Reader’s links for December 17, 2018

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About Eeyore

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

121 Replies to “Reader’s links for December 17, 2018”

  1. Comey is ‘out of his mind’: James Kallstrom

    Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom discusses former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill.

  2. MWL Rejects US Senate Stance, Meddling in Saudi Affairs (aawsat, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The Muslim World League (MWL) stressed on Monday its full support for Saudi Arabia’s statement that condemned the recent baseless stances of the US Senate, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

    The MWL also rejected foreign meddling in the Kingdom’s internal affairs that undermines the Saudi leadership, represented by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

    MWL Secretary-General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Organization of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Isa said that Saudi Arabia enjoys great respect and admiration.

    He pointed out to last week’s conference entitled “International Conference on Islamic unity — the perils of labeling and exclusion” that was organized by the MWL in Makkah.

    During the event, scholars expressed their solidarity with Saudi Arabia, saying that the Kingdom and its leadership command great respect due to their services to Islam and Muslims.

    The conference was attended by more than 1,000 religious scholars and intellectuals from 128 countries.”

    • Shura Council Slams US Senate Allegations against Saudi Arabia (aawsat, Dec 17, 2018)

      “The Shura Council denounced on Monday the US Senate’s baseless allegations and accusations against Saudi Arabia, as well as its interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs and distortion of its role on the regional and international scenes, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

      The Saudi people categorically reject the defamation of their leaders, namely Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, said the Council after an ordinary session held in Riyadh under the chairmanship of Speaker Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh.

      The Council underlined the Kingdom’s role in fighting terrorism on the military, financial and ideological levels, crediting it for reducing the threat of this phenomenon throughout the world.

      It stressed that the US Senate’s stances does not reflect the role of parliamentary councils in bolstering ties between nations, whether officially or popularly.

      Saudi Arabia should not be dragged into US internal policy disputes, it urged, warning that this could affect the historic and strategic relations between Riyadh and Washington.”

    • US Senate resolution angers many Arab, Muslim organizations (saudigazette, Dec 17, 2018)

      “The Shoura Council, the Arab Parliament, the Council of Senior Scholars, and the Muslim World League (MWL) joined many others in denouncing the US Senate’s position based on unfounded allegations and accusations, as well as its interference in Saudi internal affairs and the distortion of the Kingdom’s role at regional and international levels.

      In a statement, read out by Secretary General Muhammad Al-Mutairi, the Shoura Council said the Saudi people categorically reject defaming their leaders — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense — or any meddling in the Kingdom’s sovereignty or harming its status.

      In a letter sent to the UN Senate speaker, Dr. Mishaal Al-Silmi, president of the Arab Parliament, called on the Senate not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and not to prejudice its leadership, sovereignty and position.

      Denouncing the Senate move, the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) stated that harming the Kingdom’s sovereignty in general and its leadership in particular is a red line that cannot be crossed as far as Muslims around the world are concerned.

      In a statement, MWL Secretary General Muhammad Al-Issa emphasized the Kingdom’s spiritual leadership position among the Muslims as well as its pivotal and effective role in consolidating peace, security and stability of the region and the world as well.

      Earlier a statement by an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that the Kingdom would not tolerate any “disrespect” of its rulers.

      “This position by the US Senate sends the wrong messages to all those who want to cause a rift in Saudi-US relationship,” the ministry said.

      “The Kingdom hopes that it is not drawn into domestic political debates in the US, to avoid any ramifications on the ties between the two countries that could have significant negative impacts on this important strategic relationship,” the statement said.

      The statement also emphasizes that the US Senate stand will not affect the Kingdom’s leading role in the region, in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and internationally.

      “The Kingdom has and will continue to fulfill its pivotal role in the Arab and Muslim Worlds, as it holds a special place for Muslims around the world. Such a status has made the Kingdom a pillar of stability in the Middle East and the world, and a cornerstone for the efforts to achieve peace and security regionally and globally,” the statement said.

      The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) alao rejected any attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia that disrespect its leadership, represented by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, as well as to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature.

      In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, secretary general of OIC, affirmed its full support to Saudi Arabia’s statement denouncing the US Senate’s recent decision, and upheld the integrity of Saudi judiciary.

      The OIC chief reiterated that the Kingdom represents a collective voice of the Islamic Ummah and has a special place in the Islamic world, not just for being the land of the Two Holy Mosques, but also because of its political and humanitarian stances.”

      • Denouncing the Senate move, the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) stated that harming the Kingdom’s sovereignty in general and its leadership in particular is a red line that cannot be crossed as far as Muslims around the world are concerned.

        I’ve got your “red line” right here, you shirt-lifting arse-lifting jerkwads. Y’all haven’t even seen anything that remotely resembles “harm” until American troops get through with yez. Just keep it up with your torrential Islamic bull’s pizzle and learn the hard way what US Army grunts mean when they say, “We break things.”

  3. Killing of 6 Pakistani Troops Deepens Tehran-Islamabad Border Tensions (aawsat, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Tensions returned to relations between Iran and Pakistan after a group killed six paramilitary Pakistani troops on the border with Iran.

    Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it summoned Iran’s ambassador in Islamabad, Mehdi Honardoost, on Saturday to protest against the terrorist attack that targeted border guards during their patrol of the southwestern province of Balochistan on the border with Iran.

    It demanded that Tehran take action against the armed group responsible for the attack.

    Honardoost, for his part, expressed his country’s deep sorrow over the incident.

    Pakistan authorities said some 30 militants attacked the Frontier Corps convoy, also wounding 14 soldiers.

    Terrorists targeted one of the vehicles of security forces through an IED. The forces responded with immediate retaliatory fire and killed four terrorists, said a spokesman of the Pakistani army.

    About 30 militants attacked a convoy from Pakistan’s Frontier Corps on December 14, killing six soldiers and wounding 14, the country’s foreign ministry explained in a statement.

    “There is an urgent need for broader cooperation between the Iranian and Pakistani sides to find a mechanism to prevent such incidents in the future,” the statement added.

    The separatist Pakistani group, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday.

    Pakistani sources indicate that the BLA forces are present in Iranian territory, receive the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and carry out operations to destabilize Pakistan, especially in the Balochistan province.

    The group had previously carried out operations against the Pakistani army in the region.

    Friday’s attack took place several weeks after calm was restored between the two neighbors following the Jaish ul-Adl anti-Tehran group’s kidnapping of a number of Iranian soldiers inside the country’s territory. Iran held Pakistan responsible for the abduction.”

    • Killing of 6 Pakistani Troops Deepens Tehran-Islamabad Border Tensions

      If tensions continue to escalate, and we Infidels are fortunate enough, maybe Pakistan will demonstrate to Iran’s mullahs the proper etiquette when firing off a brace or two of nuclear-tipped missiles.

      As it is, almost 20 years later, Putin still continues to insist that: “There’s no such thing as a free launch!”

  4. Saudi Arabia nationalises 41 professions (memo, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labour and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi announced yesterday that work in 41 professions in the fields of hospitality, tourism and non-profit organisations in the city of Madina will be restricted to Saudi citizens.

    The minister said in a statement quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency that the professions include those working in “closed markets, commercial centres, as well as order takers, food service employees, security and safety directors, maintenance managers, room service managers, sales and marketing representatives and tourism programme directors, as well as the directors of front offices and staff relations.”

    The statement stressed that violators will face penalties.

    According to the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI), the number of foreign employees in Saudi Arabia fell to 7.91 million at the end of 2017, compared with 8.49 million at the end of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of Saudi employees increased by 1.78 million by the end of 2017 compared to 1.68 million in 2016.

    Saudi Arabia aims to reduce the unemployment rate to nine per cent by 2020, and to seven per cent by 2023.”

    • Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labour and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi announced yesterday that work in 41 professions in the fields of hospitality, tourism and non-profit organisations in the city of Madina will be restricted to Saudi citizens.

      Getting Saudis of any age to work as waitresses and burger flippers? G’wan! This oughtta be hilarious. Hell, the petroleum companies barely can persuade these arrogant, condescending “best of people” to dirty their hands in automated oil refineries, much less out at the actual wellheads.

      The low productivity of native Saudi Arabians is of near mythic proportions. MbS damn well knows this and it easily may be a major reason why he’s attempting to expand the integration of Saudi women into public society.

      As the ummah’s trajectory predictably arcs towards ultra-halalism, it’s easy to envision how this Medinan policy could spread throughout the remaining Islamic world. After all, what pious Muslim even wants to look at food that’s been touched or handled by some filthy Infidel? For those who are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, please run a search on “Asia Bibi”.

      At the risk of boring everybody all over again, here’s that sidesplitting five-minute video clip of Yusef “Beat Your Wife Gently” Qaradawi pissing and moaning wailing about the near-genetic disinclination that bourgeois Middle Eastern Muslims exhibit when it comes to performing manual labor of any sort, much less work in general.

  5. France vows aid for Burkina, but no more troops to fight Islamists (reuters, Dec 17, 2018)

    “France agreed on Monday to a new military framework with Burkina Faso that would speed engagement of its forces to fight Islamist militants in a northern border region of Burkina where there has been a spike in violence.

    The arid Sahel region is suffering violence from militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, highlighting the difficulty international partners face in restoring regional stability.

    The northern region of Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has been especially hard hit, leaving the fragile West African state struggling to assert its authority since ex-Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore was ousted in 2014 at the hands of a popular uprising.

    “There will be no extra (troop) involvement on the French side,” President Emmanuel Macron said at a news conference with Burkinabe counterpart Roch Marc Christian Kabore in Paris.

    However, he said Paris was ready to send more trainers and military advisers as well as extra equipment.

    French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the two sides had signed an agreement defining the legal framework for security cooperation, suggesting that French troops could provide help more quickly and easily to Burkinabe forces.

    Paris will provide the local army with 34 pickup trucks…”

    • France vows aid for Burkina, but no more troops to fight Islamists

      Emily Litella: What’s all this fuss about French aid for burkinis? I mean, really, didn’t they outlaw those unhygienic outfits years ago?!

      Jane Curtin: Uh, Emily, that’s Burkina, as in the West African nation of Burkina Faso

      Emily Litella: Oh. I’m sorry. Never mind … bit¢h.

  6. Somali man arrested in Italy after comments about attacking Vatican: police (reuters, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Italian police said on Monday they had arrested a 20-year-old Somali man suspected of having been a member of Islamic State and who had threatened to bomb churches in Italy, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

    They told reporters in the southern city of Bari that the man, identified as Omar Moshin Ibrahim, was detained last Thursday and that a magistrate had charged him on Monday with instigating terrorism and supporting terrorism.

    Police said Ibrahim was stopped following a month-long surveillance operation as he was about to leave Bari where he worked for a cleaning company.

    The investigation, the police officials said, included wiretaps in which Ibrahim was heard telling someone, “Let’s put bombs in all the churches of Italy. Where is the largest church? It is in Rome.”

    In another conversation, they said, he was heard praising those who “killed on the path of Allah” and hailing last week’s shooting at the Strasbourg Christmas market in which a gunman killed five people.

    Police added that the man used the alias of Anas Khalil and called himself “Yusuf” on social media, and had arrived in Italy in 2016. He was suspected of having been a militant of Islamic State previously.

    Italian police have increased security around churches, including St. Peter’s, ahead of Christmas, which draws big crowds to the Vatican area.”

  7. Spain Dismantles Moroccan Human Trafficking Network (moroccoworldnews, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The Moroccan network has trafficked 600 irregular migrants from Morocco to Spain in 2018.

    EFE reported that the operation arrested seven Moroccans for their alleged ties with the criminal network.

    The news outlet said that the network has been labeling itself as a “travel agency” based in Larache, a city in the region of Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima in northern Morocco. The suspects charged the irregular migrants at a minimum price of €2,500 per passenger.

    According to the Spanish news outlet, the group of seven Moroccan suspects includes one woman. Four suspects have had their residency status regularized in Spain.

    According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) Moroccan immigration “peaked 10 years ago, as there were 70,000 arrivals of migrants. In 2017, 39,000 migrants arrived in Spain from Morocco.”

    Migration has led to strengthened cooperation between Moroccan and Spanish security services.

    Following his first official visit to Rabat on November 19, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez attended the migration conference in Marrakech in December and discussed the issue of irregular migration.

    The two prime ministers reaffirmed their shared goals: to promote regular over irregular migration and to integrate migrants in each of their host countries.

    During his first visit to Morocco, Sanchez announced his country’s intention to strengthen and modernize the border with Morocco in order to combat irregular migration.”

  8. Number of Irregular Moroccan Migrants in Spain Increases by Eight-Fold in 2 Years (moroccoworldnews, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Spanish news outlet Diarodesvilla shared statistics from the Spanish Ministry of Interior, saying that at the end of October, 10,060 of irregular Moroccan migrants arrived in Spain, against 1,310 in 2016.

    The news outlet reported that 90 percent of the migrants arrived in Spain by sea to Andalusia and the rest to the Canary Islands.

    The news outlet also added that some of the irregular migrants returned to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Melilla, where they asked for asylum.

    Moroccan migration might increase in the coming years as a new Gallup survey has estimated that Morocco would lose 19 percent of its adult population and 29 percent of its 15-29-year-olds if migration was completely possible.

    To help ease the pressure of migration on Morocco, the European Union said that it will grant financial aid to Morocco to help combat irregular migration.

    The EU will give Morocco €148 million in the coming days, according to a statement from the EU Commission.

    The statement issued on December 14 said that the EU is currently “stepping up its assistance to Morocco to combat irregular migration in a context of increased migratory pressures along the western Mediterranean route.”

    According to El Pais, Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) said that Moroccan immigration “peaked 10 years ago as there were 70,000 arrivals of migrants. In 2017 39,000 migrants arrived in Spain from Morocco.

    Spanish and Moroccan news outlets reported today that Spain has dismantled a Moroccan human trafficking network operating between Spain and Morocco.

    The suspects involved in the network, all of which were Moroccans, were arrested. EFE reported that network has been labeling itself as a “travel agency” based in Larache, a city in the region of Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima in northern Morocco. The suspects charged the irregular migrants a minimum price of €2,500 per passenger.”

  9. Woman, four engineer sons arrested for tricking young girls into marriage (tribune, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The investigative unit of Darakhshan Police claimed to have arrested four brothers and their mother, accused of smuggling young girls out of the country.

    The family would have the brothers marry the girls, smuggle them abroad, and then if the girls returned, they would be forced to file for divorce.

    The family has been engaging in human trafficking this way for the last five years.

    According to South Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tariq Dharejo, a case was filed against Qudsia and her four sons, Farrukh, Faheem, Fahad and Alaa.

    The petitioner claimed that one of the four sons had married his daughter and then sent her abroad where she faced abuse and inhumane treatment. The girl faced immense difficulty before she managed to contact her family who then approached Qudsia and somehow managed to bring her home.

    Dharejo informed that the police first arrested Qudsia and then on her indication, arrested her four sons from Islamabad. Qudsia’s sons are engineers by profession and hence were not doubted by the families of the girls who fell prey to their scheme.

    The brothers would marry the girls and then smuggle them out of the country. Qudsia’s brother, Afaq, who lives in Saudi Arabia facilitated this activity along with another accomplice of the family who lives in Dubai. The two arranged for the visas and accommodation for the girls. When they arrived there, the girls are abused and mistreated and not allowed to contact their families.

    If the girls somehow managed to succeed in contacting their families and arrived back in Pakistan, Qudsia’s family forced them to take Khula [a type of divorce whereby the woman forgoes her right to any sort of alimony or any assets or wealth that she might have brought with her at the time of marriage].

    In this way, said Dharejo, the girl loses the rights that might have been fixed at the time of marriage and Qudsia’s family owes her nothing.

    The SSP informed that Farrukh has married thrice, Faheem twice, Fahad thrice with the fourth engagement breaking off before marriage and the youngest, Alaa has married once.

    They have ruined many innocent lives yet managed to remain uncaught because most victims and their families did not report against them for fear of dishonour, said Dharejo.”

    • They have ruined many innocent lives yet managed to remain uncaught because most victims and their families did not report against them for fear of dishonour, said Dharejo.

      “They have ruined many innocent lives yet managed to remain uncaught because most victims and their families did not report against them for fear of death, said Dharejo.”

      There, fixed that.

  10. OIC denounces India’s ‘wicked terrorist act’ in occupied Kashmir (tribune, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The Muslim world has strongly condemned the ongoing killing of unarmed innocent civilians by occupation forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) as a “wicked terrorist act”.

    The condemnation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the collective voice of the Muslim world, came on Monday – two days after Indian forces massacred eight civilians and injured dozens of others following a gunfight with freedom fighters in Pulwama district of the occupied valley.

    Appalled by the mindless killing spree of Indian forces, Kashmiri politicians sent out an “SOS to humanity”, triggering a call from Pakistan to the international community to play its role in putting an end to Indian barbarianism.

    OIC’s General Secretariat “expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) where direct shooting at demonstrators in Pulwama region claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens and injured others”.

    In a statement posted on its website, the OIC General Secretariat “called upon the international community to play its role in order to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Kashmir, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions adopted by the OIC and the UN Security Council, and fulfill the aspirations of the Kashmiri people”.

    “The General Secretariat expressed condolences to the families of the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of this wicked terrorist act and wished the wounded prompt recovery,” it added in the statement.

    Earlier, in another statement, Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat said that Kashmiri stone-pelters are “ground workers of terrorists” and they should be dealt with sternly.

    He later also said that Pakistan will have to become a secular state to coexist peacefully with India.

    The remarks were made only two days after Pakistan extended an olive branch to the neighbouring country by doing groundbreaking of Kartarpur border corridor in a bid to ease Indian pilgrims’ visit to the shrine of Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of the Sikh faith.”

  11. US coalition spokesman apologizes for Turkey tweet (AA, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition apologized Monday after posting a tweet critical of Turkey’s military from an account believed to be sympathetic to the PKK terror group.

    “In my official capacity, I accidentally shared content that was insulting to our Coalition partner Turkey, a key partner in the mission to defeat ISIS. I meant no disrespect,” Col. Sean Ryan wrote on Twitter, referring to Daesh.

    “We have a duty to mutual security, and we are committed to defeating ISIS. Please accept my apology.”

    Ryan was referring to a since-deleted retweet of a post classifying as “terrorist” Turkish armed forces.

    “US Special Forces (Green Berets) patrolling the Rojava-Turkey border after terrorist Turkish army snipers targeted Rojavan civilians, killing a little girl walking home from school,” the tweet said, accompanied by a photograph of U.S. military personnel and children.

    The U.S. has been working alongside the YPG-PKK in Syria in its effort to eliminate Daesh from the region.

    Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the PKK, a designated terrorist group in Turkey, the EU and the U.S.”

    • The Turk is posturing for his people by continuous stories about the U.S. backing down to appease him. Gulen, Khashoggi, the Kurds, etc. Consistent loss of face before The Sultan.

      I hope these displays of dominance are totally fake. Nothing could be more damaging for us in the region than to come off as weak right now. Everybody there is watching this play out.

      – – Hello, State Department?
      – – Who’s minding the store at the Middle East Desk? Who’s our Undersecretary for Near East Affairs??

      I have a cousin who might be available…

    • U.S. without a strategy left to choose between the Kurds or Turkey

      …US decision makers are following a limited guidebook based on the objective of fighting ISIS, putting the brakes on Iran’s advances in the region and invalidate the Astana peace process on Syria to renew the Geneva talks.

      Then what? Neither the Turkish nor US pattern of behaviour is helpful in discerning an endgame, at least from NATO’s point of view.

      In fact, the situation is ideal for Russia to extend its diplomatic influence in the region, consolidate the Damascus regime and, most importantly, make the US military increasingly unwelcome in Syria, while weakening its presence in the region as much as possible.

      At that level, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s and Erdogan’s road maps converge. Trump is in deep trouble at home; German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leaving in slow motion; Emmanuel Macron’s France is beset by growing instability; the United Kingdom is coping with the folly of Brexit and the entire European Union’s view of the Syrian quagmire is focused on the refugee inflow, period.

      Erdogan, who is ambitious about expanding his power at home and abroad, will try to push Washington into a corner. For Putin, this is an excellent gambit. The stage is perfectly set.…

  12. Turkey hails Kosovo’s move to establish national army (AA, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Turkey on Monday hailed Kosovo’s decision to exercise its “sovereign right” to transform its current security force into a 5,000-strong standing army.

    “Turkey, as a NATO member Balkan country which supports the KFOR [NATO stabilization force] and contributed to the Kosovo Security Force, sees the parliament’s decision on Dec. 14 to pass a law to convert the security forces into an army as a sovereign right,” said a statement by Turkey’s Embassy in Pristina…”

  13. Turkey: Arrest warrants out for 111 FETO suspects (AA, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants on Monday for some 111 people including active-duty soldiers across the country for their suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.

    Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued the warrants for 64 suspects — 55 non-commissioned officers including 35 on-duty soldiers — within the Turkish Land Forces Command and the Gendarmerie General Command.

    The other nine suspects are believed to be the terror group’s so-called civilian imams. The suspects are accused of communicating with the terror group through payphones.

    Balikesir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued arrest warrants in 14 provinces as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for 27 suspects as part of a probe into FETO.

    They were also reportedly communicating with the terror group through payphones.

    In western Canakkale province, arrest warrants were issued for 20 FETO suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s crypto structure within the Turkish Armed Forces.

    The search for the suspects is ongoing across the country.

    FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.”

  14. Nigeria: Amnesty Intl blasted for faulting army (AA, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Nigeria’s president on Monday expressed concerns over the role that Amnesty International is playing in the country’s counterinsurgency operations — the first such caution from the president to the rights watchdog.

    “It often appears as if the Nigerian government is fighting two wars on terror: against Boko Haram and against Amnesty International,” said a statement from Muhammadu Buhari’s office.

    The statement came hours after the Nigerian army slammed the rights body for alleged fabrication of falsehoods against security agencies.

    Reacting to a report on Monday alleging security agencies watched as the herder-farmer crisis worsened, the army threatened to shut down the local office of Amnesty International for bias.

    Buhari seemed to share the army’s sentiments, saying that the rights watchdog appears bent on demoralizing the security forces.

    “The obvious bias and inaccuracies in Amnesty International’s recent country reports on Nigeria risk Amnesty’s reputation as an impartial international organization,” said the statement.

    “President Buhari appeals to the leadership of Amnesty International to scrutinise its advocacy in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the war against terrorism.”

    Last week, Amnesty International called on the International Criminal Court to investigate the Nigerian government for alleged failure to prosecute army commanders accused of rights violations in the fight against Boko Haram.

    The body also said the recent mass trials of some Boko Haram suspects fall short of international standards, claiming no sincere attempt is being made to bring down Boko Haram commanders who have committed crimes against humanity.”

  15. ‘High terror alert after Strasbourg’ – ministry (ansa, Dec 17, 2018)

    “The level of attention of Italian security services “remains high after the Strasbourg” terror attack, interior ministry sources said Monday.

    Security will be tightened at train stations and airports while sensitive sites including monuments and places of worship will be monitored, sources said after a meeting of the national committee for order and public security attended, among others, by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Undersecretary Nicola Molteni and intelligence service officers.”

  16. Two explosions rock Malmö as gang conflict continues (thelocal, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Malmö’s ongoing gang violence is showing no signs of abating, with explosives detonated on Sunday night in apartment buildings in the districts of Fosie and Rosengård.

    The first blast went off at around 9.30pm on Sunday at the entry of a stairwell of an apartment building in Fosie. Then just before 3am the following morning, a second, extremely powerful explosion shook the district of Rosengård.

    “Put simply, there’s a bit of a stir in the underworld,” Mattias Sigfridsson, acting deputy police chief in Malmö, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper, explaining that the police had created a “power vacuum” by seizing and arresting several key gangland figures.

    “We are going to continue our dogged work against it, but we have a big problem with new recruitment into the network,” he added

    The second explosion was significantly more powerful than the first. The police operations leader handling that case told the newspaper: “You’re talking about serious damage. The angels must have been watching over people here, because it could have been much worse.”

    Police are investigating this second attack as an attempted murder, directed at a resident of the apartment outside which the device was planted. The other residents of the building will all also be plaintiffs in the case.

    Police have yet to determine if there is any connection between the two attacks. A neighbour told Sydsvenskan that even the first blast created a powerful sound.

    “I heard a gigantic explosion. You could hear it all the way in Nydala where my brother lives,” he said. “It’s pretty unpleasant, this is the second time there’s been an explosion here. If one person has a threat against them, it affects everyone who lives here.”

    According to the fire services, the second blast was powerful enough to damage the concrete in the stairwell, forcing them to put in supports to make sure the stairs cannot collapse.

    “Windows have been blown out, apartment doors are damaged and even the base of the staircase has visible damage to the concrete,” said Gustaf Sandell from the Swedish Fire Service, also speaking to Sydsvenskan. “We’ve put in supports in the stairwell to make sure nothing happens.”

    Police took in a handful of people for questioning after the attacks, but all have now been released.

    The attacks over the weekend are part of an ongoing wave of deadly violence in Sweden’s third largest city, with a brutal shooting taking place in broad daylight on Wednesday.

    In November, there were four shootings within a 24-hour period, leaving one young man seriously wounded. In total, more than ten young men have been shot dead this year alone.

    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.”

  17. SPD begins 3rd bid to expel anti-Islam author Thilo Sarrazin (DW, Dec 17, 2018)

    “Anti-Islam author Thilo Sarrazin again faces possible explusion from the Social Democrats. The center-left party has sought to ban the economist since his first of two critical bestsellers on Islam in Germany.

    He’s a longstanding Social Democrat and former board member of Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, but nowadays Thilo Sarrazin is better known as Germany’s bestselling author of a pair of books fiercely criticizing Muslim migration into Germany. The first, “Germany Abolishes Itself” (“Deutschland schafft sich ab”), topped the charts in 2010, while the second, “Hostile Takeover” (“Feindliche Übernahme”), was released this year.

    The second book’s release has prompted a third attempt from within the Social Democrats to eject one of their more controversial veterans. So far, the party has not been able to meet its own strict criteria for forcing a member out.

    The party’s general secretary, Lars Klingbeil, said on Monday that the SPD’s executive board had decided to formally start an expulsion process against Sarrazin based on internal SPD complaints after he ignored its calls to go voluntarily.

    Sarrazin, a SPD member since 1973, retorted that the board’s move was “part of an inner-party power struggle” over the SPD’s future trajectory and denied that his writings were xenophobic.

    Read more: How the press reviewed Thilo Sarrazin’s ‘Hostile Takeover’

    Klingbeil said Sarrazin’s book “Hostile Takeover,” published in September — which asserts that “Islam hinders and threatens” German society — was not compatible with the SPD’s principles and had inflicted “severe damage” on the party.

    Inquiry’s report under wraps

    Klingbeil said that the inquiry panel appointed to scrutinize the book had delivered a “comprehensive and well-researched” report. However, Klingbeil said this report would remain confidential for the time being in accordance with the party’s internal arbitration rules.

    The party, whose expulsion rules require a high level of proof of damaging behavior, has twice failed to expel the economist and former Berlin city finance senator, but elicited a promise in 2011 from Sarrazin that he would uphold party values.

    Bundesbank ouster

    In 2010, the Bundesbank sought the economist’s departure from its board after the publication of “Germany Abolishes Itself” and after anti-Turkish remarks made during a magazine interview.

    The book topped Spiegel’s best-seller list for 21 weeks in 2010 and into 2011.

    In “Hostile Takeover,” his latest book, Sarrazin claims to provide a sober and impartial study of Islam.

    Islamic studies experts in Germany quickly decried it as an “absurd” attempt under a “pretense of objectivity” to decipher the Quran without sufficient knowledge of Arabic, theological background, or the impacts of modernity on the religion.”

  18. “We Have Ways of Making You Think – Goebbels Master of Propaganda – BBC Documentary 1992”
    YouMeAndFresnoBob – Published on December 14, 2016

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