Reader’s Links, November 18, 18

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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, November 18, 18”

  1. Dozens of activists missing in Egypt, warns Human Rights Watch (mee, Nov 18, 2018)

    “At least 40 rights workers, activists and lawyers have been rounded up by Egyptian authorities since late October and are being held in “unknown places,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said, calling on the authorities to reveal their whereabouts.

    “Many of those arrested were providing legal and humanitarian support to families of political detainees,” who were also reported missing after their arrest, the rights group said in a statement on Sunday.

    HRW said it had spoken to “a lawyer, a human rights activist and two political activists who have been in direct contact with the families of those arrested” since the end of October.

    “The crackdown on Egyptian security agencies is now affecting … those brave men and women who have tried to protect the missing,” said Michael Page, deputy director of HRW Middle East.

    One of the sources consulted by HRW reported at least 80 disappearances since the end of October, but only 40 have been “verified” by the organisation.

    “The Egyptian authorities should immediately reveal the place of detention of prisoners, release all those arrested only for exercising their rights, and bring before a judge the others to consider their detention,” said the rights group.

    Sources told HRW that some of the detainees were close to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, an independent human rights group it said has come under fire from pro-government media in recent months, the AFP news agency reported.

    ‘They blindfolded her’
    Among those detained are Hoda Abdelmoneim, a 60-year-old lawyer and former spokesperson for the Revolutionary Coalition of Egyptian Women, a group close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Fadwa Khaled, Abdelmoneim’s eldest daughter, was the only one at home when her mother was arrested on 1 November in Cairo.

    “She was sleeping, but I was awake when, at 1.30am, the door of our flat was broken, and nearly 20 officers stormed the flat,” she told Middle East Eye.

    “They blindfolded her and refused to let her take any of her belongings or medication.

    “They did not allow me any contact with her or to say goodbye.”

    Aisha Khairat al-Shater, the daughter of one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who is currently detained, was also arrested, as was her husband, lawyer Mohamed Abou Horayra.

    Somaya Nassef is another of the women who have disappeared since 1 November. Her husband, Ramy Darwish, who spoke to MEE from Qatar, said she disappeared on her way home from a visit to her sister.

    Nassef, 34, is a charity worker who raises money to support families of political prisoners and the forcibly disappeared.

    “She is a human rights advocate, and she has dedicated her life to help the families of political prisoners,” he said.

    Darwish said he contacted the offices of the general prosecutor and the minister of interior to request information on her whereabouts or charges but has yet to receive a response.

    “She is well known to them because of her charity work, but they failed to bring any charges against her,” he said.

    In 2013, Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was elected as president a year earlier, was deposed by the army amid mass demonstrations.

    Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leader of the army during the removal of Morsi before becoming president himself in 2014, launched a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition activists.

    The Brotherhood was declared a “terrorist organisation” and hundreds of its supporters were arrested, with many of them sentenced to prison and some to the death penalty.

    In early November, Amnesty International denounced the arrest of at least 19 lawyers and human rights activists, including Aisha Khairat al-Shater and Hoda Abdelmoneim.”

  2. Turkey warns companies against energy exploration with Greek Cypriot government (memo, Nov 18, 2018)

    “Turkey warned energy companies on Sunday against working with the Greek Cypriot government in carrying out exploratory drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, saying such activities could damage regional stability.

    The eastern Mediterranean is believed to be rich in natural gas, and attempts to tap resources there have revived tensions between Turkey and Greece, which has a defence pact with the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government.

    Turkey and Cyprus have overlapping claims of marine jurisdiction and both plan to carry out exploratory drilling this year. Ankara has diplomatic relations only with a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the island that no other country recognises.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said exploratory drilling by Exxon Mobil in the eastern Mediterranean with permission from the Greek Cypriot government did not help regional stability and would “upset some sensitive balances”.

    “We renew our warnings to companies participating in the Greek Cypriots’ one-sided exploration and drilling. We remind them that sharing the natural resources of the island of Cyprus relates to the core of the Cyprus issue,” Aksoy said in a statement.

    “In addition to our own continental shelf, we will start carrying out activities in areas where the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has given (state-run oil company) Turk Petrolleri a license,” he said.

    Last month, Turkey complained that a Greek frigate had hounded a Turkish exploration ship west of Cyprus. Greece denied the charge and Cyprus accused Turkey of stirring tension.

    Breakaway north Cyprus, which is supported by Ankara, says any offshore wealth also belongs to its citizens, as partners in the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.

    The island was split in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.”

  3. Trump fires off a new tirade at Pakistan (tribune, Nov 18, 2018)

    “President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his administration’s decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying the country does not do “a damn thing” for the US.

    He also claimed that Islamabad had helped Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near the garrison city.

    Trump also defended his administration’s decision to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad in an interview with Fox News.

    Host Chris Wallace asked Trump: “Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?”

    “You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

    “You’re not even going to give them credit for taking down bin Laden?” Wallace asked.

    “They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” Trump responded.

    The compound was destroyed shortly after the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces, in a helicopter raid, killed bin Laden in 2011.

    The United States has already canceled $300 million in aid to Pakistan for its lack of decisive action against militant groups.

    The cancelation of aid is part of President Trump’s New Year tweet in which he launched a scathing criticism against Pakistan for betraying the US.

    “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump tweeted on January 1.

    The US president Donald Trump also said he had been fully briefed on an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder but “does not want to listen to it himself”.

    “Because it’s a suffering tape. It’s a terrible tape,” he said in the interview.

    “It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.”

    The CIA has reportedly concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October 2.

    He said that he was thinking of replacing up to five senior advisers but insists that his administration is “running like a well-oiled machine,” according to an interview aired Sunday.

    “I have three or four or five positions that I’m thinking about,” he told “Fox News Sunday” interviewer Chris Wallace.

    “Maybe it’s going to end up being two. But I need flexibility.”

    Denying recurrent reports of a White House in turmoil — with pressure growing from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — he said that some staff turnover was normal.

    He declined, however, to repeat an earlier assurance that John Kelly would remain his chief of staff through 2020.

    “There are certain things I love what he does and certain things I don’t like that he does. At that aren’t his strength,” he said, referring to Kelly.

    While crediting Kelly with “doing an excellent job in many ways,” Trump said that “at some point he’s going to want to move on. John will move on.”

    He also said that “there’s a chance” that Kirstjen Nielsen might be replaced as homeland security secretary.

    “I like her very much, I respect her very much,” he said, before adding, “I would like her to be much tougher on the border (with Mexico). Much tougher.”

    Trump also defended the decision Wednesday by the office of his wife Melania to issue a highly unusual statement suggesting that deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel be replaced. Ricardel left that post the following day for assignment to an unspecified new position.

    The First Lady was reportedly peeved with Ricardel’s involvement in her recent Africa trip.

    “I thought it was fine,” the president said of his wife’s intervention, adding of Ricardel, “She was with me for a long time, although I don’t know her.”

    The Fox interview was recorded on Friday.”

  4. Three FC men martyred in Margat blast (tribune, Nov 18, 2018)

    “At least three Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan personnel embraced martyrdom and four others sustained injuries in a remote-controlled bomb attack in the coal mining area of Margat, some 60 kilometres from the provincial capital on Sunday.

    According to FC officials, unidentified miscreants planted an improvised explosive device along the road in the Margat area, targeting the ration-distribution vehicle of the paramilitary troops. Three FC soldiers were martyred and four others were injured in the attack…”

    • Israeli resilience is a trait to envy

      There is something that I miss.

      Last week, within 24 hours, 460 missiles fell on Israel. The sky above Ashkelon never ceased to light up in the light of day, not of the night. 108 Israelis ended up in the hospital. Their houses have been destroyed. And without the most incredible antimissile battery, Iron Dome, today Israel would cry over tens of dead.

      There are no “disputed territories”, it is Israel within its 70-year-old borders. Here there is the blatant Islamist-Jihadist aggression to a democratic country and its inhabitants. This is why this European silence surprised me about what happened there over 24 hours.

      Then I understood everything.

      What hell of a European country would absorb 460 missiles in 24 hours and experience a permanent siege, on several sides, by the jihadists armed to the teeth, added to the “tzeva adom” [red alert] that calls out to its inhabitants to find a shelter?

      So this is how I explain the reason for this hateful Western silence on Israel. Envy.

      We Westerners envy the resistance of Israel. We have become so weak, so whimsical and so fearful, so inclined to cultural cowardice, so insecure of our own history and identity, so addicted to well-being and security, so unable to distinguish good from evil and reason from madness, that we can not tolerate anyone similar to us, someone of European culture, so enlightened, so democratic, so educated like Israel, which can resist, rather than succumb, as we would have once done, not yesterday but 70 years ago.

      We can not believe that the schools in southern Israel are open again after 460 bombs, when we in Italy close the schools for a “water bomb”.

      We can not believe that children get into the bunkers and hold hands with each other, with that calm.

      We can not believe that a government can resist not only war but also to the voices of revenge, beyond what you think about the military strategy, with such coldness, when our governments do not know how to manage an extra deficit point.

      We can not understand how, despite all the solitude of Israel, the Israelis smile happily and do not stop their lives. We hope they make the right decisions.

  5. Democrat entrepreneur Andrew Yang proposes government-run ‘social credits’ system akin to China’s

    Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur and Democrat who hopes to run in the 2020 presidential election, wants to implement a government-run app to reward citizens with “digital social credits” for good behavior, according to his website.
    What does this include?

    Although not identical, the system echoes of China’s so-called social credit system. Rolled out in 2014, China’s system rates people on everything from breaking laws to how they act in public and what they post on the Internet. It also imposes punishments such as restricting travel by air or train, for people with poor scores.

    Under Yang’s proposal, Americans could receive points for activities such as coaching little league or volunteering at a local homeless shelter. He likens it to banking or retail rewards programs.

    His website states:

    “As in

    Richard: This BS has to be shut down and shut down fast.

  6. Whistleblower teacher says 17 students in British school are changing genders, some were ‘tricked’

    Seventeen students at a British school are changing their genders and most of them who are undergoing the process are autistic, according to a teacher there, the Daily Mail reported.
    What is going on?

    The teacher, a 20-year veteran who asked to not be identified for fear of losing her job, told the news outlet she spoke out to help protect students. She said she believes schools and some politicians are peddling a politically-correct “fallacy” driven by “ a powerful transgender lobby.”

    To conceal her identity, the news outlet simply called the teacher “Carol.”

    The teacher also said:

  7. DESPERATION: Nancy Pelosi Credits Al Sharpton For Dems Winning Back House
    “Reverend Sharpton, thank you for saving America.”

    As her return to House Speaker remains in doubt, Nancy Pelosi is pulling out all the steps to reassure her base she’s just as crazy as they are. Now, she’s thanking race hustler Al Sharpton for the Democrats taking back the House in this past mid-term election.

    According to Fox News, Pelosi credited Sharpton for the victory in November while speaking at an event hosted by his civil rights organization, the National Action Network Legislative & Policy Conference. She began by first promising that the Democratic agenda under her will heal and unify the country.

  8. Migrants from Iran showing up on England’s Dover coast (abcnews, Nov 18, 2018)

    “British authorities say they found nine suspected migrants from Iran after they landed on a coast in southeastern England.

    The Home Office said the group landed Sunday at Folkstone, near the town of Dover, on an inflatable boat. It said they will be “processed in line with immigration rules.”

    The BBC reported that a member of the public found them “clambering up rocks” on the coast.

    Border officials reported other incidents involving Iranian migrants on the Dover coast in recent days.

    On Wednesday, coast guard crews picked up three boats carrying more than 20 migrants from Iran, including a woman and a toddler. And on Tuesday, 14 men and three minors on a fishing boat, also from Iran, were stopped at Dover Harbor.”

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