Reader’s Links for December 25, 2018 Merry Christmas!

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

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

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

About Eeyore

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

81 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 25, 2018 Merry Christmas!”

  1. Morocco Police Thwart Terror Plot While Probing Female Hiker Carnage – Reports (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “A total of 19 people have been arrested following the ghastly murder of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. These include four main suspects and 15 others accused of having connections with the alleged killers. The police called labelled the main suspects “lone wolves”, despite their oath of allegiance to Daesh*.

    Raids by Moroccan police hunting the killers of two Scandinavian hikers, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) from Denmark, and Maren Ueland (28) from Norway, have unwittingly helped foil a terror plot. Officers found bomb-making materials, and “spared Morocco a terrorist plot”, a spokesman for the country’s intelligence services said, as quoted by Reuters.

    During multiple raids and roundups, materials that could be used for bomb-making, electronic devices, knives and unauthorised hunting rifles were found, domestic intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik told the Moroccan 2M TV channel.

    In a video made three days before allegedly stalking and butchering the defenceless Scandinavian tourists, the four main suspects, aged between 25 and 30 years, had sworn an oath of allegiance to Daesh. However, they didn’t coordinate their actions with any group in advance, Sabik said. He described the four main suspects as “lone wolves”, stressing that the crime was not coordinated with Daesh despite their previous oath of allegiance. Nor did Daesh claim responsibility for the deaths.

    Denmark, Norway, and Morocco are currently all investigating a separate video, showing what appears to be the beheading of Jespersen. In the video, which bears resemblance to Daesh propaganda clips featuring executions of Western prisoners, a man severs the head of a blindfolded woman with a knife. Norwegian and Danish officials said the video was authentic and likely linked to Daesh…”

    • “…two Scandinavian hikers, “spared Morocco a terrorist plot”, ”

      Minors against adversaries comes to mind. (Canaries in the coal-mine, keep up!).

      Communism, Islam and Sexual Fluids.

      The all hate the name “Christmas.”

      • This happened in 2011 in the UK to a Religious Education teacher. The police were in full knowledge of the impending attack.

        “Gary Smith, 38, received “appalling injuries” after he was set upon by the gang as he walked to work at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow, east London, on July 12 last year.”

        “The court heard how the men were only caught out because Akmol Hussein’s car was being bugged on an unrelated matter.

        On the surveillance tape they were heard to plan the attack and it was also clear that they had lain in wait for Mr Smith as he walked to school on other mornings as they spoke of how they had been unsuccessful on other occasions.

        Hussein, who had a niece at the school, was heard to say: “He’s mocking us and he’s putting thoughts in people’s minds.”

        • FBI was doing its thing before the Marathon Bombing too. The mosque of the terrorist scum was and continues to be notorious.

          Witch-hunt Mueller was the head of FBI who ensured FIB-training materials were purged of islamophobia. He visited that mosque-4-murderers. Didn’t see anything that bothered him.

    • Johnnyu, are you hitting the Carriage Return – Enter button after pasting in the YT URL? If not, please give this a try. It appears as though WordPress does not fully recognize video links unless they are standing entirely alone at the very tail-end of a comment or reply. Eeyore is the only one who can post multiple full-frame video links.

      • What he needs to do is play the video on You Tube and copy the URL from the command line. This provides the URL that will show as a video

        • Shoot. Ok guys I’ll do that. Anyhoo, Very Merry Christmas to all my VTB friends. While we are all strangers of a pseudonymned necessity, I would much rather find myself in a fox hole with many of you fine people than many in my midst.

          • Yeah you want to have a good friend in a fox hole with you.

            When you are in the military you are either the best of friends with the other people in the unite, or you are the worst of enemies. At times people in the military die to save their worst enemy.

  2. UK Anti-Islamism Activist Tommy Robinson Blames Establishment for Axing His Site (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Robinson has been a vocal critic of the mainstream media, accusing them of spreading lies and losing the support of the British public. His political career recently took a new turn after he was handed an advisory role in the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

    Tommy Robinson, a British right-wing activist who some UKIP members have tipped as a potential successor of party leader Gerard Batten, has blamed the establishment for the taking down of his personal website.

    “They have taken my site down. [The] establishment [is] trying everything to shut me up,” Robinson wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, adding that he is working to launch a new site…”

  3. ‘No Benefit’: Turkey Warns France Against Remaining in Syria Amid US Pullout (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The news comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman revealed that American military officials are set to meet with their Turkish counterparts to discuss coordination on Syria following Washington’s decision to withdraw troops from the Arab Republic.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has commented on Paris’ plans to remain in Syria amid the withdrawal of US troops, saying that “there will be no benefit to anyone”, according to the Anadolu news agency.

    Meanwhile, Hurriyet, another Turkey-based news outlet, reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday the country’s military is determined to enter northern Syria as soon as possible. Earlier, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Ankara had completed preparations for the operation…”

  4. Swedish TV Warns ‘Dark-Skinned’ People, Muslims of Vitamin D Deficiency (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Immigrating to Scandinavia is not only peace and joy, but can lead to serious health problems, Swedish national broadcaster SVT has warned.

    The trademark frigid darkness of the Nordic climate can be dangerous for “dark-skinned” people, especially for women who choose to wear all-covering clothing for religious reasons, national broadcaster SVT informed its viewers.

    According to SVT, the Swedish weather may prove particularly difficult to suffer for those hailing from the Middle East and Africa, who adhere to the Islamic code.

    The national broadcaster stressed that people with dark skin and women who wear comprehensive clothing develop vitamin D deficiencies quicker than others and thus need extra supplements to cope with the challenges posed by the weather.

    SVT interviewed Sahra, a Somali mother of three, who has been living in the Swedish town of Borlänge for 15 years. Sahra explained that she feels chronically sick and has recently been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. She said she felt feeble and tired all the time and largely influenced by the “darkness outside” to stay indoors.

    “Living in this cold weather is burdensome”, Sahra complained to SVT.

    Meanwhile, links between wearing comprehensive Islamic garments like the burqa and the niqab and vitamin D deficiency have been pointed out before, as regular exposure to sunlight is the most natural way of getting enough vitamin D.

    A 2015 study in Borlänge, Sahra’s home town, found that 9 out of 10 pregnant Somali women in Sweden suffer from severe vitamin D deficiency, which, coupled with other risk factors, can contribute to a child developing autism. Incidentally, this diagnosis is three to four times more common among children with Somali background, the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported. Among other things, this problem was linked with full veils that don’t let sunrays through.

    “There were terribly low levels, in one third of the cases [the vitamin D] was even undetectable”, Monica Löfvander, associate professor at the Centre for Clinical Research in Västerås, told Svenska Dagbladet.

    At present, there is a general recommendation to prescribe vitamin D tablets to anyone who is either dark-skinned or wearing comprehensive clothing. But for many it would be a far too low of a dose, midwife Kristina Wally-Byström argued.

    Nutritionist and doctor of medical science Linda Bakkman also identified burqa-wearing dark-skinned ladies as a risk group as regards vitamin D deficiency, which may result in cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

    The number of Muslims living in Sweden has been estimated at around 800,000, or roughly 8 percent of Sweden’s population of about 10 million. At over 90,000, the Somalis are the largest population group from Africa living in Sweden.”

    • Swedish TV Warns ‘Dark-Skinned’ People, Muslims of Vitamin D Deficiency

      Yet again, Sweden’s pro-immigration manginas and über-Feminist loons demonstrate their abject non-comprehension of the situation. Let’s yust imagine the headlines:

      Racist Swedish Culture Linked to Pattern of Immigrant Malnutrition – Minority Women and Children Hit Hardest

      You may trust that any earnest discussion remains conspicuously absent when it comes to considering why people from much warmer and more sunlit climes would ever think of invading relocating to an ill-illumed Midnight Sun environment.

      Of course, none of Stockholm’s termite cheerleaders have sufficient grasp to realize that there is a worldwide resurgence of rickets (i.e., Vitamin D deficiency) directly related to the popularity of renascent political Islam.

      As is so often the case with Islam—even in modestly sized “immigrant” enclaves known as “no-go zones”—Muslimas suffer the most because full-body coverings (e.g., hijab, niqab, burqa) that women must wear block sunlight which prevents the epidermis from synthesizing healthy quantities of ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3).

      Much like with the highly successful global medical wars on smallpox and polio, rickets had almost been eradicated as well. Any recent outbreaks of polio typically have direct links to semi-urban Muslim populations who’ve been instructed that Western-produced vaccines are secretly designed to cause sterility in the ummah.

      Meanwhile, back in Stockholm, parties are already getting started to celebrate all those yet-to-be-born (never “unborn”) immigrant children whose avoidable medical needs will only further cement bureaucratic, Deep Crown State job security for these deconstructionist PoMo apparatchiks.

  5. ISIS RETURNS: Sick terrorists make TERRIFYING comeback just YEAR after being crushed (express, Dec 25, 2018)

    “ISIS has made a terrifying comeback with a scatter-gun campaign of kidnap and killings just a year after Iraq declared victory over the depraved terror group.

    With its dream of a Caliphate in the Middle East now dead, ISIS has just 12 months later launched another reign of terror with hit-and-run attacks aimed at undermining the government in Baghdad. In December last year Iraq announced that it had crushed military ISIS forces. But in Europe, home-grown jihadists who have never visited conflict zones are carrying out devastating lone wolf attacks, which experts warn are hard to prevent.

    So much so there has been a spike in recent years in ISIS-inspired attacks by “lone wolves” using little more weaponry than a knife or car.

    Most have been less deadly than strikes by former fighters, but they are harder for police to stop.

    In 2016, Anis Amri, from Tunisia, killed 86 people by driving a truck into a crowd in the French city of Nice.

    Manuel Navarrete, head of Europol’s Counter Terrorism Centre, said: “You have to be very, very close to a person in order to take action on the police level to prevent this.

    “And the closest you can be to a person right now is not going to the front door, it is going to Facebook, to Twitter.”

    The number of attacks and foiled plots in Europe more than doubled last year to 205, killing 62 people, Europol’s annual report showed.

    Of more than 5,000 Europeans – mostly from Britain, France, Germany and Belgium – who joined the ranks of fighters in Syria and Iraq, some 1,500 have returned and 1,000 were killed, according to the EU intelligence-sharing body.

    Mr Navarrete added: “Even though we suffer more attacks, they were less sophisticated.”

    Intelligence officials say ISIS was secretly preparing itself for the defeat by Iraqi forces months before by adopting guerrilla tactics when it could no longer hold territory.

    As a result Iraq has now seen an increase in kidnappings and killings, mainl in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, and Salahuddin, since it held an election in May, indicating the government will come under renewed pressure from the terrorists that once occupied a third of the country during a three-year reign of terror.

    In June, Iraq saw at least 83 cases of kidnap, murder or both in the three provinces.

    Most took place on a highway connecting Baghdad to Kirkuk province.

    In May, the number of such incidents in that area was 30, while in March it was seven, according to Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on Islamic State who advises the Iraqi government.

    In one incident on June 17, three Shi’ite men were kidnapped by ISIS militants disguised as policemen at a checkpoint on the highway.

    Ten days later their mutilated corpses were discovered, rigged with explosives to kill anyone who found them.

    Military and intelligence officials have warned they now face an “intelligence war” instead of a “military war” on the streets of Iraq.

    Hisham al-Hashimi, an ISIS expert who advises the Iraqi government, revealed about 1,000 I SIS fighters remain active in Iraq,with around 500 in desert areas and the rest in the mountains.

    Yahya Rasool, spokesperson for Iraqi army’s Joint Operations Command, added: “Our war on ISIS today is an intelligence war, not a military war.

    “We are searching and raiding their hide-outs.””

  6. ISIS storms foreign office in Libya: At least four dead in Tripoli terror attack (express, Dec 25, 2018)

    “A TERROR attack in Tripoli, Libya, has killed at least four people, with ISIS suspected of carrying out the attack.

    An explosion and a shooting took place after terrorists stormed Libya’s foreign ministry in the capital of Tripoli. A number of terror attackers were involved in the attack according to the Libyan government’s official television channel. An employee at the ministry said three people were killed and six wounded. The health ministry confirmed one dead and nine wounded. The three attackers were suspected to be Islamic State militants, the security source, who requested not to be named, said.

    One was killed by the ministry’s guards and the two others blew themselves up, the source said.

    Heavy smoke rose from the building which was surrounded by security forces as wounded people were rushed to hospital.

    Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala was safe, a ministry employee said.

    The area is on lockdown with all employees and individuals in nearby buildings told to evacuate.

    Libya’s security forces have taken control of all buildings in the vicinity of the foreign ministry and cordoned off the area.

    Witnesses said attackers stormed the building and started shooting with heavy gunfire heard.


  7. Model Says She Got Beaten Up for Wearing Revealing Dress (PHOTOS) (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The model insisted that she won’t remain silent in the face of the pain and humiliation she endured, and vowed to make a stand against domestic violence and cruelty towards women and children in the country.

    Dinagul Tasova, a fashion model from Kazakhstan, complained on social media that she was beaten up by a person close to her over a revealing dress that she wore at Fashion Night Astana…”

  8. Daesh Militants Kidnap Around 20 People Near Iraq’s Kirkuk – Reports (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Around 20 people living south of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk were kidnapped by militants of the Daesh* terrorist organisation, NRT broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

    Militants attacked a village in the Rashad district, located south-west of Kirkuk, taking 14 locals hostage, Kurdish TV channel NRT reported, adding that the fate of the captives remained unknown.

    According to the outlet, militants captured six more people in other villages south of Kirkuk, however one person managed to escape. Residents of several nearby villages reportedly decided to evacuate…”

  9. Denmark’s Plan to Send Migrant Perps to Desert Island Only Solution – Activist (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Last week, Danish authorities approved the 2019 budget, which included plans to send migrant criminals to the secluded, uninhabited island of Lindholm, located 80 kilometres south of Copenhagen, Deutsche Welle reported. Sputnik discussed the matter with Christine Tasin, the head of a French anti-Islamisation group.

    Sputnik: Is sending migrant criminals to this island a genuine solution to the issue?

    Christine Tasin: At the moment, as the EU and “human-rightists” call the shots in Europe, this is the single possible solution, even if it is temporary.

    As a result, for the traitor leadership of the EU, protection of foreigners has become a priority and is currently even more important than the security of Europeans.

    In France in 2003, President Sarkozy, under the pressure of leftist organisations, renounced the implementation of what was dubbed by opponents “the double penalty” (prison sentence for criminals and expulsion to their country of origin, after the term expires).

    The European Court of Human Rights has often ruled in favour of perpetrators and criminals, who were to be expelled, by finding many good reasons not to deport them to a home country.

    This solution is provisional, until Denmark switches to the same laws as Italy. In France, we hope that soon our government will decide to protect its own citizens and get rid of foreign criminals, who have nothing to do in our country.

    Sputnik: The island is said to be home to a facility researching infectious animal diseases, and many politicians have therefore called this ‘inhuman politics’. What is your stance on this situation?

    Christine Tasin: All over the world there are research laboratories. Those, who work there and those, who live nearby aren’t infected and don’t risk anything.

    There is no problem. Do those, who reject this inhuman policy, actually care about health disorders of those living close to wind turbines?

    In addition, I have no compassion for illegals, who not only broke into our country, but have also been stealing, raping and killing.

    They aren’t humans any more. It’s not for us to pay with our blood or our money for the foreigners in the country. If it brings a little bit more risk than the European way, I don’t see it as a problem. We do everything to treat a criminal equally to a victim.

    Sputnik: This could serve as a solution to the situation where Denmark can’t expel migrants with a criminal record from the country. Is there really no other way to combat migrant inflows?

    Christine Tasin: Of course, there are other solutions… But they can be implemented only in a country that leaves the EU, because the union has been prohibiting the expulsion of illegals in the name of human rights, increasingly frequently.

    Other solutions are simple: restoration of borders (abolition of the Schengen zone), restoration of national sovereignty that will allow people to decide who may enter, who may stays and who should be expelled.

    This island is the second-best solution, but at least the Danish will be safe from the most dangerous illegal migrants. Security is priceless.

    Sputnik: With such measures being pushed by European countries and supported by the public, what does this say about Europe’s true attitude toward migrants?

    Christine Tasin: Unfortunately, at the moment, the majority of the European countries, led by France and Germany, are mostly “pro-migration” and “pro-humanrightist”. We’re paying the price. Such a price that for us, activists fighting immigration and islamisation of our country, the word “pro-migrationist” is offensive…

    The people are waking up. It’s about legitimate defence and precautionary principle, the refusal to sign the Pact of Marrakesh by many countries: Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, USA, Israel, Australia, Switzerland… And this pact will be renounced by president-elect of Brazil, Bolsonaro, shortly after he assumes his post.

    Uncontrolled immigration is a disaster, which endangers not only the security of our children, but also our identity and our civilisation. Long live the islands where we deport the unwanted, who no one knows what to do about!

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.”

  10. US Accuses Saudis of Helping Suspect in Hit-And-Run Attack on Teen Flee – Report (sputniknews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “In the US, a 23-year-old has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, as well as a hit-and-run, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. If convicted, he could face at least 10 years behind bars.

    The US Department of Homeland Security and Marshals Service has accused Riyadh of helping Saudi national Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, who is charged with killing a teenager in an Oregon hit-and-run case, return to his home country in 2017, weeks before his trial, according to The Oregonian.

    The newspaper cited law enforcement officials as saying that the Saudi government had allegedly issued Noorah an illicit passport, probably under a different name, and that he fled on board a private plane.

    The Oregonian also referred to the Saudi consulate, which ostensibly helped Noorah pay his $100,000 bail to contribute to his release.

    This summer, Riyadh reportedly told Homeland Security that Noorah had returned to Saudi Arabia in June 2017, but declined to provide additional details.

    “We’re going to do everything we can to get him back”, Eric Wahlstrom, a supervisory deputy US marshal in Oregon, was quoted by The Oregonian as saying. The US and Saudi Arabia do not have an extradition treaty, which is why many are sceptical about Moorah being brought to US court.

    The lawyer of victim’s family described the information that the Saudi government may have helped Noorah escape prosecution as “trauma on top of trauma”.

    “It begs the question: Why isn’t the Saudi government respecting our justice system? It’s reprehensible”, Chris Larsen underscored.

    23-year-old Noorah is accused of killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart, in Portland, Oregon, in August 2016. The fatal incident took place when the man was reportedly speeding his Lexus through a crossing at up to 60mph (96km/h).

    The Noorah case comes after the US Senate blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for ordering the killing of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On October 2, Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    On October 26, the Saudi prosecutor general acknowledged that the journalist’s murder was premeditated. However, Riyadh maintains that the killing had nothing to do with the Saudi royal family, describing it as a rogue operation.”

  11. Clashes erupt as Sudanese march on presidential palace (abcnews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Clashes erupted Tuesday in the Sudanese capital between police and thousands of protesters attempting to march on the presidential palace to demand that President Omar Bashir step down, according to activists and video clips posted online.

    The clips purported to show crowds of several hundred each gathering on side roads and headed toward the palace on the bank of the Blue Nile in the heart of Khartoum. They sang patriotic songs and chanted “Peaceful, peaceful against the thieves” and “The people want to bring down the regime.” The latter was the most popular slogan of the 2010 and 2011 Arab Spring revolts.

    Large numbers of security forces were deployed across much of Khartoum Tuesday in anticipation of the march, with soldiers riding in all-terrain vehicles. Police used tear gas to disperse some of the protesters.

    The protest was called by an umbrella of independent professional unions and supported by the country’s largest political parties, the Umma and Democratic Nationalist. The organizers want to submit a petition demanding that Bashir, in power for 29 years, step down.

    Tuesday’s march follows nearly a week of protests initially sparked by rising prices and shortages of food and fuel, but which later escalated into calls for Bashir to go. The Sudanese leader was in the al-Jazeera region south of Khartoum on a previously scheduled visit Tuesday. Live TV coverage showed him addressing supporters there…”

    • Merry Christmas, Missouri!
      (No coddling PTSD sufferers, I guess. Fireworkers still startle me, but we’re a resilient tribe. That’s latest inspirational buzzword, anyway.)

      • We have our share of PTSD but it isn’t generally fireworks that trigger their attacks. The man with the worst case that I have met is feeling guilty because he shot a kid that was trying to kill him with a RPG. He knows that the RPG didn’t care what age the user was but he still feels guilty. The one closest to him in severity lost both feet to a land mine.

  12. Congress demands answers on AP’s relationship with Chinese state media

    China’s state-run media companies are rapidly expanding their integration with Western news outlets, as part of Beijing’s worldwide foreign influence operations campaign. In Washington, lawmakers in both parties are calling out such arrangements and demanding U.S. media companies make sure they don’t become tools of Chinese government propaganda.

    As with all authoritarian regimes, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is organized around manipulation and control of information and ideas. Under President Xi Jinping, the party has rapidly and boldly expanded its efforts to influence discussion about China beyond its borders, in part through the global expansion of state-run media outlets. The goal is to suppress any criticism of the Chinese government and shape the international discussion of China in ways favorable to the party’s interests.

    Beijing is committed to limiting free expression, and any partnership between China’s state media enterprises and those of democracies must take this into account, said Chris Walker, senior vice president at the National Endowment of Democracy.

  13. Supreme Court Intervenes In Apparent Mystery Mueller Case

    Chief Justice John Roberts stayed a contempt order in a case that likely arose from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Sunday night.

    Roberts’ order could mark the first time that the Supreme Court has intervened in the Mueller inquiry.

    Very little is known of the case, which reached the justices on Saturday, because the matter has proceeded through the federal courts under seal, meaning strict confidentiality prevails over every detail.

    The scant facts which are available about the case are these: a grand jury issued a subpoena to an unnamed company owned by a foreign government some time during the summer of 2018. That firm, referred to in court filings as “the corporation” has been fighting the subpoena in federal court since August.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released one of the few public filings in the matter on Dec. 18. Since the entity is owned by a foreign government, it sought to quash the subpoena under the protections of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The D.C. Circuit rejected those arguments, and found that the corporation must comply with the subpoena.

  14. Attack on government building in Afghan capital leaves 43 dead: official

    KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan authorities on Tuesday collected 43 bodies from a government compound in the capital Kabul that was targeted by a suicide bomber and extremists armed with assault rifles on Monday, officials said.

    The attack began when the suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car in front of a government building that houses a public welfare department in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul.

    Some of the attackers rampaged through the building of the Ministry for Martyrs and Disabled Persons taking workers hostage, and others fought a prolonged gun battle with local security forces.

  15. Delhi residents spend Christmas indoors as smog emergency reaches fourth day

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Many Delhi residents were forced to spend Christmas indoors this year as air quality remained at “severe to emergency” levels for a fourth day, in the Indian capital’s worst smog crisis this year.

    Senior officials predicted the severe pollution would last another three days due to unusually stagnant and cold air. They issued a three-day emergency response on Monday that included closing area factories and banning construction works.

  16. Bangladesh: 30 journos attacked in Dhaka ahead of polls (AA, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Four days ahead of the parliamentary elections, at least 10 journalists were wounded in an attack in the Bangladeshi capital, according to the victims on Tuesday.

    The incident took place on Monday night when a group of mask-wearing attackers raided a local hotel in capital Dhaka, which was hosting 30 journalists for the election coverage.

    Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mizan Malik, investigation editor of the local daily Jugantor, said that nearly 40 people — wearing masks, wielding iron rods and hockey sticks — attacked the journalists at the hotel rooms.

    Among the injured, Malik said the attackers also vandalized 16 vehicles of the journalists, including of Jamuna tv, a private broadcaster of Bangladesh…”

  17. US-led coalition strikes ISIS targets in Syria, ‘several hundred’ fighters ‘removed’ (CNN, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The US-led combined joint task force fighting ISIS announced Tuesday that it continued airstrikes and coordinated attacks in Syria, days after President Donald Trump’s decision to begin the withdrawal of US troops in the country.

    Operation Inherent Resolve continued supporting its partner forces with “precision air strikes and coordinated fires to make further progress” against ISIS in Syria, the coalition said in a statement.

    The coalition said the coordinated attacks, launched from December 16-22, “severely degraded” the terrorist group’s logistics facilities and staging areas and “removed several hundred ISIS fighters from the battlefield.”

    The airstrikes also targeted ISIS financial centers in eastern Syria, delivering a “significant blow” to its ability to finance terrorist activities, the coalition said.

    “ISIS presents a very real threat to the long-term stability in this region and our mission remains the same, the enduring defeat of ISIS,” UK Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, the deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement Tuesday…”

      • Thanks Norse! That was exactly what I need today.

        You are so welcome, princess! The word substitutions are pretty flawless.

        Please permit me to return a major thank you in your direction for all the translating you’ve been grinding through. Now that it’s the world’s second language, getting foreign content subtitled in English gives it one of the widest-reaching ranges of exposure. Again, thank you so much.

        Remember, never eat anything bigger than your head…

  18. I’ll see you your Dueling Jingle Bells, and raise you by Sugar Foot Rag.

    It may not be a carol, but what’s Christmastime without an homage to Jimi?

  19. Richard: Swamp Rat/Sewer Rat alert

    Speaker Ryan Said He Would Never Support President Trump and He Never Has – Now We Know His Office Was Also Pushing Fake Russia Dossier!

    Speaker Ryan Said He Would Never Support President Trump and He Never Has – Now We Know His Office Was Also Pushing Fake Russia Dossier!
    Jim Hoft by Jim Hoft December 25, 2018 619 Comments

    Speaker Paul Ryan was adamantly against candidate and then President Trump. He said so in a tape released after the election of Ryan speaking with House Republicans.

    He was also allegedly linked to the release of the p*ssy tape which almost cost candidate Trump the election.

    Ryan did nothing to support the President’s border wall and to address the criminal Deep State. He actually allowed the corrupt FBI, DOJ and Mueller investigation to harass President Trump since before his inauguration.

    Now we come to find out that he was involved in pushing the fake Russia Fusion dossier.

  20. On Christmas: Let’s Pray President Trump Learned From Jeff Sessions’ Betrayal and Acts on Lunatic Fed Chief Powell Now!

    We first published in November of 2017 the fact that Jeff Sessions was failing America and his duties as Attorney General.

    We compared Sessions to Benedict Arnold, who is the person who goes down in US history as the greatest traitor to the nation.

    Richard: The law says that a President can only remove a member of the Board of Governors of the Fed “for cause”. This leaves the question of what is cause, a criminal act would be cause but I am not sure that a difference in opinion of what the Fed is doing is cause. There have been a lot of differences of opinion over what the FED should do in the past but no President has fired the Head of the Fed.

    Yes the head of the Fed (Powell) seems to be trying to tank the economy and is doing this for political reasons. He kept interest rates lower then the should have been under Obama to keep the economy from taking due to Obama’s policies. Now that a semi conservative/non Keynesian is in the White House is is raising interest rates much faster then he should. Firing Powell will touch off a political fire storm but not firing him will end up doing the same thing when he causes the economy to tank.

    Politics is the art of the possible I don’t know which will do the least harm to the United States, firing Powell or letting him tank the economy.

  21. ORANGE MAN BAD: Chuck and Nancy Post Identical Tweets Claiming Trump is “Plunging the Country Into Chaos”

    Orange man bad.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) posted the exact same tweet Monday blaming President Trump for “plunging the country into chaos,” after the stock market took a dive.

    Fed Chair Jerome Powell continues to raise interest rates which is causing the stock market to dive, but the Democrats are blaming President Trump.

    First Schumer fired off the tweet.

    Chuck Schumer

    It’s Christmas Eve and President @realDonaldTrump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the President is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve—after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.

    Nancy Pelosi

    It’s Christmas Eve and @realDonaldTrump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve — after he just fired the Secretary of Defense. #TrumpShutdown

  22. The Two Major Strategic Turning Points of 2018

    BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,046, December 25, 2018

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Last summer’s events in the Gaza Strip cast serious doubt on the feasibility of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, as the proximity of that area to Israel’s main population centers and economic/strategic assets ensures its transformation into the main combat zone should it undergo a militarization process similar to that experienced by Gaza and Lebanon. The question is whether the IDF has an effective response to the advent of parallel major threats on several fronts.

    Major wars tend to produce clear and visible strategic turning points. But less dramatic events often generate no lesser shifts, albeit in a subtler and less detectable fashion. Such were the two major turning points in Israel’s security situation that took place in 2018.

    The first relates to the growing threat to the northern front posed by the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis. The recovery of the Assad regime and the reassertion of its control over most of the country has brought the Syrian army back to the Golan Heights, where it was joined by Iranian and Hezbollah forces, as well as by Tehran-backed Shiite militias. The situation was further complicated by the Russian military presence in Syria and the constraints it imposed on Israel’s operational freedom, especially after the September 2018 downing of the Russian plane (by Syrian air defense forces).

  23. CHINA – Man hijacks bus and drives it into crowd, killing 8 & injuring 22 in Longyan, China

    A man has hijacked a bus and drove it into a crowd of people in China’s city of Longyan, killing 8 people and injuring 22 others. The attacker is believed to have entered the bus armed with a knife and caused panic.
    The incident happened in the coastal southeastern Fujian province. The assailant was reportedly detained by police. He apparently attacked passengers with a knife and, when people started fleeing, sat behind the wheel and drove into a crowd. One of those killed is thought to be a police officer.

    Online footage, purporting to be from the scene, shows a road littered with parts from damaged vehicles and a group of police officers and bystanders pouncing on the alleged hijacker.

    Other clips show people lying on the ground, apparently hurt in the incident

    Crazed knifeman hijacks bus before going on stabbing rampage

    Video footage taken by a witness shows a number of police wrestling the attacker to the ground in the middle of a road.

    A witness told the South China Morning Post: “I saw the bus crashing into cars and motorcycles, without breaking.

    “A man with a knife came out of the bus and the police surrounded him and took him down.”

  24. Expat fees being reviewed: Minister (saudigazette, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi said they have completed a study to review expat fees.

    It will soon be presented to the Council of Ministers, Al Arabiya English quoted him as saying in an interview with Rotana Khalijiya on Monday.

    Qassabi said the Cabinet will look into the advantages and challenges that the issue poses, and will announce the decision within a month.

    “The study benefits the country and our nation,” he said, adding, “The government had decided to keep the fees and that the decision is fixed so far, but at the same time it will be comprehensively studied and developments will be reviewed.”

    Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told a post-budget press conference last week that there’s no intention to change the expat fees.

    The expat fees were introduced last year.

    Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will keep its policy of fees on foreign workers but is open to reconsidering them if there’s an economic need.

    “We got mixed feedback so far on the expat fees,” Tuwaijri said in an interview in Riyadh. “The position today is business as usual — we are sticking to our position.”

    Tuwaijri said the government was “willing to look at some of these fees” if there’s a specific sector or industry that would benefit from a change and it would help meet broader goals, such as promoting the balance of payments or creating jobs for Saudis.

    In January, the Kingdom introduced a monthly fee of SR400 on companies for each foreign worker they hire. Firms that employ an equal or greater number of Saudis than expats pay SR300. The monthly fee will increase to SR500-600 per worker per month in 2019 and then SR700-800 per worker per month in 2020.”

  25. Some companies refuse to hire niqab-wearing women: NSHR (saudigazette, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has received complaints from a number of Saudi women saying that some private companies refused to employ them because they were wearing the face-covering niqab, its chairman Mufleh Al-Qahtani has said.

    “The society has noted that some companies prefer women who keep their faces uncovered,” Al-Watan newspaper quoted Al-Qahtani saying.

    “This is a clear discrimination against women in the workplace, which the concerned authorities should intervene and put an end to,” he added.

    Al-Qahtani said some companies rescinded their decision after the society had contacted them.

    “If it is proved that a company has refused to employ a Saudi woman just because she was wearing the face veil or the head scarf, we will sue it at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development,” Al-Qahtani warned.

    He recalled that some companies that revoked the decision after the society contacted them put the blame on an employee who is not well aware of the company’s policy.

    “The employment of women should be based on their qualifications and competence, not on what they wear or how they look,” he said.

    Lawyer Abdulaziz Al-Mahaili said the preference for the job offer should not be based on the outward appearance of a candidate but rather on their educational qualifications and practical experience.

    He said the employer has every right to choose the employee who suits him most but he should not dismiss women candidates for wearing face veil or head cover.

    The lawyer advised the women who rejected because of their style of clothing to complain to the Ministry of Labor, not to the courts.”

  26. Pakistani politician Ali Raza Abidi assassinated (gulfnews, Dec 25, 2018)–ali-raza-abidi-assassinated-1.1545758599579

    “Karachi: Ali Raza Abidi, a former Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) lawmaker, was shot dead here on Tuesday, police said.

    SSP South Pir Mohammad Shah was reported by GeoTv as saying the shooting occurred outside Abidi’s home in in the Khayaban-e-Ghazi neighbourhood of Defense Housing Authority (DHA).

    The shooters have not been identified, but witnesses recalling seeing two people on a motorbike gunning down the former member of the National Assembly as he exited his car.

    He was transported to PNS Shifa Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.”

  27. Morocco’s BCIJ Chief: War Against ISIS Will Take a Long Time (moroccoworldnews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Abdelhak Khiame, the head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) has spoken about his department’s counterterrorism strategy which has overthrown dozens of terror cells and investigated countless suspects since its creation in 2015.

    Since its creation, BCIJ has dismantled 59 terror cells, 51 of which had ties to ISIS, said El Khiame in an interview with Moroccan television channel 2M.

    Khiame added that since 2015, the number of terrorist cells in Morocco have decreased, owing to BCIJ’s counter-terrorism branch.

    Khiame said that his services dismantled 9 cells this year and 8 last year.

    The BCIJ chief said that 918 people were arrested for terror-related crimes, including 14 women and 29 minors. He noted that 98 percent of the people arrested in terror-related cases are Moroccans. He emphasized that very few women are involved in cases related to terrorism if “we exclude the female cell that was dismantled last year.”

    Speaking about terror suspects who fought in conflict zones, the official said that of the 183 cells dismantled since 2002, 62 terror cells have been dismantled since 2013. The 62 terror cells all had close links to terrorist groups operating in conflict zones, including ISIS.

    BCIJ’s head added that 1,666 Moroccan fighters joined the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. About 929 of this number joined ISIS and about 225 others have a criminal record linked to terrorism.

    Khiame said that 239 have returned from conflict zones while 643 others were killed in conflict zones. The majority were killed in suicide attacks, including “ISIS wives” and children.

    He said that returness always impose a threat to the countries that receive them. “The Kingdom of Morocco knows that [returnees] will pose a threat to the security of citizens and its stability. That is why it put in place the counterterrorism strategy in 2015.”

    End of ISIS in conflict zones?

    Khiame said that the defeat of ISIS in the Middle East does not mean the end of the war against terrorism. He said that after the air strikes by the counterterrorism coalition in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has moved its terror projects to other places, including southern Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

    Khiame said that “no one should say that the ISIS threat has not ended.” He argued that the war against ISIS will take a long time. He said that social media helps terrorists to spread their ideologies easily…”

  28. Royal Moroccan Navy Rescues 202 Irregular Migrants in Mediterranean (moroccoworldnews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The Royal Moroccan Navy rescued 202 irregular migrants, mostly sub-Saharans onboard unsafe boats, in the Mediterranean Sea on December 22 and 23.

    The migrants included women and children, a military source has said.

    The source added that five bodies were also found in these boats, adding that the rescued people received the necessary first aid as they were found in bad condition. The migrants were transported to the ports of Nador, Tangier, and Al Hoceima.

    Morocco has dismantled a dozen irregular migration networks throughout the year. On December 21, police in Tangier disbanded a human trafficking network.

    Morocco has become not only a transit country for migrants but also sometimes a final destination.

    Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, has said that Morocco wants African migrants in the country to enjoy civil rights and a good quality of life as much as it wishes for Moroccans abroad to do so.

    Bourita also emphasized, in the aftermath of the approval of the global compact on migration, that migrants should not be treated as criminals.

    Earlier this month, the European Union pledged an aid of €148 million to financially assist Morocco on the migration front.

    A statement published the European Commission’s website announced that the European body will pledge a further €148 million to financially assist Morocco on the migration front.

    The statement added that “the additional funding adopted under the EU emergency Trust Fund for Africa will bring the overall migration-related assistance to Morocco to €148 million in 2018. It will help step up the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, including through reinforced integrated border management.””

  29. Turkey demands Google to remove ‘Kurdistan’ map: Minister (hurriyetdailynews, Dec 25, 2018)

    “Turkey has demanded Google to remove a map of “Kurdistan,” which includes its own territory, a minister said Dec. 24.

    Answering a parliamentary question from ?Y? (Good) Party, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turan said Turkish authorities were aware of the map on Google Earth, which also encompasses Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian territories as a “geo-cultural region.”

    “Information and Communication Technologies Authority [BTK] officials talked to the platform’s [Google] representatives for the urgent removal of the map as part of their liabilities over national and international statutes,” the minister said in his response.

    “We are following the developments and maintaining our contacts,” he added.”

  30. German police find ‘Islamic State’ flag after suspected attack on Berlin railway track (DW, Dec 25, 2018)

    “The flag and a text in Arabic were found close to the site where an overhead contact wire was found damaged. It is unclear if the propaganda objects were related to the damage caused to the overhead power cable.

    German police said on Tuesday they had recovered a flag of the “Islamic State” (IS) group and a text in Arabic close to a railway track in Berlin where an overhead power cable was found to be damaged on Sunday.

    Investigators are trying to ascertain if the propaganda objects were linked to the damage caused to the overhead contact wire. They are also examining if the perpetrators had any political motives.

    “Since the beginning of the investigation, several pieces of evidence have been secured,” police said, adding that investigators found a torn steel cable and the damaged overhead contact wire at the train track on Sunday.

    Germany’s train operator informed the police of the damage. The incident caused a temporary disruption in local train services in the German capital.

    It remains unclear if there is any connection between the incident in Berlin and a similar case on a railway line between the southern German cities of Nuremberg and Munich where unknown suspects tried to damage or even derail a high-speed train with a steel cable in October.”

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