Reader’s Links for November 12, 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.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

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

123 Replies to “Reader’s Links for November 12, 2018”

  1. Facebook Fired Virtual Reality Pioneer for Supporting Trump
    November 12, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield
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    Silicon Valley is in thrall to the cult of diversity. Its measures its employees against racial metrics even as an industry, whose engine is meant to be the intellect, purges any hint of intellectual diversity.

    It happened at Mozilla with Brendan Eich, the creator of Javascript.

    It happened at Google with James Damore.

    Now it happened at Facebook with Palmer Luckey.

    Luckey’s Oculus fueled the race for virtual reality. Facebook bought his company for a fortune. And then it forced him out because he supported Trump and opposed Hillary.

  2. Washington Post Publishes Op-Ed by Iranian Terror Group That Calls for “Death to America”
    November 12, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield
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    The Washington Post has been howling about Trump’s collusion. But in the Khashoggi case, it was the Washington Post that appeared to be colluding with an old friend of Osama bin Laden’s whose terror support and anti-Semitism were quite blatant.

    But now the Washington Post is really letting its Jihad freak flag fly.

    • Yeah, I saw this.
      The WaPoo is becoming more egregiously _Enemy_ all the time.

      As Bezos increasingly takes editorial control, the heavy MB-0-Iran tilt becomes more obvious. He was a chief media engineer of 0’s Iran Deal deceptions. Must spend lots of quality time in the bunker with Valerie Jarrett.

      Owns the Cloud storage contract for the CIA. (Brennan was/is a key player in the soft-coup against PT. The Five Eyes oughta be blinded for their part in that mess.) The CIA remains an ocean of rot.

      Finagled a green-card for Khashoggi, who was crafting Arab Spring-2, Saudi-version. Features the Turk, Hamas, and Houthis (!!) as human rights advocates.

      • All the signs point to a major explosion at multiple points around the world, the big question is when? I have no answer on that one, in fact I don’t see how we have avoided the explosion this long.

  3. If You Fail at Life, You Can Still Be a #Resistance Celeb
    They don’t hate Trump. They hate themselves.
    November 12, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    What the printing press was to Johannes Gutenberg and the radio to FDR, Twitter is to Trump-hating celebrities who take time between their kale enemas to embarrass themselves on the internet.

    The #Resistance Twitter celebrity is invariably a has-been. The perfect example is Kathy Griffin who went from starring on Suddenly Susan, the rare example of a terrible sitcom that actually killed someone, to starring in My Life on the D-List to trying to molest Anderson Cooper on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live.

    Her last gasp of fame was a photoshoot of her holding up Trump’s fake, severed bloody head, followed by a tearful press conference trying to milk the backlash against her publicity stunt for more publicity.

    Scientists have determined that a former celebrity’s Trump rage level is inversely proportional to the odds of her having a speaking part in a movie that is released in theaters outside North Korea.

    It used to be alcoholism, then drugs and celebrity rehab. But these days the very bottom of the celeb dumpster is the #Resistance Twitter account. When celebrity #Resistance twits have an option that doesn’t involve screeching ALL CAPS Russia conspiracies, even though they think Vladivostok is the name of their former yoga coach, they take it faster than you can say, “Keith Olbermann.”

      • They are use to be stars in Hollywood. stars who weren’t popular any longer of who were considered too difficult to work with because of drugs or booze. None of them were that good at what they did before they got in trouble and dropped from A or B list to C list supporting characters when they could find work.

  4. Why Trump is Right on California Wildfires
    How “green policies” are burning the Golden State to a crisp.
    November 12, 2018
    Matthew Vadum

    As huge wildfires continued to devour forests, homes, and businesses across California over the weekend, President Trump lashed out at the destructive, deadly policies long pushed by environmentalists that set the stage for the Golden State’s now-routine fiery catastrophes.

    “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” President Trump tweeted Nov. 10 at 3:08 a.m. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

    On Nov. 11 at 4:40 a.m. he followed up with: “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!”

    In-between the two tweets, Trump used Twitter to urge people in the affected areas to “evacuate quickly,” praised the “[m]ore than 4,000” who are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California, and to express sympathy for the fire victims.

    Idiot celebrities and clueless politicians weighed in across the fruited plain, eager to attack Trump.

    “This is an absolutely heartless response,” singer Katy Perry naively tweeted. “There aren’t even politics involved. Just good American families losing their homes as you tweet, evacuating into shelters.”

  5. Richard: This is a must read for all who are interested in corruption at the highest levels of the US Government. Maxine Waters is one of the worst people in Congress for pressuring people and businesses to donate to her campaign funds or face massive investigations, and new regulations on their business.

    Why Wall Street must get ready for Maxine Waters

    Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California appears a lock to become the next chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee. Ms. Waters is pledging to be a diligent watchdog for mom and pop investors, and recently told a crowd that when it comes to the big banks, investment houses and insurance companies, “we are going to do to them, what they did to us.” I’m not going to cry too many tears for Wall Street since they poured money behind the Democrats in these midterm elections. You get what you pay for.

    But here we go again asking the fox to guard the hen house.

    Back during he the financial crisis of 2008-09, which wiped out trillions of dollars of the wealth and retirement savings of middle-class families, we put the two major arsonists in charge of putting out the fire. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Chris Dodd of Connecticut were the cosponsors of the infamous Dodd-Frank regulations. Readers will recall that good old Barney resisted every attempt to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and said he wanted to “roll the dice” on the housing market. That worked out well.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Dodd took graft payments in the form of low-interest loans from Countrywide, while greasing the skids for the housing lenders in these years. Instead of going to jail or at least being discharged dishonorably from Congress, he wrote the Dodd-Frank bill to regulate the banks.

  6. Broward elections chief Brenda Snipes’ long history of counting trouble

    Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes is now the subject of a lawsuit by the Senate campaign of Gov. Rick Scott. But this is not the first time Snipes has dealt with controversy in her 15-year stint as the county’s elections chief.

    She was appointed to the elected position after her predecessor was removed for incompetence.

    In a move usually reserved for elected officials accused of crimes or serious ethical violations, then-Gov. Jeb Bush removed Broward County Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant from office in Nov. 2003, writing in a letter about her mismanagement of the elections office: “To leave Ms. Oliphant in office would put the voting rights of every citizen of Broward County in chronic jeopardy.” The Broward elections office had a $423,000 deficit, and a disastrous 2002 primary election had seen polls open late and close early, plus 268 uncounted votes were found a year afterward, stuffed in a filing cabinet. They had never been counted. Bush named Snipes, a former principal and school administrator, to replace Oliphant. Snipes won election for the office in 2004 and has been re-elected every four years since then.

    Things got off to a slightly rocky start

  7. Illinois Woman Catches Democrat Voter Fraud in St. Clair County — Where They Have a History of Selling Votes for Crack

    t. Clair County in Illinois has a long history of confirmed cases of voter fraud.
    One St. Clair official Kelvin Ellis was also sentenced for attempting to arrange the murder of a witness to the county’s rigged voting system.

    In 2015 Belleville, Illinois resident Peggy Hubbard posted an epic rant on the police shooting of young black man in North St. Louis.

    Peggy compared the black community’s reaction to the shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey in North St. Louis outside a crack house with the shooting death of 9 year-old Jamyla Bolden in Ferguson. Jamyla was shot dead while studying on her bed. Peggy was outraged the liberal media made more out of the crackhead’s murder than that of the little girl. Peggy was called an Uncle Tom, Aunt Jemima, the White Man’s Bed Wench, and the White Man’s Black B*tch for speaking her mind.

    on Tuesday Peggy volunteered as a poll watcher in St. Clair County. Peggy later tweeted out that she caught drunks, dementia patients and voters who did not reside in the city attempting to vote on election day.

  8. Postal facility holding uncounted ballots same one that processed Sayoc’s pipe bombs
    Dean Garrison, Cons. Firing Line November 12, 2018

    [Ed. – Interesting…]

    Opa-locka Postal Facilty that Allegedly holds Uncounted Ballots the SAME Facility that Processed Cesar Sayoc’s Pipe Bombs

    What is going on in Opa-Locka, Florida?

    The same mail processing facility that is allegedly holding uncounted absentee ballots, was also responsible for sending Cesar Sayoc’s fake pipe bombs through the system.

    The postal service is currently investigating ballots mailed through the Opa-locka processing center, as reported by The Miami Herald:

    U.S. Postal Service investigates ballots mailed through Opa-locka facility

    The U.S. Postal Service is investigating its handling of absentee ballots mailed through a sorting facility in Opa-locka to “verify that all ballots have been handled in accordance to USPS service standards.”

    A small group of activists gathered outside the federal building on Friday claiming possible voter suppression and sharing photographs they claimed showed scores of uncounted ballots sitting inside the facility’s mail room.

    “At this time, we have no information to suggest any ballots were not properly handled and provided to local election officials, per our established process,” said Debra J. Fetterly, a USPS spokesperson with the South Florida District. “The Postal Service recommends that ballots be mailed as early as possible, in order to receive a postmark prior to or on Election Day.”

    Local activists said an employee of the mailroom claimed scores of ballots had been sitting there for up to several weeks. But the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections office said there was “zero” chance any ballots had been invalidated during the mailing process and that any ballots mailed late would eventually be delivered to them.

    Read more here:

  9. Richard: I will believe Tucker over an antifa member.

    I was at the protest outside Tucker Carlson’s house. Here’s what actually happened.
    Alan Pyke, ThinkProgress November 12, 2018

    [Ed. – That’s much better! Maybe the author would like to share his address and state whether he’s married so that 13 or 14 Republican ‘protesters trailed by four protest observers’ can assemble un-announced outside his home and extend the same treatment to his partner.]

    I was at the protest outside Tucker Carlson’s house. Here’s what actually happened.
    Less than 15 people chanting in the dark, with a tambourine.

    About a dozen protesters visited Tucker Carlson’s home Wednesday evening with signs, a megaphone, and a tambourine.

    The incident, video of which was taken offline shortly after being posted, has prompted an aisle-crossing outcry – fueled in part by Carlson’s own significant embellishments of what occurred while he wasn’t home. I was there for the entirety of the 10-minute demonstration, and can report in detail what actually happened.

    A group numbering 13 or 14 protesters trailed by four protest observers, some in the bright green hats often worn by trained First Amendment legal observers when monitoring police-protester interactions, walked up Carlson’s street just after dark on Wednesday.

  10. Broward County Elections Supervisor To Be ‘Forced From Office’ After Violating Florida Law, Says Report

    After a judge found her to have violated Florida elections law and amid reports of more highly suspicious actions by her office, the supervisor of elections for Broward County, Brenda Snipes, is expected to be “forced from office” by either Gov. Rick Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis, Politico reports.

    “Counting unlawful votes. Destroying ballots. Sunshine Law violations. Busted deadlines,” Politico’s Marc Caputo writes. “So many controversies have bedeviled Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes — culminating in her office’s troubles in the aftermath of Florida’s chaotic 2018 elections — that her days in office are now numbered, insiders and lawmakers say.”

  11. Will the US Stand Up for Asia Bibi?

    Will the U.S. stand up for Asia Bibi? The story of Asia Bibi is a tragedy beyond proportions. It also provides us a test as to just how committed the West is to human rights – with some countries, including the “GREAT” Britain failing miserably.

    Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman and mother of four who was jailed in Pakistan under a trumped up charge of blasphemy nine years ago. The fact that she was in jail for almost a decade is horrific enough, but saga is still ongoing.

    While the Pakistani Supreme Court remarkably and finally found her innocent and ordered her release, riots took place across the country clamoring not only for her death but also for the death of the three judges who found her innocent.

    This shows not only the complete breakdown of law and order in Pakistan, but reveals the psyche of a people gone mad with the taste of blood in its mouth.

    There was a rumor that Bibi had been allowed to leave the country, but Pakistan vehemently denied this. Fortunately, her lawyer fled the country and is vying for her release from a non-disclosed location in Europe.

    In September of this year, our law firm announced a public corruption investigation of the events surrounding the election held in August of 2018 in Broward County. Since that time, we have received information about the activities of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office (“SOE”) and other agencies and individuals. Because of the discrepancies and irregularities that have occurred with the November election, we have expanded our investigation to include that election as well.


    The issue of election fraud and corruption in Broward County is not new. In 2011 and 2012, it was alleged that politicians were using ballot “mules” to skew voting results. It was the Broward County Mayor who sounded the alarm about these mules in 2012. However, nothing was done.

    Then in 2016, Tim Canova, a candidate for the congressioinal seat held by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, lost and demanded access to certain original voting ballots. After intense litigation, Canova learned that the ballots he was seeking had been illegally destroyed by SOE months earlier. A judge ruled in his favor on that issue and essentially found that Brenda Snipes, head of SOE, had illegally signed off on the destruction of the ballots, which is a felony. Nothing has ever been done to Snipes for this violation of law. WHO IS PROTECTING BRENDA SNIPES AND HER CO-CONSPIRATORS?

  13. Sen. Graham Compares Florida Vote Counts To Kavanaugh: ‘The Law Be Damned!’

    South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham took aim at the vote count confusion taking place in Florida, tweeting on Friday that — just like during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process — Democrats don’t allow the law to stand in the way of the desired outcome.

    Graham began his thread by quoting a tweet from current Gov. (and, for now, Senator-elect) Rick Scott about the ongoing drama along with his own assessment.

    He said, “When it comes to confirming judges and counting votes, Democrats are amazingly consistent — The law is NO obstacle to the outcome they seek.”

    Graham continued, saying that Florida officials casting aside election laws was no different than Senate Democrats who set aside the presumption of innocence with regard to the accusations against Kavanaugh

  14. Former ‘ThinkProgress’ Writer Allegedly Participated In The Mob Attack At Tucker Carlson’s Home

    Last week, a mob of about 20 so-called “anti-fascists” targeted Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s home in Washington, DC.

    The mob vandalized Carlson’s driveway and cars, chanted threats, banged on his front door, demanded the host leave town, and doxxed him, his brother Buckley Carlson, and his longtime friend and business partner Neil Patel. At the time of the ambush, Carlson’s wife was home alone. Under the impression that this was a home invasion, she hid herself in the pantry and called 911.

    Plaintiff the National Rifle Association of America (the “NRA”) files this Original
    Complaint and Jury Demand (“Complaint”) against defendants New York Governor Andrew
    Cuomo (“Cuomo”), both individually and in his official capacity; Maria T. Vullo (“Vullo”), both
    individually and in her official capacity; and the New York State Department of Financial Services
    (“DFS”) (collectively, “Defendants”), upon personal knowledge of its own actions, and upon
    information and belief as to all others matters, as follows:
    This case is necessitated by an overt viewpoint-based discrimination campaign against the
    NRA and the millions of law-abiding gun owners that it represents. Directed by Governor Andrew
    Cuomo, this campaign involves selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats

  16. Quebec college athletes suspended after anti-Muslim video shared on social media

    MONTREAL — A junior college in Quebec City says it hopes an embarrassing video shared on social media showing members of its women’s basketball team criticizing immigrants and Muslims will be a learning opportunity.

    The school suspended four players last week and will require them to perform 30 hours of community service following their return to classes Tuesday.

    A video circulating on Twitter shows the young women in their team dressing room making derogatory comments about immigrants. One says, “F— Muslims, man, they’re all terrorists.”

    News reports indicated the women had claimed they were joking, but Claude Boutin, head of student life and spokeswoman for the CEGEP de Ste-Foy, said intent is not the issue.

    “Regardless of their intention, the comments are unacceptable and disrespectful,” she said in an interview Monday. “Regardless of the context, we acted on what was said.”

    Boutin added she does not think the school’s actions were too harsh.

    “These comments should not have been made, they shouldn’t have been recorded — and they most certainly shouldn’t have been shared,” she said.

    The school says it learned of the video Nov. 7 and immediately held a meeting with the team.

    Boutin said the college forced the team to forfeit its game scheduled for last Friday and is still considering what kind of community work the suspended players will perform. It is not disclosing the identity of the players involved.

    Boutin said the school will also give the team training on the impact of sharing content on social media.

    “We have young people who have good values but who sometimes make mistakes,” Boutin said. “This will be a learning opportunity. The young people involved very much regret their actions. I don’t think they realized the impact of their words.”

    Last December, Quebec City’s police chief said there were 42 incidents of reported hate crimes towards Muslims in 2017 — double the number in 2016.

    It was in January 2017 that a gunman shot dead six Muslim men in a Quebec City mosque. Months later, the car belonging to the mosque’s former president was deliberately set on fire.

    A Quebec City man later pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 12 months in jail in 2018.

    The mosque’s current president, Boufeldja Benabdallah, said in an interview he is satisfied with the school’s response to the video and appreciated that it acted quickly.

    “(The players) received a lesson, and it was done publicly. We should turn the page and hope they don’t do it again,” he said.

    “The CEGEP didn’t wait. It saw that it was unacceptable … and it acted.”
    video – TVA news report on this page :–quatre-joueuses-de-basketball-suspendues-au-cegep-de-sainte-foy


  17. UN Body Says to Introduce Iran as Safe Tourism Destination (tasnimnews, Nov 12, 2018)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili praised Iran’s security and said the United Nations agency is seeking to introduce the country to the world as a safe tourism destination…”

  18. EU countries approve arms sales to Saudi, UAE worth 55 times aid to Yemen (mee, Nov 12, 2018)

    “European governments and the European Union publicly wring their hands about the “human tragedy” and need for “life-saving assistance” in war-torn Yemen.

    Yet while the Saudi-led coalition has bombed the region’s poorest country over the past three years, the EU and European countries approved the sale of more than $86.7bn in arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to figures compiled by Middle East Eye.

    The value of the licences which the countries issued in 2015 and 2016 – the only years for which data is available – amount to more than 55 times what the EU and European countries have donated to the UN’s chronically underfunded Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.

    Meanwhile, independent researchers estimate that more than 56,000 Yemenis have been killed with the UN warning “a clear and present danger” of an imminent famine engulfing 14 million Yemenis – or half of the population…”

  19. Iran FM confirms Riyadh plot to assassinate senior Iranians (alaraby, Nov 12, 2018)

    “Iran’s foreign minister has confirmed that Saudi officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plotted to assassinate senior Iranian officials.

    Mohammed Javad Zarif made the exclusive comments to The New Arab’s Arabic-language service in an interview, which will be published in full tomorrow (November 13).

    “Tehran had credible information on this,” Zarif said, referring to a report published on Sunday in The New York Times that detailed a plan to hire private operatives to kill “Iranian enemies of Saudi Arabia”.

    Among the targets was notorious Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to the US newspaper.

    “All the world has opened its eyes to what Riyadh is doing such as blockading Qatar, bombing Yemen, detaining the prime minister of Lebanon and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” Zarif said.

    Zarif added that after the kingdom warned it would take the war inside Iran, the country has witnessed an increase in terrorist attacks such as the June 2017 dual assault on Iran’s parliament and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    Stay with us for full details of The New Arab’s interview with Zarif, published tomorrow.”

  20. Egypt police foil terrorist attack on checkpoint in North Sinai (ahram, Nov 12, 2018)

    “Egypt’s interior ministry said on Monday it foiled an attack on a security checkpoint in North Sinai’s El-Arish, state-run MENA news agency reported.

    The police’s central security forces thwarted the attempted suicide bombing at a checkpoint on the ring road in El-Arish.

    Egypt has been battling Islamist terrorists in North Sinai for several years. Terrorist attacks have mostly targeted security forces, particularly at military and police checkpoints.

    Egypt launched Operation Sinai 2018 in February to target “terrorist and criminal elements and organisations” in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, the army said at the start of the operation.

    More than 450 terrorists have been killed since the launch of the operation, Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman said in statements in October.”

  21. Talking dirty: It’s 2018 and Pakistan still does not have proper sanitation (tribune, Nov 12, 2018)

    “Access to clean and safe public toilets is one of the major factors that affects women’s mobility but it is sadly not given enough attention. There aren’t enough public toilets available in the country and those that are available are in horrible conditions…”

  22. Pakistan’s urban-rural gap widens as poverty rises: World Bank (tribune, Nov 12, 2018)

    “Rural areas in Pakistan remain much poorer than urban areas and are far more disadvantaged in all aspects of service delivery, with the conditions showing the decline in poverty has not reduced the urban-rural gap by much.

    The World Bank recently published a report titled ‘When Water Becomes a Hazard’, on the state of water supply, sanitation, and poverty in the country.

    “Pakistan has made substantial progress in reducing poverty, but spatial disparities in poverty levels as well as in the pace of poverty reduction remain large,” the report said…”

  23. Turkey to seal eastern borders with cameras, walls (AA, Nov 12, 2018)

    “Turkey’s eastern and southern borders will be sealed with cameras, sensors and walls as a precaution against terror, drug trafficking and irregular migration, the interior minister said on Monday.

    Suleyman Soylu’s remarks came at the academic year opening ceremony of Afyon Kocatepe University in western Afyon province.

    “All of our eastern and southern borders are being sealed with cameras, sensors, and walls in order to prevent terrorist infiltration, drug trafficking, and irregular migrants to Turkey,” Soylu said…”

  24. ‘Astonishing findings’ in new Swedish report on extremism and organized crime (thelocal, Nov 12, 2018)

    “A new Swedish report on extremism and organized crime paints a completely new picture of what the stereotypical offender behind those types of crimes looks like. ‘We’ve been totally astonished by the findings,’ the head author of the study told The Local.

    The report, ‘Violent Extremism and Organized Crime’ was conducted by the Institute for Future Studies and is based on data of a total of 15,244 people who police and intelligence services have identified as suspected members of Sweden’s violent extremist or organized crime environments.

    The data – which only takes complete personal identity numbers into account, resulting in some 1,817 people having been sifted out – was crosschecked against data from the Swedish Companies Registration Office, Statistics Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare, the National Board of Forensic Medicine as well as local records.

    The report focuses on three main categories: Football firms (hooliganism), organized crime (mafia, biker gangs et cetera) and violent extremist groups (such as white supremacy, Islamist and radical left-wing groups).

    It’s Sweden’s first such extensive study of its kind, and as the results began to take shape, report author Amir Rostami told The Local he and his team were blown away by what they were finding. Not the least because a different profile of these criminals emerged, corresponding very little with the stereotypical picture of a failed school drop-out who suffers from a serious psychological disorder.

    “They’re better educated, more intelligent and don’t at all suffer as much from mental problems as might have been thought,” Rostami said, adding that 92 percent of them have completed their elementary school education, and about half of them also high school, and 8 percent have pursued higher education (university or other). Although 45 percent have a psychiatric diagnosis, only a fraction of them, “a couple of percent”, have serious mental issues, he said. “It shows that to function in these environments, you need to be a fairly high-functioning individual with a fair share of intelligence.”

    The ‘typical’ offender behind these crimes, was found to be around 19 years old, and 92 percent of them were men. As many as 67 percent of them were also born in Sweden, although a majority of them have roots in other countries via for example their parents.

    Biker gangs were the biggest criminal groupings, with 5,693 registered individuals, while 5,094 people were associated with criminal networks in socially deprived areas. Some 835 people were considered to have direct links with football firms and 785 people with Islamist groups.

    Another finding that surprised the researchers was that all groups “more or less cooperate with each other,” Rostami said, pointing to, for example, drug-related or economic crimes.

    The far most surprising element of the study, however, was the high ratio of criminal suspicions linked to the people in the study together with a co-offender – a person not considered to be a member of the criminal groups studied and therefore not on the police watchlist over such organizations.

    Nine out of ten of those studied were suspected of a crime on at least one occasion between 1995 and 2016. Although they, together with co-offenders, represented just 4.5 percent of all suspected criminals in the same period, they accounted for 25.6 percent of all suspected crimes recorded in Sweden in that time.

    Rostami said the findings equips Swedish society with a better understanding of who these individuals are, and therefore better tools to either prevent these people from entering these type of environments, or help them exit them. “The more we know about them, the better we get at spotting them and developing preventative measures, and more targeted measures,” he said.”

  25. Germany’s list of ‘safe countries of origin’ and what it means (DW, Nov 12, 2018)

    “People from Germany’s list of “safe” countries rarely have the right to asylum. DW looks at what the list means with regard to asylum law in Germany and why some view parts of it with skepticism.

    Germany’s constitution defines as “safe countries of origin” the ones “in which, on the basis of their laws, enforcement practices and general political conditions, it can be safely concluded that neither political persecution nor inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment exists.”

    Countries deemed by the German authorities as “safe” include all EU member states as well as a list of countries adopted by both chambers of the German parliament. Countries on the list are ones from which a substantial number of people come to apply for asylum in Germany, which explains the absence of others, such as the United States or Australia, whose nationals are unlikely to do so.

    If the security or political situation changes so a country is no longer deemed safe, the German government may reassess the situation and issue a decree to remove it from the list for a maximum of six months.

    Similarly, a country may be added to the list following a security assessment.

    If people come from countries classified as safe by the German government, it means that they are far less likely to have an application for asylum for Germany accepted and far more likely to face deportation. The classification is intended to help speed up asylum decisions by German authorities.

    This last aspect has led to criticism from those who feel that individual cases of people from such countries cannot be subjected to an adequate examination when, as the law demands, just one week is given to appeal a rejected application.

    Which countries are deemed safe?

    The list of “safe countries” appears in the Asylum Act and currently includes:

    all EU member states
    FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
    Serbia, FYROM and Bosnia-Herzegovina were added to the list following the entry into force of a law on November 6, 2014. Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro were added with another law that took effect on October 24, 2015.

    The Bundesrat, the upper chamber of the German parliament, rejected a draft law to add the Maghreb states of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to the safe list in 2017, but the German Interior Ministry is still hoping to see them on the list soon, along with Georgia.

    Critics of efforts to put the Maghreb states on the list say that torture, political repression and insuffieient respect for human rights, including LGBT rights, are still very prevalent there, making any classification as “safe” highly questionable.

    Safe areas of Afghanistan

    The German government has also declared parts of conflict-scarred nations such as Afghanistan “safe areas,” although the country as a whole is absent from the current list.

    Deportations to Afghanistan have proceeded through a bilateral agreement.

    Although Afghanistan is safer now than it was 15 years ago, security threats still persist. Statistics from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) show that almost as many civilians have been killed so far in 2018 as in all of 2017.

    Seehofer’s record

    Opponents of Germany’s policy say Afghanistan is too dangerous for people to be sent there, and that they should be allowed to stay in Germany.

    This opposition was highlighted in July when Jamal Nasser Mahmoudi, a 23-year-old Afghan youth, committed suicide upon his return to Kabul.

    This happened a day after Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that there had been 69 deportations in time for his 69th birthday, a statement seen by many as cynical.

    The German Interior Ministry has defended its actions, insisting that some areas in Afghanistan can be considered as safe despite an overall volatile security situation.

    German law prohibits deportation if individuals are threatened in their country of origin with capital punishment or torture, or if their life or freedom is threatened because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a certain social group.”

  26. Berlin human rights conference stands up to nationalism, religious fundamentalism (DW, Nov 12, 2018)

    “The rise of nationalism and religious fundamentalism is a threat to human rights worldwide, activists warn. In an effort to curb hateful politics, the “Secular Week of Human Rights” launched this week in Berlin.

    The 51-year-old philosopher and chief executive of the Giordano Bruno Foundation was referring to his organization’s most recent campaign, presented on Monday in Berlin: “Global citizens, instead of Reich citizens.” The foundation demands in its charter a predominant culture shaped among other things by “Humanism and Enlightenment.”

    Religious fundamentalism and the rise of nationalism around the world are a matter of concern to Schmidt-Salomon. “With our campaign, we are trying to react to politicians like Trump, Putin, Erdogan and others,” he told DW, adding that these world leaders have moved “identitarian concepts into the center of their politics.”

    “We are trying to show that human rights can only be based on a concept of global citizenship,” Schmidt-Salomon said, warning that the rise of fundamentalists and nationalists worldwide is a massive threat to human rights…”

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