Reader’s Links for December 12, 2018

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

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

About Eeyore

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

166 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 12, 2018”

  1. Saudi Arabia Announces New Political Bloc for Red Sea, Gulf of Aden States (aawsat, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1501906/saudi-arabia-announces-new-political-bloc-red-sea-gulf-aden-states

    “Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday seeking an alliance with six countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, a strategic area vital to global shipping, aiming to enhace the security, investment and development of the countries included.

    Representatives from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan gathered in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the initiative without reaching final agreement. A team of experts is expected to meet “soon” in Cairo for technical talks.

    “This is part of the kingdom’s efforts to protect its interests and those of its neighbors and … to stabilize the region that we live in and to try to create synergies between the various countries…” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters after a day of closed-door meetings.

    “The more cooperation and coordination that you have among the countries of this region, the less negative outside influence will be on this region,” he said.

    Saudi Arabia and its Gulf ally the United Arab Emirates increasingly view the Horn of Africa coastline as their “western security flank”.

    The Red Sea also includes the Bab al-Mandeb strait, through which an estimated 3.2 million barrels of oil per day flows toward Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent years the waterway has been targeted by pirates and Iran-backed Houthis from Yemen.

    Jubeir said the meeting also discussed boosting trade and conserving the environment.

    As part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil, Saudi Arabia has announced several mega-projects along the Red Sea, including a $500 billion business zone shared with Egypt and Jordan as well as a luxury tourism destination.”

    • Jordan’s a mess.
      King’s hugely unpopular, protests ongoing, repression brutal. MB is legal there and mighty frisky. Almost none of this is reported anywhere but Israel.
      Tourism in Egypt is finally rebounding after the downing of the Russian passenger plane. (Russians are a major market for the Egyptian tourist sector.)

  2. Syrian Regime Seizes Opponents’ Property, Rights Activists Say (aawsat, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1501981/syrian-regime-seizes-opponents-property-rights-activists-say

    “Syria’s regime has been using a little-known anti-terrorism law to seize property from dissidents and their families as it takes back control of areas that were held by opposition factions, rights groups and some of the people affected said according to Reuters…”

  3. ‘Partners in crime’: UK spies worked with Gaddafi against Libyan exiles, court hears (mee, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/partners-crime-uk-spy-agencies-worked-gaddafi-against-libyan-exiles-court-hears-1054209286

    “A group of Libyan men were subjected to systematic abuse, curfews, and wrongful imprisonment, and threatened with deportation, as a result of years of secret collusion between Britain’s security and intelligence agencies – MI5 and MI6 – and the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the high court in London heard on Wednesday.

    In a blistering attack, Tom de la Mare, counsel for the Libyans, described British and Libyan intelligence agencies as being “partners in crime in unlawful and extremely shady behaviour” and a persistent refusal to come clean on their close cooperation despite mounting evidence in the media and earlier court hearings.

    Allegations against 18 men – five of whom were named in high court papers on Monday – were based on claims provided to MI5 and MI6 by Libya’s intelligence agencies at a time the British government led by then-prime minister Tony Blair was developing a close and potentially lucrative relationship with Gaddafi.

    They are seeking admission of guilt by the British government and compensation for false imprisonment, pending, in a number of cases, deportion.

    Some of the allegations against them are believed to have been the result of information extracted from Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, a Libyan dissident who was secretly rendered to Tripoli in 2004 in a joint MI6/CIA operation, during interrogations in which he was tortured.

    Evidence of the abduction, and that of another Libyan, Sami al-Saadi, emerged in the offices of Gaddafi’s intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa, after it was destroyed in a NATO air strike in 2011 during the uprising that led to Gaddafi’s fall from power and eventual killing.

    Documents revealed that British intelligence officers sent more than 1,600 questions to be put to Belhaj and Saadi, leading members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) despite having reason to suspect they were being tortured.

    The documents show that in 2006 Libyan intelligence agents were invited to operate with MI5 on British soil where they worked alongside MI5 and allegedly intimidated a number of opponents of Gaddafi who had been granted asylum in the UK.

    After years of denial, the British government in May admitted its role and apologised to Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Boudchar, for what it described as their “harrowing ordeal”.

    The government did not accept any liability. Prime Minister Theresa May described what happened to them as “deeply troubling”, while the attorney general, Jeremy Wright, told MPs that “system changes need to be made and behavioural and cultural changes need to take place”…”

  4. Prof. Mordechai Kedar:
    Migration from an Islamist perspective

    Islamist thinkers see emigration as an opportunity to conquer the places in which they choose to live and turn them into Islamic states.

    …To anyone whose keeps his eyes open, it is abundantly clear that those Muslim migrants who do not integrate into the European host country’s society intend to turn that state into an Islamic entity. They do not have to fire a single bullet to accomplish this – and it is perfectly fine with them if the process takes decades…

    …The problem with the Europeans is that they are forced to accept migrants because of their failing demographics. Two World Wars within one century reduced their population by tens of millions (in addition to six million Jews) and when added to their low birth rates, make for a drastic lack in manpower.

    Those who are left are interested in the law, accounting, journalism, hi-tech and the performing arts. Who is left to work in the factories? Who is willing to be a greengrocer? a taxi driver? a deliveryman? That’s where the migrants come in and provide an answer.

    Europe is progressing in an Islamic direction – slowly but surely.…

    The rules of the political game have been changed in Europe in response to the massive Islamic migration to that continent over the past few years: The nationalist right parties- NOT THE NEO- NAZIS – considered unacceptable up to five years ago because of their perceived racism, have become most popular parties. [My caps. Prof. Kedar gets it!]

    There is a well-founded possibility that Austria and Hungary will not remain the only countries with a right-leaning political orientation.

    Europe’s public space has changed: Terror in the streets, like the attack in Strasbourg this week and in many other cities in the past, street riots of the kind Parisians have been witnessing for weeks, entire areas the police are afraid to enter and ever growing portions of the economic pie allocated to migrants in the form of unemployment benefits, maternity grants and other stipends dedicated to helping migrants, which also encourage future waves of migration.

    This cannot go on forever. One of the possible scenarios is that the political right unites to act resolutely against the waves of migration by legislative means and by deporting migrants back to their country of origin. Even if the left disagrees, it has no practical solutions to the problem and the public is not stupid.

    The real solution will come about when the Europeans realize that without bringing children into the world, there is no future for their civilization and its culture. They must first change the image of marriage as an institution, because all the substitutes for it have not encouraged women to decide to become mothers.

    At the same time, Europeans have to consider granting economic benefits to couples who have more than three children. The problem is that at present, there is no legal way, when encouraging large families, to differentiate between “European” families and Islamic families who have attained citizenship.

    Europe is at an impasse that will lead to cultural suicide if the rules of the game are not changed fundamentally. Israel has to find new friends in Eastern Asia, South America and, of course, the USA, because in the very near future, an Islamist Europe will not be pro-Israel.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/23145

    • unsupported assertion –> Europeans have to consider granting economic benefits to couples who have more than three children.
      Who besides people crazy enough to want to promote their own heritage, values, and gene pool would make the economically illogical decision to have more than three children? If he wants the government to try its hand at incentives, economic and otherwise, here’s an “easy” place to start: Figure out the monetary threshold for persuading someone not to have an abortion. The challenge is much more than money and Kedar isn’t understanding that the collapse of family growth is a sign and not a cause of a society’s farewell. I reckon birth rates are below what they were during wars and economic depressions, so this is not about finances.

  5. Egyptian man sues wife for subjecting daughters to FGM (memo, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181212-egyptian-man-sues-wife-for-subjecting-daughters-to-fgm/

    “An Egyptian man has filed a case against his wife for subjecting his daughters to female genital mutilation (FGM) without his or his daughters’ consent.

    In a phone interview with TeN television channel on Monday, Nour Eddin Al-Hanafy said that he filed a case against his wife last month, accusing her of violating the law by having his daughters operated on.

    “When my wife told me she would circumcise my daughter, I refused and warned her, but she circumcised them, so I filed a case against her to get her punished,” he said.

    Al-Hanafy also said that he had consulted religious scholars in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, all of whom denounced FGM.

    “I have been working in Saudi Arabia for more than 12 years and I have dealt with many of the different nationalities from Islamic countries. None of them are doing FGM except Egypt and Sudan,” he said.

    Al-Hanafy’s case has been adjourned until 24 December, but he vowed to continue with it…”

  6. Barkan terrorist eliminated

    After a two-month manhunt, security forces on Wednesday eliminated in Shechem (Nablus) Ashraf Na’alwa, the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone, in which Ziv Hajbi and Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel were murdered.

    The terrorist was killed during a joint operation of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF and the Israel Police. He was killed as the forces attempted to arrest him.

    According to the Shin Bet, Na’alwa was armed when the forces arrived at his hideout and he had been planning to carry out another attack.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/256091

  7. Al-Qaradawi removed from Interpol’s wanted list (memo, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181212-al-qaradawi-removed-from-interpols-wanted-list-2/

    “Interpol has removed Yousef al-Qaradawi, head of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, from its “wanted” list, reports Anadolu Agency.

    A source from al-Qaradawi’s office confirmed receiving an official notification from the Interpol of lifting the scholar’s name from the list, describing the motion as a “positive step”.

    Interpol removed “red notice” for al-Qaradawi on Nov. 30 and dropped arrest warrants issued by the Iraqi and Egyptian authorities.

    The Egyptian authorities had accused al-Qaradawi of having perpetrated a range of crimes – including murder and theft – after Egypt’s 2013 military coup, prompting Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest.

    Al-Qaradawi is known for being a vocal critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who – as defense minister – led the 2013 coup, which ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi…”

    • The sooner al-Qaradawi gets his long-overdue lead injection, the better off all of us will be. For your dining and dancing pleasure: (eff knows that al-Qaradawi never intended to have this five-minute clip be seen outside any mosque).

    • ynetnews lacks perspective.
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/gilets-jaunes-korsia-appelle-les-juifs-a-reciter-la-priere-pour-la-republique/ https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pri%C3%A8re_pour_la_R%C3%A9publique_fran%C3%A7aise#Juda%C3%AFsme
      —————-
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_humor
      Rabbi Altmann and his secretary were sitting in a coffeehouse in Berlin in 1935. “Herr Altmann,” said his secretary, “I notice you’re reading Der Stürmer! I can’t understand why. A Nazi libel sheet! Are you some kind of masochist, or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew?”
      “On the contrary, Frau Epstein. When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine, and assimilation in America. But now that I read Der Stürmer, I see so much more: that the Jews control all the banks, that we dominate in the arts, and that we’re on the verge of taking over the entire world. You know – it makes me feel a whole lot better!”

      Or, on a similar note:

      After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, a government official in Ukraine menacingly addressed the local rabbi, “I suppose you know in full detail who was behind it.”
      “Ach,” the rabbi replied, “I have no idea, but the government’s conclusion will be the same as always: they will blame the Jews and the chimneysweeps.”
      “Why the chimneysweeps?” asked the befuddled official.
      “Why the Jews?” responded the rabbi.
      ———-

    • Yucki, is there any independent corroboration of this? More importantly, how to tell whether or not this isn’t another example of infiltration? Also, this did not seem to be happening in Paris itself, so, are these just some Jew-hating, Vichyesque country bumpkins?

      Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, doesn’t exactly appear to have pristine Gilets Jaunes credentials and neither would it seem that Istanbul-based, Stephen Ballet, falls into that category. Please clarify.

      • Phooey.
        I don’t much care.

        Get Jews who are at risk for being Jews OUT of that cursed land.
        Others can sort categories of responsibility. Who did it, who watched, who laughed, who interceded.

        Later.

  8. Unilateral military action into northeast Syria ‘unacceptable’: Pentagon (reuters, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey-pentagon/unilateral-military-action-into-northeast-syria-unacceptable-pentagon-idUSKBN1OB2WC

    “The Pentagon said on Wednesday that any unilateral action into northeast Syria was of grave concern and “unacceptable,” after Turkey announced that it would launch a new military operation in the region within days to target Kurdish militia fighters…”

  9. Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure to end support for Saudis in Yemen (reuters, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-pompeo/defying-trump-u-s-senate-advances-measure-to-end-support-for-saudis-in-yemen-idUSKBN1OB1M0

    “In a rare break with President Donald Trump, the Senate voted on Wednesday to move ahead with a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the war in Yemen and lawmakers vowed to push for sanctions against the kingdom in the new year…”

  10. Region must fight third generation of terrorism: former Iraq PM (gulfnews, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://gulfnews.com/uae/government/region-must-fight-third-generation-of-terrorism-former-iraq-pm-1.60897417

    “Dubai: Arab world countries must band together to stave off an anticipated third wave of terrorism, suggested former Iraqi prime minister Dr Ayad Alawi at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai on Wednesday.

    Speaking as a panellist at the forum, the survivor of three assassination attempts while holding office in Iraq, Dr Alawi did not identify future terrorist threats or organisations but said a new generation of extremists awaits in the near future…”

  11. Egyptian military kills 27 terrorists in recent operations (ahram, Dec 12, 2018)
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/319957/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-military-kills–terrorists-in-recent-oper.aspx

    “Egyptian security forces have killed 27 “very dangerous” terrorists during recent security operations, the Armed Forces said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The army said that 24 terrorists were killed in a shootout during raids in Sinai and Suez Canal cities, and that the terrorists were in possession of weapons and ammunition. Air forces killed three others in the country’s Western Desert bordering Libya, it added.

    The statement said the terrorists were killed over the “past period,” without giving a specific timeframe. One soldier was killed in a shootout with militants, it added.

    The statement also said that airstrikes destroyed 61 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert.

    Security forces discovered and destroyed 344 bombs planted to target forces, as well as 342 hideouts and weapons depots used by terrorists in central and northern Sinai.

    Over 400 suspects have also been arrested.

    Border guards arrested around 3,000 people of different nationalities trying to cross the Egyptian borders and seized large amounts of illegal narcotics.

    The military launched in February a large-scale operation to eradicate terrorists who have regularly launched attacks that have killed hundreds of security forces over the past few years. The months-long campaign involves the army, navy, air force and police.”

    • Egyptian military kills 27 terrorists in recent operations

      What did they do, open up a machine gun on some busy, crowded street in Cairo?

      All that’s needed is one nasty rush-hour traffic snarl and a drum magazine to get “27 terrorists” at a swipe.

  12. Gallup: Morocco Would Lose 29% of Youth in Case of Free Migration (moroccoworldnews, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/260207/gallup-morocco-lose-29-youth-free-migration/

    “As UN members adopted the Global Migration Compact in Marrakech on Monday, Gallup released a new Potential Net Migration Index (PNMI) investigating what it would be like if everyone were free to move to whichever country they wanted, permanently.

    Gallup, an American public opinion poll company, interviewed nearly 500,000 adults in 152 countries between 2015 and 2017.

    Although the new index did not predict “migration patterns,” it did give an idea of potential net gains or losses, what sort of people each listed country attracts, and how much a country’s population would change in case of free migration.

    The index did not report “Potential Net Brain Gain … for countries with a sample size of less than 200.”

    Gallup had access to a sample of fewer than 200 people in Morocco.

    In the case of other Maghreb countries besides Morocco, Algeria would lose 31 of its adult population, 44 percent of its youth aged 15-29, and 40 percent of its “brains.”

    Tunisia would lose up to 27 percent of its adult population, 30 percent of its youth, and 44 percent of its brains.

    Mauritania would lose 25 percent of its adult population and 33 percent of its youth.

    Apart from Libya, Morocco had low numbers regionally. Morocco would lose 19 percent of its adult population and 29 percent of its youth population.

    Libya would lose 16 percent of its adult population, 19 percent of its young people, and 25 percent of its brains.

    Most desired countries for migration worldwide
    The top 10 desired countries by potential migrants worldwide are the US, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Japan, and Italy.

    The other desired countries are Switzerland, the UAE, Singapore, Sweden, China, New Zealand, Russia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, and Turkey.

    The US population would boom if migration were free. A total of 158 million adults would move to the country. Canada’s and Australia’s populations would more than double.

    Brain drain in Morocco
    According to an April study by ReKrute, 91 percent of Moroccan professionals aged 35 and younger said they wanted to move abroad in search of better work conditions and quality of life, which includes health care and comfort.

    Young, well-trained Moroccans set their sights on European countries.

    Canada, which attracts 37 percent of Moroccan professionals, is the hottest destination, not only for Moroccans but for many people in the world, according to the report.

    Moroccan physicians and doctors, in particular, experience tough working conditions. They are underpaid and under-equipped, which prompts them to emigrate.

    Irregular migration in Morocco
    According to a survey by Moroccan marketing agency Sunergia and news outlet L’economiste released in November, some 59 percent of youth aged 15-24 said they would not hesitate to migrate irregularly.

    Many Moroccan migrants are persistent in trying to leave the country, mostly risking the western Mediterranean route by boat. At the same time, the government strives to curb irregular migration by land and sea toward Europe.

    Amid the EU migration crisis, over 160 countries approved the Global Compact on Migration (CGM) Monday in Marrakech.

    Describing the Global Compact, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that it is a “roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos” experienced by migrants.

    The compact aims “to better manage international migration, address its challenges, and strengthen migrants’ rights while contributing to sustainable development.””

      • President Adbul Fattah el-Sisi:

        “Do you want to [emigrate] with your culture and do you consider that to be non-negotiable? You are saying, ‘This is who we are and you have to accept us.’

        “No! If you go to a country that agrees to host you, you must have complete respect for its laws, customs, traditions and culture. But you aren’t ready to do this; we are not ready to do this.

        “If you are not prepared to do this, so don’t go! [Yet you want them to] open the door for you so you can get in and cause problems in [their] countries. No!

        “I’m not defending them, of course not. But I’m trying, as I told you, to comment on this situation according to my understanding of it.

        “If you have been fighting for 40 years [among yourselves], you want them to open the door for you? No! If you want to solve [your] problems, solve them within your own country.

        “That’s why I say to the Egyptians, ‘Take care of your own country!’ Instead of asking others to open their doors to us, let our land be enough for us — and [in fact] it is enough for us.

        “In Egypt, there is enough room for all Egyptians. We should not engage in confrontations with one another and destroy everything, then tell our youth who want to live elsewhere to go and live in another country. No!

        “We must resolutely confront our problems and stop the bloodshed in our countries, understand the fundamentals of our country and cooperate with each other through dialogue and discussion.

        “I am not with or against [countries that don’t open their doors to immigrants]. Whoever opens the door for us, I said, “Thank you and it is appreciated.” As for those who close the door to us, we have no one to condemn but ourselves.

        You Won’t Believe What This World Leader Said
        https://clarionproject.org/you-wont-believe-what-this-world-leader-said/

  13. Pakistan summons senior US diplomat over ‘religious freedom list’ fiasco (tribune, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1865357/1-pakistan-summons-senior-us-diplomat-religious-freedom-list-fiasco/

    “Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the US decision to include the country in a blacklist of “countries that violate religious freedom” and summoned a senior US diplomat to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a strong protest.

    Diplomatic sources said that a demarche was handed to the US official, which elaborated on constitutional rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. It added that Pakistan did not need counsel by any country on how to protect the rights of its minorities.

    The demarche said “proponents of human rights worldwide close their eyes to the systematic persecution of minorities subjected to alien domination and foreign occupation such as in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir”. The US official assured that Islamabad’s viewpoint would be conveyed to Washington.

    Pakistan’s reaction came in response to the release of the congressionally-mandated annual religious freedom report issued by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Tuesday.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that he had designated Pakistan among “countries of particular concern”, meaning the US government was obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.

    However, on Wednesday the US clarified that Pakistan remained on the list but there would be no additional sanctions other than those already placed on Islamabad. A US embassy spokesman said that Pompeo had issued a waiver over potential sanctions against Pakistan as required by “the important national interest of the United States”.

    The Foreign Ministry statement said that Pakistan rejected the “unilateral and politically motivated” pronouncement. “Pakistan does not need counsel by any individual country [on] how to protect the rights of its minorities,” it said.

    “Sadly, the proponents of human rights worldwide close their eyes on systematic persecution of minorities subjected to alien domination and foreign occupation such as in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement pointed out.

    The statement said that Pakistan was a multi-religious and pluralistic society where people of diverse faiths and denominations lived together. It also warned that honesty would have required Washington to examine the “exponential rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the US”.

    The report ignored the systematic religious targeting of minorities in India, particularly the Muslims, and places it in Tier 2 and moved Pakistan up a notch to Tier 1. “Besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise,” the statement said.

    “The government of Pakistan has devised well-established legal and administrative mechanisms to safeguard the rights of its citizens. Ensuring equal treatment of minorities and their enjoyment of human rights without any discrimination is the cardinal principle of the Constitution of Pakistan.”

    The statement mentions that special seats had been reserved for minorities in the parliament to ensure their adequate representation and voice in the legislation process. “A vibrant and independent National Commission on Human Rights is functioning to address concerns on violation of the rights of minorities.”

    It said that successive governments had made it a priority that rights of citizens belonging to minority faiths were protected as guaranteed by the law and the Constitution. The higher judiciary of the country had also made several landmark decisions to protect the properties and places of worships of minorities.

    Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also said that Pakistan’s inclusion on the US list was “pure political blackmailing” and an attempt by the United States to pressure Pakistan to implement US policy goals in Afghanistan.”

  14. Army to ensure secure environment for local, foreign investors: COAS (tribune, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1865245/1-army-ensure-secure-environment-local-foreign-investors-coas/

    “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated the armed forces’ resolve to play its part in ensuring a secure environment for local and foreign investors, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “[The] internal security situation of Pakistan has largely improved paving way for foreign investment,” he remarked. “We will continue to play our part in ensuring a secure environment for business and entrepreneurship in Pakistan by both local and foreign investors.”…”

  15. DAILY MAIL – AUSTRALIA – Gutless gang of up to 20 African thugs knock out three men in Melbourne before stomping on their unconscious bodies and stealing one victim’s phone and wallet

    Police release CCTV footage of African gang assaulting three friends in their 20s
    The men were walking late at night when they were set on, punched and kicked
    One victim, 24, with facial bruising, had his mobile phone and wallet taken
    Another victim, 26, helped his friend but was kicked and became unconscious
    The third victim, 20, was chased from the area and sustained minor injuries

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6482079/The-horrific-moment-African-gang-attack-three-friends.html

  16. Turkish diplomats in Washington face probe over alleged links to FETÖ (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 12, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-diplomats-in-washington-face-probe-over-alleged-links-to-feto-139666

    “Two diplomats and an administrative officer in the Turkish Embassy in Washington are under investigation over “suspected links to FETÖ.”

    Diplomats Cem Ulusoy, the embassy’s counsellor, Celil Erdo?an, the press counsellor and spokesperson, and Erdo?an’s wife Mehtap Erdo?an, an administrative officer, were summoned to Ankara due to an ongoing investigation.

    Sources in the embassy confirmed the summoning of the three personnel with an administrative decree, but did not give details about the reason. It’s not clear whether the case is peculiar to the Washington Embassy or if there is a wider operation against FETÖ remnants in other Foreign Ministry missions.

    The reports that three embassy personnel were summoned due to an ongoing investigation were already echoing in Washington corridors since last month. Spokesperson Erdo?an’s absence during Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu’s visit to Washington last month drew attention.

    Erdo?an was working with Ömer Çelik during his term as the European Union minister. Ulusoy was the consul general of Turkey in Burgas, Bulgaria between 2011 and 2013.

    “It’s true that the aforementioned persons were summoned with an administrative decree before they completed their terms,” the sources in the Turkish embassy said, but refused to comment on the allegations that they were under investigation for alleged links to FETÖ, widely believed to have masterminded the bloody failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

    The embassy is said to have informed the U.S. Department of State about the termination of three officials’ duties.

    One of the three officials summoned, ex-spokesperson Celil Erdo?an, told daily Hürriyet that he is still in the U.S.

    “Under normal conditions I was supposed to return to Turkey in September, but they already summoned me. We have not been informed about the reason. We are going through a weird and tough period. Let’s hope for the best” he said.

    Daily Hürriyet could not immediately reach Ulusoy for comments.”

  17. People who emulate yellow vest protests in Turkey will pay heavy price: MHP leader (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 12, 2018)
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/people-who-emulate-yellow-vest-protests-in-turkey-will-pay-heavy-price-mhp-leader-139660

    “Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli has described the Yellow Vests anti-government protests in France as “terrorism,” warning that those who may try to emulate them in Turkey will pay a heavy price…”

  18. Iraqi court sentences 6 to death over 2015 bombing (AA, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iraqi-court-sentences-6-to-death-over-2015-bombing/1336731

    “An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced six people to death over a deadly car bombing that killed scores in the eastern Diyala province in 2015.

    The Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted a marketplace in the province, killing 115 people and injuring scores.

    In a statement, Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council said the convicts were responsible for a spate of attacks in Iraq, including the 2015 bombing.

    Wednesday’s verdict was issued under Iraq’s anti-terrorism act, the council said.

    The verdict is still subject to appeal…”

  19. Turkish minority in Greece want their legal rights back (AA, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-minority-in-greece-want-their-legal-rights-back/1336860

    “Head of Greece’s Friendship, Equality and Peace (FEP) Party on Wednesday called on Athens to return the guaranteed rights of the Turkish minority in the Western Thrace.

    The Turkish minority in Western Thrace faces the threat of assimilation as they cannot practice their guaranteed rights, Mustafa Alicavus told Anadolu Agency in the northeastern Greek city of Komotini.

    He criticized the Greek government of not sticking to the Treaty of Lausanne after it was signed.

    “Greece has always applied pressure on the Turkish Muslim minority and seized their existing rights,” Alicavus said.

    Turkish minority “do not have rights to choose muftis, their own religious leaders,” he said. “They cannot open new minority schools, which are greatly needed.”

    “The right of minorities to form an association is usurped. Activities of our associations were shut down with a court decision as having the word ‘Turkish’ in their names was not allowed.

    “All of these make the Turkish community, which has existed peacefully for decades on this soil, face the threat of assimilation,” the FEP party head said.

    Expressing his concerns over the future, Alicavus said, “We want our rights, determined by international agreements which Greece also signed — in particular, the Lausanne Treaty –, to be returned.”

    Greece recently had closed several associations in the Western Thrace because they had the word “Turkish” in their names.

    Although the ECHR convicted Greece regarding this matter, Greece does not implement the ECHR verdicts on the issue.

    Greece refuses to recognize that there is a Turkish minority in Greece and recognizes it only with its religious denomination, as a Muslim minority.

    Western Thrace region of Greece is home to a Muslim Turkish minority of around 150,000 people.”

  20. Turkey condemns Austria’s ban on political symbols (AA, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-condemns-austria-s-ban-on-political-symbols/1336983

    “Turkey on Wednesday condemned Austria’s move to ban the use of Rabaa sign, an anti-coup symbol, and Turkey’s nationalist “Grey Wolves” salute.

    “We do not accept this and we strongly condemn it,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding: “These political and religious symbols are not even remotely related to extremism.”

    The statement came a day after the law on amendments to the “Symbol Act” from 2014, prohibiting the symbols of extremist organizations in Austria, was adopted after the voting in the Austrian National Council.

    Rabaa sign, a four-fingered hand gesture, became a world symbol for anti-coup protesters around the globe after it was first used by Egyptian protesters against a military coup staged to oust Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013.

    “If the Austrian authorities sincerely wish to tackle extremism, they should first look to their own country. They should stop turning a blind eye to the ever-increasing extreme right and racist tendencies that have infiltrated even mainstream politics and take effective measures through an exercise of soul-searching,” the statement said.

    “Yet, xenophobia and racism are phenomena that foreigners living in Austria unfortunately face on a daily basis. In a country with hundreds of thousands-strong Turkish community this situation disturbs the social peace and renders impossible the integration which local authorities attach importance,” it added.

    The Foreign Ministry called on Austria to “correct this mistake,” saying the “development is deeply offending Turkey and the Turkish community and Muslims in Austria.”

    The statement, however, welcomed the inclusion of the symbol of the PKK terrorist organization into the law.

    “The inclusion of the symbols of the PKK terrorist organization into the law is a positive step in the right direction in the fight against terrorism, albeit a late one. We will closely follow how this particular part of the regulation will be implemented,” the statement added.

    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 some 40,000 people, including women and children.”

  21. Swiss official suspended over alleged hate speech on Facebook (thelocal, Dec 11, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.ch/20181211/swiss-official-suspended-over-alleged-hate-speech

    “A top management official in the Swiss canton of Aargau has been forced to take leave after he posted abusive messages targeting refugees and immigrants on Facebook.

    Authorities in the Aargau town of Boswil suspended municipal security Daniel Wicki on Monday after a meeting behind closed doors.

    He will remain on forced leave until a criminal complaint lodged against him is investigated, Boswil Deputy Mayor Liliane Kappeler told media outlets on Tuesday.

    “The council regrets the thoughtless and inhuman posts of its municipal secretary. These are intolerable,” said the local council in a statement.

    In one of the posts in question, Wicki called for the alleged rapists, including asylum seekers, of a woman in Germany to be given the death penalty.

    “Fantastic that they’ve caught these pigs. Line them up against the wall and give them a clean 9mm ‘vaccination’. It’s not painful and it’s efficient and lasting,” he wrote.

    In another post, he noted it was “strange” how asylum seekers’ mobile phones were water-proof but that they all lost their documents and passports “while they were on their little boats on the sea”.

    Wicki initially told the Blick newspaper, which broke the story, that the posts were his “personal opinion” and had “nothing to do” with his professional responsibilities.

    However, when contacted shortly after by regional daily Aargauer Zeitung, Wicki conceded the comments had been “borderline”. He said the comment about the rapists has been the “worst one” and apologised fully “for having written it”.

    That post has since been deleted, but is the only one to have been, Aargauer Zeitung noted…”

  22. Man shot dead in broad daylight outside Malmö daycare (thelocal, Dec 12, 2018)
    https://www.thelocal.se/20181212/man-shot-dead-in-broad-daylight-in-central-malmo

    “A man was shot dead on Wednesday morning outside a daycare in central Malmö, a city which has experienced multiple shootings this year, many linked to gang conflicts.
    The shooting took place just before 8.30am, as several children at the Kråkan Förskola were having breakfast next to a window overlooking the street.

    An eye witness said that he saw the attackers moments before the shooting took place.

    “There were four or five men, all of them had black clothes and one of them had a pistol, and then I heard, like, four shots,” he said. Witnesses said the perpetrator then jumped in a car and sped away from the scene.

    Staff in the school heard the shots, and then saw a man running away. Although the children must have also heard, they appeared not to understand what had happened.

    Alex Regnér, a parent, was inside the for a parent-teacher meeting when the shooting took place, and when he left shortly afterwards, there was still blood visible on the pavement outside.

    “There was a woman of about 35, 40, standing by the ambulance and screaming, and it was really upsetting,” he told The Local. “And there was a young male. He was angry and punching a garage door.”

    He said the shooting had added to his anxiety about bringing up a small child in the city.

    “A couple of weeks ago there was a man running around with a knife, trying to kill children and mothers in the park where we play with our daughter almost every weekend,” he said. “And now this happens outside our daycare. It doesn’t feel good. It happened at exactly the time I usually leave Lo, my daughter. I’m pretty shaken.”

    A reporter from the local Sydsvenskan newspaper, Erika Oldberg, attempted to help the man as he lay on the pavement by trying to stop the bleeding from his head.

    “He was rasping and we could feel that he was breathing,” she said. The man, reportedly in his 50s, was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards, police confirmed.

    “The man who was shot has died, and an investigation into murder has been opened,” a statement from Malmö police said. Police have also called for witnesses to get in touch with any information by speaking to police working at the scene or calling 114 14.

    The area around the daycare was cordoned off on Wednesday morning, while police continued their work.

    Wednesday’s shooting comes after a wave of shootings believed to be part of ongoing conflict between local gangs, which have led to the deaths of more than ten young men this year alone.

    In November, there were four shootings within a 24-hour period, leaving one young man seriously wounded.

    In autumn, the city launched a programme called ‘Sluta Skjut’ or ‘Stop Shooting’ based on the Group Violence Intervention strategy used with positive results in many US cities. This has included a meeting between police and some repeat offenders currently on probation, and tougher measures on those suspected of involvement in gun crime.”

    • ‘Now everyone in Malmö lives under the shadow of gun crime’ (thelocal, Dec 12, 2018)
      https://www.thelocal.se/20181212/now-everyone-in-malmo-lives-under-the-shadow-of-gun-crime

      “The Local’s Malmö correspondent Richard Orange, whose son attends the daycare right next to the site of Wednesday’s shooting, explains how it feels to live in a city where gangland shootings are no longer confined to the suburbs.
      This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more articles for Members here.

      “Have you seen the news,” my wife Mia said over the phone, as I rang her up to try and order our day. “There’s been a shooting, right outside Kråkan. There are police everywhere.”

      Kråkan is our children’s daycare, and Mia had arrived with our son, Finn, just as the victim was being loaded into an ambulance. She had to talk her way past a police cordon to drop our son off.

      Inside, staff and parents were shaken. One of the teachers and several children, all under four years of age, had been in the room looking out onto the street when the shots rang out. They saw a man run past the window. Heard a car accelerate away.

      When I arrived, Mia was standing outside the police cordon with another parent, who was still in tears. She had been speaking to the newspapers and to Swedish Television, talking about the anxiety she felt that Malmö’s ongoing gang war had struck so close to home. She was so upset that she took the day off work.

      “They shot after him as he was walking away towards Kråkan,” she told me. “They could have easily shot through the window and hit one of the children.”

      She started talking about accelerating plans to move the daycare, a parent-led cooperative, to new premises, further away from Möllevången Square.

      “Maybe we should sell the flat and move out into the suburbs,” she said.

      I felt unemotional. That the shooting took place metres from where my son spends his days was incidental. It could have been anywhere. But when we see attacks so close to home, in the city centre and the streets where I live and work, I do worry for my adopted hometown.

      This is not the first shooting on Möllevången Square, nor the only recent attack in my area. There was an explosion recently at a local newsagents. A string of shootings in Värnhem, five minutes’ walk away.”

  23. BREAKING: High-speed train CRASHES and DERAILS in horrific collision in Ankara, Turkey (express, Dec 13, 2018)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1058241/Ankara-high-speed-train-crash-Turkey-train-crash-Yeni-Mahallandiz-station-collision

    “A HIGH-SPEED train has crashed in the Turkish capital of Ankara, causing a horrific collision, according to local reports.

    A total of two carriages were derailed as a result of the crash.

    It occurred as the train collided with the main gate of Ankara’s Yeni Mahallandiz station.

    There are no reports on casualties.

    More to follow…”

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