Reader’s Links for December 7, 2018

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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

110 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 7, 2018”

  1. EMBARRASSING: Europeans Realizing Trump Was Right About Iran

    It must be murder for them to admit it, but suddenly Western European leaders are realizing President Trump was right about ditching the Iran nuclear treaty.

    On Tuesday, diplomats from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France expressed their concern because of an Iranian medium-range ballistic missile test on Saturday.

    The U.S. government stated that the missile Iran tested could reach Europe and the Middle East. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the missile could carry multiple warheads and violated Security Council Resolution 2231, which instructed Iran to refrain from “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

    • On Tuesday, diplomats from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France expressed their concern because of an Iranian medium-range ballistic missile test on Saturday.

      So, it took the EU wonks and wankers exactly how many years to finally experience their collective, “Gee, that one coulda been in my back yard!”, moment?

    • So why did the uk train their physicists in the construction of nuclear weapons if they did not want the Iranians to have them,approx 21 of them,that we know about?

  2. How the Two Biggest Wireless Companies in America Came After David Horowitz
    Verizon and AT&T are comfortable with anti-Semitism, not with Horowitz.
    December 7, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Huffington Post ran an article justifying anti-Semitism and flirting with Holocaust denial. “Jewish lobbying and interest groups are quite powerful,” it warned. And it claimed that Jewish “victim mentality” creates “resentment” that can “turn into, anti-semitism.”

    This was typical of the Huffington Post’s anti-Semitism, which is receiving fresh scrutiny after CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill after his repeated justification of Islamic terrorism against Jews. Not only did Huffington Post fail to end its ties with a supporter of murdering Jews, but it justified his hatred by running two pieces falsely claiming that he was fired for criticizing Israel and supporting Palestinian “equality”.

    Hill had also celebrated cop killers, an anti-Semite who called Jews “bloodsuckers” and a radical who claimed that the Americans murdered on 9/11 had it coming.

    The Huffington Post is owned by Verizon.

    While Verizon has no problem with rhetoric supportive of murdering Jews or 3,000 Americans on 9/11, the monopolistic telecom that dominates the marketplace does have a problem with David Horowitz.

  3. New Way to Make Housing More Expensive
    December 7, 2018
    Daniel Greenfield

    The dirty truth about environmentalism is that it believes that human beings are the problem with the planet and that if we get rid of people, we’ll get rid of the problem.

    Environmental policies are meant to drive up prices forcing people out of particular areas. It’s a punitive tax whose money is invariably funneled to environmentalists while making life harder for everyone else.

    And California is ground zero for environmentalists making life harder for people. Here’s example #4508

  4. Escaping the Hotel USSR
    You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
    December 7, 2018
    Mark Tapson

    Despite the abundance of internet memes ridiculing New York Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s questionable grasp of economics, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist’s rising star confirms what disturbing recent polls are showing: that socialism has a burgeoning appeal for millennial Americans. As historian Bruce Thornton has written for FrontPage Mag, trying to reason young people out of supporting socialist policies is likely a doomed strategy, so how can they be made to see the light about what many call “the gateway drug to communism”? The most effective way may be through the compelling personal experiences of those who have escaped its confinement, and there is arguably no better current record of that than Oleg Atbashian’s just-published memoir titled Hotel USSR.

    A writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, disillusioned Soviet propagandist Atbashian emigrated to the United States in 1994 and created the hilarious The People’s Cube, a Communist-themed satirical website that brilliantly captures the tone and perspective of the totalitarian left. Rush Limbaugh has accurately called it “a Stalinist version of The Onion.” Atbashian is also the author of Shakedown Socialism, an illustrated study of why that economic system cannot work. David Horowitz has said of it, “I hope everyone reads this book.”

  5. U.S: Terror tunnels found by IDF suggest Iran planning ‘massive’ war in Mideast
    Adam Kredo, WFB December 7, 2018

    [Ed. – As Sen. Cruz’s spokesman says, this is one of the top things Iran put the windfall from Obama into after the JCPOA was adopted (never signed). The point of calling Iran out on it is to wield the rhetoric of deterrence. We can hope, per Adam Kredo’s point, that the Trump administration won’t paper over what Iran is doing, as the previous administration did for so long with Iran’s activities in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.]

    Earlier this week Yucki posted several articles about the tunnels and the very real probability that Iran is going to use them to start a major war in the Middle East. As you read this article keep in mind that Turkey and Iran are (at the moment) working together and that Turkey has a lot of influence and command over the Islamic Invaders in Europe. Nothing happening around the world is happening in a vacuum and you have to look at what our other enemies on the other side of the world are going to be doing if/when the war in the Middle East starts?

  6. France to deploy 89,000 security force troops to counter planned Saturday protest
    Reuters December 7, 2018

    [Ed. – This after Macron has announced he will abandon his fuel tax increase to appease the protesters. There will also reportedly be at least two dozen armored vehicles. Perhaps most ominously, the Eiffel Tower is to be closed – on Saturday.]

    PARIS (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 89,000 members of the security forces would be deployed nationwide on Saturday, including 8,000 in Paris, where armored vehicles will also be out on the streets.

    “We are facing people who are not here to protest, but to smash and we want to have the means to not give them a free rein,” Philippe told TF1 television’s evening news program on Thursday, revising an earlier figure of 65,000 forces.

    Philippe said about 10 armored vehicles belonging to the gendarmerie would also be used, the first time since 2005 when riots broke out in Paris’ suburbs.

    Things look to be real interesting in France this weekend.

  7. For those who went before us. A moment of silence, please, for the brave fighting men who fell at Pearl Harbor in 1941. America’s military goes almost totally unappreciated in peacetime, yet there they stand, ready to be the first in harm’s way when things go all pear-shaped. This free nation cannot thank you enough.

    • The men who died a Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten by the military, they did what the military always does, they buy time for the nation to rearm after the politicians screw things up. Despite what the public thinks we rarely have the best weapons and our equipment may be worn out but ew are Americans. We will muddle through and do our job so we can come home and let the civilians make fun of us because we enlisted.

      The left and the pacifists sleep safe because hard men are out doing very nasty things to keep them safe.

      Two definations of a Soldier, “A Soldier is someone who risks his/her life for peopel they don’t like.”

      “A Soldier is someone who once wrote a blank check to the Government, the check says Everything including my life if necessary.”

  8. Mohammad Haidar Zammar: The man who recruited 9/11 hijackers being held in Syria (gulfnews, Dec 7, 2018)

    “Qamishli, Syria: There was nothing about the hungry, bedraggled man who surrendered at a remote desert checkpoint belonging to the United States’ Kurdish allies this year to suggest he had once played a part in one of the biggest events in American history. He was limping from injuries to both knees, his beard was matted and teeming with lice, and he was fleeing from Daesh.

    After he identified himself and checks were run, the confirmation came back. This was Mohammad Haidar Zammar, the man who recruited the hijackers who carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001, killing over 2,900 people and propelling the United States into unending conflict.

    In his first interview with a US news organisation since 2001, conducted in the presence of the Kurdish guards who are holding him at a prison on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Qamishli, Zammar recounted his extraordinary journey. It was one that took him from the earliest days of the Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan to the battlefields of Daesh in Syria, via a rendition suspected to have been ordered by the CIA.

    Now aged 57, Zammar holds dual Syrian and German citizenship.

    Early initiation
    Zammar’s family moved to Germany when he was 10, and he first tried to participate in armed conflict in 1982, far earlier than has previously been reported. He travelled to Jordan in an attempt to enter Syria to join the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Fighting Vanguard, which was engaged in an earlier uprising against the ruling Al Assad family.

    He was turned back by the Jordanian authorities, but on the trip he met a man who would play a big role in his future: Mohammed Al Bahaiya, known as Abu Khaled Al Suri, who would later become a key figure in the current Syrian war.

    At Al Bahaiya’s invitation, he made his first visit to Afghanistan in 1991, to receive military training at one of the militant camps being run by Al Bahaiya. Over the next decade, Zammar moved through the militant circuit, travelling regularly to Afghanistan, volunteering for a stint with Al Qaida-affiliated militants in the war in Bosnia and visiting London, where he befriended the Jordanian Palestinian preacher Abu Qatada, a prominent figure long suspected by the United States of having links to Al Qaida.

    Gaining followers
    Meanwhile, Zammar was developing a circle of followers at Hamburg’s Al Quds mosque, which had become a magnet for young Muslims in the city.

    Zammar held regular gatherings with small groups of the men who went there to pray, seeking to convince them that they had a duty to wage “holy war” on behalf of Muslims worldwide and to travel to Afghanistan for military training.

    The first member of the Hamburg cell he remembers meeting was Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, a Yemeni citizen now being held in Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of involvement in the 9/11 plot. Next he met Mohammad Atta, the hijackers’ ringleader, who piloted the first of the two planes that struck the World Trade Center towers.“It was not easy. It took time. They were studying at the university,” he said. “I was telling them, for example, someone is going to attack you, your honour, your property, while you cannot even use a pistol. There is no country in the world that does not have an army to defend itself, while we Muslims do not.”

    Zammar’s travels
    Zammar’s travels and contacts stirred the suspicions of the German authorities, who alerted the CIA and began monitoring his movements and telephone calls.

    But he continued to travel widely. Towards the end of 1999, Zammar made another visit to Afghanistan, overlapping with 9/11 ring leader Mohammad Atta and other members of the Hamburg cell making their first visit to the country – and carrying with them their proposal to crash planes into American buildings, according to investigators.

    Zammar continues to deny any foreknowledge of the 9/11 plot. “God knows, and in all honesty, I did not know anything about the 9/11 strike. They did not tell me anything,” he said.

    That was the conclusion reached at the time by German authorities, according to Guido Steinberg, who investigated Zammar’s involvement in the attacks on behalf of the German government and is now a senior associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

    The German investigation found that the members of the Hamburg cell had been suspicious of Zammar, in part because he was “very chatty,” Steinberg said.

    Role in 9/11
    US investigators never reached a firm conclusion about Zammar’s potential involvement but also suspect that he may have proved too talkative to be trusted with knowledge of the 9/11 plan, according to Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who now runs the Soufan Center, which focuses on counterterrorism.

    Three months after the attacks, he dropped out of sight. While on a visit to Morocco, he was arrested by Moroccan police and deported to Syria. The CIA was reported at the time to have played a part in his seizure and transfer, but Zammar says he does not recall meeting Americans during the process.

    For the next 12 years, he was held in Syria’s notorious Sednaya prison outside Damascus, where he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement for months on end. In 2013, he was freed along with six other Islamists in a prisoner swap for Syrian regime army officers negotiated by his old friend Al Bahaiya. Once released, Zammar chose to join the newly formed Daesh.

    Kurdish prison
    Now he languishes in another prison cell, alongside about 30 other Daesh prisoners being held by the Kurds. The Kurds say they would like to be rid of him and all Daesh captives they hold. Zammar says he would like to return to Germany, to reunite with his first wife, whom he said he hasn’t seen since 2001.

    But the German government has shown no interest in repatriating him or any of the other Germans who set out to fight for the Daesh and are now in Kurdish custody.”

    • The CIA was reported at the time to have played a part in his seizure and transfer, but Zammar says he does not recall meeting Americans during the process.

      Do you mean to say that the CIA did things right, for once?!?

      For the next 12 years, he was held in Syria’s notorious Sednaya prison outside Damascus, where he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement for months on end.

      If, indeed, Zammar recruited the 9-11 team, there is no amount of being “tortured and kept in solitary confinement” that he does not deserve. Just the scar on America’s collective psyche alone is reason enough to see him rot in everlasting agony.

  9. BCIJ Dismantles 6-Member Terror Cell in Central Morocco (moroccoworldnews, Dec 7, 2018)

    “A statement from the Ministry of Interior said that the suspects are aged between 24 and 37. The ministry added that the suspects were plotting to undermine the security and stability in the country.

    Information from Morocco’s General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGST) made the arrests possible, according to the statement.

    During the arrest operation, BCIJ members seized several electronic devices, knives, as well as notes and books glorifying terrorism and inciting violence.

    According to the ministry, the preliminary investigation revealed that the members of the cell had recruited young people, with the aim of inciting them to carry out serious attacks against the stability and security of citizens.

    The suspects will be brought before justice after further investigations.

    Throughout the year, BCIJ has carried out similar operations across the country. In November, BCIJ reported the arrest of two suspects who were planning a terrorist attack with intent of undermining the country’s stability. The suspects were arrested in Inezgane and Ait Melloul, southern Morocco.

    In July, BCIJ officials arrested seven pro-ISIS extremists operating in central Morocco, near Agadir and Marrakech.

    In the same month, BCIJ arrested four suspects in four Moroccan cities: Casablanca, Nador, Tangier, and Tiznit.

    The head of BCIJ, Abdelhak Khiame said in October that Morocco has dismantled 183 terror cells since 2002.

    Morocco’s BCIJ is also known for its international cooperation with several countries, including France and Spain.In a recent report, the US Department of State said that Morocco has a “comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation.””

  10. Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 32 terrorists over past week (AA, Dec 7, 2018)

    “Turkish security forces have “neutralized” 32 terrorists on its soil and abroad over the past week, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralize” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

    It said two Turkish soldiers were also wounded in counterterrorism operations from Nov. 30- Dec. 6.

    The statement said operations against the PKK/KCK terror group in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir, Tunceli, Sanliurfa and Sirnak continued.

    A total of 12 infantry rifles, an anti-tank weapon and 2,727 ammunition were seized in the operations.

    In operations at border areas, 264 kilograms of narcotics and 900 liters of smuggled fuel were also seized during the same period.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.”

  11. US: Russia, Syrian regime carried out false flag attack (AA, Dec 7, 2018)

    “The U.S. on Friday lashed out at the Syrian regime and its principal supporter, saying they “falsely” blamed rebels and extremist groups for conducting a chlorine attack in northwestern Aleppo last month.

    “The United States strongly refutes this narrative and has credible information that pro-regime forces likely used teargas against civilians in Aleppo on November 24,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

    Palladino said Washington has information indicating Russian and regime personnel were directly involved in what the U.S. is saying was a false-flag operation involving tear gas. It was intended to undermine confidence in an ongoing cease-fire agreement in nearby Idlib, Palladino said.

    “The United States is deeply concerned that pro-regime officials have maintained control of the attack site in its immediate aftermath, allowing them to potentially fabricate samples and contaminate the site before a proper investigation of it by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” he said.

    “We caution Russia and the regime against tampering with the suspected attack site and urge them to secure the safety of impartial, independent inspectors so that those responsible can be held accountable,” Palladino added.

    Palladino did not provide evidence he says the U.S. has to back up its assessment.

    SANA, Syria’s official news agency, said Nov. 24 that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched a chemical attack in the al-Khalidiya area of Aleppo, which is under regime control, asserting that more than a hundred civilians were affected.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed the alleged chemical strike targeted northwestern rural Aleppo, with mortars being fired from the Idlib de-escalation zone.

    Russia said 120mm mortar shells containing chlorine were fired from the al-Buraykat district controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.”

  12. Italy gripped by fear, rancor – report (ansa, Dec 7, 2018)

    “The annual report of research agency Censis gave an alarming portrayal of the state of the nation on Friday, suggesting Italy is increasingly gripped by bitterness.

    The 52nd Censis said a form of nationalism that was more “psychic” than political had become widespread, in part due to the lack of a strong economic recovery, adding that this often led to people taking out their resentment on foreigners. “The social system, which is experiencing tension, fear, rancour, looks to an authoritarian sovereign and asks for stability,” the report said.

    The report said 69.7% of Italians would not be happy to have a Roma person as a neighbour, while 52% believe that more is being done for migrants than for Italians.

    It said 63% of Italians have a negative opinion about immigration from non-EU countries, compared to an EU average of 52%.

    It said 45% do not like immigration from other EU countries either, compared to an EU average of 29%.

    Those most hostile to migrants are the most fragile – the elderly and the unemployed, Censis said.

    “These are the figures of widespread bitterness that erects invisible, but very thick, walls,” the report said.

    It said people felt increasingly abandoned by the national health system and that the perception of inequality was on the rise.

    Censis said people generally viewed the justice system as costly and slow, with 30% saying they would not take up legal action to assert their rights.”

  13. the guardian – Revealed: the hidden global network behind Tommy Robinson

    Guardian investigation shows how cash, legal support and millions of tweets underpin anti-Islam activist – but Facebook removes his ‘donate’ button

    The British far-right activist Tommy Robinson is receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

    Robinson, an anti-Islam campaigner who is leading a “Brexit betrayal” march in London on Sunday, has received funding from a US tech billionaire and a thinktank based in Philadelphia.

    Two other US thinktanks, part-funded by some of the biggest names in rightwing funding, have published a succession of articles in support of Robinson, who has become a cause célèbre among the American far right since he was jailed in May for two months.

    His imprisonment on contempt of court charges prompted a vigorous international Twitter campaign, with 2.2m tweets being posted using the hashtag #freetommy between May and October.

    An analysis conducted for the Guardian by the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that more than 40% of the tweets came from the US, 30% from the UK and other significant volumes from Canada, the Netherlands and nine other countries.

    A separate study of about 600 Twitter accounts, believed to be directly tied to the Russian government or closely aligned with its propaganda, found significant numbers had tweeted prolifically in Robinson’s defence.

    On Facebook, Robinson has more than 1 million followers from at least a dozen countries outside the UK, including the US, Australia, Sweden and Norway.

    Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been using Facebook donation tools designed for charities to raise funds for his activism for several months.

    He says he has raised several hundred thousand pounds via online donations, some of which were solicited via the Facebook donate button. Robinson has said he plans to use the money to launch a European version of the rightwing conspiracy website Infowars, and to sue the British government over his prison treatment.

    But the tool is meant for charities alone. When the Guardian alerted Facebook to this, the social media company switched off the function within hours.

    The Guardian looked into Robinson’s global support after he was jailed for filming outside a rape trial involving defendants of mainly Pakistani heritage at Leeds crown court. He was released on 1 August after the court of appeal ordered that he should be retried. The attorney general is deciding whether to proceed with a retrial.

    The investigation has established that:

    A Philadelphia-based thinktank, the Middle East Forum (MEF), acknowledges it has spent about $60,000 (£47,000) on Robinson’s legal fees and demonstrations staged in London earlier this year. A senior MEF executive has been closely involved in preparations for this weekend’s march, though the thinktank said she was there in a personal capacity.

    A US tech billionaire, Robert Shillman, financed a fellowship that helped pay for Robinson to be employed in 2017 by a rightwing Canadian media website, the Rebel Media, on a salary of about £5,000 a month.

    A small Australian rightwing group, Australian Liberty Alliance, says it has helped fund Robinson, but did not disclose how much.

    A New York City-based thinktank, the Gatestone Institute, has published a succession of articles supporting Robinson’s cause.

    The David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), a California-based thinktank that describes itself as a “school for political warfare”, has published a series of pieces defending Robinson, and has lobbied for him to address US politicians.

    Horowitz, the co-founder of the DHFC, told the Guardian in an email: “Tommy Robinson is a courageous Englishman who has risked his life to expose the rape epidemic of young girls conducted by Muslim gangs and covered up by your shameful government.”

    MEF, Gatestone and the DHFC are well funded by influential rightwing donors, according to tax returns scrutinised by the Guardian. In 2014-16, the returns show they received a total of almost $5m from several millionaire donors.

    MEF received $792,000 from a foundation led by Nina Rosenwald, the co-chair of American Securities Management, once dubbed “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate”.

    The DHFC received $1,638,290 from five wealthy benefactors, one of whom is believed to be among the biggest-ever donors to the Republican party.

    Gatestone has received more than $2m in donations, including $250,000 from the Mercer Family Foundation, which is funded by Donald Trump’s top donor, Robert Mercer, and run by the billionaire’s daughter Rebekah.

    All three thinktanks have been repeatedly accused of stoking anti-Islam sentiment in the west and spreading false information about Muslim refugees in Europe. But all three have consistently denied being anti-Islam.

    “Radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution,” the MEF president, Daniel Pipes, said in an email. “MEF fights for the right to discuss Islam and related issues in free, robust, open and public debate.”

    Pipes added that he believed Robinson had been prosecuted for his views and not his actions outside the courthouse.

    He said: “In May 2018, in the course of five hours, he was arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to 13 months’ prison, and jailed; that sounds more like a banana republic than the home of the Magna Carta.”

    Rosenwald and the Gatestone Institute have strongly denied they are anti-Islam. In a 5,000-word article in May, the institute said “far from being anti-Muslim” it was “pro-Muslim” and that it did not want to see “Muslims deprived of freedom of speech, flogged or stoned to death for supposed adultery”.

    A spokesman said: “Gatestone is a free speech platform and publishes hundreds of online articles a year expressing a varied range of views, including articles by Muslims, and does not endorse the comment of all its contributors.”

    Robinson, Shillman and the Mercers did not respond to detailed requests for comment.

    The support from prominent and well-financed groups undermines Robinson’s self-styled image of a far-right populist underdog whose anti-Islam agenda is being silenced by the British establishment.

    Robinson was recently appointed an official adviser to Ukip, which is backing his pro-Brexit rally on Sunday. Ukip’s embrace of him has caused a rupture in the party and prompted two former leaders, Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall, and hundreds of members to leave.

    Announcing his resignation this week after 25 years with the party, Farage wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “The very idea of Tommy Robinson being at the centre of the Brexit debate is too awful to contemplate.”

    Robinson founded the English Defence League, a far-right Islamophobic group, in 2009. It has since fractured and declined. He frequently complains of being smeared as a racist, insisting he does not care about skin colour and that his objection is to Islamist political ideology rather than people.

    However, he has been filmed saying things like: “Somalis are backward barbarians”; British Muslims are “enemy combatants who want to kill you, maim you and destroy you”; and refugees are “raping their way through the country”.

    The news of his imprisonment on 25 May generated a surge of pro-Robinson tweets. An analysis of 2.2m #freetommy tweets between May and October showed 42% came from the US, according to research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

    A second analysis, by the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) thinktank, discovered social media backing from a cluster of 600 accounts it identified as being aligned with the Kremlin. Pro-Robinson tweets accounted for three of their top five most-used hashtags on 27 May, and most pointed users to articles on the rightwing websites InfoWars, Breitbart and Voice of Europe, according to the researchers.

    “The clustered focus on the Tommy Robinson case in late May suggests that Russian-linked accounts saw his arrest as a clear opportunity to amplify political divisions both in the UK and abroad,” said Bret Schafer, a social media analyst at the US-based ASD.

    Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell Mama, which records anti-Muslim hate crimes, described the US and Russian support for Robinson as foreign interventionism. He said: “It should alarm anyone in this country who values the democratic principles on which our country are founded.”

    • What a coincidence that this should be revealed a day before the british peoples demonstration against government betrayal, almost as if it were planned……..

  14. the daily beast – Michael Cohen Was Paid More Than $4 Million by Promising Access to Trump, Prosecutors Say

    And The Daily Beast can reveal Cohen made previously unreported overtures about business deals to a politically connected individual.

    Federal prosecutors on Friday provided new details on the extent of former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s attempts to cash in on his access to President Trump, detailing more than $4 million that Cohen extracted from major corporations in return for his supposed insight into White House policy making.

    According to prosecutors, Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to eight federal criminal charges, immediately sought to monetize his connections to Trump in the wake of his former boss’ 2016 election victory.

    “Cohen successfully convinced numerous major corporations to retain him as a ‘consultant’ who could provide unique insights about and access to the new administration,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed on Friday. “Some of these corporations were then stuck making large up-front or periodic payments to Cohen, even though he provided little or no real services under these contracts. Bank records reflect that Cohen made more than $4 million dollars before the contracts were terminated.”

    Among Cohen’s confirmed consulting clients were telecom giant AT&T, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and Columbus Nova, the investment fund linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

    But Cohen had at least one more previously unreported and politically connected business partner.

    Two individuals familiar with the relationship told The Daily Beast that Cohen met Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist and a major Obama donor, in 2016 several times throughout the year and into 2017. Those sources said Zuberi initially spoke with Cohen about attending Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 and inquired about access to high-level events. Zuberi was told that he would need to pay upward of $1 million to attend the events, where he would rub shoulders with senior administration officials including President-elect Trump himself.

    Zuberi donated more than $900,000 to the inaugural committee and corresponded with Cohen directly about that donation, according to sources with first-hand knowledge of those conversations.

    Cohen told Zuberi that he would be involved in administering the new administration’s federal infrastructure spending plans, according to two sources with knowledge of the fund’s management. Proposals for that spending at the time ranged from $500 billion to $1 trillion, and Cohen used the fund as a vehicle to peddle Trump administration influence. According to a report in The Intercept, Cohen asked Qatari government officials in late 2016 to chip in $1 million to the infrastructure fund in exchange for access to the Trump administration. That offer was apparently declined, but Cohen asked others for similar donations, according to those sources, and spoke at length with Zuberi about the fund.

    It is unclear if Zuberi donated to that fund, but after those short communications with Zuberi about the administration, Cohen switched suddenly to talking about personal business.

    Zuberi, who does business all over the world, including in Qatar and with that government, spoke with Cohen before and after the inauguration about potential business opportunities the two could embark upon during a Trump administration, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversations. According to those sources, Cohen asked Zuberi to be included as a lawyer on a Manhattan real estate project. One individual said that deal never went forward.

    At the same time, Zuberi was also in close contact with Elliott Broidy, the former RNC chairman, according to two sources with knowledge of the meetings. Broidy and Zuberi spoke at length about potential business partnerships.

    Broidy hired Cohen to arrange a $1.6 million payout to a former Playboy model in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter. Two other payoffs to alleged Trump mistresses Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were at the center of felony campaign finance violations to which Cohen admitted as part of his plea deal. In the sentencing memo on Friday, prosecutors said that those payoffs were undertaken “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump.

    Prosecutors described Cohen’s consulting business as just one part of a decades-long career marked by deception and greed. They implored the judge in the case to impose a sentence serious enough “to counter the public cynicism that may arise when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful.”Franklin Haney, the developer of a nuclear energy project in Tennessee, agreed to pay Cohen $10 million to help secure federal backing for that project, the Wall Street Journal reported in August.

    A company owned by Haney also donated to the Trump inaugural committee, a donation that, like Zuberi’s, stuck out due to his history as a Democratic political donor.

    Cohen’s corporate clients had more bipartisan donation histories, but they too sought to leverage Cohen’s ostensible access to and influence with the president to steer key federal policies. Novartis reportedly paid Cohen $1.2 million for insights on Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. AT&T paid Cohen $600,000 for advice on antitrust issues surrounding its efforts to purchase Time Warner.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred The Daily Beast to Trump’s outside counsel for this story. But President Trump did tweet his take on the day’s developments. “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” he wrote.

    Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Broidy’s lawyers did not immediately respond to comment. Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, simply said on Friday evening that he is currently unable to comment, per the advice of Cohen’s New York counsel.

    Prosecutors requested that Cohen receive a sentence of up to five years in prison. Cohen hopes that his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling will ease the sentence that the federal judge in New York will hand down in the criminal case against him.

    The one-time Trump fixer has already burned bridges with his former colleagues and political and business associates, chiefly Trump himself. “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” the president tweeted August after it was revealed that Cohen was cooperating with the special counsel investigation.

    “I was previously positively disposed to Michael,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign communications adviser who has himself been interviewed by both the special counsel’s team and congressional investigators. “But I don’t like what he’s doing to the president… in order to save his own skin.” Caputo, who knew and worked with Cohen during Trump’s political rise, said he has “learned more about Michael Cohen in the past couple of months… and it points to the fact that I didn’t really know him.”

    Caputo continued that “as someone caught up in this jackpot as a witness, I’ve had my own taste of the Mueller investigation and the congressional investigation. I cannot imagine what he’s going through.”

    “I’m moved to empathy,” he added, “because he wears this torture on his face.”

  15. SPAIN – How police brought down the most dangerous gang on the Costa del Sol

    The authorities have arrested the alleged hitmen known as “the Swedes,” thought to be behind at least two of the most recent killings in Málaga, southern Spain

    The members of what police have described as the most violent gang ever seen in southern Spain have been arrested, allegedly leaving behind them a trail of ruthless crimes.

    The group – North African in origin, but from Malmö in Sweden, hence their nickname of los suecos – is thought to have carried out point-blank shootings in the middle of the street from bicycles, motorbikes or cars, while wearing hoods.

    Their victims have been gunned down leaving their homes or just after attending a First Communion church service. They are a group of nine people, led by two pairs of brothers – none of them older than 30. Thought to be planning on setting up an operational hub in Málaga, they were being sought by the Spanish and Swedish authorities, who have tied them to as many as 10 murders in that country.

    But the police dealt them a deadly blow last week. “It needs to be made clear that the Costa del Sol is not, nor will it be, an easy place for criminals to take root,” explain officers from the organized crime squad of the National Police (UDYCO), which blames this gang for at least two of the six killings that have been carried out recently in this area of southern Spain, which is a strategic location for organized crime chiefs.

    On May 12, a man dressed in black and riding a black 500cc motorbike without a license plate stuck a pistol through the window of the car being driven by David Ávila Ramos, known as “Maradona” in the Marbella drug underworld, and fired off five shots. The killing took place as the victim was leaving his son’s First Communion ceremony, just opposite the San Pedro de Alcántara church, in a scene that could have been lifted straight out of a mafia movie. Ramos was 37 years old, and had dedicated his life to cocaine trafficking. He also had pending debts and had received a number of warnings.

    “In May they burned down his gym, in the same municipality, by crashing a stolen car full of gasoline into the building, and days later they did the same with the Heaven nightspot, which he joint-owned with his partner on a beach in Estepona,” officers explain. At the time of his death, Maradona had his two young children and his wife in the car. The latter maintained the law of silence that reigns over the business.

    The genesis of what came to be known as Operation Rueda, an operation carried out in close conjunction between the Spanish and Swedish police, began with an investigation into the theft of the all-terrain vehicle that was crashed into the gym. The work of more than 30 officers led the police to the hideouts of what they described as the “worst gang of hitmen that the Costa del Sol has ever seen.”

    The investigation led them to solve a second murder: that of Sofian Mohamed A. B., another well-known drug trafficker known as “El Zocato.” He was shot nine times – an entire magazine of bullets – on the doorstep of his house. The shooting was carried out by “a hooded man on a bike,” a mode of transport that, along with the black motorcycle with no license plate, was located in one of the five properties that the group of killers was renting in a number of luxury developments in the area.

    “They slept in a different house nearly every day, and took a lot of security precautions, as well as traveling to Malmö and Morocco a lot,” investigators explain. Of the nine men arrested, five were captured in Málaga – three are already in jail – and four in Sweden, where they are known by the police, according to Swedish police chief Petra Stenkula, who explains that there are as many as 10 organizations of this kind currently operating in the aforementioned city.

    In total, seven of the nine suspects have been jailed, and are facing charges of murder, criminal association and document fraud. A Marbella court is heading the Spanish side of the investigation.

    As an example of the hardened criminals that make up this gang, the officers recall that, on one occasion, a member was targeted supposedly by a rival gang in a cafeteria in Malmö. The hitman got away despite getting shot in the leg, but a couple next to him that was having coffee died in the shootout. “Fortunately, here in Spain no one innocent has been affected, no one that wasn’t already involved in the drug world,” explains one of the investigators. “They only settle scores like this when they’re dealing cocaine,” explain investigators, who suspect that organizations of Spaniards and Colombians are behind the ordering of these killings, albeit without having managed to get close to them in ongoing investigations.

    During the operation against the gang there have been a total of nine searches carried out at properties in Málaga and Malmö, which have turned up a bulletproof vest, a holster, a Taser, computers, pepper sprays, 11 cellphones, €4,165 in cash, clothing worn during the incidents being investigated and three expensive watches, one of which was made with diamond-encrusted gold and has been valued at nearly €250,000.

  16. Rights groups urge Greece to scrap its part of EU-Turkey migrant deal (turkishminute, Dec 7, 2018)

    “Human rights and migrant welfare groups are urging Greece to scrap its part of a deal between the European Union and Turkey designed to reduce unchecked migration to Europe from the east, The Associated Press reported.

    In a statement Thursday 20 groups sharply criticized the winter living conditions in Greece’s eastern Aegean island migrant camps, where asylum-seekers are held under the 2016 agreement. The statement called for all camp residents to be moved to mainland Greece or other EU countries.

    The deal foresees Greece containing migrants arriving illegally from Turkey on the islands until their bids for asylum in Greece are processed. Theoretically, if the applications are rejected, Greece could then return Syrians to Turkey and other migrants to their homelands. But this rarely happens.

    Turkey is also supposed to discourage migrants from heading to Greece under the deal.”

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