Reader’s Links for December 5, 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

174 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 5, 2018”

  1. MEMRI TV – Former ISIS Member from Syria: They Beheaded People in Front of Us, Forced Us to Fight

    During a November 16, 2018 interview with Al-Hurra TV (U.S.), a former ISIS member from Saraqib, Syria said that he regretted fighting for ISIS.

    The man, whose name is Ehab, said that they would have killed him if he didn’t fight for them and that he stayed with them until he had a chance to escape.

    He said that ISIS came to Saraqib after the Free Syrian Army left, and that they arrested men by accusing them of collaborating with the enemy.

    He recounted an incident where ISIS beheaded a shepherd because his flock grazed in regime territory.

    Ehab said that after being arrested and tortured, he was attached to a group of ISIS fighters who used him as a human shield and threatened to kill him if he didn’t shoot where they told him to.

    He said that he fought for them for 22 days without pay, and that his daily rations consisted of half a loaf of bread and a small bottle of water, which he didn’t drink for fear of being drugged.

    Ehab said that he does not know who he had fought or harmed and that he prays for Allah’s forgiveness.

  2. DAILY MAIL – Russia unveils its LASER CANNONS that can destroy targets ‘within fractions of a second’ and have now begun being deployed

    The ‘Peresvet’ system is already in operation, the Russian Defence Ministry said
    Little is known about the laser as its development has been highly secretive
    Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said it destroys targets in ‘fractions of a second’
    Laser systems are used by other militaries to take down planes and missiles

    • Russia test-fires modernized anti-ballistic missile

      The Russian Aerospace Forces has successfully launched an upgraded anti-ballistic missile at the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.

      After a series of tests, the new anti-ballistic missile system successfully hit a conventional target with precision, Missile Defense Task Force Commander Sergei Grabchuk said in a ministry press release.

      The missile defense system is designed to protect Moscow from aerospace attacks, and perform early warning and space monitoring tasks, according to the ministry.

  3. Parents of 13-Year-Old Syrian Girl Convicted in Swedish Court for Arranging Underage Marriage (breitbart, Dec 5, 2018)

    “A Swedish appeals court has confirmed a conviction against the parents of a 13-year-old Syrian girl for attempting to marry her off to a 24-year-old man, while the child’s intended husband has been found not guilty.

    The court upheld a ruling from a Swedish district court that found the parents of the Syrian girl guilty for attempting to plan an arranged marriage in 2015.

    The marriage contract had been signed between the young girl and her 24-year-old husband at an engagement party, a press release from the Court of Appeals of Western Sweden stated.

    Both parents received conditional sentences as a result of the conviction for planning the marriage.

    However, the man who was supposed to marry the young girl was not found guilty as the court ruled that he did not understand that the girl did not want to enter into a marriage agreement while the parents were fully aware of her objections.

    The case is just the latest incident of child brides that have become more numerous in Sweden in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis.”

  4. Tehran is Sinking… Literally – Research (sputniknews, Dec 5, 2018)

    “As Iran is working on neutralizing the effect of US sanctions and ensuring continued oil exports abroad, a new threat is emerging, posing a threat to its capital city.

    Iran’s capital, Tehran, is irreversibly sinking. But not economically speaking — it is literally sinking deeper into the ground by dozens of centimetres every year, according to recent research conducted by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

    Using satellite data in the period between 2003 and 2017, researchers detected that the western part of the city, situated on the Tehran Plains, and the southeast suburbs of the city, Varamin Plain, are “sinking” by about 25cm per year. These regions include both urban and agricultural sectors of the capital.

    Tehran’s international airport is also in the risk zone, but is currently it descending at a slower pace — 5cm a year. According to the research, a total of 10% of the city’s urban area is affected by the phenomenon.

    The presumed reason behind the sinking is the significant depletion of the aquifer beneath the city as a result of its overuse by the capital’s population and surrounding agricultural activities. Another problem is the illegal pumping of groundwater — in Teheran, there are some 30,000 illegal wells, which are further lowering the underground water levels.

    Possibly the worst thing about the phenomenon is the risk of it being irreversible — research shows that refilling groundwater reserves doesn’t “lift up” soil that has already sunk. Along with the decreasing porosity of the underlying bedrock, it creates the conditions for potential massive flooding in the Iranian capital.

    This problem comes as Iran is struggling to overcome US economic sanctions, which seek to curb the country’s energy exports and sever its ties with foreign businesses by excluding Iranian banks from SWIFT. The sanctions were imposed after Washington announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, a move which sent the two countries’ bilateral relations into a nosedive.

    At the same time, Iran is working jointly on a workaround in order to safely work with European firms and bypass the US sanctions. Tehran also warned Washington against limiting its oil exports, threatening to block all energy exports from the Gulf States.”

    • Mossad’s having fun with this one. Because, of course, the Twisted Ragheads are blaming The Zionist Entity.

      nyah, nyah~
      First we stole your clouds,
      now the very dirt under your feet!

      Moslems don’t come from deserts. They create them.

    • The presumed reason behind the sinking is the significant depletion of the aquifer beneath the city as a result of its overuse by the capital’s population and surrounding agricultural activities. Another problem is the illegal pumping of groundwater — in Teheran, there are some 30,000 illegal wells, which are further lowering the underground water levels.

      Possibly the worst thing about the phenomenon is the risk of it being irreversible — research shows that refilling groundwater reserves doesn’t “lift up” soil that has already sunk. Along with the decreasing porosity of the underlying bedrock, it creates the conditions for potential massive flooding in the Iranian capital.

      “The risk of it being irreversible…” Risk? RISK?? RISK??? You can pump all the acre-feet (or hectare meters, for that matter) of water that you’ve got back into the ground and no existing or anticipated technology ever will be able to uplift all those megatons of rock and soil back to their original elevation, and not just because of bedrock porosity issues.

      Top-loading a city (29th largest in the world) of almost nine million people—with another 15 million in the ‘burbs—directly above a rapidly over-depleted aquifer’s roof is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

      That Tehran is gradually settling into a massive geological depression or ‘artificially constructed basin’—with very poor drainage to boot—is something well beyond a mere catastrophe waiting to happen. Another few dozen centimeters (12 cm = 4.7 inches) of subsidence and just one 10–50 year torrential rain cycle could see Iran’s capital city wallowing in a foot or two (~1/2 meter) of storm-water—complete with overflowing sewers at no extra charge!

      Remember, all those megatons of rainwater sitting atop that depleted aquifer will only exacerbate any geoseismic settling problems—if anything, just through the added megaton load of water soaking into the dried-out bedrock’s topside. This most definitely DOES NOT sound like a story with a happy ending (most certainly not for President Rouhani, at least).

      Were I running Iran, a top priority would be installing massive lifting pumps to bail out a speedily flooding capital. Of course, all of us will be equally surprised if the mullahs exhibit that degree of civic responsibility and foresight. They haven’t so far and there is absolutely nothing that indicates any potential for positive change in the future.

      • Talk about climate change…
        As a side note, all that tunneling they’ve sponsored in southern Lebanon looks like a prayer to their dirt-god for earthquakes.
        Such fine, upstanding global citizens.

      • Mullahs only know Islamic ideology. No such thing as an intelligent mullah, only a corrupt mullah.
        Many workers haven’t been paid in at least six months. They’re often on strike. Many banks no longer have sufficient available currency on hand.
        All those villages hit hard many years ago with the major earthquake remain unlivable.
        Just sit back and enjoy the upcoming show.

        • All those villages hit hard many years ago with the major earthquake remain unlivable.

          Do you mean to say how even now, fifteen years later, that Bam remains nothing more an exclamation on Emeril Lagasse’s cooking show?

          Bam, Iran only lost half of its population back in 2003. That 6.6 earthquake collapsed the city’s notorious overabundance of unreinforced mud-brick dwellings to such a extent that very few of the survivors were uninjured.

          Of course, the beneficent United States immediately offered to rush (“Death to America”) Iran comprehensive disaster relief. That gracious gesture (all things considered) was rebuffed by Iran as coming from the Great Satan.

          A few days later, after the MSM news cycle had moved on to even more important topics, like Britany Spears’ new navel ring, Iran quietly accepted America’s aid package without enough fanfare to merit a paragraph below the back-page fold.

          The darker half of me wishes Bush 2.0 had simply told the mullahs, “you snooze, you lose”, and done so openly, just to part Iran’s hair with a shotgun. It’s a pretty safe bet that, had that occurred, the next time around, those rectal cavities mullahs in Tehran would be a wee bit more conciliatory.

  5. Right Wing News

    Right Wing News
    Right Wing News
    9th Circuit Judge Who Struck Down Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban Busted In Sleazy ScandalPublishedon December 5, 2018 • By Right Wing News
    Isn’t it grand seeing the Swamp drain itself?

    This new movement that is sweeping the nation taking aim at holding powerful men accountable for sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault has now named a prominent Liberal jurist as a serial harasser. It’s now being reported that six former far left liberal Ninth Circuit clerks and externs are now saying that the liberal Judge Alex Kozinski subjected them to sexual comments and unwelcome situations.

    One of the former Kozinski clerks, Heidi Bond, who was his clerk between 2006 and 2007 has gone on the record with allegations that on multiple occasions the judge summoned her alone to his chambers in order to show her pornography which was unrelated to any case before the judge. He then asked if the images turned her on. Bond recounts at least three different instances of being shown porn by her boss and says the experiences were shocking. She has also written an extremely disturbing first-person account of her experiences of clerking for Judge Kozinski where she also details Kozinski isolating her from her co-clerks to discuss his sexual history

    The Fallout continues today as Harvard Law students seek to stop future attacks:

    In August, a group of Harvard and Yale law students sent a memo to the Judicial Conference of the United States — the policy-making body for U.S. federal courts — urging the conference to a “adopt reforms regarding the role and responsibilities of law schools in reporting and responding to complaints of harassment and other abusive workplace practices.”

    That memo came in response to recommendations put forward by the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group, a committee formed following reports that former Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski sexually harassed several of his clerks and employees. Kozinski, who stepped down in the wake of the allegations, has said he never intended to make his clerks uncomfortable.

    In October, members of the Pipeline Parity Project penned an open letter to the Judicial Conference calling for three policies they believed were missing from the working group’s recommendations: a climate survey, an informal reporting structure, and a centralized office to receive reports. Hundreds of students from law schools across the country signed the letter. Pipeline Parity Project members also sent recommendations to the Judicial Conference earlier this month.

    Note: Trump curse strikes again!

  6. Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver
    Canada has arrested the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies who is facing extradition to the United States on suspicion she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

    Wanzhou Meng, who is also the deputy chair of Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities.

    “Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” Justice department spokesperson Ian McLeod said in a statement to The Globe and Mail. “As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.

    • Wanzhou Meng, who is also the deputy chair of Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities.

      Hokay, finally the chess board snaps into focus. America putting on trial “the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei” is nothing less than a hostage situation. If anyone on Trump’s crew concocted this little scheme, they deserve a week’s paid vacation.

      It is only these unvarnished hardball tactics that will elicit some sort of noticeable response from Communist China’s thuggish régime. Notice how all past administrations got nothing but Beijing’s usual shuck and jive? As the old punchline goes, “First you’ve got to get the mule’s attention.”

      I do believe that Trump has gotten their attention. If he hadn’t done so before, he most certainly has now.

  7. Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Arrested in Canada (sputniknews, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, the Chinese company that manufactures cell phones and other products. Wanzhou Meng, who also serves as deputy chair on the company’s board and is the daughter of the founder, Ren Zhengfei, faces extradition to the US on suspicion of violating anti-Iran sanctions…”

    • Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, the Chinese company that manufactures cell phones and other products.

      The best part is that, as CFO, Wanzhou Meng could not possibly be unaware about Huawei Technologies’ ongoing theft of intellectual property. As CFO, she would have had a keen awareness of why the company was not going through costly R&D project calendars, much less lengthy product development programs, expensive pilot production, and time-consuming device reliability testing cycles (e.g., heat, cold, g-shock drop-testing, battery life, UV exposure, display screen performance, accelerated lifetime studies, and so forth).

      Wanzhou Meng’s (I’m sure) exorbitant salary is a direct byproduct of Huawei Technologies’ corporate espionage. As a knowing and direct beneficiary of this ongoing criminal enterprise, she disproportionately profited from and, therefore, personally bears a much larger burden of responsibility for this malfeasance than just about anyone else except her father.

    • Pretty much as I figured:
      PT will no doubt inflate the G-20 China pseudo-agreement.
      Fentanyl? That’s a trivial “win” tossed to PT, he’s allowed to save “face”. MUCH will depend on enforcement, and that’s iffy.

      Xi bought a delay; neither leader wants to crash the stock-market before Christmas/Chinese New Year. PT hasn’t wrung out great concessions from the predator. Xi needs our agricultural exports; they’ll help offset our deficit, but that sector is much less fraught than manufacturing and tech.

      China cheats. The conclusion of any “deal” is just the beginning of real negotiations. They’ll go as slowly as possible, try and wait out PT. Throw everything they’ve got into defeating him in 2020. (They’ve got a lot.)

      They won’t stop IP-theft, they haven’t even SLOWED it in the face of our challenges.

      Read this, it’s grim (11.20.2018):
      Update Concerning China’s Acts, Policies And Practices Related To Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, And Innovation

      • … neither leader wants to crash the stock-market before Christmas/Chinese New Year.

        Great observation, yucki. There’s tons of bad juju to be had from a crash of the Shanghai Composite or Hang Seng, just before the Lunar New Year. A tradition of paying debts before starting the new year would be hamstrung by a few bank failures or severe market losses. Such upsets might even topple Xi’s government.

        China cheats. The conclusion of any “deal” is just the beginning of real negotiations. They’ll go as slowly as possible, try and wait out PT.

        This is why the tariffs are so important. Force Beijing to the bargaining table, STAT. There’s been enough foot-dragging to last for several centuries. Red China’s perpetual malingering about trade makes North Korea look eager-to-please.

        They won’t stop IP-theft, they haven’t even SLOWED it in the face of our challenges.

        Then it’s time to unleash some of our own digital nastiness. If we can’t plant a Sino-Stuxnet virus on their server farms, then we may as well give up now.

    • Do you really believe anything China discloses publicly for the benefit of its people and media?
      Face is first and foremost in their culture.
      Add to that the heavy censorship in their country, and notwithstanding that most Chinese don’t speak English, no Chinese can verity the accuracy of China’s statements.

  8. Dang. Sorry Wrath! Maybe people will wake up to the fact that no Red Chinese company is independent from communist spy operations.

    • No Chinese Company is independent from the Chinese Communist Party, they insist on having a very large share of all businesses.

    • Maybe people will wake up to the fact that no Red Chinese company is independent from communist spy operations.

      Now you understand why I refuse to let Communist China off of the hook and just call The Mainland, simply, “China”. Beijing’s perpetual junta has so sullied genuine Chinese culture (something I’ve studied since my teenage years) to where all written references regarding the Middle Kingdom mandate a prefix, contraction (e.g., Chicom) or abbreviation which distinctly connotes the hyper-corrupt Communist parasite that currently drains out Cathay’s lifeblood.

    • Air Pollution Soars in Tehran

      Maybe it’s because of how all those unpaid Iranian workers no longer can afford to have their car engines tuned up. I refer you to how Muslim Cairenes used the 2009 swine flu epidemic as a pretext to slaughter all of the (Christian) Copts’ pigs.

      This porcine population was used as a massive, quadruped garbage disposal. With them gone, soon enough, Cairo was knee-deep in rubbish and household waste.

      The point being—regardless of which Islamic capital city is in discussion—far too many fundamentalist “governments” (i.e., sharia nozzles) display almost total unawareness of, and disregard for, The Law of Unintended Consequences™. As in: Inshallah just doesn’t cut any ice with dealing with reality.

      In so many different respects, this will be Islam’s complete and total undoing. A sterling example of this being how so many Muslims continue in smirkingly turning a collectively blind eye to—if not outrightly celebrating—the atrocities of jihadi terrorists. These arse-lifting fools continue to cheer such brutalness, even as the savagery of their barbaric coreligionists openly invites a retaliatory rain of nuclear death and destruction upon the MME (Muslim Middle East).

      • Hey – I’ve got friendly feelings towards Egypt.
        Sentimental, sorta. Ladino-parlante pockets.
        It’s a real nation, unlike the hodgepodge Levant and Mesopotamia.

        I’ve been treated to the most eloquent anti-pig disquisitions. (Boils down to bad juju.)

        They feel noble beyond measure that they tolerate such an abomination within their borders. It marks them as superior to sand-[n-word] of the Gulf.

  9. Border police, troops brace for caravan surge in Arizona

    Federal law enforcement and military troops are bracing for another potential storming of the border, this time in Arizona.

    Active-duty troops joined Customs and Border Protection officers at southern Arizona’s Port of Nogales and DeConcini Crossing Wednesday for a “large-scale operational readiness exercise,” or a major training session.

    Troops and border forces acted out all the steps necessary to secure the port in case hundreds or even a couple thousand people try to charge through the border crossing from Mexico, like the incident that took place between Tijuana and San Diego on Nov. 25.

  10. Obama’s FBI brass hollowed out, after latest resignation of key official

    Another top FBI official who helped oversee the Trump-Russia and Clinton email investigations is retiring, as the last traces of the bureau’s embattled leadership team that once stood under Barack Obama’s presidency disappear.

    The official, Bill Priestap, will retire from his post as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division by the end of the year.

    “Assistant Director Bill Priestap became eligible to retire and has chosen to do so after 20 years of service,” an FBI spokesperson told Fox News on Wednesday.

    Priestap, who participated in the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the FBI’s initial probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election, has testified before Congress on multiple occasions regarding the bureau’s handling of both investigations.

  11. Carbon Tax Revolt Tarnishes France’s Green Image At UN Climate Talks

    Environmentalists at COP24, a United Nations climate conference in Katowice, Poland, are worried that France is setting a bad example by backing off a climate tax after hundreds of thousands protested.

    French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a gas tax hike Tuesday for six months after the proposal ignited protests that have lasted over two weeks. The protesters, known as “yellow vests” after the yellow traffic vests they wear, have built roadblocks across France and marched in peaceful demonstrations. Others have rioted against the government in Paris, damaging artwork, setting fires and tipping over cars.

    “If France is putting a brake on the carbon tax, it puts a brake on energy transition and sends a very bad signal to economies that rely on coal, on fossil fuels, and shows that every nation is just slowing down,” Pierre Cannet, head of climate and energy policy at World Wildlife Fund France, told Politico.

    France’s decision sets the country up f

  12. UAE Seeks More Female Representation in Judiciary, Diplomatic Missions (aawsat, Dec 5, 2018)

    “The cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) approved on Tuesday a new batch of national legislative policies and initiatives to empower Emirati women and enhance their role in the nation, official WAM news agency reported…”

  13. UN Team to Launch Probe Into ISIS Crimes in Iraq Early 2019 (aawsat, Dec 5, 2018)

    “A UN team authorized over a year ago to investigate the massacre of the Yazidi minority and other atrocities by terrorists in Iraq will finally begin work early next year, the head of the investigation said Tuesday.

    The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in September 2017 to bring those responsible for ISIS group war crimes to justice — a cause championed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

    The team, led by British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, was deployed to Baghdad in October, but has since focused on administrative and technical details to lay the groundwork for the probe.

    “The investigative team now looks forward to continuing preparations in Iraq with a view to commencing investigative activities in early 2019,” Ahmad Khan told the council during his first report.

    He told the council that “the realization of our investigative activities is dependent on securing the cooperation, support and trust of all elements of Iraqi society.”

    The United Nations has described the massacre of the Yazidis by ISIS militants as possible genocide and UN rights investigators have documented horrific accounts of abuse suffered by women and girls…”

  14. The case against Junaid I., the Pakistani man who wanted to murder Wilders, started today. He’s pleading innocent, denies he was planning an attack, only wanted to protest. He will undergo psychological evaluation.
    Apparently his phone was full of photoshopped pictures of Wilders, decapitated etc, along with texts like “We will slaughter you, infidel”.
    CCTV shows he travelled from France to the Netherlands with another man, police are looking for him.

  15. Crown Prince among those leading Time poll for ‘Person of the Year’ (saudigazette, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, is among those leading the Time magazine’s poll for its ‘2018 Person of the Year’ award.

    With one week of the readers’ poll remaining, the Crown Prince, who has embarked on bold social and economic reforms in Saudi Arabia, is ahead of US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The choice of the Crown Prince is not the first and will not be the last as the US magazine’s readers had chosen him among the few who came in the leading positions in 2017, while Bloomberg ranked him third among 50 global personalities…”

  16. ‘Khashoggi Way’ opens in Washington, DC despite council opposition (mee, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Activists have put up a “Khashoggi Way” sign outside the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC on Tuesday in remembrance of the journalist murdered in Istanbul in October.

    A neighbourhood advisory panel had decided unanimously earlier this month to name the street in honour of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post and Middle East Eye columnist, who had been living in northern Virginia before he was killed.

    But city council members in the US capital said it was out of the question because of a law in place prohibiting the renaming of public spaces for any person who has been dead for less than two years.

    So the activists took it into their own hands and put the sign up anyway…”

  17. Supporters of jailed Egyptian couple urge US Congress to ‘act now’ (mee, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Ola al-Qaradawi is losing hope as she remains in solitary confinement in Egypt without formal charges against her, or the prospect of freedom or a fair trial.

    Qaradawi, who is the daughter of Qatar-based imam Youssef al-Qaradawi, was arrested along with her husband Hosam Khalaf in June 2017.

    “There isn’t enough pressure; we’re never, ever getting out of here,” she recently told her lawyer during a brief court appearance, according to her daughter Aayah Hosam.

    Hosam, who lives in the northwestern US state of Washington, has started an email campaign to urge members of Congress to intervene for the release of her mother and father who are US permanent residents.

    The couple faces accusations of support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been blacklisted in Egypt since a 2013 military coup that toppled the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

    But with no evidence or formal charges presented against them, leading rights organisations, including the UN Human Rights Council, have called for the release of Qaradawi and Khalaf.

    The couple’s supporters in the US have been lobbying lawmakers and the administration of US President Donald Trump to demand freedom for Qaradawi and Khalaf…”

  18. ‘They left them to die’: Activists seek criminal probe into migrant deaths off Libya (alaraby, Dec 5, 2018)

    “A rights group called on Wednesday for an international criminal investigation after 15 migrants died following 11 days drifting off the coast of Libya without help.

    Their protest came as rights groups expressed growing concern about the plight of migrants attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing – and accused officials in several countries of blocking their efforts to help them.

    In a tweet Claus-Peter Reisch, founder of the German group Mission Lifeline, accused the EU agencies Frontex and Eunavfor Med, which police the bloc’s border and coastguard activities, of “crimes against humanity” and called on “the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate”.

    Axel Steier, a spokesman for the group, told AFP that both agencies “have military vessels, satellites, reconnaissance planes covering all of this zone”.

    “They had the means to see that these refugees were in distress. But they did nothing, they left them to die,” he added. “That’s called a crime.”

    A group of 25 migrants left Sabratha, 70 kilometres (44 miles) west of Tripoli, in a bid to reach the Italian coast, said the Libyan Red Cross.

    But the currents meant that they drifted for 11 days without food or water, capsizing off Misrata, 270 kilometres further east, and washing up on a beach Monday evening.

    There were only 10 survivors, two of them women, and all of them were suffering severe dehydration when they were found.

    Others aid agencies on Wednesday also denounced the lack of help for migrants attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.

    Doctors Without Borders (MSF) tweeted of “increasingly alarming” reports confirming its own observations: “search & #rescue capacity is insufficient, and boats in distress are being ignored or refused help”.

    “During this time, civilian rescue vessels are prevented from carrying out their mission by targeted political attacks,” said a statement from French migrant rights group SOS Mediterranee.

    Their vessel the Aquarius, run jointly with MSF, is currently stuck in the French Mediterranean port of Marseille after Manama revoked its flag rights, which means it cannot legally set sail.

    Mission Lifeline’s main vessel, Lifeline, is itself stranded at the Maltese port of Valetta, also for legal reasons.

    According to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released Tuesday, 1,285 people have died trying to cross the Central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year – despite a significant drop in the numbers attempting the crossing.”

  19. Why Have Seattle’s Police Become Enforcers for the Antifa?

    If you aren’t familiar with his work, independent journalist Andy Ngo has made something of a career out of chronicling the outright douchebaggery of the antifa movement and the coziness of the Portland and Seattle governments with that movement. His efforts have discomfited the antifa and irritated politicians. And, along the way, it has given all of us a view of what happens when a governmental entity stops trying to enforce laws equally and decides that supporting a violent and extreme political faction is the way to gain popularity.

    Yesterday, a group called the Three Percenters had a permit for a rally in Seattle. They were met by the antifa who didn’t bother to obtain a permit, though the police don’t really seem to care.

  20. How to Rebalance US Global Security Cheaply and Easily

    by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy
    December 5, 2018 at 5:00 am

    The US renunciation of the 1987 United States-Soviet Union Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has generated much skepticism in the arms-control community – particularly in much of Europe, and from Japan.

    These countries hoped not only to keep Russia and the United States in the 1987 treaty, (despite Russia’s major violations of the INF treaty) but also to persuade China to become a party to the treaty and thus be forced to eliminate the multiple hundreds of INF-range missiles China has deployed in Asia ranged against US and its allied interests.

    Critics have presented the following five main arguments against the US move:

  21. Kuwait Will Not Grant Work Permit to Moroccan, Tunisian Women Without A Male Kin (moroccoworldnews, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Moroccan and Tunisian women below the age of 40 will need the company of a close blood-related male kin known as “mahram” in Islam (brother, husband, uncle, or father) to be able to work in Kuwait.

    Kuwait’s Public Authority of Manpower announced the decision that women under the age of 40 will need to be accompanied by a close male relative, in addition to a security clearance in order to receive a work permit.

    The same source maintained that Kuwait’s decision came with the consent of the three countries, Morocco, Lebanon, and Tunisia.

    The new restrictions, which do not apply to women of other nationalities, have sparked online controversy as to why these three nationalities were singled out…”

  22. DGSN Dismantles Irregular Migration Network in 4 Moroccan Cities (moroccoworldnews, Dec 5, 2018)

    “The National Criminal Judicial Brigade (BNPJ) has dismantled a criminal network involved in irregular migration and seized their equipment.

    With the cooperation of the General Direction of National Safety (DGSN), BNPJ dismantled the irregular migration network that operates from Casablanca, Oujda, Berkane, and Laayoune Charkia on Tuesday morning.

    The police carried out the dismantling operation simultaneously and arrested 16 individuals. Seven of which were in a workshop of inflatable boats in Casablanca, and nine other people in the other cities, DGSN said in a statement.

    BNPJ seized 8 vehicles, three boats, mobile phones, money transfer receipts, fuel storage containers, in addition to large sums of money.

    The initial searches have shown that the individuals suspected of organizing irregular migration are linked to the ones who provide the naval materials.

    A judiciary investigation has been launched to determine to what t extent to the network was operating at the national level and also identify other members implicated in human trafficking.”

  23. John Dingell, longest-serving congressman, wants to ‘abolish the Senate’

    Former Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the country’s longest-serving congressman, called Tuesday for the abolishment of the Electoral College and the Senate, arguing against the “disproportionate influence of small states” that paralyzes the lawmaking and electoral processes.

    Mr. Dingell, who represented Michigan for more than 59 years from 1955 to 2015, wrote an op-ed for The Atlantic offering a series of suggestions that he said would restore the public’s trust in the federal government. He called for an end to “minority rule” in Congress, saying it’s “antiquated” and “downright dangerous” that all states get two senators regardless of population.

    “California has almost 40 million people, while the 20 smallest states have a combined population totaling less than that. Yet because of an 18th-century political deal, those 20 states have 40 senators, while California has just two,” he wrote. “These sparsely populated, usually conservative states can block legislation supported by a majority of the American people. That’s just plain crazy.”

    Mr. Dingell argued that the Electoral College has the same flaw, giving “disproportionate weight” to small states. He called for its complete abolishment and for combining both chambers of Congress into one.

    Richard: Translation, the Dems are losing the voters in the small states and they want to cripple their political opponents. They don’t care to keep the small states involved in the electoral process, they want 6 or so big cities to elect the President and most of Congress.

  24. Pakistani held as teacher stabbed to death at French university (tribune, Dec 5, 2018)

    “A Pakistani man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stabbing to death a teacher outside a university in the Paris suburbs, a police source said.

    The 66-year-old teacher was stabbed repeatedly in front of the private Leonard-de-Vinci university in Courbevoie, northwest of Paris.

    The police source, confirming a report in the Parisien newspaper, said the suspect was a former student at the university who was born in Pakistan in 1981.

    The Parisien reported that the victim was an English teacher and that he had been stabbed in the throat.

    Another police source said the knife had been left at the scene.”

  25. Is War Looming in the Baltic Sea?

    BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,027, December 4, 2018

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Russia and Sweden have fought 12 wars over the course of their histories. In recent years, relations have grown tense once again between the expansionist superpower and the peaceable Scandinavian state. At issue is the Baltic Sea as an energy source.

    Last April, in a move that has been repeated quite a few times over the past couple of years, the Swedish authorities issued a warning to civilian maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea. The warning was about military drills and missile tests being conducted by the Russian Navy in an area very close to the southern Swedish city of Karlskrona, home to a key naval base.

    Then, in May, the Swedish government sent a booklet to every household in the country detailing how to prepare for and resist a foreign invasion. “The level of preparedness for peacetime emergencies is an important basis of our resilience in the event of war,” the booklet said.

  26. Two Turks awarded with Germany’s highest civilian award (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 5, 2018)

    “German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Dec. 4 awarded two Turkish immigrants with the German Order of Merit for their voluntary work and their services to the culture of remembrance.

    Burak Y?lmaz, 31, was awarded with the order for his efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism, and raise awareness among the migrant population about the crimes of Nazi regime.

    Gülaynur Kanaat Uzun, 52, received the award in recognition of her decades long work for the inclusion and empowerment of migrant women, and her projects on the migration history of Berlin.

    Speaking at the award ceremony, Steinmeier underlined the importance of taking lessons from history, and praised social initiatives against racism and anti-Semitism.

    “The lesson learned from the past means that we must show great determination in fighting against anti-Semitism, which remains virulent to this day,” he said.

    “People will only have understood this lesson when discrimination against all minorities is banned, regardless of their religion, culture, background, social situation, sexual orientation or identity,” he added.”

  27. Sophia mission will cease unless rules changed – Salvini (ansa, Dec 5, 2018)

    “The EU’s anti-human trafficking Sophia naval mission in the Mediterranean will stop when its current mandate expires at the end of the year unless the rules of the operation are changed, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday.

    The government says the operation currently puts too much of the burden of rescued migrants on Italy.

    “We are staying firm in our unwillingness to accept landing procedures that involve dockings only in Italian ports,” Salvini told a Schengen committee hearing.

    “Unless there is convergence on our positions, we do not consider it opportune to continue the mission”.”

  28. Girls allegedly enslaved, forced into prostitution at Roma camp (ansa, Dec 5, 2018)

    “Six residents of a Roma camp in the southern city of Foggia have been detained by police for allegedly enslaving at least three Romanian girls and forcing them into prostitution, sources said on Wednesday. The victims are aged 16 and 17 and one of them is seven-months pregnant, the sources said.

    The suspects, who are also Romanian, are a couple, their three children, two of whom are minors themselves, and 26-year-old woman who is the partner of one of the other defendants. One of the arrested people allegedly proposed selling the unborn child of the pregnant girl for 28,000 euros, investigators believe.”

  29. German human rights institute criticizes exploitation of migrant workers (DW, Dec 5, 2018)

    “A report by the German Institute for Human Rights says German labor laws are utterly inadequate in protecting foreign workers’ rights. Foreign laborers are often forced into hardships out of fear of losing their jobs.

    The state-financed German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) said on Wednesday in its third annual report that foreign workers, including those from other EU nations, faced grievous exploitation in the German labor market.

    “Although most people take human rights for granted today, that can certainly not be said about the everyday lives of many people — even here in Germany,” DIMR Director Beate Rudolf said at the report’s presentation in Berlin.

    The report found that employers often pay foreign workers far below the federal minimum wage of €8.84 ($10.03) and fail to make social security payments.

    Furthermore, the report highlighted the dire situation that migrant workers find themselves in due to their dependence on employers. They are often forced to work unpaid overtime and live in inhumane housing.

    The biggest problem, the report found, is that many migrants have few opportunities to use legal action to improve their circumstances.

    ‘A risk-free business model’

    Although other countries have created special administrative courts and foreign workers’ offices to alleviate such imbalances, Germany has failed to do so.

    Workers therefore often face high hurdles should they resist the pressure and threats they often face from employers and sue for unduly-lost wages. Added to that is the fact that most work goes undocumented, so that employees have no way to prove their case should they actually sue.

    DIMR says that all of those factors add up to make the exploitation of foreign workers a “risk-free business model.” The report noted that most of those affected were employed in the construction, meat processing, transportation, nursing and cleaning sectors.

    The report coincided with new data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), which found that the number of migrant workers around the globe has risen by some nine percent over the past four years. The ILO, a UN organization, says that the world’s 164 million migrant workers make up 4.7 percent of the global workforce…”

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