Contributor’s Links post for January 14, 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 14, 2019”

  1. On What Grounds Can the FBI Investigate the President as a Counterintelligence Threat?

    The New York Times reported on Jan. 11 that the FBI “began investigating whether President Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests” soon after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. In other words, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation on the president.

    The Times reports that my friend and former colleague, former FBI General Counsel James Baker, said during testimony to House investigators in October 2018 that “Not only would [firing Comey] be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security.” The Times paraphrases Baker’s testimony as follows: “If the president had fired Mr. Comey to stop the Russia investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau’s effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved.

    • ‘Absolutely Disgraceful’: King Blasts Reported FBI Trump-Russia Probe, ‘Bias at the Top’ of Bureau

      Rep. Peter King said it would be “absolutely disgraceful” of the FBI to question if President Trump’s motivation for firing former director James Comey was tied to Russia.

    • CNN analyst: 18 reasons why Trump may be a Russian asset

      Max Boot, a columnist for the Washington Post, discusses with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin his article listing out 18 reasons why President Donald Trump could be a Russian asset.

  2. FBI Spy Stefan Halper’s Media Contacts Could Pose A Problem, Retired FBI Officials Say

    While working as a spy for the FBI, Stefan Halper interacted on multiple occasions with the media, both on the record and, according to a University of Cambridge researcher, as an anonymous background source.

    Those media interactions, which occurred between December 2016 and March 2017, could be cause for concern for the FBI, according to two retired senior bureau officials who worked closely with confidential informants during their careers.

    “This is something that is highly irregular and not something that I would have ever tolerated with any of the folks working for me,” retired FBI investigator and CNN analyst James Gagliano told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The road is fraught with peril when somebody is speaking off the cuff or speaking to the media and putting themselves in a position where that can then be used as discovery material when we do bring a case.”

    Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund President Ron Hosko, a former assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, added that an informant’s interactions with the press could create circular reporting that would serve to make their information “appear more valuable or more true” than it actually is.

    • While working as a spy for the FBI, Stefan Halper interacted on multiple occasions with the media, both on the record and, according to a University of Cambridge researcher, as an anonymous background source.

      I don’t understand why the article makes no mention of this guy’s much more famous role on The Simpsons..

      Yup. Santos L. Halper… [ducks]

  3. Sir Richard Dearlove & UK Intelligence Ties

    May 20, 2018 by Jeff Carlson, CFA

    Stefan Halper played a role in the establishment of the Trump-Russia Investigation.

    But let’s be clear.

    Halper wasn’t “inside” the Trump Campaign. Halper used intentionally manufactured meetings and contacts with Papadopoulos and Page to create perceived associations with Russia.

    Ultimately, this appears to be a coordinated effort between British and U.S. Intelligence. Halper was just one of many pieces. Joseph Mifsud was likely a similar piece.

    In my opinion, it’s Sir Richard Dearlove who should be receiving the closest look.

  4. Alleged Canadian ISIS member captured in Syria, according to Kurdish forces

    + videos

    Another alleged Canadian ISIS member has been captured in northern Syria, according to local Kurdish forces, who posted a video of the man.

    In the 40-second video clip, the man identified himself as Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed and said he was an Ethiopian-Canadian.

    Kurdish forces said he was arrested by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir al-Zour, the last ISIS stronghold in Syria.

    “I am originally from Ethiopia, I came from Canada, entered from Idlib,” he said in the video.

    “And you went with the comrades at the checkpoint?” he was asked.

    “Sorry,” he replied.

    “You went in combat with our youths?” the interrogator asked.

    “Yes,” he said.

    According to Canadian terrorism researcher Prof. Amarnath Amarasingam, Mohamed was born in Saudi Arabia and studied at Toronto’s Seneca College before departing for Syria in 2013.

    With his capture, the number of Canadians known to be in the custody of Kurdish forces is now four men, three women and seven children.

    But an organization representing the families of Canadian captives, Families Against Violent Extremism, said it was aware of almost two dozen.

    “The families of 21 Canadian detainees have asked FAVE to help get them out of the northern Syrian camps. The majority of these Canadians are infants and children who are suffering from hunger and illness in frozen tents,” said group’s director, Prof. Alexandra Bain.

    Global News revealed last October that Kurdish fighters had captured several Canadians affiliated with ISIS, including a former member of a sniper unit.

    MPs responded by passing a motion calling on the government to table a strategy for bringing ISIS members to justice.

    In December, the government released a report outlining the difficulties involved in collecting enough evidence to prosecute Canadians who had taken part in terrorist activity abroad.

    “Investigating, arresting, charging and prosecuting any Canadian involved in terrorism or violent extremism is the government’s main objective and priority,” the six-page report said.

    “However, there are often challenges associated with the collection of evidence and the use of intelligence and sensitive information as courtroom evidence, particularly when alleged criminal offences took place on a battlefield abroad.”

    About half the estimated 190 Canadians who have left to take part in terrorist activity went to the Syria-Iraq-Turkey region. Another 60 have returned, but few of them had been ISIS fighters.

    Only four of those who left Canada for Syria and returned have been charged. Two were convicted and two are awaiting trial.

    Kurdish forces have been appealing to governments to take back their citizens, who are being held in makeshift prisons and camps in northeast Syria.

    But Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said the government was under no legal obligation to facilitate the return of the Canadians captured in Syria because Canada did not participate in their detention.

    A 2017 briefing note for Goodale, however, said Canadians had the constitutional “right to enter” the country. “Therefore, even if a Canadian engaged in terrorist activity abroad, the government of Canada must facilitate their return to Canada,” it said.

  5. Democrats Fly on Chartered Jet to Puerto Rico During Govt Shutdown, Hit the Beach

    About 30 Democratic Lawmakers and their families took a chartered jet to Puerto Rico over the weekend to attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, where they met with lobbyists and received a “special performance” of the Broadway show, “Hamilton.”

    The event took place at a oceanfront resort where rooms cost about $429 a night, according to Fox News. Those in attendance did pay for their “Hamilton” tickets themselves.

    • “BREAKING LIVE: #LauraLoomer and Illegal Aliens Seek #Sanctuary at @SpeakerPelosi’s CA Mansion”
      United America First – January 14, 2019 – Streamed live 2 hours ago

  6. London station horror: ‘Man with machete’ terrifies commuters – police storm Tulse Hill (express, jan 14, 2019)

    “A MAN was arrested by police at Tulse Hill this evening after reports of a person carrying a “massive” machete at the London station.

    Witnesses saw a man “ranting” while pacing up and down the platform with a large machete before police arrived at the scene. The incident happened at Tulse Hill tube station in south London this evening. A commuter took to social media to post a picture of a man being held by police.

    Train and station staff have been praised for remaining “calm” in the face of terrifying incident.

    Another commuter explained he had to run from the man, saying: “Terrifying incident at Tulse Hill station where several of us had to run from a man wielding a machete.

    Another witness said: “Awful drama at Tulse Hill station tonight, massive respect to the @TFLRailUK driver who kept calm, shut the doors and kept us informed as the @metpoliceuk did what they had to do.”

    A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

    A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “Shortly after 6.30pm today (14/01) officers from British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police were called to Tulse Hill station after reports of a man in possession of a knife.

    “Police officers were quickly on scene and detained a 59-year-old man on the platforms at the station. During the detainment a Taser device was discharged.

    “The man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon, he is being taken to custody. There are no reported injuries.

    “Anyone who witnessed what happened is asked to contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 478 of 14/01/2019.

    “This incident is not currently believed to be terror related.””

  7. Police arrest teenage boy aged just FOURTEEN with a cache of FIVE deadly hunting knives in another horrifying snapshot of Wild West Britain (dailymail, jan 14, 2019)

    “A 14-year-old boy was found with five gruesome-looking hunting knives as the spate of stabbings rocking Britain continues to spiral.

    Police in the north of the capital uncovered the deadly arsenal during a stop and search of the schoolboy yesterday afternoon.

    The seizure came as a schoolboy in Lewisham, two boys in Thames Ditton and a woman in her 50s in Sutton emerged as the latest victims of the knife epidemic…”

  8. Observatory: Court Ruling Against German Homeschoolers Is ‘Major Blow to Parental Rights’ (breitbart, Jan 14, 2019)

    “A recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that German authorities had not violated a family’s rights when they stormed their home and carried away their four children to prevent them from receiving homeschooling, a decision condemned by human rights advocates as “a major blow to parental rights.”

    The case goes back to August 2013, when more than 30 police officers and social workers burst into the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, just as they were beginning their first homeschooling lesson of the year, a practice that is illegal in Germany, and seized their children.

    Ellen Fantini, Executive Director of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe, told Breitbart News on Monday that Germany is one of the only nations to criminally enforce its ban on homeschooling, and that the officials had “entered the Wunderlich home with a battering ram and taken the children by force.”

    The January 10 ruling by the ECHR defending the police action sends the very clear message that “German officials know better than parents how to educate their children,” Ms. Fantini said.

    “This ruling ignores the fact that Germany’s policy on homeschooling violates the rights of parents to educate their children and direct their upbringing. It is alarming to see that this was not recognized by the most influential human rights court in Europe,” said Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International. “This ruling is a step in the wrong direction and should concern anyone who cares about freedom.”

    After courts in Germany ruled in favor of the government, the Wunderlich family appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which agreed to take up the case in August 2016. The Wunderlichs argued that the government had violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by forcing their four children to attend a local school.

    “I see this ruling as a major blow to parental rights across Europe,” Fantini told Breitbart. “The Wunderlichs wanted to educate their children in the environment they thought best — the home.”

    Fantini noted that the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is enshrined in all major human rights treaties to which Germany itself is a party.

    “It is ironic that one of the German government’s arguments against homeschooling is that children should be exposed to those who think differently than they do,” she said. “The message is: diversity of viewpoint and philosophy is to be respected – unless it conflicts with the government’s views.”

    Michael Donnelly, an international homeschooling expert and director of global outreach for the Home School Legal Defense Association, called the ruling “a huge setback.”

    “We will not give up the fight to protect the fundamental right of parents to homeschool their children in Germany and across Europe,” Donnelly added.

    The court’s decision “reinforces prejudices about homeschooling and the idea that children receive defective or limited education if they are taught at home,” Fantini told Breitbart News.

    The ECHR has shown that it is infected with this very prejudice by insisting that “compulsory school attendance is necessary for children to learn ‘social skills such as tolerance, assertiveness and the ability to assert their own convictions against majority-held views,’” she said.

    The only legal recourse left to the family is to bring the case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, the highest level of the Court.

    “We are extremely disappointed with this ruling of the Court. It disregards the rights of parents all over Europe to raise their children without disproportionate interference from the state,” said Robert Clarke, Director of European Advocacy for ADF International and lead counsel for the Wunderlich family.

    “We are now advising the Wunderlichs of their options, including taking the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights,” Clarke said.”

  9. Saudi facing assault charges flees after embassy posts bail (abcnews, Jan 14, 2019) 

    “Officials in Canada say a 28-year-old Saudi Arabian man charged with sexually assaulting a Canadian woman has gone missing.

    Nova Scotia’s prosecution service said Monday that Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi had bail posted by the Saudi Arabian Embassy last year in the case involving allegations of sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement.

    A court document says the sheriff unsuccessfully tried to locate Alzoabi last month. His lawyer is quoted as saying that he fled Canada even though police had seized his passport.

    Veteran immigration lawyer Lee Cohen says the likeliest way Alzoabi would have left the country without a passport is with Saudi embassy-issued travel documents.

    The Saudi Arabian Embassy has not responded to requests for comment.”

  10. Why I’m Seeking Asylum In America
    As a gay conservative in public life, I don’t feel safe in an Islamized Britain anymore.
    January 14, 2019
    Milo Yiannopoulos

    In 2015, I wrote the column that secured my place in the pantheon of Right-wing hate figures: “I’m A Gay Man And Mass Muslim Immigration Terrifies Me.” Shortly afterwards, I left London, disturbed by the state of my capital city and hoping that with a megaphone in America I could sound the alarm about European Islamization. But the cancer has further metastasized. Although I have since married an American citizen, and am therefore eligible for a green card, I am applying for asylum in the United States. It’s the only way to be sure I never have to return to a country with so many citizens eager to see me imprisoned or dead.

    Muslims in the UK have the most bigoted and barbaric values of any Islamic community anywhere in the West, and their reactionary social attitudes aren’t restricted to homosexuality. Only three per cent of British Muslims believe any sex outside marriage is morally acceptable. One in twenty Muslims in Britain say they sympathize with suicide bombers. A third believe that men should be permitted multiple wives. 39 per cent agree that “women should always obey their husbands.”

  11. The FBI Targeting the President is a Coup

    Suppose, after Bill Clinton fired William Sessions, the FBI had decided to go after him. We know what the media’s response would have been.

    Now we have a black and white admission that the FBI went after President Trump for a nonsensical conspiracy theory put out by the Clinton campaign after he fired Comey.

    This is a huge problem.

    Forget the whole D and R thing for a moment. Start thinking about Rome instead and the Praetorian Guard.

    We have elected officials for a reason. They’re not immune to criminal charges. But there’s a huge difference between a Federal law enforcement agency investigating a crime. And a Federal law enforcement agency deciding to launch an investigation of the President of the United States specifically after he fired their boss.

    Is the entire FBI tainted? Not in this regard. Richard: The problem is we don’t know how far down the corruption has spread? And how many local police who work with the FBI have become infected with the Judge Drea virus of I am the law.

    The FBI suffered from politicized leadership. It still does. But it also suffers from political entanglements and a good deal of institutional arrogance. It takes a lot of entanglements, such as those McCabe and co. had, to use the Bureau as a political weapon. But it also takes a great deal of institutional arrogance to respond to the loss of your Numero Uno with a full scale attack on the highest elected official.

    That’s not American. That’s South American. Richard: look at the entire Trump campaign/administration investigation, they are investigating to find crimes not to find evidence of a specific crime. This is South American and Soviet. Once again how deep has the corruption spread?

    Read the entire article

    Richard: Later Danial Greenfield warns that the precedent that this sets makes it possible for a coup to run the other way. Remember when Obama was in the White House some serving officer approached a retired General about him helping stage a coup and becoming the interim President. The General turn them down but what about in the future, with this precedent what happens after Donald Trump rebuilds the military and promotes capable patriots to be our military leaders? What happens if someone like Obama or Red Cortez is elected? What if the patriotic officers decide that they have to stage a coup to save the nation? The Dems will have set the precedent that coups are OK as long as you believe the President is evil, theyhave also set the precedent that stopping people who disagree with you is OK as is using massive violence (including lethal force) against your political enemies is OK.

    The Dems have politicized the Federal Law Enforcement and weaponized it against their political enemies. In blue cities in blue states the Dems have politicized the police and Judicial system and are through selective enforcement destroying peoples confidence in the government (at all levels) treating every one the same. They are seeing that there are special laws for special people, a concept that leads to massive public unrest and eventual revolutions. Hopefully the people leading the revolution will be dontent with restoring the rights taken from them but given the general educational level of the people in all Western Nations I have grave doubts about this happening.

    Keep your musket clean, your powder dry and watch your back.

      • Also I know several local police officers that are becoming infected with that virus.

        Rogue cops and vigilantism are like gunpowder and alcohol … always a dangerous mix. It’s why Rule of Law was invented.

    • Richard: …they are investigating to find crimes not to find evidence of a specific crime.

      If these Deep State wonks were fishing any deeper, they’d be hauling up bottom-feeders from the Marianas Trench. The colonial witch hunters have nothing on these federal house dicks. No one in Salem town even owns a crucible big enough to cook up this fine kettle of chowder.

      The Dems have politicized the Federal Law Enforcement and weaponized it against their political enemies.

      This weaponizing certainly does seem to be all the rage now, doesn’t it? It’s yust one more thing these Commie Social Yustice Worriers share with them Moosequims.

      All both of these ongoing criminal enterprises would turn parking tickets into executable offenses if it got them to the Oval Office one eyeblink sooner.

      • Look at what they are trying to do to voting, the tiered votes are designed to let the Dems steal elections and remain in power like all other Dictatorships.

  12. CAIR Calling Shots on Who Gets Banned from Facebook and Twitter
    Fresh evidence that the social media giants are eagerly Sharia-compliant now.
    January 14, 2019
    Robert Spencer

    Now it is becoming clear why Facebook and Twitter have for so long been harassing, shadowbanning, and blocking foes of jihad terror and Sharia oppression. Journalist Jordan Schachtel revealed in Conservative Review Tuesday that “the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is best known as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history, appears to have access to high-ranking Facebook and Twitter executives and has communicated with these individuals about who should be allowed to stay on their platforms.”

    This doesn’t come as any surprise given the eagerness of both Facebook and Twitter to be Sharia-compliant. Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveled to Pakistan in July 2017 to assure the Pakistani government that it would remove “anti-Islam” material. And Facebook has done so assiduously, banning numerous foes of jihad terror and twice now blocking the Jihad Watch Facebook page on spurious technical grounds.

    But this new revelation does show how sick and degenerate the social media giants really are. CAIR has ties to Hamas, and “Billoo has expressed her support for an Islamic caliphate and Sharia law. She also claims, in multiple tweets, that ISIS is on the same moral plane as American and Israeli soldiers, adding that ‘our troops are engaged in terrorism.’” This pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist is deciding what is acceptable discourse and what isn’t. It’s no wonder that the result would be platforms that are increasingly hostile to foes of jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women and others.

  13. Checking in on Sweden
    Official self-abnegation is alive and well, but faces a growing pushback.
    January 14, 2019
    Bruce Bawer

    I’ve told this one before. Back in 2005, Mona Sahlin, who from 2002 to 2004 had served as Sweden’s minister of integration, told an audience at a Swedish mosque that many native Swedes envied them, because, she said, immigrants have real cultures and histories while Swedes have only “silliness” such as the commemoration of Midsummer Night. Later that year, at a debate on integration policy, the Norwegian activist Hege Storhaug asked Lise Bergh, who had succeeded to the post of Swedish minister of integration, whether Swedish culture was worth preserving. Blithely, Bergh replied: “Well, what is Swedish culture? And by saying that, I think I’ve answered the question.”

    Those two appalling comments reflect a mentality – one that is shared, unfortunately, by a great many Swedes – that goes a long way toward explaining the breathtakingly self-destructive policies that, over the last few decades, have sent Sweden barreling down the road toward cultural self-annihilation. Of course, other Western European countries are headed down the same road, but they aren’t moving quite so quickly and eagerly, and with such a fatuous, pathetic air of self-satisfaction, toward their grim fate. The difference lies entirely in that Swedish mentality. Even more than most other Western Europeans, Swedes, especially the self-consciously sophisticated urban elites, are possessed of a degree of self-abnegation that is nothing short of pathological.

  14. Student, 14, is caught on camera viciously assaulting Detroit teacher, 63, leading her to be hospitalized because she ‘snitched’ on him for having drugs

    A Detroit high school student was caught on video punching and kicking a substitute teacher because she reported him for having drugs.

    Cell phone video from Thursday shows the 63-year-old substitute teacher at Cody High School knocked to the ground after the 14-year-old student allegedly walked into her classroom and began punching her, FOX 2 reports.

    ‘I was doing my work and I just looked up and she was on the floor shaking and stuff,’ student Keiontay Nelson told the station about the attack during his math class. ‘Like her head was messed up.’

    Nelson and his fellow students Brandon Antisdel and John O’Neal intervened, angered by the assault they were witnessing.

    video at site

  15. Italy Building Anti-EU Axis

    by Soeren Kern
    January 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is leading an effort to create a pan-European populist alliance to challenge the pro-European establishment over the future of the European Union. The aim is to reclaim sovereignty from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and transfer key EU powers back to national capitals.

    Germany and France, the self-appointed guardians of European integration, are responding to the challenge with an ambitious counterplan to make the European Union a “more decisive power on the world stage.”

    The showdown, which threatens to split the European Union down the middle between Eurosceptic nationalists and Europhile globalists, will heat up in coming weeks and months, ahead of elections for the European Parliament in late May 2019.

    During a visit to Warsaw on January 9, Salvini, now the most powerful politician in Italy, said that populists from Italy and Poland should spark a “European spring” and forge a “new equilibrium” to replace the influence of Germany and France in the European Parliament:

  16. First Amendment ‘auditors’ filming public buildings, police, called ‘terrorists’ — but are they really?

    ‘The intent is never to scare anybody’


    A group of self-described First Amendment auditors are using cellphones and cameras to film police headquarters, jails, federal holding centers, and other public buildings around the country. The activists say they are filming public servants in an attempt to capture their conduct.

    Not everyone likes their tactics, but are they really dangerous terrorists?
    What are the objections?

    I don’t know what to make of this one, are they good guys, bad guys or nuts?

  17. Saudi Arabia and the West’s Right Wing: A Dubious Alliance

    BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,063, January 14, 2019

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: While purporting to be focused on promoting a more tolerant form of Islam, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is instituting reforms that are designed to centralize power around himself. His moves include embracing European and Western far-right groups that are hardly beacons of tolerance and respect.

    Saudi funding, which was traditionally focused on ultra-conservative Sunni Islam, has been streamlined and fine-tuned in the era of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to ensure that it serves his geopolitical ambitions. Those ambitions primarily include stymying the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East and North Africa and enhancing the kingdom’s global impact.

    This effort has produced a mixed bag so far. Spending is down but more targeted. Saudi Arabia has, for example, handed over control of the Grand Mosque in Brussels in a move designed to demonstrate the kingdom’s newly found moderation and to reduce the reputational damage of a Saudi ultra-conservative management that had become conten

  18. Mozambique: Islamist militants suspected in Cabo Delgado killings (thedefensepost, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Militant Islamists are suspected to have killed 12 people in northern Mozambique as they shift attacks to vehicles despite increased army patrols on main roads.

    Most of the victims died in attacks on cars and buses in the gas-rich, Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region where militants have carried out attacks in remote communities for more than a year.

    The murders mark a shift in strategy that had previously targeted isolated homes.

    Four people were killed and four others wounded early on Saturday while driving near the town of Manilha, according to a police officer based near Mocimboa da Praia, in one of the worst-hit zones.

    On January 6, seven others were murdered in nearby Ulumbi after their bus was ambushed by a group of gunmen who torched the vehicle, local sources said.

    Another person was murdered and cut into pieces in the rice-growing area of Nailwa, five kilometres (three miles) from Palma, a district capital.

    The military has begun to escort public transport vehicles but they have nonetheless come under attack, said the police officer who asked not be named because he had no authority to speak to the media.

    Drivers and their passengers now prefer to travel without soldiers because it makes them a more likely target, the police officer told AFP.

    “The order of the attackers is [for people] to leave the villages,” a local community leader who also asked to remain anonymous for fear of repression by the police, told AFP.

    “They say that these are liberated zones, they do not want people to live here,” said the village leader added.

    Islamists blamed for attacks in gas-rich Cabo Delgado
    Cabo Delgado province is expected to become the center of a nascent natural gas industry after several promising offshore discoveries near Palma. The vast gas deposits could transform the impoverished country’s economy, with experts predicting that Mozambique could even become the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

    But the country’s north has largely been excluded from the economic growth of the last 20 years, creating fertile ground for radical Islamist ideology.

    The region has seen a number of deadly assaults on security forces and civilians since October 2017, beginning with an attack on a police station and military post in Mocimboa da Praia in which two police officers died. That incident was believed to be the first militant Islamist attack in the country.

    In the following weeks, at least 300 Muslims were arrested, some of them Tanzanians, and several mosques were closed.

    Since then, more than a hundred people have been killed in gun and knife attacks and thousands more forced to leave their homes.

    Many incidents have been blamed on an Islamist group called Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama – followers of the prophetic tradition – or “Swahili Sunnah,” known locally as “al-Shabaab.”

    Researchers have said the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama leadership has links to Islamist groups based in Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya and in the Great Lakes region, where some also received training, Reuters reported.

    In August, police identified six men – Abdul Faizal, Abdul Remane, Abdul Raim, Nuno Remane, Ibn Omar and a sixth known only as Salimo – who they said were leading attacks.

    Legal proceedings against around 200 suspected militants began in October at a jail in the provincial capital Pemba.

    In December, Mozambican prosecutors named South African Andre Mayer Hanekom and Tanzanians Chafim Mussa and Adamu Nhaungwa Yangue among leaders of the group. The three face charges of murder, crimes against the state, inciting civil disobedience among a slew of other offences.

    Affectionately referred to as “baba mzungo” or “white father,” prosecutors allege Hanekom was responsible for the group’s logistics, including payment of monthly salaries equivalent to $160, and provision of medicines.

    Some of the suspects “confessed that the group intends with their armed actions to create instability and prevent the exploitation of natural gas in Palma, and later create an independent state, which annexes the districts of the northern region of Cabo Delgado and the south of …Tanzania,” according to the charge sheet.

    Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has deployed heavy reinforcements to the region and vowed to eradicate the extremist group.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) last month accused security forces of serious human rights violations and several journalists have been arrested in the area.”

  19. US Unable to Defeat Iranian Nation: President Rouhani (tasnimnews, jan 14, 2019)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the ineffectiveness of the US government’s economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic and said the Americans are not able to bring the country into its “knees”.

    “We do not have any fear of the enemy’s conspiracy,” President Rouhani said at a gathering of Iranian people in the city of Gonbad-e Kavus located in the northern province of Golestan.

    “We will weather the problems and will not allow these problems stay ahead of us,” he said, adding, “Neither the United States, nor the Zionists, nor their stooges, are able to bring the great nation (of Iran) and its brave leadership to their knees.”

    “You are seeking to deprive the Iranian people of food, medicine and equipment,” Rouhani said, referring to the American sanctions.

    “However, we (have freindly and brotherly ties) with all of our friends in the world and most of the neighbors around the country, … and are ready to solve the problems in this regard,” he stated.

    The remarks came as tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since US President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

    Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

    The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.”

    • It looks like Red China tried to pin their G5 hopes on a balloon.

      Considering Huawei’s linchpin economic role, Maotown’s screwed.

      • Yup, their allies in the US are trying to spin the economic data to say the US is being hurt worse the China by the Tariffs but we both know China is in massive economic trouble. I don’t know how close they are to political collapse but hopefully we can get a de-Communization program in China, we couldn’t in Russia and look at the mess that made.

  20. Maduro Opponent: Hezbollah Exploiting Venezuela Gold Mines (aawsat, Jan 14, 2019)

    “An MP opposed to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed that the Lebanese Hezbollah group was exploiting gold mines in his country in order to finance its “destabilizing terrorist activity in the Middle East.”

    MP Americo De Grazia said that the armed group owns two mines in the Orinoco Mining Arc project that is supported by Maduro.

    He said that cooperation between the Venezuelan government and Hezbollah is mutually beneficial for both parties.

    The government, he explained, was generating a lot of revenues from the partnership, while the group was making economic profits and avoiding international sanctions.

    The lawmaker added that the entire world is aware of the Orinoco Mining Arc project that is looting Venezuela’s wealth for the benefit of foreign countries at the expense of the national economy

    The project lies over an area of 112 kilometers in the Bolivar state in southeastern Venezuela and holds a reserve of some 7,000 tons.”

  21. Arabic press review: UAE offered Saddam Hussein asylum before Iraq war (mee, Jan 14, 2019)

    “UAE offered Saddam Hussein asylum to avoid Iraq war
    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates’ vice president and ruler of Dubai, has revealed in a memoir to be published on Tuesday that he offered Saddam Hussein asylum in Dubai before the US invasion in 2003 as a means of preventing the war, according to the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

    Despite telling Saddam that Dubai was his “second city”, the Iraqi president turned down the offer.

    The book written by Sheikh Mohammed tackles 50 years of his life, work and duties, and recalls memories, experiences and attitudes during those years.

    In it, Sheikh Mohammed talks about undeclared contacts with Saddam Hussein and the repercussions of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, saying it was “a turning point that changed the entire region”.

    He also wrote that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asked for his help in order to turn Tripoli into a “second Dubai”, but said that “Gaddafi did not desire change, he only wished it”.

    Of his relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he wrote that after the crisis started in Syria, Assad lived “in another world, watching his country sinking into blood and destruction”.

    Muslims prevent Christians from praying in Egypt
    Muslim “extremists” in central Egypt’s Minya governorate prevented a number of Coptic Christians from praying in a church and forced the priests out, while the Egyptian security forces stood by and did nothing to protect them, according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

    The incident relaunched discussion about the role of the Egyptian police in protecting Christians, and triggered fears that officers, who are supposed to protect them, will instead put their lives at risk, according to the newspaper.

    The newspaper said some people had accused the government of showing off through the media and trying present itself as tackling the problem, but not providing any solutions on the ground.

    The incident took place shortly after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inaugurated the largest mosque and church in Egypt, which sparked widespread controversy among Egyptian communities because of their huge cost.

    Arabs and Kurds discuss ‘confederation’ in Israeli conference
    A number of Arab and Kurdish academics and researchers participated in a conference held in Jerusalem to discuss the option of confederations in the Middle East, including the idea of one between Jordan and Israel, as well as between Iraq and Syria, according to the website Arabi21.

    The conference was organised by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, which said the conference discussed “the option of confederations in the Middle East to counter the influence of Iran and Turkey”.

    “This should not frighten Israel, because the Middle East is at a crossroads that requires new options in order to deal with it on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the Arab Spring,” the Centre said.

    Arabi21 quoted the institute as saying in a lengthy report that “such meetings are of a great importance because they bring together a number of Israeli experts and former diplomats so as to find common understandings with Arab and Kurdish neighbours”.

    The institute said that Syrian oppositionist Kamal al-Labwani was among the participants, and that he called for “strengthening this idea in light of the close cooperation between Iran and Turkey, and their negative attitudes towards Israel, which requires moderate Arab neighbours to find common grounds with Israel”.”

  22. Terrorists sentenced to death in Tunisia (memo, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Tunisia has passed the death sentence on 41 terrorists found guilty of an attack that killed 15 soldiers in June, 2014. The attack took place in the Mount Chaambi area of Kasserine Province on the border with Algeria. The area remains a hideout for militants.

    “The Tunis Court of First Instance issued its verdicts against 41 defendants on Friday,” Sufian Al-Sliti, a spokesman for the anti–terrorism court, told AFP. “Only two of the defendants are in custody; the others have escaped.”

    The Tunisian Ministry of Defence said that on the day of the attack, between 40 and 60 terrorists armed with machine guns and rocket launchers fired on troops during the month of Ramadan. Five soldiers were shot dead and nine others were burned to death in their tents. A tenth soldier died later of his wounds.”

  23. Qatar insists it will not normalise relations with Syria (memo, Jan 14, 2019)

    “The government of Qatar sees no reason to reopen its embassy in Damascus, nor any encouraging signs for a normalisation of ties with the Syrian government, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has insisted.

    Speaking at a press conference this morning, the minister slammed the suggestion that Qatar would mend relations with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, whom he affirmed was “involved in war crimes”. He also addressed the issue of Syria returning to the Arab League, arguing that Qatar would continue to stand by its expulsion from the 22-member regional bloc.

    “Since day one Qatar had reasons for which it supported the suspension of [Syria’s Arab League] membership and those reasons are still there,” he concluded, “so we do not see any encouraging factor.”

    The strong statements from Doha come as other Arab states, including some that once backed opposition groups against the Syrian regime, are speeding up their reconciliation efforts with Al-Assad following decisive gains made by government and allied forces in the war last year…”

  24. Algeria football violence leaves hundreds injured (memo, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Football violence in Algeria has left over 300 people injured and hundreds more arrested.

    During a press briefing held yesterday in Algerian capital Algiers, Director of Public Security at Algeria’s General Directorate of National Security – Issa Nayli – explained that, during the ongoing 2018-2019 football season, 80 violent incidents were reported. Of these, 28 occurred in Algeria’s First League and eight in the Second League, in addition to a number of other occurrences during local and international matches.

    These incidents left 316 people injured, among them 215 police officers. A total of 726 football supporters – including 82 minors – were arrested in connection with the violence, 198 of whom were subsequently sent to trial. Scores of vehicles were also damaged, the majority of which belonged to the Algeria’s national security apparatus…”

  25. Israel will begin exporting gas to Egypt in a few months’ time (memo, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Israel will begin exporting natural gas to Egypt in a few months’ time, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday, a key step in the country’s plans to sell its expanding gas production abroad and bolster diplomatic ties, says Reuters.

    Steinitz did not give a specific target for initial exports, but said shipments would double after the huge Leviathan field in the eastern Mediterranean comes fully online in November.

    Steinitz said Israeli exports to Egypt were expected to reach 7 billion cubic meters annually over 10 years. About half the exports were expected to be used for Egypt’s domestic market and half to be liquefied for re-export, he said.

    Israel has discovered vast amounts of gas since the early 2000s, signing deals to export to Egypt and Jordan. Its production, currently around 10.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), is expected to more than double in 2020, rising to 27 bcm in 2021.

    In an interview on the sidelines of a regional gas forum in Cairo, Steinitz said Israel and Egypt had discussed how to extend cooperation on natural gas, including through exports.

    He also said Israel was hoping to sign a deal for the construction of the 2,000-kilometre (1,243-mile) East Med pipeline, which will cross from Israel and Cyprus into Greece and Italy, “in a few weeks’ time”.

    “Israel exporting natural gas to the Arab world and also to Europe — this is something that sounded like a dream or a fantasy just 10 or 15 years ago,” said Steinitz, the first energy minister to visit Egypt since the 2011 uprising there.

    The exports from Israel to Egypt will be made under a landmark $15 billion natural gas export deal announced in February 2018. In September, Israeli and Egyptian companies bought a 39 percent stake in the EMG pipeline, paving the way for the deal to begin…”

  26. Egypt deports second German of Egyptian origins for attempting to join Daesh terrorists in Sinai: MENA (ahram, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Egyptian authorities have deported a German national of Egyptian origins who recently arrived in Egypt several, due to his affiliation with the Daesh terror group, according the state news agency MENA.

    Issa Mohamed Abdel-Ghani El-Sabbagh had recently arrived at Luxor International Airport from Germany.

    According to MENA, the authorities said El-Sabbagh was found in possession of maps of North Sinai. The authorities said he had links with IS group elements in Germany and he come to Egypt to join terrorists in North Sinai.

    The 18-year-old, a student at the University of Giessen, was deported to Germany on Sunday.

    The government said that it did not consider El-Sabbagh an Egyptian national since he automatically lost that right in 2007 while a minor, when his father gave up his Egyptian nationality to attain German citizenship.

    The deportation comes two days after the deportation of another German of Egyptian origins, 24-year-old Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, who the Egyptian authorities said was also trying to join Daesh terrorists in Sinai.”

  27. Migrants to be guides at Naples’ Museo Madre (ansamed, Jan 14, 2019)

    “Immigrants will act as tour guides for Naples’ Museo Madre as part of an initiative by the Italian Environmental Fund (FAI) Ponte tra Culture group.

    FAI, in collaboration with the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, is promoting a training course targeting mainly foreign citizens on Neapolitan history and artistic and historical heritage. Starting from the works of the Museo Madre collection, the course aims to train new artistic-cultural mediators: people able to spread knowledge about the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Naples to new citizens of foreign origin living and working in Italy.

    In so doing, the course is expected to increase a sense of belonging to the community, fostering integration and a comparison between different culture, and train people who can in turn involve others from their country in the discovery of the history, architecture, and works of Museo Madre. The project ‘Arte un Ponte tra Culture’ (‘Art as a Bridge between Cultures’) aims to train foreigners who are able to act as cultural interpreters and not just linguistic ones. The course is cost-free and open to a maximum of 30 participants. Requirements include having a permit of stay, being over age 18, having a good knowledge of written and spoken Italian as well as interest in Neapolitan history and culture and contemporary art. The deadline for requests to take part is January 18. The course is comprised of four lessons ranging from the history of Museo Madre with a focus on its most important exhibitions and spaces to in-depth study into the site-specific collection and other exhibition routes of the museum. The lessons will begin on January 31 and end on February 20.

    After the courses, participants will receive a certificate attesting to their participation as an artistic-cultural mediator of the museum. Participants will be called upon to take part as mediators in one of more Open Days of Museo Madre with guided tours in their own languages starting from April 2019.

    Forms to apply can be downloaded at: ori-artistico-culturali-al-madre.

    The initiative aims to increase cultural offerings for foreigners in order to raise awareness about cultural heritage and to protect it. “Arte un Ponte tra Culture” was started in Brescia in 2010 and was later extended to Milan, Varese, Valle Camonica, Bologna and Naples starting from 2015.”

  28. Senator convicted for racially abusing Italy’s first black minister (thelocal, Jan 14, 2019)

    “An Italian senator who compared a senior black politician to an orangutan has been convicted of racial hate speech.

    Senator Roberto Calderoli, a senior member of the anti-immigration League party that makes up one half of Italy’s governing coalition, received an 18-month suspended sentence on Monday for racist comments directed at Cécile Kyenge, who became Italy’s first and only black cabinet minister under a previous government.

    In 2013 the senator told a rally that Kyenge – the country’s minister of integration at the time – reminded him of an orangutan, “even if I’m not saying she is one”.

    Though the decision handed down by a court in northern Italy won’t see Calderoli go to prison, Kyenge called it “an encouraging sentence for all those who fight against racism”.

    “That’s why I’m satisfied with this development: not only for personal reasons, but also because the [court’s] decision confirms that racism can and must be fought by legal means, as well as civil, civic and political ones,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

    While Calderoli’s comments were widely condemned at the time, the battle for legal justice has proven lengthy. In 2015 his colleagues in the Senate passed a motion granting him immunity from prosecution for racial hate speech, backing his claim that his antagonism towards Kyenge was purely political.

    Last year, however, Italy’s Constitutional Court judged that Calderoli – who remains a serving senator – should be liable for his words.

    The senator, from the northern city of Bergamo, has long made inflammatory remarks about immigrants, Muslims and gay people, though none have so far cost him his political career.

    Kyenge, a naturalised Italian born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was subjected to a barrage of racial abuse during her time in office, much of it from elected members of the League. One of the party’s members of the European Parliament, Mario Borghezio, was ordered to pay her €50,000 in damages for repeated racial slurs, while local councillor Dolores Valandro was expelled from the party for suggesting that Kyenge should be raped.

    Since leaving the Italian government in 2014, she has gone on to serve as a deputy in the European Parliament.

    Italy has not had any ministers of colour nor a ministry of integration since then. The last election saw the senate gain its first ever black senator: Toni Iwobi, a member of the League, who ran alongside Calderoli in Bergamo.”

  29. TV station founded by Islamic preacher banned from UK for saying ‘all Muslims should be terrorists’ is probed over guest’s claim that fathers should ‘push’ daughters into marriage (dailymail, Jan 15, 2019)

    “A TV station founded by an Islamic preacher banned from the UK is under investigation after a guest claimed fathers should ‘push’ their daughters into marriage.

    Islamic scholar Haitham al-Haddad, once described as ‘one of the most dangerous men in Britain’, made the statements on Peace TV’s Marriage and Divorce show in November.

    During a broadcast, he claimed fathers should ‘push’ and ‘convince’ their daughters to get married and said it was ‘alarming’ for women to want to go on to higher education before marrying.

    His comments are now being investigated by media regulator Ofcom, the Times reported.

    Dr Haddad also said women who were unmarried in their 30s would ‘not receive good proposals’.

    He said he knew older women who wished their parents had pushed them to wed when they were younger.

    The investigation comes after it was revealed in October that Amazon sends cash to Dr Haddad’s Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) charity.

    Under its charitable scheme Amazon Smile, the tech giant donates a percentage of customers’ money to the MRDF – described as ‘the main Salafist organisation in the UK’.

    The Salafi movement promotes a hardline interpretation of Islam and is linked with jihadism.

    MRDF founder Haitham al-Haddad, 52, from Saudi Arabia, has been described as ‘one of the most dangerous men in Britain’ by the head of the Quillam Foundation, an anti-extremism think-tank…”

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