Reader’s Links for December 4, 2018

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About Eeyore

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

131 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 4, 2018”

  1. Child Cruelty, Neglect Offences Double over Past Five Years in UK, Police Figures Show (tasnimnews, Dec 4, 2018)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Child cruelty and neglect offences in the UK have doubled over the past five years in the UK, new figures show.

    Campaigners say almost 17,000 cases reported to police in the year to March represent just a “fraction” of children being abused.

    There were 16,939 child cruelty and neglect offences recorded by police in 2017-18, up from 7,965 in 2012-13, the NSPCC said, Independent reported.

    The charity’s helpline also received 19,937 calls last year about children suffering neglect, with three quarters referred urgently to police or children’s services.

    Tracey Hamer, a helpline practitioner, described one incident where police found a mother seriously ill and unable to care for her three-year-old daughter.

    “The house was in a state of disrepair and the kitchen worktops were covered in dirty crockery with mould on them,” she added. “The washing machine was broken, and mum said that water would come up through the pipes when she tried to use it so she couldn’t clean any clothes.”

    Recorded offences reveal only a fraction of neglect cases because social workers try to step in at an earlier stage if parents cannot meet the needs of their child, the NSPCC said.

    Last year there were 27,856 children in the UK on a child protection plan or registered for concerns involving neglect.

    Police define an offence of child cruelty and neglect where a parent or carer “wilfully assault, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes a child under 16 in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury to health”.

    Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “It’s unclear exactly why the number of child neglect and cruelty offences has risen so dramatically, but greater public awareness and improvements in how police record offences could be factors, along with deeper societal issues. Whatever the reasons for the increase in child neglect there is something we can all do about it now, we need to be aware of vulnerable children and be ready to report it to the NSPCC or the authorities if we are concerned for their safety or wellbeing. “

    The charity said signs to look out for included children with poor appearance and hygiene, living in dirty homes or without heating, untreated injuries, medical and dental issues, hunger and poor communication skills.

    Its warning came as Sajid Javid revealed that separate child sexual abuse offences have risen by 206 per cent in the past five years.

    “Sadly the amount of abuse we’re seeing is increasing year by year,” the home secretary told MPs

    “To give a sense of that, in terms of all child sexual offences there was a 23 per cent increase in the year to March 2018 and, compared to 2013, there was a 206 per cent increase.

    “The good news is there’s much more work and effort going into this and each month there are about 400 arrests and about 500 children safeguarded.”

    Conservative MP Phillip Hollobone asked Mr. Javid to set out a maximum penalty for online child grooming and how many convictions had been secured.

    The shadow security minister, Nick Thomas-Symonds, accused the home secretary of overseeing a reduction in online security in the government’s draft Brexit deal.

    The Labor MP said the political declaration championed by the government on security did not make reference to vital European databases that are used to track paedophiles and other criminals.

    “It has not identified exactly what our relationship with Europol or Euro just is going to be and we only have vague promises on maintaining the benefits of the European Arrest Warrant,” Mr. Thomas-Symonds added.

    ”When will this Government actually act to stop the diminishing of our ability to tackle crime?“

    Mr. Javid said negotiations over continued access to the Schengen Information System and European Criminal Records Information System were ongoing.

    “We have reached agreement with the EU on future security cooperation, or example on things like passenger name records and DNA and other databases,” he added.”

    • What about forcing very young children to pretend that they are not the sex they were born as,is this not child abuse by every definition in the above article?

  2. US Report: ISIS is Regrouping in Iraq (aawsat, Dec 4, 2018)

    “Despite hard-fought victories to retake ISIS territory, there are three major signs that the terrorist militants are regrouping, taking advantage of ongoing instability and refocusing their campaign against the Iraqi government, said a recent report.

    The report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) stated that although victory over ISIS was declared in 2017, there are several indicators that suggest the group remains a persistent threat and is refocusing its tactics and attacks against government targets.

    The terrorist organization lost 99 percent of its territorial control, however, it was still carrying out an average of 75 attacks per month in 2018, including a doubling of attacks year over year in Kirkuk province.

    Based on the report’s statistics, fatalities from attacks were down significantly from 6,217 in 2016, to 5,339 in 2017 and 1,656 in 2018 through October.

    Data showed that attacks in Kirkuk and Salaheddine are at all-time highs through October 2018.

    CSIS said that the number of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria peaked in 2016, with an estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 in Iraq.

    The report stated Iranian-backed Shiite militias continue to exacerbate Shiite-Sunni tensions in Iraq, and their connection to Iran poses a useful recruiting tool for a sectarian-fueled ISIS insurgency.

    It pointed out that ISIS propaganda published online continues to be the most important source for the terrorist organization to widely share statements promoting its extremist narrative.

    ISIS is regrouping due to many risk factors that contributed to instability in Iraq, including rampant corruption and political turmoil, tensions between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

    The report explained also that lack of an official military presence throughout ungoverned space and disputed territories in the Kirkuk and Salaheddine provinces have enabled ISIS militants to operate freely.

    The World Bank expects Iraqi GDP growth to accelerate to 6.2 percent in 2019, however, questions remain about how this growth will be distributed. Corruption remains a big challenge in both Baghdad and Erbil.

    The report estimated the cost for rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq range from as little as $20 billion for reconstruction to $88 billion for broader stabilization efforts.

    International partners and donors pledged $30 billion in donations during a February 2018 conference. But the international community has already spent billions on Iraq; the United States alone spent nearly $60 billion in Iraq prior to the rise of ISIS.

    Figures indicate that the Iraqi government is moving slowly to start reconstruction, especially in former ISIS strongholds like Mosul and Fallujah.”

  3. ‘Iran replicating Hezbollah model in Yemen’ (saudigazette, Dec 4, 2018)

    “The Iranian regime is trying to copy the Hezbollah model in Yemen by financing the Houthi militia and arming it with lethal weapons enabling them to attack the Yemeni people, disrupt international shipping routes and destabilize the whole region, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid Bin Salman said on Tuesday.

    In a number of tweets posted on Tuesday, Prince Khalid said the Iranian regime created Hezbollah which has helped Tehran in “killing dozens of Americans and committing genocide against the Syrian people”.

    “The Iranian regime founded Hezbollah in Lebanon, a terrorist proxy which acts as it’s subcontractor in the region, helping the regime in killing dozens of Americans and committing genocide against the Syrian people, among other things,” he said.

    The Iranian regime’s project, as described by Nasrallah, is to make the whole region a part of “the greater Islamic Republic”, ruled by the Ayatollah of Iran, the ambassador said.

    The Saudi ambassador to the United States has previously warned that Iran wanted to form another Hezbollah in Yemen through its support of the Houthi militias.

    In March, he told CNN that Tehran was the greatest sponsor of terrorism.

    “The problem with Iran is its behavior and desire to expand”, he said adding that it does not only want to destabilize Saudi Arabia, but the entire region.”

  4. Iran’s ‘biggest crime’: Amnesty calls for UN inquiry into 1988 mass executions (mee, Dec 4, 2018)

    “It is three decades since thousands of political prisoners were executed at the end of the Iran-Iraq war, in what one Iranian politician has called the Islamic Republic’s “biggest crime”.

    Now Amnesty International has called on the UN to launch an independent investigation into the killings, as a new report by the human rights group accuses the Islamic Republic of crimes against humanity for concealing facts over the executions.

    In the report released on Tuesday, Amnesty warns that the Iranian government has continued to deny information to relatives of more than 5,000 people who were reportedly executed over a period of weeks at the tail end of the Iran-Iraq war.

    Those who have inquired about the executions – which were largely extra-judicial and carried out in secret – have faced “harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as torture and other ill-treatment,” according to Amnesty.

    Several of those involved in carrying out the killings continue to hold senior positions in Iran today, including Alireza Avaei, Iran’s current justice minister, and Hossein Ali Nayyeri, who is currently head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges.

    Meanwhile, the mass graves of those executed have been desecrated and destroyed, while the government has continued to play down the extent of the killings, the report said.

    “These blood-soaked secrets from Iran’s past continue to haunt the country to the present day,” said Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty…”

  5. Norwegian Police: 30 Norwegians killed in Syria (memo, Dec 4, 2018)

    “The Norwegian police said as many as 30 Norwegian citizens who went to Syria to participate in hostilities there have been killed, while, Norwegian ABC Nyheter reported.

    The paper quoted the Norwegian police as saying that about 100 Norwegians have left their country to Syria and joined the Daesh militant group, adding that another 30 Norwegians are still in Syria and their fate is unknown.

    “We know very little about those who are currently in Syria,” said Martin Berenson, Norwegian police senior adviser.

    “There are also at least 20 children of the Norwegians who had left for Syria” he added.

    The police reported the return of 40 Norwegians from Syria to their homeland, noting that all returnees are currently under observation, while some were put in prison.

    There are no women among returning citizens.”

  6. Afghan security forces’ deaths unsustainable: U.S. military official (reuters, Dec 4, 2018)

    “The Pentagon’s pick for the next commander of U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday the high casualty rate of Afghan security forces would not be sustainable even with the stalemate in the fight against Taliban militants.

    “Their losses have been very high. They are fighting hard, but their losses are not going to be sustainable unless we correct this problem,” Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

    The assessment comes as both Western-backed security forces and the Taliban have pushed to gain momentum as the United States has stepped up efforts to find a peaceful settlement to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said last month that since 2015 more than 28,000 members of the Afghan security forces had been killed.

    McKenzie said the United States would have to work with Afghan forces to improve how they recruit, train and carry out missions.

    He added that Afghan forces were not capable of securing the mountainous South Asian country without help from the nearly 14,000 U.S. troops deployed there…”

  7. Coptic Bishop Visits Saudi Arabia at Mohammed Bin Salman’s Invitation (moroccoworldnews, Dec 4, 2018)

    “Saudi Arabia has allowed the first mass of the Coptic Orthodox community in Riyadh, following Mohammed bin Salman’s invitation of a Coptic Orthodox bishop to Saudi Arabia.

    Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Marcos of Shobra El-Kheima confirmed that he performed the first Coptic mass in Riyadh. He also said that a hall was set up in one of the city’s squares, according to Aljazeera.

    The Egyptian press quoted Bishop Marcos as saying that on his visit to Saudi Arabia he will meet the Coptic Christians in the kingdom and reassure them of their condition in their second homeland. Saudi Arabia is home to 1.2 million Christians—Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant—according to the US State Department’s religious freedom report.

    Marcos also confirmed that his first visit on Saudi soil came at the invitation of the Saudi Royal Court, and he will stay until December 17.

    Bishop Marcos had previously invited Mohammed bin Salman to Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. The Saudi crown prince visited Saint Mark’s in March 2018.

    With Mohammed bin Salman’s increasing power in Saudi Arabia, the visits of Christian leaders from various sects to Saudi Arabia have notably increased, according to Al Jazeera.

    2 new churches in Riyadh

    Mohammed bin Salman also received a delegation of American evangelical Christian leaders on November 1 at the Royal Palace in Riyadh.

    Among the delegation was the founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, Mike Evans, who announced that Mohammed bin Salman promised to open two churches in Riyadh.

    The scheduled date for the two new churches’ opening has not yet been announced.

    Mohammed bin Salman has been under international pressure following the scandal of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, in which MBS was viewed as the main culprit.

    In the last week, the Saudi crown prince made a tour of several countries, including Tunisia, Mauritania, and Algeria, to improve his global image.

    Upon learning of the visit, Tunisian activists and politicians gathered in front of the presidential palace in Carthage to express their opposition to Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the country.

    For his part, King Mohammed VI snubbed Mohammed bin Salman. A source told Morocco World News that MBS did not visit Morocco because the King did not agree to receive him, saying it did not suit his schedule.”

  8. Spain Arrests Moroccan for Alleged ties with Terror Group (moroccoworldnews, Dec 4, 2018)

    “Police in Spain arrested a 46-year old suspect on Monday for allegedly belonging to a terrorist group, the Spanish Ministry of Interior has said.

    A statement from the ministry said that the Moroccan man is suspected of indoctrination and defending terrorism using the internet.

    The preliminary investigation found that the suspect had contacts with a member of the terrorist organization called “Jabhat Al Nosra.” The organization is affiliated to Al Qaeda. The suspect, according to the statement, has shown his interest in traveling to Syria to participate in the fighting.

    The ministry added that the suspect resorted to drug trafficking to finance his travel towards the conflict zone.

    The statement continued that the 46-year old underwent a radicalization process that made him adapt radical habits and behaviors, such as watching videos of terrorist propaganda praising violent acts in conflict zones.

    The operation is part of the efforts made by the Spanish government to combat terrorism. Morocco cooperates heavily with Spain to strengthen security in controlling migrant flows and counter-terrorism.

    Both countries share and exchange intelligence to fight terrorism-related acts…”

    • Policía Nacional detiene a yihadista en Sagunto

      Detenido en Sagunto un hombre que planeaba viajar a Siria para hacer la yihad.
      Llegó a contactar con el grupo terrorista Frente Jabhat Al Nusra. En su día a día se dedicaba al tráfico de drogas para financiar sus actividades terroristas.

  9. Misguided by ‘faith healer’, Sargodha man kills 18-month-old daughter (tribune, Dec 4, 2018)

    “A man allegedly killed his 18-month-old daughter on the instructions of a fake faith healer after he said that she is a ‘bad omen’ for him in Sargodha on Tuesday.

    Mateeur Rehman, the suspect, had recently divorced his wife, Sundas Bibi, and taken custody of the victim.

    Misguided by the fake faith healer, he proceeded to take his own daughter’s life after he was told that she would prove ‘unlucky’ for him.

    Local police registered a case after Sundas filed a complaint in this regard…”

  10. Three migrants found after ‘freezing to death’ near Turkey-Greece border (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 4, 2018)

    “The bodies of three people thought to be irregular migrants have been found in separate border villages in Turkey’s northwestern Edirne province, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 4.

    The body of one migrant – thought to be of Afghan origin – was found in the village of Serem, while the bodies of two other migrants were found in the villages of Akçadam and Adasarhanl?, the agency said.

    All the migrants are thought to have frozen to death, and their bodies were sent to the Istanbul Institution of Forensic Medicine for further examination…”

  11. Denmark’s immigration minister to skip international meeting on UN’s migration pact (thelocal, Dec 4, 2018)

    “Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg will not be in attendance on Denmark’s behalf when the country becomes a signatory to the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at meetings in Morocco on December 10th and 11th.

    The compact marks the first time the world organization has agreed on a list of global objectives to tackle the challenges involved in migration for individual migrants, and at the same time to maximize benefits for the countries taking in immigrants.

    A legally non-binding agreement, it includes a stated intention to give vulnerable migrants equal status to refugees and to work against economic support for media that spread intolerant views on migrants.

    The text also provides for easier repatriation of migrants and is intended to help organize migration more effectively.

    Not every country supports it. Among others, the United States, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia have spoken out against the pact.

    It has also has been a source of debate in Denmark, with critics including nationalist politicians saying it does not reflect Denmark’s politics on immigration. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has spoken in defence of Denmark’s participation.

    “The government would never dream of signing something that weakens our ability to implement the strict immigration policies we have in Denmark,” Rasmussen said in parliament last week.

    Støjberg had been scheduled to represent Denmark at the meetings, but will now not take part, Jyllands-Posten reports.

    “I have not previously participated in conferences of this kind and I don’t see myself as a participant in this one,” the minister said.

    The government was reported to be considering sending Minister for International Development Ulla Tørnæs or an alternative official to represent the country. But Tørnæs, who had originally been scheduled to accompany Støjberg, said to Jyllands-Posten on Tuesday that she would not participate, noting that it was Støjberg’s ministry which had been involved with negotiations over the compact.

    The UN has requested high-level officials attend the meeting on their countries’ behalf.

    Germany is sending Chancellor Angela Merkel to the conference, while deputy foreign minister Marianne Hagen will attend from Norway. Sweden, which is currently mired in ongoing negotiations to form a new government, has not confirmed its plans.”

  12. US reestablishes permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia (france24, Dec 4, 2018)

    “The United States has reestablished a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia nearly three decades after it closed its Mogadishu embassy in January 1991, the State Department said Tuesday.

    “This historic event reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the Federal Government of Somalia in 2013,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

    “Our return demonstrates the United States’s commitment to further advance stability, democracy, and economic development that are in the interest of both nations,” Nauert added.

    The US diplomatic mission for Somalia in recent years has been attached to the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

    But a US ambassador to Somalia, career diplomat Donald Yamamoto, has just taken office…”

  13. Iran EXPOSED: ‘Uninspected’ secret nuclear sites REVEALED, sparking World War 3 fears (express, Dec 5, 2018)

    “IRAN is harbouring secret “uninspected” military sites, “vital to the nuclear weapons programme”, which have gone unchecked by international governments, an Iranian dissident group has claimed in explosive documents seen by Express.

    Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has spoken to Express about his group’s findings. The revelations are contained within a paper entitled, ‘Iran’s Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites Vital to the Nuclear Weapons Program’. The Iranian regime has been working at five sites to enrich uranium with the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon, the Iranian Resistance document claims.

    According to the NCRI paper: “Because of Tehran’s aspirations for a nuclear weapon, the bulk of the regime’s programme has been of a covert military nature.

    “As a result, formulating an arms control agreement to prohibit the regime’s access to nuclear arms, as per Iran’s Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligations, has proven a major challenge to the international community.”

    The document asserts there are five known locations at which Hassan Rouhani’s callous regime has been enriching uranium.

    These sites include Natanz, Arak, Lashkar-Abad, exposed by the resistance group in 2003, Shian-Lavisan, also exposed in 2003 by the NCRI, and Fordow.

    But the dissident group now claims to have new evidence of four more sites which, “with a high degree of certainty, have been involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons project”.

    They are Pazhouheshkadeh (located at the Parchin military complex, south-east Tehran), Nouri Industrial site (located at Khojir military complex, south-east Tehran), Hafte Tir site (on a military base of the same name) and Sanjarian site (close to the Parchin military complex).

    More recently, the NCRI has released details of a further two sites in a paper entitled ‘Iran’s Ballistic Build Up’.

    They are Mojdeh site and the Nour building.

    Hossein Abedini, a member of the Iranian Resistance who was himself the victim of a failed assassination attempt in Turkey, explained the significance of his group’s discoveries.

    He said: “We have exposed the clandestine nuclear sites of the Iranian regime.

    “In 2002 we revealed the enrichment of uranium to a recognised degree as well as the heavy water reactor where they were trying to produce plutonium as the main core of a nuclear device.”

    Following the initial revelations exposed by the NCRI, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent its inspectors to visit the sites.

    Mr Abedini said: “They were very much astonished to see how advanced and sophisticated the nuclear technology of the Iranian regime was.”

    He added: “It was only after we revealed these sites the world realised Iran had secret nuclear activity going on.

    “We knew it was very, very dangerous thing – the regime only needed a nuclear device for its own survival.

    “It was after that another 100 revelations were made by the NCRI.”

    The IAEA did not respond to a request for comment on the NCRI’s findings.

    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – or so-called Iran Nuclear deal – was intended to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons programme and thwart its ability to create a nuclear bomb.

    The accord was struck between Iran and global superpowers, China, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States (who later withdrew under President Trump).

    Of the deal, Mr Abedini said: “It gave a lot of unnecessary concessions to the regime, which was in a very weak position.

    “It was time to get rid of all its nuclear activities but unfortunately they gave a lot of concessions which did not work and made the regime more brazen.””

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