Reader’s Links for November 25, 2018

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

128 Replies to “Reader’s Links for November 25, 2018”

  1. White Liberals Present Themselves as Less Competent in Interactions with African-Americans

    CYDNEY H. DUPREE NOVEMBER 15, 2018

    A new study suggests that white Americans who hold liberal socio-political views use language that makes them appear less competent in an effort to get along with racial minorities.

    … According to new research by Cydney Dupree, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM, white liberals tend to downplay their own verbal competence in exchanges with racial minorities, compared to how other white Americans act in such exchanges. The study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/white-liberals-present-themselves-as-less-competent-in-interactions-with-african-americans/

  2. China Is Paying for Most of Trump’s Trade War, Research Says
    Xiaoqing Pi

    President Donald Trump is succeeding in making China pay most of the cost of his trade war.

    That’s the conclusion of a new paper from EconPol Europe, a network of researchers in the European Union. U.S. companies and consumers will only pay 4.5 percent more after the nation imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and the other 20.5 percent toll will fall on Chinese producers, according to authors Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-19/china-is-paying-for-most-of-trump-s-trade-war-research-says?utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic

  3. More Realpolitik, Please

    Washington Post Publisher Blasts Trump’s Response to Khashoggi Murder

    President Trump’s Standing Is Slipping with the Military, for Good Reason

    Trump Defends Saudis from Khashoggi-Murder Fallout

    The Wrong Time to Cut Defense Spending

    Armistice

    NYC Subway Bomber to Judge: ‘I Was Angry with Donald Trump‘

    Iran Vows to Defy Reimposed U.S. Oil, Financial Sanctions

    Defense Department Budget: Trump Bump or Reagan Rebuild?

    DHS Secretary: Midterms Will Be ‘Most Secure Election’ Ever

    Trump Administration to Reimpose Last of Sanctions Lifted by Iran Deal

    Cruz Leads GOP Hawks in Calling for Harsher Sanctions Against Iran

    Obama CIA Read Congressional Staffers’ Emails about Protecting Whistleblowers

    Trump Says Border Troops Could Reach 15,000, Catching Pentagon Off Guard

    China Has Landed

    More articles
    Previous articles
    NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE
    Give Thanks That ISIS Is Going, Going . . .
    By DEROY MURDOCK
    November 22, 2018 5:30 AM

    An Iraqi soldiers walks past an ISIS emblem during fighting north of Mosul, January 2017. (Khalid al Mousily/Reuters)
    The terrorist group is nearly crushed, an achievement for which the Trump administration deserves applause.
    As Americans pause this week to give thanks, let us be grateful that the dramatically diminished ISIS caliphate is nearly crushed. And let’s applaud the Trump administration’s role in so severely reducing this threat.

    As President Donald J. Trump took office, the Islamic State was not just another terrorist group. It was a Muslim-extremist mini-nation. Straddling Iraq and Syria, ISIS controlled some 17,500 square miles — visualize two New Jerseys — according to the Washington Examiner’s Jamie McIntyre.

    Its 35,000 fighters enforced Sharia law, detonated historical sites, hurled gay men off of tall buildings, and displaced, persecuted, and slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians, Shiites, and Yazidis. Radical Muslim fools rushed in, boarded the jihadist bandwagon, and stretched ISIS’ bloody tracks from Paris to Brussels to San Bernardino. The Islamofascist group terrified Europeans and Americans. ISIS’ trained killers and Internet-inspired lone rats could attack anytime, anywhere.

    But by last September, this veritable Islamic-terrorist country had shriveled to its last 200 square miles — an area roughly the size of Tulsa.

    According to a September 27 Operation Inherent Resolve statement, this U.S.-led multinational effort is responsible for “liberating nearly 8 million Iraqis and Syrians from ISIS’s brutal rule and reducing its control of territory to approximately 1 percent of what it previously held.” The Syrian Democratic Forces have worked closely with American personnel to wipe out ISIS. Today’s military combat reportedly focuses on Deir az-Zour, ISIS’ holdout beside the Euphrates River.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/isis-greatly-diminished-trump-administration-achievement/

    • Senior Saudi prince says CIA cannot be trusted on Khashoggi conclusion

      ABU DHABI (Reuters) – A senior Saudi prince cast doubt upon the reported CIA finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, saying the agency could not be counted on to reach a credible conclusion.

      “The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are multitude,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

      The prince, a former Saudi intelligence chief who has also served as ambassador to the United States, said the agency’s conclusion that Iraq possessed chemical weapons before the U.S. invasion in 2003 showed it could be unreliable.

      “That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed,” he said, speaking at an event hosted by the New York-based Beirut Institute.

      “I don’t see why the CIA is not on trial in the United States. This is my answer to their assessment of who is guilty and who is not and who did what in the consulate in Istanbul.”

      The CIA has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi, as first reported by the Washington Post, and briefed other parts of the U.S. government on its findings, sources told Reuters last week.

      U.S. President Donald Trump has disputed that the agency reached a conclusion on the murder, saying instead “they have feelings certain ways.”

      A Turkish newspaper also reported on Thursday that CIA director Gina Haspel signaled to Turkish officials that the agency had a recording of a call in which the crown prince gave instructions to “silence” the journalist.

      Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 in an operation that Turkish authorities have said was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership, prompting the kingdom’s biggest political crisis in a generation.

      After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered after negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

      The kingdom’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five suspects charged in the murder, but has said Prince Mohammed had no prior knowledge of the operation.

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/senior-saudi-prince-says-cia-cannot-trusted-khashoggi-125500659.html

    • CNN – Rep. Adam Schiff: Trump is being ‘dishonest’ about Khashoggi

      Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said after being briefed on the slaying of Jamal Khashoggi that President Donald Trump has not been telling the truth about the journalist’s death.

      “I have been briefed by the CIA,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And while I cannot discuss the contents of the briefing in any way, I can say that I think the President is being dishonest with the American people

    • Hate to contradict National Review, but Dr. Jonathan Spyer doesn’t rely on wire-services or “sources”.

      The Return of ISIS
      […]
      …So IS as an organization has survived the successful US-led destruction of the quasi-state it created in 2014. It has a leadership structure, money, fighters, weaponry and it is currently constructing a network of support in Sunni Arab areas of Iraq and Syria. These areas take in territory under the nominal control of the government of Iraq, the US-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces and the Assad regime.

      Small scale attacks have already begun in some areas. The return of the Islamic State in the dimensions it reached in the summer of 2014 does not look likely or imminent. But an IS-led ongoing Sunni insurgency, with roots deep in the Sunni Arab outlying areas of Syria, Iraq and the border between them is an increasingly likely prospect. The Caliphate may be in ruins. But Islamic State is back.

      https://jonathanspyer.com/2018/11/02/the-return-of-isis/

      • Don’t buy the “ISIS: Mission Accomplished!” bull.

        IS in Sinai seizes Iranian weapons shipment bound for Hamas — report

        A local commander is refusing to transfer the weaponry, said to include advanced Kornet missiles, a Kuwaiti newspaper reports

        The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has seized a weapons shipment that included a number of Kornet missiles, the Russian-made advanced anti-tank laser-guided weapon system. The shipment was making its way from Iran to Palestinian terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.

        A security source in Kuwait told the paper that the shipment is the largest seized by IS and included other GPS-guided weaponry. The source said a local IS commander was refusing to cooperate with Hamas and transfer the weapons, as cited by Hebrew-language news site Walla.

        Earlier this month, as part of widening tensions that threatened to spill into another all-out war between Hamas and Israel, terrorists in Gaza fired a Kornet missile at an Israeli bus near the border, seriously injuring an IDF soldier who was on board at the time. Dozens of other soldiers had previously been on the bus and exited moments before the missile struck.

        The fighting, which saw hundreds of rockets from Gaza rain down on southern Israeli cities, ended after Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement.

        Iran, an arch-foe of Israel, has supported Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, most notably Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Its ties with Hamas, previously close, have thawed in recent months, following years of tensions that began at the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011 when Hamas criticized Syrian President Bashar Assad, a close ally of Iran.

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/is-in-sinai-seizes-weapons-shipment-sent-from-iran-to-hamas-report/
        ….
        These are SERIOUS weapons. Could do ENORMOUS damage to Israel.

        Don’t forget, ISIS is still churning away in Sinai, against Egypt. Supplied largely from Libya, the MB-ISIS connection of Turkey and Qatar. (Plus U.S. Congress/media critters who did the Benghazi gig, same ones hyping Khashoggi.)

        This heist of weapons from Iran that was meant for Hamas means Iran is fighting Egypt, if only indirectly.

        • Egypt is supporting Saudi in the proxy war between Saudi and Iran. This means Iran is going to give more weaponry to MB to be used against Egypt.

  4. Slovakia Refuses to Sign UN Migration Deal – Prime Minister (sputniknews, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201811251070119422-lovakia-un-migration-deal/

    “Slovakia will not sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, known as the UN migration deal, the country’s prime minister, Peter Pellegrini, said on Sunday.

    “As the head of the government I reject the text of the migration deal and refuse to put it into effect in Slovakia,” Pellegrini told Slovak reporters after the meeting of the European Council in Brussels, as quoted by the Pravda newspaper.

    The prime minister also noted that participation of Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak in the UN conference in Morocco may be canceled as the country has no plans to join the deal…”

  5. Muslim Brotherhood Helped Democrats in Mid-Terms’
    Home > World > Iran > ‘Muslim Brotherhood Helped Democrats in Mid-Terms’

    n the latest edition of Clarion’s media review, we hear the claim the Muslim Brotherhood helped Democrats in the recent mid-terms.

    Analyst Ran Meir also brings us news that the election of Ilhan Omar to Congress is being welcomed in the Middle East as a victory for Muslims everywhere.

    https://clarionproject.org/muslim-brotherhood-helped-democrats-in-mid-terms/

  6. Pakistan: Thousands attend MMA protest over Asia Bibi’s acquittal in Sukkur

    Thousands of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) members and supporters flooded the streets of Sukkur on Sunday, condemning the Supreme Court’s recent acquittal and subsequent release of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

    MMA president Fazal-ur-Rehman attended the mass rally and addressed the protesters from a makeshift stage.

    “We will not allow you [Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan] to govern Pakistan like this,” said Fazal-ur-Rehman who said that Asia Bibi’s acquittal had far-reaching implications for the Pakistan society.

    Over the weekend, a key figure in organising Pakistan’s recent protests and leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik political party Khadim Hussain Rizvi and thousands of his supporters were arrested.

    Asia Noreen, better known as Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad during a dispute with co-workers. The dispute arose after she was reprimanded for drinking water from her neighbours’ glass because she’s not a Muslim, reports say.

    Bibi has denied the allegations, but has spent most of the last eight years in solitary confinement. However, Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction in October, citing flimsy evidence.

  7. Turkey Leverages Khashoggi Affair to Promote Brotherhood

    n the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudis in their consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro weighs how Turkey leveraged the Khashoggi affair to promote the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey as the leader of the Sunni Muslim world.

    Mauro relates one of the most under-reported and significant details of the entire affair: how Turkish President Erdogan brought international Muslim Brotherhood leaders to Turkey — including the organization’s spiritual leader, extremist imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi — for a big event at which Qaradawi essentially made the case that Turkey should be the seat of the new Islamic caliphate and how Saudi Arabia contributed to the “war on Islam” and is thus apostate. This was akin to declaring jihad against Saudi Arabia.

    https://clarionproject.org/turkey-leverages-khashoggi-affair-to-promote-brotherhood/

  8. Trump names hand-picked panel to supervise, investigate intelligence community
    by Steven Nelson
    | November 21, 2018 03:58 PM

    Print this article
    With Republicans poised to lose control of investigatory panels in the House of Representatives, President Trump is resurrecting a potentially powerful board capable of intimately reviewing intelligence agency conduct on his direct orders.

    The White House announced five appointments to the Presidential Intelligence Advisory Board on Tuesday evening, after selecting a chairman and vice chairwoman earlier this year.

    The dormant board created by former President Dwight Eisenhower has no formal powers, but derives significant authority directly from the president, operating as his surrogate to smooth over agency rivalries, investigate misconduct, and evaluate intelligence collection policies.

    Experts say Trump could roil the intelligence community by asking his hand-picked panel to draft reports, for example, on alleged surveillance abuses against his 2016 campaign associates, a disputed charge made by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, who are poised to lose subpoena powers.

    “The board can do whatever the hell the president wants it to do, and really it’s about what the president tasks it with,” said University of Notre Dame professor Michael Desch, co-author of the authoritative 2012 history of the board, Privileged and Confidential: The Secret History of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/trump-names-hand-picked-panel-to-supervise-investigate-intelligence-community

  9. For the second time in recent weeks, Portland protest leader Micah Isaiah Rhodes stood before an Oregon judge ready to go to prison for having sexual contact with an underage teen.

    And for the second time, an Oregon judge agreed to veer from state sentencing recommendations and give Rhodes five years of probation.

    Multnomah County Circuit Judge Jerry Hodson on Monday said he wouldn’t send Rhodes to prison for two to 2 ½ years because he believes Rhodes earnestly is trying to change despite the prosecution’s arguments to the contrary.

    “I can tell that you’re sincere and I can tell that you’ve grown a lot over the last couple of years,” Hodson said as Rhodes wiped away tears.

    Rhodes was 20 and 21 at the time of his crimes, in 2014 and 2015.

    In March, Rhodes pleaded guilty to two counts of felony second-degree sexual abuse for at least twice having sexual contact with a 17-year-old boy. Investigators say Rhodes met the boy on a gay dating app, and the contact happened in Gresham and Troutdale.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/07/portland_protest_leader_micah.html

    • China’s TERRIFYING Social Credit System

      Pay close attention, people. This bureaucratic nightmare will be attempted by states in the EUSSR and even a worker’s paradise like Canada. Citizens had best be prepared to vote out any pol who even hints at installing this massive human rights violation.

      Allowing this sort of hyper-intrusive government surveillance is just the camel’s nose poking into our collective tent. What awaits downstream are gulags and re-education camps.

      Coming soon to a New York gun shop theater (hat tip: Xan) near you.

  10. Chinese Firm Replaces Total in Iran’s South Pars Project: Minister (tasnimnews, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/11/25/1883995/chinese-firm-replaces-total-in-iran-s-south-pars-project-minister

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) has officially replaced French company Total which has backed out of a deal on development of Iran’s South Pars gas field…”

    • Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) has officially replaced French company Total…

      Let’s see if CNPC can meet the same high standards as that other Chinese company responsible for servicing the BOP (Blowout Preventer) on Deep Water Horizon’s Macondo well.

  11. Turkish police tear-gas women marching against violence

    Shield-wielding officers dispersed about a thousand demonstrators who had assembled without a permit in central Istanbul

    Riot police in Istanbul on Sunday reacted to marchers marking an international day calling for an end to violence against women by firing tear gas at them.

    The police action, launched after officers repeatedly ordered the illegally assembled crowd to disperse, stopped about a thousand demonstrators from marching along Istiklal Avenue, the main shopping street in Turkey’s commercial capital.

    Protesters responded by yelling “we will not be silent”, “we are not afraid” and “we will not obey.”

    After a tense standoff with shield-wielding officers lasting nearly two hours, the marchers broke off into side streets to shout their slogans before eventually leaving the area.

    Turkish authorities rarely give permission for public protests, following big anti-government marches that took place in 2013.

    Peaceful protests marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women were held in many other cities around the world over the weekend, most of them without police opposition.

    “To be a woman in Turkey is to suffer violence from men in all areas of life, whether at work or at home,” one demonstrator, Yasemin Esmer, told AFP.

    “We’re here to cry out our feeling of revolt. We are saying we are stronger when united,” said another, a student who didn’t give her name.

    Violence against women is a recurrent issue in Turkey, where several hundred femicides are recorded each year.

    An association, Stop Femicides, counted 409 murders of women or girls last year, and 328 in 2016.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has frequently condemned violence against women. But associations accuse his conservative, Islamic-rooted government of failing to take sufficient measures to stop it.

    Home is most dangerous place for women

    Meanwhile, a new UN study says that more than half the women who were murdered worldwide last year were killed by their partners or family members, making home “the most dangerous place for a woman.”

    In statistics released on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime calculated that of a total 87,000 female homicide cases worldwide in 2017, some 50,000 – or 58% – were committed by the victims’ intimate partners or family members.

    Around 30,000, or 34%, were committed by intimate partners alone.

    “This amounts to some six women being killed every hour by people they know,” the Vienna-based body said.

    The vast majority – around 80% – of homicide victims worldwide were men, but “women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes,” said UNODC chief Yury Fedotov.

    “They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family… making the home the most dangerous place for a woman,” he said.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/turkish-police-tear-gas-women-marching-against-violence/

    ======================================

    Turkish police use tear gas against women’s march in Istanbul

    Women’s rights marchers in Istanbul were met with tear gas on Sunday as they gathered for a protest on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, left-wing news site Gazete Duvar reported.

    After the marchers ignored calls to disperse, Turkish riot police fired tear gas on a group of women gathered at the Tünel Square in Taksim.

    The Municipality of Istanbul has banned protests on Istikal Street citing security concerns.

    Another group of protesters passed the police barricade and released a statement to the media on Istiklal Street, the newspaper said.

    In the Turkish capital city of Ankara, hundreds of women called for a greater struggle in combatting violence against women.

    The general secretary of the NGO “We Will Stop Women Murders” platform, Gülsüm Kav said violence against women needs better protection by the law, calling for the complete implementation of law no. 6284 pertaining to the protection family and prevention violence against women.

    The co chairperson for Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) ?stanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftanc?o?lu were among those in attendance at the women’s march in ?stanbul.

    There has been an increase in the reported case of violence against women in the last six years, according to Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD).

    According to women’s rights organizations We Will Stop Femicide , the number of women murdered by a partner or relative in Turkey increased from 237 in 2013 to 409 in 2017. The group logged 130 deaths from January through April of this year.

    https://ahvalnews.com/womens-rights/turkish-police-use-tear-gas-against-womens-march-istanbul

    =================================================

  12. Ayatollah Khamenei Urges Promotion of Islamic Awakening in Region (tasnimnews, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/11/25/1883914/ayatollah-khamenei-urges-promotion-of-islamic-awakening-in-region

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for the expansion of Islamic Awakening and resistance movements in the regional Muslim countries in order to counter the US and Israeli plots…”

  13. ASMLA Holds Conference in Copenhagen Against Iran’s Terrorism (aawsat, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1477391/asmla-holds-conference-copenhagen-against-iran%E2%80%99s-terrorism

    “One month after foiling an assassination attempt against one of its leaders in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) held on Saturday its annual conference entitled, “Ahwaz Against Iranian Terrorism,” to shed light on menaces caused by Tehran’s terrorism, both at the international and regional levels. Arab and foreign politicians and lawyers from 20 states attended on Saturday the first of a two-day conference to discuss issues related to the Ahwaz and the failed assassination attempt against members of the group in Denmark one month ago. ASMLA spokesperson Yaghub Hur Totsari told Asharq Al-Awsat that the conference aims to introduce the Danish and European publish opinion to the Iranian regime terrorism. He said Tehran was exerting state terrorism against local entities, a phenomenon currently spreading to Europe. The conference comes amid rising tension between the Scandinavian state and Tehran over Copenhagen’s assertion that Tehran tried to kill members of the ASMLA on Danish soil. Last Tuesday, Denmark said its ambassador would return to Iran, three weeks after he was recalled over the foiled assassination attempts. Tehran had accused the ASMLA of standing behind an attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahwaz on September 22nd, killing 24 people. Late last month, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) arrested a Norwegian man of Iranian origin for planning to carry out an assassination in Denmark. Danish media outlets quoted on Friday a police statement confirming that the ASMLA conference would be held in the Danish capital under strict security measures. A police official said the situation was under control during the weekend, adding that several checkpoints were placed near the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Copenhagen, where the conference is held. On its first day, the conference presented a political committee that documented the impact of the Ahwaz case and its importance on the security, Arab and national levels in addition to means to enhance the Arab commitment towards their case.”

  14. US Trains 30,000 SDF Members East Syria to ‘Contain’ Iran (aawsat, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1477416/us-trains-30000-sdf-members-east-syria-contain-iran

    “The US Army started on Saturday to build five observation posts at the border with Turkey, as part of Washington’s procedures to enhance its military and diplomatic presence northeast Syria.

    The posts came as part of a one-year memorandum signed to train 30,000 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to combat “ISIS cells” and to contain Iran.

    “The US Army started yesterday establishing three posts in Tal Abyad and two others in Ain al-Arab (Kobani) at the border with Turkey to protect the back of its Syrian ally forces against ISIS,” a leader from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday.

    The five observation posts, which would be followed by others in Ras al-Ain, Amouda and Derbassiyah at the Turkish borders, come as part of military and diplomatic steps to implement a US strategy in Syria set to achieve three objectives: Fight ISIS and prevent it from reemerging, remove Iran from Syria, and push forward towards a Syrian political solution.

    The YPG official uncovered the presence of a memorandum of understanding signed between the SDF and the US-led Coalition including a one-year plan to combat ISIS and its dormant cells and to train 30,000 fighters, in addition to the existing 60,000 combatants, already fighting the terrorist group.

    The official added that the memorandum could be extended at the end of 2019.

    For his part, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that his country was uneasy about US plans to set up “observation posts” in Syria along parts of its border with Turkey.

    Akar said he told US Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford and other US officials during a recent visit to Canada that setting up the posts would have a very negative impact on perceptions of the United States in Turkey.”

  15. Turki Al-Faisal: Saudi Arabia Maintains Role on World Stage (aawsat, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1477646/turki-al-faisal-saudi-arabia-maintains-role-world-stage

    “Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, has emphasized that Saudi Arabia will continue to play a role on the world stage. This conclusion can be drawn from the latest stances adopted by international parties and recent statements by US President Donald Trump recognizing the importance of the kingdom…”

    • Remember folks, it’s this Turki al-Faisal (as in Prince Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) that’s in discussion. From the link:

      Saudi envoy in UK linked to 9/11

      Riyadh’s former intelligence chief has been accused in US court documents of helping to fund al-Qaeda, report Paul Harris and Martin Bright

      But Turki is not what he seems. Behind him lies a murky tale of espionage, terrorism and torture. For, while Turki has many powerful friends among Britain’s elite, he is no ordinary diplomat. Turki has now been served with legal papers by lawyers acting for relatives of the victims of 11 September.

      They accuse him of funding and supporting Osama bin Laden. The Observer can also reveal that Turki has now admitted for the first time that Saudi interrogators have tortured six British citizens arrested in Saudi Arabia and accused of carrying out a bombing campaign.

      Turki admits to meeting bin Laden four or five times in the 1980s, when the Saudi-born terrorist was being supported by the West in Afghanistan. Turki also admits meeting Taliban leader Mullah Omar in 1998. He says he was seeking to extradite bin Laden at the request of the United States.

      However, the legal papers tell a different story. Based on sworn testimony from a Taliban intelligence chief called Mullah Kakshar, they allege that Turki had two meetings in 1998 with al-Qaeda. They say that Turki helped seal a deal whereby al-Qaeda would not attack Saudi targets. In return, Saudi Arabia would make no demands for extradition or the closure of bin Laden’s network of training camps. Turki also promised financial assistance to Mullah Omar. A few weeks after the meetings, 400 new pick-up vehicles arrived in Kandahar, the papers say.

      Turki’s link to one of al-Qaeda’s top money- launderers, Mohammed Zouaydi, who lived in Saudi Arabia from 1996 to 2001, is also exposed. Zouaydi acted as the accountant for the Faisal branch of the Saudi royal family that includes Turki. Zouaydi, who is now in jail in Spain, is also accused of being al-Qaeda’s top European financier. He distributed more than $1 million to al- Qaeda units, including the Hamburg cell of Mohammed Atta which plotted the World Trade Centre attack.

      Finally the lawsuit alleges that Turki was ‘instrumental’ in setting up a meeting between bin Laden and senior Iraqi intelligence agent Faruq al-Hijazi in December 1998. At that meeting it is alleged that bin Laden agreed to avenge recent American bombings of Iraqi targets and in return Iraq offered him a safe haven and gave him blank Yemeni passports.

      THAT Prince Turki al-Faisal. America’s sworn enemy and a diabolical sh!t.

  16. UAE seeks rich, educated foreigners with long-term visa scheme (memo, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181125-uae-seeks-rich-educated-foreigners-with-long-term-visa-scheme/

    “The United Arab Emirates will offer long-term visas to rich property investors, senior scientists and entrepreneurs in an effort to support its economy and real estate market, which have been hurt by low oil prices, reports Reuters.

    Until now, visas for foreigners to live in the Arab world’s second biggest economy have generally been valid for only a few years, and have depended on the main visa holder in each family remaining employed. The government said in May it planned to ease that policy.

    Detailed rules approved by the cabinet on Saturday offer five-year residency to owners of UAE real estate worth at least 5 million dirhams ($1.4 million), as long as ownership is not based on loans, state news agency WAM reported.

    Renewable 10-year visas will be provided to foreigners with investments in the UAE of at least 10 million dirhams, if non-real estate assets account for at least 60 percent of the total. Investors can bring spouses and children into the country.

    Other rules offer five-year visas to entrepreneurs and 10-year visas for scientists and researchers with top qualifications. Outstanding students can stay for five years.

    The UAE is currently locked in a diplomatic dispute with Britain after a UK academic was jailed for life on spying charges…”

  17. Egypt parliament discusses measures to defuse country’s ‘population bomb’ (ahram, Nov 25, 2018)
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/317930/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-parliament-discusses-measures-to-defuse-coun.aspx

    “In a meeting held on Sunday, the Egyptian parliament’s defence and national security committee recommended that strict measures be taken on all state levels to stem the runaway population growth in Egypt.

    “The population of Egypt is increasing at a fast pace, and all measures should be taken to contain this phenomenon in order for the country to be able to face economic challenges in the years ahead,” said the head of the committee Kamal Amer.

    According to official figures, Egypt’s population stands at almost 100 million, and that the population is increasing by 2.5 million every year.

    Amer said the committee is being mobilised to support the state’s strategy in birth control and family planning.

    “We have so far held six meetings, and today we had another one to propose strict measures that aim to defuse the population bomb in Egypt,” said Amer.

    “Media campaigns aimed at raising the awareness of citizens of the dangers of the country’s population explosion have no longer become sufficient, and now it is high time for strict measures to be taken to contain this phenomenon.

    “Topping the list of these measures is that early marriage, particularly in rural areas, should be criminalised, and that Mazouns (persons officially authorised to conduct the marriage contract) who supervise this marriage should be penalised.”

    “We told the government that in addition to these strict measures, girls below 18 years in age should not be allowed to marry,” Amer said.

    “At the same time MPs also recommend a package of positive incentives to be offered to families to help them accept birth control services voluntarily.”

    “We proposed that medical health clinics in all of Egypt offer women different options for birth control to plan the timing of pregnancy and have just two kids,” said Amer, adding that “these options include birth control pills and other methods.”

    “We recommended that families who have one child should be granted greater incentives such as exemptions from school fees and obtaining life insurance for free.”

    “Families who refuse to follow birth control measures should not be allowed to receive any kind of cash or in-kind subsidies,” Amer added.

    Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on 22 November that “the government has decided not to give any kind of monetary subsidies to families with three children.”

    “Those who will be entitled to receive such subsidies will be the families with only two kids,” said Madbouly, adding that “it is unfair that big families who refuse to abide by birth control measures receive subsidies.”

    “We will target these families, and all should know that the runaway growth of population is a big threat to the economic development in this country.”

    Amer said that “the committee stressed that the government should seek the help of religious clerics, both Muslim and Christian, to promote birth control measures in all governorates and stand up to the population problem.”

    “Religious clerics should tell people that the government is not aiming to prevent birth, but just to achieve family planning in order for the country to be able to raise economic growth development rates,” said Amer.

    He added that MPs recommended that the ministries of education and higher education play a greater role in implementing the new birth control strategy.

    “We want education curriculums to include lessons on birth control, the benefits of small families, and the dangers of early marriage on health,” said Amer.

    Amer said the Takaful and Karama programme being implemented by Ministry of Social Solidarity is doing a good job in spreading the culture of birth control.

    “This programme is based on the slogan ‘Two Kids is Enough,’ and offers many incentives for women and families in the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt governorates to feel the benefits of birth control.”

    Meanwhile, parliament’s health affairs committee voted in a Sunday meeting in favour of a grant agreement between Egypt and the US on birth control programmes.

    According to the first amendment of the agreement, Egypt will receive an assistance grant from the US government valued at $11 million.

    The agreement aims to support Egypt’s current birth control programme to make it more efficient and permanent.

    “To help achieve this objective, the agreement will help offer all the tools necessary to make birth control measures more appealing to families, provide training needed to improve family planning services in health units, and conduct a demographic survey of Egypt in 2018 to collect reliable and high quality data on population and health in Egypt,” said the agreement contract.”

  18. Muslim Congresswoman to Work to Allow Hijab in the U.S Congress (moroccoworldnews, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/258778/muslim-congresswoman-hijab-u-s-congress/

    “Omar, a Muslim woman of Somali descent who was elected at Minnesota’s fifth congressional district on November 6, announced her support for the move on her social media accounts.

    “No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment,” Omar wrote on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

    Omar added that “this is not the last ban she will work to lift.”

    The muslim congresswoman wears hijab, which runs contrary to the House of Representatives rules. Under the current 181-year-old-rule, a House member must be “uncovered” in order to address the floor, and cannot even enter the House “with his head covered.”

    Omar co-authored the proposal to lift the ban on head coverings along with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jim McGovern.

    Omar will be the first woman to wear the hijab inside the House of Representatives. The Minnesota Representative will be along with the Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress.”

  19. PKK terrorists abuse, rape female members (aa, Nov 25, 2018)
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/life/pkk-terrorists-abuse-rape-female-members/1321038

    “The PKK terrorist organization is not only known for its activities against civilians but also for molestation and rape scandals within the group.

    According to testimonies obtained by Anadolu Agency, the PKK terror group does not only destroy social structures, but it also corrupts and degenerates structures that undermine the identity of women in their own ranks.

    The testimonies of women terrorists, who have been captured by Turkish security forces or escaped from the terrorist organization, revealed the use of sexual abuse and rape by the PKK terrorists on fellow female members and children.

    In the testimony to the judicial authorities, a female member of the PKK, identified by the initials A.L., said a male PKK terrorist abused her physically and verbally and tried to rape her.

    She noted that not only her but other women in the organization were also subjected to abuses and harassment, saying that’s the reason she decided to leave the terror ranks.

    Another female member, identified by the initials B.B., said in her testimony that not only women but also nearly 30 children — including girls and boys — between the ages of 9 and 14 at the youth battalion of the PKK were sexually abused.

    She said she had witnessed some girls were brought to local hospitals for abortion.

    In another testimony, a female terrorist, identified by the initials M.T., said the “high-ranking” terrorists had raped and sexually assaulted female members of the PKK.

    The incidents were covered up due to the involvement of the “high-ranking” members of the terrorist group.

    Another female insider, identified by initial, K.A., also said that the terrorist members in commanding positions sexually abuse the female terrorists of the organization.

    “There is no power to prevent this,” she said.

    ‘Ugly face’

    She said that she knows many women, who fled the terrorist organization after seeing its “ugly face.”

    Another terrorist, identified by the initials Y.S., said women are used as sexual objects by the male terrorist members.

    She said that the sexual abuses are not only limited to women, adding: “They even rape little children abducted from Syria,” she added.

    Earlier, a PKK terrorist, who surrendered to Turkish security forces on Sept. 9, confessed that the group would give drugs to minors, especially young girls, and then sexually abuse them.

    In August, Anadolu Agency also compiled information about a number of young people who were subjected to such abuse and ended up committing suicide. Moreover, those who resisted sexual abuse were executed by the terrorist group.

    In one case, a young woman, named Dilan, committed suicide using a hand grenade after being abused by PKK ringleader Murat Karayilan.

    In another case, a 19-year-old terrorist, identified by the initials S.A., was executed by the PKK after she complained of rape. She is said to have been gang raped by 12 PKK members in a cell.

    The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the U.S. and EU.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children.”

  20. Dystopia is a magical place, Yucki. Up is down, down is sideways, and men are women. The weather report in Dystopia, for example, warns us every single day, quite surreptitiously, about the horrors of human-induced climate change. Simple reporting of temperature is not enough. Wind chill temperatures accompany each report to infuse in every person the drama of the day in terms of human climactic interference. It isn’t stated explicitly but it is understood. (Rest assured the current absence of sunspot activity and its documented effect on global cooling will not be incorporated into any explainations of last week’s ridiculously cold weather in our northeast.) I tell my wife they’ve feminized the weather report because they’re quietly hysterical. It angers her when I say things like this.

    In Dystopia the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Greetings such as “Hello”, and “Good day,” are so very passé. The proper salutation when people meet is, “Please don’t hurt me.” The correct response to is, “I feel what you feel.” It may all seem a little over the top to foreigners, but it works for us.

    Yes. My little notes from Dystopia. It all makes sense to me now. I’m working hard on my social credit score. Writing on VTB puts me behind my peers in this regard, but I think I can turn it all around with a new idea I’ve got–selling portable safe spaces!

  21. Car Bomb Hits Somalia Religious Center, Gunmen Targeting Local Cleric – Reports (sputniknews, Nov 26, 2018)
    https://sputniknews.com/africa/201811261070129213-somalia-car-bomb-gunmen-cleric/

    “A car bomb exploded near a religious center in central Somalia on Monday and armed gunmen stormed inside to assault a local cleric, Reuters reported.

    Al-Shabab militant group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

    “A suicide car bomb rammed into the centre of the controversial cleric called Abdiweli. Now the militants are inside and firing at those inside,” an elder in the town of Galkayo Farah Nur was quote as saying by Reuters.

    DETAILS TO FOLLOW”

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