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.
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This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.
5 Ways Huawei is China’s All-Seeing Eye | China News | China Uncensored
Iran Beefs Up East Syria Base Ahead of US Withdrawal (aawsat, Feb 7, 2019)
“Iran has moved to intensify its recruitment of militia fighters based in east Syria in an attempt to fill the vacuum set to be left behind by a US withdrawal announced last December, with the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights reporting on an Iranian delegation touching down in Syria’s al-Mayadin city.
The group of Iranian officials, according to the war monitor, worked on indoctrinating and recruiting local youth so they join Iran-backed militia ranks in Syria.
The Observatory said the Iranian delegation focused on youth in cities located west of the Euphrates River, in the eastern suburb of Deir Ezzour province in Syria, calling them to join Iranian forces.
More so, the Iranian delegation is said to have then visited Ayn Ali, controlled by Iranian-allied forces, the UK-based group quoted a German news agency as saying.
The observatory documented the arrival of convoys bringing in Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi visitors, who were performing religious rites in the town where a large military presence for Iranian forces helped in erecting a Shiite shrine in Ayn Ali.
This came the day after Iran’s of Roads and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami inaugurated a highway connecting Kerman Shah in western Iran in the city of Hamel in eastern Syria.
According to the semi-official Iranian newspaper, Kayhan, said that the highway passes through Iraq aims to facilitate the transit route between Iran and Syria.
The minister said that the first operational stage comes after his recent visit to Syria to establish a highway with a length of 141 kilometers linking the two countries. He said the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development had hired a local contractor to implement the first phase, which covers 75 kilometers with a budget of 600 billion Iranian rials.
Seeking even warmer Syrian-Iranian ties, Syria’s top diplomat Walid al-Moallem is visiting Tehran to discuss cooperation and recent developments. He met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani before meeting with the senior adviser to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati.
“Whether they want to or not, the Americans must leave Syria,” Velayati said according to the Reuters news agency citing Iran’s Tasnim news agency.”
Burned by Israel Strikes, Iran to Move Weapons Supply Center Out of Damascus
Iranians are likely headed to Syrian T4 air base, which was struck by Israel twice last year
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps apparently will relocate its weapons supply center for Syria from the Damascus international airport to the Syrian T4 air base, located between Homs and Palmyra, after the latest wave of Israeli attacks on its facilities at Damascus airport.
[that’s all I saw because it haaretz + paywall]
REPORT: RUSSIA ATTACKS TARGETS HELD BY IRANIAN MILITIA IN SYRIA
Russian forces blew up bridges on the Euphrates River held by Iranian militias several days ago, a senior Syrian official told Bas News, a Kurdish website.
Canada to take in hundreds of refugees detained in Libya (mee, Feb 7, 2019)
“Canada has announced plans to take in hundreds of refugees previously held in Libya, including some who were rescued from detention centres rife with abuse and inhumane conditions.
Ahmed Hussen, the Canadian minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, said more than 150 refugees have been resettled in Canada so far, coming directly from Libya, while more than 600 others will be resettled over the next two years.
In addition, the Canadian government plans to resettle 100 refugees from Niger who were “rescued from Libyan migrant detention centres, including victims of human smuggling”, Hussen said in a statement to Middle East Eye on Thursday.
“In 2017, the world was shocked to see the harrowing images of people being sold into slavery in Libya,” Hussen said.
“In response to the situation, Canada was one of the few countries to step up to work with the [United Nations refugee agency] UNHCR to resettle these refugees directly from Libya and offer them a new home in Canada,” he added.
The UN appealed for help in 2017 to resettle refugees and asylum seekers from Libya, thousands of whom have used the North African country as a jumping off point to try to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
Over the past few years, the UN has issued countless reports of asylum seekers drowning or disappearing during the perilous Central Mediterranean crossing – the waters between Libya, Italy and Malta.
The UN estimates that one person died or went missing for every 18 people who crossed there between January and July last year, while there were at least 10 incidents in 2018 in which more than 50 people died at sea after leaving Libya.
“One of the key issues behind all of this are the ongoing deaths in the Mediterranean as people continue to risk their lives,” Michael Casasola, UNHCR’s senior resettlement officer in Canada, told Middle East Eye, about Ottawa’s plans to resettle the refugees from Libya.
Last month, the UN reported that six people died every day last year on average while trying to cross the Mediterranean. A total of 2,275 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean in 2018, while 139,300 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, which the UN said was “the lowest number in five years”.
Casasola said Canada was among several countries to respond to UNHCR’s appeal in September 2017 for countries to resettle refugees along the Central Mediterranean route.
At the time, only 6,700 refugees along routes to Libya had been resettled, UNHCR said, which prompted the agency to call for an additional 40,000 resettlement slots to be made available to accommodate refugees in 15 countries along the migration route.
Conditions in Libya
Conditions in Libya also made the UN’s 2017 appeal for refugee resettlement that much more urgent.
Indeed, as the Libyan authorities, in collaboration with some European Union states, clamped down on Mediterranean crossings, many of the asylum seekers who sought to get to Europe have ended up in detention facilities in Libya.
Media reports and human rights groups have detailed widespread abuse against the refugees and asylum seekers still in Libya, including torture and rape, as well as several cases in which asylum seekers were sold into slavery.
Casasola told MEE it’s a challenge to get access to Libyan detention centres and UNHCR has been trying to take as many refugees out of the country as it can.
Since December 2017, the agency has evacuated just over 3,000 refugee claimants to nearby Niger, which is where some of the refugees being resettled in Canada will be coming from.
“We’ve evacuated people from Libya to Niger and now we’re trying to move them out to try to keep the government of Niger happy,” he said.
Each refugee claimant must be processed and undergo a security check before they can be resettled abroad, Casasola explained, which means the entire process can take some time. “There’s a lot of logistics that goes into it,” he said.
Still, he said an effort has been made to try to find solutions earlier, “instead of people risking their lives on the Mediterranean”.
“Because even though the numbers have gone down in terms of the number of people trying to cross the Mediterranean … the number of deaths has not gone down,” he said.
Indeed, the number of people drowning in the Central Mediterranean skyrocketed midway through 2018, with 721 deaths at sea recorded in June and July alone last year, according to Amnesty International.
The rights group has accused European governments of adopting policies to close the Central Mediterranean route, thereby pushing asylum seekers into the hands of smugglers, or back into dangerous conditions in Libya.
For instance, Italy has pursued policies that “have left people stranded at sea for days”, Amnesty said, while European Union countries “are conspiring to contain refugees and migrants in Libya, where they are exposed to torture and abuse”.
Torture and indefinite detention
Meanwhile, Amnesty says “torture, detention, exploitation and rape are daily horrors” for many refugees and migrants in Libya.
“Thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, are being held in detention centres with no sense of when or if they will ever be released. The conditions are utterly inhumane – with little access to food, water or medical care. They face brutal treatment; torture, rape – and even being sold,” the group said.
Despite Canada’s commitment, Casasola said there remains a serious need for countries to open up many more resettlement spots for refugees.
He said about 1.4 million refugees are in need of resettlement, but only 70-80,000 resettlement spots are available around the world – about 5 percent of what’s needed.
“With that, you then are having to make these difficult decisions: ‘If we focus on Syrian refugees, how are we going to focus on Somali refugees,'” he said, by way of example.
“The international community gave UNHCR the role to protect and find solutions for refugees and resettlement is increasingly important in its ability to be a protection tool, in the sense of taking refugees out of dangerous detention centres and we’re trying to find solutions in other countries.
“But the problem is they’re not the only refugees who are in danger or are vulnerable. It’s part of a larger problem.””
Egypt executes three political prisoners after appeal rejected (mee, Feb 7, 2019)
“Egyptian authorities executed three political prisoners on Thursday, one year after they were sentenced to death on charges of killing the son of a judge, according to local rights activists.
According to Ahmed Attar, an Egyptian rights defender based in London, families of three men were informed today by a morgue in Alexandria that they had been executed by hanging and that their bodies were ready for burial.
Another Egyptian rights activist who knew the three men said they were all members of the Muslim Brotherhood and had taken part in protests opposing the military coup led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi against his predecessor Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the group.
The Brotherhood has been labelled a terrorist group by Egypt following Sisi’s election, although the group denies any involvement in violence.
The three men were university students Ahmed Maher Hindawi and Almotaz Ghanem, and IT company owner Abdel Hamid Metwalli.
The case, known in Egyptian media as “The son of the judge”, dates back to September 2014, when masked gunmen shot dead Mohamed el-Morelli, the 26-year-old son of the vice president of the Cairo appeals court, Judge Mahmoud el-Morelli, in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura…”
Kurds net 63 in Syria sweep of jihadist sleeper cells (ahram, Feb 7, 2019)
“A Kurdish-led force arrested 63 suspected militants in the Syrian city of Raqa Thursday during an operation against jihadist sleeper cells, it said in a statement.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said those detained belonged to “terrorist cells directly responsible for spreading terror and chaos” in the city.
At least 48 suspected members of the Islamic State group were among those arrested, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
He said that members of rival opposition groups are also among those detained by Kurdish security forces in Raqa, once the de facto capital of IS’s self-proclaimed “caliphate”.
The arrests are part of a sweeping crackdown on alleged IS sleeper cells in territory controlled by the SDF, the Observatory said.
The SDF has whittled down IS territory in Syria to a tiny sliver of land near the border with Iraq.
Jihadists have responded by ramping up bomb attacks and assassinations targeting SDF forces elsewhere.
The city of Raqa, which was taken by the SDF in 2017 after a massive operation by the US-led coalition, has been hit by a spate of bombings in recent weeks.
An explosion on Monday wounded Kurdish security forces in the city, the Observatory said. Last month, an IS suicide bomber attacked a centre for Kurdish forces, killing four civilians and a Kurdish fighter.
The Observatory says that suspected IS sleeper cells have allegedly assassinated at least 50 civilians and 135 SDF fighters in Kurdish-held territory, including eastern Deir Ezzor, Hasakeh’s countryside, Raqa and Manbij since August.”
Prime suspect in Ramsha murder case arrested (tribune, Feb 7, 2019)
“Five days after the cold-blooded murder of a teenage girl, Khairpur police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested the prime suspect, Zulfiqar Wassan alias Zulfo Wassan. He, along with other accomplices, had allegedly kidnapped Ramsha Wassan, 16, before killing her on Friday.
According to the police record, Zulfo, a notorious criminal who is said to be a relative of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Manzoor Wassan and Nawab Wassan, is involved in more than 20 criminal cases of killing, kidnappings and robberies. He initially kidnapped the girl, who was from a poor family in Haji Nawab Wassan Village, and later killed her because she had expressed her wish to marry a boy of her choice from another village…”
Social media has made people’s lives poisonous: IHC Judge (tribune, Feb 7, 2019)
“An Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge said on Thursday that social media had made people’s lives ‘poisonous’ and the whole society had been indulged into this filth…”
Suspects’ ‘virginity’ defense stirs public outrage in case on Turkish woman’s death (hurriyetdailynews, Feb 7, 2019)
“The attorneys of two suspects who were charged with raping and killing a young female co-worker in the Turkish capital have sparked national outrage with their defense speech before a court in which they said the victim was not a virgin.
Two male business partners, Ça?atay Aksu and Berk Akand (below), had been indicted by a prosecutor for sexually assaulting and then murdering 23-year-old university student ?ule Çet by throwing her out of the window of a tower in Ankara in the early hours of May 29, 2018…”
Migrants: Strasbourg criticizes ‘closed ports’ policy (ansa, Feb 7, 2019)
“The commissioner for human rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, on Thursday expressed “deep concern” at the Italian government’s policy to close ports to ships carrying migrants rescued at sea and other measures taken recently in a letter sent to Premier Giuseppe Conte.
The commissioner asked the government “to ensure that the human rights of rescued people are not put at risk due to the current disagreements between countries on their landing, and that the humanitarian aspect is always prioritized”.”
Migrants: Strasbourg ‘concerned’ by security law (ansamed, Feb 7, 2019)
“The commissioner for human rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, on Thursday expressed ”concern” over the repercussions for migrants and asylum seekers of recent migrant and security legislation in Italy in a letter sent to Premier Giuseppe Conte on January 31 and published on Thursday.
Mijatovic wrote that she was concerned for the possible ”repercussions of the security decree on the right to access accommodation and essential services, healthcare and education, for residents who have a residency permit for humanitarian reasons and by disconcerting information reporting that a number of them would risk becoming homeless”.
The commissioner also expressed ”deep concern” for the Italian government’s policy to close ports to ships carrying migrants.
She asked the government ”to ensure that the human rights of rescued people are not put at risk due to the current disagreements between countries on their landing, and that the humanitarian aspect is always prioritized”.
Mijatovic also said she was worried by the closure of the CARA refugee center in Castelnuovo di Porto.
The closure, she wrote, could ”end the admirable efforts made over the past few years by social services for the integration and rehabilitation” of refugees.
In the letter, the commissioner asked for more information on alternative solutions for the accommodation provided to people with residency permits for humanitarian reasons.”
BBC – Is England’s asylum system in crisis?
Jeff Bezos sends Weiner-esque photos to his lover.
National Enquirer acquires copies.
Bezos responds in the following:
No thank you, Mr. Pecker
the gateway pundit – DICK PIC DRAMA: National Enquirer Threatens to Release Jeff Bezos “Below the Belt Selfies”
Jeff Bezos hit back at the National Enquirer on Thursday alleging that the publication tried to blackmail him by threatening to publish explicit photographs of him, his penis and Lauren Sanchez-Whitesell.
Bezos wrote the AMI-National Equirer on Medium — “F*ck You!”
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
In short: In January, the Enquirer published an 11-page, yearlong investigation into Bezos’ relationship with Lauren Sanchez-Whitesell, wife of Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell. (Days earlier, Bezos and wife MacKenzie announced on social media that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.) The explosive report contained intimate text messages Bezos had sent Sanchez-Whitesell, and almost immediately questions arose as to how the tabloid could’ve obtained the correspondence.
In his post, Bezos says he launched his own investigation “to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer. As it turns out, there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter.”
Bezos continues: “To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I’ve known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he’s one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know. I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.”
Bezos then writes that his team found out that AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker was “apoplectic” about the investigation, and shortly thereafter they were approached with “an offer.”
“They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation. My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don’t add anything newsworthy,” he writes.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of blackmail
CNN – Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer publisher of extortion and blackmail
( 10 min 51 )
MSNBC- Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Publisher Of Blackmail And Extortion
I tried to phrase it delicately.
Is this a compulsive male chimp behavior?
“Is this a compulsive male chimp behavior?”
Is this a compulsive male chump behavior?
There, fixed that.
I think NR’s explanation is closer to being right.
This is behavior of excessively narcissistic ego manics. Of course in his case it might be caused by his wanting to believe that it is his wedding tackle rather then his bank account that has attracted the woman.
He’d have to REALLY photoshop the pix for anything close to credible…
Powerful article by a seasoned and courageous journalist. If she says it’s bad, it’s REALLY bad.
Jewish journalist on the frontlines of protest in Venezuela
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, a Swedish Jewish journalist, is documenting Venezuela on the brink of revolution.
Romanian people smugglers who hid eight Afghan migrants including three children and a baby in a secret compartment in the back of a van are jailed for a total of almost 20 years (dailymail, Feb 8, 2019)
“Migrant smugglers hid eight people, including four young children, in a hot, cramped secret compartment in the back of a van in a failed bid to cross the UK border.
The five Romanians were all jailed at Canterbury Crown Court today after Border Force officers described the ‘unbearable’ heat inside the hidden compartment.
The hidden people were found after a Mercedes Sprinter van was stopped at UK passport control at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France, on August 17.
Driver Dumitru-Daniel Cojanu told officers he was travelling to London for a couple of days with his passenger Camelia-Florina Teleaga, who said she was visiting her sister.
The pair were jailed alongside three passengers, Matei Daniel Nedelcu, Ion-Aurelian Apostol and Ionut-Catalin Vasilica.
When searching the boot of the van, officers found a partition hidden under carpet and discovered two men, two women and four children aged between 10 months and seven years old.
They were all weak and dehydrated after being cramped inside the approximately 6ft by 2ft space, which was only 3ft high.
The five smugglers were arrested and charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.
The migrants, who all claimed to be from Afghanistan, were passed to French border police….”
Saudi Arabia warns targeting Mohammed bin Salman over Khashoggi murder ‘is a red line’ (dailymail, Feb 8, 2019)
“Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was ‘not involved’ in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and blaming him would be crossing ‘a red line,’ Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs said Friday…”