Reader’s Links for November 8, 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

110 Replies to “Reader’s Links for November 8, 2018”

  1. WATCH: Democrat Celebrates Her House Win Draped In Palestinian Flag

    Two Muslim women were elected to Congress on Tuesday night.

    One from Minnesota, one from Michigan

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    Two Muslim women were elected to Congress on Tuesday night.

    One from Minnesota, one from Michigan.

    Both apparently have “extreme anti-Israel views.”
    take our poll – story continues below

    Will the Democrats try to impeach President Trump now that they control the House?

    Latest: Cali Bar Shooting Survivor Was at Vegas Concert Massacre

    After her win, Rashida Tlaib celebrated with the Palestinian flag.

  2. Jewish schoolchildren attacked by Muslim men in France

    Here again is another antisemitic horror story ignored by the mainstream media, swept under their prayer rug. The enemedia had to report on the Pittsburgh slaughter because it was the deadliest attack on Jews in American history. So they reported on it and twisted themselves into all kinds of knots to blame …… President Trump, the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish president in American history. But anti-Jewish attacks are taking place daily, not just in Europe and America, but across the world.

    • Mexico: Honduran migrants demand buses to ease journey to US border

      Honduran migrants marched through the streets of Mexico City on Thursday, demanding the UN to provide buses for transporation of the ‘migrant caravan’ advancing to the southern US border.

  3. BREAKING: London Bloodbath – Teenager suffers MULTIPLE INJURIES in BRUTAL Brixton assault (express, Nov 9, 2018)

    “A TEENAGER in Brixton has been left with multiple injuries following an attack on Gresham Road in Brixton, the Met Police have confirmed.

    A TEENAGER in Brixton has been left with multiple injuries following an attack on Gresham Road in Brixton, the Met Police have confirmed.

    The victim was treated on the scene and has been rushed to a south London hospital.

    His condition is unknown.

    Police believe the assault was conducted with a bottle which has been recovered from the scene.

    The police and ambulance service were called to the incident at 9.25pm.

    No arrests have been made so far.

    A crime scene has been put in place on Gresham Road and police are investigating the incident.

    Gresham Road has been closed until tomorrow morning according to Transport for London.

    Busses will no longer be collecting from stops on Coldbarbour Lane between Loughborough Junction station and Lambeth Town Hall.

    A local resident tweeted: “Just walked out of a restaurant on Coldharbour Lane to yet another stabbing.

    “Cordoned off, police everywhere. What is going on?”

    Whilst the assault is believed to have involved a bottle it has not been confirmed as a stabbing.

    She added: “Theresa May why don’t you give that £420million to the police instead of potholes?

    “Might be a start!”

    More to follow…”

  4. 12 Imprisoned Shiites Face ‘Imminent’ Execution in Saudi Arabia: Amnesty (tasnimnews, Nov 8, 2018)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Twelve Saudi prisoners who are part of the country’s Shiite minority are at risk of “imminent” execution, according to Amnesty International.

    The kingdom has moved their cases to the Presidency of State Security government agency, which deals with internal security matters, the rights group said on Wednesday.

    Saudi Arabia’s judicial proceedings are generally conducted in secret and it remains unknown when the kingdom transferred these men to the new state agency.

    The men were sentenced to death in 2016 on charges of “spying for Iran” after what Amnesty International described as a “grossly unfair mass trial”, the Middle East Eye reported.

    In December, the men’s families learned that the Saudi Supreme Court upheld their punishment, meaning they may be killed as soon as King Salman ratifies their death sentences. Moving the cases to the Presidency of State Security brings them one step closer to that ratification.

    “Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners and regularly uses the death penalty as a political tool to crush dissent from the country’s Shiite minority, demonstrating its total contempt for the value of human life,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director.

    According to Amnesty, 34 Saudi Shiites are on death row, including four minors.

    The Presidency of State Security agency was created in 2017 and is seen by critics as a way for the king to consolidate power.

    Executions in Saudi Arabia, most commonly in the form of beheadings, take place following a decision by the king.

    A UN report released in June said that the Persian Gulf kingdom was systematically using its counterterrorism laws to suppress human rights defenders.

    “Those who peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression are systematically persecuted in Saudi Arabia,” the report said. “Many languish in prison for years. Others have been executed after blatant miscarriages of justice.”

    Late last month, a group of United Nations experts also called on Riyadh to suspend the pending executions of six people that were sentenced to death for alleged crimes that took place while they were minors.

    “Children should never be subject to the death penalty, this practice violates an existing norm of customary international law and renders the punishment tantamount to torture,” the UN experts said.”

  5. Tajikistan Prison Riot Kills 20 (tasnimnews, Nov 8, 2018)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Around 20 prisoners and two guards were killed in clashes at a maximum security prison in Tajikistan’s northern city of Khujand, security sources said.

    The prison in Tajikistan’s second-largest city is home to prisoners serving long sentences for serious crimes including extremism and murder.

    One of the sources said “around 20 prisoners” died in clashes that also claimed the lives of two guards. The second source confirmed the number of victims and said a further six guards had been injured.

    The ex-Soviet country’s government has yet to confirm the prison riot or the deaths.

    “A riot involving dozens of prisoners occurred Wednesday night and continued into Thursday,” one of the security sources told AFP, requesting anonymity.

    Another source said the riot had begun when prisoners seized “cutting objects” from a workshop in the prison.

    The prison in Khujand, located some 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the north of the capital Dushanbe, has seen prison breaks in the past.

    In 2016, a guard and a prisoner were killed after three inmates initiated a jailbreak.

    At the time the interior ministry said the prisoners had planned to join the ranks of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.”

  6. Yemen Fires Homegrown Ballistic Missile at Saudi Mercenaries (tasnimnews, Nov 8, 2018)

    “The Yemeni army ad Popular Committees, in a retaliatory attack against the Saudi-led coalition, fired a domestically made ballistic missile at a gathering of foreign-backed mercenaries in the Arabian Peninsula country’s northern province of Jawf, local reports said…”

  7. Official: Kuwait largest Arab investor in Germany (memo, Nov 8, 2018)

    “The Kuwaiti private sector is the largest Arab investor in Germany with investments worth €16 billion ($18.3 billion), Chairman of Kuwait’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Ali Mohamed Al-Ghanim, said.

    Al-Ghanim said during an event organised in the German embassy on Tuesday, that Kuwaiti investments in Germany reach €35 billion ($40 billion).

    Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Al-Ghanim said the Kuwaiti government’s most important investments are in Mercedes-Benz; which in 2014 celebrated 40 years of the partnership with the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).

    Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah praised the close and solid relations between Kuwait and Germany.”

  8. German Report Reveals Large Irregular Migration Network in Morocco (moroccoworldnews, Nov 8, 2018)

    “The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has issued a report indicating Morocco is an “anchor state” for irregular migration to Europe.

    Rabat – The briefing detailed one large irregular migration network composed of 20 leaders which intelligence services dubbed the “schleuser lodge.” The report said the network was the main trafficker of migrants along western Mediterranean routes beginning in early 2017.

    Irregular migration from Morocco to Europe has increased 150 percent since 2014 on average. The networks usually take one of three different crossing routes from Morocco to Spain; through the strait of Gibraltar, through the sea of Alboran in the western Mediterranean, and on the Atlantic from Larache to Cadiz.

    The smuggling network charges migrants €1,000 for up to three attempted crossings and an additional €2,000 for safe shelter in Spain if they cross successfully. In the event a migrant dies attempting to cross, the network returns the money to their family.

    Morocco has become a popular destination for sub-Saharan migrants hoping to make it to Europe, due to its proximity to Europe and the fact that many do not need a visa to enter Morocco.

    In early October a Spanish news outlet reported that Spain had repeatedly expressed Morocco’s concerns regarding irregular migration to the EU in an effort to provide the country with extra resources to curb such attempts and dismantle trafficking networks.

    In September the Moroccan Navy faced criticism after firing on a go-fast migrant boat attempting to reach Spain, subsequently killing Hayat Belkacem, a 20-year-old Moroccan woman, and wounding three other migrants.

    Authorities are also cracking down on land, entering neighborhoods populated by migrants and sometimes forcing relocation. “The police in Tangier were brutal. They entered our homes, cracked down on sub-Saharans, and arrested us regardless of whether you are a [legally resident] student or irregular migrant,” one Guinean migrant named Alpha told Morocco World News.

    Regardless of such measures, it is unclear what, if anything will persuade migrants to stop trying to make the journey north and relinquish their hopes to achieve the “European dream.””

  9. 34 women killed in October in Turkey: Women’s rights group (hurriyetdailynews, Nov 8, 2018)

    “Thirty-four women were killed in October across Turkey, according to a report by Kad?n Cinayetlerini Durduraca??z Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), a women’s rights organization that monitors violence against women.

    The number of murders committed against women declined in October compared to the previous month.

    While 26 percent of those women were murdered for making decisions regarding their own lives, three percent of the women were murdered for refusing to reunite with their former partners.

    Six percent of the women were murdered because they sought divorce, while three percent were killed because they wanted to break up with their partners.

    Ten of these women were murdered by their husbands, their relatives or acquaintances.

    According to the report, in October two women were killed by their boyfriends and another two by their ex-boyfriends.

    One woman was killed by her son-in-law and another one woman was murdered by her son.

    Of the 34 victims, 44 percent of the women were between 36 and 65 years old, three percent were older than 66, and 23 percent were between 25 and 35 years old. Three percent were between 12 and 14 years old.

    Three percent of those women were under state protection when they were killed, while six percent had courts issued restraining orders against potential assailants.

    Twenty-nine percent of those murdered were killed with sharp objects, while 21 percent with fire arms. Nine percent of the female victims were choked to death.

    Some 38 percent of those women had children.

    Istanbul saw eight reported femicides in October, while the southern province of Adana and western province of Tekirda? each saw two such violent crimes against women.

    Fourteen women were subjected to sexual violence in the month, the rights group also said in the report, adding that the actual figure could however be much higher.

    According to data provided by the platform, five of those 14 women suffered from sexual violence at home, while seven others were subjected to sexual violence in public spaces such as streets, hospitals, schools and buses.

    One woman was subjected to sexual violence on social media, the group said.

    In 2017, a total of 409 women were killed and 387 children sexually abused in Turkey, according to data compiled by the same group.”

    • These numbers seem low to me, I’ve read years agothat Turkey has about 200 honor killings / year.
      Turkish law was changed and now punishes honor killings, I’ve read that families changed tactics since then and push their victims to commit suicide. Those don’t end up in the stats I assume, that might explain the low numbers.
      Turkish communities abroad also do this, probably more than in the old country.

  10. Turkic diaspora ballooning worldwide: Turkish minister (AA, Nov 8, 2018)

    “The size of the worldwide Turkic diaspora is ballooning, Turkey’s culture and tourism minister said on Thursday.

    “As soon as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — which we would like to see as members of this momentous formation — are included, the diaspora of our countries will reach a size not to be ignored worldwide,” Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said, adding that the diaspora of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (TDIK, or Turkic Council), from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, already numbers nearly 15 million.

    Speaking at the third meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs in Turkey’s capital Ankara, Ersoy said that the member countries will benefit more and more from diaspora activities.

    Ersoy stressed that the common values of council member states provide a great potential for the solidarity between them, adding that diasporas constitute an important element of this solidarity.

    He also said a joint action strategy and action plan to be signed Thursday will be a step forward for protecting expats’ dignity and interests.

    Stressing the importance of acting with a common vision and cooperation, Ersoy said: “Promoting the solidarity and cooperation of our citizens has become a vital issue.”

    Ersoy underlined that Turkey currently has around 6.5 million citizens living in 155 countries around the world, while at the same time Turkish soil is host to some 3.5 million Syrian refugees.

    He said the second Turkic Council Diaspora Forum — scheduled for the next year — will be hosted by Turkey.

    The council was established in 2009 as an international intergovernmental organization, with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states.”

    • Neo-Ottomans will have an easier path to conquest in the Balkans and W. Europe with the Turk diaspora.

      The ‘Stans know the Turk too well. And he’d be trespassing on both Putin’s and the Twisted-Ragheads “near abroad”. Those guys aren’t dainty about enforcing their versions of the Monroe Doctrine.

  11. Opinion: A cold-hearted, fearmongering AfD (DW, Nov 8, 2018)

    “A fierce debate in the Bundestag over the envisioned UN migration pact has pitted Germany’s far-right populists against all other parties. It is good to see democrats face down the misanthropes, says DW’s Jens Thurau.

    Speaking in Germany’s parliament on Friday, conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) lawmaker Stephan Harbarth expressed support for the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, and recalled a visit to a Jordanian refugee camp where health care services are substandard. His remarks were met with derision and laughter by parliamentarians from the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD). Their callous contempt underscores exactly what is at stake regarding the UN migration deal.

    A pact for human compassion

    Germany, despite fierce opposition from the AfD, will go ahead and sign the UN migration pact — just as the vast majority of the other 190-odd UN member states will. The pact lists a range of humanitarian principles that will apply in every country, and affords extra protection to refugee children, for instance, and the provision of health care. In short: the UN compact on migration puts in writing that humans should treat each other with compassion. Nothing more, nothing less. That a parliamentary discussion is even necessary on this matter illustrates just how cold-hearted debates on refugees have actually become in this country. But at least Germany stands by the UN agreement — unlike Austria, Hungary, Australia, the United States and a few others.

    AfD stokes fear

    The AfD, unsurprisingly, has framed the UN migration pact as a threat to German sovereignty, has evoked the specter of open borders and unchecked immigration, and has said this puts an excessive burden on our welfare system. None of this is true. But that does not concern the AfD. In reality, the UN pact stresses the principle of national sovereignty. And in any case, the UN deal is not legally binding. But none of these significant details matter to the fearmongering AfD, of course.

    Foreign Ministry’s conduct plays into hands of populists

    It was a relief to see the remaining parties join forces against the AfD’s scare tactics — including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, even though some critics within her party had taken issue with the Foreign Ministry’s somewhat secretive handling of the UN pact. It is unclear whether this was done deliberately because matters pertaining to refugees and migration can potentially stir controversy. That it was the AfD’s initiative that led to the parliamentary debate on the UN deal certainly adds grist to the mill of the far-right populists. Members of the Left, Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats also criticized the ministry’s initial conduct.

    A modern immigration law is urgently needed

    With the AfD as Germany’s largest opposition party in parliament, the tone of debates has become noticeably harsher and colder. It is a disgraceful development.

    This has to come to a stop. It is now time to pass a modern immigration law that clearly distinguishes between the right to asylum, and targeted immigration — and that clearly defines the opportunities and limits inherent in both. The time is now. Germany’s democrats need to join forces against the country’s misanthropist far-right.”

    • Czech President Slams UN Migration Pact Over Controversial Policy – Reports (sputniknews, Nov 8, 2018)

      “Czech President Milos Zeman opposed the UN-backed Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), noting that the document did not differentiate between legal and illegal migration.

      “This agreement does not recognize the difference between legal and illegal migration, which is something that can be easily abused in practice. I would also add Poland to the list of countries that have already said they do not support this pact. There are no migrants [in Poland] but the authorities of this country are looking ahead,” Zeman told the TV Barrandov broadcaster.

      Last week, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis expressed his discontent with the UN agreement and announced his intention to reject it, following the example of Austria, Hungary and the United States.

      On Wednesday, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said that he had been entrusted by the country’s government to prepare a draft decision on the country’s plan to abandon talks on the GCM.

      The international deal is expected to be adopted at the dedicated

      Intergovernmental Conference which will be held in Morocco on December 10-11. The GCM represents the global community’s attempt to establish a common approach to dealing with international migration.

      Washington withdrew from the talks on the deal in 2017, while Vienna followed its example last Wednesday. Budapest has also criticized the deal saying it represents a threat to national security. Last week, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw was likely to abandon the deal, too.”

      • I adore Milos Zeman.
        Despite early socialist deformation, he’s been outspoken for decades. He actually preceded Mr. Orban in calling a spade a spade.
        (Back in the day, Israel was also socialist.)

        Article from way back in 2011:

        “NATO has declared itself as a defensive alliance without questioning what is it defending against. But it all begins with defining the enemy,” Zeman stated.

        “He then continued: “The enemy is the anti-civilization spreading from northern Africa all the way to Indonesia. Inhabited by two billions of people and financed partly by gasoline sales, partly by drug sales,” speaking about the world of Muslims.”

        “I don’t believe there are Muslims and radical Muslims. Just as I don’t believe there are moderate and radical communists. There are only Muslims and communists…

        “Just remember the appeasement politics during the ‘30s. The victims were thrown directly into enemy’s guts, and (see) where it ended. The 21st century is not going to be Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’, but Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations…”

        “There is no doubt that Islam’s ideological basis is the Koran. A Muslim can be identified as an adherent of Koran, just as Nazi is an adherent of racial supremacy and anti-Semitism, or a Communist an adherent of class struggle and proletarian dictatorship…”

      • Reversing the Tide of the Muslim Word Purge
        A remarkable statement on the state of Muslim theology by Czech President Miloš Zeman…. These remarks, offered at a reception for Israel’s Independence Day.

        The brief speech was not only given behind closed doors at a private reception, but also appeared on the government website of the Czech Republic. That is how we know Zeman’s words are not just words, but a groundbreaking wakeup call by a national leader to the world at large.

        If only they were listening.

        Speech by the president of the Czech Republic at the reception held to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day

        • Mr. Zeman was blasted for the speech.

          “[T]he Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) …alleged that Zeman had committed blasphemy by accusing Islam of not being a religion of peace and tolerance.… [D]emands were made for him to recant and apologize.”

          “The [OIC] Secretary General reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and that terrorism should not be equated to any race or religion; a stance upheld by all major UN texts on the subject of countering terrorism. He added that the OIC countries share a profound respect for all religions and condemn any message of hatred and intolerance.”

          Translation of his reply:
          “President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologize. For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologize for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”

          Czech President tells Organization of Islamic Cooperation to “Go Jump in a Lake”

    • BREITBART – Marc Elias, Lawyer Tied to Clinton Campaign & ‘Pee Dossier,’ Leads Dems’ Florida Recount Efforts

      Marc Elias, the attorney who infamously retained Fusion GPS to produce the largely discredited anti-Trump dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, has been retained to represent Sen. Bill Nelson’s recount efforts in Florida.
      The Florida Senate race is likely headed to a recount after late reporting from Broward County lowered Gov. Rick Scott’s lead to about 17,000 votes, meaning the election is within the .25% margin necessary to require a hand recount. The race has already reached the 0.5 percent threshold to require a machine recount.

      In a conference call with reporters, Elias claimed that optical-scan machines may not have registered ballots that were poorly marked, and he contended that Nelson would emerge victorious from a recount, which has not yet been officially authorized.

      “We believe that at the end of this process, Sen. Nelson is going to be declared the winner,” Elias said.

      Elias added: “We’re doing this not just because it’s automatic, but we’re doing it to win. A significant number of ballots have not yet been counted and, because of the size of Florida, we believe the results of the election are unknown and require a recount.”

      Elias is widely considered one of the most powerful attorneys associated with the Democratic Party. He is chair of the Political Law Group at the Perkins Coie law firm. Elias represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee. He was brought in by Nelson’s campaign to oversee official recount efforts.

      Last year, the Washington Post reported that in April 2016, Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie retained Fusion GPS to conduct the firm’s anti-Trump work on behalf of both Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC. The work resulted in the publication of the dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele.

      Through Perkins Coie, Clinton’s campaign and the DNC continued to fund Fusion GPS until October 2016, days before Election Day, the Post reported.

      While it is not clear how much the Clinton campaign or the DNC paid Fusion GPS, the UK Independent, citing campaign finance records, reported that the Clinton campaign doled out $5.6 million to Perkins Coie from June 2015 to December 2016.

      Records show that since November 2015, the DNC paid the law firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting.”

      Steele reportedly met with the FBI on July 5, 2016 to report his purported findings about Trump and Russia. The Steele dossier was reportedly utilized by the FBI in part to conduct its probe into Trump over the unsubstantiated Russia collusion claims.

      According to House Intelligence Committee documents, the questionable dossier was also used by Obama administration officials to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign. The political origins of the dossier and issues relating to Steele’s credibility as a source were kept from the FISA court, a House Republican memo documents.

      Besides its role in sending funds to Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie also reportedly helped draft the outside firm CrowdStrike to aid with the DNC’s allegedly hacked servers.

      CrowdStrike is the third-party company ultimately relied upon by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The DNC reportedly did not allow the FBI to gain access to servers that were suspected of being hacked, instead coming to an arrangement with the federal agency in which CrowdStrike carried out forensics on the servers and shared details with the FBI.

      In Florida, meanwhile, Republican Ron DeSantis, the former Congressman who won the gubernatorial election, is now within the .5% threshold required for a machine recount.

      Opponent Andrew Gillum has not officially asked for a recount and that effort is considered a longshot, but Gillum’s campaign on Thursday hinted at challenging the ballot counting.

      “On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported,” stated Gillum’s communications director, Johanna Cervone. “Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted.”

    • Florida Governor Race Headed for Recount

      The Florida governor’s race is headed for a machine recount, falling below the 0.5 percent margin required by state law before a recount is considered.

      The latest returns show Republican candidate Ron DeSantis ahead of Democrat candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by less than 39,000 votes, or 0.47 percent, triggering an automatic recount under Florida state law.

      Under Florida state law, a candidate running for office can declare victory if the margin of votes is greater than 0.5 percent of the total vote. If the margin of victory is equal or less than 0.5 percent, state law requires a machine to recount the votes.

      If the margin of victory is less than or equal to 0.25 percent, state law requires the recount to be conducted by hand.

      Although Gillum conceded the race to DeSantis, Gillum’s campaign said Thursday it was “open” to the idea of asking elections officials to conduct a recount due to late ballots coming in.

      “On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported,” Gillum spokesperson Johanna Cervone said in a statement.

      “Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount,” Cervone added.

      Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner told state election supervisors in a conference call Thursday morning that they should prepare for the possibility for a statewide recount and be prepared outside media attention.

      “The recounts will be nationally watched … (we’re) under a microscope,” Detzner told the Tampa Bay Times.

  12. ‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates (BBC, Nov 8, 2018)

    “There has been a remarkable, global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers.

    Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a “baby bust” – meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.

    The researchers said the findings were a “huge surprise”.

    And there would be profound consequences for societies with “more grandparents than grandchildren”.

    How big has the fall been?
    The study, published in the Lancet, followed trends in every country from 1950 to 2017.

    In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year.

    But that masks huge variation between nations.

    The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but head north-east to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and women are having one child, on average, in a lifetime.

    How high does the fertility rate have to be?
    If the fertility rate drops below approximately 2.1 then populations will eventually start to shrink (the figure is higher in countries with a high risk of dying in childhood).

    At the start of the study, zero nations were in this position.

    Prof Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told the BBC: “We’ve reached this watershed where half of countries have fertility rates below the replacement level, so if nothing happens the populations will decline in those countries.

    “It’s a remarkable transition.

    “It’s a surprise even to people like myself, the idea that it’s half the countries in the world will be a huge surprise to people.”

    Which countries are affected?
    More economically developed countries including most of Europe, the US, South Korea and Australia have lower fertility rates.

    It does not mean the number of people living in these countries is falling, at least not yet as the size of a population is a mix of the fertility rate, death rate and migration.

    It can also take a generation for changes in fertility rate to take hold.

    But Prof Murray said: “We will soon be transitioning to a point where societies are grappling with a declining population.”

    Half the world’s nations are still producing enough children to grow, but as more countries advance economically, more will have lower fertility rates.

    Why is the fertility rate falling?
    The fall in fertility rate is not down to sperm counts or any of the things that normally come to mind when thinking of fertility.

    Instead it is being put down to three key factors:

    Fewer deaths in childhood meaning women have fewer babies
    Greater access to contraception
    More women in education and work
    In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.

    What will the impact be?
    Without migration, countries will face ageing and shrinking populations.

    Dr George Leeson, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, says that does not have to be a bad thing, as long as the whole of society adjusts to the massive demographic change.

    He told the BBC: “Demography impacts on every single aspect of our lives, just look out of your window at the people on the streets, the houses, the traffic, the consumption, it is all driven by demography.

    “Everything we plan for is not just driven by the numbers in the population, but also the age structure and that is changing, so fundamentally we haven’t got our heads around it.”

    He thinks workplaces are going to have to change and even the idea of retiring at 68, the current maximum in the UK, will be unsustainable.

    The report, part of the Global Burden of Diseases analysis, says affected countries will need to consider increasing immigration, which can create its own problems, or introducing policies to encourage women to have more children, which often fail.

    Report author Prof Murray argues: “On current trends there will be very few children and lots of people over the age of 65 and that’s very difficult to sustain global society.

    “Think of all the profound social and economic consequences of a society structured like that with more grandparents than grandchildren.

    “I think Japan is very aware of this, they’re facing declining populations, but I don’t think it’s hit many countries in the West, because low fertility has been compensated with migration.

    “But at a global level there is no migration solution.”

    What about China?
    China has seen huge population growth since 1950, going from around half a billion inhabitants to 1.4 billion.

    But it too is facing the challenge of fertility rates, which stood at only 1.5 in 2017, and has recently moved away from its famous one child policy.

    The reason developed countries need a fertility rate of 2.1 is because not all children survive to adulthood and babies are ever so slightly more likely to be male than female.

    But in China, the report shows for every 100 girls born there were 117 boys which “imply very substantial sex-selective abortion and even the possibility of female infanticide”.

    That means even more children need to be born to have stable population.”

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