeached

    “The Russia Hoax” author Gregg Jarrett on why U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be impeached.

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