Contributor’s Links post for January 13, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

134 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for January 13, 2019”

  1. Wikipedia blocked in Venezuela as internet controls tighten
    POSTED ON JANUARY 12, 2019
    The NetBlocks internet observatory has collected technical evidence of the blocking all editions of Wikipedia in Venezuela as of 12 January 2019. The restrictions are implemented by the largest telecommunications provider CANTV.

  2. Germany launches program “counseling parents who are concerned their children may be flirting with extremism”

    “Flirting with extremism” meaning what? Becoming more Islamic? Like all these programs, this one too, is doomed to fail. These “deradicalization” programs won’t deal with the motive, the religious motive — the inspiration for this holy war — namely, Islam, so how could they possibly be successful?

    Suspected drug smugglers get stuck trying to drive over U.S.-Mexico border fence
    MFA Media Group POSTED ON JANUARY 13, 2019 024 Views2

    Share On Facebook
    Tweet It

    YUMA, Ariz. Suspected smugglers who tried to use ramps to drive an SUV over a 14-foot-tall border fence had to abandon their plan when the Jeep became stuck on top of the barrier, authorities said Wednesday.

    Agents patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border near the Imperial Sand Dunes in California’s southeast corner spotted the Jeep Cherokee teetering atop the fence early Tuesday, Border Patrol spokesman Spencer Tippets said. The vehicle was perched about five miles west of the Colorado River and the Arizona state line.

    The Jeep was spotted just after midnight, CBS Yuma affiliate KSWT-TV reports. Two smugglers on the Mexican side of the border were trying to free the Jeep when the agents approached, Tippets said. They ran further into Mexico and escaped. The Jeep was empty, but agents said it was probably filled with contraband like bales of marijuana before it got high-centered atop the fence.

  4. Richard: The bill the article talked about has very little chance of passing through the Senate or being signed into law by President Trump. (It may be Constitutional but that will require a Supreme Court Decision.) While I doubt it will become law while the Republicans hold one house of Congress and the Presidency this is telling us what they are planning for when they manage to get control of a super majority in both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. This bill if passed would give the Dems permanent control of Congress and the Presidency. This allows them to set up the registration process that they can flood all polling places with fake voters and ensure that the people have no say in who is elected.

    The Third World actions by the Dem in the last two elections show they don’t care if we know they are stealing the elections. They think we the people are to divided and that the military might of the US is such that we can’t have a successful revolution.

    This bill is another reason to support a Convention of the States to amend the Constitution so they can’t change the laws so they can steal all elections through laws like this.

    H.R. 1: Democrats Act to Strip State Powers Over Elections

    If you thought the midterm elections had problems, wait until you learn about Nancy Pelosi’s plan to terminate state control over American elections.

    Democrats in Congress have announced their top legislative priority, and it isn’t health care, immigration, or taxes. Instead, they want to centralize power over elections in Washington, D.C. H.R. 1 is number one on the legislative agenda because it is the number one priority of House Democrats, leftist groups, deep-pocketed dark money, and those who use election process rules to help win elections — or at least to cause chaos.

    The bill is a 571-page dreamscape of wild wishes and federal mandates on states. The Constitution decentralizes power over American elections and puts states in charge. H.R. 1 would undo that.

    Decentralization promotes individual liberty. When power over elections is centralized, it is easier for that power to be abused. When power over elections is decentralized, no single malevolent actor can exert improper control over the process. That is precisely why Democrats are so eager for Washington, D.C., to have more power over our elections.

  5. I’ve been a bit out of touch lately, so, forgive me if this has already been covered.

    Does the abrupt and sudden resignation of the World Bank – a globalist Obama appointee – mean that Trump is laying down the groundwork to audit the Federal Reserve, and that the timing of the government closure and the histrionics about the wall are distractions so that he could get it dome?

    This guy seems to think so and I simply do not know enough about the topic to form an educated opinion.

  6. zero hedge – Fake News? How About No News?

    Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?

    Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?

    Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France?

    CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today. Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though. And also of such important stories as “Want to Pay off Your Mortgage? Try Frugal Minimalism.”

    You might think France, a major western European country, coming unglued – and on the verge of its government outright banning “unauthorized” criticism of its actions – might at least be . . . well, news.

    Instead, nothing.

    Which is very interesting, given what the yellow vests are protesting. This being chiefly the purposely punitive taxes on fuel – diesel especially – imposed by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In the name of “climate change” – but really in the name of squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars. These taxes – already extortionate and brutally regressive – were on track to increase the cost of a gallon of fuel to more than $7.

    This brought the French not to their knees – but to the streets. The yellow vests – which are reflective jackets every French motorist is required by law to keep in their vehicle, to be worn in the event of an emergency – were donned for a different kind of emergency.

    And Macron buckled. The tax hike has been rescinded. But did you read about it?

    Probably not – unless you went out of your way to look for it. Mainstream press coverage of this effective protest has been as scanty as its coverage of the reason for the yellow vest protests – which by the way continue, notwithstanding Macron’s retreat.

    The reason being that Macron has not retreated in principle from resurrecting the tax, once the protests are well in hand. He hasn’t abandoned the “climate change” excuse for the tax; indeed, he is as adamant as ever that energy austerity be imposed. Well, on the French people.

    Not on him and those in his class.

    The yellow vests know this, which is why they haven’t gone home yet.

    Macron made the great tactical mistake of pushing the people of France too hard, too soon.

    And the American press doesn’t want you to know about it.

    Nor – apparently – about the latest news out of France, which is that Macron’s government has floated the idea of a new law criminalizing “unauthorized” demonstrations of, well, anything the French government happens not to like its citizens protesting.

    Macron’s Prime Minister, Eduouard Philippe, characterizes such citizens as “troublemakers” – a species of word very much of the same species as “climate change” in that both are conveniently vague as well as conveniently defined to be whatever the user wishes them to be.

    Big snowstorm? Climate change!

    Criticize the government? You are a troublemaker!

    French citizens are already being arrested for less – merely for wearing a yellow vest. “Those who question our institutions will not have the last word,” Philippe declared. Mark that. It will be enough, in France, to question our institutions to be subject to arrest, prosecution and caging.

    Which means, questioning the policies of the government – including those related to the “climate change” religion. Which brings us full circle to the absence of coverage of these events.[…]

    • French citizens are already being arrested for less – merely for wearing a yellow vest.

      The next logical step is to outlaw the possession of a yellow vest. After all, if, “yellow vests … are reflective jackets every French motorist is required by law to keep in their vehicle”, then this immediately criminalizes all automobile owners. Thus making their personal transportation readily available for government seizure.

      If the primary objective is, “squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars”, then this is the quickest way of doing it. All the same, I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickle on the government mouthpiece that’s saddled with announcing this plan making it to retirement.

  7. A son of North Korea’s elite realizes what NK is – and something breaks inside him…made me cry.

    Should be a must see for every young person

  8. BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s antitrust watchdog plans to order Facebook to stop gathering some user data, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

    The Federal Cartel Office, which has been investigating Facebook since 2015, has already found that the social media giant abused its market dominance to gather data on people without their knowledge or consent.

    The Bild am Sonntag newspaper said the watchdog will present the U.S. company with its ruling on what action it needs to take in the next few weeks.

    A Facebook spokeswoman said the company disputes the watchdog’s findings and will continue to defend this position.

    The investigation is being closely watched amid mounting concerns over leaks of data on tens of millions of Facebook users, as well as the use of social media by foreign powers seeking to influence elections in the United States.

    • Must be fun to be a cop with a canine

      I’d love to think that magnificent beast had a partiality for oysters.

      At least, that’s what I hope all the yelling and screaming was about.

  9. BLOOMBERG – Macron Tells French It’s Time to Channel Anger Away From Streets

    President Emmanuel Macron published a “Letter to the French,” the first step in a three-month national debate he hopes will dissipate the anger displayed in the recent violent protests, without derailing the reforms he insists France needs.

    Macron laid out topics while signaling he isn’t open to all suggestions, saying he won’t reverse tax cuts enacted early on that he says are starting to bear fruit. The president will kick off events on Tuesday with a visit to a town west of Paris, where he’ll meet local mayors who will help run the debates.

    Macron unveiled the “Great National Debate” on Nov. 27 in response to the Yellow Vests movement, which began as a protest against gasoline taxes before morphing into broader unrest about the cost of living and the state of democracy in France, sometimes accompanied by violent demonstrations.

    In the letter, Macron said he understood that many French are “unhappy or angry” because “taxes are too high for some, public services are far away, and salaries are too low for some to live with dignity.” But he denounced the violence that has accompanied nine weeks of protests.

    Channeling Anger

    The four themes on the table — ecological transition, public finances, democracy and the organization of the state — are meant to underpin new policy measures. In his letter, Macron told the French he wants to channel “your anger into solutions.”

    Town halls already have put out “grievance notebooks” for citizens to submit complaints and suggestions, a practice dating back to before the French Revolution in 1789. The government also will publish a kit on organizing a debate, which in theory can be done by anyone.

    While 34 percent of the French plan to take part in the debate, 70 percent said it won’t be useful, according to an Odoxa poll published Jan. 10.

    In a rebuff to the protesters, Macron said high taxes stifle the economy and vowed “we will not go back on measures that we have taken to correct these effects and to encourage investments.” Many Yellow Vests have criticized Macron’s decisions at the start of his term in 2017 to limit a wealth tax and cut corporate income tax.

    • FRANCE 24 – Gilets jaunes : Macron dévoile sa lettre aux Français

      Emmanuel Macron a adressé sa lettre aux Français dimanche soir. Il y trace le chemin du grand débat et exclut de revenir sur l’ISF.

      Après près de deux mois de mobilisation des Gilets jaunes, qui a rassemblé pour le neuvième acte, samedi 12 janvier, 84 000 manifestants en France, Emmanuel Macron s’adresse une nouvelle fois aux Français, dimanche soir.

      Dans une lettre rendue publique dans la soirée, le Président appelle tous les Français à prendre part au débat : une trentaine de questions pour encadrer le grand débat et “transformer les colères en solutions”. Les thèmes des questions avaient été définis le 10 décembre : fiscalité, modèle social, démocratie, institutions, transition écologique et diversité, immigration, laïcité. Le Président promet qu’il “tirera toutes les conclusions” de cette consultation inédite, qui sera lancée mardi



      Lettre aux Français

    • reuters – With 2,300-word letter, Macron launches debate to quell ‘yellow vest’ unrest

      PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday kicked off a three-month national debate he hopes can quell the “yellow vest” unrest with a letter to the French in which he pledged to listen to new ideas but stuck to his core economic reform agenda.

      Macron’s initiative comes after nine weeks of protests by the “yellow vests” — named after the high-visibility jackets they wear. The disparate anti-government uprising has wreaked havoc in Paris and French cities, shaken the economy and challenged his authority.

      “For me, there is no banned issue. We won’t agree on everything, which is normal in a democracy. But at least we’ll show we’re a people which is not afraid of talking, exchanging, debating,” Macron wrote in the letter published by his office.

      But Macron said he would remain faithful to his campaign manifesto, and appeared to rule out rolling back some of the pro-business economic reforms, such as scrapping a wealth tax, which have earned him the nickname “president of the rich”.

      “When taxes are too high, our economy is starved of the resources that could be usefully invested in companies, creating jobs and growth,” Macron wrote.

      “We will not undo the measures we have introduced to put this right, encourage investment and ensure that work pays more.”

      In the 2,330-word letter, to be published in French newspapers, he also asked a series of questions he hoped the French will answer in town hall meetings across the country or in online questionnaires.

      Below are some of the questions Macron asked:

      – Which taxes do you think we should cut?

      – What kind of public spending savings do you think we should make a priority?

      – Are there too many administrative layers?

      – Should we use referendums more often and who should be able to trigger them?

      Macron said proposals made during the debate will help build a new “contract for the nation” and influence government policy-making and France’s stance on European and international issues.

      He said he would give his own conclusions within a month of the end of the debate on March 15, but did not mention a possible referendum on his policies, an idea floated privately by some in his administration.

      “This is how I intend to turn anger into solutions,” he said

      the guardian – Macron seeks to turn ‘anger into solutions’ in open letter to France

      French president wants 2,300-word missive to spark national debate about policy reform

      Emmanuel Macron has launched a two-month “great national debate” in France with a 2,330-word open letter to the country.

      The French president hopes the nationwide public consultation will take the sting out of the widespread public anger behind the rise of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement and the civil unrest across France.

      In the letter, Macron said he was open to ideas and suggestions but insisted the government would not go back on previous reforms or key measures in his 2017 election campaign.

      “No questions are banned,” Macron writes. “We won’t agree on everything, that’s normal, that’s democracy. But at least we’ll show that we are a people who are not afraid to speak, to exchange views and debate. And perhaps we’ll discover that we might even agree, despite our different persuasions, more often than we think.”

      Macron has been rocked by the ferocity of almost two months of angry protests by gilets jaunes. On Saturday a ninth weekend of demonstrations took place across France.

      The letter, to be published in French newspapers on Monday, marks the start of a nationwide consultation in which citizens are invited to give their views on four central themes: taxation; the organisation of the state and its public administration; ecological transition; and citizenship and democracy.

      Macron’s missive asks a number of questions, including: what taxes should be reduced?; what spending cuts might be a priority?; is there too much administration?; how can the people be given a greater say in running the country?

      Macron said the proposals collected during the debate would build a new “contract for the nation”, influence political policymaking and establish France’s stance on national, European and international issues.

      “This is how I intend, with you, to transform anger into solutions,” he wrote.

      Accepting that everyone wanted taxes that were “fairer and more efficient”, he warned against unrealistic expectations, adding there could be no drop in taxation without cuts in public spending.

      Macron and his centrist administration have been under intense pressure since November when public anger over an eco-tax on petrol and diesel sparked the gilets jaunes movement. Although the tax was dropped, protests have widened to adopt a wide range of anti-government grievances.

      Outside the cities, gilets jaunes continue to picket roundabouts around the country with ad hoc protests calling for a drop in taxes on food and essential goods, lower social charges and increased spending power.

      On Saturday there were further clashes between police and protesters in many French cities, with accusations of violence from both sides.

      In the letter, Macron wrote that he would accept “no form of violence” including “pressure and insults” against “elected representatives, media journalists, state institutions or public servants”.

      “If everyone is being aggressive to everyone else, society falls apart,” he wrote.

      Macron wrote that he would give his conclusions within a month of the end of the consultation process on 15 March. The letter ends: “In confidence. Emmanuel Macron”.

  10. Trump threatens to devastate Turkey’s economy if it attacks Kurds (mee, Jan 14, 2019)

    “US President Donald Trump on Sunday warned Turkey of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in the wake of the US troop pullout from Syria, while also urging the Kurds not to “provoke” Ankara.

    Trump took to Twitter to reveal some of his latest thoughts in the slow drip-drip of information being released by his administration after his shocking December announcement of the troop withdrawal, AFP reported.

    His top diplomat Mike Pompeo is on a whirlwind regional tour aimed at reassuring allies amid rising tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington’s Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

    Pompeo also sought to reassure Washington’s Kurdish allies in the fight against IS, who fear the departure of American troops may allow Turkey to attack them.

    Turkey had reacted angrily to suggestions that Trump’s plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the Turkish government as terrorists.

    Ahead of Trump’s move, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch another operation in Syria targeting the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

    Erdogan, who has welcomed the pullout plan, last week accused Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, of a “grave mistake” in demanding that Ankara provide assurances on the safety of the Kurdish fighters before Washington withdraws its troops.

    “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,” Trump tweeted, while pushing for the creation of a 20-mile (30-km) “safe zone.”

    “Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

    Trump did not detail who would create, enforce or pay for the safe zone, or where it would be located.

    US-led operations against IS in Syria have been spearheaded on the ground by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    Ankara sees the backbone of that alliance, the YPG, as a terrorist group linked to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

    Still, an SDF official said on Sunday that IS militants are “living their final moments” in the last enclave they hold near the Iraqi border, where SDF forces are attacking them.

    A defeat of the militants in the enclave would wipe out IS’s territorial foothold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, Reuters said…”

    • WSJ – Trump Warns Turkey Not to Attack Kurds in Syria

      ‘Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,’ the president said on Twitter, while also calling on Kurds not to provoke Ankara

      WASHINGTON—President Trump vowed on Sunday to devastate Turkey’s economy if it targets Kurdish populations in northern Syria as the U.S. withdraws its forces, and called for a 20-mile safe zone between the Turkish border and U.S.-allied fighters.

      The president on Twitter also called upon America’s Kurdish allies not to provoke Turkey, and said U.S. forces were continuing to fight Islamic State militants in Syria.

      “Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms,” he said. “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone…Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

      Turkish officials in Washington couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

      Last week, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said the U.S. withdrawal from Syria is contingent on whether Turkey can guarantee the safety of the Kurdish forces across its border. His statement enraged the government in Ankara just as he was set to arrive there, prompting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refuse to meet with Mr. Bolton. Later that day, Mr. Erdogan delivered a speech to parliament saying that Mr. Bolton had made a “serious mistake.”

      Turkey has insisted for years that Syria’s Kurdish rebel groups are terrorists and pose an existential threat. Turkish officials had applauded the U.S. decision to leave Syria and end its partnership with the Kurdish YPG militia, but were quickly put off when the U.S. later called on Turkey not to take any action against the Kurds in northern Syria.

      Kurdish fighters have long provided the U.S. with support in the campaign against Islamic State. But Turkey considers itself justified in targeting those fighters, and doesn’t draw distinctions between those groups and Islamic State and other militant groups.

      Mr. Trump also said on Sunday that Russia, Iran and Syria have benefited from the counter-ISIS campaign led by the U.S. in Syria.

      “We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home,” he said. “Stop the ENDLESS WARS!”

      Mr. Erdogan’s objections represented a fresh bout of friction between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, which have sparred over geopolitical issues for months.

      While it is highly unlikely that the U.S. would take military action against a NATO ally, officials said the U.S. could take other action against Turkey if Ankara targets the Kurds and would likely receive congressional support for any such action.

      The U.S. used economic leverage including sanctions and trade tariffs to compel Turkey to release an American pastor from imprisonment last year, and it could resort to similar measures if Turkey were to target Kurdish rebels after the U.S. exits Syria.

      Turkey has had a lot at stake as it sought to improve ties with the Trump administration. Its economy is faltering, and calls for a bailout are growing. Its place as a regional powerhouse also has increasingly come into question in recent years.

      The International Monetary Fund predicted in October that Turkey’s gross domestic output would grow 3.5% in 2018—less than half its 2017 expansion of 7.4%—and only 0.4% in 2019.

      Pressure on the lira saw inflation rates soar to nearly 25% in September, marking the highest levels since Mr. Erdogan came to power 15 years ago, the fund said.

      On Mr. Bolton’s last day in Turkey last Tuesday, the lira fell sharply against the U.S. dollar, as well as the euro, as tensions rose between Turkey and the U.S. over military involvement in Syria.
      Twitter @realDonaldTrump

      Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….

      Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!

  11. Saudi minister slams Arab Spring revolutions (memo, Jan 13, 2019)

    “A Saudi minister on Saturday warned against revolutions that lead to the “usurpation of power”, according to the official SPA news agency.

    Speaking at a meeting of Saudi preachers in Riyadh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, warned against revolutions carried out by “sedition seekers”.

    The minister went on to particularly criticise “uprisings falsely named the Arab Spring revolutions.”

    “These revolutions are deadly and poisonous to the Arab Muslim man,” Al Sheikh said, adding that such uprisings bring destruction to the country and the people.

    “This is all because of sedition seekers and those who will exploit religion to seize power,” he said, going on to call for renouncing such ideas and urged everyone in the society to unite together in favor of security of the homeland.

    By the end of 2018, eight Arab countries witnessed protests against deteriorating economic conditions amid calls for higher standards of living. In a few cases, demonstrators have articulated political demands.

    The protests – seen in Sudan, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Algeria – coincided with the eighth anniversary of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, which kicked off in Tunisia and several other countries in 2011.

    Some Arab demonstrators have drawn inspiration from the ongoing “yellow vest” protests in France, which began in November to protest tax increases on fuel, along with other grievances.”

  12. Iran says it is taking initial steps to design reactor fuel (reuters, jan 13, 2019)

    “Iran is taking preliminary steps to design uranium fuel with a purity of 20 percent for reactors instead of having to copy foreign designs, Iran’s nuclear chief said on Sunday.

    Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers caps the level to which it is able to enrich uranium to 3.67 percent purity, well below the 20 percent it was reaching before the deal, and the roughly 90 percent that is weapons-grade.

    Iran is, however, allowed to produce nuclear fuel under strict conditions that need to be approved by a working group set up by the signatories to the deal. Those conditions include ensuring that the fuel cannot be converted to uranium hexafluoride, the feedstock for centrifuges that enrich uranium.

    “We have made such progress in nuclear science and industry that, instead of reverse-engineering and the use of designs by others, we can design new fuel ourselves,” state broadcaster IRIB quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying.

    “Initial measures have been started for the design of modern 20 percent fuel and we’re on the verge of (achieving) it. This product is different from the previous 20 percent fuel, and we can supply fuel to any reactor that is built like the Tehran reactor,” Salehi said.

    “The Tehran reactor has so far been working with old fuel, but modern fuel can improve efficiency,” he added.

    Iranian officials have repeatedly criticized delays in setting up a new European Union payments mechanism for Iranian oil exports, which are hit by U.S. sanctions. But Tehran has stopped short of moves that could jeopardize the accord.

    U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord last year, arguing that it was weak because it did not halt Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or support for armed proxies abroad, and he reimposed sanctions on Iran’s vital oil export sector.

    But Europe sees the nuclear deal as an important element of international security.

    The EU and other remaining parties – China and Russia – have tried with limited success to preserve trade incentives for Iran to respect the deal’s nuclear limits under U.S. pressure.”

  13. Sex abuse cases color immigration debate before Finnish election (reuters, Jan 13, 2019)

    “The parliamentary heads of two of Finland’s largest parties have called for action after investigations against 19 foreign-born men on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors.

    The issue has boosted the support of the anti-immigration, populist The Finns Party, whose popularity jumped two points to over 10 percent in the latest poll published by the national broadcaster YLE ahead of a parliamentary election on April 14.

    Police have said there were foreign-born men among the 16 investigated for rape or other sexual abuses of adolescent girls in the town of Oulu over the last two months. On Sunday, police in Helsinki said they had arrested three foreign-born men on similar charges.

    Antti Kaikkonen, parliamentary head of the coalition-leading Centre Party, called for a meeting of all the parliamentary party heads, tweeting: “Everyone who comes to Finland has to follow the local laws.”

    Antti Lindtman, parliamentary head of the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, said: “The question is, are there measures we could take now – even during this term – to prevent cowardly crimes like these? Yes, there are.”

    Prime Minister Juha Sipila tweeted that the government would discuss the “inhuman and reprehensible events” twice next week.

    The topic is shocking for many in Finland, which sees itself as one of the safest and happiest countries on earth.

    A citizens’ initiative to withdraw asylum from people convicted of a sex crime has doubled its signatures in just a few days and reached 25,000 on Sunday – half the total needed to force parliament to consider the issue.

    The country of 5.5 million people has historically had very few immigrants. But the issue has become more fraught since the European refugee crisis of 2015, which caused the number of asylum seekers to almost quadruple to 28,208 in 2016.

    Statistics Finland says around 1,200 cases of sexual abuse of minors are reported to the police each year, and that foreigners were involved in 18 percent of the cases that came to trial last year.

    Lindtman proposed toughening the penalties for sex crimes against minors and withdrawing asylum from people convicted of serious violent or sexual crimes.”

  14. 293,708 Moroccans Registered for 2018 US Diversity Visa Program (moroccoworldnews, Jan 13, 2019)

    “The US Consular Affairs Office issued a report showing statistics of citizens from across the world who registered for the 2018 US Diversity Visa Lottery program.

    The report shows that around 293,708 Moroccans registered for the program, representing a notable increase from the two past years.

    In 2016, 201,964 Moroccans registered for the program against 286,421 in 2017.

    The number of Algerians seeking a green card in 2018 surpassed Moroccans. In 2018; 342;857 Algerians registered for the Diversity VISA Program against 252,733 in 2017.

    Tunisians account for 25,587 in 2017 against 24,446 in 2016.

    The number of Ukrainians registered for the 2018 Diversity VISA program is 1,450,487 against 1,470;250 in 2017. From Uzbekistan, 2,114,446 people registered for the lottery program in 2018.

    The US Department of State announced the opening of the registration period in October 2017.

    The US grants 50,000 immigrant visas through the diversity visa lottery each year to foreign citizens of eligible countries, including Morocco.

    Although thousands of Moroccans apply annually for the program, only 900-1,000 of the selected receive the permanent residence visas.”

  15. Algerian Politician Warns Against Unprecedented Crisis in Algeria (moroccoworldnews, Jan 13, 2019)

    “Abderrazak Makri, the leader of Algerian Islamist political party, the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) warned against an unprecedented crisis that Algeria may experience beginning in late 2019.

    Starting from late 2019 until 2022, “we will experience unprecedented lean years. They will be difficult for Algeria and the ordinary citizen will feel the burden more than others,” Makri wrote on his Facebook page on January 11.

    The politician, who pleads for the postponement of the presidential election of April 2019, lamented that “the struggle for power and money dominates the political scene” in Algeria.

    Few Algerians, according to Makri, “are worried about the economic and social risks that will make Algeria very vulnerable to regional and international threats in the short term.”

    Makri warned at the end of his post, “I fear that when all Algerians recognize those who warn and advise from those who deceit and betray, it will be too late.”

    A few days before Makri’s warning, a former Algerian prime minister Ahmed Benbitour said that Algeria is going through a deep political crisis due to the “autocratic and paternalistic” regime.

    Benbitour, who is also an economist, stressed that there should be mobilization to make the current regime relinquish its hold on power and the country’s resources, to help save the political failure and economic crisis.

    For Benbitour, Algeria’s “responsible elites” have to assess the situation, inform the population of the dire state of the country, and force a “peaceful” regime change.

    “Our country is governed by an authoritarian, paternalistic, and patrimonialist regime that thrives on rent-seeking and economic predation,” Benbitour said Monday in Algiers at a conference on “The Mission of Elites in Saving the Country.”

    “A regime change is the key to solving all of our other governance-linked issues,” he added.”

  16. Pakistan misused funds given by US: envoy (tribune, Jan 13, 2019)

    “Former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Sunday alleged that Pakistan had failed to utilise the funds given by his country in an adequate manner.

    Addressing an event organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, the former envoy said the US granted funds to Pakistan during the tenure of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for curbing terrorism.

    On the possible meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan, the former ambassador also said that President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan “may find some sort of common ground” if and when a meeting is held between the two leaders…”

  17. War on terror: K-9 unit conducted 68 successful operations (tribune, Jan 13, 2019)

    “The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police K-9 Unit has so far conducted 68 successful operations against terrorists as the sniffer dogs of this unit were made part and parcel of these operations carried out in the province in which huge quantity of arms, ammunitions and explosives material were recovered.

    As per directives of the Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa IGP Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, like other units of the K-P police, the K-9 unit has also been further strengthened in the ongoing war against terrorists.

    Spokesperson of the unit on Saturday said that the 62 sniffer dogs of this unit were regularly taking part in search and strike operations being carried out throughout the province on daily basis.

    The sniffer dogs of the unit took part in 68 operations conducted against the anti-state elements since its establishment in 2008 when terrorism was at its peak.

    The sniffer dogs demonstrated their peculiar skill beyond expectations in these operations and thus enabled police to recover huge cache of arms and explosive materials.”

  18. Poland: Gdansk mayor stabbed on stage during charity event

    The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdansk was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on Saturday, after being stabbed in the abdomen on stage at a charity event in his city.

    Pawel Adamowicz was speaking during a fundraiser organised by Poland’s largest charitable organisation, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, when he was attacked.

    The suspected attacker, a 27 year-old Gdansk local with an extensive criminal record, was arrested at the scene.

    According to a police spokesperson the suspect gained access to the stage with a media pass, but it is not yet known how it was acquired.

  19. Trump Announces Beginning of ‘Long Overdue Pullout’ of US Troops from Syria (sputniknews, Jan 14, 2019)

    “US President Donald Trump tweeted that Washington is beginning its pullout of US troops from Syria.

    Trump announced on his Twitter page that US troops in Syria are starting their pullout “while hitting the little remaining ISIS [Daesh*]’ terrorists ‘from many directions”, adding that US “will attack again from existing nearby base if it [Daesh terrorist group] reforms”.

    Donald J. Trump
    Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….

    11:53 PM – Jan 13, 2019

    ?In tweets, Trump claimed that ‘Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria’.

    The US president also warned that it ‘will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds’….”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *